ACIM Text Reading for March 20
Chapter 7 ~ The Gifts of the Kingdom
VII. The Totality of the Kingdom
Whenever you deny a blessing to a brother you will feel deprived, because denial is as total as love. It is as impossible to deny part of the Sonship as it is to love it in part. Nor is it possible to love it totally at times. You cannot be totally committed sometimes. Denial has no power in itself, but you can give it the power of your mind, whose power is without limit. If you use it to deny reality, reality is gone for you. Reality cannot be partly appreciated. That is why denying any part of it means you have lost the awareness of all of it. Yet denial is a defence, and so it is as capable of being used positively as well as negatively. Used negatively it will be destructive, because it will be used for attack. But in the service of the Holy Spirit, it can help you recognise part of reality, and thus appreciate all of it. Mind is too powerful to be subject to exclusion. You will never be able to exclude yourself from your thoughts.
When a brother acts insanely, he is offering you an opportunity to bless him. His need is yours. You need the blessing you can offer him. There is no way for you to have it except by giving it. This is the law of God, and it has no exceptions. What you deny you lack, not because it is lacking, but because you have denied it in another and are therefore not aware of it in yourself. Every response you make is determined by what you think you are, and what you want to be is what you think you are. What you want to be, then, must determine every response you make.
You do not need God’s blessing because that you have forever, but you do need yours. The ego’s picture of you is deprived, unloving and vulnerable. You cannot love this. Yet you can very easily escape from this image by leaving it behind. You are not there and that is not you. Do not see this picture in anyone, or you have accepted it as you. All illusions about the Sonship are dispelled together as they were made together. Teach no one that he is what you would not want to be. Your brother is the mirror in which you see the image of yourself as long as perception lasts. And perception will last until the Sonship knows itself as whole. You made perception and it must last as long as you want it.
Illusions are investments. They will last as long as you value them. Values are relative, but they are powerful because they are mental judgements. The only way to dispel illusions is to withdraw all investment from them, and they will have no life for you because you will have put them out of your mind. While you include them in it, you are giving life to them. Except there is nothing there to receive your gift.
The gift of life is yours to give, because it was given you. You are unaware of your gift because you do not give it. You cannot make nothing live, since nothing cannot be enlivened. Therefore, you are not extending the gift you both have and are, and so you do not know your being. All confusion comes from not extending life, because that is not the Will of your Creator. You can do nothing apart from Him, and you do do nothing apart from Him. Keep His way to remember yourself, and teach His way lest you forget yourself. Give only honour to the Sons of the living God, and count yourself among them gladly.
Only honour is a fitting gift for those whom God Himself created worthy of honour, and whom He honours. Give them the appreciation God accords them always, because they are His beloved Sons in whom He is well pleased. You cannot be apart from them because you are not apart from Him. Rest in His Love and protect your rest by loving. But love everything He created, of which you are a part, or you cannot learn of His peace and accept His gift for yourself and as yourself. You cannot know your own perfection until you have honoured all those who were created like you.
One child of God is the only teacher sufficiently worthy to teach another. One Teacher is in all minds and He teaches the same lesson to all. He always teaches you the inestimable worth of every Son of God, teaching it with infinite patience born of the infinite Love for which He speaks. Every attack is a call for His patience, since His patience can translate attack into blessing. Those who attack do not know they are blessed. They attack because they believe they are deprived. Give, therefore, of your abundance, and teach your brothers theirs. Do not share their illusions of scarcity, or you will perceive yourself as lacking.
Attack could never promote attack unless you perceived it as a means of depriving you of something you want. Yet you cannot lose anything unless you do not value it, and therefore do not want it. This makes you feel deprived of it, and by projecting your own rejection you then believe that others are taking it from you. You must be fearful if you believe that your brother is attacking you to tear the Kingdom of Heaven from you. This is the ultimate basis for all the ego’s projection.
Being the part of your mind that does not believe it is responsible for itself, and being without allegiance to God, the ego is incapable of trust. Projecting its insane belief that you have been treacherous to your Creator, it believes that your brothers, who are as incapable of this as you are, are out to take God from you. Whenever a brother attacks another, that is what he believes. Projection always sees your wishes in others. If you choose to separate yourself from God, that is what you will think others are doing to you.
You are the Will of God. Do not accept anything else as your will, or you are denying what you are. Deny this and you will attack, believing you have been attacked,. But see the Love of God in you, and you will see it everywhere because it is everywhere. See His abundance in everyone, and you will know that you are in Him with them. They are part of you, as you are part of God. You are as lonely without understanding this as God Himself is lonely when His Sons do not know Him. The peace of God is understanding this. There is only one way out of the world’s thinking, just as there was only one way into it. Understand totally by understanding totality.
Perceive any part of the ego’s thought system as wholly insane, wholly delusional and wholly undesirable, and you have correctly evaluated all of it. This correction enables you to perceive any part of creation as wholly real, wholly perfect and wholly desirable. Wanting this only you will have this only, and giving this only you will be only this. The gifts you offer to the ego are always experienced as sacrifices, but the gifts you offer to the Kingdom are gifts to you. They will always be treasured by God because they belong to His beloved Sons, who belong to Him. All power and glory are yours because the Kingdom is His.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 20
The following ideas are for review today:
(41) God goes with me wherever I go.
How can I be alone when God always goes with me? How can I be doubtful and unsure of myself when perfect certainty abides in Him? How can I be disturbed by anything when He rests in me in absolute peace? How can I suffer when love and joy surround me through Him? Let me not cherish illusions about myself. I am perfect because God goes with me wherever I go.
(42) God is my strength. Vision is His gift.
Let me not look to my own eyes to see today. Let me be willing to exchange my pitiful illusion of seeing for the vision that is given by God. Christ’s vision is His gift, and He has given it to me. Let me call upon this gift today, so that this day may help me to understand eternity.
(43) God is my Source. I cannot see apart from Him.
I can see what God wants me to see. I cannot see anything else. Beyond His Will lie only illusions. It is these I choose when I think I can see apart from Him. It is these I choose when I try to see through the body’s eyes. Yet the vision of Christ has been given me to replace them. It is through this vision that I choose to see.
(44) God is the light in which I see.
I cannot see in darkness. God is the only light. Therefore, if I am to see, it must be through Him. I have tried to define what seeing is, and I have been wrong. Now it is given me to understand that God is the light in which I see. Let me welcome vision and the happy world it will show me.
(45) God is the Mind with which I think.
I have no thoughts I do not share with God. I have no thoughts apart from Him, because I have no mind apart from His. As part of His Mind, my thoughts are His and His Thoughts are mine.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #158: I have difficulty understanding this section in the text of A Course in Miracles on attack: “Attack could never promote attack unless you perceived it as a means of depriving you of something you want. Yet you cannot lose anything unless you do not value it, and therefore do not want it. This makes you feel deprived of it, and by projecting your own rejection you then believe that others are taking it from you.” (T.7.VII.8:1,2,3) Please can you help?
A: The fourth law of chaos says that “you have what you have taken” (T.23.II.9:3); and we know that projection is one of the ego’s “laws.” Therefore, we are always suspicious of others, believing that they are plotting to take something from us. And ultimately what we believe they are out to steal from us is the peace of God. This, again, is a projection of the treachery of which we accuse ourselves. The point of the teaching is that the peace of God within us can never be taken from us unless we allow that to happen, which could be only because we do not really value it. And the reason we don’t value it is that part of us knows that if we totally identify with it, our self as we know it would disappear and be replaced by our true Self which is beyond all individualized existence in this world. The defense against this is to blame others for depriving us of our inner peace, rather than take responsibility for throwing it away ourselves.
Q #159: In my job my role is to be a helper, I notice that I reinforce my specialness by having a sense of importance and superiority toward those I help, while also hating them. I am also invested in having the things I do make things better. When there has been joining with another, I take credit for it. It seems that I am using all this to reinforce my individual identity in the world, and my guilt, so as not to move beyond specialness. Is it enough to be honest about my arrogance, trusting that Jesus can work with the honesty if I am willing?
A: Looking honestly at the specialness and hatred that we bring to all our relationships is certainly the first step in the forgiveness process. A Course in Miracles is asking us to do just that, so that we recognize the ego dynamics in operation. You also recognize the motives for the special love or special hate, which is very important. The same motive you mention is always in operation, keeping our specialness intact, so as to reinforce our belief in our separate identity, and in the world. The result, as you mention, is guilt, and that is our real attraction. As long as we feel guilty, we can keep the peace of God at a safe distance, stay in conflict, and keep our individuality. This is clearly the situation you describe. Looking at it honestly certainly moves you out of the denial that is so basic to the ego’s sick scheme. Healing can begin when the sickness is recognized. The next step is to make the connection between this choice in the mind to reinforce specialness and thereby reinforce and cling to guilt, and all the pain experienced in the dream of separation. It is very important to make this cause and effect relationship. In it lies the key to undoing our belief in the ego thought system and its painful consequences. If the specialness and its ensuing guilt is a choice in the mind, this must mean that there is another choice that can be made, that will have a different result. Therein lies the logic of the thought system of the Holy Spirit as presented in the Course. Once this association is made, the next step is to ask Jesus for help in making another choice. Looking is not the end of our part in the healing relationship with Jesus. We must go a bit beyond that to asking for, and truly desiring, “another way.” This is not always as easy as it seems. We are often quite willing to let Jesus replace our pain with his peace, until we realize this means letting go of a lot more than we bargained for. It requires a willingness to let go of the investment in our specialness and the purpose it serves, which ultimately leads to the undoing of the entire thought system of the ego. Since the ego finds this threatening, it has an endless supply of inviting forms to keep us engaged. Our part is to remain vigilant for all its tricks and recognize them as all the same, so they can be brought to the Holy Spirit to be transformed. Remember, the Course does not ask that we be without our special relationships: “I have said repeatedly that the Holy Spirit would not deprive you of your special relationships, but would transform them”(T.17.IV.2:3). This is where the “willingness” you speak of comes in. It does not have to be perfect willingness; “Your willingness need not be perfect, because His is. If you will merely offer Him a little place, He will lighten it so much that you will gladly let it be increased” (T.11.II.6:6,7). The little willingness suffices, as long as we are not actively holding out by hiding our “secret sins and hidden hates,” denying them, justifying them, or calling them by other, less gruesome names. If you remain faithful to the process you have begun, you will surely find it will have significant results in your learning and healing.