ACIM Text Reading for May 9
Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World
V. The Two Emotions
I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. They are made of sights that are not seen, and sounds that are not heard. They make up a private world that cannot be shared. For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.
Each one peoples his world with figures from his individual past, and it is because of this that private worlds do differ. Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers, and do not include their reactions to him. Therefore, he does not see he made them, and that they are not whole. For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only.
It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is to them that they relate. Thus do they communicate with those who are not there, and it is they who answer them. And no one hears their answer save him who called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world. And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there.
The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognise they have condemned themselves. They do not wish to die, yet they will not let condemnation go. And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything is disordered, and where what is within appears to be without. Yet what is within they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot recognise.
You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other. For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes it is not recognised. If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves, and recoils from what he fears. And you react with fear to love, and draw away from it. Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. Your private world is filled with figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see.
As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound. Your manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.
Little child, would you offer this to your Father? For if you offer it to yourself, you are offering it to Him. And He will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of Him. Yet He would release you from it and set you free. His sane Answer tells you what you have offered yourself is not true, but His offering to you has never changed. You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. You will see all that you denied in your brothers because you denied it in yourself. For you will love them, and by drawing nigh unto them you will draw them to yourself, perceiving them as witnesses to the reality you share with God. I am with them as I am with you, and we will draw them from their private worlds, for as we are united so would we unite with them. The Father welcomes all of us in gladness, and gladness is what we should offer Him. For every Son of God is given you to whom God gave Himself. And it is God Whom you must offer them, to recognise His gift to you.
Vision depends on light. You cannot see in darkness. Yet in darkness, in the private world of sleep, you see in dreams although your eyes are closed. And it is here that what you see you made. But let the darkness go and all you made you will no longer see, for sight of it depends upon denying vision. Yet from denying vision it does not follow you cannot see. But this is what denial does, for by it you accept insanity, believing you can make a private world and rule your own perception. Yet for this, light must be excluded. Dreams disappear when light has come and you can see.
Do not seek vision through your eyes, for you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness, and in this you are deceived. Beyond this darkness, and yet still within you, is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. Your ‘vision’ comes from fear, as His from love. And He sees for you, as your witness to the real world. He is the Holy Spirit’s manifestation, looking always on the real world, and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them to you. He loves what He sees within you, and He would extend it. And He will not return unto the Father until He has extended your perception even unto Him. And there perception is no more, for He has returned you to the Father with Him.
You have but two emotions, and one you made and one was given you. Each is a way of seeing, and different worlds arise from their different sights. See through the vision that is given you, for through Christ’s vision He beholds Himself. And seeing what He is, He knows His Father. Beyond your darkest dreams He sees God’s guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance that is undimmed by your dreams. And this you will see as you look with Him, for His vision is His gift of love to you, given Him of the Father for you.
The Holy Spirit is the Light in which Christ stands revealed. And all who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for light. Nor will they see Him alone, for He is no more alone than they are. Because they saw the Son, they have risen in Him to the Father. And all this will they understand, because they looked within and saw beyond the darkness the Christ in them, and recognised Him. In the sanity of His vision they looked upon themselves with love, seeing themselves as the Holy Spirit sees them. And with this vision of the truth in them came all the beauty of the world to shine upon them.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 9
I rest in God
We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.
“I rest in God.” This thought will bring to you the rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek. “I rest in God.” This thought has power to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is. Here is the end of suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while. Here is the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself.
“I rest in God.” Completely undismayed, this thought will carry you through storms and strife, past misery and pain, past loss and death, and onward to the certainty of God. There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve. And no appearance but will turn to truth before the eyes of you who rest in God.
This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed. Yours is the rest of truth. Appearances cannot intrude on you. You call to all to join you in your rest, and they will hear and come to you because you rest in God. They will not hear another voice than yours because you gave your voice to God, and now you rest in Him and let Him speak through you.
In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In timelessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today. And as you close your eyes, sink into stillness. Let these periods of rest and respite reassure your mind that all its frantic fantasies were but the dreams of fever that has passed away. Let it be still and thankfully accept its healing. No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God. Take time today to slip away from dreams and into peace.
Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.
With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking. And the time when rest will be the only thing there is comes closer to all worn and tired minds, too weary now to go their way alone. And they will hear the bird begin to sing and see the stream begin to flow again, with hope reborn and energy restored to walk with lightened steps along the road that suddenly seems easy as they go.
You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.
You rest within the peace of God today, quiet and unafraid. Each brother comes to take his rest, and offer it to you. We rest together here, for thus our rest is made complete, and what we give today we have received already. Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.”
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #380: I thought I have been quite a consistent student recently. Thinking, reading, applying, uncovering all my negative thoughts. And (exactly with a scenario Ken described on one of the tapes) finally I got so mad about my special relationship person. Just couldn’t stop blaming him! When I felt that a storm is coming, my first reaction was to read something from the text of A Course in Miracles or from a workshop (usually it helps to calm down). This last time it didn’t work for me, so I “indulged” myself with a fury! But strangely enough, I felt such a relief, no guilt at all! I know I did wrong, but there is no need to “correct” my mistake, to apologize, or something. I know this outrage can stop our relationship altogether, but there is another thought behind all of that — I had to do it to stop pretending I can “stuff” my feelings, get beyond mistakes I perceive in this person! I don’t know where this will lead me to. Is there any hope that I wasn’t with my ego one hundred percent?
A: First, what you want to look at is your concern that you were one hundred percent in your ego. A key part of the forgiveness process is learning not to fear the ego or to feel ashamed because you indulged yourself in a full-blown attack. We are trying to learn that the ego is really nothing but a “tiny, mad idea” we forgot to laugh at. So when we judge ourselves for indulging our egos, we are implicitly affirming that it is real, not just a “tiny, mad idea.” It would be more healing to just be honest about the attack, saying “I attacked and it felt great!” Period. It was “wrong” only in the sense that attack will never restore peace to your mind and will never lead you home to God. But that does not make it sinful. It just points out to you the cost of indulging your ego. When you no longer feel the cost is worth it, you would ask for help to go about things differently. The measure of progress with the Course is not whether you still have ego attacks, but rather, over a period of time, how quickly you remember not to justify them. Whenever we identify with the ego, we will be hateful, judgmental, fearful, etc., because the ego never changes. The amount of time we spend with it is what changes.
Second, the process of the Course does not force you to choose between forgiveness and stuffing your feelings. Rather, it helps you learn why you attack — where your feelings are coming from. Thus, early in the workbook we are taught, “I am never upset for the reason I think” (W.pI.5). The practice of the lessons involves looking squarely at our negative thoughts and feelings, recognizing their source in our decision to reject love and then project responsibility for that, and, finally, asking for help to change that decision if we are so inclined. So stuffing our feelings and pretending that we are forgiving is not helpful. Our anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, anxiety, and whatever else we are feeling is our curriculum. These feelings are indicators of what teacher we have chosen and are usually our only means of surmising our mind’s decision. Therefore, we need to be in touch with what we are experiencing. Otherwise, as our teacher, Jesus would have nothing to work with. He never judges us when we have ego outbursts. He just asks that we learn to recognize the ego dynamics behind them so that he can help us make the correction.
When your ego is out of the way, you would relate to your special partner without defenses. You would experience both of you as sharing the same wrong mind, the same right mind, and the same ability to choose. Anger would be impossible in that state, because you would clearly see the origin of that person’s pain and the healing of it as well, and you would know that it reflects yours. That is the state of mind Jesus is helping us to attain. It is not stuffing our feelings; it is attaining an ego-free state in which such negative feelings would never develop. We would share the perception of the Holy Spirit, Who sees either a call for love or an expression of love (T.12.I).
Finally, anger is not bad. Jesus never tells us not to get angry. He teaches us not to justify it — an important distinction.