A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 18: The Passing of the Dream

Section V: The Happy Dream

Read ACIM Chapter 18, Section V (pages 382-84)

What brings the happy dream?

The happy dream comes with being willing to join with the Holy Spirit’s purpose of “the undoing of what never was.” (1:1) We join with the Holy Spirit’s purpose when we “offer Him a little willingness to let Him remove all fear and hatred, and to be forgiven.” (2:5) In previous chapters Jesus reminds us that all fear and hatred comes from making illusions of separation real. It is this that needs to be let go of, or forgiven. As we do this, this dream becomes loving, because when fear and hatred are removed from our tortured minds, we see that only Love is there. The dream becomes loving because the Holy Spirit replaces illusions with the truth.

What is our role and what is the Holy Spirit’s function in the happy dream?

In the happy dream, we realize what is our part and what is the Holy Spirit’s part. In the happy dream we realize that our part is to be mindful of when we are fearful or judgmental and to be willing to offer these thoughts to the Holy Spirit to let Him remove them. “When you feel the holiness of your relationship is threatened by anything, stop instantly and offer the Holy Spirit your willingness, in spite of fear, to let Him exchange this instant for the holy one that you would rather have.” (6:1)

This is a daily, moment by moment, practice that brings us the Holy Spirit’s happy dream. We have it very clear that it is not our part to remove fear and hatred from our mind. This fear and hatred is the effect of guilt. It is the Holy Spirit’s function to remove that guilt, at our invitation. That is why Jesus tells us here, “Never attempt to overlook your guilt before you ask the Holy Spirit’s help. That is His function.” (2:3-4) The Holy Spirit knows that we are holding onto a lot of unconscious guilt and it is only He Who knows how to remove it. It is only the Light that can remove darkness. As we accept the Light, we see that the darkness is gone.

To experience the happy dream, what is our constant focus?

Understanding the difference between our function and the Holy Spirit’s function is a very important part in being able to experience the happy dream. Our one, constant focus is, ” ‘Thy Will be done,’ and not, ‘I want it otherwise.’ ” (4:3) Once our role is clear, and we are willing to do our part of stepping back and following, the Holy Spirit knows how to do the rest. “On your little faith, joined with His understanding, He will build your part in the Atonement and make sure that you fulfill it easily. And with Him, you will build a ladder planted in the solid rock of faith, and rising even to Heaven. Nor will you use it to ascend to Heaven alone.” (2:6-8)

Why can’t we ascend to Heaven alone?

We do not ascend to Heaven alone because, as we allow the Holy Spirit to heal our thoughts of separation, we learn to see that all the little illusionary ‘minds’ in the dream of separation are really connected. We are, in fact, joined. This means we are not alone and never were, even though we believed it for awhile. Jesus tells us, “But forget not that your relationship is one, and so it must be that whatever threatens the peace of one is an equal threat to the other. The power of joining its [your holy relationship of oneness with your brother] blessing lies in the fact that it is now impossible for you or your brother to experience fear alone, or to attempt to deal with it alone. Never believe that this [dealing with fear alone] is necessary, or even possible. Yet just as this is impossible, so is it equally impossible that the holy instant come to either of you without the other. And it will come to both at the request of either.” (6:3-7)

How do we bring happiness to every mind?

Here Jesus clearly explains how it works that, as we are willing to accept the Holy Spirit into our minds, we are bringing happiness to every mind because in truth, every ‘separate’ mind is really joined as one. He even gives us a prayer to say to help us remember what is really happening behind the scenes as we accept the holy instant — a touch of Heaven — into our mind:

“I desire this holy instant for myself, that I may share it with my brother, whom I love. It is not possible that I can have it without him, or he without me. Yet it is wholly possible for us to share it now. And so I choose this instant as the one to offer to the Holy Spirit, that His blessing may descend on us, and keep us both in peace.” (7:3-6)

Because of our experience in this world of having separate minds, it seems unlikely that what we do in our minds affects our brother. Jesus is working with us to reverse this false premise. We may not be joined at the hip, because bodies cannot join. But we are joined at the level of the mind, whether we want to recognize it or not. What we do in our minds does affect our brother.

How do we let the Holy Spirit fulfill His function through us?

As we join with the Holy Spirit in the happy dream, we are joining with the idea of God’s wholeness. We are joining with the idea of Love’s oneness and the fact that there is nothing else. This is why Jesus tells us in paragraph five: “It is no dream to love your brother as yourself. Nor is your holy relationship a dream. All that remains of dreams within it is that it is still a special relationship. Yet it is very useful to the Holy Spirit, Who has a special function here. It will become the happy dream through which He can spread joy to thousands on thousands who believe that Love is fear, not happiness. Let Him fulfill the function that He gave to your relationship by accepting it for you, and nothing will be wanting that would make of it what He would have it be.” (5:1-6) The function that the Holy Spirit gives to every relationship is the same as what God gives to all of us equally — that we are all the same united Love, and this we cannot change.

In this section Jesus emphasizes again that it is through our relationships that we return Home. In paragraph one he says, “The holy instant, the holy relationship, the Holy Spirit’s teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished, would have no purpose [if we already understood the difference between truth and illusion].” (1:3) Holy means whole or one. A holy relationship means that we remember we are one mind, joined eternally with the one Mind of Love. The Holy Spirit in every mind knows that every mind is joined as one. As we accept this, we are accepting the happy dream. What an opportunity we have now as we stop thinking that we know what will make us happy and let the Holy Spirit be in the driver’s seat. The Holy Spirit always brings us to the one Love we all are, which is true happiness.

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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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