Lesson 213
Center Radiating Out
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a. "The First Obstacle: The Desire to Get Rid of It"   

40 The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. For it cannot extend unless you keep it. You are the center from which it radiates outward to call the others in. You are its home, its tranquil dwelling-place from which it gently reaches out but never leaving you. If you would make it homeless, how can it abide within the Son of God? If it would spread across the whole creation, it must begin with you and from you reach to everyone who calls and bring him rest by joining you.          

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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  213

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
All things are lessons God would have me learn.

A lesson is a miracle which God
offers to me in place of thoughts I made
that hurt me. What I learn of Him becomes
the way I am set free. And so I choose
to learn His lessons and forget my own.

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 213 Review VI
[193] All things are lessons God would have me learn.

Sarah's Commentary:
The focus of this entire Review is on removing the blocks to the awareness of who we are as eternal beings created by God. "I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me." (W.213) Nothing we think, nothing we have said or done, has changed the truth of what we are, but we need to experience this for ourselves. We think what our senses report back to us is what is real. As long as we focus on what our senses show us and believe in the reality of this world, the real world seems distant and illusory.
The small self we identify with and call by a name is not our reality. We think our reality is that of a body and personality, with specific values and concepts that we hold. We believe we were born into this world, which is all that is real. Yet we are learning that this is all a projection of our belief in sin, guilt, and fear from a mind that has become confused. This confusion arose with the decision to align with the belief system of the ego; but, just because we have come to believe the ego story that we sinned and God will now punish us, it does not make it true.
We can change our minds. It is all about choosing to do so. We can change our minds about what we have come to believe about ourselves and the world. There is another part of the mind of which we have been unaware, waiting for our acceptance. With a new understanding of how the ego set all this up, we can choose to let go of what is false. With every prayer, we loosen the mind from the interpretations of the ego and thus experience change. With each forgiving thought, a shift is made in the mind. Every time we ask to see a situation differently, we change. Every time we are tempted to be distressed but respond instead with the thought for the day, we change. All the changes come with willingness and dedication to commit our lives to waking up from this dream. When this is our only goal, we become determined to see everything in our lives as a perfect classroom for healing. Every time we take responsibility for our interpretations of every situation and assume accountability for our responses, we change; and with these changes, all the blocks to the awareness of the presence of love fall away, until we come to recognize the changeless Self.
Today, we are reminded that the way we remember our true Self is by recognizing that there is an opportunity for a miracle in all that seems to happen to us in the script we have chosen. It has all happened already. The outside circumstances don't matter. All that matters is how we see them. Nothing has meaning except for the meaning we give it. It is all neutral. Whatever thought system we hold in our minds is either projected from the wrong mind or extended from the right mind onto every circumstance we encounter. All we are seeing are our own thoughts reflected back to us.
We know guilt does not feel at all wonderful, but what is wonderful is that as students of this Course, we can bring our thoughts of anger, hatred, and distress to awareness, which is the first step in forgiveness. As we are willing to take responsibility for these thoughts, we can turn them over to the Teacher in our minds (the Holy Spirit), Who can reinterpret our thoughts for us---from our wrong-minded perspective to true perception. With His help, "all that stood between your image of yourself and what you are, forgiveness washes joyfully away." (T.30.V.6.2) (ACIM OE T.31.VI.62) We supply Him with the material for forgiveness, and he shows us how to see the situation in a new way, so we can experience a miracle instead of a grievance in each circumstance.
Imagine your partner leaves and the relationship is over. For me, this has been a time of great sadness, anger, and distress. It has brought a lot of suffering. Yet the only problem, as I reflect on this, has always been a lack of acceptance. Until we come to acceptance, there is a lot of suffering. No matter what happens in our lives, when we take the hand of our master teacher Jesus and turn to him for help, every situation that confronts us can become a beautiful, new lesson in forgiveness. When we resist the lesson, we suffer. It is why Jesus reminds us that we need to be a happy learner. What was a painful situation has become another opportunity to rediscover a deeper truth about ourselves.
The only requirement for this learning is not to run away from our feelings. In other words, we have to first be willing to give up our story about the situation and then acknowledge our murderous thoughts, our sadness, and our despair. We do not indulge them, deny them, or build an altar to them. The important thing is not to repress, deny, or project our feelings. Simply by looking at them without judgment, and remembering that there is another choice we can make, is how the mind gets transformed. Trust that the healing will happen when you willingly turn to the Holy Spirit and release to Him the feelings and beliefs you are holding onto in your mind. Instead of seeing a problem, we can recognize that this is a situation where the beliefs that we are separate from love, are on our own, and are in a state of lack can now be put on the inner altar and given over to the Holy Spirit.
All things truly are lessons God would have me learn, but none are given me by God. The curriculum is my own life experiences. My relationships provide me with every opportunity to undo the guilt and fear with the help of the Holy Spirit. Only then can I remember that I am an eternal being who has no reason for guilt and fear. It is all my own making. It is all about the thoughts I am believing. We have a choice to see it differently and to know there is another part of the mind where truth resides and always has been there. As Jesus reminds us, we do not have to strive for our magnitude because we already have it. "All your striving must be directed against littleness, for it does require vigilance to protect your magnitude in this world." (T.15.III.4.4) (ACIM OE T.15.IV.25)
This Lesson can be misinterpreted and often is. How is that done? Our way of thinking about this Lesson is that we have problems because we screwed up in some way and now have to learn to do it differently. For example, if my relationship fails, I try to look at what is my lesson in this situation. Was I too needy? Did I not give him adequate attention? Did I expect too much of him? How can I do it differently next time in order not to have my relationship fail? Or, if I get sick, I want to know what I can do differently so I don't get sick. And so it goes. We think it is some behavior we need to change so we will get a different result and not get hurt and betrayed again. We might ask, "How did I manifest this?" or we think we did something wrong and hurt someone and now deserve to be punished. We think every trial and tribulation brings a different lesson, and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what the lesson is. We put our own ego in charge to figure our way out of difficult situations.
Jesus has just one answer for us. He makes it simple. We don't need to waste any time analyzing the problem, the lesson, or what we failed to do right. Jesus says that in every trial and tribulation, no matter the form, the lesson is always the same---to forgive and turn to him, in trust and willingness, to heal. Therefore, every problem is just one more opportunity to learn this one lesson. All the things coming our way are there only to teach us one lesson: forgiveness. Every problem is the same in fundamental content because every situation teaches us the same thing "Forgive, and you will see this differently." (W.193.3.7) Why? We will see it differently because the content of all distress, regardless of the form it comes in, is our belief in sin and the guilt that accompanies it, which forgiveness dissolves. We think we have done something terribly wrong because we have bought into the ego story that indeed we have done wrong and should feel guilty. Now we fear punishment, and we get what we expect through problems and the painful situations that we experience. As we learn to forgive and heal, we learn to look beyond the apparent difficulty and see that it is not real. Our own painful thought system that we carry around keeps us in the ego game. With forgiveness, we are released from this state of imprisonment.
God sends us no painful lessons but, through the Holy Spirit, the memory of God is forever in our minds, given to free us from this painful thought system. Thus, the problem is in our own thoughts and the Answer is also in our own minds. There is nowhere else to look. Our part is to bring the problem to the Answer. In our practice, we are reminded that we have a choice and can bring all of our misperceptions to the truth. We remember to give over our thoughts, as we stay mindful of what is coming up for us throughout the day. "This thought I do not want. I choose instead" (W.RVI.IN.6.2-3) to forgive and I "will see this differently." (W.193.3.7)
"A lesson is a miracle which God offers to me, in place of thoughts I made that hurt me. What I learn of Him becomes the way I am set free. And so I choose to learn His lessons and forget my own." (W.213.1.2-4) If I wake up in the morning and I am upset, I have chosen separation. Now the lesson for me is to release my upset, so instead of choosing separation, I can choose the miracle offered me by God in place of the thoughts I am holding that are hurting me. This choice is consistently and constantly available to me. The power of decision is my own. "Every decision you make is for Heaven or for hell, and brings you the awareness of what you decided for." (T.15.III.5.7) (ACIM OE T.15.IV.27) Our part is to bring our misperceptions to the truth. The rest is done for us. It is a matter of trust. When you truly and willingly hand over your painful thoughts to the Holy Spirit, He will do the rest.
Everything we have taught ourselves hurts us. To be set free from our own thought system of guilt and the suffering it brings is the purpose of this practice.

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

V. Obstacles to Peace
a. The First Obstacle: The Desire to Get Rid of It       

40 The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. For it cannot extend unless you keep it. You are the center from which it radiates outward to call the others in. You are its home, its tranquil dwelling-place from which it gently reaches out but never leaving you. If you would make it homeless, how can it abide within the Son of God? If it would spread across the whole creation, it must begin with you and from you reach to everyone who calls and bring him rest by joining you.
41 Why would you want peace homeless? What do you think that it must dispossess to dwell with you? What seems to be the cost you are so unwilling to pay? The little barrier of sand still stands between you. Would you reinforce it now? You are not asked to let it go for yourselves alone. Christ asks it of you for Himself. He would bring peace to everyone, and how can He do this except through you? Would you let a little bank of sand, a wall of dust, a tiny seeming barrier, stand between your brothers and salvation? And yet, it is this little remnant of attack you cherish still against each other that is the first obstacle the peace in you encounters in its going forth. This little wall of hatred would still oppose the Will of God and keep it limited.
42 The Holy Spirit's purpose rests in peace within you. Yet you are still unwilling to let it join you wholly. You still oppose the Will of God, just by a little. And that little is a limit you would place upon the whole. God's Will is One, not many. It has no opposition, for there is none beside it. What you would still contain behind your little barrier and keep separate from each other seems mightier than the universe, for it would hold back the universe and its Creator. This little wall would hide the purpose of Heaven and keep it from Heaven.
43 Would you thrust salvation away from the giver of salvation? For such have you become. Peace could no more depart from you than from God. Fear not this little obstacle. It cannot contain the Will of God. Peace will flow across it and join you without hindrance. Salvation cannot be withheld from you. It is your purpose. You cannot will apart from this. You have no purpose apart from each other nor apart from the one you asked the Holy Spirit to share with you. The little wall will fall away so quietly beneath the wings of peace! For peace will send its messengers from you to all the world. And barriers will fall away before their coming as easily as those which you would interpose will be surmounted.
44 To overcome the world is no more difficult than to surmount your little wall. For in the miracle of your relationship, without this barrier, is every miracle contained. There is no order of difficulty in miracles, for they are all the same. Each is a gentle winning over from the appeal of guilt to the appeal of love. How can this fail to be accomplished, wherever it is undertaken? Guilt can raise no real barriers against it. And all that seems to stand between you must fall away because of the appeal you answered. For from you who answered, He Who answered you would call. His home is in your holy relationship. Do not attempt to stand between Him and His holy purpose, for it is yours. But let Him quietly extend the miracle of your relationship to everyone contained in it, as it was given.
45 There is a hush in Heaven, a happy expectancy, a little pause of gladness in acknowledgment of the journey's end. For Heaven knows you well, as you know Heaven. No illusions stand between you now. Look not upon the little wall of shadows. The sun has risen over it. How can a shadow keep you from the sun? No more can you be kept by shadows from the light in which illusions end. Every miracle is but the end of an illusion. Such was the journey; such its ending. And in the goal of truth which you accepted must all illusions end.
46 The little insane wish to get rid of Him Who you invited in and push Him out must produce conflict. As you look upon the world, this little wish, uprooted and floating aimlessly, can land and settle briefly upon anything, for it has no purpose now. Before the Holy Spirit entered to abide with you, it seemed to have a mighty purpose; the fixed and unchangeable dedication to sin and its results. Now it is aimless, wandering pointlessly, causing no more than tiny interruptions in love's appeal.
47 This feather of a wish, this tiny illusion, this microscopic remnant of the belief in sin, is all that remains of what once seemed to be the world. It is no longer an unrelenting barrier to peace. Its pointless wandering makes its results appear to be more erratic and unpredictable than before. Yet what could be more unstable than a tightly-organized delusional system? Its seeming stability is its pervasive weakness, which extends to everything. The variability which the little remnant induces merely indicates its limited results.
48 How mighty can a little feather be before the great wings of truth? Can it oppose an eagle's flight or hinder the advance of summer? Can it interfere with the effects of summer's sun upon a garden covered by the snow? See but how easily this little wisp is lifted up and carried away, never to return, and part with it in gladness, not regret. For it is nothing in itself and stood for nothing when you had greater faith in its protection. Would you not rather greet the summer sun than fix your gaze upon a disappearing snowflake and shiver in remembrance of the winter's cold?

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