ACIM Text Reading for May 6

Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth

XI. The Test of Truth

Yet the essential thing is learning that you do not know. Knowledge is power, and all power is of God. You who have tried to keep power for yourself have ‘lost’ it. You still have the power, but you have interposed so much between it and your awareness of it that you cannot use it. Everything you have taught yourself has made your power more and more obscure to you. You know not what it is, nor where. You have made a semblance of power and a show of strength so pitiful that it must fail you. For power is not a seeming strength, and truth is beyond semblance of any kind. Yet all that stands between you and the power of God in you is but your learning of the false, and of your attempts to undo the true.

Be willing, then, for all of it to be undone, and be glad that you are not bound to it forever. For you have taught yourself how to imprison the Son of God, a lesson so unthinkable that only the insane, in deepest sleep, could even dream of it. Can God learn how not to be God? And can His Son, given all power by Him, learn to be powerless? What have you taught yourself that you can possibly prefer to keep, in place of what you have and what you are?

Atonement teaches you how to escape forever from everything that you have taught yourself in the past, by showing you only what you are now. Learning has been accomplished before its effects are manifest. Learning is therefore in the past, but its influence determines the present by giving it whatever meaning it holds for you. Your learning gives the present no meaning at all. Nothing you have ever learned can help you understand the present, or teach you how to undo the past. Your past is what you have taught yourself. Let it all go. Do not attempt to understand any event or anything or anyone in its ‘light’, for the darkness in which you try to see can only obscure. Put no confidence at all in darkness to illuminate your understanding, for if you do you contradict the light, and thereby think you see the darkness. Yet darkness cannot be seen, for it is nothing more than a condition in which seeing becomes impossible.

You who have not yet brought all of the darkness you have taught yourself into the light in you, can hardly judge the truth and value of this course. Yet God did not abandon you. And so you have another lesson sent from Him, already learned for every child of light by Him to Whom God gave it. This lesson shines with God’s glory, for in it lies His power, which He shares so gladly with His Son. Learn of His happiness, which is yours. But to accomplish this, all your dark lessons must be brought willingly to truth, and joyously laid down by hands open to receive, not closed to take. Every dark lesson that you bring to Him Who teaches light He will accept from you, because you do not want it. And He will gladly exchange each one for the bright lesson He has learned for you. Never believe that any lesson you have learned apart from Him means anything.

You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognise if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God’s lesson, and not your own. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your mind that hurt and hinder you, and everyone around you. The absence of perfect peace means but one thing: You think you do not will for God’s Son what his Father wills for him. Every dark lesson teaches this, in one form or another. And each bright lesson with which the Holy Spirit will replace the dark ones you do not accept, teaches you that you will with the Father and His Son.

Do not be concerned about how you can learn a lesson so completely different from everything that you have taught yourself. How would you know? Your part is very simple. You need only recognise that everything you learned you do not want. Ask to be taught, and do not use your experiences to confirm what you have learned. When your peace is threatened or disturbed in any way, say to yourself,
I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now.
By this refusal to attempt to teach yourself what you do not know, the Guide Whom God has given you will speak to you. He will take His rightful place in your awareness the instant you abandon it, and offer it to Him.

You cannot be your guide to miracles, for it is you who made them necessary. And because you did, the means on which you can depend for miracles has been provided for you. God’s Son can make no needs His Father will not meet, if he but turn to Him ever so little. Yet He cannot compel His Son to turn to Him and remain Himself. It is impossible that God lose His Identity, for if He did, you would lose yours. And being yours He cannot change Himself, for your Identity is changeless. The miracle acknowledges His changelessness by seeing His Son as he always was, and not as he would make himself. The miracle brings the effects that only guiltlessness can bring, and thus establishes the fact that guiltlessness must be.

How can you, so firmly bound to guilt and committed so to remain, establish for yourself your guiltlessness? That is impossible. But be sure that you are willing to acknowledge that it is impossible. It is only because you think that you can run some little part, or deal with certain aspects of your life alone, that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is limited. Thus would you make Him undependable, and use this fancied undependability as an excuse for keeping certain dark lessons from Him. And by so limiting the guidance that you would accept, you are unable to depend on miracles to answer all your problems for you.

Do you think that what the Holy Spirit would have you give, He would withhold from you? You have no problems that He cannot solve by offering you a miracle. Miracles are for you. And every fear or pain or trial you have has been undone. He has brought all of them to light, having accepted them instead of you, and recognised they never were. There are no dark lessons He has not already lightened for you. The lessons you would teach yourself He has corrected already. They do not exist in His Mind at all. For the past binds Him not, and therefore binds not you. He does not see time as you do. And each miracle He offers you corrects your use of time, and makes it His.

He Who has freed you from the past would teach you are free of it. He would but have you accept His accomplishments as yours, because He did them for you. And because He did, they are yours. He has made you free of what you made. You can deny Him, but you cannot call on Him in vain. He always gives His gifts in place of yours. He would establish His bright teaching so firmly in your mind, that no dark lesson of guilt can abide in what He has established as holy by His Presence. Thank God that He is there and works through you. And all His works are yours. He offers you a miracle with every one you let Him do through you.

God’s Son will always be indivisible. As we are held as one in God, so do we learn as one in Him. God’s Teacher is as like to His Creator as is His Son, and through His Teacher does God proclaim His Oneness and His Son’s. Listen in silence, and do not raise your voice against Him. For He teaches the miracle of oneness, and before His lesson division disappears. Teach like Him here, and you will remember that you have always created like your Father. The miracle of creation has never ceased, having the holy stamp of immortality upon it. This is the Will of God for all creation, and all creation joins in willing this.

Those who remember always that they know nothing, and who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it. But whenever they trust themselves, they will not learn. They have destroyed their motivation for learning by thinking they already know. Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone. Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God they be not separate. They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.

Only those who recognise they cannot know unless the effects of understanding are with them, can really learn at all. For this it must be peace they want, and nothing else. Whenever you think you know, peace will depart from you, because you have abandoned the Teacher of peace. Whenever you fully realise that you know not, peace will return, for you will have invited Him to do so by abandoning the ego on behalf of Him. Call not upon the ego for anything; it is only this that you need do. The Holy Spirit will, of Himself, fill every mind that so makes room for Him.

If you want peace you must abandon the teacher of attack. The Teacher of peace will never abandon you. You can desert Him but He will never reciprocate, for His faith in you is His understanding. It is as firm as is His faith in His Creator, and He knows that faith in His Creator must encompass faith in His creation. In this consistency lies His holiness which He cannot abandon, for it is not His will to do so. With your perfection ever in His sight, He gives the gift of peace to everyone who perceives the need for peace, and who would have it. Make way for peace, and it will come. For understanding is in you, and from it peace must come.

The power of God, from which they both arise, is yours as surely as it is His. You think you know Him not, only because, alone, it is impossible to know Him. Yet see the mighty works that He will do through you, and you must be convinced you did them through Him. It is impossible to deny the Source of effects so powerful they could not be of you. Leave room for Him, and you will find yourself so filled with power that nothing will prevail against your peace. And this will be the test by which you recognise that you have understood.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 6

Lesson 125

In quiet I receive God’s Word today.

Let this day be a day of stillness and of quiet listening. Your Father wills you hear His Word today. He calls to you from deep within your mind where He abides. Hear Him today. No peace is possible until His Word is heard around the world; until your mind, in quiet listening, accepts the message that the world must hear to usher in the quiet time of peace.

This world will change through you. No other means can save it, for God’s plan is simply this: The Son of God is free to save himself, given the Word of God to be his Guide, forever in his mind and at his side to lead him surely to his Father’s house by his own will, forever free as God’s. He is not led by force, but only love. He is not judged, but only sanctified.

In stillness we will hear God’s Voice today without intrusion of our petty thoughts, without our personal desires, and without all judgment of His holy Word. We will not judge ourselves today, for what we are can not be judged. We stand apart from all the judgments which the world has laid upon the Son of God. It knows him not. Today we will not listen to the world, but wait in silence for the Word of God.

Hear, holy Son of God, your Father speak. His Voice would give to you His holy Word, to spread across the world the tidings of salvation and the holy time of peace. We gather at the throne of God today, the quiet place within the mind where He abides forever, in the holiness that He created and will never leave.

He has not waited until you return your mind to Him to give His Word to you. He has not hid Himself from you, while you have wandered off a little while from Him. He does not cherish the illusions which you hold about yourself. He knows His Son, and wills that he remain as part of Him regardless of his dreams; regardless of his madness that his will is not his own.

Today He speaks to you. His Voice awaits your silence, for His Word can not be heard until your mind is quiet for a while, and meaningless desires have been stilled. Await His Word in quiet. There is peace within you to be called upon today, to help make ready your most holy mind to hear the Voice for its Creator speak.

Three times today, at times most suitable for silence, give ten minutes set apart from listening to the world, and choose instead a gentle listening to the Word of God. He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand. His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He.

It is your voice to which you listen as He speaks to you. It is your word He speaks. It is the Word of freedom and of peace, of unity of will and purpose, with no separation nor division in the single Mind of Father and of Son. In quiet listen to your Self today, and let Him tell you God has never left His Son, and you have never left your Self.

Only be quiet. You will need no rule but this, to let your practicing today lift you above the thinking of the world, and free your vision from the body’s eyes. Only be still and listen. You will hear the Word in which the Will of God the Son joins in his Father’s Will, at one with it, with no illusions interposed between the wholly indivisible and true. As every hour passes by today, be still a moment and remind yourself you have a special purpose for this day; in quiet to receive the Word of God.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #490: I understand that when we (the decision maker) make a decision to identify with the ego mind, that we forget that we have another part of our mind with which to identify with. If accessing the right mind requires that we are first aware that another mind exists, and second that we understand the defenses the ego puts up in order to insure that we don’t go there, what mind was I identifying with when I made the decision to begin to read and study A Course in Miracles? I understand now that during all my years of learning ego management skills, that I was probably always coming from the ego’s thought system, so how did my ego mind ever choose to pick up a book that could be the undoing of it? When we come to the conclusion “there has to be another way” is the ego obliged to get out of the way? Please enlighten me.

Q #490: I understand that when we (the decision maker) make a decision to identify with the ego mind, that we forget that we have another part of our mind with which to identify with. If accessing the right mind requires that we are first aware that another mind exists, and second that we understand the defenses the ego puts up in order to insure that we don’t go there, what mind was I identifying with when I made the decision to begin to read and study A Course in Miracles? I understand now that during all my years of learning ego management skills, that I was probably always coming from the ego’s thought system, so how did my ego mind ever choose to pick up a book that could be the undoing of it? When we come to the conclusion “there has to be another way” is the ego obliged to get out of the way? Please enlighten me.

A: First, approaching the mind in terms of three parts certainly corresponds to the way Jesus speaks of it in the Course, but we need to remember as well that he is describing a process that in the end is illusory. So we should not regard this description of the separated (therefore illusory) mind and its dynamics as a blueprint or schematic for an actual mind that exists in reality. It should be regarded more as a teaching aid, and all teaching aids, while serving a useful purpose, have limits. So compartmentalizing the mind in this fashion is a way of helping us undo the mistaken way in which we have thought about ourselves, as well as helping us understand why we function in the world the way we do.

Perhaps the key point in answering your question is Jesus’ reassurance that we are not wholly insane and that there is a limit on our ability to miscreate (T.2.III.3:3). Moreover, he tells us that “tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way” (T.2.III.3:5,6). The decision maker can continually uphold its decision to conceal the Holy Spirit’s thought system and its own decision-making capacity, but that does not mean that there no longer is a right mind or a decision maker. They are just concealed, and well concealed, as we all can attest to. Nevertheless, the decision maker is always functioning as a decision maker, while trying to pretend that it is not.

Furthermore, continuing to speak in anthropomorphic terms, the ego always senses a threat to its existence, as would anyone involved in faking something. And therefore somewhere in our minds there would be the thought that things aren’t what they appear to be, and we are not what we appear to be. For most people it seems, that thought does not surface until something horrendous happens, or they reach a stage where they throw up their hands in despair or frustration in a way they never have before. The motivation, again, is a level of pain that becomes intolerable. (Obviously, many people just go right back into the ego thought system for a solution.) It is not the ego, though, that does this — remember, the ego is just a belief that the decision maker has accepted. So it is as if the decision maker responds to its own dimly perceived misgivings about the beliefs it has identified with. And in that instant, it has disidentified with the ego and allowed itself to see just a glimmer of the light beaming from the right mind. The expression of that shift may take any number of forms, one of which would be the appearance in one’s life of A Course in Miracles. But it could be anything that would help heal the mind of its belief that separation from God is a reality.

Q #491: A Course in Miracles says I must choose between teachers: the Holy Spirit or the ego. I choose the Holy Spirit, but how do I actually do this? Since I don’t know what anything means, how do I know when the Holy Spirit is teaching me?

A: We choose the Holy Spirit by being willing to look honestly at our attack thoughts and judgments, with willingness to let Him transform them. This requires that we recognize the defenses we employ to maintain our fierce attachment to our belief in the separation and the reality of the world and the body. Although the Course tells us we do not really know what anything means, we think we do know. We have agreed with the ego that our attacks, along with our feelings of anger, resentment, and victimization are justified. We believe in our identity as bodies. We believe that situations that are external to the mind can have an effect on us by taking away our peace. Questioning these beliefs and our interpretation of our experiences, allowing that perhaps we are wrong, invites the Holy Spirit to offer His interpretation. This new interpretation is the forgiveness process. We accept His teaching with every application of forgiveness in our relationships, and the events of our lives.

The first step is to pay attention to any upsetting feeling, acknowledging that its true source is a choice in the mind to be separate, and not whatever external situation seems to have caused the upset. Because we are so fiercely attached to our beliefs it is not easy to do this. Fortunately, Jesus tells us we do not have to do it perfectly: “Your willingness need not be perfect, because His [Holy Spirit] is” (T.11.II.6:6). However haltingly you may take the first step in questioning your interpretation of your relationships and experiences, it is enough to allow the Holy Spirit to enter. We are asked only to do our part: “Call not upon the ego for anything; it is only this that you need do. The Holy Spirit will, of Himself, fill every mind that so makes room for Him”(T.14.XI.13:5,6).

teach not that i died in vain

 

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