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

God and the Ego

V. The Inheritance of God's Son

31 Never forget that the Sonship is your salvation, for the Sonship is your Soul. As God's creation, it is yours, and belonging to you, it is His. Your Soul does not need salvation, but your mind needs to learn what salvation is . You are not saved from anything, but you are saved for glory. Glory is your inheritance, given your Soul by its Creator that you might extend it. Yet if you hate part of your own Soul, all your understanding is lost because you are looking on what God created as yourself without love. And since what He created is part of Him, you are denying Him His place in His own altar.

32 Could you try to make God homeless and know that you are at home? Can the Son deny the Father without believing that the Father has denied him ? God's laws hold only for your protection, and they never hold in vain. What you experience when you deny your Father is still for your protection, for the power of your will cannot be lessened without the intervention of God against it, and any limitation on your power is not the Will of God. Therefore, look only to the power that God gave to save you, remembering that it is yours because it is His, and join with your brothers in His peace.

33 The peace of your Soul lies in its limitlessness. Limit the peace you share, and your own Soul must be unknown to you. Every altar to God is part of your Soul because the light He created is one with Him. Would you cut off a brother from the light that is yours? You would not do so if you realized that you can only darken your own mind. As you bring him back, so will your mind return. That is the law of God for the protection of the wholeness of His Son.

34 Only you can deprive yourself of anything . Do not oppose this realization, for it is truly the beginning of the dawn of light. Remember also that the denial of this simple fact takes many forms, and these you must learn to recognize and to oppose steadfastly and without exception . This is a crucial step in the reawakening. The beginning phases of this reversal are often quite painful for, as blame is withdrawn from without, there is a strong tendency to harbor it within. It is difficult at first to realize that this is exactly the same thing, for there is no distinction between within and without.

35 If your brothers are part of you and you blame them for your deprivation, you are blaming yourself. And you cannot blame yourself without blaming them. That is why blame must be undone, not re-allocated. Lay it to yourself and you cannot know yourself, for only the ego blames at all. Self-blame is therefore ego identification and as strong an ego defense as blaming others. You cannot enter God's Presence if you attack his Son . When His Son lifts his voice in praise of his Creator, he will hear the Voice of his Father. Yet the Creator cannot be praised without His Son, for their glory is shared, and they are glorified together.

36 Christ is at God's altar, waiting to welcome His Son. But come wholly without condemnation, for otherwise you will believe that the door is barred and you cannot enter. The door is not barred, and it is impossible for you to be unable to enter the place where God would have you be. But love yourself with the love of Christ, for so does your Father love you. You can refuse to enter, but you cannot bar the door which Christ holds open. Come unto me who holds it open for you, for while I live it cannot be shut, and I live forever. God is my life and yours , and nothing is denied by God to His Son.

37 At God's altar Christ waits for the restoration of Himself in you . God knows His Son as wholly blameless as Himself, and He is approached through the appreciation of His Son. Christ waits for your acceptance of Him as yourself and of His wholeness as yours . For Christ is the Son of God who lives in his Creator and shines with His glory. Christ is the extension of the love and the loveliness of God, as perfect as his Creator and at peace with Him.

38 Blessed is the Son of God, whose radiance is of his Father and whose glory he wills to share as his Father shares it with him. There is no condemnation in the Son, for there is no condemnation in the Father. Sharing the perfect love of the Father, the Son must share what belongs to Him, for otherwise he will not know the Father or the Son. Peace be unto you who rest in God and in whom the whole Sonship rests.

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A Course in Miracles

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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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 118
[Review of Lessons 105-106]

1 For morning and evening review:

[105] God's peace and joy are mine.

2 Today I will accept God's peace and joy In glad exchange for all the substitutes which I have made for happiness and peace.

[106] Let me be still and listen to the truth.

3 Let mine own feeble voice be still, and let me hear the mighty Voice of truth itself assure me that I am God's perfect Son.

4 On the hour:

5 God's peace and joy are mine.

6 On the half hour:

7 Let me be still and listen to the truth.

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ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 118
Review III ~ Lessons 105-106

We have made many substitutes to take the place of the happiness and peace given us by God in our creation. We are attached to what we have made and what we now value in place of what has been given us. It is not easy to let go of things outside ourselves that we are convinced are important to our happiness. This world was made as a substitute for God's love. We value our uniqueness and our specialness more than His love. What we have substituted in the place of His love ultimately leaves us feeling empty. We have God's gifts of peace and joy right now, at this very moment, yet we keep wanting more. The ego is always about more of everything. "What way could give you more than everything, or offer less and still content the holy Son of God?" (W.155.12.4) Our wholeness is dismissed, and we lose sight of our divine identity by our desire for substitutes. These are the things outside ourselves that we think we need in order to be happy. Yet when we get them, we realize that they still leave us feeling empty because they are not the real thing.

Jesus urges us, "Seek not outside yourself. For it will fail, and you will weep each time an idol falls." (T.29.VII.1.1-2) (ACIM OE T.29.VIII.43) Idols are substitutes for love. The only way we can be content and truly know peace is by remembering the truth of our creation, and this is where we find our true happiness. "Seek not outside yourself. For all your pain comes simply from a futile search for what you want, insisting where it must be found." (T.29.VII.1.6-7) (ACIM OE T.29.VIII.43)

We still don't totally believe that there is no happiness to be found in the things of this world. We still think we know where our happiness lies, and so we keep seeking for it in the substitutes we have decided are important to our well-being. It is not easy for us to give up our belief that there is something here that will fulfill us, and when we get it we will be happy. Thus, we place our happiness outside ourselves and keep seeking and seeking, hoping everything we want will eventually come to us, and then we will be in bliss. Jesus tells us, "No one who comes here but must still have hope, some lingering illusion, or some dream that there is something outside of himself that will bring happiness and peace to him." (T.29.VII.2.1) (ACIM OE T.29.VIII.44) We came here for this experience, and we will do what we came to do. There is no need to feel guilty or bad that we still hold some hope for happiness in the world.

As long as the Son of God goes ". . .in search of something he cannot find, believing that he is what he is not," (T.29.VII.2.5)(ACIM OE T.29.VIII.44) then, "The lingering illusion will impel him to seek out a thousand idols, and to seek beyond them for a thousand more." (T.29.VII.3.1) (ACIM OE T.29.VIII.45) Isn't that what our lives are about and where all our attention goes? The relationships, the jobs, the houses, the careers, the material things, and the immaterial things like recognition, power, and pleasures, are all idols. We not only think our happiness lies in getting everything we want; but when our external world does not measure up to our expectations, it can throw us into feelings of sadness, anger, great despair, and depression. When we can accept that all events and circumstances are perfectly orchestrated opportunities to look at places in ourselves where healing is called for, we become happy learners. Then this world of separation can become an essential classroom for looking honestly at how we are using these idols to cover over what lies beneath.

When we have expectations of how things should go in the world and they don't go the way we had hoped, it puts us in a tailspin. When things we value are lost, stolen, or broken, we can get very upset and distraught. When things do not work out according to the plans we made, we can get depressed. Being right about the way things should go becomes much more important to us than acceptance of the perfection of everything that shows up for us. "Whenever you attempt to reach a goal in which the body's betterment is cast as a major beneficiary, you try to bring about your death. For you believe that you can suffer lack, and lack is death." (T.29.VII.4.1-2) (ACIM OE T.29.VIII.46)

How do we let go of all we have substituted for the love we are? How do we connect with the peace and joy already in us? To do so does not mean we must give up our attachments to what we still value, for that would be sacrifice and sacrifice is not called for. We can continue to pursue what we think we want, but as we increasingly apply these Lessons to our lives, our goals and priorities change very naturally. They change because our thought system is changing. Behavior simply follows what we hold in our minds. We start to lose interest in what held our attention before. In other words, we increasingly see that our idols don't deliver anything that can satisfy our deep desire for contentment and peace. There is no real fulfillment in these pursuits.

We are not being coerced into giving up anything in the world that we still want. We will eventually see there is nothing of value here to be given up. All we are being asked to do is to look at our attachments and recognize our happiness is not in any of these things. There is a true source of happiness within and always available to us. As we release our wishes and demands through forgiveness, we begin to experience the internal peace and joy Jesus talks about. As we trust this process more and more, we recognize how much more satisfying and reliable it is than pursuing the shifting things of the world.

Eventually, we will let go of everything in the world we thought would bring us happiness and peace. It is generally a process, but for some, it has come in a moment. I think of Byron Katie or Eckhart Tolle, both of whom experienced an instant of awakening from this dream as a result of their state of deep despair from which came an instant of total surrender. At one time, I thought this was the end of the ego. I saw enlightenment as more of an event and the end of the journey. Now I have come to understand that the ego continues on, but eventually, it has little significance or power. It moves into the background of our lives.

When we determine, on our own, how things should be and what we need to make us happy, we are actually in agreement with the ego and relying on our own personal will. We are choosing to be in control. We plan and organize our day and determine what needs to happen in order for us to be happy. We think we know what is needed. We make lists. We dream dreams. We make plans. We hold expectations. And when things don't go according to our plan, we experience anger, anxiety, distress, and grievances. The voice of the ego appears to us as incessant, loud, raucous, and relentless. Jesus says that it is actually feeble because ultimately it carries no power of its own. Let us today be willing to question this feeble voice and bring its ramblings to the truth. It does not define us. What it does is block the mighty Voice for Truth that is constantly speaking of what we are. The mighty Voice has one message that assures us, ". . .I am God's perfect Son." (W.118.(106).2.2)

Love and blessings, Sarah


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