The Mysteries of A Course in Miracles, Chapter 7


Chapter Seven
Mind, Spirit, Thought and Ideas

Mind, Spirit, Thought and Ideas

We have covered Course teachings on the celestial lives of the Trinity and angels, but what are the principles behind the great mystery of such lives and creation itself? This quote from the course certainly gives pause for reflection:

“God is an idea, and so your faith in Him is strengthened by sharing. What you find difficult to accept is the fact that, like your Father, you are an idea.” T-15.VI.4

Not only is God and us (the Son) ideas, but so is the Holy Spirit:

“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

So the Holy Spirit and the Son (you and me) are ideas from God? What then would be the source of the idea of God and what exactly would that be?

First, we must become clear what an idea is and where it originates. The Course rings true when it says “Ideas are of the mind.” T-26.VII.4 “every idea begins in the mind of the thinker. Therefore, what extends from the mind is still in it, and from what it extends it knows itself.” T-6.III.1

It even goes so far to say that “Everything is an idea.” T-5.I.2

“Every idea has a purpose, and its purpose is always the natural outcome of what it is.” T-11.V.5.

The course repeatedly makes the statement that “ideas leave not their source.” This seems kind of odd reasoning since it certainly appears in this world that ideas do leave their source. For instance, the car you drive is the manifestation of many ideas from diverse individuals, and there it sits in your garage separated from the source of those who came up with the ideas that created it.

And how about you? You are currently in a body, maybe sitting in a chair, and separated from any intelligence that came up with the idea that is you.

This is incorrect thinking says the Course:

“Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them. Ideas are of the mind. What is projected out, and seems to be external to the mind, is not outside at all, but an effect of what is in, and has not left its source. … God wills you learn what always has been true: that He created you as part of Him, and this must still be true because ideas leave not their source.” T-26.VII.4

So, your car which “seems to be external to the mind, is not outside at all” according to the Course. It tells us that everything in creation is composed of ideas sent forth by the mind. Many of these ideas seem to be external because we see them as such. This is an illusion because everything you see is projected by the mind.

So what mind is projecting your car?

This would be the collective mind of the Son of God, which includes all of us as a united life. The car is our idea. It is not there in the true reality, but seems to be there because we project it through the unlimited power of the mind.

And not only is your car an illusion projected by our group mind but so also is our whole world and everything in it. It tells us that our “world … is not here, although it seems to be.” W-pI.155.1

You dwell not here, but in eternity. You travel but in dreams, while safe at home.” T-13.VII.17

So, if you dream of a car in the garage, the car is not really there, but merely a projection of the mind. This is the case with what we think is our waking state, but instead of experiencing a dream by yourself alone, you are experiencing a group dream of collective minds united with the idea of the creator Son.

The strongest emphasis around this idea is centered on us as creations or ideas in the mind of God. If we only appear to be here and have not left our Source, then where are we?

We are told that we dwell in “eternity… safe at home” even as we appear to be here. This is because “God has given you a place in His Mind that is yours forever.” T-11.I.6

So then, the real part of ourselves has not left our Source, God, but the dreaming part of ourselves thinks we are here in this world. Everything in this world is an idea from our collective mind that exists within, but is projected without.

To awaken and see the true reality, you need “to return your whole mind to God, because it has never left Him. If it has never left Him, you need only perceive it as it is to be returned.” T-6.II.10

All ideas then come from mind, and all mind is linked to God. From what we are told, all ideas from mind in the state of wholeness were perfect and good except for one. In this state of wholeness the mind of the Second Aspect of the Trinity, the Son, came up with a bad idea. In fact, it was such a bad idea it was called a “mad idea.” How a mad idea could have even originated in a creation from a perfect being is not explained by the Course, but merely lets us know that it happened and resulted in the making of this imperfect universe with its pains sorrows and death that runs contrary to the will of heaven.

This mad idea caused the mind to split into what some call the higher and lower mind. The higher mind is still linked to God and is in oneness with Him. This mind only comes up with good ideas in harmony with Higher Will. The lower mind is linked to this world, is cut off from God, and comes up with all kinds of bad ideas not in harmony with heaven.

We are told that “You have made many ideas that you have placed between yourself and your Creator, and these beliefs are the world as you perceive it.” 11.VII.4

There are many bad ideas that we have in this world, but there are three particularly egregious ones according to the Course.

The first is our creation of the ego which supports the idea of separation from God. It says, “All that the ego is, is an idea that it is possible that things could happen to the Son of God without his will; and thus without the Will of his Creator.” T-21.II.6

The second is the creation of our bodies with the idea of restricting our consciousness to such a limited and separative condition.

“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

The third particularly bad and false idea is the ego’s version of God as an angry, punishing revengeful being “having made him out of your insanity, he is an insane idea. He has many forms, but although he may seem to be many different things he is but one idea;–the denial of God.” T-10.V.3

Ideas, then are created by thought, and thought comes from mind. Since God is an idea, we can conclude that the life of God and all extensions, such as you and I, came from the thought of one great universal mind. We could say that the idea of God is a thought that correlates to the Universal Mind from whence all thought and ideas originate.

Indeed, mind and thought are linked to life itself: “If I did not think I would not exist, because life is thought, “says the Course. W-pI.54.2.

Thought is behind all existence, even that of God, and may be one reason even He is called an idea.

So then, behind all existence we have ideas, for “Everything is an idea.” Ideas come from thought, and thought comes from mind. The fourth ingredient in the scheme of things is Spirit. Where does it enter in and does it proceed mind?

It appears that mind and Spirit are closely related, are interdependent, and are both essential elements behind the creation of all things. They are not exactly the same, however. The biggest difference is that Spirit is perfect and unchangeable, whereas mind is capable of error since it is active in generating thought.

This quote reveals the difference between the two:

“Spirit is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect what it chooses to serve. The only limit put on its choice is that it cannot serve two masters. If it elects to do so, the mind can become the medium by which spirit creates along the line of its own creation. If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains its creative potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than Authoritative control. As a result it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants.” T-1.V.5

Consequently, the mind can choose between two masters and can even come up with a mad and crazy idea, whereas Spirit is static and perfect and never deviates from its high state. “The mind is capable of illumination. Spirit is already illuminated,” T-2.V.6 says the Course.

We are told that “Spirit is the Thought of God which He created like Himself.” C-1.1

The difference between Mind and Spirit is that “Only the mind can create because spirit has already been created.” T-2.IV.3

Even though mind is the creative and thinking force, it is dependent on Spirit for its power.

“Yet mind apart from spirit cannot think. It has denied its Source of strength, and sees itself as helpless, limited and weak.” W-pI.96.5

So, Mind introduced the “mad idea” to make a universe out of reach from Spirit, and then lost its ability to think accurately, thus becoming “limited.”

It comes down to this:

“Only the mind is capable of error.” T-2.IV.2 “It is essential to remember that only the mind can create, and that correction belongs at the thought level. To amplify an earlier statement, spirit is already perfect and therefore does not require correction.” T-2.V.1

So then, it boils down to this. The prime stabilizing force in the universe is pure spirit which is perfect and never deviates from this perfection. On the other hand, the mind is the creative force and creativity demands choice, which makes duality possible along with the possibility of good and bad choices.

The interdependence of the mind and Spirit is interesting:

“The term mind is used to represent the activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy.” C-1.1

“Spirit makes use of mind as means to find its Self expression. And the mind which serves the spirit is at peace and filled with joy. Its power comes from spirit, and it is fulfilling happily its function here.” W-pI.96.3.

An important realization concerning the universal mind which we all share is that it is a source of unlimited power of creation, for we “are of one mind and spirit with Him. (God)” T-5.VII.3 and “The mind that serves the spirit is invulnerable.” T 1 B 28c

This great power is used for extending God’s creation when in harmony with Spirit, but when out of sync it can lose contact with Spirit and “you have used your own mind, which He created in the likeness of His Own, to miscreate.” T-3.II.4 The problem is that mind still has this unlimited power even when going in the wrong direction.

For instance, when the Son made his greatest mistake and got his “mad idea” we are told that: “In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects.” T-27.VIII.6

The creation of illusion is no small matter, as noted here: “The thoughts you hold are mighty, and illusions are as strong in their effects as is the truth.” W-pI.132.1

One of the effects was the creation of the Ego, the self that has no contact with Spirit, but still uses Mind. Concerning this ego Helen’s original transcription reveals this:

“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. But the DECISION to do this, rather than the ABILITY to do it is what the ego cannot tolerate. That is because the decision, from which the ability would naturally develop, would necessarily involve true perception, a state of clarity which the ego, fearful of being judged truly, MUST avoid.” UR T 4 F 13

So even the ego, the false self, because it is “a product of the mind,” has great power to create and is only limited by its own self-deception.

We as Sons of God who have fallen asleep to higher reality are also asleep to the power of mind within us. We are told:

“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

However, the real power is manifest when we link up with other minds in harmony with Higher Will:

“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

In conclusion, we have Mind and Spirit producing thought and ideas by which all things are created. We wake up to their correct use when we realize that ideas in the mind of God, such as you and me, do not leave their source.

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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