ACIM Text Reading for March 1
Chapter 5 ~ Healing & Wholeness
III. The Guide to Salvation
The way to recognise your brother is by recognising the Holy Spirit in him. I have already said that the Holy Spirit is the bridge for the transfer of perception to knowledge, so we can use the terms as if they were related, because in His Mind they are. This relationship must be in His Mind because, unless it were, the separation between the two ways of thinking would not be open to healing. He is part of the Holy Trinity, because His Mind is partly yours and also partly God’s. This needs clarification, not in statement but in experience.
The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing. Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared. Being the Call for God, it is also the idea ofGod. Since you are part of God it is also the idea of yourself, as well as of all His creations. The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the Universe of which it is a part. It is strengthened by being given away. It increases in you as you give it to your brother. Your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit in himself or in you for this miracle to occur. He may have dissociated the Call for God, just as you have. This dissociation is healed in both of you as you become aware of the Call for God in him, and thus acknowledge its being.
There are two diametrically opposed ways of seeing your brother. They must both be in your mind, because you are the perceiver. They must also be in his, because you are perceiving him. See him through the Holy Spirit in his mind, and you will recognise Him in yours. What you acknowledge in your brother you are acknowledging in yourself, and what you share you strengthen.
The Voice of the Holy Spirit is weak in you. That is why you must share It. It must be increased in strength before you can hear It. It is impossible to hear It in yourself while It is so weak in your mind. It is not weak in Itself, but It is limited by your unwillingness to hear It. If you make the mistake of looking for the Holy Spirit in yourself alone your thoughts will frighten you because, by adopting the ego’s viewpoint, you are undertaking an ego-alien journey with the ego as guide. This is bound to produce fear.
Delay is of the ego, because time is its concept. Both time and delay are meaningless in eternity. I have said before that the Holy Spirit is God’s Answer to the ego. Everything of which the Holy Spirit reminds you is in direct opposition to the ego’s notions, because true and false perceptions are themselves opposed. The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made. He undoes it at the same level on which the ego operates, or the mind would be unable to understand the change.
I have repeatedly emphasised that one level of the mind is not understandable to another. So it is with the ego and the Holy Spirit; with time and eternity. Eternity is an idea of God, so the Holy Spirit understands it perfectly. Time is a belief of the ego, so the lower mind, which is the ego’s domain, accepts it without question. The only aspect of time that is eternal is now.
The Holy Spirit is the mediator between the interpretations of the ego and the knowledge of the spirit. His ability to deal with symbols enables Him to work with the ego’s beliefs in its own language. His ability to look beyond symbols into eternity enables Him to understand the laws of God, for which He speaks. He can therefore perform the function of reinterpreting what the ego makes, not by destruction but by understanding. Understanding is light, and light leads to knowledge. The Holy Spirit is in light because He is in you who are light, but you yourself do not know this. It is therefore the task of the Holy Spirit to reinterpret you on behalf of God.
You cannot understand yourself alone. This is because you have no meaning apart from your rightful place in the Sonship, and the rightful place of the Sonship is God. This is your life, your eternity and your Self. It is of this that the Holy Spirit reminds you. It is this that the Holy Spirit sees. This vision frightens the ego because it is so calm. Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. The ego becomes strong in strife. If you believe there is strife you will react viciously, because the idea of danger has entered your mind. The idea itself is an appeal to the ego. The Holy Spirit is as vigilant as the ego to the call of danger, opposing it with His strength just as the ego welcomes it. The Holy Spirit counters this welcome by welcoming peace. Eternity and peace are as closely related as are time and war.
Perception derives meaning from relationships. Those you accept are the foundations of your beliefs. The separation is merely another term for a split mind. The ego is the symbol of separation, just as the Holy Spirit is the symbol of peace. What you perceive in others you are strengthening in yourself. You may let your mind misperceive, but the Holy Spirit lets your mind reinterpret its own misperceptions.
The Holy Spirit is the perfect teacher. He uses only what your mind already understands to teach you that you do not understand it. The Holy Spirit can deal with a reluctant learner without going counter to his mind, because part of it is still for God. Despite the ego’s attempts to conceal this part, it is still much stronger than the ego, although the ego does not recognise it. The Holy Spirit recognises it perfectly because it is His Own dwelling place; the place in the mind where He is at home. You are at home there, too, because it is a place of peace, and peace is of God. You who are part of God are not at home except in His peace. If peace is eternal, you are at home only in eternity.
The ego made the world as it perceives it, but the Holy Spirit, the re-interpreter of what the ego made, sees the world as a teaching device for bringing you home. The Holy Spirit must perceive time, and reinterpret it into the timeless. He must work through opposites, because He must work with and for a mind that is in opposition. Correct and learn, and be open to learning. You have not made truth, but truth can still set you free. Look as the Holy Spirit looks, and understand as He understands. His understanding looks back to God in remembrance of me. He is in communion with God always, and He is part of you. He is your guide to salvation, because He holds the remembrance of things past and to come, and brings them to the present. He holds this gladness gently in your mind, asking only that you increase it in His Name by sharing it to increase His joy in you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 1
I am blessed as a Son of God.
Today we will begin to assert some of the happy things to which you are entitled, being what you are. No long practice periods are required today, but very frequent short ones are necessary. Once every ten minutes would be highly desirable, and you are urged to attempt this schedule and to adhere to it whenever possible. If you forget, try again. If there are long interruptions, try again. Whenever you remember, try again.
You need not close your eyes for the exercise periods, although you will probably find it more helpful if you do. However, you may be in a number of situations during the day when closing your eyes would not be feasible. Do not miss a practice period because of this. You can practice quite well under any circumstances, if you really want to.
Today’s exercises take little time and no effort. Repeat the idea for today, and then add several of the attributes you associate with being a Son of God, applying them to yourself. One practice period might, for example, consist of the following:
I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am happy, peaceful, loving and contented.
Another might take this form:
I am blessed as a Son of God.
I am calm, quiet, assured and confident.
If only a brief period is available, merely telling yourself that you are blessed as a Son of God will do.
ACIM Q & A for Today
“Specific situations, events or personalities you associate with unloving thoughts of any kind are suitable subjects for today’s exercises. It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently. And it is your blessing on them that will save you and give you vision.”
I’m not sure how the idea “It is imperative for your salvation that you see them differently.” reconciles with some of the major themes of the Course including the ideas that we let everything be the same and that there is no hierarchy in an illusion, not to mention that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. It seems to me it should say: It is imperative for your salvation that you not see them differently. What am I missing?
A: What you are missing is the use of the word “differently.” The idea is not to see the specific situations, events or personalities associated with unloving thoughts as separate or dissimilar within themselves, but rather to see the specific situations, events or personalities with loving thoughts (differently from how you have seen before). In the past, your sight (unloving thoughts) was through the eyes of the ego. Now you are encouraged to see through the eyes of the Holy Spirit (loving thoughts). Another way of putting it is that seeing through the eyes of the Holy Spirit is “different” from seeing through the eyes of the ego.
A: This happens to most students, and in a way it is unavoidable in the beginning stages of one’s journey with the Course. The idea is to recognize when you have done so and be willing to ask for help to go beyond that stage so that you will advance, otherwise you will not experience all that A Course in Miracles offers you. If you stay on the level of idols, you would be bringing the Course down to your level instead of raising yourself to its level. That is not sinful and you should not judge yourself for doing so. It is just that you would be preventing yourself from reaching its goal of true and lasting peace. A wonderful paragraph to read in this regard is in the text, Chapter 17, where Jesus asks us, “Think you that you can bring truth to fantasy, and learn what truth means from the perspective of illusions? (T.17.I.5:1) . He does not judge us, but simply helps us realize that we imprison ourselves when we cling to specialness or anything else of the ego, thinking it cannot be healed or transformed.
Q #1287: What does A Course in Miracles say about divine order in this unreality? Does it exist or is every (unreal) thing that happens random? I realize nothing does or has happened, and I know we are changeless; but until I can perceive myself as that, I notice the effects in my wrong-mindedness. Is the Holy Spirit leading or helping us once we make the choice to listen so we can stay in right-mindedness?
A: Divine order exists only in reality, the state of pure undifferentiated Oneness in Heaven. There is nothing random about our seeming existence in the dream on the level of content, for we are always choosing either to stay asleep, which means to relive in some form our choice to remain separate from God, or to awaken, which means to use the relationships and circumstances in our lives to undo that choice for separation. The Holy Spirit is the memory in our minds of our changeless state as God’s one Son, Christ. When we recognize our mistake in wanting an existence apart from God, and then ask for help, we initiate the process of looking within at all the ways in which we interfere with the presence of light and love in our right minds. And when we learn to do this without judgment, we are perceiving with the Holy Spirit. That is right-mindedness. We bounce out of that peaceful state when we judge ourselves or others, as that means we have taken the ego seriously and have forgotten it is simply a tiny, mad idea, deserving only of gentle laughter. The Holy Spirit is the reminder of the ego’s nothingness and of Christ’s wholeness; and His function is to help us translate this into the daily events of our lives.