ACIM Text Reading for August 6
Chapter 26 ~ The Transition
I. The ‘Sacrifice’ of Oneness
In the ‘dynamics’ of attack is sacrifice a key idea. It is the pivot upon which all compromise, all desperate attempts to strike a bargain, and all conflicts achieve a seeming balance. It is the symbol of the central theme that somebody must lose. Its focus on the body is apparent, for it is always an attempt to limit loss. The body is itself a sacrifice; a giving up of power in the name of saving just a little for yourself. To see a brother in another body, separate from yours, is the expression of a wish to see a little part of him and sacrifice the rest. Look at the world, and you will see nothing attached to anything beyond itself. All seeming entities can come a little nearer, or go a little farther off, but cannot join.
The world you see is based on ‘sacrifice’ of oneness. It is a picture of complete disunity and total lack of joining. Around each entity is built a wall so seeming solid that it looks as if what is inside can never reach without, and what is out can never reach and join with what is locked away within the wall. Each part must sacrifice the other part, to keep itself complete. For if they joined each one would lose its own identity, and by their separation are their selves maintained.
The little that the body fences off becomes the self, preserved through sacrifice of all the rest. And all the rest must lose this little part, remaining incomplete to keep its own identity intact. In this perception of yourself the body’s loss would be a sacrifice indeed. For sight of bodies becomes the sign that sacrifice is limited, and something still remains for you alone. And for this little to belong to you are limits placed on everything outside, just as they are on everything you think is yours. For giving and receiving are the same. And to accept the limits of a body is to impose these limits on each brother whom you see. For you must see him as you see yourself.
The body is a loss, and can be made to sacrifice. And while you see your brother as a body, apart from you and separate in his cell, you are demanding sacrifice of him and you. What greater sacrifice could be demanded than that God’s Son perceive himself without his Father? And his Father be without His Son? Yet every sacrifice demands that they be separate and without the other. The memory of God must be denied if any sacrifice is asked of anyone. What witness to the wholeness of God’s Son is seen within a world of separate bodies, however much he witnesses to truth? He is invisible in such a world. Nor can his song of union and of love be heard at all. Yet is it given him to make the world recede before his song, and sight of him replace the body’s eyes.
Those who would see the witnesses to truth instead of to illusion merely ask that they might see a purpose in the world that gives it sense and makes it meaningful. Without your special function has this world no meaning for you. Yet it can become a treasure house as rich and limitless as Heaven itself. No instant passes here in which your brother’s holiness cannot be seen, to add a limitless supply to every meagre scrap and tiny crumb of happiness that you allot yourself.
You can lose sight of oneness, but can not make sacrifice of its reality. Nor can you lose what you would sacrifice, nor keep the Holy Spirit from His task of showing you that it has not been lost. Hear, then, the song your brother sings to you, and let the world recede, and take the rest his witness offers on behalf of peace. But judge him not, for you will hear no song of liberation for yourself, nor see what it is given him to witness to, that you may see it and rejoice with him. Make not his holiness a sacrifice to your belief in sin. You sacrifice your innocence with his, and die each time you see in him a sin deserving death.
Yet every instant can you be reborn, and given life again. His holiness gives life to you, who cannot die because his sinlessness is known to God; and can no more be sacrificed by you than can the light in you be blotted out because he sees it not. You who would make a sacrifice of life, and make your eyes and ears bear witness to the death of God and of His holy Son, think not that you have power to make of them what God willed not they be. In Heaven, God’s Son is not imprisoned in a body, nor is sacrificed in solitude to sin. And as he is in Heaven, so must he be eternally and everywhere. He is the same forever. Born again each instant, untouched by time, and far beyond the reach of any sacrifice of life or death. For neither did he make, and only one was given him by One Who knows His gifts can never suffer sacrifice and loss.
God’s justice rests in gentleness upon His Son, and keeps him safe from all injustice the world would lay upon him. Could it be that you could make his sins reality, and sacrifice his Father’s Will for him? Condemn him not by seeing him within the rotting prison where he sees himself. It is your special function to ensure the door be opened, that he may come forth to shine on you, and give you back the gift of freedom by receiving it of you. What is the Holy Spirit’s special function but to release the holy Son of God from the imprisonment he made to keep himself from justice? Could your function be a task apart and separate from His Own?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 6
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
(198) Only my condemnation injures me.
My condemnation keeps my vision dark, and through my
sightless eyes I cannot see the vision of my glory.
Yet today I can behold this glory and be glad.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1074: Do we keep our learning into the next life? I am finding judgment to be so pervasive, that it seems almost impossible to find my way home in just this lifetime.
A: A lifetime is but a classroom with a set of lessons on of the Son of God’s return to his true home. There will be lifetimes as long as the mind believes the thought of separation is real and that there is a choice to be made between truth and illusion. Each time the mind chooses the illusion of separation it projects its guilt for making that choice in the form of judgments. The single thought that the separation did in fact occur, and therefore the world of illusion is real, stands behind the myriad of seemingly different judgments and lifetimes. From this single thought, all judgment and every lifetime is brought forth. The goal of A Course in Miracles is to teach us to distinguish between what is true and what is false, and to train our minds to recognize the effects of the mind’s choice. This process may take lifetimes because of the unwillingness to choose to believe that only truth is true, and what is false will never bring happiness. Every judgment brings misery; every lifetime ends in death. Indeed, every lifetime begins with a death blow to God’s Son.
What seems to be learning is actually a process of remembering the truth by unlearning the ego’s thought system. The mind that has forgotten uses the body, the world, and many lifetimes to remember its true Identity and to forget everything else. Of itself the body does nothing; in fact, “ At no single instant does the body exist at all” (T.17.VII.31). Clearly, then, the remembering process goes on with or without the body; it precedes birth and outlives death. And since unlearning/remembering occurs only in the mind, it is not happening in any “lifetime”; a term we associate with the lifespan of the body measured by linear time. Ironically, this is now called “real time.” The Course would call it “illusory time” and tells us it takes no time at all to choose against the ego.
Fortunately, we do not need to reverse every judgment that we hold stockpiled in our arsenal of attack thoughts. The only “judgment” that needs to be reversed is the decision to side with the ego in its interpretation of the separation. If every judgment is the projection of guilt for having made that decision, judgments end when the mind decides in favor of the Holy Spirit instead of the ego. When that decision is made unequivocally, all judgment ends, as does all belief in the illusion of the world and the lifetimes spent in it. At that point: “Your foot has reached the lawns that welcome you to Heaven’s gate; the quiet place of peace, where you await with certainty the final step of God” (W.pI.194.1:3) . Meanwhile, it is important to continue patiently uncovering the judgments that reveal the mind’s mistaken belief that separation is possible and God’s Son has been put to death. Each one is an opportunity to consider the insanity of this belief as well as its painful effects, in order to move closer to the final decision against the ego’s madness.