ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 19.III
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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 19 "BEYOND THE BODY"
III. SIN VERSUS ERROR
19 The Son of God can be mistaken; he can deceive himself; he can even turn the power of his mind against himself. But he cannot sin. There is nothing he can do that would really change his reality in any way nor make him really guilty. That is what sin would do, for such is its purpose. Yet for all the wild insanity inherent in the whole idea of sin, it is impossible. For the wages of sin is death, and how can the immortal die?
AUDIO: TEXT CH 19, III
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 209
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
 I feel the Love of God within me now.
The Love of God is what created me.
The Love of God is everything I am.
The Love of God proclaimed me as His Son.
The Love of God within me sets me free.
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 209 Review VI
 I feel the Love of God within me now.
The Introduction to this Review tells us to remind ourselves hourly, "I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me." A "deep relinquishment" (W.RVI.IN.3.8) is called for "of everything that clutters up the mind, and makes it deaf to reason, sanity and simple truth." (W.RVI.IN.3.8) What clutters up your mind today? What are the beliefs, worries, concerns, or distractions in the way of the love you are? These are thoughts that block love from our awareness. When this happens, we are not able to hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Introduction to the Review proposes that "When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim your freedom from temptation, as you say: This thought I do not want. I choose instead---[Today's Lesson] I feel the Love of God within me now." (W.RVI.IN.6.2-3) I am as God created me. I am love, not this false self that I have come to believe I am. Today, I start my day by determining the kind of day I want. I remember that "Anger is never justified. Attack has no foundation." (T.30.VI 1-2) (ACIM OE T.30.VII.70) Whenever I am tempted to become angry or to attack, I ask for the help of the Holy Spirit that I might experience peace throughout the day.
Today, we claim the power to create, which we can do when we "become vigilant only for God and His Kingdom." (T.7.I.2.8) (ACIM OE T.7.I.2) Jesus tells us, "To create is to love. Love extends outward simply because it cannot be contained." (T.7.I.3.3-4) (ACIM OE T.7.I.3) God's love created us because His love cannot be contained. It keeps flowing outward, and when we accept ourselves as love, we cannot help but extend love because it too cannot be contained. "The ego, on the other hand, always demands reciprocal rights, because it is competitive rather than loving. It is always willing to strike a bargain, but it cannot understand that to be like another means that no bargains are possible." (T.7.I.4.1-2) (ACIM OE T.7.II.4) When we bargain, we lose sight of our reality. It is all about trying to get something we believe is lacking in ourselves, but Jesus reminds us that "To gain you must give, not bargain," (T.7.I.4.3) (ACIM OE T.7.II.4) because in giving, you but give to yourself.
is our example of a healed mind. He gave only love to the Kingdom. He said this was because he knew his reality only as God's Son. We don't believe that we are only love. We believe we are love some of the time, but also bodies and personalities with variable moods. We believe we are two selves in conflict. Yet Jesus has come to remind us of who we really are in truth. He has given us a spiritual technology, through this Course, which, when applied, brings us home to our Self.
We are only one Self. "What you believe you are determines your gifts, and if God created you by extending Himself as you, you can only extend yourself as He did." (T.7.I.5.2) (ACIM OE T.7.II.5) The ego has no gifts to give, as it is only about taking for itself, though pretending to be kind and loving. It puts on a pretense in order to get what it wants, knowing it must give something in order to get.
To undo the ego is to undo our false beliefs about ourselves. Any belief, any self-concept, any concern, or any issue we grapple with today is what blocks awareness of our true Self. By turning over our misguided perceptions to the Holy Spirit, the truth shines through us. Today, we are asked to remain vigilant for the Kingdom by watching our thoughts. The truth is in us in the silence of our right minds. We are created by God, and as such, we have all His attributes. As we connect to our Source, we extend love, and in this extension, we create in the same way God created us.
I was aware, yesterday, of how much I wanted to be "left alone." It was not a happy state, and there was no peace. I looked at the thoughts of wanting space from my brothers. I have had a pattern of wanting to escape whenever I feel conflict or tension in a relationship. I recognize how much I still value the little gap between myself and my brother because I still see love as treacherous. I feel safety in my aloneness.
Our fear of love reflects our fear of God. It is "The greatest obstacle that peace must flow across. . ." (T.29.I.3.2) (ACIM OE T.29.I.3) It reflects the fear of God's punishment, that we hold in the mind, for our perceived sins. Jesus reminds us that we keep our brothers at a distance because "A cautious friendship, and limited in scope and carefully restricted in amount, became the treaty you had made with him. Thus you and your brother but shared a qualified entente, in which a clause of separation was a point you both agreed to keep intact." (T.29.I.3.8-9) (ACIM OE T.29.I.3) "It is the symbol of a promise made to meet when you prefer, and separate till you and he elect to meet again." (T.29.I.4.3) (ACIM OE T.29.II.4) "The body saves you, for it gets away from total sacrifice and gives to you the time in which to build again your separate self, which you truly believe diminishes as you and your brother meet." (T. 29.I.4.7) (ACIM OE T.29.II.4) Though we made this agreement with our brother, we made a more binding agreement with our Father to return to Him.
The gap we value between ourselves and our brothers is the same gap we want to maintain with God. While I can profess that I am not a body and that I feel the love within me now, I need to do the work of releasing the fears that maintain the desire to escape. This is where vigilance in watching our thoughts becomes so important. When we state, "I want my space," or "I need to establish boundaries," we are really affirming separateness. Too much closeness can start to feel threatening, demanding, invasive, and smothering. We value our independence. For me, it has been a lifelong process of establishing my independence and my fear of being controlled. Being controlled felt dangerous and made me feel vulnerable. Getting in touch with these fears allows for the healing. We can't heal what we won't acknowledge.
When we look at the darkness, with the light of Jesus beside us, these fears lose their power. Thus, the ego program can be exposed. The ego is nothing but thoughts we hold to be true. The ego is nothing, and it is nowhere. However, when we identify with our thoughts, we become what we are thinking. If I hold beliefs that I am stupid, unworthy, or bad, these beliefs become my identity, but they do not constitute the truth of what I am. Therefore, we can safely look at these beliefs as they do not define us. Who is it that does the looking anyway? The mind that is the observer of our thoughts is where sanity resides. Yes, it takes courage, honesty, and vigilance because our vulnerability is exposed, but the result is greater freedom and lightness. We experience more joy and peace until the final doubt-thought can be released and only awareness shines forth. The love we are, which illuminates our minds and brings freedom, no longer has to be defended or demanded. It simply is.
Today, use the Lesson to remind yourself of the truth and try to remember to use it in any situation where you feel tempted to judge or attack. The truth is that we are not different. We are both set free when one of us remembers there is only God's love and nothing else is true about anyone. "The Love of God is what created me. The Love of God is everything I am. The Love of God proclaimed me as His Son. The Love of God within me sets me free." (W.209.1.2-5)
We continue to do our daily practice with morning and evening meditations of fifteen minutes, repeating the Lesson and then spending time in silence, being attentive to guidance from the Holy Spirit throughout the day. We continue hourly practice, reminding ourselves of the thought for the day and expressing gratitude to the Holy Spirit for His presence in our minds. We continue to bring awareness to the thoughts that block the truth about ourselves. We listen for guidance and bring the Lesson to our minds as often as possible throughout the day. If anything tempts you to lose your peace throughout the day, use it as another opportunity to apply the Lesson in a form that addresses the issue. As an example, you might choose to say, "The Love of God within me sets me free from this difficult situation that I seem to be facing."
Love and blessings, Sarah
Beyond the Body
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
17 It is essential that error be not confused with "sin," and it is this distinction which makes salvation possible. For error can be corrected, and the wrong made right. But sin, were it possible, would be irreversible. The belief in sin is necessarily based on the firm conviction that
minds, not bodies, can attack. And thus the mind is guilty and will forever so remain unless a mind not part of it can give it absolution. Sin calls for punishment as error for correction, and the belief that punishment
is correction is clearly insane.
18 Sin is not an error, for sin entails an arrogance which the idea of error lacks. To sin would be to violate reality and to succeed. Sin is the proclamation that attack is real and guilt is justified. It assumes the Son of God is guilty and has thus succeeded in losing his innocence and making himself what God created not. Thus is creation seen as not eternal, and the Will of God open to opposition and defeat. Sin is the "grand illusion" underlying all the ego's grandiosity. For by it, God Himself is changed and rendered incomplete.
19 The Son of God can be mistaken; he can deceive himself; he can even turn the power of his mind against himself. But he
cannot sin. There is nothing he can do that would really change his reality in any way nor make him really guilty. That is what sin would do, for such is its purpose. Yet for all the wild insanity inherent in the whole idea of sin, it is impossible. For the wages of sin is death, and how can the immortal die?
20 A major tenet in the ego's insane religion is that sin is not error but
truth, and it is
innocence that would deceive. Purity is seen as arrogance, and the acceptance of the self as sinful is perceived as holiness. And it is this doctrine which replaces the reality of the Son of God as his Father created him and willed that he be forever. Is this humility? Or is it, rather, an attempt to wrest creation away from truth and keep it separate?
21 Any attempt to reinterpret sin as error is always indefensible to the ego. The idea of sin is wholly sacrosanct to its thought system and quite unapproachable except through reverence and awe. It is the most "holy" concept in the ego's system-lovely and powerful, wholly true, and necessarily protected with every defense at its disposal. For here lies its "best" defense which all the others serve. Here is its armor, its protection, and the fundamental purpose of the special relationship in its interpretation.
22 It can indeed be said the ego made its world on sin. Only in such a world could everything be upside-down. This is the strange illusion which makes the clouds of guilt seem heavy and impenetrable. The solidness this world's foundation seems to have is found in this. For sin has changed creation from an Idea of God to an ideal the ego wants; a world
it rules, made up of bodies, mindless and capable of complete corruption and decay. If this is a mistake, it can be undone easily by truth. Any mistake can be corrected, if truth be left to judge it. But if the mistake is given the status of truth, to what can it be brought? The "holiness" of sin is kept in place by just this strange device. As truth it is inviolate, and everything is brought to
it for judgment. As a mistake,
it must be brought to truth. It is impossible to have faith in sin, for sin is faithlessness. Yet it
is possible to have faith that a mistake can be corrected.
23 There is no stone in all the ego's embattled citadel more heavily defended than the idea that sin is real-the natural expression of what the Son of God has made himself to be and what he
is. To the ego, this is no mistake. For this
is its reality; this is the "truth" from which escape will always be impossible. This is his past, his present, and his future. For he has somehow managed to corrupt his Father and changed His Mind completely. Mourn, then, the death of God, Whom sin has killed! And this would be the ego's wish, which in its madness it thinks it has accomplished.
24 Would you not rather that all this be nothing more than a mistake, entirely correctable, and so easily escaped from that its whole correction is like walking through a mist into the sun? For that is all it is. Perhaps you would be tempted to agree with the ego that it is far better to be sinful than mistaken. Yet think you carefully before you allow yourself to make this choice. Approach it not lightly, for it
is the choice of hell or Heaven.
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