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

The Inner Picture

IX. The Inner Shift

 85 Are thoughts then dangerous? To bodies, yes ! The thoughts that seem to kill are those which teach the thinker that he can be killed. And so he dies because of what he learned. He goes from life to death, the final proof he valued the inconstant more than constancy. Surely he thought he wanted happiness. Yet he did not desire it because it was the truth and therefore must be constant.

86 The constancy of joy is a condition quite alien to your understanding. Yet if you could even imagine what it must be, you would desire it although you understand it not.

87 The constancy of happiness has no exceptions—no change of any kind. It is unshakable as is the love of God for His creation. Sure in its vision as its Creator is in what He knows, it looks on everything and sees it is the same. It sees not the ephemeral, for it desires that everything be like itself and sees it so. Nothing has power to confound its constancy because its own desire cannot be shaken. It comes as surely unto those who see the final question is necessary to the rest, as peace must come to those who choose to heal and not to judge.

88 Reason will tell you that you cannot ask for happiness inconstantly. For if what you desire you receive and happiness is constant, then you need ask for it but once to have it always . And if you do not have it always, being what it is, you did not ask for it. For no one fails to ask for his desire of something he believes holds out some promise of the power of giving it. He may be wrong in what he asks, where, and of what. Yet he will ask because desire is a request, an asking for, and made by one whom God Himself will never fail to answer. God has already given him all that he really wants. Yet what he is uncertain of, God cannot give. For he does not desire it while he remains uncertain, and God's giving must be incomplete unless it is received.

89 You who complete God's Will and are His happiness, whose will is powerful as His, a power that is not lost in your illusions, think carefully why it should be you have not yet decided how you would answer the final question. Your answer to the others has made it possible to help you be but partially insane. And yet it is the final one that really asks if you are willing to be wholly sane.

90 What is the holy instant but God's appeal to you to recognize what He has given you? Here is the great appeal to reason; the awareness of what is always there to see, the happiness that could be always yours. Here is the constant peace you could experience forever. Here is what denial has denied revealed to you. For here the final question is already answered and what you ask for given. Here is the future now , for time is powerless because of your desire for what will never change. For you have asked that nothing stand between the holiness of your relationship and your awareness of its holiness.

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 243
Today I will judge nothing that occurs.

1 I will be honest with myself today. I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp. I will not think I understand the whole from bits of my perception, which are all that I can see. Today I recognize that this is so. And so I am relieved of judgment which I cannot make. Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us.

2 Father, today I leave creation free to be itself. I honor all its parts, in which I am included. We are one because each part contains Your memory, and truth must shine in all of us as one.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 243
Today I will judge nothing that occurs.

 Sarah's Commentary:
This Lesson follows on what was said yesterday, which is a reminder that we do not understand anything. We do not know, and thus, we must come to Someone Who does know, which requires humility on our part. How do we know when we are wrong about what we think we know? We know we are wrong because we feel anxious, depressed, upset, uncertain, frustrated, angry, worried, impatient, agitated, or any other state that is not peaceful. These are signals to us that we are relying on the wrong teacher, the false self that we believe has answers for us. It is our own inner voice, and it reflects the thought system of separation and individuality. It is based on the belief that we are on our own and have to rely on ourselves alone. In this belief, we try to figure out the answers to problems that we perceive, and thus our minds are closed to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
When I read, "Today I will judge nothing that occurs, " (W.243) I am reminded of Section 10 of the Manual for Teachers, "How is judgment relinquished?" (M.10) We are told that in the world, we seem to be capable of "good" and "bad" judgment, which we arrive at through our education and experience. We rely on them to help us make more good judgments than bad judgments. Yet we learn in this section, "It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot." (M.10.2.1) "As the world uses the term, an individual is capable of 'good' and 'bad' judgment, and his education aims at strengthening the former and minimizing the latter. There is, however, considerable confusion about what these categories mean. What is 'good' judgment to one is 'bad' judgment to another. Further, even the same person classifies the same action as showing 'good' judgment at one time and 'bad' judgment at another time." (M.10.1.3‑4)
When we recognize that we simply cannot judge, we become more honest with ourselves. Until we do, we are just fooling ourselves, believing we can know anything at all. Jesus reminds us that the most we have on which to judge anything is "bits of my perception, which are all that I can see." (W.243.1.3) From these bits of our perception, we come to a conclusion, but it will always be wrong. Why do we continue to rely on ourselves? Why not just give it up? It isn't that we should not judge, or that it is wrong to judge, but only that we cannot judge any situation adequately. To think we can judge anything is the arrogance of the ego, based on our idea that we understand. We do judge, but Jesus invites us to recognize when judgments are being made and then give them over to the Holy Spirit.
The gateway to our freedom is to surrender the "I know" mind. "Thus do I free myself and what I look upon, to be in peace as God created us." (W.243.1.6) What this says to me is that, by my constant judgments, I am actually keeping myself out of peace and tiring myself. When I do not give an event my interpretation, it is then just a neutral event, and it will not give rise to an emotional experience. In other words, it is just being observed with no judgment.
Without judgment, I do not know who you are, and I do not know who I am. While that can bring up some fear, it is also a freeing. In each of us is the whole, the Oneness of Heaven. When I honor the whole, I am leaving it free to be Itself. On the other hand, judgments separate everything into good and bad parts. It is what the ego does. It wants to keep us separate from the whole, and thus, it judges everything as separate from everything else. This maintains the separation and is the purpose of judgment.
Because I cannot know the whole of everything, "I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp." (W.243.1.2) Our judgments are simply a shot in the dark and always wrong, but more than that, they keep reinforcing our limited perceptions. We can spend a lifetime hating someone only to find that we really did not understand them. We not only did not have all the information, we made up our own story, based on our projections that came from our own guilt and self-attack. Yet it is also not helpful to judge ourselves for having been wrong. Whether it is ourselves we judge as guilty, or anyone else, we are still caught in the same trap of the ego.
We can start by watching our thoughts and recognizing the judgments as they come up and be willing to release them. If the willingness is not there, we can ask for help to strengthen our motivation to forgive. When we are willing to take responsibility for our judgments, we give them over to the Holy Spirit. We recognize that we have been mistaken in categorizing anything or anyone as either good or bad. We can give up our evaluations of what others look like, say, or do, and we can watch our judgments as we make them, seeing them as the projections of our own unhealed thoughts. To bring awareness to our thoughts is all that is asked of us. The Holy Spirit does the rest. We cannot fix ourselves. We cannot make ourselves spiritual. All we can do is observe our judgmental thoughts and put them on the inner altar.
We love to compare, categorize, and condemn because we love our own specialness. Until the ego is undone, we will continue to make judgments. Yet with awareness, we can bring attention to them and release them as they come up. Just being aware of how much we judge others and ourselves is helpful because then we can make a choice. We can turn our judgments over to the Holy Spirit and ask for His help by asking Him to look on the situation, event, or person and judge it for us.
As Jesus tells us, we need to give up judgment in order to see with vision. "Truth is restored to you through your desire, as it was lost to you through your desire for something else. Open the holy place that you closed off by valuing the 'something else,' and what was never lost will quietly return. It has been saved for you. Vision would not be necessary had judgment not been made. Desire now its whole undoing, and it is done for you." (T.20.VIII.1.2-6) (ACIM OE T.20.IX.67)
If you want to free yourself from the wearying habit of constant judgment and know the truth of your own Identity, then "Would you not happily exchange your doubts for certainty?" (T.20.VIII.2.2) (ACIM OE T.20.IX.68) That is what the Holy Spirit can do for us. All we need to do is have the willingness and desire today to watch our judgments as we make them and turn them over to Him. He does the rest.

Love and blessings, Sarah


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