ACIM Text Reading for July 26
Chapter 24 ~ The Goal of Specialness
IV. The Forgiveness of Specialness
Forgiveness is the end of specialness. Only illusions can be forgiven, and then they disappear. Forgiveness is release from all illusions, and that is why it is impossible but partly to forgive. No one who clings to one illusion can see himself as sinless, for he holds one error to himself as lovely still. And so he calls it “unforgivable,” and makes it sin. How can he then give his forgiveness wholly, when he would not receive it for himself? For it is sure he would receive it wholly the instant that he gave it so. And thus his secret guilt would disappear, forgiven by himself.
Whatever form of specialness you cherish, you have made sin. Inviolate it stands, strongly defended with all your puny might against the Will of God. And thus it stands against yourself; your enemy, not God’s. So does it seem to split you off from God, and make you separate from Him as its defender. You would protect what God created not. And yet, this idol that seems to give you power has taken it away. For you have given your brother’s birthright to it, leaving him alone and unforgiven, and yourself in sin beside him, both in misery, before the idol that can save you not.
It is not you who are so vulnerable and open to attack that just a word, a little whisper that you do not like, a circumstance that suits you not, or an event that you did not anticipate upsets your world, and hurls it into chaos. Truth is not frail. Illusions leave it perfectly unmoved and undisturbed. But specialness is not the truth in you. It can be thrown off balance by anything. What rests on nothing never can be stable. However large and overblown it seems to be, it still must rock and turn and whirl about with every breeze.
Without foundation nothing is secure. Would God have left His Son in such a state, where safety has no meaning? No, His Son is safe, resting on Him. It is your specialness that is attacked by everything that walks and breathes, or creeps or crawls, or even lives at all. Nothing is safe from its attack, and it is safe from nothing. It will forevermore be unforgiving, for that is what it is; a secret vow that what God wants for you will never be, and that you will oppose His Will forever. Nor is it possible the two can ever be the same, while specialness stands like a flaming sword of death between them, and makes them enemies.
God asks for your forgiveness. He would have no separation, like an alien will, rise between what He wills for you and what you will. They are the same, for neither One wills specialness. How could They will the death of love itself? Yet They are powerless to make attack upon illusions. They are not bodies; as one Mind They wait for all illusions to be brought to Them, and left behind. Salvation challenges not even death. And God Himself, Who knows that death is not your will, must say, “Thy will be done” because you think it is.
Forgive the great Creator of the universe, the Source of life, of love and holiness, the perfect Father of a perfect Son, for your illusions of your specialness. Here is the hell you chose to be your home. He chose not this for you. Ask not He enter this. The way is barred to love and to salvation. Yet if you would release your brother from the depths of hell, you have forgiven Him Whose Will it is you rest forever in the arms of peace, in perfect safety, and without the heat and malice of one thought of specialness to mar your rest. Forgive the Holy One the specialness He could not give, and that you made instead.
The special ones are all asleep, surrounded by a world of loveliness they do not see. Freedom and peace and joy stand there, beside the bier on which they sleep, and call them to come forth and waken from their dream of death. Yet they hear nothing. They are lost in dreams of specialness. They hate the call that would awaken them, and they curse God because He did not make their dream reality. Curse God and die, but not by Him Who made not death; but only in the dream. Open your eyes a little; see the savior God gave to you that you might look on him, and give him back his birthright. It is yours.
The slaves of specialness will yet be free. Such is the Will of God and of His Son. Would God condemn Himself to hell and to damnation? And do you will that this be done unto your savior? God calls to you from him to join His Will to save you both from hell. Look on the print of nails upon his hands that he holds out for your forgiveness. God asks your mercy on His Son and on Himself. Deny Them not. They ask of you but that your will be done. They seek your love that you may love yourself. Love not your specialness instead of Them. The print of nails is on your hands as well. Forgive your Father it was not His Will that you be crucified.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for July 26
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
(187) I bless the world because I bless myself.
God’s blessing shines upon me from within my heart,
where He abides. I need but turn to Him, and every sorrow
melts away, as I accept His boundless Love for me.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #364: If I am spirit and my body is not real is it wrong to feed it well, exercise it, have it massaged, dress it with care, make it up, etc., or is all this seen as being gentle with myself as long as I perceive myself as being a body? Will these activities not reinforce this false idea?
A: The activities of feeding and exercising your body, having it massaged, dressing it with care, and using cosmetics are neither holy nor unholy in themselves. It would not advance you spiritually simply to stop doing things just because they make you feel good. These kinds of bodily activities contradict your desire to awaken from the dream of separation only if your motivation is connected to specialness in some way or to keep the body at the center of your attention. The idea is to discern whether you are using your body to make yourself different and special (the ego’s purpose) or to learn that we are all the same as fragments of the one Son of God, sharing both the same wrong-minded thoughts of the ego and the same right-minded thoughts of the Holy Spirit. Our attitude towards our bodies, thus, should be centered on using them so as to uncover the hidden agenda of separation that we are constantly upholding in our minds. It is because of that hidden agenda that Jesus at one point refers to the body as “the engine of destruction” (T.20.VIII.4:7). That is the original purpose of the body.
On the metaphysical level, the level of absolute truth, A Course in Miracles teaches us that the body was made to attack and replace our true Identity, and to limit love (T.18.VIII.1). (An impossibility, and therefore totally illusory of course.) So on that level, anything we do to our bodies supports that purpose. But since we are not yet ready to identify completely with that truth, Jesus prepares us to move in that direction by having us first regard the body as neutral (W.pII.294). In this sense, our bodily lives are classrooms in which we gradually learn to recognize which teacher we have chosen to guide our activities — the ego or the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we don’t change our bodies or how we fix them up, etc., but rather we change the purpose we have given them.