ACIM Text Reading for March 2
Chapter 7 ~ The Gifts of the Kingdom
VII. The Totality of the Kingdom
Whenever you deny a blessing to a brother you will feel deprived, because denial is as total as love. It is as impossible to deny part of the Sonship as it is to love it in part. Nor is it possible to love it totally at times. You cannot be totally committed sometimes. Denial has no power in itself, but you can give it the power of your mind, whose power is without limit. If you use it to deny reality, reality is gone for you. Reality cannot be partly appreciated. That is why denying any part of it means you have lost the awareness of all of it. Yet denial is a defense, and so it is as capable of being used positively as well as negatively. Used negatively it will be destructive, because it will be used for attack. But in the service of the Holy Spirit, it can help you recognize part of reality, and thus appreciate all of it. Mind is too powerful to be subject to exclusion. You will never be able to exclude yourself from your thoughts.
When a brother acts insanely, he is offering you an opportunity to bless him. His need is yours. You need the blessing you can offer him. There is no way for you to have it except by giving it. This is the law of God, and it has no exceptions. What you deny you lack, not because it is lacking, but because you have denied it in another and are therefore not aware of it in yourself. Every response you make is determined by what you think you are, and what you want to be is what you think you are. What you want to be, then, must determine every response you make.
You do not need God’s blessing because that you have forever, but you do need yours. The ego’s picture of you is deprived, unloving and vulnerable. You cannot love this. Yet you can very easily escape from this image by leaving it behind. You are not there and that is not you. Do not see this picture in anyone, or you have accepted it as you. All illusions about the Sonship are dispelled together as they were made together. Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be. Your brother is the mirror in which you see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts. And perception will last until the Sonship knows itself as whole. You made perception and it must last as long as you want it.
Illusions are investments. They will last as long as you value them. Values are relative, but they are powerful because they are mental judgments. The only way to dispel illusions is to withdraw all investment from them, and they will have no life for you because you will have put them out of your mind. While you include them in it, you are giving life to them. Except there is nothing there to receive your gift.
The gift of life is yours to give, because it was given you. You are unaware of your gift because you do not give it. You cannot make nothing live, since nothing cannot be enlivened. Therefore, you are not extending the gift you both have and are, and so you do not know your being. All confusion comes from not extending life, because that is not the Will of your Creator. You can do nothing apart from Him, and you do do nothing apart from Him. Keep His way to remember yourself, and teach his way lest you forget yourself. Give only honor to the Sons of the living God, and count yourself among them gladly.
Only honor is a fitting gift for those whom God himself created worthy of honor, and whom He honors. Give them the appreciation God accords them always, because they are His beloved Sons in whom He is well pleased. You cannot be apart from them because you are not apart from Him. Rest in His love and protect your rest by loving. But love everything He created, of which you are a part, or you cannot learn of His peace and accept His gift for yourself and as yourself. You cannot know your own perfection until you have honored all those who were created like you.
One child of God is the only teacher sufficiently worthy to teach another. One Teacher is in all minds and He teaches the same lesson to all. He always teaches you the worth of every Son of God, teaching it with infinite patience born of the infinite love for which He speaks. Every attack is a call for His patience, since His patience can translate attack into blessing. Those who attack do not know they are blessed. They attack because they believe they are deprived. Give, therefore, of your abundance, and teach your brothers theirs. Do not share their illusions of scarcity, or you will perceive yourself as lacking.
Attack could never promote attack unless you perceived it as a means of depriving you of something you want. Yet you cannot lose anything unless you do not value it, and therefore do not want it. This makes you feel deprived of it, and by projecting your own rejection you then believe that others are taking it from you. You must be fearful if you believe that your brother is attacking you to tear the Kingdom of Heaven from you. This is the ultimate basis for all the ego’s projection.
Being the part of your mind that does not believe it is responsible for itself, and being without allegiance to God, the ego is incapable of trust. Projecting its insane belief that you have been treacherous to your Creator, it believes that your brothers, who are as incapable of this as you are, are out to take God from you. Whenever a brother attacks another, that is what he believes. Projection always sees your wishes in others. If you choose to separate yourself from God, that is what you will think others are doing to you.
You are the Will of God. Do not accept anything else as your will, or you are denying what you are. Deny this and you will attack, believing you have been attacked. But see the Love of God in you, and you will see it everywhere because it is everywhere. See His abundance in everyone, and you will know that you are in Him with them. They are part of you, as you are part of God. You are as lonely without understanding this as God Himself is lonely when His Sons do not know Him. The peace of God is understanding this. There is only one way out of the world’s thinking, just as there was only one way into it. Understand totally by understanding totality.
Perceive any part of the ego’s thought system as wholly insane, wholly delusional and wholly undesirable, and you have correctly evaluated all of it. This correction enables you to perceive any part of creation as wholly real, wholly perfect and wholly desirable. Wanting this only you will have this only, and giving this only you will be only this. The gifts you offer to the ego are always experienced as sacrifices, but the gifts you offer to the Kingdom are gifts to you. They will always be treasured by God because they belong to His beloved Sons, who belong to Him. All power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 2
These ideas are for today’s review:
(46) God is the Love in which I forgive.
God does not forgive because He has never condemned. The blameless cannot blame, and those who have accepted their innocence see nothing to forgive. Yet forgiveness is the means by which I will recognize my innocence. It is the reflection of God’s Love on earth. It will bring me near enough to Heaven that the Love of God can reach down to me and raise me up to Him.
(47) God is the strength in which I trust.
It is not my own strength through which I forgive. It is through the strength of God in me, which I am remembering as I forgive. As I begin to see, I recognize His reflection on earth. I forgive all things because I feel the stirring of His strength in me. And I begin to remember the Love I chose to forget, but which has not forgotten me.
(48) There is nothing to fear.
How safe the world will look to me when I can see it! It will not look anything like what I imagine I see now. Everyone and everything I see will lean toward me to bless me. I will recognize in everyone my dearest Friend. What could there be to fear in a world that I have forgiven, and that has forgiven me?
(49) God’s Voice speaks to me all through the day.
There is not a moment in which God’s Voice ceases to call on my forgiveness to save me. There is not a moment in which His Voice fails to direct my thoughts, guide my actions and lead my feet. I am walking steadily on toward truth. There is nowhere else I can go, because God’s Voice is the only Voice and the only Guide that has been given to His Son.
(50) I am sustained by the Love of God.
As I listen to God’s Voice, I am sustained by His Love. As I open my eyes, His Love lights up the world for me to see. As I forgive, His Love reminds me that His Son is sinless. And as I look upon the world with the vision He has given me, I remember that I am His Son.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #158: I have difficulty understanding this section in the text of A Course in Miracles on attack: “Attack could never promote attack unless you perceived it as a means of depriving you of something you want. Yet you cannot lose anything unless you do not value it, and therefore do not want it. This makes you feel deprived of it, and by projecting your own rejection you then believe that others are taking it from you.” (T.7.VII.8:1,2,3) Please can you help?
A: The fourth law of chaos says that “you have what you have taken” (T.23.II.9:3); and we know that projection is one of the ego’s “laws.” Therefore, we are always suspicious of others, believing that they are plotting to take something from us. And ultimately what we believe they are out to steal from us is the peace of God. This, again, is a projection of the treachery of which we accuse ourselves. The point of the teaching is that the peace of God within us can never be taken from us unless we allow that to happen, which could be only because we do not really value it. And the reason we don’t value it is that part of us knows that if we totally identify with it, our self as we know it would disappear and be replaced by our true Self which is beyond all individualized existence in this world. The defense against this is to blame others for depriving us of our inner peace, rather than take responsibility for throwing it away ourselves.
Q #159: In my job my role is to be a helper, I notice that I reinforce my specialness by having a sense of importance and superiority toward those I help, while also hating them. I am also invested in having the things I do make things better. When there has been joining with another, I take credit for it. It seems that I am using all this to reinforce my individual identity in the world, and my guilt, so as not to move beyond specialness. Is it enough to be honest about my arrogance, trusting that Jesus can work with the honesty if I am willing?
A: Looking honestly at the specialness and hatred that we bring to all our relationships is certainly the first step in the forgiveness process. A Course in Miracles is asking us to do just that, so that we recognize the ego dynamics in operation. You also recognize the motives for the special love or special hate, which is very important. The same motive you mention is always in operation, keeping our specialness intact, so as to reinforce our belief in our separate identity, and in the world. The result, as you mention, is guilt, and that is our real attraction. As long as we feel guilty, we can keep the peace of God at a safe distance, stay in conflict, and keep our individuality. This is clearly the situation you describe. Looking at it honestly certainly moves you out of the denial that is so basic to the ego’s sick scheme. Healing can begin when the sickness is recognized. The next step is to make the connection between this choice in the mind to reinforce specialness and thereby reinforce and cling to guilt, and all the pain experienced in the dream of separation. It is very important to make this cause and effect relationship. In it lies the key to undoing our belief in the ego thought system and its painful consequences. If the specialness and its ensuing guilt is a choice in the mind, this must mean that there is another choice that can be made, that will have a different result. Therein lies the logic of the thought system of the Holy Spirit as presented in the Course. Once this association is made, the next step is to ask Jesus for help in making another choice. Looking is not the end of our part in the healing relationship with Jesus. We must go a bit beyond that to asking for, and truly desiring, “another way.” This is not always as easy as it seems. We are often quite willing to let Jesus replace our pain with his peace, until we realize this means letting go of a lot more than we bargained for. It requires a willingness to let go of the investment in our specialness and the purpose it serves, which ultimately leads to the undoing of the entire thought system of the ego. Since the ego finds this threatening, it has an endless supply of inviting forms to keep us engaged. Our part is to remain vigilant for all its tricks and recognize them as all the same, so they can be brought to the Holy Spirit to be transformed. Remember, the Course does not ask that we be without our special relationships: “I have said repeatedly that the Holy Spirit would not deprive you of your special relationships, but would transform them”(T.17.IV.2:3). This is where the “willingness” you speak of comes in. It does not have to be perfect willingness; “Your willingness need not be perfect, because His is. If you will merely offer Him a little place, He will lighten it so much that you will gladly let it be increased” (T.11.II.6:6,7). The little willingness suffices, as long as we are not actively holding out by hiding our “secret sins and hidden hates,” denying them, justifying them, or calling them by other, less gruesome names. If you remain faithful to the process you have begun, you will surely find it will have significant results in your learning and healing.