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 4: The Illusions of the Ego

Section III: Love without Conflict

Read ACIM Chapter 4, Section III (pages 60-62)

How does the Course define the Kingdom of Heaven?

Because we are so identified with being a body with an individual personality walking around in the world, it is hard to think of ourselves as being the Kingdom of Heaven. That individual identity is not the Kingdom. It is our true Self, the Love that unites us all as one, that is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is our one Self that is perfectly protected and completely unaffected by any of the mad illusions of the ego. Being Love, our Self is constantly creating by extending God’s Perfect Love.

The ego does not know what Love is because Love is one, and the ego is the belief in division. Love cannot conceive of division and the ego cannot conceive of oneness. Since we are so identified with the ego, it seems impossible to reach the oneness of Love. If we were left only to the ego’s devices, it would be impossible. But the moment we accepted the insane idea of separation, God gave us the Holy Spirit as a bridge to lead us out of our insane beliefs. It is His Voice that will lead us to the full recognition of the Kingdom of Heaven that we are.

How does the Course clarify the meaning of being a co-creator with God?

In paragraph one we are helped to understand the idea of being a co-creator with God. “Your ego and your spirit will never be co-creators, but your spirit and your Creator will always be [co-creators].” (1:10) Spirit is formless, entirely abstract and thus incapable of creating form. There is a common misconception that we can co-create forms in this world with God, like a nice house or new car. We need to remember that form is part of the ego thought system and thus outside the realm of God and Spirit.

How does the Holy Spirit break through the barriers the ego has set up?

As we learn to let the Holy Spirit be our guide in all things, He will provide everything we need in the service of our awakening and the awakening of our brothers. He will not provide things to satisfy the ego’s drive to get because that would only serve to reinforce the belief in separation. In all of our doing we need to ask, “What is this for? Does this serve God’s plan of awakening?” As we learn to keep our minds open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be shown what is important and what is not important. Jesus says he will help us with this when he says, “My role is to separate the true from the false, so truth can break through the barriers the ego has set up and can shine into your mind. Against our united strength the ego cannot prevail.” (2:5-6)

Paragraph three highlights the difference between the sense of temporary existence we get from the ego and the “knowledge of permanence and unshakable being” offered by Spirit, our true Self. We are being led to see that we don’t really want the ego’s meager offering. Why would we settle for the temporary when we can have the eternal Love and joy of God now and forever? “Love will enter immediately into any mind that truly wants it, but it must want it truly. This means that it wants it without ambivalence, and this kind of wanting is wholly without the ego’s ‘drive to get.’” (4:7-8)

What blocks the Light of God’s Love from entering our minds?

Are we asking for darkness or are we asking for the Light of God’s Love to enter our minds? The experience of God’s Love is so beyond anything the ego has ever offered or could offer that, when we allow it in, we will never want to hide from God again. When we ask for God’s Love, it is inevitable that we will receive It because it is God’s Will that we have His Love.

We block the Light by retaining fearful thoughts in our minds. These thoughts are walls that block the Light from entering. That is why it is important for us to watch our minds carefully for fear thoughts and bring them to the Holy Spirit for His gentle correction. This is how we open our minds to the Light.

Most of us really don’t know the difference between truth and illusions because we have been identified with the ego for so long. We have believed in the reality of the world of form and so we need the help of the Holy Spirit to distinguish between illusions and reality. It is with the Holy Spirit that we are able to look honestly at what we are asking for and recognize the illusions for what they are. If we want to keep our illusions, we will not want to bring them to the Light of the Holy Spirit, which will shine them away.

In truth, we have been given everything. When we believe in the ego’s thoughts of lack and scarcity, we are denying the truth of what we have and what we are. This denial makes the ego’s thoughts very real to us. It is only when we are willing to question the validity of these thoughts that we become open minded enough to receive Holy Spirit’s gentle correction. “Consider how much vigilance you have been willing to exert to protect your ego, and how little to protect your right mind. Who but the insane would undertake to believe what is not true, and then protect this belief at the cost of truth?” (10:3-4)

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