“Our theme now shifts, as this lesson focuses on the mind’s power to choose whether we will make our home in the ego’s thought system of fear, or the Holy Spirit’s thought system of love.”
“When the decision-making Son of God chooses the ego over the Holy Spirit, he automatically makes himself a stranger to Christ. At that point the Self becomes an alien, and the ego’s thought system welcome in Its place, symbolized here by fear. When I welcome the real stranger into my mind, it becomes my identity – the home of sin, guilt and fear. Who I truly am – spirit becomes the alien stranger. Thus I have become insane, believing I am who I am not; and who I am not, I now believe I am. It is a true identity crisis.”
“We have forgotten who we are and have thus made ourselves homeless. We abandoned our true home and abdicated our reality, adopting instead a home that is not really ours. In fact, it is not there at all. It is important to know we made this choice not just once, but continually, choosing littleness over magnitude. We are already familiar with Jesus telling us we ask not for too much, but for far too little.”
“The little we ask for is some relief from fear, without realizing we should really ask for its total elimination. Yet the ego tells us that if there is no fear, there is no I, because our bodily identity comes from fear, born of the need to escape the wrath of God I n our minds. In this world, therefore, we are creatures of fear, and Jesus often tells us this is the origin and content of dreams – his symbol for the separated state.”
“If there is no fear, again, I do not exist. In this state of fear, therefore, love and my Self are the stranger, as is my teacher Jesus. I choose instead the one who teaches that my fear is justified, giving the world’s madness the power to rob me of my home, the peace of God.”
“Jesus thus asks: “Why would you not say your home is the right mind? Because the ego screams its raucous insanity does not mean you have to listen to it.””
“It may not always be a happy identity, to say the very least, but there is a part of me that jumps for joy because of it, saying: “Isn’t this wonderful? I exist! The more I suffer, the more I can hold others responsible for it. I can’t lose!” It is important to understand this dynamic. We would not banish love, throw Jesus away, and embrace fear unless we believed the ego gave us something more suited to our taste: the preservation of our individuality – the ego’s true home.”
“Once I turn my back on the Holy Spirit I am caught in the ego’s wrong-minded body. I look there for what will make me happy and bring me peace; for spiritual, holy and religious things to save me. Yet I will never find them in this world, because they exist only in my right mind – my home away from home.”
“My true Self – another symbol for the Holy Spirit’s Voice – does not call to my ego, nor to a fear of which It knows nothing. It merely shines in our minds like a lighthouse beacon.”
Where Jesus says in 8:3, “He has answered you who ask, “Who is the stranger?”, Ken writes:
“The problem is that we have not asked this question, and the purpose of ACIM is to have us ask it. When we do, we at least recognize there is something we do not know here, for we had been so positive we were right. We may not have liked fear or guilt, but we believed they were true. To raise the right questions means asking who the stranger is – love or fear. Thus we recognize there is a choice.
Until that point is reached, however, we know only that fear is reality and we have to make the best of it. This serves the ego’s purpose of keeping away our inherent safety as God’s Son, forever held in His Heart where He placed us when He created us one with Him.”
“Think again of Christ (or the Holy Spirit) – as a lighthouse that shines a light of love in our minds. We search for, and at some point see the light and realize we made a mistake: There is a way out of the darkened sea that is the ego’s hell, a way out of a night that seemed endless.”
“Jesus asks our gratitude for the truth in our minds that has never changed, correcting our ingratitude born of fear. Thus we have kept truth hidden, for to be in its presence meant the end of our thought system. Now we are grateful we can choose the truth that alone will bring us happiness and peace.”
“Our lives are classrooms, wherein everyone we meet during the day – a significant person or one we see but once in a minor circumstance – presents us with an opportunity to learn how quickly we dismiss, neglect, and use people. We look at this horrifying fact without judgment and guilt, realizing that by excluding another we exclude ourselves. We ask, then, whether this is the gift we truly want – for ourselves.”
“You will not remember you are at home in Christ, with Jesus as your teacher and his love your goal, until you first share that thought with everyone whom you see or even think about.”
I read the daily lesson as well as Ken’s thoughts and I wonder why I still allow the ego to “convince” me its way is the “right” way. That is how very deep and unconscious the fear of God, the fear of redemption, the fear of awakening can be, I suspect.
Yet, I am assured in the text, that Jesus or the Holy Spirit will gently awaken me, lovingly, tenderly and patiently. I suppose it’s no different that a parent with a child who is having a nightmare. Parents don’t violently shake a child out of it, that would be counterproductive and hurtful.
I can understand why trust is the first characteristic of a teacher of God as described, laid out in the Manual. Also, I better get the gist of the lesson comparing the valuable against the valueless.
It is shocking to me how deeply and profoundly mired in my identity of Gayle I can be.
It explains everything to me.
How anxious I get if I don’t get everything done I wanted to, how I delude myself into believing I am reliable, dependable, conscientious, ambitious, fill in the blanks, doesn’t matter what adjectives I use, they are all harmful as my attachment to these descriptors is so great that I lose the ability or forget I have the power to choose the vision of Christ.
This is not to suggest I will become irresponsible and undependable, ah, the world of duality, the world of opposites.
If I am not efficient, does that mean I am inefficient?
This is how insane the ego thought system is.
It really does boil down to learning how to trust, taking a little baby step toward the truth.
Remembering fear does not exist, but if that concept is far too lofty, I can choose the holy instant, one second of peace and keep doing it throughout the day.
Have a lovely day!