ACIM Text Reading for April 28
Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World
XII. The Peace of Heaven
Forgetfulness and sleep and even death become the ego’s best advice for dealing with the perceived and harsh intrusion of guilt on peace. Yet no one sees himself in conflict and ravaged by a cruel war unless he believes that both opponents in the war are real. Believing this he must escape, for such a war would surely end his peace of mind, and so destroy him. Yet if he could but realize the war is between real and unreal powers, he could look upon himself and see his freedom. No one finds himself ravaged and torn in endless battles if he himself perceives them as wholly without meaning.
God would not have His Son embattled, and so His Son’s imagined “enemy” is totally unreal. You are but trying to escape a bitter war from which you have escaped. The war is gone. For you have heard the hymn of freedom rising unto Heaven. Gladness and joy belong to God for your release, because you made it not. Yet as you made not freedom, so you made not a war that could endanger freedom. Nothing destructive ever was or will be. The war, the guilt, the past are gone as one into the unreality from which they came.
When we are all united in Heaven, you will value nothing that you value here. For nothing that you value here do you value wholly, and so you do not value it at all. Value is where God placed it, and the value of what God esteems cannot be judged, for it has been established. It is wholly of value. It can merely be appreciated or not. To value it partially is not to know its value. In Heaven is everything God values, and nothing else. Heaven is perfectly unambiguous. Everything is clear and bright, and calls forth one response. There is no darkness and there is no contrast. There is no variation. There is no interruption. There is a sense of peace so deep that no dream in this world has ever brought even a dim imagining of what it is.
Nothing in this world can give this peace, for nothing in this world is wholly shared. Perfect perception can merely show you what is capable of being wholly shared. It can also show you the results of sharing, while you still remember the results of not sharing. The Holy Spirit points quietly to the contrast, knowing that you will finally let Him judge the difference for you, allowing Him to demonstrate which must be true. He has perfect faith in your final judgment, because He knows that He will make it for you. To doubt this would be to doubt that his mission will be fulfilled. How is this possible, when His mission is of God?
You whose mind is darkened by doubt and guilt, remember this: God gave the Holy Spirit to you, and gave Him the mission to remove all doubt and every trace of guilt that His dear Son has laid upon himself. It is impossible that this mission fail. Nothing can prevent what God would have accomplished from accomplishment. Whatever your reactions to the Holy Spirit’s Voice may be, whatever voice you choose to listen to, whatever strange thoughts may occur to you, God’s Will is done. You will find the peace in which He has established you, because He does not change His Mind. He is invariable as the peace in which you dwell, and of which the Holy Spirit reminds you.
You will not remember change and shift in Heaven. You have need of contrast only here. Contrast and differences are necessary teaching aids, for by them you learn what to avoid and what to seek. When you have learned this, you will find the answer that makes the need for any differences disappear. Truth comes of its own will unto its own. When you have learned that you belong to truth, it will flow lightly over you without a difference of any kind. For you will need no contrast to help you realize that this is what you want, and only this. Fear not the Holy Spirit will fail in what your Father has given Him to do. The Will of God can fail in nothing.
Have faith in only this one thing, and it will be sufficient: God wills you be in Heaven, and nothing can keep you from it, or it from you. Your wildest misperceptions, your weird imaginings, your blackest nightmares all mean nothing. They will not prevail against the peace God wills for you. The Holy Spirit will restore your sanity because insanity is not the Will of God. If that suffices Him, it is enough for you. You will not keep what God would have removed, because it breaks communication with you with whom He would communicate. His Voice will be heard.
The communication link that God Himself placed within you, joining your mind with His, cannot be broken. You may believe you want it broken, and this belief does interfere with the deep peace in which the sweet and constant communication God would share with you is known. Yet His channels of reaching out cannot be wholly closed and separated from Him. Peace will be yours because His peace still flows to you from Him Whose Will is peace. You have it now. The Holy Spirit will teach you how to use it, and by extending it, to learn that it is in you. God willed you Heaven, and will always will you nothing else. The Holy Spirit knows only of His Will. There is no chance that Heaven will not be yours, for God is sure, and what He wills is as sure as He is.
You will learn salvation because you will learn how to save. It will not be possible to exempt yourself from what the Holy Spirit wants to teach you. Salvation is as sure as God. His certainty suffices. Learn that even the darkest nightmare that disturbs the mind of God’s sleeping Son holds no power over him. He will learn the lesson of awaking. God watches over him and light surrounds him.
Can God’s Son lose himself in dreams, when God has placed within him the glad Call to waken and be glad? He cannot separate himself from what is in him. His sleep will not withstand the Call to wake. The mission of redemption will be fulfilled as surely as the creation will remain unchanged throughout eternity. You do not have to know that Heaven is yours to make it so. It is so. Yet to know it, the Will of God must be accepted as your will.
The Holy Spirit will undo for you everything you have learned that teaches that what is not true must be reconciled with truth. This is the reconciliation the ego would substitute for your reconciliation to sanity and to peace. The Holy Spirit has a very different kind of reconciliation in His Mind for you, and one He will effect as surely as the ego will not effect what it attempts. Failure is of the ego, not of God. From Him you cannot wander, and there is no possibility that the plan the Holy Spirit offers to everyone, for the salvation of everyone, will not be perfectly accomplished. You will be released, and you will not remember anything you made that was not created for you and by you in return. For how can you remember what was never true, or not remember what has always been? It is this reconciliation with truth, and only truth, in which the peace of Heaven lies.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 28
For morning and evening review:
(105) God’s peace and joy are mine.
Today I will accept God’s peace and joy, in glad
exchange for all the substitutes that I have made
for happiness and peace.
(106) Let me be still and listen to the truth.
Let my own feeble voice be still, and let me hear the
mighty Voice for Truth Itself assure me that I am
God’s perfect Son.
On the hour:
God’s peace and joy are mine.
On the half hour:
Let me be still and listen to the truth.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #58: Recently while having a fight with my wife I turned to the Course for help by reading the passage about seeing only an expression of love or a call for love. Later I was able to reach out to her in a loving way. I find that I don’t consider her small outbursts and annoying irritations “big” enough to qualify as calls for love. It seems best not to take them seriously, though I resent that they take away the feeling of success in practicing the Course that I had when I applied the Course to the fight. Is it better to shrug off these small irritations or should I see them as calls for love also?
A: The Course does in fact say that everything is either an expression of love or a call for love (see T.14.X.7). Therefore, when someone is having an outburst of any kind, large or small, it is always a call for love and the Course asks us to respond with love. If our response is anything less than love it is of the ego, and we are in the same insane situation as the other person: we too are calling for love. It is very important in our practice of the Course to be vigilant for anyunderlying feeling or reaction in our experiences and our relationships. Even when we seem to be shrugging things off or waiting for an outburst to blow over, there is probably some annoyance, irritation or judgment going on. As the Course so clearly states; “The degree of the emotion you experience does not matter. You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury” (W.pI.21.2:4,5). This puts all of our interactions in the same category: there is no distinction between “big” or “small,” neither in the call for help nor in our reaction to it. The Course tells us that a choice to turn away from the light of the Holy Spirit in our minds, to throw our peace away by denying our unity with God, precedes that situation or interaction that seems to cause our reaction. The guilt and pain of that choice is the source of what appears as anger, annoyance, or irritation. Then a situation or an interaction with another person occurs, which we use to project our guilt onto, in the form of a reaction, or as the Course tells us “an interpretation”: “Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. Regardless, too, of the intensity of the anger that is aroused. It may be merely slight irritation, perhaps too mild to be even clearly recognized. Or it may also take the form of intense rage, accompanied by thoughts of violence, fantasied or apparently acted out. It does not matter. All of these reactions are the same. They obscure the truth, and this can never be a matter of degree. Either truth is apparent, or it is not. It cannot be partially recognized. Who is unaware of truth must look upon illusions” (M.17.4). The truth that is obscured can be understood on two levels: 1) we have made a choice, as explained above, that is causing us pain, anger, or annoyance, and now we blame a person or situation; 2) neither the choice nor the guilt we feel about it can have any effect on the Father’s love for us, nor our love for the Father; in other words, nothing has happened. It is clear that there are no degrees or distinctions in any of this; we are expressing love or calling for love, we are at peace or not at peace, we are with the truth or with illusion, seeing with the ego or with the Holy Spirit.
Our practice of the Course, therefore, is always optimum, whether we apply its teachings to something seemingly insignificant or to something we may judge as life threatening; nothing is too small or too big. It also means that every situation is important to our learning, and nothing should be overlooked or left to blow over. The decision to see differently, to listen to the Holy Spirit’s interpretation, will bring us the same peace no matter what kind of a predicament we think we are in. It may also be helpful to remember: “… the Holy Spirit’s vision is merciful and His remedy is quick. Do not hide suffering from His sight, but bring it gladly to Him. Lay before His eternal sanity all your hurt, and let Him heal you. Do not leave any spot of pain hidden from His light, and search your mind carefully for any thoughts you may fear to uncover. For He will heal every little thought you have kept to hurt you and cleanse it of its littleness, restoring it to the magnitude of God” (T.13.III.7:2,3,4,5,6).