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 3: The Innocent Perception

Section V: Beyond Perception

Read ACIM Chapter 3, Section V (pages 44-46)

What does the Course mean when it refers to “make”?

The Course distinguishes “make” from “create.” In the Workbook on page 461 we are told, “Only Love creates and only like itself.” (W-pII.11.1:2) Our Source is Creation, and because we were created like our Source, it is our function to extend Creation, which means to extend Love. In Creation all is one, so all has everything. “God did create spirit in His Own Thought and of a quality like to His Own. There is nothing else.” (7:3-4)

When we believe we are separate, we believe anything we perceive as external to us is not part of us. We no longer feel part of everything and thus feel lack. Then we make up solutions to fill this perceived lack. This “making” occurs within the world of perception and becomes an action to fill the lack. Image making is entirely based on form, centered on bodies. This image making makes up separate images of what we think we are and what we think others are. The inevitable consequence of believing in images is perceiving lack and separation instead of the oneness of Creation.

What does the Course say about image-making?

Image making, making up forms in our mind, is what the ego does to make separation seem real. These images are projected outward and we see them as bodies and forms in a world outside of us, forgetting that these are just projections, coming from our mind. Jesus wants us to understand how flawed this attempt is when he says, “You have no image to be perceived.” (4:5) There can be no form in oneness. By definition, an image is a distinct form and must therefore not be part of oneness. When we believe we are an image — a body with an individual personality — we limit our awareness to this body and therefore cannot know our oneness.

What is the difference between Knowing and perception?

Knowing comes with accepting ourselves as God created us — one with Him. When we choose to believe we are an identity different from what God created, we are disagreeing with God’s idea of our creation. “The confusion between your real creation [extension of Love] and what you have made of yourself is so profound that it has become literally impossible for you to know anything.” (3:2)

When we disagree with God about what we are, we are not in our right mind and we forget the truth. We lose awareness of what we are as God created us. We no longer know ourselves as part of God. In truth, God/Love is all there is to know. Love is one and all the same. To know any part of Love is to know all of It. “Only perception involves partial awareness.” (8:5) We only perceive when we believe in the idea of being separate from what we are. Thus our perceptions are inherently false. “You cannot perceive yourself correctly.” (4:4)

Does perception always involve evaluation and judgment?

Perception is always an interpretation and cannot be knowing, which is not open to interpretation. That is why it always involves evaluation and judgment. Perception is selective, picking one thing out from others. “Perception is a continual process of accepting and rejecting, organizing and reorganizing, shifting and changing. Evaluation is an essential part of perception, because judgments are necessary in order to select.” (7:7-8) Anyone who perceives at all needs healing. That is why very early in the Workbook the lessons emphasize that we need to learn that we do not know what anything means on our own.

What is the Course’s definition of forgiveness?

All through the Course it talks about forgiveness as the letting go of the belief in separation. When we let go of separation, or forgive, we return to awareness of our natural state, which is total communion and union with God. We return to the eternal flow of giving and receiving Love. We return to accepting ourselves as “Thoughts of God Who live in His Light.” (10:6)

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