We Are in Charge of Our Destiny

ACIM Workbook Lesson 152 – for Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “The power of decision is my own.”

“No one can suffer loss unless it be his own decision.  No one suffers pain except his choice elects this state for him.  No one can grieve nor fear nor think him sick unless these are the outcomes that he wants.  And no one dies without his own consent.  Nothing occurs but represents your wish, and nothing is omitted that you choose.  Here is your world, complete in all details.  Here is its whole reality for you.  And it is only here salvation is.  (WB281)”

Reflections:

1 – The Role of the Self

This passage is difficult to understand.  This short quotation does not make clear that it is the Higher Self which makes these decisions of life and death.  The little self, ruled all too often by the ego, does not make these choices.  The ideas given in this quotation have led to many misconceptions among people who read New Age literature.  If we “choose,” then we are to “blame” if something goes wrong.  Not so!  To say such indicates a lack of not only sympathy but also empathy for the victim.  In essence, such thoughts indicate that our next step is to “blame the victim” if something goes wrong in his/her life.  A lack of compassion from others is then the lamentable next step.

2 – In Our Best Interests

The Higher Self never incarnated (though this is not stated in A Course in Miracles).  The Higher Self watches over us, so to speak, seeing that the decisions that this Higher Self make are in our best interests.

3 – We Can Reduce Pain and Suffering

There is some comfort in this passage, though.  If we are in charge of our pain and suffering, we can do something about it.  Most definitely we cannot blame our pain and suffering on God, and this in itself is a great step forward.  Otherwise, we are caught in a bind in which we try to see God as loving, but we wonder if we are right.  We are.  God does not want our pain and suffering, and in the Text, Jesus assures us that we do not have to learn through pain.  He says that learning through rewards is more lasting, because learning through pain can only be temporary.

4 – Salvation Is Here

The passage concludes, “And it is only here salvation is.”  This is a magnificent restatement of the fact that we ourselves (led by our Higher Self) are in charge of our destiny.  ACIM makes this fact clear in other passages as well.  We do not have to remain in suffering.  Our minds and spirits can be free, even if our bodies are not.  We can rise above the pain, if we will it.  (This is a bold statement, but completely in line with ACIM.)  And sometimes, as Eckhart Tolle learned, our pain is the catalyst for Awakening (Enlightenment).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be in charge of my destiny today.  By “I,” I mean that I would invite my Higher Self to make life decisions for me.  I would not listen to the ego’s litany of meaningless pain and suffering.  I would not turn any pain into suffering.  Be with me as I attempt to fulfill these aims today.

Thank You, as always.  I know that You have always been there for me, and that You will always be there for me in the future.

Amen.

You Have Never Left Heaven

“There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you have never left.  But there is need for help beyond yourself as you are circumscribed by false beliefs of your Identity, Which God alone established in reality.  Helpers are given you in many forms, although upon the altar they are one.  (M87)”

Affirmation:  “May I recognize my Helpers.”

Reflections:

This is a lovely passage, but one that may be hard to believe.  Have we really never left Heaven?  It certainly seems that we have.

The passage refers to the larger Self of which we are a part; this Self has indeed never left Heaven.  The “false beliefs of your Identity” refer to the falling into the egoic state of mind, from which we would escape.  We can escape by turning to the Helpers given us–the Holy Spirit (of primary importance), Jesus, other brothers and sisters, the Course itself, and the like.  We are not alone in this world, and we would do well to reach out for help back Home.

It is a very loving thought to realize that we have never left Heaven.  If we keep this one point in mind, it will lead us to the “limitless release” and “pure joy” that the Course speaks about elsewhere.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize the beauty of the fact that my Self has never left Heaven.  Thank You for this reassurance.  May I know where to turn and what to do to realize Heaven.

I appreciate the reassurance that You offer me continually.  Help me to live through this day and to make of it a good day.

Amen.

Workbook Lesson for Day 86:

These ideas are for review today:

Only God’s plan for salvation will work.

Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.

Can God Be Reached Directly?

“Can God be reached directly?  God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son.  His awareness is in everyone’s memory, and His Word is written on everyone’s heart.  (M64)”

Affirmation:  “The awareness of God is in my memory, and His Word is in my heart.”

Reflections:

This passage recalls to mind the biblical quotation, “The kingdom of God is within.”  Certainly many passages in the Course suggest that God is within, that there is no division between God and ourselves.  We see here that there is no distance between God and His Son (or Daughter).  This is the Self that is the larger part of ourselves, the part that has never left God.

How reassuring to know that the awareness of God is in everyone’s memory!  And that we can indeed, as the Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive,” because His Word is written on everyone’s heart.  The sentence from the passage that says this is particularly beautifully written, and it encourages peace and inner quiet by its reassurance.

We can receive God’s Word directly in the midst of our busiest activities, but more often we hear His word when we are quiet and therefore more receptive to the still, small Voice within.  May we turn to Him when perplexed, and may we know that our prayers are heard, and, better still, our prayers are answered.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I turn to You often during the day.  I know that I can reach You directly.  Help me to reach into my memory and into my heart to find You.

Only if I turn to You will have a truly good day.  I know this.  Help me to live it.

Amen.