Lesson 212
A Temple of Healing
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36 Look upon your Redeemer and behold what He would show you in each other, and let not sin arise again to blind your eyes. For sin would keep you separate, but your Redeemer would have you look upon each other as yourself. Your relationship is now a temple of healing-a place where all the weary ones can come and find rest. Here is the rest that waits for all after the journey. And it is brought nearer to all by your relationship.       

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Review VI
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



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SonShip Workbook
L e s s o n  212

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
I have a function God would have me fill.

I seek the function that would set me free
from all the vain illusions of the world.
Only the function God has given me
can offer freedom. Only this I seek,
and only this will I accept as mine.

I am not a body. I am free. 
For I am still as God created me . 
~ Original Handscript of ACIM

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ACIM Edmonton - Sarah's Reflections 
ACIM Edmonton, CA
LESSON 212 Review VI
[192] I have a function God would have me fill.

Sarah's Commentary:
We have less and less structure given us as we progress in the Workbook. We are told that this lack of structure will help us "reach a quickened pace along a shorter path to the serenity and peace of God." (W.RVI.4.2) It will help prepare us for the increasing formlessness of Part II of the Workbook. The Course is not about ritual. The reason for the structure in the early Lessons is to help us to discipline the mind, as it is something to which we are not accustomed. We are accustomed to letting the mind entertain random thoughts throughout the day and night.
The structure in Part I of the Workbook helps us become aware of how much resistance we have to awakening from this dream as measured by the resistance we have to doing the Lessons as laid out. As we go through our day, we can observe how much we don't want to follow the proposed practice, which also reveals the extent of our fear and the issues we might have with perceived "coercion." The ego resists being told what to do. It reflects our authority problem, where we want to be in control of our own lives and to maintain our separate false self.
We start our practice with the thought for the day and then wait in silence for the truth to dawn on our minds. We rely more now on the Holy Spirit to guide us through the practice time. Jesus asks us to place each practice period in His hands and, at the outset, to dedicate the entire Review to Him. It really is a dedication to our Self. We are looking more and more to be guided throughout the day from within. The senses were made to keep our focus outside. It is to spend the day in pursuits that we think will address our personal interests. But now we increasingly ask in everything we do in the day: "What is it for?" (W.96.6.5) This is to help us stay focused on our purpose, which is to stay connected with the Holy Spirit in all we do. We go through our day, asking for guidance. "What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom?" (W.71.9.3-5)
Today, we review Lesson 192, "I have a function God would have me fill." (W.192) It does not matter what the backdrop is to the function in form. Whether a housewife, carpenter, hairdresser, teacher, stockbroker, photographer, or whether we have no formal role in the world, the content of our function is always the same. It is to do the forgiveness work by staying vigilant in watching our thoughts and releasing whatever blocks to love that show up in our day. Whenever we are upset, we know that we have chosen the ego as our guide to seeing. We are projecting our judgments of ourselves and seeing them in the world; but, it is not helpful to judge ourselves when we observe the judgments we are making because to do so is to once again choose the ego. The ego approves of our self-flagellation. Instead, we are asked to look at our upsets without judgment of ourselves. Simply observe what is coming up in the mind throughout the day and recognize that you must have chosen wrongly whenever you are not at peace. Now you can make another choice. It is really very simple. The only thing that makes it hard is if we believe we are the ones who have to fix ourselves. When we give the upset over to the Holy Spirit, we just let it go and it is done. We join with Him in the right mind.
Every encounter we have in our day has the potential to be a holy encounter. Our function is to be happy and to extend that happiness by shining our light so that everyone we meet, or even think about, is blessed by our wholeness. When this is not the case, we quickly do a restorative by bringing our grievances and thoughts of superiority and specialness to the light. Seeing sameness in our brothers is a reflection of the Oneness of the Sonship.
We cannot help but extend the joy that is in us to others, as joy cannot be contained. Yet to get to this goal requires vigilance and dedication in watching our thoughts and substituting God's Thoughts for those that keep us from peace. There are not large or small things that bring distress. There is no order of difficulty in the illusion. All problems are the same, regardless of their seeming size and scope. They are all illusory. Any distress, no matter how large or small, blocks our peace and joy, and thus, "When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim your freedom from temptation, as you say: This thought I do not want. I choose instead ____ (Insert the thought for the day)." (W.RVI.IN.6.1-2) It is such an effective process when practiced with sincerity and willingness.
I was practicing this Lesson last year and found myself in some distress in the middle of the night, having just received a call from my mother where she was in tremendous pain and needed an ambulance. I noticed that, despite my attempts to come to peace, my thoughts became very entrenched and obsessive. As I applied these words and related thoughts to the situation and asked for help not to use this situation to keep me from the peace in me, increasingly I found moments of respite from the vagaries of the ego. My mind started to ease from the seemingly iron grip that held me prisoner. The Holy Spirit is the door to release. He provides us with unlimited freedom, but we must choose to go where He is. It means leaving behind the thoughts that plague us. These thoughts have no power that we are not willing to give them.
I find a useful practice in any distress is to rest the mind and release the story the mind is creating about the situation. This means to choose not to listen to the ego's version of events. I remind myself that the script is written, and everything is unfolding in divine right order. I allow my feelings without denying, repressing, or projecting them. I ask Spirit to help me to see what I need to see in this situation. It is not helpful to try to meditate our way out of how we feel. We don ' t try to get out of the feelings, nor indulge them, but we allow the feelings and observe them without judgment, while being willing to letting them go. We trust and rest in God, knowing all is well.
Separation from the love we are is the only problem we have, and there is only one solution. We waste a lot of time and energy ruminating on distressing thoughts. The ego would have us hold others accountable for how we feel. Judgments and grievances are the juice of the ego. At some level, we need others to pay the price when we see them as the cause of our distress. The reality is that if we don't have peace, we are actually throwing it away and making someone else responsible for having taken it from us. Only our own thoughts cause our distress. It is never about anything or anyone outside of ourselves. We must take responsibility for our own misperceptions.
Why the resistance? There are many reasons. One key reason is that we want others to be responsible for our condition so we can hold them as the guilty ones. We bury the truth about ourselves under layers of guilt and then bury the guilt under specialness. Now we go within to uncover the guilt in the mind. The ego tells us not to go within, as it is all dark there. That is why we prefer to see sin and murder all around us, but not in us. This gives rise to the "face of innocence." (T.31.V.2.6) (ACIM OE T.31.V.44) Others now become the symbols of our sins. We condemn them for what we hate in ourselves. We choose to see the cause of our problems as outside of ourselves, and now we try to solve these problems by trying to change things in the world. We have come to believe that this is the way out of our difficulties, rather than bringing our mistaken, guilt-based thought system to the truth. Guilt is the source of every problem we seem to have, and the answer is therefore always the same, regardless of the form the problem takes.
Jesus tells us that "Anger is never justified." (T.30.VI.1.1) (ACIM OE T.30.VII.70) We get angry when we do not get our way and insist, "I want it thus!" (T.18.II.4.1) (ACIM OE T.18.III.17) What does the ego want? It wants to make real our fantasies and our wishes of how things should be in the world. And when they are not the way it wants, it gets upset. The nature and degree of the upset does not matter because a seemingly small upset still blocks the peace in us. When we are upset we want to see others guilty so we can feel innocent. That is why differences in the form of specifics were made. Guilt needs to be applied specifically to the "wrongdoers," whom we see as the cause of our upsets. We then claim innocence for ourselves at our brothers' expense. We believe that God will now punish them for their sins, while we, as the innocent and injured party, get off scot-free. It is not true innocence that we have achieved by this ruse. True innocence comes only through forgiveness, and forgiveness requires that we take responsibility for our perception and interpretation of everything that seems to be happening. The world is nothing more than an "outward picture of an inward condition." (T.21.IN.1.5) (ACIM OE T.21.I.1) It is always our own guilt that we see projected onto the world. The picture will only change when our minds are healed of the guilt we are projecting. Mind is the cause and the world is the effect of our thoughts.
There is nothing more fulfilling than to experience the miracle that shifts our perception. The miracle will only be experienced through forgiveness. We all want to experience life as meaningful and purposeful. Everyone wants this experience. In this Lesson, Jesus says that we all have a meaningful function that God would have us fulfill, and it is the function of forgiveness. It does not matter what we do in form; the function of forgiveness is always there to be fulfilled. When we consistently undertake our function of forgiveness, the guilt in the mind is released, and we experience joy, love, laughter, and freedom in our lives. Forgiveness sets us free from all the vain illusions of the world. This is the only way to freedom, releasing us from the chains of the ego that bind us to sin and guilt. Jesus urges us to accept this function in the name of our own freedom. It is where our joy is. Thus, forgiveness is a gift to ourselves. It is the closest we can come to Heaven on earth. Forgiveness is an earthly form of love, as it reflects the love of God.

Love and blessings, Sarah 
  A Course in Miracles
ACIM Original Edition
Chapter Nineteen

Beyond the Body
   Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio

IV. The Unreality of Sin      

25 The attraction of guilt is found in sin, not error. Sin will be repeated because of this attraction. Fear can become so acute that the sin is denied the acting out, but while the guilt remains attractive the mind will suffer and not let go of the idea of sin. For guilt still calls to it, and the mind hears it and yearns for it, making itself a willing captive to its sick appeal. Sin is an idea of evil that cannot be corrected and will be forever desirable. As an essential part of what the ego thinks you are, you will always want it. And only an avenger with a mind unlike your own could stamp it out through fear.
26 The ego does not think it possible that love, not fear, is really called upon by sin and always answers. For the ego brings sin to fear, demanding punishment. Yet punishment is but another form of guilt's protection, for what is deserving punishment must have been really done. Punishment is always the great preserver of sin, treating it with respect and honoring its enormity. [What must be punished must be true. And what is true must be eternal and will be repeated endlessly.] For what you think is real you want and will not let it go. An error, on the other hand, is not attractive. What you see clearly as a mistake you want corrected.
27 Sometimes a sin can be repeated over and over with obviously distressing results but without the loss of its appeal. And suddenly you change its status from a sin to a mistake. Now you will not repeat it; you will merely stop and let it go unless the guilt remains. For then you will but change the form of sin, granting that it was an error but keeping it uncorrectable. This is not really a change in your perception, for it is sin that calls for punishment, not error. The Holy Spirit cannot punish sin. Mistakes He recognizes and would correct them all as God entrusted Him to do. But sin He knows not, nor can He recognize mistakes which cannot be corrected. For a mistake which cannot be corrected is meaningless to Him.
28 Mistakes are for correction, and they call for nothing else. What calls for punishment must call for nothing. Every mistake must be a call for love. What, then, is sin? What could it be but a mistake you would keep hidden-a call for help that you would keep unheard and thus unanswered? In time the Holy Spirit clearly sees the Son of God can make mistakes. On this you share His vision. Yet you do not share His recognition of the difference between time and eternity. And when correction is completed, time is eternity.
29 Time is like a downward spiral which seems to travel down from a long, unbroken line along another plane but which in no way breaks the line or interferes with its smooth continuousness. Along the spiral, it seems as if the line must have been broken. Yet at the line, its wholeness is apparent. Everything seen from the spiral is misperceived, but as you approach the line, you realize that it was not affected by the drop into another plane at all. Yet from the plane, the line seems discontinuous. And this is but an error in perception which can be easily corrected in the mind, although the body's eyes will see no change. The eyes see many things the mind corrects, and you respond, not to the eyes' illusions, but to the mind's corrections.
30 You see the line as broken, and as you shift to different aspects of the spiral, the line looks different. Yet in your mind is One Who knows it is unbroken and forever changeless. This One can teach you how to look on time differently and see beyond it, but not while you believe in sin. In error, yes; for this can be corrected by the mind. But sin is the belief that your perception is unchangeable and that the mind must accept as true what it is told through it. If it does not obey, the mind is judged insane. The only power which could change perception is thus kept impotent, held to the body by the fear of changed perception which its teacher, who is one with it, would bring.
31 When you are tempted to believe that sin is real, remember this: If sin is real, both God and you are not. If creation is extension, the Creator must have extended Himself, and it is impossible that what is part of Him is totally unlike the rest. If sin is real, God must be at war with Himself. He must be split and torn between good and evil-partly sane and partially insane. For He must have created what wills to destroy Him and has the power to do so. Is it not easier to believe that you have been mistaken than to believe in this?
32 While you believe that your reality or your brother's is bounded by a body, you will believe in sin. While you believe that bodies can unite, you will find guilt attractive and believe that sin is precious. For the belief that bodies limit mind leads to a perception of the world in which the proof of separation seems to be everywhere. And God and His creation seem to be split apart and overthrown. For sin would prove what God created holy could not prevail against it nor remain itself before the power of sin. Sin is perceived as mightier than God, before which God Himself must bow and offer His creation to its conqueror. Is this humility or madness?
33 If sin were real, it would forever be beyond the hope of healing. For there would be a power beyond God's, capable of making another will which could attack His Will and overcome it and give His Son a will apart from His and stronger. And each part of God's fragmented creation would have a different will, opposed to His and in eternal opposition to Him and to each other. Your holy relationship has as its purpose now the goal of proving this is impossible. Heaven has smiled upon it, and the belief in sin has been uprooted in its smile of love. You see it still because you do not realize that its foundation has gone. Its source has been removed, and so it can be cherished but a little while before it vanishes. Only the habit of looking for it still remains.
34 And yet you look with Heaven's smile upon your lips and Heaven's blessing on your sight. You will not see it long. For in the new perception, the mind corrects it when it seems to be seen, and it becomes invisible. And errors are quickly recognized and quickly given to correction to be healed, not hidden. You will be healed of sin and all its ravages the instant that you give it no power over each other. And you will help each other overcome mistakes by joyously releasing one another from the belief in sin.
35 In the holy instant, you will see the smile of heaven shining on both of you. And you will shine upon each other in glad acknowledgment of the grace that has been given you. For sin will not prevail against a union Heaven has smiled upon. Your perception was healed in the holy instant Heaven gave you. Forget what you have seen and raise your eyes in faith to what you now can see. The barriers to heaven will disappear before your holy sight, for you who were sightless have been given vision, and you can see. Look not for what has been removed but for the glory that has been restored for you to see.
36 Look upon your Redeemer and behold what He would show you in each other, and let not sin arise again to blind your eyes. For sin would keep you separate, but your Redeemer would have you look upon each other as yourself. Your relationship is now a temple of healing-a place where all the weary ones can come and find rest. Here is the rest that waits for all after the journey. And it is brought nearer to all by your relationship.
37 As this peace extends from deep inside yourselves to embrace all the Sonship and give it rest, it will encounter many obstacles. Some of them you will try to impose. Others will seem to arise from elsewhere-from your brothers and from various aspects of the world outside. Yet peace will gently cover them, extending past completely unhindered. The extension of the Holy Spirit's purpose from your relationship to others to bring them gently in [has already begun. This is the way in which He will bring means and goal in line. The peace He laid deep within both of you] will quietly extend to every aspect of your lives, surrounding both of you with glowing happiness and the calm awareness of complete protection. And you will carry its message of love and safety and freedom to everyone who draws nigh unto your temple, where healing waits for him.
38 You will not wait to give him this, for you will call to him and he will answer you, recognizing in your call the Call of God. And you will draw him in and give him rest, as it was given you. All this will you do. Yet the peace which already lies deeply within must first expand and flow across the obstacles you placed before it. This will you do, for nothing undertaken with the Holy Spirit remains unfinished. You can indeed be sure of nothing you see outside you, but of this you can be sure: the Holy Spirit asks that you offer Him a resting-place where you will rest in Him. He answered you and entered your relationship. Would you not now return His graciousness and enter into a relationship with Him? For it is He Who offered your relationship the gift of holiness, without which it would have been forever impossible to appreciate each other.
39 The gratitude you owe to Him He asks but that you receive for Him. And when you look with gentle graciousness upon each other, you are beholding Him. For you are looking where He is and not apart from Him. You cannot see the Holy Spirit, but you can see your brothers truly. And the light in them will show you all that you need to see. When the peace in you has been extended to encompass everyone, the Holy Spirit's function here will be accomplished. What need is there for seeing then? When God has taken the last step Himself, the Holy Spirit will gather all your thanks and gratitude which you have offered Him and lay them gently before His Creator in the name of His most holy Son. And the Father will accept them in His Name. What need is there of seeing in the presence of His gratitude?

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