ACIM Text Reading for April 13
Chapter 10 ~ The Idols of Sickness
III. The God of Sickness
You have not attacked God and you do love Him. Can you change your reality? No one can will to destroy himself. When you think you are attacking yourself, it is a sure sign that you hate what you think you are. And this, and only this, can be attacked by you. What you think you are can be very hateful, and what this strange image makes you do can be very destructive. Yet the destruction is no more real than the image, although those who make idols do worship them. The idols are nothing, but their worshippers are the Sons of God in sickness. God would have them released from their sickness and returned to His Mind. He will not limit your power to help them, because He has given it to you. Do not be afraid of it, because it is your salvation.
What Comforter can there be for the sick children of God except His power through you? Remember that it does not matter where in the Sonship He is accepted. He is always accepted for all, and when your mind receives Him the remembrance of Him awakens throughout the Sonship. Heal your brothers simply by accepting God for them. Your minds are not separate, and God has only one channel for healing because He has but one Son. God’s remaining communication link with all His children joins them together, and them to Him. To be aware of this is to heal them because it is the awareness that no one is separate, and so no one is sick.
To believe that a Son of God can be sick is to believe that part of God can suffer. Love cannot suffer, because it cannot attack. The remembrance of love therefore brings invulnerability with it. Do not side with sickness in the presence of a Son of God even if he believes in it, for your acceptance of God in him acknowledges the Love of God he has forgotten. Your recognition of him as part of God reminds him of the truth about himself, which he is denying. Would you strengthen his denial of God and thus lose sight of yourself? Or would you remind him of his wholeness and remember your Creator with him?
To believe a Son of God is sick is to worship the same idol he does. God created love, not idolatry. All forms of idolatry are caricatures of creation, taught by sick minds too divided to know that creation shares power and never usurps it. Sickness is idolatry, because it is the belief that power can be taken from you. Yet this is impossible, because you are part of God, Who is all power. A sick god must be an idol, made in the image of what its maker thinks he is. And that is exactly what the ego does perceive in a Son of God; a sick god, self-created, self-sufficient, very vicious and very vulnerable. Is this the idol you would worship? Is this the image you would be vigilant to save? Are you really afraid of losing this?
Look calmly at the logical conclusion of the ego’s thought system and judge whether its offering is really what you want, for this is what it offers you. To obtain this you are willing to attack the Divinity of your brothers, and thus lose sight of yours. And you are willing to keep it hidden, to protect an idol you think will save you from the dangers for which it stands, but which do not exist.
There are no idolaters in the Kingdom, but there is great appreciation for everything that God created, because of the calm knowledge that each one is part of Him. God’s Son knows no idols, but he does know His Father. Health in this world is the counterpart of value in Heaven. It is not my merit that I contribute to you but my love, for you do not value yourself. When you do not value yourself you become sick, but my value of you can heal you, because the value of God’s Son is one. When I said, ‘My peace I give unto you’, I meant it. Peace comes from God through me to you. It is for you although you may not ask for it.
When a brother is sick it is because he is not asking for peace, and therefore does not know he has it. The acceptance of peace is the denial of illusion, and sickness is an illusion. Yet every Son of God has the power to deny illusions anywhere in the Kingdom, merely by denying them completely in himself. I can heal you because I know you. I know your value for you, and it is this value that makes you whole. A whole mind is not idolatrous, and does not know of conflicting laws. I will heal you merely because I have only one message, and it is true. Your faith in it will make you whole when you have faith in me.
I do not bring God’s message with deception, and you will learn this as you learn that you always receive as much as you accept. You could accept peace now for everyone, and offer them perfect freedom from all illusions because you heard His Voice. But have no other gods before Him or you will not hear. God is not jealous of the gods you make, but you are. You would save them and serve them, because you believe that they made you. You think they are your father, because you are projecting onto them the fearful fact that you made them to replace God. Yet when they seem to speak to you, remember that nothing can replace God, and whatever replacements you have attempted are nothing.
Very simply, then, you may believe you are afraid of nothingness, but you are really afraid of nothing. And in that awareness you are healed. You will hear the god you listen to. You made the god of sickness, and by making him you made yourself able to hear him. Yet you did not create him, because he is not the Will of the Father. He is therefore not eternal and will be unmade for you the instant you signify your willingness to accept only the eternal.
If God has but one Son, there is but one God. You share reality with Him, because reality is not divided. To accept other gods before Him is to place other images before yourself. You do not realise how much you listen to your gods, and how vigilant you are on their behalf. Yet they exist only because you honour them. Place honour where it is due, and peace will be yours. It is your inheritance from your real Father. You cannot make your Father, and the father you made did not make you. Honour is not due to illusions, for to honour them is to honour nothing. Yet fear is not due them either, for nothing cannot be fearful. You have chosen to fear love because of its perfect harmlessness, and because of this fear you have been willing to give up your own perfect helpfulness and your own perfect Help.
Only at the altar of God will you find peace. And this altar is in you because God put it there. His Voice still calls you to return, and He will be heard when you place no other gods before Him. You can give up the god of sickness for your brothers; in fact, you would have to do so if you give him up for yourself. For if you see the god of sickness anywhere, you have accepted him. And if you accept him you will bow down and worship him, because he was made as God’s replacement. He is the belief that you can choose which god is real. Although it is clear this has nothing to do with reality, it is equally clear that it has everything to do with reality as you perceive it.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 13
These are the ideas for today’s review:
(67) Love created me like itself.
I am in the likeness of my Creator. I cannot suffer, I cannot experience loss and I cannot die. I am not a body. I would recognize my reality today. I will worship no idols, nor raise my own self-concept to replace my Self. I am in the likeness of my Creator. Love created me like itself.
You might find these specific forms helpful in applying the idea:
Let me not see an illusion of myself in this.
As I look on this, let me remember my Creator.
My Creator did not create this as I see it.
(68) Love holds no grievances.
Grievances are completely alien to love. Grievances attack love and keep its light obscure. If I hold grievances I am attacking love, and therefore attacking my Self. My Self thus becomes alien to me. I am determined not to attack my Self today, so that I can remember Who I am.
These specific forms for applying this idea would be helpful:
This is no justification for denying my Self.
I will not use this to attack love.
Let this not tempt me to attack myself.
ACIM Q & A for Today
A: Not exactly. The mind that knows itself as spirit lives in God, it would not, therefore, build a world to escape to. Because only the mind is real (T.6.V.A.3:2) , and the world is but an hallucination (T.20.VIII.7:3), they cannot be set equally in the sequence. It is more accurate to say that the mind hallucinates the world into awareness in order to defend its choice for the ego. Thus, the statement could read: we are Mind/spirit, the mind chooses against its identity as Mind/ spirit, forgets its choice, projects the guilt outside of itself, and experiences an illusory world that it then uses to prove it is not a mind. Therein lies the insanity of the ego thought system. Once the mind believes this thought system is real, its only activity is choosing between it and the thought system of the Holy Spirit. When the split mind chooses separation, guilt for that choice is projected out resulting in the illusion of the physical world. Thus, the mind “builds” only in the sense that the world is the effect of the mind’s projection of guilt. It then identifies with the body in which it thinks it lives, forgetting that it is a mind.
When the mind chooses the Holy Spirit, it identifies with the part that knows the separation is not real. This choice is then extended and experienced in the world as right- minded thinking. When the mind chooses only the Holy Spirit, it will be completely healed and cease to perceive anything outside of itself. It then lives in the spirit, aware only of its oneness with God. That is how the world disappears from awareness (C.4.4) .
In reality, none of this is true because the separation never happened (T.6.II.10:7) . There is no separated mind, no world (W.pI.132.6:2) , nothing to build. While we choose to believe the separation is real, the world will remain real in our perception. Belief in separation and belief in the world go hand in hand as cause and effect. Each depends on the other for its seeming existence. The goal of the Course is to teach us to see the world as the projection of the mind, and to replace the mindlessness of the body with the mindfulness of paying attention to the thoughts of separation that fill our days with judgment. Looking at these thoughts with willingness to let the Holy Spirit transform them is the only useful purpose for the world we perceive. It is the way we live in the spirit until we return to our true life in the spirit of God.
Q #1033: Music, especially classical music, is an aspect of that state I like to think of as pertaining to my right mind. Jesus uses such terms as a song of thankfulness, praise, union, gratitude, Heaven; and in “The Forgotten Song” (T.21.I) there is a particularly lovely analogy to help us understand the beauty of what we have forgotten. Sometimes I wonder if there is some subtle reference in A Course in Miracles to a particular type of music or composer or work that would reflect these melodies to which he refers as we dream our dream of beautiful music here.
A: It is always the content of what Jesus is saying that he is trying to draw us into, never the form. Form is always specific and even though we would love for him to deal with specifics, that really would not be in our best interests. Our record with specifics is not very impressive, when you think about it. Isn’t it true that if he gave us specific musical references we would immediately get into comparisons, debates, etc., and just stay stuck on that level? Then, too, different forms appeal to different people; one is not better or more inspirational than another. One person may have an instant of selfless joining while listening to a Neil Simon song and not relate at all to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” So form can never be prescribed universally. Love may guide one person one way and another person in a completely different way.
The real reason Jesus does not get into specifics, however, is that he does not recognize them as meaningful. Specifics and form always pertain to the body, whereas content pertains to the mind. The Shakespearian meter of the Course’s form makes for lovely reading, but it has nothing to do with the content — it could have been expressed in any number of other forms. Jesus reminds us in “The Forgotten Song” that “the notes are nothing” (T.21.I.7:1). This is consistent with his pattern of bringing us ever closer to the essence of love — oneness — that transcends anything in this world of form. But if a certain type of music or certain composers or pieces inspire you and help you to be more peaceful, then it would be foolish not to enjoy listening to them. Just try to relate to the content, which in some way should remind you of the ego-less Presence within you that lovingly embraces everyone, without exception.