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Lesson 64  “Let me not forget my function.” 

Meeting notes - by Chris Boyd 

Let us recap. The ACIM says the course can be summed up as follows:-
Nothing real can be threatened. (the spiritual realm)
Nothing unreal exists. (the world of the ego)
Herein lies the peace of God.

We are here because we want peace and joy and to extend love to all those around us. We know misfortune and loss will still come along – that’s unavoidable, so we know we can’t be happy all the time but the course holds out the prospect that instead of intense pain, grief and despair at those times, we can have just sorrow and feel the support of the Holy Spirit and know inner peace, ‘the peace that surpasses all understanding’.

So we want to get there and the previous lessons have told us we are to be the light of the world which brings peace to every mind through our forgiveness. The lesson tonight says ‘let me not wander into temptation and forget my function’ – being that of forgiveness.

We have the choice of keeping our focus on the spiritual world/ the Holy Spirit/ our higher selves, with love and forgiveness as our guiding light, OR we can fall into the temptation of focusing on the world that we normally seem to see – the world of the body, as the course says, the world we create for ourselves to make us safe and comfortable – with money, status, appearance, fashion, possessions, power and control. The world of the ego.

The ego shouldn’t be demonised of course. It is merely a normal part of (almost) all human beings. It shouldn’t be allowed to run our lives but it is a very tempting world. As humans we have evolved with primitive defence and survival instincts. These drives, along with our ability to think logically and abstractly, gives us the ability to create the world we live in and there we think we are safe – we think we have salvation in our own hands! We think that this is the purpose of our existence as a body and therefore all or most of our energy goes into protecting it and making this so.

I will remind you of the little story ….Is anyone else there?

So you can see quite clearly that our first choice is normally to choose to be saved by our own bodies ability to use and control the world of form.

But the world of form is a fragile and transient place. It is based on duality. I have to cling on to and protect my possessions (in the widest sense) to stop them being taken by others or being lost. Your healthy body or good looks give you pride and safety because you give them great value but built in to that attachment is the very pain and loss, which you wished to avoid. That pain will be revealed when those things, which you so value, are taken away by old age or illness. Such is the nature of duality.

So why is forgiveness so important? It must start with our judgements and values. Those very judgments allow us to be attacked since we can not judge others without judging ourselves in exactly the same way. Any such attack, whether we think it comes from outside, or from within, makes us afraid that the abstract world of form we have created and become attached too, will be lost. As fear arrises within, so too do we project it outwards through attack or defence both of which are not love and will not extend love. As like as not, we will get the same attack reflected back to us and hence end up in a hell of our own creation.

Why is forgiveness so difficult? In order to forgive, we must come to the painful but inevitable conclusion that the value we attribute to our possessions and attachments (in the widest sense) is unfounded. They are, in fact, just illusions. We are addicted to the seeming safety they provide and will find them very hard to give up.

Forgiveness - definition from ACIM
“Releasing your mind from the wrong perception that another sinned against you and deserves punishment. Releasing another not from what he did but from your misperception of what he did – God’s son is guiltless.”

Projection – defined by Freud:
In psychology, psychological projection (or projection bias) is a defence mechanism in which one attributes ("projects") to others, one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted subconscious impulses/desires without letting the ego recognise them.(I am kidding myself in order to feel better!)

Love is the answer. Love is what is real. Simple, uncomplicated Love brings the peace of God. God is the Love in which I forgive. God is the love in which I
forgive myself. Myself is the one that I really need to forgive. The Self that’s always been there needs no forgiveness but what I really need to understand is that the ego is nothing and is not me. And therefore I need no forgiveness, because I have never been condemned. Only the ego condemns and is condemned.
Am I forgiving out of fear or am I forgiving out of Love? Honestly, true forgiveness can only be in Love.


Reflections on lesson 35 

by Chris Boyd 

My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy. 

I find that hard to say. Your mind is part of God’s. You are very holy. That’s easier to say  - we can often see things about others more easily etc.

Since I don’t see myself as the same as you then that suggests separation.   …. And that’s where we are! Something in my subconscious is affecting the way I see myself. I don’t see the truth.

Tonight I want to try to help you (and me) see what the truth really is. 

Can you know you are very holy - if you haven't experienced it? Can you only know this if you really experience it.

Dr Hawkins gave this little example.

Do you know what a cat is? You think you know what a cat is but only a cat really knows what it is to be a cat. Only a cat knows what catness is! The only one to know what catness is in our house is the cat. He the authority on what catness is!

From Para 2 –

“You will believe that you are part of where you think you are. That is because you surround yourself with the environment you want. And you want it to protect the image of yourself that you have made. The image is part of the environment.” 

So you will know only what you want to know. ...

And it appears that the environment we seem to want is all about keeping us safe. That safety is an illusion – it is a fantasy of the ego. 

What do we really want to know?  That we are very holy!

From Para 3 ....

“The idea for today presents a very different view of yourself. By establishing your source it establishes your identity, and it describes you as you must really be in truth.”

Holiness - definition from ACIM.

Holiness is the natural condition of Gods children – shared by all . It is characterised by oneness with all that is. 

My Mind is part of god's.  So - no separation!

Forgiveness - definition from ACIM

“Releasing your mind from the wrong perception that another sinned against you and deserves punishment. Releasing another not from what he did but from your misperception of what he did – God’s son is guiltless.”

Quote from the text P259 (old book)

'Then let him teach you quietly .. .. .. it first to his son. - That's us - part of god's mind!

The lesson goes on to have you list all the ways that you see yourself. - instead of seeing yourself as very holy!. And to remind you that all of them are equally unreal - because you do not look on yourself through the eyes of holiness. 

That’s quite enough for the intellect to choke on. But for this lesson we must emphasis experiencing being part of the mind of god. … And its quite simple – we must choose the love of god over ALL ELSE.

So I thought we would try a little guided visualisation ... 

The idea is to use your imagination - be there experiencing all the sounds, feelings, sights and sounds etc. Do not think about what you experience, do not rationalise why you feel the way you do or why images come to you as they do. Just observe.

There should be no strain. If you don’t see yourself as I describe then that is ok too. We are all in the perfect right place where we need to be. If you do feel uncomfortable .... then open your eyes and relax. 

If you hear sounds or disturbance or have a thought occur to you  - just let them go.

Close you eyes and take a deep breath. Exhale and let all thoughts go, let all your fears go. If you have a worry - just put it up on the shelf beside you - you can pick it up again later. 

Listen to the silence surrounding my words.

Remember that you are quite safe - that you are surrounded by people who only want you to experience peace, love and joy. 

Sink into you chair and feel your feet on the floor, your back against the backrest and just relax.

Take another deep breath. Feel the energy of the universe filling your heart. As you breath out feel the love and energy flowing to all parts of your body, down your arms and into your fingers – down your legs and into your toes. 

Know that you feel the energy of god’s love throughout your body.

In your imagination, see that you have an old coat or painting coverall next to you with a paint-brush and a pot of black paint. Put on the coat and feel it covering you - fasten the buttons one by one. You feel safe. 

We have a game to play - we are going to do some painting.

Think of an instance when you felt imposed upon. Make a mark or paint some words on to the outside of your coat which shows how you feel. 

... saw yourself as depressed.

... as failing. 

See how the paint soaks into the fabric.

... as endangered. 

... as helpless.

You have some big shinny labels. Write on them and pin them on. 

... as victorious. 'I was a winner'

... was charitable. 

... see yourself and virtuous.

Notice how the coat is getting heavy and uncomfortable. Notice how you feel letting other people see all your markings and labels. 

In your imagination, walk to the door of the room, open the door. Hear the noise and bustle from the street outside, hear the noise of people talking in the distance. Feel the cool air outside.

Start to unbutton the coat and notice how a clear bright golden light shines out from deep inside you. The light gets brighter as you open the coat. A golden light reflects from all around you - it is wonderful. Notice how you feel lighter as you take off the coat. There is nothing left but bright golden light. 

Leave the heavy coat outside the door. Know that if you wish you may pick it up again when you leave this place.

You feel surrounded in golden energy and love - move back into the room and notice that all the other people are wonderful beings of golden light just as you are. Feel safe and secure in this place with others just like yourself. 

Know that you can choose to return to this place when ever you want. You don’t need any labels or concepts of who or what you are.

Enjoy the golden light – it is yours  - and when you feel ready, return to your seat - relax for a little while and feel safe. 

In a moment I will count backwards from five. When I get to one and when you are ready, open you eyes and come back to the room.




Lesson 36


My holiness envelops everything I see.


A Meditation led by Irene Nelson


We can do this lesson and try to get a real sense of how holiness may emanate from us; enveloping, blessing and surrounding everything.


I hope we’ll try and experience our holiness enveloping, and blessing everything in this meditation.


Sit comfortably.

Close your eyes.



Inhale for the count of 3 – Exhale for the count of 5.


Relax and feel the heaviness of your body, your legs, your arms, your shoulders; now your whole body.


Encircle your whole body with light, love and peace.



Then repeat to yourself:


My holiness envelops and blesses my loving heart.

My holiness envelops and blesses my body.

My holiness envelops and blesses this room, including all the furniture and all of us here.

My holiness envelops and blesses this whole building.

My holiness envelops and blesses the whole of Belfast.

My holiness envelops and blesses the whole of Ireland.

My holiness envelops and blesses the British Isles.

My holiness envelops and blesses the Planet Earth.

My holiness envelops and blesses the Sun and the Planetary System.

My holiness envelops and blesses the Milky Way and the Galaxy.

My holiness envelops and blesses the Universe.


And pushing right into infinity……………




Feel the Peace and Love of God embracing us…….





Now we return slowly back from Infinity……..


And let my holiness envelop…..


The Universe

The Milky Way and the Galaxy

The Sun and the Planetary System

The Planet Earth

The British Isles

The whole of Ireland

The whole of Belfast

This whole building

This room

My body

My loving heart.


We now feel…….


Rejuvenated     Revitalized      Renewed


with God’s love and blessings.


We place the future in the Hands of God.



Slowly become aware of your whole body.

Gently move your hands, your feet.

Give yourself a good stretch.


Open your eyes and return to this room.


Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding us.


Reflections on Lessons 15 and 16 from ACIM – Sam Webb



I find that knowledge can sometimes be deepened with understanding and understanding can be gained through reflection on related perspectives whether these are already familiar to us or not. Here are some ponderings from the scientific, philosophical and religious worlds that may be of value to you.

What Einstein had to say:

In giving us E=MC2 Einstein effectively told us that everything is energy. Everything that appears to be solid to us is in fact a swirling cluster of subatomic particles.

The physical world around us is one large sea of energy that is constantly flashing in and out of being. Science now tells us that what we see with our eyes is actually an illusion. The world you see is a mirror of your thoughts about what you think you see. 

Why is this?  It’s simply because of the limitations of our senses and our personal interpretations based on our internal map of reality.

Throughout the animal kingdom the evidence of how we sense from a range of spectrums is apparent. A dog can hear a very high- pitched whistle that we cannot hear. A hawk can see a mouse from a height where we would be unable to se it.

When we look at a TV screen we think we see a moving picture of form and pattern.
This is really an illusion as what we are really viewing is a mass of electrons bombarding a screen in a certain way.

So we are constantly creating images from the sea of energy all around us. But we do this by perceiving through a very limited and limiting range of senses and arriving at an incomplete, inaccurate and false experience of reality. 

Furthermore as humans we go further by adding personalised interpretation based on our internal map of reality. Our map is made up of our life’s experiences and acts as a filter and interpreter, influenced by our prejudices, beliefs, assumptions, preferences and so on.

Science also tells us that nothing exists independent of its observer. In other words the very act of observing an object causes it to be there for us. It’s also true that when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at begin to change. 

We replace vision with illusions through the function we give to the body’s eyes.


What Socrates had to say:

“All men are innocent by virtue of the fact that they are unable to discern appearance from essence, truth from falsehood and that they pursue illusion”


What we think we see is not what is, what we perceive as truth is often falsehood

There is a dual reality in the universe. Two dimensions which we dance between. An unbalanced life is usually characterised by a dominant identification with the worldly

dimension. The world of form, ego, sense perceptions, thoughts and emotions.


The other part, the essence of who you really are, is the formless world or Being. This part is often blotted out or unnoticed because of our insistence of living in and our identification with, the world of Form.

The Dance Between The Two Worlds

                           FORM                                             SPACE/FORMLESSNESS


                           THE WORLD                                 THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN


                           THINGS                                          NO-THINGNESS


                           TIME                                               ETERNITY


                           FOREGROUND                             BACKGROUND


                           DO                                                   BE


                           MIND                                              CONSCIOUSNESS


                           SEPARATION                                ONENESS


                           SENSES                                           STILLNESS/SILENCE


                           TRANSIENT                                    EVERLASTING


                            APPEARANCE                               ESSENCE


                            FALSEHOOD                                  TRUTH


My thoughts are images that I have made, Lesson 15.  I have no neutral thoughts, Lesson 16


God is in everything I see, Lesson 29


What The Upanishads had to say:

The Upanishads form part of the ancient Indian scriptures known as the Vedas and are regarded as being the divine revelations of saints and seers who lived hundreds of years before Christ.

The Chandogya Upanishad is one of the most profound and beautiful. It describes the nature of reality and the unity of all existence through a story revealing the essence of the nonlocal self.

The nonlocal self could be referred to in other ways including God. Nonlocal means it cannot be localised, it is beyond the realm of space and time, it is not IN you or OUT there. It simply is.


The ACIM lessons we are discussing progress to the later lessons such as Lesson 29

which tells us God is in everything I see and Vision shows the holiness that lights up the world. Each lesson from lesson 15 however is portraying this truth at some ‘level’.

The Chandogya Upanishad provides another way of accepting, understanding and experiencing these truths.


I have not recounted the complete story here but selected portions. There is a great little Signet Classic book, The Upanishads, Breath of the Eternal by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester which you may want to check out for further reference. Also Deepak Chopra’s  book, SynchroDestiny is a great read and

very relevant to this. He also tells some of this story in his book. 


From The Chandogya Upanishad

The great sage Uddalaka sent his twelve year old son, Svetaketu to school to study under a Guru for twelve years telling him “ none of our family is ignorant of the ultimate reality (Brahman)”

He returned after twelve years full of pride because he could remember all the Vedas. His father asked him:

Svetaketu, what is that thing which cannot be heard but makes hearing possible, which cannot be seen but makes seeing possible, which cannot be known but makes knowledge possible, which cannot be imagined but makes imagination possible?” 

“What is that thing Father?”

“When we know one lump of clay, all things made from clay are known, the difference being only in name and arising from speech. When we know a single nugget of gold all things made from gold are known. All the jewellery is just gold and all the pots are just clay- exactly so is that knowledge, knowing which we know all.” 

“Surely if my teacher knew of this knowledge he would have given it to me. Will you then give me this knowledge Father?”

“Be it so” said Uddalaka and continued,

“In the beginning there was Existence, One only, without a second. Some say in the beginning there was non-existence only, and that out of that the universe was born. But how could such a thing be? How could existence be born of non-existence? No, in the beginning there was Existence alone-One only, without a second. He, the One thought to himself: Let me be many, let me grow forth. Thus out of himself he projected the universe; and having projected out of himself the universe, he entered into every being. All that is has its self in him alone. Of all things he is the subtle essence. He is the truth. He is the Self. And Svetaketu, you are that” 

“Tell me more my father”

“In the same way the bees make honey from the nectar of many flowers, but once the honey is made the nectar cannot say, ‘I am from this flower or that one’ So too when you merge with your nonlocal Self  you become one with the Self of all, and Svetaketu, you are that.

“Please father tell me more about this Self” 

“The river Ganges flows to the East. The river Indus flows to the west. However both enter the sea and having become the sea neither knows  whether it is this river or that.

So too my son, everything that exists has its source in the nonlocal Self, and that Self is the subtlest essence of all. It is the true Self. And Svetaketu, you are that.

“Enlighten me further father” 

“Bring me a fruit from the Nyagrodha tree”

Svetaketu brought the fruit to his father. 

“Break it open and tell me what you see”

“Tiny seeds father” 

“Break one open and tell me what you see now”

“I see that there is nothing left, father” 

“That which you do not see is the subtle essence, and in that is the whole of the Nyagrodha tree. So too the universe sprouts forth from the nonlocal Self. That is the Truth. That is the Self. And Svetaketu you too are that.

Uddelaka then asks his son to place a cube of salt in a pail of water. On the following day Uddelaka asks Svetaketu to give him back the cube of salt 

“I cannot, it has dissolved”

“Sip the water and tell me how it tastes”

“It tastes salty father” 

“Just as the salt is localised in the cube and dispersed in the water, so too your Self is simultaneously localised in your body and pervading the entire universe.

You do not perceive the Self in your body, but without it conceptualisation would not be possible. You cannot imagine the Self, but without it imagination would not be possible. However, when you become the Self and live from the level of this nonlocal Self, you will be connected to all that exists, because the Self is the source of all that exists. Truth, reality, existence, consciousness, the Absolute – call it what you wish, it is the ultimate reality, the ground of all being. And you are that, Svetaketu.

“Live from that level, Svetaketu and all your desires will come true because from that level they will not be just your personal desires, they will be aligned with the desires of all that exists”

And Svetaketu practiced all that he had learned and became one of the greatest seers of the Vedantic tradition.

For a copy of this or further reflections or to share your own reflections please email

Sam  on




ACIM Workbook Part 1 Lesson 22

‘What I see is a form of vengeance.’

Leader: Chris Boyd 

This bit is to help the intellect to understand-> 

Projection – defined by Freud:

In psychology, psychological projection (or projection bias) is a defence mechanism in which one attributes ("projects") to others, one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted subconscious impulses/desires without letting the ego recognise them.(I am kidding myself in order to feel better!) Vis: I have an unconscious faulty belief or ‘guilty feeling’ that I am not worthy of friendship with say – T, who I admire. I feel bad about myself but can’t acknowledge it on a conscious level to myself so therefore, to ‘square the circle’, I have to believe that something T is doing is making me feel bad ie she is cold or indifferent(vengeful) toward me.  By seeing her as ‘being bad’ I am taking revenge on T for my fears. 

This is to be heard by the heart-> 

In this lesson Jesus is helping me understand that this whole world I see as outside me is really a projection of the conflict that is coming from my mind. Jesus is helping me understand that this world I think of as outside me is really a projection of my belief in separation.

This projection shows up as a world of conflict that appears to be outside my mind. Because I feel guilt for this desire for individuality I do not want to acknowledge this wish to see separation and push these thoughts of conflict down into the unconscious realms. 

Now because I want to heal my mind, I need to have what is really happening at unconscious levels brought to my attention. This lesson helps me understand why I see so much conflict in the world. The conflict that I see out in the world is simply a reflection of the conflict that is in my mind. This helps me understand why I experience fear. There are times when it seems to go away, but it will resurface until I let go of the cause. So I do need to know and understand fully the depth of attack thoughts that reside in the unconscious layers of my mind.

I want to go with the Holy Spirit and look at it very directly and see this ego thought system for what it is. The Holy Spirit will show me that it is really not what I want. I really do not want to continue seeing separation. I want to recognise lack of Love for what it is and let it go. I want to see behind the veil of separate bodies with separate minds to what is real. 

In today’s lesson I am learning that what I see is a form of vengeance. I am willing to let the Holy Spirit walk me through the unconscious motivations I have been attached to. I am willing to hand them over. I am willing to practice letting my mind be healed today.

But He has provided us the means to escape from the insane world we appear to have made. It is His Voice, our inner Teacher, Who is ever present to show us what we really want if we will but ask. Eventually the pain of ‘living’ in the world we appear to have made becomes so great that we are willing to look for a better way. 

As I begin to meditate on today’s lesson, I say, “I place my mind under your guidance, Jesus.” Soon afterwards, the tightness around my heart begins to dissolve. I am reminded that love is not an intellectual exercise. It is the lifting of the veil, the lifting of the illusion of separation between what appears to be two beings. This experience and experiences like this are the flip of the switch that take me from seeing the world as a form of vengeance into the experience of extending Love through the world. These experiences open my heart and remind me of the truth of Who I am. This is my healing.

It is helpful not be afraid when we look at the vengeance in ourselves and others. It is so important for us to not feel guilty, for as Jesus said, “We know not what we do.” When we become aware, we easily turn to Spirit and ask to see things differently. He shows us the Love that we have inside. He shows us the joy and peace we have inside. And He reminds us that we are truly worthy and loveable and all is truly well. 

Yesterday I could not believe how many people and incidents in my life made me angry. Especially when I stopped pretending that twinges of annoyance didn't count as anger. Today it is easy for me to see how I have peopled my world with all that anger. No wonder the world seems so scary. I would feel anger toward someone or something and stop myself long enough to realise I was defending against my own projected illusions.

Do I want to live in a world of fear? This is not how I was created to exist. If I let go of my ego vision and allow the Holy Spirit to show me what is real, I can be happy. I can live as I was created to exist because I see fear is not real. Only Love is real. In Love I am happy for I am truly me.




ACIM Workbook Part 1 Lesson 23

'I can escape the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.'

Leader: John Gribben

The last lesson focussed on becoming aware of how attack thoughts dominate the way we see the world. This lesson moves on to what we can do about that, how we can change it. Briefly, what we must do is begin to IDENTIFY these attack thoughts, then we must let them go. It’s as simple as that. This course is just that – a course, like a course of antibiotics; if you stop the treatment halfway through you won’t get well. Or, it’s like a Degree or Diploma course. Halfway through the course you don’t know everything there is to know – there’s a lot of things you don’t understand – but you have to stick at it and practice for it to sink in and start to make sense. This lesson refers to Vision – but that comes later; for the moment we have to work our way through these early steps. And, like many fields of learning, the Course is recursive; you learn a thing and come back to it a year later and realize you have to learn it again, to go deeper, to let it sink in a bit further.

So, it’s very simple – just do the exercise. Identify the attack thoughts and let them go. But there are some difficult things here, too. Sometimes the simplest things in life are also the hardest. What about, "The world you see is a vengeful world and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance"? Isn’t that a bit harsh? Surely the world isn’t that bad. Surely I’m not that bad! No, the world is not bad and I am not bad. But, no matter who I am, I will have picked up pain that has still not been released somewhere along the line. Many of us carry generations of pain – I don’t mean that it’s passed on in the blood or by magic – I mean that, down through the generations, families perpetuate patterns of behaviour and perception which are modelled to children – these ways of acting and seeing cause us and those around us pain. A man who never got much affection from his father will often behave similarly towards his own son, depriving him of much-needed support, inflicting pain in the form of shame, for example, and of course passing on that same behaviour to him. In a wider context, we are all burdened by the perceptions we learn from the communities we grew up in, as we in Ulster are very aware. As Chris said last week, when we have been hurt we are in fear, fear of being hurt again. We see this hurt as having been caused by someone or something out there – or by ourselves. So we attack. But attacking only creates more pain, and so the cycle of pain continues. The answer is to rise above this cycle of abuse and self-abuse and see that the fear is something handed to us which we can let go. And when we do we will really see the Vision, which is the true beauty of the world and others and ourselves unfettered and free of the poison of blame, resentment, guilt, attack.

And what about this business of not changing the world? Surely we need to help others? Surely we need to change the awful hell people are living in Darfur or Iraq or South Africa? If the Course says, just escape from the world, isn’t that some kind of irresponsible escapism? I suggest that the Course is referring not to the world, but to YOUR world, that is the WAY YOU SEE the world. Go ahead and help people all you want I hear it saying, but be careful to get your head on straight and see it right. Be aware, when you’re helping those people to get better accommodation or when you’re curing them of disease, of what your perceptions of them are or what your perceptions of yourself are. How much do you need to be a helper and what does that say about your self-image? Are you attacking yourself for not being good enough? Do you feel attacked by others for not being good enough? How aware are you? I think we have a duty to work for a better world – it’s only common sense – but we also have a duty to work on ourselves. The two things go together. Didn’t Christ say, "Love your neighbour as yourself."? Too often we forget the second half of that statement – "as yourself." We all have a duty to ourselves primarily. Once again, it makes sense; what use are we to others if we are unconscious of our attack thoughts? I’ve seen too much evidence of religious people who give up everything for the Church, but are living embodiments of bitterness and resentment.

This lesson is about recognition. We need to work at recognising the attack thoughts in us. And then what? Let go. But that’s not as easy as it sounds either. Antony de Mello says just wake up, be aware, and the rest happens by itself. Others say there are three steps: Awareness, Acceptance and Process. Part of letting go is acceptance; accepting that these awful thoughts are in us, that we are weak. Process is about allowing all that pain to flow through us and not get stuck. Is it that simple? This lesson gives us hope – it says, "you will not be making them alone." I suggest that this is a pointer to the great conclusion of the Course and any spiritual path; that we are not alone.

I said earlier that you can’t jump ahead too far, you have to take the Course a step at a time AND PRACTICE! But I want to just leap ahead briefly and tackle that word Vision. Some people, reading about attack thoughts will say, "Yeah, I have attack thoughts, and that’s because people are attacking ME! So don’t give me any guff about it all being an illusion. It’s not an illusion that my father hurt me, that my teachers abused me, that my classmates ridiculed me. So it’s no wonder I have attack thoughts!" It’s not easy to say to someone who speaks like this that all he has to do is drop his / her illusions. She/ he might well retort, "They’re not illusions; those people really hurt me!" This, for me, is where the business of "not being alone" comes in. The fact is, we are all in this world together. And not just the ones that are here today – everybody who has ever lived. We are all part of the same big universe. I am as responsible for you as I am for me, because we’re all in this together. Everything that you do was caused, in a round-about way, by everyone else, by all of us. (Perhaps this is what the church means by Original Sin.) We are all in this world to heal together and we are all responsible for everything we do and everything everyone else does. This is the message of the mystics – after much meditation and spiritual struggle, awakening takes the form of the realisation that we are all one. So, the thought that someone HURT ME is only true on a very superficial level. The challenge is to see beyond the hurt to the healing.



ACIM Workbook Part 1 Lesson 24

 'I do not perceive my own best interests.'

Leader:  Sam Webb


The CIM learning is said to be circular. Themes and lessons come around again and again impacting us with varying degrees of intensity on different levels and at different junctures on our journey.

Each lesson too is circular and complete in itself and often its wholeness is further strengthened in the associated preceding and subsequent lessons

And so, Lesson 24 while being complete in itself leaves us on a knife edge, knowing that our perceptions are wrong when seeking our best interests in any situation we find ourselves in. It’s not until the following lesson that we learn why this is and what we can do about it.

It’s a bridging lesson and we have just stepped on the bridge to gaze at the water beneath us to ponder its flow. This lesson does not take us across the bridge however. But to unlearn and relearn what we think we already know we must stop a while and become aware of how we are doing what we are doing.

And so this lesson requires of us Honesty, Patience, Humility, Awareness, Acceptance and Open-mindedness.

We are told our perceptions of the situation we are concerned about are wrong and therefore it is not possible to know what our best interests are.

Admitting to ourselves that we have several conflicting and contradictory goals regarding the outcome of the situation can be humbling. As we patiently and honestly reveal the array of goals we have attached to this situation we realise the truth in today’s lesson.

We cannot know what are own best interests are nor the outcome that would make us happy. We cannot know because of our faulty perceptions

and yet our actions taken are determined by these perceptions.

Before making decisions and determining our actions we can now become aware that :






The objective then of the lesson here is to let us open our minds to the real knowledge which is that we do not know. We believe we do and our conviction blinds us from learning what our own best interests really are.

Could it be that we need help ? Could it be that the results are in God’s hands ? Could the outcome then be anything but good?

Could we let it be ? Could we let whatever happens be OK?

We can never know everything about a situation. We operate from a limited viewpoint. We have a personal agenda. We filter information . We add meaning, interpretations and we attach to preferential outcomes.

We come to one decision, only to imagine some previously unconsidered possible outcome and so we change again and again and again.

And when we are totally sure that we really know what’s best for us and we are certain that we know what we want for ourselves – it’s particularly at these times we cannot be taught what our own best interests really are.

We need patience to go through this as often as we need to until we see that we do not perceive our own best interests in this way.

Here are some comforting words before the more solution-based lessons to come:

Learning and growth always follow chaos and confusion

Let it be unto me as You will.


Take no thought for tomorrow



ACIM Workbook Part 1 Lesson 26

'My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.'

Leader: Chris Boyd

This lesson is teaching me that if I fear anything, if I am worried about anything, or if I have a concern of any kind, that what appears to come from the outside world is really coming from attack thoughts that are still residing in my mind. Remember that, as well as fear of being attacked, our ‘attack thoughts’ are most potent when we dress them up as a defence or justification for our actions. We can also feel good or justified in bringing someone down to earth who is ‘too big for their boots’. We feel safest when we can be the judge of the situation and impose our own sense of values – as if we knew what was best in any given circumstances.

Our experience of the outer world is an effect, not a cause. If I think I am vulnerable in any way, it is because I am still holding on to attack thoughts. It is very powerful to have this understanding. What I think of as real in this ‘life’ journey shows me where there is still a need to heal my mind.

We have a choice of two ways of thinking. Our normal way of thinking is to identify with our supposition that we are primarily alone in our responsibility to keep ourselves safe. We learn strategies involving power and possessions and cherish our ability to get what we want to keep ourselves feeling secure. The unconscious thought behind all this is that, if we don’t do it, then we will become unhappy, with not enough standing or status in the world, not enough to keep ourselves amused and entertained or not even enough to eat or keep our selves warm. In fact we might even die if we don’t give this our full attention! We are a separate insignificant sole, under constant threat of being alone, vulnerable and only as good as our latest accomplishment or possession.

However, we have a choice of two ways of thinking. The alternative way of thinking is to identify with our loving centre and the Holy Spirit. I am sure we have all come across times when say - talking to a friend or a child, when we just know in our hearts that this person needs love and acceptance and understanding – and at that moment the last thing we want to do is to tell them of our latest possession or accomplishment – and instead we listen and encourage. The result of these experiences is that we just know that this is a real moment of a meeting of hearts, and is so much more valuable than the money, possessions or power which normally takes up most of our time.

In these ‘sane’ moments I just know that when I am dead and gone, that all the money, status power etc that I thought I had, will be long gone and that what will remain, to ripple outwards and onwards, is the love that I have sent out into the world by showing that liberating kindness or consideration to those who I have had a ‘real’ connection with. To those I have treated as my brother with no separation.

I hope you can see that I am saying that I know I have a choice of where my mind attributes value. – What I believe is valuable.

SO, I have a way out of the seemingly endless spiral of thinking that I am weak and vulnerable in a dangerous world. Now I know that this simply is not true. In truth, all that is REAL is Love, so all that is real is invulnerable. In the introduction to the Course it says, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.”

It is only my own attack thoughts that give me the dream experience of being attacked or vulnerable. I can change my thoughts and I am thankful that this is so. I am willing to look at all the places where I am concerned or afraid, and realize that these thoughts are an attack upon myself. I can take each situation to the Holy Spirit. I can receive a correction in my perception. This process of taking each concern, no matter how mild it may seem, to the Holy Spirit is important. Each baby step takes me one step closer to returning me to my true Identity as Love and nothing else.

This lesson is making it very clear that if I perceive vulnerability anywhere, that is an attack on myself. I have forgotten Who I am. I have forgotten that I was created by Love as Love. Thus any time I perceive somebody as harmed in any way, including myself, or I see the potential for harm, I am attacking myself. I could not perceive this weakness if I did not perceive weakness in myself first. This again points to the damaging ‘faulty beliefs’ that, with the help of the H.S., I will bring out of the darkness to dissolve in the Light.


ACIM Work Book Part 1  Lesson 27

“Above all else I want to see”

Leader: Sam Webb



Purpose and Meaning

The purpose of this lesson is to bring closer the day when you want vision more than anything and everything else.


We may well ask how it differs from Lesson 20 that taught  I am determined to see”

Lesson 20 was about bringing some structure and discipline to our practice periods through decision - making and determination. Yet we are also to understand it is not to do with an effort to exert force or pressure.


Lesson 27 is our second lesson in frequent practice but is emphasising something more powerful than determination. It positions the desire to see at the highest level  above all else”. This means no matter how significant or important any other goal seems to us, it can never be in first place. That place is reserved for our desire to see.

How often we remember to repeat the idea will be the indicator of how determined we really want to see above all else. However we should first consider all we are told in the lesson about practice and the many repetitions required with this lesson.



We experience even greater structure here than in Lesson 20. We are to repeat the exercise at least every half hour and more frequently is suggested with a set time schedule. This can be a tough schedule to stick to but we are given some welcome encouragement:


               We can repeat the lesson to ourselves even when we are engaged in

                conversation or otherwise engaged.


                When we forget a practice period we don’t need to let failure bother us, but

                simply get back on track immediately.


                 All it takes to save many years of effort is to repeat the idea just once

                 during the day with perfect sincerity.


                 We don’t even need to be concerned about meaning the idea fully. We are

                  to repeat it to bring closer the day when we will mean it

No Sacrifice or Cost

Repeating the idea may arouse fear or the feeling of having to give up something. In that case we can add: “Vision has no cost to anyone” and further if necessary, “it can only bless”

The phrase “above all else” can certainly be challenging but when we add these two phrases our fears are put to rest.

If we do have to give something up we come into the realization that we are giving nothing up that we truly want. There is no real sacrifice. The path of the Course does not believe in sacrifice. The only thing we are asked to give up is illusion. In reality this is only an illusion of sacrifice. Remember we are told: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists”

Spiritual Sight 

Wanting to see is referring to Vision and the Course refers to vision using various terms throughout. ‘ Spiritual Sight’ to me is perhaps the most explanatory meaning and this is the Christ sight. A question I ask myself is “ what would Jesus see here?”

It often takes this spiritual sight to answer truthfully. Right-mindedness, true perception and Christ’s vision are other terms referring to vision or wanting to see.

What we are wanting to arrive at is seeing everything as it truly is which is perfect.

Vision sees only sinlessness, innocence and holiness. Rather than seeing through the body’s eyes it sees through the eyes of Christ in us. It is a knowing within us rather than an interpretation of sense data. It is about seeing essence, pure content and pure meaning, looking past forms to the light of holiness.

Vision is our natural sight and is available to us when we want it. Above all else I want to see.



Non-Course but relevant quotes

A couple of quotes I came across put the idea across succinctly and with different perspectives.

                The gloom on the world is but a shadow.

                 Behind it, yet within its reach, is joy.

There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see

    And to see we have only to look.  I beseech you to look.                                      

                                                      Fra Giovanni

                                                              15th-16th century Italian scholar


              And now here is my secret, a very simple secret;

              It is only with the heart that one can see rightly,

                       What is essential is invisible to the eye.     Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Reflections on Lesson 29

by Chris Boyd

“God is in everything I see.”

God is love.

See the Definition of God and Christ per the Course:- 

I am being taught to shift from physical sight to spiritual sight. God can not be seen with the physical eyes. But I can be aware of God’s Presence as I open my mind to an inner vision, Christ’s vision. With Christ’s vision, I see that behind every form is the Light of God. I can train myself to open my mind with consistent practice to be open to the awareness of God’s presence everywhere.

This is a central and most important principal of the course. All is based on this. 

Although I don’t realise it, my thoughts, I, choose what I see (or perceive) in the world around me. I create the world I live in. If I perceive a fearful world then I will feel fear and project this on to others, blaming them for what I think is there.

We can do no better for ourselves, than to believe that love is everywhere in the world, ie God is everywhere. If we see love in everything ( and in the spiritual world love is all that is real) then we will live in a happy beautiful world. If we see love in everyone around us then we will treat them with love, respect and acceptance. They will feel loved and respected and reflect that back to us. The whole world gains.

In previous lesson we were taught:

I am never upset for the reasons I think.

My mind is preoccupied with past thoughts.

My thoughts are images that I have made.

What I see is a form of vengeance.

I do not perceive my own best interests.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

What I see is an effect not a cause. The Bad news is – I am creating the bad experiences in my life. – The good news is -- I am creating the bad experiences in my life! It is good news because if I am do it then I can change it. 

Today I am asking to see with spiritual sight and I know that what I really want to see, I will see. And so I use time today to practice opening my mind to spiritual sight, opening my mind to Christ’s vision. Through Christ’s vision I remember that only Love is real, and behind all form is the Love that is eternal, that is always there to see if I am open to seeing it.

Today I am asking to see with spiritual sight and I know that what I really want to see, I will see. And so I use time today to practice opening my mind to spiritual sight, opening my mind to Christ’s vision. Through Christ’s vision I remember that only Love is real, and behind all form is the Love that is eternal, that is always there to see if I am open to seeing it. I am willing to practice today letting my mind be healed. I am willing to practice remembering that God is in everything I see. 

If I see something that upsets me or I’m afraid of, clearly I’m not seeing Love there. I’m perceiving something else. This lesson is teaching me that despite my perception, Love is still there. If I’m not seeing it, I must need an adjustment in my perception.

I can experience God in every moment, if I choose to, because this is the reality that exists. I can choose reality or I can choose the illusion of separation, separation from God and, consequently, separation from persons and things. Today I choose Truth. Today I choose Love. 

Chris Boyd


Reflections on Lesson 34.  I could see peace instead of this.


Peace begins within. From our thoughts it extends outwards. It’s from our internal peace of mind that a peaceful world perception arises.


The kingdom of God is within you

               Luke 17



The power in the lesson comes from the realisation that we are not to focus on changing the outside circumstances, conditions, people, places or situations in order to be at peace but rather our thoughts about these things.


Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind

                      Romans 12




When your mind is at peace then you can respond if it’s necessary, in a more calm and constructive manner rather than react in a negative way and furthering unpleasant consequences.


….the peace that transcendeth all understanding





To React means to act again. We tend to keep reacting in the same way and obtaining similar results. Trying to change the outside without changing the inside first perpetuates the chaos.


As without so within

                                                                     Hermetic Truth



The tendency is to believe ‘I will be at peace when my problem is resolved or the condition improves’ This frame of mind leaves us in constant stress and fighting the world. You see things differently when you begin with your thoughts.


Peace of mind is clearly an internal matter

     ACIM  Lesson 34


. Go within . Find that peace that is there regardless of how circumstances are

  appearing to you.

. Throughout the day watch your mind for those things that unsettle you

.  Accept where you are and know it’s where you are supposed to be

.  Don’t feel guilt if you are not seeing peace. You could not should see peace

.  Practice will be required. Believe that you could see peace instead

.  When you change the way you look at things-the things you look at begin to


There is a part of you that is peace. It is found within. It is always there. You are never apart from it. It is there regardless of how things appear outside.

You could see this peace instead of what you are experiencing.

Be still and know that I am God       Psalm 46

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

                                                                John 14

Sam Webb

Author’s note
Some views and ideas expressed in this article are personal understandings and interpretations and some content may not be relevant or contained within the publication ‘A Course in miracles’ None of the content should be considered endorsed by the publishers of A Course in Miracles.

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