ACIM Text Reading for September 14
Chapter 30 ~ The New Beginning
VII. The New Interpretation
T-30.VII.1. Would God have left the meaning of the world to your interpretation? 2 If He had, it has no meaning. 3 For it cannot be that meaning changes constantly, and yet is true. 4 The Holy Spirit looks upon the world as with one purpose, changelessly established. 5 And no situation can affect its aim, but must be in accord with it. 6 For only if its aim could change with every situation could each one be open to interpretation which is different every time you think of it. 7 You add an element into the script you write for every minute in the day, and all that happens now means something else. 8 You take away another element, and every meaning shifts accordingly.
T-30.VII.2. What do your scripts reflect except your plans for what the day should be? 2 And thus you judge disaster and success, advance, retreat, and gain and loss. 3 These judgments all are made according to the roles the script assigns. 4 The fact they have no meaning in themselves is demonstrated by the ease with which these labels change with other judgments, made on different aspects of experience. 5 And then, in looking back, you think you see another meaning in what went before. 6 What have you really done, except to show there was no meaning there? 7 But you assigned a meaning in the light of goals that change, with every meaning shifting as they change.
T-30.VII.3. Only a constant purpose can endow events with stable meaning. 2 But it must accord one meaning to them all. 3 If they are given different meanings, it must be that they reflect but different purposes. 4 And this is all the meaning that they have. 5 Can this be meaning? 6 Can confusion be what meaning means? 7 Perception cannot be in constant flux, and make allowance for stability of meaning anywhere. 8 Fear is a judgment never justified. 9 Its presence has no meaning but to show you wrote a fearful script, and are afraid accordingly. 10 But not because the thing you fear has fearful meaning in itself.
T-30.VII.4. A common purpose is the only means whereby perception can be stabilized, and one interpretation given to the world and all experiences here. 2 In this shared purpose is one judgment shared by everyone and everything you see. 3 You do not have to judge, for you have learned one meaning has been given everything, and you are glad to see it everywhere. 4 It cannot change because you would perceive it everywhere, unchanged by circumstance. 5 And so you offer it to all events, and let them offer you stability.
T-30.VII.5. Escape from judgment simply lies in this; all things have but one purpose, which you share with all the world. 2 And nothing in the world can be opposed to it, for it belongs to everything, as it belongs to you. 3 In single purpose is the end of all ideas of sacrifice, which must assume a different purpose for the one who gains and him who loses. 4 There could be no thought of sacrifice apart from this idea. 5 And it is this idea of different goals that makes perception shift and meaning change. 6 In one united goal does this become impossible, for your agreement makes interpretation stabilize and last.
T-30.VII.6. How can communication really be established while the symbols that are used mean different things? 2 The Holy Spirit’s goal gives one interpretation, meaningful to you and to your brother. 3 Thus can you communicate with him, and he with you. 4 In symbols that you both can understand the sacrifice of meaning is undone. 5 All sacrifice entails the loss of your ability to see relationships among events. 6 And looked at separately they have no meaning. 7 For there is no light by which they can be seen and understood. 8 They have no purpose. 9 And what they are for cannot be seen. 10 In any thought of loss there is no meaning. 11 No one has agreed with you on what it means. 12 It is a part of a distorted script, which cannot be interpreted with meaning. 13 It must be forever unintelligible. 14 This is not communication. 15 Your dark dreams are but the senseless, isolated scripts you write in sleep. 16 Look not to separate dreams for meaning. 17 Only dreams of pardon can be shared. 18 They mean the same to both of you.
T-30.VII.7. Do not interpret out of solitude, for what you see means nothing. 2 It will shift in what it stands for, and you will believe the world is an uncertain place, in which you walk in danger and uncertainty. 3 It is but your interpretations which are lacking in stability, for they are not in line with what you really are. 4 This is a state so seemingly unsafe that fear must rise. 5 Do not continue thus, my brother. 6 We have one Interpreter. 7 And through His use of symbols are we joined, so that they mean the same to all of us. 8 Our common language lets us speak to all our brothers, and to understand with them forgiveness has been given to us all, and thus we can communicate again.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 14
Let me remember what my purpose is.
If I forget my goal I can be but confused, unsure of what I am, and thus conflicted in my actions. No one can serve contradicting goals and serve them well. Nor can he function without deep distress and great depression. Let us therefore be determined to remember what we want today, that we may unify our thoughts and actions meaningfully, and achieve only what God would have us do this day.
Father, forgiveness is Your chosen means for our salvation. Let us not forget today that we can have no will but Yours. And thus our purpose must be Yours as well, if we would reach the peace You will for us.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #68: What happens to the mind after the demise of the body? Does the mind go home and re-join, although it never left? What happens to the ego? Where can I find this answer in the Text?
A: The answer to your questions lies in understanding the Course’s teaching on life and death, contrasted with the ego’s version. It is very important to remember that the Course refers to death as the choice in the mind to believe the ego’s definition of who we are: sinful, fearful, guilty, separated individuals imprisoned in bodies. This belief is the ego’s way of dealing a death blow to our awareness of who we really are as God’s innocent Son, and this is what the Course calls “death.” When the Course speaks of “life” it is always referring to our life in Heaven with God. “There is no life outside of Heaven” (T.23.II.19:1).
With that in mind there are several passages in the Course that address death, the mind, the body and the ego that are helpful in understanding the points you bring up. 1)The Course tells us the mind is not in the body: “It (mind) cannot make a body, nor abide within a body” (W.pI.167.6:3); “A mind and body cannot both exist. Make no attempt to reconcile the two, for one denies the other can be real. If you are physical, your mind is gone from your self- concept, for it has no place in which it could be really part of you. If you are spirit, then the body must be meaningless to your reality” (W.p.I.96.3:4,5,6,7).
Therefore there cannot be any change to the condition of the mind due to the demise of the body, nothing happens to it and it does not go anywhere. This is difficult for us to understand because most of us identify with our bodies, but it is essential to understanding the Course’s teaching. You are correct in saying that in truth the mind never left its home in Heaven, where it abides in Oneness. Our illusory experience in this dream is the result of a thought in the sleeping mind of the Son, who believes the separation actually occurred. The mind does not return home when the body dies. The mind returns home when it makes a final choice to accept the Atonement and no longer identify with the ego thought system. It thus awakens to the truth that it never left Heaven, never separated from its Source.
The ego is also not in the body; it is the thought of separation in the mind which does not change with the death of the body: “The ego is the part of the mind that believes in division” (T.5.V.3:1). The ego is not in the body but does identify with the body. We too identify with the body when we choose the ego thought system, which is why we accept the body’s experience of death and believe in its significance. With the ego we see it as “…the central dream from which all illusions stem…It is the one fixed, unchangeable belief of the world that all things in it are born only to die. This is regarded as ‘the way of nature,’ not to be raised to question, but to be accepted as the ‘natural’ law of life” (M.27.1:1,4,5). Although the ego does not die with the demise of the body, because it is a thought in the mind, it is obsessed with death; fearing it, seeking it, using it to prove its reality and the reality of the body. It may be helpful to review “The Attraction of Death” (T.19.IV.C). Our experience in learning a new identity by questioning our beliefs of who we think we are, freeing ourselves to accept the Holy Spirit’s message of who we really are, will enable us to see the death of the body differently and open our minds to a new perception and experience of the life the Course speaks of: “When your body and your ego and your dreams are gone, you will know that you will last forever. Perhaps you think this is accomplished through death, but nothing is accomplished through death, because death is nothing. Everything is accomplished through life, and life is of the mind and in the mind. The body neither lives nor dies, because it cannot contain you who are life” (T.6.V.A.1:1, 2, 3,4).