Lesson 167 2021

Lesson 167 

Artwork by Cate Grieves https://www.facebook.com/acimpaintings

There is one life, and that I share with God. 

1. There are not different kinds of life, for life is like the truth. ²It does not have degrees. ³It is the one condition in which all that God created share. ⁴Like all His Thoughts, it has no opposite. ⁵There is no death because what God created shares His life. ⁶There is no death because an opposite to God does not exist. ⁷There is no death because the Father and the Son are one. 

It seems like there is death. My parents have died as have my brother and my sister-in-law. But it only seems this is so when perceived from the perspective of the illusion. What we are cannot die because what we are is an extension of God. God is life and God is All There Is. Obviously, there cannot be an opposite to All There Is. We are one with God and so we cannot die. These bodies are illusions and so do not live. 

2. In this world, there appears to be a state that is life’s opposite. ²You call it death. ³Yet we have learned that the idea of death takes many forms. ⁴It is the one idea which underlies all feelings that are not supremely happy. ⁵It is the alarm to which you give response of any kind that is not perfect joy. ⁶All sorrow, loss, anxiety and suffering and pain, even a little sigh of weariness, a slight discomfort or the merest frown, acknowledge death. ⁷And thus deny you live. 

Yes, in this world, a world that does not exist in reality, but only in dreams, there is what appears to be death. We experience death in many ways as Jesus has explained to us in a previous lesson. When we feel these death ideas, suffering, loss, anxiety, pain, we are acknowledging death. This is our belief in death.  

3. You think that death is of the body. ²Yet it is but an idea, irrelevant to what is seen as physical. ³A thought is in the mind. ⁴It can be then applied as mind directs it. ⁵But its origin is where it must be changed, if change occurs. ⁶Ideas leave not their source. ⁷The emphasis this course has placed on that idea is due to its centrality in our attempts to change your mind about yourself. ⁸It is the reason you can heal. ⁹It is the cause of healing. ¹⁰It is why you cannot die. ¹¹Its truth established you as one with God. 

Our bodies seem to inevitably die, our bodies never lived so how could they die. Bodies are an idea in our mind and it is only in our mind that they exist at all. We apply these ideas, that is we project them outward and give them the appearance of life. But these ideas do not leave their source and so they remain in our mind. Knowing this, we get a better idea of what we are. We are not the body projected, but the mind that projects. It is a strange idea for us since we are so strongly attached to the idea of ourselves as bodies, but it is necessary that we begin to accept this as the truth. As Jesus says, ⁸It is the reason you can heal. ⁹It is the cause of healing. ¹⁰It is why you cannot die. ¹¹Its truth established you as one with God. 

4. Death is the thought that you are separate from your Creator. ²It is the belief conditions change, emotions alternate because of causes you cannot control, you did not make, and you can never change. ³It is the fixed belief ideas can leave their source, and take on qualities the source does not contain, becoming different from their own origin, apart from it in kind as well as distance, time and form. 

We have made a world in our minds that would be the opposite of God, the opposite of life if it were real, but it cannot be real because there is no opposite of God, no opposite of Life. We cannot be separate from our Creator even though we imagine a world where this is possible. We are an idea in the Mind of God and therefore we cannot leave God. No matter what nightmares we dream, we are safe in God and cannot ever be anything else. 

5. Death cannot come from life. ²Ideas remain united to their source. ³They can extend all that their source contains. ⁴In that, they can go far beyond themselves. ⁵But they can not give birth to what was never given them. ⁶As they are made, so will their making be. ⁷As they were born, so will they then give birth. ⁸And where they come from, there will they return. 

6. The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. ²It cannot change what is its waking state. ³It cannot make a body, nor abide within a body. ⁴What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source. ⁵For mind creates all things that are, and cannot give them attributes it lacks, nor change its own eternal, mindful state. ⁶It cannot make the physical. ⁷What seems to die is but the sign of mind asleep. 

One of the ways I think of this is to compare it to something I can relate to. I have given birth to four children. They are each the same in that they are human beings, bodies. I cannot give birth to kittens, only to human babies. God can only create like Himself. He is not a human being, not a body. He is Spirit so we are Spirit as well. Anything else is just imagination, mind asleep. And again, Jesus tells us that we are not bodies, we did not actually make bodies and we are not in bodies. This is uncompromising. 

7. The opposite of life can only be another form of life. ²As such, it can be reconciled with what created it, because it is not opposite in truth. ³Its form may change; it may appear to be what it is not. ⁴Yet mind is mind, awake or sleeping. ⁵It is not its opposite in anything created, nor in what it seems to make when it believes it sleeps. 

A dream is not reality. Nothing about reality changes just because we are dreaming it has. 

8. God creates only mind awake. ²He does not sleep, and His creations cannot share what He gives not, nor make conditions which He does not share with them. ³The thought of death is not the opposite to thoughts of life. ⁴Forever unopposed by opposites of any kind, the Thoughts of God remain forever changeless, with the power to extend forever changelessly, but yet within themselves, for they are everywhere. 

This is an interesting paragraph.  

God creates only mind awake. 

God created mind awake so we cannot actually sleep. This reminds me of an interesting book, Collision with the Infinite. This is written by a woman who had a sudden awakening for which she was unprepared. In it she describes herself as being outside the body. She felt like she left her body but Jesus says that she was never in it so I think that she simply became aware of herself as being outside the body. She says that she would watch herself sleep. So she was never sleeping, only the body was sleeping.  

The thought of death is not the opposite to thoughts of life. 

There is nothing that is opposite of life. There is life and a dream of death, but not life and death. 

⁴Forever unopposed by opposites of any kind, the Thoughts of God remain forever changeless… 

Because there are no opposites, or anything not God or the Thoughts of God, we are changeless. We remain as God created us. 

with the power to extend forever changelessly, but yet within themselves, for they are everywhere. 

We have the power to extend (create) forever without changing and though we are extending ourselves we remain within ourselves because we are everywhere. I think this is referring to the fact that God is All There Is and so there is nowhere to be but in God and that we are everywhere God is, so we are Everywhere There Is. That makes sense in my mind. I hope it translates to others what I mean because I don’t know any other way to say it. 

9. What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. ²When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while. ³It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. ⁴When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was. 

We only seem to sleep because we cannot actually sleep. While in this state, we dream impossible dreams and when we stop dreaming them, we simply continue as what we always have been. Nothing has changed. That’s good news! 

10. Let us today be children of the truth, and not deny our holy heritage. ²Our life is not as we imagine it. ³Who changes life because he shuts his eyes, or makes himself what he is not because he sleeps, and sees in dreams an opposite to what he is? ⁴We will not ask for death in any form today. ⁵Nor will we let imagined opposites to life abide even an instant where the Thought of life eternal has been set by God Himself. 

We are being asked to remember the truth today and not to believe what seems to be happening. Yes, this seeming life will go on and we will continue to observe it and even to feel like we are really in these bodies. What we are being asked is that we simply remain aware that this is a dream state and not our reality. Let us not believe in the guilt and fear, the anger and hatred that seems to infuse this dream. 

11. His holy home we strive to keep today as He established it, and wills it be forever and forever. ²He is Lord of what we think today. ³And in His Thoughts, which have no opposite, we understand there is one life, and that we share with Him, with all creation, with their thoughts as well, whom He created in a unity of life that cannot separate in death and leave the Source of life from where it came. 

It is possible to see these bodies and their activities and at the same thing to know they are not real. In fact, reminding ourselves of this often is helpful in remembering who we are. It is helpful in our forgiveness lessons. Who is angry at a dream or afraid of something that isn’t real? Who defends a body that has no connection to them, and Jesus does assure us that we are not connected to these bodies.  

12. We share one life because we have one Source, a Source from which perfection comes to us, remaining always in the holy minds which He created perfect. ²As we were, so are we now and will forever be. ³A sleeping mind must waken, as it sees its own perfection mirroring the Lord of life so perfectly it fades into what is reflected there. ⁴And now it is no more a mere reflection. ⁵It becomes the thing reflected, and the light which makes reflection possible. ⁶No vision now is needed. ⁷For the wakened mind is one that knows its Source, its Self, its Holiness. 

(ACIM, W-167.1:1–12:7

What is the payoff for the work we do here? What do we gain as we remember that we are not bodies and not separate from God and each other? We begin to mirror the Lord of Life until we fade into what is reflected there. We become the thing reflected. We know our Source and our Self. 

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