ACIM Reading for December 6
Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice
3. The Practice of Psychotherapy- I. The Selection of Patients
1. Everyone who is sent to you is a patient of yours. This does not mean that you select him, nor that you choose the kind of treatment that is suitable. But it does mean that no one comes to you by mistake. There are no errors in God’s plan. It would be an error, however, to assume that you know what to offer everyone who comes. This is not up to you to decide.
There is a tendency to assume that you are being called on constantly to make sacrifices of yourself for those who come. This could hardly be true. To demand sacrifice of yourself is to demand a sacrifice of God, and He knows nothing of sacrifice. Who could ask of Perfection that He be imperfect?
2. Who, then, decides what each brother needs? Surely not you, who do not yet recognize who he is who asks. There is Something in him that will tell you, if you listen. And that is the answer; listen. Do not demand, do not decide, do not sacrifice. Listen. What you hear is true. Would God send His Son to you and not be sure you recognize his needs? Think what God is telling you; He needs your voice to speak for Him. Could anything be holier? Or a greater gift to you? Would you rather choose who would be god, or hear the Voice of Him Who is God in you?
3. Your patients need not be physically present for you to serve them in the Name of God. This may be hard to remember, but God will not have His gifts to you limited to the few you actually see. You can see others as well, for seeing is not limited to the body’s eyes. Some do not need your physical presence. They need you as much, and perhaps even more, at the instant they are sent. You will recognize them in whatever way can be most helpful to both of you. It does not matter how they come. They will be sent in whatever form is most helpful; a name, a thought, a picture, an idea, or perhaps just a feeling of reaching out to someone somewhere. The joining is in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It cannot fail to be accomplished.
4. A holy therapist, an advanced teacher of God, never forgets one thing; he did not make the curriculum of salvation, nor did he establish his part in it. He understands that his part is necessary to the whole, and that through it he will recognize the whole when his part is complete. Meanwhile he must learn, and his patients are the means sent to him for his learning. What could he be but grateful for them and to them? They come bearing God. Would he refuse this Gift for a pebble, or would he close the door on the savior of the world to let in a ghost? Let him not betray the Son of God. Who calls on him is far beyond his understanding. Yet would he not rejoice that he can answer, when only thus will he be able to hear the call and understand that it is his?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 6
I can be free of suffering today.
Father, I thank You for today, and for the freedom I am certain it will bring. This day is holy, for today Your Son will be redeemed. His suffering is done. For he will hear Your Voice directing him to find Christ’s vision through forgiveness, and be free forever from all suffering. Thanks for today, my Father. I was born into this world but to achieve this day, and what it holds in joy and freedom for Your holy Son and for the world he made, which is released along with him today.
Be glad today! Be glad! There is no room for anything but joy and thanks today. Our Father has redeemed His Son this day. Not one of us but will be saved today. Not one who will remain in fear, and none the Father will not gather to Himself, awake in Heaven in the Heart of Love.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #954: A Course in Miracles says that it is only one of many paths home. Yet I’ve heard that the only way home is to leave the dream. But since no other paths say this world is a dream, or explain how we got here, or the ego thought system, or ontological guilt, or that bodies don’t exist, or that there’s only one of us here not billions and billions, etc., etc., how can there really be other paths that lead us to peace and then home? The metaphysics is so essential that in my opinion, the Course is the only way home . Please explain what other paths the Course refers to in the aforementioned statement. And can we really get home without understanding our own psychology and why we act the way we do? It seems to me that the Course was written because no other path had awakened us to these ideas.
A: You are correct that the metaphysics and psychology of A Course in Miracles are unique. And it is almost inevitable that if the Course speaks to you, it will feel like the only possible way home. But followers of most paths would make exactly the same assertion — and, as world history attests, all too often do so in very unkind ways. The certainty that ours is the one and only way is a result of confusion between form and content.
When we consider spiritual paths, we could think of the content as being synonymous with the purpose or goal , and the form as being the method for achieving that goal . The Course tells us that the holy instant, the holy relationship, and the Holy Spirit’s teaching “are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge” (T.18.VI.1:4). Indeed, that is an excellent summation of the purpose of the Course itself. It seeks to help us shift our mind from our imagined guilt (symbolized in the Course by the ego), to the memory of God’s all-inclusive Love (symbolized in the Course as the Holy Spirit). Within this dream world, once we have made that shift, we will go from projecting guilt everywhere, to extending love. How and when that shift leads to our awakening from the dream is neither our concern, nor the concern of the Course — which tells us that God Himself will be responsible for that final step (T.18.IX.10) .
The Course, then, is not our way home. Rather it is a tool for creating the conditions in our mind in which we can find our way home. While the Course can lead us to truth, we should not confuse its words, metaphysics, and psychology, with truth itself. As the Course says, “words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality” (M.21.1:9,10). So while the love that inspired the Course is real, at some point we must realize that the Course itself is still part of the illusion.
If it is the part of the illusion that helps us awaken to what lies beyond the illusion, then that is a marvelous thing. But that does not mean that it is the only thing in this dream that can serve that purpose, or that it will serve that purpose for everyone . To some, the Course’s explanation of how we got here and why we do what we do might make no sense at all. But that certainly does not mean that they cannot awaken to the Love of God. A person could have a right-minded experience while reading the Course, watching a sunset, reading the Bible, thumbing through the phone book, in the middle of a war zone, or in a million other scenarios. This is why the Course says that there are “many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome” (M.1.4:1,2) . In statements such as that, Jesus is really saying that form is irrelevant — it is the meaning, or purpose, that we give the form that matters. Therefore, Jesus is not referring to other specific forms. Rather he is acknowledging that the prerequisite to awakening is not any specific knowledge, form, or world-view, but rather a single decision . And what leads anyone else to make that decision, or why it does so, is beyond our comprehension and not our concern.
In this regard, it is helpful to remember that: “A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s” (M.1.1:2).