ACIM Text Reading for August 27
Chapter 25 ~ The Justice of God
VI. The Special Function
T-25.VI.1. The grace of God rests gently on forgiving eyes, and everything they look on speaks of Him to the beholder. 2 He can see no evil; nothing in the world to fear, and no one who is different from himself. 3 And as he loves them, so he looks upon himself with love and gentleness. 4 He would no more condemn himself for his mistakes than damn another. 5 He is not an arbiter of vengeance, nor a punisher of sin. 6 The kindness of his sight rests on himself with all the tenderness it offers others. 7 For he would only heal and only bless. 8 And being in accord with what God wills, he has the power to heal and bless all those he looks on with the grace of God upon his sight.
T-25.VI.2. Eyes become used to darkness, and the light of brilliant day seems painful to the eyes grown long accustomed to the dim effects perceived at twilight. 2 And they turn away from sunlight and the clarity it brings to what they look upon. 3 Dimness seems better; easier to see, and better recognized. 4 Somehow the vague and more obscure seems easier to look upon; less painful to the eyes than what is wholly clear and unambiguous. 5 Yet this is not what eyes are for, and who can say that he prefers the darkness and maintain he wants to see?
T-25.VI.3. The wish to see calls down the grace of God upon your eyes, and brings the gift of light that makes sight possible. 2 Would you behold your brother? 3 God is glad to have you look on him. 4 He does not will your savior be unrecognized by you. 5 Nor does He will that he remain without the function that He gave to him. 6 Let him no more be lonely, for the lonely ones are those who see no function in the world for them to fill; no place where they are needed, and no aim which only they can perfectly fulfill.
T-25.VI.4. Such is the Holy Spirit’s kind perception of specialness; His use of what you made, to heal instead of harm. 2 To each He gives a special function in salvation he alone can fill; a part for only him. 3 Nor is the plan complete until he finds his special function, and fulfills the part assigned to him, to make himself complete within a world where incompletion rules.
T-25.VI.5. Here, where the laws of God do not prevail in perfect form, can he yet do one perfect thing and make oneperfect choice. 2 And by this act of special faithfulness to one perceived as other than himself, he learns the gift was given to himself, and so they must be one. 3 Forgiveness is the only function meaningful in time. 4 It is the means the Holy Spirit uses to translate specialness from sin into salvation. 5 Forgiveness is for all. 6 But when it rests on all it is complete, and every function of this world completed with it. 7 Then is time no more. 8 Yet while in time, there is still much to do. 9 And each must do what is allotted him, for on his part does all the plan depend. 10 He has a special part in time for so he chose, and choosing it, he made it for himself. 11 His wish was not denied but changed in form, to let it serve his brother and himself, and thus become a means to save instead of lose.
T-25.VI.6. Salvation is no more than a reminder this world is not your home. 2 Its laws are not imposed on you, its values are not yours. 3 And nothing that you think you see in it is really there at all. 4 This is seen and understood as each one takes his part in its undoing, as he did in making it. 5 He has the means for either, as he always did. 6 The specialness he chose to hurt himself did God appoint to be the means for his salvation, from the very instant that the choice was made. 7 His special sin was made his special grace. 8 His special hate became his special love.
T-25.VI.7. The Holy Spirit needs your special function, that His may be fulfilled. 2 Think not you lack a special value here. 3 You wanted it, and it is given you. 4 All that you made can serve salvation easily and well. 5 The Son of God can make no choice the Holy Spirit cannot employ on his behalf, and not against himself. 6 Only in darkness does your specialness appear to be attack. 7 In light, you see it as your special function in the plan to save the Son of God from all attack, and let him understand that he is safe, as he has always been, and will remain in time and in eternity alike. 8 This is the function given you for your brother. 9 Take it gently, then, from your brother’s hand, and let salvation be perfectly fulfilled in you. 10 Do this one thing, that everything be given you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for August 27
God is my life. I have no life but His.
I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God, a separate entity that moved in isolation, unattached, and housed within a body. Now I know my life is God’s, I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him. He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have none but those which are of Him.
Our Father, let us see the face of Christ instead of our mistakes. For we who are Your holy Son are sinless. We would look upon our sinlessness, for guilt proclaims that we are not Your Son. And we would not forget You longer. We are lonely here, and long for Heaven, where we are at home. Today we would return. Our Name is Yours, and we acknowledge that we are Your Son.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) Can one be a student of A Course in Miracles and serve on a jury (be a doctor, lawyer, etc.) or remain with a partner who is not a student of the Course? Or should one be with a partner at all? Isn’t that simply a form of specialness?
A) These questions reflect the level confusion we have already considered, for they suggest that there are certain activities, occupations, or relationships that are more or less spiritual than others. For example, the underlying assumptions are that it is holier to become a teacher of A Course in Miracles than it is to serve in government or the armed forces. In other words, this assumption makes the error real, something Jesus distinctly cautions his students against doing. Indeed, the first law of chaos described in Chapter 23, and already referred to, explicitly states the ego’s principle that there “is a hierarchy of illusions” (T-23.II.2:3).
As we have frequently stated in this book, the focus of the Course student should never be on specific behavior, but only on which voice is chosen as a guide for this behavior. Everything else is meaningless. Very often, difficult occupations provide the best classrooms in which to learn and practice the principle of forgiveness, which is based on the premise that nothing outside us can affect us in any way. It is only our minds’ choices for the ego that can bring us pain. Many years ago we were giving a workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A man stood up and spoke of his work at Los Alamos, site of some of this country’s most significant nuclear weapons research and production. Several of the participants began to attack him for being a student of A Course in Miracles at the same time that he was involved in what they felt was bellicose and obviously ego-based activity. They clearly missed the whole point. What better classroom could there be for someone than to operate in the midst of such a blatant example of the ego thought system, and learn how to see it differently through the eyes of forgiveness, and especially how to see oneself differently. And is working on a nuclear bomb really any different from participation in any institution in the world, all of which deal with separation, specialness, and the perpetuation of the ego thought system?
As for partners in relationships, the same principles and cautions apply. Over the years, we have heard many stories of couples who have broken up because one of the partners was not a Course student, as if that external condition were a prerequisite for a happy life together. The issue, naturally, is not that every couple should remain together, or that they should separate. However, using A Course in Miracles as an excuse for breaking up, or a reason for remaining together misses the whole point again. Very often, in fact, remaining with someone who is not a student of the Course may be the perfect classroom in which to learn that the heart of A Course in Miracles is its content of forgiveness, not the form in which that teaching comes. We shall return to this issue in the final chapter.
The same mistakes occur on the “other side” of relationships; i.e., the belief that students of the Course should not be involved in any romantic or sexual relationships at all, not to mention getting married and having children, since that would clearly reflect special relationships. However, it has been forgotten that specialness exists not in a relationship between two people, but in the thoughts of a person who has preferred the ego’s individuality or specialness to the Holy Spirit’s Love. The lack that inevitably follows such a decision must lead to seeking outside oneself for help in filling that lack, what the Course would describe as the scarcity principle. That filling up the perceived inner lack is what A Course in Miracles means by special relationships.
It is impossible to be born into this world without specialness, and it is simply denial that would lead students to believe that they are without this belief system. One of the core definitions the Course uses for specialness is substitution, and simply leaving Heaven — as all people in the world believe they have done — expresses the belief that the ego’s specialness is a worthy and worthwhile substitute for the Love of God. Therefore, the special relationship is the rule of the separated world, and rather than deny it, students of A Course in Miracles should accept this perceptual fact, and turn to Jesus or the Holy Spirit for help in learning the lessons of forgiveness that this valuable classroom offers under Their guidance.
In other words, as we frequently remind students during our workshops and classes, when studying A Course in Miracles, students should above all not forget to be normal. And normal people serve on juries, become involved in litigation, carry insurance, get sick, become angry, laugh, cry, mourn the deaths of loved ones, have relationships, families, circles of friends, etc., etc., etc. The challenge is to be involved in all these normal human activities, but to do so differently — with Jesus instead of without him. Thus Jesus encourages his students to be like everyone else, but to be happy and peaceful:
There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet (W-pI.155.1:1-3; italics ours).
Therefore, as we cautioned in our discussion of the previous question, students of A Course in Miracles should watch for their ego’s vigilance in judging other people’s responses or behaviors, or their own for that matter. Jesus’ loving judgment is always and only in terms of content — i.e., the inner teacher that is chosen — and never the form.And unless one has the egoless wisdom of the Holy Spirit, how can an observer possibly know which teacher has been chosen?