Lesson 215
The Eternal is Loving
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"The Belief the Body is Valuable for What it Offers"   

69 Faith in the eternal is always justified, for the eternal is forever kind, infinite in its patience, and wholly loving. It will accept you wholly and give you peace. Yet it can unite only with what already is at peace in you, immortal as itself. The body can bring you neither peace nor turmoil; neither pain nor joy. It is a means and not an end. It has no purpose of itself, but only what is given to it. The body will seem to be whatever is the means for reaching the goal that you assign to it. [Only the mind can set a purpose, and only mind can see the means for its accomplishment and justify its use.]              


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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  215

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

The Holy Spirit is my only Guide.
He walks with me in love. And I give thanks
to Him for showing me the way to go.

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 215 Review VI
[195] Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

Sarah's Commentary:
We continue today with the importance of building on a foundation of trust, which means we do not rely on our own past experience to guide us because it is a very poor guide. Relying on our own past experience means we can never discern with any certainty what is best for everyone in every situation. Only the Holy Spirit can know that, and so we need to turn to Him. He can show us the way to be helpful in any and every situation.

 "I am here only to be truly helpful.
 I am here to represent Him who sent me.
 I do not have to worry about what to say or what
 to do because He Who sent me will direct me.
 I am content to be wherever He wishes knowing
 He goes there with me.
 I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal." 
(T.2.V.A.18.(8).2-6) (ACIM OE T.4.IX.106)
When a brother shows up for me and offers what I perceive as difficult lessons, my job is to look at my own mind, rather than to blame or try to change his. "Only the self-accused condemn. As you prepare to make a choice that will result in different outcomes, there is first one thing that must be overlearned. It must become a habit of response so typical of everything you do that it becomes your first response to all temptation, and to every situation that occurs. Learn this, and learn it well, for it is here delay of happiness is shortened by a span of time you cannot realize." (T.31.III.1.1-4) (ACIM OE T.31.III.26)
Jesus tells us that we must over-learn that "You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own." (T.31.III.1.5) (ACIM OE T.31.III.26) We believe his sins are actually our own. Thus, we judge ourselves so harshly for how we believe we have sinned that we want to get rid of these perceived sins by seeing them in our brothers. But we can be grateful to our brothers for being a mirror for us to see our sins in them, as only by seeing them can they be forgiven.
It is a process. What the process involves is surrender. We cannot wake up from this dream unless we are willing to let go of what we think we know and understand. How does this happen? It happens moment by moment, and it takes a lot of practice. What are we surrendering? We surrender the temptation to make up a story about a situation. We surrender our opinions and our need to be right. We surrender our need to speak when nothing needs to be said. We surrender our need to blame, to attack, to justify, and to explain. We surrender our need to accomplish and achieve, and so much more. How does this look? Perhaps you want to blame someone, and then you choose not to. You step back and look within at what you want to accuse your brother of. Perhaps you already have yelled at your brother, but in a saner moment, you step back. You look within to see what you are accusing your brother of, which is a projection from your own mind. As you take responsibility for it, without judgment of yourself, you ask for help for healing your misperceptions.
This can take great willingness. It is a process and it takes discipline. The ego does not give up easily, but with each moment that we take to step back and willingly surrender our way, our views, our thoughts, and our opinions, the ego is slowly being undone. The intent here is not to keep the spiritual journey going. To do so is to take up a new concept of spiritual seeker. Our part is to choose peace in every moment. It is to stay motivated to listen and follow guidance in each moment. Where is peace on your list of priorities? If it is important and you really want it, then you need to apply discipline daily. No teacher, no guru, and no book can accomplish for us what we need to do for ourselves, and we do it by our willingness to listen to the inner Voice of Truth, which is always guiding us. We will hear Him when we set our ego aside.
Yesterday, Don said he would wash my car. He had driven some distance and it was covered with bugs. Today, as we were driving, I noted to myself that it was not washed, and I felt a twinge of annoyance that he had not kept his commitment. I thought to say something but Holy Spirit put in my mind to be still and not to correct my brother. The temptation was still there to say something but again the Holy Spirit asked me, "Do you want to be right or do you want peace? " I stayed quiet, moved out of the ego, and joined Spirit and all was well. This may seem insignificant to you, and it is. But it is an example of a moment where a choice is made for war or peace, hell or Heaven, and we are making these kinds of decisions all day long.
Jesus acknowledges that we may still judge ourselves unworthy of peace and substitute other gifts we think will satisfy us, but he invites us to consider that there are no gifts we give ourselves that will ever bring us peace. "You are free to try as many as you wish, but you will be content only in magnitude, which is your home." (T.15.III.2.5) (ACIM T.15.IV.23) He also acknowledges that this deep responsibility we owe ourselves must be remembered all the time, but that is the hard part. "The lesson may seem hard at first, but you will learn to love it when you realize that it is true and is but a tribute to your power." (T.15.III.3.2) (ACIM T.15.IV.24)
Today, I am grateful that this Course has found me and has taken a hold in my life. I am grateful that I can use every situation for learning, for release, for the miracle, and for the correction of my self-condemning thoughts. I am learning to be increasingly willing to undo the thought system of the ego that has kept me from knowing my true reality. I am even willing to look at where I am unwilling to let go of grievances and to ask for help. There is a better way. I am learning to see my own secret wishes for specialness. Don't we all want everyone in our lives to serve these wishes and the needs we perceive in ourselves? Initially, it can be painful to recognize the way the ego shows up in our lives, but only in this recognition can the release come. We truly do not know our own best interests. In following the ego program, we only invite more pain as we pursue what we think will bring pleasure.
We have a Guide we can trust. Our past experiences, no matter how much they have helped us to manage in the world, are still not sufficient to give us perfect judgment. We simply can never know all the variables; but when guidance is sought, and we put the future in the Hands of God, we can walk in perfect trust. Recognizing that we do not know is an important step. How do I know what experience is right for me or for you? How can I judge what is good or what is bad? How can I determine what is the best action to take that will benefit everyone?
This morning I was reading Chapter 5.III (ACIM OE T.5.V), "The Guide to Salvation," which again was a reminder that there is a call for love and for understanding in all seeming attacks coming from anyone. Everyone I am seeing is myself reflected back to me. It is my own guilt I put onto others and judge it there when I choose not to take responsibility for it in myself. "See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognize Him in yours. What you acknowledge in your brother you are acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you strengthen." (T.5.III.3.4-5) (ACIM OE T.5.V.34)
The reason we need to share it is to strengthen the Voice of the Holy Spirit in us. It is not something we do alone. "It is impossible to hear It [the Voice] in yourself while It is so weak in your mind. It is not weak in Itself, but It is limited by your unwillingness to hear It." (T.5.III.4.4-5) (ACIM OE T.5.V.35) If we want to strengthen our ability to hear guidance, we need to see all seeming attack as a call for love. All guidance comes from the right mind. When we only hear one Voice, we will naturally always be coming from a place of love. We affirm the truth of what we are as Love by seeing the Christ Self in our brother. "If you make the mistake of looking for the Holy Spirit in yourself alone your thoughts will frighten you because, by adopting the ego's viewpoint, you are undertaking an ego-alien journey with the ego as guide. This is bound to produce fear." (T.5.III.4.6-7) (ACIM OE T.5.V.35)
If I give my thoughts to the Holy Spirit, He will reinterpret them and bring me out of the guilt of the past and the fear of the future. I just need to be willing to offer my thoughts to Him. "His ability to deal with symbols enables Him to work with the ego's beliefs in its own language."(T.5.III.7.2) (ACIM OE T.5.V.38) He takes us beyond these symbols to show us the light, truth, and magnitude in us. He reminds us of the Self we are, so we can truly walk the path of love in gratitude for His presence in us.
No matter how I am feeling and no matter what mistakes I have made, they can all be undone by bringing them to His healing light, which is in me now. As I do, I increasingly trust that "I need do nothing." (T.18.VII) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII) I get out of the way and allow His guidance to take me where I need to be, who I need to be with, what to say, and what to do, and to release all investment in the outcome.
Today, we affirm, "The Holy Spirit is my only Guide. He walks with me in love. And I give thanks to Him for showing me the way to go." (W.215.1.2-4)

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

  b.  The Second Obstacle: The Belief the Body is Valuable
       for What it Offers.

59 We said that peace must first surmount the obstacle of your desire to get rid of it. Where the attraction of guilt holds sway, peace is not wanted. The second obstacle that peace must flow across, and closely related to the first, is the belief that the body is valuable for what it offers. For here is the attraction of guilt made manifest in the body and seen in it.
60 This [is] the value that you think peace would rob you of. This is what you believe that it would dispossess and leave you homeless. And it is this for which you would deny a home to peace. This "sacrifice" you feel to be too great to make, too much to ask of you.
61 Is it a sacrifice or a release? What has the body really given you that justifies your strange belief that in it lies salvation? Do you not see that this is the belief in death? Here is the focus of the perception of Atonement as murder. Here is the source of the idea that love is fear. The Holy Spirit's messengers are sent far beyond the body, calling the mind to join in holy communion and be at peace. Such is the message that I gave them for you.
62 It is only the messengers of fear that see the body, for they look for what can suffer. Is it a sacrifice to be removed from what can suffer? The Holy Spirit does not demand you sacrifice the hope of the body's pleasure; it has no hope of pleasure. But neither can it bring you fear of pain. Pain is the only "sacrifice" the Holy Spirit asks, and this He would remove.
63 Peace is extended from you only to the eternal, and it reaches out from the eternal in you. It flows across all else. The second obstacle is no more solid than the first. For you will neither to get rid of peace nor limit it. What are these obstacles which you would interpose between peace and its going forth but barriers you place between your will and its accomplishment? You want communion, not the feast of fear. You want salvation, not the pain of guilt. And you want your Father, not a little mound of clay, to be your home. In your holy relationship is your Father's Son. He has not lost communion with Him nor with himself. When you agreed to join each other, you acknowledged this is so. This has no cost, but it has release from cost.
64 You have paid very dearly for your illusions, and nothing you have paid for brought you peace. Are you not glad that Heaven cannot be sacrificed, and sacrifice cannot be asked of you? There is no obstacle which you can place before our union, for in your holy relationship, I am there already. We will surmount all obstacles together, for we stand within the gates and not outside. How easily the gates are opened from within to let peace through to bless the tired world! Can it be difficult for us to walk past barriers together when you have joined the limitless? The end of guilt is in your hands to give. Would you stop now to look for guilt in each other?
65 Let me be to you the symbol of the end of guilt, and look upon each other as you would look on me. Forgive me all the sins you think the Son of God committed. And in the light of your forgiveness, he will remember who he is and forget what never was. I ask for your forgiveness, for if you are guilty, so must I be. But if I surmounted guilt and overcame the world, you were with me. Would you see in me the symbol of guilt or of the end of guilt, remembering that what I signify to you, you see within yourself?
66 From your holy relationship truth proclaims the truth, and love looks on itself. Salvation flows from deep within the home you offered to my Father and to me. And we are there together in the quiet communion in which the Father and the Son are joined. Oh come ye faithful to the holy union of the Father and Son in you! And keep you not apart from what is offered you in gratitude for giving peace its home in Heaven. Send forth to all the world the joyous message of the end of guilt, and all the world will answer. Think of your happiness as everyone offers you witness of the end of sin and shows you that its power is gone forever. Where can guilt be, when the belief in sin is gone? And where is death, when its great advocate is heard no more?
67 Forgive me your illusions and release me from punishment for what I have not done. So will you learn the freedom that I taught by teaching freedom to each other and so releasing me. I am within your holy relationship, yet you would imprison me behind the obstacles you raise to freedom and bar my way to you. Yet it is not possible to keep away One Who is there already. And in Him it is possible that our communion, where we are joined already, will be the focus of the new perception that will bring light to all the world, contained in you.
Pleasure and Pain 
68 Your little part is but to give the Holy Spirit the whole idea of sacrifice. And to accept the peace He gave instead, without the limits which would hold its extension back and so would limit your awareness of it. For what He gives must be extended if you would have its limitless power and use it for the Son of God's release. It is not this you would be rid of, and having it you cannot limit it. If peace is homeless, so are you and so am I. And He Who is our home is homeless with us. Is this your will? Would you forever be a wanderer in search of peace? Would you invest your hope of peace and happiness in what must fail?
69 Faith in the eternal is always justified, for the eternal is forever kind, infinite in its patience, and wholly loving. It will accept you wholly and give you peace. Yet it can unite only with what already is at peace in you, immortal as itself. The body can bring you neither peace nor turmoil; neither pain nor joy. It is a means and not an end. It has no purpose of itself, but only what is given to it. The body will seem to be whatever is the means for reaching the goal that you assign to it. [Only the mind can set a purpose, and only mind can see the means for its accomplishment and justify its use.] Peace and guilt are both conditions of the mind to be attained. And these conditions are the home of the emotion which called them forth and therefore is compatible with them. But think you which it is that is compatible with you.
70 Here is your choice, and it is free. But all that lies in it will come with it, and what you think you are can never be apart from it. The body is the great seeming betrayer of faith. In it lies disillusionment and the seeds of faithlessness, but only if you ask of it what it cannot give. Can your mistake be reasonable grounds for depression and disillusionment and for retaliative attack on what you think has failed you? Use not your error as the justification for your faithlessness. You have not sinned, but you have been mistaken in what is faithful. And the correction of your mistake will give you grounds for faith.
71 It is impossible to seek for pleasure through the body and not find pain. It is essential that this relationship be understood, for it is one the ego sees as proof of sin. It is not really punitive at all. It is but the inevitable result of equating yourself with the body, which is the invitation to pain. For it invites fear to enter and become your purpose. The attraction of guilt must enter with it, and whatever fear directs the body to do is therefore painful. It will share the pain of all illusions, and the illusion of pleasure will be the same as pain.
72 Is not this inevitable? Under fear's orders, the body will pursue guilt, serving its master whose attraction to guilt maintains the whole illusion of its existence. This, then, is the attraction of pain. Ruled by this perception, the body becomes the servant of pain, seeking it dutifully and obeying the idea that pain is pleasure. It is this idea that underlies all of the ego's heavy investment in the body. And it is this insane relationship which it keeps hidden and yet feeds upon. To you it teaches that the body's pleasure is happiness. Yet to itself it whispers, "It is death."
73 Why should the body be anything to you? Certainly what it is made of is not precious. And just as certainly, it has no feeling. It transmits to you the feelings that you want. Like any communication medium, the body receives and sends the messages that it is given. It has no feeling for them. All of the feeling with which they are invested is given by the sender and the receiver. The ego and the Holy Spirit both recognize this, and both also recognize that here the sender and receiver are the same. The Holy Spirit tells you this with joy. The ego hides it, for it would keep you unaware of it. Who would send messages of hatred and attack if he but understood he sends them to himsel f? Who would accuse, make guilty, and condemn himself? 
74 The ego's messages are always sent away from you in the belief that for your message of attack and guilt will someone other than yourself suffer. And even if you suffer, yet someone else will suffer more. The great deceiver recognizes that this is not so, but as the "enemy" of peace, it urges you to send out all your messages of hate and free yourself. And to convince you this is possible, it bids the body search for pain in attack upon another, calling it pleasure and offering it to you as freedom from attack.
75 Hear not its madness, and believe not the impossible is true. Forget not that the ego has dedicated the body to the goal of sin and places in it all its faith that this can be accomplished. Its sad disciples chant the body's praise continually, in solemn celebration of the ego's rule. Not one but must believe that yielding to the attraction of guilt is the escape from pain. Not one but must regard the body as himself, without which he would die, and yet within which is his death equally inevitable.
76 It is not given to the ego's disciples to realize that they have dedicated themselves to death. Freedom is offered them, but they have not accepted it, and what is offered must also be received to be truly given. For the Holy Spirit, too, is a communication medium, receiving from the Father and offering His messages unto the Son. Like the ego, the Holy Spirit is both the sender and the receiver. For what is sent through Him returns to Him, seeking itself along the way and finding what it seeks. So does the ego find the death it seeks, returning it to you.

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