ACIM Text Reading for May 4
THE GUILTLESS WORLD
If you did not feel guilty you could not attack, for condemnation is the root of attack. It is the judgement of one mind by another as unworthy of love and deserving of punishment. But herein lies the split. For the mind that judges perceives itself as separate from the mind being judged, believing that by punishing another, it will escape punishment. All this is but the delusional attempt of the mind to deny itself, and escape the penalty of denial. It is not an attempt to relinquish denial, but to hold on to it. For it is guilt that has obscured the Father to you, and it is guilt that has driven you insane.
The acceptance of guilt into the mind of God’s Son was the beginning of the separation, as the acceptance of the Atonement is its end. The world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt. Look carefully at this world, and you will realise that this is so. For this world is the symbol of punishment, and all the laws that seem to govern it are the laws of death. Children are born into it through pain and in pain. Their growth is attended by suffering, and they learn of sorrow and separation and death. Their minds seem to be trapped in their brain, and its powers to decline if their bodies are hurt. They seem to love, yet they desert and are deserted. They appear to lose what they love, perhaps the most insane belief of all. And their bodies wither and gasp and are laid in the ground, and are no more. Not one of them but has thought that God is cruel.
If this were the real world, God would be cruel. For no Father could subject His children to this as the price of salvation and be loving. Love does not kill to save. If it did, attack would be salvation, and this is the ego’s interpretation, not God’s. Only the world of guilt could demand this, for only the guilty could conceive of it. Adam’s ‘sin’ could have touched no one, had he not believed it was the Father Who drove him out of paradise. For in that belief the knowledge of the Father was lost, since only those who do not understand Him could believe it.
This world is a picture of the crucifixion of God’s Son. And until you realise that God’s Son cannot be crucified, this is the world you will see. Yet you will not realise this until you accept the eternal fact that God’s Son is not guilty. He deserves only love because he has given only love. He cannot be condemned because he has never condemned. The Atonement is the final lesson he need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 4
I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
Today’s idea continues with the thought that joy and peace are not but idle dreams. They are your right, because of what you are. They come to you from God, Who cannot fail to give you what He wills. Yet must there be a place made ready to receive His gifts. They are not welcomed gladly by a mind that has instead received the gifts it made where His belong, as substitutes for them.
Today we would remove all meaningless and self-made gifts which we have placed upon the holy altar where God’s gifts belong. His are the gifts that are our own in truth. His are the gifts that we inherited before time was, and that will still be ours when time has passed into eternity. His are the gifts that are within us now, for they are timeless. And we need not wait to have them. They belong to us today.
Therefore, we choose to have them now, and know, in choosing them in place of what we made, we but unite our will with what God wills, and recognize the same as being one. Our longer practice periods today, the hourly five minutes given truth for your salvation, should begin with this:
I seek but what belongs to me in truth,
And joy and peace are my inheritance.
Then lay aside the conflicts of the world that offer other gifts and other goals made of illusions, witnessed to by them, and sought for only in a world of dreams.
All this we lay aside, and seek instead that which is truly ours, as we ask to recognize what God has given us. We clear a holy place within our minds before His altar, where His gifts of peace and joy are welcome, and to which we come to find what has been given us by Him. We come in confidence today, aware that what belongs to us in truth is what He gives. And we would wish for nothing else, for nothing else belongs to us in truth.
So do we clear the way for Him today by simply recognizing that His Will is done already, and that joy and peace belong to us as His eternal gifts. We will not let ourselves lose sight of them between the times we come to seek for them where He has laid them. This reminder will we bring to mind as often as we can:
I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
God’s gifts of joy and peace are all I want.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #681: I frequently ask the Holy Spirit to guide my life and purpose, which seems to have coincided with offers to work as a “Healer” (hands-on or touch therapy). My aversion to participate in these forms of “healing” is that as a student of A Course in Miracles, I understand that only the mind needs healing and that the body, and sickness for that matter, are illusions. I also understand that I cannot offer healing to/for others. However, in my quest for answers I came upon the manual for teachers and its references to the “patient” of the teachers of God (M.5,6). What does this mean? Is it really just as simple as accepting healing for my own mind and then just knowing that that has transferred to all of my brothers? If so, why the word “patient,” as if there is someone outside myself to focus healing upon?
A: It really is as simple as you describe, as Jesus explains in Lesson 161: “One brother is all brothers. Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one. Such is the truth.” But he continues: “Yet do these thoughts make clear the meaning of creation? Do these words bring perfect clarity with them to you? What can they seem to be but empty sounds; pretty, perhaps, correct in sentiment, yet fundamentally not understood nor understandable. The mind that taught itself to think specifically can no longer grasp abstraction in the sense that it is all-encompassing. We need to see a little, that we learn a lot” (W.pI.161.4). Therefore Jesus must use our language and our experience of duality and specifics as the starting point of a process that will end with our sharing his vision of oneness. Our experience is that we live in a world with other people, relating to them in various ways. We all find ourselves at some time or other in the presence of someone who is sick or suffering; so Jesus is teaching us how to approach these situations in a truly helpful way. In the Psychotherapy pamphlet, he does this in the specific context of the therapist-patient relationship.
The heart of this process is our learning to focus more and more on the purpose of what we do, and that there is no hierarchy of illusions — there are no degrees of truth among them (T.23.II.2,3). This means that there is nothing unholy in the world, and certainly nothing holy either. Thus, “hands-on” or “touch” therapy is no different from anything else in the world. The purpose for which it is used is all that is important for one’s spiritual progress. The Holy Spirit can use anything we made (all forms of individuality and special relationships) to help us unlearn what the ego taught us and learn His lessons instead: that we all share the same interests and in that sense we are not different in any meaningful sense. That objective can be achieved in any role in the world: parent, healer, patient, attorney, musician, fire fighter, astronaut, etc. A very liberating approach! An aversion to a specific form of the illusion means that you believe some illusions are worse than others — a favorite means of the ego to validate separation and keep us away from the content in our minds.
So, yes, you are correct about the nature of the healing process according to the Course; but remember that because you still think you are specific, healing must take place in a specific context. The specifics of your life are the classroom in which you learn to undo your belief in separation. “The Special Function” is an especially helpful section to read in this regard (T.25.VI). Don’t lose sight of the form-content distinction. It is not what you do that matters, but the purpose for which you do it. If you were to engage in touch therapy, for example, you could use that form to learn the content that you and your patient are not separate and that you both believe you left Heaven; you both have the same wrong mind, the same right mind, and the ability to choose between them; you both long to return to God but are afraid that you will not be welcomed back and will be punished instead. In this sense, you would not be there to give your patient something you have that he lacks, which is how the ego would have you think of your purpose, and how others and your patient might see it. All that is important is what is going on in your mind, because that is where both the mistake and the correction are, as well as the Help.