ACIM Reading for November 18
Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice
2. The Process of Psychotherapy
2.- VII. The Ideal Patient : Therapist Relationship
1. Who, then, is the therapist, and who is the patient? In the end, everyone is both. He who needs healing must heal. Physician, heal thyself. Who else is there to heal? And who else is in need of healing? Each patient who comes to a therapist offers him a chance to heal himself. He is therefore his therapist. And every therapist must learn to heal from each patient who comes to him. He thus becomes his patient. God does not know of separation. What He knows is only that He has one Son. His knowledge is reflected in the ideal patient-therapist relationship. God comes to him who calls, and in Him he recognizes Himself.
2. Think carefully, teacher and therapist, for whom you pray, and who is in need of healing. For therapy is prayer, and healing is its aim and its result. What is prayer except the joining of minds in a relationship which Christ can enter? This is His home, into which psychotherapy invites Him. What is symptom cure, when another is always there to choose? But once Christ enters in, what choice is there except to have Him stay? There is no need for more than this, for it is everything. Healing is here, and happiness and peace. These are the “symptoms” of the ideal patient-therapist relationship, replacing those with which the patient came to ask for help.
3. The process that takes place in this relationship is actually one in which the therapist in his heart tells the patient that all his sins have been forgiven him, along with his own. What could be the difference between healing and forgiveness? Only Christ forgives, knowing His sinlessness. His vision heals perception and sickness disappears. Nor will it return again, once its cause has been removed. This, however, needs the help of a very advanced therapist, capable of joining with the patient in a holy relationship in which all sense of separation finally is overcome.
4. For this, one thing and one thing only is required: The therapist in no way confuses himself with God. All “unhealed healers” make this fundamental confusion in one form or another, because they must regard themselves as self-created rather than God-created. This confusion is rarely if ever in awareness, or the unhealed healer would instantly become a teacher of God, devoting his life to the function of true healing. Before he reached this point, he thought he was in charge of the therapeutic process and was therefore responsible for its outcome. His patient’s errors thus became his own failures, and guilt became the cover, dark and strong, for what should be the Holiness of Christ. Guilt is inevitable in those who use their judgment in making their decisions. Guilt is impossible in those through whom the Holy Spirit speaks.
5. The passing of guilt is the true aim of therapy and the obvious aim of forgiveness. In this their oneness can be clearly seen. Yet who could experience the end of guilt who feels responsible for his brother in the role of guide for him? Such a function presupposes a knowledge that no one here can have; a certainty of past, present and future, and of all the effects that may occur in them. Only from this omniscient point of view would such a role be possible. Yet no perception is omniscient, nor is the tiny self of one alone against the universe able to assume he has such wisdom except in madness. That many therapists are mad is obvious. No unhealed healer can be wholly sane.
6. Yet it is as insane not to accept a function God has given you as to invent one He has not. The advanced therapist in no way can ever doubt the power that is in him. Nor does he doubt its Source. He understands all power in earth and Heaven belongs to him because of who he is.
And he is this because of his Creator, Whose Love is in him and Who cannot fail. Think what this means; he has the gifts of God Himself to give away. His patients are God’s saints, who call upon his sanctity to make it theirs. And as he gives it to them, they behold Christ’s shining face as it looks back at them.
7. The insane, thinking they are God, are not afraid to offer weakness to God’s Son. But what they see in him because of this they fear indeed. The unhealed healer cannot but be fearful of his patients, and suspect them of the treachery he sees in him. He tries to heal, and thus at times he may. But he will not succeed except to some extent and for a little while. He does not see the Christ in him who calls. What answer can he give to one who seems to be a stranger; alien to the truth and poor in wisdom, without the god who must be given him? Behold your God in him, for what you see will be your Answer.
8. Think what the joining of two brothers really means. And then forget the world and all its little triumphs and its dreams of death. The same are one, and nothing now can be remembered of the world of guilt. The room becomes a temple, and the street a stream of stars
that brushes lightly past all sickly dreams. Healing is done, for what is perfect needs no healing, and what remains to be forgiven where there is no sin?
9. Be thankful, therapist, that you can see such things as this, if you but understand your proper role. But if you fail in this, you have denied that God created you, and so you will not know you are His Son. Who is your brother now? What saint can come to take you home with him? You lost the way. And can you now expect to see in him an answer that you have refused to give? Heal and be healed. There is no other choice of pathways that can ever lead to peace. O let your patient in, for he has come to you from God. Is not his holiness enough to wake your memory of Him?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 18
I can give up but what was never real.
I sacrifice illusions; nothing more. And as illusions go I find the gifts illusions tried to hide, awaiting me in shining welcome, and in readiness to give God’s ancient messages to me. His memory abides in every gift that I receive of Him. And every dream serves only to conceal the Self which is God’s only Son, the likeness of Himself, the Holy One Who still abides in Him forever, as He still abides in me.
Father, to You all sacrifice remains forever inconceivable. And so I cannot sacrifice except in dreams. As You created me, I can give up nothing You gave me. What You did not give has no reality. What loss can I anticipate except the loss of fear, and the return of love into my mind?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1128: If the entire universe is illusory or a dream, as is all form, then what is meant in A Course in Miracles : “As miracles in this world join you to your brothers, so do your creations establish your fatherhood in Heaven.” (T13.X.9.1). What are my creations? What are God’s creations? What do we create when we are fully realized?
A: God’s Son, who is one with Him in Heaven, shares His power of creation, which is the extension of love. The Course teaches that God created His one Son, and nothing else. Since we mistakenly believe we exist as bodies in the world, this use of words is intended to help us understand what cannot truly be explained or understood. “God’s creations” refers to the extension of His Love to His Son, and Christ’s creations are extensions of His Love (“Glossary Index for A Course in Miracles ,” Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D. p.51). In the dream of separation our creations are reflected in the thoughts we think with God. When the mind chooses the miracle and identifies with the memory of God’s Love, thereby accepting Him as Father rather than the ego. That is how the Son acknowledges or establishes that Heaven is his home, and God is his Father. Being a right-minded extension of love, this choice includes everybody and so it joins us to our brothers. None of this has anything to do with form. The mind’s decision to take the ego or the Holy Spirit is reflected in the dream, but the thought/creation remains in the mind. “Fear and love make or create, depending on whether the ego or the Holy Spirit begets or inspires them, but they will return to the mind of the thinker and they will affect his total perception” (T.7.VI.1:5). Everything that seems to occur in our lives reflects this choice made in the mind. The mind is either projecting guilt for having chosen the ego, or extending love by choosing the Holy Spirit. The body/brain serves only as the mind’s instrument. Thus, until we identify only with the mind, the body serves the Holy Spirit’s purpose by interpreting everything it perceives in the light of His teaching. That is how we become aware of the mind where the decision to think with God is made.
One of the most important goals of the Course is to train us to become aware of all the thoughts we do not share with God. The practice of forgiveness begins with the honest recognition of all judgments that are reflections of the mind’s choice for the ego as father, rather than God. Willingness to see every judgment as projections of guilt for choosing the ego, without judging oneself for it, is the way to clear the runway for the mind’s creations. They follow automatically, with no effort, when judgment is relinquished.
When the mind chooses to identify only with the Truth of God’s Love by the acceptance of the Atonement, only love will be perceived. That is what is meant by the beautiful phrase in the text: “When you want only love you will see nothing else”(T.12.VII.8:1). When Identity as God’s Son is fully accepted, the Son shares the Father’s creative power to extend only love. That is all that can ever be created because that is all that truly exists.
Webmaster note: Also see questions 103 , 769i