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 V. (pages 509-511)
In this section Jesus compares our real Mind — the Christ Mind — with the false mind that believes in specialness. Describing our real Mind he tells us, “The Christ in you is very still. He looks on what He loves, and knows it as Himself. And thus does He rejoice at what He sees, because He knows that it is one with Him and with His Father.” (1:1-3) Because our real Mind knows only Love, when we lower our barriers to our real Mind, we experience and witness to the reality of Love’s Presence everywhere. We experience the knowing that there is no separation. And because there is no separation, we know that there can be no conflicting wishes, no differences, no change from oneness.
Our real Mind is very still because it is not trying to change Love into something It is not. Our real Mind quietly and joyfully extends the Love It is to all of Itself. There is no fear here. There are no differences. There is no loss. There is only infinite peace and eternal joy that never changes. Here we see that our real Mind is the same as Heaven.
When we want to experience specialness and uniqueness, we make up scenarios in the false mind, the mind that dreams of separation from the one Christ Mind. Jesus explains it this way: “What you wish is true for you. Nor is it possible that you can wish for something and lack faith that it is so. Wishing makes real (in dreams), as surely as does will create. The power of a wish upholds illusions as strongly as does Love extend Itself. Except that one deludes; the other heals.” (1:8-10)
Because we feel guilt for making up illusions of separation that appear real to us, we try to fool ourselves into believing that God did this to us and we are the innocent victim of God’s wrath for our choice to leave God’s oneness. “In dreams, effect and cause are interchanged, for here the maker of the dream believes that what he made is happening to him. He does not realize he picked a thread from here, a scrap from there, and wove a picture out of nothing.” (2:2)
We push our making up the dream into our unconscious so that the guilt we believe in is hidden from our awareness. This guilt that lies hidden in our ‘special and unique’ mind then shows up in our ‘life’ story of separation, but now it appears that the guilt lies in those we see outside us. This is the way we retain our specialness — we now see ourselves as different from everyone else in the dream. To retain this dream, we now see ourselves as the innocent victim who needs to defend against evil outside forces.
Here in this dream of separation, we attract a state of anxiety, irritation and conflict because the dream of separation is filled with guilt, victimhood, fear and a need to constantly judge the guilty ones we dream are different from us. It is only when we come to the point of being willing to give up the false dream of separation that peace returns to our conflicted mind.
Jesus tells us, “Where could your peace arise but from forgiveness? The Christ in you looks only on the truth, and sees no condemnation that could need forgiveness. He is at peace because He sees no sin. Identify with Him, and what has He that you have not? He is your eyes, your ears, your hands, your feet. How gentle are the sights He sees, the sounds He hears.” (3:1-6)
Here we are encouraged to give up the false mind of seeing specialness or separation and return to our united Mind, the Christ Mind. Forgiveness is simply being willing to let go of the dream of separation and return to our Father. As we daily practice opening up to our real Mind, peace comes easily because the Christ Mind looks past the images of separation to the changeless Love that has always been there but has been hidden behind our wish to project guilt.
“How beautiful His hand that holds His brother’s, and how lovingly He walks beside him, showing him what can be seen and heard, and where he will see nothing and there is no sound to hear.” (3:7) Here we see that as we open up to the Christ Mind, we are shown the difference between the real and the unreal. Here is how we find peace instead of conflict.
We have thought that specialness would be exciting and fun. We have looked for and found a constant flow of change and exciting thrills — special places to go, special people to see, special food to eat, special objects to own and special clothes to put on our body to increase our sense of specialness. We have looked to be entertained by special bodies accomplishing amazing feats that makes them deserving of praise and rewards. We have looked to our separate body to give us pleasure through the body’s senses. We have attempted to adorn to our body to attract praise and attention from other special bodies. We have competed to be more special, more unique than the special ones we see around us. This is the story of specialness that we have bought into as a substitute for Love’s Oneness.
Jesus wants us to understand just how treacherous the dream of specialness can be for us. In paragraph four he describes in gory detail the real motive of specialness (the ego thought system) and what it ultimately wants for us: “And both [you and your brother] will walk in danger, each intent, in the dark forest of the sightless, unlit but by the shifting tiny gleams that spark an instant from the fireflies of sin and then go out, to lead the other to a nameless precipice and hurl him over it. For what can specialness delight in but to kill? What does it seek for but the sight of death? Where does it lead to but to destruction?” (4:2-5)
Here we see that inherent within the thought system of specialness is the secret belief in sin and guilt. Secretly hidden within its glittering folds lies hatred and fear of God. Secretly hidden within its glamor lies stories of loss, sickness and death. Jesus wants us to understand that desiring specialness is the same as choosing the experience of loss, fear, pain, anguish and finally death. Here Jesus reveals to us the search for specialness is the same as choosing hell instead of Heaven.
Jesus suggests that we rejoice that we have been wrong about ourselves and that the bodies we think we made are nothing and nowhere. He says, “Rejoice you have no eyes with which to see; no ears to listen, and no hands to hold nor feet to guide. Be glad that only Christ can lend you His, while you have need of them.” (5:1-2)
As we are willing to step back and let go of all we think will bring us happiness, we give our real Mind, the Christ Mind a chance to rise above all the barriers we have placed before It. “The Christ in you is very still. He knows where you are going, and He leads you there in gentleness and blessing all the way. His Love for God replaces all the fear you thought you saw within yourself.” (6:1-3)
Because the Christ in you sees past specialness to the Christ everywhere, every time you look through Christ’s eyes, you see holiness. You see the Christ in every brother where once you saw weakness and guilt. You see the truth beyond the illusion of specialness. “His perfect lack of specialness He offers you that you may save all living things from death, receiving from each one the gift of life that your forgiveness offers to your Self. The sight of Christ is all there is to see. The song of Christ is all there is to hear. The hand of Christ is all there is to hold. There is no journey but to walk with Him.” (7:6-10)
Every doubt arises when we choose to forget Who we are. As we do the work of stepping back from insisting that our ‘lives’ as separate bodies are real, the Christ in us comes forward. “He will exchange His certainty for all your doubts if you agree that He is one with you, and that this oneness is endless, timeless, and within your grasp because your hands are His. He is within you, yet He walks beside you and before, leading the way that He must go to find Himself complete. His quietness becomes your certainty. And where is doubt when certainty has come?” (9:4-7)
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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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