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

CHAPTER 25
The Remedy

VIII. Commuting the Sentence

 50 And if the Holy Spirit can commute each sentence that you laid upon yourself into a blessing, then it cannot be a sin. Sin is the one thing in all the world that cannot change. It is immutable. And on its changelessness the world depends. The magic of the world can seem to hide the pain of sin from sinners and deceive with glitter and with guile. Yet each one knows the cost of sin is death. And so it is. For sin is a request for death, a wish to make this world's foundation sure as love, dependable as Heaven, and as strong as God Himself. The world is safe from love to everyone who thinks sin possible. Nor will it change. Yet is it possible what God created not should share the attributes of His creation when it opposes it in every way?

51 It cannot be the "sinner's" wish for death is just as strong as is God's Will for life. Nor can the basis of a world He did not make be firm and sure as Heaven. How could it be that hell and Heaven are the same? And is it possible that what He did not will cannot be changed? What is immutable besides His Will? And what can share Its attributes except Itself? What wish can rise against His Will and be immutable? If you could realize nothing is changeless but the Will of God, this course would not be difficult for you. For it is this that you do not believe. Yet there is nothing else you could believe if you but looked at what it really is.

52 Let us go back to what we said before and think of it more carefully. It must be so that either God is mad or is this world a place of madness. Not one Thought of His makes any sense at all within this world. And nothing that the world believes as true has any meaning in His Mind at all. What makes no sense and has no meaning is insanity. And what is madness cannot be the truth. If one belief so deeply valued here were true, then every Thought God ever had is an illusion. And if but one Thought of His is true, then all beliefs the world gives any meaning to are false and make no sense at all. This is the choice you make. Do not attempt to see it differently nor twist it into something it is not. For only this decision can you make. The rest is up to God and not to you.

53 To justify one value that the world upholds is to deny your Father's sanity and yours . For God and His beloved Son do not think differently. And it is the agreement of their thought that makes the Son a co-creator with the Mind Whose Thought created him. And if he chooses to believe one thought opposed to truth, he has decided he is not his Father's Son because the Son is mad, and sanity must lie apart from both the Father and the Son. This you believe. Think not that this belief depends upon the form it takes. Who thinks the world is sane in any way, is justified in anything it thinks, or is maintained by any form of reason believes this to be true. Sin is not real because the Father and the Son are not insane. This world is meaningless because it rests on sin. Who could create the changeless if it does not rest on truth?

54 The Holy Spirit has the power to change the whole foundation of the world you see to something else—a basis not insane on which a sane perception can be based, another world perceived. And one in which nothing is contradicted that would lead the Son of God to sanity and joy. Nothing attests to death and cruelty, to separation, and to differences. For here is everything perceived as one, and no one loses that each one may gain.

55 Test everything that you believe against this one requirement. And understand that everything that meets this one demand is worthy of your faith. But nothing else. What is not love is sin, and either one perceives the other as insane and meaningless. Love is the basis for a world perceived as wholly mad to sinners who believe theirs is the way to sanity. But sin is equally insane within the sight of love, whose gentle eyes would look beyond the madness and rest peacefully on truth. Each sees a world immutable, as each defines the changeless and eternal truth of what you are. And each reflects a view of what the Father and the Son must be to make that viewpoint meaningful and sane.

56 Your special function is the special form in which the fact that God is not insane appears most sensible and meaningful to you. The content is the same. The form is suited to your special needs and to the special time and place in which you think you find yourself and where you can be free of place and time and all that you believe must limit you. The Son of God cannot be bound by time nor place nor anything God did not will. Yet if His Will is seen as madness, then the form of sanity which makes it most acceptable to those who are insane requires special choice. Nor can this choice be made by the insane, whose problem is their choices are not free and made with reason in the light of sense.

57 It would be madness to entrust salvation to the insane. Because He is not mad has God appointed One as sane as He to raise a saner world to meet the sight of everyone who chose insanity as his salvation. To this One is given the choice of form most suitable to him; one which will not attack the world he sees, but enter into it in quietness and show him he is mad. This One but points to an alternative, another way of looking at what he has seen before and recognizes as the world in which he lives and thought he understood before.

58 Now must he question this because the form of the alternative is one which he cannot deny nor overlook nor fail completely to perceive at all. To each his special function is designed to be perceived as possible and more and more desired as it proves to him that it is an alternative he really wants. From this position does his sinfulness and all the sin he sees within the world offer him less and less—until he comes to understand it cost him his sanity and stands between him and whatever hope he has of being sane. Nor is he left without escape from madness, for he has a special part in everyone's escape. He can no more be left outside without a special function in the hope of peace than could the Father overlook His Son and pass him by in careless thoughtlessness.

59 What is dependable except God's Love? And where does sanity abide except in Him? The One Who speaks for Him can show you this in the alternative He chose especially for you. It is God's Will that you remember this and so emerge from deepest mourning into perfect joy. Accept the function that has been assigned to you in God's Own plan to show His Sons that hell and Heaven are different, not the same. And that in Heaven they are all the same, without the differences which would have made a hell of Heaven and a heaven of hell, had such insanity been possible.

60 The whole belief that someone loses but reflects the underlying tenet God must be insane. For in this world, it seems that one must gain because another lost. If this were true, then God is mad indeed! But what is this belief except a form of the more basic tenet, "Sin is real and rules the world"? For every little gain must someone lose and pay exact amount in blood and suffering. For otherwise would evil triumph and destruction be the total cost of any gain at all. You who believe that God is mad, look carefully at this and understand that it must be that either God or this must be insane, but hardly both.

61 Salvation is rebirth of the idea no one can lose for anyone to gain. And everyone must gain if anyone would be a gainer. Here is sanity restored. And on this single rock of truth can faith in God's eternal saneness rest in perfect confidence and perfect peace. Reason is satisfied, for all insane beliefs can be corrected here. And sin must be impossible if this is true. This is the rock on which salvation rests, the vantage point from which the Holy Spirit gives meaning and direction to the plan in which your special function has a part. For here your special function is made whole because it shares the function of the whole.

62 Remember all temptation is but this—a mad belief that God's insanity would make you sane and give you what you want. That either God or you must lose to madness because your aims can not be reconciled. Death demands life, but life is not maintained at any cost. No one can suffer for the Will of God to be fulfilled. Salvation is His Will because you share it. Not for you alone but for the Self which is the Son of God. He cannot lose, for if he could, the loss would be his Father's, and in Him no loss is possible. And this is sane because it is the truth.

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Part II
What is the Christ?

1 Christ is God's Son as He created Him. He is the Self we share, uniting us with one another and with God as well. He is the Thought Which still abides within the Mind That is His Source. He has not left His holy home nor lost the innocence in which He was created. He abides unchanged forever in the Mind of God.

2 Christ is the link that keeps you one with God and guarantees that separation is no more than an illusion of despair. For hope forever will abide in Him. Your mind is part of His and His of yours. He is the part in which God's Answer lies, where all decisions are already made and dreams are over. He remains untouched by anything the body's eyes perceive. For though in Him His Father placed the means for your salvation, yet does He remain the Self Who, like His Father, knows no sin.

3 Home of the Holy Spirit and at home in God alone, does Christ remain at peace within the Heaven of your holy mind. This is the only part of you that has reality in truth. The rest is dreams. Yet will these dreams be given unto Christ to fade before His glory and reveal your holy Self, the Christ, to you at last.

4 The Holy Spirit reaches from the Christ in you to all your dreams and bids them come to Him to be translated into truth. He will exchange them for the final dream which God appointed as the end of dreams. For when forgiveness rests upon the world and peace has come to every Son of God, what could remain to keep things separate, for what remains to see except Christ's face?

5 And how long will this holy face be seen, when it is but the symbol that the time for learning now is over and the goal of the Atonement has been reached at last? So therefore let us seek to find Christ's face and look on nothing else. As we behold His glory will we know we have no need of learning or perception or of time, or anything except the holy Self, the Christ Whom God created as His Son.

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Lesson 273
The stillness of the peace of God is mine.

1 Perhaps we are now ready for a day of undisturbed tranquility. If this is not yet feasible, we are content and even more than satisfied to learn how such a day can be achieved. If we give way to a disturbance, let us learn how to dismiss it and return to peace. We need but tell our minds with certainty, "The stillness of the peace of God is mine," and nothing can intrude upon the peace that God Himself has given to His Son.

2 Father, Your peace is mine. What need have I to fear that anything can rob me of what You would have me keep? I cannot lose Your gifts to me. And so the peace You gave Your Son is with me still, in quietness and in my own eternal love for You.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 273
The stillness of the peace of God is mine.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
Isn't it beautiful how Jesus gently reminds us that even if we don't feel the undisturbed tranquility talked about here, we can still be content to "learn how such a day can be achieved." (W.273.1.2) We don't need to be dismayed if we don't feel a deep peace in our meditation time and throughout the day because we are assured we simply cannot lose the gifts of God already in us. (W.273.2.3) We have them now! The peace, joy, and stillness are already in us. There is nothing to be done to find peace. We need only participate in the process of undoing all of our interfering thoughts, standing in the way of peace. Peace is being offered to us in each moment by the Holy Spirit. His Light shines unabated in our minds, waiting for our willingness to give over our darkness to Him.
 
Even though a day of undisturbed tranquility may not yet be here, we can still be content. There is no need to chastise ourselves when we think we are not where we should be. In fact, it is only the ego that we listen to when we get upset with ourselves. Jesus urges us to be content with where we are. We are to be happy learners. It would make no sense to throw away our peace because we are not where we "should" be based on expectations we put on ourselves. The idea is to be content, even though we may not yet know peace consistently.
 
We can be content because everything that shows up in our lives is absolutely perfect for our healing. Everything and everyone in our lives reveals to us places where we hold judgments about ourselves. We can simply invite the Holy Spirit to shine away all pain. It is not necessarily instantaneous, although it can be. We go as fast or as slow as our fear and resistance will allow. We are not being hurled into Heaven. It is a process of willingness to recognize that all things truly work together for good. We are in charge of welcoming Spirit into our lives to the extent that we are ready, open, and willing. Although it is generally not comfortable or peaceful to go through the darkness, willingness to look at our ego preservation strategies is the only way to release them.
 
When we are in a state of distress or emotional upheaval, it is not to make ourselves wrong or judge ourselves for not being sufficiently spiritual. Instead, try to stay open to welcome the feelings that come up and go deeper into them for the purpose of uncovering what has been hidden from awareness. When we are open and willing to look at the thoughts and feelings that arise, we can then release them to the Holy Spirit. He does the rest. Healing is assured. Any feelings we harbor, project, blame, hold, stuff down, or deny is what is kept from healing. We keep ourselves from healing when we judge ourselves for not being good enough or ready to look at what we have denied. Not looking is what keeps our defenses in place when our thoughts rule our experience.
 
It is not our job to make ourselves holy. We already are holy, complete, innocent, and whole. There is nothing wrong with us. We are as God created us in our loveliness, but it is not how we experience ourselves. Our experience is one of self-judgment and self-attack. Because of this, we do not consistently feel our purity. In fact, the mind is addicted to darkness and experiences the distortions of the ego. We listen to our own thoughts and believe in our own stories and by doing so, we give them power.
 
To make space for the miracle we must let our dark thoughts be washed away. It means they first must be exposed. The ego tells us not to go there, saying that there is so much darkness in us that we are better off to keep it contained. This is how we keep the self-attack going. Our holy will has been enslaved by the ego, but this need not be. We can ask for the miracle, which aligns us with the truth of our creation. The miracle offers us moments of joyful opening with no particular reason for that experience. Thus, we see the contrast between the suffering that comes from investing in our own thoughts versus the joy brought about by miracle-mindedness when judgments are released.
 
Peace is given us in our creation and is always there, behind every thought of despair, worry, distress, concern, jealousy, depression, anger, rejection, sadness, and feelings of abandonment and unworthiness. When such thoughts and feelings are released to the Holy Spirit, space opens up in the mind for the light to shine through. It requires discipline and vigilance. It can’t be bestowed on us by some power or some guru. We must do this work ourselves by watching our own minds. While there is no answer outside of our own minds, our mighty companions can hold sacred space for us in our healing. "You whose hand is joined with your brother's have begun to reach beyond the body, but not outside yourself, to reach your shared Identity together." (T.18.VI.10.2) (ACIM OE T.18.VII.58) We cannot know Oneness in this world, but we can see our sameness, which is a reflection of the Oneness.
 
God's Voice calls to us, but we don't hear it because of the cacophony of our own thoughts. We all experience how relentless and obsessive these thoughts can be. When our focus is on personal problems, on problems of the world, on grievances, on what others think about us, on future plans, on past betrayals, on our addictions to sex and food, on fears and doubts, on regrets, on plans for our future, and on money concerns, there can be no peace of mind. So yes, it does take vigilance to see what grabs our attention and distracts us, but we must also be gentle and easy with ourselves in this process. It is not helpful to condemn ourselves for any seeming lack of progress because if we do, we experience more guilt. It is a daily, if not moment by moment, reminder that this world is just a classroom, and every day and every moment, we can choose again. We can offer our brothers a blessing instead of a judgment or curse, and with each blessing, we receive one for ourselves.
 
When we see sin in our brother and rejoice in what we see in him, we are cutting ourselves off from peace. We are crucifying the brother that God has given us as a teacher of peace. Yes, it may indeed be the one who seems to be attacking us, but we can never be the judge of who provides us with the biggest gift. Each one offers us another opportunity to go deeper into our own feelings and uncover what we have hidden from awareness. Each one who crosses our path brings with him or her the function of salvation because each one offers us a mirror of our own inner condition. They reflect for us the guilt or the innocence in our own minds. Each one thus becomes a portal through which we can see what we could not access in ourselves by ourselves. Yet how often we refuse to see the gift because it does not always appear to be a gift. It may, in fact, look like rejection, betrayal, judgment, or attack. Where this is the case, it is harder to see our brother’s need is as great as our own and the blessing we offer him can bless us both and bring the miracle of healing.
 
We may be tempted to beat up on ourselves for not meeting expectations of ourselves on this path. It is important to remind ourselves that there is nothing to strive for. When we strive, we are anxious. We are struggling with our ego and fighting it instead of just looking at it. Again, it is important to remain gentle with ourselves in this learning process. We already have it all. We just need to keep reminding ourselves that the peace is already ours. "We need but tell our minds, with certainty, 'The stillness of the peace of God is mine,' and nothing that can intrude upon the peace that God Himself has given to His Son." (W.273.1.4) If we don't have it, we have actively chosen to throw it away and then blame our brother for taking it from us.
 
Today, we set a goal for peace and tranquility and remind ourselves with any upset that disturbs us that the stillness of the peace of God is ours. With willingness to look at the upset and bring it to the stillness within, peace is returned to the mind. Nothing can take away our peace. If we don't have it, it is a signal that we are listening to the ego. For me, it is always remembering to ask for guidance in everything. It is to stop the instant I recognize I am disturbed by anything and to take a moment in stillness to look at what I am thinking and be willing to ask for help to see the situation differently. Often, I find I have to withdraw from the conflict by walking away, stepping back from it in order to find a place of sanity in my mind so that I don’t take the bait offered me to engage in the insanity.
 
The belief that we will never "get there" is just another way the ego keeps us feeling stuck. In each moment, we can just start again, and with each mistake, we can ask for the correction, rather than feeling unworthy and guilty. We are called to be a happy learner, meaning to be happy with whatever shows up in our day, knowing it is all for our awakening. We sometimes stubbornly hold onto distressing thoughts because we actually prefer to blame our brother for our lack of peace. This is a conspiracy the ego has set up to keep us imprisoned, wanting revenge on our brother for what he has presumably done. In truth, nothing has happened. We forgive him for what he has not done. Wanting revenge is just an excuse to hold onto our unhappiness and blame our brother for it. It is a picture of the crucified Christ that we hold up to our brother to show him what he has done to us. "Death seems an easy price, if they can say, 'Behold me, brother, at your hand I die'." (T.27.I.4.6) (ACIM OE T.27.II.4)
 
The Lesson today is more about watching our minds and watching our resistance, than pretending we are always peaceful. We need to remain vigilant if we truly want to see how much we are threatened by true peace and happiness. The underlying motivation for our conflicts is the desire to be rid of peace. We read in the Obstacles to Peace that the first obstacle is our desire to be rid of it. "If you would make it (peace) homeless, how can it abide within the Son of God?" (T.19.IV.A.1.5) (ACIM OE T.19.V.A.40) Today, we are called to stay vigilant as we look at the remnants of attack that we still cherish against our brothers. This is how we keep ourselves limited. With vigilance and willingness, we turn over each remnant of attack to the Holy Spirit so He can shine them away and return our minds to the peace that is our inheritance.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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