ACIM Text Reading for September 12
Chapter 30 ~ The New Beginning
V. The Only Purpose
T-30.V.1. The real world is the state of mind in which the only purpose of the world is seen to be forgiveness. 2 Fear is not its goal, for the escape from guilt becomes its aim. 3 The value of forgiveness is perceived and takes the place of idols, which are sought no longer, for their “gifts” are not held dear. 4 No rules are idly set, and no demands are made of anyone or anything to twist and fit into the dream of fear. 5 Instead, there is a wish to understand all things created as they really are. 6 And it is recognized that all things must be first forgiven, and then understood.
T-30.V.2. Here, it is thought that understanding is acquired by attack. 2 There, it is clear that by attack is understanding lost. 3 The folly of pursuing guilt as goal is fully recognized. 4 And idols are not wanted there, for guilt is understood as the sole cause of pain in any form. 5 No one is tempted by its vain appeal, for suffering and death have been perceived as things not wanted and not striven for. 6 The possibility of freedom has been grasped and welcomed, and the means by which it can be gained can now be understood. 7 The world becomes a place of hope, because its only purpose is to be a place where hope of happiness can be fulfilled. 8 And no one stands outside this hope, because the world has been united in belief the purpose of the world is one which all must share, if hope be more than just a dream.
T-30.V.3. Not yet is Heaven quite remembered, for the purpose of forgiveness still remains. 2 Yet everyone is certain he will go beyond forgiveness, and he but remains until it is made perfect in himself. 3 He has no wish for anything but this. 4 And fear has dropped away, because he is united in his purpose with himself. 5 There is a hope of happiness in him so sure and constant he can barely stay and wait a little longer, with his feet still touching earth. 6 Yet is he glad to wait till every hand is joined, and every heart made ready to arise and go with him. 7 For thus is he made ready for the step in which is all forgiveness left behind.
T-30.V.4. The final step is God’s, because it is but God Who could create a perfect Son and share His Fatherhood with him. 2 No one outside of Heaven knows how this can be, for understanding this is Heaven itself. 3 Even the real world has a purpose still beneath creation and eternity. 4 But fear is gone because its purpose is forgiveness, not idolatry. 5 And so is Heaven’s Son prepared to be himself, and to remember that the Son of God knows everything his Father understands, and understands it perfectly with Him.
T-30.V.5. The real world still falls short of this, for this is God’s Own purpose; only His, and yet completely shared and perfectly fulfilled. 2 The real world is a state in which the mind has learned how easily do idols go when they are still perceived but wanted not. 3 How willingly the mind can let them go when it has understood that idols are nothing and nowhere, and are purposeless. 4 For only then can guilt and sin be seen without a purpose, and as meaningless.
T-30.V.6. Thus is the real world’s purpose gently brought into awareness, to replace the goal of sin and guilt. 2 And all that stood between your image of yourself and what you are, forgiveness washes joyfully away. 3 Yet God need not create His Son again, that what is his be given back to him. 4 The gap between your brother and yourself was never there. 5 And what the Son of God knew in creation he must know again.
T-30.V.7. When brothers join in purpose in the world of fear, they stand already at the edge of the real world. 2 Perhaps they still look back, and think they see an idol that they want. 3 Yet has their path been surely set away from idols toward reality. 4 For when they joined their hands it was Christ’s hand they took, and they will look on Him Whose hand they hold. 5 The face of Christ is looked upon before the Father is remembered. 6 For He must be unremembered till His Son has reached beyond forgiveness to the Love of God. 7 Yet is the Love of Christ accepted first. 8 And then will come the knowledge They are One.
T-30.V.8. How light and easy is the step across the narrow boundaries of the world of fear when you have recognized Whose hand you hold! 2 Within your hand is everything you need to walk with perfect confidence away from fear forever, and to go straight on, and quickly reach the gate of Heaven itself. 3 For He Whose hand you hold was waiting but for you to join Him. 4 Now that you have come, would He delay in showing you the way that He must walk with you? 5 His blessing lies on you as surely as His Father’s Love rests upon Him. 6 His gratitude to you is past your understanding, for you have enabled Him to rise from chains and go with you, together, to His Father’s house.
T-30.V.9. An ancient hate is passing from the world. 2 And with it goes all hatred and all fear. 3 Look back no longer, for what lies ahead is all you ever wanted in your heart. 4 Give up the world! 5 But not to sacrifice. 6 You never wanted it. 7 What happiness have you sought here that did not bring you pain? 8 What moment of content has not been bought at fearful price in coins of suffering? 9 Joy has no cost. 10 It is your sacred right, and what you pay for is not happiness. 11 Be speeded on your way by honesty, and let not your experiences here deceive in retrospect. 12 They were not free from bitter cost and joyless consequence.
T-30.V.10. Do not look back except in honesty. 2 And when an idol tempts you, think of this:
3 There never was a time an idol brought you anything except the “gift” of guilt.
4 Not one was bought except at cost of pain, nor was it ever paid by you alone.
5 Be merciful unto your brother, then. 6 And do not choose an idol thoughtlessly, remembering that he will pay the cost as well as you. 7 For he will be delayed when you look back, and you will not perceive Whose loving hand you hold. 8 Look forward, then; in confidence walk with a happy heart that beats in hope and does not pound in fear.
T-30.V.11. The Will of God forever lies in those whose hands are joined. 2 Until they joined, they thought He was their enemy. 3 But when they joined and shared a purpose, they were free to learn their will is one. 4 And thus the Will of God must reach to their awareness. 5 Nor can they forget for long that it is but their own.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 12
This day I choose to spend in perfect peace.
It does not seem to me that I can choose to have but peace today. And yet, my God assures me that His Son is like Himself. Let me this day have faith in Him Who says I am God’s Son. And let the peace I choose be mine today bear witness to the truth of what He says. God’s Son can have no cares, and must remain forever in the peace of Heaven. In His Name, I give today to finding what my Father wills for me, accepting it as mine, and giving it to all my Father’s Sons, along with me.
And so, my Father, would I pass this day with You. Your Son has not forgotten You. The peace You gave him still is in his mind, and it is there I choose to spend today.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #501: How can one perceive forgiveness correctly, in Jesus’ eyes, after suffering years of verbal and physical abuse?
A: First, true forgiveness never involves denying that something terrible happened. It focuses entirely on your thoughts and which teacher you choose to help you: the ego or Jesus. To the ego, your situation can be seen only through the eyes of separation: an innocent victim and a sinful victimizer. And the ego may support forgiveness, but it would still be in the context of an innocent victim forgiving a sinful victimizer. This is the common approach of the world and most religions of the world — that sin actually takes place but is forgiven. Jesus calls this false forgiveness or “forgiveness-to-destroy,” for despite the appearance of piety, it supports the thought system of separation, and therefore can never lead to lasting, true peace.
Forgiveness seen through Jesus’ eyes is marked by an absence of judgment or condemnation. Again, it does not deny attack or pain; and it does not mean that criminal prosecution cannot be pursued. The basis of this approach is our learning that the peace of God is in our minds because we are His Child. Because it is God’s peace, nothing whatsoever has power to take it away. We can choose to turn away from it, but we cannot destroy it. Nothing can. Therefore to blame someone or something else for our lack of peace is to engage in a form of self-deception. Casting blame denies the truth about the peace in our minds. The other dimension of this is that in our wrong minds we always carry the unbearable burden of guilt over our choice to separate ourselves from God. The pain of this guilt, as well as the expectation of extreme punishment for our sin, causes us to deny it in ourselves and project it onto someone outside us, who would then be seen as deserving of condemnation. Therefore, in our wrong minds we would use situations in the world for this purpose of getting rid of our guilt. Jesus teaches us that that strategy does not work, for the guilt just stays in our minds and is reinforced by the deception. (T.13.II.1:1,2; X.3:1,3,5,7)
Jesus would have us turn to him when we feel we have been victimized so that he could help us use the very same situation to unlearn what the ego taught us. Without denying the objective events that took place, Jesus would help us recognize our projection and then withdraw it, so that we can see the original mistake we made, which is judging ourselves guilty of having destroying love. He would help us realize the impossibility of that; and if we could accept it, we would be free of guilt and consequently be at peace, recognizing at the same time that that is the truth about everyone. In that state of mind, there is no way we could ever condemn ourselves or anyone else, regardless of what has been done behaviorally. The facts are still facts. But our reaction or interpretation would have changed completely. That is why Jesus explains that in true forgiveness we forgive what was not done to us.
From this place of love and peace in our minds, we would then do and say what is most loving for all concerned. What that would look like in any given situation cannot be determined ahead of time. It could mean having no further contact with the attacker, pursuing prosecution, talking with the person, going to therapy with the person, or any number of other things. But the perspective would no longer be that of victim and victimizer. Through the gentle eyes of Jesus, we would see that an attacker is a Son of God, too, and shares the same wrong and right mind and the ability to choose between them that we do. He would help us see that concealed beneath all viciousness is tremendous fear and a call for love. It cannot be stressed too much, though, that this does not involve the denial of the objective facts of the attack, or the pain one is feeling.
Finally, Jesus would help us learn that when we judge others as deserving of condemnation, we are doing the same thing to ourselves. He is always teaching us that we are all really one, and so because of this oneness, we cannot condemn another person without at the same time condemning ourselves. “Forgive and be forgiven. As you give you receive” (W.pI.122.6:3,4). This undoes the ego’s main principle that it is always one or the other: my innocence is bought at your expense. But Jesus does not underestimate the difficulty of our accepting this, or its importance in achieving our goal of inner peace. He states that this idea, “completely alien to the ego and the thinking of the world, is crucial to the thought reversal that this course will bring about. If you believed this statement, there would be no problem in complete forgiveness, certainty of goal, and sure direction. You would understand the means by which salvation comes to you, and would not hesitate to use it now” (W.pI.126.1).
Surely, comprehending A Course in Miracles metaphysics of non-dualism is necessary in order to relate to these ideas fully and avoid misinterpretations; so further study may be helpful. Also there are some other Questions on this Service that have addressed this area of the Course’s teachings: #174, #200, and #481.