all mistakes students make regarding the Course result from what I sometimes
refer to as level
confusion; namely, not understanding the important distinction and
interface between the metaphysical (Level I) and practical (Level II) levels
on which A Course in Miracles is written. It is from the metaphysical
absoluteness of the Course's thought system that its practical teachings
of forgiveness derive their power and meaning.
We must therefore
be careful not to bring the truth to the illusion, but rather to bring
our illusory beliefs to the truth A Course in Miracles holds out
to us. This requires an openness within ourselves to examine our investments
in perpetuating the ego's thought system. The errors we shall be discussing
ultimately result from the unconscious unwillingness to bring our fears
to the Holy Spirit's Love and truth.
This book is therefore
written in the same spirit as A Course in Miracles itself. As Jesus
explains to his students, the Course does not aim at having us learn what
is positive or true, but rather at unlearning the confusing thought system
the ego has taught us in order to conceal and obscure the truth. Thus,
for example, we are instructed right at the Course's beginning, and indeed
all the way through:
does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can
be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness
of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance (T-in.1:6-7).
Therefore, a major
theme of this book is to emphasize again to students of A Course in
Miracles that they are not asked to bring the truth of God's
Love to the illusions of the ego's guilt and fear, but rather to bring
the darkness of their ego's specialness to the light of Jesus' forgiveness.
In other words, students are encouraged by Jesus to bring the belief in
the reality of their problems to him, rather than asking or even
demanding that he solve their problems for them, or meet their specific
Your task is not
to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within
yourself that you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for
what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false (T- I 6.IV.6:1-2).
It is the function
of God's teachers to bring true learning to the world. Properly speaking
it is unlearning that they bring, for that is "true learning" in the world
(M-4.X.3:6-7; italics mine).
The reader may
recall our discussion in All
Are Called (pp. 133-34) about people sitting in a movie theater,
when suddenly the picture on the screen begins to flutter up and down.
No one in the theater would expect the management to rush to the screen
and try to remedy the problem there. One would go instead to the usually
or unnoticed projection booth in back of the theater, where the fault
lies either in the motion picture projector, or the film itself passing
through the projector. Only then could the problem of the poor image on
the screen be truly solved. In this analogy, the screen represents our
external lives and behavior, the projection booth represents our minds,
and the projector itself represents the mind's capacity to project (or
extend) the film, which in turn represents either the thought system of
the ego or the Holy Spirit, depending on our choice. Therefore, the problem
never rests on the form or behavior of what we perceive or experience (the
image on the screen), but always on the content in our minds, the thoughts
with which we choose to identify (the film running through the projector).
Purpose, Process and Practice [Note: this pamphlet has now been
included in the Third
Edition of ACIM], Jesus makes the same point in the
context of the body's sickness (the screen) and the mind's unforgiveness
(projection booth, projector, and film):
testimonies which the senses bring have but one purpose; to justify attack
and thus keep unforgiveness unrecognized for what it is. Seen undisguised
it is intolerable. Without protection it could not endure. Here [in the
mind] is all sickness cherished, but without the recognition that this
is so. For when an unforgiveness is not recognized, the form it takes seems
to be something else. And now it is the "something else" [the physical
symptom] that seems to terrify.
But it is not the "something else" that
can be healed. It is not sick, and needs no remedy. To concentrate your
healing efforts here is but futility. Who can cure what cannot be sick
and make it well? (P-2.VI.4; italics mine)