ACIM Text Reading for March 11
Chapter 8 ~ The Journey Back
V. The Undivided Will of the Sonship
Can you be separated from your identification and be at peace? Dissociation is not a solution; it is a delusion. The delusional believe that truth will assail them, and they do not recognize it because they prefer the delusion. Judging truth as something they do not want, they perceive their illusions which block knowledge. Help them by offering them your unified mind on their behalf, as I am offering you mine on behalf of yours. Alone we can do nothing, but together our minds fuse into something whose power is far beyond the power of its separate parts. By not being separate, the Mind of God is established in ours and as ours. This Mind is invincible because it is undivided.
The undivided will of the Sonship is the perfect creator, being wholly in the likeness of God, Whose Will it is. You cannot be exempt from it if you are to understand what it is and what you are. By the belief that your will is separate from mine, you are exempting yourself from the Will of God which is yourself. Yet to heal is still to make whole. Therefore, to heal is to unite with those who are like you, because perceiving this likeness is to recognize the Father. If your perfection is in Him and only in Him, how can you know it without recognizing Him? The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself. There is no separation of God and His creation. You will realize this when you understand that there is no separation between your will and mine. Let the Love of God shine upon you by your acceptance of me. My reality is yours and His. By joining your mind with mine you are signifying your awareness that the Will of God is one.
God’s Oneness and ours are not separate, because His Oneness encompasses ours. To join with me is to restore His power to you because we are sharing it. I offer you only the recognition of His power in you, but in that lies all truth. As we unite, we unite with Him. Glory be to the union of God and His holy Sons! All glory lies in them because they are united. The miracles we do bear witness to the Will of the Father for His Son, and to our joy in uniting with His Will for us.
When you unite with me you are uniting without the ego, because I have renounced the ego in myself and therefore cannot unite with yours. Our union is therefore the way to renounce the ego in you. The truth in both of us is beyond the ego. Our success in transcending the ego is guaranteed by God, and I share this confidence for both of us and all of us. I bring God’s peace back to all His children because I received it of Him for us all. Nothing can prevail against our united wills because nothing can prevail against God’s.
Would you know the Will of God for you? Ask it of me who know it for you and you will find it. I will deny you nothing, as God denies me nothing. Ours is simply the journey back to God Who is our home. Whenever fear intrudes anywhere along the road to peace, it is because the ego has attempted to join the journey with us and cannot do so. Sensing defeat and angered by it, the ego regards itself as rejected and becomes retaliative. You are invulnerable to its retaliation because I am with you. On this journey you have chosen me as your companion instead of the ego. Do not attempt to hold on to both, or you will try to go in different directions and will lose the way.
The ego’s way is not mine, but it is also not yours. The Holy Spirit has one direction for all minds, and the one He taught me is yours. Let us not lose sight of His direction through illusions, for only illusions of another direction can obscure the one for which God’s Voice speaks in all of us. Never accord the ego the power to interfere with the journey. It has none, because the journey is the way to what is true. Leave all illusions behind, and reach beyond all attempts of the ego to hold you back. I go before you because I am beyond the ego. Reach, therefore, for my hand because you want to transcend the ego. My strength will never be wanting, and if you choose to share it you will do so. I give it willingly and gladly, because I need you as much as you need me.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 11
My salvation comes from me.
All temptation is nothing more than some form of the basic temptation not to believe the idea for today. Salvation seems to come from anywhere except from you. So, too, does the source of guilt. You see neither guilt nor salvation as in your own mind and nowhere else. When you realize that all guilt is solely an invention of your mind, you also realize that guilt and salvation must be in the same place. In understanding this you are saved.
The seeming cost of accepting today’s idea is this: It means that nothing outside yourself can save you; nothing outside yourself can give you peace. But it also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you, or disturb your peace or upset you in any way. Today’s idea places you in charge of the universe, where you belong because of what you are. This is not a role that can be partially accepted. And you must surely begin to see that accepting it is salvation.
It may not, however, be clear to you why the recognition that guilt is in your own mind entails the realization that salvation is there as well. God would not have put the remedy for the sickness where it cannot help. That is the way your mind has worked, but hardly His. He wants you to be healed, so He has kept the Source of healing where the need for healing lies.
You have tried to do just the opposite, making every attempt, however distorted and fantastic it might be, to separate healing from the sickness for which it was intended, and thus keep the sickness. Your purpose was to ensure that healing did not occur. God’s purpose was to ensure that it did.
Today we practice realizing that God’s Will and ours are really the same in this. God wants us to be healed, and we do not really want to be sick, because it makes us unhappy. Therefore, in accepting the idea for today, we are really in agreement with God. He does not want us to be sick. Neither do we. He wants us to be healed. So do we.
We are ready for two longer practice periods today, each of which should last some ten to fifteen minutes. We will, however, still let you decide when to undertake them. We will follow this practice for a number of lessons, and it would again be well to decide in advance when would be a good time to lay aside for each of them, and then adhering to your own decisions as closely as possible.
Begin these practice periods by repeating the idea for today, adding a statement signifying your recognition that salvation comes from nothing outside of you. You might put it this way:
My salvation comes from me. It cannot come from
Then devote a few minutes, with your eyes closed, to reviewing some of the external places where you have looked for salvation in the past;–in other people, in possessions, in various situations and events, and in self-concepts that you sought to make real. Recognize that it is not there, and tell yourself:
My salvation cannot come from any of these things.
My salvation comes from me and only from me.
Now we will try again to reach the light in you, which is where your salvation is. You cannot find it in the clouds that surround the light, and it is in them you have been looking for it. It is not there. It is past the clouds and in the light beyond. Remember that you will have to go through the clouds before you can reach the light. But remember also that you have never found anything in the cloud patterns you imagined that endured, or that you wanted.
Since all illusions of salvation have failed you, surely you do not want to remain in the clouds, looking vainly for idols there, when you could so easily walk on into the light of real salvation. Try to pass the clouds by whatever means appeals to you. If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you. And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy.
For the short and frequent practice periods today, remind yourself that your salvation comes from you, and nothing but your own thoughts can hamper your progress. You are free from all external interference. You are in charge of your salvation. You are in charge of the salvation of the world. Say, then:
My salvation comes from me. Nothing outside of me can hold
me back. Within me is the world’s salvation and my own.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #151: This is in reply to the answer for Question #70 concerning beauty and form. If there is only Divine Mind of God, shared with all of creation; then how does the responder explain the limitation of Divine Mind within the use of man in the co-creation of his world of form? I believe that each of us uses this Divine Mind though its potency or efficacy is not as great if left untainted by our ego insane applications. A Course in Miracles is a work which cannot be strictly taken in singular quotes; as it is a conversation of the Lord attempting to raise the level of the mind (now dualistic) into a singular higher divine aspect with the assistance of the Holy Spirit so the minds fullest potential can be realized while it still exists on this plane. God, knowing that it was unreal and nonthreatening to His Kingdom, allowed His Sons the lessons of miscreation so that wisdom and knowledge could achieve more prudent activities within their growth and return home.
A. The Course makes it clear throughout that anything of form could not come from God, and therefore must be illusory. God creates only like Himself, which is not something we can understand in our separated state. All of the references in the Course to co-creation pertain to Heaven. This is also true of the term creations.
There is no life outside Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion. At best it seems like life; at worst, like death.…Life not in Heaven is impossible, and what is not in Heaven is not anywhere. Outside of Heaven, only the conflict of illusion stands; senseless, impossible and beyond all reason, and yet perceived as an eternal barrier to Heaven. Illusions are but forms. Their content is never true (T.23.II.19).
Jesus’ purpose in the Course is help us get in touch with the part of our minds that is deliberately choosing to reject and deny our true Identity, replace It with a false identity, and then project the responsibility for this onto others in our lives whom we perceive as victimizing us. This has nothing to do with the Divine Mind, Who knows nothing of this journey into madness.
You need not agree with what the Course teaches about the Divine Mind, a term that actually never appears in the Course. Its purpose is to lead us back home to God, and if you resonate more with the way another system presents this journey, then that is the path you should follow. We are all children of one Father.
Q #152-a: In a few places in the text and in the lessons, Jesus says that we will “dissolve into God” at the end of time. To be straight up, I don’t like the idea of dissolving into God. I know that this is my ego speaking for me, and I accept that we are just dreaming this whole thing, that I have already dissolved into God, and I must not have gone away, because I’m still here, so to speak. Yet in my heart of hearts, I’m really afraid of loosing everything when I stop dreaming. This is probably the reason I have not stopped the dream. I understand that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are gently awakening me through Atonement and this feels right. Yet, “dissolving into God” feels, sounds, like going into nothingness. Can you help me with my fear?
#152-b: According to A Course in Miracles, does the world and all that I love in it disappear when I awaken from the dream? I ask because I don’t see life only as the source of sin, guilt, and fear. I would not want to lose the memories of loved ones and the moments of beauty, courage, creativity, etc., that I’ve known in my existence, illusory as it might be.
A: (a) Most people who practice the Course feel the way you do. They are afraid that “disappearing into the Heart of God” means oblivion and nothingness. Feeling this way is quite normal; and you don’t want to try to talk yourself out of it. That being said, though, it is obvious that it could only be the ego voicing its own fear of extinction in the presence of love, however. Therefore, when we identify with the ego — which we do whenever we value our individual existence — we definitely will fear our return to the Oneness of Heaven. But Jesus is aware of our dilemma — though it is a false dilemma — and so he reassures us in many, many places in the Course that we will awaken from this nightmare dream only when we are ready to. It is a process that is mindful of our fear and moves in accord with our readiness. As you have recognized, his is a gentle, comforting approach: “Fear not that you will be abruptly lifted up and hurled into reality” (T.16.VI.8:1; see also T.27.VIII.13).
There is an interim stage before we awaken in which we continue our lives here, but with less guilt, less anxiety, less anger, etc. We become more and more comfortable with a different way of being here, as we learn that we feel better when we forgive than when we are boiling inside with hatred and grievances and the pain of competing interests and goals. We gradually let go of our identification with the values the ego has held out to us and identify instead with the values of forgiveness that Jesus holds out to us. In other words, it is not that we lose our self and then just disappear; but rather, we shift in what we choose to identify with, and then that is what we become.
This process could be likened to a journey with many planned stops, but no exact timetable. You stop at various places along the way and get used to the new climate and vista. And as you continue the journey, you get to know your tour guide better and become more at ease with him. He never forces you to leave a place you don’t really want to leave, and stays there with you until you are ready to move on. He has no timetable that he makes you adhere to. When he tells you that the next stop will be even better, you more than likely would choose to continue the journey because everything he has shown you so far has been rather nice. Your trust in your guide grows, even though sometimes you get annoyed because he rouses you out of bed too early in the morning; but then you realize he did it only because he couldn’t wait to get on the road and show you the next beautiful place. The ride is often bumpy, but you forget about that once you are comfortably settled in at your next stop. You even begin to think that your guide actually knows you well and that he knows exactly what will you make you happy.
That is the way Jesus leads us. He knows that we will not lose anything and that we will be happier than we ever thought possible when we complete the journey with him; but he also sees how frightened we are of plunging into what we think is the unknown and our certain oblivion. So he gently takes us by the hand and patiently lets us go at our own pace, assuring us again and again that we will lose nothing and regain everything. Until that is our own perception, we can stay wherever we are, and know that Jesus is loving us at every instant. We cannot experience the fullness of that love, though, because we are still resisting it out of fear. But we will experience as much of his love as we let in. Time is illusory, so how long this takes is irrelevant. Jesus’ love is not conditional on time or place.
(b) When we awaken from our nocturnal dreams, we usually forget what we dreamt about, because we know “it was just a dream.” The same thing will be true when we awaken from the dream of our lives as individuals apart from God and Heaven. Preceding this awakening, of course, will be a period in which we experience ourselves as the dreamer of the dream, and we will recognize that all bodily existence, including our own, amounts to nothing but figures in the dream. We will know that we are not our bodies, nor are our loved ones their bodies, and that we are all joined now on another level that reflects our true Identity. Our attraction then will be to the radiant beauty of our sinlessness as God’s Son. The love in which we are all joined and which transcends anything that could be experienced on a bodily level would totally fill our minds. Nothing else would be in our awareness, for we would have gladly let go of whatever had blocked love’s presence from our awareness.