23. Does Jesus Have a Special Place in Healing?

1. God’s gifts can rarely be received directly. Even the most advanced of God’s teachers will give way to temptation in this world. Would it be fair if their pupils were denied healing because of this? The Bible says, “Ask in the name of Jesus Christ.” Is this merely an appeal to magic? A name does not heal, nor does an invocation call forth any special power. What does it mean to call on Jesus Christ? What does calling on his name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing?

2. We have repeatedly said that one who has perfectly accepted the Atonement for himself can heal the world. Indeed, he has already done so. Temptation may recur to others, but never to this One. He has become the risen Son of God. He has overcome death because he has accepted life. He has recognized himself as God created him, and in so doing he has recognized all living things as part of him. There is now no limit on his power because it is the power of God. So has his name become the Name of God, for he no longer sees himself as separate from Him.

3. What does this mean for you? It means that in remembering Jesus you are remembering God. The whole relationship of the Son to the Father lies in him. His part in the Sonship is also yours, and his completed learning guarantees your own success. Is he still available for help? What did he say about this? Remember his promises and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. Can God fail His Son? And can one who is one with God be unlike him? Who transcends the body has transcended limitation. Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him?

4. The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world. It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray. It becomes the shining symbol for the Word of God, so close to what it stands for that the little space between the two is lost, the moment that the name is called to mind. Remembering the name of Jesus Christ is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which he is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. God enters easily, for these are the true conditions for your homecoming.

5. Jesus has led the way. Why would you not be grateful to him? He has asked for love, but only that he might give it to you. You do not love yourself. But in his eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father. You become the symbol of his Father here on earth. To you he looks for hope, because in you he sees no limit and no stain to mar your beautiful perfection. In his eyes Christ’s vision shines in perfect constancy. He has remained with you. Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his learning? Why would you choose to start again when he has made the journey for you?

6. No one on earth can grasp what heaven is, or what its one Creator really means. Yet we have witnesses. It is to them that wisdom should appeal. There have been those whose learning far exceeds what we can learn. Nor would we teach the limitations we have laid on us. No one who has become a true and dedicated teacher of God forgets his brothers. Yet what he can offer them is limited by what he learns himself. Then turn to one who laid all limits by and went beyond the farthest reaches of learning. He will take you with him, for he did not go alone. And you were with him then, as you are now.

7. This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. Are other teachers possible, to lead the way to those who speak in different tongues and appeal to different symbols? Certainly there are. Would God leave anyone without a very present help in time of trouble, a savior who can symbolize Himself? Yet do we need a many-faceted curriculum, not because of content differences, but because symbols must shift and change to suit the need. Jesus has come to answer yours. In him you find God’s answer. Do you, then, teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here.[1]

When we are called to study A Course in Miracles, Jesus Christ becomes real to us. He reaches out to us and speaks to us in words and tone and description that we can understand. We, who cannot love gods we fear, who threaten us, who enslave us, who throw temper tantrums, and pronounce war upon creation are given a Savior who symbolizes the love and grace of God Himself.  For the first time in our lives we come to Jesus, not in fear of what we must sacrifice to Him, not in shame for what humans, like us, have done to Him on the cross, not in false worship and flattery in hopes of becoming one of the elect who gets to go up in the Rapture while others are left behind to suffer and scream in agony.  We come to Jesus because like Him, we seek not salvation for ourselves alone. Like the One Who came and went past the farthest reaches of human learning and understanding, like Christ, we reach for the God Who Loves all of us – Who would never turn His back upon a single one of us, Who would never hold our desire for independence and our choice to be human against us. We turn to Christ because to turn to Christ is to become Christ, the Son of God.  It is Christ Who would change our minds about who and what we are and who and what we will to be.   

This is the season in which Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Christ.  He came to us, born in a stable with animals. He came to us by the same means that we all show up here – through the pain, humiliation, and bloodshed of childbirth. He bore it all. We may be tempted to make an idol of the crucifixion, to call upon Jesus’ blood, to call forth his naked mortification on the cross, however, let us remember that throughout the whole story of Christ’s time on earth, he forewent the loveliness, the bountifulness, the fun and true fellowship of Heaven to teach us that we sacrifice nothing by giving up the flesh, by giving up the temporal gifts of the world, by giving up the ego alternate to Creation, and accepting the truth about ourselves and God. 

Do not be afraid to stand for Christ, to accept the Sonship of God, to will with God, because to will with God is to will for what all of us really want.  We want to be saved from this – we are through with the fiction, the unhappiness, the disease, the death, the sorrow. Do your best this holiday season to see past the idols of the world – do not let Santa Claus be your reason for the season! Go to the stable of humanity and with courage, name it for what it really is – do not sacrifice Heaven for the sad story of flesh and blood, of nature that preys upon itself, the history of conflict, bloodshed and spoil we find behind the games, the glitz, and glitter that would stand in place of the Kingdom from Which we came and where we truly belong. 

Today in your personal devotion, recognize the part that Jesus plays in our healing and salvation. Bring your cold heart to His warmth and goodness. Forgive those who in His name would offend your sensibilities. None of us are perfect and all of us are trying our best to find our way in a maze that is designed for us to seek but never find! All of us say and do things that others find offensive; no matter how strong the Spirit within, the flesh is weak. We are not here to judge and condemn others, to harden our hearts toward each other, but to practice the forgiveness and mercy, the grace and beauty of spirit that will restore us to the constant Love that comes only from God. This Love calls to us, awakens us, and restores our consciousness to the Kingdom within us. 

To sacrifice the Love of God, the Brotherhood of Christ, for the dim-witted, ill-mannered, disrespectful death sentence of the world is insanity. To see this is to have hope; to have hope is to give hope; to give hope is to stand with Christ and teach in His Name. This is my calling, and it is your calling for Christ calls to all. Today commit to the practice of letting your lack of understanding, your earthly sorrows and disappointments, your mistakes and misgivings, your spiritual highs and your spiritual lows teach you to reach for the High Mind of Christ for He is always with you and will never forsake you.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 23. Does Jesus have a special place in healing? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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22. How Are Healing and Atonement Related?

1. Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. It is the one complete concept possible in this world, because it is the source of a wholly unified perception. Partial Atonement is a meaningless idea, just as special areas of hell in Heaven are inconceivable. Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. To forgive is to heal. The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. What is there, then, he cannot heal? What miracle can be withheld from him?

2. The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations, but this is comparatively rare. The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest?

3. That forgiveness is healing needs to be understood if the teacher of God is to make progress. The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego thought system. This thought gives the body autonomy, separates it from the mind, and keeps the idea of attack inviolate. If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible. A body that can order a mind to do as it sees fit could merely take the place of God and prove salvation is impossible. What, then, is left to heal? The body has become lord of the mind. How could the mind be returned to the Holy Spirit unless the body is killed? And who would want salvation at such a price?

4. Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision. Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick. Perhaps he can accept the idea in theory, but it is rarely if ever consistently applied to all specific forms of sickness, both in the individual’s perception of himself and of all others as well. Nor is it at this level that the teacher of God calls forth the miracle of healing. He overlooks the mind and body, seeing only the face of Christ shining in front of him, correcting all mistakes and healing all perception. Healing is the result of the recognition, by God’s teacher, of who it is that is in need of healing. His recognition has no special reference. It is true of all things that God created. In it are all illusions healed.

5. When a teacher of God fails to heal, it is because he has forgotten who he is. Another’s sickness thus becomes his own. In allowing this to happen, he has identified with another’s ego, and has thus confused him with the body. In so doing, he has refused to accept the Atonement for himself, and can hardly offer it to his brother in Christ’s name. He will, in fact, be unable to recognize his brother at all, for his Father did not create bodies, and so he is seeing in his brother only the unreal. Mistakes do not correct mistakes, and distorted perception does not heal. Step back now, teacher of God. You have been wrong. Lead not the way, for you have lost it. Turn quickly to your Teacher and let yourself be healed.

6. The offer of Atonement is universal. It is equally applicable to all individuals in all circumstances. And in it is the power to heal all individuals of all forms of sickness. Not to believe this is to be unfair to God, and thus unfaithful to Him. A sick person perceives himself as separate from God. Would you see him as separate from you? It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick. It is your function to recognize for him that what he believes about himself is not the truth. It is your forgiveness that must show him this. Healing is very simple. Atonement is received and offered. Having been received, it must be accepted. It is in the receiving, then, the healing lies. All else must follow from the single purpose.

7. Who can limit the power of God himself? Who, then, can say that one can be healed of what, and what must remain beyond God’s power to forgive? This is insanity indeed. It is not up to God’s teachers to set limits upon Him, because it is not up to them to judge His Son. And to judge His Son is to limit his Father. Both are equally meaningless. Yet this will not be understood until God’s teacher recognizes that they are the same mistake. Herein does he receive Atonement, for he withdraws his judgment from the Son of God, accepting him as God created him. No longer does he stand apart from God, determining where healing should be given and where it should be withheld. Now can he say with God, “This is my beloved Son, created perfect and forever so.”[1]

We accept Atonement when we no longer see ourselves as separate from God. This is our healing, for there can be no sickness in God. God takes no glory in suffering, pain, or sorrow of any kind. God is not the author of the idea of punishment or vengeance or spite.  To believe that our bodies are a whipping post for God’s vengeance; that He desires our blood, and our mortification are the very ideas that promote the idea of separation and sickness in the first place.  Let us come to the Father and give up all that would offend His eternal love and undying devotion to us, His Son. 

Today ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind to the message of this passage.  Healing and Atonement are identical.  We offer healing and Atonement to others every time we see others as part of the Sonship; every time we refrain from judging others by their humanity rather than their divinity; every time we stand for God’s Love, His Mercy and Grace.  If we fail to see others as we see Christ, we are unfaithful to God because we are choosing to see through the carnal eyes of judgment rather than the Vision of Christ which saves and heals all. 

When we commit our lives to God, we are no longer ashamed to share what is written upon our hearts and minds because what is written upon my heart and mind is written upon yours as well.  We no longer sit in judgment and condemnation of others because we know that the things that transpire in the world do not tell the real story. The deluded dream of the denuded son of man has been forgiven – already.  It is a thing of the past – history. To join with others in a sense of alarm, worldly concern, or castigating and throwing darts at this poor “boy” is not worthy of a teacher of God.  To try to “help” this symbol of separation in worldly measures only maintains cycles of ignorance and pain.  We are called to accept Atonement for ourselves. When we accept Atonement for ourselves, we accept forgiveness and healing for everyone, for we are one. 

Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Ours are the ears that hear the Voice of God proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds which join together as we bless the world. And from the oneness that we have attained, we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy.[2]

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 22. How are healing and atonement related? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II 14 What am I? 4. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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21. What Is The Role Of Words In Healing?

1. Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing. The motivating factor is prayer, or asking. What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying. Sometimes the words and the prayer are contradictory; sometimes they agree. It does not matter. God does not understand words, for they were made by separated minds to keep them in the illusion of separation. Words can be helpful, particularly for the beginner, in helping concentration and facilitating the exclusion, or at least the control, of extraneous thoughts. Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality.

2. As symbols, words have quite specific references. Even when they seem most abstract, the picture that comes to mind is apt to be very concrete. Unless a specific referent does occur to the mind in conjunction with the word, the word has little or no practical meaning, and thus cannot help the healing process. The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience in the opinion of the asker. The words, then, are symbols for the things asked for, but the things themselves but stand for the experiences that are hoped for.

3. The prayer for things of this world will bring experiences of this world. If the prayer of the heart asks for this, this will be given because this will be received. It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks. If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own. The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests. Herein lie hell and Heaven. The sleeping Son of God has but this power left to him. It is enough. His words do not matter. Only the Word of God has any meaning because it symbolizes that which has no human symbols at all. The Holy Spirit alone understands what this Word stands for. And this, too, is enough.

4. Is the teacher of God, then, to avoid the use of words in his teaching? No, indeed! There are many who must be reached through words, being as yet unable to hear in silence. The teacher of God must, however, learn to use words in a new way. Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, “I will step back and let Him lead the way.” The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks.  

5. A major hindrance in the aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby, self-perception which he would leave behind. Judge not the words that come to you but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself.[1]

Words are symbols. The word “apple,” is not an apple. I cannot eat the word “apple,” nor touch or smell it; I cannot ask my husband to make me his delicious apple custard pie with the mere word “apple.”  Today Jesus brings this concern home to us in our devotional text. When we come to our practice, we do not concern ourselves so much with words for we come in Spirit, and we come in truth. When we come to God for our healing, there is no magic way in which we are to pray; there is no certain order of words that pleases God more than another.  Please do not get caught up in the poor practice of teaching a certain formula for the words of prayer, which applies to healing and otherwise. While it is wonderful to fall back on, for instance, the Lord’s Prayer when we feel empty and unable to pray with our own words, let the Spirit of the Lord’s Prayer be our guide rather than saying the words by rote.  Rote prayers are disrespectful and meaningless unless we are using them to direct our minds to the practice to Christ – when our minds are attuned to Christ, we can put aside the memorized prayers and speak to God from the here and now.  This is the way to bring healing to every relationship and situation in which we find ourselves.

So let us not ask for illusions in our hearts.  There are times we may ask for proof that the things we are learning are true; that we can depend upon our teaching; that we actually do have the freedom and liberty of Spirit even while we are in the flesh.  When we ask for illusions, we will receive illusions and we will believe that the illusions are from God.  Herein lie hell and Heaven.  Both in my personal life and in the lives of others, I have witnessed how the requests of our heart are answered – we get what we ask for in our hearts. “She got what she deserved,” is usually, but not always, an expression used negatively in terms of judgment of others.  But what we are mostly consciously unaware of is that this realm is set up to give us what we ask for – it ignores our words and gives us exactly what we need to learn in our need of return to God. 

Only the Word of God has any meaning because it is a symbol which no human symbol, perception, or image can touch. We must not mistake any “holy” text for the Word of God. We must not mistake A Course in Miracles for the Word of God. There are no words written in any language or spoken by any tongue that know the Word of God. Only Holy Spirit understands and knows what the Word of God is and what it stands for.  The closer we become to the Holy Spirit within, the more reverent and respectful we become to the thoughts of God. 

It is imperative as a teacher of God that we refrain from using our own words which always reflect our own judgments when we try to help or heal in any particular situation or circumstance. It is far better to be quiet and go within than to be the one that always jumps in and has the answer!  We must learn to listen, hear, and then speak – this means that we are thoughtful, reflective, and quiet in our responses to others.  This engenders far more respect for the Sonship  than when we promote our own opinions, observations, and judgments upon others, let their distracting, destructive behavior, questions, or intrusions incite our tempers, or otherwise trigger an ego-based response.  When Holy Spirit speaks through the words we say, we may share how it is done to encourage confidence and trust in others, but only in rare instances when prompted by Holy Spirit.  However, in most cases, the work of the Spirit is quiet and will become such a natural state for us that it will no longer be remarkable. This comes, of course, only after our egos are put in their proper place, which is no place in our mind, thoughts, or deeds! 

Be assured, we can trust in the Voice for God within. As we practice learning to know this Voice, Holy Spirit becomes our constant Guide. It is a loving Voice. There are no accusations in it. There is no spite or meanness.  There is only helpfulness and healing.  As we put all our trust in the Voice for God, we recognize our own holy Self through Holy Spirit and in the holy Spirit of Christ within.  The Voice for God is God’s gift to all of us. We do not have to beg for Holy Spirit, we must simply accept that God is not the Abandoner, there is His Spirit within each one of us, for God would never leave us comfortless or alone.  When we get past our fear of God and accept His Presence in our lives, the shabby perception we have of ourselves that comes with our flesh and blood experience is left behind. It falls away! When we reach for the High Mind of Christ within, we can offer others the quiet words that come to us through the all-knowing Holy Spirit in confidence and in trust.

Do not mistake the showy, loud, and clamorous for Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is not a show-off nor does Holy Spirit ever seek attention, need flattery, or praise.  We will know we are walking in Spirit by our desire for no earthly glory, no fleshly recognition, no desire for recompense, or compliments of any kind.  When we get past our human need for notice, for self-promotion, for getting credit – we experience Sonship. In Sonship all glory and praise, all gratitude and appreciation, all love and devotion are given and received in the oneness and unity we have with God.  This is the Call of Heaven, and this is what we reach for as those who live for God and have answered His call to teach and to heal. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 21. What is the role of words in healing? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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20. What is the Peace of God?

1. It has been said that there is a kind of peace that is not of this world. How is it recognized? How is it found? And being found, how can it be retained? Let us consider each of these questions separately, for each reflects a different step along the way.

2. First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. It brings with it no past associations. It is a new thing entirely. There is a contrast, yes, between this thing and all the past. But strangely, it is not a contrast of true differences. The past just slips away and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything.

3. How is the quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless and must believe that it cannot exist. In this condition, peace cannot be found. Therefore, forgiveness is the necessary condition for finding the peace of God. More than this, given forgiveness there must be peace. For what except attack will lead to war? And what but peace is opposite to war? Here the initial contrast stands out clear and apparent. Yet when peace is found, the war is meaningless. And it is conflict now that is perceived as nonexistent and unreal.

4. How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. Now must you once again lay down your sword, although you do not recognize that you have picked it up again. But you will learn, as you remember even faintly now what happiness was yours without it, that you must have taken it again as your defense. Stop for a moment now and think of this: Is conflict what you want, or is God’s peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die?

5. Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see; that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape because it is not life in which the problem lies. Life has no opposite, for it is God. Life and death seem to be opposites because you have decided death ends life. Forgive the world and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is.

6. What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict, for His Will is yours. Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? The Will of God is one, and all there is. This is your heritage. The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belong to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him.[1]

In today’s devotional reading, we are reminded that God’s peace is the only peace there is. Just as the world does not know what justice is, so the world does not know what peace is. God’s peace is the condition of His Will, and His Will is my will and your will. Created in peace; we were not created to be angry, to do cruel things to each other, to make weapons to terrorize, maim, and destroy.  Created in peace, we were not made to be stressed, to have worries and cares, to labor and sacrifice, to go without while others glut themselves on what we do not have. This is not the nature of our Creator nor is it the nature of our true, eternal Selves as His Son.

When we come to the end of our tiny frail imaginations that devise all manner of opposition to God and to His Peace, when we put down our weapons, when we stop chasing after things that ruin our health and weaken our well-being, when we stop using our gifts against others and begin to share our gifts with others, we discover the quiet peaceful Self that is the Will of God. This is the Self that is Christ in us. We say Christ for Christ is the symbol of Sonship. No longer identifying with the fleshy self, the greedy self, the ego self, we go beyond its petty peeves and grievances, its longstanding grudges and resentments, its calls to chase after worldly wealth and status, its perpetual need for specialness, attention, and flattery.  For in Christ we recognize our oneness and in oneness we find no desire to be above others, to be angry when others do not give us our due.  In oneness we make no demands from anyone or anything, for we have everything we want and need in Christ.   

We come to God in Spirit and in Truth. God is a God of wholeness and there is no wholeness in factious factions, in meanspirited comparisons and competitions, in brother against brother. We come to God when we put down our enmity, overcome our differences, overlook our mistakes. We come to God arm in arm and heart to heart. We come to God holding no condemnation toward others, toward ourselves, toward the world, for we know that what God creates cannot be divided, cannot be derisive, cannot decay, become diseased, or die. We come to God in Christ for only in the peace of Sonship can we remember Him and know God as our Father, unfailing in His Love.

Spend time today meditating upon the peace of God. God’s Will and our will are one – for there is only one true Will that we share with God.  This is God’s gift to us. All the other things we think we want, our vain fantasies, our separate ambitions, our chasing after this and yearning after that – distract us from the one condition that awakens our consciousness to the memory of God.  Practice peace by reaching for peace. Pray for peace and agree with peace by bringing all your vain desires to the inner altar and laying them down before Holy Spirit. Will with God by recognizing the world cannot give you what you really want and need.  Attain God’s peace and accept your heritage in Him. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 20. What is the peace of God? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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18. How is Correction Made?

1. Correction of a lasting nature,—and only this is true correction,—cannot be made until the teacher of God has ceased to confuse interpretation with fact, or illusion with truth. If he argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has “proved,” both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. And this can only be impossible. Reality is changeless. Magic thoughts are but illusions. Otherwise salvation would be only the same age-old impossible dream in but another form. Yet the dream of salvation has new content. It is not the form alone in which the difference lies.

2. God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. Through them, the Holy Spirit can now speak of the reality of the Son of God. Now He can remind the world of sinlessness, the one unchanged, unchangeable condition of all that God created. Now He can speak the Word of God to listening ears and bring Christ’s vision to eyes that see. Now is He free to teach all minds the truth of what they are, so they will gladly be returned to Him. And now is guilt forgiven, overlooked completely in His sight and in God’s Word.

3. Anger but screeches, “Guilt is real!” Reality is blocked out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word. The body’s eyes now “see;” its ears alone can “hear.” Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless. Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:

You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.

4. In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his Eternal Guide and let Him judge what the response should be. So is he healed and in his healing is his pupil healed with him. The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to hear?[1]

When we allow all our mistakes to be corrected, it means that we do not hold some back because we are afraid of looking at our past, because we are afraid of how we may have hurt someone or caused them to hate us. The world has nothing on us. We have accepted Atonement for ourselves.

No matter what we bring up about each other – it cannot hurt us or change who we are. It has no effect upon our eternal place in God’s heart as His Son.  Whether in your estimation I am worthy to live for God and be called to teach God, because I have accepted the identity offered to me through Christ, I am worthy – and your opinion about the matter has no influence over me.  No matter what you bring up about my past, my present, or the future, because I have accepted Atonement for myself, none of it matters. It is a flesh story, and that story will die because it never really lived. It means nothing because the whole thing was made up by our perceptions of something we could not begin to understand without the All-seeing, All-knowing Love of God.

While the Voice for God will always speak for God’s love, grace and mercy; the clamor of ego screeches angrily, clamoring for guilt, for shame, for punishment. This is the chant of the world; its aim in direct opposition to the goal of God. God lovingly awaits our  return to Him in Spirit and in truth; while the world would keep us trapped in the flesh, in ongoing cycles of karmic retribution, pain, suffering, drama, and trauma.  Giving up the drama and trauma of the world is to regain the knowledge of God. 

Correction is made in our minds and hearts as we learn by contrast the result of the responses we make to the world. When we respond in Spirit we will receive an increase of love, joy, and peace because we gave an increase of love, joy, and peace. When we respond in the flesh we do not increase love, joy and peace. Instead we will deplete others and thus deplete ourselves. Perhaps we thought that bringing others low would lift us up, but when we practice this, we find that it does not work that way.

These are lessons that everyone will learn in their own good time. We can only teach by living this ourselves. We learn by our mistakes when we let them be corrected; not by a matter of willing ourselves to be “good,” for a good human and a bad human are the same thing – human. As teachers of God, we go beyond humanity. In Spirit our goodness is not attributed to humanity, because we know the only goodness is God’s goodness.  The goodness of God does not turn to dust; it does not change its mind; it does not come with strings attached. The goodness of God is extended to all, not accorded by the ego’s petty judgments and preferences.  . When we reach for the High Mind of Christ, we learn that the random, chaotic perceptions of flesh are not real. As we devote ourselves to the practice of God, the perceptions of flesh can no longer distract or dismay us as they did before. We learn to no longer rely on our interpretation of others, events, and situations.  We realize that our interpretations are not the truth of the matter. We know that God reigns in all ways and forever. His Love remains the only thing there is, and we are like Him.  When we have fully accepted this, Atonement is complete in our lives. Because we can no longer condemn ourselves, we cannot condemn others, and when we stop condemning each other, we are healed. 

This is our correction. This is the miracle. This is how correction is made. It is a matter of changing one’s mind about Who and What is in charge of it, and Who and What we really are. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 18. How is correction made? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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19. What is Justice?

1. Justice is the divine correction for injustice. Injustice is the basis for all judgments of the world. Justice corrects the interpretations to which injustice gives rise and cancels them out. Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit’s verdict upon the world. Except in His judgment justice is impossible, for no one in the world is capable of making only just interpretations and laying all injustices aside. If God’s Son were fairly judged, there would be no need for salvation. The thought of separation would have been forever inconceivable.

2. Justice, like its opposite, is an interpretation. It is, however, the one interpretation that leads to truth. This becomes possible because, while it is not true in itself, justice includes nothing that opposes truth. There is no inherent conflict between justice and truth; one is but the first small step in the direction of the other. The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases, and time ends with it. But somewhere one must start. Justice is the beginning.

3. All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body’s eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. Selectively and arbitrarily is every concept of the world built up in just this way. “Sins” are perceived and justified by careful selectivity in which all thought of wholeness must be lost. Forgiveness has no place in such a scheme, for not one “sin” but seems forever true.

4. Salvation is God’s justice. It restores to your awareness the wholeness of the fragments you perceive as broken off and separate. And it is this that overcomes the fear of death. For separate fragments must decay and die, but wholeness is immortal. It remains forever and forever like its Creator, being one with Him. God’s Judgment is His justice. Onto this,—a Judgment wholly lacking in condemnation; an evaluation based entirely on love, —you have projected your injustice, giving God the lens of warped perception through which you look. Now it belongs to Him and not to you. You are afraid of Him, and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.

5. Pray for God’s justice and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. God’s justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. It accepts all evidence that is brought before it, omitting nothing and assessing nothing as separate and apart from all the rest. From this one standpoint does it judge, and this alone. Here all attack and condemnation become meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see![1]

In today’s devotional text, Jesus tells us that the world does not know what justice is – for there can be no justice in a world of brokenness, in a world of the haves and the have nots, in a world where a sense of the wholeness and holiness of God is missing. We pray then for the justice of God for God’s justice is the only justice there is – it is a justice based upon forgiveness and mercy and grace for this is the only salvation for an impossible world.

In an impossible, implausible world where brokenness and division are about as good as it gets, where separate fragments of the whole must decay and die, where immortality and wholeness seem a piper’s dream – mistakes are seen as sin and held as forever true. What you do in one moment can define you for the rest of your life, you will be held accountable for a decision, a weakness, a poor choice for the remainder of your days. And death will not be the end of the story for the world will devise a hellish place for you to continue to suffer after your fleshly demise. 

We are to pray for God’s justice and not to confuse what we think of as mercy with the real mercy of God. For our justice and mercy comes with a sense of punishment and shame, guilt and condemnation; while God’s justice points only to our return to Him. God’s mercy is the healing of all perception, the correction of every mistake, the undoing of every dark thought and dark deed.  What had been lost is now found in God’s justice because God’s justice brings peace, and our salvation is in the light of His Love. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 19. What is justice? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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17. How Do God’s Teachers Deal With Magic Thoughts?

1. This is a crucial question both for teacher and pupil. If this issue is mishandled, the teacher of God has hurt himself and has also attacked his pupil. This strengthens fear, and makes the magic seem quite real to both of them. How to deal with magic thus becomes a major lesson for the teacher of God to master. His first responsibility in this is not to attack it. If a magic thought arouses anger in any form, God’s teacher can be sure that he is strengthening his own belief in sin and has condemned himself. He can be sure as well that he has asked for depression, pain, fear, and disaster to come to him. Let him remember, then, it is not this that he would teach, because it is not this that he would learn.

2. There is, however, a temptation to respond to magic in a way that reinforces it. Nor is this always obvious. It can, in fact, be easily concealed beneath a wish to help. It is this double wish that makes the help of little value and must lead to undesired outcomes. Nor should it be forgotten that the outcome that results will always come to teacher and to pupil alike. How many times has it been emphasized that you give but to yourself? And where could this be better shown than in the kinds of help the teacher of God gives to those who need his aid? Here is his gift most clearly given him. For he will give only what he has chosen for himself. And in this gift is his judgment upon the holy Son of God.

3. It is easiest to let error be corrected where it is most apparent, and errors can be recognized by their result. A lesson truly taught can lead to nothing but release for teacher and pupil, you have shared in one intent. Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered. And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy. The single aim of the teacher turns the divided goal of the pupil into one direction, with the call for help becoming his one appeal. This then is easily responded to with just one answer, and this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly. From there it shines into his pupil’s mind, making it one with his.

4. Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. Regardless, too, of the intensity of the anger that is aroused. It may be merely slight irritation, perhaps too mild to be even clearly recognized. Or it may also take a form of intense rage, accompanied by thoughts of violence, fantasized or apparently acted out. It does not matter. All of these reactions are the same. They obscure the truth, and this can never be a matter of degree. Either truth is apparent, or it is not. It cannot be partially recognized. Who is unaware of truth must look upon illusions.

5. Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. Consider what this reaction means, and its centrality in the world thought system becomes apparent. A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. It states, in the clearest form possible, that the mind which believes it has a separate will that can oppose the will of God, also believes it can succeed. That this can hardly be a fact is obvious. Yet that it can be believed as fact is equally obvious. And herein lies the birthplace of guilt. Who usurps the place of God and takes it for himself now has a deadly “enemy.” And he must stand alone in his protection and make himself a shield to keep him safe from fury that can never be abated, and vengeance that can never be satisfied.

6. How can this unfair battle be resolved? Its ending is inevitable, for its outcome must be death. How, then, can one believe in one’s defenses? Magic again must help. Forget the battle. Accept it as a fact, and then forget it. Do not remember the impossible odds against you. Do not remember the immensity of the “enemy,” and do not think about your frailty in comparison. Accept your separation, but do not remember how it came about. Believe that you have won it, but do not retain the slightest memory of who your great opponent really is. Projecting your “forgetting” unto Him, it seems to you He has forgotten, too.

7. But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but reawaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, “You have usurped the place of God. Think now He has forgotten.” Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. For in that thought has guilt already raised madness to the throne of God Himself. And now there is no hope. Except to kill. Here is salvation now. An angry father pursues his guilty son. Kill or be killed, for here alone is choice. Beyond this there is none, for what was done cannot be done without. The stain of blood can never be removed, and anyone who bears this stain on him must meet with death.

8. Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God himself. There is a way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. Given that, the lessons manifest simplicity stands out like an intense white light against a black horizon, for such it is. If anger comes with an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. Now it is possible to take the next step. The interpretation can be changed at last. Magic thoughts need not lead to condemnation, for they do not really have the power to give rise to guilt. And so they can be overlooked, and thus forgotten in the truest sense.

9. Madness but seems terrible. In truth it has no power to make anything. Like the magic which becomes its servant, it neither attacks nor protects. To see it and to recognize its thought systems is to look on nothing. Can nothing give rise to anger? Hardly so. Remember, then, teacher of God, that anger recognizes the reality that is not there; yet is the anger certain witness that you do believe in it as fact. Now is escape impossible, until you see you have responded to your own interpretation, which you have projected on an outside world. Let this grim sword be taken from you now. There is no death. This sword does not exist. The fear of God is causeless. But His love is cause of everything beyond all fear, and thus forever real and always true.[1]

Before we can deal with magic thoughts we must know what they are and be clear about distinguishing magic thoughts from the real thoughts of God.  Magic thoughts are beliefs in the illusion – they are based upon our limited, tiny, self-centered perspective on the encounters, relationships, events, and circumstances that seem to happen in the outer world.  Magic thoughts are the result of listening to the small-minded, dim-witted, stunted opinions of others instead of turning to the truth of God.  Magical thoughts will tell us not only what the problem is but the best way to fix it. We will often think we are helping others by pointing out their problems and telling them the best way in which they can lose weight, be more healthy, get closer to God, be more productive at work, have a more solid marriage, or raise healthy, well-adjusted kids.  This is magical thinking because it simply does not work.  When I try to fix your supposed problems, I am denying that your problem is only a problem when not seen in the light of God’s Love and Truth. 

When we teach the reality of God and His Truth, we can depend upon our “problems” turning into the blessed and perfect learning tools that further our growth, our understanding, and our return to God.  Seen through the lens of the world, our problems seem insurmountable, heartbreaking, and eternal.  However, when we ask Holy Spirit to give us the vision of Christ, the very people who cause us the most grief, the situations that challenge us the most, the mistakes that make us hang our head in shame and sorrow – are all transformed into cause for laughter and joy filling our heart with gratitude for our release from the dark illusion.

 As long as I see you as the one who hurt me, the one who mocked me, the one who stole my special place and tried to make it yours – I will be caught up in the magical thinking that maintains the karmic cycles of this world.  I will lay in bed at night reliving those angry words you yelled at me; I will get embarrassed all over again thinking of how you made fun of my accomplishments and got others to laugh with you over my failures; I will plot and scheme on what I can do to teach you a lesson, turn others against you, and tell everybody I can about your deceit, betrayal, and sins.  As long as I engage in this kind of magical thinking, I think that somehow by lowering myself into the illusion of separation and division, I will get you back for what you did to me.  Magical thinking assures me that seeing you suffer, seeing you lonely, seeing you stripped of all your friends and family and wealth and health – will make me happy, will make me special, will restore to me all that you took from me. 

This of course does not bring joy to anybody; it does not bring healing; it does not bring correction.  As teachers of God, this is not what we do nor what we teach. For magical thinking is always the result of an interpretation of others, of ourselves, of situations, and encounters that give rise to negativity and there is never any justification at all for negativity because negativity is part of the nothingness.  As a teacher of God whenever we encounter the slightest bit of negativity in our feelings toward anything or anybody – no matter the degree – we call upon Holy Spirit for the truth of the matter. Otherwise we will revert to magical thinking and believe that our anger, our sorrow, our grief, our annoyance is justified and the lessons we were to learn and teach from the encounter, the healing and correction that was to come from it – will be delayed.

When we mistakenly try to take the place of God in our lives, we lose our trust in Him. We say things like, “I have trusted in God long enough.  Now I have to take charge of this situation. Now I must figure out a way to protect myself.”  Instead of looking within and asking Holy Spirit for truth, we get caught up in the drama and trauma, we begin to believe that the world is real and that we have good reason to hate, to take up arms, to go to our own defense.  We find ourselves fighting battles, ruining our health, and losing our sense of well-being over things that amount to nothing.  Our reaction to all such magical thinking is to, with patience and abundant willingness, remind ourselves to overlook for as many times as we need to overlook –  the madness of the world. When we consciously choose to disengage from the mad sense that we are in charge, that others owe us an apology or a thank you or anything at all; the truth which lies beyond all human perception becomes apparent to us. The more we lift our minds to the High Mind of Christ, we learn that there is nothing about the world or anything in it  that gives rise to anger, sorrow, depression, or grief.  For we learn to tell the difference between reality and nothingness in order to teach it.  As we learn to let go of the magical thinking of the world, the fear we have of God is replaced by utmost love and deepest devotion for we recognize His Love is the Cause of everything beyond this world of fear and fiction.  His Love is the only reality.  and it is always true. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 17. How do God’s teachers deal with magic thoughts? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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16. How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?

1. To the advanced teacher of God this question is meaningless. There is no program, for the lessons change each day. Yet the teacher of God is sure of but one thing; they do not change at random. Seeing this and understanding that it is true, he rests content. He will be told all that his role should be this day and every day. And those who share that role with him will find him, so they can learn the lessons for the day together. Not one is absent whom he needs; not one is sent without a learning goal already set, and one which can be learned that very day. For the advanced teacher of God, then, this question is superfluous. It has been asked and answered, and he keeps in constant contact with the Answer. He is set and sees the road on which he walks stretch surely and smoothly before him.

2. But what about those who have not reached his certainty? They are not yet ready for such lack of structuring on their own part. What must they do to learn to give the day to God? There are some general rules which do apply, although each one must use them as best he can in his own way. Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals through which they were set up. Broadly speaking, then, it can be said that it is well to start the day right. It is always possible to begin again, should the day begin with error. Yet there are obvious advantages in terms of saving time.

3. At the beginning, it is wise to think in terms of time. This is by no means the ultimate criterion, but at the outset it is probably the simplest to observe. The saving of time is an essential early emphasis which, although it remains important throughout the learning process, becomes less and less emphasized. At the outset, we can safely say that time devoted to starting the day right does indeed save time. How much time should be so spent? This must depend on the teacher of God himself. He cannot claim that title until he has gone through the workbook, since we are learning within the framework of our course. After completion of the more structured practice periods, which the workbook contains, individual need becomes the chief consideration.

4. This course is always practical. It may be that the teacher of God is not in a situation that fosters quiet thought as he awakes. If this is so, let him but remember that he chooses to spend time with God as soon as possible, and let him do so. Duration is not the major concern. One can easily sit still an hour with closed eyes and accomplish nothing. One can as easily give God only an instant, and in that instant join with Him completely. Perhaps the one generalization that can be made is this; as soon as possible after waking take your quiet time, continuing a minute or two after you begin to find it difficult. You may find that the difficulty will diminish and drop away. If not, that is the time to stop.

5. The same procedures should be followed at night. Perhaps your quiet time should be fairly early in the evening, if it is not feasible for you to take it just before going to sleep. It is not wise to lie down for it. It is better to sit up, in whatever position you prefer. Having gone through the workbook, you must have come to some conclusions in this respect. If possible, however, just before going to sleep is a desirable time to devote to God. It sets your mind into a pattern of rest and orients you away from fear. If it is expedient to spend this time earlier, at least be sure that you do not forget a brief period,- not more than a moment will do,- in which you close your eyes and think of God.

6. There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is the thought of pure joy; a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are free within it. You think you made a place of safety for yourself. You think you made a power that can save you from all the fearful things you see in dreams. It is not so. Your safety lies not there. What you give up is merely the illusion of protecting illusions. And it is this you fear, and only this. How foolish to be so afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection.

7. How simply and how easily does time slip by for the teacher of God who has accepted His protection! All that he did before in the name of safety no longer interests him. For he is safe and knows it to be so. He has a Guide who will not fail. He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives, for he to whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them. He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go. There is no difference in his state at different times or in different places because they are all one to God. This is his safety. And he has no need for more than this.

8. Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at anytime, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. There are times his certainty will waiver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. It is not good enough for God’s teacher, because it is not good enough for God’s Son.

9. The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. They can have no effects; neither good nor bad, neither rewarding nor demanding sacrifice, healing nor destructive, quieting nor fearful. When all magic is recognized as merely nothing, the teacher of God has reached the most advanced state. All intermediate lessons will but lead to this and bring this goal nearer to recognition. For magic of any kind, and all its forms, simply does nothing. Its powerlessness is the reason it can be so easily escaped. What has no effects can hardly terrify.

10. There is no substitute for the will of God. In simple statement, it is to this fact that the teacher of God devotes his day. Each substitute he may accept as real can but deceive him. But he is safe from all deception if he so decides. Perhaps he needs to remember, “God is with me. I cannot be deceived.” Perhaps he prefers other words, or only one, or none at all. Yet each temptation to accept magic as true must be abandoned through his recognition, not that it is fearful, not that it is simple, not that it is dangerous, but merely that it is meaningless. Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this “sacrifice” is Heaven restored to his awareness.

11. Is not this an exchange that you would want? The world would gladly make it if it knew it could be made. It is God’s teachers who must teach it that it can. And so it is their function to make sure that they have learned it. No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain. “There is no will but God’s.” His teachers know that this is so and have learned that everything, but this is magic. All belief in magic is maintained by just one simple-minded illusion;-that it works. All through their training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness. Fear is withdrawn from them, and so they go. And thus the gate of Heaven is reopened, and its light can shine again on an untroubled mind.[1]

When we first answer the call of God upon our lives we often pray for God’s Will.  In today’s text Jesus reminds us that there is no will but God’s Will!  And so it is God’s Will that our minds turn to Him when we wake up and that our minds turn to Him as we go about our day, and that before we go to sleep at night, our minds turn to Him again. 

The Will of God is you and the Will of God is me for God’s Will created us and brought us into Being.  While it is impossible not to be in God’s Will, we do seem to exist in an impossible world where all that would oppose God continues to spin its web of deceit and delusion.  This is the magic that we must learn to recognize as having no meaning.  For to be caught up in the delusion is to forget that there is no will but God’s, and to forget that there is no will but God’s does not free us from time, but rather prolongs our time in a realm that has no truth.

This is the lesson that God’s teachers must learn and teach.  We exchange the world of opposites and opposition, of fear and sorrow, suffering and pain and all thoughts of sacrifice and separation for the Kingdom of God where there is love and joy and peace – forever.  Each day gives us hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities to gain experience of the unreality of this realm, the false promises of this realm, the sacrifices and unjust calls for life and limb. Upon close examination, we come to understand that the illusions of this world pose us no harm, no terror, no hardship because they simply are not real, they cannot stand before the Will of God.

We come to this understanding and acceptance upon our close study and practice of the Workbook. We do our exercises, we commit ourselves to the daily practice of hearing and answering the call of God in our lives in a practical, systematic manner. However, as we advance in our love for and devotion to God, Holy Spirit becomes our constant guide. Our spiritual practice becomes a natural, far less mechanical routine. We relax into it because we are certain that the illusions cannot hurt us; our seeming mistakes and seeming successes have no meaning except God’s meaning.

When we give the time we sacrifice to our magical devices – following our stocks, checking our weapons, securing our wealth and health and friends status – to God, our advances in God’s Kingdom become everyone’s advances.  God’s gifts are free and come with no cost, no sense of sacrifice, no threats nor terroristic maneuvers.  God’s gifts are abundant and without limit.  God’s gifts are given to be shared for they cannot be hoarded or withheld from anyone for any reason. 

Each day then becomes a day in which we learn and teach the meaningless of the world without fear, without doubt, and with courage and certainty.  To teach God’s Will is the only Will there is to be a true teacher of God and the more we teach this, the more we learn it and know it to be true. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 16. How should the teacher of God spend his day? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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15. Is Each One Judged in the End?

1. Indeed, yes! No one can escape God’s Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him. He will hear his sinlessness proclaimed around and around the world, setting it free as God’s Final Judgment on him is received. This is the Judgment in which salvation lies. This is the Judgment that will set him free. This is the Judgment in which all things are freed with him. Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:

Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God.

Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?

2. Is this your judgment on yourself, teacher of God? Do you believe that this is wholly true? No; not yet, not yet. But this is still your goal, why you are here. It is your function to prepare yourself to hear this Judgment and to recognize that it is true. One instant of complete belief in this, and you will go beyond belief to certainty. One instant out of time can bring time’s end. Judge not, for you but judge yourself, and thus delay this Final Judgment. What is your judgment of the world, teacher of God? Have you yet learned to stand aside and hear the Voice of Judgment in yourself? Or do you still attempt to take His role from Him? Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening and wait for Him.

3. You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry, who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. God’s Judgment waits for you to set you free. What can the world hold out to you, regardless of your judgments on its gifts, that you would rather have? You will be judged and judged in fairness and in honesty. There is no deceit in God. His promises are sure. Only remember that. His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it in your heart and offer it to all the world to keep it safe.[1]

God’s Final Judgment upon His Son is one of love and goodwill. We are as we are created and only God’s Judgment upon us sets us free from all opposition to what is true about us.  As teachers of God, we live and teach all that is good, that is peaceful, that is so full of God’s grace and mercy there is no room for judgment and condemnation. 

In your personal devotional practice today, meditate upon the Final Judgment.  Only when we learn of God and teach of God, can we accept God’s undying love for His Son.  This is God’s Final Judgment.  Do your best today to go beyond the fearful doctrines you may have been taught and come in quietness to the inner altar.  In quietness listen to the Voice for God within and accept His Final Judgment upon you!  Refuse to accept any shame, guilt, pain or sorrow that you may be holding against yourself.  Refuse to ruminate upon the lies people tell, the immoral things they do, the ways in which they neglect their children, or perhaps overprotect them.  Turn off the news – let the world be as it is without your opinions upon it, your judgments, your summations.  Ask Holy Spirit to put the judgment of God in your heart and mind – and welcome the sense of forgiveness, patience, and tolerance that begins to refresh your mind. 

When we let our ego judgments toward ourselves and others go, we welcome truth! When we bring  all our fleshly worries and concerns to Holy Spirit, we learn to trust in Spirit and not in flesh. Each time we rely on God’s Judgment rather than our own we come closer to knowing and accepting God’s Final Judgment upon us.  For as we turn to Him, we only find His Love for us; we find that God’s Judgment is for us and not against us.  To know God is to love God and in Love there is no fear. 

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 15. Is each one judged in the end? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

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14. How Will The World End?

1. Can what has no beginning really end? The world will end in an illusion, as it began. Yet will its ending be an illusion of mercy. The illusion of forgiveness, complete, excluding no one, limitless and gentleness, will cover it, hiding all evil, concealing all sin, and ending guilt forever. So ends the world that guilt had made, for now it has no purpose, and it is gone. The father of illusions is the belief that they have a purpose; that they serve a need or gratify a want. Perceived as purposeless, they are no longer seen. Their uselessness is recognized, and they are gone. How but in this way are all illusions ended? They have been brought to truth, and truth saw them not. It merely overlooked the meaningless.

2. Until forgiveness is complete, the world does have a purpose. It becomes the home in which forgiveness is born, and where it grows and becomes stronger and more all-embracing. Here is it nourished, for here it is needed. A gentle Savior, born where sin was made, and guilt seemed real. Here is His home, for here there is need of Him indeed. He brings the ending of the world with Him. It is His call God’s teachers answer, turning to Him in silence to receive His Word. The world will end when all things in it have been rightly judged by His judgment. The world will end with the benediction of holiness upon it. When not one thought of sin remains, the world is over. It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched. It will merely cease to seem to be.

3. Certainly this seems to be a long, long while away. “When not one thought of sin remains” appears to be a long-range goal indeed. But time stands still and waits on the goal of God’s teachers. Not one thought of sin will remain the instant any one of them accepts Atonement for himself. It is not easier to forgive one sin than to forgive all of them. The illusion of orders of difficulty is an obstacle the teacher of God must learn to pass by and leave behind. One sin perfectly forgiven by one teacher of God can make salvation complete. Can you understand this? No; it is meaningless to anyone here. Yet it is the final lesson in which unity is restored. It goes against all the thinking of the world, but so does Heaven.

4. The world will end when its thought system has been completely reversed. Until then, bits and pieces of its thinking will still seem sensible. The final lesson, which brings the ending of the world, cannot be grasped by those not yet prepared to leave the world and go beyond its tiny reach. What, then, is the function of the teacher of God in this concluding lesson? He need merely learn how to approach it; to be willing to go in its direction. He need merely trust that, if God’s Voice tells him it is a lesson he can learn, he can learn. He does not judge it either as hard or easy. His teacher points to it, and he trusts that He will show him how to learn it.

5. The world will end in joy, because it is a place of sorrow. When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone. The world will end in peace because it is a place of war. When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world? The world will end in laughter because it is a place of tears. Where there is laughter, who can longer weep? And only complete forgiveness brings all this to bless the world. In blessing it departs, for it will not end as it began. To turn hell into heaven is the function of God’s teachers, for what they teach are lessons in which Heaven is reflected. And now sit down in true humility and realize that all God would have you do you can do. Do not be arrogant and say you cannot learn His Own curriculum. His Word says otherwise. His Will be done. It cannot be otherwise. And be you thankful it is so.[1]

The world ends when we are through with it. When all its sorrows, losses, wars, and meanness no longer have any place in our inner Kingdom, the world ends for us. There is only gentleness and love, there is only goodwill and peace, there is only laughter and joy.  Today in your personal devotional practice, meditate upon all we have learned.  For what purpose do we study such a course as this? For what purpose do we come to our devotions every day and turn our minds and hearts toward God? For what purpose do we entertain such thoughts so alien to the world? 

Jesus tells us to put all arrogance aside and to be truly humble in the realization that God has called us to learn and to teach a gospel that puts an end to the opposites and opposition of the world.  God has called us to reflect Heaven in what we learn and teach. We are all too aware of how impossible this sounds. We are all too aware of our human deficiencies, our short tempers, our judgments and our summations, our flagging vitality, our ailing, aging bodies. We are all too aware of the closed minds and the attack/defense mechanisms that arouse anger and hostility toward those who learn and teach a gospel that seems so alien to the world no matter how true it rings in our minds and hearts. After we have spent our lives making a place in the world and letting it usurp our identity, after we have invested a personal fortune being educated by it, being weaponized by it, becoming accustomed to it – giving it up seems the sacrifice!  

No matter how much we believe in the call of the Spirit, that which is not perceived with the flesh perceptions is that which seems unreal. Our good news is perceived as unwelcome news to those attuned to the world.  And there is absolutely no condemnation for this. It is no more a sin to be taken in by the deception, as it is to become sickened and to die from it. 

When the prodigal son demanded his inheritance from his father and took off to his own way in the world, the father did not despise his son – He did not prepare a dungeon or a torture chamber or a penal system in which to make His Son pay for his waywardness upon his return. The Father did not array an army or hire a posse or gather weapons to make war on the world His Son chose apart from Him. All that was false, greedy, diseased, and meanspirited about the world instructed the son in all he needed to learn about leaving the place he belonged, trying to find his identity in something and someone that was not true, or real, and held no place in His Father’s kingdom.

This is our gospel. We are not at war with the world. We are not the accusers, the judge, and the jurors of the world. As Jesus reminds us in today’s text, peace is impossible to those who look on war, but peace is inevitable to those who offer peace.  It is not the world that makes peace impossible; it is the world we see that is impossible. We are not called to sacrifice ourselves for God or for the world, we are simply called to bring God’s Judgment to it, to offer it mercy and grace, to make it fit for the peace of God to come, to give up all thoughts that would oppose His love, His joy, His peace. 

No matter who we are and no matter what we believe, when we begin to practice thinking the Thoughts of God, when we begin to practice grace and mercy, when we humble our egos, apologize for and turn our backs upon our wrongful ways, meanspirited reactions, and the ways we devise to defend our egotistical judgements and condemnations against others, we are practicing the Thoughts of God.  While our separate Thoughts of God transform a tormented mind into a peaceful mind; when we share our Thoughts of God we turn hell into Heaven merely by being what we are called to be. Just as our mind is renewed bringing health and healing to our bodies, our relationships, and our circle of influence, so do our joined minds make it impossible for peace to be absent in the world.  Just as Peace on earth and goodwill to all is what we bring to the Sonship and to God; peace on earth and goodwill to all is our welcome Home to His Kingdom.  When I do my part and you do your part to share the Thoughts of God, we are teachers of God. We join with Christ, Who came in Peace, because He is Peace, and we bring an end to the world at war with God.

[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 14. How will the world end? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: