A Course in Miracles

Chapter 29 - The Awakening

Closing of the Gap

There is no time, no place, no state where God is absent. There is nothing to be feared.

There is no way in which a gap could be conceived of in the wholeness that is His. The compromise the least and littlest gap would represent in His eternal love is quite impossible. For it would mean...

His love could harbor just a hint of hate; His gentleness turn sometimes to attack; and His eternal patience sometimes fail.

All this do you believe, when you perceive a gap between your brother and yourself. How could you trust Him, then? For He must be deceptive in His Love. Be wary, then; let Him not come too close, and leave a gap between you and His love through which you can escape if there be need for you to flee.

Here is the fear of God most plainly seen. For love is treacherous to those who fear, since fear and hate can never be apart.

No one who hates but is afraid of love and therefore must he be afraid of God.

Certain it is he knows not what love means. He fears to love and loves to hate, and so he thinks that love is fearful-hate is love. This is the consequence the little gap must bring to those who cherish it and think that it is their salvation and their hope.

 

The fear of God! The greatest obstacle that peace must flow across has not yet gone.

The rest are past, but this one still remains to block your path and make the way to light seem dark and fearful, perilous and bleak. You had decided that your brother is your enemy. Sometimes a friend, perhaps, provided that your separate interests made your friendship possible a little while. But not without a gap between you, lest he turn again into an enemy. [Let him come close to you, and you jumped back; as you approached, he instantly withdrew.] A cautious friendship, limited in scope and carefully restricted in amount, became the treaty you had made with him. You shared a qualified entente in which a clause of separation was a point on which you both agreed to keep intact. And violating this was thought to be a breach of treaty not to be allowed.

The gap between you is not one of space between two separate bodies. This but seems to be dividing off your separate minds.

It (the body) is the symbol of a promise made to meet when you prefer and separate until you both elect to meet again. And then your bodies seem to get in touch and signify a meeting-place to join. But always is it possible to go your separate ways. Conditional upon the "right" to separate will you agree to meet from time to time and keep apart in intervals of separation, which protect you from the "sacrifice" of love. The body saves you, for it gets away from total sacrifice and gives you time in which to build again your separate selves, which you believe diminish as you meet.

 

The body could not separate your minds unless you wanted it to be a cause of separation and of distance seen between you.

Thus do you endow it with a power that lies not within itself. And herein lies its power over you. For now you think that it determines when you meet and limits your ability to make communion with each other's mind. And now it tells you where to go and how to go there, what is feasible for you to undertake, and what you cannot do. It dictates what its health can tolerate and what will tire it and make it sick. And its "inherent" weaknesses set up the limitations on what you would do and keep your purpose limited and weak.

The body will accommodate to this if you would have it so. It will allow but limited indulgences in "love," with intervals of hatred in between. And it will take command of when to "love" and when to shrink more safely into fear. It will be sick because you do not know what loving means. And so you must misuse each circumstance and everyone you meet and see in them a purpose not your own.

It is not love that asks a sacrifice. But fear demands the sacrifice of love, for in love's presence fear cannot abide. For hate to be maintained love must be feared and only sometimes present, sometimes gone. Thus is love seen as treacherous because it seems to come and go uncertainly and offer no stability to you. You do not see how limited and weak is your allegiance and how frequently you have demanded that love go away and leave you quietly alone in "peace."

 

The body, innocent of any goal, is your excuse for variable goals you hold and force the body to maintain. You do not fear its weakness, but its lack of strength or weakness. Would you recognize that nothing stands between you? Would you know there is no gap behind which you can hide? There is a shock that comes to those who learn their savior is their enemy no more.

There is a wariness that is aroused by learning that the body is not real. And there are overtones of seeming fear around the happy message, “God is love”. 1 John 4:8

Yet all that happens when the gap is gone is peace eternal. Nothing more than that, and nothing less. Without the fear of God, what could induce you to abandon Him? What toys or trinkets in the gap could serve to hold you back an instant from His love? Would you allow the body to say "no" to Heaven's calling, were you not afraid to find a loss of self in finding God? Yet can your Self be lost by being found?

 

This Edit of A Course in Miracles is the original transcript as dictated to Helen Schucman and edited in collaboration with Bill Thetford.

ONLINE ACIM
TEXTBOOK INDEX
VIDEOS LIST

 

 

A Course in Miracles

Chapter 29 - The Awakening

The Coming of the Guest

Why would you not perceive it as release from suffering to learn that you are free? Why would you not acclaim the truth, instead of looking on it as an enemy? Why does an easy path, so clearly marked it is impossible to lose the way, seem thorny, rough, and far too difficult for you to follow? Is it not because you see it as the road to hell instead of looking on it as a simple way, without a sacrifice or any loss, to find yourself in Heaven and in God?

Until you realize you give up nothing, until you understand there is no loss, you will have some regrets about the way that you have chosen.

And you will not see the many gains your choice has offered you. Yet though you do not see them, they are there. Their cause has been effected, and they must be present where their cause has entered in.

You have accepted healing's Cause, and so it must be you are healed. And being healed, the power to heal must also now be yours. The miracle is not a separate thing which happens suddenly, as an effect without a cause. Nor is it in itself a cause. But where its cause is must it be. Now is it caused, though not as yet perceived. And its effects are there, though not yet seen. Look inward now, and you will not behold a reason for regret but cause indeed for glad rejoicing and for hope of peace.

It has been hopeless to attempt to find the hope of peace upon a battleground. It has been futile to demand escape from sin and pain of what was made to serve the function of retaining sin and pain. For pain and sin are one illusion, as are hate and fear, attack and guilt but one. Where they are causeless, their effects are gone, and love must come wherever they are not.

Why are you not rejoicing?

You are free of pain and sickness, misery and loss, and all effects of hatred and attack. No more is pain your friend and guilt your god, and you should welcome the effects of love.

Your Guest has come. You asked Him, and He came. You did not hear Him enter, for you did not wholly welcome Him. And yet His gifts came with Him. He has laid them at your feet and asks you now that you will look on them and take them for your own. He needs your help in giving them to all who walk apart believing they are separate and alone.

He needs your help in giving them (His gifts) to all who walk apart, believing they are separate and alone.

They will be healed when you accept your gifts, because your Guest will welcome everyone whose feet have touched the holy ground whereon you stand, and where His gifts for them are laid.

You do not see how much you now can give because of everything you have received. Yet He Who entered in but waits for you to come where you invited Him to be. There is no other place where He can find His host nor where His host can meet with Him. And nowhere else His gifts of peace and joy and all the happiness His Presence brings can be obtained. For they are where He is Who brought them with Him that they might be yours. You cannot see your Guest, but you can see the gifts He brought. And when you look on them, you will believe His Presence must be there. For what you now can do could not be done without the love and grace His Presence holds.

Such is the promise of the living God--His Son have life and every living thing be part of him, and nothing else have life.

What you have given "life" is not alive and symbolizes but your wish to be alive apart from life, alive in death, with death perceived as life, and living, death. Confusion follows on confusion here, for on confusion has this world been based, and there is nothing else it rests upon. Its basis does not change, although it seems to be in constant change. Yet what is that except the state confusion really means? Stability to those who are confused is meaningless, and shift and change become the law on which they predicate their lives.

The body does not change. It represents the larger dream that change is possible.

To change is to attain a state unlike the one in which you found yourself before. There is no change in immortality, and Heaven knows it not. Yet here on earth it has a double purpose, for it can be made to teach opposing things. And they reflect the teacher who is teaching them. The body can appear to change with time, with sickness or with health, and with events that seem to alter it. Yet this but means the mind remains unchanged in its belief of what the purpose of the body is.

Sickness is a demand the body be a thing that it is not.

Its nothingness is guarantee that it can not be sick. In your demand that it be more than this lies the idea of sickness. For it asks that God be less than all He really is. What, then, becomes of you, for it is you of whom the sacrifice is asked? For He is told that part of Him belongs to Him no longer. He must sacrifice your self, and in His sacrifice are you made more, and He is lessened by the loss of you. And what is gone from Him becomes your god, protecting you from being part of Him.

The body that is asked to be a god will be attacked because its nothingness has not been recognized.

And so it seems to be a thing with power in itself. As something, it can be perceived and thought to feel and act and hold you in its grasp as prisoner to itself. And it can fail to be what you demanded that it be. And you will hate it for its littleness, unmindful that the failure does not lie in that it is not more than it should be but only in your failure to perceive that it is nothing. Yet its nothingness is your salvation, from which you would flee.

As "something" is the body asked to be God's enemy, replacing what He is with littleness and limit and despair. It is His loss you celebrate when you behold the body as a thing you love, or look upon it as a thing you hate. For if He be the sum of everything, then what is not in Him does not exist, and His completion is its nothingness. Your savior is not dead, nor does he dwell in what was built as temple unto death. He lives in God, and it is this that makes him savior unto you, and only this. His body's nothingness releases yours from sickness and from death. For what is yours cannot be more nor less than what is his.

 

 
 

Home | Download | About ACIM | About Us | Video | Recommended