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

CHAPTER 5
Healing and Wholeness

VIII. Time and Eternity

70 The continuing will to remain separated is the only possible reason for continuing guilt feelings. We have said this before, but we did not emphasize the destructive results of this decision at that time. Any decision of the mind will affect both behavior and experience. What you will, you expect . This is not delusional. Your mind does create your future, and it can turn it back to full creation at any minute if it accepts the Atonement first . It will also turn back to full creation the instant it has done so. Having given up its thought disorder, the proper ordering of thought becomes quite apparent.

71 God in His knowledge is not waiting, but His Kingdom is bereft while you wait. All the Sons of God are waiting for your return, just as you are waiting for theirs . Delay does not matter in eternity, but it is tragic in time. You have elected to be in time rather than eternity and have therefore changed your belief in your status. Yet your election is both free and alterable. You do not belong in time. Your place is only in eternity, where God Himself placed you forever.

72 Guilt feelings are the preservers of time. They induce fears of future retaliation or abandonment and thus ensure that the future will remain like the past. This is the ego's continuity and gives it a false sense of security through the belief that you cannot escape from it. But you can and must . God offers you the continuity of eternity in exchange. When you choose to make this exchange, you will simultaneously exchange guilt for joy, viciousness for love, and pain for peace. My role is only to unchain your will and make it free. Your ego cannot accept this freedom and will oppose your free decision at every possible moment and in every possible way. And as its maker, you recognize what it can do because you gave it the power to do it.

73 The mind does indeed know its power because the mind does indeed know God. Remember the Kingdom always, and remember that you who are part of the Kingdom cannot be lost. The mind that was in me is in you, for God creates with perfect fairness. Let the Holy Spirit remind you always of His fairness, and let me teach you how to share it with your brothers. How else can the chance to claim it for yourself be given you? What you do not understand is that the two voices speak for different interpretations of the same thing simultaneously, or almost simultaneously, for the ego always speaks first. Alternate interpretations were unnecessary until the first one was made, and speaking itself was unnecessary before the ego was made.

74 The ego speaks in judgment and the Holy Spirit reverses its decisions, much as the Supreme Court has the power to reverse the lower courts' decisions about the laws of this world. The ego's decisions are always wrong because they are based on a complete fallacy which they were made to uphold. Nothing the ego perceives is interpreted correctly. Not only does it cite Scripture for its purpose, but it even interprets Scripture as a witness for itself. The Bible is a fearful thing to the ego because of its prejudiced judgment. Perceiving it as fearful, it interprets it fearfully. Having made you afraid, you do not appeal to the Higher Court because you believe its judgment would be against you.

75 We need cite only a few examples to see how the ego's interpretations have misled you. A favorite ego quotation is "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Another is "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord." Still another is "I will visit the sins of the father unto the third and fourth generation," and also "The wicked shall perish." There are many others, but if you will let the Holy Spirit reinterpret these in His own light, they will suffice.

76 "As ye sow, so shall ye reap" merely means that what you believe to be worth cultivating you will cultivate in yourself. Your judgment of what is worthy makes it worthy for you. "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord" is easily explained if you remember that ideas increase only by being shared. This quotation therefore emphasizes the fact that vengeance cannot be shared. Give it therefore to the Holy Spirit, who will undo it in you because it does not belong in your mind, which is part of God.

77 "I will visit the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation," as interpreted by the ego, is particularly vicious. It is used, in fact, as an attempt to guarantee its survival beyond itself. Actually, all the quotation means is that the Holy Spirit in later generations retains the power to interpret correctly what former generations have thought and thus release their thoughts from the ability to produce fear anywhere in the Sonship. "The wicked shall perish" is merely a statement of fact if the word "perish" is properly understood. Every loveless thought must be undone. Even the word "undone" is fearful to the ego, which interprets "I am undone" as "I am destroyed."

78 The ego will not be destroyed because it is part of your thought, but because it is uncreative and therefore unsharing, it will be reinterpreted entirely to release you from fear. The part of your thought which you have given to the ego will merely return to the Kingdom, where your whole mind belongs . The ego is a form of arrest, but arrest is merely delay. It does not involve the concept of punishment, although the ego welcomes that interpretation. You can delay the completion of the Kingdom, but you cannot introduce the concept of assault into it.

79 When I said, "I am come as a light into the world," I surely came to share the light with you. Remember the symbolic reference we made before to the ego's dark glass, and remember also that we said, "Do not look there." It is still true that "where you look to find yourself is up to you." The Higher Court will not condemn you. It will merely dismiss the case against you. There can be no case against a Child of God, and every witness to guilt in Gods creations is bearing false witness to God Himself.

80 Appeal everything you believe gladly to God's own Higher Court because it speaks for Him and therefore speaks truly. It will dismiss the case against you, however carefully you have built it. The case may be foolproof, but it is not God-proof. The Voice for God will not hear it at all because He can only witness truly. His verdict will always be "Thine is the Kingdom" because He was given you to remind you of what you are.

81 Your patience with each other is your patience with yourselves. Is not a Child of God worth patience? I have shown you infinite patience because my will is that of our Father, from Whom I learned of infinite patience. His Voice was in me as it is in you, speaking for patience towards the Sonship in the name of its Creator. What you need to learn now is that only infinite patience can produce immediate effects. This is the way in which time is exchanged for eternity. Infinite patience calls upon infinite love, and by producing results now, it renders time unnecessary.

82 To say that time is temporary is merely redundant. We have repeatedly said that time is a learning device which will be abolished when it is no longer useful. The Holy Spirit, Who speaks for God in time, also knows that time is meaningless. He reminds you of this in every passing moment of time because it is His special function to return you to eternity and remain to bless your creations there. He is the only blessing you can truly give because He is so truly blessed, and because He has been given you so freely by God, you must give Him as you received Him.

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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 60
[Review of Lessons 46-50]

1 These ideas are for today's review:

[46] God is the Love in which I forgive.

2 God does not forgive because He has never condemned. The blameless cannot blame, and those who have accepted their innocence see nothing to forgive. Yet forgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence. It is the reflection of God's Love on earth. It will bring me near enough to Heaven that the Love of God can reach down to me and raise me to my home.

[47] God is the Strength in which I trust.

3 It is not my own strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive. As I begin to see, I recognize His reflection on earth. I forgive all things because I feel the stirring of His strength in me. And I begin to remember the Love I chose to forget, but Which has not forgotten me.

[48] There is nothing to fear.

4 How safe the world will look to me when I can see it! It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now. Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me to bless me. I will recognize in everyone my dearest Friend. What could there be to fear in a world which I have forgiven and which has forgiven me?

[49] God's Voice speaks to me all through the day.

5 There is not a moment in which God's Voice ceases to call on my forgiveness to save me. There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions, and lead my feet. I am walking steadily on toward truth. There is nowhere else I can go because God's Voice is the only voice and the only guide that has been given to His Son.

[50] I am sustained by the Love of God.

6 As I listen to God's Voice, I am sustained by His Love. As I open my eyes, His Love lights up the world for me to see. As I forgive, His Love reminds me that His Son is sinless. And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 60
[Review of Lessons 46-50]

Today is the last review for another 20 days until we will come to Review II. Some Course students absolutely love these reviews because we start to get some integration of the thought system. Others find it difficult because of the number of Lessons they believe they need to remember. Yet it is not about trying to remember all the Lessons but about finding the one or two Lessons that really speak to you the most and use them as well as letting related thoughts come to you. To let related thoughts come to you is to allow them to show up without effort on your part. They come from the truth within your mind. "Any thought related more or less directly to today’s idea is suitable. The thoughts need not bear any obvious relationship to the idea, but they should not be in opposition to it." (W.43.5.8-9) In other words, we are tuning into these thoughts by listening within.
 
Another way to do the review is to read all the Lessons at the beginning and end of the day and pick a Lesson for each hour of the day and spend time with that one Lesson on the hour, ending the day with all the Lessons. What is important is that you not make the practice about form or ritual by trying to do it right. It is much more about putting your attention on the content or meaning so the Lesson has deep resonance in your mind. Whatever works best for you is what you want to do so that you can deeply connect with the message.
 
Today's review encompasses the theme that God's strength and His love are there to get us through whatever seeming difficulties we experience. We can trust Him and rely on Him. We won’t feel innocent as long as we hold onto guilt. Guilt shows up for us when we encounter people and situations in our lives where we get triggered. These are all opportunities for us to become aware of the guilt that is being held in the mind. Forgiveness is the means to clear away the guilt by looking at it with Jesus who does not judge what is seen. He is a symbol of the innocence in our right minds; so that while we take responsibility for the error, we do not blame ourselves for it. To blame ourselves is to make the error real, and what we make real cannot be forgiven. Whether we judge ourselves or judge our brother is the same. When we blame ourselves, we put ourselves on the cross, and we suffer in the belief that suffering will bring us something. To the ego, the bigger the mistake, the more it demands we must pay. There is no order of difficulty in the illusion. There are not bigger or smaller sins. They are just errors to be corrected. By investing our minds in sin, the ego keeps itself in business, telling us that some of our sins cannot be forgiven because they are too big.
 
When we judge and criticize ourselves, we project that judgment onto others. Now we expect their judgment in turn. This blocks the peace and joy from us. When we see how we are attacking and judging ourselves, we are invited to give these self-attacks to the Holy Spirit by placing them on the inner altar. We must not be personally in charge of our healing, or we will become very frustrated. We cannot awaken ourselves. We need the help of the Holy Spirit. "It is not my own strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive." (W.60.2.2-3) The ego will never undo itself. We need help from outside of this dream, and with that help, we will ". . . begin to remember the Love I [we] chose to forget." (W.60.2.6) We have forgotten who we are. The problem is we keep choosing to condemn, which blocks us from remembering who we are. It seems insane---and it is---not to want to know ourselves as we were created. Judgment and condemnation keep the ego in business and maintain our identity as a body and personality to which we are still attached.
 
"How safe the world will look to me when I can see it! It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now. Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me to bless me." (W.60.3.2-4) Everyone and everything will be included in our sense of safety when our minds are healed. The reminder of our perfect safety abides in our right minds right now, but until we experience it, our world will not feel entirely safe. Everyone we meet is a witness to our inward condition. When we know that we are safe and know our own innocence, we see ourselves as blessed and receive that blessing through others. We experience our One Self when the guilt is released, and we see with Christ's vision. When we go to this place of safety within, where the truth resides, the world becomes a reflection of the choice we have made. Again, it does not mean there are not people seemingly attacking us, only that we don't interpret their behavior as an attack but as a call for love and understanding and our own peace remains undisturbed. We see the beauty of a forgiven world. It can't be otherwise if, as Jesus teaches, ideas leave not their source. Therefore, if the mind is the source and only peace is apparent in the mind, there can be nothing to see except peace everywhere.
 
When we experience our own innocence, we will "recognize in everyone my dearest Friend." (W.60.3.5) What a beautiful thought! Now we see the beauty, which can only be seen through the eyes of holiness, coming from that place within us where Love abides. How beautiful it is to see the truth of our brothers, regardless of their perceived wrongdoings. This is how we come to know that love is who we are. We then see it shining in everyone because we see through the eyes of holiness! We exempt no one. With such love surrounding us, fear becomes impossible, and guilt is gone from our minds.
 
"Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you? In no fantasy have you ever seen anything so lovely. Nothing you see here, sleeping or waking, comes near to such loveliness. And nothing will you value like unto this, nor hold so dear. Nothing that you remember that made your heart sing with joy has ever brought you even a little part of the happiness this sight will bring you. For you will see the Son of God. You will behold the beauty the Holy Spirit loves to look upon, and which He thanks the Father for. He was created to see this for you, until you learned to see it for yourself." (T.17.II.1.1-8) (ACIM OE T.17.III.7)
 
When we stay vigilant in our practice by watching our thoughts and releasing them with the help of the Holy Spirit, we learn to see with Christ's vision. The Holy Spirit is always there in our minds so that when we have judged someone, we can always turn to Him and ask for His help to see our brother differently. Whether our judgments and reactions show up as a result of a news story, TV show, movie, or because we feel someone has wronged us, these are all opportunities to recognize that the interpretations we give to events are just projections of our own guilt. When we turn to the Holy Spirit, He helps us see that nothing real has happened. Forgiveness is only necessary in the dream where there is judgment. "God does not forgive because He has never condemned." (W.60.1.2)
 
Movies can be very helpful in the process of exposing our projections and achieving peace, clarity of mind, and increased happiness. By watching movies, we can see where we are identifying with the characters on the screen and where painful dramas from our own lives are being played out. Now, we can watch our reactions and bring them forward to be healed. They allow us to heal whatever our phobias might be, alleviate our anxieties, and help us to handle stressful situations in our own lives.
 
The motivation to stay vigilant with our thoughts throughout the day is reinforced when we see that forgiveness brings us happiness. By looking at our dark thoughts and bringing them to the truth, Jesus assures we can see a beautiful world that is safe, full of love, abundance, peace, and joy. This is the real world. What else would we rather have than this? Our only purpose in this world is for healing the mind. It is what time was made for. Our only responsibility is to recognize the barriers we have put up as a defense against the love we are. The only path to take in this world is the one that takes us to the truth. Every other path leads us nowhere.
 
Every crisis in our lives is a call for healing. Every problem is an opportunity to choose love instead of fear. Is it simple? Yes. Is it easy? Generally, it is not easy, but it can be if we don’t resist the lesson and if we are ready and willing. It takes discipline, courage, honesty, humility, and great vigilance. And it takes calling on God's strength.
 
We will ultimately all awaken from this dream because Jesus keeps reminding us, the end is certain. How could it not be when the truth resides in us? There is nothing we need to do as we are already what we are seeking and still at home in God. We are all being called to remember who we are. God's Voice speaks to us ceaselessly, all through the day. We just need to stop the chatter in our own minds long enough to listen. When every barrier to love is removed with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will come to know the fullness of the love we are and will see a world that shines that love back on us. "And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son." (W.60.5.5) This is our ultimate goal. Meanwhile, everything in our world becomes another opportunity for healing. We see what needs to be healed in us by what is being triggered in us. The world provides us with the perfect classroom for healing. Eckhart Tolle suggests we look at everything that seems to be happening to us as if we orchestrated it all perfectly for our highest good, and apparently, we did.

Love and blessings, Sarah
 
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