ACIM Workbook Lesson 196 – for Sunday, July 15, 2012
Affirmation: “It can be but myself I crucify.”
“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross. Perhaps it seemed to be salvation. Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear seemed to be salvation. Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real. And what is that but hell? Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart? (WB374)”
1 – Fear of God = Hell
So the fear of God is hell! Elsewhere Jesus says also that “guilt” is hell. And so it seems that our own guilt at our presumed misdeeds and bad thoughts has made us fear God’s retribution, and therefore we have experienced hell on earth. (And, if the truth be told, we have spent part of our lives, at least, fearing hell after death.)
2 – God Never Condemns
God never condemns, and so He does not need to forgive us for our thoughts and actions. This is a sticking point for many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles, because we cannot seem to get out of our minds a God Who may have created part of the pain and suffering in our world, or at least ought to do something about it! These thoughts misdirect our minds. God neither created pain and suffering, but we, in a “tiny, mad idea” thought that we separated from Him, and we entered a world, built up by us, that is insanity. And in an insane world there is pain and suffering.
3 – A Way Out
Is there a way out that we can take beginning today?
4 – Get the Madness Out
Yes, there is a way out. And we need only learn as a student the precepts of ACIM, and, with our minds losing some of its insanity, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook) can attract to ourselves a much better living experience. These are benign dreams that some would say we have used through the “law of attraction” (a tenet of a bestseller entitled The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne). But we too want more than the materialistic if we are to be happy. The altruistic ideas of God will inform a world in much stronger terms than simply an improvement in our material conditions. And, for the intangibles of God, we turn to our Guide, the Holy Spirit–or the Christ-consciousness within (if we have traveled this far on the pathway back home). (The concept of Christ-consciousness is described in A Course of Love, believed by some to be a sequel to ACIM and also channeled by Jesus.)
5 – We Are Out Own Worst Enemy
So let us cease aiding and abetting our own hell on earth. We have taught ourselves the unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator (an ACIM tenet), and we have reaped the lamentable result in our world. Let us turn today to a different way of living, and find our way home in God with all of its attendant joys.
I think that most of us have found ways to be happy, and some of our unhappy moments are when we forget to put into practice what we already know. Certainly our depressed thoughts do constitute a hell outside of You. We can get medical help, and we can turn to A Course in Miracles, to prayer, to friends and family, to writing in a journal; there clearly are limitless ways that may have helped in the past.
Thank You for the good day that I am having. But the day did not start in a promising way, because I felt sleepy and wanted just to nod off again. Jesus would not have us to withdraw, as he says in ACIM. And when I began writing (one of my solutions), everything turned around. Then I visited my mother at her retirement community, and that gesture took me out of myself. Thank You for the good day that this has turned out to be.
May my brothers and sisters be cheered by something today, if anyone is feeling down. May we help each other, if by no other way that good thought vibes.