Hi there,

Well, I find some resistance to these lessons today, I did weeks ago when we were practicing Lessons 16 and 17, but more with Lessons 18 and 19.  I am earnestly trying NOT to figure out why.  Just want to let their import come to me as opposed to working hard to get them.

Ken Wapnick writes on Lesson 16, “We do not have Heaven and hell, or hell and Heaven.  They are mutually exclusive states.  This is the underlying metaphysical premise of ACIM, the cornerstone of its thought system:  There is God, and there is nothing else.  If we believe there is something else, we are believing there is no God.  Again, the way we know which thoughts we have chosen in our minds is y vigilantly paying attention, with Jesus beside us, to our perceptions of the outer world.  They will reflect o us our decision for Heaven or hell, truth or falsity.”

On Lesson 17:

“We cannot change the world but we can indeed change our minds.  This, “the world I see can change as well.” Does not mean, however, that the outside world can change, but rather the way I see it will change.  Keep in mind that perception is never of facts. It is always an interpretation of what we call facts; an interpretation of either the ego or the Holy Spirit.”

“When Jesus talks about “the world I see, “ he is not talking about a world outside:  There is no world outside.  The world is nothing but a projection or extension of the thoughts in our minds.  It is essential, therefore, that we recognize the direct connection between the world and our thinking, otherwise we will never be able to do anything to change our thoughts.”

On Lesson 18:

“This tells me my function:  It is not to heal others, nor to change or teach them in the conventional way.  My function is to remind you that the choice I have made in the holy instant is the same one you can make.”

“However, the process works the other way as well:  My separation thoughts call to the separation thoughts in you.  The expression of my decision for the ego – judgment, attack, anxiety, and fear – tells you that you are right in believing you are separate, because I am demonstrating that you are.  My anger confirms you are right, as does my special love and dependency.  You want me to confirm that you are right, just as I want you to do the same for me.”

And to this I was thinking, “OUCH, OUCH and OUCH.”

He then writes on Lesson 18 because I have found his thoughts to be so helpful to me:

“Thus when I choose Jesus as my teacher instead of the ego, and I release my grievances through forgiveness, I am teaching there is a right-minded thought in you as well, and I n that moment I have become a healing symbol for you.  I do not have to say anything, nor preach to you.  Indeed, I do nothing.”

On Lesson 19:

“This does not mean I can literally change your mind for you.  I can serve as an example of one who has changed his mind for himself, thereby realizing that that “self” is all of us.  Likewise, Jesus cannot do it for us.  He can be our teacher and model, showing us there is another choice we can make, but he cannot choose for us.”

On Lesson 20:

“The witnesses we look upon are the witnesses we send out.  If we are angry or upset, stubborn or having a temper tantrum, that tells us we have sent out messages of guilt, fear, hatred, and certainly separation.  By observing the witnesses in the world I perceive, I am taught to see them as reflecting a decision I made in my mind.  Only then can I exercise the mind’s power to change this decision.”

“In other words, do we perceive proof of the Atonement principle, or proof of separation?  Again, what we perceive will reveal to us what our minds have chosen.  Perceptions of love or calls for love reflect the decision to accept the Atonement, and this unequivocal choice ushers in the real world and the happy remembrance of the unity of God and His Son.”

With my husband and his family, all I need do is safely guard my thoughts, drop any interpretation I have made and allow the Holy Spirit in the Holy Instant to help me heal my own mind and thereby join with the Sonship as One.  When seeming others choose to accept the Atonement is up to them, but I have responded to calls for love with love.

Love to all,

Gayle

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