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 2: The Separation and the Atonement

Section II: The Atonement as Defense

Read Chapter 2, Section II. (pages 19-21)

When we value the ego thought system, we will believe in it. In paragraph one we are told, “Remember that where your heart is, there is your treasure also. You believe in what you value.” (1:5-6) This means that as long as we choose to believe in the reality of a world of separate bodies, that is what we will see. We will think that separation has really happened. What we choose not to remember is this belief also generates unconscious fear and guilt.

What happens with believing in the ego thought system comes the experience of being separated from Love, our Source, which generates fear. If we value wrongly, wanting the illusions of separation and individuality to be real, then we will think what is unreal is reality. Because we give equal power to the ego’s thoughts, which are always in conflict, our peace of mind is then destroyed.

How do we keep illusions of separation in place?

One of the ego’s chief mechanisms for keeping illusions of separation in place is denial. We made the world of form we see by identifying with the ego thought system. Then we deny that we had anything to do with it. We’ve already talked about projection, which is a form of denial. By projecting what we unconsciously believe about ourselves, we make it appear that we are the victim of an outside world. We deny the guilt we feel inside by projecting that guilt onto an external world. We then believe we are the victim of circumstances beyond our control. As long as we keep our beliefs about ourselves hidden in the unconscious through denial, we maintain the illusion of separation and feel powerless to change it.

What is the proper use of denial according to the Holy Spirit?

Here we are seeing that there is another use for denial that can actually free us from the ego’s misuse of denial. Instead of giving power to illusions and thus believing they can hurt us, we deny them any power because in truth, illusions have no power of their own. Thus we are not using denial to hide, but to correct. As we learn to deny the ego’s lies of separation, which is the proper use of denial, the lies of the ego are seen in light and recognized for what they are.

We don’t defend the truth by battling against error. We defend truth by denying that error has any power over us. As we learn to ask ourselves of everything, “What is this for? Am I treasuring reality or illusions?” we are able to clear our minds of misplaced values and the goal of truth becomes clear. If we don’t maintain this practice of questioning everything, our misplaced valuing of illusions will continue to confuse our goal of truth.

What happens when our values are misplaced?

When our values are misplaced, we think illusions are real and consequently our goals are based on illusions, leading us nowhere. We cannot serve two masters. We are either following the ego’s dictates or opening to the truth through the Holy Spirit. We are always choosing one or the other. Because they are opposite in every way, we cannot join with both at the same time.

The Atonement undoes illusions. In paragraph 5 we are told: “The Atonement was built into the space-time belief to set a limit on the need for the belief itself, and ultimately to make learning complete. The Atonement is the final lesson. Learning itself, like the classrooms in which it occurs, is temporary.” (5:1-3)

We undo illusions by learning to see past error to the truth with the help of the Holy Spirit. This frees us from the ego’s mistaken values. Our real Will is to extend Love and nothing else. When we let go of illusions, we are free to follow our real Will. We naturally extend Love, which knows only oneness. When we have let go of all illusions, the bridge of return to Love has been completed.

How does Jesus describe the value of peace?

In paragraph one, Jesus describes the value of peace: “This peace is totally incapable of being shaken by errors of any kind. It denies the ability of anything not of God to affect you. This is the proper use of denial. It is not used to hide anything, but to correct error. It brings all error into the light, and since error and darkness are the same, it corrects error automatically.” (1:10-14)

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