Questions & Answers
[as it appeared in the January 2011 Newsletter]
There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course. And by “good question”, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years.
Question: Does the Course give us any ideas about setting a New Year’s Resolution?
Answer: The Course says that clarifying our goal from the beginning (like at the beginning of a new year) determines the outcome we achieve (T-17.VI.2.3) .It would appear that ACIM actively approves of our making a New Year’s Resolution, at least those that are compatible with its principles. And it even offers us some recommendations for our resolve:
“Accept the holy instant as this year is born, and take your place,
so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening.
Make this year different, by making it all the SAME.
And let ALL your relationships be made holy FOR you.”
Original version of T-15.XI.112
Accepting the Holy Instant and letting our relationships be made holy for us are both statements that are clear and easily understood. The third suggestion, however, about making this year different from all others by making everything the same requires a little more thought and consideration. It took me years of study (yes, I am that slow) to understand what it means (at least, a meaning that works for me).
There is a section that deals with sameness that I think helps make its meaning clear:
But in this world, there are no simple facts
because what is the same and what is different remain unclear.
The one essential thing to make a choice at all is this distinction.
And herein lies the difference between the worlds.
In this one, choice is made impossible.
In the real world is choosing simplified.
Salvation stops just short of Heaven, for only perception needs salvation.
Heaven was never lost and so cannot be saved.
Yet who can make a choice between the wish for Heaven
and the wish for hell unless he recognizes they are not the same?
This difference is the learning goal this course has set.
It will not go beyond this aim. Its only purpose is to teach what is the same
and what is different, leaving room to make the only choice which can be made.
There is no basis for choice in this complex and over-complicated world.
For no one understands what is the same
and seems to choose where no choice really is.
The real world is the area of choice made real, not in the outcome
but in the perception of alternatives for choice.
That there is choice is an illusion.
Yet within this one lies the undoing of every illusion, not excepting this.
Is not this like your special function, where the separation is undone
by change of purpose in what once was specialness and now is union?
All illusions are but one. And in the recognition this is so
lies the ability to give up all attempts to choose between them
and to make them different.
[How simple is the choice between two things so clearly unalike.]
original version of T-26.III.21-24
Only perception needs salvation because Heaven was never lost. And how do we stabilize our false perceptions? We can’t. But we can allow for a new perception – a perception based on truth. A perception that makes way for truth. The truth of our UNPERCEIVED YET ENTIRELY REAL unity as aspects of the completed picture of God’s Son:
Joining with Him in seeing is the way in which you learn to share with Him
the interpretation of perception that leads to knowledge.
You cannot see alone. Sharing perception with Him
Whom God has given you teaches you how to recognize what you see.
It is the recognition that nothing you see means anything alone.
Seeing with Him will show you that all meaning, including yours,
comes not from double vision but from the gentle fusing
of everything into one meaning, one emotion, and one purpose.
original version of T-14.IV.30-31
And how do we allow for that fusion to happen? The best answer to that, in my opinion, is by doing the ACIM Workbook, allowing it to make us question ALL that we believe is true – especially in those early “undoing” lessons – in order to create a space in our unstable and conflicted minds for the Holy Spirit to fill with His higher truth. And, in order to do that – as I pointed out about the Workbook last month – we must resist the seemingly overwhelming “need” to let that newly cleared space to be filled in by any other voice than HIS!
Allow the meaning of everything you see to be gently released from whatever it was that you ascribed to it before and let the Holy Spirit show you the only meaning that He ascribes to EVERYTHING: the healing of God’s Son.
* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994. She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and is scheduled to present again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is: http://peaceful-path.blogspot.com/