Thought is used in ACIM as a synonym for God, as well as our Identity as Christ. We could therefore say we are a Thought in the Mind of God, His Thought having created us as Thought. Thus in this lesson we are asked not to deny God our Source, nor to deny our Identity as His Son.
Jesus puts all responsibility on us, for it is our choice to deny the truth of Who we are. We choose the lies of the ego because to choose truth means the end of our individuality and specialness. All we really do, however, is defend against something that is not real. Thus Jesus says: “And what could hide what cannot be concealed except illusion? You cannot truly hide the truth because truth is. Yet because we think we can, Jesus needs to teach us the thought of separation from God is illusory, as are the defenses we employ as protection: the mind’s sin, guilt, and fear, and the physical world. Their purpose is to deny the truth, thereby seemingly protecting our self.
In response to the second paragraph, sentences 6-7, 2:6-7, Ken writes:
This sounds as first like a comforting message, much like what most of us have grown up with – God’s Love surrounds us and protects us from all harm. But that is not its meaning. Rather, Jesus speaks of the Atonement – we have never left God – that protects us by reminding us what we think is real is not; what we think brings pain and suffering does not exist. God’s Thought is thus our protection, happiness, and rest because it is the truth – we never left our home in God, but only dream that our world exile is real (T-10.I.2:1). However, if we remain with the ideal of a child enfolded in our Father’s comforting arms, we will always remain a child and never grow up spiritually. We need to move beyond the words to their content: the Thought of God protects us because – once we choose against the ego’s idols of specialness, choosing instead God’s loving Thought – its light shines away the darkness of illusions.
…our real safety – peace, joy and healing – rests not within a loving God’s Arms, comforting our physical and psychological bodies, but in the right mind’s awaiting our right decision. There is no safety in a world of bodies. Indeed, we are safe precisely because our identity is not physical – thoughts of guilt are dangerous only to bodies (T-21.VIII.1:1-2) – which forgiveness reminds us by undoing our guilt, without which there is no fear of punishment. This allows us to remember our oneness with our Source, for we no longer see our brother as separate from us.
The ego’s strategy has us believe we are in this world, abiding in a body, with no memory – indeed, no desire to remember – that our self is a thought in the mind. The purpose of ACIM is to have us realize, above all, that everything occurs in the mind – not in the brain, body, or world. Thus, Jesus tells us that once we become aware that true happiness lies in the mind, nothing will stop us from going there. Yet, we have to be convinced this is so. We still think joy and salvation are found externally, and as long as we do, we will never go to the right mind, where the decision maker can correct its mistake and choose the Love of God instead of the ego’s shabby substitute.
We do not know the way, but Someone within us does. Yet our inner Guide directs us only to the extent we ask His help – not for specific things, but for recognizing our misery and learning that guilt is its cause. Only then do we happily learn His lessons of forgiveness that will take us home.
You will be convinced the words of this course are true because they work; otherwise they remain empty. Thus you will be happy and peaceful when you follow its teaching and let go of guilt and judgment, and, above all, the arrogance of thinking you know what is happening in your life. The process, as we have repeatedly discussed, is to bring your uncertainty to Jesus’ certainty. This allows his gentle love to heal, for by bringing your gift of arrogance to his gift of peace, you come to receive it.
Once again, God does not demand you be certain of the truth. All He asks, through the Holy Spirit, is that you be aware you are not happy, and that your lack of happiness comes from your mistaken choice.
You need not be certain of what you ask for, but need only a little willingness to be shown you are wrong and Jesus is right. When you begin to accept the gift of God’s Thought, and realize how good it feels to let go of grievances against yourself and others, you will be much less likely to judge.
The ego tells me that my situation is hopeless. My ego is so immense, my bodily identification so enormous, there is no way I can let them go and be at peace. We reach these discouraging conclusions only because we look for a way out within the world. When we choose a holy instant, however, and step from the world to the mind, everything looks different – the perpetual reversal of figure and ground. We realize the world is only a shadow that serves as a classroom in which we learn that reality is in our minds, rather than the reverse – God is a non-existent shadow and reality is the world. How hopeless a perception that is!
To know this certainly (Ken is references the last paragraph in this lesson), we need the willingness to choose a different Teacher and hear His Word, to step back and look at our lives as parts of a dream we are still dreaming, beyond which is our Identity as the Thought God created one with Him, no longer denied but happily accepted.
I am actually inputting this on Thursday afternoon as I have a full day tomorrow, Friday, and wanted to assure this posting were completed.
I find I am better able to focus on the present moment since I began posting on January 1st of this year. I find that even though I am often anxiety-ridden, I am better able to detach myself and, more often than not, ask for help in seeing whatever it is that ails me….differently.
Not always…but that’s OK.
I laid down a bit this afternoon, I had worked for several hours with numbers and, after a couple of hours, my eyes start to cross. My work for the company we own can be a little tedious, but, as usual, if I weren’t labeling it, I wouldn’t be judging it as tedious or boring, whatever.
Anyhow, I have class tonight with Rev. Deb and others to which I look forward. Wish you all could join us!
I will close with Helen’s poem, “His Certainty” as this is the way in which Ken closed with his remarks on this lesson:
I come in doubt. I do not yet believe
Your promises. My own uncertainty
Seems to be more apparent than my faith
In What You have ordained Your Son must be,
And how Your memory returns to him.
My steps are hesitant, my trust is weak,
My sense of purpose falters. I forget
My goal because of images I seek,
And wander in illusions. Yet the end
Of wandering is certain in Your Mind;
What You would have me seek, that will I find.
(The Gifts of God, page 32).
Have a peaceful day!