ACIM Daily Lesson 167 There is one life, and that I share with God.
There is one life, and that I share with God.
ACIM Lesson 167
There is one life, and that I share with God.
1. There are not different kinds of life, for life is like the truth. ²It does not have degrees. ³It is the one condition in which all that God created share. ⁴Like all His Thoughts, it has no opposite. ⁵There is no death because what God created shares His life. ⁶There is no death because an opposite to God does not exist. ⁷There is no death because the Father and the Son are one.
God is life and God is All There Is. Obviously, there cannot be an opposite to All There Is. We are one with God and so we cannot die. Nothing that exists can die. There could be no death because God is Life and there is nothing that is not God. I am a Thought in God, and so will forever be in God. There is no death in God so there is no death in me. I cannot be anything God did not create and life cannot create death.
2. In this world, there appears to be a state that is life’s opposite. ²You call it death. ³Yet we have learned that the idea of death takes many forms. ⁴It is the one idea which underlies all feelings that are not supremely happy. ⁵It is the alarm to which you give response of any kind that is not perfect joy. ⁶All sorrow, loss, anxiety and suffering and pain, even a little sigh of weariness, a slight discomfort or the merest frown, acknowledge death. ⁷And thus deny you live.
It seems like there is death. My parents have died as have my brother and my sister-in-law. But it only seems this is so when perceived from the perspective of the illusion. What we are cannot die because what we are is an extension of God. These bodies are illusions and so do not live, therefore cannot be said to die. Yes, in this world, a world that does not exist in reality but only in dreams, there is what appears to be death.
We experience death in many ways as Jesus has explained to us in a previous lesson. When we feel these death ideas, suffering, loss, anxiety, and pain, we are acknowledging death. These death thoughts are how we declare ourselves our own creator, different from God, and always separate. Since God is Life, we must embrace death if we are to maintain a separate self, unlike God.
These feelings are our belief in death, a belief that culminates in the death of the body. The belief in death is our ultimate defense against God. The body dies and we start over and over and over until we let go of the belief that there is an opposite to God, to Life.
Thought Can Be Applied as Mind Directs
3. You think that death is of the body. ²Yet it is but an idea, irrelevant to what is seen as physical. ³A thought is in the mind. ⁴It can be then applied as mind directs it. ⁵But its origin is where it must be changed, if change occurs. ⁶Ideas leave not their source. ⁷The emphasis this course has placed on that idea is due to its centrality in our attempts to change your mind about yourself. ⁸It is the reason you can heal. ⁹It is the cause of healing. ¹⁰It is why you cannot die. ¹¹Its truth established you as one with God.
Our bodies seem to inevitably die. I say ‘seems’ because our bodies never lived so how could they die. Bodies are an idea in our mind and it is only in our mind that they exist at all. We apply these ideas, that is, we project them outward and give them the appearance of life. But these ideas do not leave their source and so they remain in our mind.
Knowing this, we get a better idea of what we are. We are not the body projected, but the mind that projects. It is a strange idea for us since we are so strongly attached to the idea of ourselves as bodies, but it is necessary that we begin to accept this as the truth. As Jesus says, ⁸It is the reason you can heal. ⁹It is the cause of healing. ¹⁰It is why you cannot die. ¹¹Its truth established you as one with God.
No Opposite to God
4. Death is the thought that you are separate from your Creator. ²It is the belief conditions change, emotions alternate because of causes you cannot control, you did not make, and you can never change. ³It is the fixed belief ideas can leave their source, and take on qualities the source does not contain, becoming different from their own origin, apart from it in kind as well as distance, time and form.
We have made a world in our minds that would be the opposite of God, the opposite of life if it were real. But it cannot be real because there is no opposite of God, no opposite of Life. The truth is, we are an idea in the mind of God. Even so, we believe that the idea we are can leave its Source and make of ourselves what we will.
Fortunately, this is not possible. We cannot be separate from our Creator even though we imagine a world where this is possible. As an idea in the Mind of God, we cannot leave God. No matter what nightmares we dream, we are safe in God and cannot ever be anything or anywhere else.
What Was Never Given Them
5. Death cannot come from life. ²Ideas remain united to their source. ³They can extend all that their source contains. ⁴In that, they can go far beyond themselves. ⁵But they can not give birth to what was never given them. ⁶As they are made, so will their making be. ⁷As they were born, so will they then give birth. ⁸And where they come from, there will they return.
But they can not give birth to what was never given them.
One of the ways I think of this is to compare it to something I can relate to. I have given birth to four children. They are each the same in that they are human beings, bodies. I cannot give birth to kittens, only to human babies. God can only create like Himself. He is not a human being, not a body. He is Spirit so we are Spirit as well. Anything else is just imagination, mind asleep.
What all this is telling me so far is that death in all its forms cannot be real because I have not separated from my Source and I cannot be different than my Source. So, if I think I am sick or suffering in any way, I must be dreaming because it cannot happen. The solution to death and the effects of believing in death, is to recognize when I am dreaming so that I can accept correction and wake up. I must do this to remember who I am and where I exist. Once again, all ideas of suffering are the result of not believing that I am as I was created. God is Life and therefore so am I and Life cannot be death. As Jesus says, “As they were born, so will they then give birth. And where they come from, there will they return.”
Mind Cannot Abide Within a Body
6. The mind can think it sleeps, but that is all. ²It cannot change what is its waking state. ³It cannot make a body, nor abide within a body. ⁴What is alien to the mind does not exist, because it has no source. ⁵For mind creates all things that are, and cannot give them attributes it lacks, nor change its own eternal, mindful state. ⁶It cannot make the physical. ⁷What seems to die is but the sign of mind asleep.
This paragraph is very important. It is from reading this that I realized that not only am I not this body, but I also am not in this body. As Jesus clearly says, we are not bodies, we did not actually make bodies and we are not in bodies. This is uncompromising. And it is very good news, indeed.
I am dreaming of bodies. This changes everything. It is the reason that very often now I can be at peace even when the dream has taken on a nightmarish quality. I can often watch while people I love seem to suffer and not be afraid for them. They are safe because they are among the Sons of God and danger does not exist in them.
Dreaming of Death
In order to experience something that is not in God, I must dream. I can dream of death, and that dream is very realistic because I am as powerful a creator as is God. Even in my dreaming state, this power is reflected. Even though I cannot create unlike Creation and so none of this dream is rooted in reality, I suffer as if the dream was reality.
When I go to sleep at night, I have many dreams and some of them are clearly impossible but in my sleep, I believe them. This is what is happening all the time, awake or asleep. What I think of as life is just a dream of the impossible. And just as when I woke up this morning from one of these impossible dreams and found myself unchanged, when I awaken from the dream of separation, I will find my Self unchanged.
A Dream Is Not Reality
7. The opposite of life can only be another form of life. ²As such, it can be reconciled with what created it, because it is not opposite in truth. ³Its form may change; it may appear to be what it is not. ⁴Yet mind is mind, awake or sleeping. ⁵It is not its opposite in anything created, nor in what it seems to make when it believes it sleeps.
A dream is not reality. Nothing about reality changes just because we are dreaming it has.
God Creates Only Mind Awake
8. God creates only mind awake. ²He does not sleep, and His creations cannot share what He gives not, nor make conditions which He does not share with them. ³The thought of death is not the opposite to thoughts of life. ⁴Forever unopposed by opposites of any kind, the Thoughts of God remain forever changeless, with the power to extend forever changelessly, but yet within themselves, for they are everywhere.
“God creates only mind awake.”
What this means is that I cannot create a mind asleep because I can only create as God creates. He did not give me mind asleep and so I cannot create mind asleep. This means that even now as we dream of sleep, we are mind awake. This dream state and awake state occur simultaneously because what God created cannot be undone. Within our mind is the mind awake. Think of that!
Collision with the Infinite
This reminds me of an interesting book, Collision with the Infinite. This is written by a woman who had a sudden awakening for which she was unprepared. In it she describes herself as being outside the body. She felt like she left her body but Jesus says that she was never in it so I think that she simply became aware of herself as being outside the body. She says that she would watch herself sleep. So she was never sleeping, only the body was sleeping.
He did not create death and so I cannot die or live death thoughts. I can only dream these things. And then Jesus says something else interesting. He says:
“Forever unopposed by opposites of any kind, the Thoughts of God remain forever changeless, with the power to extend forever changelessly, but yet within themselves, for they are everywhere.”
This gave me an inkling of what we are. I am among the Thoughts of God and I have the power to extend forever changelessly. I am everywhere. Holy cow! When something like this comes into my awareness, I feel my heart expand and love overcome me. Sometimes it leaks out of me as tears of joy. And I think I remember something of this though I cannot envision it. It used to scare me just a little and the fear closed off my heart. It was OK, though, because the truth always came back.
The Opposite of Life Is Sleeping
9. What seems to be the opposite of life is merely sleeping. ²When the mind elects to be what it is not, and to assume an alien power which it does not have, a foreign state it cannot enter, or a false condition not within its Source, it merely seems to go to sleep a while. ³It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substanceless, and all events are nowhere. ⁴When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was.
“It dreams of time; an interval in which what seems to happen never has occurred, the changes wrought are substance-less, and all events are nowhere. When the mind awakes, it but continues as it always was.”
And this passage evokes tears of relief and gratitude and I know this is true. I don’t remember it but I have absolutely no doubt that it is true and I long to return to that fully awakened state. We only seem to sleep because we cannot actually sleep. While in this state, we dream impossible dreams and when we stop dreaming them, we simply continue as what we always have been. Nothing has changed. We truly are the unaffected Self.
Children of the Truth
10. Let us today be children of the truth, and not deny our holy heritage. ²Our life is not as we imagine it. ³Who changes life because he shuts his eyes, or makes himself what he is not because he sleeps, and sees in dreams an opposite to what he is? ⁴We will not ask for death in any form today. ⁵Nor will we let imagined opposites to life abide even an instant where the Thought of life eternal has been set by God Himself.
We are being asked to remember the truth today and not to believe what seems to be happening. Yes, this seeming life will go on and we will continue to observe it and even to feel like we are really in these bodies. What we are being asked is that we simply remain aware that this is a dream state and not our reality. Let us not believe in the guilt and fear, the anger and hatred that seems to infuse this dream.
He Is Lord of What We Think
11. His holy home we strive to keep today as He established it, and wills it be forever and forever. ²He is Lord of what we think today. ³And in His Thoughts, which have no opposite, we understand there is one life, and that we share with Him, with all creation, with their thoughts as well, whom He created in a unity of life that cannot separate in death and leave the Source of life from where it came.
It is possible to see these bodies and their activities and at the same thing to know they are not real. In fact, reminding ourselves of this often is helpful in remembering who we are. It is helpful in our forgiveness lessons. Who is angry at a dream or afraid of something that isn’t real? Who defends a body that has no connection to them, and Jesus does assure us that we are not connected to these bodies?
We Share One Life
12. We share one life because we have one Source, a Source from which perfection comes to us, remaining always in the holy minds which He created perfect. ²As we were, so are we now and will forever be. ³A sleeping mind must waken, as it sees its own perfection mirroring the Lord of life so perfectly it fades into what is reflected there. ⁴And now it is no more a mere reflection. ⁵It becomes the thing reflected, and the light which makes reflection possible. ⁶No vision now is needed. ⁷For the wakened mind is one that knows its Source, its Self, its Holiness.
What is the payoff for the work we do here? What do we gain as we remember that we are not bodies and not separate from God and each other? We begin to mirror the Lord of Life until we fade into what is reflected there. We become the thing reflected, or rather we begin to live as the thing reflected. And so we know our Source and our Self.
The following is a past entry from my journal.
Taken as a whole, this lesson touched me deeply. I cried as I read it, and this feeling of both gratitude and relief is a sign to me of an awakening mind. I actually understood and accepted what I was reading, and that was not always the case. In the past, I understood it in the sense that I understood the words and the concept. At least I understood it to a degree, but I also closed my mind to it.
This time what I noticed is that I am far more ready to know this is true, and I also noticed that the ego-mind kept intruding as I read it. I have been seeing a doctor in the last couple of weeks because I had an unexplained event that was centered around the heart. I stayed overnight in the hospital and was thoroughly tested. Then I went for a follow-up yesterday and I will have to go back again and do another test.
Too Much Attention on the Body
The upshot of this is that there has been a lot of attention given to my body and the ego-mind really loves this. It wants to think about the body, and whatever I am doing or thinking about, the thinking mind strays back to body thoughts. So, while reading this lesson, the ego-mind kept returning to what the doctor said yesterday and what this might mean. The more affected I was as I read, the more insistent the ego became.
I didn’t fight this or feel frustrated or afraid that I was going to fall back down the rabbit hole as I have done in the past. I just noticed the thoughts and gently turned back to the lesson. So, I received some guidance while it was happening. It helped me to understand how the sleeping mind dreamed up this physical manifestation of sickness. It made it seem perfectly explainable, perfectly in line with the laws of the world. I also saw that I am not bound to these laws.
I Am the Awakened Mind
Today, I will be aware of the thoughts that reflect the dream and be willing that I not be fooled by them. Just as this morning as I was inspired by this lesson and became open to see what was really happening with this body, this can happen all day long if that is my choice. This morning I saw that the body was simply the receptacle of the belief that sourced the thoughts of sickness.
I saw more clearly than ever that the body is a screen on which death is played out simply because this is what I want to see. Am I now ready to really know this? Am I ready to let go of these beliefs and so experience healing directly? Or would I rather continue to use the mechanism of medicine and doctors to bring healing to my body. I have been allowing my mind to be healed of the sick thoughts that have been the focus of my dream. This would be a perfect opportunity to continue that healing. Now I shall rest in that thought awhile and invited in healing.
I am the awakened mind that knows its Source, its Self, its holiness. I have been asleep but now I am awakening to the truth. Every day the dream becomes more lucid.
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 167 click here.
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