ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 31

ACIM Text Reading for March 31

Chapter 11 ~ God or the Ego

IV. The Inheritance of God’s Son

Never forget that the Sonship is your salvation, for the Sonship is your Self. As God’s creation It is yours, and belonging to you It is His. Your Self does not need salvation, but your mind needs to learn what salvation is. You are not saved from anything, but you are saved for glory. Glory is your inheritance, given you by your Creator that you might extend it. Yet if you hate part of your Self all your understanding is lost, because you are looking on what God created as yourself without love. And since what He created is part of Him, you are denying Him His place in His Own altar.

Could you try to make God homeless and know that you are at home? Can the Son deny the Father without believing that the Father has denied him? God’s laws hold only for your protection, and they never hold in vain. What you experience when you deny your Father is still for your protection, for the power of your will cannot be lessened without the intervention of God against it, and any limitation on your power is not the Will of God. Therefore, look only to the power that God gave to save you, remembering that it is yours because it is His, and join with your brothers in His peace.

Your peace lies in its limitlessness. Limit the peace you share, and your Self must be unknown to you. Every altar to God is part of you, because the light He created is one with Him. Would you cut off a brother from the light that is yours? You would not do so if you realised that you can darken only your own mind. As you bring him back, so will you return. That is the law of God, for the protection of the wholeness of His Son.

Only you can deprive yourself of anything. Do not oppose this realisation, for it is truly the beginning of the dawn of light. Remember also that the denial of this simple fact takes many forms, and these you must learn to recognise and to oppose steadfastly, without exception. This is a crucial step in the reawakening. The beginning phases of this reversal are often quite painful, for as blame is withdrawn from without, there is a strong tendency to harbour it within. It is difficult at first to realise that this is exactly the same thing, for there is no distinction between within and without.

If your brothers are part of you and you blame them for your deprivation, you are blaming yourself. And you cannot blame yourself without blaming them. That is why blame must be undone, not seen elsewhere. Lay it to yourself and you cannot know yourself, for only the ego blames at all. Self-blame is therefore ego identification, and as much an ego defence as blaming others. You cannot enter God’s Presence if you attack His Son. When His Son lifts his voice in praise of his Creator, he will hear the Voice for his Father. Yet the Creator cannot be praised without His Son, for their glory is shared and they are glorified together.

Christ is at God’s altar, waiting to welcome His Son. But come wholly without condemnation, for otherwise you will believe that the door is barred and you cannot enter. The door is not barred, and it is impossible that you cannot enter the place where God would have you be. But love yourself with the Love of Christ, for so does your Father love you. You can refuse to enter, but you cannot bar the door that Christ holds open. Come unto me who holds it open for you, for while I live it cannot be shut, and I live forever. God is my life and yours, and nothing is denied by God to His Son.

At God’s altar Christ waits for the restoration of Himself in you. God knows His Son as wholly blameless as Himself, and He is approached through the appreciation of His Son. Christ waits for your acceptance of Him as yourself, and of His Wholeness as yours. For Christ is the Son of God, who lives in his Creator and shines with His glory. Christ is the extension of the Love and the Loveliness of God, as perfect as His Creator and at peace with Him.

Blessed is the Son of God whose radiance is of his Father, and whose glory he wills to share as his Father shares it with him. There is no condemnation in the Son, for there is no condemnation in the Father. Sharing the perfect Love of the Father the Son must share what belongs to Him, for otherwise he will not know the Father or the Son. Peace be unto you who rest in God, and in whom the whole Sonship rests.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 31

Lesson 90
For this review we will use these ideas:

(79) Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.

Let me realize today that the problem is always some form of grievance that I would cherish. Let me also understand that the solution is always a miracle with which I let the grievance be replaced. Today I would remember the simplicity of salvation by reinforcing the lesson that there is one problem and one solution. The problem is a grievance; the solution is a miracle. And I invite the solution to come to me through my forgiveness of the grievance, and my welcome of the miracle that takes its place.

Specific applications of this idea might be in these forms:

This presents a problem to me which I would have resolved.
The miracle behind this grievance will resolve it for me.
The answer to this problem is the miracle that it conceals.

(80) Let me recognize my problems have been solved.

I seem to have problems only because I am misusing time. I believe that the problem comes first, and time must elapse before it can be worked out. I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence. That is because I do not yet realize that God has placed the answer together with the problem, so that they cannot be separated by time. The Holy Spirit will teach me this, if I will let Him. And I will understand it is impossible that I could have a problem which has not been solved already.

These forms of the idea will be useful for specific applications:

I need not wait for this to be resolved.
The answer to this problem is already given me, if I will accept it.
Time cannot separate this problem from its solution.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #543: Would you kindly elaborate on the potential meanings and implications of these sentences from the text of A Course in Miracles: “God’s laws hold only for your protection, and they never hold in vain. What you experience when you deny your Father is still for your protection, for the power of your will cannot be lessened without the intervention of God against it, and any limitation on your power is not the Will of God” (T.11.IV.2:3,4).

A: When we identify with the ego thought system we will experience ourselves as separate beings, with interests that conflict and compete with others. This is not the truth, but if we acknowledge that everything we experience here is a consequence of that choice for the ego, we can at any time change that decision and choose against the ego, thereby regaining awareness of the oneness of the Sonship. In the paragraphs preceding and following the one you cite, this is what Jesus is talking about. He thus says explicitly, “Never forget that the Sonship is your salvation, for the Sonship is your Self” (1:1). And in speaking of our choice to judge certain people as not worthy of sharing the gifts God gave His Son, Jesus teaches us that we are thereby diminishing our own participation in these gifts, and it is the law of God that they be shared without limit: “Would you cut off a brother from the light that is yours? You would not do so if you realized that you can darken only your own mind. As you bring him back, so will you return. That is the law of God, for the protection of the Wholeness of His Son” (3:4,5,6,7).

God’s Son is One — that is His law. So even if in our delusional state we experience ourselves as separate, God’s law still holds. Nothing can prevail against it. Our obstinacy in maintaining that we are right is therefore futile, and all of our attempts to abdicate responsibility for our separated state by blaming others for our suffering and problems are futile as well. If it is God’s Will that the Sonship be whole, then it is our will too. That is the principle of the Atonement, which is represented in our right minds. Thus, in the next chapter (T.12.I), Jesus teaches that our denial of our Identity as part of God is a call for help, which means that if we are denying something, it must be there. That is our protection; the Atonement is our protection. We can never truly separate ourselves from our Source, nor from the oneness in which God created us.

Into Christ's Presence

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 30

ACIM Text Reading for March 30

Chapter 11 ~ God or the Ego

III. From Darkness to Light

When you are weary, remember you have hurt yourself. Your Comforter will rest you, but you cannot. You do not know how, for if you did you could never have grown weary. Unless you hurt yourself you could never suffer in any way, for that is not God’s Will for His Son. Pain is not of Him, for He knows no attack and His peace surrounds you silently. God is very quiet, for there is no conflict in Him. Conflict is the root of all evil, for being blind it does not see whom it attacks. Yet it always attacks the Son of God, and the Son of God is you.

God’s Son is indeed in need of comfort, for he knows not what he does, believing his will is not his own. The Kingdom is his, and yet he wanders homeless. At home in God he is lonely, and amid all his brothers he is friendless. Would God let this be real, when He did not will to be alone Himself? And if your will is His it cannot be true of you, because it is not true of Him.

O my child, if you knew what God wills for you, your joy would be complete! And what He wills has happened, for it was always true. When the light comes and you have said, ‘God’s Will is mine’, you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you. Out of your joy you will create beauty in His Name, for your joy could no more be contained than His. The bleak little world will vanish into nothingness, and your heart will be so filled with joy that it will leap into Heaven, and into the Presence of God. I cannot tell you what this will be like, for your heart is not ready. Yet I can tell you, and remind you often, that what God wills for Himself He wills for you, and what He wills for you is yours.

The way is not hard, but it is very different. Yours is the way of pain, of which God knows nothing. That way is hard indeed, and very lonely. Fear and grief are your guests, and they go with you and abide with you on the way. But the dark journey is not the way of God’s Son. Walk in light and do not see the dark companions, for they are not fit companions for the Son of God, who was created of light and in light. The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you. How can you see the dark companions in a light such as this? If you see them, it is only because you are denying the light. But deny them instead, for the light is here and the way is clear.

God hides nothing from His Son, even though His Son would hide himself. Yet the Son of God cannot hide his glory, for God wills him to be glorious, and gave him the light that shines in him. You will never lose your way, for God leads you. When you wander, you but undertake a journey that is not real. The dark companions, the dark way, are all illusions. Turn toward the light, for the little spark in you is part of a Light so great that it can sweep you out of all darkness forever. For your Father is your Creator, and you are like Him.

The children of light cannot abide in darkness, for darkness is not in them. Do not be deceived by the dark comforters, and never let them enter the mind of God’s Son, for they have no place in His temple. When you are tempted to deny Him remember that there are no other gods to place before Him, and accept His Will for you in peace. For you cannot accept it otherwise.

Only God’s Comforter can comfort you. In the quiet of His temple, He waits to give you the peace that is yours. Give His peace, that you may enter the temple and find it waiting for you. But be holy in the Presence of God, or you will not know that you are there. For what is unlike God cannot enter His Mind, because it was not His Thought and therefore does not belong to Him. And your mind must be as pure as His, if you would know what belongs to you. Guard carefully His temple, for He Himself dwells there and abides in peace. You cannot enter God’s Presence with the dark companions beside you, but you also cannot enter alone. All your brothers must enter with you, for until you have accepted them you cannot enter. For you cannot understand Wholeness unless you are whole, and no part of the Son can be excluded if he would know the Wholeness of his Father.

In your mind you can accept the whole Sonship and bless it with the light your Father gave it. Then you will be worthy to dwell in the temple with Him, because it is your will not to be alone. God blessed His Son forever. If you will bless him in time, you will be in eternity. Time cannot separate you from God if you use it on behalf of the eternal.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 30

Lesson 89
These are our review ideas for today:

(77) I am entitled to miracles.

I am entitled to miracles because I am under no laws but God’s. His laws release me from all grievances, and replace them with miracles. And I would accept the miracles in place of the grievances, which are but illusions that hide the miracles beyond. Now I would accept only what the laws of God entitle me to have, that I may use it on behalf of the function He has given me.

You might use these suggestions for specific applications of this idea:

Behind this is a miracle to which I am entitled.
Let me not hold a grievance against you, [name],
but offer you the miracle that belongs to you instead.
Seen truly, this offers me a miracle.

(78) Let miracles replace all grievances.

By this idea do I unite my will with the Holy Spirit’s, and perceive them as one. By this idea do I accept my release from hell. By this idea do I express my willingness to have all my illusions be replaced with truth, according to God’s plan for my salvation. I would make no exceptions and no substitutes. I want all of Heaven and only Heaven, as God wills me to have.

Useful specific forms for applying this idea would be:

I would not hold this grievance apart from my salvation.
Let our grievances be replaced by miracles, [name].
Beyond this is the miracle by which all my grievances are replaced.

***

Q #481: Is it possible that I can hold a grievance against someone who would not be holding grievances against me? The extreme example right now would be Jesus: I obviously have not forgiven him yet and he loves me unconditionally; so is it possible that in this world I have hatred for someone and that person could have nothing really specific against me?

A: Yes, it is entirely possible. That is the importance of remembering that relationships are only about what goes on in our minds. The ego cannot survive without grievances and hatred, so if you still identify with the ego thought system, you will find reasons to justify a grievance against another person, even if you have to make them up. And of course that has nothing to do with the other person. It has to do only with your belief (usually unconscious) that you are a guilty sinner and deserve to be punished. If you turn to the ego instead of Jesus to help you deal with that awful situation in your mind, you will be directed to project your guilt in order that you be free of it; and then you will quickly find fault with another person. You will have blocked from your awareness this dynamic of denial and projection and therefore will not realize that you are seeing your own guilt in another. As A Course in Miracles states: “Only the self-accused condemn. . . . You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own. Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures the fact that you believe them to be yours, and therefore meriting a “just” attack” (T.31.III.1:1,5,6).

The lure of this dynamic is the ego’s guarantee that it will prove our own innocence. That is the whole point of projection, and that is why we find it almost impossible to let go of grievances. Following the ego’s teachings, I believe that if you are guilty, I must be innocent, because the ego’s system is ruled by the principle of one or the other. Our salvation thus depends on seeing others as guilty. The other person may be holding absolutely nothing against you, but if there is still guilt in your mind, you will have an overpowering need to find something to hate in that person. That is why Jesus is an extreme example. He has no guilt and therefore he cannot hate anyone. That means our not forgiving him has no effect on him. But yet we continue try to perceive him as guilty of something — our own guilt demands this.

His role as our teacher, however, is to help us look at the self-accusation of sin in our minds and learn that it is all made up — it is not based on fact, because it is impossible to attack God. The belief in sin testifies to the opposite — that God has been attacked, and we ought to feel good and guilty about it (original sin, as this is known in biblical traditions). If you accept what Jesus is teaching you in the Course, you will become free of any sense of sinfulness and therefore guilt, and so you will not have a need to hate and attack others, regardless of what their behavior may be. You will no longer have a need for grievances. “The innocent release in gratitude for their own release. And what they see upholds their freedom from imprisonment and death. Open your mind to change, and there will be no ancient penalty exacted from your brother or yourself. For God has said there is no sacrifice that can be asked; there is no sacrifice that can be made” (T.31.III.7).

jesus there is no death

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 29

ACIM Text Reading for March 29

Chapter 11 ~ God or the Ego

II. The Invitation to Healing

If sickness is separation, the decision to heal and to be healed is the first step toward recognising what you truly want. Every attack is a step away from this, and every healing thought brings it closer. The Son of God has both Father and Son, because he is both Father and Son. To unite having and being is to unite your will with His, for He wills you Himself. And you will yourself to Him because, in your perfect understanding of Him, you know there is but one Will. Yet when you attack any part of God and His Kingdom your understanding is not perfect, and what you really want is therefore lost to you.

Healing thus becomes a lesson in understanding; and the more you practise it the better teacher and learner you become. If you have denied truth, what better witnesses to its reality could you have than those who have been healed by it? But be sure to count yourself among them, for in your willingness to join them is your healing accomplished. Every miracle that you accomplish speaks to you of the Fatherhood of God. Every healing thought that you accept, either from your brother or in your own mind, teaches you that you are God’s Son. In every hurtful thought you hold, wherever you perceive it, lies the denial of God’s Fatherhood and of your Sonship.

And denial is as total as love. You cannot deny part of yourself, because the rest will seem to be separate and therefore without meaning. And being without meaning to you, you will not understand it. To deny meaning is to fail to understand. You can heal only yourself, for only God’s Son needs healing. You need it because you do not understand yourself, and therefore know not what you do. Having forgotten your will, you do not know what you really want.

Healing is a sign that you want to make whole. And this willingness opens your ears to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, Whose message is wholeness. He will enable you to go far beyond the healing you would undertake, for beside your small willingness to make whole He will lay His Own complete Will and make yours whole. What can the Son of God not accomplish with the Fatherhood of God in Him? And yet the invitation must come from you, for you have surely learned that whom you invite as your guest will abide with you.

The Holy Spirit cannot speak to an unwelcoming host, because He will not be heard. The Eternal Guest remains, but His Voice grows faint in alien company. He needs your protection, only because your care is a sign that you want Him. Think like Him ever so slightly, and the little spark becomes a blazing light that fills your mind so that He becomes your only Guest. Whenever you ask the ego to enter, you lessen His welcome. He will remain, but you have allied yourself against Him. Whatever journey you choose to take, He will go with you, waiting. You can safely trust His patience, for He cannot leave a part of God. Yet you need far more than patience.

You will never rest until you know your function and fulfil it, for only in this can your will and your Father’s be wholly joined. To have Him is to be like Him, and He has given Himself to you. You who have God must be as God, for His function became yours with His gift. Invite this knowledge back into your mind, and let nothing that obscures it enter. The Guest Whom God sent you will teach you how to do this, if you but recognise the little spark and are willing to let it grow. Your willingness need not be perfect, because His is. If you will merely offer Him a little place, He will lighten it so much that you will gladly let it be increased. And by this increase, you will begin to remember creation.

Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God? You will accept only whom you invite. You are free to determine who shall be your guest, and how long he shall remain with you. Yet this is not real freedom, for it still depends on how you see it. The Holy Spirit is there; although He cannot help you without your invitation. And the ego is nothing, whether you invite it in or not. Real freedom depends on welcoming reality, and of your guests only the Holy Spirit is real. Know, then, Who abides with you merely by recognising what is there already, and do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 29

Lesson 88
Today we will review these ideas:

(75) The light has come.

In choosing salvation rather than attack, I merely choose to recognize what is already there. Salvation is a decision made already. Attack and grievances are not there to choose. That is why I always choose between truth and illusion; between what is there and what is not. The light has come. I can but choose the light, for it has no alternative. It has replaced the darkness, and the darkness has gone.

These would prove useful forms for specific applications of this idea:

This cannot show me darkness, for the light has come.
The light in you is all that I would see, [name].
I would see in this only what is there.

(76) I am under no laws but God’s.

Here is the perfect statement of my freedom. I am under no laws but God’s. I am constantly tempted to make up other laws and give them power over me. I suffer only because of my belief in them. They have no real effect on me at all. I am perfectly free of the effects of all laws save God’s. And His are the laws of freedom.

For specific forms in applying this idea, these would be useful:

My perception of this shows me I believe in laws that do not exist.
I see only the laws of God at work in this.
Let me allow God’s laws to work in this, and not my own.

For a Free Downloadable Audio of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #664: I know that the goal of A Course in Miracles is to realize that all the world we see is an illusion and to eventually give up our ego to be in the reality of union with God. My question is has anyone ever reached the goal and actually done it? If so how did they describe the experience. Are there signposts along the way that the illusion is nearly dismissed or have I missed the point and there is another goal?

A: Your question is a version of the “famous question” of how the separation could have ever happened if we were happy and at peace in God. It implies that the separation is real and the question can then only be answered in some form that supports this belief. The truth is that we have all “done it,” because we have not “undone it” (See T.6.II.10:7,8). However, we believe we have accomplished the impossibility of separating from God and are in need of help to learn that we are mistaken. We have chosen to believe the dream of separation and have identified with the ego. This mistake includes identifying with the body, and makes the world real in our experience. We then seem to experience a learning process whereby we gradually accept the Holy Spirit’s truth and learn to identify with the part of the mind that holds the memory of God’s Love, rather than with the body. It is the healing process of forgiveness that provides glimpses of the Love that has been forgotten, described in the Course as holy instants. Gradually we learn that the peace of the holy instant is preferable to the pain of clinging to the ego, and begin to choose it more frequently and easily, until it is the only thing we choose. That is how the “goal” is accomplished.

Jesus represents for us one who has chosen to identify only with the Love in his mind, and has thus reached the goal. His “experience” is expressed throughout A Course in Miracles, and is, in fact, its source. The important thing to remember is that it is also our experience. As he tells us in the text: “Believe in the resurrection [the “goal”] because it has been accomplished, and it has been accomplished in you. This is as true now as it will ever be… For we ascend unto the Father together, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, for such is the nature of God’s Son as his Father created him” (T.11.VI.4:6,7,9).

The signposts along the way need not be earth shattering experiences. They are simple moments like the sense of relief when we finally let go of a grievance, or realize that we do not have to be right, letting someone else have the final word. A moment of peace, however fleeting, points the way to the lasting peace we seek. It is important to recognize these little signs, rather than to expect lightening bolts to flash into our lives. Being true glimpses of the final goal, they lead us more surely to its realization. We return always to the practice of the forgiveness the Course teaches as the sure guide to our own awakening. The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep” (T.15.IV.9:1,2). So our goal is only to do our part in looking at all our judgments, which are the blocks that prevent our awareness of God’s Love. As the blocks are removed, the truth of our oneness with His Love, which seemed to have been forgotten, will be remembered.

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 28

ACIM Text Reading for March 28

Chapter 11 ~ God or the Ego

I. The Gifts of Fatherhood

You have learned your need of healing. Would you bring anything else to the Sonship, recognising your need of healing for yourself? For in this lies the beginning of the return to knowledge; the foundation on which God will help build again the thought system you share with Him. Not one stone you place upon it but will be blessed by Him, for you will be restoring the holy dwelling place of His Son, where He wills His Son to be and where he is. In whatever part of the mind of God’s Son you restore this reality, you restore it to yourself. You dwell in the Mind of God with your brother, for God Himself did not will to be alone.

To be alone is to be separated from infinity, but how can this be if infinity has no end? No one can be beyond the limitless, because what has no limits must be everywhere. There are no beginnings and no endings in God, Whose universe is Himself. Can you exclude yourself from the universe, or from God Who is the universe? I and my Father are one with you, for you are part of us. Do you really believe that part of God can be missing or lost to Him?

If you were not part of God, His Will would not be unified. Is this conceivable? Can part of His Mind contain nothing? If your place in His Mind cannot be filled by anyone except you, and your filling it was your creation, without you there would be an empty place in God’s Mind. Extension cannot be blocked, and it has no voids. It continues forever, however much it is denied. Your denial of its reality may arrest it in time, but not in eternity. That is why your creations have not ceased to be extended, and why so much is waiting for your return.

Waiting is possible only in time, but time has no meaning. You who made delay can leave time behind simply by recognising that neither beginnings nor endings were created by the Eternal, Who placed no limits on His creation or upon those who create like Him. You do not know this simply because you have tried to limit what He created, and so you believe that all creation is limited. How, then, could you know your creations, having denied infinity?

The laws of the universe do not permit contradiction. What holds for God holds for you. If you believe you are absent from God, you will believe that He is absent from you. Infinity is meaningless without you, and you are meaningless without God. There is no end to God and His Son, for we are the universe. God is not incomplete, and He is not childless. Because He did not will to be alone, He created a Son like Himself. Do not deny Him His Son, for your unwillingness to accept His Fatherhood has denied you yours. See His creations as His Son, for yours were created in honour of Him. The universe of love does not stop because you do not see it, nor have your closed eyes lost the ability to see. Look upon the glory of His creation, and you will learn what God has kept for you.

God has given you a place in His Mind that is yours forever. Yet you can keep it only by giving it, as it was given you. Could you be alone there, when it was given you because God did not will to be alone? God’s Mind cannot be lessened. It can only be increased, for everything He creates has the function of creating. Love does not limit, and what it creates is not limited. To give without limit is God’s Will for you, because only this can bring you the joy that is His and that He wills to share with you. Your love is as boundless as His because it is His.

Could any part of God be without His Love, and could any part of His Love be contained? God is your heritage, because His one gift is Himself. How can you give except like Him if you would know His gift to you? Give, then, without limit and without end, to learn how much He has given you. Your ability to accept Him depends on your willingness to give as He gives. Your fatherhood and your Father are one. God wills to create, and your will is His. It follows, then, that you will to create, since your will follows from His. And being an extension of His Will, yours must be the same.

Yet what you will you do not know. This is not strange when you realise that to deny is to ‘not know’ God’s Will is that you are His Son. By denying this you deny your own will, and therefore do not know what it is. You must ask what God’s Will is in everything, because it is yours. You do not know what it is, but the Holy Spirit remembers it for you. Ask Him, therefore, what God’s Will is for you, and He will tell you yours. It cannot be too often repeated that you do not know it. Whenever what the Holy Spirit tells you appears to be coercive, it is only because you have not recognised your will.

The projection of the ego makes it appear as if God’s Will is outside yourself, and therefore not yours. In this interpretation it seems possible for God’s Will and yours to conflict. God, then, may seem to demand of you what you do not want to give, and thus deprive you of what you want. Would God, Who wants only your will, be capable of this? Your will is His life, which He has given to you. Even in time you cannot live apart from Him. Sleep is not death. What He created can sleep, but cannot die. Immortality is His Will for His Son, and His Son’s will for himself. God’s Son cannot will death for himself because His Father is Life, and His Son is like Him. Creation is your will because it is His.

You cannot be happy unless you do what you will truly, and you cannot change this because it is immutable. It is immutable by God’s Will and yours, for otherwise His Will would not be extended. You are afraid to know God’s Will, because you believe it is not yours. This belief is your whole sickness and your whole fear. Every symptom of sickness and fear arises here, because this is the belief that makes you want not to know. Believing this you hide in darkness, denying that the light is in you.

You are asked to trust the Holy Spirit only because He speaks for you. He is the Voice for God, but never forget that God did not will to be alone. He shares His Will with you; He does not thrust it upon you. Always remember that what He gives He keeps, so that nothing He gives can contradict Him. You who share His Life must share it to know it, for sharing is knowing. Blessed are you who learn that to hear the Will of your Father is to know your own. For it is your will to be like Him, Whose Will it is that it be so. God’s Will is that His Son be one, and united with Him in His Oneness. That is why healing is the beginning of the recognition that your will is His.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 28

Lesson 87
Our review today will cover these ideas:

(73) I will there be light.

I will use the power of my will today. It is not my will to grope about in darkness, fearful of shadows and afraid of things unseen and unreal. Light shall be my guide today. I will follow it where it leads me, and I will look only on what it shows me. This day I will experience the peace of true perception.

These forms of this idea would be helpful for specific applications:

This cannot hide the light I will to see.
You stand with me in light, [name].
In the light this will look different.

(74) There is no will but God’s.

I am safe today because there is no will but God’s. I can become afraid only when I believe there is another will. I try to attack only when I am afraid, and only when I try to attack can I believe that my eternal safety is threatened. Today I will recognize that all this has not occurred. I am safe because there is no will but God’s.

These are some useful forms of this idea for specific applications:

Let me perceive this in accordance with the Will of God.
It is God’s Will you are His Son, [name], and mine as well.
This is part of God’s Will for me, however I may see it.

For a Free Downloadable Audio of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook, Click HERE 

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #164: My view with A Course in Miracles has shifted considerably after listening to Ken’s tape “The Meaning of Judgment.” The thrust of this tape is looking at your ego with no need to change it. In other words looking at our thoughts without judgment and realizing ultimately that what we believe has no effects on reality. Our powerful thoughts seem to be defused as we realize reality is not impressed nor shaken by them. However, Ken keeps reminding us not to judge someone else. It seems if that were the case then we would need a defense against those thoughts. For by saying we should not judge another have we not made judgment real? We are supposed to look at our egos without judgment. Wouldn’t that include looking at our judgment of others without giving reality to it? Some of our judgments may be quite intense, but if we can look at these with the realization that nothing is happening, haven’t we made progress?

A: You may have misunderstood. The tape you refer to makes the point that the goal, contrary to what many students believe the Course to be saying, is not to stop making judgments of ourselves and others, but rather to learn not to judge ourselves for making those judgments. By resisting them and trying to change them, we are making them real in our mind, and that continues to give them and the ego power, as you observe. So the goal is to look upon our ego’s judgments without taking them seriously, that is, without guilt, and without attempting to justify or rationalize them in any way.

A very important part of the looking process is to recognize that our judgments have a cost to us. Judgment keeps the thought of separation real in our mind, banishing peace and inviting pain and guilt to remain. As we recognize the cost of our judgments over time, our motivation increases to join with Jesus or the Holy Spirit and release our investment in judging. So the point is not that we should not judge, but rather why would we want to if we really understood what accompanies it?

By the way, reality is not simply unimpressed or unshaken by our judgments — it can not even see or recognize them! For our judgments have no reality. And so that is why, near the end of the Course, Jesus points out, “It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up.…Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it” (M.10.2:1,2,3,5).

forgiveness takes everything

 

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 27

ACIM Text Reading for March 27

Chapter 11 ~ GOD OR THE EGO

Introduction

Either God or the ego is insane. If you will examine the evidence on both sides fairly, you will realise this must be true. Neither God nor the ego proposes a partial thought system. Each is internally consistent, but they are diametrically opposed in all respects so that partial allegiance is impossible. Remember, too, that their results are as different as their foundations, and their fundamentally irreconcilable natures cannot be reconciled by vacillations between them. Nothing alive is fatherless, for life is creation. Therefore, your decision is always an answer to the question, ‘Who is my father?’ And you will be faithful to the father you choose.

Yet what would you say to someone who believed this question really involves conflict? If you made the ego, how can the ego have made you? The authority problem is still the only source of conflict, because the ego was made out of the wish of God’s Son to father Him. The ego, then, is nothing more than a delusional system in which you made your own father. Make no mistake about this. It sounds insane when it is stated with perfect honesty, but the ego never looks on what it does with perfect honesty. Yet that is its insane premise, which is carefully hidden in the dark cornerstone of its thought system. And either the ego, which you made, is your father, or its whole thought system will not stand.

You make by projection, but God creates by extension. The cornerstone of God’s creation is you, for His thought system is light. Remember the Rays that are there unseen. The more you approach the centre of His thought system, the clearer the light becomes. The closer you come to the foundation of the ego’s thought system, the darker and more obscure becomes the way. Yet even the little spark in your mind is enough to lighten it. Bring this light fearlessly with you, and bravely hold it up to the foundation of the ego’s thought system. Be willing to judge it with perfect honesty. Open the dark cornerstone of terror on which it rests, and bring it out into the light. There you will see that it rested on meaninglessness, and that everything of which you have been afraid was based on nothing.

My brother, you are part of God and part of me. When you have at last looked at the ego’s foundation without shrinking you will also have looked upon ours. I come to you from our Father to offer you everything again. Do not refuse it in order to keep a dark cornerstone hidden, for its protection will not save you. I give you the lamp and I will go with you. You will not take this journey alone. I will lead you to your true Father, Who hath need of you, as I have. Will you not answer the call of love with joy?

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 27

Lesson 86
These ideas are for review today:

(71) Only God’s plan for salvation will work.

It is senseless for me to search wildly about for salvation. I have seen it in many people and in many things, but when I reached for it, it was not there. I was mistaken about where it is. I was mistaken about what it is. I will undertake no more idle seeking. Only God’s plan for salvation will work. And I will rejoice because His plan can never fail.

These are some suggested forms for applying this idea specifically:

God’s plan for salvation will save me from my perception of this.
This is no exception in God’s plan for my salvation.
Let me perceive this only in the light of God’s plan for salvation.

(72) Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.

Holding grievances is an attempt to prove that God’s plan for salvation will not work. Yet only His plan will work. By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness. I would no longer defeat my own best interests in this insane way. I would accept God’s plan for salvation, and be happy.

Specific applications for this idea might be in these forms:

I am choosing between misperception and salvation as I look on this.
If I see grounds for grievances in this, I will not see the grounds for my salvation.
This calls for salvation, not attack.

For a Free Audio Download of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q: #977: I’m totally new to A Course in Miracles . So far my understanding is that we are pretty much lost and confused, wandering in the fields of illusion but not aware of it. I gather that the Course is our guide out of these illusions or more precisely, a guide to help us become aware of them. Is that what the Course means by the Atonement? And with Atonement, can we experience the illusion at will without becoming lost and confused again. Can we enter the illusion simply to be at play in it or to provide guidance to others? Would individuals who can do this be the Ascended Masters I’ve read of elsewhere?

A: It is tempting to try and understand A Course in Miracles by relating it to other spiritual teachings. But while the language of the Course does bear a resemblance to other spiritualities, its metaphysical and psychological teachings are unique.

In the Course, Jesus gives us the following advice for getting in touch with God’s Love in our mind, “Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything” (W.pI.189.7:5). This same statement (though a rather tall order) provides an excellent guideline for approaching the Course itself.

So, in order to answer your questions, we first need to take a brief look at what the Course actually teaches. It is true that, as a number of spiritual paths do, the Course tells us our entire physical existence is an illusion. The Course also informs us that this world came from an attack thought and therefore is not a nice place. Jesus refers to this as “a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die” (W.pII.13.5:1). Of course, Jesus wants us to know that we did not really come here at all. But we came here in our mind in an effort to escape the terror of the thought that we could separate from God and destroy His Love.

Uniquely, the Course teaches that this world was the ego’s answer to the conflicted and terrorizing belief that we had killed God and that God will somehow rise back up and strike us down in punishment. The ego lulled us to sleep with its promise that if we just accepted it as our teacher, we could banish all memory of God from our mind and thus be safe from such horror.

But the Course further teaches that despite the ego’s best effort, the memory of God and His Love remains in our mind. From the ego’s perspective this memory of God’s Love is an awful thing that, should we ever get close to it, will be its demise. And since we are almost fully identified with our egos, we think God’s Love will be the end of us.

However, the Course lets us know that there is another part of our mind. Jesus aims his message at the decision-making part of our mind that chose the ego. He reminds us that there is another internal Teacher still available to us — the Holy Spirit. He informs us that choosing the Holy Spirit instead of the ego will result not in our destruction, but rather in our gradually waking up and finding ourselves at home in Heaven, still safe within the Love of God.

The Holy Spirit represents the memory of God’s Love that we brought with us into this dream. If we turn to the Holy Spirit for help, He will transform any situation in our lives into a classroom in forgiveness. He does this is by reminding us that we have not separated from God’s Love nor have any of our brothers. As we begin to know this more and more, we will see that we all share the same attacking ego (that dreamed up this attacking world) and the same loving thoughts inspired by the Holy Spirit. Ultimately, we will recognize that there is nothing to forgive because we are not separate (from each other or from God) and so nothing has really happened. At that point we will know that this is all an illusion.

This is what the Course means by Atonement — the undoing of the ego and the healing of the belief in separation (facilitated by our turning to the Holy Spirit for help).

At the very end of the journey we will awaken and know this was all a dream. But the end of the journey is not our concern. Our task is to turn toward the Holy Spirit and let Him transform our life into a classroom. In so doing, we will become more loving and less filled with anxiety and pain. Increasingly, we will come to know that our body (physical and psychological) is nothing more than an idea in the mind that never left its source. As we recognize this, the love in our mind will naturally extend to all we encounter.

The idea of entering this illusion to be at play does not make sense from Jesus’ perspec­tive. Only the ego thinks that there is fun to be had here. After all, if we knew we were at home in Heaven and perfectly safe, why would we go looking for fun in a world that was made to keep us feeling “barren and separate” (T.19.15:1) ?

Likewise, the Course does not concern itself with the concept of Ascended Masters. It does inform us that anytime you come from the Holy Spirit’s Love instead of the ego’s attack, you are a Teacher of God. But that does not make you ascended. It just makes you sane for however long your right-minded thinking lasts.

Basically, anyone who thinks he or she is here has the same lesson to learn. We all desper­ately want to know that the separation never happened, we are not guilty, and we are just “dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality” (T.10.I.2:2).

Somebody like Jesus would be an example of what the Course calls a Teacher of teachers (M.26.2:2). Jesus seemed to be here but knew he was not. He only appeared in order to serve as a reminder of truth for the rest of the Sonship. But again, Jesus represents the end of the journey and that really is not our concern (other than to let him serve as our guide and inspiration).

The Course helps us recognize that we are at the beginning of the journey. If we study it sincerely and with an open mind, we will realize that this is a journey worth taking and that there is a strong and loving hand we can hold along the way.

health is inner peace

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 26

ACIM Text Reading for March 26

Chapter 10 ~ The Idols of Sickness

V. The Denial of God

The rituals of the god of sickness are strange and very demanding. Joy is never permitted, for depression is the sign of allegiance to him. Depression means that you have forsworn God. Many are afraid of blasphemy, but they do not understand what it means. They do not realise that to deny God is to deny their own Identity, and in this sense the wages of sin is death. The sense is very literal; denial of life perceives its opposite, as all forms of denial replace what is with what is not. No one can really do this, but that you think you can and believe you have is beyond dispute.

Do not forget, however, that to deny God will inevitably result in projection, and you will believe that others and not yourself have done this to you. You must receive the message you give because it is the message you want. You may believe that you judge your brothers by the messages they give you, but you have judged them by the message you give to them. Do not attribute your denial of joy to them, or you cannot see the spark in them that would bring joy to you. It is the denial of the spark that brings depression, for whenever you see your brothers without it, you are denying God.

Allegiance to the denial of God is the ego’s religion. The god of sickness obviously demands the denial of health, because health is in direct opposition to its own survival. But consider what this means to you. Unless you are sick you cannot keep the gods you made, for only in sickness could you possibly want them. Blasphemy, then, is self-destructive, not God-destructive. It means that you are willing not to know yourself in order to be sick. This is the offering your god demands because, having made him out of your insanity, he is an insane idea. He has many forms, but although he may seem to be many different things he is but one idea;—the denial of God.

Sickness and death seemed to enter the mind of God’s Son against His Will. The ‘attack on God’ made His Son think he was fatherless, and out of his depression he made the god of depression. This was his alternative to joy, because he would not accept the fact that, although he was a creator, he had been created. Yet the Son is helpless without the Father, Who alone is his Help.

I said before that of yourself you can do nothing, but you are not of yourself. If you were, what you have made would be true, and you could never escape. It is because you did not make yourself that you need be troubled over nothing. Your gods are nothing, because your Father did not create them. You cannot make creators who are unlike your Creator, any more than He could have created a Son who was unlike Him. If creation is sharing, it cannot create what is unlike itself. It can share only what it is. Depression is isolation, and so it could not have been created.

Son of God, you have not sinned, but you have been much mistaken. Yet this can be corrected and God will help you, knowing that you could not sin against Him. You denied Him because you loved Him, knowing that if you recognised your love for Him, you could not deny Him. Your denial of Him therefore means that you love Him, and that you know He loves you. Remember that what you deny you must have once known. And if you accept denial, you can accept its undoing.

Your Father has not denied you. He does not retaliate, but He does call to you to return. When you think He has not answered your call, you have not answered His. He calls to you from every part of the Sonship, because of His Love for His Son. If you hear His message He has answered you, and you will learn of Him if you hear aright. The Love of God is in everything He created, for His Son is everywhere. Look with peace upon your brothers, and God will come rushing into your heart in gratitude for your gift to Him.

Do not look to the god of sickness for healing but only to the God of love, for healing is the acknowledgement of Him. When you acknowledge Him you will know that He has never ceased to acknowledge you, and that in His acknowledgement of you lies your being. You are not sick and you cannot die. But you can confuse yourself with things that do. Remember, though, that to do this is blasphemy, for it means that you are looking without love on God and His creation, from which He cannot be separated.

Only the eternal can be loved, for love does not die. What is of God is His forever, and you are of God. Would He allow Himself to suffer? And would He offer His Son anything that is not acceptable to Him? If you will accept yourself as God created you, you will be incapable of suffering. Yet to do this you must acknowledge Him as your Creator. This is not because you will be punished otherwise. It is merely because your acknowledgement of your Father is the acknowledgement of yourself as you are. Your Father created you wholly without sin, wholly without pain and wholly without suffering of any kind. If you deny Him you bring sin, pain and suffering into your own mind because of the power He gave it. Your mind is capable of creating worlds, but it can also deny what it creates because it is free.

You do not realise how much you have denied yourself, and how much God, in His Love, would not have it so. Yet He would not interfere with you, because He would not know His Son if he were not free. To interfere with you would be to attack Himself, and God is not insane. When you deny Him you are insane. Would you have Him share your insanity? God will never cease to love His Son, and His Son will never cease to love Him. That was the condition of His Son’s creation, fixed forever in the Mind of God. To know that is sanity. To deny it is insanity. God gave Himself to you in your creation, and His gifts are eternal. Would you deny yourself to Him?

Out of your gifts to Him the Kingdom will be restored to His Son. His Son removed himself from His gift by refusing to accept what had been created for him, and what he had created in the Name of his Father. Heaven waits for his return, for it was created as the dwelling place of God’s Son. You are not at home anywhere else, or in any other condition. Do not deny yourself the joy that was created for you for the misery you have made for yourself. God has given you the means for undoing what you have made. Listen, and you will learn how to remember what you are.

If God knows His children as wholly sinless, it is blasphemous to perceive them as guilty. If God knows His children as wholly without pain, it is blasphemous to perceive suffering anywhere. If God knows His children to be wholly joyous, it is blasphemous to feel depressed. All of these illusions, and the many other forms that blasphemy may take, are refusals to accept creation as it is. If God created His Son perfect, that is how you must learn to see him to learn of his reality. And as part of the Sonship, that is how you must see yourself to learn of yours.

Do not perceive anything God did not create or you are denying Him. His is the only Fatherhood, and it is yours only because He has given it to you. Your gifts to yourself are meaningless, but your gifts to your creations are like His, because they are given in His Name. That is why your creations are as real as His. Yet the real Fatherhood must be acknowledged if the real Son is to be known. You believe that the sick things you have made are your real creations, because you believe that the sick images you perceive are the sons of God. Only if you accept the Fatherhood of God will you have anything, because His Fatherhood gave you everything. That is why to deny Him is to deny yourself.

Arrogance is the denial of love, because love shares and arrogance withholds. As long as both appear to you to be desirable the concept of choice, which is not of God, will remain with you. While this is not true in eternity it is true in time, so that while time lasts in your mind there will be choices. Time itself is your choice. If you would remember eternity, you must look only on the eternal. If you allow yourself to become preoccupied with the temporal, you are living in time. As always, your choice is determined by what you value. Time and eternity cannot both be real, because they contradict each other. If you will accept only what is timeless as real, you will begin to understand eternity and make it yours.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 26

Lesson 85
Today’s review will cover these ideas:

(69) My grievances hide the light of the world in me.

My grievances show me what is not there, and hide from me what I would see. Recognizing this, what do I want my grievances for? They keep me in darkness and hide the light. Grievances and light cannot go together, but light and vision must be joined for me to see. To see, I must lay grievances aside. I want to see, and this will be the means by which I will succeed.

Specific applications for this idea might be made in these forms:

Let me not use this as a block to sight.
The light of the world will shine all this away.
I have no need for this. I want to see.

(70) My salvation comes from me.

Today I will recognize where my salvation is. It is in me because its Source is there. It has not left its Source, and so it cannot have left my mind. I will not look for it outside myself. It is not found outside and then brought in. But from within me it will reach beyond, and everything I see will but reflect the light that shines in me and in itself.

These forms of the idea are suitable for more specific applications:

Let this not tempt me to look away from me for my salvation.
I will not let this interfere with my awareness of the Source of my salvation.
This has no power to remove salvation from me.

For a Free Audio Download of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1069: I am at a point in the Course where I am very sad and depressed. My thinking is: If we are to return to our true Self, we need to pass, die, shift. or whatever, back to the arms of God. I don’t want to give up this world, just the mis-creations like war, illness, etc. I know the Course says God has our good creations saved for us, but does that include my projections of egos (bodies) I love, like my family? I fear loneliness. Do I have it all wrong? I keep thinking I need to die to reach Atonement.

A: You do not have to die to reach Atonement. Atonement is a shift that takes place in your mind whereby you now see with Christ’s vision, not the ego’s. What that means is that you see everyone as the same instead of as different, with different and competing interests and goals. You clearly see separation as an illusion. You can still be here with a healed mind, but you would realize that living as a body in a physical world is not your real identity, and you would also realize that that is true of your loved ones as well, which makes loneliness impossible. You do not have to die to have this realization. It is a state of mind that A Course in Miracles calls the real world. You do not disappear in the Heart of God the instant you accept the Atonement: “Fear not that you will be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality,” Jesus assures us (T.16.VI.8:1) . The process of awakening is a gentle one: “God willed he waken gently and with joy, and gave him means to waken without fear” (T.27.VII.13:5) . Only when the world and all forms of separation are meaningless to you will they disappear from your mind — but not before then. We are never asked to sacrifice what we still want (T.30.V.9:4,5) .

*

Q #884: Is extending gratitude to the ideas which joined me in my physical, illusory play in the form of body cells and tissues, trees, animals, insects etc., bringing truth to illusions? Or does keeping in mind that the reality of everything is a loving idea, if seen from the Holy Spirit’s vantage point, allow the illusion to be brought to Truth? Is focusing on the ideas beyond the form the way to remember, that “God is in everything I see” (W.pI.29)?

A: Guilt for having chosen the separation and identity with the ego are the thoughts that made the body. These are certainly not thoughts for which to be grateful. The body is nothing to be grateful for, because of itself it is nothing (T19.IV.C.5:5) . In fact, there is nothing in the illusion of form that merits gratitude, precisely because it is illusion, not reality. Moreover, the world is the projection of the insane thought that the Son of God can be separate from his Source. Therefore, there is nothing inherently loving about it.

What’s more, in A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us: we do not know what anything is for (W.pI.25) , we do not know who we are (T.9.I.2:5), what we really want (T.11.II.3:7), or what love is (T12.V.6:1) . In this state of confusion, how could we possibly know what to be grateful for? Hope lies in accepting what Jesus tells us: “ You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning” (T.11.VIII.3:1,2,3). The beginning is willingness to be taught to see everything differently by looking through the eyes of forgiveness.

The practice of forgiveness, whereby every judgment is recognized as the projection of a choice in the mind, is the only way to bring illusion to truth. The important focus in this process is being willing to remember that nothing external to the mind has any effect on it. This is the foundation of forgiveness and the perspective the Holy Spirit brings to every experience in the dream. We can then be grateful to everything and everyone by acknowledging that none of them is responsible for anything we feel. That is what is meant by the workbook lesson, “I am not the victim of the world I see” (W.pI.31) . This gratitude extends to oneself as well, in recognition of the mind’s power to choose the Holy Spirit or the ego as interpreter of every experience in the dream. We can be thankful that our happiness does not depend on anything outside our minds, and requires only that we choose it, by choosing the Holy Spirit.

The first step is learning that the “happiness” we seem to experience in the world is the ego’s specialness, not true happiness. This means looking honestly at all the things we think make us happy, and seeing them as tawdry substitutes for the real happiness we seek. As mentioned earlier, we don’t know what that is, but we can learn that it is not anything the world offers. This requires a little willingness to question every value that we hold (T.24.in.2:1) . Every value means “…all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. …everything [the mind] thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed” (W.pI.189.7:1,2). To question these values we must first recognize them, and so our function is only to: “…seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against [Him] ” (T.16.IV.6:1). We need not strive to see God in everything. When every value is questioned and found wanting, nothing will be held up to block the memory of God’s Love in our minds, and then He will be in everything we see. This does not mean that He is present in the dream in any way. It means that when the memory of His Love is not blocked by the ego’s specialness, everything is perceived through the lens of love’s reflection.

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 25

ACIM Text Reading for March 25

Chapter 10 ~ The Idols of Sickness

IV. The End of Sickness

All magic is an attempt at reconciling the irreconcilable. All religion is the recognition that the irreconcilable cannot be reconciled. Sickness and perfection are irreconcilable. If God created you perfect, you are perfect. If you believe you can be sick, you have placed other gods before Him. God is not at war with the god of sickness you made, but you are. He is the symbol of deciding against God, and you are afraid of him because he cannot be reconciled with God’s Will. If you attack him, you will make him real to you. But if you refuse to worship him in whatever form he may appear to you, and wherever you think you see him, he will disappear into the nothingness out of which he was made.

Reality can dawn only on an unclouded mind. It is always there to be accepted, but its acceptance depends on your willingness to have it. To know reality must involve the willingness to judge unreality for what it is. To overlook nothingness is merely to judge it correctly, and because of your ability to evaluate it truly, to let it go. Knowledge cannot dawn on a mind full of illusions, because truth and illusions are irreconcilable. Truth is whole, and cannot be known by part of a mind.

The Sonship cannot be perceived as partly sick, because to perceive it that way is not to perceive it at all. If the Sonship is one, it is one in all respects. Oneness cannot be divided. If you perceive other gods your mind is split, and you will not be able to limit the split, because it is the sign that you have removed part of your mind from God’s Will. This means it is out of control. To be out of control is to be out of reason, and then the mind does become unreasonable. By defining the mind wrongly, you perceive it as functioning wrongly.

God’s laws will keep your mind at peace because peace is His Will, and His laws are established to uphold it. His are the laws of freedom, but yours are the laws of bondage. Since freedom and bondage are irreconcilable, their laws cannot be understood together. The laws of God work only for your good, and there are no other laws beside His. Everything else is merely lawless and therefore chaotic. Yet God Himself has protected everything He created by His laws. Everything that is not under them does not exist. ‘Laws of chaos’ is a meaningless term. Creation is perfectly lawful, and the chaotic is without meaning because it is without God. You have ‘given’ your peace to the gods you made, but they are not there to take it from you, and you cannot give it to them.

You are not free to give up freedom, but only to deny it. You cannot do what God did not intend, because what He did not intend does not happen. Your gods do not bring chaos; you are endowing them with chaos, and accepting it of them. All this has never been. Nothing but the laws of God has ever been, and nothing but His Will, will ever be. You were created through His laws and by His Will, and the manner of your creation established you a creator. What you have made is so unworthy of you that you could hardly want it, if you were willing to see it as it is. You will see nothing at all. And your vision will automatically look beyond it, to what is in you and all around you. Reality cannot break through the obstructions you interpose, but it will envelop you completely when you let them go.

When you have experienced the protection of God, the making of idols becomes inconceivable. There are no strange images in the Mind of God, and what is not in His Mind cannot be in yours, because you are of one mind and that mind belongs to Him. It is yours because it belongs to Him, for to Him ownership is sharing. And if it is so for Him, it is so for you. His definitions are His laws, for by them He established the universe as what it is. No false gods you attempt to interpose between yourself and your reality affect truth at all. Peace is yours because God created you. And He created nothing else.

The miracle is the act of a Son of God who has laid aside all false gods, and calls on his brothers to do likewise. It is an act of faith, because it is the recognition that his brother can do it. It is a call to the Holy Spirit in his mind, a call that is strengthened by joining. Because the miracle worker has heard God’s Voice, he strengthens It in a sick brother by weakening his belief in sickness, which he does not share. The power of one mind can shine into another, because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark. It is everywhere and it is eternal.

In many only the spark remains, for the Great Rays are obscured. Yet God has kept the spark alive so that the Rays can never be completely forgotten. If you but see the little spark you will learn of the greater light, for the Rays are there unseen. Perceiving the spark will heal, but knowing the light will create. Yet in the returning the little light must be acknowledged first, for the separation was a descent from magnitude to littleness. But the spark is still as pure as the great light, because it is the remaining call of creation. Put all your faith in it, and God Himself will answer you.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 25

Lesson 84
These are the ideas for today’s review:

(67) Love created me like itself.

I am in the likeness of my Creator. I cannot suffer, I cannot experience loss and I cannot die. I am not a body. I would recognize my reality today. I will worship no idols, nor raise my own self-concept to replace my Self. I am in the likeness of my Creator. Love created me like itself.

You might find these specific forms helpful in applying the idea:

Let me not see an illusion of myself in this.
As I look on this, let me remember my Creator.
My Creator did not create this as I see it.

(68) Love holds no grievances.

Grievances are completely alien to love. Grievances attack love and keep its light obscure. If I hold grievances I am attacking love, and therefore attacking my Self. My Self thus becomes alien to me. I am determined not to attack my Self today, so that I can remember Who I am.

These specific forms for applying this idea would be helpful:

This is no justification for denying my Self.
I will not use this to attack love.
Let this not tempt me to attack myself.

For a Free Downloadable Audio of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1177: As a result of my study of A Course in Miracles I’ve encountered an uncomfortable, and at times alarming, lessening of my identification with, and interest in the events and activities of my day-to-day experience. Is this an appropriate result from the shift of thinking that is described as the objective of the Course teachings? How are these feelings of detachment from the dream reconciled with a participation in the curriculum of my life experience so that I may teach and so learn to join as Jesus describes?

A: Learning not to take oneself too seriously is indeed one of the rewards of applying the principles of forgiveness to one’s life. It is the result of recognizing that everything that occurs is a projection of the mind. Although it is true that the events and activities of day-to-day living are part of the illusion, until the mind is healed of all belief in the separation they are important opportunities in the classroom of forgiveness. The teaching contained in the text and the workbook lessons is meant to be applied to the specific experiences of one’s life. All the events and activities do lose the meaning they had before the study of the Course, but can now serve the Holy Spirit’s curriculum of healing the mind of the thought of separation: “The Holy Spirit teaches you to use what the ego has made, to teach the opposite of what the ego has “learned” (T.7.IV.3:3). There could be no higher purpose for the activities that fill our days. Nothing but the ego’s devastating curriculum of separation is lost when the mind shifts to the Holy Spirit’s lessons. Learning to see everything as a classroom for the practice of forgiveness more than compensates for the loss of interest.

One of the goals for a student of the Course is to become a “happy learner.” The energy no longer expended in the pursuit of worn-out interests can now be spent paying attention to the activity of the mind that is often very busy putting up “interesting” obstacles to the awareness of love’s presence (T.in.1:7) in the form of attack thoughts and judgments based on separation. They are the reflection of the mind’s fear of fully accepting the memory of God’s Love that the Holy Spirit represents. If we are willing to look at these obstacles, without judging, changing, justifying or defending them, they can be given to the Holy Spirit to be healed. As Jesus tells us in the text: “If you would be a happy learner, you must give everything you have learned to the Holy Spirit, to be unlearned for you” (T.14.II.6:1). Engaging in this practice of forgiveness is how we join with Jesus and journey with him to the final goal of his Course.

jesus there is no death

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 24

ACIM Text Reading for March 24

Chapter 10 ~ The Idols of Sickness

III. The God of Sickness

You have not attacked God and you do love Him. Can you change your reality? No one can will to destroy himself. When you think you are attacking yourself, it is a sure sign that you hate what you think you are. And this, and only this, can be attacked by you. What you think you are can be very hateful, and what this strange image makes you do can be very destructive. Yet the destruction is no more real than the image, although those who make idols do worship them. The idols are nothing, but their worshippers are the Sons of God in sickness. God would have them released from their sickness and returned to His Mind. He will not limit your power to help them, because He has given it to you. Do not be afraid of it, because it is your salvation.

What Comforter can there be for the sick children of God except His power through you? Remember that it does not matter where in the Sonship He is accepted. He is always accepted for all, and when your mind receives Him the remembrance of Him awakens throughout the Sonship. Heal your brothers simply by accepting God for them. Your minds are not separate, and God has only one channel for healing because He has but one Son. God’s remaining communication link with all His children joins them together, and them to Him. To be aware of this is to heal them because it is the awareness that no one is separate, and so no one is sick.

To believe that a Son of God can be sick is to believe that part of God can suffer. Love cannot suffer, because it cannot attack. The remembrance of love therefore brings invulnerability with it. Do not side with sickness in the presence of a Son of God even if he believes in it, for your acceptance of God in him acknowledges the Love of God he has forgotten. Your recognition of him as part of God reminds him of the truth about himself, which he is denying. Would you strengthen his denial of God and thus lose sight of yourself? Or would you remind him of his wholeness and remember your Creator with him?

To believe a Son of God is sick is to worship the same idol he does. God created love, not idolatry. All forms of idolatry are caricatures of creation, taught by sick minds too divided to know that creation shares power and never usurps it. Sickness is idolatry, because it is the belief that power can be taken from you. Yet this is impossible, because you are part of God, Who is all power. A sick god must be an idol, made in the image of what its maker thinks he is. And that is exactly what the ego does perceive in a Son of God; a sick god, self-created, self-sufficient, very vicious and very vulnerable. Is this the idol you would worship? Is this the image you would be vigilant to save? Are you really afraid of losing this?

Look calmly at the logical conclusion of the ego’s thought system and judge whether its offering is really what you want, for this is what it offers you. To obtain this you are willing to attack the Divinity of your brothers, and thus lose sight of yours. And you are willing to keep it hidden, to protect an idol you think will save you from the dangers for which it stands, but which do not exist.

There are no idolaters in the Kingdom, but there is great appreciation for everything that God created, because of the calm knowledge that each one is part of Him. God’s Son knows no idols, but he does know His Father. Health in this world is the counterpart of value in Heaven. It is not my merit that I contribute to you but my love, for you do not value yourself. When you do not value yourself you become sick, but my value of you can heal you, because the value of God’s Son is one. When I said, ‘My peace I give unto you’, I meant it. Peace comes from God through me to you. It is for you although you may not ask for it.

When a brother is sick it is because he is not asking for peace, and therefore does not know he has it. The acceptance of peace is the denial of illusion, and sickness is an illusion. Yet every Son of God has the power to deny illusions anywhere in the Kingdom, merely by denying them completely in himself. I can heal you because I know you. I know your value for you, and it is this value that makes you whole. A whole mind is not idolatrous, and does not know of conflicting laws. I will heal you merely because I have only one message, and it is true. Your faith in it will make you whole when you have faith in me.

I do not bring God’s message with deception, and you will learn this as you learn that you always receive as much as you accept. You could accept peace now for everyone, and offer them perfect freedom from all illusions because you heard His Voice. But have no other gods before Him or you will not hear. God is not jealous of the gods you make, but you are. You would save them and serve them, because you believe that they made you. You think they are your father, because you are projecting onto them the fearful fact that you made them to replace God. Yet when they seem to speak to you, remember that nothing can replace God, and whatever replacements you have attempted are nothing.

Very simply, then, you may believe you are afraid of nothingness, but you are really afraid of nothing. And in that awareness you are healed. You will hear the god you listen to. You made the god of sickness, and by making him you made yourself able to hear him. Yet you did not create him, because he is not the Will of the Father. He is therefore not eternal and will be unmade for you the instant you signify your willingness to accept only the eternal.

If God has but one Son, there is but one God. You share reality with Him, because reality is not divided. To accept other gods before Him is to place other images before yourself. You do not realise how much you listen to your gods, and how vigilant you are on their behalf. Yet they exist only because you honour them. Place honour where it is due, and peace will be yours. It is your inheritance from your real Father. You cannot make your Father, and the father you made did not make you. Honour is not due to illusions, for to honour them is to honour nothing. Yet fear is not due them either, for nothing cannot be fearful. You have chosen to fear love because of its perfect harmlessness, and because of this fear you have been willing to give up your own perfect helpfulness and your own perfect Help.

Only at the altar of God will you find peace. And this altar is in you because God put it there. His Voice still calls you to return, and He will be heard when you place no other gods before Him. You can give up the god of sickness for your brothers; in fact, you would have to do so if you give him up for yourself. For if you see the god of sickness anywhere, you have accepted him. And if you accept him you will bow down and worship him, because he was made as God’s replacement. He is the belief that you can choose which god is real. Although it is clear this has nothing to do with reality, it is equally clear that it has everything to do with reality as you perceive it.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 24

Lesson 83
Today let us review these ideas:

(65) My only function is the one God gave me.

I have no function but the one God gave me. This recognition releases me from all conflict, because it means I cannot have conflicting goals. With one purpose only, I am always certain what to do, what to say and what to think. All doubt must disappear as I acknowledge that my only function is the one God gave me.

More specific applications of this idea might take these forms:

My perception of this does not change my function.
This does not give me a function other than the one God gave me.
Let me not use this to justify a function God did not give me.

(66) My happiness and my function are one.

All things that come from God are one. They come from Oneness, and must be received as one. Fulfilling my function is my happiness because both come from the same Source. And I must learn to recognize what makes me happy, if I would find happiness.

Some useful forms for specific applications of this idea are:

This cannot separate my happiness from my function.
The oneness of my happiness and my function remains wholly unaffected by this.
Nothing, including this, can justify the illusion of happiness apart from my function.

For a Free Audio Download of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1358: From what I gather, “ego ideals” are part of the level-confusion issue: I think that if I’m a “good” person and do “good” things, the Holy Spirit will look on me more favorably, or I’ll be more “advanced”; on the flip side, if I “waste” my time watching basketball on TV or I treat someone poorly, the opposite terms apply. In this case, there’s usually fuel for thinking myself guilty, and this is where the harder part comes in. It’s obvious that on the level of behavior we have so many decisions to make, and some aren’t morally good: If I decide to skip a meeting I know I should be at but feel is utterly unimportant, I feel the lack of integrity in myself, create the guilt that I project onto the Holy Spirit thinking I’m guilty and undeserving of peace, as though my skipping the meeting is part of the spiritual landscape. From what I’m understanding, skipping the meeting is not the issue, but instead it’s that I have done all this unconsciously to create guilt by using the “ego ideal” as a defense against love? Another example: my parents are taking my family on vacation to a place I don’t really care for; plus it’ll be crowded and crazy. I’m planning on not going but spending some time alone, etc. My wife has no problem with this, and though I know my parents might frown some, I have made it into a big deal, as though there’s a right moral choice: I should go to fulfill my duty and be a good son. Same thing as the meeting, right? Or am I in denial?

A: You’re on the right track, but you haven’t gotten to the core of the problem yet. The “ego ideal” is not in itself the defense against love. It is the convenient external criterion the ego invokes and employs as a smokescreen to deceive us about why we feel guilty. But the only reason we ever feel guilty has nothing to do with anything external. It is that we have already made an internal decision to be selfish, to put our own self interests above everyone else’s, to see ourselves as separate and in need of taking care of ourselves first and everyone else be damned — that’s the core of the separation thought. And it comes from our fear of love, which denies the truth of who we are. Any decision about external events or situations that proceeds then from this internal decision for selfishness will simply reinforce and seem also to account for those feelings. But we will be deluding ourselves about the real cause.

The Course’s only reference to ego ideals describes their role in obscuring the source of the guilt in our mind: “Yet consider how strange a solution the ego’s arrangement is. You project guilt to get rid of it, but you are actually merely concealing it. You do experience the guilt, but you have no idea why. On the contrary, you associate it with a weird assortment of “ego ideals,” which the ego claims you have failed. Yet you have no idea that you are failing the Son of God by seeing him as guilty. Believing you are no longer you, you do not realize that you are failing yourself” (T.13.II.2, italics added ).

The goal then is not to be able to make decisions that protect our self-interest without feeling guilty, but rather to turn to our Inner Guide whenever we feel that we have an important decision to make, so that we can be reminded of what is the truly important decision — who we make it with. Now the ego would tell us, “Sure, turn to the Holy Spirit and you know He’ll tell you that you need to do what you don’t want to do” — the ego always confuses sacrifice with love. And the ego’s focus is always on behavior, or form, rather than on the mind, or content. And so morality – – doing the right thing — is an ego concern. For the ego is preoccupied with rules for behavior. But the Holy Spirit is concerned only with rules for decision. In that sense we can say that the Course is an a moral thought system — it is not concerned with what we do, but only with how we think.

So the guilt is not coming from the “ego ideals,” which would dictate the “moral” or “right” choice, but rather from that fact that you are making decisions on your own. And so, in the examples you describe, you have already made up your mind what the problem is and what you want to do before you ask for help, hoping that you can decide on your own and get what you want without guilt. The guilt however is not coming from what you are deciding to do or not to do, but from the fact that you are deciding on your own, which means with the ego (T.30.I.14). In the section of the text titled “Rules for Decision,” Jesus says: “This is your major problem now. You still make up your mind, and then decide to ask what you should do. And what you hear may not resolve the problem as you saw it first. This leads to fear, because it contradicts what you perceive and so you feel attacked. And therefore angry. There are rules by which this will not happen. But it does occur at first, while you are learning how to hear” (T.30.I.3).

Jesus offers the solution in the preceding paragraph: “The outlook starts with this:

Today I will make no decisions by myself. This means that you are choosing not to be the judge of what to do. But it must also mean you will not judge the situations where you will be called upon to make response. For if you judge them, you have set the rules for how you should react to them. And then another answer cannot but produce confusion and uncertainty and fear” (T.30.I.2).

In other words, the important decision is not whether to participate in a certain meeting or go with family on a special vacation, but whether you wish to have the ego or the Holy Spirit as your interpreter and guide in whatever you end up doing. And since we never know what is in our own best interests, we will never know what the “right” thing to do is ahead of time, regardless of the ego’s “moral” judgments. But whatever we end up being guided to do, we will be at peace about it, because we have not decided on our own, from a belief in our own guilt and limitation and lack. And our experience then will be one of peace and joy, free of conflict and pain and guilt, regardless of what seems to be happening around us.

sunburst eternity

 

 

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 23

ACIM Text Reading for March 23

Chapter 10 ~ The Idols of Sickness

II. The Decision to Forget

Unless you first know something you cannot dissociate it. Knowledge must precede dissociation, so that dissociation is nothing more than a decision to forget. What has been forgotten then appears to be fearful, but only because the dissociation is an attack on truth. You are fearful because you have forgotten. And you have replaced your knowledge by an awareness of dreams because you are afraid of your dissociation, not of what you have dissociated. When what you have dissociated is accepted, it ceases to be fearful.

Yet to give up the dissociation of reality brings more than merely lack of fear. In this decision lie joy and peace and the glory of creation. Offer the Holy Spirit only your willingness to remember, for He retains the knowledge of God and of yourself for you, waiting for your acceptance. Give up gladly everything that would stand in the way of your remembering, for God is in your memory. His Voice will tell you that you are part of Him when you are willing to remember Him and know your own reality again. Let nothing in this world delay your remembering of Him, for in this remembering is the knowledge of yourself.

To remember is merely to restore to your mind what is already there. You do not make what you remember; you merely accept again what is already there, but was rejected. The ability to accept truth in this world is the perceptual counterpart of creating in the Kingdom. God will do His part if you will do yours, and His return in exchange for yours is the exchange of knowledge for perception. Nothing is beyond His Will for you. But signify your will to remember Him, and behold! He will give you everything but for the asking.

When you attack, you are denying yourself. You are specifically teaching yourself that you are not what you are. Your denial of reality precludes the acceptance of God’s gift, because you have accepted something else in its place. If you understand that this is always an attack on truth, and truth is God, you will realise why it is always fearful. If you further recognise that you are part of God, you will understand why it is that you always attack yourself first.

All attack is Self attack. It cannot be anything else. Arising from your own decision not to be what you are, it is an attack on your identification. Attack is thus the way in which your identification is lost, because when you attack, you must have forgotten what you are. And if your reality is God’s, when you attack you are not remembering Him. This is not because He is gone, but because you are actively choosing not to remember Him.

If you realised the complete havoc this makes of your peace of mind you could not make such an insane decision. You make it only because you still believe it can get you something you want. It follows, then, that you want something other than peace of mind, but you have not considered what it must be. Yet the logical outcome of your decision is perfectly clear, if you will only look at it. By deciding against your reality, you have made yourself vigilant against God and His Kingdom. And it is this vigilance that makes you afraid to remember Him.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 23

Lesson 82
We will review these ideas today:

(63) The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.

My forgiveness is the means by which the light of the world finds expression through me. My forgiveness is the means by which I become aware of the light of the world in me. My forgiveness is the means by which the world is healed, together with myself. Let me, then, forgive the world, that it may be healed along with me.

Suggestions for specific forms for applying this idea are:

Let peace extend from my mind to yours, [name].
I share the light of the world with you, [name].
Through my forgiveness I can see this as it is.

(64) Let me not forget my function.

I would not forget my function, because I would remember my Self. I cannot fulfill my function if I forget it. And unless I fulfill my function, I will not experience the joy that God intends for me.

Suitable specific forms of this idea include:

Let me not use this to hide my function from me.
I would use this as an opportunity to fulfill my function.
This may threaten my ego, but cannot change my function in any way.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1280: I recently ended a seven year relationship with a partner I was planning to marry until he told me he wasn’t sure. I gave him several weeks to decide, but he was unable to, saying he felt he was not good enough for me. I ended the relationship very sadly and reluctantly, still not knowing what he really wanted. I understand from the Course that everything that happens to us is made by ourselves. I would like to know if this situation, including his uncertainty and his not feeling good enough, was caused by my guilt, because I was looking for something outside myself. Was I mistaken to want the relationship to move to a deeper level? I am now uncertain if I gave up a loving relationship for the sake of wanting marriage.

A: A Course in Miracles tells us that this physical life is a dream and that we are the ones dreaming it. So, ultimately, it is true that everything we experience here is of our own making. However, it is not as the individual we think we are that we dreamt all this up. That occurs on a level outside of time and space — a level that we cannot get in touch with or comprehend from within this dream. Therefore, we do not have to take responsibility for all the thoughts, feelings, and actions of everyone around us. In fact, doing so could be very detrimental because, rather than leading us to greater understanding and forgiveness, it tends to root us more deeply in guilt and fear. This is so because the “I” that tries to take responsibility is just as made up as that which it is attempting to take credit for. Thus, we wind up wrongly attributing power to a false self that is already terrorized by the mistaken belief that it has the power to destroy Heaven and banish God forever.

The message of the Course is exactly the opposite: We do not have power over God. Despite all the horrors we see and pain we feel, not one note in Heaven’s song has been missed (T.26.V.5:4) . We remain “at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality”(T.10.I.2:1) . What will help us move toward awakening is not trying to take responsibility for what others do, but rather taking responsibility for our reactions to what they do. Because we script our lives to be full of pain as a defense against remembering God’s Love, the key to getting out of our pain is recognizing that it comes not from external circumstances but from our own choice to feel it. The process of the Course consists of asking the Holy Spirit to be our internal Teacher and help us realize that we would be much happier if we chose God’s Love over our pain, guilt, and fear.

And so, in a situation like the one you have described, the Course would not tell you whether you have made a right or wrong decision. What it would do is encourage you to explore whether you made the decision with the guidance of the ego or the Holy Spirit. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get married and deciding you would like a partner who shares that desire. However, since the ending of your relationship was confusing and emotionally difficult and you are now second guessing yourself, it seems likely that there may be other issues involved.

None of this is reason to feel guilty. Indeed, virtually everyone here has relationship issues since it was our relationship issue with God that compelled us to fall into this dream in the first place. It does sound, though, like it might be helpful for you to look at the beliefs, feelings, and expectations you have around intimate relationships so that future ones go more smoothly. A good first step would be taking the Holy Spirit’s hand and asking Him to help you look at what you have just experienced through His loving and non- judgmental eyes.

Holy Encounter copy

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for March 22

ACIM Text Reading for March 22

Chapter 10 ~ The Idols of Sickness

I. At Home in God

You do not know your creations simply because you would decide against them as long as your mind is split, and to attack what you have created is impossible. But remember that it is as impossible for God. The law of creation is that you love your creations as yourself, because they are part of you. Everything that was created is therefore perfectly safe, because the laws of God protect it by His Love. Any part of your mind that does not know this has banished itself from knowledge, because it has not met its conditions. Who could have done this but you? Recognise this gladly, for in this recognition lies the realisation that your banishment is not of God, and therefore does not exist.

You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality. Is it your decision to do so? You recognise from your own experience that what you see in dreams you think is real while you are asleep. Yet the instant you waken you realise that everything that seemed to happen in the dream did not happen at all. You do not think this strange, even though all the laws of what you awaken to were violated while you slept. Is it not possible that you merely shifted from one dream to another, without really waking?

Would you bother to reconcile what happened in conflicting dreams, or would you dismiss both together if you discovered that reality is in accord with neither? You do not remember being awake. When you hear the Holy Spirit you may feel better because loving then seems possible to you, but you do not remember yet that it once was so. And it is in this remembering that you will know it can be so again. What is possible has not yet been accomplished. Yet what has once been is so now, if it is eternal. When you remember, you will know that what you remember is eternal, and therefore is now.

You will remember everything the instant you desire it wholly, for if to desire wholly is to create, you will have willed away the separation, returning your mind simultaneously to your Creator and your creations. Knowing them you will have no wish to sleep, but only the desire to waken and be glad. Dreams will be impossible because you will want only truth, and being at last your will, it will be yours.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 22

Lesson 81
REVIEW II
Introduction

We are now ready for another review. We will begin where our last review left off, and cover two ideas each day. The earlier part of each day will be devoted to one of these ideas, and the latter part of the day to the other. We will have one longer exercise period, and frequent shorter ones in which we practice each of them.

The longer practice periods will follow this general form: Take about fifteen minutes for each of them, and begin by thinking about the ideas for the day, and the comments that are included in the assignments. Devote some three or four minutes to reading them over slowly, several times if you wish, and then close your eyes and listen.

Repeat the first phase of the exercise period if you find your mind wandering, but try to spend the major part of the time listening quietly but attentively. There is a message waiting for you. Be confident that you will receive it. Remember that it belongs to you, and that you want it.

Do not allow your intent to waver in the face of distracting thoughts. Realize that, whatever form such thoughts may take, they have no meaning and no power. Replace them with your determination to succeed. Do not forget that your will has power over all fantasies and dreams. Trust it to see you through, and carry you beyond them all.

Regard these practice periods as dedications to the way, the truth and the life. Refuse to be sidetracked into detours, illusions and thoughts of death. You are dedicated to salvation. Be determined each day not to leave your function unfulfilled.

Reaffirm your determination in the shorter practice periods as well, using the original form of the idea for general applications, and more specific forms when needed. Some specific forms are included in the comments which follow the statement of the ideas. These, however, are merely suggestions. It is not the particular words you use that matter.

Lesson 81

Our ideas for review today are:

(61) I am the light of the world.

How holy am I, who have been given the function of lighting up the world! Let me be still before my holiness. In its calm light let all my conflicts disappear. In its peace let me remember Who I am.

Some specific forms for applying this idea when special difficulties seem to arise might be:

Let me not obscure the light of the world in me.
Let the light of the world shine through this appearance.
This shadow will vanish before the light.

(62) Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.

It is through accepting my function that I will see the light in me. And in this light will my function stand clear and perfectly unambiguous before my sight. My acceptance does not depend on my recognizing what my function is, for I do not yet understand forgiveness. Yet I will trust that, in the light, I will see it as it is.

Specific forms for using this idea might include:

Let this help me learn what forgiveness means.
Let me not separate my function from my will.
I will not use this for an alien purpose.

For a Free Audio Download of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #187: So what happens when one is finally able to let go of one’s ego? Does one, as an individual, cease to exist? I know I am attached to my individuality. I like my life, basically. I don’t want to disappear into….what? I like the world and think it is beautiful. I don’t want the world to disappear. What happens when our bodies die? What happens when we awake from the dream? Do we awake from the dream when our bodies die?

A: You can rest assured that so long as you want an individual self and the world to be your reality, they will be. Jesus makes this clear in a number of passages. Speaking of the world we see, he says, “…you invented it. You can give it up as easily as you made it up. You will see it or not see it, as you wish. While you want it you will see it; when you no longer want it, it will not be there for you to see” (W.pI.32.1:2,3,4,5). And later in the workbook, “There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release….It is not pride which tells you that you made the world you see, and that it changes as you change your mind” (W.pI.132.5:1,5). And earlier in the text, he assures us, “Fear not that you will be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality” (T.16.VI.8:1).

So you are not at this point looking for release — that is fine. Jesus has no judgment about that. He may question your sanity (T.23.II.13:4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13). But he does not judge you for preferring the world to his love. Most of us do not recognize or believe that this is the choice we are making. And so one of the purposes of A Course in Miracles is to help us see that we are choosing the world and our individual self, and that choice represents a choice against love and peace. Genuine love and peace can only be found in unity, not in separation and differences.

If the world still holds great appeal for you, the Course will be less desirable as a spiritual path. It will teach you the value of letting go of your judgments and, as a result, of having less pain, guilt and anxiety in your relationships. But the metaphysics that is the Course’s foundation for forgiveness asserts the unreality of the separation, the individual self, and the world. Such a teaching runs counter to your expressed preference for the world and at some point you may experience conflict. But the truth is, none of us would find ourselves here in the world if it were not our preference and our choice, as the passages cited above make clear.

So what is most important is that you are honest with yourself and Jesus about what you want right now and how you feel. If, over time, you come to accept that the choice you are making has a cost to you, you can reconsider your decision at that point.

When you are ready to release completely your identification with the ego self and the world, which is its defense, nothing really will happen. You will simply experience a profound shift in perception. Death has nothing to do with this shift anymore than birth has. The death of the body does not change the decision being made in the mind to be separate — it may in fact reinforce that choice, if the death in any way feels like a punishment or a deprivation or an escape. And then we will simply choose another lifetime to continue our experience of individuality and specialness.

Everything is happening in the mind and when your mind lets go of the ego, you will simply awaken to the fact that you have only been dreaming a dream of separation, And so there is no separation, no separate self and no external world. The dream may appear to continue, but you will not take it seriously, knowing it is simply a fantasy or illusion that has no real meaning or effects. You will know you are limitless mind and not a limited bodily self. And the joy that comes from the realization that the mind is truly one will make whatever joy and beauty the world seemed to offer you before seem like a pale, lifeless shadow in comparison.

See also Question #68 for a discussion of the relationship between the mind and death of the body.

 

 

sun of god guiltless