ACIM Text Reading for March 15
Chapter 7 ~ The Gifts of the Kingdom
II. The Law of the Kingdom
To heal is the only kind of thinking in this world that resembles the Thought of God, and because of the elements they share, can transfer easily to it. When a brother perceives himself as sick, he is perceiving himself as not whole, and therefore in need. If you, too, see him this way, you are seeing him as if he were absent from the Kingdom or separated from it, thus making the Kingdom itself obscure to both of you. Sickness and separation are not of God, but the Kingdom is. If you obscure the Kingdom, you are perceiving what is not of God.
To heal, then, is to correct perception in your brother and yourself by sharing the Holy Spirit with him. This places you both within the Kingdom, and restores its wholeness in your mind. This reflects creation, because it unifies by increasing and integrates by extending. What you project or extend is real for you. This is an immutable law of the mind in this world as well as in the Kingdom. However, the content is different in this world, because the thoughts it governs are very different from the Thoughts in the Kingdom. Laws must be adapted to circumstances if they are to maintain order. The outstanding characteristic of the laws of mind as they operate in this world is that by obeying them, and I assure you that you must obey them, you can arrive at diametrically opposed results. This is because the laws have been adapted to the circumstances of this world, in which diametrically opposed outcomes seem possible because you can respond to two conflicting voices.
Outside the Kingdom, the law that prevails inside is adapted to ‘What you project you believe’. This is its teaching form, because outside the Kingdom learning is essential. This form implies that you will learn what you are from what you have projected onto others, and therefore believe they are. In the Kingdom there is no teaching or learning, because there is no belief. There is only certainty. God and His Sons, in the surety of being, know that what you extend you are. That form of the law is not adapted at all, being the law of creation. God Himself created the law by creating by it. And His Sons, who create like Him, follow it gladly, knowing that the increase of the Kingdom depends on it, just as their own creation did.
Laws must be communicated if they are to be helpful. In effect, they must be translated for those who speak different languages. Nevertheless, a good translator, although he must alter the form of what he translates, never changes the meaning. In fact, his whole purpose is to change the form so that the original meaning is retained. The Holy Spirit is the translator of the laws of God to those who do not understand them. You could not do this yourself because a conflicted mind cannot be faithful to one meaning, and will therefore change the meaning to preserve the form.
The Holy Spirit’s purpose in translating is exactly the opposite. He translates only to preserve the original meaning in all respects and in all languages. Therefore, He opposes the idea that differences in form are meaningful, emphasising always that these differences do not matter. The meaning of His message is always the same; only the meaning matters. God’s law of creation does not involve the use of truth to convince His Sons of truth. The extension of truth, which is the law of the Kingdom, rests only on the knowledge of what truth is. This is your inheritance and requires no learning at all, but when you disinherited yourself you became a learner of necessity.
No one questions the connection of learning and memory. Learning is impossible without memory since it must be consistent to be remembered. That is why the Holy Spirit’s teaching is a lesson in remembering. I said before that He teaches remembering and forgetting, but the forgetting is only to make the remembering consistent. You forget in order to remember better. You will not understand His translations while you listen to two ways of interpreting them. Therefore you must forget or relinquish one to understand the other. This is the only way you can learn consistency, so that you can finally be consistent.
What can the perfect consistency of the Kingdom mean to those who are confused? It is apparent that confusion interferes with meaning, and therefore prevents the learner from appreciating it. There is no confusion in the Kingdom, because there is only one meaning. This meaning comes from God and is God. Because it is also you, you share it and extend it as your Creator did. This needs no translation because it is perfectly understood, but it does need extension because it means extension. Communication is perfectly direct and perfectly united. It is totally free, because nothing discordant ever enters. That is why it is the Kingdom of God. It belongs to Him and is therefore like Him. That is its reality, and nothing can assail it.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 15
These are the review ideas for today:
(16) I have no neutral thoughts.
Neutral thoughts are impossible because all thoughts have power. They will either make a false world or lead me to the real one. But thoughts cannot be without effects. As the world I see arises from my thinking errors, so will the real world rise before my eyes as I let my errors be corrected. My thoughts cannot be neither true nor false. They must be one or the other. What I see shows me which they are.
(17) I see no neutral things.
What I see witnesses to what I think. If I did not think I would not exist, because life is thought. Let me look on the world I see as the representation of my own state of mind. I know that my state of mind can change. And so I also know the world I see can change as well.
(18) I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my seeing.
If I have no private thoughts, I cannot see a private world. Even the mad idea of separation had to be shared before it could form the basis of the world I see. Yet that sharing was a sharing of nothing. I can also call upon my real thoughts, which share everything with everyone. As my thoughts of separation call to the separation thoughts of others, so my real thoughts awaken the real thoughts in them. And the world my real thoughts show me will dawn on their sight as well as mine.
(19) I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts.
I am alone in nothing. Everything I think or say or do teaches all the universe. A Son of God cannot think or speak or act in vain. He cannot be alone in anything. It is therefore in my power to change every mind along with mine, for mine is the power of God.
(20) I am determined to see.
Recognizing the shared nature of my thoughts, I am determined to see. I would look upon the witnesses that show me the thinking of the world has been changed. I would behold the proof that what has been done through me has enabled love to replace fear, laughter to replace tears, and abundance to replace loss. I would look upon the real world, and let it teach me that my will and the Will of God are one.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #331: Krishnamurti, in one of his books, says that all fear comes to an end the instant all psychological authority including our own ends in the mind. With no authority how can there be fear? He also mentions that all fear comes to an end the instant you realize you are the author of it. He said this doesn’t even take a day. Maybe only ten minutes to see it clearly. Can you comment on the above ideas? Lastly, if there are no specialness thoughts why do we have to give them up? Doesn’t that reinforce the ego by making it real?
A: Krishnamurti and A Course in Miracles are not saying anything very much different from each other. The Course simply adds a mythology of the ego to illustrate the origins of the “dynamics” of fear. With the belief in separation, the Course says we have made the idea of a separate superior judgmental authority — the ego god, which is really nothing more than a projection of our own desire to seize authority/authorship from God our Source (T.3.VI.7,8) — very real in our minds. And we remain at odds with this authority so long as we seek to maintain our own individual existence and so to see this controlling authority as separate from ourselves. Fear then is inevitable, for the illusory, fragmentary self we believe we are must seem very vulnerable if we are to deny our role in first seizing the authority for ourselves. We project responsibility for the attack outside ourselves in order to assuage our guilt.
The only real Authority is the wholly benign God of Love in Whom we find our being beyond any concepts of separation and individuality. And fear is impossible in this perfect state of Oneness in which there can be nothing apart from Self to fear. And so, in any moment when we release our belief in separate interests and conflicting authority — our own and anyone else’s — and we see our own role in making up the conflict in the first place, all fear must simply vanish. This need not take time, since nothing except our own thinking needs to shift. It is only our own resistance to love, which is how we maintain our separate self, that will make the release from fear seem difficult and likely to take a long time.
As for specialness thoughts, you are right, they are not real and they are not the problem. It is our desire for and belief in specialness, and not the thoughts themselves, that must be released, but not by fighting or resisting. We are only ever asked to look at what we have made real in our own minds and acknowledge the consequences of that illusory choice to our peace of mind. When we no longer want specialness and what it brings, the thoughts will simply dissipate “into the nothingness from which [they] came” (M.13.1:2).
Q #332: A few months ago I remember reading a passage in A Course in Miracles that I’d love to find again. At the time, I labeled it the “anti-karma clause,” because it seemed to indicate when one forgives/accepts atonement, the actual event is remembered differently — it is as if the perceptual past is changed in memory for all involved. I know I’m not explaining this well. Maybe you have some suggestions.
A: Two lovely passages come immediately to mind, one of which perhaps is the one you are looking to rediscover. Both communicate the Course’s beautiful teaching that forgiveness lifts us up outside of time and so can release us from all the seeming effects of the time-bound ego. If the Course taught otherwise — that the undoing of the ego must necessarily take time, as the idea of karma entails — then the ego would have to be real and the separation from God would have had to happen. But the fundamental premise, upon which the Course’s central practice of forgiveness rests, which is the statement of the Atonement principle, is that the separation never happened in reality. So, in truth, nothing but illusions need to be undone.
And so here they are, in the order in which they appear in the text:
“How can you who are so holy suffer? All your past except its beauty is gone, and nothing is left but a blessing. I have saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had. I have purified them of the errors that hid their light, and kept them for you in their own perfect radiance. They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt. They came from the Holy Spirit within you, and we know what God creates is eternal” (T.5.IV.8:1,2,3,4,5,6).
“There is no escape from fear in the ego’s use of time. For time, according to its teaching, is nothing but a teaching device for compounding guilt until it becomes all-encompassing, demanding vengeance forever.
The Holy Spirit would undo all of this now. Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist. There is no fear in the present when each instant stands clear and separated from the past, without its shadow reaching out into the future. Each instant is a clean, untarnished birth, in which the Son of God emerges from the past into the present. And the present extends forever. It is so beautiful and so clean and free of guilt that nothing but happiness is there. No darkness is remembered, and immortality and joy are now.
This lesson takes no time. For what is time without a past and future? It has taken time to misguide you so completely, but it takes no time at all to be what you are. Begin to practice the Holy Spirit’s use of time as a teaching aid to happiness and peace. Take this very instant, now, and think of it as all there is of time. Nothing can reach you here out of the past, and it is here that you are completely absolved, completely free and wholly without condemnation. From this holy instant wherein holiness was born again you will go forth in time without fear, and with no sense of change with time” (T.15.I.7:6,7; 8; 9).