ACIM Text Reading for May 22
Chapter 16 ~ The Forgiveness of Illusions
II. The Power of Holiness
You may still think that holiness is impossible to understand, because you cannot see how it can be extended to include everyone. And you have been told that it must include everyone to be holy. Concern yourself not with the extension of holiness, for the nature of miracles you do not understand. Nor do you do them. It is their extension, far beyond the limits you perceive, that demonstrates you do not do them. Why should you worry how the miracle extends to all the Sonship when you do not understand the miracle itself? One attribute is no more difficult to understand than is the whole. If miracles are at all, their attributes would have to be miraculous, being part of them.
There is a tendency to fragment, and then to be concerned about the truth of just a little part of the whole. And this is but a way of avoiding, or looking away from the whole, to what you think you might be better able to understand. For this is but another way in which you would still try to keep understanding to yourself. A better and far more helpful way to think of miracles is this: You do not understand them, either in part or in whole. Yet they have been done through you. Therefore your understanding cannot be necessary. Yet it is still impossible to accomplish what you do not understand. And so there must be Something in you that does understand.
To you the miracle cannot seem natural, because what you have done to hurt your mind has made it so unnatural that it does not remember what is natural to it. And when you are told what is natural, you cannot understand it. The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you. Wholly natural perception would show you instantly that order of difficulty in miracles is quite impossible, for it involves a contradiction of what miracles mean. And if you could understand their meaning, their attributes could hardly cause you perplexity.
You have done miracles, but it is quite apparent that you have not done them alone. You have succeeded whenever you have reached another mind and joined with it. When two minds join as one and share one idea equally, the first link in the awareness of the Sonship as One has been made. When you have made this joining as the Holy Spirit bids you, and have offered it to Him to use as He sees fit, His natural perception of your gift enables Him to understand it, and you to use His understanding on your behalf. It is impossible to convince you of the reality of what has clearly been accomplished through your willingness while you believe that you must understand it or else it is not real.
How can faith in reality be yours while you are bent on making it unreal? And are you really safer in maintaining the reality of illusions than you would be in joyously accepting truth for what it is, and giving thanks for it? Honor the truth that has been given you, and be glad you do not understand it. Miracles are natural to the One Who speaks for God. For His task is to translate the miracle into the knowledge which it represents, and which is hidden to you. Let His understanding of the miracle be enough for you, and do not turn away from all the witnesses that He has given you to His reality.
No evidence will convince you of the truth of what you do not want. Yet your relationship with Him is real. Regard this not with fear, but with rejoicing. The One you called upon is with you. Bid Him welcome, and honor the witnesses who bring you the glad tidings He has come. It is true, just as you fear, that to acknowledge Him is to deny all that you think you know. But what you think you know was never true. What gain is there to you in clinging to it, and denying the evidence for truth? For you have come too near to truth to renounce it now, and you will yield to its compelling attraction. You can delay this now, but only a little while. The Host of God has called to you, and you have heard. Never again will you be wholly willing not to listen.
This is a year of joy, in which your listening will increase and peace will grow with its increase. The power of holiness and the weakness of attack are both being brought into your awareness. And this has been accomplished in a mind firmly convinced that holiness is weakness and attack is power. Should not this be a sufficient miracle to teach you that your Teacher is not of you? But remember also that whenever you listened to His interpretation the results have brought you joy. Would you prefer the results of your interpretation, considering honestly what they have been? God wills you better. Could you not look with greater charity on whom God loves with perfect Love?
Do not interpret against God’s Love, for you have many witnesses that speak of it so clearly that only the blind and deaf could fail to see and hear them. This year determine not to deny what has been given you by God, for that is the only reason He has called to you. His Voice has spoken clearly, and yet you have so little faith in what you heard, because you have preferred to place still greater faith in the disaster you have made. Today, let us resolve together to accept the joyful tidings that disaster is not real and that reality is not disaster. Reality is safe and sure, and wholly kind to everyone and everything. There is no greater love than to accept this and be glad. For love asks only that you be happy, and will give you everything that makes for happiness.
You have never given any problem to the Holy Spirit He has not solved for you, nor will you ever do so. You have never tried to solve anything yourself and been successful. Is it not time you brought these facts together and made sense of them? This is the year for the application of the ideas that have been given you. For the ideas are mighty forces, to be used and not held idly by. They have already proved their power sufficiently for you to place your faith in them, and not in their denial. This year invest in truth, and let it work in peace. Have faith in Him Who has faith in you. Think what you have really seen and heard, and recognize it. Can you be alone with witnesses like these?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 22
My mind holds only what I think with God.
(123) I thank my Father for His gifts to me.
(124) Let me remember I am one with God.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1345: My sister and I are doing the course together. We both are doing our forgiveness lessons as faithfully as possible, and are both working towards enlightenment. We have both experienced moments of pure joy, “holy instants,” unforgettable and beyond words! Is it possible for us to eventually see each other as totally sinless? I think the text said that if we see but one brother sinless we will attain enlightenment?
A: Not only is it possible, but you cannot fail to see each other as totally sinless, because the sinlessness of God’s Son is eternal and changeless. Nothing else is true. Only in an illusion could God’s Son be perceived as fragmented, sinful, guilty, and fearful. Thus, our work as students of A Course in Miracles entails undoing our mistaken beliefs about who we truly are: the denial of our denial of the truth (T.12.II.1:5). In this forgiveness process we first look at our need to see each other as sinful in order to establish our own innocence; then we withdraw that projection, which is followed by the next step of letting go of our perception of ourselves as sinful and guilt-ridden. At that stage, all that remains in our minds is the healed perception wherein we see everyone as sharing perfectly in the pure innocence of Christ. That is enlightenment, until the last step, when God lifts us back unto Himself (W.pI.168.3).
Q #1346: Is a relationship worth pursuing when one partner seems contented, the other deeply unhappy for many years, with constant doubts about the suitability of the other person as a partner. I understand completely your response to a similar question: “Salvation is not found in form, because nothing external to the mind has any effect on it. This is the direct opposite to the ego’s belief that salvation/happiness, and relief from the misery of separation can be found in the world. This explains the ego’s endless and exhausting search for solutions, changes, and improvements in everything from a house to a relationship, in an attempt to fix the problem where it is not.”
Even when a person accepts that their interpretation of the relationship is a consequence of their ego’s perception and not the Holy Spirit’s, and even if a person invites the Holy Spirit to help to heal their perception of this relationship, can’t the relationship just be “wrong” for them? If not, then is it the case that any relationship will do as long as the Holy Spirit is involved in it? I can see that you would say “yes” to that last question, because we are One Mind and so it probably doesn’t make a difference who we are in relationships with. But when it seems that two people just don’t seem to really click, what then?
A: When your mind is healed, it would not matter with whom you live, where you live, or what you do, for you would no longer have a self with ego needs to be satisfied, and your identity would have no roots in the world at all. Without ego needs, you would simply be the extension of love that responds to people at their level, whatever that may be. “Clicking” with another person would have meaning only in terms of content, not form; and in that sense, a healed mind would click with everyone because everyone is seen as the same.
Until you reach that egoless state, however, it is important to respect your needs and not force yourself to stay in a relationship or do anything just because you think it is the spiritual thing to do. That really would not advance you spiritually, and it would be hard to avoid resentment if you intentionally remain in circumstances that seem to demand sacrifice of you. It is not wrong to want to be with someone you perceive to be compatible on the level of form. Within the dream, it is perfectly normal to have preferences, which means you would prefer to be with some people rather than others. As long as the preference does not escalate into judgment and exclusion on the level of content, there would be nothing wrong in going with your preferences. Just be honest with yourself about what you are doing, and don’t make it into a big deal or attribute spiritual motives to it.