ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 18.VII
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 18 "THE DREAM AND THE REALITY"
VII. DREAMS AND THE BODY
49 There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is in that realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling-place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness and nothing else within.
AUDIO: TEXT CH 18, VII
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
WORKBOOK Part I
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
With this review, we take but one idea
each day, and practice it as often as
is possible. Besides the time we give
morning and evening, which should not be less
than fifteen minutes, and the hourly
remembrances we make throughout the day,
use the idea as often as you can
between them. Each of these ideas alone
would be sufficient for salvation, if
it is learned truly. Each would be enough
to give release to you and to the world
from every form of bondage, and invite
the memory of God to come again.
With this in mind, we start our practicing
in which we carefully review the thoughts
the Holy Spirit has bestowed on us
in our last twenty lessons. Each contains
the whole curriculum, if understood,
practiced, accepted and applied to all
the seeming happenings throughout the day.
One is enough. But for that one there must
be no exceptions made. And so we need
to use them all, and let them blend as one
as each contributes to the whole we learn.
These practice lessons, like our last review,
are centered round a central theme with which
we start and end each lesson. It is this:
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me."
The day begins and ends with this. And we
repeat it every time the hour strikes,
or we remember, in between, we have
a function that transcends the world we see.
Beyond this and a repetition of
the special thought we practice for the day,
no form of exercise is urged, except
a deep relinquishing of everything
that clutters up your mind, and makes it deaf
to reason, sanity and simple truth.
We will attempt to get beyond all words
and special forms of practicing for this
review. For we attempt this time to reach
a quickened pace along a shorter path
to the serenity and peace of God.
We merely close our eyes, and then forget
all that we thought we saw and understood.
For thus is freedom given us from all
we did not know and failed to understand.
There is but one exception to this lack
of structuring. Permit no idle thought
to go unchallenged. If you notice one,
deny its hold and hasten to assure
your mind that this is not what it would have.
Then gently let the thought which you denied
be given up in sure and quick exchange
for the idea we practice for the day.
When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim
your freedom from temptation, as you say:
This thought I do not want. I choose instead..."
And then repeat the idea for the day,
and let it take the place of what you thought.
Beyond such special applications of
each day's idea, we will add but few
formal expressions for specific thoughts
to aid your practicing. Instead we give
these times of quiet to the Teacher Who
instructs in quiet, speaks of peace, and gives
our thoughts whatever meaning they may have.
To Him I offer this review for you.
I place you in His charge, and let Him teach
you what to do and say and think each time
you turn to Him. He will not fail to be
available to you each time you call
to Him to help you. Let us offer Him
the whole review we now begin, and let
us also not forget to Whom it has
been given, as we practice, day by day,
advancing toward the goal He set for us;
allowing Him to teach us how to go,
and trusting Him completely for the way
each practice period can best become
a loving gift of freedom to the world.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM September 1, 1970
ACIM OE WORKBOOK REVIEW VI
CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT ~ COMMENTARY on INTRODUCTION
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
L e s s o n 201
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
 I trust my brothers who are one with me.
No one but is my brother. I am blessed
with oneness with the universe, and God,
my Father, One Creator of the whole
that is my Self, forever one with me.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
~ Original Handscript of ACIM
ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections
LESSON 201 Review VI
 I trust my brothers, who are one with me.
We have spent our last twenty Lessons continuing to address the blocks to true perception. Now we review these twenty Lessons to establish them firmly in our minds by practicing each one as often as possible throughout the day. The Review is to remind us of the importance of deeply connecting to each Lesson and establishing it firmly in our minds. In the introduction to this Review, Jesus tells us, "Each contains the whole curriculum if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day." (W.RVI.IN.2.2) If we get any Lesson fully and truly accept it into our minds, we are released from the bondage of the world. All we need is just one idea, but that idea must be applied without exception.
We do have a lot of resistance due to fear of redemption; but, this need not be, as we are the creators of our own experience. We don't need to wait in helplessness to realize spiritual freedom. We are responsible for our circumstances. We are called to take an active part in this process. It is not possible to be a victim when we accept the fact that we are an infinite creator of our reality. When we are tempted to blame anyone, we can choose to stop and remember that we can choose freedom in this instant.
The Lessons address so many aspects of the ego mind to help us to recognize and accept that we have been wrong about everything. Willingness to surrender our misguided perceptions is all that is required. The ego offers up all kinds of blocks to keep the truth from entering fully into our minds, but the ego has no power except for what we give it. We justify our anger and attacks and defend our positions as correct. We stubbornly hold onto our "truth," as we perceive it. Why would we want to do so when all that our perception of events in our lives brings is more guilt, pain, and suffering? Unfortunately, we don't always recognize what we are doing. Jesus helps us in this by showing us how we hold onto our perceptions in order to hold onto the self we think we are since part of this self needs to see itself as victimized by others. This means that we actually revel in being unfairly treated. It is our way of escaping responsibility for our condition and our situation. It gives us the justification that we need in order to blame others for how we feel. It allows us to cling to our specialness and self-concept. It reinforces the belief that our "evil" brothers will be the ones to pay the penalty for our sin.
This is why we need the Holy Spirit as the Answer to the ego's persistent hold on our minds. The Answer is already in our minds. We just need to recognize how wrong we have been and surrender to His Answer. For now, we seem to need the combination of Lessons until they can ultimately blend as one. Because the process of undoing what we have made of ourselves will create resistance in the mind, the answer must come from outside the thought system of the ego. In other words, the ego will never undo itself.
The Lessons in Part II of the Workbook are much shorter, with no more detailed practice instructions. As a result, we will be left to follow the discipline we have established for ourselves until now. Lesson 153 gave us a very good overall approach to the practice, which will continue to serve us well in Part II of the Workbook. We are urged not to take less than fifteen minutes in our morning and evening meditation, and hourly remembrance during the day is encouraged. In addition, Jesus asks us to think of the Lesson as often as we can in between the hourly practice.
This involves doing frequent reminders throughout each hour, although they should not be rote in nature.
We continue, as well, with the response to temptation practice, which includes how we use the Lesson to address any situation, event, or person where we forfeit our peace. Having said that, Jesus never wants us to feel guilty if we are not ready for this kind of discipline. We do the best we can without feeling like we are being coerced into something we are not ready to do. It is an opportunity to take the process of awakening into our own hands, recognizing the value to us of rising above the clouds of distress, anger, depression, or whatever else we are feeling. Above all, we are invited to be gentle, yet firm, with ourselves in the process.
Whenever we feel anxious, unfairly treated, or experience any kind of emotional or physical pain, or fear of any kind, we can turn to the Holy Spirit for help. Applying the Lesson will help us release the blocks to peace that we experience in those seemingly difficult situations. When this happens, we affirm, "This thought I do not want. I choose instead _____." (Lesson for the day). (W.RVI.IN.6.2) We replace our ego thoughts with the thought for the day. I know for me when I experience anger, frustration, impatience, worry, or whatever other feelings arise, the Lesson becomes like a life raft and brings my mind back from the ego's hell to the peace of God. I remind myself that I can remain above the battleground. I am not a victim of any situation, as it is all my creation.
Daily, we start and end each Lesson with the thought, "I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me." (W.RVI.IN.3.3-5) This becomes our central theme repeated throughout the day. It is an important thought to undo the belief in the body. We do think we are the body because we have aligned ourselves with the ego, which is our wrong mind. We affirm this daily by saying things like "I am tired," instead of "My body seems to be tired," or "I am in a car," when my body seems to be in the car. I can put my body to bed, but my mind can wander freely.
It seems that I am united with my body and it is my home, but this is just an illusion. We hold onto this illusion because we hold onto a self that is separate, unique, and special. When we declare our innocence and experience a holy instant, we experience freedom from the body in a moment of timelessness.
While we feed, pamper, exercise, and put energy into its care, and while we try to hold onto it, we are reminded of our limited and bound existence. As we distance ourselves from the body through forgiveness and remind ourselves that our reality is outside of this dream, the body can be put to a holy purpose. It can be used as a communication tool for the Holy Spirit.
The idea, "I am not a body," is a big stretch for us, which is why the idea is repeated over and over in the Review Lessons. "It is essential for your progress in this course that you accept today's idea, and hold it very dear." (W.199.3.1) It is a process of recognizing that we have been wrong about everything we perceive, and we can make another choice.
We are aiming in these practices for "deep relinquishment." (W.RVI.IN.3.8) We allow each ego thought that comes to our minds to be brought to awareness and released to the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge that we do not know anything and thus are willing to be taught. To say, "I do not know," is deeply threatening to the ego, yet it is the beginning of the undoing process.
The process is rigorous and takes effort. It requires vigilance to watch our thoughts. Our minds will wander, but we do these Lessons to achieve greater awareness, focus, and discipline. Pay attention to what you think about so your idle thoughts can be released. These ego thoughts are not the truth and do not define you. They are the chatter of the ego that keeps us from hearing the Voice of the Holy Spirit, which is constantly there, reminding us of the truth. Our idle thoughts keep us from recognizing our reality. It is not about stopping these thoughts, but only about withdrawing our interest and attention from them.
Our efforts are now focused on truth and less of our attention goes to what previously distracted us. Distractions are of the ego. We are not bad for following the ego's dictates, but we must recognize that they will not lead us to peace. In Mathew 6.33, Jesus says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added onto you." In other words, our freedom is in the Kingdom of God and not in the things of this world that we strive for. When we put our priority on the truth, our bodily needs will be taken care of. We learn to take our hands off the steering wheel of our lives and to trust. Our focus is on the practice of forgiveness. Every difficult relationship and every challenging situation is another opportunity to see how everything is orchestrated for us, and by us, for our healing.
We are reminded that the cause is never "out there." The world is not acting on us. It is our thoughts projected onto the world that we see; it is only our own internal decision for the ego or the Holy Spirit. We are responsible for any lack of peace we experience. The events of the world just become a backdrop. Against this backdrop, we can see the choices we have made being played out. They reflect what is in the mind. Whether we undertake the role of a housewife, a photographer, a taxi driver, a stockbroker, or a psychologist, it is all simply a backdrop for forgiveness. It is about releasing our judgments of those who enter our stage in this play of life, whether in person or in our minds. There are no accidents. All have been ordained in our script, outside of the dream. All our encounters are part of our script and perfect for our awakening. Nothing is ever wrong.
We start the day remembering that our brothers are One with us. You are me. We are part of One Self. There is only One Mind. "I trust my brothers who are one with me." (W.201.1) We take our focus off of our brothers' mistakes, remembering that we are not different from them, and what we judge and condemn in them, is what we attack in ourselves. We remind ourselves to put our focus on who they really are---the same as ourselves. "No one but is my brother. I am blessed with oneness with the universe and God, my Father, one Creator of the whole that is my Self, forever One with me." (W.201.2-3)
Dedicate your day to truth. Dedicate your practice to God. Jesus says, "I place you in His charge," and asks that we let Him teach us "what to do and say and think, each time you turn to Him." (W.RVI.IN.7.2) When we release our interfering thoughts, we learn to listen to His Voice. He guides us very naturally in everything we do and say and think. We are reminded to keep watching our thoughts, step out of the way, and walk in trust. As we develop this deep trust in Him, we will be guided more and more in mind training.
Today, we dedicate ourselves to the practice as described here. It requires "deep relinquishment." (W.RVI.IN.3.8) of everything cluttering up our minds, which is making us deaf to reason, to sanity, and to simple truth.
The Dream and the Reality
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
49 There is
nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is in that realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling-place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness and nothing else within.
50 What could God give but knowledge of Himself? What else is there to give? The belief that you could give and get something else, something outside yourself, has cost you the awareness of Heaven and the loss of your Identity. And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize. You have displaced your guilt to your bodies from your minds. Yet a body
cannot be guilty, for it can do nothing of itself. You who think you hate your bodies deceive yourselves. You hate your
minds, for guilt has entered into them, and they would remain separate, which they cannot do.
are joined; bodies are not. Only by assigning to the mind the properties of the body does separation seem to be possible. And it is
mind that seems to be fragmented and private and alone. Its guilt, which keeps it separate, is projected to the body, which suffers and dies because it is attacked, to hold the separation in the mind and let it not know its identity. Mind cannot attack, but it
can make fantasies and direct the body to act them out. Yet it is never what the body does that seems to satisfy. Unless the mind believes the body is actually acting out its fantasies, it will attack the body by increasing the projection of its guilt upon it.
52 In this, the mind is clearly delusional. It cannot attack, but it maintains it can and uses what it does to hurt the body to
prove it can. The mind cannot attack, but it
can deceive itself. And this is all it does when it believes it has attacked the body. It can project its guilt, but it will not lose it through projection. And though it clearly can misperceive the function of the body, it cannot change its function from what the Holy Spirit establishes it to be. The body was not made by love. Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions.
53 Would you not have the instruments of separation reinterpreted as means for salvation and used for purposes of love? Would you not welcome and support the shift from fantasies of vengeance to release from them? Your perception of the body can clearly be sick, but project not this upon the body. For your wish to make destructive what cannot destroy can have no real effect at all. And what God created is only what He would have it be, being His Will. You cannot make His Will destructive. You can make fantasies in which your will conflicts with His, but that is all.
54 It is insane to use the body as the scapegoat for guilt, directing its attack and blaming it for what you wished it to do. It is impossible to act out fantasies. For it is still the fantasies you want, and they have nothing to do with what the body does. It does not dream of them, and they but make it a liability where it could be an asset. For fantasies have made your body your "enemy," weak, vulnerable, and treacherous, worthy of the hate which you invest in it. How has this served you? You have
identified with this thing you hate, the instrument of vengeance and the perceived source of your guilt. You have done this to a thing that has no meaning, proclaiming it to be the dwelling-place of the Son of God and turning it against him.
55 This is the host of God that
you have made. And neither God nor His most holy Son can enter an abode which harbors hate and where you have sown the seeds of vengeance, violence, and death. This thing you made to serve your guilt stands between you and other minds. The minds
are joined, but you do not identify with them. You see yourself locked in a separate prison, removed and unreachable, incapable of reaching out as being reached. You hate this prison you have made and would destroy it. But you would not escape from it, leaving it unharmed, without your guilt upon it.
56 Yet only thus
can you escape. The home of vengeance is not yours; the place you set aside to house your hate is not a prison but an illusion of yourself. The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication which is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is internal. [It is
not made up of different
parts which reach each other.] Mind reaches to
itself. It does not go
out. Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. [It encompasses
everything.] It encompasses you entirely; you within it, and it within you. There is nothing else, anywhere or ever.
57 The body is outside you, and but
seems to surround you, shutting you off from others and keeping you apart from them [and them from you]. It is not there. There
is no barrier between God and His Son, nor can His Son be separated from himself except in illusions. This is not his reality, though he believes it is. Yet this could only be if God were wrong. God would have had to create differently and to have separated Himself from His Son to make this possible. He would have had to create different things and to establish different orders of reality, only some of which were love. Yet love must be forever like itself, changeless forever and forever without alternative. And so it is. You cannot put a barrier around yourself because God placed none between Himself and you.
58 You can stretch out your hand and reach to Heaven. You whose hands are joined have begun to reach beyond the body, but not outside yourselves, to reach your shared Identity together. Could this be
outside you? Where God is
He a body, and did He create you as He is not and where He cannot be? You are surrounded only by
Him. What limit can there be on you whom He encompasses? Everyone has experienced what he would call a sense of being transported beyond himself. This feeling of liberation far exceeds the dream of freedom sometimes experienced in special relationships. It is a sense of actual escape from limitations.
59 If you will consider what this "transportation" really entails, you will realize that it is a sudden unawareness of the body and a joining of yourself and something else in which your mind enlarges to encompass it. It becomes part of you as you unite with it. And both become whole as neither is perceived as separate. What really happens is that you have given up the illusion of a limited awareness and lost your fear of union. The love that instantly replaces it extends to what has freed you and unites with it. And while this lasts, you are not uncertain of your Identity and would not limit it. You have escaped from fear to peace, asking no questions of reality but merely accepting it. You have accepted this instead of the body and have let yourself be one with something beyond it simply by not letting your mind be
limited by it.
60 This can occur regardless of the physical distance which seems to be between you and what you join, of your respective positions in space, and of your differences in size and seeming quality. Time is not relevant; it can occur with something past, present, or anticipated. The "something" can be anything and anywhere-a sound, a sight, a thought, a memory, and even a general idea without specific reference. Yet in every case, you joined it without reservation because you love it and would be with it. And so you rush to meet it, letting your limits melt away, suspending all the "laws" your body obeys and gently setting them aside.
61 There is no violence at all in this escape. The body is not attacked, but simply properly perceived. It does not limit you merely because you would not have it so. You are not really "lifted out" of it; it cannot
contain you. You go where you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of self. In these instants of release from physical restrictions, you experience much of what happens in the holy instant; the lifting of the barriers of time and space, the sudden experience of peace and joy, and, above all, the lack of awareness of the body and of the questioning whether or not all this is possible.
62 It is possible because you
want it. The sudden expansion of the self which takes place with your desire for it is the irresistible appeal the holy instant holds. It calls to you to be yourself within its safe embrace. There are the laws of limit lifted
for you, to welcome you to openness of mind and freedom. Come to this place of refuge, where you can be yourself in peace. Not through destruction, not through a "breaking out," but merely by a quiet "melting in." For peace will join you there simply because you have been willing to let go the limits you have placed upon love and joined it where it is and where it led you in answer to its gentle call to
be at peace.
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