"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 The beginning phases of this reversal are often quite painful for, as blame is withdrawn from without, there is a strong tendency to harbor it within.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 119
[Review of Lessons 107-108]

1 For morning and evening review:

[107] Truth will correct all errors in my mind.

2 I am mistaken when I think I can be hurt in any way. I am God's Son, whose Self rests safely in the Mind of God.

[108] To give and to receive are one in truth.

3 I will forgive all things today, that I may learn how to accept the truth in me, and come to recognize my sinlessness.

4 On the hour:

5 Truth will correct all errors in my mind.

6 On the half hour:

7 To give and to receive are one in truth.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 119
Review III ~ Lessons 107-108

Today, the Lesson reminds us that we are mistaken if we think we can be hurt in any way. We all believe we can be hurt. Our feelings can get hurt, our bodies can be hurt, and we believe we can die and we can lose loved ones. We grieve, we suffer, and yet here we are invited to consider the truth of this statement, which is that we can't be hurt. The error in my mind is that my reality is a body, and thus, I can be hurt. This is because I have forgotten the truth of who I am as God's Son. I think I am this body and this vulnerable self, which is living in the world. The ego has given us our senses to make it all seem very convincing. The body and the world seem very real to us.
Who is the me that can't be hurt? It is certainly not the me who I identify with as Sarah, the body, and the personality. The Course says the "me" that can't be hurt is who I really am in truth. In other words, this body I think I am, this personality I think defines me, and this image I have made of myself is not me at all! When I identify with the body, personality, and image, I feel I am lacking, limited, and vulnerable. In truth, I am Spirit, part of the One mind we all are. Our individual selves are the dream figures in the dream of separation we are dreaming. We are now awakening to the truth through the process of undoing the misperceptions in the mind. The conditioned, deceived mind has misled us into thinking that we are these dream figures.
It is not a simple matter of reminding ourselves we are not this body, and we are indeed free of all our self-imposed limitations. The undoing process requires us to look honestly at the way we defend against the truth. Our defenses attack our reality. We continually work to protect our definition of ourselves because we believe suffering, sin, sickness, and death are real. "Yet your defense sets up an enemy within; an alien thought at war with you, depriving you of peace, splitting your mind into two camps, which seem wholly irreconcilable . " (W.170.3.2) While we think we are protecting ourselves from external threats, we are actually protecting ourselves from love.
To us, love is treacherous because, at the unconscious level of the mind, we see it associated with sacrifice and loss. This is why we need to turn to the Holy Spirit for His interpretation of our wrong-minded perspective. We made fear, and now we think it is real and inescapable because we are constantly defending against it. When we are willing to bring awareness to our defenses and bring them to the light, we can know the invulnerability of the Self we are. We say we believe God's love for us is there, yet we also believe in pain, loss, sickness, suffering, and death. The message of the Course is totally uncompromising. It can only be one or the other. These are mutually exclusive states of mind. We either choose Heaven or hell in each moment.
As the introduction to the Course says, "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God . " (T.IN.2.2-3) (ACIM OE T.IN.4-5) Anything not eternal is not real, and this includes our bodies. This is what the crucifixion was meant to teach us—truth cannot be destroyed. Although Jesus was crucified as the world saw it, he was awakened, and as such, he knew himself as Spirit. He no longer identified with the body. As such, he could experience no pain, as pain is of the mind. When the body feels pain, it is only because we have projected our belief in guilt onto the body. Through his resurrection, he demonstrated this. He demonstrated that he knew who he was and who we all are in truth. We are eternal beings, already home in Heaven, having a dream of exile. We are not these vulnerable beings whom we have come to identify with. We are eternally safe. This journey is about awakening to the acceptance of that truth.
To us, the illusion seems so very real and solid. How do we withdraw our investment in it? It is a process that we undertake through the daily discipline of watching our thoughts, contemplating the truth, and doing the forgiveness practice as described in the Course. We take responsibility for our projections and recognize that the world is nothing but a reflection of our thoughts. They are thoughts we don't want to acknowledge in ourselves. We would rather see these thoughts in others, and thus, we see our guilt in them. Healing requires that we take responsibility for these thoughts without judging ourselves for them. Thus, our lives and the world are perfect classrooms for undoing our misperceptions. It does take willingness because it seems to go against everything we have been taught and also what we have taught ourselves.
Pain, suffering, sickness, aging, and death are part of the so-called reality of this worldly experience. While we hold these beliefs, it is not helpful to deny them. To know the truth of who we are as Eternal Beings is not an intellectual exercise. We must apply the Lessons to our daily upsets. The teaching comes alive for us only with our willingness to apply these Lessons daily to whatever shows up. As we learn to walk in trust more and more, relying on the Holy Spirit as our Guide and Jesus as our mentor, we increasingly learn that we are perfectly safe and constantly being supported. When we lack trust, we live in fear and worry and try to control things. When we tap into trust, no matter the outcome, we live in a state of acceptance of whatever comes along in our lives, and we know that, ultimately, all things work together for good.
The words of the Course are not intended to make us feel warm and fuzzy while we are reading them and then set them aside. Nor are they intended to make us into metaphysicians so we can speak with eloquence about the Course. No; none of this will help us. What helps is when we apply the daily Lesson to the activities of the day that tempt us to get upset and take us out of our peace. When events show up in our day and we see them as issues, it is because our guilt has invited betrayal, punishment, and attack. This may seem preposterous to you, yet even the smallest things reflect the truth of this when we choose to see it. Events of the day simply go wrong when our minds are focusing on self-attacking thoughts. We don’t want to take responsibility for those thoughts that come from our own minds. We want to see others as guilty, so we can identify ourselves as victims of a cruel world where we are constantly under attack.
Why would we want this? It is just another way we defend ourselves against the unconscious belief we hold in the mind that God will punish us for our sins. To protect ourselves from this imagined punishment from God, we believe we need to project our self-attack onto others and blame them for how we feel. This is the god the ego has convinced us is waiting for us at the end of our lives. This is the god we are afraid to awaken to. Thus, we continue the game of projecting our guilt onto the body and the world, hoping punishment will be delivered to the guilty, and we will be saved. This is the myth that Jesus is exposing and asking us to look at in our own experience.
To accept the truth about ourselves, we must be willing to see past the errors of others. Regardless of what things look like and how we justify our anger, we share the same Eternal Self. It requires that we bring all our false perceptions to the Holy Spirit. Thus, vision is restored, as we see beyond what seems apparent to our eyes and see our brothers the same as ourselves. The spark of divinity is in everyone, no matter how dark they may look to us. As we accept the truth of this more and more, we remember who we are.
Jesus tells us, "The 'reasoning' by which the world is made, on which it rests, by which it is maintained, is simply this: ' You are the cause of what I do. Your presence justifies my wrath, and you exist and think apart from me. While you attack I must be innocent. And what I suffer from is your attack . '" (T.27.VII.3.1-4) (ACIM OE T.27.VIII.64) This is the thought system we believe and defend ourselves against. It does look as if the world is hurting us. If indeed what we see out there is just a projection of the errors in our own minds, then what we suffer from is our own self-attack. He tells us that if our minds are indeed the cause of everything we see, then by inviting correction of the errors in our minds, we can instead, "Dream softly of your sinless brother, who unites with you in holy innocence . " (T.27.VII.15.1) (ACIM OE T.27.VIII.75) This Course is all about healing through our relationships. That is what makes the Course unique.
Instead of seeing the mote in our brother's eye, we remove the beam in our own. In other words, our job is to "mind our own mind." The ego thrives on judgment. We interpret what we see and label the behavior as a "sin." If we convince ourselves that our interpretations are fact, we will act accordingly. Or, as Jesus says, "To perceive errors in anyone, and to react to them as if they were real, is to make them real to you . " (T.9.III.6.7) (ACIM OE T.9.II.6) Isn't this the reason for all our distress? We look at everyone through the lens of our own past issues, heartbreaks, and shadow figures. Now forgiveness is impossible because we are convinced of their sins. We can't forgive what we have made real. Jesus reminds us that once we have made error real, forgiveness is impossible. "The ego's plan is to have you see error clearly first, and then overlook it. Yet how can you overlook what you have made real?" (T.9.IV.4.4) (ACIM OE T.9.III.12)
What this Lesson is helping us to do is to change our perception so it is possible to overlook the error. We are becoming more and more aware that there is another way of seeing anyone who appears to be causing us pain. We need a miracle for us to experience such drastic changes in perception, and indeed this is what the Holy Spirit offers us when we take our misperceptions to Him. We won’t experience the shift in perception by ourselves alone. We need the correction from outside of the matrix. The ego won’t undo itself.

We can decide today to stop accepting our own interpretations as true, and instead, we ask the Holy Spirit to look on everything for us, recognizing that we just don't know anything. As little children, we are asking to be taught. We need to be willing to surrender our limited understanding and turn to the One who knows.

Love and blessings, Sarah


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