This post is not in support of any religion or Christian viewpoint or outlewk, it is to attempt to help clarify what they say they thought he said
“Today we will review the following:”
We see here a direct connection pointed out to us between our thoughts and the world, even though Christ has made this connection before:
(1:1) (11) “My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.”
(1:2-4) “Since the thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything, the world that pictures them can have no meaning. What is producing this world is insane, and so is what it produces. Reality is not insane, and I have real thoughts as well as insane ones.”
Our thoughts of individuality, sinfulness, specialness, etc., have produced this world. Therefore, since the cause of the world is my insane thoughts, then the world, as the effect, must be equally insane. ‘Cause&# 39; and ‘effect&# 39; are never separated, for they are one. Reality, however, is not insane, despite the ego’s protestations to the contrary. It tells us God is insane, vengeful, and angry, yet “[He] thinks otherwise” (T-23.1.2:7) . As he did in the first fifty lessons, Jesus explains that we have a split mind, containing unreal thoughts of hate, and real thoughts of love. It remains for us to choose which ones we shall make real for ourselves. He tries to help us realize how miserable and unhappy we become when we choose the unreal thoughts of attack, judgment, and specialness. It is that misery that will ultimately impel us to choose again:
“Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there ‘must’ be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point” (T-2.III.3:5- 7).
(1:5) “I can therefore see a real world, if I look to my real thoughts as my guide for seeing.”
This is the world of vision, the ‘inner” world in which there are no thoughts of separation or judgment; the world of thought that is beyond the dream of hate, wherein we are able at last to see the dream for what it is. From there it is only an instant longer until God reaches down and lifts us to himself, the ‘last step’ in our journey, as we see depicted in this lovely statement:
“And then your Father will lean down to you and take the last step for you, by raising you unto Himself” (T-11.VIII.15: 5).
We shall return to a discussion of the real world later.
(2:1) (12) “I am upset because I see a meaningless world.”
(2:2-7) “Insane thoughts are upsetting. They produce a world in which there is no order anywhere. Only chaos rules a world that represents chaotic thinking, and chaos has no laws. I cannot live in peace in such a world. I am grateful that this world is not real, and that I need not see it at all unless I choose to value it. And I do not choose to value what is totally insane and has no meaning.”
In “The Laws of Chaos” Jesus puts the word “laws” in quotation marks, signifying they are not really laws because they make no sense: the only ‘true’ laws are the laws of God. Jesus does not do so here, but the meaning is the same: “chaos has no laws.”
Before we can elect ‘not’ to value what is “totally insane,” we first have to accept that the world ‘is’ insane. What helps us realize this is that the world makes us totally unhappy. Our specialness desires — even when they are fulfilled and gratified — do not make us happy and do not bring us the peace of God. They bring us the peace of the ego, but not Heaven’s peace. The ultimate reason our insane thoughts are so upsetting is that they remind us of our original insane thought, which we believe will lead to punishment. In the ominous words of the ego, depicted in this powerful passage from the manual, we read (and tremble!) about the effect of our insane thought of separation, placed in the context of magic thoughts, recognized in another and/or in ourselves:
“They [ magic thoughts ] can but re-awaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, “You have usurped the place of God. Think not He has forgotten” . Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. For in that thought has guilt already raised madness to the throne of God Himself. And now there is no hope. Except to kill. Here is salvation now. An angry father pursues his guilty son. Kill or be killed, for here alone is choice. Beyond this there is none, for what was done cannot be done without. The stain of blood can never be removed, and anyone who bears this stain on him must meet with death” (M-17.7:2-13) .
Forgiveness allows us to examine the destructive insanity of such a thought system, helping us accept it for what it is; a recognition for which we can only be deeply grateful, as its miracle leads beyond insane magic to the pure sanity of eternal life.
(3:1) (13) “A meaningless world engenders fear.”
(3:2-5) “The totally insane engenders fear because it is completely undependable, and offers no grounds for trust. Nothing in madness is dependable. It holds out no safety and no hope. But such a world is not real.”
The only reality is Heaven, which is totally dependable because it is certain: There is only God. This world, as we have all experienced it, is not dependable. It was made to be so. That is what lets us know that the world and our experience of it are not real. Once again, it is our guilt, born of the belief in sin, that leads us to expect certain punishment and to trust no one. The best we can do is protect ourselves from certain attack by utilizing various defenses, which serve only to maintain the separation that established the need for defenses in the first place. Thus the vicious cycles of guilt and attack, and attack and defense, continue and continue and continue. They will always continue, until their fundamental premises are exposed to the truth.
(3:6-8) “I have given it the illusion of reality, and have suffered from my belief in it. Now I choose to withdraw this belief, and place my trust in reality. In choosing this, I will escape all the effects of the world of fear, because I am acknowledging that it does not exist.”
Again, it is essential that we make the connection between our suffering (the effect) and our thoughts of judgment, attack, and specialness (the cause). We do not escape the world of fear by use of our armaments — attempts to control, manipulate, and seduce. We control the world only by realizing there is no world to control. What does need to be controlled, however, are our thoughts, as Jesus gently admonished Helen, to repeat an earlier quote: “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering” (T-2.VI.4:6) . Most of the time there is nothing we can do about the certain world, but we certainly can do something about our uncertain thoughts. And we must, for they serve a vitally important purpose. They keep us here, holding intact our individuality, self-concepts, and very existence. Recognizing the purpose of our thoughts enables us to exert the power of decision to change the ego’s goal of separation to the Holy Spirit’s goal of Atonement. By changing the ego’s underlying purpose we are able to escape its effects of pain, anxiety, and fear.
(4:1) (14) “God did not create a meaningless world.”
(4:2-6) “How can a meaningless world exist if God did not create it? He is the Source of all meaning, and everything that is real is in His Mind. It is in my mind too, because He created it with me. Why should I continue to suffer from the effects of my own insane thoughts, when the perfection of creation is my home? Let me remember the power of my decision, and recognize where I really abide.”
You can see how Jesus returns over and over to the core symphonic themes of these lessons: reality, illusion, and the power of our minds to choose between them. The point here is extremely important, because the problem is that we have forgotten that we have such power to choose. The ego set up its series of defenses so we would never remember that we have a mind, let alone a mind that can choose. Thus were the body and brain made to keep our minds hidden from us, replaced by the mindless state of living in a body that is governed by a brain that thinks it thinks, but in reality only carries out the thoughts of the unconscious mind. These thoughts are but two: the ego belief that the meaningless has triumphed over the meaningful; and the Holy Spirit’s Atonement that the ego thought is unreal because it is outside the Mind of God. Thus it has no effects. Despite my feverish dreams to the contrary, I remain at home in God, held in memory in my right mind by the Holy Spirit. Now I can remember and choose again.
(5:1) (15) “My thoughts are images that I have made.”
(5:2-4) “Whatever I see reflects my thoughts. It is my thoughts that tell me where I am and what I am. The fact that I see a world in which there is suffering and loss and death shows me that I am seeing only the representation of my insane thoughts, and am not allowing my real thoughts to cast their beneficent light on what I see.”
This points out a crucial dimension of anyone’s work with ‘A Course in Miracles’ . Many of its students tend to deny they see a world of suffering, loss, and death. Instead they proclaim the world is really wonderful — part of God’s or Jesus’ plan: moreover, the new millennium will bring healing everywhere it is needed, bathing us all in light. The problem with looking through rose colored glasses is that if we do not recognize the insanity, pain, and suffering of the world, we will never recognize their source in our minds. The ‘The only way we can return to the insanity in our minds is by recognizing the insanity we perceive.’ If we stubbornly, arrogantly, and self-righteously insist that everything is wonderful — e.g., this is a wonderful world, replete with wonderful happenings; this is a wonderful course Jesus gave us — we will never realize that what we are seeing outside is a defense. Rather than see the hateful world we made, we cover it over and make it into something pretty. It is not a pretty world because it was made from ‘un’ pretty thought! Once more, the only way we can get to our thoughts and change our minds about them is to see their effects, which, again, is the cruel and vicious world in which we live.
(5:5-7) “Yet God’s way is sure. The images I have made cannot prevail against Him because it is not my will that they do so. My will is His, and I will place no other gods before Him.”
Jesus again appeals to the power of our minds to choose: between illusions and the truth. The final sentence is taken from the first commandment in the Book of Exodus (20:3), the basis for part of the discussion in Chapter 10 in the text (see especially T-10.III.-V) .The point there, as well as here, is that the ego’s gods of separation, sickness, suffering, and death have no power over the Son of God, who remains as God created him. God remains God, and no wild imaginings can erect another to take His place, except in dreams. Thus our will has never ceased to be one with His, and we remain at home, where God “would have us be” (T-31.VIII.12: 8)
Interpretations and opinions are those of the writer of this post and are not necessarily shared by the Foundation for Inner Peace (publisher of the Course) or the Foundation for A Course in Miracles. For answers to questions about the Course, visit the Question-Answer Service of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles at: http://www.facim.org/eopage.htm
and the Miracle Studies search engine at: http://www.miraclestudies.net/MSCS_ACIM_SrchEngn.html Also see the FACIM Glossary of ACIM Terms: http://www.facim.org/~facim/acim/glossary.htm … “Forgiveness is the key to happiness” (W #121)…”The miracle does nothing. All it does is to undo” (T-28.I.1).
PS:The commentary on this review lesson comes from Kenneth Wapnick’ s book set, entitled: “Journey Through the Workbook of A Course in Miracles,” which can be purchased at the following site: http://www.facim. org/ S: