A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 16: The Forgiveness of Illusions

Section VI: The Bridge to the Real World

Read ACIM Chapter 16, Section VI (pages 345-347)

When we equate ourselves with the ego, does it seem ‘natural’ to search for a special relationship?

Jesus starts this section with an important insight: “The search for the special relationship is the sign that you equate yourself with the ego and not with God.” (1:1) At unconscious levels, we know that we are defying God’s oneness when we value the body by identifying with it as what we are and what others are. When we equate ourselves with the ego, we think that identifying with the body instead of the ‘allness’ of God is freedom instead of bondage. We willingly forget that only God’s Love is synonymous with true freedom.

As students of the Course, Jesus is teaching us how to let go of the ego so that we can be free of the pain and suffering that the ego brings with it. Until now, we have been thinking that cultivating special relationships was important and needed in our lives. We have thought that having special people, special places and things in our life was the only way to be happy. We are now learning to reverse this perception. With Jesus’ instruction, we are learning how to see all of our relationships the way the Holy Spirit sees them.

What are we shown when we learn to receive the holy instant from the Holy Spirit?

In paragraph three he tells us, “There is a way in which the Holy Spirit asks your help, if you would have His [help]. The holy instant is His most helpful aid in protecting you from the attraction of guilt, the real lure in the special relationship.” (3:1-2) When we learn to receive the holy instant from the Holy Spirit, we are shown the Great Rays instead of the body. We are shown the face of Christ instead of perceiving differences. We are shown the purity of innocence in our brothers where we once saw anger and guilt. We are shown the strength of God’s oneness instead of the weakness and vulnerability of separate bodies.

Just imagine how happy our lives will be as we continue to consistently practice allowing Holy Spirit to guide our perception of every brother! Just imagine receiving the holy instant and being bridged into the real world instead of continuing to identify with the ego! We certainly have an exciting time ahead of us with the Holy Spirit as our Guide!

Jesus knows we need a lot of encouragement to change the way we are seeing. We need a bridge to the real world, where seeing separate bodies is not valued or wanted. To help us in our letting go or forgiving process, Jesus is very specific in explaining what really happens with the special relationships we imagine to be real: “On this side of the bridge you see the world of separate bodies, seeking to join each other in separate unions and to become one by losing. When two individuals seek to become one, they are trying to decrease their magnitude. Each would deny his power, for the separate union excludes the universe. Far more is left outside than would be taken in, for God is left without and nothing taken in.” (5:2-5)

What is it like as we continue to let the Holy Spirit undo our false beliefs?

Jesus explains what it is like as we continue to let the Holy Spirit undo our false beliefs, our ideas about what is real: “For a time the body is still seen, but not exclusively, as it is seen here. The little spark that holds the Great Rays within it is also visible, and this spark cannot be limited long to littleness. Once you have crossed the bridge, the value of the body is so diminished in your sight that you will see no need at all to magnify it. For you will realize that the only value the body has is to enable you to bring your brothers to the bridge with you, and to be released together there.” (6:2-5) Once we join with the Holy Spirit in our one true purpose, we can be assured that the Holy Spirit will provide the means for it to be accomplished.

As we are willing to be led from littleness to magnitude, we receive the change of mind that brings us to our true purpose. Here is the change of mind that brings us everlasting joy, everlasting peace. Here we have the answer to the way to approach ‘life’ while it still appears that we are here in this world. We see clearly that the bridge the Holy Spirit brings is just a change of mind, just a change in what we want to see. As we let our minds be changed by the Holy Spirit, our frame of reference becomes transformed to see our unity with Love’s reality instead of focusing on unique, special bodies. Jesus tells us, “This [the ego’s] frame of reference is built around the special relationship. Without this illusion there could be no meaning you would still seek here.” (7:6-7)

Jesus reassures us that, as we continue on Holy Spirit’s bridge of return to Reality, we may experience some disorientation, but that the Holy Spirit will always be gentle. “Time is kind, and if you use [time] on behalf of reality, it will keep gentle pace with you in your transition. The urgency is only in dislodging your mind from its fixed position here. This will not leave you homeless and without a frame of reference.” (8:2-5) Waking up to reality in Holy Spirit’s hands is gentle and peaceful. As we learn to let the Holy Spirit turn every special relationship into a holy relationship, we come to what Jesus calls the happy dream of awakening to the truth. (See Text Chapter 18 Section V on page 382)

What help does the Holy Spirit need from us in order to do His job?

Through the Holy Spirit, we learn to love our true Reality instead of the specialness we sought before. But in order to do this, the Holy Spirit needs the following help from us: “Whenever your thoughts wander to a special relationship which still attracts you, enter with Him into a holy instant, and there let Him release you. He needs only your willingness to share His perspective to give it to you completely. ... Out of your recognition of your unwillingness for your release, His perfect willingness is given you. Call upon Him, for Heaven is at His call. And let Him call on Heaven for you.” (12:1-2, 5-7) As we recognize our complete dependence on the Holy Spirit, we gradually allow ourselves to be carried. We allow the Holy Spirit to do His job. We stop trying to do it for Him. We allow ourselves to be bridged to the real world. We trust that the ride will be filled with gentleness and peace.

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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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