ACIM Workbook Lesson 314 – for Thursday, November 10, 2011
Affirmation: “I seek a future different from the past.”
“Who can grieve or suffer when the present has been freed, extending its security and peace into a quiet future filled with joy? (WB457)”
1 – Helen and Bill’s Agreement
What does it mean to have a present that has been “freed”? According to ACIM, it means that we no longer have an imprisoned will, and it is an imprisoned will that is causing our misery. We see pain because we have not yet come around completely to a new perception, a perception cleansed by our following of the Holy Spirit. We must know that there is another way, just as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford came to recognize. In the midst of harsh academic politics, Bill exclaimed one day, “There must be another way!” And Helen immediately promised to help him to find it. That was the turning point for them, and the scribing of ACIM began soon afterwards by Helen, leading to the turning point for the several million people since who have purchased ACIM, some in languages other than English.
2 – A Freed Present = the Real World?
If we are living in a freed present, what would it look like? This passage gives indications: security, peace, a quiet future filled with joy. Is this not the real world? Is this not what we have been wanting all along? (This is an interpretation of my own.)
3 – Heaven on Earth
We will not grieve or suffer when the present has been freed for everyone, for Heaven on earth will have arrived as the comprehensive Awakening of all has finally come. Jesus says that just as the separation took millions of years, the return may extend over a similar period of time, and perhaps still longer. This seems a pessimistic statement, but it probably best viewed as realistic–and we will have no trouble comprehending as we look at the conflicted and troubled world in which we live. Our own little worlds will improve, though, as our projections become cleansed by a mind freed of egoism, and we perceive the good in this world. No longer dwelling on the wrongs that we may also perceive, we just categorize these wrongs as “insanity,” as illusions (or maya), and while we do what we can to free our brothers and sisters, we do not join them any longer in insanity. Thus our future becomes quiet and joyful, even though we continue to live and work in a world where many things are amiss. Our attitude changes when we are living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (an interpretation, not stated as such in ACIM).
I would make the same decision that Helen and Bill did, to find “another way” to live in this world. ACIM points out that glorious way, a movement beyond the separation into salvation that eventually becomes a comprehensive Awakening for all individuals. We must “be there” for our brothers and sisters, even as we intensively study A Course in Miracles, “our” way. And some of us may feel led to consider A Course of Love, viewed by some as a sequel to ACIM, also believed by some to be channeled from Jesus.
Help me today to live in the present, and to accept this world even as I reach the conclusion that much that I view is simply insanity. All of us are aware of the conflict inn which this world is caught. Not all of us would view this trouble as sourced by the ego, turning our minds to madness. But ACIM makes this pronouncement, and I would seek to understand this concept through the words that I read daily.
May we first change ourselves into beings who wish to love without the ego, and then may we reach out to others who are ready for the message we long to give them. Help me to know that changing myself is the first responsibility, and never are we bade to involve others who are not themselves already seeking. May I share what is needed by my brothers and sisters today. May I walk in love, with Jesus as my elder brother, holding me by the hand. He promises to be with all who ask for him. Thank You for this comforting thought.