ACIM Text Reading for September 13
Chapter 29 ~ The Awakening
VI. Forgiveness and the End of Time
How willing are you to forgive your brother? How much do you desire peace instead of endless strife and misery and pain? These questions are the same, in different form. Forgiveness is your peace, for herein lies the end of separation and the dream of danger and destruction, sin and death; of madness and of murder, grief and loss. This is the “sacrifice” salvation asks, and gladly offers peace instead of this.
Swear not to die, you holy Son of God! You make a bargain that you cannot keep. The Son of Life cannot be killed. He is immortal as his Father. What he is cannot be changed. He is the only thing in all the universe that must be one. What seems eternal all will have an end. The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade will not return. Where time has set an end is not where the eternal is. God’s Son can never change by what men made of him. He will be as he was and as he is, for time appointed not his destiny, nor set the hour of his birth and death. Forgiveness will not change him. Yet time waits upon forgiveness that the things of time may disappear because they have no use.
Nothing survives its purpose. If it be conceived to die, then die it must unless it does not take this purpose as its own. Change is the only thing that can be made a blessing here, where purpose is not fixed, however changeless it appears to be. Think not that you can set a goal unlike God’s purpose for you, and establish it as changeless and eternal. You can give yourself a purpose that you do not have. But you can not remove the power to change your mind, and see another purpose there.
Change is the greatest gift God gave to all that you would make eternal, to ensure that only Heaven would not pass away. You were not born to die. You cannot change, because your function has been fixed by God. All other goals are set in time and change that time might be preserved, excepting one. Forgiveness does not aim at keeping time, but at its ending, when it has no use. Its purpose ended, it is gone. And where it once held seeming sway is now restored the function God established for His Son in full awareness. Time can set no end to its fulfillment nor its changelessness. There is no death because the living share the function their Creator gave to them. Life’s function cannot be to die. It must be life’s extension, that it be as one forever and forever, without end.
This world will bind your feet and tie your hands and kill your body only if you think that it was made to crucify God’s Son. For even though it was a dream of death, you need not let it stand for this to you. Let this be changed, and nothing in the world but must be changed as well. For nothing here but is defined as what you see it for.
How lovely is the world whose purpose is forgiveness of God’s Son! How free from fear, how filled with blessing and with happiness! And what a joyous thing it is to dwell a little while in such a happy place! Nor can it be forgot, in such a world, it is a little while till timelessness comes quietly to take the place of time.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 13
God is the only goal I have today.
The way to God is through forgiveness here. There is no other way. If sin had not been cherished by the mind, what need would there have been to find the way to where you are? Who would still be uncertain? Who could be unsure of who he is? And who would yet remain asleep, in heavy clouds of doubt about the holiness of him whom God created sinless? Here we can but dream. But we can dream we have forgiven him in whom all sin remains impossible, and it is this we choose to dream today. God is our goal; forgiveness is the means by which our minds return to Him at last.
And so, our Father, would we come to You in Your appointed way. We have no goal except to hear Your Voice, and find the way Your sacred Word has pointed out to us.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #87: “Swear not to die, you holy Son of God!” Just in case, I did that. But I need do nothing to make truth true. So, this phrase is meant more poetically? Like asking me to make a commitment to truth, going for it?
A. In this passage (T.29.VI.2:1), Jesus is talking about a promise that we have already made, by virtue of our having identified with the ego thought system. His “command” is therefore meant literally. He is telling us that we need to look at and reconsider our attraction to the “holy” waxen image of death…you swore in blood not to desert, as he so movingly describes it at the end of the fourth obstacle to peace (T.19.IV.D.6:3). In other words, we have already pledged our loyalty to the ego thought system, in which death — including ours — is the central reality. We have already taken this oath to believe that God’s Son is not as He created Him, invulnerable and eternally present within the Being of His Father. It is part of the bargain we made with the ego, so that our individual, separate identity would be preserved. Here Jesus is asking us to undo that bargain.
This passage is often mistakenly understood to mean that Jesus is saying that we can be immortal as human beings — as if the comma were placed after “Swear,” thus meaning that we are going to swear that we will never die. But such an interpretation would contradict Jesus’ overriding emphasis in the Course about the nature of the body. Why would we want to remain in what is not our home? It would be insane to want to stay in the body, which was not made by love (T.18.VI.4:7), and in fact was made as “a limit on love”…”to limit the unlimited” (T.18.VIII.1:2), and to embody the ego’s wish to replace God (W.pI.72.2).