ACIM Text Reading for September 9
Chapter 29 ~ The Awakening
IV. Dream Roles
Do you believe that truth can be but some illusions? They are dreams because they are not true. Their equal lack of truth becomes the basis for the miracle, which means that you have understood that dreams are dreams; and that escape depends, not on the dream, but only on awaking. Could it be some dreams are kept, and others wakened from? The choice is not between which dreams to keep, but only if you want to live in dreams or to awaken from them. Thus it is the miracle does not select some dreams to leave untouched by its beneficence. You cannot dream some dreams and wake from some, for you are either sleeping or awake. And dreaming goes with only one of these.
The dreams you think you like would hold you back as much as those in which the fear is seen. For every dream is but a dream of fear, no matter what the form it seems to take. The fear is seen within, without, or both. Or it can be disguised in pleasant form. But never is it absent from the dream, for fear is the material of dreams, from which they all are made. Their form can change, but they cannot be made of something else. The miracle were treacherous indeed if it allowed you still to be afraid because you did not recognize the fear. You would not then be willing to awake, for which the miracle prepares the way.
In simplest form, it can be said attack is a response to function unfulfilled as you perceive the function. It can be in you or someone else, but where it is perceived it will be there it is attacked. Depression or assault must be the theme of every dream, for they are made of fear. The thin disguise of pleasure and of joy in which they may be wrapped but slightly veils the heavy lump of fear that is their core. And it is this the miracle perceives, and not the wrappings in which it is bound.
When you are angry, is it not because someone has failed to fill the function you allotted him? And does not this become the “reason” your attack is justified? The dreams you think you like are those in which the functions you have given have been filled; the needs which you ascribe to you are met. It does not matter if they be fulfilled or merely wanted. It is the idea that they exist from which the fears arise. Dreams are not wanted more or less. They are desired or not. And each one represents some function that you have assigned; some goal which an event, or body, or a thing should represent, and should achieve for you. If it succeeds you think you like the dream. If it should fail you think the dream is sad. But whether it succeeds or fails is not its core, but just the flimsy covering.
How happy would your dreams become if you were not the one who gave the “proper” role to every figure which the dream contains. No one can fail but your idea of him, and there is no betrayal but of this. The core of dreams the Holy Spirit gives is never one of fear. The coverings may not appear to change, but what they mean has changed because they cover something else. Perceptions are determined by their purpose, in that they seem to be what they are for. A shadow figure who attacks becomes a brother giving you a chance to help, if this becomes the function of the dream. And dreams of sadness thus are turned to joy.
What is your brother for? You do not know, because your function is obscure to you. Do not ascribe a role to him that you imagine would bring happiness to you. And do not try to hurt him when he fails to take the part that you assigned to him, in what you dream your life was meant to be. He asks for help in every dream he has, and you have help to give him if you see the function of the dream as He perceives its function, Who can utilize all dreams as means to serve the function given Him. Because He loves the dreamer, not the dream, each dream becomes an offering of love. For at its center is His Love for you, which lights whatever form it takes with love.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 9
The Son of God is my Identity.
My Self is holy beyond all the thoughts of holiness of which I now conceive. Its shimmering and perfect purity is far more brilliant than is any light that I have ever looked upon. Its love is limitless, with an intensity that holds all things within it, in the calm of quiet certainty. Its strength comes not from burning impulses which move the world, but from the boundless Love of God Himself. How far beyond this world my Self must be, and yet how near to me and close to God!
Father, You know my true Identity. Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #153: In “To Be Or Not To Be,” Ken stated that we all attempt to cheat death in various ways, only to preserve our individuality. Within the illusion doesn’t reincarnation do the same thing? We “live,” we “die,” only to “live” again, just to keep the ego alive and well. At some point we must choose the right-minded tape….Could you please comment on this.
A. Yes, reincarnation preserves our individuality, as well as the illusion of time. However, the purpose of multiple reincarnations — as traditionally defined in the different systems — is to have as many opportunities as are needed to complete one’s learning, so that the cycle of birth and death may be ended permanently. In A Course in Miracles, as you probably know, Jesus states that “in the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible. There is no past or future, and the idea of birth into a body has no meaning either once or many times. Reincarnation cannot, then, be true in any real sense. Our only question should be, ‘Is the concept helpful?’” (M.24.1:1,2,3,4). And in the discussion that follows, he concludes that any belief that leads to progress in accepting the Atonement for ourselves should be honored (M.24.6). Thus it comes down to form and content.
Q #154: After studying A Course in Miracles for 4 years, I am currently volunteering for a Catholic organization in the Philippines, living in a small religious community and working in the slums of Manila. I was conscious of the differences between the teachings of the Course and Christian Catholicism before going to Manila, from reading Ken Wapnick’s A Course in Miracles and Christianity: A Dialogue, and Forgiveness & Jesus. However my desire to join this Christian organization was strong and I thought that it would not prevent me from studying the Course and applying its principles on my own. However, I find that I am getting more and more disturbed by joining the prayers or readings when it is proclaimed that Jesus suffered and died for our sins, etc. Even though the teachings are so different, I don’t want to use the Course to separate myself from the Christians, and I am asking you how is it possible to be faithful to the Course and to my community and avoid compromise?
A: You have placed yourself in a very challenging situation, but one in which, if you are willing, there is much you can learn on your path of forgiveness. If you can remember that the Course is only concerned about content or purpose and not form or ritual, you can use your circumstances to deepen your understanding and practice of the Course’s principles. It is only your ego that would want to make the differences in beliefs and practices a matter of judgment in order to separate yourself from the rest of your community. You are already aware of this temptation in yourself, and that is very helpful, for that is an obstacle within your mind to the experience of the love that is already present within you. You can respect your friends’ choices for their spiritual path without having to accept and embrace those beliefs for yourself. At the same time, since the Course’s focus is only on your own inner thoughts and beliefs, there is no reason that you can’t ask for the Holy Spirit’s help in using all those rituals and forms in which you are expected to participate simply as opportunities to join with them in the form in which they can accept you. For once you are able to release the judgments about the differences in beliefs that you are holding on to, all that will remain is the love within your mind that you wish to share with them. You do not describe any external conflict with the others, but only an internal conflict, and there really is no need to make them aware of your differences in belief, unless you were to feel strongly guided to do so. For your goal is not to change them but simply to accept them as they are (T.9.III.6:4).