I. The Acceptance of Reality 8-14
8. No right mind can believe that its will is stronger than God’s. If then, our mind believes that its will is different from His, it can only decide either that there is no God or that God’s Will is fearful. The former accounts for the atheist and the latter for the martyr, who believes that God demands sacrifices. Either of these insane decisions will induce panic because the atheist believes he is alone, and the martyr believes that God is crucifying him. Yet no one really wants either abandonment or retaliation, even though many may see both. Can you ask the Holy Spirit for gifts such as these, and actually expect to receive them? He cannot give you something you do not want. When you ask the Universal Giver for what you do not want, you’re asking for what cannot be given. It was never created. It was never created because it was never your will for you.
9. Ultimately everyone must remember the will of God, because ultimately everyone must recognize himself. This recognition is the recognition that his will and God’s are one. In the presence of truth, there are no unbelievers and no sacrifices. In the security of reality, fear is totally meaningless. To deny what is can only seem to be fearful. Fear cannot be real without a cause, and God is the only Cause. God is love and you do want Him. This is your will. Ask for this and you will be answered, because you will be asking only for what belongs to you.
10. When you ask the Holy Spirit for what would hurt you He cannot answer because nothing can hurt you, and so you are asking for nothing. Any wish that stems from the ego is a wish for nothing, and to ask for it is not a request. It is merely a denial in the form of a request. The spirit is not concerned with form, being aware only of meaning. The ego cannot ask the Holy Spirit for anything because there is complete communication failure between them. Yet you can ask for everything of the Holy Spirit because your requests to Him are real, being of your right mind. Would the Holy Spirit deny the will of God? And could He fail to recognize it in His son?
11. You do not recognize the enormous waste of energy you expend in denying truth. What would you say of someone who persists in attempting the impossible, believing that to achieve it is to succeed? The belief that you must have the impossible in order to be happy is totally at variance with the principle of creation. God could not will that happiness depended on what you could never have. The fact that God is love does not require belief, but it does require acceptance. It is indeed possible for you to deny facts, although it is impossible for you to change them. If you hold your hands over your eyes, you will not see because you are interfering with the laws of seeing. If you deny love, you will not know it because your cooperation is the law of its being. You cannot change laws you did not make, and the laws of happiness were created for you, not by you.
12. Any attempt to deny what is must be fearful, and if the attempt is strong it will induce panic. Willing against reality, though impossible, can be made into a very persistent goal even though you do not want it. But consider the result of this strange decision. You are devoting your mind to what you do not want. How real can this devotion be? If you do not want it, it was never created. If it were never created, it is nothing. Can you really devote yourself to nothing?
13. God in His devotion to you created you devoted to everything and gave you what you are devoted to. Otherwise you would not have been created perfect. Reality is everything, and you have everything because you are real. You cannot make the unreal because the absence of reality is fearful, and fear cannot be created. As long as you believe that fear is possible, you will not create. Opposing orders of reality make reality meaningless, and reality is meaning.
14. Remember, then, that God’s will is already possible, and nothing else will ever be. This is the simple acceptance of reality, because only that is real. You cannot distort reality and know what it is. And if you do distort reality you will experience anxiety, depression, and ultimately panic, because you are trying to make yourself unreal. When you feel these things, do not try to look beyond yourself for truth, for truth can only be within you. Say therefore:
Christ is in me. And where He is God must be, for Christ is part of Him.
In today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that we can believe truth, or we can believe in that which is not true. If I am God’s Will, I can either believe God’s Wills for me to exist and is therefore keenly interested in and devoted to me, or I can believe there is no God, that I am alone in the Universe, that the only sustenance I have is at the mercy of fickle fate, fickle humans, and an even more fickle universe. Or I can choose another untrue belief system in that there is a God, but He is angry with me because I made mistakes, because I had a mind of my own (which He gave me no less), because He isn’t happy unless He is in a rage about something, and I must make up to him for all the ways in which I have failed Him. I will believe that God’s Will and my will go in two opposing directions, and so I must sacrifice my will to please God because I am bad and only He is good, I am dirty and He is clean, I am wicked, and God is pure.
I will therefore martyr myself to please this God – because God is only happy if I am giving up something I like and enjoy proving to Him how much I love Him. Nobody really wants a God who would abandon them or make them sacrifice things they want and enjoy in order to placate Him. But that is the way in which we have twisted the truth of God and have been afraid to examine our religious doctrines, texts, and teachings.
If we suffer from a sense of abandonment or retaliation from God, these are not the gifts of Holy Spirit. We are not accepting the reality that we are God’s Will and that God’s Will is our happiness. We have somehow accepted a warped idea that God’s Will is separate from us and that we have to sacrifice what we really want in order to have His Will in our lives. As long as we view that laying aside all thoughts of death, disease, and devastation is a sacrifice, we will need salvation from an upside down conception of God.
If we think we want the gifts of the ego, we are asking for that which does not really exist, we are asking for that which is not only a waste of time but that which time wastes. God only gives gifts that create the everlasting, and Jesus tells us that because God created us like Him, this is the only gifts that bring us joy and have any meaning to us.
We will all come to understand this about ourselves sooner or later. No matter how caught up we may be in the physical world, no matter how our heart races at the thought of a new sexual conquest, a new car, a bigger house, a diamond ring, a trip here or a trip there – what we really want, what really fills us with joy and a sense of purpose and meaning is God’s Will – that love, joy, peace and all meaning reside in our Being. That our reality is not external but internal. When we recognize this truth, and we all will sooner or later, there can be no unbelievers, there can be no sense of sacrifice for there is nothing to give up, there can be no fear for reality is secure, it is certain, it is benevolent and all that we truly yearn for and were created for. As hard as it may be to imagine in the realm that is not God’s Kingdom, fear is meaningless.
Jesus tells us in paragraph nine that fear cannot be real without a cause. And because God is the only Cause, and God is love, joy, and peace and all the other wonderful attributes that we want for ourselves and for others, God’s Will is our will. Gone from our consciousness is the crazy-making idea that God created us to abandon us, to turn His back upon us, to test us and prove us and then punish us forever for having a mind of our own, for making a mistake, for tasting something that He made to look enticing and then forbid us to eat. Gone from our consciousness is the equally crazy-making idea that God Who is Everything would require blood and the suffering of our bodies in order to appease His wrath. Sin does not have to be punished; mistakes merely need correction. When we change our minds about the fear of God and choose to perceive God as love, as our meaning, as our joy all fear is gone.
When we ask Holy Spirit for anything less than the attributes of God, we get nothing for nothing is what we asked for. The nothingness of the ego and its wishes for more nothingness would lay waste the Sons of God. Any wish that stems from the ego is a form of nothingness and Holy Spirit is not concerned with nothingness. Ask for vengeance upon your enemies cloaked in the guise of teaching them a good lesson, and you are asking for vengeance upon yourself. Prayers that reflect that we are different, better, and godlier than our brothers are prayed, not in the language of mutuality and oneness, but in a language that Holy Spirit does not understand. Jesus calls this a complete communication failure.
Yet we can ask everything from Holy Spirit when we pray with our right minds and in the language of oneness for we know what we are as God’s Will. We will not ask for fame, fortune, and favor – for these prayers are answered by that which would drive us to waste our time pursuing that which does not lead to God’s Kingdom. We will ask of God the things of God, for we are His Will, and our will is to extend His Kingdom.
When we worry and fret over the things of the world, we waste time. Wasting our time, stresses our minds because we are denying truth. God is love. This is not something we must believe; it is something we must accept to know truth. Deny this, continue to uphold fearful conceptions of God, and we keep future generations trapped in a belief system that recycles that which brings enmity and division rather than mutuality of love. Love is not a rapist, a stalker, a hound from hell; nor is it a game player who holds out and makes the other party work for it, pay for it, sacrifice to it. Love’s law is one of mutuality, reciprocation, and converging on the same level. Believe what you want about God, about His laws, but His laws were created to bring us joy, they were created for us, not by us.
As long as we deny this reality, twist it into something else, make it a burden and a sacrifice, we will be afraid; our minds will not fare well. Choose to believe that which is not true about God, we work very hard for something we do not really want. If we do not want something, if our minds are not joyful and at peace, if our minds are not loving, benevolent, strong and invincible – if we are a bunch of whiners and complainers getting ourselves worked up into a tizzy over our relationships, our jobs, the political front, the this and that that of the world and its constant calls for taking up arms, how can we really be devoted to a God that would make us feel so small, fearful, and vulnerable? If we do not want to be small, fearful, and vulnerable, this is not creation. If this is not creation, it is fabrication. It will waste in time and it is a waste of time. Can we really devote ourselves to that? Should we devote ourselves to that?
Our religious traditions play so much a part in our sense of belonging, our relationships with family, friends, and the larger community, but if we are being taught wrongful, harmful doctrines that deny truth, our devotion will not be real. It will require enormous expenditures of energy to devote ourselves to anything less than love, for Love is the Source of our Being; Love is our Being. Serving God instead of loving God makes of our spiritual path, a duty to perform. Accepting a God that makes us feel ashamed, belittled, or at a disadvantage is not a joy, but a burden. The fault does not lie with us, but in the doctrines and myths of those with only a dim understanding of God and His Kingdom.
God’s devotion created us to be devoted to all things; He gave us what we are devoted to. This is our perfection, this is our reality, this is what we are and what makes us tick. We do not fare well on that which is not loving, joyful, and peaceful, because love, joy, and peace are God’s Will. Without God’s Will, we are afraid, we are unhappy, we are ashamed. Accept fear, joylessness, and shame as our reality, we cannot extend love, joy, and peace. When we do not extend love, joy, and peace our reality is meaningless to us because our lives have no meaning. As long as we are busy building cases against each other, taking up arms, plotting and scheming vengeance, blaming each other for the woes of the world, it is impossible for us to create for we are opposing the love, peace, and joy we were meant to create with one another. We are keeping ourselves in a state of nothingness.
For there is nothing outside the Will of God. All else is wasted in time and by time – it is a distortion of reality. Because it is built on that which is not God, it only follows that we will do hideous things to each other and to ourselves. We will experience anxiety, depression, and ultimate panic because we are trying to take something which is created by and for Love and do something that opposes love. No matter how close we get to the truth in a kingdom that is not God’s, we remain asleep in a dream because it is not reality. The dream will scare us because it would keep us asleep forever, obscuring that which is real in our subconscious with a constant stream of fear, fable, and dismal forecasts. We cannot escape this dream on our own. Jesus entered the delusion to set us free from it. He suffered the same temptations, the ill will, the vengeance, the lies. He suffered extreme pain, humiliation, and death of the body on the cross. He resurrected to awaken us to our true identity, and it is through Him we are saved.
In your devotional practice and throughout the day, no matter how troubled and conflicted the outside world appears to be, practice the acceptance of your reality in Christ. Do not look to the world for truth, for it is not in the world, it is in you, for Jesus abides in you and where He is, God is.
 A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. I The acceptance of reality 8-14. 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