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.
In paragraph 8 (top of page xii) Jesus describes very clearly the difference between the “little I” thoughts and the Thoughts of the one Self that is everyone’s true reality. This comparison is very useful to help us clearly see the differences between these two distinct thoughts systems so that when we recognize that we are joining with the “little I” thoughts, we will be willing to hand over these needy ideas to the Holy Spirit to be undone.
We have to recognize the ego thought system for what it is before we will be willing to let it go. We need to recognize when we are looking for external approval, external possessions and external love. If we don’t recognize these “little I” thoughts, we will continue to look for happiness in all the wrong places. We will continue trying to “get” from a world outside us rather than remember we share one Identity. We will continue to project guilt rather than extend the Love that we all are. We will feel vulnerable, weak and alone and think we are in an unsafe world that we believe is outside us. Much of the Course is written to help us learn to recognize the difference between the “little I” and the Self. The picture of the Self it paints is very different from what most of us believe ourselves to be. Our job is to open our minds to accept this Self as what we are. In truth we are “complete, safe, loved and loving.” Our lives would be truly peaceful and joyous if we would let go of our replacement and accepted this one Self as What we are.
Paragraph 9 brings in the idea of special relationships. The understanding of special relationships is so important that much of 10 chapters is dedicated to helping us understand special relationships and how they affect our lives. Jesus shows us how to turn a relationship that has been used to emphasize separation and bring pain into a relationship that brings forgiveness and healing. The relationship then becomes the instrument of the Holy Spirit to help us awaken from the dream. Since forgiveness is the lesson we must all learn to become free of the limitations of separation, it makes sense that the Holy Spirit would use every relationship as a teaching aid for forgiveness and healing. The only requirement is that we invite the Holy Spirit into every relationship for Him to guide instead of the ego. This is how our relationships can become, “the holiest things on earth.”
Paragraphs 10-12 highlight the difference between perception through the body’s eyes and ears, and Christ’s vision and hearing the Voice for God. A key point here is that the body responds only to the direction given it by the mind. It is in our mind that the choice is made whether the body is used to reinforce the idea of separation or used as a communication device for forgiveness, healing and union. There are only two thoughts systems we have to choose between and we are choosing between them at all times.
Because we have identified so much with being a separated ego self, the Holy Spirit seems difficult to hear. A Course in Miracles is here to teach us how to choose the Holy Spirit as our Guide instead of the ego. The Holy Spirit will teach us how to loosen our identification with the body and become more identified with our Self, the loving creation of God that we truly are. Our choice is now between the illusion of separation and Christ’s vision. With Christ’s vision, the errors of perception are corrected and we see injustices as calls for help that are answered with gentleness and love. We see our brothers differently. We see them as partners in our journey back to God rather than adversaries. We do not go home alone because our brothers are one with us.
In paragraphs 13-14 we learn that we make ourselves ready to return to God through forgiveness. We can either see our brothers as the ego sees them or we can join with Christ’s vision and see their innocence. Through forgiveness we acknowledge Christ in all our brothers. That is the way we undo our misperceptions and let go of the ego thought system. Instead of holding on to guilt by seeing it in our brother, we become willing to forgive, or see past the error to the true Self in everyone. There we see that we are united as one Self. We see that giving and receiving are the same. This is how we return to our natural state.
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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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