ACIM Text Reading for October 5
Manual for Teachers
Who Are Their Pupils?
Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God’s teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. Again, it is only a matter of time. Once he has chosen to fulfill his role, they are ready to fulfill theirs. Time waits on his choice, but not on whom he will serve. When he is ready to learn, the opportunities to teach will be provided for him.
In order to understand the teaching-learning plan of salvation, it is necessary to grasp the concept of time that the course sets forth. Atonement corrects illusions, not truth. Therefore, it corrects what never was. Further, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously, for the Will of God is entirely apart from time. So is all reality, being of Him. The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.
The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there. As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned.
Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. And thus it is that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had not met before. The pupil comes at the right time to the right place. This is inevitable, because he made the right choice in that ancient instant which he now relives. So has the teacher, too, made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. God’s Will in everything but seems to take time in the working-out. What could delay the power of eternity?
When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God’s Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship. In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 5
Let me not bind Your Son with laws I made.
Your Son is free, my Father. Let me not imagine I have bound him with the laws I made to rule the body. He is not subject to any laws I made by which I try to make the body more secure. He is not changed by what is changeable. He is not slave to any laws of time. He is as You created him, because he knows no law except the law of love.
Let us not worship idols, nor believe in any law idolatry would make to hide the freedom of the Son of God. He is not bound except by his beliefs. Yet what he is, is far beyond his faith in slavery or freedom. He is free because he is his Father’s Son. And he cannot be bound unless God’s truth can lie, and God can will that He deceive Himself.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1245: Can you please explain the passage in the manual of A Course in Miracles about not being free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. Does the “you” refer to the decision maker? “As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned” (M.2.3:6,7,8).
A: The reference here is to the text’s Introduction where Jesus makes the same point: “This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time” (T.in.1:1,2,3,4,5; italics omitted ) . As an example, college students have nothing to say about the courses listed in the school catalog, but they are free to pick which courses they will take and when — at least with regard to electives. Our situation is similar. Our decision maker has already established the curriculum of our lives, but our choice now lies with which teacher we will choose to re-experience this script: the ego or the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we accept the curriculum, “it is already learned” — we simply accept the learning that is there.
Q #1243: From what I understand, there is no world — it is an illusion of a thought of separation set up to maintain our egos. Does this mean that there are no special “places”? I’m thinking particularly of Ramana Maharshi and the mountain Arunachala. Ken has spoken about him as an enlightened being, and from what I’ve read and felt being there, it’s absolutely true. I felt drawn to the place, like there was a presence behind the mountain itself. Could this be? Certainly Ramana Maharshi was drawn there. When I went I swear I could feel the presence thirty miles away. Is this part of the “script” or an idea of the “ending” that we’re all destined to? In other words, can a “place” work on both a physical and spiritual level?
A: Correct. If there is no world, then it follows that there are no special places. This is what we refer to as Level One in A Course in Miracles : statements of absolute truth, the contrast between truth and illusion. If we could accept this without reservation, we would know beyond all doubt that we are not our bodies; and then all but the perfect Oneness of God’s Love would be gone. Since we are too fearful of full acceptance of that absolute truth, we allow only its reflection into our awareness, which is where Level Two discussions in the Course come in. On this level, Jesus contrasts the ego’s thought system with the Holy Spirit’s, and he teaches us that we are always choosing one or the other. This is the only content in our minds. The content with which we identify (the ego’s or the Holy Spirit’s) will govern how we perceive everything, without exception.
In light of these two levels, if you experience inner peace in certain locations or circumstances (the form), it is solely because you first chose Jesus or the Holy Spirit as your teacher in your mind (the content). (For the purposes of this discussion, we will skip the issue of the false sense of peace that can come through denial.) Nothing outside you can either give you peace or take it away. Peace is within you as your inheritance as God’s Son. This is at the heart of the message of A Course in Miracles . Learning that is the means of remembering that we never truly separated from God. Accordingly, what we want to learn is that external things that inspire us serve as reminders of what is always within us. The mistake we make — owing to the prodding of our body-obsessed ego — is to begin to worship the external place or thing as if it held special or spiritual qualities. The Course would have us learn that nothing in this world or the body is either holy or unholy. We can make it holy, so to speak, by using it or relating to it as a means of fulfilling our purpose of forgiveness. As we choose Jesus as our teacher more and more, we will be attracted more and more to the love and peace within us; and we will become less inclined to attribute our internal state of peace or lack of it to external conditions.
Jesus puts everything in perspective for us in this one moving statement: “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love” (T.26.IX.6:1) .