ACIM Reading for October 18
Manual for Teachers
15. Is Each One to Be Judged in the End?
Indeed, yes! No one can escape God’s Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him. He will hear his sinlessness proclaimed around and around the world, setting it free as God’s Final Judgment on him is received. This is the Judgment in which salvation lies. This is the Judgment that will set him free. This is the Judgment in which all things are freed with him. Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:
- “Holy are you, eternal, free and whole,
- At peace forever in the Heart of God.
- Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?”
Is this your judgment on yourself, teacher of God? Do you believe that this is wholly true? No; not yet, not yet. But this is still your goal; why you are here. It is your function to prepare yourself to hear this Judgment and to recognize that it is true. One instant of complete belief in this, and you will go beyond belief to Certainty. One instant out of time can bring time’s end. Judge not, for you but judge yourself, and thus delay this Final Judgment. What is your judgment of the world, teacher of God? Have you yet learned to stand aside and hear the Voice of Judgment in yourself? Or do you still attempt to take His role from Him? Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.
You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. God’s Judgment waits for you to set you free. What can the world hold out to you, regardless of your judgments on its gifts, that you would rather have? You will be judged, and judged in fairness and in honesty. There is no deceit in God. His promises are sure. Only remember that. His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone, will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it to your heart, and offer it to all the world to keep it safe.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 18
Section 8. What is the Real World?
The real world is a symbol, like the rest of what perception offers. Yet it stands for what is opposite to what you made. Your world is seen through eyes of fear, and brings the witnesses of terror to your mind. The real world cannot be perceived except through eyes forgiveness blesses, so they see a world where terror is impossible, and witnesses to fear can not be found.
The real world holds a counterpart for each unhappy thought reflected in your world; a sure correction for the sights of fear and sounds of battle which your world contains. The real world shows a world seen differently, through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace. Nothing but rest is there. There are no cries of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing there remains outside forgiveness. And the sights are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.
What need has such a mind for thoughts of death, attack and murder? What can it perceive surrounding it but safety, love and joy? What is there it would choose to be condemned, and what is there that it would judge against? The world it sees arises from a mind at peace within itself. No danger lurks in anything it sees, for it is kind, and only kindness does it look upon.
The real world is the symbol that the dream of sin and guilt is over, and God’s Son no longer sleeps. His waking eyes perceive the sure reflection of his Father’s Love; the certain promise that he is redeemed. The real world signifies the end of time, for its perception makes time purposeless.
The Holy Spirit has no need of time when it has served His purpose. Now He waits but that one instant more for God to take His final step, and time has disappeared, taking perception with it as it goes, and leaving but the truth to be itself. That instant is our goal, for it contains the memory of God. And as we look upon a world forgiven, it is He Who calls to us and comes to take us home, reminding us of our Identity which our forgiveness has restored to us.
This is a day of stillness and of peace.
Christ’s vision looks through me today. His sight shows me all things forgiven and at peace, and offers this same vision to the world. And I accept this vision in its name, both for myself and for the world as well. What loveliness we look upon today! What holiness we see surrounding us! And it is given us to recognize it is a holiness in which we share; it is the Holiness of God Himself.
This day my mind is quiet, to receive the Thoughts You offer me. And I accept what comes from You, instead of from myself. I do not know the way to You. But You are wholly certain. Father, guide Your Son along the quiet path that leads to You. Let my forgiveness be complete, and let the memory of You return to me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #976: I have read that the goal of A Course in Miracles is not Heaven but the real world – – the state of mind in which we have forgiven everything and everyone. That must include forgiveness for ourselves — forgiveness of the self-image (the ego or “I”) that we made as part of our separation from God. But if we completely forgave the world and ourselves, wouldn’t the ego disappear too and along with it, any kind of separateness that made reflection possible? Who would be left to notice that there was a real world (consisting only of forgiveness) if there were no “I”? In other words, if I forgave the world totally, wouldn’t it simply disappear? Is this why the Course says it is very easy for God “to take the last step” — because basically we will have already taken it?
A: One of the difficulties in trying to understand A Course in Miracles is that we use our linear brains to analyze a process that is not linear. Basically, the Course speaks to us as if the process of awakening consisted of discrete steps because that is the only way we can conceptualize it. But in reality, it does not work that way. And from our perspective, within this dream of separation, we cannot even begin to comprehend the final step or what it means to be fully awake. Jesus lets us know this is so when he states “while you think that part of you is separate, the concept of a Oneness joined as One is meaningless” (T.25.I.7:1).
For this reason, the Course does not aim to get us back home. Rather, it strives to help us set up the conditions in our mind that will facilitate our return — conditions the Course refers to as the real world . That means returning our mind to a state of total forgiveness. Having taken back all our projections of guilt, we will be free from the fear that compelled us to fall asleep and will have no more need of this world. At that point, it will no longer matter to us whether we seem to be here or elsewhere because outer conditions will have no effect on our inner peace. The world will not have disappeared but its ability to affect us in any way will. What happens from there — our awakening — will involve no effort on our part. And so, happily, we need not concern ourselves with it. Jesus states this symbolically by telling us that God will take this final step — a poetic way of putting our mind at ease about it (T.17.II.4:4-5) .
We could think of the real world as coming just before our total awakening and being similar to a lucid dream. While we will still experience ourselves as here in form, we will know that it is just a dream and that we are not the I we thought we were but rather the dreamer of the dream. This awareness will have allowed us to choose the dream’s content. Thus, we will have chosen to make it one of love and forgiveness. We may still see all the cruelty and pain in this world, but we will see it through eyes that extend a continuous blessing. From that point, our awakening will be as easy and natural as waking up spontaneously after a good night of sleep.