ACIM Text Reading for March 18
Chapter 9 ~ The Acceptance of the Atonement
VI. The Acceptance of Your Brother
How can you become increasingly aware of the Holy Spirit in you except by His effects? You cannot see Him with your eyes nor hear Him with your ears. How, then, can you perceive Him at all? If you inspire joy and others react to you with joy, even though you are not experiencing joy yourself there must be something in you that is capable of producing it. If it is in you and can produce joy, and if you see that it does produce joy in others, you must be dissociating it in yourself.
It seems to you that the Holy Spirit does not produce joy consistently in you only because you do not consistently arouse joy in others. Their reactions to you are your evaluations of His consistency. When you are inconsistent you will not always give rise to joy, and so you will not always recognise His consistency. What you offer to your brother you offer to Him, because He cannot go beyond your offering in His giving. This is not because He limits His giving, but simply because you have limited your receiving. The decision to receive is the decision to accept.
If your brothers are part of you, will you accept them? Only they can teach you what you are, for your learning is the result of what you taught them. What you call upon in them you call upon in yourself. And as you call upon it in them it becomes real to you. God has but one Son, knowing them all as one. Only God Himself is more than they but they are not less than He is. Would you know what this means? If what you do to my brother you do to me, and if you do everything for yourself because we are part of you, everything we do belongs to you as well. Everyone God created is part of you and shares His glory with you. His Glory belongs to Him, but it is equally yours. You cannot, then, be less glorious than He is.
God is more than you only because He created you, but not even this would He keep from you. Therefore you can create as He did, and your dissociation will not alter this. Neither God’s Light nor yours is dimmed because you do not see. Because the Sonship must create as one, you remember creation whenever you recognise part of creation. Each part you remember adds to your wholeness because each part is whole. Wholeness is indivisible, but you cannot learn of your wholeness until you see it everywhere. You can know yourself only as God knows His Son, for knowledge is shared with God. When you awake in Him you will know your magnitude by accepting His limitlessness as yours. But meanwhile you will judge it as you judge your brother’s, and will accept it as you accept his.
You are not yet awake, but you can learn how to awaken. Very simply the Holy Spirit teaches you to awaken others. As you see them waken you will learn what waking means, and because you have chosen to wake them, their gratitude and their appreciation of what you have given them will teach you its value. They will become the witnesses to your reality, as you were created witnesses to God’s. Yet when the Sonship comes together and accepts its oneness it will be known by its creations, who witness to its reality as the Son does to the Father.
Miracles have no place in eternity, because they are reparative. Yet while you still need healing, your miracles are the only witnesses to your reality that you can recognise. You cannot perform a miracle for yourself, because miracles are a way of giving acceptance and receiving it. In time the giving comes first, though they are simultaneous in eternity, where they cannot be separated. When you have learned they are the same, the need for time is over.
Eternity is one time, its only dimension being ‘always’. This cannot mean anything to you until you remember God’s open Arms, and finally know His open Mind. Like Him, you are ‘always’; in His Mind and with a mind like His. In your open mind are your creations, in perfect communication born of perfect understanding. Could you but accept one of them you would not want anything the world has to offer. Everything else would be totally meaningless. God’s meaning is incomplete without you, and you are incomplete without your creations. Accept your brother in this world and accept nothing else, for in him you will find your creations because he created them with you. You will never know that you are co-creator with God until you learn that your brother is co-creator with you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 18
I am entitled to miracles.
You are entitled to miracles because of what you are. You will receive miracles because of what God is. And you will offer miracles because you are one with God. Again, how simple is salvation! It is merely a statement of your true Identity. It is this that we will celebrate today.
Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals you have devised. It is inherent in the truth of what you are. It is implicit in what God your Father is. It was ensured in your creation, and guaranteed by the laws of God.
Today we will claim the miracles which are your right, since they belong to you. You have been promised full release from the world you made. You have been assured that the Kingdom of God is within you, and can never be lost. We ask no more than what belongs to us in truth. Today, however, we will also make sure that we will not content ourselves with less.
Begin the longer practice periods by telling yourself quite confidently that you are entitled to miracles. Closing your eyes, remind yourself that you are asking only for what is rightfully yours. Remind yourself also that miracles are never taken from one and given to another, and that in asking for your rights, you are upholding the rights of everyone. Miracles do not obey the laws of this world. They merely follow from the laws of God.
After this brief introductory phase, wait quietly for the assurance that your request is granted. You have asked for the salvation of the world, and for your own. You have requested that you be given the means by which this is accomplished. You cannot fail to be assured in this. You are but asking that the Will of God be done.
In doing this, you do not really ask for anything. You state a fact that cannot be denied. The Holy Spirit cannot but assure you that your request is granted. The fact that you accepted must be so. There is no room for doubt and uncertainty today. We are asking a real question at last. The answer is a simple statement of a simple fact. You will receive the assurance that you seek.
Our shorter practice periods will be frequent, and will also be devoted to a reminder of a simple fact. Tell yourself often today:
I am entitled to miracles.
Ask for them whenever a situation arises in which they are called for. You will recognize these situations. And since you are not relying on yourself to find the miracle, you are fully entitled to receive it whenever you ask.
Remember, too, not to be satisfied with less than the perfect answer. Be quick to tell yourself, should you be tempted:
I will not trade miracles for grievances. I want only what
belongs to me. God has established miracles as my right.
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ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #997: Toward the beginning of the text, Jesus says that miracles are directed toward those who can “use them for themselves” and he also comments that only he is in a position to know “where they can be bestowed.” What I don’t get is: Aren’t they needed everywhere? Couldn’t everyone walking this earth in pain use miracles for themselves? Jesus seems to hint that only some people need miracles. Can you explain?
A: When reading A Course in Miracles , it is very helpful to remember that Jesus frequently speaks to us in a poetic, symbolic way. Taken out of context, his words can, at times, seem to contradict the overall message of the Course. However, the more we study the Course, the clearer it becomes that he is not contradicting himself but rather restating the same themes over and over again with slight variations, hoping that, at some point, what he is trying to tell us will sink in. With that in mind, let us take a look at the two statements you asked about.
Both of these statements come in Chapter 1 when Jesus is explaining what he means by the term miracle . Most of us have always thought of miracles as an extraordinary event in the external, physical world. Jesus lets us know that in the context of the Course, a miracle is solely a shift in perception from the ego’s thought system of sin, guilt, and fear, to the Holy Spirit’s thought system of forgiveness. In other words, a miracle is an entirely internal event happening only in the mind and having nothing to do with the world. Miracles may seem to have results in this world, but this is a reflection of the miracle, or changed thinking, not the miracle itself.
You are right that anyone who believes that he or she is here could use a miracle. That, in fact, is exactly what Jesus is trying to tell us. When he says, “Miracles are selective only in the sense that they are directed towards those who can use them for themselves” (T.1.III.9:1), he is not implying that miracles are available only to some people. Indeed, he implies exactly the opposite by beginning the sentence with “miracles are selective only in the sense…” He is letting us know that there is just one sense in which miracles are not universal, and that is in the form the miracle or correction takes within our thinking.
While the content of a miracle is always a shift from thoughts that project guilt to thoughts that extend love, the specific correction thought will always show up in our mind in a way ideally suited to remedy the specific thought that made correction necessary. For example, I may need to forgive an abusive parent while you may need to forgive a partner by whom you felt betrayed. Both of us, in the midst of our pain, could turn to Jesus or the Holy Spirit in our mind and ask to see things differently. Both of us would then find ourselves accessing forgiveness thoughts that applied to our specific struggle. If we wanted to get technical, we could say that even within our own thinking, the form the correction seems to take is really the reflection of the miracle or shift, not the miracle itself. But this is more technically precise than Jesus needed to be at this point in the text.
Jesus also states, “That the miracle may have effects on your brothers that you may not recognize is not your concern. … the action aspect of the miracle should be controlled by me because of my complete awareness of the whole plan. The impersonal nature of miracle- mindedness ensures your grace, but only I am in a position to know where they can be bestowed.” (T.1.III.8:1, 4, 5). He is not implying that there are people who do not need miracles. He is simply telling us that although the miracle is a shift in our mind, we should not try to control miracles, decide when they are needed, or determine how they will express themselves. We should ask him, as our wiser internal teacher, to make such decisions.
Again, A Course in Miracles becomes much easier to understand if we approach it like poetry or a symphony rather than a precise, scientific report. When we focus too heavily on the words, the Course can seem (to borrow Jesus’ imagery) like nothing more than scattered threads of melody. But when we join with him — moving beyond its words to connect with the love that inspired them — we will see how those scattered threads of melody form one inclusive chorus (T.31.VIII.11:5).