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Lesson 184

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.

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.

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.

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 arbitrary names the world bestows can be withdrawn as they are raised to doubt.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. (ACIM, W-184.1:1–15:9)

Posted in ACIM Lessons

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