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

Healing and Wholeness

III. The Mind of the Atonement

12 God honored even the miscreations of His Children because they had made them, but He also blessed them with a way of thinking that could raise their perceptions until they became so lofty that they could reach almost back to Him. The Holy Spirit is the Mind of the Atonement. It represents a state of mind that comes close enough to one-mindedness that transfer to it is at last possible. Transfer depends on common elements in the old learning and the new situation to which it is transferred. Perception is not knowledge, but it can be transferred to knowledge or cross over into it. It might even be more helpful here to use the literal meaning of "carried" over since the last step is taken by God.

13 The Holy Spirit, the shared Inspiration of all the Sonship, induces a kind of perception in which many elements are like those in the Kingdom of Heaven itself.

14 First, its universality is perfectly clear, and no one who receives it could ever believe for one instant that sharing it involves anything but gain.

15 Second, it is incapable of attack and is therefore truly open. This means that, although it does not engender knowledge, it does not obstruct it in any way.[Third, it is an unequivocal call to love. Every other voice is still.] There is a point at which sufficient quantitative changes produce real qualitative differences.The next point requires real understanding because it is the point at which the shift occurs:

16 Finally, it points the way beyond the healing which it brings and leads the mind beyond its own integration into the paths of creation.

17 Healing is not creating; it is reparation. The Holy Spirit promotes healing by looking beyond it to what the Children of God were before healing was needed and will be when they have been healed. This alteration of the time sequence should be quite familiar because it is very similar to the shift in time perception which the miracle introduces. The Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracle-mindedness, the will to heal the separation by letting it go. This will is in you because God placed it in your mind, and although you can keep it asleep, you cannot obliterate it.

18 God Himself keeps this will alive by transmitting it from His Mind to yours as long as there is time. It is partly His and partly yours. The miracle itself is just this fusion or union of will between Father and Son. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of joy. He is the Call to return with which God blessed the minds of His separated Sons. This is the vocation of the mind. The mind had no calling until the separation because before that it had only being and would not have understood the call to right thinking. The Holy Spirit was God's Answer to the separation, the means by which the Atonement could repair until the whole mind returned to creating.

19 The Atonement and the separation began at the same time. When man made the ego, God placed in him the call to joy. This call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at its sound. That is why you can choose to listen to two voices within you. One you made yourself and that one is not of God. But the other is given you by God Who asks you only to listen to it. The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice that calls you back to where you were before and will be again.

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A Course in Miracles

Part I
Review I

1 Beginning with today, we will have a series of review periods. Each of them will cover five of the ideas already presented, starting with the first and ending with the fiftieth. There will be a few short comments after each of the ideas which you should consider in your review. In the practice periods, the exercises should be done as follows:

2 Begin the day by reading the five ideas, with the comments included. Thereafter, it is not necessary to follow any particular order in considering them, though each one should be practiced at least once. Devote two minutes or more to each practice period, thinking about the idea and the related comments. Do this as often as possible during the day. If any one of the five ideas appeals to you more than the others, concentrate on that one. At the end of the day, however, be sure to review all of them once more.

3 It is not necessary to cover the comments that follow each idea literally or thoroughly in the practice periods. Rather, try merely to emphasize the central point and think about it as part of your review of the idea to which it relates.

4 The review exercises should be done with your eyes closed and when you are alone in a quiet place if possible. This is emphasized particularly for reviews at your stage of learning. It will be necessary, however, that you learn to require no special settings in which to apply what you have learned. You will need it most in situations which appear to be upsetting, rather than in those which already seem to be calm and quiet.

5 The purpose of your learning is to enable you to bring the quiet with you and to heal distress and turmoil. This is not done by avoiding them and seeking a haven of isolation for yourself. You will yet learn that peace is part of you and requires only that you be there to embrace any situation in which you are. And finally you will learn that there is no limit to where you are, so that your peace is everywhere, as you are.

6 You will note that for review purposes the ideas are not always given in quite their original form of statement. Use them as they are given here. It is not necessary to return to the original statements nor to apply the ideas as was suggested then. We are now emphasizing the relationships among the first fifty of the ideas we have covered and the cohesiveness of the thought system to which they are leading you.

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 52
[Review of Lessons 6-10]

1 Today's review covers these ideas:

[6] I am upset because I see what is not there.

2 Reality is never frightening. It is impossible that it could upset me. Reality brings only perfect peace. When I am upset, it is always because I have replaced reality with illusions which I made up. The illusions are upsetting because I have given them reality and thus regard reality as an illusion. Nothing in God's creation is affected in any way by this confusion of mine. I am always upset by nothing.

[7] I see only the past.

3 As I look about, I condemn the world I look upon. I call this seeing. I hold the past against everyone and everything, making them my "enemies." When I have forgiven myself and remembered who I am, I will bless everyone and everything I see. There will be no past and therefore no "enemies." And I will look with love on all that I failed to see before.

[8] My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

4 I see only my own thoughts, and my mind is preoccupied with the past. What, then, can I see as it is? Let me remember that I look on the past to prevent the present from dawning on my mind. Let me understand that I am trying to use time against God. Let me learn to give the past away, realizing that in so doing I am giving up nothing.

[9] I see nothing as it is now.

5 If I see nothing as it is now, it can truly be said that I see nothing. I can see only what is now. The choice is not whether to see the past or the present: it is merely whether to see or not. What I have chosen to see has cost me vision. Now I would choose again that I may see.

[10] My thoughts do not mean anything.

6 I have no private thoughts. Yet it is only private thoughts of which I am aware. What can these thoughts mean? They do not exist, and so they mean nothing. Yet my mind is part of creation and part of its Creator. Would I not rather join the thinking of the universe than to obscure all that is really mine with my pitiful and meaningless "private" thoughts?

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 52
[Review of Lessons 6-10]

Each day begins now with the reading of the five ideas for the day and the comments that accompany each thought, with at least two minutes devoted to each idea. Think about each idea and related comments as often as possible during the day. If any idea particularly appeals to you, focus on that idea. Try to emphasize the central point for the idea, then spend time with your eyes closed, alone in a quiet place if possible. We are now looking at the relationships among the ideas for each Lesson ". . . and the cohesiveness of the thought system to which they are leading you." (W.PI.RI.IN.6.4)
The stages of practice we are going through are 1) highly structured, quiet place with no special setting 2) bring peace with you to every situation 3) recognition of peace as inherent in us 4) and see peace wherever you go.
All these Lessons affirm that we don't see at all. What we call seeing is only a reflection of the thoughts that preoccupy our minds. Instead of seeing, we are projecting those thoughts and seeing them as images in the world. In essence, we are only upset because we ". . . see what is not there." (W.52.1.1) Thus, we experience fear because, with guilt in our minds, we expect punishment. This is why we set up defenses, either physical or psychological. We think we need protection, but Jesus reminds us, "Reality is never frightening." (W.52.1.2)
To us, reality is frightening, which is why we defend against the love we are. We fear God because we think we have destroyed His Kingdom in order to set up our own in its place. Thus, we fear God's punishment, which explains our fear of the Last Judgment. We keep ourselves distracted and listen to our own thoughts to keep the Voice for God unheard. All our feelings of unworthiness come from the belief we have separated ourselves from love. In that process, we believe we have destroyed our own value. Now we find these feelings so painful we then project them onto the world.
What we are learning through this Course is that the whole story that the ego has convinced us is the truth is just a myth. The idea that we have sinned and are therefore guilty and thus deserve punishment is all made up. Unfortunately for us, we have bought into this thought system, and it runs our lives until we decide we will no longer listen to the ego’s lies. This requires mind watching. It requires that we stay focused on our thoughts and recognize that the reason we are not at peace is because we are holding thoughts that block the peace. Now we have been given a way out. Slowly, we let down our defenses as we take responsibility for our thoughts. The important thing is not to blame ourselves for our thoughts but simply see them for what they are. It is only our condemnation of ourselves that makes everyone and everything our enemies. (W.52.2.4)
When we bring our unloving thoughts to the truth within us, represented by the symbol of Jesus/Holy Spirit, we realize there is only blessing, love, and light within us. The ego is not the truth of who we are. As I receive the blessing for myself now, I can do nothing but ". . . bless everyone and everything I see ." (W.52.2.5) "And I will look with love on all that I failed to see befor e." (W.52.2.7) This requires we remember who we are.
When Don first came into my life, I had my home organized exactly as I wanted it. After my shower, the towels had to be folded and put on the rack properly. He wanted his towel spread out to dry rather than folding it. For me, that was one more intrusion on the order I had established for myself and thus cause for a grievance. While he conceded to my requirements in many areas of my life, he would not concede on this one. Today, I looked at his spread out towel and I had to smile at what I had made important. Letting go of what we are holding against others, even in what seem to be the smallest irritations, is how we learn the only important thing is to know who we are. This involves a lot of letting go of our control and putting love at the forefront. Everything in this world can show us where we put ourselves at the forefront and assert our existence as more important than anyone else. When we make demands, we are victimizing others, and when they don't meet them, we see ourselves as victimized. That is the game of the ego. As long as we stay in this game, the ego is in business because the game of guilt is kept intact.
What is important in these Lessons is the emphasis Jesus puts on our ability to choose. "Now I would choose again, that I may see." (W.52.4.6) The reason he says making a new choice is so important is because "What I have chosen to see has cost me vision." (W.52.4.5) In other words, "I see nothing as it is now." (W.52.4.1) To see with vision is to see we are all the same. We have the same ego and the same holiness. Yes, each of us seems to have a different story, but the themes of abandonment, unworthiness, victimhood, and guilt are all the same for everyone, though the characters in our stories vary. When we see that the characters have all been cast by us, we learn we truly are not the victims, but, in fact, we wrote the script for those in our play. In other words, we are the dreamers of this dream and not the dream figures. It is our dream and all are there by our own bidding. "I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked." (T.21.II.2.3-5) (ACIM OE T.21.III.15) This is not an easy thought for us to accept because we have chosen to see ourselves as victimized by events of this world precisely so we would not have to take responsibility for our condition.
While Jesus tells us that we have no private thoughts, it seems we are only aware of private thoughts because those are what we listen to. We think our thoughts mean something, but Jesus tells us they mean nothing, and "They do not exist." (W.52.5.5) When I look at my example of how towels should be hung, these thoughts exist because I am thinking them. But what all these thoughts do is ". . . obscure all that is really mine," (W.52.5.7) which is the totality of my Being as a Son of God, One with every brother. Private thoughts assume separation and uniqueness, which is in contrast to the Oneness of Love. Thus, exposing my private thoughts and recognizing their purpose, which is to keep separation real in my mind, is what healing is all about. It is taking what is false to the truth so we can know we are blessed.
Jesus is showing us through these Lessons that we need to be sure of our goal in every situation. He says, "In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is 'What do I want to come of this? What is it for ?' The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this which will determine the outcome. In the ego's procedure this is reversed. The situation becomes the determiner of the outcome, which can be anything." (T.17.VI.2.1-5) (ACIM OE T.17.VII.58) We are asking for help to release the beliefs we hold, as well as the guilt associated with them, so our false thoughts can be replaced with His peace.
Jesus offers us a prayer that we can turn to whenever we are out of peace.
" I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me . "
(T.5.VII.6.7-11) (ACIM OE T.5.IX.96)
Our part is to bring awareness to the beliefs driving our experience and willingly bring them to the Holy Spirit. We are not asked to practice qualities that we consider spiritual, such as detachment from what we still value or virtuous behaviors. Our only task is to bring awareness to our minds by watching our thoughts and noticing when we are not at peace. That is the purpose of time. Using time in any other way keeps God at arm's length and thus continues to maintain the separation.
By going after ego pursuits, I recognize that I put God off into the future and refuse to acknowledge and experience His Presence here right now. Any drama going on in my life right now does not change the fact that God's grace surrounds me, His Answer is available right now, and is always some form of peace. The peace becomes available when the blocks I am holding are released to the Holy Spirit.
Picture an inner altar where holiness resides and put your troubling thoughts there for the Holy Spirit to shine them away. Our part is to recognize the blocks and be willing to bring them to His healing light. He will do the rest. We can't transform ourselves. Leave this to the Holy Spirit Who does all the healing work for you. Our part is not to interfere.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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