ACIM Text Reading for August 16
Chapter 26 ~ The Transition
VI. The Appointed Friend
Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you, and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. And it is real to you. It is not nothing. And through its perceived reality has entered all the world of sick illusions. All belief in sin, in power of attack, in hurt and harm, in sacrifice and death, has come to you. For no one can make one illusion real, and still escape the rest. For who can choose to keep the ones that he prefers, and find the safety that the truth alone can give? Who can believe illusions are the same, and still maintain that even one is best?
Lead not your little life in solitude, with one illusion as your only friend. This is no friendship worthy of God’s Son, nor one with which he could remain content. Yet God has given him a better Friend, in Whom all power in earth and Heaven rests. The one illusion that you think is friend obscures His grace and majesty from you, and keeps His friendship and forgiveness from your welcoming embrace. Without Him you are friendless. Seek not another friend to take His place. There is no other friend. What God appointed has no substitute, for what illusion can replace the truth?
Who dwells with shadows is alone indeed, and loneliness is not the Will of God. Would you allow one shadow to usurp the throne that God appointed for your Friend, if you but realized its emptiness has left yours empty and unoccupied? Make no illusion friend, for if you do, it can but take the place of Him Whom God has called your Friend. And it is He Who is your only Friend in truth. He brings you gifts that are not of this world, and only He to Whom they have been given can make sure that you receive them. He will place them on your throne, when you make room for Him on His.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 16
God has condemned me not. No more do I.
My Father knows my holiness. Shall I deny His knowledge, and believe in what His knowledge makes impossible? Shall I accept as true what He proclaims as false? Or shall I take His Word for what I am, since He is my Creator, and the One Who knows the true condition of His Son?
Father, I was mistaken in myself, because I failed to realize the Source from which I came. I have not left that Source to enter in a body and to die. My holiness remains a part of me, as I am part of You. And my mistakes about myself are dreams. I let them go today. And I stand ready to receive Your Word alone for what I really am.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #517: i. Would something like mathematics be a language of God, or would it be what would seem a faultless creation of the ego in order to prove that the world and everything in it does indeed have a sensible and coherent structure and thus is real?
A: The view of reality as presented in A Course in Miracles is that it is non-dualistic, a perfect Oneness, and therefore anything pertaining to form cannot be of God. The “beauty” of mathematics may indeed be used as a reminder of the beauty of oneness, but as a language of quantity, mathematics can only have come from the ego. The concept of coherence, for example, implies duality: parts sticking together. The language of God could never be understood by minds that believe they are individualized, which Jesus tells us many times in his Course, most notably and eloquently in Chapter 25 and Lesson 169: “. . . for while you think that part of you is separate, the concept of a Oneness joined as One is meaningless” (T.25.I.7:1); “We say ‘God is,’ and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless” (W.pI.169.5:4).
ii. My second question is concerned with what is happening in Iraq and the rest of the world at the moment (or maybe throughout history really). Millions of the casualties of wars and sanctions have been children. Would A Course in Miracles be saying that in some way these people have imposed this suffering on themselves?
A: To answer your question adequately, we would have to explain the metaphysics of the Course and the entire thought system of the ego, which we obviously cannot do here. So we will just answer briefly, and then refer you to answers we have given to some other Questions that might help you.
The Course does not teach that we, as individual human beings, impose suffering on ourselves, mainly because “we” (infants as well as adults) are the effects of the mind’s choice to project its guilt outside itself. Indeed, the world itself is the effect of the mind’s projection of its guilt. This is very difficult to comprehend, let alone accept, because we do not experience ourselves as having a mind — a brain, yes, but not a mind outside time and space. That lack of awareness is a direct result of the ego’s “success” in achieving its goal of making the Son of God mindless and having the conflict and forces in the world be the cause of victimization. And so Jesus’ objective in his mind-training exercises, especially in the early lessons of the workbook, is to help us recover this dimension of ourselves. There is no hope for our release from suffering until we make progress in this and bring the hatred in our minds to the gentle presence of Jesus, where it can be dissolved in his love, for the ego would always seek to keep us bound to its merciless thought system by having us continually look outside ourselves for the causes and solutions of our problems and suffering. So despite the seeming escalation of brutally destructive forces in the world, the ultimate cause of suffering is still the mind’s choice to absolve itself of its guilt over having rejected Love (an illusory rejection, of course) by projecting it onto a world that then embodies that guilt in the form of an endless series of victim-victimizer relationships.
It is important to keep in mind as one works with these teachings and principles that none of this means that one should not be active in the world or act to prevent cruelty and oppression. That would be a serious misunderstanding of what this Course teaches and advocates. We are encouraged only to become more and more discerning as to whether we are proceeding with the ego or Jesus directing us.
A review of these Questions might be of further help: #239, #365, #371, and in Kenneth and Gloria’s book, The Most Frequently Asked Questions About A Course in Miracles,” #27 answers the question “Are babies born innocent?”