ACIM Text Reading for February 8
Chapter 5 ~ Healing and Wholeness
III. The Voice for God
Healing is not creating; it is reparation. The Holy Spirit promotes healing by looking beyond it to what the children of God were before healing was needed, and will be when they have been healed. This alteration of the time sequence should be quite familiar, because it is very similar to the shift in the perception of time that the miracle introduces. The Holy Spirit is the motivation for miracle-mindedness; the decision to heal the separation by letting it go. Your will is still in you because God placed it in your mind, and although you can keep it asleep you cannot obliterate it. God Himself keeps your will alive by transmitting it from His Mind to yours as long as there is time. The miracle itself is a reflection of this union of will between Father and Son.
The Holy Spirit is the spirit of joy. He is the Call to return with which God blessed the minds of His separated Sons. This is the vocation of the mind. The mind had no calling until the separation, because before that it had only being, and would not have understood the Call to right thinking. The Holy Spirit is God’s Answer to the separation; the means by which the Atonement heals until the whole mind returns to creating.
The principle of Atonement and the separation began at the same time. When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the call to joy. This call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at Its sound. That is why you must choose to hear one of two voices within you. One you made yourself, and that one is not of God. But the other is given you by God, Who asks you only to listen to it. The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice That calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God’s Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons.
You are the Kingdom of Heaven, but you have let the belief in darkness enter your mind and so you need a new light. The Holy Spirit is the radiance that you must let banish the idea of darkness. His is the glory before which dissociation falls away, and the Kingdom of Heaven breaks through into its own. Before the separation you did not need guidance. You knew as you will know again, but as you do not know now.
God does not guide, because He can share only perfect knowledge. Guidance is evaluative, because it implies there is a right way and also a wrong way, one to be chosen and the other to be avoided. By choosing one you give up the other. The choice for the Holy Spirit is the choice for God. God is not in you in a literal sense; you are part of Him. When you chose to leave Him He gave you a Voice to speak for Him because He could no longer share His knowledge with you without hindrance. Direct communication was broken because you had made another voice.
The Holy Spirit calls you both to remember and to forget. You have chosen to be in a state of opposition in which opposites are possible. As a result, there are choices you must make. In the holy state the will is free, so that its creative power is unlimited and choice is meaningless. Freedom to choose is the same power as freedom to create, but its application is different. Choosing depends on a split mind. The Holy Spirit is one way of choosing. God did not leave His children comfortless, even though they chose to leave Him. The voice they put in their minds was not the Voice for His Will, for which the Holy Spirit speaks.
The Voice of the Holy Spirit does not command, because it is incapable of arrogance. It does not demand, because it does not seek control. It does not overcome, because it does not attack. It merely reminds. It is compelling only because of what it reminds you of. It brings to your mind the other way, remaining quiet even in the midst of the turmoil you may make. The Voice for God is always quiet, because it speaks of peace. Peace is stronger than war because it heals. War is division, not increase. No one gains from strife. What profiteth it a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? If you listen to the wrong voice you have lost sight of your soul. You cannot lose it, but you can not know it. It is therefore “lost” to you until you choose right.
The Holy Spirit is your Guide in choosing. He is in the part of your mind that always speaks for the right choice, because He speaks for God. He is your remaining communication with God, which you can interrupt but cannot destroy. 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. The Voice for God comes from your own altars to Him. These altars are not things; they are devotions. Yet you have other devotions now. Your divided devotion has given you the two voices, and you must choose at which altar you want to serve. The call you answer now is an evaluation because it is a decision. The decision is very simple. It is made on the basis of which call is worth more to you.
My mind will always be like yours, because we were created as equals. It was only my decision that gave me all power in Heaven and earth. My only gift to you is to help you make the same decision. This decision is the choice to share it, because the decision itself is the decision to share. It is made by giving, and is therefore the one choice that resembles true creation. I am your model for decision. By deciding for God I showed you that this decision can be made, and that you can make it.
I have assured you that the Mind that decided for me is also in you, and that you can let it change you just as it changed me. This Mind is unequivocal, because it hears only one voice and answers in only one way. You are the light of the world with me. Rest does not come from sleeping but from waking. The Holy Spirit is the call to awaken and be glad. The world is very tired, because it is the idea of weariness. Our task is the joyous one of waking it to the Call for God. Everyone will answer the Call of the Holy Spirit, or the Sonship cannot be as one. What better vocation could there be for any part of the Kingdom than to restore it to the perfect integration that can make it whole? Hear only this through the Holy Spirit within you, and teach your brothers to listen as I am teaching you.
When you are tempted by the wrong voice, call on me to remind you how to heal by sharing my decision and making it stronger. As we share this goal, we increase its power to attract the whole Sonship, and to bring it back into the oneness in which it was created. Remember that “yoke” means “join together,” and “burden” means “message.” Let us restate “My yoke is easy and my burden light” in this way; “Let us join together, for my message is Light.”
I have enjoined you to behave as I behaved, but we must respond to the same Mind to do this. This Mind is the Holy Spirit, Whose Will is for God always. He teaches you how to keep me as the model for your thought, and to behave like me as a result. The power of our joint motivation is beyond belief, but not beyond accomplishment. What we can accomplish together has no limits, because the Call for God is the call to the unlimited. Child of God, my message is for you, to hear and give away as you answer the Holy Spirit within you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for February 8
My holiness is my salvation.
If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? Like the text for which this workbook was written, the ideas used for the exercises are very simple, very clear and totally unambiguous. We are not concerned with intellectual feats nor logical toys. We are dealing only in the very obvious, which has been overlooked in the clouds of complexity in which you think you think.
If guilt is hell, what is its opposite? This is not difficult, surely. The hesitation you may feel in answering is not due to the ambiguity of the question. But do you believe that guilt is hell? If you did, you would see at once how direct and simple the text is, and you would not need a workbook at all. No one needs practice to gain what is already his.
We have already said that your holiness is the salvation of the world. What about your own salvation? You cannot give what you do not have. A savior must be saved. How else can he teach salvation? Today’s exercises will apply to you, recognizing that your salvation is crucial to the salvation of the world. As you apply the exercises to your world, the whole world stands to benefit.
Your holiness is the answer to every question that was ever asked, is being asked now, or will be asked in the future. Your holiness means the end of guilt, and therefore the end of hell. Your holiness is the salvation of the world, and your own. How could you to whom your holiness belongs be excluded from it? God does not know unholiness. Can it be He does not know His Son?
A full five minutes are urged for the four longer practice periods for today, and longer and more frequent practice sessions are encouraged. If you want to exceed the minimum requirements, more rather than longer sessions are recommended, although both are suggested.
Begin the practice periods as usual, by repeating today’s idea to yourself. Then, with closed eyes, search out your unloving thoughts in whatever form they appear; uneasiness, depression, anger, fear, worry, attack, insecurity and so on. Whatever form they take, they are unloving and therefore fearful. And so it is from them that you need to be saved.
Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises. It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently. And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.
Slowly, without conscious selection and without undue emphasis on any one in particular, search your mind for every thought that stands between you and your salvation. Apply the idea for today to each of them in this way:
My unloving thoughts about _____ are keeping me in hell.
My holiness is my salvation.
You may find these practice periods easier if you intersperse them with several short periods during which you merely repeat today’s idea to yourself slowly a few times. You may also find it helpful to include a few short intervals in which you just relax and do not seem to be thinking of anything. Sustained concentration is very difficult at first. It will become much easier as your mind becomes more disciplined and less distractible.
Meanwhile, you should feel free to introduce variety into the exercise periods in whatever form appeals to you. Do not, however, change the idea itself as you vary the method of applying it. However you elect to use it, the idea should be stated so that its meaning is the fact that your holiness is your salvation. End each practice period by repeating the idea in its original form once more, and adding:
If guilt is hell, what is its opposite?
In the shorter applications, which should be made some three or four times an hour and more if possible, you may ask yourself this question, repeat today’s idea, and preferably both. If temptations arise, a particularly helpful form of the idea is:
My holiness is my salvation from this.
ACIM Q & A for Today
“Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises. It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently. And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.”
I’m not sure how the idea “It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently.” reconciles with some of the major themes of the Course including the ideas that we let everything be the same and that there is no hierarchy in an illusion, not to mention that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. It seems to me it should say: It is imperative for your salvation that you not see them differently. What am I missing?
A: What you are missing is the use of the word “differently.” The idea is not to see the specific situations, events or personalities associated with unloving thoughts as separate or dissimilar within themselves, but rather to see the specific situations, events or personalities with loving thoughts (differently from how you have seen before). In the past, your sight (unloving thoughts) was through the eyes of the ego. Now you are encouraged to see through the eyes of the Holy Spirit (loving thoughts). Another way of putting it is that seeing through the eyes of the Holy Spirit is “different” from seeing through the eyes of the ego.
Q #167: I’ve often had experiences of deja vu, that sense of having been there before, that have turned out to be genuinely significant. The circumstances in which the experience has occurred have varied from pleasant enough to downright unpleasant or stressful, but often have not seemed to have any obviously direct bearing on the experience. But in retrospect the outcome of the situation has come to be something of a relief or possibly a blessing in disguise. I’m aware from my reading of A Course in Miracles and publications of Dr. Wapnick that, although time is an illusion and “this world was over long ago,” we experience and believe we still have choices to make, seemingly new. But we are really only “reviewing mentally what has gone by.” My question is, how does the experience of deja vu relate to the choice for either the ego’s tape or timeline, or the Holy Spirit’s for us? Is deja vu a reflection of the collective ego-mind? Or can it be a reflection of having made the correct choice through “the decision-maker,” outside of time and space and the ego’s dualistic world of limitations, however unpleasant or pleasant the circumstances seem to be at the time? And could the sense of familiarity then be an echo of our “distant” or subconscious memory of God before the separation, when we were all one with him as Christ, as we still are in reality? And so could deja vu be a reminder or reflection in this world that we are on the “right track” or still in our right minds? Or am I just reading too much into these experiences? And related to this, what is the role of coincidence or synchronicity in the everyday, if still illusory, world?
A: Experiences of deja vu are neutral in themselves. Since, as you remark, we are only ever “reviewing mentally what has gone by” (W.pI.158.4:5), all of our experiences potentially could be viewed as familiar. These would include both the ego’s scripts of specialness and the Holy Spirit’s correction scripts. Now most of the time, it will be in the ego’s best interest to keep that recognition from our awareness, for its defenses depend on a belief in linear time, flowing in only one direction, from past to future. Nevertheless, much as with psychic powers, reincarnation and past lives (M.24;25), it is the interpretation and purpose that we give to those experiences that determine whether they reinforce the ego’s specialness or the Holy Spirit’s forgiveness. If you have found that your experiences have ushered in opportunities for release of your judgments and guilt, then there has been a willingness on your part to allow them to serve that purpose. But they can just as easily be used to foster a preoccupation with the past, and specific and special relationships.
With respect to coincidence or synchronicity, since only one mind has written all the scripts, everything is interrelated and connected. Only because of our continued investment in seeing separation and differences do we fail to recognize the common threads running through all of our experiences. When coincidences are recognized, they can be used for the purposes of either the ego or the Holy Spirit. The choice is always ours. When serving the Holy Spirit’s, they are a reminder that decisions are being made at a level we are not usually conscious of and therefore they challenge the ego view that our reality is limited to this physical world. But a preoccupation with them can once again serve the ego’s purpose of specialness.
And so, whether we are dealing with deja vu, synchronicity, past lives or psychic powers, in every situation and circumstance, “the first thing to consider, very simply, is ‘What do I want to come of this? What is it for?’” (T.17.VI.2:1,2). If our purpose is to see beyond the petty specialness and judgments of the world, the Help we need will lift us above the self-imposed limits of our ego to a place where we can recognize our shared purpose with every brother and experience the joy of our interconnectedness with the entire Sonship.