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

The Consistency of the Kingdom

XI. The Confusion of Strength and Weakness

101 You no more recognize what is painful than you know what is joyful and are in fact very apt to confuse the two. The Holy Spirit's main function is to teach you to tell them apart . However strange it may seem that this is necessary, it obviously is. The reason is equally obvious. What is joyful to you is painful to the ego and, as long as you are in doubt about what you are, you will be confused about joy and pain. This confusion is the cause of the whole idea of sacrifice. Obey the Holy Spirit, and you will be giving up the ego. But you will be sacrificing nothing . On the contrary, you will be gaining everything. If you believed this, there would be no conflict.

102 That is why you need to demonstrate the obvious to yourself. It is not obvious to you. You believe that doing the opposite of God's Will can be better for you. You also believe that it is possible to do the opposite of God's Will . Therefore, you believe that an impossible choice is open to you and one which is both very fearful and very desirable. Yet God wills. He does not wish. Your will is as powerful as His because it is His. The ego's wishes do not mean anything, because the ego wishes for the impossible. You can wish for the impossible, but you can will only with God. This is the ego's weakness and your strength.

103 The Holy Spirit always sides with you and with your strength. As long as you avoid His guidance in any way, you want to be weak. Yet weakness is frightening. What else, then, can this decision mean except that you want to be fearful? The Holy Spirit never asks for sacrifice, but the ego always does. When you are confused about this very clear distinction in motivation, it can only be due to projection. Projection of this kind is a confusion in motivation and, given this confusion, trust becomes impossible.

104 No one obeys gladly a guide he does not trust, but this does not mean that the guide is untrustworthy. In this case, it always means that the follower is. However, this too is merely a matter of his own belief. Believing that he can betray, he believes that everything can betray him . Yet this is only because he has elected to follow false guidance . Unable to follow this guidance without fear, he associates fear with guidance and refuses to follow any guidance at all. [If the result of this decision is confusion, this is hardly surprising.] The Holy Spirit is perfectly trustworthy, as you are. God Himself trusts you, and therefore your trustworthiness is beyond question. It will always remain beyond question, however much you may question it.

105 We said before that you are the Will of God. His Will is not an idle wish, and your identification with His Will is not optional, since it is what you are. Sharing His Will with me is not really open to choice, though it may seem to be. The whole separation lies in this fallacy. The only way out of the fallacy is to decide that you do not have to decide anything . Everything has been given you by God's decision. That is His Will, and you can not undo it. Even the relinquishment of your false decision-making prerogative, which the ego guards so jealously, is not accomplished by your wish. It was accomplished for you by the Will of God, Who has not left you comfortless. His Voice will teach you how to distinguish between pain and joy and will lead you out of the confusion which you have made. There is no confusion in the mind of a Son of God whose will must be the Will of the Father because the Father's Will is His Son.

106 Miracles are in accord with the Will of God Whose Will you do not know because you are confused about what you will. This means that you are confused about what you are. If you are God's Will and do not accept His Will , you are denying joy. The miracle is therefore a lesson in what joy is. Being a lesson in sharing, it is a lesson in love, which is joy. Every miracle is thus a lesson in truth, and by offering truth you are learning the difference between pain and joy.

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A Course in Miracles

The Consistency of the Kingdom

XII. The State of Grace

107 The Holy Spirit will always guide you truly because your joy is His . This is His Will for everyone because He speaks for the Kingdom of God which is joy. Following Him is therefore the easiest thing in the world and the only thing that is easy, because it is not of the world and is therefore natural. The world goes against your nature, being out of accord with God's laws. The world perceives orders of difficulty in everything. This is because the ego perceives nothing as wholly desirable. By demonstrating to yourselves that there is no order of difficulty in miracles, you will convince yourselves that in your natural state there is no difficulty because it is a state of grace.

108 Grace is the natural state of every Son of God. When he is not in a state of grace, he is out of his natural environment and does not function well. Everything he does becomes a strain because he was not created for the environment that he has made. He therefore cannot adapt to it, nor can he adapt it to him . There is no point in trying. A Son of God is happy only when he knows he is with God. That is the only environment in which he will not experience strain, because that is where he belongs. It is also the only environment that is worthy of him, because his own worth is beyond anything he can make.

109 Consider the kingdom you have made and judge its worth fairly. Is it worthy to be a home for a Child of God? Does it protect his peace and shine love upon him? Does it keep his heart untouched by fear and allow him to give always without any sense of loss? Does it teach him that this giving is his joy and that God Himself thanks him for his giving? That is the only environment in which you can be happy. You cannot make it any more than you can make yourselves. It has been created for you, as you were created for it. God watches over His Children and denies them nothing. Yet when they deny Him, they do not know this, because they deny themselves everything.

110 You who could give the love of God to everything you see and touch and remember are literally denying Heaven to yourselves. I call upon you again to remember that I have chosen you to teach the Kingdom to the Kingdom. There are no exceptions to this lesson, because the lack of exceptions is the lesson. Every Son who returns to the Kingdom with this lesson in his heart has healed the Sonship and given thanks to God. Everyone who learns this lesson has become the perfect teacher because he has learned it of the Holy Spirit, Who wants to teach him everything He knows. When a mind has only light, it knows only light. Its own radiance shines all around it and extends out into the darkness of other minds, transforming them into majesty.

111 The Majesty of God is there for you to recognize and appreciate and know. Perceiving the Majesty of God as your brother is to accept your own inheritance. God gives only equally. If you recognize His gift in anyone else, you have acknowledged what He has given you . Nothing is as easy to perceive as truth. This is the perception which is immediate, clear, and natural. You have trained yourselves not to see it, and this has been very difficult for you. Out of your natural environment, you may well ask, "What is truth?" since truth is the environment by which and for which you were created.

112 You do not know yourselves, because you do not know your Creator. You do not know your creations, because you do not know your brothers, who created them with you. We said before that only the whole Sonship is worthy to be co-creator with God because only the whole Sonship can create like Him. Whenever you heal a brother by recognizing his worth, you are acknowledging his power to create and yours. He cannot have lost what you recognize, and you must have the glory you see in him. He is a co-creator with God with you . Deny his creative power, and you are denying yours and that of God, Who created you. You cannot deny part of truth. You do not know your creations because you do not know their creator. You do not know yourselves because you do not know yours .

113 Your creations cannot establish your reality any more than you can establish God's. But you can know both. Being is known by sharing. Because God shared His Being with you, you can know Him. But you must also know all He created to know what they have shared. Without your Father, you will not know your fatherhood. The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons and their children, who are like the Sons as they are like the Father. Know then the Sons of God, and you will know all creation.

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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 87
[Review of Lessons 73-74]

1 Our review today will cover these ideas:

[73] I will there be light.

2 I will use the power of my will today. It is not my will to grope about in darkness, fearful of shadows and afraid of things unseen and unreal. Light shall be my guide today. I will follow it where it leads me, and I will look only on what it shows me. This day I will experience the peace of true perception.

3 These forms of this idea would be helpful for specific application:

4 This cannot hide the light I will to see. You stand with me in light, [name]. In the light this will look different.

[74] There is no will but God's.

5 I am safe today because there is no will but God's. I can become afraid only when I believe that there is another will. I try to attack only when I am afraid, and only when I try to attack can I believe that my eternal safety is threatened. Today I will recognize that all this has not occurred. I am safe because there is no will but God's.

6 These are some useful forms of this idea for specific applications:

7 Let me perceive this in accordance with the Will of God. It is God's Will you are His Son, [name], and mine as well. This is part of God's Will for me, however I may see it.

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ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 87
Review II ~ Lessons 73-74

We believe we have a will, which is our own and separate from God's. This is not the truth. Our will is God's Will. This Course is about releasing the belief that we have a will separate from God’s Will, and now we are being called to join with His Will so we can be happy and know we are secure in His Love. "I can become afraid only when I believe there is another will." (W.87.3.3) And when we are afraid, we attack. When we align with God’s Will, we know that we are safe. "I am safe because there is no will but God’s." (W.87.3.6)

We don't know our own best interests. How can we when we don’t know who we are? We have chosen independence and willfulness and assumed authority over our own lives. Our willfulness has gotten us into a lot of trouble. Isn’t this true? I know mine has. I get very stubborn about my point of view, having things go my way, being in control, determining my own future, planning my way through life, developing strategies for my success, making judgments, and believing I am right. In fact, being successful in the world may be the biggest obstacle to awakening. When life seems to be working for us, it keeps us invested in the illusion. However, the outcome of relying solely on ourselves is that we can never be certain of anything, and this ultimately results in fear, anxiety, and insecurity. If things don't work the way we expect, and we don't get what we want, we blame others for our failures, or we judge ourselves.

We always use something or someone, or some circumstance or event, to justify our attacks. We hold grievances, we manipulate, we demand, we seduce, and we try to get something from the person or situation. All these are forms of attack, and with attack comes more fear because now we expect retaliation. We expect someone will betray us, try to manipulate us, or demand something from us. The world becomes a threatening, fearful place. "It is not my will to grope about in darkness, fearful of shadows and afraid of things unseen and unreal." (W.87.1.3) The will that appears to be functioning in the world is part of the illusion. It is not real, and it brings us nothing but more guilt and fear.

In making the decision to ". . . use the power of my will today," (W.87.1.2) we are choosing to exercise the power of our minds to make another choice by turning away from the will that we have substituted for God's Will. Instead of choosing to listen to the ego, we remind ourselves we can choose to see any situation differently when we turn to the Holy Spirit to give us His interpretation. Someone may have said something unkind today, but we have a choice in how to perceive it. We can decide that, "Light shall be my guide today. I will follow it where it leads me, and I will look only on what it shows me." (W.87.1.4-5)

We all feel vulnerable and afraid, and we project these fears onto the world. We become fearful of what the world will do to us, so we build defenses that create even more fear. The world of separation is the result of the projection of the guilt and fear in our minds. When the mind is freed of sin and guilt through forgiveness, the world becomes a reflection of innocence. We are all here to wake up from this dream, and when we choose the Holy Spirit as our Teacher, He helps us to see every situation without judgment. Now we have no more stories. Anger is no longer justified, and all is seen as love or a call for love.

In our day-to-day lives, we grope about in darkness, afraid of things not even there, unseen and unreal. It is a fearful state where there is no peace in our everyday condition—a condition of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Only in the light where there is true perception can we experience peace. How can we know where we are going when we are in a state of confusion and uncertainty? But now we know we can make another choice. We can choose to watch our minds and release the judgments and grievances that show up in the mind. When we are angry and frustrated with any person or situation, it is because we want to make them responsible for the guilt in our minds. It all starts with our own self-attack that we project onto others. We actually want others to betray and hurt us. We set it up that way so we could see them as the cause of our distress. In other words, we see the world as the cause and ourselves as the effect, and thus we are actually choosing to make others responsible for how we feel. This is how we enslave ourselves and see ourselves as victimized by others. Jesus is showing us that only mind is the cause of how we feel and the world is the effect. We have reversed cause and effect. We are the ones responsible for everything that seems to happen to us. We called it all forth for our healing.

"Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him? And who would place his faith in the shabby offerings of the ego when the gifts of God are laid before him?" (M.4.I.2.2-3) To me, this is the same as flying on one's own, believing in our little will and resting on our own authority. Jesus says, once we have experienced the power available to us by joining with God's Will and recognizing it as our own, "it is impossible to trust one's own petty strength again." (M.4.I.2.1) With God, events unfold in miraculous ways beyond any of our own ability to plan an outcome equal to what is available when we trust in Him.

The ego wants to latch onto guilt like a dog with a bone. It is a huge temptation that feeds the ego. We make comparisons with others, seeing their guilt, and buying our own innocence at their expense. We hold grievances against others, refusing to let them go in the belief that, "No one is going to walk over me." We demand our own space, keeping others apart from us. We think of this as power and strength and maintaining our boundaries, yet whenever we attack a brother, it just guarantees that we accumulate more guilt and fear. The fear is that when we attack, they will retaliate. Now we believe that defense is necessary. It becomes a vicious circle, but the conflict is never external to our own minds. It starts within us with our own self-attacks, and when we project them outward, we experience conflict with our brothers.

When we are in conflict, we believe we each have a different will and are in competition with each other. We each try to get what we can in the relationship; we give as little as possible to get as much as possible. This is the nature of relationships guided by the ego. The truth is that we only share one will. My true will and my brothers’ will are the same. Our eternal safety is guaranteed because there is only One Will I share with all my brothers. Through forgiveness, we recognize our sameness, which is a reflection of our Oneness. When we see the Christ in our brother, we know our own Self, which is One with God. When we truly desire this Oneness, we will vigilantly watch our minds for attack thoughts so they can be placed on the inner altar for healing.

Recently, I was noticing how I was slipping into ego in my relationship and taking advantage of my brother’s guilt. It was such a pattern that I had not noticed it was happening. I even started thinking the relationship was maximized and I needed to move on. When I looked more closely, I realized my distress was based on my own unhappiness. When I looked at the unhappiness, I realized it had nothing to do with my brother. It was something that had to be healed within me. The turnabout came very quickly with this realization. I asked for help to choose again and no longer indulge my egoic thoughts, making my brother responsible for my condition. The reflection of my changed perspective came so quickly in my relationship that it was an immediate confirmation that the change in any relationship has to start with our own minds. I forgive my brother for what he has not done. My part is to continue to forgive my own self-attacking thoughts so I can get in alignment with God.

In summary, the progression of the ego error starts with the belief that there is another will but God's. Because of this, we become afraid of our brothers and their competing wills, and now we experience fear so we attack, and because we attack, we fear for our eternal safety. The answer is to recognize, "I am safe today because there is no will but God's." (W.87.3.2) We experience we are safe when we remember who we are. In our identification with the body, we can never feel safe, but our safety lies in our recognition ". . . that all this has not occurred. I am safe because there is no will but God's." (W.87.3.5-6) My reality is Spirit and not a vulnerable body.

Practicing this idea involves acknowledging that whatever seems to be happening to me, "This is part of God's will for me, however I may see it." (W.87.4.4) This can sound like God is willing for me to suffer a difficult situation, but this is not so. Instead, God's love and peace are behind any seeming difficulty, and we can choose that love in any situation in which we seem to find ourselves by releasing the ego's hold on us so we can experience the miracle.

Just like in the movie, Wide Awake , we can only know the truth when we are ready for it. That is why this path is not to be imposed on others. To try to impose this teaching on anyone is a form of attack. It is no different than a missionary worker, trying to change the mind of our brothers instead of focusing on our own minds. To do that is an act of violence. It is all about readiness for another way of seeing. The signs of the Spirit are as near and clear as we are ready and willing to see and hear them. In the movie, Joshua's Prayer , he was answered because it was a prayer from the heart. It reflected his true desire. Without motivation, devotion, desire, and sincerity nothing will change.

Our will, which is one with God's, has tremendous power. When we join with His Will, we can make great strides today. It is in our nature to express and extend love, and how that is expressed in this world is through forgiveness. That is what time is for. There is nothing to be done except the undoing of what we have made, which is the false self and a world where we have come to hide from God. Forgiveness removes what we have made so what God created can shine through us. See your brothers standing in the light with you and shine on all your brothers, letting the light given to you shine into their minds. This is how this fragmented Sonship is returned to Oneness, wholeness, and holiness.

Love and blessings, Sarah

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