ACIM Text Reading for March 1
Chapter 7 ~ The Gifts of the Kingdom
VI. From Vigilance to Peace
Although you can love the Sonship only as one, you can perceive it as fragmented. It is impossible, however, to see something in part of it that you will not attribute to all of it. That is why attack is never discrete, and why it must be relinquished entirely. If it is not relinquished entirely it is not relinquished at all. Fear and love make or create, depending on whether the ego or the Holy Spirit begets or inspires them, but they will return to the mind of the thinker and they will affect his total perception. That includes his concept of God, of His creations and of his own. He will not appreciate any of them if he regards them fearfully. He will appreciate all of them if he regards them with love.
The mind that accepts attack cannot love. That is because it believes it can destroy love, and therefore does not understand what love is. If it does not understand what love is, it cannot perceive itself as loving. This loses the awareness of being, induces feelings of unreality and results in utter confusion. Your thinking has done this because of its power, but your thinking can also save you from this because its power is not of your making. Your ability to direct your thinking as you choose is part of its power. If you do not believe you can do this you have denied the power of your thought, and thus rendered it powerless in your belief.
The ingeniousness of the ego to preserve itself is enormous, but it stems from the very power of the mind the ego denies. This means that the ego attacks what is preserving it, which must result in extreme anxiety. That is why the ego never recognizes what it is doing. It is perfectly logical but clearly insane. The ego draws upon the one source that is totally inimical to its existence for its existence. Fearful of perceiving the power of this source, it is forced to depreciate it. This threatens its own existence, a state which it finds intolerable. Remaining logical but still insane, the ego resolves this completely insane dilemma in a completely insane way. It does not perceive its existence as threatened by projecting the threat onto you, and perceiving your being as nonexistent. This ensures its continuance if you side with it, by guaranteeing that you will not know your own Safety.
The ego cannot afford to know anything. Knowledge is total, and the ego does not believe in totality. This unbelief is its origin, and while the ego does not love you it is faithful to its own antecedents, begetting as it was begotten. Mind always reproduces as it was produced. Produced by fear, the ego reproduces fear. This is its allegiance, and this allegiance makes it treacherous to love because you are love. Love is your power, which the ego must deny. It must also deny everything this power gives you because it gives you everything. No one who has everything wants the ego. Its own maker, then, does not want it. Rejection is therefore the only decision the ego could possibly encounter, if the mind that made it knew itself. And if it recognized any part of the Sonship, it would know itself.
The ego therefore opposes all appreciation, all recognition, all sane perception and all knowledge. It perceives their threat as total, because it senses that all commitments the mind makes are total. Forced, therefore, to detach itself from you, it is willing to attach itself to anything else. But there is nothing else. The mind can, however, make up illusions, and if it does so it will believe in them, because that is how it made them.
The Holy Spirit undoes illusions without attacking them, because He cannot perceive them at all. They therefore do not exist for Him. He resolves the apparent conflict they engender by perceiving conflict as meaningless. I have said before that the Holy Spirit perceives the conflict exactly as it is, and it is meaningless. The Holy Spirit does not want you to understand conflict; He wants you to realize that, because conflict is meaningless, it is not understandable. As I have already said, understanding brings appreciation and appreciation brings love. Nothing else can be understood, because nothing else is real and therefore nothing else has meaning.
If you will keep in mind what the Holy Spirit offers you, you cannot be vigilant for anything but God and His Kingdom. The only reason you may find this hard to accept is because you may still think there is something else. Belief does not require vigilance unless it is conflicted. If it is, there are conflicting components within it that have led to a state of war, and vigilance has therefore become essential. Vigilance has no place in peace. It is necessary against beliefs that are not true, and would never have been called upon by the Holy Spirit if you had not believed the untrue. When you believe something, you have made it true for you. When you believe what God does not know, your thought seems to contradict His, and this makes it appear as if you are attacking Him.
I have repeatedly emphasized that the ego does believe it can attack God, and tries to persuade you that you have done this. If the mind cannot attack, the ego proceeds perfectly logically to the belief that you must be a body. By not seeing you as you are, it can see itself as it wants to be. Aware of its weakness the ego wants your allegiance, but not as you really are. The ego therefore wants to engage your mind in its own delusional system, because otherwise the light of your understanding would dispel it. It wants no part of truth, because the ego itself is not true. If truth is total, the untrue cannot exist. Commitment to either must be total; they cannot coexist in your mind without splitting it. If they cannot coexist in peace, and if you want peace, you must give up the idea of conflict entirely and for all time. While you believe that two totally contradictory thought systems share truth, your need for vigilance is apparent.
Your mind is dividing its allegiance between two kingdoms, and you are totally committed to neither. Your identification with the Kingdom is totally beyond question except by you, when you are thinking insanely. What you are is not established by your perception, and is not influenced by it at all. Perceived problems in identification at any level are not problems of fact. They are problems of understanding, since their presence implies a belief that what you are is up to you to decide. The ego believes this totally, being fully committed to it. It is not true. The ego therefore is totally committed to untruth, perceiving in total contradiction to the Holy Spirit and to the knowledge of God.
You can be perceived with meaning only by the Holy Spirit because your being is the knowledge of God. Any belief you accept apart from this will obscure God’s Voice in you, and will therefore obscure God to you. Unless you perceive His creation truly you cannot know the Creator, since God and His creation are not separate. The Oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power. This limitless power is God’s gift to you, because it is what you are. If you dissociate your mind from it you are perceiving the most powerful force in the universe as if it were weak, because you do not believe you are part of it.
Perceived without your part in it, God’s creation is seen as weak, and those who see themselves as weakened do attack. The attack must be blind, however, because there is nothing to attack. Therefore they make up images, perceive them as unworthy and attack them for their unworthiness. That is all the world of the ego is. Nothing. It has no meaning. It does not exist. Do not try to understand it because, if you do, you are believing that it can be understood and is therefore capable of being appreciated and loved. That would justify its existence, which cannot be justified. You cannot make the meaningless meaningful. This can only be an insane attempt.
Allowing insanity to enter your mind means that you have not judged sanity as wholly desirable. If you want something else you will make something else, but because it is something else, it will attack your thought system and divide your allegiance. You cannot create in this divided state, and you must be vigilant against this divided state because only peace can be extended. Your divided mind is blocking the extension of the Kingdom, and its extension is your joy. If you do not extend the Kingdom, you are not thinking with your Creator and creating as He created.
In this depressing state the Holy Spirit reminds you gently that you are sad because you are not fulfilling your function as co-creator with God, and are therefore depriving yourself of joy. This is not God’s choice but yours. If your mind could be out of accord with God’s, you would be willing without meaning. Yet because God’s Will is unchangeable, no conflict of will is possible. This is the Holy Spirit’s perfectly consistent teaching. Creation, not separation, is your will because it is God’s, and nothing that opposes this means anything at all. Being a perfect accomplishment, the Sonship can only accomplish perfectly, extending the joy in which it was created, and identifying itself with both its Creator and its creations, knowing they are one.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 1
The following ideas are for review today:
(41) God goes with me wherever I go.
How can I be alone when God always goes with me? How can I be doubtful and unsure of myself when perfect certainty abides in Him? How can I be disturbed by anything when He rests in me in absolute peace? How can I suffer when love and joy surround me through Him? Let me not cherish illusions about myself. I am perfect because God goes with me wherever I go.
(42) God is my strength. Vision is His gift.
Let me not look to my own eyes to see today. Let me be willing to exchange my pitiful illusion of seeing for the vision that is given by God. Christ’s vision is His gift, and He has given it to me. Let me call upon this gift today, so that this day may help me to understand eternity.
(43) God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.
I can see what God wants me to see. I cannot see anything else. Beyond His Will lie only illusions. It is these I choose when I think I can see apart from Him. It is these I choose when I try to see through the body’s eyes. Yet the vision of Christ has been given me to replace them. It is through this vision that I choose to see.
(44) God is the light in which I see.
I cannot see in darkness. God is the only light. Therefore, if I am to see, it must be through Him. I have tried to define what seeing is, and I have been wrong. Now it is given me to understand that God is the light in which I see. Let me welcome vision and the happy world it will show me.
(45) God is the Mind with which I think.
I have no thoughts I do not share with God. I have no thoughts apart from Him, because I have no mind apart from His. As part of His Mind, my thoughts are His and His Thoughts are mine.
ACIM Q & A for Today
A: Yes, the mind can be thought of as the thing that thinks. It is outside time and space, as distinguished from the brain, which is an organ in the body. The mind’s thinking affirms, through its decision-making power, either the ego’s thought system or the Holy Spirit’s. And it must always be remembered that this kind of thinking is a function only of the mind of the separated Son, and therefore is illusory, because the Son never truly separated. We therefore could say that the Mind of Christ, in Heaven, has nothing to think about! There is no counterpart in our human experience to the perfect oneness of reality, as some mystics have observed.
Q #423: Does anyone feel some sense of alienation in everyday life from studying A Course in Miracles? I thought all of my relationships would be strengthened by following this path. Instead I’ve had more turmoil in that area than I ever have had in my life. It hurts when you are not invited to the party because you have chosen to “see things differently.”
A: Choosing the Holy Spirit’s perception instead of the ego’s should result in your feeling more peaceful, and that is all that should be “noticeable” to others. As Jesus states in Lesson 155: “There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before” (W.pI.155.1). Smiling more frequently and being more peaceful should not result in a feeling of alienation. However, if all that you and your friends did together was criticize and judge others, and you have chosen not to do that any more, then the form of the relationship might change as well, if you are being guided to leave the relationship. This should not result in a feeling of alienation, though.
On the other hand, the politics and judgment that are inherent in almost all relationships in this world do not necessarily mean that you cannot be friends with these people any longer or that you need to move on. You can be silent and not indulge in the attacks and still be very much present to your friends. The content in your mind can change, without the form of the relationship necessarily changing. You could approach a get-together, for example, as a classroom in which you are going to learn that you and your friends share the same interests on a deeper level. So when the judging starts, you can say within your mind: “That is what egos do. They judge. I may not be engaging in the judging right now, but I have the same ego and am expressing it in other ways. That makes us all the same. And they and I share the same right mind, too, along with the power to choose. All of us attacked God or we would not be here, and we all want to return home, but are afraid to.” By seeing that as the constant purpose of your being with your friends, you would learn how to be with them without supporting their egos, without feeling superior to them (an attack), and without feeling alienated. It is your laboratory, you might say, for applying what you have learned.