ACIM Text Reading for March 1
Chapter 7 ~ The Gifts of the Kingdom
IX. The Extension of the Kingdom
Only you can limit your creative power, but God wills to release it. He no more wills you to deprive yourself of your creations than He wills to deprive Himself of His. Do not withhold your gifts to the Sonship, or you withhold yourself from God! Selfishness is of the ego, but Self-fullness is of spirit because that is how God created it. The Holy Spirit is in the part of the mind that lies between the ego and the spirit, mediating between them always in favour of the spirit. To the ego this is partiality, and it responds as if it were being sided against. To spirit this is truth, because it knows its fullness and cannot conceive of any part from which it is excluded.
Spirit knows that the awareness of all its brothers is included in its own, as it is included in God. The power of the whole Sonship and of its Creator is therefore spirit’s own fullness, rendering its creations equally whole and equal in perfection. The ego cannot prevail against a totality that includes God, and any totality must include God. Everything He created is given all His power, because it is part of Him and shares His Being with Him. Creating is the opposite of loss, as blessing is the opposite of sacrifice. Being must be extended. That is how it retains the knowledge of itself. Spirit yearns to share its being as its Creator did. Created by sharing, its will is to create. It does not wish to contain God, but wills to extend His Being.
The extension of God’s Being is spirit’s only function. Its fullness cannot be contained, any more than can the fullness of its Creator Fullness is extension. The ego’s whole thought system blocks extension, and thus blocks your only function. It therefore blocks your joy, so that you perceive yourself as unfulfilled. Unless you create you are unfulfilled, but God does not know unfulfillment and therefore you must create. You may not know your own creations, but this can no more interfere with their reality than your unawareness of your spirit can interfere with its being.
The Kingdom is forever extending because it is in the Mind of God. You do not know your joy because you do not know your own Self-fullness. Exclude any part of the Kingdom from yourself and you are not whole. A split mind cannot perceive its fullness, and needs the miracle of its wholeness to dawn upon it and heal it This reawakens the wholeness in it, and restores it to the Kingdom because of its acceptance of wholeness. The full appreciation of the mind’s Self-fullness makes selfishness impossible and extension inevitable. That is why there is perfect peace in the Kingdom. Spirit is fulfilling its function, and only complete fulfilment is peace.
Your creations are protected for you because the Holy Spirit Who is in your mind, knows of them and can bring them into your awareness whenever you will let Him. They are there as part of your own being, because your fulfilment includes them. The creations of every Son of God are yours, since every creation belongs to everyone, being created for the Sonship as a whole.
You have not failed to increase the inheritance of the Sons of God, and thus have not failed to secure it for yourself. Since it was the Will of God to give it to you, He gave it forever. Since it was His Will that you have it forever, He gave you the means for keeping it. And you have done so. Disobeying God’s Will is meaningful only to the insane. In truth it is impossible. Your Self-fullness is as boundless as God’s. Like His, It extends forever and in perfect peace. Its radiance is so intense that It creates in perfect joy, and only the whole can be born of Its wholeness.
Be confident that you have never lost your Identity and the extensions which maintain It in wholeness and peace. Miracles are an expression of this confidence. They are reflections of both your proper identification with your brothers, and of your awareness that your identification is maintained by extension. The miracle is a lesson in total perception. By including any part of totality in the lesson, you have included the whole.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 1
These ideas are for today’s review:
(46) God is the Love in which I forgive.
God does not forgive because He has never condemned. The blameless cannot blame, and those who have accepted their innocence see nothing to forgive. Yet forgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence. It is the reflection of God’s Love on earth. It will bring me near enough to Heaven that the Love of God can reach down to me and raise me up to Him.
(47) God is the strength in which I trust.
It is not my own strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive. As I begin to see, I recognize His reflection on earth. I forgive all things because I feel the stirring of His strength in me. And I begin to remember the Love I chose to forget, but which has not forgotten me.
(48) There is nothing to fear.
How safe the world will look to me when I can see it! It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now. Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me to bless me. I will recognize in everyone my dearest Friend. What could there be to fear in a world that I have forgiven, and that has forgiven me?
(49) God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.
There is not a moment in which God’s Voice ceases to call on my forgiveness to save me. There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions and lead my feet. I am walking steadily on toward truth. There is nowhere else I can go, because God’s Voice is the only Voice and the only Guide that has been given to His Son.
(50) I am sustained by the Love of God.
As I listen to God’s Voice, I am sustained by His Love. As I open my eyes, His Love lights up the world for me to see. As I forgive, His Love reminds me that His Son is sinless. And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #39: I have heard you say numerous times that when we awaken, we don’t go poof, that we don’t disappear, etc. And yet, every time I seriously consider going home with Jesus, I think of the unfinished job I still have “here” and it stops me. I then remember you say that whatever needs to be done here would be done because my body would then be directed in the most helpful way, but that it wouldn’t be my concern any more. In fact, if it were my concern, it would be my ego doing it. Is that right? How do I reconcile that with the example of bodhis
attvas who choose to maintain an attachment to something in this world–be it a loved one or chocolate, in order to maintain the body and do the work of helping that they came here to do? That is an investment in what we do from the point of view of the Course, isn’t it?
A: If I understand you correctly, you are saying that you believe you are here and would like to go home, but you haven’t made that choice yet because you feel you are not finished here. That state of mind is distinctly different from the state of a mind that is healed, knows that it is not really here, but has become solely the instrument of the Holy Spirit’s Love. The starting points, in other words, are very different. The healed mind has already “left,” you might say, and is “here” in a totally different way from the mind that is still on the journey and considering the choice to go home with Jesus. A healed mind is beyond any bodily identity and thoroughly identified with non- dualistic love. To be present in an illusory state, therefore, requires a focus on something to help ground it. It could be anything at all — from a love of chocolate to following a certain baseball team. But there would never be a reluctance or resistance to returning home, because the healed mind knows it is already there; there is nothing to attain, no journey.
I believe you are expressing something entirely different in content from this state of mind. In form, both might experience that they are not yet finished with what they are here to do. But for those still on the journey and learning how to lessen their investment in their bodily identity, there would be tremendous fear to let go totally of the only identity with which they are familiar. It is a gradual process over many, many years requiring the commitment to look fearlessly with Jesus at the contents of their wrong minds, which rest almost immutably on the defiant choice to leave Home and never return. As Jesus poignantly reassures us: “I am leading you to a new kind of experience that you will become less and less willing to deny” (T.11.VI.3.6). It is a process, and the final choice will be made effortlessly. In fact, the attraction to Love will be so strong, that it will not even be regarded as a choice. There no longer is a concern about going “poof”!
Q #880: In A Course in Miracles , Jesus states that we would be too shocked and frightened to find out that there is no dream at all, so the interim solution would be to live a “happy” dream with positive attitudes etc. I wonder how can we be shocked at finding out that even the “happy dream” has been an illusion, if there isn’t anything to cling to or split from? If we are pure consciousness, the realization must surely be natural? What is shocked and frightened must still be a part of the dream.
A: Yes, the frightened figure in the dream is part of the illusion along with consciousness, the happy dream, the real world, and the process of awakening. This is because “In reality [the separation] never happened at all” (M.2.2:8) . Although we are too frightened to believe him, Jesus does in fact tell us there is no dream (T.18.II.9:2) , no world (W.pI.136.6:2) , no body (T.18.VII.3:1) and no ego (T.9.IV.5) . This does not stop us, however, from believing in the existence of the whole package, and actively choosing not to believe the true and natural. Jesus tells us several times that we do not believe his message: “ Perhaps you do not feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it” (T.11.VIII.1:2,3,4). The only explanation for this insanity is that we are too afraid to accept the Course’s message and awaken to the truth. When we are no longer afraid of love and no longer devoted to the ego’s specialness, it will indeed be natural to awaken from the dream entirely. Meanwhile, both attachment to specialness and fear of our true Identity as God’s one Son keep the dream very real in our experience.
Because falling into the sleep of separation was a choice, awakening requires our willingness to make another choice. The very fact that we choose to remain entrenched in the ego thought system is simple proof that Jesus is right about our fear of accepting the true and natural. Our fear is such that we do not just cower and hide from the truth, we are quite actively opposed to it: “You attack the real world every day and every hour and every minute, and yet you are surprised that you cannot see it” (T.12.VIII.1:3). In keeping with the ego’s upside-down thinking, we have become very good at doing the unnatural and avoiding what is most natural; i.e., our identity as minds with the power to choose. However, in order to defend its choice for the unnatural (the ego and the body) the mind conveniently denies its power and projects the separation thought, making it look like events external to the mind are the cause of the body’s seeming existence. The mind then becomes afraid of the natural in order to further support its belief in the unnatural. It has identified with the body and is terrified that it will be destroyed if it accepts its true identity. That is why we need the gentle process of forgiveness that Jesus teaches in the Course. Its central message is that nothing external to the mind has any effect on it, and everything in the dream is the reflection of a choice in the mind. The goal is to restore to the mind awareness of its power to choose, so it will decide to make another choice, motivated by the pain of choosing separation. Guilt for this choice is what keeps the figure in the dream in a deep sleep wherein the call to waken is but dimly heard. Each time we are willing to see judgment against others as the projection of our own guilt for having chosen the ego, we loosen its grip and fear lessens. As fear and guilt are gradually undone in this way, the dream lightens and becomes a happy dream, until the attainment of the real world that will end all dreaming. Only then will the illusion of separation be forgotten and the knowledge of oneness (our natural state) restored.