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Guard carefully His temple, for He Himself dwells there and abides in peace. You cannot enter God's Presence with the dark companions beside you, but you also cannot enter alone.

ACIM OE "From Darkness to Light"
Workbook for Students
Review III
1 Our third review begins today. We will review two of the last 20 ideas each day until we have reviewed them all. We will observe a special format for these practice periods which you are urged to follow as closely as you can. We understand, of course, that it may be impossible for you to undertake what is suggested here as optimal each day and every hour of the day.

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Workbook for Students
Lesson 117
1 For morning and evening review:

[103] God, being Love, is also happiness.

2 Let me remember love is happiness and nothing else brings joy. And so I choose to entertain no substitutes for love.

[104] I seek but what belongs to me in truth.

3 Love is my heritage and with it joy. These are the gifts my Father gave to me. I would accept all that is mine in truth.

4 On the hour:

5 God, being Love, is also happiness.

6 On the half hour:

7 I seek but what belongs to me in truth.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 10
 God and the Ego

III. The Willingness for Healing
 par 16-22
16 If sickness is separation, the will to heal and be healed is the first step toward recognizing what you truly want. Every attack is a step away from this, and every healing thought brings it closer. The Son of God has both Father and Son because he is both Father and Son. To unite having and being is only to unite your will with His, for He wills you Himself. And you will yourself to Him because, in your perfect understanding of Him, you know there is but One Will. Yet when you attack any part of God and His Kingdom, your understanding is not perfect, and what you will is therefore lost to you.

17 Healing thus becomes a lesson in understanding, and the more you practice it, the better teacher and learner you become. If you have denied truth, what better witnesses to its reality could you have than those who have been healed by it? But be sure to count yourself among them, for in your willingness to join them is your healing accomplished. Every miracle which you accomplish speaks to you of the Fatherhood of God. Every healing thought which you accept, either from your brother or in your own mind, teaches you that you are God's Son. In every hurtful thought you hold, wherever you perceive it, lies the denial of God's Fatherhood and your Sonship.

18 And denial is as total as love. You cannot deny part of yourself because the remainder will seem to be unintegrated and therefore without meaning. And being without meaning to you, you will not understand it. To deny meaning must be to fail to understand. You can heal only yourself, for only God's Son needs healing. He needs it because he does not understand himself and therefore knows not what he does. Having forgotten his will, he does not know what he wants.

19 Healing is a sign that he wants to make whole. And this willingness opens his own ears to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, whose message is wholeness. He will enable you to go far beyond the healing you would undertake, for beside your small willingness to make whole, He will lay His own complete Will and make yours whole. What can the Son of God not accomplish with the Fatherhood of God in him? And yet the invitation must come from you, for you have surely learned that whom you invite as your guest will abide with you.

20 The Holy Spirit cannot speak to an unwelcoming host because He will not be heard. The Eternal Guest remains, but His Voice grows faint in alien company. He needs your protection, but only because your care is a sign that you want Him. Think like Him ever so slightly, and the little spark becomes a blazing light that fills your mind so that He becomes your only Guest. Whenever you ask the ego to enter, you lessen His welcome. He will remain, but you have allied yourself against Him. Whatever journey you choose to take, He will go with you, waiting. You can safely trust His patience, for He cannot leave a part of God. Yet you need far more than patience.

21 You will never rest until you know your function and fulfill it, for only in this can your will and your Father's be wholly joined. To have Him is to be like Him, and He has given Himself to you. You who have God must be as God, for His function became yours with His gift. Invite this knowledge back into your minds, and let nothing that will obscure it enter. The Guest whom God sent you will teach you how to do this if you but recognize the little spark and are willing to let it grow. Your willingness need not be perfect, because His is. If you will merely offer Him a little place, He will lighten it so much that you will gladly extend it. And by this extending, you will begin to remember creation.

22 Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God? You will accept only whom you invite. You are free to determine who shall be your guest and how long he shall remain with you. Yet this is not real freedom, for it still depends on how you see it. The Holy Spirit is there, although He cannot help you without your invitation, and the ego is nothing whether you invite it in or not. Real freedom depends on welcoming reality, and of your guests, only He is real. Know, then, who abides with you merely by recognizing what is there already and do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you.

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Course in Miracles
Original Edition
Chapter 10
 God and the Ego

IV. From Darkness to Light
 par 23-30
23 When you are weary, remember you have hurt yourself. Your Comforter will rest you, but you cannot. You do not know how, for if you did you could never have grown weary. Unless you have hurt yourselves, you could never suffer in any way, for that is not God's Will for His Son. Pain is not of Him, for He knows no attack and His peace surrounds you silently. God is very quiet, for there is no conflict in Him. Conflict is the root of all evil, for being blind, it does not see whom it attacks. Yet it always attacks the Son of God, and the Son of God is you.

24 God's Son is indeed in need of comfort, for he knows not what he does, believing his will is not his own. The Kingdom is his, and yet he wanders homelessly. At home in God, he is lonely, and amid all his brothers, he is friendless. Would God let this be real if He did not will to be alone Himself? And if your will is His, it cannot be true of you because it is not true of Him. Oh, my children, if you knew what God wills for you, your joy would be complete! And what He wills has happened, for it was always true.

25 When the light comes and you have said, "God's Will is mine," you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you. Out of your joy you will create beauty in His name, for your joy could no more be contained than His. The bleak little world will vanish into nothingness, and your heart will be so filled with joy that it will leap into Heaven and into the Presence of God. I cannot tell you what this will be like, for your hearts are not ready. Yet I can tell you and remind you often that what God wills for Himself He wills for you, and what He wills for you is yours.

26 The way is not hard, but it is very different. Yours is the way of pain, of which God knows nothing. That way is hard indeed and very lonely. Fear and grief are your guests, and they go with you and abide with you on the way. But the dark journey is not the way of God's Son. Walk in light, and do not see the dark companions, for they are not fit companions for the Son of God, who was created of light and in light. The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you. How can you see the dark companions in a light such as this? If you see them, it is only because you are denying the light. But deny them instead, for the light is here, and the way is clear.

27 God hides nothing from His Son, even though His Son would hide himself. Yet the Son of God cannot hide his glory, for God wills him to be glorious and gave him the light that shines in him. You will never lose your way, for God leads you. When you wander, you but undertake a journey which is not real. The dark companions, the dark way, are all illusions. Turn toward the light, for the little spark in you is part of a light so great that it can sweep you out of all darkness forever. For your Father is your Creator, and you are like Him.

28 The children of light cannot abide in darkness, for darkness is not in them. Do not be deceived by the dark comforters, and never let them enter the mind of God's Son, for they have no place in His temple. When you are tempted to deny Him, remember that there are no other gods that you can place before Him, and accept His Will for you in peace. For you cannot accept it otherwise.

29 Only God's Comforter can comfort you. In the quiet of His temple, He waits to give you the peace that is yours. Give His peace that you may enter the temple and find it waiting for you. But be holy in the Presence of God, or you will not know that you are there. For what is unlike God cannot enter His Mind because it was not His Thought and therefore does not belong to Him. And your minds must be as pure as His if you would know what belongs to you. Guard carefully His temple, for He Himself dwells there and abides in peace. You cannot enter God's Presence with the dark companions beside you, but you also cannot enter alone.

30 All your brothers must enter with you, for until you have accepted them, you cannot enter. For you cannot understand Wholeness unless you are whole, and no part of the Son can be excluded if he would know the Wholeness of his Father. In your mind, you can accept the whole Sonship and bless it with the light your Father gave it. Then you will be worthy to dwell in the temple with Him because it is your will not to be alone. God blessed His Son forever. If you will bless him in time, you will be in eternity. Time cannot separate you from God if you use it on behalf of the eternal.

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Sarah's Reflections
Lesson 117 ~ Review III
[Review Lessons 103-104]
Happiness is a reflection of God's love in the world. We are happiest when the love we are is extended through us because only then we know it is in us. This was so well illustrated in a movie I saw called About a Boy with Hugh Grant. The main character, Hugh Grant, spent most of his days spending time in distractions that he thought would make him happy. He measured each day in units of time—this many units for exercise, this many for eating out, this many for a favorite TV show, and so on. Time for him was about what some call "killing time" in pursuit of distractions.
Yet it was all ultimately meaningless to him even though he thought this is what would give him the happy life he craved. It was not until he reached out to help a young boy that he felt true happiness. Just like in the movie, we have to get beyond the false ideas of what would bring us happiness. We too are asked to look beyond our ideas of what would make us happy and seek the genuine condition. It means we need to be willing to be taught because we have been misguided. We will always be led astray when we look to ourselves for the answers. We are like the child who receives a toy but prefers the box it comes in and cries when it is taken away. We need help to distinguish what is valuable from what is valueless.
Getting a new car, new house, new computer, new job, new relationship, and whatever else we dream about, will only give us poor substitutes for the peace and love we hope to find in these things. After the initial rush when we receive what we think we want, we often end up feeling empty. The peace and happiness we were seeking through these things escape us. Even though this is the case, to give up what we think will bring us happiness, brings suffering if we believe we are being deprived. Jim Carey wisely said, "I hope you get everything you think you want, so you can see none of it brought you happiness." We are not bad or guilty for seeking the things of this world. However, the sooner we see they are not the source of our happiness, the sooner we will look for happiness where it really is.
New age religion focuses on the power of our minds to manifest what we want for our perceived happiness. When these are material things, superficial desires, and specialness, which are all substitutes for God, they will not make us happy. In fact, they just bring more pain. Again, it does not make us wrong or guilty for pursuing these substitutes. We just need to understand that they are ultimately meaningless and will not satisfy us or bring us true happiness. We do not know our own best interests. Like a child, we do not know what we really want.
There is no question that affirmations do work and can manifest what we think we want. The mind is powerful, and when we put our mind and intention to what we think we want, we can certainly realize it. There is nothing wrong with that. Jesus is not trying to make us feel guilty for pursuing any of it. We all came here to find something the world can't deliver. Until we realize this is so, we will pursue these things. However, Jesus is showing us that our peace and happiness can only be found in the eternal and not in the ephemeral. While there is value in recognizing how powerful our minds are and that we can indeed manifest what we think we want in the world, we eventually learn that nothing here brings us anything of value. In fact, it brings us nothing at all.
What is truly valuable is if: what we choose will last forever, it serves the purpose of awakening us from this dream, and everyone benefits from our choice. "When you let your mind be drawn to bodily concerns, to things you buy, to eminence as valued by the world, you ask for sorrow, not for happiness . " (W.133.2.2) This Lesson says that each choice we make will bring us everything or nothing.
The things of the world that we manifest through our affirmations will not bring us an experience of peace, love, nor recognition of our innocence. Certainly, the Course also contains affirmations but the difference is that they affirm the truth. We remain as God created us. We are love, limitless, whole, and complete. We need do nothing to become what we already are in truth. "When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; ' I need do nothing ' ." (T.18.VII.5.7) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.67) In other words, we are affirming what we already have and what we already are. We are not trying to manifest something that is not already ours.
Our goal in applying these Lessons is to ready our minds to accept the Atonement for ourselves. What is the Atonement? It is a correction that leads us to the recognition of the truth about ourselves. We recognize that love is already in us when we extend it. We can’t know it until we give it. In the movie, the character played by Hugh Grant realizes this when he gives the young boy, who comes into his life, the gifts of his time and attention, expecting nothing in return. He is amazed by the infusion of true happiness and well-being he experiences. It is something he has never known. It is the power of giving and receiving that comes through extending. This is how we realize the love that is already in us.
Love is happiness but not in the usual way of this world where we expect something in return. In other words, special love is about giving in order to get. It involves bargaining and reciprocity where we exchange as little as possible to get as much as possible; and this is the ego's definition of love--- we try to get something in return for something of equal or better value for what we gave.
Jesus tells us he is not special but that he is our brother and our equal. We share the same nature with him and with everyone else. Yes, our brothers, as ourselves, will commit many errors, but forgiveness helps us to see beyond their errors to the truth of who they are. Forgiveness is to look beyond appearances because we can't forgive what we have made real. That is why Jesus says, forgive your brother for what he did not do. The reason he says this is because there are no real effects as a result of his behavior. He is showing us that it is what is in our own minds that needs healing.
This is not an easy thing to do, which is why we need to call on the Holy Spirit to help us see the truth in our brothers so we can know it in ourselves. This requires that we look at our own mistakes that we project onto our brothers. "My function here is to forgive the world for all the errors I have made . " (W.115.(99).1.2) In other words, what I see in my brothers are only my misperceptions based on my projections of my own self-judgment.
If I am not happy today, "At least I can decide I do not like what I feel now." (T.30.I.8.2) (ACIM OE T.30.II.16) In this Section, "Rules for Decision , " we are given a process to help us recognize that perhaps our judgments about our brothers have been wrong and that we are willing at least to admit there may be another way of looking. This thought leaves us open to being a little willing to choose another way of seeing by opening the mind and being willing to be shown. "Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking?" (T.30.I.12.3‑4) (ACIM OE 30.II.26) By questioning our way of seeing, we loosen the mind enough to open the way to another perspective. The "I know" mind is closed and is not willing to let go of its perceptions and its judgments. Jesus is asking us for just this little willingness.
The Lesson today reminds us, "Love is my heritage, and with it joy." (W.117.(104).2.2) There is great happiness in opening our hearts to love and great pain in holding it back. When we experience this kind of pain, it is important to recognize that there is indeed another way to look at everything. Moving from stubborn resistance to willingness is a great start. Yes, when we feel great pain, it requires patience to move through it. We can’t rush the process, as this will result in a spiritual bypass. Have the courage just to be with it and allow the feelings to be seen and felt so that they can be burnt in the "holy fire." This requires courage, but we don’t go alone. Rest in the knowledge that you are supported in every step of the way. Let the mind observe the process from above the battleground. Remind yourself that whatever you are feeling, you are still safe in the Arms of Love. Accept the process as part of the journey through the darkness to the light.
We can make a choice for happiness by looking at all the thoughts and beliefs keeping us from being happy, none of which are true. Thus, we come to know that "Love is my heritage and with it joy. These are the gifts my Father gave to me. I would accept all that is mine in truth . " (W.117.(104).2.2-4) This is so opposite of the ego's message to us. Its message is that God wants us to suffer and atone for our sins. Forgiveness corrects this belief and constantly reminds us of the gifts awaiting us on the other side of our pain. Our heritage is love and joy.
We apply the Lesson to every concern, problem, situation, or relationship that comes up during the day. We try to remember the Lesson hourly with the morning spent on remembering, "God, being Love, is also happiness," (W.117.(103).1.1) and the afternoon on remembering, "I seek but what belongs to me in truth." (W.117.(104).2.1)

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Love and blessings, Sarah

Allen Watson's
Workbook Commentaries
Allen 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 “ A Workbook Companion: Vol I and II .”
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