ACIM Reading for December 3
Supplement: The Song of Prayer
3.- I. The Cause of Sickness
1. Do not mistake effect for cause, nor think that sickness is apart and separate from what its cause must be. It is a sign, a shadow of an evil thought that seems to have reality and to be just, according to the usage of the world. It is external proof of inner “sins,” and witnesses to unforgiving thoughts that injure and would hurt the Son of God. Healing the body is impossible, and this is shown by the brief nature of the “cure.” The body yet must die, and so its healing but delays its turning back to dust, where it was born and will return.
2. The body’s cause is unforgiveness of the Son of God. It has not left its source, and in its
pain and aging and the mark of death upon it this is clearly shown. Fearful and frail it seems to be to those who think their life is tied to its command and linked to its unstable, tiny breath. Death stares at them as every moment goes irrevocably past their grasping hands, which cannot hold them back. And they feel fear as bodies change and sicken. For they sense the heavy scent of death upon their hearts.
3. The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. Only that can give remembrance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love. Forgiveness must be given by a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows on the holy face of Christ, among which sickness should be seen as one. Nothing but that; the sign of judgment made by brother upon brother, and the Son of God upon himself. For he has damned his body as his prison, and forgot that it is he who gave this role to it.
4. What he has done now must God’s Son undo. But not alone. For he has thrown away the prison’s key; his holy sinlessness and the remembrance of his Father’s Love. Yet help is given to him in the Voice his Father placed in him. The power to heal is now his Father’s gift, for through His Voice He still can reach His Son, reminding him the body may become his chosen home, but it will never be his home in truth.
5. Distinctions therefore must be made between true healing and its faulty counterpart. The world of opposites is healing’s place, for what in Heaven could there be to heal? As prayer within the world can ask amiss and seeming charity forgive to kill, so healing can be false as well as true; a witness to the power of the world or to the everlasting Love of God.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 3
My sinlessness protects me from all harm.
My sinlessness ensures me perfect peace, eternal safety, everlasting love, freedom forever from all thought of loss; complete deliverance from suffering. And only happiness can be my state, for only happiness is given me. What must I do to know all this is mine? I must accept Atonement for myself, and nothing more. God has already done all things that need be done. And I must learn I need do nothing of myself, for I need but accept my Self, my sinlessness, created for me, now already mine, to feel God’s Love protecting me from harm, to understand my Father loves His Son; to know I am the Son my Father loves.
You Who created me in sinlessness are not mistaken about what I am. I was mistaken when I thought I sinned, but I accept Atonement for myself. Father, my dream is ended now. Amen.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #156: I am very new to A Course in Miracles, and have read the introduction several times in hopes of having this question answered: Who is authoring the book? Is it the Voice, the Holy Spirit, Christ? Helen states that it is the “Voice” who dictates the text. How is the Voice different from God if it’s God’s Voice? I’m just having problems when the text switches to first person. Mentally, whom do I address? As I’m reading and feeling inspired, my comprehension or absorption of what is being read gets detoured by my mind asking, very loudly, “Who is this?”
A: Helen Schucman identified the “voice” she heard as that of Jesus. There was no doubt in her mind about this as she scribed the Course. (See Question #110) Therefore, the first person statements in the Course do refer to Jesus. The voice is not the voice of God, however. Neither does Jesus state that he is speaking for God. According to the Course, God does not speak words to us in the dream, nor does He “hear our prayers.” The “voice” is different from God because it is part of the dream. It is a reflection of truth, but it is not truth. As so clearly stated in the in the workbook “God is” (W.169.5:4), and in His Being knows only our truth, which is that we are His one Son, who never left Heaven.
The answer to your question lies in understanding the Course’s use of symbols. These symbols include “persons” such as Jesus, the Holy Spirit, as well as images, words, and the Course itself. All are symbols for that part of the mind of the Sonship that remembers God. They reflect the truth of who we are, and in somewhat different ways, they are the reminders of our truth, and the guides who will help us return to God. Specifically, the Course refers to the Holy Spirit as the “Voice for God,” meaning — the Voice that speaks for God, and as “God’s Voice.” Clearly this is a metaphor, since God does not have a voice and, as noted earlier, does not speak to us in the dream. When the Course invites us to “ask” — whether Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or God — it is actually inviting us to turn to our own right mind for guidance. It uses symbols and metaphors, because we are so out of touch with the fact that we have a mind. In its wisdom, the Course has used all its symbols carefully and purposefully. It meets us on our level, using dualistic language for a teaching that reflects nondualism. It seems to imply that God is a person Who hears our prayers, answers us, even “weeps,” yearning for our return. These are all metaphors used to help us understand that we are loved, not condemned for our seeming sin, as the ego would tell us. You may use whichever is most helpful for you.
It is helpful for us to use these images and symbols until we learn that we do indeed have a right mind, and can access it directly. By then we probably will have no need for any symbol and no need to “ask.” We will have accepted the truth about ourselves as spirits, not bodies; innocent, not guilty. The right-minded loving response to any situation will flow through us. It is important, however, to be aware of any resistance, as apparently you have been in your study so far. Our goal in studying and practicing the Course is to learn that we do have a mind, that we do have a choice, that there is another way of looking at any situation in the dream, that our way is based on the belief that separation is real, and that the Holy Spirit and Jesus are here to teach us that there is no separation. Again, it does not matter to whom we address our asking, or what mental image we use. The important thing is that we ask, and not rely on our usual ego interpretation.