ACIM Text Reading for September 25
Chapter 28 ~ The Undoing of Fear
VII. The Ark of Safety
God asks for nothing, and His Son, like Him, need ask for nothing. For there is no lack in him. An empty space, a little gap would be a lack. And it is only there that he could want for something he has not. A space where God is not, a gap between the Father and the Son is not the Will of either, who have promised to be one. God’s promise is a promise to Himself, and there is no one who could be untrue to what He wills as part of what He is. The promise that there is no gap between Himself and what He is cannot be false. What will can come between what must be one, and in Whose Wholeness there can be no gap?
The beautiful relationship you have with all your brothers is a part of you because it is a part of God Himself. Are you not sick, if you deny yourself your wholeness and your health, the Source of help, the Call to healing and the Call to heal? Your saviour waits for healing, and the world waits with him. Nor are you apart from it. For healing will be one or not at all, its oneness being where the healing is. What could correct for separation but its opposite? There is no middle ground in any aspect of salvation. You accept it wholly or accept it not. What is unseparated must be joined. And what is joined cannot be separate.
Either there is a gap between you and your brother, or you are as one. There is no in between, no other choice, and no allegiance to be split between the two. A split allegiance is but faithlessness to both, and merely sets you spinning round, to grasp uncertainly at any straw that seems to hold some promise of relief. Yet who can build his home upon a straw, and count on it as shelter from the wind? The body can be made a home like this, because it lacks foundation in the truth. And yet, because it does, it can be seen as not your home, but merely as an aid to help you reach the Home where God abides.
With this as purpose is the body healed. It is not used to witness to the dream of separation and disease. Nor is it idly blamed for what it did not do. It serves to help the healing of God’s Son, and for this purpose it cannot be sick. It will not join a purpose not your own, and you have chosen that it not be sick. All miracles are based upon this choice, and given you the instant it is made. No forms of sickness are immune, because the choice cannot be made in terms of form. The choice of sickness seems to be of form, yet it is one, as is its opposite. And you are sick or well, accordingly.
But never you alone. This world is but the dream that you can be alone, and think without affecting those apart from you. To be alone must mean you are apart, and if you are, you cannot but be sick. This seems to prove that you must be apart. Yet all it means is that you tried to keep a promise to be true to faithlessness. Yet faithlessness is sickness. It is like the house set upon straw. It seems to be quite solid and substantial in itself. Yet its stability cannot be judged apart from its foundation. If it rests on straw, there is no need to bar the door and lock the windows and make fast the bolts. The wind will topple it, and rain will come and carry it into oblivion.
What is the sense in seeking to be safe in what was made for danger and for fear? Why burden it with further locks and chains and heavy anchors, when its weakness lies, not in itself, but in the frailty of the little gap of nothingness whereon it stands? What can be safe that rests upon a shadow? Would you build your home upon what will collapse beneath a feather’s weight?
Your home is built upon your brother’s health, upon his happiness, his sinlessness, and everything his Father promised him. No secret promise you have made instead has shaken the Foundation of his home. The winds will blow upon it and the rain will beat against it, but with no effect. The world will wash away and yet this house will stand forever, for its strength lies not within itself alone. It is an ark of safety, resting on God’s promise that His Son is safe forever in Himself. What gap can interpose itself between the safety of this shelter and its Source? From here the body can be seen as what it is, and neither less nor more in worth than the extent to which it can be used to liberate God’s Son unto his home. And with this holy purpose is it made a home of holiness a little while, because it shares your Father’s Will with you.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 25
Section 4. What is Sin?
Sin is insanity. It is the means by which the mind is driven mad, and seeks to let illusions take the place of truth. And being mad, it sees illusions where the truth should be, and where it really is. Sin gave the body eyes, for what is there the sinless would behold? What need have they of sights or sounds or touch? What would they hear or reach to grasp? What would they sense at all? To sense is not to know. And truth can be but filled with knowledge, and with nothing else.
The body is the instrument the mind made in its efforts to deceive itself. Its purpose is to strive. Yet can the goal of striving change. And now the body serves a different aim for striving. What it seeks for now is chosen by the aim the mind has taken as replacement for the goal of self-deception. Truth can be its aim as well as lies. The senses then will seek instead for witnesses to what is true.
Sin is the home of all illusions, which but stand for things imagined, issuing from thoughts that are untrue. They are the “proof” that what has no reality is real. Sin “proves” God’s Son is evil; timelessness must have an end; eternal life must die. And God Himself has lost the Son He loves, with but corruption to complete Himself, His Will forever overcome by death, love slain by hate, and peace to be no more.
A madman’s dreams are frightening, and sin appears indeed to terrify. And yet what sin perceives is but a childish game. The Son of God may play he has become a body, prey to evil and to guilt, with but a little life that ends in death. But all the while his Father shines on him, and loves him with an everlasting Love which his pretenses cannot change at all.
How long, O Son of God, will you maintain the game of sin? Shall we not put away these sharp-edged children’s toys? How soon will you be ready to come home? Perhaps today? There is no sin. Creation is unchanged. Would you still hold return to Heaven back? How long, O holy Son of God, how long?
I am in need of nothing but the truth.
I sought for many things, and found despair. Now do I seek but one, for in that one is all I need, and only what I need. All that I sought before I needed not, and did not even want. My only need I did not recognize. But now I see that I need only truth. In that all needs are satisfied, all cravings end, all hopes are finally fulfilled and dreams are gone. Now have I everything that I could need. Now have I everything that I could want. And now at last I find myself at peace.
And for that peace, our Father, we give thanks. What we denied ourselves You have restored, and only that is what we really want.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) Is there a wrong or right way to practice the workbook?
A) There is only one rule that Jesus offers us about doing the workbook: “Do not undertake to do more than one set of exercises a day” (W-in.2:6). Furthermore, we are urged by him to continue with our practice even if we have trouble understanding a lesson, or experience difficulty in carrying out the specific exercise because we do not believe what it says. As he comfortingly says to his students:
Some of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe, and others may seem to be quite startling. This does not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do. You are not asked to judge them at all. You are asked only to use them. It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true.Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist. None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy. But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them. Nothing more than that is required (W-in.8-9).
Clearly, students are encouraged in the above passage to do the workbook as Jesus gave it, one lesson at a time, in the sequence in which the lessons come. However, there is no rule against spending more than one day on a workbook lesson. Many times lessons bring up a host of related perspectives and problems in one’s life, and therefore students find themselves ruminating and pondering over the personal implications of these lessons. Since the workbook is a highly personal experience for students, there cannot truly be a “right” or “wrong” way of practicing it. The correct answer, as always, is that the “right” way is practicing the workbook with the Holy Spirit; the “wrong” way is practicing with the ego. This puts the burden on the student to continue the journey with A Course in Miracles in as ego-free manner as possible, always maintaining a vigilance against the ego’s subtle intrusions of specialness.