ACIM Text Reading for May 28
Chapter 17 ~ Forgiveness and the Holy Relationship
I. Bringing Fantasy to Truth
The betrayal of the Son of God lies only in illusions, and all his “sins” are but his own imagining. His reality is forever sinless. He need not be forgiven but awakened. In his dreams he has betrayed himself, his brothers and his God. Yet what is done in dreams has not been really done. It is impossible to convince the dreamer that this is so, for dreams are what they are because of their illusion of reality. Only in waking is the full release from them, for only then does it become perfectly apparent that they had no effect upon reality at all, and did not change it. Fantasies change reality. That is their purpose. They cannot do so in reality, but they can do so in the mind that would have reality be different.
It is, then, only your wish to change reality that is fearful, because by your wish you think you have accomplished what you wish. This strange position, in a sense, acknowledges your power. Yet by distorting it and devoting it to “evil,” it also makes it unreal. You cannot be faithful to two masters who ask conflicting things of you. What you use in fantasy you deny to truth. Yet what you give to truth to use for you is safe from fantasy.
When you maintain that there must be an order of difficulty in miracles, all you mean is that there are some things you would withhold from truth. You believe truth cannot deal with them only because you would keep them from truth. Very simply, your lack of faith in the power that heals all pain arises from your wish to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy. If you but realized what this must do to your appreciation of the whole! What you reserve for yourself, you take away from Him Who would release you. Unless you give it back, it is inevitable that your perspective on reality be warped and uncorrected.
As long as you would have it so, so long will the illusion of an order of difficulty in miracles remain with you. For you have established this order in reality by giving some of it to one teacher, and some to another. And so you learn to deal with part of the truth in one way, and in another way the other part. To fragment truth is to destroy it by rendering it meaningless. Orders of reality is a perspective without understanding; a frame of reference for reality to which it cannot really be compared at all.
Think you that you can bring truth to fantasy, and learn what truth means from the perspective of illusions? Truth has no meaning in illusion. The frame of reference for its meaning must be itself. When you try to bring truth to illusions, you are trying to make illusions real, and keep them by justifying your belief in them. But to give illusions to truth is to enable truth to teach that the illusions are unreal, and thus enable you to escape from them. Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you. There is no order in reality, because everything there is true.
Be willing, then, to give all you have held outside the truth to Him Who knows the truth, and in Whom all is brought to truth. Be not concerned with anything except your willingness to have this be accomplished. He will accomplish it; not you. But forget not this: When you become disturbed and lose your peace of mind because another is attempting to solve his problems through fantasy, you are refusing to forgive yourself for just this same attempt. And you are holding both of you away from truth and from salvation. As you forgive him, you restore to truth what was denied by both of you. And you will see forgiveness where you have given it.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 28
My mind holds only what I think with God.
(135) If I defend myself I am attacked.
(136) Sickness is a defense against the truth.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #48: I have been reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, and find it in line with A Course in Miracles. Have you at the Foundation come across this book? If so, would you comment on the ideas in the book, and how they do or do not coincide with the Course.
A: It has always been our Foundation’s policy not to discuss the work of other authors and teachers of A Course in Miracles, or any work relating to the Course. One of our reasons has been the concern that this could very easily lead to divisiveness, which would override any potential usefulness to such discussion.
What we can say, however, is that A Course in Miracles is unique among spiritualities or spiritual approaches, both contemporary and ancient ones. This certainly does not mean that it is necessarily the best, but only that what it teaches, and the way in which it teaches it, is different from other paths. One can state this uniqueness in general terms as being the integration of a non- dualistic metaphysics, which states that only the non-material God is real, with a sophisticated psychological approach, heavily based on Freud’s insights into the human psyche. This integration helps us live within the illusory world under the principle of forgiveness, taught to us by the Holy Spirit .
In general, we can also say that if a student of A Course in Miracles benefits from another spiritual path, and such integration helps the student become kinder and more forgiving, then that needs no justification or comment. It is always helpful to return to the basic Course teaching of content rather than form, and to recall the statement at the end of the manual for teachers: “The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance” (M.29.2:6). Therefore, read and study whatever is helpful. What is most important is the degree to which you are able to practice forgiveness, rather than seeking to understand it.