ACIM Text Reading for March 24
Chapter 7 ~ The Gifts of the Kingdom
XI. The State of Grace
The Holy Spirit will always guide you truly, because your joy is His. This is His Will for everyone because He speaks for the Kingdom of God, which is joy. Following Him is therefore the easiest thing in the world, and the only thing that is easy, because it is not of the world. It is therefore natural. The world goes against your nature, being out of accord with God’s laws. The world perceives orders of difficulty in everything. This is because the ego perceives nothing as wholly desirable. By demonstrating to yourself there is no order of difficulty in miracles, you will convince yourself that, in your natural state, there is no difficulty at all because it is a state of grace.
Grace is the natural state of every Son of God. When he is not in a state of grace, he is out of his natural environment and does not function well. Everything he does becomes a strain, because he was not created for the environment that he has made. He therefore cannot adapt to it, nor can he adapt it to him. There is no point in trying. A Son of God is happy only when he knows he is with God. That is the only environment in which he will not experience strain, because that is where he belongs. It is also the only environment that is worthy of him, because his own worth is beyond anything he can make.
Consider the kingdom you have made and judge its worth fairly. Is it worthy to be a home for a child of God? Does it protect his peace and shine love upon him? Does it keep his heart untouched by fear, and allow him to give always, without any sense of loss? Does it teach him that this giving is his joy, and that God Himself thanks him for his giving? That is the only environment in which you can be happy. You cannot make it, any more than you can make yourself. It has been created for you, as you were created for it. God watches over His children and denies them nothing. Yet when they deny Him they do not know this, because they deny themselves everything. You who could give the Love of God to everything you see and touch and remember, are literally denying Heaven to yourself.
I call upon you to remember that I have chosen you to teach the Kingdom to the Kingdom. There are no exceptions to this lesson, because the lack of exceptions is the lesson. Every Son who returns to the Kingdom with this lesson in his heart has healed the Sonship and given thanks to God. Everyone who learns this lesson has become the perfect teacher, because he has learned it of the Holy Spirit.
When a mind has only light, it knows only light. Its own radiance shines all around it, and extends out into the darkness of other minds, transforming them into majesty. The Majesty of God is there, for you to recognise and appreciate and know. Recognising the Majesty of God as your brother is to accept your own inheritance. God gives only equally. If you recognise His gift in anyone, you have acknowledged what He has given you. Nothing is so easy to recognise as truth. This is the recognition that is immediate, clear and natural. You have trained yourself not to recognise it, and this has been very difficult for you.
Out of your natural environment you may well ask, ‘What is truth?’ since truth is the environment by which and for which you were created. You do not know yourself, because you do not know your Creator. You do not know your creations because you do not know your brothers, who created them with you. I have already said that only the whole Sonship is worthy to be co-creator with God, because only the whole Sonship can create like Him. Whenever you heal a brother by recognising his worth, you are acknowledging his power to create and yours. He cannot have lost what you recognise, and you must have the glory you see in him. He is a co-creator with God with you. Deny his creative power, and you are denying yours and that of God Who created you.
You cannot deny part of truth. You do not know your creations because you do not know their creator. You do not know yourself because you do not know yours. Your creations cannot establish your reality, any more than you can establish God’s. But you can know both. Being is known by sharing. Because God shared His Being with you, you can know Him. But you must also know all He created, to know what they have shared. Without your Father you will not know your fatherhood. The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons and their children, who are as like the Sons as they are like the Father. Know, then, the Sons of God, and you will know all creation.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 24
The light of the world brings peace to every mind
through my forgiveness.
How holy are you who have the power to bring peace to every mind! How blessed are you who can learn to recognize the means for letting this be done through you! What purpose could you have that would bring you greater happiness?
You are indeed the light of the world with such a function. The Son of God looks to you for his redemption. It is yours to give him, for it belongs to you. Accept no trivial purpose or meaningless desire in its place, or you will forget your function and leave the Son of God in hell. This is no idle request that is being asked of you. You are being asked to accept salvation that it may be yours to give.
Recognizing the importance of this function, we will be happy to remember it very often today. We will begin the day by acknowledging it, and close the day with the thought of it in our awareness. And throughout the day we will repeat this as often as we can:
The light of the world brings peace to every mind
through my forgiveness. I am the means God has
appointed for the salvation of the world.
If you close your eyes, you will probably find it easier to let the related thoughts come to you in the minute or two that you should devote to considering this. Do not, however, wait for such an opportunity. No chance should be lost for reinforcing today’s idea. Remember that God’s Son looks to you for his salvation. And Who but your Self must be His Son?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #1320: Several years ago I experienced a bout of depression basically because of my struggle with the idea that “there must be something more,” and there have been several occasions when it occurred to me that maybe this life is all a dream. I have read many of the questions regarding people’s reluctance to awaken. I want more than anything to awaken from this dream, so in my mind I have more than “a little willingness.” If that is what Jesus and the Holy Spirit want for us also, why can’t I awaken since I want to so badly? There is certainly nothing in this world that could possibly outdo Heaven and Oneness. I’m ready to wake up, why don’t I?
A: We cannot determine from your question whether this is the case with you or not, but many times an intense desire to return home is accompanied by an abhorrence or fear of the world, though this may not be apparent. Wanting to return home so badly, in other words, can reflect an underlying feeling that the world is such an awful place and that it is such a painful burden to be here that we would give anything to be released from it. This can actually be an interference to awakening, as it would indicate that the world is still regarded as real: we cannot abhor or fear what we know to be unreal. There must, then, be a sense of sinfulness and guilt still hidden in the mind that gets projected onto the world. That is why so much of our work with A Course in Miracles centers on recognizing how we are “making the error real” — that is, how our reactions and perceptions reveal an underlying belief that we are separate from God and feel guilty because of that. Once we make that connection, we can ask for help to choose to see everything differently.
Real deliverance from the world comes in the recognition that the world is the source of neither suffering or happiness, but is simply the projection of the mind caught in the illusory belief it is separate from God (W.pI.132; W.pII.226). We get to that stage by first becoming aware of how much we do see the world as the cause of both suffering and happiness. This is why Jesus teaches us that “Forgiveness is the key to happiness” and “Forgiveness offers me everything I want” (W.pI.121, 122) . This is the “real alternative” that Jesus discusses in the final chapter of the text (T.31.IV) , where he talks about the state of mind known as the real world, which precedes our awakening from the dream entirely.
As we continue on the path of forgiveness with Jesus as our teacher, we becomes less and less identified with life in the world, which actually makes living here easier, in the sense of relieving the pressure most of us feel from taking what goes on in our lives so seriously. As we choose the ego less often, the love in our right mind begins to direct our every thought and action, and our investment in being an individual special self diminishes greatly. We continue to fulfill our roles responsibly, but without pressure and conflict. In this state, there would be not be a feeling of urgency to awaken as quickly as possible because you would not experience yourself as separate from love. Being present to all things and all people with Jesus would be a source of security and quiet joy and peace. Peace, really, is the goal of our work with the Course, not knowledge (Heaven) (T.8.I.1; T.24.in.1:1) . And we are assured of peace by choosing the teacher of peace more and more often, who would help us experience our oneness with everyone. Patience and gentleness with yourself will help you through this process, as will trust in the process of forgiveness.