ACIM Text Reading for April 25
Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World
XI. The Peace of Heaven
Forgetfulness and sleep and even death become the ego’s best advice for dealing with the perceived and harsh intrusion of guilt on peace, Yet no one sees himself in conflict and ravaged by a cruel war unless he believes that both opponents in the war are real. Believing this he must escape, for such a war would surely end his peace of mind, and so destroy him. Yet if he could but realise the war is between real and unreal powers, he could look upon himself and see his freedom. No one finds himself ravaged and torn in endless battles if he himself perceives them as wholly without meaning.
God would not have His Son embattled, and so His Son’s imagined ‘enemy’ is totally unreal. You are but trying to escape a bitter war from which you have escaped. The war is gone. For you have heard the hymn of freedom rising unto Heaven. Gladness and joy belong to God for your release, because you made it not. Yet as you made not freedom, so you made not a war that could endanger freedom. Nothing destructive ever was or will be. The war, the guilt, the past are gone as one into the unreality from which they came.
When we are all united in Heaven, you will value nothing that you value here. For nothing that you value here do you value wholly, and so you do not value it at all. Value is where God placed it, and the value of what God esteems cannot be judged, for it has been established. It is wholly of value. It can merely be appreciated or not. To value it partially is not to know its value. In Heaven is everything God values, and nothing else. Heaven is perfectly unambiguous. Everything is clear and bright, and calls forth one response. There is no darkness and there is no contrast. There is no variation. There is no interruption. There is a sense of peace so deep that no dream in this world has ever brought even a dim imagining of what it is.
Nothing in this world can give this peace, for nothing in this world is wholly shared. Perfect perception can merely show you what is capable of being wholly shared. It can also show you the results of sharing, while you still remember the results of not sharing. The Holy Spirit points quietly to the contrast, knowing that you will finally let Him judge the difference for you, allowing Him to demonstrate which must be true. He has perfect faith in your final judgement, because He knows that He will make it for you. To doubt this would be to doubt that His mission will be fulfilled. How is this possible, when His mission is of God?
You whose mind is darkened by doubt and guilt, remember this: God gave the Holy Spirit to you, and gave Him the mission to remove all doubt and every trace of guilt that His dear Son has laid upon himself. It is impossible that this mission fail. Nothing can prevent what God would have accomplished from accomplishment. Whatever your reactions to the Holy Spirit’s Voice may be, whatever voice you choose to listen to, whatever strange thoughts may occur to you, God’s Will is done. You will find the peace in which He established you, because He does not change His Mind. He is invariable as the peace in which you dwell, and of which the Holy Spirit reminds you.
You will not remember change and shift in Heaven. You have need of contrast only here. Contrast and differences are necessary teaching aids, for by them you learn what to avoid and what to seek. When you have learned this, you will find the answer that makes the need for any differences disappear. Truth comes of its own will unto its own. When you have learned that you belong to truth, it will flow lightly over you without a difference of any kind. For you will need no contrast to help you realise that this is what you want, and only this. Fear not the Holy Spirit will fail in what your Father has given Him to do. The Will of God can fail in nothing.
Have faith in only this one thing, and it will be sufficient: God wills you be in Heaven, and nothing can keep you from it, or it from you. Your wildest misperceptions, your weird imaginings, your blackest nightmares all mean nothing. They will not prevail against the peace God wills for you. The Holy Spirit will restore your sanity because insanity is not the Will of God. If that suffices Him, it is enough for you. You will not keep what God would have removed, because it breaks communication with you with whom He would communicate. His Voice will be heard.
The communication link that God Himself placed within you, joining your mind with His, cannot be broken. You may believe you want it broken, and this belief does interfere with the deep peace in which the sweet and constant communication God would share with you is known. Yet His channels of reaching out cannot be wholly closed and separated from Him. Peace will be yours because His peace still flows to you from Him Whose Will is peace. You have it now. The Holy Spirit will teach you how to use it, and by extending it, to learn that it is in you. God willed you Heaven, and will always will you nothing else. The Holy Spirit knows only of His Will. There is no chance that Heaven will not be yours, for God is sure, and what He wills is as sure as He is.
You will learn salvation because you will learn how to save. It will not be possible to exempt yourself from what the Holy Spirit wants to teach you. Salvation is as sure as God. His certainty suffices. Learn that even the darkest nightmare that disturbs the mind of God’s sleeping Son holds no power over him. He will learn the lesson of awaking. God watches over him and light surrounds him.
Can God’s Son lose himself in dreams, when God has placed within him the glad call to waken and be glad? He cannot separate himself from what is in him. His sleep will not withstand the call to wake. The mission of redemption will be fulfilled as surely as the creation will remain unchanged throughout eternity. You do not have to know that Heaven is yours to make it so. It is so. Yet to know it, the Will of God must be accepted as your will.
The Holy Spirit will undo for you everything you have learned that teaches that what is not true must be reconciled with truth. This is the reconciliation the ego would substitute for your reconciliation to sanity and to peace. The Holy Spirit has a very different kind of reconciliation in His Mind for you, and one He will effect as surely as the ego will not effect what it attempts. Failure is of the ego, not of God. From Him you cannot wander, and there is no possibility that the plan the Holy Spirit offers to everyone, for the salvation of everyone, will not be perfectly accomplished. You will be released, and you will not remember anything you made that was not created for you and by you in return. For how can you remember what was never true, or not remember what has always been? It is this reconciliation with truth, and only truth, in which the peace of Heaven lies.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 25
For morning and evening review:
(99) Salvation is my only function here.
My function here is to forgive the world for all the errors
I have made. For thus am I released from them
with all the world.
(100) My part is essential to God’s plan for salvation.
I am essential to the plan of God for the salvation of the world.
For He gave me His plan that I might save the world.
On the hour:
Salvation is my only function here.
On the half hour:
My part is essential to God’s plan for salvation.
Q&A for Today
Q #620: A web search on A Course in Miracles produces many anti-Course articles — everything ranging from the view that the Course is Satan-inspired, to opinions that those who are involved with it are anti-Christian, anti-Biblical cultists. As one who came to the Course after having validated its principles of forgiveness and peace in real life before ever reading a word of them in print, I perpetually wrestle with the fact that I believe in my heart the Course is valid but that its Jesus does contradict the Bible. This is starting to cause me much anguish, as the Bible itself says there will be many false prophets in the end times and to test their words against the Scriptures. I can certainly understand differences in interpretation, but all of the direct contradictions are causing me to have serious doubts.
A: Many students have anguished over this issue, some returning to their prior religious affiliation, and others remaining with the Course. There is no doubt that the theology of the Course and that of the Bible are mutually exclusive. No one can make this decision for you. You should follow whatever path brings you closer to God, and leaves you feeling peaceful, and with love for all people. To make your decision based on fear, though, would seem to be counter- productive, as it would be hard to feel love for a God Who binds you to Himself and His Word out of fear. Fear and love cannot coexist. And there would also continue to be conflict if part of you still believed the Course to be a valid spiritual path.
Some people have said to themselves as they continued with the Course still with lingering doubts and fear that they could be making the wrong decision: What is the worst that can happen? I can always go back — the Course will always be there for me. And what’s wrong with becoming more compassionate, more kind, less judgmental, and less guilty? Suppose I spend the rest of my life undoing my guilt, my hateful thoughts, my fear of love, the obstacles to peace? Would God be upset with me because I got the theology wrong? What do you think???
What might interest you is our book, co-authored by Kenneth Wapnick and Norris Clarke, a Catholic priest/philosopher, A Course in Miracles and Christianity: A Dialogue.