ACIM Text Reading for July 8
Chapter 19 ~ The Attainment of Peace
A. The First Obstacle: The Desire to Get Rid of It
The first obstacle that peace must flow across is your desire to get rid of it. For it cannot extend unless you keep it. You are the centre from which it radiates outward, to call the others in. You are its home; its tranquil dwelling place from which it gently reaches out, but never leaving you. If you would make it homeless, how can it abide within the Son of God? If it would spread across the whole creation, it must begin with you, and from you reach to everyone who calls, and bring him rest by joining you.
Why would you want peace homeless? What do you think that it must dispossess to dwell with you? What seems to be the cost you are so unwilling to pay? The little barrier of sand still stands between you and your brother. Would you reinforce it now? You are not asked to let it go for yourself alone. Christ asks it of you for Himself. He would bring peace to everyone, and how can He do this except through you? Would you let a little bank of sand, a wall of dust, a tiny seeming barrier, stand between your brothers and salvation? And yet, this little remnant of attack you cherish still against your brother is the first obstacle the peace in you encounters in its going forth. This little wall of hatred would still oppose the Will of God, and keep it limited.
The Holy Spirit’s purpose rests in peace within you. Yet you are still unwilling to let it join you wholly. You still oppose the Will of God, just by a little. And that little is a limit you would place upon the whole. God’s Will is one, not many. It has no opposition, for there is none beside it. What you would still contain behind your little barrier and keep separate from your brother seems mightier than the universe, for it would hold back the universe and its Creator. This little wall would hide the purpose of Heaven, and keep it from Heaven.
Would you thrust salvation away from the giver of salvation? For such have you become. Peace could no more depart from you than from God. Fear not this little obstacle. It cannot contain the Will of God. Peace will flow across it, and join you without hindrance. Salvation cannot be withheld from you. It is your purpose. You cannot choose apart from this. You have no purpose apart from your brother, nor apart from the one you asked the Holy Spirit to share with you. The little wall will fall away so quietly beneath the wings of peace. For peace will send its messengers from you to all the world, and barriers will fall away before their coming as easily as those that you interpose will be surmounted.
To overcome the world is no more difficult than to surmount your little wall. For in the miracle of your holy relationship, without this barrier, is every miracle contained. There is no order of difficulty in miracles, for they are all the same. Each is a gentle winning over from the appeal of guilt to the appeal of love. How can this fail to be accomplished, wherever it is undertaken? Guilt can raise no real barriers against it. And all that seems to stand between you and your brother must fall away because of the appeal you answered. From you who answered, He Who answered you would call. His home is in your holy relationship. Do not attempt to stand between Him and His holy purpose, for it is yours. But let Him quietly extend the miracle of your relationship to everyone contained in it as it was given.
There is a hush in Heaven, a happy expectancy, a little pause of gladness in acknowledgement of the journey’s end. For Heaven knows you well, as you know Heaven. No illusions stand between you and your brother now. Look not upon the little wall of shadows. The sun has risen over it. How can a shadow keep you from the sun? No more can you be kept by shadows from the light in which illusions end. Every miracle is but the end of an illusion. Such was the journey; such its ending. And in the goal of truth which you accepted must all illusions end.
The little insane wish to get rid of Him Whom you invited in and push Him out must produce conflict. As you look upon the world, this little wish, uprooted and floating aimlessly, can land and settle briefly upon anything, for it has no purpose now. Before the Holy Spirit entered to abide with you it seemed to have a mighty purpose; the fixed and unchangeable dedication to sin and its results. Now it is aimless, wandering pointlessly, causing no more than tiny interruptions in love’s appeal.
This feather of a wish, this tiny illusion, this microscopic remnant of the belief in sin, is all that remains of what once seemed to be the world. It is no longer an unrelenting barrier to peace. Its pointless wandering makes its results appear to be more erratic and unpredictable than before. Yet what could be more unstable than a tightly organised delusional system? Its seeming stability is its pervasive weakness, which extends to everything. The variability the little remnant induces merely indicates its limited results.
How mighty can a little feather be before the great wings of truth? Can it oppose an eagle’s flight, or hinder the advance of summer? Can it interfere with the effects of summer’s sun upon a garden covered by the snow? See but how easily this little wisp is lifted up and carried away, never to return, and part with it in gladness, not regret. For it is nothing in itself, and stood for nothing when you had greater faith in its protection. Would you not rather greet the summer sun than fix your gaze upon a disappearing snowflake, and shiver in remembrance of the winter’s cold?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for July 8
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
(153) In my defenselessness my safety lies.
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
(154) I am among the ministers of God.
God is but Love, and therefore so am I.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q #306: I have been studying A Course in Miracles for about 14 years now and lately I keep thinking about dying. It comes to my mind all the time. It’s not particularly scary; but why all this preoccupation with death?
A: It is not unusual to have thoughts of death become more frequent as you diligently work with Jesus in undoing your ego. The part of you that is identified with the ego — and has been for ages — will experience itself as “dying.” Actually, all that is happening is that you are withdrawing your belief in the ego thought system. “As you approach the Beginning, you feel the destruction of your thought system upon you as if it were the fear of death. There is no death, but there is a belief in death” (T.3.VII.5:9,10). A major part of the process involves shifting your sense of who you truly are, so it would be evident that the “you” that is withdrawing the belief and has chosen Jesus as its teacher is not what is “dying.” That decision-making part of your mind is simply choosing to identify no longer with a false identity, but with the reflection of its true Self represented in your right mind by the Atonement principle.
The preoccupation with death should diminish and finally disappear when there is no more fear of letting go of your identity as an individual. Without knowing more about you, though, we do not know whether this is the only source of the thoughts. In general, we would recommend consulting with a professional if these death thoughts persist for an extended period of time.
Q #307: I have been studying A Course in Miracles for over a year now. For the last few months, I have been having this strange and wonderful feeling — my body starts physically vibrating during my morning and night meditations. I feel like something inside me is about to take off, like an airplane, a kind of inner weightlessness. After my meditation, I feel great and full of energy. But sometime this feeling that I am experiencing makes me think and think again. I wonder if other students are or have experienced the same thing I am. I also wonder if it is okay to feel that way.
A: Although a variety of explanations could be offered to account for your experience with your body, all you need to know is that our own minds translate any experience of abstract love, such as we may experience in meditation, into a form that we can accept, since our ego-identified minds fear the abstract. At times the form may be, as you are experiencing, sensations in your body that you find pleasant, even pleasurable. What will be most helpful to remember as you have such experiences is that you want to be willing to let go of any judgments you may have about them as either good or not good. Or any thoughts to make a big deal out of them. If you enjoy the experience, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. You just don’t want to make an altar to the experience and then seek after that, for, as wonderful as it may seem, it still falls far short of what Jesus is holding out to us in his Course. For it is still only a specific symbol, a temporary form, through which you are allowing yourself to feel his healing comfort and unlimited love.
For a related discussion, see Question #181.