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PART I

LESSON 187.

I bless the world because I bless myself.

W-187.1. No one can give unless he has. 2 In fact, giving is proof of having. 3 We have made this point before. 4 What seems to make it hard to credit is not this. 5 No one can doubt that you must first possess what you would give. 6 It is the second phase on which the world and true perception differ. 7 Having had and given, then the world asserts that you have lost what you possessed. 8 The truth maintains that giving will increase what you possess.

W-187.2. How is this possible? 2 For it is sure that if you give a finite thing away, your body's eyes will not perceive it yours. 3 Yet we have learned that things but represent the thoughts that make them. 4 And you do not lack for proof that when you give ideas away, you strengthen them in your own mind. 5 Perhaps the form in which the thought seems to appear is changed in giving. 6 Yet it must return to him who gives. 7 Nor can the form it takes be less acceptable. 8 It must be more.

W-187.3. Ideas must first belong to you, before you give them. 2 If you are to save the world, you first accept salvation for yourself. 3 But you will not believe that this is done until you see the miracles it brings to everyone you look upon. 4 Herein is the idea of giving clarified and given meaning. 5 Now you can perceive that by your giving is your store increased.

W-187.4. Protect all things you value by the act of giving them away, and you are sure that you will never lose them. 2 What you thought you did not have is thereby proven yours. 3 Yet value not its form. 4 For this will change and grow unrecognizable in time, however much you try to keep it safe. 5 No form endures. 6 It is the thought behind the form of things that lives unchangeable.

W-187.5. Give gladly. 2 You can only gain thereby. 3 The thought remains, and grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving. 4 Thoughts extend as they are shared, for they can not be lost. 5 There is no giver and receiver in the sense the world conceives of them. 6 There is a giver who retains; another who will give as well. 7 And both must gain in this exchange, for each will have the thought in form most helpful to him. 8 What he seems to lose is always something he will value less than what will surely be returned to him.

W-187.6. Never forget you give but to yourself. 2 Who understands what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice. 3 Nor can he fail to recognize the many forms which sacrifice may take. 4 He laughs as well at pain and loss, at sickness and at grief, at poverty, starvation and at death. 5 He recognizes sacrifice remains the one idea that stands behind them all, and in his gentle laughter are they healed.

W-187.7. Illusion recognized must disappear. 2 Accept not suffering, and you remove the thought of suffering. 3 Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers, when you choose to see all suffering as what it is. 4 The thought of sacrifice gives rise to all the forms that suffering appears to take. 5 And sacrifice is an idea so mad that sanity dismisses it at once.

W-187.8. Never believe that you can sacrifice. 2 There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value. 3 If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen and correction must be made. 4 Your blessing will correct it. 5 Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well. 6 No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.

W-187.9. The lilies that your brother offers you are laid upon your altar, with the ones you offer him beside them. 2 Who could fear to look upon such lovely holiness? 3 The great illusion of the fear of God diminishes to nothingness before the purity that you will look on here. 4 Be not afraid to look. 5 The blessedness you will behold will take away all thought of form, and leave instead the perfect gift forever there, forever to increase, forever yours, forever given away.

W-187.10. Now are we one in thought, for fear has gone. 2 And here, before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. 3 Not separate from Him Who is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our one Self Whose innocence has joined us all as one, we stand in blessedness, and give as we receive. 4 The Name of God is on our lips. 5 And as we look within, we see the purity of Heaven shine in our reflection of our Father's Love.

W-187.11. Now are we blessed, and now we bless the world. 2 What we have looked upon we would extend, for we would see it everywhere. 3 We would behold it shining with the grace of God in everyone. 4 We would not have it be withheld from anything we look upon. 5 And to ensure this holy sight is ours, we offer it to everything we see. 6 For where we see it, it will be returned to us in form of lilies we can lay upon our altar, making it a home for Innocence Itself, Who dwells in us and offers us His Holiness as ours.

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