ACIM Text Reading for November 6
Clarification of Terms
True Perception – Knowledge
The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others. But the time will come when all things visible will have an end.
The body’s eyes are therefore not the means by which the real world can be seen, for the illusions that they look upon must lead to more illusions of reality. And so they do. For everything they see not only will not last, but lends itself to thoughts of sin and guilt. While everything that God created is forever without sin and therefore is forever without guilt.
Knowledge is not the remedy for false perception since, being another level, they can never meet. The one correction possible for false perception must be true perception. It will not endure. But for the time it lasts it comes to heal. For true perception is a remedy with many names. Forgiveness, salvation, Atonement, true perception, all are one. They are the one beginning, with the end to lead to oneness far beyond themselves. True perception is the means by which the world is saved from sin, for sin does not exist. And it is this that true perception sees.
The world stands like a block before Christ’s face. But true perception looks on it as nothing more than just a fragile veil, so easily dispelled that it can last no longer than an instant. It is seen at last for only what it is. And now it cannot fail to disappear, for now there is an empty place made clean and ready. Where destruction was perceived the face of Christ appears, and in that instant is the world forgot, with time forever ended as the world spins into nothingness from where it came.
A world forgiven cannot last. It was the home of bodies. But forgiveness looks past bodies. This is its holiness; this is how it heals. The world of bodies is the world of sin, for only if there were a body is sin possible. From sin comes guilt as surely as forgiveness takes all guilt away. And once all guilt is gone what more remains to keep a separated world in place? For place has gone as well, along with time. Only the body makes the world seem real, for being separate it could not remain where separation is impossible. Forgiveness proves it is impossible because it sees it not. And what you then will overlook will not be understandable to you, just as its presence once had been your certainty.
This is the shift that true perception brings: What was projected out is seen within, and there forgiveness lets it disappear. For there the altar to the Son is set, and there his Father is remembered. Here are all illusions brought to truth and laid upon the altar. What is seen outside must lie beyond forgiveness, for it seems to be forever sinful. Where is hope while sin is seen as outside? What remedy can guilt expect? But seen within your mind, guilt and forgiveness for an instant lie together, side by side, upon one altar. There at last are sickness and its single remedy joined in one healing brightness. God has come to claim His Own. Forgiveness is complete.
And now God’s knowledge, changeless, certain, pure and wholly understandable, enters its kingdom. Gone is perception, false and true alike. Gone is forgiveness, for its task is done. And gone are bodies in the blazing light upon the altar to the Son of God. God knows it is His Own, as it is his. And here They join, for here the face of Christ has shone away time’s final instant, and now is the last perception of the world without a purpose and without a cause. For where God’s memory has come at last there is no journey, no belief in sin, no walls, no bodies, and the grim appeal of guilt and death is there snuffed out forever.
O my brothers, if you only knew the peace that will envelop you and hold you safe and pure and lovely in the Mind of God, you could but rush to meet Him where His altar is. Hallowed your Name and His, for they are joined here in this holy place. Here He leans down to lift you up to Him, out of illusions into holiness; out of the world and to eternity; out of all fear and given back to love.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 6
Conflicting wishes cannot be my will.
Father, Your Will is mine, and only that. There is no other will for me to have. Let me not try to make another will, for it is senseless and will cause me pain. Your Will alone can bring me happiness, and only Yours exists. If I would have what only You can give, I must accept Your Will for me, and enter into peace where conflict is impossible. Your Son is one with You in being and in will, and nothing contradicts the holy truth that I remain as You created me.
And with this prayer we enter silently into a state where conflict cannot come, because we join our holy will with God’s, in recognition that they are the same.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #256: In my relationship with my boss, I am having difficulty knowing the difference between the right and wrong mind. I try to practice the principles of generosity, tolerance, and patience described in the Manual for Teachers, but we have communication problems regarding my salary. My earnings change at his whim, making me feel powerless and underpaid. I am afraid that I will lose my job if I ask for what I think is really my due. Though money is not everything to me, I read in the Psychotherapy pamphlet that an unhealed healer may demand money where the Holy Spirit might guide otherwise.
I seem to be afraid of everything and always at fault somewhere. Is this the pain of a special relationship? Can you tell me if I am trying to be too good? Am I trying to apply the principles of A Course in Miracles with the ego, fearing the true guidance of the Holy Spirit? Do I suffer from an inverse form of poverty, which expresses itself in false generosity?
A: In studying the Course, it is important to remember that it speaks to us on different levels. We are learning to undo the ego thought system with which we have identified, while learning an entirely new way of perceiving. We seem to have a foot in two worlds and this can be very confusing. The wrong mind sees the problem as outside of the mind caused by an external agent, in this case your boss. The right mind recognizes that the cause is in the mind and the world of form is the effect. It does not blame any situation on anything outside of the mind. An easy way to distinguish which part of the mind has been chosen, is to ask if you are attributing the cause of your upset to something outside of yourself. This is a simple way of distinguishing the wrong mind from the right mind. Recognizing that the cause of any upset is a choice in the mind is the beginning of right minded thinking. It is not the whole story, but it is a beginning.
Since we still believe we are separate, individual bodies in the world, we have to deal with the world and our relationships accordingly. We continue to do whatever we must do to meet our perceived needs in the body. There is nothing wrong with working out an agreement with your boss about your salary. You can be honest about what you feel would be a just wage, and perhaps request a schedule for changes so your salary doesn’t fluctuate unpredictably, if that is possible. This is no different from any of the things we do to take care of the body. The Course does not give any guidelines for behavior on the level of form. Rather, it is teaching us to expose the thoughts and judgments we hold about ourselves and others in our minds, so the mind can be healed. Only then will the characteristics of a teacher of God, described in the Manual, flow naturally from the healed mind. They are not meant to be “exercised” or “practiced” while there are underlying beliefs that oppose them. The practice of the Course rests in finding all the hidden beliefs that are in operation in your relationship with your boss, and with everyone. These are the beliefs in separation, scarcity, and victimization that do in fact make all our relationships special. The way to undo the specialness is to expose the beliefs by recognizing them and bringing them to the Holy Spirit to be transformed. We are not being asked to practice holy qualities that we do not in fact possess, such as detachment from material wealth or other “virtuous” mind sets. We are not being asked to be “good” at all (by the way, neither are we expected to go out of our way to “bad”). We are asked only to look at our beliefs with a willingness to have them transformed. That is not always as easy as it seems, because we have such a desire to hold on to them. We are asked to become aware of our attachment to these beliefs and how much we do not want them to be changed. We cling to them in spite of the guilt and pain they cause. Actually it is because of the guilt and pain that we do cling to them. This is what the Course refers to as the attraction of guilt: “The sick attraction of guilt must be recognized for what it is. For having been made real to you, it is essential to look at it clearly, and by withdrawing your investment in it, to learn to let it go” (T.15.VII.3:1,2).
This is the guidance the Holy Spirit gives. There is no imposition of His thought system, and no behavior in the world that is required. Behind all concerns about money, poverty, and injustice is the feeling of lack and deprivation that comes from the belief that our separation from God has truly been accomplished. That is the fundamental belief that the Holy Spirit is inviting us to question. It is the belief that underlies all the conflict with your boss. While you work with your boss toward reaching an agreement about your salary, you can apply the teachings of the Course by being very honest with yourself about what you are feeling, and the thoughts of judgment that occur to you. These thoughts and feelings represent the choice to identify with the ego’s thought system in the mind, which is where healing is needed. When they are brought to the light of the Holy Spirit they are gradually transformed and replaced with His peace. Only then will the issue of more or less money be irrelevant, and generosity, tolerance, and patience will replace all fear. Until that point is reached, honesty with yourself about your perceived needs, and honesty with your boss in searching for an agreement is the best place for practicing the Course. Believing that an agreement is possible is already a recognition that to some extent you and your boss do not have separate interests. And that is the beginning of healing.