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Chapter 6: The Lessons of Love

Section II: The Alternative to Projection

Read ACIM Chapter 6, Section II (pages 96-99)

Why do we not see that we are simply projecting what is in our mind?

In this world, projection is a way of life. It is so habitual and automatic that we are not even aware we are doing it. This is exactly the way the ego wants to keep it because as long as projection is unconscious, the perception of separation is held in place and the ego’s seeming existence is maintained. Because of dissociation, we have forgotten that we are projecting everything we ‘see’ in the world, so what happens in the world seems to be out of our control. We come to believe we are helpless victims and that our only chance for ‘survival’ is through planning for our own defense in a mean and cruel world. This just reinforces the cycle of projection and keeps us locked up within our illusions of projection.

Why is it so important that we become conscious that we are projecting?

As long as projection is unconscious so that we do not realize we are doing it, we remain tied to believing in a world of guilt, fear and ultimately death. This is why it is essential that we understand what projection is and how we do it moment by moment so that we can recognize it. The beginning lessons of the Workbook work directly with helping us loosen the projections that seem to define our world. Lesson one points out that nothing we see means anything. Lesson two tells us we have given everything we see all the meaning it has for us (projection).

Why are we to take to the Holy Spirit the meaning we are giving everything?

As we learn to recognize our projections (or the meaning we are giving to everything in this world), the next key step is to learn to take the meaning we are giving to everything to the Holy Spirit, Who will reinterpret every perception and give them a new purpose. Instead of reinforcing the illusion of separation, which is the ego’s goal, the Holy Spirit’s goal is to bring our perception to the point that it reflects the purity of knowledge, oneness with God. Doing this process with all our projections is the path of release from fear, guilt and death. That is why this section begins with helping us identify what projection is and how we have been using it to maintain separation.

Why is what we see through the bodies eyes the rejection of our inheritance?

The way we make separation seem real is to reject our natural inheritance of being in Love’s Oneness, where all has all and all is all. This rejection of the ultimate oneness of all is the rejection of God’s creation, which is inherently whole and indivisible. When we exclude God’s Oneness, we are disowning our one Self.

“We have said before that the separation was and is dissociation, and that once it occurs projection becomes its main defense, or the device that keeps it going.” (1:5) Here we are learning that when we dissociate from our one Self, we use projection as a defense to maintain our dissociation from our one Self.

Through projection we believe in differences. Through projection we are able to appear special and unique from others. Through projection, not only are we attacking our Identity as one Self, but we also judge against what we project because in this way we keep the appearance of separation in place. We keep the fact that we are attacking our Self out of conscious awareness. But this attack makes us feel very guilty, afraid and defensive.

Why is fear and guilt so prevalent in our world?

At unconscious levels we feel guilty because we believe we have harmed our one Self’s unity. We feel afraid because we believe the harm we think we did to God will be returned to us and thus believe we need to defend ourselves. “The process [of projection] begins by excluding something that exists in you but which you do not want, and leads directly to excluding you from your brothers.” (3:8) It is helpful to understand that whenever we are angry, we are projecting. With all this exclusion and attack, no wonder we do not feel safe. No wonder we feel defensive and alone. No wonder we feel vulnerable to an attack that we perceive is coming from outside ourselves. Yet all this time, all that is happening is that we are attacking ourselves through our choosing to believe that we are separate from our one Self’s Oneness. As we are willing to return to oneness, conflict disappears. Where there is no conflict, there is peace.

What is the Holy Spirit’s alternative to projection?

In this section Jesus describes very clearly what the Holy Spirit does in our minds as we are willing to listen. We are told, “The Holy Spirit extends by recognizing Himself in every mind, and thus perceives them as one. Nothing conflicts in this perception, because what the Holy Spirit perceives is all the same. Wherever He looks He sees Himself, and because He is united He offers the whole Kingdom always.” (12:3-5) As we learn to align our thinking with the Holy Spirit, we too will see the Holy Spirit in everyone and recognize we are all the same, one and equal in God’s Mind.

When we see that we are the same despite the appearance of differences found in this world, we feel and think differently about everyone in this world. We no longer need to defend against them because we are focusing on the Holy Spirit in them. Love flows naturally because Love embraces all with total inclusion. When the feeling of Love is there, no one is left out. The Holy Spirit focuses on the eternal truth about us and does not believe in the images we have made of ourselves. The Holy Spirit sees the pure Love that is there in everyone and reminds us of this truth.

The Holy Spirit knows that everyone’s deepest need is to awaken from the dream. He brings us the perception that everyone is perfect and equal. He reminds us that everyone is still part of Universal Love and remains as Love created them. This is what awakens us from the dream and brings us true and lasting happiness. Jesus brings us this promise: “By enabling you to use perception in a way that reflects knowledge, you will ultimately remember it.” (7:3)

Why is it important to recognize that the separation never occured?

In the Course, ‘Atonement’ means the undoing of the dream of separation. A dream is not reality. But when we are dreaming, we think what we are experiencing is real. When we wake up from the dream, we realize that what we were experiencing was not real. The Course is teaching us to recognize that our experience in this world is a dream and that we are not in this world. The separation never occurred.

Because this world is the symbol of separation from Love, it is a joyless place. Joy is an attribute of Love and where Love is absent, joy is absent. Everyone in this world is searching for happiness and for Love. The only way to find true and lasting happiness is to realize that we are dreaming. We are not really in a world of separation. We are still as God created us. “God created His Sons by extending His Thought, and retaining the extensions of His Thought in His Mind. All His Thoughts are thus perfectly united within themselves and with each other. The Holy Spirit enables you to perceive this wholeness now.” (8:1-3) What we are is unalterable. We wake up to the truth of what we are by letting the Holy Spirit inspire our perceptions. “He can inspire perception and lead it toward God.” (9:7)

The Holy Spirit can show you where you are now, which is in and one with the Mind of God. This is not off in the future. It is true now. The Holy Spirit leads us to the truth about where we are now. If we do not receive this from the Holy Spirit, it is because we do not want to know it now. The Holy Spirit is infinitely patient because He does not believe in time. Even though we do not remember the truth now, we will awaken to the truth. “Your perception will end where it began. Everything meets in God, because everything was created by Him and in Him.” (7:5-6)

How do we awaken from the dream of separation?

Aligning ourselves with the Holy Spirit is the way home. The Holy Spirit is the part of our mind that knows the way Home and can lead us there when we are willing. The Holy Spirit’s mind is fixed on the truth. “He perceives only what is true in your mind, and extends outward only what is true in other minds.” (11:9) The Holy Spirit knows that we are all connected in the one Mind of Love. He returns to our memory the fact that we are one. The Holy Spirit joins everyone’s mind in the one Light of truth. “Wherever He looks He sees Himself, and because He is united He offers the whole Kingdom always.” (12:5)

The Holy Spirit is in every brother. Our job is to recognize Him as the truth in all our brothers. Differences are not real. Bodies are not real. What is real is the Holy Spirit in everyone. “The ego is legion, but the Holy Spirit is one.” (13:1) The sooner we learn to focus on what is true in every brother, the sooner we will awaken to what is true in ourselves.

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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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