ACIM Text Reading for June 1
Chapter 17 ~ Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship
VIII. The Conditions of Peace
The holy instant is nothing more than a special case, or an extreme example, of what every situation is meant to be. The meaning that the Holy Spirit’s purpose has given it is also given to every situation. It calls forth just the same suspension of faithlessness, withheld and left unused, that faith might answer to the call of truth. The holy instant is the shining example, the clear and unequivocal demonstration of the meaning of every relationship and every situation, seen as a whole. Faith has accepted every aspect of the situation, and faithlessness has not forced any exclusion on it. It is a situation of perfect peace, simply because you have let it be what it is.
This simple courtesy is all the Holy Spirit asks of you. Let truth be what it is. Do not intrude upon it, do not attack it, do not interrupt its coming. Let it encompass every situation and bring you peace. Not even faith is asked of you, for truth asks nothing. Let it enter, and it will call forth and secure for you the faith you need for peace. But rise you not against it, for against your opposition it cannot come.
Would you not want to make a holy instant of every situation? For such is the gift of faith, freely given wherever faithlessness is laid aside, unused. And then the power of the Holy Spirit’s purpose is free to use instead. This power instantly transforms all situations into one sure and continuous means for establishing his purpose, and demonstrating its reality. What has been demonstrated has called for faith, and has been given it. Now it becomes a fact, from which faith can no longer be withheld. The strain of refusing faith to truth is enormous, and far greater than you realize. But to answer truth with faith entails no strain at all.
To you who have acknowledged the Call of your Redeemer, the strain of not responding to His call seems to be greater than before. This is not so. Before, the strain was there, but you attributed it to something else, believing that the “something else” produced it. This was never true. For what the “something else” produced was sorrow and depression, sickness and pain, darkness and dim imaginings of terror, cold fantasies of fear and fiery dreams of hell. And it was nothing but the intolerable strain of refusing to give faith to truth, and see its evident reality.
Such was the crucifixion of the Son of God. His faithlessness did this to him. Think carefully before you let yourself use faithlessness against him. For he is risen, and you have accepted the Cause of his awakening as yours. You have assumed your part in his redemption, and you are now fully responsible to him. Fail him not now, for it has been given you to realize what your lack of faith in him must mean to you. His salvation is your only purpose. See only this in every situation, and it will be a means for bringing only this.
When you accepted truth as the goal for your relationship, you became a giver of peace as surely as your Father gave peace to you. For the goal of peace cannot be accepted apart from its conditions, and you had faith in it for no one accepts what he does not believe is real. Your purpose has not changed, and will not change, for you accepted what can never change. And nothing that it needs to be forever changeless can you now withhold from it. Your release is certain. Give as you have received. And demonstrate that you have risen far beyond any situation that could hold you back, and keep you separate from Him Whose call you answered.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for June 1
All things are echoes of the Voice for God.
No one can judge on partial evidence. That is not judgment. It is merely an opinion based on ignorance and doubt. Its seeming certainty is but a cloak for the uncertainty it would conceal. It needs irrational defense because it is irrational. And its defense seems strong, convincing, and without a doubt because of all the doubting underneath.
You do not seem to doubt the world you see. You do not really question what is shown you through the body’s eyes. Nor do you ask why you believe it, even though you learned a long while since your senses do deceive. That you believe them to the last detail which they report is even stranger, when you pause to recollect how frequently they have been faulty witnesses indeed! Why would you trust them so implicitly? Why but because of underlying doubt, which you would hide with show of certainty?
How can you judge? Your judgment rests upon the witness that your senses offer you. Yet witness never falser was than this. But how else do you judge the world you see? You place pathetic faith in what your eyes and ears report. You think your fingers touch reality, and close upon the truth. This is awareness that you understand, and think more real than what is witnessed to by the eternal Voice for God Himself.
Can this be judgment? You have often been urged to refrain from judging, not because it is a right to be withheld from you. You cannot judge. You merely can believe the ego’s judgments, all of which are false. It guides your senses carefully, to prove how weak you are; how helpless and afraid, how apprehensive of just punishment, how black with sin, how wretched in your guilt.
This thing it speaks of, and would yet defend, it tells you is yourself. And you believe that this is so with stubborn certainty. Yet underneath remains the hidden doubt that what it shows you as reality with such conviction it does not believe. It is itself alone that it condemns. It is within itself it sees the guilt. It is its own despair it sees in you.
Hear not its voice. The witnesses it sends to prove to you its evil is your own are false, and speak with certainty of what they do not know. Your faith in them is blind because you would not share the doubts their lord can not completely vanquish. You believe to doubt his vassals is to doubt yourself.
Yet you must learn to doubt their evidence will clear the way to recognize yourself, and let the Voice for God alone be Judge of what is worthy of your own belief. He will not tell you that your brother should be judged by what your eyes behold in him, nor what his body’s mouth says to your ears, nor what your fingers’ touch reports of him. He passes by such idle witnesses, which merely bear false witness to God’s Son. He recognizes only what God loves, and in the holy light of what He sees do all the ego’s dreams of what you are vanish before the splendor He beholds.
Let Him be Judge of what you are, for He has certainty in which there is no doubt, because it rests on Certainty so great that doubt is meaningless before Its face. Christ cannot doubt Himself. The Voice for God can only honor Him, rejoicing in His perfect, everlasting sinlessness. Whom He has judged can only laugh at guilt, unwilling now to play with toys of sin; unheeding of the body’s witnesses before the rapture of Christ’s holy face.
And thus He judges you. Accept His Word for what you are, for He bears witness to your beautiful creation, and the Mind Whose Thought created your reality. What can the body mean to Him Who knows the glory of the Father and the Son? What whispers of the ego can He hear? What could convince Him that your sins are real? Let Him be Judge as well of everything that seems to happen to you in this world. His lessons will enable you to bridge the gap between illusions and the truth.
He will remove all faith that you have placed in pain, disaster, suffering and loss. He gives you vision which can look beyond these grim appearances, and can behold the gentle face of Christ in all of them. You will no longer doubt that only good can come to you who are beloved of God, for He will judge all happenings, and teach the single lesson that they all contain.
He will select the elements in them which represent the truth, and disregard those aspects which reflect but idle dreams. And He will reinterpret all you see, and all occurrences, each circumstance, and every happening that seems to touch on you in any way from His one frame of reference, wholly unified and sure. And you will see the love beyond the hate, the constancy in change, the pure in sin, and only Heaven’s blessing on the world.
Such is your resurrection, for your life is not a part of anything you see. It stands beyond the body and the world, past every witness for unholiness, within the Holy, holy as Itself. In everyone and everything His Voice would speak to you of nothing but your Self and your Creator, Who is One with Him. So will you see the holy face of Christ in everything, and hear in everything no sound except the echo of God’s Voice.
We practice wordlessly today, except at the beginning of the time we spend with God. We introduce these times with but a single, slow repeating of the thought with which the day begins. And then we watch our thoughts, appealing silently to Him Who sees the elements of truth in them. Let Him evaluate each thought that comes to mind, remove the elements of dreams, and give them back again as clean ideas that do not contradict the Will of God.
Give Him your thoughts, and He will give them back as miracles which joyously proclaim the wholeness and the happiness God wills His Son, as proof of His eternal Love. And as each thought is thus transformed, it takes on healing power from the Mind which saw the truth in it, and failed to be deceived by what was falsely added. All the threads of fantasy are gone. And what remains is unified into a perfect Thought that offers its perfection everywhere.
Spend fifteen minutes thus when you awake, and gladly give another fifteen more before you go to sleep. Your ministry begins as all your thoughts are purified. So are you taught to teach the Son of God the holy lesson of his sanctity. No one can fail to listen, when you hear the Voice for God give honor to God’s Son. And everyone will share the thoughts with you which He has retranslated in your mind.
Such is your Eastertide. And so you lay the gift of snow-white lilies on the world, replacing witnesses to sin and death. Through your transfiguration is the world redeemed, and joyfully released from guilt. Now do we lift our resurrected minds in gladness and in gratitude to Him Who has restored our sanity to us.
And we will hourly remember Him Who is salvation and deliverance. As we give thanks, the world unites with us and happily accepts our holy thoughts, which Heaven has corrected and made pure. Now has our ministry begun at last, to carry round the world the joyous news that truth has no illusions, and the peace of God, through us, belongs to everyone.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #266: What exactly is the script and what part does choice play in it? Are all events fixed because these are lessons we have chosen to learn and the choice is only in seeing everything with the Holy Spirit? Or is there a further choice in which we can actually change the script, i.e., avoid, accelerate, rearrange, omit, reorder, add situations, events, relationships, etc.? And, if the mind has been healed in certain aspects, would it then mean that certain corresponding events in the script would not come up? And would we know it? And does this have anything to do with forgiveness?
A: The script (W.p.I.158.4:3) refers to all the seeming events that could possibly be played out on the ego’s screen — the world of time and space. All these events are fixed in the sense that they are already written. In fact, they have already happened although, A Course in Miracles tells us, in reality they never even happened at all, since the thought of separation and the consequent guilt from which they all originate is itself a fiction. In that instant of separation, everything — every dream, every possible ego choice — occurred and instantly was corrected by the Holy Spirit. But we who seem still to be caught in time and space have not yet accepted that correction into our minds and so, as fragmented parts of that one ego mind, continue to project our specific scripts of guilt out onto the world we made as the screen for those projections (M.2.2,3,4).
And so we now seem to have a choice as to which of all the myriad, nearly infinite number of ego events we shall review, although we generally accept certain constraints on our choices once we select a specific identity in a specific lifetime. But there are still many choices on the level of form that can be made in each moment. This range of options (from the fixed pool of possibilities) is all part of the ego’s seductiveness, as it tries to persuade us to continue to believe that if we can only choose the right forms in the right combination — the right relationship, the right career, the right place to live, the right investment, the right lottery numbers, etc. — we can be happy. What the ego always attempts to keep hidden is the underlying content of those choices, which must be sin, guilt and fear, based as they all are in the belief in separation and separate interests (T.29.IV.2,3).
It is the Holy Spirit’s task to teach us that the only really meaningful choice we can make in time is to allow His purpose to guide us in each of our moments of decision, so that we will use them to awaken from the dream rather than to continue dreaming in search of the “perfect” ego dream in which all our specialness needs are met. And that means we are willing to release our own judgments about how things should be, which is what it means to practice forgiveness (T.29.IV.5,6).
Generally, in any one lifetime, there is a specific victimization theme that recurs within or across relationships. It may be a theme of betrayal or abandonment or rejection or abuse or neglect, etc. Since each theme represents nothing more than the specific form of projected guilt over our buried self-accusation of how we attacked God in the moment of separation, it must recur in our lives until we are willing to withdraw the projection and heal that aspect of guilt in our own mind, rather than seeing it outside ourselves. And that is what the Course means by forgiveness.
Once the guilt behind a specific form of victimization has been uncovered and released, we will no longer need to project it outside our mind. We may or may not be aware of this inner shift as mirrored in our external relationships, although we may at some point have a realization that we are no longer being triggered by external happenings in the way we had been in the past. There would certainly no longer be any ego-based motivation to select such specific victim scripts anymore to hide our guilt.
For further related discussions on scripts and choice, you may also wish to review Questions #37, #190, and #233