The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 21

The Mystery of Oneness

One of the greatest points of confusion as well as disagreement among students concerns the Course’s teachings on oneness. There are a number of interpretations that have surfaced about how oneness and non duality play out with God, the Trinity and the Sonship.

There is a fair amount of agreement that there is oneness in the true reality but disagreement as to how literally it manifests.

We discussed some of these points earlier but in this chapter we will explore the subject a little deeper.

The problem comes from the Course itself for the intent seems to be to place strong emphasis on oneness. In doing so some passages give the impression that there is not only union in heaven but a oneness with no parts, or any individual identities or choice.

Then other passages give other impressions interpreted as there being many types of beings in heaven, to heaven being a perfect version of earth.

The best authority on this subject is the Course itself so let us take a look at the whole context to see what it has to say.

The oneness of the life of the Son is the main point of disagreement but there is also the oneness of the Trinity to consider. Concerning them it is written:

“Father and Son and Holy Spirit are as One, as all your brothers join as one in truth. Christ and His Father never have been separate.” T-25.I.5

“The ego is legion, but the Holy Spirit is One… For reality is one with the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” T-6.I.10

“Christ knows of no separation from His Father,” T-15.VIII.4

This oneness includes us as Sons: “God created you as one with Him.” T-13.VII.8

Concerning God as a whole it is written:

“there are no separate parts in what exists within God’s Mind. It is forever One, eternally united and at peace.” T-30.III.6

So concerning the Trinity, which includes us as Sons of God, we are told in these verses that we are “one,” there is “no separation.” And “no separate parts.”

If one takes these statements too literally he could wind up believing that God has no parts whatsoever and after our awakening and return to heaven there will no such thing as any individual life or choice for all there will be is one life. You as an individual entity will no longer exist. What is left of you will be God all alone with no one else with which to share anything. If there are no parts there is only the One all alone.

One can get this idea if he goes by a few isolated passages, but the Course as a whole des not support it. The first thing we need to clear up is what the Course means when it speaks of oneness.

It gives us a clue in the first passage we quoted. Here it is again:

“Father and Son and Holy Spirit are as One, as all your brothers join as one in truth. ” T-25.I.5

Here it tells us that oneness is created by joining “as one in truth. ”

This joining together of parts to maintain oneness is emphasized a number of times in the Course. Here is a good example:

“In the holy meeting place are joined the Father and His creations, and the creations of His Son with Them together. There is one link that joins Them all together, holding Them in the oneness out of which creation happens.” T-14.VIII.4

A key phrase is that “There is one link that joins Them all together.”

Then we have passages like this that seem to support oneness with no parts:

What is the same can not be different, and what is one can not have separate parts. T-25.I.7

Some will quote this and say, “See, in heaven there will be just one life with no parts.”

But notice that the verse does not say “no parts” but no “separate parts.” When the many parts of God’s creation are joined together into “one link” then they are no longer separate parts, but united parts of one life.

Think of a puzzle with the pieces separated in a box. You look at one piece and it is not joined to anything and only confusion would result by trying to see the whole picture from it. But then if one joins the pieces together he sees a completed picture. The pieces are no longer separated parts, but joined into a union that creates the one picture.

Similarly in heaven all lives are joined together so they are not separate but create the one life. If there are missing pieces the life of God itself is affected:

“God is lonely without His Sons, and they are lonely without Him.” T-2.III.5

The oneness of heaven can be manifest by a oneness through God’s teachers here on earth:

“God’s teachers appear to be many, for that is what is the world’s need. Yet being joined in one purpose, and one they share with God, how could they be separate from each other? What does it matter if they then appear in many forms? Their minds are one; their joining is complete. And God works through them now as one, for that is what they are.” M-12.2

These teachers are individual entities living on earth yet they are not separate from each other because they are joined together since “their minds are one.”

This joining or linking together through sharing the one mind of God is what the oneness of ACIM is all about. It is not telling us that God or the Son is all alone with no parts.

For one thing we are told that there are four categories of the parts of the One God in heaven.

The first is the creator who is called the Father. The second is the Son who was created by the Father.

I and my Father are one, but there are two parts to the statement in recognition that the Father is greater. T-1.II.4

We are told that the Son was “created only to create” T-14.I.4 and though the Father and Son are linked as one there is a difference in that “the Father is greater.”

Then we have a third entity called the Holy Spirit who was created to fill a need that neither the Father or Son could do:

“He came into being with the separation as a protection, inspiring the Atonement principle at the same time. Before that there was no need for healing, for no one was comfortless. ” T-5.I.5

Then we have the fourth major part of the one united life in heaven which are the angels:

“You (the Son) were created ABOVE the angels because your role involves creation as well as protection. You who are in the image of the Father need bow only to HIM, before whom I kneel with you.” UR T 1 B 30y

Whereas the Son was created to create, the Holy Spirit to atone, the angels were created to protect. Interestingly, the mission of the Son is said to be “above” that of the angels.

So the Course tells us that in heaven there are four categories of lives with four different purposes yet united as one, all sharing the same mind of God. They are not separate parts, but united parts joined together by the one mind.

The next point of confusion comes over the life of the Son. All students agree that the Course clearly tells us that the one Son of God is us, but that is as far as the unity goes. Because the Course says several times that God has only one Son they literally interpret this to mean that there are no parts and one entity who is the Son is all there is. In other words, when they awaken and find themselves in heaven they will discover that this whole world was a dream of the one Son with no parts. None of the people in the dream existed in any fashion.

It is amazing that this belief has gotten as much traction as it has since the Course gives us quite a few details of what it means by the “one Son.”

Here is just one example of many that could be cited:

“It should especially be noted that God has only one son. If all His creations are His Sons, every one must be an integral part of the whole Sonship. The Sonship in its Oneness transcends the sum of its parts. However, this is obscured as long as any of its parts is missing. That is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all the parts of the Sonship have returned.” T-2.VII.6

Notice that the word “part” is used four times in this short statement about the “one son.” Each individual, such as you and I, are “an integral part of the whole Sonship,” and if “any of its parts is missing” the transcendent oneness is “obscured.”

One of the best illustrations that there are parts or groups in the Sonship is the account of the initial separation as follows:

“The Atonement actually began long before the crucifixion. Many Souls offered their efforts on behalf of the separated ones, but they could not withstand the strength of the attack and had to be brought back. Angels came, too, but their protection did not suffice because the separated ones were not interested in peace.” UR T 2 B 43

Here is a description of the beginning of the journey of the Prodigal Son (or separation) and the interplay of three groups. The first were the Sons (a part of the Sonship) called the “separated ones” who began the journey into the world of dreams and illusion. These are the Prodigal Son in the parable.

The second was another group of Sons, or “many souls” who did not separate and tried to prevent the separation. These are represented in the parable by the faithful son who remained with the Father.

Not mentioned in the parable, but in the Course were angels who tried to help “but their protection did not suffice.”

Thus was oneness disturbed and heaven “shattered” for a time (See T-18.I.12)

This shattering caused this situation:

“The Sonship in its Oneness DOES transcend the sum of its parts. However, it loses this special state as long as any of its parts are missing. This is why the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved UNTIL all of the individual parts of the Sonship have returned. Only then, in the true sense, can the meaning of wholeness be understood.” UR T 2 E 52

This account clearly tells us that the Son consists of not just one part, but all the individual lives are a part with free will. We can use that will to unite with the One Life of God or we can create the illusion of going against it as happened in the separation.

A point of confusion and division occurs among students as they read certain passages that sound like we are in the midst of the separation and need to be saved, but then there are others that make it sound like we never left home, nothing has happened and nothing needs done. These two descriptions sound like they cannot both be true. Here is a passage that sheds some light.

“Therefore, it is the tiny part of yourself, the little thought that seems split off and separate, the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God’s keeping, and needs no guide… This is the little part you think you stole from Heaven. Give it back to Heaven.” T-18.IX.1

“Any part of the Sonship can believe in error or incompleteness if he so chooses.” T-2.VII.6

So the answer to the conundrum is that there are two parts to ourselves. The first is that “tiny part” of ourselves that split off. That is you as you seem to exist in a body in this world. Then there is the “rest (that) is fully in God’s keeping.” This is the real part of yourself that is still linked to the one life of the Sonship in heaven. This is sometimes called your “other self” as in this text:

“There is another vision and another Voice in which your freedom lies, awaiting but your choice. And if you place your faith in Them, you will perceive another self in you. This other self sees miracles as natural.” T-21.V.3

Concerning this “other self” it says:

“You are part of reality, which stands unchanged beyond the reach of your ego but within easy reach of spirit.” T-4.I.8

That little part of the Sonship that “you stole from Heaven” is “irreplaceable”:

“You are altogether irreplaceable in the Mind of God. No one else can fill your part in it, and while you leave your part of it empty your eternal place merely waits for your return.” T-9.VIII.10

Sounds like the part that is you is pretty important for “without you there would be an empty place in God’s Mind.” T-11.I.2-3

Another point that produces some confusion are the Course’s statements about the part and the whole such as this one:

“The idea of part-whole relationships has meaning only at the level of perception, where change is possible. Otherwise, there is no difference between the part and whole.” T-8.VIII.1

“The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you. “T-16.II.3

Those who believe in no individual parts will say that this proves their point. ACIM talks about parts but the parts and the whole are the same meaning that the talk of parts is symbolic as there is only one life with no parts. There only seems like there is more than one part in our dream world. When we wake up there will be no parts.

Speaking of parts this thinking is another example where the whole rather than the part of the teaching needs to be considered. We have already given ample evidence from the Course itself that there are four major parts or divisions in heaven itself and that the Son has parts. When the Course speaks of the parts containing the whole it is not saying there are no parts, but describing the parts similar to how we would a hologram.

A hologram can appear as one image or be divided into many. When divided the parts contain the information of the whole so they can duplicate the image of the whole. It is interesting that the investigation into holograms was very elementary when ACIM was received and Helen Schucman

most likely had never heard of one, yet the Course talks about God and its parts as if they correspond to a hologram.

The Course also says this:

“The whole does define the part, but the part does not define the whole. “T-8.VIII.1

That is an amazing description of how the initial hologram relates to its parts. The whole affects all the parts but the part does not affect the whole. Change the image of the initial hologram and all the parts change, but anything you do to the part does not affect change to the whole.

ACIM tells us that God extends or expands His creations and all creation shares in the extension, but the part cannot create itself and affect the whole.

Students with a knowledge of holograms are therefore quite impressed with the correspondence in ACIM of God and Its creations with holographic science since the Course was written before the general public knew what a hologram was.

So, just as a hologram can have many parts with each part containing the whole so can the many extensions of the one Son do the same

There are, however, two ingredients of heaven that are one with no parts that link the Sons of God so all the parts function as one life. The first is the mind of God and the second is the Spirit.

ACIM tells us the Spirit is perfected so even the illusion of division with it is impossible. It is not even aware of our world but only has contact with us through the Holy Spirit which was created for that purpose.

The mind represents the creative function of God and He has shared it with us. With the separation the one mind had the illusion of being split into the higher and lower with the higher being linked to Spirit and the lower to the ego. But the split only happened in the illusion of the dream but all powers of the mind whether in or out of the dream come from the one mind.

You could compare Spirit and mind to space that contains our universe. When we send a rocket into space or observe stars in it through a telescope we do not speak of spaces plural but always space singular.

Why?

Because there is just one space, but that one contains everything, trillions of parts.

Similarly, the mind and Spirit from God are one, singular, yet Spirit contains everything and mind links everything.

You are a Son of God, a part in the divine space or Spirit of God, yet when in your right mind you are the life of the whole as if you are the whole.

We “are of one mind and spirit with Him. (God)” T-5.VII.3

The paramount fact that “God is love” (T-9.I.9) tells us that there are many parts to the one life we call God. For love to exist there has to be more than one. After all, we are told that “love is the same as union.” T-16.V.3 Union can only happen when there is more than one part.

To be united with His Sons is very important to God for it is written that “God is lonely without His Sons, and they are lonely without Him.” T-2.III.5

Because God is love He desires to be united with His Sons and for this reason seeks the end of the separation.

The very function of love tells us that many parts are involved:

“For it is the function of love to unite all things unto itself, and to hold all things together by extending its wholeness.” T-12.VIII.7

Love “holds the universe together in its meaning.” T-15.XI.6

This tells us that love is a power that can “hold all things together” and holds the actual “universe together.”

We can see that this teaching on love is true when we examine how it plays out in our lives. Think of a time that you fell in love. What was foremost in your mind? There was nothing you wanted more than to be with that person and be as close and intimate as possible.

Because God is love He desires to pull all of His Sons toward a great center where they all share their essence.

This could not happen if God were all alone. If this were the case love could not exist because there would be no sharing or union.

As it is we stand “before the altar to one God, one Father, one Creator and one Thought, we stand together as one Son of God. Not separate from Him Who is our Source; not distant from one brother who is part of our one Self.” W-pI.187.10

Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE,       Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE, Twenty HERE

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 20

Reason and the Mysteries

There is some division among ACIM students over the use of mind, logic and reason in pursuing the objectives of the Course. Some think we should just study it and accept what it seems to say without question, whereas others see many items that seem to warrant greater understanding and ask questions to seek more depth in the meaning.

Actually, this type of division is very natural and is found to some degree in every group and organization as one side represents mind and the other emotion and the heart. Those polarized in mind are full of questions and are always seeking greater understanding, whereas those centered in emotion just like to accept things at face value and move on.

We are all influenced by both emotion and mind, but each individual tends to settle in one direction or the other. The mature person will balance the two, but many focus so much on one side that they miss the benefits of the other.

For instance, some who are centered in emotion will love the Course teachings on love, peace and awakening, and dismiss the idea of using mind and reason to understand the mysteries and nuances of the Course.

The question then arises as to whether it is of value to pursue the Course using mind, asking questions and using reason to see beyond what is written in black and white.

I submit that the use of mind in succeeding at understanding the Course is invaluable and will speed the student toward eventual graduation from the it. The understanding of any true piece of the mystery of existence can only help the student, not hinder.

The use of mind and reason is accepted by the Course itself.

“What reason points to you can see, because the witnesses on its behalf are clear. Only the totally insane can disregard them, and you have gone past this. Reason is a means that serves the Holy Spirit’s purpose in its own right.” T-21.V.7

Reason takes us to the source of ideas:

“reason sees the source of an idea as what will make it either true or false.” T-22.II.5

Reason is an important attribute of the higher part of our minds that can aid in our journey back home:

“The part of mind where reason lies was dedicated, by your will in union with your Father’s, to the undoing of insanity. Here was the Holy Spirit’s purpose accepted and accomplished, both at once. Reason is alien to insanity, and those who use it have gained a means which cannot be applied to sin. Knowledge is far beyond attainment of any kind. But reason can serve to open doors you closed against it. T-21.V.9

Here it calls this higher mind our “other self.”

“Reason lies in the other self you have cut off from your awareness.” T-21.V.4

The ego fights against the power of reason:

“Consider what the ego wants defenses for. Always to justify what goes against the truth, flies in the face of reason and makes no sense.” T-22.V.2

The ego is “devoid of reason” and doesn’t ask questions related to it:

“How can the segment of the mind devoid of reason understand what reason is, or grasp the information it would give? All sorts of questions may arise in it, but if the basic question stems from reason, it will not ask it.” T-21.V.4

Reason is a key ingredient in the undoing of the ego:

“The introduction of reason into the ego’s thought system is the beginning of its undoing, for reason and the ego are contradictory. Nor is it possible for them to coexist in your awareness. For reason’s goal is to make plain, and therefore obvious. You can see reason. This is not a play on words… reason sees through errors,” T-22.III.1

The Course gives this advice:

“Listen to Him Who speaks with reason, and brings your reason into line with His.” T-21.VI.8

“Reason cannot see sin but can see errors, and leads to their correction. It does not value them, but their correction.” T-21.VI.1

“You do not leave insanity by going somewhere else. You leave it simply by accepting reason where madness was. Madness and reason see the same things, but it is certain that they look upon them differently.” T-21.VI.3

Overall, the Course tells us that we gain the ability to transcend the erroneous thinking of the ego and gain the ability of pure reason through the Holy Spirit, which links us with higher mind, for reason is a quality of the mind.

Unfortunately, many spiritual seekers dismiss the mind as something that needs to be ignored. Many teachers of meditation say that we should be “mindless” and follow the script of the ego mentioned in the Course:

“the ego believes that mind is dangerous, and that to make mindless is to heal. But to make mindless is impossible, since it would mean to make nothing out of what God created.” T-8.IX.6

They may have a point when talking about the lower mind used by the ego, but the higher or real Mind “never sleeps.”

“The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. It is hard to recognize that thought and belief combine into a power surge that can literally move mountains.” T-2.VI.9

If we wish to correct the errors of separation and awaken to true reality, the mind is essential:

“It is essential to remember that only the mind can create, and that correction belongs at the thought level. ” T-2.V.1

So, how important is mind?

“If I did not think I would not exist, because life is thought.” W-pI.54.2

Then the ultimate mind is from God:

Father, Your Mind created all that is, Your Spirit entered into it, Your Love gave life to it.” W-pII.263.1

When we as humans use reason, mind and thought we become seekers and ask questions, yet many in the various spiritual traditions discourage such things. A popular Christian bumper sticker a while back read: “I found it!” This was a declaration that they had found the truth and there were no more questions and nothing more to seek.

Indeed, some religions excommunicate their members when they ask too many questions.

Since there is no organized body or authorized theology with ACIM, there is nothing to get expelled from, but there are times that seeking, reasoning and questioning does draw some criticism. Such a person is sometimes accused of being in the ego, insinuating that if he were not controlled by the ego he would not be delving into anything not accepted by the common thoughtform.

So let us look at the only real authority on the Course, which is the Course itself, and see what it says about the matter. Does it approve of seeking and asking questions?

First, it tells us who doesn’t approve – the ego:

“Its dictates, then, can be summed up simply as: “Seek and do not find.” This is the one promise the ego holds out to you, and the one promise it will keep.” T-12.IV.1

It repeats this idea several times. Here is one more:

“the ego’s basic doctrine, “Seek but do not find.” W-pI.71.4

The ego does not want you to seek and find because “The ego cannot afford to know anything.” T-7.VI.4

“true perception, a state of clarity which the ego, fearful of being judged truly, MUST avoid.” UR T 4 F 13

The Course is quite encouraging about asking questions and using the Holy Spirit to receive and verify answers:

“In all these diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, “What for?” This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything” T-4.V.6 The ego does not know what a real question is, although it asks an endless number” T-8.IX.1A Voice(God) will answer every question you ask, and a vision will correct the perception of everything you see.” T-12.VIII.4

As far as seeking goes, the Course speaks very positively about it:

“To seek and not to find is hardly joyous. Is this the promise you would keep? The Holy Spirit offers you another promise, and one that will lead to joy. For His promise is always, “Seek and you will find,” and under His guidance you cannot be defeated. His is the journey to accomplishment, and the goal He sets before you He will give you.” T-12.IV.4

“It is impossible that anyone could seek it (the truth) truly, and would not succeed.” W-pI.107.6

It is not the Holy Spirit that discourages questions. Instead, the Course says this:

“The enemies of love do not want questions: With love as enemy must cruelty become a god, and gods demand that those who worship them obey their dictates and refuse to question them. Harsh punishment is meted out relentlessly to those who ask if the demands are sensible or even sane.” W-pI.170.6

It is recommended that we ask sincere and meaningful questions:

“A pseudo-question has no answer. It dictates the answer even as it asks… An honest question is a learning tool that asks for something that you do not know. It does not set conditions for response, but merely asks what the response should be. But no one in a conflict state is free to ask this question,” T-27.IV.5

“‘Seek and ye shall find’ does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize. Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. The goal must be formulated clearly and kept in mind. Learning and wanting to learn are inseparable.” T-4.V.5.

“Perhaps there is another way to look at this. What can I lose by asking? Thus you now can ask a question that makes sense, and so the answer will make sense as well.” T-30.I.12

Many more positive references could be supplied, showing that ACIM approves of seeking and asking questions. Since this is the case, why would some discourage such things as being motivated by the ego?

There are several statements that seem to give ammunition to this idea. Here is one:

“The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts. The appreciation of wholeness comes only through acceptance.” T-11.V.13

From this some students conclude that seeking, asking questions and analysis are related to the ego and should be avoided. Instead, we should just go with the flow and accept.

But accept what?

One can accept truth as well as error, and we certainly do not want to be on the side of the ego accepting error as truth.

“the ego proceeds to the next step in its thought system: Error is real and truth is error.” T-11.V.14

Instead of taking the passage concerning analysis in isolation, we need to examine the rest of the text which reveals the big picture. It continues:

“for to analyze means to break down or to separate out. The attempt to understand totality by breaking it down is clearly the characteristically contradictory approach of the ego to everything. The ego believes that power, understanding and truth lie in separation, and to establish this belief it must attack. Unaware that the belief cannot be established, and obsessed with the conviction that separation is salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives by breaking it into small, disconnected parts, without meaningful relationships and therefore without meaning. The ego will always substitute chaos for meaning, for if separation is salvation, harmony is threat.” T-11.V.13

Far from reinforcing the idea that we should just blindly accept and not use our minds, these important words inform us as to the deceptive tactics of the ego in creating chaos.

It is a master at creating chaos because “The ego’s logic is as impeccable as that of the Holy Spirit, because your mind has the means at its disposal to side with Heaven or earth, as it elects. But again, remember that both are in you. T-5.V.1

Yes, the ego is great at arguing, but it has a major flaw in its conclusions:

“You may have carried the ego’s reasoning to its logical conclusion, which is total confusion about everything.” T-7.X.1

Instead of telling us that all use of mind, analysis and questioning are wrong, the passage under consideration reveals the mystery behind the master tactic of the ego to create chaos and confusion so that the truth will not be realized. And what is this tactic?

It is “to analyze means to break down or to separate out.”

“But isn’t that a good approach?” one may ask. Sometimes you have to see the separate parts of a thing to understand the whole.

True but this has nothing to do with the ego’s reasoning. It doesn’t break down and analyze to find the truth but instead is “obsessed with the conviction that separation is salvation, the ego attacks everything it perceives by breaking it into small, disconnected parts, without meaningful relationships and therefore without meaning.” T-11.V.13

The sincere seeker of truth may brake the whole into its parts and put them together again to enrich the understanding, but not the ego. It breaks the whole into parts and keeps them in separation. Looking only at the separate parts creates chaos and confusion. The advantage of dealing with the parts is that the ego can substitute truth for error and direct the needed parts to proving error is truth.

Let us pick a controversial topic today, such as global warming/climate change and see how the ego deals with it. The first thing to realize is that the ego uses the same tactics on both sides of something controversial like this. It doesn’t care if you are on the right or the left. It only cares that you will not see the whole picture and support confusion.

When you see people arguing on either side of this issue do you ever see them attempting to paint a picture of the whole problem and a wholeness solution?

Rarely.

Instead, what we see are those breaking the argument down to selective parts and using the part as proof of the whole.

Here’s an example. In the summer there is a particularly hot spell in your part of the world, though temperatures may be quite normal in other parts. Those representing the ego will say this is proof that we are having global warming and we must act.

Then when winter comes and there is a cold spell, the other side will say, “Doesn’t look like the earth is warming to me.”

Another example:

We have a period where there are more serious hurricanes than normal. One side will proclaim they are due to global warming and must act.

Then we have a period where there are fewer hurricanes than normal and the other side will say this is proof there is no problem.

Arguing using only a piece of the whole will not give us the whole truth, but lead to error and confusion instead. The only way to get to the truth of this or any other controversy is to look at the whole picture with all of the parts put together. Only then can two see as one and be in alignment with the Holy Spirit which does see the whole.

The problem is that “The ability to see a logical outcome depends on the willingness to see it.” T-7.X.2 Too many are just not willing to see the whole rather than the isolated part that supports their bias.

We must remember that all things were created by the mind of God and we share that mind. To not use that mind with its powers of reason is to neglect who we are.

“Alone we can do nothing, but together our minds fuse into something whose power is far beyond the power of its separate parts. By not being separate, the Mind of God is established in ours and as ours. This Mind is invincible because it is undivided.” T-8.V.1

We’ll end this chapter with a passage that presents a wonderful ideal to which students can aspire:

“Yet I do want to share my mind with you because we are of one Mind, and that Mind is ours. See only this Mind everywhere, because only this is everywhere and in everything. It is everything because it encompasses all things within itself. Blessed are you who perceive only this, because you perceive only what is true.” T-7.V.10

Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE,  Eighteen HERE, Nineteen HERE

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 19

The Mystery of Salvation

Some may wonder about the title of this chapter, thinking that the meaning of salvation is pretty cut and dry. We achieve salvation and go to heaven, right? That seems to be a Course teaching that is in harmony with orthodox Christianity with not a lot of mystery behind it.

As with many concepts presented in ACIM there is always more depth than meets the eye. Though it often uses the word as if speaking in a general sense one must examine the overall presentation to get a clear picture.

For starters ACIM makes this statement which runs quite contrary to the orthodox view:

“Your Self does not need salvation, but your mind needs to learn what salvation is. You are not saved from anything, but you are saved for glory. T-11.IV.1

To obtain salvation then one must be saved from something but the Course says we “are not saved from anything.” If this is so then why does it speak of salvation hundreds of times? If there is nothing to be saved from why even bring the subject up?

Actually, there is something to be saved from and that something is nothing, or perhaps we should say NO THING. Because we are saved from nothing the Course tells us we are not saved from anything.

This nothing the Course calls illusions or the dream within which we seem to find ourselves.

“What is there to be saved from except illusions? And what are all illusions except false ideas about myself?” W-pI.58.3

This illustrates just one of many examples where the reader needs to get a whole picture of what the Course is saying, especially where illusion and true reality are at play, for it often dismisses everything in the dream of separation as if it did not happen. But keep in mind that the comparison is to a dream and the correspondence is enlightening.

When you dream at night and then wake up you may say to yourself, “that was quite a dream, but it never happened.”

Yes it is true the dream did not happen in your waking reality, but that doesn’t mean it did not happen within the totality of reality. After all, you did actually have a dream and did have experiences within it. So, from another way of looking at it the dream did happen. Whether or not you discuss the dream as a real event depends on your reference point.

If the Course’s reference point is heaven then nothing happens anywhere in time and space. But if the reference point includes time and space then lots of things are happening.

So when the Course tells us that we “are not saved from anything.” It speaks from a reference point of eternity in heaven. But then when it turns around and speaks many times of things we need to be saved from it speaks from a reference that includes the dream of time and space.

This shifting in the Course of the reference point from eternity only to eternity plus time and space produces confusion in students and causes many to come up with some odd interpretations on various subjects.

Therefore, when reading about salvation, or any other subject, we must look at the context to see where the reference point lies. If it is heaven only then there is no need for salvation and such a concept is not needed; but if time and space are included then we have a situation where the Sons of God are trapped in the illusion of the dream state and definitely need to be saved. In this reference the Course asks:

“The question is always twofold; first, what is to be saved? And second, how can it be saved?” T-12.III.2

We have partially answered that question with the statement from the Course about the main thing with which salvation is concerned and that is illusion. (W-pI.58.3) We are caught up in the great dream and need to be awakened as noted by God Himself who the Course quotes as saying: “My children sleep and must be awakened.” T-6.V.1

The illusion is quite complex and there are many ingredients involved from which we must be saved before we can awaken. Overall there are four main things that ACIM tells us from which we need to be saved or delivered so awakening can happen.

The first and prime problem is that we must be saved from our false belief about ourselves. While in the illusion we see ourselves as powerless imperfect beings who are at the mercy of outer events which are often beyond our power with which to deal. The Son sees himself as “the victim of this ‘something else,’ a thing outside himself, for which he has no reason to be held responsible.” T-27.VII.1

To escape being a victim the student must begin to question who he is:

“There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this: ‘I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.’ Yet in this learning is salvation born. And What you are will tell you of Itself.” T-31.V.17

To this the Course adds: “Again, how simple is salvation! It is merely a statement of your true Identity.” W-pI.77.1 The student must realize: “I am not the victim of the world I see.” W-pI.31

The Course makes it clear that when our true identify is realized that we are not a victim but share in the very powers of our Father God.

God “created you out of Himself, but still within Him.” T-14.IV.4 You are to “accept your rightful place as co-creator of the universe.” W-pI.152.8 “all His extensions are like Him.” T-12.IV.6

Then we have this powerful statement concerning those who realize their true identity:

“There is now no limit on his power, because it is the power of God. So has his name become the Name of God, for he no longer sees himself as separate from Him. (God)” M-23.2

So we have all this power, but are asleep and under the illusion that we have no power. What are we to do to manifest our true self and salvation?

“Let us look closer at the whole illusion that what you made has power to enslave its maker. “ T-22.II.9

Thus the Course acknowledges that the illusion does appear to enslave us. Since our very salvation depends on us waking up to our true reality the question that needs to be addressed is what stands in our way. There are three main problems the seeker must solve. Let us examine them.

The Problem of Forgiveness

Perhaps the most discussed barrier between separated Sons of Gods and true reality deals with forgiveness.

The Course gives a somewhat different slant on forgiveness than does orthodox theology. In the standard teaching the one who forgives is seen as a person of superior virtue who overlooks the sins of an inferior person who usually doesn’t deserve it. They see Jesus on the cross as asking to forgive his persecutors but thinking they they really deserved to burn in hell.

Concerning this wrong-headed idea of forgiveness the Course speaks of the “better person” who “deigns to stoop to save a “baser” one from what he truly is. Forgiveness here rests on an attitude of gracious lordliness so far from love that arrogance could never be dislodged. Who can forgive and yet despise? And who can tell another he is steeped in sin, and yet perceive him as the Son of God? Who makes a slave to teach what freedom is? There is no union here, but only grief. This is not really mercy. This is death. … All forms forgiveness takes that do not lead away from anger, condemnation and comparisons of every kind are death.” S-2.II.2&8

“Unjustified forgiveness is attack. And this is all the world can ever give. It pardons “sinners” sometimes, but remains aware that they have sinned. And so they do not merit the forgiveness that it gives.” T-30.VI.3

Therefore, if Jesus had the ACIM attitude of forgiveness when on the cross he had no thoughts of comparing himself to his enemies and didn’t see himself as superior. He would not have been angry or had the spirit of condemnation at all where the standard believer trying to forgive may be thinking: “I’ll forgive you SOBs, but you don’t deserve it.”

To this attitude the Course asks: “Who can forgive and yet despise?”

The Course presents us with a radical standard for us to attain. It says:

“Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin. And in that view are all your sins forgiven.” W-pII.1.1

To this a skeptic may say: If a thief steals $100 from me then I am dealing with something that did happen. Aren’t I in denial if I say it did not?”

The answer is that you do not deny anything that has happened from your apparent past but the key is to see the past in the light of eternal reality. It says this:

“Fear is not of the present, but only of the past and future, which do not exist.” T-15.I.8

The Course tells us the present is the only time there is and the past only exists as a memory in our minds and is not real from a higher angle of vision.

In other words, if you got hit on the head and lost your memory then it would be as if the thief had never stolen the $100. For you the present would be all the time there is.

This is the state of mind with which forgiveness must be approached.

We do not deny that in the universe of time and space that we have all made mistakes but the disciple realizes that all such mistakes are in the past and only have reality if the mind decides to give it to them. Instead, the mind can dismiss the past and enter into the eternal Now where salvation leads us. No wonder the Course tells us

“Salvation and forgiveness are the same.” W-pI.99.1 “Forgiveness is release from all illusions.” T-24.III.1

“He will teach you to remember that forgiveness is not loss, but your salvation. And that in complete forgiveness, in which you recognize that there is nothing to forgive, you are absolved completely.” T-15.VIII.1

So this attitude of mind creates a tremendous benefit for the seeker. He or she is “absolved completely” and enters a state of innocence as well as “release from all illusions.”

Now some may say there are some offenses just too great to forgive. What if someone raped your sister or killed your parents. You couldn’t just dismiss such things could you?

It would be difficult but when the correct attitude of mind is attained it can be done as was demonstrated by Jesus. His spiritual brothers who were supposed to represent kindness and love crucified him. Where others would have cursed them with their dying breaths Jesus asked God to forgive them. He thus gave us an ultimate example to follow.

If the student can realize one important concept around forgiveness all will come into perspective and make universal forgiveness much easier. It is this: The greater the offense is the greater will be your opportunity to advance toward liberation. Forgiving the thief for stealing the $100 may be a challenge, but most could do it without suffering much sense of loss. On the other hand, forgiving something big like rape or murder takes a lot more presence of mind but offers a much greater opportunity for moving forward toward salvation or backward into greater illusion.

If one suffers a great offense and forgives as if it did not happen then he has demonstrated his invulnerability which the illusion normally hides. Thus the great offense offers a great opportunity.

On the other hand, if he suffers a great offense and allows it to consume him for the rest of his life he is demonstrating his own perceived vulnerability and enters deeper into the illusion making awakening more difficult than ever.

Therefore, while caught in the world of illusion the rule of thumb should be to see all offenses as past illusionary events that can be dismissed, as if they never happened.

I have found this “never happened” idea quite useful in my own life and when I treat offenses this way it removes their power to affect me in any negative way. It proves its validity by working out in harmlessness and peace through practical application in life.

The Course sums up the importance of forgiveness is this profound quote:

“Forgiveness is illusion that is answer to the rest… Forgiveness sweeps all other dreams away, and though it is itself a dream, it breeds no others. All illusions save this one must multiply a thousandfold. But this is where illusions end. Forgiveness is the end of dreams, because it is a dream of waking. It is not itself the truth. Yet does it point to where the truth must be, and gives direction with the certainty of God Himself. It is a dream in which the Son of God awakens to his Self and to his Father, knowing They are One.” W-pI.198.2-3

The Problem of Grievances

Let us recap where we are with salvation. To obtain salvation we must see through the world of illusion to understand who we really are as Sons of God, but before this can be realized we must forgive all things that could disturb our peace. Just as a lack of forgiveness stands in the way of realizing our true selves we have several obstacles standing in the way of complete forgiveness.

The first is quite obvious which is merely a lack of motivation to forgive on the part of the student. The best cure for this is to make a serious attempt to practice it and witness how much peace iis attained by it.

However, there are other problems that confront those who are sincerely attempting to live the spiritual life. A master hurdle that must be neutralized is any grievance the seeker has.

We are told in lesson 68 that “Love holds no grievances.” One could also say that forgiveness holds no grievance as well. Then there is this:

“For every grievance is a block to sight, and as it lifts you see the Son of God where he has always been.” W-pI.78.3

The Course tells us clearly that a key to forgiveness is to see the Son of God or Christ in our brothers: “Christ stands before you, each time you look upon your brother.” T-25.V.2 “For as you see the Son you see yourself.”S-2.I.3

The lifting of grievances is essential to forgiveness and remembering who we really are:

“It is as sure that those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace. It is as sure that those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.” W-pI.68.3

The lifting of grievances is a key to releasing the light within us:

“your grievances are hiding the light of the world in you, everyone stands in darkness, and you beside him. But as the veil of your grievances is lifted, you are released with him.” W-pI.69.1

It is important to understand that grievances are a key ingredient to a counterfeit plan of salvation:

“The ego’s plan for salvation centers around holding grievances. It maintains that, if someone else spoke or acted differently, if some external circumstance or event were changed, you would be saved… Each grievance you hold is a declaration, and an assertion in which you believe, that says, ‘If this were different, I would be saved.’” W-pI.71.2

“Holding grievances is the opposite of God’s plan for salvation.” W-pI.71.10

“By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness.” W-pI.86.3

Since a grievance is a powerful obstacle to forgiveness which in turn is a powerful obstacle to seeing our true reality it might be helpful to examine the problem more deeply. The Course makes this statement:

“Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.” W-pI.79

Many do not understand grievances and do not even acknowledge they have them so the first step is to understand them and learn how to dispel them.

A grievance is basically a negative feeling harbored toward another individual for saying or doing something that is seen as offensive or hurtful. The one offended sees the cause of the grievance as being the fault of another and not himself. The supposed solution is for the other guy to humbly apologize for the offense and to promise not to do it again.

The problem is that many do not take the correct action to solve the problem, the desired apology never comes and the grievance remains as a festering wound that continues to grow in strength often to the point of causing physical illness.

Just declaring you forgive the one who offended often does nothing for a part of you still wants to hear the words “I am sorry” and just can’t let the grievance go. What do you do?

ACIM says, “communication is salvation.” T-15.VII.11 And indeed it is. The one suffering the hurt feelings must communicate with the offender. Taking this step is often very difficult and may require a determined act of will, but this is where the solution lies and it is quite simple.

The one offended must approach the offended and merely explain to him or her what he did or said to hurt his feelings. In the best case scenario may go something like this:

Bill: When you said ABC it really hurt my feelings. It made me feel like I was a crazy man.”

Ted: Sorry about that. I was just joking around and didn’t mean any harm. I don’t think you are crazy at all.

In cases like this where the communication was made and accepted the grievance disappears instantly., This is one of the Miracles mentioned in ACIM.

Probably about half the grievances we experience are caused by innocent remarks that are interpreted too seriously. But then there are others more difficult to resolve. In another situation maybe Ted did know what he was doing and wanted to hurt Bill’s feelings. What does Bill do then?

The answer is the same. Communicate.

Even though Ted was intentionally hurtful there is a good chance his heart will be softened if Bill communicates his feelings sincerely. But even if he refuses to apologize or work things out Bill will have a chance to get the grievance off his chest. After he has done all he can to resolve the matter, if he is willing, he can then legitimately forgive and let it go. If he does this the miracle of peace will be his. On the other hand, if Ted continues in the attack mode he will have the negativity of the original grievance rest upon him. It will be as if the dark cloud of grievance was moved from Bill to Ted through the wrong-mindedness of himself.

Fortunately though with sincere and honest communication most grievances can be resolved and both parties can benefit and obtain peace.

Conclusion: To dispel the grievance honestly communicate your feelings followed by forgiveness on your part. Then move on as if nothing has happened.

The Problem of Guilt

The final major obstacle to our salvation is guilt and its negative power over the human spirit cannot be overstated as it stops the progression of many in their tracks.

ACIM says this:

“Guilt is always in your mind, which has condemned itself.” T-13.IX.6

Notice that it doesn’t say that God, the Holy Spirit or even angels have condemned us, but guilt comes from our own minds which condemn ourselves.

Why in the world would we create so much pain and distress for ourselves as guilt is able to produce? It all boils down to seeing ourselves as having sinned and in need of punishment:

“You can hold on to the past only through guilt. For guilt establishes that you will be punished for what you have done,” T-13.I.8

So why would we condemn ourselves when God does not and “The innocence of God is the true state of the mind of His Son. In this state your mind knows God”? T-3.I.8.          

The Course itself answers this question:

“You will not make decisions by yourself whatever you decide. For they are made with idols or with God. And you ask help of anti-Christ or Christ, and which you choose will join with you and tell you what to do. “ T-30.I.14

So whether you see yourself as guilty or guiltless is determined by whether your decisions are made through the influence of idols or God, which is like saying the Christ or the anti-Christ.

Indeed, deception by these idols, representing the anti-Christ are the source of guilt:

“There never was a time an idol brought you anything except the ‘gift’ of guilt. Not one was bought except at cost of pain, nor was it ever paid by you alone.” T-30.V.10

Since the idols, representing anti-Christ in this world, are the source of guilt it then behooves us to understand exactly what an idol is and how it is able to accomplish such a nefarious deception.

An idol is basically a substitute for God. In Bible times people made idols, such as the golden calf, and bowed down and worshipped them. The Course tells us this act is a great error:

“A sick god must be an idol, made in the image of what its maker thinks he is.” T-10.III.4

The question to be considered now is how does an idol bring “the gift of guilt” as taught in the Course? Perhaps an understanding of this is a key to the elimination of this major obstacle.

The main thing that produces guilt is the creation by our minds of a feeling that we have offended God or “sinned” against Him. To the contrary the Course teaches that we are in a dream state and nothing we do here is real enough to offend God.

If guilt does not come from sinning against God then where does it come from?

It comes from sinning against an idol, a substitute for God.

And where do we find such substitutes?

They are everywhere. Many there are who get in line to be your idol or voice of God from without rather than the true God which is contacted within.

In a religion or spiritual group the voice of the outer god comes to you from your religious authorities, scriptures or books. If such an outer voice speaks for God and you accept it then a violation of the word is interpreted as a sin against God which is followed by guilt.

If this outer voice from an accepted idol tells you to not drink coffee, dance or go to certain movies and you violate the order your mind will see it as a sin and you will eel guilt.

Another person who does not see such commands as coming from God will feel no guilt whatsoever.

The difference is that one is being controlled by an idol and the other is not – at least in this area of living.

Idols, or substitutes for the true inner voice of God, are everywhere and few escape the guilt they produce. Idols are found in not only religious leaders, but parents, family members, political and many other groups. Even hardened atheists accept idols that nurture their guilt.

But here’s the strange thing and the hidden cause of much residual guilt. Even the text of the most holy and accurate words on earth can become an idol that substitutes for God and can create guilt. Yes, even the words in the Bible or A Course in Miracles can become an idol that leads the mind away from the true God to a false outer one.

The problem is that words themselves are an imperfect substitute for the perfect word that comes from the Inner Voice. The Course says:

“Words can be helpful, particularly for the beginner, in helping concentration and facilitating the exclusion, or at least the control, of extraneous thoughts. Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols.” M-21.1

Then we have this from ACIM: “I have made every effort to use words that are almost impossible to distort, but it is always possible to twist symbols around if you wish.” T-3.I.3

So the greatest and purest words from the Bible, the Course or any sacred writing can be interpreted incorrectly and if the student accepts this error as infallible literal truth the may suffer guilt through the illusion produced.

This problem is obvious when we see that there are hundreds of religions who interpret the simple words of Jesus in the Bible hundreds of different ways. A Course in Miracles is very straightforward in what it attempts to say, but even here many students disagree with each other about its meaning. The truth is that taking in the black and white words as infallible words from Jesus or God creates a idol. To escape this control of an outer God the seeker must always rely on a connection with the inner God through the Holy Spirit as taught in the Course. Then the student can read any outer words and not be led into the trap of guilt. He will then be able to find more truth in the National Enquirer than one who is in illusion can find in the Bible.

To escape from guilt the seeker must first realize that the inner Voice never condemns, but the outer voice does. If he feels any guilt at all then this is a sign that he has been deluded into accepting the idol of an outer god who has falsely taken the place of the true inner One. What he must do next is to identify the outer God to whom he has given power to control him with guilt.

Sometimes this idol is obvious and other times it is not. If he is a member of an authoritarian religion then it is most likely that it is the religious authorities and teachers who have taught him how he is to feel guilty.

On the other hand, there are those who have tried to leave an orthodox religion behind and think they are free, but are not. The authoritative decrees still echo in their minds and have power to produce guilt.

The for some it is more subtle still. An infallible acceptance of scripture or even A Course in Miracles followed by distorted black and white interpretations can create a false God even out of the best of the world’s symbolic words. If the seeker gives the black and white words more authority than the Inner Voice or ignores the Inner in favor of the outer then the student will suffer guilt.

Accepting this in theory is not enough. The student must take action and identify the source of guilt and dismiss it. When guilt comes he can say to himself: “The true God does not condemn. Where then is this condemnation coming from? I will identify it and let it be as if it never was. I refuse to be deceived any longer.”

When the seeker truly finds the source of guilt, dismisses it, and commits to following the Holy Spirit within no matter what the outer voices seem to say then in that instant guilt will just evaporate and be no more. Never again will the pilgrim have to suffer from guilt.

To this some may ask if it is not necessary to have a certain amount of guilt. After all, do we not need a conscience to guide us on the right path?

This illusionary idea is a final hurdle that must be handled to neutralize guilt completely. Our true conscience does not condemn and has nothing to do with guilt. Guilt is produced by a supposed sin that is committed, but the word “sin” as was used in the days of Jesus was much different than how it is used to induce guilt today.

The word “sin” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word HAMARTANO which means “to miss the mark.” In other words, when the Greeks, 2000 years ago, shot at a target with an arrow and missed, they “sinned” (HAMARTANO) or missed the target. Is this how the word “sin” is used today? Verily no. When the religious person thinks of sin in our age, he generally thinks of being unclean and ridden with guilt.

When you shoot at a target and miss the bull’s eye, do you feel degraded and guilty to the extent that you feel paralyzed and even feel unworthy to shoot again? No, of course not. When you miss you may find it mildly irritating, but you generally can’t wait to have another try at it.

On the other hand, if the archer were to feel guilty he would not consider himself worthy to shoot again until he has paid some price for redemption.

We would laugh at any sportsman with this crazy idea yet that is how the ego manipulates us with guilt in our lives and most find it no laughing matter.

Guilt has been identified with sin by those who have sought to control the souls of men, but among the enlightened prophets it was not always so. To them sin was seen as a human error and salvation from sin is the path that leads to a correction of error. The prophets in times past did not seek to control through guilt, but sought to shift consciousness from error to perfection as they saw it.

The most prevalent sin today (using its true definition) is to be ensnared by guilt, for guilt is caused by, not your conscience, but by an error in human thinking.

It is indeed a great error to make a mistake and then condemn yourself through guilt to the extent that you become paralyzed and do nothing to fix the problem until you feel worthy again. When a mistake is made the seeker needs to jump right back in making an effort to correct himself.

Indeed, the idea of correction of error rather than sin is a threat to the ego:

“Any attempt to reinterpret sin as error is always indefensible to the ego. The idea of sin is wholly sacrosanct to its thought system, and quite unapproachable except with reverence and awe. It is the most “holy” concept in the ego’s system; lovely and powerful, wholly true, and necessarily protected with every defense at its disposal. For here lies its ‘best’ defense, which all the others serve. ” T-19.II.5

The diligent ACIM student will defy the ego and again see sin as mere error as was its interpretation in the days of Jesus.

Let us conclude then by itemizing the basic ingredients of salvation. First the Course makes salvation sound like the simplest thing in the world. All we need to do is recognize who we really are and act accordingly. Then there’s a big “but.” But there are three main roadblocks that take our vision away from our true reality. They must be mastered before this simple true vision can come. The student must forgive, let go of grievances and finally completely neutralize guilt and let it go back to the nothingness from whence it came.

When these steps are taken he is said to be saved from living in the illusion of who he is not rather than who he is.

Does this mean the journey is over and the seeker has entered heaven?

Not quite though it will seem like heaven by comparison as he has established a solid link with God through the Holy Spirit. But…

“Salvation stops just short of Heaven, for only perception needs salvation.” T-26.III.5

If salvation stops short of heaven then what is missing? Here is the answer:

Salvation is nothing more than “right-mindedness,” which is not the One-mindedness of the Holy Spirit, but which must be achieved before One-mindedness is restored.. T-4.II.10

So, salvation takes us to right-mindedness stopping short of the goal of one-mindedness which is the awareness that exists in eternity. The Course tells us what it means by right-mindedness:

“The term ‘right-mindedness’ is properly used as the correction for ‘wrong-mindedness,’ and applies to the state of mind that induces accurate perception.” T-3.IV.4

So we achieve salvation through accurate perception and the most important things to perceive accurately are forgiveness, grievances and guilt leading us to an understanding of who we are.

So, where does this salvation take us?

“How much do you want salvation? It will give you the real world, trembling with readiness to be given you.” T-17.II.7-8

“Salvation is a borderland (real world) where place and time and choice have meaning still, and yet it can be seen that they are temporary, out of place, and every choice has been already made.” T-26.III.3

So salvation is not the end of our journey but it does take us to the real world which is the final step before our final atonement and liberation.

“The real world still is but a dream. Except the figures have been changed. They are not seen as idols which betray. It is a dream in which no one is used to substitute for something else, nor interposed between the thoughts the mind conceives and what it sees.” T-29.IX.7

Arriving at the real world leads to the final step:

“When you perceive yourself without deceit, you will accept the real world in place of the false one you have made. And then your Father will lean down to you and take the last step for you, by raising you unto Himself.” T-11.VIII.15

Read the Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE, Chapter Thirteen HERE, Chapter Fourteen HERE, Fifteen HERE, Sixteen HERE, Seventeen HERE, Eighteen HERE

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