Loving Oneness Now
abstract, abstraction: In a spiritual context, these words mean, "thought of as an idea apart from any specific object or form." Examples of abstract thoughts (ideas) would be Unconditional Love, Stillness, Joy, Oneness, Knowledge, Truth, Mind-as-such and Perfection. Each of these abstract Absolute Ideas has no variation in content because each is universally applicable, perfect and maximal. Each is a limitless Idea both in the Mind of God and in our Minds as God created them. In our separated ego-state we have forgotten them but they are not lost to us. A Course In Miracles (ACIM) tells us that complete abstraction is the natural (i.e., spiritual) condition of the Mind, and that it is the ego-mind which thinks in specific and concrete forms. (See also: concrete, form)
abundance: While our egos believe in scarcity and lack, there is actually an abundance of everything we need, especially God's limitless Love. Egos never give out of abundance because they only give to get something back. Only our egos can make shortages which, in reality, are illusions. Even so, it is not wise to make material abundance an idol; true abundance comes from allowing God's Love, Light, Peace and Joy to flow through us without limits. Miracles occur when this abundance is shared.
accept, acceptance: To accept is a key concept ACIM. We have the free will to accept or not accept. Our acceptance of what is given or offered us needs to be accompanied by both willingness and gratitude. ACIM states that, for salvation, we need to accept many things such as: Truth, At-one-ment, God, God's Love, miracles, Wholeness, Reality, our Brothers, Knowledge, God's gifts, Peace, Christ as our Self, Holy Instants, God's Will as ours, our Creations, our healing purpose, God's offer of Everything, Salvation, our function of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit's answers, messages and purpose, and that we are as God created us.
accident, accidental: Several times the Course emphasizes that nothing ever happens by chance or accident. Everything that happens to us is a synchronicity and a lesson which provides an opportunity to dismantle the ego, forgive others, and seek Truth. Everyone we meet, however casually or briefly, is met for a purpose; these are not chance encounters. All relationships are destined to become Holy. (See also: frighten, chance. To dismantle the ego see: forgive, ego)
accomplish, accomplishment: The Course uses the term "accomplish" in the context of achieving our spiritual goals of joyous conscious reunion with God and His Sonship. This accomplishment is brought about by fulfilling God's purpose for us, by our willingness to let the ego-past and future go, by miracles of loving and forgiveness, and by uniting with others in holy relationships. But this accomplishment of reunion calls for a trained open mind, a mind that can come to understand the means, methods and transformational ideas presented in the Course. Note that an untrained mind (by the Course) and/or superficial "meditation" can accomplish nothing.
accuse, accusation: To cease accusing
others of sins, to cease judging them guilty with respect to the pain we
think we suffer and the unfair treatment we feel we have received, is one of the
most difficult lessons the Course would have us understand and
learn. When the Course says (see below) "Would I accuse myself of doing
this?" it is asking us if we would accuse ourselves of committing the sin
(or crime) actually committed by another person, not by us. The
answer to this is obviously, "No, I would not; of course the other person
is to blame for that insult, sin or crime they committed." But to
accuse and blame another person is to accuse and blame ourselves
because we are all extensions of each other as Sons in the Mind of God.
Therefore all accusations, blame, revenge, defensiveness, punishment, etc.,
always perpetrate the conflict in ourselves as well as others and
never really solve it. With approaches such as these even a seeming solution is
founded in fear (e.g., punishment) and not in a healing Love. When we accuse and
blame and punish we increase the aggression in ourselves as well as in
the other person or group. We are convinced that accusation, judgments and
fear-inducing punishments work, even though over the last 10,000 years it is
patently obvious they have not, because wars, crime and personal conflicts
What then is the Course's answer? That Answer is True forgiveness of the other person (or group) in whom we see the face of Christ. We understand that all so-called "sin" is not Real, and that we are all God's Sons who are One-in-God and that to judge and accuse another person is to crucify the Christ in him which he is. We realize only forgiveness and Love will truly heal this world, and forever end our collective separation from Love.
acknowledgement: This word is almost always used in the context of our acknowledgement of God as our Father and Creator, and of His acknowledgement of each of us as His Sons. Healing of all kinds is the result of our acknowledgement of God and of His Loving individual acknowledgement of us. It is also essential that each of us acknowledge our inner Son of God Christ-Self; this is the Real Self who exists deep within our minds quietly awaiting that acknowledgement to re-emerge as our true Identity. In this context the word "acknowledgement" means the understanding of (and the process of) bringing God and our inner Christ-Self into full conscious experience.
action(s): Action, in terms of our ego/bodies, is not required or necessary at the God-level of Knowledge, Certainty and Truth. There are two distinct spheres of action. The first is that of the ego, body, perception, separation and so on, which cause distortion, insane beliefs, special relationships and twisted thinking. The second is right-mindedness which occurs when we choose the path that leads us to re-unification with God. The actions which result from right-mindedness are miracles, true healing, correction, clarity of thought, meaningful prayer, right meditation, right discernment, etc. We need not make our own decisions about our actions but ask our Teacher (the Holy Spirit/Jesus/the Course) for guidance and Answers. These Answers will lead us Home in accordance with God's Plan for us, not our ego's plan.
adjust, adjustment(s): Almost everything we do as egos involves us in making adjustments of some kind to accommodate the egos of other people, and, for that matter, conflicting aspects of our own egos. In all our relationships we adjust to others emotionally, physically, intellectually and motivationally. We adjust in these ways with friends, spouses, children, relatives, bosses, work-mates and enemies. At the highest spiritual level there is only God-Knowledge, Truth and Love, none of which ever require adjustment--only complete acceptance of their Reality. Adjustment, on the other hand, is what the ego does constantly in an unreal world of sin, perception, specialness, fear and death.
advances, advancing: As ego-ridden beings we are absorbed with success and failure, with ego-goal advances and retreats. The Course explains that this kind of achievement-oriented thinking is deluded in that some of our greatest ego-successes are, in fact, spiritual reversals, while some of our ego-failures have been of great spiritual benefit to us. Thus winning a medal may trap us in ego-aggrandizement for a long time. But, while failing to win may depress us for years, it can also cause us to re-evaluate our aims, our beliefs and our life's purpose here. Any event in our lives, if seen correctly from a spiritual point of view, can be utilized to advance us to Love's meaning. One key lesson we need to learn is to leave all decision-making to our Teacher, the Holy Spirit, and to trust His decisions.
afraid: (See: fear)
aim: There are the aims of the ego, and there are the aims of the Holy Spirit. The ego aims at preserving itself along with all our ego-goals of attack, "sin," specialness, fear, guilt, separation and obstructing Spirit. The Holy Spirit aims at removing these blocks to Love through our forgiveness of others so we can resurrect our Christ Selves, wake up and go Home to God in Loving Oneness.
alert: During meditation, the Course advises us, we should stay alert. This is contrary to the meditative techniques most of us have been taught, in which we fall into a dreamy almost hypnotized state. Therefore, while our mind should be restful, quiet and without strain, we also need to be alert, fully conscious, listening and ready to be changed, to be healed. God's Mind is fully conscious and so, also, will ours be when we awaken to Peace and Joy.
alive: As egos who live in fear, we are not really alive. We believe our bodies and egos are alive but this is not, in Reality, true. Both are inventions we have made (not created) to perpetrate our myth of limited lifetimes, separateness, fear, attack, illness and death. None of these are alive nor do they exist except as fictions; scripts that we have written. We only become truly alive when we experience God's Love within us as Minds, as Beings whom He created, whole and One with Him.
alone: (See: lonely)
altar: The word "altar" has a very significant, symbolic meaning in the Course. It is, the Altar to God, which is the sacred place within all our Minds-as-such where our Father, His Holy Spirit, our Christ Selves and even our right-mindedness can meet and communicate openly. We can communicate and commune with God, with our Guides and even our Brothers and Sisters as the Children of God thaty they really ARE. However, in our state of separation from God, we also build altars to the ego which we dedicate to the idols we cherish, idols such as the worship of money or special relationships.
ambiguity: This world of ego and illusion is based on ambiguity, on the polarization of opposites, and almost always, sooner or later, the conflicting opposites shift from one pole to the other. The Course uses many words and numerous contexts to indicate the ambiguity of the ego. Variations of such terms as "conflict(s)," "opposite(s)" and "shift(s)" are used quite frequently. "Contradiction(s)" is used approximately 80 times, while "contrast(s)" and "paradox(es)" occur less frequently. All these terms carry a variety of shades of meaning centered around the ego-positive and ego-negative ambiguity of our lives. Almost all of us (even if only on television) have daily egoic encounters with "good and evil," "love and hate," "fight and flight," "elation and depression," "nice and naughty," "abandonment and smothering" and so on and on. Very rarely are we centered in Peace and Love. (For a fuller discussion of this topic see also: conflict, duality, opposites, polarity)
amnesia: (See: forgetful, forgotten, dissociation)
analyze: Analyzing the ego and its contents for their own sakes is a waste of time because both the ego and the darkness which shrouds it are meaningless nonsense. This applies equally to the analysis of our own egos or to the egos of others. The way to undo ego is to bring the Light of Spirit into the darkness of the ego. This means that ego-oriented therapy, ego-based theology and the endless analysis of the ego-motives of others are of little value to our reunification with God and Self. This does not mean, however, that all therapy and all understanding of the ego's tricks is worthless. In fact, Jesus dictated a booklet about psychotherapy to Helen Schucman (who was a psychologist) and he uses psychological terms all through the Course. For example, we are given detailed analyzes of perception, projection, dissociations, mechanisms, chaos, and the "dynamics" of the ego (which are defined in this Companion). Thus we have to learn to discern clearly between ego analyzing ego and the Holy Spirit pointing out to our Observer-Selves the tricks, traps, obstacles and mechanisms by which the ego frustrates and delays our return to God. Therefore any input that facilitates both the rapid dismantling of our meaningless egos and the expansion of our inner Light, is most valuable. This is exactly what the Course does. (See: dynamics)
angels: Angels are spiritual Beings who (like our own spiritual Minds) are extensions of God's Mind. Before our separation from God we, too, were angels. For clarity it is better to reserve the word "angels" for those Beings who have never separated from Him, and to use the terms Christ, Ascended Guides and Masters for those who have had earthly lives. All these Beings, including angels, may channel the Holy Spirit to us and commune with us if we have the inner ears to listen. All of them Love us, and hold the Light for us as we disburse the darkness. We can always call on them to surround us and watch of over us.
anger, angry: Anger is one of the major emotions
or feelings of the ego. A major belief of the separated ones (all of us) is that
there is a lack of everything, including love and its idols. Attack
(verbal, or physical, or both) is the behavior we usually manifest when we are
angry. What is less well-known is that anger is the flip side of fear. We become
angry when we are afraid that someone is going to deprive us of
something, or do something to us that we do not like or want. That
"someone" may sometimes be an inner part of our own ego such as our
inner (introjected) parents. Our inner ego-children (especially the,
"I-want-it-now" ego-child) fear deprivation or some imposition
by others. This leads to frustration, intolerance and the use of force
(anger/attack) to "get our way" by demanding compliance with
our wants or our rejections of them ("go away"). This anger/attack
increases separation. Our egos set up a whole unrewarding chain of special
relationships so that they can project onto these other persons the roles
of ego-want suppliers or of enemy-deprivers. These other persons are
"set-up" by our egos' projections as having the responsibility
for our ego-satisfactions and our consequent "happiness," or,
sometimes, our pseudo-peacefulness. (The "leave me alone and I'll be at
peace" ego-child.) Yet, in its insanity, the ego cannot leave its
suppliers or enemies alone, because the former have to comply (it's a
firm part of their agreement or commitment to us), while the enemies (who may
have once been poor suppliers) have to be punished for their sins
(vengeance.) This whole crazy scenario is played out over and over again with a
wide variety of spouses, lovers, friends, parents, children, neighbors, groups,
institutions, organizations and nations. This is the separation.
How can all this ego-nonsense (founded on a deep fear of lack) be undone? By understanding the ego's use of projection, by forgiving everyone, by seeing the face of Christ in others, by uncovering in our Selves our Real Love and by realizing God is our only Source, our only "Supplier."
answer(s): The ego thinks there are many, many problems to be solved and that the answers are equally numerous. The Course states we have only one problem, namely, our separation from God and one another, and that there is only one answer. It is God's answer and our salvation depends on accepting God's Plan for us. It is the At-one-ment process which will reunite us Lovingly with God and all our brothers. Whenever we have a specific problem we can ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and He will answer. But the answer, which will come from Love, may not be the answer the ego expects. We can expect miracles, however, if we come with open minds to listen to the answers of the Holy Spirit (as presented in the Course).
anxiety: Several factors, all connected with ego-identification, induce anxiety. One is the capriciousness of the ego, its moody, undependable and erratic vacillations; it is a house built of sand on a foundation of shifting sands. This ego is a clever, volatile trickster intent on preserving itself, but its ingenuity stems from the power of the Mind--which it denies. This disavowal of Mind by ego must result in extreme anxiety. Anxiety is also aroused whenever we recognize the meaninglessness of life-as-ego. Our beliefs in suffering, pain and death cause great anxiety. Trusting in our own limited strengths (the ego's wiliness) rather than God's Strength gives us every reason to be apprehensive, anxious and fearful. All unloving thoughts also induce anxiety even though this fear may be buried under anger or hate. Anxiety will only disappear when we TRUST fully in God's Strength, experience Life, and Love everyone equally.
Apostles: The original Apostles who were sent out by Jesus to teach his message were Andrew, Bartholomew, James (the younger), James (the elder) and John (son of Zebedee), Jude (Thaddeus), Judas Iscariot, Matthew (Levi), Philip, Simon (the Canaanite), Simon Peter, and Thomas Didymus (the twin). Matthias replaced Judas. Paul was not among the original twelve, of course. Jesus' reference to the Apostles is only one of many Biblical references by him in A Course In Miracles. The quotations below are startling in that they state the Apostles often misunderstood the crucifixion, as well as other spiritual ideas.
appearances: The world we live in and see with the eyes of the ego (an alien will) is not real. It is an illusion and does not exist. It is a world of appearances, of changing forms, born of error and it will disappear once we all rediscover Truth. The ego is the ultimate "appearance" because it is idolatry, limited, separated, insane and full of fear, whereas the Son of God in us is egoless.
appetite(s): In the Course the word "appetites" is used the way psychologists define it. This includes any strong need or desire by the body or ego-mind. Indeed the Course emphasizes that all so-called body appetites originate in the ego-mind just as much as do the "higher ego needs" such as money or security. This is because the ego uses the body as its home and tries to satisfy itself through the body. Even self-esteem, as an ego-need or "appetite" must be delusional and often includes physical appearance and attributes. The answer to all this delusion is to correct our perceptions of unreality through right-mindedness until all perception is unnecessary. This eradicates the ego and restores Knowledge.
appreciation: The Course equates the appreciation of the Value of ourselves and others with understanding. If we cannot understand others we are estranged or separated from them psychologically and spiritually. This, in turn, means we are unable to identify with them as extensions of our Selves and so, Love them. The ego opposes all appreciation. We must come to an appreciation of God in order to Love Him truly.
arrogance: Traditionally, in most religions, we have thought it humble to see ourselves as "unworthy sinners," whereas any ordinary person claiming to be a Son of God would be thought very arrogant if not blasphemous. In the Course Jesus turns all this upside down in several deft sentences. In effect he states that if we do not believe we are God's created Sons who are still immaculate like Himself, then our denial of what God says we are is very much ego-arrogance. It is arrogant to contradict God! On the other hand true humility consists in accepting God's Word that we were (and are) created in His Image as His Beloved Sons. This does not mean we do not have to undo the illusions of our ego-beliefs in the separation with the help of the Holy Spirit, and reunite with God; we do.
ascendance: The Course uses the word "ascendance" more in a context of what is uppermost in our minds at any moment. Is God in ascendance in us or do our ego-thoughts, beliefs and emotions, dominate our minds? By choosing to yield the central position of power in our minds (away from our egos) to God we will see our relationships as holy relationships. This includes our relationship with God, with Whom we are all One.
ashamed: In the Course Jesus recounts again the story of the prodigal son who squandered everything for nothing of value. The son, Jesus says, thought he had hurt his father and was ashamed to return to him. Yet his father rejoiced and welcomed him with gladness because "the son himself was his father's treasure." Likewise we are God's treasure and God wants us to return to Him. Because we are God's only treasure we cannot make ourselves unworthy. The things we treasure in this ego-world, our thoughts of unworthiness and our shame are all unreal, therefore we can lay them all aside and hasten Home to God knowing He will welcome us as His immaculate creations, as His eternal Sons.
ask: This word occurs hundreds of times in the Course but they can be condensed into two main categories. We can ask God, the Holy Spirit, the Sonship and Jesus for spiritual "gifts" all of which are, in Reality, already in us. Actually, all that happens is that we awaken to them--they re-emerge with the inner Light. But it is a waste of time asking for things of the ego--or on behalf of the ego--including physical healing--unless these things contribute to our spiritual growth and transformation. Why? Because ego-things are nothing and God/Spirit cannot give us nothing, a nothing He knows nothing about!
asleep: The Course uses the words, asleep, sleep, dreaming, etc., to indicate our dissociated state of separation from God and His Reality. We have lost direct, non-stop experience of Him. As long as we are asleep to our spiritual states of being, we exist in the illusory soap-opera world our egos have fabricated. In this ego dreamland we are even asleep (unconscious of) our own True-God-Selves who Live in our own vastly wider Minds-as-such. The awakening, or resurrection, is actually a deep, complete spiritual remembering of Who we are in God's Reality, namely, His Sons who are an essential part of His created Sonship.
Atonement, At-one-ment: In the Course this word, like many others, is given a new significance which can be more fully understood if it is pronounced, "At-one-ment." To become AT ONE with God is the original, literal meaning of Atonement. When the At-one-ment is completed we will all be united with God within His Universal Mind. When, as individuals too, we achieve At-one-ment we are no longer asleep and thus we are no longer beings who are separated by ego-illusions from God and His Sonship in Reality. But At-one-ment includes much more than the goal of Oneness. It includes the dynamic process or plan through which the Holy Spirit undoes or dismantles our egos so that, eventually, our true spiritual Self is uncovered, remembered and rediscovered as our Identity (i.e., as a Son of God). In this sense the Course is itself a process and plan of At-one-ment for healing us spiritually. However At-one-ment is a broader, more comprehensive term than is salvation or enlightenment because At-one-ment includes our final reunification with God, by God, within His Sonship or Kingdom. The At-one-ment Principle, then, is God's Loving Answer (together with the Holy Spirit) to the separation, and all three (Principle, Answer, Spirit) came into operation here at the same time because God would never leave us permanently to the darkness of the ego. The At-one-ment as a process of healing always includes many miracles which are sudden shifts along the path to God. Forgiveness and Trust help us accomplish these shifts.
attached: We tend to cling to, to attach ourselves to, the things of this ego-world, including individual people. But this ego-attachment to things (idols) and people is no more than desperate clinging to life-belts in a stormy sea of nothing surrounded by unreal waves of fear, waves of our own making. In fact, nothing here is attached to anything in any Real sense; this world we made is merely a great heap of disconnected, discrete, fragmented illusions all without value. The only attachment we should seek or want is an Attachment to the Source of Love; then we are united with Everything.
attack, attack thoughts: These include any and all attempts to blame others for all our inner (and outer) problems, errors and conflicts by shifting onto those others our guilt, fears and all dark, negative feelings (our shadow archetype). Attacks on others are accompanied by some form of anger of which there are many--from mild irritation to violent rage. Blaming others in any situation and attacking them (even if only in our thoughts) is a psychological projection of our own shadow (dark) side, which in turn is caused by our fears--often of scarcity, or lack of ego-love. The most fundamental fear we have is that of aloneness (loneliness) which comes from our separation from God, and most attacking behaviors are directed at those whom we feel are depriving us of ego-substitutes for "love" in one of its many human forms, such as affection, money, pleasure, health, freedom, etc. In other words we usually try to force a "love" (in one form or another) from those we attack, a course of action which is ridiculous and insane. To counteract our desire to attack we have to learn to forgive everyone; we must realize there is an abundance of everything, including God's Love, for everyone, everywhere. Everyone is the Christ and created by God. (See also: guilt, hate)
attention: We can reach our spiritual goal by giving our undivided attention to the curriculum of the Holy Spirit, as laid out in the Course. The ego will try to divert our attention from the goal of God in several ways, which include guilt, "sin," pain, the body, idols and idle thoughts. Any distraction that draws away our attention, our focused awareness, from the Presence of God is of the ego. Learning to maintain a single-minded focus of our attention on the Kingdom (God's Mind) is essential to Awakening.
attitudes: All attitudes are ego-based. In psychology an attitude is defined as any mental position or mind-set composed of feelings, emotion, opinions and beliefs with regard to a fact or state, together with an inner readiness to respond in this characteristic way to a suitable stimulus such as another person or situation. Thus an attitude is a fairly fixed, learned psychological (and often also physical) reaction to the statements, opinions and beliefs of others. Attitudes can be friendly, indifferent or negative although popularly they are usually thought of as negative. We have to unlearn all our ego-attitudes and exchange them for Knowledge.
attraction: We are attracted to the things of the ego, or we are attracted by the Love of God. We are attracted either to special "love" relationships, or to Holy Relationships between God's Children. We are attracted to guilt and guilt-making, or to God. We are attracted by illness and pain, or by Innocence and the Christ-Self. We are mesmerized by the attraction of death, disaster, disease and distraction (watch television, the news, movies), or we yearn for Peace, Stillness, and Happiness for all. We are attracted to the past and future, or to the Holy Instant Now and God's Light. In this context do we want magic or miracles?
attributes: The Course clearly distinguishes
between (a) the attributes of the ego, (b) the attributes of advanced teachers
of God, and (c) the Attributes of God, and we, too must learn to discriminate
between these three groupings if we are to remember the Attributes of God--all
of which He endowed us with at our Creation as Minds within His Mind-as-such.
These Attributes of God are still deep within us but they are completely
overshadowed by, and temporarily obliterated by, the attributes of the ego.
The main Attributes of God which He shares with us are: Eternal Life in Him, Peace, Love, Joy, Grace, Will, Freedom, Truth, Union, Happiness, Perfection, Innocence, Changelessness, Holiness, and the Light of His Knowledge. All these Attributes of God (and many more) which are in all His Sons, including each one of us, are Eternal and Changeless. In the first quotation below Jesus explains and affirms that not only do All God's Attributes abide in each of us, but that it is God's Will that our Cause (God) and His Created Sons (each of us as an Effect) are indistinguishable. The only difference between God and us is that He created us as His Sons and we did not create Him. However, we do have the power to create like God through God when we are Awake in Him.
The very numerous attributes (many are beliefs) of the ego should be familiar to us all but, for the record, we can list the major ones. Fear, attack, vengeance, cruelty, guilt, blame, sins, punishment, evil, dissociation, separation, projection, denial, doubting, distrust, dreaming, defensiveness, pseudo-love, idolizing, judgment, misperception, conflict, sacrifice, death, destruction, instability, limits, lack/loss, confusion, contradictions, fragmentation, anxiety (stress/worry), suffering, sickness, loneliness, sadness, insanity, grandiosity and giving-to-get. All these unreal ego-attributes and beliefs have to be openly owned (i.e., not projected), dismantled, relinquished and given to the Holy Spirit for final dissolution.
There is a third set of attributes which can be found in the Manual for Teachers. These are the attributes or characteristics of advanced teachers of God. In another context they are the attributes of right-mindedness. This list of right-minded attributes includes trust, honesty, tolerance, gentleness, joy, defenselessness, generosity, patience, faithfulness (to the Word of God), and open-mindedness. These are the qualities we have to learn, or rather re-learn, through dismantling our egos, relinquishing idols, and developing right-perception in order to become advanced teachers of God.
Thus, in our spiritual progression through the At-one-ment process, we move from the polarities of the ego's attributes (with the help of the Holy Spirit) through the attributes of right-mindedness until we rediscover the Perfect Attributes of God in our Selves and the Selves of all others.
authority: As humans separated from God we have
manufactured in our ego-minds a dominating part of it that I call the
"parental authority system" (PAS). During childhood we introject
(absorb inwardly) all the rules, values, beliefs, laws, etc., we
"learn" from our parents, the schools, government, courts, religions,
etc., into our PAS where (during adolescence) it solidifies into an inner,
regulatory, authoritative, behavior-controlling force. If we respected our
parents (and other authority figures) as adults we tend to "go along
with" our inner PAS world-view. But those who were unkindly reared
tend to react, even rebel against the PAS which is then projected out
onto perceived "external" authorities. Authoritarian people have identified
with their PAS. Most of us tend to project our PAS onto God. Some of us
perceive Him as loving, some as punishing, and many of us see Him (as we did our
parents, etc.,) as both. Still others (the reactionaries) rebel, and reject or
deny Him. Not a few are indifferent. We have made (authored) our egos, including
the PAS, to replace our Sonship and God; God is our Real Author or
Creator, not us.
But God is not a "parental authority system." He gives us perfect Freedom, perfect Love, and we have to let go all our beliefs about Him if we are to EXPERIENCE GOD DIRECTLY. It is wise to remember WE are the authors of the ego and our authority problem, all of which has resulted from our usurping the Authority of God (Who is only Love) by separating from Him "to do our own independent thing."
authorship: In the Course this word is used to discuss the issue of who made us, God or our separated selves--especially with respect to our on-going identities now. The key to the word "authorship" is this: are we egos-in-bodies or Sons of God, and who made (and continues to make or maintain) which? Although we all give lip-service to God as our Creator we all believe we can change, modify and maintain our egos, bodies, and Minds, and "author" them to our will, to conform to our needs and desires. However, our egos and bodies are illusions, and so is our separated self, so any "authorship" on our part is an illusion "authoring" illusions, i.e., false identities. We have made this holographic theater (the world we see) of make-believe forms in which we are the players who take on roles and who also write the scripts (as the authors) and paint the scenery--yet none of what we make or do is real. We also struggle with one another in the play of ego-life to determine the extent to which others (e.g., parents or partner) write our ego-roles for their satisfactions, or we write them for our own ego-satisfactions. But all ego-roles are meaningless. God is our only Author and what He creates as His Sons is changeless and eternal.
autonomy: Autonomy means sufficient unto itself or operating independently, which is what we believe we are doing as egos and bodies. In fact the ego's goal is to strive for its own autonomy and this it sees as freedom. Yet it is impossible to be independent of God and His Love because God is Life. Thus the autonomy of the ego/body is merely a dream of separation from God and His purpose, an insane attempt to wrest a pseudo-independence from Creation. Why would we want to be independent of infinite Love, Light, Peace and Joy?
avoid: The Course asks us to avoid miscreation,
judgment, pain, vengeance and the guilt that causes our fear of God. However
this does not mean that we should wrestle with ourselves over miscreations,
magic, projections onto others and "sin." Nor should we strive to
repress them. The only way to handle these detrimental effects of the separation
is to withdraw our projections from others, own our un-Loving emotions and
feelings, and then give them to the Holy Spirit to take.
On the other hand we do not want to avoid God, the Christ and the Holy Spirit, or the Guidance They are all too willing to give us about how to end the separation and Awaken to the Heaven within.
awake: In this world of ego we are asleep (even if we seem to be wide awake) dreaming bad dreams of "sin" and separation, of forgetting and fear. These insane dreams will disappear as we listen to the Holy Spirit, experience miracles and holy instants, forgive others and are willing to awaken by remembering who we Really are--Sons of God in God's Mind. We can help ourselves to awaken from this sleep of forgetting by helping others to awaken to the Heart of Love. While we dream dreams of exile and ego we are, in fact, Really at Home in God's Mind fast asleep but quite Safe. Our world of dreaming is not Real!
awe: Jesus emphasizes we should only be in awe of our Creator and of direct revelation from Him. Awe is not appropriate, he says, for himself, our brothers, or miracles. All Sons of God are equals and therefore we should not be in awe of one another because awe implies inequality. Another important discernment we are advised to make is between fear and awe--which are often confused. Fear is traumatic while awe is beatific, i.e., it makes us blissfully happy.
bad: Good and bad are an ego-polarity and this fact confuses almost all human beings who are trying to be "good" even as they strive to rid themselves of all their "bad" (i.e., guilty, "sinful") impulses and feelings which seem to lurk in everyone's ego-mind. That good and bad are an ego-polarity existing on the same ego-level is made quite clear in the Course. Good and bad are the opposite sides of the same ego-coin (of fear-ridden separation) and they usually flip-flop in us at intervals. We also frequently project both our "good" and "bad" aspects onto other people, and even onto Jesus, God and other spiritual beings. It is worth noting here that, in the Course, Jesus says quite clearly that he was not punished because we were bad, i.e., that he did not die and suffer sacrificially on the cross to take on the punishment that traditional religious beliefs say we would otherwise suffer for our (unreal) sins in order to be redeemed. To become en-light-ened we have to transcend this ego polarity of good and bad, by first emptying our Minds in order to allow God to enter in.
bargain: God makes no bargains. Only the ego bargains. This bargaining of the ego is contrasted (in the Course) with giving--the giving of Love and Peace unconditionally by the Self. Most ego bargaining takes the form of (though often the deal is only implicit,) "You do this for me and give me that, and I'll do this for you and give you this." These types of reciprocal bargainings occur frequently in special relationships and are often called "commitments," i.e., agreements to exchange ego-affections and pleasures, while excluding others. These ego commitments, not infrequently, are compromises designed to make us feel safe and to cover over feelings of guilt about taking and "giving." The ego's false ideas of "fairness" and "unfairness" lie behind much bargaining. In all bargains we give to get. Some even try to bargain with God.
barriers, barricades: There are many barriers and barricades that we, as egos, have set in place to maintain our seeming separation from God and to block His Love, Light, Peace and Joy. Some of these are anger, attack, guilt, illusions, bodies, time and space; the body's senses, grievances, many beliefs, and special relationships. But these are not the giant barriers we tend to see them as, and we can withdraw our projections onto others, own the barriers and release them to the Holy Spirit. These ego-barriers are only little banks of sand or tiny walls of dust.
battle, battleground: We are told in the Course that the "battle for survival" is only a battle between two illusions, two aspects of our egos, each of which struggles against the other to prove it is true. (See: T-4.II.9:3) All battles, internal or external, are conflicts between two aspects of a polarity each of which seeks to demonstrate it is right. This is the case in battles between conscience and sin, good and evil, right wing and left wing, my way and your way, authority and subordinates, our side and their side, what I should do and what I actually do, etc. However, we are told that, Not one thing in this world is true. (W-pII.240.1:3) The world is an illusion. (W-pI.155.2:1) It leads nowhere. All battles are fought over nothing. Just forgive, silence the ego and know God directly.
be, being, beingness: Who we Really Are is one of the most difficult concepts for us humans to Realize. This is the result of our separation from our True Being in God. Being is what all Mind-as-such does; it exists as Mind-Beingness eternally, even though it may do other things as well, such as think thoughts and share Love and Joy. The Course uses the term Mind correctly and does not (as do many popular books and speakers) equate it with ego--which is only a false constructed identity made up of many insane beliefs, drives, and emotions, especially fear and guilt. All of these are erroneous thoughts which are "loaded into" Mind, but are not Mind-Being. We have to distinguish very clearly between our Minds-as-such and their Thoughts/thoughts. Mind contains Thoughts/thoughts of many kinds just as (by analogy) a computer contains many inserted programs. But just as the basic computer (hardware) is not the loaded programs (software) so is Mind-as-such not the Thought/thought it contains. In other words the ego is lodged in the Mind, but it is only a set of fictitious beliefs (basically made of "rigid" thoughts), just as by analogy, an error-full software program can reside alongside perfect software programs in a computer--but the erroneous program is not the computer and can be deleted (i.e., permanently uninstalled) from it. Our Minds-as-such, our Real Beingness, are part of God's Mind-as-such, God's Own Beingness which is One with ours. We exist as His creations in Him. Our Real Thoughts are not the ego's fictitious ones; our Real Thoughts (e.g., Knowledge, Love, Joy, the Sonship) are Eternal (shall I call them God's Perfect Programs?) and we share them with God within His Mind-as-such.
beauty: In this world we ordinarily associate
beauty with appearances and forms such as faces, bodies, flowers, mountains,
coast lines, forests, animals and sunsets. Therefore it is very difficult for us
to conceptualize abstract beauty even though we sometimes use the word in that
way. We will say, "What a beautiful idea!" or, "He has a
beautiful personality," or, "She has an inner beauty as well as being
Almost all the references to beauty and beautiful in the Course have this abstract meaning. Perhaps the best synonyms we have for this type of beauty are loveliness, grace and glorious, when used in their non-physical meanings.
Jesus obviously knows about form and "physical" beauty because several times he mentions it. Therefore it would seem that at least some of the Sonship appreciate beauty in some of its temporary forms. But God, the Course states, knows not form, and His Thoughts are completely abstract because complete abstraction is the natural condition of His Mind. Therefore any God-level conceptualizing of beauty must be both formless and completely abstract. This, then, is the sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world, the beauty of the Thoughts of God [His Creations] who live in His Light, God's beautiful joy, a beautiful holy relationship, and the beauty of the Real World seen through eyes of Love and forgiveness. We are all beautiful formless Mind-Beings created by Loving Formlessness Himself, like Himself. Thus True Beauty is not of this world wherein beautiful forms change and fade before our body's eyes.
beginning(s): Time is an invention of the
separated ones and, like space and matter, is an illusion. Time does not
exist in God's Reality where there is no past, present and future, no beginnings
and endings. In the eternal Now Creation takes place.
Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts, in number infinite, and everywhere without all limit. Only Love creates, and only like Itself. There was no time when all that It created was not there. (Commentary 11 on "What is Creation?" W-pII.11.1:1-3) What God has willed to be forever one will still be one when time is over; and will not be changed throughout the course of time [in this world of illusion], remaining as it was before the thought of time began. (Commentary 11 on "What is Creation?" W-pII.11.2:4)
Therefore it can be stated with Certainty that all of us, as eternally created Beings, exist only in the Mind of God as his Thoughts, Now.
Miracles on the other hand, being only necessary to help us end our separation from Reality, do occur in time. Miracles shorten time, in as much as an extended event (e.g., an illness or addiction) which could have run on for months or years is cured or curtailed "overnight." Thus miracles allow us to end one phase of our lives or path and to begin anew on a fresh one.
The Course itself, Jesus tells us in the Workbook Epilogue (page 487) is only a beginning, not an end. Our spiritual path, then, will eventually take us out of time. This will occur when we wake up to find ourselves within the eternal Mind of God--which is where we Really are Now.
behavior: Our ego-minds are split in two. One part (which I call ego-children) wants to act out behaviorally in accordance with a wide variety of wants, needs and desires, simply to satisfy them. The other part (which I call the Parental Authority System--PAS) pressures us to "behave ourselves" as we think we should in accordance with the parental and societal beliefs, standards and values we have mostly absorbed as so-called "conscience." This produces fearful conflict and much confusion no matter which aspect of the ego (the ego-children's needs vs. the PAS standards) is behaviorally dominant in our minds at any given time. If the ego-children act out, then a fear of punishment and guilt ensues when the PAS reasserts itself. But all these belief systems are nonsensical and insane illusions which can be owned and released to the Holy Spirit in exchange for God's Will and Unity with Him. Note, too, that the Course emphasizes frequently we cannot change our minds by changing our behavior, but we can change our behavior by being willing to change our minds.
belief(s), belief systems: We have hundreds, even thousands of beliefs which we weave into intricate patterns and hierarchical arrangements called belief systems. Almost all of these, including our beliefs about God and Heaven, are false illusions. All our human beliefs have to be dismantled and dissolved. These beliefs are erroneous productions of the ego and we have no need of them. Roughly speaking our beliefs fall into two major categories: First, are the idols we want and seek as antidotes to fear (e.g., success), and, second, our fear-based notions about ourselves and other people (e.g., our victimhood; our enemies). But there is a third category of beliefs which (like a miracle) is temporarily useful in that they help eradicate all other beliefs. Examples would be beliefs in healing, salvation, forgiveness, and right-mindedness. Beyond all beliefs of any kind or level is Direct Knowledge revealed by experiencing God's Mind-as-such.
beneficence: The literal meaning of "beneficence" is kindliness, goodness, or acts of charity. The Course uses the word in a similar sense but with a much wider, deeper, all-embracing connotation. This includes Love, Grace, blessings, healing and the bestowal of God's gifts on us. In the holy instant we, too, can be wholly beneficent by extending Love to everyone. This recovered beneficence results from complete forgiveness and a return to our Innocence as Sons of God. This is a return to our Real thoughts which we share with God and all our brothers as Christs. The simile of a garden growing bountifully is used in the Course to illustrate the effects of beneficent Love.
betray, betrayal: Betrayal, in the popular usage of the term, is one of the biggest issues in modern relationships. This includes couples, parents and children, friends and loyalty-based groups. Betrayal can range from sexual infidelity to being an informer or traitor. All this is human ego-level illusion which we must all transcend. To believe in betrayal--that betrayal is possible--is to believe in all the ego-roles we have laid on each other in our fear-ridden search for ego-security in an ego-world of shifting sands and temporary, maturational ego-states. As the basis of our foundationless ego-insecurities we demand and expect "honorable" ego-commitments, in-house loyalties, incorruptible partners, faithful contracts, etc. In this dreamworld of mutual role-assigning and ego set-ups, double standards abound everywhere--in couples, parents and children, friends, partners, group hierarchies and even countries (e.g., we recruit their citizens as spies but execute our own). But we must put aside all this petty, insane ego-foolishness and come to realize that only forgiveness, and Loving the Christ in everyone, will enable us to experience the Love of God to such a limitless extent that we can give that abundant Love to all in a ceaseless flow.
bind, bound: We humans all bind one another to this ego-world of fear, attack, defense, guilt, sin, punishment and idols. We bind each other with our firm belief that the past determines the future; with our laws, rules and regulations all based on fear; with our faith in special relationships and their assigned roles, restrictions and agreements; with our projections, prejudices, judgments and guilt-making, all founded on our individualized versions of what constitutes "sin," "ugliness," and "acceptable" behavior. The true spiritual alternative to these is not license, lawlessness or unrestraint (these are merely polarities); it is Love, Understanding, tolerance and, especially, healing. While ego will continue temporarily to "take care of" ego by means of laws, rules, control, authority and punishment, those of us on a spiritual path must rise above the battlefield and hasten the advent of Universal Love by healing our own minds, a process of At-one-ment that will also heal the collective mind.
birth: The word birth is used in two distinct
contexts in the Course. One is physical birth, whereas the other is our
symbolic, spiritual birth (which is sometimes termed a "rebirth.").
The Course treats physical birth (and death) as just as much a dream as all the
other aspects of our ego-lives in this world. Thus, "the idea of birth into
a body has no meaning."
One of the most important elements of any spiritual birth is the "holy instant" in which past and future disappear. In fact each and every moment has the potential of being a spiritual rebirth of the Christ-Child in us, the Child of Innocence who is our True-God-Self. Jesus uses the Christmas season as an opportunity to celebrate "the birth of holiness into this world." In truth, however, spiritual birth (or re-birth) is only an awakening from our dream of separation into our original created state as a Son of God.
birthright: Birthrights, in human terms, are those rights, qualities, and properties we have received from a parent by the mere fact of having been born into that particular family. Human beings also received all of God's attributes at the moment of their creation by Him (eons before this lifetime in a body). These God-given attributes (such as Love and Light) they also share, by right of birth, with one another. In other words, the Sonship has received Everything from God and Lovingly shares all of it without measure with Everyone. There are no limits on this God-given birthright. Yet in our imagined separation from God we believe in shortages, in lack, and so we tend to deny each others' divine birthright of Love and Light and Peace by holding back and conserving, (even dissociating) what we have received as a Gift from God.\
blame, blaming: Blame always stems from past learning and training, especially from our experiences of childhood and adolescence. The human race, almost without exception, must apportion blame for wrong-doing (a.k.a. "sins") usually placing that blame on others but sometimes reserving it for oneself. Parents blame children, children blame parents, bosses blame employees, employees blame the bosses, the media blame the government and the government blames the media, nations blame each other and so do neighbors. Husbands blame wives and vice versa. We see fault everywhere, sometimes placing it inside ourselves as guilt. Once we have blamed or condemned and made someone guilty of the "sin" then punishment is in order. We may even punish ourselves with sickness. How to stop all this nonsense? Forgive everyone including oneself, withdraw all projections, end all beliefs and give it all to the Holy Spirit.
blameless: The Course states repeatedly that, in Reality, we are still as God created us, blameless, innocent, guiltless, and sinless. Only the ego, in its own dreamworld, blames, accuses others of sin or makes guilty. Once we dismantle the ego by relinquishing all fear, beliefs, idols and the past, we will see ourselves and others as Sons of God, as Christs who are blameless. This can occur because we project only the actual thoughts and beliefs systems that are in our minds; if our minds are ego-ridden we will see fear, attack, sin and guilt inside and out; if our minds are wholly blameless and Loving we will see only Love, Light, Peace, Joy and Innocence everywhere.
blasphemy, blasphemous: Like many other concepts the Course turns the idea of blasphemy inside out by explaining that blasphemy does not affect God but only ourselves. Blasphemy, then, is defined as our egos damaging themselves; it is the result of our unloving attitudes and beliefs about ourselves and others. Because God knows his children as sinless, joyous and without pain it is "blasphemous" to perceive them, or oneself, as guilty, suffering or depressed. Blasphemy is thus defined in terms of our ego-perceptions of ego.
bless: To bless anyone is to extend God's Love, Light, Peace and Joy to him or her from Its inner Source in your Self. In essence, the act of blessing oneself or others is a very simple process of extending Love, an act that brings miracles and healing to all concerned. Only the fears and angers of the ego stand in the way of our extending God's Love, Light, Peace and Joy to everyone as a complete blessing. God Himself extends His Blessings and Being continuously to us all, whether we realize it or not. Forgiveness, and uncovering the God-Self in our Minds, is the key to True Blessedness and the healing of the world. The holy instant is the right moment to extend blessings to others, and to receive them back through the Holy Spirit. All Blessings freely given in Love are Eternal.
blind, blindness: The blindness referred to in the Course is the spiritual blindness of the ego. This ego-blindness to things spiritual is our deliberate decision, our chosen policy. It is the ego's plan to continue to keep us in darkness, in a state of separation from God, as we grope around searching fruitlessly after idols while full of unreal guilt, sin, sacrifice, fear, judgment and hate. These are strong words, but they are the ones regularly used in the Course to define the foundation for the ego's blindness. To achieve and maintain this spiritual blindness we deny our own Real Identity as Sons of God and hold to innumerable false beliefs about ourselves, our bodies, our relationships and this world we made. But through forgiveness, by relinquishing and discarding our false beliefs, and by seeing the Christ in ourselves and everyone, we attain Spiritual Vision in God's Light.
blocks: There are many blocks cited in the Course, blocks which impede our progress along our paths to God. Here is a list of the major mental blocks mentioned in the Course: illusions, misperceptions, judging, "sin," suffering, confusion, fear, the fear of God, grievances, the world, non-communication, bodies, death, murder, "thoughtless" preoccupations, guilt, divided minds, the ego, "good" and "bad" thoughts, senseless planning, lack of forgiveness and anger. What are the ways and means the Course recommends for removing these blocks? As the major theme of the Course, forgiveness is the key to "un-blocking" our minds. But so, too, are letting the past and future go, withdrawing our projections onto others, becoming non-judgmental, releasing our fears and angers to the Holy Spirit, devaluing idols and bodies, ceasing to believe in anything the past has taught, and coming with wholly empty egoless Minds to experience our God.
body, bodies: The Course emphasizes again and again how much we psychologically identify with our physical bodies, are obsessed with them and think them real. We think that they can unite and that they need protection and adornments. We think our bodies can get sick, that they can see and hear, and that they can experience pleasure and pain. We are very preoccupied with acquiring money for maintaining our bodies, for housing them in comfort and for transporting them here and there. Bodies are essential to our special relationships. We think bodies are vulnerable to attack and need defenses. But bodies are only a kind of "animated physical puppet" (an interface with the objectified "outside") the strings of which are totally manipulated and pulled by our ego-minds; bodies have no feelings, pain, pleasure, fear, birth or death because bodies are only an objectified form of Mind; bodies-as-such are not mind but rather an idea in Mind. (See: T-28.VI.all) Yet at the same time our so-called physical bodies are a fence, a castle wall, we use to maintain our separation from one another--even those we claim to "love." The Course states, unequivocally, how destructive to us all this illusory nonsense is, because it is these beliefs which perpetuate our separation from God and one another (as His Sons). However, our bodies can be used by our Selves and the Holy Spirit (while we are temporarily in this objectified "virtual holodeck" world of bodies and ego) to learn right-mindedness, to help heal ourselves and others psycho-spiritually, to communicate spiritual thoughts (as in the Course), and to comfort and bless all those who walk this world. Thus bodies, if seen as neutral effects, can be very useful for communicating spiritual information in this world, but they have no intrinsic value in their own right because only what is Real is truly valuable. It is also worth noting that transcending and laying aside the body is not the same as killing it. (See W-pI.199.4:all) Always remember, however, it is unnatural to be in an (imagined, manifested, physical) body and they are not Real! This unreality of physical bodies-per-se does not mean we will not always have a singular psycho-spiritual Mind-Identity as a Christ Being just as, for example, Jesus and the Buddha have. God created every last one of us as a Perfect Mind-Identity within His Mind and so, whether or not we separate from Him, that Mind-Identity will always exist as the Real us, even though we may choose to deny it. Some people call this Mind-Identity a Light-Body, which is all right, as long as we do not confuse Light with electromagnetic wave phenomena composed of photons. (See: brain)
bondage: Spiritual Freedom and bondage are contrasted many times in the Course. [Note that technically freedom and bondage are a vertical duality (i.e., spirit and ego), not a horizontal ego polarity.] One or the other is our choice because they are irreconcilable. Bondage is always the concomitant of separation from God and of identifying with the ego. We are in bondage (enslavement) to our dreams and to our world of illusions including our bodies. This self-imposed servitude renders us helpless, miserable, afraid and full of pain, all of which are the result of past ego-decisions and their inevitable future expectations. But we can release ourselves from this state of ego-bondage once we realize that it is insane to attack another person to save ourselves because we are attacking our Self; therefore we crucify the Christ and our Selves and others each time we attack or defend, that is, "put in bondage."
borderland: The word "borderland" has many symbolic synonyms in the Course which help define its meaning: the bridge between the ego and Heaven, the journey' s end, rebirth, the lawns or gate of Heaven, the end of perception, salvation' s end, the goal of right-mindedness, Holy relationships, Christ vision, the holy instant (maintained), the altar, and the key to them all, the real world. All these, each in its own context, denote this state of pure and simple Mind we will be in when we have undone the ego, relinquished all beliefs, forgiven everyone, Love everyone, "forgotten" the body-as-such, and wait with empty hands and uncluttered Minds for God to take His final step.
born: To be born again is a spiritual transformation which, in the Course, occurs when the Christ-child in each of us begins to emerge and look out on a Real world of Love with Christ's vision. This process begins when we let the past go and look without judgment on the present. This rebirth is the beginning of re-awakening but its advent requires no sacrifice, or pain, or suffering. Fear disappears along with the past and our inner Mind-set is now that of the Christ, the Holy Spirit, of God Himself. The ego's network of chaotic beliefs and emotional reactions quickly dissolves once we withdraw all judgment, forgive everyone and then see everyone as innocent Sons of God. Of course, the Course also uses the word "born" in its traditional dictionary meaning.
brain: The brain is a part of the body and cannot think, or feel, or see, or sense. It is only an interface through which the mind interprets to the body. Thus the independent mind (as ego, right mind, or Self) can interact with, and operate the body and its functions through the brain which is physical. We must never equate our physical brains and organs with mind and its psychological functions. For example, we can see scenes clearly in our dreams at night when our eyes are closed and we are fast asleep; for this reason and others it is the mind which sees and hears, senses and thinks. In fact, it is our Minds-as-such that made the body and brain, and that continuously manifest our physical bodies, brains and environment in the ever-present now.
branch: Apart from the usual meaning of this word as a branch of, say, a tree, the Course speaks of the symbolic branch or fork in the road which is the point of choice for us. Which branch or fork do we decide to go along? Which destination do we want? Do we continue along the way to God or take the path the ego dictates? Do we decide to follow the master plan of the At-one-ment or take the looping road of separation? Do we want Life or death, salvation or "sin"? Do we choose Reality or illusion, the Real world or this ego-world? The signposts in the Course clearly point to the Way along the route of right-mindedness which is well Lighted, whereas the other branch leads back into the veils of darkness. The choice, then, is clear--a choice we make every moment of our lives.
bridge: This is the bridge which crosses over from ego to the Real World which is just in front of the gates to Heaven. Heaven is being fully awake in the Mind of God experiencing His Love, Light, Peace and Joy as your own. The Real World is what our present world looks like after we have withdrawn from it all our ego-projections of fear, anger, judgment, bodies and separateness. The bridge, then, is the transitional crossing from these veils of ego to the Real World where we see everyone without exception, through Christ's Vision and look out with eyes of Love, Peace and Joy. In this respect the bridge represents the last phases of the At-one-ment process which is being Master-Minded by the Holy Spirit--along with both our complete willingness and our single desire for Union with God. Once we are in the Real World, God takes the Final Step.
bring: If we will bring to the Holy Spirit every dark secret we have hidden and open every door in our minds to Him, He will bring Light into the darkness of the shadows. It is crucial to our spiritual transformation that we open ourselves completely to the Holy Spirit so that we look into our inner shadows with Him because He holds the Light that will shine them away and lead us to Vision, Knowledge and our Glory. Note well that this bringing of the secret, dark thoughts of "sin", guilt, anger and fear, of envy and hate, to the Holy Spirit is a voluntary act on our part; there is no coercion on the part of Spirit, only a Loving recommendation and concern for our healing.
brother(s): Everyone, everywhere is our brother. Each of us is a spiritual being, a Christ, a "piece" of the Mind of God maintained by His Thought, encapsulated in Love. But in the "physical" human state we have separated ourselves (in imagination) from God and from one another and set up an ego-world founded on fear. This unloving rift has led each of us into mistrust, doubt, guilt, war and truce, fight and flight, worry, insecurity, illness, competition, envy, and getting as much as we can. All this results from our state of fearful isolation from God and one another, and even though we try to shore it up with affection, bonding loyalty to the group, clinging, etc., the polarities of the ego keep us swinging from "positive" to "negative." What, then, is the answer? We must let the whole ego-mess go by being willing to transform, to forgive, to release, to see the Christ in all our brothers and, finally, to reawaken to the Peace and Love of God within our Minds-as-such. This is the At-one-ment process. Through this transformation all special relationships become holy relationships. Note well, it is not up to us to change our brothers, only ourselves.
burden: The Course uses the word burden in its traditional meanings but adds a new one in its reinterpretation of the New Testament saying of Jesus, "My yoke is easy and my burden light." In this context, Jesus says, burden means "message." (See quotation below.) In other Course contexts, burden usually refers to the heaviness that "sin" and its accompanying guilt place on our ego-minds, especially when these are tied in with the denial of Truth. Nevertheless the way to relinquish these burdens is given in the Workbook, namely, not to value the valueless, and understanding that all attack is an insane, fruitless attack on oneself. Lesson 196 contains a key series of ego-dismantling ideas that lead to the discovery of the "murderer within" which, in turn, allows our fear of God to disappear instantly, so enabling us to call on His Love directly.
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD