ACIM Text Reading for March 5
Chapter 9 ~ The Acceptance of the Atonement
III. The Correction of Error
The alertness of the ego to the errors of other egos is not the kind of vigilance the Holy Spirit would have you maintain. Egos are critical in terms of the kind of ‘sense’ they stand for. They understand this kind of sense, because it is sensible to them. To the Holy Spirit it makes no sense at all.
To the ego it is kind and right and good to point out errors and ‘correct’ them. This makes perfect sense to the ego, which is unaware of what errors are and what correction is. Errors are of the ego, and correction of errors lies in the relinquishment of the ego. When you correct a brother, you are telling him that he is wrong. He may be making no sense at the time, and it is certain that, if he is speaking from the ego, he will not be making sense. But your task is still to tell him he is right. You do not tell him this verbally, if he is speaking foolishly. He needs correction at another level, because his error is at another level. He is still right, because he is a Son of God. His ego is always wrong, no matter what it says or does.
If you point out the errors of your brother’s ego you must be seeing through yours, because the Holy Spirit does not perceive his errors. This must be true, since there is no communication between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The ego makes no sense, and the Holy Spirit does not attempt to understand anything that arises from it. Since He does not understand it, He does not judge it, knowing that nothing the ego makes means anything.
When you react at all to errors, you are not listening to the Holy Spirit. He has merely disregarded them, and if you attend to them you are not hearing Him. If you do not hear Him, you are listening to your ego and making as little sense as the brother whose errors you perceive. This cannot be correction. Yet it is more than merely a lack of correction for him. It is the giving up of correction in yourself.
When a brother behaves insanely, you can heal him only by perceiving the sanity in him. If you perceive his errors and accept them, you are accepting yours. If you want to give yours over to the Holy Spirit, you must do this with his. Unless this becomes the one way in which you handle all errors, you cannot understand how all errors are undone. How is this different from telling you that what you teach you learn? Your brother is as right as you are, and if you think he is wrong you are condemning yourself.
You cannot correct yourself. Is it possible, then, for you to correct another? Yet you can see him truly, because it is possible for you to see yourself truly. It is not up to you to change your brother, but merely to accept him as he is. His errors do not come from the truth that is in him, and only this truth is yours. His errors cannot change this, and can have no effect at all on the truth in you. To perceive errors in anyone, and to react to them as if they were real, is to make them real to you. You will not escape paying the price for this, not because you are being punished for it, but because you are following the wrong guide and will therefore lose your way.
Your brother’s errors are not of him, any more than yours are of you. Accept his errors as real, and you have attacked yourself. If you would find your way and keep it, see only truth beside you for you walk together. The Holy Spirit in you forgives all things in you and in your brother. His errors are forgiven with yours. Atonement is no more separate than love. Atonement cannot be separate because it comes from love. Any attempt you make to correct a brother means that you believe correction by you is possible, and this can only be the arrogance of the ego. Correction is of God, Who does not know of arrogance.
The Holy Spirit forgives everything because God created everything. Do not undertake His function, or you will forget yours. Accept only the function of healing in time, because that is what time is for. God gave you the function to create in eternity. You do not need to learn that, but you do need to learn to want it. For that all learning was made. This is the Holy Spirit’s use of an ability that you do not need, but that you made. Give it to Him! You do not understand how to use it. He will teach you how to see yourself without condemnation, by learning how to look on everything without it. Condemnation will then not be real to you, and all your errors will be forgiven.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for March 5
The light has come.
The light has come. You are healed and you can heal. The light has come. You are saved and you can save. You are at peace, and you bring peace with you wherever you go. Darkness and turmoil and death have disappeared. The light has come.
Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster. There are no dark dreams now. The light has come. Today the time of light begins for you and everyone. It is a new era, in which a new world is born. The old one has left no trace upon it in its passing. Today we see a different world, because the light has come.
Our exercises for today will be happy ones, in which we offer thanks for the passing of the old and the beginning of the new. No shadows from the past remain to darken our sight and hide the world forgiveness offers us. Today we will accept the new world as what we want to see. We will be given what we desire. We will to see the light; the light has come.
Our longer practice periods will be devoted to looking at the world that our forgiveness shows us. This is what we want to see, and only this. Our single purpose makes our goal inevitable. Today the real world rises before us in gladness, to be seen at last. Sight is given us, now that the light has come.
We do not want to see the ego’s shadow on the world today. We see the light, and in it we see Heaven’s reflection lie across the world. Begin the longer practice periods by telling yourself the glad tidings of your release:
The light has come. I have forgiven the world.
Dwell not upon the past today. Keep a completely open mind, washed of all past ideas and clean of every concept you have made. You have forgiven the world today. You can look upon it now as if you never saw it before. You do not know yet what it looks like. You merely wait to have it shown to you. While you wait, repeat several times, slowly and in complete patience:
The light has come. I have forgiven the world.
Realize that your forgiveness entitles you to vision. Understand that the Holy Spirit never fails to give the gift of sight to the forgiving. Believe He will not fail you now. You have forgiven the world. He will be with you as you watch and wait. He will show you what true vision sees. It is His Will, and you have joined with Him. Wait patiently for Him. He will be there. The light has come. You have forgiven the world.
Tell Him you know you cannot fail because you trust in Him. And tell yourself you wait in certainty to look upon the world He promised you. From this time forth you will see differently. Today the light has come. And you will see the world that has been promised you since time began, and in which is the end of time ensured.
The shorter practice periods, too, will be joyful reminders of your release. Remind yourself every quarter of an hour or so that today is a time for special celebration. Give thanks for mercy and the Love of God. Rejoice in the power of forgiveness to heal your sight completely. Be confident that on this day there is a new beginning. Without the darkness of the past upon your eyes, you cannot fail to see today. And what you see will be so welcome that you will gladly extend today forever.
The light has come. I have forgiven the world.
Should you be tempted, say to anyone who seems to pull you back into darkness:
The light has come. I have forgiven you.
We dedicate this day to the serenity in which God would have you be. Keep it in your awareness of yourself and see it everywhere today, as we celebrate the beginning of your vision and the sight of the real world, which has come to replace the unforgiven world you thought was real.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #665: What does A Course in Miracles mean by “form” and “content?” How does one know that one is experiencing Christ’s Love or the Holy Spirit’s Answer? I have been working with the Course for 10 years and am a bit frustrated with the lack of progress. I simply cannot think of anyone or anything to forgive. I truly believe I am holy and I “see “the illusion in which I dwell. Yet, Heaven eludes me. Must one die a physical death in order to dwell in the promised Heaven? I am really curious to hear how others are experiencing Love.
A: The first thing we need to understand about form and content is that they are part of the Son of God’s dream, and do not exist in reality. While the Son sleeps he appears to have a mind separate from God’s. This mind has only two possible “contents” or thoughts: the thought of separation, or the memory of oneness with God. It has only one activity: the power to choose between these two thoughts. Once the mind chooses one of these two thoughts, the thought takes form. The form may be a specific behavior, a “thought” or a judgment that expresses the original thought. As the Course tells us early in the text: “All thinking produces form at some level” (T.2.VI.9:14). When the content of the mind is the choice for the Holy Spirit, Who represents the memory of God’s Love in the mind, whatever is done or not done in form will be a reflection of that Love. The Love/content is communicated in some form because it has been chosen. If the content of the mind is the choice for separation, it is governed by the ego. Therefore, no matter how sweet and loving the form may appear to be, it will be an attack because it expresses the ego’s denial of God.
If Heaven eludes us, we are not at peace, and if we are not at peace there is room for forgiveness. As Jesus tells us in the text: “Whenever you are not wholly joyous, it is because you have reacted with a lack of love to one of God’s creations” (T.5.VII.5:1). The initial “lack of love” occurs in the mind when we choose to identify with the ego, rather than with the part of the mind that remembers who we truly are (God’s innocent Son). This is what the Course teaches is unloving toward oneself, as well as all our brothers who are God’s one Son, and it is what needs to be forgiven.
The goal of the Course is to teach us to become aware of the content of our minds so that it can be healed of the thought of separation, and we can make another choice. Meanwhile, because our minds are unhealed, we are not the ones to judge whether we are truly experiencing or expressing the loving content of the Holy Spirit. We also are not qualified to evaluate our progress. When we are discouraged about our progress it is helpful to call to mind the passage at the end of the text: “I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself” (T31.V.17:7). Jesus also tells us “Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success” (T.18.V.1:6). This may not seem like good news on a “good” day when we’re having a “good time,” but it does free us of the burden of evaluating ourselves. Ultimately it is very good news because we are not the miserable sinners we thought we were. We need not know anything, we need only to be willing to do our part by paying careful attention to any judgments that are not loving, so they can be healed, then “…What you are will tell you of Itself” (T.31.V.17:9) and that will be our final experience.
Attachment to our ego is what keeps us from the awareness that we are home with God in Heaven. This block to our awareness is not removed by death, it is undone through healing the thought of separation. Since the Course itself is a reflection of the part of the mind that holds the memory of God’s Love, the forgiveness it teaches is also an experience of love: “Forgiveness [choosing the Holy Spirit] is the healing of the perception of separation. Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness [choosing separation]. Yet that is the content underneath the form. It is this sameness which makes learning sure, because the lesson is so simple that it cannot be rejected in the end” (W.pI.193.4:1,2,3). Though not the final experience, the small glimpses of Love’s reflection when we let go of judgments against ourselves and others will lead us to it. As we are promised in the text: “I am leading you to a new kind of experience that you will become less and less willing to deny” (T.11.VI.3:6). We have great resistance to this healing, which is why the study of A Course in Miracles is a lifetime process. Our patient, persistent and gentle practice of forgiveness will lead us home.