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There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven, life is illusion. At best, it seems like life; at worst, like death. Yet both are judgments on what is not life, equal in their inaccuracy and lack of meaning. Life not in Heaven is impossible, and what is not in Heaven is not anywhere. Outside of Heaven, only the conflict of illusions stands; senseless, impossible, and beyond all reason, and yet perceived as an eternal barrier to Heaven. Illusions are but forms. Their content is never true.Par 37
ACIM OE TEXT
CH 23 THE WAR AGAINST YOURSELF
Workbook for Students
PART 2
Introduction
1 Words will mean little now. We use them but as guides on which we do not now depend. For now we seek direct experience of truth alone. The lessons which remain are merely introductions to the times in which we leave the world of pain and go to enter peace. Now we begin to reach the goal this course has set and find the end toward which our practicing was geared.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Workbook for Students
Part 2
What is Sin?
1 Sin is insanity. It is the means by which the mind is driven mad and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth. And being mad, it sees illusions where the truth should be and where it really is. Sin gave the body eyes, for what is there the sinless would behold? What need have they of sights or sounds or touch? What would they hear or reach to grasp? What would they sense at all? To sense is not to know. And truth can be but filled with knowledge and with nothing else.

2 The body is the instrument the mind made in its striving to deceive itself. Its purpose is to strive. Yet can the goal of striving change. And now the body serves a different aim for striving. What it seeks for now is chosen by the aim the mind has taken as replacement for the goal of self-deception. Truth can be its aim as well as lies. The senses then will seek instead for witnesses to what is true.

3 Sin is the home of all illusions, which but stand for things imagined, issuing from thoughts which are untrue. They are the "proof" that what has no reality is real. Sin "proves" God's Son is evil; timelessness must have an end; eternal life must die. And God Himself has lost the Son He loves, with but corruption to complete Himself, His Will forever overcome by death, love slain by hate, and peace to be no more.

4 A madman's dreams are frightening, and sin appears indeed to terrify. And yet what sin perceives is but a childish game. The Son of God may play he has become a body, prey to evil and to guilt, with but a little life that ends in death. But all the while his Father shines on him and loves him with an everlasting Love which his pretenses cannot change at all.

5 How long, oh Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, oh holy Son of God, how long?
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Workbook for Students
Part 2
Lesson 255
This day I choose to spend
in perfect peace.
1 It does not seem to me that I can choose to have but peace today. And yet my God assures me that His Son is like Himself. Let me this day have faith in Him Who says I am God's Son. And let the peace I choose be mine today bear witness to the truth of what He says. God's Son can have no cares and must remain forever in the peace of Heaven. In his name I give today to finding what my Father wills for me, accepting it as mine and giving it to all my Father's Sons, along with me.

2 And so, my Father, would I pass this day with You. Your Son has not forgotten You. The peace You gave him still is in his mind, and it is there I choose to spend today.
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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
Original Edition
TEXT
Chapter 23
The War Against Yourself

III. The Laws of Chaos
par 32-40
[READING PAUSED FOR WEEKEND]
32 No one wants madness, nor does anyone cling to his madness if he sees that this is what it is. What protects madness is the belief that it is true. It is the function of insanity to take the place of truth. It must be seen as truth to be believed. And if it is the truth, then must its opposite, which was the truth before, be madness now. Such a reversal, completely turned around, with madness sanity, illusions true, attack a kindness, hatred love and murder benediction, is the goal the laws of chaos serve. These are the means by which the laws of God appear to be reversed. Here do the laws of sin appear to hold love captive and let sin go free.

33 These do not seem to be the goals of chaos, for by the great reversal, they appear to be the laws of order. How could it not be so? Chaos is lawlessness and has no laws. To be believed, its seeming laws must be perceived as real. Their goal of madness must be seen as sanity. And fear, with ashen lips and sightless eyes, blinded and terrible to look upon, is lifted to the throne of love, its dying conqueror, its substitute, the savior from salvation. How lovely do the laws of fear make death appear! Give thanks unto the hero on love's throne, who saved the Son of God for fear and death!

34 And yet, how can it be that laws like these can be believed? There is a strange device that makes it possible. Nor is it unfamiliar; we have seen how it appears to function many times before. In truth it does not function, yet in dreams, where only shadows play the major roles, it seems most powerful. No law of chaos could compel belief but for the emphasis on form and disregard of content. No one who thinks that one of them is true sees what it says. Some forms it takes seem to have meaning, and that is all.

35 How can some forms of murder not mean death? Can an attack in any form be love? What form of condemnation is a blessing? Who makes his savior powerless and finds salvation? Let not the form of the attack on him deceive you. You cannot seek to harm him and be saved. Who can find safety from attack by turning on himself? How can it matter what the form this madness takes? It is a judgment that defeats itself, condemning what it says it wants to save. Be not deceived when madness takes a form you think is lovely. What is intent on your destruction is not your friend.

36 You would maintain and think it true that you do not believe these senseless laws nor act upon them. And when you look at what they say, they cannot be believed. Brothers, you do believe them. For how else could you perceive the form they take with content such as this? Can any form of this be tenable? Yet you believe them for the form they take and do not recognize the content. It never changes. Can you paint rosy lips upon a skeleton, dress it in loveliness, pet it and pamper it, and make it live? And can you be content with an illusion that you are living?

37 There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven, life is illusion. At best, it seems like life; at worst, like death. Yet both are judgments on what is not life, equal in their inaccuracy and lack of meaning. Life not in Heaven is impossible, and what is not in Heaven is not anywhere. Outside of Heaven, only the conflict of illusions stands; senseless, impossible, and beyond all reason, and yet perceived as an eternal barrier to Heaven. Illusions are but forms. Their content is never true.

38 The laws of chaos govern all illusions. Their forms conflict, making it seem quite possible to value some above the others. Yet each one rests as surely on the belief the laws of chaos are the laws of order as do the others. Each one upholds these laws completely, offering a certain witness that these laws are true. The seeming gentler forms of the attack are no less certain in their witnessing or their results. Certain it is illusions will bring fear because of the beliefs that they imply, not for their form. And lack of faith in love in any form attests to chaos as reality.

39 From the belief in sin, the faith in chaos must follow. It is because it follows that it seems to be a logical conclusion—a valid step in ordered thought. The steps to chaos do follow neatly from their starting point. Each is a different form in the progression of truth's reversal, leading still deeper into terror and away from truth. Think not one step is smaller than another nor that return from one is easier. The whole descent from Heaven lies in each one. And where your thinking starts, there must it end.

40 Brothers, take not one step in the descent to hell. For having taken one, you will not recognize the rest for what they are. And they will follow. Attack in any form has placed your foot upon the twisted stairway that leads from Heaven. Yet any instant it is possible to have all this undone. How can you know whether you chose the stairs to Heaven or the way to hell? Quite easily. How do you feel? Is peace in your awareness? Are you certain which way you go? And are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached? If not, you walk alone. Ask, then, your Friend to join with you and give you certainty of where you go.
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Sarah's Reflections
Part 2

Lesson 255
This day I choose to spend
in perfect peace.
Sarah's Commentary:

This is a day we commit to spending in perfect peace. How can we choose peace in the midst of what appears to be disruption in our day, which puts our minds into turmoil? Precisely at times like these, I remind myself that everything that seems to happen to me I have chosen at some level. It is what I want. I am reminded, "I rule my mind, which I alone must rule." (W.236) I remind myself that whatever seems to be happening is what I have asked for. I am not a victim of the world I see. Everything can be seen as helpful to my learning when given to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation. If someone seems to be attacking me today, it can be a perfect opportunity for me to look at my own anger and recognize how it is interfering with the peace God assures me is mine because I am like Him.

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Love and blessings, Sarah

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Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Allen Watson joined Robert Perry in forming the Circle of Atonement in 1993 in Sedona, Arizona where Allen led retreats and workshops and authored many books based on “A Course in Miracles.” One of his most popular books is:

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