Miracles are both beginnings
and endings, and so they alter the temporal order. They
are always affirmations of rebirth,
which seem to go back but really go forward.
They undo the past in the present,
and thus release the future.
(Discussion continued from part 1)
Q: I understand
what you are saying, but it is hard to view this in terms of the collective
ego, of which there are many parts. Some parts of this ego are on their
way back, rolling up the carpet, and some are rolling it out farther. It
is like one step forward and two backwards. How does this carpet ever got
A: The Course says
that "the outcome is as certain as God" (text, pp. 18, 52; T-2.III.3:10;
T-4.II.6:8). I think that within the illusion it would take a long, long
time. As the Course teaches, there is a tremendous amount of fear in this
Q: It perpetuates
A. It seems to.
When Helen first started receiving this material from Jesus, he gave her
a brief explanation of what was happening. He described the terrible situation
that the world seemed to be in, and he said that there was a celestial
speed-up. He said that people were being asked to come back into the world
to lend their talents on behalf of this plan as a way of helping others
change their minds more quickly. A Course in Miracles would be one
of the parts of the plan. Helen and Bill played their role in bringing
it into the world to help people change their minds more quickly. Also,
the Course fits in perfectly with the age in which we now live, an age
still dominated by a Christianity that is not very Christian, despite many
of the radical changes of the last twenty years, and an age of psychology.
Above all, it is an age wherein we have gotten far away from the sane idea
that salvation does not lie in attack, and much more insane in terms of
believing that separate interests -- both personally and internationally
-- are the way out of hell. Moreover, we live in an age that seriously
questions the values of our authorities --political, religious, scientific,
social, educational, etc.-- and so would be relatively open to new ideas.
Because of this, many would see A Course in Miracles as part of
the New Age, although in its message it far transcends New Age thought
and is more a part of the great ancient traditions of spirituality.
Q: But if time
does not exist, why would it be necessary to speed things up?
A: That is true.
However, suppose your child is having a nightmare. You know it is a nightmare,
but within the nightmare your child is still suffering. So, as a parent
you would want to diminish your child's suffering, even though you know
it is not real. That is basically the way that the Holy Spirit would look
at it, or Jesus would look at it. It is not that our pain is real, but
that we believe it is real, and so this is a way of helping us out of our
Q: Can you say
something about where guilt comes from?
A: The basic source
of guilt is our believing that we attacked God and separated from Him.
That is what the Course means by sin, and certainly is the same idea as
original sin. From the belief that we attacked God and separated from Him
we will feel guilt, and guilt is a psychological experience that tells
us we have sinned. Coming from that is the fear of what God will do in
retaliation. We attack God; now He is going to punish us. This is the basic
core of the ego system. That is where all of our guilt stems from: the
belief that we have victimized God, which then we project onto all the
other situations in our lives, believing we victimized other people. Very
quickly that gets turned around and we believe that people victimize us.
Q: Does not the
Course say that if you forgive one person, you have forgiven them all?
A: Yes. Since all
difficulties stem from our guilt, if we truly forgive one person totally,
we have in effect forgiven all people, because ultimately it is all the
Q: It is like hitting
the head pin in bowling; all the other pins then fall down.
A: Right; that
is a good analogy. There is a lovely workbook lesson that says, "I will
be still an instant and go home" (workbook, p. 331; W-pI.182), which seems
to suggest that you could just kind of do it like that (snap of fingers),
and you are all finished. The problem is that the amount of fear that is
trapped in this system is so immense. The basic source of that fear is
the fear of love or the fear of God. The ego would teach if you really
let go of all this fear, God will destroy you. That is what keeps us from
being still an instant and going home. In principle we could do that, because
it is all the same, it is all one problem. But because our fear is go immense
what we really do is chop away at it, so
A Course in Miracles gets
us through the chopping a little more quickly.
Q: And the fear
is unconscious all the time?
A: It is unconscious
because repression is the only way we could tolerate this amount of fear.
Q: I get the impression
every once in a while that this is not as serious as everyone seems to
think it is; some level of me always says, "Do not take this so seriously!"
A: That is absolutely
right. There is a line in the Course which speaks of the separation as
that time when the Son of God remembered not to laugh (text, p. 544; T-27.VIII.6:2).
But that is exactly the problem. The separation was the time when the Son
of God remembered not to laugh. The whole problem was that when we separated
from God we took it seriously. If we had just giggled at it and realized
how silly it was to try to create like God, usurping His role as Creator,
none of this would have happened. What we do is make up problems, and then
we take them very seriously. Then we spend the rest of our lives trying
to solve the problem that is not there. It is like the Wizard of Oz; he
is nothing but a little man in back of a huge amplifying system. That is
what the ego is. In other places, the Course talks about how the ego seems
to be a roaring lion, but is really a frightened mouse that roars at the
universe (text, pp. 431, 446; T-2l.VII.3:11; T-22.V.4:3). If we could learn
not to take our egos so seriously, we would be much better off. What you
have to watch out for, however, is that you do not deny a problem that
you have made real. That is the trick, because we are very easily deluded
into believing that we have let go of a problem when all we have done is
cover it over.
Q: How do you know?
A: If you are doing
it right, eventually you feel better, more peaceful. Earlier, we talked
about the idea that "miracles are both beginnings and endings, so they
alter the temporal order." This can be understood to mean that they isolate
problems and say, "This is where you focus," and working that through shifts
the temporal order. What you really do, since all of our problems are rooted
in the past, is to say the problem is not in the past. It is really right
now in the present, right here at the moment I am choosing, and I could
now choose differently. Then they become the "affirmations of rebirth,
which seem to go back, but really go forward." This is what the Course
would mean by "to be born again," the phrase that it uses later on (e.g.,
text, p. 234; T-13.VI.3:5). This does not mean being born again in the
way the fundamentalist Christians mean it. It means born again in the sense
of choosing to live following the Holy Spirit rather than the ego. Following
the ego leads to death; following the Holy Spirit leads us back to eternal
The miracle, really, is the affirmation
of that eternal life, which then becomes being reborn in terms of our thinking
differently. It seems to go back because it heals the past. If I am angry
at you right at this moment, it is because I am not living with you right
in this moment; I am bringing something from the past. The section later
in the text that is called "Shadows of the Past" (text, p. 330; T-17.III)
explains how we always see people in terms of the past, whether it be things
that we believe they have done to us or to other people, or based upon
our past and the kind of needs that we believed we had. So, the miracle
undoes the past in the present, and that releases the future.
Therefore, the miracle takes the ego's
view of time and frees us from it. The ego's view of time, which again
is linear, takes the guilt of the past and projects it into the future.
Because of my guilty past, I now become afraid of what the future will
bring. I will feel insecure about having enough money when I am older,
or I will feel insecure or fearful that something terrible is going to
happen to me. All of these fears are rooted in the guilt that is in the
past, which ultimately is rooted in the belief that I have sinned against
God. What the ego does in its use of time is to use the past, project
it into the future, and thereby totally ignore the present.
There is a section at the beginning
of Chapter 15 called "The Two Uses of Time" (text, p. 280; T-15.I) that
is a very nice statement of how the ego uses time and then how the Holy
Spirit does. What the Holy Spirit does is tell us that the past is nonexistent,
because it is predicated on guilt that is not real. Therefore, there is
nothing we have to fear in the future. Then it teaches us that the only
time that is, is now; the present is the only time there is, a statement
that the Course makes later (workbook, pp. 13, 236; W-pI.8.1:6; W-pI.132.3:1).
That then allows the Holy Spirit to extend through us and, thus, the future
becomes an extension of the present so that the peace, love, and unity
we feel now become extended through us. That is what determines everything
Q: Would all this
mean that you have to stay in a relationship?
A: No, of course
not. That has to do with form or behavior, and there is nothing in A
Course in Miracles that would ever suggest what you should do in any
given situation. It simply provides the means -- forgiveness -- whereby
you can get your ego out of the way so you can be guided by the One Who
does know what is best for you in that situation. Ask the Holy Spirit first,
before you do anything; but before you ask "What should I do," you should
first ask His help in removing your ego investments in the outcome -- one
way or the other -- that would interfere with your hearing His answer.