ACIM Daily Lesson 184 The Name of God is my inheritance.
The Name of God is my inheritance.
1. You live by symbols. ²You have made up names for everything you see. ³Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name. ⁴By this you carve it out of unity. ⁵By this you designate its special attributes, and set it off from other things by emphasizing space surrounding it. ⁶This space you lay between all things to which you give a different name; all happenings in terms of place and time; all bodies which are greeted by a name.
2. This space you see as setting off all things from one another is the means by which the world’s perception is achieved. ²You see something where nothing is, and see as well nothing where there is unity; a space between all things, between all things and you. ³Thus do you think that you have given life in separation. ⁴By this split you think you are established as a unity which functions with an independent will.
In reality, there is no separation at all. There are not many things each different than the other. Jesus is talking about how we made the world we see. It is as if we shattered reality and put space between the pieces and called this reality. We gave each thing special attributes so they would seem to have meaning. Each thing thus became a symbol representing what we wanted to see.
Here is how I visualize this. There is “light” or “energy” and it is in everything and encompasses everything. We imagine that we have broken that energy into parts and placed an imaginary space between these parts. In addition, we have given form to these parts and named them tree, body, pet, ant, water, and on and on.
We have then further divided reality into time segments and thus the world exists as discrete events. And so, we have, in our minds, undone Unity and replaced it with our own creation. In doing this, we have decided that we made a world of our own and given it life and given it a separate will. This, we believe, is reality. And all the while, Reality continues to exist all around us, completely unaffected by our delusions.
3. What are these names by which the world becomes a series of discrete events, of things ununified, of bodies kept apart and holding bits of mind as separate awarenesses? ²You gave these names to them, establishing perception as you wished to have perception be. ³The nameless things were given names, and thus reality was given them as well. ⁴For what is named is given meaning and will then be seen as meaningful; a cause of true effect, with consequence inherent in itself.
As Jesus has told us, we have given everything we see all the meaning it has for us and our thoughts are images we have made. And that we have named these images so that they become real for us and have real consequences. Just because what we made is not creation doesn’t mean they do not affect us. What we believe is real for us, thus the consequences are real for us.
4. This is the way reality is made by partial vision, purposefully set against the given truth. ²Its enemy is wholeness. ³It conceives of little things and looks upon them. ⁴And a lack of space, a sense of unity or vision that sees differently, become the threats which it must overcome, conflict with and deny.
Once made, the world becomes the way we deny reality. I see it so it must exist becomes our war cry and this in denial of the obvious. The eyes with which we see it are as much an illusion as what they show us.
The Teaching of the World
5. Yet does this other vision still remain a natural direction for the mind to channel its perception. ²It is hard to teach the mind a thousand alien names, and thousands more. ³Yet you believe this is what learning means; its one essential goal by which communication is achieved, and concepts can be meaningfully shared.
6. This is the sum of the inheritance the world bestows. ²And everyone who learns to think that it is so accepts the signs and symbols that assert the world is real. ³It is for this they stand. ⁴They leave no doubt that what is named is there. ⁵It can be seen, as is anticipated. ⁶What denies that it is true is but illusion, for it is the ultimate reality. ⁷To question it is madness; to accept its presence is the proof of sanity.
7. Such is the teaching of the world. ²It is a phase of learning everyone who comes must go through. ³But the sooner he perceives on what it rests, how questionable are its premises, how doubtful its results, the sooner does he question its effects. ⁴Learning that stops with what the world would teach stops short of meaning. ⁵In its proper place, it serves but as a starting point from which another kind of learning can begin, a new perception can be gained, and all the arbitrarynames the world bestows can be withdrawn as they are raised to doubt.
Everyone who comes here must learn what is not true before she can learn what is true. When we are ready, we open to true vision and begin to see that the world is not real, that we are dreaming of the impossible as if it had become possible. I used to wonder what would happen that would eventually show me the real world. I couldn’t see how to get from here to there and thought it would take a miracle since I couldn’t even imagine the end of the journey. As it happens, it takes a series of miracles as the mind, step by step, begins to change. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that I begin to change the mind with which I think.
Something Beyond the World We See
8. Think not you made the world. ²Illusions, yes! ³But what is true in earth and Heaven is beyond your naming. ⁴When you call upon a brother, it is to his body that you make appeal. ⁵His true Identity is hidden from you by what you believe he really is. ⁶His body makes response to what you call him, for his mind consents to take the name you give him as his own. ⁷And thus his unity is twice denied, for you perceive him separate from you, and he accepts this separate name as his.
We didn’t make the world because there is no world, not as we see it. There is something beyond the world that we cannot change and we will become aware of this as we are ready. Until this happens, we think we are communicating with words and that we are in relationship to bodies. All of this keeps our reality hidden from us. And as we accept that we, too, are a body and this body has a name and that name with all the stories we associate with it define us, our unity with each other is twice denied. But what are we to do? This seems to be the prison we chose and now we seem to be stuck with it. It’s not like we can deny our present predicament. Nor would it serve any purpose to refuse to answer to our name or to refuse to call others by their name.
We Have Need of Symbols A While
9. It would indeed be strange if you were asked to go beyond all symbols of the world, forgetting them forever; yet were asked to take a teaching function. ²You have need to use the symbols of the world a while. ³But be you not deceived by them as well. ⁴They do not stand for anything at all, and in your practicing it is this thought that will release you from them. ⁵They become but means by which you can communicate in ways the world can understand, but which you recognize is not the unity where true communication can be found.
Ah, so here is the answer to the quandary we seem to be in. Let us recognize what is going on and accept that it is from within this experience that we must work, but that it is not real. I have seen for myself that trying to change the words I use to talk about the world and myself do nothing to clarify and only make communication that much harder. What I see now is that everything I see with my eyes is just a symbol of a belief.
We Live in the World but We Don’t Believe in It
I use the symbols so that communication is understandable and meaningful, but I know that symbols are not reality. When I was at my daughter’s house, I was having pain in my back from a pulled muscle. I explained the problem and asked if she had some ibuprofen. I didn’t say that once again I seemed to have let guilt drive me to self-punishment. Or that the thought of pain was being projected onto my back. And did she have some magic that would help bridge my temporary belief in pain. I did, however, recognize that this was closer to the truth and that pain is not real and neither is guilt, and I asked the Holy Spirit to heal my mind.
So, we continue to live the world as everyone else does. We use the names and see separation with our eyes. We experience our emotions. And We continue to have thoughts. So how is it different? We are no longer fooled by what we see, hear and think. Every day we spend time in Reality through meditation, being with our Self, calling on the name of God, and on the Name which God has given us. When we come back into the world, we do so with the memory of the truth that in spite of appearances, there is no separation. There is only unity.
An Amazing Revelation
I just had the most amazing revelation in which these words took on a deeper meaning. I understand now that everything is God. The tree is made of God, the sky above is made of God, the air around the tree is made of God, the soil in which the tree is planted is made of God. So are the bugs and the grass and so am I. There is no difference between us at all, we are identical. The difference we see is the illusion.
Do you know what this means? If the tree must be cut down, nothing has happened. If the bugs must be eliminated, nothing has happened. And If the dog dies, nothing has happened. The symbol of these things has ceased to exist for us, but nothing is lost. God continues to exist as It always has. I might miss my symbol of God, but I have not lost God.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
f I wanted to imagine that in a very simple way, I could think about chocolate chip cookies. I always feel a little sad when I eat the last one. The symbol of yummy goodness is no longer in my house. But I don’t grieve long because the ingredients continue to exist and so I know I can make more. Kind of a silly analogy but the only one I could think of. ~smile~ The symbols of Life in this world inevitably die away, even the universe will do so, but their essence, the Life Force we call God is eternal so nothing is really ever lost.
I Step Out of the World and then Back Into It
10. Thus what you need are intervals each day in which the learning of the world becomes a transitory phase; a prison house from which you go into the sunlight and forget the darkness. ²Here you understand the Word, the Name which God has given you; the one Identity which all things share; the one acknowledgment of what is true. ³And then step back to darkness, not because you think it real, but only to proclaim its unreality in terms which still have meaning in the world that darkness rules.
At my daughter’s house, I took the first step in mind healing, and this morning, I took the second step as I stilled my mind as much as I could and let myself rest in God awhile. I let myself feel what is real in me and then I brought some of that reality with me as I stepped back into the illusion to let the illusion show me what else in the mind needs to be healed.
God Has No Name
11. Use all the little names and symbols which delineate the world of darkness. ²Yet accept them not as your reality. ³The Holy Spirit uses all of them, but He does not forget creation has one Name, one meaning, and a single Source which unifies all things within Itself. ⁴Use all the names the world bestows on them but for convenience, yet do not forget they share the Name of God along with you.
12. God has no name. ²And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end. ³All names are unified; all space is filled with truth’s reflection. ⁴Every gap is closed, and separation healed. ⁵The Name of God is the inheritance He gave to those who chose the teaching of the world to take the place of Heaven. ⁶In our practicing, our purpose is to let our minds accept what God has given as the answer to the pitiful inheritance you made as fitting tribute to the Son He loves.
And after all this talk of the name of God, and maybe you were wondering what His name could be, Jesus does the great reveal and says that God has no name. I have to admit, that was kind of a let-down. “ And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end.” I am going to assume that the Name of God is not a word, just as sometimes when I “hear” the Holy Spirit speak to me it is not in words
We Are the Sons of God
13. No one can fail who seeks the meaning of the Name of God. ²Experience must come to supplement the Word. ³But first you must accept the Name for all reality, and realize the many names you gave its aspects have distorted what you see, but have not interfered with truth at all. ⁴One Name we bring into our practicing. ⁵One Name we use to unify our sight.
In the world, we are each unique with many differences that seem to matter. But in reality, we are creation, we the Sons of God. Within each of us is all of creation and nothing else. Thus, we are One. We call this God though God has no name, because after all if there is only One, why would a name be necessary? But there is meaning in the name, all meaning. We name to separate and thus rob what we made of meaning, but in God, there is only union and thus meaning.
Jesus assures us that no one fails who seeks the meaning of the Name of God. I suppose I will just keep calling God, God. But I open my heart wide to a deepening meaning. I can only receive this meaning through the experience of God but first I must accept the Name for all of reality. In the only way I know to do this is to allow Vision to show me what lies beneath the illusion of a separate thing.
To See their Essence
14. And though we use a different name for each awareness of an aspect of God’s Son, we understand that they have but one Name, which He has given them. ²It is this Name we use in practicing. ³And through Its use, all foolish separations disappear which kept us blind. ⁴And we are given strength to see beyond them. ⁵Now our sight is blessed with blessings we can give as we receive.
I will keep reminding myself that God is All That Is and that there is nothing that is not God. So, when I see a tree maybe I will see more than the symbol I call tree. If I call on the Name of God when I look at that tree or that person, for any and all aspects of God’s Son, I will be given strength to see beyond them to their Essence.
A Prayer to Our Father
15. Father, our Name is Yours. ²In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator. ³What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Your Own reality. ⁴And we are glad and thankful we were wrong. ⁵All our mistakes we give to You, that we may be absolved from all effects our errors seemed to have. ⁶And we accept the truth You give, in place of every one of them. ⁷Your Name is our salvation and escape from what we made. ⁸Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace. ⁹Amen.
I use my name and yours in the world and that is necessary, but I do not lose track of the fact that what is real about us is the same. We are created by God, like God in every way. We are an extension of God. We are God the Son. That is the same in each of us, exactly the same, and nothing we pretend here in the dream world can change that. This is what I meditate on, our sameness which is our reality. Everything else that we seem to be is just an illusion and doesn’t exist.
INSIGHTS FROM HOLY SPIRIT
Here is how Holy Spirit helped me to see differently when my mind was making separation real.
Something miraculous happens when I open my mind to healing and to vision. I begin to perceive the world and my brothers differently. Recently, my brother died and his family was planning the funeral. Our beliefs are quite different and I was dreading the funeral, having to listen to a preacher talk about sin and damnation. I was assuming this because of a past funeral. But thinking about the funeral and these people in that way was painful and I don’t stay in pain anymore.
So, I let go of my beliefs (the world as I saw it) and asked for clarity. The next morning when I went to the funeral, my mind was clear and what I heard from them was a reflection of truth. I saw that if I wanted to hear what was the same then that is what I heard. If I wanted to hear what was different than I believed, then that was what I heard. Just that little bit of clarity represented our oneness. For a few minutes that morning, I did not see separation. I didn’t see a space between us where God was not. I just saw God and more God.
A Tip from Regina
It has always amazed me that a huge dog, like a Great Dane, and a very small dog, like a Chihuahua, recognize each other as the same animal. The huge Great Dane does not mistake the Chihuahua for a squirrel or rodent, and the Chihuahua doesn’t think the Great Dane is a monster. They recognize each other as the same.
Today’s workbook lesson asks us to be more like the Great Dane and the Chihuahua. You see, we have a tendency to focus on differences. In fact, we do more than that. We define a thing based on its difference from another thing. We also define circumstances based on their difference from other circumstances. The lesson says, “By this split, you think you are established as a [individual] unity which functions with an independent will.”
In other words, we get our sense of separation from the tendency to focus on and define by differences.
We are not asked to drop the many names and descriptors that humans have given to things. These, the Course admits, are helpful to communication. But we are asked to drop believing that these many named differences have any real meaning. We are asked to look to the “one Identity which all things share.” We are asked to remember the “single Source which unifies all things within Itself.”
To enjoy the Pathways of Light Insights on ACIM Lesson 184 click here.
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