ACIM Reading for December 8
Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process & Practice
3.- III. The Question of Payment1. No one can pay for therapy, for healing is of God and He asks for nothing. It is, however, part of His plan that everything in this world be used by the Holy Spirit to help in carrying out the plan. Even an advanced therapist has some earthly needs while he is here. Should he need money it will be given him, not in payment, but to help him better serve the plan. Money is not evil. It is nothing. But no one here can live with no illusions, for he must yet strive to have the last illusion be accepted by everyone everywhere. He has a mighty part in this one purpose, for which he came. He stays here but for this. And while he stays he will be given what he needs to stay.
2. Only an unhealed healer would try to heal for money, and he will not succeed to the extent to which he values it. Nor will he find his healing in the process. There will be those of whom the Holy Spirit asks some payment for His purpose. There will be those from whom He does not ask. It should not be the therapist who makes these decisions. There is a difference between payment and cost. To give money where God’s plan allots it has no cost. To withhold it from where it rightfully belongs has enormous cost. The therapist who would do this loses the name of healer, for he could never understand what healing is. He cannot give it, and so he does not have it.
3. The therapists of this world are indeed useless to the world’s salvation. They make demands, and so they cannot give. Patients can pay only for the exchange of illusions. This, indeed, must demand payment, and the cost is great. A “bought” relationship cannot offer the only gift whereby all healing is accomplished. Forgiveness, the Holy Spirit’s only dream, must have no cost. For if it does, it merely crucifies God’s Son again. Can this be how he is forgiven? Can this be how the dream of sin will end?
4. The right to live is something no one need fight for. It is promised him, and guaranteed by God. Therefore it is a right the therapist and patient share alike. If their relationship is to be holy, whatever one needs is given by the other; whatever one lacks the other supplies. Herein is the relationship made holy, for herein both are healed. The therapist repays the patient in gratitude, as does the patient repay him. There is no cost to either. But thanks are due to both, for the release from long imprisonment and doubt. Who would not be grateful for such a gift?
Yet who could possibly imagine that it could be bought?
5. It has well been said that to him who hath shall be given. Because he has, he can give.
And because he gives, he shall be given. This is the law of God, and not of the world. So it is with God’s healers. They give because they have heard His Word and understood it. All that they need will thus be given them. But they will lose this understanding unless they remember that all they have comes only from God. If they believe they need anything from a brother, they will recognize him as a brother no longer. And if they do this, a light goes out even in Heaven. Where God’s Son turns against himself, he can look only upon darkness. He has himself denied the light, and cannot see.
6. One rule should always be observed: No one should be turned away because he cannot pay. No one is sent by accident to anyone. Relationships are always purposeful. Whatever their purpose may have been before the Holy Spirit entered them, they are always His potential temple; the resting place of Christ and home of God Himself. Whoever comes has been sent. Perhaps he was sent to give his brother the money he needed. Both will be blessed thereby. Perhaps he was sent to teach the therapist how much he needs forgiveness, and how valueless is money in comparison. Again will both be blessed. Only in terms of cost could one have more. In sharing, everyone must gain a blessing without cost.
7. This view of payment may well seem impractical, and in the eyes of the world it would be so. Yet not one worldly thought is really practical. How much is gained by striving for illusions? How much is lost by throwing God away? And is it possible to do so? Surely it is impractical to strive for nothing, and to attempt to do what is impossible. Then stop a while, long enough to think of this: You have perhaps been seeking for salvation without recognizing where to look. Whoever asks your help can show you where. What greater gift than this could you be given? What greater gift is there that you would give?
8. Physician, healer, therapist, teacher, heal thyself. Many will come to you carrying the gift of healing, if you so elect. The Holy Spirit never refuses an invitation to enter and abide with you. He will give you endless opportunities to open the door to your salvation, for such is His function. He will also tell you exactly what your function is in every circumstance and at all times. Whoever He sends you will reach you, holding out his hand to his Friend. Let the Christ in you bid him welcome, for that same Christ is in him as well. Deny him entrance, and you have denied the Christ in you. Remember the sorrowful story of the world, and the glad tidings of salvation. Remember the plan of God for the restoration of joy and peace. And do not forget how very simple are the ways of God:
You were lost in the darkness of the world until you asked for light.
And then God sent His Son to give it to you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 8
I let forgiveness rest upon all things,
For thus forgiveness will be given me.
I thank You, Father, for Your plan to save me from the hell I made. It is not real. And You have given me the means to prove its unreality to me. The key is in my hand, and I have reached the door beyond which lies the end of dreams. I stand before the gate of Heaven, wondering if I should enter in and be at home. Let me not wait again today. Let me forgive all things, and let creation be as You would have it be and as it is. Let me remember that I am Your Son, and opening the door at last, forget illusions in the blazing light of truth, as memory of You returns to me.
Brother, forgive me now. I come to you to take you home with me. And as we go, the world goes with us on our way to God.
ACIM Q & A for Today
A: No, Jesus’ life on earth seemed to be of no interest to her. At one point when he was speaking to her about the fruitlessness of studying the past, he said to her. “Even My personal history is of no value to you except as it teaches you that I can help you now ” ( Absence from Felicity , p. 287).
Q #1056: A Course in Miracles speaks frequently of the one question that we are to “ask” God instead of the many that make up our “lives” on earth. What exactly would that question be if it cannot be asked with words? A feeling of direct “communication”, i.e. “being”? Is the “communion with God” the Course speaks of not also an illusion in that it implies one (separated) aspect of God is talking to another separated aspect?
A: This “question” always pertains to content, not form. Thus, it would always be about our accepting the Atonement, or some variant of that. As an example, Jesus twice pleads with us: “Why wait for Heaven?” (W.pI.131.6:1; W.pI.188.1:1) ; and again in the workbook he tells us that we should ask “a thousand times a day,” “‘Who walks with me?’” (W.pI.156.8:1,2) . Then, in the lovely prose poem “The Gifts of God,” Jesus directs our thoughts to the gifts we can give to God. In one of many beautifully moving pleas to us, he exclaims, “Child of Eternal Love, what gift is there your Father wants of you except yourself? And what is there that you would rather give, for what is there that you would rather have? . . . What trifling gifts made out of sickly fear and evil dreams of suffering and death can be the substitute you really want for the rememberance of Christ in You?” ( The Gifts of God , p. 125)
Since imploring God’s help with our world and our lives has been the focal point of prayer in practically all religions, East and West, Jesus uses that form in his process of correcting our thinking about who we are and Who God is. But he obviously does not think real communication with God occurs in the dream; it can’t. This becomes clear as you comprehend the thought system of A Course in Miracles in its fullness. We are really praying to ourselves to recognize, first, our unquestioned commitment to the ego, and then to turn to the memory of truth in our right minds — symbolized by Jesus and the Holy Spirit — for help in seeing our mistake, so that we may make the choice to end our self- imposed exile from Love, now that we realize that that is what we have done. As our minds are healed of all thoughts of separation from God and from each other, we simply become Love, once again, God’s gift to us in our creation.