ACIM Text Reading for October 6
Chapter 30 ~ The New Beginning
I. Rules for Decision
Decisions are continuous. You do not always know when you are making them. But with a little practise with the ones you recognise, a set begins to form which sees you through the rest. It is not wise to let yourself become preoccupied with every step you take. The proper set, adopted consciously each time you wake, will put you well ahead. And if you find resistance strong and dedication weak, you are not ready. Do not fight yourself. But think about the kind of day you want, and tell yourself there is a way in which this very day can happen just like that. Then try again to have the day you want.
(1) The outlook starts with this:
This means that you are choosing not to be the judge of what to do. But it must also mean you will not judge the situations where you will be called upon to make response. For if you judge them, you have set the rules for how you should react to them. And then another answer cannot but produce confusion and uncertainty and fear.
This is your major problem now. You still make up your mind, and then decide to ask what you should do. And what you hear may not resolve the problem as you saw it first. This leads to fear, because it contradicts what you perceive and so you feel attacked. And therefore angry. There are rules by which this will not happen. But it does occur at first, while you are learning how to hear.
(2) Throughout the day, at any time you think of it and have a quiet moment for reflection, tell yourself again the kind of day you want; the feelings you would have, the things you want to happen to you, and the things you would experience, and say,
These two procedures, practised well, will serve to let you be directed without fear, for opposition will not first arise and then become a problem in itself.
But there will still be times when you have judged already. Now the answer will provoke attack, unless you quickly straighten out your mind to want an answer that will work. Be certain this has happened if you feel yourself unwilling to sit by and ask to have the answer given you. This means you have decided by yourself, and can not see the question. Now you need a quick restorative before you ask again.
(3) Remember once again the day you want, and recognise that something has occurred that is not part of it. Then realise that you have asked a question by yourself, and must have set an answer in your terms. Then say,
This cancels out the terms that you have set, and lets the answer show you what the question must have really been.
Try to observe this rule without delay, despite your opposition. For you have already gotten angry. And your fear of being answered in a different way from what your version of the questions asks will gain momentum, until you believe the day you want is one in which you get your answer to your question. And you will not get it, for it would destroy the day by robbing you of what you really want. This can be very hard to realise, when once you have decided by yourself the rules that promise you a happy day. Yet this decision still can be undone, by simple methods that you can accept.
(4) If you are so unwilling to receive you cannot even let your question go, you can begin to change your mind with this:
This much is obvious, and paves the way for the next easy step.
(5) Having decided that you do not like the way you feel, what could be easier than to continue with,
This works against the sense of opposition, and reminds you that help is not being thrust upon you but is something that you want and that you need, because you do not like the way you feel. This tiny opening will be enough to let you go ahead with just a few more steps you need to let yourself be helped.
Now you have reached the turning point, because it has occurred to you that you will gain if what you have decided is not so. Until this point is reached, you will believe your happiness depends on being right. But this much reason have you now attained; you would be better off if you were wrong.
(6) This tiny grain of wisdom will suffice to take you further. You are not coerced, but merely hope to get a thing you want. And you can say in perfect honesty,
Now you have changed your mind about the day, and have remembered what you really want. Its purpose has no longer been obscured by the insane belief you want it for the goal of being right when you are wrong. Thus is the readiness for asking brought to your awareness, for you cannot be in conflict when you ask for what you want, and see that it is this for which you ask.
(7) This final step is but acknowledgement of lack of opposition to be helped. It is a statement of an open mind, not certain yet, but willing to be shown:
Thus you now can ask a question that makes sense, and so the answer will make sense as well. Nor will you fight against it, for you see that it is you who will be helped by it.
It must be clear that it is easier to have a happy day if you prevent unhappiness from entering at all. But this takes practise in the rules that will protect you from the ravages of fear. When this has been achieved, the sorry dream of judgement has forever been undone. But meanwhile, you have need for practising the rules for its undoing . Let us, then, consider once again the very first of the decisions which are offered here.
We said you can begin a happy day with the determination not to make decisions by yourself. This seems to be a real decision in itself. And yet, you cannot make decisions by yourself. The only question really is with what you choose to make them. That is really all. The first rule, then, is not coercion, but a simple statement of a simple fact. You will not make decisions by yourself whatever you decide. For they are made with idols or with God. And you ask help of anti-Christ or Christ, and which you choose will join with you and tell you what to do.
Your day is not at random. It is set by what you choose to live it with, and how the friend whose counsel you have sought perceives your happiness. You always ask advice before you can decide on anything. Let this be understood, and you can see there cannot be coercion here, nor grounds for opposition that you may be free. There is no freedom from what must occur. And if you think there is, you must be wrong.
The second rule as well is but a fact. For you and your adviser must agree on what you want before it can occur. It is but this agreement that permits all things to happen. Nothing can be caused without some form of union, be it with a dream of judgement or the Voice for God. Decisions cause results because they are not made in isolation. They are made by you and your adviser, for yourself and for the world as well. The day you want you offer to the world, for it will be what you have asked for, and will reinforce the rule of your adviser in the world. Whose kingdom is the world for you today? What kind of day will you decide to have?
It needs but two who would have happiness this day to promise it to all the world. It needs but two to understand that they cannot decide alone, to guarantee the joy they asked for will be wholly shared. For they have understood the basic law that makes decision powerful, and gives it all effects that it will ever have. It needs but two. These two are joined before there can be a decision. Let this be the one reminder that you keep in mind, and you will have the day you want, and give it to the world by having it yourself. Your judgement has been lifted from the world by your decision for a happy day. And as you have received, so must you give.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 6
I am in danger nowhere in the world.
Your Son is safe wherever he may be, for You are there with him. He need but call upon Your Name, and he will recollect his safety and Your Love, for they are one. How can he fear or doubt or fail to know he cannot suffer, be endangered, or experience unhappiness, when he belongs to You, beloved and loving, in the safety of Your Fatherly embrace?
And there we are in truth. No storms can come into the hallowed haven of our home. In God we are secure. For what can come to threaten God Himself, or make afraid what will forever be a part of Him?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) What should one say to a stranger, family member, or friend who asks what A Course in Miracles is?
A) Basically, there is no wrong or right way to answer this question, whether it be a stranger, family member, or friend that is asking about the Course. Ultimately, everyone must go within and try to get the ego self out of the way, and then ask for help in how to respond. Specifically, one should pay careful attention to any of the various forms of ego specialness that would interfere in speaking to others about A Course in Miracles. These include: 1) feeling oneself to be important because one is associated with such a spiritually advanced teaching that comes from Jesus himself, and therefore one wants the listeners to be impressed, if not depressed because they are not Course students; 2) discomfort related to the figure of Jesus, both as the author of A Course in Miracles as well as its central figure; and 3) discomfort related to the Course itself — its religious and distinctively Christian and patriarchal language, not to mention its radical teachings which include the key metaphysical principle that God did not create the physical or material universe.
Therefore, while there are no correct or incorrect words to use in talking about A Course in Miracles, there is a correct way to proceed. And this entails asking Jesus or the Holy Spirit for help in getting one’s ego out of the way so that the most loving words will flow through us. In truly letting Them be the Guides for speaking, one can be sure that the Course’s integrity will be maintained, and at the same time one is free to be sensitive to the needs and level of understanding of the person being spoken to. Here, as elsewhere, we can see that the process is always the same, regardless of the specific situation. That is why Jesus repeatedly speaks of his Course as being simple.