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

The Consistency of the Kingdom

IX. The Defense of Conflict

82 We once said that without projection there can be no anger, but it is also true that without projection there can be no love. Projection is a fundamental law of the mind and therefore one which always operates. It is the law by which you create and were created. It is the law which unifies the Kingdom and keeps it in the Mind of God. To the ego, the law is perceived as a way of getting rid of something it does not want. To the Holy Spirit, it is the fundamental law of sharing by which you give what you value in order to keep it in your own mind.

83 Projection, to the Holy Spirit, is the law of extension. To the ego, it is the law of deprivation. It therefore produces abundance or scarcity, depending on how you choose to apply it. This choice is up to you, but it is not up to you to decide whether or not you will utilize projection. Every mind must project because that is how it lives, and every mind is life. The ego's use of projection must be fully understood before its inevitable association between projection and anger can be finally undone.

84 The ego always tries to preserve conflict. It is very ingenious in devising ways which seem to diminish conflict because it does not want you to find conflict so intolerable that you will insist on giving it up. Therefore, the ego tries to persuade you that it can free you of conflict, lest you give the ego up and free yourself . The ego, using its own warped version of the laws of God, utilizes the power of the mind only to defeat the mind's real purpose. It projects conflict from your mind to other minds in an attempt to persuade you that you have gotten rid of it. This has several fallacies which may not be so apparent.

85 Strictly speaking, conflict cannot be projected precisely because it cannot be fully shared. Any attempt to keep part of it and get rid of another part does not really mean anything. Remember that a conflicted teacher is a poor teacher and a poor learner. His lessons are confused, and their transfer value is severely limited by his confusion. A second fallacy is the idea that you can get rid of something you do not want by giving it away. Giving it is how you keep it. The belief that by giving it out you have excluded it from within is a complete distortion of the power of extension.

86 That is why those who project from the ego are vigilant for their own safety. They are afraid that their projections will return and hurt them. They do believe they have blotted their projections from their own minds, but they also believe their projections are trying to creep back into them. That is because the projections have not left their minds, and this in turn forces them to engage in compulsive activity in order not to recognize this. You cannot perpetuate an illusion about another without perpetuating it about yourself. There is no way out of this because it is impossible to fragment the mind.

87 To fragment is to break into pieces, and mind cannot attack or be attacked. The belief that it can , a fallacy which the ego always makes, underlies its whole use of projection. It does not understand what mind is and therefore does not understand what you are. Yet its existence is dependent on your mind because the ego is your belief. The ego is therefore a confusion in identification which never had a consistent model and never developed consistently. It is the distorted product of the misapplication of the laws of God by distorted minds which are misusing their own power.

88 Do not be afraid of the ego . It does depend on your mind and, as you made it by believing in it, so you can dispel it by withdrawing belief from it. Do not project the responsibility for your belief in it onto anyone else , or you will preserve the belief. When you are willing to accept sole responsibility for the ego's existence yourself , you will have laid aside all anger and all attack because they come from an attempt to project responsibility for your own errors. But having accepted the errors as yours, do not keep them . Give them over quickly to the Holy Spirit to be undone completely so that all their effects will vanish from your minds and from the Sonship as a whole .

89 The Holy Spirit will teach you to perceive beyond belief because truth is beyond belief, and His perception is true. The ego can be completely forgotten at any time because it was always a belief that is totally incredible. No one can keep a belief he has judged to be unbelievable. The more you learn about the ego, the more you realize that it cannot be believed. The incredible cannot be understood because it is unbelievable. The utter meaninglessness of all perception that comes from the unbelievable must be apparent, but it is not recognized as beyond belief because it was made by belief.

90 The whole purpose of this course is to teach you that the ego is unbelievable and will forever be unbelievable. You who made the ego by believing the unbelievable cannot make this judgment alone. By accepting the Atonement for yourself, you are deciding against the belief that you can be alone, thus dispelling the idea of separation and affirming your true identification with the whole Kingdom as literally part of you. This identification is as beyond doubt as it is beyond belief. Your wholeness has no limits because being is in infinity.

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A Course in Miracles

Part I
Review II

1 We are now ready for another review. We will begin where our last review left off and cover two ideas each day. The earlier part of each day will be devoted to one of these ideas, and the latter part of the day to the other. We will have one longer exercise period and frequent shorter ones in which we practice each of them.

2 The longer practice periods will follow this general form: take about 15 minutes for each of them, and begin by thinking about the idea and the comments which are included in the assignments. Devote about three or four minutes to reading them over slowly, several times if you wish, and then close your eyes and listen. Repeat the first phase if you find your mind wandering, but try to spend the major part of the practice period listening quietly but attentively.

3 There is a message waiting for you. Be confident that you will receive it. Remember that it belongs to you and that you want it. Do not allow your intent to waver in the face of distracting thoughts. Realize that, whatever form they take, they have no meaning and no power. Replace them with your determination to succeed. Do not forget that your will has power over all fantasies and dreams. Trust it to see you through and carry you beyond them all.

4 Regard these practice periods as dedications to the way, the truth, and the life. Refuse to be side-tracked into detours, illusions, and thoughts of death. You are dedicated to salvation. Be determined each day not to leave your function unfulfilled.

5 Reaffirm your determination in the shorter practice periods as well, using the original form of the idea for general application and a more specific form when needed. Some specific forms will be included in the comments. These, however, are merely suggestions. It is not the particular words you use that matter.

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A Course in Miracles

Lesson 85
[Review of Lessons 69-70]

1 Today's review will cover these ideas:

[69] My grievances hide the light of the world in me.

2 My grievances show me what is not there and hide from me what I would see. Recognizing this, what do I want my grievances for? They keep me in darkness and hide the light. Grievances and light cannot go together, but light and vision must be joined for me to see. To see, I must lay grievances aside. I want to see, and this will be the means by which I will succeed.

3 Specific applications of this idea might be made in these forms:

4 Let me not use this as a block to sight. The light of the world will shine all this away. I have no need for this. I want to see.

[70] My salvation comes from me.

5 Today I will recognize where my salvation is. It is in me because its Source is there. It has not left its Source, and so it cannot have left my mind. I will not look for it outside myself. It is not found outside and then brought in. But from within me it will reach beyond, and everything I see will but reflect the light that shines in me and in itself.

6 These forms of the idea are suitable for more specific application:

7 Let this not tempt me to look away from me for my salvation. I will not let this interfere with my awareness of the Source of my salvation. This has no power to remove salvation from me.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 85
Review II ~ Lessons 69-70

It is important to look at every Lesson in Review II as a response to anything that tempts us to throw away our peace. It means that when anything, anyone, or any situation tempts us to become angry or distressed, we could be applying the Lesson of the day. For example, when you are focusing on the Lesson, "My grievances hide the light of the world in me," (W.85.1.1) you might respond with any of the three thoughts that follow in the Lesson.

If someone cuts you off in traffic, you could respond with the thought, "Let me not use this as a block to sight." (W.85.2.2) Or if someone upsets you today with how they are behaving, you might hold the thought, "I have no need for this. I want to see." (W.85.2.4) If another version of a thought suits you better, feel free to use it. Remind yourself that when you see someone do something you judge as inappropriate, you are making a decision to throw away your peace and thus stay blind to the truth. In effect, your judgment is based on something that is not even there and keeps you from vision. "My grievances show me what is not there, and hide from me what I would see." (W.85.1.2) Grievances keep us from the light, but we have a choice we can make. "The light of the world will shine all this away." (W.85.2.3)

Similarly, in our afternoon practice, we focus on the idea, "My salvation comes from me," (W.85.3.1) meaning that nothing outside of us will ever bring us happiness. In fact, there is nothing outside of us. Only in uncovering the light in us and recognizing that we are not separated from our Source can we experience peace and joy.

What interferes with this recognition? The interference comes when we give our power to something from outside of our own minds that has seemingly taken our peace from us. Nothing outside of our own minds has that kind of power unless we choose to allow it. Our grievances come in the form of various judgments we make throughout the day. Try to go through the day, and with each temptation to give up your peace, respond with a thought such as, "Let this not tempt me to look away from me for my salvation." (W.85.4.2)

If the words do not resonate for you, choose another of the phrases offered or change the words to suit you. If you stumble on words such as salvation, you can substitute words such as peace or happiness. Jesus tells us, "Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality." (M.21.1.9-10) If we stumble on the symbol, we can substitute something that resonates with us. The important thing to always remember is that if we don't apply this teaching to our daily lives, there will be no change. The words and ideas may resonate and feel good when we read them, but that is not enough. Application is essential.

In the text, Jesus tells us, "I have made every effort to use words that are almost impossible to distort, but it is always possible to twist symbols around if you wish." (T.3.I.3.11) (ACIM OE T.3.III.16) Notice how we even have grievances around words. We may, for example, get upset with the masculine terminology, or we hold negative views on the symbol of Jesus. We have negative connotations with words like salvation, atonement, forgiveness, last judgment, God, and many others. It is all part of our past conditioning. The words themselves are neutral. The meaning we give to that which is meaningless is what upsets us.

The only appropriate response to attack is forgiveness. It is our way through to the experience of peace and joy. It is not what the ego counsels us to do. The ego wants us to retaliate, which keeps us from the awareness of our divinity. Then when we follow its advice, it tells us that we should feel guilty for what we have done. This is the ego's vicious cycle that keeps us on the hamster wheel of sin, guilt, fear, and attack, which is mostly how life is experienced in this world. Yet we are not of this world, even though we seem to be in it.

Our morning practice is about the importance of releasing grievances so we can know the truth about ourselves as the light we are. "Grievances and light cannot go together, but light and vision must be joined for me to see. To see, I must lay grievances aside." (W.85.1.5-6) Grievances darken our minds and our sight so we become blind to the truth. Instead of seeing innocence in our brothers, we see their guilt, and thus we "make of love an enemy." (T.19.IV.D.13.8) (ACIM OE T.19. V.d.102) Now we are being motivated to make a choice by declaring, "I want to see, and this will be the means by which I will succeed." (W.85.1.7)

In the afternoon practice, we are reminded, "It (my salvation) is in me because its Source is there." (W.85.3.3) What is there to look for outside of ourselves? We keep thinking there is an answer out there in some new book, another workshop, or another guru. Yet the answers are all within. There is no one who can save us and no one to look to outside of ourselves. Similarly, there is nothing we need outside of ourselves as God is in our minds. We look outside all the time for our happiness, yet it is not there. When you are tempted today to look for something from a situation that does not seem to be delivering what you want, remember to affirm, "This has no power to remove salvation from me." (W.85.4.4) In fact, nothing outside of us has that power. It is all within.

There is a part of our minds that really does want the truth, but we still have resistance, as another part of the mind is afraid of the truth. Increasingly, as we do these Lessons, we become aware of our split mind where part of us wants God and another part does not want to wake up. We are always making a choice as to which teacher we turn to---the ego or the Holy Spirit. If we look for salvation outside of ourselves for our happiness, we are giving our power away. If we get triggered by what someone says or does, there is a place in us where we are attacking ourselves. Nothing outside of the mind can bring pain or suffering or even true happiness. Everything rests on the power of our minds to choose the Holy Spirit where our happiness resides, rather than in anything external.
Love and blessings, Sarah

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