1 – Changes
“Changes are required in the minds of God’s teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. (M26)”
A reassuring passage, this indicates that we do not have to suddenly change outer circumstances when we assent to the way of A Course in Miracles. Some do, but not many (though I was one of those).
2 – The Mind
The mind is here explained to be in the ascendancy, as always. The body is an illusion, as has been stressed over and over in ACIM. The mind will work the changes that we want to make, even if those changes include changes in the external situation. The mind is the decider.
3 – Chance?
“Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan. (M26)”
I find this to be a very reassuring statement. We are not adrift in the world, wily-nily finding our way without any help. We are part of a plan. Very comforting.
4 – Mistake?
So we are not where we are by mistake, and so my difficult situations in life have been for a purpose. I once had a work situation that was close to intolerable. Strangely, I had had a honeymoon on that job that lasted for a year, and then annual peer reviews came about. One of my colleagues, with whom I had been socializing, thinking we were friends, wrote a devastating peer review. And I was devastated accordingly.
5 – Attack
Nothing was ever the same again. I came upon the Workbook lesson, “I can escape from the world that I see by giving up attack thoughts.” And I listened to this lesson very, very carefully. I tried to forgive my former friend, for the review had made a breach between us; we did not socialize together anymore.
6 – Personal Experience
Two years later I was out of that situation at work, and embarking on my marriage and a new work environment. I wrote back to my old place of employment, telling someone who had remained a good friend, “Everyone here is surprisingly congenial.” She decided, she later said, that this was a very sad statement, for it denounced the work environment where she still resided. I had not even realized that this statement was denouncing.
7 – Personal Experience II
Yet the passage above would say that there were things for me to learn in that earlier work environment, that even my former friend could teach me something. I later came to realize that she needed to push others down so that her ego would feel better than others. She continued similar actions with new people after I had left. So it is likely that the peer review had more to do with her own neuroses than with my performance.
8 – Ego
I just didn’t know this at that time. I suffered, or, more appropriately, my ego suffered from being called incompetent. My own ego was too strong and too big to be healthy. Indeed, any ego at all is too strong and too big.
9 – Life Situations
“There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. (M26)”
This passage speaks to the pathway of those of us who are ACIM students. It answers a question that many will have, namely, “What will happen to me?”
10 – Change
Herein is described the fact that some who read the ACIM will be asked almost immediately to make changes in their life situation. These may or may not be permanent changes. But, for those of us who are still fearful, A Course in Miracles is reassuring in asserting that only “special cases” may meet with an immediate change in life situation. For the cowards among us (and which of us does not fall in this category at some times), this lets us off the hook.
11 – Guidance
If we do sense guidance from the Holy Spirit that we are to change our life situations almost immediately, then the Holy Spirit will be there throughout the entire episode, be it lasting or temporary. We need not fear; we need only trust.
12 – Relationships
“Relationships in particular must be properly perceived, and all dark cornerstones of unforgiveness removed. Otherwise the old thought system still has a basis for return. (M26)”
The first thing that changed for me when I became a student of A Course in Miracles was my relationships, because I changed. I no longer reciprocated if someone attacked me; I no longer showed anger. I cried into my journal if I felt anger. And it worked.
13 – Reading ACIM
I married within three years of finding ACIM. And I quickly read and reread the books in order to keep my relationship going smoothly.
14 – Work
I also left a work situation that was suffocating. I took to heart the Workbook lesson, “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” And I did escape. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I knew then that ACIM worked. When we change our projections, then our perceptions are cleansed of ill effects.
15 – ACIM Works
In all the several years since, I have returned to A Course in Miracles if I feel ready to retaliate when someone has supposedly “harmed” me by verbal attack. ACIM works. Retaliation, attacking back, gets us nothing that we want. And it will ruin the relationships that we have, more often than not.
16 – Defensiveness
Defensiveness also needs to go. Don’t defend yourself, because the defense makes what you are trying to avoid (ACIM tenets). Avoiding attack and avoiding defensiveness are two cardinal rules for making relationships work, according to the ACIM instructions.
I was led to change my life situation almost immediately upon reading the Course, but it was not a lasting change. It did make changes in my heart, though, and for that I am grateful.
Thank you for helping me to adjust to a new life situation, and help me now adjust to my new life situations. I know that You are always with me.