ACIM Text Reading for September 15
Chapter 30 ~ The New Beginning
VIII. Changeless Reality
Appearances deceive, but can be changed. Reality is changeless. It does not deceive at all, and if you fail to see beyond appearances you are deceived. For everything you see will change, and yet you thought it real before, and now you think it real again. Reality is thus reduced to form, and capable of change. Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances. It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.
The miracle is means to demonstrate that all appearances can change because they are appearances, and cannot have the changelessness reality entails. The miracle attests salvation from appearances by showing they can change. Your brother has a changelessness in him beyond appearance and deception, both. It is obscured by changing views of him that you perceive as his reality. The happy dream about him takes the form of the appearance of his perfect health, his perfect freedom from all forms of lack, and safety from disaster of all kinds. The miracle is proof he is not bound by loss or suffering in any form, because it can so easily be changed. This demonstrates that it was never real, and could not stem from his reality. For that is changeless, and has no effects that anything in Heaven or on earth could ever alter. But appearances are shown to be unreal because they change.
What is temptation but a wish to make illusions real? It does not seem to be the wish that no reality be so. Yet it is an assertion that some forms of idols have a powerful appeal that makes them harder to resist than those you would not want to have reality. Temptation, then, is nothing more than this; a prayer the miracle touch not some dreams, but keep their unreality obscure and give to them reality instead. And Heaven gives no answer to the prayer, nor can a miracle be given you to heal appearances you do not like. You have established limits. What you ask is given you, but not of God Who knows no limits. You have limited yourself.
Reality is changeless. Miracles but show what you have interposed between reality and your awareness is unreal, and does not interfere at all. The cost of the belief there must be some appearances beyond the hope of change is that the miracle cannot come forth from you consistently. For you have asked it be withheld from power to heal all dreams. There is no miracle you cannot have when you desire healing. But there is no miracle that can be given you unless you want it. Choose what you would heal, and He Who gives all miracles has not been given freedom to bestow His gifts upon God’s Son. When he is tempted, he denies reality. And he becomes the willing slave of what he chose instead.
Because reality is changeless is a miracle already there to heal all things that change, and offer them to you to see in happy form, devoid of fear. It will be given you to look upon your brother thus. But not while you would have it otherwise in some respects. For this but means you would not have him healed and whole. The Christ in him is perfect. Is it this that you would look upon? Then let there be no dreams about him that you would prefer to seeing this. And you will see the Christ in him because you let Him come to you. And when He has appeared to you, you will be certain you are like Him, for He is the changeless in your brother and in you.
This will you look upon when you decide there is not one appearance you would hold in place of what your brother really is. Let no temptation to prefer a dream allow uncertainty to enter here. Be not made guilty and afraid when you are tempted by a dream of what he is. But do not give it power to replace the changeless in him in your sight of him. There is no false appearance but will fade, if you request a miracle instead. There is no pain from which he is not free, if you would have him be what he is. Why should you fear to see the Christ in him? You but behold yourself in what you see. As he is healed are you made free of guilt, for his appearance is your own to you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 15
Let me remember that my goal is God.
All that is needful is to train our minds to overlook all little senseless aims, and to remember that our goal is God. His memory is hidden in our minds, obscured but by our pointless little goals which offer nothing, and do not exist. Shall we continue to allow God’s grace to shine in unawareness, while the toys and trinkets of the world are sought instead? God is our only goal, our only Love. We have no aim but to remember Him.
Our goal is but to follow in the way that leads to You. We have no goal but this. What could we want but to remember You? What could we seek but our Identity?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #255: I am from Brasil, and have been practicing A Course in Miracles for the last 21 years. I have gone through it about three times completely, and I am going through it again now. This time I have felt the real presence of the Light, of the Christ that exists in me when I do the exercises; the absence of the physical body, the real joy of being. But, on the other side, my life is so complicated now, and it seems that the multiplication (things to do, people to care for, responsibilities of the day-by-day life, with all those magic things to organize, calculate, pay for, etc.) is getting to an unbearable state. It seems that the ego is trying to make my way difficult. What do you think? What can I do to reach, constantly, all the time, the state of mind that we get when doing the exercises — of total peace and joy?
A: It is difficult to know the specific reason for your life becoming more complicated. It could well be a reaction to your getting closer to letting go of your ego; but there really is no way of knowing that for sure. That does not really matter, though, because the solution would always be the same. The solution is to focus on the purpose, which you can discern by the results. In other words, the increased complications have resulted in your loss of inner peace and joy; therefore, that must be the purpose of these recent occurrences. That really is all you have to know. Somewhere in your mind, you (the decision-making part of your mind) became afraid of being peaceful, and so you came up with a way of “protecting” yourself from that peace and all that it represents. The preferred defense of most of us is to become preoccupied with our lives as bodies. That quickly does away with any thought that we might be something else.
All that you need to do is to take responsibility for the state you are in and bring it to Jesus or the Holy Spirit in your mind, which means that you would not judge yourself or feel bad about it. When you no longer need the defense, you will just deal with your obligations and responsibilities the best you can, with the love of Jesus guiding you. They would no longer be experienced as “unbearable,” because you would see them as classrooms in which you are learning that the peace and joy in your mind has nothing to do with anything external. If you truly knew that everything of the body and the world is intended to keep you from finding out that the source of all your distress is a choice you are making in your mind, then you would eagerly turn to Jesus or the Holy Spirit to help you give your experience a different purpose. “The world was made that problems could not be escaped” (T.31.IV.2:6).
Rather than seeing them as burdens, your day-by-day responsibilities could be seen as the means you are using to restore to your awareness the love that is your true and eternal Identity. Each interaction could then be regarded as an opportunity to learn that your interests are not really separate from anyone else’s, despite the appearance of major differences. The specifics of each situation (the form) then become less important than the meaning (the content), which is to undo your belief in separation, and accept back the identity we all share as one. Your day-by-day life is your “laboratory” in this sense. It was originally intended to keep you from the truth; now with the help of Jesus or the Holy Spirit, it becomes the means of your return to God.