A Course in Miracles Reading & Workbook Lesson for November 12

ACIM Reading for November 12

Manual for Teachers

22. HOW ARE HEALING AND ATONEMENT RELATED?

Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. It is the one complete concept possible in this world, because it is the source of a wholly unified perception. Partial Atonement is a meaningless idea, just as special areas of hell in Heaven are inconceivable. Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. To forgive is to heal. The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. What is there, then, he cannot heal? What miracle can be withheld from him?

The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognises the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations, but this is comparatively rare. The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest?

That forgiveness is healing needs to be understood, if the teacher of God is to make progress. The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego’s thought system. This thought gives the body autonomy, separates it from the mind, and keeps the idea of attack inviolate. If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible. A body that can order a mind to do as it sees fit could merely take the place of God and prove salvation is impossible. What, then, is left to heal? The body has become lord of the mind. How could the mind be returned to the Holy Spirit unless the body is killed? And who would want salvation at such a price?

Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision. Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick. Perhaps he can accept the idea in theory, but it is rarely if ever consistently applied to all specific forms of sickness, both in the individual’s perception of himself and of all others as well. Nor is it at this level that the teacher of God calls forth the miracle of healing. He overlooks the mind and body, seeing only the face of Christ shining in front of him, correcting all mistakes and healing all perception. Healing is the result of the recognition, by God’s teacher, of who it is that is in need of healing. This recognition has no special reference. It is true of all things that God created. In it are all illusions healed.

When a teacher of God fails to heal, it is because he has forgotten Who he is. Another’s sickness thus becomes his own. In allowing this to happen, he has identified with another’s ego, and has thus confused him with a body. In so doing, he has refused to accept the Atonement for himself, and can hardly offer it to his brother in Christ’s Name. He will, in fact, be unable to recognise his brother at all, for his Father did not create bodies, and so he is seeing in his brother only the unreal. Mistakes do not correct mistakes, and distorted perception does not heal. Step back now, teacher of God. You have been wrong. Lead not the way, for you have lost it. Turn quickly to your Teacher, and let yourself be healed.

The offer of Atonement is universal. It is equally applicable to all individuals in all circumstances. And in it is the power to heal all individuals of all forms of sickness. Not to believe this is to be unfair to God, and thus unfaithful to Him. A sick person perceives himself as separate from God. Would you see him as separate from you? It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick. It is your function to recognise for him that what he believes about himself is not the truth. It is your forgiveness that must show him this. Healing is very simple. Atonement is received and offered. Having been received, it must be accepted. It is in the receiving, then, that healing lies. All else must follow from this single purpose.

Who can limit the power of God Himself? Who, then, can say which one can be healed of what, and what must remain beyond God’s power to forgive? This is insanity indeed. It is not up to God’s teachers to set limits upon Him, because it is not up to them to judge His Son. And to judge His Son is to limit his Father. Both are equally meaningless. Yet this will not be understood until God’s teacher recognises that they are the same mistake. Herein does he receive Atonement, for he withdraws his judgement from the Son of God, accepting him as God created him. No longer does he stand apart from God, determining where healing should be given and where it should be withheld. Now can he say with God, “This is my beloved Son, created perfect and forever so”.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 12

Lesson 283

My true Identity abides in You.

Father, I made an image of myself, and it is this I call the Son of God. Yet is creation as it always was, for Your creation is unchangeable. Let me not worship idols. I am he my Father loves. My holiness remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God. Is not what is beloved of You secure? Is not the light of Heaven infinite? Is not Your Son my true Identity, when You created everything that is?

Now are we One in shared Identity, with God our Father as our only Source, and everything created part of us. And so we offer blessing to all things, uniting lovingly with all the world, which our forgiveness has made one with us.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

What about congenital defects or infant deaths? Are these chosen also? 

A congenital defect, as well as an infant’s death, is not chosen by the brain of the baby, but by the mind that projected a figure in a dream that was born deformed or died at a very early age. Please refer to the diagram for question 16 (http://www.miraclestudies.net/Question16p2.html), and recall that the split mind projects out many thoughts that take form throughout the hologram of time and space. Therefore, if a thought of imperfection or death is entertained by the separated mind, it can be experienced as a congenital defect or an infant death in what is perceived to be the life of an individual.  If one returns to our earlier analogy of the body (and brain) as a puppet, carrying out the wishes of the non-human mind, answers to questions like the above will make perfect sense. 

The Journey to God

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 10

ACIM Text Reading for October 10

Manual for Teachers

7. Should Healing Be Repeated?

This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing. It is now the teacher of God himself whose mind needs to be healed. And it is this he must facilitate. He is now the patient, and he must so regard himself. He has made a mistake, and must be willing to change his mind about it. He lacked the trust that makes for giving truly, and so he has not received the benefit of his gift.

Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal, because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. Now the teacher of God has only one course to follow. He must use his reason to tell himself that he has given the problem to One Who cannot fail, and must recognize that his own uncertainty is not love but fear, and therefore hate. His position has thus become untenable, for he is offering hate to one to whom he offered love. This is impossible. Having offered love, only love can be received.

It is in this that the teacher of God must trust. This is what is really meant by the statement that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more that he could do. By accepting healing he can give it. If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it. Thus is his doubt corrected. He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn. That was a mistake, but hardly one to stay with. And so the teacher of God can only recognize it for what it is, and let it be corrected for him.

One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God’s teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him.

The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. And that necessarily implies that trust has been placed in an illusory self, for only such a self can be doubted. This illusion can take many forms. Perhaps there is a fear of weakness and vulnerability. Perhaps there is a fear of failure and shame associated with a sense of inadequacy. Perhaps there is a guilty embarrassment stemming from false humility. The form of the mistake is not important. What is important is only the recognition of a mistake as a mistake.

The mistake is always some form of concern with the self to the exclusion of the patient. It is a failure to recognize him as part of the Self, and thus represents a confusion in identity. Conflict about what you are has entered your mind, and you have become deceived about yourself. And you are deceived about yourself because you have denied the Source of your creation. If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. If you really want the problem solved, you cannot doubt. If you are certain what the problem is, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 10

Lesson 283

My true Identity abides in You.

Father, I made an image of myself, and it is this I call the Son of God. Yet is creation as it always was, for Your creation is unchangeable. Let me not worship idols. I am he my Father loves. My holiness remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God. Is not what is beloved of You secure? Is not the light of Heaven infinite? Is not Your Son my true Identity, when You created everything that is?

Now are we One in shared Identity, with God our Father as our only Source, and everything created part of us. And so we offer blessing to all things, uniting lovingly with all the world, which our forgiveness has made one with us.

 ***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #674: What advice would you have for a teacher of God whose own healing depends on the change of mind of the patient? My mom was given a miracle through me, but it is waiting on her acceptance of it. This miracle will heal me just the same. The healing is not of an illness but rather of a lack of abundance. I feel healed because of revelation, but the continuation of symptoms is hard to ignore at times. I turn to the Holy Spirit as much as I can, and He helps me remember that I have an agreement with God, and that God does not change His Mind. Still, what is my role here? Can I do anything to speed up her change of mind? So far I have simply watched her progress and gave her the word of God when I felt she needed to hear it. Is there anything else I can do?

A: If we believe that our own healing depends on someone else’s change of mind, what we really need is a change of mind ourselves! Your intentions around your mother’s accepting the healing seem well-meaning enough, but Jesus cautions, “Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough (T.18.IV.2:1,2). For while you remain concerned about her acceptance of the miracle, or feel a need to help her progress in her acceptance of it, your mind is also not accepting it! Hard as this may be to believe, Jesus makes this point in the most uncompromising terms, in the section “Should Healing Be Repeated?” in the manual for teachers: “One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God’s teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him” (M.7.4).

Specifically, what does it mean that her symptoms are hard for you to ignore at times? Her continued symptoms are reminding you, at least unconsciously, of unhealed places within your own mind, and that is where Jesus would ask you to direct your attention, rather than to your mother’s continuing resistance. For if we are affected by someone else’s inability to accept a miracle, we are making the error of their thinking real in our own mind, believing that the ego is a real problem rather than merely a mistaken perspective based on an illusory belief in separation. Believing the ego is real is the only problem we need to address. And while we believe that someone else is in any way responsible for our lack of peace, we are missing the opportunity to heal our own misperception. For if we could really be affected by another’s choice, then we could be victimized by forces beyond our control. Yet Jesus makes it very clear, early in the workbook, that we are not victims of the world we see (W.pI.31).

In the same section in the manual for teachers cited above, Jesus goes on to say:“The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. And that necessarily implies that trust has been placed in an illusory self, for only such a self can be doubted.…Conflict about what you are has entered your mind, and you have become deceived about yourself. And you are deceived about yourself because you have denied the Source of your creation. If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. If you really want the problem solved, you cannot doubt. If you are certain what the problem is, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.” (M.7.5:1,2; 6:3,4,5,6,7,8). The illusory self is one that believes it is separate not only from others but from God and His All- encompassing Love. That is the misperception that needs to be healed within our own mind before we can be of genuine help to anyone else.

Now this does not mean that you will not offer support to your mother in her process of healing, but it will not be done out of any sense of need that she change. Your only role or responsibility as a teacher of God, which Jesus emphasizes in many places in A Course in Miracles, including this section, is to accept the Atonement for yourself (e.g., T.2.V.5:1; M.7.3:2). And he further elaborates: “The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more that he could do. By accepting healing he can give it. If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it. Thus is his doubt corrected. He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn. That was a mistake, but hardly one to stay with. And so the teacher of God can only recognize it for what it is, and let it be corrected for him (M.7.3:3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11; italics added).

guiltless mind

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 11

ACIM Text Reading for October 11

Manual for Teachers

VIII. How Can Perception of Order of Difficulties Be Avoided?

The belief in order of difficulties is the basis for the world’s perception. It rests on differences; on uneven background and shifting foreground, on unequal heights and diverse sizes, on varying degrees of darkness and light, and thousands of contrasts in which each thing seen competes with every other in order to be recognized. A larger object overshadows a smaller one. A brighter thing draws the attention from another with less intensity of appeal. And a more threatening idea, or one conceived of as more desirable by the world’s standards, completely upsets the mental balance. What the body’s eyes behold is only conflict. Look not to them for peace and understanding.

Illusions are always illusions of differences. How could it be otherwise? By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. Illusions are travesties of creation; attempts to bring truth to lies. Finding truth unacceptable, the mind revolts against truth and gives itself an illusion of victory. Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others.

Where do all these differences come from? Certainly they seem to be in the world outside. Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that interprets the eyes’ messages and gives them “meaning.” And this meaning does not exist in the world outside at all. What is seen as “reality” is simply what the mind prefers. Its hierarchy of values is projected outward, and it sends the body’s eyes to find it. The body’s eyes will never see except through differences. Yet it is not the messages they bring on which perception rests. Only the mind evaluates their messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful.

It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. The mind classifies what the body’s eyes bring to it according to its preconceived values, judging where each sense datum fits best. What basis could be faultier than this? Unrecognized by itself, it has itself asked to be given what will fit into these categories. And having done so, it concludes that the categories must be true. On this the judgment of all differences rests, because it is on this that judgments of the world depend. Can this confused and senseless “reasoning” be depended on for anything?

There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? Will he agree more quickly to the unreality of a louder voice he hears than to that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to kill than a shout? And do the number of pitchforks the devils he sees carrying affect their credibility in his perception? His mind has categorized them all as real, and so they are all real to him. When he realizes they are all illusions they will disappear. And so it is with healing. The properties of illusions which seem to make them different are really irrelevant, for their properties are as illusory as they are.

The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. There will be those who seem to be “sicker” than others, and the body’s eyes will report their changed appearances as before. But the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. This is the gift of its Teacher; the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. And of these two, but one is real. Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place–for differences cannot exist within it–so too are illusions without distinctions. The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing. The one answer to all illusions is truth.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 11

Lesson 283

My true Identity abides in You.

Father, I made an image of myself, and it is this I call the Son of God. Yet is creation as it always was, for Your creation is unchangeable. Let me not worship idols. I am he my Father loves. My holiness remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God. Is not what is beloved of You secure? Is not the light of Heaven infinite? Is not Your Son my true Identity, when You created everything that is?

Now are we One in shared Identity, with God our Father as our only Source, and everything created part of us. And so we offer blessing to all things, uniting lovingly with all the world, which our forgiveness has made one with us.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1145: Is there any specific meaning in the use of the figure “5”, “50” etc. within A Course in Miracles , in particular in the workbook? Certain Christian/gnostic sects and similar organizations are said to have used certain symbols, as perhaps the pentagram as the symbol of Christ. I found it interesting that the “centre of our being,” the holy instant is also sitting comfortably at the centre of the 31 chapters of the textbook and, 1+5=6, perhaps secretly alluding to the “inner Christ” or Son of God anyway (the figure 6 as symbolized by Tiphareth/Son of God in the kabbala)? Is there any “reason” behind the structure of the workbook, certain lessons building up on each other in a certain “symphonic” way? Could A Course in Miracles , as a whole, perhaps be regarded as “holographic” in structure and content?

A: As far as we are aware, there is no special meaning in the numbering and symbols used in the Course. It is written in such a way, however, that one could find all kinds of things along the lines you mention. That was never anything that Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford related to, though; and we at the Foundation do not either.

The structure of A Course in Miracles can quite easily fit into the symphonic or holographic model. Kenneth often speaks of this, and has described it explicitly and at length in his introduction to the series of classes he gave on each of the three books of the Course. In introducing his classes on the manual for teachers, for example, he states: “My presentation on the text . . . followed a musical format, taking not only Jesus as my inspiration, obviously, but Beethoven as well. Our journey was like a symphony within a symphony, each lecture built around the various themes of the text’s thirty-one chapters, which reflected the symphonic nature of the text itself. Although the form is slightly different, I have done the same thing in these lectures on the manual for teachers, using music as the inspiration for their structure, and, again, Beethoven as the model, specifically the third movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. . . . As I thought about the structure for these classes, this movement came to mind because the manual itself is organized around two themes and variations of these two themes, specifically the first.”

The holographic model can be recognized in the fact that if we understood completely any one statement of the Course, we would understand the Course’s message in its entirety. If we completely understood the first miracle principle — that there is no order of difficulty among miracles — there would be no need to read or study anything further in the Course. The same could be said of the very first lesson, or any other lesson. But because of the intense fear in our minds, Jesus leads us gradually. He told Helen and Bill to study the “notes,” so that they would be prepared for what was to follow — a message that is included, in part, near the end of Chapter 1 of the text (T.1.VII.4) . The early lessons in the workbook initiate a process of mind training, and they incorporate a certain amount of structure and discipline that will not be needed in later stages of the process. The Introduction to the workbook discusses this dimension of the Course. The workbook is carefully and intentionally structured to achieve maximum results, given the state of our minds’ beliefs and fears.


Q #1146: This is about lucid dreaming, the ability to realize while dreaming that everything that is happening is only a dream. Then you can control your dream and your dream stops controlling you. I´ve been experiencing this phenomenon and I’ve learned to produce it at will. How can this kind of dream help me with A Course in Miracles and the Holy Spirit’s purpose?

A: It can be very helpful. A primary objective of Jesus’ mind-training program is to help us become lucid dreamers, which means becoming aware that what appears to us as real is not real – – we are just dreaming of ourselves as individuals in a physical world: “You are at home in God, dreaming of exile but perfectly capable of awakening to reality” (T.10.I.2:1). Jesus is not referring to our dreams at night, but to our experiences in our daily lives. Yet, he also tells us these are not different states in terms of their content: “All your time is spent in dreaming. Your sleeping and your waking dreams have different forms, and that is all. Their content is the same. They are your protest against reality, and your fixed and insane idea that you can change it” (T.18.II.5:12,13,14,15).

Being a lucid dreamer, you probably can relate very much to Jesus’ discussions of dreaming. It is a major theme in the Course, but there are several sections that focus specifically on the nature and purpose of the dream: four sections in Chapter 18 ( T.18.I,II,III,V) and two in Chapter 27 ( T.27.VII,VIII). Purpose is the key word, and that is where our work as students is centered. Are we upholding the ego’s purpose in our lives or the Holy Spirit’s purpose? The ego wants us to stay asleep and to continue to dream, without ever realizing that that is what our lives amount to. The Holy Spirit wants us to realize that we are merely dreaming that we are separate; it is not the truth. Jesus thus says of the miracle that it“does not awaken you, but merely shows you who the dreamer is. . . . The miracle establishes you dream a dream and its content is not true” (T.28.II.4:2;7:1) .

We can begin the process of awakening by accepting the Holy Spirit’s purpose of learning to see each other as sharing a common interest — that we are all in pain for having left our loving home in Heaven, and we are all desperately hoping there is a way back that does not involve eternal punishment. The Holy Spirit thus represents the Atonement principle, the fulfillment of our hope that what awaits us is only love, for we never truly left. This is the dream Jesus refers to that precedes our final awakening, “a gentler dream, in which his suffering was healed and where his brother was his friend . . .” (T.27.VII.13:4) .


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ACIM Manual for Teachers Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 10

ACIM Manual for Teachers Reading for October 10

8. HOW CAN PERCEPTION OF ORDER OF DIFFICULTIES BE AVOIDED?

The belief in order of difficulties is the basis for the world’s perception. It rests on differences; on uneven background and shifting foreground, on unequal heights and diverse sizes, on varying degrees of darkness and light, and thousands of contrasts in which each thing seen competes with every other in order to be recognised. A larger object overshadows a smaller one. A brighter thing draws the attention from another with less intensity of appeal. And a more threatening idea, or one conceived of as more desirable by the world’s standards, completely upsets the mental balance. What the body’s eyes behold is only conflict. Look not to them for peace and understanding.

Illusions are always illusions of differences. How could it be otherwise? By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognised as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. Illusions are travesties of creation; attempts to bring truth to lies. Finding truth unacceptable, the mind revolts against truth and gives itself an illusion of victory. Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others.

Where do all these differences come from? Certainly they seem to be in the world outside. Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that interprets the eyes’ messages and gives them “meaning”. And this meaning does not exist in the world outside at all. What is seen as “reality” is simply what the mind prefers. Its hierarchy of values is projected outward, and it sends the body’s eyes to find it. The body’s eyes will never see except through differences. Yet it is not the messages they bring on which perception rests. Only the mind evaluates their messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful.

It is in the sorting out and categorising activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. The mind classifies what the body’s eyes bring to it according to its preconceived values, judging where each sense datum fits best. What basis could be faultier than this? Unrecognised by itself, it has itself asked to be given what will fit into these categories. And having done so, it concludes that the categories must be true. On this the judgement of all differences rests, because it is on this that judgements of the world depend. Can this confused and senseless “reasoning” be depended on for anything?

There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? Will he agree more quickly to the unreality of a louder voice he hears than to that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to kill than a shout? And do the number of pitchforks the devils he sees carrying affect their credibility in his perception? His mind has categorised them all as real, and so they are all real to him. When he realises they are all illusions they will disappear. And so it is with healing. The properties of illusions which seem to make them different are really irrelevant, for their properties are as illusory as they are.

The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. There will be those who seem to be “sicker” than others, and the body’s eyes will report their changed appearances as before. But the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. This is the gift of its Teacher; the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. And of these two, but one is real. Just as reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place—for differences cannot exist within it—so too are illusions without distinctions. The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing. The one answer to all illusions is truth.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 10

Lesson 283
My true Identity abides in You.

Father, I made an image of myself, and it is this I call the Son of God. Yet is creation as it always was, for Your creation is unchangeable. Let me not worship idols. I am he my Father loves. My holiness remains the light of Heaven and the Love of God. Is not what is beloved of You secure? Is not the light of Heaven infinite? Is not Your Son my true Identity, when You created everything that is?

Now are we One in shared Identity, with God our Father as our only Source, and everything created part of us. And so we offer blessing to all things, uniting lovingly with all the world, which our forgiveness has made one with us.

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

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1361: I’ve been married for a year, and I have a husband who constantly verbally abuses me. Any little thing I angers him, making him swear at me even in front of others. We have fought about this, but I found it of no use. It was during that time I began to practice A Course in Miracles . Sometimes the Course works, and sometimes doesn’t. But somehow I feel I just can’t take it anymore. I am full of hatred and self-pity. I don’t want to forgive him and I hate myself for doing this. I don’t know what to do.

A: Being a student of A Course in Miracles does not mean that you must stay in an abusive relationship in order to practice your lessons of forgiveness. That is a mistake students often make. While it is not the purpose of the Course to advise us on behavior, it does advise us — and that is the focus of its training — on the kind of thinking that would help restore our minds to their natural state of true innocence, because from that state, you would know what the most loving course of action is for both you and your husband. You would not have to agonize over it. You would either stay or leave, but whatever you choose, you would do it without conflict, guilt, anger, or fear. It is not easy to reach that state, as you have discovered in the short amount of time you have been working with the Course — normally, it is a process that occurs over many years. But holy instants in which you are free of ego investments are within reach at any stage of the process: “The necessary condition for the holy instant does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep” (T.15.IV.9:1,2). That instant without fear or guilt aligns your thinking with the compassionate truth that is always present in your right mind.

It is vital that you be gentle with yourself when you practice forgiveness imperfectly as well as when you refuse to forgive. There are many layers of fear in our minds that account for our resistance and all the difficulties we have with forgiveness. Jesus is our model to follow in this: he never judges us, for he sees our ego choices only as mistakes in need of correction, not sins demanding punishment. He asks that we have this same attitude when we are tempted to judge ourselves for our unwillingness and our imperfect practice. There is no merit in fighting against yourself just in order to be spiritual or a “good” Course in Miracles student (T.30.I.1:7) .

It is important, too, to understand that forgiveness is never about the other person; it is solely about recognizing all anger as a projection of our own guilt, and that our concealed ongoing choice to believe in our sinfulness is the real and only source of our unhappiness and lack of peace, not what other people do or do not do to us. That is why the overriding emphasis in the Course is on looking within at the contents of our minds and restoring to our awareness the power we have to choose to follow either the ego’s teachings or Jesus’. That is the function of the miracle: “The miracle establishes you dream a dream, and its content is not true” (T.28.II.7:1).

Questions #501 and #675 also address the type of situation you find yourself in. The discussion elaborates on some points made here, with particular emphasis on the ego pitfalls that students are apt to miss in their attempts to deal with the pain and anger of abusive relationships.

sun of god guiltless