"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

XI. The Denial of God

93 The rituals of the god of sickness are strange and very demanding. Joy is never permitted, for depression is the sign of allegiance to him. Depression means that you have foresworn God. Men are afraid of blasphemy, but they do not know what it means. They do not realize that to deny God is to deny their own identity, and in this sense the wages of sin is death. The sense is very literal; denial of life perceives its opposite, as all forms of denial replace what is with what is not . No one can really do this, but that you can think you can and believe you have is beyond dispute.

94 Do not forget, however, that to deny God will inevitably result in projection, and you will believe that others, and not yourself , have done this to you. You will receive the message you give because it is the message you want . You may believe that you judge your brothers by the messages they give you , but you have judged them by the message you give to them . Do not attribute your denial of joy to them, or you cannot see the spark in them that could bring joy to you . It is the denial of the spark that brings depression, and whenever you see your brothers without it, you are denying God.

95 Allegiance to the denial of God is the ego's religion. The god of sickness obviously demands the denial of health, because health is in direct opposition to its own survival. But consider what this means to you . Unless you are sick, you cannot keep the gods you made, for only in sickness could you possibly want them. Blasphemy, then, is self -destructive, not God-destructive. It means that you are willing not to know yourself in order to be sick. This is the offering which your god demands because, having made him out of your insanity, he is an insane idea. He has many forms, but although he may seem like many different things, he is but one idea—the denial of God.

96 Sickness and death entered the mind of God's Son against His Will. The "attack on God" made His Son think he was fatherless, and out of his depression, he made the god of depression. This was his alternative to joy, because he would not accept the fact that, although he was a creator, he had been created. Yet the Son is helpless without the Father, Who alone is his help. We said before that of yourselves you can do nothing, but you are not of yourselves. If you were, what you have made would be true, and you could never escape.

97 It is because you did not make yourselves that you need be troubled by nothing. Your gods are nothing because your Father did not create them. You cannot make creators who are unlike your Creator any more than He could have created a Son who was unlike Him. If creation is sharing, it cannot create what is unlike itself. It can share only what it is . Depression is isolation, and so it could not have been created.

98 Son of God, you have not sinned, but you have been much mistaken. Yet this can be corrected, and God will help you, knowing that you could not sin against Him. You denied Him because you loved Him, knowing that if you recognized your love for Him, you could not deny Him. Your denial of Him therefore means that you love Him and that you know He loves you . Remember that what you deny, you must have known. And if you accept denial, you can accept its undoing .

99 Your Father has not denied you. He does not retaliate, but He does call to you to return. When you think He has not answered your call, you have not answered His . He calls to you from every part of the Sonship because of His love for His Son. If you hear His message, He has answered you, and you will learn of Him if you hear aright. The love of God is in everything He created, for His Son is everywhere. Look with peace upon your brothers, and God will come rushing into your heart in gratitude for your gift to Him.

100 Do not look to the god of sickness for healing but only to the God of love, for healing is the acknowledgment of Him. When you acknowledge Him, you will know that He has never ceased to acknowledge you and that in His acknowledgment of you lies your Being. You are not sick, and you cannot die. But you can confuse yourself with things that do. Remember, though, that to do this is blasphemy, for it means that you are looking without love on God and His creation, from which He cannot be separated. Only the eternal can be loved, for love does not die. What is of God is His forever, and you are of God. Would He allow Himself to suffer? And would He offer His Son anything that is not acceptable to Him?

101 If you will accept yourself as God created you, you will be incapable of suffering. Yet to do this, you must acknowledge Him as your Creator. This is not because you will be punished otherwise. It is merely because your acknowledgment of your Father is the acknowledgment of yourself as you are. Your Father created you wholly without sin, wholly without pain, and wholly without suffering of any kind. If you deny Him, you bring sin, pain, and suffering into your own mind because of the power He gave it. Your mind is capable of creating worlds, but it can also deny what it creates because it is free.

102 You do not realize how much you have denied yourself, and how much God in His love would not have it so. Yet He would not interfere with you because He would not know His Son if he were not free. To interfere with you would be to attack Himself, and God is not insane. When you denied Him, you were insane. Would you have Him share your insanity? God will never cease to love His Son, and His Son will never cease to love Him. That was the condition of His Son's creation, fixed forever in the Mind of God. To know that is sanity. To deny it is insanity. God gave Himself to you in your creation, and His gifts are eternal. Would you deny yourself to Him?

103 Out of your gifts to Him, the Kingdom will be restored to His Son. His Son removed himself from His gift by refusing to accept what had been created for him and what he himself had created in the Name of his Father. Heaven waits for his return, for it was created as the dwelling place of God's Son. You are not at home anywhere else or in any other condition. Do not deny yourself the joy which was created for you for the misery you have made for yourselves. God has given you the means for undoing what you have made. Listen and you will learn what you are.

104 If God knows His Children as wholly sinless, it is blasphemous to perceive them as guilty. If God knows His Children as wholly without pain, it is blasphemous to perceive suffering anywhere. If God knows His Children to be wholly joyous, it is blasphemous to feel depressed. All of these illusions and the many other forms which blasphemy may take are refusals to accept creation as it is. If God created His Son perfect, that is how you must learn to see him to learn of his reality. And as part of the Sonship, that is how you must see yourself to learn of yours .

105 Do not perceive anything God did not create, or you are denying Him . His is the only Fatherhood, and it is yours only because He has given it to you. Your gifts to yourself are meaningless, but your gifts to your creations are like His because they are given in His Name. That is why your creations are as real as His. Yet the real Fatherhood must be acknowledged if the real Son is to be known. You believe that the sick things which you have made are your real creations because you believe that the sick images you perceive are the Sons of God.

106 Only if you accept the Fatherhood of God will you have anything because His fatherhood gave you everything. That is why to deny Him is to deny yourself. Arrogance is the denial of love because love shares and arrogance withholds . As long as both appear to you to be desirable, the concept of choice, which is not of God, will remain with you. While this is not true in eternity, it is true in time, so that while time lasts in your minds, there will be choices. Time itself was your choice.

107 If you would remember eternity, you must learn to look only on the eternal. If you allow yourselves to become preoccupied with the temporal, you are living in time. As always, your choice is determined by what you value. Time and eternity cannot both be real because they contradict each other. If you will accept only what is timeless as real, you will begin to understand eternity and make it yours.

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A Course in Miracles
WORKBOOK

Part I
Review III

1 Our third review begins today. We will review two of the last 20 ideas each day until we have reviewed them all. We will observe a special format for these practice periods which you are urged to follow as closely as you can. We understand, of course, that it may be impossible for you to undertake what is suggested here as optimal each day and every hour of the day.

2 Learning will not be hampered when you miss a practice period because it is impossible at the appointed time. Nor is it necessary that you make excessive efforts to be sure that you catch up in terms of numbers. Rituals are not our aim and would defeat our learning goal.

3 But learning will be hampered when you skip a practice period because you are unwilling to devote the time to it which you are asked to give. Do not deceive yourself in this. Unwillingness can be most carefully concealed behind a cloak of situations you cannot control. Learn to distinguish situations which are poorly suited to your practicing from those which you establish to uphold a camouflage for your unwillingness.

4 Those practice periods which you have lost because you did not want to do them for whatever reason should be done as soon as you have changed your mind about your goal. You are unwilling to cooperate in practicing salvation only if it interferes with goals you hold more dear. When you withdraw the value given them, allow your practice periods to be replacements for your litanies to them. They gave you nothing. But your practice periods offer you everything. Accept their offering and be at peace.

5 The format you should use for these reviews is this: devote five minutes twice a day or longer if you would prefer to contemplating the ideas assigned. Read over the ideas and comments which are written first in each day's exercises. Then begin to think about them quietly, letting your mind relate them to your needs, your seeming problems, and all your concerns.

6 Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you. What can you trust but what is in your mind? Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail. The wisdom of your mind will come to your assistance. Give it direction at the start, then lean back in quiet faith, and let it use the ideas you have given it as they were given you.

7 You have been given them in perfect trust, in perfect confidence that you would use them well, in perfect faith that you would understand their messages and use them for yourself. Offer them to your mind in that same trust and confidence and faith. It will not fail. It is the Holy Spirit's chosen means for your salvation. And with His trust merits yours as well.

8 We emphasize the benefits to you if you devote the first five minutes of the day to your review and also give the last five minutes of your waking day to it. If this cannot be done, at least try to divide them so you undertake one in the morning, and the other in the hour just before you go to sleep.

9 The exercises to be done throughout the day are equally important and perhaps of even greater value. You have been inclined to do the exercises and then go on to other things, without applying what you learned to them. As a result, your learning has had little reinforcement, and you have not given it the opportunity to prove its worth to you.

10 Here is another chance to use it well. In these reviews we stress the need to let your learning not lie idly by between your longer practice periods. Attempt to give your daily two ideas a brief but serious review each hour. Use one on the hour and the other one a half an hour later. You need not give more than just a moment to each one.

11 Repeat it, and allow your mind to rest a little time in silence and in peace. Then turn to other things, but try to keep the thought with you and let it serve to help you keep your peace throughout the day. If you are shaken, think of it again. These practice periods are planned to help you form the habit of applying what you learn each day to everything you do.

12 Do not repeat it and then lay it down. Its usefulness is limitless to you. And it is meant to serve you in all ways, all times and places, and whenever you need help of any kind. Try, then, to take it with you in the business of the day and make it holy, worthy of God's Son, acceptable to God and to your Self.

13 Each day's review assignment will conclude with a restatement of the thought to use each hour and the one to be applied on each half hour as well. Forget them not. This second chance with each of these ideas will bring such large advances that we come from these reviews with learning gains so great that we begin again on solid ground.

14 Do not forget how little you have learned. Do not forget how much you can learn now. Do not forget your Father's need of you as you review these thoughts He gave to you.

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Lesson 114
[Review of Lessons 97-98]

1 For morning and evening review:

[97] I am Spirit.

2 I am the Son of God. No body can contain my spirit nor impose on me a limitation God created not.

[98] I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation.

3 What can my function be but to accept the Word of God, Who has created me, for what I am and will forever be?

4 On the hour:

5 I am Spirit.

6 On the half hour:

7 I will accept my part in God's plan for salvation.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 114
Review III ~ Lessons 97-98

"I am spirit. I am the Son of God. No body can contain my spirit, nor impose on me a limitation God created not." (W.114.(97)1.1-3) I was writing this commentary a few years ago, right after hearing the news that my brother and friend, James, had made his transition. These words registered deep in my mind. They were a beautiful reminder that the body simply can't contain the spirit. All we are is Spirit. The body was made by the ego, seemingly to bind us to the illusion, giving us the apparatus of the eyes, ears, and brain to fool us into thinking that what we see, hear, and process with our brains affirm what is real, but it is not. Now we know we have a choice. We do not have to buy into this dream. We are not limited by what the world shows us and says is true. In fact, what we see and think that we know blocks the truth. This occurs until we recognize that we don't know anything and that everything we have learned about the illusory world is false. Only then are we willing to be taught. Only when we let go of our false beliefs is truth revealed.

Jesus reminds us, "The lessons you have taught yourself have been so overlearned and fixed they rise like heavy curtains to obscure the simple and the obvious." (T.31.I.3.4) (ACIM T.31.I.3) Our minds, conditioned by past learning, are not simple and obvious. We have overlearned a very large number of complex messages. This is why the Course seems difficult to us, even though Jesus says it is our first language. The truth is already in our right minds where the Holy Spirit dwells. Our problem is that we have overlearned the false, which is what must be undone.

We think of ourselves as human beings, living in a body, contained by it, and constrained by its limitations. We think that as human beings we can have spiritual experiences from time to time if we are fortunate. We are, in truth, spiritual beings who happen to be dreaming this human existence. In this human existence, we have all kinds of fears, all associated with the body and its vulnerabilities, including the certainty of death. If we truly knew we were spirit, what could we fear? What could limit us? What kind of boundaries could contain what we are? What could then die? "Salvation seeks to prove there is no death, and only life exists." (T.29.VII.10.2) (ACIM T.29.VIII.51)

Our spiritual reality is the only one there is. There is nothing outside of God's power, and therefore, we are not outside of God. Even though we believe in the human experience, it can't alter the truth of our being as One Self, united with our Creator. Right now, we experience ourselves as bodies and personalities, so how do we transcend these seeming limitations? What is our path to freedom? Jesus tells us that instead of using our bodies for our own (ego) purposes, they can become a communication vehicle for extending love, and when used for this purpose, they become holy. Thus, we learn about our true nature as love and as spirit, for we receive what we give. We become instruments of healing in the world. Thus, we transcend all limitations.

We learn about the magnificence of the power of His love working through us. This is the basis for what we call the supernatural, although Jesus reminds us, "Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love." (T.1.I.3.1) (ACIM OE T.1.I.3) What is unnatural is the world of the ego. The miracle teaches us that we need not be limited by any laws of this world. Thus, the miracle is not subject to limitations of space and time, and neither are we.

When we accept this, we accept our part in God's plan for salvation. We become channels of His love and peace. We take His Word for what we are instead of hanging onto our own beliefs. Our self-concepts and our self-determined limitations have no reality. I am as God created me. He is the author of my life, not me. When I surrender my authority over my own life, I become ready to take His Word for what I am. That is all He is asking of us. He is asking us to accept His Word for who we are and will always be.

Step back today from your definitions of yourself, all your self-imposed limitations and descriptions, all your self-concepts, all the beliefs in your unworthiness limitations, and realize that all of them are wrong. Why try to fix and improve what is not the truth about you? This is not a self-improvement course. It is not about raising your self-esteem. It is not about becoming worthy for God. This is a course in having all our self-limiting thoughts and beliefs removed by accepting God's Truth. I am Spirit. The body can never contain me. I cannot be limited. God says so. The Atonement Principle affirms that we cannot and have not changed ourselves. As God created us, we still are.

In the Manual for Teachers, Section 25, on psychic powers, we are told that psychic powers are not ends in themselves, but they are there to help free us from limitation by making the illusion of limitation less solid. Even if we don't currently claim to have psychic powers, we have probably all experienced that "Communication is not limited to the small range of channels the world recognizes." (M.25.2.2) We have many examples of this in our own lives: when we think of someone and they call; when we forgive someone in our own thoughts by reclaiming our projections and releasing them, and our relationship miraculously shifts in a dramatic way; when we are in the flow and everything comes easily without any intervention or planning on our part; or when we experience miraculous healing. All these kinds of events help us recognize that the limits of the world do not apply.

To have these experiences, we must get out of our own way. "I will step back and let Him lead the way." (W.155) As long as we think of ourselves as responsible for our lives, in control and relying on the tiny wings of the sparrow, we limit ourselves and bind ourselves to this illusion. As Jesus says, "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?" (M.4.I.2.2) Today, we remind ourselves that we are Spirit, and we have a part to play in God's plan for salvation. Our part is to accept the truth about ourselves, which means I accept you as part of me, and together, we are One Self.

Again, remember to bring the idea to any perceived needs, problems, or concerns that arise during the day. Whenever you are not at peace, apply the idea to any upsets that come up. Look at any limitations in your mind today. If you are not feeling well, recognize that suffering is not part of you. This Lesson, when applied, truly offers us reprieve from whatever we are feeling.

Today, you might want to watch for times when you are missing the practices and deceiving yourself about the other activities and goals you are making more important, recognizing this is resistance. This requires self-reflection and great honesty. The goals we set for ourselves offer us nothing while applying these Lessons offer us everything. How much do we want this? Doing the Lessons diligently can put us on ". . . more solid ground, with firmer footsteps and with stronger faith." (W.RIII.12.3) (ACIM OE W.RIII.13)

Love and blessings, Sarah

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