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.

Chapter 11: God or the Ego

Section VIII: The Problem and the Answer

Read ACIM Chapter 11, Section VIII (pages 211-14)

What does Jesus say is the cause of all our problems?

In the last section we learned that the world is not as we see it now. We learned that only the loving thoughts in this world are real. We learned that we have tried to replace God’s universal Thought of Love with differences, uniqueness and specialness. We are now seeing that this is the cause of all our “problems.” In this section, Jesus reminds us that no matter what we may think, only reality is true and that, as we awaken to the truth, everything that we have made will be forgotten.

What is our beginning step to see the difference between illusion and reality?

We are learning that we are in dire need of Holy Spirit’s instructions in how to perceive truly because it is only the Holy Spirit That holds the Light for us when we forget and we can’t tell the difference between illusion and reality. Jesus tells us, “You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning.” (3:1-3)

In order to awaken we must learn to question everything we have taught ourselves. As along as we continue to hold on to our current thinking, that is how long we will be held in ego’s prison house. “Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to question everything you learned of yourself, for you who learned amiss should not be your own teacher.” (3:8)

To learn the Holy Spirit’s answer, what must we put aside?

We are told to ask, “Do I want the problem or do I want the answer?” (4:6) To receive Holy Spirit’s answer, we must put aside our past learning. Accepting Holy Spirit’s Help is what the Course is leading us to. It is the practical application of what the Course is teaching us. As we practice asking and listening for the answer, we will be given very specific guidance that will teach us to distinguish between the real and the unreal. “The Holy Spirit will answer every specific problem as long as you believe that problems are specific. His answer is both many and one, as long as you believe that the One is many.” (5:5-6)

We will be afraid to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance if we think that the Holy Spirit’s Will is not our will. Jesus explains that subconsciously we believe that if we listen to the Holy Spirit we will be losing something that is precious to us. He quells that fear when he reminds us, “God gives; He does not take. When you refuse to ask, it is because you believe that asking is taking rather than sharing.” (5:9-10) The world of separation is the effect of the wish to have something we could take and have for ourselves alone. Everything real is shared. Anything we think we can keep for ourselves alone is not real.

The Holy Spirit only shares with us what is already ours. He reminds, He does not demand. Because we don’t remember the difference between what is real and not real, we need a Guide to help us remember what reality is. “You believe in a world that takes, because you believe you can get by taking. And by that perception you have lost sight of the real world.” (7:2-3)

Why have we made a world of taking and not sharing?

The world of separation we have made is a frightening world of taking and not sharing all with all because we believe that giving brings loss. Yet in the real world, giving is how we keep what is eternally ours. We are the Kingdom of Heaven, but we are dreaming of a different world. It is this world of differences that we are now learning to undo with the help of the Holy Spirit.

What happens when we take offense in our brother?

Paragraph 12 reminds us that our brother is Christ and if we take offense in our brother, we are misperceiving Christ. If we are offended by Christ it is because we have rejected Christ in ourselves and are judging against God’s Son as He created him. “Let the Holy Spirit remove all offenses of God’s Son against himself and perceive no one but through His guidance, for he would save you from all condemnation.” (12:4) If we perceive our brother as a body, we cannot be perceiving him as Christ. Bodies can appear to be malicious or benevolent, but the truth of our brother is Love and nothing else.

Perceiving our brother as a body is no more than a child’s dream of ghosts, monsters and dragons. As we practice letting the Holy Spirit, the Teacher of Reality, be our interpreter, we will learn that the images we fear have no substance. When we learn to perceive truly, we are not afraid. When we see the reality of our brothers we will know our safety and our Love.

What happens when we ask the Holy Spirit for the truth when we are afraid?

As we develop the habit of asking the Holy Spirit for the truth when we are afraid, we strengthen the awareness of truth in ourselves. Truth is ours for the asking. Reality will always dispel our fears. When fear is gone, we see the real world instead of the false world we have made. And we are ready to accept the oneness of God’s Love.

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