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

CHAPTER 11
God's Plan For Salvation
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND

III. The Mechanism of Miracles

11 Fear is a symptom of your deep sense of loss. If when you perceive it in others you learn to supply the loss, the basic cause of fear is removed. Thereby you teach yourself that fear does not exist in you, for you have in yourself the means for removing it and have demonstrated this by giving it. Fear and love are the only emotions of which you are capable. One is false, for it was made out of denial, and denial depends on the real belief in what is denied for its own existence.

12 By interpreting fear correctly as a positive affirmation of the underlying belief it masks , you are undermining its perceived usefulness by rendering it useless. Defenses which do not work at all are automatically discarded. If you raise what fear conceals to clear-cut, unequivocal predominance , fear becomes meaningless. You have denied its power to conceal love, which was its only purpose. The mask which you have drawn across the face of love has disappeared.

13 If you would look upon love, which is the world's reality, how could you do better than to recognize in every defense against it the underlying appeal for it? And how could you better learn of its reality than by answering the appeal for it by giving it? The Holy Spirit's interpretation of fear does dispel it, for the awareness of truth cannot be denied. Thus does the Holy Spirit replace fear with love and translate error into truth. And thus will you learn of Him how to replace your dream of separation with the fact of unity. For the separation is only the denia l of union and, correctly interpreted, attests to your eternal knowledge that union is true.

14 Miracles are merely the translation of denial into truth. If to love oneself is to heal oneself, those who are sick do not love themselves. Therefore, they are asking for the love that would heal them but which they are denying to themselves. If they knew the truth about themselves, they could not be sick. The task of the miracle-worker thus becomes to deny the denial of truth . The sick must heal themselves , for the truth is in them. Yet, having obscured it, the light in another mind must shine into theirs because that light is theirs.

15 The light in them shines as brightly, regardless of the density of the fog that obscures it. If you give no power to the fog to obscure the light, it has none, for it has power only because the Son of God gave power to it. He must himself withdraw that power, remembering that all power is of God. You can remember this for all the Sonship . Do not allow your brother not to remember, for his forgetfulness is yours . But your remembering is his , for God cannot be remembered alone. This is what you have forgotten . To perceive the healing of your brother as the healing of yourself is thus the way to remember God. For you forgot your brothers wit h Him, and God's answer to your forgetting is but the way to remember.

16 Perceive in sickness but another call for love and offer your brother what he believes he cannot offer himself. Whatever the sickness, there is but one remedy. You will be made whole as you make whole, for to perceive in sickness the appeal for health is to recognize in hatred the call for love. And to give a brother what he really wants is to offer it unto yourself, for your Father wills you to know your brother as yourself. Answer his call for love and yours is answered. Healing is the love of Christ for His Father and for Himself .

17 Remember what we said about the frightening perceptions of little children which terrify them because they do not understand them. If they ask for enlightenment and accept it, their fears vanish, but if they hide their nightmares, they will keep them. It is easy to help an uncertain child, for he recognizes that he does not know what his perceptions mean. Yet you believe that you do know. Little children, you are hiding your heads under the covers of the heavy blankets you have laid upon yourselves. You are hiding your nightmares in the darkness of your own certainty and refusing to open your eyes and look at them .

18 Let us not save nightmares, for they are not fitting offerings for Christ, and so they are not fit gifts for you . Take off the covers and look at what you are afraid of. Only the anticipation will frighten you, for the reality of nothingness cannot be frightening. Let us not delay this, for your dream of hatred will not leave you without help, and help is here. Learn to be quiet in the midst of turmoil, for quietness is the end of strife and this is the journey to peace. Look straight at every image that rises to delay you, for the goal is inevitable because it is eternal. The goal of love is but your right, and it belongs to you despite your preference.

19 You still want what God wills , and no nightmare can defeat a Child of God in his purpose. For your purpose was given you by God, and you must accomplish it because it is His Will. Awake and remember your purpose, for it is your will to do so. What has been accomplished for you must be yours. Do not let your hatred stand in the way of love, for nothing can withstand the love of Christ for His Father or His Father's love for Him.

20 A little while and you will see me, for I am not hidden because you are hiding. I will awaken you as surely as I awakened myself, for I awoke for you. In my resurrection is your release. Our mission is to escape crucifixion , not redemption. Trust in my help, for I did not walk alone, and I will walk with you as our Father walked with me. Did you not know that I walked with Him in peace? And does not that mean that peace goes with us on the journey?

21 There is no fear in perfect love. We will but be making perfect to you what is already perfect in you. You do not fear the unknown , but the known . You will not fail in your mission because I failed not in mine. Give me but a little trust in the name of the complete trust I have in you, and we will easily accomplish the goal of perfection together. For perfection is and cannot be denied. To deny the denial of perfection is not so difficult as the denial of truth, and what we can accomplish together must be believed when you see it as accomplished.

22 You who have tried to banish love have not succeeded, but you who choose to banish fear will succeed. The Lord is with you, but you know it not. Yet your Redeemer liveth and abideth in you in the peace out of which He was created. Would you not exchange this awareness for the awareness of your fear? When we have overcome fear—not by hiding it, not by minimizing it, not by denying its full import in any way—this is what you will really see. You cannot lay aside the obstacle to real vision without looking upon it, for to lay aside means to judge against . If you will look, the Holy Spirit will judge and will judge truly. He cannot shine away what you keep hidden, for you have not offered it to Him, and He cannot take it from you.

23 We are therefore embarking on an organized, well-structured, and carefully planned program aimed at learning how to offer to the Holy Spirit everything you do not want. He knows what to do with it. You do not know how to use what He knows. Whatever is revealed to Him that is not of God is gone. Yet you must reveal it to yourself in perfect willingness, for otherwise His knowledge remains useless to you. Surely He will not fail to help you, since help is His only purpose. Do you not have greater reason for fearing the world as you perceive it than for looking at the cause of fear and letting it go forever?

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A Course in Miracles
WORKBOOK

Lesson 125
In quiet I receive God's Word today.

1 Let this day be a day of stillness and of quiet listening. Your Father wills you hear His Word today. He calls to you from deep within your mind where He abides. Hear Him today. No peace is possible until His Word is heard around the world; until your mind, in quiet listening, accepts the message which the world must hear to usher in the quiet time of peace.

2 This world will change through you. No other means can save it, for God's plan is simply this: the Son of God is free to save himself, given the Word of God to be his Guide, forever in his mind and at his side to lead him surely to his Father's house by his own will, forever free as God's. He is not led by force, but only love. He is not judged, but only sanctified.

3 In stillness we will hear God's Voice today without intrusion of our petty thoughts, without our personal desires, and without all judgment of His holy Word. We will not judge ourselves today, for what we are cannot be judged. We stand apart from all the judgments which the world has laid upon the Son of God. It knows him not. Today we will not listen to the world, but wait in silence for the Word of God.

4 Hear, holy Son of God, your Father speak. His Voice would give to you His holy Word to spread across the world the tidings of salvation and the holy time of peace. We gather at the throne of God today, the quiet place within your mind where He abides forever in the holiness which He created and will never leave.

5 He has not waited until you return your mind to Him to give His Word to you. He has not hid Himself from you while you have wandered off a little while from Him. He does not cherish the illusions which you hold about yourself. He knows His Son and wills that he remain as part of Him regardless of his dreams, regardless of his madness that his will is not his own.

6 Today He speaks to you. His Voice awaits your silence, for His Word cannot be heard until your mind is quiet for a while and meaningless desires have been stilled. Await His Word in quiet. There is peace within you to be called upon today to help make ready your most holy mind to hear the Voice of its Creator speak.

7 Three times today, at times most suitable for silence, give ten minutes set apart from listening to the world and choose instead a gentle listening to the Word of God. He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand. His Love is everything you are and that He is— the same as you, and you the same as He.

8 It is your voice to which you listen as He speaks to you. It is your Word He speaks. It is the Word of freedom and of peace, of unity of will and purpose, with no separation nor division in the single Mind of Father and of Son. In quiet listen to your Self today, and let Him tell you God has never left His Son, and you have never left your Self.

9 Only be quiet. You will need no rule but this to let your practicing today lift you above the thinking of the world and free your vision from the body's eyes. Only be still and listen. You will hear the Word in which the Will of God the Son joins in His Father's Will, at one with It, with no illusions interposed between the wholly indivisible and true.

10 As every hour passes by today, be still a moment and remind yourself you have a special purpose for this day—in quiet to receive the Word of God.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 125
In quiet I receive God's Word Today.

God's Word is in us because the truth is our inheritance as the Son of God. It is the Atonement Principle, the guarantee given by God that we have never separated from Him, nor have we changed ourselves because this is something we can't accomplish. His light is in our minds. Our true Self is always there in the mind silently awaiting our acknowledgment. "The memory of God comes to the quiet mind." (T.23.I.1.1) (ACIM OE T.23.II.7) There is nowhere to go and nothing to do. We are there now in our true state, but we are not aware that this is so until we willingly agree to let go of what stands in the way. In this place of silence and peace, we connect to our one Self.

Our petty thoughts, our judgments, our plans, our constant inner chatter, and our personal desires, all keep us from awareness of the love we are. Notice the incessant thoughts of the wrong mind, which are often described in the Course as senseless shrieks, frantic, riotous thoughts, raucous screams, and senseless ravings. This constant noise-making of our obsessive thoughts keeps us from the experience of the Self we are. We are so used to this relentless noise in our minds that we may not even notice it anymore. Jesus calls on us to start noticing our thoughts and be vigilant in watching them, as much as we can, so we can recognize how the ego keeps us from peace. It does so, not because it has any power, but only that we give it power over us. We can withdraw our power whenever we choose not to listen to its demands and requirements of us.

God's Love is everything we are. There is no separation between who we really are and what God is. We are the expression of His Love. "His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He." (W.125.7.4) There is no separation. We don't have to go anywhere to reach God. We just have to accept ourselves as who we are---the Christ Self. When our will is freed, it is the same as God's Will, although our experience is that we have made another will. He has never distanced Himself from us. In fact, "He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand." (W.125.7.2-3)

God is absolutely not watching us from a distance, as in the song by Bette Midler. We are not trying to reach Him somewhere from afar. He is our very center, our heart center. When we don't experience Him, it is because we have made a choice for the ego, and now we identify with a separate will and believe we have made a separate self. We experience ourselves as a body and identity that is separate from God and living in the world rather than living in Him. In truth, there is no body. The body is a projection of the mind. It is an image made by the mind, a figure in this dream and not what we are. Jesus reminds us that the body only exists in the past and future and never in the present. When we experience the eternal moment (the holy instant), we have the experience of no body.

The thoughts occupying our mind distract us from the truth. These thoughts keep us from hearing God's Word. Our fear is that if we give our lives over to Him, He will not have our best interests in mind. Our fear is that we will have to sacrifice our self-interests if we let go of our own will. This is the fear of the god we made, which is the god of the ego. It is a god we think will demand that we sacrifice our joys and our pleasures. Think about what fears come up if you invite God to come into your life fully. What do you think might happen if you gave over your relationships, your money, your career, your health, your material possessions, and your special interests to God to manage for you? When I took the time to write down my fears and concerns about what God might do with my life, it made me realize how much I don’t trust Him. Yes, I let Him into some areas of my life while keeping other parts for me to manage by myself. It is not the God of love that brings these fears to mind. It is the god of the ego that I am afraid to wake up to.

This exercise gives us a glimpse of the fear in our mind that we may not be aware of. This fear keeps us defended against His love. It is our fear of God and our belief He has abandoned us. We believe His love will annihilate us, but the reality is that nothi ng can happen against our will. Jesus describes us as the commander of our own journey. He tells us, "You have a Guide to how to develop them (your abilities) , but you have no commander except yourself. This leaves you in charge of the Kingdom, with both a Guide to find it and a means to keep it. You have a model to follow (Jesus) who will strengthen your command, and never detract from it in any way. You therefore retain the central place in your imagined enslavement, which in itself demonstrates that you are not enslaved." (T.6.IV.9.4 7) (ACIM OE T.6.V.53) The goal of this Course is peace. We are well served when we focus on this goal, as it is where all our happiness lies. Our desire for peace and our devotion to God is the determining factor in how much we are willing to surrender to Him.

We are not led back to the truth by force but by love. He is a loving Father who does not control but leads us with His gentle love and counts on us to follow our own free will. There is no control and no coercion in Him. The essence of love is gentle and allowing. Our true will is ". . . forever free as God's," (W.125.2.2) but when we identify with the ego thought system, our will is bound. Though we may have wandered off and forgotten who we are, our Father has never disowned us but regards us as His beloved Son forever. He has not changed His mind about us. Our fear is that we are not good enough, not spiritual enough, and too caught up in our worldly desires to know ourselves as love. No matter what we have done, there are no consequences coming from our Father. We will be welcomed home no matter how far we have wandered from Him.

We may have wandered off, yet He is still there. He knows us and is not waiting for us to clean up our act before He reveals Himself to us. "He has not hid Himself from you, while you have wandered off a little while from Him." (W.125.5.2) His presence is with us now. There is nothing we need to do. We are the ones who have wandered off. In this moment, we can choose not to believe our ego thoughts, see them as totally unreal, and remember the only thing real is His love for us. "He does not cherish the illusions which you hold about yourself." (W.125.5.3) Thus, these beliefs we have of who we are, what we have done, and how we see ourselves and others, are not the truth because only love is real. Everything we experience in this world of pain, disillusionment, suffering, and distress is not real. Everything we believe is our hallucination! "All power is of God. What is not of Him has no power to do anything." (T.11.V.3.6-7) (ACIM OE T.10.42)

I felt overwhelmed with problems recently and felt extremely distressed and out of peace. Then I heard the loving presence of the Holy Spirit in my mind remind me that God does not bring suffering. It must, therefore, be of my own choosing. I am choosing to suffer because it brings me something I want. But if I am choosing it, I can change my mind, and with this change of mind, my perception of the situation shifts from fear and worry to peace. This is the miracle. "How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible has not occurred, and can have no effects." (T.31.I.1.1-3) (ACIM OE T.31.I.1)

We are asked not to ". . . judge ourselves today, for what we are cannot be judged." (W.125.3.2) We are also asked not to let the world determine what we are. "We stand apart from all the judgments which the world has laid upon the Son of God." (W.125.3.3) We have been deceived in thinking our identity consists of the concepts and beliefs we hold about ourselves that have been reinforced by the world. All we need to do is deny the false beliefs and recognize ". . . what is false cannot be true . . . " (T.31.I.1.7) (ACIM OE T.31.I.1) What holds the false in place is our beliefs about ourselves, none of which are true. Anything not of God is not true. He is constantly communicating His love to us, and we are listening to our own thoughts instead! "His Voice awaits your silence, for His Word cannot be heard until you mind is quiet for a while, and meaningless desires have been stilled." (W.125.6.2)

Jesus asks us to let this day be one of stillness and quiet listening. "We gather at the throne of God today, the quiet place within the mind where He abides forever, in the holiness that He created and will never leave." (W.125.4.3) What beautiful assurance of His place in our minds. He lives in our minds and waits for our willingness to choose the truth. We don't do this by good works or good deeds but by bringing our false beliefs to the truth. That is what forgiveness is.

We are learning through application of the Lessons to clear our minds and enter into the silence. Clearly, this is difficult for the untrained mind because the ego mind is still a regular distraction. The important thing is for us to notice our reactions without feeling guilty or making ourselves wrong. Yes, it does take lots of practice and our minds will continue to wander, but putting more pressure and demands on ourselves will not help. Simply bring your mind back to peace with each experience of distress as you do the practice in the Lesson. Allow related thoughts to help you focus your attention on the teaching.

We can also ask in our meditation for help in releasing our interfering thoughts so we can hear God's Voice and assure our minds that He is One with us, closer than our very breath. It is not about trying harder but by allowing, surrendering, and melting into the experience. There is no separation. It is our own voice. "His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He." (W.125.7.4) There is no ". . . division in the single Mind of Father and of Son." (W.125.8.3) We are basically listening to our Self. It is not an alien will. It is our own true Will, one with God's Will. Ours is the freedom to choose whether we will continue to listen to the ego or to choose love, which is to choose to forgive our thoughts and make room for the Love already in us.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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