ACIM Text Reading for July 21
Do you not see the opposite of frailty and weakness is sinlessness? Innocence is strength, and nothing else is strong. The sinless cannot fear, for sin of any kind is weakness. The show of strength attack would use to cover frailty conceals it not, for how can the unreal be hidden? No one is strong who has an enemy, and no one can attack unless he thinks he has. Belief in enemies is therefore the belief in weakness, and what is weak is not the Will of God. Being opposed to it, it is God’s “enemy.” And God is feared as an opposing will.
How strange indeed becomes this war against yourself! You will believe that everything you use for sin can hurt you and become your enemy. And you will fight against it, and try to weaken it because of this; and you will think that you succeeded, and attack again. It is as certain you will fear what you attack as it is sure that you will love what you perceive as sinless. He walks in peace who travels sinlessly along the way love shows him. For love walks with him there, protecting him from fear. And he will see only the sinless, who can not attack.
Walk you in glory, with your head held high, and fear no evil. The innocent are safe because they share their innocence. Nothing they see is harmful, for their awareness of the truth releases everything from the illusion of harmfulness. And what seemed harmful now stands shining in their innocence, released from sin and fear and happily returned to love. They share the strength of love because they looked on innocence. And every error disappeared because they saw it not. Who looks for glory finds it where it is. Where could it be but in the innocent?
Let not the little interferers pull you to littleness. There can be no attraction of guilt in innocence. Think what a happy world you walk, with truth beside you! Do not give up this world of freedom for a little sigh of seeming sin, nor for a tiny stirring of guilt’s attraction. Would you, for all these meaningless distractions, lay Heaven aside? Your destiny and purpose are far beyond them, in the clean place where littleness does not exist. Your purpose is at variance with littleness of any kind. And so it is at variance with sin.
Let us not let littleness lead God’s Son into temptation. His glory is beyond it, measureless and timeless as eternity. Do not let time intrude upon your sight of him. Leave him not frightened and alone in his temptation, but help him rise above it and perceive the light of which he is a part. Your innocence will light the way to his, and so is yours protected and kept in your awareness. For who can know his glory, and perceive the little and the weak about him? Who can walk trembling in a fearful world, and realize that Heaven’s glory shines on him?
Nothing around you but is part of you. Look on it lovingly, and see the light of Heaven in it. So will you come to understand all that is given you. In kind forgiveness will the world sparkle and shine, and everything you once thought sinful now will be reinterpreted as part of Heaven. How beautiful it is to walk, clean and redeemed and happy, through a world in bitter need of the redemption that your innocence bestows upon it! What can you value more than this? For here is your salvation and your freedom. And it must be complete if you would recognize it.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for July 21
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
(182) I will be still an instant and go home.
Why would I choose to stay an instant more where I do not
belong, when God Himself has given me His Voice to call
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #169: In the past, I have had problems in gaining employment. I used to think life was too short to work, or money is not worth the time involved. I came to realize my excuses had to do with my inferiority complexes, shyness, inequality, etc., and I could not handle the expectations of an employer or social pressure within the workplace. Although I have made great advances with A Course in Miracles, and with forgiveness, I can’t seem to distinguish between ego or Holy Spirit with regard to employment. It seems that there is no point in working, and I could devote my time to forgiveness. Or maybe by working I could learn my Biggest lesson in forgiveness. Which is ego? Which is Holy Spirit?
A: Discerning between the ego and the Holy Spirit can be a daunting task at times, and yet one of the most important, if not the most important, to master in your study of A Course in Miracles. Until such time comes as your certainty that all your thoughts and actions come from the Holy Spirit (the real world), the best one can do is do the best one can do, and then observe the “fruits of one’s labor,” or as the Course would call it, “The Test of Truth”: “You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God’s lesson, and not your own” (T.14.XI.5:1,2).
While you have experienced forgiveness in various areas of your life, it seems incomplete with regard to employment due in part to your seeming ambivalence toward it. Before you can become aware of what the Holy Spirit would have you do (or not do), you must be willing to hide nothing: “You will not be able to accept perfect communication as long as you would hide it from yourself. For what you would hide is hidden from you. In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception, and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep to yourself. Let the Holy Spirit’s purity shine them away, and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity He offers you.” (T.15.IV.9:6,7,8,9). In other words, examine all of the thoughts you hold in your mind regarding employment. Make a list of “good and bad,” “for and against” — just let whatever is there come into your conscious awareness. Once all of the “chatter” about this topic has been voiced, then you are more able to hear the Voice which will guide you. You will find that your focus on the answer in form will recede as the content of being with or without guilt becomes more important. An exercise such as mentioned above will help you practice shifting your focus from the form to the content, from the effect to the cause. And remember too the important lesson Jesus teaches us about purpose: “In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is “What do I want to come of this? What is it <for?”> The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this which will determine the outcome. In the ego’s procedure this is reversed. The situation becomes the determiner of the outcome, which can be anything. The reason for this disorganized approach is evident. The ego does not know what it wants to come of the situation. It is aware of what it does not want, but only that. It has no positive goal at all” (T.17.VI.2). But now you have a definite goal, and by making room within your mind to hear the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit, you are ensured of reaching that goal.
Q #170: It seems to me that there are cloaked allusions to the sexual drive as made by the ego in A Course in Miracles. I may be completely wrong but I don’t know where to turn to find validation for this idea, as well as many more questions I have about ego strategies and forms relating to Course material. Is it possible that the sex drive is an evolution of the desire to kill God and create the son of the ego? There is discussion in psychology circles about the inherent aggression in the act of sex, especially in rape and forms of physical abuse. Perhaps the most benign or “loving” act would be loving impregnation of a spouse in a holy relationship. Can you help me out with this?
A: Sex is just one of many manifestations in form of the ego’s obsession with meeting its own needs, with little or no concern for anyone else. But in the hierarchy of illusions we believe in, it is one of the more potent, as well as guilt-inducing. Yes, it all began with God and our desire to seize the power to create life from Him, and to be the author of our own reality (T.3.VI.5:8; 8). That conflict is then projected out into a world of form, including sex with all its complicated interpersonal ramifications. And then, in an ambivalent contradiction that only the ego is capable of, we attribute the power to “create new life” — the so-called “miracle of birth” — both to God and to ourselves.
Aggression is inherent in all acts inspired by the ego, more apparent in some expressions than in others, but always present in the underlying content. And it is not much of a stretch to see sexual connotations in some of the Course’s more graphic descriptions of ego activity. The fourth law of chaos, for example, describes how we believe we must seize the “priceless pearl” that our brother has stolen from us and hidden in his body, tearing it from his body as we lay claim to what is rightfully ours (T.23.II.11,12). Melanie Klein, a student of Freud’s, observed just such violent and destructive fantasies, with explicit sexual overtones, acted out in doll play by very young children in therapy with her.
Although sex was made for ego purposes, like everything of the ego, it is possible to give it another, holy purpose. But this is not as simple as it may seem, because the world does not understand what love is, often confusing and equating sex with love. Early in the text, Jesus speaks of our confusion of physical impulses with miracle impulses (T.1.VII.1:2,3). In the original dictation, the reference was actually to sexual impulses (Absence from Felicity, p. 246), but the final edited text extended the context to all bodily impulses.
It is not the form of the act nor the specific nature of the relationship itself that determines whether sex is loving, but the content or purpose held in your mind. If you experience guilt in any form, the ego has joined you and has assured that the focus is only on the body. But when you recognize shared rather than separate interests, and your goal is not simply your own physical satisfaction, you have invited the Holy Spirit to bless the union and have recognized that the real joining is between minds, not bodies.
For a more extended discussion of issues related to sex from the Course’s perspective, you may find the recent audio and videotape set, Form vs. Content: Sex and Money, helpful.