A Course in Miracles Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for May 10

ACIM Text Reading for May 10

Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World

VI. Finding the Present

To perceive truly is to be aware of all reality through the awareness of your own. But for this no illusions can rise to meet your sight, for reality leaves no room for any error. This means that you perceive a brother only as you see him now. His past has no reality in the present, so you cannot see it. Your past reactions to him are also not there, and if it is to them that you react, you see but an image of him that you made and cherish instead of him. In your questioning of illusions, ask yourself if it is really sane to perceive what was as now. If you remember the past as you look upon your brother, you will be unable to perceive the reality that is now.

You consider it ‘natural’ to use your past experience as the reference point from which to judge the present. Yet this is unnaturalbecause it is delusional. When you have learned to look on everyone with no reference at all to the past, either his or yours as you perceive it, you will be able to learn from what you see now. For the past can cast no shadow to darken the present, unless you are afraid of light. And only if you are would you choose to bring darkness with you, and by holding it in your mind, see it as a dark cloud that shrouds your brothers and conceals their reality from your sight.

This darkness is in you. The Christ as revealed to you now has no past, for He is changeless, and in His changelessness lies your release. For if He is as He was created, there is no guilt in Him. No cloud of guilt has risen to obscure Him, and He stands revealed in everyone you meet because you see Him through Himself. To be born again is to let the past go, and look without condemnation upon the present. The cloud that obscures God’s Son to you is the past, and if you would have it past and gone, you must not see it now. If you see it now in your illusions, it has not gone from you, although it is not there.

Time can release as well as imprison, depending on whose interpretation of it you use. Past, present and future are not continuous, unless you force continuity on them. You can perceive them as continuous, and make them so for you. But do not be deceived, and then believe that this is how it is. For to believe reality is what you would have it be according to your use for it is delusional. You would destroy time’s continuity by breaking it into past, present and future for your own purposes. You would anticipate the future on the basis of your past experience, and plan for it accordingly. Yet by doing so you are aligning past and future, and not allowing the miracle, which could intervene between them, to free you to be born again.

The miracle enables you to see your brother without his past, and so perceive him as born again. His errors are all past, and by perceiving him without them you are releasing him. And since his past is yours, you share in this release. Let no dark cloud out of your past obscure him from you, for truth lies only in the present, and you will find it if you seek it there. You have looked for it where it is not, and therefore have not found it. Learn, then, to seek it where it is, and it will dawn on eyes that see. Your past was made in anger, and if you use it to attack the present, you will not see the freedom that the present holds.

Judgement and condemnation are behind you, and unless you bring them with you, you will see that you are free of them. Look lovingly upon the present, for it holds the only things that are forever true. All healing lies within it because its continuity is real. It extends to all aspects of the Sonship at the same time, and thus enables them to reach each other. The present is before time was, and will be when time is no more. In it are all things that are eternal, and they are one. Their continuity is timeless and their communication is unbroken, for they are not separated by the past. Only the past can separate, and it is nowhere.

The present offers you your brothers in the light that would unite you with them, and free you from the past. Would you, then, hold the past against them? For if you do, you are choosing to remain in the darkness that is not there, and refusing to accept the light that is offered you. For the light of perfect vision is freely given as it is freely received, and can be accepted only without limit. In this one, still dimension of time that does not change, and where there is no sight of what you were, you look at Christ and call His witnesses to shine on you because you called them forth. And they will not deny the truth in you, because you looked for it in them and found it there.

Now is the time of salvation, for now is the release from time. Reach out to all your brothers, and touch them with the touch of Christ. In timeless union with them is your continuity, unbroken because it is wholly shared. God’s guiltless Son is only light. There is no darkness in him anywhere, for he is whole. Call all your brothers to witness to his wholeness, as I am calling you to join with me. Each voice has a part in the song of redemption, the hymn of gladness and thanksgiving for the light to the Creator of light. The holy light that shines forth from God’s Son is the witness that his light is of his Father.

Shine on your brothers in remembrance of your Creator, for you will remember Him as you call forth the witnesses to His creation. Those whom you heal bear witness to your healing, for in their wholeness you will see your own. And as your hymns of praise and gladness rise to your Creator, He will return your thanks in His clear Answer to your call. For it can never be that His Son called upon Him and remained unanswered. His call to you is but your call to Him. And in Him you are answered by His peace.

Child of light, you know not that the light is in you. Yet you will find it through its witnesses, for having given light to them they will return it. Each one you see in light brings your light closer to your awareness. Love always leads to love, The sick, who ask for love, are grateful for it, and in their joy they shine with holy thanks. And this they offer you who gave them joy. They are your guides to joy, for having received it of you they would keep it. You have established them as guides to peace, for you have made it manifest in them. And seeing it, its beauty calls you home.

There is a light that this world cannot give. Yet you can give it, as it was given you. And as you give it, it shines forth to call you from the world and follow it. For this light will attract you as nothing in this world can do. And you will lay aside the world and find another. This other world is bright with love which you have given it. And here will everything remind you of your Father and His holy Son. Light is unlimited, and spreads across this world in quiet joy. All those you brought with you will shine on you, and you will shine on them in gratitude because they brought you here. Your light will join with theirs in power so compelling, that it will draw the others out of darkness as you look on them.

Awaking unto Christ is following the laws of love of your free will, and out of quiet recognition of the truth in them. The attraction of light must draw you willingly, and willingness is signified by giving. Those who accept love of you become your willing witnesses to the love you gave them, and it is they who hold it out to you. In sleep you are alone, and your awareness is narrowed to yourself. And that is why the nightmares come. You dream of isolation because your eyes are closed. You do not see your brothers, and in the darkness you cannot look upon the light you gave to them.

And yet the laws of love are not suspended because you sleep. And you have followed them through all your nightmares, and have been faithful in your giving, for you were not alone. Even in sleep has Christ protected you, ensuring the real world for you when you awake. In your name He has given for you, and given you the gifts He gave. God’s Son is still as loving as his Father. Continuous with his Father, he has no past apart from Him. So he has never ceased to be his Father’s witness and his own. Although he slept, Christ’s vision did not leave him. And so it is that he can call unto himself the witnesses that teach him that he never slept.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 10

Lesson 110

I am as God created me.

We will repeat today’s idea from time to time. For this one thought would be enough to save you and the world, if you believed that it is true. Its truth would mean that you have made no changes in yourself that have reality, nor changed the universe so that what God created was replaced by fear and evil, misery and death. If you remain as God created you fear has no meaning, evil is not real, and misery and death do not exist.

Today’s idea is therefore all you need to let complete correction heal your mind, and give you perfect vision that will heal all the mistakes that any mind has made at any time or place. It is enough to heal the past and make the future free. It is enough to let the present be accepted as it is. It is enough to let time be the means for all the world to learn escape from time, and every change that time appears to bring in passing by.

If you remain as God created you, appearances cannot replace the truth, health cannot turn to sickness, nor can death be substitute for life, or fear for love. All this has not occurred, if you remain as God created you. You need no thought but just this one, to let redemption come to light the world and free it from the past.

In this one thought is all the past undone; the present saved to quietly extend into a timeless future. If you are as God created you, then there has been no separation of your mind from His, no split between your mind and other minds, and only unity within your own.

The healing power of today’s idea is limitless. It is the birthplace of all miracles, the great restorer of the truth to the awareness of the world. Practice today’s idea with gratitude. This is the truth that comes to set you free. This is the truth that God has promised you. This is the Word in which all sorrow ends.

For your five-minute practice periods, begin with this quotation from the text:

I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing.
And I am His Son.

Then, with this statement firmly in your mind, try to discover in your mind the Self Who is the holy Son of God Himself.

Seek Him within you Who is Christ in you, the Son of God and brother to the world; the Savior Who has been forever saved, with power to save whoever touches Him, however lightly, asking for the Word that tells him he is brother unto Him.

You are as God created you. Today honor your Self. Let graven images you made to be the Son of God instead of what he is be worshipped not today. Deep in your mind the holy Christ in you is waiting your acknowledgment as you. And you are lost and do not know yourself while He is unacknowledged and unknown.

Seek Him today, and find Him. He will be your Savior from all idols you have made. For when you find Him, you will understand how worthless are your idols, and how false the images which you believed were you. Today we make a great advance to truth by letting idols go, and opening our hands and hearts and minds to God today.

We will remember Him throughout the day with thankful hearts and loving thoughts for all who meet with us today. For it is thus that we remember Him. And we will say, that we may be reminded of His Son, our holy Self, the Christ in each of us:

I am as God created me.

Let us declare this truth as often as we can. This is the Word of God that sets you free. This is the key that opens up the gate of Heaven, and that lets you enter in the peace of God and His eternity.

 ***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #535: I have a question about something I read in “The Guiltless World” in Chapter 13 of A Course in Miracles, in section VI, “Finding the Present”. In paragraph 4 it says: “Past, present and future are not continuous….” Then it says: “You would destroy time’s continuity by breaking it into past, present and future….” This is confusing to me. First it says past, present and future are not continuous. Then it says that I would destroy time’s continuity. How can I destroy time’s continuity if it is not continuous? Or, am I misreading this paragraph?

A: The key is in understanding that the ego and the Holy Spirit perceive the purpose of illusory time exactly the opposite (T.13.IV.7:1,2) and so each focuses on different aspects of time: the ego on the past and future; the Holy Spirit on the present. The ego wants to keep us trapped in the illusion of time for that keeps the ego alive. And so it attempts to establish an artificial continuity or link between the illusory past and the illusory future through guilt and fear, which makes time real in our experience. The ego literally ignores the present except as a fleeting moment in time that links the past and the future, with the future a fearful and inevitable continuation of the sinful, guilty past, with no hope of escape (T.5.VI.2:1,2,3,4; T.13.I.8; T.13.IV.8).

The Holy Spirit, in contrast, seeks to help us move beyond the illusion of time and so uses the present, the only aspect of time that approximates eternity, to extend to the infinite (T.13.IV.7:3,4,5,6,7; T.13.VI.6). The past’s only value is that it can be undone through forgiveness, transforming it and purifying it so that it no longer conflicts with the present (T.17.III.5). For the Holy Spirit, the holy instant, the present moment, is one continuous instant without interruption or ending, which is the bridge between time and timelessness. If we do not experience its continuity, it is only because we have accepted the ego’s interpretation of time, which attempts to impose an artificial continuity between a sinful past that has never happened and a future of punishment and pain that is nothing more than a sick fantasy (W.pI.135.16).


Q #536: Many times A Course in Miracles tells us to let go of our judgments and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. It says that if we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, all of our needs will be met. It also explains that “needs” means seeming needs that we perceive while we are still in illusion. It also says that we must awaken in peace. By this I understand it to mean that we cannot awaken from a dream of terror but first we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us from our fearful dream to a “happy dream.” Then, we can awaken. Do I understand this correctly? How can we be sure we are not following the guidance of the ego’s judgments and mistaking them for the real Holy Spirit’s guidance?

A: Your understanding is basically correct, provided you do not mean that you expect all your seeming worldly needs to be met so long as you follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance. For if you do, you will be setting yourself up for certain disappointment. There are a few passages in the Course where the language seems to suggest this kind of Providential provision for our needs (e.g., T.20.IV.8, but see also Question #293), but these are intended as comforting passages to reassure us that God loves us and does not want to punish or hurt us in any way, as the ego would have us believe. As we come to understand the level of mind at which the Course is written, it becomes apparent that Jesus is referring to the obstacles and perceived needs in the mind, not in the body, which after all is only a lifeless projection of the thoughts of scarcity and need in the mind.

As for your question about hearing the Holy Spirit, His guidance is always and only to forgive (T.25.VI.5:3,4,5,6; W.pI.99.9:6,7,8; W.pII.1.5:1). And that does not require us to do anything. Rather it asks us to undo our judgments of attack and condemnation. Anything specific that we might say or do following that release of judgment is simply the form that our own minds, joined with the Holy Spirit, then give to the experience of love and peace that flow through our minds when we are not restricting their extension by our desire for something else. So long as you accept that your role is simply to recognize your ego’s judgments and be willing to let them go, you need not concern yourself with anything else. You will be following the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Your concern about distinguishing between the ego’s and the Holy Spirit’s guidance has also been addressed in other Questions, including #43, #285, and #309.

be of good cheer

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