Lesson 219
Bright Rays of Father's Love
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V. d. THE FOURTH OBSTACLE: "The Fear of God"

91 The fourth obstacle to be surmounted hangs like a heavy veil before the face of Christ. Yet as His face rises beyond it, shining with joy because He is in His Father's Love, peace will lightly brush the veil aside and run to meet Him and to join with Him at last. For this dark veil, which seems to make the face of Christ Himself like to a leper's and the bright rays of His Father's love which light His face with glory appear as streams of blood, fades in the blazing light beyond it when the fear of death is gone.


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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  219

Voice and Music by CIMS SonShip Radio

I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
I am not a body. I am free.

I am God's Son. Be still, my mind, and think
an instant upon this. And then return
to earth without confusion as to what
my Father loves forever as His Son.

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 219 Review VI
[199] I am not a body. I am free.

Sarah's Commentary:
"I am not a body I am free. For I am still as God created me." (W.RVI.3.3-5) Our identity in the world is that of a body. Everything we see, say, and touch and everywhere we go, everything we do, everyone we meet, every emotion we have of anger, worry, distress, anxiety, pleasure, pain, sickness, and ultimately death affirm our bodily existence, and this is an affirmation that there is no God. Because of this strong identity with the body, we need to be constantly reminded, "I am not a body." It requires a lot of practice to undo the belief in the body and personality that I describe as myself. The personality is a bundle of beliefs, values, and self-concepts that I hold and give power to. Clearly, simply affirming that I am not a body will not change these beliefs. Change will come through the decision to watch the mind and withdraw the relevance given to our thoughts. We can choose not to listen to the thoughts, but to do that we must attend to what we are thinking, believing, and valuing and withdraw our investment in these thoughts.
Everything used by the ego to convince me that I am a body and that I am my thoughts can be turned over to the Holy Spirit to demonstrate to me that I am truly the Son of God. My reality is Spirit. I am love, peace, and joy and I am the unlimited mind, outside of the body and not contained by it. I am that which watches the thoughts. I am the awareness, behind the thoughts, that has always been. It is the same awareness that was there when I was born into a body, when I was seven, and when I was twenty-seven, as well as today. It is the changeless aspect of my Self, beyond the body. The more I stay in awareness, the less I identify with the body and personality.
I am reading in the Text, "I Need Do Nothing," (T.18.VII) (ACIM T.18.VIII) where Jesus says, "There is one thing that you have never done; you have not utterly forgotten the body. It has perhaps faded at times from your sight, but it has not yet completely disappeared. You are not asked to let this happen for more than an instant, yet it is in this instant that the miracle of Atonement happens. Afterwards you will see the body again, but never quite the same. And every instant that you spend without awareness of it gives you a different view of it when you return." (T.18.VII.2.1-5) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.64)
Each time we practice the holy instant in which we enter the present moment---the NOW---the body disappears. It happens through the acceptance of the Atonement for myself. It is the acceptance of the truth of what I am. And how this happens is when we release our attachment and investment in our identity as a body. We practice the holy instant. Jesus tells us that it is given us if we want it. It is our decision. "For beyond the past and future, where you will not find it, it stands in shimmering readiness for your acceptance." (T.15.IV.1.8) (ACIM T.15.V.35) We must desire to become the living expression of the Christ while keeping our minds focused on the blessing, even in difficult circumstances. It requires that we maintain a consistent focus on what is going on in our minds and be willing to redirect our thoughts. We ask for help and are willing to release the outcome. We keep in mind our essence and recognize that all darkness is there only to assist in our awakening, so we can let our littleness go and choose our magnitude instead. We take time in silence. Our progress depends on willingness and not on time.
I was speaking with a friend last night about loneliness. When I thought more about where loneliness comes from, I realized that it is all about my identity, which is separate from everyone else. It is a belief, based on the Laws of Chaos, that truth is different for each of us. This experience in which we feel separate from others, locked in the body, and invested in lack and limitation is the human condition. It keeps us separate from others with the belief that we each have our own unique values and hold different perspectives that we do not share. We can be in a crowd and feel profoundly separate from everyone. We can be in an intimate relationship and feel the loneliness of separation.
Bodies can never join, as they were made not to join. "For relationships, to the ego, mean only that bodies are together." (T.15.VII.8.2) (ACIM OE T.15.VIII.72) "For they think their minds must be kept private or they will lose them, but if their bodies are together their minds remain their own." (T.15.VII.11.5) (ACIM OE T.15.VIII.75) The body has been made as a limit on what in truth cannot be limited. Our concept of freedom is not about the unlimited mind, but it is about the body getting to do what it wants. Yet real freedom is of the mind. It is the total opposite of how we think of freedom, but it is not hard to see how lacking in freedom we are when we identify ourselves with the body.
Aren't we all a slave to our body's requirements? It is a demanding thing that has urges, needs, and incapacities that demand attention, pains, frailties, and sickness. It gets hungry, dirty, and must be fed and exercised. We obey this seeming master and become its slave, carrying out its dictates. Even more, we carry out its demands to defend ourselves, protect ourselves, and attack others. Yet when we listen to the Holy Spirit and let our body be put into His service, the body becomes a useful instrument in service of the Self. Thus, its health and well-being are assured. This does not mean that we don't take care of the body, but it is no longer the primary source of instruction, ruling our lives when we realize our true identity. This happens as we practice the holy instant. It starts with perfect communication in which we are willing to hide nothing. "For what you would hide is hidden from you. In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception and seek not to protects the thoughts you would keep to yourself." (T.15.I.9.7-8) (ACIM T.15.IV.44)
Egos can never join. Bodies can never join. The world of egos and bodies is a world of fear, separation, and loneliness. There is no trust and no love in this experience; but with desire and willingness, we can experience: "I am God's Son." We have never left our home. This is simply a dream of exile. There is nothing to seek and nothing to find. We need only remember the truth of what we are as we were created. And in the experience of the holy instant, we enter briefly into another reality. When we return from this experience of the holy instant, some of the confusion about our identity will be lifted from the mind. The truth will dawn on our minds as we commit to this practice, looking at our thoughts and recognizing their falsity. "Let the Holy Spirit's purity shine them away, and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity he offers you." (T.15.9.9) (ACIM T.15.IV.44)
When the body is given over to the Holy Spirit, it becomes a vehicle for extending love. It is now put to a holy use. Until this is the case, there is no freedom. That is the message we are to take to our brothers "who perceive themselves as bound and helpless and afraid." (W.199.7.3) We can be an example to others that they too can choose the peace we have chosen. To be an example requires that we do the work to free ourselves by recognizing that the world we have made up, including our bodies, is not real. We have kept ourselves in chains, believing that the world, and not our own thoughts, is the cause of our suffering. We are the ones who have given meaning to everything around us. No one has the power to hurt or upset us. We choose to be upset because this is what we want to experience.
When we make the decision to free ourselves and it becomes the priority in our lives, we free our brothers, right along with us. Every brother we welcome brings with him another opportunity to join in the Oneness of who we are by seeing that we are the same. This recognition of sameness is the reflection of God's Oneness. We owe our brothers gratitude because without them we could never see what is in our minds. We could never come to the place where we finally see our sameness with everyone. Only the guilt in the mind keeps us tied to our limited identity as bodies separate from every other body. Guilt requires differences and comparisons that maintain the separation, but our reality is One reflected in the recognition of our sameness.
The truth is that we are unlimited and uncontained in the body. The only bondage we experience is what we have chosen. Now we can make another choice. We can use the body for a different purpose. We practice today by reminding ourselves of the truth of who we are as God's Son. And today, whenever we experience pain, distress of any kind, anxiety, or investment in seeing our needs as more important than anyone else's, it is a trigger for us to see we have chosen to align with the ego and forget what we are in truth. We have turned to the ego for its interpretation of a situation or person that seems to be the cause of our distress. Now we can choose to change our minds, and decide instead to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to see each brother, every circumstance, and each situation, through the eyes of love.
We admit that we have been wrong in our way of seeing. "I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace." (T.5.VII.6.7) (ACIM OE T.5.IX.96) We recognize that we have made a mistake in listening to the ego and remind ourselves that we have a purpose here, which is to awaken to the truth of what we are. We take time today to enter the stillness where truth abides. "And then return to earth, without confusion as to what my Father loves forever as His Son." (W.219.1.5) Now we see the experience of our day in a different light, as we make it a day of forgiveness. 
Love and blessings, Sarah 
Printable Document 
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
  d.  The Fourth Obstacle: The Fear of God 

90What would you see without the fear of death? What would you feel and think if death held no attraction for you? Very simply, you would remember your Father. The Creator of life, the Source of everything that lives, the Father of the universe and of the universe of universes and of everything that lies even beyond them would you remember. And as this memory rises in your mind, peace must still surmount a final obstacle after which is salvation completed and the Son of God entirely restored to sanity. For here your world does end.
91 The fourth obstacle to be surmounted hangs like a heavy veil before the face of Christ. Yet as His face rises beyond it, shining with joy because He is in His Father's Love, peace will lightly brush the veil aside and run to meet Him and to join with Him at last. For this dark veil, which seems to make the face of Christ Himself like to a leper's and the bright rays of His Father's love which light His face with glory appear as streams of blood, fades in the blazing light beyond it when the fear of death is gone.
92 This is the darkest veil, upheld by the belief in death and protected by its attraction. The dedication to death and to its sovereignty is but the solemn vow, the promise made in secret to the ego never to lift this veil, not to approach it nor even to suspect that it is there. This is the secret bargain made with the ego to keep what lies beyond the veil forever blotted out and unremembered. Here is your promise never to allow union to call you out of separation; the great amnesia in which the memory of God seems quite forgotten; the cleavage of your Self from you- the fear of God, the final step in your dissociation.
93 See how the belief in death would seem to "save" you. For if this is gone, what can you fear but life? It is the attraction of death that makes life seem to be ugly, cruel, and tyrannical. You are no more afraid of death than of the ego. These are your chosen friends. For in your secret alliance with them, you have agreed never to let the fear of God be lifted so you could look upon the face of Christ and join Him in His Father.
94 Every obstacle that peace must flow across is surmounted in just the same way; the fear that raised it yields to the love beneath, and so the fear is gone. And so it is with this. The desire to get rid of peace and drive the Holy Spirit from you fades in the presence of the quiet recognition that you love Him. The exaltation of the body is given up in favor of the Spirit, which you love as you could never love the body. And the appeal of death is lost forever as love's attraction stirs and calls to you. From beyond each of the obstacles to love, Love Itself has called, and each has been surmounted by the power of the attraction of what lies beyond. Your wanting fear seemed to be holding them in place. Yet when you heard the voice of love beyond them, you answered and they disappeared.
95 And now you stand in terror before what you swore never to look upon. Your eyes look down, remembering your promise to your "friends." The "loveliness" of sin, the delicate appeal of guilt, the "holy" waxen image of death, and the fear of vengeance of the ego you swore in blood not to desert, all rise and bid you not to raise your eyes. For you realize that if you look on this and let the veil be lifted, they will be gone forever. All of your "friends," your "protectors," and your "home" will vanish. Nothing that you remember now will you remember.
96 It seems to you the world will utterly abandon you if you but raise your eyes. Yet all that will occur is you will leave the world forever. This is the reestablishment of your will. Look upon it open-eyed and you will nevermore believe that you are at the mercy of things beyond you, forces you cannot control, and thoughts that come to you against your will. It is your will to look on this. No mad desire, no trivial impulse to forget again, no stab of fear, nor the cold sweat of seeming death can stand against your will. For what attracts you from beyond the veil is also deep within you, unseparated from it and completely one.

ACIM OE TX. CH 19, Vd       
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