ACIM Text Reading for February 12
Chapter 5 ~ Healing and Wholeness
VII. Time and Eternity
God in His knowledge is not waiting, but His Kingdom is bereft while you wait. All the Sons of God are waiting for your return, just as you are waiting for theirs. Delay does not matter in eternity, but it is tragic in time. You have elected to be in time rather than eternity, and therefore believe you are in time. Yet your election is both free and alterable. You do not belong in time. Your place is only in eternity, where God Himself placed you forever.
Guilt feelings are the preservers of time. They induce fears of retaliation or abandonment, and thus ensure that the future will be like the past. This is the ego’s continuity. It gives the ego a false sense of security by believing that you cannot escape from it. But you can and must. God offers you the continuity of eternity in exchange. When you choose to make this exchange, you will simultaneously exchange guilt for joy, viciousness for love, and pain for peace. My role is only to unchain your will and set it free. Your ego cannot accept this freedom, and will oppose it at every possible moment and in every possible way. And as its maker, you recognize what it can do because you gave it the power to do it.
Remember the Kingdom always, and remember that you who are part of the Kingdom cannot be lost. The Mind that was in me is in you, for God creates with perfect fairness. Let the Holy Spirit remind you always of His fairness, and let me teach you how to share it with your brothers. How else can the chance to claim it for yourself be given you? The two voices speak for different interpretations of the same thing simultaneously; or almost simultaneously, for the ego always speaks first. Alternate interpretations were unnecessary until the first one was made.
The ego speaks in judgment, and the Holy Spirit reverses its decision, much as a higher court has the power to reverse a lower court’s decisions in this world. The ego’s decisions are always wrong, because they are based on the error they were made to uphold. Nothing the ego perceives is interpreted correctly. Not only does the ego cite Scripture for its purpose, but it even interprets Scripture as a witness for itself. The Bible is a fearful thing in the ego’s judgment. Perceiving it as frightening, it interprets it fearfully. Being afraid, you do not appeal to the Higher Court because you believe its judgment would also be against you.
There are many examples of how the ego’s interpretations are misleading, but a few will suffice to show how the Holy Spirit can reinterpret them in His Own Light.
“As ye sow, so shall ye reap” He interprets to mean what you consider worth cultivating you will cultivate in yourself. Your judgment of what is worthy makes it worthy for you.
“Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord” is easily reinterpreted if you remember that ideas increase only by being shared. The statement emphasizes that vengeance cannot be shared. Give it therefore to the Holy Spirit, Who will undo it in you because it does not belong in your mind, which is part of God.
“I will visit the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation,” as interpreted by the ego, is particularly vicious. It becomes merely an attempt to guarantee the ego’s own survival. To the Holy Spirit, the statement means that in later generations He can still reinterpret what former generations had misunderstood, and thus release the thoughts from the ability to produce fear.
“The wicked shall perish” becomes a statement of Atonement, if the word “perish” is understood as “be undone.” Every loveless thought must be undone, a word the ego cannot even understand. To the ego, to be undone means to be destroyed. The ego will not be destroyed because it is part of your thought, but because it is uncreative and therefore unsharing, it will be reinterpreted to release you from fear. The part of your mind that you have given to the ego will merely return to the Kingdom, where your whole mind belongs. You can delay the completion of the Kingdom, but you cannot introduce the concept of fear into it.
You need not fear the Higher Court will condemn you. It will merely dismiss the case against you. There can be no case against a child of God, and every witness to guilt in God’s creations is bearing false witness to God Himself. Appeal everything you believe gladly to God’s Own Higher Court, because it speaks for Him and therefore speaks truly. It will dismiss the case against you, however carefully you have built it up. The case may be fool-proof, but it is not God-proof. The Holy Spirit will not hear it, because He can only witness truly. His verdict will always be “thine is the Kingdom,” because He was given to you to remind you of what you are.
When I said “I am come as a light into the world,” I meant that I came to share the light with you. Remember my reference to the ego’s dark glass, and remember also that I said, “Do not look there.” It is still true that where you look to find yourself is up to you. Your patience with your brother is your patience with yourself. Is not a child of God worth patience? I have shown you infinite patience because my will is that of our Father, from Whom I learned of infinite patience. His Voice was in me as It is in you, speaking for patience towards the Sonship in the Name of Its Creator.
Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects. This is the way in which time is exchanged for eternity. Infinite patience calls upon infinite love, and by producing results now it renders time unnecessary. We have repeatedly said that time is a learning device to be abolished when it is no longer useful. The Holy Spirit, Who speaks for God in time, also knows that time is meaningless. He reminds you of this in every passing moment of time, because it is His special function to return you to eternity and remain to bless your creations there. He is the only blessing you can truly give, because He is truly blessed. Because He has been given you freely by God, you must give Him as you received Him.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for February 12
God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.
Perception is not an attribute of God. His is the realm of knowledge. Yet He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge. Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind. With this link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge. That is its function as the Holy Spirit sees it. Therefore, that is its function in truth.
In God you cannot see. Perception has no function in God, and does not exist. Yet in salvation, which is the undoing of what never was, perception has a mighty purpose. Made by the Son of God for an unholy purpose, it must become the means for the restoration of his holiness to his awareness. Perception has no meaning. Yet does the Holy Spirit give it a meaning very close to God’s. Healed perception becomes the means by which the Son of God forgives his brother, and thus forgives himself.
You cannot see apart from God because you cannot be apart from God. Whatever you do you do in Him, because whatever you think, you think with His Mind. If vision is real, and it is real to the extent to which it shares the Holy Spirit’s purpose, then you cannot see apart from God.
Three five-minute practice periods are required today, one as early and one as late as possible in the day. The third may be undertaken at the most convenient and suitable time that circumstances and readiness permit. At the beginning of these practice periods, repeat the idea for today to yourself with eyes open. Then glance around you for a short time, applying the idea specifically to what you see. Four or five subjects for this phase of the practice period are sufficient. You might say, for example:
God is my Source. I cannot see this desk apart from Him.
God is my Source. I cannot see that picture apart from Him.
Although this part of the exercise period should be relatively short, be sure that you select the subjects for this phase of practice indiscriminately, without self-directed inclusion or exclusion. For the second and longer phase, close your eyes, repeat today’s idea again, and then let whatever relevant thoughts occur to you add to the idea in your own personal way. Thoughts such as:
I see through the eyes of forgiveness.
I see the world as blessed.
The world can show me myself.
I see my own thoughts, which are like God’s.
Any thought related more or less directly to today’s idea is suitable. The thoughts need not bear any obvious relationship to the idea, but they should not be in opposition to it.
If you find your mind wandering; if you begin to be aware of thoughts which are clearly out of accord with today’s idea, or if you seem to be unable to think of anything, open your eyes, repeat the first phase of the exercise period, and then attempt the second phase again. Do not allow any protracted period to occur in which you become preoccupied with irrelevant thoughts. Return to the first phase of the exercises as often as necessary to prevent this.
In applying today’s idea in the shorter practice periods, the form may vary according to the circumstances and situations in which you find yourself during the day. When you are with someone else, for example, try to remember to tell him silently:
God is my Source. I cannot see you apart from Him.
This form is equally applicable to strangers as it is to those you think are closer to you. In fact, try not to make distinctions of this kind at all.
Today’s idea should also be applied throughout the day to various situations and events that may occur, particularly to those which seem to distress you in any way. For this purpose, apply the idea in this form:
God is my Source. I cannot see this apart from Him.
If no particular subject presents itself to your awareness at the time, merely repeat the idea in its original form. Try today not to allow any long periods of time to slip by without remembering today’s idea, and thus remembering your function.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #201: Regarding the prayer for the “Decision for God”, (T.5.VII.6:7,8,9,10,11), how do we “return our thinking to the point at which the error was made” when our decision to separate from God is unremembered.…or unconscious?
A: The journey of our “return” is a process of walking backwards, starting from the place where we think we are, which is in the body, in the world, in the dream. Though the original choice to separate from God is indeed unremembered, we seem to be experiencing the very real effects of that choice. Looking clearly and directly at the effects will indicate the true nature of the mistaken choice of believing in the reality of the separation. Our return begins when we are willing to look at any situation differently. Any person, event, condition or situation that seems to cause us pain, discomfort, or lack of peace is an opportunity for us to question what is really going on. A Course in Miracles tells us that the conflict experienced here in the dream is really caused by the guilt in our mind which is being displaced from our mind and projected onto the body or the world. The purpose of the projection is to free us of the responsibility for having made the choice to separate. The ego, on the other hand, tells us that persons and events outside of us are to blame for our misery. We have been victimized by outside agents and cannot be held responsible. Through the process of forgiveness we learn to identify the cause of our problems as a choice in the mind rather than to blame others. This is one level of returning to the point at which the error was made. In this way, the people we hold grievances against are cleared of responsibility; thus they are forgiven for what “they did not do” (T.17.III.1:5). When we have been able to practice forgiveness with everyone, and every situation in our lives, and have disidentified sufficiently with the ego’s belief in separation, we will identify fully with the mind rather than the body. We will no longer believe in victimization, but in the power of our mind’s ability to choose. This will free us to make a different choice. Instead of the error of believing that the separation was real and has had serious consequences, we will laugh gently at the absurdity of such a thought. This is the final return to the “point at which the error was made.” We will then awaken from the dream of separation.
Meanwhile, every time we are willing to recognize any situation, or the dynamics of any relationship, as the direct result of a choice made in our mind, without projecting blame onto others, we are strengthening our belief in our true identity as mind, and weakening our belief in the ego’s tale of separation and identity with the body. We are thus led to the point of final choice, and the decision to return no more to the darkened world of illusion and separation.