Seek Not Outside Yourself

Seek not outside yourself. 

For it will fail, 

and you will weep each time an idol falls. 

Heaven cannot be found where it is not, 

and there can be no peace excepting there. 

Each idol that you worship when God calls 

will never answer in His place. 

There is no other answer you can substitute 

and find the happiness His answer brings. 

Seek not outside yourself. 

For all your pain comes simply from a futile search for what you want, 

insisting where it must be found. 

What if it is not there? 

Do you prefer that you be right or happy? 

Be you glad that you are told where happiness abides 

and seek no longer elsewhere. 

You will fail. 

But it is given you to know the truth 

and not to seek for it outside yourself.

A Course In Miracles Ch.29 VIII

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This World Is An Illusion

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Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion and made it real. And it is real to you. It is not nothing and through its perceived reality has entered all the world of sick illusions. All belief in sin, in power of attack, in hurt and harm, in sacrifice and death has come to you. For no one can make one illusion real and still escape the rest. For who can choose to keep the ones which he prefers and find the safety that the truth alone can give? Who can believe illusions are the same and still maintain that even one is best?

Lead not your little lives in solitude with one illusion as your only friend. This is no friendship worthy of God’s Son, nor one with which he could remain content. Yet God has given him a better Friend in Whom all power in earth and Heaven rests. The one illusion that you think is friend obscures His grace and majesty from you and keeps His friendship and forgiveness from your welcoming embrace. Without Him you are friendless. Seek not another friend to take His place. There is no other friend. What God appointed has no substitute, for what illusion can replace the truth?

Who dwells with shadows is alone indeed, and loneliness is not the Will of God. Would you allow one shadow to usurp the throne that God appointed for your Friend if you but realized its emptiness has left yours empty and unoccupied? Make no illusion friend, for if you do, it can but take the place of Him whom God has called your Friend. And it is He who is your only Friend in truth. He brings you gifts that are not of this world, and only He to whom they have been given can make sure that you receive them. He will place them on your throne when you make room for Him on His.

A Course In Miracles Chapter 26.VI

This Holy Instant Would I Give To You.

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This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you.

You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth.

No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own.

And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end.

The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us.

We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.

Review Lesson 81

Lightoftheworld

The review lessons for today are

(61) I am the light of the world.

(62) Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.

But do not miss the introduction to these lessons, because what it tells you is spectacular.

Do not allow your intent to waver in the face of distracting thoughts. Realize that, whatever form such thoughts may 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.

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

You are always directed to the power of your mind, to the peace that is available to you as created by God. This peace is not found by knowing the right people, holding on to your possessions and judgments. It is not found in any of the thoughts that you think you think, it is not found in your belief that you are a body. Let it sink in that you are mind, you are pure mind. The peace of God is in you, and as you find it in yourself, you extend it to everyone and everything. It is not a taking, or a getting, it is a giving and receiving.

I am the light of the world.

How holy am I, who have been given the function of lighting up the world! Let me be still before my holiness. In its calm light let all my conflicts disappear. In its peace let me remember Who I am.
Some specific forms for applying this idea when special difficulties seem to arise might be:

Let me not obscure the light of the world in me.
Let the light of the world shine through this appearance.
This shadow will vanish before the light.

In the introduction Jesus asks you to take about fifteen minutes for each review, to begin by thinking about the ideas for the day. It is an assignment. It is your homework for today. You read the comments slowly and then close your eyes and listen. Someone is trying to tell you something.

Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.

It is through accepting my function that I will see the light in me. And in this light will my function stand clear and perfectly unambiguous before my sight. My acceptance does not depend on my recognizing what my function is, for I do not yet understand forgiveness. Yet I will trust that, in the light, I will see it as it is.
Specific forms for using this idea might include:

Let this help me learn what forgiveness means.
Let me not separate my function from my will.
I will not use this for an alien purpose.

It is no small thing that you are being offered today. Peace and light and love are in you, and you can experience them. In the application of today’s lesson forget for a moment everything you believe, let go of all the alliances you have forged to establish yourself as a body and as successful. Allow it all to collapse in on you, in your mind, so it can resurrect in truth. You are not a body, you are free. You are as God created you. This is the truth and you can experience it here and now.

The Light Of The World Brings Peace To Every Mind Through My Forgiveness

lightangel

Today’s lesson is very interesting. Look at the wording of the title. It is the perfect circle of Atonement.

The light of the world is you.
You bring peace to every mind.
It is through your forgiveness that peace is extended.

No sentence in A Course In Miracles is by chance. Every word has a complete purpose.

How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind! How blessed are you who can learn to recognize the means for letting this be done through you! What purpose could you have that would bring you greater happiness?

You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you. Accept no trivial purpose or meaningless desire in its place, or you will forget your function and leave the Son of God in hell. This is no idle request that is being asked of you. You are being asked to accept salvation that it may be yours to give.

This is no idle request that is being asked of you.

Idle:
lacking worth or basis, vain.
Not occupied or employed.
Shiftless, lazy.
Having no evident lawful means of support.

This is an active request, it requires action on your part. And you are fully supported in this, with all the help in the universe. It is completely valuable, since all you give, you give to yourself. And it is your function. Look at all that is said in one simple sentence and you feel grateful and completely taken care of. Accept salvation that it may be yours to give.

Recognizing the importance of this function, we will be happy to remember it very often today. We will begin the day by acknowledging it, and close the day with the thought of it in our awareness. And throughout the day we will repeat this as often as we can:

The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness. I am the means God has appointed for the salvation of the world.

If you close your eyes, you will probably find it easier to let the related thoughts come to you in the minute or two that you should devote to considering this. Do not, however, wait for such an opportunity. No chance should be lost for reinforcing today’s idea. Remember that God’s Son looks to you for his salvation. And Who but your Self must be His Son?

And Who But your Self must be His Son? It is again a full circle of Atonement. A Course In Miracles is a complete offering of salvation. All that is asked of you is to read the lesson and to apply it. You don’t have to understand it, you may not recognize the value of it, but it is the application that offers the experience. If you do not know, ask. All help is given you. Let the answer sink in. It has already been given, it is simply waiting for your acceptance.

Review Lesson 53

Lesson 53

Today’s review lessons are really a life saver. Jesus tells you in the Introduction that you will need your learning most in situations that appear to be upsetting, rather than in those that already seem to be calm and quiet. It’s easy to read the words to yourself when you are comfortable, they make perfect sense. But it is when everything is in uproar that you experience the true value of these lessons as you apply them to yourself.

(11) My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.
Since the thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything, the world that pictures them can have no meaning. What is producing this world is insane, and so is what it produces. Reality is not insane, and I have real thoughts as well as insane ones. I can therefore see a real world, if I look to my real thoughts as my guide for seeing.

(12) I am upset because I see a meaningless world.
Insane thoughts are upsetting.They produce a world in which there is no order anywhere. Only chaos rules a world that represents chaotic thinking, and chaos has no laws. I cannot live in peace in such a world. I am grateful that this world is not real, and that I need not see it at all unless I choose to value it. And I do not choose to value what is totally insane and has no meaning.

(13) A meaningless world engenders fear.
The totally insane engenders fear because it is completely undependable, and offers no grounds for trust. Nothing in madness is dependable. It holds out no safety and no hope. But such a world is not real. I have given it the illusion of reality, and have suffered from my belief in it. Now I choose to withdraw this belief, and place my trust in reality. In choosing this, I will escape all the effects of the world of fear, because I am acknowledging that it does not exist.

(14) God did not create a meaningless world.
How can a meaningless world exist if God did not create it? He is the Source of all meaning, and everything that is real is in His Mind. It is in my mind too, because He created it with me. Why should I continue to suffer from the effects of my own insane thoughts, when the perfection of creation is my home? Let me remember the power of my decision, and recognize where I really abide.

(15) My thoughts are images that I have made.
Whatever I see reflects my thoughts. It is my thoughts that tell me where I am and what I am. The fact that I see a world in which there is suffering and loss and death shows me that I am seeing only the representation of my insane thoughts, and am not allowing my real thoughts to cast their beneficent light on what I see. Yet God’s way is sure. The images I have made cannot prevail against Him because it is not my will that they do so. My will is His, and I will place no other gods before Him.

The recurring word being ‘meaningless’, these lessons offer you the experience that you are literally giving everything you see all the meaning it has for you. You value it, and so you see it. You don’t see what you don’t value, it is really that simple. So Jesus is working with your mind. This is no small thing. It is everything. And it does require some rigorous honesty. Finally you don’t concern yourself with appearances anymore. Idols fall away, be they persons or situations.

An awakened mind is open. It is absolutely aware of everything. It doesn’t deny pain, but looks directly at it, feels it and lets it be healed through the recognition of causation. It doesn’t teach something outside of itself that it is the cause of the pain it is feeling, it recognizes that it is Cause itself. There is indeed nothing outside you. Go inward. Let your mind be undone, let God’s Thoughts be uncovered in you. They are there. They are waiting for you.

God Is The Light In Which I See

Active Mind at 3 a.m

You cannot see in darkness, and you cannot make light. You can make darkness and then think you see in it, but light reflects life, and is therefore an aspect of creation. Creation and darkness cannot coexist, but light and life must go together, being but different aspects of creation.

In order to see, you must recognize that light is within, not without. You do not see outside yourself, nor is the equipment for seeing outside you. An essential part of this equipment is the light that makes seeing possible. It is with you always, making vision possible in every circumstance.

Today’s idea continues with the theme that has been expressed in the previous lessons in the workbook of A Course In Miracles. You are asked to look directly at what you think seeing is. Vision has nothing to do with the body’s eyes. It goes beyond it altogether. There is a light in you that is eternal, unchangeable, it is your natural inheritance as you were created by God. Every lesson in the workbook offers you a thought that leads you directly to the light within.

Today we are going to attempt to reach that light. For this purpose, we will use a form of exercise which has been suggested before, and which we will utilize increasingly. It is a particularly difficult form for the undisciplined mind, and represents a major goal of mind training. It requires precisely what the untrained mind lacks. Yet this training must be accomplished if you are to see.

It is a mind training. This is very much emphasized in the text. It is a re-directing of your focus from outward to inward. When the light in you is recognized, you will see it everywhere. But an untrained mind can accomplish nothing. And so Jesus tells you in the text:

All learning involves attention and study at some level. This course is a MIND- TRAINING course. Good students assign study periods for themselves. However, since this obvious step has not occurred to you, and since we are cooperating in this, I will make the obvious assignment now.

You’ve got some homework to do. You need to take time, effort, focus to learn what this course actually offers you. As you learn it, everything that you have overlearned in the past simply disappears because its meaninglessness is recognized.

Your mind is no longer wholly untrained. You are quite ready to learn the form of exercise we will use today, but you may find that you will encounter strong resistance. The reason is very simple. While you practice in this way, you leave behind everything that you now believe, and all the thoughts that you have made up. Properly speaking, this is the release from hell. Yet perceived through the ego’s eyes, it is loss of identity and a descent into hell.

Stand here for a moment and tremble not. You will be led directly into fear, but you will not be left there. This is directly from the course, and it is the fact of the matter. You will be directed to places in your mind that you have been unwilling to go to. And now you will go there, but not linger. Simply stand still and let all your beliefs and ideas be undone. This is a continuous process, it never stops. You, as a savior of the world. recognize your responsibility for what you see and you are allowing it to be undone in you. It is all that is required.

 

 

 

 

God Is My Source. I Cannot See Apart From Him.

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Perception is not an attribute of God. His is the realm of knowledge. Yet He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge. Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind. With this link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge. That is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it. Therefore, that is its function in truth.

As you read A Course In Miracles and practice the workbook, you start to realize that the body’s eyes don’t see at all. The first 50 lessons in the workbook direct you to the awareness that what you see is meaningless, that you look only with a past reference, therefore you can’t understand anything you see. It’s pretty uncompromising. You, as you experience yourself, are not seeing at all. You are merely looking at reflections of ideas in your own mind.

In God you cannot see. Perception has no function in God, and does not exist. Yet in salvation, which is the undoing of what never was, perception has a mighty purpose. Made by the Son of God for an unholy purpose, it must become the means for the restoration of his holiness to his awareness. Perception has no meaning. Yet does the Holy Spirit give it a meaning very close to God’s. Healed perception becomes the means by which the Son of God forgives his brother, and thus forgives himself.

You have been told that you are dreaming, and that you are the dreamer of the dream. That everything you thought was real, are actually things that you have made up and then projected outside of you. This mindtraining is not for the faint of heart. Are you willing to look at what you have made up and recognize its unreality? Everything that you have used to maintain the illusion can now be used, through the Holy Spirit, for your awakening. What you have made for an unholy purpose, can now be redirected to a holy purpose. You can see things differently, simply by changing your mind. You are not alone in this. You get all the help in the universe.

You cannot see apart from God because you cannot be apart from God. Whatever you do you do in Him, because whatever you think, you think with His Mind. If vision is real, and it is real to the extent to which it shares the Holy Spirit’s purpose, then you cannot see apart from God.

The offering of the workbook lesson is a sentence you can say to yourself all through the day. A reminder. A refocusing, A redirection. A remembering. To know again that you are as God created you. Not just in words, but in experience. With eyes open:

God is my Source. I cannot see this desk apart from Him

God is my Source. I cannot see that picture apart from Him.

With eyes closed:

I see through the eyes of forgiveness.

I see the world as blessed.

The world can show me myself.

You change your mind, inward, and you see things differently, outward. Cause and effect. You are the cause of what you see. You think it, then project it outward, and now it seems to be outside of you. Amazing, isn’t it. You may not believe it, it may seem to outrageous, but it is the fact of the matter and it is your salvation. When you recognize the power of your mind (to move mountains is the least you can do), you realize the importance of mindtraining.

God is my Source. I cannot see you apart from Him.

God is my Source. I cannot see this apart from Him.

I see my own thoughts, which are like God’s.

God Is My Strength. Vision Is His Gift.

vision

The idea for today combines two very powerful thoughts, both of major importance. It also sets forth a cause and effect relationship that explains why you cannot fail in your efforts to achieve the goal of the course. You will see because it is the Will of God. It is His strength, not your own, that gives you power. And it is His gift, rather than your own, that offers vision to you.

There is a strength that is available in this moment that is not of you. It is God’s strength, and today’s lesson directs your mind to it. Somewhere you know full well that there is a God and that He has nothing to do with your idea about Him. Ideas about God will always be limited to ideas about yourself. See yourself as a body and you will believe that God is a body. This is why Jesus, in A Course In Miracles and in the new testament, uses these ideas to their full advantage: “I place the future in the Hands of God”, “Father, into Thy Hands I command my spirit”.

God is indeed your strength, and what He gives is truly given. This means that you can receive it any time and anywhere, wherever you are, and in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time. Such is the strength of God. Such are His gifts.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter if you think you believe in God or not. In moments of distress, when all else has failed, even the greatest nonbeliever falls on his knees and starts to pray. God is with you. His Strength is yours. It is not limited in any way, nor defined as anything particular. You can see God in your brother, in a table, in a situation, in your Self.

Begin these practice periods by repeating the idea for today slowly, with your eyes open, looking about you. Then close your eyes and repeat the idea again, even slower than before. After this, try to think of nothing except thoughts that occur to you in relation to the idea for the day. You might think, for example:

Vision must be possible. God gives truly,

or

God’s gifts to me must be mine, because He gave them to me.

This is about the action of your mind. It is not about mindlessly repeating words. You are asked to say these words, to look at them, think about them, to find related thoughts. In short: to use your mind for the purpose in which it was created. God’s Thoughts are with you, but they have been clouded by meaningless thoughts of worry, anxiety and death, and even by limited ideas of happiness and holiness. You don’t have to do it anymore. You can re-direct your mind.

Remember, however, that active searching for relevant thoughts is not appropriate for today’s exercises. Try merely to step back and let the thoughts come. If you find this difficult, it is better to spend the practice period alternating between slow repetitions of the idea with eyes open, then with eyes closed, than it is to strain to find suitable thoughts.

There is no strain in this. As you apply your mind to the thought for today, let it find its own way. It knows where to go. It doesn’t really require a doing. It is an undoing. This Course is very simple, very reasonable. You are not asked to do more than you are able to. You have come far enough along now to step back and let God step in. And as you remember the Strength of God in you, vision is given in a way that is so easy you never thought it was possible.