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

God's Plan For Salvation

IV. The Investment in Reality

24 I once asked if you were willing to sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me. This is what I meant: If you had no investment in anything in this world, you could teach the poor where their treasure is . The poor are merely those who have invested wrongly, and they are poor indeed! Because they are in need, it is given you to help them since you are among them. Consider how perfectly your lesson would be learned if you were unwilling to share their poverty. For poverty is lack, and there is but one lack since there is but one need.

25 Suppose a brother insists on having you do something you think you do not want to do. The very fact of his insistence should tell you that he believes salvation lies in it. If you insist on refusing and experience a quick response of opposition, you are believing that your salvation lies in not doing it. You, then, are making the same mistake that he is and are making his error real to both of you. Insistence means investment, and what you invest in is always related to your notion of salvation. The question is always two-fold—first, what is to be saved, and second, how can it be saved?

26 Whenever you become angry with a brother, for whatever reason, you are believing that the ego is to be saved and to be saved by attack . If he attacks, you are agreeing with this belief, and if you attack, you are reinforcing it. Remember that those who attack are poor . Their poverty asks for gifts, not for further impoverishment. You who could help them are surely acting destructively if you accept their poverty as yours . If you had not invested as they had, it would never occur to you to overlook their need.

27 Recognize what does not matter, and if your brothers ask you for something "outrageous," do it because it does not matter. Refuse and your opposition establishes that it does matter to you. It is only you , therefore, who have made the request outrageous, for nothing can be asked of you, and every request of a brother is for you . Why would you insist in denying him? For to do so is to deny yourself and impoverish both. He is asking for salvation, as you are. Poverty is of the ego and never of God. No "outrageous" request can be made of one who recognizes what is valuable and wants to accept nothing else.

28 Salvation is for the mind, and it is attained through peace. This is the only thing that can be saved and the only way to save it. Any response other than love arises from a confusion about the "what" and the "how" of salvation, and this is the only answer. Never lose sight of this, and never allow yourself to believe even for an instant that there is another answer. For you will surely place yourself among the poor, who do not understand that they dwell in abundance and that salvation is come.

29 To identify with the ego is to attack yourself and make yourself poor. That is why everyone who identifies with the ego feels deprived. What he experiences then is depression or anger, but what he did is to exchange his self-love for self-hate, making him afraid of himself. He does not realize this. Even if he is fully aware of anxiety, he does not perceive its source as his own ego identification , and he always tries to handle it by making some sort of insane "arrangement" with the world. He always perceives this world as outside himself, for this is crucial to his adjustment. He does not realize that he makes this world, for there is no world outside of him.

30 If only the loving thoughts of God's Son are the world's reality, the real world must be in his mind. His insane thoughts, too, must be in his mind, but an internal conflict of this magnitude he cannot tolerate. A split mind is endangered, and the recognition that it encompasses completely opposed thoughts within itself is intolerable. Therefore the mind projects the split, not the reality. Everything you perceive as the outside world is merely your attempt to maintain your ego identification, for everyone believes that identification is salvation. Yet consider what has happened, for thoughts do have consequences to the thinker.

31 You are at odds with the world as you perceive it because you think it is antagonistic to you . This is a necessary consequence of what you have done. You have projected outward what is antagonistic to what is inward, and therefore you would have to perceive it this way. That is why you must realize that your hatred is in your mind and not outside it before you can get rid of it and why you must get rid of it before you can perceive the world as it really is.

32 We once said that God so loved the world that He gave it to His only-begotten Son. God does love the real world, and those who perceive its reality cannot see the world of death. For death is not of the real world, in which everything is eternal. God gave you the real world in exchange for the one you made out of your split mind, and which is the symbol of death. For if you could really separate yourselves from the Mind of God, you would die, and the world you perceive is a world of separation.

33 You were willing to accept even death to deny your Father. Yet He would not have it so, and so it is not so. You still could not will against Him, and that is why you have no control over the world you made. It is not a world of will because it is governed by the desire to be unlike Him, and this desire is not will. The world you made is therefore totally chaotic, governed by arbitrary and senseless "laws," and without meaning of any kind. For it was made out of what you do not want, projected from your mind because you were afraid of it.

34 Yet this world is only in the mind of its maker along with his real salvation. Do not believe it is outside of yourself, for only by recognizing where it is will you gain control over it. For you do have control over your mind since the mind is the mechanism of decision. If you will recognize that all attack which you perceive is in your own mind and nowhere else , you will at last have placed its source, and where it began it must end. For in this same place also lies salvation. The altar of God where Christ abideth is there.

35 You have defiled the altar but not the world. Yet Christ has placed the Atonement on the altar for you. Bring your perceptions of the world to this altar, for it is the altar to truth. There you will see your vision changed, and there you will learn to see truly. From this place, where God and His Son dwell in peace and where you are welcome, you will look out in peace and behold the world truly. Yet to find the place, you must relinquish your investment in the world as you have projected it, allowing the Holy Spirit to project the real world to you from the altar of God.

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 127
There is no love but God's.

1 Perhaps you think that different kinds of love are possible. Perhaps you think there is a kind of love for this, a kind for that; a way of loving one, another way of loving still another. Love is one. It has no separate parts and no degrees; no kinds nor levels, no divergencies and no distinctions. It is like itself, unchanged throughout. It never alters with a person or a circumstance. It is the heart of God, and also of His Son.

2 Love's meaning is obscure to anyone who thinks that love can change. He does not see that changing love must be impossible. And thus he thinks that he can love at times and hate at other times. He also thinks that love can be bestowed on one and yet remain itself although it is withheld from others. To believe these things of love is not to understand it. If it could make such distinctions it would have to judge between the righteous and the sinner and perceive the Son of God in separate parts.

3 Love cannot judge. As it is one itself, it looks on all as one. Its meaning lies in oneness. And it must elude the mind that thinks of it as partial or in part. There is no love but God's, and all of love is His. There is no principle which rules where love is not. Love is a law without an opposite. Its wholeness is the power holding everything as one, the link between the Father and the Son which holds them both forever as the same.

4 No course whose purpose is to teach you what you really are could fail to emphasize there is no difference in what you are and what love is. Love's meaning is your own, and shared by God Himself. For what you are is what He is. There is no love but His, and what He is is everything there is. There is no limit placed upon Himself, and so are you unlimited as well.

5 No laws the world obeys can help you grasp love's meaning. What the world believes was made to hide love's meaning and to keep it dark and secret. There is not one principle the world upholds but violates the truth of what love is and what you are as well. Seek not within the world to find your Self. Love is not found in darkness and in death. Yet it is perfectly apparent to eyes that see and ears that hear its Voice.

6 Today we practice making free our mind of all the laws you think you must obey, of all the limits under which you live, and all the changes which you think are part of human destiny. Today we take the largest single step this course requests in your advance toward its established goal. If you achieve the faintest glimmering of what love means today, you have advanced in distance without measure and in time beyond the count of years to your release.

7 Let us together, then, be glad to give some time to God today and understand there is no better use for time than this. For 15 minutes twice today escape from every law in which you now believe. Open your mind and rest. The world that seems to hold you prisoner can be escaped by anyone who does not hold it dear. Withdraw all value you have placed upon its meager offerings and senseless gifts, and let the Gift of God replace them all.

8 Call to your Father, certain that His Voice will answer. He Himself has promised this. And He Himself will place a spark of truth within your mind wherever you give up a false belief, a dark illusion of your own reality and what love means. He will shine through your idle thoughts today and help you understand the truth of love. In loving gentleness, He will abide with you as you allow His Voice to teach love's meaning to your clean and open mind. And He will bless the L e s s o n with His Love.

9 Today the legion of the future years of waiting for salvation disappears before the timelessness of what you learn. Let us give thanks today that we are spared a future like the past. Today we leave the past behind us, never more to be remembered. And we raise our eyes upon a different present, where a future shines unlike the past in every attribute.

10 The world in infancy is newly born. And we will watch it grow in strength and health to shed its blessing upon all who come to learn to cast aside the world they thought was made in hate to be love's enemy. Now are they all made free along with us. Now are they all our brothers in God's Love.

11 We will remember them throughout the day because we cannot leave a part of us outside our love if we would know our Self. At least three times an hour think of one who makes the journey with you and who came to learn what you must learn. And as he comes to mind, give him this message from your Self:

12 I bless you, brother, with the Love of God which I would share with you. For I would learn the joyous lesson that there is no love but God's and yours and mine and everyone's.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 127
There is no love but God's.

Jesus tells us, "Today we make the largest single step this course requests in your advance towards its established goal." (W.127.6.5) This kind of statement should certainly get our attention. Why would this be such an important Lesson? This is fairly self-evident because the Lesson points us to the absolute truth. He emphasizes today, "No course whose purpose is to teach you to remember what you are could fail to emphasize that there can never be a difference in what you really are and what love is." (W.127.4.1) To know love is to know our Self. "If you achieve the faintest glimmering of what love means today, you have advanced in distance without measure and in time beyond the count of years." (W.127.7.1) This motivates me to pay attention to the message of this Lesson. We can make great advances in the practice of this Lesson when we no longer leave ourselves outside of the love we are.
It is very sobering to read these first lines and recognize in them that we don't know what love is. Certainly, the word is used a lot in the world and is the theme of most music, movies, and books. We can be in love, and then, we fall out of love. We have a "special" love for certain people whom we favor. We think we love our children differently than our parents or our friends. We speak of loving a good meal, a beautiful sunset, a nice event, a dog or cat, our children, God, our spouse, a good book, or even an idea. Yet it appears that we really don't know what we are talking about in the true sense of the word "love" as described in this Lesson.
It seems to us there are different kinds of love, but this implies a hierarchy of illusions where we judge some kinds of love as being better, of higher quality, and more intense than others. We are so confused about love that we elevate some ways of loving as "unconditional." In other words, this implies there are other kinds of love on which we place "conditions. " The fact is, all love in this world is conditional, but Jesus teaches that love is one and has only one Source. It has no separate parts, kinds, levels, or distinctions; and it does not change nor alter as a result of circumstances outside ourselves. It is only in the illusion that we think different kinds of love are possible. "Perhaps you think there is a kind of love for this, a kind for that; a way of loving one, another way of loving still another. Love is one." (W.127.1.2‑3)
The Source of love is the same---it is unchanging and unchangeable. The love that is a reflection of God's Love is not affected by what the beloved does or does not do. It has no conditions. It also means no one is excluded from that love. When we love some people sometimes and exclude others entirely from our love, we are coming from the special love and special hate expressed by the ego mind. In fact, most love in this world is about specialness, where we love sometimes and hate sometimes. Thus, there are gaps in our love. Now love can turn to hate. The nature of love in the illusion is variable. We make exceptions and exclude those whom we feel don’t deserve our love. It is not helpful to feel guilty about this, for guilt will only continue to perpetuate the problem.
We made the world to hide from God and His abiding love for us. Thus, everything in the world obscures His love. "No law the world obeys can help you grasp love’s meaning. What the world believes was made to hide love’s meaning, and to keep it dark and secret. There is not one principle the world upholds but violates the truth of what love is, and what you are as well." (W.127.5.1-3) When we become aware of the exceptions that we are making to how we love, how we exclude some from our love, and the beliefs we hold that obscure love and hide its meaning, we will become motivated to seek for love where it is. It is not in the world. Jesus tells us, "Love is not found in darkness and death." (W.127.6.2) Yet even here, we can experience a glimmering of what love means, and thus we can make significant advances in remembering the love we are.
What we define as love, which is variable and inconsistent, originated with the separation from God's love and from Oneness when we chose our specialness and individuality instead. Now we experience different forms of special love because we hold different definitions of what love is. This reflects the first law of chaos, which is that truth is different for everyone. It ". . . maintains that each is separate and has a different set of thoughts that set him off from others. " (T.23.II.2.2) (ACIM OE T.23.III.20) "This principle evolves from the belief there is a hierarchy of illusions; some more valuable and therefore true. " (T.23.II.2.3) (ACIM OE T.23.III.20) And this is the basis for the attacks we make and justifications we give for not loving some or loving sometimes and attacking at other times. We justify our attacks based on the belief that our values differ, and therefore, we are not the same. Thus, a brother we once thought we loved can readily become our enemy.
I can remember my first awareness of this many years ago when my husband left me for a time at one point in our marriage. I was totally bewildered and distraught and felt betrayed by him. I turned to the Course, asked for help, opened it at random and, incredibly, read the following passage: "Love's meaning is obscure to anyone who thinks that love can change. He does not see that changing love must be impossible. " (W.127.2.1-2) Then, I was led to continue to read the chapters devoted to the special relationship starting in Chapter 13, where Jesus says, simply, "Love is not special" (T.13.X.11.2) (ACIM OE T.13.IV.30) To me, the love I felt for my husband did feel very special. Then, I came to an even more startling statement. "The special love relationship is not perceived as a value in itself, but as a place of safety from which hatred is split off and kept apart." (T.16.IV.3.4) (ACIM OE T.16.V.32) I was in love with a man for whom I now felt hatred because of all the pain I felt. At that time, I believed he was the reason for all my pain. I did not understand that I had used the relationship to keep at bay the pain that was already in me. I believed he was responsible for my happiness. It was an opportunity for me to look more deeply at what needed healing in my own mind.
Jesus is telling us that love cannot turn to hate. I wondered if it was possible that the love I experienced in my relationship was not love at all? I refused to believe that this was the case. We are told that as the goal of specialness in any relationship is shifted from specialness to healing and holiness, we will initially experience a lot of conflict and turmoil. This was certainly the case for me, but I trusted in the process and started by accepting that this was ultimately all for my good. I was willing to go deeper and uncover the unconscious wounds that were in me. I was up against the wall where I had no control over the situation so this seemed to be the only viable alternative. I knew I had to accept what I could not change, and so, I used this opportunity to keep bringing my pain and my judgments to the inner altar to be healed. I kept turning to the Holy Spirit and asking for help to release my judgments about him and about the situation.
I brought my feelings of betrayal and the desire for revenge to the light and did my best to take responsibility for my part in all of this. I refused to listen to the advice of well-meaning friends. I increasingly recognized that his actions were not about me. He had his journey, and he did what he needed to do for himself. I chose to continue to ask for help to release my anger and attack thoughts and to bring my attack thoughts and interpretations to Spirit to be released. I took responsibility for my thoughts, recognizing they were not about him at all but aspects of my own unhealed mind. I started to accept that I really did not know how to love. Increasingly, I was able to admit that the hatred was in my mind and had nothing to do with him. He was merely a mirror for me, reflecting what was unhealed in my own mind.
My healing depended on bringing awareness to my attack thoughts in my own mind. This was simply about noticing them as they arose without judging myself for them. This is essential to do in any relationship if we are to know ourselves as the love we are. Giving meaning to our own interpretation of any situation keeps us from the awareness of the love within. Our interpretation of the situation creates the pain. I certainly required help from the Holy Spirit daily and leaned heavily on the words of Jesus in the Course to bring me comfort. It was a powerful learning time and resulted in countless miracles. Our loving reconnection endured until the death of his body in form and gave me some of the "faintest glimmerings" (W.127.7.1) of what real love means. I would never have come to this place without the help of the Holy Spirit. I am eternally grateful for this, knowing that on my own with the ego as a guide, I would continue to be lost. The miracle is always available to us in any situation. It takes us from judgment and attack to forgiveness. When our perceptions are shifted, we experience the miracle. The miracle is always in the mind. Our part is to look at how we block it with our raucous thoughts when we listen to the voice of the ego.
We are reminded in the introduction to the Course, "The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance . " (T.IN.1.6-7) (ACIM OE T.IN.2) Today’s Lesson helps us to recognize that we do not know the real love Jesus is talking about. Again, we are reminded that we will have advanced significantly "If you achieve the faintest glimmering of what love means today. . ." (W.127.7.1)
Until all the blocks to love are removed, and we see everyone with Christ's vision, we cannot know ourselves as love. Furthermore, Jesus tells us, "Love is not found in darkness and in death." (W.127.6.2) In fact, it is never outside our own minds. It is not in the things of this world, nor in bodies. When we look for it there, we are looking for light in the darkness where it can't be found. Actually, the world and bodies were made to keep God's love out of our awareness. The ". . . faintest glimmering of what love means . . ." (W.127.7.1) comes to our awareness with each block removed from our minds through forgiveness. When we hold judgments, we are actually defending ourselves against the love within us. As we release the rules that we hold of what things should look like and expectations of what others need to do to earn our love, we make more space for God's love to shine through us. "Withdraw all value you have placed upon its [the world's] meager offerings and senseless gifts, and let the gift of God replace them all. " (W.127.8.4) It seems that we have settled for the meager offerings of special love. Special love turns to hate when our needs are not met. Jesus describes all these kinds of relationships as bargains we make with each other based on our hidden agendas.
"Love cannot judge. " (W.127.3.1) When we judge, we compare. We speak about being in love and then about falling out of love. Love can't change. By its very nature, it is constant. We can't love some and not others if we are to know ourselves as love. We exclude some from our love, and we chastise ourselves in our efforts to be more spiritual, but the ego will never know anything about real love. Instead of trying to be more loving, we need to bring to awareness our judgments, which stand in the way of who we are as love. When we don't experience this unchanging love, it means that we don't know our reality and that ". . . there can never be a difference in what you really are and what love is." (W.127.4.1)
Instead of believing we need a soul-mate in our lives to experience a holy relationship, if we truly want to heal our minds, our better choice would be to have a partner who offers us many opportunities for healing. Thus, a holy relationship can be very difficult and very challenging, but when we are committed to healing, it can be very fulfilling. It only takes one of us. What we see in any relationship is simply what is not healed in our own minds. With willingness, all that is unhealed can be brought to the light so the love we are can shine forth. Now the world seems brighter as we see through loving eyes.
The whole world is made to hide love's meaning. The world and all its laws obscure the truth about ourselves. And so, "Today we take the largest single step this course requests in your advance towards its established goal. " (W.127.6.5) We learn about withdrawing the value we place on the world and its laws. When we release our attachment to this world and its stuff and no longer "hold it dear," no longer go after its offerings for our happiness, no longer look for the "one and only" who will make us happy,  ". . . and let the gift of God replace them all," (W.127.8.4) then we can escape from the prison of our own misguided thoughts. This requires that we look at everything we currently believe, every value we hold, all our beliefs, the guilt, fears, and expectations of others. All of it must be questioned and brought to the light.
"There is n ot one principle the world upholds but violates the truth of what love is, and what you are as well." (W.127.5.3) Everything we have learned in this world about love actually hides its meaning. The reason is that the world has taught us that love is limited and changing. None of the laws, rules, nor viewpoints of the world will tell us what love is. Loving as God loves is foreign to the thinking of the world. Until we love by looking ". . . on all as one," (W.127.3.2) love will elude us. Until we see all as one, rather than fickle and changing, we cannot know love. To love is to love everyone with all of Itself. It is total, whole, and complete with everyone and everything included in that love without exception. There is no difference in what you are and what love is. Love is the very nature of what we are. It is the way God loves. Special love is where all our relationships start in this world. The important thing is not to feel guilty about our special relationships but to recognize that they can be well-used by the Holy Spirit for healing and thus become fertile ground to experience our wholeness.
The false beliefs and self-concepts we hold keep us from knowing ourselves as Love. We need to release them if we are to hear His Voice teaching us the true meaning of love. It can only be taught to a clear and open mind, and thus, we need to recognize where our minds are not open and not clear. This means that we need to get very honest about our judgments, our beliefs, and our attachments, and release them by bringing attention to them. We need to stay vigilant of our judgments, expectations, and attack thoughts. We need to bring our awareness to them, so they can be released to the healing light of the Holy Spirit. We can no longer hide the dark corners of our mind if we want to know our Christ Self. We can no longer be content with our stories and our lies about ourselves. Truth cannot heal what we are choosing to keep from His healing light. We need not wait. We need not live in the past. We are born again today!
What amazing progress we could make today if we do the work! "Today we take the largest single step this course requests in your advance towards its established goal. " (W.127.6.5) Let us be glad to give the time to God who asks for fifteen minutes from us, twice today, for no other reason than for our own release! Allow Him to abide with you today in loving gentleness.
Stay aware today on how you exclude certain people from your love; not just in obvious ways, but how you exclude them in subtle ways. Be willing to notice and ask for help in releasing these blocks to love. With anyone who comes to mind today, three times an hour, offer him the blessing, " I bless you, brother, with the Love of God, which I would share with you. For I would learn the joyous lesson that there is no love but God's and yours and mine and everyone's . " (W.127.12.4-5) This may be someone whom you are tempted to see as special, someone on whom you are dependent, or even someone with whom you are experiencing difficulties. Anyone who comes to your mind is a suitable subject.

As our minds are healed, the blessing of this healing goes out to everyone. It cannot be otherwise, for our minds are One. We are all the same. To see the sameness is to have a glimpse of our Oneness.

Love and blessings, Sarah


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