ACIM Manual for Teachers Reading for October 8
6. IS HEALING CERTAIN?
Healing is always certain. It is impossible to let illusions be brought to truth and keep the illusions. Truth demonstrates illusions have no value. The teacher of God has seen the correction of his errors in the mind of the patient, recognising it for what it is. Having accepted the Atonement for himself, he has also accepted it for the patient. Yet what if the patient uses sickness as a way of life, believing healing is the way to death? When this is so, a sudden healing might precipitate intense depression, and a sense of loss so deep that the patient might even try to destroy himself. Having nothing to live for, he may ask for death. Healing must wait, for his protection.
Healing will always stand aside when it would be seen as threat. The instant it is welcome it is there. Where healing has been given it will be received. And what is time before the gifts of God? We have referred many times in the text to the storehouse of treasures laid up equally for the giver and the receiver of God’s gifts. Not one is lost, for they can but increase. No teacher of God should feel disappointed if he has offered healing and it does not appear to have been received. It is not up to him to judge when his gift should be accepted. Let him be certain it has been received, and trust that it will be accepted when it is recognised as a blessing and not a curse.
It is not the function of God’s teachers to evaluate the outcome of their gifts. It is merely their function to give them. Once they have done that they have also given the outcome, for that is part of the gift. No one can give if he is concerned with the result of giving. That is a limitation on the giving itself, and neither the giver nor the receiver would have the gift. Trust is an essential part of giving; in fact, it is the part that makes sharing possible, the part that guarantees the giver will not lose, but only gain. Who gives a gift and then remains with it, to be sure it is used as the giver deems appropriate? Such is not giving but imprisoning.
It is the relinquishing of all concern about the gift that makes it truly given. And it is trust that makes true giving possible. Healing is the change of mind that the Holy Spirit in the patient’s mind is seeking for him. And it is the Holy Spirit in the mind of the giver Who gives the gift to him. How can it be lost? How can it be ineffectual? How can it be wasted? God’s treasure house can never be empty. And if one gift is missing, it would not be full. Yet is its fullness guaranteed by God. What concern, then, can a teacher of God have about what becomes of his gifts? Given by God to God, who in this holy exchange can receive less than everything?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 8
Section 7. What is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit mediates between illusions and the truth. Since He must bridge the gap between reality and dreams, perception leads to knowledge through the grace that God has given Him, to be His gift to everyone who turns to Him for truth. Across the bridge that He provides are dreams all carried to the truth, to be dispelled before the light of knowledge. There are sights and sounds forever laid aside. And where they were perceived before, forgiveness has made possible perception’s tranquil end.
The goal the Holy Spirit’s teaching sets is just this end of dreams. For sights and sounds must be translated from the witnesses of fear to those of love. And when this is entirely accomplished, learning has achieved the only goal it has in truth. For learning, as the Holy Spirit guides it to the outcome He perceives for it, becomes the means to go beyond itself, to be replaced by the eternal truth.
If you but knew how much your Father yearns to have you recognize your sinlessness, you would not let His Voice appeal in vain, nor turn away from His replacement for the fearful images and dreams you made. The Holy Spirit understands the means you made, by which you would attain what is forever unattainable. And if you offer them to Him, He will employ the means you made for exile to restore your mind to where it truly is at home.
From knowledge, where He has been placed by God, the Holy Spirit calls to you, to let forgiveness rest upon your dreams, and be restored to sanity and peace of mind. Without forgiveness will your dreams remain to terrify you. And the memory of all your Father’s Love will not return to signify the end of dreams has come.
Accept your Father’s gift. It is a Call from Love to Love, that It be but Itself. The Holy Spirit is His gift, by which the quietness of Heaven is restored to God’s beloved Son. Would you refuse to take the function of completing God, when all He wills is that you be complete?
I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts.
Father, Your Son is perfect. When I think that I am hurt in any way, it is because I have forgotten who I am, and that I am as You created me. Your Thoughts can only bring me happiness. If ever I am sad or hurt or ill, I have forgotten what You think, and put my little meaningless ideas in place of where Your Thoughts belong, and where they are. I can be hurt by nothing but my thoughts. The Thoughts I think with You can only bless. The Thoughts I think with You alone are true.
I will not hurt myself today. For I am far beyond all pain. My Father placed me safe in Heaven, watching over me. And I would not attack the Son He loves, for what He loves is also mine to love.
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ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #99: I’m currently dating a man who I’ve been seeing for about three months. I’ve known him for 3 ½ years and believe that I “love” him. The problem is that my feelings for myself include feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing because I’m overweight. I often feel jealous of his female friends even though I trust that they are just friends. I keep expecting this nice man to run away from me so I keep setting up tests where I tell him very negative things about myself and then ask if he still wants to remain with me. What advice would A Course in Miracles give me to help me to heal the pain of low self-worth and to develop a healthy, holy relationship with this person? He is very considerate of me and respectful toward me.
A: The Course can first of all help you to recognize the real source of any feelings of unworthiness and self-loathing. The cause is not your weight or any other feature or deficiency that you may think makes you less desirable. It also does not have anything to do with what others may think or say about you. All of this, of course, goes totally opposite to what the world tells us. But the world, and our relationships here, are what we have made to keep the real cause of our self- hatred hidden from ourselves. The real source is our belief that we exist on our own, apart from love, because of our decision, buried deep in our unconscious mind, to separate from God, regardless of the cost to Him and to ourselves.
We are convinced we are loveless and unlovable because we have chosen against love, which is our reality. But rather than question the premise that we in fact can separate from love, which the Holy Spirit tells us is impossible, we maintain our sense of a separate identity and then proceed to look for love and affirmation of our value from sources outside of ourselves, never remembering that what we want — love — has remained there within us all the time. And so we look to others to give us what we believe is missing in us, which only reinforces our underlying belief that we are lacking and empty to begin with. And once we embark on that search, we are lost, for we have chosen to look everywhere but where we can find love (T.29.VII).
There is nothing we can do on our own that will undo our feelings of unworthiness and offer us the love we so desperately desire. But that is in fact the good news, because the truth is there is nothing that we need do to establish our value. “Your worth is established by God. As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority….nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth. This point is not debatable except in delusions” (T.4.I.7:2,3,6,7).
Now Jesus doesn’t expect that we will recognize our worth simply because he tells us so. So our relationships become the classrooms in which over time we learn to recognize our worth as the guiltless Son of God. And we learn by recognizing all the ways in which we try to convince ourselves otherwise, with a growing awareness of what we are really up to. We want to see others as holding the key to our happiness so that we don’t have to accept responsibility for our own choice to be separate and miserable. The Course provides no specific guidelines on how to make a relationship work in the world’s terms. But it does provide a means for healing our perceptions of ourselves and others, no matter what form the relationship takes over time. And so the fear, guilt, shame and anger that seem almost universal in the special relationships of the world now become the signals to us that there is another way of looking at ourselves and others.