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  • (Paper #0395-32)

    The Oyster

    We are all like oysters, living contentedly on the bottom of our ocean in harmony with our brothers.  Then along comes this grain of sand.  It gets inside our shell and really irritates us.  The irritation bothers us so we secrete part of our life force to surround it.  In so doing, we begin to form a beautiful pearl.  A gem beyond price.  If it hadn’t been for the irritation we never would have formed the pearl.

    In ACIM©, as well as other thoughts, pearls are the symbol of wisdom.  We remember the fable of the “Pearl of Great Price,” also Helen Schucman’s dream of finding a dark blue book wound with a necklace of pearls, and many other references to pearls of wisdom and beauty.

    So it is with people who come into our lives.  Those that get right under our shell, and irritate us the worst can be our greatest teachers.  So when that certain person really “gets to you” and irritates you so badly, it can be just the beginning of seeing the beautiful pearl, if you choose to do it.  It is not what you see or feel, it is how you choose to see or feel it.  Through Forgiveness, awareness, and the help of your Holy Spirit, you will transform the irritating piece of sand into a beautiful pearl of wisdom.

    So instead of attacking or being irritated by that “horrid” person or situation that arises, we should really give our thanks to him or it as it will provide us with some of our greatest lessons, advances and wisdoms.  To “attack” back or run away from the situation is not to see the lesson as it is presented to us, which only means that we will have to do the same lesson again, perhaps later and in a different form.  It is all a matter of choice, and how and when you choose to see the lesson.

    “ALL things are lessons God would have me learn.”



    Who can be truly fearless?  Only the wholly innocent can be wholly fearless.  Consider the word, fearless.  It means to be without fear.  Any fear whatsoever in any of its forms.  What is totally innocent is completely without fear because innocence recognizes its complete perfection so there simply is nothing to fear, nothing needed or desired.  Innocence simply IS.

    A recipe indicates that if a number of proper ingredients are mixed and prepared in a certain way, a beneficial product will be achieved.  In our recipe, if love, patience, allowance, and forgiveness are mixed together, and then simmered for eternity in an oven of joy and happiness, a cake of perfect peace and innocence will result.  Great cooks are born; good cooks are made.  They are made by practice and experience.  While a great cook (like Jesus) can be our example and ideal, most of the rest of us have to make the mistakes as we prepare our recipes, then go back and start again to get the recipe right.  To burn the cake is not a “sin” but only a mistake that we can correct next time, if we truly learned from the mistake.  If we never start to “cook,” we will never produce the perfect cake of peace and innocence.

    Innocence is totally complete in itself as pure being and rests in total peace and joy.  Innocence is our natural state, as we exist as The Christ, in Heaven with God, our Creator.


    Difference Between Purpose and Goal

    The only difference between purpose and goal is one of time.  The purpose is the direction of intention, the goal is its ending.

    “Universe” means the Mind of Christ, the Intention of God, which we really are and come first to realize, then understand, then experience.

    In Zen Buddhism:
    “wu-wei" is the art of “not doing anything”.  That is -being still, going within, listening to your higher power, which is in contact with the “real world.”

    ACIM© says that it is not what you do TO the body that makes it sick, but rather what you do WITH the body.

    Sometimes a lifetime is in a moment, and eternity in a dream.  The eternal now is all that is.


    In the Garden

    I come to the garden alone,
    While the dew is still on the roses;
        And the voice I hear,
        Falling on my ear;
    The Son of God discloses.

    And He walks with me,
        and He talks with me,
    And He tells me I am His own,
    And the joy we share
        as we tarry there,
    None other has ever known.

    He speaks, and the sound of His voice
    Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
        And the melody
        That He gave to me,
    Within my heart is ringing.

    I’d stay in the garden with Him
    Tho’ the night around me be falling,
        But He bids me go;
        Thro’ the voice of woe,
    His voice to me is calling.
            - Unknown

    Truth or Illusion

    We say God IS, and then we cease to speak.

    If we say God is Love, we have already superimposed a thought over God IS.  By saying God is Love, we subtly imply that there is some other shadowy place where something other than God could be.  We don’t know where that place is or what is in it, but we have the uneasy feeling it is there.  ACIM© says there are only two emotions, love and fear.  So once we say God is Love (or anything at all other than God IS), we have already left the pure being of God and entered some aspect, no matter how gentle or holy, where some slight aspect of fear could be.

    So God is an absolute.  It has no quality or qualification.  Once we begin to try to define “God IS,” we limit it and make a place where something else could be.  This has been the problem of great thinkers, philosophers, sages, and prophets down through time.  They were trying to define or explain God, or Truth, or Love.  It simply can’t be defined, as to apply any definition, is to imply an opposite.

    The experience of God, or Truth, is quite a different matter.  That experience is what tells us that we are REAL, and as God created us.  That is why we “exist’; why-we “live” in our world.  We are here to experience the realization of God and to finally come to the certain “knowledge” that there IS nothing else.  That, as part of The Christ, the creation or extension of God is the same as God and that like God, CHRIST IS.

    All this exists as reality in the absolute abstract.  Our finite minds can’t understand abstracts like infinity and eternity, Christ and God.  So we do the best we can to use our minds, our thoughts, to put us in that “space” of no space that is everything and everywhere, all the time.  We are then in the eternal now as in God or Truth and know there is nothing else.  Even if we think at all, then that thought has already left the state of just BEING, where nothing else is needed, desired, or recognized because there is nothing else.

    While we are here in our world, where we believe we are, it is very helpful to put ourselves in that receptive and connective space through prayer, meditation, stillness, to be more able to open to the knowledge of perfect unity as only ONE.

    Since our imperfect minds are crowded with our ego most of the time, it is always a good step to put ourselves in a quiet and conducive setting (as “In the Garden”), where we can begin to feel the experience of the total oneness of perfect unity.



    In our progress through our experience of “The Dream,” we have come to a place of “scientific realism” in 1995.  We think if it can’t be measured, “proven” and analyzed, it doesn’t exist.  We have gotten it completely upside-down and backwards, as in a mirror, so that life and death, reality and illusion are totally inverted and distorted.

    Those of us who are visionaries and think best in pictures could consider the following:

    From this diagram, it will be seen how our distorted perception has come to think that our world is REAL and that Heaven is the ILLUSION.  In reality, Heaven is the only thing that is REAL where we live eternally as THE CHRIST together in perfect unity and joy, creating with our Father, God.

    In our imagination we dreamed a dream of separation from Heaven of a “descent” from our SELF into the “world” and “bodies” that we now believe are real.  In Heaven is LIFE.  In our world is DEATH.  Actually we “died” unto our true SELF in our belief of leaving heaven.  That is when we “died”, not when our bodies turn to dust on our planet.

    God “thought” us into existence in His creation of His extension, The Christ, being His One Son.  And that was all He ever created! In our dreaming state, God realized we were dreaming.  He then created another “thought”, Holy Spirit, and placed that thought to “go with us” in our mind wherever our dream took us.  Holy Spirit’s function is to remind us what and where we truly are always and show us the process of awakening and recognizing “Home”.

    Therefore, our true state of BEING is a thought in the Mind of God.  A thought cannot leave the mind that thinks it.  Therefore, we are and always have been at “Home” in God’s Mind as we are created.  God knows it; He is not concerned.  It is up to us to awaken to this truth and be what we always have been.  This process is explained by Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Religions are social systems regulating people to live in a better way within the word, within the dream.  ACIM© comes from outside that dream and explains to us the difference.  In time, ACIM© becomes the yardstick by which every other writing and every other thought is measured.  Not only does ACIM© show the difference between Truth (Heaven) and Illusion (every other thought system), religion and belief that have their basis in the world (the dream), but it takes us gently by the hand where we believe we are (in a body in the world), and step-by-step leads us back to God, The Christ and Heaven.  Since Holy Spirit has the knowledge of God and Heaven while also understanding the content of our dream, He is the only Perfect Representative of God’s Love that can lead us Home.

    Jesus was (and is) the personification of the Holy Spirit in our world.  He was the first to truly realize what and where He is.  Even then, He remained among us to show by his loving example that his body meant nothing and that his Spirit meant everything.  Such was His resurrection.  And such is ours also, when we follow His example and in His steps.  ACIM describes Jesus as “a man who saw only The Christ in all his brothers, and so remembered God.”  His message is, and always was, “Love one another.” and thus to forgive your brother for what he really never did.

    In our inverted perception of reality over many thousands of years, we have always made systems of religious dogma to control our brothers within society in our world.  So we were taught to picture God as a man (in our image), and sometimes an old man in a long white beard and longer, white robe.  He was sometimes loving, sometimes vengeful, sometimes jealous, and punishing, sometimes giving.  But never, never constant and universal.  Now Jesus and the Holy Spirit come to show us the error of our thinking and lead us back “home” to TRUTH.  ACIM©, as the written word of that Truth, brings back spirituality to a world that before only judged through religion.  And so we have the opportunity of seeing differently, changing our mind to that greater perception that will lead us back to TRUTH.  Heaven is outside our dream, our world within it.  Only we can decide when it is time for us to awaken.  Jesus and the Holy Spirit wait in infinite love, patience, and understanding for us to decide.  The Chinese say a journey of a thousand miles begins but with the first step.  We can decide to start our journey of re-awakening NOW by taking the first step of showing our “little willingness” (there must be a better way) with great willingness.


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