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

The Forgiveness of Illusions

III. The Magnitude of Holiness

10 You still think holiness is difficult because you cannot see how it can be extended to include everyone. And you have learned that it must include everyone to be holy. Concern yourselves not with the extension of holiness, for the nature of miracles you do not understand. Nor do you do them. It is their extension, far beyond the limits you perceive, that demonstrates you did not do them. Why should you worry how the miracle extends to all the Sonship when you do not understand the miracle itself? One attribute is no more difficult to understand than is the whole. If miracles are at all, their attributes would have to be miraculous, being part of them.

11 There is a tendency to fragment and then to be concerned about the truth of just a little part of the whole. And this is but a way of avoiding or looking away from the whole to what you think you might be better able to understand. For this is but another way in which you would still try to keep understanding to yourself . A better and far more helpful way to think of miracles is this: You do not understand them, either in part or whole. Yet you have done them. Therefore, your understanding cannot be necessary. Yet it is still impossible to accomplish what you do not understand. And so there must be something in you that does understand.

12 To you the miracle cannot seem natural because what you have done to hurt your minds has made them so unnatural that they do not remember what is natural to them. And when you are told about it, you cannot understand it. The recognition of the part as whole and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural. For it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you. Wholly natural perception would show you instantly that order of difficulty in miracles is quite impossible, for it involves a contradiction of what miracles mean. And if you could understand their meaning, their attributes could hardly cause you perplexity.

13 You have done miracles, but it is quite apparent that you have not done them alone. You have succeeded whenever you have reached another mind and joined with it. When two minds join as one and share one idea equally, the first link in the awareness of the Sonship as one has been made. When you have made this joining as the Holy Spirit bids you and have offered it to Him to use as He knows how, His natural perception of your gift enables Him to understand it and you to use His understanding on your behalf. It is impossible to convince you of the reality of what has clearly been accomplished through your willingness, as long as you believe that you must understand it or else it is not real.

14 You think your lack of understanding is a loss to you, and so you are unwilling to believe that what has happened is true. But can you really believe that all that has happened, even though you do not understand it, has not happened? Yet this is your position. You would have perfect faith in the Holy Spirit and in the effects of His teaching if you were not afraid to acknowledge what He taught you. For this acknowledgment means that what has happened you do not understand but that you are willing to accept it because it has happened.

15 How can faith in reality be yours while you are bent on making it unreal? And are you really safer in maintaining the unreality of what has happened than you would be in joyously accepting it for what it is and giving thanks for it? Honor the truth that has been given you, and be glad you do not understand it. Miracles are natural to God and to the One Who speaks for Him. For His task is to translate the miracle into the knowledge which it represents and which is lost to you. Let His understanding of the miracle be enough for you, and do not turn away from all the witnesses that He has given you to His reality.

16 No evidence will convince you of the truth of what you do not want. Yet your relationship with Him is real and has been demonstrated. Regard this not with fear but with rejoicing. The One you called upon is with you. Bid Him welcome and honor His witnesses, who bring you the glad tidings He has come. It is true, just as you fear, that to acknowledge Him is to deny all that you think you know. But it was never true. What gain is there to you in clinging to it and denying the evidence for truth? For you have come too near to truth to renounce it now, and you will yield to its compelling attraction. You can delay this now but only a little while. The host of God has called to you, and you have heard. Never again will you be wholly willing not to listen.

17 This is a year of joy in which your listening will increase, and peace will grow with its increase. The power of holiness and the weakness of attack have both been brought into awareness. And this has been accomplished in minds firmly convinced that holiness is weakness and attack is power. Should not this be a sufficient miracle to teach you that your Teacher is not of you? But remember also that whenever you have listened to His interpretation, the results have brought you joy. Would you prefer the results of your interpretation, considering honestly what they have been? God wills you better. Could you not look with greater charity on whom God loves with perfect love?

18 Do not interpret against God's Love, for you have many witnesses which speak of it so clearly that only the blind and deaf could fail to see and hear them. This year, determine not to deny what has been given you by God. [Awake and share it], for that is the only reason He has called to you. His Voice has spoken clearly, and yet you have so little faith in what you heard because you have preferred to place still greater faith in the disaster you have made. Today let us resolve together to accept the joyful tidings that disaster is not real and that reality is not disaster.

19 Reality is safe and sure and wholly kind to everyone and everything. There is no greater love than to accept this and be glad. For love asks only that you be happy and will give you everything that makes for happiness. You have never given any problem to the Holy Spirit He has not solved for you, nor will you ever do so. You have never tried to solve anything yourself and been successful. Is it not time you brought these facts together and made sense of them?

20 This is the year for the application of the ideas which have been given you. For the ideas are mighty forces to be used and not held idly by. They have already proved their power sufficiently for you to place your faith in them and not in their denial. This year invest in truth, and let it work in peace. Have faith in what has faith in you . Think what you have really seen and heard and recognize it. Can you be alone with witnesses like these?

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A Course in Miracles

Part I
Review V

1 We now review again. This time we are ready to give more effort and more time to what we undertake. We recognize we are preparing for another phase of understanding. We would take this step completely, that we may go on again more certain, more sincere, with faith upheld more surely. Our footsteps have not been unwavering, and doubts have made us walk uncertainly and slowly on the road this course sets forth. But now we hasten on, for we approach a greater certainty, a firmer purpose and a surer goal.

2 Steady our feet, our Father; let our doubts be quiet and our holy minds be still, and speak to us. We have no words to give to You. We would but listen to Your Word and make it ours. Lead our practicing as does a father lead a little child along a way he does not understand. Yet does he follow, sure that he is safe because his father leads the way for him.

3 So do we bring our practicing to You. And if we stumble, You will raise us up. If we forget the way, we count upon Your sure remembering. We wander off, but You will not forget to call us back. Quicken our footsteps now, that we may walk more certainly and quickly unto You. And we accept the Word You offer us to unify our practicing, as we review the thoughts that You have given us.

4 This is the thought which should precede the thoughts that we review. Each one but clarifies some aspect of this thought or helps it be more meaningful, more personal and true, and more descriptive of the holy Self we share and now prepare to know again:

5 God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

6 This Self alone knows love. This Self alone is perfectly consistent in Its thoughts, knows Its Creator, understands Itself, is perfect in Its knowledge and Its love, and never changes from Its constant state of union with Its Father and Itself.

7 And it is This that waits to meet us at the journey's ending. Every step we take brings us a little nearer. This review will shorten time immeasurably if we keep in mind that This remains our goal, and as we practice, it is This to which we are approaching. Let us raise our hearts from dust to life as we remember This is promised us, and that this course was sent to open up the path of light to us, and teach us, step by step, how to return to the eternal Self we thought we lost.

8 I take the journey with you. For I share your doubts and fears a little while, that you may come to me who recognize the road by which all fears and doubts are overcome. We walk together. I must understand uncertainty and pain, although I know they have no meaning. Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out and now will lead you out with him. God's Son is crucified until you walk along the road with me.

9 My resurrection comes again each time I lead a brother safely to the place at which the journey ends and is forgot. I am renewed each time a brother learns there is a way from misery and pain. I am reborn each time a brother's mind turns to the light in him and looks for me. I have forgotten no one. Help me now to lead you back to where the journey was begun, to make another choice with me.

10 Release me as you practice once again the thoughts I brought to you from Him Who sees your bitter need and knows the answer God has given Him. Together we review these thoughts. Together we devote our time and effort to them. And together we will teach them to our brothers. God would not have Heaven incomplete. It waits for you as I do. I am incomplete without your part in me. And as I am made whole, we go together to our ancient home, prepared for us before time was and kept unchanged by time, immaculate and safe, as it will be at last, when time is done.

11 Let this review be then your gift to me. For this alone I need—that you will hear the words I speak and give them to the world. You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands, through which I save the world. The Self from Which I call to you is but your own. To Him we go together. Take your brother's hand, for this is not a way we walk alone. In him I walk with you and you with me. Our Father wills His Son be one with Him. What lives but must not then be one with you?

12 Let this review become a time in which we share a new experience for you, yet one as old as time, and older still. Hallowed your name. Your glory undefiled forever. And your wholeness now complete, as God established it. You are His Son, completing His extension in your own. We practice but an ancient truth we knew before illusion seemed to claim the world. And we remind the world that it is free of all illusions every time we say,

13 God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

14 With this we start each day of our review. With this we start and end each period of practice time. And with this thought we sleep, to waken once again with these same words upon our lips to greet another day. No thought that we review but we surround with it and use the thoughts to hold it up before our minds and keep it clear in our remembrance throughout the day. And thus when we have finished this review, we will have recognized the words we speak are true.

15 Yet are the words but aids and to be used, except at the beginning and the end of practice periods, but to recall the mind as needed to its purpose. We place faith in the experience that comes from practice, not the means we use. We wait for the experience and recognize that it is only here conviction lies. We use the words, and try and try again to go beyond them to their meaning, which is far beyond their sound. The sound grows dim and disappears as we approach the Source of meaning. It is here that we find rest.

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 179

God is but Love,
and therefore so am I.

[167] There is one life, and that I share with God.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[168] Your grace is given me. I claim it now.

God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

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ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 179
Review V ~ Lesson 167 and Lesson 168

Sarah's Commentary:
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.

[167] There is one life, and that I share with God.
[168] Your grace is given me. I claim it now.
Following this Review, we move to the next Section, which covers Lessons 181-200 as a prelude to Part II of the Workbook. We have been invited to give more effort and time to the Review. If we are not sufficiently motivated to do this, it is not a reason for guilt. This will come with time and renewed intention and commitment. But if we are ready to dedicate ourselves more fully to the Lessons, we can now firm up our purpose to stay focused on our goal of peace. Given daily attention, the words we are provided in these Lessons are helpful and supportive when used in the midst of any kind of loss of peace. We are encouraged not to use the Lessons in a rote or ritualistic way, but we are to think about the meaning behind the words. We are encouraged to turn our minds toward these thoughts at times when we are tempted to get upset about anything.
Taking passages that resonate deeply, contemplating the meaning of the words, and applying them in situations where we are tempted to listen to the voice of the ego, will change the way we live in the world. This process can effectively break the power of the ego thoughts, which produce fear and anxiety. They are obsessive thoughts, going around and around in our minds in well-worn paths, creating fear and anxiety. What these Lessons offer is a way to break out of these patterns in our thinking. "That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior." (T.4.IV.1.2) (ACIM OE T.4.V.56) When we change our thoughts, we change our lives because everything follows from thought. "I [Jesus] have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but I have also said, and many times, that you can change your mind." (T.4.IV.2.1) (ACIM T.4.V.57)
It is a process of taking the words from the head to the heart. What this means to me is that I must put the words into practice, so I can experience the deep resonance in my heart of the meaning behind the words. I find it interesting when people feel that they have to move away from the Course, believing it is "too intellectual." Without question, the Course takes a level of intellectual understanding, but for me, it has been a form of cognitive therapy, which is based on the theory that much of how we feel is determined by what we think. Thus, our feelings follow our thoughts. Yes, it takes contemplation and reflection to understand what is being said, and it requires us to take time with the reading. The ego mind is often confounded by the wording of the Course, but I believe that the thoughts offered by Jesus, to a great extent, bypass our thinking mind and reach a place of inner knowing in us.
I love the way a friend of mine put it when he wrote, "Do not allow the lack of intellectual understanding stop you from completing the Course. All the understanding you need will be given you precisely when it will serve you best. What the ego understands is largely illusion. It is to the realm of the soul that a Course in Miracles calls us. The Text will heal you before you understand it. ACIM communicates more at the level of the heart than the mind. The intellectual concepts are the candy to keep your mind occupied while the course transforms you."
When Jesus reminds us, "There is one life, and that I share with God," (W.179 [167]) he is saying that there is no death because life has no opposite. What we call life and death in the world is all illusory. The life we seem to be living in this world might be seen as a stage play---a dream‑‑‑where events come and go, characters show up in this drama we chose, and we can learn to observe it more and engage in it less and less. When we look at it all without judgment from above the battleground and observe its unreality, we engage the observer. When we look from the perspective of the dreamer, rather than from that of the character in the dream, we can see that nothing here is serious. Yes, it is serious for the characters in the dream, but the reality is that nothing here is true.
Anytime we are anything less than joyful, we acknowledge death in some form. Our one life, which we share with God, is perfectly at peace and in a state of joy where it has always been. In other words, there is only one life. The lifetimes that we seem to have lived are all dream states. As Jesus says in the Manual for Teachers, "In the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible. There is no past or future, and the idea of birth into a body has no meaning either once or many times. Reincarnation cannot then be true in any real sense." (M.24.1.1‑3)
We are created perfect. "As we were, so are we now and will forever be." (W.167.12.2) When we glimpse our own perfection in the experience of it, we will know the truth of our Being. The gift that God has given us is ours now. It does not wait on time but only on our readiness and willingness. His gift is in our hearts, simply waiting to be acknowledged. This Lesson reminds us that we are still in God's Mind because ideas leave not their source. Given this, our nature is like that of God. His Creations cannot have attributes that are not of the Creator. While our experience is that our emotions alternate throughout the day, depending on seemingly external circumstances, our reality is unchangeable. Our emotional state is attributed to events, people, and situations outside ourselves that we blame for how we are feeling. The truth is that we have set up specifics in our lives to address our need to have something or someone to blame instead of taking responsibility for how we feel.
We can choose to change our minds about the way we see the circumstances of our lives, and instead, "His holy home we strive to keep today as He established it, and wills it be forever and forever." (W.167.11.1) In other words, we can bring our mistaken perceptions, that someone "out there" is upsetting us, back to our own minds. As we bring our projections back, we can see that any conflict seemingly external to the mind is our own inner conflict projected onto the world. Instead of trying to solve it out there where it cannot be solved, we are invited to bring our conflicted thoughts to the inner altar, where they are healed. This is the Atonement. It is the undoing of fear. Yet nothing can be undone for which we will not take responsibility. This is not to say that there is no conflict going on in the world, but when we choose peace, we see the external situations as neutral. In other words, we give them no meaning, and thus they do not trigger a reaction in us.
"Your grace is given me. I claim it now. Father, I come to You. And You will come to me who ask. I am the Son You love."  (W.168.6.5-9) These are the words we can pray as we spend our time today with God in silence. "God speaks to us. Shall we not speak to Him?" (W.168.1.1-2) Today, we return to the quiet place in our minds where we are in the Presence of God. That place is always available to us. God is not distant. His presence is the stillness within the mind where all is well.
Love and blessings, Sarah


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