"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

VIII. I Need Do Nothing

63 You still have too much faith in the body as a source of strength. What plans do you make that do not involve its comfort or protection or enjoyment in some way? This makes it an end and not a means in your interpretation, and this always means you still find sin attractive. No one accepts Atonement for himself who still accepts sin as his goal. You have thus not met your one responsibility. Atonement is not welcomed by those who prefer pain and destruction.

64 You have made much progress and are really trying to make still more, but there is one thing you have never done—not for one instant have you utterly forgotten the body. It has faded at times from your sight, but it has not yet completely disappeared. You are not asked to let this happen for more than an instant, yet it is in this instant that the miracle of Atonement happens. Afterwards, you will see the body again, but never quite the same. And every instant that you spend without awareness of it gives you a different view of it when you return.

65 At no single instant does the body exist at all. It is always remembered or anticipated, but never experienced just now . Only its past and future make it seem real. Time controls it entirely, for sin is never present. In any single instant, the attraction of guilt would be experienced as pain and nothing else and would be avoided. It has no attraction now . Its whole attraction is imaginary and therefore must be thought of in the past or in the future.

66 It is impossible to accept the holy instant without reservation unless just for an instant you are willing to see no past or future. You cannot prepare for it without placing it in the future. Release is given you the instant you desire it. Many have spent a lifetime in preparation and have indeed achieved their instants of success. This course does not attempt to teach more than they learned in time, but it does aim at saving time. You are attempting to follow a very long road to the goal you have accepted. It is extremely difficult to reach Atonement by fighting against sin. [Enormous effort is expended in the attempt to make holy what is hated and despised.] Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming, for all of them look to the future for release from a state of present unworthiness and inadequacy.

67 Your way will be different, not in purpose but in means. A holy relationship is a means of saving time . One instant spent together restores the universe to both of you. You are prepared. Now you need but to remember you need do nothing. It would be far more profitable now merely to concentrate on this than to consider what you should do. When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization: "I need do nothing."

68 Here is the ultimate release which everyone will one day find in his own way, at his own time. We do not need this time. Time has been saved for you because you are together. This is the special means this course is using to save you time. You are not making use of the course if you insist on using means which have served others well, neglecting what was made for you . Save time for me by only this one preparation and practice, doing nothing else. "I need do nothing" is a statement of allegiance, a truly undivided loyalty. Believe it for just one instant, and you will accomplish more than is given to a century of contemplation or of struggle against temptation.

69 To do anything involves the body. And if you recognize you need do nothing, you have withdrawn the body's value from your mind. Here is the quick and open door through which you slip past centuries of effort and escape from time. This is the way in which sin loses all attraction right now. For here is time denied and past and future gone. Who need do nothing has no need for time. To do nothing is to rest and make a place within you where the activity of the body ceases to demand attention. Into this place the Holy Spirit comes and there abides. He will remain when you forget and the body's activities return to occupy your conscious mind.

70 Yet there will always be this place of rest to which you can return. And you will be more aware of this quiet center of the storm than all its raging activity. This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent. For from this center will you be directed how to use the body sinlessly. It is this center, from which the body is absent, that will keep it so in your awareness of it.

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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 206
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

[186] Salvation of the world depends on me.

1 I am entrusted with the gifts of God because I am His Son. And I would give His gifts where He intended them to be.

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Lesson 206 Review VI
[186] Salvation of the world depends on me.

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

There is a startling question in the Clarification of Terms, where God’s Voice asks, "Are you ready yet to help me save the world?" (C.2.9.1) What will my decision be? Am I ready to take my place among the saviors of the world? What does that mean anyway? What is required of me? Jesus tells us that to save the world is to heal our own minds. It is what time is for. Through the process of forgiveness, we come to know God's peace is in us and is ours. Forgiveness is the means for undoing the false belief that there is a world outside of us.
 
We are entrusted with His gifts. "Love created me like Itself." (W.67) Every attribute of God, I have. We are the love, and we have the love. It is why we can say, "I am the light of the world." (W.61) No matter what concepts we hold about ourselves, how we feel about our shortcomings, how unworthy we feel, or how lacking and deprived we feel we are, the power is within us to connect with the truth. First, we need to identify the false beliefs, values, and self-concepts that we hold, and then be willing to release them to the Holy Spirit by putting them on the inner altar. By simply watching them without judgment and seeing no value in them, we become the observer and recognize the Self that is behind the character in the dream. This is how we experience the light of our being---through our willingness to bring the false to the true.
 
There is no world apart from our thoughts. This is a radical concept, I know, but one that becomes more and more apparent as we do the healing. The world is in the mind, as nothing is outside of the mind. It is simply a reflection of what we are thinking and believing; but for now, we need to continue to do the forgiveness work of releasing the blocks to love, affirming our blessings, expressing gratitude, and increasingly accepting the truth that is our inheritance. We have tried to replace His truth with our own. We think we are the authors of our own lives, but there is only one Author. To think that we made ourselves is to believe that there is God, as well as something else. For us to exist, we had to take our seeming existence from God. What this looks like is a belief in duality, instead of a recognition of our Oneness. Now we think we are separate from each other.
 
As a result of our belief that we stole our identity from God, we now experience guilt and fear because the ego has sold us a bill of goods, telling us we did real damage to Creation and the Creator. We have bought into this fairy tale, but it is not the truth. We believe that we have wrecked our home, and now we are afraid to return. We are like the Prodigal son, who believes he stole his father's treasure and now must make his home with the pigs. Jesus tells us that we have simply forgotten the truth that is still in our minds. The truth is that we never left God, except in dreams where we dreamt that we wandered off. Now our minds are preoccupied with thoughts that are not true, and with a nagging, vague sense that we have done something terribly wrong and that, in fact, we ourselves are wrong.
 
All that is required of us in order to awaken to the truth of our reality is readiness and willingness. No more than this is asked of us. In fact, Jesus says, "It is always the result of your small willingness combined with the unlimited power of God's Will" (T.18.IV.4.2) (ACIM OE T.18.V.35) that brings us to the holy instant. It is not about trying to clean up our own act. He says, "You have been wrong in thinking that it is needful to prepare yourself for Him. It is impossible to make arrogant preparations for holiness, and not believe that it is up to you to establish the conditions for peace." (T.18.IV.4.3-4) (ACIM OE T.18.V.35) The conditions for peace are established by God, not by us. Our part is simply to be willing to be taught. No one will ever coerce us. Love waits patiently for our readiness.
 
Over and over we are told that we still need structure to get us to the formless. We are using the forms of this Workbook and doing the practice in order to achieve the goal of formlessness---our reality as the One Son. The specifics of our lives provide the classroom in which we have a special function based on our strengths and our abilities together with a universal function of forgiveness. The Holy Spirit deems us worthy of this function. It is only our arrogance that judges otherwise. We do have an important role to play in salvation, as does everyone. We must take our part and stop being small in the name of humility. Trying to be what we are not is our own arrogance, arguing with God as to what and who we are. The only way out of the imprisonment of our own plans is to accept His plan. It means we must spend our time in quiet listening in our morning and evening practice, and let the Holy Spirit guide our day.
 
"Do as God's Voice directs. And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is that asks, and who would make denial. Then consider this; which is more likely to be right? The Voice that speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure of everything?" (W.186.12.1-4)
 
Let us focus today on refuting the voice of the ego by watching our thoughts and letting them go by without attachment. We enter deeply into our minds to that quiet place within where the Holy Spirit resides. Today, we choose to listen to His truth and not to our own ideas, which lead nowhere. We set our goal for peace. We take the time to go within to listen to guidance. The way to hear is to release the blocks to truth, which are the thoughts we hold in our minds. We continue to devote this day and every day to remembering the people and situations in our lives that offer us all the opportunities we need, throughout the day, to practice our function of forgiveness.
 
"What if you slept, and what if in your sleep you dreamed,
And what if in your dream you went to heaven and there
plucked a strange and beautiful flower,
and what if when you awoke you had the flower in your hand?
Ah, what then?"
 
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Love and blessings, Sarah

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