ACIM Text Reading for September 9
Chapter 29 ~ The Awakening
Condemn your savior not because he thinks he is a body. For beyond his dreams is his reality. But he must learn he is a savior first, before he can remember what he is. And he must save who would be saved. On saving you depends his happiness. For who is savior but the one who gives salvation? Thus he learns it must be his to give. Unless he gives he will not know he has, for giving is the proof of having. Only those who think that God is lessened by their strength could fail to understand this must be so. For who could give unless he has, and who could lose by giving what must be increased thereby?
Think you the Father lost Himself when He created you? Was He made weak because He shared His Love? Was He made incomplete by your perfection? Or are you the proof that He is perfect and complete? Deny Him not His witness in the dream His Son prefers to his reality. He must be savior from the dream he made, that he be free of it. He must see someone else as not a body, one with him without the wall the world has built to keep apart all living things who know not that they live.
Within the dream of bodies and of death is yet one theme of truth; no more, perhaps, than just a tiny spark, a space of light created in the dark, where God still shines. You cannot wake yourself. Yet you can let yourself be wakened. You can overlook your brother’s dreams. So perfectly can you forgive him his illusions he becomes your savior from your dreams. And as you see him shining in the space of light where God abides within the darkness, you will see that God Himself is where his body is.
Before this light the body disappears, as heavy shadows must give way to light. The darkness cannot choose that it remain. The coming of the light means it is gone. In glory will you see your brother then, and understand what really fills the gap so long perceived as keeping you apart. There, in its place, God’s witness has set forth the gentle way of kindness to God’s Son. Whom you forgive is given power to forgive you your illusions. By your gift of freedom is it given unto you.
Make way for love, which you did not create, but which you can extend. On earth this means forgive your brother, that the darkness may be lifted from your mind. When light has come to him through your forgiveness, he will not forget his savior, leaving him unsaved. For it was in your face he saw the light that he would keep beside him, as he walks through darkness to the everlasting Light.
How holy are you, that the Son of God can be your savior in the midst of dreams of desolation and disaster. See how eagerly he comes, and steps aside from heavy shadows that have hidden him, and shines on you in gratitude and love. He is himself, but not himself alone. And as his Father lost not part of him in your creation, so the light in him is brighter still because you gave your light to him, to save him from the dark. And now the light in you must be as bright as shines in him. This is the spark that shines within the dream; that you can help him waken, and be sure his waking eyes will rest on you. And in his glad salvation you are saved.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 9
My Self is ruler of the universe.
It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself. Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen. This must I accept. For thus am I led past this world to my creations, children of my will, in Heaven where my holy Self abides with them and Him Who has created me.
You are the Self Whom You created Son, creating like Yourself and One with You. My Self, which rules the universe, is but Your Will in perfect union with my own, which can but offer glad assent to Yours, that it may be extended to Itself.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #220: I was taught that Jesus had to die for us to be forgiven for our sins. That never made any sense to me. If God is just, why would he make an innocent man die in order to forgive me? Why couldn’t he just forgive us in the first place? What does A Course in Miracles say about this?
A: The Course reinterprets the crucifixion, as well as the idea of sin and forgiveness. You were taught the meaning of the crucifixion that Christianity holds sacred, as were all Christians. It is the story of redemption according to Christianity. The message the Course teaches is not based on the forgiveness of sin, to the contrary: “…the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, ‘God’s Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation.’”(M.1.3:4,5). There is no need for forgiveness from God, much less for redemption through crucifixion. Forgiveness, as taught by the Course, is a process of undoing the belief in separation. It is the means by which we learn to no longer identify with the ego, which eventually leads to our awakening from the dream of separation. It has nothing to do with sin, because as the Course tells us, there is no sin: “God’s Will for you is perfect happiness because there is no sin, and suffering is causeless” (W.101.6:1). Since the thought of separation is an illusion, and God knows only our wholeness as His one Son, He would not “make an innocent man die in order to forgive” anyone. He would be a cruel God indeed if He required the death of His Son to appease His anger. The Course tells us that not only does God not require crucifixion or sacrifice, He does not even judge His Son: “God does not judge His guiltless Son. Having given Himself to him, how could it be otherwise?” (T.11.VI.7:6,7). Clearly it is not possible to follow the thought systems of both Christianity and A Course in Miracles, for they are not compatible, nor comparable teachings. It may be helpful for you to read the sections “The Message of the Crucifixion” (T.6.I) and “Atonement without Sacrifice” (T.3.I) for the Course’s teaching on the crucifixion and innocence.