ACIM Text Reading for April 14
Chapter 12 ~ The Holy Spirit’s Curriculum
VI. The Vision of Christ
The ego is trying to teach you how to gain the whole world and lose your own soul. The Holy Spirit teaches that you cannot lose your soul and there is no gain in the world, for of itself it profits nothing. To invest without profit is surely to impoverish yourself, and the overhead is high. Not only is there no profit in the investment, but the cost to you is enormous. For this investment costs you the world’s reality by denying yours, and gives you nothing in return. You cannot sell your soul, but you can sell your awareness of it. You cannot perceive your soul, but you will not know it while you perceive something else as more valuable.
The Holy Spirit is your strength because He knows nothing but the spirit as you. He is perfectly aware that you do not know yourself, and perfectly aware of how to teach you to remember what you are. Because He loves you, He will gladly teach you what He loves, for He wills to share it. Remembering you always, He cannot let you forget your worth. For the Father never ceases to remind Him of His Son, and He never ceases to remind His Son of the Father. God is in your memory because of Him. You chose to forget your Father but you do not really want to do so, and therefore you can decide otherwise. As it was my decision, so is it yours.
You do not want the world. The only thing of value in it is whatever part of it you look upon with love. This gives it the only reality it will ever have. Its value is not in itself, but yours is in you. As self-value comes from self-extension, so does the perception of self-value come from the extension of loving thoughts outward. Make the world real unto yourself, for the real world is the gift of the Holy Spirit, and so it belongs to you.
Correction is for all who cannot see. To open the eyes of the blind is the Holy Spirit’s mission, for He knows that they have not lost their vision, but merely sleep. He would awaken them from the sleep of forgetting to the remembering of God. Christ’s eyes are open, and He will look upon whatever you see with love if you accept His vision as yours. The Holy Spirit keeps the vision of Christ for every Son of God who sleeps. In His sight the Son of God is perfect, and He longs to share His vision with you. He will show you the real world because God gave you Heaven. Through Him your Father calls His Son to remember. The awakening of His Son begins with his investment in the real world, and by this he will learn to re-invest in himself. For reality is one with the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit blesses the real world in Their Name.
When you have seen this real world, as you will surely do, you will remember us. Yet you must learn the cost of sleeping, and refuse to pay it. Only then will you decide to awaken. And then the real world will spring to your sight, for Christ has never slept. He is waiting to be seen, for He has never lost sight of you. He looks quietly on the real world, which He would share with you because He knows of the Father’s Love for Him. And knowing this, He would give you what is yours. In perfect peace He waits for you at His Father’s altar, holding out the Father’s Love to you in the quiet light of the Holy Spirit’s blessing. For the Holy Spirit will lead everyone home to his Father, where Christ waits as His Self.
Every child of God is one in Christ, for his being is in Christ as Christ’s is in God. Christ’s Love for you is His Love for His Father, which He knows because He knows His Father’s Love for Him. When the Holy Spirit has at last led you to Christ at the altar to His Father, perception fuses into knowledge because perception has become so holy that its transfer to holiness is merely its natural extension. Love transfers to love without any interference, for the two are one. As you perceive more and more common elements in all situations, the transfer of training under the Holy Spirit’s guidance increases and becomes generalized. Gradually you learn to apply it to everyone and everything, for its applicability is universal. When this has been accomplished, perception and knowledge have become so similar that they share the unification of the laws of God.
What is one cannot be perceived as separate, and the denial of the separation is the reinstatement of knowledge. At the altar of God, the holy perception of God’s Son becomes so enlightened that light streams into it, and the spirit of God’s Son shines in the Mind of the Father and becomes one with it. Very gently does God shine upon Himself, loving the extension of Himself that is His Son. The world has no purpose as it blends into the Purpose of God. For the real world has slipped quietly into Heaven, where everything eternal in it has always been. There the Redeemer and the redeemed join in perfect love of God and of each other. Heaven is your home, and being in God it must also be in you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 14
I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
Today’s idea continues with the thought that joy and peace are not but idle dreams. They are your right, because of what you are. They come to you from God, Who cannot fail to give you what He wills. Yet must there be a place made ready to receive His gifts. They are not welcomed gladly by a mind that has instead received the gifts it made where His belong, as substitutes for them.
Today we would remove all meaningless and self-made gifts which we have placed upon the holy altar where God’s gifts belong. His are the gifts that are our own in truth. His are the gifts that we inherited before time was, and that will still be ours when time has passed into eternity. His are the gifts that are within us now, for they are timeless. And we need not wait to have them. They belong to us today.
Therefore, we choose to have them now, and know, in choosing them in place of what we made, we but unite our will with what God wills, and recognize the same as being one. Our longer practice periods today, the hourly five minutes given truth for your salvation, should begin with this:
I seek but what belongs to me in truth,
And joy and peace are my inheritance.
Then lay aside the conflicts of the world that offer other gifts and other goals made of illusions, witnessed to by them, and sought for only in a world of dreams.
All this we lay aside, and seek instead that which is truly ours, as we ask to recognize what God has given us. We clear a holy place within our minds before His altar, where His gifts of peace and joy are welcome, and to which we come to find what has been given us by Him. We come in confidence today, aware that what belongs to us in truth is what He gives. And we would wish for nothing else, for nothing else belongs to us in truth.
So do we clear the way for Him today by simply recognizing that His Will is done already, and that joy and peace belong to us as His eternal gifts. We will not let ourselves lose sight of them between the times we come to seek for them where He has laid them. This reminder will we bring to mind as often as we can:
I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
God’s gifts of joy and peace are all I want.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #695: This is about your answer to Question #465 regarding T.12.4. A Course in Miracles teaches us that the world is a reflection of your mind (“the outside picture of an inward condition” [T.21.in.1:51), why would someone ask a highly enlightened being to do something outrageous? Does that mean that someone like Sai Baba could never be asked an outrageous question? Second, if my mind is free from guilt then how could someone even ask for something “outrageous.” A guilt free mind wouldn’t reflect guilt even in the form of a question. I thought that when you “get it” it won’t even show up. That is why I find this to be contradictory of the teaching of love or fear, light or dark; if they are polarities then how could love and fear be present at the same time
A: First, Jesus is directing this teaching to unhealed minds, those that are still projecting guilt. A guilt-free mind, as you say, would never attack or feel attacked. Within the dream, a healed mind could be the object of an attack by someone else, as was the case with Jesus who perceived that others were attacking him, but did not himself experience it as an attack. It could be for a teaching purpose that a healed mind would choose to be in that kind of situation.
As an example of what Jesus is teaching, let us say that you insist that I go to the store to buy something you need. I immediately lash out at you and angrily refuse to go, saying, “That’s outrageous! The nerve of you to insist that I go to the store for you. Go yourself, and quit bothering me!” Jesus is talking about that kind of extreme reaction to another person’s request. If I had switched from my wrong mind to my right mind, I would not have judged your insistence that I go to the store for you as outrageous, and then attacked you in return, for I would have recognized what you were really asking for: to be saved from your self-hatred and fear of punishment by God for your “sin” of separating from Him. You were asking for love, and I would have responded with love to that request by my inner peace and non-opposition. The specific form that love would have taken would not be of concern to me; that is, I would do what you asked or not do it. There would have been no sense of being imposed on or deprived of my own needs. That is what Jesus means in saying “no ‘outrageous’ requests can be made of one who recognizes what is valuable and wants to accept nothing else” (4:8).
Jesus is helping us to become clear about “the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of salvation” (5:3). Your insistence that I go to the store means that you believe your salvation lies in getting what you want. My forceful opposition would mean that I believe salvation lies in my not giving you what you want. That is the problem Jesus is identifying in this kind of interaction. I, as an unhealed mind, have simply forgotten that my salvation as well as yours lies in the power of our minds to choose against the ego and for the Holy Spirit’s thought system of forgiveness.
Q #889: A person I socialize with is in the habit of reciting the rosary when someone travels with her and expects the other person to recite it with her. As a student of A Course in Miracles , would it be dishonest to recite “Hail Mary…pray for us sinners now….” or would it rather be a loving thing to do and in accordance with the Course teaching: “Recognize what does not matter, and if your brothers ask you for something ‘outrageous’, do it because it does not matter.” (T.12.III.4:1)? Would this exhortation apply to the situation I am talking about?
I am a non-practicing catholic and have been a student of the Course for the past 6 years. Some of the women I socialize with attend church on a regular basis. I have been asked what church I attend. I didn’t like being asked about that, as there is only one church in our parish. So, the first time I ignored the question. The second time, I spontaneously answered: “Good question!” I don’t feel like answering that my spiritual path is A Course in Miracles . What would be a loving, honest way to answer that question?
A: You have given yourself a very good answer to your question. It may certainly be a loving thing to say Hail Marys with your friend. There is nothing dishonest in being willing to meet your friend on her turf and on her terms. While your friend practices her beliefs, you can also practice yours by focusing on the content (the thoughts in your mind), not allowing the form (rosary) to come between you and your friend. This could make for a very relaxing ride.
Similarly, there is no need to tell anyone that you are a student of the Course. The important thing from the perspective of the Course, is to pay attention to the discomfort you experience with your friends’ inquiries, because it reflects the mind’s conflict. The goal of the Course is to help us become aware of just such discomfort, so that the beliefs and judgments that are hidden beneath it can be exposed. That is the only focus the Holy Spirit brings. If you are willing to look at whatever judgments you have regarding your friends’ catholic practice and your identity as a non- practicing catholic / student of the Course, you may be surprised to find beliefs you were not aware of. These beliefs and judgments are what make it difficult to discern what to say to your friends about church attendance. Every judgment is some form of unforgiveness and unforgiveness blocks communication. As Jesus tells us in the workbook: “ Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness. Yet that is the content underneath the form” (W.pI.193.4:1, 2) . With this in mind, it is possible to find the way out of every dilemma: “…only forgiveness heals an unforgiveness, and only an unforgiveness can possibly give rise to sickness [distress, discomfort, uneasiness] of any kind” (P.2VI.5:5).
When forgiveness of one’s judgments becomes the goal in the relationship, the relationship changes, and on some level all who are involved perceive the shift. Questions and answers may change, but it is the change in content that truly matters. In some form, the message that your friends’ inquiries are not upsetting to you will be communicated to them. Releasing them of any responsibility for your feelings makes every interaction lighter. Whatever you say will be free of judgment. If you remain a kind and loving friend in this way they probably won’t care what church, if any, you are attending. If they do care, it won’t be an issue for you. You can’t lose.