ACIM Text Reading for August 13
Chapter 25 ~ The Justice of God
X. The Justice of Heaven
What can it be but arrogance to think your little errors cannot be undone by Heaven’s justice? And what could this mean except that they are sins and not mistakes, forever uncorrectable, and to be met with vengeance, not with justice? Are you willing to be released from all effects of sin? You cannot answer this until you see all that the answer must entail. For if you answer “yes” it means you will forego all values of this world in favor of the peace of Heaven. Not one sin would you retain. And not one doubt that this is possible will you hold dear that sin be kept in place. You mean that truth has greater value now than all illusions. And you recognize that truth must be revealed to you, because you know not what it is.
To give reluctantly is not to gain the gift, because you are reluctant to accept it. It is saved for you until reluctance to receive it disappears, and you are willing it be given you. God’s justice warrants gratitude, not fear. Nothing you give is lost to you or anyone, but cherished and preserved in Heaven, where all of the treasures given to God’s Son are kept for him, and offered anyone who but holds out his hand in willingness they be received. Nor is the treasure less as it is given out. Each gift but adds to the supply. For God is fair. He does not fight against His Son’s reluctance to perceive salvation as a gift from Him. Yet would His justice not be satisfied until it is received by everyone.
Be certain any answer to a problem the Holy Spirit solves will always be one in which no one loses. And this must be true, because He asks no sacrifice of anyone. An answer which demands the slightest loss to anyone has not resolved the problem, but has added to it and made it greater, harder to resolve and more unfair. It is impossible the Holy Spirit could see unfairness as a resolution. To Him, what is unfair must be corrected because it is unfair. And every error is a perception in which one, at least, is seen unfairly. Thus is justice not accorded to the Son of God. When anyone is seen as losing, he has been condemned. And punishment becomes his due instead of justice.
The sight of innocence makes punishment impossible, and justice sure. The Holy Spirit’s perception leaves no ground for an attack. Only a loss could justify attack, and loss of any kind He cannot see. The world solves problems in another way. It sees a resolution as a state in which it is decided who shall win and who shall lose; how much the one shall take, and how much can the loser still defend. Yet does the problem still remain unsolved, for only justice can set up a state in which there is no loser; no one left unfairly treated and deprived, and thus with grounds for vengeance. Problem solving cannot be vengeance, which at best can bring another problem added to the first, in which the murder is not obvious.
The Holy Spirit’s problem solving is the way in which the problem ends. It has been solved because it has been met with justice. Until it has it will recur, because it has not yet been solved. The principle that justice means no one can lose is crucial to this course. For miracles depend on justice. Not as it is seen through this world’s eyes, but as God knows it and as knowledge is reflected in the sight the Holy Spirit gives.
No one deserves to lose. And what would be unjust to him cannot occur. Healing must be for everyone, because he does not merit an attack of any kind. What order can there be in miracles, unless someone deserves to suffer more and others less? And is this justice to the wholly innocent? A miracle is justice. It is not a special gift to some, to be withheld from others as less worthy, more condemned, and thus apart from healing. Who is there who can be separate from salvation, if its purpose is the end of specialness? Where is salvation’s justice if some errors are unforgivable, and warrant vengeance in place of healing and return of peace?
Salvation cannot seek to help God’s Son be more unfair than he has sought to be. If miracles, the Holy Spirit’s gift, were given specially to an elect and special group, and kept apart from others as less deserving, then is He ally to specialness. What He cannot perceive He bears no witness to. And everyone is equally entitled to His gift of healing and deliverance and peace. To give a problem to the Holy Spirit to solve for you means that you want it solved. To keep it for yourself to solve without His help is to decide it should remain unsettled, unresolved, and lasting in its power of injustice and attack. No one can be unjust to you, unless you have decided first to be unjust. And then must problems rise to block your way, and peace be scattered by the winds of hate.
Unless you think that all your brothers have an equal right to miracles with you, you will not claim your right to them because you were unjust to one with equal rights. Seek to deny and you will feel denied. Seek to deprive, and you have been deprived. A miracle can never be received because another could receive it not. Only forgiveness offers miracles. And pardon must be just to everyone.
The little problems that you keep and hide become your secret sins, because you did not choose to let them be removed for you. And so they gather dust and grow, until they cover everything that you perceive and leave you fair to no one. Not one right do you believe you have. And bitterness, with vengeance justified and mercy lost, condemns you as unworthy of forgiveness. The unforgiven have no mercy to bestow upon another. That is why your sole responsibility must be to take forgiveness for yourself.
The miracle that you receive, you give. Each one becomes an illustration of the law on which salvation rests; that justice must be done to all, if anyone is to be healed. No one can lose, and everyone must benefit. Each miracle is an example of what justice can accomplish when it is offered to everyone alike. It is received and given equally. It is awareness that giving and receiving are the same. Because it does not make the same unlike, it sees no differences where none exists. And thus it is the same for everyone, because it sees no differences in them. Its offering is universal, and it teaches but one message:
- What is God’s belongs to everyone, and is his due.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 13
God is my Father, and His Son loves Him.
Father, I must return Your Love for me, for giving and receiving are the same, and You have given all Your Love to me. I must return it, for I want it mine in full awareness, blazing in my mind and keeping it within its kindly light, inviolate, beloved, with fear behind and only peace ahead. How still the way Your loving Son is led along to You!
Brother, we find that stillness now. The way is open. Now we follow it in peace together. You have reached your hand to me, and I will never leave you. We are one, and it is but this oneness that we seek, as we accomplish these few final steps which end a journey that was not begun.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #28: How do I forgive others for their horrible acts? How can I forgive the sniper? Is this not real? Is it the distraction of the ego? I also fear what is real. When I say, above all I want to see, I become terrified. I have a hard time giving up this world we created. I love some of my creations, like my family. Don’t I need to die to return to my reality? Won’t I be lonely?
A: The forgiveness the Course is teaching us is a process of looking at a situation such as the sniper killings and asking ourselves what this event is telling us about what we believe. We begin by looking honestly at our reactions to these killings which include all kinds of feelings and judgments about the victims and the victimizers. All these feelings and thoughts are useful in uncovering the hidden beliefs of the ego thought system; that the world is real, that we are bodies, that what we call death is the end of what we call “life”, that we are vulnerable to attack…the list goes on and on. The Course then asks us to recognize that all these are feelings and thoughts about ourselves that we have projected on to the victims as well as the victimizers. We are learning that the feelings/thoughts along with the pain they cause were already with us before the event took place. The event only seemed to cause the feelings. This is why the Course says we forgive our brothers for what they did not do. “Be willing to forgive the Son of God for what he did not do” (T.17.III.1,5). The snipers did not cause our feelings, our mistaken beliefs did. If we are willing to look at any situation in this way we are beginning to question the ego’s lies. We are then in a position to ask for another way of seeing. This is sometimes very difficult to do, it takes practice and a lot of honesty, but it is the only way we can get in touch with the beliefs that are keeping us rooted in a thought system that is causing us a lot of pain. This pain is coming from believing the ego’s lies and not from the situation, in this case the killings. It is very important that we practice this without denying any of the feelings or thoughts we do have about the outrageous events in this ego world of fear and hatred and without forcing ourselves to try to accept a new belief system that challenges our usual ego perspective. This will only entrench us in our mistaken views and make us more afraid. If we are willing to just say “maybe I’m wrong about this”, then the world we’ve made and all our relationships, including those we “love”, become our classroom for learning the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of everything we experience rather than serving as a distraction. (Note: the Course uses the term “made” for the ego’s world. “Creation” refers to God’s extension of love on the level of the Mind only.) The Course tells us the Holy Spirit will not take any of our special relationships away from us but will instead give us a different interpretation and a different purpose for them. Without them we would not be aware of the mistaken beliefs about ourselves or the judgments (whether for good or for bad) that keep us in our deep sleep. We have made ourselves afraid of what is real and that is why we have a Teacher who is inviting us to take small steps with Him toward a new way of thinking. If we do this with Jesus or the Holy Spirit by our side we will not be lonely or dead. Eventually we will fully waken from the dream with the realization that we were in fact only dreaming, with no thought or need for dying. Meanwhile each step in forgiveness brings us more peace and takes us closer to our truth where our family will include everyone and we will not experience any sense of loss.