The Most Commonly Asked Questions About
A Course in Miracles
Chapter 5: THE CURRICULUM
Let us begin with the statement that there is absolutely nothing in A Course in Miracles about groups, meeting with other people, or joining together on the level of form, etc. The significance of this is that it illustrates how the process of studying the Course occurs on the level of the mind, and is in truth a self-study course, Its emphasis is always on joining with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, in the mind, and asking Their help to perceive differently a seemingly external relationship, or any situation for that matter. This is the meaning of forgiveness. Our experience of being in a body, interacting with other bodies, becomes the classroom in which we ask our Teacher to help us change our minds. The only joining then that is truly meaningful is with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, and that should always and only be the Course student's focus, what in the text is referred to as "The Greater Joining" (T-28.IV). Since, as is stated in the section with that title, the Holy Spirit is in all the minds of the separated Sons, by joining with Him -- which, again, is the true meaning of forgiveness -- one has already joined with everyone. The actual words from the text are:
The Holy Spirit is in both your minds [you and your brother], and He is One because there is no gap that separates His Oneness from Itself. The gap between your bodies matters not, for what is joined in Him is always one (T-28.IV.7:1-2).Thus it is irrelevant for the purposes of forgiveness that there be or not be a "gap between bodies." We are already joined. Forgiveness undoes the seeming gap that exists between our minds, and returns to our awareness the fact of our oneness with each other and with our Source.
All too often students of A Course in Miracles forget this greater joining, and because of the good feeling that so often comes from externally being with others, they feel that this is what Jesus is talking about when he discusses joining. In truth, however, his focus is always on the removal of the barriers of specialness that we have placed between ourselves and others. And these barriers are always thoughts within our wrong minds, as the Holy Spirit is a Thought within our right minds. And so our attention should always be placed on bringing the ego's thoughts of specialness to the Holy Spirit's thoughts of forgiveness -- once again, within the mind. Only then can we be sure that our external joining with others is truly of Him and not the ego.
Certainly, there can nothing wrong with any student of A Course in Miracles joining externally with other students. However, the focus of Course students cannot be behavior, but always the inner teacher whom we choose to guide our behavior. Therefore, the bottom line is to try as best as possible to have our actions -- whether they involve studying the Course, or anything else -- originate in the sincere attempt to bring our ego involvement to Jesus before engaging in the activity.
If students feel led to be a part of some sort of Course group or organization, they should always be vigilant that such involvement does not become a substitute for their own individual work -- study and practice -- with the material itself. Otherwise, they will easily fall into the lap of specialness, which can be defined, as we saw earlier, as using anything as a substitute for the Love of God. To make our opening point again, there is a reason for Jesus saying nothing at all in the Course about joining together in groups. And students should always be mindful of his sole emphasis in A Course in Miracles, which is on the individual student's relationship with the Holy Spirit, based upon the willingness to practice forgiveness.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Gloria and Kenneth
Wapnick and the Foundation for A Course in Miracles
Miracle Studies Navigation Table
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|Biographical: Helen, Bill, Ken||Unauthorized Manuscripts||The Story of A Course in Miracles||The Psychology of ACIM|
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