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

The Undoing of Fear

V. The Greater Joining

37 Accepting the Atonement for yourself means not to give support to someone's dream of sickness and of death. It means that you share not his wish to separate and let him turn illusions on himself. Nor do you wish that they be turned instead on you. Thus have they no effects. And you are free of dreams of pain because you let him be. Unless you help him, you will suffer pain with him because that is your wish. And you become a figure in his dream of pain, as he in yours. So do you both become illusions and without identity. You could be anyone or anything, depending on whose evil dream you share. You can be sure of just one thing—that you are evil, for you share in dreams of fear.

38 There is a way of finding certainty right here and now. Refuse to be a part of fearful dreams whatever form they take, for you will lose identity in them. You find yourself by not accepting them as causing you and giving you effects. You stand apart from them but not apart from him who dreams them. Thus you separate the dreamer from the dream and join in one but let the other go . The dream is but illusion in the mind. And with the mind you would unite, but never with the dream. It is the dream you fear and not the mind. You see them as the same because you think that you are but a dream. And what is real and what is but illusion in yourself you do not know and cannot tell apart.

39 Like you, your brother thinks he is a dream. Share not in his illusion of himself, for your identity depends on his reality. Think rather of him as a mind in which illusions still persist, but as a mind which brother is to you. He is not brother made by what he dreams, nor is his body, "hero" of the dream, your brother. It is his reality that is your brother, as is yours to him. Your mind and his are joined in brotherhood. His body and his dreams but seem to make a little gap, where yours have joined with his.

40 And yet, between your minds there is no gap. To join his dreams is thus to meet him not because his dreams would separate from you. Therefore, release him, merely by your claim on brotherhood and not on dreams of fear. Let him acknowledge who he is by not supporting his illusions by your faith, for if you do, you will have faith in yours. With faith in yours, he will not be released, and you are kept in bondage to his dream. And dreams of fear will haunt the little gap, inhabited but by illusions which you have supported in each other's minds.

41 Be certain, if you do your part, he will do his, for he will join you where you stand. Call not to him to meet you in the gap between you, or you must believe that it is your reality as well as his. You cannot do his part, but this you do when you become a passive figure in his dream instead of dreamer of your own. Identity in dreams is meaningless because the dreamer and the dream are one. Who shares a dream must be the dream he shares because by sharing is a cause produced.

42 You share confusion and you are confused, for in the gap no stable self exists. What is the same seems different because what is the same appears to be unlike. His dreams are yours because you let them be. But if you took your own away would he be free of them and of his own as well. Your dreams are witnesses to his, and his attest the truth of yours. Yet if you see there is no truth in yours, his dreams will go, and he will understand what made the dream.

43 The Holy Spirit is in both your minds, and He is One because there is no gap that separates His Oneness from Itself. The gap between your bodies matters not, for what is joined in Him is always one. No one is sick if someone else accepts his union with him. His desire to be a sick and separated mind can not remain without a witness or a cause. And both are gone if someone wills to be united with him. He has dreams that he was separated from his brother who, by sharing not his dream, has left the space between them vacant. And the Father comes to join His Son the Holy Spirit joined.

44 The Holy Spirit's function is to take the broken picture of the Son of God and put the pieces into place again. This holy picture, healed entirely, does He hold out to every separate piece that thinks it is a picture in itself. To each he offers his identity, which the whole picture represents, instead of just a little broken bit which he insisted was himself. And when he sees this picture, he will recognize himself. If you share not your brother's evil dream, this is the picture that the miracle will place within the little gap, left clean of all the seeds of sickness and of sin. And here the Father will receive His Son, because His Son was gracious to himself.

45 I thank you, Father, knowing you will come to close each little gap that lies between the broken pieces of Your holy Son. Your holiness, complete and perfect, lies in every one of them. And they are joined because what is in one is in them all. How holy is the smallest grain of sand when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of God's Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part.

46 Join not your brother's dreams but join with him , and where you join His Son, the Father is. Who seeks for substitutes when he perceives he has lost nothing? Who would want to have the "benefits" of sickness when he has received the simple happiness of health? What God has given cannot be a loss, and what is not of Him has no effects. What then would you perceive within the gap? The seeds of sickness come from the belief that there is joy in separation, and its giving up would be a sacrifice . But miracles are the result when you do not insist on seeing in the gap what is not there. Your willingness to let illusions go is all the Healer of God's Son requires. He will place the miracle of healing where the seeds of sickness were. And there will be no loss, but only gain.

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A Course in Miracles

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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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 300
Only for this instant does this world endure.

1 This is the thought that can be used to say that death and sorrow are the certain lot of all who come here. For their joys are gone before they are possessed, or even grasped. Yet this is also the idea that lets no false perception keep us in its hold nor represent more than a passing cloud upon a sky eternally serene. And it is this serenity we seek, unclouded, obvious, and sure today.

2 We seek Your holy world today. For we, Your loving Sons, have lost our way a while. But we have listened to Your Voice and learned exactly what to do to be restored to Heaven and our true identity. And we give thanks today the world endures but for an instant. We would go beyond that tiny instant to eternity.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 300
Only an instant does this world endure.

 Sarah's Commentary:
Here we are at Lesson 300 and quickly nearing the end of the year. We continue to focus on meditation and contemplation of the meaning of the Lessons. With meditation, we go deep within to the still quiet place where we open up with confidence to His presence. It is a place where our inner Teacher dwells. It is here that we connect with our inner knowing. We attempt to maintain this devotion throughout the day, applying the Lesson to the decisions we make and to any temptation to become disturbed that we experience. We stay vigilant in watching the mind throughout the day.
This is a time of deep communion with our Father, where we experience the certainty of His Truth and His Promise. We want to remember the Lesson throughout the day as we stop our activities, breathe in holy air, release all thoughts of death and sorrow and remember the truth of who we are. We do this through willingness and devotion. There is nothing to seek. We already are what we are seeking. When we are truly willing to be shown what the truth is, it is revealed. It is not about resisting what we don't want, but choosing what serves our highest good. Only love exists. Everything else is not the truth.
This is the last Lesson in the Section called, "What is the Real World." (W.PII.Q8) What a way to end this Section with the reminder that the world we think we live in is an illusion, which lasts but an instant. What this means is that this world has no reality. Jesus tells us that this is so and, increasingly, quantum physicists are proving the same thing. Their research confirms that what we see has no substance.
What we seek today is the holy world, (W.300.2.1) which is the real world. The ego tells us that life is brief and quickly over, ending in death, where "joys are gone before they are possessed, or even grasped." (W.300.1.1) That is mostly how we experience our lives here, isn't it? Nothing lasts, and life goes by so very quickly. It is precisely how the ego misinterprets the world of time, telling us there is no hope of eternal joy, and at the end, it is all over and death comes to claim us.
This is the opposite of what Jesus teaches, which is that nothing has happened to change our reality. The world endures only for an instant because the thought that produced it can change in an instant. The world is a projection of a wrong-minded thought that we can be separate from God and His Love. In reality, the separation never happened at all. Of course, for us, it seems to have happened and this world and our bodily identity seem to be real and solid, but as Jesus tells us, it is just a shabby substitute for our real Identity and does not exist at all.
However, it seems we still want to prove the reality of this dream. We have made a substitute reality and want it to be true. It is how we try to hold onto time and to the false image of ourselves. Jesus tells us that this world has no substance and, indeed, is nothing more than a "passing cloud upon a sky eternally serene."  (W.300.1.2) It is brief and temporary and does not, and has not, changed who we are. It means that the thoughts we hold that seem to make everything here real and serious, including death, are only thoughts that can be changed in an instant; and then everything is seen differently.
The experience of this world is only a dream, during which we seem to have lost our way. We will reclaim our eternal reality when we are ready to do so. It is God's promise to us that we will find our way back to Him. We need have no doubt about this because we have never left Him. The time that we have, in this experience of space-time, is to be used for the purpose of remembering the truth. We have not been dropped here in this matrix with no rules on how to leave. A loving God would not have left us here to figure it all out by ourselves. Jesus reminds us that we have "learned exactly what to do to be restored to Heaven and our true Identity." (W.300.2.3) All we need to do is recognize how we are blocking the love that is always available to us. Looking at our thoughts with the Holy Spirit means we look at them without judgment, and thus, they are forgiven.
I woke up this morning and I started to rehearse my day. I had thoughts about what I would wear, what I had to accomplish, how I would respond to a difficult situation in front of me, and so on. As these thoughts came up, I looked at the content of what I was believing. I felt the stress of what appeared to be too many things to accomplish today. The content of all these thoughts was fear based on beliefs that were not true. I was feeding myself a diet of fear thoughts before the day even started. Jesus invites us to bring these fear thoughts to the light of the Holy Spirit within the right mind. The only thing that matters is that I am willing to heal what does not serve me---fear.
If I want peace above all else, I will have it, but it won't come by resisting the thoughts in the mind. If I say I don't want the thoughts I am thinking, I am attracting them because what I resist will persist. Instead, as we investigate them through a process of radical inquiry, we will come to see more clearly what we are holding in the unconscious mind. When we give our beliefs over with complete trust and willingness, healing happens without any investment by us. Instead of feeding thoughts of fear, peace reigns. We have done nothing. The Holy Spirit is the Healer and He has done all the heavy lifting. We have made room for His function. Our part is just the willingness to investigate and let go of thoughts that don’t serve us.
Each Lesson in this Course is a step in undoing our false perceptions. We may not have done the Lessons exactly as proposed, but we have made progress even with our small efforts, our wavering commitment, and our little willingness. Yes, we have sometimes become discouraged with the persistence of the ego. We have had doubt thoughts galore. We may even have more conflict than before we started the Course because now we are aware of two thought systems in the mind, but we will never turn back once we have taken these steps in healing. The end is certain. The script is written. Our purpose is clear and all the seemingly persistent ego patterns endure for only an instant no matter how intractable they seem to be.
Oh yes, we can and do delay. We can and do procrastinate. We can resist for a time, but we will return and be grateful for the progress we have made. The process is clearly laid out for us. There are many wonderful spiritual books, but in my experience, there are none that have laid this path out as clearly as this Course. Truth has only one Source and comes through many books and teachers, but this is the Course that has specifically come to us, so we need to look no further. "Seek you no further. You will not find peace except the peace of God. Accept this fact, and save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair, and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt. Seek you no further. There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain." (W.200.1.1-5)
We are reminded in Lesson 284 that at first we will just repeat the ideas, then accept them as partly true with many reservations before we consider them seriously more and more; until finally, we get to a point of complete acceptance. It is a process. The only question is, do we have the willingness to do the practice. Nothing happens without some effort on our part. Our monkey minds, with their persistent, obsessive thoughts, resist the discipline and attempt to impose themselves on us. Distractions still attract us, like shiny baubles that get our attention, but none of them will last. No matter how many we pursue, they all "are gone before they are possessed, or even grasped." (W.300.1.1)
We increasingly recognize that the things of this world do not bring us any lasting value, so they increasingly drop away without any effort on our part. It reminds me of when my son was young and wanted to spend his money on flimsy toys that I assured him would not last. After three or four such purchases, he quickly learned the truth of my warnings; but he first needed to experience this for himself. Everything in the world that we want is exactly like that. We eventually come to our own experience of disillusionment with all the things we think we want and all that we thought would bring us happiness.
We are asked to apply the Lesson to whatever comes up in our day, whether it is a resentment, grievance, attachment, addiction, worry, or temptation of any kind to become upset. We can say, "Only an instant does this world [my grievances, attachments, pleasures, etc.] endure." (W.300) In the scheme of things, our frustrations here are minuscule if the world of time is only an instant.
Some of us lament that life is short. Haven't you heard people say this often or haven’t you said it to yourself? I know I have. It is sometimes used as a statement to justify the "pleasures" in life. My son had a placard when he was a teenager that said, "He who has the most toys when he dies, wins." But what do we win? The good thing about the shortness of life, according to this Lesson, is that "this is also the idea that lets no false perception keep us in its hold." (W.300.1.2) Instead, with this practice, "We would go beyond that tiny instant to eternity." (W.300.2.5)
Chapter 26 V, "The Little Hindrance," (ACIM OE CH 26 VI) provides us with an excellent overview of the metaphysics of the instant of time referenced here. According to this section, time began when we made the choice to separate from God and Heaven. It was, in fact, a choice to die rather than to live. Jesus tells us, "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." (T.26.V.3.5) (ACIM OE T.26.VI.32) All time was contained in that tiny tick. In that same instant, God gave us the Holy Spirit as the Correction for this mistake. When the first error was made, it fragmented itself into millions and billions of variations. To us, it seems like events are strung out in succession, yet we are told that they are simultaneous. It is not that one thing occurs after another, but a continuous and ongoing repetition of the same error (separation) over and over again.
I find it absolutely fascinating to see how this works in my life. In every moment and in every situation, I have the opportunity to choose Heaven (extend love and forgiveness) or hell (attack, worry, blame, plan, hate, fear, get distressed, feel pain, or feel pleasure). While there is only this single moment, for us it seems that there are many moments; but in each situation, no matter how much distress it causes us, the Holy Spirit adapts His One Correction to every version of this single error. No matter the situation, we are assured that there is a way out that heals all pain. In fact, since there is no time, our story is already done. We are simply reviewing something already complete. I find that amusing and helpful. It makes me laugh sometimes when I am discussing or arguing some perspective in politics or the environment to think that this is all over. Does it matter what I think? Thinking is just another way to try to gain. Every problem comes from our desire to gain at our brother's loss. That is something to reflect on!
The "moral" of this whole thing is that every issue we hang onto is how we hold onto the whole of time, how we hold onto suffering, and how we hold onto this tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made. Yet every time we forgive, we release ourselves from this seemingly endless and wearisome journey of suffering.
This world is a projection of our thoughts and a witness to what is in our minds. Whatever pops up, whatever ego patterns show up, and whatever grievances are there, they are all reflected perfectly in the events showing up in our lives. With forgiveness, we experience more light, but also, we become more aware of the darkness in the wrong mind. Welcome it. It need not be hard. Don't run away from it. All that is happening is that the miracle is lighting up the darkness of the unconscious mind. Bring your awareness to that darkness so that it can be put on the inner altar for healing. Remember that we have to go through fear to love.
"And we give thanks today the world endures but for an instant. We would go beyond that tiny instant to eternity." (W.300.2.4-5)
Love and blessings, Sarah


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