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ACIM CLARIFICATION OF TERMS 1. MIND-SPIRIT

ACIM CLARIFICATION OF TERMS 1. MIND-SPIRIT

1. The term mind is used to represent the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy. When the term is capitalized it refers to God or Christ (i.e., the Mind of God or the Mind of Christ). Spirit is the thought of God which He created like Himself. The unified spirit is God’s one Son, or Christ.

2. In this world, because the mind is split, the Sons of God appear to be separate. Nor do their minds seem to be joined. In this illusory state, the concept of “individual mind” seems to be meaningful. It is therefore described in the course as if it has two parts, spirit and ego.

3. Spirit is the part that is still in contact with God through the Holy Spirit, Who abides in this part but sees the other part as well. The term “soul” is not used except in direct biblical quotations because of its highly controversial nature. It would,  however, be an equivalent of “spirit,” with the understanding that, being of God, it is eternal and was never born.

4. The other part of the mind is entirely illusory and makes only illusions. Spirit retains the potential for creating, but its Will, which is God’s, seems to be imprisoned while the mind is not unified. Creation continues unabated because that is the Will of God. This Will is always unified and therefore has no meaning in this world. It has no opposite and no degrees.

5. The mind can be right or wrong, depending on the voice to which it listens. Right-mindedness listens to the Holy Spirit, forgives the world, and through Christ’s vision sees the real world in its place. This is the final vision, the last perception, the condition in which God takes the final step Himself. Here time and illusions end together.

6. Wrong-mindedness listens to the ego and makes illusions, perceiving sin and justifying anger, and seeing guilt, disease, and death as real. Both this world and the real world are illusions because right-mindedness merely overlooks, or forgives, what never happened. Therefore it is not the One-mindedness of the Christ Mind, Whose Will is one with God.

7. In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice, always between two choices or two voices. Will is not involved in perception at any level and has nothing to do with choice. Consciousness is the receptive mechanism, receiving messages from above or below, from the Holy Spirit or the ego. Consciousness has levels and awareness can shift quite dramatically but it cannot transcend the perceptual realm. At its highest it becomes aware of the real world and can be trained to do so increasingly. Yet the very fact that it has levels and can be trained demonstrates that it cannot reach knowledge.[1]

In today’s meditational text, let us consider the terms Mind and Spirit. Spirit is the Oneness of God, it is the Thought of God – it is always unified, whole, and is the Sonship of God as well as the Fatherhood of God. This is not difficult to understand when we remove our gaze from the particular and look upon the whole, when we contemplate the Spirit, we enter into an experience of Spirit. We see that Spirit can only be whole and wholesome and holy – there can be no “evil” spirit(s), for Spirit is one. 

The word we use for “mind,” is a symbol with two meanings.  Jesus tells us that it is an activating agent. When we use our mind, we have choices – we can either choose wrongly or rightly. We choose between Holy Spirit or ego, between light or darkness, between peace or war. We choose whom we like and whom we dislike. As “individuals” we try to find meaning in our separate states of mind, we try to find meaning in opposites and opposition; I will try to find meaning in my life without you in it and you will try to find meaning in your life without me in it.  Because A Course in Miracles was designed to address our separateness, to give us direction within an illusion, to awaken us from a stupor of madness, the mind is described as separate, as being “individualized,” as you having one mind and me another – as your mind and my mind being split between ego and spirit.  However, no matter how we experience it,  the mind is never split – it is always whole and right and forever; but because we believe we are separate, we appear separate to one another; because we believe our minds have choices between right and wrong, light and darkness, love for God and for one another and hatred for God and for one another – so our minds have been polluted with fictional stories, fallacies, and falsehoods. 

This is what we must be saved from!  Our Spirit is still in touch with God because it is holy and is the only true and everlasting thing about us. Our Spirit does not begin with our earthly birth, nor does it end with our earthly death – it is forever, created in the Mind of God in Spirit, in oneness, in the fullness of Christ. 

Meditate upon this lesson and ask Holy Spirit to reveal its truth to you, for only as we open our hearts and minds to the Inner Guide will we learn the truth about our sojourn in time.  The mind of humanity can be “right” or “wrong,” it has a choice between holiness and nothingness, it can listen to one voice and then listen to the other voice and not be able to tell much difference. It learns by hook and crook; it takes two steps forward and then three steps back!  No matter what voice we listen to in the flesh, neither voice is the Mind of Christ; neither voice is God’s Will.  

We must learn this to recognize the ploys of the ego, for as long as we are engaged in what is “right” and what is “wrong,” we are stooges in the clutches of time. As long as we are engaged in the world, our only freedom will be which voice we will listen to, which voice we will heed. Will we choose ego and illusions which judges people as sinful, throws temper tantrums, seeks to punish people for their mistakes, wasting our lives getting caught up in the world’s issues or will we choose to follow the guidance of Holy Spirit, forgiving humanity and seeking the Vision of Christ to see beyond to a world forgiven of its separateness, specialness, and scurrility?  Just know that whatever world you choose to see, whichever Guide you choose to follow – neither one of them is Reality – for this whole shebang is an illusion, a place of perception-only, and the human conscious cannot transcend this realm, but only reach for and train for and be prepared for the return to Spirit, the return to God.   

Again, we urge you to consult with Holy Spirit, other teachers of A Course in Miracles, and with your holy partner for a deepened understanding of this lesson.  Perhaps our commentary was helpful in some ways and not so helpful in others – we are not going to waste our time in theology, for we seek an experience which is beyond words, definition, and a theoretical framework.  As we reach for the real world based upon holy and healed perception, we learn of God’s Kingdom, we learn through opposites and contrasts between the real and the unreal, we learn to love God rather than fear God; we learn devotion to peace and not war; we learn to practice conviviality and to put behind us forever all that is lacking and coarse and untrue. As we are reacquainted with our true Spirit, we lose our human consciousness and regain the Sonship where there are no levels, no hierarchies, no opposites or contrasts of any kind.  This is true knowledge, and  while true knowledge is beyond the scope of this course, this course leads the way to our return to God Who is Love, and the only Love that Is.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Clarification of Terms. 1. Mind-spirit. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CLARIFICATION OF TERMS INTRODUCTION

ACIM CLARIFICATION OF TERMS INTRODUCTION

1. This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology. It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of perception. The means of the Atonement is forgiveness. The structure of “individual consciousness” is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the “original error” or the “original sin.” To study the error itself does not lead to correction if you are indeed to succeed in overlooking the error. And it is just this process of overlooking at which the course aims.

2. All terms are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy will find it. Yet those who seek clarification will find it as well. They must, however, be willing to overlook controversy, recognizing that it is a defense against truth in the form of a delaying maneuver. Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed, here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends.

3. This course remains within the ego framework, where it is needed. It is not concerned with what is beyond all error because it is planned only to set the direction towards it. Therefore it uses words, which are symbolic, and cannot express what lies beyond symbols. It is merely the ego that questions because it is only the ego that doubts. The course merely gives another answer once a question has been raised. However, this answer does not attempt to resort to inventiveness or ingenuity. These are attributes of the ego.

4. The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. The ego may ask, “How did the impossible occur?” “To what did the impossible happen?” and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer, only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you.

5. You will notice that the emphasis on structural issues in the Course is brief and early. Afterwards and soon, it drops away to make way for the central teaching. Since you have asked for clarification, however, these are some of the terms that are used.[1]

Today as we begin our study of the clarification of terms, Jesus emphasizes that A Course in Miracles is not based on theory or theology. As we read and study A Course in Miracles we aim for an inward experience! We learn what Atonement is, we learn that to atone is to overlook, we learn that overlooking is forgiveness and that forgiveness leads us to God.

There is no need for any of us to justify our devotion to this Course. We are not here to start a new religion. We do not make false promises. We do not rely on texts that others may declare original and holy. We do not try to answer impossible questions or pretend to know what lies beyond the reaches of our human struggle to understand. We do not try to devise ways to entice others to join with us or invent stories to captivate their imaginations. A Course in Miracles simply provides another answer once the real questions have been raised. 

With one function and one goal, and within the framework of that one function and that one goal, the Course is consistent. If you look for loopholes, contradictions, and inconsistencies in this Course, as in anyone or anything, you will find them! But remember that looking for such things is an ego attempt to delay the experience of peace, to obscure your true identity in Christ, and to keep you in a state of separation and disunity. 

And so we continue in our quest for an experience of oneness, an experience of being one with Christ, with God, and with each other in wholeness, holiness, love, joy, and peace. We will not let our religious beliefs and traditions, or our lack of religious beliefs and traditions delay us – we will simply seek the miracle of experiencing God’s love and devotion. 

For the next two weeks we will study the clarification of terms during our devotional practice. Some of us are reading the text again this year; some of us are doing the lessons, some of us are simply letting the things we have learned sit and walk and stand with us as we go about our lives in the flesh.  In whatever capacity we continue to learn from A Course in Miracles, a deeper understanding of the terms and a reminder of the limitation of words is beneficial to our mutual and individual holy practices.

While we will not be reposting the lessons or the yearly text study for 2022, we have posted a daily reading/study guide for this year. Today, Monday, January 24th, we begin our reading of the Clarification of Terms and then shortly after, will begin a daily study of the Manual for Teachers. There is no need to sign-up for this study – all the materials will be made available digitally for all who care to join us.  While everybody is welcome to follow our study, for those of you who asked for a more structured course of study, please send all required essays, papers, and responses to eckief@yahoo.com.  A certificate of completion and a zoom meeting awards ceremony is scheduled at the end of the study.  We will stick as closely as possible to the syllabus, keep in mind, however, that the syllabus is merely a tool to keep us on track. While we use it as such, we do not allow the syllabus to take the place of the daily guidance we receive from Holy Spirit.  Feel free to study at your own pace, never taking our commentary or interpretation as God’s Word without contemplating it carefully in Spirit.  We urge you to visit other sites which teach this Course, welcoming the teaching and learning process of all. 

Thank you again for studying A Course in Miracles with us. As always please direct any inquiries or comments to eckief@yahoo.com. Mercy and Grace now and always. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Clarification of terms. Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM LESSON & TEXT READING GUIDE 2022

Attached is an updated lesson and text reading guide for 2022 for your personal devotional practices. This year, starting Monday, January 24, we will begin studying A Course in Miracles Clarification of Terms and then follow with an in-depth weekly review of the ACIM Manual for Teacher’s. A syllabus for our next phase of study will be posted before we begin.

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 29.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 29

29. AS FOR THE REST…

1. This manual is not intended to answer all questions that both teacher and pupil may raise. In fact, it covers only a few of the more obvious ones, in terms of a brief summary of some of the major concepts in the text and workbook. It is not a substitute for either, but merely a supplement. While it is called a manual for teachers, it must be remembered that only time divides teacher and pupil, so that the difference is temporary by definition. In some cases, it may be helpful for the pupil to read the manual first. Others might do better to begin with the workbook. Still others may need to start at the more abstract level of the text.

2. Which is for which? Who would profit more from prayers alone? Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more? No one should attempt to answer these questions alone. Surely no teacher of God has come this far without realizing that. The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance. Ask and He will answer. The responsibility is His, and He alone is fit to assume it. To do so is His function. To refer the questions to Him is yours. Would you want to be responsible for decisions about which you understand so little? Be glad you have a teacher who cannot make a mistake. His answers are always right. Would you say that of yours?

3. There is another advantage – and a very important one – in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. The whole world you see reflects the illusion that you have done so, making fear inevitable. To return the function to the one to whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessarily merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you.

4. Here again is the paradox often referred to in the course. To say, “Of myself I can do nothing” is to gain all power. And yet it is but a seeming paradox. As God created you, you have all power. The image you made of yourself has none. The Holy Spirit knows the truth about you. The image you made does not. Yet, despite its obvious and complete ignorance, this image assumes it knows all things because you have given that belief to it. Such is your teaching, and the teaching of the world that was made to uphold it. But the Teacher Who knows the truth has not forgotten it. His decisions bring benefit to all, being wholly devoid of attack. And therefore incapable of arousing guilt.

5. Who assumes a power that he does not possess is deceiving himself. Yet to accept the power given him by God is but to acknowledge his Creator and accept His gifts. And His gifts have no limit. To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him? No, indeed! That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course is most concerned. If you have made it a habit to ask for help when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it. Prepare for this each morning, remember God when you can throughout the day, ask the Holy Spirit’s help when it is feasible to do so, and thank Him for His guidance at night. And your confidence will be well founded indeed.

6. Never forget that the Holy Spirit does not depend on your words. He understands the requests of your heart and answers them. Does this mean that, while attack remains attractive to you, He will respond with evil? Hardly! For God has given Him the power to translate your prayers of the heart into His language. He understands that an attack is a call for help. And He responds with help accordingly. God would be cruel if He let your words replace His own. A loving father does not let his child harm himself or choose his own destruction. He may ask for injury, but his father will protect him still. And how much more than this does your Father love His Son?

7. Remember you are His completion and His Love. Remember your weakness is His strength. But do not read this hastily or wrongly. If His strength is in you, what you perceive as your weakness is but illusion. And He has given you the means to prove it so. Ask all things of His Teacher, and all things are given you. Not in the future but immediately, now. God does not wait, for waiting implies time and He is timeless. Forget your foolish images, your sense of frailty, and your fear of harm, your dreams of danger and selected “wrongs.” God knows but His Son, and he was created so he is. In confidence I place you in His Hands, and I give thanks for you that this is so.

8. And now in all your doing be you blessed. God turns to you for help to save the world. Teacher of God, His thanks He offers you. And all the world stands silent in the grace you bring from Him. You are the Son He loves, and it is given you to be the means through which His Voice is heard around the world, to close all things of time, to end the sight of all things visible, and to undo all things that change. Through you is ushered in a world unseen, unheard, yet truly there. Holy are you, and in your light the world reflects your holiness, for you are not alone and friendless. I give thanks for you, and join your efforts on behalf of God, knowing that they are on my behalf as well, and for all those who walk to God with me. Amen.[1]

Today as we wrap up our study of A Course in Miracles and the accompanying Manual for Teachers, Jesus reminds us that teacher and pupil are divided only in time. In time we are both teacher and pupil for we cannot learn anything of God on our own.  As we answer the call of God in our lives, we know that without each other, we are nothing.  So let us in our teaching – remember and teach that all aspects of our learning are guided by Holy Spirit.  Who am I to give you advice on where to start the Course – this is the responsibility of Holy Spirit and our function as both teachers and pupils is to take our questions to Him.

I may mistakenly mislead others by the things I say and the ways in which I get my points across. Eckie Friar does not have the patience of Holy Spirit; Eckie Friar still gets her feelings hurt; Eckie Friar still craves people to like her more than she cares to admit!  Whether I make mistakes, mispronounce or misspell words, interpret A Course in Miracles incorrectly, go on rants against those who annoy me – this has no bearing on the fact that I am your brother in Christ and that I am both your teacher and your pupil, even as you are mine.  We are in this altered state of consciousness together. We have much to learn from each other. I can only learn from you, and you can only learn from me.  So let us teach and learn together under the perfect guidance of Holy Spirit who will lovingly correct our mistakes and show us a better way.

In paragraph three of today’s passage, Jesus advises us to learn to go to Holy Spirit frequently.  When we jump into situations without the guidance of Holy Spirit, we are going to bring our tempers, our triggers, our hurts and sorrows. We will fail to see the offensive words and behaviors of others as a call for help and will go into defeat, defense, or attack. Without Holy Spirit we will withdraw and stew over what they said or did; we will tell them to shut their trap; we will threaten their salvation, we will say mean things, use foul language, we might even want to attack someone physically.  When we put others into the hands of Holy Spirit, we can absolve ourselves of guilt. We can simply let them ramble on about whatever they choose to ramble about and love them anyway. We do not have to jump in and defend anybody’s position, set them straight, or cast out their “devils.” We escape all hellishness by simply remembering that our function is to go to Holy Spirit and put every troubling situation, relationship, and circumstance into His very capable hands. He knows the whole story, and He will tell us what to say and what to do, and what not to say and what not to do! 

With Holy Spirit in charge instead of ego, the memory of love returns to us. And the memory of love leads us away from attack, conflict, and spite. I can look at the one who has hurt me and be unable to do anything but love her. I can look at the one who just insulted me, and laugh with true mirth, knowing who and what I am in Christ. I can forgive those who falsely accused me, the ones who were only too willing to throw me under the bus to make themselves look innocent, the ones who cheated on me and betrayed my confidences.  I cannot do this on my own, but with Holy Spirit I regain the power that saves me from ongoing cycles of spite and vengeance, which bring peace and healing to no one.

When we put our egos aside and turn to Holy Spirit, His decisions benefit everybody – not just us. We do not ask Him for special favors, for the best seats, for the biggest fish, for the brightest star – for in holiness we are incapable of wanting anything that would arouse the guilt and make us ashamed for seeking that which would lift us above others.  Such gifts of the world sicken us and turn us against each other. There can be no Sonship where one is esteemed while others are not. There can be no Brotherhood when one is sucking up all the glory and attention while others are neglected, ignored, and cast out. Holy Spirit is the truth about us; the ego is not. Holy Spirit remembers our real Identity and our real source of power in Sonship. While ego would have us say, “Of myself I can do all things;” Holy Spirit reminds us that our power comes only from the oneness and unity of our true identity in Christ.

The inner guidance of Holy Spirit is our true inheritance. Let this be a natural, beautiful practice for you. Do not judge yourself when you fail to turn to Him but let every instance in which you fail to reach for His guidance teach you again of your legacy. In paragraph five, Jesus outlines a daily practice that is both practical and simple – in the morning we turn to Holy Spirit and ask Him to be in charge of our day; throughout the day we remember God when we can, we call for Holy Spirit’s guidance in making decisions when we think of it, and we thank Him for guiding us at night before we go to bed.  As easy as this is, it is a beautiful way in which to become familiar with the Voice for God inside, to learn to accentuate upon our consciousness the benefit to ourselves and others that comes from heeding His guidance, and to gain confidence in speaking about and sharing the things of God in our lives.

Holy Spirit is our Teacher, Protector, and Friend.  He is the Voice for God that is always there, compelling us to reach past the altered consciousness of malice and ill will, poverty and shame,  to the freedom and liberty of Spirit. Holy Spirit is the Face of Christ within each one of us, the inner light, the quiet direction.  The more we consciously choose to stop allowing the ego to obscure His gentle, beautiful, all-knowing guidance from our awareness, the more we come to appreciate and remember God’s love, devotion, tender mercy, and care.    

Commit to remembering our Father’s love for us, His Son. Heaven is not Heaven without you and without me in it, for we complete God even as He completes us. All that is weak about us, all that is frail, all that is shameful and mean and stupid, all that is diseased and all that dies is but a manufactured, altered perception of God’s Son.  God has given us the means to come Home, to be restored to His Kingdom – we have His Teacher within us,  and all things come to us when we go to Him and ask.

Today as we end our Course study for 2021, Jesus places you and places me in the Hands of God.  He thanks us for sticking it out, just as we thank Him for helping us get through it.  Meditate upon the blessing that Jesus bestows upon us in paragraph eight. As we join with Christ, His vision becomes our vision. That which was invisible becomes visible to us; that which seemed stark and sinful, terrible and wrong fades away in the light of God’s Love and the love I have for you, and the love you have for me in Christ. 

Thank you for studying A Course in Miracles with me this year! It was my privilege to answer the call of God in my life to learn and teach this course. Thank you for agreeing to be both teacher and pupil as we studied this Course together. Your emails and the encouragement you offered touch my heart and boost my spirits, which at times flagged throughout the year. While we are looking forward to continuing a deeper study of the Manual for Teachers in 2022, for right now we will dedicate the few remaining days of this year for review. Several students have offered to share their anecdotes and personal application of what they have learned throughout the text study – and I am really looking forward to sharing this with you. Remember God’s Kingdom Comes, God’s Will is Done each time we learn of and share in His gifts. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 29. As for the rest… Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 28.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 28

28. What is the Resurrection?

1. Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth, a change of mind about the meaning of the world. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the world’s purpose, the acceptance of the Atonement for oneself. It is the end of dreams of misery, and the glad awareness of the Holy Spirit’s final dream. It is a recognition of the gifts of God. It is the dream in which the body functions perfectly, having no function except communication. It is the lesson in which learning ends, where it is consummated and surpassed with this. It is the invitation to God to take His final step. It is the relinquishment of all other purposes, all other interests, all other wishes and all other concerns. It is the single desire of the Son for the Father.

2. The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reversed entirely. Life is now recognized as salvation, and pain and misery of any kind perceived as hell. Love is no longer feared, but gladly welcomed. Idols have disappeared, and the remembrance of God shines unimpeded across the world. Christ’s face is seen in every living thing, and nothing is held in darkness, apart from the light of forgiveness. There is no sorrow still upon the earth. The joy of heaven has come upon it.

3. Here the curriculum ends. From here on, no directions are needed. Vision is wholly corrected, and all mistakes undone. Attack is meaningless and peace has come. The goal of the curriculum has been achieved. Thoughts turn to heaven and away from hell. All longings are satisfied, for what remains unanswered or incomplete? The last illusion spreads across the world, forgiving all things and replacing all attack. The whole reversal is accomplished. Nothing is left to contradict the word of God. There is no opposition to the truth. And now the truth can come at last. How quickly will it come as it is asked to enter and envelope such a world!

4. All living hearts are tranquil with a stir of deep anticipation, for the time of everlasting things is now at hand. There is no death. The Son of God is free. And in his freedom is the end of fear. No hidden places now remain on earth to shelter sick illusions, dreams of fear and misperceptions of the universe. All things are seen in light, and in the light their purpose is transformed and understood. And we, God’s children, rise up from the dust and look upon our perfect sinlessness. The song of Heaven sounds around the world, as it is lifted up and brought to truth.

5. Now there are no distinctions. Differences have disappeared and Love looks on Itself. What further sight is needed? What remains that vision could accomplish? We have seen the face of Christ, His sinlessness, His love behind all forms, beyond all purposes. Holy are we because His Holiness has set us free indeed! And we accept His Holiness as ours, as it is. As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own. Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found.

6. These things await us all, but we are not prepared as yet to welcome them with joy. As long as any mind remains possessed of evil dreams, the thought of hell is real. God’s teachers have the goal of awakening the minds of those asleep and seeing there the vision of Christ’s face to take the place of what they dream. The thought of murder is replaced with blessing. Judgment is laid by and given Him whose function judgment is. And in His final judgment is restored the truth about the holy Son of God. He is redeemed, for he has heard God’s Word and understood its meaning. He is free because he let God’s Voice proclaim the truth. And all he sought before to crucify are resurrected with him, by his side, as he prepares with them to meet his God.[1]

Today in our devotional text, we learn the meaning of resurrection. Resurrection is not reserved for the time of our body’s death – the resurrection of Christ within begins now as we learn of, accept and share the gifts of God’s love and peace and joy. Our return to the oneness and unity of Spirit is not a future event. It is not reserved for only a few that walk the earth – it is for all of God’s creation now and forever. 

When we give up our affection for violence, for specialness, for sin and shame, for slaughter and sacrifice – the thought of hell is no longer real to us. Our love for one another and our love for God becomes one in Sonship; we are resurrected from the dark and dusty realm of form and division to the beautiful and everlasting light of brotherhood in Christ. In resurrection there is no place for sin and shame, for disease and death, for sadness and sorrow.  In resurrection God judges us as His Son and welcomes us to our Home – the temptations of lies, the dreams of evil, the seduction of magic – cleansed from our consciousness forever. 

To learn and teach of God, we learn and teach resurrection – the joyful, peaceful, gentle Return of the Prodigal. Hence, the meaning of the world changes from one of fear of God to the love of God. As we turn from the alternate universes of flesh, fiction, and faction to the reality of Sonship, we are no longer afraid of the stunning and beautiful truth of God and His Kingdom. To be resurrected, is to be lost and then found; to be resurrected is to replace all doctrines of pain and sorrow with the truth of God’s eternal love and undying devotion for every single part of Creation.   

Today in your personal devotional practice, welcome the resurrection with joy. Refuse to believe the evil report, the vicious taletelling, the taking of sides, the clamors for war – put all thoughts of the devil out of your mind. The devil is a lie; there is no truth in any belief system that would endow this fiction with power to keep you from the Love of God, to steal possession of what can only belong to God, to leave empty the eternal place you have in God’s Kingdom. Resurrection is what we learn and teach for only in resurrection can our altered consciousness be healed, can we see our enemies as brothers, can we prepare to meet our God.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 28. What is the resurrection? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 27.

27. What Is Death?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 27

1. Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem. Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end? We have asked this question before, but now we need to consider it more carefully. It is the one fixed, unchangeable belief of the world that all things in it are born only to die. This is regarded as “the way of nature,” not to be raised to question, but to be accepted as the “natural” law of life. The cyclical, the changing and unsure, the undependable and the unsteady, waxing and waning in a certain way upon a certain path – all this is taken as the will of God. And no one asks if a benign Creator could will this.

2. In this perception of the universe as God created it, it would be impossible to think of Him as loving. For who has decreed that all things pass away, ending in dust and disappointment and despair, can but be feared. He holds your little life in his hand but by a thread, ready to break it off without regret or care, perhaps today. Or if he waits yet is the ending certain. Who loves such a God knows not of love, because he has denied that life is real. Death has become life’s symbol. His world is now a battleground, where contradiction reigns and opposites make endless war. Where there is death is peace impossible.

3. Death is the symbol of the fear of God. His Love is blotted out in the idea, which holds it up from awareness like a shield held up to obscure the sun. The grimness of the symbol is enough to show it cannot coexist with God. It holds an image of the Son of God in which he is “laid to rest” in devastation’s arms, where worms wait to greet him and to last a little while by his destruction. Yet the worms as well are doomed to be destroyed as certainly. And so do all things live because of death. Devouring is nature’s “law of life.” God is insane, and fear alone is real.

4. The curious belief that there is part of dying things that may go on apart from what will die, does not proclaim a loving God nor reestablish any grounds for trust. If death is real for anything, there is no life. Death denies life. But if there is reality in life, death is denied. No compromise in this is possible. There is either a God of fear or One of Love. The world attempts a thousand compromises and will attempt a thousand more. Not one can be acceptable to God’s teachers, because not one could be acceptable to God. He did not make death because he did not make fear. Both are equally meaningless to Him.

5. The “reality” of death is firmly rooted in the belief that God’s Son is a body. And if God created bodies, death would indeed be real. But God would not be loving. There is no point at which the contrast between the perception of the real world and that of the world of illusions becomes more sharply evident. Death is indeed the death of God, if He is love. And now His Own creation must stand in fear of Him. He is not Father, but destroyer. He is not Creator, but avenger. Terrible His thoughts and fearful His image. To look on His creations is to die.

6. “And the last to be overcome will be death.” Of course! Without the idea of death there is no world. All dreams will end with this one. This is salvation’s final goal, the end of all illusions. And in death are all illusions born. What can be born of death and still have life? But what is born of God and still can die? The inconsistencies, the compromises and the rituals the world fosters in its vain attempts to cling to death and yet to think love real are mindless magic, ineffectual and meaningless. God is, and in Him all created things must be eternal. Do you not see that otherwise He has an opposite, and fear would be as real as love?

7. Teacher of God, your one assignment could be stated thus: Accept no compromise in which death plays a part. Do not believe in cruelty, nor let attack conceal the truth from you. What seems to die has but been misperceived and carried to illusion. Now it becomes your task to let the illusion be carried to the truth. Be steadfast but in this; be not deceived by the “reality” of any changing form. Truth neither moves nor wavers nor sinks down to death and dissolution. And what is the end of death? Nothing but this; the realization that the Son of God is guiltless now and forever. Nothing but this. But do not let yourself forget it is not less than this.[1]

In today’s devotional text we are to ask ourselves if a loving, all-powerful, beneficent Creator would create a world bloodied by disease, by decay, and death. This is the question that all of us must ask in order to get to the truth.  This is the question we must ask to awaken from the dream of death, for we cannot know God if we believe that God is a God that wills death, that harbors spite and ill will toward His Creation, and changes His mind, His moods, and His methods of Being.

To fear God is not to love God. When we fear God, we do not trust Him. We believe that He seeks punishment rather than correction, that He takes pleasure in our sorrow and groveling and humiliation. We have good reason to fear any God that would create a human being out of dust, that would form a man and form a woman and breathe life into it and then play with it as a child would play with a toy – making all kinds of rules for them to break as to give it a good reason to punish and torment and inflict shame upon them. Such a mean-spirited “god” would naturally have favorites, would favor us and our kind over them and their kind. We could never bask in the love of such a creep because it would turn upon us in a fit of jealousy and rage the first mistake we make, the first time we asked a legitimate question, or expressed a reasonable doubt.

In this belief system death becomes the symbol of life and peace becomes impossible for such a god thrives upon enmity, calls for revenge, and runs on spite. We live in fear of God when our beliefs about Him are based on insane, hateful premises that glorify death, promote the idea of sacrifice and suffering, teach shame, guilt, and punishment.  God has no need for martyrs – the blood of Jesus and the pain and humiliation he bore on the cross was not for God. God did not demand that he die for us; Jesus died for us. He came as one with us and of us, to remind us of God’s love for us, to remind us of who and what we really are as God’s Son. 

Our human form has no place in God’s Kingdom, because forms of any kind are not possible in Spirit. To be a form is to be death, it is to deny life, it is to oppose God and to fear God.  In paragraph four Jesus tells us there is no compromise in this for those who have answered the call of God in their lives.  We cannot accept fear of any kind, and fear comes with death and death comes to all physical forms.  Death and fear have no meaning to God and should have absolutely no meaning to us.  

In paragraph five, Jesus makes it very clear that the belief that God’s Son is a body is to make death real in our beliefs and practices.  To teach this course is to understand that we believe that God is love and that Love does not create bodies nor the realm in which bodies exist.  The world that fosters decay and dying is the world where Love cannot be. A savage world is made only by savagery and vengeance; a place where flesh is born to decay and die is a hellish realm devised by insanity and unkindness. 

When the idea of death becomes obsolete in our minds, this hellish realm is over!  This is our salvation for we have reached our goal – the altered consciousness has been healed, Love has been restored to us, the Kingdom of God has been reestablished in our minds and hearts forever.  For only in death are illusions born. 

As I meditated upon this in today’s devotional, I realized that death can be equated with having no truth. When I tell a lie, I create an illusion – an alternative to the truth. There is no life in this illusion because it simply did not happen. It never was – I just made it up out of a desire to mislead you, to misinform you.  Perhaps I wanted to impress you. Perhaps I didn’t want to get in trouble. Perhaps I do not trust you with the truth. Perhaps I wanted to test you and see if you would share my confidence with others.  No matter what reason I lied to you, it was a lie. It was an illusion. If you believed it, you chose to believe in something that never was. You may have invested in my lie and lost some money, time, or effort.  We could say you invested in death – for the lie you invested in was not life, it was not true.

When we practice the concepts we learn in this course, we no longer invest in the lie of death being a part of life. Death is the opposite to life, it is the lie about life. This course teaches that this “world” runs on an altered, or a misled consciousness. It is built upon opposition and opposites to the reality and truth of God.  To teach this course, I must learn to deny the lies that maintain this world – and no longer cling to the mindless magic and inconsistent, meaningless rituals that foster the world’s cherishment to all that is not of God, of life, of love, of eternity.  If we fail to see this, we will be inconsistent in our minds and add to the suffering and sickness of the world. We will join in with the fearful and forget that God can not be the author of this cruel story!

We accept no compromise in which death plays a part. If something dies it was a physical form and not its reality at all.  When we live for God, we learn to put no trust or faith in cruelty. We commit to a non-defensive attitude toward all thoughts of attack. This means that even when others say and do mean things, we refuse to believe any less about them, we refuse to take it personal, we refuse to build a case against them or go about repeating their mistake to others in hopes of gaining numbers for our side in the matter.  And when someone or something seems to die, we let it go in peace and trust in God for we know that their form was not their reality. 

We are not to be deceived by the altered consciousness and all its changing forms, high emotion, and ongoing drama and trauma. We take all illusions to truth and the truth is unwavering, certain, and sure.  We are not bodies; we are God’s Son guiltless now and forever in His Grace.  This is what we teach and how we teach it.  There is nothing more than this and nothing less.  Only this – guiltless now and forever in God’s Love. 

This does not mean that we do not make mistakes, say cross words, lose our tempers, and stomp about when we do not get our own way. This does not mean that we walk about with smiles plastered upon our face all the time and have a memorized phrase that we spout off to others to show them how much we love Jesus.  When we accept our guiltlessness, we accept that just as our mistakes are not held against us, neither are the mistakes of others held against them. We accept that we are welcomed to God as beloved Sons and not as eager-to-placate, groveling servants. We accept that no matter how “right” or how “wrong” we may be in the flesh, what happens in the flesh stays in the past where it never was, because there is only love in the eyes of God for His Son.

As teachers of God, we cannot afford to be swayed by the belief system of this world. The world will give us thousands of reasons to build a fortress, to take up arms, to take sides, to favor some and despise others. This is a compromise with death; we cannot teach Life if we teach death.

Meditate today upon this passage.  Read over it slowly and thoughtfully and ask Holy Spirit to illuminate the relationships, situations, and circumstances in your daily life in which you are making a compromise with death.  Ask Holy Spirit to help you stand firm in your resolve to see past the illusion of bodies, forms, and changing situations. Giving up death is no sacrifice!  It is a simple change of focus, in which we exchange a lie for the truth of God Who is and gives Life everlasting.      


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 27. What is death? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 26.

CAN GOD BE REACHED DIRECTLY?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHER 26

1. 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. Yet this awareness and this memory can arise across the threshold of recognition only where all barriers to truth have been removed. In how many is this the case? Here, then, is the role of God’s teachers. They, too, have not attained the necessary understanding as yet, but they have joined with others. This is what sets them apart from the world. And it is this that enables others to leave the world with them. Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the power of God.

2. There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own identity perfectly. These might be called the teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognized and overlooked by them. The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile, they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their name and in no other.

3. Sometimes a teacher of God may have a brief experience of direct union with God. In this world, it is almost impossible that this endure. It can, perhaps, be won after much devotion and dedication, and then be maintained for much of the time on earth. But this is so rare that it cannot be considered a realistic goal. If it happens, so be it. If it does not happen, so be it as well. All worldly states must be illusory. If God were reached directly in sustained awareness, the body would not be long maintained. Those who have laid the body down merely to extend their helpfulness to those remaining behind are few indeed. And they need helpers who are still in bondage and still asleep. so that by their awakening can God’s Voice be heard.

4. Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them. If you would be heard by those who suffer, you must speak their language. If you would be a savior, you must understand what needs to be escaped. Salvation is not theoretical. Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes. Nor will its coming be long delayed. All the help you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met. Let us not then be too concerned with goals for which you are not ready. God takes you where you are and welcomes you. What more could you desire when this is all you need?[1]

While God is always with us, we cannot experience God directly until all barriers to truth have been lifted from our consciousness.  While there are times in which all barriers to truth are lifted from our consciousness and we do experience God directly, it is important for us to understand that we cannot maintain this in our human state of being.  Our bodies – with their constant needs and concerns – distract our minds and keep us from maintaining our direct connection with God. 

Jesus tells us in this passage that we join together for the purpose of reaching God. I cannot reach God on my own – for on my own, I am an ego, I am a symbol of separation and disunity, on my own and for myself, I oppose the oneness and unity of God.  Without you, my reaching for God is in vain. I am wasting my time. I may as well be doing a crossword puzzle or watching TV!  But with you, we practice unity and when we practice unity we reach for God and what we seek is given us. 

In paragraph two Jesus tells us that there are those who have given up the flesh, who have reached God directly, and who remain with us to teach us. They are the teachers of the teachers. They come to us in our minds, they appear to us in the dream, they give us ideas, illuminate our minds, help us to recognize our mistakes, forgive ourselves and others, and share all their gifts with us. They are the teachers who have gone before us, who have reached Christhood, who come in the name of Christ to help us answer the call of God in our lives.  They know us, they were one of us, they remember what it was like to be trapped in these cycles and in this delusion and now they are Christ, even as we are Christ when we accept our true identity and remember our holy function.

The biggest thing that I take from this is that we are not to despair over our limitations.  I love how Jesus tells us that our function is to escape from them but not to be without them!  We must be able to go both ways – we must know what it is to suffer in order to know what it is to be healed.  Salvation is not a theory. It is not an idea. It is an awakening from a stupor of disease, decay, and death. It is a return to the Kingdom of God. Salvation is an escape from a realm of opposition and opposites to the Reality of God.  We are not given a means to escape from this madness to quarrel amongst ourselves over ideas and theories of salvation. We are to behold the problem, ask for the answer, and accept it when it comes.  We will not waste our time quibbling over if it matches up with our traditional doctrines. We will not be tempted to make this world our home, our resting place, or respond to its calls to engage in meanness and spite toward each other. We will reach for God and in the meantime we will trust in God to provide for us all we need in our reaching and our teaching.  We will make no demands, nor concern ourselves with reaching goals, or worry over how far we have to go – God takes us where we are and welcomes us – directly and indirectly – we reach God in the perfect time and in the perfect way.    


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 26. Can God be reached directly? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 25.

ARE “PSYCHIC” POWERS DESIRABLE?

ACIM Manual for Teachers 25

1. The answer to this question is much like the preceding one. There are, of course, no “unnatural” powers, and it is obviously merely an appeal to magic to make up a power that does not exist. It is equally obvious, however, that each individual has many abilities of which he is unaware. As his awareness increases, he may well develop abilities that seem quite startling to him. Yet nothing he can do can compare even in the slightest with the glorious surprise of remembering Who he is. Let all his learning and all his efforts be directed towards this one great final surprise, and he will not be content to be delayed by the little ones that may come to him on the way.

2. Certainly there are many “psychic” powers that are clearly in line with this course. Communication is not limited to the small range of channels the world recognizes. If it were, there would be little point in trying to teach salvation. It would be impossible to do so. The limits the world places on communication are the chief barriers to direct experiences of the Holy Spirit, whose presence is always there and Whose Voice is available but for the hearing. These limits are placed out of fear, for without them the walls that surround all the separate places of the world would fall at the holy sound of His Voice. Who transcends these limits in any way is merely becoming more natural. He is doing nothing special, and there is no magic in his accomplishments.

3. The seemingly new abilities that may be gathered on the way can be very helpful. Given to the Holy Spirit, and used under His direction, they are valuable teaching aids. To this, the question of how they arise is irrelevant. The only important consideration is how they are used. Taking them as ends in themselves, no matter how this is done, will delay progress. Nor does their value lie in proving anything, achievements from the past, unusual attunement with the “unseen,” or “special” favors from God. God gives no special favors, and no one has any powers that are not available to everyone. Only by tricks of magic are special powers “demonstrated.”

4. Nothing that is genuine is used to deceive. The Holy Spirit is incapable of deception, and He can use only genuine abilities. What is used for magic is useless to Him. But what He uses cannot be used for magic. There is, however, a particular appeal in unusual abilities that can be curiously tempting. Here are strengths which the Holy Spirit wants and needs. Yet the ego sees in these same strengths an opportunity to glorify itself. Strengths turned to weaknesses are tragedy indeed. Yet what is not given to the Holy Spirit must be given to weakness, for what is withheld from love is given to fear and will be fearful in consequence.

5. Even those who no longer value the material things of the world may still be deceived by “psychic” powers. As investment has been withdrawn from the world’s material gifts, the ego has been seriously threatened. It may still be strong enough to rally under this new temptation to win back strength by guile. Many have not seen through the ego’s defenses here, although they are not particularly subtle. Yet, given a remaining wish to be deceived, deception is made easy. Now the “power” is no longer a genuine ability, and it cannot be used dependably. It is almost inevitable that, unless the individual changes his mind about its purpose, he will bolster his “power’s” uncertainties with increasing deception.

6. Any ability that anyone develops has a potentiality for good. To this there is no exception. And the more unusual and unexpected the power, the greater its potential usefulness. Salvation has need of all abilities, for what the world would destroy the Holy Spirit would restore. “Psychic” abilities have been used to call upon the devil, which merely means to strengthen the ego. Yet here is also a great channel of hope and healing in the Holy Spirit’s service. Those who have developed “psychic” powers have simply let some of the limitations they laid upon their minds be lifted. It can be but further limitations they lay upon themselves if they utilize their increased freedom for greater imprisonment. The Holy Spirit needs these gifts, and those who offer them to Him and Him alone go with Christ’s gratitude upon their hearts, and His holy sight not far behind.[1]

All power belongs to God and His Son. No matter what our gifts are, when we answer the call of God in our lives, we no longer use our specific talents, gifts, and abilities to draw attention to ourselves or try to gain a personal following.  As we draw closer to God by our daily devotional practice, as our minds open to the guidance of Holy Spirit and the recognition of our true identity in Christ, we will naturally gain insights and increase our range of communication seeing things and experiencing things that go beyond the normal five senses of the body. Today, I feel very much led of Holy Spirit to emphasize that this is a natural outcome of living from the spiritual part of ourselves rather than the physical. Our true, spiritual Being is in touch with everything there is, and therefore has the “big picture” of time, space, and the mass hallucination which we call reality. Throughout our sojourn in time, we often tap into our “psychic” powers when we become attuned to the natural higher power within us.

While there is nothing to be afraid of, the increased range of communication does have the potential to be used for ego rather than holiness. To use this increased range of communication as a means to show off, to prove that you are special in the eyes of God, to prophecy events and foretell the future in order to impress or warn people about future events, is egotistical and will not – in the end – give you what you really want or need.  Personally, I have experienced so many false prophecies in my life, that I am leery of anyone who deigns to tell me what the future holds!  Unless someone comes to us in a spirit of meekness and discreetly confirms what Holy Spirit has already revealed in our heart and mind, we must give them no heed.  Do not be afraid of what they say nor put false hope in their promises. I have learned that people who promote themselves as prophet (or the equally silly – prophetess) are misled by the ego and therefore greatly limit their true, God-given ability to see much of anything outside the narrow range of human whims, wishes, and wiles.   

As we answer the call of God upon our lives, let us come in the spirit of meekness and seek no glory for our human form or identity. As much as people may yearn to hear how rich they are going to become, how their loved ones will miraculously recover from cancer, how God will use them, personally, to build a church, hospital, university, or any other worldly institution that will glorify their name – let us remember that this world is not our reality, and this is not our Kingdom.  When we draw close to the Spirit we will see many things that were there all along – and it will astonish us when others intentionally close down their communication out of fearful, timid, slavish adherence to tradition.  Remember, it is not our function as teacher of God to prove anything to anyone.  It is not our function as teacher of God to wow others with miracle working power, psychic abilities, or deep spiritual insights. We are not here to gain a following, to build another temple, to start a new religion – if any of that worked, we would not be divided and separate, we would not be screaming at one another or going to war, all of this would be over, and we would be safely at home in God!

God’s Kingdom come, God’s Will be done is the natural outcome of our devotion and love for God.  Nothing is withheld from us in His Kingdom for in Spirit we are one and undivided. We know all things and all things are brought to our remembrance.  There is nothing spooky or special about it!

Today in your personal devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind regarding this passage. If you have engaged in promoting yourself as a prophet or have mistakenly used any of your beautiful spiritual gifts as a way to promote yourself and feel special in the eyes of God, humble your ego and ask Holy Spirit to correct and heal you so that the call of God upon your life is not used for deception and self-glory.  Ask Holy Spirit to correct your false prophecies and unworthy witness. Accept His forgiveness because His only aim is for us to recognize our mistakes and let Him correct our wrongdoing, thus preparing us for the Kingdom where your worth and my worth are one in Sonship; one with Christ, one with God forever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 25. Are “psychic” powers desirable? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 24.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHER 24

24. Is Reincarnation So?

1. In the ultimate sense, reincarnation is impossible. There is no past or future, and the idea of birth into a body has no meaning either once or many times. Reincarnation cannot, then, be true in any real sense. Our only question should be, “Is the concept helpful?” and that depends, of course, on what it is used for. If it is used to strengthen the recognition of the eternal nature of life, it is helpful indeed. Is any other question about it really useful in lighting up the way? Like many other beliefs, it can be bitterly misused. At least, such misuse offers preoccupation and perhaps pride in the past. At worst, it induces inertia in the present. In between, many kinds of folly are possible.

2. Reincarnation would not, under any circumstances, be the problem to be dealt with now. If it were responsible for some of the difficulties the individual faces now, his task would still be only to escape from them now. If he is laying the groundwork for a future life, he can still work out his salvation only now. To some, there may be comfort in the concept, and if it heartens them its value is self-evident. It is certain, however, that the way to salvation can be found by those who believe in reincarnation and by those who do not. The idea cannot, therefore, be regarded as essential to the curriculum. There is always some risk in seeing the present in terms of the past. There is always some good in any thought which strengthens the idea that life and the body are not the same.

3. For our purposes it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on reincarnation. A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. If a definite stand were required of him, it would merely limit his usefulness, as well as his own decision making. Our course is not concerned with any concept that is not acceptable to anyone, regardless of his formal beliefs. His ego will be enough for him to cope with, and it is not the part of wisdom to add sectarian controversies to his burdens. Nor would there be an advantage in his premature acceptance of the course merely because it advocates a long- held belief of his own.

4. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of reincarnation become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. The teacher of God is, therefore, wise to step away from all such questions, for he has much to teach and learn apart from them. He should both learn and teach that theoretical issues but waste time, draining it away from its appointed purpose. If there are aspects to any concept or belief that will be helpful, he will be told about it. He will also be told how to use it. What more need he know?

5. Does this mean that the teacher of God should not believe in reincarnation himself, or discuss it with others who do? The answer is, certainly not! If he does believe in reincarnation, it would be a mistake for him to renounce the belief unless his internal teacher so advised. And this is most unlikely. He might be advised that he is misusing the belief in some way that is detrimental to his pupils’ advance or his own. Reinterpretation would then be recommended because it is necessary. All that must be recognized, however, is that birth was not the beginning, and death is not the end. Yet even this much is not required of the beginner. He need merely accept the idea that what he knows is not necessarily all there is to learn. His journey has begun.

6. The emphasis of this course always remains the same;- it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it. This is still your one responsibility. Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future. Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time. No teaching that does not lead to this is of concern to God’s teachers. All beliefs will point to this if properly interpreted. In this sense, it can be said that their truth lies in their usefulness. All beliefs that lead to progress should be honored. This is the sole criterion this course requires. No more than this is necessary.[1]

As teachers of God, we respect and embrace all beliefs that teach that the time of salvation is now – that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us; that Christ becomes us as we become Christ and remember our true identity in Him.  If you have experienced memories of past lives or have encountered dead loved ones in new carnations, use these encounters only to strengthen your belief in the undying Self that is one with God in spirit and in truth. Do not use the concept of reincarnation as an excuse to put off the call of God in your life, for now is the time of salvation and to prolong time is to prolong suffering. If the idea of reincarnation seems wrong to you and does not fit in with your theology, at the very least maintain an open, tolerant mind remembering always that what you think you know is not all there is to know and that all of us have a lot to learn and teach one another. 

Jesus tells us that all teaching points to Heaven when properly interpreted. Let this beautiful concept humble our egos and keep us from judgment and intolerance toward others who have a different approach to understanding the things of God than we do. Whether we have one shot at human life, or thousands of human carnations – we cannot take our flesh and bones to Heaven.  We choose time or we choose eternity; we choose the temporal world, or we choose the everlasting one; we choose a realm of opposition and opposites, or we choose the Kingdom of love, and joy, and peace.  We choose Heaven now and we teach choosing Heaven now. In this way the concept of reincarnation gives no rise to controversy to the teacher of God.  


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 24. Is reincarnation so? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 23.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 23

23. Does Jesus Have a Special Place in Healing?

1. God’s gifts can rarely be received directly. Even the most advanced of God’s teachers will give way to temptation in this world. Would it be fair if their pupils were denied healing because of this? The Bible says, “Ask in the name of Jesus Christ.” Is this merely an appeal to magic? A name does not heal, nor does an invocation call forth any special power. What does it mean to call on Jesus Christ? What does calling on his name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing?

2. We have repeatedly said that one who has perfectly accepted the Atonement for himself can heal the world. Indeed, he has already done so. Temptation may recur to others, but never to this One. He has become the risen Son of God. He has overcome death because he has accepted life. He has recognized himself as God created him, and in so doing he has recognized all living things as part of him. There is now no limit on his power because it is the power of God. So has his name become the Name of God, for he no longer sees himself as separate from Him.

3. What does this mean for you? It means that in remembering Jesus you are remembering God. The whole relationship of the Son to the Father lies in him. His part in the Sonship is also yours, and his completed learning guarantees your own success. Is he still available for help? What did he say about this? Remember his promises and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. Can God fail His Son? And can one who is one with God be unlike him? Who transcends the body has transcended limitation. Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him?

4. The name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. But it stands for love that is not of this world. It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray. It becomes the shining symbol for the Word of God, so close to what it stands for that the little space between the two is lost, the moment that the name is called to mind. Remembering the name of Jesus Christ is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which he is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. God enters easily, for these are the true conditions for your homecoming.

5. Jesus has led the way. Why would you not be grateful to him? He has asked for love, but only that he might give it to you. You do not love yourself. But in his eyes your loveliness is so complete and flawless that he sees in it an image of his Father. You become the symbol of his Father here on earth. To you he looks for hope, because in you he sees no limit and no stain to mar your beautiful perfection. In his eyes Christ’s vision shines in perfect constancy. He has remained with you. Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his learning? Why would you choose to start again when he has made the journey for you?

6. No one on earth can grasp what heaven is, or what its one Creator really means. Yet we have witnesses. It is to them that wisdom should appeal. There have been those whose learning far exceeds what we can learn. Nor would we teach the limitations we have laid on us. No one who has become a true and dedicated teacher of God forgets his brothers. Yet what he can offer them is limited by what he learns himself. Then turn to one who laid all limits by and went beyond the farthest reaches of learning. He will take you with him, for he did not go alone. And you were with him then, as you are now.

7. This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. Are other teachers possible, to lead the way to those who speak in different tongues and appeal to different symbols? Certainly there are. Would God leave anyone without a very present help in time of trouble, a savior who can symbolize Himself? Yet do we need a many-faceted curriculum, not because of content differences, but because symbols must shift and change to suit the need. Jesus has come to answer yours. In him you find God’s answer. Do you, then, teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here.[1]

When we are called to study A Course in Miracles, Jesus Christ becomes real to us. He reaches out to us and speaks to us in words and tone and description that we can understand. We, who cannot love gods we fear, who threaten us, who enslave us, who throw temper tantrums, and pronounce war upon creation are given a Savior who symbolizes the love and grace of God Himself.  For the first time in our lives we come to Jesus, not in fear of what we must sacrifice to Him, not in shame for what humans, like us, have done to Him on the cross, not in false worship and flattery in hopes of becoming one of the elect who gets to go up in the Rapture while others are left behind to suffer and scream in agony.  We come to Jesus because like Him, we seek not salvation for ourselves alone. Like the One Who came and went past the farthest reaches of human learning and understanding, like Christ, we reach for the God Who Loves all of us – Who would never turn His back upon a single one of us, Who would never hold our desire for independence and our choice to be human against us. We turn to Christ because to turn to Christ is to become Christ, the Son of God.  It is Christ Who would change our minds about who and what we are and who and what we will to be.   

This is the season in which Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Christ.  He came to us, born in a stable with animals. He came to us by the same means that we all show up here – through the pain, humiliation, and bloodshed of childbirth. He bore it all. We may be tempted to make an idol of the crucifixion, to call upon Jesus’ blood, to call forth his naked mortification on the cross, however, let us remember that throughout the whole story of Christ’s time on earth, he forewent the loveliness, the bountifulness, the fun and true fellowship of Heaven to teach us that we sacrifice nothing by giving up the flesh, by giving up the temporal gifts of the world, by giving up the ego alternate to Creation, and accepting the truth about ourselves and God. 

Do not be afraid to stand for Christ, to accept the Sonship of God, to will with God, because to will with God is to will for what all of us really want.  We want to be saved from this – we are through with the fiction, the unhappiness, the disease, the death, the sorrow. Do your best this holiday season to see past the idols of the world – do not let Santa Claus be your reason for the season! Go to the stable of humanity and with courage, name it for what it really is – do not sacrifice Heaven for the sad story of flesh and blood, of nature that preys upon itself, the history of conflict, bloodshed and spoil we find behind the games, the glitz, and glitter that would stand in place of the Kingdom from Which we came and where we truly belong. 

Today in your personal devotion, recognize the part that Jesus plays in our healing and salvation. Bring your cold heart to His warmth and goodness. Forgive those who in His name would offend your sensibilities. None of us are perfect and all of us are trying our best to find our way in a maze that is designed for us to seek but never find! All of us say and do things that others find offensive; no matter how strong the Spirit within, the flesh is weak. We are not here to judge and condemn others, to harden our hearts toward each other, but to practice the forgiveness and mercy, the grace and beauty of spirit that will restore us to the constant Love that comes only from God. This Love calls to us, awakens us, and restores our consciousness to the Kingdom within us. 

To sacrifice the Love of God, the Brotherhood of Christ, for the dim-witted, ill-mannered, disrespectful death sentence of the world is insanity. To see this is to have hope; to have hope is to give hope; to give hope is to stand with Christ and teach in His Name. This is my calling, and it is your calling for Christ calls to all. Today commit to the practice of letting your lack of understanding, your earthly sorrows and disappointments, your mistakes and misgivings, your spiritual highs and your spiritual lows teach you to reach for the High Mind of Christ for He is always with you and will never forsake you.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 23. Does Jesus have a special place in healing? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 22.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 22

22. How Are Healing and Atonement Related?

1. Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. It is the one complete concept possible in this world, because it is the source of a wholly unified perception. Partial Atonement is a meaningless idea, just as special areas of hell in Heaven are inconceivable. Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. To forgive is to heal. The teacher of God has taken accepting the Atonement for himself as his only function. What is there, then, he cannot heal? What miracle can be withheld from him?

2. The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations, but this is comparatively rare. The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest?

3. That forgiveness is healing needs to be understood if the teacher of God is to make progress. The idea that a body can be sick is a central concept in the ego thought system. This thought gives the body autonomy, separates it from the mind, and keeps the idea of attack inviolate. If the body could be sick Atonement would be impossible. A body that can order a mind to do as it sees fit could merely take the place of God and prove salvation is impossible. What, then, is left to heal? The body has become lord of the mind. How could the mind be returned to the Holy Spirit unless the body is killed? And who would want salvation at such a price?

4. Certainly sickness does not appear to be a decision. Nor would anyone actually believe he wants to be sick. Perhaps he can accept the idea in theory, but it is rarely if ever consistently applied to all specific forms of sickness, both in the individual’s perception of himself and of all others as well. Nor is it at this level that the teacher of God calls forth the miracle of healing. He overlooks the mind and body, seeing only the face of Christ shining in front of him, correcting all mistakes and healing all perception. Healing is the result of the recognition, by God’s teacher, of who it is that is in need of healing. His recognition has no special reference. It is true of all things that God created. In it are all illusions healed.

5. When a teacher of God fails to heal, it is because he has forgotten who he is. Another’s sickness thus becomes his own. In allowing this to happen, he has identified with another’s ego, and has thus confused him with the body. In so doing, he has refused to accept the Atonement for himself, and can hardly offer it to his brother in Christ’s name. He will, in fact, be unable to recognize his brother at all, for his Father did not create bodies, and so he is seeing in his brother only the unreal. Mistakes do not correct mistakes, and distorted perception does not heal. Step back now, teacher of God. You have been wrong. Lead not the way, for you have lost it. Turn quickly to your Teacher and let yourself be healed.

6. The offer of Atonement is universal. It is equally applicable to all individuals in all circumstances. And in it is the power to heal all individuals of all forms of sickness. Not to believe this is to be unfair to God, and thus unfaithful to Him. A sick person perceives himself as separate from God. Would you see him as separate from you? It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick. It is your function to recognize for him that what he believes about himself is not the truth. It is your forgiveness that must show him this. Healing is very simple. Atonement is received and offered. Having been received, it must be accepted. It is in the receiving, then, the healing lies. All else must follow from the single purpose.

7. Who can limit the power of God himself? Who, then, can say that one can be healed of what, and what must remain beyond God’s power to forgive? This is insanity indeed. It is not up to God’s teachers to set limits upon Him, because it is not up to them to judge His Son. And to judge His Son is to limit his Father. Both are equally meaningless. Yet this will not be understood until God’s teacher recognizes that they are the same mistake. Herein does he receive Atonement, for he withdraws his judgment from the Son of God, accepting him as God created him. No longer does he stand apart from God, determining where healing should be given and where it should be withheld. Now can he say with God, “This is my beloved Son, created perfect and forever so.”[1]

We accept Atonement when we no longer see ourselves as separate from God. This is our healing, for there can be no sickness in God. God takes no glory in suffering, pain, or sorrow of any kind. God is not the author of the idea of punishment or vengeance or spite.  To believe that our bodies are a whipping post for God’s vengeance; that He desires our blood, and our mortification are the very ideas that promote the idea of separation and sickness in the first place.  Let us come to the Father and give up all that would offend His eternal love and undying devotion to us, His Son. 

Today ask Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind to the message of this passage.  Healing and Atonement are identical.  We offer healing and Atonement to others every time we see others as part of the Sonship; every time we refrain from judging others by their humanity rather than their divinity; every time we stand for God’s Love, His Mercy and Grace.  If we fail to see others as we see Christ, we are unfaithful to God because we are choosing to see through the carnal eyes of judgment rather than the Vision of Christ which saves and heals all. 

When we commit our lives to God, we are no longer ashamed to share what is written upon our hearts and minds because what is written upon my heart and mind is written upon yours as well.  We no longer sit in judgment and condemnation of others because we know that the things that transpire in the world do not tell the real story. The deluded dream of the denuded son of man has been forgiven – already.  It is a thing of the past – history. To join with others in a sense of alarm, worldly concern, or castigating and throwing darts at this poor “boy” is not worthy of a teacher of God.  To try to “help” this symbol of separation in worldly measures only maintains cycles of ignorance and pain.  We are called to accept Atonement for ourselves. When we accept Atonement for ourselves, we accept forgiveness and healing for everyone, for we are one. 

Ours are the eyes through which Christ’s vision sees a world redeemed from every thought of sin. Ours are the ears that hear the Voice of God proclaim the world as sinless. Ours the minds which join together as we bless the world. And from the oneness that we have attained, we call to all our brothers, asking them to share our peace and consummate our joy.[2]


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 22. How are healing and atonement related? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

[2] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Part II 14 What am I? 4. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 21.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 21

21. What Is The Role Of Words In Healing?

1. Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing. The motivating factor is prayer, or asking. What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying. Sometimes the words and the prayer are contradictory; sometimes they agree. It does not matter. God does not understand words, for they were made by separated minds to keep them in the illusion of separation. Words can be helpful, particularly for the beginner, in helping concentration and facilitating the exclusion, or at least the control, of extraneous thoughts. Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality.

2. As symbols, words have quite specific references. Even when they seem most abstract, the picture that comes to mind is apt to be very concrete. Unless a specific referent does occur to the mind in conjunction with the word, the word has little or no practical meaning, and thus cannot help the healing process. The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience in the opinion of the asker. The words, then, are symbols for the things asked for, but the things themselves but stand for the experiences that are hoped for.

3. The prayer for things of this world will bring experiences of this world. If the prayer of the heart asks for this, this will be given because this will be received. It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks. If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own. The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests. Herein lie hell and Heaven. The sleeping Son of God has but this power left to him. It is enough. His words do not matter. Only the Word of God has any meaning because it symbolizes that which has no human symbols at all. The Holy Spirit alone understands what this Word stands for. And this, too, is enough.

4. Is the teacher of God, then, to avoid the use of words in his teaching? No, indeed! There are many who must be reached through words, being as yet unable to hear in silence. The teacher of God must, however, learn to use words in a new way. Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, “I will step back and let Him lead the way.” The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks.  

5. A major hindrance in the aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby, self-perception which he would leave behind. Judge not the words that come to you but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself.[1]

Words are symbols. The word “apple,” is not an apple. I cannot eat the word “apple,” nor touch or smell it; I cannot ask my husband to make me his delicious apple custard pie with the mere word “apple.”  Today Jesus brings this concern home to us in our devotional text. When we come to our practice, we do not concern ourselves so much with words for we come in Spirit, and we come in truth. When we come to God for our healing, there is no magic way in which we are to pray; there is no certain order of words that pleases God more than another.  Please do not get caught up in the poor practice of teaching a certain formula for the words of prayer, which applies to healing and otherwise. While it is wonderful to fall back on, for instance, the Lord’s Prayer when we feel empty and unable to pray with our own words, let the Spirit of the Lord’s Prayer be our guide rather than saying the words by rote.  Rote prayers are disrespectful and meaningless unless we are using them to direct our minds to the practice to Christ – when our minds are attuned to Christ, we can put aside the memorized prayers and speak to God from the here and now.  This is the way to bring healing to every relationship and situation in which we find ourselves.

So let us not ask for illusions in our hearts.  There are times we may ask for proof that the things we are learning are true; that we can depend upon our teaching; that we actually do have the freedom and liberty of Spirit even while we are in the flesh.  When we ask for illusions, we will receive illusions and we will believe that the illusions are from God.  Herein lie hell and Heaven.  Both in my personal life and in the lives of others, I have witnessed how the requests of our heart are answered – we get what we ask for in our hearts. “She got what she deserved,” is usually, but not always, an expression used negatively in terms of judgment of others.  But what we are mostly consciously unaware of is that this realm is set up to give us what we ask for – it ignores our words and gives us exactly what we need to learn in our need of return to God. 

Only the Word of God has any meaning because it is a symbol which no human symbol, perception, or image can touch. We must not mistake any “holy” text for the Word of God. We must not mistake A Course in Miracles for the Word of God. There are no words written in any language or spoken by any tongue that know the Word of God. Only Holy Spirit understands and knows what the Word of God is and what it stands for.  The closer we become to the Holy Spirit within, the more reverent and respectful we become to the thoughts of God. 

It is imperative as a teacher of God that we refrain from using our own words which always reflect our own judgments when we try to help or heal in any particular situation or circumstance. It is far better to be quiet and go within than to be the one that always jumps in and has the answer!  We must learn to listen, hear, and then speak – this means that we are thoughtful, reflective, and quiet in our responses to others.  This engenders far more respect for the Sonship  than when we promote our own opinions, observations, and judgments upon others, let their distracting, destructive behavior, questions, or intrusions incite our tempers, or otherwise trigger an ego-based response.  When Holy Spirit speaks through the words we say, we may share how it is done to encourage confidence and trust in others, but only in rare instances when prompted by Holy Spirit.  However, in most cases, the work of the Spirit is quiet and will become such a natural state for us that it will no longer be remarkable. This comes, of course, only after our egos are put in their proper place, which is no place in our mind, thoughts, or deeds! 

Be assured, we can trust in the Voice for God within. As we practice learning to know this Voice, Holy Spirit becomes our constant Guide. It is a loving Voice. There are no accusations in it. There is no spite or meanness.  There is only helpfulness and healing.  As we put all our trust in the Voice for God, we recognize our own holy Self through Holy Spirit and in the holy Spirit of Christ within.  The Voice for God is God’s gift to all of us. We do not have to beg for Holy Spirit, we must simply accept that God is not the Abandoner, there is His Spirit within each one of us, for God would never leave us comfortless or alone.  When we get past our fear of God and accept His Presence in our lives, the shabby perception we have of ourselves that comes with our flesh and blood experience is left behind. It falls away! When we reach for the High Mind of Christ within, we can offer others the quiet words that come to us through the all-knowing Holy Spirit in confidence and in trust.

Do not mistake the showy, loud, and clamorous for Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is not a show-off nor does Holy Spirit ever seek attention, need flattery, or praise.  We will know we are walking in Spirit by our desire for no earthly glory, no fleshly recognition, no desire for recompense, or compliments of any kind.  When we get past our human need for notice, for self-promotion, for getting credit – we experience Sonship. In Sonship all glory and praise, all gratitude and appreciation, all love and devotion are given and received in the oneness and unity we have with God.  This is the Call of Heaven, and this is what we reach for as those who live for God and have answered His call to teach and to heal. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 21. What is the role of words in healing? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 20.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 20.

20. What is the Peace of God?

1. It has been said that there is a kind of peace that is not of this world. How is it recognized? How is it found? And being found, how can it be retained? Let us consider each of these questions separately, for each reflects a different step along the way.

2. First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. It brings with it no past associations. It is a new thing entirely. There is a contrast, yes, between this thing and all the past. But strangely, it is not a contrast of true differences. The past just slips away and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything.

3. How is the quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless and must believe that it cannot exist. In this condition, peace cannot be found. Therefore, forgiveness is the necessary condition for finding the peace of God. More than this, given forgiveness there must be peace. For what except attack will lead to war? And what but peace is opposite to war? Here the initial contrast stands out clear and apparent. Yet when peace is found, the war is meaningless. And it is conflict now that is perceived as nonexistent and unreal.

4. How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. Now must you once again lay down your sword, although you do not recognize that you have picked it up again. But you will learn, as you remember even faintly now what happiness was yours without it, that you must have taken it again as your defense. Stop for a moment now and think of this: Is conflict what you want, or is God’s peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die?

5. Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see; that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape because it is not life in which the problem lies. Life has no opposite, for it is God. Life and death seem to be opposites because you have decided death ends life. Forgive the world and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is.

6. What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict, for His Will is yours. Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? The Will of God is one, and all there is. This is your heritage. The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belong to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him.[1]

In today’s devotional reading, we are reminded that God’s peace is the only peace there is. Just as the world does not know what justice is, so the world does not know what peace is. God’s peace is the condition of His Will, and His Will is my will and your will. Created in peace; we were not created to be angry, to do cruel things to each other, to make weapons to terrorize, maim, and destroy.  Created in peace, we were not made to be stressed, to have worries and cares, to labor and sacrifice, to go without while others glut themselves on what we do not have. This is not the nature of our Creator nor is it the nature of our true, eternal Selves as His Son.

When we come to the end of our tiny frail imaginations that devise all manner of opposition to God and to His Peace, when we put down our weapons, when we stop chasing after things that ruin our health and weaken our well-being, when we stop using our gifts against others and begin to share our gifts with others, we discover the quiet peaceful Self that is the Will of God. This is the Self that is Christ in us. We say Christ for Christ is the symbol of Sonship. No longer identifying with the fleshy self, the greedy self, the ego self, we go beyond its petty peeves and grievances, its longstanding grudges and resentments, its calls to chase after worldly wealth and status, its perpetual need for specialness, attention, and flattery.  For in Christ we recognize our oneness and in oneness we find no desire to be above others, to be angry when others do not give us our due.  In oneness we make no demands from anyone or anything, for we have everything we want and need in Christ.   

We come to God in Spirit and in Truth. God is a God of wholeness and there is no wholeness in factious factions, in meanspirited comparisons and competitions, in brother against brother. We come to God when we put down our enmity, overcome our differences, overlook our mistakes. We come to God arm in arm and heart to heart. We come to God holding no condemnation toward others, toward ourselves, toward the world, for we know that what God creates cannot be divided, cannot be derisive, cannot decay, become diseased, or die. We come to God in Christ for only in the peace of Sonship can we remember Him and know God as our Father, unfailing in His Love.

Spend time today meditating upon the peace of God. God’s Will and our will are one – for there is only one true Will that we share with God.  This is God’s gift to us. All the other things we think we want, our vain fantasies, our separate ambitions, our chasing after this and yearning after that – distract us from the one condition that awakens our consciousness to the memory of God.  Practice peace by reaching for peace. Pray for peace and agree with peace by bringing all your vain desires to the inner altar and laying them down before Holy Spirit. Will with God by recognizing the world cannot give you what you really want and need.  Attain God’s peace and accept your heritage in Him. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 20. What is the peace of God? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 18.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 18

18. How is Correction Made?

1. Correction of a lasting nature,—and only this is true correction,—cannot be made until the teacher of God has ceased to confuse interpretation with fact, or illusion with truth. If he argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has “proved,” both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. And this can only be impossible. Reality is changeless. Magic thoughts are but illusions. Otherwise salvation would be only the same age-old impossible dream in but another form. Yet the dream of salvation has new content. It is not the form alone in which the difference lies.

2. God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. Through them, the Holy Spirit can now speak of the reality of the Son of God. Now He can remind the world of sinlessness, the one unchanged, unchangeable condition of all that God created. Now He can speak the Word of God to listening ears and bring Christ’s vision to eyes that see. Now is He free to teach all minds the truth of what they are, so they will gladly be returned to Him. And now is guilt forgiven, overlooked completely in His sight and in God’s Word.

3. Anger but screeches, “Guilt is real!” Reality is blocked out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word. The body’s eyes now “see;” its ears alone can “hear.” Its little space and tiny breath become the measure of reality. And truth becomes diminutive and meaningless. Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:

You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.

4. In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his Eternal Guide and let Him judge what the response should be. So is he healed and in his healing is his pupil healed with him. The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction or the undoing of errors. When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to hear?[1]

When we allow all our mistakes to be corrected, it means that we do not hold some back because we are afraid of looking at our past, because we are afraid of how we may have hurt someone or caused them to hate us. The world has nothing on us. We have accepted Atonement for ourselves.

No matter what we bring up about each other – it cannot hurt us or change who we are. It has no effect upon our eternal place in God’s heart as His Son.  Whether in your estimation I am worthy to live for God and be called to teach God, because I have accepted the identity offered to me through Christ, I am worthy – and your opinion about the matter has no influence over me.  No matter what you bring up about my past, my present, or the future, because I have accepted Atonement for myself, none of it matters. It is a flesh story, and that story will die because it never really lived. It means nothing because the whole thing was made up by our perceptions of something we could not begin to understand without the All-seeing, All-knowing Love of God.

While the Voice for God will always speak for God’s love, grace and mercy; the clamor of ego screeches angrily, clamoring for guilt, for shame, for punishment. This is the chant of the world; its aim in direct opposition to the goal of God. God lovingly awaits our  return to Him in Spirit and in truth; while the world would keep us trapped in the flesh, in ongoing cycles of karmic retribution, pain, suffering, drama, and trauma.  Giving up the drama and trauma of the world is to regain the knowledge of God. 

Correction is made in our minds and hearts as we learn by contrast the result of the responses we make to the world. When we respond in Spirit we will receive an increase of love, joy, and peace because we gave an increase of love, joy, and peace. When we respond in the flesh we do not increase love, joy and peace. Instead we will deplete others and thus deplete ourselves. Perhaps we thought that bringing others low would lift us up, but when we practice this, we find that it does not work that way.

These are lessons that everyone will learn in their own good time. We can only teach by living this ourselves. We learn by our mistakes when we let them be corrected; not by a matter of willing ourselves to be “good,” for a good human and a bad human are the same thing – human. As teachers of God, we go beyond humanity. In Spirit our goodness is not attributed to humanity, because we know the only goodness is God’s goodness.  The goodness of God does not turn to dust; it does not change its mind; it does not come with strings attached. The goodness of God is extended to all, not accorded by the ego’s petty judgments and preferences.  . When we reach for the High Mind of Christ, we learn that the random, chaotic perceptions of flesh are not real. As we devote ourselves to the practice of God, the perceptions of flesh can no longer distract or dismay us as they did before. We learn to no longer rely on our interpretation of others, events, and situations.  We realize that our interpretations are not the truth of the matter. We know that God reigns in all ways and forever. His Love remains the only thing there is, and we are like Him.  When we have fully accepted this, Atonement is complete in our lives. Because we can no longer condemn ourselves, we cannot condemn others, and when we stop condemning each other, we are healed. 

This is our correction. This is the miracle. This is how correction is made. It is a matter of changing one’s mind about Who and What is in charge of it, and Who and What we really are. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 18. How is correction made? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHER 19.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 19.

19. What is Justice?

1. Justice is the divine correction for injustice. Injustice is the basis for all judgments of the world. Justice corrects the interpretations to which injustice gives rise and cancels them out. Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit’s verdict upon the world. Except in His judgment justice is impossible, for no one in the world is capable of making only just interpretations and laying all injustices aside. If God’s Son were fairly judged, there would be no need for salvation. The thought of separation would have been forever inconceivable.

2. Justice, like its opposite, is an interpretation. It is, however, the one interpretation that leads to truth. This becomes possible because, while it is not true in itself, justice includes nothing that opposes truth. There is no inherent conflict between justice and truth; one is but the first small step in the direction of the other. The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases, and time ends with it. But somewhere one must start. Justice is the beginning.

3. All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body’s eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. Selectively and arbitrarily is every concept of the world built up in just this way. “Sins” are perceived and justified by careful selectivity in which all thought of wholeness must be lost. Forgiveness has no place in such a scheme, for not one “sin” but seems forever true.

4. Salvation is God’s justice. It restores to your awareness the wholeness of the fragments you perceive as broken off and separate. And it is this that overcomes the fear of death. For separate fragments must decay and die, but wholeness is immortal. It remains forever and forever like its Creator, being one with Him. God’s Judgment is His justice. Onto this,—a Judgment wholly lacking in condemnation; an evaluation based entirely on love, —you have projected your injustice, giving God the lens of warped perception through which you look. Now it belongs to Him and not to you. You are afraid of Him, and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.

5. Pray for God’s justice and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. God’s justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. It accepts all evidence that is brought before it, omitting nothing and assessing nothing as separate and apart from all the rest. From this one standpoint does it judge, and this alone. Here all attack and condemnation become meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see![1]

In today’s devotional text, Jesus tells us that the world does not know what justice is – for there can be no justice in a world of brokenness, in a world of the haves and the have nots, in a world where a sense of the wholeness and holiness of God is missing. We pray then for the justice of God for God’s justice is the only justice there is – it is a justice based upon forgiveness and mercy and grace for this is the only salvation for an impossible world.

In an impossible, implausible world where brokenness and division are about as good as it gets, where separate fragments of the whole must decay and die, where immortality and wholeness seem a piper’s dream – mistakes are seen as sin and held as forever true. What you do in one moment can define you for the rest of your life, you will be held accountable for a decision, a weakness, a poor choice for the remainder of your days. And death will not be the end of the story for the world will devise a hellish place for you to continue to suffer after your fleshly demise. 

We are to pray for God’s justice and not to confuse what we think of as mercy with the real mercy of God. For our justice and mercy comes with a sense of punishment and shame, guilt and condemnation; while God’s justice points only to our return to Him. God’s mercy is the healing of all perception, the correction of every mistake, the undoing of every dark thought and dark deed.  What had been lost is now found in God’s justice because God’s justice brings peace, and our salvation is in the light of His Love. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 19. What is justice? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 17.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 17.

17. How Do God’s Teachers Deal With Magic Thoughts?

1. This is a crucial question both for teacher and pupil. If this issue is mishandled, the teacher of God has hurt himself and has also attacked his pupil. This strengthens fear, and makes the magic seem quite real to both of them. How to deal with magic thus becomes a major lesson for the teacher of God to master. His first responsibility in this is not to attack it. If a magic thought arouses anger in any form, God’s teacher can be sure that he is strengthening his own belief in sin and has condemned himself. He can be sure as well that he has asked for depression, pain, fear, and disaster to come to him. Let him remember, then, it is not this that he would teach, because it is not this that he would learn.

2. There is, however, a temptation to respond to magic in a way that reinforces it. Nor is this always obvious. It can, in fact, be easily concealed beneath a wish to help. It is this double wish that makes the help of little value and must lead to undesired outcomes. Nor should it be forgotten that the outcome that results will always come to teacher and to pupil alike. How many times has it been emphasized that you give but to yourself? And where could this be better shown than in the kinds of help the teacher of God gives to those who need his aid? Here is his gift most clearly given him. For he will give only what he has chosen for himself. And in this gift is his judgment upon the holy Son of God.

3. It is easiest to let error be corrected where it is most apparent, and errors can be recognized by their result. A lesson truly taught can lead to nothing but release for teacher and pupil, you have shared in one intent. Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered. And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy. The single aim of the teacher turns the divided goal of the pupil into one direction, with the call for help becoming his one appeal. This then is easily responded to with just one answer, and this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly. From there it shines into his pupil’s mind, making it one with his.

4. Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. Regardless, too, of the intensity of the anger that is aroused. It may be merely slight irritation, perhaps too mild to be even clearly recognized. Or it may also take a form of intense rage, accompanied by thoughts of violence, fantasized or apparently acted out. It does not matter. All of these reactions are the same. They obscure the truth, and this can never be a matter of degree. Either truth is apparent, or it is not. It cannot be partially recognized. Who is unaware of truth must look upon illusions.

5. Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. Consider what this reaction means, and its centrality in the world thought system becomes apparent. A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. It states, in the clearest form possible, that the mind which believes it has a separate will that can oppose the will of God, also believes it can succeed. That this can hardly be a fact is obvious. Yet that it can be believed as fact is equally obvious. And herein lies the birthplace of guilt. Who usurps the place of God and takes it for himself now has a deadly “enemy.” And he must stand alone in his protection and make himself a shield to keep him safe from fury that can never be abated, and vengeance that can never be satisfied.

6. How can this unfair battle be resolved? Its ending is inevitable, for its outcome must be death. How, then, can one believe in one’s defenses? Magic again must help. Forget the battle. Accept it as a fact, and then forget it. Do not remember the impossible odds against you. Do not remember the immensity of the “enemy,” and do not think about your frailty in comparison. Accept your separation, but do not remember how it came about. Believe that you have won it, but do not retain the slightest memory of who your great opponent really is. Projecting your “forgetting” unto Him, it seems to you He has forgotten, too.

7. But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but reawaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, “You have usurped the place of God. Think now He has forgotten.” Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. For in that thought has guilt already raised madness to the throne of God Himself. And now there is no hope. Except to kill. Here is salvation now. An angry father pursues his guilty son. Kill or be killed, for here alone is choice. Beyond this there is none, for what was done cannot be done without. The stain of blood can never be removed, and anyone who bears this stain on him must meet with death.

8. Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God himself. There is a way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. Given that, the lessons manifest simplicity stands out like an intense white light against a black horizon, for such it is. If anger comes with an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. Now it is possible to take the next step. The interpretation can be changed at last. Magic thoughts need not lead to condemnation, for they do not really have the power to give rise to guilt. And so they can be overlooked, and thus forgotten in the truest sense.

9. Madness but seems terrible. In truth it has no power to make anything. Like the magic which becomes its servant, it neither attacks nor protects. To see it and to recognize its thought systems is to look on nothing. Can nothing give rise to anger? Hardly so. Remember, then, teacher of God, that anger recognizes the reality that is not there; yet is the anger certain witness that you do believe in it as fact. Now is escape impossible, until you see you have responded to your own interpretation, which you have projected on an outside world. Let this grim sword be taken from you now. There is no death. This sword does not exist. The fear of God is causeless. But His love is cause of everything beyond all fear, and thus forever real and always true.[1]

Before we can deal with magic thoughts we must know what they are and be clear about distinguishing magic thoughts from the real thoughts of God.  Magic thoughts are beliefs in the illusion – they are based upon our limited, tiny, self-centered perspective on the encounters, relationships, events, and circumstances that seem to happen in the outer world.  Magic thoughts are the result of listening to the small-minded, dim-witted, stunted opinions of others instead of turning to the truth of God.  Magical thoughts will tell us not only what the problem is but the best way to fix it. We will often think we are helping others by pointing out their problems and telling them the best way in which they can lose weight, be more healthy, get closer to God, be more productive at work, have a more solid marriage, or raise healthy, well-adjusted kids.  This is magical thinking because it simply does not work.  When I try to fix your supposed problems, I am denying that your problem is only a problem when not seen in the light of God’s Love and Truth. 

When we teach the reality of God and His Truth, we can depend upon our “problems” turning into the blessed and perfect learning tools that further our growth, our understanding, and our return to God.  Seen through the lens of the world, our problems seem insurmountable, heartbreaking, and eternal.  However, when we ask Holy Spirit to give us the vision of Christ, the very people who cause us the most grief, the situations that challenge us the most, the mistakes that make us hang our head in shame and sorrow – are all transformed into cause for laughter and joy filling our heart with gratitude for our release from the dark illusion.

 As long as I see you as the one who hurt me, the one who mocked me, the one who stole my special place and tried to make it yours – I will be caught up in the magical thinking that maintains the karmic cycles of this world.  I will lay in bed at night reliving those angry words you yelled at me; I will get embarrassed all over again thinking of how you made fun of my accomplishments and got others to laugh with you over my failures; I will plot and scheme on what I can do to teach you a lesson, turn others against you, and tell everybody I can about your deceit, betrayal, and sins.  As long as I engage in this kind of magical thinking, I think that somehow by lowering myself into the illusion of separation and division, I will get you back for what you did to me.  Magical thinking assures me that seeing you suffer, seeing you lonely, seeing you stripped of all your friends and family and wealth and health – will make me happy, will make me special, will restore to me all that you took from me. 

This of course does not bring joy to anybody; it does not bring healing; it does not bring correction.  As teachers of God, this is not what we do nor what we teach. For magical thinking is always the result of an interpretation of others, of ourselves, of situations, and encounters that give rise to negativity and there is never any justification at all for negativity because negativity is part of the nothingness.  As a teacher of God whenever we encounter the slightest bit of negativity in our feelings toward anything or anybody – no matter the degree – we call upon Holy Spirit for the truth of the matter. Otherwise we will revert to magical thinking and believe that our anger, our sorrow, our grief, our annoyance is justified and the lessons we were to learn and teach from the encounter, the healing and correction that was to come from it – will be delayed.

When we mistakenly try to take the place of God in our lives, we lose our trust in Him. We say things like, “I have trusted in God long enough.  Now I have to take charge of this situation. Now I must figure out a way to protect myself.”  Instead of looking within and asking Holy Spirit for truth, we get caught up in the drama and trauma, we begin to believe that the world is real and that we have good reason to hate, to take up arms, to go to our own defense.  We find ourselves fighting battles, ruining our health, and losing our sense of well-being over things that amount to nothing.  Our reaction to all such magical thinking is to, with patience and abundant willingness, remind ourselves to overlook for as many times as we need to overlook –  the madness of the world. When we consciously choose to disengage from the mad sense that we are in charge, that others owe us an apology or a thank you or anything at all; the truth which lies beyond all human perception becomes apparent to us. The more we lift our minds to the High Mind of Christ, we learn that there is nothing about the world or anything in it  that gives rise to anger, sorrow, depression, or grief.  For we learn to tell the difference between reality and nothingness in order to teach it.  As we learn to let go of the magical thinking of the world, the fear we have of God is replaced by utmost love and deepest devotion for we recognize His Love is the Cause of everything beyond this world of fear and fiction.  His Love is the only reality.  and it is always true. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 17. How do God’s teachers deal with magic thoughts? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 16.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 16.

16. How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?

1. To the advanced teacher of God this question is meaningless. There is no program, for the lessons change each day. Yet the teacher of God is sure of but one thing; they do not change at random. Seeing this and understanding that it is true, he rests content. He will be told all that his role should be this day and every day. And those who share that role with him will find him, so they can learn the lessons for the day together. Not one is absent whom he needs; not one is sent without a learning goal already set, and one which can be learned that very day. For the advanced teacher of God, then, this question is superfluous. It has been asked and answered, and he keeps in constant contact with the Answer. He is set and sees the road on which he walks stretch surely and smoothly before him.

2. But what about those who have not reached his certainty? They are not yet ready for such lack of structuring on their own part. What must they do to learn to give the day to God? There are some general rules which do apply, although each one must use them as best he can in his own way. Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals through which they were set up. Broadly speaking, then, it can be said that it is well to start the day right. It is always possible to begin again, should the day begin with error. Yet there are obvious advantages in terms of saving time.

3. At the beginning, it is wise to think in terms of time. This is by no means the ultimate criterion, but at the outset it is probably the simplest to observe. The saving of time is an essential early emphasis which, although it remains important throughout the learning process, becomes less and less emphasized. At the outset, we can safely say that time devoted to starting the day right does indeed save time. How much time should be so spent? This must depend on the teacher of God himself. He cannot claim that title until he has gone through the workbook, since we are learning within the framework of our course. After completion of the more structured practice periods, which the workbook contains, individual need becomes the chief consideration.

4. This course is always practical. It may be that the teacher of God is not in a situation that fosters quiet thought as he awakes. If this is so, let him but remember that he chooses to spend time with God as soon as possible, and let him do so. Duration is not the major concern. One can easily sit still an hour with closed eyes and accomplish nothing. One can as easily give God only an instant, and in that instant join with Him completely. Perhaps the one generalization that can be made is this; as soon as possible after waking take your quiet time, continuing a minute or two after you begin to find it difficult. You may find that the difficulty will diminish and drop away. If not, that is the time to stop.

5. The same procedures should be followed at night. Perhaps your quiet time should be fairly early in the evening, if it is not feasible for you to take it just before going to sleep. It is not wise to lie down for it. It is better to sit up, in whatever position you prefer. Having gone through the workbook, you must have come to some conclusions in this respect. If possible, however, just before going to sleep is a desirable time to devote to God. It sets your mind into a pattern of rest and orients you away from fear. If it is expedient to spend this time earlier, at least be sure that you do not forget a brief period,- not more than a moment will do,- in which you close your eyes and think of God.

6. There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is the thought of pure joy; a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are free within it. You think you made a place of safety for yourself. You think you made a power that can save you from all the fearful things you see in dreams. It is not so. Your safety lies not there. What you give up is merely the illusion of protecting illusions. And it is this you fear, and only this. How foolish to be so afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection.

7. How simply and how easily does time slip by for the teacher of God who has accepted His protection! All that he did before in the name of safety no longer interests him. For he is safe and knows it to be so. He has a Guide who will not fail. He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives, for he to whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them. He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go. There is no difference in his state at different times or in different places because they are all one to God. This is his safety. And he has no need for more than this.

8. Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at anytime, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. There are times his certainty will waiver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. It is not good enough for God’s teacher, because it is not good enough for God’s Son.

9. The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. They can have no effects; neither good nor bad, neither rewarding nor demanding sacrifice, healing nor destructive, quieting nor fearful. When all magic is recognized as merely nothing, the teacher of God has reached the most advanced state. All intermediate lessons will but lead to this and bring this goal nearer to recognition. For magic of any kind, and all its forms, simply does nothing. Its powerlessness is the reason it can be so easily escaped. What has no effects can hardly terrify.

10. There is no substitute for the will of God. In simple statement, it is to this fact that the teacher of God devotes his day. Each substitute he may accept as real can but deceive him. But he is safe from all deception if he so decides. Perhaps he needs to remember, “God is with me. I cannot be deceived.” Perhaps he prefers other words, or only one, or none at all. Yet each temptation to accept magic as true must be abandoned through his recognition, not that it is fearful, not that it is simple, not that it is dangerous, but merely that it is meaningless. Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this “sacrifice” is Heaven restored to his awareness.

11. Is not this an exchange that you would want? The world would gladly make it if it knew it could be made. It is God’s teachers who must teach it that it can. And so it is their function to make sure that they have learned it. No risk is possible throughout the day except to put your trust in magic, for it is only this that leads to pain. “There is no will but God’s.” His teachers know that this is so and have learned that everything, but this is magic. All belief in magic is maintained by just one simple-minded illusion;-that it works. All through their training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness. Fear is withdrawn from them, and so they go. And thus the gate of Heaven is reopened, and its light can shine again on an untroubled mind.[1]

When we first answer the call of God upon our lives we often pray for God’s Will.  In today’s text Jesus reminds us that there is no will but God’s Will!  And so it is God’s Will that our minds turn to Him when we wake up and that our minds turn to Him as we go about our day, and that before we go to sleep at night, our minds turn to Him again. 

The Will of God is you and the Will of God is me for God’s Will created us and brought us into Being.  While it is impossible not to be in God’s Will, we do seem to exist in an impossible world where all that would oppose God continues to spin its web of deceit and delusion.  This is the magic that we must learn to recognize as having no meaning.  For to be caught up in the delusion is to forget that there is no will but God’s, and to forget that there is no will but God’s does not free us from time, but rather prolongs our time in a realm that has no truth.

This is the lesson that God’s teachers must learn and teach.  We exchange the world of opposites and opposition, of fear and sorrow, suffering and pain and all thoughts of sacrifice and separation for the Kingdom of God where there is love and joy and peace – forever.  Each day gives us hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities to gain experience of the unreality of this realm, the false promises of this realm, the sacrifices and unjust calls for life and limb. Upon close examination, we come to understand that the illusions of this world pose us no harm, no terror, no hardship because they simply are not real, they cannot stand before the Will of God.

We come to this understanding and acceptance upon our close study and practice of the Workbook. We do our exercises, we commit ourselves to the daily practice of hearing and answering the call of God in our lives in a practical, systematic manner. However, as we advance in our love for and devotion to God, Holy Spirit becomes our constant guide. Our spiritual practice becomes a natural, far less mechanical routine. We relax into it because we are certain that the illusions cannot hurt us; our seeming mistakes and seeming successes have no meaning except God’s meaning.

When we give the time we sacrifice to our magical devices – following our stocks, checking our weapons, securing our wealth and health and friends status – to God, our advances in God’s Kingdom become everyone’s advances.  God’s gifts are free and come with no cost, no sense of sacrifice, no threats nor terroristic maneuvers.  God’s gifts are abundant and without limit.  God’s gifts are given to be shared for they cannot be hoarded or withheld from anyone for any reason. 

Each day then becomes a day in which we learn and teach the meaningless of the world without fear, without doubt, and with courage and certainty.  To teach God’s Will is the only Will there is to be a true teacher of God and the more we teach this, the more we learn it and know it to be true. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 16. How should the teacher of God spend his day? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 15.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 15

15. Is Each One Judged in the End?

1. Indeed, yes! No one can escape God’s Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him. He will hear his sinlessness proclaimed around and around the world, setting it free as God’s Final Judgment on him is received. This is the Judgment in which salvation lies. This is the Judgment that will set him free. This is the Judgment in which all things are freed with him. Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:

Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God.

Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?

2. Is this your judgment on yourself, teacher of God? Do you believe that this is wholly true? No; not yet, not yet. But this is still your goal, why you are here. It is your function to prepare yourself to hear this Judgment and to recognize that it is true. One instant of complete belief in this, and you will go beyond belief to certainty. One instant out of time can bring time’s end. Judge not, for you but judge yourself, and thus delay this Final Judgment. What is your judgment of the world, teacher of God? Have you yet learned to stand aside and hear the Voice of Judgment in yourself? Or do you still attempt to take His role from Him? Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening and wait for Him.

3. You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry, who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. God’s Judgment waits for you to set you free. What can the world hold out to you, regardless of your judgments on its gifts, that you would rather have? You will be judged and judged in fairness and in honesty. There is no deceit in God. His promises are sure. Only remember that. His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it in your heart and offer it to all the world to keep it safe.[1]

God’s Final Judgment upon His Son is one of love and goodwill. We are as we are created and only God’s Judgment upon us sets us free from all opposition to what is true about us.  As teachers of God, we live and teach all that is good, that is peaceful, that is so full of God’s grace and mercy there is no room for judgment and condemnation. 

In your personal devotional practice today, meditate upon the Final Judgment.  Only when we learn of God and teach of God, can we accept God’s undying love for His Son.  This is God’s Final Judgment.  Do your best today to go beyond the fearful doctrines you may have been taught and come in quietness to the inner altar.  In quietness listen to the Voice for God within and accept His Final Judgment upon you!  Refuse to accept any shame, guilt, pain or sorrow that you may be holding against yourself.  Refuse to ruminate upon the lies people tell, the immoral things they do, the ways in which they neglect their children, or perhaps overprotect them.  Turn off the news – let the world be as it is without your opinions upon it, your judgments, your summations.  Ask Holy Spirit to put the judgment of God in your heart and mind – and welcome the sense of forgiveness, patience, and tolerance that begins to refresh your mind. 

When we let our ego judgments toward ourselves and others go, we welcome truth! When we bring  all our fleshly worries and concerns to Holy Spirit, we learn to trust in Spirit and not in flesh. Each time we rely on God’s Judgment rather than our own we come closer to knowing and accepting God’s Final Judgment upon us.  For as we turn to Him, we only find His Love for us; we find that God’s Judgment is for us and not against us.  To know God is to love God and in Love there is no fear. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 15. Is each one judged in the end? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 14.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 14.

14. How Will The World End?

1. Can what has no beginning really end? The world will end in an illusion, as it began. Yet will its ending be an illusion of mercy. The illusion of forgiveness, complete, excluding no one, limitless and gentleness, will cover it, hiding all evil, concealing all sin, and ending guilt forever. So ends the world that guilt had made, for now it has no purpose, and it is gone. The father of illusions is the belief that they have a purpose; that they serve a need or gratify a want. Perceived as purposeless, they are no longer seen. Their uselessness is recognized, and they are gone. How but in this way are all illusions ended? They have been brought to truth, and truth saw them not. It merely overlooked the meaningless.

2. Until forgiveness is complete, the world does have a purpose. It becomes the home in which forgiveness is born, and where it grows and becomes stronger and more all-embracing. Here is it nourished, for here it is needed. A gentle Savior, born where sin was made, and guilt seemed real. Here is His home, for here there is need of Him indeed. He brings the ending of the world with Him. It is His call God’s teachers answer, turning to Him in silence to receive His Word. The world will end when all things in it have been rightly judged by His judgment. The world will end with the benediction of holiness upon it. When not one thought of sin remains, the world is over. It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched. It will merely cease to seem to be.

3. Certainly this seems to be a long, long while away. “When not one thought of sin remains” appears to be a long-range goal indeed. But time stands still and waits on the goal of God’s teachers. Not one thought of sin will remain the instant any one of them accepts Atonement for himself. It is not easier to forgive one sin than to forgive all of them. The illusion of orders of difficulty is an obstacle the teacher of God must learn to pass by and leave behind. One sin perfectly forgiven by one teacher of God can make salvation complete. Can you understand this? No; it is meaningless to anyone here. Yet it is the final lesson in which unity is restored. It goes against all the thinking of the world, but so does Heaven.

4. The world will end when its thought system has been completely reversed. Until then, bits and pieces of its thinking will still seem sensible. The final lesson, which brings the ending of the world, cannot be grasped by those not yet prepared to leave the world and go beyond its tiny reach. What, then, is the function of the teacher of God in this concluding lesson? He need merely learn how to approach it; to be willing to go in its direction. He need merely trust that, if God’s Voice tells him it is a lesson he can learn, he can learn. He does not judge it either as hard or easy. His teacher points to it, and he trusts that He will show him how to learn it.

5. The world will end in joy, because it is a place of sorrow. When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone. The world will end in peace because it is a place of war. When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world? The world will end in laughter because it is a place of tears. Where there is laughter, who can longer weep? And only complete forgiveness brings all this to bless the world. In blessing it departs, for it will not end as it began. To turn hell into heaven is the function of God’s teachers, for what they teach are lessons in which Heaven is reflected. And now sit down in true humility and realize that all God would have you do you can do. Do not be arrogant and say you cannot learn His Own curriculum. His Word says otherwise. His Will be done. It cannot be otherwise. And be you thankful it is so.[1]

The world ends when we are through with it. When all its sorrows, losses, wars, and meanness no longer have any place in our inner Kingdom, the world ends for us. There is only gentleness and love, there is only goodwill and peace, there is only laughter and joy.  Today in your personal devotional practice, meditate upon all we have learned.  For what purpose do we study such a course as this? For what purpose do we come to our devotions every day and turn our minds and hearts toward God? For what purpose do we entertain such thoughts so alien to the world? 

Jesus tells us to put all arrogance aside and to be truly humble in the realization that God has called us to learn and to teach a gospel that puts an end to the opposites and opposition of the world.  God has called us to reflect Heaven in what we learn and teach. We are all too aware of how impossible this sounds. We are all too aware of our human deficiencies, our short tempers, our judgments and our summations, our flagging vitality, our ailing, aging bodies. We are all too aware of the closed minds and the attack/defense mechanisms that arouse anger and hostility toward those who learn and teach a gospel that seems so alien to the world no matter how true it rings in our minds and hearts. After we have spent our lives making a place in the world and letting it usurp our identity, after we have invested a personal fortune being educated by it, being weaponized by it, becoming accustomed to it – giving it up seems the sacrifice!  

No matter how much we believe in the call of the Spirit, that which is not perceived with the flesh perceptions is that which seems unreal. Our good news is perceived as unwelcome news to those attuned to the world.  And there is absolutely no condemnation for this. It is no more a sin to be taken in by the deception, as it is to become sickened and to die from it. 

When the prodigal son demanded his inheritance from his father and took off to his own way in the world, the father did not despise his son – He did not prepare a dungeon or a torture chamber or a penal system in which to make His Son pay for his waywardness upon his return. The Father did not array an army or hire a posse or gather weapons to make war on the world His Son chose apart from Him. All that was false, greedy, diseased, and meanspirited about the world instructed the son in all he needed to learn about leaving the place he belonged, trying to find his identity in something and someone that was not true, or real, and held no place in His Father’s kingdom.

This is our gospel. We are not at war with the world. We are not the accusers, the judge, and the jurors of the world. As Jesus reminds us in today’s text, peace is impossible to those who look on war, but peace is inevitable to those who offer peace.  It is not the world that makes peace impossible; it is the world we see that is impossible. We are not called to sacrifice ourselves for God or for the world, we are simply called to bring God’s Judgment to it, to offer it mercy and grace, to make it fit for the peace of God to come, to give up all thoughts that would oppose His love, His joy, His peace. 

No matter who we are and no matter what we believe, when we begin to practice thinking the Thoughts of God, when we begin to practice grace and mercy, when we humble our egos, apologize for and turn our backs upon our wrongful ways, meanspirited reactions, and the ways we devise to defend our egotistical judgements and condemnations against others, we are practicing the Thoughts of God.  While our separate Thoughts of God transform a tormented mind into a peaceful mind; when we share our Thoughts of God we turn hell into Heaven merely by being what we are called to be. Just as our mind is renewed bringing health and healing to our bodies, our relationships, and our circle of influence, so do our joined minds make it impossible for peace to be absent in the world.  Just as Peace on earth and goodwill to all is what we bring to the Sonship and to God; peace on earth and goodwill to all is our welcome Home to His Kingdom.  When I do my part and you do your part to share the Thoughts of God, we are teachers of God. We join with Christ, Who came in Peace, because He is Peace, and we bring an end to the world at war with God.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 14. How will the world end? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 13.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 13.

13. What Is The Real Meaning Of Sacrifice?

1. Although in truth the term sacrifice is altogether meaningless, it does have meaning in the world. Like all things in the world, its meaning is temporary and will ultimately fade into nothingness from which it came when there is no more use for it. Now its real meaning is a lesson. Like all lessons it is an illusion, for in reality there is nothing to learn. Yet this illusion must be replaced by a corrective device; another illusion that replaces the first, so both can finally disappear. The first illusion, which must be displaced before another thought system can take hold, is that it is a sacrifice to give up the things of this world. What could this be but an illusion since this world itself is nothing more than that?

2. It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give. What can the sacrifice of nothing mean? It cannot mean that you have less because of it. There is no sacrifice in the world terms that does not involve the body. Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice. Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the “hero” to whom all these things belong? Could they mean anything except to a body? Yet a body cannot evaluate. By seeking after such things the mind associates itself with the body, obscuring its identity and losing sight of what it really is.

3. Once this confusion has occurred it becomes impossible for the mind to understand that all the “pleasures” of the world are nothing. But what a sacrifice,-and it is sacrifice indeed! – all this entails. Now has the mind condemned itself to seek without finding; to be forever dissatisfied and discontented; to know not what it really wants to find. Who can escape this self-condemnation? Only through God’s Word could this be possible. For self-condemnation is a decision about identity, and no one doubts what he believes he is. He can doubt all things, but never this.

4. God’s teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world. Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children’s toys? Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughterhouse? No one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation. Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice its values would demand of him. To them he sacrifices all his peace. To them he sacrifices all his freedom. And to possess them must he sacrifice his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father’s Love. Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?

5. What is the real meaning of sacrifice? It is the cost of believing in delusions. It is the price that must be paid for the denial of truth. There is no pleasure of the world that does not demand this, for otherwise the pleasure would be seen as pain, and no one asks for pain if he recognizes it. It is the idea of sacrifice that makes him blind. He does not see what he is asking for. And so he seeks it in a thousand ways and in a thousand places, each time believing it is there, and each time disappointed in the end. “Seek but do not find” remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise.

6. You may believe this course requires sacrifice of all you really hold dear. In one sense this is true, for you hold dear the things that crucify God’s Son, and it is the courses aim to set him free. But do not be mistaken about what sacrifice means. It always means the giving up of what you want. And what, oh teacher of God, is it that you want? You have been called by God, and you have answered. Would you now sacrifice that Call? Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you. There is no other hope in all the world that they can trust. There is no other voice in all the world that echoes God’s. If you would sacrifice the truth, they stay in hell. And if they stay, you will remain with them.

7. Do not forget that sacrifice is total. There are no half sacrifices. You cannot give up heaven partially. You cannot be a little bit in hell. The Word of God has no exceptions. It is this that makes it holy and beyond the world. It is its holiness that points to God. It is its holiness that makes you safe. It is denied if you attack any brother for anything. For it is here the split with God occurs. A split that is impossible. A split that cannot happen. Yet a split in which you surely will believe because you have set up a situation that is impossible. And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen. It seems to happen at the “sacrifice” of truth.

8. Teacher of God, do not forget the meaning of sacrifice, and remember what each decision you make must mean in terms of cost. Decide for God, and everything is given you at no cost at all. Decide against Him, and you choose nothing, at the expense of the awareness of everything. What would you teach? Remember only what you would learn. For it is here that your concern should be. Atonement is for you. Your learning claims it and your learning gives it. The world contains it not. But learn this course and it is yours. God holds out His Word to you, for He has need of teachers. What other way is there to save His Son?[1]

In today’s devotional text we find that the idea of sacrifice is a concept that can only attach itself to the body and the realm of perception. In the everlasting Kingdom of God, sacrifice has no meaning – it does not exist, there is nothing given up.  God does not demand a special day, any special attention, He does not demand our blood, our money, our time, nor our effort. Everything that exists is His and He, Who shares everything He is and has, has made everything ours as well.  The only place in all the universe that the idea of sacrifice can have any meaning is in a dream of separateness, physicality, and perception.  For only in such a realm can there be division, unequal division of labor and goods, opposites, and opposition.  In this realm then, every person, every situation, every event poses a sense of sacrifice for in a realm where everything is separate, the Son of God Who has been created to enjoy everything there is, must choose one thing at the cost of another.  The Son of God who has no limits in his created state, now must be limited by flesh, by time, by space, and by distraction. 

Each day poses a thousand or more opportunities for sacrifice – I sacrifice my time, my money, my efforts to the idols of this world.

But when we turn to God, we come in the same state as when we were created – we come in Spirit, and we come in truth. There is nothing in this world we can offer God except our Selves, the Mind that turns to Him. God has no need for our money. God has no need for us to deny ourselves food or drink. God has no need for us to clap our hands and bounce about offering Him “sacrifices” of praise and worship.  We must let this concept of God behind with all the other concepts of God that would make Him like we have made ourselves. 

To give up this world and all that is in it, is not a sacrifice, it is our privilege as God’s Son. This is a world that would kill the Son of God. This is a world that opposes the reality of God and His Kingdom. This is a world that would stand in place of life, of love, of peace and joy and our eternal oneness and unity with God.  

To remain of this world is a sacrifice of the Sonship of God. It is a place where we are born to die, not live forever. It is a place that offers sickness and only a facade of health. It is a place that separates and divides what can never be separated and divided.  This is the impossible world. It is a state of confusion; it has a million questions and no real answers, it is a place designed by opposition to truth.  To be of this world is to not remember who we are and what we are about. It is a place that shatters our knowledge for God into shards and makes a mockery of those who would remember. 

When we decide for God, we decide for Sonship; we decide for Everything. When we decide for this world, we decide for nothing. To decide for God is to give up nothing. To decide for the world is to sacrifice God, Sonship, and all that is and ever will be. This is what the teacher of God must learn and teach for this is our Atonement, this is our salvation, this is what all of us who have come to this realm and have entered this dream must teach and learn for it is what saves us from meaninglessness, comfortlessness, and the ongoing cycles of decay, disease, and death.

What does it matter if we prolong our life in the flesh for ten years, a hundred years, a thousand years if all around us is suffering and sorrow and tears and pain and eventual death. How good can we really be if we choose to build our kingdoms, continue our families, and protect our legacies in a place that is designed for drama, trauma, disease, and decay? The return to Spirit is the call of God.  This is what we must learn and teach. Few people dare to learn this, and fewer people yet are willing to teach this.  But we cannot have a little heaven with our hell, nor a little hell with our heaven!  To give up hell is not to sacrifice, but to give up Heaven is a sacrifice indeed!

Today in your personal devotions, ask Holy Spirit to illuminate this passage to your heart and mind.  It is no sacrifice to leave the diseases,  divisions, and discords of this world  and answer to the call of God’s mercy and grace.  Let this be what you learn and what you teach – now and to the end of time.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 13. What is the true meaning of sacrifice? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 12.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 12.

12. How Many Teachers of God are Needed to Save the World?

1. The answer to this question is – one. One holy perfect teacher, whose learning is complete, suffices. This one, sanctified and redeemed, becomes the Self who is the Son of God. He who was always wholly spirit now no longer sees himself as a body, or even as in a body. Therefore he is limitless. And being limitless, his thoughts are joined with God’s forever and ever. His perception of himself is based upon God’s judgment, not his own. Thus does he share God’s Will and bring his thoughts to still deluded minds. He is forever one, because he is as God created him. He has accepted Christ, and he is saved.

2. Thus does the son of man become the Son of God. It is not really a change; it is a change of mind. Nothing external alters, but everything internal now reflects only the Love of God. God can no longer be feared, for the mind sees no cause for punishment. God’s teachers appear to be many, for that is what is the world’s need. Yet being joined in one purpose, and one they share with God, how could they be separate from each other? What does it matter if they then appear in many forms? Their minds are one; their joining is complete. And God works through them now as one, for that is what they are.

3. Why is the illusion of many necessary? Only because reality is not understandable to the deluded. Only very few can hear God’s Voice at all, and even they cannot communicate His messages directly through the Spirit which gave them. They need a medium through which communication becomes possible to those who do not realize that they are spirit. A body they can see. A voice they understand and listen to, without the fear that truth would encounter in them. Do not forget that truth can come only where it is welcomed without fear. So do God’s teachers need a body, for their unity could not be recognized directly.

4. Yet what makes God’s teachers is their recognition of the proper purpose of the body. As they advance in their profession, they become more and more certain that the body’s function is but to let God’s Voice speak through it to human ears. And these ears will carry to the mind of the hearer messages that are not of this world, and the mind will understand because of their source. From this understanding will come the recognition, in this new teacher of God, of what the body’s purpose really is; the only use there really is for it. This lesson is enough to let the thought of unity come in, and what is one is recognized as one. The teachers of God appear to share the illusion of separation, but because of what they use the body for, they do not believe in the illusion despite appearances.

5. The central lesson is always this; that what you use the body for it will become to you. Use it for sin or for attack, which is the same as sin, and you will see it as sinful. Because it is sinful it is weak, and being weak, it suffers, and it dies. Use it to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy. Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die. When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all. The mind makes this decision, as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition. Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. To do that would be to give the body another purpose from the one that keeps it holy. God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as it tells him what his function is. He does not suffer either in going or remaining. Sickness is now impossible for him.

6. Oneness and sickness cannot coexist. God’s teachers choose to look on dreams awhile. It is a conscious choice. For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences. The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are? Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful. Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs.[1]

There is only one of us – one holy teacher whose learning is complete in Christ.  We may appear to be many, we come from all over the world, we look different, we talk different, we walk different paths – but we are one for we are not our bodies. We walk in the Spirit of Sonship because we are the Sonship. 

In this beautiful way Jesus teaches us how – through time – the son of man becomes the Son of God. It is a becoming that takes a complete change of mind. The mind changes from fearing God and all things of the Spirit to loving God and cherishing all things of the Spirit. We change from being motivated and manipulated by the outer world to being motivated and directed by the Spirit within.  When we stop drowning out the voice of our Inner Self, once we begin to trust in the Voice of God within us, when we learn to trust in That instead of the chatter and babble and clamors of the world, we become what we always were.  All the false stuff falls away and there is our true Being and that beautiful Self is Son of God, at one with Christ and one with all of God’s Teachers. 

We have no quarrel with anyone or anything. We stop going into defense. We stop ranting and raving. When we stop quarreling about our differences; we start focusing upon only that which makes us One. All that other stuff is proven meaningless. It is the chaff that is separated from the wheat and swept away. There is no sorrow in seeing it go; there is no weeping and gnashing of teeth, it is simply a matter of letting go of all that is not Spirit and Life.

As this process takes time, along the way we will say and do things that contradict the Voice for God within. We will make mistakes. We will run into teachers who seem to be sharing a completely different gospel than the one we have committed ourselves to. We will be tempted to argue and go into attack and defense. We will be tempted to snub those who do not appreciate our work or respect our call. Count it all joy. This is the way we learn, and this is the way we teach others. We make mistakes and we forgive ourselves just as we are asked to forgive others. Let every mistake you make teach you to teach others how to forgive yourself – without shame, without self-reproach, without discouragement and faithlessness, but only with the deepest commitment and the highest regard for the Voice for God within. 

There is absolutely nothing to prove to anyone in the outer world. There is no certification by other teachers of God that is worthy to pronounce you as one with them. We have one purpose, and in that purpose we are joined in Spirit no matter what it looks like or feels like in the flesh.  We cannot be separate from one another; as teachers of God, we are called out of the delusion that would deceive us into believing we can.

The reality of Spirit is not understandable to those deluded by the perceptual world.  Jesus tells us that there is a small percentage of people who can hear God’s Voice at all. And for those of us who do hear God’s Voice within, there are few of us who truly trust in it or who will share it. For me personally it has taken my whole life to finally realize it is the only thing that is real about me, it is the only thing about me that is worthwhile, it is the only thing about me that means anything at all.  Before this, it was my guilty secret, it was my madness, it was my curse. I spent many decades of my life trying my best to drown it out, to become involved in the world, to find meaning in relationships, in my passions and in my gifts, in this one thing, and then that other thing.  Because I was afraid of God’s Voice within, there was no way for me to know that it was my true voice.

This is the dilemma we all face in the world. We are one, but we cannot communicate as one until we stop being afraid of the Spirit and recognize that in the Spirit realm there can be only Love, Goodness, Peace, and Joy. There can not be an evil spirit, for Spirit is one. Evil must have a form. A spirit cannot “attack” another spirit, for spirit, being one would not and could not divide and attack itself.  The only reason Spirit would ever take form is either to separate to attack or, in the case of Christ, to reach those who are still confused about their true identity and are afraid to communicate with Spirit directly without the interference of flesh. 

In your meditative reading today, spend some time with paragraph four and ask Holy Spirit to show you the proper use of your body and the proper attitude to take toward the bodies of others.  The more advanced we become as teachers of God the more we recognize that we are Spirits, not flesh. The puny, selfish, temporal pleasures of the flesh lose their hold upon us as we become Christ and as Christ becomes us.  Our bodies serve only as channels through which God’s Voice speaks.  As long as you remain afraid to go within and trust the Voice for God within, you will be more inclined to listen to a human voice because it comes from a human vessel much like your own.  Our role as God’s teachers is to be the Voice for God for those who are still afraid of the Christ within, for those who have learned to fear the Spirit, for those who have been put-off by the hateful, fearful doctrines of the ego-based religions of the world. 

Our desire, our willingness, our commitment to learn and to be God’s Voice is what makes us one – not our outward appearances. We do not wear the same style of clothes; we do not have rules against tattoos.  Teachers of God do not judge each other on individual allowances and extravagances of the flesh.  Holy Spirit will use any thing and anybody for salvation. If there is something about me that needs adjusting, Holy Spirit will speak to me about it in my heart, through your voice, or through an illustration in my daily life.  To be a teacher of God, we simply dedicate our earthly forms to That which supersedes them. And when we do this properly, our health and well-being are guaranteed to us for that which is devoted entirely to God is blessed by God.  For in the unity of spirit, there is no fear nor sickness, there is no pain nor sorrow, no disease, and no death.  When the body is no longer needed it is simply laid aside with no fuss and no fanfare.

Why would we give it a second thought? Why would we want to take flesh and bones with us, if we were not afraid of Him Who makes us one?  Let us have no attachment to anything from the sensory world, for nothing in this realm or about this realm could withstand the eternal Oneness of God. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 12. How many teachers of God are needed to save the world? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 11.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 11.

11. How is Peace Possible in This World?

1. This is a question everyone must ask. Certainly peace seems to be impossible here. Yet the Word of God promises other things that seem impossible, as well as this. His Word has promised peace. It has also promised that there is no death, that resurrection must occur, and that rebirth is man’s inheritance. The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God’s Word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently if His promises are to be accepted. What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this.

2. Again we come to the question of judgment. This time ask yourself whether your judgment or the Word of God is more likely to be true. For they say different things about the world, and things so opposite that it is pointless to try to reconcile them. God offers the world salvation; your judgment would condemn it. God says there is no death; your judgment sees but death as the inevitable end of life. God’s Word assures you that He loves the world; your judgment says it is unlovable. Who is right? For one of you is wrong. It must be so.

3. The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. Into this strange and paradoxical situation, one without meaning and devoid of sense, yet out of which no way seems possible, God has sent His judgment to answer yours. Gently His judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. How is peace possible in this world? In your judgment it is not possible and can never be possible. But in the Judgment of God what is reflected here is only peace.

4. Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. How easily, then, is your judgment of the world escaped! It is not the world that makes peace seem impossible. It is the world you see that is impossible. Yet has God’s Judgment on this distorted world redeemed it and made it fit to welcome peace. And peace descends on it in joyous answer. Peace now belongs here because the Thought of God has entered. What else but a Thought of God turns hell to Heaven merely by being what it is? The earth bows down before its gracious presence, and it leans down in answer, to raise it up again. Now is the question different. It is no longer, “Can peace be possible in this world?” but instead, “Is it not impossible that peace be absent here?”[1]

We come to the world of perception because we chose the world of perception. I wanted to be separate from you and have my own life apart from you. I wanted to be special and distinct from the oneness and unity of spirit. Instead of being part of it all, I wanted to prove myself against it all. Instead of sharing the love and light of God, I wanted more than my share.  In this simple way we can begin to understand the guilt we carry as we live out our dream of distinctness, differences, and division.  We want to believe then that we are bad asses that deserve to be punished, that must grovel before God, which must make up a lot of different gods in our own cultural images and then bow down before them, sacrifice to them, go to war because of them, and pour out our blood, our money, our children, and our souls to these imaginary gods.  And because the separateness is so hard to bear, we want to find someone or something to blame. And few, if any, of the belief systems we devise to help us out, lend themselves to peace!

As long as we try to find truth in what goes on in the perceptual world, as long as we try to learn anything or teach anything with our finite minds, our limited understanding, and our dim-witted, egotistical perceptions, we will continue to fight, to fear one another, to condemn one another to the hellish realm of separation. All we have to hope for – with our inventions, technology, seeming advances in communication and transportation – is a continuance of the same old go-round of conflicts, war, disease, decay, and death as long as we accept this mess as the Creation of God.  For our flesh perceptions and the promises of God cannot both be true.

This is not some pie-in-the-sky philosophy that has no practical application in the world. Jesus is not asking us to deny what we see in the world; He is asking us to choose to see the world through the holy, spiritual eyes of Christ. We will make no enemies. We will offer only peace where there did not seem to be any. We will believe in the Peace of God enough to ask for it and to share it because to have the peace of God we must share the peace of God.  When I bring you peace, you recognize peace and you accept peace because the peace of God is part of your creation, it is the building block of your existence, it is what you long for and yearn for and genuinely want for when we have peace between us we know one another as we were created to know one another.

This other business of competing and comparing and you over there in the outline of your flesh and me over here in the form of my flesh, never really connecting on more than a superficial level, all of that goes away when we recognize our oneness in peace.

If I look on you as my enemy, peace is impossible for us. If I fill my mind with perceptions of conflict, of you plotting to take my place, of you wanting to use me, of me the Christ-like and you the devil-like; if I get caught up in conversations of blame, shame, and pointing fingers – peace is impossible.  But when I go to my inner altar and ask Holy Spirit to give me peace so that I may share peace, peace is inevitable. The turmoil, the hurtful thoughts, the laying in bed at night stressed out over how much you loathe me and I loathe you, and how impossible it is for us to have peace – all that goes away because I choose to go to Spirit and to relate in Spirit, and that means I receive peace to give peace, I reflect upon peace to reflect peace. This is a choice I make, and it is a choice we must all make, for we do not arrive at peace by any other means.

Today in your personal devotions, commit to the practice of offering the peace of God. Put away your judgments, your opinions about this one and that one, your trust in your own observations and summations. Recognize them for the petty, silly, ridiculous, mean-spirited reflections of an egotistical mind bloated on its own importance. This mind will never bring peace to you or to the world.  Ask for the high mind of Christ. Ask for God’s Judgment.  For our true nature is not red in fang and claw, our true nature is one with God’s nature which is love and peace and joy. There is no reality in opposition to God for His Peace is the only Peace and only Peace can withstand forever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 11. How is peace possible in this world? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 10.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 10.

10. How is Judgment Relinquished?

1. Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom, and substitutes for truth. As the world uses the term, an individual is capable of “good” and “bad” judgment, and his education aims at strengthening the former and minimizing the latter. There is, however, considerable confusion about what these categories mean. What is “good” judgment to one is “bad” judgment to another. Further, even the same person classifies the same action as showing “good” judgment at one time and “bad” judgment at another time. Nor can any consistent criteria for determining what these categories are be really taught. At any time, the student may disagree with what his would-be teacher says about them, and the teacher himself may well be inconsistent in what he believes. “Good” judgment, in these terms, does not mean anything. No more does “bad.”

2. It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. And this judgment is neither “good” nor “bad.” It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: “God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist.”

3. The aim of our curriculum, unlike the goal of the world’s learning, is a recognition that judgment in the usual sense is impossible. This is not an opinion but a fact. In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present, and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everyone and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so that his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself?

4. Remember how many times you thought you knew all the “facts” you needed for judgment, and how wrong you were! Is there anyone who has not had this experience? Would you know how many times you merely thought you were right, without ever realizing you were wrong? Why would you choose such an arbitrary basis for decision making? Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment. Make then but one more judgment. It is this: There is Someone with you Whose judgment is perfect. He does know all the facts: past, present, and to come. He does know all the effects of His judgment on everyone, and everything involved in any way. And He is wholly fair to everyone, for there is no distortion in His perception.

5. Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is gone, for he has none. He has given it away, along with judgment. He gave himself to Him whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own. Now he makes no mistakes. His Guide is sure. And where he came to judge, he comes to bless. Where now he laughs, he used to come to weep.

6. It is not difficult to relinquish judgment. But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it. The teacher of God lays it down happily the instant he recognizes its cost. All of the ugliness he sees about him is its outcome. All of the pain he looks upon is its result. All of the loneliness and sense of loss; of passing time and growing hopelessness; of sickening despair and fear of death; all these have come of it. And now he knows that these things need not be. Not one is true. For he has given up their cause and they, which never were but the effects of his mistaken choice, have fallen from him. Teacher of God, this step will bring you peace. Can it be difficult to want but this?[1]

As we mentioned in the previous blog post, once we realize how impossible it is to judge anything and at anytime with our finite, limited, and extremely skewed perceptions, it is not difficult to give the practice of judgment and the condemnation that invariably follows up for good.  In my own personal life, I have had to learn this lesson the hard way because, just like you, I took pride in my ability to judge, in announcing my opinions and verdicts on everything and everybody, in pronouncing what was good and what was bad.  I believed it my right to have an opinion, to cast a judgment, to decide who was guilty and who was innocent, who was victim and who was victimizer, who deserved what they got and who shamelessly took more than their share! When we are steeped in our own sense of judgment and feel it is our right and privilege to judge and condemn others, to withhold the gifts of God’s grace and mercy, to discuss the private concerns of others and share confidential information, to snub and hurt feelings, to take sides, to engage in conflict rather than bring peace to situations – we are still teachers, but we are not teachers of God. A gaping blackhole of isolation and loneliness, sorrow and loss, hopelessness and despair are the certain effects of misappropriating the role of judge and juror.  We handicap ourselves and others mentally and physically by this highly inappropriate role we choose in responding to the world. The ego’s role as judge results in all the ugliness, poverty, cruelty, ignorance, and injustice perceived in the world.

The effects of judgment can easily be replaced by love and peace and joy when we simply relinquish the cause in our life. This humble, honest, light-hearted approach to the world restores our integrity, our purity, our willingness to see others in the light of Sonship.  I do not have all the information; I was not there; I do not know what they were going through; I do not know if this is a karmic carryover from a previous carnation; I have absolutely no way from my extremely limited perspective to determine much of anything!  I will refrain from judgment. I will ask Holy Spirit for the right response to whatever and whomever I am currently facing. As I have previously mentioned but is well worth repeating again – I have had to learn the hard way that the best opinion is no opinion if it does not come from the high mind of Christ within. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 10. How is judgment relinquished? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 9.

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 9.

9. Are Changes Required in the Life Situations of God’s Teachers?

1. Changes are required in the minds of God’s teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan. It is most unlikely that changes in attitudes would not be the first step in the newly made teacher of God’s training. There is, however, no set pattern, since training is always highly individualized. There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. By far the majority are given a slowly evolving training program, in which as many previous mistakes as possible are corrected. 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.

2. As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for his answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God’s Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. The world’s training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one’s judgment as a criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation.[1]

As we come to our devotional practice today, let us consider our personal life situations and remind ourselves that where and when we awaken is no accident, it does not happen by chance, nor are we to be filled with regret that we did not awaken at an earlier or more salient time in our life!  Our individual forays into the perceptual world teach us exactly what we need to learn; we come to learn these lessons and our awakening cannot take place until we have accomplished this.  Do not engage then in any ego pursuits of playing the game of “what if?” in regard to your spiritual journey.  Your spiritual journey began when you were born and has lasted through as many lifetimes as necessary to bring you to this point of ego surrender!

For the surrender of ego and its vain attempts to be the Judge of All that it beholds is the necessary condition of salvation!  Surrender the ego’s arrogance and realize how ill-conceived and trite its sense of maturity and strength in its own estimation truly is, and that is all the change of mind you need to come to God. If you try to change yourself by removing yourself from the teachers you have been assigned; if you try to change any aspect of your outer life and lifestyle in your attempts to please God, you are turning back to your own ego judgments and the qualifications it makes up for you to come to God.  Let Holy Spirit lead you. When it is time to quit your job, you will know. When it is time to stop trying to find God in texts and doctrines where there is conflict, judgment, condemnation, and lack of true forgiveness – you will know.  When it is time for you to go or stay within any relationship, circumstance, or event – you will know. Each time you learn to listen and to recognize the Voice for God within, you will learn the trust necessary to become an established teacher of God. Each time you make a mistake, you will also learn to trust, for it will be made unmistakably apparent to you that it was the whim of ego.  You will learn to recognize the difference when you want to recognize the difference.   

Our awakening takes place as we learn to listen less and less to the whims and wiles of the ego and more to the quiet, calm, certain Voice for God within us.  This is mostly an inward experience while the circumstances in our outer lives follow.  Not relying on our own egos and judgments is the most important thing we can learn – and while it is not personally insulting, it seems to be – especially before we learn how mean, small-minded, and egotistical our own judgments actually are! 

In your devotional meditations ask Holy Spirit to show you the difference between your own judgments and His judgment.  I was happily surprised to find that His judgment for me and for everybody else is one of love, worthiness, and eternal goodwill.  This is the judgment I have come to know, appreciate, and love and this is the only judgment I want to share.  When I share any other judgment, it makes me sick – in my mind, in my body, and in my relationships – instead of being of help, I need help; instead of bringing healing, I need healing.  In either case, I learn to trust in God and the Final Judgment which is always one of mercy and grace. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 9. Are changes required in the life situations of God’s teachers? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 8. How Can Perception of Order of Difficulties Be Avoided?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHER 8.

1. The belief in order of difficulties is the basis for the world’s perception. It rests on differences; on uneven background and shifting foreground, on unequal heights and diverse sizes, on varying degrees of darkness and light, and thousands of contrasts in which each thing seen competes with every other in order to be recognized. A larger object overshadows a smaller one. A brighter thing draws the attention from another with less intensity of appeal. And a more threatening idea, or one conceived of as more desirable by the world standards, completely upsets the mental balance. What the body’s eyes behold is only conflict. Look not to them for peace and understanding.

2. Illusions are always illusions of differences. How could it be otherwise? By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. Illusions are travesties of creation; attempts to bring truth to lies. Finding truth unacceptable, the mind revolts against truth and gives itself an illusion of victory. Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others.

3. Where do all these differences come from? Certainly they seem to be in the world outside. Yet it is surely the mind that judges what the eyes behold. It is the mind that interprets the eye’s messages and gives them “meaning.” And this meaning does not exist in the world outside at all. What is seen as “reality” is simply what the mind prefers. Its hierarchy of values is projected outward, and it sends the body’s eyes to find it. The body’s eyes will never see except through differences. Yet it is not the messages they bring on which perception rests. Only the mind evaluates their messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory. desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful.

4. It is the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. The mind classifies what the body’s eyes bring to it according to its preconceived values, judging where each sense datum fits best. What basis could be faultier than this? Unrecognized by itself, it has itself asked to be given what will fit into these categories. And having done so it concludes that the categories must be true. On this the judgment of all differences rests, because it is on this that judgments of the world depend. Can this confused and senseless “reasoning” be depended on for anything?

5. There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? Will he agree more quickly to the unreality of a louder voice he hears into that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to kill than a shout? And do the number of pitchforks the devils he sees carrying affect their credibility in his perception? His mind has categorized them all as real, and so they are all real to him. When he realizes they are all illusions they will disappear. And so it is with healing. The properties of illusion which seem to make them different are really irrelevant for their properties are as illusory as they are.

6. The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. There will be those who seem to be “sicker” than others, and the body’s eyes will report their changed appearances as before. But the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. This is the gift of its Teacher – the understanding that only two categories are meaningful in sorting out the messages the mind receives from what appears to be the outside world. And of these two, but one is real. Just as reality is wholly real apart from size and shape and time and place where differences cannot exist within it – so too are illusions without distinction. The one answer to sickness of any kind is healing. The one answer to all illusions is truth.[1]

As long as we are in the world, we will continue to see with our human eyes. In the flesh, there will always be differences between me and you and everything else in the world. Some differences will seem minor, but others will be stark. Yet no matter how big or small the differences between everything is – every perception that comes to us through our flesh senses is merely an illusion. It is part of the separation we experience from God in a dream of time, space, and outlines of this and outlines of that. 

One of the most wonderful things that A Course in Miracles has taught me is to recognize God and my Self as Spirit, to no longer be afraid of the Spirit, to accept that the perceptual world is not God’s Creation but the symbol of separation from God.  For only in the Spirit, in God, are we free from the perception of opposites and differences. 

The one thing however that I find most challenging about our Course is the emphasis on physical healing.  As pleasant as it is to enjoy good health and the sense of well-being that comes with it, if the body is not the creation of God, but rather the symbol of separation, what does it matter – in the end – if it is “healthy” or not? Because our body does not define us, because it is not going to exist forever, because the body as we know it is designed to expire – why the emphasis on healing?

In the best possible condition of the body, it demands near constant, if not constant attention. Our lives are centered around and about its needs – its food and its drink, its shelter and warmth, its safety and survival, its comforts and indulgences.  We live to gratify it, to spoil it, to coddle it, it is our special “pet,” distinguished from all the other bodies in the world.  As long as I have a body, it will be far more special to me than your body – that is just the way it is in the world, no matter how much I may claim otherwise. We would not be in the world, if we had not chosen specialness, to distinguish ourselves from the oneness and unity of God. 

Our minds are healed when we begin to awaken to our real Identity in Christ. And this Identity in Christ, the real you and the real me cannot harbor guilt toward the Sonship, nor live by the laws of sin, sacrifice, shame, and pain that would inflict the punishment of disease and death upon us.  The more we come to understand the illusory nature of the perceptual world, the more we are freed from the fear that it holds over us.  An epidemic is no more dangerous to us than any other of the scary things the flesh world has devised to torment our minds. One big knife is no more threatening than several small knives. A cancerous mass is no more worrisome than a little brown mole.  One supposed sin is no worse than any other, no matter what the intensity or how many people it has seemed to harm.  As we generalize any single part of the illusion, so we generalize it all. 

The perceptual world gives us a dizzying array of diseases and disasters to which our bodies can succumb. Giving a new name, a new strain, a new take on what has been going on ever since the illusion of separation began – drugs are developed, insurances are offered, blame is assigned, sacrifices demanded, battles waged. Enter into that ruckus and you will not find peace or understanding. To return our minds to the Christ within means that what we see with our flesh eyes and experience with our flesh senses will be recognized for exactly what it is – a zero – no matter how big or small, many or few, good or bad it appears to be. Recognize this and health is restored, healing is accomplished, and salvation comes.  This is the promise of God, and it is a promise worth reaching for, accepting, and sharing with all. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 8. How can perception of order of difficulties be avoided? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 7. Should Healing Be Repeated?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 7.

1. This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing. It is now the teacher of God himself whose mind needs to be healed. And it is this he must facilitate. He is now the patient, and he must so regard himself. He has made a mistake and must be willing to change his mind about it. He lacked the trust that makes for giving truly and so he has not received the benefit of his gift.

2. Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. Now the teacher of God has only one course to follow. He must use his reason to tell himself that he has given the problem to One Who cannot fail and must recognize that his own uncertainty is not love but fear, and therefore hate. His position has thus become untenable, for he is offering hate to one to whom he offered love. This is impossible. Having offered love, only love can be received.

3. It is in this that the teacher of God must trust. This is what is really meant by the statement that the one responsibility of the miracle worker is to accept the Atonement for himself. The teacher of God is a miracle worker because he gives the gifts he has received. Yet he must first accept them. He need do no more, nor is there more than he could do. By accepting healing he can give it. If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it. Thus is his doubt corrected. He thought the gifts of God could be withdrawn. That was a mistake, but hardly one to stay with. And so the teacher of God can only recognize it for what it is and let it be corrected for him.

4. One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. It has all the appearances of love. Yet love without trust is impossible and doubt and trust cannot coexist. And hate must be the opposite of love, regardless of the form it takes. Doubt not the gift and it is impossible to doubt its result. This is the certainty that gives God’s teachers the power to be miracle workers, for they have put their trust in Him.

5. The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. And that necessarily implies that trust has been placed in an illusory self, for only such a self can be doubted. This illusion can take many forms. Perhaps there is a fear of weakness and vulnerability. Perhaps there is a fear of failure and shame associated with a sense of inadequacy. Perhaps there is a guilty embarrassment stemming from false humility. The form of the mistake is not important. What is important is only the recognition of a mistake as a mistake.

6. The mistake is always some form of concern with the self to the exclusion of the patient. It is a failure to recognize him as part of the Self, and thus represents a confusion in identity. Conflict about what you are has entered your mind and you have become deceived about yourself. And you are deceived about yourself because you have denied the Source of your creation. If you are offering only healing, you cannot doubt. If you really want the problem solved, you cannot doubt. If you are certain what the problem is, you cannot doubt. Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes. Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.[1]

When we offer God’s help and healing to anyone in any situation or circumstance, we must believe that just as God helps and heals us, He helps and heals others. There is never any reason to continue to plead with God to heal someone or in a particular situation. We can trust in God to hear our prayer the first time we pray it for we belong to Him, and He does not put us on hold or deny our calls to Him. 

When problems arise in our lives, when our loved ones get sick and die, when our bodies age and we can no longer do the things that we did when we were young – we turn to God to help us. We trust in His love and care for us; we do not grovel before Him as if we are unworthy beggars – we come to Him as Sons asking for help and we trust in His Love to help us.  God withholds no good thing from us. 

When we begin to doubt God’s love and mercy, we are not offering ourselves or anybody else God’s gift of love and mercy; we are offering them hate. This was a difficult concept for me to understand at first. For those of you who have been studying the Course with me from the start, you may remember how I mentioned what it was like growing up with a faith healer mother. She did not take me to a doctor, she prayed for me.  And I either got better immediately or I got better eventually – but in either case she refused to “turn to man” for help.  I was raised with no medicine, no doctor’s appointments, and only the vaccinations and medical exams required by law for school and travel.  Many times when I did not feel well, I just kept quiet about it because I would otherwise be pummeled by her over-boisterous laying on of hands and commanding the foul spirits of whatever was troubling me to desist! In spite of her good intentions, her antics were particularly hard to bear and felt hateful, for if I did not get better as soon as she prayed for me, I was accused of entertaining foul spirits, evil thoughts, or engaging in secret sin.  This form of faith healing is a practice limited by lack of understanding, egoism, and it breeds hypocrisy – many times I feigned getting better to avoid the accusations and insinuations, which only encouraged the wrongdoing.    

When we practice miracles, there is no accusing anybody of anything. We are not to be concerned at all about how and when God answers our prayers for God is only responding to the Voice for God within us – we are, as His Son, simply inviting God into an otherwise hopeless and helpless seeming situation.   If we choose to hold a hand or place hands upon a patient’s shoulder or head it will be with the gentleness called forth by Holy Spirit, and always with consent!

We are never to bring doubt into any request we make from God for we pray for God’s Will, not the will of flesh. We happily keep our own demands, judgments, qualifications, and other impediments out of it.  We know that God is not the author of pain, sickness, mental illness, cruelty, or violence of any kind.  We know that God does not punish us by making us sick, causing bad things to happen to us, or denying us happiness and goodwill.  To doubt God’s good Will is not to know God, and when we do not know God’s Will, we will not know goodness, we will not know how to be truly loving, gentle, or kind. Doubt is the result of these conflicting ideas that we may have about God and the conflicting wishes that we have toward others. 

In your personal devotions today, read over this passage and let it rest in your mind and heart.  Bring all your worries, fears, and failures to God and let Holy Spirit sort them out. This is the most loving thing we can do because when we try to sort them out ourselves, they only loom larger in our minds, dragging us down.  This is how to develop trust in God and in the Voice for God within you.  As your mind is changed, you gladly accept the Christ within, for the Christ within is your real and eternal Self, the You which does, in confidence and certainty, offer healing, help, and forgiveness for others. What you offer, they receive. It is finished. You can have no doubt in this because this is a certain thing. Do not beg and plead and grovel before God but rest assured that God heard you the first time.  Relax and trust in the only One that can solve your problems, heal your ailments, and help and heal others.  When doubts arise, remind yourself Who God is and who you are in the Sonship.  Our certainty in God makes doubts and other fears disappear and our trust is deepened each time we practice faith in God and His Love for His Son. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 7. Should healing be repeated? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 6. Is Healing Certain?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 6. Is Healing Certain?

1. Healing is always certain. It is impossible to let illusions be brought to truth and keep the illusion. Truth demonstrates illusions have no value. The teacher of God has seen the correction of his errors in the mind of the patient, recognizing it for what it is. Having accepted the Atonement for himself, he has also accepted it for the patient. Yet what if the patient uses sickness as a way of life, believing healing is the way to death? When this is so, a sudden healing might precipitate intense depression, and a sense of loss so deep that the patient might even try to destroy himself. Having nothing to live for, he may ask for death. Healing must wait, for his protection.

2. Healing will always stand aside when it would be seen as threat. The instant it is welcome it is there. Where healing has been given it will be received. And what is time before the gifts of God? We have referred many times in the text to the storehouse of treasures laid up equally for the giver and the receiver of God’s gifts. Not one is lost, for they can but increase. No teacher of God should feel disappointed if he has offered healing and it does not appear to have been received. It is not up to him to judge when his gift should be accepted. Let him be certain it has been received, and trust that it will be accepted when it is recognized as a blessing and not a curse.

3. It is not the function of God’s teachers to evaluate the outcome of their gifts. It is merely their function to give them. Once they have done that they have also given the outcome, for that is part of the gift. No one can give if he is concerned with the result of giving. That is a limitation of the giving itself, and neither the giver nor the receiver would have the gift. Trust is an essential part of giving; in fact, it is the part that makes sharing possible, the part that guarantees the giver will not lose, but only gain. Who gives a gift and then remains with it, to be sure it is used as the giver deems appropriate? Such is not giving but imprisoning.

4. It is the relinquishing of all concern about the gift that makes it truly given. And it is trust that makes true giving possible. Healing is the change of mind that the Holy Spirit in the patient’s mind is seeking for him. And it is the Holy Spirit in the mind of the giver Who gives the gift to him. How can it be lost? How can it be ineffectual? How can it be wasted? God’s treasure house can never be empty. And if one gift is missing, it would not be full. Yet is its fullness guaranteed by God. What concern, then can a teacher of God have about what becomes of his gifts? Given by God to God, who in this holy exchange can receive less than everything?[1]

While healing is certain, it is not time-based; healing does not happen to impress others on what powerful teachers of God we are; healing does not ascribe to our expectations, to give those who heal more credit or more stars in our crown than those who do not heal.  We must realize that there is nothing for our human ego to hang upon in our role as teacher of God. We are not here to put on a show or to draw people to us for mere healing of the body. We are not teachers to make a name for ourselves – we are here to join with Christ quietly and with utmost respect. 

In that role, the Christ within offers others the necessary change of mind that brings healing – and healing will always come when the receiver is ready.  It is not my concern when and where this happens in time – if I make it my concern, I am not offering the gifts of God, I am offering my ego – there is a part of the lower mind that wants to latch on to the glory for God, I want to get some credit here, I want to get bragging rights, I want to make sure that you know it was me that saved you, that healed you, that delivered you from a belief system that made you sick and gave you one that made you well. 

As teachers of God we relinquish all concern about the gifts of God that operate in our lives. We cannot share these gifts properly if we insert our egos and our own judgments into our function.  As teachers of God, it is Holy Spirit that is in charge of help and healing through the encounters, circumstances, and events in our lives.  We are not to worry and fret over if we did it right, if we said the right words, if we used the right tone, or if we really made a difference or not.  We can relax and have fun with the people and situations in our lives. Like us they are gifts from God; like us they are teachers and because we are teachers of God, everything they teach us will be used for God whether that is their intention or not.  When we use everything we teach and learn for God, we offer healing without even knowing it, and this is a good thing. We are not to become overly aware of how we use the gifts God gives us or be overly nosy about the responses of others to our teaching and learning situations.  There are few things more off-putting than trying to get undue attention and credit for the things of God.  Jesus wants to spare us this embarrassment and free us from this limitation we would put upon our learning, teaching, and healing.

Read over this passage and see if you come to the same conclusion that I do. As teachers of God, we simply live for God, we propose a change of mind that gives us a healthy, well-adjusted belief system of God’s love and tenderness toward us. No longer accepting guilt and shame, thoughts of sin and punishment, sacrifice and separation, we know ourselves as Christ knows us, as part of the Sonship – worthy of all that God is and gives.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 6. Is healing certain? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 5. How is Healing Accomplished? I. The Perceived Purpose of Sickness II. The Shift in Perception III. The Function of the Teacher of God

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 5. HOW IS HEALING ACCOMPLISHED I. II. III.

1. Healing involves an understanding of what the illusion of sickness is for. Healing is impossible without this.  

I. The Perceived Purpose of Sickness

1. Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain. Who would choose suffering unless he thought it brought him something, and something of value to him? He must think it is a small price to pay for something of greater worth. For sickness is an election, a decision. It is the choice of weakness, in the mistaken conviction that it is strength. When this occurs, real strength is seen as threat and health as danger. Sickness is a method, conceived in madness, for placing God’s Son on his Father’s throne. God is seen as outside, fierce and powerful, eager to keep all power for Himself. Only by His death can He be conquered by His Son.

2. And what, in this insane conviction, does healing stand for? It symbolizes the defeat of God’s Son and the triumph of his Father over him. It represents the ultimate defiance in a direct form which the Son of God is forced to recognize. It stands for all that he would hide from himself to protect his “life.” If he is healed, he is responsible for his thoughts. And if he is responsible for his thoughts, he will be killed to prove to him how weak and pitiful he is. But if he chooses death himself, his weakness is his strength. Now has he given himself what God would give to him, and thus entirely usurped the throne of his Creator. 

II. The Shift in Perception

1. Healing must occur in exact proportion to which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized. One need but say, “There is no gain at all to me in this” and he is healed. But to say this, one first must recognize certain facts. First, it is obvious that decisions are of the mind, not of the body. If sickness is but a faulty problem-solving approach, it is a decision. And if it is a decision, it is the mind and not the body that makes it. The resistance to recognizing this is enormous, because the existence of the world as you perceive it depends on the body being the decision maker. Terms like “instincts,” “reflexes,” and the like represent attempts to endow the body with non-mental motivators. Actually, such terms merely state or describe the problem. They do not answer it.

2. The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind, for a purpose for which it would use the body, is the basis of healing. And this is so for healing in all forms. A patient decides that this is so, and he recovers. If he decides against recovery, he will not be healed. Who is the physician? Only the mind of the patient himself. The outcome is what he decides that it is. Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice. He chooses them in order to bring tangible form to his desires. And it is this they do, and nothing else. They are not actually needed at all. The patient could merely rise up without their aid and say, “I have no use for this.” There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once.

3. What is the single requisite for this shift in perception? It is simply this; the recognition that sickness is of the mind and has nothing to do with the body. What does this recognition “cost?” It costs the whole world you see, for the world will never again appear to rule the mind. For with this recognition is responsibility placed where it belongs; not with the world, but on him who looks on the world and sees it as it is not. He looks on what he chooses to see. No more and no less. The world does nothing to him. He only thought it did. Nor does he do anything to the world because he was mistaken about what it is. Herein is the release from guilt and sickness both, for they are one. Yet to accept this release, the insignificance of the body must be an acceptable idea.

4. With this idea is pain forever gone. But with this idea goes also all confusion about creation. Does not this follow of necessity? Place cause and effect in their true sequence in one respect, and the learning will generalize and transform the world. The transfer value of one true idea has no end or limit. The final outcome of this lesson is the remembrance of God. What do guilt and sickness, pain, disaster, and all suffering mean now? Having no purpose, they are gone. And with them also go all the effects they seemed to cause. Cause and effect but replicate creation. Seen in their proper perspective, without distortion and without fear, they re-establish Heaven.

III. The Function of the Teacher of God

1. If the patient must change his mind in order to be healed, what does the teacher of God do? Can he change the patient’s mind for him? Certainly not. For those already willing to change their minds he has no function except to rejoice with them, for they have become teachers of God with him. He has, however, a more specific function for those who do not understand what healing is. These patients do not realize they have chosen sickness. On the contrary, they believe that sickness has chosen them. Nor are they open-minded on this point. The body tells them what to do and they obey. They have no idea how insane this concept is. If they even suspected it, they would be healed. Yet they suspect nothing. To them the separation is quite real.

2. To them God’s teachers come to represent another choice which they had forgotten. The simple presence of a teacher of God is a reminder. His thoughts ask for the right to question what the patient has accepted as true. As God’s messengers, His teachers are the symbols of salvation. They ask the patient for forgiveness for God’s Son in his own Name. They stand for the Alternative. With God’s Word in their minds they come in benediction, not to heal the sick but to remind them of the remedy God has already given them. It is not their hands that heal. It is not their voice that speaks the Word of God. They merely give what has been given them. Very gently they call to their brothers to turn away from death. “Behold, you Son of God, what Life can offer you. Would you choose sickness in place of this?”

3. Not once do the advanced teachers of God consider the forms of sickness in which their brothers believe. To do this is to forget that all of them have the same purpose, and therefore are not really different. They seek for God’s Voice in this brother who would so deceive himself as to believe God’s Son can suffer. And they remind him that he did not make himself and must remain as God created him. They recognize illusions can have no effect. The truth in their minds reaches out to the truth in the minds of their brothers, so that illusions are not reinforced. They are thus brought to truth; truth is not brought to them. So are they dispelled, not by the will of another, but by the union of the One Will with Itself. And this is the function of God’s teachers, to see no will as separate from their own, nor theirs as separate from God’s.[1]

Just as Christ healed others of their bodily diseases, disturbances, and premature deaths, so are we called to teach and foster healing in one another.  God loves us and has only tenderness, gentleness, and goodness in store for us.  God is not the author of pain, suffering, and punishment.  It is especially important that we recognize this fact and never try to get glory from or blame God for the guilt we inflict upon ourselves and each other, nor the sickness which comes with guilt. 

As teachers of God, we have no use for sickness of any kind. There is no glory in pain, in martyrdom, in self-abuse, or sacrifice.  While our traditional religious texts and doctrines may describe gods that choose favorites, throw temper tantrums, involve themselves in the lives of humans – giving their “darlings” unfair advantages while raining torments upon the rest, to be delivered from this ego-based theology and the disturbed, sick minds that it generates, we must be open-minded. We must look at what we have accepted as true about God and be willing to change our minds about Who and What God is to us and who and what we are to Him as His Son.  We have a right to question what we have accepted as true!  Only an unreasonable tyrant would deny us the right to question the insane belief systems that hold us in bondage and keep us from recognizing the love of our Father and the beloved place in His Heart we have as His Son. 

Because we will be studying the Manual for Teachers in depth during 2022, we will keep today’s post brief.  However, in your personal spiritual habit, read over the devotional text asking Holy Spirit to illuminate the concepts that are put forth for us. We are here to be healed and to teach healing to others.  When we accept the Christ within, we accept the Sonship of God. No longer defined by flesh and blood, we turn from death to Life, from sickness to health, from separation to oneness in Him Who created us whole.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 5. How is healing accomplished? I. The perceived purpose of sickness II. The shift in perception III. The function of the teacher of God.  Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. What are the Characteristics of God’s Teachers? X. Open-Mindedness

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. X

1. The centrality of open-mindedness, perhaps the last of the attributes the teacher of God acquires, is easily understood when its relation to forgiveness is recognized. Open-mindedness comes with lack of judgment. As judgment shuts the mind against God’s Teacher, so open-mindedness invites Him to come in. As condemnation judges the Son of God as evil, so open-mindedness permits him to be judged by the Voice for God on His behalf. As the projection of guilt upon him would send him to hell, so open-mindedness lets Christ image be extended to him. Only the open-minded can be at peace, for they alone see reason for it.

2. How do the open-minded forgive? They have let go all things that would prevent forgiveness. They have in truth abandoned the world, and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. Nothing is now as it was formerly. Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before. And above all are all things welcoming, for threat is gone. No clouds remain to hide the face of Christ. Now is the goal achieved. Forgiveness is the final goal of the curriculum. It paves the way for what goes far beyond all learning. The curriculum makes no effort to exceed its legitimate goal. Forgiveness is its single aim, at which all learning ultimately converges. It is indeed enough.

3. You may have noticed that the list of attributes of God’s teachers does not include things that are the Son of God’s inheritance. Terms like love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge, and eternal truth do not appear in this context. They would be most inappropriate here. What God has given is so far beyond our curriculum that learning but disappears in its presence. Yet while its presence is obscured, the focus properly belongs on the curriculum. It is the function of God’s teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking it is unlearning that they bring, for that is “true learning” in the world. It is given to the teachers of God to bring the glad tidings of complete forgiveness to the world. Blessed indeed are they, for they are the bringers of salvation.[1]

An open mind is a mind that learns; a closed mind is a know-it-all mind, it believes in what it wants to believe in, it trusts its own small-minded, low-minded opinions, doctrines, and limited perceptions to judge the world and all that it encounters.  An open mind is a characteristic of God’s Teacher because it is the condition of the mind that has learned not to trust in the perceptions of flesh; it has learned that ego perceptions pervert and twist the truth of the matter. An open mind trusts in God’s judgment, it learns without limit, without judgment, without condemnation.  If my mind is open to you, it will not matter if I personally find you attractive or not in the flesh; it will not matter to me if you worship like me or think like me; it will not matter to me who you vote for and what your political beliefs are in the world.  With an open mind, I refuse to judge you according to all the standards of the world. I will not worry if you “click” with me, because with my open mind I will know that I am not the judge of you – God has created you and has deemed you worthy of Sonship and that is all I need to know! 

Having an open mind means that I can live in the world and yet abandon all that is in the world that would obscure the Kingdom of God. While I may have to live with my ego as long as I am in the world, with my open mind I will no longer be ruled by my ego but will be open to the Voice for God within me.  While you may be able to hurt my feelings by the things you say and do, my open mind will inform me that what happens in the world is only a learning experience, it is for my perfection and your perfection, the best use of my time then is not to worry about why you want to hurt me, but to go beyond your ego and my ego and be free of all that drama and trauma.  When I do not close my mind toward you, my mind is free to choose again and then again to share the forgiveness, mercy, and grace of God’s Kingdom.  When I do not put you in a mean little cage in my mind with all the other things that I personally find hard to bear about the world, the cages that I am in open and set me free. With my open mind I am free then – your opinion about me no longer shackles me in shame and in disgrace, for when I open all the cage doors of my own mind and set others free, I am freed as well. I can live out my days in the flesh fully aware that it can never define me, nor hold me captive to its meanness and spite, its decay and death. 

This is the best in the hellish realm. To reach for love, sinlessness, perfection, knowledge, and eternal truth is meaningless for this is what we are in Spirit but never in flesh. These characteristics cannot be learned, for this is what we are made of and for and with.  In the world of time and space, flesh and blood, separation and attachment to thoughts of sin, sacrifice, and shame, our true Selves and what we truly are, what we truly know, the majesty and the power that are inherent to us as God’s Son is necessarily obscured to our lower minds. We must regain our trust in each other and our trust in God, we must regain our honesty, tolerance, gentleness, joy, and defenselessness. We must learn to accept God’s definition of generosity, practice patience, faithfulness, and finally achieve the open-mindedness that defines the teacher of God to undo the false teaching and learning of the world and bring the glad tidings of complete and utter forgiveness for it all.  This is our salvation, and it is for everybody and everything. God’s Kingdom comes and God’s Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven as we reach for, accept, learn, teach, practice, and develop these characteristics. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 4. What are the characteristics of God’s teachers? X Open-mindedness. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. What are the Characteristics of God’s Teachers? VIII. Patience IX. Faithfulness

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. VIII. IX.

VIII. Patience

1. Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait and wait without anxiety. Patience is natural to the teacher of God. All he sees is certain outcome at a time perhaps unknown to him as yet, but not in doubt. The time will be as right as is the answer. And this is true for everything that happens now or in the future. The past as well held no mistakes, nothing that did not serve to benefit the world, as well as him to whom it seemed to happen. Perhaps it was not understood at the time. Even so, the teacher of God is willing to reconsider all his past decisions, if they are causing pain to anyone. Patience is natural to those who trust. Sure of the ultimate interpretation of all things in time, no outcome already seen or yet to come can cause them fear.

IX. Faithfulness

1. The extent of the teacher of God’s faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning, while keeping others apart? If so, his advancement is limited, and his trust not yet firmly established. Faithfulness is the teacher of God’s trust in the Word of God to set all things right; not some, but all. Generally, his faithfulness begins by resting on just some problems, remaining carefully limited for a time. To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness. Nothing but that really deserves the name. Yet each degree, however small, is worth achieving. Readiness, as the text notes, is not mastery.

2. True faithfulness, however, does not deviate. Being consistent, it is wholly honest. Being unswerving, it is full of trust. Being based on fearlessness, it is gentle. Being certain, it is joyous. And being confident, it is tolerant. Faithfulness, then, combines in itself the other attributes of God’s teachers. It implies acceptance of the Word of God and His definition of His Son. It is to Them that faithfulness in the true sense is always directed. Toward Them it looks, seeking until it finds. Defenselessness attends it naturally, and joy is its condition. And having found, it rests in quiet certainty on That alone to Which all faithfulness is due.[1]

Patience is only necessary in time, and it is a natural virtue in the teacher of God. For we have learned the outcome and we can trust in the outcome with no anxiety. Just as I have no worries about my own perfection and salvation, nor do I have any worries or concerns about you.  My trust in God awards me patience; the time that I learn everything I need to learn from this realm may vary from the time you need to learn; the things I need to learn may vary from what you need to learn, the mistakes I make may not look like the mistakes you make, but all of it has worked together for our good and for the good of all.  We no longer look to our own understanding. We do not accept the labels that the world would put upon us. We no longer accept the ways in which some would shame us for our mistakes and label us as sinners and hold us as despicable forever. We no longer accept the pain and suffering that egoism and false doctrines would lay upon us, for we trust in God and the oneness that comes with Sonship.  And because of this patience is natural to us – because we trust in the Ultimate, the One Who judges us worthy forever.  Patience endures all things because we know the end of the story here is when our true Life begins. 

Patience indicates our faithfulness to God.  Our faithfulness is measured by how much we bring to our learning – do we bring everything without holding back?  Do we trust in God for our soul but yet not trust in God for the souls of our children and grandchildren, our friends and relatives? Do we lower our arms against some but reach for our weapons against others?  Do we forgive those who say they are sorry but refuse to forgive those who do not? Can we overlook some mistakes but hold others to a higher standard?  Do we see some people as worthy and others as not? 

Whatever we hold back from our learning and keep for our own judgment and discretion not only limits but takes away from establishing the trust of God necessary in our lives with Him.  We prolong the bands of time. Instead of freeing ourselves from the death cycles of this realm, we bind ourselves to them. When we bind ourselves we bind others who are involved with us, and so we do not prolong suffering for ourselves alone. 

Faithfulness is to give up all problems to the one Answer – and the one Answer is always our Oneness, the One for all and all for One.  This reverses the laws of this world which would keep us grubbily and greedily striving and conniving for our own separate selves and our own chosen few. While each small degree we move in the direction of Oneness is worth achieving, we do not reach faithfulness until we are faithful to bring all to God.    

This does not mean that we do not make mistakes, for if we did not make mistakes in this we would go directly to Spirit and no longer deal in flesh and blood.  We consistently take our mistakes to the Throne of God, we are honest, we do not hide our jealousy, greed, selfishness, and judgments – we bring them to the inner altar, and we lay them down – for as many times as they arise, we bring them and lay them down again – confident and unswerving in our desire to be free of all that would separate us from each other and from God.  We accept God’s Love, we accept the Voice for God in our hearts and minds; we accept that all are worthy of Sonship and nobody and nothing created by God and for God and in God can be rejected, abandoned, or destroyed.  Our faithfulness is always directed to God and the Sonship where we find our identity and our completion.  As teachers of God, we seek until we find it, and we teach this to others by the way we live it.  We do not seek a “following,” we do not make collections of people and name drop this one or that one to make ourselves special in any way, we do not hold ourselves to higher standards, or claim special privileges – but if we do, we accept forgiveness and knock it off!

Today in your devotional period, ask Holy Spirit to help you reach for faithfulness in every aspect of your life. Pray for the teachers of God that come from all religions and no religion. Instead of condemning, making fun, and despising other teachers for what you see as their mistakes, humble your ego and refuse to believe in your own judgment. Trusting in God, we realize that it is our mistakes and the mistakes of others, that advances our learning the most! Some of the best teachers in our lives are the ones we feel most hostile toward. Commit to faithfulness and rest in Him Who made us and makes us One. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 4. What are the characteristics of God’s teachers? VIII Patience IX Faithfulness. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. What are the Characteristics of God’s Teachers? VI. Defenselessness VII. Generosity

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. VI. VII.

VI. Defenselessness

1. God’s teachers have learned how to be simple. They have no dreams that need defense against the truth. They do not try to make themselves. Their joy comes from their understanding Who created them. And does what God created need defense? No one can become an advanced teacher of God until he fully understands that defenses are but foolish guardians of mad illusions. The more grotesque the dream, the fiercer and more powerful its defenses seem to be. Yet when the teacher of God finally agrees to look past them, he finds that nothing was there. Slowly at first he lets himself be undeceived. But he learns faster as his trust increases. It is not danger that comes when defenses are laid down. It is safety. It is peace. It is joy. And it is God.

VII. Generosity

1. The term generosity has special meaning to the teacher of God. It is not the usual meaning of the word; in fact, it is a meaning that must be learned and learned very carefully. Like all the other attributes of God’s teachers this one rests ultimately on trust, for without trust no one can be generous in the true sense. To the world, generosity means “giving away” in the sense of “giving up.” To the teachers of God, it means giving away in order to keep. This has been emphasized throughout the text and the workbook, but it is perhaps more alien to the thinking of the world than many other ideas in our curriculum. Its greater strangeness lies merely in the obviousness of its reversal of the world’s thinking. In the clearest way possible, and at the simplest levels, the word means the exact opposite to the teachers of God and to the world.

2. The teacher of God is generous out of Self interest. This does not refer, however, to the self of which the world speaks. The teacher of God does not want anything he cannot give away, because he realizes it would be valueless to him by definition. What would he want it for? He could only lose because of it. He could not gain. Therefore he does not seek what only he could keep, because that is a guarantee of loss. He does not want to suffer. Why should he ensure himself pain? But he does want to keep for himself all things that are of God, and therefore for His Son. These are the things that belong to him. These he can given away in true generosity, protecting them forever for himself.[1]

When we answer the call of God in our lives, we learn that we have nothing at all to prove.  We have accepted that God is in charge; we have accepted that He loves us and would never abandon us; we have accepted that all that is not of God leads to nothing because it is nothing.

No defense is needed then. God certainly does not need us to defend Him; nor do we as God’s Son need to defend ourselves.  We walk in defenselessness then for this is our safety. We do not trust in weapons to defend us because when we turn to a defense of any kind, we reject our defense as God’s Son. 

This lesson may come slow to us, but just as it took time to teach us to arm ourselves against each other, so will it take time for us to be undeceived by the world’s constant stream of frets and threats and realize the divine in each other. When I can look past what I see as dangerous in you, I see the Christ in you.  And when I see the Christ in you, the Christ in you dawns upon your awareness. When this happens, we are no longer dangerous to each other, for we recognize our kinship. This is our safety, our peace, and our joy.  This is God in us.

Defenseless can only be developed in us after we learn to trust. Practicing defenselessness in our daily interactions, teaches us that we can depend upon it. Even when we make mistakes and go into defense, the results of our interactions will be so unacceptable to us that we will be more motivated to practice defenselessness the next time.  Defenselessness saves us from defending our mistakes, making excuses for poor behavior, and blaming others for the unloving, unkind, and mean ways in which we would typically respond to them. It takes a lot of psychic energy to live in defense of what has no defense!  As we give up defensive behavior, as we lay down our arsenal, as we stop devising stories and justifications, a generosity of spirit becomes us.       

Generosity of Spirit is a completely different attribute than what we consider generosity in the world. In the world we can only be generous with our time, our money, and the fruit of our efforts, all of which are finite and exhaustible.  The generosity we practice in the world comes with a terrible cost, with considerable strings and backlashes. Our generosity in the flesh spoils our children, our pets, and each other as we grow fat, diseased, and selfish. The world is full of givers and takers. The would-be givers, no matter how much they seem to enjoy caring and sharing, soon feel used and drained dry by the would-be takers in their lives. Generosity in the world creates false friends, associations, and entitlement.  When we shower others with gushiness, undeserved gifts, and expensive goodies, there is an underlying, conscious or unconscious agenda, and we are wise to examine our motives.

As teachers of God we learn that generosity is an attribute of God. We give to receive to give again. The practice of generosity is not the false generosity of this world for we give to others the attributes of God Himself. We are generous then with love, with joy, with peace. We are generous of Spirit and the Gifts of God’s mercy and grace.  We would not dream of withholding His Gifts from anyone for any reason for to withhold the attributes of God from others is to deny them in ourselves.  Our generosity as teachers of God stems from a realization that we can only gain by sharing love, by promoting peace. To be joyful, we must share joy. Salvation cannot be denied to anybody for any reason, it is only ours to give.  This is the generosity of God.

Today in your personal devotional practice, ask Holy Spirit to show you ways in which to practice defenselessness and true generosity in your daily interactions with the world. Understand that defenselessness means refusing to draw up sides or to take sides, that there is never a cause “good enough” to rise up in spite and meanness – that we are here to help and not to harm.  Understand that true generosity may look like downright stinginess to the uninitiated! We often have to say no to physical gifts and gift-giving, to giving and accepting flattery, to over-indulging each other with food, favors, playthings, and non-essentials.  We are here to learn, to practice, to develop the traits that will take us through eternity, awakening us from the dream of time-based constraints and the laws that govern this realm.  Many of the things we practice will seem unnatural at first for they are the exact opposite of what we devise to thrive and survive in a realm separate and distinct from God and from each other.  Our trust in God deepens and our understanding of Spirit is quickened by practical application, thus making the best use of time, for this is the way we give time to Him.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 4. What are the characteristics of God’s teachers? VI Defenselessness VII Generosity. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. What are the Characteristics of God’s Teachers? IV. Gentleness V. Joy

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS 4. IV & V

IV. Gentleness

1. Harm is impossible for God’s teachers. They can neither harm nor be harmed. Harm is the outcome of judgment. It is the dishonest act that follows a dishonest thought. It is a verdict of guilt upon a brother, and therefore on oneself. It is the end of peace and the denial of learning. It demonstrates the absence of God’s curriculum, and its replacement by insanity. No teacher of God but must learn – and fairly early in his training – that harmfulness completely obliterates his function from his awareness. It will make him confused, fearful, angry, and suspicious. It will make the Holy Spirit’s lessons impossible to learn. Nor can God’s Teacher be heard at all, except by those who realize that harm can actually achieve nothing. No gain can come of it.

2. Therefore, God’s teachers are wholly gentle. They need the strength of gentleness, for it is in this that the function of salvation becomes easy. To those who would do harm, it is impossible. To those to whom harm has no meaning, it is merely natural. What choice but this has meaning to the sane? Who chooses hell when he perceives a way to Heaven? And who would choose the weakness that must come from harm in place of the unfailing, all-encompassing and limitless strength of gentleness? The might of God’s teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thoughts came neither from God’s Son nor his Creator. Thus did they join their thoughts with Him Who is their Source. And so their will, which always was His Own, is free to be itself.

V. Joy

1. Joy is the inevitable result of gentleness. Gentleness means that fear is now impossible, and what could come to interfere with joy? The open hands of gentleness are always filled. The gentle have no pain. They cannot suffer. Why would they not be joyous? They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. God’s teachers trust in Him. And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. They hold His gifts and follow in His way, because God’s Voice directs them in all things. Joy is their song of thanks. And Christ looks down on them in thanks as well. His need of them is just as great as theirs of Him. How joyous it is to share the purpose of salvation![1]

As we meditate upon our devotional text today we begin to see how our lessons in trust and our development of trust lay the foundation for all the other attributes that will establish us as teachers of God.  For without trust, our gentleness is only in spots. We can only be gentle with animals, or with babies, or perhaps with people who look like us and speak like us and worship the same way we do.  Our gentleness in the flesh is reserved for special, tender moments for to survive in this world we learn that we need to develop other traits that are not at all gentle!

For we forget that gentleness is our strength and not a weakness. The world looks upon the gentle with a touch of scorn and derision at best, and downright viciousness at worst.  But gentleness is what all of us crave – none of us thrive on cross words and mean tones. We know that physical and emotional trauma have long-term effects on our mental state and our physical well-being throughout the course of our lives.  Kids who grow up in homes where there is cursing, screaming, and abuse carry those memories in the cells of their bodies and in the recesses of their memory long into their adult lives.  We may have learned that screaming, cursing, and striking out is the only way we can get the attention of our kids and mates, but our Teacher shows us another way when we care to go within to our inner altar and learn from Him. 

In my own life, I have incidents in which my anger and rage drive me to strike out at others, say mean things, make me want to pinch them, slap them, pull their hair, or stomp about slamming doors and saying harsh words.  I could blame this on the way I was raised, I could say that I cannot help myself, I could say that hot tempers run in my bloodline, but I know better.

The call to gentleness is a gift from God that was given to me at my creation. Just as gentleness is God’s attribute, it is my attribute. It is part of me and who I am and what I am made of.  To not be gentle makes me sick inside because to harm anybody or anything with my words, thoughts, or deeds is against my nature, just as it is against your nature.  We were created to love and nurture, to help and support one another – not to go into rages and live under the pretense that others are responsible for the ways in which we respond to them.

To join with God is to come home to one’s Self.  To embrace and practice gentleness and a policy of no-harm is to align ourselves against the clamor of the world which would mock our efforts to live in harmony and love and peace and joy. 

Because Jesus tells us that joy comes to us in our gentleness. When I respond to others who irritate me, frighten me, or hurt my feelings with gentleness I have replaced my fear, judgment, and condemnation of them with trust. I trust that no matter how much of a show-off, no matter how hateful their words, no matter how scary their appearance or tone of voice, whether they tell me to get the hell away from them or spread lies about me, they cannot harm me.  Nothing they do in this world can hurt me because nothing and nobody can take away the Christ within me. Just as Holy Spirit transforms all my mistakes and shortcomings into my greatest strengths to share with others, so can I use any perceived attack against me to indicate that I need more practice in forgiveness, mercy, and grace!  As I accept these gifts from God, I am joyful for I know that I am beloved, just as you are beloved.  We are safe because the Voice for God directs us and is our constant companion in all things and in all ways. 

It is in this way that the teachers of God bring joy to the world.  And Christ thanks us for joining with Him in bringing gentleness and joy to the world for the world then is saved from the warring, unhappy ways which bring us nothing but sadness and sorrow.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. 4. What are the characteristics of God’s Teachers? IV Gentleness V Joy. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS IV What are the characteristics of God’s Teachers? II Honesty III Tolerance

III. Honesty

1. All other traits of God’s teachers rest on trust. Once that has been achieved, the others cannot fail to follow. Only the trusting can afford honesty, for only they can see its value. Honesty does not apply only to what you say. The term actually means consistency. There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. Such are the truly honest. At no level are they in conflict with themselves. Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything.

2. The peace of mind which the advanced teachers of God experience is largely due to their perfect honesty. It is only the wish to deceive that makes for war. No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict. Conflict is the inevitable result of self-deception, and self-deception is dishonesty. There is no challenge to a teacher of God. Challenge implies doubt, and the trust on which God’s teachers rest secure makes doubt impossible. Therefore they can only succeed. In this, as in all things, they are honest. They can only succeed because they never do their will alone. They choose for all mankind; for all the world and all things in it; for the unchanging and unchangeable beyond appearances; and for the Son of God and His creator. How could they not succeed? They choose in perfect honesty, sure of their choice as of themselves.

III. Tolerance

1. God’s teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. Judgment without self-deception is impossible. Judgment implies that you have been deceived in your brothers. How, then, could you not have been deceived in yourself? Judgment implies a lack of trust, and trust remains the bedrock of the teacher of God’s whole thought system. Let this be lost, and all his learning goes. Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? Without judgment are all men brothers, for who is there who stands apart? Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn.[1]

As we quiet our minds and hearts and come to our devotional habit, read over today’s text with care and with prayer.  Ask Holy Spirit to teach you what you need to know about your honest practices and your dishonest practices.  True honesty comes when we are not afraid to examine our own hearts and minds, when we are not afraid to take a closer look at the role we play in the disharmony and disruption that is going on in our personal and public lives.  There can be no self-deception in our walk with God. We must come to God with a complete desire to be His Son and return to His Kingdom. We cannot take anything from this realm with us.  All the reasons in which we find ways to keep people away from us, to maintain separateness, to hold grudges and build cases must be put down honestly at the inner altar. We must ask for purity of mind and honesty in our walk with God in order to get the Help we need, for on our own we live in self-deception.

We come to God as we are in our humanity. We must know what we are “giving up.” If there is still something about your humanity that you love and feel a sense of sacrifice, identify it, be honest about it.  Our salvation requires total and continual honesty. If we are still hooked on our sexuality, if our past is still haunting us, if our tempers rage out of control – we must be truthful about it.  I cannot help you if I am deceiving myself; I cannot build trust in you if you are practicing self-deception and therefore would deceive me. 

I would much rather hear someone speak to me from their heart and with honesty about their earthly trials, temptations, and spiritual failures than spout off a hyped-up testimony about how Jesus changed their lives and set them free and now they are going up in the Rapture and leaving the rest of us behind.  None of us are interested in hypocrisy; whitewashing our human experience helps no one, elitism and leaving others behind is not what we teach or how we live.  What we choose for ourselves, we choose for everybody.  This is what we practice. And we practice it until we get it right.  So let’s tell the truth, and if we are not ready to tell the truth, then let’s stay quiet and ask Holy Spirit to speak through us.

Staying quiet is probably the best thing we can do until we master non-judgment. Judging others is a dishonest practice. When I judge you, I am judging your humanity. I am assuming that I know what is right and wrong in your life and that I have a right to declare if you are saint or sinner, if you are sane or insane, if you are honest or dishonest.  God has already judged you as His Son. That is all I need to know and agree with. Whatever you do with that Sonship is between you and God.  If you, in your seeming madness, pose a danger to me or others, I learn to trust by relying on Holy Spirit to keep me from any harm you plan for me.  There have been many times in my life when my resolve to not judge or go into attack deepened by witnessing healed relationships and peaceful minds.  Conversely, there have been many times when I learned to trust in Holy Spirit because I chose to judge others, getting angry, threatening to pull someone’s hair, giving someone the old social snub, or some other ego-based response. Recognize how stupid this kind of response is because it does not bring healing and correction, which is what we really want for ourselves and for everybody!  While it is entirely up to us how long it takes us to be established teachers of God, non-judgment is clearly a characteristic to reach for, to accept gladly from His Hand, and to practice until made perfect.


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. IV. What are the characteristics of God’s teachers? ll. Honesty lll Tolerance. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS IV. What Are The Characteristics of God’s Teachers?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS IV

1. The surface traits of God’s teachers are not at all alike. They do not look alike to the body’s eyes, they come from vastly different backgrounds, their experiences of the world vary greatly, and their superficial “personalities” are quite distinct. Nor, at the beginning stages of their functioning as teachers of God, have they yet acquired the deeper characteristics that will establish them as what they are. God gives special gifts to His teachers because they have a special role in His plan for Atonement. Their specialness is, of course, only temporary; set in time as a means of leading out of time. These special gifts, born in the holy relationship toward which the teaching-learning situation is geared, become characteristic of all teachers of God who have advanced in their own learning. In this respect they are all alike.

2. All differences among the Sons of God are temporary. Nevertheless, in time it can be said that the advanced teachers of God have the following characteristics:

1. Trust

1. This is the foundation on which their ability to fulfill their function rests. Perception is the result of learning. In fact, perception is learning, because cause and effect are never separated. The teachers of God have trust in the world because they have learned it is not governed by the laws the world made up. It is governed by a power that is in them but not of them. It is this power that keeps all things safe. It is through this power that the teachers of God look on a forgiven world.

2. When the power has been once experienced, it is impossible to trust one’s own petty strength again. Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him? And who would place his faith in the shabby offerings of the ego when the gifts of God are laid before him? What is it that induces them to make the shift?

A. Development of Trust

3. First, they must go through what might be called “a period of undoing.” This need not be painful, but it usually is so experienced. It seems as if things are being taken away, and it is rarely understood initially that their lack of value is merely being recognized. How can lack of value be perceived unless the perceiver is in a position where he must see things in a different light? He is not yet at a point at which he can make the shift entirely internally. And so the plan will sometimes call for changes in what seem to be external circumstances. These changes are always helpful. When the teacher of God has learned that much, he goes on to the second stage.

4. Next, the teacher of God must go through “a period of sorting out.” This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. He will find that many, if not most of the things he valued before will merely hinder his ability to transfer what he has learned to new situations as they arise. Because he has valued what is really valueless, he will not generalize the lesson for fear of loss and sacrifice. It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters, and circumstances are helpful. It is only to the extent to which they are helpful that any degree of reality should be accorded them in this world of illusion. The word “value” can apply to nothing else.

5. The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called “a period of relinquishment.” If this is interpreted as giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. Few teachers of God escape this distress entirely. There is, however, no point in sorting out the valuable from the valueless unless the next obvious step is taken. Therefore, the period of overlap is apt to be one in which the teacher of God feels called upon to sacrifice his own best interests on behalf of truth. He has not realized as yet how wholly impossible such a demand would be. He can learn this only as he actually does give up the valueless. Through this, he learns that where he anticipated grief, he finds a happy lightheartedness instead; where he thought something was asked of him, he finds a gift bestowed on him.

6. Now comes “a period of settling down.” This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests awhile in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning. Now he begins to see the transfer value of what he has learned. Its potential is literally staggering, and the teacher of God is now at the point in his progress at which he sees in it his whole way out. “Give up what you do not want and keep what you do.” How simple is the obvious! And how easy to do! The teacher of God needs this period of respite. He has not yet come as far as he thinks. Yet when he is ready to go on, he goes with mighty companions beside him. Now he rests awhile and gathers them before going on. He will not go on from here alone.

7. The next stage is indeed “a period of unsettling.” Now must the teacher of God understand that he did not really know what was valuable and what was valueless. All that he really learned so far was that he did not want the valueless. And that he did want the valuable. Yet his own sorting out was meaningless in teaching him the difference. The idea of sacrifice, so central to his own thought system, had made it impossible for him to judge. He thought he learned willingness, but now he sees that he does not know what the willingness is for. And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed!

8. And finally, there is a period of achievement. It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before becomes solid gains, to be counted on in all “emergencies” as well as tranquil times. Indeed, the tranquility is their result, the outcome of honest learning, consistency of thought, and full transfer. This is a stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would “go” anywhere if peace of mind is already complete? And who would seek to change tranquility for something more desirable? What could be more desirable than this?[1]

Today we begin the study of the ten characteristics of God’s teachers. The characteristics are gifts that are given to those of us who commit ourselves to living for God and therefore to teach God. In no way should we judge ourselves against these characteristics – these attributes are God’s Attributes and God gives us His attributes as we learn, through trial and error throughout our lifetimes in separation, to turn to Him for our Help, guidance, and awakening.  They are special gifts only in the sense that the world can only give us substitutes and alternatives to the characteristics of God.  In fact it is the substitutes and alternatives that replace the attributes of God in our flesh lives that maintain and sustain the ego.  So special gifts are only special in the sense of the world.  There is nothing special about these gifts in the Kingdom of God, for they are for all and are held equally by all. 

Trust is the first characteristic that we will study because without trust we cannot hope to develop any of the other attributes which characterize solid teachers of God. If you are like me, you have become a teacher of God because you did not want to teach anything else that would distract from or obstruct the real call of God in your heart and mind.  When we choose to devote our life to God, we are really choosing to devote our life to attributes that we denote as God: Goodness, truth, mercy, grace, love, peace, and joy, each attribute expanding into more of itself. In the world of perception, this is as close to God as we can get!  Just as we are drawn to that which makes us feel joy, those who cherish us, those who share in our happiness so are we drawn into webs of deceit, attack and defense cycles, identifying with those who are only too happy to pervert us and make us pay for their “love,” “friendship,” and “nurturance.”  In a world of opposites, every truth has an alternate lie, every attribute of God has an opposite that poses as equal in strength and attractiveness.  This is our lot in the world, and it is bewildering and maddening at best.   

In such a world, we must develop trust in God and come to know with certainty that there is no other recourse. We develop trust in stages that are outlined here in our text.  Today in your personal devotional practice, read and listen closely to the words of our Teacher.  Ask Holy Spirit to show you in which developmental stage you fit and continue with patience and trust to apply yourself to this process.  As we use trust, we build trust; the more we call upon Holy Spirit to help us, the more we learn to rely upon the only source of Help that is truly helpful! 

We will take the next few days to study the characteristics of God, but for today our focus is on trust.  As we devote ourselves to developing trust, we will be given many opportunities which will look like trials and errors.  We are to practice perceiving every encounter, relationship, circumstance, and event in our daily lives as a means to develop trust.  We will make mistakes, but these are not sins or failures, only an indication that we did not choose what we really want in any given situation and therefore relied on our fretfulness, fear, anger, and lack of self-control rather than practicing trust in God.

Practicing trust in God puts our minds at ease.  We are no longer troubled by the world or the legions of worries and cares that besiege us on a daily basis.  Today stay with trust until you have a deepened understanding of why Jesus emphasizes this attribute first and foremost for without trust we cannot achieve the peace and tranquility required to get past the upheavals, twists, and turns that would otherwise characterize our egos and special relationships.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. IV. What are the characteristics of God’s teachers? I. Trust A. development of trust. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHER III. What Are The Levels of Teaching?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS III

1. The teachers of God have no set teaching level. Each teaching-learning situation involves a different relationship at the beginning, although the ultimate goal is always the same; to make of the relationship a holy relationship, in which both can look upon the Son of God as sinless. There is no one from whom a teacher of God cannot learn, so there is no one whom he cannot teach. However, from a practical point of view he cannot meet everyone, nor can everyone find him. Therefore, the plan includes very specific contacts to be made for each teacher of God. There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship. They are ready for each other.

2. The simplest level of teaching appears to be quite superficial. It consists of what seems to be very casual encounters; a “chance” meeting of two apparent strangers in an elevator, a child who is not looking where he is going running into an adult “by chance,” two students “happening” to walk home together. These are not chance encounters. Each of them has the potential for becoming a teaching-learning situation. Perhaps the seeming strangers in the elevator will smile to one another; perhaps the adult will not scold the child for bumping into him; perhaps the students will become friends. Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough. Salvation has come.

3. It is difficult to understand that levels of teaching the universal course is a concept as meaningless in reality as is time. The illusion of one permits the illusion of the other. In time, the teacher of God seems to begin to change his mind about the world with a single decision, and then learns more and more about the new direction as he teaches it. We have covered the illusion of time already, but the illusion of levels of teaching seem to be something different. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate that these levels cannot exist is simply to say that any level of the teaching-learning situation is part of God’s plan for Atonement, and His plan can have no levels, being a reflection of His Will. Salvation is always ready and always there. God’s teachers work at different levels, but the result is always the same.

4. Each teaching-learning situation is maximal in the sense that each person involved will learn the most that he can from the other person at that time. In this sense, and in this sense only, we can speak of levels of teaching. Using the term in this way, the second level of teaching is a more sustained relationship, in which, for a time, two people enter into a fairly intense teaching-learning situation and then appear to separate. As with the first level, these meetings are not accidental, nor is what appears to be the end of the relationship a real end. Again, each has learned the most he can at the time. Yet all who meet will someday meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy. God is not mistaken in His Son.

5. The third level of teaching occurs in relationships which, once they are formed, are lifelong. These are teaching-learning situations in which each person is given a chosen learning partner who presents him with unlimited opportunities for learning. These relationships are generally few, because their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect. This does not mean that they necessarily recognize this; in fact, they generally do not. They may even be quite hostile to each other for some time, and perhaps for life. Yet should they decide to learn it, the perfect lesson is before them and can be learned. And if they decide to learn that lesson, they become the saviors of the teachers who falter and may even seem to fail. No teacher of God can fail to find the Help he needs.[1]

When we decide to become a teacher of God, we are simply deciding to live for God, for as we live we teach.  While within this context there seem to be levels of teaching, in the unity and oneness of Spirit, there can be no levels.  My chance encounter with you may result in us both leaving the interaction a bit more enlightened.  I may think, “That woman smiled at me like she knew me, and I felt as if I knew her as well, and yet it is impossible that we would know each other in the flesh.  It must be that we met before.” And my consciousness for that moment and for every moment that I think of you ever after will be expanded, for I recognized you in the Spirit and you recognized me in return.  These would seem like superficial teaching-learning situations, yet they come to us when we need them and remind us of our everlasting connection. We are pulled out of the small, petty, self-centered, fictional realm of isolation and separation, into the universal realm of God in these moments. We step out of our body-consciousness and into a spirit-consciousness where our affection, love, and devotion to each other was never broken or tarnished by thoughts of specialness, self-gain, or setting up a kingdom outside the reality of God. 

Processing our relationships in the manner which Jesus sets forth in this section is the only sane way in which to escape the ego’s sense of guilt, shame, or specialness.  The relationships we are offered in the world come with all manner of strings, baggage, demands, obligations, and calls for sacrifice.  And when they end for whatever reason, the best way to view what happened is to look with honest objectivity at what was taught and what was learned. It may not be pretty, it may be painful, it may very well make you want to hang your head in shame or go after someone with vengeance, but when we take responsibility for our relationships and bring them to holiness, we learn what we taught, and we teach what we learned. 

The world would have our relationships end in bitterness, accusations, victimhood, and ongoing battles enlisting others to take our side against our would-be enemy.  But the holy way in which to process the end of our relationships is to learn all we can from them and give them to God.  To fall into bitterness is an assault against God and our brothers, and in that realm all manner of terrible things happen to those we love the most because we do not give the ending of our relationships to God.  We force our friends and family members to take sides. We rely on judges and jurors to make decisions about our children’s lives because we seem incapable to end a “second-level” teaching-learning relationship in peace and love and joy. We enrich the pockets of greedy lawyers who would much rather see us duke it out in court than to end our relationships with dignity, forgiveness, high regard, and mutual respect. 

Second-level relationships do not refer only to marriages, but to friendships, organizational memberships, and other would-be lifelong commitments that end.  When any relationship ends it simply means that we have taught one another all we can from that extended encounter at this time.  The endings of second-level relationships are not real endings, for we are all Sons of God and have an eternal connection.  When we accept and embrace this teaching, all of our previous relationships that we viewed with shame or sorrow are imbued with a sense of purpose and meaning.  I thought that you treated me very shabby – and now instead of hating you for teaching me this, I love you for it. I thank you. By your shabby treatment I learned that I am worthy of being loved and cherished and I knew to look for that in my next relationship. 

When we use the concept of levels of teaching as a learning aid in our Teacher of God training, we then learn to appreciate and recognize the life-long teaching-learning relationships for what they are. We do not expect them then to be rosy and perfect. If they were rosy and perfect, we would not be here having to learn and teach! If I did not have struggle so much to control my temper, to not go on rants, to not expect too much from myself and others, I would not be here to teach and learn with you.  Our life-long teaching-learning relationships are perfectly designed and timed to teach us the skills for life eternal, if we can accept them for what they are and avoid idolizing, attacking, and judging them according to the world’s standards.  We are here to teach and learn the Christ in each other, to accept ourselves as sinless and blameless and perfectly worthy of our Father’s love.  Accepting this and practicing this elevates our consciousness, restoring our minds and gracing us with the loveliness of God.   


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. III. What are the levels of teaching? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS II Who Are Their Pupils?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS III

1. Certain pupils have been assigned to each of God’s teachers, and they will begin to look for him as soon as he has answered the call. They were chosen for him because the form of the universal curriculum that he will teach is best for them in view of their level of understanding. His pupils have been waiting for him, for his coming is certain. Again, it is only a matter of time. Once he has chosen to fulfill his role, they are ready to fulfill theirs. Time waits on his choice, but not on whom he will serve. When he is ready to learn, the opportunities to teach will be provided for him.

2. In order to understand the teaching-learning plan of salvation, it is necessary to grasp the concept of time that the course sets forth. Atonement corrects illusions, not truth. Therefore, it corrects what never was. Further, the plan for this correction was established and completed simultaneously, for the will of God is entirely apart from time. So is all reality, being of Him. The instant the idea of separation entered the mind of God’s Son, in that same instant was God’s answer given. In time this happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.

3. The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at anytime you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there. As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned.

4. Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. And thus it is that pupil and teacher seem to come together in the present, finding each other as if they had not met before. The pupil comes at the right time to the right place. This is inevitable, because he made the right choice in that ancient instant which he now relives. So has the teacher, too, made an inevitable choice out of an ancient past. God’s will in everything but seems to take time in the working-out. What could delay the power of eternity?

5. When pupil and teacher come together, a teaching-learning situation begins. For the teacher is not really the one who does the teaching. God’s teacher speaks to any two who joined together for learning purposes. The relationship is fully because of that purpose, and God has promised to send His spirit into any holy relationship. In the teaching-learning situation, each one learns that giving and receiving are the same. The demarcations they have drawn between their roles, their minds, their bodies, their needs, their interests, and all the differences they thought separated them from one another, fade and grow dim and disappear. Those who would learn the same course share one interest and one goal. And thus he who was the learner becomes a teacher of God himself, for he has made the one decision that gave his teacher to him. He has seen in another person the same interests as his own.[1]

In today’s blog post Jesus once again reiterates that pupils and their teachers are the same.  Nobody has more to teach than another – and when we dedicate our minds and hearts, our very Being to God we come to one another in a “new” attitude – as equals, as I will teach you what I know and you will teach me what you know and we will return to God together, thus informed! 

We see each other and every circumstance in our life with the view of what does this have to teach me? What thing have I learned about my need for return to God?  What good can come from this? Has my love and patience for Creation been deepened because of this circumstance? In this way even the worst situations, the embarrassing incidents, the times we lose our tempers and strike out at each other, the times we say insulting things or forget to use our manners – can be changed into an opportunity to deepen our resolve to draw closer to the Christ within rather than shrink back from the Christ within.  For we know that there is no shame! There is no reproof! There is no sin and eternal shame and punishment! There is only a call within to accept our place in God’s Kingdom as Christ calls to us to return to Him. 

When we come to study any spiritual path, let us be wary of any body or organization that would make themselves big and important in our lives, which would impose and impact us with their personality, which would require from us attention, money, adoration, or any kind of following.  We follow the Christ within each other in a spirit of brotherhood and mutuality.  We do not try to make money from each other. We do not use other people to gain a sense of belonging or specialness.  This is idolatry and not Sonship. You will never teach me more than I teach you; I will never teach you more than you teach me.   No matter how long you have been studying or devoting yourself to any spiritual path, including this Course, we meet in that holy instant, as we were created – as one, as equal Sons of God. 

Jesus informs us in paragraph two that the plan of salvation was complete from the first thought we had of separation. God devised the plan of return, the plan that would save us from ourselves, that would awaken us from the fiction of isolation and bewilderment to the reality of all that ever was and ever will be.

In your personal devotional habit today, meditate upon the last paragraph of today’s passage.  As you go to the holy altar within, allow the demarcations that separate you from others melt away, practice seeing others as you see yourself, commit to seeing others as equal to yourself without any judgment, condemnation, or comparison. This is the practice of salvation for nobody is saved until we are all saved – for we are one. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers. II. Who are their pupils? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS I. Who Are God’s Teachers?

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS l.

1. A teacher of God is anyone who chooses to be one. His qualifications consist solely in this; somehow, somewhere he has made a deliberate choice in which he did not see his interests as apart from someone else’s. Once he has done that, his road is established, and his direction is sure. A light has entered the darkness. It may be a single light, but that is enough. He has entered an agreement with God even if he does not yet believe in Him. He has become a bringer of salvation. He has become a teacher of God.

2. They come from all over the world. They come from all religions and from no religion. They are the ones who have answered. The call is universal. It goes on all the time everywhere. It calls for teachers to speak for It and redeem the world. Many hear It, but few will answer. Yet it is all a matter of time. Everyone will answer in the end, but the end can be a long, long way off. It is because of this that the plan of the teachers was established. Their function is to save time. Each one begins as a single light, but with a call at its center it is a light that cannot be limited. And each one saves a thousand years of time as the world judges it. To the call itself time has no meaning.

3. There is a course for every teacher of God. The form of the course varies greatly. So do the particular teaching aids involved. But the content of the course never changes. Its central theme is always, “God’s Son is guiltless, and in his innocence is his salvation.” It can be taught by actions or thoughts, in words or soundlessly, in any language or in no language, in any place or time or manner. It does not matter who the teacher was before he heard the call. He has become a savior by his answering. He has seen someone else as himself. He has therefore found his own salvation and the salvation of the world. In his rebirth is the world reborn.

4. This is a manual for a special curriculum, intended for teachers of a special form of the universal course. There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. They merely save time. Yet it is time alone that winds on wearily, and the world is very tired now. It is old and worn and without hope. There was never a question of outcome, for what can change the Will of God? But time, with its illusions of change and death, wears out the world and all things in it. Yet time has an ending, and it is this that the teachers of God are appointed to bring about. For time is in their hands. Such was their choice, and it is given them.[1]

When we answer the call of God, we become teachers of God. It does not matter who we are, it does not matter if we feel qualified or not, it does not matter what background we come from, the styles of our communication, appearance, age, culture, or gender.  A call of God is one that goes out to everybody and at all time.  God is calling to us to awaken, God is calling to us to come Home. 

So today the Christ in me urges the Christ in you to step forward, to commit yourself to answer the call.  Do not worry if people hold your past against you! Do not worry if you have a potty mouth or a tendency to go into rants and rages! Do not worry about all your personality flaws, weaknesses, and shortcomings. Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are – simply answer the call of God in your life.  Commit yourself to see the Christ in me even as I commit to see the Christ in you. Commit yourself to teach the innocence of God’s Son – for when I see you as not guilty, only then can I accept my own guiltlessness. 

Time has an ending, Jesus tells us, and the end of time is in the hands of God’s teachers.  For when we teach and learn of God, we commit ourselves to a process of shedding our humanity and taking up our divinity. This practice looses us from the birth and death cycles of the world and restores us to the freedom and liberty of Spirit. The time this takes is entirely up to you and to me.

Today in your personal devotional time ask Holy Spirit to make this passage clear to you. Without this understanding, we consider time a commodity that is quickly depleted by each passing second. Time becomes our enemy – it flies by as we age; we lose our faculties, we die. Or it drags out torturously when we are sentenced to “doing time” for a perceived sin or crime.  Weary, worn, and sad, the days of our lives simply fail to live up to their promise.

When we understand time as a means of salvation and return, time is our friend. We have as much of it as we need to learn all we must learn to free ourselves from our love and fascination for lies, for intrigue, for specialness. Time as a means to return to God elevates our consciousness and the consciousness of everyone and everything we encounter. Using time for salvation saves thousands of years of ongoing drama and trauma that we inflict upon each other otherwise.  Today let the call of God rest in your mind and speak to your heart, for this is the best possible use of your time. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for Teachers, I. Who are God’s Teachers? Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM – MANUAL FOR TEACHERS INTRODUCTION

ACIM MANUAL FOR TEACHERS Introduction

1. The role of teaching and learning is actually reversed in the thinking of the world. The reversal is characteristic. It seems as if the teacher and the learner are separated, the teacher giving something to the learner rather than to himself. Further, the act of teaching is regarded as a special activity, in which one engages only a relatively small proportion of one’s time. The course, on the other hand, emphasizes that to teach is to learn, so that teacher and learner are the same. It also emphasizes that teaching is a constant process; it goes on every moment of the day and continues into sleeping thoughts as well.

2. To teach is to demonstrate. There are only two thoughts systems, and you demonstrate that you believe one or the other is true all the time. From your demonstration others learn, and so do you. The question is not whether you will teach, for in that there is no choice. The purpose of the course might be said to provide you with the means of choosing what you want to teach on the basis of what you want to learn. You cannot give to someone else, but only to yourself, and this you learn through teaching. Teaching is but a call to witnesses to attest to what you believe. It is a method of conversion. This is not done by words alone. Any situation must be to you a chance to teach others what you are, and what they are to you. No more than that, but also never less.

3. The curriculum you set up is therefore determined exclusively by what you think you are, and what you believe the relationship of others is to you. In the formal setting in the formal teaching situation, these questions may be totally unrelated to what you think you are teaching. Yet it is impossible not to use the content of any situation on behalf of what you really teach, and therefore really learn. To this the verbal content of your teaching is quite irrelevant. It may coincide with it, or it may not. It is the teaching underlying what you say that teaches you. Teaching but reinforces what you believe about yourself. Its fundamental purpose is to diminish self-doubt. This does not mean that the self you are trying to protect is real. But it does mean that the self you think is real is what you teach.

4. This is inevitable. There is no escape from it. How could it be otherwise? Everyone who follows the world’s curriculum, and everyone here does follow it until he changes his mind, teaches solely to convince himself that he is where he is not. Herein is the purpose of the world. What else, then, would its curriculum be? Into this hopeless and closed learning situation, which teaches nothing but despair and death, God sends His teachers. And as they teach His lessons of joy and hope, their learning finally becomes complete.

5. Except for God’s teachers there would be little hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever real. The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach deception. And what else is hell? This is a manual for the teachers of God. They are not perfect, or they would not be here. Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over, in many, many ways, until they have learned it. And then they are seen no more, although their thoughts remain a source of strength and truth forever. Who are they? How are they chosen? What do they do? How can they work out their own salvation and the salvation of the world? This manual attempts to answer these questions.[1]

For those of you following the syllabus, I apologize for the delay in our study of the Manual for Teachers. Our Thanksgiving travels lasted a few more days than expected, and it has taken me a few days to regroup and get back to the public devotional.  I trust that you have continued with your personal lessons and devotional readings.  Thank you for all the kind emails and words of appreciation upon the completion of the Text.  It has been lovely to read the different ways in which the study has impacted your lives! We are blessed to have this Course available to us.

I am intentionally keeping my commentary as slight as possible not only because of the delay but also because we will study the Manual in depth throughout the coming year, focusing on practical and personal application on a daily basis.   

Today I have good reason however to stress that while this is a manual for the teachers of God, we are not perfect!  If we were perfect, we would not be here. We study this Course and we become teachers of God because we believe in the perfection of God and His Son.  To lose sight of God and His Son as perfect is to lose sight of who and what we really are and accept that we are flesh and ego and separate from one another and from God forever. 

Our mission then as teachers of God is to remember and reacquaint ourselves with the Christ within, and as we demonstrate, no matter how clumsily or awkward, no matter how many mistakes we make or how much we stumble, we come to Sonship by expressing through our words, thoughts, and deeds how to go about this until we get it right. We are in this process together.  To judge ourselves or others throughout this process is to impede our spiritual awakening.  So please be forgiving of yourself through all of this and no matter how jolly mad your fumbles and stumbles, remember: We are made perfect only through our trials and errors – this is what we learn when this is what we teach. 

Except for this teaching and teachers who are willing to demonstrate this concept, the world becomes dreary and weary, without meaning and purpose, full of pain, sorrow, shame, self-reproach, and disappointment.  Our religions let us down, our special relationships drive us batty, our bodies fail us, our wits and wiles stop working. The flesh withers on the bone and falls off. The world is a hellish realm to those who are deceived by it. 

This is a manual for those of us ready to demonstrate through the process of our perfection the attributes of God. It is a practice; it is both a calling and a response to a call, it is a simultaneous working out of our individual salvation as well as the salvation of all. We prepare for God’s Kingdom by teaching God’s Kingdom in whatever capacity we can. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Manual for teachers. Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For 2021 daily Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION VIII Choose Once Again

ACIM CHAPTER 31 VIII Choose Once Again

1. Temptation has one lesson it would teach, in all its forms, wherever it occurs. It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders him to feel. It sets the limits on what he can do; its power is the only strength he has; his grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach. Would you be this, if Christ appeared to you in all His glory, asking you but this:

Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there.

For He has come, and He is asking this.

2. How do you make the choice? How easily it is explained! You always choose between your weakness and the strength of Christ in you. And what you choose is what you think is real. Simply by never using weakness to direct your actions, you have given it no power. And the light of Christ in you is given charge of everything you do. For you have brought your weakness unto Him, and He has given you His strength instead.

3. Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought you. In every difficulty, all distress, and each perplexity Christ calls to you and gently says, “My brother, choose again.” He would not leave one source of pain unhealed, nor any image left to veil the truth. He would remove all misery from you whom God created altar unto joy. He would not leave you comfortless, alone in dreams of hell, but would release your mind from everything that hides His face from you. His Holiness is yours because He is the only power that is real in you. His strength is yours because He is the Self that God created as His only Son.

4. The images you make cannot prevail against what God Himself would have you be. Be never fearful of temptation, then, but see it as another chance to choose again, and let Christ’s strength prevail in every circumstance and every place you raised an image of yourself before. For what appears to hide the face of Christ is powerless before His majesty and disappears before His holy sight. The saviors of the world, who see like Him, are merely those who choose His strength instead of their own weakness, seen apart from Him. They will redeem the world, for they are joined in all the power of the Will of God. And what they will is only what He wills.

5. Learn, then, the happy habit of response to all temptation to perceive yourself as weak and miserable with these words:

I am as God created me. His Son can suffer nothing. And I am His Son.

Thus is Christ’s strength invited to prevail, replacing all your weakness with the strength that comes from God and that can never fail. And thus are miracles as natural as fear and agony appeared to be before the choice for holiness was made. For in that choice are false distinctions gone, illusory alternatives laid by, and nothing left to interfere with truth.

6. You are as God created you, and so is every living thing you look upon, regardless of the images you see. What you behold as sickness and as pain, as weakness and as suffering and loss, is but temptations to perceive yourself defenseless and in hell. Yield not to this, and you will see all pain, in every form, wherever it occurs, but disappear as mists before the sun. A miracle has come to heal God’s Son and close the door upon his dreams of weakness, opening the way to his salvation and release. Choose once again what you would have him be, remembering that every choice you make establishes your own identity as you will see it and believe it is.

7. Deny me not the little gift I ask, when in exchange I lay before your feet the peace of God, and power to bring this peace to everyone who wanders in the world uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear. For it is given you to join with him, and through the Christ in you unveil his eyes and let him look upon the Christ in him.

8. My brothers in salvation, do not fail to hear my voice and listen to my words. I ask for nothing but your own release. There is no place for hell within a world whose loveliness can yet be so intense and so inclusive it is but a step from there to Heaven. To your tired eyes I bring a vision of a different world, so new and clean and fresh you will forget the pain and sorrow that you saw before. Yet this a vision in which you must share with everyone you see for otherwise you will behold it not. To give this gift is how to make it yours. And God ordained, in loving kindness, that it be for you.

9. Let us be glad that we can walk the world and find so many chances to perceive another situation where God’s gift can once again be recognized as ours! And thus will all the vestiges of hell, the secret sins and hidden hates be gone. And all the loveliness which they concealed appear like lawns of Heaven to our sight, to lift us high above the thorny roads we travelled on before the Christ appeared. Hear me, my brothers, hear and join with me, God has ordained I cannot call in vain, and in His certainty I rest content. For you will hear, and you will choose again. And in this choice is everyone made free.

10. I thank You Father for these holy ones who are my brothers as they are Your Sons. My faith in them is Yours. I am as sure that they will come to me as You are sure of what they are and will forever be. They will accept the gift I offer them because You gave it me on their behalf. And as I would but do Your holy Will, so will they choose. And I give thanks for them. Salvation’s song will echo through the world with every choice they make. For we are one in purpose and the end of hell is near.

11. In joyous welcome is my hand outstretched to every brother who would join with me in reaching past temptation and who looks with fixed determination toward the light that shines beyond in perfect constancy. Give me my own, for they belong to You. And can You fail in what is but Your Will? I give You thanks for what my brothers are. And as each one elects to join with me, the song of thanks from earth to Heaven grows from tiny, scattered threads of melody to one inclusive chorus from a world redeemed from hell and giving thanks to You.

12. And now we say “Amen.” For Christ has come to dwell in the abode You set for Him before time was, in calm eternity. The journey closes, ending at the place where it began. No trace of it remains. Not one illusion is accorded faith, and not one spot of darkness still remains to hide the face of Christ from anyone. Thy Will is done, complete and perfectly and all creation recognizes You and knows You as the only Source it has. Clear in Your likeness does the light shine forth from everything that lives and moves in You. For we have reached where all of us are one and we are home, where You would have us be. [1]

Blessings and congratulations are due. We have come to the end of the Course text. Today spend as much time as you can with our text reading over this last section, praying for illumination of its beautiful meaning, asking Holy Spirit to guide and direct you to those who are ready to awaken and join the saviors of the world.  Do not allow your carnal mind to sneer and jab at your dedication to return to the High Mind of Christ.  This is our salvation.  Our attempts to reach for the Christ within may be awkward and clumsy. We will make mistakes. We will say and do things that later we will be tempted to judge and grow discouraged.  These are all opportunities for growth and development. Learn to look at your spiritual practice as a means to “choose again.” For this is what our life in flesh will be – a means to choose again and again and again. 

Temptation lies in the form of accepting the status quo, of believing that there is no hope for a world that is not as God created it, to believe that we are divided and only some get to return to Heaven while the rest of us are too sinful and unworthy to ever hope of seeing God, let alone being called His Son.  The temptation lies in dividing the Sonship into goats and sheep, into male and female, into chaff and wheat, into the good boy who stays at home and helps out dad and the one that runs off and takes up with whores and hoodlums.  As we go within to find the Self that never dies, the outer realm is proved to be unreal – it cannot define us, it cannot determine our worth or tell us who and what we are, it cannot touch the reality of Christ within each living thing.  The outer realm may have us at each other’s throats, but the Inner Kingdom is unaffected by such insanity – for there we are eternally one in spirit; unified forever as God’s Son, as God’s Creation, as God’s Kingdom. 

Christ calls us to join Him in the salvation of the world.  Return your mind and heart to oneness and to unity.  Refuse to be tempted by the world and choose again the beautiful brotherhood we find in Sonship.  If this all sounds like pie-in-the-sky rhetoric that will never hold up in your daily practice begin right where you are with the people, situations, and circumstances that surround you.  This is your learning field, your mission field, your call to practice the Kingdom principles and choose again the way of return to God. View each living thing in your daily life as the sacred trust that God has given you and experience for yourself the heightened consciousness, the expansion of God’s Kingdom within, the loving, joyful, healing of relationships infused with the Divine.  

As we journey on our spiritual path to God we shed our grievances, we shed our ranting and raving, we shed our perceptions of enmity, our habits of finding fault, backstabbing, and pointing fingers.  We learn to rely not upon our human perceptions but on the mercy and grace of Christ within us, the Holy Spirit Who knows all things and sees all things with eyes of love.  We cannot bring anything of this world Home with us.  When this world has taught us everything we need to know, it no longer has any meaning to us. When it has convinced us that all alternatives to love and joy and peace end in hatred, sorrow, and war, that making lies is no replacement for honesty, communication, and communion, that preying upon creation is no substitute for loving it we are ready to go Home. 

Joining with the saviors of the world is a beautiful invitation that Christ within calls forth in us.  We choose again!  As we share this message with one another, we are lifted out of the miry clay of despair and sense of hopelessness we would otherwise have in a world that offers no real hope of happiness, certainty, and safety.  When we elect to join with Christ, the tiny, scattered threads of melody that now ring here and there across the stretch of time and space become one inclusive chorus of a world redeemed from hatred, brokenness, sin, and death. Rising in a song of gratitude and praise to God for delivering us from our own devices and divinations, we are not separated from those we love over mean little differences, spiteful judgments, and human mistakes. We are lifted out them. Our time in the world is over when everybody’s time in the world is over; nobody is left behind; nobody is denied all the opportunities they need to choose again.  For our Father is Love and He created us in Love and for Love and to be Love like Himself.  

Speaking of love, I loved going through this Course with you. There were many days I did not feel up to this task. There were days when I could not bear the sound of my own voice. There were days I went on rants against the world, resenting the circumstances and people who have taught me the most about my need for salvation and who and what I really am in Sonship and in Christ. There were days that my ego gave me pause and did its best to interfere in my spiritual path, making the world seem so real to me that to deny its reality seemed like insanity.  And yet the daily devotional practice is a time of seeing beyond the world and what I see in that place is the realest thing, because it is my Home, the place where I belong, the place in which I not only find my own Being, but I find yours there with me.  In that place is where the journey ends – right where it all began!


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision viii. choose once again. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION VII. The Savior’s Vision 9-15

ACIM CHAPTER 31 VII The Savior’s Vision 9-15

9. The veil across the face of Christ, the fear of God and of salvation, and the love of guilt and death, they all are different names for just one error; that there is a space between you and your brother, kept apart by an illusion of yourself that holds him off from you, and you away from him. The sword of judgment is the weapon that you give to the illusion of yourself, that it may fight to keep the space that holds your brother off unoccupied by love. Yet while you hold this sword, you must perceive the body as yourself, for you are bound to separation from the sight of him who holds the mirror to another view of what he is, and thus what you must be.

10. What is temptation but the wish to stay in hell and misery? And what could this give rise to but an image of yourself that can be miserable, and remain in hell and torment? Who has learned to see his brother not as this has saved himself, and thus is he a savior to the rest. To everyone has God entrusted all, because a partial savior would be one who is but partly saved. The holy ones whom God has given you to save are but everyone you meet or look upon, not knowing who they are; all those you saw an instant and forgot, and those you knew a long while since, and those you will yet meet; the unremembered and the not yet born. For God has given you His Son to save from every concept that he ever held.

11. Yet while you wish to stay in hell, how could you be the savior of the Son of God? How would you know his holiness while you see him apart from yours? For holiness is seen through holy eyes that look upon the innocence within, and thus expect to see it everywhere. And so they call it forth in everyone they look upon, that he may be what they expect of him. This is the savior’s vision; that he see his innocence in all he looks upon and see his own salvation everywhere. He holds no concept of himself between his calm and open eyes and what he sees. He brings the light to what he looks upon, that he may see it as it really is.

12. Whatever form temptation seems to take, it always but reflects a wish to be a self that you are not. And from that wish a concept rises, teaching that you are the thing you wish to be. It will remain your concept of yourself until the wish that fathered it no longer is held dear. But while you cherish it, you will behold your brother in the likeness of the self whose image has the wish begot of you. For seeing can but represent a wish because it has no power to create. Yet it can look with love or look with hate, depending only on the simple choice of whether you would join with what you see, or keep yourself apart and separate.

13. The savior’s vision is as innocent of what your brother is as it is free of any judgment made upon yourself. It sees no past in anyone at all. And thus it serves a wholly open mind, unclouded by old concepts, and prepared to look on only what the present holds. It cannot judge because it does not know. And recognizing this, it merely asks, “What is the meaning of what I behold?” Then is the answer given. And the door held open for the face of Christ to shine upon the one who asks, in innocence, to see beyond the veil of old ideas and ancient concepts held so long and dear against the vision of the Christ in you.

14. Be vigilant against temptation, then, remembering that it is but a wish, insane and meaningless, to make yourself a thing that you are not. And think as well upon the thing that you would be instead. It is a thing of madness, pain and death; a thing of treachery and black despair, of failing dreams and no remaining hope except to die and end the dream of fear. This is temptation; nothing more than this. Can this be difficult to choose against? Consider what temptation is and see the real alternatives you chose between. There are but two. Be not deceived by what appears as many choices. There is hell and Heaven, and of these you choose but one.

15. Let not the world’s light, given unto you, be hidden from the world. It needs the light, for it is dark indeed, and men despair because the savior’s vision is withheld and what they see is death. Their savior stands, unknowing and unknown, beholding them with seeing eyes and offers them forgiveness with his own. Can you to whom God says, “Release My Son!” be tempted not to listen, when you learn that it is you for whom He asks release? And what but this is what this course would teach? And what but this is there for you to learn? [1]

When we see each other as separate entities, when there is something between us, when I judge you or you judge me unworthy of love, of Christ, of Sonship – we keep ourselves in a state of hell and misery.  For as long as I see you with my flesh eyes and judge you according to my human perceptions, I will not know you. I cannot know you. I will think that your mistakes define you. I will misinterpret the wonderful things you do as a way to get brownie points. I will think that all your goodness only serves to be a cover for your ultimate deceit and treachery.  Our whole relationship will be governed on a moment-to-moment basis of how much we are willing to sacrifice to it, to pour into it, to be special together.  When one or the other makes a mistake, pulls out, or goes on to make new friends, finds a new church, or marries someone we are not crazy about, we will be as strangers to one another.  This is the way of human relationships. They are not based upon truth or reality – they are based upon an image of one another that is either displeasing or pleasing at any given time, but never the one true thing of Christ. 

When we learn to see only Christ in each other, we not only save ourselves, but we save everyone involved.  Each of us are entrusted with the savior’s vision.  We behold each other not as merely another human form, a body, a good person or a bad person, a soul which is saved or unsaved, a friend or an enemy, we behold each other and everyone we meet with the sanctity we give Christ.  It does not matter if we behold a liberal or a conservative, a Muslim or a Christian, a Catholic or a Protestant.  Rich and poor, black and white, big-mouth or quiet, the free and the imprisoned – God has entrusted us to one another saving us from every false image and mean concept that we would make ourselves to be.  This is the vision of Christ, and it is ours.

As long as we are content to call each other names, to get our feathers ruffled over slights and slurs, to let the news feed steal our peace, joy, and well-being, we withhold the savior’s vision. When we lose track of that which is holy, pure, and good in one another, we lose track of that which is holy, pure, and good in us!  We call forth holiness in one another when we choose to see holiness in each other, when we choose to have faith in each other as we would have faith in God Who created us. We call forth all that is good and pure and righteous in each other by choosing to see past and give no credence to all that would oppose goodness, purity, and righteousness. 

In paragraph 11, Jesus informs us that the savior’s vision is one that sees innocence everywhere.  The savior’s vision has no judgment. It lets go of all concepts that would oppose the truth of God.  So when you come to me to tell me of the spite and vengeance of a certain someone, instead of believing in spite and vengeance, my calm and open eyes, dedicated to the savior’s vision brings light to what I look upon that I may see it as it really is.  Because you chose to perceive spite and vengeance, I must trust that you brought this to me out of purity and a real desire to protect me. Yet I must also choose not to perceive any concept that would oppose peace and deceive my perceptions.  This is not a practice in self-deceit. This is a practice in choosing to see with a heightened perception. When we choose to see with the Vision of Christ we release ourselves from the dim view.  Our understanding is broadened. We see from a higher vantage point. We go from the low mind of fault-finding, blame, and shame to the high mind of understanding, trust, forgiveness, and love. 

When we are tempted to join in with the low-minded take on others, events, and circumstances, we are enticed to give up the Christ in us, to become an enemy of God, to join the ranks of those who would oppose the healing of the Sonship and the return to God’s Kingdom.  See yourself as a gossiper, a lover of deceit and treachery, a vulnerable little victim lashing out at those who ruined your life and stole your joy, you will seem to be exactly what this concept of yourself tells you that you are. This is a choice you make. This concept of yourself will be your self-concept until you realize it is not you.  As long as you cherish this concept of yourself, you will look on others as either “for you,” or “against you.” You will spend your days looking for happiness, protection, meaning, and sustenance outside of yourself.  And all of the things you seek will come and go, never gratifying or making you happy. 

When we give up such concepts of our selves and reach for that which is holy and pure inside of us, we are set free from all judgment, self-pity, and condemnation. We accept ourselves and each other in the present moment.  We do not remind each other of our wrongdoing. We do not tease each other about old mistakes. We do not compare our outward appearances with others. We realize that we simply cannot judge ourselves or each other because we do not know ourselves or each other! If I do not know the reasons why I did the things I did, how can I be expected to know about you? If I do not remember what I was going through, how could I know what you were going through?  Recognize that we are incapable of making any kind of pronouncements upon anything at all, our minds are free to reach for meaning from the Higher Source.  Only there is the answer given. 

As long as I judge you on what I think I know about you, how you treated me and my family, how lazy you are, how mean and spiteful, how misguided and misdirected, convinced that I have every right to condemn you and refuse to see you as Christ, I am an enemy of God, I am in opposition to love, I am trusting in the low-minded realm of flesh and not in the high mind of Christ.

We are to be vigilant against this temptation for we are never to place ourselves as judge and juror over our brothers.  The world will give us many seemingly good reasons to oppose the savior’s vision, to condone vengeance, to fail to put our trust in God. We will be tempted to take up arms against each other and feel justified in doing so. We will be tempted to believe the rampant lies about each other, the trumped-up charges, the images of hate and stupidity.  We are not to believe the madness, pain, and death that our news feeds would nurture us upon.  We are not to believe the spin that would obscure the truth of Christ in each other.  We are not to be deceived by all the reasons we would have to turn upon each other with intent to harm and to kill.  This is temptation.  Do not fall for it. 

We are the light of the world because Christ is in us. When we hide our Sonship from each other, we are blinded, we weaken, we get sick, we lose our minds, we maim and kill each other, we die.  God calls us to awaken, to release each other from the nightmare of discord, disunity, and death. We are created in Love, in Joy, and in Peace – this is our Identity, our function, this is who and what we are.  This is all this course would teach and this is all there is to learn.  


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision vii. the savior’s vision 9-15. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION VII. The Savior’s Vision

ACIM CHAPTER 31 VII. The Savior’s Vision

1. Learning is change. Salvation does not seek to use a means as yet too alien to your thinking to be helpful, not to make the kinds of change you could not recognize. Concepts are needed while perception lasts, and changing concepts is salvation’s task. For it must deal in contrasts, not in truth, which has no opposite and cannot change. In this world’s concepts are the guilty “bad;” the “good” are innocent. And no one here but holds a concept of himself in which he counts the “good” to pardon him the “bad.” Nor does he trust the “good” in anyone, believing that the “bad” must lurk behind. This concept emphasizes treachery and trust becomes impossible. Nor could it change while you perceive the “bad” in you.

2. You could not recognize your “evil” thoughts as long as you see value in attack. You will perceive them sometimes but will not see them as meaningless. And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another “crime.” You cannot give yourself your innocence, for you are too confused about yourself. But should one brother dawn upon your sight as wholly worthy of forgiveness, then your concept of yourself is wholly changed. Your “evil” thoughts have been forgiven with his because you let them all affect you not. No longer do you choose that you should be the sign of evil and of guilt in him. And as you give your trust to what is good in him, you give it to the good in you.

3. In terms of concepts, it is thus you see him more than just a body, for the good is never what the body seems to be. The actions of the body are perceived as coming from the “baser” part of you, and thus of him as well. By focusing upon the good in him, the body grows decreasingly persistent in your sight, and will at length be seen as little more than just a shadow circling round the good. And this will be your concept of yourself, when you have reached the world beyond the sight your eyes alone can offer you to see. For you will not interpret what you see without the Aid That God has given you. And in His sight there is another world.

4. You live in that world just as much as this. For both are concepts of yourself, which can be interchanged but never jointly held. The contrast is far greater than you think, for you will love this concept of yourself, because it was not made for you alone. Born as a gift for someone not perceived to be yourself, it has been given you. For your forgiveness, offered unto him, has been accepted now for both of you.

5. Have faith in him who walks with you, so that your fearful concept of yourself may change. And look upon the good in him, that you may not be frightened by your “evil” thoughts because they do not cloud your view of him. And all this shift requires is that you be willing that this happy change occur. No more than this is asked. On its behalf, remember what the concept of yourself that now you hold has brought you in its wake, and welcome the glad contrast offered you. Hold out your hand, that you may have the gift of kind forgiveness which you offer one whose need for it is just the same as yours. And let the cruel concept of yourself be changed to one that brings the peace of God.

6. The concept of yourself that now you hold would guarantee your function here remain forever unaccomplished and undone. And thus it dooms you to a bitter sense of deep depression and futility. Yet it need not be fixed, unless you choose to hold it past the hope of change and keep it static and concealed within your mind. Give it instead to Him Who understands the changes that it needs to let it serve the function given you to bring you peace, that you may offer peace to have it yours. Alternatives are in your mind to use, and you can see yourself another way. Would you not rather look upon yourself as needed for salvation of the world, instead of as salvation’s enemy?

7. The concept of the self stands like a shield, a silent barricade before the truth, and hides it from your sight. All things you see are images, because you look on them as through a barrier that dims your sight and warps your vision, so that you behold nothing with clarity. The light is kept from everything you see. At most, you glimpse a shadow of what lies beyond. At least, you merely look on darkness, and perceive the terrified imaginings that come from guilty thoughts and concepts born of fear. And what you see is hell, for fear is hell. All that is given you is for release; the sight, the vision, and the inner Guide all lead you out of hell with those you love beside you, and the universe with them.

8. Behold your role within the universe! To every part of true creation has the Lord of Love and Life entrusted all salvation from the misery of hell. And to each one has He allowed the grace to be a savior to the holy ones especially entrusted to his care. And this he learns when first he looks upon one brother as he looks upon himself and sees the mirror of himself in him. Thus is the concept of himself laid by, for nothing stands between his sight and what he looks upon, to judge what he beholds. And in this single vision does he see the face of Christ, and understands he looks on everyone as he beholds this one. For there is light where darkness was before, and now the veil is lifted from his sight. [1]

When I look upon you with gentle recognition of the Christ in you, I am seeing you beyond your body, beyond your mistakes, beyond all the ways you get on my nerves and fail to meet my expectations of you.  When I look at you and see what is in you, I can no longer judge you or hold you accountable for things that you said and did in the past, because the things I have done and the things I have said in the past are gone, my mistakes and your mistakes have taught us what we needed to learn from them, we are corrected, we are healed, and they is no longer a use for them on our record. From now on I will trust the good within you and because I trust the good in you, the good within me is trustworthy.    

This goes beyond judging you as “good” according to how nice you are to me personally!  I have no right to judge you in this regard. Whether you suit me as a person or you do not, whether I like the way you look, the way you smell, the way you style your hair, or the political party you support has nothing to do with the Christ in you.  For now I see you beyond your body, and what is good in you and what is good in me is from the Christ within. When we say the Christ within, we are speaking of Sonship here. We are speaking of who we are to God, who we are to each other in God, not in bodies. 

Jesus tells us that we live in that world just as much as this one.  One concept we have of ourselves is of our image, our form, our flesh and blood bodies; the other one is our Spirit, our Mind, our Oneness with God.  The contrast between these two concepts is far greater than we can imagine, for we love the one concept of us because it was made for all.  It was a given, it was our true creation, it was in love and for love and to Be love. 

When we practice faith in one another, we develop faith in our Self. When we look upon the Christ in each other, we can no longer be afraid of that which is not Christ in us.  It no longer has any meaning.  The mistakes we make, the times we use vulgar words and prance an angry jig because things are not going our way, the times we murmur and complain and find fault, do not cloud our vision of the Christ in us. We can laugh at my mistakes and we can laugh at yours.  They hold no power over us, they do not change the facts about us.  We do not have to strive and connive to please God; we do not have to weep and wail and beat our chests in sorrow over our failure to be perfect in the flesh.  We simply put our trust in the Christ within, we ask that we know ourselves as Christ, we welcome and embrace this happy change in our awareness. 

This is a lovely way of Being. There is no guilt involved. There is no fear of hell and torment. There is no punishment. There is no judgment.  Hold our old self-concept of miserable sinner, unworthy flesh-monger, a species not deserving of love, joy, and peace – and we will be miserable, we will sicken ourselves pleading with God trying to change ourselves, attempting to placate His supposed anger, wheedling and groveling and forsaking the real call of Christ in our minds and hearts. 

As long as we believe that Christ is a separate and special entity – the Lone Ranger of salvation, our function as savior remains unaccomplished and undone.  This belief dooms us to depression and futility for we will fail to see our parents, our siblings, our friends, our very children as Christ. We will believe that they are going to burn in hell if they do not read their Bibles, attend church, or say their prayers a certain way.  When we see Christ in all, we no longer judge this one as good and this one as bad. We no longer say this one is saved and this one is unsaved. We give all of Creation to Him Who in our giving gives to us.  When we see each other as Christ sees us, we see each other as savior, and when we see each other as savior, we see ourselves as Christ.  Seeing ourselves as Christ expands our consciousness from one that pushes and keeps others out, separates and divides, hurts and maims and kills to one of inclusion, of unity, oneness, healing, love, peace, joy, and extender of everlasting life. 

Today we will end with paragraph eight and continue tomorrow with the last eight paragraphs of The Savior’s Vision.  In your personal devotional practice today, meditate upon the first half of this section. Dare to picture your role within the universe.  The Lord of Love and Life has entrusted salvation to us.  By grace we are called to join with the Christ, our true Self within.  There is no room for judgment between us for when I look upon you with the savior’s vision, I see myself, I see the face of Christ, and I see everyone as I see you.  In other words I see love, I see joy, I see peace.  I see all that is real and nothing that is unreal.  The light has come and there is no more darkness, the truth has dawned upon my consciousness and the world of opposites disappears. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision vii. the savior’s vision 1-8. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION VI. Recognizing the Spirit

ACIM CHAPTER 31 VI Recognizing the Spirit

1. You see the flesh or recognize the spirit. There is no compromise between the two. If one is real the other must be false, for what is real denies its opposite. There is no choice in vision but this one. What you decide in this determines all you see and think is real and hold as true. On this one choice does all your world depend, for here have you established what you are, as flesh or spirit in your own belief. If you choose flesh, you never will escape the body as your own reality, for you have chosen that you want it so. But choose the spirit and all Heaven bends to touch your eyes and bless your holy sight, that you may see the world of flesh no more except to heal and comfort and to bless. 

2. Salvation is undoing. If you choose to see the body, you behold a world of separation, unrelated things, and happenings that make no sense at all. This one appears and disappears in death; that one is doomed to suffering and loss. And no one is exactly as he was an instant previous, nor will he be the same as he is now an instant hence. Who could have trust where so much change is seen, for who is worthy if he be but dust? Salvation is undoing of all this. For constancy arises in the sight of those whose eyes salvation has released from looking at the cost of keeping guilt, because they chose to let it go instead.

3. Salvation does not ask that you behold the spirit and perceive the body not. It merely asks that this should be your choice. For you can see the body without help, but do not understand how to behold a world apart from it. It is your world salvation will undo, and let you see another world your eyes could never find. Be not concerned how this could ever be. You do not understand how what you see arose to meet your sight. For if you did, it would be gone. The veil of ignorance is drawn across the evil and the good, and must be passed that both may disappear, so that perception finds no hiding place. How is this done? It is not done at all. What could there be within the universe that God created that must still be done?

4. Only in arrogance could you conceive that you must make the way to Heaven plain. The means are given you by which to see the world that will replace the one you made. Your will be done! In Heaven as on earth this is forever true. It matters not where you believe you are, nor what you think the truth about yourself must really be. It makes no difference what you look upon, nor what you choose to feel or think or wish. For God Himself has said, “Your will be done.” And it is done to you accordingly.

5. You who believe that you can choose to see the Son of God as you would have him be, forget not that no concept of yourself will stand against the truth of what you are. Undoing truth would be impossible. But concepts are not difficult to change. One vision, clearly seen, that does not fit the picture as it was perceived before will change the world for eyes that learn to see, because the concept of the self has changed.

6. Are you invulnerable? Then the world is harmless in your sight. Do you forgive? Then is the world forgiving, for you have forgiven it its trespasses, and so it looks on you with eyes that see as yours. Are you a body? So is all the world perceived as treacherous and out to kill. Are you a spirit, deathless, and without the promise of corruption and the stain of sin upon you? So the world is seen as stable, fully worthy of your trust; a happy place to rest in for awhile, where nothing need be feared, but only loved. Who is unwelcome to the kind in heart? And what could hurt the truly innocent?

7. Your will be done, you holy child of God. It does not matter if you think you are in earth or Heaven. What your Father wills of you can never change. The truth in you remains as radiant as a star, pure as light, as innocent as love itself. And you are worthy that your will be done! [1]

When we look out into the world with our physical eyes we see only change. Nothing stays the same! From one moment to the next things happen.  First you smile upon me and then you frown. You say something nice, and I think one thing, and then you make a cutting remark and my entire perception of you changes.  We learn to exist in this place by staying alert, being wary of not only the stranger, but the acquaintance, and our beloved friends and family members.  We work awfully hard to keep the peace, be hospitable, overlook bad manners and lack of appreciation and then admit defeat, wondering how we could have been so stupid to try so hard when nobody else would lift a finger.  This is what happens in the perceptual world. It is not only in my circles but in your circles. It is the story of this world. This world is not God’s Kingdom; it is that which opposes God’s Kingdom.  It is a place of change and then change again and cycles of one thing and then its opposite.  It is the place where grudges are stored and remembered and never forgiven. It is a place where all kinds of things can happen that never happened and you can be held accountable for what you never did or said or even dreamed of doing.  It is a place where vaults are kept with fictional records of wrongdoing; lies are cherished more than truth; separation and division rather than wholeness and unity. It is a place that values punishment over correction, the silent treatment over honest communication, a fascination with disease and sickness over healing and health. 

Salvation undoes the realm of opposites.  Salvation is the choice for certainty and constancy; salvation is the letting go of all that would make guilty and ashamed.  Salvation does not ask us to not see with our flesh eyes, it simply asks that we choose to recognize the Spirit.  We do not need help in the flesh to see the flesh world, but we do need help to see the other world which lies beyond.

We are not to concern ourselves with the mechanics of how this works.  We cannot fathom it at this state of consciousness for a veil of ignorance is drawn across the world of opposites.  As we come to this veil of ignorance we find that we have few words to describe our spiritual insights, our dimmed wits can barely grasp that there is a world beyond the world of perception, we have to reach and stretch for the things of the Spirit for they seem supernatural to us rather than the natural, God-given state of Being in which we were created. 

Many times in the Course commentary I feel that I must make what is apparent to me plain to those who read my blog.  When I find myself agonizing over my failures to get my points across, this is arrogance on my part.  The means are given to each one of us to see the world beyond the one we made.  God’s Love would not abandon you to rely on my insights and commentary alone.  And we should only be thankful for this. For God has placed Himself inside of each of us and it is God within which brings us back to Him – you inform me, and I inform you – for our completeness and wholeness in Spirit and in Truth. 

It is our choice to stay asleep or to awaken.  Try to make the Son of God over your own image, you stay asleep in dreams of change, doubt, and death because no concept of yourself will stand against the truth of who and what you are. Truth cannot be undone, but concepts can.  Changing your self-concept to one of holiness and Spirit changes not only your life, but the world you now see.  For in Sonship we are invulnerable, and the world is therefore harmless in our sight. In Christ we forgive, and the world is forgiving. 

When we no longer identify with division, decay, and death, the world becomes stable, trustworthy, a restful, happy place, a place of love and not of fear.  We have no enemies, we encounter no bullies, our path is clear, our mind is pure, our thoughts toward each other are ones of innocence and goodwill.  This is the will of Sonship, and the will of Sonship is done.  There is no bickering or scheming, no conniving or striving to get there first or to win more favor. There is no bragging and putting ourselves out there as some sort of guru or expert or Thee Enlightened One.  We simply accept the Will of God as His Son and know that what is true about us can never change. 

The truth about you and me is within us. Radiant. Pure. Innocent as Love Itself. Today recognize the Spirit in contrast with the flesh and do not be afraid to let it shine. This is our natural state of Being. We are worthy and this is our will for it is the Will of God.   


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision vi. recognizing the spirit. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION V Self-Concept versus Self

ACIM CHAPTER 31 V. Self-Concept versus Self

1. The learning of the world is built upon a concept of the self adjusted to the world’s reality. It fits it well. For this an image is that suits a world of shadows and illusions. Here it walks at home where what it sees is one with it. The building of a concept of the self is what the learning of the world is for. This is its purpose; that you come without a self and make one as you go along. And by the time you reach “maturity” you have perfected it, to meet the world on equal terms, at one with its demands.

2. A concept of the self is made by you. It bears no likeness to yourself at all. It is an idol, made to take the place of your reality as Son of God. The concept of the self the world would teach is not the thing that it appears to be. For it is made to serve two purposes, but one of which the mind can recognize. The first presents the face of innocence, the aspect acted on. It is this face that smiles and charms and even seems to love. It searches for companions, and it looks at times with pity, on the suffering, and sometimes offers solace. It believes that it is good within an evil world.

3. This aspect can grow angry, for the world is wicked and unable to provide the love and shelter innocence deserves. And so this face is often wet with tears at the injustices the world accords to those who would be generous and good. This aspect never makes the first attack. But every day a hundred little things make small assaults upon its innocence, provoking it to irritation, and at last to open insult and abuse.

4. The face of innocence the concept of the self so proudly wears can tolerate attack in self- defense, for is it not a well- known fact the world deals harshly with defenseless innocents? No one who makes a picture of himself omits this face, for he has need of it. The other side he does not want to see. Yet it is here the learning of the world has set its sights, for it is here the world’s “reality” is set, to see to it the idol lasts.

5. Beneath the face of innocence there is a lesson that the concept of the self was made to teach. It is a lesson in a terrible displacement, and a fear so devastating that the face that smiles above it must forever look away, lest it perceive the treachery it hides. The lesson teaches this: “I am the thing you made of me, and as you look on me, you stand condemned because of what I am.” On this conception of the self the world smiles with approval, for it guarantees the pathways of the world are safely kept, and those who walk on them will not escape.

6. Here is the central lesson that ensures your brother is condemned eternally. For what you are has now become his sin. For this is no forgiveness possible. No longer does it matter what he does, for your accusing finger points to him, unwavering and deadly in its aim. It points to you as well, but this is kept still deeper in the mist below the face of innocence. And in the shrouded vaults are all his sins and yours preserved and kept in darkness, where they cannot be perceived as errors, which the light would surely show. You can neither be blamed for what you are, nor can you change the things it makes you do. Your brother then is symbol of your sins to you who are but silently, and yet with ceaseless urgency, condemning still your brother for the hated thing you are.

7.  Concepts are learned. They are not natural. Apart from learning they do not exist. They are not given, so they must be made. Not one of them is true, and many come from feverish imaginations, hot with hatred and distortions born of fear. What is a concept but a thought to which its maker gives a meaning of his own? Concepts maintain the world. But they cannot be used to demonstrate the world is real. For all of them are made within the world, born in its shadow, growing in its ways and finally “maturing” in its thought. They are ideas of idols, painted with the brushes of the world, which cannot make a single picture representing truth.

8. A concept of the self is meaningless, for no one here can see what it is for, and therefore cannot picture what it is. Yet is all learning that the world directs begun and ended with the single aim of teaching you this concept of yourself, that you will choose to follow this world’s laws, and never seek to go beyond its roads nor realize the way you see yourself. Now must the Holy Spirit find a way to help you see this concept of the self must be undone, if any peace of mind is to be given you. Nor can it be unlearned except by lessons aimed to teach you that you are something else. For otherwise, you would be asked to make exchange of what you now believe for total loss of self, and greater terror would arise in you.

9. Thus are the Holy Spirit’s lesson plans arranged in easy steps, that though there be some lack of ease at times and some distress, there is no shattering of what was learned, but just a re-translation of what seems to be the evidence on its behalf. Let us consider, then, what proof there is that you are what your brother made of you. For even though you do not yet perceive that this is what you think, you surely learned by now that you behave as if it were. Does he react for you? And does he know exactly what would happen? Can he see your future and ordain, before it comes, what you should do in every circumstance? He must have made the world as well as you to have such prescience in the things to come.

10. That you are what your brother made of you seems most unlikely. Even if he did, who gave the face of innocence to you? Is this your contribution? Who is, then, the “you” who made it? And who is deceived by all your goodness, and attacks it so? Let us forget the concept’s foolishness, and merely think of this; there are two parts to what you think yourself to be. If one were generated by your brother, who was there to make the other? And from who must something be kept hidden? If the world be evil, there is still no need to hide what you are made of. Who is there to see? And what but is attacked could need defense? 

11. Perhaps the reason why this concept must be kept in darkness is that, in the light, the one who would not think it true is you. And what would happen to the world you see, if all its underpinnings were removed? Your concept of the world depends upon this concept of the self. And both would go, if either one were ever raised to doubt. The Holy Spirit does not seek to throw you into panic. So he merely asks if just a little question might be raised.

12. There are alternatives about the thing that you must be. You might, for instance, be the thing you chose to have your brother be. This shifts the concept of the self from what is wholly passive, and at least makes way for active choice, and some acknowledgement that interaction must have entered in. There is some understanding that you chose for both of you, and what he represents has meaning that was given it by you. It also shows some glimmering of sight into perception’s law that what you see reflects the state the perceiver’s mind. Yet who was it that did the choosing first? If you are what you chose your brother be, alternatives were there to choose among, and someone must have first decided on the one to choose and let the other go.

13. Although this step has gains, it does not yet approach a basic question. Something must have gone before these concepts of the self. And something must have done the learning which gave rise to them. Nor can this be explained by either view. The main advantage of the shifting to the second from the first is that you somehow entered in the choice by your decision. But this gain is paid in almost equal loss, for now you stand accused of guilt for what your brother is. And you must share his guilt, because you chose it for him in the image of your own. While only he was treacherous before now must you be condemned along with him.

14. The concept of the self has always been the great preoccupation of the world. And everyone believes that he must find the answer to the riddle of himself. Salvation can be seen as nothing more than the escape from concepts. It does not concern itself with content of the mind, but with the simple statement that it thinks. And what can think has choice and can be shown that different thoughts have different consequences. So it can learn that everything it thinks reflects the deep confusion that it feels about how it was made and what it is. And vaguely does the concept of the self appear to answer what it does not know.

15. Seek not your Self in symbols. There can be no concept that can stand for what you are. What matters it which concept you accept while you perceive a self that interacts with evil, and reacts to wicked things? Your concept of yourself will still remain quite meaningless. And you will not perceive that you can interact but with yourself. To see a guilty world is but the sign your learning has been guided by the world, and you behold it as you see yourself. The concept of the self embraces all you look upon, and nothing is outside of this perception. If you can be hurt by anything, you see a picture of your secret wishes. Nothing more than this. And in your suffering of any kind you see your own concealed desire to kill.

16. You will make many concepts of the self as learning goes along. Each one will show the changes in your own relationships, as your perception of yourself is changed. There will be some confusion every time there is a shift but be you thankful learning of the world is loosening its grasp upon your mind. And be you sure and happy in the confidence that it will go at last and leave your mind at peace. The role of the accuser will appear in many places and in many forms. And each will seem to be accusing you. Yet have no fear it will not be undone.

17. The world can teach no images of you unless you want to learn them. There will come a time when images have all gone by, and you will see you know not what you are. It is to this unsealed and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound. Where concepts of the self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is. When every concept has been raised to doubt and question and been recognized as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt. There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this:

I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing,

where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.

Yet in this learning is salvation born. And what you are will tell you of Itself. [1]

The more time we take to spend with this passage, the more meaningful it becomes to us.  This is the third day I spent with this and each time I read it; I get closer to the beautiful way in which our true identity is slowly revealed to us. The world of images proves itself meaningless, while the truth shines on behind the ruse, seeming to dawn as the clouds dissipate. There is no war, no great destruction, no meanness or spite involved. When the untruth fails us, when we no longer cling to our illusions, there is the truth the same as it always was, unchanged and certain. 

As babies, everyone else gets to tell us who we are – we are pronounced human, named, our fingers and toes are counted.  Healthy or malformed, well or unwell. We are assigned a gender, we are cared for or neglected, we learn the rules of our household, our community, our schools and churches. When we express any kind of angst about the meaning of our lives or the truth about our identity, we are sent to counselors, religious gurus, or reprimanded about how thankful we should be for our daily provisions!  We learn to smile when we are sad; we learn to laugh at cruelty; we learn to plot and scheme.  This is what we have to do to survive in the world and of course we would never do it if it were not for them, they asked for it, they deserve it, they did this to us and deserve the spite we devise for them.  We blame our parents, our siblings, our friends, and neighbors for the loss of our innocence.  But Jesus assures us that we chose to come in the world, we wanted to be more than our brothers, we chose specialness and separateness, we came here because we opposed the oneness and unity of God, of Love, of Sonship.

This may be hard for us to accept when we look at the image of our precious little babies. They seem so new and undefiled. We will do everything in our power to protect them, to keep them safe from the bullies of the world, from being laughed at, from being scorned, from being beaten and torn.  But no matter what you do, you cannot protect them from the world or from what they chose. We come to the world because we asked to come to the world. We come here to learn in time and space the world of opposition and opposites.  We get to live out our own conceptions.  We get to live in the marvelous, magical realm of image, forms, of spaces and outlines between us rather than the oneness and unity of God.  In the magical realm, I can gain on you.  I can get more likes. I can, if I am charming and enchanting enough, if I work at it, if I am incredibly lucky, make you feel at a great disadvantage next to me! For my increase is your decrease.  All that is mine comes to me at great cost and I must hoard things and I must protect what I have, and I must treat you suspiciously because you may steal it from me, you may plot to murder me if you are next in line to my throne, your jealousy will target me and blame me for all your ills and suffering.  My wealth and privilege are a cause for you to hate me not rejoice with me.  This is what we get in the realm of marvels and magic, of space and time, of form and flesh.  And it all spells death. 

And so we come here to preoccupy ourselves with the self-concept. Who am I as defined by the world? I am a human. I am a woman. I have crooked teeth. I have lumpy thighs.  I love to read. I like to travel. I am a teacher. I am a sister, a daughter, a mother, an aunt, a granddaughter. I am smart in some ways and incredibly stupid in other ways.  Some days I love my looks, other days not so much!  Some days I am productive, other days I am lazy. No matter what I think of myself, on any given day, I am very much devoted to my self-concept. I work hard to show off my advantages and hide my disadvantages. I blame those who used their power against me. I tend to idolize those who used their power for me. I look in the mirror a lot to find out more about this concept I have of myself.  Your opinion of me matters to my self-concept, and I will hold you personally responsible if my self-concept is tainted in any way – it will be your fault for you spoke to me in grievous tones, you snubbed me at the last class reunion, you mocked my efforts to improve myself.  You did not congratulate me properly when I won the game of Scrabble by a landslide. 

This self-concept is at variance with our true and holy Self. This self-concept helps us to survive in madness because it is itself insane!  It has no meaning. It merely exists from moment-to-transient-moment in an illusion of life, a dream which keeps changing, a dream which keeps leading nowhere, going about in circles, dashing all hope, keeping us so involved in nothingness that we take little to no time to question its validity and veracity.  It is a self-concept that is always on edge, never long at ease, always questioning and trying to prove itself by comparing it to others and their self-concepts.  It can never walk in true fellowship or joyous peace for it is jealous and full of spite and always comparing its experiences and privileges against those it sees in others.  This self-concept smiles outwardly but behind its seeming innocence and well-wishing, its pretty gifts and trite offerings, it is in love with mystery and murder, spite and judgment.   

Jesus tells us quite plainly that our Self, our true Being is not found in symbols.  We cannot find our Self in flesh and forms, in passions and other people or in other places. All of that will pass away with no worry and no fret because this spells freedom.  Freedom from all accusations, expectations, blame, and condemnation that appear to us in so many forms as long as we seek our identity in flesh.  When we no longer accept the way the world defines us, when we no longer identify with flesh and all the roles that flesh assigns to us, our minds are finally open to the truth about who and what we really are.  There we are, in all our shining glory – past all the blood and guts and gore of where we tried to find our beauty and our bliss. 

The best place to be saved from the nothingness of this realm is the very place that the world is afraid of the most.   For only when we admit that we cannot find our Self or know our Being in our roles, in our passions, in our likes and dislikes, in our friends and enemies, in our flesh and in our bloodlines, in what we are doing or where we are going or how we look or what we are looking for in the world, can we see past all that would obscure the Self within.

This is where our salvation lies. It is the laying down of the ego and all of the concepts that would make and maintain the fragile, faulty, false self-image of the world.  The world’s first response to such a state is to panic, to find a therapist, to take to drinking, to leave your spouse and take up with someone half your age, to start a war, to go back to school, to get a new degree to add to your collection.  If it is your child who does not find meaning in the world, you will do your best to keep them engaged in the world, get them into sports, find them a musical instrument to master, put them on meds, find them a new tutor, or remind them to be grateful for their sustenance and all the sacrifices others make for them.  The world fears those who go within, for they do nothing for the status quo, they cannot be tempted by the world’s charms, they raise to question and to doubt all assumptions that cannot stand the light.

But have no fear!  This is where our salvation is born. This is where our Sonship is remembered.  This is where our everlasting Self reasserts Itself within our consciousness and is reborn. 

Read over this passage carefully and prayerfully and ask Holy Spirit to teach you the difference between the self-concept and the Self.  Spend as much time as it takes with this passage.  Do not worry about the syllabus! This is a particularly beneficial use of our time in this study. We will never lose our place in the Kingdom of God. All that stands between is merely a matter of awakening to that which never left us and has always been within.     


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision v. self-concept versus self. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION IV The Real Alternative

ACIM CHAPTER 31 IV The Real Alternative

1. There is a tendency to think the world can offer consolation and escape from problems that its purpose is to keep. Why should this be? Because it is a place where choice among illusions seems to be the only choice. And you are in control of outcomes of your choosing. Thus you think, within the narrow band from birth to death, a little time is given you to use for you alone; a time when everyone conflicts with you, but you can choose which road will lead you out of conflict and away from difficulties that concern you not. Yet they are your concern. How, then, can you escape from them by leaving them behind? What must go with you, you will take with you whatever road you choose to walk along.

2. Real choice is no illusion. But the world has none to offer. All its roads but lead to disappointment, nothingness, and death. There is no choice in its alternatives. Seek not escape from problems here. The world was made that problems could not be escaped. Be not deceived by all the different names its roads are given. They have but one end. And each is but the means to gain that end, for it is here that all its roads will lead, however differently they seem to start; however differently they seem to go. Their end is certain, for there is no choice among them. All of them will lead to death. On some you travel gaily for a while before the bleakness enters. And on some the thorns are felt at once. The choice is not what will the ending be, but when it comes.

3. There is no choice where every end is sure. Perhaps you would prefer to try them all before you really learn they are but one. The roads this world can offer seem to be quite large in number, but the time must come when everyone begins to see how like they are to one another. Men have died on seeing this, because they saw no way except the pathways offered by the world. And learning they led nowhere, lost their hope. And yet this was the time they could have learned their greatest lesson. All must reach this point and go beyond it. It is true indeed there is no choice at all within the world. But this is not the lesson in itself. The lesson has a purpose, and in this you come to understand what it is for.

4. Why would you seek to try another road, another person or another place, when you have learned the way the lesson starts, but do not yet perceive what it is for? Its purpose is the answer to the search that all must undertake who still believe there is another answer to be found. Learn now, without despair, there is no hope of answer in the world. But do not judge the lesson that is but begun with this. Seek not another signpost in the world that seems to point to still another road. No longer look for hope where there is none. Make fast your learning now and understand you but waste time unless you go beyond what you have learned to what is yet to learn. For from this lowest point will learning lead to heights of happiness, in which you see the purpose of the lesson shining clear, and perfectly within your learning grasp.

5. Who would be willing to be turned away from all the roadways of the world unless he understood their real futility? Is it not needful that he should begin with this, to seek another way instead? For while he sees a choice where there is none, what power of decision can he use? The great release of power must begin with learning where it really has a use. And what decision has power if it be applied in situations without choice?

6. The learning that the world can offer but one choice, no matter what its form may be, is the beginning of acceptance that there is a real alternative instead. To fight against this step is to defeat your purpose here. You did not come to learn to find a road the world does not contain. The search for different pathways in the world is but the search for different forms of truth. And this would keep the truth from being reached.

7. Think not that happiness is ever found by following a road away from it. This makes no sense and cannot be the way. To you who seem to find this course to be too difficult to learn, let me repeat that to achieve a goal you must proceed in its direction, not away from it. And every road that leads the other way will not advance the purpose to be found. If this be difficult to understand, then is this course impossible to learn. But only then. For otherwise, it is a simple teaching in the obvious.

8. There is a choice that you have power to make when you have seen the real alternatives. Until that point is reached you have no choice, and you can but decide how you would choose the better to deceive yourself again. This course attempts to teach no more than that the power of decision cannot lie in choosing different forms of what is still the same illusion and the same mistake. All choices in the world depend on this; you choose between your brother and yourself, and you will gain as much as he will lose, and what you lose is what is given him. How utterly opposed to truth is this, when all the lesson’s purpose is to teach that what your brother loses you have lost, and what he gains is what is given you.

9. He has not left His Thoughts! But you forgot His Presence and remembered not His Love. No pathway in the world can lead to Him, nor any worldly goal be one with His. What road in all the world will lead within, when every road was made to separate the journey from the purpose it must have unless it be but futile wandering? All roads that lead away from what you are will lead you to confusion and despair. Yet has He never left His Thoughts to die, without their Source forever in themselves.

10. He has not left His Thoughts! He could no more depart from them than they could keep Him out. In unity with Him do they abide, and in their oneness Both are kept complete. There is no road that leads away from Him. A journey from yourself does not exist. How foolish and insane it is to think that there could be a road with such an aim! Where could it go? And how could you be made to travel on it, walking there without your own reality at one with you?

11. Forgive yourself your madness and forget all senseless journeys and all goal-less aims. They have no meaning. You cannot escape from what you are. For God is merciful and did not let His Son abandon Him. For what He is be thankful, for in that is your escape from madness and from death. Nowhere but where He is can you be found. There is no path that does not lead to Him. [1]

Let us rest assured that all paths lead us to God. The world has many paths – some seem benign and others malignant, some lead to riches and others poverty, some lead to a sense of happiness, fun, and belonging while others lead to sorrow, hardship, and isolation.  When we work hard, make wise decisions about our money, maintain our health, do our best to get along with our neighbors, family, and have a considerable amount of good luck – things may seem to work out for us in the world. Our relationships stable, our bank accounts fat, our health and our wealth and our well-being, check, check, check, and then what? It is a dead end. No matter how honest you are in your business dealings, no matter how faithful you are to your spouse, no matter how decent and upright and regular you are at attending mass, singing in the choir, and paying your tithes – you are upholding a kingdom that will die, you are walking a path that leads to a dead end, a path whose promises always fail.  No matter how well you present your humanity, no matter how hard you work, no matter how many temptations you do not fall for – you and yours will succumb.    

Many people die in this state of bewilderment and dismay. They cannot bear the truth about the world’s lies. It is too hard for them. But Jesus says that death is not our escape. We must all come to the bottom of the world.  Because only at the bottom of the world is the real Alternative to be found.  The world and its “choices,” its array of religions, philosophies, passions, and lifestyles, all its devils and all its gods, its sinners and saints, its realm of good and evil, offers no real alternatives.  This is what we come here to find – we are not to lose heart over this fact, let it not be sad nor take it to heart. Let us not bemoan how long it took us to learn – it is the purpose of the world for us to seek and to not find. To come to the bottom of the world then is our release, it is our salvation, it is our awakening. For only at the bottom of the world do we find our guarantee that all paths lead to God – eventually! 

For what do we do when we find that all that we have pinned our hopes for in the world leads to disappointment, dismay, and death?  We turn from the world to that which lies beyond.  But first we must reach the end of the world.

Do not begrudge others for their contentment in the world. Do not scold them, preach at them, or give them lectures on how they should behave themselves.  They are here to find the bottom of the world. Let them experience this for themselves – for this is vital to what we came here to learn. We have one guarantee from the world: It is bound to disappoint because it goes nowhere and cannot bring happiness.  And we were created for happiness, happiness is what we are as Sons of God.

Jesus tells us quite plainly in this section that all roads that lead us away from what we are lead to confusion and despair. The world gives us legions of choices, each one predicated upon the practice of what I take from you is your loss and my gain; what I give to you is my loss and your gain, and so we maintain this artificiality between us, this cycle of giving and getting, gaining and losing, never expanding, but cycling round and round in attention-seeking, greed, mistrust and suspicion. 

This is not Sonship for Sonship is oneness and the realization and practice of: I give to receive, and I receive to give.  This is truth, there is nothing artificial about it. My happiness is predicated upon your happiness. There is no Heaven for me without you in it. There is no gain for me unless you are beside me, joined with me, one with me. 

We are not here to change the world, to attack it and make it behave properly, to declare war on the rich and make them support the poor, or to attack the poor and make them serve the rich. The world is doing exactly what it is supposed to do.  It is not kind. Red in tooth and claw, we are not here to saw off the world’s fangs and amputate its talons.  We are not here to try to make it play nice. We are in the world to get past the world. To get to the real Alternative.

We find ourselves in God. And God is within us, as part of us, as one with us. There is no escape from what we are! Today forgive yourself for the lives you spent chasing after the world’s promise, seeking a road that does not exist in the world to bring you Home to who you are and ever will be.  Encourage others to forgive themselves their madness. Proving ourselves apart from God is the same as proving ourselves apart from each other. Once we come to understand and accept this, we begin our practice of Sonship in earnest. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision iv. the real alternative. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION III. The Self-Accused

ACIM CHAPTER 31 III The Self-Accused

1. Only the self-accused condemn. As you prepare to make a choice that will result in different outcomes, there is first one thing that must be overlearned. It must become a habit of response so typical of everything you do that it becomes your first response to all temptation, and to every situation that occurs. Learn this, and learn it well, for it is here delay of happiness is shortened by a span of time you cannot realize. You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own. Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures the fact that you believe them to be yours, and therefore meriting a “just” attack.

2. Why should his sins be sins, if you did not believe they could not be forgiven in you? Why are they real in him if you did not believe that they are your reality? And why do you attack them everywhere except you hate yourself? Are you a sin? You answer “yes” whenever you attack, for by attack do you assert that you are guilty and must give as you deserve. And what can you deserve but what you are? If you did not believe that you deserved attack, it never would occur to you to give attack to anyone at all. Why should you? What would be the gain to you? What could the outcome be that you would want? And how could murder bring you benefit?

3. Sins are in bodies. They are not perceived in minds. They are not seen as purposes, but actions. Bodies act, and minds do not. And therefore must the body be at fault for what it does. It is not seen to be a passive thing, obeying your commands, and doing nothing of itself at all. If you are sin you are a body, for the mind acts not. And purpose must be in the body, not the mind. The body must act on its own and motivate itself. If you are sin you lock the mind within the body, and you give its purpose to its prison house, which acts instead of it. A jailer does not follow orders but enforces orders on the prisoner.

4. Yet is the body prisoner, and not the mind. The body thinks no thoughts. It has no power to learn, to pardon, nor enslave. It gives no orders that the mind need serve, nor sets conditions that it must obey. It holds in prison but the willing mind that would abide in it. It sickens at the bidding of the mind that would become its prisoner. And it grows old and dies because that mind is sick within itself. Learning is all that causes change. And so the body, where no learning can occur, could never change unless the mind preferred the body change in its appearances, to suit the purpose given by the mind. For mind can learn, and there is all change made.

5. The mind that thinks it is a sin has but one purpose, that the body be the source of sin, to keep it in the prison house it chose and guards and holds itself at bay, a sleeping prisoner to the snarling dogs of hate and evil, sickness and attack, of pain and age, of grief and suffering. Here are the thoughts of sacrifice preserved, for here guilt rules and orders that the world be like itself; a place where nothing can find mercy, nor survive the ravages of fear except in murder and in death. For here are you made sin, and sin cannot abide the joyous and the free, for they are enemies which sin must kill. In death is sin preserved and those who think that they are sin must die for what they think they are.

6. Let us be glad that you will see what you believe and that it has been given you to change what you believe. The body will but follow. It can never lead you where you would not be. It does not guard your sleep, nor interfere with your awakening. Release your body from imprisonment, and you will see no one as prisoner to what you have escaped. You will not want to hold in guilt your chosen enemies, nor keep in chains, to the illusion of a changing love, the ones you think are friends.

7. The innocent release in gratitude for their release. And what they see upholds their freedom from imprisonment and death. Open your mind to change, and there will be no ancient penalty exacted from your brother or yourself. For God has said there is no sacrifice that can be asked; there is no sacrifice that can be made. [1]

There is a term in psychology called “overlearn.” To overlearn something is to go beyond proficiency, to continue to practice this and go over it and apply it on a moment-to-moment basis if necessary.  Jesus asks us to overlearn this principle – That the innocent release others from guilt. The innocent do not attack. The innocent do not project. Because of my innocence, you cannot be guilty.  You may make mistakes. You may say and do things that hurt my feelings or even jeopardize the peace and well-being of all whom I love, but I will not make you guilty for in my innocence I can only share innocence, I can only share blanket forgiveness, I can only see you as a mutual Son of God who has mistakenly accepted a false identity.

Let me suggest that you go over this section carefully and prayerfully and ask Holy Spirit to illuminate its meaning to you.  Upon my first reading of it I was confused because it seemed as if this particular section contradicted what we have learned before about the body and the mind. It was not until I read it over several times in depth with no hurry or reliance upon my own intellect that the meaning of this passage became apparent.

In paragraphs one through three Jesus asks us to contemplate the meaning of attack and come to not only understand and accept but to overlearn the concept of the first sentence: Only the self-accused condemn.  To come to know this and to understand the underlying principles of this is to practice seeing, knowing, and recognizing this in every person, encounter, and circumstance of our daily walks.  If condemnation rises in me toward my husband, sister, brother, son, friend, or social figures of any kind, I have secret, hidden self-hatred that needs to be brought to holiness, that needs to be brought to the light, forgiven, and healed. Even my resentment toward my chickens for not producing eggs can be an indication to me that I accuse myself for not having been the productive, dependable contributor that I am called to be! My judgment against a cousin who says terrible things about her daughter and blames others for her own failure to take the upper hand and correct situations that were easily correctable is an indication to me that I know the inconsolable sorrow that comes from making unkind pronouncements upon my own daughters.  To see someone else engaging in this is a call for correction, not condemnation.   It is a call to deeper commitment to bring that sadness to the inner altar, to accept forgiveness, to be healed and corrected.

When we are tempted to condemn a certain behavior, failure, an appearance, a habit in another, holiness impels us to reinterpret the temptation as a call to go within. It is not a call to make a big stink, to point out the mistakes of others, to build cases and take sides, to blame and condemn – it is a call to heal and to correct, to join and not to separate. We cannot learn on our own. The very ones who tempt us to condemn are merely showing us that we have not accepted our own innocence, that we have not healed, that we have something especially important to learn from this encounter. This is a wonderful way to root out all the hidden and secret attachment to guilt and shame in our own mind as well as give us helpful insight into the mind of others. It is a call for mutual healing then.

When I can not only speak of, but live and teach by example, the power of forgiveness, the nothingness of the past, the unholiness of blame and shame and guilting another for my own failures with those who are still failing to accept their own innocence, what was designed to be an instrument of destruction and division becomes an instrument of holiness and healing.  We must overlearn this instrumentation because otherwise we are pawns of the flesh. In the flesh, we see each other as separate, as possible friends or enemies, but never as one with us.  We trap one another in separateness – you are your body over there separate from me. It is quite apparent to me what you are doing with that body of yours, but it is not apparent to me what I am doing until you show me.  You are my mirror; you reflect me to me.  So when I get angry over your immodesty, your gossipy ways, your idolatry, the ways in which you enjoy toying with others and being rude– and see it as a call to condemn, I am not being an instrument of holiness. I am going to build a case against you. I am going to stay clear of you. I am going to be afraid of you and your mean games and your spiteful ways.

I can only condemn you if I think of myself as a sin. Jesus asks us throughout our study to know ourselves as He knows Himself – as Son of God. As long as we think of ourselves as miserable sinners we relegate ourselves to pathetic little flesh-mongers who, created by a lesser god made us imperfect and unworthy so that we would be grateful, wheedling servants to it forever.  As we accept Sonship from our Loving Father, this changes all our wrongful concepts of who and what we are.  We are brothers who made a mistake and having been given the opportunity to practice our mistakes in a realm that opposes the everlasting love of Sonship, all of us will eventually conclude that God’s Love is the Truth, the Life, the Way.  The ancient ways are a thing of the past!  There are no penalties for all that happens in separation disappears when we return to Love. In Love there is no separation, there is no condemnation, there is no punishment, no sacrifice, and nobody and no thing is ever lost or left behind. 


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision iii. the self-accused. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM Chapter 31 The New Beginning II Walking With Christ

ACIM CHAPTER 31 II Walking With Christ

1. An ancient lesson is not overcome by the opposing of the new and old. It is not vanquished that the truth be known nor fought against to lose to truth’s appeal. There is no battle that must be prepared; no time to be expended and no plans that need to be laid for bringing in the new. There is an ancient battle being waged against the truth, but truth does not respond. Who could be hurt in such a war unless he hurts himself? He has no enemy in truth. And can he be assailed by dreams?

2. Let us review again what seems to stand between you and the truth of what you are. For there are steps in its relinquishment. The first is a decision that you make. But afterwards, the truth is given you. You would establish truth. And by your wish you set two choices to be made, each time you think you must decide on anything. Neither is true. Nor are they different. Yet must we see them both, before you can look past them to the one alternative that is a different choice. But not in dreams you made, that this might be obscured to you.

3. What you would choose between is not a choice, and gives but the illusion it is free, for it will have one outcome either way. Thus is it really not a choice at all. The leader and the follower emerge as separate roles, each seeming to possess advantages you would not want to lose. So in their fusion there appears to be the hope of satisfaction and of peace. You see yourself divided into both these roles, forever split between the two. And every friend or enemy becomes a means to help you save yourself from this.

4. Perhaps you call it love. Perhaps you think that it is murder justified at last. You hate the one you gave the leader’s role when you would have it, and you hate as well his not assuming it at times you want to let the follower in you arise and give away the role of leadership. And this is what you made your brother for and learned to think that this his purpose is. Unless he serves it, he has not fulfilled the function that was given him by you. And thus he merits death because he has no purpose and no usefulness to you.

5. And what of him? What does he want of you? What could he want, but what you want of him? Herein is life as easily as death, for what you choose you choose as well for him. Two calls you make to him, as he to you. Between these two is choice, because from them there is a different outcome. If he be the leader or the follower to you it matters not, for you have chosen death. But if he calls for death or calls for life, for hate or for forgiveness and for help, is not the same in outcome. Hear the one, and you are separate from him and are lost. But hear the other and you join with him and in your answer is salvation found. The voice you hear in him is but your own. What does he ask you for? And listen well! For he is asking what will come to you, because you see an image of yourself and hear your voice requesting what you want.

6. Before you answer, pause to think of this:

The answer that I give my brother is what I am asking for. And what I learn of him is what I learn about myself.

Then let us wait an instant and be still, forgetting everything we thought we heard, remembering how much we do not know. This brother neither leads nor follows us but walks beside us on the selfsame road. He is like us, as near or far away from what we want as we will let him be. We make no gains he does not make with us, and we fall back if he does not advance. Take not his hand in anger but in love, for in his progress do you count your own. And we go separately along the way unless you keep him safely by your side.

7. Because he is your equal in God’s Love, you will be saved from all appearances and answer to the Christ who calls to you. Be still and listen. Think not ancient thoughts. Forget the dismal lessons that you learned about this Son of God who calls to you. Christ calls to all with equal tenderness, seeing no leaders and no followers, and hearing but one answer to them all. Because He hears one Voice, He cannot hear a different answer from the one He gave when God appointed Him His only son.

8. Be very still an instant. Come without all thought of what you ever learned before and put aside all images you made. The old will fall away before the new without your opposition or intent. There will be no attack upon the things you thought were precious and in need of care. There will be no assault upon your wish to hear a call that never has been made. Nothing will hurt you in this holy place, to which you come to listen silently and learn the truth of what you really want. No more than this will you be asked to learn. But as you hear it, you will understand you need but come away without the thoughts you did not want, and that were never true.

9. Forgive your brother all appearances, that are but ancient lessons you have taught yourself about the sinfulness in you. Here but his call for mercy and release from all the fearful images he holds of what he is and of what you must be. He is afraid to walk with you, and thinks perhaps a bit behind, a bit ahead would be a safer place for him to be. Can you make progress if you think the same, advancing only when he would step back, and falling back when he would go ahead? For so do you forget the journey’s goal, which is but to decide to walk with him, so neither leads nor follows. Thus it is a way you go together, not alone. And in this choice is learning’s outcome changed, for Christ has been reborn to both of you.

10. An instant spent without your old ideas of who your great companion is and what he should be asking for, will be enough to let this happen. And you will perceive his purpose is the same as yours. He asks for what you want and needs the same as you. It takes, perhaps, a different form in him, but it is not the form you answer to. He asks and you receive for you have come with but one purpose; that you learn you love your brother with a brother’s love. And as a brother, must his Father be the same as yours, as he is like yourself in truth.

11. Together is your joint inheritance remembered and accepted by you both. Alone it is denied to both of you. Is it not clear that while you still insist on leading or on following, you think you walk alone, with no one by your side? This is the road to nowhere, for the light cannot be given while you walk alone, and so you cannot see which way you go. And thus there is confusion, and a sense of endless doubting as you stagger back and forward in the darkness and alone. Yet these are appearances of what the journey is, and how it must be made. For next to you is one who holds the light before you, so that every step is made in certainty and shortness of the road. A blindfold can indeed obscure your sight but cannot make the way itself grow dark. And He who travels with you has the light. [1]

To walk with Christ we must learn to relate to the Christ in others. We do not have to look far and wide for others like us and draw them to us, shunning our family, friends, and neighbors because they do not have Christ in them.  We do not have to get our family members on board with our line of thinking, our church doctrines, or our spiritual practices. We simply relinquish all that would blind us and tempt us to disregard the appearances and forms that obscure the light of Christ within us all. 

Nobody is closer to the truth. Nobody loves Jesus more. Nobody is going to fly away with Jesus and live forever – happily enjoying the pleasantness of God while the rest of us burn.  These concepts of God and salvation are ancient lessons that divide and separate Creation and do nothing to restore our minds to Sonship.  To believe and promote these ancient lessons is to keep the perceptual world going – the cycles of birth and death, of limits, of your loss is my gain and your gain is my loss. When we worship a god who would turn upon its own creation, we worship a god made after our own image.  We give our allegiance to illusory powers made real through our belief and practice. 

To live in such a state of being makes us uncertain and afraid. Our yearning for righteousness is met by the unrighteous. Our yearning for communication, communion, and unity goes woefully unfulfilled by those who reject our gestures of friendship and sneer at the concept of Christ.  We exist in this state of confusion and bewilderment – sometimes up and sometimes down, sometime ahead and sometimes behind – but rarely if ever side by side. 

Jesus instructs us today to walk with Christ.  Walking with Christ does not put us ahead of our brothers, there is no “us and them” in Christ, there are no specials or pets or elite in God’s Kingdom – the Sonship is a joint inheritance.  Let the Christ in you find Christ in the one next to you, forgiving all that would obscure the light that leads the way. In our personal application practice this with joy. See every opportunity to see all slights and slurs, ignorant responses, and dim-witted retorts as a means to practice miracles.  Do not allow the mean-spirited rejoinders of others to obscure the light of Christ.  For the Christ within you has the Light and it is shared by all.     


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision ii. walking with Christ. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

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ACIM CHAPTER 31 THE FINAL VISION I. The Simplicity of Salvation

ACIM CHAPTER 31 I. The Simplicity of Salvation

1. How simple is salvation! All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible has not occurred and can have no effects. And that is all. Can this be hard to learn by anyone who wants it to be true? Only unwillingness to learn it could make such an easy lesson difficult. How hard is it to see that what is false can not be true, and what is true can not be false. You can no longer say that you perceive no differences in false and true. You have been told exactly how to tell one from the other, and just what to do if you become confused. Why, then, do you persist in learning not such simple things?

2. There is a reason. But confuse it not with difficulty in the simple things salvation asks you learn. It teaches but the very obvious. It merely goes from one apparent lesson to the next, in easy steps that lead you gently from one to another, with no strain at all. This cannot be confusing, yet you are confused. For somehow you believe that what is totally confused is easier to learn and understand. What you have taught yourself is such a giant learning feat it is indeed incredible. But you accomplished it because you wanted to and did not pause in diligence to judge it hard to learn or too complex to grasp.

3. No one who understands what you have learned, how carefully you learned it, and the pains to which you went to practice and repeat the lessons endlessly, in every form you could conceive of them, could ever doubt the power of your learning skill. There is no greater power in the world. The world was made by it and even now depends on nothing else. The lessons you have taught yourself have been so overlearned and fixed they rise like heavy curtains to obscure the simple and the obvious. Say not you cannot learn them. For your power to learn is strong enough to teach you that your will is not your own, your thoughts do not belong to you, and even you are someone else.

4. Who could maintain that lessons such as these are easy? Yet you have learned more than this. You have continued, taking every step, however difficult, without complaint, until a world was built that suited you. And every lesson that makes up the world arises from the first accomplishment of learning; an enormity so great the Holy Spirit’s Voice seems small and still before its magnitude. The world began with one strange lesson, powerful enough to render God forgotten, and His Son an alien to himself, in exile from the home where God Himself established him. You who have taught yourself the Son of God is guilty, say not that you cannot learn the simple things salvation teaches you!

5. Learning is an ability you made and gave yourself. It was not made to do the Will of God, but to uphold a wish that it could be opposed, and that a will apart from it was yet more real than it. And this has learning sought to demonstrate, and you have learned what it was made to teach. Now does your ancient overlearning stand implacable before the Voice of truth and teach you that Its lessons are not true; too hard to learn, too difficult to see, and too opposed to what is really true. Yet you will learn them, for their learning is the only purpose for your learning skill the Holy Spirit sees in all the world. His simple lessons in forgiveness have a power mightier than yours because they call from God and from your Self to you.

6. Is this a little Voice, so small and still It cannot rise above the senseless noise of sounds that have no meaning? God willed not His Son forget Him. And the power of His Will is in the Voice That speaks for Him. Which lesson will you learn? What outcome is inevitable, sure as God, and far beyond all doubt and question? Can it be your little learning, strange in outcome and incredible in difficulty will withstand the simple lessons being taught to you in every moment of each day, since time began, and learning had been made?

7. The lessons to be learned are only two. Each has its outcome in a different world. And each world follows surely from its source. The certain outcome of the lesson that God’s Son is guilty is the world you see. It is a world of terror and despair. Nor is there hope of happiness in it. There is no plan for safety you can make that ever will succeed. There is no joy that you can seek for here and hope to find. Yet this is not the only outcome which your learning can produce. However, much you may have overlearned your chosen task, the lesson that reflects the Love of God is stronger still. And you will learn God’s Son is innocent and see another world.

8. The outcome of the lesson that God’s Son is guiltless is a world in which there is no fear, and everything is lit with hope and sparkles with a gentle friendliness. Nothing but calls to you in soft appeal to be your friend, and let it join with you. And never does a call remain unheard, misunderstood, nor left unanswered in the selfsame tongue in which the call was made. And you will understand it was this call that everyone and everything within the world has always made, but you had not perceived it as it was. And now you see you were mistaken. You had been deceived by forms the call was hidden in. And so you did not hear it and had lost a friend who always wanted to be part of you. The soft eternal calling of each part of God’s creation to the whole is heard throughout the world this second lesson brings.

9. There is no living thing that does not share the universal Will that it be whole, and that you do not leave its call unheard. Without your answer is it left to die, as it is saved from death when you have heard its calling as the ancient call to life and understood that it is but your own. The Christ in you remembers God with all the certainty with which He knows His Love. But only if His Son is innocent can He be Love. For God were fear indeed if he whom He created innocent could be a slave to guilt. God’s perfect Son remembers his creation. But in guilt he has forgotten what he really is.

10. The fear of God results as surely from the lesson that His Son is guilty as God’s Love must be remembered when he learns his innocence. For hate must father fear and look upon its father as itself. How wrong are you who fail to hear the call that echoes past each seeming call to death, that sings behind each murderous attack and pleads that love restore the dying world. You do not understand Who calls to you beyond each form of hate; each call to war. Yet you will recognize Him as you gave Him answer in the language that He calls. He will appear when you have answered Him, and you will know in Him that God is Love.

11. What is temptation but a wish to make the wrong decision on what you would learn, and have an outcome that you do not want? It is the recognition that it is a state of mind unwanted that becomes the means whereby the choice is reassessed, another outcome seen to be preferred. You are deceived if you believe you want disaster and disunity and pain. Hear not the call for this within yourself. But listen, rather, to the deeper call beyond it that appeals for peace and joy. And all the world will give you joy and peace. For as you hear, you answer. And behold! Your answer is the proof of what you learned. Its outcome is the world you look upon.

12. Let us be still an instant, and forget all things we ever learned, all thoughts we had, and all thoughts we had, and every preconception that we hold of what things mean and what their purpose is. Let us remember not our own ideas of what the world is for. We do not know. Let every image held of everyone be loosened from our minds and swept away.

13. Be innocent of judgment, unaware of any thoughts of evil or of good that ever crossed your mind of anyone. Now do you know him not. But you are free to learn of him and learn of him anew. Now is he born again to you, and you are born again to him without the past that sentenced him to die and you with him. Now is he free to live as you are free because an ancient learning passed away and left a place for truth to be reborn. [1]

In this world, we learn two lessons – one of appearances of guilt and one of faith and trust in our innocence as Sons of God. The lesson of guilt keeps us trapped in a realm of separation and thoughts of sin, pain, loss, and death – the lessons of innocence lead to our salvation, our return to love between the Sonship and to God. 

In your personal devotions today pay particular attention to paragraphs 12 and 13.  When we make a decision to forget the lessons of guilt, grudges, and separation, to forget the lessons that lead to death and despair, to forget the deceptions and delusions – all that is left is our innocence.  Your innocence and mine. For if you are innocent so am I; we are one.

While this is a simple concept to practice and understand we make it difficult for ourselves by stubbornly and willfully defending the cause of conflict, hatred, and fear by insisting that our judgments against our brothers, against the events and circumstances in the world are true, upright, moral, and just.  We cling to our small-minded, low-minded version of things based upon our small, low, extremely limited perceptions and call it truth, call it holy, call it intelligence and righteousness. To disengage from the constant judgment between good and evil seems a sacrifice that costs too much, that takes too much away from us.  But until we honestly face the fact that we can know nothing in our flesh and blood forms, that we have spent a lot of time learning about a world that has no basis in reality, that is always in a state of change and instability, that ends in decay and death can we reach for the Christ within and let the world be born again as it was created in love, in innocence, in truth. 

I will not let my personal commentary belabor the finer points of this section for salvation is simple.  Let us not make it difficult but rather simply accept the freedom from judgment that salvation brings. Let everything be reborn – hold Creation not captive in the judgments that you make upon it. When we accept Christ, the outer world loses its hold upon us and when the outer world’s hold is loosened for us, we are in a position to loosen it for others. Otherwise miracles will not flow through us because we cherish our grudges, our condemnations, our petty likes and dislikes more than we treasure our real and holy Selves.

When we can only be touched by the Christ in each other and see all else as an opportunity for healing and an occasion for help offered or accepted, we have learned the lessons of Sonship, we have fully accepted the function of Christ and the divinity of Christ as our true Self.  To recognize that there is absolutely no other worthy function is to recognize the God in us and become a place for truth to be reborn.


[1]A Course in Miracles. Chapter 31 The final vision i the simplicity of salvation. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com