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 A Course in Miracles, Chapter 24, Section II (pages 502-505)
The ego device of specialness stimulates us to look for what is different or lacking in everyone. The next step in this ego device is to compare these differences with our current image of our self, making us better, or more special than this ‘other.’ The idea of judging ‘better than’ or ‘lesser than’ is what the ego thought system considers is its job to find happiness. This is its substitute for everyone’s true Identity as one with God.
Jesus tells us, “Specialness always makes comparisons. It is established by a lack seen in another, and maintained by searching for, and keeping clear in sight, all lacks it can perceive. This does it seek, and this it looks upon. And always whom it thus diminishes would be your savior, had you not chosen to make of him a tiny measure of your specialness instead. Against the littleness you see in him you stand as tall and stately, clean and honest, pure and unsullied, by comparison with what you see. Nor do you understand it is yourself that you diminish thus.” (1:2-7)
In paragraph 2 we learn that we will lose our peace and will feel limited and weak instead of more powerful because the truth is that what we see in our brother is what we are reinforcing in ourselves. “But the pursuit of specialness must bring you pain. Here is a goal that would defeat salvation, and thus run counter to the Will of God. to value specialness is to esteem an alien will to which illusions of yourself are dearer than the truth.” (2:7-9)
It is so helpful to understand how the ego thought system works and its effects so that we are less inclined to join with it. The ego doesn’t tell us that we are diminishing ourselves and keeping ourselves in a state of conflict and pain by focusing on what is ‘wrong’ about others. The ego does not tell us that we will experience a loss of peace as we join with the ego false idea of specialness. Thank God we are learning this so that we can choose once again with the Holy Spirit to free ourselves from the pain and depression that specialness would bring us.
When we want specialness, we do not want to be aware of our innate oneness. Joining with the idea of specialness denies that oneness is the eternal truth. “Nor do they love the Oneness Which created them as one with Him. They chose their specialness instead of Heaven and instead of peace, and wrapped it carefully in sin to keep it ‘safe’ from truth.” (3:6-7)
Here we see how important seeing sin and guilt is to the part of the Sonship that wants specialness to be real. Seeing sin and guilt becomes their savior because it obliterates the awareness that only Love’s oneness and innocence is real. “The special messages the special hear convince them they are different and apart; each in his special sins and ‘safe’ from Love, which does not see his specialness at all. Christ’s vision is their enemy, for it sees not what they would look upon, and it would show them that the specialness they think they see is an illusion.” (5:5-6)
As we allow ourselves to step back from the old game of seeing specialness and instead are willing to receive the truth of oneness, differences disappear and is replaced by “the shining radiance of the Son of God.” (6:2) We experience Love’s extension, where everything is one seamless whole. The limitation and lack of specialness disappears. Jesus tells us, “This is the only ‘cost’ of truth: You will no longer see what never was, nor hear what makes no sound. Is it a sacrifice to give up nothing, and to receive the Love of God forever?” (6:5-6)
When we are willing to receive the truth that no one is different or guilty, we will see the rays of Heaven shining from everyone. By seeing the truth instead of specialness, we are freed from the hell of specialness. We are freed from illusions of guilt, suffering and pain. We are freed from illusions of separate, sinful bodies that suffer and finally die. We are freed from believing in the false ideas of the ego.
Jesus tells us, “What has been given him (every brother) makes you complete, as it does him. God’s Love gave you to him and him to you because He gave Himself. What is the same as God is one with Him.” (11:3-5)
As we practice daily seeing every brother as God sees him, we remember that there is nothing but Heaven. We remember that only what God created is true. We lose a separate identity because we no longer feel a need to be special. The fear of God falls away and we rejoice that only this is real.
To answer this Jesus tells us: “The death of specialness is not your death, but your awaking into life eternal. You but emerge from an illusion of what you are to the acceptance of yourself as God created you.” (14:4-5)
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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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