ACIM Lesson 197: It can be but gratitude I earn.

How easily are God and guilt confused by those who know not what their thoughts can do. Deny your strength, and weakness must become salvation to you. See yourself as bound, and bars become your home. Nor will you leave the prison house, or claim your strength, until guilt and salvation are not seen as one, and freedom and salvation are perceived as joined, with strength beside them, to be sought and claimed, and found and fully recognized.

Wow!

Thanks be to you, the holy Son of God. For as you were created, you contain all things within your Self. And you are still as God created you. Nor can you dim the light of your perfection. In your heart the Heart of God is laid. He holds you dear, because you are Himself. All gratitude belongs to you, because of what you are.

Give thanks as you receive it. Be you free of all ingratitude to anyone who makes your Self complete. And from this Self is no one left outside. Give thanks for all the countless channels which extend this Self. All that you do is given unto Him. All that you think can only be His Thoughts, sharing with Him the holy Thoughts of God. Earn now the gratitude you have denied yourself when you forgot the function God has given you. But never think that He has ever ceased to offer thanks to you.

Traditional Christianity, at least Protestantism (Catholicism, too – but to a much lesser extent) is so big on the fallen man theory.  The idea I was brought up with is that we will destroy ourselves in the end because we are sinful.  Our salvation is that we stroke both God’s and Jesus’ ego in just the right way and they’ll let us into heaven.   It’s strange to read, “Thanks be to you, Holy Son of God”.  The Holy Son of God in ACIM is all of humanity.  Perhaps our small, insignificant thoughts about ourselves are what set us against one another.  In a sense, we are small and insignificant, even when taken as a whole.  But in another sense, we are magnificent.

This makes me think of Harold Kushner’s idea that original sin was not when Eve at of the apple or Cain killed Abel, but when Cain blamed Abel for receiving more favors from God.  It was the comparison/blame game that set sin in motion.

If instead, we turned that around, and became grateful for the existence of the “other”, what would happen?

ACIM Lesson 91: Miracles are seen in light.

But we are in the dark.

  • Miracles are seen in light.
  • The body’s eyes do not perceive the light.
  • But I am not a body. What am I?

If I am really honest with myself, I do think of myself as a body. But I know that doesn’t make any sense. I experience through the body, but I am not a body.

So what am I?

ACIM: What you think you are is a belief to be undone. But what you really are must be revealed to you. The belief you are a body calls for correction, being a mistake. The truth of what you are calls on the strength in you to your awareness what the mistake conceals.

When we think we are a body, we think we are weak, helpless, limited, doubtful. We think our existence is illusory and chaotic. But when we realize we aren’t a body, we are strong, all powerful, unlimited, and certain. We are
reality.

That’s a strange thought. I am not a body, I am reality. Reality is.

I’ve been keeping up with the ACIM Gather text reading schedule. Chapter 8 talks a lot about the body. In VII – it says we can use the body for attack or we can use it to reach the minds of those who believe they are bodies. If used in the second way, the body can never be used for attack and becomes a means of communication. It is a lesson in communion which has value until communion is. It also says that perceiving the body as a separate entity will foster illness because it isn’t a separate entity. This is confusing to me!

I guess what it’s saying is that like the ego, the body isn’t real. It is a medium of communication and it loses its effectiveness if it is used for anything else. Communication joins, attack separates.

I always go back to Rabbi Kushner’s understanding of Original Sin. Original Sin is not a Jewish concept. But Kushner says that if there was an Original Sin within Judaism, it would be when Cain blamed Abel for his reality. It wasn’t the acquisition of consciousness that caused man to fall (Eve eating the apple). It was the blame game: the idea that you are the reason my life isn’t what I want it to be. You have to change for me. (Or be removed from my life altogether.) Attack. What Cain should have blamed was reality itself (God). But we don’t blame reality because we immediately recognize this as insanity. So we blame our brother instead because that seems more reasonable but is actually even more insane. It deludes us by cementing our belief in the power of the ego.

It’s the blame game that keeps us in the dark. All we need do is step away from the darkness to see the miracle. The miracle provides us with the shift in perception that heals the illusion of separation.