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ACIM – CHAPTER 23 THE WAR AGAINST YOURSELF IV. Above the Battlefield

ACIM CHAPTER 23 IV Above the Battlefield

1. Do not remain in conflict, for there is no war without attack. The fear of God is fear of life, and not of death. Yet He remains the only place of safety. In Him is no attack, and no illusion in any form stalks Heaven. Heaven is wholly true. No difference enters, and what is all the same cannot conflict. You are not asked to fight against your wish to murder, but you are asked to realize the form it takes conceals the same intent. And it is this you fear, and not the form. What is not love is murder. What is not loving must be an attack. Every illusion is an assault on truth. And everyone does violence to the idea of love because it seems to be of equal truth.

2. What can be equal to the truth, yet different? Murder and love are incompatible. Yet if they both are true, then must they be the same, and indistinguishable from one another. So will they be to those who see God’s Son a body. For it is not the body that is like the Son’s Creator. And what is lifeless cannot be the Son of life. How can a body be extended to hold the universe? Can it create, and be what it creates? And can it offer its creations all that it is and never suffer loss?

3. God does not share His function with the body. He gave the function to create on to His Son because it is His Own. It is not sinful to believe the function of the Son is murder, but it is insanity. What is the same can have no different function. Creation is the means for God’s extension, and what is His must be His Son’s as well. Either the Father and the Son are murderers, or neither is. Life makes not death, creating like itself.

4. The lovely light of your relationship is like the Love of God. It cannot yet assume the holy function God gave His Son, for your forgiveness of your brother is not completed yet, and so it cannot be extended to all creation. Each form of murder and attack that still attracts you and that you do not recognize for what it is, limits the healing and the miracles you have the power to extend to all. Yet does the Holy Spirit understand how to increase your little gifts and make them mighty. Also, He understands how your relationship is raised above the battleground, in it no more. This is your part; to realize that murder in any form is not your will. The overlooking of the battleground is now your purpose.

5. Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it. From there will your perspective be quite different. Here in the midst of it, it does seem real. Here you have chosen to be part of it. Here murder is your choice. Yet from above, the choice is miracles instead of murder. And the perspective coming from this choice shows you the battle is not real, and easily escaped. Bodies may battle, but the clash of forms is meaningless. And it is over when you realize it never was begun. How can a battle be perceived as nothingness when you engage in it? How can the truth of miracles be recognized if murder is your choice?

6. When the temptation to attack rises to make your mind darkened and murderous, remember you can see the battle from above. Even in forms you do not recognize, the signs you know. There is a stab of pain, a twinge of guilt, and above all, a loss of peace. This you know well. When they occur leave not your place on high, but quickly choose a miracle instead of murder. And God Himself and all the light of Heaven will gently lean to you, and hold you up. For you have chosen to remain where He would have you, and no illusion can attack the peace of God together with His Son.

7. See no one from the battle ground, for there you look on him from nowhere. You have no reference point from where to look, where meaning can be given what you see. For only bodies could attack and murder, and if this is your purpose, then you must be one with them. Only a purpose unifies, and those who share a purpose have a mind as one. The body has no purpose of itself and must be solitary. From below, it cannot be surmounted. From above, the limits it exerts on those in battle still are gone, and not perceived. The body stands between the Father and the Heaven He created for His Son because it has no purpose.

8. Think what is given those who share their Father’s purpose, and who know that it is theirs. They want for nothing. Sorrow of any kind is inconceivable. Only the light they love is in awareness, and only love shines upon them forever. It is their past, their present and their future; always the same, eternally complete and wholly shared. They know it is impossible their happiness could ever suffer change of any kind. Perhaps you think the battleground can offer something you can win. Can it be anything that offers you a perfect calmness, and a sense of love so deep and quiet that no touch of doubt could ever mar your certainty? And that will last forever?

9. Those with the strength of God in their awareness could never think of battle. What could they gain but loss of their perfection? For everything fought for on the battleground is of the body; something it seems to offer or to own. No one who knows that he has everything could seek for limitation, nor could he value the body’s offerings. The senselessness of conquest is quite apparent from the quiet sphere above the battleground. What can conflict with everything? And what is there that offers less, yet could be wanted more? Who with the love of God upholding him could find the choice of miracles or murder hard to make? [1]

In today’s devotional text, Jesus asks us to be aware of how all forms of attack are in direct opposition to love.  When we believe that we can go into battle for God, when we can make enemies of unbelievers, when we can prophecy doom and gloom upon those who do not believe like us or worship the same way we do, when we can wish harm of any kind on anyone or anything for any reason, we choose murder over love.  We oppose the Kingdom of God every time we offer others anything but a miracle.  God is Love and in God is our only safety.  When we stay in Love, we are above the battlefield, we are safe, we offer mercy and forgiveness for the illusion of separation rather than join in the illusion! 

In our daily application of this principle, we will find many occasions to practice our function.  For this is our function – we are to overlook the battlefield of this world.  We are to be lifted up above it and never engage in it again.  We will not be drawn in by religious or philosophical debates; we will not get caught up in political battles; we will not take sides, build cases, or cast aspersions on anybody for any reason.  We are not hiding our head in the sand; we are not refusing to look upon the battles that go on; we are not to ignore the suffering, the shame, the sorrow.  We are called to look upon it and offer a miracle to everyone who still believes it is real. 

The other day I ran across something that turned my blood cold.  A historical happening, it took place hundreds of years ago; and yet when I read this account, I felt outraged and sick inside.  I felt bitter.  I had to put the book down; I did not want to read another word, to know another bit.  My heart and my mind felt dismayed by the world’s meanness.  I just can’t take it, I said to Holy Spirit.  I really hate it here. I despise these people. I despise what they stand for.  How could God ever let that happen in His Name?  Even in a dream?

Jesus tells us to look upon all the dark things that fill us with terror, dread, and shame of our humanity from the high Mind of Christ.  In the High Mind of Christ we are freed from our attachment to the bodies who would attack and murder and use people in disrespectful and hateful ways.  When we live from the low-minded realm of ego and flesh, we cannot surmount the body; when we reach for the High Mind of Christ, we can – for the limits of our flesh are not perceived in any way with Christ’s vision.  We are no longer bound to flesh by terror, we have no attachment to it for in our holiness, it cannot stand between our Father and the Heaven He created for us. 

How do we reach the High Mind of Christ where we can surmount the body and look from above on the battleground?  We consciously choose to walk only in mercy and forgiveness.  No matter how tempted we are to pick up a weapon against our enemy, to get into mouth battles with those who do not agree with us; to rant and rail against those who promote lies and twist the truth – we offer only forgiveness, mercy, and love.  For our destination is Heaven, and Heaven is not complete without those who are still engaged in warfare, violence, and murder.  We must learn to look upon the ego’s blame, bloodthirst, and carnage with no fear, but only love’s desire to help, to heal, to make better.  This is our function.  

Overlooking the battlefield, we come to understand the pointlessness of all attack, all pain, sorrow, and suffering. It only follows that we offer miracles in place of murder and revenge.  In so doing, we are kept strong and invulnerable in the quiet trust of God, in certain safety, eternal peace, and a sense of love so deep it goes forever. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 23 The war against yourself. IV Above the battleground. 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, Teaching and Learning

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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