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Chapter 20: The Vision of Holiness

Section IV: Entering the Ark

Read ACIM Chapter 20, Section IV (pages 432-34)

What is the difference between the laws of the world and the laws of God?

Regarding God’s laws Jesus tells us, “Power is of God, given by Him and reawakened by the Holy Spirit, Who knows that as you give you gain. He gives no power to sin, and therefore it has none; nor to its results as this world sees them, — sickness and death and misery and pain. These things have not occurred because the Holy Spirit sees them not, and gives no power to their seeming source. Thus would He keep you free of them.” (1:4-7, italics added)

The world’s laws reflect just the opposite — the belief that what we give we lose. Think about how this works in the ego’s world. The ego only recognizes its own false images of what is real because the ego literally is the idea of separation from God’s laws. Because it is the idea of separation, it only acknowledges images that are based on separation and sin. It only recognizes separate forms and does not even see the one eternal Spirit that is the truth of every brother. This means that the ego’s world does not recognize all true power, which is only of God. To the ego, what is not separate and therefore full of sin and guilt does not exist. To the ego, God does not exist.

The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, knows that all power is of God. That is why He gives no reality to the false images of sickness and death, misery and pain. When we are willing to return to the way the Holy Spirit thinks, we are freed of these false images. We see that they have no validity and could never be real.

Why do we need to see our brother as sinless to free ourselves?

As we see our brother sinless, we are letting go of the world’s laws, and thus we are freeing ourselves from the misery and pain that are inherent in these laws. Jesus tells us, “Sin has no place in Heaven, where its results are alien and can no more enter than can their source. And therein lies your need to see your brother sinless. In him is Heaven. See sin in him instead, and Heaven is lost to you. But see him as he is, and what is yours shines from him to you. Your savior gives you only love, but what you would receive of him is up to you.” (2:1-6) This is why Jesus calls every brother we meet our savior. As we see him we will look upon ourselves. What we give we gain under God’s laws, which means that as we give the truth, we receive the truth. As we give Heaven, we receive Heaven.

Why does Jesus say that salvation is a lesson in giving?

As we reawaken to the laws of God through joining with the Holy Spirit, we give up the world’s laws. We give them up, not out of sacrifice, but we see that they are worthless and only bring us experiences of weakness, suffering and death. As we learn from the Holy Spirit to overlook our brother’s mistakes, we give as the Holy Spirit gives to us. “Salvation is a lesson in giving, as the Holy Spirit interprets it. It is the reawakening of the laws of God in the minds that have established other laws, and given them power to enforce what God created not.” (2:9-10) Here we see the key to our salvation — to learn to give as the Holy Spirit gives. As we learn to focus our attention only on this, the ego’s laws fall away and disappear from our sight.

Why are mistakes inevitable once we place ourselves under the ego’s laws?

Joining with the ego’s laws is the same as joining with the belief that we are guilty sinners who are unworthy and deserve punishment. Jesus tells us, “Your insane laws were made to guarantee that you would make mistakes, and give them power over you by accepting their results as your just due.” (3:1) Choosing to believe in separation and sin is a mistake because separation from God comes from madness and could never be real. God created His one Son as one with Him and what God creates cannot be changed by belief in insane ideas.

What happens once we see that our brothers have never changed, and are, in reality, still as God created them?

As we see that our brothers are still as God created them and that nothing has really changed him, we will see that we also have never changed and are, in truth, free of the ego’s mistaken idea. Jesus tells us, “He is as free from this as you are, and in the freedom that you see in him you see your own. For this you share. What God has given follows His laws and His alone. Nor is it possible for those who follow [God’s laws] to suffer the results of any other source.” (3:4-7)

This means that we are under no laws but God’s and we do not experience the ego’s laws once we no longer believe in them. This is why Jesus tells us in the first sentence of this section, “Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so.” (1:1) Once we stop giving power to the ego’s laws through believing in them, we see that we are free of them. We see that the ego’s world is just a dream and could never be true.

Because we are joined as one mind and not separate, we see that our brother is free of the ego’s laws also. We choose freedom as we recognize that our brother is not a body, and he is not what he thinks he has made of himself. In truth he is still an extension of the infinite Mind of Love. He has not changed himself by dreaming. Jesus says, “Those who choose freedom will experience only its results. Their power is of God, and they will give it only to what God has given, to share with them. Nothing but this can touch them, for they see only this, sharing their power according to the Will of God. And thus their freedom is established and maintained.” (4:1-4, italics added) We establish and maintain our freedom by only accepting the truth from the Spirit of Wholeness within our mind. We stop believing that a world of separation and limitation is possible. We start seeing past what we are seeing through the body’s eyes to the truth that can never change.

Why does Jesus say that the ark of peace is entered two by two?

Here we are told of the Holy Spirit’s plan of awakening the Sonship: As we see the face of Christ in every brother we meet, we awaken and we help our brothers awaken. “The ark of peace is entered two by two, yet the beginning of another world goes with them. Each holy relationship must enter here, to learn its special function in the Holy Spirit’s plan, now that it shares His purpose. And as this purpose is fulfilled, a new world rises in which sin can enter not, and where the Son of God can enter without fear and where he rests a while, to forget imprisonment and to remember freedom.” (6:5-7)

Is the Holy Spirit’s plan incomplete without our part?

We are learning that everyone in the Sonship must eventually play his part. As we open to the fact that that nothing can happen to change God’s Son, we see everyone’s innocence and that is how we help our brother and it is how we maintain our awareness of our innate freedom. Jesus tells us here, “How can he enter, to rest and to remember, without you? Except you be there, he is not complete. And it is his completion that he remembers there.” (6:8-10) Through the Holy Spirit, Who is the universal Comforter in everyone’s mind, we learn our part in the Atonement. Our part is to see the Christ in everyone the Holy Spirit sends to us. Together, we remember the laws of God and forget the insanity of the world’s false stories. We all go Home together. Jesus tells us here, “Think you when this [remembering God’s laws] has been achieved that you will rest without [your brothers]? You could no more leave one of them outside than I could leave you, and forget part of myself.” (7:5-6)

What happens as we accept our part in the Holy Spirit’s plan?

In paragraph 8 of this section, Jesus gives us one of the most helpful and hopeful messages in helping us understand and trust that whatever we need will be given us as we make His plan the only plan that we want and accept. Jesus tells us, “Once you accept His plan as the one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without your effort. He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it. You need take thought for nothing, careless of everything except the only purpose that you would fulfill. As that was given you, so will its fulfillment be. God’s guarantee will hold against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and not contingency. It rests on you. And what can be more certain than a Son of God?” (8:4-12)

How peaceful and happy our part is in Holy Spirit’s plan! Our job is to see the Christ in every brother that shows up in our dream! And this requires no sacrifice, but only the end of sacrifice. As as we accept our part, we can be assured that everything we need will be provided for us. How great is that?

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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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