ACIM Text Reading for April 14
Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World
I. Guiltlessness and Invulnerability
Earlier, I said that the Holy Spirit shares the goal of all good teachers, whose ultimate aim is to make themselves unnecessary by teaching their pupils all they know. The Holy Spirit wants only this, for sharing the Father’s Love for His Son, He seeks to remove all guilt from his mind that he may remember his Father in peace. Peace and guilt are antithetical, and the Father can be remembered only in peace. Love and guilt cannot coexist, and to accept one is to deny the other. Guilt hides Christ from your sight, for it is the denial of the blamelessness of God’s Son.
In the strange world that you have made the Son of God has sinned. How could you see him, then? By making him invisible, the world of retribution rose in the black cloud of guilt that you accepted, and you hold it dear. For the blamelessness of Christ is the proof that the ego never was, and can never be. Without guilt the ego has no life, and God’s Son is without guilt.
As you look upon yourself and judge what you do honestly, you may be tempted to wonder how you can be guiltless. Yet consider this: You are not guiltless in time, but in eternity. You have ‘sinned’ in the past, but there is no past. Always has no direction. Time seems to go in one direction, but when you reach its end it will roll up like a long carpet spread along the past behind you, and will disappear. As long as you believe the Son of God is guilty you will walk along this carpet, believing that it leads to death. And the journey will seem long and cruel and senseless, for so it is.
The journey the Son of God has set himself is useless indeed, but the journey on which his Father sets him is one of release and joy. The Father is not cruel, and His Son cannot hurt himself. The retaliation that he fears and that he sees will never touch him, for although he believes in it the Holy Spirit knows it is not true. The Holy Spirit stands at the end of time, where you must be because He is with you. He has already undone everything unworthy of the Son of God, for such was His mission, given Him by God. And what God gives has always been.
You will see me as you learn the Son of God is guiltless. He has always sought his guiltlessness, and he has found it. For everyone is seeking to escape from the prison he has made, and the way to find release is not denied him. Being in him, he has found it. When he finds it is only a matter of time, and time is but an illusion. For the Son of God is guiltless now, and the brightness of his purity shines untouched forever in God’s Mind. God’s Son will always be as he was created. Deny your world and judge him not, for his eternal guiltlessness is in the Mind of his Father, and protects him forever.
When you have accepted the Atonement for yourself, you will realise there is no guilt in God’s Son. And only as you look upon him as guiltless can you understand his oneness. For the idea of guilt brings a belief in condemnation of one by another, projecting separation in place of unity. You can condemn only yourself, and by so doing you cannot know that you are God’s Son. You have denied the condition of his being, which is his perfect blamelessness. Out of love he was created, and in love he abides. Goodness and mercy have always followed him, for he has always extended the Love of his Father.
As you perceive the holy companions who travel with you, you will realise that there is no journey, but only an awakening. The Son of God, who sleepeth not, has kept faith with his Father for you. There is no road to travel on, and no time to travel through. For God waits not for His Son in time, being forever unwilling to be without him. And so it has always been. Let the holiness of God’s Son shine away the cloud of guilt that darkens your mind, and by accepting his purity as yours, learn of him that it is yours.
You are invulnerable because you are guiltless. You can hold on to the past only through guilt. For guilt establishes that you will be punished for what you have done, and thus depends on one-dimensional time, proceeding from past to future. No one who believes this can understand what ‘always’ means, and therefore guilt must deprive you of the appreciation of eternity. You are immortal because you are eternal, and ‘always’ must be now. Guilt, then, is a way of holding past and future in your mind to ensure the ego’s continuity. For if what has been will be punished, the ego’s continuity is guaranteed. Yet the guarantee of your continuity is God’s, not the ego’s. And immortality is the opposite of time, for time passes away, while immortality is constant.
Accepting the Atonement teaches you what immortality is, for by accepting your guiltlessness you learn that the past has never been, and so the future is needless and will not be. The future, in time, is always associated with expiation, and only guilt could induce a sense of a need for expiation. Accepting the guiltlessness of the Son of God as yours is therefore God’s way of reminding you of His Son, and what he is in truth. For God has never condemned His Son, and being guiltless he is eternal.
You cannot dispel guilt by making it real, and then atoning for it. This is the ego’s plan, which it offers instead of dispelling it. The ego believes in atonement through attack, being fully committed to the insane notion that attack is salvation. And you who cherish guilt must also believe it, for how else but by identifying with the ego could you hold dear what you do not want?
The ego teaches you to attack yourself because you are guilty, and this must increase the guilt, for guilt is the result of attack. In the ego’s teaching, then, there is no escape from guilt. For attack makes guilt real, and if it is real there is no way to overcome it. The Holy Spirit dispels it simply through the calm recognition that it has never been. As He looks upon the guiltless Son of God, He knows that this is true. And being true for you, you cannot attack yourself, for without guilt attack is impossible. You, then, are saved because God’s Son is guiltless. And being wholly pure, you are invulnerable.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 14
God, being Love, is also happiness.
Happiness is an attribute of love. It cannot be apart from it. Nor can it be experienced where love is not. Love has no limits, being everywhere. And therefore joy is everywhere as well. Yet can the mind deny that this is so, believing there are gaps in love where sin can enter, bringing pain instead of joy. This strange belief would limit happiness by redefining love as limited, and introducing opposition in what has no limit and no opposite.
Fear is associated then with love, and its results become the heritage of minds that think what they have made is real. These images, with no reality in truth, bear witness to the fear of God, forgetting being Love, He must be joy. This basic error we will try again to bring to truth today, and teach ourselves:
God, being Love, is also happiness.
To fear Him is to be afraid of joy.
Begin your periods of practicing today with this association, which corrects the false belief that God is fear. It also emphasizes happiness belongs to you, because of what He is.
Allow this one correction to be placed within your mind each waking hour today. Then welcome all the happiness it brings as truth replaces fear, and joy becomes what you expect to take the place of pain. God, being Love, it will be given you. Bolster this expectation frequently throughout the day, and quiet all your fears with this assurance, kind and wholly true:
God, being Love, is also happiness.
And it is happiness I seek today.
I cannot fail, because I seek the truth.
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ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #314: A problem that will not go away, no matter what I do, concerns evil in people in my life: abuse, neglect, selfishness. I want to forgive, but in all honesty I cannot, because inside I am angry and I hate evil. Prayer gives me lots of affirmation of love. I want this love from people. I am also afraid of people. How can I pass through this wall that obstructs my peace?
A: This type of situation is usually difficult to work through. It requires a great deal of patience and gentleness with yourself. Forgiveness, of course, never means that you deny the “objective facts” — the abuse, neglect, and selfishness. It asks that you bring your anger and your feelings of victimization to the loving, non-judgmental presence within you, and just observe yourself holding others responsible for your lack of peace. If you try to forgive when you really don’t want to, you are fighting yourself and you will wind up feeling more guilty, which is not a kind thing to do to yourself. Holding on to blame and anger is not sinful and has no effect on Jesus’ love for you; it just prevents you from being peaceful and experiencing that love, as you already know. That is all.
When you are in touch with your feelings about evil, you might remember Jesus’ advice to us concerning the original choice to separate ourselves from God: “Call it not sin but madness, for such it was and so it still remains. Invest it not with guilt, for guilt implies it was accomplished in reality. And above all, be not afraid of it” (T.18.I.6:7,8,9). If you hate evil, you are afraid of it and have forgotten that when love looks on it, it sees only a tiny, mad idea having no power to affect love in any way. That means that the truth about you has been untouched by what you have perceived as evil in others. The part of you that is afraid of that truth continues to see evil as real and powerful, and capable of making you weak.
Finally, a therapist or counselor might help you recover some of your inner strength and work with you on your fear of relationships. You could then look at the deeper issues and apply the principles of A Course in Miracles.
Q #315: I have a problem relating to other people. When I speak with them I feel like a stone and the situation seems to be so unrealistic. I feel embarrassed when people speak to me, or they want anything, or when I believe that I did something wrong. How can I deal with this situation? I perceive that it is my fear of Jesus and a defense against my inner guilt, but I feel so helpless.
A: Yes, your difficulty relating to other people is probably coming from your inner guilt. Guilt results in a poor self-image that makes you feel inferior to others and afraid of them. Just keep working on your lessons and ask for help in releasing your guilt. Be gentle with yourself and be confident that there is a loving, healing presence within you that sees beyond your guilt and fear. Manage your anxiety as best you can. Then, as you feel better about yourself, the anxiety will gradually disappear.
You might also consider getting help from a professional counseling service. They often have effective ways of helping you with your self-esteem and self-image.