A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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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.

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Chapter 10: The Idols of Sickness

Section V: The Denial of God

Read ACIM Chapter 10, Section V (pages 189-192)

Are depression and sickness the effect of believing we are separate from God?

This chapter refers frequently to the idol or god of sickness. It even seems to personify it, referring to it as “he.” This is simply a metaphor for the belief in separation (the ego), which is the denial of God, since God is one and indivisible. In this section we are being shown the consequences of believing we are separate from God — sickness and depression. These are signs that we are denying our Identity. In truth God is our Life and we have no Life but His. (See Workbook Lesson 223)

Belief in separation from the Life we live in God brings projection with it. Once we identify with the idea that we are separate, we will perceive everything else as separate from us. Not wanting to be responsible for the depression and pain we feel in being separate, we project it onto others, making it appear that they are the cause of our pain. The message we give our brothers is that they are separate from us and God. Thus we see them without the joyous spark of God, which is depressing. We are denying their Identity and our own. “It is the denial of the spark that brings depression, for whenever you see your brothers without it, you are denying God.” (2:5)

Only a sick mind would want to believe that separate bodies and separate forms are real because this belief in separate forms is the denial of What we are. And only a sick mind would want to deny God, our Source of Life, in the desire to be something other than Itself. The wish to deny God came from the idea that we wanted to be special and we wanted to have some of God’s Love for ourselves alone. Because God is one and always the same, He could not give us this. To ‘satisfy’ our wish, we had to make a new, different image of ourselves, which meant that we had to deny God, our Creator. “The ‘attack on God’ made His Son think he was fatherless, and out of his depression he made the god of depression. This was his alternative to joy, because he would not accept the fact that, although he was a creator, he had been created. Yet the Son is helpless without the Father, Who alone is his Help.” (4:2-4)

Why is sharing the Love of God so important to our awakening to the truth?

Because this new separate image was different from what we really are in truth, it could never be real. By definition, separation is isolation and cannot be shared so it could not be created because creation is sharing. Sharing the Love of God is acknowledging the one Love of God in everyone. Seeing separation by perceiving bodies, or any form, is a denial of God’s Creation. “Do not perceive anything God did not create or you are denying Him.” (13:1) As we awaken to the truth, we recognize the body is not the Son of God. The body is a sick image that appears to be vulnerable, weak and ultimately ends in death. Love could not create this, for Love — What we are — is changeless and eternal. If you confuse yourself with things that become sick and die, “...it means that you are looking without Love on God and His Creation, from which you cannot be separated.” (8.5)

What are we told is the way out of the limitation and misery we are imagining?

At this stage in our awakening, we still look out through the body’s eyes. This world of separate bodies and separate things still appears to be real to us. It seems difficult to remember that only the changeless and eternal is real. It seems so easy to believe that we are vulnerable and subject to outside influences and circumstances that are not of our own making. In this world bodies really do appear to suffer and die. We feel the loss of a friend that dies. It all appears very real to us. We want to awaken to the truth, but it seems difficult in our present state of awareness. In this section we are told that the way out of the limitation and misery we are imagining is to “listen, and you will learn how to remember what you are.” (11:7)

As we listen to the Holy Spirit we are taught the difference between what is real and what is unreal. We are taught to believe only in the eternal. He shows us that anything that changes is not real. We are learning to change what we value. We are learning to value eternity, which entails letting go of our belief in the reality of time. “Time and eternity cannot both be real, because they contradict each other. If you will accept only what is timeless as real, you will begin to understand eternity and make it yours.” (14:8-9) This gives us a simple and clear gauge to distinguish between what is real and what is illusion.

We want to return to Reality. We want to let go of our belief in limitation, lack and death. It has not brought us what we thought we wanted. It has not brought us peace and happiness. We are now open to being taught. We are now open to being still and listening to the Holy Spirit, Who will help us see the changeless beyond time. He will help us see the holy instant. As we continue to practice, we will see that the holy instant is all there is. He will help us let go of the denial of Love, which is the denial of our own Identity. He will help us let go of the denial of God.

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Reference Keys for
A Course in Miracles Quotes

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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