SATURDAY APRIL 9, 2016
As You Hear Him - You Hear ME
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 8 "THE JOURNEY BACK
XI. THE ANSWER TO PRAYER      

110 If you would know your prayers are answered, never doubt a Son of God. Do not question him and do not confound him, for your faith in him is your faith in yourself. If you would know God and His Answer, believe in me whose faith in you cannot be shaken. Can you ask of the Holy Spirit truly and doubt your brother? Believe his words are true because of the truth which is in him. You will unite with the truth in him, and his words will be true. As you hear him, you will hear me. Listening to truth is the only way you can hear it now and finally know it.

DAILY LESSON
SonShip Workbook 
 L e s s o n 99
Salvation is my only function here. 
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio 
  
1 Salvation and forgiveness are the same. They both imply that something has gone wrong-something you need to be saved from or forgiven for, something amiss that needs corrective change, something apart or different from the Will of God. Thus do both terms imply something impossible but yet which has occurred, resulting in a state of conflict between what is and what could never be. 
 
2 Truth and illusions both are equal now, for both have happened. The impossible becomes the thing you need forgiveness for, salvation from. Salvation is the borderland between the truth and illusion. It reflects the truth because it is the means by which you can escape illusions. Yet it is not truth because it undoes what was never done. 
 
3 How could there be a meeting place at all where earth and Heaven can be reconciled within a mind where both of them exist? The mind that sees illusions thinks them real. They have existence in that they are thoughts. And yet they are not real because the mind that thinks these thoughts is separate from God. 
 
4 What joins the separated mind and thoughts with Mind and Thought which are forever one? What plan could hold the truth inviolate, yet recognize the need illusions bring and offer means by which they are undone without attack and with no touch of pain? What but a Thought of God could be this plan by which the never done is overlooked and sins forgotten which were never real? 
 
5 The Holy Spirit holds this plan of God exactly as it was received of Him within the Mind of God and in your own. It is apart from time in that its Source is timeless. Yet it operates in time because of your belief that time is real. Unshaken does the Holy Spirit look on what you see-on sin and pain and death, on grief and separation, and on loss. Yet does He know one thing must still be true-God still is Love, and this is not His Will. 
 
6 This is the Thought which brings illusions to the truth, and sees them as appearances behind which is the changeless and the sure. This is the Thought which saves and which forgives, because it lays no faith in what is not created by the only Source it knows. This is the Thought whose function is to save by giving you its function as your own. 
 
7 Salvation is your function with the One to Whom the plan was given. Now are you entrusted with this plan, along with Him. He has one answer to appearances regardless of their form, their size, their depth, or any attribute they seem to have: 
 
8 Salvation is my only function here. 
God still is Love, and this is not His Will.
 
9 You who will yet work miracles, be sure you practice well the idea for today. Try to perceive the strength in what you say, for these are words in which your freedom lies. Your Father loves you. All the world of pain is not His Will. Forgive yourself the thought He wanted this for you. Then let the Thought with which He has replaced all your mistakes enter the darkened places of your mind which thought the thoughts that never were His Will. 
 
10 This part belongs to God, as does the rest. It does not think its solitary thoughts and make them real by hiding them from Him. Let in the light, and you will look upon no obstacle to what He wills for you. Open your secrets to His kindly Light, and see how bright this Light still shines in you. 
 
11Practice His Thought today, and let His Light seek out and lighten up all darkened spots and shine through them to join them to the rest. It is God's Will your mind be one with His. It is God's Will that He has but one Son. It is God's Will that His one Son is you. 
 
12 Think of these things in practicing today, and start your longer practice periods with this instruction in the way of truth: 
 
13 Salvation is my only function here. 
    Salvation and forgiveness are the same.
 
14 Then turn to Him who shares your function with you, and let Him teach you what you need to learn to lay all fear aside and know your Self as Love Which has no opposite in you. 
 
15 Forgive all thoughts which would oppose the truth of your completeness, unity, and peace. You cannot lose the gifts your Father gave. You do not want to be another self. You have no function that is not of God. Forgive yourself the one you think you made. Forgiveness and salvation are the same. Forgive what you have made, and you are saved. 
 
16 You have a special message for today which has the power to remove all forms of doubt and fear forever from your mind. If you are tempted to believe them true, remember that appearances cannot withstand the truth these mighty words contain: 
 
17 Salvation is my only function here. 
    God still is Love, and this is not His Will.
 
18 Your only function tells you you are one. Remind yourself of this between the times you give five minutes to be shared with Him Who shares God's plan with you. Remind yourself: 
 
19 Salvation is my only function here.
 
20 Thus do you lay forgiveness on your mind and let all fear be gently laid aside that Love may find Its rightful place in you and show you that you are the Son of God.
     
 
  
 
          ~ Original Hand Script of ACIM  

  
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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
Lesson 99
Salvation is my only function here.

Sarah's Commentary:  

"Salvation and forgiveness are the same." (W.99.1.1) Both are about undoing the thought system of the ego. They are the means of escape from the false identity and from this world. (W.99.2.4) Thus, what is being undone is "what could never be." (W.99.1.3)
 
Both salvation and forgiveness are illusions, because they undo what never was. They are illusions that will end this illusion, and they are only necessary while we think we are in this dream. What we think we have done and has been done to us is not the truth. It has never happened. Forgiveness only undoes "what was never done." (W.99.2.5) In effect, we need forgiveness for what was never done, and salvation from what never happened. (W.99.2.2) To us, it seems "Truth and illusions both are equal now, for both have happened." (W.99.2.1) That is how we experience it. We experience both truth and illusion as coexisting, meaning we believe there is both a state of separation and a loving God, yet they are mutually exclusive. They can't co-exist, but to the ego they both seem to exist. Thus, we try to meld God with the world and the body. We see them all as real, but only one is true. The others are a dream. Oneness and duality can't both be true. It is one or the other. There is no me in Oneness. If duality is true, there can be no God and if God is true, there can be no duality.
 
"The mind that sees illusions thinks them real. They have existence in that they are thoughts." (W.99.3.2-3) Our thoughts seem very real to us. They have existence because we give them the power of our mind. Now we are asked to take these thoughts and all our secrets and open them"to His kindly light, and see how bright this light still shines in you." (W.99.8.4) This is the only way we can know the light that shines in us. Our thoughts block this light. As long as we hold onto these thoughts, we will not be aware of this kindly light that shines in our minds all the time. We need the Holy Spirit as a bridge to bring us to awareness of our loving Self. Through forgiveness, we achieve Christ's vision, even though we are actually forgiving something that has never happened. "Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred." (W.PII.Q1.1.1) We therefore release our brothers from our perceptions of them. We take back our projections of our own self-attacks we prefer to see in others rather than in ourselves. "Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you." (CLARIFICATION OF TERMS.5.5.8)
 
What we don't want to do though is dismiss everything as an illusion, and thus tell ourselves there is nothing to forgive. It is true there is nothing real to forgive, but our problem is, we cavalierly dismiss that which we still believe. Having said that, neither is it helpful to make the error real and believe we are forgiving a real offense. Jesus is teaching us not to take either side. He wants us to recognize, although what seems to have happened is not real, we have given it reality in our experience and suffered as a result. Jesus speaks about this in Chapter 20, where he says, "Your question should not be, 'How can I see my brother without a body?' Ask only, 'Do I really wish to see him sinless?'" (T.20.VII.9.1-2)(ACIM OE T.20.VIII.66) In other words, we will see people in the illusion acting out behaviors that we judge. It is not about denying what our body's eyes show us and what our brain interprets as good or bad, but being willing to release these judgments. What we see in our brothers is our own guilt projected onto them. It all starts in our own minds. None of it is real. "The mind that sees illusions thinks them real." (W.99.3.2) Don't deny what you see or how you feel. Just be willing to have it all reinterpreted for you by the Holy Spirit. "Holy Spirit, how would you have me see this situation?"
 
Jesus says, "Unshaken does the Holy Spirit look on what you see; on sin and pain and death, on grief and separation and on loss." (W.99.5.4) He is completely unshaken by it because what He knows to be true is, "God is still Love and this is not His Will." (W.99.5.5) He sees it all as we see it, yet He holds the truth in our minds of who God is. That is what really strikes me most about this Lesson. God did not give us any of the pain and suffering we experience. We made it all. And because we are the ones who made it, we have the power to release it.
 
By bringing all the darkness of our secret thoughts to the light for healing, it is released through His power. Jesus tells us this is the best use of time. The plan operates in time because we believe time is real, yet the plan is really apart from time.
 
So often things seem to happen to us or to others, and we say it must be God's Will. We just accept that God would bring grief and loss into our lives and He would choose these things for us. We might then believe we just need to accept this is what He wills in order to bring trials for our 'character development.' This is the belief that what does not kill you will make you stronger, yet this Lesson disputes that. God wills only our happiness. He only gives us what is changeless. He did not create this world. This world is not real because it is a state of separation from God. "All the world of pain is not His Will. Forgive yourself the thought He wanted this for you." (W.99.7.4-5) Now it is up to us to accept the healing for our wrong-minded perspective.
 
Whatever loss and suffering we feel in our lives, or whatever loss or suffering we see in the world, we really need to understand, none of this is God's Will. Obviously, if we believe the world is of His making, we will hold Him responsible for the mess the world is in and for all the pain and suffering here. What comfort can anyone get by being told that the terrible things they are enduring are God's Will? The truth is that "God still is Love, and this is not His Will." (W.99.6.8)
 
We hear that the trials and tribulations of our lives are there to teach us something God would have us learn. Sometimes we think we deserve the experience. Other times, we feel angry and resentful that God has sent this adversity into our lives. Or we may also wonder what we have done to deserve this and end up feeling lost and confused as to why something like this tragic event would happen to us. We either become resigned to the experience, blame ourselves, or blame God for it, but Jesus asks us to "Forgive yourself the thought He wanted this for you." (W.99.7.5) Our most profound pain is that we think God wants this for us. We are punishing ourselves, yet we believe it is coming from Him!
 
When we experience any kind of pain, it is important to remind ourselves, God does not want this for us. Sin, pain, death, grief, separation and loss are not His Will. We are not asked to overlook or deny pain and suffering, but to look on it and realize it is not the truth and therefore can't exist. The ego says it is all real, but when we look at it with Jesus, we see it has no effect. He is showing us, we can look beyond appearances when we look with him. God is our refuge. He is our loving and compassionate Father. To think otherwise is to make Him into a capricious God who hands out punishment and goodies at will, so only some of us have it and therefore are the blessed ones! Or He gives and takes away. If we have money, we say God has blessed us with abundance, and when it is lost, we blame God for having taken it away from us. None of this is true. His only Will for us is perfect happiness and perfect peace. He knows us as forever innocent and always worthy of His Love.
 
We have made God in our image, which just makes him a bigger ego. To us, love is uncertain, full of fear, changing, not to be relied on, and altogether imperfect. Now we think this is how God is because this is our experience of love in the world. We project onto God our own understanding of love as capricious and constantly changing, and we tell Him that is what His love is like. We have projected our idea of love onto Him, and now we think His love can't be trusted, just like we don't trust our own love.
 
Freedom, happiness and salvation all lie in understanding that the world is not of God's making. We made it. It is an illusion. It exists as a result of our thoughts of sin and guilt. Our thoughts are what need correction. We do this by recognizing, what we are seeing is not the truth. We need to withdraw our investment in the stories we have made up. We need to withdraw our investment in what we see with the body's eyes. The images we see on TV, the tragedies we hear in the news, the things going on around us in our lives, and the sad stories of how we see ourselves as victims of the world, are all untrue. They are all fearful images we project as a result of our fearful thoughts. We do this in order to keep the light of truth away from ourselves. Why, because we still fear God. If you wonder if this can be true, I suggest you look at the feelings that come up as you reflect on turning over everything to Him. Think of giving Him total control over your money, relationships, material things, and everything of your life. What do you fear might happen? This is the fear of Love.
 
What we need is the willingness to look behind our defenses. We must have the courage and honesty to bring our ego thoughts to the Holy Spirit for Him to shine His light onto all the dark places in our minds we are willing to expose to Him. Through this process we experience our salvation. When we don't judge our pain, our hate, our anger and our suffering, it can be the doorway out of the illusion. When we choose to use all our difficulties for the purpose of releasing our guilt and fear, who we really are is revealed to us.
 
We are asked to practice the Lesson well today, so we can "Yet work miracles." (W.99.7.1) That is our function. That is why we need to accept the Atonement for ourselves, so we can recognize ourselves as the dreamer of this dream. When we do, the love we are shines forth in the world. "Salvation is my only function here. God still is Love and this is not His Will." (W.99.11.3-4) We are told these are mighty words and should be repeated often as we do our five minutes every hour. Remind yourself of this thought throughout the day, and respond with these words to any temptation to hold painful thoughts or experience painful events.
 
We left Bozeman, Montana, one Saturday afternoon, believing Don's cousin was doing better. Our time with him there was very lovely, with lots of sharing. We were able to do a lot to be helpful to him, so we felt very good about our visit. However, later, we learned he had taken a turn for the worse and was returned from rehab back to emergency and then placed in intensive care. On our way home from Bozeman, I was asking the Holy Spirit for guidance and received a reassuring message in response to my feelings of anxiety. His words were comforting, saying: "Be still. Know that all is well. There is nothing to be done. You are loved and gratitude is offered. Your brother's time is coming to a close. He is ready. Do not interfere. Thy will be done." Within a day of our return, we learned he had passed away. Sadness came over me, but I was reminded of the Lesson for yesterday. We are free of all limits, safe and healed and whole. We are free to forgive and free to save the world, because the only truth is, we are Spirit. As one of our dear ones seemed to leave, we were informed of the birth of a long awaited baby, a friend's first grandson. The Holy Spirit does gives us symbols of seeming comings and goings in this dream. We truly can be grateful. Only eternal life is real.
 
Jesus reminds us, "There is no death because what God created shares His life. There is no death because an opposite to God does not exist. There is no death because the Father and the Son are One." (W.167.1.5-7) Anything that causes me sadness, worry, guilt, or frustration, can never be the truth. "Salvation is my only function here. God still is love and this is not His Will." (W.99.6.8) If this is the case, God could never let this death, this suffering, this sadness, and this guilt be real. If we really want to experience His peace, we must bring these dark thoughts that obscure the truth to the light and allow the healing to be. Jesus tells us to "let all fear be gently laid aside, that love may find its rightful place in you and show you that you are the Son of God." (W.99.12.5) Our dark thoughts of fear and guilt have not changed us. Forgive yourself for believing you could be anything else but love. Anything else you believe you have done can't be real.

Love and blessings, Sarah  
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
XI. The Answer to Prayer     

107 Everyone who has ever tried to use prayer to request something has experienced what appears to be failure. This is not only true in connection with specific things which might be harmful but also in connection with requests which are strictly in line with this course. The latter, in particular, might be incorrectly interpreted as "proof" that the course does not mean what it says. You must remember, however, that the course does state, and repeatedly, that its purpose is the escape from fear.
 
108 Let us suppose, then, that what you request of the Holy Spirit is what you really want, but you are still afraid of it. Should this be the case, your attainment of it would no longer be what you want, even if it is. This accounts for why certain specific forms of healing are not achieved, even though the state of healing is. It frequently happens that an individual asks for physical healing because he is fearful of bodily harm. At the same time, however, if he were healed physically, the threat to his thought system would be considerably more fearful to him than its physical expression. In this case he is not really asking for release from fear but for the removal of a symptom which he has selected. This request is, therefore, not for healing at all.
 
109 The Bible emphasizes that all prayers are answered, and this must be true if no effort is wasted. The very fact that one has asked the Holy Spirit for anything will ensure a response. Yet it is equally certain that no response given by the Holy Spirit will ever be one which would increase fear. It is possible that His answer will not be heard at all. It is impossible, however, that it will be lost. There are many answers which you have already received but have not yet heard. I assure you that they are waiting for you. It is indeed true that no effort is wasted.
 
110 If you would know your prayers are answered, never doubt a Son of God. Do not question him and do not confound him, for your faith in him is your faith in yourself. If you would know God and His Answer, believe in me whose faith in you cannot be shaken. Can you ask of the Holy Spirit truly and doubt your brother? Believe his words are true because of the truth which is in him. You will unite with the truth in him, and his words will be true. As you hear him, you will hear me. Listening to truth is the only way you can hear it now and finally know it.
 
111 The message your brother gives you is up to you. What does he say to you? What would you have him say? Your decision about him determines the message you receive. Remember that the Holy Spirit is in him, and His Voice speaks to you through him. What can so holy a brother tell you except truth? But are you listening to it? Your brother may not know who he is, but there is a light in his mind which does know. This light can shine into yours, making his words true and making you able to hear them. His words are the Holy Spirit's answer to you. Is your faith in him strong enough to let you hear? 
 
112 Salvation is of your brother. The Holy Spirit extends from your mind to his and answers you. You cannot hear the Voice for God in yourself alone because you are not alone. And His answer is only for what you are. You will not know the trust I have in you unless you extend it. You will not trust the guidance of the Holy Spirit or believe that it is for you unless you hear it in others. It must be for your brother because it is for you. Would God have created a Voice for you alone? Could you hear His answer except as He answers all of God's Sons? Hear of your brother what you would have me hear of you, for you would not want me to be deceived.
 
113 I love you for the truth in you, as God does. Your deceptions may deceive you, but they cannot deceive me. Knowing what you are, I cannot doubt you. I hear only the Holy Spirit in you, who speaks to me through you. If you would hear me, hear my brothers in whom God's Voice speaks. The answer to all prayers lies in them. You will be answered as you hear the answer in everyone. Do not listen to anything else, or you will not hear truth.
 
114 Believe in your brothers because I believe in you, and you will learn that my belief in you is justified. Believe in me by believing in them for the sake of what God gave them. They will answer you if you learn to ask truth of them. Do not ask for blessings without blessing them, for only in this way can you learn how blessed you are. By following this way, you are looking for the truth in you. This is not going beyond yourself but toward yourself. Hear only God's Answer in His Sons, and you are answered.
 
115 To disbelieve is to side against or to attack. To believe is to accept and to side with. To believe is not to be credulous but to accept and appreciate. What you do not believe, you do not appreciate, and you cannot be grateful for what you do not value. There is a price you will pay for judgment because judgment is the setting of a price. And as you set it, you will pay it.
 
116 If paying is equated with getting, you will set the price low but demand a high return. You will have forgotten [that to price is to value, so] that your return is in proportion to your judgment of worth. If paying is associated with giving, it cannot be perceived as loss, and the reciprocal relationship of giving and receiving will be recognized. The price will then be set high because of the value of the return. The price for getting is to lose sight of value, making it inevitable that you will not value what you receive. Valuing it little, you will not appreciate it and will not want it.
 
117 Never forget, then, that you have set the value on what you receive and have priced it by what you give. To believe that it is possible to get much for little is to believe that you can bargain with God. God's laws are always fair and perfectly consistent. By giving you receive. But to receive is to accept, not to get. It is impossible not to have, but it is possible not to know you have. The recognition of having is the willingness for giving, and only by this willingness can you recognize what you have. What you give is therefore the value you put on what you have, being the exact measure of the value you put upon it. And this, in turn, is the measure of how much you want it.
 
118 You can ask of the Holy Spirit, then, only by giving to Him, and you can give to Him only where you see Him. If you see Him in everyone, consider how much you will be asking of Him and how much you will receive. He will deny you nothing because you have denied Him nothing, and so you can share everything. This is the way, and the only way, to have His answer because His answer is all you can ask for and want. Say, then, to everyone,
 
119 Because I will to know myself, I see you as God's son and my brother.

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