The Mystery of Creating Ourselves
The Meaning of Creation
The Course tells us a number of times that we did not create ourselves. Instead, it stresses the importance of recognizing that we were created by our Father, God.
When I first read this, I thought it was an extremely odd statement. First of all, I do not know anyone who thinks he created himself.
“How would it be possible to create yourself?” I thought. One moment you are nothing and do not exist, and that which does not exist wills itself into existence. How could nothingness will itself into something?
This indeed seemed like an impossibility to me. Furthermore, I didn’t know of anyone who believed such a thing was even possible. How in the world does one conceive of that which has no existence willing itself into existence? If there is nothing there, then there could be no will to will itself into existence. Even will is something.
Then, as I studied the Course more thoroughly, I began to realize that I had not been interpreting the phrase correctly, and I suspected that many other students made the same mistake. The reason for the mistake is obvious.
When the typical believer talks about God creating us, he assumes that at one time we did not exist, and then, when God decided to create us, we did exist. In other words, thanks to God, one moment we did not exist and the next one we did.
Therefore, when ACIM speaks of us creating ourselves, it seems natural to think it means that some believe they just thought themselves into existence from nothingness. This was the concept that made no sense to me.
As I studied the various references to creating ourselves, I discovered that the meaning was quite different than I supposed at the beginning. The statement doesn’t have anything to do with bringing us into existence out of nothing. This did not happen because we have always existed. The Course is quite clear that we are eternal and never had a beginning:
“For God has never condemned His Son, and being guiltless he is eternal.” T-13.I.9
“You are immortal because you are eternal,” T-13.I.8
“There are no beginnings and no endings in God,” T-11.I.2
“Heaven, where everything eternal in it has always been.” T-12.VI.7
Since the Course tells us that we are Sons of God who were (and part of us still is) in heaven, then we have “always been.”
If creation, then, means to bring something in existence from nothing so that it has a beginning, then we are not created beings because we have always existed. Something that has always existed has no beginning, or creation as the word is generally understood.
On the other hand, there was a “beginning” to our creation as discussed in the Course:
“Your creation by God is the only Foundation that cannot be shaken, because the light is in it. Your starting point is truth, and you must return to your Beginning.” T-3.VII.5
We are thus eternal beings without beginning to our existence, but there was a beginning to our creation.
Obviously then, when ACIM uses the word “create,” it applies its own special meaning to it, just as it does with numerous other words and phrases.
If the Course’s use of the word “create” does not mean to begin an actual existence from nothing, then what does it mean?
Instead of bringing something into existence, the Course teaches that creation is a complete sharing. The sharing is so complete that the receiver obtains all the powers and attributes of the creator.
There are many references in the Course that substantiate this. In this first one we are told what “true creation” is. Jesus tells us that he made the decision to share his knowledge “because the decision itself is the decision to share. It is made by giving, and is therefore the one choice that RESEMBLES TRUE CREATION.” T-5.II.9
True creation thus involves a full sharing, a quality that we inherited:
“The soul yearns to share its Being as its Creator did. Created by sharing, its will is to create.” UR T 7 J 3
“You cannot separate your Self from your Creator, Who created you by sharing His Being with you.” T-7.V.6
So then, your soul was created by God “sharing His Being with you.”
We, in turn, become creators and do the same thing:
“This is an ongoing process in which you share, and because you share it, you are inspired to create like God.” T-7.I.1 “and to create like Him is to share the perfect Love He shares with you.” T-7.I.6
When the typical religious person thinks of God creating, he usually imagines God just speaking the word and, poof, the creation appears. Then when he thinks of a human creation, he thinks of the person coming up with an idea and then gathering and assembling the parts to manifest it.
According to ACIM then, creation by God or the Son does not conform to either of these traditional ideas. Instead of manifesting something in time and space, heavenly creation is sharing and extending the one life of the Godhead.
This brings us to some curious questions. We are told that God “created you by sharing His Being with you.” T-7.V.6
If you did not exist before creation, then how could God share his being with you? If he shared with you, there had to be something with which to share.
Secondly, what was the “you” that was in existence before the creation event in which God created you through sharing with “you” and what was the difference in the “you” mentioned before your creation and afterwards?
Before and After Creation
These questions are indeed applicable when we consider that the Course teaches that we are eternal beings without beginning or an end.
The mystery deepens when we realize that ACIM teaches that God Himself had a creation. Hopefully, the reader’s head will not explode as we examine this thought.
First, the Course definitely tells us that “God is an idea, and … like your Father, you are an idea.” T-15.VI.4
Then it tells us that “Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them. Ideas are of the mind.” T-26.VII.4
This tells us that we, as Sons, are ideas. We have not left our source who is God.
But wait! God also is an idea, and, like us as an idea, He also has not left His source.
What is the source for God?
It tells us clearly “Ideas are of the mind.”
So, the source for God is Mind, and since our source is God, then Mind is ultimately also our source. Indeed, Mind is of extreme importance, for it is written: “If I did not think I would not exist, because life is thought.” W-pI.54.2.
The source of all creation, then, is an idea of some kind, and the source of ideas are the mind; and without mind there would be no thought, and without thought there is no life, and without life there is no existence.
Thus, the source of all existence is Mind. Putting this all together, the only explanation is that in the eternities there is one great life which is the Universal Mind. The idea of God was then created by the thought of this Mind from whence all things come.
The fact that God was created is affirmed in the Course for it says:
“Your will to create was given you by your Creator, Who was expressing the same Will IN HIS CREATION.” T-2.VIII.1
The original text words this a little differently but implies the same meaning:
“His instincts for creation were given him by his own Creator, who was expressing the same instinct IN HIS CREATION.” UR T 2 E 44 (Caps mine)
Earlier I pointed out, with backing from ACIM quotes, that The Father Created the Son with many parts, and the Sons created additional Sons. Sons who created Sons obtained the position of Father in relation to their created Sons. Similarly, your Father was also a Son who created you and thus became a Father to you. The Father and Son are One as taught in the Course, for all Fathers are also Sons.
But the core to understanding it all is to realize that God, Fathers, Sons, the Holy Spirit are all ideas which leave not their source.
And what is their Source?
And what is Mind?
Basically, the same as intelligence, or light, truth and love.
Therefore, from Universal Mind came the idea of God which left not its Source; and God became synonymous with the Universal Thought which created all there is.
We thus arrive at a teaching that is in harmony with many of the spiritual traditions of the East which teach something similar.
We therefore come to the conclusion that all life is an idea which has left not its Source, and the ultimate Source for all is some type of universal mind, or something we might call pure intelligent Spirit.
As mentioned earlier, earlier, we are eternal beings without beginning, and God, our Father, created, transformed, added to and extended Himself to us by sharing Himself. This sharing did not bring us into existence, for we never had a beginning, but it created a new version of what we are. This offered the eternal ability to create by sharing as our Creator did with us.
This text adds further light on this thought: “Real birth is not a beginning; it is a CONTINUING. Everything that CAN continue has already BEEN born. But it can INCREASE as you are willing to return the part of your mind that needs healing to the higher part, and thus render your creating (creation) undivided.” UR T 5 F 5 \
Indeed, as the Course stresses, we are eternal beings, and since this is so our creation is merely “a continuing.” Our creation does not bring us into existence, but provides an opportunity for “increase.”
Earlier we asked, what was the “you” that was in existence before the creation event in which God created you through sharing with “you” and what was the difference in the “you” mentioned before your creation and afterwards?
We know that which is the essential you has always existed, even before your Creator brought you into His own being through the sharing of Mind. Before this creation/sharing event, you existed as some type of undeveloped potential that had not yet obtained the qualities shared with you by your Creator. Before your creation, you merely existed as potential, but afterwards you shared in all that the life of God has.
The Course tells us that we were created to create, and as Sons we will create additional Sons and extend the Life of God eternally.
There is apparently an infinite number of potential Sons that can be stimulated, or activated with Mind, so they can become a part of the One Sonship.
The main difference before and after our creation is that before creation we did not have the ability to create through the united Sonship, but afterwards we did. We were also able to experience love through sharing in a way unknown to us before creation.
We Wanted to Create Ourselves
Having covered this esoteric ground, we can finally face the prime question as to what the Course means when it tells us that at the separation, we wanted to create ourselves. We even thought we were the ones who created ourselves:
“Father, I did not make myself, although in my insanity I thought I did.” W-pII.260.1
We are told that we had the mistaken notion that “since man can create himself, the direction of his own creation is up to him.” UR T 2 A 5
The Course tells us that is folly because “you cannot escape from fear until you realize that you did not and could not create yourself. You can never make your misperceptions true.” T-3.IV.3 Each is called to recognize that, “I am as God created me.”
We see then that the thinking that separated the Sons who left from those who stayed behind was the belief of some that they not only created themselves, but could continue creating themselves and to make this possible, they created a universe of form in time and space.
At this point we must clarify what is meant by their intention to create themselves. The previous quote gives some light. Here it is again:
“since man can create himself, the direction of his own creation is up to him.” UR T 2 A 5
We who are experiencing this world believed we created ourselves and will continue doing so because we are the masters of our destiny, and can become whatever we decide to be.
So, the main difference here was that the Sons who stayed behind remained a part of the collective where all the decisions of the unified life were recognized as their decisions because they all shared the one life.
The Sons who separated wanted to create themselves as individuals with the result that each would be different and unique.
Now, when students first read the Course and were told that we made the error of thinking we created ourselves, they think, “Yes, of course. I didn’t create myself. God did.”
This interpretation does not reveal what happened and what was such a tremendous attraction that many billions of the Sons of God separated so they could create themselves.
To create yourself is to be in charge of what you as an individual will become. To understand the attraction just look at how people live their lives. They want to be in charge of what they do, what they think, what they decide, etc. Very few want some other entity besides themselves telling them what they can make of their lives. Most everyone in this world wants to mold their own lives according to their own desires and do not want to give up that power to anyone, even God.
To understand the attraction of creating ourselves as compared to yielding to a creator, we can reflect on the stories in Star Trek about the confrontations with the Borg.
The Borg consisted of one great life where no one had any individuality and had no hand in creating themselves. Instead, what they were and their placement was entirely determined by the collective life or the godlike queen.
The Borg corresponds in some ways to the life of the One Son in heaven, but with a major difference. The lives in the Borg had no free will and the lives in heaven do.
The Borg declared that “resistance is futile” and forcefully assimilated anyone who crossed their path, usually against their will.
On the other hand, heaven merely waits for us to come to our senses and return. We come to heaven because we enjoy the shared life, not because we are forced into it. But like the Borg, resistance is futile, but for a different reason. It is only a matter of time before we want to return home.
Despite the differences, the similarities of the Borg and the Star Trek Federation are close enough to heaven and earth, as presented by ACIM, for us to glean an understanding of why so many Sons of God wanted to leave the collective and have some experience as an individual in the marvelous worlds of time and space.
When we watch Star Trek no one thinks, “Man, I would really like to join something like the Borg where I would have no identity.”
On the other hand, many think that they would like to join something like the Star Trek Federation where you could still be an individual, create your own destiny and explore new worlds. The fact that the members of the Borg were always at peace and had no pain was not seen as a selling point to either Star Fleet or the Star Trek audience.
The correspondence is not exact but close enough to give us an idea as to why so many Sons of God were attracted to becoming an individual and participating in a world where there were differences, games, time, space, consciousness, perception and many things that were unknown, waiting to be discovered.
Recognizing the Problem
The Course tells us to “recognize the problem so it can be solved.” (Lesson 79)
We are also told:
“Heaven is chosen consciously. The choice cannot be made until alternatives are accurately seen and understood. All that is veiled in shadows must be raised to understanding.” W-pI.138.9
Yet the biggest problem of all is that which caused the separation. But the only problem seen here by most students is that the Son got a “mad idea” in his head, went into temporary insanity for an instant, and then God presented a solution and the problem was solved. The Son is now safe in heaven.
Those who encapsulate an event that “shattered heaven” into such a simplistic super Reader’s Digest version are not seeing the problem – hence avoiding the solution – for we are definitely trapped here in a dream world in need of “salvation” as presented by ACIM.
Perhaps the reason that we see no graduates from A Course in Miracles, where the body disappears in the eyes of many witnesses and then reappears as in the case of Jesus, is that the problem is not understood, and if it is not seen or understood then it cannot be solved.
According to the Course, the problem started in heaven when many Sons of God became dissatisfied and wanted to create themselves, or to have some say in their individual destiny.
Even though heaven was a place of peace and love, many apparently wanted more than this.
The world we created is said to be “a distortion of the world (heaven), planned solely around what you would have preferred.” T-18.II.1
“It is, then, only your wish to change reality that is fearful, because by your wish you think you have accomplished what you wish.” T-17.I.2
What does this tell us? We “preferred” another world we envisioned in preference to heaven. We then had a “wish” to change our reality and we actually thought we had accomplished this, apparently with the creation of this universe of form, time and space.
“Whenever projection in its inappropriate sense is utilized, it always implies that some emptiness (or lack of everything) must exist, and that it is within man’s ability to put his own ideas there instead of the truth.” UR T 2 A 5
This tells us that we thought we could fill some emptiness with our own ideas, though we probably didn’t see these ideas as opposing any truth.
In addition, we wanted to change our identity:
“The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are.” T-3.IV.2
It looks like that after an eternity of bliss that we wanted to try something new.
We actually embraced the illusion:
“The world is an illusion. Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions, and avoid their own reality.” W-pI.155.2
According to this, we did not just blindly stumble out of heaven, but we wanted to “avoid” it and replace it with ideas of our own making we thought were better than heaven.
The Course calls this a “mad idea”, but obviously that is not the way that many billions of the Sons of God looked at it.
Just visualize the vast numbers of the Sons of God who chose to create themselves. On this planet alone there are seven billion Sons, not counting the ones not in incarnation.
Then in our galaxy there are over 200 billion star systems, many with earth-like planets, and we assume many with intelligent life.
Then, in the known universe, there are billions of galaxies, many larger than our own. Therefore, the number of the Sons of God must be staggering, but consider this:
“How holy is the smallest grain of sand, when it is recognized as being part of the completed picture of God’s Son!” T-28.IV.9
If the smallest grain of sand is a “part of the completed picture of God’s Son!” then the planets, stars and galaxies would certainly be also. In other words, all creation we see about us is a part of the Sonship which left heaven for the adventure of self-creation. The Son, through all of its parts, wants to experience every possible angle of what being different would entail. He wants to experience all that there could be available to experience whether in the illusion or in reality.
To see the separation as a brief instant of insanity that was quickly corrected misses the point and completely overlooks the problem.
The idea of creating ourselves and controlling our own destiny was a big deal and was something much more than just a passing thought.
Consider this: What do we really know about heaven? Not much, but we are told this.
“Nor is there any need for us to try to speak of what must forever lie beyond words. “ T-18.IX.11 Heaven “can never be described” W-pI.122.8
All we are told about heaven is that it is a place where there are good feelings. The message of the Course is basically this:
“Trust me. You’ll feel great when you enter heaven.”
We are told that in heaven there is no form, so there is NO THING to feel good about. Perhaps then a great draw was that we wanted SOME THING to stimulate new and different feelings. Things with differences would stimulate both positive and negative feelings, but we figured it was worth the risk to have a great adventure where such a range of feelings could be experienced.
It is obvious that the creation of our reality was more than some crazy afterthought. Just look at how much thought had to be put into our creation, beginning with the atom and its many parts balancing energies with great precision. Then the atoms were joined to create molecules and finally living cells with extremely complex DNA. Finally, all this intelligence combined to make organic bodies as avatars for our experience.
All this creation took much more than some quickly passing thought. Instead, our universe is the product of extremely intelligent and deliberate thinking that took place over billions of years.
A Request for the Impossible
Let us encapsulate our situation from the beginning.
We are eternal beings without beginning or end. Some essence in us existed before creation for at creation we are told that “His (God’s) Mind shone on you in your creation and brought your mind into being.” T-4.IV.9
What is the ‘you” that God used to bring your mind into existence? This would be the part of you that has always existed, even before God created you.
As some type of basic intelligence, we were invited to join a collective that we presently call God. That we had a choice in this matter is evidenced by this statement:
“Man was not created by his own free will alone.” OE Tx:1.87
In addition, Jesus is said to have exercised his free will in his creation:
“As You are One, so am I one with You. And this I chose in my creation, where my will became forever one with Yours.” W-pII.329.1
So, our free will was involved as we were going through the creation process, but we did not have power to create ourselves.
Evidently, there was a choice on our part that allowed us to participate in the great creation process, a process that we could not accomplish on our own. We did not create ourselves, but chose to be created or transformed into a part of a greater whole where each of us would play a special function.
Intelligences, called Sons of God, took us under their wings and nurtured us, becoming as fathers to us. These fathers created or transformed us into lives that shared with the whole, having greater abilities and functions than we had before.
There was an important rule that we all followed which is called “The Principle of Glory” in my other writings. That is, you do not take glory for yourself for that which was accomplished by another. Our creation/transformation was accomplished through the stimulation and sharing of our Fathers and not through our own efforts. We only made the choice to allow it to happen.
Thus does the Course place great emphasis on the fact that we did not create ourselves. We owe our creation to our Father, and the sharing involved was so great that we should be eternally grateful and never want to leave the divine collective.
But, apparently, after an eternity, some began to feel a sense of lack, that there was experience to be had outside the golden borders of heaven.
Sons who wanted experience outside of heaven approached God for a special favor. Here was the response:
“You were at peace until you asked for special favor. And God did not give it for the request was alien to Him, and you could not ask this of a Father Who truly loved His Son. Therefore you made of Him an unloving father, demanding of Him what only such a father could give. And the peace of God’s Son was shattered, for he no longer understood his Father.” T-13.III.10
So here we were in heaven with a complete sharing of bliss, love and peace, and after an eternity we began to wonder if there was something else to experience. What would it be like to live in a world of contrasts, of beginnings and endings, or even where we had limitations and vulnerabilities?
“Absolutely no!” said the Father. “That is not in the program.”
The Father’s rejection thus shattered our peace, for in previous times He had given us everything possible. Now the Sons had given a request that was deemed impossible. This denial of exploring other states of existence caused the Sons to become dissatisfied with the reality and sameness of heaven.
This caused us to lose our sense of peace, and the Sons began “seeking for a place where they can be illusions, and avoid their own reality.” W-pI.155.2
The rejected sons did not give up their dream by merely acquiescing, but pondered on how they could manifest it. We began to “dream of (our) ability to control reality by substituting a world that you prefer.” T-18.II.4
So, our peace there was shattered, but we came to the realization that we had all the creative powers of God, for He shared them with us in creation. We could therefore use those powers to “control reality” and create a world according to our desires.
God told us we were seeking for the impossible but we maintained the belief it was possible, so we went ahead with the creation of a universe of time and space with contrasts, beginnings and endings. This creation did not appear in the eternal reality, but manifest as an illusion or dream in which we volunteered to enter to increase our world of experience.
And thus, here we are in this illusion. We are not the first, but repeating what has been done before many times. When we have passed through every experience desired here, we can then return to heaven with a greater degree of contentment than before and resume as creative Sons of God creating new Sons who will have a similar curiosity about worlds of time and space.
The True Cost of Liberation
When a student comes across A Course in Miracles and reads the beautiful promises of heaven, and how we can get there just by letting go of this dream in which we find ourselves, he often thinks he is ready to make the move at any time.
The problem is that he has lost his memory of heaven and what there was about it that made him want to leave and create his own world.
Even though the memory is not consciously available, the subtle effects of it still remain and must be transcended. Thus, the student may think he is ready to let this world go, but he may be far from solving the problem that brought him here to begin with.
Let us suppose you were a dissatisfied prince and wanted to go to another country that was much different than your home to see what it was like to live there. But then when you arrived at the foreign land you got hit on the head and had amnesia and couldn’t remember where you came from.
Then an old friend shows up and identifies you and tells you of your home and all the wonderful amenities you had as a prince. That sounds pretty attractive, so you return home. Then, on arrival, your memory returns and you realize that you were not done exploring the foreign country. So you wind up again being unsettled at home and wanting to go off and explore again.
The point is that, like the prince, we have lost our memories and are attracted by the wonderful stories of heaven. But if we had our full memories returned, we would understand why we made the journey here in the first place, and we may feel that we are not yet done exploring all there is to experience here.
For instance, just think of all the special relationships you have with friends, family, romantic relationships, work etc. Can you let them all go to join the collective?
Think of all the possessions you have acquired through a lifetime of labor. Can you let them go?
Think of all the learning you have attained in this life that you will no longer need.
Think of how much care you give your body. Are you willing to not pay any attention to it and just accept what happens?
Then think of your life itself with your goals and what you want to accomplish. Can you just let all that go?
But, perhaps the most difficult to release yourself from is your desire to create yourself. Here on earth, you are in charge of your destiny and decide what kind of person you want to become and talents that you will acquire. If you want to enter ACIM heaven you have to let all that go. You will then have no part in creating yourself, or becoming who you want to be. You already have an assigned and eternal place in heaven and none other is available.
Maybe you are not as ready for the move to heaven as you think. Maybe you need to get some more of creating yourself out of your system before you are ready to return.
The parable of Jesus comes to mind here:
“For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?
“If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.
In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” Luke 14:28-33 NIV
Many would-be followers are like the guy building the tower who did not properly understand what it took to complete the project. Even so, many students see the completion of the Course and waking up as much more simplistic than it is. Many are completely unaware of the reasoning behind the decision to come here in the first place.
Think of it this way. Billions of Sons of God chose to make this world and come here. And when we made the choice, we were in a spiritual and mental state much superior to what we have here in this material sphere.
The choice was made in full awareness and involved creation that took tremendous intelligence, labor and time. This adventure was not something decided on a lark, but took tremendous planning and thought to pull it off.
Yes, we must recognize the problem so it can be solved. We must realize that the problem was an idea with great appeal and will only be solved when the appeal of this world fades and is replaced by the desire to return home.
Studying A Course in Miracles is a good first step.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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, Twenty-One HERE, Twenty-Two HERE, Twenty-Three HERE, Twenty-Four HERE, Twenty-Five HERE, Twenty-Six HERE, Twenty-Seven HERE, Twenty-Eight HERE, Twenty-Nine HERE, Thirty HERE
ACIM Conversations, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25
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