ACIM Text Reading for August 14
Chapter 24 ~ The Goal of Specialness
I. Specialness as a Substitute for Love
Love is extension. To withhold the smallest gift is not to know love’s purpose. Love offers everything forever. Hold back but one belief, one offering, and love is gone, because you asked a substitute to take its place. And now must war, the substitute for peace, come with the one alternative that you can choose for love. Your choosing it has given it all the reality it seems to have.
Beliefs will never openly attack each other because conflicting outcomes are impossible. But an unrecognised belief is a decision to war in secret, where the results of conflict are kept unknown and never brought to reason, to be considered sensible or not. And many senseless outcomes have been reached, and meaningless decisions have been made and kept hidden, to become beliefs now given power to direct all subsequent decisions. Mistake you not the power of these hidden warriors to disrupt your peace. For it is at their mercy while you decide to leave it there. The secret enemies of peace, your least decision to choose attack instead of love, unrecognised and swift to challenge you to combat and to violence far more inclusive than you think, are there by your election. Do not deny their presence nor their terrible results. All that can be denied is their reality, but not their outcome.
All that is ever cherished as a hidden belief, to be defended though unrecognised, is faith in specialness. This takes many forms, but always clashes with the reality of God’s creation and with the grandeur that He gave His Son. What else could justify attack? For :who could hate someone whose Self is his, and Whom he knows? Only the special could have enemies, for they are different and not the same,. And difference of any kind imposes orders of reality, and a need to judge that cannot be escaped.
What God created cannot be attacked, for there is nothing in the universe unlike itself. But what is different calls for judgement, and this must come from someone ‘better’, someone incapable of being like what he condemns, ‘above’ it, sinless by comparison with it. And thus does specialness become a means and end at once. For specialness not only sets apart, but serves as grounds from which attack on those who seem ‘beneath’ the special one is ‘natural’ and ‘just’. The special ones feel weak and frail because of differences, for what would make them special is their enemy. Yet they protect its enmity and call it ‘friend’. On its behalf they fight against the universe, for nothing in the world they value more.
Specialness is the great dictator of the wrong decisions. Here is the grand illusion of what you are and what your brother is. And here is what must make the body dear and worth preserving. Specialness must be defended. Illusions can attack it, and they do. For what your brother must become to keep your specialness is an illusion. He who is ‘worse’ than you must be attacked, so that your specialness can live on his defeat. For specialness is triumph, and its victory is his defeat and shame. How can he live, with all your sins upon him? And who must be his conqueror but you?
Would it be possible for you to hate your brother if you were like him? Could you attack him if you realised you journey with him, to a goal that is the same? Would you not help him reach it in every way you could, if his attainment of it were perceived as yours? You are his enemy in specialness; his friend in a shared purpose. Specialness can never share, for it depends on goals that you alone can reach. And he must never reach them, or your goal is jeopardised. Can love have meaning where the goal is triumph? And what decision can be made for this that will not hurt you?
Your brother is your friend because his Father created him like you. There is no difference. You have been given to your brother that love might be extended, not cut off from him. What you keep is lost to you: God gave you and your brother Himself, and to remember this is now the only purpose that you share. And so it is the only one you have. Could you attack your brother if you chose to see no specialness of any kind between you and him? Look fairly at whatever makes you give your brother only partial welcome, or would let you think that you are better off apart. Is it not always your belief your specialness is limited by your relationship? And is not this the ‘enemy’ that makes you and your brother illusions to each other?
The fear of God and of your brother comes from each unrecognised belief in specialness. For you demand your brother bow to it against his will. And God Himself must honour it or suffer vengeance. Every twinge of malice, or stab of hate or wish to separate arises here. For here the purpose that you and your brother share becomes obscured from both of you. You would oppose this course because it teaches you, you and your brother are alike. You have no purpose that is not the same, and none your Father does not share with you. For your relationship has been made clean of special goals. And would you now defeat the goal of holiness that Heaven gave it? What perspective can the special have that does not change with every seeming blow, each slight, or fancied judgement on itself?
Those who are special must defend illusions against the truth. For what is specialness but an attack upon the Will of God? You love your brother not while it is this you would defend against him. This is what he attacks, and you protect. Here is the ground of battle which you wage against him. Here must he be your enemy and not your friend. Never can there be peace among the different. He is your friend because you are the same.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 14
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
(190) I choose the joy of God instead of pain.
Pain is my own idea. It is not a Thought of God, but one I
thought apart from Him and from His Will. His Will is joy,
and only joy for His beloved Son. And that I choose, instead
of what I made.
I am not a body. I am free.
For I am still as God created me.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) Where is the mind?
A) Mind, as taught in A Course in Miracles and as we have just seen, is non-corporeal or non-material, unlike the brain. Therefore it is invisible and intangible. Since it is also non-spatial and non-temporal, it is impossible to answer this question, which rests on the assumption that time and space are real. The very word where connotes a spatial dimension, which is unknown to the mind. Therefore, to answer this question would be to deny the very nature of the mind, and reinforce the belief that the body is real and independent of the mind which projected it and is its true cause.