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 VII. (pages 15-16)
The first key idea that is introduced in this section is: Body perceptions cover up awareness of our reality as Love and make It almost impossible to recognize. When we believe what we see with the body’s eyes is real, the truth that we are still formless Love in the Mind of universal Love becomes covered up or hidden from our awareness. What we see through the body’s eyes is the total opposite of what our true Self knows as reality. The bodies senses can only perceive the ego’s world of separation because that is what it was made for. Our true reality as Spirit knows only equality and sameness. It knows that only Love’s oneness is real. With perception, we see duality in a world with ‘others’ who are outside of us and different from us. Spirit knows only oneness and sees no differences.
Here we can see that we are talking about two mutually exclusive thought systems — one true, the other false. We cannot continue to believe that differences are real and experience the oneness of Love. When we look out through the body’s eyes, which show us only separate forms, it is hard to fathom the reality of Love that knows no boundaries, no limits and no differences. But this is exactly what the Course is leading us to recognize.
The confusion of miracle impulses with physical impulses comes because we identify with being a separate body instead of universal Love. Miracle impulses are inspired by the oneness of Love. Physical impulses are motivated by belief in separation and uniqueness. When we think we are a body, we believe in our body’s senses which are limited to physical perception, excluding our eternal spiritual reality.
Miracle impulses come from the Love that we are as eternal Spirit. They may be expressed through the body, but they originate from the truth in our minds. However, when we confuse our identity with the body, we may distort the motivations that originate from Love. This leads us to act with the body in a way that does not clearly express the universal nature of Love. Instead of expressing Love in a way that recognizes our equality with everyone, we offer Love only selectively to “special” people. This expression excludes and therefore separates instead of extending the unity of Love.
Paragraph 3, sentences 1-8, talks about fantasy. Because only the oneness of universal Love is real, the entire physical world we perceive is a fantasy, a distortion of reality. It stems from our desire (false need) to be separate and have our own special identity. Since this is impossible in reality, we attempt to control reality through fantasy by making up a world that satisfies our desire for uniqueness. Believing in what we have made, this world of fantasy seems real to us.
As we open our minds to miracle impulses that extend God’s universal Love, our belief in miracle impulses grows stronger. By holding the conviction that our brother is only Love, we help our brother know himself as Love. As we feel the joy that comes with extending the Love that we share with our brothers, we no longer feel a need to fantasize uniqueness and separation. We know we are one with our brother and our only goal is to offer the truth to everyone so that we return together to full awareness of our unity in Love.
Paragraphs 4-5 emphasize the importance of having a good foundation of understanding to prepare us for direct communication with God. That is why it says, “This is a course in mind training.” (4:1) Without this foundation developed step by step, communication with God might be feared rather than welcomed. We might perceive it as requiring sacrifice and loss instead of seeing it as a gift of peace and joy.
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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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