A Course in Miracles is about application – it is meant to be lived. In these bodies, in this world, we learn that we are not bodies and there is no world. The paradox is not something we solve intellectually. It is more like an optical illusion that we suddenly “get.”
In this review, the course prepares us for application by retroactively applying a theme to the previous twenty lessons: “My mind holds only what I think with God” (r-IV.In.2:2).
Most of us read that and think it means that our minds are going to be cleansed or purified. We think that the egoic self is going to be purged of its bad qualities while holding onto its good ones. In other words, we’re going to have our cake and eat it, too.
But, in fact, this statement about our mind is a statement about what our mind is in truth: and it is not the mind which holds the ego’s lies – both the ones that please us and the ones that displease us. It is another level, one that from our separated perspective, we cannot see. We can barely imagine it.
Guilt stops us from realizing the mind we share with God, and from bringing its creative powers into application. Therefore, we need forgiveness – we need the correction of the underlying error (which is our belief in separation) to be undone for us.
The way that our errors are corrected is that we look at them without flinching. We realize that all illusions are “defenses that protect your unforgiving thoughts from being seen and recognized” (r-IV.In.3:2). The whole purpose of illusions is to “hold correction off through self-deception made to take its place” (r-IV.In.3:3).
Salvation begins with our willingness to see this as true. We don’t have to believe it! We simply have to recognize how our way has not worked and so – Bill Thetford-like – we declare there must be another and – Helen Schucman-like – agree to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in finding it.
Your self-deception cannot take the place of truth. No more than can a child who throws a stick int othe ocean cange the coming and going of the tides, the warming of the water by the sun, the silver of the moon on it by night (r-IV.In.4:2-3).
What is true is true: it cannot be made false by wishful thinking. No more can what is false be made true. Our minds hold only what we think with God – are we not curious to find out just what this means?
This review period is designed somewhat differently than those that went before. Before we were reviewing ideas, looking at them in slightly different lights, reinforcing core ACIM concepts. Now we are creating a space in which actual communion with God is possible, each day bringing “the message of His Love to you, returning messages of yours to Him” (r-IV.In.4:2-3).
This communion is more important than being “right” about a given lesson. It is communion that assures us we are on the correct path, that we are not being led astray by the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus remains an elder brother carefully attending our awakening. Our day arranges itself around our devotion to the course and to the awakening it promises. Do we welcome this?
In this review period, sparse as it may appear at first glance, we take real steps into the world as forgiven children of a loving God whose only desire is that all Creation know His Peace and Joy. These are not idle promises! They are not just words.
God offers thanks to you who practice thus the keeping of His Word. And as you give your mid to the ideas for the day again before you sleep, His gratitude surrounds you in the peace wherein He wills you be forever, and learning now to claim against as your inheritance (r-IV.In.10:1-2).
For the next ten days, let us make it so together. Our minds hold only what we think with God – can happiness and peace not be our truth? Can it not become our gift to the world?