Lesson 95
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Acceptance of Reality
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
  CH 8 "THE JOURNEY BACK"
X. THE ACCEPTANCE OF REALITY
 
105 Remember, then, that God's Will is already possible and nothing else will ever be. This is the simple acceptance of reality because only this is real. You cannot distort reality and know what it is. And if you do distort reality, you will experience anxiety, depression, and ultimately panic, because you are trying to make yourself unreal. When you feel these things, do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you. Say, therefore,
 
106 Christ is in me and where He is God must be, 
     for Christ is part of Him
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DAILY LESSONS
SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  95
I am One Self, united with my Creator.

 
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1 Today's idea accurately describes you as God created you. You are one within yourself and one with Him. Yours is the unity of all creation. Your perfect unity makes change in you impossible. You do not accept this and you fail to realize it must be so, only because you believe that you have changed yourself already. You see yourself as a ridiculous parody on God's creation-weak, vicious, ugly and sinful, miserable and beset with pain. 
 
2 Such is your version of yourself-a self divided into many warring parts, separate from God, and tenuously held together by its erratic and capricious maker, to which you pray. It does not hear your prayers, for it is deaf. It does not see the oneness in you, for it is blind. It does not understand you are the Son of God, for it is senseless and understands nothing. 
 
3 We will attempt today to be aware of only what can hear and see and what makes perfect sense. We will again direct our exercises towards reaching your One Self, which is united with its Creator. In patience and in hope we try again today. 
 
4 The use of the first five minutes of every waking hour for practicing the idea for the day has special advantages at the stage of learning in which you are at present. It is difficult at this point not to allow your mind to wander if it undertakes extended attempts. You have surely realized this by now. You have seen the extent of your lack of mental discipline and of your need for mind training. It is necessary that you be aware of this, for it is indeed a hindrance to your advance. 
 
5 Frequent but shorter practice periods have other advantages for you at this time. In addition to recognizing your difficulties with sustained attention, you must also have noticed that, unless you are reminded of your purpose frequently, you tend to forget about it for long periods of time. You often fail to remember the short applications of the idea for the day, and you have not yet formed the habit of using it as an automatic response to temptation. 
 
6Structure, then, is necessary for you at this time, planned to include frequent reminders of your goal and regular attempts to reach it. Regularity in terms of time is not the ideal requirement for the most beneficial form of practice in salvation. It is advantageous, however, for those whose motivation is inconsistent and who remain heavily defended against learning. 
 
7 We will therefore keep to the five minutes an hour practice periods for a while and urge you to omit as few as possible. Using the first five minutes of the hour will be particularly helpful since it imposes firmer structure. Do not, however, use your lapses from this schedule as an excuse not to return to it again as soon as you can. 
 
8 There may well be a temptation to regard the day as lost because you have already failed to do what is required. This should, however, merely be recognized as what it is-a refusal to let your mistakes be corrected and an unwillingness to try again. 
 
9 The Holy Spirit is not delayed in His teaching by your mistakes. He can be held back only by your unwillingness to let them go. Let us therefore be determined, particularly for the next week or so, to be willing to forgive ourselves for our lapses in diligence and our failures to follow the instructions for practicing the day's idea. 
 
10 This tolerance for weakness will enable us to overlook it, rather than give it power to delay our learning. If we give it power to do this, we are regarding it as strength and are confusing strength with weakness. When you fail to comply with the requirements of this course, you have merely made a mistake. This calls for correction and for nothing else. 
 
11 To allow a mistake to continue is to make additional mistakes based on the first and reinforcing it. It is this process that must be laid aside, for it is but another way in which you would defend illusions against the truth. Let all these errors go by recognizing them for what they are. They are attempts to keep you unaware you are One Self, united with your Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace. 
 
12This is the truth, and nothing else is true. Today we will affirm this truth again and try to reach the place in you in which there is no doubt that only this is true. Begin the practice periods today with this assurance, given to your mind with all the certainty that you can give: 
 
13 I am One Self, united with my Creator,
   At one with every aspect of creation,
   And limitless in power and in peace.
 
14 Then close your eyes and tell yourself again, slowly and thoughtfully, attempting to allow the meaning of the words to sink into your mind, replacing false ideas: 
 
15 I am One Self.
 
16 Repeat this several times, and then attempt to feel the meaning which the words convey. You are One Self, united and secure in light and joy and peace. You are God's Son, One Self with one Creator and one goal-to bring awareness of this oneness to all minds, that true creation may extend the Allness and the Unity of God. 
 
17 You are One Self, complete and healed and whole, with power to lift the veil of darkness from the world and let the light in you come through to teach the world the truth about itself. You are One Self, in perfect harmony with all there is and all that there will be. You are One Self, the holy Son of God, united with your brothers in this Self, united with your Father in His Will. 
 
18 Feel this One Self in you, and let it shine away all your illusions and your doubts. This is your Self, the Son of God Himself, sinless as its Creator, with His strength within you and His Love forever yours. You are One Self, and it is given you to feel this Self within you and to cast all your illusions out of the one Mind which is this Self, the holy truth in you. 
 
19 Do not forget today. We need your help, your little part in bringing happiness to all the world. And Heaven looks to you in confidence that you will try today. Share, then, its surety, for it is yours. Be vigilant. Do not forget today. 
 
20 Throughout the day do not forget your goal. Repeat today's idea as frequently as possible and understand each time you do so, someone hears the voice of hope, the stirring of the truth within his mind, the gentle rustling of the wings of peace. Your own acknowledgment you are One Self, united with your Father, is a call to all the world to be at one with you. To everyone you meet today be sure to give the promise of today's idea and tell him this: 
 
21 You are One Self with me,
United with our Creator in this Self.
I honor you because of what I am,
And what He is, Who loves us both as one.
    
    ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM   
          
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 95
I am One Self, united with my Creator.
 
Sarah's Commentary:

In the Lesson yesterday, the practice consisted of five minutes of every hour, preferably on the hour. Jesus starts off discussing this practice and tells us that there are distinct advantages to holding to this discipline ". . . at the stage of learning in which you are at present." (W.95.4.1) You will need to determine at what stage of learning you are, but for many of us, it is clear that our mind training or mind discipline is still not such that this thought system is a habit as yet. If it were a habit at this stage, the first response to every difficult situation in our lives would be to apply the Lesson. For most of us, I suspect, the habitual response is a grievance or judgment and only later do we reflect on the forgiveness opportunity. In order to make the Lessons habitual in responding to the temptation to get upset, Jesus offers us a disciplined approach as part of our mind training. He had previously introduced longer meditations, which helped us to see for ourselves how much our mind wanders in our meditation practice. He acknowledges that he understands this perfectly by saying, "You have surely realized this [your mind wandering] by now. You have seen the extent of your lack of mental discipline, and of your need for mind training." (W.95.4.3-4) Yes, it is clear this is the case for most of us.
 
In this Lesson, Jesus addresses what we should do when we forget to do the practice as outlined. Clearly, he knows we will lapse from the schedule, but the question is that when we do lapse, will we use this as an excuse not to return to the Lesson as soon as we have noticed we have lapsed? He says that we will be inclined to feel guilty about our lapse, rather than correct the mistake, and in fact, we will use this lapse as an excuse to regard the day as lost. Yet he does not want us to feel guilty. That is what the ego would have us do. Instead, he wants us to see it for what it is; "a refusal to let your mistake be corrected, and an unwillingness to try again." (W.95.7.5)
 
He knows that we will be forgetful. If we did not need this mind training and this kind of discipline, we would not need the Course. Beating up on ourselves is to fall for the ego's game. The ego makes sure that we forget to do the practice and then says we should feel guilty for forgetting. It gets us coming and going. To berate ourselves for being bad Course students while feeling discouraged and angry with ourselves is never helpful. Jesus thus encourages us to see our mistake and try again.
 
The problem is not really our lack of mental discipline as much as the guilt we take on when we judge our lack of discipline. When you allow the guilt to be brought to awareness, you can give it over for healing. We can see its unreality by looking at the guilt from outside of the dream as long as we look at it without judging ourselves. Jesus invites us to sit with him and watch our mistakes with quiet amusement or, at a minimum, with gentleness.
 
"The Holy Spirit is not delayed in His teaching by your mistakes. He can be held back only by your unwillingness to let them go. Let us therefore be determined, particularly for the next week or so, to be willing to forgive ourselves for our lapses in diligence, and our failures to follow the instructions for practicing the day's idea." (W.95.8.1-3) If we don't forgive ourselves, we are reliving the instant when we made the original mistake in the separation and chose to forget about God and made up an identity separate from Him. Now, we are just reliving this mistake and continuing to feel guilty about our decision instead of being willing to have this mistake corrected. "Let all these errors go by recognizing them for what they are. They are attempts to keep you unaware you are One Self, united with your Creator, at one with every aspect of creation, and limitless in power and in peace." (W.95.10.1-2) It is this that keeps the ego going. We want to prove that our separate self is the truth about us. What holds it in place is guilt. Guilt is the superglue of the ego. We hold onto the guilt in order to reaffirm our individual, separate self, which keeps us invested in the illusion and unaware of the truth of our reality as God created us.
 
Jesus is telling us that repetition is necessary at this stage because of our undisciplined minds. Again, this rings true for most of us, doesn't it? The practice may still feel like a chore much of the time because our minds are still in resistance. If we schedule these frequent practice periods throughout the day, we will be less likely to forget the Lesson for long periods of time. This establishes a priority in our day to do the practice. By scheduling time for the Lesson, we affirm our purpose. We are here to wake up from this dream and to remember who we are. If this is important to us, the practice and application of the Lesson will be given prominence in our day.
 
I was listening to a near-death experience reported by Thomas Mellon Benedict, who said when we leave the body, it is in our interest to be at a high level of consciousness. When our lives are used to raise our consciousness, they are being used for a mighty purpose. We are asleep in this dream, believing we are something we are not. Jesus tells us it is tragic to use time for any purpose other than to awaken. "Delay does not matter in eternity, but it is tragic in time." (T.5.VI.1.3) (ACIM OE T.5.VIII.71) We are basically living in a state of fear, chasing after things that will never bring us any joy. That is why we are urged to remember our purpose, which can only be achieved with a highly disciplined mind.
 
When we see that the mind is not as disciplined as it needs to be, we should not beat up on ourselves. We just need to recognize that we are pushing God away because of our fear of Him. We fear our Self and the love we are because, in the face of that love, our specialness, uniqueness, and individuality are threatened. We want to keep our investment in the individual self. This investment in the separate self is the reason for our wandering thoughts and our forgetting to do the Lesson. Recognize that this is the case. You are not guilty because you forgot. Just recognize your fear of giving up your individuality, be willing to take note of the fear, and ask for help.
 
While Jesus asks us to set up a structure of regularity in terms of time, he acknowledges that this is not ideal, but it is necessary at our stage of practice. What would be ideal is when the motivation for practice comes from within. As long as it is still not there, we are encouraged to set up a practice schedule on the hour until our motivation is consistent. When we forget to keep to this schedule, it is our resistance and fear that are showing up. When this happens, forgive yourself and always be willing to start again.
 
Three things are proposed here for our practice: 1) a shorter amount of time of five minutes 2) more repetitions with the first five minutes of practice on the hour and briefly repeating the Lesson throughout the day as much as possible and 3) regularity by structuring our day for practice on the hour. For some, it may include post-it notes, setting the computer with an alarm, carrying a vibrating timer set to go off every hour, or whatever might work for them. While Jesus is introducing the value of structure, he knows that it is difficult for us and that we will forget. Using these aids can be helpful, but it is also important that we don't consistently rely on them. If we get too dependent on these kinds of reminders, it may be more helpful just to watch how the day goes without them. For me, the aids have been more irritating than helpful, so I don't use them, as my resistance seems to increase with their use. Do what is helpful to you. Despite your best efforts, you will probably still lapse, but he says not to worry if you do, and don't chastise yourself. The real problem is guilt and taking on more of it is definitely not helpful and not something Jesus wants for us.
 
Personally, I have resistance to the aides, as I put value on "being spontaneous." When I look at this more closely, I can see that it is actually my resistance to being told what to do. It is my resistance to structure. I know how much I have given value to going with the flow, being open to whatever shows up, and resisting control. After all, that is what the 60's were about for me. This is what we called freedom. Yet Jesus gently reminds us that our own will is never free. Our only freedom lies in knowing our true reality, and the way to awaken from this dream is through 24/7 mind training. If we truly want to know who we are, to experience joy, and to know true peace, he will show us the way. The question is, how willing are we to follow him instead of our own will?
 
Now, here are a few words about today's Lesson since all the commentary so far has been about the importance of practice. In this Lesson, he tells us, rather than experiencing ourselves as One Self, we feel that we have many warring parts in us. Certainly, that is not hard to see even though we may defend against concepts of ourselves as "weak, vicious, ugly, and sinful, miserable, and beset with pain." (W.95.2.1) Certainly, if we look honestly, we have felt our own weakness, seen ourselves as ugly, experienced our viciousness and sinfulness, and felt misery and pain. Who of us has escaped such experiences? But this is saying more than that. This is saying it is our current state no matter how much we cover it up with an inflated sense of self.
 
What the inflated ego does is cover up the deeply held negative beliefs about ourselves that we defend so vociferously. "Such is your version of yourself; a self divided into many warring parts, separate from God, and tenuously held together by its erratic and capricious maker, to which you pray." (W.95.2.2) Jesus says it is the ego to whom we look for help. It offers us some kind of identity, but it is a shifting, changing identity, depending on circumstances outside of us that can trigger all these fearful feelings and beliefs within ourselves. Yes, it is capricious, uncertain, confused, and tenuous. Only the Self we are, behind this parody, is the truth; but the ego cannot see what we are because it is blind to the truth. "It does not understand you are the Son of God, for it is senseless and understands nothing." (W.95.2.5)
 
We are trying to reach that Self through our five-minute practices. We do it by being willing to look at the ego and bring our wrong-minded perceptions to the light of truth. We are trying to experience the united, secure, joyful, and peaceful Self. This is the One Mind we all are---the complete, healed and whole Self and the One in perfect harmony with all there is and all there will be. "Feel this one Self, and let IT shine away all your illusions and your doubts." (W.95.13.3) This innocent Self is the truth about you.
 
The illusory self is the one who plays various roles in the world, thinks it is good or bad, depending on the situation, and has built a concept of itself in the world as a conqueror as well as a victim. It is the self who is a player in the illusionary world and believes this illusion is real, when in fact it is just a dream state, a movie, and a cast of characters made up by this player (ourselves). Now we can see where we have given power away to outside circumstances and to others in the dream. Now we have an opportunity to take responsibility for everything we feel and experience and bring it all to the light.
 
Today, Jesus urges us to remember how important this practice is to our happiness. Let us use every opportunity today for the purpose of undoing the ego's misperceptions so we can remember who we are.


Love and blessings, Sarah
  A Course in Miracles
TEXT
ACIM Original Edition
 
Chapter Eight

The Journey Back  

<TEXT AUDIO>
 
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

X. The Acceptance of Reality             

90 Fear of the Will of God is one of the strangest beliefs that the human mind has ever made. This could not possibly have occurred unless the mind were already profoundly split, making it possible for the mind to be afraid of what it really is. It is apparent that reality cannot "threaten" anything except illusions, since reality can only uphold truth. The very fact that the Will of God, which is what you are, is perceived as fearful to you demonstrates that you are afraid of what you are. It is not, then, the Will of God of which you are afraid, but yours. Your will is not the ego's, and that is why the ego is against you. What seems to be the fear of God is really only the fear of your own reality.
 
91 It is impossible to learn anything consistently in a state of panic. If the purpose of this course is to learn what you are and if you have already decided that what you are is fearful, then it must follow that you will not learn this course. Yet you might remember that the reason for the course is that you do not know who you are. If you do not know your reality, how would you know whether it is fearful or not? 
 
92 The association of truth and fear, which would be highly artificial at most, is particularly inappropriate in the minds of those who do not know what truth is. All that this kind of association means is that you are arbitrarily endowing something quite beyond your awareness with something you do not want. It is evident, then, that you are judging something of which you are totally unaware. You have set this strange situation up so that it is completely impossible to escape from it without a Guide who does know what your reality is. The purpose of this Guide is merely to remind you of what you want. He is not attempting to force an alien will upon you. He is merely making every possible effort, within the limits you impose on Him, to re-establish your own will in your consciousness.
 
93 You have imprisoned your will in your unconscious, where it remains available but cannot help you. When we said that the Holy Spirit's function is to sort out the true from the false in your unconscious, we meant that He has the power to look into what you have hidden and perceive the Will of God there. His perception of this Will can make it real to you because He is in your mind and therefore He is your reality. If, then, His perception of your mind brings its reality to you, He is teaching you what you are.
 
94 The only source of fear in this whole process can only be what you think you lose. Yet it is only what the Holy Spirit sees that you can possibly have. We have emphasized many times that the Holy Spirit will never call upon you to sacrifice anything. But if you ask the sacrifice of reality of yourself, the Holy Spirit must remind you that this is not God's Will because it is not yours. There is no difference between your will and God's. If you did not have split minds, you would recognize that willing is salvation because it is communication. It is impossible to communicate in alien tongues. You and your Creator can communicate through creation because that, and only that, is your joint Will.
 
95 Divided wills do not communicate because they speak for different things to the same mind. This loses the ability to communicate simply because confused communication does not mean anything. A message cannot be said to be communicated unless it makes sense. How sensible can your messages be when you ask for what you do not want? Yet as long as you are afraid of your will, this is precisely what you will ask for. You may insist that the Holy Spirit does not answer you, but it might be wiser to consider the kind of asker you are.
 
96 You do not ask only for what you want. This is solely because you are afraid you might receive it, and you would. That is really why you persist in asking the teacher who could not possibly teach you your will. Of him you can never learn it, and this gives you the illusion of safety. Yet you cannot be safe from truth but only in it. Reality is the only safety. Your will is your salvation because it is the same as God's. The separation is nothing more than the belief that it is different.
 
97 No mind can believe that its will is stronger than God's. If, then, a mind believes that its will is different from His, it can only decide either that there is no God or that God's Will is fearful. The former accounts for the atheist and the latter for the martyr. Martyrdom takes many forms, the category including all doctrines which hold that God demands sacrifices of any kind. Either basic type of insane decision will induce panic, because the atheist believes he is alone, and the martyr believes that God is crucifying him. Both really fear abandonment and retaliation, but the atheist is more reactive against abandonment and the martyr against retaliation.
 
98 The atheist maintains that God has left him, but he does not care. He will, however, become very fearful and hence very angry if anyone suggests that God has not left him. The martyr, on the other hand, is more aware of guilt and, believing that punishment is inevitable, attempts to teach himself to like it. The truth is, very simply, that no one wants either abandonment or retaliation. Many people seek both, but it is still true that they do not want them. Can you ask the Holy Spirit for "gifts" such as these and actually expect to receive them? He cannot make you want something you do not want. When you ask the Universal Giver for what you do not want, you are asking for what cannot be given because it was never created. It was never created because it was never your will for you.
 
99 Ultimately everyone must remember the Will of God because ultimately everyone must recognize himself. This recognition is the recognition that his will and God's are one. In the presence of truth, there are no unbelievers and no sacrifices. In the security of reality, fear is totally meaningless. To deny what is can only seem to be fearful. Fear cannot be real without a cause, and God is the only Cause. God is Love, and you do want Him. This is your will. Ask for this and you will be answered because you will be asking only for what belongs to you.
 
100 When you ask the Holy Spirit for what would hurt you, He cannot answer because nothing can hurt you and so you are asking for nothing. Any desire which stems from the ego is a desire for nothing and to ask for it is not a request. It is merely a denial in the form of a request. The Holy Spirit is not concerned with form at all, being aware only of meaning. The ego cannot ask the Holy Spirit for anything because there is complete communication failure between them. Yet you can ask for everything of the Holy Spirit because your requests are real, being of your will. Would the Holy Spirit deny the Will of God? And could He fail to recognize it in His Sons? 
 
101 The energy which you withdraw from creation you expend on fear. This is not because your energy is limited but because you have limited it. You do not recognize the enormous waste of energy which you expend in denying truth. What would you say of someone who persisted in attempting the impossible, believing that to achieve it is success? The belief that you must have the impossible in order to be happy is totally at variance with the principle of creation. God could not will that happiness depended on what you could never have.
 
102 The fact that God is love does not require belief, but it does require acceptance. It is indeed possible for you to deny facts, although it is impossible for you to change them. If you hold your hands over your eyes, you will not see, because you are interfering with the laws of seeing. If you deny love, you will not know it, because your cooperation is the law of its being. You cannot change laws you did not make, and the laws of happiness were created for you, not by you.
 
103 Attempts of any kind to deny what is are fearful, and if they are strong, they will induce panic. Willing against reality, though impossible, can be made into a very persistent goal, even though you do not want it. But consider the result of this strange decision. You are devoting your mind to what you do not want. How real can this devotion be? If you do not want it, it was never created. If it was never created, it is nothing. Can you really devote yourself to nothing? 
 
104 God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise, you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and therefore you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal, because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create. Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.
 
105 Remember, then, that God's Will is already possible and nothing else will ever be. This is the simple acceptance of reality because only this is real. You cannot distort reality and know what it is. And if you do distort reality, you will experience anxiety, depression, and ultimately panic, because you are trying to make yourself unreal. When you feel these things, do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you. Say, therefore,
 
106 Christ is in me and where He is God must be, 
     for Christ is part of Him
.
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  
   

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