ACIM Supplemental Reading for December 9
This writing is almost the last poem Helen wrote. It was published as a single work, but Helen actually considered it to be two poems. In Absence from Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of “A Course in Miracles,” Kenneth Wapnick discusses this poem (p. 413-14, 2nd Ed.) and states that Helen asked him to draw a line to divide what she considered to be the two poems — one with a Christmas/New Year’s theme and one with an Easter theme. Apparently there was a mistake in publishing this as one poem, although the combining of themes makes for an interesting and inspiring poetic message. Out of respect for Helen’s wishes a dividing line has been inserted.
THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
You think Him dead Who rose again for you,
And so you cannot see the shining light
In which you are delivered. Come, My child,
And judge Him not. He is not dead. So bright
His radiance that nothing still remains
Obscured from Heaven in the doubt of night.
So still the birth you did not understand
Who came to you. Before your frightened eyes
The Lord of light and life appears to fail
His promises of Heaven’s grace, and dies
Forever on a cross. Nor can you see
The Child of hope Who in a manger lies.
The wise are silent. Stand you by a while
And let the wise men show you what they see
That came of you from stillness and from peace
Which rest in you, but speak to them of Me.
And then be comforted. The living Lord
Has come again where He has willed to be.
Wait now for morning. In the silence hear
The winged whispering that hails the Son
In quiet certainty and lovely calm
Whom death released to life. He is the One
For Whom you wait. Then look again on Him,
And join His benediction, “It is done.”
He held you in His arms as He arose,
And death was overcome. Yet on the hill
Of dying you had fixed your eyes, it seemed
As if forever. Now you wait until
You look beyond the end you thought you saw,
And see the Child Who is your first-born still.
Think of this Child Who comes again. He is
The Son Who seemed to die. He offers you
The motherhood the shadow of a cross
Appeared to take away. Yet round it grew
The lilies of rebirth. Accept again
The deathless One, the holy Son you knew.
See not an ending where beginning is,
Nor dark in sunlight. You who came to mourn,
Remember now the ancient song of birth,
And lay aside the signs of grieving worn
By childless mothers. Lift your heart to Him,
For once again to you a Child is born.
By Helen Schucman,
January 1, 1978
From The Gifts of God©, pp. 100-101
Published by the Foundation for Inner Peace
Reproduced here with permission
Reproduced with the kind permission of the
Foundation for A Course in Miracles
which holds copyright in this work, ©1982
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 9
I am affected only by my thoughts.
It needs but this to let salvation come to all the world. For in this single thought is everyone released at last from fear. Now has he learned that no one frightens him, and nothing can endanger him. He has no enemies, and he is safe from all external things. His thoughts can frighten him, but since these thoughts belong to him alone, he has the power to change them and exchange each fear thought for a happy thought of love. He crucified himself. Yet God has planned that His beloved Son will be redeemed.
Your plan is sure, my Father,—only Yours. All other plans will fail. And I will have thoughts that will frighten me, until I learn that You have given me the only Thought that leads me to salvation. Mine alone will fail, and lead me nowhere. But the Thought You gave me promises to lead me home, because it holds Your promise to Your Son.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #782(i): Lesson 190 “I choose the joy of God instead of pain” states: “For pain proclaims God cruel. How could it be real in any form?” (W.pI.190.1:5,6) (1) If pain is caused by other human beings, could that be real? Jesus, in his Passion, tortured by other human beings, was in great pain before he died. Was his pain real or was that an illusion?
A: Sometimes in A Course in Miracles Jesus is speaking only about absolute truth, where he is contrasting truth and illusion. On that level (Level One), only God and the realm of Heaven is real; all else is illusory. That is the level Jesus is speaking on in the statements you refer to. Another example of Level One occurs in paragraph 3: “If God is real, there is no pain. If pain is real, there is no God” (W.pI.190.3:3,4) . So Jesus is saying that in no sense could pain be real. If it were real, then God could not be God.
Jesus also talks to us on another level (Level Two), because we think there is reality outside Heaven. We think we are real and that we exist in a real physical universe. Even though Jesus knows that existence outside Heaven is not real, he talks to us as though it were real, because that is all that we can understand. The lesson he wants to help us learn is that we could never experience pain unless we made a decision in our minds to feel victimized, and that would be only because we would be trying to project our guilt out of our minds onto something external. Thus, nothing in the world or the body is the way it appears to be. Everything is the effect of a cause, which is always a decision made in the mind.
With regard to the Passion, Jesus explains in the text that the biblical accounts of his crucifixion are not accurate: “Atonement without Sacrifice” in Chapter 3 (T.3.I); “The Message of the Crucifixion” in Chapter 6 (T.6.I) . He did not perceive himself as a sacrificial lamb or as persecuted. What is so radical about the Course is that it teaches us that everything happens in our minds. There was no guilt in his mind; therefore he could not experience pain, despite what appeared to be happening to his body. Likewise, he teaches us that the resurrection had nothing to do with his body. Resurrection refers to our awakening from the dream that we are separate from God and that we are guilty sinners deserving of punishment. In that sense, the resurrection took place before the crucifixion.
You may wish to read our book A Course in Miracles and Christianity: A Dialogue , co-authored by Kenneth Wapnick and a Catholic priest philosopher/theologian. This dialogue between two friends shows the important differences between traditional biblical Christianity and what the Course teaches. From beginning to end, the two systems are shown to be mutually exclusive thought systems. It is not as if you cannot practice both, but it would help to be aware of how the two systems differ.