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 27, Section VI. (pages 579-581)
Both pain and pleasure make the body appear to be real to us. They draw us deeply into the dream and we experience it as ‘reality’ like a thriller movie draws us in to experience the fear and dread of ‘future’ events of death and destruction written in the movie story. As we engross ourselves in the movie, we lose ourselves in it. As we identify with the actors in the movie, we feel the emotions of fear and pain along with the actors. We feel the exhilaration and thrill at overcoming problems and threats that come one right after the other as the actors in the movie surmount all obstacles to ‘win’ in the end. What we ‘win’ with the body dream is the experience of separation from our true Identity.
The body is like the DVD we put in our DVD player. Through the instrument of the body (DVD) we experience a ‘life’ of both pleasure and pain and it seems to be very real to us while we are going through the experience. In this body experience, the dream has a beginning, where we dream of being born and an end, where we dream of dying. In this dream, both birth and death and all the pleasure and pain we experience in between seem very real to us. This is what we wanted to experience when we played the ‘body DVD’ experience.
We are now learning that the ‘body life’ that we experience is not real but just a dream and is not really true. We are learning that we were not really born as a separate body and we cannot die because we still are eternal Spirit. We are still one with our Father in Heaven. We still are the peace and joy that is inherent in Love, which is the truth about us. In fact, the Course reminds us that we remain in Heaven while dreaming we are on a distant shore having all these experiences of fear, guilt and pain. While we want these dreams of individuality, imitation and lack, we call it pleasure.
The ego thought system is the writer of the script of these dreams of being separate from our Source. Inherent within the ego thought system is the core belief of our guilt for choosing to experience separation from our Father, our Source. Inherent in all the stories of the ego’s DVD’s is the projection of this inherent guilt (original sin) onto the other actors in the dream to try to displace the uncomfortable and intolerable feeling of unworthiness and guilt. This is why the ego’s DVD’s are filled with stories of being the innocent victim of the guilty ones we see as outside us. This is why, to the ego, seeing guilt is pleasure and seeing innocence is pain.
Jesus explains how the ego thought system works: “Sin (belief in separation) shifts from pain to pleasure, and again to pain. For either witness is the same, and carries but one message. ‘You are here, within this body, and you can be hurt. You can have pleasure too, but only at the cost of pain.’ …Sin’s witnesses hear but the call of death.” (2:1-3, 11)
It is helpful to understand that we are not stuck with the ego’s DVD of separation from our Father. It is helpful to understand that we can choose once again, and this time with the Holy Spirit’s help. We can choose Holy Spirit’s forgiving DVD, which is still a dream but wakes us up from the dream.
The Holy Spirit uses the body in a different way. It brings witness to the fact that the body is not real. It brings witness to the truth of oneness beyond the DVD body dream of separation. The miracle the Holy Spirit brings reveals the Light of Love that lies beyond every body.
Jesus explains it this way: “Yet to the One Who sends forth miracles to bless the world, a tiny stab of pain, a little worldly pleasure, and the throes of death itself are but a single sound; a call for healing, and a plaintive cry for help within a world of misery. It is their sameness that the miracle attest. It is their sameness that [the miracle] proves. The laws that call [the cries for help and healing] different are dissolved, and shown as powerless. The purpose of a miracle is to accomplish this. And God Himself has guaranteed the strength of miracles for what they witness to.” (6:6-11 italics added)
Here we learn through the Holy Spirit to recognize “a tiny stab of pain, a little worldly pleasure, and the throes of death itself” for what they are — calls for help and not a call for projecting guilt that the ego would ask for. We are learning to recognize that these calls can only be answered by the Holy Spirit, our true Self. We are learning what teacher to turn to as we respond to the different circumstances that the dream of separate bodies present to us.
In paragraph 8 we see the results of our willingness to join with the Holy Spirit’s replacement for the ego’s DVD of separation from your true Identity: ” The resurrection of the world awaits your healing and your happiness, that you may demonstrate the healing of the world. The holy instant will replace all sin (belief in separation) if you but carry its effects with you. And no one will elect to suffer [any] more. What better function could you serve than this? Be healed that you may heal, and suffer not the laws of [belief in separation] to be applied to you. And truth will be revealed to you who chose to let Love’s symbols take the place of sin.” (8:1-6)
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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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