ACIM Text Reading for July 22
Chapter 23 ~ The War Against Yourself
V. Above the Battleground
Do not remain in conflict, for there is no war without attack. The fear of God is fear of life, and not of death. Yet He remains the only place of safety. In Him is no attack, and no illusion in any form stalks Heaven. Heaven is wholly true. No difference enters, and what is all the same cannot conflict. You are not asked to fight against your wish to murder. But you are asked to realize the form it takes conceals the same intent. And it is this you fear, and not the form. What is not love is murder. What is not loving must be an attack. Every illusion is an assault on truth, and every one does violence to the idea of love because it seems to be of equal truth.
What can be equal to the truth, yet different? Murder and love are incompatible. Yet if they both are true, then must they be the same, and indistinguishable from one another. So will they be to those who see God’s Son a body. For it is not the body that is like the Son’s Creator. And what is lifeless cannot be the Son of Life. How can a body be extended to hold the universe? Can it create, and be what it creates? And can it offer its creations all that it is and never suffer loss?
God does not share His function with a body. He gave the function to create unto His Son because it is His Own. It is not sinful to believe the function of the Son is murder, but it is insanity. What is the same can have no different function. Creation is the means for God’s extension, and what is His must be His Son’s as well. Either the Father and the Son are murderers, or neither is. Life makes not death, creating like itself.
The lovely light of your relationship is like the Love of God. It cannot yet assume the holy function God gave His Son, for your forgiveness of your brother is not complete as yet, and so it cannot be extended to all creation. Each form of murder and attack that still attracts you and that you do not recognize for what it is, limits the healing and the miracles you have the power to extend to all. Yet does the Holy Spirit understand how to increase your little gifts and make them mighty. Also He understands how your relationship is raised above the battleground, in it no more. This is your part; to realize that murder in any form is not your will. The overlooking of the battleground is now your purpose.
Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it. From there will your perspective be quite different. Here in the midst of it, it does seem real. Here you have chosen to be part of it. Here murder is your choice. Yet from above, the choice is miracles instead of murder. And the perspective coming from this choice shows you the battle is not real, and easily escaped. Bodies may battle, but the clash of forms is meaningless. And it is over when you realize it never was begun. How can a battle be perceived as nothingness when you engage in it? How can the truth of miracles be recognized if murder is your choice?
When the temptation to attack rises to make your mind darkened and murderous, remember you can see the battle from above. Even in forms you do not recognize, the signs you know. There is a stab of pain, a twinge of guilt, and above all, a loss of peace. This you know well. When they occur leave not your place on high, but quickly choose a miracle instead of murder. And God Himself and all the lights of Heaven will gently lean to you, and hold you up. For you have chosen to remain where He would have you, and no illusion can attack the peace of God together with His Son.
See no one from the battleground, for there you look on him from nowhere. You have no reference point from where to look, where meaning can be given what you see. For only bodies could attack and murder, and if this is your purpose, then you must be one with them. Only a purpose unifies, and those who share a purpose have a mind as one. The body has no purpose of itself, and must be solitary. From below, it cannot be surmounted. From above, the limits it exerts on those in battle still are gone, and not perceived. The body stands between the Father and the Heaven He created for His Son because it has no purpose.
Think what is given those who share their Father’s purpose, and who know that it is theirs. They want for nothing. Sorrow of any kind is inconceivable. Only the light they love is in awareness, and only love shines upon them forever. It is their past, their present and their future; always the same, eternally complete and wholly shared. They know it is impossible their happiness could ever suffer change of any kind. Perhaps you think the battleground can offer something you can win. Can it be anything that offers you a perfect calmness, and a sense of love so deep and quiet that no touch of doubt can ever mar your certainty? And that will last forever?
Those with the strength of God in their awareness could never think of battle. What could they gain but loss of their perfection? For everything fought for on the battleground is of the body; something it seems to offer or to own. No one who knows that he has everything could seek for limitation, nor could he value the body’s offerings. The senselessness of conquest is quite apparent from the quiet sphere above the battleground. What can conflict with everything? And what is there that offers less, yet could be wanted more? Who with the Love of God upholding him could find the choice of miracles or murder hard to make?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for July 22
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
(183) I call upon God’s Name and on my own.
The Name of God is my deliverance from every thought of
evil and of sin, because it is my own as well as His.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #679: I have always enjoyed the whole idea that the journey, A Course in Miracles, the return to God, is not an if but a when. The journey is sure because once the idea of separation entered our minds, time “rolled out” and then the journey to return began with time “rolling up” along a path that takes us nowhere but back to our Father (ultimately, though the path is wide and offers room to wander). However, in the Epilogue (C.ep) I see for the first time in the Course an element of uncertainty; namely, “Our new beginning has the certainty the journey lacked till now.” Further, the Epilogue hints strongly that we started this journey before and got lost…that it is an “ancient journey” leading to an “ancient door” that is held open by the “Holy of Holies.” But for some reason, our path was not sure. I’m confused about this; can you please shed some light on this?
A: Take heart! It is still when not if. Jesus is speaking (singing, really) from where he is outside time and space, his vision encompassing the entire Atonement path. Symbolically, metaphorically, and with the use of biblical imagery, Jesus is telling Helen (and all of us) that in truth, nothing happened and we never truly separated from God: “Not one note in Heaven’s song was missed” (T.26.V.5:4), and so we have no cause to fear God; hatred has not triumphed over love; we are not guilty of unforgiveable sin. We may have tried different paths in other lifetimes, but our decision finally to accept his love (in the form of A Course in Miracles) will resolve our ambivalence completely, meaning we have at last accepted that “what is false is false, and what is true has never changed” (W.pII.10.1:1). The references to reincarnation are unmistakable, but from Jesus’ perspective, what appears to us as a linear process, a journey with multiple roads, paths, and detours, is really not that: it is all one to him. How impossible it is to use words to convey what transcends words and physical existence entirely! To us, it is a process in which we switch back and forth between the ego and Jesus, between judgment and forgiveness, but with the confidence that we cannot fail to reach our goal of peace (W.pI.131).
Until we recognized his message (“God’s Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation” [M.1.3:5]), we had followed the ego’s compromise approach: truth and illusion; love and fear; sin and innocence; spirit and body. The “new beginning,” thus, is the commitment to awaken from the dream of separation and duality by resigning as our own teacher (T.12.V.8:3), gladly accepting that we have been wrong about everything, and gratefully allowing ourselves to be taught by our new teacher. That is what Jesus means by this journey, which may seem new, but is not, because we are simply denying our denial of the truth (T.12.II.1:5), and therefore accepting ourselves as God created us. We lost our way by substituting a false identity for our true Identity and wandering into a world of separation and individuality. Therefore, “the journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed” (T.8.VI.9:6,7). In this sense, there is neither when nor if, because there is no temporal journey. We are “at home in God, dreaming of exile” (T.10.2:1). With this clarity of purpose, uncertainty is nothing more than a defense that will weaken and then dissolve completely.