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Manual for Teachers: 11. HOW IS PEACE POSSIBLE IN THIS WORLD? P 3. 5-23-18

11. HOW IS PEACE POSSIBLE IN THIS WORLD? P 3
3 The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. Into this strange and paradoxical situation,—one without meaning and devoid of sense, yet out of which no way seems possible,—God has sent His Judgment to answer yours. Gently His Judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. How is peace possible in this world? In your judgment it is not possible, and can never be possible. But in the Judgment of God what is reflected here is only peace.

Journal
Jesus gives the Holy Spirit different names in the Course depending on His particular function in a situation. Just as He is the Voice for God He is also the Answer and is God’s Judgment.  He is the Answer because through the power of our belief we have made problems that need an answer, and because we believe in what we make, we cannot answer our own problems. This conundrum is something Jesus speaks of more than once. We cannot heal ourselves, for that we need the Holy Spirit Who is God’s Answer to our self-made problems.

I had one of those problems recently that triggered feelings of unworthiness. I know this is the ego mind that is judging the situation. What happens is that a particular thing occurred that reminded me of something from the past, and without giving it thought, I automatically ask the ego what this means. The ego reminded me of my unworthiness, and as I accepted the ego’s judgment, I began to feel bad about myself. I then projected this feeling onto the one that triggered me because I had asked the ego what to do about this feeling and projection is the ego’s advice.

When this happened, I knew that I had been listening to the ego and I knew that I must stop listening to the ego’s judgment and turn my attention to the Holy Spirit. Even knowing this, I wrangled with it for hours, going back and forth between asking the ego for help and then asking the Holy Spirit instead. It is such an odd place to be, sitting there on the fence, leaning first one way and then the other, knowing this isn’t helping and yet somehow compelled to do it. It can sometimes take a little while for me to come down on one the Holy Spirits side because I made this problem and so believe in it.

I was on Lesson 142. This lesson begins with the reminder that my mind holds only what I think with God, and when I finally decided for the Holy Spirit, reminding me of this lesson is how he helped me to accept His judgment. I was walking on a track for my daily exercise listening to a book to keep me distracted because walking is something of a chore for me. Suddenly, I felt Holy Spirit telling me to stop the story and contemplate on the lesson.
I did as was asked and let my mind rest on the idea that my mind holds only what I think with God. It seemed an absurd statement considering what a messy place my mind was on this day. I asked the Holy Spirit how this could be.

Holy Spirit: This is merely a fact. When it seems to not be true, you may rest assured that you are dreaming of other things. You are dreaming that you can change the nature of God. You are dreaming that you are a human being rather than a Divine Being. But dreams do not change reality. Your mind holds only what you think with God.

Wake up, my sweet sister. Let me show you your real thoughts. You have been searching in dreams for these thoughts and that is not where they will be found. Even as you remember what you have read in the Course and recite these very true words to yourself, you do this alone within the ego mind made to give you the illusion of aloneness. There is no power in decisions made alone.

Now you are changing your mind in union with Me and that is power indeed, power that will move mountains. This seeming problem you have made within your dreaming is the mountain we are interested in today. Give me your wholehearted desire for the solution and I will be your Solution.

Me: Holy Spirit, I give you this problem, this belief that God could have ever created a Being that was unworthy, the belief that any Being could make of itself something that God did not create. I am ready to remember my true Self, to know myself as the magnificent creation I am.

Oh my gosh, Holy Spirit, I can feel the ego mind rushing in to save me from God.

Holy Spirit: Do not be afraid of the ego mind that continues to chatter away and makes futile efforts to keep you involved in this story. It is nothing, a collection of beliefs from which I will relieve you. It has no power to contain your glory unless this is your desire.

Me: I give You my ego; it knows not what it does.

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Study of Text, C 15: VIII. The Only Real Relationship, P 4. 5-21-18


VIII. The Only Real Relationship, P 4
4 Think but an instant on this: God gave the Sonship to you, to ensure your perfect creation. This was His gift, for as He withheld Himself not from you, He withheld not His creation. Nothing that ever was created but is yours. Your relationships are with the universe. And this universe, being of God, is far beyond the petty sum of all the separate bodies you perceive. For all its parts are joined in God through Christ, where they become like to their Father. Christ knows of no separation from His Father, Who is His one relationship, in which He gives as His Father gives to Him.

Journal

“God gave the Sonship to you, to ensure your perfect creation.”

God gave me all of Himself and all of His creation. I am profoundly touched by this gift. I am also strongly motivated by it. How can I look on a brother in judgment, now? He is a gift from God to me to ensure my perfect creation. I have so often made the mistake of viewing with my eyes the image of what I think my brother represents. In my confused mind, I have believed in that twisted image of my own making. “God, grace me with true vision,” I pray.

“Your relationships are with the universe.”

Clearly, I don’t understand what the universe really is. Perhaps I will have to wait for that understanding. Perhaps I will have to experience it before I understand. Jesus tells us only this, the universe is of God and it is far beyond the petty sum of all the separate bodies we perceive. I suspect it is beyond all form as we know it.

“For all its parts are joined in God through Christ, where they become like to their Father.”

I don’t know what all the parts are. I am going to assume he is not talking about bodies. It seems to me that when he says the separate bodies we perceive, he is inferring that they are not real and so are not included in the universe that God created. What is clear is that all parts seen as separate are joined with God through Christ and in this joining they become like God. This joining is through Christ because He knows His Father and is not separate from Him. In fact, Jesus says that God is Christ’s one relationship.

My thinking mind is left with questions. It wants to understand the universe as described here. It wants to understand the difference between the Sonship and Christ, if there is a difference. But there are also some very important take-a ways. The most important for me is that my brothers are my gifts from God and that I want my vision of them to always reflect that. Another is that God gave me all of creation. And another is that I am in relationship with the universe, and the universe being of God means that there is nothing that is outside this relationship. This understanding is the closest I have come to understanding oneness.

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Manual for Teachers: 11. HOW IS PEACE POSSIBLE IN THIS WORLD? P 2. 5-17-18

11. HOW IS PEACE POSSIBLE IN THIS WORLD? P 2
2 Again we come to the question of judgment. This time ask yourself whether your judgment or the Word of God is more likely to be true. For they say different things about the world, and things so opposite that it is pointless to try to reconcile them. God offers the world salvation; your judgment would condemn it. God says there is no death; your judgment sees but death as the inevitable end of life. God’s Word assures you that He loves the world; your judgment says it is unlovable. Who is right? For one of you is wrong. It must be so.

Journal
“This time ask yourself whether your judgment or the Word of God is more likely to be true.”

The ego has an interpretation for everything, but it is always going to be in direct opposition to the Word of God. When I am not at peace, I look to my thoughts for the cause of my distress. Realizing that I must have asked the ego what something meant, I change my mind and ask the Holy Spirit to interpret for me. When I do this my mind returns to peace.

Do I feel sick? If so, I ask the Holy Spirit to heal my mind of those thoughts that manifest as sickness. If I am worried about money, I ask that the Holy Spirit correct my thinking because it cannot be that I lack anything. These days, if I have a problem, it tends to be centered around my uncertainty about the Course. Not that I ever doubt the Course, but that I become uncertain about what is meant about specific things.

I think that this is understandable. Before the separation, there was only God in our mind and therefore there were no choices to be made, no uncertainties. There was absolute clarity. Then we decided to experience the idea of differences and it all got muddy. Suddenly there were possible meanings and outcomes rather than certainty. Our experience with this has not been positive because it costs us our peace of mind.

The ego says my solution is to use the thinking mind to figure out what the Course means about everything and then to defend my interpretation as right, which means someone else is wrong. You can see where this is taking us… deeper into separation. The only true solution is to give every question to the Holy Spirit and let Him interpret for us. Then let us realize that the truth does not need our defense and that the only thing our brothers need from us is our love and trust.

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Study of Text: C 15, VIII. The Only Real Relationship, P 3. 5-18-15

VIII. The Only Real Relationship, P 3
3 Relate only with what will never leave you, and what you can never leave. The loneliness of God’s Son is the loneliness of his Father. Refuse not the awareness of your completion, and seek not to restore it to yourself. Fear not to give redemption over to your Redeemer’s Love. He will not fail you, for He comes from One Who cannot fail. Accept your sense of failure as nothing more than a mistake in who you are. For the holy host of God is beyond failure, and nothing that he wills can be denied. You are forever in a relationship so holy that it calls to everyone to escape from loneliness, and join you in your love. And where you are must everyone seek, and find you there.

Journal
I am God’s Son and in the knowledge of this, loneliness is impossible. I am one with All That Is. How could I be alone or lonely? Loneliness can only be the result of identifying with something I am not. When I think I am a body, an ego, I know loneliness because to be a body is to be alone. Even when another body is with me, I am still alone because communication is thwarted. What does the other feel? What is in her heart? What are we hiding from each other? This can’t be communication because we are not communicating anything real. Of course, I would feel lonely.

What would never leave me, what would I never leave? It can only be Love. We tend to think of love as a verb, but what if love is the substance of all things? What if Love is just another word for God, and, therefore, another word for me? What if I really am Love and nothing else? The feeling of loneliness is caused by the belief that I am separate from love. How could I be separate from love if love is all about me and in me?

My prayer is that I live in the awareness of love, knowing that my relationship is with all and none are missing from that relationship of love. I pray today that every thought of another, every encounter with another be blessed with the knowledge that I am in love. I am in love with everyone and everything, no one more and no one less, just love meeting love. I pray for this and I cannot fail to receive it and I cannot fail to live it because of who I am as the holy host of God.

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Manual for Teachers: 11. HOW IS PEACE POSSIBLE IN THIS WORLD? P 1. 5-14-18

11. HOW IS PEACE POSSIBLE IN THIS WORLD? P 1
1 This is a question everyone must ask. Certainly peace seems to be impossible here. Yet the Word of God promises other things that seem impossible, as well as this. His Word has promised peace. It has also promised that there is no death, that resurrection must occur, and that rebirth is man’s inheritance. The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God’s Word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently, if His promises are to be accepted. What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this.

Journal
Jesus says that we can have peace even here and I know this is true because I often do have peace even in the midst of what others would perceive as chaos. This is not always true for me yet, but it is for some and so I know that someday it will be consistently true for me as well. Of course, we must come to believe this because it is God’s Word that we do.

It is also His Word that assures us that He loves the world. I have conflicting reactions to this statement. First, I feel relieved. For a while after becoming a Course student, I felt guilty for the world and so I hated it. It seemed to stand for my guilt and to be a constant reminder that I had made a terrible mistake. In spite of reassurances from Jesus, I still felt like maybe I was being punished for doing this. Maybe that was why the world is so horrible. But if God loves the world then so can I, and my fears are unfounded.

Another thought I had was how could God love the world if there is no world. This confounded me for a while this morning, but then I realized that God loves everything we do because of who we are. It is, perhaps, a poor analogy, but I do understand this love when I think of my children. They are all grown now and some have children of their own, and yet, I have pictures they drew for me when they were tiny. I have no idea what the images represent because they were so young when they drew them, but I love each one because I love the ones who drew them.

Then, Jesus says that what the world is, is but a fact and that we cannot choose what this should be. I think this is another way of saying that the script is written. I have resisted this idea for a long time because I didn’t want to believe that there was no way to change what must happen. I also could not reconcile miracles with an unchangeable world. Jesus says that a miracle is a change of mind and he also says that when the mind changes, the world must change as well.

I do not claim to have some kind of special knowledge and I think that there is much we cannot understand. But I also think that we are given an understanding that is helpful if we are open to receive. This means, we must empty our minds of what we believe in order to be enlightened. How can we be given an understanding if we think we already understand? I also believe that I have been given understandings that are helpful to me at the moment I receive them, and later, that understanding shifts, as I am ready for more. Helpfulness is the most important thing right now, rather than full understanding.

Here is an understanding that I have now about this part of the paragraph. When the tiny mad idea was conceived, it was conceived in every possible version of the world. We experienced all of them and now we remember the ones we want to remember and what we want is determined by what we choose to believe. So, for instance, I am remembering the story of Myron right now, and that story has many versions.

My purpose is to ask what the current chapter in this story is about so that I can be given a new way to see it and in this way to accept the Atonement or forgive it. If I do this consistently, I undo versions of the story and it drops away, not to be remembered again. And thousands of years are saved because I don’t revisit that version of the story of Myron, as it is now gone. I am not actually changing the world; I am choosing to continually refine the version of the world I want to experience until I am entirely through with this illusion.

I think that this is what happens when we Awaken here in the dream. We have undone the ideas that formed the world as we see it. The world continues because other aspects of our self are seemingly keeping the confused and chaotic version going through their desire to remember it. But no matter what it is we want to see in the world, it is still an illusion and it is an illusion that can be seen differently. Instead of seeing hatred and cruelty, an awakened mind sees a call for love and gives the love that is being called for.

When our mind is sufficiently healed, we will see the real world, which will not have the elements familiar to us through our belief in the ego. There will be no sickness, hatred, suffering, fear or death. Then God will take the final step and the world will disappear altogether, at least the world as we envision it. Perhaps the world will be transformed so that it is a world of light and love only without form of any kind that we would recognize. I only say that because of something I read in the Course that said God would honor what we made because of who we are.

I don’t know if this vision of things is correct or how correct it might be. But I do know that it is helpful because it contains that which is necessary. I am to look at the world and allow the Holy Spirit to show me how to see it. It also has the necessary elements of love of Creator for His creations, as well as the element of innocence. Everything else is just window dressing, but it does help me to envision a way this paragraph can make sense to me enough that I can use it.

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Study of Text, C 15: VIII. The Only Real Relationship, P 2. 5-11-18

VIII. The Only Real Relationship, P 2
2 Hear Him gladly, and learn of Him that you have need of no special relationships at all. You but seek in them what you have thrown away. And through them you will never learn the value of what you have cast aside, but still desire with all your heart. Let us join together in making the holy instant all that there is, by desiring that it be all that there is. God’s Son has such great need of your willingness to strive for this that you cannot conceive of need so great. Behold the only need that God and His Son share, and will to meet together. You are not alone in this. The will of your creations calls to you, to share your will with them. Turn, then, in peace from guilt to God and them.

Journal
Oh my! I want to answer this call from Jesus. I want to desire that the Holy Instant be all that there is. I want to share my will with my creations. I want to turn in peace from guilt. Turning from guilt is the answer to the rest and it is so simple that anyone can do it. And yet, I seem to struggle with this. It is not a struggle to notice guilt and turn away, but the struggle is that I seem to pick it back up again almost as fast as I let it go.

Even as I was thinking how much I want to do what Jesus is asking us to do in this paragraph, I realized that the moment before I was thinking that my daughter ignored my last two texts. She texted me, but it was not in answer to my questions, it was to ask me a favor. I felt resentful. This is the same thing as saying that she is guilty. It feels frustrating and discouraging that I keep doing this.

Would I turn my back on God, on Heaven, and on my creations just so that I can resent my daughter and see her as guilty? Apparently so, at least for a time until I come to my senses. Of course, I am not going to stop being vigilant for opportunities to choose again, but I will be so happy to finally convince myself that I never want to see anyone guilty again.

My efforts are making a dent in the belief in guilt. I don’t actually experience guilt as often as I used to and I always turn from it eventually and usually soon, so that is encouraging. Holy Spirit, I ask You for help. I want to give up on guilt as some kind of solution. I know that transferring my own sense of guilt to others isn’t helping and I even know that I am not guilty. How could I be? I am as God created me…still… regardless of appearances. Please purify my thoughts and heal my mind of all that is not truth. Thank you.

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Manual for Teachers: 10. HOW IS JUDGMENT RELINQUISHED? P 5. 5-9-18-18

10. HOW IS JUDGMENT RELINQUISHED? P 6
6 It is not difficult to relinquish judgment. But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it. The teacher of God lays it down happily the instant he recognizes its cost. All of the ugliness he sees about him is its outcome. All of the pain he looks upon is its result. All of the loneliness and sense of loss; of passing time and growing hopelessness; of sickening despair and fear of death; all these have come of it. And now he knows that these things need not be. Not one is true. For he has given up their cause, and they, which never were but the effects of his mistaken choice, have fallen from him. Teacher of God, this step will bring you peace. Can it be difficult to want but this?

Journal
I agree that it is painful to hold onto judgment. Clearly, I have no way to judge. Everything I know is just a perception and not really knowledge at all. And worse of all, when I do judge, I cause suffering. I don’t need to judge because I have within me One Who knows everything and will judge for me if I ask. Sometimes, though, it seems I will never get over this bad habit of judging. I notice so many judgmental thoughts in my mind during the course of the day.

This morning, I have decided to be more mindful of these judgments. In the past when I have noticed these thoughts, I have been giving them to the Holy Spirit to correct, but I dare say, I have not paid enough attention to this effort. Probably, I have fallen into the habit of giving lip service to the words and have not always given my attention to the importance of releasing the judgments. In releasing the judgmental thought, I am teaching myself that I want to let go of the desire to judge.

Today, I am asking the Holy Spirit to bring these judgments to my attention, and when He does so, I am fully committed to accepting correction for my errors. I don’t want to add to the misery we suffer as we keep these thoughts in our mind. I want to do this with enthusiasm and with joy knowing that I am helping us all awaken through my efforts. Letting go of the desire to judge will bring us all to the peace of God. It might seem like work to be vigilant, but the most important element in this decision is the unequivocal desire for freedom from the burden of judging. As Jesus says, “Can it be difficult to want but this?”

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