A Course in Miracles Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for May 3, 2019

ACIM Text Reading for May 3

Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth

VIII. The Holy Meeting Place

In the darkness you have obscured the glory God gave you, and the power He bestowed upon His guiltless Son. All this lies hidden in every darkened place, shrouded in guilt and in the dark denial of innocence. Behind the dark doors you have closed lies nothing, because nothing can obscure the gift of God. It is the closing of the doors that interferes with recognition of the power of God that shines in you. Banish not power from your mind, but let all that would hide your glory be brought to the judgement of the Holy Spirit, and there undone. Whom He would save for glory is saved for it. He has promised the Father that through Him you would be released from littleness to glory. To what He promised God He is wholly faithful, for He shares with God the promise that was given Him to share with you.

He shares it still, for you. Everything that promises otherwise, great or small, however much or little valued, He will replace with the one promise given unto Him to lay upon the altar to your Father and His Son. No altar stands to God without His Son. And nothing brought there that is not equally worthy of both, but will be replaced by gifts wholly acceptable to Father and to Son. Can you offer guilt to God? You cannot, then, offer it to His Son. For they are not apart, and gifts to one are offered to the other. You know not God because you know not this. And yet you do know God and also this. All this is safe within you, where the Holy Spirit shines. He shines not in division, but in the meeting place where God, united with His Son, speaks to His Son through Him. Communication between what cannot be divided cannot cease. The holy meeting place of the un-separated Father and His Son lies in the Holy Spirit and in you. All interference in the communication that God Himself wills with His Son is quite impossible here. Unbroken and uninterrupted love flows constantly between the Father and the Son, as both would have it be. And so it is.

Let your mind wander not through darkened corridors, away from light’s centre. You and your brother may choose to lead yourselves astray, but you can be brought together only by the Guide appointed for you. He will surely lead you to where God and His Son await your recognition. They are joined in giving you the gift of oneness, before which all separation vanishes. Unite with what you are. You cannot join with anything except reality. God’s glory and His Son’s belong to you in truth. They have no opposite, and nothing else can you bestow upon yourself.

There is no substitute for truth. And truth will make this plain to you as you are brought into the place where you must meet with truth. And there you must be led, through gentle understanding which can lead you nowhere else. Where God is, there are you. Such is the truth. Nothing can change the knowledge, given you by God, into unknowingness. Everything God created knows its Creator. For this is how creation is accomplished by the Creator and by His creations. In the holy meeting place are joined the Father and His creations, and the creations of His Son with Them together. There is one link that joins them all together, holding them in the oneness out of which creation happens.

The link with which the Father joins Himself to those He gives the power to create can never be dissolved. Heaven itself is union with all of creation, and with its one Creator. And Heaven remains the Will of God for you. Lay no gifts other than this upon your altars, for nothing can coexist with it. Here your little offerings are brought together with the gift of God, and only what is worthy of the Father will be accepted by the Son, for whom it is intended. To whom God gives Himself, He is given. Your little gifts will vanish on the altar, where He has placed His Own.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 3

Lesson 120

For morning and evening review:

1. (109I rest in God.

I rest in God today, and let Him work in me and through me, while I rest in Him in quiet and in perfect certainty.

2. (110I am as God created me.

I am God’s Son. Today I lay aside all sick illusions of myself, and let my Father tell me Who I really am.

3. On the hour:
I rest in God.

On the half hour:
I am as God created me.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q) What happens when we die, and where do we go? Are the near-death experiences that many people report relevant to students of A Course in Miracles?

A) The “transition” to death can be likened to the following: 1) shifting from one sleeping dream to another; 2) completing the viewing of one video tape and beginning another; 3) changing channels from one television station to another at the completion of a program, or even before its completion if one so chooses; or finally 4) leaving one room and going into another, as was taught by the great 19th-century Indian sage Ramakrishna.  Since consciousness is inherent in the split mind, and not found in the brain or body (although it is experienced there), physical death is but an illusion of an end to one’s mental state, which is retained at death. Despite this thought of separation being projected onto the body, it still remains within its source: the wrong mind. Therefore, one does not go anywhere at death. Returning to the analogy of changing television channels, one physically remains in the living room chair, even though one’s attention has shifted from the location seen on one television channel to another.

Moreover, it is important to realize that what we call death does not bring about a state of enlightenment or peace. If one does not complete the letting go of the ego’s thought system in its entirety, thereby letting go of the wrong mind, enlightenment or resurrection cannot be attainable. In fact, Jesus specifically cautions against such an escapist view of death:

What could you choose between but life or death, waking or sleeping, peace or war, your dreams or your reality? There is a risk of thinking death is peace, because the world equates the body with the Self which God created. Yet a thing can never be its opposite. And death is opposite to peace, because it is the opposite of life. And life is peace. Awaken [the meaning of resurrection] and forget all thoughts of death, and you will find you have the peace of God (T-27.VII.10:1-6; italics ours).

A recent variation of this belief that physical death brings freedom or release from the body is found in many people’s “near-death” experiences, and questions about these experiences often are raised during our classes and workshops. The reports usually include the person’s experience of leaving the body and proceeding through a dark tunnel to a circle or being of light, often identified as Jesus. This all-loving and gentle presence sometimes reviews the life with the person, and then “sends” the person back to complete lessons, accept certain responsibilities, or assume an important function (always a favorite of the ego’s specialness needs).

It is not for anyone to judge these near-death experiences, and it would be foolish to deny the very positive effects such experiences have had for people. However, one cancomment on the “theology” of such experiences and the conclusions drawn from them about the meaning of life, death, and the so-called after-life, or “life after life.”

The reader must keep in mind that A Course in Miracles states quite clearly that the mind is not in the body, though it certainly can appear otherwise. For example, from the workbook:

The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. It cannot change what is its waking state.  It cannot make a body, nor abide within a body. What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source….What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. When the mind elects to be what it is not [the body], and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state [the body] it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while. It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was (W-pI.167.6:1-4; 9; italics ours).

And from “Beyond the Body” in the text:

The home of vengeance [the body] is not yours; the place you set aside to house your hate is not a prison, but an illusion of yourself. The body is a limit imposed on the universal communication that is an eternal property of mind. But the communication is internal. Mind reaches to itself. It is not made up of different parts, which reach each other. It does not go out. Within itself it has no limits, and there is nothing outside it. It encompasses everything.  It encompasses you entirely; you within it and it within you. There is nothing else, anywhere or ever (T-I 8.VI.8:2-11; italics ours in sentences 5,7).

Therefore, when we consider such near-death experiences from the perspective of A Course in Miracles, we can see that they make no sense on the level of form. How can one leave one’s body, travel through a tunnel, and greet a great light, if one were never in the body in the first place? Remember that the self remains in the mind and not the body, just as a dreamer’s self is not in the dream, though parts of this self are reflected there. Again, this is not to deny or invalidate a personal experience, but it is to say that however valid an experience is for the person, the interpretation is purely subjective and should not be taken for “objective” truth. For example, everyone experiences the sun as rising and setting every day, and many people report very significant aesthetic and even spiritual feelings associated with sunrises and sunsets. And yet, we know scientifically that the sun does not rise or set, but rather it is the earth that does the movement: rotating on its axis and revolving around the sun. The experience is contrary to the true explanation. Similarly, we all experience the earth as flat as we go through our daily lives, even though we understand intellectually that it is round. And so, one’s experience of a near-death occurrence, or of a place to which one goes upon death (or near death) does not necessarily mean that what is understood as the experience is what truly is.  And again, when one looks at such experiences through the lens of A Course in Miracles, one would understand them quite differently: expressions of forgiveness that were projected from the mind onto the body and its world of life, death, and near death.

As we have seen, therefore, there cannot in truth be an out-of-body experience since the mind is never in the body to begin with. And so the mind cannot leave the body, travel through a tunnel, and meet with Jesus after having left the body. Moreover, there is a danger in believing this way, because it strongly suggests — as do many people who have had such an experience — that such peace, joy, and happiness can only come to a person after having “died” and left the body. The whole focus of A Course in Miracles is on choosing and having a holy instant right now, on choosing Jesus or the Holy Spirit instead of the ego. One does not have to die to go to Heaven, since Heaven is an awareness of perfect Oneness, within the mind, and nothing else besides that. The wonderful experience of forgiveness that is frequently reported can be had in a holy instant, again, without having left the body, going through a tunnel, etc. Holding up near-death experiences to be idealized and sought for (as was depicted in the popular movie Flatliners) actually serves well the ego’s fundamental strategy of first making the body real, and then turning it into a repulsive thing. This sets up a situation in which people would wish to be free of its prison of darkness, yearning to escape into the non-corporeal light. And all the while, the ego’s thought system of separation, guilt, and specialness nestles comfortably in the mind, protected by the belief that there is indeed a body that is real, and one that truly exists in the physical world.

Thus, believing in the reality of such experiences is the very compromise with truth — giving light and darkness equal power and reality — that Jesus cautions against in A Course in Miracles. We see a clear statement of such a caution in the section on death in the manual for teachers, and we quote from this extremely important passage now. It begins with a reference to the standard religious belief that upon death the soul is freed to return to God, or to continue on its journey as in the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. However, the contemporary interest in near-death experiences, as we have just seen, falls into the same category of not recognizing the illusory nature of the entire physical universe and of individual existence — body, mind, and what is mistakenly referred to as “spirit”:

The curious belief that there is part of dying things [i.e., a soul, or “life force”] that may go on apart from what will die, does not proclaim a loving God nor re-establish any grounds for trust. If death is real for anything, there is no life.  Death denies life. But if there is reality in life, death is denied. No compromise in this is possible. There is either a god of fear or One of Love. The world attempts a thousand compromises, and will attempt a thousand more. Not one can be acceptable to God’s teachers, because not one could be acceptable to God. He did not make death because He did not make fear. Both are equally meaningless to Him.The “reality” of death is firmly rooted in the belief that God’s Son is a body. And if God created bodies, death would indeed be real. But God would not be loving. There is no point at which the contrast between the perception of the real world and that of the world of illusions becomes more sharply evident….

“And the last to be overcome will be death” [the famous statement of St. Paul from his first letter to the Corinthians, 15:26]. Of course! Without the idea of death there is no world. All dreams will end with this one. This is salvation’s final goal; the end of all illusions.  And in death are all illusions born. What can be born of death and still have life? But what is born of God and still can die? The inconsistencies, the compromises and the rituals the world fosters in its vain attempts to cling to death and yet to think love real are mindless magic, ineffectual and meaningless. God is, and in Him all created things must be eternal.  Do you not see that otherwise He has an opposite, and fear would be as real as love?

Teacher of God, your one assignment could be stated thus: Accept no compromise in which death plays a part. Do not believe in cruelty, nor let attack conceal the truth from you. What seems to die [the body that had been “alive”] has but been misperceived and carried to illusion. Now it becomes your task to let the illusion be carried to the truth. Be steadfast but in this; be not deceived by the “reality” of any changing form. Truth neither moves nor wavers nor sinks down to death and dissolution, And what is the end of death? Nothing but this; the realization that the Son of God is guiltless now and forever. Nothing but this. But do not let yourself forget it is not less than this (M-27.4:1-5:4; 6-7; italics ours).

In conclusion, therefore, we can understand that anything that seems to live and then die, that changes, grows, and subsequently deteriorates, or that appears to be separate from others, cannot be of God and therefore cannot be real. And so all categories that relate to bodies in any way — including death and near death — have no true meaning because they do not truly exist. Their only meaning within the illusion comes in their serving as classrooms in which we learn the lesson of discerning between the meaningless and the meaningful.

secret of salvation

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A Course in Miracles Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for April 21, 2019

ACIM Text Reading for April 21

Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World

VII. Attainment of the Real World

Sit quietly and look upon the world you see, and tell yourself: ‘The real world is not like this. It has no buildings and there are no streets where people walk alone and separate. There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim. There is no loss. Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever’.

The world you see must be denied, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision. You cannot see both worlds, for each of them involves a different kind of seeing, and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one is possible because you have denied the other. Both are not true, yet either one will seem as real to you as the amount to which you hold it dear. And yet their power is not the same, because their real attraction to you is unequal.

You do not really want the world you see, for it has disappointed you since time began. The homes you built have never sheltered you. The roads you made have led you nowhere, and no city that you built has withstood the crumbling assault of time. Nothing you made but has the mark of death upon it. Hold it not dear, for it is old and tired and ready to return to dust even as you made it. This aching world has not the power to touch the living world at all. You could not give it that, and so although you turn in sadness from it, you cannot find in it the road that leads away from it into another world.

Yet the real world has the power to touch you even here, because you love it. And what you call with love will come to you. Love always answers, being unable to deny a call for help, or not to hear the cries of pain that rise to it from every part of this strange world you made but do not want. All that you need to give this world away in glad exchange for what you did not make is willingness to learn the one you made is false.

You have been wrong about the world because you have misjudged yourself. From such a twisted reference point, what could you see? All seeing starts with the perceiver, who judges what is true and what is false. And what he judges false he does not see. You who would judge reality cannot see it, for whenever judgement enters reality has slipped away. The out of mind is out of sight, because what is denied is there but is not recognised. Christ is still there, although you know Him not. His Being does not depend upon your recognition. He lives within you in the quiet present, and waits for you to leave the past behind and enter into the world He holds out to you in love.

No one in this distracted world but has seen some glimpses of the other world about him. Yet while he still lays value on his own, he will deny the vision of the other, maintaining that he loves what he loves not, and following not the road that love points out. Love leads so gladly! As you follow Him, you will rejoice that you have found His company, and learned of Him the joyful journey home. You wait but for yourself. To give this sad world over and exchange your errors for the peace of God is but your will. And Christ will always offer you the Will of God, in recognition that you share it with Him.

It is God’s Will that nothing touch His Son except Himself, and nothing else comes nigh unto him. He is as safe from pain as God Himself, Who watches over him in everything. The world about him shines with love because God placed him in Himself where pain is not, and love surrounds him without end or flaw. Disturbance of his peace can never be. In perfect sanity he looks on love, for it is all about him and within him. He must deny the world of pain the instant he perceives the arms of love around him. And from this point of safety he looks quietly about him and recognises that the world is one with him.

The peace of God passeth your understanding only in the past. Yet here it is, and you can understand it now. God loves His Son forever, and His Son returns his Father’s Love forever. The real world is the way that leads you to remembrance of the one thing that is wholly true and wholly yours. For all else you have lent yourself in time, and it will fade. But this one thing is always yours, being the gift of God unto His Son. Your one reality was given you, and by it God created you as one with Him.

You will first dream of peace, and then awaken to it. Your first exchange of what you made for what you want is the exchange of nightmares for the happy dreams of love. In these lie your true perceptions, for the Holy Spirit corrects the world of dreams, where all perception is. Knowledge needs no correction. Yet the dreams of love lead unto knowledge. In them you see nothing fearful, and because of this they are the welcome that you offer knowledge. Love waits on welcome, not on time, and the real world is but your welcome of what always was. Therefore the call of joy is in it, and your glad response is your awakening to what you have not lost.

Praise, then, the Father for the perfect sanity of His most holy Son. Your Father knoweth that you have need of nothing. In Heaven this is so, for what could you need in eternity? In your world you do need things. It is a world of scarcity in which you find yourselfbecause you are lacking. Yet can you find yourself in such a world? Without the Holy Spirit the answer would be no. Yet because of Him the answer is a joyous yes! As mediator between the two worlds, He knows what you have need of and what will not hurt you. Ownership is a dangerous concept if it is left to you. The ego wants to have things for salvation, for possession is its law. Possession for its own sake is the ego’s fundamental creed, a basic cornerstone in the churches it builds to itself. And at its altar it demands you lay all of the things it bids you get, leaving you no joy in them.

Everything the ego tells you that you need will hurt you. For although the ego urges you again and again to get, it leaves you nothing, for what you get it will demand of you. And even from the very hands that grasped it, it will be wrenched and hurled into the dust. For where the ego sees salvation it sees separation, and so you lose whatever you have gotten in its name. Therefore ask not of yourself what you need, for you do not know, and your advice to yourself will hurt you. For what you think you need will merely serve to tighten up your world against the light, and render you unwilling to question the value that this world can really hold for you.

Only the Holy Spirit knows what you need. For He will give you all things that do not block the way to light. And what else could you need? In time, He gives you all the things that you need have, and will renew them as long as you have need of them. He will take nothing from you as long as you have any need of it. And yet He knows that everything you need is temporary, and will but last until you step aside from all your needs and realise that all of them have been fulfilled. Therefore He has no investment in the things that He supplies, except to make certain that you will not use them on behalf of lingering in time. He knows that you are not at home there, and He wills no delay to wait upon your joyous homecoming.

Leave, then, your needs to Him. He will supply them with no emphasis at all upon them. What comes to you of Him comes safely, for He will ensure it never can become a dark spot, hidden in your mind and kept to hurt you. Under His guidance you will travel light and journey lightly, for His sight is ever on the journey’s end, which is His goal. God’s Son is not a traveller through outer worlds. However holy his perception may become, no world outside himself holds his inheritance. Within himself he has no needs, for light needs nothing but to shine in peace, and from itself to let the rays extend in quiet to infinity.

Whenever you are tempted to undertake a useless journey that would lead away from light, remember what you really want, and say:

The Holy Spirit leads me unto Christ, and where else would I go? What need have I but to awake in Him?

Then follow Him in joy, with faith that He will lead you safely through all dangers to your peace of mind this world may set before you. Kneel not before the altars to sacrifice, and seek not what you will surely lose. Content yourself with what you will as surely keep, and be not restless, for you undertake a quiet journey to the peace of God, where He would have you be in quietness.

In me you have already overcome every temptation that would hold you back. We walk together on the way to quietness that is the gift of God. Hold me dear, for what except your brothers can you need? We will restore to you the peace of mind that we must find together. The Holy Spirit will teach you to awaken unto us and to yourself. This is the only real need to be fulfilled in time. Salvation from the world lies only here. My peace I give you. Take it of me in glad exchange for all the world has offered but to take away. And we will spread it like a veil of light across the world’s sad face, in which we hide our brothers from the world, and it from them.

We cannot sing redemption’s hymn alone. My task is not completed until I have lifted every voice with mine. And yet it is not mine, for as it is my gift to you, so was it the Father’s gift to me, given me through His Spirit. The sound of it will banish sorrow from the mind of God’s most holy Son, where it cannot abide. Healing in time is needed, for joy cannot establish its eternal reign where sorrow dwells. You dwell not here, but in eternity. You travel but in dreams, while safe at home. Give thanks to every part of you that you have taught how to remember you. Thus does the Son of God give thanks unto his Father for his purity.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 21

Lesson 109

I rest in God.

1. We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.

2. “I rest in God.” This thought will bring to you the rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek. “I rest in God.” This thought has power to wake the sleep­ing truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is. Here is the end of suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while. Here is the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself.

3. “I rest in God.” Completely undismayed, this thought will carry you through storms and strife, past misery and pain, past loss and death, and onward to the certainty of God. There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve. And no appearance but will turn to truth before the eyes of you who rest in God.

4. This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undis­turbed. Yours is the rest of truth. Appearances cannot intrude on you. You call to all to join you in your rest, and they will hear and come to you because you rest in God. They will not hear another voice than yours because you gave your voice to God, and now you rest in Him and let Him speak through you.

5. In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In time­lessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today. And as you close your eyes, sink into stillness. Let these periods of rest and respite reassure your mind that all its frantic fantasies were but the dreams of fever that has passed away. Let it be still and thankfully accept its healing. No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God. Take time today to slip away from dreams and into peace.

6. Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is sud­denly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.

7. With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking. And the time when rest will be the only thing there is comes closer to all worn and tired minds, too weary now to go their way alone. And they will hear the bird begin to sing and see the stream begin to flow again, with hope reborn and energy restored to walk with lightened steps along the road that sud­denly seems easy as they go.

8. You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your dis­tant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.

9. You rest within the peace of God today, quiet and unafraid. Each brother comes to take his rest, and offer it to you. We rest together here, for thus our rest is made complete, and what we give today we have received already. Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.”

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q) What is the nature of reality?

A) Reality as defined by A Course in Miracles is not a physical realm, dimension, or experience, since reality is created by God and as God is formless, changeless, eternal, infinite love, and limitless and unified perfection — a non-dualistic oneness. Reality in the Course is synonymous with Heaven and obviously cannot be related in any way to the universe of form that the world calls reality. Being changeless, true reality is permanent and fixed, and therefore any thought of separation — which ischange — is impossible and thus never was. As a non-dualistic state, reality is beyond perception, since perception presupposes a subject-object dichotomy which is inherently dualistic and so cannot be real. In A Course in Miraclesreality is also synonymous with knowledge, the state of being that is Heaven.

A representative passage from “Changeless Reality” near the end of the text provides a nice summary of the nature of reality:

Reality is changeless. It is this that makes it real, and keeps it separate from all appearances.  It must transcend all form to be itself. It cannot change.The miracle is means to demonstrate that all appearances can change because they are appearances, and cannot have the changelessness reality entails….

Reality is changeless. Miracles but show what you have     interposed between reality and your awareness is unreal, and does not interfere at all (T-30.VIII.1:6-2:1; 4:1-2).

you cannot lose your soul

A Course in Miracles Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for May 20

ACIM Text Reading for May 20

Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth

II. The Happy Learner

The Holy Spirit needs a happy learner, in whom His mission can be happily accomplished. You who are steadfastly devoted to misery must first recognise that you are miserable and not happy. The Holy Spirit cannot teach without this contrast, for you believe that misery is happiness. This has so confused you that you have undertaken to learn to do what you can never do, believing that unless you learn it you will not be happy. You do not realise that the foundation on which this most peculiar learning goal depends means absolutely nothing. Yet it may still make sense to you. Have faith in nothing and you will find the ‘treasure’ that you seek. Yet you will add another burden to your already burdened mind. You will believe that nothing is of value, and will value it. A little piece of glass, a speck of dust, a body or a war are one to you. For if you value one thing made of nothing, you have believed that nothing can be precious, and that you can learn how to make the untrue true.

The Holy Spirit, seeing where you are but knowing you are elsewhere, begins His lesson in simplicity with the fundamental teaching that truth is true. This is the hardest lesson you will ever learn, and in the end the only one. Simplicity is very difficult for twisted minds. Consider all the distortions you have made of nothing; all the strange forms and feelings and actions and reactions that you have woven out of it. Nothing is so alien to you as the simple truth, and nothing are you less inclined to listen to. The contrast between what is true and what is not is perfectly apparent, yet you do not see it. The simple and the obvious are not apparent to those who would make palaces and royal robes of nothing, believing they are kings with golden crowns because of them.

All this the Holy Spirit sees, and teaches, simply, that all this is not true. To those unhappy learners who would teach themselves nothing, and delude themselves into believing that it is not nothing, the Holy Spirit says, with steadfast quietness:

The truth is true. Nothing else matters, nothing else is real, and everything beside it is not there. Let Me make the one distinction for you that you cannot make, but need to learn. Your faith in nothing is deceiving you. Offer your faith to Me, and I will place it gently in the holy place where it belongs. You will find no deception there, but only the simple truth. And you will love it because you will understand it.

Like you, the Holy Spirit did not make truth. Like God, He knows it to be true. He brings the light of truth into the darkness, and lets it shine on you. And as it shines your brothers see it, and realising that this light is not what you have made, they see in you more than you see. They will be happy learners of the lesson this light brings to them, because it teaches them release from nothing and from all the works of nothing. The heavy chains that seem to bind them to despair they do not see as nothing, until you bring the light to them. And then they see the chains have disappeared, and so they must have been nothing. And you will see it with them. Because you taught them gladness and release, they will become your teachers in release and gladness.

When you teach anyone that truth is true, you learn it with him. And so you learn that what seemed hardest was the easiest. Learn to be a happy learner. You will never learn how to make nothing everything. Yet see that this has been your goal, and recognise how foolish it has been. Be glad it is undone, for when you look at it in simple honesty, it is undone. I said before, ‘Be not content with nothing’, for you have believed that nothing could content you. It is not so.

If you would be a happy learner, you must give everything you have learned to the Holy Spirit, to be unlearned for you. And then begin to learn the joyous lessons that come quickly on the firm foundation that truth is true. For what is builded there is true, and built on truth. The universe of learning will open up before you in all its gracious simplicity. With truth before you, you will not look back.

The happy learner meets the conditions of learning here, as he meets the conditions of knowledge in the Kingdom. All this lies in the Holy Spirit’s plan to free you from the past, and open up the way to freedom for you. For truth is true. What else could ever be, or ever was? This simple lesson holds the key to the dark door that you believe is locked forever. You made this door of nothing, and behind it is nothing. The key is only the light that shines away the shapes and forms and fears of nothing. Accept this key to freedom from the hands of Christ Who gives it to you, that you may join Him in the holy task of bringing light. For, like your brothers, you do not realise the light has come and freed you from the sleep of darkness.

Behold your brothers in their freedom, and learn of them how to be free of darkness. The light in you will waken them, and they will not leave you asleep. The vision of Christ is given the very instant that it is perceived. Where everything is clear, it is all holy. The quietness of its simplicity is so compelling that you will realise it is impossible to deny the simple truth. For there is nothing else. God is everywhere, and His Son is in Him with everything. Can he sing the dirge of sorrow when this is true?

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 20

Lesson 120

For morning and evening review:

(109) I rest in God.

I rest in God today, and let Him work in me and
through me, while I rest in Him in quiet and in
perfect certainty.

(110) I am as God created me.

I am God’s Son. Today I lay aside all sick illusions of
myself, and let my Father tell me Who I really am.

On the hour:

I rest in God.

On the half hour:

I am as God created me.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #443: Nothing in A Course in Miracles says we can’t have preferences. This is consistent with the concept of forgiveness, because accepting a preference is clearly a way of temporarily accepting and forgiving the perception of degrees of illusion. Therefore, if I like French-fries but hate carrots, I should not be concerned about it because that would just validate the illusion. I understand that — for now — I’ve dreamed up a body, which needs food, and prefers certain types of food. It is all just orders of magnitude of illusion, so just forgive it, right? Obviously, to feel guilt about my “tastes” simply feeds the cycle of guilt/ projection/attack.

What if I like white people but hate people of other color? Or vice-versa? Would Course theology not advocate forgiving ourselves this kind of perception of differences also? We cannot say this is “more important.” No illusion is “more important.” We cannot say that people are our “brothers” and French-fries are not: they are all just forms in a world of forms. Granted I should not project hate and guilt onto people of any color. But I should not project hate and guilt onto vegetables of any color either. Both call for forgiveness, neither is “greater” or “more important” … Is it?

A: Yes, you are quite right. There is no difference between a carrot and a human being, except in the meaning we have given each. Think back to the earliest workbook lessons and how we are asked to apply the idea for the day indiscriminately to everything in our field of vision or in our mind, not excluding anything (W.p.I.1,2,3,4). You even might say, when it comes to vegetables, we are kinder to the ones we hate, because we’re much less likely to eat them than the ones we like. But, of course, it’s the people we “love” whom we cannibalize as well, so we can feel better about ourselves and fill the emotional hole in the center of our being, at least temporarily — much as food satisfies our hunger only for a short time before we need to go seeking for more.

It is hard not to allow the “accepted moral judgments” of the ego to creep into our understanding of the Course’s teachings. The Course in fact does not say that we should not hate our brothers, be they homo sapiens or carrots. Rather, its goal is to help us uncover our guilt, wherever it may be projected, so that it can be undone. So we don’t want to try to stop hating certain people or overlook our strong feelings of dislike towards certain vegetables, but rather to be honest with ourselves about our hatreds so we can ask for help in seeing, not only the other but ourselves differently, since we are observing only our own self-hatred projected outward.

I apparently can lose my peace of mind as easily over a carrot as I can over a person I don’t like whom I see as different from me. And yet it is not the other that has upset me — “I am never upset for the reason I think” (W.pI.5) — they simply become the scapegoat to blame for the consequences of the decision I have made within my own mind to see myself as separate from love, convince myself I really have pulled that off, pile the guilt on, and then look to find someone or something else to blame for my unhappy state of mind. A carrot or a different-colored person can serve that purpose equally well.

The distinction you make at the beginning of your question is a helpful one. We all have preferences and that is simply part of the experience of living as a body in the world. But if the preferences become emotionally invested, that simply means we have given greater meaning to those particular symbols in our experience, so that they seem now to be the cause of our dissatisfaction. But with the Holy Spirit’s assistance, they can become instead the mirrors that direct us back within our own minds to the real source of dissatisfaction, our choice for the very empty and unfulfilling ego thought system. And it is that choice we want to forgive ourselves for, with the help of Jesus or the Holy Spirit.

kingdom of god

A Course in Miracles Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for May 9

ACIM Text Reading for May 9

Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World

V. The Two Emotions

I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. They are made of sights that are not seen, and sounds that are not heard. They make up a private world that cannot be shared. For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.

Each one peoples his world with figures from his individual past, and it is because of this that private worlds do differ. Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers, and do not include their reactions to him. Therefore, he does not see he made them, and that they are not whole. For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only.

It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is to them that they relate. Thus do they communicate with those who are not there, and it is they who answer them. And no one hears their answer save him who called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world. And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there.

The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognise they have condemned themselves. They do not wish to die, yet they will not let condemnation go. And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything is disordered, and where what is within appears to be without. Yet what is within they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot recognise.

You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other. For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes it is not recognised. If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves, and recoils from what he fears. And you react with fear to love, and draw away from it. Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. Your private world is filled with figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see.

As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound. Your manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.

Little child, would you offer this to your Father? For if you offer it to yourself, you are offering it to Him. And He will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of Him. Yet He would release you from it and set you free. His sane Answer tells you what you have offered yourself is not true, but His offering to you has never changed. You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. You will see all that you denied in your brothers because you denied it in yourself. For you will love them, and by drawing nigh unto them you will draw them to yourself, perceiving them as witnesses to the reality you share with God. I am with them as I am with you, and we will draw them from their private worlds, for as we are united so would we unite with them. The Father welcomes all of us in gladness, and gladness is what we should offer Him. For every Son of God is given you to whom God gave Himself. And it is God Whom you must offer them, to recognise His gift to you.

Vision depends on light. You cannot see in darkness. Yet in darkness, in the private world of sleep, you see in dreams although your eyes are closed. And it is here that what you see you made. But let the darkness go and all you made you will no longer see, for sight of it depends upon denying vision. Yet from denying vision it does not follow you cannot see. But this is what denial does, for by it you accept insanity, believing you can make a private world and rule your own perception. Yet for this, light must be excluded. Dreams disappear when light has come and you can see.

Do not seek vision through your eyes, for you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness, and in this you are deceived. Beyond this darkness, and yet still within you, is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. Your ‘vision’ comes from fear, as His from love. And He sees for you, as your witness to the real world. He is the Holy Spirit’s manifestation, looking always on the real world, and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them to you. He loves what He sees within you, and He would extend it. And He will not return unto the Father until He has extended your perception even unto Him. And there perception is no more, for He has returned you to the Father with Him.

You have but two emotions, and one you made and one was given you. Each is a way of seeing, and different worlds arise from their different sights. See through the vision that is given you, for through Christ’s vision He beholds Himself. And seeing what He is, He knows His Father. Beyond your darkest dreams He sees God’s guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance that is undimmed by your dreams. And this you will see as you look with Him, for His vision is His gift of love to you, given Him of the Father for you.

The Holy Spirit is the Light in which Christ stands revealed. And all who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for light. Nor will they see Him alone, for He is no more alone than they are. Because they saw the Son, they have risen in Him to the Father. And all this will they understand, because they looked within and saw beyond the darkness the Christ in them, and recognised Him. In the sanity of His vision they looked upon themselves with love, seeing themselves as the Holy Spirit sees them. And with this vision of the truth in them came all the beauty of the world to shine upon them.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 9

Lesson 109

I rest in God

We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.

“I rest in God.” This thought will bring to you the rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek. “I rest in God.” This thought has power to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is. Here is the end of suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while. Here is the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself.

“I rest in God.” Completely undismayed, this thought will carry you through storms and strife, past misery and pain, past loss and death, and onward to the certainty of God. There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve. And no appearance but will turn to truth before the eyes of you who rest in God.

This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed. Yours is the rest of truth. Appearances cannot intrude on you. You call to all to join you in your rest, and they will hear and come to you because you rest in God. They will not hear another voice than yours because you gave your voice to God, and now you rest in Him and let Him speak through you.

In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In timelessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today. And as you close your eyes, sink into stillness. Let these periods of rest and respite reassure your mind that all its frantic fantasies were but the dreams of fever that has passed away. Let it be still and thankfully accept its healing. No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God. Take time today to slip away from dreams and into peace.

Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.

With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking. And the time when rest will be the only thing there is comes closer to all worn and tired minds, too weary now to go their way alone. And they will hear the bird begin to sing and see the stream begin to flow again, with hope reborn and energy restored to walk with lightened steps along the road that suddenly seems easy as they go.

You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.

You rest within the peace of God today, quiet and unafraid. Each brother comes to take his rest, and offer it to you. We rest together here, for thus our rest is made complete, and what we give today we have received already. Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.”

 ***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #380: I thought I have been quite a consistent student recently. Thinking, reading, applying, uncovering all my negative thoughts. And (exactly with a scenario Ken described on one of the tapes) finally I got so mad about my special relationship person. Just couldn’t stop blaming him! When I felt that a storm is coming, my first reaction was to read something from the text of A Course in Miracles or from a workshop (usually it helps to calm down). This last time it didn’t work for me, so I “indulged” myself with a fury! But strangely enough, I felt such a relief, no guilt at all! I know I did wrong, but there is no need to “correct” my mistake, to apologize, or something. I know this outrage can stop our relationship altogether, but there is another thought behind all of that — I had to do it to stop pretending I can “stuff” my feelings, get beyond mistakes I perceive in this person! I don’t know where this will lead me to. Is there any hope that I wasn’t with my ego one hundred percent?

A: First, what you want to look at is your concern that you were one hundred percent in your ego. A key part of the forgiveness process is learning not to fear the ego or to feel ashamed because you indulged yourself in a full-blown attack. We are trying to learn that the ego is really nothing but a “tiny, mad idea” we forgot to laugh at. So when we judge ourselves for indulging our egos, we are implicitly affirming that it is real, not just a “tiny, mad idea.” It would be more healing to just be honest about the attack, saying “I attacked and it felt great!” Period. It was “wrong” only in the sense that attack will never restore peace to your mind and will never lead you home to God. But that does not make it sinful. It just points out to you the cost of indulging your ego. When you no longer feel the cost is worth it, you would ask for help to go about things differently. The measure of progress with the Course is not whether you still have ego attacks, but rather, over a period of time, how quickly you remember not to justify them. Whenever we identify with the ego, we will be hateful, judgmental, fearful, etc., because the ego never changes. The amount of time we spend with it is what changes.

Second, the process of the Course does not force you to choose between forgiveness and stuffing your feelings. Rather, it helps you learn why you attack — where your feelings are coming from. Thus, early in the workbook we are taught, “I am never upset for the reason I think” (W.pI.5). The practice of the lessons involves looking squarely at our negative thoughts and feelings, recognizing their source in our decision to reject love and then project responsibility for that, and, finally, asking for help to change that decision if we are so inclined. So stuffing our feelings and pretending that we are forgiving is not helpful. Our anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, anxiety, and whatever else we are feeling is our curriculum. These feelings are indicators of what teacher we have chosen and are usually our only means of surmising our mind’s decision. Therefore, we need to be in touch with what we are experiencing. Otherwise, as our teacher, Jesus would have nothing to work with. He never judges us when we have ego outbursts. He just asks that we learn to recognize the ego dynamics behind them so that he can help us make the correction.

When your ego is out of the way, you would relate to your special partner without defenses. You would experience both of you as sharing the same wrong mind, the same right mind, and the same ability to choose. Anger would be impossible in that state, because you would clearly see the origin of that person’s pain and the healing of it as well, and you would know that it reflects yours. That is the state of mind Jesus is helping us to attain. It is not stuffing our feelings; it is attaining an ego-free state in which such negative feelings would never develop. We would share the perception of the Holy Spirit, Who sees either a call for love or an expression of love (T.12.I).

Finally, anger is not bad. Jesus never tells us not to get angry. He teaches us not to justify it — an important distinction.

You but mistake interpretation

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for April 30

ACIM Text Reading for April 30

Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth

II. The Conditions of Learning

If you are blessed and do not know it, you need to learn it must be so. The knowledge is not taught, but its conditions must be acquired for it is they that have been thrown away. You can learn to bless, and cannot give what you have not. If, then, you offer blessing, it must have come first to yourself. And you must also have accepted it as yours, for how else could you give it away? That is why miracles offer you the testimony that you are blessed. If what you offer is complete forgiveness you must have let guilt go, accepting the Atonement for yourself and learning you are guiltless. How could you learn what has been done for you, unknown to you, unless you do what you would have to do if it had been done for you?

Indirect proof of truth is needed in a world made of denial and without direction. You will perceive the need for this if you realize that to deny is the decision not to know. The logic of the world must therefore lead to nothing, for its goal is nothing. If you decide to have and give and be nothing except a dream, you must direct your thoughts unto oblivion. And if you have and give and are everything, and all this has been denied, your thought system is closed off and wholly separated from the truth. This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the extent of its insanity. There is no area of your perception that it has not touched, and your dream is sacred to you. That is why God placed the Holy Spirit in you, where you placed the dream.

Seeing is always outward. Were your thoughts wholly of you, the thought system you made would be forever dark. The thoughts the mind of God’s Son projects or extends have all the power that he gives to them. The thoughts he shares with God are beyond his belief, but those he made are his beliefs. And it is these, and not the truth, that he has chosen to defend and love. They will not be taken from him. But they can be given up by him, for the Source of their undoing is in him. There is nothing in the world to teach him that the logic of the world is totally insane and leads to nothing. Yet in him who made this insane logic there is One Who knows it leads to nothing, for He knows everything.

Any direction that would lead you where the Holy Spirit leads you not, goes nowhere. Anything you deny that He knows to be true you have denied yourself, and He must therefore teach you not to deny it. Undoing is indirect, as doing is. You were created only to create, neither to see nor do. These are but indirect expressions of the will to live, which has been blocked by the capricious and unholy whim of death and murder that your Father does not share with you. You have set yourself the task of sharing what cannot be shared. And while you think it possible to learn to do this, you will not believe all that is possible to learn to do.

The Holy Spirit, therefore, must begin His teaching by showing you what you can never learn. His message is not indirect, but He must introduce the simple truth into a thought system which has become so twisted and so complex you cannot see that it means nothing. He merely looks at its foundation and dismisses it. But you who cannot undo what you have made cannot see through it. It deceives you, because you chose to deceive yourself. Those who choose to be deceived will merely attack direct approaches, because they seem to encroach upon deception and strike at it.

 

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 30

Lesson 120

For morning and evening review:

(109) I rest in God.

I rest in God today, and let Him work in me and
through me, while I rest in Him in quiet and in
perfect certainty.

(110) I am as God created me.

I am God’s Son. Today I lay aside all sick illusions of
myself, and let my Father tell me Who I really am.

On the hour:

I rest in God.

On the half hour:

I am as God created me.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #65: Please describe “mind,” the nature of “mind,” and the experience of “mind”.

A: There is no simple or easily understood definition for mind in the Course, because its meaning depends on the context in which it is used. Also, its true nature is abstract and it exists outside of time and space in all of its meanings, so we will not be fully satisfied with any explanation of it. For we will be attempting to understand mind with a limited (and illusory) part of it — the split mind. And time and space are, in fact, miscreations of the split mind itself, rather than dimensions in which it operates.

It may be helpful to point out first that the Course’s use of mind is different from the meaning given to mind in almost all other systems of thought, such as Eastern religions, for which mind is only the false ego self, caught in illusions; and various scientific disciplines, such as psychology and neurology, which take a reductionistic view of mind, reducing it to an epiphenomenon, or manifestation, of the physical/chemical/electrical activities of the brain. Even Freud, whose powerful insights into the mind are integrated into the Course’s exposition of the ego, accepted its organic origins without question.

The most extensive discussion in the Course of the term is found in the first section of the Clarification of Terms, “Mind-Spirit” (C.1). There mind is initially defined as “the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy…Spirit is the Thought of God which He created like Himself” (C.1.1:1,3). But since we cannot conceive of the nature of spirit or God, and creation has nothing to do with form, the definition sheds little light on the meaning of the term. Usually, when the Course refers to mind at this level — our true reality as spirit — the term is capitalized and it refers to either God or Christ, His perfect and wholly unified Son (C.1.1:2). There is little more to be said about mind at this level. Its experience is only of perfect oneness, with no awareness of differences or distinctions of any kind, because they are not real.

More can be said, although still not easily understood, when we move to the level of the split or “individual mind” (C.1.2:3), which seemed to arise when the Son of God seemed to fall asleep and dream that he could be separate from his Father. This “part of the mind is entirely illusory and makes only illusions” (C.1.4:1). At this level, mind experiences “consciousness, the receptive mechanism” (C.1.7:3,4), which necessarily implies a separation between perceiver and perceived, part of the illusion. It is only at this level that choice seems to exist, for there can be no choice in our reality as spirit, where, again, no differences or distinctions exist. It is within this illusory split mind that everything we believe is solid and external and real is experienced. The Course distinguishes between two parts of this mind, or two ways of thinking within this mind: Wrong-mindedness represents the choice to listen to the voice of the ego, or false self. Right- mindedness represents the choice to listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, the reflection of our true Self or Mind (C.1.5:1,2).

Although the Course attempts to make us aware that our true reality is Mind, its teaching is addressed only to the split mind. The Course’s purpose is to train our split mind to remember that it contains a choice (C.1.7:1), for it has accepted the ego as its only reality and has forgotten that the ego is only a choice. So the Course helps us to recognize the consequences of a choice for the ego — sin, guilt, fear, pain, loss, and death — and reminds us that there is a different choice — the Holy Spirit — that opens the door to a completely different kind of experience, based on forgiveness — peace, joy and love. Over time, the Course will lead our split minds back to the initial decision point where we made a seemingly irreversible choice for the ego. And now we can make a different choice, removing us from time and space as we become aware of the real world, the totally forgiven world. From here, it is only one final step, “taken” by God Himself, which returns us to the wholeness of spirit and the oneness of Mind that we never in reality left (C.1.5:2,3,4).

this is practical course

 

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for April 19

ACIM Text Reading for April 19

Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World

III. 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 realize 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 realization 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 behavior 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 recognize 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 realize 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 recognized 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 recognize him is your redemption.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 19

Lesson 109

I rest in God

We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.

“I rest in God.” This thought will bring to you the rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek. “I rest in God.” This thought has power to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is. Here is the end of suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while. Here is the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself.

“I rest in God.” Completely undismayed, this thought will carry you through storms and strife, past misery and pain, past loss and death, and onward to the certainty of God. There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve. And no appearance but will turn to truth before the eyes of you who rest in God.

This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed. Yours is the rest of truth. Appearances cannot intrude on you. You call to all to join you in your rest, and they will hear and come to you because you rest in God. They will not hear another voice than yours because you gave your voice to God, and now you rest in Him and let Him speak through you.

In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In timelessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today. And as you close your eyes, sink into stillness. Let these periods of rest and respite reassure your mind that all its frantic fantasies were but the dreams of fever that has passed away. Let it be still and thankfully accept its healing. No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God. Take time today to slip away from dreams and into peace.

Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.

With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking. And the time when rest will be the only thing there is comes closer to all worn and tired minds, too weary now to go their way alone. And they will hear the bird begin to sing and see the stream begin to flow again, with hope reborn and energy restored to walk with lightened steps along the road that suddenly seems easy as they go.

You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.

You rest within the peace of God today, quiet and unafraid. Each brother comes to take his rest, and offer it to you. We rest together here, for thus our rest is made complete, and what we give today we have received already. Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.”

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #449: Recently I had a realization that love and fear are based on the same “energy” (or the same “vibration”). And what ego perceives as fear the right mind perceives as love. It is like two sides of one medal. Is my realization right? If so, would the state of anxiety be more valuable than the state of indifference from a spiritual perspective? Would this state of anxiety be the eve of awakening?

A: While your realization has been helpful to you in stepping back from your ego’s fear and recognizing there is another way of looking at things, your description would not, strictly speaking, be consistent with the Course’s approach. Within the framework of A Course in Miracles, only love is real and fear does not exist (T.in), and so they can not share a common origin or basis. A slight modification in one of your statements, however, would be consistent with Course principles: What the ego perceives with fear, the right mind perceives with love. But whenever we speak of anything as being perceived, we are discussing the illusory realm of duality from which love has, by its very nature, been excluded.

So what would be the basis for your insight, from the Course’s perspective? It may be a reflection of the recognition that always, beneath the fear, is the memory of love. As a result, whatever the ego has made to maintain the reality of guilt and fear in our mind, when seen through the Holy Spirit’s gentle perception, becomes a reminder of the love that it was made to conceal (T.12.I.9,10). And so the purpose of everything can always be transformed from the ego’s to the Holy Spirit’s.

With respect to your closing questions, no ego state in itself is more valuable than another. The key to practicing forgiveness, the Course tells us, is to be able to identify our ego in whatever form it appears, whether it be anxiety or indifference or any of its other myriad manifestations (T.15.X.4:2,3,4,5; 5:1,2,3; T.23.III.1,2). Only then can we ask for help in acknowledging the underlying guilt that is fueling these projections, so that it can be released. For to be in denial of our ego reactions is to deny ourselves the opportunity for healing. Any recognition that the ego is controlling our thinking opens the door to the possibility of awakening from our nightmare dream.


Q #450: Given the title of the book, I’m surprised to see so little discussion in this Q&A of the exact meaning and nature of the usage of “miracle” in A Course in Miracles. What is the relationship between a holy instant and a miracle? It seems to me that the holy instant is a more mature understanding of the real meaning of “miracle,” as that term is used in the Course.

A: These two terms are defined in Kenneth’s Glossary-Index as follows (in part): A miracle is an occurrence in the mind, nothing external. The term refers to the change of mind that shifts our perception from the ego’s world of sin, guilt, and fear, to the Holy Spirit’s world of forgiveness. It reverses projection by restoring to the mind its causative function, allowing us to choose again. The holy instant is that instant outside time in which we choose the miracle instead of a grievance, the Holy Spirit instead of the ego, forgiveness instead of guilt. The holy instant is the expression of our willingness to live in the present, which opens into eternity, rather than holding on to the past and fearing the future, which keeps us in hell. (See Question #26 for an expanded description of the holy instant.)

The two terms are distinct, as Jesus uses them to address two distinct misperceptions in our minds that resulted from our decision to believe that the separation from God actually happened. Jesus is thus emphasizing different aspects of the correction needed in our thinking to get us back to our natural state of oneness. His teachings about the miracle, in general, are meant to correct our tendency to think that our fundamental problems and their solutions are outside us — in the world and the body. And in speaking about the holy instant, in general, Jesus is correcting our habitual focus on the past and the future to justify our unforgiveness and our fear.

In one sense, the meanings of all terms coalesce, as they refer to a single mistaken thought and the correction of that thought, and so while Jesus would be emphatic about the meaning of his message, he would give his students some latitude with the terms he has chosen. The content — his message and our acceptance of it — is far more important to him than the form — the terms in which he expresses his message.

shine it away

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for May 1

ACIM Text Reading for May 1

Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth

VI. The Light of Communication

The journey that we undertake together is the exchange of dark for light, of ignorance for understanding. Nothing you understand is fearful. It is only in darkness and in ignorance that you perceive the frightening, and shrink away from it to further darkness. And yet it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for its hidden-ness. The obscure is frightening because you do not understand its meaning. If you did, it would be clear and you would be no longer in the dark. Nothing has hidden value, for what is hidden cannot be shared, and so its value is unknown. The hidden is kept apart, but value always lies in joint appreciation. What is concealed cannot be loved, and so it must be feared.

The quiet light in which the Holy Spirit dwells within you is merely perfect openness, in which nothing is hidden and therefore nothing is fearful. Attack will always yield to love if it is brought to love, not hidden from it. There is no darkness that the light of love will not dispel, unless it is concealed from love’s beneficence. What is kept apart from love cannot share its healing power, because it has been separated off and kept in darkness. The sentinels of darkness watch over it carefully, and you who made these guardians of illusion out of nothing are now afraid of them.

Would you continue to give imagined power to these strange ideas of safety? They are neither safe nor unsafe. They do not protect; neither do they attack. They do nothing at all, being nothing at all. As guardians of darkness and of ignorance look to them only for fear, for what they keep obscure is fearful. But let them go, and what was fearful will be so no longer. Without protection of obscurity only the light of love remains, for only this has meaning and can live in light. Everything else must disappear.

Death yields to life simply because destruction is not true. The light of guiltlessness shines guilt away because, when they are brought together, the truth of one must make the falsity of its opposite perfectly clear. Keep not guilt and guiltlessness apart, for your belief that you can have them both is meaningless. All you have done by keeping them apart is lose their meaning by confusing them with each other. And so you do not realise that only one means anything. The other is wholly without sense of any kind.

You have regarded the separation as a means for breaking your communication with your Father. The Holy Spirit reinterprets it as a means of re-establishing what was not broken, but has been made obscure. All things you made have use to Him, for His most holy purpose. He knows you are not separate from God, but He perceives much in your mind that lets you think you are. All this and nothing else would He separate from you. The power of decision, which you made in place of the power of creation, He would teach you how to use on your behalf. You who made it to crucify yourself must learn of Him how to apply it to the holy cause of restoration.

You who speak in dark and devious symbols do not understand the language you have made. It has no meaning, for its purpose is not communication, but rather the disruption of communication. If the purpose of language is communication, how can this tongue mean anything? Yet even this strange and twisted effort to communicate through not communicating holds enough of love to make it meaningful if its interpreter is not its maker. You who made it are but expressing conflict, from which the Holy Spirit would release you. Leave what you would communicate to Him. He will interpret it to you with perfect clarity, for He knows with Whom you are in perfect communication.

You know not what you say, and so you know not what is said to you. Yet your Interpreter perceives the meaning in your alien language. He will not attempt to communicate the meaningless. But He will separate out all that has meaning, dropping off the rest and offering your true communication to those who would communicate, as truly with you. You speak two languages at once, and this must lead to unintelligibility. Yet if one means nothing and the other everything, only that one is possible for purposes of communication. The other but interferes with it.

The Holy Spirit’s function is entirely communication. He therefore must remove whatever interferes with communication in order to restore it. Therefore, keep no source of interference from His sight, for He will not attack your sentinels. But bring them to Him and let His gentleness teach you that, in the light, they are not fearful, and cannot serve to guard the dark doors behind which nothing at all is carefully concealed. We must open all doors and let the light come streaming through. There are no hidden chambers in God’s temple. Its gates are open wide to greet His Son. No one can fail to come where God has called him, if he close not the door himself upon his Father’s welcome.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for May 1

Lesson 120
For morning and evening review:

(109) I rest in God.

I rest in God today, and let Him work in me and
through me, while I rest in Him in quiet and in
perfect certainty.

(110) I am as God created me.

I am God’s Son. Today I lay aside all sick illusions of
myself, and let my Father tell me Who I really am.

On the hour:

I rest in God.

On the half hour:

I am as God created me.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #569: In Kenneth’s commentary on the Text of A Course in Miracles (Chapter 12), he states the following: “I interpret your attack on me as unjustified, which secretly means I know it is justified because I attacked you first, in my mind.” Would you please clarify this dynamic?

A: Any interpretation our mind joined with the ego gives to external circumstances inevitably implies a belief in its opposite as well, because the ego thought system is a dualistic system predicated on the belief in opposition. Whatever we experience consciously is only half of the oppositional “whole” that the ego has split apart through projection to make differences and attack real. And so we do not recognize that the two halves are really the same (T.6.II.1,2,3; T.27.II.12,13,14).

Because of the dynamic of projection, I can only see attack in you if I have first seen it within myself. In fact, metaphysically, you exist solely as the projection of my attack thoughts so that I do not have to accept responsibility for them myself. My anger at you for your “unjustified” attack is merely the defense against the unconscious guilt over my self-accusation that I am the attacker, deserving of punishment and attack in return. The paradoxical nature of the ego thought system is such that whatever I protest most vociferously about against you is always a projection of what I secretly believe about myself — that is always the case, with no exceptions (T.6.in.1). And that is one of the uncompromising teachings of the Course that makes it so difficult for students to accept, if not in principle, certainly in practice.

In reality, from the Holy Spirit’s perspective, neither ego interpretation — about you or about myself — is true. The Holy Spirit does not take sides but rather first helps us to recognize that both halves are the same — my brother and I are one. And then He dismisses both interpretations as false because they are based on the faulty premise that separation, differences, and attack are real (T.5.VI.10; T22.VI.12,13; T.27.II.15,16). In other words, the oppositional “whole” of the attacking ego is an illusion, so no matter how it is sliced, nothing real or true can follow from it.

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for April 20

ACIM Text Reading for April 20

Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World

VII. Attainment of the Real World

Sit quietly and look upon the world you see, and tell yourself: ‘The real world is not like this. It has no buildings and there are no streets where people walk alone and separate. There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need. It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it. There is no day that brightens and grows dim. There is no loss. Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever’.

The world you see must be denied, for sight of it is costing you a different kind of vision. You cannot see both worlds, for each of them involves a different kind of seeing, and depends on what you cherish. The sight of one is possible because you have denied the other. Both are not true, yet either one will seem as real to you as the amount to which you hold it dear. And yet their power is not the same, because their real attraction to you is unequal.

You do not really want the world you see, for it has disappointed you since time began. The homes you built have never sheltered you. The roads you made have led you nowhere, and no city that you built has withstood the crumbling assault of time. Nothing you made but has the mark of death upon it. Hold it not dear, for it is old and tired and ready to return to dust even as you made it. This aching world has not the power to touch the living world at all. You could not give it that, and so although you turn in sadness from it, you cannot find in it the road that leads away from it into another world.

Yet the real world has the power to touch you even here, because you love it. And what you call with love will come to you. Love always answers, being unable to deny a call for help, or not to hear the cries of pain that rise to it from every part of this strange world you made but do not want. All that you need to give this world away in glad exchange for what you did not make is willingness to learn the one you made is false.

You have been wrong about the world because you have misjudged yourself. From such a twisted reference point, what could you see? All seeing starts with the perceiver, who judges what is true and what is false. And what he judges false he does not see. You who would judge reality cannot see it, for whenever judgement enters reality has slipped away. The out of mind is out of sight, because what is denied is there but is not recognised. Christ is still there, although you know Him not. His Being does not depend upon your recognition. He lives within you in the quiet present, and waits for you to leave the past behind and enter into the world He holds out to you in love.

No one in this distracted world but has seen some glimpses of the other world about him. Yet while he still lays value on his own, he will deny the vision of the other, maintaining that he loves what he loves not, and following not the road that love points out. Love leads so gladly! As you follow Him, you will rejoice that you have found His company, and learned of Him the joyful journey home. You wait but for yourself. To give this sad world over and exchange your errors for the peace of God is but your will. And Christ will always offer you the Will of God, in recognition that you share it with Him.

It is God’s Will that nothing touch His Son except Himself, and nothing else comes nigh unto him. He is as safe from pain as God Himself, Who watches over him in everything. The world about him shines with love because God placed him in Himself where pain is not, and love surrounds him without end or flaw. Disturbance of his peace can never be. In perfect sanity he looks on love, for it is all about him and within him. He must deny the world of pain the instant he perceives the arms of love around him. And from this point of safety he looks quietly about him and recognises that the world is one with him.

The peace of God passeth your understanding only in the past. Yet here it is, and you can understand it now. God loves His Son forever, and His Son returns his Father’s Love forever. The real world is the way that leads you to remembrance of the one thing that is wholly true and wholly yours. For all else you have lent yourself in time, and it will fade. But this one thing is always yours, being the gift of God unto His Son. Your one reality was given you, and by it God created you as one with Him.

You will first dream of peace, and then awaken to it. Your first exchange of what you made for what you want is the exchange of nightmares for the happy dreams of love. In these lie your true perceptions, for the Holy Spirit corrects the world of dreams, where all perception is. Knowledge needs no correction. Yet the dreams of love lead unto knowledge. In them you see nothing fearful, and because of this they are the welcome that you offer knowledge. Love waits on welcome, not on time, and the real world is but your welcome of what always was. Therefore the call of joy is in it, and your glad response is your awakening to what you have not lost.

Praise, then, the Father for the perfect sanity of His most holy Son. Your Father knoweth that you have need of nothing. In Heaven this is so, for what could you need in eternity? In your world you do need things. It is a world of scarcity in which you find yourself because you are lacking. Yet can you find yourself in such a world? Without the Holy Spirit the answer would be no. Yet because of Him the answer is a joyous yes! As mediator between the two worlds, He knows what you have need of and what will not hurt you. Ownership is a dangerous concept if it is left to you. The ego wants to have things for salvation, for possession is its law. Possession for its own sake is the ego’s fundamental creed, a basic cornerstone in the churches it builds to itself. And at its altar it demands you lay all of the things it bids you get, leaving you no joy in them.

Everything the ego tells you that you need will hurt you. For although the ego urges you again and again to get, it leaves you nothing, for what you get it will demand of you. And even from the very hands that grasped it, it will be wrenched and hurled into the dust. For where the ego sees salvation it sees separation, and so you lose whatever you have gotten in its name. Therefore ask not of yourself what you need, for you do not know, and your advice to yourself will hurt you. For what you think you need will merely serve to tighten up your world against the light, and render you unwilling to question the value that this world can really hold for you.

Only the Holy Spirit knows what you need. For He will give you all things that do not block the way to light. And what else could you need? In time, He gives you all the things that you need have, and will renew them as long as you have need of them. He will take nothing from you as long as you have any need of it. And yet He knows that everything you need is temporary, and will but last until you step aside from all your needs and realise that all of them have been fulfilled. Therefore He has no investment in the things that He supplies, except to make certain that you will not use them on behalf of lingering in time. He knows that you are not at home there, and He wills no delay to wait upon your joyous homecoming.

Leave, then, your needs to Him. He will supply them with no emphasis at all upon them. What comes to you of Him comes safely, for He will ensure it never can become a dark spot, hidden in your mind and kept to hurt you. Under His guidance you will travel light and journey lightly, for His sight is ever on the journey’s end, which is His goal. God’s Son is not a traveller through outer worlds. However holy his perception may become, no world outside himself holds his inheritance. Within himself he has no needs, for light needs nothing but to shine in peace, and from itself to let the rays extend in quiet to infinity.

Whenever you are tempted to undertake a useless journey that would lead away from light, remember what you really want, and say:

The Holy Spirit leads me unto Christ, and where else would I go? What need have I but to awake in Him?

Then follow Him in joy, with faith that He will lead you safely through all dangers to your peace of mind this world may set before you. Kneel not before the altars to sacrifice, and seek not what you will surely lose. Content yourself with what you will as surely keep, and be not restless, for you undertake a quiet journey to the peace of God, where He would have you be in quietness.

In me you have already overcome every temptation that would hold you back. We walk together on the way to quietness that is the gift of God. Hold me dear, for what except your brothers can you need? We will restore to you the peace of mind that we must find together. The Holy Spirit will teach you to awaken unto us and to yourself. This is the only real need to be fulfilled in time. Salvation from the world lies only here. My peace I give you. Take it of me in glad exchange for all the world has offered but to take away. And we will spread it like a veil of light across the world’s sad face, in which we hide our brothers from the world, and it from them.

We cannot sing redemption’s hymn alone. My task is not completed until I have lifted every voice with mine. And yet it is not mine, for as it is my gift to you, so was it the Father’s gift to me, given me through His Spirit. The sound of it will banish sorrow from the mind of God’s most holy Son, where it cannot abide. Healing in time is needed, for joy cannot establish its eternal reign where sorrow dwells. You dwell not here, but in eternity. You travel but in dreams, while safe at home. Give thanks to every part of you that you have taught how to remember you. Thus does the Son of God give thanks unto his Father for his purity.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 20

Lesson 109
I rest in God

We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.

“I rest in God.” This thought will bring to you the rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek. “I rest in God.” This thought has power to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is. Here is the end of suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while. Here is the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself.

“I rest in God.” Completely undismayed, this thought will carry you through storms and strife, past misery and pain, past loss and death, and onward to the certainty of God. There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve. And no appearance but will turn to truth before the eyes of you who rest in God.

This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed. Yours is the rest of truth. Appearances cannot intrude on you. You call to all to join you in your rest, and they will hear and come to you because you rest in God. They will not hear another voice than yours because you gave your voice to God, and now you rest in Him and let Him speak through you.

In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In timelessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today. And as you close your eyes, sink into stillness. Let these periods of rest and respite reassure your mind that all its frantic fantasies were but the dreams of fever that has passed away. Let it be still and thankfully accept its healing. No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God. Take time today to slip away from dreams and into peace.

Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.

With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking. And the time when rest will be the only thing there is comes closer to all worn and tired minds, too weary now to go their way alone. And they will hear the bird begin to sing and see the stream begin to flow again, with hope reborn and energy restored to walk with lightened steps along the road that suddenly seems easy as they go.

You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.

You rest within the peace of God today, quiet and unafraid. Each brother comes to take his rest, and offer it to you. We rest together here, for thus our rest is made complete, and what we give today we have received already. Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.”

For a Free Downloadable Audio of Today’s Text Reading & Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1309(i): (The following three questions were submitted by the same person.)

Ken Wapnick has suggested that when dealing with others, we behave “normally,” showing kindness the way “normal” people do. But if we come into the dream as egos, then isn’t normal here always guilt, attack, and hate? If the ego is 100% hate and the Holy Spirit the expression of God’s love, is it possible to be lead by the Holy Spirit or Jesus?

A: It is not quite accurate to say that we come into this dream as egos. We come into this dream as a result of listening to the ego. Therefore, we generally think we are the ego — a belief that is reflected in our conviction that we are an individual, in a body, having a physical experience that is separate from everyone else. This causes us to live according to the principle of separate interests, which asserts that you and I need different things in order to survive. More specifically, I need to get my physical and psychological needs met and you need to get yours met. The only interest I have in your needs is a constant fear that as you try to get them met, you will take something from me.

As long as we listen to the ego, these will be the unconscious dynamics that drive our lives. Fortunately, A Course in Miracles lets us know that we do not have to listen to the ego. We could just as easily turn to the Holy Spirit as our internal Teacher. He will teach us that our needs are not separate because our very identities are entirely different than we ever imagined. He will gradually reveal to us that the person we think we are is but a puppet whose trials and tribulations have absolutely no impact on our reality as God’s one Son. From that perspective, we will see that, appearances to the contrary, we have only one need, which we share with everyone: the need to awaken from this nightmare to our reality in Heaven where we can be at peace at last.

Clearly then, we have two entirely opposing thought systems in our mind. When we listen to the ego, we are 100 percent hate. When we listen to the Holy Spirit, we are 100 percent love. Which teacher we choose is entirely up to us. Notice that this is all about what goes on internally. Ken’s suggestion is to behave normally. This does not mean that our behavior should be hateful. It simply means that in terms of spiritual growth, behavior is not what we should focus on changing because it is not the source of the problem. When we change the content of our mind to love, our behavior will automatically reflect that. We will generally still say and do all the socially expected things that our roles require. For example, will still behave the way one needs to as a parent, spouse, employee, supervisor, neighbor, friend, and so forth. The only difference will be that our internal mantra of “What’s in it for me?” will have been replaced by a sense of all inclusive love. Obviously this is likely to impact our actions at times, but how it does so is not our concern.

jesus there is no death

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for April 30

ACIM Text Reading for April 30

Chapter 14 ~ Teaching for Truth

IV. Your Function in the Atonement

When you accept a brother’s guiltlessness you will see the Atonement in him. For by proclaiming it in him you make it yours, and you will see what you sought. You will not see the symbol of your brother’s guiltlessness shining within him while you still believe it is not there. His guiltlessness is your Atonement. Grant it to him, and you will see the truth of what you have acknowledged. Yet truth is offered first to be received, even as God gave it first to His Son. The first in time means nothing, but the First in eternity is God the Father, Who is both First and One. Beyond the First there is no other, for there is no order, no second or third, and nothing but the First.

You who belong to the First Cause, created by Him like unto Himself and part of Him, are more than merely guiltless. The state of guiltlessness is only the condition in which what is not there has been removed from the disordered mind that thought it was. This state, and only this, must you attain, with God beside you. For until you do, you will still think that you are separate from Him. You can perhaps feel His Presence next to you, but cannot know that you are one with Him. This cannot be taught. Learning applies only to the condition in which it happens of itself.

When you have let all that obscured the truth in your most holy mind be undone for you, and therefore stand in grace before your Father, He will give Himself to you as He has always done. Giving Himself is all He knows, and so it is all knowledge. For what He knows not cannot be, and therefore cannot be given. Ask not to be forgiven, for this has already been accomplished. Ask, rather, to learn how to forgive, and to restore what always was to your unforgiving mind. Atonement becomes real and visible to those who use it. On earth this is your only function, and you must learn that it is all you want to learn. You will feel guilty till you learn this. For in the end, whatever form it takes, your guilt arises from your failure to fulfil your function in God’s Mind with all of yours. Can you escape this guilt by failing to fulfil your function here?

You need not understand creation to do what must be done before that knowledge would be meaningful to you. God breaks no barriers; neither did He make them. When you release them they are gone. God will not fail, nor ever has in anything. Decide that God is right and you are wrong about yourself. He created you out of Himself, but still within Him. He knows what you are. Remember that there is no second to Him. There cannot, therefore, be anyone without His Holiness, nor anyone unworthy of His perfect Love. Fail not in your function of loving in a loveless place made out of darkness and deceit, for thus are darkness and deceit undone. Fail not yourself, but instead offer to God and you His blameless Son. For this small gift of appreciation for His Love, God will Himself exchange your gift for His.

Before you make any decisions for yourself, remember that you have decided against your function in Heaven, and then consider carefully whether you want to make decisions here. Your function here is only to decide against deciding what you want, in recognition that you do not know. How, then, can you decide what you should do? Leave all decisions to the One Who speaks for God, and for your function as He knows it. So will He teach you to remove the awful burden you have laid upon yourself by loving not the Son of God, and trying to teach him guilt instead of love. Give up this frantic and insane attempt that cheats you of the joy of living with your God and Father, and of waking gladly to His Love and Holiness that join together as the truth in you, making you one with Him.

When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer. Only your own volition seems to make deciding hard. The Holy Spirit will not delay in answering your every question what to do. He knows. And He will tell you, and then do it for you. You who are tired will find this is more restful than sleep. For you can bring your guilt into sleeping, but not into this.

Unless you are guiltless you cannot know God, Whose Will is that you know Him. Therefore, you must be guiltless. Yet if you do not accept the necessary conditions for knowing Him, you have denied Him and do not recognise Him, though He is all around you. He cannot be known without His Son, whose guiltlessness is the condition for knowing Him. Accepting His Son as guilty is denial of the Father so complete, that knowledge is swept away from recognition in the very mind where God Himself has placed it. If you would but listen, and learn how impossible this is! Do not endow Him with attributes you understand. You made Him not, and anything you understand is not of Him.

Your task is not to make reality. It is here without your making, but not without you. You who have tried to throw yourself away and valued God so little, hear me speak for Him and for yourself. You cannot understand how much your Father loves you, for there is no parallel in your experience of the world to help you understand it. There is nothing on earth with which it can compare, and nothing you have ever felt apart from Him resembles it ever so faintly. You cannot even give a blessing in perfect gentleness. Would you know of One Who gives forever, and Who knows of nothing except giving?

The children of Heaven live in the light of the blessing of their Father, because they know that they are sinless. The Atonement was established as the means of restoring guiltlessness to minds that have denied it, and thus denied Heaven to itself. Atonement teaches you the true condition of the Son of God. It does not teach you what you are, or what your Father is. The Holy Spirit, who remembers this for you, merely teaches you how to remove the blocks that stand between you and what you know. His memory is yours. If you remember what you have made, you are remembering nothing. Remembrance of reality is in Him, and therefore in you.

The guiltless and the guilty are totally incapable of understanding one another. Each perceives the other as like himself, making both unable to communicate, because each sees the other unlike the way he sees himself. God can communicate only to the Holy Spirit in your mind, because only He shares the knowledge of what you are with God. And only the Holy Spirit can answer God for you, for only He knows what God is. Everything else that you have placed within your mind cannot exist, for what is not in communication with the Mind of God has never been. Communication with God is life. Nothing without it is at all.

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 30

Lesson 120

For morning and evening review:

(109) I rest in God.

I rest in God today, and let Him work in me and
through me, while I rest in Him in quiet and in
perfect certainty.

(110) I am as God created me.

I am God’s Son. Today I lay aside all sick illusions of
myself, and let my Father tell me Who I really am.

On the hour:

I rest in God.

On the half hour:

I am as God created me.

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ACIM Q&A for Today

Q. What is A Course in Miracles’ teaching regarding karma?

A: Although A Course in Miracles does not use the word karma, which is the term found in Eastern spiritual teachings for the law of cause and effect, the Course certainly addresses the concept in many passages. Linear time is a central aspect of karma, or cause and effect, in the ego’s world. In the Course, Jesus tells us that cause and effect are not separate (T.26.VII.13:1) and it is only in the thought system of separation that the two can seem distinct. And it is only in the world of separation and time that karma, or the world’s law of cause and effect, can operate. Once we find ourselves (by our choice) within the world’s belief system, karma becomes neutral, although initially the ego developed the notion of cause and effect to establish the reality of separation, including the consequences of guilt and punishment for our attack on God. None of this of course is real, from the Course’s perspective. But given that we believe in the law of cause and effect — a by-product of our belief in the reality of the separation — Jesus shows us a gentler application of the principle.

The ego would have us believe that there are inevitable consequences for all our acts and failures to act within the world. Good acts beget good consequences and bad acts beget bad consequences. And there is a dualistic balance that needs to be maintained, or a debt that has to be paid, as a result of all of our choices in the world.

Jesus, however, shifts the focus from the world to our mind, where he helps us learn to recognize that the only choice we are ever really making is in our mind, between the ego thought system and the thought system of the Holy Spirit. And it is only within the mind that cause and effect have any real meaning. Each thought system has consequences in terms of whether or not we experience peace of mind. And our peace in the present depends only on our choice in the present, having nothing to do with any decision we have made in the past. This understanding has the potential of releasing us from the karmic cycle that seems to require that we experience the consequences of our actions in time and space. And forgiveness is the Course’s practice for releasing us from any so-called karmic debt. For additional discussions on karma from the perspective of the Course, see Questions #332 and #363.

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for April 19

ACIM Text Reading for April 19

Chapter 13 ~ The Guiltless World

V. The Two Emotions

I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms, for the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. They are made of sights that are not seen, and sounds that are not heard. They make up a private world that cannot be shared. For they are meaningful only to their maker, and so they have no meaning at all. In this world their maker moves alone, for only he perceives them.

Each one peoples his world with figures from his individual past, and it is because of this that private worlds do differ. Yet the figures that he sees were never real, for they are made up only of his reactions to his brothers, and do not include their reactions to him. Therefore, he does not see he made them, and that they are not whole. For these figures have no witnesses, being perceived in one separate mind only.

It is through these strange and shadowy figures that the insane relate to their insane world. For they see only those who remind them of these images, and it is to them that they relate. Thus do they communicate with those who are not there, and it is they who answer them. And no one hears their answer save him who called upon them, and he alone believes they answered him. Projection makes perception, and you cannot see beyond it. Again and again have you attacked your brother, because you saw in him a shadow figure in your private world. And thus it is you must attack yourself first, for what you attack is not in others. Its only reality is in your own mind, and by attacking others you are literally attacking what is not there.

The delusional can be very destructive, for they do not recognise they have condemned themselves. They do not wish to die, yet they will not let condemnation go. And so they separate into their private worlds, where everything is disordered, and where what is within appears to be without. Yet what is within they do not see, for the reality of their brothers they cannot recognise.

You have but two emotions, yet in your private world you react to each of them as though it were the other. For love cannot abide in a world apart, where when it comes it is not recognised. If you see your own hatred as your brother, you are not seeing him. Everyone draws nigh unto what he loves, and recoils from what he fears. And you react with fear to love, and draw away from it. Yet fear attracts you, and believing it is love, you call it to yourself. Your private world is filled with figures of fear you have invited into it, and all the love your brothers offer you, you do not see.

As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound. Your manifestations of emotions are the opposite of what the emotions are. You communicate with no one, and you are as isolated from reality as if you were alone in all the universe. In your madness you overlook reality completely, and you see only your own split mind everywhere you look. God calls you and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice. And the vision of Christ is not in your sight, for you look upon yourself alone.

Little child, would you offer this to your Father? For if you offer it to yourself, you are offering it to Him. And He will not return it, for it is unworthy of you because it is unworthy of Him. Yet He would release you from it and set you free. His sane Answer tells you what you have offered yourself is not true, but His offering to you has never changed. You who know not what you do can learn what insanity is, and look beyond it. It is given you to learn how to deny insanity, and come forth from your private world in peace. You will see all that you denied in your brothers because you denied it in yourself. For you will love them, and by drawing nigh unto them you will draw them to yourself, perceiving them as witnesses to the reality you share with God. I am with them as I am with you, and we will draw them from their private worlds, for as we are united so would we unite with them. The Father welcomes all of us in gladness, and gladness is what we should offer Him. For every Son of God is given you to whom God gave Himself. And it is God Whom you must offer them, to recognise His gift to you.

Vision depends on light. You cannot see in darkness. Yet in darkness, in the private world of sleep, you see in dreams although your eyes are closed. And it is here that what you see you made. But let the darkness go and all you made you will no longer see, for sight of it depends upon denying vision. Yet from denying vision it does not follow you cannot see. But this is what denial does, for by it you accept insanity, believing you can make a private world and rule your own perception. Yet for this, light must be excluded. Dreams disappear when light has come and you can see.

Do not seek vision through your eyes, for you made your way of seeing that you might see in darkness, and in this you are deceived. Beyond this darkness, and yet still within you, is the vision of Christ, Who looks on all in light. Your ‘vision’ comes from fear, as His from love. And He sees for you, as your witness to the real world. He is the Holy Spirit’s manifestation, looking always on the real world, and calling forth its witnesses and drawing them to you. He loves what He sees within you, and He would extend it. And He will not return unto the Father until He has extended your perception even unto Him. And there perception is no more, for He has returned you to the Father with Him.

You have but two emotions, and one you made and one was given you. Each is a way of seeing, and different worlds arise from their different sights. See through the vision that is given you, for through Christ’s vision He beholds Himself. And seeing what He is, He knows His Father. Beyond your darkest dreams He sees God’s guiltless Son within you, shining in perfect radiance that is undimmed by your dreams. And this you will see as you look with Him, for His vision is His gift of love to you, given Him of the Father for you.

The Holy Spirit is the Light in which Christ stands revealed. And all who would behold Him can see Him, for they have asked for light. Nor will they see Him alone, for He is no more alone than they are. Because they saw the Son, they have risen in Him to the Father. And all this will they understand, because they looked within and saw beyond the darkness the Christ in them, and recognised Him. In the sanity of His vision they looked upon themselves with love, seeing themselves as the Holy Spirit sees them. And with this vision of the truth in them came all the beauty of the world to shine upon them.

For a Free Downloadable Audio of Today’s Text Reading, Click HERE

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for April 19

Lesson 109

I rest in God

We ask for rest today, and quietness unshaken by the world’s appearances. We ask for peace and stillness, in the midst of all the turmoil born of clashing dreams. We ask for safety and for happiness, although we seem to look on danger and on sorrow. And we have the thought that will answer our asking with what we request.

“I rest in God.” This thought will bring to you the rest and quiet, peace and stillness, and the safety and the happiness you seek. “I rest in God.” This thought has power to wake the sleeping truth in you, whose vision sees beyond appearances to that same truth in everyone and everything there is. Here is the end of suffering for all the world, and everyone who ever came and yet will come to linger for a while. Here is the thought in which the Son of God is born again, to recognize himself.

“I rest in God.” Completely undismayed, this thought will carry you through storms and strife, past misery and pain, past loss and death, and onward to the certainty of God. There is no suffering it cannot heal. There is no problem that it cannot solve. And no appearance but will turn to truth before the eyes of you who rest in God.

This is the day of peace. You rest in God, and while the world is torn by winds of hate your rest remains completely undisturbed. Yours is the rest of truth. Appearances cannot intrude on you. You call to all to join you in your rest, and they will hear and come to you because you rest in God. They will not hear another voice than yours because you gave your voice to God, and now you rest in Him and let Him speak through you.

In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In timelessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today. And as you close your eyes, sink into stillness. Let these periods of rest and respite reassure your mind that all its frantic fantasies were but the dreams of fever that has passed away. Let it be still and thankfully accept its healing. No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God. Take time today to slip away from dreams and into peace.

Each hour that you take your rest today, a tired mind is suddenly made glad, a bird with broken wings begins to sing, a stream long dry begins to flow again. The world is born again each time you rest, and hourly remember that you came to bring the peace of God into the world, that it might take its rest along with you.

With each five minutes that you rest today, the world is nearer waking. And the time when rest will be the only thing there is comes closer to all worn and tired minds, too weary now to go their way alone. And they will hear the bird begin to sing and see the stream begin to flow again, with hope reborn and energy restored to walk with lightened steps along the road that suddenly seems easy as they go.

You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.

You rest within the peace of God today, quiet and unafraid. Each brother comes to take his rest, and offer it to you. We rest together here, for thus our rest is made complete, and what we give today we have received already. Time is not the guardian of what we give today. We give to those unborn and those passed by, to every Thought of God, and to the Mind in which these Thoughts were born and where they rest. And we remind them of their resting place each time we tell ourselves, “I rest in God.”

For a Free Downloadable Audio of Today’s Workbook Lesson, Click HERE

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ACIM Q & A For the Day

Q #1347: Why would agnostics from a country like Japan, where there is very little interest in organized religion and certainly little fear of God in the tradition of the three Abrahamic religions, split off in the first place from their Source? If we are all hiding from a wrathful God by creating this world and this body, how about people who don’t fear or care about any God?

A: It is difficult for our minds to ask questions that don’t come from premises such as the world is real and is populated by different people with different beliefs and philosophies, each existing at a very specific time in a very specific space. Certainly, this is our experience, identified as we are with these individual selves that seem to have their own individual existences, relatively unrelated and unaffected by most other separate selves in the world.

From the Course’s perspective, these premises could not be further from the truth. The world is merely the unitary projection of a fragmented, split mind that believes it can exist outside the Oneness of Reality (T.18.I. 4,5,6). There are many different forms the various aspects of this split mind assume as they seem to be projected out into a world of form, but there is one thing they all share in common – they all symbolize the belief that separation is real and that we are each alone in the world, not quite sure how we have ended up here, but each quite sure that we are here. And the world will at times be experienced as a potentially dangerous, menacing place, either because of impersonal forces of nature or because of more powerful personal forces – other people — outside ourselves.

So no matter what our conscious religious or spiritual beliefs, or lack of, the fact that we all seem to find ourselves in a world of separation, identified with our own body, means that we all share the same ego thought system. And we all are therefore unconsciously using the world to hide from our own guilt over believing we are separate, projected on to some force outside ourselves. So it does not matter whether we consciously believe in any god or not, we all believe in the ego and its defenses. And we have accepted the seeming defense that the world and the body provide so that we don’t seem to be responsible for all the sin and guilt and fear in the split mind, which everyone who believes he is in the world shares.

A Course in Miracles , as a set of symbols, is very culture-specific and so it may not resonate with those who seem to embrace a different set of cultural beliefs about the nature and existence of God and the world. The Course’s specific mythology is merely derived from the rich mythology of Judaism and Christianity. But its content is universal, for it describes – in Judeo-Christian terminology or form – what every mind that believes it is a body in the world ultimately believes. And so ultimately, each seemingly separate fragmentary aspect of the split mind must come to the realization that it is not separate from Love and its guilt over separation is not real, although the symbols that lead to this realization will differ widely throughout the Sonship (M.29.2:6) .

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