ACIM Text Reading for August 19
Chapter 26 ~ The Transition
VI. The Appointed Friend
Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you, and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. And it is real to you. It is not nothing. And through its perceived reality has entered all the world of sick illusions. All belief in sin, in power of attack, in hurt and harm, in sacrifice and death, has come to you. For no one can make one illusion real, and still escape the rest. For who can choose to keep the ones that he prefers, and find the safety that the truth alone can give? Who can believe illusions are the same, and still maintain that even one is best?
Lead not your little life in solitude, with one illusion as your only friend. This is no friendship worthy of God’s Son, nor one with which he could remain content. Yet God has given him a better Friend, in Whom all power in earth and Heaven rests. The one illusion that you think is friend obscures His grace and majesty from you, and keeps His friendship and forgiveness from your welcoming embrace. Without Him you are friendless. Seek not another friend to take His place. There is no other friend. What God appointed has no substitute, for what illusion can replace the truth?
Who dwells with shadows is alone indeed, and loneliness is not the Will of God. Would you allow one shadow to usurp the throne that God appointed for your Friend, if you but realized its emptiness has left yours empty and unoccupied? Make no illusion friend, for if you do, it can but take the place of Him Whom God has called your Friend. And it is He Who is your only Friend in truth. He brings you gifts that are not of this world, and only He to Whom they have been given can make sure that you receive them. He will place them on your throne, when you make room for Him on His.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 19
2. What is Salvation?
Salvation is a promise, made by God, that you would find your way to Him at last. It cannot but be kept. It guarantees that time will have an end, and all the thoughts that have been born in time will end as well. God’s Word is given every mind which thinks that it has separate thoughts, and will replace these thoughts of conflict with the Thought of peace.
The Thought of peace was given to God’s Son the instant that his mind had thought of war. There was no need for such a Thought before, for peace was given without opposite, and merely was. But when the mind is split there is a need of healing. So the Thought that has the power to heal the split became a part of every fragment of the mind that still was one, but failed to recognize its oneness. Now it did not know itself, and thought its own Identity was lost.
Salvation is undoing in the sense that it does nothing, failing to support the world of dreams and malice. Thus it lets illusions go. By not supporting them, it merely lets them quietly go down to dust. And what they hid is now revealed; an altar to the holy Name of God whereon His Word is written, with the gifts of your forgiveness laid before it, and the memory of God not far behind.
Let us come daily to this holy place, and spend a while together. Here we share our final dream. It is a dream in which there is no sorrow, for it holds a hint of all the glory given us by God. The grass is pushing through the soil, the trees are budding now, and birds have come to live within their branches. Earth is being born again in new perspective. Night has gone, and we have come together in the light.
From here we give salvation to the world, for it is here salvation was received. The song of our rejoicing is the call to all the world that freedom is returned, that time is almost over, and God’s Son has but an instant more to wait until his Father is remembered, dreams are done, eternity has shined away the world, and only Heaven now exists at all.
Father, I will but to remember You.
What can I seek for, Father, but Your Love? Perhaps I think I seek for something else; a something I have called by many names. Yet is Your Love the only thing I seek, or ever sought. For there is nothing else that I could ever really want to find. Let me remember You. What else could I desire but the truth about myself?
This is your will, my brother. And you share this will with me, and with the One as well Who is our Father. To remember Him is Heaven. This we seek. And only this is what it will be given us to find.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1280: I recently ended a seven year relationship with a partner I was planning to marry until he told me he wasn’t sure. I gave him several weeks to decide, but he was unable to, saying he felt he was not good enough for me. I ended the relationship very sadly and reluctantly, still not knowing what he really wanted. I understand from the Course that everything that happens to us is made by ourselves. I would like to know if this situation, including his uncertainty and his not feeling good enough, was caused by my guilt, because I was looking for something outside myself. Was I mistaken to want the relationship to move to a deeper level? I am now uncertain if I gave up a loving relationship for the sake of wanting marriage.
A: A Course in Miracles tells us that this physical life is a dream and that we are the ones dreaming it. So, ultimately, it is true that everything we experience here is of our own making. However, it is not as the individual we think we are that we dreamt all this up. That occurs on a level outside of time and space — a level that we cannot get in touch with or comprehend from within this dream. Therefore, we do not have to take responsibility for all the thoughts, feelings, and actions of everyone around us. In fact, doing so could be very detrimental because, rather than leading us to greater understanding and forgiveness, it tends to root us more deeply in guilt and fear. This is so because the “I” that tries to take responsibility is just as made up as that which it is attempting to take credit for. Thus, we wind up wrongly attributing power to a false self that is already terrorized by the mistaken belief that it has the power to destroy Heaven and banish God forever.
The message of the Course is exactly the opposite: We do not have power over God. Despite all the horrors we see and pain we feel, not one note in Heaven’s song has been missed (T.26.V.5:4) . We remain “at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality”(T.10.I.2:1) . What will help us move toward awakening is not trying to take responsibility for what others do, but rather taking responsibility for our reactions to what they do. Because we script our lives to be full of pain as a defense against remembering God’s Love, the key to getting out of our pain is recognizing that it comes not from external circumstances but from our own choice to feel it. The process of the Course consists of asking the Holy Spirit to be our internal Teacher and help us realize that we would be much happier if we chose God’s Love over our pain, guilt, and fear.
And so, in a situation like the one you have described, the Course would not tell you whether you have made a right or wrong decision. What it would do is encourage you to explore whether you made the decision with the guidance of the ego or the Holy Spirit. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get married and deciding you would like a partner who shares that desire. However, since the ending of your relationship was confusing and emotionally difficult and you are now second guessing yourself, it seems likely that there may be other issues involved.
None of this is reason to feel guilty. Indeed, virtually everyone here has relationship issues since it was our relationship issue with God that compelled us to fall into this dream in the first place. It does sound, though, like it might be helpful for you to look at the beliefs, feelings, and expectations you have around intimate relationships so that future ones go more smoothly. A good first step would be taking the Holy Spirit’s hand and asking Him to help you look at what you have just experienced through His loving and non- judgmental eyes.