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A COURSE IN MIRACLES
CH 19 "BEYOND THE BODY"
V. OBSTACLES TO PEACE
"The Attraction of Guilt"
49 The attraction of guilt produces fear of love, for love would never look on guilt at all. It is the nature of love to look upon only the truth, for there it sees itself, with which it would unite in holy union and completion. As love must look past fear, so must fear see love not. For love contains the end of guilt as surely as fear depends on it. [Love is attracted only to love.] Overlooking guilt completely, it sees no fear. Being wholly without attack, it could not be afraid. Fear is attracted to what love sees not, and each believes that what the other looks upon does not exist. Fear looks on guilt with just the same devotion that love looks on itself. And each has messengers which they send forth and which return to them with messages written in the language in which their going forth was asked.
ON LINE: ACIM.OE.TX.CH 19.Va
AUDIO: TEXT CH 19, Va
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 214
Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
 I place the future in the hands of God.
The past is gone; the future is not yet.
Now am I freed from both. For what God gives
can only be for good. And I accept
but what He gives as what belongs to 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 214 Review VI
 I place the future in the Hands of God.
Chapter 18 VI (ACIM OE VII) describes the ego strategy very clearly, telling us that the ego made up a story that we had sinned and that it was so horrific we had to flee into the body to try to escape from what we have done. "And you have done a stranger thing than you yet realize. You have displaced your guilt to your body from your mind. Yet a body cannot be guilty, for it can do nothing of itself." (T.18.VI.2.4-6) (ACIM OE T.18.VII.50) The guilt comes from the belief that we have sinned. So now we try to protect the mind from this thought, which is why the guilt in the mind is projected onto the body and the world. It is all part of a carefully contrived strategy to confuse us about what we are, making us believe that we are a body and not an eternal Child of God. The ego does not want us to remember our identity as Christ because that would be its demise since we would no longer give it any power. We would then claim our true identity as the eternal, unlimited Self.
Presently, we think the body is the problem. It is not good enough, not smart enough, not healthy enough, and seems to make demands on us, gets sick, ages, and dies; but it is not what we are. It was made to put all our attention outside the mind and onto the body and the world, which now seems to be solid and real. The body was given senses to prove that there is a world out there that is external to us and has no reality. Only mind has reality. What we experience in the body and the world is all a dream. We see ourselves as victims of events beyond our control, over which we have no power. The story of sin and guilt, which the ego made up, is kept hidden by our decision not to look at its source in the mind. We can exercise choice, once we become aware of the ego's strategy.
In Chapter 18 VII (ACIM OE 18 VIII) "I Need Do Nothing," we are told that we still have too much faith in the body as a source of strength. All our plans, in one way or another, involve the body, its comfort, its protection, and its enjoyment. Much time and attention goes into taking care of the body, washing it, feeding it, pampering it, exercising it, resting it, and pleasuring it. It becomes the focus of all our attention. In this way, the body becomes an end in itself and not the means to awaken from this dream. It becomes the entire focus of our existence, instead of a useful tool for communicating love. What is startling to remember is that the body does not exist at all in the present moment. It is always remembered or anticipated. It is why, when we enter the present, the NOW, the body is forgotten. It is nothing and nowhere. In the experience of the holy instant, we have a glimpse of the eternal formless Self that is our reality.
In Chapter 18 VIII (ACIM OE T.18 IX), Jesus tells us that the body is a limit on love. The belief in limited love was the origin of the body. It was made to limit the unlimited. "The body is a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and complete idea." (T.18.VIII.2.5) (ACIM OE T.18.IX.72) In the experience of the holy instant, there is an experience of the expansive unlimited Self where the body is forgotten.
What keeps us from this experience? We say we want it, yet there is resistance, but Jesus tells us, "Release is given you the instant you desire it." (T.18.VII.4.3) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.66) It is thus our desire that determines our release. "Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects." (T.5.VI.12.1) (ACIM OE T.5.VIII.81) It is not something we need to strive for. The truth is that we are, at this very moment, in a state of infinite bliss and love, and the reason we need do nothing is that there is nothing we can do to change the truth about ourselves. Who we are is always with us as our reality. We have just forgotten, but we are now preparing our minds to remember. We do so by removing the blocks to love, which is about bringing all our misperceptions to awareness and taking responsibility for them without judging ourselves.
"In silence and in true humility I seek God's glory, to behold it in the Son whom He created as my Self."
(W.211.1.2) Humility means that we let go of our plans and our intentions on how to achieve the holy instant. We don't know, and that is a relief. We can leave it all in God's Hands. As Jesus reminds us, "You have been wrong in thinking that it is needful to prepare yourself for Him. It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness, and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace." (T.18.IV.4.3-4) (ACIM OE T.18.V.35) "To do nothing is to rest, and make a place within you where the activity of the body ceases to demand attention." (T.18.VII.7.7) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.69) It is a "quiet center of the storm." (T.18.VII.8.2) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.70) It is a place free of thoughts, free of guilt, and free of projection. It is where we simply rest in God. There is such sweet release in that moment from the demands we have placed on ourselves and such sweet release from the relentless, obsessive, and compulsive thoughts of the ego.
Think about what keeps you from peace. For me, it is these relentless thoughts that go around and around, regurgitating past events, focusing on events that keep me feeling guilty, planning for future events, gnawing on what has seemingly happened or should happen, and strategizing and fantasizing on how I want things to be. It is not a peaceful state. It produces stress as a result of the mind being obsessively occupied. To pray for peace of mind is not helpful in this kind of situation. What I find helpful is to leave the turmoil and go to where the peace is in the mind. It is to step away from the ego and rest in God.
What does it mean to place the future in the Hands of God? What is fundamental to this is trust. In the Manual for Teachers, we are told that trust is the foundation on which our ability to fulfill our function rests. We are told not to trust in the laws the world made up, but to be governed by the power of God's laws. However, we need an experience of this power in order to develop the trust. Once we do, we will no longer rely as readily on our own petty strength. "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of the sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?" (M.4.I.2.2) No matter how impressed we get with our own power to manifest, which reflects our own strong desires to attract what we think we want, it can still never match the power available to us when we join our will with God's Will.
How do we develop this kind of trust? The process that we go through is one of undoing and sorting the valuable from the valueless, and ultimately, "It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful." (M.4.I.A.4.5) Does it feel to you in your life that all events, encounters, and circumstances are helpful? Probably not. Some things seem bad and some we label as good. Yet in the Lesson yesterday, we learned that "All things are lessons God would have me learn." (W.193) It is the judgments we make about the events of our lives that hurt us. If we turn the judgments over and learn forgiveness is the answer to all trials and tribulations, we will experience the miracle. We will see every experience providing us with an opportunity to heal our thoughts and see that there is a miracle the Holy Spirit offers us in every situation, no matter how it might appear.
In the section called, "The Test of Truth", Chapter 14 XI (ACIM OE T.14.VII), Jesus tells us how we can tell the difference between the ego and the Holy Spirit. "You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God's lesson, and not your own." (T.14.XI.5.1-2) (ACIM OE T.14.VII.63) Sometimes we spend hours trying to figure out what some event or circumstance in our lives means. We look for answers for our lives in every corner of our mind. Yet the only answer is peace. The only answer is to surrender into God. Every problem will dissipate, or if not, it will look very different to us from this place of peace and deep release. "Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts." (M.17.4.1-2) Now, whatever situation is there in front of us, if there is something to be done, we will be guided and will proceed from a place of peace.
As Jesus reminds us, "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false." (T.16.IV.6.1-2) (ACIM OE T.16.V.32) It is all about undoing the guilt in the mind. It is all about clearing the dark clouds that obscure the truth about ourselves. We must refuse to teach ourselves, and instead, we must release ourselves from the belief that we know the answers for our awakening. "You are still convinced that your understanding is a powerful contribution to the truth, and makes it what it is." (T.18.IV.7.5) (ACIM OE T.18.V.39) We must become as little children who don't know and agree to release our own ideas and to be taught. Whenever our peace is threatened, it is helpful to remember, "I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now." (T.14.XI.6.7-9) (ACIM OE T.14. VII.65)
We need help to set aside our ego thought system and be willing to ask. In T.18.IV (ACIM OE T.18.V) "The Little Willingness," Jesus is talking about preparing our minds for the Holy Instant. "You prepare your mind for it only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else. It is not necessary that you do more; indeed, it is necessary that you realize that you cannot do more. Do not attempt to give the Holy Spirit what He does not ask, or you will add the ego to Him and confuse the two." (T.18.IV.1.4-6) (ACIM OE T.V.32) We think we need to do more, yet to do more is only to add the ego into the mix.
Today, we look at our insane thought system again, where we believe our sins of the past deserve punishment. Our belief that we deserve suffering is now put to question. As we do the forgiveness work, we are told, "And you will see by your experience that you have laid the past and present in His Hands as well, because the past will punish you no more, and future dread will now be meaningless." (W.194.4-6) Our experience will be one of acceptance of whatever shows up in our lives. We will accept this world as a classroom and the events as opportunities for healing. We will welcome these opportunities; if not in the moment, then when we will eventually see their perfection in supporting our goal for peace.
Today, we step back from our beliefs and look at them from outside of this dream and see that they make no sense. If God is love, He gives only love and brings no punishment, nor can death be true. Whenever we are miserable and unhappy, the ego uses that as proof that God is behind it all. The truth is that holding onto misery is simply a defense we use to prove that God is wrong about us. Now we can look at this with the Holy Spirit, question how the ego has set all of this up, and make another choice. This need not be. You can actively choose to be peaceful.
Love and blessings, Sarah
Beyond the Body
Voice and Music by Martin Weber, CIMS SonShip Radio
V. Obstacles to Peace
The Attraction of Guilt
49 The attraction of guilt produces fear of love, for love would never look on guilt at all. It is the nature of love to look upon only the truth, for there it sees itself, with which it would unite in holy union and completion. As love must look past fear, so must fear see love not. For love contains the end of guilt as surely as fear depends on it. [Love is attracted
only to love.] Overlooking guilt completely, it sees no fear. Being wholly without attack, it could not be afraid. Fear is attracted to what love sees not, and each believes that what the other looks upon does not exist. Fear looks on guilt with just the same devotion that love looks on itself. And each has messengers which they send forth and which return to them with messages written in the language in which their going forth was asked.
50 Love's messengers are gently sent and return with messages of love and gentleness. The messengers of fear are harshly ordered to seek out guilt and cherish every scrap of evil and of sin which they can find, losing none of them on pain of death and laying them respectfully before their lord and master. Perception cannot obey two masters, each asking for messages of different things in different languages. What fear would feed upon, love overlooks. What fear demands, love cannot even see.
51 The fierce attraction which guilt holds for fear is wholly absent from love's gentle perception. What love would look upon is meaningless to fear and quite invisible. Relationships in this world are the result of how the world is seen. And this depends on which emotion was called on to send its messengers to look upon it and return with word of what they saw. Fear's messengers are trained through terror, and they tremble when their master calls upon them to serve him. For fear is merciless even to its friends. Its messengers steal guiltily away in hungry search of guilt, for they are kept cold and starving and made very vicious by their master, who allows them to feast only upon what they return to him. No little shred of guilt escapes their hungry eyes. And in their savage search for sin, they pounce on any living thing they see and carry it screaming to their master to be devoured.
52 Send not these savage messengers into the world to feast upon it and to prey upon reality. For they will bring you word of bones and skin and flesh. They have been taught to seek for the corruptible and to return with gorges filled with things decayed and rotted. To them such things are beautiful because they seem to allay their savage pangs of hunger. For they are frantic with the pain of fear and would avert the punishment of him who sends them forth by offering him what they hold dear.
53 The Holy Spirit has given you love's messengers to send instead of those you trained through fear. They are as eager to return to you what they hold dear as are the others. If you send them forth, they will see only the blameless and the beautiful, the gentle and the kind. They will be as careful to let no little act of charity, no tiny expression of forgiveness, no little breath of love escape their notice. And they will return with all the happy things they found, to share them lovingly with you. Be not afraid of
them. They offer you salvation. Theirs are the messages of safety, for they see the world as kind.
54 If you send forth only the messengers the Holy Spirit gives you, wanting no messages but theirs, you will see fear no more. The world will be transformed before your sight, cleansed of all guilt and softly brushed with beauty. The world contains no fear which you laid not upon it. And none you cannot ask love's messengers to remove from it and see it still. The Holy Spirit has given you His messengers to send to each other and return to each with what love sees. They have been given to replace the hungry dogs of fear you sent instead. And they go forth to signify the
end of fear.
55 Love, too, would set a feast before you on a table covered with a spotless cloth, set in a quiet garden where no sound but singing and a softly joyous whispering is ever heard. This is a feast which honors your holy relationship and at which everyone is welcomed as an honored guest. And in a holy instant, grace is said by everyone together as they join in gentleness before the table of communion. And I will join you there, as long ago I promised and promise still. For in your new relationship am I made welcome. And where I am made welcome, there
56 I am made welcome in the state of grace, which means you have at last forgiven me. For I became the symbol of your sin, and so I had to die instead of you. To the ego sin means death, and so Atonement is achieved through murder. Salvation is looked upon as a way by which the Son of God was killed instead of you.
57 Yet would I offer you my body, you whom I love,
knowing its littleness? Or would I teach that bodies cannot keep us apart? Mine was no greater value than yours; no better means for communication of salvation, but not its Source. No one can die for anyone, and death does not atone for sin. Yet you can live to show it is not real. The body does appear to be the symbol of sin while you believe that it can get you what you want. While you believe that it can give you pleasure, you will also believe that it can bring you pain.
58 To think you could be satisfied and happy with so little is to hurt yourself, and to limit the happiness that you would have calls upon pain to fill your meager store and make your lives complete. This
is completion, as the ego sees it. For guilt creeps in where happiness has been removed and substitutes for it. Communion is another kind of completion which goes beyond guilt because it goes beyond the body.
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