ACIM Manual for Teachers Reading for October 21
19. WHAT IS JUSTICE?
Justice is the divine correction for injustice. Injustice is the basis for all the judgements of the world. Justice corrects the interpretations to which injustice gives rise, and cancels them out. Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice, since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit’s verdict upon the world. Except in His judgement justice is impossible, for no one in the world is capable of making only just interpretations and laying all injustices aside. If God’s Son were fairly judged, there would be no need for salvation. The thought of separation would have been forever inconceivable.
Justice, like its opposite, is an interpretation. It is, however, the one interpretation that leads to truth. This becomes possible because, while it is not true in itself, justice includes nothing that opposes truth. There is no inherent conflict between justice and truth; one is but the first small step in the direction of the other. The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendour reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases and time ends with it. But somewhere one must start. Justice is the beginning.
All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body’s eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. Selectively and arbitrarily is every concept of the world built up in just this way. “Sins” are perceived and justified by careful selectivity in which all thought of wholeness must be lost. Forgiveness has no place in such a scheme, for not one “sin” but seems forever true.
Salvation is God’s justice. It restores to your awareness the wholeness of the fragments you perceive as broken off and separate. And it is this that overcomes the fear of death. For separate fragments must decay and die, but wholeness is immortal. It remains forever and forever like its Creator, being one with Him. God’s Judgement is His justice. Onto this,—a Judgement wholly lacking in condemnation; an evaluation based entirely on love,—you have projected your injustice, giving God the lens of warped perception through which you look. Now it belongs to Him and not to you. You are afraid of Him, and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.
Pray for God’s justice, and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. God’s justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. It accepts all evidence that is brought before it, omitting nothing and assessing nothing as separate and apart from, all the rest. From this one standpoint does it judge, and this alone. Here all attack and condemnation becomes meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see!
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 21
My body is a wholly neutral thing.
I am a Son of God. And can I be another thing as well? Did God create the mortal and corruptible? What use has God’s beloved Son for what must die? And yet a neutral thing does not see death, for thoughts of fear are not invested there, nor is a mockery of love bestowed upon it. Its neutrality protects it while it has a use. And afterwards, without a purpose, it is laid aside. It is not sick nor old nor hurt. It is but functionless, unneeded and cast off. Let me not see it more than this today; of service for a while and fit to serve, to keep its usefulness while it can serve, and then to be replaced for greater good.
My body, Father, cannot be Your Son. And what is not created cannot be sinful nor sinless; neither good nor bad. Let me, then, use this dream to help Your plan that we awaken from all dreams we made.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1005: I studied A Course in Miracles in the ’80s, but only within the past year did I start applying the workbook lessons. For the past several years, however, I have had awarenesses of God’s presence. I know that love is the only truth in this illusion. Recently, I realized that I’ve forgiven all the people that I thought had wronged me, simply because I know that these wrongs never happened in the first place. When I read the daily lesson, I feel a sense of peace that stays with me throughout the day. This evening as I was bathing there were a few seconds in which I lost all association with my body. I felt as if I were mentally gazing down upon an alien and was left with a completely neutral sense of the body — neither disgust nor enchantment. Is the illusory world beginning to disappear for me? Am I beginning to wake up from the dream?
A: It could be that you are beginning to wake up, but since we do not know you, we really cannot give you a definitive answer. People experience the process of disidentifying with the body and the world in different ways. Jesus talks about this experience in a series of beautiful paragraphs in “Beyond the Body” in the text (T.18.VI) . He speaks of it in the context of the Identity we share that transcends all specialness and the limitations of the body. Thus he says of the experience: “What really happens is that you have given up the illusion of a limited awareness, and lost your fear of union. . . . There is no violence at all in this escape. The body is not attacked, but simply properly perceived. It does not limit you, merely because you would not have it so. You are not really ‘lifted out’ of it; it cannot contain you. You go where you would be, gaining, not losing, a sense of Self” (T.18.VI.11:7; T.13:1,2,3,4,5).
In the workbook, Jesus tells us that “to be without a body is to be in our natural state” (W.pI.72:9:9) . So it is not something special; it is merely natural. As the process of awakening proceeds through our practice of forgiveness, we thus will take the body and everything of the body less and less seriously, until we reach the point where we know we are not our bodies, even though we still appear as a body. This has nothing to do with death, as some students mistakenly think. It is a shift from false perception to true perception in our minds, and there may or may not be a physical correlation — most of the time, there is not. What is of prime importance is the shift we make in our minds about the purpose for which we will now use our bodies: to learn that we all share the same ego thought system, the Holy Spirit’s correction of that, and the power to choose between them. We all share the pain of separation, and we are all calling out for the love we believe we have denied.