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  • (Paper #0399-10)



     Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die first.  To die is not to die a physical death here in our world, but rather to die to all our ego beliefs and cherished values, whether they are our ideas, our material possessions, or our special relationships.  When Jesus said, "Sell all you have and follow me," he meant to give up all our ego ideals and beliefs and think as he did.  It is not necessary or beneficial to give up our possessions, our money or our body as they are all neutral, and can be used for our salvation if seen correctly.  It is not what you have that matters, but what you do with what you have.  ACIM© tells us that Holy Spirit will take whatever we have made and use it to show us our way Home.  First, we must give over the purpose of what we have and are to Him, and then allow Him to lead us.

     The poor will always be with us, or so it seems.  Of course, there will come a day when everyone has fully awakened to their SELF and we will all be with Jesus, together, in the Real World, awaiting God's last step.  The poor are not those who have no money nor food, but the ones who can not see the light within themselves, being blinded by the seeming reality of their body, their world and their possessions, either material or psychological.  Why it is hard for "a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven" is because he still places his value in things of ego rather than of Heaven.  Those ego things can either be good as the world judges them as with health, wealth, and wisdom or their opposites of sickness, poverty and ignorance.  They are all the same in that they are symbols of a world that has forgotten God.

     So, what must we do to remember Heaven and re-join our SELF there?  Give up our ego investments and remember that we already are Everything, have Everything, are saved, redeemed and safely at Home in our SELF in Heaven.  But since it seems we have already wandered away from our SELF into our world seeking specialness and can't remember our way back, we must give up what we thought we made and put ourself, our trust and our faith in our Holy Spirit to guide us.  He remembers - we don't.  He will lead us truly and surely to His Real World where we may "rest upon the lawns of heaven" and wait for all our brothers to arrive also.

     It must be remembered that our journey and our beliefs are all simply a state of mind.  As such, we can change our mind and return.  We can still live here, have all our possessions, our body and our world, but they will take on a new meaning for us.  Our way back, our change of mind, is with and through our brother.  We are not here to take, but to give.  It is in our brother that we will see ourself, either as love or as fear.  We hear that we each have a "soul," and that is quite true.  Our soul is that part of us which is God but thinks it has separated and is off on a journey of discovery.  We must remember that our journey is but our dream.  We are still asleep in the Heaven of God's Mind.  God is not concerned.  He knows we never left.  When we are willing to give our wanderings over to our Holy Spirit within the deep quiet of our spirit mind, He will begin to lead us Home.  Until we give up our investment in the reality of our dream, it will not happen.

     Some philosophies and religions talk about God being merciful and forgiving.  It is not so.  God does not need to employ mercy and forgiveness because in Heaven there is nothing to forgive.  Nothing ever happened.  If we are of God, why would He need to show mercy or forgiveness to Himself?  But WE need mercy and forgiveness because we are the ones that think we actually separated and are lost in a strange and far land.  For this we need to forgive ourself.  With our Holy Spirit leading us we will remember our way and return.  We will realize what we are and where we are always and thus accept our own Atonement.  As we see only The Christ in all our brothers, we will recognize It in ourself too, and thus remember God.  This is the Way and the Means that has been arranged by the Holy Spirit to accomplish His perfect plan of Atonement.


     We hear much these days about the spirit, mind and body triad and how each can affect the other.  Some even say we can "cure" our body through the power of the mind or by getting in touch with our spirit.  These thoughts are all attempts to cure a symptom which is the effect of an original mistake - our belief we have actually successfully separated from God, and actually have a mind and a body.

     In our definition of "soul," mentioned above, we may regard it as that part of us which is God, but which we think has separated and is experiencing an almost independent "life" in our mind and body.  However, our soul is still connected to God as strongly as ever, and is in fact the ONLY PART of us that is real.  So in our triad, soul is synonymous with spirit, leaving mind and body as the effects of our original mistaken thought.

     Almost all the many other thought systems and religions of the world have taught that the world and our bodies were quite real.  Some saw them as punishments for us, others that they were some kind of evil test that we were here to escape from or deny.  A Course In Miracles© is the FIRST thought system that recognizes the truth that our dream, our body and our world is not real, but rather a fabrication of our own separated mind and not God's.  Therefore none of them are real, and we are not who we have come to believe we are.  Gently and constantly the Holy Spirit calls to us and reminds us of our True Identity.

     If I may paraphrase a well known old Christian hymn:

      "Gently and tenderly Jesus is calling;
      Calling to you and to me
      Over the din of life's busy doing,
      Calling, O seeker, come Home."

     Such is the call of Holy Spirit, and Jesus as His manifestation here in our world.  Jesus has worded his call into his book, "A Course In Miracles©" to show us there was no separation, hence there is no need to dwell on sin, guilt and fear.  There is no ego, no world and no body.  I am still where I have always been and consequently I need do nothing except remember.

     From this we can see that:
    1. SPIRIT plays no part in our HUMAN experience,
    2. Our mind appears to be split between our ego and our spirit (who we really are) and
    3. Our body and our world are illusory, but can be used by Holy Spirit to teach us our lessons of remembering while we still think they are real.

     It has taken us well over 12,000,000 years to get to this place in remembering.  Not because we are such great thinkers, but because we always chose to listen to the wrong voice.  Perhaps it is now time for us to give it up and listen to the One True Voice for God, our Holy Spirit.


     Our world is the thought of separation given form.  Body is the personification of ego, the mistaken part of our split mind.  Body, world and our split mind are all illusions, but while we dwell in them, it is very difficult for us to "see" our spirit mind, the TRUE part of us.

     Sin represents to us the "reality" of the separation, for which we feel very guilty.  Descending further into our dream and all its many separations, we displace our original guilt onto all the other millions of "sins" we think we now have.  No wonder we fear the expected punishment we feel we so richly deserve for all our many sins.  This expectation is so strong in us that if it appears God is not punishing us, we will do it to ourself.  And so we make ourself sick, poor, deprived or lacking.  Secretly, we believe that if we are already punishing ourself, hopefully there will be no reason for God to do it.  After all, if he did it with all his great power, it would be much worse.  We can say to him, "See what a great job I am doing being sick, lonely and poor.  And if that's not enough to satisfy you, someday I will just die!"

     Now that our body has become the symbol of our great sin, anything that it does becomes sinful too.  Such is the reason things like eating and sex have always been considered wrong by the ego world.  Some ego religions in fact have carried this so far as to say their leaders should remain celibate and/or maintain strict diets.  How ridiculous!  The body is neutral, and so is the food.  It is not what we do with the body that matters, but what our intention and purpose is for it.  If it is to extend the love that we are - it will always be right.

     So what do we do about this apparent mess we have gotten ourself into?  We can't fix up our dream, it would be senseless to try to improve something not real.  Since we have "fallen into a deep sleep," the only thing we can do is to WAKE UP.  But we have been so long in our dream and wandered so far away, we can no longer remember how.  That's why we need our Holy Spirit to remind us and to guide us.  But He can't do it until we ASK.  That part is up to us.  Once having asked, we must get out of the way and follow Him.  If we tell Him what He should do or what we think we need, we will jump right back into the dream and be lost again.

     As ACIM© says, "In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; always between two choices or two voices."  Since we have listened to our ego which keeps us separated, it is now time to withdraw our investment and choose to listen to the other Voice, that of our Holy Spirit.  Remember that ego always speaks first and loudest, so we have to be very still to hear God's Voice, which is small and quiet.  We know we have heard Holy Spirit when we come back to peace in our spirit mind.  Remember that spirit is not to be found in body or world, but is that part of our mind still connected to God's, outside of ego mind, body and world.

     Lesson 182 in the Workbook of ACIM© is titled, "I will be still an instant and go home," and begins with the words, "This world you seem to live in is not home to you.  And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true."  The serious student of ACIM© will benefit greatly from reading and studying this beautiful Lesson until it is fully understood.  The Lesson concludes with:-
    "You have not lost your innocence.  It is for this you yearn.  This is your heart's desire.  This is the voice you hear, and this the call which can not be denied.  The holy Child remains with you.  His home is yours.  Today He gives you His defencelessness, and you accept it in exchange for all the toys of battle you have made.  And now the way is open, and the journey has an end in sight at last.  Be still an instant and go home with Him, and be at peace awhile."