ACIM Daily Lesson 163 There is no death. The Son of God is free.
There is no death. The Son of God is free.
There is no death. The Son of God is free.
1. Death is a thought that takes on many forms, often unrecognized. ²It may appear as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt; as anger, faithlessness and lack of trust; concern for bodies, envy, and all forms in which the wish to be as you are not may come to tempt you. ³All such thoughts are but reflections of the worshipping of death as savior and as giver of release.
To the ego, my death is the ultimate proof that it is real and God is not. It is the triumph over Life, and proof of its existence. Every negative feeling and thought is an expression of death, so every thought of judgment, anger, fear, or guilt is proof that ego lives and God doesn’t. That I believe in death does not make it true. The body can only seem to die, but how could it since it has never lived?
Through the study of Manual for Teachers, I have been given clarity about death. What I understand now (and this is something I feel to my core) is that Jesus meant what he said; there is no death. How can death exist if God does? It is not possible. God is Life, God is Love, and it is not possible that God could have an opposite.
Death Has Never Occured
2. Embodiment of fear, the host of sin, god of the guilty and the lord of all illusions and deceptions, does the thought of death seem mighty. ²For it seems to hold all living things within its withered hand; all hopes and wishes in its blighting grasp; all goals perceived but in its sightless eyes. ³The frail, the helpless and the sick bow down before its image, thinking it alone is real, inevitable, worthy of their trust. ⁴For it alone will surely come.
The belief in an opposite of God is the ego at its essence and the ego is not real. It is the belief in the ego that we are here to undo. I will not be distracted by the imagined effects that we think of as our world and our life. The truth lies just beneath that, and the truth is, death has never occurred.
3. All things but death are seen to be unsure, too quickly lost however hard to gain, uncertain in their outcome, apt to fail the hopes they once engendered, and to leave the taste of dust and ashes in their wake, in place of aspirations and of dreams. ²But death is counted on. ³For it will come with certain footsteps when the time has come for its arrival. ⁴It will never fail to take all life as hostage to itself.
It does appear to us that all things die and in fact, that death is the only thing in the world that is dependable. This is deliberate. We choose death to prove that we have truly become our own god. God made life, but we made both life and death. And the ego tells us that the only solution to life is death and thus ensures that the cycle of birth and death continues forever. Even in this life, we experience little deaths as anger, hatred, fear, and guilt. It is like we spend our life in rehearsal for the ultimate expression of death.
4. Would you bow down to idols such as this? ²Here is the strength and might of God Himself perceived within an idol made of dust. ³Here is the opposite of God proclaimed as lord of all creation, stronger than God’s Will for life, the endlessness of love and Heaven’s perfect, changeless constancy. ⁴Here is the Will of Father and of Son defeated finally, and laid to rest beneath the headstone death has placed upon the body of the holy Son of God.
5. Unholy in defeat, he has become what death would have him be. ²His epitaph, which death itself has written, gives no name to him, for he has passed to dust. ³It says but this: “Here lies a witness God is dead.” ⁴And this it writes again and still again, while all the while its worshippers agree, and kneeling down with foreheads to the ground, they whisper fearfully that it is so.
The Impossibility of Death
We don’t have to keep worshipping death in all its forms. To do so is to keep the ego intact and believed. How is it that we, the Sons of God, could have become so enthralled to something so impossible? And why would we continue to do so even as we begin to see the impossibility of death? And it is impossible. It’s funny because for such a long time I just could not grasp that death is not real. I would say that, yes, some part of me lived, but some part of me died with the body. I would try to hold onto the idea that there is no death, but I lived in dread of it in spite of my professed beliefs. Now, that has all changed. I see that there is no death and I wonder how I didn’t see it before.
Death of the story is the only thing that is happening and I am not my story. And, really, the story, like the body, has never lived so it cannot die. I just continue on and pick up another story or the same story and watch that until the belief in death pulls me back into its embrace. So not even the story dies, really, just this viewing of the story. The afterlife is not a solution, it is just more illusion, a way station where we make a choice for another story. We do not die, we simply change form, and if we have not made a clear choice for life, we fall back into another dream story.
There is no salvation in death. It is here, watching our story and making our choices that we have the chance to choose life. Each time we choose anger or fear or guilt, sadness or grief, sickness or suffering of any kind, we have chosen death. We do this over and over until we seek to escape through what we hope is the final choice for death, and end the story through sickness or an accident, or old age. But we accomplish nothing because death is nothing, and does nothing.
No Compromise Is Possible
6. It is impossible to worship death in any form, and still select a few you would not cherish and would yet avoid, while still believing in the rest. ²For death is total. ³Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die. ⁴No compromise is possible. ⁵For here again we see an obvious position, which we must accept if we be sane; what contradicts one thought entirely can not be true, unless its opposite is proven false.
There cannot be both life and death in spite of our attempt to make it so. Life is whole and is eternal. If there is life there cannot be the opposite. And so, all these forms of death Jesus has been talking about must be given up entirely. We cannot hold onto even one of them as true and be free of death. I accept this as true and see how it must be true. This is why I watch my thoughts and feelings for signs of the desire to believe in any form of death and release that belief to the Holy Spirit. I do this instead of trying to justify it because I want to undo the ego and it must be undone completely or it is not undone.
The Death of God Is Preposterous
7.The idea of the death of God is so preposterous that even the insane have difficulty in believing it. ²For it implies that God was once alive and somehow perished; killed, apparently, by those who did not want Him to survive. ³Their stronger will could triumph over His, and so eternal life gave way to death. ⁴And with the Father died the Son as well.
If I am afraid of something today, I am saying that God is dead, killed by my stronger will. And If I am sad, it is the same. If I think someone is guilty, myself or someone else, I have declared God dead by my will that it be so. It is so obvious that these thoughts of suffering represent ego (death) as love and peace and joy represent God (Life) that I wonder how I managed to obscure this fact from my awareness for so long. Each time I believe that I have overcome God in my decision for death thoughts, I have reinforced guilt and fear in my mind.
We Take a Stand Today
8. Death’s worshippers may be afraid. ²And yet, can thoughts like these be fearful? ³If they saw that it is only this which they believe, they would be instantly released. ⁴And you will show them this today. ⁵There is no death, and we renounce it now in every form, for their salvation and our own as well. ⁶God made not death. ⁷Whatever form it takes must therefore be illusion. ⁸This the stand we take today. ⁹And it is given us to look past death, and see the life beyond.
I’m excited to think of this. I can help everyone release the belief in death in all its forms simply by doing so myself.
A Beautiful Prayer
9. Our Father, bless our eyes today. ²We are Your messengers, and we would look upon the glorious reflection of Your Love which shines in everything. ³We live and move in You alone. ⁴We are not separate from Your eternal life. ⁵There is no death, for death is not Your Will. ⁶And we abide where You have placed us, in the life we share with You and with all living things, to be like You and part of You forever. ⁷We accept Your Thoughts as ours, and our will is one with Yours eternally. ⁸Amen.
Oh, what a beautiful prayer! I am using this prayer in addition to my statement of truth. This will be a perfect reinforcement to turn my mind from thoughts of death to the certainty of Life.
Something From a Past Journal
The solution to this endless cycle of choosing between forms of death is simple. Here is an example of one time when I made a different choice. One week I spent the week working very hard to catch up at work. I was working outside and the heat was oppressive. It had been very stressful that week and the hard work in the first days of a long hot summer to come just wore me out. I woke up one morning feeling depressed at the thought of the months to come with more of the same.
But, though I felt these emotions, I also have practiced A Course in Miracles for a long time. I have accepted many of the principles, including the understanding of death. I recognized my emotions as the belief in death and I knew this was not what I want to believe anymore. So, I accepted responsibility for my story. I asked myself a question that has become so familiar to me as to be a mantra that I live by.
Whose Story Is this?
The question I asked myself was this. “Myron, whose story is this? Who writes the script?” Lesson 152 assures me that I am fully responsible for my world and that it represents my every wish. With that thought came a certain peace. I did it; I can undo it. The ego-mind pulled me back into the story of my victimhood and for a moment I felt hopeless before the inevitable.
I wanted to beg for release, ask for a miracle. But I understand that this kind of death thinking is not the solution. I was saying that I am a victim of a cruel world and I need help getting out of this situation. The world is not the cause, and the story is not the cause. They are the effect. The solution does not lie in fixing the effect. I had to step away from my enthrallment with the story. With this thought, I had some small clarity.
How I Choose Life Over Death
I surrendered my desire to fix the story. I surrendered my desire to be a victim and to be saved from my own choices. And I told the Holy Spirit that I don’t know how to un-believe what I have believed, but I know that I am wrong, that I am making a sick world with my sick thoughts and I want to be healed. I surrendered to His healing power. The ego kept trying to pull me back into the story, insisting something had to change. But I had reached the tipping point and it was over for the ego, at least in this situation.
This is the way I choose life. I choose life over death one dark thought at a time. I do this as long as I need to until I finally accept life and never look back. While all this was going on it felt deadly serious. Once I accepted the Atonement in that situation, it all fell away so completely that I was left vaguely confused about what the fuss had been about. It feels good to be at peace again.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 163 click here.
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