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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 8: The Journey Back

IV: The Gift of Freedom

  1.  If God’s Will for you is complete peace and joy, unless you experience only this you must be refusing to acknowledge His Will.  His Will does not vacillate, being changeless forever.  When you are not at peace it can only be because you do not believe you are in Him.  Yet He is All in all.  His peace is complete, and you must be included in it.  His laws govern you because they govern everything.  You cannot exempt yourself from His laws, although you can disobey them.  Yet if you do, and only if you do, you will feel lonely and helpless, because you are denying yourself everything.
  2. I am come as a light into a world that does deny itself everything.  It does this simply by dissociating itself from everything.  It is therefore an illusion of isolation, maintained by fear of the same loneliness that is its illusion.  I said that I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  That is why I am the light of the world.  If I am with you in the loneliness of the world, the loneliness is gone.  You cannot maintain the illusion of loneliness if you are not alone.  My purpose, then, is still to overcome the world.  I do not attack it, but my light must dispel it because of what it is.  Light does not attack darkness, but it does shine it away.  If my light goes with you everywhere, you shine it away with me.  The light becomes ours, and you cannot abide in darkness any more than darkness can abide wherever you go.  The remembrance of me is the remembrance of yourself, and of Him Who sent me to you.
  3. You were in darkness until God’s Will was done completely by any part of the Sonship.  When this was done, it was perfectly accomplished by all.  How else could it be perfectly accomplished?  My mission was simply to unite the will of the Sonship with the Will of the Father by being aware of the Father’s Will myself.  This is the awareness I came to give you, and your problem in accepting it is the problem of this world.  Dispelling it is salvation, and in this sense I am the salvation of the world.  The world must therefore despise and reject me, because the world is the belief that love is impossible.  If you will accept the fact that I am with you, you are denying the world and accepting God.  My will is His, and your decision to hear me is the decision to hear His Voice and abide in His Will.  As God sent me to you so will I send you to others.  And I will go to them with you, so we can teach them peace and union.
  4. Do you not think the world needs peace as much as you do?  Do you not want to give it to the world as much as you want to receive it?  For unless you do, you will not receive it.  If you want to have it of Me, you must give it.  Healing does not come from anyone else.  You must accept guidance from within.  The guidance must be what you want, or it will be meaningless to you.  That is why healing is a collaborative venture.  I can tell you what to do, but you must collaborate by believing that I know what you should do.  Only then will your mind choose to follow me.  Without this choice you could not be healed because you would have decided against healing, and this rejection of my decision for you makes healing impossible. 
  5. Healing reflects our joint will.  This is obvious when you consider what healing is for.  Healing is the way in which the separation is overcome.  Separation is overcome by union.  It cannot be overcome by separating.  The decision to unite must be unequivocal, or the mind itself is divided and not whole.  Your mind is the means by which you determine your own condition because mind is the mechanism of decision.  It is the power by which you separate or join, and experience pain or joy accordingly. My decision cannot overcome yours, because yours is as powerful as mine.  If it were not so the Sons of God would be unequal.  All things are possible through our joint decision, but mine alone cannot help you.  Your will is as free as mine, and God Himself would not go against it.  I cannot will what God does not will.  I can offer my strength to make yours invincible, but I cannot oppose your decision without competing with it, and thereby violating God’s Will for you.
  6. Nothing God created can oppose your decision, as nothing God created can oppose His Will.  God gave your will its power, which I can only acknowledge in honor of His.  If you want to be different, I will wait until you change your mind.  I can teach you, but only you can choose to listen to my teaching.  How else can it be if God’s Kingdom is freedom?  Freedom cannot be learned by tyranny of any kind, and the perfect equality of all God’s Sons cannot be recognized through the dominion of one mind over another.  God’s Sons are equal in will, all being the Will of their Father.  This is the only lesson I came to teach. 
  7. If your will were not mine it would not be our Father’s.  This would mean you have imprisoned yours and have not let it be free.  Of yourself you can do nothing, because of yourself you are nothing.  I am nothing without the Father and you are nothing without me, because by denying the Father you deny yourself.  I will always remember you, and in my remembrance of you lies your remembrance of yourself.  In our remembrance of each other lies our remembrance of God.  And in this remembrance lies your freedom because your freedom is in Him. Join, then, with me in praise of Him and you whom He created.  This is our gift of gratitude to Him, which He will share with all His creations, to whom He gives equally whatever is acceptable to Him.   Because it is acceptable to Him it is the gift of freedom, which is His Will for all His Sons.  By offering freedom you will be free. 
  8. Freedom is the only gift you can offer to God’s Sons, being an acknowledgment of what they are and what He is.  Freedom is creation because it is love.  Whom you seek to imprison you do not love.  Therefore, when you seek to imprison anyone, including yourself, you do not love him, and you cannot identify with him.  When you imprison yourself, you are losing sight of your true identification with me and with the Father.  Your identification is with the Father and with the Son.  It cannot be with one and not the other.  If you are part of one you must be part of the other, because they are one.  The Holy Trinity is holy because It is One.  If you exclude yourself from this union, you are perceiving the Holy Trinity as separated.  You must be included in It because It is everything.  Unless you take your place in It and fulfill your function as part of It, the Holy Trinity is as bereft as you are.  No part of It can be imprisoned if Its truth is to be known.[1]    

God’s Will is complete peace and joy.  God’s Will does not waver, His Will is always for our complete peace and joy.  There is not one part of God’s Will that wills that we suffer, that we feel shame, that we feel lonely or helpless.  If that is what we seem to be experiencing we are denying ourselves the Will of God. 

How do we deny ourselves the Will of God?  By offering that which is not His Will to others.  We may take on too much and then get grouchy and tired, distressed and feel the martyr.  This is not God’s Will!  Someone we know and love may be opposed to us.  It may seem as if we will never be able to get past the wall they have built between us.  We choose to be sad, to cry on someone’s shoulder, to take what happens in time and believe that it will drag on forever.  This is not God’s Will.  God does not will for us to feel sad or to despair.  We are to take all our hurts and pains to Him and ask Him to show us how to heal our relationships, how to bear the pain of loss, how to get over the grudges and resentments and spite we have toward those who have hurt us or the ones we love.  Rather than asking Him to fight our battles, and deny ourselves the Will of God entirely, we are to ask God to show us how to love and forgive others, to perceive with the vision of Christ.

For Christ is the light of the world.  Let there be no doubt about this.  For those who want to promote A Course in Miracles and leave Jesus out of it, this would only deny the validity and veracity of the Course itself.  The ego teaches us to dissociate ourselves with everything, to live in an illusion of isolation, and maintain that sense of isolation by keeping us in fear of being alone, stranded, without God and without one another.  Jesus promises to be with us during the whole history of separation.  Jesus gives us His Mind; Jesus gives us His Vision; Jesus gives us Himself.  His purpose is to overcome the world not by force, but by shining His light upon the illusion of madness and freeing our spellbound minds.    

We become Christ even as He becomes us.  Like Christ, we are the light of the world and darkness is dispelled wherever we are.  We cannot abide it, nor can it abide us!  So remember Jesus, for we are one with our holy Brother.  He is the head of the Brotherhood, He is the Sonship personified, He deserves all of our respect, our love, our appreciation for when we remember Him we remember our Father who sent Him to us. 

We were all in darkness until someone shared God’s Will with us.  When any part of the Sonship shares God’s Will it is perfectly accomplished by all.  This is part of the Atonement curriculum and one which is meant to fill us with joy in communion and unity of Spirit.  We simply cannot perfectly accomplish the Will of God off on our own thinking we are God’s elect, collecting followers, and believing we are special.  When I pray for someone and they are healed, I am not a miracle worker alone.  The whole Sonship was involved in this miracle!  The power and the glory is not mine alone.  I am not special, and nobody should think of me as such.  This business of calling each other advanced teachers and masters and God’s anointed is an ego device to pervert the message of oneness and mock the teachings of Jesus who refuses to elevate Himself above us but rather becomes us as we are to become Him. 

As God sent Christ to us, so Christ sends us to others.  When we accept the fact that Christ is with us we deny the world’s denial of Christ and accept the awareness of our Sonship.  We accept that we are the Will of God and this is our salvation.  Christ is the salvation of the world for His purpose was to reunite the Sonship with God. 

Make no mistake that the world needs peace as much as you do!  We cannot receive peace until we share peace with our brothers.  There is no other way to do this, then to take on the mind of Christ.  Healing comes in peace and it comes through Christ who abides as one within our minds and hearts.  Until we practice going within for our guidance and learn to trust in this guidance, to want this guidance, to be certain of this guidance it will have little to no meaning.  Jesus can tell us what to do but it will not help us unless we believe first that it is Jesus telling us what to do and second, that He actually knows what is best for us.  Only until we practice this – learning by doing it right and doing it wrong can we know to choose Him always. 

Healing is a collaborative venture because Jesus tells us what to do but we must choose to follow His guidance.  We cannot be healed without this decision to choose Christ, for to choose Christ is healing and to decide against Him is to decide against healing.  Healing is the way in which the separation is overcome.  Separation is healed by uniting with Christ Who makes us one with the Sonship of God.  The decision to unite our minds with the mind of Christ is one that makes our mind whole and no longer split between our true identity and our false one.  When we know what we are, we are healed.  We accept the power and glory that are ours as God’s Son.  We no longer see ourselves as depraved, depressed, diseased or destined for death – we see ourselves as we were created. 

Our minds are the mechanism for decision.  We can decide for the pain of separation or for the joy of union.  Jesus cannot make this decision for us; our minds are as powerful as His.  This is part of the equality of God’s Son – this is why we can say all things are possible with Christ, but yet Christ will not help us without our collaboration!  Our will is as free as the will of Jesus and God Himself would never go against it. 

Jesus only wills what God wills, but He can offer his power to make our wills invincible!  But never will He oppose our decision, never will He compete for our choice, for this would be violating the Will of God.  If this is difficult for you to understand prayerfully ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you the meaning of God’s Will and why it can never use force, any form of attack, or competition.  God’s Will is freedom and liberty.  It is His Gift to us.  Anything that opposes freedom and liberty is not a gift, but a form of captivity. 

Our humanity is the result of our choice to be something other than God’s Will.  Jesus waits with undying devotion and patience until we want to learn to be God’s Will.  Jesus does not teach us freedom by forcing Himself upon us, by threatening and cursing us, by scaring the living daylights out of us, or shaming us.  The gift of freedom does not come through torture or sacrifice of any kind.  One mind cannot be in dominion over the other minds of the Sons of God – for this is not freedom but bondage.  Freedom cannot be learned by tyranny of any kind. The only lesson that Jesus came to teach was the lesson of oneness, of equality, of every single one of us being the Will of God.

Again, Jesus states very plainly that our wills, and His Will, are the Will of God.  If we believe that God’s Will is outside of us, out in the world somewhere, being held up by something or someone in our life that is keeping us from it, we have imprisoned ourselves with a false belief.  Within that false belief we are nothing – for we are nothing without God’s Will.  Without our love, peace, joy and all the other good things of God which make us His Will we are nothing.  We are an empty shell.  Jesus Himself would be nothing without God just as we are nothing without Christ for He leads us back to our truth! 

When we remember what we are in Christ we remember God.  This is our freedom from the world of pain and suffering, loneliness and despair.  We are no longer at the mercy of our faulty defense systems, our mortal bodies, our weapons of mass destruction, the snobberies and aggressiveness that define human interaction.  When we realize our freedom we naturally join with Christ in praise of God and in praise of the Sonship which He created.  Our gift of appreciation, of gratitude, of praise to God flows joyfully from our thoughts for Him back through the Sonship, the Kingdom, all of Creation for God shares equally what is given to Him. 

Because Jesus offers us this freedom, we offer this freedom to our brothers.  We do not force our love upon others.  We do not wax on to those who have no interest in spiritual matters about the things of God.  We meet people where they are and we talk to them about things that are mutually pleasant, enlivening, fun, and which make for a good time.  We give others the respect and dignity that they deserve as God’s Son no matter what condition we find them in.  By offering others freedom we show appreciation for our own freedom to learn at our own pace and when we are good and ready!

Freedom is creation because it is love.  When we seek to dominate anybody, we do not love them, we do not trust them, we do not respect them, nor can we identify with them.  We imprison ourselves by trying to dominate others.  We may offer a gospel that loses sights of our true identification with Christ and with the Father.  We try to get rid of the baby and keep the bath water, thinking that something good and worthwhile can be found without Christ Who is our only way to oneness with God, with the Sonship, with the Holy Trinity. 

We are used to saying Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as if the trinity is apart from us, as if we are separated from the blessed trinity because of our sin, shame, and guilt – but Jesus tells us today that we are free of illusions about ourselves.  We are restored to our true identity.  Our spirits are holy; we are holy spirit.  As we take our place as part of the oneness of God, as part of the Holy Trinity itself we are no longer imprisoned by lies, by disease, darkness, and death.  God’s Kingdom and the Trinity itself is complete. 

Do not be afraid of this teaching for this is the gift of freedom that Christ offers us. It is why He was born; it is why He allowed Himself to be crucified; it is why He resurrected and showed Himself to His followers and to those of us who seek Him still.  We are One in the Brotherhood of Christ, we are as Christ, as Christ is as us.  Today in your devotional practice, ask your real and everlasting Self, your Holy Spirit to reveal this truth in a way that helps you accept your place in God’s Kingdom as His Will. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 8 The journey back. IV The gift of freedom. 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

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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