ACIM Text Reading for April 16
Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World
II. The Guiltless Son of God
The ultimate purpose of projection is always to get rid of guilt. Yet, characteristically, the ego attempts to get rid of guilt from its viewpoint only, for much as the ego wants to retain guilt you find it intolerable, since guilt stands in the way of your remembering God, Whose pull is so strong that you cannot resist it. On this issue, then, the deepest split of all occurs, for if you are to retain guilt, as the ego insists, you cannot be you. Only by persuading you that it is you could the ego possibly induce you to project guilt, and thereby keep it in your mind.
Yet consider how strange a solution the ego’s arrangement is. You project guilt to get rid of it, but you are actually merely concealing it. You do experience the guilt, but you have no idea why. On the contrary, you associate it with a weird assortment of ‘ego ideals’, which the ego claims you have failed. Yet you have no idea that you are failing the Son of God by seeing him as guilty. Believing you are no longer you, you do not realise that you are failing yourself.
The darkest of your hidden cornerstones holds your belief in guilt from your awareness. For in that dark and secret place is the realisation that you have betrayed God’s Son by condemning him to death. You do not even suspect this murderous but insane idea lies hidden there, for the ego’s destructive urge is so intense that nothing short of the crucifixion of God’s Son can ultimately satisfy it. It does not know who the Son of God is because it is blind. Yet let it perceive guiltlessness anywhere, and it will try to destroy it because it is afraid.
Much of the ego’s strange behaviour is directly attributable to its definition of guilt. To the ego, the guiltless are guilty. Those who do not attack are its ‘enemies’ because, by not valuing its interpretation of salvation, they are in an excellent position to let it go. They have approached the darkest and deepest cornerstone in the ego’s foundation, and while the ego can withstand your raising all else to question, it guards this one secret with its life, for its existence depends on keeping this secret. So it is this secret that we must look upon, for the ego cannot protect you against truth, and in its presence the ego is dispelled.
In the calm light of truth, let us recognise that you believe you have crucified God’s Son. You have not admitted to this ‘terrible’ secret because you would still wish to crucify him if you could find him. Yet the wish has hidden him from you because it is very fearful, and so you are afraid to find him. You have handled this wish to kill yourself by not knowing who you are, and identifying with something else. You have projected guilt blindly and indiscriminately, but you have not uncovered its source. For the ego does want to kill you, and if you identify with it you must believe its goal is yours.
I have said that the crucifixion is the symbol of the ego. When it was confronted with the real guiltlessness of God’s Son it did attempt to kill him, and the reason it gave was that guiltlessness is blasphemous to God. To the ego, the ego is God, and guiltlessness must be interpreted as the final guilt that fully justifies murder. You do not yet understand that any fear you may experience in connection with this course stems ultimately from this interpretation, but if you will consider your reactions to it you will become increasingly convinced that this is so.
This course has explicitly stated that its goal for you is happiness and peace. Yet you are afraid of it. You have been told again and again that it will set you free, yet you sometimes react as if it is trying to imprison you. You often dismiss it more readily than you dismiss the ego’s thought system. To some extent, then, you must believe that by not learning the course you are protecting yourself. And you do not realise that it is only your guiltlessness that can protect you.
The Atonement has always been interpreted as the release from guilt, and this is correct if it is understood. Yet even when I interpret it for you, you may reject it and do not accept it for yourself. You have perhaps recognised the futility of the ego and its offerings, but though you do not want them, you may not yet look upon the alternative with gladness. In the extreme, you are afraid of redemption and you believe it will kill you. Make no mistake about the depth of this fear. For you believe that, in the presence of truth you might turn on yourself and destroy yourself.
Little child, this is not so. Your ‘guilty secret’ is nothing, and if you will but bring it to the light, the Light will dispel it. And then no dark cloud will remain between you and the remembrance of your Father, for you will remember His guiltless Son, who did not die because he is immortal. And you will see that you were redeemed with him, and have never been separated from him. In this understanding lies your remembering, for it is the recognition of love without fear. There will be great joy in Heaven on your homecoming, and the joy will be yours. For the redeemed son of man is the guiltless Son of God, and to recognise him is your redemption.
ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 16
I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
1. Today’s idea continues with the thought that joy and peace are not but idle dreams. They are your right, because of what you are. They come to you from God, Who cannot fail to give you what He wills. Yet must there be a place made ready to receive His gifts. They are not welcomed gladly by a mind that has instead received the gifts it made where His belong, as substitutes for them.
2. Today we would remove all meaningless and self-made gifts which we have placed upon the holy altar where God’s gifts belong. His are the gifts that are our own in truth. His are the gifts that we inherited before time was, and that will still be ours when time has passed into eternity. His are the gifts that are within us now, for they are timeless. And we need not wait to have them. They belong to us today.
3. Therefore, we choose to have them now, and know, in choosing them in place of what we made, we but unite our will with what God wills, and recognize the same as being one. Our longer practice periods today, the hourly five minutes given truth for your salvation, should begin with this:
I seek but what belongs to me in truth,
And joy and peace are my inheritance.
Then lay aside the conflicts of the world that offer other gifts and other goals made of illusions, witnessed to by them, and sought for only in a world of dreams.
4. All this we lay aside, and seek instead that which is truly ours, as we ask to recognize what God has given us. We clear a holy place within our minds before His altar, where His gifts of peace and joy are welcome, and to which we come to find what has been given us by Him. We come in confidence today, aware that what belongs to us in truth is what He gives. And we would wish for nothing else, for nothing else belongs to us in truth.
5. So do we clear the way for Him today by simply recognizing that His Will is done already, and that joy and peace belong to us as His eternal gifts. We will not let ourselves lose sight of them between the times we come to seek for them where He has laid them. This reminder will we bring to mind as often as we can:
I seek but what belongs to me in truth.
God’s gifts of joy and peace are all I want.
ACIM Q & A for Today
Q) A Course in Miracles teaches that all has already happened. Isn’t this the same as predestination?
A) The traditional understanding of predestination, stemming from John Calvin, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, is that from the beginning of time God had chosen (predestined) those to be saved (the “elect”) and those to be punished (the “sinners”) in the future. And this decision was irrevocable and unchangeable.
The view of A Course in Miracles is that yes, everything has already happened — and in that sense the drama of the world is irrevocable (“the script is written”) — but this includesboth the ego’s script and the Holy Spirit’s correction for it. To re-quote an important passage:
God gave His Teacher to replace the one you made …. And what He would replace has been replaced. Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time past, and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made. The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first
Therefore, in A Course in Miracles, the agent of predestination is the “decision maker,” not God, for it is this aspect of the tri-partite or split mind that has authored the scripts of our lives in the physical universe. However, this same split mind has the capacity, through the “decision maker,” to choose at any given instant which teacher — the ego or Jesus — will guide us as we “review mentally” the scripts that have “already gone by.” The “we,” to make the point once again, is not the self we call ourselves by name, but rather the “decision maker” in our minds — outside time and space, and outside the ancient ego script. And here the choice is certainly not predestined. It is thus clear that the Course’s statement “the script is written” is not to be understood temporally at all, while the traditional view of predestination is, for it is based upon a decision made by God in the past, which will inevitably be carried out in the future.