A Course in Miracles Text Made Simple

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.

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Chapter 2: The Separation and the Atonement

Section I: The Origins of Separation

Read Chapter 2, Section I. (pages 17-18)

What is the difference between extension and projection?

Paragraph one addresses the fundamental difference between extension, which is a characteristic of God’s oneness, and projection, which is the ego’s attempt to replace oneness with separation. By definition, an extension never separates from its source. If it were to separate, it would no longer be an extension. It would be another separate thing.

A projection, on the other hand, is separate from its source by definition. Because the ego is the idea of separation, it distorts Love’s extension by introducing separation into its dream of “reality,” thus turning extension into projection.

What is God’s extension?

The Son of God, which is what we all are, is God’s extension of Love. Inherent in Love is extending or sharing the Love we all are with all of Itself equally. As part of Love, we remain united with God, our Source, as one continuous whole. This seamless union cannot be affected by dreams that try to change the reality of Love’s all encompassing unity.

With the wish to keep some of God’s Love for ourselves alone and not share It with all, we experienced the emptiness of lack, believing that we did not have all that we wanted. Not realizing the impossibility of this wish, we lost awareness that God had already given us all Love and we lacked nothing. Believing in this sense of lack of love, we decided we could fill this feeling of lack with our own ideas that were based on separation instead of the truth of Love’s extension universally. (For more about this idea, see T-29.VII.2 on page 617 and T-13.III.10-12 on page 244.)

What are we really doing when we believe in this world of separate bodies?

In the first paragraph, Jesus describes the core beliefs of the entire ego thought system: “First, you believe that what God created can be changed by your own mind. Second, you believe that what is perfect can be rendered imperfect or lacking. Third, you believe that you can distort the creations of God, including yourself. Fourth, you believe that you can create yourself, and that the direction of your own creation is up to you.” (1:9-12)

It is helpful for us to understand that every idea based on separation is equally untrue and that our belief in separation is what makes our images of separate bodies seem real to us. We probably don’t go around consciously telling ourselves that we can distort God’s creation or that we can create ourselves and direct our own creation. But that is what we are doing when we believe we have made a world of separate bodies with separate individual minds.

What is the purpose of the Course?

In truth, we remain an extension of God, which is the same as universal Love. We remain in the wholeness of Love and cannot change our Identity or separate from Love. As an extension of Love, we are not weak and vulnerable and we cannot die. We are not the victim of an outside world because there is nothing ‘outside’ all encompassing Love. The whole purpose of the Course is to help us undo these insane ideas that we could be separate or different from Love, our Source. In our delusions, our detour into fear, we try to usurp Love’s Authority and make up our own world that is the opposite of Love’s oneness. It is very comforting to learn that none of this is true.

What helps us realize that we have not usurped the power of God?

By trying to make our own world of separate bodies, we are competing with God. This is what it means when it says we think we “have the power to usurp the power of God.” (4:1) As we are willing to recognize this is impossible, we understand that these are only dreams that could never happen in truth. The miracle, which is the correction of our perception, is what helps us recognize that we have not usurped the power of God, and we have not really made a world of separation. Since there is no order of difficulty in miracles, it does not matter how wild and crazy our illusions seem to be. The Holy Spirit helps us undo them all with equal ease.

Where does peace and Love reside?

Because peace is inherent in what we are, peace is not outside us. Accepting the peace we are is the same as being willing to choose the peace of unity instead of the conflict of separation. Consciously choosing peace opens our minds to the Holy Spirit within, Who corrects our distortions of separation. As our minds are corrected, we are able to see beyond our projections which reflect lack of Love, thereby healing our minds. In a state of peace we become invulnerable to any expressions of lack of love, whatever their form because we have stopped placing our belief in them. We stop searching for love outside, remembering that Love is What we are. As we accept our true Identity, we naturally extend Love to all equally.

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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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