ACIM Reading for November 23
The Song of Prayer
3.- III. Separation versus Union1. False healing heals the body in a part, but never as a whole. Its separate goals become quite clear in this, for it has not removed the curse of sin that lies on it. Therefore it still deceives. Nor is it made by one who understands the other is exactly like himself. For it is this that makes true healing possible. When false, there is some power that another has, not equally bestowed on both as one. Here is the separation shown. And here the meaning of true healing has been lost, and idols have arisen to obscure the unity that is the Son of God.
2. Healing-to-separate may seem to be a strange idea. And yet it can be said of any form of healing that is based on inequality of any kind. These forms may heal the body, and indeed are generally limited to this. Someone knows better, has been better trained, or is perhaps more talented and wise. Therefore, he can give healing to the one who stands beneath him in his patronage. The healing of the body can be done by this because, in dreams, equality cannot be permanent. The shifts and change are what the dream is made of. To be healed appears to be to find a wiser one who, by his arts and learning, will succeed.
3. Someone knows better; this the magic phrase by which the body seems to be the aim of healing as the world conceives of it. And to this wiser one another goes to profit by his learning and his skill; to find in him the remedy for pain. How can that be? True healing cannot come from inequality assumed and then accepted as the truth, and used to help restore the wounded and to calm the mind that suffers from the agony of doubt.
4. Is there a role for healing, then, that one can use to offer help for someone else? In arrogance the answer must be “no.” But in humility there is indeed a place for helpers. It is like the role that helps in prayer, and lets forgiveness be what it is meant to be. You do not make yourself the bearer of the special gift that brings the healing. You but recognize your oneness with the one who calls for help. For in this oneness is his separate sense dispelled, and it is this that made him sick. There is no point in giving remedy apart from where the source of sickness is, for never thus can it be truly healed.
5. Healers there are, for they are Sons of God who recognize their Source, and understand that all their Source creates is one with them. This is the remedy that brings relief which cannot fail. It will remain to bless for all eternity. It heals no part, but wholly and forever. Now the cause of every malady has been revealed exactly as it is. And in that place is written now the holy Word of God. Sickness and separation must be healed by love and union. Nothing else can heal as God established healing. Without Him there is no healing, for there is no love.
6. God’s Voice alone can tell you how to heal. Listen, and you will never fail to bring His kindly remedy to those He sends to you, to let Him heal them, and to bless all those who serve with Him in healing’s name. The body’s healing will occur because its cause has gone. And now without a cause, it cannot come again in different form. Nor will death any more be feared because it has been understood. There is no fear in one who has been truly healed, for love has entered now where idols used to stand, and fear has given way at last to God.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 23
I need but call and You will answer me.
I am not asked to take salvation on the basis of an unsupported faith. For God has promised He will hear my call, and answer me Himself. Let me but learn from my experience that this is true, and faith in Him must surely come to me. This is the faith that will endure, and take me farther and still farther on the road that leads to Him. For thus I will be sure that He has not abandoned me and loves me still, awaiting but my call to give me all the help I need to come to Him.
Father, I thank You that Your promises will never fail in my experience, if I but test them out. Let me attempt therefore to try them, and to judge them not. Your Word is one with You. You give the means whereby conviction comes, and surety of Your abiding Love is gained at last.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #538: A student has raised the question of whether we have a specific role to play in this world, and your answer was: not in the world, but in our minds. However, the Holy Spirit does help us “in the illusion,” and there are several references in A Course in Miracles to specific roles and certain people we are supposed to meet, etc. The Course is also made within the framework of the illusion. I think you are doing a great job — always giving wise answers, but in this case I do think you should discuss it further within your organization.
A: We are aware of the passages you refer to and that the Course comes within an ego framework (C.in.3:1). There is no doubt that people receive very specific guidance — Helen Schucman, scribe of the Course, did. It is not wrong or harmful, as Jesus says in The Song of Prayer, but he clearly says that we will do much if we can get beyond that level, which he invites us to do (S.I). Helen learned that later, and then no longer related to Jesus that way. (Chapter 17 in Kenneth’s book Absence from Felicity contains a very helpful exposition of this dimension of Jesus’ teaching and Helen’s transition to this level.) Then, too, Jesus is emphatic about our always taking into consideration the purpose of what we do. He tells us early in the workbook that we do not know what anything is for (W.pI.25); the purposes we recognize are all at a superficial level, where purpose cannot really be understood, he states, using the example of contacting someone by telephone (4:2,3). The relevance of this to your question is that we would not know what specific roles or relationships are truly for, and therefore we would impose our own meaning on them, which more than likely would be of the ego — whereas the only meaning of value in anything we do is forgiveness. Therefore, the Holy Spirit’s guidance would be exclusively for the content of forgiveness. The form in which that content is expressed then becomes essentially irrelevant. Our recorded workshop “Making the Holy Spirit Special” provides a detailed exposition of this crucial issue.
Interest in specifics is the stage of spiritual childhood, the beginning of a very long spiritual process that is aimed at helping us reach the top of the ladder where specifics become meaningless, including our specific identity as individuals. Referring again to the first section in the companion pamphlet to the Course, Jesus says that what we truly want is the song itself, nothing but God’s Love. That is the real content of the answers we experience as specific guidance. He is training us to gravitate more to that content, rather than the form of the answer. We tend to fall in love with the specialness of receiving specific guidance and thereby miss the content, which is what would make us happy and peaceful all the time, regardless of external conditions. It is in this spirit that Jesus asks the rhetorical questions: “What could His answer be but your remembrance of Him? Can this be traded for a bit of trifling advice about a problem of an instant’s duration? God answers only for eternity” (S.I.4:5,6,7). Granted, Jesus’ perspective far transcends ours when he appeals to us this way, but all he is doing is inviting us to join him there because he knows how much more at peace we would be, and because that is where we truly belong.
So these two levels of Jesus’ teaching must be kept in sight if one is to learn and use this Course as it was meant to be learned and used. When we focus on specifics it is as if we are holding up a thimble to receive the love that cannot be contained by any form. We are not aware that what we are secretly doing is trying to make love conform to our specifications, when the reality is that “its total lack of limits is its meaning” (T.18.VIII.8:2). Jesus thus appeals to us not to stay on the level of specifics, not because it is wrong or sinful to stay there, but because we are selling ourselves short. This world is not our home, he tells us in many ways throughout the Course, so why would we want to limit his help to our problems and aspirations in the world? He wants rather to help us identify the ways in which we keep ourselves alienated from our true Home and our true Identity. We did not even know that this is what our lives here were all about; now we do, and we have a teacher who will be with us each step of the way, from the beginning of the journey when we are interested mainly in his help with our lives in the world, to the completion of the journey when we experience our oneness with each other: “And thus you joined with me, so what I am are you as well” (W.pII.14.1:3). So when we see Jesus only as the one who can help us with our problems, unbeknownst to ourselves, we are limiting the relationship with him that he would so dearly like us to have.