"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
A Course in Miracles
TEXT

CHAPTER 9
The Correction of Error

VII. Grandeur Versus Grandiosity

48 Grandeur is of God and only of Him. Therefore, it is in you. Whenever you become aware of it, however dimly, you abandon the ego automatically because in the presence of the grandeur of God the meaninglessness of the ego becomes perfectly apparent. Though it does not understand this, the ego believes that its "enemy" has struck and attempts to offer gifts to induce you to return to its "protection." Self -inflation of the ego is its alternative to the grandeur of God. Which will you choose?

49 Grandiosity is always a cover for despair. It is without hope because it is not real. It is an attempt to counteract your littleness, based on the belief that the littleness is real . Without this belief, grandiosity is meaningless, and you could not possibly want it. The essence of grandiosity is competitiveness because it always involves attack. It is a delusional attempt to outdo but not to undo. We said before that the ego vacillates between suspiciousness and viciousness. It remains suspicious as long as you despair of yourself. It shifts to viciousness whenever you will not tolerate self-abasement and seek relief. Then it offers you the illusion of attack as a solution.

50 The ego does not know the difference between grandeur and grandiosity because it does not know the difference between miracle impulses and ego-alien beliefs of its own. We once said that the ego is aware of threat, but does not make distinctions between two entirely different kinds of threat to its existence. Its own profound sense of vulnerability renders it incapable of judgment except in terms of attack. When it experiences threat, its only decision is whether to attack now or to withdraw to attack later. If you accept its offer of grandiosity, it will attack immediately. If you do not, it will wait.

51  The ego is immobilized in the presence of God's grandeur because His grandeur establishes your freedom. Even the faintest hint of your reality literally drives the ego from your mind because of complete lack of investment in it. Grandeur is totally without illusions, and because it is real, it is compellingly convincing. Yet the conviction of reality will not remain with you unless you do not allow the ego to attack it. The ego will make every effort to recover and mobilize its energies against your release. It will tell you that you are insane and argue that grandeur cannot be a real part of you because of the littleness in which it believes.

52 Yet your grandeur is not delusional because you did not make it. You have made grandiosity and are afraid of it because it is a form of attack, but your grandeur is of God, Who created it out of His Love. From your grandeur you can only bless, because your grandeur is your abundance . By blessing, you hold it in your mind, protecting it from illusions and keeping yourself in the Mind of God. Remember always that you cannot be anywhere except in the Mind of God. When you forget this, you will despair, and you will attack.

53 The ego depends solely on your willingness to tolerate it. If you are willing to look upon your grandeur, you cannot despair, and therefore you cannot want the ego. Your grandeur is God's answer to the ego because it is true. Littleness and grandeur cannot co-exist, nor is it possible for them to alternate in your awareness. Littleness and grandiosity can and must alternate in your awareness since both are untrue and are therefore on the same level. Being the level of shift, it is experienced as shifting, and extremes are its essential characteristic.

54 Truth and littleness are denials of each other because grandeur is truth. Truth does not vacillate; it is always true. When grandeur slips away from you, you have replaced it with something you have made. Perhaps it is the belief in littleness; perhaps it is the belief in grandiosity. Yet it must be insane because it is not true. Your grandeur will never deceive you, but your illusions always will. Illusions are deceptions. You cannot triumph, but you are exalted. And in your exalted state, you seek others like you and rejoice with them.

55 It is easy to distinguish grandeur from grandiosity because love is returned, but pride is not. Pride will not produce miracles and therefore will deprive you of your true witnesses to your reality. Truth is not obscure nor hidden, but its obviousness to you lies in the joy you bring to its witnesses, who show it to you. They attest to your grandeur, but they cannot attest to pride because pride is not shared. God wants you to behold what He created because it is His joy.

56 Can your grandeur be arrogant when God Himself witnesses to it? And what can be real that has no witnesses? What good can come of it? And if no good can come of it, the Holy Spirit cannot use it. What He cannot transform to the Will of God does not exist at all. Grandiosity is delusional because it is used to replace your grandeur. Yet what God has created cannot be replaced. God is incomplete without you because His grandeur is total, and you cannot be missing from it.

57 You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part of It, and while you leave your part of It empty, your eternal place merely waits for your return. God, through His Voice, reminds you of It, and God Himself keeps your extensions safe within It. Yet you do not know them until you return to them. You cannot replace the Kingdom, and you cannot replace yourself . God, Who knows your value, would not have it so, and so it is not so. Your value is in God's Mind and therefore not in yours alone. To accept yourself as God created you cannot be arrogance because it is the denial of arrogance. To accept your littleness is arrogant because it means that you believe your evaluation of yourself is truer than God's.

58 Yet if truth is indivisible, your evaluation of yourself must be God's. You did not establish your value, and it needs no defense. Nothing can attack it or prevail over it. It does not vary. It merely is . Ask the Holy Spirit what it is and He will tell you, but do not be afraid of His answer, for it comes from God. It is an exalted answer because of its Source, but the Source is true and so is Its answer. Listen and do not question what you hear, for God does not deceive. He would have you replace the ego's belief in littleness with His own exalted answer to the question of your being, so that you can cease to question it and know it for what it is .

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A Course in Miracles
WORKBOOK

Lesson 108
To give and to receive are one in truth.

1 Vision depends upon today's idea. The light is in it, for it reconciles all seeming opposites. And what is light except the resolution, born of peace, of all your conflicts and mistaken thoughts into one concept which is wholly true? Even that one will disappear because the Thought behind it will appear instead, to take its place. And now we are at peace forever, for the dream is over now.

2 True light which makes true vision possible is not the light the body's eyes behold. It is a state of mind which has become so unified that darkness cannot be perceived at all. And thus what is the same is seen as one, while what is not the same remains unnoticed, for it is not there.

3 This is the light which shows no opposites, and vision, being healed, has power to heal. This is the light that brings your peace of mind to other minds, to share it and be glad that they are one with you and with themselves. This is the light which heals because it brings single perception, based upon one frame of reference from which one meaning comes.

4 Here are both giving and receiving seen as different aspects of one Thought Whose truth does not depend on which is seen as first, nor which appears to be in second place. Here it is understood that both occur together, that the Thought remain complete. And in this understanding is the base on which all opposites are reconciled because they are perceived from the same frame of reference which unifies this Thought.

5 One thought, completely unified, will serve to unify all thought. This is the same as saying one correction will suffice for all correction or that to forgive one brother wholly is enough to bring salvation to all minds. For these are but some special cases of one law which holds for every kind of learning if it be directed by the One Who knows the truth.

6 To learn that giving and receiving are the same has special usefulness because it can be tried so easily and seen as true. And when this special case has proved it always works in every circumstance where it is tried, the thought behind it can be generalized to other areas of doubt and double vision. And from there it will extend and finally arrive at the one Thought Which underlies them all.

7 Today we practice with the special case of giving and receiving. We will use this simple L e s s o n in the obvious because it has results we cannot miss. To give is to receive. Today we will attempt to offer peace to everyone and see how quickly peace returns to us. Light is tranquillity, and in that peace is vision given us and we can see.

8 So we begin the practice periods with the instruction for today and say:

9 To give and to receive are one in truth. I will receive what I am giving now.

10 Then close your eyes, and for five minutes think of what you would hold out to everyone to have it yours. You might, for instance, say:

11 To everyone I offer quietness. To everyone I offer peace of mind. To everyone I offer gentleness.

12 Say each one slowly, and then pause a while, expecting to receive the gift you gave, and it will come to you in the amount in which you gave it. You will find you have exact return, for this is what you asked. It might be helpful, too, to think of one to whom to give your gifts. He represents the others, and through him you give to all.

13 Our very simple lesson for today will teach you much. Effect and cause will be far better understood from this time on, and we will make much faster progress now. Think of the exercises for today as quick advances in your learning, made still faster and more sure each time you say:

14 To give and to receive are one in truth.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 108
To give and to receive are one in truth.

This Lesson emphasizes the importance of getting the idea, "To give and to receive are one in truth." (W.108) Jesus tells us, "Vision depends upon today's idea. The light is in it, for it reconciles all seeming opposites." (W.108.1.1-2) I thought about how the Course is written to make us stop and really puzzle over a thought. It reminded me of how Jesus spoke in parables in the Bible. His parables often required pondering the meaning in order to understand what he intended to convey. It is like the book, The DaVinci Code , where the author tells us that Leonardo DaVinci put obscure messages in his works for those who took the time to ponder what they might mean. Apparently, DaVinci did not go along with the way Constantine had changed the Bible to reflect his own personal political interests. One of those changes was the diminishing of the role of women where Mary Magdalene was described as a whore. In fact, we are told she was highly esteemed by Jesus and was, by some accounts, married to him. When DaVinci painted The Last Supper , he included a woman, presumably Mary Magdalene, sitting on the right-hand side of Jesus. Since we don't expect to see a woman, we don't see her.

DaVinci was dependent on the church for his income, so he did not want to displease the church while still reflecting the truth as he saw it. It takes some discernment to see the message he was attempting to communicate. In the same way, we need to read the Course with this kind of careful discernment instead of projecting our own preconceived meaning onto what is being said. To really get the messages in the Course, we need to take the time to reflect deeply about what Jesus is telling us, as each sentence is rich in meaning. Thus, it is important to read slowly and carefully and not brush over the words as if we already know the meaning from our own past conditioning. With each reading we do and with a willingness to be open to learning, deeper and more profound meaning is revealed.

When Jesus says, "The light is in it [today's Lesson] , for it reconciles all seeming opposites," (W.108.1.2) he is reminding us that with vision comes recognition. There is nothing in opposition to God's Love. With separation came seeming opposition. God's Son is now seemingly in a world of opposition that is in opposition to God Himself because this world is a state where differences, contrasts, and comparisons prevail. Opposition is of the ego and is expressed as a state of separation from God. Oneness seems to be shattered into billions and billions of separate forms.

"And what is light except the resolution, born of peace, of all your conflicts and mistaken thoughts into one concept which is wholly true?" (W.108.1.3) Jesus is talking here about the state of One Mindedness, where separation has been healed and every conflict resolved, with no opposing perspectives. Acceptance of the one concept that is wholly true is acceptance of the Atonement, which is the correction of our wrong-minded thinking. Instead of trying to resolve conflict and trying to fix problems that we perceive through our own thinking minds, we are reminded that the only answer is acceptance. When we come to recognize that we all share the same interests and we all have the same goal of awakening, even though it is not always apparent, we come to recognize our sameness. We overlook the error in others and recognize that only our own mind needs correction. This is what resolves all conflict.

"True light that makes true vision possible is not the light the body's eyes behold. It is a state of mind that has become so unified that darkness cannot be perceived at all." (W.108.2.1-2) With vision, we see the truth where there are no conflicting thoughts. This is not about seeing with the physical eyes, but it is a state of mind. We can't be at peace if we hold the ego's thought system of individuality, differences, and competing interests. To have peace, all conflicting thoughts must be reconciled; not by integrating them but by realizing that everything here is a dream. Only the real world reflects the unified Thought of God. Our reality is spirit, yet our belief is that we are a body and a personality. When we hold two opposing thought systems in our mind, there is internal conflict. The only resolution is to side with truth.

What creates the shift is when we ask for help to see who our brother really is and to see that we are the same divine Self. There is a spark of divinity in everyone. We see it when we perceive with vision. The light in our minds recognizes the light in other minds. When we connect with this light in our own minds, we experience peace and healing. As long as we believe in opposing thoughts, our minds will be in a state of darkness and confusion. What we are aiming for is the healing of our perception into a single unified thought of love.

A unified thought is one that does not depend on which comes first---giving or receiving. In fact, they are simultaneous, meaning both occur together. In the world, it seems to us that when we give, we lose, and when we receive, we gain. "Here it is understood that both occur together, that the Thought remain complete." (W.108.4.2) Whatever we give, we receive at the same time. This is something we don't readily understand. It does seem to us like giving and receiving are opposites, yet we all have had the experience of giving, and in the giving, having the joy of it, thus receiving the gift for ourselves in the same instant. Yet it is deeply ingrained in us that what we give away, we lose. In the world, when we identify with the ego thought system, we are more inclined to try to get. To us, giving feels like a loss, but the truth is that we can't give what we don't have, and we can never receive what we have not given.

The forms of the world hold value for us, and giving them up feels like a loss. This is why receiving makes us feel guilty. It seems that we are taking, and those from whom we try to take must suffer loss. Giving and receiving are the same. "And in this understanding is the base on which all opposites are reconciled, because they are perceived from the same frame of reference which unifies this Thought." (W.108.4.3) Now we see that we do not have separate interests. Love transcends everything in this world, and only when we experience the healing in any difficult relationship, do we understand this is so. This is because we no longer have opposing thoughts. In other words, if we just get this one learning with anyone, it is generalized to all opposing thoughts. Getting this one Lesson would unify all our thoughts into one Thought. This means it would heal the separation. When the Thought of love extends through me, I gain. It is now impossible to lose anything because we gain everything.

Jesus reminds us, "To learn that giving and receiving are the same has special usefulness, because it can be tried so easily and seen as true." (W.108.6.1) Doesn't this get your attention, especially when he assures us, ". . .it always works, in every circumstance where it is tried. . . " (W.108.6.2) When we do this practice today and apply this Lesson to every situation we encounter, we bring the miracle. I need do nothing means it is done through us. There is nothing for us to fix, control, or manage. Ultimately, as we accept the correction in each situation, the Lesson gets generalized, so we see one mind is all minds.

It is like forgiveness, where we forgive one brother completely and generalize it to all brothers. We can't give what we don't have, and we can't receive what we don't give. There is only one Mind, and It is Love. He tells us this is easily seen to be true, and it is. When we offer peace to anyone, we will experience it in the very same instant. Whatever is truly offered is experienced at the same moment. He says that we should watch to see how quickly it returns to us. "And it will come to you in the amount in which you gave it." (W.108.9.2) If we want to experience peace, we must extend peace.

What is wonderful in this message is to appreciate that we are not dependent on any circumstances outside ourselves to have peace and joy. We have the Holy Spirit as the healer in every situation whenever we step back and turn to Him for the answer to any problem instead of turning to the ego. He puts the answer were the problem is. The answer is always a miracle. The ego will give us reasons to be upset, disappointed, distressed, and worried. When we turn to it for advice on what to do to address how we feel, we just go further down the rabbit hole, experiencing even more distress as there is never any resolution with the ego. The quiet center where truth abides will resolve all difficulties. For me, the biggest learning is to remember what Jesus teaches about patience. "Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects." (T.5.VI.12.1) (ACIM OE T.5.VIII.81) Time is an illusion. Everything is already resolved and is awaiting our readiness to accept the miracle that is always there behind every seeming problem.

Yes, he acknowledges that it is a simple lesson and not at all difficult for us to do, yet he says it will teach us much. (W.108.10.1) He really is encouraging us to do the Lesson today because, as we do, we will understand the relationship between cause and effect---giving and receiving. "Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me." (W.225.1.1) There is no loss in giving. There is only gain. We don't always see that what we give, we receive. "The interval you think lies in between the giving and receiving of the gift seems to be one in which you sacrifice and suffer loss." (T.26.VIII.2.6) (ACIM OE T.26.IX.69)

We still think that when we give, we lose because of the interval of time, but the gift we give is received by us as we give it. Nothing is lost. "Here are both giving and receiving seen as different aspects of one Thought whose truth does not depend on which is seen as first, nor which appears to be in second place." (W.108.4.1) This also applies in the same way to our attack thoughts. My thoughts of attack on you are an attack on me. Whatever I give, I receive for myself. One way to understand this is to see that there is only mind. No one is really outside of us. When we truly understand that we only deprive ourselves and only hurt ourselves, we will unplug our need to attack and blame, and focus instead on giving what we want to receive.

Today is an opportunity for us to make ". . . much faster progress now." (W.108.10.2) The reason for this is that "Effect and cause will be far better understood from this time on. . . ." (W.108.10.2) Jesus asks that we think of these exercises as "quick advances" (W.108.10.3) in our learning, and with each repetition, we will move faster and be more certain of the truth of this statement: "To give and to receive are one in truth." (W.108) "To everyone I offer quietness. To everyone I offer peace of mind. To everyone I offer gentleness." (W.108.8.6-8) We give what we expect to receive. "And it will come to you in the amount in which you gave it." (W.108.9.2)

Love and blessings, Sarah

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