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CHAPTER 26
The Transition

V. Where Sin Has Left

 25 Forgiveness is this world's equivalent of Heaven's justice. It translates the world of sin into a simple world where justice can be reflected from beyond the gate behind which total lack of limits lies. Nothing in boundless love could need forgiveness. And what is charity within the world gives way to simple justice past the gate that opens into Heaven. No one forgives unless he has believed in sin and still believes that he has much to be forgiven. Forgiveness thus becomes the means by which he learns he has done nothing to forgive. Forgiveness always rests upon the one who offers it until he sees himself as needing it no more. And thus is he returned to his real function of creating, which his forgiveness offers him again.

26 Forgiveness turns the world of sin into a world of glory, wonderful to see. Each flower shines in light, and every bird sings of the joy of Heaven. There is no sadness, and there is no parting here, for everything is totally forgiven. And what has been forgiven must join, for nothing stands between to keep them separate and apart. The sinless must perceive that they are one, for nothing stands between to push the other off. And in the space which sin left vacant do they join as one, in gladness recognizing what is part of them has not been kept apart and separate.

27 The holy place on which you stand is but the space that sin has left. And here you see the face of Christ arising in its place. Who could behold the face of Christ and not recall His Father as He really is? Who could fear love and stand upon the ground where sin has left a place for Heaven's altar to rise and tower far above the world and reach beyond the universe to touch the heart of all creation? What is Heaven but a song of gratitude and love and praise by everything created to the Source of its creation? The holiest of altars is set where once sin was believed to be. And here does every light of heaven come to be rekindled and increased in joy. For here is what was lost restored to them and all their radiance made whole again.

28 Forgiveness brings no little miracles to lay before the gate of Heaven. Here the Son of God Himself comes to receive each gift that brings him nearer to his home. Not one is lost, and none is cherished more than any other. Each reminds him of His Father's love as surely as the rest. And each one teaches him that what he feared he loves the most. What but a miracle could change his mind, so that he understands that love cannot be feared? What other miracle is there but this? And what else need there be to make the space between you disappear?

29 Where sin once was perceived will rise a world which will become an altar to the truth, and you will join the lights of Heaven there and sing their song of gratitude and praise. And as they come to you to be complete, so will you go with them. For no one hears the song of Heaven and remains without a voice that adds its power to the song and makes it sweeter still. And each one joins the singing at the altar which was raised within the tiny spot that sin proclaimed to be its own. And what was tiny then has soared into a magnitude of song in which the universe has joined with but a single voice. This tiny spot of sin that stands between you still is holding back the happy opening of Heaven's gate. How little is the hindrance which withholds the wealth of Heaven from you! And how great will be the joy in Heaven when you join the mighty chorus to the love of God!

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CHAPTER 26
The Transition

VI. The Little Hindrance

 30 A little hindrance can seem large indeed to those who do not understand that miracles are all the same. Yet teaching that is what this course is for . This is its only purpose, for only that is all there is to learn. And you can learn it many different ways. All learning is a help or hindrance to the gate of Heaven. Nothing in between is possible. There are two teachers only, who point in different ways. And you will go along the way your chosen teacher leads. There are but two directions you can take while time remains and choice is meaningful. For never will another road be made except the way to Heaven. You but choose whether to go toward Heaven or away to nowhere. There is nothing else to choose.

31 Nothing is ever lost but time, which in the end is [nothing. It is] but a little hindrance to eternity, quite meaningless to the real Teacher of the world. Yet since you do believe in [its reality], why should you waste it going nowhere when it can be used to reach a goal as high as learning can achieve? Think not the way to Heaven's gate is difficult at all. Nothing you undertake with certain purpose and high resolve and happy confidence, holding each other's hand and keeping step to Heaven's song, is difficult to do. But it is hard indeed to wander off, alone and miserable, down a road which leads to nothing and which has no purpose.

32 God gave His Teacher to replace the one you made, not to conflict with it. And what He would replace has been replaced. Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time passed and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made. The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the correction for that one and all of them that came within the first. And in that tiny instant time was gone, for that was all it ever was. What God gave answer to is answered and is gone.

33 To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past. Each thing you look upon you saw but for an instant, long ago before its unreality gave way to truth. Not one illusion still remains unanswered in your mind. Uncertainty was brought to certainty so long ago that it is hard indeed to hold it to your heart as if it were before you still.

34 The tiny instant you would keep and make eternal passed away in Heaven too soon for anything to notice it had come. What disappeared too quickly to affect the simple knowledge of the Son of God can hardly still be there for you to choose to be your teacher. Only in the past—an ancient past, too short to make a world in answer to creation—did this world appear to rise. So very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time that not one note in Heaven's song was missed.

35 Yet in each unforgiving act or thought, in every judgment, and in all belief in sin, is that one instant still called back, as if it could be made again in time. You keep an ancient memory before your eyes. And he who lives in memories alone is unaware of where he is.

36 [Forgiveness is the great release from time. It is the key to learning that the past is over. Madness speaks no more. There is no other teacher and no other way. For what has been undone no longer is. And who can stand upon a distant shore and dream himself across an ocean to a place and time that have long since gone by? How real a hindrance can this dream be to where he really is ? For this is fact and does not change whatever dreams he has. Yet can he still imagine he is elsewhere and in another time. In the extreme, he can delude himself that this is true and pass from mere imagining into belief and into madness, quite convinced that where he would prefer to be, he is .]

37 Is this a hindrance to the place whereon he stands? Is any echo from the past that he may hear a fact in what is there to hear where he is now? And how much can his own delusions about time and place affect a change in where he really is? The unforgiven is a voice that calls out from a past forever more gone by. And everything which points to it as real is but a wish that what is gone could be made real again and seen as here and now in place of what is really now and here. Is this a hindrance to the truth the past is gone and cannot be returned to you? And do you want that fearful instant kept, when Heaven seemed to disappear and God was feared and made a symbol of your hate?

38 Forget the time of terror that has been so long ago corrected and undone. Can sin withstand the Will of God? Can it be up to you to see the past and put it in the present? You can not go back. And everything that points the way in the direction of the past but sets you on a mission whose accomplishment can only be unreal. Such is the justice your ever-loving Father has ensured must come to you. And from your own unfairness to yourself has He protected you. You cannot lose your way because there is no way but His and nowhere can you go except to Him.

39 Would God allow His Son to lose his way along a road long since a memory of time gone by? [This course will teach you only what is now.] A dreadful instant in a distant past, now perfectly corrected, is of no concern nor value. Let the dead and gone be peacefully forgotten. Resurrection has come to take its place. And now you are a part of resurrection, not of death. No past illusions have the power to keep you in a place of death, a vault God's Son entered an instant, to be instantly restored unto His Father's perfect Love. And how can he be kept in chains long since removed and gone forever from his mind?

40 The Son that God created is as free as God created him. He was reborn the instant that he chose to die instead of live. And will you not forgive him now because he made an error in the past that God remembers not and is not there? Now you are shifting back and forth between the past and present. Sometimes the past seems real, as if it were the present. Voices from the past are heard and then are doubted. You are like to one who still hallucinates but lacks conviction in what he perceives. This is the borderland between the worlds, the bridge between the past and present. Here the shadow of the past remains, but still a present light is dimly recognized. Once it is seen, this light can never be forgotten. It must draw you from the past into the present, where you really are .

41 The shadow voices do not change the laws of time or of eternity. They come from what is past and gone and hinder not the true existence of the here and now. The real world is the second part of the hallucination time and death are real and have existence which can be perceived. This terrible illusion was denied in but the time it took for God to give His answer to illusion for all time and every circumstance. And then it was no more, to be experienced as there.

42 Each day and every minute in each day and every instant that each minute holds, you but relive the single instant when the time of terror was replaced by love. And so you die each day to live again until you cross the gap between past and present, which is not a gap at all. Such is each life—a seeming interval from birth to death and on to life again, a repetition of an instant gone by long ago, which cannot be relived. And all of time is but the mad belief that what is over is still here and now.

43 Forgive the past and let it go, for it is gone. You stand no longer on the ground that lies between the worlds. You have gone on and reached the world that lies at Heaven's gate. There is no hindrance to the Will of God nor any need that you repeat again a journey that was over long ago. Look gently on each other and behold the world in which perception of your hate has been transformed into a world of love.



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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 279
Creation's freedom promises my own.

1 The end of dreams is promised me because God's Son is not abandoned by His Love. Only in dreams is there a time when he appears to be in prison and awaits a future freedom if it be at all. Yet in reality his dreams are gone, with truth established in their place. And now is freedom his already. Should I wait in chains which have been severed for release, when God is offering me freedom now?

2 I will accept Your promises today and give my faith to them. My Father loves the Son Whom He created as His own. Would You withhold the gifts You gave to me?

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Lesson 279
Creation's freedom promises my own.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
"The end of dreams is promised me, because God’s Son is not abandoned by His Love." (W.279.1.1) It is a promise that God makes because His Love is with us now. We have not been abandoned in the dream. Whenever we are ready to accept that we are at home in God now, we will awaken. This dream has had no effect on our reality. We may be feeling impatient and discouraged along the way if peace and ultimately enlightenment still seems to be a long way off, but Jesus urges patience. He says in the Manual for Teachers, "Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety. Patience is natural to the teacher of God. All he sees is certain outcome, at a time perhaps unknown to him as yet, but not in doubt. The time will be as right as is the answer. And this is true for everything that happens now or in the future. The past as well held no mistakes; nothing that did not serve to benefit the world, as well as him to whom it seemed to happen. Perhaps it was not understood at the time." (M.4.VIII.Patience.1.1-7)
 
Isn't that a terrific reminder? I especially love that nothing that happens is wrong in our seeming journey through time. Everything along the way is exactly as it needs to be for our awakening. Jesus tells us that the past held no mistakes, and where we are, right now, is perfect! This world is all a perfect classroom, with everything and everyone in our lives perfectly orchestrated for our healing. And it has all been orchestrated by our own minds. There is nothing and no one outside of us. Where there seem to be setbacks or events that are painful to the ego, they are actually taking us deeper to another layer that is being brought up for healing. This is so perfectly illustrated in the movie, Thank You for Sharing .
 
I am currently reading, I Married a Mystic, and something that struck me and related to the above was that when the author, Kirsten Buxton, doubted the value of her contribution, the Holy Spirit assured her that it was perfect by saying, "You don’t know what kind of effect your reply (to a question) has had on others, and I can assure you that what was said was perfect. Trust in divine order. When you doubt, you block your awareness of me---even doubting after an event blocks your awareness. Every moment is an opportunity to ask me for guidance. Trust that all things work together for good."
 
This is a good reminder when we start to become impatient or even discouraged, when we get angry about our current situation, or when we critique or second guess ourselves about what we should have said or done. We can rest in the knowledge that there is no doubt the dream will end when the time is right, which is when our minds are ready. And our readiness comes as we learn that anything we think we have done or have not done has had any impact on the truth of who we really are. In fact, this dream that we are dreaming has no reality at all! Yes, it does seem to have an impact on us while we still believe we are in it; but we have a choice---to move outside of the dream, above the battleground. When we do this, we leave the battleground of our own thoughts and look at the dream as if we were watching a movie in which we play a character, but it is not who we are but simply a role we have assumed. From this place of awareness, we become the observers of the dream figures. When we identify with the dream and the dream figures, we believe we are imprisoned in the world and in this body. The truth is that our only reality is the Christ Self. This is the source of our freedom that we experience in the holy instant.
 
The chains have been severed. Jesus offers us freedom now, but he reminds us, "Prisoners bound with heavy chains for years, starved and emaciated, weak and exhausted, and with eyes so long cast down in darkness they remember not the light, do not leap up in joy the instant they are made free. It takes a while for them to understand what freedom is. You groped but feebly in the dust and found your brother's hand, uncertain whether to let it go or to take hold on life so long forgotten. Strengthen your hold and raise your eyes unto your strong companion, in whom the meaning of your freedom lies. He seemed to be crucified beside you. And yet his holiness remained untouched and perfect, and with him beside you, you shall this day inter with him to Paradise, and know the peace of God." (T.20.III.9.1-6) (ACIM OE T.20.IV.25)
 
Our way to freedom is by freeing our brothers. We take a brother's hand and release him from the prison in which he sees himself by recognizing his innocence, which is how we can know our own. Thus, we go home together. We do it on this worldly plane by forgiving what our brother did not do. In giving, we receive. In loving, we know love. In healing, we are healed, and in seeing the innocence and perfection in our brother, we know our own. In other words, we see the Christ in our brother and thus come to know the Self we truly are. We can only see the Christ in him when we bring to awareness our own blocks to love that we hold in our own minds. We ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to reinterpret our misperceptions so we can see truly. We take responsibility for our misperceptions, recognizing that we are wrong about the way we see our brother, but we are willing to be taught.
 
There was a time when I felt superior on this journey, believing that those who did not embrace spirituality as I did were shallow and superficial. I had a limited interest in engaging with them. It was a way I kept myself in judgment. Now I see that it was a projection of my own superficiality and just another mistake. Any concept we hold about ourselves, including the concept of being spirituality elevated, has a shadow, which is what we project. The shadow in this instance was my fear of seeing my own superficiality. It was my own self-attack that was being projected rather than courageously being brought to the light. Bringing it back into my own mind was what needed to happen if it were to be healed. True, I feel more at home with my mighty companions on this journey and do seek them out for support, but our minds can never be healed as long as we choose to see ourselves as separate or different from any brother. There can be no exceptions in this.
 
Freedom is in joining, not in separating. We have been model prisoners for a very long time. We are now using the Course teaching to learn what real freedom is and how to achieve it. We need to be patient in the process and have faith that the end is certain. Salvation is simply to become aware that we are dreaming and are keeping ourselves bound to this dream by the belief in sin and guilt. We do so by keeping ourselves bound by our own thoughts and by holding onto our conditioned beliefs. Unwinding the mind is a process of taking responsibility for our minds. We have been given the means for undoing all that is false. We now need to apply them by being vigilant and mindful in watching our thoughts and taking responsibility for them. Nothing is outside of our own minds.
 
"Brother, take not one step in the descent to hell. For having taken one, you will not recognize the rest for what they are. And they will follow. Attack in any form has placed your foot upon the twisted stairway that leads from Heaven. Yet any instant it is possible to have all this undone. How can you know whether you chose the stairs to Heaven or the way to hell? Quite easily. How do you feel? Is peace in your awareness? Are you certain which way you go? And are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached? If not, you walk alone. Ask, then, your Friend [the Holy Spirit] to join with you, and give you certainty of where you go." (T.23.II.22.1-13) (ACIM OE T.23.III.40)
It is important to watch our minds and not indulge the story, which takes us down many steps into hell. When we notice the first few thoughts of anger or distress, it is much easier to release them than when we build a case. Let us commit to being vigilant today. Let us focus on the certainty of God's promise. Let us remember that all is perfect for our awakening. We are exactly where we need to be at this moment and can choose peace in whatever situation we find ourselves.
 
Practically then, how does this look? Well, imagine an event, circumstance, or person that you deem to be the cause of your upset. You feel a lot of conflict or experience fear. What do you do? The first thing is to stop, take a breath, and come into the present moment, inviting the Holy Spirit in. This may require removing yourself from the person or situation. Now, look at what has happened by inquiring what this is about for you. It is not about analyzing or beating up on yourself or making yourself guilty, but quietly looking at what is being triggered in you.
 
The answers may not come right away, but the inquiry is helpful. Why? It is helpful because identifying the issues that have resulted in the upset within you helps to bring them to your awareness so you can then turn them over to the Holy Spirit for healing. They are just mistaken notions about yourself. In every situation, we are being called to remember the truth of who we are. Ask for help from the Holy Spirit. This is a time to do the Lesson and be reminded of the truth. The truth will resonate with you because it is already in your mind. You can be at peace even with your upset because you are not your upset. You are the observer that sees the character in the dream that you identify as yourself. When you look at the character without judgment but with love and compassion, you are freed from the dream. In acceptance of the truth are we set free, and this always starts by simply looking at the ego from above the battleground.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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