ACIM Manual for Teachers Reading for October 20
18. HOW IS CORRECTION MADE?
Correction of a lasting nature,—and only this is true correction,—cannot be made until the teacher of God has ceased to confuse interpretation with fact, or illusion with truth. If he argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has “proved”, both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. And this can only be impossible. Reality is changeless. Magic thoughts are but illusions. Otherwise salvation would be only the same age-old impossible dream in but another form. Yet the dream of salvation has new content. It is not the form alone in which the difference lies.
God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. Through them, the Holy Spirit can now speak of the reality of the Son of God. Now He can remind the world of sinlessness, the one unchanged, unchangeable condition of all that God created. Now He can speak the Word of God to listening ears, and bring Christ’s vision to eyes that see. Now is He free to teach all minds the truth of what they are, so they will gladly be returned to Him. And now is guilt forgiven, overlooked completely in His sight and in God’s Word.
Anger but screeches, “Guilt is real”! Reality is blotted out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word. The body’s eyes now “see”; its ears alone can “hear”. Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless. Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:
You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.
In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realise that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his Eternal Guide, and let Him judge what the response should be. So is he healed, and in his healing is his pupil healed with him. The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to heal?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 20
All fear is past and only love is here.
All fear is past, because its source is gone, and all its thoughts gone with it. Love remains the only present state, whose Source is here forever and forever. Can the world seem bright and clear and safe and welcoming, with all my past mistakes oppressing it, and showing me distorted forms of fear? Yet in the present love is obvious, and its effects apparent. All the world shines in reflection of its holy light, and I perceive a world forgiven at last.
Father, let not Your holy world escape my sight today. Nor let my ears be deaf to all the hymns of gratitude the world is singing underneath the sounds of fear. There is a real world which the present holds safe from all past mistakes. And I would see only this world before my eyes today.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1073: I am relatively new to A Course in Miracles . I am wondering if it might not be more beneficial for a student to use magic in the illusion to address the ego’s threat before trying to incorporate the Course into our daily lives. If we use the magic of psychology to address issues such as self-hate and destructive behaviors, and come to a place where we love and forgive ourselves fully in this illusion, will it not help to see the Course as a method to change the mind and not so much as a source of help in this illusion? For example I am going through a tough time at the moment and am looking for small miracles to help me through it. But I fully understand that the Course is not intended for this illusion. It leaves me feeling alone and fearful (the ego). But if I come to accept and love and forgive myself through magic it will be easier to aim for the higher purpose.
A: The use of magic is never wrong, and in fact Jesus tells us that it is a wise choice when we are so gripped by a condition that we cannot effectively deal with the ego dynamics in our minds. He calls this a “compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief” (T.2.IV.4:6) . This approach is summarized in a passage we often quote: “The value of the Atonement does not lie in the manner in which it is expressed. In fact, if it is used truly, it will inevitably be expressed in whatever way is most helpful to the receiver. This means that a miracle, to attain its full efficacy, must be expressed in a language that the recipient can understand without fear” (T.2.IV.5:1,2,3) .
Thus, external intervention often is the kindest and most helpful direction to take when there is a pattern of destructive behavior triggered by intense self-hatred. But you would not necessarily have to reach the level where you love and forgive yourself totally before you can work with the Course and benefit from it. Even without the element of destructive behavior, most people have not reached that level. If they did, they would not need the Course. Jesus is addressing people at the bottom of the ladder of spirituality, not the top. As is indicated in dozens and dozens of passages, he clearly is aware of the wretched self-images we all carry around with us. (See, for example, W.pI.93 and W.pI.191 .) It could not be otherwise, given the means by which we acquired our existence: attacking and rejecting perfect Love and Oneness.
Once our behavior is under control and we can function reasonably well in the world, the Course can be helpful in teaching us how to relate to ourselves and others in a way that would gradually diminish self-hatred, guilt, and judgment, and bring about a more peaceful way of proceeding through our everyday interactions. In this sense, the Course is helpful in the illusion. It helps us who are rooted in it to gently begin the process of easing ourselves out of it.