ACIM Text Reading for May 28
Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth
X. The Equality of Miracles
When no perception stands between God and His creations, or between His children and their own, the knowledge of creation must continue forever. The reflections you accept into the mirror of your mind in time but bring eternity nearer or farther. But eternity itself is beyond all time. Reach out of time and touch it, with the help of its reflection in you. And you will turn from time to holiness, as surely as the reflection of holiness calls everyone to lay all guilt aside. Reflect the peace of Heaven here, and bring this world to Heaven. For the reflection of truth draws everyone to truth, and as they enter into it they leave all reflections behind.
In Heaven reality is shared and not reflected. By sharing its reflection here, its truth becomes the only perception the Son of God accepts. And thus, remembrance of his Father dawns on him, and he can no longer be satisfied with anything but his own reality. You on earth have no conception of limitlessness, for the world you seem to live in is a world of limits. In this world, it is not true that anything without order of difficulty can occur. The miracle, therefore, has a unique function, and is motivated by a unique Teacher Who brings the laws of another world to this one. The miracle is the one thing you can do that transcends order, being based not on differences but on equality.
Miracles are not in competition, and the number of them that you can do is limitless. They can be simultaneous and legion. This is not difficult to understand, once you conceive of them as possible at all. What is more difficult to grasp is the lack of order of difficulty that stamps the miracle as something that must come from elsewhere, not from here. From the world’s viewpoint, this is impossible.
Perhaps you have been aware of lack of competition among your thoughts, which even though they may conflict, can occur together and in great numbers. You may indeed be so used to this that it causes you little surprise. Yet you are also used to classifying some of your thoughts as more important, larger or better, wiser, or more productive and valuable than others. This is true of the thoughts that cross the mind of those who think they live apart. For some are reflections of Heaven, while others are motivated by the ego, which but seems to think.
The result is a weaving, changing pattern that never rests and is never still. It shifts unceasingly across the mirror of your mind, and the reflections of Heaven last but a moment and grow dim, as darkness blots them out. Where there was light, darkness removes it in an instant, and alternating patterns of light and darkness sweep constantly across your mind. The little sanity that still remains is held together by a sense of order that you establish. Yet the very fact that you can do this, and bring any order into chaos shows you that you are not an ego, and that more than an ego must be in you. For the ego is chaos, and if it were all of you, no order at all would be possible. Yet though the order you impose upon your mind limits the ego, it also limits you. To order is to judge, and to arrange by judgement. Therefore it is not your function, but the Holy Spirit’s.
It will seem difficult for you to learn that you have no basis at all for ordering your thoughts. This lesson the Holy Spirit teaches by giving you the shining examples of miracles to show you that your way of ordering is wrong, but that a better way is offered you. The miracle offers exactly the same response to every call for help. It does not judge the call. It merely recognises what it is, and answers accordingly. It does not consider which call is louder or greater or more important. You may wonder how you who are still bound to judgement can be asked to do that which requires no judgement of your own. The answer is very simple. The power of God, and not of you, engenders miracles. The miracle itself is but the witness that you have the power of God in you. That is the reason why the miracle gives equal blessing to all who share in it, and that is also why everyone shares in it. The power of God is limitless. And being always maximal, it offers everything to every call from anyone. There is no order of difficulty here. A call for help is given help.
The only judgement involved is the Holy Spirit’s one division into two categories; one of love, and the other the call for love. You cannot safely make this division, for you are much too confused either to recognise love, or to believe that everything else is nothing but a call for love. You are too bound to form, and not to content. What you consider content is not content at all. It is merely form, and nothing else. For you do not respond to what a brother really offers you, but only to the particular perception of his offering by which the ego judges it.
The ego is incapable of understanding content, and is totally unconcerned with it. To the ego, if the form is acceptable the content must be. Otherwise it will attack the form. If you believe you understand something of the ‘dynamics’ of the ego, let me assure you that you understand nothing of it. For of yourself you could not understand it. The study of the ego is not the study of the mind. In fact, the ego enjoys studying itself, and thoroughly approves the undertakings of students who would ‘analyse’ it, thus approving its importance. Yet they but study form with meaningless content. For their teacher is senseless, though careful to conceal this fact behind impressive sounding words, but which lack any consistent sense when they are put together.
This is characteristic of the ego’s judgements. Separately, they seem to hold, but put them together and the system of thought that arises from joining them is incoherent and utterly chaotic. For form is not enough for meaning, and the underlying lack of content makes a cohesive system impossible. Separation therefore remains the ego’s chosen condition. For no one alone can judge the ego truly. Yet when two or more join together in searching for truth, the ego can no longer defend its lack of content. The fact of union tells them it is not true.
It is impossible to remember God in secret and alone. For remembering Him means you are not alone, and are willing to remember it. Take no thought for yourself, for no thought you hold is for yourself. If you would remember your Father, let the Holy Spirit order your thoughts and give only the answer with which He answers you. Everyone seeks for love as you do, but knows it not unless he joins with you in seeking it. If you undertake the search together, you bring with you a light so powerful that what you see is given meaning. The lonely journey fails because it has excluded what it would find.
As God communicates to the Holy Spirit in you, so does the Holy Spirit translate His communications through you, so you can understand them. God has no secret communications, for everything of Him is perfectly open and freely accessible to all, being for all. Nothing lives in secret, and what you would hide from the Holy Spirit is nothing. Every interpretation you would lay upon a brother is senseless. Let the Holy Spirit show him to you, and teach you both his love and his call for love. Neither his mind nor yours holds more than these two orders of thought.
The miracle is the recognition that this is true. Where there is love, your brother must give it to you because of what it is. But where there is a call for love, you must give it because of what you are. Earlier I said this course will teach you how to remember what you are, restoring to you your Identity. We have already learned that this Identity is shared. The miracle becomes the means of sharing It. By supplying your Identity wherever It is not recognised, you will recognise It. And God Himself, Who wills to be with His Son forever, will bless each recognition of His Son with all the Love He holds for him. Nor will the power of all His Love be absent from any miracle you offer to His Son. How, then, can there be any order of difficulty among them?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 28
The world I see holds nothing that I want.
The world you see holds nothing that you need to offer you; nothing that you can use in any way, nor anything at all that serves to give you joy. Believe this thought, and you are saved from years of misery, from countless disappointments, and from hopes that turn to bitter ashes of despair. No one but must accept this thought as true, if he would leave the world behind and soar beyond its petty scope and little ways.
Each thing you value here is but a chain that binds you to the world, and it will serve no other end but this. For everything must serve the purpose you have given it, until you see a different purpose there. The only purpose worthy of your mind this world contains is that you pass it by, without delaying to perceive some hope where there is none. Be you deceived no more. The world you see holds nothing that you want.
Escape today the chains you place upon your mind when you perceive salvation here. For what you value you make part of you as you perceive yourself. All things you seek to make your value greater in your sight limit you further, hide your worth from you, and add another bar across the door that leads to true awareness of your Self.
Let nothing that relates to body thoughts delay your progress to salvation, nor permit temptation to believe the world holds anything you want to hold you back. Nothing is here to cherish. Nothing here is worth one instant of delay and pain; one moment of uncertainty and doubt. The worthless offer nothing. Certainty of worth can not be found in worthlessness.
Today we practice letting go all thought of values we have given to the world. We leave it free of purposes we gave its aspects and its phases and its dreams. We hold it purposeless within our minds, and loosen it from all we wish it were. Thus do we lift the chains that bar the door to freedom from the world, and go beyond all little values and diminished goals.
Pause and be still a little while, and see how far you rise above the world, when you release your mind from chains and let it seek the level where it finds itself at home. It will be grateful to be free a while. It knows where it belongs. But free its wings, and it will fly in sureness and in joy to join its holy purpose. Let it rest in its Creator, there to be restored to sanity, to freedom and to love.
Give it ten minutes rest three times today. And when your eyes are opened afterwards, you will not value anything you see as much as when you looked at it before. Your whole perspective on the world will shift by just a little, every time you let your mind escape its chains. The world is not where it belongs. And you belong where it would be, and where it goes to rest when you release it from the world. Your Guide is sure. Open your mind to Him. Be still and rest.
Protect your mind throughout the day as well. And when you think you see some value in an aspect or an image of the world, refuse to lay this chain upon your mind, but tell yourself with quiet certainty:
This will not tempt me to delay myself.
The world I see holds nothing that I want.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #340: I am very confused about something. This idea of “pets” being part of the Sonship really has me. You mean a pet, my dog for example, has a Self just like I do and is capable of accepting a miracle? If one leaves this body and comes back to learn his or her forgiveness lessons, we can come back and learn this as a dog or a cat? Is that really so?
A: The simple and direct answer to your question is that neither you nor your dog accept a miracle. Nothing happens on the level of form in the dream. It is in the mind of the sleeping Son that a miracle is accepted and lessons are learned. Neither human beings in bodies, nor cats, nor dogs learn lessons. The mind that projects itself into the illusion gives form to all aspects of the physical universe, including dogs and human bodies, none of which has any ability to choose a miracle (T.28.IV.9). The world and everything in it takes form as a result of the mind of the Sonship choosing to believe that separation from God is possible, thus denying its true identity as spirit. That single thought in the mind is projected outward, giving rise to the world of form. However, one of the most important metaphysical principles of A Course in Miracles tells us: “Ideas leave not their source” (T.26.VII.4:7; see also W.pI.132). Therefore nothing happens outside of the mind. What we think is solid and real is an illusion (W.pI.155.2:1), which is why human bodies, dogs, and cats do not accept miracles, forgive, or learn lessons. It is not that your dog has a Self, it is that the separated self denies its truth as spirit. It then splits off into the billions and billions of forms that make up the illusory world, and then identifies with that world. “There is no world!” (W.pI.132.6:2).
The Son remains asleep, dreaming about human bodies, dogs, trees and oceans, and believing that the dream is real. In truth there is only the mind and nothing else. Part of the dream is that bodies die and return in different form. This dream continues as long as the mind continues to choose to believe in the separation. None of this has any effect on the truth, however, and will end when the mind chooses to forgive every form of mistaken identity in every aspect of the dream. Meanwhile, our task is to recognize all the ways we seek to make our mistaken identity real through unforgiveness, so we can then bring them to the Holy Spirit to be corrected through forgiveness.
A: All the separated fragments of the Sonship, seemingly dispersed when the thought of separation was taken seriously will, through forgiveness, return to full awareness of the Oneness that was never truly shattered.
We perceive ourselves as separate from each other, housed in bodies that interact and communicate through bodies. The Course tells us that this perception is the result of a choice in the mind to be separate: “The gap between you and your brother is not one of space between two separate bodies. And this but seems to be dividing off your separate minds. It is the symbol of a promise made to meet when you prefer, and separate till you and he elect to meet again. And then your bodies seem to get in touch, and thereby signify a meeting place to join. But always is it possible for you and him to go your separate ways. Conditional upon the “right” to separate will you and he agree to meet from time to time, and keep apart in intervals of separation” (T.29.I.4:1,2,3,4,5,6). The “‘right’ to separate” refers to the choice we make when we identify with the body. We meet when we accept the Holy Spirit’s correction for this mistaken belief, thereby acknowledging our oneness with all our brothers. Although this takes place in the mind, it may be reflected in the dream when “bodies seem to get in touch.”