To gain the most from A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple, we recommend that
you read the corresponding chapter and section in the Text of the Second or
Third Edition of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.
Read ACIM Chapter 13, Section II (pages 239-241)
At the core of our being there is an irresistible desire to return to the awareness of God. Yet since guilt maintains separation, it interferes with our awareness of God because inherent in God, or Love, is oneness. Separation and oneness cannot coexist. But the ego needs guilt to maintain its “existence” separate from God so it wants us to retain guilt. We have become persuaded that we are the ego and not our Self as God created us. Having identified ourselves with the ego, we follow the ego’s dictates, believing they are our own.
In the first two paragraphs of this section the Course speaks of the ego as if it is an external “being.” Yet it is simply a system of thought that seems to exist only because because of our belief in it. When we withdraw our belief in the ego, the world of separation will cease to seem to exist. But because we still identify with the ego, we think its thought system is our own. We think its rules apply to us.
The ego has made up a complex web of rules we must follow, many of them contradictory so that we always feel like there is something we have done wrong. We feel guilty so we are expecting others to see our failures and recognize our guilt. When we identify with the ego, we are always on the alert for the “guilt police,” who are bound to catch us failing to comply with some ego rule. This alertness makes us defensive, while at the same time leaving us feeling unworthy because of our unconscious belief in our guilt. It is no wonder this is a world of depression.
Inherent in the ego thought system is the belief that we can get rid of guilt by projecting it. All the while the ego secretly knows that this merely conceals the guilt so it can keep the guilt without our objection. Everyone who believes this world is real is identifying with the ego thought system. This brings with it an underlying sense of guilt from a belief that we have somehow failed, without recognizing what the failure is.
The intent of this section is to help us learn to recognize the ego’s insane and murderous thought system for what it is. The ego’s ultimate goal is the death of God’s Son. “You do not even suspect this murderous but insane idea lies hidden there, for the ego’s destructive urge is so intense that nothing short of the crucifixion of God’s Son can ultimately satisfy it.” (3:3) God’s Son is Love, which is one. The ego is the opposite and therefore is totally unaware of who the Son of God is.
The ego wants the Son of God dead because “To the ego, the guiltless are guilty. Those who do not attack are its ‘enemies’ because, by not valuing its interpretation of salvation, they are in an excellent position to let [the ego] go.” (4:2-3) The ego is the belief that we truly were successful in separating from God (or Love’s oneness). The ego is the belief that we were successful in individualizing and are now making our own reality in a world where everything is separate and different. The ego is the idea that we killed the Son of God and with this comes the belief that we are guilty for what we did.
When we identify with the ego thought system, this is what we are buying into. That is why the ego never wants to see innocence. It always wants to see guilt and sees our true Self as guilty. To the ego crucifixion is salvation because it believes that by destroying its enemy (God’s oneness) it will be safe.
Recognizing the ego thought system for what it is is an important step in learning that we are not an ego. As we learn to recognize the ego thoughts of guilt and separation for what they are when they come into our mind, we will cease to be deceived by the ego’s distortions of the truth.
It is only our belief in the ego idea that it is possible to be separate that makes us feel guilty and fearful. We think we are afraid of God’s judgment. But we are really afraid that God would show us that we are innocent. We are afraid of this because when we truly see our innocence, it would be the end of the ego. Believing we are the ego, we think it would be the end of us.
Buying into the ego thought system and the world of separation is like buying a complex computer software program. This program comes with its own built in set of “features.” It features time, space, individuality, separate interests, birth and death, vulnerability, hunger, bodies that give is pleasure and pain, suffering and much more. The program comes as a package deal, but it has a very high price. The way to escape from this program is not in trying to change or rewrite the program. We hit the “escape button” by ceasing to believe in the validity of the program. To do this we need help from outside the program, Which is the Holy Spirit — the part of our mind Which has never forgotten the reality of Love.
The release from the “program” of guilt occurs as we let the part of our mind that is still awake awaken us to the truth. This part of our mind is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will show us our brother’s innocence so we can see it without fear. The process in most cases is gradual so we do not feel we are sacrificing anything. The guilt that we had projected we see as not real with the Holy Spirit’s help. “For the redeemed son of man is the guiltless Son of God, and to recognize him is your redemption.” (9:7) Thus as we see the innocence of our brother, we learn of our own innocence. We see that guilt was never real and that we remain eternally as God created us. We recognize that we remain in Heaven and the ego (separation from God) never occurred. Only Love is real and illusions of separation are nothing. The guiltless Son of God is all there is to see.
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How to Read References for Quotes from A Course in Miracles
Below are example references to specific sentences using the notation of the Second & Third Editions of A Course in Miracles published by the Foundation for Inner Peace:
T-26.IV.4:7 = Text, Chapt. 26, Section IV, paragraph 4, sentence 7.
W-pI.169.5:2 = Workbook, Part I, Lesson 169, paragraph 5, sentence 2.
M-13.3:2 = Manual for Teachers, Question 13, paragraph 3, sentence 2.
C-6.4:6 = Clarification of Terms, Term 6, paragraph 4, sentence 6
The above numbering system
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The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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