A Course in Miracles Lesson 38

There is nothing my holiness cannot do.

Lesson 38 expands our understanding of what A Course in Miracles means when it uses the world “holiness.” It is the means by which we transcend our limited experience of self, body and world.

Your holiness reverses all the laws of the world. It is beyond every restriction of time, space, distance and limits of any kind. Your holiness is totally unlimited in its power because it establishes you as a Child of God, at one with the Mind of their Creator (W-pI.38.1:1-3).

The latter phrase is the key: the power of holiness arises in and as our indivisible unity with our Creator. Holiness is the natural condition of God’s creation; therefore, its power is absolute. There is nothing it cannot accomplish.

Your holiness, then, can remove all pain, can end all sorrow, and can solve all problems. It can do so in connection with yourself and with anyone else. It is equal in its power to help anyone because it is equal in its power to save anyone (W-pI.38.2:4-6).

Notice that this assurance is abstract and general; it does not suggest the specific formal solution to problems, including pain and sorrow. It simply unconditionally promises to end all pain and sorrow.

This matters because our tendency is to use our holiness to double down on the very error our holiness would correct: the notion that we are vulnerable bodies in the world. So we might, for example, assert that our holiness will undo a diagnosis of cancer (or own or anybody else’s) or help us lose weight or find a new friend.

In other words, ego interprets those lines about our holiness in terms of what it will get. Yet from the perspective of spirit, it is indicative of how much we can give.

Only those who have a true and lasting sense of abundance can be truly charitable . . . to the ego, to give anything implies that you will to do without it. .. . . “Giving to get” is an inescapable law of the ego . . . (T-4.II.6:1, 3 and 5).

In fact, what our holiness does is establish the illusory nature of world and body by emphasizing its sameness. It is this sameness that allows us to transcend the particular identification with this or that aspect of living in the world and instead release them all in a single movement.

If you are holy, so is everything God created. You are holy because all things He created are holy. And all things He created are holy because you are (W-pI.38.3:1-3).

Can we give attention to holiness and its source, rather than the world and the self that are outside of us? We get excited about the “nothing holiness cannot do” and skip over the slippery pronoun “my.”

Who is the “my, myself and I” contemplated by the lesson? Is it the egoic self, trapped in a body, at risk of loss and sacrifice in a cruel and indifferent world?

Or is it God’s creation before which this “world” and all its contents are merely an illusion?

Ego will argue for the former, but the latter is gently confirmed as truth by the Holy Spirit. We have “dominion over all things” because we are not bodies and there is no world.

Thus, this lesson is not about improving and empowering the self we mistakenly believe is real, but rather gently introducing us to what we are in truth which is far beyond bodies and world and the apparent troubles they entail.

When we do this lesson, can we give attention less to the body and world that as so long vexed us, and more to the holiness itself? This will gently restore to our memory our actual identity as God’s creation, which itself begets all the peace and joy for which we so long.

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2 Comments

  1. Had to Google what ACIM meant by the word holiness in these lessons and was directed to your website. What a boon! You absolutely illuminated the meaning for me and opened me up to practicing with much more ease. Thank you so much!! I’m adding you to my regular references . Bless you!

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