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" 14 The Will of God is without limit, and all power and glory lie within it. It is boundless in strength and in love and in peace. It has no boundaries because its extension is unlimited, and it encompasses all things because it created all things. By creating all things, it made them part of itself. You are the Will of God because this is how you were created. Because your Creator creates only like Himself, you are like Him. You are part of Him Who is all power and glory and are therefore as unlimited as He is. "

Workbook for Students
Review II
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.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 88
1 Today we will review these ideas:

[75] The light has come.

2 In choosing salvation rather than attack, I merely choose to recognize what is already here. Salvation is a decision made already. Attack and grievances are not there to choose. That is why I always choose between truth and illusion, between what is there and what is not. The light has come. I can but choose the light, for it has no alternative. It has replaced the darkness, and the dark is gone.

3 These would prove useful forms for specific applications of this idea:

4 This cannot show me darkness, for the light has come. The light in you is all that I would see, [name]. I would see in this only what is there.

[76] I am under no laws but God's.

5 Here is the perfect statement of my freedom. I am under no laws but God's. I am constantly tempted to make up other laws and give them power over me. I suffer only because of my belief in them. They have no real effect on me at all. I am perfectly free of the effects of all laws save God's. And His are the laws of freedom.

6 For specific forms in applying this idea, these would be useful:

7 My perception of this shows me I believe in laws which do not exist. I see only the laws of God at work in this. Let me allow God's laws to work in this and not my own.

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Lesson ARCHIVE
Course in Miracles
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Text
Chapter 8
 The Journey Back

I. Introduction
 par 1-3
1 You are hampered in your progress by your demands to know what you do not know. This is actually a way of holding on to deprivation. You cannot reasonably object to following instructions in a course for knowing on the grounds that you do not know. The need for the course is implicit in your objection. Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is. As the prerequisite for knowledge, peace must be learned. This is only because those who are in conflict are not peaceful, and peace is the condition of knowledge because it is the condition of the Kingdom.

2 Knowledge will be restored when you meet its conditions. This is not a bargain made by God, Who makes no bargains. It is merely the result of your misuse of His laws on behalf of a will that is not His. Knowledge is His Will. If you are opposing His Will, how can you have knowledge? I have told you what knowledge offers you, but it is clear that you do not regard this as wholly desirable. If you did, you would hardly be willing to throw it away so readily when the ego asks for your allegiance. The distraction of the ego seems to interfere with your learning, but the ego has no power to distract you unless you give it the power.

3 The ego's voice is an hallucination. You cannot expect it to say, "I am not real." Hallucinations are inaccurate perceptions of reality. Yet you are not asked to dispel them alone. You are merely asked to evaluate them in terms of their results to you. If you do not want them on the basis of loss of peace, they will be removed from your mind for you. Every response to the ego is a call to war, and war does deprive you of peace. Yet in this war there is no opponent. This is the reinterpretation of reality which you must make to secure peace, and the only one you need ever make.

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Course in Miracles
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Chapter 8
 The Journey Back

II. The Direction of the Curriculum
 par 4-7
4 Those whom you perceive as opponents are part of your peace, which you are giving up by attacking them. How can you have what you give up? You share to have, but you do not give it up yourself. When you give up peace, you are excluding yourself from it. This is a condition which is so alien to the Kingdom that you cannot understand the state which prevails within it. Your past learning must have taught you the wrong things simply because it has not made you happy. On this basis alone, its value should be questioned.

5 If learning aims at change, and that is always its purpose, are you satisfied with the changes your learning has brought you? Dissatisfaction with learning outcomes must be a sign of learning failure, since it means that you did not get what you want. The curriculum of the Atonement is the opposite of the curriculum you have established for yourselves, but so is its outcome. If the outcome of yours has made you unhappy and if you want a different one, a change in the curriculum is obviously necessary.

6 The first change that must be introduced is a change in direction. A meaningful curriculum cannot be inconsistent. If it is planned by two teachers, each believing in diametrically opposed ideas, it cannot be integrated. If it is carried out by these two teachers simultaneously, each one merely interferes with the other. This leads to fluctuation, but not to change. The volatile have no direction. They cannot choose one because they cannot relinquish the other, even if the other does not exist. Their conflicted curriculum teaches them all directions exist and gives them no rationale for choice.

7 The total senselessness of such a curriculum must be fully recognized before a real change in direction becomes possible. You cannot learn simultaneously from two teachers who are in total disagreement about everything. Their joint curriculum presents an impossible learning task. They are teaching you entirely different things in entirely different ways, which might be possible except for the crucial fact that both are teaching you about yourself. Your reality is unaffected by both, but if you listen to both, your mind will be split about what your reality is.

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Chapter 8
 The Journey Back

III. The Rationale for Choice
 par 8-15
8 There is a rationale for choice. Only one Teacher knows what your reality is. If learning that is the purpose of the curriculum, you must learn it of Him. The ego does not know what it is trying to teach. It is trying to teach you what you are without knowing it. The ego is expert only in confusion. It does not understand anything else. As a teacher, then, it is totally confused and totally confusing. Even if you could disregard the Holy Spirit entirely, which is quite impossible, you could learn nothing from the ego because the ego knows nothing.

9 Is there any possible reason for choosing a teacher such as this? Does the total disregard of anything it teaches make anything but sense? Is this the teacher to whom a Son of God should turn to find himself? The ego has never given you a sensible answer to anything. Simply on the grounds of your own experience with the ego's teaching, should not this alone disqualify it as your future teacher? Yet the ego has done more harm to your learning than this alone. Learning is joyful if it leads you along your natural path and facilitates the development of what you have. When you are taught against your nature, however, you will lose by your learning because your learning will imprison you. Your will is in your nature and therefore cannot go against it.

10 The ego cannot teach you anything as long as your will is free because you will not listen to it. It is not your will to be imprisoned because your will is free. That is why the ego is the denial of free will. It is never God who coerces you because He shares His Will with you. His Voice teaches only His Will, but that is not the Holy Spirit's lesson because that is what you are. The lesson is that your will and God's cannot be out of accord because they are one. This is the undoing of everything the ego tries to teach. It is not, then, only the direction of the curriculum which must be unconflicted, but also the content.

11 The ego wants to teach you that you want to oppose God's Will. This unnatural lesson cannot be learned, but the attempt to learn it is a violation of your own freedom and makes you afraid of your will because it is free. The Holy Spirit opposes any imprisoning of the will of a Son of God, knowing that the will of the Son is the Father's. The Holy Spirit leads you steadily along the path of freedom, teaching you how to disregard or look beyond everything that would hold you back.

12 We said before that the Holy Spirit teaches you the difference between pain and joy. That is the same as saying that He teaches you the difference between imprisonment and freedom. You cannot make this distinction without Him. That is because you have taught yourself that imprisonment is freedom. Believing them to be the same, how can you tell them apart? Can you ask the part of your mind that taught you to believe they are the same to teach you the difference between them? 

13 The Holy Spirit's teaching takes only one direction and has only one goal. His direction is freedom, and His goal is God. Yet He cannot conceive of God without you because it is not God's Will to be without you. When you have learned that your will is God's, you could no more will to be without Him than He could will to be without you. This is freedom and this is joy. Deny yourself this and you are denying God His Kingdom because He created you for this. When we said, "All power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His," this is what we meant. 

14 The Will of God is without limit, and all power and glory lie within it. It is boundless in strength and in love and in peace. It has no boundaries because its extension is unlimited, and it encompasses all things because it created all things. By creating all things, it made them part of itself. You are the Will of God because this is how you were created. Because your Creator creates only like Himself, you are like Him. You are part of Him Who is all power and glory and are therefore as unlimited as He is.

15 To what else except all power and glory can the Holy Spirit appeal to restore God's Kingdom? His appeal, then, is merely to what the Kingdom is and for its own acknowledgment of what it is. When you acknowledge this, you bring the acknowledgment automatically to everyone because you have acknowledged everyone. By your recognition you awaken theirs, and through theirs yours is extended. Awakening runs easily and gladly through the Kingdom in answer to the Call of God. This is the natural response of every Son of God to the Voice of his Creator because it is the Voice for his creations and for his own extension.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 88 ~ Review II
[Review Lessons 75-76]
The common thread in these two Lessons is that the only reality is God. We recognize the light when we choose "salvation (healing, forgiveness) rather than attack." (W.88.1.2) The light is always within us, but when we block it with our thoughts, we are not aware of its presence in our minds. We block the light from our awareness when we choose the ego's darkness. When the blocks to love (our judgments and grievances) are gone, we see what is already there and has always been there (the light in our right minds). That is all that is real. It is our divine Self. In choosing to forgive, we indicate our willingness and desire to know the truth that has always been in our minds. The pristine truth about ourselves is revealed to us through our decision to choose forgiveness rather than attack. Illusion is darkness and has no power in reality.
 
When we choose illusions, we are choosing nothing. While we are free to choose illusions, they have no real effect. The only meaningful choice we can make in the dream is for the miracle. There is nothing in opposition to God; therefore, there is no real effect on reality from choosing things we think we want in the dream. Nothing here has any power except for the power we give it through our belief. There is no real alternative to the light. When we choose the light, darkness simply must go because it is nothing.
 
Our salvation is already accomplished. We are only reviewing what has already gone by. We are with God now, having never left except in dreams. It is a dream where we believe we are exiled from God so we feel like He has abandoned us. In fact, we are the ones who have chosen to abandon our true Home. We are dreaming this whole journey of life in this world. There is nowhere for us to arrive. The only thing needed is the recognition that we already are at the place where we have never left. We are already home. The light has come, but until we are aware this is so, we will believe in the reality of the dream we are dreaming. We will only know it is a dream when we wake up. We awaken when we recognize that the only meaningful choice available to us is the choice for salvation. Happiness is a choice. When we choose grievances, we are choosing against our happiness, but the choice we make for illusions is the choice for nothing at all.
 
We will be motivated to forgive when we see no benefit in attack. As we see how attack brings us more guilt and suffering, which blocks the light, we become increasingly willing to let it go. When we truly see we are only hurting ourselves, we recognize the insanity of our choice to attack. We are always choosing in each moment "between truth and illusion; between what is there and what is not." (W.88.1.5) The ego, with all its dark motives and emotions, is not a real option. In other words, while we may think we are attacking and our attacks have a real effect, the reality is that nothing is really happening. The end of this dream is certain and inevitable because it has already happened.
 
Today, we practice forgiveness by bringing our attack thoughts of guilt, judgments, hate, and fear to our awareness. We can’t heal what we don’t acknowledge in ourselves. When we are committed to the healing of these self-attacking thoughts, we place them on the altar of truth where the Holy Spirit resides in our minds. As our dark thoughts are brought to the light, space is made in our minds for the truth so we can see who our brother is. He is innocent, and as we see this in him, we accept that same innocence within ourselves. We see that we are the same Self. "The light in you is all that I would see, [name] , " (W.88.2.3) because in reality that is the only thing there is; but we won't see it without releasing all that blocks it. We won't see it until the judgments we put on others are released.
 
For our afternoon practice, we recognize that the laws of the world only have an effect because we believe we are bodies, living in the world. In truth, "I am under no laws but God's," (W.88.3.1) because there is only God's Will and no other. Having chosen separation, the laws of the world seem to have an effect on us because we believe in the reality of the body. However, outside of the illusion, the laws of the world have no effect. These laws seem to have control over us while we still believe in the world. They are the rules and laws by which we live and expect others to live as well. We place our belief in these laws. We also think that investing in these laws is where our salvation lies. We think that if we are exposed to germs, we will get sick. We think if that we don't eat the right foods and don't take certain vitamins, we will not be healthy. We think that if another body leaves us, we will be lonely. All our laws are focused on our body, personality, well-being, and safety, but the laws of this world are not immutable. When we question their hold on us, we loosen our investment in them.
 
These laws literally include everything we do in the world such as: what we eat, how much sleep we say we need, what our rules are for relationships, what we demand and require of family members and friends, how holidays should be celebrated, how the dishes should be washed, which way the toilet paper should hang, and simply a myriad of laws that rule our lives. They are not bad. We are not guilty because we invest in them. They are simply laws we live by. What is important are not the laws, but our investment in them for our happiness and safety. Jesus is not saying we should feel guilty because we choose to eat foods we consider not good for our health. He is only saying that when we don't feel well, we must recognize the source of our suffering is not the food we have or have not eaten. He simply reminds us that all suffering originates in our minds.
 
Think about what happens to your peace of mind when someone is in the express line at the grocery store with a full basket. "They aren't following the rules," the ego screams. Crucify! We have just given ourselves a reason for anger and attack. Yet we are reminded in the Course that anger is never justified. It is not that we will not get angry, but the story we tell ourselves about why we are angry is not the truth. We attack because we want to maintain our individuality and our differences. We want to make others responsible for our lack of peace. In other words, the reason we attack is because we want to. We actually want others to betray us; but while we justify our anger, Jesus does not want us to see our experience of anger as a reason for guilt. He is only saying there is never a reason for us to be angry. It is always a choice made by the wrong mind to see the cause for anger as outside of ourselves because we want to see it that way.
 
If our laws are broken, we believe that our happiness is sacrificed. We get upset when our laws are not "revered," or at least respected and maintained. The ego is summarized in these two thoughts: "I am me and you are not," (my needs are important) and "I am end and you are means" (your function is the means for the fulfillment of my needs or my laws).
 
Because we carry this dual thought system, it is natural that conflict will happen, especially since everyone carries the same thought system of "one or the other." We are always vying for ways to have our needs met at someone else’s expense, and this is the reason spouses, nations, religions, and various groups don't get along. What is the answer? We need to give up this entire thought system. We need to bring our awareness to all the laws we hold sacred and recognize that they are there to serve the body, but we are not our bodies. The basis for our real pain is the choice for our ego, individuality, and specialness, which will always have us looking outside of ourselves for happiness.
 
"Here is the perfect statement of my freedom. I am under no laws but God's." (W.88.3.2) I commit today to join with God's Will so it may prevail in every situation, rather than my own. I can give up my belief in laws that I have made. I do not have to give them power over me. "I suffer only because of my belief in them." (W.88.3.5) Our true source of pain has nothing to do with the world and its laws. Our true source of pain comes from separation and the guilt in our minds. The only happiness we will experience is through healing the guilt we hold.
 
Imagine making up our own laws and submitting to the power they exert on us! We are now enslaved by them. We suffer as a result of our belief in them. Does this sound like insanity? Our belief in these Laws of Chaos, (T.23.II) (ACIM OE T.23.III) based on guilt, fear, punishment, and separation, can all be healed by bringing our grievances to the truth. Healing is inevitable because God's laws assure our freedom, and freedom assures our Oneness.
 
What are God's laws? They are love, extension, sharing, giving, and joining while the ego's laws are about taking, bargaining, attacking, defending, and separation. In fact, the belief in separation leads to all the laws of the ego, which are based on differences and thus place us in competition with each other.
 
The healing of every relationship is inevitable because God assures us of this happy fact, and what God assures us of is inevitable because we have the same will. It is just a matter of time before we agree to choose for God and give up our suffering. The end is certain. "Salvation is a decision made already." (W.88.1.3) It was made the moment the separation came about. However, the Atonement Principle established that the separation is not real and could never be accomplished because it is impossible to leave God.
 
Today, "The light in you is all that I would see, [name]" (W.88.2.3) and "Let me allow God's laws to work in this, and not my own." (W.88.4.4)

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Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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