ACIM Text Reading for April 30
Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth
V. The Circle of Atonement
The only part of your mind that has reality is the part that links you still with God. Would you have all of it transformed into a radiant message of God’s Love, to share with all the lonely ones who have denied Him? God makes this possible. Would you deny His yearning to be known? You yearn for Him, as He for you. This is forever changeless. Accept, then, the immutable. Leave the world of death behind, and return quietly to Heaven. There is nothing of value here, and everything of value there. Listen to the Holy Spirit, and to God through Him. He speaks of you to you. There is no guilt in you, for God is blessed in His Son as the Son is blessed in Him.
Everyone has a special part to play in the Atonement, but the message given to each one is always the same; God’s Son is guiltless. Each one teaches the message differently, and learns it differently. Yet until he teaches it and learns it, he will suffer the pain of dim awareness that his true function remains unfulfilled in him. The burden of guilt is heavy, but God would not have you bound by it. His plan for your awaking is as perfect as yours is fallible. You know not what you do, but He Who knows is with you. His gentleness is yours, and all the love you share with God He holds in trust for you. He would teach you nothing except how to be happy.
Blessed Son of a wholly blessing Father, joy was created for you. Who can condemn whom God has blessed? There is nothing in the Mind of God that does not share His shining innocence. Creation is the natural extension of perfect purity. Your only calling here is to devote yourself, with active willingness, to the denial of guilt in all its forms. To accuse is not to understand. The happy learners of the Atonement become the teachers of the innocence that is the right of all that God created. Deny them not what is their due, for you will not withhold it from them alone.
The inheritance of the Kingdom is the right of God’s Son, given him in his creation. Do not try to steal it from him, or you will ask for guilt and will experience it. Protect his purity from every thought that would steal it away and keep it from his sight. Bring innocence to light, in answer to the call of the Atonement. Never allow purity to remain hidden, but shine away the heavy veils of guilt within which the Son of God has hidden himself from his own sight.
We are all joined in the Atonement here, and nothing else can unite us in this world. So will the world of separation slip away, and full communication be restored between the Father and the Son. The miracle acknowledges the guiltlessness that must have been denied to produce the need of healing. Do not withhold this glad acknowledgement, for hope of happiness and release from suffering of every kind lie in it. Who is there but wishes to be free of pain? He may not yet have learned how to exchange guilt for innocence, nor realise that only in this exchange can freedom from pain be his. Yet those who have failed to learn need teaching, not attack. To attack those who have need of teaching is to fail to learn from them.
Teachers of innocence, each in his own way, have joined together, taking their part in the unified curriculum of the Atonement. There is no unity of learning goals apart from this. There is no conflict in this curriculum, which has one aim however it is taught. Each effort made on its behalf is offered for the single purpose of release from guilt, to the eternal glory of God and His creation. And every teaching that points to this points straight to Heaven, and the peace of God. There is no pain, no trial, no fear that teaching this can fail to overcome. The power of God Himself supports this teaching, and guarantees its limitless results.
Join your own efforts to the power that cannot fail and must result in peace. No one can be untouched by teaching such as this. You will not see yourself beyond the power of God if you teach only this. You will not be exempt from the effects of this most holy lesson, which seeks but to restore what is the right of God’s creation. From everyone whom you accord release from guilt you will inevitably learn your innocence. The circle of Atonement has no end. And you will find ever-increasing confidence in your safe inclusion in the circle with everyone you bring within its safety and its perfect peace.
Peace, then, be unto everyone who becomes a teacher of peace. For peace is the acknowledgement of perfect purity, from which no one is excluded. Within its holy circle is everyone whom God created as His Son. Joy is its unifying attribute, with no one left outside to suffer guilt alone. The power of God draws everyone to its safe embrace of love and union. Stand quietly within this circle, and attract all tortured minds to join with you in the safety of its peace and holiness. Abide with me within it, as teachers of Atonement, not of guilt.
Blessed are you who teach with me. Our power comes not of us, but of our Father. In guiltlessness we know Him, as He knows us guiltless. I stand within the circle, calling you to peace. Teach peace with me, and stand with me on holy ground. Remember for everyone your Father’s power that He has given him. Believe not that you cannot teach His perfect peace. Stand not outside, but join with me within. Fail not the only purpose to which my teaching calls you. Restore to God His Son as He created him, by teaching him his innocence.
The crucifixion had no part in the Atonement. Only the resurrection became my part in it. That is the symbol of the release from guilt by guiltlessness. Whom you perceive as guilty you would crucify. Yet you restore guiltlessness to whomever you see as guiltless. Crucifixion is always the ego’s aim. It sees everyone as guilty, and by its condemnation it would kill. The Holy Spirit sees only guiltlessness, and in His gentleness He would release from fear and re-establish the reign of love. The power of love is in His gentleness, which is of God and therefore cannot crucify nor suffer crucifixion. The temple you restore becomes your altar, for it was rebuilt through you. And everything you give to God is yours. Thus He creates, and thus must you restore.
Each one you see you place within the holy circle of Atonement or leave outside, judging him fit for crucifixion or for redemption. If you bring him into the circle of purity, you will rest there with him. If you leave him without, you join him there. Judge not except in quietness which is not of you. Refuse to accept anyone as without the blessing of Atonement, and bring him into it by blessing him. Holiness must be shared, for therein lies everything that makes it holy. Come gladly to the holy circle, and look out in peace on all who think they are outside. Cast no one out, for here is what he seeks along with you. Come, let us join him in the holy place of peace which is for all of us, united as one within the Cause of peace.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 30
For morning and evening review:
(107) Truth will correct all errors in my mind.
I am mistaken when I think I can be hurt in any
way. I am God’s Son, whose Self rests safely in
the Mind of God.
(108) To give and to receive are one in truth.
I will forgive all things today, that I may learn how
to accept the truth in me, and come to recognize my
On the hour:
Truth will correct all errors in my mind.
On the half hour:
To give and to receive are one in truth.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #651: One of the most prominent ways my ego defends itself against the Love of God is through obsessing about past relationships. As I’ve continued to study A Course in Miracles and viewed this situation as my specific forgiveness classroom, the viciousness of the ego thought system has increasingly come to light. While jogging yesterday, I had a visceral image of attacking and killing my ex-girlfriend, feeling that “she betrayed me” by moving on to another relationship and, therefore, will never give me what I want — my innocence, which I believe she stole from me. I recognize that the thoughts about this relationship are a reflection of the ontological moment when I thought I killed God for what he would not give me. That being said, the intensity of the thought system still terrifies me.
I’ve looked at Question #377, which provides an outline of how I should practice forgiveness in the relationship. Would you comment on the dynamics of this special relationship and my fear of looking at it in terms of the metaphysics of the Course, and thereby how this relates to my relationship with God? Do you have any readings that specifically address the dynamics of special relationships you think would be helpful?
A: It no doubt can be unsettling, but nevertheless very helpful, to get in touch with the thought of murder at the foundation of every special relationship (T.23.IV.1:10,11). The thought is not so apparent in the earlier stages of the special love relationship when we believe we are getting what we want. But when our needs change, or our partners no longer seem to be interested in meeting our needs in order to have their own needs met in return, our “true” feelings can surface from the darker recesses of our mind. They have always been there, covered over with a facade of special “love” and “concern” and “care,” as we want to hold on to the relationship, using the specialness in order to keep a lid on our own feelings of guilt and unworthiness (T.16.IV.3,4).
What a burden of responsibility we place on our special love partners, to keep the vicious hounds of guilt at bay! Eventually, they have to fail us in some way, and then we get what our ego really wants — our relationship partner becomes a victimizer whom we can now hold responsible for our pain and fear (T.16.V.1). You’ve conveniently assigned your current ex-girlfriend that role for the present moment. As long as we continue under the direction of the ego, there will always be others to give the part of cruel betrayer, deserving only of death! The hope is that, once we begin to recognize the ego-reinforcing pattern of our relationships and the painful consequences to ourselves, we will be open to accepting a different Director for our relationships, Who will assign a different role to both ourselves and our partners, other than victim and victimizer (T.27.I).
It is not necessary to get in touch specifically with that thought of murderous assault on God for not giving us what we want, choosing then to seize it from Him and destroying Him in the process, which is the foundation of the ego’s thought system. Our brothers and sisters are more than satisfactory stand-ins for experiencing the same underlying content, which is all that matters. The rest is merely differences in symbols and our concern is only with the underlying source of those symbols — the belief in sin and guilt. Our special relationships with each other were made to reflect the same dynamic as that original special relationship, but in a seemingly more manageable form. For the outcome, according to the ego’s story line, of our seeming attack on God is not His final demise but rather His return from the dead, hell-bent on retribution for our sinful choice against Him. The terror associated with that is overwhelming. And so the world and all of our relationships here are the defense against that terror. The defense includes holding others responsible for our pain and loss and fear, rather than looking within our own minds to uncover the choice we believe we made against love.
When we understand the underlying content that the special relationship is intended to defend against, it is not at all surprising that the resistance to looking honestly will be great. And that is why we do not want to look by ourselves alone but to remember to invite Jesus to be a part of the looking process with us. In fact, we really want to be able to look through his eyes or we will scare ourselves unnecessarily. If we attempt the undoing process on our own, we will believe there actually is something terrible — the ego and its thoughts of attack and murder — to be undone. Jesus knows better, not confusing illusion with truth, and that is why the looking process with him is so gentle. But we do first want to look at what we believe about ourselves so that, with Jesus, we can make a different choice about who we really are (T.11.V.1,2,3,4).
Some sections in the Course on special relationships, especially relevant to the issues you raise, include “The Illusion and the Reality of Love” (T.16.IV), “The Choice for Completion” (T.16.V), “Shadows of the Past” (T.17.III), “The Christ in You” (T.24.V), and “The Picture of Crucifixion” (T.27.I). These are not the easiest sections in the Course to read and personally reflect on so, again, be sure to invite Jesus to be a part of your reviewing process.
Webmaster note: See questions 71, 108, 213, 471