Loving Oneness Now
call(s): There are many "beings" and "things" calling to us in our lives and these calls can be divided into four categories: (1) spiritual Beings, (2) the things of Spirit, (3) our brothers (all human beings), and (4) things of the ego.
1. The spiritual Beings, who call to us to Awaken, are
God, the Holy Spirit (including synonyms such as the Voice for God), the Sonship
(including Creation and the Kingdom) and our Christ-Selves.
2. The things of Spirit which call to us are miracles, healing, and the attributes of God and our Selves, such as Love, Joy, Gladness, Beauty, Holiness, Will, Truth and Life.
3. Our brothers in all their everyday interactions with us call for our help, for our friendship, our forgiveness and our Love.
4. On the other hand the ego calls for us to judge ourselves and our brothers, to war with one another, to hate, to doubt, to fear, to worry, to compete, to be sick, and to death.
The Course asks us to heed the calls of God, Spirit, and our brothers and to disregard the calls of the ego and its idols, except for the purpose of undoing them with the help of the Holy Spirit.
calm, calmness: Calmness is an attribute that all who are on a spiritual quest seek. To be calm, like still waters, is to be unruffled, unagitated in one's mind. To achieve this state of placid tranquility we must free ourselves from the fearful insecurities and uncertainties of the ego by letting go all we have learned in the past, forgiving others (past and present) and trusting in the Holy Spirit's guidance. The ego teaches us to punish ourselves because we are guilty of the "sin" of attacking ourselves and others. But punishment is attack therefore it increases our guilt; this in turn increases our agitation causing calmness to disappear. The only way out of this vicious circle of unsettling guilt and attack is to give the whole senseless process to the Holy Spirit Who will convince us it is neither true nor real. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit will take it from us as we are willing to relinquish each facet of the ego.
cause: God is the only Real Cause and we who are His creations within His Mind-as-such (not as egos or bodies) are His effects. All other "causes" and "effects" are illusions about illusions. These erroneous causes and effects, such as in human sciences, social institutions, medicine and relationships are frequently reversed in as much as "effects" are seen as "causes". (E.g., the body is often thought to cause illness.) Often these so-called "causes and effects" are actually meaningless, and come under the laws of chaos. The Course states bluntly, Nothing the world believes is true. (See: W-pI.139.7:1) It is our separation from God that causes our beliefs in the ego-illusions of bodies, sin, guilt, death, suffering, sickness, pain, fear, war, and conflict, all of which are effects, not causes. While we are asleep here in this world, a "dream" may seem logical and sensible, but when we wake up we realize it was nonsensical chaos.
center: At the symbolic center of our minds is the Christ-Self, the altar, the Atonement, the Light, and the Call of Spirit. The Holy Spirit speaks to us from and through this center (the altar) which must be kept clean and clear of the ego's fears, angers, and guilt. Once the Light of Truth shines from the center, from which all beliefs about the separation, body and ego are absent, it will radiate its Light to others to call them into that Light. Our eternal safety lies in this Center of Love. Through this re-awakened Center God flows and extends through us, as us.
century, centuries: The Course frequently points out the ways in which we can shorten our journey Home. These ways to save time are sometimes presented dramatically so they will register more powerfully in our minds. The following quotations tell us a century, or even several centuries of effort, can be slipped past in an instant. Both refer to one of the most profound and enlightening statements in the Course, namely, "I need do nothing." As egos nothing we do is of any use or of any importance. The key to this is to experience a truly Holy Relationship even for just one instant thus saving centuries of protracted effort.
certainty: God is Certainty and certainty is only found in the experience of Him. The Holy Spirit, too, being of God, has Certainty. This is summed up in the Course statement: Let Him [Holy Spirit] be Judge of what you are, for He has certainty in which there is no doubt, because it rests on Certainty [God] so great that doubt is meaningless before Its face. (See: W-pI.151.8:1) Doubts and misperceptions produce fear and uncertainty. Unfortunately the ego has its own false certainty, its own convictions, its own security-based beliefs, all of which have to be undone and relinquished, with the help of the Holy Spirit, if we are to experience the Certainty of God, the Holy Spirit, and the inner Christ.
chains: Many times in the Course (and Jesus does not mince his words) the negative ego is likened to heavy chains that keep us imprisoned in a state of fear, weakness, depression and littleness. The actual chains mentioned are many: projection, illusions, time, beliefs, condemnation, guilt-making, "sins," futility, idols and death. All these burdensome chains can be thrown off if we are willing to let them go--for we entered the prison of our own free will, slammed the door behind us, then locked the chains around ourselves. By now we should all be fed up with these self-imposed, tiresome chains which bind us to this insane world of separation and lovelessness. Through forgiveness, undoing our egos and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we can quickly release ourselves and others from this prison we have made and, together, rejoin God and the Sonship in Light, Love and Life.
chance: This word gives rise to several important sayings in the Course because one of its main themes is that nothing in our lives, or for that matter in the universe, happens by chance or accident. This does not mean that everything is predetermined, cut and dried before the event; it means that each of us in our personal lives has free will, a choice about what we will think or do. It means that nothing occurs randomly because it is somewhere, at some time, the result of someone's decision. Moreover, outcomes are often governed by laws of various kinds (including God's Laws) which further direct events away from chance. With nearly six billion people constantly making choices on this planet the resulting patterns of interactive happenings may be very complex but none of them occur by chance. In the final analysis everything that happens to us we have asked for and receive. The Course asks us to give our power of decision to the Holy Spirit Who will always choose for God on our behalf and this choice results in happiness.
change: The ego is constantly changing, shifting and adjusting to try to cope with, and control, an ever-changing world. Both the ego and the world we make are temporary illusions. In the area of personal relationships all egos are in a perpetual state of change, therefore any genuine stability based on ego is literally impossible. The dance of the egos in their restless, never-ending compromises and accommodations is insane because peace, love and happiness can never be found in idols or special relationships of any kind. However we can use change to change our own minds so as to place them in God's Hands and learn to think with Him. By being willing to accept the At-one-ment process for ourselves and follow God's Plan, the dance of the egos gradually fades and disappears as it is replaced with Christ's Vision. The Course tells us it is not up to us to change others but to accept them as they are. Only in this way will we come to see them and ourselves as Children of God because true acceptance is true forgiveness. Motivation, i.e., willingness, is the key to making these fundamental changes from ego-mind to God Mind. Listed below are many important quotations for the word "change."
changeless: God created only the changeless. As His Creations we are timeless and changeless, only the timeless and changeless is Real. Conversely, anything that changes and is subject to time (as past, present and future) is an unreal, temporary illusion. Therefore, in keeping with this Course distinction, our bodies, our egos, our relationships here, this world and, indeed, even our physical universe are temporary, unreal illusions not created by God! They are all dreamworlds we made because, God knows not form (T-30.III.4:5) and what God does not Know does not exist. What then did God create and who are we? We are, in Essence, eternal, changeless, spiritual Beings (Sons) created by God's Thoughts out of pieces of His Mind-as-such and encapsulated in Love, Who still reside only inside his Mind-as-such, outside of Which there is nothing. The piece of God's Mind which each of us is, still retains all His powers, Thoughts and attributes and we are all One with Him in His Mind--eternally. Our imaginary separation from God is but a vast, holographic, theatrical dreamscape which we are dreaming while fast asleep (as Minds) in the Mind of God. God Himself is Free and like Him we have eternal Free Will. Thus we are free to imagine and make false, ever-changing universes if we wish, but we are just as free to undo them and wake up to God-Awareness again; all it takes is a little whole-hearted willingness and complete forgiveness.
channel: God channels His revelations to us through the Holy Spirit who mediates higher and lower communication. The Holy Spirit is God communicating with us separated ones through the Sons who have never separated (e.g., angels), through the re-awakened Sons (e.g., Jesus) and through the Christ-Self of any who still dream. Any of these Sons can join together as a connected series of linkages which manifest the Holy Spirit so enabling us separated ones to receive God's communications such as the At-one-ment principle. This set of linkages actually occurred when Jesus joined with the Christ-Self in Helen Shucman to channel (scribe) the Course (as revelation) to us, who, in turn, form further manifested links of communication to bring the Course to others--who, in their turn, also extend the Holy Spirit as a communication system to even more people. Each of us can be direct channels for the Holy Spirit Who needs our voices to speak through us to all the world.
chaos: The ego is
chaos and no matter how much we may strive to impose "law and order"
in our lives they will always be chaotic because their foundation (the ego) is
shifting sand. The Course lists the five laws of chaos (See: T-23.II.all)
in which the ego believes. Here is a summary:
1. The truth is different for everyone, but only my "truth" is correct so I am justified in attacking others to correct theirs.
2. Sin is real and fully justifies judgment, condemnation, punishment and hate.
3. Because sin is eternally real and we are all sinners, God is to be feared as the "enemy" Who will judge us, punish us and damn us--a fate from which there is no escape.
4. We only have (possess or own) what we have taken or get from others (e.g., salary, security, ego-love). Anything we give away is our loss. It's a "win-loss" life, with everyone on the take. In this survival scramble for our "piece of the pie" our competitors become our enemies. Even in the family individuals scramble for moments of attention and affection. In any ego relationship conditional deals are struck to ensure the "take" is fair. We call them contracts, bondings, or commitments.
5. The fifth law of chaos is that there is an ego-substitute for Universal Limitless Love, a substitute we seek for in special relationships but never find. In our savage world of ego we must take to survive, or become the suffering victims who are always taken from. But what is it we want to get from others? What is it in others we search for endlessly? Why won't they give us what they have hidden away secretly inside themselves--something we are starving for and desperately need. It is, of course, (false) ego-love we want from them and (this is weird) we will beat them up unmercifully to force them to give that "love" to us. In effect we say to those around us, "I will punish you for not loving me until you mend your ways and give me what I need, because I know you have 'love' in you, hidden away from me." It rarely occurs to us we have a hidden "love" (or better still, God's Love-in-us) we are not giving them.
charge: Jesus states unequivocally that he is in charge of the Sonship, the Second Coming and the process of the At-one-ment. To avoid misinterpretations, however, we must not project our ego-beliefs about specialness, exclusivity, authority, control and domination into these statements, none of which is appropriate because they are fear-based; they are part of our "authority problem." Jesus also states, equally unequivocally, that he is devoted to us, seeks only our protection (from our own egos, incidentally), and that he is our loving brother. His only purpose is to teach us the Way to our rightful place in God's Kingdom where we have complete freedom. In fact, we are in charge of our own salvation especially in terms of our decisions and choices in this life. We are also in charge of the salvation of the world because if one person clings to the ego the Oneness of All is incomplete. And for this same reason we are in charge of the healing of the universe, i.e., the Sonship, because if one created being anywhere in the universe is separated from God, God is incomplete.
charity: The Course defines charity as a weaker reflection of true spiritual Love. Charity, then, is more at the right-mindedness stage of the At-one-ment process. Right-mindedness occurs when we become more interested in spiritual matters and our path to God, and less interested in things of the ego. Thus, charity could be described as learning to forgive and love, especially in terms of actions such as miracles and healing. We show our generosity through charitable acts of helping others, but that demonstration of charity can range from ego-satisfactions of superiority (note the final quotation below) all the way up to Love.
child: The Course uses this word in four contexts; (a) as a regular child, (b) the child of God, and (c) as a form of address by Jesus; the "child of God" meaning contains a variation, namely (d) the reborn Christ Child who represents our infant spiritual Self as it emerges from behind the clouds of the fearful ego which has suppressed it firmly. As the inner Christ, this use of the word "Child" is capitalized in the Course. There is one quotation given below for each of the four contexts. It is worthwhile commenting, in passing, that we all have a wide variety of inner ego-children (e.g., the fearful child, the depressed child, the angry child, the clinging child, the elated child, the sensual child, the goody-good child, etc.,) all of whom are illusions to be dismantled (undone, relinquished) and released to the Holy Spirit.
childhood: Some of us have a strong attachment to our childhood whether it be positive or negative. A positive attachment to childhood usually takes the form of a pleasant nostalgia and a vague wish we could translate some of that warmth into our present lives. Often an adult who was "loved" during childhood finds it more difficult to let go the inculcated beliefs and attachments of that family than does an abused or isolated child. But the abused or neglected child finds it equally difficult to let go of victimhood in adult life, thus projecting an inner need for defensiveness all around. The Course tells us all these childhood attachments, both positive and negative, are distorted fantasies of the past that never happened. We must relinquish all the past to the Holy Spirit to be free and at Home.
choice, choose: Our choice in life is always between our ego-kingdom and the Kingdom of God. We are responsible for what we think and can exercise choice freely. Free will was given us by God as an attribute of Himself. While Jesus and the Holy Spirit cannot choose for us, they can help us make right choices. When making choices (i.e., a decision) we have four options open to us; (a) we can choose ego and the toys and trinkets of this world; (b) we can sit on the fence and even deny any responsibility for choosing; (c) we can postpone the decision causing a delay, a procrastination; or, (d) we can choose to walk to God, now. Our choice is determined by what we value, and even time itself as past, present and future, is a value-choice made by ego. Indeed, all events and happenings in our lives are our choices. But the only choice we ever really make is between Truth and all illusions. Choices within illusions are usually between ego-polarities--which usually flip-flop in time. Choose only God.
Christ: Each and every Being has the Christ in him or her because the Christ is the Highest Self, the Son of God whom God created like Himself. The Christ in us is the home of the Holy Spirit and that home is in the Mind of God. Thus the Holy Spirit gently reaches from the Christ in us into our dreams (of the ego) in order to translate those dreams into Truth. For clarity it is better to reserve the term "angels" for those Beings who have never separated from God 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 through our Christ-Selves. Jesus, the source of the Course, is our elder brother who is also the Christ. Jesus was the first to complete his own part in the At-one-ment perfectly. (See: C-6.2:2) But we are all Really Christs within the One Sonship who Live within the Mind of God (i.e., Heaven) eternally.
church: Jesus uses the word "church" in the Course to mean both the church of the ego and the church of Spirit, of God. The latter is the communion of those awakening individuals who are joined in Mind in accordance with the Spirit of the Course. Those of us who are able to follow Jesus as a model are literally his disciples. It is the spiritual altar, the Self, inside each of us that creates the Unity of this "church" of Spirit which is a new, open, spiritual paradigm for all human beings.
circle: There is the binding circle of the ego, or the boundless circle of golden Light and Peace, the circle of Creation. The ego's circle contracts into clouds of fear and despair, whereas the bright endless circle of holy relationships extends forever in the Mind of God.
circumstances: As egos we are very vulnerable to attack in all circumstances. Furthermore, in our separated state, we misuse each circumstance, and everyone we meet, for our ego's purposes. The ego's idols, especially those projected into other people shift and change in all circumstances and relationships. We do not see the eternal, unchanging Christ in them, nor in ourselves. The shifting sands of circumstance make us feel very unsafe about the future, about what might happen, so we clutch at any straw the ego shows us that seems secure. But the Course tells us only God is our safety in every circumstance. To wake up in Him is our only goal.
clarification, clarity: This idea, especially in terms of the Course itself, is an important one because Jesus stresses the need to be quite clear about such key concepts as goals, guilt, giving and how our clarity of Vision is distorted by the ego. He even dictated a whole section on the "Clarification of Terms." Furthermore if we are to be teachers of God we must clarify our ideas if we would help others understand the ideas and goals of the Course. This Companion, for example, is such an attempt at clarification. It is the experience of truths, however, which is essential to real understanding. When studying the Course it is important to read and re-read the "essay-commentaries" in part II of the Workbook, and the "Clarification of Terms" in the Manual for Teachers, alongside the rest of the Course. There is a profound clarity of wisdom in these sections.
clean: There is a danger that this word will be polarized with negative concepts in such a way as to make them real. In the Course "clean" is not so much to be contrasted with "sin," "guilt," "sickness," etc., as it is to be a transcending of these unreal, dream states. Thus "clean" refers more to a vertical distinction of meaning rather than to a horizontal ego-polarity with "dirty." If we make so-called "dirt" and "sin" and "guilt" real we will find it almost impossible to eradicate them and the Course advises against such an unwise policy. But if we learn to realize they are illusions and relinquish them to the Holy Spirit we will be freed to transcend to something beautiful and clean and of infinite value, full of happiness and hope.
cling: We cling to all kinds of idols, relationships and beliefs in order to shore up our deep fears about our separation from God and the Sonship. Most of us cling to the past not only through nostalgia (our childhood home; see W-pI.182.4:all; and child above) but also in terms of the customs, traditions and religions with which we were brought up. Even those who react against these concepts still think the concepts are real in an upside down way. Very few of us are free from the need to cling to all these "life belts" in the turbulent ego-seas of human interactions and traumatic events. Even our choice of "special partners" is shrouded in unconscious choices stemming from the past.
clouds: Clouds symbolize the seeming barriers of fear, guilt, loneliness, depression, etc., which block our spiritual vision. Thus, we are unable to see the Love and Light which surround us and which form the core Attributes of our Mind-Being. Other concepts symbolized by the clouds of the ego are complexity, doubt and idols. There is one important healing idea associated with all these clouds; they must be gone through, not evaded, until we come out into the brilliant Light at the Center, and discover the Self. Going through them may scare us until we realize the clouds (which are of our own making) are both insubstantial and unreal.
co-creator(s): We, as Sons of God, are co-creators of all eternal Life-as-Mind with God. An important distinction has to be made here between "creation" and "made." Anything that is made of matter (including etheric matter) and which exists in time and space and which ends, such as bodies and the physical universe, is made /manufactured /fabricated /manifested by our thoughts, and is not created. We can also make /manifest /fabricate impermanent thought-forms such as egos, beliefs and idols. In the Course the word "creation" is strictly reserved for the creation or co-creation of Mind-as-such eternal Beings who Live in the Mind of God. (See also: create.) Sometimes the Beings, who are collectively Known as the Sonship, are also called Thoughts of God. The whole Sonship has the Power to co-create Beings with God within His Mind thus extending his Kingdom of Love and Life forever.
comfort, comforter: We must look to God and His Holy Spirit for Comfort from the ego's deceit and despair, not to the ego's own security blankets. The ego specializes in its pendulum swings from being down and depressed to feeling elated and solaced; from attacking brothers as our victims, to defending ourselves as victims against their attacks. Furthermore, the Course explicitly states we will not find even the illusion of love in any special relationship and should never look to one for Real Comfort; that Comfort is inside us, not outside. We can find this Comfort, in part, by comforting, healing and blessing others in the name of Spirit.
comfortless: God has never left any of us comfortless even though we deserted Him. God's Love surrounds us eternally for not only does He comfort us constantly but so, too, do all His angels, guides and Jesus, himself. All this is True no matter what happens, or what we do, in this world of illusion.
command: It is only the ego which commands obedience, never God, the Holy Spirit, the Self or one's Higher Teachers such as Jesus. The ego uses guilt, assumed inequality, time and memory to establish its pitiful attempt at grabbing power. There is, however, a gentle "command," one based on Love which, when found, places each of us in charge of the Kingdom of Love. We ego-riddled humans find it a difficult concept to envision a Loving Self as a "commander" who gives (shares) only Love. Imagine the world we would have if everyone showered only Love on everyone else--to the maximum! Is this un-Real-istic? Not at all! It is here if we could see it--without our egos commanding otherwise.
commend: Although this word occurs only a few
times in the Course it states very accurately what we must do with our Spiritual
Selves in order to wake up and remember God. Commend means, "to put in the
care of another." In this respect it is a much more kindly word than
"surrender" and a much more lively word than "to place."
God has commended His Spirit to each of us, and the significance of this Gift of Himself must be fully realized before we can understand what it means to gift God with our Spirits; to commend our Selves to His Care, His Love.
commitment: Our commitment to God must be total, and to reach the goal of complete awakening in God we must have a total commitment to the At-one-ment process, to salvation. We cannot be totally committed sometimes, and our commitment cannot be split erratically between our preoccupations of the ego's needs and our one intent to reunify with God. Commitment to the ego is a commitment to nothingness, but a commitment to God is Everything.
communication: There are three "levels" of communication one of which, the ego's "level" (the lowest,) hardly justifies the use of the word "communication" because our separated, limited egos miscommunicate. The ego uses not only words and symbols to disrupt genuine communication, but also the body. Our beliefs in guilt, "sin," fear and judgment interfere with and obstruct Real Communication which occurs between God, the Holy Spirit, the Sonship and our Christ Selves continuously. Even in our separated state we "humans" can communicate with Higher Spiritual Beings (e.g., Guides, Masters, Angels) including God through the Holy Spirit during a Holy Instant. This is possible because although God does not understand the nature of our problems with communicating, He does keep these channels (the middle "level") open to us to receive His Communications and to send ours to Him. The highest "level" of full Communication is direct Revelation and communion both of which come straight from God to us as Love, Peace, Joy and Knowledge.
communion: When we go beyond communication, however holy it may be, we reach Communion which is a true union or melding of Minds at the highest spiritual "level." Communion is a complete joining of Mind in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit become Loving Oneness. The whole of the Sonship is in constant Communion with one another as One Son which means that all of us are fused into that One Mind of God eternally. For us, as separated ones, to wake up to this Mind-sharing Communion we have to hide nothing, to let fear and guilt go, and transcend the body.
companion(s): We have two kinds of companions in this ego-world of separation, the dark companions and the holy companions. The dark companions are not entities, but are our own conflict, pain, loneliness, fear and grief. They are also called the "dark comforters," and fortunately, none of this is Real. The dark, shadow way is an illusion. Moreover, we have God's Comforter, the Holy Spirit, as our Real Companion who points the way to Freedom and Truth. We always have the Great Light of God around us and in us to shine away the dark companion who is the ego.
comparison(s): When we judge ourselves or others we make comparisons which leave one or the other superior or inferior in some way--usually in terms of a polarity. We say, "I'm fat, she's slim," or, "I'm ok, you're crazy," or, "We're good people, but they are awful people." We make these ego-comparisons all the time, often subconsciously. It is an ingrained habit of the human race to compare and the ego thrives on it. Sometimes we put ourselves down when making the comparison ("I'm stupid, he's bright,") but more usually, especially when it comes to righteousness, it's the other way around ("They are criminals, we are law-abiding.") Notice that as we make group comparisons our stance becomes more certain. But all comparisons are of the ego and need to be dismantled and given to the Holy Spirit. Love makes no comparisons.
compassion: The Course uses the word "compassion" only once but that one sentence answers a question many students ask: "How can I not condemn serial killers, child abusers, and evil dictators? Do we let them get away with their heinous crimes?" In answer the Course tells us that we may see these brothers as insane, as mad, and be full of Pity and Compassion for them, but never afraid. This must never be a judgment but, rather, a recognition of an appeal for help. Should we prevent anyone from damaging themselves and others if it is in our power to do so? Of course, but even if they have to be confined our sole purpose is to heal their "insanity" (which is our own) and feel for them this same Pity, Compassion and Love we would feel for a sick child. All ego, criminal or not, acts solely out of lack and the only cure is to learn there is an Abundance of Love inside everyone, everywhere.
competition: Any form of competition has polarity inherent in it. Opposition and conflict at the ego level are built into competition no matter how harmless and light-hearted it may appear to be. The Course points out that if we regard anyone in the world as anything other than our perfect equals then competitive values have entered our minds. We humans treasure the goals and fruits of competition to the extent that there is hardly one aspect of our lives where competition does not exist. It permeates all sport, business, education, the armed services, the environment, family life, our religions and every ego-relationship. We live out our lives competitively comparing ourselves with those around us, even as we, often grudgingly, glorify those who have won. And weirdest of all, we think we are in competition with God Whose Loving and Peaceful Ideas of Oneness we challenge with our own meaningless ego-pursuits and competitive values every day.
completion: The idea of our completing God is one of the most subtle and yet powerful in the Course, one which is consequent upon our separation from Him. We are Really Mind-Beings who Live eternally in the Mind of God, outside of Which is nothing. But some of those Mind-Beings, namely ourselves, decided we wanted "to do our own thing" independently of God. Now God knows that, in Reality (His Mind), this split is impossible; yet, because He gave all Beings His Free Will He went along with our wish for autonomy. The only way this impossible paradox (of Oneness and separate autonomy) could be resolved was for us, as Mind-Beings, to fall fast asleep (while still, in Reality, quite Safe in God's Mind) and dream dreams of unreal time, space, matter, bodies, and egos. We even dream in the dream we are "conscious!" This dream we "live" is the separation which, in Reality, is not Real. Yet God is aware some of His Children (as Mind-Beings) are fast asleep within His Mind even though he knows nothing of the content of their dreams because those dreams are of nothing. God very much wishes we sleeping Ones would wake up and complete Him in full Awareness. But to accomplish this awakening, this Completion, we must bring all our sleeping brothers with us because to leave them behind would be an act of unloving incompletion. Loving Completion must embrace all Sons, who in this world are dreaming dreams of fragmented nothingness, by awakening them to God's Oneness.
complexity: In the Course complexity of thought, form or emotion is merely a smoke screen generated by the ego to obscure the Oneness and Pure Simplicity of God-Mind. Complexity, the antithesis of Truth, is like an endless maze obscured in fog in which we lose ourselves in incessant ramblings often finishing up at the same point from which we started. This is the inherent nature of the ego whose motto is, "Seek but do not find." Remember the maze of the ego has no exit, except transcendence.
compromise: There can be no compromise between the ego and salvation from the ego because none is possible between nothing (the world of ego) and Everything (the Kingdom). The ego always seeks some compromise, some negotiation, some deal, in order to preserve itself as our spurious identity--an identity that includes the body. The Course makes no compromise with the ego or its attributes of guilt, pain, doubt, sin, sickness, error or death, none of which are Real. Remember that the Real solution to any conflict or difficulty is always on a higher level than the problem itself. The only healing solution at the ego's own level is not compromise, but to dismantle the ego itself--in which case the goal is a direct experiencing of God.
conceal: Concealment is one of the ego's major characteristics. Some of our spiritual attributes that the ego tries to conceal are Love, miracles, Truth, Light and the Self. But the ego also endeavors to hide many of its own dark qualities within its own shadow side in order to prevent us from recognizing its own sinister character. Therefore it conceals, dissociates, even represses, its own impulses to kill, its unforgivable "sins," its deep sense of guilt and its own sense of doom. These, the ego then projects outwards onto others, blaming them as the source of all its own hidden negative aspects. In addition to this projection the ego strives to conceal our separation from God, its trickery and its own uncertainty and doubts. All these veils of the ego can be lifted as forgiveness (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) brings miracles into our relationships and we come to realize the ego and all its characteristics are but illusions, easily dispelled.
conceive: We, in our separated state, cannot conceive of the infinite Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Freedom and Knowledge that is our birthright as Children of God. On the other hand, Spirit (the Holy Spirit or Self) cannot conceive of being apart from God. Also, Spirit cannot conceive of any of the illusions associated with separation such as illness, death, hatred, fear, etc. While we conceive of specialness with all its ego-attitudes and limited beliefs, we cannot easily access or understand love without sacrifice, or the Justice of the Holy Spirit. We, as egos, erroneously conceive of sacrifice and injustice as an essential part of the crucifixion and of our own victimhood. But in Reality, we are blessed with the Gifts of God all day and every day, Gifts in value far beyond anything of which we can conceive. God has given us all His Creation to enjoy, including Himself.
concept: The usual definition of a "concept" is an idea of a thing or class of similar things such as, for example, idols, or brothers. The Course uses the term psychologically as a concept of the self or ego, i.e., a self-concept. This self-concept, or ego-image, we (as egos) believe is learned gradually from birth in order to cope with the difficulties of growing up in a world of stress, mistakes and rewards. Eventually we presume to reach "maturity" by which time we present a "face of innocence" (our outward-facing, long-suffering self-concept) to the unrelenting pressures of the world. This "good, often unfairly hurt" self-concept always conceals, even represses our hated "sinful" side of the polarity, i.e., our shameful acts, our "evil" nature which we are too terrified to look on. Therefore we project this shadow side of our concept of ourselves, of our egos, outwards onto other people, accusing, judging and condemning them for all those dark aspects of ourselves we most hate and want to hide. The Course teaches us that all this self-concept building is meaningless and futile. All self-concepts, all ego, must be undone and unlearned with the help of the Holy Spirit, until under the shadows we rediscover the true Self, the Real Son of God.
concern: By and large, the Course affirms that we need not be concerned with, or about, anything at all. In this context the word "concern" means being overly interested in, or even mildly anxious about, anything to do with ego. The preoccupations of the ego, including its interest in itself, need not concern us because the ego is not real. We need not be concerned with past and future because time in this world is also a myth, a trick, which does not exist. The ego is always deeply concerned with its own safety and security, and with preserving and protecting the body, but our only "concern" is to dismantle the ego and give it to the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we need not be concerned with what lies beyond salvation (from ego) because Spirit holds the things of Spirit safely for us, as, for example, Truth, Knowledge and Loving Oneness. We need only be "concerned" right now with moving through the At-one-ment process of healing our minds and forgiving others in order to rediscover Christ's Vision in our Minds.
concrete: In the Course "abstraction" is contrasted with "concrete." Knowledge, which is of God and the Sonship, is composed of abstract thoughts such as Love, Joy, Peace, Freedom and these are impersonal (i.e., there are no favored or special Sons) and universal in content and application. For example, God Loves all Beings everywhere equally and to the maximum and without any exceptions. In contrast with this abstract universal way of thinking the separated self thinks concretely, i.e., with enormous variation, with instability and very specifically and personally. Thus, for example, we humans "love" certain people to varying degrees and these "loving" thoughts are constantly changing with moods, relationships and current circumstances. The concrete thinking and beliefs of the ego are highly specific, very personal, and depend on our unstable needs, wants and perceptions. This concrete type of thought is never generalized, nor can it be universal or impersonal.
condemn, condemnation: Only egos accuse, judge,
condemn and punish--in that order. Every human living in duality, in separation
from God, accuses, judges, condemns and punishes. We accuse, judge, condemn and
punish our children at home and in school whether the children are our own or
not. We accuse, judge, condemn and punish others in our courts and all
our institutions, and, in a democracy, this includes all of us who pass the
laws. We accuse, judge, condemn and punish our enemies who may take the form of
another nation, a political party, another religious group, a race, a cult, a
gang, an organization, a clique, a business, a team, a rival, family members or
a neighbor. The list is long but we accuse, judge, condemn and punish (even if
only in our own minds) all the sinners whom we each find guilty
because they do not measure up to the rules and standards we set for
them. We may even condemn and punish ("beat up on") ourselves for
failing to meet those inner standards. The Course states unequivocally that all
accusation, judgment, condemnation and punishment is an outward projection
of our own "sin," hatred and blame, all of which are
inside our own minds. Because we do not wish to own these shadowy,
"evil" contents of our fear-based egos we first hide, bury or suppress
them in the inner dark vaults of our minds where they fester, even as we strive
to rid ourselves of them by speciously externalizing them onto and into
our brothers. This fruitless psychological projection, however, is never
successful simply because the externally perceived "sin" and
"evil" always remains permanently locked inside our inner dark
vaults. So, the Answer is to go inward. Only by, (a) unlocking the dungeon doors
and throwing them wide open to the light, (b) cutting the chains and owning
all this inner shadow material, and (c) releasing all of it to the Holy Spirit,
can we eradicate our ego's need to accuse, judge, condemn and punish others or
ourselves. This is the way of the At-one-ment process which releases all
the bound energy that we have literally tied up in the dark recesses of our
minds. But once released it is transformed by our inner Light into more Light
and Love at the altar of the Christ-Self. This is healing.
Some students new to the Course ask, "Well, do we just forgive and love all the wrongdoers and let them get away with it?" There are several misperceptions implicit in this question. The first is that condemnation and punishment work in that they successfully stop so-called "evil." But as long as the duality of the separation continues, the polarity of "good" and "evil" will always be equal and opposite. For every "good" act there will be, somewhere, a "bad" act. The second misperception is that "sin," "good" and "evil" are Real in some way, whereas in Reality they are illusions which never happened. The third misperception is that genuine forgiveness does not change the recipient as much as the giver; in fact it does change both of them and society as well. The fourth misperception is that any genuine forgiveness of "wrongdoers" on the part of the spiritual seekers would somehow instantly eliminate the authoritarian aspects of the ego such as, for example, the police, courts and prisons, whilst allowing all the "evil ones" to continue their "wrongdoing without any restriction." This scenario is not valid because all the aspects of ego will be dismantled gradually across the board. Thus ego will always "take care of" ego, so to speak, by balancing the polarities in a rough and ready methodical way. But none of this is Real and therefore OUR work as spiritual seekers and teachers is to infiltrate the whole unreal structure of the ego system with forgiveness and Love in order to dissolve it in all its aspects until everyone realizes it is not Real and lets it go. This applies to all our personal relationships as well as to society as a whole.
Always remember God does not forgive because He has never condemned. God is only Love and so, in Reality, are we.
conditions: Two sets of conditions are referred
to in the Course. There are the conditions which cause and support our ongoing
separation from God and our ego-identities. Then there are those conditions that
we must acquire if we are to end the separation, dismantle the ego, wake up and
reunite with God in full Awareness. This entire process of reversing the
separation and of waking up in God is called the At-one-ment.
The conditions maintaining ego/separation are fear, lack of love, mind-wandering, attack thoughts, idols, wanting to remain separate, and the condoning of our mental miscreations. (Miscreations are our bizarre thought-distortions of Reality, God, Mind-as-such, Truth, the Sonship, Heaven, Who we Really Are, etc.) All these separation-maintaining conditions must be owned, unlearned, undone, dissolved and given to the Holy Spirit for annihilation if we are to be saved from ego.
The conditions for experiencing God, Truth and Knowledge are as follows: letting the past go, re-learning genuine communication, wanting to awaken, seeing others as Children of God through Christ's Vision, asking for the Holy Spirit's help, forgiving everyone, choosing to have Holy Relationships with everyone, asking for Grace, allowing Holy Instants and miracles to happen, expressing Gratitude, identifying with the Self, understanding God's Will is our will, trusting the At-one-ment healing process and the Sonship, desiring Peace, and Loving everyone, everywhere, to the maximum.
confidence: We are asked to have perfect confidence in God, the Holy Spirit and in Jesus himself throughout the Course, but to have no confidence in the ego. Thus the word "confidence" is almost synonymous with "trust." One other area in which we can place our confidence is our brothers as Children of God who are Really in their right minds. This confidence, i.e., trust in other humans seems strange advice to most of us walking this world of ego where distrust seems a much better safety device. The Course, however, does not view the ego or its machinations as Real or as having any valid consequences or goals. Thus the ego in others is an inconsequential illusion and we can go along with its harmless demands and "outrageous" requests because we recognize what does not matter. (See full quotation below.) This presumes, of course, that the joint act or venture will not really do any harm to anyone. For most of us this is a very difficult spiritual lesson to learn, one which flies in the face of traditional common sense and our personal ego-integrity--which it does! But the ego's "sense" is non-sense; therefore going along with the harmless, "outrageous" requests of others helps us to devalue and dismantle our own ego's self-importance. We must allow the miracles to happen. Only then can we have Christ's vision.
conflict: A key Lesson (333) in the Course states unequivocally that all conflict must be resolved. All outer conflict is always our own projected inner conflict. The resolution of inner conflict is accomplished through a process of, (a) complete self-honesty about owning the source of the conflict as ego-generated, fear-based, attack thoughts within our own minds, and, (b) complete forgiveness of both the other person(s) and ourselves. Conflict is an expression of fear about some lack the ego imagines it has, or about some situation it does not want being imposed on it. All these egoic, fear-based lacks, wants, needs and "impositions" are faulty (actually non-existent) substitutes for the Love of God because it is God's Love we Really want and need. The Course calls this a level confusion, and that the Reality level of Love is confused with the ego-level of imaginary "love" substitutes, such as special relationships, security, food, excitement, etc. This results in endless acute conflicts within the minds of all the separated ones (all of us).
These conflicts can be resolved, step by step, in
an ego-dismantling process as follows:
1. Withdraw all your projections (including blame) onto the other person(s).
2. Own the conflict as residing in your own mind and realize it is based on fear and lack.
3. Own all the emotions of fear, anger, guilt, blame, envy, worry, etc., as inside yourself.
4. Feel these emotions fully (preferably alone) by sitting in the middle of them for a while as you walk through them. You are not doing this alone--Jesus and the Sonship are with you. (This may take quite some time--even hours.)
5. As the emotions wane, figure out the various ego-wants and needs underlying them such as ego-love, support, sympathy, money, security, unwanted impositions, or whatever. These are all part of a spurious, ego-level dream-world.
6. Relinquish all the uncovered emotions, ego-wants, needs, etc., as a package to the Holy Spirit, willingly, because you realize they are false, un-Real and worthless.
7. Ask God for His Grace in your reawakening to complete, conscious Loving Communion with Him and the Sonship within His Mind. Realize you and everyone else are immersed in God's Limitless Love.
8. Using Christ's Vision see your Self and the Self of the other person(s) as eternal Mind Beings Living and Loving one another in God's Kingdom (His Mind-as-such).
9. Repeat and review all the above steps as often as necessary and watch the miracles happen. This process will help turn all special relationships into Holy Relationships.
confusion(s): We are totally confused about everything in Heaven and this world, and the Course explains many of these confusions. The list is too long to include full quotations so only the Course reference codes have been included for you do look up if you wish. Most of our illogical befuddlement in this world stems from what the Course calls "level confusion." These levels are: (a) the physical body, (b) the ego-mind, (c) right-mindedness, (d) the Christ Self / Son of God, and (e) God, the Father as Creator, Source and Cause. Level confusions are vertical, whereas polarity confusions (within the ego) are horizontal. What follows is a short list of the confusions mentioned in the Course and they are almost all level confusions, some from "higher" to "lower," others from "lower" to "higher." The list is in no particular order because levels of order are themselves confusions! Only One-mindedness can be without confusion.
consciousness: The Course relegates consciousness-as-such to that part of Mind which deals with perception-as-such. This includes the perception of both external and internal "stuff." Another term the Course uses to define consciousness is awareness, which like perceptual consciousness itself, has many levels, (e.g., sensing, perceiving, interpreting, inference, rationalizing, etc.) Consciousness-as-awareness is receptive and can receive messages from the Holy Spirit or the ego but it is the ego which resides in consciousness using it for its (the ego's) own purposes of choice, selection, judgment, learning, memorizing, punishment, anxiety, etc. Consciousness was the first split introduced into our Mind as a large chunk of it separated (i.e., dissociated) from Oneness. Therefore consciousness as the perceiver (on many levels) is active and interactive in the illusion of this holographic theater of dreams. This clear-cut definition of consciousness as the aware perceiver, is somewhat different from either the usual one given in psychology, or the one used in such modern terms as "cosmic consciousness," or "Christ consciousness." In the Course consciousness occurs at any level below Oneness. Oneness is where Being, creation, revelation, abstract thought and God-direct experience are the appropriate terms to use.
consent: We humans, even in our separated state (which we have chosen deliberately, i.e., consented to), have total free will. Voluntarily we have limited the expression of that free will in order to ensure that, (a) our "separation" from God remains intact, and, (b) we continue to keep in place the many veils, blocks and gaps which keep us ignorant of how to break the ego's grip on our lives and relationships. All this limitation we have not only consented to, but have also chosen of our own free will. That free will still operates every moment even to choosing death. There is, however, another side to all this consent we have given to separation and darkness. God's plan for salvation, the At-one-ment, was also established by our consent, freely given. We have consented to, and participated in, all Creation (the Sonship). Even here in this world, we can consent of our own free will to healing, resurrection and full Awakening.
consequence(s): There are two types of consequences stated in the Course, and each is the outcome of what we choose at any moment--separation or Union. Causes have consequences. Even here, in our state of self-imposed limitation, if we think of, and with, God the result will be "happy consequences," such as miracles. But most often in the Course the word "consequence" is used to denote the outcomes (effects) of choosing separation and ego-thoughts. The consequences (effects) of such a choice will be sickness, suffering, depression and unhappiness. The causes of these consequences are sin, guilt and incorrect decisions which are all imagined aspects of the separation. To correct all this insanity we must come to realize that, apart from God as Cause, there are no sins or consequences. Miracles happen when ego-causes and ego-consequences are brought together (e.g., "sin" and sickness), seen as one illusion and given to the Holy Spirit to dissolve forever.
consistency: The Holy Spirit's Voice (as in the Course) has perfect consistency, as indeed, all Spirit has. Thus all of the following are perfectly consistent in their thinking processes and with one another: Spirit, healing, the Kingdom, Peace, God, Truth, Unity, God's Laws, Holiness, Heaven, the Self, and the Sonship. The ego, in contrast, is chaotic, circular, suspicious, full of conflict and confusion, contradictory, uncertain and severely impaired--and its only "consistency" is to bundle and maintain these characteristics diligently, out of fear.
constancy, constant: In Reality the constancy of Love, Light, Peace, Joy and Happiness are a Fact, but the idea that these attributes of Mind-as-such are everlasting is quite alien to the limited ego-mind. The Course tells us immortality is the constant state of immortal Spirit, or Mind-as-such, i.e., God. In contrast with this constancy of Spirit, the ego has its own much less permanent, "constant" characteristics such as guilt, pain, anger, fear, vacillation, hate and temporary desires. Only by keeping our Vision focused constantly on Communion within God, and by letting go all ego, will we wake up in the Constancy of His Eternal Beingness.
contemplation: There is a much quicker way to reunite with God than through any form of contemplation. Three elements comprise this rapid way to awakening: (a) to forget the body in the now moment, (b) to establish a holy relationship with any brother right now, and (c) to realize, "I need do nothing," and thus let the Holy Spirit do everything. Any contemplation or meditation should only be concerned with emptying our minds and doing nothing, other than letting God come into our minds in His Way. (See: W-pI.189.7,8:all) Even if, just for an instant--now--we are willing to see no past or future, release from ego is given us, now. It is also a literal waste of time to try to reach At-one-ment by fighting against "sin" and ego. We need not look to the future for release through endless contemplation because release is given us the moment, now, that we remember, "I need do nothing." Only the ego does things, and only on behalf of the body. We can let the Holy Spirit do everything It wishes through us.
content (as essential substance): The Course constantly contrasts "form" and "content" in order to
counteract our ego-tendency to confuse these two concepts. Real Content is only
God's Mind-as-such and His Eternal Thoughts (e.g., Sons, and also Love, Light,
Peace, Joy, Happiness, Freedom, Knowledge) which are abstract.
The Course points out that all forms (i.e., outward configurations, structures and appearances) constantly come and go, shift and change, whereas the content (i.e., the essential "substance" of which anything is made) is, except in the case of the ego, more solid and durable. As ego we tend to assess, judge and value the things and people we see in terms of superficial qualities and appearances (the form), both psychological and physical. In doing so we tend to ignore their inner spiritual "essence" (the content); indeed, we confuse it with the complexities of the ego. The major reason for this confusion of form and content is that we look at everyone and everything through the eyes of the ego which is our superficial form of perceiving and relating. Only when we see and evaluate others as Children of God, as Pure Mind-Beings (their Real content) by using the Vision of our own inner Christ-Self (our Real Content) will we see the Real world too.
content, contented (verb): We are asked in the Course not to be contented by anything of the ego, but always to be content with the attributes of God, His Reality, and His Will. Thus only salvation, healing, Magnitude, Power, Glory, Peace, Happiness, Love, Certainty and, indeed, Everything Real can content us.
continuous: Past, present and future are not continuous and this is a very important lesson we must all learn. The holy instant, in each now moment, can "jump" us into a quite different state of Mind because in that moment the Holy Spirit can manifest miracles for us to change the course of our lives. While the past, present and future are not continuous, all Creation is. Every Being is continuous with God and exists as One within His Mind-as-such. "Continuous" means there are no breaks, or gaps, or divisions, or levels, and One means total Oneness, Now.
contradiction: The ego is a contradiction. It is full of contradictions such as polarities, conflicting goals, warring emotions, double standards, opposing ideas and incompatible special relationships. Note well that every ego has a very distorted, insane set of fairytale beliefs about God and His Kingdom which stands in contradiction (as an ego-polarity) to its own everyday self-concept identity. How can we live with this insanity for a moment longer? We do not have to. The Laws of the Universe of God do not permit contradiction, so none of it is real. Through gratitude, willingness and forgiveness we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, undo these dreams of contradiction and return Home quickly.
contrast: The Course uses contrasts and differences only as teaching aids. The main contrast drawn is between spiritual and non-spiritual things, situations, and relationships. Thus sanity is contrasted with insanity, darkness with Light, and the holy relationship with the unholy. When we understand these differences we begin to attain Christ's Vision and realize that insanity, darkness, unholy relationships, etc., are not Real. But it was through first contrasting of the Real and unreal that we learned, finally, the Truth. Note that almost all the contrasts used as teaching aids in the Course are vertical dualities contrasting the Real and the unreal, while polarities (as same-level opposites) all occur within the ego horizontally as "positive" and negative valences, e.g., elation versus depression.
control: The word "control" is used in a variety of contexts in the Course and each has its own subtle variation of meaning. The ego is in a constant dance to maintain control over our minds and it strives to achieve this precarious control by means of fantasies, fears, false needs, magic thoughts, guilt-making, sickness, past experiences, pain, punishments, lies, miscommunications, attack thoughts, projections, future payoffs and special relationships. The mind, however, cannot serve two masters, namely ego and Spirit. Mind is always free to choose one or the other. The ego's control is tyrannical, whereas once we have placed our minds under the "control" of Spiritual "Authority" we are free to do what we like--as long as it is done Lovingly. Voluntarily putting our present lives under the "control" of Jesus enables him to facilitate our spiritual growth through his continual Loving guidance and miracles.
conviction: Both the ego and Spirit have their convictions about what is true. On the other hand both the ego and Spirit are certain that the convictions (i.e., firm beliefs) of the other are false. Furthermore, the ego and Spirit each have their own set of witnesses to prove one is right and the other is wrong. Conviction, then, is an essential attribute of mind, a sure knowing that the beliefs it holds are correct and attested to. The question now comes down to which "belief" system is True because to believe one is to doubt (lose conviction in) the other. The Course asks us to check out (test) the Truth through personal experience--by actual results. Belief and faith are fine, the integrity and veracity of the witnesses for the ego and for Spirit can be established, and the degree of sane reasoning for both points of view examined, but none of these is a valid substitute for a direct experience of God. There are, however, several experiential methods in the Course for getting ready for this God-experience. We can give and receive miracles. We can gain conviction by teaching only Love and so learn that is what we are. We can practice the spiritual ideas in the Course Lessons and repeat them (live them) with deep conviction. We can trust our brothers as Sons of God, and we can be willing to wake up from the dream.
correction: All the effects of the separation--ego, sin, sickness, attack and fear--are merely errors that call for correction, not punishment or rejection. The Course regards "sin" as a mistaken dream that we can correct quite easily through the At-one-ment process, one aspect of which is right-mindedness. This correction process is multifaceted because it involves forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, miracles, and the relinquishment of one's own ego. These, in their turn, call for the withdrawal of all judgment, condemnation and projections onto those whom we perceive to be in error, including ourselves (because some of us "beat-up" on ourselves for guilt about "sinning"). The At-one-ment, then, is the correction of perception and erroneous beliefs until all our relationships become holy and God takes the final step. The Holy Spirit (or Voice, or Guide) will give us the Vision to see the Truth which will correct all our errors and any we cannot handle will be canceled out by Jesus if we ask him.
corruptible, corruption: The Course uses these words in the sense of increasing decay or rottenness usually associated with "sin" and "evil." Death and destruction are the ultimate result of the corruption of the body, something the ego believes in and values because it keeps us in a state of fear and worry. Sickness, punishment and guilt are meted out by the ego to ensure we believe we are corruptible, physically and mentally. Death and disease are dangled over our heads as threats to demonstrate that we are all vulnerable to corruption, and the ego reminds us constantly we will all succumb in the end. None of this is True; it is only a ploy of the separated ego to prevent us from awakening to the Fact that every last one of us is an indestructible, changeless, eternal Son of God.
cost: Our belief in "sin" and separation needs great defense on our part as egos, and the cost is enormous; we give up peace, Heaven and our Identities as Children of God. But that is not all. The ego demands its own price for our belief in "sin" even though it hides any connection, and so the cost of "sin" is death, which takes many forms. Even our little fleeting pleasures we "enjoy" at the cost of pain. Spiritual Vision, however, has no cost to anyone and it is given to us freely through the Holy Spirit who will lead us out of illusions to Truth. Once we decide for God and accept His Plan, Everything is given us at no cost at all. In Fact, we already have It.
Course (A Course In Miracles): The Course refers to itself many times, too many to elaborate on here. There are, however, key characteristics of the Course which call for mention. Note, first, that it is a Course in miracles, and it is miracles of Love we will receive as we practice it. It is also a Course in mind training which is a required one, in that everyone must take it in some form, sooner or later. Therefore we must let our minds be trained. Because the Course manifests miracles of Love and because there is no order of difficulty in miracles, we can expect to receive them without any (ego) cause and effect connection. This means the Holy Spirit will bring them to pass non-stop if we are willing to accept the At-one-ment process, i.e., God's Plan. The Course will help us remember our Identity as Sons of God, and thus escape from fear and separation to our goal of Oneness, Happiness and Peace.
create, creations: The word "create"
and its variations is reserved, in the Course, for the creation of Mind-Beings
either by God Himself or by the Mind-Beings whom He created. All other things,
including everything from bodies to physical universes, are made,
manifested or manufactured by those Mind-Beings. All structured form-as-such
is not created; it is made by Mind-Beings who may appear to reside
"inside" those forms, so-to-speak, but are not themselves form. Thus
we humans, as Mind-Beings, may reside in bodies which are in a
physical universe that we have made (and continuously make, now,) but we are neither
those bodies nor the universe. Bodies, universes and all things of form
exist only as temporary images in our Minds-as-such, even when those
forms may seem to be temporarily "inhabited" by Mind-Beings
like our Selves. Mind-Beings are eternally alive in the Mind of God. When God
creates a Mind-Being He takes a "piece" of His Mind,
"encapsulates" It in Love, and maintains It as His Son by continuously
thinking about It forever. Thus, we as Mind-Beings are a "piece" of
God's Mind (eternally in His Mind) who possess all God's
attributes including the ability to create. As humans, in the bodies-of-form we
made, we have given up our God-given power to create other Mind-Beings, for the
duration of the separation. All we do here, in this dreamworld of form, is
"manufacture" temporary bodies reproductively, which existing
Mind-Beings can possess for a while.
The Course affirms that any thing that is temporary and changing is not Real. Only the eternal is Real, therefore material bodies and universes are unreal, temporary, manifested (i.e., made) forms. The Course asserts, God knows not form. (T-30.III.4:5) Therefore all temporary, non-abstract forms (i.e., things) are being continuously "made" by Mind-Beings in their imaginations, individually or collectively. Not all unreal formed-things are material; many temporary manifestations, such as egos (self-images/concepts), night-time dreams, ego-goals, ego-beliefs, ego-emotions, etc., are thought-forms that are equally unreal. Even the ego's usual beliefs about God and Heaven are so bizarre they are a total distortion of Reality. Nothing this world believes is true. (W-pI.139.7.1)
There is nothing outside the Mind of God, and all the Mind-Beings created by God (or who are created in a similar way by Mind-Beings) exist only in the Mind of God as pure Minds within His Mind. Thus all Real creation is an extension of the Mind of God within His Mind--so we have, in creation, Minds within Minds within God's Mind. All this creation does not occur in time or space because these are structural illusions of form made (not created) by Mind. Note that our Minds-as-such never leave their Source (i.e., God's Mind-as-such) and neither do the Mind-Beings we create leave their source (our Minds-as-such). Therefore all Mind-Beings exist only in the Mind of God eternally. Furthermore since the Mind of God has always existed, so must have all Mind-Beings who are all pieces of His Mind. The piece of God's Mind that we are always existed even before God encapsulated it in Love and granted it Individuality as His Son within Himself. Even if that Son creates more Sons they all exist in the Kingdom which is God's Mind like, by analogy, bubbles within bubbles within a Bubble. Read the last quotation below very carefully for Knowledge, especially the final sentence. Also read the next entry below on "Creator."
Creator (God, the Father): When we were created our Creator made us out of a "piece" of His Own Mind-as-such exactly like Himself in every way with all his attributes including the ability to create. The only difference between the Creator and His creations is that He created them and they did not create Him. We should be in awe of the Creator, but not in awe of His creations, who are like us. The Creator creates only Sons within His Kingdom--which is His Mind-as-such. The Creator does not create anything that has form, including bodies, worlds, or even physical universes because all form is an illusion. The Creator did create the Holy Spirit which is not so much a Being-as-such, but rather God's own communication system through which He and the Sonship can keep in touch with us separated ones whenever we are willing to make that contact. All the Sonship are co-creators with the Creator in the sense that the Sons can also create perfect Mind-Beings who are exactly like themselves and the Creator. When the Sons co-create more Sons within the Sonship they extend the Kingdom of the Creator within the Mind of the Creator Himself. The Creator's Mind is His Kingdom, outside of which is nothing. No co-creations of the Sons ever leave the Sons' Minds or the Mind of their Creator. Nothing Real is outside the Mind of God the Creator. All creation and co-creation of Beings (Sons) is perfect. Within the Mind of God (i.e., His Kingdom or Heaven which includes His creations and co-creations) is perfect Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Happiness and Knowledge (direct Knowing). All the Sons Love, Praise and Glorify their Creator, and overflow with gratitude to Him for the Gifts of Life (i.e., Love, Light, Peace, etc.). Our problem as human beings is that we have deliberately forgotten all of this, because we are willfully dreaming a dream of dissociated separation from our Creator, a dream of form that is not True. We are the Sons who "dropped out," or rather, "dropped into" an amnesic coma of our own making.
criteria (for right choices): The
Holy Spirit's criteria, or guidelines, for interpreting the needs and reactions
of others are very simple: We are to:
1. Accept only loving thoughts in others and for others--without any rejections, and,
2. See everything else as an appeal for help.
Even fear itself is an appeal for help. This is
essential to understanding attack as a call for Love. Both fear and attack are
symptoms of deep loss and we can learn to supply that loss in both ourselves and
others with Love. Lesson 133 lists the real criteria with which we can test all
things we think we want. They are:
1. If the thing we choose does not last forever it is valueless.
2. If I take anything away from someone else it is valueless.
3. Does its purpose serve the ego's (often hidden) goals or those of the Holy Spirit?
4. If I feel any guilt, the ego's goals are involved in the choice.
When using these criteria we must be aware of being
confused and misled by the ego's propensity for complexity. The choices
are very simple. The Text (in the form of questions we can ask ourselves) lists
the criteria by which we can, "choose the stairs to Heaven," and undo
attack thoughts. They are:
1. How do you feel? (Are you truly happy?)
2. Is peace in your awareness?
3. Are you certain which way you go?
4. Are you sure the goal of Heaven can be reached?
If we are not sure of our answers to these questions we can ask the Holy Spirit to join with us and give us certainty of where we go.
cross: The cross has been the symbol for Christianity for some 2,000 years but Jesus Himself now replaces this with the resurrection. The cross, then, becomes a symbol of the ego because it represents pain, death, suffering and separation. Our egos not only "nail" others to this cross of suffering and separation through revenge, judgment and punishment, but also ourselves through guilt and victimhood. The Answer to all this ego-insanity is the At-one-ment process that frees us from our self-imposed chains and crosses at the same time as we free ourselves and others through our forgiveness. It is by this means we rediscover, deep within our selves Love, Peace and Life through the resurrection of the inner Christ-Self. [See next entry]
crucifixion (of one another): Crucifixion (and its fundamental purpose) is re-evaluated in the Course. It can be examined from the viewpoint of the ego or the viewpoint of Spirit. The ego always sees crucifixion through the eyes of the perpetrator, or, more usually, through the eyes of the victim. The perpetrator justifiably attacks and "nails" any ego-threatening person (who is Really a Christ) to a metaphorical cross as a defensive measure. The individual thus "nailed" sees himself (through his ego's eyes) as a victim and hates the perpetrator for crucifying him. In this perpetual ego-game he does not die but lives to fight (crucify someone who is also a Son of God) another day and take revenge. In this manner do we, as egos, constantly crucify one another -- defensively, of course! Defense is always our excuse to attack another/others and crucify him/her/them. Through the eyes of Spirit any crucifixion of ourselves and others is seen as an insanity of the ego that must be undone.
crucifixion (of Jesus): Jesus' own crucifixion is also re-interpreted in the Course. The whole emphasis is moved from the cross and crucifixion to the resurrection. The idea that Jesus was a sacrifice for humankind is a notion totally unknown to God. The belief in assault, crucifixion and death as real is a projection by the ego. Jesus was not "punished" because we were, or are, "sinful" or "bad." Assault of any kind (which can only be made on bodies) is impossible because neither assault (even unto death) nor bodies are Real. The True message of the crucifixion is that only Life, Innocence, Peace and Love are Real and it is the resurrection which bears witness to these as eternal attributes of all Sons of God. Remember Love is for giving. The following quotations from Jesus speak for themselves.
The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. Many sincere Christians have misunderstood this. No one who is free of the belief in scarcity could possibly make this mistake. If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which arose out of projection, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. (T-3.I.1:2-6)
cruel: Pain, death, loss, sickness, terror, hate, desolation, war and even time itself are the seeming cruel concomitants of this world. And therefore God, too, is very cruel if we believe He created this world of pain, death and misery. We humans value cruelty highly whenever we judge others, condemn them, and attack or punish them, even though we sometimes rationalize these acts righteously as training procedures (e.g., negative reinforcement) and self-defense. The Course is very straight-forward when it mirrors back to us our insane cruel notions, projections and beliefs about this world. Fortunately for us God did not create it or it would be Real and Eternal. We made this world (as separated Sons who dreamed a dream of a false reality) and therefore it is all illusion and can be undone with the help of the Holy Spirit.
cure: What the ego considers a cure for the ills and sorrows of this world is actually the ego's own magical remedies which shift us from one set of symptoms to another, one illness to another, or one situation to another. These, at best, are temporary palliatives which sedate or ameliorate a continuing succession of misfortunes. Thus the ego "sets us up" in this world of illusion, then sets about relieving or counteracting its own rigged manipulations. One of the favorite devices of the ego is to "drop" a conflict from out of our minds into the body turning the mental conflict or dis-ease into a physical illness or disease. We then see the problem as an "objective" bodily one and escape having to deal with it as a psychological one. Unfortunately this does not work because ideas, even in the form of conflicts, cannot leave their source in our minds; they only appear to do so. Only undoing the ego, willingness to return Home, listening to the Holy Spirit, forgiving everyone totally, seeing everyone as a Child of God and silencing the ego-mind to experience God, Will Truly cure us.
curriculum: The Course is the curriculum, given us by Jesus, by means of which we can wake up in God if we are willing. All Courses follow a curriculum and this Course's curriculum gently leads us through the At-one-ment process from our present state of separation and ego all the way to the "gates of Heaven" where God will take the final step. Spirit establishes the content and methods of this spiritual, but very practical, curriculum; we do not. In fact the Course is the opposite of the curriculum the ego establishes. In its wisdom the curriculum of the Course is divided into three parts: the Text which gives us the theoretical foundation, the Workbook which is the practical method and means, and the Manual for Teachers which guides those who choose to help others learn the content.
curse: We, who would be special and who are the slaves of specialness, curse God for not making our dreams of a false reality here real. We pray for more and more forms of specialness and even see the loss of sin as a curse because it is forcefulness and competition that will get us what our egos want. Even the body's frailty and weakness, which are designed to further the ego's goal of separation, are seen as a curse in this world of contradictions. But as we let our minds be healed by the Holy Spirit, our (now) neutral bodies and our (now) changed perceptions are recognized as blessings and not a curse. It is by changing the mind's beliefs, purposes and desires (goals) that allows miracles to happen. It is the ego that curses, and perceives insults and curses coming from others; it is Christ's Vision in us which blesses, heals and understands all attack as an appeal for help, a call for Love.
damn, damnation: To damn someone is to condemn him or her to punishment, often eternal, for some sin or slight. Traditionally, many have believed God damns sinners to hell for unforgivable transgressions. The Course states quite clearly that to hold such beliefs is all part of the ego's plan for its own continuing survival. God, in fact, never judged anyone, except to confirm his Sonhood, and God never condemns anyone because He is only Love. Loving communication and forgiveness are the Holy Spirit's Answer to all judgment and damnation. Spiritual Freedom lies in realizing all damning and damnation are the erroneous shared beliefs of frightened egos who project and accept the idea that sin, judgment, condemnation and punishment are real, whereas, in Reality, they do not exist. Note, too, that sin, judgment, condemnation and damnation are always our personal evaluations (no matter how many may agree with us) based on our personal beliefs; what is a sin for one person may be a freedom or good idea for another. The Course states all "sin" is only error, easily correctable through forgiveness, tolerance, open-mindedness and Love.
danger, dangerous: We, as separated ones, have made an insane nightmare world of dangerous, destructive opposites. In many of these opposites the implements of one polarity are the same as, or as deadly as, the implements of the other. Guns are used for murder, and for defense against murder! "Poisons" are used to counteract diseases or rid us of bugs. We indulge in dangerous sports and activities (or watch them) for the fear-laden thrill, or to beat the other person. We kill plants, trees, and animals to stave off our own eventual death by eating them or using them for shelter, etc. We adjust ourselves to a world made fearful by our adjustments! (See first quotation.) This is the world we made up. It is not Real. It is not there at all. It is all based on "sin," fear, attack and judgment; a way of "life" we have made for ourselves and imposed on ourselves. In Fact, we are in danger nowhere in the world because as God's Sons we are safe wherever we may be because God is there with us. Do not generalize danger from one person to another, or to yourself.
darkness: Darkness is a lack of Light. While we are separated from God we exist in a state of illusion called "darkness." In this dissociated (split) state of mind we seem to live in a dark ego-world comprised of sin, guilt, pain, sickness, hate, suffering, misery, sadness, depression, secrets, grievances, evil, scarcity, judgment, condemnation, punishment, death, weakness, denial, conflict, deceit, envy, attack, war, ignorance, terror, cruelty, loneliness, doubt, specialness, confusion, distraction, turmoil, shadows, rage, chaos, projection, blame, struggle, fantasy, barriers, abandonment, rejection, despair, error and all their so-called "positive" polarities. The Course mentions all these dark properties of the ego, and more, all of which derive from our immersion in fear. When we willingly accept the At-one-ment healing process of looking within ourselves (not outside), of withdrawing our projections onto others and of universally forgiving them, the Light within us will shine away all darkness, forever. We must always remember that darkness in any form has no power over the Son of God.
dark companions: We, strangely, cling to pain, fear and grief as a limited, unhappy way of life in this world ruled by our egos. Pain, fear and grief are our guests, our dark companions, whom we have invited to accompany us on this dark journey of separation. We may endeavor to convince ourselves we would never welcome pain, fear and grief as friends, but if that were so why are they still with us? Why are we fearful of our own impulses and those of others? Why do we inflict pain on ourselves and others in our own relationships and in society? Why do we suffer grief when no one ever dies? Pain, fear and grief, as our dark companions, are all part of the separation package which includes their opposite polarities such as distracting psychological analgesics (e.g., food, etc.), antidotes to fear (e.g., guns, locks, etc.), and solaces for grief (e.g., a good cry, a sympathetic shoulder). We have no need of these dark companions or comforters, and, while we must not try to rid ourselves of them falsely by projection or repression, we can let them go in the Light by releasing them to God's Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Pain, fear and grief are illusions of darkness which can only disappear in the Great Light. Then we will not see them anywhere because they are not Real. By sharing God's Love and Peace we find Love and Peace, and discover it is universal.
dawn: The dawn is the first coming of the light which the Course uses as a symbol for the initial appearance in our conscious minds of a variety of eternal truths. These first glimmerings of remembering that we and all our brothers are One in God need to be carefully nurtured, for in them lies our inner treasure of Love, Light, Peace and Joy. Specifically the Course mentions that Wholeness, Truth, Reality, Knowledge, Light, and the remembrance of God will dawn in our Minds once we let all illusions go and allow defenselessness to take their place.
deaf: This word, as used in the Course, refers to deafness of the ego to the Voice for God, the Holy Spirit. We, as busy-busy, preoccupied egos, do not want to hear the messages from Spirit, or the many witnesses (such as the Course itself) that speak loudly to us of God's Love. The Course says quite clearly we need to relinquish everything that clutters up the mind with meaningless nonsense, and makes it deaf to reason, sanity and simple truth. As a little child once said, "I didn't hear you, my ear-lids were shut." We must open our mental ear-lids wide to hear what the Voice for God (the Course) is telling us and act on it now.
death, dead: The idea of death and dying is one of the most powerful delusions we separated ones believe in. There is no death! But we have made our belief in death into the linch-pin of the whole chaotic structure of the ego in order to maintain our separation from God and one another as His Sons. The ego manages to achieve this by locking us into our identification with our bodies, affirming they are real and will surely die. Our little physical lives, then, become narrowly focused on staving off death for as long as possible because the threat of death takes many forms; sickness and injury, loneliness and despair, poverty and homelessness, mental "death" and insanity, the loss of others, murder and mayhem, disasters and chance "accidents," poisons and pollution, aging and deterioration, the list goes on and on. Have the Enlightened Ones who have walked (or are walking) this earth been concerned with these bodily preoccupations? Did (and do) they run to palliatives and distractions to allay the ego's illusory fears of death in any of its forms? No, because they knew (and know) that in Reality there are no bodies and that the whole ego scenario of death and dying is a fiction, a dream. We are Eternal Mind Beings within the Mind of God and once we waken (our resurrection) to this fact through the Atonement process all interest in any form of death or bodies disappears for ever. Is Jesus alive, now? He never died! And nor do we. Note that the attraction of the idea of death, our fascination with it, is the third obstacle to Peace. (See: T-19.IV.C.all) We can no more die than God can die, because we Live in Him and are of Him! We are Life Eternal.
deceit, deception: The ego is the great deceiver in this world of separation and appearances. It is the archetypal trickster who fools us into false thinking about everything here because nothing this world believes is true. (See: W-pI.139.7:1) For example all the ego's beliefs about the nature of God are incorrect, whereas God Himself never deceives us. (See: W-pI.164.9:6) Any sickness, fear, anger, guilt, judgment or conflict is a sure sign that the ego is deceiving us and that we must undo the problem, give it to the Holy Spirit and choose again. Deceit includes hypocrisy, double standards, and self-deception. To prevent its own dismantling by the At-one-ment process of healing, the ego will pull every deceptive tactic from its bag of tricks including evasion, denial, disguise, projection, displacement, and the use of euphemisms (e.g., "share" for "anger"). There are four criteria in Lesson 133 by which we can establish whether the ego is deceiving us about the value of anything. These four real criteria are: (1) If it does not last forever it is valueless. (2) If you take it from someone else it is valueless. (3) If its purpose is to serve the ego's little goals it is valueless. (4) If you feel any guilt it is valueless.
decide, decision: The Course contains many references to deciding and decision-making but they all boil down to one situation; do we decide to go with ego, or do we allow the Holy Spirit to decide for God for us. God will never decide against us. God has given us Everything, not of bodies and other forms, but His Mind-as-such and His Attributes of Love, Light, Peace, Joy, Knowledge, Freedom and so on. What more could we want or wish for. But we can only find these Gifts of God deep in our Minds when we decide we want Them, and that we are willing to allow Spirit to show us the way to Them. There are no alternatives or polarities other than the duality of Truth or illusion to decide about. And we need not wait on time for the miracles to happen when we decide for Truth. Once we decide for Truth and Loving Oneness we decide to have Joy and Peace and the Glory of Creation.
dedicate, dedication: We may dedicate ourselves to Truth or illusion, but, because Truth is the absence of illusion, we cannot dedicate ourselves to both. Note that dedication is a stronger, more steadfast and goal-oriented term than mere determination. The Course states that Truth and illusion cannot exist together nor be perceived in the same place. The ego is dedicated to insanity, projection, special relationships, loneliness, bodies, sin, death and illusions, whereas those who are right-minded are dedicated to Truth, Peace, salvation, the At-one-ment and to God. Our dedication to Truth and the undoing of illusion need entail no sacrifice or strain, and all the power of Heaven guarantees the accomplishment of our spiritual goal.
defense, defensiveness: For many who are on a spiritual path defensiveness is a major problem
because the Course states that the Christ-Self is defenseless. Thus, while most
of us may strive never to initiate any form of attack, it is much more difficult
not to be defensive when we seem to perceive ourselves as being attacked
by others. But all defensiveness is attack, and both only perpetuate the
ego's endless circles of fear, anger, blame and projection. We habitually see
the body as weak and easily assaulted, and easy prey to attacks of all kinds,
including diseases and assaults by ourselves or others; this includes verbal
assaults, however mild. But the body needs no complicated structures of defense,
no medicines and no concern at all. Without defenses we can become lights
"which Heaven gratefully acknowledges to be its own." (See: Lesson
135) We only defend illusions against illusions.
There are many psychological defenses the ego uses to protect its own core identity (and false stability) as a variable belief system within our minds. Some of these defenses (which can occur in all kinds of special relationships) are as follows.
confusion: The ego "loves" to keep us confused so we cannot Know the Truth.
denial: The ego will promptly deny anything that seriously threatens its integrity.
detachment: The ego gradually shifts away from threatening situations or people and what they represent.
dissociation: Whenever the ego is internally faced with two diametrically opposed parts of itself it splits in two (or more) pieces and hides ("walls off") one part--usually the dark unacceptable aspect which is a threat.
distancing: This is a milder form of detachment. The threatening person or situation remains in proximity but is kept at a safe distance psychologically and physically.
flight: When a threatening person or situation becomes potentially damaging to the ego (and its body) the "victim" decides to run away. This flight can be physical or psychological (dissociation/repression) or both.
projection: Much of the split-off content of our unconscious (subconscious) minds is projected out by the ego onto other people or groups. Negative unconscious content is projected by the ego onto many kinds of "enemies" whereas "positive" unconscious content is projected onto friends, close relatives and idols in order to get the egoís needs satisfied.
regression: Psychologically this is a "going back" to an earlier phase of our present lifetime because the ego decides (from prior learning) that a retreat to that earlier phase will (a) surely protect it, or, (b) get it what it wants. Examples of ego-protection-by-regression would be adult panic attacks or adult temper tantrums. Examples of ego-getting-by-regression would be adult baby-talk in a special relationship, or a preoccupation with toys. More serious forms of psychological regressions may occur in the face of trauma.
withdrawal: This is much the same as psychological detachment and distancing, but usually withdrawal includes minimal communication or even silence.
withholding: In special relationships this is a form of indirect attack in which some source of satisfaction or "reward" is withheld by one person (or group) until the other person (or group) conforms to or complies with the first personís (or groupís) demands or wishes.
defenselessness: Defenselessness is our safety and strength. It is our recognition of the Christ in us. This is a key idea in the Course because any defense stems from fear and attack, and is of the ego. Salvation and enlightenment are impossible while any fear and defensiveness remain in us. Paradoxically our greatest real defense is defenselessness, which, in essence, is Innocent Love, truly unconditional. Nothing happens by chance or accident, and so it is not danger that comes to us when we lay down all fear and defensiveness, and have trust in God's Plan for us; what comes to us, then, is His Safety, Peace, Joy and eternal Love.
define: We, as egos, incorrectly define God, ourselves, our relationships, our world, our lives, our goals and our functions here. Almost all of these misperceptions arise because, as we erroneously see it, we think the part defines the Whole; in other words, from what we observe about the bits and pieces we have made on this side of our separation from God we extrapolate what God, His Kingdom and His Attributes must be like. Here are some examples: We punish "sin" so we define God as a punishing parent. We see a world of matter, time and space, therefore Heaven is an ideal 3-D realm. Because we are very conditional in our patchwork of love-relationships, God, too, is seen as parsimonious and unfair, being kinder to some than to others. Because here in this world we have to pass exams and work for success, personal Enlightenment is going to require lots of effort and an acing of many merit tests, mostly set by Spirit. Of course, all this is insane nonsense. Only by re-experiencing God directly can we Know Him. Any undoing of ego is not a testing situation, or "goodness," or ego-achievement; it is simply clearing out the piled-up illusory junk in our minds which covers our Love, Light, Peace and Joy--all of which God has given us before time began.
definition(s): Our definitions of both this world of illusion and God must be replaced by those given us in the Course if we are to be saved from ego. Our own beliefs and definitions are mostly upside-down and based on the ego's definitions of guilt and sin. The quotations below are self-explanatory and can be studied carefully so that clarity can undo our confusion. To the ego, all Sons of God, being guiltless, are guilty, because they, as Sons, do not believe in sin, guilt, attack, judgment, condemnation and punishment. Clearly this ego viewpoint is insane, yet we "crucify" Sons of God (our brothers) every day.
degrees: There are no degrees in terms of time in Reality, because time is an illusion. Thus intervals of time, which would seem necessary if degrees or stages (of, say, healing a sickness or problem) are experienced, are equally illusions. So, too, is the problem, or sickness, or accomplishment itself an illusion in our world of separation and ego-made manifestations. Even perception did not "exist" until the separation introduced degrees, aspects and intervals. The Holy Spirit cannot distinguish between degrees of error or sickness because there is only one fundamental problem/error, the separation, and only one Answer, the At-one-ment. Therefore, as we appear to move through the At-one-ment healing process we can constantly take comfort in the Fact that none of it is True in Reality.
delay: Procrastination, in terms of returning Home, is a major characteristic of the separated ones. We often seek to delay the undoing of the ego (and giving it to the Holy Sprit) even when we are on a spiritual path. Delay by wandering is the major interference we impose on God's Plan for our return Home (the At-one-ment). On the other hand God wills no delay to impede our joyous Homecoming, but He will never interfere with our free will to delay ourselves if we so wish. If we give each day, each second, to the Holy Spirit, He will speed our waking up in God, because the Holy Spirit knows the way to Him.
deliverance: Our deliverance is from all effects of "sin," ego, death, guilt, suffering, specialness, and separation, none of which is real. The Course affirms we are entitled to full or complete deliverance from all forms of separation and suffering as a gift of healing by the Holy Spirit. We are delivered from the bondage and imprisonment of this ego-world to Freedom, eternal Safety and everlasting Love through the At-one-ment process, which, in turn, is accomplished through our forgiveness of all Sons of God, everywhere, including all humans. Note that we cause all this suffering to ourselves, and that our deliverance rests on being willing to withdraw all our projections of blame onto others--and ourselves. Miracles will help us do this if we trust in God.
delusion, delusional: In our state of separation and ego we have many delusions. Some of these delusions are: (a) that we are the author of ourselves, when God is, (b) that we can oppose the Will of God--we cannot, (c) that Truth will assail us--it will not, and (d) that God can get angry at us when He is only Love. We separated ones live in a delusional dreamworld of our own making, a world of chaos and contradictory confusions based on fear, not Love. To avoid and compensate for fear, and the depression and suffering it brings, we may resort to inflationary grandiosity (elation of the ego) as a bipolar swing which is equally delusional. Our Grandeur as Sons of God created by Him is not a delusion, but singular Truth.
demand: Only the ego demands, and makes demands on us. Since we are identified with our egos all of us demand sacrifice from others or ourselves. Mostly we project this demanding stance onto others because it is fearful to accept it as our own. Some of us assume the role of victims so we can project the demanding role onto others and thus see them as the guilty ones, but victimhood is merely our own disguised dominance through our placing of blame (outwards) on those others as "sinful dominators." The ego also demands specialness in relationships because it believes "love" is scarce and must be conserved, rather than shared equally with everyone. When it comes to demanding love the ego is competitive, selective, possessive and preferential rather than loving. By contrast the God of resurrection demands nothing being only giving of Everything. The Son of God also acts only out of Love for everyone, equally.
demonstrate: The ego seeks to demonstrate that error (e.g., sin, guilt, faults, assault, etc.), is real and Truth is error; the Holy Spirit demonstrates the Truth is True through miracles, healing, forgiveness and our growing awareness of God. This awareness of God's Love and the Oneness of His Creation in His Mind-as-such is all a part of the At-one-ment process. Our natural state is, in Truth, a State of Grace in God.
denial, deny: The Course uses these words in two different contexts; (a) the ego's denial of Reality, and (b) Spirit's denial of illusion. The first form is the powerful psychological mechanism of denial used by the ego to convince both the person using it and others, that something important to healing or Reality is not so, or does not exist, or is not True. In this "it is not so" sense the ego denies (or, "is in denial of") a long list of Spiritual Facts, here presented in alphabetical order with their reference codes if you wish to look them up.
The following list of the ego's denials is by no means exhaustive.
your Brother (T-13.VIII.9:3) & (T-27.II.14:4)
the Christ (T-24.VI.7:3)
Everything (Real) (T-8.IV.1:8)
the Father (T-4.III.4:3) & (T-11.V.16:9)
Free Will (T-8.II.3:3)
Guide (Holy Spirit) (T-4.III.2:4)
Heaven (T-14.IV.9:2) & (W-pI.165.4:1)
Heritage (as Sons) (W-pI.167.10:1)
Identity (as Self) (W-pI.191:all)
the Kingdom (T-7.X.2:7) & (T-8.II.6:6)
Knowledge (T-9.VII.7:3) & (T-13.IX.8:12)
Life (T-10.V.1:6) & (M-27.2:5)
Love (T-7.VI.4:7) & (T-10.V.14:1)
Mind (as-such) (T-9.V.4:5)
the Real World (T-21.VII.11:3)
the Self (T-1.VII.1:6)
the Spark (of Light in us) (T-10.V.2:5)
Spiritual Sight (T-1.I.22:3)
the Son (T-11.I.5:8)
the Source (M-7.6:4)
the Thought of God (W-pI.165.Heading)
Truth (T-9.I.11:1) & (T-16.V.14:3)
Unity/Union (T-12.I.10:6) & (W-pI.184.8:7)
the Will of God (W-pII.309.1:3)
On the other hand, in a more subtle way, the Course states it is beneficial (and we must use discernment here) when in a right-minded state, for us to deny the reality of all illusions such as:
destructive potential (T-2.V.5:4)
illusions (T-10.III.7:2-3) & (T-26.V.12:4)
separation (T-12.VI.7:1) & (T-26.VII.2:2)
sin (T-24.IV.4:5) & (T-26.III.2:6)
split mind (T-11.VIII.9:2)
world (of ego) (T-8.IV.3:8) & (T-13.VII.2:1)
However, this beneficial denial of the reality of these illusions must not be confused with, or take the form of, repression, splitting off, displacement, neurotic denial, disguise, or other ego-devices with which the ego maintains its control and identity. (For more on this see Workbook Lesson 333.) The Course asks us to keep an open mind, one without any dark secrets hidden from God, Self or the Holy Spirit. (See: hide, open, secrets)
depend, dependence: Only God is dependable and our whole creative function as His Sons lies in our complete dependence on Him. The ego is undependable in its vagaries and madness, and our dependence on its autonomy as a belief system is costing us our Knowledge of God which is where our Freedom lies. When we depend fully on God He gives us complete Freedom because He is Free and we are His Sons with all His Attributes, which He freely gave us when he created us as Minds within His Mind. We can depend fully on God and His Love for Everything. Jesus also freely gives us his teachings in the Course so that we can likewise teach and share God's Ideas (Knowledge) and Love.
depression: Our depression in this world of ego comes from a sense of being deprived of something we want and do not have. The Course states that depression occurs whenever we have distorted Reality, forsworn God and lost sight of the At-one-ment as a goal. Depression is an inevitable consequence of our illusory separation from God. Thus, although in the ego-world depression may be temporarily counteracted by toys, trinkets, distractions, special relationships, drugs, success, etc., the only permanent Answer is to reconnect with Spirit, to reunite with God, to wake up and re-experience the Oneness of His Mind-as-such. In order to wake up, all we have to do is forgive everyone, forget we are bodies and place the future in the Hands of God. This will give us the experience of Peace and Joy.
deprivation, deprive: Only the ego believes in deprivation because it believes in scarcity and the lack of Joy and Love. Special relationships of all kinds are particularly susceptible to beliefs involving deprivations, with each partner blaming the other for them. We even hesitate to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance fearing that He will deprive us of what little we seem to have. The Course states very emphatically that only we can deprive ourselves of anything; furthermore the realization that only we can deprive ourselves of anything is the true beginning of the dawn of Light in our Minds. We cannot be deprived of anything because we are Sons of God and what could be more joyous than to perceive we are deprived of nothing. Miracles will release us from any false sense of deprivation and lack. In understanding this idea, we have to realize that the ego's needs and wants are illusions; they are nothing.
descent: Our descent from Heaven into an ego-hell of our own making was the result of our decision to usurp the power of God and His Authorship of us. Of course this is impossible to do except in imagination so we fell asleep and experience nightmares of our own making. Thus, only in a self-imposed dreamworld, in a fearful holographic fantasy "life," has our separation from God occurred. In Reality we are still as God created us. But God did not permit His Sons to consign themselves to dreamworlds of guilt and conflict without the means to undo the separation any time they wish, and are willing to make the little effort required. These means were, and are: the Holy Spirit, constant miracles, and the At-one-ment healing process, which together, help us re-trace our steps in an ascent back to Heaven. This process is, in fact, a gradual waking up to the Heaven we never Really left.
deserve: Do we deserve death as the ego would have us believe, are do we deserve Everything as Sons of God? We commonly assert that everyone, "gets their just desserts," meaning they somehow, sooner or later, receive punishment for their sins, or crimes, or negative actions. This belief in sin, in wickedness--as well as the belief in the guilt, condemnation and punishment which must follow sin as a consequence--is almost universally held by human beings. We believe everyone must sin and therefore must be punished by the courts, by parents, by authority, and/or by God. These beliefs in sin and retribution by attack (punishment) are fear-based and deny Love. The Course affirms that what we call "sins" are only temporary errors. These errors call for correction (healing) through the At-one-ment. The At-one-ment, which is only Loving, heals through forgiveness, miracles and Love. To accomplish this we must be willing to allow the Holy Spirit to be in charge. Only then we can heal ourselves and others, and rediscover the inner Innocence of everyone. As Innocent Sons of God we all "deserve" what we already have--Love, Peace and Joy.
desirable: What do we find more desirable--the ego's goals, toys, trinkets and special relationships, or Heaven, Love, Light, Peace, Joy, and the Knowledge of God? One of our greatest dilemmas and confusions in this little life of separation is to distinguish between what is valuable and what is valueless, between what is desirable and what is not. In the Workbook Lesson 133, Jesus lists the real criteria to test all the things we think we want. First, only things which last forever are truly real and valuable. Second, if we have to take something from someone else and they lose it then it is not desirable. Third, does its acquisition serve the goals of the ego/body or the goals of the Holy Spirit? Fourth, if we experience any guilt about our choice it is undesirable and valueless. Only the Attributes of God and the Sonship (Love, Light etc.,) are truly desirable.
desire: As egos, separated from Spirit, we desire false idols, sickness, attack, endless strife, misery and pain. We desire to keep sickness in order to prevent any change in the balance of sacrifice in our special relationships. But we can desire Truth, Peace, Love and to reunify with God Himself, and that release from ego into Spirit is given the instant we wholly desire it. The Course stresses again and again that it is the singularity of our desire, our willingness, our intent to reunite with God and the Sonship in full and open conscious Knowledge that is a major key to its accomplishment. We must want only Truth. There is no miracle we cannot have when we desire healing truly. There are several obstacles to our desire for Peace and these are discussed in the Course (T-19.IV). Studying these and eliminating them can unchain our deep, fundamental desire to return Home.
despair: We can only be in the Mind of God, and any other beliefs about ourselves will bring us only despair. These include any illusions of love in special relationships, any satisfactions from idols and fanciful dreams, and any denial of our true Identity as Sons of God. When we become inflated with grandiosity it is only the ego's temporary polarity shift compensating for our loneliness and despair, which, in turn, stem from our imagined separation from God and His Sons. Experiencing our minds within the Mind of God is the answer to all despair because that experience is one of Love and Joy. To do this practice Workbook Lesson 189.
destiny: Strictly speaking, destiny is illusory consequence of our separation from God, and so our only true destiny is to wake up to the fact that we are Mind Beings (Sons) within His Mind-Being. Our immediate destiny as humans is to be healers and teachers of God, and thus saviors of the world. Through our choices for things of the ego or for Everything in God, we decide our own destinies every moment of the day. By choosing Spirit we are destined to make all relationships holy.
destroy, destruction: The ego is intent on destruction yet, paradoxically, the thing it fears most is to be undone and thus destroyed. The ego teaches our function is destruction and we destroy others to prove we were "right." We will even destroy ourselves in war, sickness, murders, suicides and accidents as a final proof our ego-beliefs were and are right. Because we hold to, even cling to, all the beliefs, and events, and relationships we have learned and experienced from birth to the present (not to mention the millions of years the separation has taken; see T-2.VIII.2:5-6), and will not let them go, we seal our fate in terms of destruction--daily. The ego and its past is our polarized security blanket, our life-belt--yet it is also our Nemesis, our destruction. The ego must be let go, relinquished completely; in other words it has to "die" so that we can wake up in God permanently. This can be accomplished merely by a quiet melting in.
determination: We, ourselves, determine who we think we are and what we want to be--ego or Self. In no way, of course, does any self-concept or ego-image alter the Truth that we are God's Son. But we seem determined to hold onto our unreal beliefs about ourselves, especially our beliefs in special relationships, ego-pursuits and bodies. Determination, however, can serve another holy purpose. We can determine not to make decisions by ourselves. With a little effort and even small determination we can enlist the power of the Sonship to help us, and God Himself will raise us into Light. Note that determination is a resolute state of psychological motivation arising out of will, and that when we align our wills with God's Will our determination becomes dedication.
devastation: This is a strong word but Jesus does not hesitate to use it in the Course to describe the widespread destruction and desolation we have wrought by our separation, faithlessness and guilt. We even prefer to ignore or deny it while our egos (a) look elsewhere for justification, (b) place blame externally by projecting it, and (c) seek meaningless distractions. But, to be right-minded, we do have to "look upon" this devastation within ourselves and reclaim it all as of our own making, without projection. There is no value in a lot of self-incrimination and guilt, or endless ego-analysis of this dark shadow side, but there is great spiritual value in bringing the Light into that darkness. In this respect, then, we separated ones tend to make two kinds of therapeutic errors: Either we become overly preoccupied with examining or lamenting the dark devastation of the ego (as in traditional psychotherapy or sin-oriented philosophies), or we refuse to look at it (i.e., denial, repression, dissociation) and run towards a light that always seems to recede at our approach. Both these therapeutic errors make devastation real. Devastation is not real. The Answer, then, is to bring the Light down into the dark devastation our egos have wrought, even as we look at it honestly and openly, so that, with the help of the Holy Spirit and lots of miracles, we can shine that darkness away. Only by bringing the Light to devastation can we see, with Vision, that it is all illusion.
device: A device is a thought-out plan, method or invention which facilitates
some other process of learning, functioning or accomplishment. These devices
fall into three categories in the Course.
First, the Course suggests many of the things we invented to facilitate our separation from God can be turned around, re-interpreted and used as learning devices or aids to facilitate our reunion with God. Examples of these turned around devices are the body, time, this world we see and the special relationship. Each one of these devices can aid either our continuing separation from God or the At-one-ment process of waking up in God. For example a special relationship can become a holy relationship.
Second, such unreal devices as self-images, projections, fears, sins, comparisons, judgments, preoccupations, etc., are all inventions of the ego the sole use of which is to maintain and affirm the separation. This category of devices cannot be turned around; they have to be dismantled and relinquished to the Holy Spirit. The Course classifies these as false perception.
The third category of devices consists of miracles, the holy instant, the Atonement, healing and taking Jesus himself as a model. These are spiritually-oriented learning devices we, as egos, did not make; they are made continuously by Spirit to facilitate our return to Loving Oneness. The Course classifies these as true perception.
devil: The only "devil" that exists is the one that we separated ones have made as negative egos in our own minds. So, the more we separate ourselves from God through our ego-fears and hate, the more we strengthen the destructive "ego-devil" in us, one we frequently project. Those of us who do not want to own the evil of the human race project our negative thoughts outwards onto an imaginary devil--who can also be blamed for originating them. This is a self-deceiving device which shifts the basic responsibility for evil outside us onto a "god of evil" who is, apparently, not interfered with by God, or altered by us. This makes absolutely no sense! If the devil is real and God is Real there would be two Gods, making the Absolute a Polarity! God's Power would be split. In Reality all concepts and beliefs about "the devil," external evil, and original sin are fabricated illusions of the separated ones, designed to maintain the split. But the hell we all make for ourselves as egos can seem very real. Yet our Minds-as-such as created by God contain the Light, and so, in Reality all "devils," internal or external, must be fictional. To all this ego-nonsense the At-one-ment process is the Answer because it teaches only Love.
devote, devotion: Jesus has devoted (i.e., dedicated) himself to teaching us the Way to God so that our minds may be healed through miracles. Bodies are automatically healed when minds are healed. Throughout the Workbook we are asked to devote time to practicing the Lessons so we may find only what is real. Note that even 15 minutes devoted to God morning and evening is only one forty-eighth (approximately 2%) of the ego's day (and night). Can we devote more than this fraction of the ego's day to communion with God? (See Lesson 193 paragraph 10; also below.) The ego devotes its time solely to unreal dreams. The result of genuine devotion is inspiration which is the opposite of fatigue. God in His devotion to us created us devoted to Everything and gave us what we are devoted to, namely, Reality in God, and therefore in our Selves. Our ministry, like that of Jesus right now, takes on a genuine devotion which blesses everyone, everywhere. True devotion to Spirit arises out of Love!
die, dying: (See: death)
differences: God knows not of differences between beings because, in Reality, there are none. Miracles transcend any orders of seeming differences between people because they are based on the equality of all Sons of God. In the Introduction to Chapter 22 of the Text the differences we perceive and judge in unholy (special) relationships are contrasted with the lack of differences seen in holy relationships. Differences are not Real; they are a devious part of the ego's plan to preserve degrees and differences in "sin" and "merit" along with the judgment, and condemnation or praise they entail. In the world of ego and our belief in bodies, differences and comparisons abound in terms of quantity, quality and rank. All these ego-perceptions involve numerous polarities such as fat/slim, pretty/ugly, high-rank/low-rank, wealthy/poor, success/failure, sane/mad, attractive/plain, law-abiding/criminal, social/loner, good/bad, educated/ignorant, generous/parsimonious, kindly/spiteful and spiritual/non-spiritual. All this is insane nonsense. Let it all go.
differently: If we are to wake up in God we separated ones have to learn to see everyone and everything quite differently from the way the ego sees them. Two Course Workbook Lessons, 21 and 28, are devoted to motivating us to see things differently. If we are determined to see people and things differently, the Holy Spirit, through the Course, will teach us how, and lead us to a new Spiritual Vision of this world. The Course states it is imperative for our salvation that we see all specific situations, events and personalities differently, and that it is our Loving blessing on them that will save us and give us Vision. It is our unloving thoughts that keep us in hell, whereas with forgiveness and love we will come to see a Real world through quiet eyes and with a mind at Peace. We all have our part to play in this transformation although each one of us teaches the message differently, and learns it differently. In short we have to learn to see, Lovingly, every person as a beloved Child of God.
difficult: The Course acknowledges that some errors are particularly difficult to overcome and that some lessons are difficult to learn because our ego's beliefs in separation and the body are so entrenched. The ego has many such ingrained defenses against Spirit which make our journey Home seem just that much more difficult. This should not be interpreted as discouraging, because by recognizing these ploys and defenses of the ego we are better able, with the help and insights of the Holy Spirit (in the Course), to accept them, own them and relinquish them as meaningless junk which, like the ego itself, merely clutters up our minds. Some of these ego defenses are: persecution and punishment are real; the belief that the "return" to God is difficult; some miracles are more difficult than others; the belief in the value of the body and attack; fear and hate are "love;" complexity is overwhelming; displacement of "difficult" ego-faults elsewhere; wanting to do it all without the Holy Spirit; sin must be struggled with and wrestled against; compromise is essential to get by; others can be hurt without hurting ourselves; disaster has no value as a lesson but the past is true and of great value; time is real; my mind is not part of God's Mind; it is insane to see what the ego says is not there, i.e., Spirit; healings must always be doubted. Please add your own difficult-to-relinquish ego-beliefs to this list, if you wish. Then own them all and relinquish them to the Holy Spirit because nothing this world believes is True.
difficulties: The Course delineates several ways in which we can resolve all our seeming difficulties of this world of separation. First, there is no order of difficulties, so each and every one can be resolved equally and easily. All our difficulties arise simply because we do not recognize ourselves or our brothers as Sons of God. It is this Holiness that we are which must be applied to all problems and difficulties, because it is the Love of God within the Self which, together with the Holy Spirit, quickly resolves them all. To achieve that state of Loving we must practice true forgiveness all the time. This involves a perfect trust in the Truth that we are the Light of the World in as much as true forgiveness leads us to the inner Light and Love of God and of Self.
direction: The ego and the inner true God Self (the Son, the Christ) are in opposition to each other in terms of (a) their origins (source), (b) the direction or path they are traversing, and (c) their goal or outcome. We can travel in the direction of right-mindedness which in turn will lead to One-Mindedness in God, or we can meander in the direction of wrong-mindedness which is founded in fear and attack. The choice of direction is up to us. The Course has only one direction as the goal of its curriculum and that direction follows God's plan for salvation, a plan that takes us Home to find perfect Safety and Peace.
disappear: Everything of the ego in this world of perception, or rather misperception, will disappear once we have forgiven everyone and come to Love them all as Sons of God. This is the beginning and end of the At-one-ment "remedy" set down in minute detail in the Course. What will disappear? Time, pain, sorrow, "sin," sickness, the past, the future, fear, guilt, conflict, suffering, illusions, sacrifice, error, attack, confusion, timidity, hallucinations, barriers, specialness, separateness, anger, hopelessness, death, ignorance, veils, doubts, complexity, weakness, hurts, idols, are all destined to disappear according to the Course. It is Christ's Vision in each of us that changes the darkness into Light by bringing Love to fear, so fear and all its misperceptions disappear. Forgiveness does this, and more.
disaster: One of the most belief-shattering truths presented in the Course is that God did not create disasters, or indeed, any other temporary, concrete form. This would include the physical universe, the earth and all of nature as we perceive it. Workbook Lesson 14 lists some typical, representative disasters. The list includes the obviously human-made kinds, as well as so-called "natural" disasters such as earthquakes and cancers. The Course classifies all disasters of all kinds and degrees (in Reality there are no degrees) as illusions along with everything else we see with the body's eyes in this world. Our perceived world is a dream of desolation and disaster, a world which is of our own making or manifestation and "it does not exist." God's Creations are His Sons and they know perfect Safety and perfect Peace. Is it not wonderful to know all the horrors of this world are not real?
discernment [see J01]
disciples: If we accept Jesus as our model, not only from his life on earth, but also as he is now, we are literally his disciples. The model he offers us now is the spiritual content of the Course and it is God's Plan (the At-one-ment) we choose when we follow the Course. Once we take this path, as his disciples, Jesus lights our way Home. We can, however, choose to be disciples of the ego and the body it reveres, but this dark road takes us to more conflict, misery and death just as it has in the past. The path of the ego and body is the way of separation and fear. (See also: Apostles,)
discomfort: The Course alerts us to the fact that we may feel discomfort at times, as we progress along our spiritual path. As we gain more and more spiritual vision we tend to experience more discomfort over the ego's intrusions on our new-found peace of mind and the ego may magnify them somewhat into major irritations. For example, the needs of family may intrude on our Course "meditation" time and we may resent these interruptions, which, incidentally, are themselves Lessons in tolerance and love. Yet another time of discomfort occurs during what is popularly known as a sudden "phase shift" from one stage of psychospiritual development to another. Such a period of emotional discomfort may follow an abrupt change in a relationship from being ego-based to a holy one. (See diagram in: dual)
disease: This is a much broader term than sickness or illness even though the word can be used in a specific sense, too. The Course usually uses it in the wider sense and links it with separation and death. Our separation from God is a dreadful dream of disease, disaster and death, all of which are fear-based. The Answer to all disease, whether seemingly physical, emotional or social, is to want to wake up and rediscover the Love of God and the Unity of all Living Beings in Him. The Course is the method, the curriculum, which leads us to Life at Home. Never drop into the body any disease (popularly, now termed dis-ease) of the ego-mind. All diseases are of the ego-mind and are primarily the end-result of our separation from Love.
disguise: One of our favorite mechanisms of avoiding unpleasant feelings and the distasteful aspects and issues of our lives is to disguise them heavily by utilizing more pleasant euphemisms, rationalizations and shifts of emphasis. Thus we refer to death as "passing on," and to revenge as "just punishment." We rationalize our attack on someone else as a "sharing" or "this hurts me more than it hurts you." We shift responsibility from ourselves to others when we say, "He or she asked for it," or, "He only got his just desserts." We will emphasize the beautiful, jeweled, glittery frame of a picture (e.g., a person, a relationship, a recreational activity) instead of the main content of the picture which unequivocally, the Course says, is death. The ego offers us only destruction despite its glittery disguise. Let it all go and rediscover your Self.
disillusionment (in relationships): Almost all of us become disillusioned to some degree in our personal relationships and the Course addresses this frequent phenomenon many times. Initially, in our special relationships, we split off any negative feelings or attitudes such as hatred in order to present our best facade or persona and so make a "good impression." The ego does this to cultivate a place of so-called love and safety within which it can open up and enjoy the elation and intimacy of its own projections onto the other person. This does not last and some degree of disillusionment sets in, no matter how much the other person may accurately mirror our projections; such an accurate mirroring is rare anyway. (A soul-mate is only someone who accurately mirrors almost all our projections onto them, a binding fate that locks us into ego-projection.) And so, sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, the disillusionment brings with it a more "accurate" perception of the other person, as our negative projections onto them begin to take over. Usually we say they have changed, but almost always both partners have changed as their previously hidden negative egos (suspicion, hatred, etc.,) have emerged from their dark hiding places and blended with the so-called "positive" aspects. Soon our resentment, anger, blame and guilt become projected onto the partner because we feel betrayed in as much as they have not continued to live up to the "positive" role (of feeding us ego-love) we assigned to them. All of these special relationship feelings, whether positive or negative, are false illusions because, "Where disillusionment is possible, there was not love but hate. For hate is an illusion, and what can change was never [Real] love." What, then, is the Answer to the disillusionment of our special love relationships--which are only attempts to bring a pseudo-love into our fear-ridden separation from God? The Answer is to re-unify with God and His Love, and then share that Real Love with Everyone. To do that we need to realize our task is not to seek for Love, but to seek and find all the barriers within ourselves that we have built against Love. (See full quotation below.) Then every one of our relationships becomes a holy relationship, inasmuch as we Love Everyone equally and maximally.
dispel: To dispel something is to cause it to scatter and vanish, and that is exactly what the Light does to illusions, bad dreams and all the beliefs of the deluded ego. Jesus and the Holy Spirit will help us to dispel fear, illusions and our faith in sin. It is the purpose of the At-one-ment to dispel all these illusions through the Light of Love, and it is the Light of Understanding that gives Clarity to this undoing process.
displacement: This is a common psychological mechanism or stratagem we all use to divert or transfer some unwanted, usually fearful or repugnant, aspect of our ego-system onto someone else, some other object (e.g., a neighbor, a spouse, the dog, or our car) or onto a more "acceptable" part of ourselves such as the body. This "other" is less fearful, less threatening to the ego's treasured but uneasy stability. Thus, we tell ourselves other people are the cause of our anger, so that the cause is displaced from inside us to an external source. Or, we drop (i.e., displace) the anger into our bodies where it causes some infirmity or disease; the Course tells us sickness is anger taken out upon the body. Very frequently it is guilt which triggers displacement, therefore we need to search our darkest mind for fearful, guilty thoughts and flood them with Light, realizing they are illusions we can relinquish happily and openly to the Holy Spirit.
dissociation: The psychological meaning of dissociation is a split in the mind in which a group of mental activities breaks away from the mainstream and functions as a separate unit, as if they were another person. The dissociated "unit" totally forgets its origin even though it makes use of that original mind unconsciously for many purposes (e.g., it can still count, write, and attend to everyday functions and needs). In a person suffering from a multiple personality these dissociated units, quite often, are not only unaware of their origin but are walled off from one another. The Course states that, as egos, this is exactly what we have done as separated "units" who have dissociated themselves from God, Self and one another. In order to do our own thing apart from Spirit, we split ourselves off from the Whole and from each other, placed ourselves in isolated ego-cocoons of fear, and then pretended we were the lord of the dreamworld we projected and perceived falsely. As the Course says very accurately, this is insanity. All dissociation is by our own wish. Our ego's dissociation from God, His Knowledge, the Sonship, Reality and Self is an "insane delusion," a "great amnesia," an "attack on truth," a "distorted process of thought," the "cleavage of Self from you," which we perpetrate continuously, moment by moment, to imagine we usurp the Power of God. If we wish to be healed of this monumental, insane dissociation we have to pursue only the one goal of Loving Oneness, (through the At-one-ment process of healing) and come to see nothing else.
distance: This word is used in several different contexts in the
Course. In the first, Jesus says that the separation has caused such a gap, a
dissociation, a distance, between God and humans, that he, Jesus, is necessary
to help us bridge that distance, both as an elder brother and a Son of God.
In the second context, however, Jesus states that our journey of reunification with God and the Sonship is one without distance because God, Reality and the Sonship are all within our Minds-as-such, and we only need remove the darkness with Light in order to see the Oneness of Spirit.
In the third context, Jesus examines the gap or distance we use to keep ourselves apart from our brothers, because our separation from God is also a spiritual separation from one another as humans. We each "keep our distance" from one another in this ego-world because we live in fear and anger, not in Real Love.
Note that physical distance is an illusion and, as minds, we are all free (if we wish) to intercommunicate and participate instantly within the collective Mind of the Sonship which, itself, is within the Mind of God. We can also commune with God instantly, if we wish for nothing else. Unfortunately, we humans have clogged this psychospiritual communication system with fear, attack thoughts and the solid belief that physical bodies are essential to communication through ears, voice and eyes, as well as hands that write or touch.
distinction: Most of the ideas and things that the ego makes careful
distinctions between, such as animate or inanimate forms and pleasant or
unpleasant experiences, are illusions and there are no such distinctions
in Reality. We make thousands of meaningless perceptual and psychological
distinctions daily, usually in terms of ego-level polarities, and all these are
On the other hand clear distinctions need to be made between what is Real and what is of the ego or illusion. We must also learn to distinguish between what is false and what is True, and between what is made and what is Created. Discernment is another conscious quality we need to cultivate, because if we can discern ego-falsity in our lives based on the criteria given in the Course (See: Workbook Lessons 133 and 189) we will be in a better position to make the right distinctions, and therefore make the right decisions and choices in a state of right-mindedness, which will help us to wake up in God's Reality (His Mind) more quickly.
distortions: In our separated state we have made a whole world that is distorted because our minds perceive and think in strange distorted ways. This distorted world, permeated by lack, fear, guilt, sin and dark dreams arose because we believe that, (a) what God created, namely our Selves, can be changed by our own minds, (b) what is Perfect as the Son/Self can be rendered imperfect or lacking, (c) we can distort the Creations of God, namely other people and ourselves, (d) we can recreate ourselves as egos, bodies, etc., and, (e) the direction of that re-creation is up to us to determine for ourselves. (See full quotation below.) All these interrelated distortions are what actually occurred in our separation from God or the "detour into fear." None of this existed before the separation and nor does it actually exist in Reality, now. The quotations below elaborate on the depth and extent of the distortions we have made and the Answers the Course gives to correct them.
distractions: We are constantly distracted by the wants, needs,
pursuits and goals of the ego and for these we lay Heaven aside. We chase after
the "toys" and "trinkets" of this world and no sooner get
one than we want another. And it is not just the material objects and things we
desire that distract us; so do power, position, status, ranks and degrees. To
all these we can add the all-consuming distractions of work, family, sports, TV,
hobbies, etc. The list is endless. Not that these things in themselves are wrong
or sinful. We can have the so-called necessities of life such as homes, work,
recreation and so on, but in this connection, two points have to be made:
1. How much of our time and energy is left over for God's Goals and Plans for us? Are we so pre-occupied and distracted by the things and pursuits of ego/bodies that we have only a very little time left over for Him?
2. Do we incorporate our relationships, activities and possessions into God's Goals and Plans for us? Do we know, spiritually speaking, what relationships, houses, cars and cell phones and the like are really for?
distress: We tend to react to our own distress in ego ways. Our "solutions" are to substitute another relationship for the distressing one, or to look to the body for "help" in the form of expressing ego-anger thereby gaining control by dominating the situation. This kind of "strength" is really weakness. The Course explains that all distress is actually unforgiveness and an attack on ourselves. Several answers are given us: We are asked to see forgiveness as our natural reaction to distressful situations and relationships and to replace hate with Love. The Holy Spirit's lessons will lead us out of all distress and the Christ in us will always ask us to choose the path of Spirit. We can look to God for our Spiritual Vision wherein lies our Real Strength and the answer to all distress of any kind.
disturbed: What is it that really disturbs us deeply while we are in this separated ego state? The Course tells us we are not really all that afraid of fear, and that we are not seriously disturbed by our hostility. No, it is not the strong emotions and drives of the human state which disturb us. Our real terror is redemption! Our fear of attack, the Course says, is nothing compared with our fear of Love and the memory of God. All this extreme disturbance is explained in full in the Course section, "The Fear of Redemption" (T-13.III.all) and it is worth close study. Excerpts are given below. What we really want to hide is our intense and burning Love of God and His for us! To accept that Love unequivocally will mean the demise of the ego and this world as we now know it.
divided: Anything that is divided or split in two is not whole. Our separation from God literally means our Minds are divided into two and therefore we are not Whole (Complete) with Him in Reality. God's Reality or Oneness cannot be divided. From our one vast error of substituting illusion for Truth, time for Timelessness, death for Life, and form for Content, we invented a divided and splintered world of unreality, a fragmented substitute to replace the Whole.
do, doing: Spiritual practice, or repeated "doing" of the content of the Lessons, is emphasized in the Course because habitual activity can establish new beneficial ideas, or help eradicate unwanted ones. The latter are, in fact, usually more concerned with "undoing" which is the same basic idea of practice. Right at the beginning of the Course Jesus asks us to join the "great crusade" to undo error and act (do) to correct it. He also states he will provide us with many opportunities to do miracles, and that doing them will bring conviction (see quotation below). While, as egos, we need do nothing, we can awaken to God by commending our spiritual Selves into His Hands. Doing in this spiritual sense is a part of right-mindedness, right perception and of working miracles. The Course, Jesus says, is a very practical Course and he asks us to do only those things we are able to do with the help of the Holy Spirit, even though he places no limits on our "doing" abilities. Ultimately, as a result of our undoing and right doing, we realize that we (as egos) "need do nothing."
door: The symbol of a door, both open and closed, as a gateway to Heaven is universal in spiritual philosophies and the Course uses the metaphor many times. When we separated from God we shut the door on Spirit and Love, and locked ourselves into an illusory prison of darkness, fear and imagined sin; a dream-world of bodies, perception and ego. But the time has now come to end the separation forever, and this means the prison door is wide open for us to walk through into Love, Light, Peace and Joy. Once we forgive all, and withdraw all ego-values from the body and this world, we find a "quick and open door" through which we can slip past centuries of effort--right now. As we do so we will realize that, in fact, the door has always stood open; only in our deluded imaginations did it appear to be closed.
doubt: Doubt is a major obstacle for most of us to overcome. All doubts are of the ego, which doubts all beliefs from time to time, even beliefs about its own identity. These "identity crises" it usually tries to cover over with a show of false certainty. Fear, and the confusion fear brings, are the basic causes of our doubts. Our efforts to maintain our separation from God and Spirit results in such profound insecurity and false complexity that doubts assail us from all sides. Once we decide to follow a spiritual path, we need, and may seek out, the ways and means of eradicating our doubts; the Course presents us with a variety of insights and methods to accomplish this goal. Of course, the ego and all its false belief systems have to be dismantled and relinquished to the Holy Spirit if doubt is to disappear. In the numerous quotations below forgiveness and the recognition of all our brothers as Sons of God are major keys to the removal of doubt.
dream, dreamer: The word dream (and its derivatives) is one of the
most frequently used and important keywords in the Course. As the Course flatly
states, our everyday human lives here on earth are nothing other than a
continuous, conscious state of dreaming; we, who are separated from God and His
Kingdom, are never awake in Reality. All the various types of
dreaming we do here as humans (nighttime dreams, day dreams, fantasies, events,
our everyday lives, school, business, politics, relationships, dreams of wealth
or soul-mates, etc.,) are one and the same in the Course--they are all illusions
emanating from our split, fear-based minds. Every type of dreaming has only one
cause, namely, our wish to make another world that is not real, one which
is apart from God's Reality. The content of our dreams here, as egos, is very
diversified and the Course enumerates many; whether asleep or awake we dream of
loneliness, death, ego-power, enemies, attack, specialness, guilt, punishment,
victimhood, murderers, mistakes, bodies, slavery, adventures, hate, viciousness,
fear, separation, vengeance, pain, suffering, sin, sickness, evil, disease,
depression, assault, success/failure, sadness, idols, distractions, trinkets,
toys, despair, terror, judgment, self-betrayal, uncertainty, doom, grievances,
danger, anti-Christ, compromises, retaliation, temptation, time, wrath of God,
defenses, misery, illusions, ego-identities and crucifixion. And that is the
It is quite possible, however, through forgiveness and with the aid of the Holy Spirit, to reach a state of right-mindedness in which we have happy dreams, dreams which will help us wake up from all dreaming. Our right-minded happy dreams can be about peace, salvation, joy, our brother's innocence, miracles, healing, forgiveness, truth, light, help, hope, and glory.
How can we switch to happy dreams? By realizing we are the cause of the dream, desiring to undo it, and then asking for miracles of At-one-ment. Finally, we will awaken from the dream when God takes the Final Step.
dual, duality: Although the word dual occurs only once in the Course it is important to our true understanding of vertical levels, even though, strictly speaking, these are a fiction introduced by our equally fictional separation from God and Spirit as ego and form (i.e., as ego/bodies in an unreal 3-D world). Note that we reserve the term "polarities" in this Companion for horizontal ego-opposites, (i.e., same-level contradictions) such as: evil and ego-good, depression and elation, flight and fight, loneliness versus clinging-attachment, etc. These horizontal polarities are on the lowest two levels of the triangular diagram below. Note also that the Course often uses the word "opposites" for the attributes of vertical dualities, such as Love and ego, Light and dark, Truth and illusion, Knowledge and perception, Creation and making, etc.
Real World of only Love
(level of total forgiveness)
Holy Spirit/Voice for God
(All-level Communication Link)
(lower horizontal polarized level of ego)
body and perceived physical forms level
(lowest possible level of identification)
The vertical levels of the above diagram are all within a seeming (also vertical) duality which, by definition, is not called a polarity. This vertical duality is comprised of God (Who, of course, is Reality) at the highest level, and the two bottom level ego/body/world system of unreal forms we appear to have made to maintain the false perceptual dream of separation. The Course constantly points out that only the God level is Real, therefore, Spiritually speaking, the duality is not True. Note that as we heal and gradually awaken through the Atonement process (which embraces all levels) we move up from a quiet centeredness (at the ego level) through Right-perception/Right-mindedness with the help of the Holy Spirit to see the Real World of Love. At this point God takes the final step by fully Awakening us to full Union with Him--which is exactly where we were before the dream of separation occurred.
dust: Many of the references to "dust" in the Course are using that word to refer to our bodies, much as it is used traditionally in the phrase, "from dust unto dust," at times of burial. The strong implication is that our physical bodies are of the earth, quite temporary, and subject to decay and death, and therefore we must place no investment in this "little pile of dust and water." We humans tend to idolize the physical-material body and to identify exclusively with that idol, one which is made of dust. The word "dust" is also used in its regular meaning, mostly to indicate the barren nature of the ego's journey here on earth as we wander fruitlessly in the desert's dust; in other words, there is nothing of value for us here while we view it all through the eyes of our insane egos.
dwell: We dwell (Live) in the Mind of God with all our brothers and we
all dwell in His Abundance of Love and Light. We dwell not on earth in a
state of ego-identification, but in Eternity and in Peace.
On the other hand we need not dwell on (be preoccupied with) the ego's fallacious and self-deceiving "idle shadows." The past, too, is something we need not dwell on for it is gone. Instead dwell on the Fact that, through our forgiveness, the Light has come.
dynamics: The word "dynamics" means the forces and motions operating on and between things along with the intricate relationships within those forces, motions and energies. Almost all traditional psychotherapy is preoccupied with sorting out and integrating the emotional forces, motivations and energies of the ego-mind, especially the "dynamics" of the unconscious or subconscious conflicts which, they say, stem from childhood traumas and relationships. Of course, it is the egos of both psychotherapist and client that "do" this sorting out and which strive to understand the unconscious ego in order to integrate it into a "more mature state." The Course clearly states not only that all study of the ego by ego is meaningless, but also that all egos are delusions which are incoherent and chaotic. Our purpose here is to undo the ego through forgiveness with the help of the Holy Spirit. As you study the quotations below remember Jesus first said them, quite bluntly, to two professors of psychology (Helen Schucman and William Thetford) who had extensively studied the "dynamics of the ego."
Loving Oneness Now -- Copyright © 2007 Alexander Bannatyne, PhD