A Course in Miracles Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for April 3

ACIM Text Reading for April 3

Chapter 9

THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE ATONEMENT

I. The Acceptance of Reality

Fear of the Will of God is one of the strangest beliefs the human mind has ever made. It could not possibly have occurred unless the mind were already profoundly split, making it possible for it to be afraid of what it really is. Reality cannot ‘threaten’ anything except illusions, since reality can only uphold truth. The very fact that the Will of God, which is what you are, is perceived as fearful, demonstrates that you are afraid of what you are. It is not, then, the Will of God of which you are afraid, but yours.

Your will is not the ego’s, and that is why the ego is against you. What seems to be the fear of God is really the fear of your own reality. It is impossible to learn anything consistently in a state of panic. If the purpose of this course is to help you remember what you are, and if you believe that what you are is fearful, then it must follow that you will not learn this course. Yet the reason for the course is that you do not know what you are.

If you do not know what your reality is, why would you be so sure that it is fearful? The association of truth and fear, which would be highly artificial at most, is particularly inappropriate in the minds of those who do not know what truth is. All this could mean is that you are arbitrarily associating something beyond your awareness with something you do not want. It is evident, then, that you are judging something of which you are totally unaware. You have set up this strange situation so that it is impossible to escape from it without a Guide Whodoes know what your reality is. The purpose of this Guide is merely to remind you of what you want. He is not attempting to force an alien will upon you. He is merely making every possible effort, within the limits you impose on Him, to re-establish your own will in your awareness.

You have imprisoned your will beyond your own awareness, where it remains, but cannot help you. When I said that the Holy Spirit’s function is to sort out the true from the false in your mind, I meant that He has the power to look into what you have hidden and recognise the Will of God there. His recognition of this Will can make it real to you because He is in your mind, and therefore He is your reality. If, then, His perception of your mind bring its reality to you, He is helping you to remember what you are. The only source of fear in this process is what you think you will lose. Yet it is only what the Holy Spirit sees that you can possibly have.

I have emphasised many times that the Holy Spirit will never call upon you to sacrifice anything: But if you ask the sacrifice of reality of yourself, the Holy Spirit must remind you that this is not God’s Will because it is not yours. There is no difference between your will and God’s. If you did not have a split mind, you would recognise that willing is salvation because it is communication.

It is impossible to communicate in alien tongues. You and your Creator can communicate through creation, because that, and only that is your joint Will. A divided mind cannot communicate, because it speaks for different things to the same mind. This loses the ability to communicate simply because confused communication does not mean anything. A message cannot be communicated unless it makes sense. How sensible can your messages be, when you ask for what you do not want? Yet as long as you are afraid of your will, that is precisely what you are asking for.

You may insist that the Holy Spirit does not answer you, but it might be wiser to consider the kind of questioner you are. You do not ask only for what you want. This is because you are afraid you might receive it, and you would. That is why you persist in asking the teacher who could not possibly give you what you want. Of him you can never learn what it is, and this gives you the illusion of safety. Yet you cannot be safe fromtruth, but only in truth. Reality is the only safety. Your will is your salvation because it is the same as God’s. The separation is nothing more than the belief that it is different.

No right mind can believe that its will is stronger than God’s. If, then, a mind believes that its will is different from His, it can only decide either that there is no God or that God’s Will is fearful. The former accounts for the atheist and the latter for the martyr, who believes that God demands sacrifices. Either of these insane decisions will induce panic, because the atheist believes he is alone, and the martyr believes that God is crucifying him. Yet no one really wants either abandonment or retaliation, even though many may seek both. Can you ask the Holy Spirit for ‘gifts’ such as these, and actually expect to receive them? He cannot give you something you do not want. When you ask the Universal Giver for what you do not want, you are asking for what cannot be given because it was never created. It was never created, because it was never your will for you.

Ultimately everyone must remember the Will of God, because ultimately everyone must recognise himself. This recognition is the recognition that his will and God’s are one. In the presence of truth, there are no unbelievers and no sacrifices. In the security of reality, fear is totally meaningless. To deny what is can only seem to be fearful. Fear cannot be real without a cause, and God is the only Cause. God is Love and you do want Him. This is your will. Ask for this and you will be answered, because you will be asking only for what belongs to you.

When you ask the Holy Spirit for what would hurt you He cannot answer because nothing can hurt you, and so you are asking for nothing. Any wish that stems from the ego is a wish for nothing, and to ask for it is not a request. It is merely a denial in the form of a request. The Holy Spirit is not concerned with form, being aware only of meaning. The ego cannot ask the Holy Spirit for anything, because there is complete communication failure between them. Yet you can ask for everything of the Holy Spirit, because your requests to Him are real, being of your right mind. Would the Holy Spirit deny the Will of God? And could He fail to recognise it in His Son?

You do not recognise the enormous waste of energy you expend in denying truth. What would you say of someone who persists in attempting the impossible, believing that to achieve it is to succeed? The belief that you must have the impossible in order to be happy is totally at variance with the principle of creation. God could not will that happiness depended on what you could never have. The fact that God is Love does not require belief, but it does require acceptance. It is indeed possible for you to deny facts, although it is impossible for you to change them. If you hold your hands over your eyes, you will not see because you are interfering with the laws of seeing. If you deny love, you will not know it because your co-operation is the law of its being. You cannot change laws you did not make, and the laws of happiness were created for you, not by you.

Any attempt to deny what is must be fearful, and if the attempt is strong it will induce panic. Willing against reality, though impossible, can be made into a very persistent goal even though you do not want it. But consider the result of this strange decision. You are devoting your mind to what you do not want. How real can this devotion be? If you do not want it, it was never created. If it were never created, it is nothing. Can you really devote yourself to nothing?

God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything, and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create. Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.

Remember, then, that God’s Will is already possible, and nothing else will ever be. This is the simple acceptance of reality, because only that is real. You cannot distort reality and know what it is. And if you do distort reality you will experience anxiety, depression and ultimately panic, because you are trying to make yourself unreal, When you feel these things, do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you. Say, therefore:

Christ is in me, and where He is God must be, for Christ is part of Him.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 3

Lesson 73

I will there be light.

Today we are considering the will you share with God. This is not the same as the ego’s idle wishes, out of which darkness and nothingness arise. The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it. The ego’s idle wishes are unshared, and therefore have no power at all. Its wishes are not idle in the sense that they can make a world of illusions in which your belief can be very strong. But they are idle indeed in terms of creation. They make nothing that is real.

Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see. The wishes of the ego gave rise to it, and the ego’s need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures that seem to attack you and call for “righteous” judgment. These figures become the middlemen the ego employs to traffic in grievances. They stand between your awareness and your brothers’ reality. Beholding them, you do not know your brothers or your Self.

Your will is lost to you in this strange bartering, in which guilt is traded back and forth, and grievances increase with each exchange. Can such a world have been created by the Will the Son of God shares with his Father? Did God create disaster for His Son? Creation is the Will of Both together. Would God create a world that kills Himself?

Today we will try once more to reach the world that is in accordance with your will. The light is in it because it does not oppose the Will of God. It is not Heaven, but the light of Heaven shines on it. Darkness has vanished. The ego’s idle wishes have been withdrawn. Yet the light that shines upon this world reflects your will, and so it must be in you that we will look for it.

Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without. Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world. Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts your will, and lets you look upon a world of light. We have repeatedly emphasized that the barrier of grievances is easily passed, and cannot stand between you and your salvation. The reason is very simple. Do you really want to be in hell? Do you really want to weep and suffer and die?

Forget the ego’s arguments which seek to prove all this is really Heaven. You know it is not so. You cannot want this for yourself. There is a point beyond which illusions cannot go. Suffering is not happiness, and it is happiness you really want. Such is your will in truth. And so salvation is your will as well. You want to succeed in what we are trying to do today. We undertake it with your blessing and your glad accord.

We will succeed today if you remember that you want salvation for yourself. You want to accept God’s plan because you share in it. You have no will that can really oppose it, and you do not want to do so. Salvation is for you. Above all else, you want the freedom to remember Who you really are. Today it is the ego that stands powerless before your will. Your will is free, and nothing can prevail against it.

Therefore, we undertake the exercises for today in happy confidence, certain that we will find what it is your will to find, and remember what it is your will to remember. No idle wishes can detain us, nor deceive us with an illusion of strength. Today let your will be done, and end forever the insane belief that it is hell in place of Heaven that you choose.

We will begin our longer practice periods with the recognition that God’s plan for salvation, and only His, is wholly in accord with your will. It is not the purpose of an alien power, thrust upon you unwillingly. It is the one purpose here on which you and your Father are in perfect accord. You will succeed today, the time appointed for the release of the Son of God from hell and from all idle wishes. His will is now restored to his awareness. He is willing this very day to look upon the light in him and be saved.

After reminding yourself of this, and determining to keep your will clearly in mind, tell yourself with gentle firmness and quiet certainty:

I will there be light. Let me behold the light that reflects
God’s Will and mine.

Then let your will assert itself, joined with the power of God and united with your Self. Put the rest of the practice period under Their guidance. Join with Them as They lead the way.

In the shorter practice periods, again make a declaration of what you really want. Say:

I will there be light. Darkness is not my will.

This should be repeated several times an hour. It is most important, however, to apply today’s idea in this form immediately you are tempted to hold a grievance of any kind. This will help you let your grievances go, instead of cherishing them and hiding them in darkness.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #663: I would like some clarification on the decision maker. Is there one for each of us or is there just one? Can I contact the decision maker through my thoughts? What will happen to the decision maker once I (we) am (are) healed?

A: Before answering your specific questions, it is important to understand that when we say anything about the split mind, we are talking about illusion And that means we are operating within the symbols of the ego thought system of separation and duality. And while we can not avoid using symbols in our present state of mind, we do have a choice about the purpose they will serve — they can be used either to maintain and reinforce our belief in separation and guilt or to lead us beyond that belief.

In A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us that, in the whole Mind in Heaven, our only function as God’s Son, the Christ, is to create, or extend, the Love that we are (T.9.III.8:4). But once we seemed to entertain the thought of differences and separation, we forgot our function or power to create (T.7.IX.3), replacing it instead with the power to choose (T.12.VII.9:1). And the choice is simply whether to continue to listen to the ego, the voice for maintaining the separation, or to the Holy Spirit, the Voice for healing the separation. This basic power of the split mind to choose between these two alternatives is what, for ease of discussion, we have referred to in our teaching at the Foundation as the “decision maker.” In other words, there is no separate entity that exists that is the decision maker — it is the fundamental power or function of our own mind in its seemingly separated state, where differences and alternatives seem real and therefore choice between the alternatives seems real as well. The decision maker, as such, is an illusory symbol, but it can be a helpful one to use in our process of undoing the thought of separation, serving as a powerful, alternative identity to the victimized self the ego holds out to us.

It is not in the best interests of the ego that we remember that basic function of the split mind to choose, for it makes the ego very vulnerable to the power of our mind to make a simple choice against it. And so the ego has concocted a complex list of other imagined powers and functions to distract us with, and a world and a body to become identified with, so that we forget our initial choice for the ego and separation, no longer remembering that it was our mind’s own choice that has brought us to our current condition and circumstances in the world.

The Course’s primary purpose is to help us remember that one basic function of the split mind — to choose (T.31.VIII). But to understand what this basic choice is all about, we need to learn that all the seemingly different choices we make and functions we have in the world are nothing more than different forms of the same one choice for the ego (T.31.IV). We don’t believe that yet, believing instead that that the choices we make here in the world will make a difference in whether we are happy or not. So we have not really forgotten the power of our mind to choose, but we have forgotten the only real choice in the split mind — the Holy Spirit and His function of forgiveness.

Now part of the ego’s diversionary tactic to distract us from this single, unitary choice is the seeming fragmentation of the split mind into all the billions of seemingly separate individual minds, each with its own body and identity. But all the fragments remain a part of the one split mind, which never loses its power to choose between the ego and the Holy Spirit.

And so returning now to your questions: Each of us maintains our own capacity to choose while we each continue to think that we exist separate from one another, although we share that same function to choose as part of the one mind. In that sense, we each have our own separate decision maker. The decision maker is not a separate entity to be contacted, but a function each of us needs to remember. And it’s not really that we need to remember that our minds have the power to choose. We need to remember what the only real choice is about, which we recall in any moment when we recognize our ego and know that we are not our ego. When we have released all of our fear over losing our ego identity and have made the choice, once and for all, for the Holy Spirit, we will no longer need the power to choose, for we will know with certainty that only one of the alternatives is real. We will be just one step away from Heaven and return to our one true function as God’s Son — sharing in creating. And so with nothing to choose between, the power of choice will disappear and the decision maker will no longer seem to exist, its function and purpose completed.

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