ACIM Text Reading for March 30
Chapter 8 ~ The Journey Back
VI. The Treasure of God
We are the joint will of the Sonship, whose wholeness is for all. We begin the journey back by setting out together, and gather in our brothers as we continue together. Every gain in our strength is offered for all, so they too can lay aside their weakness and add their strength to us. God’s welcome waits for us all, and He will welcome us as I am welcoming you. Forget not the Kingdom of God for anything the world has to offer.
The world can add nothing to the power and the glory of God and His holy Sons, but it can blind the Sons to the Father if they behold it. You cannot behold the world and know God. Only one is true. I am come to tell you that the choice of which is true is not yours to make. If it were, you would have destroyed yourself. Yet God did not will the destruction of His creations, having created them for eternity. His Will has saved you, not from yourself but from your illusion of yourself. He has saved you for yourself.
Let us glorify Him Whom the world denies, for over His Kingdom the world has no power. No one created by God can find joy in anything except the eternal; not because he is deprived of anything else, but because nothing else is worthy of him. What God and His Sons create is eternal, and in this and this only is their joy.
Listen to the story of the prodigal son, and learn what God’s treasure is and yours: This son of a loving father left his home and thought he had squandered everything for nothing of any value, although he had not understood its worthlessness at the time. He was ashamed to return to his father, because he thought he had hurt him. Yet when he came home the father welcomed him with joy, because the son himself was his father’s treasure. He wanted nothing else.
God wants only His Son because His Son is His only treasure. You want your creations as He wants His. Your creations are your gift to the Holy Trinity, created in gratitude for your creation. They do not leave you any more than you left your Creator, but they extend your creation as God extended Himself to you. Can the creations of God Himself take joy in what is not real? And what is real except the creations of God and those that are created like His? Your creations love you as you love your Father for the gift of creation. There is no other gift that is eternal, and therefore there is no other gift that is true. How, then, can you accept anything else or give anything else, and expect joy in return? And what else but joy would you want? You made neither yourself nor your function. You made only the decision to be unworthy of both. Yet you cannot make yourself unworthy because you are the treasure of God, and what He values is valuable. There can be no question of its worth, because its value lies in God’s sharing Himself with it and establishing its value forever.
Your function is to add to God’s treasure by creating yours. His Will to you is His Will for you. He would not withhold creation from you because His joy is in it. You cannot find joy except as God does. His joy lay in creating you, and He extends His Fatherhood to you so that you can extend yourself as He did. You do not understand this because you do not understand Him. No one who does not accept his function can understand what it is, and no one can accept his function unless he knows what he is. Creation is the Will of God. His Will created you to create. Your will was not created separate from His, and so you must will as He wills.
An ‘unwilling will’ does not mean anything, being a contradiction in terms that actually means nothing. When you think you are unwilling to will with God, you are not thinking. God’s Will is thought. It cannot be contradicted by thought. God does not contradict Himself, and His Sons, who are like Him, cannot contradict themselves or Him. Yet their thought is so powerful that they can even imprison the mind of God’s Son, if they so choose. This choice does make the Son’s function unknown to him, but never to his Creator. And because it is not unknown to his Creator, it is forever knowable to him.
There is no question but one you should ever ask of yourself;â€”’Do I want to know my Father’s Will for me?’ He will not hide it. He has revealed it to me because I asked it of Him, and learned of what He had already given. Our function is to work together, because apart from each other we cannot function at all. The whole power of God’s Son lies in all of us, but not in any of us alone. God would not have us be alone because Hedoes not will to be alone. That is why He created His Son, and gave him the power to create with Him. Our creations are as holy as we are, and we are the Sons of God Himself, as holy as He is. Through our creations we extend our love, and thus increase the joy of the Holy Trinity. You do not understand this, because you who are God’s Own treasure do not regard yourself as valuable. Given this belief, you cannot understand anything.
I share with God the knowledge of the value He puts upon you. My devotion to you is of Him, being born of my knowledge of myself and Him. We cannot be separated. Whom God has joined cannot be separated, and God has joined all His Sons with Himself. Can you be separated from your life and your being? The journey to God is merely the reawakening of the knowledge of where you are always, and what you are forever. It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. Truth can only be experienced. It cannot be described and it cannot be explained. I can make you aware of the conditions of truth, but the experience is of God. Together we can meet its conditions, but truth will dawn upon you of itself.
What God has willed for you is yours. He has given His Will to His treasure, whose treasure it is. Your heart lies where your treasure is, as His does. You who are beloved of God are wholly blessed. Learn this of me, and free the holy will of all those who are as blessed as you are.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 30
My grievances hide the light of the world in me.
No one can look upon what your grievances conceal. Because your grievances are hiding the light of the world in you, everyone stands in darkness, and you beside him. But as the veil of your grievances is lifted, you are released with him. Share your salvation now with him who stood beside you when you were in hell. He is your brother in the light of the world that saves you both.
Today let us make another real attempt to reach the light in you. Before we undertake this in our more extended practice period, let us devote several minutes to thinking about what we are trying to do. We are literally attempting to get in touch with the salvation of the world. We are trying to see past the veil of darkness that keeps it concealed. We are trying to let the veil be lifted, and to see the tears of God’s Son disappear in the sunlight.
Let us begin our longer practice period today with the full realization that this is so, and with real determination to reach what is dearer to us than all else. Salvation is our only need. There is no other purpose here, and no other function to fulfill. Learning salvation is our only goal. Let us end the ancient search today by finding the light in us, and holding it up for everyone who searches with us to look upon and rejoice.
Very quietly now, with your eyes closed, try to let go of all the content that generally occupies your consciousness. Think of your mind as a vast circle, surrounded by a layer of heavy, dark clouds. You can see only the clouds because you seem to be standing outside the circle and quite apart from it.
From where you stand, you can see no reason to believe there is a brilliant light hidden by the clouds. The clouds seem to be the only reality. They seem to be all there is to see. Therefore, you do not attempt to go through them and past them, which is the only way in which you would be really convinced of their lack of substance. We will make this attempt today.
After you have thought about the importance of what you are trying to do for yourself and the world, try to settle down in perfect stillness, remembering only how much you want to reach the light in you today,–now! Determine to go past the clouds. Reach out and touch them in your mind. Brush them aside with your hand; feel them resting on your cheeks and forehead and eyelids as you go through them. Go on; clouds cannot stop you.
If you are doing the exercises properly, you will begin to feel a sense of being lifted up and carried ahead. Your little effort and small determination call on the power of the universe to help you, and God Himself will raise you from darkness into light. You are in accord with His Will. You cannot fail because your will is His.
Have confidence in your Father today, and be certain that He has heard you and answered you. You may not recognize His answer yet, but you can indeed be sure that it is given you and you will yet receive it. Try, as you attempt to go through the clouds to the light, to hold this confidence in your mind. Try to remember that you are at last joining your will to God’s. Try to keep the thought clearly in mind that what you undertake with God must succeed. Then let the power of God work in you and through you, that His Will and yours be done.
In the shorter practice periods, which you will want to do as often as possible in view of the importance of today’s idea to you and your happiness, remind yourself that your grievances are hiding the light of the world from your awareness. Remind yourself also that you are not searching for it alone, and that you do know where to look for it. Say, then:
My grievances hide the light of the world in me. I cannot
see what I have hidden. Yet I want to let it be revealed to
me, for my salvation and the salvation of the world.
Also, be sure to tell yourself:
If I hold this grievance the light of the world will be hidden
if you are tempted to hold anything against anyone today.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #252: In the Course, Jesus says that the Atonement works in time, and in all the dimensions of time. Does this mean that there is a “redeemer” figure in different worlds in every dimension of time? I’ve heard of this idea many years ago, but still know nothing about it. So as well as Jesus appearing in different forms in the Sonship’s dream of living on another world, could this also mean A Course in Miracles has, or will appear in other forms, in other worlds also, not excluding the fact it could also come again into this world in another, even more sophisticated form!
A: You’ve got it! Rather than seeing time in a linear way, picture it holographically (the entire history of the whole physical universe contained within each of our minds), and you can better understand how it is that a “redeemer” figure can be in all places at all times. As the Course states: “The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first” (T.26.V.3:5). There is a hologram of “error,” which contains every possible “sin,” and the ramifications thereof. There is also a hologram of “Correction,” along with its ramifications (reedeemer figures, spiritual teachings, etc.). At any time, at any place, we are choosing one of these two holograms.
Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick deal with the nature of the separation and the Course’s view of time in Question 16 of The Most Commonly Asked Questions About A Course in Miracles: “…when the thought of separation is projected “far away” from the mind of the Son, it is expressed in the dimension of time: The past, the seeming present, and the future do appear to reflect the huge gap of billions of years the ego wishes to introduce between the mind’s decision to be separate from God and the Holy Spirit, and the Son’s experience of himself as a body. When the thought of separation is experienced between an individual and another person — i.e., closer to his experience of himself — then it is known as space, the physical gap we experience between ourselves and others in our special relationships. To state this another way, time (and therefore space as well) was specifically made by the ego to keep cause (the mind and its thoughts) and effect (our pain and suffering) separated.”
And yes, this does mean a more sophisticated form of teaching may appear in the world, and this is dependent upon the Son’s mind being more fully healed. As healing takes place, and a clear understanding and appreciation of the ego’s strategy is accepted, higher teachings are then possible.
Q #253: I understand that we made the world outside to appear real, based on error. Also, in A Course in Miracles it mentions that every time a problem arises we do not look at the problem itself (which will make it “more real”). Instead, we look within. It is like saying if worldly things (including obligations) are all unreal, then we can simply “drop it” or “let go” (let God). It is like saying — forget about taxes, or bills, or the whole world, because they are not real. However, in the Course Jesus teaches, or at least mentions, how to look (outside or inside) without judgment (because there is nothing to judge). Please share your kind guidance to clarify this delusion.
A: A Course in Miracles is a spiritual path designed as a learning program. In this context, the world, and all the circumstances of our lives, become the classroom for learning and applying the Course principles. Everything in our lives is therefore very important to our learning, and is not meant to be merely “dropped.” It is meant to be examined, reinterpreted and transformed.
Although in truth the world is an illusion (W.155.2:1), it is very real to those who perceive themselves as separate from God, which includes most of us. In order to apply the principles of the Course to our lives, it is important not to confuse levels of teaching. The Course does not ask us to stop doing any of the things we do in the world as bodies. This is not a Course in behavior — it is a Course in mind training. A Course in Miracles is addressing the mind, and is concerned only with the content of the mind. Dealing with a perceived problem in the world is not what makes the error real. It is believing that the perceived problem is the cause of our upset and has an effect on the truth of who we are which makes the error real in our awareness, though not in truth.
When the Course asks us to look within, it does not say ignore or disregard the problem as it is perceived in the world. In fact, it tells us we must look at what we have made: “No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous…The “dynamics” of the ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth” (T.11.V.1:1,2,5,6; italics added). Thus, the steps involved in applying the Course’s teaching begin with seeing the problem as we have made it up in the world, dealing with the problem in the normal way (i.e., paying taxes and bills), while learning to recognize that the problem is made up as a smokescreen for the real problem, which is the choice in the mind to take the thought of separation seriously. Recognizing the purpose the ego assigns to the world’s problems is what the Course means by “looking within.” Since we believe the world with its bills and taxes is real, we do have judgments which need to be acknowledged because they reveal our hidden beliefs in scarcity, victimization, etc. This is part of the process of looking within. The world and our feelings are showing us the “dark secrets” (T.22.VI.9:5) our minds contain. They cannot be dispelled if we are unaware of them.
In the same way, belief in the body cannot be undone by denying it and then ignoring the specific conditions of life in a body. Not paying bills or taxes would certainly bring on an avalanche of other problems. The exacerbated situation would reinforce the ego’s smokescreen, and would not facilitate healing. Only when the real problem — belief in separation — is recognized can we turn to the Holy Spirit in our minds to seek the real solution — undoing the belief in separation through forgiveness. Once this is accomplished, we will be ready to believe that the world with all its “problems” is not real, and move beyond it to the truth.