"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

XI. The Passing of the Dream

95 This course will lead to knowledge, but knowledge itself is still beyond the scope of our curriculum. Nor is there any need for us to try to speak of what must forever lie beyond words. We need remember only that whoever attains the real world, beyond which learning cannot go, will go beyond it but in a different way. Where learning ends there God begins, for learning ends before Him Who is complete where He begins and where there is no end. It is not for us to dwell on what cannot be attained. There is too much to learn. The readiness for knowledge still must be attained.

96 Love is not learned. Its meaning lies in itself. And learning ends when you have recognized all it is not . That is the interference; that is what needs to be undone. Love is not learned because there never was a time in which you knew it not. Learning is useless in the Presence of your Creator, Whose acknowledgment of you and yours of Him so far transcend all learning that everything you learned is meaningless, replaced forever by the knowledge of love and its one meaning.

97 Your relationship has been uprooted from the world of shadows, and its unholy purpose has been safely brought through the barriers of guilt, washed with forgiveness, and set shining and firmly rooted in the world of light. From there, it calls to you to follow the course it took, lifted high above the darkness and gently placed before the gates of Heaven. The holy instant in which you were united is but the messenger of love, sent from beyond forgiveness to remind you of all that lies beyond it. Yet it is through forgiveness that it will be remembered.

98 And when the memory of God has come to you in the holy place of forgiveness, you will remember nothing else, and memory will be as useless as learning, for your only purpose will be creating. Yet this you cannot know until every perception has been cleansed and purified and finally removed forever. Forgiveness removes only the untrue , lifting the shadows from the world and carrying it safe and sure within its gentleness to the bright world of new and clean perception. There is your purpose now . And it is there that peace awaits you.

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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 211
I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

[191] I am the holy Son of God Himself.

1 In silence and in true humility, I seek God's glory to behold it in the Son whom He created as my Self.

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Lesson 211 Review VI
[191] I am the holy Son of God Himself.

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

This Lesson once again is a reminder that we really are the Holy Son of God Himself. To us, it can sound arrogant. We can accept that Jesus is the holy Son of God, but can we accept ourselves as the same as him and equal to him? Jesus tells us to approach this thought "In silence and in true humility. . ." (W.211.1.2)
 
Why is this difficult for us? It’s difficult because we perceive the Will of God as fearful, which, he tells us, "demonstrates that you are afraid of what you are." (T.9.I.1.4) (ACIM OE T.9.X.90) We are afraid of our own reality, which is not a body, not a personality, not a self-concept, but the Holy Son of our Holy Father. "If the purpose of this course is to help you remember what you are, and if you believe that what you are is fearful, then it must follow that you will not learn this course. Yet the reason for the course is that you do not know what you are." (T.9.I.2.4-5) (ACIM OE T.8.X.91) Jesus goes on to say that we do not ask for what we want because we are afraid that we might receive it. We are afraid of a state of unlimited freedom from the false self because it is still an unknown state to us for the most part. We are very familiar with the imprisoned self and have become used to the limitations that we think define us.
 
Our true will is to know the Self as the Holy Son of God, yet instead we "persist in asking the teacher [the ego] who could not possibly give you what you want." (T.9.I.7.4) (ACIM OE T.8.X.96) What is it we are asking for instead? We are asking for the things we think will make us happy here: the special relationships, recognition, money, safety, or worldly pleasures. The false self is all about getting what it thinks it lacks, and so we constantly look outside of ourselves for what we think will make us happy. We mistakenly think that we will find peace and happiness in the things we try to get. Yet when we put attention on these things, we are asking for nothing. In fact, we are asking for pain, because all of the things we think will bring us pleasure ultimately leave us with nothing. They do not lead to happiness but away from it, though we invest enormous energy in pursuing what has no value. When we turn to the ego for what we think we want, it leads us further into the darkness. It diverts us from the peace and joy inherent in us.
 
Today, we turn to the Truth in us instead, and we accept our reality as the Holy Son of God. It is not enough to affirm it because we cannot really override the ego without looking at it. Acceptance of the truth of what we are requires that we look at the thoughts that occupy our minds. These thoughts include a long list of competing goals. They include what we believe we need to accomplish, what concerns we have, what we fear might happen, or what pleasures we try to pursue. Holding onto these thoughts and plans keeps us from awareness of the love we are. When we release these interfering thoughts to the Holy Spirit and ask for His Help, we are brought back to our center. When we step back from our way, our goals and our ideas by looking at them with honesty, courage and no judgment, then space is made for truth. The Self we are is the expansive awareness behind our thoughts. The truth abides in our right minds, where it has never left us. The Holy Spirit is the symbol of the truth within and the bridge to God.
 
To accept that we don’t know, and that we are wrong about everything that we have taught ourselves about what would bring us joy, requires "true humility." True humility is all about letting go of what we think we know. It is an act of deep surrender. It is to no longer attach to our own ideas. We give no attention to the obsessive thoughts in our minds. The chatter will go on in the mind, yet we don’t need to listen to it. We simply withdraw our interest and attention. It is about letting our perceived problems be translated by the Holy Spirit, Who sees no problems.
 
A friend recently missed a plane and was quite distressed by what was happening. It meant he would have a three-hour time period to wait for the next plane, but then he realized he could join the Course group he had wanted to attend. It was not in his vicinity, but he was able to connect online. His “problem” could now be seen as a blessing and an opportunity. This could only happen when he was willing to surrender his upset and look for the blessing available to him. Problems reflect attachment to a concept of how we believe things should be. We are actually holding onto something from the past, some need, some desire, some expectation, some wish, or some demand for things to be different than they are. We can never meet past needs in the present, despite the effort we put into doing so. We can never be disappointed until we have determined (appointed) how things must be for our happiness.
 
Letting go allows us to receive. It is not about dissociating from the thoughts and feelings, as this is just our misguided attempt to gain control by trying to protect ourselves from getting hurt. Real letting go is acknowledging our upsets but then recognizing that the source of happiness has nothing to do with anything outside ourselves. The source of our happiness is within. It is apparent to us only when we bring our disturbances to the light of truth and place them on the inner altar. It takes courage and willingness to look at the ego, surrender our perspectives and control, release our doubts, fears, and beliefs, and melt into His embrace. We fear surrender because we see it as an act of defeat when, instead, it is the giving up what has no value for something of infinite value to us. It is the giving up nothing for everything.
 
Today, I seek God's glory in the place in my mind where truth abides. I come with deep humility to know my Self and recognize this truth is the same for everyone. "Because I will to know myself, I see you as God's Son and my brother." (T.9.II.12.6) (ACIM OE T.8.XI.119) What humility requires is an acknowledgment that what I think, perceive, and believe are wrong. I do not know anything. My way of understanding anything is extremely limited and limiting. My judgments are always based on what I see, which is false. In humility, I turn to the One Who knows and ask, "Show me how to see this situation, this brother, and this event through Your eyes and not my own."
 
Today, we offer this practice to the Holy Spirit to guide us, using our morning time for at least fifteen minutes to set the direction for our day and reminding ourselves of the truth every hour on the hour and frequently in between.
 
In addition, "When you are tempted, [to become upset about some event, person or circumstance today] hasten to proclaim your freedom from temptation, as you say: This thought I do not want. I choose instead _____. " (W.RIV.IN.6.1-3) This is very important in helping us to regain our peace in the midst of any circumstance that distresses us. We look at all the distressing thoughts in our minds, remind ourselves of the thought for the day, and embrace it instead. Then, as evening comes, we enter our meditation time with the thought: "I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me," (W.211) followed by the thought for the day, "I am the holy Son of God Himself." (W.211.1.1) Take the Holy Spirit into your sleep and awaken with the Lesson on your lips. The benefits can be enormous. It takes us out of the ego rut of obsessive thoughts that keep us in despair. As we disengage from those thoughts and turn to the Holy Spirit, we connect with our innate innocence and holiness.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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