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

The Problem of Guilt

VI. Finding the Present

45 To perceive truly is to be aware of all reality through the awareness of your own. But for this no illusions can rise to meet your sight, for all reality leaves no room for any error. This means that you perceive a brother only as you see him now . His past has no reality in the present, and you cannot see it. Your past reactions to him are also not there, and if it is to them that you react now , you see but an image of him which you made and cherish instead of him. In your questioning of illusions, ask yourself if it is really sane to perceive what was now. If you remember the past as you look upon your brother, you will be unable to perceive the reality that is now .

46 You consider it "natural" to use your past experience as the reference point from which to judge the present. Yet this is unnatural because it is delusional. When you have learned to look upon everyone with no reference at all to the past, either his or yours as you perceived it, you will be able to learn from what you see now . For the past can cast no shadow to darken the present unless you are afraid of light. And only if you are would you choose to bring this darkness with you, and by holding it in your minds, see it as a dark cloud that shrouds your brothers and conceals their reality from your sight.

47 This darkness is in you . The Christ revealed to you now has no past, for He is changeless, and in His changelessness lies your release. For if He is as He was created, there is no guilt in Him. No cloud of guilt has risen to obscure Him, and He stands revealed in everyone you meet because you see Him through Himself . To be born again is to let the past go and look without condemnation upon the present. For the cloud which obscures God's Son to you is the past, and if you would have it past and gone , you must not see it now . If you see it now in your delusions, it has not gone from you, although it is not there.

48 Time can release as well as imprison, depending on whose interpretation of it you use. Past, present, and future are not continuous unless you force continuity on them. You can perceive them as continuous and make them so for you. But do not be deceived and then believe that this is how it is , for to believe that reality is what you would have it be according to your use for it is delusional. You would destroy time's continuity by breaking it into past, present, and future for your own purposes . You would anticipate the future on the basis of your past experience and plan for it accordingly. Yet by doing so, you are aligning past and future and not allowing the miracle, which could intervene between them, to free you to be born again.

49 The miracle enables you to see your brother without his past and so perceive him as born again. His errors are all past, and by perceiving him without them, you are releasing him. And since his past is yours , you share in this release. Let no dark cloud out of your past obscure him from you, for truth lies only in the present, and you will find it if you seek it there. You have looked for it where it is not and therefore have not found it. Learn, then, to seek it where it is , and it will dawn on eyes that see. Your past was made in anger, and if you use it to attack the present, you will not see the freedom that the present holds. Judgment and condemnation are behind you, and unless you bring them with you, you will see that you are free of them.

50 Look lovingly upon the present, for it holds the only things that are forever true. All healing lies within it because its continuity is real. It extends to all aspects of consciousness at the same time and thus enables them to reach each other. The present is before time was and will be when time is no more. In it is everything that is eternal, and they are one. Their continuity is timeless, and their communication is unbroken, for they are not separated by the past. Only the past can separate, and it is nowhere.

51 The present offers you your brothers in the light that would unite you with them and free you from the past. Would you, then, hold the past against them? For if you do, you are choosing to remain in the darkness that is not there and refusing to accept the light that is offered you. For the light of perfect vision is freely given as it is freely received and can be accepted only without limit . In this one still dimension of time, which does not change and where there is no sight of what you were, you look at Christ and call His witnesses to shine on you because you called them forth . And they will not deny the truth in you because you looked for it in them and found it there.

52 Now is the time of salvation, for now is the release from time. Reach out to all your brothers and touch them with the touch of Christ. In timeless union with them is your continuity, unbroken because it is wholly shared. God's guiltless Son is only light. There is no darkness in him anywhere, for he is whole. Call all your brothers to witness to his wholeness, as I am calling you to join with me. Every voice has a part in the song of redemption, the hymn of gladness and thanksgiving for the light to the Creator of light. The holy light that shines forth from God's Son is the witness that his light is of his Father.

53 Shine on your brothers in remembrance of your Creator, for you will remember Him as you call forth the witnesses to His creation. Those whom you heal bear witness to your healing, for in their wholeness you will see your own. And as your hymns of praise and gladness rise to your Creator, He will return your thanks in His clear answer to your call. For it can never be that His Son called upon Him and remained unanswered. His call to you is but your call to Him. And in Him you are answered by His peace.

54 Children of light, you know not that the light is in you. Yet you will find it through its witnesses, for having given light to them, they will return it. Everyone you see in light brings your light closer to your own awareness. Love always leads to love. The sick, who ask for love, are grateful for it, and in their joy they shine with holy thanks. And this they offer you, who gave them joy. They are your guides to joy, for having received it of you, they would keep it. You have established them as guides to peace, for you have made it manifest in them. And seeing it, its beauty calls you home.

55 There is a light which this world cannot give. Yet you can give it, as it was given you. And as you give it, it shines forth to call you from the world and follow it. For this light will attract you as nothing in this world can do. And you will lay aside the world and find another. This other world is bright with love, which you have given it. And here will everything remind you of your Father and His Holy Son. Light is unlimited and spreads across this world in quiet joy. All those you brought with you will shine on you, and you will shine on them in gratitude because they brought you here. Your light will join with theirs in power so compelling that it will draw the others out of darkness as you look on them.

56 Awakening unto Christ is following the laws of love of your free will and out of quiet recognition of the truth in them. The attraction of light must draw you willingly, and willingness is signified by giving. Those who accept love of you become your willing witnesses to the love you gave them, and it is they who hold it out to you . In sleep you are alone, and your awareness is narrowed to yourself. And that is why the nightmares come. You dream of isolation because your eyes are closed. You do not see your brothers, and in the darkness you cannot look upon the light you gave to them.

57 And yet the laws of love are not suspended because you sleep. And you have followed them through all your nightmares and have been faithful in your giving, for you were not alone. Even in sleep has Christ protected you, ensuring the real world for you when you wake. In your name He has given for you and given you the gifts He gave. God's Son is still as loving as his Father. Continuous with his Father, he has no past apart from Him. So he has never ceased to be his Father's witness and his own . Although he slept, Christ's vision did not leave him. And so it is that he can call unto himself the witnesses that teach him that he never slept.

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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 142
My Mind holds only what I think with God.

[123] I thank my Father for His gifts to me.

[124] Let me remember I am one with God.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 142
My mind holds only what I think with God.
Review IV ~ Lesson 123 - 124

When coming to a review, some have a harder time staying with the Lessons because there is no commentary provided. We just have two lines for each Lesson, introduced by the statement: "My mind holds only what I think with God." On the other hand, it can be a time of deeper reflection, with only a few words that point to the truth. In our time of contemplation and extended silence, we can experience a profound communion with God.
This is part of the preparation for the second part of the Course, where we will no longer have the detailed instructions for the practice, but instead, it is a time of listening, communion, prayer, and really opening our hearts to experience joy. There is no longer any prescribed amount of time given for the practice. We are continuing to learn how we can apply the Lessons and this teaching to our lives with regard to the situations, people, and circumstances that we encounter. It is all about watching our minds and letting go of interfering, unforgiving thoughts.
Our distracted monkey-minds, full of random thoughts, seem not to be easily brought to stillness. We need a lot of mind training, staying very vigilant with regard to our thoughts. The theme we are given for this practice is, "My mind holds only what I think with God."
It is not a thought to be practiced as a mantra. We are not being asked to force our minds to drive out opposing thoughts; we need to bring consistent awareness to our thoughts and recognize that they come from the false self and have no reality. The only real thoughts are those we think with God. While they are referred to as thoughts, in my understanding, they are more of a state of love, of peace, and of a deep connection with Source. All our other thoughts, except those we think with God, mean that we are not really thinking at all. Jesus says that when we think we are thinking thoughts other than those we think with God, our minds are actually blank. Our own thoughts are just noise in the mind, keeping us feeling anxious, angry, fearful, frustrated, and distracted. These are all basically hallucinations of the egoic mind, which increase our guilt and fear.
We recognize some thoughts as attacking and judgmental, while we deceive ourselves about our intentions with the thoughts we believe are good, nice, kind, and helpful. We may see them as well intended, but they may actually cover over the deep fear in the deceived mind. Therefore, they can be characterized as unforgiving in that they block our remembrance of our Oneness with God. While our thoughts keep the Voice for God at bay, they nevertheless do not change our reality any more than the sticks the child throws in the ocean change the ocean. We are still as God created us. We are still innocent and whole.
A common theme among almost everyone I know, and I include myself in that, is how very busy we are in our lives. A high level of activity seems much more acceptable in our world than to affirm the value of quiet and rest. As a friend of mine often says after we have spent time in some activity, "It was a wonderful way to kill some time." The ego makes judgments about quietness as boring or as an unproductive use of time. As David Hawkins says, the ego needs constant experience. It keeps us distracted with activity and "to-do lists" that make us feel that we are important. Consider giving up your "to-do list" for a day and watch what happens. What we think needs our attention may not need it at all.
Jesus says that we need to stay busy because of our fear of redemption. "Under the ego's dark foundation is the memory of God, and it is of this that you are really afraid." (T.13.III.2.1) (ACIM OE T.12.III.11) The ego throws in all kinds of tricks and games to distract us from the pain we hold in our minds; these tricks and games are the offerings that distract us from recognizing our deep desire for God. While the mind weeps, we throw money, sex, status, work, and fame at it. We give it anything that will keep it preoccupied with the things of the world. It has actually made us believe that we have lost our beautiful divine nature.  "How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, O holy Son of God, how long?" (W.PII.Q4.What is Sin.5.1-8) This is a very poignant question. These questions are there not to increase our guilt but to have us look more deeply at our purpose as to what we really want from this life. "Our emphasis is not on giving up the world, but on exchanging it for what is far more satisfying, filled with joy, and capable of offering you peace." (W.129.1.3)
I have a friend who recently inherited a huge sum of money but could not even think about letting go of the crazy work-life that consumes him. How would it feel simply to experience your life as a quiet, peaceful existence? For some, this can be exceedingly threatening. "In peace he needed nothing and asked for nothing. In war he demanded everything and found nothing." (T.13.III.11.1-2) (ACIM OE T.12.III.21) Yet how do we empty our minds of all the distracting thoughts if we never stop to take a look at what is driving us? Isn't this what the ego wants? It is happy to see us just keep going and going, like the energizer bunny, so we don't notice that its purpose is its own existence and not our happiness.
Today, let's take the time to express our gratitude to our Father for His gifts to us and to remember that we are one with Him. We are asked today to receive His gratitude. "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) The self that we made can offer us nothing of value, nothing eternal, and nothing that can deliver anything but pain. Only love is eternal and that is my Father's gift to me. That is why I feel this deep gratitude in being told that this world is not my reality and that I am eternally loved and blessed. I remind myself of who I really am as a divine being. When truth dawns on my mind, even briefly, the light in me shines forth and blesses everyone in my life in ways I cannot even fathom. I am not personally responsible for anyone. I give them over for His care.
We must allow all interferences to be released as they show up. He urges us, "Do not hide suffering from His sight, but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity all your hurt, and let Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His light, and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover. For He will heal every little thought you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God." (T.13.III.7.3-6) (ACIM OE T.12.III.17) Today, I will release all meaningless anxieties and will not doubt His protection and care for me. "As we deny our separation from our Father, it is healed along with us." (W.124.7.7)
Remember, we are already awake in God. When we accept the perfection of the orchestration of our lives, we see that nothing is wrong with what is happening. It is all for our awakening. Any frustration we feel is a demand or expectation that something be different than it is right now. Yet everything is perfect for our highest good, in this moment. If God could reach out and lay His Hands on us and zap us into seeing our own Divinity, He would be making us a victim, showing us there is a power outside of our own minds that could bring us something we don't already have. This would mean God made us a captive rather than a free soul, capable of making our own choices and decisions. To choose is our one remaining freedom in this world. Right now, aspects of the dream are still attractive to us, even if they bring pain. We have been given the freedom to choose those aspects until we see that we don’t want them any longer.
We are God’s Child, and as such, we can do whatever we choose. We came here to experience, and that is what we will do until we find that it no longer serves our deeper need. As long as we still believe that there is pleasure to be found here, we will pursue it. Until we realize that when we reach for what we think will bring us pleasure, we are actually reaching for more pain, we will not be completely motivated to give it up. Whatever specialness still attracts us can be used by the Holy Spirit. and so, we need not avoid the attraction it has for us.
On this journey that we take to God, we still have desires for things in this world. We still want our independence, our individuality, and our special unique selves. We still fear our surrender to God and what it might entail. We are now learning to turn those desires over for a deeper desire‑‑‑our desire for awakening to the truth of who we are. Father, help me to remember today what I truly want. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit in this dream. Thank you for my Brother Jesus, who has shown me the way and stays with me to help me in the undoing of this dream. Thank you for reminding me that only what is of God has power, and what is not of Him has no power to do anything.
There is a gift in each painful situation that we seem to experience. It is up to us as to when we will choose to receive this gift. The gift is the miracle. When we feel that we have lost our connection with love, or when we have any negative feelings, we can ask for help, recognizing we have chosen with the ego. Now we have another choice that we could make. We could call on the Holy Spirit to help us look at our difficulties with compassion for ourselves. There is no need for guilt. He reminds us that we have not sinned. We can now look at our painful feelings with His Love beside us, reminding us who we are. He tells us nothing of importance has happened. It is just a momentary dream. We are still God’s creation. Having negative feelings does not change who we are.
Jesus tells us that if we are still asking: "What am I, what is the meaning of life, and what is my purpose here?" we are actually demonstrating our refusal to accept the truth in our right minds. The answer is given. It is just a question of its acceptance. Let us stay focused today on our goal. The means have been given us to reach it. This Course is not about rote learning but a deep willingness for communion with God and our openness to hear His message of love and completion, which is given here. We change the nature of our day entirely when we change the nature of our thoughts and allow our mind to hold only what we think with God. When we do, everyone we meet and every situation we encounter brings a message of His Love for us. Let us remember to be grateful throughout the day and as the evening comes.
Love and blessings, Sarah


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