ACIM Reading for December 29
Our Daily Bread
Let me this day arise in quietness
With only thoughts of sinlessness, through which
To look upon the world. Let me today
Behold the world as You would have it be,
Because I am as You created me.
This I accept today. And as the day
Draws to a close, all unforgiving thoughts
Have disappeared, and night comes quietly
To bless a day in quietness begun,
And ending in forgiveness of God’s Son.
~ Helen Schucman
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 29
This holy instant would I give to You.
Be You in charge. For I would follow You,
Certain that Your direction gives me peace.
And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me. If I need a thought, that will He also give. And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him. He is in charge by my request. And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #988: I have a friend who is being “cleared” of her karmas and is having what I consider to be great results, such as having the ability to heal others. Could you please comment on what Jesus’ message might be about this? Would A Course in Miracles consider this subject to be beyond its scope?
A: Your question raises two issues: what is the Course perspective on karma, and where does it stand on being able to heal another. You are correct that neither of these topics is the focus of the Course. So let us explore why this is so.
Perhaps the most cogent description of Jesus’ stance on healing can be found in the following passage: “Whom you attack you cannot want to heal. And whom you would have healed must be the one you chose to be protected from attack. And what is this decision but the choice whether to see him through the body’s eyes, or let him be revealed to you through vision? How this decision leads to its effects is not your problem. But what you want to see must be your choice. This is a course in cause and not effect” (T.21.VII.7:34,5,6,7,8).
We will examine the last sentence of that passage first: “This is a course in cause and not in effect.” By cause , Jesus means the mind — specifically the part of our mind, which has the power to choose to listen to either the ego or the Holy Spirit. When we listen to the ego (which tells us we exist at God’s expense), our mind fills with guilt and fear, causing us to project anger and attack. This is the dynamic that compelled us to fall asleep and dream up a world of separate bodies in the first place — our unfortunate response to the ego’s cunning proclamation that we could remove all the guilt from our mind if only we had bodies onto which we could project it. By effect , Jesus means the world , which is nothing more than a nightmare we are having because we continually choose to dream with the ego rather than awaken with the Holy Spirit.
To Jesus, then, physical sickness is simply one more element of our dream, which reflects the guilt in our mind. Thus, since sickness is but an effect, Jesus and his course are not concerned with physical healing. Rather he wants to help us make the shift in our mind that “takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible” (W.pI.140.4:5) . This is the shift Jesus refers to in the passage quoted above when he speaks of the choice whether to see another “through the body’s eyes” (meaning the guilty eyes of the ego) or by letting him be “revealed through vision” (meaning the loving vision of the Holy Spirit). When we choose the body’s eyes, we will always have an underlying motive of attack. When we look with the Holy Spirit, we will see the innocence we share with our brother that remains hidden in the mind, beyond our seemingly separate physical identities. This will automatically lead us to extend love, thus protecting our brother from attack by rejecting rather than reinforcing his guilty perception of himself.
Jesus tells us that how this decision leads to its effects is not our problem. But making this choice is. In other words, we do not need to worry about how our state of mind gets reflected in this dream. We need only concern ourselves with changing internal teachers so that we can experience the Holy Spirit’s Love regardless of what appears to be happening in the physical world.
When we achieve that, we will be able to be with others whose bodies appear to be sick and know that their physical illness can have no effect on the reality of who they are. There may be times when our knowledge that they are not guilty allows others to release the fear that created their need for physical symptoms. There will also surely be times when both their fear and their illness seem to remain unaffected by our love. Again, this is not our concern. Our concern is only with our own mind and the thought system with which we choose to align it. (For more about this, see Chapter III of the Song of Prayer pamphlet.)
This focus on the present state of our mind is why the Course does not address karma. From Jesus’ perspective, what we did lifetimes ago or five minutes ago is all the same — part of a dream from which we need to awaken. What matters is not our past, but the internal teacher we are choosing right now . This does not, however, negate the fact that dealing with past life issues could be very useful for some people. And if your friend has found a process that facilitates her letting go of guilt, then this is very helpful. But from a Course perspective, this is not really due to her karma being cleared. Instead, it is the result of her finding a symbol that finally allowed her to accept forgiveness and let it wash away the imagined guilt for her imagined sins of her imagined past.