I’ve been thinking of how one can best follow the advice in ACIM in having a conversation about the Course.
Suppose for instance that a student teaches or posts something about the Course that you are sure is false. Leta us say, for instance, that he insists that ACIM was inspired by the devil. Do you attempt to correct him?
The Course says this:
“Correction is not your function. It belongs to One Who knows of fairness, not of guilt. If you assume correction’s role, you lose the function of forgiveness. No one can forgive until he learns correction is but to forgive, and never to accuse.” T-27.II.10
Thus if someone says something outrageously wrong and we tell him so we are making an accusation of error, but we are told “never to accuse.”
Then it says this:
“When you correct a brother, you are telling him that he is wrong. He may be making no sense at the time, and it is certain that, if he is speaking from the ego, he will not be making sense. But your task is still to tell him he is right.”
So are we to tell him that he is right that the Course did come from the devil?
Not quite. The text continues:
“You do not tell him this verbally, if he is speaking foolishly. He needs correction at another level, because his error is at another level.” T-9.III.3
The question then is what is this other level? This seems to be the answer:
“When a brother behaves insanely, you can heal him only by perceiving the sanity in him. If you perceive his errors and accept them, you are accepting yours. T-9.III.2-5
So instead of directly addressing the errors of his ego we are to see beyond the outer personality to the true and perfect Son of God within and focus on truth rather than error. If we keep this focus, we will not approach him with a statement such as, “You are wrong… You are crazy… You are full of BS etc.”
Are we to do nothing then? This quote gives a hint:
“The best defense, as always, is not to attack another’s position, but rather to protect the truth.” T-3.I.2.
It appears that protecting the truth is fine as long as we avoid attacking the other guy for being wrong. The student could respond to the accsation by agreeing that, “Yes many people think that because the Course is different from standard religious teachings, but here is my experience with it.” You can then relate why you think the Course points in the right direction. When this approach is taken the other guy does not feel personally attacked and is much more likely to listen.
So, what are you to do if you state something you are sure is true, for you feel the Spirit within conforms it, and someone attacks you and tells you that you are full of the ego and are leading others astray and he makes an insane argument trying to prove you wrong? Should you not defend yourself?
The teaching of the Course is not that we should defend ourselves, but we should stand up for the truth:
“Because their hearts are pure, the innocent defend true perception instead of defending themselves against it.” T-3.II.5
I think that Jesus of the Bible and the Course set the example for us. Jesus didn’t go around telling people they were wrong, but when attacked he did respond with the truth.
The Course itself tells us that it is given to us as a major attempt of correction. It does not attack or correct anyone on an individual level but merely afforms many truths we can use to correct ourselves through the atonement for, “Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors.” M-18.4
ANIMALS AND THE EGO
Many Sons of God fell asleep and became as if they were individual human egos, which caused them to forget who they are and to be separate from heaven.
On the other hand, animals have no individual egos and are not even ashamed to run around naked.
Does this mean they need no atonement because they have no egos and their consciousness is still in the present time? Have they never left heaven – or have they? If they need atonement then how will they receive it when they cannot even read A Course in Miracles?
“For as long as you feel guilty you are listening to the voice of the ego.” T-13.VII.12
Animals do not feel guilt.
Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. The ego is a wrong-minded attempt to perceive yourself as you wish to be, rather than as you are. T-3.IV.2
Animals pretty much accept themselves as they are.
We are told that “There is no end to God and His Son, for we are the universe.” T-11.I.5.
The universe of course includes animals and
“the conflict cannot ultimately be resolved until all the parts of the Sonship have returned.” T-2.VII.6
The question then is since animals do not have egos, but still are seen as being in bodies in this world, then what do they have to do to return, or is their return predicated on us?
We know that Jesus has awakened, but that did not affect the existence here of animals. Even Jesus has to keep his feet in this world until we all return home:
“Because my feet are on the ground and my hands are in Heaven, I can bring down the glories of Heaven to my brothers on earth.” UR T 1 B 40ab
THE PREFERENCE OF EARTH OVER HEAVEN
The Course makes his astonishing statement:
“Does not a world that seems quite real arise in dreams? Yet think what this world is. It is clearly not the world you saw before you slept. Rather it is a distortion of the world, planned solely around what you would have preferred.” T-18.II.1
“For this memory (of God and heaven) would instantly restore you to your proper place, and it is this place that you have sought to leave.” T-13.III.2
The world we saw before we slept and entered the illusion would have been heaven. This world that arose ‘in dreams” is often portrayed as a nightmare and completely undesirable by ACIM, yet we are told here that we “planned” this world “solely around what you (the Sonship) would have preferred,” and we “sought to leave” the heavenly realm.
The Course indicates that heaven is such a great place that only the insane would want to leave it, yet here we are told that there were things that the Sons of God who made this world preferred over heaven.
Not all sons have this preference for we are told that only part of the Sonship came here while the others, along with angels, tried to prevent them leaving heaven, but failed.
What we are faced with is the fact that you and I are among those who “preferred” this world over heaven. Several questions come to mind here.
If we came here because of a preference, then it would seem to be of extreme importance that we discover what that preference is.
Secondly, each of us needs to discover whether that preference is still with us? Do we still prefer this world over heaven, but just refuse to face this fact? Is this why awakening is so rare and difficult?
It is interesting that the Bible tells us that we sang for joy when we laid the foundations of this earth:
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” Job38:4-7
Is it possible then that even if we had the understanding of heaven that the choice to return home may not seem to be desirable or obvious?
Copyright by J J Dewey
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