To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Read ACIM Chapter 14, Section III (pages 274-278)
In this section Jesus teaches us how to be happy learners by making the decision for guiltlessness. He shows us the difference between the two decisions and the effects of each decision. He helps us understand that guilt is the glue that keeps the ego together. The ego thought system always wishes to see guilt because that is how it maintains its perception of separation. When we join with the ego we are joining with guilt, which is depressing and not a happy experience. Seeing guilt anywhere and thinking that it is real is the same as being attracted to the pain of guilt and deciding against our happiness.
We are seeing that guilt comes with believing in the ego thought system because it is believing that the Son of God changed himself from how he was created by God. This is why the pain of guilt comes with believing this world is real. This is why guilt is inherent with believing in unique personalities. Jesus explains that we have a choice and we are choosing between the ego thought system and the Holy Spirit all the time. “The ego is the choice for guilt; the Holy Spirit is the choice for guiltlessness. The power of decision is all that is yours. What you can decide between is fixed, because there are no alternatives except truth and illusion.” (4:2-4)
When we remember that the Son of God cannot change himself from how he was created by God, we are remembering the truth. When we join with the Holy Spirit, this is what we will offer to every brother, no matter what he thinks he has made of himself. When we offer only truth to our brother, truth is what we will receive. “The cost of giving is receiving. Either it is a penalty from which you suffer, or the happy purchase of a treasure to hold dear.” (5:8-9) Believing that our brother could be different from how he was created by God will bring us suffering and depression. Remembering that he is still as God created him brings us happiness and joy. This is the choice that is always before us. Do we want to believe in illusions of separation or do we want to remember the eternal truth? Remembering the truth is the decision for guiltlessness.
Another benefit of being willing to see that illusions are illusions is that we recognize our invulnerability. We know illusions cannot hurt us. When we do not make illusions real, we remember that we cannot be harmed. “Teach no one he has hurt you, for if you do, you teach yourself that what is not of God has power over you.” (8:2)
Jesus wants us to see past illusions because he knows that it will make us happy and we will remember that we are still joined with our Source because we have never left. We will remember that everyone remains as God created them. We will remember that if we try to see them as something else, we are trying to usurp God’s Will and we will feel guilty. He tells us, “Remember always that Mind is one, and Cause is one. You will learn communication with this oneness only when you learn to deny the causeless, and accept the Cause of God as yours.” (8:5-6) This means that we heal as we learn to deny the denial of the truth. As we are willing to let go of the meaning we have given to our illusions of separation we will see that, “What cannot happen can have no effects to fear.” (15:4)
Because we are so attached to believing in this world we made, we need help in returning to the truth. Jesus tells us how to accept this help when he says, “Say to the Holy Spirit only, ‘Decide for me,’ and it is done. For His decisions are reflections of what God knows about you, and in this light, error of any kind becomes impossible. Why would you struggle so frantically to anticipate all you cannot know, when all knowledge lies behind every decision the Holy Spirit makes for you? Learn of His wisdom and His Love, and teach His answer to everyone who struggles in the dark. For you decide for them and for yourself.” (16:1-5)
God created us as Love like Himself. Love is guiltless. But we have taught ourselves to deny Love and have chosen isolation instead of oneness. This is completely opposite of our nature. The world we see is the effect of having taught ourselves that we are what we are not. We have blinded ourselves to the truth, but this has not changed the truth. We cannot lose the Love that we are.
The Holy Spirit’s job is to help us unlearn what we have taught ourselves so that we can return to the full awareness of the Self that God created us to be. Because the Holy Spirit’s teaching is the opposite of what we have taught ourselves, there is a reluctance to trust Him. But the Holy Spirit is gentle and brings us lessons that will help us recognize that we do want what He is offering us. Gradually we learn to trust His message of Love and guiltlessness. Through his gentle teaching we learn to recognize the innocence that has always been there. With the Holy Spirit’s help we learn to see it in our brothers and thus recognize it in ourselves.
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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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