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  • (Paper #0199-12)


    (Guided thoughts on Lesson 163)
     To choose life is a decision just as to have death is.  No one dies without his own consent.  We decide when we are going to be "born" and we decide when we are going to "die."  In between these extremes there is what appears to be a lot of "time" during which we can come to experience all the lessons we have chosen, to prove to ourself what it is that we are.  We choose the setting, the people we will learn with and the general course of those experiences.

     At the outset, we should realize that the journey we have undertaken is but one in our mind and is not true reality at all.  REALITY in its true sense is our LIFE as we live it in that abstract thought called Heaven.  Anything outside of that is an illusion, a dream, but can be very useful to us in experiencing and remembering what it is we truly are.

     In a theological sense, as we make the choice and get closer to truth, we are all aspects of God witnessing His Perfection to Himself.  He wants us to remember we are part of Him, also.  Being His Creation and a Thought in His Mind, we can never be apart from, or leave, the Mind that thought us.

     So we invented a dream that we are experiencing.  When we decide we have had enough, fulfilled our purpose, we simply wake up and the dream is over.  We are back to our Self as part of the living Christ in Heaven, our self-appointed lessons learned and our wanderings over.  However that may seem to take a long time from our perspective on earth.

     It seems to us that the ending of our dream is death.  That is what our ego wants us to believe.  That keeps the fear going.  In actual fact, we "died" when we decided to leave Heaven and experience our dream.  "LIFE" goes on totally unaffected within the Mind of the Christ and God in Heaven.  Anything outside of that, a place, a time, a form, a thought, is "death" and not REAL at all.

     "Death" can take many forms.  "It may appear as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt; as anger, faithlessness and lack of trust; concern for bodies, envy, and all forms in which the wish to be as you are not (anything outside of being a Thought in the Mind of God) may come to tempt you." That about covers everything we have come to think of as real here in our world.  Death is what our ego has devised to offer us as a solution to our perceived problems of sin, guilt and fear here.  It will be satisfied with nothing less although in its insanity, it does not seem to realize our death would mean its own as well.  But yet death can be counted on.  "For it will come with certain footsteps when the time has come for its arrival."

     As we visit the cemeteries, we see all the "bodies" that have been made real, have died, and now lie as mute testimony engraved on each stone, "Here lies a witness God is dead."  So death has become a false idol to be feared and respected.  It is not real.  It is not so.  The part of each of us that is the created Child of God goes on and on, eternally, totally unaffected by this state which we here call life.  The only thing that IS real here is that part of our mind created by God, and which we view as our Spirit Mind.  While that is still "here," the world that it observes is real.  That world is one of beauty, light, love, compassion and kindness.  No other exists for the Spirit mind.  We give up our idea that death is total and realize, "Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die."

     God cannot die, and our Spirit mind is part of God's.  And so, we give up all the many forms of "death" we have "worshipped," and look past death, to see the life beyond.


    We cannot have the peace, love and joy of God while we still hold on tightly to our own special darkness.  It is necessary for us to dig out all the thoughts we hold of fear, uncertainty and opinion and lay them upon the pure white altar that stands between us and God.  Once we have placed them there and truly released our investment in them, we can say to the Holy Spirit, "Here are all my darknesses, please take them from me and replace them with the peace and love of God."  Such is our job and such is His. We can add, "I no longer have any interest or investment in these things, but now ASK only for the Gifts of God which He gave me in my creation."  It takes no more than that - but no less.  We must lay all our dark beliefs and thoughts about everything upon our altar.  While we still retain even one tiny darkness, perhaps too "horrible" to have admitted before, our forgiveness of ourself is not complete, preventing Holy Spirit from laying all our Gifts of God on the altar in their magnificent totality.  We make the space; He gives the Gift.  We give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt us.  He gives us everything that will save us.


    Our problem is that we have become confused about what we are.  We think we are a body, when in truth we are spirit.  We are NOT a human, once in a while getting in touch with our own spirit, but WE ARE SPIRIT, which, for a short while has taken up a body for experiences we need to observe.

     We are the one who has chosen to do this.  We did it because WE thought we needed it.  It was not God, nor our priests, nor our parents, nor anyone else who did it to us.  So we can't any longer blame anyone else for what happens to us.  We chose it!

     NOTHING happens by chance; and all things are lessons God would have us learn; no matter how painful or pleasant, how horrible or wonderful.  In themselves, they are not important, but the lesson they contain is.

     At the level of spirit, we are all connected as one.  That is why we can "pick up" on the presence, energy or aura of others, either living or deceased.  We are contacting the energy they are, and since there is no time or space at that level, it is outside form.  Spirit is everywhere, there is no "place" it is not, so it can be in many "places" at the same time.  It does not belong to body or to personality so is not contained by them.  Our memory of another is usually of his body or personality; our awareness of him is of his spirit.

     This concept helps us to understand and relate to ourself, our mind, and our environment.

     Our salvation, our resurrection, being "in the light," being at peace, and in love itself are all the same thing, when we are aware of what we truly are and where we abide forever.  In A Course In Miracles©, this is called "accepting Atonement" for ourself.  It is our awakening; our remembrance of Heaven, our true Self, and our Being as created by God.  In this awareness, we are ONE with God and all our brothers, created like we are, by God.  There is nowhere else to be and nowhere else to go.  In it all our needs are answered, our minds restored to ONENESS and our Peace Eternal recognized at last.  Our great lesson is learned, and we are Home in God where we have always been.

     Although, it may seem like many -
     There is only ONE PROBLEM
     - We have forgotten what we are;
     There is only ONE ANSWER
     - To Wake up and "remember."

     We will first be aware of truth intellectually, and then later have the experience of the love and ONENESS that we are, as we let go of the need to intellectualize and disappear into the experience of our own heart.


     TRUTH, (GOD - LOVE - HEAVEN) has been with us always.  There never was a time when it was not there.  Great mystics, sages and poets have remembered and told us about IT all down through time.  I will quote from three.  First is Chuang Tzu from 400 B.C., second is Henry Vaughan in 1650, and third is Ella Wheeler Wilcox in 1962!  They all spoke of ultimate TRUTH as they experienced IT in their times.
    Some day comes the Great Awakening
    when we realize that this life is no more than a dream.
    Yet foolish go one thinking they are awake:
    Surveying the panorama of life with such clarity,
    They call this one a prince and that one a peasant -- What delusion!
    The great Confucius and you are both a dream.
    And I, who say all this is a dream. I, too, am a dream.
    What mystery this vision contains!
    Someday a great Sage will come and explain it to us,
    But that may not be until ten thousand generations have come and gone.
    Still, for us in this dream, it will only seem like the passing
    of a single morning or afternoon.

     In China, Chuang Tzu was recognized as the greatest writer of the Chou Dynasty in 400 B.C.  It is interesting to note that almost 10,000 generations have passed between his words and the appearance of ACIM©.  So he was right, it has come to pass and we have our "great Sage" in the form of Jesus' words in His A Course In Miracles©, which has come to explain it all to us.

    The Retreat
    Happy those early days, when I
    Shined in my Angel-infancy!
    Before I understood this place
    Appointed for my second race,
    Or taught my soul to fancy aught
    But a white, celestial thought;
    When yet I had not walk'd above
    A mile or two from my first Love,
    And looking back, at that short space
    Could see a glimpse of His bright face;
    When on some gilded cloud or flower
    My gazing soul would dwell an hour,
    And in those weaker glories spy
    Some shadows of eternity;
    Before I taught my tongue to wound
    My conscience with a sinful sound,
    Or had the black art to dispense
    A several sin to every sense,
    But felt through all this fleshly dress
    Bright shoots of everlastingness.
    O how I long to travel back,
    And tread again that ancient track!
    That I might once more reach that plain
    Where first I felt my glorious train;
    From whence th' enlighten'd spirit sees
    That shady City of Palm trees!
    But ah! my soul with too much stay
    Is drunk, and staggers in the way;-
    Some men a forward motion love,
    But I by backward steps would move;
    And when this dust falls to the urn,
    In that state I came, return.
     Henry Vaughan was a poet living in England in 1650 when he penned his "The Retreat."  This, of course, is the story of our "fall and descent" into the dream and our collective yearning to return to "that plain where first I felt my glorious train."  So he knew it then too; he had remembered.
    God and I in space alone
    With no one else in view
    "And where are the people, O Lord, "I said,
    "The earth below, and the sky o'erhead,
    And the people who once I knew?"
    "That was a dream, "God smiled and said,
    "A dream that seemed to be true.
    There were no people living or dead,
    There was no earth nor sky o'erhead.
    There was only Myself in you.
    "Why do I feel no fear," I said,
    "Meeting you here this way?
    For I have sinned, I know full well
    And is there heaven and is there hell
    And is this the judgement day?"
    "Nay, these were but dreams," the great God said,
    "Dreams that have ceased to be.
    There are no such things as fear and sin.
    There is no you; you have never been,
    There is nothing at all but Me."
     Again in 1962 Ella Wheeler Wilcox had her awareness of ONENESS with God as described in her poem "ILLUSIONS," in which she accepted the ONENESS of herself with God, as part OF God.


    - If Jesus told you he wrote a Book,
    - If Jesus told you what you are,
    - If Jesus told you what you did and are still doing,
    - If Jesus told you what you can do,
    - If Jesus told you how ALL YOUR PROBLEMS can be solved,
    - If Jesus told you all things,
    - If Jesus told you what LIFE, TRUTH and BLISS is,
    - If Jesus told you He had come to lead you home,

     You don't have to listen.  You can keep right on doing all the painful, useless, insane things you do, so that you can never possibly find your SELF.

     You can listen to others who will tell you lies, and that these things are for your own good.  They will tell you what their rules are, and that you should follow them.  They will even tell you that God said their words are true, or that their words are spoken by God, Himself, so that you should be in awe of them.  It is all a lie, originating in their own fear of punishment for a sin they never, ever committed.  Their guilt is no more real than their words.

     But when you have finally had enough of all this, you can stop listening to the liars, get very still, go inside, and listen to the words of Jesus instead.  Read His Book.  Think about what it says.  Understand what it is He is talking about.  It is very simple, very plain, and is a Book about love, because it is a Book about you.  And you ARE Love.

     As with the old railway crossing sign, it is time to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.  In order to hear His words, it is first necessary to lay aside your own and the liar's beliefs and thoughts in order to hear His Voice which is within your Spirit Mind.  You have to want to hear.  You have to clear your mind of all other words, ideas and thoughts.  You have to be willing, open, and ready to hear His Voice.  And that's all you have to do.  To do more, would once again superimpose your ego thought over His, making it impossible for you to hear His quiet, sure Voice.  You have to ASK, and then wait in calm serenity for His Answer.

     Jesus has written His Book for you.  It is here now.  Will you lay aside all your noisy, senseless rambling and give His words a chance of being heard?



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