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

CHAPTER 25
The Remedy

IX. The Principle of Salvation

 63 The Holy Spirit can use all that you give to Him for your salvation. But He cannot use what you withhold, for He cannot take it from you without your willingness. For if He did, you would believe He wrested it from you against your will. And so you would not learn it is your will to be without it. You need not give it to Him wholly willingly, for if you could, you'd have no need of Him. But this He needs—that you prefer He take it than that you keep it for yourself alone and recognize that what brings loss to no one you would not know. This much is necessary to add to the idea no one can lose for you to gain. And nothing more.

64 Here is the only principle salvation needs. Nor is it necessary that your faith in it be strong, unswerving, and without attack from all beliefs opposed to it. You have no fixed allegiance. But remember salvation is not needed by the saved. You are not called upon to do what one divided still against himself would find impossible. Have little faith that wisdom could be found in such a state of mind. But be you thankful that only little faith is asked of you. What but a little faith remains to those who still believe in sin? What could they know of Heaven and the justice of the saved?

65 There is a kind of justice in salvation of which the world knows nothing. To the world, justice and vengeance are the same, for sinners see justice only as their punishment, perhaps sustained by someone else but not escaped. The laws of sin demand a victim. Who it may be makes little difference. But death must be the cost and must be paid. This is not justice but insanity. Yet how could justice be defined without insanity where love means hate and death is seen as victory and triumph over eternity and timelessness and life?

66 You who know not of justice still can ask and learn the answer. Justice looks on all in the same way. It is not just that one should lack for what another has. For that is vengeance in whatever form it takes. Justice demands no sacrifice, for any sacrifice is made that sin may be preserved and kept. It is a payment offered for the cost of sin, but not the total cost. The rest is taken from another, to be laid beside your little payment to "atone" for all that you would keep and not give up. So is the victim seen as partly you, with someone else by far the greater part. And in the total cost, the greater his, the less is yours. And justice, being blind, is satisfied by being paid, it matters not by whom. Can this be justice? God knows not of this. But justice does He know and knows it well. For He is wholly fair to everyone.

67 Vengeance is alien to God's Mind because He knows of justice. To be just is to be fair and not be vengeful. Fairness and vengeance are impossible, for each one contradicts the other and denies that it is real. It is impossible for you to share the Holy Spirit's justice with a mind that can conceive of specialness at all. Yet how could He be just if He condemns a sinner for the crimes he did not do but thinks he did? And where would justice be if He demanded of the ones obsessed with the idea of punishment that they lay it aside unaided and perceive it is not true? It is extremely hard for those who still believe sin meaningful to understand the Holy Spirit's justice.

68 They must believe He shares their own confusion and cannot avoid the vengeance that their own belief in justice must entail. And so they fear the Holy Spirit and perceive the "wrath" of God in Him. Nor can they trust Him not to strike them dead with lightning bolts torn from the "fires" of Heaven by God's own angry hand. They do believe that Heaven is hell and are afraid of love. And deep suspicion and the chill of fear comes over them when they are told that they have never sinned. Their world depends on sin's stability. And they perceive the "threat" of what God knows as justice to be more destructive to themselves and to their world than vengeance, which they understand and love.

69 So do they think the loss of sin a curse. And flee the Holy Spirit as if He were a messenger from hell sent from above in treachery and guile to work God's vengeance on them in the guise of a deliverer and friend. What could He be to them except a devil dressed to deceive within an angel's cloak. And what escape has He for them except a door to hell that seems to look like Heaven's gate?

  70 Yet justice cannot punish those who ask for punishment but have a Judge Who knows that they are wholly innocent in truth. In justice, He is bound to set them free and give them all the honor they deserve and have denied themselves because they are not fair and cannot understand that they are innocent. Love is not understandable to sinners because they think that justice is split off from love and stands for something else.

71 And thus is love perceived as weak and vengeance strong. For love has lost when judgment left its side and is too weak to save from punishment. But vengeance without love has gained in strength by being separate and apart from love. And what but vengeance now can help and save, while love stands feebly by with helpless hands, bereft of justice and vitality and powerless to save? What can Love ask of you who think that all of this is true? Could He, in justice and in love believe in your confusion you have much to give? You are not asked to trust Him far. No further than what you see He offers you and what you recognize you could not give yourself.

72 In God's own justice does He recognize all you deserve but understands as well that you cannot accept it for yourself. It is His special function to hold out to you the gifts the innocent deserve. And every one that you accept brings joy to Him as well as you. He knows that Heaven is richer made by each one you accept. And God rejoices as His Son receives what loving justice knows to be his due. For love and justice are not different. Because they are the same does mercy stand at God's right hand and give the Son of God the power to forgive himself of sin.

73 To him who merits everything, how can it be that anything be kept from him? For that would be injustice and unfair indeed to all the holiness that is in him, however much he recognize it not. God knows of no injustice. He would not allow His Son be judged by those who seek his death and could not see his worth at all. What honest witnesses could they call forth to speak on his behalf? And who would come to plead for him and not against his life? No justice would be given him by you. Yet God ensured that justice would be done unto the Son He loves and would protect from all unfairness you might seek to offer, believing vengeance is his proper due.

74 As specialness cares not who pays the cost of sin, so it be paid, the Holy Spirit heeds not who looks on innocence at last, provided it is seen and recognized. For just one witness is enough if he sees truly. Simple justice asks no more. Of each one does the Holy Spirit ask if he will be that one, so justice may return to love and there be satisfied. Each special function He allots is but for this—that each one learn that love and justice are not separate. And both are strengthened by their union with each other. Without love is justice prejudiced and weak. And love without justice is impossible. For love is fair and cannot chasten without cause. What cause can be to warrant an attack upon the innocent? In justice then does love correct mistakes, but not in vengeance. For that would be unjust to innocence.

75 You can be perfect witness to the power of love and justice if you understand it is impossible the Son of God could merit vengeance. You need not perceive in every circumstance that this is true. Nor need you look to your experience within the world, which is but shadows of all that is really happening within yourself. The understanding which you need comes not of you but from a larger Self, so great and holy that He could not doubt His innocence. Your special function is a call to Him that He may smile on you whose sinlessness He shares. His understanding will be yours. And so the Holy Spirit's special function has been fulfilled. God's Son has found a witness unto his sinlessness and not his sin. How little need you give the Holy Spirit that simple justice may be given you!

76 Without impartiality there is no justice. How can specialness be just? Judge not because you cannot, not because you are a miserable sinner too. How can the special really understand that justice is the same for everyone? To take from one to give another must be an injustice to them both, since they are equal in the Holy Spirit's sight. Their Father gave the same inheritance to both. Who would have more or less is not aware that he has everything. He is no judge of what must be another's due, because he thinks he is deprived. And so must he be envious and try to take away from whom he judges. He is not impartial and cannot fairly see another's rights because his own have been obscured to him.

77 You have the right to all the universe—to perfect peace, complete deliverance from all effects of sin, and to the life eternal, joyous and complete in every way, as God appointed for His holy Son. This is the only justice Heaven knows, and all the Holy Spirit brings to earth. Your special function shows you nothing else but perfect justice can prevail for you. And you are safe from vengeance in all forms. The world deceives, but it cannot replace God's justice with a version of its own. For only love is just and can perceive what justice must accord the Son of God. Let love decide and never fear that you in your unfairness will deprive yourself of what God's justice has allotted you.

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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 274
Today belongs to Love.
Let me not fear.

1 Father, today I would let all things be as You created them and give Your Son the honor due his sinlessness, the love of brother to his brother and his friend. Through this I am redeemed. Through this as well the truth will enter where illusions were, light will replace all darkness, and Your Son will know he is as You created him.

2 A special blessing comes to us today from Him Who is our Father. Give this day to Him and there will be no fear today because the day is given unto Love.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 274
Today belongs to Love. Let me not fear.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
Are we ready for a day that belongs entirely to love---a day that belongs to God? If not, can we be content and satisfied to be on this learning journey where Jesus shows us how such a day can be achieved? On our own, with the ego as a guide, we place our body in its service. We think we know what we need for our happiness and send the body off on hopeless missions in pursuit of trivial goals. We don't know our own best interests. We are confused about what is painful and what is pleasurable. The ego wants it that way so it keeps us looking for what cannot be found. As we turn more and more to the only Teacher, who does know, we are given guidance on where to go, what to do, what to say, and to who. This requires asking, listening, and following in everything we do.
 
To have a day where love prevails requires that we learn to walk this path with our brother, extending "the love of brother to his brother and his Friend." (W.274.1.1) In other words, as we see the Christ in our brother, we come to know our own innocence as well. We are One. We have no separate interests. There is only love and nothing else. Only in this recognition do we remember our reality. Thus, we experience the stillness and the peace within us. Our decision to listen to the voice of the ego blocks this experience from awareness, but we can decide we have been wrong and make another choice. As we start to recognize that there is another way of looking at everything, we become willing to ask for the miracle in the face of any problem we seem to encounter.
 
A day of undisturbed tranquility may not be feasible as yet because we may not yet be ready. In other words, our fear is still too prevalent. We may not yet be sufficiently motivated to turn to the Holy Spirit in every moment. God may not yet be our only undivided goal. This is not a reason for self-judgment or discouragement, as Jesus continually reminds us that the events of our lives are a perfect classroom for the undoing of the wrong mind. He tells us that consistent peace and tranquility are always available in each moment when we are ready for it. The outcome of our journey on this path to enlightenment is guaranteed. It is certain that we will achieve perfect peace because it has already been accomplished and has only been awaiting our acceptance. We just need to continue to do our part. We need not compare ourselves with anyone or use anyone as a measuring stick for our own progress. To do so is merely to focus on our perceived lacks and needs and to crucify ourselves. Thus, we pray: "Father, today I would let all things be as You created them,..."  (W.274.1.1) We let all things be exactly as they are. Where we are in our journey is what we are currently ready for. There is no reason for self-recrimination or guilt, which is the ego's response to our perceived lack of progress on this path. It is important to remember that Jesus says that we are incapable of judging our gains from our retreats. What I call a setback may be where I have made the greatest gain. Thus, we can be content that all is perfectly orchestrated for our highest good.
 
We achieve a day of quietness, stillness, and peace by learning to dismiss our disturbances throughout the day. What are these disturbances? They are nothing but our own thoughts in relation to the meaning we give to events and situations that come up in our day. And when these thoughts come up, what are we to do? The most helpful thing we can do in the moment is to stop, step back, take a breath, and turn to Spirit. And when feelings come up, take time to be with them and inquire as to their source. The source of our feelings is always thoughts we are holding in the mind based on beliefs. What are you holding as a belief in order for these feelings to arise? What are you projecting onto others? Realize that whatever the judgments you put on your brother, there is some form of this judgment where there is self-condemnation. We are being invited to accept responsibility for our reactions and judgments as having their origin in our own unhealed minds. Now we come to a place of acceptance of everything as helpful for our healing. With a willingness to see that we have been wrong in our interpretations, we ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to give us His interpretation. Only my own mind gives strength and power to the thoughts I am holding. We remind ourselves today, with each disturbing situation, "Today belongs to love. Let me not fear." (W.274)
 
We may wonder how is it possible to see innocence in our brothers, who seem to betray us, hurt us, make demands on us, or attack us? How can we see them with the eyes of Christ, which is to see their purity? Ultimately, we start by recognizing that it is our own self-judgments that we lay on our brothers for their sins. Everything we project onto them originates in our own minds. Thus, to continue to hold judgments against anyone is to hurt ourselves. We only see in others our own self-judgment and self-attack. Love sees only innocence regardless of the behaviors exhibited, and when we see guilt, it is our own guilt projected out. Yet, with each blessing that we give a brother instead of judgment, we take a step in the direction of truly seeing who he is and thus claiming our own sinlessness.
 
Why do we not know the truth about ourselves now? The truth is unknown because we have chained ourselves to our specialness. In other words, we are hostage to the ego rather than host to God. We are hostage to our obsessive thoughts. Specialness seems like a good thing in the world, but Jesus takes a different perspective on it. Specialness not only sets us apart, but it sets us above our brothers. It is winning at someone else's expense. It is a thought system of "one or the other." This thought system is what established our separate identities by annihilating God. It is a thought system where the Son of God waged war against His Father. It is a thought system of win or lose. God had to lose for us to win our separate identity. Now we bring this thought system into every encounter and when we do, we put our own needs ahead of anyone else's. It is all about bargaining to get our needs met.
 
None of this makes us guilty. Jesus says, all that has happened is that we have failed to gain. "Here is deception doubled, for the one who is deceived will not perceive that he has merely failed to gain." (W.133.9.3) In other words, we actually want to keep the guilt and to suffer as a way to keep our separate identity and our specialness. This is what we think we gained in our separation from God. When we see we have just made a mistake and are willing to take responsibility by withdrawing all blame from our brother, we become willing to see our own mind as the cause of our experience. Now we can make a different choice. We can use every situation for healing. We can allow all things to be exactly as they are. By honoring our brothers, we see our equality with them, and with each joining with a brother, we heal the belief that we are these separate beings in competition with each other. In every opportunity that we have to bring our misperceptions of our brother back to our own minds for healing, we reclaim the Oneness which is reflected in this world as sameness.
 
Today, our way to God is by extending love, blessings, and, yes, honor to our brothers. We give them the appreciation they deserve because of who they are in their creation. With love, there can be no fear. The choice for love casts out all fear. At the core of our identity, and the identity of all of our brothers, is our divine innocence, which is the love of a brother for a brother in recognition of our sameness and the recognition of our Friend. To love God is to love our brother. Thus, when we devote a day to God, we are devoting it to our brothers. When we give a day committed to forgiveness, which is a reflection of God's Love, we can experience peace, joy, patience, gentleness, and contentment, which is our inheritance. Our self-absorption with our problems and with our uniqueness and specialness is what keeps us from extending love to our brothers because our needs and issues are always at the forefront. When we see that our brother’s interests are the same as our own, we join the ranks of teachers of God.
 
Today, our goal is to make space for blessings to extend through us. Set your intention to give this day to God, and whenever fear thoughts come up---or any feelings of dismay, discouragement, or depression---allow them to be given over so that the Holy Spirit can pull the plug on them. Remind yourself that Love is your goal today and thus, "Let me not fear." (W.274) Fear is a sign that we have chosen against the love that we are. It is a sign that we have turned to the ego as our teacher. Yet, what is wonderful is how easily we can choose to correct our mistake and return to love. It does not matter how long it takes as long as we are using time for its intended purpose for healing the mind. Ultimately, we start to experience so much joy that is not based on getting anything we think will satisfy us. We remember our purpose. We remember why we came here. And everything we previously thought was important starts to fall away.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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