ACIM Reading for December 26
The Song of Prayer
3.- II. False vs: True Healing1. False healing merely makes a poor exchange of one illusion for a “nicer” one; a dream of sickness for a dream of health. This can occur at lower forms of prayer, combining with forgiveness kindly meant but not completely understood as yet. Only false healing can give way to fear, so sickness will be free to strike again. False healing can indeed remove a form of pain and sickness. But the cause remains, and will not lack effects. The cause is still the wish to die and overcome the Christ. And with this wish is death a certainty, for prayer is answered. Yet there is a kind of seeming death that has a different source. It does not come because of hurtful thoughts and raging anger at the universe. It merely signifies the end has come for usefulness of body functioning. And so it is discarded as a choice, as one lays by a garment now outworn.
2. This is what death should be; a quiet choice, made joyfully and with a sense of peace, because the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. We thank the body, then, for all the service it has given us. But we are thankful, too, the need is done to walk the world of limits, and to reach the Christ in hidden forms and clearly seen at most in lovely flashes. Now we can behold Him without blinders, in the light that we have learned to look upon again.
3. We call it death, but it is liberty. It does not come in forms that seem to be thrust down in pain upon unwilling flesh, but as a gentle welcome to release. If there has been true healing, this can be the form in which death comes when it is time to rest a while from labor gladly done and gladly ended. Now we go in peace to freer air and gentler climate, where it is not hard to see the gifts we gave were saved for us. For Christ is clearer now; His vision more sustained in us; His Voice, the Word of God, more certainly our own.
4. This gentle passage to a higher prayer, a kind forgiveness of the ways of earth, can only be received with thankfulness. Yet first true healing must have come to bless the mind with loving pardon for the sins it dreamed about and laid upon the world. Now are its dreams dispelled in quiet rest. Now its forgiveness comes to heal the world and it is ready to depart in peace, the journey over and the lessons learned.
5. This is not death according to the world, for death is cruel in its frightened eyes and takes the form of punishment for sin. How could it be a blessing, then? And how could it be welcome when it must be feared? What healing has occurred in such a view of what is merely opening the gate to higher prayer and kindly justice done? Death is reward and not a punishment. But such a viewpoint must be fostered by the healing that the world cannot conceive. There is no partial healing. What but shifts illusions has done nothing. What is false cannot be partly true. If you are healed your healing is complete. Forgiveness is the only gift you give and would receive.
6. False healing rests upon the body’s cure, leaving the cause of illness still unchanged, ready to strike again until it brings a cruel death in seeming victory. It can be held at bay a little while, and there can be brief respite as it waits to take its vengeance on the Son of God. Yet it cannot be overcome until all faith in it has been laid by, and placed upon God’s substitute for evil dreams; a world in which there is no veil of sin to keep it dark and comfortless. At last the gate of Heaven opens and God’s Son is free to enter in the home that stands ready to welcome him, and was prepared before time was and still but waits for him.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for December 26
I gladly make the “sacrifice” of fear.
1. Here is the only “sacrifice” You ask of Your beloved Son; You ask him to give up all suffering, all sense of loss and sadness, all anxiety and doubt, and freely let Your Love come streaming in to his awareness, healing him of pain, and giving him Your Own eternal joy. Such is the “sacrifice” You ask of me, and one I gladly make; the only “cost” of restoration of Your memory to me, for the salvation of the world.
2. And as we pay the debt we owe to truth,—a debt that merely is the letting go of self-deceptions and of images we worshipped falsely—truth returns to us in wholeness and in joy. We are deceived no longer. Love has now returned to our awareness. And we are at peace again, for fear has gone and only love remains.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) What about groups that meet on A Course in Miracles?
A) Let us begin with the statement that there is absolutely nothing in A Course in Miracles about groups, meeting with other people, or joining together on the level of form, etc. The significance of this is that it illustrates how the process of studying the Course occurs on the level of the mind, and is in truth a self-study course, Its emphasis is always on joining with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, in the mind, and asking Their help to perceive differently a seemingly external relationship, or any situation for that matter. This is the meaning of forgiveness. Our experience of being in a body, interacting with other bodies, becomes the classroom in which we ask our Teacher to help us change our minds. The only joining then that is truly meaningful is with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, and that should always and only be the Course student’s focus, what in the text is referred to as “The Greater Joining” (T-28.IV). Since, as is stated in the section with that title, the Holy Spirit is in all the minds of the separated Sons, by joining with Him — which, again, is the true meaning of forgiveness — one has already joined with everyone. The actual words from the text are:
The Holy Spirit is in both your minds [you and your brother], and He is One because there is no gap that separates His Oneness from Itself. The gap between your bodies matters not, for what is joined in Him is always one (T-28.IV.7:1-2).
Thus it is irrelevant for the purposes of forgiveness that there be or not be a “gap between bodies.” We are already joined. Forgiveness undoes the seeming gap that exists between our minds, and returns to our awareness the fact of our oneness with each other and with our Source.
All too often students of A Course in Miracles forget this greater joining, and because of the good feeling that so often comes from externally being with others, they feel that thisis what Jesus is talking about when he discusses joining. In truth, however, his focus is always on the removal of the barriers of specialness that we have placed between ourselves and others. And these barriers are always thoughts within our wrong minds, as the Holy Spirit is a Thought within our right minds. And so our attention should always be placed on bringing the ego’s thoughts of specialness to the Holy Spirit’s thoughts of forgiveness — once again, within the mind. Only then can we be sure that our external joining with others is truly of Him and not the ego.
Certainly, there can nothing wrong with any student of A Course in Miracles joining externally with other students. However, the focus of Course students cannot be behavior, but always the inner teacher whom we choose to guide our behavior. Therefore, the bottom line is to try as best as possible to have our actions — whether they involve studying the Course, or anything else — originate in the sincere attempt to bring our ego involvement to Jesus before engaging in the activity.
If students feel led to be a part of some sort of Course group or organization, they should always be vigilant that such involvement does not become a substitute for their own individual work — study and practice — with the material itself. Otherwise, they will easily fall into the lap of specialness, which can be defined, as we saw earlier, as using anything as a substitute for the Love of God. To make our opening point again, there is a reason for Jesus saying nothing at all in the Course about joining together in groups. And students should always be mindful of his sole emphasis in A Course in Miracles, which is on the individual student’s relationship with the Holy Spirit, based upon the willingness to practice forgiveness.