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

CHAPTER 18
The Dream and the Reality

VI. The Happy Dream

41 Prepare you not for the undoing of what never was. If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. The holy instant, your holy relationship, the Holy Spirit's teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished would have no purpose. For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams from which you waken easily to knowledge. Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.

42 Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is its function. Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit's help. That is His function. Your part is only to offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred and to be forgiven. On your little faith, joined with His understanding, He will build your part in the Atonement and make sure that you fulfill it easily. And with Him you will build a ladder planted in the solid rock of faith and rising even to Heaven. Nor will you use it to ascend to Heaven alone.

43 Through your holy relationship, reborn and blessed in every holy instant which you do not arrange, thousands will rise to Heaven with you. Can you plan for this? Or could you prepare yourselves for such a function? Yet it is possible because God wills it. Nor will He change His Mind about it. The means and purpose both belong to Him. You have accepted one; the other will be provided. A purpose such as this without the means is inconceivable. He will provide the means to anyone who shares His purpose.

44 Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy . And so they must be loving. Their message is, "Thy Will be done," and not, "I want it otherwise." The alignment of means and purpose is an undertaking impossible for you to understand. You do not even realize you have accepted the Holy Spirit's purpose as your own, and you would merely bring unholy means to its accomplishment. The little faith it needed to change the purpose is all that is required to receive the means and use them.

45 It is no dream to love your brother as yourself. Nor is your holy relationship a dream. All that remains of dreams within it is that it is still a special relationship. Yet it is very useful to the Holy Spirit, Who has a special function here. It will become the happy dream through which He can spread joy to thousands on thousands who believe that love is fear, not happiness. Let Him fulfill the function that He gave to your relationship by accepting it for you, and nothing will be wanting that would make of it what He would have it be.

46 When you feel the holiness of your relationship is threatened by anything, stop instantly and offer the Holy Spirit your willingness in spite of fear to let Him exchange this instant for the holy one which you would rather have. He will never fail in this. But forget not that your relationship is one, and so it must be that whatever threatens the peace of one is an equal threat to the other. The power of joining and its blessing lie in the fact that it is now impossible for either of you to experience fear alone or to attempt to deal with it alone. Never believe that this is necessary or even possible. Yet just as this is impossible, so is it equally impossible that the holy instant come to either of you without the other. And it will come to both at the request of either.

47 Whichever is saner at the time when the threat is perceived should remember how deep is his indebtedness to the other and how much gratitude is due him and be glad that he can pay his debt by bringing happiness to both. Let him remember this, and say:

48  I desire this holy instant for myself that I may share it with my brother, whom I love. It is not possible that I can have it without him, or he without me. Yet it is wholly possible for us to share it now. And so i choose this instant as the one to offer to the Holy Spirit that His Blessing may descend on us and keep us both in peace.

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Part I
Review VI

1 For this review, we take but one idea each day and practice it as often as is possible. Besides the time you give morning and evening, which should not be less than 15 minutes, and the hourly remembrances you make throughout the day, use the idea as often as you can between them. Each of these ideas alone would be sufficient for salvation, if it were learned truly. Each would be enough to give release to you and to the world from every form of bondage and invite the memory of God to come again.

2 With this in mind, we start our practicing in which we carefully review the thoughts the Holy Spirit has bestowed on us in our last 20 lessons. Each contains the whole curriculum if understood, practiced, accepted, and applied to all the seeming happenings throughout the day. One is enough. But for that one, there must be no exceptions made. And so we need to use them all and let them blend as one, as each contributes to the whole we learn.

3 These practice sessions, like our last review, are centered round a central theme with which we start and end each lesson. It is this:

4 I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

5 The day begins and ends with this. And we repeat it every time the hour strikes or we remember in between we have a function that transcends the world we see. Beyond this and a repetition of the special thought we practice for the day, no form of exercise is urged except a deep relinquishment of everything that clutters up the mind and makes it deaf to reason, sanity, and simple truth.

6 We will attempt to get beyond all words and special forms of practicing for this review. For we attempt this time to reach a quickened pace along a shorter path to the serenity and peace of God. We merely close our eyes and then forget all that we thought we knew and understood. For thus is freedom given us from all we did not know and failed to understand.

7 There is but one exception to this lack of structuring. Permit no idle thought to go unchallenged. If you notice one, deny its hold and hasten to assure your mind that this is not what it would have. Then gently let the thought which you denied be given up in sure and quick exchange for the idea you practice for the day.

8 When you are tempted, hasten to proclaim your freedom from temptation as you say:

9 This thought I do not want. I choose instead….

10 And then repeat the idea for the day, and let it take the place of what you thought. Beyond such special applications of each day's idea, we will add but a few formal expressions or specific thoughts to aid your practicing. Instead we give these times of quiet to the Teacher Who instructs in quiet, speaks of peace, and gives our thoughts whatever meaning they may have.

11 To Him I offer this review for you. I place you in His charge and let Him teach you what to do and say and think each time you turn to Him. He will not fail to be available to you each time you call to Him to help you. Let us offer Him the whole review we now begin, and let us also not forget to Whom it has been given as we practice day by day, advancing toward the goal He set for us, allowing Him to teach us how to go, and trusting Him completely for the way each practice period can best become a loving gift of freedom to the world.

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Lesson 204
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

[184] The Name of God is my inheritance.

1 God's Name reminds me that I am His Son, not slave to time, unbound by laws which rule the world of sick illusions, free in God, forever and forever one with Him.

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Lesson 204 Review VI
[184] The Name of God is my inheritance.

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

The idea in the Lesson today is that when we name things in the world, we assume a space between things that does not exist in the unity behind all forms, and unity is the only truth. Thus, naming things is further validation for the mind that this is indeed a world of separation and fragments. However, the truth is that there is only the state of Oneness, and we are all part of that Oneness. "God's Name reminds me that I am His Son, not slave to time, unbound by laws which rule the world of sick illusions, free in God, forever and forever one with Him." (W.204.1.2)
 
This means that everything God is, I am: purely loving, non-judging, perfect, unchanging, exquisite, pure, unlimited, free, totally innocent, and any other attribute of God that we are called to accept for ourselves. Of course, to the ego, it all sounds very arrogant. Who do you think you are? Mostly, we think that we are this image we have made and try to change and improve because we do not feel innocent. Yet Jesus tells us that we are wrong.
 
Arrogance is of the ego that argues with God and says, "I am not what You, God, say I am; look at me. I am a lowly, guilty, judging, unworthy, bad, and angry special-self, alone and doing the best I can in a challenging world." The truth is that we are perfect, unlimited, and not lacking in anything. The bodily identity, with its senses made to deceive us, is not who we are. We are God's One Son. Can we allow God His truth today and affirm it for ourselves? Can we accept that maybe we have made something of ourselves that we are not? When we connect with the awareness behind the thoughts we think, we glimpse the reality of this One Son. Can we acknowledge that maybe we have been wrong about everything, and now we are willing to learn what Jesus is teaching?
 
Our part is to continually bring awareness to our thoughts and beliefs and to be willing to let them go. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. Our journey of awakening to who we are is about denying the ego's denial of the truth. That is quite a statement. It simply means we choose to listen to the ego's story, which tells us we have messed up and therefore need to run from God's punishment. We thus bought into the ego’s myth that we have killed off God, which results in sin, guilt, and fear. This becomes linear time where sin is the past, guilt is the present, and fear is the future.
 
This whole process was hidden from us, as a shield of oblivion descended on the mind. In other words, we can ' t hold this thought system and still remember who we are. When we took this myth of the ego into the mind, it then immediately created other shields of oblivion, which are the body and the world. We now believe we have been cast out from the Kingdom, on our own, separate from everyone else, living in the world, and struggling for whatever scraps of happiness we can find. We feel that we must get for ourselves, at the expense of everyone else. It is a state of competition, which is based on the belief in "one or the other." This belief originated with the separation where it had to be either God or I that could exist, but not both.
 
At some point in our lives, often out of desperation, we declared that there must be more to life and there must be a better way. We were now ready to respond to the Call in the mind to come home. This started the healing that is taking us back to our right minds where truth resides. By looking at our thoughts with honesty and not denying our feelings of distress, we can now choose to let them go. By bringing them to awareness and looking at them without judgment from outside of this dream from above the battleground, they are dissolved, and now the truth can shine through.
 
When we express our upsets, without attacking ourselves or others, and are honest about our fears, we are no longer in denial. Jesus invites this kind of honesty and authenticity, as it is a requirement for healing. We cannot heal what we are not willing to see. We must then take responsibility for our projections. We are not what we seem to have made of ourselves. We are eternal Spirits. The Name of God is truly our inheritance. We can't change this about ourselves. The Atonement principle is our guarantee that we remain as we were created. We have lost awareness of this truth, but we can't lose what we are.
 
We are not the product of our past. We are not slaves to time. We do not have to put off our awakening. It does not have to be a long road if we truly desire to awaken from the dream. We do not have to buy into the laws of this world. We are slave to them only when we give them power. We can choose to withdraw the power we have given to the ego anytime we choose. It does not depend on time, but only on willingness. It is a choice we make in every moment whether we align with fear or love, hell or Heaven. We are not bodies and personalities. We are free of the limitations we place on our own minds. We are continually invited, in each moment, to release our false beliefs and choose to open our eyes to the truth of who we really are.
 
We start our day by reminding ourselves of the truth, withdrawing from the world in quiet contemplation of the truth, and in meditation, letting thoughts go by, without attaching to them, and entering into the stillness where the truth abides. This is an experience of leaving the prison house of this world of illusion and breathing holy air as we spend time in stillness. It is here where the truth abides, and when we return, we recognize, "There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before." (W.155.1.1-5)
 
It is important to remember to start each day right with quiet time. Keep the thought for the day at the forefront and set the goal for the day. When there is any temptation to get upset about anything in the day, remember to ask for help to see it differently. Remember that this world is a classroom to undo what we have come to believe we are, and if that is the case, everything showing up in our day is a perfect learning opportunity for undoing the wrong mind.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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