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

CHAPTER 30
The New Beginning

VI. The Only Purpose

57 The real world is the state of mind in which the only purpose of the world is seen to be forgiveness. Fear is not its goal, and the escape from guilt becomes its aim. The value of forgiveness is perceived and takes the place of idols which are sought no longer, for their "gifts" are not held dear. No rules are idly set, and no demands are made of anyone or anything to twist and fit into the dream of fear. Instead, there is a wish to understand all things created as they really are. And it is recognized that all things must be first forgiven, and then understood.

58 Here, it is thought that understanding is acquired by attack. There, it is clear that by attack is understanding lost . The folly of pursuing guilt as goal is fully recognized. And idols are not wanted there, for guilt is understood as the sole cause of pain in any form. No one is tempted by its vain appeal, for suffering and death have been perceived as things not wanted and not striven for. The possibility of freedom has been grasped and welcomed, and the means by which it can be gained can now be understood. The world becomes a place of hope because its only purpose is to be a place where hope of happiness can be fulfilled. And no one stands outside this hope because the world has been united in belief the purpose of the world is one which all must share if hope be more than just a dream.

59 Not yet is Heaven quite remembered, for the purpose of forgiveness still remains. Yet everyone is certain he will go beyond forgiveness, and he but remains until it is made perfect in himself. He has no wish for anything but this. And fear has dropped away because he is united in his purpose with himself. There is a hope of happiness in him so sure and constant he can barely stay and wait a little longer with his feet still touching earth. Yet is he glad to wait till every hand is joined and every heart made ready to arise and go with him. For thus is he made ready for the step in which is all forgiveness left behind.

60 The final step is God's because it is but God Who could create a perfect Son and share His Fatherhood with him. No one outside of Heaven knows how this can be, for understanding this is Heaven itself. Even the real world has a purpose still beneath creation and eternity. But fear is gone because its purpose is forgiveness, not idolatry. And so is Heaven's Son prepared to be himself, and to remember that the Son of God knows everything his Father understands and understands it perfectly with Him.

61 The real world still falls short of this, for this is God's own purpose—only His, and yet completely shared and perfectly fulfilled. The real world is a state in which the mind has learned how easily do idols go when they are still perceived, but wanted not. How willingly the mind can let them go when it has understood that idols are nothing and nowhere and are purposeless. For only then can guilt and sin be seen without a purpose and as meaningless.

62 Thus is the real world's purpose gently brought into awareness, to replace the goal of sin and guilt. And all that stood between your image of yourself and what you are, forgiveness washes joyfully away. Yet God need not create His Son again that what is his be given back to him. The gap between your brother and yourself was never there . And what the Son of God knew in creation, he must know again.

63 When brothers join in purpose in the world of fear, they stand already at the edge of the real world. Perhaps they still look back and think they see an idol that they want. Yet has their path been surely set away from idols toward reality. For when they joined their hands, it was Christ's hand they took, and they will look on Him Whose hand they hold. The face of Christ is looked upon before the Father is remembered. For He must be unremembered till His Son has reached beyond forgiveness to the love of God. Yet is the love of Christ accepted first. And then will come the knowledge They are One.

64 How light and easy is the step across the narrow boundaries of the world of fear when you have recognized Whose hand you hold! Within your hand is everything you need to walk with perfect confidence away from fear forever and to go straight on and quickly reach the gate of Heaven itself. For He Whose hand you hold was waiting but for you to join Him. Now that you have come, would He delay in showing you the way that He must walk with you? His blessing lies on you as surely as His Father's love rests upon Him. His gratitude to you is past your understanding, for you have enabled Him to rise from chains and go with you together to His Father's house.

65 An ancient hate is passing from the world. And with it goes all hatred and all fear. Look back no longer, for what lies ahead is all you ever wanted in your hearts. Give up the world! But not to sacrifice. You never wanted it. What happiness have you sought here that did not bring you pain? What moment of content has not been bought at fearful price in coins of suffering? Joy has no cost. It is your sacred right, and what you pay for is not happiness. Be speeded on your way by honesty, and let not your experiences here deceive in retrospect. They were not free from bitter cost and joyless consequence.

66 Do not look back except in honesty. And when an idol tempts you, think of this:

67 There never was a time an idol brought you anything except the "gift" of guilt. Not one was bought except at cost of pain, nor was it ever paid by you alone.

68 Be merciful unto your brother, then. And do not choose an idol thoughtlessly, remembering that he will pay the cost as well as you. For he will be delayed when you look back, and you will not perceive Whose loving hand you hold. Look forward, then, and walk in confidence with happy hearts that beat in hope and do not pound in fear.
69 The Will of God forever lies in those whose hands are joined. Until they joined, they thought He was their enemy. But when they joined and shared a purpose, they were free to learn their will is one. And thus the Will of God must reach to their awareness. Nor can they forget for long that it is but their own.

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Part II
What is the Last Judgment?

1 Christ's Second Coming gives the Son of God the gift to hear the Voice for God proclaim that what is false is false and what is true has never changed. And this the judgment is in which perception ends. At first you see a world which has accepted this as true, projected from a now corrected mind. And with this holy sight, perception gives a silent blessing and then disappears, its goal accomplished and its mission done.

2 The final judgment on the world contains no condemnation. For it sees the world as totally forgiven, without sin and wholly purposeless. Without a cause and now without a function in Christ's sight, it merely slips away to nothingness. There it was born, and there it ends as well. And all the figures in the dream in which the world began go with it. Bodies now are useless and will therefore fade away because the Son of God is limitless.

3 You who believed that God's Last Judgment would condemn the world to hell along with you, accept this holy truth: God's Judgment is the gift of the correction He bestowed on all your errors, freeing you from them and all effects they ever seemed to have. To fear God's saving grace is but to fear complete release from suffering, return to peace, security and happiness, and union with your own Identity.

4 God's Final Judgment is as merciful as every step in His appointed plan to bless His Son and call him to return to the eternal peace He shares with him. Be not afraid of love. For it alone can heal all sorrow, wipe away all tears, and gently waken from his dream of pain the Son whom God acknowledges as His. Be not afraid of this. Salvation asks you give it welcome. And the world awaits your glad acceptance, which will set it free.

5 This is God's Final Judgment: "You are still My holy Son, forever innocent, forever loving and forever loved, as limitless as your Creator and completely changeless and forever pure. Therefore awaken and return to Me. I am your Father and you are My Son."

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Lesson 319
I came for the salvation of the world.

1 Here is a thought from which all arrogance has been removed, and only truth is left. For arrogance opposes truth. But where there is no arrogance, the truth will come immediately and fill up the space the ego left unoccupied by lies. Only the ego can be limited, and therefore it must seek for aims which are curtailed and limiting. The ego thinks that what one gains totality must lose. And yet it is the Will of God I learn that what one gains is given unto all.

2 Father, Your Will is total. And the goal that stems from it shares its totality. What aim but the salvation of the world could You have given me? And what but this could be the Will my Self has shared with You?

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Lesson 319
I came for the salvation of the world.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
Many times in this Course, we are told that it is arrogant to oppose the truth and to accept the limited self as what we are. The truth is that we are the unlimited Self. It is the Christ Self that brings salvation to the world. It cannot come from the self we think we are.
 
"Only the ego can be limited, and therefore it must seek for aims which are curtailed and limiting." (W.319.1.4) Because we think we are curtailed and limited when we identify with the ego, we set goals that are limited and self-serving. We try to achieve these goals, but it is always at the expense of our brothers. "For specialness not only sets apart, but serves as grounds from which attack on those who seem 'beneath' the special one is 'natural' and 'just'." (T.24.I.4.4) (ACIM OE T.24.II.6) To the ego, it is a game of competition based on the principle of "one or the other." You must lose, for me to win. It is based on the belief that we won our individual and separate self at God's expense. He had to lose for us to gain our independence. It seems as though we stole our individual self by destroying the totality of the Whole. In other words, we had to "kill" God. Oneness can't exist as long as we believe that we exist as a separate self. Thus, our gain as a separate self came at the expense of totality. To gain this world of separation and duality, we had to destroy Oneness/God. This is what seemed to happen in the original instant when the choice was made for the ego thought system. Of course, we are told this never could happen except in dreams. The Atonement Principle assures us that it could not happen even if we currently still believe in our individual existence.
 
Our identification with the ego is all about the limited self, which can never bring salvation to the world. So if we think we are doing good through our service to the world, it does nothing if driven by ego goals. Salvation can only come from the truth of who I am as the unified Self. Thus, the salvation of the world can only come through healing of the mind. It requires a deep level of surrender where we ask for help to see differently. It is about undoing our mistaken identity.
 
In the thought system of the ego, we hold the belief that totality must lose for us to gain, but through the healing of our minds, we come to the realization that we have been mistaken. No one loses and everyone gains. Salvation rests on the fact that we must all gain if we are to know the Self that we are. "Would it be possible for you to hate your brother if you were like him? Could you attack him if you realized you journey with him to a goal that is the same. Would you not help him reach it in every way you could, if his attainment of it were perceived as yours? You are his enemy in specialness; his friend in a shared purpose. Specialness can never share, for it depends on goals that you alone can reach. And he must never reach them, or your goal is jeopardized. Can love have meaning where the goal is triumph? And what decision can be made for this that will not hurt you?" (T.24.I.6.1-8) (ACIM OE T.24.II.8) As we come to recognize that we are the same, the Oneness of Heaven is reflected in this realization.
 
God is the Author of reality, and as such, His Will embraces all there is. "And the goal which stems from it shares its totality." (W.319.2.2) In other words, a separate self cannot exist. We are part of the totality, dreaming instead that we are separate selves. "What aim but the salvation of the world could You have given me?" (W.319.2.3) What else is there to learn from our experience in this world except to realize, we are mistaken in our belief in separate goals. It is by remembering our purpose and our function to bring salvation to the world and to awaken from this dream through forgiveness that we come to know the Self we are. All our experiences in the world can serve this purpose. We have one aim, which is to bring salvation to the world. It is when the veil is lifted and we see the Christ in our brother and accept the truth about ourselves that we are saved and the world is saved along with us. It is not a statement of arrogance because it is not what we do, but what we are.
 
We read the same thing in Lesson 186: "Salvation of the world depends on me." (W.186) "Here is the statement that will one day take all arrogance away from every mind. Here is the thought of true humility, which holds no function as your own but that which has been given you. It offers your acceptance of a part assigned to you, without insisting on another role." (W.186.1.1-3) With this, and other references such as this, we start to get the idea that to insist that we know better than God about what He says is true is the real definition of arrogance. To accept God's word as to who we really are is to be truly humble. We release the "I know" mind and admit that we have been wrong in thinking our separate identity and unique self is who we are. We give up the beliefs, values, and concepts we hold that we are unworthy, little, limited, and lacking. We accept the truth about ourselves as limitless by recognizing that we can never gain at the expense of our brother. We recognize that when we make comparisons, find fault with others, or see ourselves as superior, we maintain the belief that we have killed God and thus gained this separate self and are now in competition with everyone else.
 
Today, we are asked to look at the thoughts we hold that block the truth. Yesterday, I was upset about a situation where I felt set up and abused. I immediately believed this upset was because of something that happened, but that was just my story. Anything that follows "because" is part of the justification for our upsets. The truth is that I was upset because it is what I wanted. So, one may wonder, why would any of us want to be upset? Jesus explains that we choose to be upset because we want to be right about the way we see our world. I want to be right about my reasons for the upset, and I tell my story because I want others to agree with me. To drop the story, and to admit that I am wrong in the way I see this situation seems like an affront to my own understanding of the situation.
 
This is why it is so challenging for us to admit that we are always wrong in our perceptions. Now we are called to turn to the Holy Spirit and to ask for His interpretation in everything. I have given meaning to an event that has no meaning. It is neutral. Everything in the world is neutral. However, we give it meaning and throw away our happiness, which is our birthright, because we would rather be right than happy. We prefer our way and defend our thoughts because truth threatens our individuality and our specialness. Now we are called to see how mistaken we are about who we think we are.
 
When we experience any irritation or feelings of impatience or superiority or compare ourselves with anyone it is because we want to be separate. Yet it is important not to judge ourselves when we become aware of the ego program. We are cautioned not to condemn ourselves for not being more spiritual. That simply can never work because, whether we judge ourselves or anyone else, it is all the same. It keeps us at the mercy of the judgmental ego. All we need do is to look, without condemnation, at our beliefs and judgments and be willing to see that we are wrong and be willing to give out misperceptions over to be healed. We can't heal ourselves. All we can do is bring our thoughts and beliefs to awareness. Our willingness is what makes the power of the Holy Spirit possible in bringing a new interpretation to every situation we encounter.
 
Some blocks are so subtle that we seem not to even notice them, but these seemingly small irritations build up during the day until we feel depressed or angry, and we wonder why. We need to pay more attention to what is going on inside of us, and not to give attention to what is going on outside of us. Judging and criticizing others will never be helpful to our awakening, but when we are willing to honestly and courageously look at the judgments we are making and bring them to the truth, then ultimately there is a recognition that we all share the same purpose. This requires a level of alertness to our thoughts that we are not used to, which is why mind-training is so important. Jesus reminds us that whenever we forget our purpose, "will the world remind you gently of what you have taught." (T.27.V.7.2) (ACIM OE T.27.VI.49) There will be many witnesses to what is going on in our minds, and they are called forth as reflections of our own thoughts, as the world is just a mirror of those thoughts.
 
In an article by Jon Mundy, he writes that what brings us sorrow is when we try to force things to happen the way we think we want them to happen. For the mystic, nothing has to happen. "Recognize what does not matter , and if your brothers ask you for something 'outrageous,' do it because it does not matter." (T.12.III.4.1) (ACIM OE T.11.IV.27) I notice how much suffering I bring into my life when I make something matter. Jon reminded me in his article, we truly can discover new freedom when we let our rules go of how we think things should be and simply accept what is. He wrote that when we say "whatever," it simply means it does not matter. It means that it is truly not important. When we get this, we can let go of being offended, disappointed, or upset by what someone has done.
 
Again, what is it to be the savior of the world? What are we being asked to do? Quite simply, we are to be the light of the world. We are to be happy. Happiness is our function. We bring joy by our very Being when we make space for truth. "But when there is no arrogance the truth will come immediately, and fill up the space the ego left unoccupied by lies." (W.319.1.3) As we willingly bring the darkness to the light and look to the truth beyond, we experience trust and confidence that grow in power and freedom. It is a matter of reclaiming our projections and recognizing what does not matter.
 
"Who is the light of the world except God's Son? This, then, is merely a statement of the truth about yourself. It is the opposite of a statement of pride, of arrogance, or of self-deception. It does not describe the self-concept you have made. It does not refer to any of the characteristics with which you have endowed your idols. It refers to you as you were created by God. It simply states the truth." (W.61.1.1-7)
 
We have made a commitment to healing and to remember who we are. It is what we are committed to do through this Course. Let's recommit today to affirm this aim for ourselves so we can strengthen our resolve and our motivation. We do grow weary and become resistant from time to time, but we are not asked to force ourselves. In fact, it is not helpful to do so. When discouragement and resistance are high, it may be time to relax and take a break. When we are ready to recommit, we are renewed and strengthened, and our confidence grows.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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