8. Healing and The Second Coming: Workshop 8 of 12 based on ACIM
I am going to write a word now, and I want you to pay close attention to how you feel inside when you read it. Ready?
For most people, the very word elicits discomfort on some level. What I have found, as I've begun teaching the lessons from A Course In Miracles, is that many people do not like it when I use the word "God" and have asked if I could use a different word instead. This request has come up often enough, that I feel deeply inspired to address it, as it is the undoing of this very fear and discomfort that the Second Coming hinges on.
So why is it, most of us cannot hear or even read the word "God" without a twinge of discomfort?
Because we have a deep seeded sense of fear and guilt surrounding our idea of Him. This fear stems from either our religious upbringing, or lack of it. We fear what we do not understand and we assume the worst about God. We fear His punishment, judgment, and worry that we've been living our lives wrongly. Some of us feel angry with Him and unfairly treated. We also feel a sense of guilt and shame that we have most certainly committed “wrongdoings” of one kind or another. And because of all these uncertainties, we have erected barriers to His Love in order to “protect” ourselves. These barriers are what block our eternal memory of Who We are in Truth. We know these memories are blocked, because none of us on this planet can remember who we were before birth. We are all equally born with complete amnesia and because of this we also don’t know what we’re doing down here in hell, or how to get out of it. Deep down, (or not so deep down) we all have a secret worry about whether or not we are living our lives like we’re supposed to. And we’re pretty sure we’re not!
However, these forgotten memories of the truth about us can be restored once our guilt has been healed. All it takes is a miracle! The miracle is our own forgiveness of ourselves for having imagined it was possible to forget God in the first place. Once this miracle takes place, we will be able to hear God speak to us once again; an ability lost to us behind the barriers of fear and guilt we have put in place.
So, let the first step be the forgiveness of our fear surrounding the word “God” and open our minds to a different view of Him and ourselves…
The truth is, God is always speaking to us, but we cannot hear Him over the voice of our own ego. The ego was born from our fear and guilt surrounding our idea of separating from God. And so it is, from the day of our birth the ego speaks to us, blocking the Voice of our loving Creator. We are born into a body with an ego, and it is our job to learn how to hear above it and hear only God's Voice. This undoes the ego, and with it, every other thing that causes us suffering.
So what’s the difference between God’s Voice and the ego? How do we know who we are hearing?
It is simple to differentiate. When you are listening to the ego, you will hear only negativity. The ego's voice will make you feel depressed, anxious, and angry. Sometimes you think you feel joy, but at a price. Somewhere inside, you know the joy is only temporary, because the joy the ego speaks of is never eternal. You know the situation won't last, and once the "temporary" happiness is gone, you will have to move onto something else to bring you happiness. You know this is true- you've done it your whole life. Everyone seems to need something to look forward to, to strive towards, or a goal of some kind to achieve. But what you've always found is that even if these things are achieved or obtained, it fails to bring you permanent happiness. And the ego will always only speak to you of joy that can be taken away. It never will ask you to strive for eternal happiness within. It will always push you to strive for something outside yourself.
It is time to end this cycle. We are tired of striving for happiness. It's time to remove the barriers to our memories of God’s Love and claim our right to eternal joy. It's time to awaken from our sleep and return Home. This is not a journey towards death of the body, but merely a gentle inner journey to peace and love. The kind of peace and love that is not dependent upon outside circumstances.
It is time to embrace the word "God" once again, and remember how tenderly He loves us, and that we love Him in return. It is time to learn how to extend this love to the world, thus healing it of everything our ego thoughts have made. It's time to get intimately personal with our Creator.
I'm not saying you can't use another word for God; in fact, I use the male pronoun when referring to Him only because it is what I am most comfortable with. However, there is no word that I specifically avoid because it causes me discomfort. I'm just saying you shouldn't want to call God something else in order to minimize your fear of Him. My calling our Creator a “Him” should not make you feel uneasy. My personal labels cannot change What Is. So pay close attention to why a certain word for Him makes you uncomfortable. I promise, you have nothing to fear from One Who loves you without condition.
What does all this have to do with “The Second Coming?”
Everything. Because once our barriers to our memory of God’s Love have come down, He is free to walk upon the earth. Yes, He will come through us. We are literally the doorway through which miracles walk! Then “God Himself shall wipe away all tears…” as stated in A Course In Miracles Lesson 301.
There are a few simple steps to dissolving our barriers to hasten this transformation; the transformation of this world into Heaven, or The Second Coming of Christ:
1. You need do nothing. You are already perfect, complete, healed and whole as God Created You, and you need do nothing beyond accepting this as the truth about you.
2. Allow the above truth to be Itself. You do this by letting down your barriers to the truth by forgiving every thought about yourself that is opposite to it- which is any thought based in fear. Forgive yourself for seeing yourself as a body. You are not a body. The body is the gift of the ego and it brings you nothing but misery. In truth, you are an eternal Spirit and will never cease to exist and do not even need a body.
3. Everyone shares equally in the truth about you. What is true for you is also true for them, because God created us all equal in His eternal Love. Forgive any thought that is opposite to this. Do not react to anything anyone does with his or her body that you do not like. Forgive yourself for seeing them incorrectly – for seeing them as a body and not Spirit. Everything here ends when the body dies anyway, so why worry about it now?
4. As hard as this may seem, know you cannot fail in the task of seeing past the illusion of our bodies. It is God’s Will that you return to Him through replacing the body in your mind, by seeing His Love within yourself and all those around you instead. You have His strength and Love backing you up. You cannot fail what He Wills.
5. Resume doing nothing. Never has so little been asked of us to gain everything, yet we act as if it is a mountain we must move. In reality, you exist as a Being of Perfection, Love and Light. Anything else you see or hear about yourself or others is a complete lie. This is the truth, and accepting the truth about you will manifest the loving Reality of Light God Created; replacing everything dark and painful the ego has ever made- which is everything outside of us our bodily eyes can see. This will heal the past, present and future bringing us the eternal happiness we are entitled to!
It is un-natural to feel un-happy.
It is un-natural to feel happy only sometimes and un-happy at other times.
We are created by God to be eternally happy.
So where’s the problem? Why are we not experiencing our eternal happiness right now?
The problem is, we are seeking for happiness in a world driven by the ego and it is an un-happy place because of it. The world outside of us fails to bring us consistent happiness because that is what the ego has designed it to do.
This world is designed to fail us.
So what should we do about it?
The Holy Spirit says, “Forgive it and come Home.”
Forgive all things large and small in the world for failing you. There is no order of difficulty in miracles. And when you’re done forgiving everything you see outside yourself- look within and be healed. Within you is the power of God. Within you is your Light, your Love, and the constancy of the Holy Spirit. Here is your lasting joy, peace and happiness.
So let the world fall! Don’t give it a second thought. You cannot uphold what was never meant to last. Nothing outside you will last for eternity no matter how hard you try.
This brings forward a new world through your forgiveness of the old; a world not driven by the ego, but one lead peacefully ahead by Love. In this way you will become a miracle worker and transform this reality into Heaven- just as God created it to be. You will be among the saviors of the world as you usher in The Second Coming, enabling us to transcend this reality and go Home.
There is a final barrier we must all cross in order to do this. It is the seemingly toughest one, though it is no more difficult an illusion to forgive than forgiving a coffee cup.
It is the healing of our unholy or “special” relationships. A special relationship is any relationship, which causes you pain and suffering.
Our special relationships with one another represent the illusion of our broken relationship with God. We fear to be un-loved and rejected by each other, but deep down we fear that this is exactly what has happened between God and us.
And so, we seek the relationship we desire with our Creator through our relationships here. The ego can never replace the relationship we have denied with God. Heal all your relationships now by ceasing to put the pressure on them of fulfilling all your needs. No mere person will ever be enough. It is your forgotten relationship with your Creator you seek, and once you look within for it, you will find satisfaction and completion beyond anything your ego can imagine in any relationship this world has to offer.
All relationships formed in this world start out as special relationships, made by our ego. As I said, we have made these relationships as an attempt to replace the one we forgot with God when we arrived here in these bodies. Special relationships are always driven by anger, fear, and guilt, although we may mistake these feelings for love. We assume “demands” are normal in a loving relationship.
Love would never demand anything from anyone else. It is complete unto Itself.
How do we achieve love such as this? It seems impossible to not “want” anything from our relationships. That’s the whole reason we form them, isn’t it? To fulfill a “need” in us to not be alone? How do we have a relationship without need?
Take hope! All of our special relationships can be healed and turned into holy relationships.
A holy relationship is a special relationship that has been healed and transformed by the Holy Spirit. This relationship makes no demands on another. It is the recognition within yourself that you are complete already, and there is no demand you could make on another that could ever make you more than what you already are. You therefore are able to fully engage in relationships of Divine Love without the barriers imposed by the ego between yourself and another.
In a holy relationship, neither party places any guilt on the other - only freedom. You do not loose your special relationship by giving total emotional freedom; rather, you gain this person for all eternity. In a holy relationship, the only purpose is to “make happy.” We can turn to the example of God’s relationship with us as the format for our own holy relationships.
ACIM CH17 IV. The Two Pictures pg. 357
“God established His relationship with you to make you happy, and nothing you do that does not share His purpose can be real.” (1.1)
“Because of His reason for creating His relationship with you, the function of relationships became forever “to make happy.” And nothing else.” (1.3-4)
In a holy relationship, you have forgotten all but the loving thoughts towards your special relationship. In order for this to happen, you must give this relationship over to the Holy Spirit to be transformed. This is done by ceasing to allow the ego to “resolve” all the many problems you seem to have with this person. These problems are of a temporary world, and will all end once the body ends. These problems are not eternal. There is only one problem, and it lies deeper than this world. The problem lies at the very beginning when we chose to separate and come here into this illusion to begin with. Forgive this one mistake, and you allow the Holy Spirit to correct it in every relationship. All other problems will be resolved after that. To forgive this one mistake, you must accept that no one is separate from you. We have never lost anyone, no one can reject us, and it is impossible to be alone. We must give up the idea of separating out someone “special” to make demands of- demands that they love us in a way that satisfies our ego, which will never be satisfied.
This may sound depressing. It sounds as though we should not be in any type of romantic relationship at all, or we are doing something wrong.
Do we have to give up all our treasured special relationships?
No. Absolutely not. In fact, the Holy Spirit advises we do not give up on them at all- if possible. Rather, we are asked to only give up our thoughts of need, attack, anger, guilt and fear we put into our special relationships. That’s all.
Does a holy relationship devoid of all need and pain still sound impossible? If it does, ask yourself what choice makes you happy? Would you rather hold onto thoughts that hurt or let them go? The goal of the holy relationship is to cease all attack and "make happy."
“God’s Son is One. Whom God has joined, the ego cannot put asunder.” (ACIM T.CH17 III. Shadows of the Past 7.2-3)
CHAPTER 22: SALVATION AND THE HOLY RELATIONSHIP (pg.467)
ACIM T.pg.468 Chapter 22 I. The Message of the Holy Relationship
“If you attack whom God would heal and hate the one He loves, then you and your Creator have a different will.” (1.2)
“Christ comes to what is like Himself; the same, not different. For He is always drawn unto Himself. What is as like Him as a holy relationship? And what draws you and your brother together draws Him to you.” (11.1-4)
“This is your Father’s Will for you, and yours with His. And who is drawn to every holy relationship, the home prepared for Them as earth is turned to Heaven.” (11.8-9)
What does this mean?
It means, that when we choose to have a holy relationship with someone, we are in alignment with God’s Will. It is His Will we be at peace with one another, and so peace must be our consistent choice in all our relationships. Aligning our mind with God’s Will is what transforms our lives and “earth turned to Heaven.”
How do we choose to have peace in a holy relationship?
Again, a holy relationship is one in which we have ceased to attack our brothers with negative thoughts. We have ceased to see him as a body. We see him instead as a creation that God loves and because God loves him, we love him also.
All we have to do is give love to what God loves, and all will be healed within and without. And by giving love, I mean we give up all thoughts of attack and guilt.
It is so simple!
The outside world conforms to our inner condition.
Do you enjoy the condition you are in?
“Reason will tell you that the only way to escape from misery is to recognize it and go the other way.” (ACIM CH 22 T.II.4.1 pg.472)
You must choose to emotionally go the other way from misery. And this choice allows the Holy Spirit to move in the same direction with you. Now, who or what can withstand the strength and power of the Holy Spirit?
Together we stand in perfect peace – no longer choosing conflict. We stand in quiet doing our small part of extending peace as we wait for the Holy Spirit to do His part.
How He will do it is beyond our understanding.
When we allow Him to enter is our choice.
We now make the choice to go the other way. We are choosing another way. We walk in peace and holiness now. We are no longer slaves to this horrible world. We no longer want a special relationship filled with ego demands no one can possibly fulfill. Trust this process. Without fail, the outside world of illusion will conform to our inner condition.
How do we change our inner condition to one that will transform the world?
The answer lies in understanding how we arrived at where we are now. There are four steps we take when we descend down into the chaos of the illusion that is this world:
ACIM T.pg.489 Chapter II. The Laws of Chaos
“Here are the laws that rule the world you made. And yet they govern nothing, and need not be broken; merely looked upon and gone beyond.” (1.6-5)
The first chaotic law is that the truth is different for everyone. Like all these principles, this one maintains that each is separate and has a different set of thoughts that set him off from others.” (2.1-2)
“Think how this seems to interfere with the first principle of miracles. For this establishes degrees of truth among illusions, making it seem that some of them are harder to overcome than others.” (3.1-2)
(The first law of chaos is that we believe everything in this world is real.)
“The second law of chaos, dear indeed to every worshipper of sin, is that each one must sin, and therefore deserves attack and death.” (4.1)
(The second law follows from the first. We all believe this world is real, which is a “sin” or error – a mistake. From this mistake we believe everyone here must make the same mistake or “sin” of following the rules of this world. Since we all believe this world is real, we therefore all equally react to it as though it is. Our only “sin” or mistake is believing what we see with our eyes is true. We appear to be separate bodies, and so it must be true. We think our Oneness is a lie.)
“Think what this seems to do to the relationship between the Father and the Son. Now it appears that They can never be One again. For One must always be condemned, and by the Other. Now are They different, and enemies.” (5.1-4)
“This leads directly to the third preposterous belief that seems to make chaos eternal. For if God cannot be mistaken, He must accept His Son’s belief in what he is, and hate him for it.” (6.5-6)
“See how the fear of God is reinforced by this third principle. Now it becomes impossible to turn to Him for help in misery. For now He has become the “enemy” Who caused it, to Whom appeal is useless.” (7.1-3)
(The third law states that we believe God sent us here and so He is the reason we suffer and die. This generates tremendous fear in us. We do not remember that we are One with Him. We forgot it was our own decision to separate. Yet it is impossible to truly separate. And what is One will never punish any part of Itself- yet, we believe we are trapped here by a cruel and unjust god, who is angry with us and will indeed punish us. Thus the fear of God runs wild in us.)
“There can be no release and no escape. Atonement thus becomes a myth and, vengeance, not forgiveness, is the Will of God.” (8.1-2)
“The ego values only what it takes. This leads to the fourth law of chaos, which, if the others are accepted, must be true. This seeming law is the belief you have what you have taken. By this, another’s loss becomes your gain, and thus it fails to recognize that you can never take away save from yourself. Yet all the other laws must lead to this.” (9.1-5)
“And now there is a vague unanswered question, not yet “explained.” What is this precious thing, this priceless pearls, this hidden secret treasure, to be wrested in righteous wrath from this most treacherous and cunning “enemy”? It must be what you want but never found.” (11.1-3)
“For it was taken from you by this enemy, and hidden where you would not think to look. He hid it in his body, making it the cover for his guilt, the hiding place for what belongs to you.” (11.5-6)
(Since we forgot the love and happiness God gave us, and ours for Him, we search the world over for it, and never find it because we hid it within ourselves. We covered our light and love of God with bodies. And so we attack one another in an attempt to reclaim what we feel we have lost and call it love. We attempt to form special relationships in order to force each other to give back our forgotten love of God. We also think this love is something that can be given and taken away, which causes us endless fear and anxiety.)
“And here a final principle of chaos comes to the “rescue.” It holds there is a substitute for love. This is the magic that will cure all of your pain; the missing factor in your madness that makes it “sane.” This is the reason why you must attack.” (12.3-6)
“Never is your possession made complete. And never will your brother cease his attack on you for what you stole.” (13.1-2)
(And so we look for love through the possession of bodies, in which we will never find it. This makes us angry, unhappy and depressed when we do not find it where we seek it. We experience insane feelings of anger, jealousy, guilt and dissatisfaction towards the bodies we demand love from. This is madness!)
“No one wants madness, nor does anyone cling to his madness if he sees that this is what it is. What protects madness is the belief that it is true.” (14.1-2)
“You would maintain, and think it true, that you do not believe these senseless laws, nor act upon them. And when you look at what they say, they cannot be believed. Brother, you do believe them.” (18.1-3)
“In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion. At best it seems like life; at worst, like death.” (19.3-4)
“The laws of chaos govern all illusions. Their forms conflict, making it seem quite possible to value some above the others.” (20.1-2)
“The steps to chaos do follow neatly from their starting point. Each is a different form in the progression of truth’s reversal, leading still deeper into terror and away from truth. Think not one step is smaller than another, nor that return from one is easier. The whole descent from Heaven lies in each one.” (21.3-6)
“Brother, take not one step in the descent to hell.” (22.1)
“Attack in any form has placed your foot upon the twisted stairway that leads from Heaven. Yet any instant it is possible to have all this undone. How can you know whether you chose the stairs to Heaven or the way to hell? Quite easily. How do you feel? Is peace in your awareness? Are you certain which way to go? And are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached? If not, you walk alone. Ask, then, your Friend to join you, and give you certainty of where you go.” (22.4-13)
How do we climb back up the ladder of descent into this illusion?
When the world closes in, squeezing your heart and mind with pain and suffering, you have the God given power to free yourself from it in one single step. Say only to yourself, “I didn’t come here for this. I release my Self.” And by so doing, you declare the release of your One Self from this world. You ascend back up the ladder that leads down to our descent into this illusion. You call forward the Self Who never left Heaven, but dreams It is in hell. This is why you came. You came to release the world and your One Self from suffering by forgiving what you do not want. To forgive is to let go. So step out of the battlefield and rise above it to where your One Self abides, safe and unharmed. You didn’t come here for anything less. And pain is certainly less. You didn’t come here to be less; you came here to be more. You came to heal every relationship you have ever had. You came to bring about The Second Coming.
In closing, what exactly is the Second Coming? This is best explained through lessons 301-310 from the Workbook of ACIM:
It is the time when God Himself shall come and wipe away all our tears.
It is when the darkness within our minds is replaced with light.
It is the moment the holy Christ is born in us through our forgiveness of the world we see outside of us.
Therefore, we must remember to not let the outside world obscure our vision of Christ within each and every person.
See instead, the inner peace that only Christ bestows on us, not the conflict of bodies.
This is the gift of Christ, and it is all we seek.
Conflict and pain are not our will. We want the peace of Christ.
And so, through the power of our thoughts, this world can shift in the present moment- a holy instant, the only real time there is.
We will not fear this gentle transition within us. We will not fear to look within and see the truth of peace written on our hearts.
In fearlessness and love we will spend each day, until The Second Coming is complete and this world is transformed into Heaven simply through our thoughts of peace towards one another.