Translating into Oneness
Let us now examine some of the basic teachings of ACIM and the Ancient Wisdom and see how compatible they are with each other. In doing this we will focus on the writings of various books by Alice A. Bailey and the main work of Helena P. Blavatsky – The Secret Doctrine.
Let us start with God as the Source of all things. Here is a passage giving the ultimate description of God often quoted from the Course:
“Oneness is simply the idea God is. And in His Being, He encompasses all things. No mind holds anything but Him. We say ‘God is,’ and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless.” W-pI.169.5
Then from the Bailey writings we have this:
“God is not this; God is not that; God is no-thing; God is neither time nor space; God is not feeling or thought; God is not form or substance. God simply IS. God IS—apart from all expression and manifestation as the Manipulator of energy.” Glamour, A World Problem, Page 244
ACIM says that “God is an idea” and, concerning His relationship with this world, states:
“The world as you perceive it cannot have been created by the Father, for the world is not as you see it. God created only the eternal, and everything you see is perishable.” T-11.VII.1
H. P. Blavatsky said something very similar:
“Of tribal Gods there were many; the One Universal Deity is a principle, an abstract Root-Idea which has naught to do with the unclean work of finite Form. We do not worship the Gods, we only honour Them, as beings superior to ourselves.” Secret Doctrine, Vol 1, Page 492
She thus agrees that the “Universal Deity” (the Father in ACIM) is “Root-Idea which has naught to do with the unclean work of finite Form,” but there are advanced beings some call gods or masters that we honor.
She also wrote this:
“The Monad (our divine self) is impersonal and a god per se, albeit unconscious on this plane… it can have no consciousness or perception of things on this earthly plane. “The highest sees through the eye of the lowest” in the manifested world; Purusha (Spirit) remains blind without the help of Prakrit (matter) in the material spheres.” Secret Doctrine, Vol 2, Page 123
This harmonizes with ACIM which says:
“You dwell not here, but in eternity. You travel but in dreams, while safe at home.” T-13.VII.17
“Perception did not exist until the separation introduced degrees, aspects and intervals” T-3.IV.1
The basic teachings concerning the Trinity are in agreement. Both teach that all came from the initiating Father. Both teach that there are three parts to the Godhead: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Ancient Wisdom says the Son “the second aspect of divinity, that which builds and holds the forms in coherent form, and which is the basis of the phenomenon we call time.” Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Page 1032
This agrees with ACIM, which tells us the Son created (or made) the universe of time and Space.
The Ancient Wisdom identifies the Holy Spirit as the Third Aspect that represents intelligence in matter, providing a link between the material world and the spiritual.
ACIM says something similar:
“The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower communication, keeping the direct channel from God to you open for revelation.” T-1.II.5
Most spiritual traditions present a teaching related to the fall of humanity from some high or spiritual estate to a fallen earthly one. The story of the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis is well known to many in the West.
ACIM places quite a different twist on this than orthodox Christianity. It tells us that the fall was not Adam falling out of grace with the creator of the physical universe, but it was the Creator (or Maker) Itself who fell or separated Itself from the true Creator.
And who was this creator who fell? It was all of us who have taken incarnation. We are all a part of the Divine Son who separated ourselves from our true spiritual home. The purpose of ACIM is to lead us back to our Source.
The Course’s view on this is quite close to ancient Gnosticism, which at one time was competing with the standard Christian view for dominance.
The Gnostics viewed the creator of the physical universe as an entity who rebelled against the true God and tried to create a kingdom for himself outside the boundaries of heaven. They called this being a Demiurge, a false God closely linked to the common view of Satan.
ACIM presents a softer view of this fallen deity. It tells us that the beloved Son (representing all of us) of the true Creator had fallen asleep and made an illusion into which he was trapped. The Beloved Son was not evil, but merely misled and will at one time awaken to his true nature ad reality. God does not see his Son as being evil any more than a parent does a child having a bad dream.
The idea that we were Sons of God who were one with God who fell into illusion is harmonious with the Ancient Wisdom:
These fallen ones “separated themselves from their parent essence, or, in other words, after the unit had become a multiple, after differentiation and manifestation. …They are not “demons commissioned to create and organize this visible universe,” but fashioners (the “architects”) of the worlds, and the progenitors of man. They are the Fallen angels, metaphorically — “the true mirrors of the Eternal Wisdom.” Secret Doctrine, Vol 2, Page 516
“In ancient Accadian days, this sign Aries was called that “wherein the sacrifice of righteousness was made,” or the sign of “the fallen angels”. The sons of God, impelled by this basic urge, fell from their high estate, took form, and started upon their individual round upon round of the Zodiac.” The Labours of Hercules, Page 33
“The history begins by the descent on Earth of the “Gods” who incarnate in mankind, and this is the FALL.” Secret Doctrine, Vol 2, Page 483
The Book of Revelation describes war in heaven in which a third fell to the earth. The general interpretation is that these are the invisible Satan and his evil denizens who tempt us toward evil.
The Ancient Wisdom agrees with ACIM that it was us who fell to the earth and are incarnated into physical bodies:
“The ‘third part of the stars of heaven’ cast down to the earth — refers to the divine Monads,… the human Egos destined to perform the whole cycle of incarnations.” Secret Doctrine, Vol 2, Page 485
ACIM tells us that the whole world we perceive with our physical senses is an illusion that is not real, but compared to something dreamed up by the mind.
The Ancient Wisdom says something similar:
“You will note that these words ‘in time and space’ have repeatedly recurred in this instruction. Why is this? Because it must constantly be remembered that we are living in the world of illusion—an illusion which is temporary and transient and which will some day disappear, taking with it the illusion of appearance, the illusion of evolutionary unfoldment, the illusion of separativeness, and the illusion of distinctive identity—that illusion which makes us say ‘I am.’” Education in the New Age Pg 25
ACIM tells us that our physical bodies in which we seem to dwell is an illusion. The Ancient Wisdom says this:
“It must ever be remembered that from the point of view of Reality what we call the dense physical body, tangible and objective, is but an illusion. We are told again and again in the ancient writings that it is not a principle. Why is this so? Because it is only an appearance … and this appearance is a fiction or a figment of the human mind. I speak not in parable.” A Treatise on White Magic, Page 550
ACIM places a lot of emphasis on forgiveness, love, peace, sharing and other virtues as essential to liberation. Almost every other spiritual tradition, including orthodox religion, does this also. The Course does, however, direct us in how to achieve these, especially centering on forgiveness. It tells us that we must understand that this world is an illusion and being such, there is nothing to forgive.
The Ancient Wisdom teaches something similar. It tells us that the world is an illusion and to neutralize its effect we should obtain the viewpoint of the observer. This entails looking at your life as if you are a character in a movie you are watching, but you are not affected because it is not true reality.
Here are a couple quotes on this principle:
“The essential attitude for you to cultivate is that of the One Who looks on, that of the Beholder, the Perceiver, and the Observer, leading—upon the Path of Discipleship—to that of the Interpreter.” Discipleship in the New Age: Vol I, Page 442
“The lower forms are constantly and ceaselessly active, endlessly assuming the forms of impulsive desires or dynamic mental thought forms, and it is only as this ‘form-taking’ is controlled and the tumult of the lower nature stilled that it becomes possible for the inner ruling entity to liberate himself from thraldom and impose his vibration upon the lower modifications.
“This is achieved through concentration – the concentrated effort of the soul to hold steadily the position of observer, or perceiver and of seer. When he can do this the lower ‘spectacle’ of the rapidly changing forms of thought and desire fades away, and the realm of the soul, the true field of soul knowledge, can be seen and contacted.” The Light of the Soul, Page 13
Another teaching where there is harmonious overlap is in the joining of minds which will give us greater insight into the kingdom of God and speed our journey to liberation.
This joining of minds is an important quality expected from spiritual teachers according to ACIM:
“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
“Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the power of God.” M-26.1
This joining of minds principle applies to all:
“Each of us is the light of the world, and by joining our minds in this light we proclaim the Kingdom of God together and as one.” T-6.II.13
The Course places a lot of emphasis on the idea that we need to unite and share in consciousness.
“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
“The Kingdom cannot be found alone, and you who are the Kingdom cannot find yourself alone.” T-8.III.6.
The Ancient Wisdom gives out similar teachings but with a little different terminology, placing emphasis on obtaining oneness within groups.
“Where true identity is achieved, there is no sense of this and that; where the merging is complete, there is no recognition of individual activity within the group, because the will of the merged soul is identical with that of the group and automatic in its working; where true unity is present, the individual applicant becomes only a channel for the group will and activity, and this with no effort of his own but simply as a spontaneous reaction.” Rays and Initiations, Page 168
“The energy of the unit is absorbed by the entire group and the group output in service is thereby increased. The group is then enabled to shift to a higher plane of service and of consciousness. Ponder on this.” Discipleship in the New Age, Vol 1, Page 578
“The interaction between the individualised Selves will result in the merging to perfection of the flame within each one, and a blending of the heat; this will proceed until there is “one flame with countless sparks” within it, until the heat is general and balanced. When this is the case and each Son of God is a perfected Sun, characterised by perfectly expressed light and heat, then the entire solar system, the greater Son of God, will be the perfected Sun. The system will then be characterised by a “blaze of refulgent glory,” and by a radiation that will link it up with its cosmic centre, and thus effect the liberation of the Son, and His return to the far distant source from whence the primal impulse originated.” Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Pages 228-229
We see then that both teachings tell us that there has to be a joining of minds to experience the kingdom of God. We cannot go home alone.
Both teachings give a similar account of our journey from our Source to this material world and then back again.
ACIM teaches that we began in a spiritual state beyond time and space called heaven. We lived there as part of a unity call the Sons of God. We decided to separate and descended to this illusion/dream state. When we awaken, we first become aware of the real world and finally we go back home.
The Ancient Wisdom teaches that we began as Monads, which it sometimes calls Sons of God. The Monads lived as one life in the unmanifest mind of God. Then many of them separated and descended into matter, which is the realm of illusion. We go through many lifetimes and finally awaken to the true reality sometimes called the kingdom of the soul, which is the same as the real world in ACIM. After this partial awakening we finally advance back to our true identity as Monads or Sons of God.
ACIM places a lot of emphasis on focusing within, sensing the Holy Spirit and following its guidance. It is our link with God and will guide us correctly until we return to our spiritual home.
The Ancient Wisdom teaches the same thing but with different language. Instead of using the term “Holy Spirit” it uses the word “soul”. Our souls are a higher part of ourselves that are connected to our Source through a spiritual link similar to the Holy Spirit of ACIM. When the seeker contacts and receives from the soul, he is said to receive “soul contact.” Often when ACIM uses the word soul it is referring to the monad of the Ancient Wisdom.
Both teachings support the doctrine of reincarnation. As discussed in a previous chapter, reincarnation is supported in the text of the Course as well as more personal communications to Helen.
Reincarnation is more of a core belief in the Ancient Wisdom and much is written about it.
Both teachings tell us that there is no eternal hell, and the main hell we have to deal with is right here on this earth. There is also no vicarious atonement, for we are saved by waking up to our true reality. We can, however, assist each other on the path back to Spirit.
Both sets of teachings view sin in a similar manner. They both see sin as merely errors that need corrected rather than there being a need to be punished through guilt. or other means.
What is interesting is that even the Bible, as it was originally written, does not offer the traditional view of Sin. That seems to have been added after Christianity became an established religion. As mentioned earlier, the word “sin” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word HAMARTANO which means “to miss the mark,” or simply to make a mistake. That Jesus saved us from our errors by revealing the path of correction is supported even in the Bible.
The two teachings give out a similar view of time. We have included in this volume a whole chapter dealing with ACIM and time. In a nutshell, these quotes summarize it:
“The present is the only time there is.” W-pI.164.1 “The only aspect of time that is eternal is now.” T-5.III.6 “there is no time.” T-27.VIII.6 and “Time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic.” W-pI.158.3
Here are some quotes from the Bailey writings that are in alignment with the Course:
“To say that time is a succession of states of consciousness and that the present is lost in the past instantaneously, and merged in the future as it is experienced, is of small avail to the average student. To say that there is a time when sight is lost in vision, when the sum total of life anticipations are realized in a moment of accomplishment and that this persists for ever, and to point to a state of consciousness in which there is no sequence of events and no succession of realizations is to speak in a language of mystery. Yet so it is and will be. When the aspirant has reached his goal he knows the true significance of his immortality and the true nature of his liberation. Space and time become for him meaningless terms. The only true Reality is seen to be the great central life force, remaining unchanged and unmoved at the centre of the changing evanescent temporal forms.” Light of the Soul, Pages 366-367
“From the standpoint of the Eternal Now, none is greater nor less than another, for the last shall be first, and the first last. Out of manifestation time is not, and freed from objectivity states of consciousness are not.” Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Page 60
“Therefore, past, present and future are seen as one; the recognition of the Eternal Now is gradually developed from incarnation to incarnation and during the continuous process of rebirth.” Esoteric Healing, Page 496
“Where no physical brain exists, what humanity understands by time is nonexistent. The removal of the barriers of the form, stage by stage, brings an increasing realisation of the Eternal Now. In the case of those who have passed through the door of death and who still continue to think in terms of time, it is due to glamour and to the persistence of a powerful thoughtform.” Esoteric Healing, Page 403
It is too bad that few students of the Ancient Wisdom study ACIM and few Course students study the Ancient Wisdom, especially when they are quite harmonious and both add to the complete picture of truth.
What I find quite ironic is that the Bailey transmissions seem to predict A Course in Miracles. They speak of three groups of teachings that will lead people to greater light. The first it says was presented by Helena P. Blavatsky (1875-1890), the second through Alice A. Bailey (1919-1949) and then a third which it calls “Revelatory, emerging after 1975.” Rays and Initiations, Page 255
The perplexing thing for Bailey students is that no significant revelation in harmony with the Ancient Wisdom seemed to surface around that date.
It is interesting that when Bailey began giving out her transmissions, they were generally rejected by the Blavatsky students because they seemed to strike a different note. Now are the Bailey students are doing the same thing in rejecting A Course in Miracles for the same reason?
Indeed, A Course in Miracles strikes a different note than any teaching previously presented. But even though the style and language are much different than anything in the Ancient Wisdom, the harmony on many basic teachings is still there. As time passes, we can expect to see more students exploring both sets of teachings and benefiting from the knowledge therein.
The books by Alice A. Bailey can be accessed free HERE
The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky is free HERE
Copyright by J J Dewey
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