The title for chapter 9 is The Acceptance of the Atonement. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Acceptance of Reality, The Answer to Prayer, The Correction of Error, The Holy Spirit’s Plan of Forgiveness, The Unhealed Healer, The Acceptance of Your Brother, The Two Evaluations, and Grandeur versus Grandiosity.
As Christians, we are taught to seek after the will of God, people pray for this will to be revealed to them and live in fear that they are living lives contrary to God’s will for them. From this comes a fear of God, that he will be displeased with us if we get to the end of our lives and have not figured it out yet. This Course teaches that the Will of God is You! God’s will was to create you to be an extension of who he is. “If then, a mind believes that its will is different from His, it can only decide either that there is no God or that Gods will is fearful. The former accounts for the atheist and the latter for the martyr, who believes that God demands sacrifices. Either of these insane decisions will induce panic, because the atheist believes he is alone, and the martyr believes that God is crucifying him. God is Love and you do want Him. This is your will. Ask for this and you will be answered, because you will be asking only for what belongs to you.” God’s will for us is to be united with him so his love can shine through us to love others.
One of the questions we all ask is why our prayers are not answered. This course gives an interesting answer to this question. “Suppose, then, that what you ask of the Holy Spirit is what you really want, but you are still afraid of it. Should this be the case, your attainment of it would no longer be what you want.” An example would be that you are praying for a pay raise but it would include more responsibility at work. But a part of you is fearful that you may not be able to handle the additional responsibility. Because the Holy Spirit does not want you living in fear, you most likely will not be given a raise. “The Bible emphasizes that all prayer is answered, and this is indeed true. The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response. Yet it is equally certain that no response given by Him will ever be one that would increase fear. It is possible that His answer will not be heard. It is impossible, however, that it will be lost. There are many answers you have already received but have not yet heard. I assure you that they are waiting for you.” What I believe this statement is referring to is that anytime we pray, our prayers are immediately answered but the answers are placed in a “holding” area until we can receive or “hear” them. Using the above example, the pay raise with increased responsibility was answered but put on hold, waiting until you overcame your fear of the increased responsibility. Once that fear was gone, you would then receive the pay raise.
This chapter talks about the difference between grandeur which comes from God, and grandiosity which comes from ego. I looked up the definitions of these words in the dictionary and found that grandeur means glorious, magnificence, majestic, splendor and superb. Grandiosity means seeming to be impressive but not really possible or practical. So, the ego takes what is of God and attempts to replicate it and hopes we can’t tell the difference. God sees us as being of great worth and the ego wants us to believe we are worth very little. “The ego will tell you that you are insane, and argue that grandeur cannot be a real part of you because of the littleness in which it believes. Yet your grandeur is not delusional because you did not make it. You made grandiosity and are afraid of it because it is a form of attack but your grandeur is of God, who created it out of His love.”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson