Pain and Suffering Are Illusory

ACIM Workbook Lesson 248 – for Monday, September 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “Whatever suffers is not part of me.”

“I have disowned the truth.  Now let me be as faithful in disowning falsity.  Whatever suffers is not part of me.  What grieves is not myself.  What is in pain is but illusion in my mind.

“Father, my ancient love for You returns, and lets me love Your Son again as well.  Father, I am as You created me.  Now is Your Love remembered, and my own.  Now do I understand that they are one.  (WB417)”

Reflections:

Pain is illusion.  I have often said this in this blog.  Here we find the quotation that identifies this truth.  We would leave suffering, grieving, and pain behind.  We would walk into the sunlight with Christ.

When we become intimately aware that God loves us, we are led to love the Son/Daughter that we are as well.  This Son/Daughter is the Self that has risen above the ego.  The ego, having dissolved, leaves the true Self behind.  Then we respond to circumstances with love, where previously we were prone to offer attack in return for attack.  Or anger in return for anger.  Attack and anger are never justified (a Text tenet).  And we realize this when we practice the forgiveness that God is gently leading us to experience and to offer freely, without a trace of resentment or other negative emotion, to our brothers and sisters–regardless of what we have perceived, in illusion, that they have said to us or that they have done to us.

God’s love and our love are identical.  But we would never have believed this earlier in the Workbook.  We have come a long way along the pathway home.  We are preparing for Awakening, which is an ineffable state of Oneness that knows by revelation the truth of God’s love.  When we awaken, if we have followed ACIM, it is a gentle process.  We are not thrown headlong into Awakening, which would cause us great terror, but are led to welcome the experience.  (These are all paraphrases from the Text.)  Our love for the Father is ancient, and we are retracing steps that we have taken before.  (This is part of the theological understanding of ACIM, an understanding that is not immediately easy to accept or even to comprehend dimly.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I feel pain, let me realize today that I am living in an illusory world.  When I “suffer,” may I realize the same.  You are with me to help me to rise above these everyday occurrences for the vast majority of people in our world.  Many who have the least are, somehow, protected from feeling the ravages of a difficult world.  Faith in You will do this for me.  May I have such faith today.  And when my faith fails me, may I remember again that this world is illusion, that my Self has not been hurt or harmed in any way.

I am as You created me.  I have made mistakes, and some of those mistakes lead inexorably to pain and suffering.  I would follow Your Guide today, so that I eliminate the cause of much pain and suffering, even in this world.  Be with me as I try to turn on a dime today, when the Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, prompts me to change directions.  May all of my decisions be in accord with what You would have me say and do.

Thank You for always being here for me.

Amen.

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