Jesus' Hand: Exchanging Our Gifts for His, Part I
Excerpted from pp. 232-235 of Volume
One (All Are Called) of the two-volume work entitled
Message of A Course in Miracles, by Kenneth Wapnick,
copyright 1997 by the Foundation
for A Course in Miracles.
Reproduced here with permission.
from our discussion in the previous section, we can see that all Jesus
asks of us is that we be aware of exactly what we are doing, and the true
cost of our mistaken decision: namely, by choosing the ego over him, we
are willing to forego the knowledge of Who we are as Christ and the memory
of the Love of our Source. And so Jesus' constant question to us: "Is this
measly crumb of specialness what you really want, 0 holy Son of God, when
I offer you instead the fullness of love's banquet?" It is a question he
continually puts to us in A Course in Miracles, as seen in the following
We begin with
a paragraph from workbook Lesson 133, "I will not value what is valueless,"
which succinctly expresses this central point of the inherent lack of value
of anything here, and how silly it is to desire what can bring us no true
do not ask too much of life, but far too little. When you let your
mind be drawn to bodily concerns, to things you buy, to eminence as valued
by the world, you ask for sorrow, not for happiness. This course does not
attempt to take from you the little that you have. It does not try to substitute
utopian ideas for satisfactions which the world contains. There are no
satisfactions in the world (W-pI.133.2; italics mine).
A passage from "The
Laws of Healing" expands on the thoughts of the above paragraph, contrasting
God's Will that His Son be truly happy, with the meager "treasure" of our
own identity as a separated and therefore isolated self:
is the Will of God? He wills His Son have everything. And this He guaranteed
when He created him as everything. It is impossible that anything
be lost, if what you have is what you are .... Here
[in this world] does the Son of God ask not too much, but far too little.
He would sacrifice his own identity with everything, to find a little treasure
of his own. And this he cannot do without a sense of isolation, loss and
loneliness. This is the treasure he has sought to find. And he could
only be afraid of it. Is fear a treasure? Can uncertainty be what you want?
Or is it a mistake about your will, and what you really are? ... God's
Son could never be content with less than full salvation and escape from
guilt. For otherwise he still demands that he must make some sacrifice,
and thus denies that everything is his, unlimited by loss of any kind ....
If loss in any form is possible, then is God's Son made incomplete and
not himself. Nor will he know himself, nor recognize his will, He has forsworn
his Father and himself, and made Them both his enemies in hate.
The section then
closes with still another account, quoted earlier, of the miracle's functioning,
which simply reminds the Son of God Who he truly is as God's Son:
can make no change at all. But it can make what always has been true be
recognized by those who know it not; and by this little gift of truth but
let to be itself, the Son of God allowed to be himself, and all creation
freed to call upon the Name of God as one (T-26.VII.11:1-4, 7-14; 14:4-5,7-9;
20:4-5; italics mine in 11:7-10).
Song of Prayer, one of two supplements to A Course in Miracles,
we find the same exhortation from Jesus that we not settle for less than
who we are, and for what alone is our true treasure. Here, the context
is the song of prayer that Father and Son sing to each other in single
voice, endlessly and eternally. It is the song that is our true inheritance,
and which in our ignorance and insanity we reject for the little and the
specific. These, the sum and substance of our individual existence, are
of the reply of His Voice. The real sound is always a song of thanksgiving
and of Love.
One of the loveliest
expressions of Jesus presenting us with the choice between our insane and
meager gifts or his glorious ones comes in "The Gifts of God," the prose
poem Helen took down in 1978. It began as a special message to her from
Jesus during a time of great anxiety, in which he pleaded with her to accept
his gifts of love in place of her ego's gifts of fear. The full story of
the scribing of this message can be found in Absence
from Felicity: The Story of Helen Schucman and Her Scribing of A
COURSE IN MIRACLES, pp. 419-22, but as will be seen from this
passage, it is a wonderfully comforting message for all students of A
Course in Miracles. It points to the tremendous cost we are willing
to pay to be right, remaining as an individualized and special self, and
our great happiness when we finally and gratefully realize we have been
You cannot, then,
ask for the echo. It is the song that is the gift. Along with it come the
overtones, the harmonics, the echoes, but these are secondary. In true
prayer you hear only the song. All the rest is merely added. You have sought
first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else has indeed been given you (S-1.1.2:8-3:6).
We begin with
this summarizing statement about the gifts of fear -- the dreams that constitute
our world -- that began with the belief that we could separate from our
Creator and thus establish fear as the substitute for love:
was made, and with it came the need for gifts to lend the substance to
a dream in which there is no substance. Now the dream seems to have value,
for its offerings appear as hope and strength and even love, if only for
an instant. They content the frightened dreamer for a little while, and
let him not remember the first dream which gifts of fear but offer him
Jesus now contrasts
this nightmare of separation, individuality, and fear that we have called
reality and valued above all else, with his true gifts of love, imploring
us to listen to his words and act upon them:
of the Father you forgot, you have not put your idols in His place nor
made Him give the gifts of fear you made. Let me be Savior from illusions.
Truth may be concealed from you by evil dreams, but it is only from the
dream that you have need from saving. Truth is still untouched by your
deceptions. Yet you cannot go past that first dream without a Savior's
hand in yours. Each gift of fear would hold you back unless you let me
lift it from your mind by showing you that it is but a dream within a larger
dream of hopelessness in which there is no hope. Take not its gifts,
for they condemn you to a lasting hell which will endure when all the seeming
joy the gifts appeared to give have passed away.... Help me give you salvation.
Let us share the strength of Christ and look upon the dream in which illusions
started, and which serve to keep their birthplace secret and apart from
the illumination of the truth. Come unto me.... Salvation needs your help
as well as mine. Do not forget you do not answer for yourself alone.
This passage, incidentally,
echoes the closing inspirational words of the text, of which we cite here
only a sentence -- Jesus' appeal to us to listen:
My call to you
is that you offer help from all the dreams the holy Son of God imagines,
from the time that first of dreams was given false reality until all dreaming
ends forever. Could a gift be holier than this? And could the need within
a world of dreams be more acute or more compelling? Give me help in this,
and not one gift the world may seek to give, nor one illusion held against
the truth, can bind you longer (The
Gifts of God, pp. 120-21).
me not the little gift I ask, when in exchange I lay before your feet the
peace of God, and power to bring this peace to everyone who wanders in
the world uncertain, lonely, and in constant fear (T-31.VIII.7: 1).
TO JESUS' HAND, PART II=>
TO HUMILITY VERSUS ARROGANCE, PART 4
TO INDEX OF LINKS - WRITINGS OF KEN WAPNICK
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