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

From Perception to Knowledge

I. Introduction

1 All therapy is release from the past. That is why the Holy Spirit is the only therapist. He teaches that the past does not exist, a fact which belongs to the sphere of knowledge and which therefore no one in the world knows. It would indeed be impossible to be in the world with this knowledge. For the mind that knows this unequivocally knows also that it dwells in eternity and utilizes no perception at all. It therefore does not consider where it is because the concept "where" does not mean anything to it. It knows that it is everywhere , just as it has everything , and forever .

2 The very real difference between perception and knowledge becomes quite apparent if you consider this: There is nothing partial about knowledge. Every aspect is whole, and therefore no aspect is separate. You are an aspect of knowledge, being in the Mind of God, Who knows you. All knowledge must be yours, for in you is all knowledge. Perception at its loftiest is never complete. Even the perception of the Holy Spirit, as perfect as perception can be, is without meaning in Heaven. Perception can reach everywhere under His guidance, for the vision of Christ beholds everything in light. Yet no perception, however holy, will last forever.

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A Course in Miracles

From Perception to Knowledge

II. The Role of Healing

3 Perfect perception, then, has many elements in common with knowledge, making transfer to it possible. Yet the last step must be taken by God because the last step in your redemption, which seems to be in the future, was accomplished by God in your creation. The separation has not interrupted it. Creation cannot be interrupted. The separation is merely a faulty formulation of reality with no effect at all. The miracle, without a function in Heaven, is needful here. Aspects of reality can still be seen, and they will replace aspects of un reality. Aspects of reality can be seen in everything and everywhere. Yet only God can gather them together by crowning them as one with the final gift of eternity.

4 Apart from the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit has no function. He is not separate from either, being in the mind of both and knowing that Mind is one. He is a Thought of God, and God has given Him to you because He has no Thoughts He does not share. His message speaks of timelessness in time, and that is why Christ's vision looks on everything with love. Yet even Christ's vision is not His reality. The golden aspects of reality which spring to light under His loving gaze are partial glimpses of the Heaven that lies beyond them.

5 This is the miracle of creation; that it is one forever . Every miracle you offer to the Son of God is but the true perception of one aspect of the whole. Though every aspect is the whole, you cannot know this until you see that every aspect is the same , perceived in the same light and therefore one. Everyone seen without the past thus brings you nearer to the end of time by bringing healed and healing sight into the darkness and enabling the world to see. For light must come into the darkened world to make Christ's vision possible even here. Help Him to give His gift of light to all who think they wander in the darkness, and let Him gather them into His quiet sight that makes them one.

6 They are all the same; all beautiful and equal in their holiness. And He will offer them unto His Father as they were offered unto Him. There is one miracle, as there is one reality. And every miracle you do contains them all, as every aspect of reality you see blends quietly into the One Reality of God. The only miracle that ever was is God's most holy Son, created in the One Reality that is his Father. Christ's vision is His gift to you. His Being is His Father's gift to Him.

7 Be you content with healing, for Christ's gift you can bestow, and your Father's gift you cannot lose. Offer Christ's gift to everyone and everywhere, for miracles offered the Son of God through the Holy Spirit attune you to reality. The Holy Spirit knows your part in the redemption and who are seeking you and where to find them. Knowledge is far beyond your individual concern. You, who are part of it and all of it, need only realize that it is of the Father, not of you. Your role in the redemption leads you to it by reestablishing its oneness in your minds.

8 When you have seen your brothers as yourself, you will be released to knowledge, having learned to free yourself of Him Who knows of freedom. Unite with me under the holy banner of His teaching, and as we grow in strength, the power of God's Son will move in us, and we will leave no one untouched and no one left alone. And suddenly time will be over, and we will all unite in the eternity of God the Father. The holy light you saw outside yourself in every miracle you offered to your brothers will be returned to you. And knowing that the light is in you, your creations will be there with you, as you are in your Father.

9 As miracles in this world join you to your brothers, so do your creations establish your fatherhood in Heaven. You are the witnesses to the Fatherhood of God, and He has given you the power to create the witnesses to your fatherhood in Heaven. The miracle which God created is perfect, as are the miracles which you created in His name. They need no healing, nor do you when you know them .

10 Yet in this world, your perfection is unwitnessed. God knows it, but you do not, and so you do not share His witness to it. Nor do you witness unto Him, for reality is witnessed to as one. God waits your witness to His Son and to Himself. The miracles you do on earth are lifted up to Heaven and to Him. They witness to what you do not know, and as they reach the gates of Heaven, God will open them. For never would He leave His own beloved Son outside them and beyond Himself.

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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 144
My Mind holds only what I think with God.

[127] There is no love but God's.

[128] The world I see has nothing that I want.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 144
My mind holds only what I think with God.
Review IV ~ Lesson 127 - 128

As a reminder, these Lessons are preparing us for a transition into Part II of the Workbook. In the second part of the Workbook, the Lessons are much shorter, and the practice instructions are fewer. Now, we are in a preparation stage for this transition.
In Lesson 153 to come, we are encouraged to set our intent. "Your practicing will now begin to take the earnestness of love, to help you keep your mind from wandering from its intent. Be not afraid or timid." (W.153.20.1) It is a time to express gratitude in every moment. Overall, our process is enhanced when we are observant, dedicated, and committed to the practice in spite of the fact that we are no longer getting a lot of structure and direction, which was available throughout the first part of the Workbook. Our dedication and our devotion to this process will take us far.
We have only three lines of practice. We are supplying our own commentary as we listen to the Holy Spirit and let Him open up the meaning for us. We are to "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) The words are given us to light up our minds. The words can symbolize for us the end of the ego thought system when we connect with their deeper meaning. This can only happen when we bring our thoughts of guilt and judgment to the light. It is all about the investment we are prepared to give to this practice. What does it mean to you as you take in the words of today's Lesson? "There is no love but God's," (W.127) and "The world I see holds nothing that I want." (W.128)
What would I be thinking, being, and doing if I were to really get the intent of these words? How do I apply them in my day? It is important for me to be very honest and notice my thoughts about what Jesus is telling me. I recognize that I do think there are other kinds of love, and there are things in this world that I still want. I am still invested in my individuality, self-concepts, values, and opinions that I hold; and so, it helps me to notice where I resist the message. It is helpful for me to notice my attachments, without inducing more guilt or self-judgment. I need to be very honest with myself while staying open to the truth in my mind. I continue to look at my investments with regard to my special relationships and attachments to the things of this world while being open and willing to be shown another way. I am called to be very honest with myself and to recognize where I am perceiving incorrectly. As I do so, I become more willing to be wrong and to change my mind about the way I see things.
Let us use the thoughts offered today to make it a time of special communion with God. We are told that we should not hurry with the Lesson. Be aware of the voice of the ego in you. It may be making demands of you or hurrying you along to get these Lessons. It may chastise you for not making sufficient effort. This is another way the ego keeps us in guilt. Pay attention to these ego thoughts so you can bring your awareness to its tricks. The irrefutable fact is---our minds do hold only what we think with God. It is not something we have to convince ourselves about. It is the truth. (W.RIV.IN.2.3) (ACIM OE RIV.3) The raucous shrieks of the ego's voice drown out the truth, yet our salvation is fully guaranteed. I can say this because we have already been saved. We are simply refusing to acknowledge the truth in our minds. And that is OK because we are not ready, and we will not be hurled into Heaven. The thoughts that distract our minds from the truth are not real. They absolutely have no substance yet these thoughts block our awareness that we are One with God and keep us from peace. These thoughts keep us in the dream, but the power is in our minds to choose to engage in the process of awakening.
We will never find in the world the love we are looking for. The love we are looking for is right in our own minds. We are looking for something we already have. We are the love of God, and we have the love of God. "To have, give all to all." (T.6.V.A.5.13) (ACIM OE T.6.V.a.17) Why don't we feel it all the time? We don't feel it because we have covered up the truth about ourselves with thoughts of specialness, based on our concepts of ourselves as separate beings. We are deceived about who we are. We accepted this deception into our minds when we turned to the ego and left our right minds. With this choice came sin, guilt, and fear, but healing comes when we give up our deceptions. The answer is in seeing the innocence in our brother so we can know it in ourselves. "Do not, then, be deceived in your brother, and see only his loving thoughts as his reality, for by denying that his mind is split you will heal yours. Accept him as his Father accepts him and heal him unto Christ, for Christ is his healing and yours." (T.11.VIII.9.2-3) (ACIM OE T.10.VIII.84)
It does not seem like the thoughts I think are unloving. Yet when I look at my investment in my opinions, my judgments, my pride in my independence, and the importance of being in control, I see all these as a massive defense against my burning love for God. "For still deeper than the ego's foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and His for you ." (T.13.III.2.8) (ACIM OE T.12.III.12) Our defense against this deep and abiding love keeps us in bondage to the ego rather than surrendering into the Arms of God. We still fear His love, as we still value our individuality. Thus, we stay invested in judgment.
Our self-serving thoughts cover our overpowering love for God. The natural state of love, in which we exist in truth, has been covered over with a veil of forgetfulness. We believe that the mind has turned itself into something sinful. We think we need to atone for this sinful self and that this will take time to undo our massive sin. We think we must make ourselves worthy of the love that we believe we discarded; and so, we put our awakening into the future. Yet it is only in the present that we can know the truth and choose peace. There is nothing to atone for. The loving mind is in agony over what it thinks is has done and is full of guilt. (See Text Chapter 13, III The Fear of Redemption) (ACIM OE T.12.III) It weeps, but we keep it distracted with the things of this world until the pain is no longer tolerable and the Call goes out from our soul for a better way. As a result, our desire and willingness to detach our investment in the world increase until eventually we really understand that there is nothing in this world we want.
The key to happiness is not another car, more money, recognition, or finding a romantic partner with all the promise that goes with them for a happier life. These things can keep us in a state of searching for a seemingly long time. Even when we think we have found the seemingly perfect, special person who will meet all our needs, we wonder if it really is the right one. There is no certainty in the illusion. The initial attraction fades over time. Love is not something we can ever find outside of ourselves. The Lesson today reminds us that there is no love but God's. We are assured it is there for us. It cannot be found outside of ourselves, yet if we still choose to continue this search, it does not make us guilty. When the blocks to the awareness of love's presence are removed by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we become the givers of love; and by giving, we receive and learn that the love we are looking for is in us and always has been. When we look for love in the world, or when we try to take it and possess it, we just experience more pain. When we pour out our love, bless the world, and give it out, it brings us joy. We are the source of it. The love is there, covered over with the obstacles that we put in its way. We say we want peace, and yet we are constantly throwing it away and blaming others for taking it from us.
Lesson 127 was described as the biggest step in the workbook. This too is another giant stride Lesson and exceedingly important because it proclaims the truth of who we are and who God is. It is about accepting Atonement for ourselves so we can know who we really are. Let us not close ourselves to this love by our own perspective. Once we get that we are love, God is love, and there is no separation, there is nothing else. We think of love in the world as having different qualities. We love some people more than others, and we have more loving thoughts one day than another. These are all misinterpretations of what love is. In fact, nothing in the world can teach us what love is. There is no change and no limits to love. It is what we are.
How do you feel when you read the words of today's Lesson, "The world I see holds nothing that I want?" (W.128) Do you feel joy or despair? Think about it. If you have everything already, then you are not looking to the world for anything. You already have it. We can't see two worlds. When forgiveness is total, we will see the real world. "For forgiveness literally transforms vision, and lets you see the real world reaching quietly and gently across chaos, removing all illusions that had twisted your perception and fixed it on the past. The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God's perfection." (T.17.II.6.2-3) (ACIM OE T.17.III.12)
The only way to forgive what is within is to forgive what appears to be without, which are our ". . . secret sins and hidden hates , " (T.31.VIII.9.2) (ACIM OE T.31.VIII.94) reflected back to us from the world. "How much do you want salvation? It will give you the real world, trembling with readiness to be given you. The eagerness of the Holy Spirit to give you this is so intense He would not wait, although He waits in patience. Meet His patience with your impatience at delay in meeting Him. Go out in gladness to meet with your Redeemer, and walk with Him in trust out of this world, and into the real world of beauty and forgiveness." (T.17.II.8.1-5) (ACIM OE T.17.III.13)
If we are unforgiving with ourselves, judging our mistakes, and beating up on ourselves, we project our self-attacking thoughts onto others. This is the origin of the harsh world we see. All our pain and all our loneliness comes from our choice for the ego and for our specialness. We have shut ourselves off from the heart of love. We have shut ourselves off from our Self---from the Source of Love. Instead of being willing to see that we have made this choice, we feel abandoned by God, but we are the ones who abandoned Him and ourselves. We are the Prodigal Son, who believes he stole his Father's treasure and now is full of guilt and afraid to go home. All the time, our Father waits with open arms, watching for the return of His Son, who is the Father's treasure.
"The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God." (Clarification of Terms.5.2.1) We are, ultimately, taking the very same journey. Every brother offers us another opportunity to see the truth of who we are. We are all the same. There are no differences. What needs to be forgiven is our own belief in sin that we project onto our brothers. We must do our part and then let the Holy Spirit do the rest. Our part is only to bring awareness to our thoughts and bring them to the light of His healing. It is not up to us to fix ourselves, nor undo the ego. "It is this that makes the holy instant so easy and so natural. You make it difficult, because you insist there must be more that you need do. You find it difficult to accept the idea that you need give so little, to receive so much. And it is very hard for you to realize it is not personally insulting that your contribution and the Holy Spirit’s are so extremely disproportionate." (T.18.IV.7.1-4) (ACIM OE T.18.V.39)
Love and blessings, Sarah


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