ACIM Supplemental Reading for December 16
The Poetry of Helen Schucman
THE CIRCULAR WAY
The transient things are not of God.
For He Creates like to Himself. How can it be
That what the One Eternal calls His Own
Has but a little life, with breath on loan
And mortgaged unto death? We seem to go
From birth to certain death, and do not know
What goes before or after. Yet we tread
A golden circle, and are surely led
Back to the Source of our infinity,
To which we will return as certainty.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 16
Today I learn the law of love; that what
I give my brother is my gift to me.
This is Your law, my Father, not my own. I have not understood what giving means, and thought to save what I desired for myself alone. And as I looked upon the treasure that I thought I had, I found an empty place where nothing ever was or is or will be. Who can share a dream? And what can an illusion offer me? Yet he whom I forgive will give me gifts beyond the worth of anything on earth. Let my forgiven brothers fill my store with Heaven’s treasures, which alone are real. Thus is the law of love fulfilled. And thus Your Son arises and returns to You.
How near we are to one another, as we go to God. How near is He to us. How close the ending of the dream of sin, and the redemption of the Son of God.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1079: I recently read the book Miracle Detective by Randal Sullivan. The book is basically about apparitions of Mary all over the world. He also discusses other types of miracles as reported by the Catholic Church. Near the end of the book he interviews a priest who said he knew Helen Schucman, the scribe of A Course in Miracles . He reported that near the end of her life, he visited her often in the hospital where he heard her “bad mouth” the Course, saying how she wished that she were never involved. He said that this made him seriously concerned about the origin of the Course, as maybe not from Jesus. This is absolutely not going to stop me from doing the Course, but I was curious about whether Helen actually felt like this.
A: Kenneth’s book Absence from Felicity gives a comprehensive account of Helen’s life and relationship with Jesus and the Course, which is always helpful as a context for considering reports such as the one you mention. As Kenneth relates, near the end of her life Helen suffered from pancreatic cancer, which had gone undetected for a long time. It had impinged on her liver, and as a result, her whole body, including her brain, was extremely toxic. This poisoning throughout her body led her to act in ways that were not normal for her. One of these uncharacteristic expressions was to say negative things about the Course. Until her final illness, however, she never did anything like this. Again, Kenneth’s book provides a helpful context for understanding this kind of behavior.
Q #1080: Can you forgive the ego?
A: No, you cannot forgive an illusion. To say you forgive the ego would give it a reality it does not have, and would mean that the separation did occur. Forgiveness is a change of mind, whereby belief in the illusion of separation (the ego) is replaced with the memory of God’s Love (the Holy Spirit). The separation did not happen (T.6.II.10) and therefore there is nothing to forgive, which is why Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles : “The miracle (forgiveness) does nothing. All it does is to undo. And thus it cancels out the interference to what has been done” (T.28.I.1:1,2,3) . Forgiveness restores to awareness the power of the mind to choose. In another passage Jesus makes this point again in a slightly different way: “…forgive the Son of God for what he did not do ” (T.17.III.1:5) . Nothing anyone does has any effect on our peace. Peace is thrown away when the mind decides to side with the ego. The mind then “forgives” itself by choosing the Holy Spirit instead. Choosing the ego, which is a choice for nothing, is thus undone/ forgiven.
Q #1081: It is said that without God’s wish nothing can move. Everything is God’s wish. Thy will be done. Then why give a credit to God for goodness and blame the ego for evil? Is not God beyond that duality?
A: Yes, God is beyond the duality of good and evil. There are no words that truly define or describe God. Anything that we say about Him comes from the dualistic perspective of the split mind. As Jesus tells us: “Everything you recognize you identify with externals, something outside itself. You cannot even think of God without a body, or in some form you think you recognize” (T.18.VIII.1:6,7). The ego thus uses its own descriptive terms for its version of God, but they have nothing to do with God. As a great philosopher once said, “God made man in his image, and man returned the favor.” This man-made image incorporates opposing concepts such as good and evil, which are inherent in the ego’s thought system. Since the ego’s very existence is sustained by opposition and differences, the God it claims as father has to share these characteristics. Most important to the ego’s God is the relationship He is imagined to have with His separated Sons. In this relationship we find the source of all the ideas about God’s supposed Will for His separated Sons. We learn in the Course that God cannot have a separate Will for separated Sons, since separation from God is impossible (T.6.II.10) . Thus, God does not move anything, nor could He possibly have any awareness of the world of form. This would be true even if the world were not made as an attack on Him, which is impossible since the world is made precisely to be perceived as outside the Mind of God. Oneness with His Son is all He knows. That is His Will.
A Course in Miracles uses the term “will” as a property of spirit, while “wish” is an activity of the ego. God’s Will, as defined in the “Glossary-Index” by Kenneth Wapnick, is “the expression of God’s being” (Glossary-Index, p. 222) . In other words, it is Who He is, and it is a Being/Will He shares with His Son. That Will is reflected in the dream in the part of the mind that remembers God (the Holy Spirit): “The Holy Spirit is the way in which God’s Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven. Both Heaven and earth are in you, because the call of both is in your mind (T.5.II.8:4,5). In this passage Jesus gives new meaning to the phrase from the Lord’s Prayer: “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” He refers to the split mind that chooses between the ego (earth) and the Holy Spirit (the memory of Heaven). One could say that “evil” lies in choosing the ego and goodness in the choice for the Holy Spirit, but the Course would not make that kind of distinction because it tells us we are choosing between the truth and an illusion. Illusion cannot be given reality, or the power of “evil” to have effects. It simply is not real. What most distinguishes the Course’s teaching about God’s Will from traditional Christian belief is that God’s Will is not done on earth; He does not know about earth, bodies, separation, or duality. He does not even know goodness because the idea of goodness is made up in contrast to evil. The Course uses the dualistic language and concepts that we understand only to lead us to the oneness we have forgotten. Though it has been forgotten, it has not been extinguished nor changed in any way. No matter how much we believe the madness of the ego we remain one with God’s Will: “Whatever your reactions to the Holy Spirit’s Voice may be, whatever voice you choose to listen to, whatever strange thoughts may occur to you, God’s Will is done” (T.13.XI.5:4). Therein lies our hope and comfort.