ACIM Supplemental Reading for December 20
The Poetry of Helen Schucman
ARISE WITH ME
O You who came in winter and who left
Among the lilies, stay with me and fill
My eyes with glory, and my heart with love
That smiles forever on the world You saw,
And that You loved as You would have me love.
For with this vision I will look on You,
And recognize my Savior in all things
I did not understand. Now is the world
Reborn in me because I share Your Love.
Now in my healed and holy mind there dawns
The memory of God. And now I rise
To Him in all the loveliness I knew
When I was first created one with You.
By Helen Schucman,
January 1, 1974
From The Gifts of God©, pp. 82-3,
Published by the Foundation for Inner Peace
Reproduced here with permission
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 20
Today the peace of God envelops me,
And I forget all things except His Love.
Father, I wake today with miracles correcting my perception of all things. And so begins the day I share with You as I will share eternity, for time has stepped aside today. I do not seek the things of time, and so I will not look upon them. What I seek today transcends all laws of time and things perceived in time. I would forget all things except Your Love. I would abide in You, and know no laws except Your law of love. And I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own.
And when the evening comes today, we will remember nothing but the peace of God. For we will learn today what peace is ours, when we forget all things except God’s Love.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1253: A Course in Miracles speaks often of how we have “made up our world.” It uses the word projection, stating that it is mind that does the seeming deed. But I am confused as to how I make up my world. How did/do I do it?
A: It is important first to understand that when the Course says we have made up the world, it is not referring to the self we each believe we are, with a specific body and brain and personality and name. These selves, with which we are identified, are only aspects of the world that we have made up. That is, they are effects and not causes. Jesus is only ever addressing us as mind, and it is the mind that has made this all up, as you have noted. The mind exists outside of time and space, that is, outside this world in which we seem to experience ourselves. And more accurately, it can be said that the world of time and space exists, as an illusion, within the mind.
A useful analogy to help grasp this is to think of our dreams at night. While we are asleep, we typically think we are one of the figures we are dreaming about, usually the same self we are identified with when we are awake. But as we reflect upon a dream after awakening, we do not attribute any causal power to the figure in the dream with which we identified, even though it may have seemed as if it had some control over events while we were still asleep. We know the dream and all the figures are merely symbols, results of our mind’s imaginings. Jesus tells us in “The Basis of the Dream” that the same mind that makes up and projects the world of our night dreams is also dreaming the world we experience when we believe we are awake ( T.18.II.5:8,9,10,11,12,13,14 ).
We experience ourselves as separate minds, but we are in fact part of the one mind, both the single ego mind that is dreaming the world we experience as outside ourselves, and the one Mind that knows nothing of illusion. Although the how of this whole process of projecting a world is interesting, the more important question from the Course’s perspective is why do we do it. As Jesus observes later in the same section, “It is not strange that dreams can make a world that is unreal. It is the wish to make it that is incredible (T.18.8:2,3). And the wish comes from the insane desire to be something other than Who we are as God has created us, and the guilt that follows from that desire, which we seek to project and see outside ourselves. Earlier in the text, Jesus observes that “the world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt” (T.13.in.2:2) . And he means that quite literally! The world is nothing more than our own guilt as the one sleeping Son projected outward, identical in process to the nightmares we may experience while we sleep at night, which come from what we experience as our own personal internalized guilt. But they are all the same, and they are insane, for we are doing nothing to undo the guilt within our minds but rather are denying its source, preferring to see the guilt “outside” rather than within.
Each seemingly separate fragment of mind, believing it is separate, does not have the power to change the one ego mind’s dream in any meaningful way. But it does have the power to learn to look at the dream differently, until eventually it gives no power to the dream and awakens from it. It is in this sense that we can say that we are each completely responsible for the world we see and experience. We each make up our own psychological world, based on our interpretation of what we seem to be experiencing. It is still the mind outside of time and space that is interpreting the experience, but we seem to have a choice about how we will look at what seems to be happening around us and to us and what we ourselves as figures in the dream are doing. And the only real choice is to which teacher in our minds we turn to help us interpret our experiences – the ego or the Holy Spirit. This is the more practical level on which the Course is written. For knowing the metaphysical basis of our world helps us begin to question our ego interpretations of events, which up until now we were certain were true. And we will begin to see that, depending on to which teacher we turn to interpret what seems to be happening, we will have diametrically opposite experiences. For, as Jesus notes near the end of the workbook (in a lesson that begins by describing the process we’ve been discussing by which the mind makes a world), “From insane wishes comes an insane world. From judgment comes a world condemned. And from forgiving thoughts a gentle world comes forth, with mercy for the holy Son of God, to offer him a kindly home where he can rest a while before he journeys on, and help his brothers walk ahead with him, and find the way to Heaven and to God” (W.pII.325.1:4,5,6) .