Today I will be wrapping up the last of Ken’s thoughts on the fifth review’s introduction. Here goes:
In response to 12:2, Ken writes:
Our faith, again, is not in the words – they are only symbols – but in the experience that comes when the words are used to remind us of our mistaken choice. This experience is peace, happiness, and joy, and the absence of pain, conflict, and fear. It is the experience we trust, not the words themselves. Unfortunately, many students use the words and never go beyond them, meaning they do not really change their minds. That is why ACIM emphasizes the importance of the content, not the form, and why Jesus tells us not to ask for specifics, for they embrace the form. He reminds us it is the content we want: the experience of God’s Love through him that will bring us home. Specifics, in a sense, is like a carrot he uses to attract us, so we will come to realize he is a better teacher than the ego. Without his counsel, however, we would be forever trapped in the form, forgetting it is but a means to a desired end.
In response to 12:3-4, he writes:
A more explicit statement indeed! You must remember there is a crucial difference between words and meaning, symbol and source, as Jesus tells us in “The Obstacles to Peace”:
“Remember, then, that neither sign nor symbol should be confused with source, for they must stand for something other than themselves. Their meaning cannot lie in them, but must be sought in what they represent” (T-19.IV-C.11:2-3).
Again, words are symbols, as is ACIM itself. It is its source we want: the Love of God. The Course’s symbols represent the meaning of our relationship with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, which brings us to this Love. As Jesus teaches us, the Holy Spirit’s Voice is an illusion, to disappear when its purpose is fulfilled.
Therefore, when students place undue emphasis on hearing a voice, they are talking of hearing an illusion. They forget that since we are all puppets, we are all channeling – all the time – for we can only hear an inner voice. The only issue is whether we choose to heart the hate-filled voice of the ego, or the forgiving Voice of the Holy Spirit. Simply “going within” and listening is no guarantee we are hearing the Voice for God. Only giving up judgment assures us of that.
Finally, his last comments on 12:5-6 to close out this review, he writes:
In The Song of Prayer, Jesus talks about the journey of forgiveness that leads beyond the sounds of the world into the silence of formlessness – the Source of meaning:
“Forgiveness is the call to sanity, for who but the insane would look on sin when he could see the face of Christ instead? This is the choice you make; the simplest one, and yet the only one that you can make. God calls on you to save His Son form death by offering Christ’s Love to him. This is your need, and God holds out this gift to you. As He would give, so must you give as well. And thus if prayer restored to formlessness, beyond all limits into timelessness, with nothing of the past to hold it ack from re-uniting with the ceaseless song that all creation sings unto its God” (S-2.I.8).
Only in the return home is found our purpose. Only in God is our rest secure. Only in the silence do we hear the Song, and know it is our Self.
By sharing my very unloving thoughts toward my sister, Alison, and my interpretation of her behavior, the form of my judgments about her, I believe I was able to pretty quickly get beyond them to peace.
After Rev. Deb shared the importance of praying, certainly not for vengeance, the ego’s choice, but asking for help in figuring out how I can/could be truly helpful in this situation where my anger and rage got the best of me…and I allowed it, welcomed it, embraced it, luxuriated in it. Ego does as ego does. But just as the ego’s mechanisms are oh, so predictable, so is the response from the Holy Spirit or Jesus, is predictable and certain as well. Each sees nothing but the Christ in all, period.
Her sharing this triggered my remembrance of lessons that speak to this thought or idea of giving is receiving. FAR TOO many times, when I might want to believe I am victimized or misunderstood, poorly or unfairly treated, I can focus on shifting from what can I do to assuage my anger by taking some unloving action like getting off private messenger…out of vengeance and wanting to hurt Alison, in my example…or just getting still, deeply breathing, and asking for help in being truly helpful, however that might play out.
The form may not change. I may still feel left out, dismissed or ignored. I may still feel, at times, as an outlier. But none of this mess matters.
All that truly matters is…am I peaceful? Am I willing to change my mind?
It may take some time, but since time has no meaning, what difference does it make if it takes hours or days?
Have a wonderful day and thank you for reading about my journey, I would love to hear about yours too!