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

CHAPTER 5
Healing and Wholeness
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND

V. The Guide to Salvation

32 The way to learn to know your brother is by perceiving the Holy Spirit in him. We have already said that the Holy Spirit is the bridge or thought-transfer of perception to knowledge, so we can use the terms as if they were related because in His mind they are . The relationship must be in His mind because, unless it were, the separation between the two ways of thinking would not be open to healing. He is part of the Holy Trinity because His mind is partly yours and also partly God's. This needs clarification, not in statement, since we have said it before, but in experience .

33 The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing. Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared . Being the Call for God, it is also the idea of God. Since you are part of God, it is also the idea of yourself as well as of all the parts of God. The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the Universe of which it is a part. Therefore, it is strengthened by being given away. It increases in you as you give it to your brothers. Since thoughts do not have to be conscious to exist, your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit either in himself or in you for this miracle to occur.

34 Your brother may have dissociated the Call for God, just as you have. The dissociation is healed in both of you as you become aware of the Call for God in him and thus acknowledge its being . There are two ways of seeing your brother which are diametrically opposed to each other. They must both be in your mind because you are the perceiver. They must also be in his because you are perceiving him . See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognize Him in yours . What you acknowledge in your brother you are acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you strengthen.

35 The Voice of the Holy Spirit is weak in you. That is why you must share it. It must be increased in strength before you can hear it. It is impossible to hear it in yourself while it is so weak in your own mind. It is not weak in itself, but it is limited by your unwillingness to hear it. Will itself is an idea and is therefore strengthened by being shared. If you make the mistake of looking for the Holy Spirit in yourself alone, your meditations will frighten you because by adopting the ego's viewpoint you are undertaking an ego-alien journey with the ego as guide . This is bound to produce fear.

36 Delay is of the ego because time is its concept. Delay is obviously a time idea. Both time and delay are meaningless in eternity. We have said before that the Holy Spirit is God's Answer to the ego. Everything of which the Holy Spirit reminds you is in direct opposition to the ego's notions because true and false perceptions are themselves opposed. The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made. He undoes it in the same realm of discourse in which the ego itself operates, or the mind would be unable to understand the change.

37 We have repeatedly emphasized that one level of the mind is not understandable to another. So it is with the ego and the Soul, with time and eternity. Eternity is an idea of God, so the Soul understands it perfectly. Time is a belief of the ego, so the lower mind, which is the ego's domain, accepts it without question. The only aspect of time which is really eternal is now . That is what we really mean when we say that "now is the only time." The literal nature of this statement does not mean anything to the ego, which interprets it at best to mean "don't worry about the future." That is not what it really means at all.

38 The Holy Spirit is the Mediator between the interpretations of the ego and the knowledge of the Soul. His ability to deal with symbols enables Him to work against the ego's beliefs in its own language. His equal ability to look beyond symbols into eternity also enables Him to understand the laws of God, for which He speaks. He can thus perform the function of reinterpreting what the ego makes, not by destruction but by understanding . Understanding is light, and light leads to knowledge. The Holy Spirit is in light because He is in you who are light, but you yourselves do not know this. It is therefore the task of the Holy Spirit to reinterpret you on behalf of God.

39 You cannot understand yourselves alone. This is because you have no meaning apart from your rightful place in the Sonship and the rightful place of the Sonship in God. This is your life, your eternity, and yourself . It is of this that the Holy Spirit reminds you. It is this that the Holy Spirit sees . This vision invariably frightens the ego because it is so calm. Peace is the ego's greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. The ego becomes strong in strife. If you believe there is strife, you will react viciously because the idea of danger has entered your mind. The idea itself is an appeal to the ego.

40 The Holy Spirit is as vigilant as the ego to the call of danger, opposing it with His strength, just as the ego welcomes it with all its might. The Holy Spirit counters this welcome by welcoming peace. Peace and eternity are as closely related as are time and war. Perception as well as knowledge derives meaning from relationships. Those which you accept are the foundations of your beliefs. The separation is merely another term for a split mind. It was not an act, but a thought . Therefore, the idea of separation can be given away, just as the idea of unity can. Either way, the idea will be strengthened in the mind of the giver .

41 The ego is the symbol of separation, just as the Holy Spirit is the symbol of peace. What you perceive in others, you are strengthening in yourself. You let your mind misperceive, but the Holy Spirit lets your mind reinterpret its own misperceptions. The Holy Spirit is the perfect teacher. He uses only what your minds already understand to teach you that you do not understand it. The Holy Spirit can deal with an unwilling learner without going counter to his will because part of his will is still for God. Despite the ego's attempts to conceal this part, it is still much stronger than the ego, even though the ego does not recognize it. The Holy Spirit recognizes it perfectly because it is His own dwelling place or the place in the mind where He is at home.

42 You are at home there, too, because it is a place of peace, and peace is of God. You who are part of God are not at home except in His peace. If peace is eternal, you are at home only in eternity. The ego made the world as it perceives it, but the Holy Spirit, the reinterpreter of what the ego made, sees it only as a teaching device for bringing you home. The Holy Spirit must perceive time and reinterpret it into the timeless. The mind must be led into eternity through time because, having made time, it is capable of perceiving its opposite.

43 The Holy Spirit must work through opposites because He must work with and for a mind that is in opposition. Correct and learn and be open to learning. You have not made truth, but truth can still set you free. Look as the Holy Spirit looks, and understand as He understands. His understanding looks back to God in remembrance of me. He is in Holy Communion always, and He is part of you . He is your Guide to salvation because He holds the remembrance of things past and to come. He holds this gladness gently in your minds, asking only that you increase it in His name by sharing it, to increase His joy in you .

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A Course in Miracles
WORKBOOK

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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Lesson 56
[Review of Lessons 26-30]

1 Our review for today covers the following:

[26] My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

2 How can I know who I am when I see myself as under constant attack? Pain, illness, loss, age, and death seem to threaten me. All my hopes and wishes and plans appear to be at the mercy of a world I cannot control. Yet perfect security and complete fulfilment are my inheritance. I have tried to give my inheritance away in exchange for the world I see. But God has kept my inheritance safe for me. My own real thoughts will teach me what it is.

[27] Above all else I want to see.

3 Recognizing that what I see reflects what I think I am, I realize that vision is my greatest need. The world I see attests to the fearful nature of the self-image I have made. If I would remember who I am, it is essential that I let this image of myself go. As it is replaced by truth, vision will surely be given me. And with this vision, I will look upon the world and upon myself with charity and love.

[28] Above all else I want to see differently.

4 The world I see holds my fearful self-image in place, and guarantees its continuance. While I see the world as I see it now, truth cannot enter my awareness. I would let the door behind this world be opened for me that I may look past it to the world that reflects the Love of God.

[29] God is in everything I see.

5 Behind every image I have made, the truth remains unchanged. Behind every veil I have drawn across the face of love, its light remains undimmed. Beyond all my insane wishes is my will united with the Will of my Father. God is still everywhere and in everything forever. And we who are part of Him will yet look past all appearances and recognize the truth beyond them all.

[30] God is in everything I see because God is in my mind.

6 In my own mind, behind all my insane thoughts of separation and attack, is the knowledge that all is one forever. I have not lost the knowledge of who I am because I have forgotten it. It has been kept for me in the Mind of God, Who has not left His Thoughts. And I, who am among them, am one with them and one with Him.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 56
[Review of Lessons 26-30]

"I have tried to give my inheritance away in exchange for the world I see. But God has kept my inheritance safe for me." (W.56.1.6-7) That inheritance is "perfect security and complete fulfillment." (W.56.1.5) In order to know perfect security and to feel fulfilled, we need to be willing to look at what we have made of ourselves in our determination to be self‑reliant, independent, and a unique individual. The word "indivi-dual" reflects the duality of our lives. It contains the very nature of our problem, which is the separation from Oneness. In that separation, a veil was drawn over the face of Love but "its light remains undimmed." (W.56.4.3) In spite of the fact that we seem to have thrown away our inheritance, the light of God’s love still shines in us. We are still united with the Will of our Father (W.56.4.4), though we have chosen instead our insane wishes and forgotten who we are. Now we are reclaiming our inheritance because, while it is forgotten, it is not lost and that is such a relief.
 
We think we have left our pristine home and cannot return. We are like the Prodigal Son who believed when he left his home he could never return because he had squandered his father's treasure and feared the punishment he thought he had coming to him. Yet when he decided to beg his Father’s forgiveness and return home, he was welcomed and embraced and was told he was his Father’s treasure. In the same way, we are afraid to turn to God in the belief that we will be punished. Now we no longer trust our Father, forgetting, just as the Prodigal Son, our Father's Love awaits us on our return.
 
What is keeping us from this place of peace, truth, vision, safety, joy, and love always present in our right minds? How are we sabotaging ourselves? What dirge are we singing to ourselves every day? "Healing occurs as a patient begins to hear the dirge he sings, and questions its validity." (Psychotherapy Pamphlet.2.VI.1.5) What do we believe about ourselves, life, our existence, and this world? Jesus talks about this dirge of sorrow we sing to ourselves when he says , "God is everywhere, and His Son is in Him with everything. Can he sing the dirge of sorrow when this is true?" (T. 14.II.8.7-8) (ACIM OE T.13.VII.63) And yet we do!
 
We try so desperately to be in control. We work so hard to build our self-image and hold onto our self-concepts. We see ourselves constantly under attack. "Pain, illness, loss, age and death seem to threaten me." (W.56.1.3) That is what we have received in trade by blocking our inheritance given us by God in our creation. It does seem crazy and it is. So now what do we do to claim our inheritance? This Lesson tells us quite a bit about that.
 
It all starts with willingness. No one, not even God, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus, will change our minds for us. My agreement is that "I would let the door behind this world be opened for me, that I may look past it to the world that reflects the Love of God." (W.56.3.4) It is there for us to experience if we just allow it. We need to be willing to let our resistance go. When we keep insisting we are not ready to claim the truth, and we will perhaps get there someday in the future, we are keeping ourselves in hell. We need to become aware of the insanity of our thoughts, bring them to awareness, and sit with them until we are ready to release them by placing them on our inner altar. Guilt is dissolved when it is brought to forgiveness. We don't need to pry the door open to move through the circle of fear. It is not about fighting ourselves but by surrendering. In fact, our efforts will not help. Nor is it about trying to make ourselves holy. We need do nothing. The door is already open and the invitation is there to walk through it.
 
So often I hear the Holy Spirit inviting me to give up my anger, my impatience, my desire to be right, but I stubbornly hold onto my perspectives. Yet to step back from them and say yes to God, is to find the happiness I say I want. We already are what we are searching for. It is about letting go and surrendering our way. The events and circumstances of our lives reveal our thoughts and feelings to us, reflecting back to us what is in our minds. All we need do is to take responsibility for what is reflected in the mirror and recognize it is coming from our own minds. We are responsible for everything that seems to be happening to us, but we are not to blame. Responsibility without self-blame is challenging but very necessary for our healing. As long as we keep blaming ourselves, the ego is in business. It promotes retaliation and then tells us we are guilty for what we have done. Thus, it has us coming and going. When we see its game, we can more readily choose against it.
 
We have truly forgotten who we are. Those people in our lives who seem to torture us, who seem to challenge us, and with whom we engage in power struggles, are the ones who are our saviors in this process. They mirror to us the insane thoughts in our own minds. No one has done anything to us that we haven't asked for. Astounding as this may sound, our minds are the only cause of what seems to happen to us. We have the power to change the beliefs we hold that others are the persecutors and betrayers. We are our own persecutors as a result of the attack thoughts in our own minds. How we bring persecution into our lives is by holding onto our self-attacking perceptions. We are actually holding onto an image of ourselves that is false.
 
" The ego always speaks first. " (T.5.VI.3.5) (ACIM OE T.5.VIII.73) This means that the first thought we have in any situation is always a judgment or an opinion to which the Answer is given by the Holy Spirit to the ego's wrong-minded interpretations. When we choose the Answer, which is the miracle, vision replaces judgment and allows us to see a world of peace and love regardless of appearances.
 
Today, I am reminding myself that anger is never justified. It seems it is justified by what I see happening "outside", but it all comes from my mind. It all starts with my own attack thoughts. Attack thoughts I hold show me a false and vulnerable self that deserves attack in return. The good thing is when I recognize that my anger keeps me from peace, I am more willing to consider the possibility that I made it all up. "Above all else I want to see differently." (W.56.3.1) My greatest need is vision. It is a greater need than the needs I think I have. I think I need recognition, power, control, money, my home, family, and physical comforts, yet Jesus really speaks to our deep hunger for vision, which is to know our invulnerable selves as we were created. To have vision, I have to let go of the image I have made of myself.
 
Of course, the purpose of this world that I have projected is to keep this image intact. "The learning of the world is built upon a concept of the self adjusted to the world's reality." (T.31.V.1.1) (ACIM OE T.31.V.43) Jesus tells us, "The building of a concept of the self is what the learning of the world is for." (T.31.V.1.5) (ACIM OE T.31.V.43) Now we are called to question it. As long as we are trying to perfect the self-concept, we will not be willing to look at the "treachery it hides." (T.31.V.5.2) (ACIM OE T.31.V.47) Only by looking at the false thoughts we have made up about ourselves can we release them and see what they hide, which is the love we are . "Behind every image I have made, the truth remains unchanged." (W.56.4.2) "God is still everywhere and in everything forever. And we who are part of Him will yet look past all appearances, and recognize the truth beyond them all." (W.56.4.5-6)
 
Today, we remember that God's Love is ever present in our minds. There is nothing we can do or have done, that can change the truth in us. The Holy Spirit is the memory of God and His love for us and is held in our right minds. It is held there until we recognize it has always been there behind our dark thoughts. "God is in everything I see because God is in my mind." (W.56.5.1) He is fully present to us in this moment, now.

Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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