“In the mad world outside you nothing can be shared but only substituted, and sharing and substituting have nothing in common in reality.” (ACIM, T-18.I.9)
We need to share with each other. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love emphasize this. No longer isolated, we share and share alike. We give up the notion of independent living, and we join with others in our lives to whom we offer love, and from whom we receive love.
Substitution is an attempt to make one body fulfill a role that another might also fill. If we can’t get one body to do what we want, we substitute by finding another who will fulfill our desires.
This is madness. It is also unfair to our brothers and sisters. We don’t want to love them in substitution for some other special relationship; we want to love them in holy relations that are in no way substitutes for an unholy alliance based on specialness.
Reality does not substitute one for another. Reality accepts the people in our world as given us by God for a higher purpose. And when all of our special relationships have been transformed into holy ones, we will recognize that previously we never knew reality at all.