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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 8 "THE JOURNEY BACK"
VII. COMMUNICATION AND THE EGO-BODY EQUATION
61 In the world, not even the body is perceived as whole. Its purpose is seen as fragmented into many functions which bear little or no relationship to each other, so that it appears to be ruled by chaos. Guided by the ego, it is. Guided by the Holy Spirit, it is not. It becomes only a means by which the part of the mind you have separated from your Soul can reach beyond its distortions and return to the Soul. The ego's temple thus becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit, where devotion to Him replaces devotion to the ego. In this sense, the body does become a temple to God because His Voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I ~ REVIEW II
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
1 We are now ready for another review. We will begin where our last review left off and cover two ideas each day. The earlier part of each day will be devoted to one of these ideas, and the latter part of the day to the other. We will have one longer exercise period and frequent shorter ones in which we practice each of them.
2 The longer practice periods will follow this general form: take about 15 minutes for each of them, and begin by thinking about the idea and the comments which are included in the assignments. Devote about three or four minutes to reading them over slowly, several times if you wish, and then close your eyes and listen. Repeat the first phase if you find your mind wandering, but try to spend the major part of the practice period listening quietly but attentively.
3 There is a message waiting for you. Be confident that you will receive it. Remember that it belongs to you and that you want it. Do not allow your intent to waver in the face of distracting thoughts. Realize that, whatever form they take, they have no meaning and no power. Replace them with your determination to succeed. Do not forget that your will has power over all fantasies and dreams. Trust it to see you through and carry you beyond them all.
4 Regard these practice periods as dedications to the way, the truth, and the life. Refuse to be side-tracked into detours, illusions, and thoughts of death. You are dedicated to salvation. Be determined each day not to leave your function unfulfilled.
5 Reaffirm your determination in the shorter practice periods as well, using the original form of the idea for general application and a more specific form when needed. Some specific forms will be included in the comments. These, however, are merely suggestions. It is not the particular words you use that matter.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 90 ~ Review II
[Review Lesson 79 and Lesson 80]
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
Review II ~ Lesson 79 and Lesson 80
We think the world gives us all kinds of problems. People attack us for things we don't deserve. Things break down. Germs seem to invade our bodies. The boss does not understand us. We don't like our work. A colleague turns on us. A relationship falls apart. We are behind in our rent. A friend betrays us. We lose our money. There are myriad seeming problems that cause us grief.
The source of all these problems seems to originate outside of us. We don't see ourselves as the cause of them all. Things just seem to happen to us, and we don't see ourselves as having anything to do with these happenings. Jesus tells us, "A child is frightened when a wooden head springs up as a closed box is opened suddenly, or when a soft and silent wooly bear begins to squeak as he takes hold of it. The rules he made for boxes and for bears have failed him, and have broken his 'control' of what surrounds him." (T.30.IV.2.2-3) (ACIM OE T.30.V.50) He says that we are like those children, startled by unexpected events in the world that we seemingly have no control over. Things just seem to happen out of the blue.
The way we see our problems is much the same as children playing with toys that frighten them. What we call problems, he equates with toys, as they have no importance in reality. What we take seriously and what seems to create misery for us, can't threaten who we are. Nothing matters when looked at from the point of view of eternity. However, while we still identify with the body and the world, problems can have serious consequences for us. Our problems certainly seem very real, and we are often frightened by them, as they make us feel very vulnerable. We think they give us reason to attack and to set up defenses. To us, the world becomes a place where there is no safety because the rules we made and the expectations we have of how things should be are not being met
What Jesus is helping us to understand is that, regardless of how it looks to us, all problems can be traced back to the grievances we hold. We believe that our happiness depends on how things go for us in the world. When events, people, and circumstances don't go our way, we hold grievances. We hold others responsible and blame them for how we feel. We have given the situation the power to disturb us. Events have no meaning except the meaning we give them. In other words, what upsets us are not the events themselves, but the interpretation we give them. Our problems are illusory, as are the solutions. While a perceived problem may be addressed in form, it is never fully resolved. It will simply reoccur in another form until we recognize the source of all problems is the guilt in the mind.
When we have a problem, there is always a grievance lurking behind it. If I have a problem, I need to take the time to look at the grievance I am holding. What is the judgment behind it? Am I willing to let it go and accept the miracle instead of trying to control what happens? Can I just accept that perfect safety, perfect happiness, and perfect peace are available to me regardless of what is swirling around me? Can I remember that there is always an inner tranquility that nothing can disturb? When I uncover the cause of my upsets, "And I invite the solution to come to me through my forgiveness of the grievance and my welcome of the miracle that takes its place," (W.90.1.6) the truth within is revealed. It is always there, and now we recognize that we don't need anything to go our way in order to be tranquil.
When the separation was healed, all problems were solved for all time. If that is the case, the part of my mind that chooses with the Holy Spirit can experience a miracle instead. I can choose peace, regardless of what seems to be happening, if I am willing to take responsibility for my grievances instead of seeing the cause outside of my own mind. When I resist giving over my judgments of how I see the situation, I can ask for help so I might become willing. Regardless of the decision I make, I am nevertheless not guilty. I am simply not ready at the moment to let my grievances go and need to take time to come to readiness. Meanwhile, I can choose to rest with the disturbance, accept my current situation, and trust I will find my way through when I am ready. When we turn to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to show us the situation as He sees it, we are shown another way of looking at every problem as an opportunity for forgiveness and healing.
Problems are how we maintain our investment in the world. We are convinced that we are the victims of an unfair world, which keeps us constantly occupied as we try to address one problem after another. Thus, we see the world as the cause and we are the effect. If this truly is the case, we would have reason for our grievances, but Jesus tells us it is the other way around. The mind is cause and the world is the effect. When we see the world as the cause, there is no way out, as the power is then outside us. If we believe problems are coming at us from outside of ourselves, we would continue to be hapless victims, and there would be no resolution possible and no reason for hope.
What God did not create cannot be true, and God did not create the world. The world is a projection of the thought system of separation. Thus, all our problems are illusory. They are all a projection of the guilt in our own minds, and guilt demands punishment. The situation we experience as a problem simply can't be real because perfect love would not have created it, and what is not real has no power over us. We think that if this situation were different, we would be happy, yet happiness is only a choice made in the mind. When the grievance is released, so is the problem. Every problem is some sort of grievance. When we hold grievances, we experience ourselves as alone and separate. A grievance separates me from whomever I hold a grievance against. The only way I can be happy is to let the grievance go so I can know that separation is not real.
When we appeared to separate from God, He immediately provided us with the Answer. The Answer is the Holy Spirit---a symbol of God's love in our right minds. This love shines forth when we release our grievances. The only problem is choosing to separate from the Love of God, and the only solution is to bring our mistaken choice to the truth. "The miracle behind this grievance will resolve it for me. The answer to this problem is the miracle that it conceals." (W.90.2.3-4)
Nothing has to change outside. The only change possible is in our own minds. If we really believed that everything starts in our own minds and that the power rests with us to choose the miracle instead, the solution would be immediately available to every problem. Why do we experience such resistance to letting go of our worries, anger, depression, and frustrations? This is because, with the separation and all that has come with it (the body and the world), we now value our separate identity and don't want to let go of our unique and special self. This explains our investment in this world. However, while we are invested in the world, we don't want the responsibility for having created it. Instead, we want to see ourselves victimized and betrayed so others could be blamed for our condition and the condition of the world. This keeps us invested in the world and all the problems that arise as a result. Until we truly accept that clinging to our separate self is the source of all our unhappiness, all our suffering, and all our pain, we will not be willing to let it go.
Jesus goes on to explain the way we see it. "I believe that the problem comes first, and time must elapse before it can be worked out." (W.90.3.3) That is the belief we hold and that is precisely how we misuse time. We don't see that the problem and answer are actually simultaneous so that at the moment of separation the Answer was given. Isn't that what an all-powerful, loving Father would do? Why would he want us to suffer? When we think that we have problems and that God is not providing us with the answer, it is because werefuse to accept the miracle available right then. We are the ones holding back the healing and the help available to us. We do that by holding onto, and indeed cherishing, the grievance. This is something to really reflect on and ask for His help in releasing the grievance and accepting the miracle. He gives us specific practices for this purpose, asking us to recognize today that we need not wait for any problem to be resolved. The answer to the problem has already been given, and we simply need to accept it. Time cannot separate the problem from the solution unless we allow it.
Jesus is not asking us to ignore the problems that seem to show up in our lives. He is merely asking us to consider the real solution, which is to let go of the grievance. When we do, the answer is given immediately. In the world, whatever the problem, the resolution may indeed take some time, but our function is to recognize it is never our real problem. Our real problem is that we have excluded ourselves from love. We have forgotten who we are. When we let the Holy Spirit help us, truth will dawn on our minds. We will experience the peace and joy of our Self where our true freedom lies. Through forgiveness, we are released from the cycle of guilt and fear. Now we can see that problems in our lives provide opportunities for healing. They are part of the script we have called into our lives.
"Let me realize today that the problem is always some form of grievance that I would cherish."
(W.90.1.2) We can all relate to how we like to hang onto our grievances. This reminds me of the Psychotherapy Pamphlet, where Jesus says we don't shun guilt but embrace it, hug it close and shelter it, seeing it as protecting us and thus defending it, instead, against the love. "'God may not enter here' the sick repeat, over and over, while they mourn their loss and yet rejoice in it." (P.2.VI.1.4) Often, we find that we really don't want to let go of grievances. We still see "order of difficulty in miracles." (T.1.I.1.1) (ACIM OE T.1.1) To us, some problems seem bigger and more difficult; yet Jesus reminds us they are all the same because they are all illusory.
I don't know what the outcome of any perceived problem will actually be, but what I need to do is accept that the problem has already been solved. There is a miracle behind every perceived problem. Jesus makes it clear that the miracle will manifest in a way we can understand. It may be in form, and it may not. Today, we are asked to recognize the problem has already been solved, and we can be freed of the temptation to blame and see anyone as responsible for keeping us in fear. If I am in fear, it is my choice; and my responsibility is to do the healing work by giving over the fear to the Holy Spirit, Who will reinterpret the way I perceive it.
Today, I ask for the willingness to recognize my problems have been solved. I ask for help in having faith in those who seemingly cause me difficulties and in the Holy Spirit. Let me see every problematic situation through the eyes of Love. Let me know every grievance will be replaced with a miracle and everything has already been resolved. "The working out of all correction takes no time at all. Yet the acceptance of the working out can seem to take forever." (T.26.VIII.6.1-2) (ACIM OE T.26.IX.72,73)
Love and blessings, Sarah
The Journey Back
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
VII. Communication and the Ego-Body Equation
53 Attack is
always physical. When attack in any form enters your mind, you are
equating yourself with a body. This is the ego's
interpretation of the body. You do not have to attack physically to accept this interpretation. You are accepting it simply by the belief that attack can
get you something you want. If you did not believe this, the idea of attack would have no appeal for you. When you equate yourself with a body, you will
always experience depression. When a Child of God thinks of himself in this way, he is belittling himself and seeing his brothers as similarly belittled. Since he can find himself
only in them, he has cut himself off from salvation.
54 Remember that the Holy Spirit interprets the body only as a means of communication. Being the communication link between God and His separated Sons, the Holy Spirit interprets everything
you have made in the light of what
He is. The ego
separates through the body. The Holy Spirit
reaches through it to others. You do not perceive your brothers as the Holy Spirit does because you do not interpret their bodies and yours solely as a means of joining their
minds and uniting them with yours and mine. This interpretation of the body will change your mind entirely about its value. Of itself it has
55 If you use the body for attack, it
is harmful to you. If you use it only to reach the minds of those who believe they are bodies and teach them
through the body that this is not so, you will begin to understand the power of the mind that is in both of you. If you use the body for this and
only for this, you
cannot use it for attack. In the service of uniting, it becomes a beautiful lesson in communion, which has value until communion
is. This is God's way of making unlimited what you have limited. The Holy Spirit does not see the body as you do because He knows the
only reality anything can have is the service it can render God on behalf of the function He has given it.
ends separation. Attack
promotes it. The body is beautiful or ugly, holy or savage, helpful or harmful, according to the use to which it is put. And in the body of another you will see the use to which you have put yours. If the body becomes for you a means which you give to the Holy Spirit to use on behalf of union of the Sonship, you will not see anything physical except as what it is. Use it for truth, and you will see it truly.
Misuse it, and you
will misunderstand it because you have already done so
by misusing it. Interpret
anything apart from the Holy Spirit, and you will mistrust it. This will lead you to hatred and attack
and loss of peace.
57 Yet all loss comes only from your own misunderstanding. Loss of
any kind is impossible. When you look upon a brother as a physical entity,
his power and glory are lost
to you, and so are
have attacked him, but you
must have attacked yourself first. Do not see him this way for your
own salvation, which must bring him
his. Do not allow him to belittle himself in
your mind, but give him freedom from his belief in littleness and thus escape from
yours. As part of you,
he is holy. As part of me,
you are. To communicate with part of God Himself is to reach beyond the Kingdom to its Creator through His Voice, which He has established as part of
58 Rejoice, then, that of yourselves you can do nothing. You are not
of yourselves. He of Whom you
are has willed your power and glory
for you, with which you can perfectly accomplish His holy Will for you when you so will it yourself. He has not withdrawn His gifts from you, but
you have withdrawn them from Him. Let no Son of God remain hidden for His name's sake because His name is
59 Remember that the Bible says, "The Word (or thought) was made flesh." Strictly speaking this is impossible, since it seems to involve the translation of one order of reality into another. Different orders of reality merely
appear to exist, just as different orders of miracles do. Thought cannot be made into flesh except by belief, since thought is
not physical. Yet thought
is communication, for which the body
can be used. This is the only
natural use to which it
can be put. To use the body unnaturally is to lose sight of the Holy Spirit's purpose and thus to confuse the goal of His curriculum.
60 There is nothing so frustrating to a learner as to be placed in a curriculum which he cannot learn. His sense of adequacy suffers, and he
must become depressed. Being faced with an impossible learning situation, regardless of why it is impossible, is the most depressing thing in the world. In fact, it is ultimately
why the world is depressing. The Holy Spirit's curriculum is
never depressing because it is a curriculum of joy. Whenever the reaction to learning is depression, it is only because the goal of the curriculum has been lost sight of.
61 In the world, not even the body is perceived as whole. Its purpose is seen as fragmented into many functions which bear little or no relationship to each other, so that it appears to be ruled by chaos. Guided by the ego, it
is. Guided by the Holy Spirit, it is
not. It becomes only a means by which the part of the mind you have separated from your Soul can reach beyond its distortions and
return to the Soul. The ego's temple thus becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit, where devotion to Him replaces devotion to the ego. In this sense, the body
does become a temple to God because His Voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put.
62 Healing is the result of using the body
solely for communication. Since this is natural, it heals by making whole, which is
also natural. All mind is whole, and the belief that part of it is physical, or
not mind, is a fragmented (or sick) interpretation. Mind
cannot be made physical, but it
can be made manifest through the physical if it uses the body to go
beyond itself. By reaching
out, the mind extends itself. It does not
stop at the body, for if it does, it is blocked in its purpose. A mind which has been blocked has allowed itself to be vulnerable to attack because it has
turned against itself.
63 The removal of the blocks, then, is the
only way to guarantee help and healing. Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind which is working
through the body but not
in it. If the mind believes the body is its
will distort its perception of the body and, by blocking its own extension beyond it, will induce illness by fostering
separation. Perceiving the body as a
separate entity cannot
but foster illness because it is not true. A medium of communication will
lose its usefulness if it is used for anything else. To use a medium of communication as a medium of
attack is an obvious confusion in purpose.
64 To communicate is to join and to attack is to separate. How can you do both simultaneously with the
same thing and
not suffer? Perception of the body can be unified only by
one purpose. This releases the mind from the temptation to see the body in many lights and gives it over
entirely to the One Light in Which it can be really understood at all. To confuse a learning device with a curriculum
goal is a fundamental confusion. Learning can hardly be arrested at its own aids with hope of understanding either the aids
or the learning's real purpose. Learning must lead
beyond the body to the reestablishment of the power of the mind in it. This can be accomplished
only if the mind extends to other minds and does not
arrest itself in its extension.
65 The arrest of the mind's extension is the cause of
all illness because only extension is the mind's function. The opposite of joy is depression. When your learning promotes depression instead of joy, you cannot be listening to God's joyous Teacher, and you must be learning amiss. To see a body as anything except a means of pure extension is to limit your mind and
hurt yourself. Health is therefore nothing more than united purpose. If the body is brought under the purpose of the mind, the body becomes whole because the
is one. Attack can only be an
assumed purpose of the body because
apart from the mind the body
has no purpose at all.
66 You are
not limited by the body, and thought
cannot be made flesh. Yet mind can be manifested through the body if it goes beyond it and
does not interpret it as limitation. Whenever you see another as limited
by the body, you are imposing this limit
on yourself. Are you willing to
accept this, when your whole purpose for learning should be to
escape from limitations? To conceive of the body as a means of attack of any kind and to entertain even the possibility that joy could
possibly result is a clear-cut indication of a poor learner. He has accepted a learning goal in obvious contradiction to the unified purpose of the curriculum and is interfering with his ability to accept its purpose as his
67 Joy is unified purpose, and unified purpose is
only God's. When yours is unified, it
is His. Interfere with His purpose, and you
need salvation. You have condemned yourself, but condemnation is
not of God. Therefore, it is not true. No more are any of the
results of your condemnation. When you see a brother as a body, you are condemning him
because you have condemned yourself. Yet if all condemnation is unreal, and it
must be unreal since it is a form of attack, then it can
have no results.
68 Do not allow yourselves to suffer from the results of what is not true. Free your minds from the belief that this is
possible. In its complete impossibility and your full awareness
of its complete impossibility lie your only hope for release. But what other hope would you want? Freedom from illusions lies only in not
believing them. There
is no attack, but there
is unlimited communication and therefore unlimited power and wholeness. The power of wholeness is extension. Do not arrest your thought in this world, and you will open your mind to creation in God.
~ Original Hand Script of ACIM
SEARCHABLE Original Edition
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