ACIM Reading & Workbook Lesson for December

ACIM Reading for December 7

Pursah’s Gospel of Thomas

These are the hidden sayings that the living J spoke and Didymus Judas Thomas recorded:

And he said, “Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.”

J said, “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and they will reign over all.”

J said, “If your teachers say to you, ‘Look, God’s Divine Rule is in the sky,’ then the birds will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It’s in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, God’s Divine Rule is within you and you are everywhere. When you know yourself, you will be known, and you will understand that we are one. But if you don’t know yourself, you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.”

J said: “The person old in days should not hesitate to ask a little child the meaning of life, and that person will live. For many of the first will be last, and they will become a single one.”

Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.
The disciples asked him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?” J said, “When you go into any region and walk in the countryside, and people take you in, eat what they serve you. After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it’s what comes out of your mouth that will reveal you.”
J said, “A wise fisherman cast his net into the sea. When he drew it up it was full of little fish. Among them he discovered a large, fine fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and he chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears should listen.”

J said, “Look, the sower went out, took a handful of seeds, and scattered them. Some fell on the road, and the birds came and ate them. Others fell on the rocks, and they didn’t take root and didn’t produce grain. Others fell on the thorns, and they choked the seed and the worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop; it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.”

11. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die.

13. J said to the disciples, “Compare me to something and tell me what I’m like.” Simon Peter said to him, “You are like a just angel.” Matthew said to him, “You are like a wisdom teacher.” Thomas said to him, “Master, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like.”

And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends, they asked him, “What did J say to you?” Thomas said to them, “If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and consume you.”

J said, “I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, and what has not arisen in the human heart.”
The followers said to J, “Tell us how our end will be.” He said, “Have you discovered the beginning, then, so that you are seeking the end? For where the beginning is, the end will be. Fortunate is the one who stands at the beginning: That one will know the end and will not taste death.”
20. The disciples said to J, “Tell us what God’s Divine Rule is like.” He said to them, “It’s like a mustard seed. It’s the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.”

When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so the male will not be male and the female will not be female…then you will enter the Kingdom.
I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they shall stand as a single one.

The disciples said, “Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it.” He said to them, “Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is a light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark.”

26. You see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but you do not see the log that is in your own eye. When you take the log out of your own eye, then you will see clearly enough to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

28. I stood in the world and found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. They came into the world empty, and they seek to leave the world empty. But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, they will open their eyes.

A prophet is not acceptable in his own town. A doctor does not heal those who know him.

J said, “A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden.”

34. J said, “If a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a hole.”

Do not worry, from morning to night and from night until morning, about what you will wear. The lilies neither toil nor spin.

When you take your clothes off without guilt, and you put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then you will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid.

A grapevine has been planted outside of the Father, but since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its roots and shall pass away.

J said, “Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have.”
Be passersby.

45. Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles.

A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows. And a servant cannot serve two masters, or that servant will honor the one and offend the other.

Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into new wineskins, or it might spoil. An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear.

J said: “If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, ‘Move over here!’ and it will move.”
Fortunate are those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the Kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again.

The disciples said to him, “When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?” He said to them, “What you are looking forward to has come, but you don’t know it.”

The disciples said to him, “Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you.” He said to them, “You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead.”
54. Fortunate are the poor, for yours is the Father’s Kingdom.

Whoever has come to understand this world has found merely a corpse, and whoever has discovered the corpse, of that one the world is no longer worthy.

God’s Divine Rule is like a person who had good seed. His rival came during the night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let the workers pull up the weeds, but said to them, “No, otherwise you might go to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them. For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be conspicuous, and will be pulled up and burned.”

J said, “Congratulations to the person who has forgiven and has found life.”

Look to the living One as long as you live. Otherwise, when you die and then try to see the living One, you will be unable to see.

I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was given from the things of my Father. Therefore, I say that if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness.

J said, “I disclose my mysteries to those who are ready for my mysteries. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, “I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing.” These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died.

J. said, “Show me the stone that the builders rejected. That is the keystone.”

J said, “Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are completely lacking.”

70. J said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you will kill you.”

72. A person said to him, “Tell my brothers to divide my father’s possessions with me.” He said to the person, “Brother, who made me a divider?” He turned to his disciples and said to them, “I’m not a divider, am I?”

J said, “There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal suite.”

J said, “God’s Divine Rule is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and then found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself. So also with you, seek the treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys.”

A woman in the crowd said to him, “Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you.” He said to her, “Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, ‘Lucky are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.’”

J said, “Whoever has come to know the world has discovered the body, and whoever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy.”

J said, “Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy, he would not have tasted death.”

J said, “Foxes have their dens and birds have their nests, but human beings have no place to lay down and rest.”

J said, “How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on these two.”

J said, “The messengers and the prophets will come to you and give you what belongs to you. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, ‘When will they come and take what belongs to them?’”

J said, “Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don’t you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?”

J said, “Come to me, for my yoke is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves.”

They said to him, “Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you.” He said to them, “You examine the face of Heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment.”

J said, “Seek and you will find. In the past, however, I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now I am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them.”

J said, “One who seeks will find. And for one who knocks, it shall be opened.”

J said, “If you have money, do not lend it at interest. Rather, give it to someone who will not pay you back.”

J said, “God’s Divine Rule is like a woman. She took a little leaven, hid it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!”

J said, “God’s Divine Rule is like a woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking along a distant road, the handle of the jar broke, and the meal spilled behind her along the road. She didn’t know it; she hadn’t noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered it was empty.”

The disciples said to him, “Your brothers and your mother are standing outside.” He said to them, “Those here who do what my Father wants are my brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter the Father’s Kingdom.”

They showed J a gold coin and said to him, “The Roman Emperor’s people demand taxes from us.” He said to them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor. Give God what belongs to God.”

103. J said, “Congratulations to those who know where the rebels are going to attack. They can get going, collect their Divine resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive.”

J said, “When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move from here!’ it will move.”

J said, “God’s Divine Rule is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, ‘I love you more than the ninety-nine.’”

J said, “Whoever drinks from my mouth shall become like me. I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to that person.”

J said, “God’s Divine Rule is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And when he died he left it to his son. The son did not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, discovered the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished.”

J said, “Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world.”

J said, “The Heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, and whoever is living with the living one will not see death. Did not I say, ‘Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy’?”

113. The disciples said to him, “When will the Kingdom come?” He said, “It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Behold here,’ or ‘Behold there.’ Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it.”

** *

ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 7

Lesson 341
Section 13. What is a Miracle?

A miracle is a correction. It does not create, nor really change at all. It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false. It undoes error, but does not attempt to go beyond perception, nor exceed the function of forgiveness. Thus it stays within time’s limits. Yet it paves the way for the return of timelessness and love’s awakening, for fear must slip away under the gentle remedy it brings.

A miracle contains the gift of grace, for it is given and received as one. And thus it illustrates the law of truth the world does not obey, because it fails entirely to understand its ways. A miracle inverts perception which was upside down before, and thus it ends the strange distortions that were manifest. Now is perception open to the truth. Now is forgiveness seen as justified.

Forgiveness is the home of miracles. The eyes of Christ deliver them to all they look upon in mercy and in love. Perception stands corrected in His sight, and what was meant to curse has come to bless. Each lily of forgiveness offers all the world the silent miracle of love. And each is laid before the Word of God, upon the universal altar to Creator and creation in the light of perfect purity and endless joy.

The miracle is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand. Yet faith will bring its witnesses to show that what it rested on is really there. And thus the miracle will justify your faith in it, and show it rested on a world more real than what you saw before; a world redeemed from what you thought was there.

Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die. Now they have water. Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up, to show that what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality.

Lesson 341

I can attack but my own sinlessness,
And it is only that which keeps me safe.

Father, Your Son is holy. I am he on whom You smile in love and tenderness so dear and deep and still the universe smiles back on You, and shares Your Holiness. How pure, how safe, how holy, then, are we, abiding in Your Smile, with all Your Love bestowed upon us, living one with You, in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete; in sinlessness so perfect that the Lord of Sinlessness conceives us as His Son, a universe of Thought completing Him.

Let us not, then, attack our sinlessness, for it contains the Word of God to us. And in its kind reflection we are saved.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #993: In Question #48 you state that “ A Course in Miracles is unique among spiritualities or spiritual approaches, both contemporary and ancient ones.” I have found remarkable parallels between the Course and the ancient Gnostic writings, in particular that the world was made in error, not by God. While there apparently was never one organized creed of Gnosticism, it does appear that its teachings and gospels were part of early Christian thought, and then stamped out, as the Christian Church that we know today established its formal creed. Kenneth Wapnick’s book Love Does Not Condemn deals with the subject of Gnosticism and its relation to the Course. It might be helpful to readers of this forum to provide a brief explanation regarding the relationship, similarities, and differences of the early Gnostic writings to the principles contained in the Course.

A: Interestingly, Ken’s original intention was to write a brief article on this topic; but he found his “article” expanding rather quickly as he read more of the Gnostic and related literature, until finally he decided a full-length book would be needed in order to do justice to this important dimension of Course. Thus, his six-hundred-page book. So to ask for a “brief explanation” is quite a challenge. At the risk of oversimplifying a complex topic — there were several schools of Gnosticism, with differing views among the schools, and within each school as well — we will give it a try by presenting some general contours.

The Course and Gnosticism are similar in maintaining that the world was not created by the true God, but by a false god. In the higher teachings, primarily the Valentinian school, which differed significantly from others, the world was regarded as an illusion. Valentinus called it a fantasy or “Sophia’s folly.” This resulted in a generally negative attitude toward the world; in fact, Gnostics despised the world and sought to avoid being “contaminated” by it. So, while they said the world was not real, they made it real in their minds by seeing it as the locus of sin — which led many Gnostics to avoid involvement with the world and the body. The behavioral and practical implications of the metaphysics varied greatly among the different groups, some of which were shared with early Christians.

This is where we see a major difference between Gnosticism and A Course in Miracles . The Course’s position is inherent in the title of Ken’s book: Love Does Not Condemn , which comes from a passage about the body, but implicitly includes the world: “The body was not made by love. Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions” (T.18.VI.4:7,8) . The entire physical universe is seen as illusory — as part of the ego’s defensive war against God — but it is not judged inherently evil or sinful, as it now can serve the Holy Spirit’s purpose of correcting our purpose in having made it. Thus, the problem is not the world or the body, but our use of it, which is entirely a function of our decision-making minds. This is why the Course says nothing about behavior, much to the frustration of many of its students. It teaches us how to be in the world but not of it; but the focus is exclusively on bringing out of concealment the purpose we have chosen in our minds: namely, to use the world and the body to keep the separation real, while not accepting responsibility for it. Our salvation comes, therefore, not in avoiding involvement with the world, but by seeing it as a classroom in which we learn how to use it to undo our belief in separation through forgiveness. The non-dualism of the Course’s metaphysics is thus maintained.

For a really good video about the Gospel of Thomas, click below:

A Course in Miracles and The Gospel of Thomas: a conversation with Rogier Fentener van Vlissingen

Peace of God

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