ACIM Text Reading for July 31
Chapter 25 ~ The Justice of God
The Christ in you inhabits not a body. Yet He is in you. And thus it must be that you are not within a body. What is within you cannot be outside. And it is certain that you cannot be apart from what is at the very center of your life. What gives you life cannot be housed in death. No more can you. Christ is within a frame of Holiness whose only purpose is that He may be made manifest to those who know Him not, that He may call to them to come to Him and see Him where they thought their bodies were. Then will their bodies melt away, that they may frame His Holiness in them.
No one who carries Christ in him can fail to recognize Him everywhere. Except in bodies. And as long as he believes he is in a body, where he thinks he is He cannot be. And so he carries Him unknowingly, and does not make Him manifest. And thus he does not recognize Him where He is. The son of man is not the risen Christ. Yet does the Son of God abide exactly where he is, and walks with him within his holiness, as plain to see as is his specialness set forth within his body. The body needs no healing. But the mind that thinks it is a body is sick indeed! And it is here that Christ sets forth the remedy. His purpose folds the body in His light, and fills it with the Holiness that shines from Him. And nothing that the body says or does but makes Him manifest. To those who know Him not it carries Him in gentleness and love, to heal their minds. Such is the mission that your brother has for you. And such it must be that your mission is for him.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for July 31
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
(192) I have a function God would have me fill.
I seek the function that would set me free from all the vain
illusions of the world. Only the function God has given me
can offer freedom. Only this I seek, and only this will I
accept as mine.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #955: So many of the new writings from the world’s spiritual teachers talk about the importance of the heart, love and compassion in the path to ascension. There is much talk of the “wisdom of the heart”. A Course in Miracles really only mentions the mind. When it speaks of the mind, how does that relate to the concept of heart used by other authors?
A: The love and compassion that are considered attributes of the heart reflect the mind’s choice to identify with the Holy Spirit. They flow naturally, unimpeded by the ego’s judgment when the mind is no longer blocked by the guilt and fear of choosing separation.
As you mention, the Course tells us that only the mind exists and there is nothing outside of it, including wisdom of the heart. The Course is very clear in this, indeed the foundation of its teaching rests on this principle: “It [the mind] does not go out. Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it…It encompasses you entirely; you within it and it within you. There is nothing else, anywhere or ever” (T.18.VI.8:7,8,10,11) .
Heart is used symbolically in the Course as a term we are familiar with and relate to more easily than the term mind. However, it can only be understood as referring to the mind. In the many passages where the term heart is used, it means the part of the mind that holds the memory of God’s Love. In a very beautiful passage Jesus uses the symbol of the heart and the body to describe the peace filled state of the right mind: “I place the peace of God in your heart and in your hands, to hold and share. The heart is pure to hold it, and the hands are strong to give it. We cannot lose. My judgment is as strong as the wisdom of God, in Whose Heart and Hands we have our being”(T.5IV.8:10,11,12,13).
In these terms we find not only the true condition of the mind when it chooses against the ego, but the all-inclusive extension of this truth that is true compassion. The compassion the Course teaches is to see everyone in the light of the memory of our oneness with the Father. Everyone is thus included is this compassionate perspective, and seen as remembering or forgetting, choosing oneness or separation, whatever the form may be. In this wisdom of the right mind all other interpretations, judgments and perceptions cease. This is accomplished through the practice of forgiveness, which is both the wisdom of the heart and compassion as taught in the Course. Wisdom is generally understood as good judgment, but as with everything understood generally, Jesus takes it a step further in the Course. He tells us in the manual: “Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment”(M.10.4:5). Thus, we find wisdom of the heart in the Course through the process of forgiveness. Indeed, the heart of the Course is learning the compassion of forgiveness, whereby we relinquish judgment and become truly wise.
Q #956: I understand that I really do not want the peace of God, and that I need to ask Jesus to help me look at this fact without guilt or judgment. Yet my life still seems to be one conflict after another. I am aware that I do not want to let my specialness go and I ask for help with this. But I just seem to be stuck in the victim mode. What should I do?
A: One of the things studying and applying A Course in Miracles does for us is to reveal just how deeply split our mind is. On one hand, the Course helps us see that despite our vastly differing scripts, basically everyone’s life (with very few exceptions, such as Jesus’) can be boiled down to three rather miserable acts: we are born, we struggle, and we die — hardly a storyline any sane mind would choose for itself, and certainly one in which we are a perpetual victim. On the other hand, the Course tells us that we have the power to change this experience — that by changing internal teachers, we could see peace instead of this (W.pI.34) . If we believe that we have this power — and part of us must, or we would not be drawn to the Course — then it is natural to wonder why we do not just make this internal shift, feel better, and get on with it.
But the Course answers that question when it tells us that “No one who sees himself as guilty can avoid the fear of God” (T.30.VI.4:4) . In other words, we will be afraid of God (and of the internal shift that would bring us closer to Him), as long as we have any guilt left in our mind. And as long as we retain any belief in the reality of our physical existence and of this world, our mind will contain guilt — the unconscious conviction that we stole our existence from God and deserve to be punished for it. This is why our journey as Course students can seem so slow, difficult, and filled with setbacks.
While we have found clever ways to disguise this fact, our entire lives up to this point have been elaborate schemes to keep us in the victim mode, precisely so that we will never return to the peace and Love of God, which we perceive as our greatest threat. As we begin to do what Jesus asks of us and question every value that we hold (T.24.in.2:1) , we start to feel how desperately we do want to return to God’s Love, and how much we have suffered in our seemingly separated state. Yet it takes time to undo an entire thought system and we cannot expect the ego to just give up without a fight.
So your experience of being stuck in the victim mode, while undoubtedly painful, is certainly not unique, nor is it really the problem. Rather, it is simply a reflection of the fact that you still fear God’s Love and your mind’s ability to choose it. Thus, you do not need to do anything about it. Rather, you could just view it as helpful information. In fact, whenever we find ourselves feeling like victims, we can simply notice it and say, “Aha, I am still scared and that is all right.” In this way, we will be practicing the forgiveness with ourselves that will ultimately loosen the ego’s chokehold. One of the keys to progressing on our journey home is the discovery that, despite its slippery cleverness, there is one thing the ego cannot pervert to serve its own means: our failure to make a big deal about something .