Today’s ACIM lesson #340, I can be free of suffering today, is one of those lessons that ego attempts to dismiss by whispering that it’s not true. And I get it. I DO. I have my own little aches and pains that seduce me daily into body-identification. This was a point of discussion in last night’s ACIM meeting. When we are young, the pain seems to be emotional, but as we get older and heal a lot of those emotional issues, ego then uses the body’s aches and pains to convince us that we are suffering. Most of us identify with the body fairly heavily so this is an easy route for ego to take. The Manual for Teachers tells us, “1 Healing must occur in exact proportion to which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized. One need but say, ‘There is no gain at all to me in this’ and he is healed. But to say this, one first must recognize certain facts. First, it is obvious that decisions are of the mind, not of the body. If sickness is but a faulty problem-solving approach, it is a decision. And if it is a decision, it is the mind and not the body that makes it.”
The body is the ego’s problem-solving device. Not knowing how else to get what it wants, ego uses the body to accomplish its goals. As long as we believe there is something to be gained from being this separate entity, independent of God, the mind will use the body to get what it wants, even though it is not a conscious decision.
“All sickness comes from separation. When the separation is denied, it goes. For it is gone as soon as the idea that brought it has been healed, and been replaced by sanity. Sickness and sin are seen as consequence and cause, in a relationship kept hidden from awareness that it may be carefully preserved from reason’s light.”
“I can be free of suffering today.” This is challenging for God’s separated children to believe. Part of the reason for studying A Course in Miracles is to train our minds to open to the possibility that this could be true.
“Say to the Holy Spirit only, ‘Decide for me,’ and it is done.” It’s amazing to me how frequently I continue to NOT do this. Stubborn ego!
From last year’s writing:
Choose again. We say it all the time, knowing that God is a simple request away – I could see peace instead of this; the only choices are love or fear (“…every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear.”); that we need only “give it to the Holy Spirit.” (“Say to the Holy Spirit only, “Decide for me,” and it is done.”) Choose again. Today’s lesson makes today seem “special” and you know how ego loves “special.” It says, “This day is holy, for today Your Son will be redeemed. His suffering is done,” but in truth that is every day, any day we are at last ready to let go of thinking we are separate. I can be free of suffering the moment I am willing to let go of the image I made of myself and at last accept what God has always know. I am the Christ. I am the holy Son of God Himself. I can be free the moment I decide to forgiveness myself for thinking I am something I am not.
I’ll be honest – every time I say/write that I am the holy Son of God Himself there is a part of me that expects to be struck dead for blasphemy. Yet, I know this is ego. It is a last ditch effort to make “me” special when I am the same. Each of us is the holy Son of God. Each of us is learning who and what we are. “You made neither yourself nor your function. You made only the decision to be unworthy of both. Yet you cannot make yourself unworthy because you are the treasure of God, and what He values is valuable.”
I can be free of suffering the moment I choose to be.
I can be free of suffering today.
Father, I thank You for today, and for the freedom I am certain it will bring. This day is holy, for today Your Son will be redeemed. His suffering is done. For he will hear Your Voice directing him to find Christ’s vision through forgiveness, and be free forever from all suffering. Thanks for today, my Father. I was born into this world but to achieve this day, and what it holds in joy and freedom for Your holy Son and for the world he made, which is released along with him today.
Be glad today! Be glad! There is no room for anything but joy and thanks today. Our Father has redeemed His Son this day. Not one of us but will be saved today. Not one who will remain in fear, and none the Father will not gather to Himself, awake in Heaven in the Heart of Love.
© Foundation for Inner Peace • PO Box 598 • Mill Valley, CA 94942-0598
I’ve spent so many years in suffering, not because God was punishing me, not because I hadn’t yet earned the right to joy but because I was listening to the wrong voice. I was thinking I was/am someone I am not. I am not my body. I am not my job. I am not my marital status or my net worth or any of those things I use to measure my worth in the world. My only real job is love. My only real job is forgiveness. I only real job is to accept the Atonement for myself.
Am I willing? Am I willing to let go of the idols I have made? It means I no longer get to claim superiority to anything. I can’t project my guilt onto others in an attempt to rid myself of it. I can’t claim to know what anything is for. I can’t choose greed over goodness or claim that someone or something “out there” was the source of my pain. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t.
Ego tells me “that’s so limiting!” But it’s not. It’s just another example of upside world where things seem to be the opposite of what they really are. This is what happens when you stop trying to see yourself as separate. As terrifying as it is, because, you know, none of us is keen on the idea of losing our individual identities, it’s also beautiful. Beauty rushes in the moment Oneness takes over.
“3 O my child, if you knew what God wills for you, your joy would be complete! And what He wills has happened, for it was always true. When the light comes and you have said, “God’s Will is mine,” you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you. Out of your joy you will create beauty in His Name, for your joy could no more be contained than His. The bleak little world will vanish into nothingness, and your heart will be so filled with joy that it will leap into Heaven, and into the Presence of God. I cannot tell you what this will be like, for your heart is not ready. Yet I can tell you, and remind you often, that what God wills for Himself He wills for you, and what He wills for you is yours.”
Ego is attached to idols, and blame, and guilt, and fear and suffering. It’s attached to being right, being superior, to comparing: the hallmarks of an identity that is set on maintaining the illusion of separation.
“When God created you He made you part of Him. That is why attack within the Kingdom is impossible. You made the ego without love, and so it does not love you. You could not remain within the Kingdom without love, and since the Kingdom is love, you believe that you are without it. This enables the ego to regard itself as separate and outside its maker, thus speaking for the part of your mind that believes you are separate and outside the Mind of God. The ego, then, raised the first question that was ever asked, but one it can never answer. That question, “What are you?” was the beginning of doubt. The ego has never answered any questions since, although it has raised a great many. The most inventive activities of the ego have never done more than obscure the question, because you have the answer and the ego is afraid of you.”
Who are you? What are you? In our hearts of hearts we know, but for whatever reason, we don’t seem to be quite ready to give it all up. I know it’s fantasy but do I want to quit playing make believe?
I could end all the suffering today. I made the suffering by believing I am something I am not – a separated one. I made the suffering by listening to the tiny, mad idea. “Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. Together, we can laugh them both away, and understand that time cannot intrude upon eternity. It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity, which means there is no time.”
The Son of God remembered not to laugh – it was this “what if” moment when we decided to play “I wonder what it would be like if we could be separate from God.”
Of course, the game is rigged. There is nothing we can do to make the “tiny, mad idea” real, so there is no reason to continue the suffering.
I can be free of suffering today. Let’s see what happens when we play with that idea instead.
Namaste, my friends, Namaste.