ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for September 10
Chapter 29 ~ The Awakening
V. The Changeless Dwelling Place
There is a place in you where this whole world has been forgotten; where no memory of sin and of illusion lingers still. There is a place in you which time has left, and echoes of eternity are heard. There is a resting place so still no sound except a hymn to Heaven rises up to gladden God the Father and the Son. Where Both abide are They remembered, Both. And where They are is Heaven and is peace.
Think not that you can change Their dwelling place. For your Identity abides in Them, and where They are, forever must you be. The changelessness of Heaven is in you, so deep within that nothing in this world but passes by, unnoticed and unseen. The still infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace, so strong and quiet, tranquil in the might of its Creator, nothing can intrude upon the sacred Son of God within.
Here is the role the Holy Spirit gives to you who wait upon the Son of God, and would behold him waken and be glad. He is a part of you and you of him, because he is his Father’s Son, and not for any purpose you may see in him. Nothing is asked of you but to accept the changeless and eternal that abide in him, for your Identity is there. The peace in you can but be found in him. And every thought of love you offer him but brings you nearer to your wakening to peace eternal and to endless joy.
This sacred Son of God is like yourself; the mirror of his Father’s Love for you, the soft reminder of his Father’s Love by which he was created and which still abides in him as it abides in you. Be very still and hear God’s Voice in him, and let It tell you what his function is. He was created that you might be whole, for only the complete can be a part of God’s completion, which created you.
There is no gift the Father asks of you but that you see in all creation but the shining glory of His gift to you. Behold His Son, His perfect gift, in whom his Father shines forever, and to whom is all creation given as his own. Because he has it is it given you, and where it lies in him behold your peace. The quiet that surrounds you dwells in him, and from this quiet come the happy dreams in which your hands are joined in innocence. These are not hands that grasp in dreams of pain. They hold no sword, for they have left their hold on every vain illusion of the world. And being empty they receive, instead, a brother’s hand in which completion lies.
If you but knew the glorious goal that lies beyond forgiveness, you would not keep hold on any thought, however light the touch of evil on it may appear to be. For you would understand how great the cost of holding anything God did not give in minds that can direct the hand to bless, and lead God’s Son unto his Father’s house. Would you not want to be a friend to him, created by his Father as His home? If God esteems him worthy of Himself, would you attack him with the hands of hate? Who would lay bloody hands on Heaven itself, and hope to find its peace? Your brother thinks he holds the hand of death. Believe him not. But learn, instead, how blessed are you who can release him, just by offering him yours.
A dream is given you in which he is your savior, not your enemy in hate. A dream is given you in which you have forgiven him for all his dreams of death; a dream of hope you share with him, instead of dreaming evil separate dreams of hate. Why does it seem so hard to share this dream? Because unless the Holy Spirit gives the dream its function, it was made for hate, and will continue in death’s services. Each form it takes in some way calls for death. And those who serve the lord of death have come to worship in a separated world, each with his tiny spear and rusted sword, to keep his ancient promises to die.
Such is the core of fear in every dream that has been kept apart from use by Him Who sees a different function for a dream. When dreams are shared they lose the function of attack and separation, even though it was for this that every dream was made. Yet nothing in the world of dreams remains without the hope of change and betterment, for here is not where changelessness is found. Let us be glad indeed that this is so, and seek not the eternal in this world. Forgiving dreams are means to step aside from dreaming of a world outside yourself. And leading finally beyond all dreams, unto the peace of everlasting life.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 10
My Self is ruler of the universe.
It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself. Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen. This must I accept. For thus am I led past this world to my creations, children of my will, in Heaven where my holy Self abides with them and Him Who has created me.
You are the Self Whom You created Son, creating like Yourself and One with You. My Self, which rules the universe, is but Your Will in perfect union with my own, which can but offer glad assent to Yours, that it may be extended to Itself.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #586: Growing up I had a minimal exposure to religion and wonder if you’d care to address the terms “witness” and “witnessing”? For example, it seems witnessing in religion is often related to preaching rather than witnessing one’s own thoughts. Also, although the primary use of witness is clear in A Course in Miracles (aka, the observer, “you,” or decision-maker) there is one paragraph (T.1.IV.4) that uses witness and witnessing in a manner that is not clear to me. Also, what “law” is Jesus referring to in this same paragraph?
A: Webster’s definition of witness applies to the term as used in the passage you refer to: “…to be or give evidence of.” This is also the usual meaning given to the term in the Course. In saying “I will witness,” Jesus tells us he is himself the evidence, or proof, that there is no death, no “hell- fire.” He does this by demonstrating that the crucifixion had no effect; though his body was killed, he did not die. To whatever extent we are willing to listen and learn from him, he will give us more evidence that what he teaches is true: “I will witness for anyone who lets me, and to whatever extent he permits it.” Witness in this sense is used in much the same way as teaching. We are told later in the text: “Remember always that what you believe you will teach” (T.6.I.6:10). If we believe the Holy Spirit, we will teach, or “witness to” His message. This is not accomplished through any special form of preaching or direct teaching. By the very fact that we believe it, it will be perceived by others (consciously or unconsciously). In like manner, if we believe the ego’s lies we will witness to the ego, thus reinforcing the separation thought in our minds and in our lives. Witnessing, in this sense, is the recognizable effect of a choice that is made in the mind to believe the ego or the Holy Spirit. Since we are always choosing either the Holy Spirit or the ego, we are always witnessing to one or the other. That is what Jesus means when he says we are always teaching: “…you cannot not teach” (T.6.III.4:1).
According to the Bible, the Messiah was to come in fulfillment of the law and the prophets. His coming was “law” in that it was a promise that a redeemer would come to atone for our sins. Jesus is referring to this scriptural phrase, saying he does indeed fulfill the law, or promise, but by reinterpreting it. He does so by teaching in A Course in Miracles that “there is no sin”(T.26.VII.10:5), and that redemption lies in accepting this truth.
Q #587: I am having trouble understanding attack as a call for love. If an attack is meant to push love away because it was getting too close, how is it calling for it at the same time?
A: Attack ultimately is a reaction to guilt and the fear of destruction by a vengeful God. No one would ever attack if there were no underlying self-accusation of sin (we first attacked God). This sinfulness results in overwhelming guilt that is projected and then seen and attacked (judged) in others. But coupled with this dynamic is a desperate plea to be told that God is not out for blood in retaliation for sin, and further, that the perceived attack on God itself never took place. In that sense, the attack is a call for love, and a call to be told we are wrong. We are all looking for some convincing evidence to prove that we are not “the home of evil, darkness, and sin,” as we believe we all are (W.pI.93.1:1). That is why in A Course in Miracles we are being trained to ask for help to perceive “differently”: “There is but one interpretation of motivation that makes any sense. And because it is the Holy Spirit’s judgment it requires no effort at all on your part. Every loving thought is true. Everything else is an appeal for healing and help, regardless of the form it takes” (T.12.I.3:1,2,3,4). We rise to this level of perception through our practice of forgiveness.