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

Beyond the Body

V. Obstacles to Peace
The Lifting of the Veil

97 Forget not that you came this far together. And it was surely not the ego that led you here. No obstacle to peace can be surmounted through its help. It does not open up its secrets and bid you look on them and go beyond them. It would not have you see its weakness and learn it has no power to keep you from the truth. The Guide Who brought you here remains with you, and when you raise your eyes, you will be ready to look on terror with no fear at all. But first lift up your eyes and look upon each other in innocence born of complete forgiveness of each other's illusions and through the eyes of faith, which sees them not.

98 No one can look upon the fear of God unterrified unless he has accepted the Atonement and learned illusions are not real. No one can stand before this obstacle alone, for he could not have reached thus far unless his brother walked beside him. And no one would dare to look on it without complete forgiveness of his brother in his heart. Stand you here a while and tremble not. You will be ready. Let us join together in a holy instant, here in this place where the purpose given in a holy instant has led you. And let us join in faith that He Who brought us here together will offer you the innocence you need and that you will accept it for my love and His.

99 Nor is it possible to look on this too soon. This is the place to which everyone must come when he is ready. Once he has found his brother, he is ready. Yet merely to reach the place is not enough. A journey without a purpose is still meaningless, and even when it is over, it seems to make no sense. How can you know that it is over unless you realize its purpose is accomplished? Here, with the journey's end before you, you see its purpose. And it is here you choose whether to look upon it or wander on, only to return and make the choice again.

100 To look upon the fear of God does need some preparation. Only the sane can look on stark insanity and raving madness with pity and compassion but not with fear. For only if they share in it does it seem fearful, and you do share in it until you look upon each other with perfect faith and love and tenderness. Before complete forgiveness, you still stand unforgiving. You are afraid of God because you fear each other. Those you do not forgive you fear . And no one reaches love with fear beside him.

101 This brother who stands beside you still seems to be a stranger. You do not know him, and your interpretation of him is very fearful. And you attack him still, to keep what seems to be yourself unharmed. Yet in his hands is your salvation. You see his madness, which you hate because you share it. And all the pity and forgiveness that would heal it gives way to fear. Brothers, you need forgiveness of each other, for you will share in madness or in Heaven together. And you will raise your eyes in faith together or not at all.

102 Beside each of you is one who offers you the chalice of Atonement, for the Holy Spirit is in him. Would you hold his sins against him or accept his gift to you? Is this giver of salvation your friend or enemy? Choose which he is, remembering that you will receive of him according to your choice. He has in him the power to forgive your sins, as you for him. Neither can give it to himself alone. And yet your savior stands beside each one. Let him be what he is and seek not to make of love an enemy.

103 Behold your Friend, the Christ Who stands beside you. How holy and how beautiful He is! You thought He sinned because you cast the veil of sin upon Him to hide His loveliness. Yet still He holds forgiveness out to you to share His holiness. This "enemy," this "stranger" still offers you salvation as His Friend. The "enemies" of Christ, the worshipers of sin, know not Whom they attack. This is your brother, crucified by sin, and waiting for release from pain. Would you not offer him forgiveness, when only he can offer it to you? For his redemption, he will give you yours as surely as God created every living thing and loves it. And he will give it truly, for it will be both offered and received.

104 There is no grace of Heaven that you cannot offer to each other and receive from your most holy Friend. Let him withhold it not, for by receiving it you offer it to him. [For he will receive of you what you received of him.] Redemption has been given you to give each other, and thus receive it. Whom you forgive is free, and what you give you share. Forgive the sins your brother thinks he has committed and all the guilt you think you see in him.

105 Here is the holy place of resurrection to which we come again; to which we will return until redemption is accomplished and received. Think who your brother is before you would condemn him. And offer thanks to God that he is holy and has been given the gift of holiness for you. Join him in gladness and remove all trace of guilt from his disturbed and tortured mind. Help him to lift the heavy burden of sin you laid upon him and he accepted as his own, and toss it lightly and with happy laughter away from him. Press it not like thorns against his brow, nor nail him to it unredeemed and hopeless.

106 Give each other faith, for faith and hope and mercy are yours to give. Into the hands that give the gift is given. Look on your brother, and see in him the gift of God you would receive. It is almost Easter, the time of resurrection. Let us give redemption to each other and share in it that we may rise as one in resurrection and not separate in death. Behold the gift of freedom that I gave the Holy Spirit for both of you. And be you free together, as you offer to the Holy Spirit this same gift. And giving it, receive it of Him in return for what you gave. He leadeth you and me together that we might meet here in this holy place and make the same decision.

107 Free your brother here, as I freed you. Give him the self-same gift, nor look upon him with condemnation of any kind. See him as guiltless as I look on you, and overlook the sins he thinks he sees within himself. Offer each other freedom and complete release from sin here in the garden of seeming agony and death. So will we prepare together the way unto the resurrection of God's Son and let him rise again to glad remembrance of his Father, Who knows no sin, no death, but only life eternal.

108 Together we will disappear into the Presence beyond the veil, not to be lost, but found ; not to be seen, but known . And knowing, nothing in the plan God has established for salvation will be left undone. This is the journey's purpose, without which is the journey meaningless. Here is the peace of God, given to you eternally by Him. Here is the rest and quiet that you seek, the reason for the journey from its beginning. Heaven is the gift you owe each other, the debt of gratitude you offer to the Son of God in thanks for what he is and what his Father created him to be.

109 Think carefully how you would look upon the giver of this gift, for as you look on him, so will the gift itself appear to be. As he is seen as either the giver of guilt or of salvation, so will his offering be seen and so received. The crucified give pain because they are in pain. But the redeemed give joy because they have been healed of pain. Everyone gives as he receives, but he must choose what it will be that he receives. And he will recognize his choice by what he gives and what is given him. Nor is it given anything in hell or Heaven to interfere with his decision.

110 You came this far because the journey was your choice. And no one undertakes to do what he believes is meaningless. What you had faith in still is faithful and watches over you in faith so gentle yet so strong that it would lift you far beyond the veil and place the Son of God safely within the sure protection of his Father. Here is the only purpose that gives this world and the long journey through this world whatever meaning lies in them. Beyond this they are meaningless. You stand together, still without conviction they have a purpose. Yet it is given you to see this purpose in your holy Friend and recognize it is your own.

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 223
God is my life.
I have no life but His.

1 I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God, a separate entity which moved in isolation, unattached, and housed within a body. Now I know my life is God's. I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him. He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have none but those which are of Him.

2 Our Father, let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes. For we who are Your holy Son are sinless. We would look upon our sinlessness, for guilt proclaims that we are not Your Son. And we would not forget You longer. We are lonely here and long for Heaven where we are at home. Today we would return. Our Name is Yours, and we acknowledge that we are Your Son.

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ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 223
God is my life.
I have no life but His.

Sarah's Commentary:
We are mistaken when we think that life is the experience we seem to be having in our bodily existence. We cannot live apart from God, yet it appears it is exactly what we believe is happening. I do think I am a separate entity, moving in isolation, unattached, and housed in a body, yet the Lesson says that this is not the case at all. Regardless of how we experience our lives, it is not our existence because "I do not exist apart from Him." (W.223 1.2) Today, we let the idea sink in that we have no life apart from God. I function as if I am a body, separate from others, and trying to find my way in the world. I’m trying to be a success, to be happy, to be as good as I know how to be to people around me, and to find my way back to God. Yet I have never left Him! We are still with God, while dreaming of exile in this so-called "life."
This is a beautiful prayer, where we ask our Father that we might see and know the truth about ourselves, rather than focus on our problems and our mistakes. It is our own deep desire of the heart that is reflected in this prayer. "And we would not forget You longer. We are lonely here, and long for Heaven where we are at home. Today we would return." (W.223.2.4-6) We are innocent, but we don't know it, and so we long for our innocence. In fact, all our tears, no matter what we think they are about, are only there because we believe that we have lost our innocence, can’t regain it, and are beyond redemption. "And who could weep but for his innocence?" (Psychotherapy Pamphlet.2.IV.1.7 ) The truth is that we have not lost our innocence. We only believe that we have because our innocence is not in our awareness while we hold thoughts that obscure it.
Today, we turn to God in all sincerity, recognizing that we are his beloved Son. We have never left our home in Heaven. We are only dreaming of exile. We are the Prodigal Son, afraid to go home, but our Father calls us incessantly to return. Of course, this is a metaphor because our Father knows we are already at home with Him. The Holy Spirit's Voice, the Voice for God, is the Call in the mind for us to wake up and realize that we are with our Father and have never left Him. We have no life apart from Him. This life is a dream that we are dreaming while asleep with our Father. It is illusory. It is a dream from which we are called to awaken, but these are only words until we have an experience where we feel the safety of God's loving embrace. We get closer to that experience every time we ask with sincerity, "Our Father, let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes." (W.223.2.1) When we see the innocence in our brothers, we come to know our own. We project guilt onto our brothers as a way of buying our innocence at their expense. If we can blame others, we think we can remain innocent of the wrongdoings we ascribe to them, but this is just a way to keep the guilt in our own minds, hidden from our awareness.
We are reminded in Chapter 19, Sections II "Sin versus Error" (ACIM OE T.19.III) and III "The Unreality of Sin" (ACIM OE T.19.IV) that the world is constant proof that our sin has overpowered God, we have stolen our identity from Him, and thus defeated Him, corrupted our nature, and now we are guilty. We continue to be invested in our separate identity and the world and thus resist God's Love, believing it will annihilate us. Thus, we have turned the power of our mind against ourselves, believing we have changed reality. "If sin is real both God and you are not." (T.19.III.6.1) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.31) "Sin is perceived as mightier than God, before which God Himself must bow, and offer His creation to its conqueror." (T.19.III.7.6) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.32) We are assured by Jesus that this is an arrogant thought because we cannot change reality and we cannot change the truth about ourselves. To think that we have is simply madness, not humility. (T.19.III.7) (ACIM OE T.19.IV.32) We can only think we have done it. The only thing that has happened is that we have become unaware of what we are, and through forgiveness, the barriers to the truth are removed.
We need to stay vigilant in our willingness to look at how we defend against God’s Love and how we keep Him out of our awareness. We defend against the truth through sickness, control, anger, intellect, victimhood, planning, distraction, addiction, arrogance, and ultimately death. Defenses keep us from receiving the love of God. God is fully present all the time. We are the ones not present to Him. It is up to us to invite Him in. The ego has convinced us that we cannot trust God. We fear His retribution for our assumed sins. We believe that the foundation of our lives would collapse, but Jesus assures us that love can have no opposite. God is only Love. There is no time, no space, no sin, no guilt, no fear, and no death. We are eternal beings who have never left our home. We are just having a dream of living in exile from Him, yet Jesus assures us that God goes with us wherever we go and speaks to us all through the day.
Forgiveness undoes the false, so what remains is true. Forgiveness requires that we look at our false perceptions, our grievances, and our specialness and see them all as nothing. In the process, we may feel disoriented, as the ego is being deconstructed. We need to recognize how much we want to protect our thought system and our certainty that we are right. We are choosing to be right about what we believe, rather than to let it all go and be happy. When we question everything we hold as true, we increasingly see the unreality of our unconscious beliefs. The whole point is to doubt the accuracy of how we perceive ourselves and others. We need to recognize that the guilt we see in others is in our own minds. While we might feel there is someone outside of ourselves whom we need to forgive, the truth is that we only need to forgive the guilt in our own minds that we have projected onto others. In reality, there is no one to forgive. It does not mean others have not made mistakes just as we have, but mistakes call for correction, not punishment.
We are set on preserving our individuality, which is to maintain ourselves as separated beings. Our attraction to guilt is all about our investment in what we have made. We are reluctant to give up our investment in our identity; but with forgiveness, we access the truth in our right minds, and then the love we are can be reflected through us. As it is shared with others, it is reinforced in us.
Today in our prayer, we remind ourselves that we have not sinned and therefore are not guilty. Yet because we believe that we have committed a crime, we are called to recognize that we have been mistaken about ourselves. Our mistaken perceptions can all be undone with a willingness to look at our projections, take responsibility for them, and bring them to the Holy Spirit so they can be undone.
We have so many thoughts running through our minds that are based on fear. They may be related to money, relationships, lack, expectations, demands, requirements, and uncertainties. We give value to what has no value and that is where our suffering comes from. Thus, today I choose to withdraw my beliefs from thoughts that have no power. The only power they have is the power I have given them. Today, let us be vigilant in mind-watching and release the thoughts that do not serve our peace and happiness. Peace and joy are our natural inheritance. The desire to awaken motivates us to let all interfering thoughts be seen as the nothingness they are. "What God did not give you has no power over you, and the attraction of love for love remains irresistible." (T.12.VIII.7.10) (ACIM OE T.11.IX.83)
To illustrate this point, I recently met with a friend who was very distressed about her boss who she perceived as harassing and bullying her. She identified her feelings of sadness, anger, shame, tightness in her body and oppression. She blamed the boss for how she was feeling and believed if she could get away from him or if he would change, she could be happy. Her fear was that this would continue in some form wherever she went. The belief she held about herself was that she was a mistake and should never have been born. She felt that her life was a waste and that she had nothing helpful or useful to contribute to the world. However, she was ready to consider the possibility that the way she saw the situation was not as it really was. She was willing to question the beliefs she was holding about herself. She was willing to accept that the cause of her upset was not about what the boss was doing but about the beliefs she was holding and projecting onto him. In her decision for peace, she willingly gave her beliefs over to the Holy Spirit.
Our days are perfectly orchestrated for our highest good when we choose to use everything that happens in our day for healing purposes. Everything that shows up is perfect for the undoing of our wrong-minded perceptions. Now, everything in the day becomes a joyous opportunity for undoing our wrong-minded perceptions and following the Holy Spirit. Today, we see the face of Christ in every brother, instead of our mistakes projected onto them, "For we who are Your holy Son are sinless." (W.223.2.2)

Love and blessings, Sarah


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