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 24: The Goal of Specialness

Introduction & Section I. Specialness as a Substitute for Love

Read A Course in Miracles, Chapter 24, Introduction and Section I (pages 499-502)

What does Jesus tell us is the motivation for this course?

Jesus tells us, “Forget not that the motivation for this course is the attainment and the keeping of the state of peace.” (1:1) When we allow the peace of our true Self to enter, fear disappears because when we are willing to allow in the Light of truth, illusions of differences disappear. The veil of separation is lifted and we see beyond the illusions of separate forms to the Love that is always there.

With letting in the truth that we are still as God created us comes a state of peace. That is why Jesus tells us that peace and understanding come together and are never found alone. In Chapter 14 Section XI, Jesus tells us, “The absence of perfect peace means but one thing: You think you do not will for God’s Son what his Father wills for him.” (T-14.XI.5:4)

Every part of A Course in Miracles teaches us again and again that, despite our belief in differences, we are still the pure Love that God created us to be. We have not succeeded in making ourselves into the special, separate individuals that experience a ‘life’ that ends in sickness and death. A Course in Miracles is a course in receiving and accepting the truth of What we are and Where we are eternally.

What does it take to learn this course?

Jesus is very concise and very clear when he tells us, “To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold.” (2:1) Because we have become lost in dreams of experiencing the specialness we have so desired, we think the dreams are really happening. We feel disconnected from our Creator and feel fearful, weak and vulnerable. We experience unworthiness, guilt and then try to project that onto what we now perceive as outside us.

We are now being taught in A Course in Miracles that none of the ‘lives’ we are experiencing are real — we are just dreaming dreams of specialness and none of it is really happening in reality. That is why he tells us that we have to be willing to question every value that we hold. Our job now is to allow in the truth that none of our dreams of having separate bodies are true. In Chapter 28 Section II Jesus tells us, “The miracle establishes you dream a dream, and that its content is not true. This is a crucial step in dealing with illusions. No one is afraid of them when he perceives he made them up. The fear was held in place because he did not see that he was author of the dream, and not a figure in the dream.” (T-28.II.7:1-4)

How does Jesus describe what Love is and what Love does?

Here Jesus tells us that, “Love is extension. To withhold the smallest gift [of Love] is not to know Love’s purpose. Love offers everything forever.” (1:1-3)

In Chapter 5 Jesus equates Love with joy: “There is no difference between Love and joy. Therefore, the only possible whole state is the wholly joyous. To heal or to make joyous is therefore the same as to integrate and to make one. That is why it makes no difference to what part or by what part of the Sonship the healing is offered. Every part benefits, and benefits equally.” (T-5.Intro.2:3-7) This helps us understand how Love extends forever and goes to all the Sonship equally. It also helps us understand that Love is not special, but universal and equal, which is the opposite of the substitute of specialness that the ego thought system offers.

What happens when we don’t recognize the ego beliefs that we are holding?

Here Jesus tells us that the unrecognized belief in specialness is a decision to war in secret. What happens when we don’t recognize that we are holding onto the belief in specialness is that we lose our peace. “The secret enemies of peace, your least decision to choose attack (specialness) instead of Love, unrecognized and swift to challenge you to combat and to violence far more inclusive that you think, are there by your election.” (2:6)

This helps us understand that if we are not experiencing God’s peace, we are still substituting the projection of specialness instead of extending Love’s oneness. This is very helpful to us because it is very difficult to let go of specialness when we don’t recognize that we are choosing it. Jesus is helping us to recognize that when we judge another as different from us or think we have enemies, we are simply experiencing the effect of our unrecognized belief in specialness. He is also showing us that this belief in specialness is the reason that we are not experiencing the peace of God.

What is called for in order to believe in specialness or differences?

Jesus tells us, “This [faith in specialness] takes many forms, but always clashes with the reality of God’s creation and with the grandeur that He gave His Son. What else could justify attack? For who could hate someone whose Self is his, and Whom he knows? Only the special could have enemies, for they are different and not the same. And difference of any kind imposes order of reality, and a need to judge that cannot be escaped.” (3:2-6)

In order to keep our specialness intact by setting ourselves apart, we must continue to judge others and have enemies. We must continue to be the judge of what we are and where we are. We must continue to judge and be critical of everyone around us. “But what is different calls for judgment, and this must come from someone ‘better,’ someone incapable of being like what he condemns, ‘above’ it, sinless by comparison with it. And thus does specialness become a means and end at once. For specialness not only sets apart, but serves as grounds from which attack on those who seem “beneath” the special one is ‘natural’ and ‘just.’” (4:2-4)

What does specialness dictate in order to triumph?

In paragraph 5 we see that the ego’s substitute for Love — specialness — demands projection of our belief in our own guilt upon another. Here Jesus makes it clear how the ego’s choice to project guilt works when we choose to join with it. “He who is ‘worse’ than you must be attacked, so that your specialness can live on his defeat. For specialness is triumph, and its victory is his defeat and shame. How can he live, with all your sins upon him? And who must be his conqueror but you?” (5:7-10)

This may be hard to look at and accept as what we are doing when we judge and blame another, but the good news is that when we recognize it, we can then be open to a change of mind. We can be open to joining with our brother in a single purpose of seeing past the dream of specialness to the Holy Spirit’s awareness of oneness and innocence.

What is the only purpose that we share with every brother?

Jesus answers this very simply when he says, “God gave you and your brother Himself, and to remember this is now the only purpose that you share.” (7:5) This means that our only purpose is to remember that every brother is what God made him to be and what we are. Our only purpose is to remember that we are the same and not different. “You have been given to your brother that love might be extended, not cut off from him.” (7:3) It can be helpful to say silently to yourself when you think of anyone: “God gave you Himself and I am willing to see you as God sees you.”

Why do we have trouble accepting this course?

We have trouble accepting this course when we are still attached to specialness — the ego’s substitute for the Love of God. As long as we focus on seeing differences instead of sameness, we are resisting the truth that we are all one holy Self in the Mind of God. We are still intent on making illusions of separate bodies real. We are still intent on seeing guilt in others to protect our ‘specialness.’ We still want to be right instead of happy.

The good news is that as we continue to practice the principles of the Course even though we are still resisting it, the consistent practice of handing over every thought of specialness over to the Holy Spirit to be undone will bring results. We will wake up from the dream of specialness. We will wake up to our one Home in God and realize that in truth, we never left.

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