Review Lesson 116

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We are still in the review lessons, and they are spectacular. Leave it to A Course In Miracles to let the Introduction and the repeating of a lesson be a complete experience in an of itself. Let’s take a look at what you are told by Jesus in the introduction to these reviews. It takes some rigorous honesty to read the confrontation that He offers you.

Our next review begins today.  We will review two recent lessons every day for ten successive days of practicing.  We will observe a special format for these practice periods, that you are urged to follow just as closely as you can.

We understand, of course, that it may be impossible for you to undertake what is suggested here as optimal each day and every hour of the day.  Learning will not be hampered when you miss a practice period because it is impossible at the appointed time.  Nor is it necessary that you make excessive efforts to be sure that you catch up in terms of numbers.  Rituals are not our aim, and would defeat our goal.

But learning will be hampered when you skip a practice period because you are unwilling to devote the time to it that you are asked to give.  Do not deceive yourself in this.  Unwillingness can be most carefully concealed behind a cloak of situations you cannot control.  Learn to distinguish situations that are poorly suited to your practicing from those that you establish to uphold a camouflage for your unwillingness.

You don’t get away with anything. Thank God for that. This Course is not some whishy-washy attempt at enlightenment, it is an undoing of a thought system that prevents you from experiencing the light that you are. It is a mind training. The Course starts out by telling you that you do not choose the curriculum, you can only decide what you want to do at any given time. So, you follow instructions. You listen carefully. You do as you are told. And you are given everything.

The format you should use for these reviews is this: Devote five minutes twice a day, or longer if you would prefer it, to considering the thoughts that are assigned.  Read over the ideas and comments that are written down for each day’s exercise.  And then begin to think about them, while letting your mind relate them to your needs, your seeming problems and all your concerns.

Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses.  Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you.  What can you trust but what is in your mind?  Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail.  The wisdom of your mind will come to your assistance.  Give direction at the outset; then lean back in quiet faith, and let the mind employ the thoughts you gave as they were given you for it to use.

It is beautiful to look at this. You place the thoughts within your mind, and then you trust your mind to use the thoughts as it sees fit. You are helped in this. All you need to is practice as you are asked.

You have been given them in perfect trust; in perfect confidence that you would use them well; in perfect faith that you would see their messages and use them for yourself.  Offer them to your mind in that same trust and confidence and faith.  It will not fail.  It is the Holy Spirit’s chosen means for your salvation.  Since it has His trust, His means must surely merit yours as well.

Beautiful words. Read them. Feel them use them. Now let’s take a look at the review lessons for today.

(101) God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.

God’s Will is perfect happiness for me. And I can suffer
but from the belief there is another will apart from His.

(102) I share God’s Will for happiness for me.

I share my Father’s Will for me, His Son.
What He has given me is all I want.
What He has given me is all there is.

What God wills for you is perfect happiness. It is, in fact, a happiness that has nothing to do with this world. It goes beyond time and space altogether. It comes down to an experience of surrender, the recognition that there is a Plan that is of God, that you are given everything you need. This can’t be understood conceptually, it has to be an experience. So ask for the experience. Let it be given you. Beyond your reasoning, beyond your fear to survive and exist, beyond everything you now think you know lies the Peace of God. It is this you truly want.

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My Happiness And My Function Are One

Happiness and function

You have surely noticed an emphasis throughout our recent lessons on the connection between fulfilling your function and achieving happiness. This is because you do not really see the connection. Yet there is more than just a connection between them; they are the same. Their forms are different, but their content is completely one.

The ego does constant battle with the Holy Spirit on the fundamental question of what your function is. So does it do constant battle with the Holy Spirit about what your happiness is. It is not a two-way battle. The ego attacks and the Holy Spirit does not respond. He knows what your function is. He knows that it is your happiness.

Today we will try to go past this wholly meaningless battle and arrive at the truth about your function. We will not engage in senseless arguments about what it is. We will not become hopelessly involved in defining happiness and determining the means for achieving it. We will not indulge the ego by listening to its attacks on truth. We will merely be glad that we can find out what truth is.

When Jesus mentions the ego in A Course In Miracles, he is really referring to your limited idea about yourself. The ego is you, as you see yourself separate from God and from everything. Every time you turn to your meaningless thoughts and give them value, you are basically saying ‘I am an ego’. And what you believe about yourself, you make true for you.

The ego is idolatry; the sign of limited and separated self, born in a body, doomed to suffer and to end its life in death.  It is the “will” that sees the Will of God as enemy, and takes a form in which it is denied. The ego is the “proof” that strength is weak and love is fearful, life is really death, and what opposes God alone is true.

Today you are asked not to indulge the ego. You do not have to listen to its attacks on truth and its focus on illusions. This is why it is a mind training. The thoughts of which you are aware, are not your real thoughts at all. You can go past them, beyond them lie the thoughts you think with God.

Our longer practice period today has as its purpose your acceptance of the fact that not only is there a very real connection between the function God gave you and your happiness, but that they are actually identical. God gives you only happiness. Therefore, the function He gave you must be happiness, even if it appears to be different. Today’s exercises are an attempt to go beyond these differences in appearance, and recognize a common content where it exists in truth.

Now you focus your attention on the truth. You activate your mind as you are reading this lesson, by letting it work in you, by letting related thoughts come to you. You are asked to look at the thoughts you are given, to really look at them and see how reasonable they are.

Begin the ten-to-fifteen-minute practice period by reviewing these thoughts:

God gives me only happiness.
He has given my function to me.
Therefore my function must be happiness.

Try to see the logic in this sequence, even if you do not yet accept the conclusion. It is only if the first two thoughts are wrong that the conclusion could be false. Let us, then, think about the premises for a while, as we are practicing.

When you are willing to look at these thoughts, when you allow them to enter your mind and work in you, there is an experience available that goes beyond the words altogether. This has nothing to do with study or homework as you remember it from a past experience, it really has only to do with a little willingness to let the words be true. There is no effort in this. The experience is given when you do the little that is asked of you.

The first premise is that God gives you only happiness. This could be false, of course, but in order to be false it is necessary to define God as something He is not. Love cannot give evil, and what is not happiness is evil. God cannot give what He does not have, and He cannot have what He is not. Unless God gives you only happiness, He must be evil. And it is this definition of Him you are believing if you do not accept the first premise.

The second premise is that God has given you your function. We have seen that there are only two parts of your mind. One is ruled by the ego, and is made up of illusions. The other is the home of the Holy Spirit, where truth abides. There are no other guides but these to choose between, and no other outcomes possible as a result of your choice but the fear that the ego always engenders, and the love that the Holy Spirit always offers to replace it.

Thus, it must be that your function is established by God through His Voice, or is made by the ego which you have made to replace Him. Which is true? Unless God gave your function to you, it must be the gift of the ego. Does the ego really have gifts to give, being itself an illusion and offering only the illusion of gifts?

Look at the reasonableness of this offering. It is not hard to grasp. It has nothing to do with intellect or intelligence as you see it. Let the meaning of these words be revealed to you. All you have to do is ask. Read the words, take your time with them, this is the most important thing you will do all day. It’s worth your while. The gift is eternal and true.

You will listen to madness or hear the truth. Try to make this choice as you think about the premises on which our conclusion rests. We can share in this conclusion, but in no other. For God Himself shares it with us. Today’s idea is another giant stride in the perception of the same as the same, and the different as different. On one side stand all illusions. All truth stands on the other. Let us try today to realize that only the truth is true.

A giant stride indeed, and with all the help in the universe you come to the only logical conclusion you can make. God gives only happiness. You are created by God. Happiness is your inheritance. What a great thing to remember. Beyond the body, beyond this world, lies an experience that is your natural state. Go there often today. And from there extend what you have been given. It will give you the rest and the happiness you seek.

My happiness and function are one, because God has given me both.

Lesson 83

There is really nothing left but to teach this message. Once you are in the experience of A Course In Miracles, you have to give it away. You have to give what you have received. You have to teach it to learn it. This goes beyond concepts, it is an experience. Once the light has entered, you have to extend it. If you hold on to it, try to keep it for yourself, or deny it, the darkness will be doubly dark.

Today’s review lesson shows you that you have a function that God gave you, and that your happiness lies in the fulfillment of that function. It is great to look at these lessons.

My only function is the one God gave me.
I have no function but the one God gave me. This recognition releases me from all conflict, because it means I cannot have conflicting goals. With one purpose only, I am always certain what to do, what to say and what to think. All doubt must disappear as I acknowledge that my only function is the one God gave me.

My happiness and my function are one.
All things that come from God are one. They come from Oneness, and must be received as one. Fulfilling my function is my happiness because both come from the same Source. And I must learn to recognize what makes me happy, if I would find happiness.

As you read these lessons and apply them, as you feel them working in you, one thing becomes perfectly clear. God has given you a function and there is nothing outside of that. You are then shown that this is where your happiness lies. Notice how the next lesson does not single out the word happiness, as if it has a value on its own. Your tendency will always be to give these lessons the meaning that they have for you. But read them, let them reveal themselves to you, and they will tell you what they mean. Today you are shown that your happiness lies only in doing your function, and nowhere else. You are not asked to define what happiness is. You are simply reminded that by doing your function, by letting God be God, your remember your Source and you become happy. It’s effortless. It doesn’t require any definition whatsoever. It is simply the acceptance of the truth of what you are. You are as God created you. You have a function. It is the only thing that will make you happy. It’s time to put your toys away and to be about your Father’s business.

Thanksgiving

Praying to Christ in anyone is true prayer because it is a gift of thanks to His Father. To ask that Christ be but Himself is not an entreaty. It is a song of thanksgiving for what you are. Herein lies the power of prayer. It asks nothing and receives everything. This prayer can be shared because it receives for everyone. To pray with one who knows that this is true is to be answered. Perhaps the specific form of resolution for a specific problem will occur to either of you; it does not matter which. Perhaps it will reach both, if you are genuinely attuned to one another. It will come because you have realized that Christ is in both of you. That is its only truth.

Today is Thanksgiving, a time you spend with family and friends. It is a good moment to look around you and be grateful for all that you have been given, it is also a good moment to go inward and remember your purpose. As you look around the room, around the dinner table, it is your decision to recognize the Christ in you and those you meet. As you recognize the Christ in whomever is sitting next to you, you recognize the Christ in yourself. What a gift. The beauty is in its simplicity. Salvation is not hard. Awakening is the simple recognition that there is nothing outside of you, nothing that can distract you from the knowledge that you are as God created you. Stand in this knowledge today, in the awareness of your Holiness, and give yourself away. There is no greater gift to give this Thanksgiving day.

I will not hurt myself again today.

Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain? Why should we teach them they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs? The mind that is made willing to accept God’s gifts has been restored to spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own. The Self Which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose today that He be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us.

Father, Your Son can not be hurt And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were.