ACIM Text Reading for April 24
Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World
XI. The Peace of Heaven
Forgetfulness and sleep and even death become the ego’s best advice for dealing with the perceived and harsh intrusion of guilt on peace, Yet no one sees himself in conflict and ravaged by a cruel war unless he believes that both opponents in the war are real. Believing this he must escape, for such a war would surely end his peace of mind, and so destroy him. Yet if he could but realise the war is between real and unreal powers, he could look upon himself and see his freedom. No one finds himself ravaged and torn in endless battles if he himself perceives them as wholly without meaning.
God would not have His Son embattled, and so His Son’s imagined ‘enemy’ is totally unreal. You are but trying to escape a bitter war from which you have escaped. The war is gone. For you have heard the hymn of freedom rising unto Heaven. Gladness and joy belong to God for your release, because you made it not. Yet as you made not freedom, so you made not a war that could endanger freedom. Nothing destructive ever was or will be. The war, the guilt, the past are gone as one into the unreality from which they came.
When we are all united in Heaven, you will value nothing that you value here. For nothing that you value here do you value wholly, and so you do not value it at all. Value is where God placed it, and the value of what God esteems cannot be judged, for it has been established. It is wholly of value. It can merely be appreciated or not. To value it partially is not to know its value. In Heaven is everything God values, and nothing else. Heaven is perfectly unambiguous. Everything is clear and bright, and calls forth one response. There is no darkness and there is no contrast. There is no variation. There is no interruption. There is a sense of peace so deep that no dream in this world has ever brought even a dim imagining of what it is.
Nothing in this world can give this peace, for nothing in this world is wholly shared. Perfect perception can merely show you what is capable of being wholly shared. It can also show you the results of sharing, while you still remember the results of not sharing. The Holy Spirit points quietly to the contrast, knowing that you will finally let Him judge the difference for you, allowing Him to demonstrate which must be true. He has perfect faith in your final judgement, because He knows that He will make it for you. To doubt this would be to doubt that His mission will be fulfilled. How is this possible, when His mission is of God?
You whose mind is darkened by doubt and guilt, remember this: God gave the Holy Spirit to you, and gave Him the mission to remove all doubt and every trace of guilt that His dear Son has laid upon himself. It is impossible that this mission fail. Nothing can prevent what God would have accomplished from accomplishment. Whatever your reactions to the Holy Spirit’s Voice may be, whatever voice you choose to listen to, whatever strange thoughts may occur to you, God’s Will is done. You will find the peace in which He established you, because He does not change His Mind. He is invariable as the peace in which you dwell, and of which the Holy Spirit reminds you.
You will not remember change and shift in Heaven. You have need of contrast only here. Contrast and differences are necessary teaching aids, for by them you learn what to avoid and what to seek. When you have learned this, you will find the answer that makes the need for any differences disappear. Truth comes of its own will unto its own. When you have learned that you belong to truth, it will flow lightly over you without a difference of any kind. For you will need no contrast to help you realise that this is what you want, and only this. Fear not the Holy Spirit will fail in what your Father has given Him to do. The Will of God can fail in nothing.
Have faith in only this one thing, and it will be sufficient: God wills you be in Heaven, and nothing can keep you from it, or it from you. Your wildest misperceptions, your weird imaginings, your blackest nightmares all mean nothing. They will not prevail against the peace God wills for you. The Holy Spirit will restore your sanity because insanity is not the Will of God. If that suffices Him, it is enough for you. You will not keep what God would have removed, because it breaks communication with you with whom He would communicate. His Voice will be heard.
The communication link that God Himself placed within you, joining your mind with His, cannot be broken. You may believe you want it broken, and this belief does interfere with the deep peace in which the sweet and constant communication God would share with you is known. Yet His channels of reaching out cannot be wholly closed and separated from Him. Peace will be yours because His peace still flows to you from Him Whose Will is peace. You have it now. The Holy Spirit will teach you how to use it, and by extending it, to learn that it is in you. God willed you Heaven, and will always will you nothing else. The Holy Spirit knows only of His Will. There is no chance that Heaven will not be yours, for God is sure, and what He wills is as sure as He is.
You will learn salvation because you will learn how to save. It will not be possible to exempt yourself from what the Holy Spirit wants to teach you. Salvation is as sure as God. His certainty suffices. Learn that even the darkest nightmare that disturbs the mind of God’s sleeping Son holds no power over him. He will learn the lesson of awaking. God watches over him and light surrounds him.
Can God’s Son lose himself in dreams, when God has placed within him the glad call to waken and be glad? He cannot separate himself from what is in him. His sleep will not withstand the call to wake. The mission of redemption will be fulfilled as surely as the creation will remain unchanged throughout eternity. You do not have to know that Heaven is yours to make it so. It is so. Yet to know it, the Will of God must be accepted as your will.
The Holy Spirit will undo for you everything you have learned that teaches that what is not true must be reconciled with truth. This is the reconciliation the ego would substitute for your reconciliation to sanity and to peace. The Holy Spirit has a very different kind of reconciliation in His Mind for you, and one He will effect as surely as the ego will not effect what it attempts. Failure is of the ego, not of God. From Him you cannot wander, and there is no possibility that the plan the Holy Spirit offers to everyone, for the salvation of everyone, will not be perfectly accomplished. You will be released, and you will not remember anything you made that was not created for you and by you in return. For how can you remember what was never true, or not remember what has always been? It is this reconciliation with truth, and only truth, in which the peace of Heaven lies.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 24
For morning and evening review:
(95) I am one Self, united with my Creator.
Serenity and perfect peace are mine, because I am one Self,
completely whole, at one with all creation and with God.
(96) Salvation comes from my one Self.
From my one Self, Whose knowledge still remains within my mind,
I see God’s perfect plan for my salvation perfectly fulfilled.
On the hour:
I am one Self, united with my Creator.
On the half hour:
Salvation comes from my one Self.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1034: Why would God create a Son that is capable of having “unhappy dreams?” Does this have something to do with God’s desire that His Son have a “free will?” “Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is its function. Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit’s help. That is His function. Your part is only to offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred, and to be forgiven” (T.18.V.2:1,2,3,4,5) Does this mean that we do not need to forgive ourselves before we approach the holy instant and that we do not need to forgive ourselves before we ask the Holy Spirit’s help? Does this mean that all we need to do is open ourselves a little bit with our “little willingness” and the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. That the Holy Spirit will then teach us how to forgive ourselves and will then teach us how to change our fearful dreams to “happy dreams” on the way to awakening?
A: The first part of your question is asked by just about every student of A Course in Miracles . It is founded on a belief system that tells us dreams are real, that they have an unhappy effect on the dreamer, and that God is to blame for this miserable state of affairs. This belief system is shared by all the Sonship once the thought of separation is taken seriously. It rests on the declaration that the separation did indeed occur and has had disastrous effects. Furthermore, God is not only responsible for this, He won’t do anything about it. Herein lies the ego’s woeful tale of separation. Once the mind chooses to believe that separation is possible, the creative power that it shares with its Source is expressed in the ability to choose between separation and Oneness. However, choosing between what is real (oneness) and what is not real (separation) is not a real choice. It is the denial of one and acceptance of the other. Denial of truth is what the Course calls a misuse of the mind’s creative power, while free will is defined as the choice for truth/denial of error: “Denial of error is a strong defense of truth, but denial of truth results in miscreation, the projections of the ego. In the service of the right mind the denial of error frees the mind, and re-establishes the freedom of the will. When the will is really free it cannot miscreate, because it recognizes only truth” (T.2II.2:5,6,7). Thus, choosing the ego’s unhappy dream is the denial of free will.
Since “God does not know of separation” (P.2.VII.1:11), He is unaware of the Son’s “choice” or of any will that is not the Will He shares with him. Neither can we speak of God as desiring anything for His Son, for desire implies need or some sense of lack. In the non-dualistic state of perfect oneness that God shares with His Son, there is no need or lack of any kind. He knows only perfect Oneness, perfect Love, one Will shared with His Son. This is a unitive state that is impossible to understand from within the dream of duality. While we still believe the separation is possible, the Course meets us where we think we are by describing our seeming separated condition as a dream the Son has while he remains at home with His Father (T.13.VII.17:7) , Who is unaware of the nightmarish escapades and adventures of the dream.
You are absolutely right, all that is required of us is willingness. In fact, the passage you quote is saying that we should not do anything except be willing . We cannot forgive ourselves, nor remove the guilt, fear, and hatred from our minds. What we can do is become aware of our need for forgiveness by being willing to look at our judgments as projections of guilt for having chosen separation. The choice is forgotten until we see the judgments. The miracle of forgiveness begins with willingness to recognize them as the projections they are, rather than justify them by shifting blame outside the mind and on to external agents. That is enough for us to do because in itself it is not as easy as it may seem. The world is a fertile battleground, bombarding us with “legitimate” external reasons for lack of peace. It is no small thing to learn to accept that nothing external to the mind can take peace away. That is probably why Jesus thought “miracle” was a good word for his teaching on forgiveness. When we do our part, the rest follows without further effort. Trying to do anything more, simply means we have put ourselves in charge of the Atonement, which ensures that we will not accept it. In this regard it is always helpful to remember the one task we have been given: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” (T.16.IV.6:1) .