ACIM Text Reading for September 4
Chapter 28 ~ The Undoing of Fear
IV. The Greater Joining
Accepting the Atonement for yourself means not to give support to someone’s dream of sickness and of death. It means that you share not his wish to separate, and let him turn illusions on himself. Nor do you wish that they be turned, instead, on you. Thus have they no effects. And you are free of dreams of pain because you let him be. Unless you help him, you will suffer pain with him because that is your wish. And you become a figure in his dream of pain, as he in yours. So do you and your brother both become illusions, and without identity. You could be anyone or anything, depending on whose evil dream you share. You can be sure of just one thing; that you are evil, for you share in dreams of fear.
There is a way of finding certainty right here and now. Refuse to be a part of fearful dreams whatever form they take, for you will lose identity in them. You find yourself by not accepting them as causing you, and giving you effects. You stand apart from them, but not apart from him who dreams them. Thus you separate the dreamer from the dream, and join in one, but let the other go. The dream is but illusion in the mind. And with the mind you would unite, but never with the dream. It is the dream you fear, and not the mind. You see them as the same, because you think that you are but a dream. And what is real and what is but illusion in yourself you do not know and cannot tell apart.
Like you, your brother thinks he is a dream. Share not in his illusion of himself, for your Identity depends on his reality. Think, rather, of him as a mind in which illusions still persist, but as a mind which brother is to you. He is not brother made by what he dreams, nor is his body, “hero” of the dream, your brother. It is his reality that is your brother, as is yours to him. Your mind and his are joined in brotherhood. His body and his dreams but seem to make a little gap, where yours have joined with his.
And yet, between your minds there is no gap. To join his dreams is thus to meet him not, because his dreams would separate from you. Therefore release him, merely by your claim on brotherhood, and not on dreams of fear. Let him acknowledge who he is, by not supporting his illusions by your faith, for if you do, you will have faith in yours. With faith in yours, he will not be released, and you are kept in bondage to his dreams. And dreams of fear will haunt the little gap, inhabited but by illusions which you have supported in your brother’s mind.
Be certain, if you do your part, he will do his, for he will join you where you stand. Call not to him to meet you in the gap between you, or you must believe that it is your reality as well as his. You cannot do his part, but this you do when you become a passive figure in his dreams, instead of dreamer of your own. Identity in dreams is meaningless because the dreamer and the dream are one. Who shares a dream must be the dream he shares, because by sharing is a cause produced.
You share confusion and you are confused, for in the gap no stable self exists. What is the same seems different, because what is the same appears to be unlike. His dreams are yours because you let them be. But if you took your own away would he be free of them, and of his own as well. Your dreams are witnesses to his, and his attest the truth of yours. Yet if you see there is no truth in yours, his dreams will go, and he will understand what made the dream.
The Holy Spirit is in both your minds, and He is One because there is no gap that separates His Oneness from Itself. The gap between your bodies matters not, for what is joined in Him is always one. No one is sick if someone else accepts his union with him. His desire to be a sick and separated mind can not remain without a witness or a cause. And both are gone if someone wills to be united with him. He has dreams that he was separated from his brother who, by sharing not his dream, has left the space between them vacant. And the Father comes to join His Son the Holy Spirit joined.
The Holy Spirit’s function is to take the broken picture of the Son of God and put the pieces into place again. This holy picture, healed entirely, does He hold out to every separate piece that thinks it is a picture in itself. To each He offers his Identity, which the whole picture represents, instead of just a little, broken bit that he insisted was himself. And when he sees this picture he will recognize himself. If you share not your brother’s evil dream, this is the picture that the miracle will place within the little gap, left clean of all the seeds of sickness and of sin. And here the Father will receive His Son, because His Son was gracious to himself.
I thank You, Father, knowing You will come to close each little gap that lies between the broken pieces of Your holy Son. Your Holiness, complete and perfect, lies in every one of them. And they are joined because what is in one is in them all. How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of God’s Son! The forms the broken pieces seem to take mean nothing. For the whole is in each one. And every aspect of the Son of God is just the same as every other part.
Join not your brother’s dreams but join with him, and where you join His Son the Father is. Who seeks for substitutes when he perceives he has lost nothing? Who would want to have the “benefits” of sickness when he has received the simple happiness of health? What God has given cannot be a loss, and what is not of Him has no effects. What, then, would you perceive within the gap? The seeds of sickness come from the belief that there is joy in separation, and its giving up would be a sacrifice. But miracles are the result when you do not insist on seeing in the gap what is not there. Your willingness to let illusions go is all the Healer of God’s Son requires. He will place the miracle of healing where the seeds of sickness were. And there will be no loss, but only gain.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 4
Without forgiveness I will still be blind.
Sin is the symbol of attack. Behold it anywhere, and I will suffer. For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ’s vision comes to me. Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, and I am healed completely. Brother, come and let me look on you. Your loveliness reflects my own. Your sinlessness is mine. You stand forgiven, and I stand with you.
So would I look on everyone today. My brothers are Your Sons. Your Fatherhood created them, and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well. Today I honor You through them, and thus I hope this day to recognize my Self.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #883: i. A Course in Miracles talks about the illusory world disappearing once we realize that we have never left God. How is this possible? If I have a thought then that thought stays with me forever. It may fade into the background, but it never disappears and can be recalled at any time when triggered by a specific stimulus. The same should apply to all my thoughts that I have had in this illusion.
ii. We project our fear onto someone else and then become afraid of what that person will do to us. There are a couple of billion people in this world and who knows whatever else exists in other illusions that are different from our universe. Nothing exists in the illusion. Does this mean that I have projected my fears onto the billions that are on this planet?
A: i. The self that has the thought will disappear as well, for that is just as illusory as the world. That is difficult for us to grasp, to say nothing of the terror we feel when confronted with that fact. But as Jesus says, when the veil is lifted and the world is gone, “Nothing that you remember now will you remember” (T.19.IV.D.6:6) . Similarly, “You will not remember change and shift in Heaven. You have need of contrast only here” (T.13.IX.6:1,2) . In God, there is no consciousness, no individual self with memories or individual thoughts: “Nowhere does the Father end, the Son begin as something separate from Him” (W.pI.132.12:4) .
As we practice our forgiveness lessons and find perceptions of separation and differences less and less useful and appealing, we will gravitate more toward what binds us all as one. Over time, we will lose interest in anything that reminds us of separation and conflicting interests. This is what Jesus refers to as the “attraction of love for love” (T.12.VIII) , when the vision of Christ that sees us all as one becomes irresistible. This will grow in our awareness, and then one day we will awaken and thankfully realize that nothing else has ever been. The thoughts we held as individuals will have disappeared into the nothingness from which they came. This is a process that naturally and gradually occurs when our only focus throughout the day is forgiveness.
ii. This is a process that takes place entirely in the mind, which is outside time and space. That makes the mind’s process rather difficult for us to comprehend, because we always think about things in terms of linear time and space. Yet, Jesus emphasizes that the world is nothing other than “the outside picture of an inward condition” (T.21.in.1:5) ; “It still is true that nothing is without. Yet upon nothing are all projections made. For it is the projection that gives the ‘nothing’ all the meaning that it holds” (T.20.VIII.9:7,8,9).
The point of this is that the mind is in such fear over its guilt — thanks to its decision to listen to the ego instead of the Holy Spirit — that it makes up a world filled with multitudes of objects onto which it can project its guilt. This is all going on only in the mind, though. There is not first a world and then a mind that projects its guilt and fear onto it. The strategy of projection, importantly, includes severing that connection, so that we wind up being aware only of a world of discrete things, having blocked out the fact that they are being generated by a mind seeking to unload its burden of guilt. Given this dynamic, you can project your fear onto anything at all. Usually, however, only certain people will trigger a reaction in you, not everyone. Remember, A Course in Miraclesdefines perception as interpretation — it is not what you physically see that constitutes perception; it is how you react to what you see. So when you react strongly to someone — and the person need not be physically present — you want to see that as an opportunity to go back to the decision-making point in your mind and ask for help to look at your guilt and fear with Jesus or the Holy Spirit. As you do that more and more, you will project less and less. Then, finally, you will let go of the guilt and fear all together.