A Course in Miracles Lesson Insights

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Listen to Lesson 170 Insights

ACIM Workbook Lesson 170 Insights

“There is no cruelty in God and none in me.”

Cruelty comes from fear and fear comes from belief in separation. One of the key ideas in this lesson is, “ideas leave not their source.” To the split mind, separation is real and therefore fear is real and cruelty is real.

Jesus is inviting me to let go of the belief in separation. From our belief in separation from God comes an out picturing of a false world that is the opposite of God. From God comes knowing oneness, all Love being all. Jesus reminds me to make another choice today and leave my belief in the world of separation behind. He reminds me to lay down my defenses against this world because it is a false world that is coming from the false split mind, the insane mind. He invites me to follow Him to open to seeing the unity behind the false images of separation. He invites me to open to seeing the Love behind the call for Love. He invites me to open to seeing the truth behind the barriers to Love.

He reminds me that making the false world real only brings me the experience of pain, guilt, fear and death. It brings me the experience of lack and conflict and the need to defend against an outside enemy. He shows me how to lay this down. He shows me that my experience is coming from my choosing to join with the split mind, the mind that teaches that separation is real.

He tells me if I am willing to step back from the false mind, I will find freedom. I will find true and everlasting peace. I will find the joy of oneness. I will find eternal happiness. He tells me everything is confused and upside down in this insane world of separation and reminds me it is not true and I do not need to continue to believe in it. If I defend against this fearful world, I will make it real again. Laying it down, letting it go is the only answer. He reminds me, I have the Voice of Sanity in my mind and by joining with the Voice of Sanity, I can open to and receive the real solution to every problem.

Ideas leave not their source. If I join with the ego split mind, I will see cruelty. I will see a reason to fear. If I instead join with the Holy Spirit, I will see the Holy Spirit in every mind, for the Holy Spirit knows all that is real is One. The Holy Spirit joins with Reality and sees Reality.

It is my choice how I will experience my day. Do I choose to join with the ego mind or the One Mind of the Holy Spirit? My day will go as I choose.


Belief in the cruelty of God is pervasive in this world. It is one of the key concepts the Course is helping us undo. Belief in the cruelty of God is the basis and justification for all our attacks on our brothers in any form. Today’s lesson is showing us that this cruel god is of our own making. It is the inevitable projection of a mind that believes separation is real. Belief in this cruel god leaves us without a refuge to turn to for peace, comfort and healing. It fosters hopelessness because, with no safe refuge, what hope could there be for release from the hell we believe we are in?

Only as I learn to accept that there is no cruelty in God and none in me does there begin to be hope that there is a possibility for a way out. Gradually hope changes to faith and confidence as we let go of the mistaken idea that God sees us the way we see ourselves. He sees us as Himself — Love and nothing else. Of that He is perfectly confident, for He knows we are one with Him. We are His only Son.

The pain and suffering we blame on Him comes only from our own mistaken mind that believes in what could never be, that ideas do leave their source. Throughout the Course we are told again and again this could never be true. From many different angles He points us to the truth that we remain one with Him as He created us.

Reassuring us that there is no cruelty in God and none in us helps neutralize the fear with which we resist God’s loving care. We only resist His Love because we believe to accept His Love will bring pain. We believe we will have to sacrifice something we treasure. Yet all that is being asked of us is that we give up the very idea that is the source of all our pain, fear, guilt and the perception of death. Remembering there is no cruelty in God opens the door for me to see Him as Friend instead of enemy. He becomes my safe Haven, my comfort and my Home. Today I would remember there is no cruelty in God and none in me.


I am becoming more and more sensitive to the effects of living in a world of attack and fear. This is very uncomfortable, but necessary if I am ever to be motivated to change. I have read this lesson before but it wasn’t until today that I have begun to truly understand the consequences of fear and attack.

As realization began creeping into my mind, I asked Holy Spirit for an example in my own life. Immediately, a person came to mind. For the first time I saw how terribly destructive to myself (and by extension to the rest of the Sonship) my enmity toward this person is. I saw in a whole new way that it is essential I give up attack as defense. I saw how insane the whole concept is and how it contributes to my belief that I am separate.

And still, the idea of giving up all defense and attack is scary. I guess I do not totally believe what my heart is telling me. I am reminded of Lesson 165. It says God is fair and sureness is not required and tells me to ask with desire.

I feel like someone dangling by a slippery rope. I am afraid my new understanding of attack and it’s consequences is not sure enough to stay with me and I will slip and fall back into my life as it has always been. So today I will practice this lesson and make it the center of all my efforts so I can get a firmer grip on that rope.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles

Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:

T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.

W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.

M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.

C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6

The above numbering system of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992, The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
 

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