Rethinking our Function: ACIM Lesson 186

A Course in Miracles revolves around the idea that salvation – ours and the world’s – is found in our ability to recognize and embrace our true identity as extensions of God in Creation, which identity is far beyond the ego’s limited perception.

On this view, the statement “salvation of the world depends on me” becomes a declaration of our function. Our personal salvation is inextricably yoked to our responsibility to save the world. Salvation is not personal but collective. It extends beyond the domain of body-identification. And it calls for humility and acceptance.

Let us not fight our function. We did not establish it. It is not our idea. The means are given to us by which it will be perfectly accomplished. All that we are asked to do is accept our part in genuine humility, and not deny with self-deceiving arrogance that we are not worthy (W-pI.186.2:1-5).

Thus, the Course is emphasizing that healing and redemption begin with us – they take form with us, they are enacted in and by us – but they are not separate from the salvational work of all our brothers and sisters. The collective state of the world is a reflection of our inner peace, ours and everyone else’s. As we allow ourselves to be healed by the Holy Spirit, surrendering ego-driven thoughts and judgments, the world’s healing is simultaneously accomplished.

It is fair to say that salvation – which, again, is healing, which is simply the recognition of wholeness – depends on our capacity to recognize and give attention only to the Holy Spirit. At first this is difficult and onerous, but in time we learn it is the source of calm productivity.

If God’s Voice assures that you that salvation needs your part, and the whole depends on you, be sure that it is so . . . the humble are free to hear the Voice which tells them what they are, and what to do (W-pI.186.6:4, 6).

The temptation is to feel belittled. Can salvation truly depend on, you know, giving up grievances? Being a kinder, gentler father and brother? A less-dramatic co-worker? Serving others rather than demanding or expecting that they serve us?

What about the bright lights of spirit? What about ascended masters? What about the razzle-dazzle of this or that guru or teacher?

All those without exception are the fever dreams of ego, the false self with which we identify, whose argument that we are vulnerable sinners has become second nature. Yet even this will be undone, simply because it is not real. Separation is an illusion! This is all the Holy Spirit really teaches us. And as we learn it, we learn how to create the way God in Heaven creates.

. . . your truly given function stands out clear and wholly unambiguous. There is no doubt of its validity. It comes from One Who knows no error and His Voice is certain of Its messages. They will not change, nor be in conflict (W-pI.186.11:1-4).

This is the clarity that accepting our function provides for us. We remember our true identity as eternal and loving, wholly united with Creator and Creation, and capable only of Love. Forgiveness becomes our practice as naturally as holding grievances once did.

Forgiveness allows us to let go of ego-based beliefs and judgments and allow recognition of our oneness in and with God to become the whole light of awareness. When we forgive, we cultivate a state of mind that is aligned with love, peace, and truth. The inseperability of God’s Will and our will becomes our strength.

Acceptance and obedience are similar. We tend to reject obedience; we may not be the driver of the bus but nobody is going to tell us where to sit. Yet obeying God is the very means by which our joy is completed, because it reflects our total unconditional acceptance of God’s goodness.

His gentle Voice is calling from the known to the unknowing. He would comfort you, although He knows no sorrow. He would make restitution, though He is complete; a gift to you, although He knows that you have everything already (W-pI.186.13:1-2).

Ego’s voice is characterized by fear, judgment, and separation. The Holy Spirit, who is the Voice for God to which this lesson refers, speaks the language of love, unity, and peace. By becoming aware of the ego’s thought system and choosing to align instead with the Voice for God, we naturally perform miracles – shifts in perception by which the salvation of the world is accomplished.

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