February 2014 – “In quiet I receive God’s Word today.”

“Let this day be a day of stillness and of quiet listening. Your Father wills you hear His Word today. He calls to you from deep within your mind where He abides. Hear Him today. No peace is possible until His Word is heard around the world…”  ACIM, Workbook page 225, Lesson 125.

An important point referred to in this lesson is that there will be no peace in the world until the world hears the message of Jesus or the Holy Spirit. In other words, until the world hears the truth, we will not be able to have a peaceful world. We are asked in this lesson to spread the message of truth across the world. If we can do this, “This world will change through you. No other means can save it, for God’s plan is simply this: The Son of God is free to save himself, given the Word of God to be his Guide, forever in his mind and at his side to lead him surely to his Father’s house by his own will, forever free as God’s…” W25. The Guide in our minds is the Holy Spirit, who was placed in our minds by God at the time of the apparent separation. He is always there, if we can still the raucous voice of the ego, and listen to Him.

Whilst A Course in Miracles doesn’t specifically suggest that we need to meditate, several lessons refer to the fact that we need to be quiet and listen to the Voice for God in stillness. Thus meditation would seem to be the appropriate thing to do because it is a way of leading us beyond the egoic thoughts of an overactive mind to the stillness within, provided we are able to do so (and it isn’t always easy.) “Today He speaks to you. His Voice awaits your silence, for His Word can not be heard until your mind is quiet for a while, and meaningless desires have been stilled…” W225. And in Lesson 188 we are given guidelines on how to meditate: “Sit quietly and close your eyes. The light within you is sufficient. It alone has power to give the gift of sight to you. Exclude the outer world, and let your thoughts fly to the peace within. They know the way. For honest thoughts, untainted by the dream of worldly things outside yourself, become the holy messengers of God Himself.” W358.

We need to put the things of this world aside and go within to listen to the Voice for God. How do we turn away from “meaningless desires?” We need to value them less and value awakening more. We need to remember that God is our only goal, even though there will continue to be things that we need to do to survive on a day-to-day basis in the world. We go about our lives as usual but, at the back of our minds, we remember that the only truly important thing is to awaken from the dreams of the ego and remember our oneness with God in Heaven. And, above all, we make time for moments of quiet and stillness every day so that we can hear the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A passage in the Text explains very clearly why it is so important to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. “…the Holy Spirit is God’s Answer to the ego. Everything of which the Holy Spirit reminds you is in direct opposition to the ego’s notions, because true and false perceptions are themselves opposed. The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made…” T79. It is useful to get into the habit of calling upon the Holy Spirit whenever we have a decision to make or whenever we are unsure of how to react to someone or to a particular situation. We can very quickly stop for a second and ask Him for his advice. We can be sure that we are listening to Him, if the advice we receive involves extending love and forgiveness, kindness and compassion.  If, on the other hand, we find ourselves responding to someone or something with fear or guilt or anxiety or anger, then we know that we are following the dictates of the ego. “Peace is the ego’s greatest enemy because, according to its interpretation of reality, war is the guarantee of its survival. The ego becomes strong in strife. If you believe there is strife you will react viciously, because the idea of danger has entered your mind. The idea itself is an appeal to the ego…” T80.

A key point to note is that Lesson 125 deals with non-duality, which is at the core of the teachings of ACIM.  We are one with God, because ideas cannot leave their source, and God is our Source. We are an idea in the Mind of God and that is where we remain. There isn’t God and us, there is just God. That’s why we read, “It is your voice to which you listen as He speaks to you. It is your word He speaks. It is the Word of freedom and of peace, of unity of will and purpose, with no separation nor division in the single Mind of Father and of Son…” W226. God, according to ACIM, is all there is. That’s why Lesson 29 states, “God is in everything I see,” and Lesson 41: “God goes with me wherever I go.” And in Lesson 169 we are given a beautiful definition of the concept of oneness: “Oneness is simply the idea God is. And in His Being, He encompasses all things. No mind holds anything but Him. We say, ‘God is.’ And then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless.” W323.

To return to Lesson 125, the reason why we need to be quiet is so that we can hear the Holy Spirit, as mentioned above. Some people can hear His Voice as a clear spoken message. But if we don’t actually hear a separate voice, we may be able to receive His guidance through our dreams at night, through gut feelings or through the pages of a book that we open at random.  Some may find that the easiest way to receive His guidance is by putting pen to paper and writing down whatever comes into one’s mind.  The important thing is that we take time off from the ego and listen to the Holy Spirit. “Hear, holy Son of God, your Father speak. His Voice would give to you His holy Word, to spread across the world the tidings of salvation and the holy time of peace.” W225.

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