After we thought we accomplished the impossible and had actually separated from our Self as the Christ and God our Creator in Heaven, we began to regard our separation as a monumental SIN. In fact in ACIM© the word SIN can usually be read as "separation." Any sense of being lost or lonely or having anything "missing" at all is a reflection of that original "sin" of separation. It is still evident every day throughout our lives. Something is just not right. Even if I can't define it, there just seems to be something missing. That feeling IS separation. That is SIN as ACIM© defines it.
Once having separated (we didn't really - but we thought we did), we then felt guilty for having left our SELF as the CHRIST and GOD, Our Father. These feelings of SIN and GUILT then produced the FEAR of being sought out and punished. Our new friend, ego, said we were quite right so we should run fast and hard and find a place where God or His henchman, Holy Spirit, could never find us. So we invented galaxies, a world and a body in which to hide. Now we would be safe. Now God would never find us. But something was terribly wrong because we still felt lonely, lacking "something" and afraid. So ego said, "Don't accept the blame as yours, project it out on all your other brothers as it is obviously their fault. Now you can hate them for it instead of yourself. Also, since they have all that great "stuff," they must have taken it from you, so you can righteously steal it back. Now the picture of the ego's world was in full confusion and chaos and he was very happy. "Nothing the world believes is true. It is a place whose purpose is to be a home where those who claim they do not know themselves can come to question what it is they are. And they will come again until the time Atonement is accepted, and they learn it is impossible to doubt yourself, and not to be aware of what you are." (W-L-139:7)
But Holy Spirit can take whatever we have made, including our
world, and use it to teach us our lessons of forgiveness which, when accepted,
will set us free. In order to see with the Vision of Christ instead
of the eyes of our ego, we must change the DIRECTION of our thought
from horizontal to vertical perception. We withdraw
our judgement from the past and the future to the eternal NOW. Then,
instead of thinking in the horizontal plane, we raise our thought upwards
gaining the perspective of the Holy Spirit and look down upon our world,
our egos and our battleground. The SHIFT in perception has
now taken place and we see all our lessons through Christ's Vision.
In time, our perceived separation happened so long ago that we now can't remember it at all. But we keep it alive by each day separating over and over and over. We do this by seeing ourself as being different than and separate from our brothers and all parts of our made-up world. We have lost touch with our SELF as TRUTH and the experience of BEING.
Once, a man returned home on Sunday morning. His wife asked, suspiciously, "Were you at church? What was the minister's sermon about?" Replied the man, "It was about SIN."
"Well, what did he say about it?" queried the wife.
To which the man replied, covering his absence from church attendance, "Oh, he was against it." So that is what we have done with SIN (SEPARATION). We have first made it real in our mind and then valiantly attempted to fight against it. It is all shadow- boxing! There was no separation; we never did sin; we are still at Home in the ONENESS of Heaven. But we continue to maintain our dream. Onward Christian Soldiers! Fight the good fight! Save the world! And above all, fix our brothers for what they are doing wrong!
To manifest our mistaken thought of SEPARATION (SIN) in form, we invented galaxies, a world and a body, which we now hide in to preserve our thought and avoid reprisal for our self-perceived SIN of SEPARATION. But there is nobody chasing us - it is all just our insane idea. There is NO correction possible within the world of illusion so our problem can not be "fixed" there. The correction must be made in the MIND that thought it.
But God is merciful. He does not want us to suffer in our
own insanity. So He has taken a part of Himself, Holy Spirit, and
placed it in our mind to take us gently by the hand WHEN WE ASK
HIM TO and lead us back to that instant when we had our mistaken thought,
and to CHOOSE ONCE AGAIN for Truth instead of the lie. Holy Spirit
is GOD'S VOICE, the Presence of God's Love in our mind. It is the
memory of what and where we are always, our Peace, Innocence and Salvation.
We may play out our lie, but we can never alter or destroy the Son of God
That We are.
My body is my little empire with firm walls established to contain my specialness. From my citadel, I view all other bodies as separate from me, competing for love. The idea of sharing One Love is foreign to my "body" concept let alone the notion that I Am the love I am seeking and so are all my brothers. Even in my own "death" I see the proof that I was right and my separateness is a real thing.
The dream my body encompasses can sometimes bring me pleasure, sometimes pain but NEVER Love. Love is joining, not separation. Love is ONENESS.
But even the BODY we made can be given over to Holy Spirit for
Him to use to show us another way. Now the purpose of our body changes
from one of special separateness to one of unity, joining and love.
Now it has found the holy purpose God sees for it. The "goal of
Heaven has been exchanged for the pursuit of hell." When we can
finally identify ourself with Love, we can see that the lie we lived was
nothing and has had no effect on our true SELF whatsoever.
My body and my world with all my beliefs, thoughts, judgements and opinions are "the thoughts I made that hurt me."
When I remember and experience the Love of God, which is Me as well, I remember my SELF as part of the Christ and realize I am not anything else at all. Then I can see that I made my ego and all its manifestations of form and thought. When I remember and re-learn of That Love, I am set free to be It again.
"And so I choose to learn His lessons and forget my own." God's One Lesson is His Love. My lessons are the fear that my ego teaches, in whatever form that may take. The Lesson of God is One, which is Love. Lessons of the ego appear as many and varied but are really one, which is fear.
And so I come to realize that it is but my choice as to which teacher I will listen. Lessons are continuous, all day long, everyday. Some seem smaller and some seem bigger, but it is not so. Each is equally important as we listen to the purpose Holy Spirit gives to each, large and small.
As "I feel the love of God within me now" (L-209) I realize:-
When we can feel only that love for ourself and all
our brothers, we have re-established perfect communication with God and
have remembered Heaven.
To recognize, remember and be in That Peace of God is our goal as we say:-
It is true. Our body and our world is not our home. We are a stranger here, wandering in self-imposed exile in a strange and foreign land. We may have originally decided to come here out of curiosity, looking for our specialness. But Holy Spirit quickly takes us by the hand, when we ASK and allow Him to do so and leads us through our wanderings to show us His lessons of awakening.
What we awake to, what we return to is our SELF as a part of Christ already alive in perfection, completeness and joy eternally in the Heaven of God's Mind.
It is There that we really LIVE and have our BEING, and not in the world of darkness we have made for ourselves.
Our way back is to see only that Light of Love in all our brothers and our self. We forgive ourself for having thought we could be something else, and that our brothers could be, too. So whatever is going on around us offers us its lessons. It is but our choice whether we will choose to see love in them or fear. It is easy to tell which choice we have made. If we have chosen fear, we will feel upset, disturbed, angry or attacked. If we have chosen love we will feel at peace, no matter what any particular situation may be. Certainly some lessons are easier to see love in than others, but all are equally valuable for us to learn about our SELF. It is not "wrong" for us to ignore our lessons, because Holy Spirit will arrange for them to be repeated, usually again and again until we choose to see them and what their message is for us. Remember, we chose them in the first place, before time was, but now forget the choosing or why we then considered they were necessary for us. Holy Spirit remembers and will remind us when we let Him. That is His job. While we keep interfering and trying to do His job for Him, He can not bring awareness to us.
The instruction given to us is simply to BE STILL, get out of the way, and have the WILLINGNESS to be done to by our Holy Spirit. What could be more simple? WE need do nothing. That doesn't mean we won't do anything, but that we will do it after Holy Spirit has told us what to do, where to go and what to say.
After we have given over our direction to Holy Spirit, it is very necessary that we remain constantly alert for His instructions, as they most often are done very quietly and in code. Sometimes they arrive as a few words in a song we hear, something we read, a sign in a bus or something someone says to us. They are our answer. Then we act on them without any investment in their outcome. If we decide what should happen, we have once again placed our judgement over His and we are blocked again. Let it go - let it be, and know that whatever happens, it is for everyone's highest good. Holy Spirit knows - He has arranged it.
Miracles are the love that God gives to us, and that we give to each other while we are here. Miracles are not needed in Heaven because only total love is there. Miracles may seem varied in form and power. The real miracle is the love that inspires them which is always all the same and maximal.
A miracle is a correction in our mind and merely provides love in a situation where there is a lack of love. Our function while here is FORGIVENESS, and the miracle is its home. Forgiveness is still perception, but is the greatest and end of all perceptions, allowing love to come home. A miracle halts the temporal order and allows love to be.
"Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world, where starved and thirsty creatures come to die. Now they have water. Now the world is green. And everywhere the signs of life spring up, to show what is born can never die, for what has life has immortality." (W- 463/473)
All through A Course In Miracles© we are instructed to call on GOD'S NAME, but nowhere are we told what that Name is. There is a definite purpose behind this seeming omission. It is because God's Name is not a word in any language. To define His Name with a word would be to limit It. It has no limit but is truly limitless, without restriction of any kind, ever.
In Workbook Lesson 183, we are instructed, "I call upon God's Name and on my own." The reason we call on Him and our Self is because we are Him in that we are, His Created Son, made out of Him, and by Him. That makes us a Part of God in reality.
As we study deeply into ACIM© and accept our Self as Part of God and His Kingdom, and not the ego we invented and laid over What God has created, we begin to understand what HIS NAME truly is. It is not a name defined by a word as we know names, but is the Thought, the total knowingness of Perfect Oneness, Perfect Unity with nothing possible outside of that Oneness. The closest we can think of this concept is to say God's Name is IS. As ACIM© says, "We say God Is, and then we cease to speak."
So when we are to call on God's Name, we are to bring to our memory and mind the idea of the Oneness of God and our Self as One, living in the Kingdom of God's Heaven.
We have searched for a word that would be God's Name. We have not found it because it doesn't exist. God's Name is Everything That IS. Which means all of Truth, all of Heaven, and all that is the Kingdom of His Mind, outside of Which is nothing at all. As we bring all this into our mind, we have established our true communication with God. "In this eternal, still relationship, in which communication far transcends all words, and yet exceeds in depth and height whatever words could possibly convey, is peace eternal." (L-183)
When our natural, divine communication has been re-established, "Every dream the world holds dear has suddenly gone by, and where it seemed to stand you find a star; a miracle of grace..." "And should you join a brother as you sit with him in silence, and repeat God's Name along with him within your quiet mind, you have established there an altar which reaches to God Himself and to His Son." And such is the manner in which we re-establish our connection and remember God. The way is with and through our brother.
Jesus realized What He was first. That is why He said, "No one reaches Heaven except through Me." He did not mean He was the only one that could do it. He meant no one would find the Way except to follow His mind, and go the way He went. He was our wayshower just as we are to be our brother's, once we have found that Way for ourself.
The only meaningful prayer we can make is for us to ask to remember our HOME in the Heaven of God's Mind and that we then remember the Peace of God. "No prayer but this is necessary, for it holds all if them within it. Words are insignificant, and all requests unneeded when God's Son calls on His Father's Name. His Father's Thoughts become his own. He makes his claim to all his Father gave, is giving still, and will forever give. He calls on Him to let all things he thought he made be nameless now, and in their place the Name of God becomes his judgement of their worthlessness." Before we can truly call on God's Name, we must let go of all investment we have had in all our other little gods and see them as not what we want or would have. This clears our mind for the remembrance of God and His Kingdom where we really LIVE and have our BEING.
And God says, "Keep no other "gods" instead of ME, or you will never see ME."