ACIM Reading for November 16
Manual for Teachers
26. CAN GOD BE REACHED DIRECTLY?
God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son. His awareness is in everyone’s memory, and His Word is written on everyone’s heart. Yet this awareness and this memory can arise across the threshold of recognition only where all barriers to truth have been removed. In how many is this the case? Here, then, is the role of God’s teachers. They, too, have not attained the necessary understanding as yet, but they have joined with others. This is what sets them apart from the world. And it is this that enables others to leave the world with them. Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the power of God.
There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognised and overlooked by them. The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile, they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their Name and in no other.
Sometimes a teacher of God may have a brief experience of direct union with God. In this world, it is almost impossible that this endure. It can, perhaps, be won after much devotion and dedication, and then be maintained for much of the time on earth. But this is so rare that it cannot be considered a realistic goal. If it happens, so be it. If it does not happen, so be it as well. All worldly states must be illusory. If God were reached directly in sustained awareness, the body would not be long maintained. Those who have laid the body down merely to extend their helpfulness to those remaining behind are few indeed. And they need helpers who are still in bondage and still asleep, so that by their awakening can God’s Voice be heard.
Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them. If you would be heard by those who suffer, you must speak their language. If you would be a saviour, you must understand what needs to be escaped. Salvation is not theoretical. Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes. Nor will its coming be long delayed. All the help you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met. Let us not, then, be too concerned with goals for which you are not ready. God takes you where you are and welcomes you. What more could you desire, when this is all you need?
ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 16
You are my goal, my Father. Only You.
Where would I go but Heaven? What could be a substitute for happiness? What gift could I prefer before the peace of God? What treasure would I seek and find and keep that can compare with my Identity? And would I rather live with fear than love?
You are my goal, my Father. What but You could I desire to have? What way but that which leads to You could I desire to walk? And what except the memory of You could signify to me the end of dreams and futile substitutions for the truth? You are my only goal. Your Son would be as You created him. What way but this could I expect to recognize my Self, and be at one with my Identity?
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) A Course in Miracles teaches that anger is never justified. Does this mean I should never get angry, and that if I do, I am not being a good Course student or am not being spiritual enough?
A) Jesus does in fact explicitly state in two places that anger (or attack) is never justified. In the introduction to his discussion of the crucifixion, he states:
Anger always involves projection of separation, which must ultimately be accepted as one’s own responsibility, rather than being blamed on others …. You cannot beattacked, attack has no justification, and you are responsible for what you believe (T-6.in.1:2,7).
And later in the text, discussing why forgiveness is always justified, Jesus teaches:
Anger is never justified. Attack has no foundation. It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. Here is the real world given in exchange for dreams of terror. For it is on this forgiveness rests, and is but natural (T-30.VI.1:1-5).
Our answer here directly follows the discussion of the previous question, and goes to the heart of one’s practice of A Course in Miracles. Jesus is not asking his students to be perfect; if they were, or even wanted to be, then they would have remained in Heaven — the only home of perfection — or would already have returned. The fact that students have need of A Course in Miracles is witnessing to their belief in the reality of imperfection. And imperfect people become angry and seek to avoid responsibility for their own choices. One can indeed say that the core thought of everyone’s ego is to keep the individuality and specialness it believed it stole from God, but to avoid responsibility for it. Therefore, this avoidance can only occur by people blaming another for what they secretly believe they did, and thus attacking someone else for their sin.
Jesus’ purpose in the Course is to help his students accept responsibility for their projections onto others. It would be most unrealistic of him to expect his students to have no attack thoughts, but it is a most reasonable goal to ask that students at least be aware of their egos’ attempts to deny responsibility for being upset. Therefore, becoming angry does not mean one is not a good Course student, but becoming a “good” one means learning — or even being willing to learn — to be responsible for one’s angry perceptions of others, and to be aware of one’s own guilt over separation from the Love of God and the loving guidance of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. “Good” students thus would never seek to justify their angry thoughts or feelings; at the same time they would not be denying that they have them. This honesty allows Jesus or the Holy Spirit to help them change their minds, if they so choose. This is the gentle and loving way of understanding Jesus’ statements in the text that we quoted above.