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 16: The Forgiveness of Illusions

Section II: The Power of Holiness

Read ACIM Chapter 16, Section II (pages 332-34)

How are we to see everyone?

We are being taught to remember that everyone is holy, which is saying that everyone is included in God’s wholeness or oneness. Everyone is really the same even though we are making up stories of differences. In paragraph one of this section Jesus explains that the extension of holiness (which is the same as wholeness or oneness) is how the miracle extends to all the Sonship. Extending holiness is the same as recognizing holiness (or wholeness) where we once saw differences and individuality. This is the change in perception that comes from the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Wholeness. This change in perception is what Jesus describes as a miracle.

Why do we see differences?

In paragraph two Jesus talks about the tendency to fragment. This is the same as the tendency to hallucinate separation or differences where there is really only oneness. Jesus explains our motive for seeing differences when he tells us, “And this is but a way of avoiding, or looking away from the whole, to what you think you might be better able to understand. For this is but another way in which you would still try to keep understanding to yourself.” (2:2-3) We identify with this world because we like the differences we have made up and we want to make it understandable. We want to make it appear to be our reality. We value having something we can call ours alone.

The good news is that we can’t separate from our real Self, which continues to remember the truth. This is why Jesus tells us, “And so there must be Something in you that does understand.” (2:8) That Something is the Holy Spirit in our minds.

How do we see that all differences are equally unreal?

In paragraphs three and four it is helpful to remember that a miracle is when we allow the Holy Spirit, our real Self, to change our perception from thoughts of differences into an awareness of holiness or oneness. That is why Jesus tells us, “The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you. Wholly natural perception would show you instantly that order of difficulty in miracles is quite impossible, for it involves a contradiction of what miracles mean.” (3:3-4) With the Holy Spirit we come to recognize that the differences we see in illusions are all equally unreal.

Attempts to understand reality or holiness with ego reasoning will never succeed because they are always based on the false premise that separation is real. On our own we could not become aware of the truth that lies beyond illusions because, in truth, we could never be ‘on our own.’ It is only our true Self, the Holy Spirit, that brings us the change in perception that Jesus calls a miracle. It is the Holy Spirit that brings us to the awareness that in truth minds are joined in the one Mind of Love. “When you have made this joining as the Holy Spirit bids you, and have offered it to Him to use as He sees fit, His natural perception of your gift enables Him to understand it, and you to use His understanding on your behalf.” (4:4)

If we allow the Holy Spirit to show us the holiness in every brother, we will see it. We cannot see wholeness and separation at the same time. When we let go of our understanding or believing in what we see with our physical senses, we leave an opening for the truth of wholeness or holiness to enter. “Bid Him welcome, and honor the witnesses who bring you the glad tidings He has come. It is true, just as you fear, that to acknowledge Him is to deny all that you think you know. But what you think you know was never true.” (6:5-7)

Why do we want to see past this world to Reality?

Believing in the false world of individuality is the same as interpreting against or denying God’s Love. We have thought that we made a world that would make us happy, but it is really a disaster. Everything in it begins to decay and crumble the moment it is made. Everything is constantly shifting and changing so there is nothing we can really trust. It is because of our faith in this false world we made that we have so little faith in the Voice that God gave us which tells us that, “Reality is safe and sure, and wholly kind to everyone and everything. There is no greater love than to accept this and be glad. For Love asks only that you be happy, and will give you everything that makes for happiness.” (8:6-8)

We are being called to put the ideas the Holy Spirit is giving us to use. “For these ideas are mighty forces, to be used and not held idly by.” (9:5) As we practice letting the Holly Spirit guide our perception, we learn to recognize the weakness of attack (separating from oneness) and the power of holiness (recognizing our oneness with God.) As we practice we will experience the joy of God more and more and will be increasingly willing to listen to the Holy Spirit’s Voice. Jesus tells us, “This is a year of joy, in which your listening will increase and peace will grow with its increase.” (7:1)

How is every perceived problem solved?

As we practice taking every problem we may think we have in the dream of separation to the Holy Spirit, we learn to relax and quietly step back from thinking we know anything about solving our problems. We open our minds and leave a clear and open space for the Holy Spirit to enter. It is here that every perceived problem is solved. It is here that we find certainty. It is here that we find peace.

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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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