ACIM Text Reading for August 8
Chapter 25 ~ The Justice of God
VI. The State of Sinlessness
The state of sinlessness is merely this: The whole desire to attack is gone, and so there is no reason to perceive the Son of God as other than he is. The need for guilt is gone because it has no purpose, and is meaningless without the goal of sin. Attack and sin are bound as one illusion, each the cause and aim and justifier of the other. Each is meaningless alone, but seems to draw a meaning from the other. Each depends upon the other for whatever sense it seems to have. And no one could believe in one unless the other were the truth, for each attests the other must be true.
Attack makes Christ your enemy, and God along with Him. Must you not be afraid with “enemies” like these? And must you not be fearful of yourself? For you have hurt yourself, and made your Self your “enemy.” And now you must believe you are not you, but something alien to yourself and “something else,” a “something” to be feared instead of loved. Who would attack whatever he perceives as wholly innocent? And who, because he wishes to attack, can fail to think he must be guilty to maintain the wish, while wanting innocence? For who could see the Son of God as innocent and wish him dead? Christ stands before you, each time you look upon your brother. He has not gone because your eyes are closed. But what is there to see by searching for your Savior, seeing Him through sightless eyes?
It is not Christ you see by looking thus. It is the “enemy,” confused with Christ, you look upon. And hate because there is no sin in him for you to see. Nor do you hear his plaintive call, unchanged in content in whatever form the call is made, that you unite with him, and join with him in innocence and peace. And yet, beneath the ego’s senseless shrieks, such is the call that God has given him, that you might hear in him His Call to you, and answer by returning unto God what is His Own.
The Son of God asks only this of you; that you return to him what is his due, that you may share in it with him. Alone does neither have it. So must it remain useless to both. Together, it will give to each an equal strength to save the other, and save himself along with him. Forgiven by you, your savior offers you salvation. Condemned by you, he offers death to you. In everyone you see but the reflection of what you choose to have him be to you. If you decide against his proper function, the only one he has in truth, you are depriving him of all the joy he would have found if he fulfilled the role God gave to him. But think not Heaven is lost to him alone. Nor can it be regained unless the way is shown to him through you, that you may find it, walking by his side.
It is no sacrifice that he be saved, for by his freedom will you gain your own. To let his function be fulfilled is but the means to let yours be. And so you walk toward Heaven or toward hell, but not alone. How beautiful his sinlessness will be when you perceive it! And how great will be your joy, when he is free to offer you the gift of sight God gave to him for you! He has no need but this; that you allow him freedom to complete the task God gave to him. Remembering but this; that what he does you do, along with him. And as you see him, so do you define the function he will have for you, until you see him differently and let him be what God appointed that he be to you.
Against the hatred that the Son of God may cherish toward himself, is God believed to be without the power to save what He created from the pain of hell. But in the love he shows himself is God made free to let His Will be done. In your brother you see the picture of your own belief in what the Will of God must be for you. In your forgiveness will you understand His Love for you; through your attack believe He hates you, thinking Heaven must be hell. Look once again upon your brother, not without the understanding that he is the way to Heaven or to hell, as you perceive him. But forget not this; the role you give to him is given you, and you will walk the way you pointed out to him because it is your judgment on yourself.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 8
I am not a body. I am free,
For I am still as God created me.
(200) There is no peace except the peace of God.
Let me not wander from the way of peace, for I am lost on
other roads than this. But let me follow Him Who leads me
home, and peace is certain as the Love of God.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #981: There is a line in A Course in Miracles ( T.25.VI.6:8 ): “His special hate became his special love.” This line appears to say that special love is something good or positive. I was under the impression that for the Course “special love” was just as ego driven, and therefore just as “bad,” as “special hate.”
A: This is a good example of how the Course sometimes gives a term a different meaning. In this case, “special love” is not referring to the specialness of the ego’s love. It refers to a relationship transformed by the Holy Spirit. The passage tells us that the mind that chose hate and sin can choose love and grace. It thereby illustrates Jesus’ teaching that the Holy Spirit uses what the ego made to condemn as a means of salvation. That is not to say that the ego’s use of special love becomes “good.” As with everything of the ego, the special relationship is neither good nor bad. It merely reflects the mind’s choice to identify with the thought of separation and the belief that illusion is real. When the mind chooses the Holy Spirit instead of the ego, the special love or hate relationship is reinterpreted by Him as a classroom to learn to undo the belief in separation. Thus the relationship becomes the means of salvation.
The passage you refer to is further clarified in the text where we are told: “In His function as Interpreter of what you made, the Holy Spirit uses special relationships, which you have chosen to support the ego, as learning experiences that point to truth. Under His teaching, every relationship becomes a lesson in love” ( T.15.V.4:5,6 ). When a relationship is transformed by the Holy Spirit and becomes a “lesson in love,” it is then “special” in a new sense. What makes it special is that its purpose has been changed. The ego’s goal of using it to establish differences and make the separation real is changed to the Holy Spirit’s curriculum of undoing separation through forgiveness. Forgiveness uncovers the exclusiveness of the ego’s love that is used to defend specialness . While the ego bids us use special love to find one’s own completion, the Holy Spirit teaches wholeness expressed in love that is inclusive, not special. Our goal is not to see the special relationship as positive or negative, nor to try not to have them, but to let the Holy Spirit use them to lead us beyond the ego’s specialness to the reflection of love for all the Sonship that He represents.
Q #982: I try to listen to the Holy Spirit all the time, and especially to ask Him to speak through me when I’m talking to others. I am often amazed at the gentle, encouraging words that come out of my mouth. I attribute this to just being willing to let Christ talk for me, not to any special abilities of my own. But last week, while I was talking to a new thought minister, something happened that bothered me. I told him that instead of encouraging his flock to listen to God for themselves, he tries to keep them dependent on him and to make them believe that they have to go through him to reach God. I spoke very authoritatively to him. Then, afterwards, I quickly apologized and ran out. This is bothering me because I wasn’t teaching love. I barely knew this man! I did open up to spirit before speaking with him, so why would something so harsh come out? I guess I must have been projecting in some way, for some reason. Please give me your insight.
A: First, we need to be clear that we cannot necessarily judge whether or not we are teaching love by the words we say. Jesus tells us in A Course in Miracles that what we hear when we listen to the Holy Spirit “may indeed be quite startling” (M.21.5: 2). Thus, it is possible that our words could sound harsh or even outlandish, but still be motivated by an underlying intention to be loving and helpful. So, with nothing but a description of external events to go on, we could not say whether you were in fact being unkind to that man.
You are correct that whenever we say, feel, or think anything that is not an extension of love, we are projecting. If that is indeed what you were doing in that instant, we could only guess the reasons why. Without knowing more about you, we could only speculate why you might have been triggered at that specific moment, by that particular individual. But it might be helpful to ponder the following statement from the Course: “projection, occurs when you believe that some emptiness or lack exists in you, and that you can fill it with your own ideas instead of truth” ( T.2.I.1:7 ).
In other words, if you were attacking him, the chances are that he reminded you of something of which you accuse yourself. (This does not necessarily mean that you accuse yourself of exactly what you reprimanded him for, though this could be the case.) Then, before that guilt came to consciousness, your ego jumped in and said, “Ah, I know how to get rid of this guilt. I’ll focus instead on what he is doing wrong.” As the Course says, “Projection makes perception… you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world [your mind] . 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…”( T.13.V.3:5,6,7,8 ).
If guilt led to the incident in the first place, rather than continuing to feel guilty about it, it would be more helpful to instead use it as a valuable source of information. Because “What is not love is always fear, and nothing else” ( T.15.X.4:5 ), you could recognize that, despite your frequently successful attempts to connect with the Holy Spirit’s Love, part of your mind is still fearful. In fact, as long as we retain any belief in the reality of this world and our individual existence within it, a part of our mind will remain afraid. It is only at the very end of our spiritual journey that we will be entirely guilt free and consistently filled with love. Until then, it is virtually inevitable that we will have both right-minded moments in which we extend love, and wrong-minded moments in which we project guilt.
The fact that you recognize that you may have projected guilt, and have a sincere desire not to do so, is very helpful. At this point, you could simply stop right there and ask the Holy Spirit to help you look at the incident you described (and any future situations which trigger your guilt) through His compassionate, non-judgmental eyes — allowing Him to give the same gentle encouragement to you that you have felt Him help you direct toward others.