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ACIM – CHAPTER 24 THE GOAL OF SPECIALNESS II. The Treachery of Specialness

ACIM Chapter 24 II. The Treachery of Specialness

1. Comparison must be an ego device, for love makes none. Specialness always makes comparisons. it is established by a lack seen in another, and maintained by searching for, and keeping clear in sight, all lacks it can perceive. This does it see, and this it looks upon. And always whom it thus diminishes would be your savior, had you not chosen to make of him a tiny measure of your specialness instead. Against the littleness you see in him you stand as tall and stately, clean and honest, pure and unsullied, by comparison with what you see. Nor do you understand it is yourself that you diminish thus.

2. Pursuit of specialness is always at the cost of peace. Who can attack his savior and cut him down, yet recognize his strong support? Who can distract from his omnipotence, yet share his power? And who can use him as the gauge of littleness, and be released from limits? You have a function in salvation. Its pursuit will bring you joy. But the pursuit of specialness must bring you pain. Here is a goal that would defeat salvation, and thus run counter to the Will of God. To value specialness is to esteem an alien will to which illusions of yourself are dearer than the truth.

3. Specialness is the idea of sin made real. Sin is impossible even to imagine without this base. For sin arose from it, out of nothingness; an evil flower with no roots at all. Here is the self-made “savior,” the “creator” who creates unlike the Father, and which made His Son like to itself and not like unto Him.  His “special” sons are many, never one, each one in exile from himself, and Him of Whom they are a part.  Nor do they love the Oneness which created them as one with Him.  They chose their specialness instead of Heaven and instead of peace, and wrapped it carefully in sin, to keep it “safe” from truth.

4. You are not special. If you think you are, and would defend your specialness against the truth of what you really are, how can you know the truth? What answer that the Holy Spirit gives can reach you, when it is your specialness to which you listen, and which asks and answers?  Its tiny answer, soundless in the melody that pours from God to you eternally in loving praise of what you are, is all you listen to.  And that vast song of honor and of love for what you are seems silent and unheard before its “mightiness.” You strain your ears to hear its soundless voice, and yet the Call of God Himself is soundless to you. 

5. You can defend your specialness, but never will you hear the Voice for God beside it.  They speak a different language and they fall on different ears.  To every special one a different message, and one with different meaning, is the truth.  Yet how can truth be different to each one?  The special messages the special hear convince them they are different and apart; each in his special sins and “safe” from love, which does not see his specialness at all.  Christ’s vision is their “enemy,” for it sees not what they would look upon, and it would show them that the specialness they think they see is an illusion.

6. What would they see instead? The shining radiance of the Son of God, so like his Father that the memory of Him springs instantly to mind.  And with this memory, the Son remembers his own creations, as like to him as he is to his Father.  And all the world he made, and all his specialness, and all the sins he held in its defense against himself, will vanish as his mind accepts the truth about himself, as it returns to take their place.  This is the only “cost” of truth.  You will no longer see what never was, nor hear what makes no sound.  Is it a sacrifice to give up nothing, and to receive the Love of God forever?

7. You who have chained your savior to your specialness, and given it his place, remember this: he has not lost the power to forgive you all the sins you think you placed between him and the function of salvation given him for you.  Nor will you change his function, any more than you can change the truth in him and in yourself.  But be you certain that the truth is just the same in both.  It gives no different messages and has one meaning.  And it is one you and your brother both can understand, and one that brings release to both of you.  Here stands your brother with the key to Heaven in his hand, held out to you. Let not the dream of specialness remain between you.  What is one is joined in truth.   

8. Think of the loveliness that you will see within yourself, when you have looked on him as on a friend. He is the enemy of specialness, but only friend to what is real in you. Not one attack you thought you made on him has taken from him the gift that God would have him give to you. His need to give it is as great as yours to have it. Let him forgive you all your specialness and make you whole in mind and one with him. He waits for your forgiveness only that he may return it onto you. It is not God Who has condemned His Son, but you, to save his specialness and kill his Self.

9. You have come far along the way of truth; too far to falter now. Just one step more, and every vestige of the fear of God will melt away in love. Your brother’s specialness and yours are enemies, and bound in hate to kill each other and deny they are the same. Yet it is not illusions that have reached this final obstacle which seems to make God and His Heaven so remote that they cannot be reached. Here in this holy place does truth stand waiting to receive you and your brother in silent blessing, and in peace so real and so encompassing that nothing stands outside. Leave all illusions of yourself outside this place, to which you come and hope in honesty.

10. Here is your savior from your specialness. He is in need of your acceptance of himself as part of you, as you for his. You are alike to God as God is to himself. He is not special, or he would not keep one part of what he is onto Himself, not given to His Son but kept for Him alone. And it is this you fear, for if He is not special, then He willed His Son to be like Him, and your brother is like you. Not special, but possessed of everything, including you. Give him but what he has, remembering God gave Himself to you and your brother in equal love, that both might share the universe with Him who chose that love could never be divided, and kept separate from what it is and must forever be.

11. You are your brother’s; part of love was not denied to him. But can it be that you have lost because he is complete? What has been given him makes you complete, as it does him. God’s love gave you to him and him to you because He gave Himself. What is the same as God is one with Him. And only specialness could make the truth of God and you as one seem anything but Heaven, with the hope of peace at last in sight.

12. Specialness is the seal of treachery upon the gift of love. Whatever serves its purpose must be given to kill. No gifts that bear its seal but offers treachery to giver and receiver. Not one glance from eyes it veils but looks on sight of death. Not one believer in its potency but seeks for bargains and for compromise that would establish sin love’s substitute and serve it faithfully. And no relationship that holds its purpose dear but clings to murder as safety’s weapon, and the great defender of all illusions from the “threat” of love.

13. The hope of specialness makes it seem possible God made the body as the prison house that keeps His Son from Him.  For it demands a special place God cannot enter, and a hiding place where none is welcome but your tiny self. Nothing is sacred here but unto you, and you alone, apart, and separate from all your brothers, safe from all intrusions of sanity upon illusions, safe from God and safe for conflict everlasting.  Here are the gates of hell you closed upon yourself to rule in madness and in loneliness your special kingdom, apart from God, away from truth and from salvation.

14. The key you threw away, God gave your brother, whose holy hands would offer it to you when you were ready to accept His plan for your salvation in the place of yours. How could this readiness be reached saved through the sight of all your misery, and the awareness that your plan has failed, and will forever fail to bring you peace and joy of any kind? Through this despair you travel now, yet it is but illusion of despair. The death of specialness is not your death, but your awaking into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you.[1]

In your personal devotional today, take all the time you need to go over each paragraph and ask Holy Spirit to illuminate each passage.  We have come too far in our Course study to falter now, and yet as long as we hold on to any illusion of our separateness and specialness, we will not be able to accept our real and everlasting Self as God created us. 

You are not special!  God does not love you any more than He loves everybody else.  Your righteous works, nice demeanor, church attendance, and popularity can do nothing to make you better than anyone else.  The crimes you commit, the lies you tell, the ways in which you use your wit and intelligence against others instead of for others, will never detract from who and what God created you to be.  God created us in Love, for Love, and to be Love.  And that is what we are – no matter how our egos have seemed to pervert this truth.  I cannot be reunited with the Sonship without you and you cannot be reunited with the Sonship without me.  This  is not a burden or a curse upon us for resisting our Brotherhood.  Rather it is our salvation, it is our cure for our sense of loneliness and despair.  It is our remedy for the treachery in which our desire for specialness, to stand above our brothers, to oppose the Love of God destroys us and keeps us from Love.

When I desire to be more special than you, I make of you an enemy.  Every one of us, no matter how seeming humble, no matter how seeming self-effacing, desire in our hearts to be the chosen, to find some way in which to be special.  This desire to rise to the top and look down in smug satisfaction from our perches can make us look silly at best and drive us to do mean and violent acts at worst.  If we cannot get to any height by our own steam, we will join organizations, choose professions, and marry into a family or business that will elevate our prestige, to make others envious, to establish our specialness.  Such conniving is not based upon love, but upon what our Course calls specialness.  We can substitute the word status for better clarification. 

Specialness is treacherous because it can be threatened. If what makes me feel special is the intelligence, good looks, and fitness level of our family and one of our children struggles intellectually, is not that cute, and has little to no desire to exercise or restrict calories – my sense of specialness will make of my child an “enemy.”  While I may cloak my enmity toward my child as concern, I will wreak havoc upon my family by focusing too much attention on trying to fix the kid who does not meet my picture of our above-average  family.  I will exert my will over him.  I will worry how his failures are going to besmirch our family’s good name.  Instead of loving my child and seeing him as my savior from specialness, I will harbor resentment and cherish feelings of guilt, shame, and ill will toward him. 

We will often seek our specialness from our mates, marrying for what they seem to offer us and then being taken aback in shock and dismay when they fail to live up to our imagined ideals of specialness.  Rather than accepting them as mutual Sons of God suffering the bonds of humanity right along with us, we expect them to make us special, to make us shine, to give us a good name, to work hard and deny themselves their own glorious freedom and liberty in order to maintain our specialness. When you marry me for my youth and my beauty, you are not marrying me, you are marrying specialness.  The “love” you profess for me depends upon me  living up to the ego’s unstable and impossible ideals of youth and beauty. 

Bringing specialness to holiness is freedom and liberty from the shallow, superficial, ego-centered ideals. When our relationships are not governed by our desire for specialness, we are free to truly love and appreciate others.  We do not hold others responsible to match our pictures of what they should be, what we want them to do with their lives, or what roles they must play in our lives.  We no longer have a sense of owning others or forcing our wills upon them.  For we recognize in each other’s supposed flaws and shortcomings our mutual need for a savior, for an awakening, for an acceptance of our Selves as God created us. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 24 The goal of specialness. II The treachery of specialness. 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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