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 VII: Creating versus the Self-Image

Read ACIM Chapter 3, Section VII (pages 49-51)

What does Jesus say about the two thought systems — making or creating?

‘Making’ and ‘creating’ are each foundations upon which completely separate thought systems are built. The power for both ‘making’ and ‘creating’ comes from the power of the mind. Even though the thought system based on ‘making’ is a lie, it is not weak because we have given it power through our mind’s belief in it.

It is important for us to realize that it is our belief in this thought system of making — the thought system of separation — that seems to give it power, or we will think there is no way out of the prison we have made. When we realize that it is our belief that gives it power, we know we can release ourselves from this prison by changing our belief. We are always in control of what we believe. Through this power of choosing what we believe in, we are always choosing between making or creating, separation or oneness. Which thought system we choose determines our entire life experience. The body and the world we see with the body’s eyes is the effect of choosing the thought system of separation. The experience of Heaven is the effect of releasing beliefs that deny our natural state of oneness with God.

Is the ‘devil’ simply a personification of the belief in separation?

In this world we have symbolized the thought system that is in combat with God as the devil. We have made up a story that this force is “battling Him [God] for possession of His creations. The devil deceives by lies, and builds kingdoms in which everything is in direct opposition to God.” (2:5-6) The truth is that the devil is just a symbol of our choice to believe in separation. To avoid taking responsibility for this choice, we make up a story that it is an external force (the devil) that is the cause of our experience instead of our own beliefs.

How does Jesus reinterpret the Garden of Eden story?

Most of us are familiar with the biblical story of the Garden of Eden. Paragraphs 3-4 are helping us to reinterpret the meaning of this story. The idea of a forbidden tree could not have come from God. In truth, a loving Father would never put us in a position in which we could hurt ourselves or be excluded from Heaven, our Home. In reality we remain one with God in Heaven. God made us as part of Heaven and that can never change. We cannot be outside of Heaven.

Believing that we are in a world external from God is therefore only a made up story. “All beliefs are real to the believer.” (3:3) This means believing in a world of separation cannot make it real, although we will experience it as real because of our belief. Belief is always a choice. This means that when we change our beliefs, our experience of what is real will change.

The idea of self-creating — making our own image of our self — is symbolized by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. It symbolizes joining with the ego thought system of separation, also called the devil. When we believe in the thought system of separation, it becomes very real to us and it seems like we really have lost paradise. Joining with the ego is also joining with the idea of self-creating, or making an image of a self that is different from what God created. “You can perceive yourself as self-creating, but you cannot do more than believe it. You cannot make it true.” (4:6-7) We can eat of the fruit of the ego and dream the ego’s dreams, but we cannot change the fact that we remain in Heaven. Nothing of the ego thought system has ever happened in truth.

What is needed to let go of our separate self-images?

As we practice taking all our beliefs to the Holy Spirit, we are letting our thought system be corrected. Our mistaken beliefs will dissolve in the Light of truth. This is now what time is for. It is the return to our Beginning, where we are free of conflict and know God. “The world is not left by death but by truth, and truth can be known by all those for whom the Kingdom was created, and for whom it waits.” (6:11)

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