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 Chapter 1, Section IV. (pages 11-12).
This section has only 4 paragraphs, but each paragraph says a lot. Let’s take it one paragraph at a time, beginning with paragraph one.
The escape from darkness is the escape from the belief that we separated from God — Universal Love. Believing we have separated from universal Love is the same as hiding from the awareness of Love’s oneness or denying that Love is all that is real. Inherent in Love is perfect, all encompassing oneness. In oneness there can be nothing to hide. All has all and knows all because all is joined in one, universal Mind. The experience of Love’s oneness brings with It the experience of Love’s innate peace and joy. When we remember that all is in communion, or one undivided whole, we know that all understands all because every part is the same as the whole.
In oneness, no part wants to hide or keep anything from the whole. The idea of trying to retain anything for one’s individual ‘self’ alone is what the darkness is. In this paragraph we are reminded that “darkness cannot hide.” (1:1) To this part that wants to separate, it is very fearful to learn that we cannot in truth have separate minds with private thoughts. We cannot be different or special. As we can let go of, or forgive, the idea of hiding anything from the whole, we escape from the belief in darkness (separation) and return to experiencing the peace and joy that comes with remembering our innate oneness.
The image we have of ourselves as separate individuals with separate minds contained in separate bodies is an illusion. It is a self deception because, in truth, the one Self is Love. Love is one and cannot be divided. So when we identify with an identity that thinks it is unique and separate, we are in darkness, because we are denying the oneness of Love that is our true Identity. This denial produces the experience of lack and lovelessness that comes when we think we can get something for ourselves alone.
In truth we can never be without God’s Love because we are God’s Love. But we can deny the awareness of Love’s presence and thus we become unaware that we are God’s Love. When we deny God’s Love, we try to hide our true Identity in darkness. Yet the thing we are hiding from is the very thing that our heart yearns for because we yearn to be in our natural state of God’s Love as we were created.
The illusions of individuality we have of ourselves in this world hide this universal Self from our awareness. We cannot hang on to a separate, unique identity and know the oneness of the Love that we are. The miracle corrects the errors we hold about ourselves and in this way we come to realize that we no longer want to believe we are a separate self. No longer needing to protect a separate identity, we are released from the fear that comes with the belief in separation. We accept the unified Self we are instead of rejecting It.
Let’s now move on to paragraph two. Another way to say the first sentence is: Oneness in Love, which is the same as wholeness or holiness, can never really be hidden in darkness (separation from Love), but we can believe in the illusion that we are separate. This illusion of separation from Love makes us very afraid, because in our hearts we know that it is not true even though we try very hard to make it appear to be real. When we open to a correction in our perception (the miracle), we open to Reality, which means we return to the awareness that we are one Spirit. Remembering we are one Spirit returns us to the awareness of our union with Love.
As we accept a correction in our perception, we join with the Holy Spirit’s goal of correcting all errors or belief in lack of Love. When we believe that there could be an opposite to Love, we are believing in nothing. We forget the truth that we are the one Spirit of Love. As we learn to serve only the Holy Spirit’s goal of remembering our oneness, we remember we are invulnerable. We remember that there is nothing to fear because nothing but Love exists.
In paragraph 2, sentence 7, it says that the errors in the mind are merely lacks of Love, which is the same as saying lack of awareness of our one Identity. In paragraph 3, sentence 1 it says that sin is lack of love (or belief that we truly separated from Love). We now know that belief in sin is merely an error in our perception, and could never be true. Since miracles correct all errors in our mind, miracles bring release from belief in sin, or belief in a lack of love. Release from belief in sin (that we really separated from God) comes not from sacrifice or punishment, but from accepting the miracle, which is the same as letting the truth of our oneness with Love return to our conflicted mind.
In paragraph 3, Jesus emphasizes that as we are willing to return to the truth that we are still Love as God created us, we are also returning to the awareness of our innate abundance in Love. Believing in separation from Love brings us the experience of lack of love or scarcity. Love is abundant because It is all encompassing. Because Love does not change, it is eternal. The Atonement merely returns our minds to the awareness that in Reality, we are abundant in God because we are still one with all Love. We will always have and be all Love, which we know we share with all Creation. Having all Love and being one with All That Is, we have no needs. This is what we realize when we return to awareness of the truth. This is why Jesus tells us, “Truth is always abundant. Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no needs of any kind.” (3:4)
In paragraph 4, we see that it is through forgiveness, or letting go of illusions of separation from Love, that we escape from the darkness of fear and the feeling of lack, depression and emptiness. We learn that the illusion of ‘life’ in a separate body that is born and eventually grows sick and dies is not true. Jesus demonstrated that death does not exist and he tells us that he will bring us this assurance if we are willing to listen. As we are willing to learn the truth from him, we will also strengthen the truth in ourselves and our brothers. We will teach abundance as we accept the truth that everyone is eternally abundant in God.
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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
of the Second & Third Editions is © Copyright 1992,
The Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
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