ACIM Text Reading for February 2
A. Special Principles of Miracle Workers
The miracle abolishes the need for lower-order concerns. Since it is an out-of-pattern time interval, the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply. When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it.
A clear distinction between what is created and what is made is essential. All forms of healing rest on this fundamental correction in level perception.
Never confuse right- and wrong-mindedness. Responding to any form of error with anything except a desire to heal is an expression of this confusion.
The miracle is always a denial of this error and an affirmation of the truth. Only right-mindedness can correct in a way that has any real effect. Pragmatically, what has no real effect has no existence. Its effect, then, is emptiness. Being without substantial content, it lends itself to projection.
The level-adjustment power of the miracle induces the right perception for healing. Until this has occurred healing cannot be understood. Forgiveness is an empty gesture unless it entails correction. Without this it is essentially judgemental, rather than healing.
Miracle-minded forgiveness is only correction. It has no element of judgement at all. The statement ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’ in no way evaluates what they do. It is an appeal to God to heal their minds. There is no reference to the outcome of the error. That does not matter.
The injunction ‘Be of one mind’ is the statement for revelation-readiness. My request ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ is the appeal for co-operation from miracle workers. The two statements are not in the same order of reality. Only the latter involves an awareness of time, since to remember is to recall the past in the present. Time is under my direction, but timelessness belongs to God. In time we exist for and with each other. In timelessness we coexist with God.
You can do much on behalf of your own healing and that of others if, in a situation calling for help, you think of it this way:
ACIM Workbook Lesson for February 2
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
The idea for today is another step in learning that the thoughts which give rise to what you see are never neutral or unimportant. It also emphasizes the idea that minds are joined, which will be given increasing stress later on.
Today’s idea does not refer to what you see as much as to how you see it. Therefore, the exercises for today emphasize this aspect of your perception. The three or four practice periods which are recommended should be done as follows:
Look about you, selecting subjects for the application of the idea for today as randomly as possible, and keeping your eyes on each one long enough to say:
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of how I see _________.
Conclude each practice period by repeating the more general statement:
I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
A minute or so, or even less, will be sufficient for each practice period.
ACIM Q & A for Today ~ The “Authority Problem”
Q #304: I keep thinking about what A Course in Miracles refers to as the “authority” problem. I understand it to mean that there is a constant struggle within me between what I believe is the “reason” for being here and for my life, and what God “believes” is the reason for my being here and for my life. Unfortunately — like most concepts the Course teaches — I have a feeling my understanding is missing the mark. Am I even close?
A: Actually, you are not far off the mark at all. Someone once said: “If God is your co-pilot, switch seats!” Jesus tells us that the problem is much deeper than that: “The authority problem is still the only source of conflict, because the ego was made out of the wish of God’s Son to father Him. The ego, then, is nothing more than a delusional system in which you made your own father” (T.11.in.2:3,4). This obviously is insane, as Jesus himself remarks in the continuation of that passage; yet we continue to allow this conflict to rage in our minds and to project itself out all over the place in many forms, because we believe that to submit to God as our Author and Source would be a sentence of death. Or at the very least, we could not exist as we would like to.
Jesus explains: “The projection of the ego makes it appear as if God’s Will is outside yourself, and therefore not yours. In this interpretation it seems possible for God’s Will and yours to conflict. God, then, may seem to demand of you what you do not want to give, and thus deprive you of what you want.…You are afraid to know God’s Will, because you believe it is not yours. This belief is your whole sickness and your whole fear” (T.11.9:1,2,3; 10:3,4).
So to the extent that you value an individual, autonomous existence, you will unconsciously believe that you usurped God’s power in order to get and keep that existence and that He is coming after you to get it back. This is the one-or-the-other principle at the heart of the ego thought system, and fear is its unfortunate consequence. “To deny His Authorship is to deny yourself the reason for your peace, so that you see yourself only in segments. This strange perception is the authority problem” (T.3.VI.10.6,7).
Q #379: I experience myself as being told to review all I can of the “authority problem.” I have Ken Wapnick’s set on the authority problem, but the world of the ego is preventing me from having the time to listen to it. I am wondering if you would have some other words of wisdom concerning this subject or any writings to which you could direct me.
A: We recommend that you set your ego straight! Work things out with your ego and listen to the tapes.
Question #304 summarized the key ideas involved in the authority problem, which Jesus tells us “is the root of all evil” (T.3.VI.8:3). It is understandable that there would be intense resistance to this topic, because it pervades all wrong-minded thinking, and to delve into it stirs up our ultimate fear that in some way or other, we are going to lose the battle of existence with God. Concealed in a dark corner of our minds is the “truth” that our existence as individuals is not authentic and can be extinguished the instant our defenses are exposed and demolished, which is inevitable. This ontological doubt about our very existence then seeps into all levels of our experience, so that we wind up challenging every single authority in our lives — either secretly or overtly. Or we go in the opposite direction and become completely submissive to authorities, secretly resentful, though, of their power over us. Either way works in the ego’s service, because the separation is maintained.
A Course in Miracles teaches us that the healing of this conflict begins when we ask for help to look at our wish to be autonomous individuals rather than part of the one Son of God, and we will be motivated to ask for help when we have recognized that wanting and defending a life of separate interests has not made us happy. The ego would have us believe that it is always one-or- the-other: either a tryrannical God is in charge or we are. Jesus corrects this erroneous thinking by assuring us that when we let go of our imagined need to be independent, we will feel as if we have just been released from imprisonment, and we will then experience the unending peace that is our inheritance as God’s Son (T.3.VI.10).
Q #1351: My question is about the Authority Problem. When I was little I had this particular thing I would do and my father told me to stop because it was not what big boys do. But my mother said that she thought it was cute and that they should just let me out- grow it. Well it’s now a part of my personality and my relationships. Can I continue being this even if it is an authority problem, or does Jesus ask that we give up any self-assertion even if it causes us fear do so?
A: Jesus never asks us to sacrifice anything for the sake of spiritual advancement. Only the ego’s God and Jesus demand sacrifice. What Jesus wants us to do is develop the habit of asking of our values and behavior, “What is it for? What purpose does this serve?” He wants us to become more and more aware that we are decision-making minds always making one of two choices: either to continue to be separate from God and others or to undo our belief in separation and learn that we all share the same interests and ultimately the same Identity. That is the only relevant meaning of what we do and think. Thus, if you were to evaluate the behavior you are referring to in this context of its purpose, you might attain a better understanding of what is going on in. This would shift your attention from your behavior to your mind, and you would realize that your salvation does not rest on making changes on the behavioral level.
Self-assertion is an ego ideal, although it is not necessarily wrong to go through a stage of self- assertion as a correction for years of doing the opposite. When you choose Jesus or the Holy Spirit as your internal Teacher, rather than the ego, you will be centered in the love that responds to everything and everyone only with love and kindness. This content in your mind would then be expressed appropriately in the circumstances of your life, which may be in the form of assertiveness, but not the ego version that would reinforce differences and lead to an adversarial relationship. If you focus on being clear about the purpose you are choosing in your mind, your behavior would just flow from that, and then you would not be in conflict. There would be a consistency between your thoughts and behavior — what Jesus calls “honesty,” the second characteristic of God’s teachers (see M.4.II). A Course in Miracles , actually, says nothing about what our behavior ought to be.
Finally, from the information you have given, it is difficult to determine whether your problem is simply an authority issue. We all would tend to have issues with authorities, given the fact that we believe we got our existence at God’s expense and that He is after us to punish us and get back what we took from Him. Questions #304 and #379 discuss the different dimensions of this pervasive aspect of our ego identification.