A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 14: Teaching for Truth

Section XI: The Test of Truth

Read ACIM Chapter 14, Section XI (pages 296-300)

What does Jesus tell us is essential that we learn?

One of the central teachings of the Course is that of ourselves alone, we know absolutely nothing. Since an image of being alone in a body is an illusion, there is no way for this image to have any awareness of reality. That is why Jesus tells us that, “Yet the essential thing is learning that you do not know.” (1:1) If we think we know, our minds are closed to learning the Holy Spirit’s message that will free us from the limitation, fear and guilt we have taught ourselves.

What causes us to believe that we are powerless?

We have taught ourselves that we are disconnected from God’s power. If we believe we are separate and different from God, we will believe we are powerless, since all power is of God. We have and are the power of God, yet we have taught ourselves that we are not what we are. Jesus tells us, “For you have taught yourself how to imprison the Son of God, a lesson so unthinkable that only the insane, in deepest sleep, could even dream of it.” (2:2)

We have rejected What we are and, feeling the effects of our choice to be independent, we make pitiful attempts to show strength in our own power in order to hide our underlying sense of weakness. In our insane dream of separation we are constantly encountering circumstances that confirm our belief in our powerlessness and that we really have separated ourselves from God. Feeling weak, we defend ourselves by judging others and feeling justified in our anger and attack. This may show up in our thoughts, our words or even physical attack.

What is the answer that will undo our perceived weakness?

We are reminded in this section that our perceived weakness is not true. “Yet all that stands between you and the power of God in you is but your learning of the false, and of your attempts to undo the true.” (1:9) Until we are willing to let go of what we have taught ourselves, we will continue to experience the cycle of the ego’s dream of fear, guilt and death. Jesus gives us the answer that will undo all this. “You need only recognize that everything you learned you do not want. Ask to be taught, and do not use your experiences to confirm what you have learned.” (6:4-5)

It is the Holy Spirit Who teaches us what our true Reality is now. It is the Holy Spirit that shows us the difference between the real and the unreal. It is the Holy Spirit that brings us to the awareness that the illusions of differences we have made up are unreal. We do not know anything on our own. That is why we are guided to say to ourselves whenever our peace of threatened, “I do not know what anything, including this, means. And so I do not know how to respond to it. And I will not use my own past learning as the light to guide me now.” (6:7-9) Holding this awareness that we do not know what anything means on our own keeps us open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we go through our day.

By choosing against our unity with God we made miracles necessary. We could not really become independent from God. But we could make ourselves unaware of His Love by hiding It behind images of separation. Thus it was necessary to provide the means for us to learn that those barriers have no substance because they are merely illusions.

Why doesn’t God compel us to return to Him?

God gives His creations all of Himself — all His Love, all His strength, all His joy, all His peace. This means, “He cannot compel His Son to turn to Him and remain Himself.” (7:4) If God were to compel us to turn to Him, it would mean that He had reserved some power for Himself that He had not given His Son. The truth is that we are God’s extension and there is no distance or difference between us. We are one united whole. Love is one and there is nothing else. The miracle shows us that this one Reality remains unchanged by showing us that the appearance of anything else is an illusion.

What limits our understanding of the truth?

We receive these miracles of understanding the truth from the Holy Spirit. This understanding is limited only when we believe there is anything we understand on our own. “It is only because you think that you can run some little part, or deal with certain aspects of your life alone that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is limited.” (8:4) The Holy Spirit knows that all the illusions we have made never were and had no real consequence. Thus they could never be justification for guilt. The Light he brings frees us from the past. “He has made you free of what you made. ...He would establish His bright teaching so firmly in your mind, that no dark lesson of guilt can abide in what He has established as holy by His Presence.” (10:4,7)

What happens when we accpt Holy Spirit’s miracles?

When we accept the Holy Spirit’s miracles, we are accepting our true inheritance. What He brings us is the awareness of what God gave us in our creation. It has always been ours. That is why Jesus tells us, “Thank God that He is there and works through you. And all His works are yours. He offers you a miracle with every one you let Him do through you.” (10:8-10) He offers the remembrance of our oneness in God. As we listen in silence, we learn the miracle of oneness and all differences disappear.

What does Jesus mean when he says the test of truth is perfect peace?

We are given a key to help us recognize when we are believing in the ego thought system of separation. We are told, “Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and can never be found alone. Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God that they be not separate. They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.” (12:4-6) When we open to the Holy Spirit’s understanding of oneness, we will receive peace. So if we are not at peace, it is a clear signal that we do not understand and we need to step back and ask for Holy Spirit’s vision. “The Holy Spirit will, of Himself, fill every mind that so makes room for Him.” (13:6)

What must we want to be successful learners?

To be successful learners we must want peace and nothing else. This means we want the Holy Spirit’s miracle lesson of oneness and nothing else. In oneness we see no value in defense and attack. To understand oneness we must let go of our desire to maintain a separate and unique identity. As we let go of separation we receive the peace and understanding that comes with remembering the oneness we share with God and all our brothers. “Make way for peace, and it will come. For understanding is in you, and from it peace must come.” (14:7-8) This is the test of truth. When we accept God’s oneness, we are at peace. We are accepting the truth.

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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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