ACIM Text Reading for April 30
Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth
IV. Your Function in the Atonement
When you accept a brother’s guiltlessness you will see the Atonement in him. For by proclaiming it in him you make it yours, and you will see what you sought. You will not see the symbol of your brother’s guiltlessness shining within him while you still believe it is not there. His guiltlessness is your Atonement. Grant it to him, and you will see the truth of what you have acknowledged. Yet truth is offered first to be received, even as God gave it first to His Son. The first in time means nothing, but the First in eternity is God the Father, Who is both First and One. Beyond the First there is no other, for there is no order, no second or third, and nothing but the First.
You who belong to the First Cause, created by Him like unto Himself and part of Him, are more than merely guiltless. The state of guiltlessness is only the condition in which what is not there has been removed from the disordered mind that thought it was. This state, and only this, must you attain, with God beside you. For until you do, you will still think that you are separate from Him. You can perhaps feel His Presence next to you, but cannot know that you are one with Him. This cannot be taught. Learning applies only to the condition in which it happens of itself.
When you have let all that obscured the truth in your most holy mind be undone for you, and therefore stand in grace before your Father, He will give Himself to you as He has always done. Giving Himself is all He knows, and so it is all knowledge. For what He knows not cannot be, and therefore cannot be given. Ask not to be forgiven, for this has already been accomplished. Ask, rather, to learn how to forgive, and to restore what always was to your unforgiving mind. Atonement becomes real and visible to those who use it. On earth this is your only function, and you must learn that it is all you want to learn. You will feel guilty till you learn this. For in the end, whatever form it takes, your guilt arises from your failure to fulfil your function in God’s Mind with all of yours. Can you escape this guilt by failing to fulfil your function here?
You need not understand creation to do what must be done before that knowledge would be meaningful to you. God breaks no barriers; neither did He make them. When you release them they are gone. God will not fail, nor ever has in anything. Decide that God is right and you are wrong about yourself. He created you out of Himself, but still within Him. He knows what you are. Remember that there is no second to Him. There cannot, therefore, be anyone without His Holiness, nor anyone unworthy of His perfect Love. Fail not in your function of loving in a loveless place made out of darkness and deceit, for thus are darkness and deceit undone. Fail not yourself, but instead offer to God and you His blameless Son. For this small gift of appreciation for His Love, God will Himself exchange your gift for His.
Before you make any decisions for yourself, remember that you have decided against your function in Heaven, and then consider carefully whether you want to make decisions here. Your function here is only to decide against deciding what you want, in recognition that you do not know. How, then, can you decide what you should do? Leave all decisions to the One Who speaks for God, and for your function as He knows it. So will He teach you to remove the awful burden you have laid upon yourself by loving not the Son of God, and trying to teach him guilt instead of love. Give up this frantic and insane attempt that cheats you of the joy of living with your God and Father, and of waking gladly to His Love and Holiness that join together as the truth in you, making you one with Him.
When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer. Only your own volition seems to make deciding hard. The Holy Spirit will not delay in answering your every question what to do. He knows. And He will tell you, and then do it for you. You who are tired will find this is more restful than sleep. For you can bring your guilt into sleeping, but not into this.
Unless you are guiltless you cannot know God, Whose Will is that you know Him. Therefore, you must be guiltless. Yet if you do not accept the necessary conditions for knowing Him, you have denied Him and do not recognise Him, though He is all around you. He cannot be known without His Son, whose guiltlessness is the condition for knowing Him. Accepting His Son as guilty is denial of the Father so complete, that knowledge is swept away from recognition in the very mind where God Himself has placed it. If you would but listen, and learn how impossible this is! Do not endow Him with attributes you understand. You made Him not, and anything you understand is not of Him.
Your task is not to make reality. It is here without your making, but not without you. You who have tried to throw yourself away and valued God so little, hear me speak for Him and for yourself. You cannot understand how much your Father loves you, for there is no parallel in your experience of the world to help you understand it. There is nothing on earth with which it can compare, and nothing you have ever felt apart from Him resembles it ever so faintly. You cannot even give a blessing in perfect gentleness. Would you know of One Who gives forever, and Who knows of nothing except giving?
The children of Heaven live in the light of the blessing of their Father, because they know that they are sinless. The Atonement was established as the means of restoring guiltlessness to minds that have denied it, and thus denied Heaven to itself. Atonement teaches you the true condition of the Son of God. It does not teach you what you are, or what your Father is. The Holy Spirit, who remembers this for you, merely teaches you how to remove the blocks that stand between you and what you know. His memory is yours. If you remember what you have made, you are remembering nothing. Remembrance of reality is in Him, and therefore in you.
The guiltless and the guilty are totally incapable of understanding one another. Each perceives the other as like himself, making both unable to communicate, because each sees the other unlike the way he sees himself. God can communicate only to the Holy Spirit in your mind, because only He shares the knowledge of what you are with God. And only the Holy Spirit can answer God for you, for only He knows what God is. Everything else that you have placed within your mind cannot exist, for what is not in communication with the Mind of God has never been. Communication with God is life. Nothing without it is at all.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 30
For morning and evening review:
(109) I rest in God.
I rest in God today, and let Him work in me and
through me, while I rest in Him in quiet and in
(110) I am as God created me.
I am God’s Son. Today I lay aside all sick illusions of
myself, and let my Father tell me Who I really am.
On the hour:
I rest in God.
On the half hour:
I am as God created me.
ACIM Q&A for Today
Q. What is A Course in Miracles’ teaching regarding karma?
A: Although A Course in Miracles does not use the word karma, which is the term found in Eastern spiritual teachings for the law of cause and effect, the Course certainly addresses the concept in many passages. Linear time is a central aspect of karma, or cause and effect, in the ego’s world. In the Course, Jesus tells us that cause and effect are not separate (T.26.VII.13:1) and it is only in the thought system of separation that the two can seem distinct. And it is only in the world of separation and time that karma, or the world’s law of cause and effect, can operate. Once we find ourselves (by our choice) within the world’s belief system, karma becomes neutral, although initially the ego developed the notion of cause and effect to establish the reality of separation, including the consequences of guilt and punishment for our attack on God. None of this of course is real, from the Course’s perspective. But given that we believe in the law of cause and effect — a by-product of our belief in the reality of the separation — Jesus shows us a gentler application of the principle.
The ego would have us believe that there are inevitable consequences for all our acts and failures to act within the world. Good acts beget good consequences and bad acts beget bad consequences. And there is a dualistic balance that needs to be maintained, or a debt that has to be paid, as a result of all of our choices in the world.
Jesus, however, shifts the focus from the world to our mind, where he helps us learn to recognize that the only choice we are ever really making is in our mind, between the ego thought system and the thought system of the Holy Spirit. And it is only within the mind that cause and effect have any real meaning. Each thought system has consequences in terms of whether or not we experience peace of mind. And our peace in the present depends only on our choice in the present, having nothing to do with any decision we have made in the past. This understanding has the potential of releasing us from the karmic cycle that seems to require that we experience the consequences of our actions in time and space. And forgiveness is the Course’s practice for releasing us from any so-called karmic debt. For additional discussions on karma from the perspective of the Course, see Questions #332 and #363.