"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
A Course in Miracles
TEXT
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND

CHAPTER 24
Specialness and Separation

I. Introduction

 1 Forget not that the motivation for this course is the attainment and the keeping of the state of peace. Given this state the mind is quiet, and the condition in which God is remembered is attained. It is not necessary to tell Him what to do. He will not fail. Where He can enter, there He is already. And can it be He cannot enter where He wills to be? Peace will be yours because it is His Will. Can you believe a shadow can hold back the Will that holds the universe secure? God does not wait upon illusions to let Him be Himself. No more His Son. They are . And what illusion that idly seems to drift between them has the power to defeat what is Their Will?

2 To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning. No belief is neutral. Every one has the power to dictate each decision you make. For a decision is a conclusion based on everything that you believe. It is the outcome of belief and follows it as surely as does suffering follow guilt and freedom sinlessness. There is no substitute for peace. What God creates has no alternative. The truth arises from what He knows . And your decisions come from your beliefs as certainly as all creation rose in His Mind because of what He knows.

On-Line Here


ON LINE SEARCHABLE Original Edition

Current Schedule [PDF]
A Course in Miracles
TEXT
PAUSED FOR WEEKEND

CHAPTER 24
Specialness and Separation

II. Specialness as a Substitute for Love

 3 Love is extension. To withhold the smallest gift is not to know love's purpose. Love offers everything forever. Hold back but one belief, one offering, and love is gone because you asked a substitute to take its place. And now must war, the substitute for peace, come with the one alternative that you can choose for love. Your choosing it has given it all the reality it seems to have.

4 Beliefs will never openly attack each other, because conflicting outcomes are impossible. But an unrecognized belief is a decision to war in secret, where the results of conflict are kept unknown and never brought to reason to be considered sensible or not. And many senseless outcomes have been reached, and meaningless decisions have been made and kept hidden to become beliefs, now given power to direct all subsequent decisions. Mistake you not the power of these hidden warriors to disrupt your peace. For it is at their mercy while you decide to leave it there. The secret enemies of peace, your least decision to choose attack instead of love, unrecognized and swift to challenge you to combat and to violence far more inclusive than you think, are there by your election. Do not deny their presence nor their terrible results. All that can be denied is their reality, but not their outcome.

5 All that is ever cherished as a hidden belief, to be defended though unrecognized, is faith in specialness. This takes many forms but always clashes with the reality of God's creation and with the grandeur which He gave His Son. What else could justify attack? For who could hate someone whose Self is his and whom He knows? Only the special could have enemies, for they are different and not the same. And difference of any kind imposes orders of reality and a need to judge that cannot be escaped.

6 What God created cannot be attacked, for there is nothing in the universe unlike itself. But what is different calls for judgment, and this must come from someone "better," someone incapable of being like what he condemns, "above" it, sinless by comparison with it. And thus does specialness become a means and end at once. For specialness not only sets apart but serves as grounds from which attack on those who seem "beneath" the special one is "natural" and "just." The special ones feel weak and frail because of differences, for what would make them special is their enemy. Yet they protect its enmity and call it "friend." On its behalf they fight against the universe, for nothing in the world they value more.

7 Specialness is the great dictator of the wrong decisions. Here is the grand illusion of what you are and what your brother is. And here is what must make the body dear and worth preserving. Specialness must be defended . Illusions can attack it, and they do . For what your brother must become to keep your specialness is an illusion. He who is "worse" than you must be attacked so that your specialness can live on his defeat. For specialness is triumph, and its victory is his defeat and shame. How can he live with all your sins upon him? And who must be his conqueror but you?

8 Would it be possible for you to hate your brother if you were like him? Could you attack him if you realized you journey with him to a goal that is the same? Would you not help him reach it in every way you could if his attainment of it were perceived as yours? You are his enemy in specialness; his friend in a shared purpose. Specialness can never share, for it depends on goals that you alone can reach. And he must never reach them, or your goal is jeopardized. Can love have meaning where the goal is triumph? And what decision can be made for this that will not hurt you? Your brother is your friend because his Father created him like you. There is no difference. You have been given to each other that love might be extended, not cut off from one another. What you keep is lost to you. God gave you both Himself, and to remember this is now the only purpose that you share. And so it is the only one you have .

9 Could you attack each other if you chose to see no specialness of any kind between you? Look fairly at whatever makes you give each other only partial welcome or would let you think that you are better off apart. Is it not always your belief your specialness is limited by your relationship? And is not this the "enemy" that makes you both illusions to each other?

10 The fear of God and of each other comes from each unrecognized belief in specialness. For each demands the other bow to it against his will. And God Himself must honor it or suffer vengeance. Every twinge of malice or stab of hate or wish to separate arises here. For here the purpose which you share becomes obscured from both of you. You would oppose this course because it teaches you you are alike . You have no purpose that is not the same and none your Father does not share with you. For your relationship has been made clean of special goals. And would you now defeat the goal of holiness that Heaven gave it? What perspective can the special have that does not change with every seeming blow, each slight, or fancied judgment on itself?

11 Those who are special must defend illusions against the truth. For what is specialness but an attack upon the Will of God? You love your brother not while it is this you would defend against him. This is what he attacks and you protect. Here is the ground of battle which you wage against him. Here must he be your enemy and not your friend. Never can there be peace among the different. He is your friend because you are the same.

On-Line Here


ON LINE SEARCHABLE Original Edition

Current Schedule [PDF]
A Course in Miracles
WORKBOOK

Lesson 258
Let me remember that my goal is God.

1 All that is needful is to train our minds to overlook all little, senseless aims and to remember that our goal is God. His memory is hidden in our minds, obscured but by our pointless little goals which offer nothing and do not exist. Shall we continue to allow God's grace to shine in unawareness while the toys and trinkets of the world are sought instead? God is our only goal, our only Love. We have no aim but to remember Him.

2 Our goal is but to follow in the way that leads to You. We have no goal but this. What could we want but to remember You? What could we seek but our identity?

On-Line Here



ON LINE SEARCHABLE Original Edition

Current Schedule [PDF]
ACIM Edmonton
Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 258
Let me remember that my goal is God.

 Sarah's Commentary:
 
There are several Lessons here in a row that start with, " Let me remember." W.257-260) Our issue is that we do forget our true purpose. We have forgotten our true identity and instead have chosen our individual, special, and separate identity. Resistance to knowing our true identity shows up daily, even with our commitment to this path. We forget our Lesson for the day. We forget to call upon the Holy Spirit when we are tempted by some situation or circumstance to throw away our peace. We forget to stop in the midst of conflict and ask for help. We forget to take the time to listen to the inner guidance, and instead, we listen to the demands of our egos.
 
How often do we get up in the morning and forget to set our goal for the day or go to bed at night and distract ourselves with TV, a novel, or listening to the radio? Or perhaps, we cannot sleep because we are obsessively focusing on disturbing thoughts from our day and strategizing our responses; or we may be trying to solve some problem we have encountered during the day. That is why we are reminded to open daily to the truth in the morning and turn our thoughts over to the Holy Spirit before we go to sleep. This is how we ensure that our days, as well as our nights, are focused on peace. We are the ones who have chosen to forget, and now, we are the ones who can choose to return our minds to the truth.
 
This does not mean we don't do anything in the world. It is not what we do, but it is about not making the body the focus of our doing. "What plans do you make that do not involve its comfort or protection or enjoyment in some way? " (T.18.VII.1.2) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.63) So much of what we do focuses on the body, but it is not so much about what we do, as it is the mindset we take in our busy doings. "This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent." (T.18.VII.8.3) (ACIM OE T.18.VIII.70) Whose guidance are we following in our busy doings---the ego's or that of the Holy Spirit? Jesus tells us that the diversionary tactics of the ego are for the purpose of keeping us "involved with tangential issues." (T.4.V.6.4) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.75) He goes on to say, "The ego's characteristic busyness with nonessentials is for precisely that purpose." (T.4.V.6.5) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.75) Thus, he says that we should be asking, "What for?"  (T.4.V.6.7) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.77) in everything we do. "Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. When you make a decision of purpose, then, you have made a decision about your future effort; a decision that will remain in effect unless you change your mind." (T.4.V.6.10-11) (ACIM OE T.4.VI.78)
 
To watch our minds and stay focused on our goal does take tremendous discipline and constant vigilance. Yes, in this world, we do get a temporary thrill from achieving something that we have set out to do; but when the thrill is gone, and it always goes, we feel a need to keep striving for more until the day comes when we ask ourselves the deeper questions: "What is it all for? Does what I am pursuing bring any lasting happiness, peace, and contentment?"
 
God's grace is shining on us all the time, but while our attention is focused on our empty, pointless goals, all His grace is obscured from our awareness. What we think is valuable to do in this world, Jesus refers to as, "the toys and trinkets of the world." (W.258.1.3) We get focused on shopping, careers, special relationships, gambling, entertainment, power, prestige, attention, vacations, and all kinds of things that we think we need and that we think will make us happy. No, they are not inherently bad, and we do not have to discard them when we are still attached to them, believing they have something valuable to deliver to us. It is that we will eventually come to recognize that they are not the source of our happiness. In fact, they keep us from our happiness because they offer us nothing. Keeping this thought in mind is helpful because then the attachment to these things is considerably lessened and eventually just falls away.
 
The problem is that we don't ask for too much from our lives. We ask for too little. We think the little we strive for will be the answer for our loneliness, but Jesus urges us to see that the answers for our loneliness will never be found by seeking for pointless goals. They will not bring the deep peace, abundance, and joy that can only come from getting in touch with the Love of God. His Love is already there, in our minds, waiting to deliver the gifts we yearn for. We are the ones who obscure them. It is not God Who remains in obscurity. We have made the choice to forget Him, and then we project this forgetting onto God and say He has forgotten us. "Where are you, God, when I need you?" we cry out plaintively. Yet He is right there in our right minds! "He speaks from nearer than your heart to you. His Voice is closer than your hand. His Love is everything you are and that He is; the same as you, and you the same as He." (W.125.7.3)
 
We need not strive for God nor seek Him. If we do not experience His love and peace and joy in our lives, we are blocking them. And how are we doing that? We block them by pursuing other goals in which we think our peace, happiness, and joy reside. Yet what happens when we get the babe or the stud, the new car, the money, the new house, the new piece of furniture, the recognition, or the power? It is all very fleeting. It does not satisfy us in a deep way. We keep looking for more and more. Can a trinket ever satisfy? Is there anything we can want more than to know the truth about ourselves? Obviously, it is clear that we think there is something better or our goals would not be so conflicted. These goals block our awareness of God's ever-present love for us. There is nothing to strive for. We carry the awareness of God with us all the time. We don't know it, though, while we find other goals more alluring and put all our attention on them.
 
When we stepped onto the spiritual path, in addition to pursuing some goals of the world, we included our spiritual goals as well. What happens now? Clearly, the conflicted state of our minds is now increased. We no longer have a clear focus in one direction. Sometimes we are loving and other times we attack. We try to find some ways to reconcile these opposing goals. Ultimately, we must come to the place where we put our attention on what is truly important, and as we do so, we will increasingly feel less conflicted. Clearly, we cannot go back to fully stepping on the side of our worldly ambitions once we have answered the call of Spirit. So the only way out of this conflict is to more fully embrace our spiritual goals. This is what the Lesson is about. This is what we are being called to do today. We cannot continue to come to some kind of arrangement with both worlds, as this will put us in a state of significant conflict.
 
Our path is one of forgiveness. "Father, forgiveness is Your chosen means for our salvation." (W.257.2.1) Thus, as we bring awareness to our unforgiving thoughts as they come up and we choose to release them, our will is being aligned with the truth of our Being.
 
Love and blessings, Sarah

Published in DAILY LESSON MAILING

JOIN MAILING LIST HERE: http://bitly.com/CIMSMailingList-Signup

PDF for Download Here
Join ACIM Students on Free Conference Calls

Circle of Atonement Commentaries

Course in Miracles Society (@ACIM_Original) | Twitter

Follow us on TWITTER and join the ACIM community. Just use the hashtag #ACIM when you post! Students share Inspirational Quotes, Events, Personal Insights, ACIM News, and more.

Read more
twitter.com
COURSE IN MIRACLES SOCIETY
non-profit
Tax-Deductible Donation
Presently all CIMS projects are supported by free will gifts of time, talent, and money. If you would like to support any of the activities of the Society in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Because of the international character of CIMS, the internet is our primary means of communicating and collaborating.

To make a Tax-Deductible Donation in support of the Daily Lessons just click Here or the "DONATION" Lily.

ALSO, by means of your will or other estate plan, you can name "Course in Miracles Society" as the beneficiary of a portion of your estate, or of particular assets in your estate. In this way, you are honoring your loved ones while also providing critical support to the extension of LOVE.

DONATE to OTHER PROJECTS
CIMS | 800-771-5056 | cims@jcim.net | jcim.net