A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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Chapter 21: Reason and Perception

Section VII: The Last Unanswered Question

Read ACIM Chapter 21, Section VII (pages 461-65)

What does Jesus tell us is inevitable when we believe in separation?

Joined with the belief that we are different from God’s one Reality as Love is the belief in sin and guilt. As long as we refuse to remember that we are God’s Son, or Love’s extension, we will secretly think that we are alone, weak, afraid and guilty for destroying God. Jesus tells us, “No one believes the Son of God is powerless. And those who see themselves as helpless must believe that they are not the Son of God. What can they be except his enemy? And what can they do but envy him his power, and by their envy make themselves afraid of it? These are the dark ones, silent and afraid, alone and not communicating, fearful the power of the Son of God will strike them dead, and raising up their helplessness against him.” (2:1-5 italics added)

Jesus is helping us understand that our belief in separation — believing that a world of separate bodies with separate minds is real — is just a dream and never happened in reality. Because we are choosing to think our dreams of individuality are real, we also think we really sinned, or were successful in killing God’s unity. And included in this deluded ego dream is the belief that we are weak and powerless against God’s vengeance in return. To win in this imagined battle with oneness, we dream that the body ‘dies’ to ‘prove’ that we once ‘lived.’ As we learn to see the insane ego dream for what it is, we can learn to smile at its crazy antics and see that it is not real.

Is it possible to win the war the sleeping Son of God believes he is waging against God’s Oneness?

We can imagine that we have won by dreaming of a world of separate bodies where we are attacked and feel justified in attacking back, but all the while we feel little and weak and dream of lives that are filled with pain and guilt. Jesus tells us, “Yes, it [the army of the powerless] can dream it found an enemy, but this will shift even as it attacks, so that it runs at once to find another, and never comes to rest in victory. And as it runs it turns against itself, thinking it caught a glimpse of the great enemy who always eludes its murderous attack by turning into something else. How treacherous does this enemy appear, who changes so it is impossible even to recognize him.” (4:5-7)

Here we see that we are waging an impossible war against our Self when we insist that separation is real. The good news is that our true Self could never really be harmed by our insane dreams of separation because these hallucinations are really nothing. Giving meaning to nothingness does not work.

What questions are we to ask ourselves in order to have this battle with God’s oneness be undone in our mind?

In order to bring about a change of mind in what we desire to see, Jesus tells us, “But let him only ask himself these questions, which he must decide, to have it done for him:

Do I desire a world I rule instead of one that rules me?
Do I desire a world where I am powerful instead of helpless?
Do I desire a world in which I have no enemies and cannot sin?
And do I want to see what I denied because it is the truth?”

Here we see that we have been in a battle with the truth, and we cannot win the battle by simply denying what is real by dreaming dreams of truth’s opposite. Like an ostrich, we can stick our head (mind) in the sand (a dream of separation), but we cannot change the truth. When we are willing to see the truth, it will be there for us to see.

How do we return to our real power rather than stay in a mind set of helplessness?

We return to power when we are willing to see through the Holy Spirit’s eyes rather than believe what we see through the body’s eyes. We are choosing between these two ways of seeing all the time. What do we want to see? Do we want to see the truth or do we want to see the false dream of separation? Which do we want to make real in our mind?

Jesus says, “Forget not that the choice of sin or truth, helplessness or power, is the choice of whether to attack or heal. for healing comes of power, and attack of helplessness. Whom you attack you cannot want to heal. And whom you would have healed must be the one you chose to be protected from attack. And what is this decision but the choice whether to see him through the body’s eyes, or let him be revealed to you through vision?” (7:1-5) The Holy Spirit will show us the truth if we are willing to make way for truth. As we allow ourselves to be shown the truth and accept it, we have no more questions. We only have the truth, which is where our true power lies. As we look on illusions we are to ask ourselves, “Is this what I would see? Do I want this?(8:4-5) Jesus tells us, “You have control of this. And if you choose to see a world without an enemy, in which you are not helpless, the means to see it will be given you.” (9:3-4)

Why is the power of our desire so important to our awakening to the truth?

As long as happiness appears to come and go, we still need to strengthen our willingness to make way for the truth consistently. Jesus tells us, “No one decides against his happiness, but he may do so if he does not see he does it. And if he sees his happiness as ever changing, now this, now that, and now an elusive shadow attached to nothing, he does decide against [his happiness].” (12:5)

As we practice stepping back from our illusions instead of the old habit of making them real, we give the Holy Spirit a crack in the door. It just takes this little willingness not to decide what anything means on our own and the means to see holiness will be given us. Jesus reminds us again, “The power of the Son of God’s desire remains the proof that he is wrong who sees himself as helpless. Desire what you want, and you will look on it and think it real. No thought but has the power to release or kill. And none can leave the thinker’s mind, or leave him unaffected.” (13:5-8)

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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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