I will continue with some excerpts from Ken’s thoughts on the review upon which we have embarked this block of 10 days.
Again, we are on a journey, and our goal – not yet attained – is remembering Who we are as God’s one Son. We should be grateful for these workbook lessons, as well as the daily lessons offered by our special relationships: the means Jesus uses to take us – step by step – closer to our goal. To repeat, he wants us to be as serious as we can about our daily practice of the workbook.
With respect to 5:4 where Jesus says, “Let us raise our hearts from dust to life…”, Ken writes:
We see again that Jesus conceives of his course as a step-by-step process. We do not vault from the ego’s thought system into the Arms of God, but must pay careful attention to our ego thoughts throughout the day, asking for help to look at them differently. We thus “raise our hearts from dust to life,” from the ego’s thought of death to the Holy Spirit’s thought of life, in which we regain the memory of our true Self. This gradual process is reflected in the Course’s metaphor of the ladder we climb with Jesus, retracing the ego’s mad descent from oneness to specialness:
“What waits in perfect certainty beyond salvation is not our concern. For you have barely started to allow your first, uncertain steps to be directed up the ladder separation led you down. The miracle alone is your concern at present. Here is where we must begin. And having started, will the way be made serene and simple in the rising up to waking and the ending of the dream” (T-28.III.1:1-5).
We come now to where Jesus speaks to us directly and personally. (He is referring to the sixth paragraph (6) where Jesus begins with “I take this journey with you”.) This passage reflects his presence in the real world outside the dream. In this healed state we recognize we are beyond the dream of separation, aware our identity is not separated or fragmented but is God’s one Son. We remain aware of what is within the dream, but know our reality is outside it.
Jesus is in our minds, and the journey he takes with us is through the wrong to the right mind, and then beyond. When in a state of doubt and fear we need only call on his help, which means returning to the place of choice in our minds, where we look at what we believe is causing us to be afraid, uncertain, and upset. With his love beside us we release these ego thoughts. We have already looked at the passage where Jesus specifically discusses our journey with him.
The central theme of this Introduction is that we do this with Jesus: “We walk together.”
Again, Jesus is outside the dream, aware of what is within it, but not a part of it – thus the importance of not making his body real. He appeared to us in physical form because there was no other way the world could perceive him.
As long as we believe we are separated and not part of God’s one Son, we believe he has been crucified, including Jesus. It is only when we understand this is a dream that we realize there has been no crucifixion. Jesus pleads with us to step with him outside the dream – above the battleground of hate and murder – and look down and see only figures in a dream, not reality. Since we are the dream’s dreamers, we can make another choice. It is apparent throughout ACIM that we cannot do this without Jesus’ help, nor can he help us without our invitation. In this sense, “salvation is a collaborative venture: (T-4.VI.8:2).
Where Jesus says, “My resurrection comes again each time I lead a brother safely to the place at which the journey ends and is forgot”, Ken writes:
This place is the decision maker, the part of our minds where the journey began when we chose the ego and fell down its ladder of separation. Thus the journey retraces the steps that lead to the choice point – where the journey began with a mistaken choice, and where it ends with the corrected one. Jesus guides us back to where we chose wrongly, teaching us that such a choice has made us unhappy, and that choosing him now will bring us unspeakable joy. His resurrection – defined as awakening from the dream of death – comes again when we take his hand and complete the journey.
I’ll stop there. To be continued…
I have a very dear friend who is experiencing some upheaval in her life, some marital challenges, etc. As a woman married for 45, to be 46 in October, I have been to hell and back in my marriage. I just never realized to what extent I had the veil of innocence on throughout most of this very seemingly long period of time because I bought into the illusion of Bill being the perpetrator, the murderer, the victimizer, he who wanted my “death” above all. And I participated in this dance of darkness by being convinced I was his prey and never recognized the extent to which I was the murderer too…in my mind.
Oh dear me, the time and energy I have believed I have wasted on this malarkey, this BS, this senselessness. Ah, but then I remembered there is no time, that my perception of having wasted decades on this dance of despair and anguish was all part of a dream I made up and in which I actively participated.
When I made a definitive decision to leave the dance, not out of hatred or spite, but out of faith and trust, well, trusting Jesus enough to want Him to transform my relationship, dysfunctional and fractured as I thought it to be, from specialness in all its ugliness to holiness.
If you struggle with special relationships in any form, I lovingly suggest you read Chapter 17, Section V, The Healed Relationship where Jesus walks us through the stages of this process. I hadn’t read it for a long time and Rev. Deb had suggested this as a reading for our Thursday night classes on sin and salvation.
A rich reading, one worth exploring.
Suffice it to say, Bill and I, after knowing one another almost 49 years, are in a “better”, more loving place. To be sure, there are hiccups, but none that are severe enough to retreat back once again into specialness.
The freedom that has ensued is indescribable.
I guess that’s it for today.
Why belabor it as I am not getting any “hits” to continue.
Have a wonderful day!