"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
Course in Miracles
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND
Salvation and the Holy Relationship
VII. Freedom and the Holy Spirit
Do you want freedom of the body or of the mind? For both you cannot have. Which do you value? Which is your goal? For one you see as means; the other, end. And one must serve the other and lead to its predominance, increasing its importance by diminishing its own. Means serve the end, and as the end is reached, the value of the means decreases, eclipsed entirely when they are recognized as functionless. No one but yearns for freedom and tries to find it. Yet he will seek for it where he believes it is and can be found. He will believe it possible of mind or body, and he will make the other serve his choice as means to find it.
Where freedom of the body has been chosen, the mind is used as means whose value lies in its ability to contrive ways to achieve the body's freedom. Yet freedom of the body has no meaning, and so the mind is dedicated to serve illusions. This is a situation so contradictory and so impossible that anyone who chooses this has no idea of what
valuable. Yet even in this confusion, so profound it cannot be described, the Holy Spirit waits in gentle patience, as certain of the outcome as He is sure of His Creator's love. He knows this mad decision was made by one as dear to His Creator as love is to itself.
Be not disturbed at all to think how He can change the role of means and end so easily in what God loves and would have free forever. But be you rather grateful that
can be the means to serve His end. This is the only service which leads to freedom. To serve this end, the body must be perceived as sinless because the
is sinlessness. The lack of contradiction makes the soft transition from means to end as easy as is the shift from hate to gratitude before forgiving eyes. You
be sanctified by one another, using your bodies only to serve the sinless. And it
be impossible for you to hate what serves what you would heal.
This holy relationship, lovely in its innocence, mighty in strength, and blazing with a light far brighter than the sun which lights the sky you see, is chosen of your Father as a means for His own plan. Be thankful that it serves yours not at all. Nothing entrusted to it can be misused, and nothing given it but will be used. This holy relationship has the power to heal all pain, regardless of its form. Neither of you alone can serve at all. Only in your joint will does healing lie. For here
healing is and here will you accept Atonement. And in your healing is the Sonship healed
your wills are joined.
Before a holy relationship there is no sin. The form of error is no longer seen, and reason, joined with love, looks quietly on all confusion, observing merely, "This was a mistake." And then the same Atonement you accepted in your relationship corrects the error and lays a part of Heaven in its place. How blessed are you who let this gift be given! Each part of Heaven that you bring is given
. And every empty place in Heaven that you fill again with the Eternal Light you bring shines now on
. The means of sinlessness can know no fear because they carry only love with them.
Children of peace, the light
come to you. The light you bring you do not recognize, and yet you will remember. Who can deny himself the vision that he brings to others? And who would fail to recognize a gift he let be laid in Heaven through himself? The gentle service that you give the Holy Spirit is service to yourself. You who are now His means must love all that He loves. And what you bring is your remembrance of everything that is eternal. No trace of anything in time can long remain in minds that serve the timeless. And no illusion can disturb the peace of a relationship which has become the means of peace.
When you have looked upon each other with complete forgiveness from which no error is excluded and nothing kept hidden what mistake can there be anywhere you cannot overlook? What form of suffering could block your sight, preventing you from seeing past it? And what illusion could there be you will not recognize as a mistake—a shadow through which you walk completely undismayed? God would let nothing interfere with those whose wills are His[. And they will recognize their wills are His,
they serve His Will] and serve it willingly. And
remembrance of what they are be long delayed?
You will see your value through each other's eyes, and each one is released as he beholds his savior in place of the attacker who he thought was there. Through this releasing is the world released. This is your part in bringing peace. For you have asked what is your function here and have been answered. Seek not to change it nor to substitute another goal. [This one was
this.] Accept this one and serve it willingly, for what the Holy Spirit does with the gifts you give each other, to whom He offers them, and where and when is up to Him. He will bestow them where they are received and welcomed. He will use every one of them for peace. Nor will one little smile or willingness to overlook the tiniest mistake be lost to anyone.
What can it be but universal blessing to look on what your Father loves with charity? Extension of forgiveness is the Holy Spirit's function. Leave this to Him. Let your concern be only that you give to Him that which can
extended. Save no dark secrets that He cannot use, but offer Him the tiny gifts He can extend forever. He will take each one and make of it a potent force for peace. He will withhold no blessing from it nor limit it in any way. He will join to it all the power that God has given Him to make each little gift of love a source of healing for everyone. Each little gift you offer to the other lights up the world. Be not concerned with darkness; look away from it and toward each other. And let the darkness be dispelled by Him Who knows the light and lays it gently in each quiet smile of faith and confidence with which you bless each other.
On your learning depends the welfare of the world. And it is only arrogance that would deny the power of your will. Think you the Will of God is powerless? Is this humility? You do not see what this belief has done. You see yourself as vulnerable, frail, and easily destroyed and at the mercy of countless attackers more powerful than you. Let us look straight at how this error came about, for here lies buried the heavy anchor that seems to keep the fear of God in place, unmovable and solid as a rock. While this remains, so will it seem to be.
Who can attack the Son of God and
attack his Father? How can God's Son be weak and frail and easily destroyed
his Father is? You do not see that every sin and every condemnation which you perceive and justify
an attack upon your Father. And that is why it has not happened nor
be real. You do not see that this is your attempt because you think the Father and the Son are separate. And you
think that they are separate because of fear. For it seems safer to attack another or yourself than to attack the great Creator of the universe, whose power you
If you were one with God and
this oneness, you would know His power is
. But you will not remember this while you believe attack of any kind means anything. It is unjustified in any form
it has no meaning. The only way it could be justified is if each one of you were separate from the other, and all were separate from your Creator. For only then would it be possible to attack a part of the creation without the whole, the Son without the Father, and to attack another without yourself or hurt yourself without the other feeling pain. And this belief you
. Yet wherein lies its value except in the desire to attack in safety? Attack is neither safe nor dangerous. It is
. And this is so
the universe is one. You would not choose attack on its reality if it were not essential to attack to see it [separate from its Creator]. And thus it seems as if love could attack and become fearful.
can attack. So you conclude
you can attack you
be different. Yet does the Holy Spirit explain this differently.
you are not different, you
attack. Either position is a logical conclusion if only the different can attack. Either could be maintained, but never both. The only question to be answered to decide which must be true is whether you
different. From the position of what you understand, you seem to be and therefore can attack. Of the alternatives, this seems more natural and more in line with your experience. And therefore it is necessary that you have other experiences more in line with truth to teach you what
natural and true.
This is the function of your holy relationship. For what one thinks the other will experience with him. What can this mean
your minds are one? Look not with fear upon this happy fact and think not that it lays a heavy burden on you. For when you have accepted it with gladness, you will realize that your relationship is a reflection of the union of the Creator and His Son. From loving minds there
no separation. And every thought in one brings gladness to the other
they are the same. Joy is unlimited because each shining thought of love extends its being and creates more of itself. There is no difference anywhere in it, for every thought is like itself.
The light that joins you shines throughout the universe, and because it joins you, so it makes you one with your Creator. And in Him is all creation joined. Would you regret you cannot fear alone when your relationship can also teach the power of love is there, which makes all fear impossible? Do not attempt to keep a little of the ego with this gift. For it was given you to be
and not obscured. What teaches you you cannot separate,
the ego. Let truth decide if you be different or the same and teach you which
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A Course in Miracles
The Son of God is my Identity.
My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive. Its shimmering and perfect purity is far more brilliant than is any light that I have ever looked upon. Its love is limitless, with an intensity that holds all things within it in the calm of quiet certainty. Its strength comes not from burning impulses which move the world but from the boundless Love of God Himself. How far beyond this world my Self must be, and yet how near to me and close to God!
Father, You know my true identity. Reveal it now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You and know that Heaven is restored to me.
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The Son of God is my identity.
Today, I will add a couple more comments on our reading in the Section,
"What is Sin?"
(W.PII.Q4) Jesus tells us that while we take our lives in this world seriously and all the events surrounding them, it is nevertheless all a childish game. We are playing at being
"a body, prey to evil and to guilt, with but a little life that ends in death."
(W.PII.Q4.4.3) He calls this a silly game played by the Son of God, Who has forgotten what he is and now identifies himself as a body. Yet what we call life on this earth is nothing but a madman's dreams. In those dreams, we are indeed frightened. When we think we are a figure in the dream, being acted on by forces outside of our control, we do experience fear. When we understand that we are the ones dreaming this dream, then it is within our power to wake up. All the time we have taken our lives and our belief in death so very seriously, we have nevertheless not had the power to change what we are as eternal beings. Currently, we find ourselves in a world of perception where we are no longer certain about anything.
"But all the while his Father shines on him, and loves him with an everlasting Love which his pretenses cannot change at all."
(W.PII.Q4.4.4) We simply cannot change our reality no matter how much we believe that we have done so. God has assured us that we are still His Son, perfect in every way. It is what the Atonement Principle is all about. We can only become unaware of the love buried in our minds and pretend we are unworthy of it. We have played the game of sin for so long that we have forgotten that it is a game. Jesus says that we can laugh at such foolishness. The game of sin makes us feel like we cannot go home again, as reflected in the story of the Prodigal Son. He was afraid to return to his home, fearing his father's punishment for what he had done. Yet his father received him with great love and gave him an open-hearted welcome home.
Our senses keep us focused externally on the people and events of this world, which we often take seriously, but our eyes were meant to deceive.
"Reason would tell you that the world you see through eyes that are not yours must make no sense to you. To whom would seeing such as this send back its messages? Surely not you, whose sight is wholly independent of the eyes that look upon the world."
(T.22.I.2.3-5) (ACIM OE T.22.II.6) This may seem quite startling to be told that we don't need eyes to see. It makes me think about the reports of out-of-body experiences where one is above the body and observing it. Who and what does the observing? The eyeballs are still in the body, yet seeing happens. Clearly, this kind of seeing does not require the body's eyes, and the seeing Jesus talks about is seeing with the mind of Christ, which is to see with vision.
"The brain interprets to the body, of which it is a part. But what it says you cannot understand. Yet you have listened to it. And long and hard you tried to understand its messages."
(T.22.I.2.9) (ACIM OE T.22.II.6) Yet we cannot understand any of it. We have come to believe that life is our experience as a body. We rely on what our senses tell us and what our brains interpret for us. Yet none of this is the truth. It keeps us from the awareness that we can
t die! We can't figure out our lives. Oh yes, we put a lot of energy in trying to understand, but it is precisely the mind that thinks it knows that must be surrendered. If we think we know and understand anything, we won't be willing to listen to the messages that Jesus brings us. This journey does seem disorienting because what must be surrendered is the "I know mind." This leaves us in a state where the ground seems to be shifting. We can no longer hold onto anything that we thought we understood. Jesus acknowledges that the transition from our world of illusion to the real world can create considerable confusion.
"In the transition there is a period of confusion, in which a sense of actual disorientation may occur."
(T.16.VI.7.4) (ACIM OE T.16.VII.64) However, Jesus goes on to assure us,
"The period of disorientation, which precedes the actual transition, is far shorter than the time it took to fix your mind so firmly on illusions."
(T.16.VI.8.5) (ACIM OE T.16.VII.65) In other words, it took a lot longer, perhaps thousands of lifetimes, to enter the dream, but awakening can happen in a moment.
In the Lesson today, we read,
"My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive."
(W.252.1.1) In other words, we can't even imagine our grandeur and our magnificence. Our brothers and sisters are equally magnificent beyond the masks they wear. We just aren't able to see the truth about anyone, including ourselves, because we take information in with our senses and therefore fail to see with our holy eyes, which would only see innocence. In Lesson 161, we are told that if we really could recognize the truth in anyone we have forgiven, we could
"scarce refrain from kneeling at his feet."
The words of this Lesson are extremely potent when we are receptive to them. Jesus describes who we are as shimmering, perfect purity and more brilliant than any light we have ever looked upon.
"Its love is limitless, with an intensity that holds all things within it, in the calm of quiet certainty."
(W.252.1.3) It does seem this Self must be
"far beyond this world"
(W.252.1.5) and thus not readily available to us, yet the memory of who we are is very near to us because it is in our right minds. It is here that our reality is held as the Son of God. How much do we want this to be revealed to us? How strong is our desire to know the Self? How much do we want to awaken?
The burning impulses that come from our physical or emotional passions seem like strength to us because they seem to be forces that enable things to happen in the world. Yet they cannot even compare to the boundless Love of God, according to this Lesson. When we are extremely angry, very much in love, or feel strong passions and desires, we feel the power of these burning impulses. Yet they are nothing compared to the power of God's Love, which is quiet, boundless, certain, and calm. It is a different kind of power. Until we experience this power, words can only point to it.
"Father, You know my true Identity. Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me."
(W.252.2.1‑2) In fact, only by our own desire and readiness is the truth about ourselves revealed. We have powerful support on this journey, but we are the ones in charge of the process. The prayer simply affirms our desire to have our Identity be known to ourselves. It is revealed to us as we focus on mind-watching, taking responsibility for our thoughts, and undertaking our function of forgiveness, which lifts the veil that hides the face of Christ.
When I am anything less than loving to anyone, I can ask for His help to release my mistaken perceptions so I can know what I am as I was created. The Holy Spirit is not outside of my own mind, so His Help is always there in my mind. When I experience feelings of unworthiness, I can remind myself that these feelings are not the truth. When our experience is one that feels challenging to our peace of mind, we are reminded that when the ego weeps for what it has lost, the Spirit rejoices for what it has found. To indulge in self-pity is to stay in the story, declaring our victimhood. Every thought we have that contradicts the truth about ourselves must be observed and released if we are to know the Self. We must see the meaninglessness of these thoughts. We are worth the effort and the vigilance this takes. We have not changed who we are in truth. We are simply delusional, thinking that we are something we are not. As Jesus reminds us,
"Yet nothing he can do can compare even in the slightest with the glorious surprise of remembering Who he is."
(Manual for Teachers.25.1.5)
There are not two selves in conflict. We are the One Son of God and nothing else. It is not about having a higher Self and lower self because the self we identify with in this world is not real. We are with God and not at all where we locate ourselves. Our current state is delusional. It is the delusion that we are human beings living in a real world. Until we awaken from the dream, the truth will not be fully restored to our awareness. Our limited, meaningless thoughts keep us tied to this reality. Our belief in our needs, lacks, shortcomings, guilt, shame, fear, and death all keep us bound here. We have a terrible case of amnesia. Only as we are willing to bring all of our meaningless thoughts to the Truth will we know the Self we are. Thus, our dreams of guilt, hate, depression, frustration, and specialness are replaced by happy dreams, which culminate in the real world.
Today, we say this prayer with true desire and willingness to wake up to the truth of who we are. Notice how much Jesus wants our own happiness for us when he says,
"How long, O Son of God, will you maintain this game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children's toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today?"
(W.PII.Q4.5.1-4) Why not today? Why not wake up to the happy world Jesus wants for us? What keeps us in this state of sleep, when all we need to do is forgive our brother, instead of holding Heaven back by holding onto our judgments and grievances? We keep the belief in sin real by blaming our brothers for our condition.
"How long, O holy Son of God, how long?"
Love and blessings, Sarah
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