ACIM Text Reading for November 9
Clarification of Terms
Forget not once this journey is begun the end is certain. Doubt along the way will come and go and go to come again. Yet is the ending sure. No one can fail to do what God appointed him to do. When you forget, remember that you walk with Him and with His Word upon your heart. Who could despair when hope like this is his? Illusions of despair may seem to come, but learn how not to be deceived by them. Behind each one there is reality and there is God. Why would you wait for this and trade it for illusions, when His Love is but an instant farther on the road where all illusions end? The end is sure and guaranteed by God. Who stands before a lifeless image when a step away the Holy of the Holies opens up an ancient door that leads beyond the world?
You are a stranger here. But you belong to Him Who loves you as He loves Himself. Ask but my help to roll the stone away, and it is done according to His Will. We havebegun the journey. Long ago the end was written in the stars and set into the Heavens with a shining Ray that held it safe within eternity and through all time as well. And holds it still; unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.
Be not afraid. We only start again an ancient journey long ago begun that but seems new. We have begun again upon a road we traveled on before and lost our way a little while. And now we try again. Our new beginning has the certainty the journey lacked till now. Look up and see His Word among the stars, where He has set your Name along with His. Look up and find your certain destiny the world would hide but God would have you see.
Let us wait here in silence, and kneel down an instant in our gratitude to Him Who called to us and helped us hear His Call. And then let us arise and go in faith along the way to Him. Now we are sure we do not walk alone. For God is here, and with Him all our brothers. Now we know that we will never lose the way again. The song begins again which had been stopped only an instant, though it seems to be unsung forever. What is here begun will grow in life and strength and hope, until the world is still an instant and forgets all that the dream of sin had made of it.
Let us go out and meet the newborn world, knowing that Christ has been reborn in it, and that the holiness of this rebirth will last forever. We had lost our way but He has found it for us. Let us go and bid Him welcome Who returns to us to celebrate salvation and the end of all we thought we made. The morning star of this new day looks on a different world where God is welcomed and His Son with Him. We who complete Him offer thanks to Him, as He gives thanks to us. The Son is still, and in the quiet God has given him enters his home and is at peace at last.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 9
This instant is the only time there is.
I have conceived of time in such a way that I defeat my aim. If I elect to reach past time to timelessness, I must change my perception of what time is for. Time’s purpose cannot be to keep the past and future one. The only interval in which I can be saved from time is now. For in this instant has forgiveness come to set me free. The birth of Christ is now, without a past or future. He has come to give His present blessing to the world, restoring it to timelessness and love. And love is ever-present, here and now.
Thanks for this instant, Father. It is now I am redeemed. This instant is the time You have appointed for Your Son’s release, and for salvation of the world in him.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #487: In your tape set “Form vs. Content: Sex and Money,” you state that when we have issues with money — the lack of or an obsession with it — that there is usually someone in our past that needs forgiveness. I am confused here because I thought we always dealt in the present and not in the past. How do we go about forgiving the past? Do we just simply turn it over to the Holy Spirit and let a healing take place and in so doing let go of any attachment to the past, any anger and resentment?
A: We almost always think that our problems, issues, and conditions are caused by someone or something outside ourselves — something that happened in the past, whether that is ten minutes ago or ten years ago, or the beginning of time. “I am the thing you made of me, and as you look on me, you stand condemned because of what I am” (T.31.V.5:3). That is our theme song as egos, even though it may not be in our awareness; so delving under the surface a bit often reveals the culprit — the one we are blaming for our present plight. Examples abound of people who believe they are not worthy of wealth, and that self-image usually has a connection to a parent or some other person who had a formative influence in their lives — school, church/temple, etc. An obsessive need to amass a fortune is a symbol of something else — it could be way of dealing with an agonizing, painful sense of spiritual or psychological poverty, which, again, undoubtedly is being blamed on some figure from the past.
If someone comes to mind when you think about money issues, then all you need to do is ask for help to recognize that you have projected your own guilt onto this person and are falsely accusing him/her of being the cause of your current problems. If there is blame, then the relationship is very much alive in your mind, even though it outwardly appears to be a thing of the past. That is all Jesus is ever referring to when he teaches us about relationships — it is always about what is going on in our minds, not what seems to be going on between two bodies. The ego uses the past to reinforce our sense of victimization — how can we change what is already over? Jesus corrects this by teaching us that time is just part of the ego’s strategy to limit us and our ability to forgive. Both blame (projecting our guilt) and forgiveness are entirely activities or dynamics in our minds, and therefore time is irrelevant. The body, too, is simply a smokescreen thrown up by the ego to thwart and complicate an otherwise simple, clear process.
Now it is not necessary to pinpoint the specific person or persons in the past whom we are holding responsible for our present condition. It may be helpful, but that insight alone is not forgiveness. It is sufficient to assume that we are blaming someone, and that that same guilt is being projected onto someone currently in our lives; so if we were able to completely forgive that person in the present, then everyone else we have held grievances against would be forgiven as well.
Finally, it is important to notice that this is all about problems and issues with money. One can be perfectly at peace with little or no money, or with billions of dollars. The peace of God, our natural inheritance, is not conditional on our financial status, or anything else that has to do with the world or the body.
Q #488: From what you have said in previous answers, I understand that the world of form may or may not change for the better when you begin to give up belief in the illusion and choose the Holy Spirit as your teacher. But in Question #273 you state “Since hell is defined as the absence of God, the world becomes hell in our experience; not a symbolic expression of it. A Course in Miracles is very clear that God cannot be found in this world of form. However, when an individual chooses to identify with the part of the mind that holds the memory of God, the world becomes a reflection of that choice, and is no longer perceived as hell: ‘The world becomes a place of joy, abundance, charity and endless giving. It is now so like to Heaven that it quickly is transformed into the light that it reflects’” (W.pII.249.1:5,6). So, are you saying that when you choose the Holy Spirit as your teacher the “world of form” will be this place of joy, abundance and so on? Or are you referring to the world as the “real” world that has nothing to do with form? How do I put into practice the idea of seeing everything outside of me as a reflection of God?
A: The answer to your question lies in understanding one of the most important principles of the Course’s teaching: “There is no world apart from what you wish, and herein lies your ultimate release. Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly. Ideas leave not their source” (W.pI.132.5:1,2,3).
“What you wish” is either the ego’s thought system or the Holy Spirit’s. Thinking with the ego makes our seeming existence in the world hell in our perception, because we have chosen against God. Thinking with the Holy Spirit makes it like Heaven in our perception, as stated in the passage you quote. These are the “ideas” that do not leave their source in the mind. The world of form is perceived and experienced according to one of these two thought systems. When we change our mind from the ego’s thought of separation to the Holy Spirit’s thought that the separation is not real, our perception changes. This results in a change in our experience of the world of form, but not necessarily a change in the form itself. What was perceived as a place of conflict, hatred, and pain, becomes a place of beauty, joy, and peace, in our perception. For example; where others were judged as vicious sinners, they are now seen without judgment as mistaken brothers calling for love. This also explains why two people may be in the same situation in form, yet experience or perceive it in very different ways. From the ego’s perspective, adverse circumstances are always perceived as unjust victimization (hell). The Holy Spirit’s perception, on the other hand, tells us that no matter how apparently catastrophic our situation may be, it cannot take away our peace (“like to Heaven”). The important difference emphasized in Question #273 is that hell does not actually exist; Heaven does.
The change in perception takes place through the process of forgiveness, whereby our judgments are recognized and released to the Holy Spirit to be transformed. Only this is what we need to practice, and only this will change our experience of the world of form. The Holy Spirit’s perception replaces ours, once we have done our part. We are not the ones who generate a new perception. Because the Holy Spirit is the symbol for the part of our minds that holds the memory of God’s Love, when we choose His thought system it is this Love that is reflected in the love and beauty that is perceived in others and the world. It is perceived equally in everyone without exception, not just in those whom we love and see as “innocent” by the ego’s standards. And yes, seeing only with the eyes of the Holy Spirit’s perception is the real world’s vision: “Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you?… you will see the Son of God. You will behold the beauty the Holy Spirit loves to look upon, and which He thanks the Father for. He was created to see this for you, until you learned to see it for yourself” (T.17.II.1:1,6,7,8).