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

The Problem of Guilt

V. The Two Emotions

33 We have said that you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common—they are all insane. They are made of sights which are not seen and sounds which are not heard. They make up a private world which cannot be shared. For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.

34 Each one peoples his world with figures from his individual past, and it is because of this that private worlds do differ. Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers and do not include their reactions to him . Therefore he does not see that he made them and that they are not whole. For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only.

35 It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is to them that they relate. Thus do they communicate with those who are not there, and it is they who answer them, and no one hears their answer save him who called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have men attacked each other because they saw in them a shadow figure in their own private world. And thus it is that you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others, you are literally attacking what is not there.

36 The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognize that they have condemned themselves . They do not wish to die, yet they will not let condemnation go. And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything is disordered and where what is within appears to be without. Yet what is within they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot see.

37 You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other . For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes it is not recognized. If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves and recoils from what he fears. And you react with fear to love and draw away from it. Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. Your private world is filled with the figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see . As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity.

38 You see what is not there, and you hear what is soundless. Your behavioral manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness, you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone .

39 Little children, would you offer this to your Father? For if you offer it to yourself, you are offering it to Him. And He will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of Him. Yet He would release you from it and set you free. His sane answer tells you that what you have offered yourself is not true, but His offering to you has never changed. You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity and come forth from your private world in peace.

40 You will see all that you denied in your brothers because you denied it in yourself. For you will love them, and by drawing nigh unto them, you will draw them to yourself, perceiving them as witnesses to your reality, which you share with God. I am with them as I am with you , and we will draw them from their private worlds, for as we are united, so would we unite with them. The Father welcomes all of us in gladness, and gladness is what we should offer Him . For every Son of God is given you to whom God gave Himself. And it is God to Whom you must offer them to recognize His gift to you .

41 Vision depends on light, and you cannot see in darkness. Yet in the darkness in the private world of sleep, you see in dreams, although your eyes are closed. And it is here that what you see you made. But let the darkness go, and all you made you will no longer see, for sight of it depends upon denying vision. Yet from denying vision, it does not follow that you cannot see. But this is what denial does , for by it you accept insanity, believing you can make a private world and rule your own perceptions. Yet for this, light must be excluded. Dreams disappear when light has come and you can see .

42 Do not seek vision through your eyes, for you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness, and in this you are deceived. Beyond this darkness and yet still within you is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. Your vision comes from fear, as His from love. And He sees for you as your witness to the real world. He is the Holy Spirit's manifestation, looking always on the real world and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them unto you . For He loves what He sees within you, and He would extend it. And He will not return unto the Father until He has extended your perception even unto Him. And there perception is no more, for He has returned you to the Father with Him.

43 You have but two emotions, and one you made and one was given you. Each is a way of seeing , and different worlds arise from their different visions. See through the vision that is given you, for through Christ's vision He beholds Himself. And seeing what He is, He knows His Father. Beyond your darkest dreams, He sees God's guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance, which is undimmed by your dreams. And this you will see as you look with Him, for His vision is His gift of love to you, given Him of the Father for you.

44 The Holy Spirit is the light in which Christ stands revealed. And all who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for light. Nor will they see Him alone , for He is no more alone than they are. Because they saw the Son, they have risen in Him to the Father. And all this will they understand because they looked within and saw beyond the darkness the Christ in them and recognized Him. In the sanity of His vision, they looked upon themselves with love, seeing themselves as the Holy Spirit sees them. And with this vision of the truth in them came all the beauty of the world to shine upon them.

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A Course in Miracles

Part I
Review IV

1 Now we review again, this time aware we are preparing for the second part of learning how the truth can be applied. Today we will begin to concentrate on readiness for what will follow next. Such is our aim for this review and for the lessons following. Thus we review the recent lessons and their central thoughts in such a way as will facilitate the readiness which we would now achieve.

2 There is a central theme that unifies each step in the review we undertake, which can be simply stated in these words:

3 My mind holds only what I think with God.

4 This is a fact and represents the truth of what you are and what your Father is. It is this thought by which the Father gave creation to the Son, establishing the Son as co-creator with Himself. It is this thought which fully guarantees salvation to the Son. For in his mind no thoughts can dwell but those his Father shares. Lack of forgiveness blocks this thought from his awareness. Yet it is forever true.

5 Let us begin our preparation with some understanding of the many forms in which the lack of true forgiveness may be carefully concealed. Because they are illusions, they are not perceived to be but what they are—defenses which protect your unforgiving thoughts from being seen and recognized. Their purpose is to show you something else and hold correction off through self-deceptions made to take its place.

6 And yet your mind holds only what you think with God. Your self-deceptions cannot take the place of truth. No more than can a child who throws a stick into the ocean change the coming and the going of the tides, the warming of the water by the sun, the silver of the moon on it by night. So do we start each practice period in this review with readying our minds to understand the lessons that we read and see the meaning which they offer us.

7 Begin each day with time devoted to the preparation of your mind to learn what each idea you will review that day can offer you in freedom and in peace. Open your mind and clear it of all thoughts that would deceive, and let this thought alone engage it fully and remove the rest:

8 My mind holds only what I think with God.

9 Five minutes with this thought will be enough to set the day along the lines which God appointed and to place His Mind in charge of all the thoughts you will receive that day. They will not come from you alone, for they will all be shared with Him. And so each one will bring the message of His Love to you, returning messages of yours to Him. So will communion with the Lord of Hosts be yours, as He Himself has willed it be. And as His own completion joins with Him, so will He join with you who are complete as you unite with Him and He with you.

10 After your preparation, merely read each of the two ideas assigned to you to be reviewed that day. Then close your eyes and say them slowly to yourself. There is no hurry now, for you are using time for its intended purpose. Let each word shine with the meaning God has given it as it was given to you through His Voice. Let each idea that you review that day give you the gift which He has laid in it for you to have of Him. And we will use no format for our practicing but this:

11 Each hour of the day bring to your mind the thought with which the day began and spend a quiet moment with it. Then repeat the two ideas you practice for the day unhurriedly, with time enough to see the gifts which they contain for you, and let them be received where they were meant to be. We add no other thoughts, but let them be the messages they are. We need no more than this to give us happiness and rest and endless quiet, perfect certainty, and all our Father wills that we receive as the inheritance we have of Him.

12 Each day of practicing, as we review, we close as we began, repeating first the thought that made the day a special time of blessing and of happiness for us and through our faithfulness restored the world from darkness to the light, from grief to joy, from pain to peace, from sin to holiness. God offers thanks to you who practice thus the keeping of His Word. And as you give your mind to the ideas for the day again before you sleep, His gratitude surrounds you in the peace wherein He wills you be forever and are learning now to claim again as your inheritance.

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 141
My Mind holds only what I think with God.

[121] Forgiveness is the key to happiness

[122] Forgiveness offers everything I want .

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 141
My mind holds only what I think with God.
Review IV ~ Lesson 121 - 122

These Lessons are now a preparation for Part II of the Workbook, coming after the next 80 Lessons. Part I of the workbook is described as ". . . undoing of the way you see now," (W.PI.IN.3.1) while Part II deals with the ". . . acquisition of true perception." (W.PI.IN.3.1) Jesus says that we need these next eighty Lessons to prepare our minds for the acquisition of true perception, which is not how we see now. In other words, it is about ". . . preparing for the second part of learning how the truth can be applied." (W.RIV.IN.1.1) The Lessons to come are all about making this transition to acquiring true perception. It is a very important part of our practice.
The focus of Part I of the Workbook is on the undoing of the ego thought system of sin, guilt, and fear. It is about removing the blocks to the presence of love. It is about mind training by taking a disciplined approach to watching our thoughts and bringing them to the inner altar. It is all about the willingness to undo the defenses that block the light within the mind. It is why we are reminded, in the final Lesson of the Holy Spirit, to "Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom." (T.6.V.C.2.8) (ACIM OE T.6.V.85) The meaning and interpretation we give to all the people, circumstances, and situations in our lives are what create pain and suffering. These are all our unforgiving thoughts, which block our awareness of the Kingdom within, where our peace, joy, and happiness are at every moment. To know this peace, we must bring our unforgiving thoughts for healing so that we can know the truth. "My mind holds only what I think with God." (W.RIV.IN.2.2) (ACIM OE RIV.3)
Defenses protect our unforgiving thoughts. We justify our attacks and our way of seeing a situation, person, or event. Our stories become the "truth" for us. Jesus says that the ego makes every attempt to try to prove that the illusion is true and thus truth is meaningless. "Analyzing to attack meaning the ego succeeds in overlooking it and is left with a series of fragmented perceptions which it (ego) unifies on behalf of itself. This, then, becomes the universe it perceives. And it is this universe which, in turn, becomes its demonstration of its own reality." (T.11.V.15.2-4) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.55) In other words, we take bits of evidence, make up a story, and insist on being right about it.
Looking at the darkness is required for our healing. When we deny the dark thoughts we hold, we are deceiving ourselves about who we are. Our self-deception keeps us stuck in pain and suffering, but we get satisfaction from being right about the way we have set things up, even though we are deeply unhappy. Jesus is now asking us to "Let us begin our preparation with some understanding of the many forms in which the lack of true forgiveness may be carefully concealed." (W.RIV.IN.3.1) (ACIM OE RIV.5) Jesus wants us to understand the many ways we defend ourselves against the truth. These defenses are not generally apparent to us, as they are mostly unconscious. They are all about the guilt in the mind and our belief in suffering and the sentence of death as punishment for guilt. They are ". . . defenses that protect your unforgiving thoughts from being seen and recognized." (W.RIV.IN.3.2) (ACIM OE RIV.5) That is why we need our mighty companions to help us see what is not apparent to us and not to join in our deceptions nor agree with our stories.
In our willingness to be deceived, we look outside ourselves, instead of looking within the mind, for the cause of our difficulties, believing our problems exist outside of ourselves and the solutions are there too. As long as we put our attention "out there" instead of looking at how we have chosen to defend against the love we are, we will be deceived by the illusion of the body and the world. Because we are deceived by what we see, we need reality to dispel our fears. "Their purpose is to show you something else, and hold correction off through self-deceptions made to take its place." (W.RIV.IN.3.3) (ACIM OE RIV.5) When we realize our mistake, we will choose the Atonement, which is the correction of our mistaken perception.
Jesus reminds us, "And yet, your mind holds only what you think with God. Your self-deceptions cannot take the place of truth." (W.RIV.IN.4.1-2) (ACIM OE RIV.6) Nothing we think about ourselves can change the truth of what we really are. No matter what we think we have done, how guilty we feel, or how much shame we hold, we have not affected the truth of what we are as holy, innocent, and eternally divine beings of light and love. We can no more change our reality as God's Son "than can a child who throws a stick into the ocean change the coming and the going of the tides, the warming of the water by the sun, the silver of the moon on it by night." (W.RIV.IN.4.3) (ACIM OE RIV.6) We can throw as many sticks into the ocean as we want, but we won't change the ocean. Accordingly, we can have as many thoughts of anger, shame, attack, frustration, impatience, and fantasies of any kind that we want, but we can't change who we are.
While we can believe that we are no longer the innocent Son of God, Jesus says we are only deceiving ourselves. Our minds still continues to be holy, created by God and thus holds only what we think with God. The belief we have contaminated our minds is as grandiose a thought as a child thinking he has changed the ocean by throwing a stick into it. It is simply a fantasy. We don't have the power to change the truth about the Self we are. We only have the power to believe that what is false is true. We have the power to choose to be unaware of the truth by denying our Identity.
In this review, there is a central theme said over and over again: "My mind holds only what I think with God." (W.RIV.IN.2.2) (ACIM OE RIV.3) This means that only thoughts that reflect the Oneness of God are true. Jesus affirms that this as a fact, but we don't believe it. We still believe that the thoughts we think, separate from God, are not only true but have power. These are thoughts in the wrong mind. Our true mind is where the truth resides. When we are not thinking with God, we are not thinking at all. He tells us it is impossible to have thoughts we don't think with God. "For in his mind no thoughts can dwell but those his Father shares." (W.RIV.IN.2.6) Any thought but what we think with God is not thinking at all.
Our unwillingness to forgive is the only block to what we are thinking with God. This is our unwillingness to take responsibility for our dark thoughts and bring them to the Holy Spirit's healing light. Jesus tells us there are " . . . many forms in which the lack of true forgiveness may be carefully concealed." (W.RIV.IN.3.1) (ACIM OE RIV.5) They are concealed behind defenses that keep us from seeing and even recognizing our unforgiving thoughts. In other words, while we think we are being honest with ourselves, our unforgiving thoughts are so carefully concealed behind our defenses, we deceive ourselves. "No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous." (T.11.V.1.1-2) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.39)
Illusions are deceptive, meaning that we tell ourselves that we are well-intentioned, concerned, and just being helpful, while all the while we are concealing our unforgiving thoughts. They are, in fact, actually meant to hurt and to attack. We polish our halo with its tarnished edges and its rusted core. "It does not even tell the truth as it perceives it, for it needs to keep the halo which it uses to protect its goals from tarnish and from rust, that you may see how 'innocent' it is." (W.133.8.7) In our intent to remain innocent, we maintain that we never attack unless provoked, we are innocent victims of attacks from others, and we keep our unforgiving thoughts carefully defended, which allows us to keep them. They are not as obvious to us as those thoughts that make us feel guilty, where we have attacked, told lies, gossiped, and have been insincere and hurtful.
We do hold thoughts unlike those of God. They are those thoughts that we defend as part of our self-concept and that we don’t see, as well as those that are more apparent to us. We may think of ourselves as kind, helpful, and compassionate, but if these qualities are developed as part of our self-concept and are not guided by Spirit, they will not be helpful and may even inflict pain and guilt in others. Still, it is all like the sticks a child throws in the ocean. While none of these thoughts have changed our reality, they nevertheless block our awareness of who we truly are. Still, our holy minds can't be made unholy. In this practice, we affirm, again and again, "My mind holds only what I think with God," (W.RIV.IN.2.2) (ACIM OE RIV.3) while watching our thoughts that are not in alignment with God’s Thoughts.
Our defenses are there to keep our individuality and our specialness intact. We need to pay attention to how much we resist the truth. Mind watching is part of our process in ". . . readying our minds to understand the lessons that we read, and see the meaning that they offer us." (W.RIV.IN.4.4) (ACIM OE RIV.6) We must recognize the value of this practice to our peace and happiness. Our investment in doing these Lessons will reveal the beauty of our true Self. We need the Holy Spirit's help us in this, so He can reinterpret our way of seeing any situation in our lives and provide His translation for us. It is imperative that we stay very vigilant regarding how we hide our true motives from ourselves. Jesus will go into the darkness with us if we invite him. He says, "We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thoughts system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready." (T.11.V.1.3) (ACIM OE T.10.VI.39) He asks that we be very calm, quiet, courageous, and honest with ourselves. There is no need for fear.
People in our lives are not who they seem. They are just our own thoughts reflected back at us. If I take things personally, as if they were directed at me, I will see betrayal and hurt and respond with anger. Do I condemn this person and mentally distance myself from him, or do I use this as a call to accept an inner correction for myself? The only thing lacking in any situation is what I have failed to give. Or, as Richard Dreyfus says in the movie Always , "The only pain we carry here is the love we withhold."
We have many opportunities for healing throughout the day when conflicts surface. Jesus cautions, "Beware of the temptation to perceive yourself unfairly treated." (T.26.X.4.1) (ACIM OE T.26.XI.88) We want to see ourselves unfairly treated so we can reclaim our innocence at the expense of a brother. We need to recognize victimhood as another defense with which we come into this world and hold others responsible for our situation. It provides us with a justification for our stories and for our attacks.
Only our interpretation of any situation is the source of pain. We project our own guilt onto the world, and it is given back to us as a reflection of the unhealed parts of our own mind. "You cannot be unfairly treated. The belief you are is but another form of the idea you are deprived by someone not yourself." (T.26.X.3.2-3) (ACIM OE T.26.XI.87) As Jesus reminds us in Lesson 5, "I am never upset for the reason I think." (W.5)
We all deceive ourselves. We have taught ourselves that the world is real, yet it has let us down by what it has done to us or what it hasn't done to meet our expectations. We have not been willing to take responsibility for everything that seems to happen to us. We use defenses in order to pretend that we are innocent so we can blame the world for all our disappointments and misfortunes; but as Jesus reminds us: " I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked ." (T.21.II.2.3-5) (ACIM OE T.21.III.15)
This can be a challenging thought to take in, as we resist this kind of responsibility. Jesus tells us that it is impossible that events and situations come to us without our choice. Recognizing that we have chosen it all is actually a very powerful thought because then we have the ability to change our perceptions. "You did this to yourself." (T.21.II.5.4) (ACIM OE T.21.III.19) The ego screams, "No way!" Yet if we reject the power of our minds, we have no power to change our minds. Then, we truly are victims. We have invested faith in the idea that we are victims of the world, but by taking responsibility for our condition, we can bring our misperceptions to the truth. Now, space is opened up in our minds, where truth can shine forth. When we practice the Lessons by really doing so with faith and desire, we "Let each word shine with the meaning God has given it, as it was given to you through His Voice." (W.RIV.IN.7.4) (ACIM OE RIV.10) By looking at our unforgiving thoughts with honesty and courage in a non-defensive way and by turning them over for healing, the miracle can be experienced.
When we see everything in our lives as just another opportunity to look at the situation as a mirror for our own healing, we can see it as a loving, divine correction forever, offered us in each moment. When I can release the fear within by bringing it to the light of truth, I can become a reflection of the light of God in this world. "Today we will begin to concentrate on readiness for what will follow next." (W.RIV.IN.1.2) This means we really commit to looking at ". . . defenses that protect your unforgiving thoughts from being seen and recognized." (W.RIV.IN.3.2) (ACIM OE RIV.5)
When we stop blaming the world for our pain and its failure to make us happy, we will be ready to release our grievances and thus connect with our own inherent happiness and remember, "My mind holds only what I think with God." (W.RIV.IN.2.2) (ACIM OE RIV.3) Any other thoughts are just illusions, and thus, we use each day for forgiveness so we may experience ". . . happiness and rest, and endless quiet, perfect certainty, and all our Father wills that we receive as the inheritance we have of Him." (W.RIV.IN.9.2) (ACIM OE RIV.11) Jesus reminds us of God's Love and gratitude as we open our minds to receiving His gift. "And as you give your mind to the ideas for the day again before you sleep, His gratitude surrounds you in the peace wherein He wills you be forever, and are learning now to claim again as your inheritance." (W.RIV.IN.10.2) (ACIM OE RIV.12)
Let this thought alone engage your mind fully for five minutes: "My mind holds only what I think with God . " (W.RIV.IN.2.2) (ACIM OE RIV.3) Repeat the two ideas for today: (121) "Forgiveness is the key to happiness ," and (122) "Forgiveness offers everything I want." Close your eyes and say them slowly to yourself. "Let each word shine with the meaning God has given it, as it was given to you through His Voice." (W.RIV.IN.7.4) (ACIM OE RIV.10) Take your time. Let the Holy Spirit open the meaning for you, and "Let each idea that you review . . . give you the gift which He has laid in it for you to have of Him." (W.RIV.IN.7.5) (ACIM OE RIV.10) Bring all your thoughts of guilt and judgment today to His healing light. Today, let any interfering thoughts be transformed by forgiveness into gifts of happiness and peace.
Love and blessings, Sarah


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