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

CHAPTER 28
The Undoing of Fear

I. Introduction

1 The miracle does nothing. All it does is to undo . And thus it cancels out the interference to what has been done. It does not add, but merely takes away. And what it takes away is long since gone, but being kept in memory, appears to have immediate effects. This world was over long ago. The thoughts that made it are no longer in the mind that thought of them and loved them for a little while. The miracle but shows the past is gone, and what has truly gone has no effects. Remembering a cause can but produce illusions of its presence, not effects.

2 All the effects of guilt are here no more. For guilt is over. In its passing went its consequences, left without a cause. Why would you cling to it in memory if you did not desire its effects? Remembering is as selective as perception, being its past tense. It is perception of the past as if it were occurring now and still were there to see. Memory, like perception, is a skill made up by you to take the place of what God gave in your creation. And like all the things you made, it can be used to serve another purpose and to be the means for something else. It can be used to heal and not to hurt if you so wish it be.

3 Nothing employed for healing represents an effort to do anything at all. It is a recognition that you have no needs which mean that something must be done. It is an unselective memory, which is not used to interfere with truth. All things the Holy Spirit can employ for healing have been given Him, without the content and the purposes for which they have been made. They are but skills without an application. They await their use. They have no dedication and no aim.

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II. The Present Memory

4 The Holy Spirit can indeed make use of memory, for God Himself is there. Yet this is not a memory of past events, but only of a present state. You are so long accustomed to believe that memory holds only what is past that it is hard for you to realize it is a skill that can remember now . The limitations on remembering the world imposes on it are as vast as those you let the world impose on you. There is no link of memory to the past. If you would have it there, then there it is. But only your desire made the link, and only you have held it to a part of time where guilt appears to linger still.

5 The Holy Spirit's use of memory is quite apart from time. He does not seek to use it as a means to keep the past, but rather as a way to let it go . Memory holds the message it receives and does what it is given it to do. It does not write the message nor appoint what it is for. Like to the body, it is purposeless within itself. And if it seems to serve to cherish ancient hate and offers you the pictures of injustices and hurts which you were saving, this is what you asked its message be, and this is what it is. Committed to its vaults, the history of all the body's past is hidden there. All of the strange associations made to keep the past alive, the present dead, are stored within it, waiting your command that they be brought to you and lived again. And thus do their effects appear to be increased by time, which took away their cause.

6 Yet time is but another phase of what does nothing. It works hand in hand with all the other attributes with which you seek to keep concealed the truth about yourself. Time neither takes away nor can restore. And yet you make strange use of it, as if the past had caused the present, which is but a consequence in which no change can be made possible because its cause has gone. Yet change must have a cause that will endure or else it will not last. No change can be made in the present if its cause is past. Only the past is held in memory as you make use of it, and so it is a way to hold the past against the now.

7 Remember nothing that you taught yourself, for you were badly taught. And who would keep a senseless lesson in his mind when he can learn and can preserve a better one? When ancient memories of hate appear, remember that their cause is gone. And so you cannot understand what they are for. Let not the cause that you would give them now be what it was which made them what they were or seemed to be. Be glad that it is gone, for this is what you would be pardoned from. And see instead the new effects of cause accepted now, with consequences here. They will surprise you with their loveliness. The ancient new ideas they bring will be the happy consequences of a cause so ancient that it far exceeds the span of memory which your perception sees.

8 This is the Cause the Holy Spirit has remembered for you, when you would forget. It is not past because He let It not be unremembered. It has never changed because there never was a time in which He did not keep It safely in your mind. Its consequences will indeed seem new because you thought that you remembered not their Cause. Yet was It never absent from your mind, for it was not your Father's Will that He be unremembered by His Son.

9 What you remember never was. It came from causelessness which you confused with cause. It can deserve but laughter when you learn you have remembered consequences which were causeless and could never be effects. The miracle reminds you of a Cause forever present, perfectly untouched by time and interference—never changed from what It is. And you are Its effects, as changeless and as perfect as Itself. Its memory does not lie in the past nor await the future. It is not revealed in miracles. They but remind you that It has not gone. When you forgive It for your sins, It will no longer be denied.

10 You who have sought to lay a judgment on your own Creator cannot understand it is not He Who laid a judgment on His Son. You would deny Him His effects, yet have they never been denied. There was no time in which His Son could be condemned for what was causeless and against His Will. What your remembering would witness to is but the fear of God. He has not done the thing you fear. No more have you. And so your innocence has not been lost. You need no healing to be healed. In quietness, see in the miracle a lesson in allowing Cause to have Its own effects and doing nothing that would interfere.

11 The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still. It reaches gently from that quiet time, and from the mind it healed in quiet then, to other minds to share its quietness. And they will join in doing nothing to prevent its radiant extension back into the Mind Which caused all minds to be. Born out of sharing, there can be no pause in time to cause the miracle delay in hastening to all unquiet minds and bringing them an instant's stillness when the memory of God returns to them. Their own remembering is quiet now, and what has come to take its place will not be wholly unremembered afterwards.

12 He to Whom time is given offers thanks for every quiet instant given Him. For in that instant is His memory allowed to offer all its treasures to the Son of God, for whom they have been kept. How gladly does He offer them unto the one for whom He has been given them! And His Creator shares His thanks because He would not be deprived of His effects. The instant's silence that His Son accepts gives welcome to eternity and Him and lets Them enter where They would abide. For in that instant does the Son of God do nothing that would make himself afraid.

13 How instantly the memory of God arises in the mind that has no fear to keep the memory away. Its own remembering has gone. There is no past to keep its fearful image in the way of glad awakening to present peace. The trumpets of eternity resound throughout the stillness, yet disturb it not. And what is now remembered is not fear, but rather is the cause that fear was made to render unremembered and undone. The stillness speaks in gentle sounds of love the Son of God remembers from before his own remembering came in between the present and the past to shut them out.

14 Now is the Son of God at last aware of present Cause and Its benign effects. Now does he understand what he has made is causeless, making no effects at all. He has done nothing. And in seeing this, he understands he never had a need for doing anything and never did. His Cause is its effects. There never was a cause beside It that could generate a different past or future. Its effects are changelessly eternal, beyond fear, and past the world of sin entirely.

15 What has been lost, to see the causeless not? And where is sacrifice, when memory of God has come to take the place of loss? What better way to close the little gap between illusions and reality than to allow the memory of God to flow across it, making it a bridge an instant will suffice to reach beyond? For God has closed it with Himself. His memory has not gone by and left a stranded Son forever on a shore where he can glimpse another shore which he can never reach. His Father wills that he be lifted up and gently carried over. He has built the bridge, and it is He Who will transport His Son across it. Have no fear that He will fail in what He wills. Nor that you be excluded from the Will that is for you.

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AUDIO CH 28 I - II Text CH 28 I-II mp3

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Part II
What is the Real World?

1 The real world is a symbol like the rest of what perception offers. Yet it stands for what is opposite to what you made. Your world is seen through eyes of fear and brings the witnesses of terror to your mind. The real world cannot be perceived except through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see a world where terror is impossible and witnesses to fear can not be found.

2 The real world holds a counterpart for each unhappy thought reflected in your world, a sure correction for the sights of fear and sounds of battle which your world contains. The real world shows a world seen differently, through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace. Nothing but rest is there. There are no cries of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing here remains outside forgiveness. And the sights are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.

3 What need has such a mind for thoughts of death, attack, and murder? What can it perceive surrounding it but safety, love, and joy? What is there it would choose to be condemned, and what is there that it would judge against? The world it sees arises from a mind at peace within itself. No danger lurks in anything it sees, for it is kind and only kindness does it look upon.

4 The real world is the symbol that the dream of sin and guilt is over and God's Son no longer sleeps. His waking eyes perceive the sure reflection of his Father's Love, the certain promise that he is redeemed. The real world signifies the end of time, for its perception makes time purposeless.

5 The Holy Spirit has no need of time when it has served His purpose. Now He waits but that one instant more for God to take His final step, and time has disappeared, taking perception with it as it goes and leaving but the Truth to be Itself. That instant is our goal, for it contains the memory of God. And as we look upon a world forgiven, it is He Who calls to us and comes to take us home, reminding us of our Identity which our forgiveness has restored to us.

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Lesson 296
The Holy Spirit speaks through me today.

1 The Holy Spirit needs my voice today, that all the world may listen to Your Voice and hear Your Word through me. I am resolved to let You speak through me, for I would use no words but Yours and have no thoughts which are apart from Yours, for only Yours are true. I would be savior to the world I made. For having damned it, I would set it free that I may find escape and hear the Word Your holy Voice will speak to me today.

2 We teach today what we would learn and that alone. And so our learning goal becomes an unconflicted one and possible of easy reach and quick accomplishment. How gladly does the Holy Spirit come to rescue us from hell when we allow His teaching to persuade the world through us to seek and find the easy path to God!

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 296
The Holy Spirit speaks through me today.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
The Holy Spirit can only speak through me when I am willing to release my way, my beliefs, my thoughts, and my investment in being right and thinking I know anything. He can speak through me when I get out of my own way and tune into Him. My thoughts interfere with His. My thoughts create a lot of noise in my mind. Truth can only come to the quiet mind. Our noisy minds, with their undisciplined, raucous thoughts, are what keep the truth away. Our way is hell. It is pain and suffering. The Holy Spirit gladly rescues us from the hell we made when we invite Him in.
 
What is this hell? It is a result of thoughts of worry, stress, self-worth, goals, plans, expectations, wishes, dreams, distress, anger, jealousy, pride, or anything that keeps us from peace. Peace is in us. It is in our right minds. When we are willing to release everything that interferes with it, we hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is when we choose to no longer listen to the ego. In the silence of our right mind, we tune into the Thoughts of God. Truth dwells there, and from this place, God's love and His peace are reflected through us to others. When we are not thinking with God, we have no thoughts that are true. (W.296.1.2) Only God's Thoughts are true thoughts.
 
"Listen in deep silence. Be very still and open your mind. Go past all the raucous shrieks and sick imaginings that cover your real thoughts and obscure your eternal link with God. Sink deep into the peace that waits for you beyond the frantic, riotous thoughts and sights of this insane world. You do not live here. We are trying to reach your real home. We are trying to reach the place where you are truly welcome. We are trying to reach God." (W.49.4.1-8)
 
This Lesson is not about preaching to anyone about anything. In fact, to preach is to attack. To speak the truth is to be a channel of the Holy Spirit where we communicate only peace and love to our brothers. It is to be an extension of God's love in this world. It is to let the light that is in us shine forth.
 
What I always find interesting is that we sometimes communicate something we later learn has been of great value to someone without realizing it at the time. When I have experienced this, it has helped me to see that the truth is in me. It has not come from the false self---the me that identifies with the ego. It has come through me without my awareness of the perfection of the message being delivered through the Self. It is possible only when we get out of our own way and allow the body to be used as a vehicle of communication for the Holy Spirit.
 
I got an email from a friend today in which she said to me, "I very much appreciate your support and your way. It has touched my heart and stays with me in a way that is very strong! Sarah, when you say one is deserving, it's like you know it deeply and that has stayed with me." This is someone I only met at a workshop recently, and I must admit that I don't even remember saying this. It is interesting that this should come to me just as I am writing about it in this commentary. This is a reinforcement that it was not me, but the Holy Spirit communicating through me. "We teach today what we would learn, and that alone." (W.296.2.1) "How gladly does the Holy Spirit come to rescue us from hell, when we allow His teaching to persuade the world, through us, to seek and find the easy path to God." (W.296.2.3)
 
Why doesn't it seem easy? It is because Jesus says our goals are currently conflicted. If we only communicate love, peace, joy, and kindness, there would be no conflict, but we also communicate attack thoughts. These two ways of communicating conflict with each other. If we truly want to experience who we are as eternal loving beings, we must give up our conflicted learning goals. Our progress in the Course is hampered by our desire to attack, to meet our needs at the expense of our brothers, and to hold onto our opinions. Thus, the journey home does not feel like an easy path, and the learning does not seem as simple as he assures us it is. Today, he asks us to say, "I am resolved to let You [the Holy Spirit] speak through me, for I would use no words but Yours, and have no thoughts which are apart from Yours, for only Yours are true." (W.296.1.2) Make this your intention today. This is what makes our path easy when we focus our intention on what we truly want.
 
"The universe is waiting your release because it is its own. Be kind to it and to yourself, and then be kind to Me. I ask but this; that you be comforted and live no more in terror and in pain." (Song Of Prayer.3.IV.10.3-5) That is what our Father wants for us, but He needs our willingness. He needs us to agree that this is what we want for ourselves. He wants us to be free of the world we made by setting it free through the Voice of the Holy Spirit, speaking through us to our brothers, so we, in turn, can be freed. We find our escape from this world by setting our brothers free from our damnation of them. This can only be accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit. We will hear the message He has for us when we communicate it. It is how it will be reinforced in us.
 
Let's look at what we are valuing today. Is it our thoughts, our opinions, our values, and our self‑concepts, or are we prepared to release them and give them over, and listen, to Him? We have two requirements for today, as I see it. One is to stay vigilant with what we are thinking by watching the mind, and the other is to turn over our misperceptions to the Holy Spirit so we can hear His guidance. "What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom? " (W.71.9.3-5) (W.71.11)
 
Sometimes we complain that we don't hear His guidance, but it is not generally a "literal" hearing. We need to listen to the prompts. The Holy Spirit may simply give us a thought on which we are guided to act. Today, I may feel prompted to call someone or send an email. Why? I don't know. It does not matter. Anywhere we are is where we are supposed to be. It is all for our learning and our healing and is, therefore, perfect if we use every situation and all encounters to allow us to remember our holiness.
 
This Lesson is clear that we have an important function in this world to reach out to our brothers and sisters and "be a savior to the world I made." (W.296.1.3) We set the world free so we can be free. In other words, we release our judgments and grievances about the world so we can release ourselves from the pain of those judgments and grievances. All we must do is choose to allow this to happen; not by wishing it be so, but through our willingness.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah

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