ACIM Text Reading for October 18
Manual for Teachers
Is Each One to Be Judged in the End?
Indeed, yes! No one can escape God’s Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him. He will hear his sinlessness proclaimed around and around the world, setting it free as God’s Final Judgment on him is received. This is the Judgment in which salvation lies. This is the Judgment that will set him free. This is the Judgment in which all things are freed with him. Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:
- “Holy are you, eternal, free and whole,
- At peace forever in the Heart of God.
- Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?”
Is this your judgment on yourself, teacher of God? Do you believe that this is wholly true? No; not yet, not yet. But this is still your goal; why you are here. It is your function to prepare yourself to hear this Judgment and to recognize that it is true. One instant of complete belief in this, and you will go beyond belief to Certainty. One instant out of time can bring time’s end. Judge not, for you but judge yourself, and thus delay this Final Judgment. What is your judgment of the world, teacher of God? Have you yet learned to stand aside and hear the Voice of Judgment in yourself? Or do you still attempt to take His role from Him? Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.
You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. God’s Judgment waits for you to set you free. What can the world hold out to you, regardless of your judgments on its gifts, that you would rather have? You will be judged, and judged in fairness and in honesty. There is no deceit in God. His promises are sure. Only remember that. His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone, will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it to your heart, and offer it to all the world to keep it safe.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 18
My present happiness is all I see.
Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see. Eyes that begin to open see at last. And I would have Christ’s vision come to me this very day. What I perceive without God’s Own Correction for the sight I made is frightening and painful to behold. Yet I would not allow my mind to be deceived by the belief the dream I made is real an instant longer. This the day I seek my present happiness, and look on nothing else except the thing I seek.
With this resolve I come to You, and ask Your strength to hold me up today, while I but seek to do Your Will. You cannot fail to hear me, Father. What I ask have You already given me. And I am sure that I will see my happiness today.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #780: A Course in Miracles is quite clear that the body is nothing, feels nothing, and that pain is a fabrication of the mind. Having said this I come back to my question. In answering Question #542, you wrote: “So it is even possible to break a leg and not only not become upset, but feel no pain, as over time our identification shifts from our body to our mind through practicing forgiveness.” And to Question #545: “What happened to Jesus’ body at the end of his earthly ‘life’ illustrates this principle. His body did not represent any thought of death or disease or pain in his mind, since his mind was free of guilt. He did not use his body to reinforce a belief in sin and victimization in his mind (T.6.I.5) — and so it remained incorruptible in his perception, despite how its form may have seemed to change.”
If I break my leg, I would feel extreme pain even though the Course says physically this is impossible, because there is no leg to break. Question #542 says that a shift from body to mind comes only through practicing forgiveness, which I understand means to forgive my brother for what he has not done. That is, nothing happened and no reaction is required.
History speaks of Jesus dying horribly upon a cross, which must mean that my mind did not accept his thoughts of himself but rather chose to destroy him for reasons that you have mentioned many times in this forum. Therein lies the frustration. Intellectually I understand what I do to him I do to myself, yet after many years of practice I remain deeply rooted in the world.
A: You’re being so hard on yourself! It can be helpful to understand the Course’s metaphysical principles and to know where in the end Jesus is leading us, but not if we use its explanations of what will be the final steps in our healing as a measuring stick against which to judge ourselves now, as it sounds as if you’re doing. The fact that Jesus knew he was not his body (T.6.I.4) in no way means that he expects us right now to accept and experience ourselves as anything other than bodies, as we begin to put his teachings on forgiveness into practice. He is not asking us to deny that the pain we seem to experience in our bodies feels very real to us, nor to deny what our brothers seem to do to us also seems to be very real and to have effects on us.
Jesus is only asking that we begin to question our interpretation of everything we experience and be open to an alternative explanation, which must come from outside our ego/body-based thought system. And to be able to begin to make the shift, we must first understand the purpose behind the interpretations we give to all of our experiences as bodies now. We want the pain to be experienced in our bodies and we want to see others as attacking us so that we can remain victims of forces outside of our control. And consequently, we remain unaware of the real cause of our pain — our decision to see ourselves as separate from love. But again, Jesus is not asking that we embrace his interpretation of our lives, but rather that we be willing to question the validity of ours. He offers his, not so that we try to force ourselves to look at situations in the same way he does, but just so that we can come to recognize that there may be a very reasonable alternative to our interpretation.
If I think my immediate goal is to see the body as nothing, pain as unreal, and my brother as doing nothing to me, I will find the Course a very frustrating and self-defeating process. And Jesus would be an unreasonable teacher if those were his expectations for me. But they are not. The Course is intended to be a very gentle process that begins by asking us to accept ourselves where we think we are. And it also is asking us to be willing to be honest with ourselves about what the outcome has been while we have continued to put ourselves in charge of our own happiness. For if we are honest, we will have to admit that we have not been doing a very good job. It is through recognition of our own failure to attain peace and happiness that we become willing to allow Jesus to be in charge of the thoughts in our mind. And that is all that forgiveness is really about — letting go of our own judgments and interpretations of the events and people in our lives so that Jesus can offer us an alternative interpretation that does not reinforce separation and guilt.
Over time, as part of a lifetime process of practicing forgiveness, we will have less and less of an investment in our own interpretation of what is happening to us and, in particular, who and what should be held responsible for our unhappiness. Increasingly, we will be willing to turn away from the belief in guilt in our mind and, as a result, will have less of a need to project guilt outside our mind onto others and onto our own body. Very gradually, as a secondary effect of the forgiveness process, although not our focus, we will find we are less identified with the body and its needs, and we will increasingly come to recognize that all pain comes from a thought in the mind and has nothing to do with the body. But this understanding is not where we begin, nor will it be our experience until we are well along our path of forgiveness.
By the way, most New Testament scholars agree that the accounts of Jesus’ death in the gospels were not written by eye witnesses to the events of his life. And so the narratives, to the degree that they were intended to portray actual happenings, most certainly were colored by the projections of the narrators, who believed in the reality of sin, guilt, pain, suffering and the body, as their theology clearly demonstrates. And to the degree that we accept the same theology of the ego, we too will believe that Jesus must have suffered in his crucifixion and that we are somehow responsible for it. The fact that he lives in our mind (T.11.VI.7:3,4) , unaccusing and completely accepting, suggests otherwise, and his words in the “The Message of the Crucifixion” (T.6.I) provide that alternative interpretation. And so, while you may believe that what you have done to Jesus you do to yourself, his message is that we have done nothing to him, and so therefore, over time, as we learn to forgive, we will come to realize that we have done nothing to ourselves.