A Course in Miracles Reading & Workbook Lesson for November 9

ACIM Reading for November 9

Manual for Teachers

19. WHAT IS JUSTICE?

Justice is the divine correction for injustice. Injustice is the basis for all the judgements of the world. Justice corrects the interpretations to which injustice gives rise, and cancels them out. Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice, since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit’s verdict upon the world. Except in His judgement justice is impossible, for no one in the world is capable of making only just interpretations and laying all injustices aside. If God’s Son were fairly judged, there would be no need for salvation. The thought of separation would have been forever inconceivable.

Justice, like its opposite, is an interpretation. It is, however, the one interpretation that leads to truth. This becomes possible because, while it is not true in itself, justice includes nothing that opposes truth. There is no inherent conflict between justice and truth; one is but the first small step in the direction of the other. The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendour reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases and time ends with it. But somewhere one must start. Justice is the beginning.

All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body’s eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. Selectively and arbitrarily is every concept of the world built up in just this way. “Sins” are perceived and justified by careful selectivity in which all thought of wholeness must be lost. Forgiveness has no place in such a scheme, for not one “sin” but seems forever true.

Salvation is God’s justice. It restores to your awareness the wholeness of the fragments you perceive as broken off and separate. And it is this that overcomes the fear of death. For separate fragments must decay and die, but wholeness is immortal. It remains forever and forever like its Creator, being one with Him. God’s Judgement is His justice. Onto this,—a Judgement wholly lacking in condemnation; an evaluation based entirely on love,—you have projected your injustice, giving God the lens of warped perception through which you look. Now it belongs to Him and not to you. You are afraid of Him, and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.

Pray for God’s justice, and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. God’s justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. It accepts all evidence that is brought before it, omitting nothing and assessing nothing as separate and apart from, all the rest. From this one standpoint does it judge, and this alone. Here all attack and condemnation becomes meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see!


***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for November 9

Lesson 280

What limits can I lay upon God’s Son?

Whom God created limitless is free. I can invent imprisonment for him, but only in illusions, not in truth. No Thought of God has left its Father’s Mind. No Thought of God is limited at all. No Thought of God but is forever pure. Can I lay limits on the Son of God, whose Father willed that he be limitless, and like Himself in freedom and in love?

Today let me give honor to Your Son, for thus alone I find the way to You. Father, I lay no limits on the Son You love and You created limitless. The honor that I give to him is Yours, and what is Yours belongs to me as well.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q) Does being defenseless mean I should let someone kill or rape me, or stand by while violence is committed against loved ones or others? 

A)We begin by stating that defenselessness is a thought of the right mind, an attitude based upon the Holy Spirit’s thought system that the Son of God is innocent and sinless, and therefore invulnerable. If there is no sin there can be no guilt. And without guilt there can be no projection, which means there can be no fear of being attacked. Guilt, as the Course teaches, demands punishment: if no guilt exists, fear of punishment is also non-existent. Finally, without fear of Punishment from without, there is no need for defenses within, and so the true state of defenselessness is the thought of innocence and invulnerability. 

This does not then mean that a right-minded person’s behavior is necessarily what the world thinks of as defenseless. The meaning of spiritual defenselessness is often distorted, so that people think they must be totally passive, like doormats, to be defenseless. To let others do violence to oneself, a loved one, or anyone else, very often is allowing those persons to act in a manner that would not only be harmful to their “victims,” but to themselves as well by reinforcing their own guilt over their separation from God and from the rest of the Sonship. Acting behaviorally to “protect” oneself can actually then be following the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the mind to be loving. It is not the formof the behavior that reflects defenselessness, but the content of the mind’s thought. 

Both our professional experiences offered examples of this principle. My (Kenneth’s) first employment as a psychologist was working with disturbed children in a special school. These were children ranging from ages five to thirteen, many of whom had severe behavioral problems which often manifested in their acting violently towards themselves and others. I devised a way that I could control their behavior by getting them to the floor, wrapping my legs and arms around them in such manner that they were not hurt, but were unable to kick, punch, bite, scratch, or harm anyone. Thus by preventing their attempts at behavioral violence, I was able eventually to calm them down. My behavior could have looked to an observer as defensive, although obviously its purpose was only to help. 

During my tenure as teacher and dean in a New York City high school, I (Gloria) many times had to have teens suspended from school or arrested for various kinds of violent behavior and use of weapons. My intervention, too, could have been interpreted by an observer as defensive. Yet, checking out my responses as best I could with Jesus as to how I should proceed, resulted in — paraphrasing from the text — setting a limit on the teenagers’ ability to miscreate (T-2.III.3:3). Thus they were prevented from acting out more murderous thoughts which would have resulted in a greater reinforcement of their guilt. I always felt it was my responsibility as dean, which was a dream role I scripted, to get myself out of the way to the best of my ability so that I could access the correction script of the Holy Spirit in these difficult circumstances. I had the little willingness A Course in Miracles speaks about, but I sometimes wondered in my early days with the Course, why I scripted such seemingly difficult situations! 

For us to have acted otherwise — i.e., to have been behaviorally passive or “defenseless” in the face of such aggressive actions — would have been as unloving as it would be to let a rapist brutally assault your wife or daughter while you are standing by mouthing Course “platitudes” about not being a body, how love does not defend itself, etc. As with everything related to the teachings of A Course in Miracles, it is the content or purpose that supplies the meaning to our actions, and the only true meaning comes from Jesus or the Holy Spirit in our minds. Their love is abstract and non-specific, and always the same. Yet this love is expressed through the specific expressions of our individuality, and therefore differs from one person to the next. Thus, only one with the wisdom of Jesus would be in a position to justly and fairly evaluate another’s actions. For anyone else it would be foolhardy and arrogant to make such judgments. As he instructs us in the manual for teachers: 

In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come…. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself… Make then but one more judgment. It is this: There is Someone with you Whose judgment  is perfect (M-10.3:3,5-7; 4:6-7).

And so the bottom line is always to ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit for help before we respond to a difficult situation, as well as to ask Their help before attempting to judge another’s response in a difficult situation. 

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 21

ACIM Text Reading for October 21

Manual for Teachers

How Is Correction Made?

Correction of a lasting nature, — and only this is true correction, — cannot be made until the teacher of God has ceased to confuse interpretation with fact, or illusion with truth. If he argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has “proved,” both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. And this can only be impossible. Reality is changeless. Magic thoughts are but illusions. Otherwise salvation would be only the same age-old impossible dream in but another form. Yet the dream of salvation has new content. It is not the form alone in which the difference lies.

God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. Through them, the Holy Spirit can now speak of the reality of the Son of God. Now He can remind the world of sinlessness, the one unchanged, unchangeable condition of all that God created. Now He can speak the Word of God to listening ears, and bring Christ’s vision to eyes that see. Now is He free to teach all minds the truth of what they are, so they will gladly be returned to Him. And now is guilt forgiven, overlooked completely in His sight and in God’s Word.

Anger but screeches, “Guilt is real!” Reality is blotted out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word. The body’s eyes now “see”; its ears alone can “hear.” Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless. Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:

“You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.”

In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his eternal Guide, and let Him judge what the response should be. So is he healed, and in his healing is his pupil healed with him. The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to heal?

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 21

Lesson 292

A happy outcome to all things is sure.

God’s promises make no exceptions. And He guarantees that only joy can be the final outcome found for everything. Yet it is up to us when this is reached; how long we let an alien will appear to be opposing His. And while we think this will is real, we will not find the end He has appointed as the outcome of all problems we perceive, all trials we see, and every situation that we meet. Yet is the ending certain. For God’s Will is done in earth and Heaven. We will seek and we will find according to His Will, which guarantees that our will is done.

We thank You, Father, for Your guarantee of only happy outcomes in the end. Help us not interfere, and so delay the happy endings You have promised us for every problem that we can perceive; for every trial we think we still must meet.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #131: I have been a follower of A Course in Miracles for many years. My questions are: God must know the pain and suffering we are having. He is God, how can He not hear the cries of His child? Why has He forsaken us? Surely there must be a better way.

A: The Course’s path is different from the traditional biblical paths that are characterized by prayer and supplication to God to do something about our plight. A Course in Miracles presents itself as a correction of traditional biblical spirituality. Its distinctive approach is to teach us that the problem in our relationship with God is entirely on our end, and that our lives reflect the thought system in our minds that we are choosing to uphold. God simply is (W.pI.169.5), and knows nothing of this world of separation. It is we who are blocking the awareness of love’s presence in our minds (T.in.1:7). Therefore, the thrust of the Course is to explain to us how we are blocking love and what we can do to restore it to our awareness:“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” (T.16.IV.6:1). It teaches that salvation is our responsibility and within our grasp. It centers on the practice of forgiveness in the context of the Atonement principle, which states that the separation from God never occurred; it was just “a tiny, mad idea” that never happened in reality. We are simply dreaming a dream of sin, guilt, and fear that have led to lives dominated by suffering and death. The role of Jesus or the Holy Spirit is to help us view our lives through their eyes and with their help eventually awaken from this nightmare dream. The starting point in this process of awakening, though, is to take responsibility for the conditions that prevail in our lives, because they are the direct result of the thought system of the ego in our minds, to which we have secretly vowed eternal allegiance.

The “other way” is to turn to Jesus for help in looking at our secret wish to be separate from God and each other. He reassures us: “I will never leave you or forsake you, because to forsake you would be to forsake myself and God Who created me. You forsake yourself and God if your forsake any of your brothers. You must learn to see them as they are, and understand they belong to God as you do” (T.5.IV.6:5,6,7). The Course teaches us that the Holy Spirit is present within our minds as both the memory of God that we took with us into the dream, and the bridge that we will cross when we have chosen against the ego and have seen our interests as the same, not separate from God or others: “His memory has not gone by, and left a stranded Son forever on a shore where he can glimpse another shore that he can never reach. His Father wills that he be lifted up and gently carried over. He has built the bridge, and it is He Who will transport His Son across it. Have no fear that He will fail in what He wills. Nor that you be excluded from the Will that is for you” (T.28.I.15:56,7,8,9).

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 19

ACIM Text Reading for October 19

Manual for Teachers

16. How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?

To the advanced teacher of God this question is meaningless. There is no program, for the lessons change each day. Yet the teacher of God is sure of but one thing; they do not change at random. Seeing this and understanding that it is true, he rests content. He will be told all that his role should be, this day and every day. And those who share that role with him will find him, so they can learn the lessons for the day together. Not one is absent whom he needs; not one is sent without a learning goal already set, and one which can be learned that very day. For the advanced teacher of God, then, this question is superfluous. It has been asked and answered, and he keeps in constant contact with the Answer. He is set, and sees the road on which he walks stretch surely and smoothly before him.

But what about those who have not reached his certainty? They are not yet ready for such lack of structuring on their own part. What must they do to learn to give the day to God? There are some general rules which do apply, although each one must use them as best he can in his own way. Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up. Broadly speaking, then, it can be said that it is well to start the day right. It is always possible to begin again, should the day begin with error. Yet there are obvious advantages in terms of saving time.

At the beginning, it is wise to think in terms of time. This is by no means the ultimate criterion, but at the outset it is probably the simplest to observe. The saving of time is an essential early emphasis which, although it remains important throughout the learning process, becomes less and less emphasized. At the outset, we can safely say that time devoted to starting the day right does indeed save time. How much time should be so spent? This must depend on the teacher of God himself. He cannot claim that title until he has gone through the workbook, since we are learning within the framework of our course. After completion of the more structured practice periods, which the workbook contains, individual need becomes the chief consideration.

This course is always practical. It may be that the teacher of God is not in a situation that fosters quiet thought as he awakes. If this is so, let him but remember that he chooses to spend time with God as soon as possible, and let him do so. Duration is not the major concern. One can easily sit still an hour with closed eyes and accomplish nothing. One can as easily give God only an instant, and in that instant join with Him completely. Perhaps the one generalization that can be made is this; as soon as possible after waking take your quiet time, continuing a minute or two after you begin to find it difficult. You may find that the difficulty will diminish and drop away. If not, that is the time to stop.

The same procedures should be followed at night. Perhaps your quiet time should be fairly early in the evening, if it is not feasible for you to take it just before going to sleep. It is not wise to lie down for it. It is better to sit up, in whatever position you prefer. Having gone through the workbook, you must have come to some conclusions in this respect. If possible, however, just before going to sleep is a desirable time to devote to God. It sets your mind into a pattern of rest, and orients you away from fear. If it is expedient to spend this time earlier, at least be sure that you do not forget a brief period,–not more than a moment will do,–in which you close your eyes and think of God.

There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy; a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are freed within it. You think you made a place of safety for yourself. You think you made a power that can save you from all the fearful things you see in dreams. It is not so. Your safety lies not there. What you give up is merely the illusion of protecting illusions. And it is this you fear, and only this. How foolish to be so afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection.

How simply and how easily does time slip by for the teacher of God who has accepted His protection! All that he did before in the name of safety no longer interests him. For he is safe, and knows it to be so. He has a Guide Who will not fail. He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives, for He to Whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them. He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go. There is no difference in his state at different times and different places, because they are all one to God. This is his safety. And he has no need for more than this.

Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. It is not good enough for God’s teacher, because it is not enough for God’s Son.

The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. They can have no effects; neither good nor bad, neither rewarding nor demanding sacrifice, healing nor destructive, quieting nor fearful. When all magic is recognized as merely nothing, the teacher of God has reached the most advanced state. All intermediate lessons will but lead to this, and bring this goal nearer to recognition. For magic of any kind, in all its forms, simply does nothing. Its powerlessness is the reason it can be so easily escaped. What has no effects can hardly terrify.

There is no substitute for the Will of God. In simple statement, it is to this fact that the teacher of God devotes his day. Each substitute he may accept as real can but deceive him. But he is safe from all deception if he so decides. Perhaps he needs to remember, “God is with me. I cannot be deceived.” Perhaps he prefers other words, or only one, or none at all. Yet each temptation to accept magic as true must be abandoned through his recognition, not that it is fearful, not that it is sinful, not that it is dangerous, but merely that it is meaningless. Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this “sacrifice” is Heaven restored to his awareness.

Is not this an exchange that you would want? The world would gladly make it, if it knew it could be made. It is God’s teachers who must teach it that it can. And so it is their function to make sure that they have learned it. No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain. “There is no will but God’s.” His teachers know that this is so, and have learned that everything but this is magic. All belief in magic is maintained by just one simple-minded illusion;–that it works. All through their training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness. Fear is withdrawn from them, and so they go. And thus the gate of Heaven is reopened, and its light can shine again on an untroubled mind.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 19

Lesson 290

My present happiness is all I see.

Unless I look upon what is not there, my present happiness is all I see. Eyes that begin to open see at last. And I would have Christ’s vision come to me this very day. What I perceive without God’s Own Correction for the sight I made is frightening and painful to behold. Yet I would not allow my mind to be deceived by the belief the dream I made is real an instant longer. This the day I seek my present happiness, and look on nothing else except the thing I seek.

With this resolve I come to You, and ask Your strength to hold me up today, while I but seek to do Your Will. You cannot fail to hear me, Father. What I ask have You already given me. And I am sure that I will see my happiness today.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1017: In the manual we are told: “It is better to sit up, in whatever position you prefer. Having gone through the workbook, you must have come to some conclusions in this respect” (M.16.5:4,5). I have gone through the workbook, and I missed it. Could you please elaborate on the importance/significance of sitting up.

A: In this passage in the manual, Jesus is giving us specific instructions as guidelines for our practice. Quite simply, it is likely that lying down at the end of the day or just before going to bed will induce sleep, which then prevents one from spending the quiet time he is recommending. It is also probably more comfortable than standing up. This is a very clear example of how Jesus takes into consideration our resistance, the nature of the ego, and the body’s needs. He is helping us to find ways to make our best effort at complying with the structure set up in the workbook and reinforced here in the manual.

Jesus knows that we are not always eager to learn what he is teaching us in A Course in Miracles . One of the ways our resistance is expressed is by falling asleep while reading it. He assumes that we must have noticed that we come up with all kinds of excuses and distractions for not doing the workbook lessons. Sleep is just one of them. He also assumes we are serious about our commitment to the practice of forgiveness, and so he gives us these helpful tips. That is all that is meant in this passage.


Q #1018: I have a question regarding Gloria’s “myth” in Awaken from the Dream . I’d like to understand a bit more about a point where she as a representative of the “middle group” is looking at physical reality and pledging that she’ll endure any amount of suffering to get back into the dream and help others awaken. This, to me, seems to be a really important moment. Is judging the pain and suffering we are seeing, and feeling that it must be fixed, and that we are the ones to fix it — is that a wholly fallacious judgment? Is viewing the scene in that way purely the result of guilt (which is always of the ego)? Is guilt the key to the continual recreation of the dream for people like us? Could return to the dream be motivated by love? Ever? I feel like this is a really crucial question and want to be sure I understand it correctly. Would a bodhisattva or a reincarnated lama who has pledged to return endlessly until everyone is freed fall under that category? Or is it something else with them?

A: Returning to the dream could definitely be motivated by love. We need to distinguish between the healed and the unhealed mind to get the proper perspective on this; and we need also remember that this cannot be understood from our very limited human perspective. Our human experience is the effect of the mind’s choice to conceal its life as mind outside time and space, and so it can never be a reliable link to the truth. We must start there, for that is all we have to draw on; but Jesus cautions us regularly about using our experience as individuals as a criterion of what is real. He leads us beyond that to the dimension of mind we have sought to deny.

The healed mind is totally free of guilt — it is no longer split into a right and wrong mind with a decision-making power. The healed mind is identified only with love and knows that anything else is illusory. That unrestricted love could then appear in the dream in a form recognizable by other figures in the dream seeking salvation. But this extension of love — this healed mind, this Teacher of teachers (M.26.2)— would not be experienced as a “coming into the dream.” It would simply be the form love takes. There would be no sense of having been sent on a holy mission to redeem or rescue souls, etc., and there would be no sense of sacrifice — of reluctantly returning to an unholy place of sin, for example. That mind would be joyous and at peace, knowing it is not in the dream at all, and recognizing as well that that is everyone’s true reality. It would not respond to anything as though it were real and in need of “fixing,” although in form it would appear to be just like everyone else. It is important to recognize that this way of being does not correspond to any motivation known to us who experience ourselves as limited individuals competing for survival in a world with an overwhelming number and variety of problems.

An unhealed mind would continue to take form in the dream in order to carry out its ego-driven objective of proving the separation real, projecting responsibility for it in an attempt to flee the punishment it thinks it deserves. An unhealed mind could also take form in order to continue to learn to awaken from the dream (a right-minded motivation). Again, we need to be wary of trying to conceptualize this in terms of our experience as humans. We can use analogies, as Jesus does, but all of this takes place only within the mind. There is not some non-physical entity somewhere that enters time and space as a body. This is always about the dynamics in a mind that never ceases being a mind. We need to remember as well that we are attempting to diagram something that is inherently illusory.

For the unhealed mind — still guilt-ridden — the world of separation would be perceived as a battleground of opposition between those protecting the separation and those seemingly imprisoned and trying to free themselves. If one perceives oneself as here to free those still imprisoned, or to use switch metaphors, to awaken those still asleep, then one is sharing the perception of the ego. If something needs “fixing,” then the separation has been judged real — the fallacious judgment you referred to. Jesus is helping us realize that our only responsibility is to accept the Atonement for ourselves, which means to realize that nothing happened — “Not one note in Heaven’s song was missed” (T.26.V.5:4) — the separation from God never happened: Yet, as we make progress in this, we will begin to perceive everyone else in the same way — as here solely to learn this same lesson. If we are truly undoing the separation in our minds, it could hardly be otherwise.

certain as god

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 15

ACIM Text Reading for October 15

Manual for Teachers

How Many Teachers of God Are Needed To Save the World?

The answer to this question is–one. One wholly perfect teacher, whose learning is complete, suffices. This one, sanctified and redeemed, becomes the Self Who is the Son of God. He who was always wholly spirit now no longer sees himself as a body, or even as in a body. Therefore he is limitless. And being limitless, his thoughts are joined with God’s forever and ever. His perception of himself is based upon God’s Judgment, not his own. Thus does he share God’s Will, and bring His Thoughts to still deluded minds. He is forever one, because he is as God created him. He has accepted Christ, and he is saved.

Thus does the son of man become the Son of God. It is not really a change; it is a change of mind. Nothing external alters, but everything internal now reflects only the Love of God. God can no longer be feared, for the mind sees no cause for punishment. God’s teachers appear to be many, for that is what is the world’s need. Yet being joined in one purpose, and one they share with God, how could they be separate from each other? What does it matter if they then appear in many forms? Their minds are one; their joining is complete. And God works through them now as one, for that is what they are.

Why is the illusion of many necessary? Only because reality is not understandable to the deluded. Only very few can hear God’s Voice at all, and even they cannot communicate His messages directly through the Spirit which gave them. They need a medium through which communication becomes possible to those who do not realize that they are spirit. A body they can see. A voice they understand and listen to, without the fear that truth would encounter in them. Do not forget that truth can come only where it is welcomed without fear. So do God’s teachers need a body, for their unity could not be recognized directly.

Yet what makes God’s teachers is their recognition of the proper purpose of the body. As they advance in their profession, they become more and more certain that the body’s function is but to let God’s Voice speak through it to human ears. And these ears will carry to the mind of the hearer messages that are not of this world, and the mind will understand because of their Source. From this understanding will come the recognition, in this new teacher of God, of what the body’s purpose really is; the only use there really is for it. This lesson is enough to let the thought of unity come in, and what is one is recognized as one. The teachers of God appear to share the illusion of separation, but because of what they use the body for, they do not believe in the illusion despite appearances.

The central lesson is always this; that what you use the body for it will become to you. Use it for sin or for attack, which is the same as sin, and you will see it as sinful. Because it is sinful it is weak, and being weak, it suffers and it dies. Use it to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy. Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die. When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all. The mind makes this decision, as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition. Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. To do that would be to give the body another purpose from the one that keeps it holy. God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as It tells him what his function is. He does not suffer either in going or remaining. Sickness is now impossible to him.

Oneness and sickness cannot coexist. God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while. It is a conscious choice. For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences. The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are? Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful. Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 15

Lesson 287

You are my goal, my Father. Only You.

Where would I go but Heaven? What could be a substitute for happiness? What gift could I prefer before the peace of God? What treasure would I seek and find and keep that can compare with my Identity? And would I rather live with fear than love?

You are my goal, my Father. What but You could I desire to have? What way but that which leads to You could I desire to walk? And what except the memory of You could signify to me the end of dreams and futile substitutions for the truth? You are my only goal. Your Son would be as You created him. What way but this could I expect to recognize my Self, and be at one with my Identity?

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ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #335: When I have unkind and attacking thoughts and do not immediately catch them, is it necessary that I recall those thoughts in detail before I can release them to the Holy Spirit or Jesus to cleanse and reinterpret them for me? Most of the time, I realize only afterwards that my thoughts were unkind and I cannot remember the specific thoughts anymore. So I tell the Holy Spirit or Jesus that those thoughts reflect a goal that prevents me from accepting my true function. This approach has given me a tool that I can generalize to almost all the selfish, ego-based thoughts I have most of the time. They all seem to pass rapidly by and sometimes I just put them all in one bunch and offer them. Can you help me here?

A: In the end, it does not really matter what specific form our attack thoughts take. It is their purpose, or goal, that we are concerned about, and that purpose is always to reinforce our own guilt and sense of separation. And so it is the purpose in our mind and not the particular thoughts and words and actions we’ve employed for that purpose that we want to be in touch with.

However, before we can reach that level of generalization of our lessons, it is important that we not skip over any of the specific steps that lead us to the recognition of the sameness of all of our ego judgments. And so you would want to ask yourself as honestly as you can whether your difficulty in remembering the specifics may be the result of a sense of fear and guilt about those thoughts that is saying to you, “Don’t look! These judgments and attack thoughts are too awful to look at. Just accept that you’ve sinned and then get rid of it by offering the heavy burden to Jesus or the Holy Spirit.” This is not quite what Jesus is asking us to do (T.13.III.1:1,2)! But only you can answer for yourself whether it is your own fear that is keeping the specific thoughts out of your awareness.

Now if this is in fact the case, you don’t want to make a big deal about it. So you’re afraid, but who isn’t? All you want to do then is to begin to develop a willingness to look at your ego and perhaps at first begin to remember how it has trapped you in its shenanigans in your recent past. And over time, with practice, you will learn to recognize your choice for the ego while you’re in the middle of it. The value of this is that you will then know you have a different choice in the moment when you’ve chosen to identify with your ego and you won’t have to prolong the suffering and pain that accompanies identifying with your ego. So don’t try to force anything or make yourself remember, but simply offer that little willingness to look at your ego together with Jesus or the Holy Spirit (T.12.II.10) so that you can see its nothingness.

you have no idea

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 12

ACIM Text Reading for October 12

Manual for Teachers

IX. Are Changes Required in the Life Situation of God’s Teachers?

Changes are required in the minds of God’s teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan. It is most unlikely that changes in attitudes would not be the first step in the newly made teacher of God’s training. There is, however, no set pattern, since training is always highly individualized. There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. By far the majority are given a slowly evolving training program, in which as many previous mistakes as possible are corrected. Relationships in particular must be properly perceived, and all dark cornerstones of unforgiveness removed. Otherwise the old thought system still has a basis for return.

As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God’s Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. The world’s training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one’s judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation.

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 12

Lesson 284

I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.

Loss is not loss when properly perceived. Pain is impossible. There is no grief with any cause at all. And suffering of any kind is nothing but a dream. This is the truth, at first to be but said and then repeated many times; and next to be accepted as but partly true, with many reservations. Then to be considered seriously more and more, and finally accepted as the truth. I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt. And I would go beyond these words today, and past all reservations, and arrive at full acceptance of the truth in them.

Father, what You have given cannot hurt, so grief and pain must be impossible. Let me not fail to trust in You today, accepting but the joyous as Your gifts; accepting but the joyous as the truth.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #250: In Kenneth Wapnick’s book Forgiveness & Jesus, he says on page xv in the Preface: “Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not operate in the world, and certainly do not send people as if they were operating a giant chess board, moving us around according to the evolution of the plan of salvation.” However, the manual for teachers of A Course in Miracles says: “There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship” (M.3.1:6,7); and then later it says, “Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan” (M.9.1:3). This indicates that meeting certain people is part of God’s plan, and as I have understood the Course, the Holy Spirit is operating in the illusion to help us, just as the Course is made within the framework of the illusion. Meetings are part of God’s plan — there are no accidents — so how can this be interpreted?

A: There are no accidents because everything has already happened, and we are simply reviewing mentally what has already gone by: “The script is written.…we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by” (W.pI.158.4:3,5). In “The Little Hindrance” Jesus tells us: “To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past” (T.26.V.4:1,2). So people are in our lives only because that is what our scripts involve. We have no recollection of our having written these scripts (a metaphor, of course), which is part of the ego’s strategy to keep us from remembering that we are decision-making minds. You might wish to consult Kenneth’s A Vast Illusion: Time According to “A Course in Miracles,” which is an in-depth study of this intriguing part of the Course’s theory.

We are inclined to view what the Course says from our perspective, which is that the world and linear time are real. And that is why we would think that the Holy Spirit and Jesus actually do things, such as direct us to specific people so that we can learn our lessons of forgiveness. But that could not be, since there is no world, and time is not real, either. It is helpful to review the levels of language in the Course, and why Jesus speaks to us as if our experience in the world and linear time were real. Earlier answers to questions have developed these topics, and we refer you to them for further study: Questions #72 and #116.

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Q #174-a: How does A Course in Miracles deal with severe woundedness? For many years, I have struggled with the inequality of parents and children, focused on abuse I received on all levels, resulting in impoverished development even though I am very bright. I have two questions:

#174-b: How can I forgive evil? What happened to me is evil, sourced in escape of responsibility and outright violation — emotionally, spiritually, mentally, personally.

#174-c: What am I? What does it mean to be a spiritual creature (my body is light) while living in a world made of hate, conflict, and power?

A: The world is a desperate, cruel place, filled with the effects of evil thoughts. People can be unconscionably vicious and brutal to each other, abusing those over whom they have power, much as they have been abused by those who have had power over them. It is a vicious cycle from which no escape seems possible. Yet escape is possible, if we are willing to look beneath the surface of our ready judgments of good and evil and our facile distinctions between the guilty and the innocent.

Now there may be a way of understanding what motivated your parents to treat you as they did, but that does not mean there is any justification for it. Yet you also are recognizing that holding on to the judgment and the pain only keeps you trapped in mental anguish that paralyzes you and prevents you from experiencing the joy and peace that we are assured is our God-given inheritance (W.pI.104).

The Course recognizes that “frightened people can be vicious” (T.3.I.4:2). This awareness holds the key to releasing ourselves and everyone else from the grips of evil. It is fear that motivates all of us to act out our evil thoughts, and not inherent evil. No one in the world is immune from having thoughts of evil — that is the nature of the ego thought system that we all share. Some of us may have become better than others at curbing our overt behavior. But rage bordering on the murderous simmers within each of our minds until we learn how to uncover the guilt that fuels the rage and allow it to be healed in the light of the Holy Spirit’s forgiveness. The ego is complete and total darkness — there is no light within its tightly sealed boundaries — and we all grope for our way, stumbling without hope while we remain identified with its evil purposes.

We are all one in sharing the wrong-minded ego, although we may differ in how we give it expression in our lives. But until we acknowledge its presence within us, we will be caught in dysfunctional attempts to defend against the guilt and self-hatred that are the inevitable companions of our belief in the darkness within. We will seek to project that guilt outside ourselves and on to others. And so we will lash out, wanting to hold others responsible for the pain that comes from feeling separated from love. Some find socially appropriate but still ego-motivated ways to channel this overwhelming experience of pain and guilt. Others direct it out with little or no concern for its effects on others. And so these become the rapists, the murderers, the child abusers. And it becomes easy to see the sin and guilt within them, as a testament to our own “innocence.” Yet what drives them is no different from what drives all of us who have not uncovered these unconscious dynamics in order to begin to heal them. And so the first step in our own healing — after acknowledging our judgments against the murderer, the rapist, the abuser — is to recognize the common “humanity” that we all share — a desperate, pain-filled identity that places self-interest and self-preservation above everything else. We all do it, but our cover may just be better.

If we can begin to get in touch with the fact that our own pain is the same as everyone else’s pain, and it is only that pain which leads all of us to act in insane ways, we have opened the door to a more merciful and compassionate view of both ourselves and everyone else. For we will have begun to see that whatever cruelty any of us acts out is only a defense against the guilt and pain within — the same guilt and pain that we all experience.

This is not to say that our own experiences of abuse should be denied. But there is a step beyond acknowledging the pain that we have felt at others’ hands that we will take when we are ready to move beyond the pain. The problem in the present is not the events of the past themselves but the interpretation we are continuing to give them. And the Course provides us a different way of looking at those past events, helping us to understand what at a deeper level motivated the abusive actions, and how we share that same deeper motivation in our own life as we have been living it with the ego’s guidance. Only then can we recognize the choice we have in the present to be released from the pain of our own self-judgments.

We are all looking for a way out of our pain, but we blindly think and act in ways that continue to inflict pain upon ourselves — judgments and attacks against others that only reinforce the belief in separation that is the foundation of the ego thought system. When we begin to recognize the content of fear behind the ego’s cruelty — either someone else’s or own — the judgments we have been holding onto can begin to dissolve. We will have begun to shift from the self-interest of the ego to the shared interest of the Holy Spirit, Who recognizes that we are all joined in the same need for release from the guilt and pain of the ego thought system. That recognition of shared interests is a reflection of the love that we all yearn for and the Oneness that we all share as the holy and innocent Son of God, an Identity that transcends the shared ego and its manifestations, from which the illusion of evil has arisen.

guiltless mind

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 10

ACIM Text Reading for October 10

Manual for Teachers

VII. 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.

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 10

Lesson 282

I will not be afraid of love today.

If I could realize but this today, salvation would be reached for all the world. This the decision not to be insane, and to accept myself as God Himself, my Father and my Source, created me. This the determination not to be asleep in dreams of death, while truth remains forever living in the joy of love. And this the choice to recognize the Self Whom God created as the Son He loves, and Who remains my one Identity.

Father, Your Name is Love and so is mine. Such is the truth. And can the truth be changed by merely giving it another name? The name of fear is simply a mistake. Let me not be afraid of truth today.

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ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #410: Do you think practices that focus on the physical body (like yoga and other more conventional forms of exercise) are leading me further away from the truth? It seems like these things help me feel better, but am I just deluding myself? Is it just the ego that is feeling better?

A: There is nothing wrong with doing anything with the body that makes you feel better, whether it’s yoga, or walking or other physical exercise, or going to a movie, having a beer, or sex, etc. And the Course would never ask you to give up anything that seems to help you. All that Jesus asks of us is to recognize that, if the Course is our path, the only practice that will truly make us feel better is forgiveness, because it is the only practice that gets to the root of our unhappiness — our belief that we are separate from love, from God, and from each other.

We all have to do something with our bodies while we believe we live in them, and it can be a kind and loving thing to care for them in a way that we believe maintains their health and well- being. But the bottom line will always be – what is our purpose? If we are focusing on our body to reinforce our specialness, we are setting ourselves up for pain and suffering. A sobering passage towards the end of the text makes this clear:

Ask yourself this: Can you protect the mind? The body, yes, a little; not from time, but temporarily. And much you think you save, you hurt. What would you save it for? For in that choice lie both its health and harm. Save it for show, as bait to catch another fish, to house your specialness in better style, or weave a frame of loveliness around your hate, and you condemn it to decay and death (T.24.VII.4:1,2,3,4,5,6).

The reason for this is not punitive, as the ego would want us to believe, but simply the inevitable consequences of identifying with a thought system that reinforces the belief in loss and limitation as a result of separation, as the following explains:

Whenever you attempt to reach a goal in which the body’s betterment is cast as major beneficiary, you try to bring about your death. For you believe that you can suffer lack, and lack is death (T-29.VII.4:1,2; see also T.19.IV.B.12).

The problem is not with taking care of the body as we think we need to. It would be foolish, for example, to stop eating or drinking simply because they happen to be the imagined needs of a mind that believes it is separate and housed in a body. The problem arises when our focus on the body is to maintain it for the purpose of attack — either for special love or for special hate — that is, as a means to meet our own needs at someone else’s expense, seeing our interests as separate from everyone else’s. And an honest starting point would be to acknowledge that, for most of us, most of the time, that in fact is our focus.

But the correction would not be to eliminate the physical activity we are engaging in to help improve our body, but rather to ask for help in looking at the mental activity that we are buying into that tells us that using others can bring us happiness. If we look honestly, we will see the lie beneath that argument and it will diminish in its appeal to us. And then, with a different Thought behind our actions, one that points to the genuine benefits that come from recognizing our shared interest with all our brothers, our body can then become a medium for sharing that message with others, not through any specific words or actions, but through our attitude of love and peace.

firefly sunset biglittle beach love does not condemn

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 6

ACIM Text Reading for October 6

Manual for Teachers

III. What Are the Levels of Teaching?

The teachers of God have no set teaching level. Each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same; to make of the relationship a holy relationship, in which both can look upon the Son of God as sinless. There is no one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view he cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him. Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.

The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of what seem to be very casual encounters; a “chance” meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator, a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult “by chance,” two students “happening” to walk home together. These are not chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the elevator will smile to one another, perhaps the adult will not scold the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come.

It is difficult to understand that levels of teaching the universal course is a concept as meaningless in reality as is time. The illusion of one permits the illusion of the other. In time, the teacher of God seems to begin to change his mind about the world with a single decision, and then learns more and more about the new direction as he teaches it. We have covered the illusion of time already, but the illusion of levels of teaching seems to be something different. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate that these levels cannot exist is simply to say that any level of the teaching-learning situation is part of God’s plan for Atonement, and His plan can have no levels, being a reflection of His Will. Salvation is always ready and always there. God’s teachers work at different levels, but the result is always the same.

Each teaching-learning situation is maximal in the sense that each person involved will learn the most that he can from the other person at that time. In this sense, and in this sense only, we can speak of levels of teaching. Using the term in this way, the second level of teaching is a more sustained relationship, in which, for a time, two people enter into a fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to separate. As with the first level, these meetings are not accidental, nor is what appears to be the end of the relationship a real end. Again, each has learned the most he can at the time. Yet all who meet will someday meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy. God is not mistaken in His Son.

The third level of teaching occurs in relationships which, once they are formed, are lifelong. These are teaching-learning situations in which each person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with unlimited opportunities for learning. These relationships are generally few, because their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect. This does not mean that they necessarily recognize this; in fact, they generally do not. They may even be quite hostile to each other for some time, and perhaps for life. Yet should they decide to learn it, the perfect lesson is before them and can be learned. And if they decide to learn that lesson, they become the saviors of the teachers who falter and may even seem to fail. No teacher of God can fail to find the Help he needs.

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 6

Lesson 278

If I am bound, my Father is not free.

If I accept that I am prisoner within a body, in a world in which all things that seem to live appear to die, then is my Father prisoner with me. And this do I believe, when I maintain the laws the world obeys must I obey; the frailties and the sins which I perceive are real, and cannot be escaped. If I am bound in any way, I do not know my Father nor my Self. And I am lost to all reality. For truth is free, and what is bound is not a part of truth.

Father, I ask for nothing but the truth. I have had many foolish thoughts about myself and my creation, and have brought a dream of fear into my mind. Today, I would not dream. I choose the way to You instead of madness and instead of fear. For truth is safe, and only love is sure.

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ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #774: I understand that the basic goal of A Course in Miracles is to reorient perception, and from there, experience. However, while I can get a handle on this intellectually, I feel like I’m emotionally handicapped on this one. There are a number of things from my past which are still present in my mind, causing me severe bouts of depression at times, and I have a great deal of trouble releasing them. How can I let go of them? Do I simply “not think about them” anymore? Do I ignore them as “non-existent”? Every so often, these issues seem to pop back up, and I seem unable to recondition my own responses. They are making me extremely tired, and they have unpleasant effects in my relationships. Help!!!

A: Bringing purpose into the picture is important for understanding what is happening. Jesus tells us, “The memory of God comes to the quiet mind. It cannot come where there is conflict, for a mind at war against itself remembers not eternal gentleness” (T.23.I.1:1,2) . Part of us wants to remember our true Identity in God, and part of is terrified of letting go of our false identity so that we would remember the truth. That fear causes us to do things that would prevent our minds from being quiet, as Jesus indicates in the quote. These are our defenses, and we all have a grab bag full of them that we pull out the instant this fear arises to threaten us. One very effective defense is to recall painful events from the past — this is a “favorite” of many students. (How curious that we would resort to something painful to cope with fear!) Recalling the past thus is purposeful, for we then begin to obsess about what happened years ago, as if it were happening right now, and that leaves us with no doubt that we are bodies, the innocent victims of what has been done to us — or we could remember how we cruelly victimized others. We don’t realize that this is a defense that is consciously chosen, as are all defenses — an important dynamic that Jesus describes at the beginning of Lesson 136 (W.pI.136) . He also points out in a thought-provoking section in the text, “The Present Memory,” that“remembering is as selective as perception, being its past tense” (T.28.I.2:5) . Why are only certain events of the past brought into awareness, when so many other things happened as well?

The section in the text called “Shadows of the Past” (T.17.III) is likewise enlightening with respect to how the ego uses the past to reinforce in our minds our belief that we are separate. Elsewhere in the text Jesus teaches us about the ego’s use of time in contrast to the Holy Spirit’s. For the ego, time “is nothing but a teaching device for compounding guilt until it becomes all- encompassing, demanding vengeance forever. The Holy Spirit would undo all of this now . Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist” (T.15.I.7:7; 8:1,2). The context of the discussion is the ego’s ferocious need to keep alive its doctrine of sin, guilt, damnation, and hell. Linear time was devised by the ego for this purpose. The Holy Spirit, however, uses time to teach us how to learn only from Him so that we would have “no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time” (T.15.I.1:1) .

Once you realize the purpose of recalling the past, you can simply look at that and then dwell more on the purpose of these recollections, than on the past hurts. When you no longer want the purpose served by your remembrance of these hurts in the present, they will be easier to let go. But you never want to try to convince yourself that something is non-existent when it is still causing you pain. That will only worsen the situation. Do not fight yourself ,” Jesus emphasizes (T.30.I.1:7) . It is fine to have defenses. They are not the problem; the problem is our thinking that we need them. But that takes years of practice to undo, along with patience and gentleness with yourself: “ Defenses, like everything you made, must be gently turned to your own good, translated by the Holy Spirit from means of self-destruction to means of preservation and release” (T.14.VII.5:8) .

Finally, it is sometimes a good idea to seek help from a therapist when events from the past are so painful and compelling that you are unable to function well. This would be no different from getting medical help for an ankle injury that prevents you from walking.

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Q #1084: In the manual for teachers of A Course in Miracles , Jesus talks about the three levels of relationships that are used by the Holy Spirit for teaching and learning purposes (“What Are the Levels of Teaching?” [M.3]). I have found myself lately trying to figure out where my different relationships fit into the three levels described in that section. Is it possible that our relationships may not fit neatly into any of the three levels and can be a combination of two possibly? I am so interested in this because a part of me loves the fact that everything is systematic and planned and I feel a need to try to figure this all out.

A: Yes, some relationships can span two levels. That would not be uncommon. But in the end this does not matter, because “each teaching-learning situation is maximal in the sense that each person involved will learn the most that he can from the other person at that time” (M.3.4:1) . As in other parts of the Course, Jesus here is teaching us to avoid thinking with the ego that there is a hierarchy of illusions, in this context that some relationships are more important than others. The mind is outside time and space where there is no gradation or ranking. This means that at any given moment the entirety of the ego’s thought system can be activated, as can the entirety of the Holy Spirit’s — whether on the freeway, at the supermarket checkout counter, or with a person you live or work with. The lack of difference is what is important. There is only one content: either the ego’s separate interests, or the Holy Spirit’s shared interests that reflect the One Level of God’s Will. There is nothing else. Your attraction to figuring everything out and fitting relationships into neat compartments could very well be a means your ego is using to keep you focused on form instead content. Jesus wants us to learn and practice that the content is always the same, regardless of the form.

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Q #250: In Kenneth Wapnick’s book Forgiveness & Jesus, he says on page xv in the Preface: “Jesus and the Holy Spirit do not operate in the world, and certainly do not send people as if they were operating a giant chess board, moving us around according to the evolution of the plan of salvation.” However, the manual for teachers of A Course in Miracles says: “There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship” (M.3.1:6,7); and then later it says, “Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan” (M.9.1:3). This indicates that meeting certain people is part of God’s plan, and as I have understood the Course, the Holy Spirit is operating in the illusion to help us, just as the Course is made within the framework of the illusion. Meetings are part of God’s plan — there are no accidents — so how can this be interpreted?

A: There are no accidents because everything has already happened, and we are simply reviewing mentally what has already gone by: “The script is written.…we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by” (W.pI.158.4:3,5). In “The Little Hindrance” Jesus tells us: “To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past” (T.26.V.4:1,2). So people are in our lives only because that is what our scripts involve. We have no recollection of our having written these scripts (a metaphor, of course), which is part of the ego’s strategy to keep us from remembering that we are decision-making minds. You might wish to consult Kenneth’s A Vast Illusion: Time According to “A Course in Miracles,” which is an in-depth study of this intriguing part of the Course’s theory.

We are inclined to view what the Course says from our perspective, which is that the world and linear time are real. And that is why we would think that the Holy Spirit and Jesus actually do things, such as direct us to specific people so that we can learn our lessons of forgiveness. But that could not be, since there is no world, and time is not real, either. It is helpful to review the levels of language in the Course, and why Jesus speaks to us as if our experience in the world and linear time were real. Earlier answers to questions have developed these topics, and we refer you to them for further study: Questions #72 and #116.

complete forgiveness

 

 

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 5

ACIM Text Reading for October 5

Manual for Teachers

Who Are Their Pupils?

Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God’s teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the Call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. Again, it is only a matter of time. Once he has chosen to fulfill his role, they are ready to fulfill theirs. Time waits on his choice, but not on whom he will serve. When he is ready to learn, the opportunities to teach will be provided for him.

In order to understand the teaching-learning plan of salvation, it is necessary to grasp the concept of time that the course sets forth. Atonement corrects illusions, not truth. Therefore, it corrects what never was. Further, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously, for the Will of God is entirely apart from time. So is all reality, being of Him. The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s Answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.

The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there. As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned.

Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. And thus it is that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had not met before. The pupil comes at the right time to the right place. This is inevitable, because he made the right choice in that ancient instant which he now relives. So has the teacher, too, made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. God’s Will in everything but seems to take time in the working-out. What could delay the power of eternity?

When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God’s Teacher speaks to any two who join together for learning purposes. The relationship is holy because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His Spirit into any holy relationship. In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own.

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 5

Lesson 277

Let me not bind Your Son with laws I made.

Your Son is free, my Father. Let me not imagine I have bound him with the laws I made to rule the body. He is not subject to any laws I made by which I try to make the body more secure. He is not changed by what is changeable. He is not slave to any laws of time. He is as You created him, because he knows no law except the law of love.

Let us not worship idols, nor believe in any law idolatry would make to hide the freedom of the Son of God. He is not bound except by his beliefs. Yet what he is, is far beyond his faith in slavery or freedom. He is free because he is his Father’s Son. And he cannot be bound unless God’s truth can lie, and God can will that He deceive Himself.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #1245: Can you please explain the passage in the manual of A Course in Miracles about not being free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. Does the “you” refer to the decision maker? “As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned” (M.2.3:6,7,8).

A: The reference here is to the text’s Introduction where Jesus makes the same point: “This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time” (T.in.1:1,2,3,4,5; italics omitted ) . As an example, college students have nothing to say about the courses listed in the school catalog, but they are free to pick which courses they will take and when — at least with regard to electives. Our situation is similar. Our decision maker has already established the curriculum of our lives, but our choice now lies with which teacher we will choose to re-experience this script: the ego or the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we accept the curriculum, “it is already learned” — we simply accept the learning that is there.

*

Q #1243: From what I understand, there is no world — it is an illusion of a thought of separation set up to maintain our egos. Does this mean that there are no special “places”? I’m thinking particularly of Ramana Maharshi and the mountain Arunachala. Ken has spoken about him as an enlightened being, and from what I’ve read and felt being there, it’s absolutely true. I felt drawn to the place, like there was a presence behind the mountain itself. Could this be? Certainly Ramana Maharshi was drawn there. When I went I swear I could feel the presence thirty miles away. Is this part of the “script” or an idea of the “ending” that we’re all destined to? In other words, can a “place” work on both a physical and spiritual level?

A: Correct. If there is no world, then it follows that there are no special places. This is what we refer to as Level One in A Course in Miracles : statements of absolute truth, the contrast between truth and illusion. If we could accept this without reservation, we would know beyond all doubt that we are not our bodies; and then all but the perfect Oneness of God’s Love would be gone. Since we are too fearful of full acceptance of that absolute truth, we allow only its reflection into our awareness, which is where Level Two discussions in the Course come in. On this level, Jesus contrasts the ego’s thought system with the Holy Spirit’s, and he teaches us that we are always choosing one or the other. This is the only content in our minds. The content with which we identify (the ego’s or the Holy Spirit’s) will govern how we perceive everything, without exception.

In light of these two levels, if you experience inner peace in certain locations or circumstances (the form), it is solely because you first chose Jesus or the Holy Spirit as your teacher in your mind (the content). (For the purposes of this discussion, we will skip the issue of the false sense of peace that can come through denial.) Nothing outside you can either give you peace or take it away. Peace is within you as your inheritance as God’s Son. This is at the heart of the message of A Course in Miracles . Learning that is the means of remembering that we never truly separated from God. Accordingly, what we want to learn is that external things that inspire us serve as reminders of what is always within us. The mistake we make — owing to the prodding of our body-obsessed ego — is to begin to worship the external place or thing as if it held special or spiritual qualities. The Course would have us learn that nothing in this world or the body is either holy or unholy. We can make it holy, so to speak, by using it or relating to it as a means of fulfilling our purpose of forgiveness. As we choose Jesus as our teacher more and more, we will be attracted more and more to the love and peace within us; and we will become less inclined to attribute our internal state of peace or lack of it to external conditions.

Jesus puts everything in perspective for us in this one moving statement: “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love” (T.26.IX.6:1) .

guiltless mind

ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for October 4

ACIM Text Reading for October 4

Manual for Teachers Section I

Who Are God’s Teachers?

A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. Once he has done that, his road is established and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness. It may be a single light, but that is enough. He has entered an agreement with God even if he does not yet believe in Him. He has become a bringer of salvation. He has become a teacher of God.

They come from all over the world. They come from all religions and from no religion. They are the ones who have answered. The Call is universal. It goes on all the time everywhere. It calls for teachers to speak for It and redeem the world. Many hear It, but few will answer. Yet it is all a matter of time. Everyone will answer in the end, but the end can be a long, long way off. It is because of this that the plan of the teachers was established. Their function is to save time. Each one begins as a single light, but with the Call at its center it is a light that cannot be limited. And each one saves a thousand years of time as the world judges it. To the Call Itself time has no meaning. There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, “God’s Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation.” It can be taught by actions or thoughts; in words or soundlessly; in any language or in no language; in any place or time or manner. It does not matter who the teacher was before he heard the Call. He has become a savior by his answering. He has seen someone else as himself. He has therefore found his own salvation and the salvation of the world. In his rebirth is the world reborn.

This is a manual for a special curriculum, intended for teachers of a special form of the universal course. There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. They merely save time. Yet it is time alone that winds on wearily, and the world is very tired now. It is old and worn and without hope. There was never a question of outcome, for what can change the Will of God? But time, with its illusions of change and death, wears out the world and all things in it. Yet time has an ending, and it is this that the teachers of God are appointed to bring about. For time is in their hands. Such was their choice, and it is given them.

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for October 4

Lesson 276

The Word of God is given me to speak.

What is the Word of God? “My Son is pure and holy as Myself.” And thus did God become the Father of the Son He loves, for thus was he created. This the Word His Son did not create with Him, because in this His Son was born. Let us accept His Fatherhood, and all is given us. Deny we were created in His Love and we deny our Self, to be unsure of Who we are, of Who our Father is, and for what purpose we have come. And yet, we need but to acknowledge Him Who gave His Word to us in our creation, to remember Him and so recall our Self.

Father, Your Word is mine. And it is this that I would speak to all my brothers, who are given me to cherish as my own, as I am loved and blessed and saved by You.

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ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #985: In the manual for teachers it says: “There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. They merely save time” (M.1.4:2,3). I thought it was the Course that saves the most time. Is that a misprint or a grammatical error or am I missing something. They merely saves time seems to be referring to all the other forms out there.

A: You are correct, the manual does say that the many forms of the universal course save time. The reason for this is that the universal course is one of content, not form, and time belongs to the world of form. When the mind decides to accept the universal truth that the separation never happened, and God’s one Son is innocent, the concept of time disappears. That is how it is “saved.”

Also, students of A Course in Miracles “save time” by not wasting it in pursuit of other forms that are very helpful, but are not their path: “You are not making use of the course if you insist on using means which have served others well, neglecting what was made for you ” (T.18.VII.6:5). We escape the laws of tine through the practice of forgiveness by returning to the thought in the mind that is outside of time. The ego’s perception of grievances and its use of projection are concepts bound by time. The Holy Spirit’s perception is a view from beyond time’s boundaries because it perceives only two timeless thoughts: the separation that never happened, and reality that never changed. Learning to see with His vision thus removes all experience from the chains of time. That is the Course’s “fast track.” It is not a linear process. Time is meaningless in the instant the mind chooses the Holy Spirit, regardless of the way time was used on the path that led to the choice. It is only the mind’s choice (content) that matters. Each choice against the ego is what saves time and saves us from time.


Q #986: I’ve begun to understand the relationship between guilt, projection, and blame. Since beginning to see this mechanism, two things have happened. One is that I’ve become incredibly irritable. I sometimes seem to be projecting a low level of guilt all over everyone and everything, which I then experience as a constant buzz of irritation. I can stand back and listen to the litany of blame (this is too loud, he’s chewing funny, she should just shut up, etc.) and I usually say “Jesus please join with me in looking at this situation. I can’t stand feeling this way.” But the whole thing is sometimes so exhausting I feel like I’m just going to jump out of my skin. I have a hard time smiling at it when it reaches that sort of crescendo. Although, I will say that if I can tell my husband about what’s going on when this is happening, and just sit with it, it passes.

The other thing that’s happening is that I’ve become afraid something bad is going to happen to my son. It’s like the ego is saying “well, since you don’t seem to be worried that something bad will happen to you , how about if we consider punishing you by hurting your child.” It scares me! I know, intellectually, that this is just my guilt and my fear of God and of love. I repeat to myself “I am at home, fear is the stranger here.” I try focusing on the Atonement. I also try asking for Jesus or the Holy Spirit to join with me and help me understand my innocence. Do you have any other tips for dealing with all this?

A: Your heightened sense of irritation and fear sounds like the normal reaction of an ego threatened by the message of A Course in Miracles . As you stated, your understanding of the dynamics of guilt and projection seems to have led you to project guilt in an even more obvious way. Meanwhile, the apparent easing of your fears about yourself has led you to focus your fear on an even more potent subject than your own body — the body of your child. Obviously, your ego knows its game could be up and it is fighting to maintain its hold on you. It sounds as if you have a clear understanding of this. That brings you to what is, at some point, virtually every Course student’s million dollar question: Now that I knowwhy I am in pain, how do I get out of it ?

Here is the good news: You came very close to answering your own question! You stated that when you tell your husband what is happening and just sit with it , it passes. Reading between the lines, it would seem from your statement that your husband does not express judgment about what you describe to him. Rather, he simply listens to you and allows you to be with your feelings. A slight alteration in your internal process would make this same comforting companionship available in your own mind. Instead of deciding that you should focus on the Atonement or your innocence, try simply asking the Holy Spirit to help you look at your pain without judgment . Come to Him without any preconceived ideas about how your conflict should be solved.

He knows that when we are in the midst of pain, Atonement and innocence generally feel like distant and even aggravating intellectual concepts. He recognizes that we cannot jump from where we are directly into the Arms of God. Instead, we need to gradually learn that all our projecting of guilt has “caused nothing, and had no effects” (T.28.II.11:7) . Through the Holy Spirit’s eyes, we slowly discover that not only does all the ego’s kicking and screaming have no effect on reality, but in fact, it need not even affect us. This is where Jesus is taking us when he urges us to ” be more aware of this quiet center of the storm than all its raging activity” (T.18.VII.8:2) . Indeed, watching the ego without justifying it or feeling guilty about it is the one thing it cannot use to further its own cause. In contrast, struggling against the ego in order to achieve lofty spiritual goals can fan the ego’s flames just as effectively as funny chewing.

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ACIM Text Reading & Workbook Lesson for September 23

ACIM Text Reading for September 23

Chapter 30 ~ The New Beginning

VIII. The New Interpretation
Would God have left the meaning of the world to your interpretation? If He had, it has no meaning. For it cannot be that meaning changes constantly, and yet is true. The Holy Spirit looks upon the world as with one purpose, changelessly established. And no situation can affect its aim, but must be in accord with it. For only if its aim could change with every situation could each one be open to interpretation which is different every time you think of it. You add an element into the script you write for every minute in the day, and all that happens now means something else. You take away another element, and every meaning shifts accordingly.

What do your scripts reflect except your plans for what the day should be? And thus you judge disaster and success, advance, retreat, and gain and loss. These judgments all are made according to the roles the script assigns. The fact they have no meaning in themselves is demonstrated by the ease with which these labels change with other judgments, made on different aspects of experience. And then, in looking back, you think you see another meaning in what went before. What have you really done, except to show there was no meaning there? But you assigned a meaning in the light of goals that change, with every meaning shifting as they change.

Only a constant purpose can endow events with stable meaning. But it must accord one meaning to them all. If they are given different meanings, it must be that they reflect but different purposes. And this is all the meaning that they have. Can this be meaning? Can confusion be what meaning means? Perception cannot be in constant flux, and make allowance for stability of meaning anywhere. Fear is a judgment never justified. Its presence has no meaning but to show you wrote a fearful script, and are afraid accordingly. But not because the thing you fear has fearful meaning in itself.

A common purpose is the only means whereby perception can be stabilized, and one interpretation given to the world and all experiences here. In this shared purpose is one judgment shared by everyone and everything you see. You do not have to judge, for you have learned one meaning has been given everything, and you are glad to see it everywhere. It cannot change because you would perceive it everywhere, unchanged by circumstance. And so you offer it to all events, and let them offer you stability.

Escape from judgment simply lies in this; all things have but one purpose, which you share with all the world. And nothing in the world can be opposed to it, for it belongs to everything, as it belongs to you. In single purpose is the end of all ideas of sacrifice, which must assume a different purpose for the one who gains and him who loses. There could be no thought of sacrifice apart from this idea. And it is this idea of different goals that makes perception shift and meaning change. In one united goal does this become impossible, for your agreement makes interpretation stabilize and last.

How can communication really be established while the symbols that are used mean different things? The Holy Spirit’s goal gives one interpretation, meaningful to you and to your brother. Thus can you communicate with him, and he with you. In symbols that you both can understand the sacrifice of meaning is undone. All sacrifice entails the loss of your ability to see relationships among events. And looked at separately they have no meaning. For there is no light by which they can be seen and understood. They have no purpose. And what they are for cannot be seen. In any thought of loss there is no meaning. No one has agreed with you on what it means. It is a part of a distorted script, which cannot be interpreted with meaning. It must be forever unintelligible. This is not communication. Your dark dreams are but the senseless, isolated scripts you write in sleep. Look not to separate dreams for meaning. Only dreams of pardon can be shared. They mean the same to both of you.

Do not interpret out of solitude, for what you see means nothing. It will shift in what it stands for, and you will believe the world is an uncertain place, in which you walk in danger and uncertainty. It is but your interpretations which are lacking in stability, for they are not in line with what you really are. This is a state so seemingly unsafe that fear must rise. Do not continue thus, my brother. We have one Interpreter. And through His use of symbols are we joined, so that they mean the same to all of us. Our common language lets us speak to all our brothers, and to understand with them forgiveness has been given to us all, and thus we can communicate again.

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ACIM Workbook Lesson for September 23

Lesson 265
Creation’s gentleness is all I see.

I have indeed misunderstood the world, because I laid my sins on it and saw them looking back at me. How fierce they seemed! And how deceived was I to think that what I feared was in the world, instead of in my mind alone. Today I see the world in the celestial gentleness with which creation shines. There is no fear in it. Let no appearance of my sins obscure the light of Heaven shining on the world. What is reflected there is in God’s Mind. The images I see reflect my thoughts. Yet is my mind at one with God’s. And so I can perceive creation’s gentleness.

In quiet would I look upon the world, which but reflects Your Thoughts, and mine as well. Let me remember that they are the same, and I will see creation’s gentleness.

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ACIM Q & A for Today

Q #175: The following three questions all address the issue of death and so will be answered together:

i: I would like to know more about “death solves nothing.”

ii: It is common for us to say when a person dies that he or she is finally “at peace.” Does death of the ego not release us from it’s fear based thinking and grant us peace?

iii: Would you kindly explain what A Course in Miracles teaches regarding finding peace after death?

A: Since everyone in this world suffers the excruciating pain of believing they are separated from their true Home and their Creator, there are times throughout one’s life that the thought of escape from this pain would seem to be a blessing. In this instance, death represents escape from our pain. And yet, A Course in Miracles teaches us that we are not our bodies: “The body is the symbol of what you think you are. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist (T.6.V.A.2:2,3). Therefore we need not escape from our bodies, whether they be physical, psychological, emotional, astral, etc. What we do need to escape from, however, is the thought of separation, and this is accomplished through the process of forgiveness. If the mind has not been totally healed of the thought of separation once the body “dies,” the unforgiveness that it holds will be played out in other times and other forms until forgiveness is perfected.

“When your body and your ego and your dreams are gone, you will know that you will last forever. Perhaps you think this is accomplished through death, but nothing is accomplished through death, because death is nothing” (T.6.V.A.1:1,2).

At other times, we are may believe this world to be a spiritual testing ground, and death symbolizes an end to our testing, and our ticket back Home. Or we may believe that once we die, our egos are automatically transcended, and we will be at peace. Beliefs such as this tempt one to want death to come sooner rather than later. “There is a risk of thinking death is peace, because the world equates the body with the Self which God created” (T.27.VII.10:2). It is important to keep in mind that the “death of the ego” does not come from the body’s death, but rather from the process of forgiveness, which only occurs within the mind. And, our bodies may die with or without completing this process.

You can see in any of this instances how we are tempted to attribute pain to our body rather than to our mind. Once we have learned where the real problem lies, the Holy Spirit can begin to use our body to teach us our true identity as a mind: “The Holy Spirit, as always, takes what you have made [the body] and translates it into a learning device….He reinterprets what the ego uses as an argument for separation into a demonstration against it (T.6.V.A.2:4,5).

So death (which is nothing) of the body (also nothing) solves nothing (the thought of separation, another nothing). Nothing plus nothing equals nothing!

jesus there is no death