ACIM Reading for October 17
Manual for Teachers
14. How Will the World End?
Can what has no beginning really end? The world will end in an illusion, as it began. Yet will its ending be an illusion of mercy. The illusion of forgiveness, complete, excluding no one, limitless in gentleness, will cover it, hiding all evil, concealing all sin and ending guilt forever. So ends the world that guilt had made, for now it has no purpose and is gone. The father of illusions is the belief that they have a purpose; that they serve a need or gratify a want. Perceived as purposeless, they are no longer seen. Their uselessness is recognized, and they are gone. How but in this way are all illusions ended? They have been brought to truth, and truth saw them not. It merely overlooked the meaningless.
Until forgiveness is complete, the world does have a purpose. It becomes the home in which forgiveness is born, and where it grows and becomes stronger and more all-embracing. Here is it nourished, for here it is needed. A gentle Savior, born where sin was made and guilt seemed real. Here is His home, for here there is need of Him indeed. He brings the ending of the world with Him. It is His Call God’s teachers answer, turning to Him in silence to receive His Word. The world will end when all things in it have been rightly judged by His judgment. The world will end with the benediction of holiness upon it. When not one thought of sin remains, the world is over. It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched. It will merely cease to seem to be.
Certainly this seems to be a long, long while away. “When not one thought of sin remains” appears to be a long-range goal indeed. But time stands still, and waits on the goal of God’s teachers. Not one thought of sin will remain the instant any one of them accepts Atonement for himself. It is not easier to forgive one sin than to forgive all of them. The illusion of orders of difficulty is an obstacle the teacher of God must learn to pass by and leave behind. One sin perfectly forgiven by one teacher of God can make salvation complete. Can you understand this? No; it is meaningless to anyone here. Yet it is the final lesson in which unity is restored. It goes against all the thinking of the world, but so does Heaven.
The world will end when its thought system has been completely reversed. Until then, bits and pieces of its thinking will still seem sensible. The final lesson, which brings the ending of the world, cannot be grasped by those not yet prepared to leave the world and go beyond its tiny reach. What, then, is the function of the teacher of God in this concluding lesson? He need merely learn how to approach it; to be willing to go in its direction. He need merely trust that, if God’s Voice tells him it is a lesson he can learn, he can learn it. He does not judge it either as hard or easy. His Teacher points to it, and he trusts that He will show him how to learn it.
The world will end in joy, because it is a place of sorrow. When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone. The world will end in peace, because it is a place of war. When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world? The world will end in laughter, because it is a place of tears. Where there is laughter, who can longer weep? And only complete forgiveness brings all this to bless the world. In blessing it departs, for it will not end as it began. To turn hell into Heaven is the function of God’s teachers, for what they teach are lessons in which Heaven is reflected. And now sit down in true humility, and realize that all God would have you do you can do. Do not be arrogant and say you cannot learn His Own curriculum. His Word says otherwise. His Will be done. It cannot be otherwise. And be you thankful it is so.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 17
My present happiness is all I see.
Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see. Eyes that begin to open see at last. And I would have Christ’s vision come to me this very day. What I perceive without God’s Own Correction for the sight I made is frightening and painful to behold. Yet I would not allow my mind to be deceived by the belief the dream I made is real an instant longer. This the day I seek my present happiness, and look on nothing else except the thing I seek.
With this resolve I come to You, and ask Your strength to hold me up today, while I but seek to do Your Will. You cannot fail to hear me, Father. What I ask have You already given me. And I am sure that I will see my happiness today.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1003: I work in a bookshop that carries all sorts of new age/spiritual books. We have had books about demons, vampires, werewolves, ancient Egyptian gods, and so forth. The authors usually claim to have seen and experienced these entities and to have evidence that proves they exist. I’ve seen so many of these books that I’m starting to believe them. But even if these things do exist, according to the Course, wouldn’t they still be illusory just like the rest of the world of form, having all been created by the ego? Wouldn’t it say that the real God has nothing to do with any of them, despite whatever seeming power they may have, and that their belief in their own power represents a failure to realize they are just ego fragments?
A: Yes, everything you have said is correct. A Course in Miracles tells us that form is not reality, it is an illusion, and “if you see it you must be mistaken” (T.III.27:4,5). From a Course perspective, it does not matter whether we see the entities you mentioned with our physical eyes or only in our thoughts. Either way, if we perceive them as individual beings, separate from ourselves and from God, they are illusory. As a Course student, it could be very helpful to realize that whether they exist only in stories someone made up or in this physical world we all made up, vampires and werewolves are no more or less real than any of the other people who seem to inhabit our lives or even than our own individual identity.
As you stated; people, animals, or combinations thereof who believe in their own power fail to recognize that they are split off fragments of God — the only true source of power. But remember: It is only you who needs to recognize this. Generally, vampires and werewolves find the Course a bit too threatening .
Q #1004: I have been emotionally disturbed all my life. I was not liked, and learned to avoid people to avoid being rejected. Now I am 55, alone, and no idea how to connect to people. I study and practice A Course in Miracles and the Holy Spirit says I can be free of this miserable ego any time. I am so lonely! Jesus says I could see peace instead of this. What would he have me hear? What would he have me to do? What am I doing wrong?
A: Jesus is teaching us all that we can be peaceful regardless of our limitations. Thus he says in the manual, “Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them” (M.26.4:1,2) . Escaping from our limitations means not giving them power to take away the inner peace that is always present in our split minds. If we follow the ego part of our minds, we will see our limitations as a prison and then compare ourselves with others, winding up in the painful jaws of judgment. If we choose against the ego, however, we will see our limitations as a classroom, and as we take Jesus’ hand instead of the ego’s, we will develop compassion toward ourselves and others, and learn how to smile gently at the ego and not take it as seriously as we once did. The key is to be able to distinguish between form and content. Anything of the body — including emotional conditions — is the form. The content is the decision you make in your mind as to how you will interpret the form. Choosing the ego results in feelings of victimization, guilt, judgment, anger, despair, and hatred of the body. Choosing Jesus or the Holy Spirit results in patience, compassion, and kindness towards yourself and others, and acceptance of the world and body as the curriculum Jesus or the Holy Spirit can use to help your mind be healed of its thoughts of sin, guilt, and fear. These themes are developed in our book, The Healing Power of Kindness — Volume Two: Forgiving Our Limitations .
You did not say anything about having sought help from a therapist; that would not conflict with your work with the Course and might in fact help free you from the ego’s uses of your limitations.