ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for September 5

ACIM Text Reading  for September 5

Chapter 28 ~ The Undoing of Fear

VII. The Ark of Safety
God asks for nothing, and His Son, like Him, need ask for nothing. For there is no lack in him. An empty space, a little gap, would be a lack. And it is only there that he could want for something he has not. A space where God is not, a gap between the Father and the Son is not the Will of Either, Who have promised to be One. God’s promise is a promise to Himself, and there is no one who could be untrue to what He wills as part of what He is. The promise that there is no gap between Himself and what He is cannot be false. What will can come between what must be One, and in Whose Wholeness there can be no gap?

The beautiful relationship you have with all your brothers is a part of you because it is a part of God Himself. Are you not sick, if you deny yourself your wholeness and your health, the Source of help, the Call to healing and the Call to heal? Your savior waits for healing, and the world waits with him. Nor are you apart from it. For healing will be one or not at all, its oneness being where the healing is. What could correct for separation but its opposite? There is no middle ground in any aspect of salvation. You accept it wholly or accept it not. What is unseparated must be joined. And what is joined cannot be separate.

Either there is a gap between you and your brother, or you are as one. There is no in between, no other choice, and no allegiance to be split between the two. A split allegiance is but faithlessness to both, and merely sets you spinning round, to grasp uncertainly at any straw that seems to hold some promise of relief. Yet who can build his home upon a straw, and count on it as shelter from the wind? The body can be made a home like this, because it lacks foundation in the truth. And yet, because it does, it can be seen as not your home, but merely as an aid to help you reach the home where God abides.

With this as purpose is the body healed. It is not used to witness to the dream of separation and disease. Nor is it idly blamed for what it did not do. It serves to help the healing of God’s Son, and for this purpose it cannot be sick. It will not join a purpose not your own, and you have chosen that it not be sick. All miracles are based upon this choice, and given you the instant it is made. No forms of sickness are immune, because the choice cannot be made in terms of form. The choice of sickness seems to be of form, yet it is one, as is its opposite. And you are sick or well, accordingly.

But never you alone. This world is but the dream that you can be alone, and think without affecting those apart from you. To be alone must mean you are apart, and if you are, you cannot but be sick. This seems to prove that you must be apart. Yet all it means is that you tried to keep a promise to be true to faithlessness. Yet faithlessness is sickness. It is like the house set upon straw. It seems to be quite solid and substantial in itself. Yet its stability cannot be judged apart from its foundation. If it rests on straw, there is no need to bar the door and lock the windows and make fast the bolts. The wind will topple it, and rain will come and carry it into oblivion.

What is the sense in seeking to be safe in what was made for danger and for fear? Why burden it with further locks and chains and heavy anchors, when its weakness lies, not in itself, but in the frailty of the little gap of nothingness whereon it stands? What can be safe that rests upon a shadow? Would you build your home upon what will collapse beneath a feather’s weight?

Your home is built upon your brother’s health, upon his happiness, his sinlessness, and everything his Father promised him. No secret promise you have made instead has shaken the Foundation of his home. The winds will blow upon it and the rain will beat against it, but with no effect. The world will wash away and yet this house will stand forever, for its strength lies not within itself alone. It is an ark of safety, resting on God’s promise that His Son is safe forever in Himself. What gap can interpose itself between the safety of this shelter and its Source? From here the body can be seen as what it is, and neither less nor more in worth than the extent to which it can be used to liberate God’s Son unto his home. And with this holy purpose is it made a home of holiness a little while, because it shares your Father’s Will with you.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 5

Lesson 248
Whatever suffers is not part of me.

I have disowned the truth. Now let me be as faithful in disowning falsity. Whatever suffers is not part of me. What grieves is not myself. What is in pain is but illusion in my mind. What dies was never living in reality, and did but mock the truth about myself. Now I disown self-concepts and deceits and lies about the holy Son of God. Now am I ready to accept him back as God created him, and as he is.

Father, my ancient love for You returns, and lets me love Your Son again as well. Father, I am as You created me. Now is Your Love remembered, and my own. Now do I understand that they are one.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Lesson 248
Whatever suffers is not part of me.

I have disowned the truth. Now let me be as faithful in disowning falsity. Whatever suffers is not part of me. What grieves is not myself. What is in pain is but illusion in my mind. What dies was never living in reality, and did but mock the truth about myself. Now I disown self-concepts and deceits and lies about the holy Son of God. Now am I ready to accept him back as God created him, and as he is.

Father, my ancient love for You returns, and lets me love Your Son again as well. Father, I am as You created me. Now is Your Love remembered, and my own. Now do I understand that they are one.

***

Q #1307: As one forgives each successive painful situation/relationship in one’s life, does that mean that happier situations and relationships will eventually occur?

A: This may or may not occur, but that would not be of concern to the mind that lets go of guilt through forgiveness. As you progress with forgiveness, in other words, you would realize that the guilt in your mind was the source of your pain, not external events and situations, however horrendous they may be on the level of the world. This perhaps is the most difficult of lessons for us to learn, but it is one of the defining features of A Course in Miracles that teaches us how to be fully present to our roles in the world while learning that our perception of them (our internal experience) comes directly from the choice we are making in our mind to identify with either the ego or the Holy Spirit (or Jesus).

Sometimes there are external changes as well as the internal shifts in how we perceive the external. For example, if as a result of guilt we feel deeply unworthy of happiness and love, our unconscious need to punish ourselves will find its way into our interactions, possibly leading to one unhappy experience after another. Therefore, when we bring the guilt in our mind to the love of Jesus, also in our mind, we will be letting go of our need to remain unhappy, even though we were not consciously aware of that dynamic in our thinking. When that need no longer prevails, we obviously would make better choices in the world, as we would be walking Jesus’ path of gentleness and kindness, and thus be less self-destructive, etc. The important point to keep in mind always is that the form (external situations) does not necessarily demonstrate the mind’s chosen content. Thus, being in a painful relationship does not automatically mean that it comes from guilt. We cannot make a judgment based solely on appearances (form).

This issue has been the topic of several other discussions on this Service. You might wish to look at the following Questions, which provide many Course references: #350, #542, #660, #846, #873, and #987.

Q #1308 : I have been working with A Course in Miracles with good results, but one question keeps coming up. I had an insight one day that “Loving What Is” was a way to stress-free living. Indeed, by embracing a particular difficult emotion/feeling/thinking nexus, the stress dissolved into peace. The Course does not seem to advocate “Embracing What Is”; rather, it seems to say that when negativity arises, to turn your attention away and seek the light. If this is correct, then the Course seems to be dualistic and rejects life as it appears. Sometimes when reading the Course I get this feeling that God created Reality and I created the false; but who created me that made the false? Isn’t maya/illusion also God; and therefore shouldn’t we embrace maya/illusion, the false self, too? It sometimes feels like the Course is setting up a dualism between body mind ego and spirit, when perhaps they are really one?

A: A Course in Miracles is a strict non-dualism. It teaches that only the infinite realm of mind/ spirit is real. The source of our belief that the body and the world are also real is a thought we hold in our minds of selfishly wanting to exist apart from God. Thus, the Course teaches: “The world was made as an attack on God. It symbolizes fear. And what is fear except love’s absence? Thus the world was meant to be a place where God could enter not, and where His Son could be apart from Him” (W.pII.3.2:1,2,3,4). This statement of the purpose that underlies the making of the world is a major difference between the Course and other traditions that also speak of the world as illusory. The world is not God. And the false self that made it is not God or of God. God creates only like Himself. Imperfection cannot from Him — another major difference between A Course in Miracles and other traditions. That is why the Atonement principle is at the heart of both its teachings and its practices. This principle states that separation from Totality is an impossibility, and therefore we are simply mistaken in our belief that we exist as separate individuals apart from God. This is a greatly abbreviated summary of the Course’s non-dualism — all that our space allows here. Some other Questions on this Service may be helpful to you in providing additional insights: #6, #82, and #171.

Perhaps the only similarity between the Course and “Embracing What Is” (if we understand that correctly) is that our perceptions and experiences can be used for the healing of our minds, even though they are the perceptions and experiences of a false self. Thus, Jesus says: “The body was not made by love. Yet love does not condemn it and can use it lovingly, respecting what the Son of God has made and using it to save him from illusions” (T.18.VI.4:7,8). The key to practicing this effectively is gradually learning to discern the purpose we have chosen in our minds, for that is always the reason we experience what we do (not that we are responsible for other people’s choices); this also entails learning to distinguish between form (behavior) and content (mind). In this sense we can say that the Course clearly does not “reject life” — in fact, our daily interactions and feelings provide the very curriculum that our inner Teacher uses to help us get in touch with the contents in our minds that are the source of all our pain and conflict. In other words, negativity is purposeful, and that is what the Course helps us get in touch with so that we can change a self-defeating purpose to one that will lead us out of the illusion entirely. (For some statements along these lines, see T.20.VIII.7,8,9; T.31.VII.12; W.pII.226. ) In sum, then, the Course would never suggest that we turn away when negativity arises — just the opposite! Jesus asks that we look at it with him, as expressed in this passage from “The ‘Dynamics’ of the Ego”: “No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous. We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it . . . ” (T.11.V.1:1,2,3).

Seeking the light, thus, symbolizes our choice to reverse our identification with the ego’s thought system of separation and identify instead with the Holy Spirit’s thought system of forgiveness. We deny our denial of the truth about ourselves, thus restoring to our awareness the true peace and love in which we were created.

guiltless mind

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s