God said, 'I have seen the miserable state of my people
in Egypt. I have heard their appeal to be free...I am
aware of their sufferings. I mean to deliver them out
of the hands of the Egyptians and bring them out of that
land to a land rich and broad, a land where milk and honey
flow...The cry of the sons of Israel has come unto me...
So come, I send you to Pharaoh to bring the sons of Israel,
my people, out of Egypt.' But Moses said to God, 'Who
am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the sons of
Israel out of Egypt? And God answered, 'I will be with
You.'" - Exodus 3:7-12
When God revealed himself
to Moses in the burning bush and told Moses that he
was to lead the Israelites out of their bondage into
freedom, Moses' immediate, automatic response was,
am I to do this? I'm nobody!" And God reassured him,
simply, "I will be with you."
There are times in each
of our lives when we are called in some way to move
forward on our spiritual journey, called to say yes
to what is demanded by our healing and growth, called
to accept and fulfill God's Will in our lives as it
becomes clear to us. And we are called without necessarily
feeling that we are up to the challenge, without knowing
if or how we could possibly succeed.
Moses can be an interesting
and helpful example for us on our journey. He was such
a human figure—given to angry outbursts, filled
with self-doubts and fears, hindered even by a speech
Nonetheless he heard and
responded to God's call to him to help free his brothers
and sisters from their suffering. Despite his doubts
and fears, he said yes to the call. He moved forward
in faith that the strength and power of God would accomplish
through him whatever needed to be done.
The Course points out
that "revelation induces complete but temporary
suspension of doubt and fear," and Moses is certainly
an example of this. Even after his profound experience
of revelation, he doubted, each time he faltered, or
became afraid and discouraged, he brought his fears
and doubts and concerns to God.
he was answered, assured again of God's presence and
the certainty of outcome of God's Will. And he would
continue on—to falter again and again, yet also
growing in faith and status and authority—toward
fulfilling the function God had given him.
Each one of us has a function
to fulfill here, given us by God. Jewish mystical tradition
teaches that we are Shutov Elohim, God's partners, in
extending and completing the creation.
Stephen Mitchell, in his
beautiful work The Gospel According to Jesus, offers
a fascinating and unusual slant on this idea of what
it might mean to help God "complete creation."
He renders the famous passage at the beginning of Genesis
in this way:
completes the work of creation by entering the Sabbath
mind, the mind of absolute, joyous serenity; contemplates
the whole universe and says, 'Behold, it is very good.'"
The Course teaches that
we each have a "special function”—an
indispensable part to play in God's plan for the healing
and awakening of His sleeping sons and daughters. It
should be stated clearly that, within the framework
of the Course, this liberation occurs not through trying
to change the conditions of the outer world but through
the healing of our own minds.
Our task is to attain
this state of mind that Mitchell calls "the Sabbath
mind." This is the state of mind free of guilt
and condemnation, which can look on all through eyes
of love and see the reflection of God's presence and
love everywhere shining. The particular experiences
that make up our life story—our "special
function”—provide the unique and individual
framework through which we can accomplish the universal
Like Moses we are each
called, in our own way, to help release our brothers
and sisters, and ourselves with them, from the bondage
and oppression of fear, to the freedom and abundance
that are our inheritance, and true nature, as children
of a loving Father.
And like Moses our first
response to this call may well be. "Who am I to
be able to do this?" Yet, also like Moses, we need
not be perfect before we can simply open our hearts
to hear and say yes to what God asks of us. As the Course
teaches, "readiness ... is not mastery." We
are asked only to offer a little willingness. Our
faith and confidence can deepen as we discover, through
experience, the truth in God's promise: "I will
be with you."
Humility vs. False Humility
us not fight our function. We did not establish it. It
is not our idea. The means are given us by which it will
be perfectly accomplished. All that we are asked to do
is to accept our part in genuine humility, and not deny
with self-deceiving arrogance that we are worthy. What
is given us to do, we have the strength to do ...
false humility we lay aside today, that we may listen
to God's Voice reveal to us what He would have us do.
We do not doubt our adequacy for this function He will
offer us. We will be certain only that He knows our strengths,
our wisdom and our holiness. And if He deems us worthy,
so we are. It is but arrogance that judges otherwise."
The idea that we are called
by God—that not only do we have a part to play
in God's plan for healing, but also that our part is
essential to the plan's completion—the ego tells
us is the epitome of arrogance. The ego's picture of
us is that we are small, weak, unworthy, inadequate,
filled with darkness.
This is the self-image,
the self, it would have us accept as our own. Accepting
this image of ourselves is what the ego calls humility.
points out, however, that the ego's version of humility
is really self-debasement—and is, in fact, disguised
arrogance. It is the statement that we are not God-created
but self-made—that our true identity is not the
Self that God created but rather what we have made of
ourselves. It states that we know ourselves better than
God does and therefore know better than He what our
function should or should not be.
"Your value is in God’s
Mind…To accept yourself as God created you cannot
be arrogance…To accept your littleness is arrogant,
because it means that you believe your evaluation of yourself
is truer than God’s." -ACIM
The function we are called
to is, on the deepest level, a single function that
we all share. The Course describes this function in
many ways—as forgiveness, salvation, healing,
accepting the Atonement, offering miracles, reflecting
the peace of Heaven here, being the light of the world.
These are simply many
terms for the same function, allowing love to dispel
the fear in us, and light the darkness, allowing the
illusion of separation to be undone within our mind,
unveiling the truth of Who we are and have always been.
We come to know again our oneness in and with God.
am the light of the world. Who is the light of
the world except God's Son? This,
then, is merely a statement of the truth about yourself.
It is the opposite of a statement of pride, of arrogance,
or of self-deception. It does not describe the self concept
you have made...It refers to you as you were created by
God. It simply states the truth."
the ego, today's idea is the epitome of self-glorification.
But the ego does not understand humility, mistaking it
for self-debasement. Humility consists of accepting your
role in salvation and in taking no other.
is not humility to insist you cannot be the light of the
world if that is the function God assigned to you. It
is only arrogance that would assert this function cannot
be for you, and arrogance is always of the ego."
False humility, which
is really arrogance, attempts to substitute the ego's
concept of what we are for the Self that God created.
True humility acknowledges God as our Source and Creator
and accepts God's evaluation of us rather than our own.
It recognizes that the strength, power, wisdom, vision,
and whatever else we need to accomplish our function
here comes not from ourselves but is given us by God.
It accepts that we can do whatever God asks us to do—because
with God all things are possible—and God is with
us at all times and in all things. To doubt ourselves
in what God would have us do is to doubt God Himself.
as God's Voice directs. And if It asks a thing of you
which seems impossible, remember Who it is that asks,
and who would make denial. Then consider this; which is
more likely to be right? The
Voice that speaks for the creator of all things, who knows
all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of
yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure
of everything? Let not its voice direct you. Hear instead
a certain Voice, Which tells you of a function given you
by your Creator Who remembers you, and urges now that
you remember Him." - ACIM
All Share One Function
In the deepest sense,
the part we have in God's plan—our function—is
the same for all of us. The Course teaches that our
function is "to accept the Atonement for ourselves,”—to
allow the belief in separation, with its resulting guilt
and fear, to be corrected, undone, in our own minds.
As we let our guilt be undone, we remember the Love
that we are, the Love that is our real nature, and we
reflect that Love to others that they, too, may remember.
The process by which this
is accomplished in us is forgiveness. Most simply, then,
our function is to learn how to forgive, so that we
may receive the peace of God that forgiveness brings.
We then become examples and teachers of this peace,
demonstrating that even in this world peace is possible.
We come to reflect the peace of Heaven here on earth.
Although our function
is shared, the Course also teaches that we each have
a special function in God's plan of healing. In order
to understand this teaching and view our own special
function in right perspective, we need to look first
at the whole idea of "specialness."
The world of the ego—this
world of form—is a world of differences. Although
the Course teaches that our reality is oneness, in this
world there are certainly differences among us. We have
different talents, abilities, strengths, backgrounds,
and life experiences.
The ego uses these differences
to separate out, to divide and make "specialness"
categories of superiority and inferiority, insiders
and outsiders, "haves" and "have-nots."
Specialness is grounded in comparisons. The ego, the
Course tells us, "literally lives by comparisons."
In this world we normally
accept without question that being special is a good
thing. We value and even cherish specialness. Yet this
sense of specialness, which, being so ego-identified,
we all seek, always serves to separate us, to set us
apart from others in some way. As the Course points
out, specialness inevitably reinforces our belief in
separation—and thus inevitably reinforces our
conscious and unconscious guilt and fear as well.
If we see ourselves as
better than another by virtue of a particular talent
or ability we have, in our minds we have attacked their
intrinsic wholeness and value. We will—consciously
or not—feel or see ourselves as guilty. If we
are envious of someone else's talents or life experiences
or feel that we are lacking because we don't have something
that they have, we attack our own wholeness. On some
level in our minds we will resent and blame them for
our feeling of inferiority and lack. Again, we will
According to the Course,
specialness—particularly the idea of "special
love”—is the ego's most cherished and boasted
"gift" to us. It is also the most insidious,
because we rarely look at it closely enough to question
its worth, value, and cost to us. The real cost is enormous,
because, the Course points out, the ego offers us specialness
in place of—as a substitute for—the Love
God's Love is not special.
God's Love for any of us cannot be special, because
God's Love is complete and whole. God loves all His
children equally, because He loves us all totally. His
total Love gives us everything. The idea of specialness
is the insane belief that we could want and have more
The Course teaches that
the Holy Spirit is God's Answer to the ego, to the belief
in separation. The Holy Spirit's function is to translate
all that the ego made for its purpose—of reinforcing
separation, guilt, and fear—into what can serve
the purpose of wholeness and healing—the undoing
of separation, guilt, and fear. Although the ego made
the idea of specialness for its unholy purpose, the
Holy Spirit translates it into the idea of our special
function—the unique part we each play in God's
plan for healing us all.
has a special part to play in the Atonement, but the message
given to each one is always the same: God's Son is guiltless.
Each one teaches the message differently, and learns it
differently. Yet until he teaches and learns it, he will
suffer the dim awareness that his true function remains
unfulfilled in him." -ACIM
Our shared true function
is to teach and learn the healing lesson of guiltlessness,
through the practice of forgiveness. What the Course
calls our special function essentially refers to the
specific, particular relationships, situations, and
ways in which we can teach and learn this single lesson.
We are all teachers and
learners all the time. The Holy Spirit's purpose for
every relationship and every encounter we have with
anyone is to have it be a "holy relationship”—to
help us transcend our differences, recognize and forgive
our projections of guilt, and remember the Love of God
that is within us both and joins us together as one.
Although, the Course points
out, there is no one from whom we cannot learn, and
thus no one we cannot teach, from a practical standpoint
we cannot meet everyone. The plan of the Atonement therefore
includes specific contacts to be made in each of our
lives. Some of these will be direct, personal, ongoing
relationships. Others will appear to be superficial,
casual, momentary encounters in which we never learn
each other's names.
There are even situations
in which we never "meet" at all. We may read
a newspaper story about someone, or listen to a musician
perform, or hear about a person going through an illness,
or notice someone's kindness to a stranger, or read
a book someone has written, and be touched or triggered
by that "encounter" in a way that furthers
our healing, growth, and learning.
The Course teaches that
none of this is accidental, that "there are no
accidents in salvation." There are those we are
meant to encounter, directly or indirectly, and these
will inevitably cross our life path, our awareness,
in some way. To use these specific relationships and
encounters as opportunities for forgiveness and healing,
as places we can learn and teach the love that we are,
is our special function.
Special Function and Abilities
This special function,
our unique part in God's plan, may be expressed through—but
is not defined by or limited to—our profession
or our particular talents and abilities. The work we
do in the world is one of the ways we may be brought
together with the people we are meant to meet, one of
the settings in which we can teach and learn. The specific
talents and abilities we have may help to determine
some of the forms through which we can best communicate
and receive the Holy Spirit's message of peace.
The Course teaches that
differences in talents and abilities among God's children
are temporary—part of the temporal world of the
ego, not of the reality of Heaven.
the Atonement has been completed, all talents will be
shared by all the Sons of God. God is not partial. All
His children have His total Love, and all His gifts are
freely given to everyone alike." -
While we still believe
in the reality of the ego and the world of form, however,
differences in abilities and talents are a fact of our
experience. What we need to decide is which master we
would have them serve—the ego or God.
The ego will use these
differences for self-serving purposes, for its own inflation,
to shatter the unity of God's creation by seemingly
establishing hierarchies of value or worth. Smarter,
stronger, funnier, more attractive, musical, athletic,
verbal, charming, artistic, spiritual, psychic, or whatever—all
become, in the ego's eyes, "better": more
worthy, more loveable, more loved. Some are included
in the "specialness club," while others are
Even among spiritual seekers,
a belief in "special abilities" that result
in or represent a "special connection" with
God or the higher realms is often found. Holding such
a belief, whether in regard to ourselves or others,
can serve only to delay our awakening.
to the Holy Spirit, our abilities and talents will be
utilized to serve the undoing of our experience of difference
and separation, from each other and from God. They will
be used to help us learn that whatever differences exist
among us at the level of form make no difference whatsoever
in God's eyes—in our inherent value and worth
as an integral part of God's creation. We are all "included."
When we offer ourselves—all
that we believe that we are—to the Holy Spirit
to be retranslated and used only for His purpose and
plan, our lives here become a living expression of love
and service. The longing for this full surrender to
and joining with love is the deepest yearning of our
"Decide that God
is right and you are wrong about yourself."
The Course teaches that
we will not be happy unless and until we fulfill the
function God has given us here, that our happiness and
our function are one. Happiness comes from being true
to ourselves, true to our deepest selves, our real Self,
the Self that God created.
To know this Self we must
be willing to drop arrogance and false humility, to
stop insisting that we are less than what God created
us to be. To accept our function, our part in God's
plan for salvation and healing, is to side with the
truth about ourselves and all of our brothers and sisters.
Our function, the Course
tells us, is to "reflect Heaven here," to
reflect the peace of Heaven in this world, that the
world may be brought to Heaven.
There are so many times—as
we simply go through the normal course of our days,
facing countless opportunities for upset and challenges
to our inner peace—that this seems to be an
impossible task. There are so many times that it appears
to us impossible to forgive.
To accept our function
means to recognize that on our own fulfilling our function
would be impossible—but also to recognize that
we are not on our own.
in God's Strength, Not Our Own
If you are
trusting in your own strength, you have every reason
to be apprehensive, anxious and fearful. What can you
predict or control?
What is there
in you that can be counted on?
give you the ability to be aware of all the facets of
any problem, and to resolve them in such a way that
only good can come of it?
What is there
in you that gives you the recognition of the right solution,
and the guarantee that it will be accomplished?
Of yourself you can do
none of these things. To believe you can is to put your
trust where trust is unwarranted...
It is not by trusting
yourself that you will gain confidence. But the strength
of God in you is successful in all things.
Jesus said in the Gospels,
"Of myself I do nothing.
It is the Father in me that does the works."
When we accept our function,
we acknowledge that God is within us, that there is
no separation, and that it is God's strength and wisdom
and love within us that accomplish whatever needs to
We can move forward, as
Moses did, in the faith that we will be able to do what
God asks of us because God will be with us. God's Will
cannot fail. When we unite our will with His, accepting
His as our own, we cannot fail.
...ask yourself if it
is possible that God would have a plan for your salvation
that does not work. Once you accept His plan as the
one function that you would fulfill, there will be nothing
else the Holy Spirit will not arrange for you without
He will go before you
making straight your path, and leaving in your way no
stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way.
Nothing you need will
be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt
away before you reach it.
You need take thought
for nothing, careless of everything except the only
purpose that you would fulfill. As that was given you,
so will its fulfillment be. God's guarantee will hold
against all obstacles, for it rests on certainty and
not contingency. It rests on you. And what can be more
certain than a Son of God?"
would You have me do? Where
would You have me go? What would you have me say, and
to whom? Let us
today be neither arrogant nor falsely humble...We cannot
judge ourselves, nor need we do so. These are but attempts
to hold decision off, and to delay commitment to our
function. It is not our part to judge our worth, nor
can we know what role is best for us; what we can do
within a larger plan we cannot see in its entirety.
Our part is cast in Heaven... Whatever your appointed
role may be, it was selected by the Voice for God ...
Seeing your strengths exactly as they are, and equally
aware of where they can be best applied, for what, to
whom and when, He chooses and accepts your part for
you. ...that one Voice appoints your function, and relays
it to you, giving you the strength to understand it,
do what it entails, and to succeed in everything you
do that is related to it.
To accept that we have
a part to play in God's plan is not arrogance, as the
ego would have us believe. Rather it is the beginning
of accepting our reality as children of God. It is the
willingness to let go of our ego evaluations of ourselves
as unworthy, inadequate, weak, and alone in life, and
to accept that God's Voice is within us—offering
us all the wisdom, strength, energy, courage, direction,
and love we need to fulfill what God would have us do.
It is true humility, accepting that God's Will is certain
and uniting our will with His.
The wholeness of Creation
is incomplete without any of us. We are all part of
it, and we are all equally indispensable.
You are altogether irreplaceable
in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part in
it, and while you leave your part empty your eternal
place merely waits for your return. God, through His
Voice, reminds you of it.
Accepting our part in
God's plan is remembering that we have an eternal place
in the unity of creation and recognizing that we need
to help each other remember and awaken to that reality.
Our special function is
to help those who cross our life path, for they have
been, in a sense, entrusted to us by God. And we help
them by being willing to see the face of Christ in them—by
recognizing and forgiving the projections and illusions
we have looked upon instead. As we offer them release,
we are set free with them.
We need not know the whole
plan nor even how to fulfill our part in it. If we are
willing, we can trust that we will be shown and guided.
accept my part in God's plan for salvation...give Him
the words, and He will do the rest. He will enable you
to understand your special function. He will open up
the way to happiness, and peace and trust will be His
gifts; His answer to your words...And you will have
conviction then of Him Who knows the function you have
on earth as well as Heaven."
Just as Moses was assured
when he answered God's call to him to lead his brothers
and sisters to freedom, we too are assured of success
in our function—because God will be with us. And
doubts we have along the way are simply attempts by
the ego to keep us forgetful of who we really are, and
Who makes sure our way. Yet we will fulfill our function,
for God's Will for us is fulfillment.
"If you knew Who
walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear
would be impossible. Your feet are safely set upon the
road that leads the world to God...Forget not He has
placed His Hand in yours, and given you your brothers
in His Trust that you are worthy of His Trust in you...His
Trust has made your pathway certain and your goal secure.
You will not fail your brothers nor your Self."
Outcome is Certain and Guaranteed by God
"Who walks with me?
This question should be asked a thousand times a day,
till certainty has ended doubting and established peace.
Today let doubting cease ..."
We can rest in the assurance
that we can do what God would have us do. We will awaken
to the freedom and awareness of perfect oneness that
is Heaven, and all our brothers and sisters with us.
We will say yes to God's call in us, for it is our own
deepest longing as well. And that outcome is as certain
"Forget not once
this journey is begun the end is certain. Doubt along
the way will come and go and go to come again. Yet is
the ending sure. No one can fail to do what God appointed
him to do. When you forget, remember that you walk with
Him and with His Word upon your heart. Who could despair
when Hope like this is his? Illusions of despair may
seem to come, but learn how not to be deceived by them.
Behind each one there is reality and there is God ...
The end is sure and guaranteed by God."
Like Moses, we can accept
our part in God's plan. Like Moses, we need not be perfect.
We need but bring the doubts and fears that threaten
our peace, again and again, to the Holy Spirit, and
we will hear in some way the same answer Moses heard—this
single Answer God has given us all.
be with you—as I have been with you always—as
I am with you now."
Berke The core practices
of A Course in Miracles are forgiveness and
listening to the Holy Spirit, our inner teacher,
the voice for God within us.