ACIM Supplemental Reading for November 20
Song of Prayer
S-3.in.1. Prayer has both aids and witnesses which make the steep ascent more gentle and more sure, easing the pain of fear and offering the comfort and the promises of hope. 2 Forgiveness’ witness and an aid to prayer, a giver of assurance of success in ultimate attainment of the goal, is healing. 3 Its importance should not be too strongly emphasized, for healing is a sign or symbol of forgiveness’ strength, and only an effect or shadow of a change of mind about the goal of prayer.
I. The Cause of Sickness
S-3.I.1. Do not mistake effect for cause, nor think that sickness is apart and separate from what its cause must be. 2 It is a sign, a shadow of an evil thought that seems to have reality and to be just, according to the usage of the world. 3 It is external proof of inner “sins,” and witnesses to unforgiving thoughts that injure and would hurt the Son of God. 4 Healing the body is impossible, and this is shown by the brief nature of the ” cure.” 5 The body yet must die, and so its healing but delays its turning back to dust, where it was born and will return.
S-3.I.2. The body’s cause is unforgiveness of the Son of God. 2 It has not left its source, and in its pain and aging and the mark of death upon it this is clearly shown. 3 Fearful and frail it seems to be to those who think their life is tied to its command and linked to its unstable, tiny breath. 4 Death stares at them as every moment goes irrevocably past their grasping hands, which cannot hold them back. 5 And they feel fear as bodies change and sicken. 6 For they sense the heavy scent of death upon their hearts.
S-3.I.3. The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. 2 Only that can give rememberance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love. 3 Forgiveness must be given by a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows on the holy face of Christ, among which sickness should be seen as one. 4 Nothing but that; the sign of judgment made by brother upon brother, and the Son of God upon himself. 5 For he has damned his body as his prison, and forgot that it is he who gave this role to it.
S-3.I.4. What he has done now must God’s Son undo. 2 But not alone. 3 For he has thrown away the prison’s key; his holy sinlessness and the remembrance of his Father’s Love. 4 Yet help is given to him in the Voice his Father placed in him. 5 The power to heal is now his Father’s gift, for through His Voice He still can reach His Son, reminding him the body may become his chosen home, but it will never be his home in truth.
S-3.I.5. Distinctions therefore must be made between true healing and its faulty counterpart. 2 The world of opposites is healing’s place, for what in Heaven could there be to heal? 3 As prayer within the world can ask amiss and seeming charity forgive to kill, so healing can be false as well as true; a witness to the power of the world or to the everlasting Love of God.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 20
I came for the salvation of the world.
Here is a thought from which all arrogance has been removed, and only truth remains. For arrogance opposes truth. But when there is no arrogance the truth will come immediately, and fill up the space the ego left unoccupied by lies. Only the ego can be limited, and therefore it must seek for aims which are curtailed and limiting. The ego thinks that what one gains, totality must lose. And yet it is the Will of God I learn that what one gains is given unto all.
Father, Your Will is total. And the goal which stems from it shares its totality. What aim but the salvation of the world could You have given me? And what but this could be the Will my Self has shared with You?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1085: I have read on your Web site that God does not hear the prayers that we pray here from this illusory world. How can this be true since we are joined to God through our “right” mind? Also, as we are just ideas in the mind of God, and ideas leave not their source , how could God not hear them seeing as how we, and everything there is, is in the Mind of God? I understand from reading The Song of Prayer , that our prayers should be around forgiveness and about not making any decisions on our own each day. Does the Holy Spirit, and thus God, in fact, hear our prayers or do they only serve to strengthen our faith in the Holy Spirit and God’s plan for our salvation?
A: When we (as one Son) fell asleep and left our home in God, we took with us the memory of our true Identity — that is what is known in A Course in Miracles as our right mind. But since our separating from God is completely illusory, the right mind is as well. We can choose to remember that we are not separate from God, but this has nothing to do with God. God knows nothing of what is not real. The Holy Spirit is spoken of as the “remaining Communication Link between God and His separated Sons” (C.6.3:1) , but as with the other forms He seems to be for us within the dream — a Voice, a Guide, a Helper, etc. — He is in truth part of the “eternal formlessness of God” (C.6.5:8) . It is helpful to keep in mind that to get through to us, Jesus must use language that is meaningful to us; but his meaning is not always meant literally. Thus, whenever he is speaking about duality in any sense, his language must be understood metaphorically, not literally.
In truth, we exist only in the Mind of God, “a Oneness joined as One” (T.25.I.7:1) . But in our deluded state we do not think of ourselves as one with God; we think of ourselves as individuals trying to communicate with God Who is separate from us. There is no “we” in Heaven: “God shares His Fatherhood with you who are His Son, for He makes no distinctions in what is Himself and what is still Himself. What He creates is not apart from Him, and nowhere does the Father end, the Son begin as something separate from Him” (W.pI.132.12:3,4) . In Heaven, therefore, prayer is radically different from what we think it means in this illusory world of separate individuals, where it usually is some form of supplication or entreaty related to our needs. As one with our Source in Heaven, though, “we” could have no needs. Jesus thus says: “The Love They [Father and Son] share is what all prayer will be throughout eternity, when time is done. For such it was before time seemed to be” (S.1.in.1:7,8) .
While we still believe we exist as separate individuals, however, Jesus teaches us that prayer will take the form that best suits our needs (S.1.in.2:1) . It is a process, with different levels corresponding to where we are on our journey back to our natural state of oneness with each other and with God. But it is always for ourselves (S.1.II.6:1; III.1:1); it is part of our Atonement process. Prayer thus should be centered on forgiveness as much as possible, as it is the experience of forgiveness that leads us to the awareness that we already have what we need: “Prayer in its earlier forms [asking out of need] is an illusion, because there is no need for a ladder to reach what one has never left. Yet prayer is part of forgiveness as long as forgiveness, itself an illusion, remains unattained. Prayer is tied up with learning until the goal of learning has been reached. And then all things will be transformed together, and returned unblemished into the Mind of God” (S.1.II.8:3,4,5,6) .