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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 9 THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE ATONEMENT

IV. The Holy Spirit’s Plan of Forgiveness 7-12

7.  The confusion of functions is so typical of the ego that you should be quite familiar with it by now. The ego believes that all functions belong to it, even though it has no idea what they are. This is more than mere confusion. It is a particularly dangerous combination of grandiosity and confusion that makes the ego likely to attack anyone and anything for no reason at all. This is exactly what the ego does. It is unpredictable in its responses because it has no idea of what it perceives.

8.  If you have no idea what is happening, how appropriately can you expect to react? You might ask yourself, regardless of how you may account for the reaction, whether its unpredictability places the ego in a sound position as your guide. Let me repeat that the ego’s qualifications as a guide are singularly unfortunate, and that it is a remarkably poor choice as a teacher of salvation. Anyone who elects a totally insane guide must be totally insane himself. Nor is it true that you do not realize the guide is insane. You realize it because I realize it, and you have judged it by the same standard I have.

9.  The ego literally lives on borrowed time; its days are numbered. Do not fear the Last Judgment, but welcome it and do not wait, for the ego’s time is “borrowed” from your eternity. This is the Second Coming that was made for you as the First was created. The Second Coming is merely the return of sense. Can this possibly be fearful?

10.  What can be fearful but fantasy, and who turns to fantasy unless he despairs of finding satisfaction in reality? Yet it is certain that you will never find satisfaction in fantasy, so that your only hope is to change your mind about reality. Only if the decision that reality is fearful is wrong can God be right. And I assure you that God is right. Be glad, then, that you have been wrong, but this was only because you did not know who you were. Had you known, you could no more have been wrong than God can.

11.  The impossible can happen only in fantasy. When you search for reality in fantasies you will not find it. The symbols of fantasy are of the ego, and of these you will find many. But do not look for meaning in them.  They have no more meaning than the fantasies into which they are woven.  Fairy tales can be pleasant or fearful, but no one calls them true. Children may believe them, and so, for awhile, the tales are true for them.  Yet when reality dawns, the fantasies are gone. Reality has not gone in the meanwhile.  The Second Coming is the awareness of reality, not its return.

12.  Behold, my child, reality is here. It belongs to you and me and God and is perfectly satisfying to all of us. Only this awareness heals because it is the awareness of truth. [1]

Our egos believe that all the functions of Holy Spirit belong to it even though it fails to understand what they are.  As a lie and a falsehood, the ego has no real conceptual understanding of what it perceives.  It is therefore unpredictable; it will turn on anyone and anything for no apparent reason.  One day it will be nice and friendly, the next day it will cranky and mean.  We have all experienced this in ourselves and in others.  Jesus points out that the lies and opposition of ego combine dangerously to form an arrogant ignorance.  Whatever the ego perceives, it will judge. The ego is ignorant of its own ignorance. While it can never know the truth or the real story about anything or anybody, but it will think it perfectly legitimate to find something negative and unworthy to project.  It attacks the rich for being rich or the poor for being poor.  It attacks someone for the color of their skin on the one hand or attacks them for being racist.   It attacks the old for being elderly and the young for being immature.  Not only does it not make any sense, but in its arrogance it will assume the authority that belongs only to God.  When ego is our guide, we deny our true abilities because we are too boorishly busy judging and condemning others, and not extending that which brings health, healing, and wholeness.    

The ego wishes to be the savior of the world.  It will trick us into thinking that it is our efforts, our prayers, our sacrifices, and our gifts which will save the world.  The ego which does not understand salvation or the message of sharing, will trick us into thinking that it is our duty to personally save everyone we see.  We think we can make bargains with God. We will make up a bunch of rules, demands, and expectations and say they are of God and then do our best to follow them.  We will chastise at best and persecute and kill at worst those who do not go along with us! 

When the ego takes charge of Atonement we are all in trouble.  It will largely be a show of the flesh – the way we dress, the way we fix our hair, the way we chop our beards, the way we say prayers, the names we call God.  Our religious texts and writings will involve a lot of curses and damnation upon those who do not believe like us, look like us, or follow the same traditions.  We will make up lakes of fire where the God of Love sends those who refuse to follow the set of ego-made rules designed to keep everyone in line.  There will be talk of freedom and liberty, but it will always come at the cost of bloodshed, sacrifice, and obedience to laws that deny freedom and liberty.  We will spend a lot of time trying to make sense of that which makes little to no sense.  We will carry around a lot of sorrow because those we love may not obey all the rules, follow the traditions, or be part of same crowd worthy of God’s Kingdom.  No matter how hard we try to be happy, happy, happy in Jesus, the sad fact is that we will be saddened by this plan of salvation.  It is impossible to count all sorrow, shame, and suffering joy.  Contemplate a heaven while the rest of the world is burning in hell, and it is no longer heaven, but an extension of hell.  We will make ninnies and social pariahs of ourselves by spouting off about how good God is to us personally while nothing about our lives reflects the specialness we claim as God’s chosen few.  This is the ego’s plan of salvation and many follow this path in the name of Jesus.  That is why Jesus calls it dangerous because it pretends to be humble and right and true, while it is arrogant, wrong, and false.

When ego is in charge of our salvation, we have no real idea how to react to the things that happen in the world.  When people refuse to worship with us, when they don’t want to follow our list of rules on how to be saved from hellfire, when they do not believe in the God we tell them about, we get our feelings hurt, we feel rejected, we worry about their salvation.  We believe that the state of their soul is somehow our concern.   Our walks with God are not the joyful, peaceful, blithe and bonnie paths that we have been promised.  Instead of more joy and peace, we have less joy and peace because we are still helpless to change the state of the world and the terrible things that go on in it. 

In paragraph eight of today’s text reading, Jesus tells us that we may ask ourselves what other reaction could we have if we think that this is what salvation looks like?  Why would anyone want to join us?  Why should they?  The ego’s plan of salvation is not just a poor choice as a teacher of salvation, it is insanity itself.  And then Jesus tells us that we already know it is insane.  We know it is insane because it is telling us that we are responsible for what belongs to God.  In the story of the prodigal son, the father didn’t send out the good brother to go save the one that was lost.  The father simply waited for the lost one to come home.  He trusted him to wake up and head home when he was ready.  He did not prepare a torture chamber to punish him, he prepared a feast, a new robe, and a ring for his finger.  There is no mention of even so much as a reprimand.  The kid had learned his lessons the hard way.  Being away from Father and all that was good, decent, and dependable was all the punishment the wayward fellow could take.

This is the gospel of perfect love, peace, and joy and it is free; it is liberal; and it is for everyone.  There is no sin, there is no shame, there is no judgment and no condemnation.  We have merely been put into a deep sleep and mistaken our mad dream for reality. 

The ego’s plan of salvation is on its last leg.  It comes under many guises – some are religious, some are secular, all are lies.  In paragraph nine Jesus tells us that we are to welcome the Last Judgment.  The Last Judgment of the ego is one of fear, wrath, and vengeance.  Nobody wants to be around for that!  But Holy Spirit’s Last Judgment is the awakening to what is truth.  Holy Spirit’s Last Judgement is the one that puts the ego’s plan of salvation to rest forever.  The ego is simply no more because Holy Spirit has judged against it.  Do not put the last judgment in your life off, Jesus urges us.  As long as we believe the ego’s plan of salvation – in whatever form it takes – we are missing out on our eternity. 

At the last judgment, we put down judgment and never take it up again.  We have accepted the innocence of all.  We know now that the ego has held us captive.  It has hoodwinked us.  It has given us roles and done its best to force us to play them in its ridiculous ongoing drama that goes nowhere and amounts to nothing.  As long as we play the role the ego assigns to us, we cannot extend God’s Kingdom which is not a role but our reality and our one true function.

The Second Coming of Christ is not Jesus coming in the clouds and pulling those worthy enough of God’s Kingdom up and out of the evil world before God sends fireballs to destroy it in His fury and anger.  God does not destroy.  God creates..  The Second Coming of Christ is the return to sanity, the return to reality, the restoration of the Sonship.  The Mind of Christ is a state of joy, of peace, of power and unity. There is nothing at all to fear, because if we had something to fear God would not be God and the ego would be. 

Clearly, the fantasies and visions that surround the Last Judgment and the Second Coming are fearful.  But there is no trust in anything fearful for God is not a God of fear, but of love and power and a sane mind.  We will never find love and power and a sane mind in curses and threats, in bloodshed and sacrifice, in suffering and shame and sorrow.  Our only hope is to change our minds about God, about Reality, about Truth, about what makes sense and what makes none. 

If we choose a reality that is fearful, ego is right; if we choose a reality that is love, joy, and peace, God is right. God is right. 

We will not find reality in the world for it is based upon the arrogance and the confusion of the ego. It is a place where nightmares abound.  It is a place where every good thing has an opposite. It is a place that takes our yearning for our Father and turns it into a farce that sacrifices our children to the lusts and desires of those whom it calls holy, threatens and manipulates us, puts us through meaningless rites and rituals all in the name of God.  None of us who come here are immune to its glamor, its lies, it charms, and its deceits.  We, who are Sons of God, it would turn into a delusion of flesh and blood driven by drives and impulses, governed by that which decays. 

Jesus reminds us that fairy tales can be pleasant and they can be gruesome, but we know that they are not true.  Children may believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, they may think that there are good witches who grant wishes and bad witches that eat children – yet when their minds mature, they leave these beliefs behind.  So too must we welcome the return to reality, to sense, to the Second Coming where our minds join with the mind of Christ and makes us one. 

In the last paragraph of this section, Jesus refers to each of us with the tenderness we direct toward children.  Reality is here, He tells us.  Our reality joins us with Christ and with God and with each other.  Nobody is left out.  Nobody is left behind.  Only this awareness heals because we are sick to wish for, to make up, or ever accept a Heaven which does not include our brothers.  Only this awareness heals because there is no sin and no shame.  No longer dreaming the dream of judgment and condemnation, we have Holy Spirit’s plan of forgiveness. It is the only one that works because there is nothing to forgive, because instead of punishment, all things have been corrected and made right.  Thank you, Holy Spirit. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 9 The acceptance of the atonement. IV The holy spirit’s plan of forgiveness 7-12. 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.

1 Comment so far

  1. Well done my friend! Thank You so much for all your hard work, dedication & great love of God and all His children our brothers that drives you to get the message of Salvation, Freedom and Love out there🙌💞 Keep up the Good work🙏

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