ACIM Text Reading for June 8
Chapter 18 ~ The Passing of the Dream
V. The Happy Dream
Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was. If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. The holy instant, the holy relationship, the Holy Spirit’s teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished, would have no purpose. For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge. Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.
Never approach the holy instant after you have tried to remove all fear and hatred from your mind. That is its function. Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit’s help. That is His function. Your part is only to offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred, and to be forgiven. On your little faith, joined with His understanding, He will build your part in the Atonement and make sure that you fulfil it easily. And with Him, you will build a ladder planted in the solid rock of faith, and rising even to Heaven. Nor will you use it to ascend to Heaven alone.
Through your holy relationship, reborn and blessed in every holy instant you do not arrange, thousands will rise to Heaven with you. Can you plan for this? Or could you prepare yourself for such a function? Yet it is possible, because God wills it. Nor will He change His Mind about it. The means and purpose both belong to Him. You have accepted one; the other will be provided. A purpose such as this, without the means, is inconceivable. He will provide the means to anyone who shares His purpose.
Happy dreams come true, not because they are dreams, but only because they are happy. And so they must be loving. Their message is, ‘Thy Will be done’, and not, ‘I want it otherwise’. The alignment of means and purpose is an undertaking impossible for you to understand. You do not even realise you have accepted the Holy Spirit’s purpose as your own, and you would merely bring unholy means to its accomplishment. The little faith it needed to change the purpose is all that is required to receive the means and use them.
It is no dream to love your brother as yourself. Nor is your holy relationship a dream. All that remains of dreams within it is that it is still a special relationship. Yet it is very useful to the Holy Spirit, Who has a special function here. It will become the happy dream through which He can spread joy to thousands on thousands who believe that love is fear, not happiness. Let Him fulfil the function that He gave to your relationship by accepting it for you, and nothing will be wanting that would make of it what He would have it be.
When you feel the holiness of your relationship is threatened by anything, stop instantly and offer the Holy Spirit your willingness, in spite of fear, to let Him exchange this instant for the holy one that you would rather have. He will never fail in this. But forget not that your relationship is one, and so it must be that whatever threatens the peace of one is an equal threat to the other. The power of joining its blessing lies in the fact that it is now impossible for you or your brother to experience fear alone, or to attempt to deal with it alone. Never believe that this is necessary, or even possible. Yet just as this is impossible, so is it equally impossible that the holy instant come to either of you without the other. And it will come to both at the request of either.
Whoever is saner at the time the threat is perceived should remember how deep is his indebtedness to the other and how much gratitude is due him, and be glad that he can pay his debt by bringing happiness to both. Let him remember this, and say:
Workbook Lesson for June 8
I among the ministers of God.
1. Let us today be neither arrogant nor falsely humble. We have gone beyond such foolishness. We cannot judge ourselves, nor need we do so. These are but attempts to hold decision off, and to delay commitment to our function. It is not our part to judge our worth, nor can we know what role is best for us; what we can do within a larger plan we cannot see in its entirety. Our part is cast in Heaven, not in hell. And what we think is weakness can be strength; what we believe to be our strength is often arrogance.
2. Whatever your appointed role may be, it was selected by the Voice for God, Whose function is to speak for you as well. Seeing your strengths exactly as they are, and equally aware of where they can be best applied, for what, to whom and when, He chooses and accepts your part for you. He does not work without your own consent. But He is not deceived in what you are, and listens only to His Voice in you.
3. It is through His ability to hear one Voice which is His Own that you become aware at last there is one Voice in you. And that one Voice appoints your function, and relays it to you, giving you the strength to understand it, do what it entails, and to succeed in everything you do that is related to it. God has joined His Son in this, and thus His Son becomes His messenger of unity with Him.
4. It is this joining, through the Voice for God, of Father and of Son, that sets apart salvation from the world. It is this Voice which speaks of laws the world does not obey; which promises salvation from all sin, with guilt abolished in the mind that God created sinless. Now this mind becomes aware again of Who created it, and of His lasting union with itself. So is its Self the one reality in which its will and that of God are joined.
5. A messenger is not the one who writes the message he delivers. Nor does he question the right of him who does, nor ask why he has chosen those who will receive the message that he brings. It is enough that he accept it, give it to the ones for whom it is intended, and fulfill his role in its delivery. If he determines what the messages should be, or what their purpose is, or where they should be carried, he is failing to perform his proper part as bringer of the Word.
6. There is one major difference in the role of Heaven’s messengers, which sets them off from those the world appoints. The messages that they deliver are intended first for them. And it is only as they can accept them for themselves that they become able to bring them further, and to give them everywhere that they were meant to be. Like earthly messengers, they did not write the messages they bear, but they become their first receivers in the truest sense, receiving to prepare themselves to give.
7. An earthly messenger fulfills his role by giving all his messages away. The messengers of God perform their part by their acceptance of His messages as for themselves, and show they understand the messages by giving them away. They choose no roles that are not given them by His authority. And so they gain by every message that they give away.
8. Would you receive the messages of God? For thus do you become His messenger. You are appointed now. And yet you wait to give the messages you have received. And so you do not know that they are yours, and do not recognize them. No one can receive and understand he has received until he gives. For in the giving is his own acceptance of what he received.
9. You who are now the messenger of God, receive His messages. For that is part of your appointed role. God has not failed to offer what you need, nor has it been left unaccepted. Yet another part of your appointed task is yet to be accomplished. He Who has received for you the messages of God would have them be received by you as well. For thus do you identify with Him and claim your own.
10. It is this joining that we undertake to recognize today. We will not seek to keep our minds apart from Him Who speaks for us, for it is but our voice we hear as we attend Him. He alone can speak to us and for us, joining in one Voice the getting and the giving of God’s Word; the giving and receiving of His Will.
11. We practice giving Him what He would have, that we may recognize His gifts to us. He needs our voice that He may speak through us. He needs our hands to hold His messages, and carry them to those whom He appoints. He needs our feet to bring us where He wills, that those who wait in misery may be at last delivered. And He needs our will united with His Own, that we may be the true receivers of the gifts He gives.
12. Let us but learn this lesson for today: We will not recognize what we receive until we give it. You have heard this said a hundred ways, a hundred times, and yet belief is lacking still. But this is sure; until belief is given it, you will receive a thousand miracles and then receive a thousand more, but will not know that God Himself has left no gift beyond what you already have; nor has denied the tiniest of blessings to His Son. What can this mean to you, until you have identified with Him and with His Own?
13. Our lesson for today is stated thus:
I am among the ministers of God, and I am grateful that I have the means by which to recognize that I am free.
14. The world recedes as we light up our minds, and realize these holy words are true. They are the message sent to us today from our Creator. Now we demonstrate how they have changed our minds about ourselves, and what our function is. For as we prove that we accept no will we do not share, our many gifts from our Creator will spring to our sight and leap into our hands, and we will recognize what we received.
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 this is 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.