ACIM Text Reading for October 9
Chapter 30 ~ The New Beginning
IV. The Truth Behind Illusions
You will attack what does not satisfy, and thus you will not see you made it up. You always fight illusions. For the truth behind them is so lovely and so still in loving gentleness, were you aware of it you would forget defensiveness entirely, and rush to its embrace. The truth could never be attacked. And this you knew when you made idols. They were made that this might be forgotten. You attack but false ideas, and never truthful ones. All idols are the false ideas you made to fill the gap you think arose between yourself and what is true. And you attack them for the things you think they represent. What lies beyond them cannot be attacked.
The wearying, dissatisfying gods you made are blown-up children’s toys. A child is frightened when a wooden head springs up as a closed box is opened suddenly, or when a soft and silent woolly bear begins to squeak as he takes hold of it. The rules he made for boxes and for bears have failed him, and have broken his ‘control’ of what surrounds him. And he is afraid, because he thought the rules protected him. Now must he learn the boxes and the bears did not deceive him, broke no rules, nor mean his world is made chaotic and unsafe. He was mistaken. He misunderstood what made him safe, and thought that it had left.
The gap that is not there is filled with toys in countless forms. And each one seems to break the rules you set for it. It never was the thing you thought. It must appear to break your rules for safety, since the rules were wrong. But you are not endangered. You can laugh at popping heads and squeaking toys, as does the child who learns they are no threat to him. Yet while he likes to play with them, he still perceives them as obeying rules he made for his enjoyment. So there still are rules that they can seem to break and frighten him. Yet is he at the mercy of his toys? And can they represent a threat to him?
Reality observes the laws of God, and not the rules you set. It is His laws that guarantee your safety. All illusions that you believe about yourself obey no laws. They seem to dance a little while, according to the rules you set for them. But then they fall and cannot rise again. They are but toys, my child, so do not grieve for them. Their dancing never brought you joy. But neither were they things to frighten you, nor make you safe if they obeyed your rules. They must be neither cherished nor attacked, but merely looked upon as children’s toys without a single meaning of their own. See one in them and you will see them all. See none in them and they will touch you not.
Appearances deceive because they are appearances and not reality. Dwell not on them in any form. They but obscure reality, and they bring fear because they hide the truth. Do not attack what you have made to let you be deceived, for thus you prove that you have been deceived. Attack has power to make illusions real. Yet what it makes is nothing. Who could be made fearful by a power that can have no real effects at all? What could it be but an illusion, making things appear like to itself? Look calmly at its toys, and understand that they are idols which but dance to vain desires. Give them not your worship, for they are not there. Yet this is equally forgotten in attack. God’s Son needs no defence against his dreams. His idols do not threaten him at all. His one mistake is that he thinks them real. What can the power of illusions do?
Appearances can but deceive the mind that wants to be deceived. And you can make a simple choice that will forever place you far beyond deception. You need not concern yourself with how this will be done, for this you cannot understand. But you will understand that mighty changes have been quickly brought about, when you decide one very simple thing; you do not want whatever you believe an idol gives. For thus the Son of God declares that he is free of idols. And thus is he free.
Salvation is a paradox indeed! What could it be except a happy dream? It asks you but that you forgive all things that no one ever did; to overlook what is not there, and not to look upon the unreal as reality. You are but asked to let your will be done, and seek no longer for the things you do not want. And you are asked to let yourself be free of all the dreams of what you never were, and seek no more to substitute the strength of idle wishes for the Will of God.
Here does the dream of separation start to fade and disappear. For here the gap that is not there begins to be perceived without the toys of terror that you made. No more than this is asked. Be glad indeed salvation asks so little, not so much. It asks for nothing in reality. And even in illusions it but asks forgiveness be the substitute for fear. Such is the only rule for happy dreams. The gap is emptied of the toys of fear, and then its unreality is plain. Dreams are for nothing. And the Son of God can have no need of them. They offer him no single thing that he could ever want. He is delivered from illusions by his will, and but restored to what he is. What could God’s plan for his salvation be, except a means to give him to Himself?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 9
Without forgiveness I will still be blind.
Sin is the symbol of attack. Behold it anywhere, and I will suffer. For forgiveness is the only means whereby Christ’s vision comes to me. Let me accept what His sight shows me as the simple truth, and I am healed completely. Brother, come and let me look on you. Your loveliness reflects my own. Your sinlessness is mine. You stand forgiven, and I stand with you.
So would I look on everyone today. My brothers are Your Sons. Your Fatherhood created them, and gave them all to me as part of You, and my own Self as well. Today I honor You through them, and thus I hope this day to recognize my Self.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) What did Bill Thetford have to say about the editing of A Course in Miracles?
The question of editing was brought up in an interview with Bill which was published in the October, 1984 issue of New Realities magazine:
New Realities: There has been some speculation that you and Helen edited the Course. Did you?Thetford: No. Bear in mind that at the beginning we didn’t know exactly what was happening. So we asked questions of a personal nature and recorded the answers that Helen would receive. I would type these answers as part of the continuous process, no distinguishing them from the inner dictation that Helen was recording in her shorthand notebook. Later, when we realized that this material was obviously not a part of the Course itself, we did, indeed, delete it. It is true there has been editing of capitalization, punctuation, paragraphing and section titles in the Text. However, these changes were minor and the Workbook and the Manual for Teachers also appear exactly as they were taken down by Helen.
New Realities: Could you give an example of the personal material you deleted?
Thetford: Oh, there were questions like, “Is there anything that we should be doing that would increase our ability to meditate better?” There was also some commentary on psychological theories that got introduced as an intellectual digression at the beginning, which had nothing to do with the Course itself.
New Realities: What’s been the reaction to all of this among your old friends and colleagues? Sympathetic, supportive, dissociative, concerned?
Thetford: I haven’t been in contact with many of them, although the few I have been in touch with are sympathetic to the material. I have no idea what the general reaction among my former colleagues would be, nor have I tried to find out.
However, I’m sure most of them would have thought Helen and me crazy at the time if they had known what we were doing. Bear in mind though, that it all began in 1965, and this is now 1984, when I think there’s a great deal more receptivity to spiritual concepts than there was nineteen years ago. So perhaps it’s really not quite fair to speculate on this now.
New Realities: At the same time you and Helen didn’t show it to anyone then, you kept it hidden and your activities completely secret.
Thetford: Yes. And I certainly would not have shown it to them. I had more sense than that. My assignment as I saw it was to learn the material myself and not confuse my responsibilities at the Medical Center with our transcription of the Course.
But as I’ve said, this is another, much brighter day.
New Realities: What do you now think about all of this, the fact that you were a special integral part of what some prominent people have referred to A Course In Miracles as one of the most important documents of the century?
Thetford: Quite frankly, Helen and I had no intention of publishing the Course when we were transcribing it. Quite the contrary. The material seemed specifically for our spiritual education. We regarded it as our “guilty secret,” something we were committed to doing, but at that time there was no indication we were supposed to share it with others.
When we did agree to have it published anonymously, I thought very few people would be interested in changing their perceptions through the methods suggested by the Course—I thought it was too difficult. Certainly in my lifetime, I never expected that thousands of people would regard the Course as their map home.4