A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 193 (October 24, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 193

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 22 – II. Your Brother’s Sinlessness

T-22.II.1. The opposite of illusions is not disillusionment but truth. 2 Only to the ego, to which truth is meaningless, do they appear to be the only alternatives, and different from each other. 3 In truth they are the same. 4 Both bring the same amount of misery, though each one seems to be the way to lose the misery the other brings. 5 Every illusion carries pain and suffering in the dark folds of the heavy garments in which it hides its nothingness. 6 Yet by these dark and heavy garments are those who seek illusions covered, and hidden from the joy of truth.

T-22.II.2. Truth is the opposite of illusions because it offers joy. 2 What else but joy could be the opposite of misery? 3 To leave one kind of misery and seek another is hardly an escape. 4 To change illusions is to make no change. 5 The search for joy in misery is senseless, for how could joy be found in misery? 6 All that is possible in the dark world of misery is to select some aspects out of it, see them as different, and define the difference as joy. 7 Yet to perceive a difference where none exists will surely fail to make a difference.

T-22.II.3. Illusions carry only guilt and suffering, sickness and death, to their believers. 2 The form in which they are accepted is irrelevant. 3 No form of misery in reason’s eyes can be confused with joy. 4 Joy is eternal. 5 You can be sure indeed that any seeming happiness that does not last is really fear. 6 Joy does not turn to sorrow, for the eternal cannot change. 7 But sorrow can be turned to joy, for time gives way to the eternal. 8 Only the timeless must remain unchanged, but everything in time can change with time. 9 Yet if the change be real and not imagined, illusions must give way to truth, and not to other dreams that are but equally unreal. 10 This is no difference.

T-22.II.4. Reason will tell you that the only way to escape from misery is to recognize it and go the other way . 2 Truth is the same and misery the same, but they are different from each other in every way, in every instance and without exception. 3 To believe that one exception can exist is to confuse what is the same with what is different. 4 One illusion cherished and defended against the truth makes all truth meaningless, and all illusions real. 5 Such is the power of belief. 6 It cannot compromise. 7 And faith in innocence is faith in sin, if the belief excludes one living thing and holds it out, apart from its forgiveness.

T-22.II.5. Both reason and the ego will tell you this, but what they make of it is not the same. 2 The ego will assure you now that it is impossible for you to see no guilt in anyone. 3 And if this seeing is the only means by which escape from guilt can be attained, then the belief in sin must be eternal. 4 Yet reason looks on this another way, for reason sees the source of an idea as what will make it either true or false. 5 This must be so, if the idea is like its source. 6 Therefore, says reason, if escape from guilt was given to the Holy Spirit as His purpose, and by One to Whom nothing He wills can be impossible, the means for its attainment are more than possible. 7 They must be there, and you must have them.

T-22.II.6. This is a crucial period in this course, for here the separation of you and the ego must be made complete. 2 For if you have the means to let the Holy Spirit’s purpose be accomplished, they can be used. 3 And through their use will you gain faith in them. 4 Yet to the ego this must be impossible, and no one undertakes to do what holds no hope of ever being done. 5 You know what your Creator wills is possible, but what you made believes it is not so. 6 Now must you choose between yourself and an illusion of yourself. 7 Not both, but one. 8 There is no point in trying to avoid this one decision. 9 It must be made. 10 Faith and belief can fall to either side, but reason tells you misery lies only on one side and joy upon the other.

T-22.II.7. Forsake not now your brother. 2 For you who are the same will not decide alone nor differently. 3 Either you give each other life or death; either you are each other’s savior or his judge, offering him sanctuary or condemnation. 4 This course will be believed entirely or not at all. 5 For it is wholly true or wholly false, and cannot be but partially believed. 6 And you will either escape from misery entirely or not at all. 7 Reason will tell you that there is no middle ground where you can pause uncertainly, waiting to choose between the joy of Heaven and the misery of hell. 8 Until you choose Heaven, you are in hell and misery.

T-22.II.8. There is no part of Heaven you can take and weave into illusions. 2 Nor is there one illusion you can enter Heaven with. 3 A savior cannot be a judge, nor mercy condemnation. 4 And vision cannot damn, but only bless. 5 Whose function is to save, will save. 6 How He will do it is beyond your understanding, but when must be your choice. 7 For time you made, and time you can command. 8 You are no more a slave to time than to the world you made.

T-22.II.9. Let us look closer at the whole illusion that what you made has power to enslave its maker. 2 This is the same belief that caused the separation. 3 It is the meaningless idea that thoughts can leave the thinker’s mind, be different from it and in opposition to it. 4 If this were true, thoughts would not be the mind’s extensions, but its enemies. 5 And here we see again another form of the same fundamental illusion we have seen many times before. 6 Only if it were possible the Son of God could leave his Father’s Mind, make himself different and oppose His Will, would it be possible that the self he made, and all it made, should be his master.

T-22.II.10. Behold the great projection, but look on it with the decision that it must be healed, and not with fear. 2 Nothing you made has any power over you unless you still would be apart from your Creator, and with a will opposed to His. 3 For only if you would believe His Son could be His enemy does it seem possible that what you made is yours. 4 You would condemn His joy to misery, and make Him different. 5 And all the misery you made has been your own. 6 Are you not glad to learn it is not true? 7 Is it not welcome news to hear not one of the illusions that you made replaced the truth?

T-22.II.11. Only your thoughts have been impossible. 2 Salvation cannot be. 3 It is impossible to look upon your savior as your enemy and recognize him. 4 Yet it is possible to recognize him for what he is, if God would have it so. 5 What God has given to your holy relationship is there. 6 For what He gave the Holy Spirit to give to you He gave . 7 Would you not look upon the savior that has been given you? 8 And would you not exchange, in gratitude, the function of an executioner you gave him for the one he has in truth? 9 Receive of him what God has given him for you, not what you tried to give yourself.

T-22.II.12. Beyond the body that you interposed between you and your brother, and shining in the golden light that reaches it from the bright, endless circle that extends forever, is your holy relationship, beloved of God Himself. 2 How still it rests, in time and yet beyond, immortal yet on earth. 3 How great the power that lies in it. 4 Time waits upon its will, and earth will be as it would have it be. 5 Here is no separate will, nor the desire that anything be separate. 6 Its will has no exceptions, and what it wills is true. 7 Every illusion brought to its forgiveness is gently overlooked and disappears. 8 For at its center Christ has been reborn, to light His home with vision that overlooks the world. 9 Would you not have this holy home be yours as well? 10 No misery is here, but only joy.

T-22.II.13. All you need do to dwell in quiet here with Christ is share His vision. 2 Quickly and gladly is His vision given anyone who is but willing to see his brother sinless. 3 And no one can remain beyond this willingness, if you would be released entirely from all effects of sin. 4 Would you have partial forgiveness for yourself? 5 Can you reach Heaven while a single sin still tempts you to remain in misery? 6 Heaven is the home of perfect purity, and God created it for you. 7 Look on your holy brother, sinless as yourself, and let him lead you there.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 193

All things are lessons God would have me learn.

W-pI.193.1. God does not know of learning. 2 Yet His Will extends to what He does not understand, in that He wills the happiness His Son inherited of Him be undisturbed; eternal and forever gaining scope, eternally expanding in the joy of full creation, and eternally open and wholly limitless in Him. 3 That is His Will. 4 And thus His Will provides the means to guarantee that it is done.

W-pI.193.2. God sees no contradictions. 2 Yet His Son believes he sees them. 3 Thus he has a need for One Who can correct his erring sight, and give him vision that will lead him back to where perception ceases. 4 God does not perceive at all. 5Yet it is He Who gives the means by which perception is made true and beautiful enough to let the light of Heaven shine upon it. 6 It is He Who answers what His Son would contradict, and keeps his sinlessness forever safe.

W-pI.193.3. These are the lessons God would have you learn. 2 His Will reflects them all, and they reflect His loving kindness to the Son He loves. 3 Each lesson has a central thought, the same in all of them. 4 The form alone is changed, with different circumstances and events; with different characters and different themes, apparent but not real. 5 They are the same in fundamental content. 6 It is this:7 Forgive, and you will see this differently.

W-pI.193.4. Certain it is that all distress does not appear to be but unforgiveness. 2 Yet that is the content underneath the form. 3 It is this sameness which makes learning sure, because the lesson is so simple that it cannot be rejected in the end. 4 No one can hide forever from a truth so very obvious that it appears in countless forms, and yet is recognized as easily in all of them, if one but wants to see the simple lesson there.W-pI.193.5. Forgive, and you will see this differently.

2 These are the words the Holy Spirit speaks in all your tribulations, all your pain, all suffering regardless of its form. 3 These are the words with which temptation ends, and guilt, abandoned, is revered no more. 4 These are the words which end the dream of sin, and rid the mind of fear. 5 These are the words by which salvation comes to all the world.

W-pI.193.6. Shall we not learn to say these words when we are tempted to believe that pain is real, and death becomes our choice instead of life? 2 Shall we not learn to say these words when we have understood their power to release all minds from bondage? 3 These are words which give you power over all events that seem to have been given power over you. 4 You see them rightly when you hold these words in full awareness, and do not forget these words apply to everything you see or any brother looks upon amiss.

W-pI.193.7. How can you tell when you are seeing wrong, or someone else is failing to perceive the lesson he should learn? 2 Does pain seem real in the perception? 3 If it does, be sure the lesson is not learned. 4 And there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs.

W-pI.193.8. God would not have you suffer thus. 2 He would help you forgive yourself. 3 His Son does not remember who he is. 4 And God would have him not forget His Love, and all the gifts His Love brings with it. 5 Would you now renounce your own salvation? 6 Would you fail to learn the simple lessons Heaven’s Teacher sets before you, that all pain may disappear and God may be remembered by His Son?

W-pI.193.9. All things are lessons God would have you learn. 2 He would not leave an unforgiving thought without correction, nor one thorn or nail to hurt His holy Son in any way.3 He would ensure his holy rest remain untroubled and serene, without a care, in an eternal home which cares for him. 4 And He would have all tears be wiped away, with none remaining yet un shed, and none but waiting their appointed time to fall. 5 For God has willed that laughter should replace each one, and that His Son be free again.

W-pI.193.10. We will attempt today to overcome a thousand seeming obstacles to peace in just one day. 2 Let mercy come to you more quickly. 3 Do not try to hold it off another day, another minute or another instant. 4 Time was made for this. 5 Use it today for what its purpose is. 6 Morning and night, devote what time you can to serve its proper aim, and do not let the time be less than meets your deepest need.

W-pI.193.11. Give all you can, and give a little more. 2 For now we would arise in haste and go unto our Father’s house. 3 We have been gone too long, and we would linger here no more. 4 And as we practice, let us think about all things we saved to settle by ourselves, and kept apart from healing. 5 Let us give them all to Him Who knows the way to look upon them so that they will disappear. 6 Truth is His message; truth His teaching is. 7His are the lessons God would have us learn.

W-pI.193.12. Each hour, spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lesson in forgiveness in the form established for the day. 2 And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before. 3 The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way. 4 Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it. 5 Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal in the world of time.

W-pI.193.13. This is the lesson God would have you learn: There is a way to look on everything that lets it be to you another step to Him, and to salvation of the world. 2 To all that speaks of terror, answer thus:3 I will forgive, and this will disappear.

4 To every apprehension, every care and every form of suffering, repeat these selfsame words. 5 And then you hold the key that opens Heaven’s gate, and brings the Love of God the Father down to earth at last, to raise it up to Heaven. 6 God will take this final step Himself. 7 Do not deny the little steps He asks you take to Him.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

How can one access the mind so that the mind can be changed?

In a sense, the purpose of A Course in Miracles is to help us do just that. The cornerstone on which the ego thought system rests is our unforgiven guilt. This roots us in our physical and psychological experience as a body and an individual personality. Thus, the ego’s goal is to “protect” the guilt in our minds from being undone. As it is this guilt in our minds that is the programmer of our individual lives, so it is this guilt that must be undone through forgiveness, the Course’s central teaching.

As forgiveness removes this unconscious guilt and we shift from wrong-mindedness to right-mindedness, we allow the Holy Spirit to be our programmer. Thus, His Love and peace are mediated through our minds and become our guides, instead of the ego’s thought system of fear and hatred. The ego always strives to have us adopt some new system it has invented, such as the contemporary self-help techniques, to reprogram our “minds,” so that our brains would then function to “Fix up” and reprogram our lives. In this way, we become further enmeshed in the grip of the ego thought system, even though we are not aware consciously that this is what we are doing. However, we should note that it was just this belief that we are self-created and on our own, and could accomplish things by ourselves, that led to the separation in the first place. Moreover, all thought would have this as its basic pattern and goal.

The important Course principle of “a little willingness” to ask the Holy Spirit for help in order for our perceptions of ourselves and others to be corrected, imbues us with a sense of humility. This culminates in the realization that we do not know our own best interests, regardless of what the ego thought system propounds and teaches us. Thus, it is one’s own responsibility to acknowledge that in order to become right-minded and remain that way, one must always access the Holy Spirit.

Even more specific is Jesus’ injunction in A Course in Miracles that his students look at their egos without judgment. This is the way to access the mind. If students, with Jesus’ love beside them, can look without judgment and guilt at their egos in action, then who is doing the looking? It cannot be the ego itself, but the mind — or better, the decision maker in our minds — that is not in the body and therefore, again, is not the ego. The following passage from the text provides a very clear description of this process and how central Jesus believes it is to the practice of his Course:

No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous. We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready. Let us be very calm in doing this, for we are merely looking honestly for truth. The “dynamics” of the ego will be our lesson for a while, for we must look first at this to see beyond it, since you have made it real. We will undo this error quietly together, and then look beyond it to truth.  What is healing but the removal of all that stands in the way of knowledge? And how else can one dispel illusions except by looking at them directly, without protecting them? (T-11.V.1:1-2:2)

And in this succinct sentence, also from the text, we find the goal of this process clearly enunciated:

This is a crucial period in this course, for here the separation of you and the ego must be made complete (T-22.II.6:1).

The “you” is the decision maker, the part of our split minds that chooses, which has now shifted its identification from the ego (the wrong mind) to the Holy Spirit (the right mind).

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 192 (October 23, 2020)


ACIM Text Reading for Day 192

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 22 – I. The Message of the Holy Relationship

T-22.I.1. Let reason take another step. 2 If you attack whom God would heal and hate the one He loves, then you and your Creator have a different will. 3 Yet if you are His Will, what you must then believe is that you are not yourself. 4 You can indeed believe this, and you do. 5 And you have faith in this and see much evidence on its behalf. 6 And where, you wonder, does your strange uneasiness, your sense of being disconnected, and your haunting fear of lack of meaning in yourself arise? 7 It is as though you wandered in without a plan of any kind except to wander off, for only that seems certain.

T-22.I.2. Yet we have heard a very similar description earlier, but it was not of you. 2 But still this strange idea which it does accurately describe, you think is you. 3 Reason would tell you that the world you see through eyes that are not yours must make no sense to you. 4 To whom would seeing such as this send back its messages? 5 Surely not you, whose sight is wholly independent of the eyes that look upon the world. 6 If this is not your vision, what can it show to you? 7 The brain cannot interpret what your vision sees. 8 This you would understand. 9 The brain interprets to the body, of which it is a part. 10 But what it says you cannot understand. 11 Yet you have listened to it. 12 And long and hard you tried to understand its messages.

T-22.I.3. You have not realized it is impossible to understand what fails entirely to reach you. 2 You have received no messages at all you understand. 3 For you have listened to what can never communicate at all. 4 Think, then, what happens. 5 Denying what you are, and firm in faith that you are something else, this “something else” that you have made to be yourself becomes your sight. 6 Yet it must be the “something else” that sees, and as not you, explains its sight to you. 7 Your vision would, of course, render this quite unnecessary. 8 Yet if your eyes are closed and you have called upon this thing to lead you, asking it to explain to you the world it sees, you have no reason not to listen, nor to suspect that what it tells you is not true. 9 Reason would tell you it cannot be true because you do not understand it. 10 God has no secrets. 11 He does not lead you through a world of misery, waiting to tell you, at the journey’s end, why He did this to you.

T-22.I.4. What could be secret from God’s Will? 2 Yet you believe that you have secrets. 3 What could your secrets be except another “will” that is your own, apart from His? 4 Reason would tell you that this is no secret that need be hidden as a sin. 5 But a mistake indeed! 6 Let not your fear of sin protect it from correction, for the attraction of guilt is only fear. 7 Here is the one emotion that you made, whatever it may seem to be. 8 This is the emotion of secrecy, of private thoughts and of the body. 9 This is the one emotion that opposes love, and always leads to sight of differences and loss of sameness. 10 Here is the one emotion that keeps you blind, dependent on the self you think you made to lead you through the world it made for you.

T-22.I.5. Your sight was given you, along with everything that you can understand. 2 You will perceive no difficulty in understanding what this vision tells you, for everyone sees only what he thinks he is. 3 And what your sight would show you, you will understand because it is the truth. 4 Only your vision can convey to you what you can see. 5 It reaches you directly, without a need to be interpreted to you. 6 What needs interpretation must be alien. 7 Nor will it ever be made understandable by an interpreter you cannot understand.

T-22.I.6. Of all the messages you have received and failed to understand, this course alone is open to your understanding and can be understood. 2 This is your language. 3 You do not understand it yet only because your whole communication is like a baby’s. 4 The sounds a baby makes and what he hears are highly unreliable, meaning different things to him at different times. 5 Neither the sounds he hears nor sights he sees are stable yet. 6 But what he hears and does not understand will be his native tongue, through which he will communicate with those around him, and they with him. 7 And the strange, shifting ones he sees about him will become to him his comforters, and he will recognize his home and see them there with him.

T-22.I.7. So in each holy relationship is the ability to communicate instead of separate reborn. 2 Yet a holy relationship, so recently reborn itself from an unholy relationship, and yet more ancient than the old illusion it has replaced, is like a baby now in its rebirth. 3 Still in this infant is your vision returned to you, and he will speak the language you can understand. 4 He is not nurtured by the “something else” you thought was you. 5 He was not given there, nor was received by anything except yourself. 6 For no two brothers can unite except through Christ, Whose vision sees them one.

T-22.I.8. Think what is given you, my holy brother. 2 This child will teach you what you do not understand, and make it plain. 3 For his will be no alien tongue. 4 He will need no interpreter to you, for it was you who taught him what he knows because you knew it. 5 He could not come to anyone but you, never to “something else.” 6 Where Christ has entered no one is alone, for never could He find a home in separate ones. 7 Yet must He be reborn into His ancient home, so seeming new and yet as old as He, a tiny newcomer, dependent on the holiness of your relationship to let Him live.

T-22.I.9. Be certain God did not entrust His Son to the unworthy. 2 Nothing but what is part of Him is worthy of being joined. 3 Nor is it possible that anything not part of Him can join. 4 Communication must have been restored to those who join, for this they could not do through bodies. 5 What, then, has joined them? 6 Reason will tell you that they must have seen each other through a vision not of the body, and communicated in a language the body does not speak. 7 Nor could it be a fearful sight or sound that drew them gently into one. 8 Rather, in each the other saw a perfect shelter where his Self could be reborn in safety and in peace. 9 Such did his reason tell him; such he believed because it was the truth.

T-22.I.10. Here is the first direct perception that you can make. 2 You make it through awareness older than perception, and yet reborn in just an instant. 3 For what is time to what was always so? 4 Think what that instant brought; the recognition that the “something else” you thought was you is an illusion. 5 And truth came instantly, to show you where your Self must be. 6 It is denial of illusions that calls on truth, for to deny illusions is to recognize that fear is meaningless. 7 Into the holy home where fear is powerless love enters thankfully, grateful that it is one with you who joined to let it enter.

T-22.I.11. Christ comes to what is like Himself; the same, not different. 2 For He is always drawn unto Himself. 3 What is as like Him as a holy relationship? 4 And what draws you and your brother together draws Him to you. 5 Here are His sweetness and His gentle innocence protected from attack. 6 And here can He return in confidence, for faith in another is always faith in Him. 7 You are indeed correct in looking on your brother as His chosen home, for here you will with Him and with His Father. 8 This is your Father’s Will for you, and yours with His. 9 And who is drawn to Christ is drawn to God as surely as Both are drawn to every holy relationship, the home prepared for Them as earth is turned to Heaven.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 192

Workbook Lesson 192

I have a function God would have me fill.

W-pI.192.1. It is your Father’s holy Will that you complete Himself, and that your Self shall be His sacred Son, forever pure as He, of love created and in love preserved, extending love, creating in its name, forever one with God and with your Self. 2 Yet what can such a function mean within a world of envy, hatred and attack?

W-pI.192.2. Therefore, you have a function in the world in its own terms. 2 For who can understand a language far beyond his simple grasp? 3 Forgiveness represents your function here. 4 It is not God’s creation, for it is the means by which untruth can be undone. 5 And who would pardon Heaven? 6 Yet on earth, you need the means to let illusions go. 7 Creation merely waits for your return to be acknowledged, not to be complete.

W-pI.192.3. Creation cannot even be conceived of in the world. 2 It has no meaning here. 3 Forgiveness is the closest it can come to earth. 4 For being Heaven-born, it has no form at all. 5 Yet God created One Who has the power to translate in form the wholly formless. 6 What He makes are dreams, but of a kind so close to waking that the light of day already shines in them, and eyes already opening behold the joyful sights their offerings contain.

W-pI.192.4. Forgiveness gently looks upon all things unknown in Heaven, sees them disappear, and leaves the world a clean and unmarked slate on which the Word of God can now replace the senseless symbols written there before. 2 Forgiveness is the means by which the fear of death is overcome, because it holds no fierce attraction now and guilt is gone. 3 Forgiveness lets the body be perceived as what it is; a simple teaching aid, to be laid by when learning is complete, but hardly changing him who learns at all.

W-pI.192.5. The mind without the body cannot make mistakes. 2 It cannot think that it will die, nor be the prey of merciless attack. 3 Anger becomes impossible, and where is terror then? 4 What fears could still assail those who have lost the source of all attack, the core of anguish and the seat of fear? 5 Only forgiveness can relieve the mind of thinking that the body is its home. 6 Only forgiveness can restore the peace that God intended for His holy Son. 7 Only forgiveness can persuade the Son to look again upon his holiness.

W-pI.192.6. With anger gone, you will indeed perceive that, for Christ’s vision and the gift of sight, no sacrifice was asked, and only pain was lifted from a sick and tortured mind. 2 Is this unwelcome? 3 Is it to be feared? 4 Or is it to be hoped for, met with thanks and joyously accepted? 5 We are one, and therefore give up nothing. 6 But we have indeed been given everything by God.

W-pI.192.7. Yet do we need forgiveness to perceive that this is so. 2 Without its kindly light we grope in darkness, using reason but to justify our rage and our attack. 3 Our understanding is so limited that what we think we understand is but confusion born of error. 4 We are lost in mists of shifting dreams and fearful thoughts, our eyes shut tight against the light; our minds engaged in worshipping what is not there.

W-pI.192.8. Who can be born again in Christ but him who has forgiven everyone he sees or thinks of or imagines? 2 Who could be set free while he imprisons anyone? 3 A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. 4 He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends his time in keeping watch on him. 5 The bars that limit him become the world in which his jailer lives, along with him. 6 And it is on his freedom that the way to liberty depends for both of them.

W-pI.192.9. Therefore, hold no one prisoner. 2 Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free. 3 The way is simple. 4 Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head. 5 And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free. 6 Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death. 7 And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.

W-pI.192.10. Be merciful today. 2 The Son of God deserves your mercy. 3 It is he who asks that you accept the way to freedom now. 4 Deny him not. 5 His Father’s Love for him belongs to you. 6 Your function here on earth is only to forgive him, that you may accept him back as your Identity. 7 He is as God created him. 8 And you are what he is. 9 Forgive him now his sins, and you will see that you are one with him.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Where is the mind? 

Mind, as taught in A Course in Miracles and as we have just seen, is non-corporeal or non-material, unlike the brain. Therefore it is invisible and intangible. Since it is also non-spatial and non-temporal, it is impossible to answer this question, which rests on the assumption that time and space are real. The very word where connotes a spatial dimension, which is unknown to the mind. Therefore, to answer this question would be to deny the very nature of the mind, and reinforce the belief that the body is real and independent of the mind which projected it and is its true cause. 

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 191 (October 21, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 191

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 22: Salvation and the Holy Relationship – Introduction

T-22.in.1. Take pity on yourself, so long enslaved. 2 Rejoice whom God hath joined have come together and need no longer look on sin apart. 3 No two can look on sin together, for they could never see it in the same place and time. 4 Sin is a strictly individual perception, seen in the other yet believed by each to be within himself. 5 And each one seems to make a different error, and one the other cannot understand. 6 Brother, it is the same, made by the same, and forgiven for its maker in the same way. 7 The holiness of your relationship forgives you and your brother, undoing the effects of what you both believed and saw. 8 And with their going is the need for sin gone with them.

T-22.in.2. Who has need for sin? 2 Only the lonely and alone, who see their brothers different from themselves. 3 It is this difference, seen but not real, that makes the need for sin, not real but seen, seem justified. 4 And all this would be real if sin were so. 5 For an unholy relationship is based on differences, where each one thinks the other has what he has not. 6 They come together, each to complete himself and rob the other. 7 They stay until they think that there is nothing left to steal, and then move on. 8 And so they wander through a world of strangers, unlike themselves, living with their bodies perhaps under a common roof that shelters neither; in the same room and yet a world apart.

T-22.in.3. A holy relationship starts from a different premise. 2 Each one has looked within and seen no lack. 3 Accepting his completion, he would extend it by joining with another, whole as himself. 4 He sees no difference between these selves, for differences are only of the body. 5 Therefore, he looks on nothing he would take. 6 He denies not his own reality because it is the truth. 7 Just under Heaven does he stand, but close enough not to return to earth. 8 For this relationship has Heaven’s Holiness. 9 How far from home can a relationship so like to Heaven be?

T-22.in.4. Think what a holy relationship can teach! 2 Here is belief in differences undone. 3 Here is the faith in differences shifted to sameness. 4 And here is sight of differences transformed to vision. 5 Reason now can lead you and your brother to the logical conclusion of your union. 6 It must extend, as you extended when you and he joined. 7 It must reach out beyond itself, as you reached out beyond the body, to let you and your brother be joined. 8 And now the sameness that you saw extends and finally removes all sense of differences, so that the sameness that lies beneath them all becomes apparent. 9 Here is the golden circle where you recognize the Son of God. 10 For what is born into a holy relationship can never end.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 191

I am the holy Son of God Himself.

W-pI.191.1. Here is your declaration of release from bondage of the world. 2 And here as well is all the world released. 3 You do not see what you have done by giving to the world the role of jailer to the Son of God. 4 What could it be but vicious and afraid, fearful of shadows, punitive and wild, lacking all reason, blind, insane with hate?

W-pI.191.2. What have you done that this should be your world? 2 What have you done that this is what you see? 3 Deny your own Identity, and this is what remains. 4 You look on chaos and proclaim it is yourself. 5 There is no sight that fails to witness this to you. 6 There is no sound that does not speak of frailty within you and without; no breath you draw that does not seem to bring you nearer death; no hope you hold but will dissolve in tears.

W-pI.191.3. Deny your own Identity, and you will not escape the madness which induced this weird, unnatural and ghostly thought that mocks creation and that laughs at God. 2 Deny your own Identity, and you assail the universe alone, without a friend, a tiny particle of dust against the legions of your enemies. 3 Deny your own Identity, and look on evil, sin and death, and watch despair snatch from your fingers every scrap of hope, leaving you nothing but the wish to die.

W-pI.191.4. Yet what is it except a game you play in which Identity can be denied? 2 You are as God created you. 3 All else but this one thing is folly to believe. 4 In this one thought is everyone set free. 5 In this one truth are all illusions gone. 6 In this one fact is sinlessness proclaimed to be forever part of everything, the central core of its existence and its guarantee of immortality.

W-pI.191.5. But let today’s idea find a place among your thoughts and you have risen far above the world, and all the worldly thoughts that hold it prisoner. 2 And from this place of safety and escape you will return and set it free. 3 For he who can accept his true Identity is truly saved. 4 And his salvation is the gift he gives to everyone, in gratitude to Him Who pointed out the way to happiness that changed his whole perspective of the world.

W-pI.191.6. One holy thought like this and you are free: You are the holy Son of God Himself. 2 And with this holy thought you learn as well that you have freed the world. 3 You have no need to use it cruelly, and then perceive this savage need in it. 4 You set it free of your imprisonment. 5 You will not see a devastating image of yourself walking the world in terror, with the world twisting in agony because your fears have laid the mark of death upon its heart.

W-pI.191.7. Be glad today how very easily is hell undone. 2 You need but tell yourself:3 I am the holy Son of God Himself. 4 I cannot suffer, cannot be in pain; I cannot suffer loss, nor fail to do all that salvation asks.

5 And in that thought is everything you look on wholly changed.

W-pI.191.8. A miracle has lighted up all dark and ancient caverns, where the rites of death echoed since time began. 2 For time has lost its hold upon the world. 3 The Son of God has come in glory to redeem the lost, to save the helpless, and to give the world the gift of his forgiveness. 4 Who could see the world as dark and sinful, when God’s Son has come again at last to set it free?

W-pI.191.9. You who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep and suffer pain, hear this: All power is given unto you in earth and Heaven. 2 There is nothing that you cannot do. 3 You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you. 4 Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.

W-pI.191.10. Then let the Son of God awaken from his sleep, and opening his holy eyes, return again to bless the world he made. 2 In error it began, but it will end in the reflection of his holiness. 3 And he will sleep no more and dream of death. 4 Then join with me today. 5 Your glory is the light that saves the world. 6 Do not withhold salvation longer. 7 Look about the world, and see the suffering there. 8 Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?

W-pI.191.11. They must await your own release. 2 They stay in chains till you are free. 3 They cannot see the mercy of the world until you find it in yourself. 4 They suffer pain until you have denied its hold on you. 5 They die till you accept your own eternal life. 6 You are the holy Son of God Himself. 7 Remember this, and all the world is free. 8 Remember this, and earth and Heaven are one.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. It cannot change what is its waking state.  It cannot make a body, nor abide within a body. What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source….

What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. When the mind elects to be what it is not [the body], and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state [the body] it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while. It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was (W-pI.167.6:1-4; 9; italics ours).

And from “Beyond the Body” in the text:

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

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

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

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

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

The “reality” of death is firmly rooted in the belief that God’s Son is a body. And if God created bodies, death would indeed be real. But God would not be loving. There is no point at which the contrast between the perception of the real world and that of the world of illusions becomes more sharply evident….

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

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

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

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 190 (October 20, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 190

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 21 – VIII. The Inner Shift

T-21.VIII.1. Are thoughts, then, dangerous? 2 To bodies, yes! 3 The thoughts that seem to kill are those that teach the thinker that he can be killed. 4 And so he “dies” because of what he learned. 5 He goes from life to death, the final proof he valued the inconstant more than constancy. 6 Surely he thought he wanted happiness. 7 Yet he did not desire it because it was the truth, and therefore must be constant.

T-21.VIII.2. The constancy of joy is a condition quite alien to your understanding. 2 Yet if you could even imagine what it must be, you would desire it although you understand it not. 3 The constancy of happiness has no exceptions; no change of any kind. 4 It is unshakable as is the Love of God for His creation. 5 Sure in its vision as its Creator is in what He knows, happiness looks on everything and sees it is the same. 6 It sees not the ephemeral, for it desires everything be like itself, and sees it so. 7 Nothing has power to confound its constancy, because its own desire cannot be shaken. 8 It comes as surely unto those who see the final question is necessary to the rest, as peace must come to those who choose to heal and not to judge.

T-21.VIII.3. Reason will tell you that you cannot ask for happiness inconstantly. 2 For if what you desire you receive, and happiness is constant, then you need ask for it but once to have it always. 3 And if you do not have it always, being what it is, you did not ask for it. 4 For no one fails to ask for his desire of something he believes holds out some promise of the power of giving it. 5 He may be wrong in what he asks, where, and of what. 6 Yet he will ask because desire is a request, an asking for, and made by one whom God Himself will never fail to answer. 7 God has already given all that he really wants. 8 Yet what he is uncertain of, God cannot give. 9 For he does not desire it while he remains uncertain, and God’s giving must be incomplete unless it is received.

T-21.VIII.4. You who complete God’s Will and are His happiness, whose will is powerful as His, a power that is not lost in your illusions, think carefully why you have not yet decided how you would answer the final question. 2 Your answer to the others has made it possible to help you be already partly sane. 3 And yet it is the final one that really asks if you are willing to be wholly sane.

T-21.VIII.5. What is the holy instant but God’s appeal to you to recognize what He has given you? 2 Here is the great appeal to reason; the awareness of what is always there to see, the happiness that could be always yours. 3 Here is the constant peace you could experience forever. 4 Here is what denial has denied revealed to you. 5 For here the final question is already answered, and what you ask for given. 6 Here is the future now, for time is powerless because of your desire for what will never change. 7 For you have asked that nothing stand between the holiness of your relationship and your awareness of its holiness.

***
ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 190

Workbook Lesson 190

I choose the joy of God instead of pain.

W-pI.190.1. Pain is a wrong perspective. 2 When it is experienced in any form, it is a proof of self-deception. 3 It is not a fact at all. 4 There is no form it takes that will not disappear if seen aright. 5 For pain proclaims God cruel. 6 How could it be real in any form? 7 It witnesses to God the Father’s hatred of His Son, the sinfulness He sees in him, and His insane desire for revenge and death.

W-pI.190.2. Can such projections be attested to? 2 Can they be anything but wholly false? 3 Pain is but witness to the Son’s mistakes in what he thinks he is. 4 It is a dream of fierce retaliation for a crime that could not be committed; for attack on what is wholly unassailable. 5 It is a nightmare of abandonment by an Eternal Love, which could not leave the Son whom It created out of love.

W-pI.190.3. Pain is a sign illusions reign in place of truth. 2 It demonstrates God is denied, confused with fear, perceived as mad, and seen as traitor to Himself. 3 If God is real, there is no pain. 4 If pain is real, there is no God. 5 For vengeance is not part of love. 6 And fear, denying love and using pain to prove that God is dead, has shown that death is victor over life. 7 The body is the Son of God, corruptible in death, as mortal as the Father he has slain.

W-pI.190.4. Peace to such foolishness! 2 The time has come to laugh at such insane ideas. 3 There is no need to think of them as savage crimes, or secret sins with weighty consequence. 4 Who but a madman could conceive of them as cause of anything? 5 Their witness, pain, is mad as they, and no more to be feared than the insane illusions which it shields, and tries to demonstrate must still be true.

W-pI.190.5. It is your thoughts alone that cause you pain. 2 Nothing external to your mind can hurt or injure you in anyway. 3 There is no cause beyond yourself that can reach down and bring oppression. 4 No one but yourself affects you. 5 There is nothing in the world that has the power to make you ill or sad, or weak or frail. 6 But it is you who have the power to dominate all things you see by merely recognizing what you are. 7 As you perceive the harmlessness in them, they will accept your holy will as theirs. 8 And what was seen as fearful now becomes a source of innocence and holiness.

W-pI.190.6. My holy brother, think of this awhile: The world you see does nothing. 2 It has no effects at all. 3 It merely represents your thoughts. 4 And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind, and choose the joy of God as what you really want. 5 Your Self is radiant in this holy joy, unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable, forever and forever. 6 And would you deny a little corner of your mind its own inheritance, and keep it as a hospital for pain; a sickly place where living things must come at last to die?

W-pI.190.7. The world may seem to cause you pain. 2 And yet the world, as causeless, has no power to cause. 3 As an effect, it cannot make effects. 4 As an illusion, it is what you wish. 5 Your idle wishes represent its pains. 6 Your strange desires bring it evil dreams. 7 Your thoughts of death envelop it in fear, while in your kind forgiveness does it live.

W-pI.190.8. Pain is the thought of evil taking form, and working havoc in your holy mind. 2 Pain is the ransom you have gladly paid not to be free. 3 In pain is God denied the Son He loves. 4 In pain does fear appear to triumph over love, and time replace eternity and Heaven. 5 And the world becomes a cruel and a bitter place, where sorrow rules and little joys give way before the onslaught of the savage pain that waits to end all joy in misery.

W-pI.190.9. Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last. 2 Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear. 3 Let no attack enter with you. 4 Lay down the cruel sword of judgment that you hold against your throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.

W-pI.190.10. Here will you understand there is no pain. 2 Here does the joy of God belong to you. 3 This is the day when it is given you to realize the lesson that contains all of salvation’s power. 4 It is this: Pain is illusion; joy, reality. 5 Pain is but sleep; joy is awakening. 6 Pain is deception; joy alone is truth.

W-pI.190.11. And so again we make the only choice that ever can be made; we choose between illusions and the truth, or pain and joy, or hell and Heaven. 2 Let our gratitude unto our Teacher fill our hearts, as we are free to choose our joy instead of pain, our holiness in place of sin, the peace of God instead of conflict, and the light of Heaven for the darkness of the world.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Does enlightenment or resurrection mean freedom from the body? 

No, because the mind is not imprisoned in the body, but only in its own decision to identify with the ego thought system; hence, enlightenment can be understood as awakening from the dream, a process occurring only on the level of the mind. As the Course says: “Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all” (W-pI.188.1:4). Therefore, it can be understood as the acceptance of ourselves as God created us, and the recognition that no change is necessary because in truth the separation from God never occurred. This recognition is what A Course in Miracles means by accepting the Atonement for oneself. Moreover, the Course’s definition of resurrection is the awakening from the ego’s dream of death, as is seen in the manual’s answer to the question, “What is the resurrection?” where the process of “overcoming” death is clearly placed in the mind, since death has nothing to do with the body: 

Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth; a change of mind about the  meaning of the world. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the world’s purpose; the acceptance of the Atonement  for oneself. It is the end of dreams of misery, and the glad awareness of the Holy Spirit’s final dream…. 

The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reversed entirely (M-28.1:1-4; 2:1-2; italics ours).

And from “The Message of the Crucifixion” in Chapter 6 of the text, where Jesus speaks of himself and his importance to us as a model, we read: 

Your resurrection is your reawakening. I am the model for rebirth, but rebirth itself is merely the dawning on your mind of what is already in it. God placed it there Himself, and so it is true forever (T-6.1.7:1-3; italics ours).

The emphasis that both these passages place on the mind clearly points to it, and not the body as the site of resurrection (or the process of forgiveness). It is the split mind that is the source of all dreams, and therefore it is only there that correction is needed and can be truly efficacious. 

Therefore, one can be enlightened and still have the appearance of remaining in the body, as did Jesus for example, being fully aware that his reality was outside the dream of bodies.  Resurrection, thus, only means freedom from the belief that we actually exist within a body and are a body. It is the culmination of the process, once again, that occurs only on the level of the mind, because the ego’s dream of separation exists only there and nowhere else. Ideas always remain within their source, as Jesus frequently teaches in the Course, and so the idea of a separated world and body has never left its source in the split mind. 

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 189 (October 18, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 189

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 21 – VII. The Last Unanswered Question

T-21.VII.1. Do you not see that all your misery comes from the strange belief that you are powerless? 2 Being helpless is the cost of sin. 3 Helplessness is sin’s condition; the one requirement that it demands to be believed. 4 Only the helpless could believe in it. 5 Enormity has no appeal save to the little. 6 And only those who first believe that they are little could see attraction there. 7 Treachery to the Son of God is the defense of those who do not identify with him. 8 And you are for him or against him; either you love him or attack him, protect his unity or see him shattered and slain by your attack.

T-21.VII.2. No one believes the Son of God is powerless. 2 And those who see themselves as helpless must believe that they are not the Son of God. 3 What can they be except his enemy? 4 And what can they do but envy him his power, and by their envy make themselves afraid of it? 5 These are the dark ones, silent and afraid, alone and not communicating, fearful the power of the Son of God will strike them dead, and raising up their helplessness against him. 6 They join the army of the powerless, to wage their war of vengeance, bitterness and spite on him, to make him one with them. 7 Because they do not know that they are one with him, they know not whom they hate. 8 They are indeed a sorry army, each one as likely to attack his brother or turn upon himself as to remember that they thought they had a common cause.

T-21.VII.3. Frantic and loud and strong the dark ones seem to be. 2 Yet they know not their “enemy,” except they hate him. 3 In hatred they have come together, but have not joined each other. 4 For had they done so hatred would be impossible. 5 The army of the powerless must be disbanded in the presence of strength. 6 Those who are strong are never treacherous, because they have no need to dream of power and to act out their dream. 7 How would an army act in dreams? 8 Any way at all. 9 It could be seen attacking anyone with anything. 10 Dreams have no reason in them. 11 A flower turns into a poisoned spear, a child becomes a giant and a mouse roars like a lion. 12 And love is turned to hate as easily. 13 This is no army, but a madhouse. 14 What seems to be a planned attack is bedlam.

T-21.VII.4. The army of the powerless is weak indeed. 2 It has no weapons and it has no enemy. 3 Yes, it can overrun the world and seek an enemy. 4 But it can never find what is not there. 5 Yes, it can dream it found an enemy, but this will shift even as it attacks, so that it runs at once to find another, and never comes to rest in victory. 6 And as it runs it turns against itself, thinking it caught a glimpse of the great enemy who always eludes its murderous attack by turning into something else. 7 How treacherous does this enemy appear, who changes so it is impossible even to recognize him.

T-21.VII.5. Yet hate must have a target. 2 There can be no faith in sin without an enemy. 3 Who that believes in sin would dare believe he has no enemy? 4 Could he admit that no one made him powerless? 5 Reason would surely bid him seek no longer what is not there to find. 6 Yet first he must be willing to perceive a world where it is not. 7 It is not necessary that he understand how he can see it. 8 Nor should he try. 9 For if he focuses on what he cannot understand, he will but emphasize his helplessness, and let sin tell him that his enemy must be himself. 10 But let him only ask himself these questions, which he must decide, to have it done for him:

11 Do I desire a world I rule instead of one that rules me?
12 Do I desire a world where I am powerful instead of helpless?
13 Do I desire a world in which I have no enemies and cannot sin?
14 And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth?

T-21.VII.6. You may already have answered the first three questions, but not yet the last. 2 For this one still seems fearful, and unlike the others. 3 Yet reason would assure you they are all the same. 4 We said this year would emphasize the sameness of things that are the same. 5 This final question, which is indeed the last you need decide, still seems to hold a threat the rest have lost for you. 6 And this imagined difference attests to your belief that truth may be the enemy you yet may find. 7 Here, then, would seem to be the last remaining hope of finding sin, and not accepting power.

T-21.VII.7. Forget not that the choice of sin or truth, helplessness or power, is the choice of whether to attack or heal. 2 For healing comes of power, and attack of helplessness. 3 Whom you attack you cannot want to heal. 4 And whom you would have healed must be the one you chose to be protected from attack. 5 And what is this decision but the choice whether to see him through the body’s eyes, or let him be revealed to you through vision? 6 How this decision leads to its effects is not your problem. 7 But what you want to see must be your choice. 8 This is a course in cause and not effect.

T-21.VII.8. Consider carefully your answer to the last question you have left unanswered still. 2 And let your reason tell you that it must be answered, and is answered in the other three. 3 And then it will be clear to you that, as you look on the effects of sin in any form, all you need do is simply ask yourself:

4 Is this what I would see? 5 Do I want this?

T-21.VII.9. This is your one decision; this the condition for what occurs. 2 It is irrelevant to how it happens, but not to why. 3 You have control of this. 4 And if you choose to see a world without an enemy, in which you are not helpless, the means to see it will be given you.

T-21.VII.10. Why is the final question so important? 2 Reason will tell you why. 3 It is the same as are the other three, except in time. 4 The others are decisions that can be made, and then unmade and made again. 5 But truth is constant, and implies a state where vacillations are impossible. 6 You can desire a world you rule that rules you not, and change your mind. 7 You can desire to exchange your helplessness for power, and lose this same desire as a little glint of sin attracts you. 8 And you can want to see a sinless world, and let an “enemy” tempt you to use the body’s eyes and change what you desire.

T-21.VII.11. In content all the questions are the same. 2 For each one asks if you are willing to exchange the world of sin for what the Holy Spirit sees, since it is this the world of sin denies. 3 And therefore those who look on sin are seeing the denial of the real world. 4 Yet the last question adds the wish for constancy in your desire to see the real world, so the desire becomes the only one you have. 5 By answering the final question “yes,” you add sincerity to the decisions you have already made to all the rest. 6 For only then have you renounced the option to change your mind again. 7 When it is this you do not want, the rest are wholly answered.

T-21.VII.12. Why do you think you are unsure the others have been answered? 2 Could it be necessary they be asked so often, if they had? 3 Until the last decision has been made, the answer is both “yes” and “no.” 4 For you have answered “yes” without perceiving that “yes” must mean “not no.” 5 No one decides against his happiness, but he may do so if he does not see he does it. 6 And if he sees his happiness as ever changing, now this, now that, and now an elusive shadow attached to nothing, he does decide against it.

T-21.VII.13. Elusive happiness, or happiness in changing form that shifts with time and place, is an illusion that has no meaning. 2 Happiness must be constant, because it is attained by giving up the wish for the inconstant. 3 Joy cannot be perceived except through constant vision. 4 And constant vision can be given only those who wish for constancy. 5 The power of the Son of God’s desire remains the proof that he is wrong who sees himself as helpless. 6 Desire what you want, and you will look on it and think it real. 7 No thought but has the power to release or kill. 8 And none can leave the thinker’s mind, or leave him unaffected.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 189

Workbook Lesson 189

I feel the Love of God within me now.

W-pI.189.1. There is a light in you the world can not perceive. 2 And with its eyes you will not see this light, for you are blinded by the world. 3 Yet you have eyes to see it. 4 It is there for you to look upon. 5 It was not placed in you to be kept hidden from your sight. 6 This light is a reflection of the thought we practice now. 7 To feel the Love of God within you is to see the world anew, shining in innocence, alive with hope, and blessed with perfect charity and love.

W-pI.189.2. Who could feel fear in such a world as this? 2 It welcomes you, rejoices that you came, and sings your praises as it keeps you safe from every form of danger and of pain. 3 It offers you a warm and gentle home in which to stay a while. 4 It blesses you throughout the day, and watches through the night as silent guardian of your holy sleep. 5 It sees salvation in you, and protects the light in you, in which it sees its own. 6 It offers you its flowers and its snow, in thankfulness for your benevolence.

W-pI.189.3. This is the world the Love of God reveals. 2 It is so different from the world you see through darkened eyes of malice and of fear, that one belies the other. 3 Only one can be perceived at all. 4 The other one is wholly meaningless. 5 A world in which forgiveness shines on everything, and peace offers its gentle light to everyone, is inconceivable to those who see a world of hatred rising from attack, poised to avenge, to murder and destroy.

W-pI.189.4. Yet is the world of hatred equally unseen and inconceivable to those who feel God’s Love in them. 2 Their world reflects the quietness and peace that shines in them; the gentleness and innocence they see surrounding them; the joy with which they look out from the endless wells of joy within. 3 What they have felt in them they look upon, and see its sure reflection everywhere.

W-pI.189.5. What would you see? 2 The choice is given you. 3 But learn and do not let your mind forget this law of seeing: You will look upon that which you feel within. 4 If hatred finds a place within your heart, you will perceive a fearful world, held cruelly in death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers. 5 If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world of mercy and of love.

W-pI.189.6. Today we pass illusions, as we seek to reach to what is true in us, and feel its all-embracing tenderness, its Love which knows us perfect as itself, its sight which is the gift its Love bestows on us. 2 We learn the way today. 3 It is as sure as Love itself, to which it carries us. 4 For its simplicity avoids the snares the foolish convolutions of the world’s apparent reasoning but serve to hide.

W-pI.189.7. Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. 2 Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. 3 Hold onto nothing. 4 Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. 5 Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.

W-pI.189.8. Is it not He Who knows the way to you? 2 You need not know the way to Him. 3 Your part is simply to allow all obstacles that you have interposed between the Son and God the Father to be quietly removed forever. 4 God will do His part in joyful and immediate response. 5 Ask and receive. 6 But do not make demands, nor point the road to God by which He should appear to you. 7 The way to reach Him is merely to let Him be. 8 For in that way is your reality proclaimed as well.

W-pI.189.9. And so today we do not choose the way in which we go to Him. 2 But we do choose to let Him come. 3 And with this choice we rest. 4 And in our quiet hearts and open minds, His Love will blaze its pathway of itself. 5 What has not been denied is surely there, if it be true and can be surely reached. 6 God knows His Son, and knows the way to him. 7 He does not need His Son to show Him how to find His way. 8 Through every opened door His Love shines outward from its home within, and lightens up the world in innocence.

W-pI.189.10. Father, we do not know the way to You. 2 But we have called, and You have answered us. 3 We will not interfere. 4 Salvation’s ways are not our own, for they belong to You. 5 And it is unto You we look for them. 6 Our hands are open to receive Your gifts. 7 We have no thoughts we think apart from You, and cherish no beliefs of what we are, or Who created us. 8 Yours is the way that we would find and follow. 9 And we ask but that Your Will, which is our own as well, be done in us and in the world, that it become a part of Heaven now. 10 Amen.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Can the ego mind be equated with the human brain? 

No. The mind is non-physical and non-tangible; i.e., it cannot be dissected in a laboratory, photographed by a camera, or analyzed by any empirical method. The brain, on the other hand, is a physical organ that is quite tangible, and can be dissected and studied readily in a laboratory. It is the “computer” that seems to run the body, organizing the sensory data that enter it into seemingly meaningful patterns, and directing all the bodily systems and functions to adjust to the body’s place in the physical universe. In truth, however, it is the mind that is the programmer and directs the brain to function as it sees fit, just as a computer does what the operator tells it to do. The mind is the command center from which all directives emanate, as they instruct the brain to establish as an experiential reality the world of time and space that is already over, and which in truth never even existed! 

In and of itself, therefore, the brain can do nothing, because it is nothing but the receptor-organ of the mind. This insane belief that the brain can function independently of the mind — which is crucial to the ego’s strategy of protecting the split mind and therefore itself — is reflected in this passage from the workbook: 

You … believe the body’s brain can think. If you but understood the nature of thought, you could but laugh at this insane idea. it is as if you thought you held the match that lights the sun and gives it all its warmth; or that you held the world within your hand, securely bound until you let it go. Yet this is no more foolish that to believe the body’s eyes can see; the brain can think (W-pI.92.2).

The relationship of the brain to the mind, of effect to cause, is stated here in the text: 

The brain cannot interpret what your vision sees [based upon reason, or the Holy Spirit’s Presence in the mind]…. The brain interprets [only] to the body, of which it is a part (T-22.1.2:7,9).

Clearly then, it is the mind that does the true interpreting, not the brain. This is underscored in this passage from the manual for teachers, where the cause of perception is seen to be the mind, not the eyes nor, by implication, the brain. This passage, incidentally, is not found in the first edition of the Course: 

Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold [not the brain]. It is the mind that interprets the eyes’ messages and gives them “meaning.”… Its hierarchy of values is projected outward, and it sends the body’s eyes to find it …. Yet it is not the messages they bring on which perception rests.  Only the mind evaluates their messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful (M-8.3:3-4,7,9-11).

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 188

ACIM Text Reading for Day 188

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 21 – VI. Reason versus Madness

T-21.VI.1. Reason cannot see sin but can see errors, and leads to their correction. 2 It does not value them, but their correction. 3 Reason will also tell you that when you think you sin, you call for help. 4 Yet if you will not accept the help you call for, you will not believe that it is yours to give. 5 And so you will not give it, thus maintaining the belief. 6 For uncorrected error of any kind deceives you about the power that is in you to make correction. 7 If it can correct, and you allow it not to do so, you deny it to yourself and to your brother. 8 And if he shares this same belief you both will think that you are damned. 9 This you could spare him and yourself. 10 For reason would not make way for correction in you alone.

T-21.VI.2. Correction cannot be accepted or refused by you without your brother. 2 Sin would maintain it can. 3 Yet reason tells you that you cannot see your brother or yourself as sinful and still perceive the other innocent. 4 Who looks upon himself as guilty and sees a sinless world? 5 And who can see a sinful world and look upon himself apart from it? 6 Sin would maintain you and your brother must be separate. 7 But reason tells you that this must be wrong. 8 If you and your brother are joined, how could it be that you have private thoughts? 9 And how could thoughts that enter into what but seems like yours alone have no effect at all on what is yours? 10 If minds are joined, this is impossible.

T-21.VI.3. No one can think but for himself, as God thinks not without His Son. 2 Only were Both in bodies could this be. 3 Nor could one mind think only for itself unless the body were the mind. 4 For only bodies can be separate, and therefore unreal. 5 The home of madness cannot be the home of reason. 6 Yet it is easy to leave the home of madness if you see reason. 7 You do not leave insanity by going somewhere else. 8 You leave it simply by accepting reason where madness was. 9 Madness and reason see the same things, but it is certain that they look upon them differently.

T-21.VI.4. Madness is an attack on reason that drives it out of mind, and takes its place. 2 Reason does not attack, but takes the place of madness quietly, replacing madness if it be the choice of the insane to listen to it. 3 But the insane know not their will, for they believe they see the body, and let their madness tell them it is real. 4 Reason would be incapable of this. 5 And if you would defend the body against your reason, you will not understand the body or yourself.

T-21.VI.5. The body does not separate you from your brother, and if you think it does you are insane. 2 But madness has a purpose, and believes it also has the means to make its purpose real. 3 To see the body as a barrier between what reason tells you must be joined must be insane. 4 Nor could you see it, if you heard the voice of reason. 5 What can there be that stands between what is continuous? 6 And if there is nothing in between, how can what enters part be kept away from other parts? 7 Reason would tell you this. 8 But think what you must recognize, if it be so.

T-21.VI.6. If you choose sin instead of healing, you would condemn the Son of God to what can never be corrected. 2 You tell him, by your choice, that he is damned; separate from you and from his Father forever, without a hope of safe return. 3 You teach him this, and you will learn of him exactly what you taught. 4 For you can teach him only that he is as you would have him, and what you choose he be is but your choice for you. 5 Yet think not this is fearful. 6 That you are joined to him is but a fact, not an interpretation. 7 How can a fact be fearful unless it disagrees with what you hold more dear than truth? 8 Reason will tell you that this fact is your release.

T-21.VI.7. Neither your brother nor yourself can be attacked alone. 2 But neither can accept a miracle instead without the other being blessed by it, and healed of pain. 3 Reason, like love, would reassure you, and seeks not to frighten you. 4 The power to heal the Son of God is given you because he must be one with you. 5 You are responsible for how he sees himself. 6 And reason tells you it is given you to change his whole mind, which is one with you, in just an instant. 7 And any instant serves to bring complete correction of his errors and make him whole. 8 The instant that you choose to let yourself be healed, in that same instant is his whole salvation seen as complete with yours. 9 Reason is given you to understand that this is so. 10 For reason, kind as is the purpose for which it is the means, leads steadily away from madness toward the goal of truth. 11 And here you will lay down the burden of denying truth. 12 This is the burden that is terrible, and not the truth.

T-21.VI.8. That you and your brother are joined is your salvation; the gift of Heaven, not the gift of fear. 2 Does Heaven seem to be a burden to you? 3 In madness, yes. 4 And yet what madness sees must be dispelled by reason. 5 Reason assures you Heaven is what you want, and all you want. 6 Listen to Him Who speaks with reason, and brings your reason into line with His. 7 Be willing to let reason be the means by which He would direct you how to leave insanity behind. 8 Hide not behind insanity in order to escape from reason. 9 What madness would conceal, the Holy Spirit still holds out for everyone to look upon with gladness.

T-21.VI.9. You are your brother’s savior. 2 He is yours. 3 Reason speaks happily indeed of this. 4 This gracious plan was given love by Love. 5 And what Love plans is like Itself in this: Being united, It would have you learn what you must be. 6 And being one with It, it must be given you to give what It has given, and gives still. 7 Spend but an instant in the glad acceptance of what is given you to give your brother, and learn with him what has been given both of you. 8 To give is no more blessed than to receive. 9 But neither is it less.

T-21.VI.10. The Son of God is always blessed as one. 2 And as his gratitude goes out to you who blessed him, reason will tell you that it cannot be you stand apart from blessing. 3 The gratitude he offers you reminds you of the thanks your Father gives you for completing Him. 4 And here alone does reason tell you that you can understand what you must be. 5 Your Father is as close to you as is your brother. 6 Yet what is there that could be nearer you than is your Self?

T-21.VI.11. The power you have over the Son of God is not a threat to his reality. 2 It but attests to it. 3 Where could his freedom lie but in himself, if he be free already? 4 And who could bind him but himself, if he deny his freedom? 5 God is not mocked; no more His Son can be imprisoned save by his own desire. 6 And it is by his own desire that he is freed. 7 Such is his strength, and not his weakness. 8 He is at his own mercy. 9 And where he chooses to be merciful, there is he free. 10 But where he chooses to condemn instead, there is he held a prisoner, waiting in chains his pardon on himself to set him free.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 188

The peace of God is shining in me now.

W-pI.188.1. Why wait for Heaven? 2 Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. 3 The light is in them now. 4 Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all. 5 Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well. 6 The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own. 7 It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your Source. 8 It shines in you because it lights your home, and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home.

W-pI.188.2. This light can not be lost. 2 Why wait to find it in the future, or believe it has been lost already, or was never there? 3 It can so easily be looked upon that arguments which prove it is not there become ridiculous. 4 Who can deny the presence of what he beholds in him? 5 It is not difficult to look within, for there all vision starts. 6 There is no sight, be it of dreams or from a truer Source, that is not but the shadow of the seen through inward vision. 7 There perception starts, and there it ends. 8 It has no source but this.

W-pI.188.3. The peace of God is shining in you now, and from your heart extends around the world. 2 It pauses to caress each living thing, and leaves a blessing with it that remains forever and forever. 3 What it gives must be eternal. 4 It removes all thoughts of the ephemeral and valueless. 5 It brings renewal to all tired hearts, and lights all vision as it passes by. 6 All of its gifts are given everyone, and everyone unites in giving thanks to you who give, and you who have received.

W-pI.188.4. The shining in your mind reminds the world of what it has forgotten, and the world restores the memory to you as well. 2 From you salvation radiates with gifts beyond all measure, given and returned. 3 To you, the giver of the gift, does God Himself give thanks. 4 And in His blessing does the light in you shine brighter, adding to the gifts you have to offer to the world.

W-pI.188.5. The peace of God can never be contained. 2 Who recognizes it within himself must give it. 3 And the means for giving it are in his understanding. 4 He forgives because he recognized the truth in him. 5 The peace of God is shining in you now, and in all living things. 6 In quietness is it acknowledged universally. 7 For what your inward vision looks upon is your perception of the universe.

W-pI.188.6. Sit quietly and close your eyes. 2 The light within you is sufficient. 3 It alone has power to give the gift of sight to you. 4 Exclude the outer world, and let your thoughts fly to the peace within. 5 They know the way. 6 For honest thoughts, untainted by the dream of worldly things outside yourself, become the holy messengers of God Himself.

W-pI.188.7. These thoughts you think with Him. 2 They recognize their home. 3 And they point surely to their Source, Where God the Father and the Son are One. 4 God’s peace is shining on them, but they must remain with you as well, for they were born within your mind, as yours was born in God’s. 5 They lead you back to peace, from where they came but to remind you how you must return.

W-pI.188.8. They heed your Father’s Voice when you refuse to listen. 2 And they urge you gently to accept His Word for what you are, instead of fantasies and shadows. 3 They remind you that you are the co-creator of all things that live. 4 For as the peace of God is shining in you, it must shine on them.

W-pI.188.9. We practice coming nearer to the light in us today. 2 We take our wandering thoughts, and gently bring them back to where they fall in line with all the thoughts we share with God. 3 We will not let them stray. 4 We let the light within our minds direct them to come home. 5 We have betrayed them, ordering that they depart from us. 6 But now we call them back, and wash them clean of strange desires and disordered wishes. 7 We restore to them the holiness of their inheritance.

W-pI.188.10. Thus are our minds restored with them, and we acknowledge that the peace of God still shines in us, and from us to all living things that share our life. 2 We will forgive them all, absolving all the world from what we thought it did to us. 3 For it is we who make the world as we would have it. 4 Now we choose that it be innocent, devoid of sin and open to salvation. 5 And we lay our saving blessing on it, as we say:6 The peace of God is shining in me now.
7 Let all things shine upon me in that peace,
And let me bless them with the light in me.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

What is A Course in Miracles’ view of time?

Answer Part 1:  From the perspective of A Course in Miracles, all of time has already occurred, even though “it seems to have a future still unknown to us” (W-pl.158.3:7). In order to understand the Course, it is vital to get a glimpse of the view of time that Jesus is presenting. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to understand the metaphysics and its application. As he clearly states in this passage from the manual for teachers:

In order to understand the teaching-learning plan of salvation [the plan of the Atonement], it is necessary to grasp the concept of time that the course sets forth (M-2.2:1).

When we accepted the belief in our minds (before there were bodies) that we could be our own creator — i.e., self-created — we set into motion a series of cause and effect relationships. The easiest way to understand this is to consider that if we entertained the thought that we could make an opposite to Heaven, one of the effects of this thought would be the beginning of a dream world of time and space, and all the ways that we would manifest the effects of that thought; for example, all the many scripts of our various so-called lifetimes.

Another analogy is that an effect of that insane thought produced a dream-hologram of hatred, which has time and space as its template. Therefore, it is important to recognize that once the mind of the Sonship seemed to fall asleep, it entertained thoughts that were opposite to what truly is. For example:
 

REALITYILLUSION
eternitytime
life death
changelessness change
perfection imperfection
lovehate
limitlessnesslimitation
spirit body
formlessnessform

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 187 (October 17, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 187

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 21 – V. The Function of Reason

T-21.V.1. Perception selects, and makes the world you see. 2 It literally picks it out as the mind directs. 3 The laws of size and shape and brightness would hold, perhaps, if other things were equal. 4 They are not equal. 5 For what you look for you are far more likely to discover than what you would prefer to overlook. 6 The still, small Voice for God is not drowned out by all the ego’s raucous screams and senseless ravings to those who want to hear It. 7 Perception is a choice and not a fact. 8 But on this choice depends far more than you may realize as yet. 9 For on the voice you choose to hear, and on the sights you choose to see, depends entirely your whole belief in what you are. 10 Perception is a witness but to this, and never to reality. 11 Yet it can show you the conditions in which awareness of reality is possible, or those where it could never be.

T-21.V.2. Reality needs no cooperation from you to be itself. 2 But your awareness of it needs your help, because it is your choice. 3 Listen to what the ego says, and see what it directs you see, and it is sure that you will see yourself as tiny, vulnerable and afraid. 4 You will experience depression, a sense of worthlessness, and feelings of impermanence and unreality. 5 You will believe that you are helpless prey to forces far beyond your own control, and far more powerful than you. 6 And you will think the world you made directs your destiny. 7 For this will be your faith. 8 But never believe because it is your faith it makes reality.

T-21.V.3. There is another vision and another Voice in which your freedom lies, awaiting but your choice. 2 And if you place your faith in Them, you will perceive another self in you. 3 This other self sees miracles as natural. 4 They are as simple and as natural to it as breathing to the body. 5 They are the obvious response to calls for help, the only one it makes. 6 Miracles seem unnatural to the ego because it does not understand how separate minds can influence each other. 7 Nor could they do so. 8 But minds cannot be separate. 9 This other self is perfectly aware of this. 10 And thus it recognizes that miracles do not affect another’s mind, only its own. 11 They always change your mind. 12 There is no other.

T-21.V.4. You do not realize the whole extent to which the idea of separation has interfered with reason. 2 Reason lies in the other self you have cut off from your awareness. 3 And nothing you have allowed to stay in your awareness is capable of reason. 4 How can the segment of the mind devoid of reason understand what reason is, or grasp the information it would give? 5 All sorts of questions may arise in it, but if the basic question stems from reason, it will not ask it. 6 Like all that stems from reason, the basic question is obvious, simple and remains unasked. 7 But think not reason could not answer it.

T-21.V.5. God’s plan for your salvation could not have been established without your will and your consent. 2 It must have been accepted by the Son of God, for what God wills for him he must receive. 3 For God wills not apart from him, nor does the Will of God wait upon time to be accomplished. 4 Therefore, what joined the Will of God must be in you now, being eternal. 5 You must have set aside a place in which the Holy Spirit can abide, and where He is. 6 He must have been there since the need for Him arose, and was fulfilled in the same instant. 7 Such would your reason tell you, if you listened. 8 Yet such is clearly not the ego’s reasoning. 9 Your reason’s alien nature to the ego is proof you will not find the answer there. 10 Yet if it must be so, it must exist. 11 And if it exists for you, and has your freedom as the purpose given it, you must be free to find it.

T-21.V.6. God’s plan is simple; never circular and never self-defeating. 2 He has no Thoughts except the Self-extending, and in this your will must be included. 3 Thus, there must be a part of you that knows His Will and shares it. 4 It is not meaningful to ask if what must be is so. 5 But it is meaningful to ask why you are unaware of what is so, for this must have an answer if the plan of God for your salvation is complete. 6 And it must be complete, because its Source knows not of incompletion.

T-21.V.7. Where would the answer be but in the Source? 2 And where are you but there, where this same answer is? 3 Your Identity, as much a true Effect of this same Source as is the answer, must therefore be together and the same. 4 O yes, you know this, and more than this alone. 5 Yet any part of knowledge threatens dissociation as much as all of it. 6 And all of it will come with any part. 7 Here is the part you can accept. 8 What reason points to you can see, because the witnesses on its behalf are clear. 9 Only the totally insane can disregard them, and you have gone past this. 10 Reason is a means that serves the Holy Spirit’s purpose in its own right. 11 It is not reinterpreted and redirected from the goal of sin, as are the others. 12 For reason is beyond the ego’s range of means.

T-21.V.8. Faith and perception and belief can be misplaced, and serve the great deceiver’s needs as well as truth. 2 But reason has no place at all in madness, nor can it be adjusted to fit its end. 3 Faith and belief are strong in madness, guiding perception toward what the mind has valued. 4 But reason enters not at all in this. 5 For the perception would fall away at once, if reason were applied. 6 There is no reason in insanity, for it depends entirely on reason’s absence. 7 The ego never uses it, because it does not realize that it exists. 8 The partially insane have access to it, and only they have need of it. 9 Knowledge does not depend on it, and madness keeps it out.

T-21.V.9. The part of mind where reason lies was dedicated, by your will in union with your Father’s, to the undoing of insanity. 2 Here was the Holy Spirit’s purpose accepted and accomplished, both at once. 3 Reason is alien to insanity, and those who use it have gained a means which cannot be applied to sin. 4 Knowledge is far beyond attainment of any kind. 5 But reason can serve to open doors you closed against it.

T-21.V.10. You have come very close to this. 2 Faith and belief have shifted, and you have asked the question the ego will never ask. 3 Does not your reason tell you now the question must have come from something that you do not know, but must belong to you? 4 Faith and belief, upheld by reason, cannot fail to lead to changed perception. 5 And in this change is room made way for vision. 6 Vision extends beyond itself, as does the purpose that it serves, and all the means for its accomplishment.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 187

Workbook Lesson 187

I bless the world because I bless myself.

W-pI.187.1. No one can give unless he has. 2 In fact, giving is proof of having. 3 We have made this point before. 4 What seems to make it hard to credit is not this. 5 No one can doubt that you must first possess what you would give. 6 It is the second phase on which the world and true perception differ. 7 Having had and given, then the world asserts that you have lost what you possessed. 8 The truth maintains that giving will increase what you possess.

W-pI.187.2. How is this possible? 2 For it is sure that if you give a finite thing away, your body’s eyes will not perceive it yours. 3 Yet we have learned that things but represent the thoughts that make them. 4 And you do not lack for proof that when you give ideas away, you strengthen them in your own mind. 5 Perhaps the form in which the thought seems to appear is changed in giving. 6 Yet it must return to him who gives. 7 Nor can the form it takes be less acceptable. 8 It must be more.

W-pI.187.3. Ideas must first belong to you, before you give them. 2 If you are to save the world, you first accept salvation for yourself. 3 But you will not believe that this is done until you see the miracles it brings to everyone you look upon. 4 Herein is the idea of giving clarified and given meaning. 5 Now you can perceive that by your giving is your store increased.

W-pI.187.4. Protect all things you value by the act of giving them away, and you are sure that you will never lose them. 2 What you thought you did not have is thereby proven yours. 3 Yet value not its form. 4 For this will change and grow unrecognizable in time, however much you try to keep it safe. 5 No form endures. 6 It is the thought behind the form of things that lives unchangeable.

W-pI.187.5. Give gladly. 2 You can only gain thereby. 3 The thought remains, and grows in strength as it is reinforced by giving. 4 Thoughts extend as they are shared, for they can not be lost. 5 There is no giver and receiver in the sense the world conceives of them. 6 There is a giver who retains; another who will give as well. 7 And both must gain in this exchange, for each will have the thought in form most helpful to him. 8 What he seems to lose is always something he will value less than what will surely be returned to him.

W-pI.187.6. Never forget you give but to yourself. 2 Who understands what giving means must laugh at the idea of sacrifice. 3 Nor can he fail to recognize the many forms which sacrifice may take. 4 He laughs as well at pain and loss, at sickness and at grief, at poverty, starvation and at death. 5 He recognizes sacrifice remains the one idea that stands behind them all, and in his gentle laughter are they healed.

W-pI.187.7. Illusion recognized must disappear. 2 Accept not suffering, and you remove the thought of suffering. 3 Your blessing lies on everyone who suffers, when you choose to see all suffering as what it is. 4 The thought of sacrifice gives rise to all the forms that suffering appears to take. 5 And sacrifice is an idea so mad that sanity dismisses it at once.

W-pI.187.8. Never believe that you can sacrifice. 2 There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value. 3 If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen and correction must be made. 4 Your blessing will correct it. 5 Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well. 6 No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.

W-pI.187.9. The lilies that your brother offers you are laid upon your altar, with the ones you offer him beside them. 2 Who could fear to look upon such lovely holiness? 3 The great illusion of the fear of God diminishes to nothingness before the purity that you will look on here. 4 Be not afraid to look. 5 The blessedness you will behold will take away all thought of form, and leave instead the perfect gift forever there, forever to increase, forever yours, forever given away.

W-pI.187.10. Now are we one in thought, for fear has gone. 2 And here, before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. 3 Not separate from Him Who is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our one Self Whose innocence has joined us all as one, we stand in blessedness, and give as we receive. 4 The Name of God is on our lips. 5 And as we look within, we see the purity of Heaven shine in our reflection of our Father’s Love.

W-pI.187.11. Now are we blessed, and now we bless the world. 2 What we have looked upon we would extend, for we would see it everywhere. 3 We would behold it shining with the grace of God in everyone. 4 We would not have it be withheld from anything we look upon. 5 And to ensure this holy sight is ours, we offer it to everything we see. 6 For where we see it, it will be returned to us in form of lilies we can lay upon our altar, making it a home for Innocence Itself, Who dwells in us and offers us His Holiness as ours.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

Since we have made ourselves separate, how come we all seem to perceive the same attributes of matter, and agree on its basic characteristics and experience its laws?

When the thought of separation seemed to occur, it was a single thought in a single split mind. As the thought process of separation proceeded, culminating in the making of the physical universe, this one thought appeared to divide into billions and billions of fragments. Each of these fragments contains all aspects of the original thought of separation.  Therefore, each seeming fragment would experience all the effects from that illusory thought of separation, i.e., all the so-called laws of astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, etc., that are an inherent part of the making of the universe. Thus the one ego thought appears as many.  This accounts for the paradox of people on the one hand sharing a common perception of the world, while on the other having very personal and individualized tastes, perceptions, and experiences. In the end, all seemingly separated minds are one — one thought of separation — yet each fragment appears to be separate, and believes itself to be unique and independent of the others.

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 186 (October 16, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 186

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 21 – IV. The Fear to Look Within

T-21.IV.1. The Holy Spirit will never teach you that you are sinful. 2 Errors He will correct, but this makes no one fearful. 3 You are indeed afraid to look within and see the sin you think is there. 4 This you would not be fearful to admit. 5 Fear in association with sin the ego deems quite appropriate, and smiles approvingly. 6 It has no fear to let you feel ashamed. 7 It doubts not your belief and faith in sin. 8 Its temples do not shake because of this. 9 Your faith that sin is there but witnesses to your desire that it be there to see. 10 This merely seems to be the source of fear.

T-21.IV.2. Remember that the ego is not alone. 2 Its rule is tempered, and its unknown “enemy,” Whom it cannot even see, it fears. 3 Loudly the ego tells you not to look inward, for if you do your eyes will light on sin, and God will strike you blind. 4 This you believe, and so you do not look. 5 Yet this is not the ego’s hidden fear, nor yours who serve it. 6 Loudly indeed the ego claims it is; too loudly and too often. 7 For underneath this constant shout and frantic proclamation, the ego is not certain it is so. 8 Beneath your fear to look within because of sin is yet another fear, and one which makes the ego tremble.

T-21.IV.3. What if you looked within and saw no sin? 2 This “fearful” question is one the ego never asks. 3 And you who ask it now are threatening the ego’s whole defensive system too seriously for it to bother to pretend it is your friend. 4 Those who have joined their brothers have detached themselves from their belief that their identity lies in the ego. 5 A holy relationship is one in which you join with what is part of you in truth. 6 And your belief in sin has been already shaken, nor are you now entirely unwilling to look within and see it not.

T-21.IV.4. Your liberation still is only partial; still limited and incomplete, yet born within you. 2 Not wholly mad, you have been willing to look on much of your insanity and recognize its madness. 3 Your faith is moving inward, past insanity and on to reason. 4 And what your reason tells you now the ego would not hear. 5 The Holy Spirit’s purpose was accepted by the part of your mind the ego knows not of. 6 No more did you. 7 And yet this part, with which you now identify, is not afraid to look upon itself. 8 It knows no sin. 9 How, otherwise, could it have been willing to see the Holy Spirit’s purpose as its own?

T-21.IV.5. This part has seen your brother, and recognized him perfectly since time began. 2 And it desired nothing but to join with him and to be free again, as once it was. 3 It has been waiting for the birth of freedom; the acceptance of release to come to you. 4 And now you recognize that it was not the ego that joined the Holy Spirit’s purpose, and so there must be something else. 5 Think not that this is madness. 6 For this your reason tells you, and it follows perfectly from what you have already learned.

T-21.IV.6. There is no inconsistency in what the Holy Spirit teaches. 2 This is the reasoning of the sane. 3 You have perceived the ego’s madness, and not been made afraid because you did not choose to share in it. 4 At times it still deceives you. 5 Yet in your saner moments, its ranting strikes no terror in your heart. 6 For you have realized that all the gifts it would withdraw from you, in rage at your “presumptuous” wish to look within, you do not want. 7 A few remaining trinkets still seem to shine and catch your eye. 8 Yet you would not “sell” Heaven to have them.

T-21.IV.7. And now the ego is afraid. 2 Yet what it hears in terror, the other part hears as the sweetest music; the song it longed to hear since first the ego came into your mind. 3 The ego’s weakness is its strength. 4 The song of freedom, which sings the praises of another world, brings to it hope of peace. 5 For it remembers Heaven, and now it sees that Heaven has come to earth at last, from which the ego’s rule has kept it out so long. 6 Heaven has come because it found a home in your relationship on earth. 7 And earth can hold no longer what has been given Heaven as its own.

T-21.IV.8. Look gently on your brother, and remember the ego’s weakness is revealed in both your sight. 2 What it would keep apart has met and joined, and looks upon the ego unafraid. 3 Little child, innocent of sin, follow in gladness the way to certainty. 4 Be not held back by fear’s insane insistence that sureness lies in doubt. 5 This has no meaning. 6 What matters it to you how loudly it is proclaimed? 7 The senseless is not made meaningful by repetition and by clamor. 8 The quiet way is open. 9 Follow it happily, and question not what must be so.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 186

Salvation of the world depends on me.

W-pI.186.1. Here is the statement that will one day take all arrogance away from every mind. 2 Here is the thought of true humility, which holds no function as your own but that which has been given you. 3 It offers your acceptance of a part assigned to you, without insisting on another role. 4 It does not judge your proper role. 5 It but acknowledges the Will of God is done on earth as well as Heaven. 6 It unites all wills on earth in Heaven’s plan to save the world, restoring it to Heaven’s peace.

W-pI.186.2. Let us not fight our function. 2 We did not establish it. 3 It is not our idea. 4 The means are given us by which it will be perfectly accomplished. 5 All that we are asked to do is to accept our part in genuine humility, and not deny with self-deceiving arrogance that we are worthy. 6 What is given us to do, we have the strength to do. 7 Our minds are suited perfectly to take the part assigned to us by One Who knows us well.

W-pI.186.3. Today’s idea may seem quite sobering, until you see its meaning. 2 All it says is that your Father still remembers you, and offers you the perfect trust He holds in you who are His Son. 3 It does not ask that you be different in any way from what you are. 4 What could humility request but this? 5 And what could arrogance deny but this? 6 Today we will not shrink from our assignment on the specious grounds that modesty is outraged. 7 It is pride that would deny the Call for God Himself.

W-pI.186.4. All false humility we lay aside today, that we may listen to God’s Voice reveal to us what He would have us do. 2 We do not doubt our adequacy for the function He will offer us. 3 We will be certain only that He knows our strengths, our wisdom and our holiness. 4 And if He deems us worthy, so we are. 5 It is but arrogance that judges otherwise.

W-pI.186.5. There is one way, and only one, to be released from the imprisonment your plan to prove the false is true has brought to you. 2 Accept the plan you did not make instead. 3 Judge not your value to it. 4 If God’s Voice assures you that salvation needs your part, and that the whole depends on you, be sure that it is so. 5 The arrogant must cling to words, afraid to go beyond them to experience which might affront their stance. 6 Yet are the humble free to hear the Voice which tells them what they are, and what to do.

W-pI.186.6. Arrogance makes an image of yourself that is not real. 2 It is this image which quails and retreats in terror, as the Voice for God assures you that you have the strength, the wisdom and the holiness to go beyond all images. 3 You are not weak, as is the image of yourself. 4 You are not ignorant and helpless. 5 Sin can not tarnish the truth in you, and misery can come not near the holy home of God.

W-pI.186.7. All this the Voice for God relates to you. 2 And as He speaks, the image trembles and seeks to attack the threat it does not know, sensing its basis crumble. 3 Let it go. 4 Salvation of the world depends on you, and not upon this little pile of dust. 5 What can it tell the holy Son of God? 6 Why need he be concerned with it at all?

W-pI.186.8. And so we find our peace. 2 We will accept the function God has given us, for all illusions rest upon the weird belief that we can make another for ourselves. 3 Our self-made roles are shifting, and they seem to change from mourner to ecstatic bliss of love and loving. 4 We can laugh or weep, and greet the day with welcome or with tears. 5 Our very being seems to change as we experience a thousand shifts in mood, and our emotions raise us high indeed, or dash us to the ground in hopelessness.

W-pI.186.9. Is this the Son of God? 2 Could He create such instability and call it Son? 3 He Who is changeless shares His attributes with His creation. 4 All the images His Son appears to make have no effect on what he is. 5 They blow across his mind like wind-swept leaves that form a patterning an instant, break apart to group again, and scamper off. 6 Or like mirages seen above a desert, rising from the dust.

W-pI.186.10. These unsubstantial images will go, and leave your mind unclouded and serene, when you accept the function given you. 2 The images you make give rise to but conflicting goals, impermanent and vague, uncertain and ambiguous. 3 Who could be constant in his efforts, or direct his energies and concentrated drive toward goals like these? 4 The functions which the world esteems are so uncertain that they change ten times an hour at their most secure. 5 What hope of gain can rest on goals like this?

W-pI.186.11. In lovely contrast, certain as the sun’s return each morning to dispel the night, your truly given function stands out clear and wholly unambiguous. 2 There is no doubt of its validity. 3 It comes from One Who knows no error, and His Voice is certain of Its messages. 4 They will not change, nor be in conflict. 5 All of them point to one goal, and one you can attain. 6 Your plan may be impossible, but God’s can never fail because He is its Source.

W-pI.186.12. Do as God’s Voice directs. 2 And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is that asks, and who would make denial. 3 Then consider this; which is more likely to be right? 4 The Voice that speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure of everything? 5 Let not its voice direct you. 6 Hear instead a certain Voice, which tells you of a function given you by your Creator Who remembers you, and urges that you now remember Him.

W-pI.186.13. His gentle Voice is calling from the known to the unknowing. 2 He would comfort you, although He knows no sorrow. 3 He would make a restitution, though He is complete; a gift to you, although He knows that you have everything already. 4 He has Thoughts which answer every need His Son perceives, although He sees them not. 5 For Love must give, and what is given in His Name takes on the form most useful in a world of form.

W-pI.186.14. These are the forms which never can deceive, because they come from Formlessness Itself. 2 Forgiveness is an earthly form of love, which as it is in Heaven has no form. 3 Yet what is needed here is given here as it is needed. 4 In this form you can fulfill your function even here, although what love will mean to you when formlessness has been restored to you is greater still. 5 Salvation of the world depends on you who can forgive. 6 Such is your function here.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

What about the beauty and goodness in the world?

Following the above answer, we can see that the so-called positive aspects of our world are equally as illusory as the negative ones. They are both aspects of a dualistic perceptual universe, which but reflect the dualistic split in the mind of the Sonship. The famous statement “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ is also applicable here, since what one deems as beauty, another may find to be aesthetically displeasing, and vice versa. Similarly, what one society judges as good, another may judge as bad and against the common good.  This can be evidenced by a careful study of history, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Therefore, using the criterion for reality of eternal changelessness that Jesus employs in the Course, we can conclude that nothing that the world deems beautiful or good is real, and so it cannot have been created by God.

Therefore, given that both beauty and goodness are relative concepts and thus are illusory, we should follow Jesus’ injunction to always ask ourselves: “What is the meaning of what I behold?” (T-3I.VII.13:5).  In other words, even though something beautiful is illusory, it remains neutral, like everything else in the world. Given to the ego, it serves its unholy purpose of reinforcing separation, specialness, and guilt. Given to the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, it serves the holy purpose of leading us to an experience of truth that lies beyond perception. For example, a sunset can reinforce the belief that I can find peace and well-being only while in its presence, or it can help remind me that the true beauty of Christ is my Identity, and that this beauty is internal, within my mind and independent of anything outside it.

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 185 (October 16, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 185

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 21 – III. Faith, Belief and Vision

T-21.III.1. All special relationships have sin as their goal. 2 For they are bargains with reality, toward which the seeming union is adjusted. 3 Forget not this; to bargain is to set a limit, and any brother with whom you have a limited relationship, you hate. 4 You may attempt to keep the bargain in the name of “fairness,” sometimes demanding payment of yourself, perhaps more often of the other. 5 Thus in the “fairness” you attempt to ease the guilt that comes from the accepted purpose of the relationship. 6 And that is why the Holy Spirit must change its purpose to make it useful to Him and harmless to you.

T-21.III.2. If you accept this change, you have accepted the idea of making room for truth. 2 The source of sin is gone. 3 You may imagine that you still experience its effects, but it is not your purpose and you no longer want it. 4 No one allows a purpose to be replaced while he desires it, for nothing is so cherished and protected as is a goal the mind accepts. 5 This it will follow, grimly or happily, but always with faith and with the persistence that faith inevitably brings. 6 The power of faith is never recognized if it is placed in sin. 7 But it is always recognized if it is placed in love.

T-21.III.3. Why is it strange to you that faith can move mountains? 2 This is indeed a little feat for such a power. 3 For faith can keep the Son of God in chains as long as he believes he is in chains. 4 And when he is released from them it will be simply because he no longer believes in them, withdrawing faith that they can hold him, and placing it in his freedom instead. 5 It is impossible to place equal faith in opposite directions. 6 What faith you give to sin you take away from holiness. 7 And what you offer holiness has been removed from sin.

T-21.III.4. Faith and belief and vision are the means by which the goal of holiness is reached. 2 Through them the Holy Spirit leads you to the real world, and away from all illusions where your faith was laid. 3 This is His direction; the only one He ever sees. 4 And when you wander, He reminds you there is but one. 5 His faith and His belief and vision are all for you. 6 And when you have accepted them completely instead of yours, you will have need of them no longer. 7 For faith and vision and belief are meaningful only before the state of certainty is reached. 8 In Heaven they are unknown. 9 Yet Heaven is reached through them.

T-21.III.5. It is impossible that the Son of God lack faith, but he can choose where he would have it be. 2 Faithlessness is not a lack of faith, but faith in nothing. 3 Faith given to illusions does not lack power, for by it does the Son of God believe that he is powerless. 4 Thus is he faithless to himself, but strong in faith in his illusions about himself. 5 For faith, perception and belief you made, as means for losing certainty and finding sin. 6 This mad direction was your choice, and by your faith in what you chose, you made what you desired.

T-21.III.6. The Holy Spirit has a use for all the means for sin by which you sought to find it. 2 But as He uses them they lead away from sin, because His purpose lies in the opposite direction. 3 He sees the means you use, but not the purpose for which you made them. 4 He would not take them from you, for He sees their value as a means for what He wills for you. 5 You made perception that you might choose among your brothers, and seek for sin with them. 6 The Holy Spirit sees perception as a means to teach you that the vision of a holy relationship is all you want to see. 7 Then will you give your faith to holiness, desiring and believing in it because of your desire.

T-21.III.7. Faith and belief become attached to vision, as all the means that once served sin are redirected now toward holiness. 2 For what you think is sin is limitation, and whom you try to limit to the body you hate because you fear. 3 In your refusal to forgive him, you would condemn him to the body because the means for sin are dear to you. 4 And so the body has your faith and your belief. 5 But holiness would set your brother free, removing hatred by removing fear, not as a symptom, but at its source.

T-21.III.8. Those who would free their brothers from the body can have no fear. 2 They have renounced the means for sin by choosing to let all limitations be removed. 3 As they desire to look upon their brothers in holiness, the power of their belief and faith sees far beyond the body, supporting vision, not obstructing it. 4 But first they chose to recognize how much their faith had limited their understanding of the world, desiring to place its power elsewhere should another point of view be given them. 5 The miracles that follow this decision are also born of faith. 6 For all who choose to look away from sin are given vision, and are led to holiness.

T-21.III.9. Those who believe in sin must think the Holy Spirit asks for sacrifice, for this is how they think their purpose is accomplished. 2 Brother, the Holy Spirit knows that sacrifice brings nothing. 3 He makes no bargains. 4 And if you seek to limit Him, you will hate Him because you are afraid. 5 The gift that He has given you is more than anything that stands this side of Heaven. 6 The instant for its recognition is at hand. 7 Join your awareness to what has been already joined. 8 The faith you give your brother can accomplish this. 9 For He Who loves the world is seeing it for you, without one spot of sin upon it, and in the innocence that makes the sight of it as beautiful as Heaven.

T-21.III.10. Your faith in sacrifice has given it great power in your sight; except you do not realize you cannot see because of it. 2 For sacrifice must be exacted of a body, and by another body. 3 The mind could neither ask it nor receive it of itself. 4 And no more could the body. 5 The intention is in the mind, which tries to use the body to carry out the means for sin in which the mind believes. 6 Thus is the joining of mind and body an inescapable belief of those who value sin. 7 And so is sacrifice invariably a means for limitation, and thus for hate.

T-21.III.11. Think you the Holy Spirit is concerned with this? 2 He gives not what it is His purpose to lead you from. 3 You think He would deprive you for your good. 4 But “good” and “deprivation” are opposites, and cannot meaningfully join in any way. 5 It is like saying that the moon and sun are one because they come with night and day, and so they must be joined. 6 Yet sight of one is but the sign the other has disappeared from sight. 7 Nor is it possible that what gives light be one with what depends on darkness to be seen. 8 Neither demands the sacrifice of the other. 9 Yet on the absence of the other does each depend.

T-21.III.12. The body was made to be a sacrifice to sin, and in the darkness so it still is seen. 2 Yet in the light of vision it is looked upon quite differently. 3 You can have faith in it to serve the Holy Spirit’s goal, and give it power to serve as means to help the blind to see. 4 But in their seeing they look past it, as do you. 5 The faith and the belief you gave it belongs beyond. 6 You gave perception and belief and faith from mind to body. 7 Let them now be given back to what produced them, and can use them still to save itself from what it made.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 185

I want the peace of God.

W-pI.185.1. To say these words is nothing. 2 But to mean these words is everything. 3 If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time. 4 Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, memory of God entirely restored, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.

W-pI.185.2. No one can mean these words and not be healed. 2 He cannot play with dreams, nor think he is himself a dream. 3 He cannot make a hell and think it real. 4 He wants the peace of God, and it is given him. 5 For that is all he wants, and that is all he will receive. 6 Many have said these words. 7 But few indeed have meant them. 8 You have but to look upon the world you see around you to be sure how very few they are. 9 The world would be completely changed, should any two agree these words express the only thing they want.

W-pI.185.3. Two minds with one intent become so strong that what they will becomes the Will of God. 2 For minds can only join in truth. 3 In dreams, no two can share the same intent. 4 To each, the hero of the dream is different; the outcome wanted not the same for both. 5 Loser and gainer merely shift about in changing patterns, as the ratio of gain to loss and loss to gain takes on a different aspect or another form.

W-pI.185.4. Yet compromise alone a dream can bring. 2 Sometimes it takes the form of union, but only the form. 3 The meaning must escape the dream, for compromising is the goal of dreaming. 4 Minds cannot unite in dreams. 5 They merely bargain. 6 And what bargain can give them the peace of God? 7 Illusions come to take His place. 8 And what He means is lost to sleeping minds intent on compromise, each to his gain and to another’s loss.

W-pI.185.5. To mean you want the peace of God is to renounce all dreams. 2 For no one means these words who wants illusions, and who therefore seeks the means which bring illusions. 3 He has looked on them, and found them wanting. 4 Now he seeks to go beyond them, recognizing that another dream would offer nothing more than all the others. 5 Dreams are one to him. 6 And he has learned their only difference is one of form, for one will bring the same despair and misery as do the rest.

W-pI.185.6. The mind which means that all it wants is peace must join with other minds, for that is how peace is obtained. 2 And when the wish for peace is genuine, the means for finding it is given, in a form each mind that seeks for it in honesty can understand. 3 Whatever form the lesson takes is planned for him in such a way that he can not mistake it, if his asking is sincere. 4 But if he asks without sincerity, there is no form in which the lesson will meet with acceptance and be truly learned.

W-pI.185.7. Let us today devote our practicing to recognizing that we really mean the words we say. 2 We want the peace of God. 3 This is no idle wish. 4 These words do not request another dream be given us. 5 They do not ask for compromise, nor try to make another bargain in the hope that there may yet be one that can succeed where all the rest have failed. 6 To mean these words acknowledges illusions are in vain, requesting the eternal in the place of shifting dreams which seem to change in what they offer, but are one in nothingness.

W-pI.185.8. Today devote your practice periods to careful searching of your mind, to find the dreams you cherish still. 2 What do you ask for in your heart? 3 Forget the words you use in making your requests. 4 Consider but what you believe will comfort you, and bring you happiness. 5 But be you not dismayed by lingering illusions, for their form is not what matters now. 6 Let not some dreams be more acceptable, reserving shame and secrecy for others. 7 They are one. 8 And being one, one question should be asked of all of them, “Is this what I would have, in place of Heaven and the peace of God?”

W-pI.185.9. This is the choice you make. 2 Be not deceived that it is otherwise. 3 No compromise is possible in this. 4 You choose God’s peace, or you have asked for dreams. 5 And dreams will come as you requested them. 6 Yet will God’s peace come just as certainly, and to remain with you forever. 7 It will not be gone with every twist and turning of the road, to reappear, unrecognized, in forms which shift and change with every step you take.

W-pI.185.10. You want the peace of God. 2 And so do all who seem to seek for dreams. 3 For them as well as for yourself, you ask but this when you make this request with deep sincerity. 4 For thus you reach to what they really want, and join your own intent with what they seek above all things, perhaps unknown to them, but sure to you. 5 You have been weak at times, uncertain in your purpose, and unsure of what you wanted, where to look for it, and where to turn for help in the attempt. 6 Help has been given you. 7 And would you not avail yourself of it by sharing it?

W-pI.185.11. No one who truly seeks the peace of God can fail to find it. 2 For he merely asks that he deceive himself no longer by denying to himself what is God’s Will. 3 Who can remain unsatisfied who asks for what he has already? 4 Who could be unanswered who requests an answer which is his to give? 5 The peace of God is yours.

W-pI.185.12. For you was peace created, given you by its Creator, and established as His Own eternal gift. 2 How can you fail, when you but ask for what He wills for you? 3 And how could your request be limited to you alone? 4 No gift of God can be unshared. 5 It is this attribute that sets the gifts of God apart from every dream that ever seemed to take the place of truth.

W-pI.185.13. No one can lose and everyone must gain whenever any gift of God has been requested and received by anyone. 2 God gives but to unite. 3 To take away is meaningless to Him. 4 And when it is as meaningless to you, you can be sure you share one Will with Him, and He with you. 5 And you will also know you share one Will with all your brothers, whose intent is yours.

W-pI.185.14. It is this one intent we seek today, uniting our desires with the need of every heart, the call of every mind, the hope that lies beyond despair, the love attack would hide, the brotherhood that hate has sought to sever, but which still remains as God created it. 2 With Help like this beside us, can we fail today as we request the peace of God be given us?

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

 Does A Course in Miracles really mean that God did not create the entire physical universe?

We answer this question with a resounding affirmative! Since nothing of form, matter, or substance can be of God, then nothing of the physical universe can be real, and there is no exception to this. Workbook Lesson 43 states, in the context of perception, which is the realm of duality and separation:

Perception is not an attribute of God. His is the realm of knowledge….In God you cannot see.  Perception has no function in God, and does not exist (W-pI.43.1:1-2; 2:1-2).

In the clarification of terms we find the following crystal clear statement about the illusory nature of the world of perception, which God did not create:

The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever. Some things will last in time a little while longer than others [e.g., the greater cosmos, as we shall see below in a passage from the text). But the time will come when all things visible will have an end (C-4. 1).

And finally, a similar statement in the text:

God’s laws do not obtain directly to a world perception rules, for such a world could not have been created by the Mind to which perception has no meaning. Yet are His laws reflected everywhere [through the Holy Spirit]. Not that the world where this reflection is, is real at all.  Only because His Son believes it is, and from His Son’s belief He could not let Himself be separate entirely. He could not enter His Son insanity with him … (T-25.111.2; italics ours).

These passages are important, because they clarify a source of misunderstanding for many students of A Course in Miracles who maintain that Jesus is teaching that God did in fact create the world. They assert that all the Course is teaching is that he did not create our misperceptions of it. Statements which contain the phrase “the world you see,” as in the above passage from the manual for teachers, do not apply simply to the world we perceive through our wrong-minded lens, but rather to the fact that we see at all. Again, the entire physical universe, the world of perception and form, is illusory and outside the Mind of God.

Therefore, nothing that can be observed — nothing that has form, physicality, moves, changes, deteriorates, and ultimately dies — is of God. A Course in Miracles is unequivocal about this, which is why we speak of it as being a perfect non-dualistic thought system: It contains no exceptions. And so the seeming majesty of the cosmos and perceived glory of nature are all expressions of the ego’s thought system of separation, as we see in this wonderful passage from the text:

What seems eternal all will have an end. The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade will not return. Where time has set an end is not where the eternal is (T-29.VI.2:7- I0).

To attempt to make an exception to this fact is to attempt a compromise with truth, exactly what the ego wants in order to establish its own existence. As Jesus states in the workbook: “What is false is false, and what is true has never changed” (W-pII.10.1:1). And again in the text:

How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be.  The impossible has not occurred, and can have no effects. And that is all (T-31.1.1:1-4).

In conclusion, therefore, no aspect of the illusion can be accorded truth, which means that absolutely nothing in the material universe has come from God, or is even known by Him. His reality is totally outside the world of dreams.

A Course in Miracles Readings for Day 184 (October 15, 2020)

ACIM Text Reading for Day 184

A Course in Miracles – Chapter 21 – II. The Responsibility for Sight

T-21.II.1. We have repeated how little is asked of you to learn this course. 2 It is the same small willingness you need to have your whole relationship transformed to joy; the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit for which He gives you everything; the very little on which salvation rests; the tiny change of mind by which the crucifixion is changed to resurrection. 3 And being true, it is so simple that it cannot fail to be completely understood. 4 Rejected yes, but not ambiguous. 5 And if you choose against it now it will not be because it is obscure, but rather that this little cost seemed, in your judgment, to be too much to pay for peace.

T-21.II.2. This is the only thing that you need do for vision, happiness, release from pain and the complete escape from sin, all to be given you. 2 Say only this, but mean it with no reservations, for here the power of salvation lies:

3 I am responsible for what I see.
4 I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve.
5 And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.

6 Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you. 7 Acknowledge but that you have been mistaken, and all effects of your mistakes will disappear.

T-21.II.3. It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him. 2 It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice. 3 His power of decision is the determiner of every situation in which he seems to find himself by chance or accident. 4 No accident nor chance is possible within the universe as God created it, outside of which is nothing. 5 Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal. 6 Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God for you. 7 This is the little gift you offer to the Holy Spirit, and even this He gives to you to give yourself. 8 For by this gift is given you the power to release your savior, that he may give salvation unto you.

T-21.II.4. Begrudge not then this little offering. 2 Withhold it, and you keep the world as now you see it. 3 Give it away, and everything you see goes with it. 4 Never was so much given for so little. 5 In the holy instant is this exchange effected and maintained. 6 Here is the world you do not want brought to the one you do. 7 And here the one you do is given you because you want it. 8 Yet for this, the power of your wanting must first be recognized. 9 You must accept its strength, and not its weakness. 10 You must perceive that what is strong enough to make a world can let it go, and can accept correction if it is willing to see that it was wrong.

T-21.II.5. The world you see is but the idle witness that you were right. 2 This witness is insane. 3 You trained it in its testimony, and as it gave it back to you, you listened and convinced yourself that what it saw was true. 4 You did this to yourself. 5 See only this, and you will also see how circular the reasoning on which your “seeing” rests. 6 This was not given you. 7 This was your gift to you and to your brother. 8 Be willing, then, to have it taken from him and be replaced with truth. 9 And as you look upon the change in him, it will be given you to see it in yourself.

T-21.II.6. Perhaps you do not see the need for you to give this little offering. 2 Look closer, then, at what it is. 3 And, very simply, see in it the whole exchange of separation for salvation. 4 All that the ego is, is an idea that it is possible that things could happen to the Son of God without his will; and thus without the Will of his Creator, Whose Will cannot be separate from his own. 5 This is the Son of God’s replacement for his will, a mad revolt against what must forever be. 6 This is the statement that he has the power to make God powerless and so to take it for himself, and leave himself without what God has willed for him. 7 This is the mad idea you have enshrined upon your altars, and which you worship. 8 And anything that threatens this seems to attack your faith, for here is it invested. 9 Think not that you are faithless, for your belief and trust in this is strong indeed.

T-21.II.7. The Holy Spirit can give you faith in holiness and vision to see it easily enough. 2 But you have not left open and unoccupied the altar where the gifts belong. 3 Where they should be, you have set up your idols to something else. 4 This other “will,” which seems to tell you what must happen, you give reality. 5 And what would show you otherwise must therefore seem unreal. 6 All that is asked of you is to make room for truth. 7 You are not asked to make or do what lies beyond your understanding. 8 All you are asked to do is let it in; only to stop your interference with what will happen of itself; simply to recognize again the presence of what you thought you gave away.

T-21.II.8. Be willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot fail to see. 2 The holy instant is not an instant of creation, but of recognition. 3 For recognition comes of vision and suspended judgment. 4 Then only it is possible to look within and see what must be there, plainly in sight, and wholly independent of inference and judgment. 5 Undoing is not your task, but it is up to you to welcome it or not. 6 Faith and desire go hand in hand, for everyone believes in what he wants.

T-21.II.9. We have already said that wishful thinking is how the ego deals with what it wants, to make it so. 2 There is no better demonstration of the power of wanting, and therefore of faith, to make its goals seem real and possible. 3 Faith in the unreal leads to adjustments of reality to make it fit the goal of madness. 4 The goal of sin induces the perception of a fearful world to justify its purpose. 5 What you desire, you will see. 6 And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.

T-21.II.10. When vision is denied, confusion of cause and effect becomes inevitable. 2 The purpose now becomes to keep obscure the cause of the effect, and make effect appear to be a cause. 3 This seeming independence of effect enables it to be regarded as standing by itself, and capable of serving as a cause of the events and feelings its maker thinks it causes. 4 Earlier, we spoke of your desire to create your own creator, and be father and not son to him. 5 This is the same desire. 6 The Son is the Effect, whose Cause he would deny. 7 And so he seems to be the cause, producing real effects. 8 Nothing can have effects without a cause, and to confuse the two is merely to fail to understand them both.

T-21.II.11. It is as needful that you recognize you made the world you see, as that you recognize that you did not create yourself. 2 They are the same mistake. 3 Nothing created not by your Creator has any influence over you. 4 And if you think what you have made can tell you what you see and feel, and place your faith in its ability to do so, you are denying your Creator and believing that you made yourself. 5 For if you think the world you made has power to make you what it wills, you are confusing Son and Father; effect and Source.

T-21.II.12. The Son’s creations are like his Father’s. 2 Yet in creating them the Son does not delude himself that he is independent of his Source. 3 His union with It is the source of his creating. 4 Apart from this he has no power to create, and what he makes is meaningless. 5 It changes nothing in creation, depends entirely upon the madness of its maker, and cannot serve to justify the madness. 6 Your brother thinks he made the world with you. 7 Thus he denies creation. 8 With you, he thinks the world he made, made him. 9 Thus he denies he made it.

T-21.II.13. Yet the truth is you and your brother were both created by a loving Father, Who created you together and as one. 2 See what “proves” otherwise, and you deny your whole reality. 3 But grant that everything that seems to stand between you and your brother, keeping you from each other and separate from your Father, you made in secret, and the instant of release has come to you. 4 All its effects are gone, because its source has been uncovered. 5 It is its seeming independence of its source that keeps you prisoner. 6 This is the same mistake as thinking you are independent of the Source by which you were created, and have never left.

***

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 184

The Name of God is my inheritance.

W-pI.184.1. You live by symbols. 2 You have made up names for everything you see. 3 Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name. 4 By this you carve it out of unity. 5 By this you designate its special attributes, and set it off from other things by emphasizing space surrounding it. 6 This space you lay between all things to which you give a different name; all happenings in terms of place and time; all bodies which are greeted by a name.

W-pI.184.2. This space you see as setting off all things from one another is the means by which the world’s perception is achieved. 2 You see something where nothing is, and see as well nothing where there is unity; a space between all things, between all things and you. 3 Thus do you think that you have given life in separation. 4 By this split you think you are established as a unity which functions with an independent will.

W-pI.184.3. What are these names by which the world becomes a series of discrete events, of things ununified, of bodies kept apart and holding bits of mind as separate awarenesses? 2 You gave these names to them, establishing perception as you wished to have perception be. 3 The nameless things were given names, and thus reality was given them as well. 4 For what is named is given meaning and will then be seen as meaningful; a cause of true effect, with consequence inherent in itself.

W-pI.184.4. This is the way reality is made by partial vision, purposefully set against the given truth. 2 Its enemy is wholeness. 3 It conceives of little things and looks upon them. 4 And a lack of space, a sense of unity or vision that sees differently, become the threats which it must overcome, conflict with and deny.

W-pI.184.5. Yet does this other vision still remain a natural direction for the mind to channel its perception. 2 It is hard to teach the mind a thousand alien names, and thousands more. 3 Yet you believe this is what learning means; its one essential goal by which communication is achieved, and concepts can be meaningfully shared.

W-pI.184.6. This is the sum of the inheritance the world bestows. 2 And everyone who learns to think that it is so accepts the signs and symbols that assert the world is real. 3 It is for this they stand. 4 They leave no doubt that what is named is there. 5 It can be seen, as is anticipated. 6 What denies that it is true is but illusion, for it is the ultimate reality. 7 To question it is madness; to accept its presence is the proof of sanity.

W-pI.184.7. Such is the teaching of the world. 2 It is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through. 3 But the sooner he perceives on what it rests, how questionable are its premises, how doubtful its results, the sooner does he question its effects. 4 Learning that stops with what the world would teach stops short of meaning. 5 In its proper place, it serves but as a starting point from which another kind of learning can begin, a new perception can be gained, and all the arbitrary names the world bestows can be withdrawn as they are raised to doubt.

W-pI.184.8. Think not you made the world. 2 Illusions, yes! 3 But what is true in earth and Heaven is beyond your naming. 4 When you call upon a brother, it is to his body that you make appeal. 5 His true Identity is hidden from you by what you believe he really is. 6 His body makes response to what you call him, for his mind consents to take the name you give him as his own. 7 And thus his unity is twice denied, for you perceive him separate from you, and he accepts this separate name as his.

W-pI.184.9. It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all symbols of the world, forgetting them forever; yet were asked to take a teaching function. 2 You have need to use the symbols of the world a while. 3 But be you not deceived by them as well. 4 They do not stand for anything at all, and in your practicing it is this thought that will release you from them. 5 They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found.

W-pI.184.10. Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. 2 Here you understand the Word, the Name which God has given you; the one Identity which all things share; the one acknowledgment of what is true. 3 And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules.

W-pI.184.11. Use all the little names and symbols which delineate the world of darkness. 2 Yet accept them not as your reality. 3 The Holy Spirit uses all of them, but He does not forget creation has one Name, one meaning, and a single Source which unifies all things within Itself. 4 Use all the names the world bestows on them but for convenience, yet do not forget they share the Name of God along with you.

W-pI.184.12. God has no name. 2 And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end. 3 All names are unified; all space is filled with truth’s reflection. 4 Every gap is closed, and separation healed. 5 The Name of God is the inheritance He gave to those who chose the teaching of the world to take the place of Heaven. 6 In our practicing, our purpose is to let our minds accept what God has given as the answer to the pitiful inheritance you made as fitting tribute to the Son He loves.

W-pI.184.13. No one can fail who seeks the meaning of the Name of God. 2 Experience must come to supplement the Word. 3 But first you must accept the Name for all reality, and realize the many names you gave its aspects have distorted what you see, but have not interfered with truth at all. 4 One Name we bring into our practicing. 5 One Name we use to unify our sight.

W-pI.184.14. And though we use a different name for each awareness of an aspect of God’s Son, we understand that they have but one Name, which He has given them. 2 It is this Name we use in practicing. 3 And through Its use, all foolish separations disappear which kept us blind. 4 And we are given strength to see beyond them. 5 Now our sight is blessed with blessings we can give as we receive.

W-pI.184.15. Father, our Name is Yours. 2 In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator. 3 What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Your Own reality. 4 And we are glad and thankful we were wrong. 5 All our mistakes we give to You, that we may be absolved from all effects our errors seemed to have. 6 And we accept the truth You give, in place of every one of them. 7 Your Name is our salvation and escape from what we made. 8 Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace. 9 Amen.

***

ACIM Q & A for Today

 If God did not create the world or the body, who did?  Moreover, who are we and how did we get here?

This is among the most commonly asked questions, and is certainly an understandable one. Almost all people believe that they are physical and psychological selves, living in a material universe that pre-existed their coming, and which will survive their leaving. The difficulty in understanding that this is not the case lies in the fact that we are so identified with our individual corporeal selves, that it is almost impossible to conceive of our existence on the level of the mind that is outside the world of time and space.

When the thought of separation seemed to occur, A Course in Miracles explains that the Son of God seemed to fall asleep and dream a dream, the contents of which are that oneness became multiplicity, and that the non-dualistic Mind of Christ became fragmented and separate from its Source, split into insane segments at war with themselves. As the Course explains, these fragments projected outside the mind a series of dreams or scripts that collectively constitute the history of the physical universe. On an individual level, the serial dramas our ego personalities identify as our own personal lives are also projections of our split and fragmented minds.

Thus we are all actors and actresses on the stage of life, as Shakespeare wrote, living out a dream that we experience as our individual reality, separate and apart from Who we really are as Christ. Moreover, our minds have projected many different personalities in the collective dream of the fragmented Son, complicating the whole process. Therefore, the question “How did we get here?” must be understood from this perspective of the collective and individual dream. In other words, we are not truly here, but are dreaming that we are. As A Course in Miracles states: “[We] are at home in God, dreaming of exile” (text, 169; T-10.1.2: 1).  And this is how the dream seemed to happen:

Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting [to laugh] did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects (T-27.VITI.6:2-3).

These “real effects” constitute the physical world we think is our home. The following passage is perhaps the best description in the Course of the process whereby this effect came into existence, once the Son took seriously the tiny, mad idea that there could be a substitute for the Love of God. As we shall now see, this resulted in the making of the physical universe which is believed to be an opposite to Heaven:

You who believe that God is fear made but one substitution. It has taken many forms, because it was the substitution of illusion for truth; of fragmentation for wholeness. It has become so splintered and subdivided and divided again, over and over, that it is now almost impossible to perceive it once was one, and still is what it was. That one error, which brought truth to illusion, infinity to time, and life to death, was all you ever made. Your whole world rests upon it. Everything you see reflects it, and every special relationship that you have ever made is part of it.

You may be surprised to hear how very different is reality from what you see. You do not realize the magnitude of that one error. It was so vast and so completely incredible that from it a world of total unreality had to emerge. What else could come of it? Its fragmented aspects are fearful enough, as you begin to look at them. But nothing you have seen begins to show you the enormity of the original error, which seemed to cast you out of Heaven, to shatter knowledge into meaningless bits of disunited perceptions, and to force you to make further substitutions.

That was the first projection of error outward. The world arose to bide it, and became the screen on which it was projected and drawn between you and the truth. For truth extends inward, where the idea of loss is meaningless and only increase is conceivable. Do you really think it strange that a world in which everything is backwards and upside down arose from this projection of error? It was inevitable (T- 1 8.1.4:1-6.-5)

But A Course in Miracles further states that the world was made as an attack on God (W-pIl.3.2:1), and this was accomplished, again, by the collective split mind of the Son that believed in its hallucinatory dreaming that it had usurped First Cause. This is the beginning of the ego’s unholy trinity that was mentioned above in question 4 on page 4. The guilt over his seeming sin of separation and usurpation demanded that the Son be punished. Consequently, the fearful Son sought to flee from his own insane projection of a wrathful, vengeful god who wished to destroy him. Therefore the Son projected his illusory guilt and fragmented self out of the mind, thereby miscreating a physical world of time and space in which he could hide from the non-physical god he believed he had dethroned and destroyed. Within these multiple dreams, the one Son appeared to split into billions of fragments, each of which became encased in a body of individual insane dreams, believing that this would render personal “protection” against the ego’s image of a wrathful god’s ultimate punishment.

It is important to note still again that we are speaking about the collective mind of the separated Son as the maker of the world. Every seemingly separated fragment is but a split-off part of that original one mind that sought to replace the One Mind of Christ. Thus, the individual fragment is not responsible for the world, but it is responsible for its belief in the reality of the world.