ACIM Reading for October 14
Manual for Teachers
11. How Is Peace Possible in this World?
This is a question everyone must ask. Certainly peace seems to be impossible here. Yet the Word of God promises other things that seem impossible, as well as this. His Word has promised peace. It has also promised that there is no death, that resurrection must occur, and that rebirth is man’s inheritance. The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God’s Word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently, if His promises are to be accepted. What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this.
Again we come to the question of judgment. This time ask yourself whether your judgment or the Word of God is more likely to be true. For they say different things about the world, and things so opposite that it is pointless to try to reconcile them. God offers the world salvation; your judgment would condemn it. God says there is no death; your judgment sees but death as the inevitable end of life. God’s Word assures you that He loves the world; your judgment says it is unlovable. Who is right? For one of you is wrong. It must be so.
The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. Into this strange and paradoxical situation, — one without meaning and devoid of sense, yet out of which no way seems possible, — God has sent His Judgment to answer yours. Gently His Judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. How is peace possible in this world? In your judgment it is not possible, and can never be possible. But in the Judgment of God what is reflected here is only peace.
Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. How easily, then, is your judgment of the world escaped! It is not the world that makes peace seem impossible. It is the world you see that is impossible. Yet has God’s Judgment on this distorted world redeemed it and made it fit to welcome peace. And peace descends on it in joyous answer. Peace now belongs here, because a Thought of God has entered. What else but a Thought of God turns hell to Heaven merely by being what it is? The earth bows down before its gracious Presence, and it leans down in answer, to raise it up again. Now is the question different. It is no longer, “Can peace be possible in this world?” but instead, “Is it not impossible that peace be absent here?”
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 14
You are my goal, my Father. Only You.
Where would I go but Heaven? What could be a substitute for happiness? What gift could I prefer before the peace of God? What treasure would I seek and find and keep that can compare with my Identity? And would I rather live with fear than love?
You are my goal, my Father. What but You could I desire to have? What way but that which leads to You could I desire to walk? And what except the memory of You could signify to me the end of dreams and futile substitutions for the truth? You are my only goal. Your Son would be as You created him. What way but this could I expect to recognize my Self, and be at one with my Identity?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1000: From “There is no world!” (W.pI.132.6:2), to “What the world is, is but a fact” (M.11.1:9). Certainly in the illusion the world seems to us a fact and we experience it as a fact. I was surprised to find this reference to the world as a fact in the manual. Is this a reference merely to the natural world (grass, mountains, trees, etc.)? After all the references in A Course in Miracles to the world as an illusion, is this but one more example of another contradiction in words in the Course? Or is it an emphasis on informing us we must deal with the world we made as a fact? I am thinking here of: “There are decisions to make here, and they must be made whether they be illusions or not” (S.I.1:2:4). I found myself rather unsettled and somewhat confused after reading the statement in the manual.
A: Yes, Jesus is making different points about the world in different places in the Course. This is why we stress the need to distinguish between the two levels on which the Course is written. Level One contrasts truth and illusion, wherein only God and Heaven are real (including His Son, Christ and the creations of Christ). All else is illusory and not real: “There is no world!” But since we are too fearful of accepting that and living accordingly, Jesus talks to us about the world as though it were real — because we think it is. This is not really contradictory, as the sentences preceding and following the one you cite about decisions explain: “You have been told to ask the Holy Spirit for the answer to any specific problem, and that you will receive a specific answer if such be your need. You have also been told that there is only one problem and one answer. In prayer this is not contradictory. . . . You cannot be asked to accept answers which are beyond the level of need that you can recognize” (S.1.I.2:1,2,3,5) . Jesus is letting us know that this is a process — like climbing a ladder. He thus gently and gradually helps us change our minds about the reality of the world by having us see that our perceptions are really interpretations emanating from the prior choice we make in our minds to take either the ego’s hand or his as we go through our day. This is the other level on which the Course is written — Level Two, which contrasts the wrong-minded (the ego’s) and right-minded (the Holy Spirit’s) ways of looking at the world.
The process involves bringing our wrong-minded perceptions to the truth of Heaven reflected in our right minds. And when at last our perceptions are all right-minded — meaning we listen only to the Voice of the Holy Spirit — our minds will no longer be split, and then love will just flow through us directing us in all we think and do. In that state of mind — what the Course calls the real world — we know the world is illusory and we will see all people as either calling out for love or expressing it. Jesus is gently leading us in that direction in all of his teachings and lessons.