ACIM Supplemental Reading for December 21
The Poetry of Helen Schucman
AWAKE IN STILLNESS
Peace cover you, within without the same,
In shining silence and in peace so deep
No dream of sin and evil can come near
Your quiet mind. And then in stillness wake.
First there is silence; then awakening.
Now is the time appointed for the end
Of dreaming. Still the cradle where you come
To be reborn. The Christ is stirring in
The home that He has chosen as His Own.
His vision rests upon your eyes, and soon
You will behold His face, and will forget
The fantasies that seemed to be so real
Until the stillness came. The Son of God
Has come to join you now. His shining hand
Is on your shoulder. And God’s silent Voice
Speaks ceaselessly of Heaven. You will hear
His single message calling to His Own
From His abiding place, to wake in God.
By Helen Schucman,
January 15, 1974
From The Gifts of God©, p. 73
Published by the Foundation for Inner Peace
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 21
Anger must come from judgment. Judgment is
The weapon I would use against myself,
To keep the miracle away from me.
Father, I want what goes against my will, and do not want what is my will to have. Straighten my mind, my Father. It is sick. But You have offered freedom, and I choose to claim Your gift today. And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me. He sees what I behold, and yet He knows the truth. He looks on pain, and yet He understands it is not real, and in His understanding it is healed. He gives the miracles my dreams would hide from my awareness. Let Him judge today. I do not know my will, but He is sure it is Your Own. And He will speak for me, and call Your miracles to come to me.
Listen today. Be very still, and hear the gentle Voice for God assuring you that He has judged you as the Son He loves.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #184: I had a moment of clarity recently. I suddenly became aware that all my forms of specialness are based round the body and so they are all doomed to fail along with the body. Strangely this was not depressing — what I felt was mostly relief. The moment didn’t last though, as peaceful as it was, and the fear returned. What I feel I want from you is reassurance that there is nothing to fear so that I can go back to the peace.
In the “Rules for Decision” section of A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that I can have the day I want. I consistently refuse to follow the steps he lays out though because I don’t believe he will give me what I need. Can one take him at his word here? If the day I want contains my being happy and unafraid will he give me that? If the day I want contains being surrounded by people I love will he give me that? What if I feel I need other things, like food, sex, warmth and water? Will he give me them? I am frightened that Jesus, not being a body, will not because he doesn’t think I need them. These are not things I think will make me happy, but they are things I do not think I could be happy without.
I understand from the story about Helen and her eyelash that it is not Jesus who gives parking spaces to me — it is my own mind. But may I still think of Jesus as giving these things to me, for a little while longer anyway? It is easier for me to accept when presented like that. Certainly I wouldn’t want to have to provide my own happiness since it is so plain to me that I don’t know how.
A: You certainly have put yourself in a bind! You know you don’t know how to provide for your happiness but you don’t trust Jesus to either. There is nothing wrong with continuing to want to see him as providing for your needs, but since you doubt that he is willing to, you really are setting up both yourself and him for failure. Because then when you feel deprived of anything, you can blame him.
Jesus points out that “only you can deprive yourself of anything” (T.11.IV.4:1). It is we who believe we need to sacrifice and punish ourselves for the sin of separation and attack we accuse ourselves of. So long as this belief underlies our thinking, we will project evidence of scarcity and lack onto the various forms of our lives. But the goal of the Course is not to teach us how to provide for ourselves physically and emotionally, but rather how to uncover the love buried deep within our minds so that we know that real abundance — love — is ours.
When Jesus tells us in “Rules for Decision” (T.30.I) how to have the kind of day we want, he is speaking only about content and not form. And so that is why he is encouraging us to make all of our decisions joined with him, or the Holy Spirit, rather than with the ego, which is the source of our belief in scarcity, lack and deprivation. For then our own judgments of what we need and what will make us happy will not get in the way. But while we still think we are a body, it will be difficult not to believe we know what at least some of our needs must be.
Whenever you join with Jesus in your mind, even when it is in the form of asking him for help with specific needs, you have in the moment of joining set aside your belief in lack and limitation. Now Jesus in reality has nothing to do with form — it is always our minds that decide about that. Nevertheless, early in your experience with the Course, you may find that your mind translates that experience of his love into the forms of what you believe you need. And so you have the experience of Jesus helping you in the world. There is nothing wrong with that and it can be very helpful in allowing you to develop trust in him. But over time, you will begin to realize that your real need and desire is for peace, as you experienced with your insight about specialness. And so what is happening in the world of form and your body will become less of a concern and what is happening within your mind will increasingly become your focus.
This certainly does not mean that your body’s needs will no longer be met, for if you are releasing the need to punish yourself, your body will over time become simply a neutral instrument that functions without concern or fear on your part (W.pII.294.1). But if there are still lessons of forgiveness to be learned, your mind will continue to project the guilt out into the world as a physical problem or a bodily need. But you will now see the world, not as a prison in which you are deprived, but as a classroom in which you are being presented with opportunities to uncover the guilt buried in your mind that is being projected as scarcity and lack. And your goal will be to heal the guilt in your mind and not concern yourself with the form it takes in the world. And that is where Jesus can really be of help. For he knows that the guilt is not real and deprivation is impossible. And in that shared realization, peace is yours.
For a related discussion, see Question #172.