ACIM Text Reading for February 27
Chapter 7 ~ The Gifts of the Kingdom
IV. Healing as the Recognition of Truth
Truth can only be recognized and need only be recognized. Inspiration is of the Holy Spirit, and certainty is of God according to His laws. Both, therefore, come from the same Source, since inspiration comes from the Voice for God and certainty comes from the laws of God. Healing does not come directly from God, Who knows His creations as perfectly whole. Yet healing is still of God, because it proceeds from His Voice and from His laws. It is their result, in a state of mind that does not know Him. The state is unknown to Him and therefore does not exist, but those who sleep are unaware. Because they are unaware, they do not know.
The Holy Spirit must work through you to teach you He is in you. This is an intermediary step toward the knowledge that you are in God because you are part of Him. The miracles the Holy Spirit inspires can have no order of difficulty, because every part of creation is of one order. This is God’s Will and yours. The laws of God establish this, and the Holy Spirit reminds you of it. When you heal, you are remembering the laws of God and forgetting the laws of the ego. I said before that forgetting is merely a way of remembering better. It is therefore not the opposite of remembering when it is properly perceived. Perceived improperly, it induces a perception of conflict with something else, as all incorrect perception does. Properly perceived, it can be used as a way out of conflict, as all proper perception can.
The ego does not want to teach everyone all it has learned, because that would defeat its purpose. Therefore it does not really learn at all. The Holy Spirit teaches you to use what the ego has made, to teach the opposite of what the ego has “learned.” The kind of learning is as irrelevant as is the particular ability that was applied to the learning. All you need do is make the effort to learn, for the Holy Spirit has a unified goal for the effort. If different abilities are applied long enough to one goal, the abilities themselves become unified. This is because they are channelized in one direction, or in one way. Ultimately, then, they all contribute to one result, and by so doing, their similarity rather than their differences is emphasized.
All abilities should therefore be given over to the Holy Spirit, Who understands how to use them properly. He uses them only for healing, because He knows you only as whole. By healing you learn of wholeness, and by learning of wholeness you learn to remember God. You have forgotten Him, but the Holy Spirit understands that your forgetting must be translated into a way of remembering.
The ego’s goal is as unified as the Holy Spirit’s, and it is because of this that their goals can never be reconciled in any way or to any extent. The ego always seeks to divide and separate. The Holy Spirit always seeks to unify and heal. As you heal you are healed, because the Holy Spirit sees no order of difficulty in healing. Healing is the way to undo the belief in differences, being the only way of perceiving the Sonship as one. This perception is therefore in accord with the laws of God, even in a state of mind that is out of accord with his. The strength of right perception is so great that it brings the mind into accord with His, because it serves His Voice, Which is in all of you.
To think you can oppose the Will of God is a real delusion. The ego believes that it can, and that it can offer you its own “will” as a gift. You do not want it. It is not a gift. It is nothing at all. God has given you a gift that you both have and are. When you do not use it, you forget that you have it. By not remembering it, you do not know what you are. Healing, then, is a way of approaching knowledge by thinking in accordance with the laws of God, and recognizing their universality. Without this recognition, you have made the laws meaningless to you. Yet the laws are not meaningless, since all meaning is contained by them and in them.
Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, because that is where the laws of God operate truly, and they can operate only truly because they are the laws of truth. But seek this only, because you can find nothing else. There is nothing else. God is All in all in a very literal sense. All being is in Him Who is all Being. You are therefore in Him since your being is His. Healing is a way of forgetting the sense of danger the ego has induced in you, by not recognizing its existence in your brother. This strengthens the Holy Spirit in both of you, because it is a refusal to acknowledge fear. Love needs only this invitation. It comes freely to all the Sonship, being what the Sonship is. By your awakening to it, you are merely forgetting what you are not. This enables you to remember what you are.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for February 27
Today let us review these ideas:
(31) I am not the victim of the world I see.
How can I be the victim of a world that can be completely undone if I so choose? My chains are loosened. I can drop them off merely by desiring to do so. The prison door is open. I can leave simply by walking out. Nothing holds me in this world. Only my wish to stay keeps me a prisoner. I would give up my insane wishes and walk into the sunlight at last.
(32) I have invented the world I see.
I made up the prison in which I see myself. All I need do is recognize this and I am free. I have deluded myself into believing it is possible to imprison the Son of God. I was bitterly mistaken in this belief, which I no longer want. The Son of God must be forever free. He is as God created him, and not what I would make of him. He is where God would have him be, and not where I thought to hold him prisoner.
(33) There is another way of looking at the world.
Since the purpose of the world is not the one I ascribed to it, there must be another way of looking at it. I see everything upside down, and my thoughts are the opposite of truth. I see the world as a prison for God’s Son. It must be, then, that the world is really a place where he can be set free. I would look upon the world as it is, and see it as a place where the Son of God finds his freedom.
(34) I could see peace instead of this.
When I see the world as a place of freedom, I realize that it reflects the laws of God instead of the rules I made up for it to obey. I will understand that peace, not war, abides in it. And I will perceive that peace also abides in the hearts of all who share this place with me.
(35) My mind is part of God’s. I am very holy.
As I share the peace of the world with my brothers, I begin to understand that this peace comes from deep within myself. The world I look upon has taken on the light of my forgiveness, and shines forgiveness back at me. In this light I begin to see what my illusions about myself kept hidden. I begin to understand the holiness of all living things, including myself, and their oneness with me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1137: I was recently reading a Christian book and it said that if you lie or cheat you should turn yourself in. Several examples were given that left me feeling very upset, because of the implications for my life. Is God really the originator of all the moral codes that we believe in and should I follow them to the letter? I think everyone lies and steals to a certain degree. Would a person who has accepted the Atonement not do these things in any degree? It might be easier for me to follow a moral code going forward, but the thought of the sacrifice of paying for my past actions now is overwhelming — like quitting my job, giving back to people what I accuse myself of taking from them, fixing things I think I have done wrong, and believing I have to “redo” something the right way fills me with fear, and I know I will never actually follow what my fears demand of me. So will I ever be saved?
A: “All morality is of the ego, since it is based upon certain prescribed standards of behavior or conduct, all geared around what the body does or does not do…. Just as ‘a universal theology is impossible’ (C.in.2:5) , so too is a universal morality, as values differ from one culture to the next, and change over time within individual cultures themselves. This relative nature of morality is proof that no ethical system can be of God, in Whom only the changeless and universal reality of non-dualistic truth can exist” (p. 336). This quote is from Kenneth’s All Are Called , Volume 1 of The Message of “A Course in Miracles,” where you will find a comprehensive presentation of ethics and morality in the context of the Course’s teaching contrasted with other systems. Another discussion of this topic appears in chapter 17 of Kenneth’s Love Does Not Condemn . Also, our answer to Question #637, part 2, discusses several important passages from the Course pertaining to morality and behavior. A study of them will help avert serious misunderstanding and misapplication of the Course’s principles.
A Course in Miracles teaches that the body has no independent existence; it is simply a projection of the mind, as part of the ego’s strategy to make the separation real. The body expresses the thought system the mind has chosen to uphold: either the ego’s or the Holy Spirit’s. Therefore, there is nothing in the Course about guidelines for behavior. Its exclusive focus is on the mind’s power to choose, and the consequences of the choice the mind makes. It is thus a course in mind- training, not in how to behave in the world. Our behavior flows directly from the thought system with which we identify, and so that is where our attention needs to be directed. Our sense of sin and guilt, according to A Course in Miracles , comes from our decision to reject the truth about reality and ourselves and make a substitute for it. All of this is denied and then gets projected onto our bodies and the world, which ends with our thinking that our problems and their solutions are in the body (behavior) and the world.
Since the ego was born of selfishness, murder, deception, and theft — it knows nothing else — then when we choose to identify with the ego, the content in our minds will be the same as the ego’s. We cannot but act that out in the world as long as we have elected to have the ego as our teacher. We don’t realize, however, that this is what runs our lives, which is why we need help from a source outside our thought system entirely: Jesus or the Holy Spirit. This is the core of the Course’s teaching and exercises. Understanding the form-content distinction is central to the practice of A Course in Miracles as it was meant to be practiced.
Salvation in A Course in Miracles has to with changing our teacher from the ego to Jesus or the Holy Spirit — or any other ego-less presence we are comfortable with. If we do this, which we would when our pain and despair causes us to cry out for “another way,” then we would begin the process of thought-reversal ( e.g., M.24.4:1) — of going back into our minds, with this loving presence guiding us, and looking without judgment at all manifestations of our mistaken choice: judgment, specialness, selfishness, authority issues, one-or-the-other and kill-or-be-killed type thinking, etc. As students of this course, we learn that choosing this insane thought system was simply a mistake in need of correction, not a sin deserving of punishment. We realize, too, that it has not brought us the peace and happiness we were led to believe it would. Now, happily and thankfully, we allow our new teacher to guide our thinking.
When, once and for all, we let go of the ego, the only content in our minds will be love; we will have restored to our awareness what we had split off and concealed — the memory of our true Identity as Christ. This is the acceptance of the Atonement, for which no sacrifice is necessary (W.pI.192.6:1). Guided only by love, everything we then do would be loving. It would be impossible to do anything that would hurt ourselves or anyone else. What that looks like specifically (form) cannot be formulated. The same behavior can originate in one’s wrong or right mind (content). In your case, therefore, whether or not you should return what you claim you stole is between you and the Holy Spirit. When in a holy instant you are free of ego interference, you will just know. And if there is no clarity, then just be as ego-free as you can for a moment, and then do what seems most loving for yourself and the others involved. We will never run out of opportunities to learn our lessons of forgiveness! (T.31.VIII.3)
Finally, God has nothing to do with any of this, as the separation, the ego and its dynamics, and the undoing of all that is inherently unreal. That is why Jesus uses various metaphors and images to talk about it: a nightmare dream of separation, a journey, a ladder. Correcting various religious traditions, he also makes it unmistakably clear that God, as Love, can only love and extend that love for eternity — condemnation and love are mutually exclusive: “God does not forgive because He has never condemned” (W.pI.60.1:2; see also W.pI.198) .