ACIM Text Reading for March 27
Chapter 11 ~ GOD OR THE EGO
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
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.
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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.