ACIM Text Reading for October 4
Chapter 31 ~ The Awakening
IX. The Forgiving Dream
The slave of idols is a willing slave. For willing he must be to let himself bow down in worship to what has no life, and seek for power in the powerless. What happened to the holy Son of God that this could be his wish; to let himself fall lower than the stones upon the ground, and look to idols that they raise him up? Hear, then, your story in the dream you made, and ask yourself if it be not the truth that you believe that it is not a dream.
A dream of judgement came into the mind that God created perfect as Himself. And in that dream was Heaven changed to hell, and God made enemy unto His Son. How can God’s Son awaken from the dream? It is a dream of judgement. So must he judge not, and he will waken. For the dream will seem to last while he is part of it. Judge not, for he who judges will have need of idols, which will hold the judgement off from resting on himself. Nor can he know the Self he has condemned. Judge not, because you make yourself a part of evil dreams, where idols are your ‘true’ identity, and your salvation from the judgement laid in terror and in guilt upon yourself.
All figures in the dream are idols, made to save you from the dream. Yet they are part of what they have been made to save you from. Thus does an idol keep the dream alive and terrible , for who could wish for one unless he were in terror and despair? And this the idol represents, and so its worship is the worship of despair and terror, and the dream from which they come. Judgement is an injustice to God’s Son, and it is justice that who judges him will not escape the penalty he laid upon himself within the dream he made. God knows of justice, not of penalty. But in the dream of judgement you attack and are condemned; and wish to be the slave of idols, which are interposed between your judgement and the penalty it brings.
There can be no salvation in the dream as you are dreaming it. For idols must be part of it, to save you from what you believe you have accomplished, and have done to make you sinful and put out the light within you. Little child, the light is there. You do but dream, and idols are the toys you dream you play with. Who has need of toys but children? They pretend they rule the world, and give their toys the power to move about, and talk and think and feel and speak for them. Yet everything their toys appear to do is in the minds of those who play with them. But they are eager to forget that they made up the dream in which their toys are real, nor recognise their wishes are their own.
Nightmares are childish dreams. The toys have turned against the child who thought he made them real. Yet can a dream attack? Or can a toy grow large and dangerous and fierce and wild? This does the child believe, because he fears his thoughts and gives them to the toys instead, And their reality becomes his own, because they seem to save him from his thoughts. Yet do they keep his thoughts alive and real, but seen outside himself, where they can turn against him for his treachery to them. He thinks he needs them that he may escape his thoughts, because he thinks the thoughts are real. And so he makes of anything a toy, to make his world remain outside himself, and play that he is but a part of it.
There is a time when childhood should be passed and gone forever. Seek not to retain the toys of children. Put them all away, for you have need of them no more. The dream of judgement is a children’s game, in which the child becomes the father, powerful, but with the little wisdom of a child. What hurts him is destroyed; what helps him, blessed. Except he judges this as does a child, who does not know what hurts and what will heal. And bad things seem to happen, and he is afraid of all the chaos in a world he thinks is governed by the laws he made. Yet is the real world unaffected by the world he thinks is real. Nor have its laws been changed because he does not understand.
The real world still is but a dream. Except the figures have been changed. They are not seen as idols which betray. It is a dream in which no one is used to substitute for something else, nor interposed between the thoughts the mind conceives and what it sees. No one is used for something he is not, for childish things have all been put away. And what was once a dream of judgement now has changed into a dream where all is joy, because that is the purpose that it has. Only forgiving dreams can enter here, for time is almost over. And the forms that enter in the dream are now perceived as brothers, not in judgement, but in love.
Forgiving dreams have little need to last, They are not made to separate the mind from what it thinks. They do not seek to prove the dream is being dreamed by someone else. And in these dreams a melody is heard that everyone remembers, though he has not heard it since before all time began. Forgiveness, once complete, brings timelessness so close the song of Heaven can be heard, not with the ears, but with the holiness that never left the altar that abides forever deep within the Son of God. And when he hears this song again, he knows he never heard it not. And where is time, when dreams of judgement have been put away?
Whenever you feel fear in any form,â€”and you are fearful if you do not feel a deep content, a certainty of help, a calm assurance Heaven goes with you,â€”be sure you made an idol, and believe it will betray you. For beneath your hope that it will save you lie the guilt and pain of self-betrayal and uncertainty, so deep and bitter that the dream cannot conceal completely all your sense of doom. Your self-betrayal must result in fear, for fear is judgement, leading surely to the frantic search for idols and for death.
Forgiving dreams remind you that you live in safety and have not attacked yourself. So do your childish terrors melt away, and dreams become a sign that you have made a new beginning, not another try to worship idols and to keep attack. Forgiving dreams are kind to everyone who figures n the dream. And so they bring the dreamer full release from dreams of fear. He does not fear his judgement for he has judged no one, nor has sought to be released through judgement from what judgement must impose. And all the while he is remembering what he forgot, when judgement seemed to be the way to save him from its penalty.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 4
This day is God’s. It is my gift to Him.
I will not lead my life alone today. I do not understand the world, and so to try to lead my life alone must be but foolishness. But there is One Who knows all that is best for me. And He is glad to make no choices for me but the ones that lead to God. I give this day to Him, for I would not delay my coming home, and it is He Who knows the way to God.
And so we give today to You. We come with wholly open minds. We do not ask for anything that we may think we want. Give us what You would have received by us. You know all our desires and our wants. And You will give us everything we need in helping us to find the way to You.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) Can A Course in Miracles be done by myself, or do I need to have a partner?
A) As we have already mentioned, A Course in Miracles is inherently a self-study curriculum. One’s life — past, present, and anticipated future — is the classroom. All one’s relationships — whether falling into any of the three categories given in the manual ranging from superficial through a circumscribed intense relationship, to a lifetime one (M-3) — provide the “partners” needed for the practice of forgiveness. One does not need a partner “designated” for such practice, nor does the partner have to be a student of the Course, as we discussed briefly in question 31. Anyone and everyone will do. To insist that one’s partner be spiritually like-minded, and even more specifically, a student of A Course in Miracles, is to confuse form with content, and to fall into the trap of specialness that is the very thing the Course aims at undoing. As we discussed previously, the Course’s definition of joining has nothing to do with bodies or externals of any kind — “Minds are joined; bodies are not” (T-18.VI.3:1). Joining, rather, has to do with joining with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, in Whom are all members of the Sonship found as one, regardless of their spiritual path, or absence of it.
Therefore, it does not really matter with whom one practices the lessons of forgiveness. Projection of guilt remains what it is, regardless of the form of the relationship or the nature of the person or situation on whom it is projected. Everyone and everything in the dream we call our lives offers the opportunities for recognizing that what we have perceived and made real outside our minds, has existence only within our minds. Therefore, nothing else is required for one’s work with A Course in Miracles except one’s life as the classroom, and the willingness to have Jesus teach us how to perceive it differently.