I wrote on this section in depth back in 2014 when we presented monthly themes for the Tuesday Radio Show. I share some of those thoughts here.
From 2014 —
This week’s reading is Chapter 16, IV. The Illusions and the Reality of Love. Remember these are the insights that I receive as I read and let Holy Spirit show me how I can apply to my own life.
Paragraph 1 – Be not afraid to look upon the special hate relationship, for freedom lies in looking at it…. For the special love relationship, in which the meaning of love is hidden, is undertaken solely to offset the hate, but not to let it go. Your salvation will rise clearly before your open eyes as you look on this.
We have grave fear to look within. I know I did early on in my study and practice of ACIM. I thought that I would find something even more terrifying if I did. Instead I found my way Home. Whenever I take time to question how I perceive all of my relationships and do that all important self-inquiry what insights come! And Holy Spirit is so gentle and kind. Even when an issue or problem arises I can see where I have projected outward my own fear for that is what is returned to me. I have to own responsibility for the insanity in my mind. I want to transform my special relationships unto holy ones thus allowing the healing of my mind. What freedom to know that my brother has done nothing, that I have done nothing and together we are EVERYTHING. I’ve seen this so clearly once again over the last few weeks as I sit with Holy Spirit and allow myself to become aware of every projection I have made, each story I have written, and each grievance I have held. It may not be pretty to look at, but with the willingness and openness to His Teaching, I can be led to deep awareness and the Light of Love. It is never about the other person but it is about my own thoughts. I am willing to open my eyes.
Paragraph 2 – Be not unwilling now; you are too near, and you will cross the bridge in perfect safety, translated quietly from war to peace. For the illusion of love will never satisfy, but its reality, which awaits you on the other side, will give you everything.
Yes, Love is here. I am revealing my heart as I take responsibility. It only hurts if I believe it hurts. Otherwise it is another thorn removed. I am safe and secure and I am whole.
Still with Text, Chapter 16, IV. The Illusion and the Reality of Love for this week. This post contains my insights on paragraphs 3-4. Be sure you are taking time with the reading as well for your own insights.
T-16.IV.3. The special love relationship is an attempt to limit the destructive effects of hate by finding a haven in the storm of guilt. 2 It makes no attempt to rise above the storm, into the sunlight. 3 On the contrary, it emphasizes the guilt outside the haven by attempting to build barricades against it, and keep within them. p337 4 The special love relationship is not perceived as a value in itself, but as a place of safety from which hatred is split off and kept apart. 5 The special love partner is acceptable only as long as he serves this purpose. 6 Hatred can enter, and indeed is welcome in some aspects of the relationship, but it is still held together by the illusion of love. 7 If the illusion goes, the relationship is broken or becomes unsatisfying on the grounds of disillusionment.
T-16.IV.4. Love is not an illusion. 2 It is a fact. 3 Where disillusionment is possible, there was not love but hate. 4 For hate [is] an illusion, and what can change was never love. 5 It is sure that those who select certain ones as partners in any aspect of living, and use them for any purpose which they would not share with others, are trying to live with guilt rather than die of it. 6 This is the choice they see. 7 And love, to them, is only an escape from death. 8 They seek it desperately, but not in the peace in which it would gladly come quietly to them. 9 And when they find the fear of death is still upon them, the love relationship loses the illusion that it is what it is not. 10 When the barricades against it are broken, fear rushes in and hatred triumphs.
Rising above the storm is the only way to see the light of truth about relationships. Building the barricade to love keeps me in the dark and in the misery. In the special relationship, at least from what I experienced in my life is that I wanted the other person there to keep me safe. They are to do what I have degreed in my mind. They are to protect me valiantly. They carry my banner to the ends of the earth proclaiming their love and adoration for me. They swear their oath of allegiance and will ever do battle to those who oppose me. And what if they oppose me? The sword is drawn and the blood of hatred is shed. Such was it pictured in my mind. Ha, I do love the medieval times so that is what appeared in my mind as I related to this passage.
What I think was love, was not. It was full of controls, levers and maneuvers to keep what I wanted of the relationship. And if that falls to the wayside, then God help us both. I can see that in many past relationships, particularly that of partners. I looked to them to fulfill my needs, to right the wrongs done to me as a child yet receiving a whole new list of wrongs to be added. Each person thereafter had to make up for the past sins of someone else. Then I come to see that love was not what I thought it was. It was conditional, built upon a set of unspoken rules filled with hatred and guilt with a great lack of miscommunication. It was not love.
God’s love is not an illusion. He doesn’t bait and switch His Love to something dreadfully painful. He loves me without conditions, no expectations and certainly no hidden resentments stabbing at me left and right. His love is simple and pure, no unseen agendas. Just pure love is all God is. He offers me escape from the so-called “love” that I made that has kept me in the dungeon. The light has dawned and I have accepted His Love as the One and Only True Love. And in accepting It, I am called to extend that Love to my brothers. I am reminded to be as Holy Spirit to One and All. My agenda drops from my hand and I see truly now and forever.
Today’s insights on paragraphs 5-6 as we work through the Text, Chapter 16, IV. The Illusion and the Reality of Love. Keep in mind our theme for this month is “Healing Relationships”.
How are you doing with healing your relationships? Have you placed them on the altar? Are you ready to look within?
T-16.IV.5. There are no triumphs of love. 2 Only hate is at all concerned with the “triumph of love.” 3 The illusion of love can triumph over the illusion of hate, but always at the price of making both illusions. 4 As long as the illusion of hatred lasts, so long will love be an illusion to you. 5 And then the only choice remaining possible is which illusion you prefer. 6 There [is] no conflict in the choice between truth and illusion. 7 Seen in these terms, no one would hesitate. 8 But conflict enters the instant the choice seems to be one between illusions, but this choice does not matter. 9 Where one choice is as dangerous as the other, the decision must be one of despair.
T-16.IV.6. Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. 2 It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it [is] necessary to seek for what is false. 3 Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. 4 And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another must fail. 5 If you seek love outside yourself you can be certain that you perceive hatred within, and are afraid of it. 6 Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but only from its reality.
Examining relationships, all of my relationships, has been on my screen for some time. I’ve placed the barriers there either with lack of communication or miscommunication or with my beliefs, my controls, my special love, my special hate, my guilt, my blame, my self-inflicted pain and so on. I’ve opened up to listening more and more to others, being quiet, being open to hearing even the most hurtful ideas and lies flung at me. I’m willing to learn and learn and learn again. I’m willing to be vulnerable. I’m willing to stare at each of my illusions, face them with the Holy Spirit and allow them to be transformed. I am prepared to let my emotions fall where they may so that Holy Spirit can instruct me only of love. I am happy to look within and not be afraid to do so. I am eager to inquire. I am pleased to heal. Peace has come.
Today, paragraphs 7-10 of the reading, Text, Chapter 16, IV. The Illusion and the Reality of Love
Paragraph 7 – And, as such, it is nothing more than an attempt to bring love into fear, and make it real in fear.
Paragraph 8 – Your relationship with them is without guilt, and this enables you to look on all your brothers with gratitude, because your creations were created in union with them.
Paragraph 9 – Fear not to cross to the abode of peace and perfect holiness.
Paragraph 10 – Every illusion you accept into your mind by judging it to be attainable removes your own sense of completion, and thus denies the Wholeness of your Father…. To lift the veil that seems so dark and heavy, it is only needful to value truth beyond all fantasy, and to be entirely unwilling to settle for illusion in place of truth.
I know that I have used many defenses to keep love from me. Yet I am grateful and feel blessed for the uncomfortable situations that come my way, even if I have been blindsided. They are a true gift of healing. So to accept this gift, I need to realize the hidden guilt that I have been attacking myself with. When an uncomfortable situation occurs it is never about what the other person says or does as it is only mirroring something within me that needs to be given serious inquiry.
Perhaps it turns out it is a behavior that I used to use as a defense or one I still use as a defense. This could be anything from giving someone the silent treatment, to fabricating stories, to mistrust, or to the feeling of entitlement. I may have thought I had healed these areas before but when it is presented in the form of someone else, especially out of the blue then up comes the guilt, up and out using it as a shield. And so there went the first mental blow to the other person, the second blow to me. With realizing what is beyond what the body does, that is, the situation that occurred, I can understand that there is something deep within me that is just begging to be brought to light. I’ve been bludgeoning myself with it! What is that feeling that is taking hold? Is it insecurity? Is it feeling unloved? Uncared for? Anger? That feeling can guide me to seeing the learned programming I have used for so long to keep me safe.
We all want to be and stay safe. We don’t want to be attacked, even self-attack, really. Yet, I can admit to myself, “Wait, this is old programming. I’m sorry that I took this seriously.” And then I allow the dissipation of what I am feeling to be seen as a mistake and not the horrible crime that it appeared to be. I say to myself, “I understand that I act in ways that are defending myself because I feel threatened. My whole self feels vulnerable and threatened and I respond as such. I am afraid of being vulnerable.” These revelations can assist me in healing more deeply the illusions of self. It’s never about what is going on in the external world. It’s what is going on within the recesses of my mind.
When I see a behavior in my brother, that behavior may be tripping me up on truly looking at the source, my own mind. I’m positioning blame on that brother so I do not look at the guilt that is in my mind for the very same behavior. The guilt that I am using as self-attack. This is part of the self-discovery that I can embrace. I can make wiser choices and simply move on. I can trust the Holy Spirit in this. He is there to look at the feelings with me as I feel them. He transforms my thoughts that are delusions. And, He helps me to remember that only the truth is true. It is always when I have the willingness and openness to take a peek within that I will bring the darkness to the light. Peace then is restored. Love is realized. Amen and amen.
Final paragraphs for this week’s reading. Text, Ch. 16, IV. The Illusion and the Reality of Love.
Paragraph 11 – Would you not go through fear to love? For such the journey seems to be. Love calls, but hate would have you stay. Hear not the call of hate, and see no fantasies. For your completion lies in truth, and nowhere else.
Paragraph 12 – Turn with me firmly away from all illusions now, and let nothing stand in the way of truth.
Paragraph 13 – What would interfere with God must interfere with you. …On this side of the bridge to timelessness you understand nothing. But as you step lightly across it, upheld [by] timelessness, you are directed straight to the Heart of God. At its center, and only there, you are safe forever, because you are complete forever. There is no veil the Love of God in us together cannot lift. The way to truth is open. Follow it with me.
So as we come to the end of the section the choice is left in our hands. What words are needed? We either decide to remain in fear, hate and misery, thereby running interference on God or know that Jesus will help us to lift the veil of illusion. What it all came down to is that we wanted to feel safe. We don’t feel safe in this world and we are searching endlessly for that safety. The search stops now. Truth stands before us, let us join together here and now, release those false beliefs about ourselves and enter into Love. Jesus leads the way and where he goes, I know I need to follow. Come along with me.