Humility Versus Arrogance Part 2 - Continued

By Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.

From The Message of A Course in Miracles, Introduction to Volume 2 which is entitled
Few Choose to Listen, copyright 1997 by the Foundation for A Course in Miracles

Almost 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:

The course 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).

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).

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 needs.

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 unseen 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).

In Psychotherapy: 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):

These 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)
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