ACIM Text Reading for August 24
Chapter 28 ~ The Undoing of Fear
I. The Present Memory
The miracle does nothing. All it does is to undo. And thus it cancels out the interference to what has been done. It does not add, but merely takes away. And what it takes away is long since gone, but being kept in memory appears to have immediate effects. This world was over long ago. The thoughts that made it are no longer in the mind that thought of them and loved them for a little while. The miracle but shows the past is gone, and what has truly gone has no effects. Remembering a cause can but produce illusions of its presence, not effects.
All the effects of guilt are here no more. For guilt is over. In its passing went its consequences, left without a cause. Why would you cling to it in memory if you did not desire its effects? Remembering is as selective as perception, being its past tense. It is perception of the past as if it were occurring now, and still were there to see. Memory, like perception, is a skill made up by you to take the place of what God gave in your creation. And like all the things you made, it can be used to serve another purpose, and to be the means for something else. It can be used to heal and not to hurt, if you so wish it be.
Nothing employed for healing represents an effort to do anything at all. It is a recognition that you have no needs which mean that something must be done. It is an unselective memory, that is not used to interfere with truth. All things the Holy Spirit can employ for healing have been given Him, without the content and the purposes for which they have been made. They are but skills without an application. They await their use. They have no dedication and no aim.
The Holy Spirit can indeed make use of memory, for God Himself is there. Yet this is not a memory of past events, but only of a present state. You are so long accustomed to believe that memory holds only what is past, that it is hard for you to realise it is a skill that can remember now. The limitations on remembering the world imposes on it are as vast as those you let the world impose on you. There is no link of memory to the past. If you would have it there, then there it is. But only your desire made the link, and only you, have held it to a part of time where guilt appears to linger still.
The Holy Spirit’s use of memory is quite apart from time. He does not seek to use it as a means to keep the past, but rather as a way to let it go. Memory holds the message it receives, and does what it is given it to do. It does not write the message, nor appoint what it is for. Like to the body, it is purposeless within itself. And if it seems to serve to cherish ancient hate, and gives you pictures of injustices and hurts that you were saving, this is what you asked its message be and that it is. Committed to its vaults, the history of all the body’s past is hidden there. All of the strange associations made to keep the past alive, the present dead, are stored within it, waiting your command that they be brought to you, and lived again. And thus do their effects appear to be increased by time, which took away their cause.
Yet time is but another phase of what does nothing. It works hand in hand with all the other attributes with which you seek to keep concealed the truth about yourself. Time neither takes away nor can restore. And yet you make strange use of it, as if the past had caused the present, which is but a consequence in which no change can be made possible because its cause has gone. Yet change must have a cause that will endure, or else it will not last. No change can be made in the present if its cause is past. Only the past is held in memory as you make use of it, and so it is a way to hold the past against the now.
Remember nothing that you taught yourself, for you were badly taught. And who would keep a senseless lesson in his mind, when he can learn and can preserve a better one? When ancient memories of hate appear, remember that their cause is gone. And so you cannot understand what they are for. Let not the cause that you would give them now be what it was that made them what they were, or seemed to be. Be glad that it is gone, for this is what you would be pardoned from. And see, instead, the new effects of cause accepted now, with consequences here. They will surprise you with their loveliness. The ancient new ideas they bring will be the happy consequences of a cause so ancient that it far exceeds the span of memory which your perception sees.
This is the Cause the Holy Spirit has remembered for you, when you would forget. It is not past because He let It not be unremembered. It has never changed, because there never was a time in which He did not keep It safely in your mind. Its consequences will indeed seem new, because you thought that you remembered not their Cause. Yet was It never absent from your mind, for it was not your Father’s Will that He be unremembered by His Son.
What you remember never was. It came from causelessness which you confused with cause. It can deserve but laughter, when you learn you have remembered consequences that were causeless and could never be effects. The miracle reminds you of a Cause forever present, perfectly untouched by time and interference. Never changed from what It is. And you are Its effect, as changeless and as perfect as Itself. Its memory does not lie in the past, nor waits the future. It is not revealed in miracles. They but remind you that It has not gone. When you forgive It for your sins, It will no longer be denied.
You who have sought to lay a judgement on your own Creator cannot understand it is not He Who laid a judgement on His Son. You would deny Him His effects, yet have they never been denied. There was no time in which His Son could be condemned for what was causeless and against His Will. What your remembering would witness to is but the fear of God. He has not done the thing you fear. No more have you. And so your innocence has not been lost. You need no healing to be healed. In quietness, see in the miracle a lesson in allowing Cause to have Its Own effects, and doing nothing that would interfere.
The miracle comes quietly into the mind that stops an instant and is still. It reaches gently from that quiet time, and from the mind it healed in quiet then, to other minds to share its quietness. And they will join in doing nothing to prevent its radiant extension back into the Mind Which caused all minds to be. Born out of sharing, there can be no pause in time to cause the miracle delay in hastening to all unquiet minds, and bringing them an instant’s stillness, when the memory of God returns to them. Their own remembering is quiet now, and what has come to take its place will not be wholly unremembered afterwards.
He to Whom time is given offers thanks for every quiet instant given Him. For in that instant is God’s memory allowed to offer all its treasures to the Son of God, for whom they have been kept. How gladly does He offer them unto the one for whom He has been given them! And His Creator shares His thanks, because He would not be deprived of His effects. The instant’s silence that His Son accepts gives welcome to eternity and Him, and lets Them enter where They would abide. For in that instant does the Son of God do nothing that would make himself afraid.
How instantly the memory of God arises in the mind that has no fear to keep the memory away! Its own remembering has gone. There is no past to keep its fearful image in the way of glad awakening to present peace. The trumpets of eternity resound throughout the stillness, yet disturb it not. And what is now remembered is not fear, but rather is the Cause that fear was made to render unremembered and undone. The stillness speaks in gentle sounds of love the Son of God remembers from before his own remembering came in between the present and the past, to shut them out.
Now is the Son of God at last aware of present Cause and Its benign effects. Now does he understand what he has made is causeless, having no effects at all. He has done nothing. And in seeing this, he understands he never had a need for doing anything, and never did. His Cause is Its effects. There never was a cause beside it that could generate a different past or future. Its effects are changelessly eternal, beyond fear, and past the world of sin entirely.
What has been lost, to see the causeless not? And where is sacrifice, when memory of God has come to take the place of loss? What better way to close the little gap between illusions and reality than to allow the memory of God to flow across it, making it a bridge an instant will suffice to reach beyond? For God has closed it with Himself. His memory has not gone by, and left a stranded Son forever on a shore where he can glimpse another shore that he can never reach. His Father wills that he be lifted up and gently carried over. He has built the bridge, and it is He Who will transport His Son across it. Have no fear that He will fail in what He wills. Nor that you be excluded from the Will that is for you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 24
I rule my mind, which I alone must rule.
I have a kingdom I must rule. At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel. And yet it has been given me to serve whatever purpose I perceive in it. My mind can only serve. Today I give its service to the Holy Spirit to employ as He sees fit. I thus direct my mind, which I alone can rule. And thus I set it free to do the Will of God.
Father, my mind is open to Your Thoughts, and closed today to every thought but Yours. I rule my mind, and offer it to You. Accept my gift, for it is Yours to me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1121: I am a practitioner of Reiki in Brazil. Reiki uses the life force energy that flows through us, and it is administered by “laying on hands.” It’s universal energy that comes from God. It’s used to heal any kind of problem we have, be it mental or even physical problems. I have read that Jesus used Reiki to heal people. I strongly believe that all of us have this tremendous power inside but we don’t know how to use it.
I understand A Course in Miracles to be saying that our focus should not be on what we do in our lives, but on learning to understand our minds. So it doesn’t matter what we do. What really is important is how our minds look at the world and the people as a whole. My question concerns the fact that I was channeled with some kind of energy that flows through me and suddenly I am doing things that I couldn’t do in the past, even healing people who have physical problems. How would you explain this to me? How do you explain those people who heal others with different beliefs, even different spiritual beliefs? What’s the connection between Reiki and the Course?
A: The fact that Reiki involves a technique for channeling energy through the body, no matter what the source of the energy is perceived to be, means, from the Course’s perspective, that it is a form of magic. Now magic, as the Course uses it, is not a pejorative term. It simply means that the effort to bring about desired changes is occurring at the level of effect, that is, through energy forces and the body, rather than at the level of cause, that is, the mind. This must be the case because the energy is operating within a spatio-temporal framework, that is, from one body to another at a specific time when those two bodies are in physical proximity, and then through the body of the one being treated.
The Course has a different metaphysical foundation from Reiki, and would not consider anything that can be directed through the body to be divine, or from God. The world of spirit and the world of the body are two mutually exclusive realms, only one of which is real, according to the Course (T.31.VI.1) . The Course’s “technique” is forgiveness, which seeks to bring about changes at the level of mind, not at the level of the body. For this reason, while the Course takes no position on this, it would be more consistent with the Course’s teachings to see the Jesus of two thousand years ago as healing through the principles of forgiveness, which means through reminding others of the power of their own minds to make a different choice about the ego and its effects, including the body, looking on all of it without judgment and without guilt — that is the true means of healing, according to the Course.
How then does Reiki produce its effects, including your own personal experience of being changed by your attunement with Reiki energy so that you can apparently produce changes in others? There are mutually and nearly universally agreed upon laws of the illusory physical and energetic universes, operating within the ego system, that all split minds share, whether individual minds are conscious of those laws or not. An obvious one is the law of gravity. These laws receive their power from the collective belief of the Sonship. Although made by the ego mind, they are neutral in themselves and can be used for either ego purposes or purposes of healing, that is, to reinforce our belief in the reality of separation and differences, or to allow us to begin to heal the guilt and thoughts of attack in our mind.
Many other spiritual teachings describe aspects of energetic fields within and surrounding the body that are not visible to the naked eye that can be modified and directed by those who are tuned in to them. Yet all of these subtler energies remain a part of the ego thought system, and manipulations can have no effect unless on some level, in most cases unconscious, the minds in relationship have agreed to be affected by those apparent manipulations. Always, behind any observed effect, there is a belief at the mind level, whether the individual is aware of that belief or not. Much of the ego’s belief system remains at an unconscious level so we can remain unaware of our own agreement to seem to be affected by forces outside ourselves. If we allowed ourselves to recognize and acknowledge that inner decision, we could no longer see ourselves as victims of anything outside ourselves again.
Reiki does share some similarity with the Course at the level of content, since it emphasizes that the individual practitioner does not direct the healing process nor decide what problems to address. And so the practitioner is considered to be an instrument of healing, but certainly not its source. In fact, the practitioner as well as the patient is considered in need of healing and benefits through willingness to be a channel. As with all things of this world, Reiki has the power to direct the mind to an awareness of something beyond ourselves, and it does point symbolically to a seemingly invisible power beyond all appearances that intends only good for all.