The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 26

The Mystery of Creating Ourselves
Part 1 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 still is) in heaven, then we have “always been.”

If creation then means to bring something in existence from nothing so 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.

So, if when 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?

Part 2 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.

In answer to the first question posed 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 offering to us the eternal ability to also create by sharing.

The second question was, 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 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.

Part 3 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 are told that we made the error of thinking we created outed 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 declares that “resistance is futile” and forcefully assimilates anyone who crosses 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 gleam 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 can 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.


Part 4 Recognizing the Problem

The Course tells us to “recognize the problem so it can be solved.” (Lesson 79) 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 “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.

Part 5 A Request for the Impossible

Let us encapsulate our situation from the beginning.

We are eternal beings without beginning or end. 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

So, our free will was involved but it 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 unto 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.

Part 6 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 and 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, 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 then 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 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 and 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.

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

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 23

The Mysterious Path to Health

A Course in Miracles says quite a bit about the health of our bodies and minds and some of it is quite controversial, even among believing students. However, if one sees the Voice that spoke to Helen Schucman as coming from Jesus, or a divine source exceeding the intelligence of our earthly authorities, one must take the information seriously, even if it goes against orthodox thinking.

Here is just one of many statements that some find difficult to accept:

“Sickness is a decision. It is not a thing that happens to you, quite unsought, which makes you weak and brings you suffering. It is a choice you make, a plan you lay,” W-pI.136.7

Just about all of us have been quite ill one time or another, and in the midst of great discomfort, who among us have had this thought: “This illness is just what I planned and have chosen for myself. This is working out great!”

I doubt if anyone reading this actually thinks this way, but obviously the author of the Course knows this and is trying to instill a truth in us that is beyond our normal consciousness.

It also says some controversial things about how illness and pain can be eliminated such as:

“Healing is accomplished the instant the sufferer no longer sees any value in pain.” M-5.I.1

Most who are suffering pain would not agree with this and respond something like this: “Are you kidding? This pain has no value to me and I sure did not choose to have it.”

What we frail mortals fail to realize is that while we may not consciously choose to have pain and disease, they are still the result of our choices. For instance, many choose to eat or drink things that are not good for them that causes discomfort they did not consciously choose. Then, as the quote says, many receive some type of value from the pain itself, such as sympathy, others waiting on them, or an excuse to avoid unwanted work.

We’ll delve more into causes and cures as we go along, but first let us see exactly what the Course means when it speaks of sickness:

“Healing is the opposite of all the world’s ideas which dwell on sickness and on separate states. Sickness is a retreat from others, and a shutting off of joining. It becomes a door that closes on a separate self, and keeps it isolated and alone. Sickness is isolation. For it seems to keep one self apart from all the rest, to suffer what the others do not feel. It gives the body final power to make the separation real, and keep the mind in solitary prison, split apart and held in pieces by a solid wall of sickened flesh, which it can not surmount.” W-pI.137.1-2

The teaching is then that the core cause of illness and pain can be traced by to our original separation from God. Before the separation there was equality and what one felt all felt which was unbounded joy and love. No one wanted to share anything painful so all sharing was the desirable feelings of love, joy, peace etc.

Then, after the separation, we found ourselves in the illusion of being isolated in bodies. Whatever you felt was not shared, but kept to yourself. In our current situation one person can feel intense pain and a loved one next to him will not feel the pain at all. He may have empathy for the pain, but will not actually feel it.

According to ACIM, then, the core cause of pain and illness is this illusion of separateness and isolation. The Course speaks of a number of things that will help with removing illness, but the foundation of all healing is found in removing the separation between the Sons of God trapped in the illusion of their own making.

Think of it this way. You may have a friend who is very ill and undergoing intense suffering. You feel bad for him but are suffering no actual pain yourself. You go about your business during the day and maybe give him a passing thought of sympathy a couple times, but outside of that your life proceeds as normal.

But let us suppose you actually felt his pain. What would change then?

There would be an instant change in thinking. Immediately you would want to eliminate the pain and bring healing. Think of it. If we all felt this way now and shared our brother’s pain, it would not last for long because decisions would be made to do something about it and replace it with positive feelings.

Look at it another way. You see a homeless guy on a corner with a sign asking for money. You may feel sorry for him and give him a few dollars. But let us say you completely shared his mind and were no longer separate. Suddenly, you would want him to have as much as you or at least enough to have some comfort, and you may wind up withdrawing some money from your bank account so he can get some relief. If we all had the barriers of separation dissolved, then poverty would greatly diminish as your brother’s poverty would be your own.

Few, if any of us, have the barriers of separation completely removed in our consciousness and when we suffer pain or illness we suffer alone as does our brother.

“The idea of separation produced the body and remains connected to it, making it sick because of the mind’s identification with it.” T-19.I.7

However, reversing this separation is a major key to healing:

“All sickness comes from separation. When the separation is denied, it goes. For it is gone as soon as the idea that brought it has been healed, and been replaced by sanity.” T-26.VII.2

That is interesting. As soon as the idea of separation goes, so does the illness associated with it for “No mind is sick until another mind agrees that they are separate. And thus it is their joint decision to be sick.” Then it tells us the cure is that “Uniting with a brother’s mind prevents the cause of sickness and perceived effects. Healing is the effect of minds that join, as sickness comes from minds that separate.” T-28.III.2

Then it makes this interesting statement:

“No one is sick if someone else accepts his union with him. His desire to be a sick and separated mind can not remain without a witness or a cause. And both are gone if someone wills to be united with him. T-28.IV.7

This makes the key statement that an individual cannot remain sick without a “witness.” In other words, a separation that produces sickness cannot be maintained unless one has others to witness that it is real, or happening to him.

And what do we naturally do when a loved one is ill or in pain? We witness to him that it is real by showing sympathy and helping him get the medical care he seems to need.

According to ACIM this is the wrong approach, for it just reinforces the belief in the separation and the illness.

What then should we do? Should we be like a Vulcan from Star Trek and show no empathy, and merely declare that all their suffering is an illusion, and they need to just acknowledge this and get over it?

No. That will not work either. In addition to suffering pain, the patient will become angry at you for your lack of sensitivity.

So, if you believe in the advice of the Course, how will you help your brother in distress?

For starters, you do not blatantly declare to him that his whole problem is an illusion in his mind. Even though this is technically true, saying such things may just increase the separation between you.

Ask him to describe his problems and listen to him with a caring attitude, but not saying anything to reinforce the belief. Then after you have established a rapport, seek the Holy Spirit with him in a way that is acceptable to his belief system. The Holy Spirit is essential here because it is our only means of healing separation while we seem to be in physical bodies here on earth.

If the use of the term “Holy Spirit” goes against his belief system, then you can use soul, higher self or just Spirit or God. The important thing is to join with your brother and seek union through the contacting of Higher Intelligence. This can be accomplished through mutual prayer or meditation.

Healing with the Mind

So, the ultimate key to good health for you and your loved ones is to remove barriers and share consciousness as if you were one. Unfortunately, the Course tells us that there are a number of problems that create barriers between individuals, and these barriers must be surmounted before success can be obtained.

The first and perhaps the greatest barrier is wrong thinking. Our thoughts are potent forces that can lead to health or disease:

“Are thoughts, then, dangerous? To bodies, yes! The thoughts that seem to kill are those that teach the thinker that he can be killed. And so he “dies” because of what he learned.” T-21.VIII.1

“The sick are healed as you let go all thoughts of sickness, and the dead arise when you let thoughts of life replace all thoughts you ever held of death.” W-pI.132.8

“Healing is a thought by which two minds perceive their oneness and become glad.” T-5.I.1

One common wrong thought concerning health is that the body and not the mind is the source of all or at least some disease. When the average person becomes ill, he rarely will attribute the problem to his mind or thinking, and instead see it as a problem produced by the body. to the contrary, the Course gives this view:

“The body cannot heal, because it cannot make itself sick. It needs no healing. Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose that the mind would use it for.” T-19.I.3

“Thus is the body healed by miracles because they show the mind made sickness, and employed the body to be victim, or effect, of what it made.” T-28.II.11

So, the first correction of thinking needed is the realization that illness comes not from the body, genes, inheritance, etc., but from our wrong-minded thoughts.

“These patients do not realize they have chosen sickness. On the contrary, they believe that sickness has chosen them.” M-5.III.1

The Course does not differentiate much between physical and mental illness. Instead, it seems to categorize illness or pain of any kind as coming from the mind. It is written:

“all sickness is mental illness,” P-2.IV.8

The problem is that “What you made has imprisoned your will, and given you a sick mind that must be healed.” T-6.V.C.9

Indeed, it tells us that all discomfort, pain and illness come from a mind that has chosen illusion over truth, which is said to be insane:

“As you look with open eyes upon your world, it must occur to you that you have withdrawn into insanity. You see what is not there, and you hear what makes no sound.” T-13.V.6

“the content of individual illusions differs greatly. Yet they have one thing in common; they are all insane. “ T-13.V.1

The world itself is sick and insane:

“This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the extent of its insanity.” T-14.I.2

The mental illness of general insanity seems widespread as indicated in this quote:

“The insane protect their thought systems, but they do so insanely. And all their defenses are as insane as what they are supposed to protect. The separation has nothing in it, no part, no “reason,” and no attribute that is not insane. And its “protection” is part of it, as insane as the whole. The special relationship, which is its chief defense, must therefore be insane.” T-17.IV.5

Again, it is pointed out that the “separation” is the cause of all insanity as well as any mental or physical health problems originating from it. Here is the basic problem that needs solved:

“For you have taught yourself how to imprison the Son of God, a lesson so unthinkable that only the insane, in deepest sleep, could even dream of it.” T-14.XI.2

And here is the cure: “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.5.

So, according to ACIM, we have the situation where our wrong thinking creates an insane world where lots of pain and illness becomes the norm. Unfortunately, just accepting that we need to get our mind right and thinking straightened out is not enough. That only indicates the general direction we need to proceed. Fortunately, the Course gives us a number of problems we must circumvent in order to achieve healing. Let’s examine several of them.

Obstacles to Master

  1. FEAR

The Course tells us that fear is a great obstacle to right-mindedness and hence to good health. It gives the controversial thought that many are actually afraid to be healed.

“An individual may ask for physical healing because he is fearful of bodily harm. At the same time, if he were healed physically, the threat to his thought system might be considerably more fearful to him than its physical expression. In this case he is not really asking for release from fear, but for the removal of a symptom that he himself selected. This request is, therefore, not for healing at all.

“The Bible emphasizes that all prayer is answered, and this is indeed true. The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response. Yet it is equally certain that no response given by Him will ever be one that would increase fear. It is possible that His answer will not be heard.” T-9.II.2-3

This tells us that we consciously say we want healing because of fear of bodily harm, but there is something else of which we are even more afraid. We are more afraid of a change to our thought system required by the healing.

Then it tells us that we may pray and ask for healing and the answer will be given, but we may not hear that answer because of our fears.

The bottom line is we fear changing from wrong-minded to right-minded thinking more than we fear pain, illness and even death.

“If your miracle working inclinations are not functioning properly, it is always because fear has intruded on your right-mindedness and has turned it upside down.” T-2.V.4

“All healing is essentially the release from fear. To undertake this you cannot be fearful yourself. You do not understand healing because of your own fear.” T-2.IV.1

We are promised that the overcoming of fear can lead to healing:

“If you are afraid of healing, then it cannot come through you. The only thing that is required for a healing is a lack of fear. The fearful are not healed, and cannot heal.” T-27.V.1

  1. GUILT

We do not need a revelation from on high to convince us that guilt has a negative effect on both physical and mental health. It is obvious that guilt can cause great emotional pain and stress to the nervous system. Most also realize that the stress it produces can have physical effects and weaken the body, making it more susceptible to illness. But according to the Course, its physical effects and relationship to fear are more powerful and pervasive than realized by most.

“Under fear’s orders the body will pursue guilt, serving its master whose attraction to guilt maintains the whole illusion of its existence. ” T-19.IV.B.13

“Guilt, too, is feared and fearful. Yet it could have no hold at all except on those who are attracted to it and seek it out.” T-19.IV.C.1

Guilt is also related to wrong-mindedness or insane thinking:

“It is guilt that has driven you insane.”

“For you must learn that guilt is always totally insane, and has no reason.” T-13.X.6

Sickness itself is a sign that guilt is present:

“For sickness is the witness to his guilt.” T-27.I.4

And finally, it tells us that overcoming guilt is a key to eliminating sickness:

“The guiltless mind cannot suffer.” T-5.V.5

“Sickness where guilt is absent cannot come, for it is but another form of guilt. Atonement does not heal the sick, for that is not a cure. It takes away the guilt that makes the sickness possible. And that is cure indeed. For sickness now is gone, with nothing left to which it can return. W-pI.140.4.

Guilt not only aggravates illness, but it robs those with it of their peace of mind. Such a lack of peace can be a greater disturbance than many physical problems.

Earlier in this book we discussed guilt and how to eliminate it completely. It is advisable for those having problems with this negative emotion to review those teachings and take them to heart. After all, peace of mind of the guiltless is priceless.


True forgiveness is essential to healing according to ACIM. It says that “To forgive is to heal” M-22.1, and “that forgiveness is healing needs to be understood.” M-22.3 It is essential to the miracle of healing for, “Only forgiveness offers miracles.” T-25.IX.8 “Forgiveness recognized as merited will heal. It gives the miracle its strength to overlook illusions.” T-30.VI.5

These quotes make a lot of sense when you think of it, for if one holds a grievance toward another, he is holding in a lot of negative emotional energy which has no constructive effect on any level. Much ill health is caused by a blockage of the free flow of life and emotional energy, and grievance caused by unforgiveness certainly contributes to this problem. Letting go of a grievance toward a brother can open the door to a miraculous healing on both physical and emotional levels.

Forgiveness not only heals the one doing the forgiving but also the one forgiven:

“Therefore, those who have been forgiven must devote themselves first to healing because, having received the idea of healing, they must give it to hold it.” T-5.IV.7

So, the one forgiven can also be healed if he seeks to heal others. He “must give it to hold it” for “Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself.” T-27.II.4

The forgiven and the forgiver must ask this question: “And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to heal?” M-18.4

The power and extent to which healing can affect us is profound, for it says: “no one in whom true forgiveness rests can suffer.” T-27.II.3

That is quite a statement that would be difficult for many to accept who are suffering. If it is literally true then this would tell us that there are dimensions of forgiveness that is beyond the current consciousness of many, and we need to examine ourselves to see where the principle of forgiveness yet needs to be applied.

Indeed, the Course asks: Does pain seem real in the perception? If it does, be sure the lesson is not learned. And there remains an unforgiveness hiding in the mind that sees the pain through eyes the mind directs.” W-pI.193.7

The fact that it speaks of “unforgiveness hiding” tells us that some are deceived into thinking that they have forgiven all when they have not for “there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought. Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.” W-pI.198.9

The important thing that is healed through forgiveness is our “sight” or the way we look at things, especially separation:

Rejoice in the power of forgiveness to heal your sight completely. W-pI.75.9

“Forgiveness is the healing of the perception of separation. Correct perception of your brother is necessary, because minds have chosen to see themselves as separate.” T-3.V.9

This healing of the perception of separation coincides with. the healing of the mind:

“So does your healing show your mind is healed, and has forgiven what he did not do. And so is he (your brother) convinced his innocence was never lost, and healed along with you.” T-27.II.6

We are given this advice:

“From knowledge, where He has been placed by God, the Holy Spirit calls to you, to let forgiveness rest upon your dreams, and be restored to sanity and peace of mind. Without forgiveness will your dreams remain to terrify you.” W-pII.7.4

Finally, we are given this as a goal:

“My forgiveness is the means by which the world is healed, together with myself.” W-pI.82.1

  1. LOVE

We have just noted the importance of forgiveness in relation to healing. This is important, but healing cannot be complete without the foundation emotion leading to completeness.

“It (forgiveness) is the source of healing, but it is the messenger of love and not its Source.” T-18.IX.10

When we return to our Source, forgiveness will no longer be needed, but there will still be love which is a basic aspect that God shares with all creation. When true healing occurs, love is always there manifesting in some way.

The other two barriers to healing of fear and guilt are also neutralized by love.

“all healing involves replacing fear with love.” T-8.IX.5

“Be not afraid of love. For it alone can heal all sorrow, wipe away all tears, and gently waken from his dream of pain the Son whom God acknowledges as His.” W-pII.10.4

“The attraction of guilt produces fear of love, for love would never look on guilt at all. It is the nature of love to look upon only the truth, for there it sees itself, with which it would unite in holy union and completion.” T-19.IV.A.10

Many spiritual healers recognize the importance of love in producing positive results. Even experiments with growing plants verifies this. Plants. that are sent loving thoughts become much healthier than those sent negative thoughts.

A Course in Miracles reveals that love has more power than is generally realized:

“Love cannot suffer, because it cannot attack. The remembrance of love therefore brings invulnerability with it.” T-10.III.3

That is quite a statement telling us that love cannot suffer and brings “invulnerability with it.” Many may wonder at this statement as we have all seen many decent and loving people endure suffering. The Course does give us this clue:

“by not offering total love you will not be healed completely.” T-13.III.9

So, for a real miracle of complete healing to occur, love must be given with no reservations

“Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense everything that comes from love is a miracle.” T-1.I.3

The full expression of love is the greatest miracle. Even so, many who suffer seek the miracle of physical healing and seek to achieve it. But even though the suffering places great attention on the body, one must force his focus on love instead so miracles can take place, for “If a mind perceives without love, it perceives an empty shell and is unaware of the spirit within.” T-1.IV.2

The miracle of healing requires us to not let the discomfort of the body distract from awareness “of the spirit within.”

The one who is ill must take responsibility for his health and fulfill his own needs for love because, “When you do not value yourself you become sick, but my value of you can heal you, because the value of God’s Son is one.” T-10.III.6

We are all valuable to God and to be whole we must value ourselves.

“Miracles are merely the translation of denial into truth. If to love oneself is to heal oneself, those who are sick do not love themselves. Therefore, they are asking for the love that would heal them, but which they are denying to themselves. If they knew the truth about themselves they could not be sick.” T-12.II.1

And what is the truth about ourselves that heals? It is that we were created through the love of God and we are agents of love. To see ourselves as otherwise causes ill health.

To love yourself is to heal yourself, and you cannot perceive part of you as sick and achieve your goal.” T-11.VIII.11

However, one cannot have completeness of healing without assisting and sharing love with others:

“Perceive in sickness but another call for love, and offer your brother what he believes he cannot offer himself. Whatever the sickness, there is but one remedy. You will be made whole as you make whole, for to perceive in sickness the appeal for health is to recognize in hatred the call for love.” T-12.II.3

“You will be made whole as you make whole” is reinforced in this statement:

“A miracle is a reversal of the physical order because it brings more love to the giver AND the receiver.” UR T 1 B 10

The goal of love in healing is summarized in this passage:

“There is no sadness where a miracle has come to heal. And nothing more than just one instant of your love without attack is necessary that all this occur. In that one instant you are healed, and in that single instant is all healing done.” T-27.V.4

  1. MIND

God extended His mind in us, giving us power to create anything which we imagine and make it real. This worked out fine as long as the Sons of God were in harmony with Divine Will and saw truth as it is. But then the Sons got this “mad idea” and wondered. what it would be like to live in a world of time and space where even separation from God would be possible. This could not happen in eternity, but the power of the mind was so powerful that the Sons went to sleep, and in their dreams “miscreated” many strange things that led to nightmares and produced the possibility of pain and disease.

you have used your own mind, which He created in the likeness of His Own, to miscreate.” T-3.II.4

The Course tells us that in this dream where fear prevails, we still have all powers of creation, but often misuse it when we choose fear instead of love:

“The fearful must miscreate, because they misperceive creation. When you miscreate you are in pain.” T-2.VII.3

“The very fact that you are afraid makes your mind vulnerable to miscreation. You are therefore likely to misunderstand any healing that might occur, and because egocentricity and fear usually occur together, you may be unable to accept the real Source of the healing.” T-2.V.2

Even though we are in a dream of separation, we are still linked to our Creator:

“you cannot depart entirely from your Creator, Who set the limits on your ability to miscreate. An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way.” T-2.III.3

The “better way” is to remember who we are and use the mind for perfect creation instead of imperfect miscreation.

“The lesson (of healing) is the mind was sick that thought the body could be sick.” T-28.II.11

The ego takes advantage of this power to miscreate:

“The ego regards the body as its home, and tries to satisfy itself through the body. But the idea that this is possible is a decision of the mind, which has become completely confused about what is really possible.” T-4.II.7

We must realize our true situation as prisoners of the ego and the body so we can use the mind to eliminate pain and ill health:

“It (the body) holds in prison but the willing mind that would abide in it. It sickens at the bidding of the mind that would become its prisoner. And it grows old and dies, because that mind is sick within itself… Let us be glad that you will see what you believe, and that it has been given you to change what you believe. The body will but follow. T-31.III.4&6

The solution then is simple. We change what we believe and creation will follow:

“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

There is no miracle you cannot have when you desire healing. But there is no miracle that can be given you unless you want it. T-30.VIII.4

That sounds pretty simple. We just need to desire the miracle of healing to make it happen. But, one must realize that wholeness is required for miracles:

“All forms of sickness are signs that the mind is split, and does not accept a unified purpose.” T-8.IX.8

“Wholeness heals because it is of the mind.” T-8.IX.3

In other words, all the ingredients of the healing must be desired to produce results.

For instance, if one has diabetes because of a bad diet with lots of refined sugar he, of course, would like to be healed of the disease, but is he willing to cease eating the processed foods that caused it? We are like little children who do not want to go to the dentist but also do not want to brush regularly and cut down on sugar.

A split mind cannot be healed. To be healed, the mind has to be directed to wholeness physically, emotionally and mentally. When all the ingredients of health are embraced by the mind, then there will be wholeness in thought and the miracle can happen.

The Course gives this solid advice in connection with the mind and healing:

“All mind is whole, and the belief that part of it is physical, or not mind, is a fragmented or sick interpretation. Mind cannot be made physical, but it can be made manifest through the physical if it uses the body to go beyond itself. By reaching out, the mind extends itself. It does not stop at the body, for if it does it is blocked in its purpose. A mind that has been blocked has allowed itself to be vulnerable to attack, because it has turned against itself.

“The removal of blocks, then, is the only way to guarantee help and healing. Help and healing are the normal expressions of a mind that is working through the body, but not in it.” T-8.VII.10-11

  1. FAITH

In discussing factors that lead to healing, the subject of faith must indeed be included. In the New Testament, faith was credited by Jesus more than anything else as being responsible for the healing miracles. He often gave credit to people’s faith for their healings. Here are just several statements:

“thy faith hath made thee whole.” Matt 9:22

“Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.” Matt 9:29

“great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” Matt 15:28

This is perhaps his most famous statement concerning faith:

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” Matt 17:20

Moving a mountain would indeed be an impressive feat, on par with the resurrection itself. It was His way of saying that “all things are possible to him that believeth.” Mark 9:23

The Course mentions this great power of faith as if it should be a common thing:

“Why is it strange to you that faith can move mountains? This is indeed a little feat for such a power. For faith can keep the Son of God in chains as long as he believes he is in chains. And when he is released from them it will be simply because he no longer believes in them, withdrawing faith that they can hold him, and placing it in his freedom instead.” T-21.III.3

The passage goes on to tell us why we do not see more acts of significant faith saying: “It is impossible to place equal faith in opposite directions.”

It tells us that we can place our faith in illusion and falsehood as well as truth: “Faith and belief are strong in madness, guiding perception toward what the mind has valued.” T-21.V.8

Thus, we cannot move mountains because we have faith in our own limitations rather than the real source of power which is within us.

It is interesting that we see that the people who gathered in the home synagogue of Jesus had misplaced faith that Jesus could not perform miracles. He found the people had little positive faith in Him because they knew His family. The people figured that one of their own with whom they were familiar could not be the source of such miracles. Concerning them it is written:

“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matt 13:58

Even Jesus could not assist in healing those who thought it was not possible.

We are told that, “Faith goes to what you want, and you instruct your mind accordingly. Your will remains your teacher, and your will has all the strength to do what it desires” W-pI.91.5

To have the faith that produces miracles we must merely “instruct” our minds so we can accept the fact that “will has all the strength to do what it desires.”

Sounds pretty simple, but few fully incorporate such instruction because we have more faith in sickness than in health:

“Because the miracle worker has heard God’s Voice, he strengthens It in a sick brother by weakening his belief in sickness, which he does not share.” T-10.IV.7

It is certainly obvious that many have much more faith in illness than health. The miracle worker must therefore work to weaken that negative faith and redirect the mind to positive faith for “faith can be rewarded only in terms of the belief in which the faith was placed.” T-13.IX.2

We are told that our basic problem is that our “lack of faith in the power that heals all pain arises from your wish to retain some aspects of reality for fantasy.” T-17.I.3

The problem always goes back to the divided mind which is especially true concerning health. We desire good health, but we also desire things that are not good for our health. We desire to have positive faith, but we tend to focus on a belief in negativity.

A united mind can indeed manifest miracles through faith, and nothing unites the mind more than truth: “Where the goal of truth is set, there faith must be. The Holy Spirit sees the situation as a whole.” T-17.VI.6

Faith is increased by the sharing of truth and right-mindedness. Jesus taught this when he was here:

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt 18:19-20

Just two or three uniting in faith can make anything happen. The Course expands on this idea:

“Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God. And he is healed because you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him. Thus do you see him free, and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share. And since He shares it He has given it, and so He heals through you. It is this joining Him in a united purpose that makes this purpose real, because you make it whole. And this is healing. The body is healed because you came without it, and joined the Mind in which all healing rests.” T-19.I.2

Faith, healing, the Atonement, forgiveness and sharing all work together:

“To have faith is to heal. It is the sign that you have accepted the Atonement for yourself, and would therefore share it. By faith, you offer the gift of freedom from the past, which you received. You do not use anything your brother has done before to condemn him now.” T-19.I.9

Finally, before the fulness of miracles can manifest, we all must work on ourselves and our own healing:

“There have been many healers who did not heal themselves. They have not moved mountains by their faith because their faith was not whole. Some of them have healed the sick at times, but they have not raised the dead. Unless the healer heals himself, he cannot believe that there is no order of difficulty in miracles. He has not learned that every mind God created is equally worthy of being healed because God created it whole. You are merely asked to return to God the mind as He created it. He asks you only for what He gave, knowing that this giving will heal you. Sanity is wholeness, and the sanity of your brothers is yours.” T-5.VII.2


  1. PEACE

Peace is an important ingredient in the healing process, as none of the six categories we have covered so far would be effective without it.

The attainment of peace is essential to overcoming fear and guilt. Peace is a sign that true forgiveness has taken place. Love and peace go hand in hand. We cannot be in a positive state of mind if we are not at peace, and without it we cannot center ourselves on our inner core to exercise true faith.

The state of peace is a sign that the miracle worker has all the ingredients together to proceed with his or her work of love, service and healing.

You would think that all students would greatly desire this quality, but the Course indicates this is not the case.

Lesson 185 encourages students to embrace this statement:

“I want the peace of God.”

Then it makes these remarks:

To say these words is nothing. But to mean these words is everything. If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time… No one can mean these words and not be healed.” W-pI.185.1-2

Obviously, there are a lot of people dealing with sorrow and ill health who would tell us that they desire peace, but according to the Course there must be something lacking in such desires, else their suffering would end. What is it that could be missing? Here is a clue:

“When a brother is sick it is because he is not asking for peace, and therefore does not know he has it. The acceptance of peace is the denial of illusion, and sickness is an illusion. Yet every Son of God has the power to deny illusions anywhere in the Kingdom, merely by denying them completely in himself.” T-10.III.7.

This points out several helpful things to aid in the attainment of peace and healing. First, we already have peace in our core but one “does not know he has it.”

Secondly, one has to ask for it so the barriers can be removed. How many are there who are not at peace and in ill health, but have not made the simple gesture of asking their Source for peace and healing?

Third is “the acceptance of peace.” True peace comes from focusing on the Christ at the core of our being, for this state of mind has to be accepted to be retained. This is easier said than done as many distractions of life force us to look upon the world without more than the world within.

The fourth key to peace is “the denial of illusion” for “sickness is an illusion.”

Denial is often seen as a negative motion but the Course tells us that it can be put to positive use. We can use it to deny those things that are not true, not real or illusion. Since sickness of any kind is a part of the illusion, then a denial of it may be in order.

The question is, how do we go about denying pain and ill health? The key is to see that which is true rather than that which is not true. We are told that sickness is an illusion. An illusion is something that seems to be there but is not. This tells us how to deny sickness. One must attain the state of mind that sees and accepts it as something that does not exist in reality. I like to call this a state of “not seeing” rather than denial. When you do not see the imperfection, that which remains is perfection.

There is a spiritual maxim that says “energy follows thought.” The Course says something similar: “every thought you have brings either peace or war; either love or fear.” W-pI.16.3

Wrong-mindedness and miscreation guides energy in directions that produce disease. Taking thought away from the illusion removes the energy that feeds the illness and thus it has to disappear.

To accomplish this one has to honestly examine his thoughts and desires to see if he is really willing to let the destructive ones go and be replaced by the right-mindedness of the Holy Spirit which includes forgiveness. “The Holy Spirit calls to you, to let forgiveness rest upon your dreams, and be restored to sanity and peace of mind. Without forgiveness will your dreams remain to terrify you.” W-pII.7.4

As stated earlier, peace is strongly connected with the previous six factors needed for healing. The first, which is fear, is huge. We are asked this:

“Can pain be part of peace, or grief of joy? Can fear and sickness enter in a mind where love and perfect holiness abide?” W-pI.152.2

Unwise thinking creates the problem:

“You have chosen to create unlike Him, and have therefore made fear for yourself. You are not at peace because you are not fulfilling your function.” T-4.I.9

But it offers solutions:

“For the instant of peace is eternal because it is without fear.” T-15.II.2

“You have escaped from fear to peace, asking no questions of reality, but merely accepting it.” T-18.VI.11

The second problem, which is guilt, is on the opposite side of peace:

“Peace and guilt are antithetical, and the Father can be remembered only in peace.” T-13.I.1

“Peace and guilt are both conditions of the mind, to be attained. And these conditions are the home of the emotion that calls them forth, and therefore is compatible with them.” T-19.IV.B.10

We are called “to lay all guilt aside. Reflect the peace of Heaven here, and bring this world to Heaven.” T-14.X.1

The Course stresses several times the importance of forgiveness in the attainment of the peace that heals:

“When peace is not with you entirely, and when you suffer pain of any kind, you have beheld some sin within your brother, and have rejoiced at what you thought was there.” T-24.IV.5.

“How willing are you to forgive your brother? How much do you desire peace instead of endless strife and misery and pain? These questions are the same, in different form.” T-29.VI.1

The fourth point is love, which goes hand in hand with peace:

“Love has now returned to our awareness. And we are at peace again, for fear has gone and only love remains.” W-pII.323.2

“Peace be to you to whom is healing offered…What occurred within the instant that love entered in without attack will stay with you forever. Your healing will be one of its effects, as will your brother’s.” T-27.V.11

A whole mind is essential to peace:

The Wholeness of God, which is His peace, cannot be appreciated except by a whole mind” T-6.II.1

Peace is closely associated with mind, as evidenced by the fact that the phrase “peace of mind” is used 34 times in ACIM. Here is just one example:

“There are no small upsets. They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.” W-pI.5.4

Finally, we see that peace is essential in the use of faith:

“Your faith must grow to meet the goal that has been set. The goal’s reality will call this forth, for you will see that peace and faith will not come separately. What situation can you be in without faith, and remain faithful to your brother?” T-17.VII.4

“Then follow Him in joy, with faith that He will lead you safely through all dangers to your peace of mind this world may set before you.” T-13.VII.15

Peace is indeed an essential ingredient for healing and it is a journey without distance to find it:

“There is a place in you where there is perfect peace. There is a place in you where nothing is impossible. There is a place in you where the strength of God abides.” W-pI.47.7

Find that peace within and “nothing is impossible,” anything can be healed.

That said, we cannot end this section on peace without including the most famous quote of all from ACIM:

“Nothing real can be threatened.

Nothing unreal exists.

Herein lies the peace of God.” T-in.2


In addition to the seven factors we have covered, ACIMs tells us of others to which we need to pay attention.


The miracle of healing cannot take place without the Holy Spirit:

“Every situation, properly perceived, becomes an opportunity to heal the Son of God. And he is healed because you offered faith to him, giving him to the Holy Spirit and releasing him from every demand your ego would make of him. Thus do you see him free, and in this vision does the Holy Spirit share. And since He shares it He has given it, and so He heals through you. It is this joining Him in a united purpose that makes this purpose real, because you make it whole. And this is healing. The body is healed because you came without it, and joined the Mind in which all healing rests.” T-19.I.2

The Holy Spirit is the link for us between the worlds of heaven and earth. If we are to bypass the laws of this world and use the laws of the higher, we need His assistance. When a miraculous healing is attempted and met with failure, it is because the Holy Spirit was not fully involved and His messages of healing not entirely heard and followed. We must always include him for “the Holy Spirit is the only Healer.” T-13.VIII.1 In addition: “The Holy Spirit will direct you only so as to avoid pain.” T-7.X.3.

That which we seek must be in harmony with the Spirit, for even the scriptures tell us that “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.” James 4:3 We must ask for that which is in harmony with the will of heaven which takes us from pain to joy, from incompleteness to wholeness.


Ego judgments interfere with healing:

“peace must come to those who choose to heal and not to judge.” T-21.VIII.2

“It must be true the miracle can heal all forms of sickness, or it cannot heal. Its purpose cannot be to judge which forms are real, and which appearances are true.” T-30.VI.7

“Instead of judging, we need but be still and let all things be healed.”


We live in a world of time and space where we learn through what is perceived. The trouble is that we perceive many things incorrectly, as well as wrongly interpret that which is perceived. This leads to many problems including ill health.

Correct perception is a miracle itself and is essential for healing:

The level-adjustment power of the miracle induces the right perception for healing. Until this has occurred healing cannot be understood. Forgiveness is an empty gesture unless it entails correction. Without this it is essentially judgmental, rather than healing.” T-2.V.A.15

Healing involves perceiving our brother accurately:

“To heal, then, is to correct perception in your brother and yourself by sharing the Holy Spirit with him. This places you both within the Kingdom, and restores its wholeness in your mind.” T-7.II.2

And how do you tell if your perception is off?

“How can you tell when you are seeing wrong, or someone else is failing to perceive the lesson he should learn? Does pain seem real in the perception? If it does, be sure the lesson is not learned.” W-pI.193.7

The wrong perception of separation is the main correction needed:

“Forgiveness is the healing of the perception of separation. Correct perception of your brother is necessary, because minds have chosen to see themselves as separate.” T-3.V.9


To be a true miracle worker we are told that we must remember our origins. When we recall who we are, get a sense of heaven and a difference between laws that govern reality and illusion, then the presence of the Holy Spirit is fully invited in and miracles can occur.

Here we are told that if we could remember the truth about ourselves, we “could not be sick.”

“Miracles are merely the translation of denial into truth. If to love oneself is to heal oneself, those who are sick do not love themselves. Therefore, they are asking for the love that would heal them, but which they are denying to themselves. If they knew the truth about themselves they could not be sick. The task of the miracle worker thus becomes to deny the denial of truth. The sick must heal themselves, for the truth is in them…”

We must remember “that all power is of God. You can remember this for all the Sonship. Do not allow your brother not to remember, for his forgetfulness is yours. But your remembering is his, for God cannot be remembered alone. This is what you have forgotten. To perceive the healing of your brother as the healing of yourself is thus the way to remember God. For you forgot your brothers with Him, and God’s Answer to your forgetting is but the way to remember.” T-12.II.1-2

The very power to manifest miracles is inherent of what we are:

“Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals you have devised. It is inherent in the truth of what you are.” W-pI.77.2

what you are you must learn to remember.” T-6.V.C.5

The path to true remembering is through the Holy Spirit:

“He (the Holy Spirit) is perfectly aware that you do not know yourself, and perfectly aware of how to teach you to remember what you are.” T-12.VI.2

Yes, He will teach us but we must first “Listen, and you will learn how to remember what you are.” T-10.V.11

When remembrance comes, “You are entitled to miracles because of what you are. You will receive miracles because of what God is. And you will offer miracles because you are one with God.

“Your claim to miracles does not lie in your illusions about yourself. It does not depend on any magical powers you have ascribed to yourself, nor on any of the rituals you have devised. It is inherent in the truth of what you are. W-pI.77.1-2

This understanding leads to unlimited power:

“The Oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power. This limitless power is God’s gift to you, because it is what you are.” T-7.VI.10

This remembrance will bring “perfect healing.”

“Into this empty space, from which the goal of sin has been removed, is Heaven free to be remembered. Here its peace can come, and perfect healing take the place of death.” T-27.I.10.

Discovering this remembrance of our true identity is the purpose of the Course itself:

“This course will teach you how to remember what you are, restoring to you your Identity. We have already learned that this Identity is shared. The miracle becomes the means of sharing It.” T-14.X.12


The Course stresses many times that we must assist and join with our brothers to obtain heaven. Here it tells is the effect on our health by going it alone:

“For healing is the opposite of all the world’s ideas which dwell on sickness and on separate states. Sickness is a retreat from others, and a shutting off of joining. It becomes a door that closes on a separate self, and keeps it isolated and alone. Sickness is isolation. For it seems to keep one self apart from all the rest, to suffer what the others do not feel.” W-pI.137.1-2

True miracles happen through sharing:

“You have done miracles, but it is quite apparent that you have not done them alone. You have succeeded whenever you have reached another mind and joined with it. When two minds join as one and share one idea equally, the first link in the awareness of the Sonship as One has been made.” T-16.II.4

Those who are centered on themselves alone will not be able to manifest miracles for “God cannot be remembered alone” T-12.II.2, for we, along with our brothers, must tune into where we were in creation to become miracle workers.

We are told that “The cause of pain is separation, not the body, which is only its effect” T-28.III.5

If the cause of pain and illness is separation, then the cure is again to be united:

“No one is sick if someone else accepts his union with him. His desire to be a sick and separated mind can not remain without a witness or a cause. And both are gone if someone wills to be united with him.” T-28.IV.7

Not only must healing be shared but it is also essential to enter back into the kingdom of heaven:

“The Kingdom cannot be found alone, and you who are the Kingdom cannot find yourself alone.” T-8.III.6.

On the other hand, we do not want to share in the illusions or sickness of our brothers:

We should not “give support to someone’s dream of sickness and of death. It means that you share not his wish to separate, and let him turn illusions on himself.” T-28.IV.1


The Course stresses that we are all in this together and healing is a shared experience:

“Do not accept your brother’s variable perception of himself for his split mind is yours, and you will not accept your healing without his. For you share the real world as you share Heaven, and his healing is yours. To love yourself is to heal yourself, and you cannot perceive part of you as sick and achieve your goal. Brother, we heal together as we live together and love together.” T-11.VIII.11

We find that union and sharing are the ultimate healing solution:

“Healing is shared. And by this attribute it proves that laws unlike the ones which hold that sickness is inevitable are more potent than their sickly opposites. Healing is strength. For by its gentle hand is weakness overcome, and minds that were walled off within a body free to join with other minds, to be forever strong.” W-pI.137.8

ACIM and Orthodox Medicine

Many students read along in the Course about the principles of healing and think it is wonderful how a healed mind in tune with heaven can have perfect health, but then when the moment comes that illness threatens, what do they do?

Do they review the Course’s teachings that “illness is a form of magic” T-5.V.5 and seek to apply the non-magical instructions of the Course in healing?

Often the answer is no. Instead of using ACIM principles, they seek orthodox healing techniques which the Course says “are restatements of magic principles.” T-2.IV.4

I am reminded of a good friend I had a few years back who was an avid student of spiritual philosophy and alternative medicine. Out of the blue she developed cancer, and after the doctors scared the dickens out of her with a diagnosis and needed treatment, she seemed to throw all her previous beliefs out the window and placed all her faith in orthodox medicine. She lived a few months more in great pain and distress before a painful death took her.

I see this happening with ACIM students. They study the Course and think it is great, but then when they get a few sniffles they run to their doctor, take antibiotics, and whatever else he advises.

The Course uses the word “magic” quite a lot in describing illness as well as the orthodox methods of treating it. Concerning physical illness, it says:

“Only the mind is capable of error. The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. Physical illness represents a belief in magic. The whole distortion that made magic rests on the belief that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control.” T-2.IV.2

So, the health problems caused by magic comes from the belief “that there is a creative ability in matter which the mind cannot control.”

Then it tells us that it is wrong minded to attempt to cure magically induced disease with magical treatments on the body.

“All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles. This is the first step in believing that the body makes its own illness. It is a second misstep to attempt to heal it through non-creative agents.” T-2.IV.4

“Magic is the mindless or the miscreative use of mind. Physical medications are forms of “spells,” T-2.V.2

So, if we do not use orthodox healing techniques, what should we do?

First of all, the Course tells us that if we follow its precepts we will never be ill in the first place. We’ve already covered numerous statements to this effect that if we follow the teachings on love, forgiveness, correct use of mind, etc., the health of the body will take care of itself.

Unfortunately, none of us are perfect and just about all of us have physical challenges now and then. So, when this happens what should we do?

The problem is that any illness we have is generated through a misuse of the mind and has nothing to do with the body itself according to ACIM. Since the illness is caused by belief in magic outside the mind, the tendency is to seek for a cure in the same place. We thus seek for outside doctors and medicines that treat the body when in reality the mind has the problem that needs correction. We are told that:

“The body cannot heal, because it cannot make itself sick. It needs no healing. Its health or sickness depends entirely on how the mind perceives it, and the purpose that the mind would use it for.” T-19.I.3

The creative power of the mind is all powerful and if we use it correctly, we are told we will never be ill in any way and even death will be overcome. Some Course students are overwhelmed by the ideals the Course presents to us and are dismayed by their inability to reach them. Some feel uneasy seeking orthodox means of healing because of the statements ACIM made about them. It is stressed that using the laws of God is associated with the mind and the laws of the ego with the body:

“When you heal, you are remembering the laws of God and forgetting the laws of the ego.” T-7.IV.2

Orthodox medicine is thus ego centered, and the Course gives some controversial statements about certain practices. As of this writing vaccination, is a hot topic among Course students. It says this:

“Think of the freedom in the recognition that you are not bound by all the strange and twisted laws you have set up to save you…You really think a small round pellet or some fluid pushed into your veins through a sharpened needle will ward off disease and death.” W-pI.76.3

So right here it dismisses the need for prescription drugs as well as natural supplements in pill form. The “sharpened needle” would refer to vaccinations and other medical injections.

In that same section these thoughts are reinforced. It speaks of “‘laws’ we have believed we must obey. These would include, for example, the ‘laws’ of nutrition, of immunization, of medication, and of the body’s protection in innumerable ways… Dismiss all foolish magical beliefs today.” W-pI.76.

The Course even dismisses the use of glasses to improve vision:

“Thus you believe that you can change what you see by putting little bits of glass before your eyes. This is among the many magical beliefs that come from the conviction you are a body, and the body’s eyes can see.” W-pI.92.1

One may wonder how the scribe Helen Schucman felt about this since she wore glasses. Not only that, but both she and Kenneth Wapnick died after a painful bout with cancer. Helen, though, told us that she was far from the perfect student of the Course. There were parts of the Course that even she had difficulty in accepting.

In speaking of magical or orthodox dealings with pain it says:

“All belief in magic is maintained by just one simple-minded illusion;–that it works. All through their training, every day and every hour, and even every minute and second, must God’s teachers learn to recognize the forms of magic and perceive their meaninglessness.” M-16.11

So, the Course acknowledges that orthodox treatments work, but if true teachers see correctly, they will “perceive their meaninglessness.”

Then Jesus is quoted as saying this:

“I am repeating here a Biblical injunction of my own, already mentioned elsewhere, that if my followers eat any deadly thing it shall not hurt them. This is what Cayce could NOT believe, because he could not see that, as a Son of God, he WAS invulnerable.” UR T 3 C 39

Here Jesus was referring to this scripture concerning believers:

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:18

So, if miracle workers accept the laws of God above the laws of the ego, they will be “invulnerable” and can even “eat any deadly thing it shall not hurt them.”

The question is – how many are awake enough to be invulnerable and not be subject to the laws of the ego? Even Socrates, as evolved as he was, died when he ate the poison hemlock. How many students do we know that are of the caliber of Socrates, let alone Jesus?

Apparently, just proclaiming that you believe is not enough. There are Christian groups that take this scripture seriously and handle deadly snakes to demonstrate their faith and some get bitten and die. While the Corona Virus has been raging, some Christian ministers have publicly declared they are invulnerable to it because of their faith, yet have caught it and died. The media loves to publish stories of such people and make light of their faith.

Yes, there have been many who fell short in their faith, but there have been a few who have not and many students of the Course have reported witnessing miracles in their lives. The problem, even for a strong believer who has witnessed some miracles, is this. Under the law of God there is no order of difficulty in miracles, but under the ego there definitely is. It is very difficult for the mind of even the most fervent believer of ACIM to fully accept that there is no order of difficulty.

He can therefore accept the idea that a certain disease may be cured by a miracle, but raising the dead or moving a mountain is another matter. How many can fully accept something like these that seems utterly impossible to the ego? None that I know of to the point where they can accomplish them. Or how about restoring the sight to one blind from birth as did Jesus?

For the rank-and-file students, letting go of this order of difficulty by the mind is a great obstacle, and though there may be some who make such claims, rare are the actual demonstrations of such power and invulnerability.

Fortunately, for those of us who have not yet reached invulnerability, the Course recognizes that most have need for some of the ego’s magic. Many who seem spiritually evolved and shun orthodox treatments still wear glasses, take food supplements, and are selective about their diet. For those lacking in full-fledged faith in invulnerability, the Course indicates it is because we have a fear of using the mind to heal above applying medicines to the body. It says:

“If you are afraid to use the mind to heal, you should not attempt to do so. The very fact that you are afraid makes your mind vulnerable to miscreation. You are therefore likely to misunderstand any healing that might occur, and because egocentricity and fear usually occur together, you may be unable to accept the real Source of the healing. Under these conditions, it is safer for you to rely temporarily on physical healing devices, because you cannot misperceive them as your own creations. As long as your sense of vulnerability persists, you should not attempt to perform miracles.” T-2.V.2

So, if we perceive ourselves vulnerable enough to need medicine, vaccinations or medical assistance to heal the body, an attempt at miracles may lead to “miscreation.” If nothing is impossible for the mind, then indeed, we must be careful what we create with our thoughts.

The Course adds this about orthodox treatments:

“All material means that you accept as remedies for bodily ills are restatements of magic principles. This is the first step in believing that the body makes its own illness. It is a second misstep to attempt to heal it through non-creative agents. It does not follow, however, that the use of such agents for corrective purposes is evil. Sometimes the illness has a sufficiently strong hold over the mind to render a person temporarily inaccessible to the Atonement. In this case it may be wise to utilize a compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief. This is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded, or the sick, is an increase in fear.” T-2.IV.4

Again, it associates the problem of vulnerability with fear. The problem is that fear is a very subtle thing, and many think they have no fear when they merely have fear that is suppressed that still makes them vulnerable. When the student still has vulnerabilities, we are told that the use of regular medicines is not evil, but may be the right thing to do because the “healing belief” is in the orthodox medicine. If that is where our belief is, then that is where we must go for treatment. If we believe in the medicine, the doctor or the vaccine, that is where the benefit may be until the student is able to place more faith in mind/spirit than directly treating the body.

“So do we lay aside our amulets, our charms and medicines, our chants and bits of magic in whatever form they take. We will be still and listen for the Voice of healing, which will cure all ills as one, restoring saneness to the Son of God. No voice but this can cure.” W-pI.140.10

The Course does give us an interesting hint as to how wrong thinking can cause physical problems. In speaking of Helen’s vision problems, it says:

The result is a kind of “double vision,” which would have produced an actual diplopia, if she had not settled for nearsightedness. This was an attempt to see the concrete more clearly through the ego’s eyes, without the “interference” of the longer range. Her virtual lack of astigmatism is due to her real efforts at objectivity and fairness. She has not attained them, or she would not be nearsighted. But she HAS tried to be fair with what she permitted herself to see. … B., you were more capable of a longrange view, and that is why your eyesight is good. UR T 4 C 6&9

Notice how it tells us that physical vision problems corresponds to wrong thinking. Helen’s nearsightedness was caused by “an attempt to see the concrete more clearly through the ego’s eyes, without the “interference” of the longer range.”

In addition, “Her virtual lack of astigmatism is due to her real efforts at objectivity and fairness.”

Bill had good eyesight because he was “capable of a longrange view.”

This concept that physical problems correspond to misdirected thinking has been picked up by a number alternative healers and authors. It is said, for instance, that if we allow someone to bother us too much we may develop a headache or pain in the neck, for we see them as a pain in the neck. If one doesn’t have the backbone to stand up for himself, he may develop back problems. If we let others get under our skin, we may develop skin problems. If another does not give love when needed, he could develop problems with the heart and so on. Fear is said to greatly lower our defenses against contagious diseases.

Those who have contemplated the mind/body connection have come up with corresponding wrong thinking behind every physical problem. It is an interesting subject that a student of ACIM might want to investigate.


The Course presents a number of ideals concerning health and healing. Sometimes it makes it sound like students should have perfect health if they just grasp its basic elements. Other times it seems to tell us that healing others who are ill is a simple matter of following the teachings. These ideals cause some students to get a little frustrated with themselves.

Let me encourage all readers to forge ahead no matter how small or great your results have been so far. Very few have mastered the teachings to be able to perform miracles as did Jesus in the Bible, but it is essential to keep in mind that He set the example of what all of us can and will eventually accomplish. The important thing is to honestly examine ourselves to see where we are now and then to take the next step.

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

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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.


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

Copyright by J J Dewey

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 17


The Mystery of Relationships

My first read through the text of A Course in Miracles went pretty smoothly until about half way though when it started talking about the special relationship in quite a negative light.

In a nutshell, a special relationship, according to ACIM, is any relationship held by an individual where another person is seen as more special or the object of more love than anyone else. For most people the spouse, one’s children or good friends are seen as more special in their lives than strangers or various irritating people encountered in life. In fact most counselors and books on marriage advise one to make the partner feel special by going out of one’s way to do things for them that are not done to others.

It is kind of an accepted thing among humanity to go out of our way to make loved ones feel special. I’ve read a lot of spiritual related materials and hadn’t read of any teacher criticizing the special relationship. Many recommend seeing God, Christ or merely the good in all people and treating all with kindness and a giving heart even if they are obnoxious, but I hadn’t come across any tradition attacking the special relationship that would including marriage and children. Thus when I encountered the Course’s teachings on the special relationship I found that my open mindedness was put to the test. If it were not for seeing the high intelligence behind the author and the innovating teachings presented I might have discounted the whole thing. As it was, I read on and considered all with an open mind and discovered that when all the various teachings on this are put together in the bigger picture a path to happier relationships is revealed.

That said, let us look at what the Course actually says about the special relationship. Here is a quote that gives the flavor of its outlook:

“The special relationship is a strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven, and making them indistinguishable. And the attempt to find the imagined ‘best’ of both worlds has merely led to fantasies of both, and to the inability to perceive either as it is. The special relationship is the triumph of this confusion. It is a kind of union from which union is excluded, and the basis for the attempt at union rests on exclusion.” T-16.V.6.

Basically this and other statements gives a good description of a bad marriage. “A strange and unnatural ego device for joining hell and Heaven” is particularly graphic and even a somewhat humorous description for one who has gone through a difficult relationship.

As I read on I found that the special relationship was not all bad and could be redeemed but before we go there let us present some of the reasons given by the Course why the special relationship can be a hindrance and then what can be done about it. According to the Course the big problem with the special relationship is that it is a substitute for God and His love.

“See in the special relationship nothing more than a meaningless attempt to raise other gods before Him” T-16.V.13

“In a sense, the special relationship was the ego’s answer to the creation of the Holy Spirit, Who was God’s Answer to the separation.” T-17.IV.4

So we are to look to God and His Holy Spirit for completion, but this can be frustrated if we put more special attention on another person than we do our true Source. As the Israelites molded the golden calf and made it more special than God we can also fall into the trap of placing special people in our lives above our link with God. In simple language the Course is telling us to put God first above any person or thing in this world.

The Course tells us we have separated ourselves from God and instead of seeking to return we seek through special relationship that which we left behind:

“Hear Him gladly, and learn of Him that you have need of no special relationships at all. You but seek in them what you have thrown away. And through them you will never learn the value of what you have cast aside, but still desire with all your heart.” T-15.VIII.2

“The real purpose of the special relationship, in strict accordance with the ego’s goals, is to destroy reality and substitute illusion.” T-16.V.9

The basic flaw in the special relationship is that it introduces inequality in love. Instead, we are supposed to be like God and love all other beings equally:

“You cannot enter into real relationships with any of God’s Sons unless you love them all and equally. Love is not special. If you single out part of the Sonship for your love, you are imposing guilt on all your relationships and making them unreal.” T-13.X.11

And thus we have guilt associated with the special relationship which seems to be a major reason for the negative descriptions of it.

“the closer you look at the special relationship, the more apparent it becomes that it must foster guilt and therefore must imprison.” T-16.VI.4.

“It is sure that those who select certain ones as partners in any aspect of living, and use them for any purpose which they would not share with others, are trying to live with guilt rather than die of it. This is the choice they see. And love, to them, is only an escape from death.” T-16.IV.4

Guilt seems to be just one of the negative effects of the special relationship:

“In looking at the special relationship, it is necessary first to realize that it involves a great amount of pain. Anxiety, despair, guilt and attack all enter into it, broken into by periods in which they seem to be gone. All these must be understood for what they are. Whatever form they take, they are always an attack on the self to make the other guilty.” T-16.V.1

When someone reads this he may wonder why the course speaks so negatively about guilt and other negative aspects belonging to the special relationship. After all, are there not a lot of people with positive and beneficial special relationships?

There are two key phrases in that last quote. The first is there are “periods in which they (the negativity) seem to be gone.”

Yes, many couples will have an enjoyable relationship for a few years and then all hell will break loose. They will either separate or continue together merely enduring each other.

The second key statement is: “Whatever form they take, they are always an attack on the self to make the other guilty.”

This is interesting. The major problems in the special relationship is not caused by attacking the mate but attacking oneself to evoke guilt in the other. How does this happen?

Lots of ways. Here are a few.

One partner says: “I do all the housework and what do you do.? You just sit around, watch TV and drink beer.”

This person attacked herself by making her a victim and then attempted to make her mate feel guilty.

In another instance a partner may say, “I slave away all day at a job I hate and you just sit around most of the day and can’t even get dinner ready on time.”

Again, he makes himself a victim and attempts to induce guilt.

These are stark examples but many play little games that portray themselves as subtle victims to make the partner feel some unease with guilt. One says in different ways, “I do this for you and what do I get in return?” These games play out even in relatively stable relationships.

Guilt is a major barrier between humanity and the realm of Spirit. Guilt must be understood and released before the Son of God can manifest and return home. This is why the special relationship is discouraged and viewed with such negativity.

The trouble is that all of us have special relationships of some kind. They may be with a spouse, one’s children, friends, a car, a home, a job – virtually anything that the person is strongly attached to and shows special attention.

So are we all doomed to stay in the illusion? It seems quite difficult to go through life without some sort of special relationship unless you are a yogi living in a cave.’

And aren’t there a few people with peaceful relationships free of guilt?

Fortunately the Course does offer deliverance from the special relationship composed of guilt and turbulence to one of peace. It calls us to make a transition from the special relationship, which it sometimes calls the unholy relationship, to the holy relationship.

To understand what is needed to heal our relationships we must understand the problem of limitation in the special relationship. The limitation is symbolized by the body: “The special relationship is a device for limiting your self to a body, and for limiting your perception of others to theirs.” T-16.VI.3

In the spiritual realm there is no separation. As Spirit you are merged and one with every other part of the life of God. This ultimate sharing is what the Course calls heaven. Unfortunately “the body cannot be used for purposes of union. If, then, you see your brother as a body, you have established a condition in which uniting with him becomes impossible.” T-19.I.4

So our life focus seems to be limited to a body, but in this limited condition we have an internal desire to reestablish that heavenly union that we once had. Communication and sex is the best we can do in this direction with bodies but all efforts fall short aptly described here:

“On this side of the bridge you see the world of separate bodies, seeking to join each other in separate unions and to become one by losing. When two individuals seek to become one, they are trying to decrease their magnitude. Each would deny his power, for the separate union excludes the universe. Far more is left outside than would be taken in, for God is left without and nothing taken in. If one such union were made in perfect faith, the universe would enter into it. Yet the special relationship the ego seeks does not include even one whole individual. The ego wants but part of him, and sees only this part and nothing else.” T-16.VI.5

This problem of separation caused by seeing ourselves in bodies is something of which many are completely unaware. They assume that the highest union to be achieved is through physical proximity and vocal communication. A few sense there is more but know not how to achieve it.

We are very limited in our unions in our special relationships so God has given us the Holy Spirit to assist us in removing them.

“Everyone on earth has formed special relationships, and although this is not so in Heaven, the Holy Spirit knows how to bring a touch of Heaven to them here. In the holy instant no one is special, for your personal needs intrude on no one to make your brothers seem different. Without the values from the past, you would see them all the same and like yourself. Nor would you see any separation between yourself and them. In the holy instant, you see in each relationship what it will be when you perceive only the present. God knows you now.” T-15.V.8

So it is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring a “touch of heaven” into our special relationships. Since oneness and unity is the outstanding feature of heaven then that would be what He would seek to bring here:

“It is the Holy Spirit’s function to teach you how this oneness is experienced, what you must do that it can be experienced, and where you should go to do it.” T-25.I.6

So when we follow our own wills while seeing ourselves separated through bodies we create special relationships. They seem to add to us, but in reality they diminish us. But when we call in the Holy Spirit, which links heaven and earth, we transcend the limitations off the body and share in the one mind that is from God. When this happens our vision is extended to the whole and the special relationship is turned into a “holy relationship.”

“Reason sees a holy relationship as what it is; a common state of mind, where both give errors gladly to correction, that both may happily be healed as one.” T-22.III.9

This “common state of mind” can never be achieved by those yielding to the ego. But The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son and truth is seen correctly through its eyes. Two or more having the Holy Spirit in their relationship will “give errors gladly to correction” and all disagreements that occur in ego centered relationships just vanish. Disagreements will no longer exist. Furthermore, we are told this:

“This is the function of your holy relationship. For what one thinks, the other will experience with him. What can this mean except your mind and your brother’s are one?” T-22.VI.14

This describes a oneness few experience, but it is the goal set by the course and eventually will be achieved by all of us. Imagine being so closely linked to another that “what one thinks, the other will experience with him.”

Some have had this happen at high points in the relationship but later drift back into the ego and live in their separate condition.

Jesus gave the key to making this sharing a permanent condition:

“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:2-4

So, how is it that a little child is a key to entering the kingdom of heaven?

The child is humble and does not cling to the error of many preconceived notions. He is open to the idea that anything could be true. This is the outlook we must have to establish the holy relationship. All involved must be willing to turn all beliefs over to the Holy Spirit and then only go with those that He verifies to be true. When two people will do this and “give errors gladly to correction” they will share their minds as one and virtually enter the kingdom of heaven while still residing on earth, similar to Jesus in the Course who said, “my feet are on the ground and my hands are in Heaven,” UR T 1 B 40ab

“In this world, God’s Son comes closest to himself in a holy relationship.So do the parts of God’s Son gradually join in time, and with each joining is the end of time brought nearer. Each miracle of joining is a mighty herald of eternity.” T-20.V.1

It would seem that all seekers would jump at the opportunity for oneness and sharing, but the Course points out that there is a major obstacle in the way:

Around each entity is built a wall so seeming solid that it looks as if what is inside can never reach without, and what is out can never reach and join with what is locked away within the wall.” T-26.I.2

Then it gives the solution:

“You whose hand is joined with your brother’s have begun to reach beyond the body, but not outside yourself, to reach your shared Identity together.” T-18.VI.10.

“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

“together our minds fuse into something whose power is far beyond the power of its separate parts.” T-8.V.1

As we share this goal, we increase its power to attract the whole Sonship, and to bring it back into the oneness in which it was created.” T-5.II.11

If we have to “bring it back into oneness” this would imply that we are currently not there yet but this is indeed a goal to which we aspire. To achieve that goal involves sharing the mind of God with our brothers and sisters. This is also emphasized in the Course when it stresses that we cannot go home alone but must do all we can to take others with us.

“Together is your joint inheritance remembered and accepted by you both. Alone it is denied to both of you.” T-31.II.11

“How easy is it to offer this miracle to everyone! No one who has received it for himself could find it difficult. For by receiving it, he learned it was not given him alone. Such is the function of a holy relationship; to receive together and give as you received.” T-22.IV.7

It seems that everything connected with salvation and the holy relationship involves a spiritual sharing of the mind of God with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. For most this higher sharing begins by working at their special relationships in hope of turning them to holy relationships. Based on what we have learned from the Course let us see how we can make that happen.

Special relationships are created by seeing one’s loved ones as special, more deserving of our love and attention than others. On the other hand, the Course teaches that God loves all his children equally and does not favor one over another. We are supposed to incorporate this same attitude.

Does this mean we are supposed to dissolve our special relationships? It almost sounds that way in places but it clarifies here:

“I said before that the first change, before dreams disappear, is that your dreams of fear are changed to happy dreams. That is what the Holy Spirit does in the special relationship. He does not destroy it, nor snatch it away from you. But He does use it differently, as a help to make His purpose real to you. The special relationship will remain, not as a source of pain and guilt, but as a source of joy and freedom.” T-18.II.6

“Your special relationship will be a means for undoing guilt in everyone blessed through your holy relationship. It will be a happy dream, and one which you will share with all who come within your sight. Through it, the blessing the Holy Spirit has laid upon it will be extended.” T-18.II.7

So we do not have to end any of our special relationships. Instead, we turn them into holy relationships with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. The Course gives an overall picture of how this is to happen but seems to leave the details up to us. This leaves some wondering how much specialness is allowed in dealing with your spouse, children and other loved ones. Is it wrong to give them birthday and Christmas presents beyond what you would give your neighbor or some guy you do not even know who is homeless? Are you supposed to go to your neighbor’s home and give his kids hugs and love so they feel as special as your own children?

I think we can see that students can take this too far by looking at literal actions that can betaken.

Jesus had a major problem with wrong headed literal interpretation in his day, especially concurring the Sabbath. The commandment said there was to be no work done on the Sabbath and to the religious leaders no work meant no work so they devised hundreds of things that would be considered work that should not be done on the day of rest.

In the eyes of the authorities Jesus was breaking the commandment because he and his disciples did several things they considered work. To this Jesus tried to set them straight by enunciating the general principle which he followed. He told them, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

In other words, man was not made to be a slave to a bunch of silly rules around the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made to benefit humanity and improve their lives.

We can apply this same principle with relationships. Relationships are not made to be a chain around our necks but to bring us joy and happiness. If we try and make numerous rules about what we cannot do if a relationship is holy then we make the same mistake as those who criticized Jesus. Instead, like Jesus, we must look at the principles to be followed. If we do this the details will take care of themselves.

So, what is the principle behind the Holy Relationship that should guide our thinking?

Basically it is this. We are all children of God and of equal importance in His sight. Each of us must come to the realization that all people everywhere are just as important and deserving of love as those loved ones in your inner circle.

Does this mean that you do not fulfill your responsibilities to those close to you and spend all your resources helping strangers?

No. Each of us has assumed certain responsibilities toward assisting loved ones in the world. If everyone were to not fulfill them the world would be in chaos. The truth is we can fulfill our responsibilities toward loved ones while realizing the equality of all the sons of God and helping others when opportunity presents itself.

If we interpret this equality idea too literally then we would have to criticize Jesus for turning water into wine for a select few hosted by his mother at a wedding. Jesus did not go around to other weddings to make sure they also had wine, yet we know he understood the principle.

The state of mind necessary for the holy relationship is determined more by one’s state of mind than an itemization of actions that need to be taken. When consciousness is in the right place correct actions will naturally follow.

So if one’s attitude is in the right place how does one consummate the holy relationship by sharing the mind of God with another individual?

It is important to understand that this can only be accomplished by two or more people who are willing to be guided by the Holy Spirit rather than the ego. If a loved one is unwilling to accept the Spirit of oneness then the student must look elsewhere until one who is willing to share the mind of God is found.

When one finds the right individuals for the holy relationship then the real work begins. In special relationships no two people can agree on all things. There are always disagreements that separate them. In the holy relationship there are no major disagreements for all potential conflict is solved by the one mind through the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of the holy relationship this will take much effort for no one likes to admit they were wrong in a disagreement. But if the two share with the Spirit together they will resolve the differences and become one. Then as they practice the holy relationship oneness will become natural and they will see through each other’s eyes without effort.

In the beginning of our marriage my wife and I did our best to create a holy relationship but sometimes a pointed disagreement got in the way. To solve this problem we felt that we needed to reconnect with the Holy Spirit through the remembrance of the love of God so when we reached an impasse one of us would suggest that both of us meet at the kitchen table and look in each other’s eyes. Once the focus was established we were to say “I love you” three times each, but it had to be said like you really meant it, not just the words. The strange thing was that by the time we had finished saying it three times the atmosphere completely changed. No longer did we feel any division or anger at each other, but instead we felt a great peace. And strangest of all we often could not even remember what we were arguing about.

Over the years we have had to use this less and less and now it has been a few years since his process was even needed. Now we rarely disagree on anything, except minor things like what to watch on TV and here the problem is immediately solved by me letting her have her way.

Other times, especially in non romantic relationships there will be disagreements even with people who are spiritually sensitive. How do we achieve oneness so the holy relationship may be maintained?

Let us suppose that you have a friend or loved one with whom you are seeking a holy relationship. You have both invited the Holy Spirit into your lives to guide them but you have reached an impasse and just do not agree on a certain point. What do you do?

The answer is quite simple. In prayer or meditation ask God for the Holy Spirit’s help to bring you to oneness.

“The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response. ” T-9.II.3

“It is the Holy Spirit’s function to teach you how this oneness (with God) is experienced, what you must do that it can be experienced” T-25.I.6

“To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him? No, indeed! That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course is most concerned. If you have made it a habit to ask for help when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it.” M-29.5

To move the special relationship to a holy one merely involves bringing in the Holy Spirit as a guide and revealer. If you and your partner disagree then place the two alternatives before the Spirit and ask about them. If you re both sincere as a little child then you will both get the same answer.

For simplicity’s sake it is best to reduce the disagreement to the point where it can be solved with a simple yes or no. Which is the best answer A or B? If A is closest to the truth then both of you will get a yes on that as the Holy Spirit is not divided against itself.

Those in the ego centered on the special relationship can never achieve oneness and unity but if two or more dedicate themselves to following the guidance of the Holy Spirit higher unity and sharing becomes a reality and instead of feeling like you have given something up or lost something with a change of mind, the feeling will be one of gain, completeness, peace and wholeness, or holiness.

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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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 16

The Mysteries of the Dream

There is a major problem created by some of the wording of the teachings of A Course in Miracles which causes numerous apparent contradictions to appear in the text. A prime cause of this problem is that the Course teaches about the true reality it calls heaven contrasted with the dream world wherein we currently dwell.

The problem occurs because of the way the two worlds are described. Heaven is said to be the only true reality there is and this visible world is seen as being not real as is a dream.

“The world you see does not exist, because the place where you perceive it is not real.” T-28.V.7

“The world as you perceive it cannot have been created by the Father,” T-11.VII.1

Therefore when the Course speaks from the reality as seen from God’s view it often speaks as if this world we apparently live in does not even exist.

But the purpose of the entire course is directed to the inhabitants of this dream world that is said to not exist so something must be somewhere. Unfortunately the Course is limited to the use of human language in referencing things in this world.

Dealing with the two worlds in the script often causes confusion for sometimes the Course is speaking from the view of the true reality and readers think it is talking about this world. Other times it talks about this world and readers think it is talking about heavenly things.

For instance, in speaking from the heavenly view it says: “You dwell not here (on earth), but in eternity. You travel but in dreams, while safe at home.” T-13.VII.17

This and other verses telling us this world, the body, the past etc. does not even exist is taken so literally by some students that it makes it difficult to have a conversation with them. If you casually mention anything about living in this world they will correct you and remind you that you are not here. The problem is that you cannot have an intelligent conversation about any subject without referring to the world we see and how it works.

Some students take a very simplistic view of the power of illusion in this world, seeing it as no more real than a dream at night. The Course says otherwise:

“It is a mistake to believe that a thought system based on lies is weak. Nothing made by a child of God is without power. It is essential to realize this, because otherwise you will be unable to escape from the prison you have made.” T-3.VII.1

In other words, a flippant attitude toward this illusion we are in and just declaring we are not here falls short of what is needed for liberation. The power we inherited rom God made this world and it takes that same power to undo it.

That said, in this chapter we will look at several problematic interpretations of the Course and try and get some clarification. We have already covered several of these such as time, predestination, the separation, the one and the many and others, but here we will focus on illusions about the illusion, or the dream and the awakening.

The first question we will consider is: “Where are we?”

As pointed out in the previous quote the Course seems to indicate that we are not even here but “home” in “eternity” or heaven. Verses like this add to the confusion:

“There is no need for help to enter Heaven for you have never left.” C-5.1

“Father, Your Son, who never left, returns to Heaven and his home.” W-pII.241.2

In addition we are told that our separation from God and heaven never even happened:

In time this (the separation) happened very long ago. In reality it never happened at all.” M-2.2

Many students take these quotes to heart and will correct you if you say anything that deviates from their interpretation.

If you talk of heaven as if it were a place they will tell you that heaven is not a place. If you talk about being someplace in this world they will tell you that this world does not exist and you are not here. If you mention anything related to the body they will accuse you of thinking you are a body and lecture that you are not in a body that isn’t even here.

What it boils down to is that you cannot have a normal conversation with some of these folk for everything you can say about the world we live in is wrong minded as they see it.

The problem is that we are having an experience in his world and one cannot say more than a few words without talking about something we see, hear or experience within it causing ACIM critics to come forward and accuse you of wrong thinking.

Not only are some students violating the teachings of the Course with their zealous corrections bordering on attack, but they are also often more in error than the ones they seek to correct.

So, if we are not here in the world, because here does not exist where are we according to ACIM? Since we are told that “Heaven is not a place nor a condition” T-18.VI.1 then we must not be there either. It appears we are all nowhere if we take things literally.

On the other hand, as Descartes said, “I think therefore, I am”; therefore we indeed exist and must exist somewhere.

A lot of this problematic dialogue comes from the imperfection of language itself as many words can be used with several meanings. For instance, the word “place” often refers to a physical location, but other times it does not. Sometimes it refers to a non physical state. When it says that heaven is not a place it is saying that it has no physical location that we can visit in a spaceship, but then other times it does use the word as referring to a state of existence.

It is interesting that in the same paragraph where heaven is said to not be a place it says: “The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God.” T-18.VI.1

There are numerous passages using “place” in relation to heaven. Here is one more: “And They come quickly to the living temple, where a home for Them has been set up. There is no place in Heaven holier.” T-26.IX.6

So, from one view presented in ACIM there is no such thing as a place anywhere, neither in heaven or on earth. There is no place in heaven because there are no physical dimensions there and there is no place in this world because it is an illusion like a dream and does not really exist.

What does not seem to be realized by some students is that in the correct context the word can be correctly used in reference to things in heaven and the earth.

For example our dreams we have at night are not real relative to our normal waking state. One could be technically correct in saying that the place you dreamed of does not exist. Yet in describing the dream you may say you drove your car from one place to another. If one gave this description it would be silly for the listener to say “you were not in any place!” It sounds like he is disagreeing just to be disagreeable.

So if we use ACIM language how can we accurately describe where we are? This seems like a silly question to the man on the street as he would say that he knows exactly where he is. Instead, this is a serious question for many Course students trying to understand the sometimes confusing and seemingly contradictory language.

To clarify we need to ask whether we are in heaven instead of in this world?

This passage sheds some light: “Now try to reach the Son of God in you. This is the Self that never sinned, nor made an image to replace reality. This is the Self that never left Its home in God to walk the world uncertainly.” W-pI.94.3

So we in this dream world can look within and “reach the Son of God” who never left his home.

This tells us there is a real part of ourselves that is still at home in heaven with God. But could it be that we are 100% in heaven and not here when we are having actual experience and perception in this world? After all, when we dream at night our consciousness is mostly in the dream. Obviously something is here in this place. Even when we dream at night we are having an experience in a non physical place in the dream state so why would we deny that anything is happening here?

The problem is in the Course language which only recognizes reality which is eternal and changeless. Thus the earth and everything in it is not eternal so it is not classified as real and sometimes seen as not even existing.

But there are two worlds where we experience life. The first is the eternal world which the Course calls heaven and the second is the world of time and space where all things have a beginning and an end. All things with a beginning and an end are seen as not real because when they cease to exist and the focus is on the eternal present it is as if nothing happened.

On the other hand, when living in time lots seem to be happening and from our perception we are living here now. After all, the Course says that “the thought (of this world) become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.” T-27.VIII.6

So the creation of this world and universe of form became “possible of both accomplishment and real effects” to the extent that part of the Sonship separated and produced these effects that we experience here.

The Course is quite confusing in saying on one hand that this world and separation does not exist yet speaks of it consistently throughout its entire half million words. Why go to such effort to redeem us from something that never happened and does not exist? This makes absolutely no sense when taken literally.

Obviously this world has an existence and the separation was real enough to cause God to be “lonely without His Sons, and they are lonely without Him.” T-2.III.5

Some students will insist that this world never happened and we are not here yet the Course says that the separation caused God to be lonely and to create the Holy Spirit to help bring the prodigal son home. In addition Jesus has made a tremendous effort in creating A Course in Miracles as a guide to help us awaken and return home. Would he spend all that effort on nothing?

Why go to all that effort to create an extensive Course as a remedy for something that does not even have an existence?

Obviously some are not understanding the true message of the Course which is a separation did happen causing God to think, “My children sleep and must be awakened.” T-6.V.1 and we are to “not delay my coming home” W-pII.242.1

Here the Course makes it clear that our existence here is more than a non existent symbol:

“The Separation is NOT symbolic. It is an order of reality, or a system of thought that is PERFECTLY real in time, though not in Eternity. All beliefs are real to the believer.” UR T 3 I 6 “The separation is a system of thought real enough in time, though not in eternity” T-3.VII.3

This separated reality was created by mind. Since mind is eternal it could also be:

“It may surprise you to learn that had the ego willed to do so, it COULD have made the eternal, because, as a product of the mind, it IS endowed with the power of its own creator.” UR T 4 F 13

The problem in understanding comes from the fact that the Course stresses that true reality only consists of that which is eternal and since this separated world has a beginning and an end it is temporary. When it is over all is like a dream that never happened in heaven.

But what is overlooked is time and space as well as dreams are real when we are in them and we are definitely in a dream now or we wouldn’t be discussing the Course.

To equate this dream which we made real to a dream at night is somewhat misleading as they are significantly different. Let us list a few.

For simplicity’s sake we’ll call our existence here Dream 1 and a dream at night Dream 2

(1) Dream 1 is much more complex and elaborate with many consistent laws and forms lasting billions of years.

Dream 2 is fleeting lasting only a few minutes and has few if any laws.

(2) When an entity in Dream 1 wakes up the other entities and forms do not disappear as they do in Dream 2 but are still there trapped in the dream. The awake person can even communicate with the people in Dream 1 after awakening.

Example: Jesus woke up but we and the universe is still here and he can communicate with individuals as he did with Helen Schucman.

In addition the Course tells us of other advanced beings who have awakened yet can communicate with us:

“There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. No one can call on them in vain.” M-26.2

(3) Waking up from Dream 2 is simple as the slightest disturbance will do the trick.

Waking up from Dream 1 is very complex as it involves billions of individual lives. All the billions of lives in the dream have to wake up before the larger composite life, called The Son, awakens. A great disturbance, even a super nova, does not awaken the One Son.

(4) Cause and effect and laws are consistent in Dream 1 but are lacking in Dream 2.

(5) You may have some vision and audio in Dream 2 but the rest of the senses from Dream 1 are pretty much dormant.

(6) We learn and apply things in Dream 1, but this rarely if ever happens in Dream 2.

(7) We use reason and choice in Dream 1, but we basically just drift along without thinking in Dream 2.

We thus see that blithely stating that our life here is like a dream doesn’t really give the full picture. About the only way it is like a dream is that it has a beginning and an end. When anything ends it is in the past and when attention is taken off that past and focused on the Eternal Now then it is like a dream which has passed.

What is similar in the two dream states is that we do have a real experience that has been created by the power of mind. In both cases the experience is caused by a creation of the mind.

According to ACIM, creation of our entire physical universe including our bodies are caused by a dream:

“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

“What if you recognized this world is an hallucination? What if you really understood you made it up?” T-20.VIII.2

This is in harmony with us not being our bodies.

The Course does not say the body wakes up. It is the Son who is asleep that needs to wake up:

“Sleep is not death. What He created can sleep, but cannot die. Immortality is His Will for His Son, and His Son’s will for himself.” T-11.I.9

The real us is a part that is one with the One Son of God. From the standpoint of eternity this world is not real but it was an actual happening with “real effects.”

“In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.” T-27.VIII.6

Another source of confusion is that the awakening of the Son occurs in two states, but many students lump them together as if it were one event.

The first stage is where part of the Sons wake up and the second and final stage is where they all wake up, realizing they belong to the life of the One Son..

Most assume that Jesus is awake and 100% in heaven, yet He says:

“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

It appears then that even Jesus does not yet dwell fully in heaven for his “feet are on the ground.” In other words, he still has a presence in this earth or the dream world.

He gives additional light on this:

“I must understand uncertainty and pain, although I know they have no meaning. Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out, and now will lead you out with him.”

So even Jesus must remain connected to this dream world “seeing what they see.” Obviously this connection allowed him to see into the lives of Helen and Bill so he was aware of what was going on in their lives.

And why is this?

Because all the Sons of God must awaken for the separation to completely end. Even those who achieve awakening cannot be completely at peace or in heaven until all have been liberated:

“And as they rest, the face of Christ shines on them and they remember the laws of God, forgetting all the rest and yearning only to have His laws perfectly fulfilled in them and all their brothers. Think you when this has been achieved that you will rest without them? You could no more leave one of them outside than I could leave you, and forget part of myself.” T-20.IV.7

Let me repeat this crucial part: “You could no more leave one of them outside than I could leave you, and forget part of myself.”

Furthermore, “Souls cannot rest until everyone has found salvation.” UR T 1 B 24a. 24 “Ultimately, every member of the family of God must return.” UR T 1 B 34b “It is the duty of the released to release their brothers.” UR T 1 B 29a

The goal is to have all the Sons awaken then the whole Sonship can be at peace. Until then a few will awaken here and there, but even here one cannot awaken alone, just focusing on himself. It can only happen by sharing the Sonship with your brother.

“For you will not see the light, until you offer it to all your brothers. As they take it from your hands, so will you recognize it as your own.” W-pI.153.11

“Together is your joint inheritance remembered and accepted by you both. Alone it is denied to both of you.” T-31.II.11

The sharing and awakening process will go on for a long period until it is complete for the full salvation will take a very lengthy period of time as is written:

“the separation occurred over millions of years, the Last Judgment will extend over a similarly long period, and perhaps an even longer one.” T-2.VIII.2

Scientists tell us that this universe, which is the result of the separation is over 13 billion years old. Is it possible that the full awakening could take that long, or perhaps the Course is referring to the beginning of human consciousness which was millions of years back instead of billions.

Whatever the case any amount of time from the point of view of eternity is counted as a mere instant. When fully awakened even a billion years in the past is seen as an instant, or even as nothing.

One final problem confronting students concerning the awakening is this. In some places the Course speaks of God as having only one Son and then in others speaks of Sons or many parts. This causes a division on what will be the final result of our awakening.

Some take the one Son concept literally to the extent that they believe that they will awaken to be the one Son with no parts. Other see it as awakening with a realization of being connected to the one life while still a part of it, something like a cell in the body has a distinct life but is also a part of the whole.

Reaching the right view on this should be a no-brainer. While it is true that the Course does speak of God having “one Son” 14 times it speaks of having Sons (plural) 54 times. When looking at the text as a whole it is obvious that the one Son is composed of many Sons creating a united one life. This we covered in some depth in chapter five.

One of the best references illustrating this is the Course using the parable of Jesus on the Prodigal Son. One son left his home and the other stayed behind. This corresponds to the separation as mentioned here by the Voice:

“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 was not enough, because the Separated ones were not interested in peace.” UR T 2 B 43

So you have two groups here – the “Separated Ones” who entered the dream and the “Many Souls” who stayed with God. Obviously the life of the One Son is composed of many parts.

This different interpretation of oneness also causes confusion on what happens when we awake from the dream. Those who lean toward the One Son only interpretation see the dream as only being had by one entity and not as a shared experience of many parts. They say that when we dream at night we may dream of many different characters but when we awaken we find they are just figments of our imagination. Only the single dreamer is real they say. They therefore believe that when they wake up from this greater dream that all the people in this world will disappear and be no more. Only the single dreamer will remain.

This interpretation has many problems. First, as we pointed out earlier, there are numerous differences between a night dream and our dream world here. There are some rough correspondences but exact matches do not work.

The question to ask such a believer is who is the true dreamer – me or you? If it is you then I will disappear when you wake up and if it is me you will be the one going into oblivion.

Indeed, if there is only one having the dream and it corresponds to a dream at night then all the billions of people on the planet are just figments of your imagination and would disappear upon awakening.

The problem is that this did not happen in reality. The first we know of who has awakened was Jesus with his resurrection. So after his awakening did all his loved ones, friends and people in his dream disappear as do people in our night dreams?

No. He visited his apostles and loved ones who were still here and not yet fully awake. In fact the entire world was still here.

As we quoted earlier: “Yet a savior must remain with those he teaches, seeing what they see, but still retaining in his mind the way that led him out, and now will lead you out with him.”

So even though Jesus is awake he still has an obligation to teach others what he knows.

“It is the function of God’s ministers to help their brothers choose as they have done. God has elected all, but few have come to realize His Will is but their own. And while you fail to teach what you have learned, salvation waits and darkness holds the world in grim imprisonment.” W-pI.153.11

These passages and numerous others make it clear that we do not dream alone:

“Like you, your brother thinks he is a dream. Share not in his illusion of himself, for your Identity depends on his reality. Think, rather, of him as a mind in which illusions still persist, …Your mind and his are joined in brotherhood.” T-28.IV.3

“The special ones are all asleep, surrounded by a world of loveliness they do not see.” T-24.III.7

As stated earlier the awakening happens in two stages. First, individuals awaken and assist loved ones to follow. Then in the far future all the Sons of God will awaken.

This passage reflects the whole story:

“All that is given you is for release; the sight, the vision and the inner Guide all lead you out of hell with those you love beside you, and the universe with them.” T-31.VII.7

The one who awakens seeks to aid those he loves producing an eventual chain reaction that eventually affects the whole universe.

It is this final awakening that corresponds more closely to the night dream. We altogether will share the life of the One Son and when the many parts of the One Son fully awakens the entire dream world will disappear. That is when the true disappearance of the universe will happen.

For us in time the event is a long way away but from the view of eternity only an instant will pass.

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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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 13

The Real World

Beginning ACIM students read about the “Real World” in the Course and they often think that it is just another term for heaven. After all, the Course tells us many times that heaven is our real home and the separation from heaven created the illusion, or dream state, where we have made real something that is not real at all in the eternal scheme of things.

In this illusion we have great difficulty seeing what is the true reality for we have substituted the true with illusion. This caused the great separation as mentioned by the Course. Concerning ourselves who are trapped in the illusion it says:

“You may be surprised to hear how very different is reality from what you see. You do not realize the magnitude of that one error. It was so vast and so completely incredible that from it a world of total unreality had to emerge. What else could come of it? Its fragmented aspects are fearful enough, as you begin to look at them. But nothing you have seen begins to show you the enormity of the original error, which seemed to cast you out of Heaven, to shatter knowledge into meaningless bits of disunited perceptions, and to force you to make further substitutions.” T-18.I.5

So it tells us we have made a world where we have substituted illusion for the real and have become bewildered by the “meaningless bits of disunited perceptions.”

Reading ACIM one could envisage a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle all put together making an easy to understand picture. The separation is like the shattering of that puzzle and the bewildered dreamers are like a person looking at the pieces in a pile having no idea of the picture they make when it is all put together. One piece does not seem to relate to any random piece that can be picked up.

The Course tells us that in reality the picture has not been lost or destroyed. Instead, we are just dreaming about this loss, but it is a dream by our god-like minds which gives it such a strong appearance of reality that all things in it seem to be real.

According to the Course the ultimate goal is to fully awaken and return to heaven where we are one of the pieces that complete the great picture, but first there is a major step that must be taken. We must first see the real world.

Seeing the real world does not take us to heaven but gives us a taste of it while still living in this world of illusion. When one sees the real world he sees true reality but just not yet able to go there. In other words, instead of seeing unrelated pieces he obtains an understanding of the completed picture, understands the dream and knows there is a path to returning to the true home.

Once the real world is seen the journey is almost over for it is written:

“The perception of the real world will be so short that you will barely have time to thank God for it. For God will take the last step swiftly, when you have reached the real world and have been made ready for Him.” T-17.II.5

Now keep in mind that a short time in relation to eternity could be a fairly long stretch to us, but it is obvious that seeing the real world signifies we are nearing the end of the journey in the scheme of things.

Among the various descriptions of the real world ACIM says this:

“The real world holds a counterpart for each unhappy thought reflected in your world; a sure correction for the sights of fear and sounds of battle which your world contains. The real world shows a world seen differently, through quiet eyes and with a mind at peace. Nothing but rest is there. There are no cries of pain and sorrow heard, for nothing there remains outside forgiveness. And the sights are gentle. Only happy sights and sounds can reach the mind that has forgiven itself.” W-pII.8.2

It also describes the real world as “a borderland of thought that stands between this world and Heaven. It is not a place, and when you reach it is apart from time. Here is the meeting place where thoughts are brought together; where conflicting values meet and all illusions are laid down beside the truth, where they are judged to be untrue. This borderland is just beyond the gate of Heaven.” T-26.III.3

The real world is perceived on two levels. The first is with our regular organs of perception and the second is through right-minded understanding for “Only right-mindedness can correct in a way that has any real effect.” T-2.V.A.14

“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

This “accurate perception” involves accurate perception of the world through our organs as well as an accurate spiritual perception involving understanding of true principles and reality.


Let us first examine the seeing of the real world through organs of perception. This is a concept not even considered by most Course students for it doesn’t occur to them that the real world can be visually perceived. On the contrary, such students have missed key statements from the Course. For instance we are told that the real world “can be perceived.” “The real world is the second part of the hallucination time and death are real, and have existence that can be perceived.” T-26.V.12

“The real world can actually be perceived. All that is necessary is a willingness to perceive nothing else.” T-11.VII.2

Seeing it in this world involves the “spiritual eye” which is often called the third eye or the ajna center in other traditions. It works in connection with our regular eyes and allows for true seeing in form as well as beyond form to the realm of correct understanding

“Corrective learning always begins with awakening the spiritual eye, and turning away from belief in physical sight. … We said before that the spiritual eye cannot see error, and is capable only of looking beyond it to the defense of Atonement.” T-2.8.8 COA

“The spiritual eye is the mechanism of miracles, because what the spiritual eye perceives is true. The spiritual eye perceives both the creations of God and the products of human beings. Among the latter, it can also separate the true from the false by its ability to perceive totally rather than selectively. It thus becomes the proper instrument for reality testing, which always involves the necessary distinction between the true and the false.” T-1.I.38.1-2 COA

Beyond normal physical vision are many things to see in the real world, not only with eyes of understanding but in terms of seeing forms revealed by real light.

We are told that “Things which seem quite solid here are merely shadows there; transparent, faintly seen, at times forgot, and never able to obscure the light that shines beyond them.” W-pI.159.5

“The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you.” T-11.III.4

“Its (the body) thinness and transparency are not apparent until you see the light behind it. And then you see it as a fragile veil before the light.” T-18.IX.5

So what is this light that shines beyond and “behind” the body making it “a fragile veil before the light.”

The Course gives us a clear answer:

“You will begin to understand it when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.” W-pI.15.2

So what are these “little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now”?

Many students of eastern religions and the Ancient Wisdom will understand immediately what the Course is talking about. It is speaking of the etheric double of all things in the physical world. This does not just exist in theory, but it is easily seen by those who look. When I have given classes on this often everyone in the class can see it when they learn to look.

To see it involves a principled that I call “not seeing.” In this you tune out the physical and then you can see beyond it. It’s like A Course in Miracles says that you cannot see two worlds. If you tune out this world, the other appears.

To see those little edges of light do this exercise:

Interlock the fingers of your two hands and point the tips of your two thumbs toward each other. Separate the tips of your thumbs by about an eighth of an inch. Now find a wall that is white or light in color and hold your hands up to the wall so when you look at the space between your thumbs the wall is on the other side. Concentrate now and stare at the empty space between your thumbs for about a minute. Do not put your attention on your hands or thumbs, but only the empty space between your thumbs. After about a minute, while keeping your attention on the empty space, pull your thumbs slowly apart so now you have about a quarter of an inch of space. As you do this you should notice a thin film, about a millimeter from your skin, light blue in color.

What you are seeing here is your etheric double which is slightly larger than your physical. Learning to see this is the first step in seeing auras.

Here is a second exercise you can do.

Have a friend stand next to a light colored background like a white or light colored wall or a refrigerator door. Tell him to stand perfectly still and to not move his head. Now stare at his forehead for about a minute. Pick one spot on his forehead and do not deviate your attention from that spot. After 60-90 seconds have him move to the side, but continue to look at the spot as if the guy were still there.

What you see next will amaze you if you have not done this before. Your eyes will have taken a photograph of his etheric light and you will see the after image of his head glowing before you. When you see his lighted head note the shades of light and dark patches. The dark patches will indicate a blockage in the flow of energy. Most people have dark patches when they have a head cold, for instance.

These exercises illustrate the truth of the words of ACIM that the body is a “veil before the light.”

Not only the body but the entire physical world has an etheric double and one with real vision can see the “little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now” just as the Course says.

The etheric light is just one of the lights that can be seen in the real world. The next step in seeing is that which is commonly called the aura which is much more difficult to see than the etheric double. Whereas I was able to see the etheric double right away it took me several months of intense practice to clearly see the aura. To see the aura, which is more refined light than the etheric one has to take the principle of “not seeing” to a higher level and completely tune out the physical world. You only look at one world and that is not the physical. I noticed numerous times that as soon as I caught a glimpse of the aura that it completely disappeared the instant my vision went back to the physical, verifying the Course’s statement that you cannot see two worlds.

You can be aware of two worlds, but your focus has to be non physical to see the real world.

The next step up in seeing is what I call the auric film. In reality we are egg-shaped. The most concentrated aura of intense fluorescent light extends about a foot from our bodies. This is followed by a more refined mental substance that circles around us like electrons circle around and atom. Then about an arm’s length from us is a film that corresponds to the film in the outer part of an egg. On this film is projected your thoughts in geometric forms which composes an advanced language in the real world. If you could clearly see the forms projected by mind on the auric film you could read the person’s mind and have real communication with no distortion.

Once the student learns to see some of the effects in the real world he will easily notice the “little edges of light” around the forms of this world. When his vision is in tune he can look at the night sky and see all kinds of living etheric light and shapes projected by the various stars and see that space is full of living energy and is not a vacuum.

The final seeing in the real world comes to us after the physical; body dies and we no longer use the body’s senses for seeing. In between lives we are in a higher state of consciousness equivalent to the real world. This s not the heaven spoken of by ACIM, but we are able to see reality much more clearly there as stated, “Together we will disappear into the Presence beyond the veil, not to be lost but found; not to be seen but known.” T-19.IV.D.19 “To be without a body is to be in our natural state.” W-pI.72.9

So, after death we are in a more “natural state” in the real world, but this is temporary until we are reborn into the physical. It is here where the finding of the real world is of the greatest importance for finding it here is a major step toward a total reawakening and advance to the time that the “Father will lean down to you and take the last step for you, by raising you unto Himself.” T-11.VIII.15


In addition to seeing the real world through our senses of form perception we must learn to see it though our eyes of understanding. This basically means we will see things as they really are rather than seeing with distorted understanding as if in a fog in the dream state.

The Course says: “I can therefore see a real world, if I look to my real thoughts as my guide for seeing” W-pI.53.1. (11)

So finding our real thoughts is a key to seeing with eyes of understanding where there “is the new perception, where everything is bright and shining with innocence, washed in the waters of forgiveness, and cleansed of every evil thought you laid upon it. Here there is no attack upon the Son of God, and you are welcome.” T-18.IX.9

“Nothing is now as it was formerly. Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before.” M-4.X.2.

“When you perceive yourself without deceit, you will accept the real world in place of the false one you have made. “T-11.VIII.15

To see the real world with eyes of understanding the student must follows the precepts of the Course such as forgivng all those who offend, let go of guilt, cease attacking others etc. When he has covered the basics he must, look to his “real thoughts as my guide for seeing.

So what is the difference between real and unreal thoughts?

The workbook places emphasis on this from the beginning for it is an important point to understand as we progress toward salvation and the real world. The lessons start out by telling us that we do not even understand anything that is right in front of us for any thoughts about them “do not mean anything.” This is follows by lessons telling us that we “see nothing as it is now.” Then reemphasizing that “My thoughts do not mean anything” and “I do not know what anything is for.” Finally we reach this thought in lesson 57:

“There is another way of looking at the world.”

This is “an attempt to recognize that you can shift your perception of the world in both its outer and inner aspects.” W-pI.33.1

Notice that the way of looking at the real world involves both “outer and inner aspects.”

The key to doing this is to focus on your real thoughts: “Delusional ideas are not real thoughts, although you can believe in them. But you are wrong. The function of thought comes from God and is in God. As part of His Thought, you cannot think apart from Him.” T-5.V.6

So when we think apart from God in the dream state we are not thinking our real thoughts which are thoughts shared by the mind of God. Think of this correspondence.

When we have a dream in this world we often do crazy things in the dream not related to anything we would do in the waking state. In other words, our dream thoughts are often much different than our waking thoughts. Even so, in this greater dream our thoughts are much different than they would be if we are totally awake and in alignment with the mind of God. To take that great step to the real world we must access those “real thoughts” that are within us.

This is emphasized in lesson 45 which tells us that in the real world “God is the Mind with which I think. … My real thoughts are in my mind. I would like to find them.”

The student must come to the understanding that, “What I call ‘my’ thoughts are not my real thoughts. My real thoughts are the thoughts I think with God. I am not aware of them because I have made my thoughts to take their place. I am willing to recognize that my thoughts do not mean anything, and to let them go. I choose to have them be replaced.” W-pI.51.4

Thus the illusionary dream state thinking is replaced with thoughts from the real thinker who is awake. The mind thinking real thoughts then sees things as they are, truth instead of error and peace instead of conflict.

“I can also call upon my real thoughts, which share everything with everyone. As my thoughts of separation call to the separation thoughts of others, so my real thoughts awaken the real thoughts in them. And the world my real thoughts show me will dawn on their sight as well as mine.” W-pI.54.3

As significant as it is to discover the real world we must realize that this is not the final destination for it is written:

“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

The Course describes the final goal:

“For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven.” T-11.VIII.1

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

Index for Original Archives

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Easy Access to All the Writings

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The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 10

What Heaven Is Not

In a nutshell the purpose of A Course in Miracles is to help us awaken to our true reality so we can return to heaven, our true home.

The separation and entering this dream state was perhaps more serious than realized by students for we are told there was a possibility the Son could “be lost forever in the madness of his wish.” T-25.III.2

In other words, there was a danger that the Prodigal Son could wind up living with the swine forever with no realization that there was any home to which he could return.

We are told that the Father took quick action after the fall and created the Holy Spirit as a means of communicating with the Son to eventually bring him to his senses and awaken.

Evidently this got a little behind schedule causing a need for extra stimulation. This is said to come to us in the form of A Course in Miracles.

As noted in chapter two the Voice told Helen that the Course was necessary because “The world situation is worsening to an alarming degree. … Because of the acute emergency, however, the usual slow, evolutionary process is being by-passed in what might best be described as a ‘celestial speed-up.’” From Journey Without Distance by Robert Skutch

So then, the world situation produced an “acute emergency” requiring a celestial speed up. God was not going to allow us to be “lost forever” in our madness, hence the Course was given as a roadmap to heaven showing us the quickest way to get there.

You would think then that since the Course is of such great importance in awakening us to the journey home to a heaven we have forgotten that it would spend a lot of time refreshing our memory and tell us why it is a desirable place to be.

Yet, instead of dangling a carrot before us to entice us to return, the Course is mysteriously silent about what heaven is like and why it is such a wonderful place compared to this material existence. It strangely tells us more about what heaven is not than what heaven is.

The Course explains why it doesn’t give more details:

Concerning heaven it says, “There is no need to further clarify what no one in the world can understand.” W-pI.169.10 “No one on earth can grasp what Heaven is, or what its one Creator really means.” M-23.6 “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

“We say ‘God is,’ and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself. “ W-pI.169.5.

“for what we cannot speak of, for you go from there to where words fail entirely, into a silence where the language is unspoken and yet surely understood.” W-pI.129.3

So, basically we are told that heaven is beyond our current understanding, but we will understand when we get there. Until then, nothing can be put into words that will mean anything.

This is one of the more problematic teachings of A Course in Miracles as it seems to correspond with a major tactic revealed about the ego:

I have said that the ego’s rule is, ‘Seek and do not find.’ Translated into curricular terms this means, ‘Try to learn but do not succeed.’” T-12.V.7

So we have the situation where many Course students would like to know what heaven is to give them more impetus to take focus off the dream world to awaken to the heavenly, but we are told this is something we cannot find, not until we irreversibly get there.

This answer is like that which many young people find irritating about Sunday School. They ask questions about God, sex in heaven or why a loving God created hell and they are told it is a mystery and you find all the answers after you die and return to God.

Well, many students would like to know more about heaven now. After all, we are told to give up everything to go there, for we can only live in one reality as indicated by the Course:

“It is impossible to see two worlds which have no overlap of any kind. Seek for the one; the other disappears. But one remains. They are the range of choice beyond which your decision cannot go. The real and the unreal are all there are to choose between, and nothing more than these.” W-pI.130.5

So we live in the unreal and we must let it go to the extent that it “disappears” so we can enter heaven. But why would we sacrifice everything that holds us to this reality for another of which we know close to nothing? If this is indeed the path we are supposed to take wouldn’t it make sense for Higher Intelligence to reveal more about our eternal destination?

Now each of us has a spark from God within us that can be contacted through the soul and because of this contact I know there are higher and more perfect realms than this, but if I had to go by merely what was written in ACIM I would be quite confused.

On the other hand, there are many who do go strictly by what has been written, some quite literally. Therefore, it may be helpful to carefully examine what A Course in Miracles says about heaven, for despite it saying that describing it is beyond words, it does give us some words that provide interesting insights.

First, as I said, it does tell us a few things that heaven is not. Let us look at some of these.

The one thing above all others that a Course student is supposed to realize is that there are no dualities in heaven. We have “to recognize a condition in which opposites do not exist. And this is the condition of knowledge. Without this awareness you have not met its conditions, and until you do you will not know it is yours already.” T-11.VII.4

In heaven therefore we will only experience the positive feelings, not the negative. There will be love, but not hate, peace and nothing to attack or disturb, joy and no pain or sorrow, formlessness and no form, and only winning for there will never “be a time when anything that it (God’s thoughts) created suffers any loss.” W-pII.11.1

Instead there will be “an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within.” T-18.VI.1

Many students do not seem to realize that without the possibility of loss that there will be no games. Indeed the Course speaks negatively of them: We are told that heaven is a “place where truth abides and games are meaningless.” W-pI.153.14 Heaven is a place “where losing is impossible.” W-pI.129.4

And what is it that gives us mere mortals some of our greatest enjoyments in life?

Games, where losing is possible.

One of the famous teachers and writers of ACIM is Gary Renard and in his books he spends considerable time telling us how much he enjoys watching ball games. I found it amusing that he spoke with more enthusiasm about attending games than going to heaven. I wondered in reading his books if he realizes that there will be no games in heaven for there are no contrasting winners and losers there according to ACIM.

Indeed, even many spiritual writers are avid sports fans and like to attend or watch games in their free moments. Many also play games with friends and family when visiting.

We enjoy games because of the limitations for if we knew each move in advance it would be no fun.

I submit that it is the thrill of playing games that was the main draw that caused the separation. A large number of the Sons of God wanted to create a universe where we could struggle to win and when we win with a risk of losing we would experience a positive feeling unlike any available in the world of non duality.

Life itself with its limitations is like a challenging game. You set goals for personal achievement and then you set out to realize them, or to win at the game of life. Then when you are successful you get a positive feeling that is not achieved any other way.

If you think about it this giving up the fun connected with games may be the largest obstacle in the way of entering ACIM heaven for many. Part of the problem is that many students have not realized what the Course teachings are on this matter. Lesson 79 needs to be applied: “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”

If students do not realize the changes that need to be made to end the separation then the problem will never be solved.

That said, let us see what else we have here that may be missing in heaven.

There is no learning in heaven:

“The ability to learn has no value when change is no longer necessary. The eternally creative have nothing to learn.” T-2.II.5 “everything you learned is meaningless, replaced forever by the knowledge of love and its one meaning.” T-18.IX.12

There is no perception:

“nothing that the eyes have ever seen or ears have heard remains to be perceived.” T-27.III.7

“Perception did not exist until the separation introduced degrees, aspects and intervals” T-3.IV.1

“For the mind that knows this unequivocally, knows also that it dwells in eternity, and utilizes no perception at all.” UR T 13 A 1

There is no memory:

You will not remember change and shift in Heaven. You have need of contrast only here. T-13.XI.6

“Memory, like perception, is a skill made up by you to take the place of what God gave in your creation.” T-28.I.2 “Nothing that you remember now will you remember. “T-19.IV.D.6

There is no choice:

“The power of decision, which you made in place of the power of creation” T-14.VI.5 “Nothing conflicts with oneness. … What is there to decide? For it is conflict that makes choice possible…. The truth makes no decisions, for there is nothing to decide between.” T-26.III.1 “There is no choice of function anywhere. The choice you fear to lose you never had.” T-27.III.7

There is no consciousness:

“Consciousness, the level of perception, was the first split introduced into the mind after the separation, making the mind a perceiver rather than a creator. 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

“Yet the very fact that it (consciousness) has levels and can be trained demonstrates that it cannot reach knowledge.” (where heaven is) C-1.7

There is no contrast:

“There is no darkness and there is no contrast. There is no variation. There is no interruption. “ T-13.XI.3

There is no time, space, form or motion

“Ultimately, space is as meaningless as time. Both are merely beliefs. … Acts were not necessary before the separation, because belief in space and time did not exist.” T-1.VI.3-4

“Here will time end forever. At this gate (of heaven) eternity itself will join with you.” S-1.V.4

It speaks of “the eternal formlessness of God.” C-6.5 and “what love will mean to you when formlessness has been restored to you is greater still.” W-pI.186.14

“As nothingness cannot be pictured, so there is no symbol for totality. Reality is ultimately known without a form, unpictured and unseen. T-27.III.5

There will be no special relationships

“All of your ‘friends,’ your ‘protectors’ and your ‘home’ will vanish. Nothing that you remember now will you remember.” T-19.IV.D.6

Everyone on earth has formed special relationships, and although this is not so in Heaven,” T-15.V.8

There is no change

“Nothing will ever change; no shifts nor shadings, no differences, no variations that made perception possible will still occur. “ T-17.II.4

“reality is wholly real, apart from size and shape and time and place–for differences cannot exist within it” M-8.6

There are no differences

“in Heaven They are all the same, without the differences which would have made a hell of Heaven and a heaven of hell, had such insanity been possible.” T-25.VII.10

There is no individuality.

“The structure of ‘individual consciousness’ is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the ‘original error’ or the ‘original sin.’” C-in.1

We thus see that the Course tells us quite a few things that heaven is not. Without space, time and form what is left? It would seem that the answer would be nothing, but as we proceed we will see that is not quite the case,

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

Gather with JJ on Facebook HERE

The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 9

Chapter Nine
The Bold Adventure

Concerning the separation the typical ACIM student interprets it this way. The Son (representing all of us) got this mad idea in his head – that creating a universe of time and space where each life is separate from other lives – would be a good thing to do. Thus was a dream world of illusion made and all of us are trapped in it until we awaken.

On the other hand, a careful reading of the Course reveals there is more to the story than this.

In Helen Schucman’s transcription before the edits we read this about the separation:

After the separation began “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 was not enough, because the separated ones were not interested in peace. They had already split themselves and were bent on dividing rather than reintegrating. The levels they introduced into themselves turned against each other, and they, in turn, turned against one another. They established differences, divisions, cleavages, dispersion, and all the other concepts related to the increasing splits they produced. Not being in their right minds, they turned their defenses from protection to assault, and acted literally insanely.” T-2-V-3 COA

A key statement is that “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.”

This tells us that not all the Sons of God became separated. Instead there were many who stayed in heaven and never entered the dream state or the illusion.

This puts a very different light on the orthodox view that the Son as a whole entered into the separation.

The story of the Prodigal Son, which is used in the Course, supports this view. It is interesting that in the earliest Christian writings the parable was not called “The Prodigal Son,” but “A Story of Two Sons.”

It may be helpful to examine the whole parable:

“And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

“And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

“But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

“Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

“And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

“And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

“And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” Luke 15:11-32

From the Course we read: “Listen to the story of the prodigal son, and learn what God’s treasure is and yours:” T-8.VI.4

This verifies that the parable was an actual teaching presented by the Master and should be taken seriously by Course students.

The first thing we learn is that the sons were divided into two groups. The Prodigal left home and went to the far country. This represents the billions of us who came here to this material world which is “far” from heaven.

The other son would similarly represent a large number who stayed home with the Father.

What percentage left? Perhaps a clue is given in the Book of Revelation that tells us that a third of the residents fell from heaven. (See Rev 12:4)

This is in harmony with the quote noted earlier from the Course telling us of Sons who did not fall, but tried to prevent the   separation.

Also of note is that the one who stayed at home was the older, and the one who separated was the younger.

As we presented in Chapter Five, the Sons of God also have Sons. For instance: “The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons AND THEIR CHILDREN, who are as like the Sons as they are like the Father.” T-7.XI.7

The Son which is “A co-creator with the Father must have a Son. Yet must this Son have been created like Himself. ” T-24.III.6

Because the Sonship is ever extending there would be something akin to older and younger sons in heaven. On earth we see that many of our young children tend to have a natural skepticism of the parents’ teachings and ways of doing things and want to strike out on their own. Thus it was in the parable, the younger, less experienced son who wanted to leave behind that which always was and try something new seeking new experiences. After all, it is possible the older son had his own prodigal past and had learned his lessons.

It is assumed by students that there was just one separation, the Son as a whole entered the dream, the solution was implemented and that was it. It is over and done when we wake up it is as if nothing ever happened or will happen again.

When you think of it this makes no sense and doesn’t even harmonize with the Course’s teachings. According to the Course the creation of Sons is the way that God extends His kingdom. This has apparently been going on from eternity with God extending himself many times – thousand, billions, trillions of times or more. Do you think that there was only one batch of Sons who wanted to separate and play in the worlds of time and space and then it was over, never to be considered again? Does it make sense that there would be no more prodigals and no new children would have any curiosity about what life would be like in such a world?

The Course gives some powerful clues that the Prodigal making the separation was not just one occurrence but has happened many times:

“Time really, then, goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering. Yet because it is an instant that is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now. … The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach.” M-2.3 & 4

We are told clearly here that the beginning of time, which was the beginning of the separation, “goes backward to an instant so ancient that it is beyond all memory, and past even the possibility of remembering.”

That is indeed a description of something that happened a very very long time ago. Perhaps it was farther back than the beginning of this universe. Perhaps thousands of universes have come and gone since this first manifestation of time at the first separation conceived by the first group of Sons.

This makes sense since it says that this instant of separation “is relived again and again and still again, it seems to be now.”

The orthodox interpretation is that there is no reliving but the Son rebelled one time with his mad idea and after he wakes up that will be it. There is no reliving the separation.

What is overlooked is that the creation of Sons is an eternal process and it his only logical that new sons would access the ancient memories along with the ideas of time and space and want to try them out.

The first event happened “So very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time, that not one note in Heaven’s song was missed. Yet in each unforgiving act or thought, in every judgment and in all belief in sin, is that one instant still called back, as if it could be made again in time. You keep an ancient memory before your eyes. And he who lives in memories alone is unaware of where he is.” T-26.V.5

The first separation was apparently a lot more disruptive than realized for we are told that it “shattered heaven.” T-18.I.12 But then God implemented a solution with the creation of the Holy Spirit and eventually all the prodigals in that first round returned home awake, safe and sound in their right minds.

After this heaven was no longer shattered by prodigal sons reliving the event and entering the dream for it was established that the sleep could only last an instant (which could be millions of years in heaven) and all would safely return making heaven complete.

This resolves the confusing idea presented by the Course that makes it sound to some like the separation never happened and we are not here. The first separation happened very anciently and the problem was solved and no longer exists in heaven yet new prodigal sons can enter a dream state and relive the event as is happening to us now.

And why would Sons want to do that? One significant reason is the desire for children to play games.

After all, there are no games in heaven for there is no duality or competition and younger sons especially want to play games. The Course tells us that the desire to play games was one of the motivations for the separation:

“The dream of judgment is a children’s game, in which the child becomes the father, powerful, but with the little wisdom of a child.” T-29.IX.6

We are told that heaven is a “place where truth abides and games are meaningless.” W-pI.153.14 It only makes sense then that there is always a percentage of the new creation of Sons who want to play games which are not available in heaven.

Just look around you and witness the great attraction that we as humans have for games. We pay our sports heroes many millions and they are idolized by many. Most everyone at one time or another either plays or watches a game and finds it a source of great pleasure even though there are winners and losers – which the Course says is contrary to the order of heaven. It is also of note that many esoteric and wisdom teachings tell us that we are attracted to the game aspect of material life and even call this existence “the playground of the Gods.”

These wisdom teachings also tell us that the first separation from spirit was so ancient that it is basically an eternity ago and repeats many times just as ACIM says. But each separation involves a new group of evolving lives, or “Sons” as ACIM would say.

The parable tells us that the prodigal took with him his inheritance of the father. That inheritance that belongs to the Son of God (us) is all the Father has for the Father and Son are one and share all things through mind: “you are of one mind and spirit with Him (God).” T-5.VII.3

“There is only one Mind” T-2.4.4 COA

“The mind is very powerful, and never loses its creative force. It never sleeps. Every instant it is creating. … All thinking produces form at some level.” T-2.VI.9

So how much power is wielded by the Son?

“There is now no limit on his (the Son’s) power, because it is the power of God.” M-23.2

The Son shares with the Father the ultimate power. We are told that God “has made you co-creator of the universe along with Him. He would but keep your will forever and forever limitless.” T-30.II.4

“What lies in you has joined with God Himself in all creation’s birth. Remember Him Who has created you, and through your will created everything. Not one created thing but gives you thanks, for it is by your will that it was born. No light of Heaven shines except for you, for it was set in Heaven by your will.” T-30.II.3

This indeed presents a glorious picture of the power that is in us but unrealized in this world of illusion. We are also told this:

“What God and His Sons create is eternal.” T-8.VI.3.

Basically, the Course does not consider something a creation unless it is eternal. It usually uses the word “make” when referring to the creation of things not eternal.

So in that ancient time, beyond all memory, the Father and the Son shared the same mind and were busy extending the creations of God when the Son came up with the “mad idea.” Now keep in mind that when this idea surfaced the Son was not asleep, but fully awake. Because it was conceived when the Son was awake it is written that “the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. ” T-27.VIII.6

We are told that there are no real (or eternal) effects in the dream state but an idea conceived in the waking or eternal state has eternal consequences.

The interesting thing is that this eternal idea consisted of creating that which is not eternal and an idea conceived in non duality proposed the existence of a universe with dualities.

So what happens then when an eternal mind creates that which is not eternal? Sounds like an impossible conundrum, but not quite.

Now the orthodox view is that the Son entered the dream state, the Father created the Holy Spirit to reach out to us and the problem was solved. We are all awake in heaven an only think we are here on earth. The problem is solved never to be entertained again.

But it is not that simple since the idea was conceived when the Son was fully awake. This means that the universe of temporary things is eternal. This does seem like a mad idea, but here is how I believe it worked out.

In that far away time beyond any memory the Son had the idea and executed it. In turn the Father executed his plan, the temporary universe disappeared and the Son returned. The problem was solved for that generation of Sons. But then the existing Sons extended the creation of God by fathering new sons and some of these were captivated by the crazy idea and wanted to play games in a new universe of duality. Thus a new universe was created and history repeated itself. “What happened long ago seems to be happening now. ” M-2.3 & 4 This process has repeated itself an astonishing amount of times. In relation to eternity the birth and death of a universe is a mere instant.

So then the eternal mind of the Son did create the eternal out of something temporary. This gives a clue about it:

an idea is free, incapable of being kept in prison or limited in any way except by the mind that thought it. For it remains joined to its source, which is its jailer or its liberator, according to which it chooses as its purpose for itself. T-19.I.16.

Because the idea is eternal and cannot be destroyed it continues to be recycled and applied again and again by new generations of sons. So that which is made in time has an end, but the creative process is eternal since it was initiated by an eternal mind. Thus we have temporary universes of form appearing, disappearing and reappearing endlessly.

It is interesting that even in this separated state the power of eternal creation still exists, but is not used.

“It may surprise you to learn that had the ego wished to do so it could have made the eternal because, as a product of the mind, it is endowed with the power of its own creator. However, the decision to do this, rather than the ability to do it, is what the ego cannot tolerate.” T-4.7.11 COA

This interpretation multiple separations puts A Course in Miracles in alignment with many teachings from the east and the Ancient Wisdom which tells us of an eternal reappearance of universes and new souls to inhabit them whereas the old souls obtain liberation and move on to a heavenly state as in the teachings of nirvana, the great pralaya or return to Spirit.

Indeed ACIM tells us that it is not the only course teaching us about the path of return but it does give us some great clues as to how to speed up the process.

“There are many thousands of other forms, all with the same outcome. They merely save time.” M-1.4

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

Gather with JJ on Facebook HERE

The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 8

Chapter Eight
The Mad Idea

In the timeless beginning there was only God, but there was a problem. God was lonely and “God Himself did not will to be alone.” T-11.I.1

Since His will is all powerful a solution in the form of idea capable of manifesting came to mind. He would create a grand universe full of life, but it would be a unified life of many parts. Thus we are told that God “created you (the Son) out of Himself, but still within Him.” T-14.IV.4 and “The universe consists of nothing but the Son of God,” W-pI.183.10

So God created a universe out of Himself by extending Himself with many parts but one life and called this masterpiece his “Only Son.”

In creating the Son God took a great risk that may not have seemed obvious at the time. He made His Son like Himself and gave him all of his powers of mind, Spirit and creation. The Son would thus be a creator like the Father and cause a universal extension of all there is. The Son would give birth to other Sons and their Sons would create other Sons ad infinitum.

He also gave his Son free will like unto himself. This seemed to be without risk because being like the Father the Son could only create like himself within the universe of true reality. Every creation that is eternal and real has to be perfect and good, so what could go wrong?

Here is what the Course says went wrong.

“Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.” T-27.VIII.6

The mad idea is explained somewhat here:

“Because of your likeness to your Creator you are creative. No child of God can lose this ability because it is inherent in what he is, but he can use it inappropriately by projecting. The inappropriate use of extension, or projection, occurs when you believe that some emptiness or lack exists in you, and that you can fill it with your own ideas instead of truth. This process involves the following steps:

First, you believe that what God created can be changed by your own mind.

Second, you believe that what is perfect can be rendered imperfect or lacking.

Third, you believe that you can distort the creations of God, including yourself.

Fourth, you believe that you can create yourself, and that the direction of your own creation is up to you.

“These related distortions represent a picture of what actually occurred in the separation, or the ‘detour into fear.’” T-2.I.1-2

This idea that we can create ourselves caused the creation of the ego, the false self that sees itself as separated from God and Spirit, but still has powers of the mind. Concerning this ego the Course says:

“This is the Son of God’s replacement for his will, a mad revolt against what must forever be. This is the statement that he has the power to make God powerless and so to take it for himself, and leave himself without what God has willed for him. This is the mad idea you have enshrined upon your altars, and which you worship.” T-21.II.6

We are told that “The ego made the world” T-5.III.11 It turns out that this world the ego made is much different than the universe created by God. The main difference is that everything in God’s universe, our true home, is eternal, perfect and unchangeable. On the other hand, everything created by the ego is temporary, imperfect and will have an end. Even the stars which seem to permanent to us will have an end and their lifespan of billions of years is rated as only an instant compared to eternity.

The ego’s most proud of its creation of the human body for this is the vehicle of the ultimate separation from God according to the Course:

“God cannot come into a body, nor can you join Him there. Limits on love will always seem to shut Him out, and keep you apart from Him. The body is a tiny fence around a little part of a glorious and complete idea. It draws a circle, infinitely small, around a very little segment of Heaven, splintered from the whole, proclaiming that within it is your kingdom, where God can enter not.

“Within this kingdom the ego rules, and cruelly. And to defend this little speck of dust it bids you fight against the universe. This fragment of your mind is such a tiny part of it that, could you but appreciate the whole, you would see instantly that it is like the smallest sunbeam to the sun, or like the faintest ripple on the surface of the ocean. In its amazing arrogance, this tiny sunbeam has decided it is the sun; this almost imperceptible ripple hails itself as the ocean.” T-18.VIII.2-3

Because everything in the ego’s universe is temporary it is not seen as real by the inhabitants of heaven. We are told that only that which is eternal is real and that all things with a beginning and an end are to be compared to a dream. The only difference is the dream of the Son is a longer dream than what we have at night, but compared to the   eternal true reality all the ego’s creations come and go in an instant, even if they last billions of years to us. It is notable that the Course uses the word “made” in reference to the ego’s creations and generally reserves the word “create” to refer to eternal things.

So, in a nutshell we have this situation. God extends Himself through his grand creation looking forward to an eternity of love, peace and joy of sharing with His Beloved Son.. Then something went wrong and the Son got a “mad idea” to make a world that was very different from heaven, one with dualities, time space, pain, pleasure and much more. The Son thought this would be an interesting diversion. Indeed in our reality children do not accept all the beliefs of their parents and often desire to do their own thing to the dismay of their parents. Apparently this was also the case with Father and Son in heaven.

The standard interpretation by most Course students of what happened next goes something like this.

The Son (which includes all of us) fell asleep and entered into an illusion that was totally not real (earth life where we are now). The Son entered a world of nightmares where there was pain, guilt and attacks of every kind one can imagine all ending in fear and death. What the Son did not realize when having all these nightmares was that he was only dreaming while his real self was still safe in heaven.

Even so, the Father was deprived of full fellowship with His Son while he was in his dream world so he immediately came up with a solution. Since he could not enter the dream state without making it real He created the Holy Spirit to awaken the Son. The Holy Spirit performed his job perfectly and the whole nightmare was over in an eternal instant. The Son woke up and it is now as if nothing happened.

Strangely many Course students repeat this idea almost like a mantra saying things like:

“The world has never existed.”

“I am not here.”

“Nothing here is real.”

“I am in heaven with God.”

“The separation never occurred.”

They say quite a number of things along this line. If a regular person unfamiliar with the Course were to overhear some conversations of ACIM students he may think that calling the men in white would be in order. On the other hand, the students see general humanity as buying into an insane “mad idea” from which they need to awaken.

So, are students in alignment with Course teachings when they insist that nothing exists or has happened in this world? Some focus so intently on this idea that you cannot have a reasonable discussion with them about anything that is happening. Tell them about a friend who has cancer and they’ll merely respond that the cancer is not real and show no empathy for the suffering person. They may quote something from the Course such as “The guiltless mind cannot suffer.” T-5.V.5 He reasons that if the suffering person realized he was not here there would be nothing to feel guilty about and nothing to suffer. Meanwhile, this idealist still has his own share of painful effects that he tries to ignore.

The problem is that the Course does seem to say some fairly radical things, but like all teachings one has to look at the whole rather than the part to get the full picture. For instance, if all we knew about Jesus was the story of him giving the money changers a good whipping then we wouldn’t be inclined to call him the Prince of Peace.

The Course does give teachings that lean in two directions at times and the tendency of students is to pick one and support it while ignoring anything said to the contrary. We see this in the Bible with its teachings on faith and works. There are scriptures that indicate that all we need is faith to be saved and others say works is necessary. Those who pick a side will ignore anything to the contrary.

In speaking of non existence ACIM says this:

“The world you see does not exist, because the place where you perceive it is not real.” T-28.V.7

“Everything you made has never been” T-12.VIII.6

“The body is the symbol of what you think you are. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist.” T-6.V.A.2

These and numerous other passages tend to cause some students tune out to the effects in this world to the extent that they go deeper into the illusion from which they wish to escape.

So to students who believe that the separation did not happen and we are not even here but in heaven let me ask this:

How is it that you are reading this with physical eyes?

Why did Jesus come here to a place that does not exist and give A Course in Miracles to Helen Schucman who does not exist?

Why did God create the Holy Spirit to deal with a problem that does not exist?

Why is “God is lonely without His Sons, ” T-2.III.5 after the separation that never happened?

Obviously the “never happened” crowd are missing a piece to the puzzle, for just denying our existence here does nothing to awaken us to the higher reality.

So, what is the truth of the matter?

The problem involved is one that has repeated itself in many teachings given out through the ages. When a master teacher gives out material designed to shift the thinking of the students he will often place extra strong emphasis on key points. Without this emphasis students are likely to gloss over the important principles and not make changes in their thinking. This strong emphasis has positive and negative effects. The positive is that it grabs the students attention and makes them think. The negative is that some go overboard in embracing the emphasized teachings and miss the intended enlightenment.

A Course in Miracles indeed has one particular controversial teaching that needs strong emphasis to get the attention of students which is this. This whole world is created by our minds similarly to how our dreams are created at night and does not exist in the higher reality. Now most people who study the course are not esoteric students who see the world as illusion, as do the Buddhists, but are ordinary folk who have bought into the idea that this universe is as real as their eyes tell them it is. Therefore the Voice of ACIM places extra strong emphasis on the idea that our world is not real.

Once this is understood the next question to ponder is how the Course defines what is real and what is not.

The Course basically gives the following differentiation between what is real and what is illusion: Since God is eternal that which he creates is also eternal and “only eternity is real.” T-1.15.2 COA That which is real has no beginning or end but continues forever.

That which is not real exists in time and space and has a beginning and an end:

“The stars will disappear, and night and day will be no more. All things that come and go, the tides, the seasons and the lives of men; all things that change with time and bloom and fade will not return. Where time has set an end is not where the eternal is.” T-29.VI.2

Anything that exists in our visible universe will have an end, even the stars with lifetimes of billions of years. Compared to eternity a billion years is an instant and when the star, the planet or the flower is gone it has then merely passed as does a dream, and when gone is no more real than a dream. We read:

“Time and eternity cannot both be real, because they contradict each other. If you will accept only what is timeless as real, you will begin to understand eternity and make it yours.” T-10.V.14

“The separation is a system of thought real enough in time, though not in eternity. 3 All beliefs are real to the believer.” T-3.VII.3

To see our universe as something that does not exist misses the point. The real point is that in the higher realty, the Course calls heaven, all attention is on eternal things that do not pass away and to awareness there it is as if our universe is not real. It only has a semblance of reality for the creator Son if he enters the dream state.

But consider this; even dreams have a reality to them. When you dream at night you are having a real experience and often the influence of the dream will carry over into the waking state. If you are being chased by a monster you may wake up sweating with a much faster heartbeat than normal. If you dream of a pleasant fantasy and wake up prematurely you may want to go back to sleep for a while and continue the dream.

Yes, dreams are illusions and not real on a higher level, but when you are in them you are having a real experience and some dreams even have an influence on the waking state.

But, unlike our dreams at night this greater dream is much more complex with very consistent effects. Our entrance into the dream “occurred over millions of years” T-2.VIII.2 says the Course. What could have motivated us to have entered into such a bold, extensive and lengthy venture?

Many reading the Course come to he conclusion that the Son (us) just had a crazy idea in a moment where he wasn’t thinking straight, but the dream was over in an instant and all is back to normal in heaven.

But what is overlooked is the Son shares the mind and intelligence of God so this plunge into time and space was not done thoughtlessly. Just look at the complexity of our DNA in just one of the trillions of cells within the body and ask yourself if this and all creations in this world were made by some mindless, thoughtless being?

There is obviously more to the story than just a small temporary lapse of judgment on the part of the Son. We’ll cover this next.

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

Copyright by J J Dewey

Index for Original Archives

Index for Recent Posts

Easy Access to All the Writings

For Free Book go HERE and other books HERE

JJ’s Amazon page HERE

Gather with JJ on Facebook HERE

The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 6

Chapter Six
The Holy Spirit and Angels

The idea of the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, being three but one is presented similarly in A Course in Miracles and orthodox Christianity. The Father aspect, representing the all powerful creator has similar ingredients, but the Son is presented quite differently and in more detail in ACIM than in the New Testament. On the other hand, even though there is more about the Holy Spirit in the Course overall it is significantly in harmony with the Bible.

Concerning the Holy Spirit, Jesus of the New Testament says this:

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:16-17

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26

It is interesting that the word Comforter is translated from the Greek PARAKLĒTOS which means “One who is called in” or “called to one’s aid.”

The Course tells us that the creation of the Holy Spirit originated at the separation of the Son from the Father. He was indeed called in to aid in assisting the Son to return to his right mind. It is written:

“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. The Voice of the Holy Spirit is the Call to Atonement, or the restoration of the integrity of the mind.” T-5.I.5

So His purpose is to call us “to Atonement, or the restoration of the integrity of the mind.”

Concerning the atonement the Course also says this:

“Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors.” M-18.4

The “Atonement centers on the past, which is the source of separation, and where it must be undone. For separation must be corrected where it was made.” T-17.III.5

“The purpose of the Atonement is to restore everything to you—that is, to restore your awareness of everything. You had everything when you were created, just as everyone did. Having been restored to this original state, you naturally become part of the Atonement yourself.” T-1.I.26.6 COA

So then, in the ancient past we as Sons of God who had been given all the creative powers of the Father had what the Course calls a “mad idea.” We wondered what it would be like to live in a universe of time and space that was separate from God and based upon duality rather than unity, where there was evil as well as good, pain as well as joy. We had this idea, that could not be carried out in God’s reality so we created dream world of illusion and entered it as if falling asleep and dreaming. The trouble was that we went into such a deep state of sleep that we had no awareness that we were dreaming so we accepted the world of illusion as real and forgot that we even had a true home in the celestial realm.

The Course says the story of Adam symbolized what happened to us:

“Yet the Bible says that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and nowhere is there reference to his waking up. The world has not yet experienced any comprehensive reawakening or rebirth. Such a rebirth is impossible as long as you continue to project or miscreate.” T-2.I.3

Only after the deep sleep fell upon Adam could he experience nightmares.” T-2.I.4

So one reason this whole separation was called a mad idea was that instead of just entering a universe that was interesting and challenging we also entered a dream state that gave us many “nightmares.”

This created a barrier in communication between the Father and the Son so deep that God decided a correction was necessary.

“God’s extending outward, though not His completeness, is blocked when the Sonship does not communicate with Him as one. So He thought, ‘My children sleep and must be awakened.’” T-6.V.1

So God wanted to awaken His Sons, but there was a major problem. Whatever God places His attention on becomes as if it is real. If God entered the dream to redeem his Sons then the dream would become real to Him as well and he would also be trapped. There would be created the risk of both the Father and the Son becoming eternally separated from their true home, eternally losing their identity.

To solve the problem and allow God to keep his attention focused on reality he created a special agent, The Holy Spirit, that could be a bridge between the two worlds.

So God created the “Holy Spirit, Who was God’s answer to the separation.” T-17.IV.4

“The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower communication, keeping the direct channel from God to you open for revelation.” T-1.II.5

This gives some further light on the seriousness of the matter:

“He has created the Holy Spirit as the Mediator between perception and knowledge. Without this link with God, perception would have replaced knowledge forever in your mind. With this link with God, perception will become so changed and purified that it will lead to knowledge.”

So then, if the Holy Spirit had not been created as a link between the worlds “perception would have replaced knowledge forever.” Perception is what makes the world of illusion real and “seeing would be believing” forever without the aid of the Holy Spirit whose mission is to bring us the knowledge that there exists reality which is beyond normal vision.

In addition to being a comforter who reaches across worlds to us Jesus in the scripture told us the Holy Spirit would “abide with you for ever.”

This Biblical statement agrees with the Course which says:

“But what God creates is eternal. The Holy Spirit will remain with the Sons of God, to bless their creations and keep them in the light of joy.” T-5.I.5.

Next Jesus calls him, “the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.”

The Course is in harmony with this scripture and adds:

“The Holy Spirit mediates between illusions and the truth. Since He must bridge the gap between reality and dreams, perception leads to knowledge through the grace that God has given Him, to be His gift to everyone who turns to Him for truth.” W-pII.7.1

“When you made visible what is not true, what is true became invisible to you. Yet it cannot be invisible in itself, for the Holy Spirit sees it with perfect clarity.” T-12.VIII.3

The scripture continues:

but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

And the Course adds:

“The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice that calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn.” T-5.II.3

Next the scripture says:

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26

And the Course affirms as follows:

“The Holy Spirit, Who remembers this for you, merely teaches you how to remove the blocks that stand between you and what you know. His memory is yours.” T-14.IV.9

“truth can still set you free. Look as the Holy Spirit looks, and understand as He understands. His understanding looks back to God in remembrance of me. He is in communion with God always, and He is part of you.” T-5.III.11

The Course, however, goes beyond the Biblical statements of the Holy Spirit and sheds additional light.. One point that we already covered was the purpose of his creation which was to heal the separation from God.

The Course gives additional light on exactly what the Holy Spirit is. It says:

“He is part of the Holy Trinity, because His Mind is partly yours and also partly God’s. This needs clarification, not in statement but in experience. The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing. Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared. Being the Call for God, it is also the idea of God. Since you are part of God it is also the idea of yourself, as well as of all His creations.” T-5.III.1-2

When it speaks of its mind as “partly” ours it is speaking of the higher part of our minds:

“I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit.” T-4.IV.11

Then it adds this:

“Apart from the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit has no function. He is not separate from either, being in the Mind of Both, and knowing that Mind is One. He is a Thought of God, and God has given Him to you because He has no Thoughts He does not share.” T-13.VIII.4.

The Course emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is higher mind that dwells in both God and the higher part of ourselves, the same mind that was in Christ:

“The Holy Spirit is the Christ Mind which is aware of the knowledge that lies beyond perception.” T-5.I.5

As far as what its purpose is in addition to the atonement “It is the Holy Spirit’s function to teach you how this oneness (with God) is experienced, what you must do that it can be experienced, and where you should go to do it” T-25.I.6

“The Holy Spirit holds this plan of God exactly as it was received of Him within the Mind of God and in your own.” W-pI.99.5

An important part of the mission of the Holy Spirit involves assisting us in the removal of guilt as guilt is a major barrier between man and God.

“You whose mind is darkened by doubt and guilt, remember this: God gave the Holy Spirit to you, and gave Him the mission to remove all doubt and every trace of guilt that His dear Son has laid upon himself. It is impossible that this mission fail.” T-13.XI.5

“The Holy Spirit knows that all salvation is escape from guilt. You have no other “enemy,” and against this strange distortion of the purity of the Son of God the Holy Spirit is your only Friend. He is the strong protector of the innocence that sets you free.” T-14.III.13

Finally a main part of his mission in connection with the Sons of God who are trapped within the illusionary dream is to link our minds with His and guide us until we awaken and arrive home. We cannot do it on our own and need His assistance:

“When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing. There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer. Only your own volition seems to make deciding hard. The Holy Spirit will not delay in answering your every question what to do.” T-14.IV.6

For eons the Sons of God have been trapped in the dark and dreary world., The Course tells us that the only way out is to switch our attention from the lower mind of the ego to the higher mind of the Holy Spirit which is linked to the eternal part of ourselves.

So what do we have to do to make this miracle of infallible guidance happen? The answer is amazingly simple.

We have to ask and when there is a response we then must receive. Jesus stated this simple principle in the New Testament:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matt 7:7-8

Here is what the Course says about asking:

“The very fact that the Holy Spirit has been asked for anything will ensure a response. Yet it is equally certain that no response given by Him will ever be one that would increase fear. It is possible that His answer will not be heard. It is impossible, however, that it will be lost. There are many answers you have already received but have not yet heard. I assure you that they are waiting for you.” T-9.II.3

“The Holy Spirit will answer every specific problem as long as you believe that problems are specific.” T-11.VIII.5

“To ask the Holy Spirit to decide for you is simply to accept your true inheritance. Does this mean that you cannot say anything without consulting Him? No, indeed! That would hardly be practical, and it is the practical with which this course is most concerned. If you have made it a habit to ask for help when and where you can, you can be confident that wisdom will be given you when you need it.” M-29.5

The second part of the process is for the seeker to be open to receiving beyond theory, but in actuality. Here is what is asked of us to complete the process

“Your little part is but to give the Holy Spirit the whole idea of sacrifice. And to accept the peace He gives instead, without the limits that would hold its extension back, and so would limit your awareness of it. For what He gives must be extended if you would have its limitless power, and use it for the Son of God’s release.” T-19.IV.B.9

“you must choose to hear one of two voices within you. One you made yourself, and that one is not of God. But the other is given you by God, Who asks you only to listen to it.” T-5.II.3

“The Holy Spirit asks you to respond as God does, for He would teach you what you do not understand. God would respond to every need, whatever form it takes. And so He keeps this channel open to receive His communication to you, and yours to Him.” T-15.VIII.5

When full reliance is made on the side of the Holy Spirit we are told all future decisions will be effortless for the right choice will be obvious. For instance, if you were about to drive over a cliff and you realize you could prevent this by merely applying the brakes then what choice is there really? In theory you could choose to not hit the brakes but in reality the choice is so obvious that it is the only one to be made.

That is how choices along the path are seen for those who are at one mind with the Holy Spirit.


In addition to the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we are told there is one other group of inhabitants in heaven. This fourth group are the angels and the Course says a mysterious small amount about these beings . When it does mention them it often does so as a side item.

It may seem somewhat contradictory that there is a separate category of angels mentioned when we are told that:

“God created nothing beside you (the Son) and nothing beside you exists.”

“The universe consists of nothing but the Son of God,” W-pI.183.10

Yet something else called angels apparently does exist. Here is one of the few pieces of knowledge given out concerning the angels.

“You 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.” T 1 B 30 OE

So The Son (us) is created “above” the angels, apparently meaning we are of a higher order because we are creators as well as protectors. Protection seems to be the job of angels.

Apparently after the fall into illusion the angels tried to recover us but were unable to:

“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.” T-2-V-COA

The only way to see harmony in this contradiction is to see the angels as a part of the Sonship but a group having a different job. Also of note is that teachings in the Ancient Wisdom tell us that angels eventually become Sons of God.

Here are some other quotes from the Course that give some light on the purpose of angels.

“Your newborn purpose is nursed by angels, cherished by the Holy Spirit and protected by God Himself.” T-19.IV.C.9

“Around you angels hover lovingly, to keep away all darkened thoughts of sin, and keep the light where it has entered in.” T-26.IX.7

“This do the body’s eyes behold in one (your brother) whom Heaven cherishes, the angels love and God created perfect.” W-pI.161.9

“God’s Name can not be heard without response, nor said without an echo in the mind that calls you to remember. Say His Name, and you invite the angels to surround the ground on which you stand, and sing to you as they spread out their wings to keep you safe, and shelter you from every worldly thought that would intrude upon your holiness.” W-pI.183.2

Note: The wings here must be symbolic as ACIM says there is no form in heaven.

“You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.” W.ep.6

“He will not leave you comfortless, nor fail to send His angels down to answer you in His Own Name.” S-2.III.7

Thus we complete our examination of the four groups of lives which compose heaven, concerning who we are told are really one life to whom we give the generic title of God.

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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