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

CHAPTER 27
The Body and the Dream

VI. The Healing Example

44 The only way to heal is to be healed. The miracle extends without your help, but you are needed that it can begin. Accept the miracle of healing, and it will go forth because of what it is . It is its nature to extend itself the instant it is born. And it is born the instant it is offered and received . No one can ask another to be healed. But he can let himself be healed and thus offer the other what he has received. Who can bestow upon another what he does not have? And who can share what he denies himself? The Holy Spirit speaks to you . He does not speak to someone else. Yet by your listening, His Voice extends because you have accepted what He says.

45 Health is the witness unto health. As long as it is unattested, it remains without conviction. Only when demonstrated has it been proved and must compel belief. No one is healed through double messages. If you wish only to be healed, you heal. Your single purpose makes this possible. But if you are afraid of healing, then it cannot come through you. The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed and cannot heal. This does not mean the conflict must be gone forever from your mind. For if it were, there'd be no need for healing then. But it does mean, if only for an instant, you love without attack. An instant is sufficient. Miracles wait not on time.

46 The holy instant is the miracle's abiding-place. From there each one is born into this world as witness to a state of mind which has transcended conflict and has reached to peace. It carries comfort from the place of peace into the battleground and demonstrates that war has no effects. For all the hurt that war has sought to bring, the broken bodies and the shattered limbs, the screaming dying and the silent dead, are gently lifted up and comforted. There is no sadness where a miracle has come to heal. And nothing more than just one instant of your love without attack is necessary that all this occur. In that one instant are you healed, and in that single instant is all healing done.

47 What stands apart from you when you accept the blessing that the holy instant brings? Be not afraid of blessing, for the One Who blesses you loves all the world and leaves nothing within the world that could be feared. But if you shrink from blessing will the world indeed seem fearful, for you have withheld its peace and comfort, leaving it to die. Would not a world so bitterly bereft be looked on as a condemnation by the one who could have saved it but stepped back because he was afraid of being healed? The eyes of all the dying bring reproach, and suffering whispers, "What is there to fear?" Consider well its question. It is asked of you on your behalf. A dying world asks only that you rest an instant from attack upon yourself, that it be healed.

48 Come to the holy instant and be healed, for nothing that is there received is left behind on your returning to the world. And being blessed, you will bring blessing. Life is given you to give the dying world. And suffering eyes no longer will accuse, but shine in thanks to you who blessing gave. The holy instant's radiance will light your eyes and give them sight to see beyond all suffering and see Christ's face instead. Healing replaces suffering. Who looks on one cannot perceive the other, for they cannot both be there. And what you see the world will witness, and will witness to .

49 Thus is your healing everything the world requires that it may be healed. It needs one lesson which has perfectly been learned. And then when you forget it will the world remind you gently of what you have taught. No reinforcement will its thanks withhold from you who let yourself be healed that it might live. It will call forth its witnesses to show the face of Christ to you who brought the sight to them by which they witnessed it. The world of accusation is replaced by one in which all eyes look lovingly upon the Friend who brought them their release. And happily your brother will perceive the many friends he thought were enemies.

50 Problems are not specific, but they take specific forms, and these specific shapes make up the world. And no one understands the nature of his problem. If he did, it would be there no more for him to see. Its very nature is that it is not . And thus while he perceives it, he can not perceive it as it is. But healing is apparent in specific instances and generalizes to include them all. This is because they really are the same despite their different forms. All learning aims at transfer, which becomes complete within two situations which are seen as one, for only common elements are there. Yet this can only be attained by One Who does not see the differences you see. The total transfer of your learning is not made by you. But that it has been made in spite of all the differences you see convinces you that they could not be real.

51 Your healing will extend and will be brought to problems that you thought were not your own. And it will also be apparent that your many different problems will be solved as any one of them has been escaped. It cannot be their differences which made this possible, for learning does not jump from situations to their opposites and bring the same results. All healing must proceed in lawful manner in accord with laws which have been properly perceived but never violated. Fear you not the way that you perceive them. You are wrong, but there is One within you Who is right .

52 Leave, then, the transfer of your learning to the One Who really understands its laws and Who will guarantee that they remain unviolated and unlimited. Your part is merely to apply what He has taught you to yourself , and He will do the rest. And thus the power of your learning will be proved to you by all the many different witnesses it finds. Your brother first among them will be seen, but thousands stand behind him, and beyond each one there are a thousand more. Each one may seem to have a problem which is different from the rest. Yet they are solved together. And their common answer shows the questions could not have been separate.

53 Peace be to you to whom is healing offered. And you will learn that peace is given you when you accept the healing for yourself. Its total value need not be appraised by you to let you understand that you have benefited from it. What occurred within the instant which love entered in without attack will stay with you forever. Your healing will be one of its effects, as will your brother's. Everywhere you go will you behold its multiplied effects. Yet all the witnesses that you behold will be far less than all there really are. Infinity cannot be understood by merely counting up its separate parts. God thanks you for your healing, for He knows it is a gift of love unto His Son, and therefore is it given unto Him.

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Part II
What is the Holy Spirit?

1 The Holy Spirit mediates between illusions and the truth. As He must bridge the gap between reality and dreams, perception leads to knowledge through the grace that God has given Him, to be His gift to everyone who turns to Him for truth. Across the bridge that He provides are dreams all carried to the truth, to be dispelled before the light of knowledge. There are sights and sounds forever laid aside. And where they were perceived before, forgiveness has made possible perception's tranquil end.

2 The goal the Holy Spirit's teaching sets is just this end of dreams. For sights and sounds must be translated from the witnesses of fear to those of love. And when this is entirely accomplished, learning has achieved the only goal it has in truth. For learning, as the Holy Spirit guides it to the outcome He perceives for it, becomes the means to go beyond itself, to be replaced by the Eternal Truth.

3 If you but knew how much your Father yearns to have you recognize your sinlessness, you would not let His Voice appeal in vain nor turn away from His replacement for the fearful images and dreams you made. The Holy Spirit understands the means you made, by which you would attain what is forever unattainable. And if you offer them to Him, He will employ the means you made for exile to restore your mind to where it truly is at home.

4 From knowledge, where He has been placed by God, the Holy Spirit calls to you to let forgiveness rest upon your dreams and be restored to sanity and peace of mind. Without forgiveness will your dreams remain to terrify you. And the memory of all your Father's Love will not return to signify the end of dreams has come.

5 Accept your Father's gift. It is a call from Love to Love that it be but itself. The Holy Spirit is His gift by Which the quietness of Heaven is restored to God's beloved Son. Would you refuse to take the function of completing God when all He wills is that you be complete?

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Lesson 290
My present happiness is all I see.

1 Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see. Eyes that begin to open see at last. And I would have Christ's vision come to me this very day. What I perceive without God's own correction for the sight I made is frightening and painful to behold. Yet I would not allow my mind to be deceived by the belief the dream I made is real an instant longer. This the day I seek my present happiness and look on nothing else except the thing I seek.

2 With this resolve, I come to You and ask Your strength to hold me up today while I but do Your Will. You cannot fail to hear me, Father. What I ask have You already given me, and I am sure that I will see my happiness today.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 290
My present happiness is all I see.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
Happiness is our natural inheritance and always available in each moment no matter what seems to be happening. It is what we have been given by God and therefore reflects our true identity as His Son. So, if this is the case, why don't we experience the peace and happiness that is ours all the time? According to this lesson, it is because we are blocking it by seeing what is not there. "Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see." (W.290.1) Unless that is all we see, we are not seeing at all. What we are doing is hallucinating! We are no different than someone who is insane! We are projecting the thoughts in our mind and seeing them outside of ourselves and believing in their reality. And these thoughts are frightening and painful to us. Yet they all originate in our own mind. It is an outward picture of our painful inward condition.
 
Our perceptions are all based on past associations. We hold a thought system in our mind based on guilt from the past and now we fear punishment in the future, and thus we don’t experience the eternal present, which is where happiness is. So, we need to connect with the Holy Spirit in the right mind to remember the truth, where the past and future do not exist. We do our part by bringing our wrong-minded thinking to awareness and asking for His interpretation to substitute for our own. As our minds are healed, we see with Christ's vision rather than believing what our eyes show us. The eyes were made by the ego to bring back evidence that reinforces our belief in the reality of this world. We made this dream, but we can decide not to be misled by it "an instant longer." (W.290.1.5)
 
"What I perceive without God's Own Correction for the sight I made is frightening and painful to behold." (W.290.1.4) We see a world that is frightening and painful when we see it from the perspective of the ego. It is a world of suffering and pain sickness, and death. It consists of all the thoughts we "think we think" reflected back at us. They are our dreams, our fantasies, our judgments, our wishes, our worries, and our individual stories and dramas. To free ourselves from this nightmare of despair and depression, based on the stories we tell ourselves, we must first recognize we are not deeply happy nor are we consistently at peace. When we recognize this, we become willing to seek another way. We start to question our lives and wonder what has happened and where have we gone off track.
 
With readiness, willingness, and desire, everything we think we know can be translated by the Holy Spirit and seen differently. He translates it all for us, so what we saw as painful and distressing, we now see beyond the limitations of our own perception and reconnect with the truth in our right minds. In essence, we stop investing in our own thinking mind. In other words, we lose interest in what the ego has to say. We simply stop listening to its take on everything. We stop justifying its version of events. Instead, we turn within to the Holy Spirit, and in the silence, we connect to truth. Instead of seeing others as sinful for their apparent attacks, we can now see in them the call for love, which is our own call. "This day I seek my present happiness, and look on nothing else except the thing I seek." (W.290.1.6) We overlook what someone is saying or doing and recognize that we are all innocent.
 
We can't do this alone. We need the help of the Holy Spirit---God's Own Correction. Our part is to come to Him with a willingness to ask for His strength to hold us up and have the confidence He will hear and respond to our requests. This means we need to stay vigilant of our thoughts whenever we start rehearsing past issues or future dilemmas and plans. "Learn of His happiness, which is yours. But to accomplish this, all your dark lessons must be brought willingly to truth, and joyously laid down by hands open to receive, not closed to take. Every dark lesson that you bring to Him Who teaches light He will accept from you, because you do not want it." (T.14.XI.4.5-7) (ACIM OE T.14.VII.62)
 
Some time ago, I received a call from the nurse at the senior's residence that my mother, who recently turned 102, was in great pain and it was imperative I get a certain kind of medication to alleviate the pain. When I called the doctor's office, I was told there was no way I could see him. Since he would not talk with me, I asked his assistant if she would please convey to him the urgency of my request. She did as I asked but then indicated the doctor continued to deny access. My mind immediately went to other ways I might solve this problem. Then I was reminded that the ego can never solve any problem without creating another one. I spent time in the quiet of my mind, releasing my grievance with the doctor. I continued with some daily activities in peace, and when I felt the guidance to check back with my mother, I learned that she had turned a corner and the pain had subsided. It was another opportunity for me to recognize that reacting to perceived problems, without first connecting to peace and receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit, means I am relying on limited information.
 
Today, we are reminded that our goal is to see everyone through Christ's vision. What does this kind of seeing require? It requires that we take responsibility for our projections and release our judgments to the Holy Spirit. It is important that we don't suppress our shadows, but own them. These may be parts of the self we are most afraid to accept, yet these suppressed feelings need to be faced. We look within and forgive ourselves for our judgments and attacks on ourselves as well as others.
 
What we don't own, owns us. As Jung stated, we need to make the darkness conscious, which means looking at all we pretend not to be and all that brings shame and embarrassment. What we hate, resist, and disown about ourselves takes on a life of its own. While these feelings and thoughts try to emerge, so often we try to push them back down, believing we need to live up to some kind of spiritual role, rather than being authentic with what is coming up for us. Healing requires that we take responsibility for all parts of ourselves without blame or self-condemnation. Only then can we know happiness. We do not need to seek for it because it is always there, obscured by our own thoughts.
 
When we no longer see through the past, all we see is our present happiness. With resolve and certainty, we come to Him and ask for His strength to hold us up. When we rely on our own strength, we remain uncertain, confused, and unhappy. As we read in "What is the Holy Spirit?" (W.PII.Q7) He is our bridge to happiness. He is the Call in our minds to allow Heaven to be restored to us. When our minds are restored, we realize the past is no longer there. The world we see has been replaced by the real world, which is our present state, free of sin and guilt. It is the end of our journey, where we have forgiven the world. The real world ends the fear of death because we that see life is all there is or ever was.
 
A friend, whom I have always admired for his dedication to the Course and who could quote it so impeccably, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He asked the Holy Spirit what this was for? Why was he experiencing this sickness? And for the first time in his many years of study of the Course, he heard, "You are perfectly cared for." In spite of years of study, it was the first time he deeply felt the truth of God's Love that had always been there. He recognized that life was not about the body, but about choosing the experience of the eternal truth of our Being.
 
This is a time to apply what we are learning and move away from intellectual understanding and concepts toward living this truth. When we see attack, pain, suffering, and specialness, we can't know, in every moment that we are perfectly cared for. Thus, we can't know that our happiness is always available to us and has always been there. But we can resolve to turn to God to help us and ask for His strength to hold us up. " With this resolve I come to You, and ask Your strength to hold me up today, while I but seek to do Your Will. You cannot fail to hear me, Father. What I ask have You already given me. And I am sure that I will see my happiness today.” (W.290.2.1-4)

Love and blessings, Sarah

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