ACIM Text Reading for March 22
Chapter 10 ~ The Idols of Sickness
Nothing beyond yourself can make you fearful or loving, because nothing is beyond you. Time and eternity are both in your mind, and will conflict until you perceive time solely as a means to regain eternity. You cannot do this as long as you believe that anything happening to you is caused by factors outside yourself. You must learn that time is solely at your disposal, and that nothing in the world can take this responsibility from you. You can violate God’s laws in your imagination, but you cannot escape from them. They were established for your protection and are as inviolate as your safety.
God created nothing beside you and nothing beside you exists, for you are part of Him. What except Him can exist? Nothing beyond Him can happen, because nothing except Him is real. Your creations add to Him as you do, but nothing is added that is different because everything has always been. What can upset you except the ephemeral, and how can the ephemeral be real if you are God’s only creation and He created you eternal? Your holy mind establishes everything that happens to you. Every response you make to everything you perceive is up to you, because your mind determines your perception of it.
God does not change His Mind about you, for He is not uncertain of Himself. And what He knows can be known, because He does not know it only for Himself. He created you for Himself, but He gave you the power to create for yourself so you would be like Him. That is why your mind is holy. Can anything exceed the Love of God? Can anything, then, exceed your will? Nothing can reach you from beyond it because, being in God, you encompass everything. Believe this, and you will realize how much is up to you. When anything threatens your peace of mind, ask yourself, “Has God changed His Mind about me?” Then accept His decision, for it is indeed changeless, and refuse to change your mind about yourself. God will never decide against you, or He would be deciding against Himself.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 22
We are now ready for another review. We will begin where our last review left off, and cover two ideas each day. The earlier part of each day will be devoted to one of these ideas, and the latter part of the day to the other. We will have one longer exercise period, and frequent shorter ones in which we practice each of them.
The longer practice periods will follow this general form: Take about fifteen minutes for each of them, and begin by thinking about the ideas for the day, and the comments that are included in the assignments. Devote some three or four minutes to reading them over slowly, several times if you wish, and then close your eyes and listen.
Repeat the first phase of the exercise period if you find your mind wandering, but try to spend the major part of the time listening quietly but attentively. There is a message waiting for you. Be confident that you will receive it. Remember that it belongs to you, and that you want it.
Do not allow your intent to waver in the face of distracting thoughts. Realize that, whatever form such thoughts may take, they have no meaning and no power. Replace them with your determination to succeed. Do not forget that your will has power over all fantasies and dreams. Trust it to see you through, and carry you beyond them all.
Regard these practice periods as dedications to the way, the truth and the life. Refuse to be sidetracked into detours, illusions and thoughts of death. You are dedicated to salvation. Be determined each day not to leave your function unfulfilled.
Reaffirm your determination in the shorter practice periods as well, using the original form of the idea for general applications, and more specific forms when needed. Some specific forms are included in the comments which follow the statement of the ideas. These, however, are merely suggestions. It is not the particular words you use that matter.
Our ideas for review today are:
(61) I am the light of the world.
How holy am I, who have been given the function of lighting up the world! Let me be still before my holiness. In its calm light let all my conflicts disappear. In its peace let me remember Who I am.
Some specific forms for applying this idea when special difficulties seem to arise might be:
Let me not obscure the light of the world in me.
Let the light of the world shine through this appearance.
This shadow will vanish before the light.
(62) Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.
It is through accepting my function that I will see the light in me. And in this light will my function stand clear and perfectly unambiguous before my sight. My acceptance does not depend on my recognizing what my function is, for I do not yet understand forgiveness. Yet I will trust that, in the light, I will see it as it is.
Specific forms for using this idea might include:
Let this help me learn what forgiveness means.
Let me not separate my function from my will.
I will not use this for an alien purpose.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #282: In addition to being a student of A Course in Miracles, I am also a Buddhist. I find that Buddhism and the Course fit very well together. I am considering taking up robes and becoming a Buddhist nun, in order to further my spiritual understanding. By letting go of a “normal” lifestyle of having a job, paying bills, etc., am I postponing lessons that I will need to learn, or is the adoption of a monastic lifestyle a great step forward in letting go of my attachment (forgive my Buddhist terminology) to the world of illusions that my ego has created?
A: A Course in Miracles focuses only on the content in our minds, not form or behavior. And that content is either of the ego or Holy Spirit. So whether you are in a monastery or in a corporate office makes no difference from that point of view. What makes a difference, spiritually, is whether you see your interests as different from everyone else’s or as the same. The Course encourages us to see our life circumstances and settings as classrooms in which we can choose to learn either the ego’s curriculum, which is based on separation, or the Holy Spirit’s curriculum, which is based on the undoing of separation. It teaches us to think always in terms of purpose: Are we using the world and our relationships to reinforce our belief in separation or to undo it? The world and the body, thus, are not the problem; the way we use them is the problem. And that always is the result of the choice we make in our minds to be taught by the ego or by Jesus. Thus, what would be most helpful in your situation is to ask for help in undoing any specialness that might be involved in the decision you are making. That would go a long way toward removing the doubts and conflicts you experience.
Q #283: I have been a student of A Course in Miracles for six years now and practice at it daily. Every time I have a questions to ask it gets answered in some form by you. so thank you for all the help. Now I am a little confused on how to handle this situation. The last eight years I have gained 30 lbs and being 69 years of age it is a concern because the additional weight can lead to many diseases and I am not comfortable with it. So I went on a diet of healthy eating and exercises. I am comfortable with my game plan but I am confused because I know that all the illnesses, aches and pains are only my own guilt about the choice I made on leaving God and that guilt is projected on to my body. So, if I stay aware of this fact and continue on my plan will that be OK? How do we handle following the Course and doing what we think is necessary in this world. This question could be used in many different situations. Again thank you for all your help.
A: You are correct. This question can be applied to many different situations regarding behavior.
As you undoubtedly know, the focus of A Course in Miracles is not on changing our behavior, but rather on changing the teacher who will guide us through our daily lives. And yet, we have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is basically where we find ourselves right now. It doesn’t matter that yesterday I was practically sitting at the right hand of God when today I’m a hateful, spiteful, blankety-blank!
So, we start where we are. As you stated, you know your ailments come from your guilt. This recognition alone gives you more knowledge than 99.9% of the population. You are off to a good start right there! You want to lose weight to live a longer and healthier life, and as an aside, to perhaps feel better about your looks as well (although you didn’t say so). You have a plan, which seems complete and well thought out. You imply that you have implemented your plan, at least for a little while, and then you became confused — about your plan, about your guilt, etc.
Sounds like you made a right-minded decision to take better care of yourself, to love yourself a little more, to “let go” of some of your guilt, and to be worthy of good health and happiness. It also sounds like once you started implementing your plan, a tiny voice began to whisper in your ear — the content of its message, no matter what the words, being “who will I be without my guilt?” Once heard, you began to get confused. Should I? Would I? Could I? All of this a direct response to your right-minded decision.
This is a perfect example of what we all do in various aspects of our lives. We make right-minded decisions, become afraid of them (and their implications) and jump right back into the arms of the ego until we tire of its insanity and begin the entire process again — over, and over, and over. We continue this way until our fear is totally diminished and we make the final right-minded choice, at which point we are in the real world, and the tiny voice of the ego is heard no more. And, if you can generalize this process to your entire life, you’ll be able to more quickly and easily recognize signs of fear as they creep into your thoughts, no matter what form they take. This will help you take your doubt and self-sabotage less seriously than you have in the past, simply stating:: “Of course, I’ve gotten afraid again. So what else is new?”