ACIM Text Reading for September 17
Chapter 30 ~ The New Beginning
The new beginning now becomes the focus of the curriculum. The goal is clear, but now you need specific methods for attaining it. The speed by which it can be reached depends on this one thing alone; your willingness to practice every step. Each one will help a little, every time it is attempted. And together will these steps lead you from dreams of judgment to forgiving dreams and out of pain and fear. They are not new to you, but they are more ideas than rules of thought to you as yet. So now we need to practice them awhile, until they are the rules by which you live. We seek to make them habits now, so you will have them ready for whatever need.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 17
Let me remember God created me.
Father, I did not make myself, although in my insanity I thought I did. Yet, as Your Thought, I have not left my Source, remaining part of Who created me. Your Son, my Father, calls on You today. Let me remember You created me. Let me remember my Identity. And let my sinlessness arise again before Christ’s vision, through which I would look upon my brothers and myself today.
Now is our Source remembered, and Therein we find our true Identity at last. Holy indeed are we, because our Source can know no sin. And we who are His Sons are like each other, and alike to Him.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #825(i): (The following three questions were posed by the same person). Can we apply the teachings of Jesus in our daily life (work, home, family, friends, social relationships, etc.) without being trapped by the ego, in the sense of unconsciously reinforcing the ego’s goal of specialness?
A: A good question! It takes a great deal of effort over a period of years to become aware of the devious means we use to uphold specialness. In one sense, it is almost safer to assume that we are doing this almost all the time than to think that we are beyond such self-deception — especially in the early stages of our work with A Course in Miracles. Specialness is like oxygen to the ego: without it, there is no ego! Therefore, to the extent to which we still identify with the ego, letting go of specialness is like letting go of our oxygen supply. It feels as if we will not survive. That is why Jesus has to reassure us that “the death of specialness is not your death, but your awaking into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you” (T.24.II.14:4,5).
What would be helpful is to remind oneself frequently of the purpose of specialness, which is to substitute a false identity for our true Identity as God created us; specialness serves the purpose of drowning out the Voice in our minds that is calling us back to God. These are major themes in the sections on specialness in the text, but especially the first two sections of Chapter 24 (T.24.I,II). Second, you also need to see how the “pursuit of specialness is always at the cost of peace” (T.24.II.2:1). Specialness feels so good. But there is a tremendous cost involved, which we must be willing to allow ourselves to see and feel. If you become aware of the burden of specialness, you would be more motivated to be vigilant for the ways in which you hold on to it.
A: Since fear is a barrier to peace, if you are completely without fear, there would be nothing stopping you from being completely peaceful. Now the fear that is talked about in A Course in Miracles is not the fear the world talks about, such as the fear of flying, fear of cancer, fear of criticism, etc. It is really the fear that sustains the entire thought system of the ego, and thus our existence as individuals. It is the fear deep in our minds that we have stolen life from God and that He is coming after us to punish us and take it back. This fear branches out in many forms, but ultimately it is the fear that our defenses are not adequate to protect us forever, and that we will be caught, punished, and painfully reduced to nothingness. It is the fear that right now our existence is meaningless — we are meaningless. When we let go of that level of fear, we will also have let go of what led to it: the false belief that we attacked God by separating from Him and we would be at peace.
A: Yes, it is normal to feel that way. It is extremely difficult to break the connection, for what you are really doing is shifting your identification from the body to the mind, which is accomplished gradually as you separate from your ego through the practice of forgiveness. If you spend some time imagining what it would feel like to have an identity as a mind that is outside time and space, you will begin to get in touch with your resistance. Your sense of “you” would change radically, and that would obviously be perceived as threatening. To perceive your body with its brain as merely a puppet-like figure is usually not a welcomed perception. That is why this process is not accomplished overnight, and why you must take as much time as you need to make this shift.
A: A Course in Miracles teaches something different. Nothing in the realm of form shares anything of the realm of spirit. Christ dwells only in Heaven and is not present in any way in the illusory world of form. We carry within our minds (not our brains), the memory of our Identity as God’s one Son, and therefore the teaching objective of the Course is to help us learn how to perceive each other as having the same interests, as opposed to separate, conflicting interests, as the means of restoring to our awareness our oneness as Christ, the one Son of God.