A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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.

Chapter 19: The Attainment of Peace

Section IV-B: The Second Obstacle: The Belief the Body Is Valuable for What It Offers

Read ACIM Chapter 19, Section IV-B (pages 412-14)

To the ego, what is the little price we pay for the grand drama of the world?

Within the ego thought system, the body is inherently guilty for the purpose that it serves — for it makes separation from God’s oneness appear like it really happened. When we want what separation offers instead of oneness, we want to believe in what the body’s senses show us. We want the stories of individual differences and the excitement of competition it offers. We want the glory of specialness and the idea of making decisions on our own. We want our special likes and dislikes and the little pleasures the body’s senses offer. The loss of peace seems like a little price to pay for this grand drama adventure.

To this value system Jesus says, “This is the value that you think peace would rob you of. This is what you believe that [peace] would dispossess, and leave you homeless. And it is this for which you would deny a home to peace. This ‘sacrifice’ you feel to be too great to make, too much to ask of you. Is it a sacrifice, or a release? What has the body really given you that justifies your strange belief that in it lies salvation?” (2:1- 6)

Why does Jesus call the ego’s value system the belief in death?

When we join with the ego’s value system, we submerge the guilt that goes with this choice. We do not to allow ourselves to be consciously aware that we believe we are guilty for our sin of separating from God. Within this insane thought system, we atone for our ‘sin’ by punishing and even killing the body to appease God because we are sure that He is angry with us. This is why Jesus tells us, “Do you not see that this is the belief in death? Here is the focus of the perception of atonement as murder. Here is the source of the idea that Love is fear.” (2:7-9)

What does the ego defend against at all costs?

God’s oneness becomes the enemy to be defended against at all costs, even to the point of destroying the body to prove it. Here is the source of all our dreams of punishment and death. This is why Jesus tells us we are afraid of Love. He compassionately tells us, “It is only the messengers of fear that see the body, for they look for what can suffer. Is it a sacrifice to be removed from what can suffer? (3:3-4)

We are coming to the point where we can understand that the ‘exciting’ pleasures we have been seeking through the body is fleeting at best. “You have paid very dearly for your illusions, and nothing you have paid for brought you peace.” (5:1)

What is the ego’s substitute for happiness?

We are seeing now that we have been groveling for crumbs of pleasure, and in the end we see that it has not been worth the pain and struggle. In the last subsection Jesus tells us, “While you believe that it can give you pleasure, you will also believe that it can bring you pain. To think you could be satisfied and happy with so little is to hurt yourself, and to limit the happiness that you would have calls upon pain to fill your meager store and make your life complete. This is completion as the ego sees it. For guilt creeps in where happiness has been removed, and substitutes for it [happiness.]” (17:11-14)

What do we find in the holy relationship?

Jesus wants us to see how worthless this search for something different from oneness has been and that we could exchange this body dream for the peace that lies in accepting the truth. He tells us, “The Holy Spirit’s messengers are sent far beyond the body, calling the mind to join in holy communion and be at peace. ... You want communion, not the feast of fear. You want salvation, not the pain of guilt. And you want your Father, not a little mound of clay, to be your home.” (3:1, 4:6) We are seeing the value of joining with the truth that lies beyond bodies. This is what the Holy Spirit shows us as we are willing to be shown that beyond the body of every brother there is only one real Mind. “In your holy relationship is your Father’s Son. He has not lost communion with Him, nor with himself. When you agreed to join your brother, you acknowledged this is so. This has no cost , but it has release from cost.” (4:9-12)

With the Holy Spirit in charge of our mind, we see past bodies to the one Mind that is eternally all there Is to know. Peace comes with this experience. “Peace is extended from you only to the eternal and it reaches out from the eternal in you. It flows across all else.” (4:1-2) This may seem to be beyond our reach, but the good news is that we can experience this now. We do not have to wait lifetimes to experience the peace that comes with accepting the truth that is in us. But it does take a willingness to step back and join with Jesus. “We will surmount all obstacles together, for we stand within the gates and not outside. How easily the gates are opened from within, to let peace through to bless the tired world! Can it be difficult for us to walk past barriers together, when you have joined the limitless? The end of guilt is in your hands to give. Would you stop now to look for guilt in your brother?” (5:4-8)

What does Jesus know about us that would bring us peace when we join him?

Jesus truly wants to help us find the happiness that peace brings. He knows that he is one with every one of us who still thinks the dream of bodies is real. He remembers that the separation never happened and that we all remain unchanged as the one Son of God. As each of us are willing to join with him, we will remember that we are still one in innocence. He tells us, “Let me be to you the symbol of the end of guilt, and look upon your brother as you would look on me. Forgive me all the sins you think the Son of God committed. And in the light of your forgiveness he will remember who he is, and forget what never was. I ask for your forgiveness, for if you are guilty, so must I be. but if I surmounted guilt and overcame the world, you were with me. Would you see in me the symbol of guilt or of the end of guilt, remembering that what I signify to you you see within yourself?” (6:1-6) Jesus knows that, because we are one, if anyone is guilty, everyone is guilty and if anyone is innocent, everyone is innocent. Let us join with him today in seeing innocence everywhere!

Seeing innocence everywhere awakens us to the truth. With Jesus we will know that every brother is the same universal Love that includes all, because we are one. As we accept this truth, we join Jesus in inviting a new world view. “Yet it is not possible to keep away one Who is there already. And in Him it is possible that our communion, where we are joined already, will be the focus of the new perception that will bring light to all the world, contained in you.” (8:4-5)

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