ACIM Text Reading for April 9
Chapter 9 ~ The Acceptance of the Atonement
VIII. Grandeur versus Grandiosity
Grandeur is of God, and only of Him. Therefore it is in you. Whenever you become aware of it, however dimly, you abandon the ego automatically, because in the presence of the grandeur of God the meaninglessness of the ego becomes perfectly apparent. When this occurs, even though it does not understand it, the ego believes that its ‘enemy’ has struck, and attempts to offer gifts to induce you to return to its ‘protection’. Self-inflation is the only offering it can make. The grandiosity of the ego is its alternative to the grandeur of God. Which will you choose?
Grandiosity is always a cover for despair. It is without hope because it is not real. It is an attempt to counteract your littleness, based on the belief that the littleness is real. Without this belief grandiosity is meaningless, and you could not possibly want it. The essence of grandiosity is competitiveness, because it always involves attack. It is a delusional attempt to outdo, but not to undo. We said before that the ego vacillates between suspiciousness and viciousness. It remains suspicious as long as you despair of yourself. It shifts to viciousness when you decide not to tolerate self-abasement and seek relief. Then it offers you the illusion of attack as a ‘solution’.
The ego does not understand the difference between grandeur and grandiosity, because it sees no difference between miracle impulses and ego-alien beliefs of its own. I told you that the ego is aware of threat to its existence, but makes no distinctions between these two very different kinds of threat. Its profound sense of vulnerability renders it incapable of judgement except in terms of attack. When the ego experiences threat, its only decision is whether to attack now or to withdraw to attack later. If you accept its offer of grandiosity it will attack immediately. If you do not, it will wait.
The ego is immobilised in the presence of God’s grandeur, because His grandeur establishes your freedom. Even the faintest hint of your reality literally drives the ego from your mind, because you will give up all investment in it. Grandeur is totally without illusions, and because it is real it is compellingly convincing. Yet the conviction of reality will not remain with you unless you do not allow the ego to attack it. The ego will make every effort to recover and mobilise its energies against your release. It will tell you that you are insane, and argue that grandeur cannot be a real part of you because of the littleness in which it believes. Yet your grandeur is not delusional because you did not make it. You made grandiosity and are afraid of it because it is a form of attack, but your grandeur is of God, Who created it out of His Love.
From your grandeur you can only bless, because your grandeur is your abundance. By blessing you hold it in your mind, protecting it from illusions and keeping yourself in the Mind of God. Remember always that you cannot be anywhere except in the Mind of God. When you forget this, you will despair and you will attack.
The ego depends solely on your willingness to tolerate it. If you are willing to look upon your grandeur you cannot despair, and therefore you cannot want the ego. Your grandeur is God’s answer to the ego, because it is true. Littleness and grandeur cannot coexist, nor is it possible for them to alternate. Littleness and grandiosity can and must alternate, since both are untrue and are therefore on the same level. Being the level of shift, it is experienced as shifting and extremes are its essential characteristic.
Truth and littleness are denials of each other because grandeur is truth. Truth does not vacillate; it is always true. When grandeur slips away from you, you have replaced it with something you have made. Perhaps it is the belief in littleness; perhaps it is the belief in grandiosity. Yet it must be insane because it is not true. Your grandeur will never deceive you, but your illusions always will. Illusions are deceptions. You cannot triumph, but you are exalted. And in your exalted state you seek others like you and rejoice with them.
It is easy to distinguish grandeur from grandiosity, because love is returned and pride is not. Pride will not produce miracles, and will therefore deprive you of the true witnesses to your reality. Truth is not obscure nor hidden, but its obviousness to you lies in the joy you bring to its witnesses, who show it to you. They attest to your grandeur, but they cannot attest to pride because pride is not shared. God wants you to behold what He created because it is His joy.
Can your grandeur be arrogant when God Himself witnesses to it? And what can be real that has no witnesses? What good can come of it? And if no good can come of it the Holy Spirit cannot use it. What He cannot transform to the Will of God does not exist at all. Grandiosity is delusional, because it is used to replace your grandeur. Yet what God has created cannot be replaced. God is incomplete without you because His grandeur is total, and you cannot be missing from it.
You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part in it, and while you leave your part of it empty your eternal place merely waits for your return. God, through His Voice, reminds you of it, and God Himself keeps your extensions safe within it. Yet you do not know them until you return to them. You cannot replace the Kingdom, and you cannot replace yourself. God, Who knows your value, would not have it so, and so it is not so. Your value is in God’s Mind, and therefore not in yours alone. To accept yourself as God created you cannot be arrogance, because it is the denial of arrogance. To accept your littleness isarrogant, because it means that you believe your evaluation of yourself is truer than God’s.
Yet if truth is indivisible, your evaluation of yourself must be God’s. You did not establish your value and it needs no defence. Nothing can attack it nor prevail over it. It does not vary. It merely is. Ask the Holy Spirit what it is and He will tell you, but do not be afraid of His answer, because it comes from God. It is an exalted answer because of its Source, but the Source is true and so is its answer. Listen and do not question what you hear, for God does not deceive. He would have you replace the ego’s belief in littleness with His Own exalted Answer to what you are, so that you can cease to question it and know it for what it is.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 9
Let me recognize my problems have been solved.
If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems. Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other. Therefore, you must be at peace. Salvation thus depends on recognizing this one problem, and understanding that it has been solved. One problem, one solution. Salvation is accomplished. Freedom from conflict has been given you. Accept that fact, and you are ready to take your rightful place in God’s plan for salvation.
Your only problem has been solved! Repeat this over and over to yourself today, with gratitude and conviction. You have recognized your only problem, opening the way for the Holy Spirit to give you God’s answer. You have laid deception aside, and seen the light of truth. You have accepted salvation for yourself by bringing the problem to the answer. And you can recognize the answer, because the problem has been identified.
You are entitled to peace today. A problem that has been resolved cannot trouble you. Only be certain you do not forget that all problems are the same. Their many forms will not deceive you while you remember this. One problem, one solution. Accept the peace this simple statement brings.
In our longer practice periods today, we will claim the peace that must be ours when the problem and the answer have been brought together. The problem must be gone, because God’s answer cannot fail. Having recognized one, you have recognized the other. The solution is inherent in the problem. You are answered, and have accepted the answer. You are saved.
Now let the peace that your acceptance brings be given you. Close your eyes, and receive your reward. Recognize that your problems have been solved. Recognize that you are out of conflict; free and at peace. Above all, remember that you have one problem, and that the problem has one solution. It is in this that the simplicity of salvation lies. It is because of this that it is guaranteed to work.
Assure yourself often today that your problems have been solved. Repeat the idea with deep conviction, as frequently as possible. And be particularly sure to apply the idea for today to any specific problem that may arise. Say quickly:
Let me recognize this problem has been solved.
Let us be determined not to collect grievances today. Let us be determined to be free of problems that do not exist. The means is simple honesty. Do not deceive yourself about what the problem is, and you must recognize it has been solved.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #165: I was sitting in my living room with my six month old son in my lap when a question occurred to me. I was thinking how the Holy Spirit does not even know about me or my son, but only loves the dreamer of the dream. My question is, is the dreamer the same for all seeming people in the universe? Is it one dreamer or billions of dreamers projecting their guilt onto the world? Do my son and I share the same wrong mind and right mind?
A: Whenever we speak of ideas predicated on a belief in separation and duality, regardless of whether we are speaking at the level of the split mind or the level of its projections into the world of form and bodies, we are speaking in terms of myths and illusions. So the dreamer of the dream and the Holy Spirit are ultimately no more real than the selves you think you and your son are. Any answer to your question therefore should not be considered a description of reality but ought to be evaluated only in terms of its usefulness in helping us in our practice of forgiveness — the only illusion that does not lead to further illusions (C.3.1:3,4).
In A Course in Miracles’ version of the myth of separation, everything began with the one mind of God’s only Son seeming to fall asleep and dream a dream of separation. And that one mind was split into the wrong mind (the ego) and the right mind (the Holy Spirit), along with the part of the mind that had the power to choose between the two (the decision maker or the dreamer). In the dream, there is only that one split mind. But as part of the ego’s defense against its own guilt and anxiety, to hide from God so that the life the Son stole from Him would not be seized back, the Son adopted the ego’s strategy of further seeming separation into billions and billions of seemingly unique fragments that would be experienced as independent, individual minds. But each fragment, as a split off part of the one split mind of the Son, shared the same basic content: a wrong mind, a right mind and the power to choose between them.
The phenomenon that has been called multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder — dramatically illustrated in such films as The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil — provides a useful model for thinking about this fragmenting process. Seemingly separate, independent personalities result from a splitting off of the one mind in order to protect itself from intense anxiety and guilt usually associated with a parental figure.
While this illusory fragmenting was the ego’s defensive strategy against God, it may also be used to serve the Holy Spirit’s purpose of forgiveness. Since each seemingly separate mind has the same basic choice fully represented within itself, its choice for salvation through the practice of forgiveness is not affected by or dependent upon any other separate mind. In other words, each fragmentary mind cannot be victimized by any other mind – it is totally responsible for its experience. And by accepting responsibility for that experience and learning to recognize that it represents a choice, each fragment can learn over time to make the choice for the Holy Spirit rather than for the ego. When, in the end, the decision for the Holy Spirit is made once and for all, then the seeming fragment recognizes that there is no separation and that the mind is one, as it has been all along.
The parallel with therapeutic interventions for individuals with multiple personalities is again illustrative. The goal is what is called integration: the various personalities are in time integrated as the barriers to awareness of the separate components are removed so that the mind recognizes its wholeness again.
To answer your specific question then, there is only one mind dreaming the dream of separation and projecting its guilt upon a world it made for that purpose. But our experience while we believe that we are each a separate fragment is that my mind is independent of yours, that I am dreaming my own separate dream of separation, and that I can choose the ego or the Holy Spirit independent of what you may be choosing. And with that understanding, genuine forgiveness now becomes possible.