ACIM Text Reading for April 22
Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World
VI. The Two Emotions
I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. They are made of sights that are not seen, and sounds that are not heard. They make up a private world that cannot be shared. For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.
Each one peoples his world with figures from his individual past, and it is because of this that private worlds do differ. Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers, and do not include their reactions to him. Therefore, he does not see he made them, and that they are not whole. For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only.
It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is to them that they relate. Thus do they communicate with those who are not there, and it is they who answer them. And no one hears their answer save him who called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world. And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there.
The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognize they have condemned themselves. They do not wish to die, yet they will not let condemnation go. And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything is disordered, and where what is within appears to be without. Yet what is within they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot recognize.
You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other. For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes it is not recognized. If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves, and recoils from what he fears. And you react with fear to love, and draw away from it. Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. Your private world is filled with figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see.
As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound. Your manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.
Little child, would you offer this to your Father? For if you offer it to yourself, you are offering it to Him. And He will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of Him. Yet He would release you from it and set you free. His sane Answer tells you what you have offered yourself is not true, but His offering to you has never changed. You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. You will see all that you denied in your brothers because you denied it in yourself. For you will love them, and by drawing nigh unto them you will draw them to yourself, perceiving them as witnesses to the reality you share with God. I am with them as I am with you, and we will draw them from their private worlds, for as we are united so would we unite with them. The Father welcomes all of us in gladness, and gladness is what we should offer Him. For every Son of God is given you to whom God gave Himself. And it is God Whom you must offer them, to recognize His gift to you.
Vision depends on light. You cannot see in darkness. Yet in darkness, in the private world of sleep, you see in dreams although your eyes are closed. And it is here that what you see you made. But let the darkness go and all you made you will no longer see, for sight of it depends upon denying vision. Yet from denying vision it does not follow you cannot see. But this is what denial does, for by it you accept insanity, believing you can make a private world and rule your own perception. Yet for this, light must be excluded. Dreams disappear when light has come and you can see.
Do not seek vision through your eyes, for you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness, and in this you are deceived. Beyond this darkness, and yet still within you, is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. Your “vision” comes from fear, as His from love. And He sees for you, as your witness to the real world. He is the Holy Spirit’s manifestation, looking always on the real world, and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them to you. He loves what He sees within you, and He would extend it. And He will not return unto the Father until He has extended your perception even unto Him. And there perception is no more, for He has returned you to the Father with him.
You have but two emotions, and one you made and one was given you. Each is a way of seeing, and different worlds arise from their different sights. See through the vision that is given you, for through Christ’s vision He beholds Himself. And seeing what He is, He knows His Father. Beyond your darkest dreams He sees God’s guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance that is undimmed by your dreams. And this you will see as you look with Him, for His vision is His gift of love to you, given Him of the Father for you.
The Holy Spirit is the Light in which Christ stands revealed. And all who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for light. Nor will they see Him alone, for He is no more alone than they are. Because they saw the Son, they have risen in Him to the Father. And all this will they understand, because they looked within and saw beyond the darkness the Christ in them, and recognized Him. In the sanity of His vision they looked upon themselves with love, seeing themselves as the Holy Spirit sees them. And with this vision of the truth in them came all the beauty of the world to shine upon them.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 22
For morning and evening review:
(93) Light and joy and peace abide in me.
I am the home of light and joy and peace.
I welcome them into the home I share with God,
because I am a part of Him.
(94) I am as God created me.
I will remain forever as I was,
created by the Changeless like Himself.
And I am one with Him, and He with me.
On the hour:
Light and joy and peace abide in me.
On the half hour:
I am as God created me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #535: I have a question about something I read in “The Guiltless World” in Chapter 13 of A Course in Miracles, in section VI, “Finding the Present”. In paragraph 4 it says: “Past, present and future are not continuous….” Then it says: “You would destroy time’s continuity by breaking it into past, present and future….” This is confusing to me. First it says past, present and future are not continuous. Then it says that I would destroy time’s continuity. How can I destroy time’s continuity if it is not continuous? Or, am I misreading this paragraph?
A: The key is in understanding that the ego and the Holy Spirit perceive the purpose of illusory time exactly the opposite (T.13.IV.7:1,2) and so each focuses on different aspects of time: the ego on the past and future; the Holy Spirit on the present. The ego wants to keep us trapped in the illusion of time for that keeps the ego alive. And so it attempts to establish an artificial continuity or link between the illusory past and the illusory future through guilt and fear, which makes time real in our experience. The ego literally ignores the present except as a fleeting moment in time that links the past and the future, with the future a fearful and inevitable continuation of the sinful, guilty past, with no hope of escape (T.5.VI.2:1,2,3,4; T.13.I.8; T.13.IV.8).
The Holy Spirit, in contrast, seeks to help us move beyond the illusion of time and so uses the present, the only aspect of time that approximates eternity, to extend to the infinite (T.13.IV.7:3,4,5,6,7; T.13.VI.6). The past’s only value is that it can be undone through forgiveness, transforming it and purifying it so that it no longer conflicts with the present (T.17.III.5). For the Holy Spirit, the holy instant, the present moment, is one continuous instant without interruption or ending, which is the bridge between time and timelessness. If we do not experience its continuity, it is only because we have accepted the ego’s interpretation of time, which attempts to impose an artificial continuity between a sinful past that has never happened and a future of punishment and pain that is nothing more than a sick fantasy (W.pI.135.16).
Q #536: Many times A Course in Miracles tells us to let go of our judgments and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. It says that if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, all of our needs will be met. It also explains that “needs” means seeming needs that we perceive while we are still in illusion. It also says that we must awaken in peace. By this I understand it to mean that we cannot awaken from a dream of terror but first we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us from our fearful dream to a “happy dream.” Then, we can awaken. Do I understand this correctly? How can we be sure we are not following the guidance of the ego’s judgments and mistaking them for the real Holy Spirit’s guidance?
A: Your understanding is basically correct, provided you do not mean that you expect all your seeming worldly needs to be met so long as you follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. For if you do, you will be setting yourself up for certain disappointment. There are a few passages in the Course where the language seems to suggest this kind of Providential provision for our needs (e.g., T.20.IV.8, but see also Question #293), but these are intended as comforting passages to reassure us that God loves us and does not want to punish or hurt us in any way, as the ego would have us believe. As we come to understand the level of mind at which the Course is written, it becomes apparent that Jesus is referring to the obstacles and perceived needs in the mind, not in the body, which after all is only a lifeless projection of the thoughts of scarcity and need in the mind.
As for your question about hearing the Holy Spirit, His guidance is always and only to forgive (T.25.VI.5:3,4,5,6; W.pI.99.9:6,7,8; W.pII.1.5:1). And that does not require us to do anything. Rather it asks us to undo our judgments of attack and condemnation. Anything specific that we might say or do following that release of judgment is simply the form that our own minds, joined with the Holy Spirit, then give to the experience of love and peace that flow through our minds when we are not restricting their extension by our desire for something else. So long as you accept that your role is simply to recognize your ego’s judgments and be willing to let them go, you need not concern yourself with anything else. You will be following the Holy Spirit’s guidance.