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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 1 "THE INTRODUCTION TO MIRACLES"
I. PRINCIPLES OF MIRACLES
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK for STUDENTS
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
A theoretical foundation such as the text is necessary as a background to make these exercises meaningful. Yet it is the exercises which will make the goal possible. An untrained mind can accomplish nothing. It is the purpose of these exercises to train the mind to think along the lines which the course sets forth.
The exercises are very simple. They do not require more than a few minutes, and it does not matter where or when you do them. They need no preparation. They are numbered, running from 1 to 365. The training period is one year. Do not undertake more than one exercise a day.
The purpose of these exercises is to train the mind to a different perception of everything in the world. The workbook is divided into two sections, the first dealing with the undoing of what you see now and the second with the restoration of sight. It is recommended that each exercise be repeated several times a day, preferably in a different place each time and, if possible, in every situation in which you spend any long period of time. The purpose is to train the mind to generalize the lessons, so that you will understand that each of them is as applicable to one situation as it is to another.
Unless specified to the contrary, the exercise should be practiced with the eyes open, since the aim is to learn how to see. The only rule that should be followed throughout is to practice the exercises with great specificity. Each one applies to every situation in which you find yourself and to everything you see in it. Each day's exercises are planned around one central idea, the exercises themselves consisting of applying that idea to as many specifics as possible. Be sure that you do not decide that there are some things you see to which the idea for the day is inapplicable. The aim of the exercises will always be to increase the application of the idea to everything. This will not require effort. Only be sure that you make no exceptions in applying the idea.
Some of the ideas you will find hard to believe, and others will seem quite startling. It does not matter. You are merely asked to apply them to what you see. You are not asked to judge them, nor even to believe them. You are asked only to use them. It is their use which will give them meaning to you, and show you they are true. Remember only this-you need not believe them, you need not accept them, and you need not welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter nor decrease their efficacy. But allow yourself to make no exceptions in applying the ideas the exercises contain. Whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than this is required.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 9
I see nothing as it is now.
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Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
This idea obviously follows from the two preceding ones. But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet. However, understanding is not necessary at this point. In fact, the recognition that you do not understand is a prerequisite for undoing your false ideas. These exercises are concerned with practice, not with understanding. You do not need to practice what you really understand. It would indeed be circular to aim at understanding and assume that you have it already.
2 It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what seems to be pictured before it is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing and may meet with active resistance in any number of forms. Yet that does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any other exercises. Each little step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind which has been cleared of the debris that darkens it.
3 These exercises, for which three or four practice periods are sufficient, involve looking about you and applying the idea for the day to whatever you see, remembering the need for its indiscriminate application and the essential rule of excluding nothing. For example:
4 I do not see this typewriter as it is now.
5 Begin with things that are nearest you, and then extend the range:
6I do not see that coat rack as it is now.
7 It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion must be avoided. Be sure you are honest in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
I see nothing as it is now
We read in Lesson 7, "I see only the past," and Lesson 8, "My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts," which implies we can't possibly be seeing anything as it is now. "But while you may be able to accept it intellectually, it is unlikely that it will mean anything to you as yet." (W.9.1.2) Jesus tells us that it is not important whether we understand what is being said at this point. In fact, the truth is that we don't get it. It is not because we don't understand the words but because we are very defended against the truth. We will have some understanding only when we have the experience that comes with the holy instant. The holy instant is a moment out of time where there is no body. It is a moment where we have a glimpse of the eternal Self.
Even if we do accept this Lesson intellectually, ". . . understanding is not necessary at this point." (W.9.1.3) In fact, Jesus says to recognize and accept that if we don't understand, it is a good thing and a required part ". . . for undoing your false ideas." (W.9.1.4) Why does he say that? Basically, when we accept that we don't know and don't understand, we are willing to be taught; we are willing to practice the Lesson as prescribed rather than trying to figure it out. He tells us that we will ultimately come to an understanding if we diligently apply the Lessons as prescribed. "If you want understanding and enlightenment you will learn it, because your decision to learn it is the decision to listen to the Teacher Who knows of light, and can therefore teach it to you." (T.8.III.1.4) (ACIM OE T.8.IV.16) We are just being asked to trust in the process. It works even if there is resistance to it.
Today, we are asked to apply the idea three or four times during the day to whatever we see. Being indiscriminate in the application and excluding nothing, we begin with things nearby and extend the range outward. "It is emphasized again that while complete inclusion should not be attempted, specific exclusion should be avoided. Be sure you are honest with yourself in making this distinction. You may be tempted to obscure it." (W.9.5.1-3)
He is telling us this since we probably think we know and understand what we are seeing because of our past association with it. We resist the idea that we don't see anything as it is now. We may feel it is an affront to our intelligence, but Jesus makes the startling statement that what we are seeing is not even there! That is because everything we see is a projection of our past thoughts about the thing we are looking at, and these thoughts are what block our understanding.
It is difficult for the untrained mind to believe that what it pictures is not there. This idea can be quite disturbing and may meet with active resistance. Yet our resistance to it does not preclude applying it. No more than that is required for these or any of the exercises provided in the Workbook. "Each small step will clear a little of the darkness away, and understanding will finally come to lighten every corner of the mind that has been cleared of the debris that darkens it." (W.9.2.5) It is all about clearing away all that interferes with vision. This is the basis for forgiveness because we will come to see that what we are forgiving never even happened in truth. Yes, in our experience it did happen, but none of it has reality; none of it has any meaning because it is all a projection of the thought system of separation. We experience a world that is independent of us, yet it is a world that is simply a reflection of our thoughts. This is why the world is different for every one of us. Our dream is made to seem real by our sensory apparatus, which was made by the ego to prove all this is real.
The Lessons are all about undoing the way we currently see things. They are about opening our minds to the possibility that what we see in the world is just a reflection of what is in our minds. The movie of our lives is already over. We are just reacting to events that have already happened. We are experiencing them as if they are happening now. This turns everything upside down from what we think is true. We would not be putting effort into learning something we already know. This is all new learning. As said before, our minds are actually blank because they are totally preoccupied with past thoughts. Past thoughts also include our future plans. They too are already over since time is already over---something we don't get at this moment either. We don't want to get it, because if time is already over, we are not here either, and when we take that thought in, it can be quite disorienting and even terrifying.
If you find yourself arguing with this Lesson or any other Lesson, be aware of how much resistance there is to these ideas. Jesus knows we have this resistance because the ego is a defense against these thoughts. All we need to do is be willing to do the practice. If we are not willing, we can ask for help with willingness. The important thing is not to strain and not to fight yourself. When it all seems too difficult, just step away from the Lesson for a time until the willingness returns.
We have convinced ourselves of the truth of what we see and we believe that "seeing is believing." We think that if we see something, it is real. Jesus is raising this "reality" to question. Is it possible that what we are seeing is not real at all but just a projection of an hallucinating mind? Is it possible we really can't trust our eyes? Is it possible our whole world is made up of false concepts that we hold in the mind? These are unsettling questions but worth considering.
It is not a big leap to recognize that we all see the same thing differently. In fact, recently the Supreme Court ruled that lower courts are not to rely on eye witnesses to the extent that they have, because of faulty perceptions. Perception will invariably be untrustworthy when we realize that we are all just projecting the content of our past thoughts and past associations. When we watch a movie, it becomes clear that we are all experiencing the events on the screen from our own past associations. Thus, how can anything be said to be true if everyone has their own truth about what they are seeing and believing?
Time is given us to awaken to the truth of who we are as eternal beings. In Chapter 15, Jesus talks about "The Two Uses of Time" where he says we can waste time by using it for ego purposes, or we can use time for awakening to who we truly are. Wasting time is tragic. "Delay does not matter in eternity, but it is tragic in time." (T.5.VI.1.3) (ACIM OE T.5.VIII.71) Time, when used for its intended purpose, awakens us to our glorious reality. These exercises are all given us for that purpose. "This lesson takes no time. For what is time without a past and a future? It has taken time to misguide you so completely, but it takes no time at all to be what you are. Begin to practice the Holy Spirit's use of time as a teaching aid to happiness and peace." (T.15.I.9.1-4) (ACIM OE T.15.II.10)
It is reassuring to know that in undoing what we have taught ourselves the Holy Spirit will substitute our self-taught concepts with ones that can bring us true happiness and peace. Only willingness to do this practice is needed. We continue to ask the Holy Spirit to reinterpret what we see so we can be freed from our perceptions of how we think things are. When we turn our perceptions over to Him to reinterpret them for us, we allow the mind to be released from its imprisoned state of stale thoughts. Each moment of willingness to do this work brings more healing to the mind until we reach the gate of Heaven.
Love and blessings, Sarah
A Course in Miracles
Chapter One: Introduction to Miracles
I. Principles of Miracles
57 The miracle dissolves error because the Spiritual eye identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.
58 Darkness is lack of light, as sin is lack of love. It has no unique properties of its own. It is an example of the "scarcity" fallacy, from which
only error can proceed. Truth is always abundant. Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no need for driven behavior of
59 The miracle acknowledges all men as your brothers and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God in them. The specialness of God's Sons does
not stem from exclusion but from inclusion.
All my brothers are special. If they believe they are deprived of anything, their perception becomes distorted. When this occurs, the whole family of God, or the Sonship, is impaired in its relationships. Ultimately, every member of the family of God must return. The miracle calls him to return because it blesses and honors him even though he may be absent in spirit.
60 "God is not mocked" is not a warning but a reassurance on this point. God
would be mocked if any of His creations lacked holiness. The creation
is whole, and the mark of wholeness is holiness.
61 Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. It thus corrects or atones for the faulty perception of lack anywhere.
62 Here we begin to make the fundamental distinction between miracles and projection. The stimulus
must precede the response and will also determine the kind of response that is evoked. Behavior
is response, so that the question "response to what?" becomes crucial. Since stimuli are identified through perception, you first perceive the stimulus and then behave accordingly. It follows, then, that:
64 The Golden Rule asks you to behave toward others as you would have them behave toward you. This means that the perception of
both must be accurate. The Golden Rule is the rule for appropriate behavior. You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive accurately, because appropriate behavior
depends on lack of level confusion. The presence of level confusion
always results in variable reality testing and therefore in variability in behavioral appropriateness. Since you and your neighbor are equal members of the same family, as you perceive both, so you will behave toward both. The way to perceive for Golden Rule behavior is to look out from the perception of your
own holiness and perceive the holiness of others.
65 The emptiness engendered by fear should be replaced by love because love and its absence are in the same dimension, and correction cannot be undertaken except
within a dimension. Otherwise, there has been a confusion of levels. Death is a human affirmation of a belief in fate, or level confusion. That is why the Bible says, "There
is no death" and why I demonstrated that death does not exist. I came to fulfill the law by
reinterpreting it. The law itself, if properly understood, offers only protection to man. It is those who have not yet "changed their minds" who entered the "hellfire" concept into it.
66 I assure you that
I will witness for anyone who lets me and to whatever extent he permits it.
Your witnessing demonstrates
your belief and thus strengthens it. Those who witness for me are expressing through their miracles that they have abandoned the belief in deprivation in favor of the abundance they have learned
belongs to them.
major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing man from his misplaced sense of isolation, deprivation, and lack.
68 Miracles are affirmations of Sonship, which is a state of completion and abundance. Whatever is true and real is eternal and
cannot change or
be changed. The Soul is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect the level it chooses to serve. The
only limit which is put on its choice is that it
cannot serve two masters.
69 The mind, if it elects to do so, becomes a medium by which the Soul creates along the line of its own creation. If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains its creative
potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than genuinely authoritative control. As a result it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants. To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of
70 The miracle is thus a sign that the mind has chosen to be led by Christ in His service. The abundance of Christ is the natural result of choosing to follow Him. All shallow roots must be uprooted because they are not deep enough to sustain you. The illusion that shallow roots can be deepened and thus made to hold is one of the distortions on which the reversal of the Golden Rule rests. As these false underpinnings are given up, the equilibrium is temporarily experienced as unstable. However, the fact is that nothing is less stable than an orientation that is upside down. Nor can anything which holds it that way be really conducive to greater stability.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
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