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Laying the Foundation - Materials Set One

This set of materials covers the most basic and most fundamental ideas that are presented in A Course in Miracles as well as some items about the Course itself. Some common first questions and issues that are raised by those who find the Course are answered here in one form or another. Many early and middle metaphors and metaphysics are introduced and explored.

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  1. Love - There is an experience that brings an end to all uncertainty and an end to all questions. The experience of Love is Divinely Inspired and changelessly Eternal. Love does not come and go or rise and set like the sun, nor does it shine brightly only to fade and disappear for a time. Love is not personal or specific. It is impossible to Love something specific, for Love is Whole and knows no parts. Love is without an opposite, being Everything God creates forever. Divine Mind is God, is Love, is You, is All.

  2. ACIM Guidelines - Here are the original Guidelines given by Jesus to Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford for the overall use of A Course in Miracles in the world. These Guidelines are still very helpful and practical today.

  3. Interview with Bill Thetford - Bill Thetford was one of the first two A Course in Miracles students in the world, helping usher it in to the world for people to use as a means to remember God. Bill was very sincere and open minded, and yet not a lot has been written about this beautiful witness of God's Love. This interview with Bill was published in New Realities Magazine in Sept/Oct 1984.

  4. Come and See - You are ready to Awaken to Oneness. And as you awaken the whole world awakens as well. For the world was never more than a misperception...

  5. Uncovering the Present Moment; The Kingdom is At Hand - Truth is within the mind. Yet there is a belief system that produces deception, a state of unawareness, which obscures the awareness of truth. We have an opportunity, in a deeply meaningful way, to come together and look calmly at the obstacles to Love and ask the Spirit to bring illumination.

  6. The Goal of ACIM - No theology is sacred. ACIM is a tool to help distinguish between illusions and truth.

  7. The Impossible Question and Other Preliminary Issues - (MP3 38:54mins 89MB) - Read the Transcript - Healing involves starting with specific situations and assumptions and tracing inward. Jumping straight to high metaphysics leads to denial and confusion. All questions, including those of how did the impossible happen and to whom, dissolve in an experience as underlying assumptions are questioned. The ego does not die - the ego is death; a wish to be separate. What is beyond the ego cannot be conceptualized; the experience is beyond description. Images are projections within the mind and ideas are heard through the images. Healing is seeing that the images and the image-maker are the same. The Holy Spirit can only work with a willing mind. The mind that "thinks it knows" is closed.
    Read also:
    Separation Q&A , God is a Pure Idea , Questioning Assumptions , Meaning of 'Ideas Leave Not Their Source'

  8. Defining Ego - (MP3 16:03mins 6.43MB) - Read the Transcript - The ego is made and maintained by belief; it is unmade when belief is withdrawn from it. Jesus describes the thought system of the ego in great detail in ACIM, because it is not to be dismissed or avoided; it is to be clearly seen, to be dispelled. The purpose of the ego is sickness and death. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is healing. It is important to be clear, to see what is being offered, in order to make the right choice. The personality-self is part of the self concept. Pride is of the ego, part of an attempt to attain happiness within the world. Jesus teaches that your worth is established by God.
    Read also:
    Two Voices

  9. How Did the Mind Make the Ego? - (MP3 7:20mins 2.94MB) - Read the Transcript - The answer to the question of the ego is not in the past. A present experience dissolves the belief that there is an ego; that the separation did occur. There is no definition for the ego because it is a lie. The first question asked was, “What am I?” In the same instant it was answered by the Holy Spirit. The answer is in the mind, alongside the problem. The Holy Spirit is the answer and is available now.
    Read also:
    How do you turn the ego off?

  10. Defining Perception - (MP3 14:08mins 5.66MB) - Read the Transcript - Perception is “to read meaning into”. We don’t see anything as it truly is, because the mind reacts to its interpretation, which is based on the past. The past is the ego’s domain and the Holy Spirit is in the present. When the mind begins to withdraw from the ego it becomes aware of it’s investment in it. It takes discernment to become aware of ego purposes and to realize that the mind was seeking for the goals of love and peace and freedom in the world. When perception is healed, intention is pure.
    Read also:
    True Perception

  11. Common Ego Defenses - As long as you believe that bodies, persons, and autonomous private minds have reality you will be attracted to or repulsed by "personal" teachers, for the ego made the world and all idols to distract you from looking within and following the Teacher Who remembers your innocence.

  12. Who Wrote A Course in Miracles? - (MP3 4:20mins 2.988MB) - Read the Transcript - The answer may surprise you. Relates directly to the idea of form / content.
    Read also:
    Author of ACIM

  13. Approaching ACIM - The truth is within us, and the Course is just one tool among many tools. We can use some of the ideas and principles but mainly we are all coming together with a desire to know the truth. To know the truth, we must seek for the barriers that are in our minds that prevent the awareness of it. It's not like truth has gone somewhere and we are trying to get it to come back to us, it is always right under our nose, right here. We will get into some of the metaphysics of the Course and keep it as practical as we can. Current issues, areas of resistance, and certain metaphysical ideas that seem unclear are good areas for us to start to take a look at, as we unravel the ego.
    Read also:
    Approaching atonement , Approaching salvation , Feeling betrayed by God , From concepts to experience

  14. An ACIM Gathering; sharing some basic Course ideas - (MP3 1:18:00mins 31.5MB) - Read the Transcript - Basic metaphysics are the framework for the application of spirituality. All questions in this world are pseudo questions /layers based upon the first question “Who am I?” The Holy Spirit is the answer and the answer is in the mind (not in the world). There are two thought systems; the ego belief system begins with a false origin (self in this world) and false cause of problems. The ego’s use of time is guilt and fear. Holy Spirit’s use of time is holy encounters. Pain and pleasure reinforce the body as being real. Ego involves indulgence and repression, the miracle is the vertical solution. Addictions fall away as judgment is relinquished and the miracle is experienced, and there is a shift from form to content.
    Read also:
    What is an awakening mind? , The meaning of guilt , An introductory Q&A session

  15. On Asking Questions - A closed mind will not question at all. It is arrogant. It thinks it knows that separation is a reality. But a crack of opening comes when the mind starts to ask these real questions in the sense of purpose. And the more it asks them, the more it opens and opens and opens to the light. Asking questions for the purpose of coming to clarity is very helpful. Asking “What is this for?” is a question of purpose. Real questions are about content, not form. Pseudo questions are statements that the illusion is real. The mind that thinks it knows is closed, it believes the separation happened. The mind opens up by questioning assumptions, leading to state of peace where there are no questions.

  16. Releasing Common Errors and Awakening - There are two main categories of ego error, and clarification about these categories makes exposing and releasing them very straightforward. Our Purpose is to simplify forgiveness and Awakening, and this is accomplished as disguises and distractions are laid aside. The first category of ego errors are metaphysical errors and the second category are transfer of training errors.
    Read also:
    Are we here to grow? , Translate Reality into forms? , Can enlightenment be received by transference? , Sacred sexuality

  17. An Introduction to Form and Content - A short essay that captures the essence of this fundamental ACIM concept. Comprehension of all other concepts rests on this one idea.

  18. Many Forms, One Correction: An Introduction to Form / Content - (MP3 33:41mins 13.4MB) - Read the Transcript - The Holy Spirit sorts all expressions into two categories, love and a call for love. The ego has a third category, which is attack. The mind in its natural state is abstract. Part of the mind is now unnatural ; it perceives specifics / form. The whole world of specifics is the dream-world. A transformation of consciousness is required to come to peace. Problems are not in form - perception is the problem. There is one mistake ; the belief loss is possible and that someone else can gain. The whole world is based on this error. In this world, justice is equated with fairness, and fairness is equated with equality in form. To be right-minded is to see no differences. There is no loss, there are no problems. Self imposed limits can not impose on God.
    Read also:
    Form versus Content

  19. Preliminary Questions on Memory, Creations and Consciousness - (MP3 9:26mins 3.78MB) - Read the Transcript - A brief question and answer session on the concepts of memory, Creation and consciousness. Forgiveness involves two phases, first recognizing that forgiveness is my only function, and then giving up all other functions / purposes. Memory is a made-up ability. It is used to remember the past and it can be used to remember the present. Peace comes from not trying to control outcomes, from having no expectations. Creation is of God, is of Spirit, that which is eternal is unknown in this world. Consciousness is a receiving mechanism that receives from above and below; from the Holy Spirit and the ego. It can be trained, and at the highest level it can reach the real world. This is a metaphor for the mind that believes it is split, and believes in levels. In truth there is only one mind.
    Read also:
    Consciousness as defined by ACIM -'Consciousness' as used in ACIM does not carry the same meaning as some other theologies.

  20. What is the World? - (MP3 6:08mins 2.51MB) - Read the Transcript - The world is a false perception that came about through the belief in separation. It has not left its source; it is a projection of ideas within the mind. Thoughts in the mind of weakness, smallness and guilt are seen as witnesses on the screen of the world, seeming to prove these thoughts are true. The ego teaches that if you let go of the world you will go into the void, into nothingness. The Holy Spirit teaches that if you let go of the world you will be everything, you will go into eternal peace. The mind has been seeking salvation on the screen to over the sense of loss, the belief in separation.
    Read also:
    The World the Ego Made , How do I get out of here? , Spirit's relationship to the world , A forgiven world

  21. Fear to Look Within - What if I am innocent? What if I am sinless and guiltless?The ego is terrified of just the questioning. It wants to get back to questioning the trivial things of the world. What if I could do this better? What if I could do this or that? Can I get a better illusion? That is the kind of questioning the ego can stand.
    Read also:
    Fright; the fear of awakening , Ease the fear = release the fear , Dominated by fear , Meaning of dissociation

  22. On Pleasure and Pain - (MP3 5:41mins 2.28MB) - Read the Transcript - Pleasure and pain both reinforce the body as being real and the deceived mind can not tell the difference between them. Addictions are the attraction to guilt, the attempt to cover over the emptiness. The ego advises to maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain. The teachings of Jesus / ACIM unveil the schemes of the ego.
    Read also:
    What is under my "physical addictions"?

  23. A New Interpretation - (MP3 set) - This audio set begins with some introductory ideas and metaphysics, then advances into some of the later (higher rung) metaphors used by the Course towards the end of the text. It could be considered a broad overview of A Course in Miracles. The very advanced ideas presented in these tracks are covered in depth later on in this website.
    Introduction to the Metaphysics of the Separation- Transcript - Metaphysical underpinnings of this core idea. Read this before continuing to the MP3s.
    Read also:
    The Original Belief in Separation

  24. A New Interpretation part 1 - Metaphors of the Course and the Bible (21:05mins 14.4MB) - Read the Transcript - Love only looks upon Itself. Like a parent looking upon a sleeping child having a nightmare, God is not aware of the specifics of the dream. The Holy Spirit is aware of illusions and heaven simultaneously. The ego's thought system seems logical, but it is based on the false premise that the separation occurred. Time is at its base. The mind believing in time sees the awakening as linear. The plan of atonement was an immediate answer to the belief in separation. You are healed, free and atoned for in the present. Any instant the ego is released, God is remembered. When the power of the mind is withdrawn from the ego, it is dissolved. I am the way, the truth and the life' and 'no-one comes to the Father except through me was spoken by the Voice for God. The ego personifies the message. The ego quotes and misinterprets scripture. Jesus reinterprets; the crucifixion was a demonstration of eternal life, that the Christ cannot be killed. Jesus (the right mind) does not believe in or perceive attack or betrayal. Forgiveness is correct perception; see only love or a call for love. Consistent peace comes from true /healed perception.

  25. A New Interpretation part 2 - Touching on Form and Content (27:22mins 9.95MB) - Read the Transcript - Insecurity comes from a false identity. As falsity is removed and you know yourself as spirit, nothing can take away peace. Content is purpose, the question to ask is What is it for? ACIM is a course in discernment between the two thoughts systems, the Holy Spirits and the egos. Level confusion is taking an idea such as responsibility for sight and relating it to form. God is Cause and Christ is Effect. The ego splits off Cause and Effect, making the screen/world causative. This backwards thinking involves victimhood. Healing is to give the (false) cause to the Holy Spirit. Exposing the ego and choosing the miracle leads to the dreamer of the dream state, becoming more joyful and consistently peaceful. Meditation is a receptive state. As the mind quiets, the Holy Spirit is heard, and peace is experienced.

  26. A New Interpretation part 3 - More Form and Content; Responsibility for Sight (28:29mins 11MB) - Read the Transcript - This talk goes into the topics of prayer, true and reversed Cause and Effect, and ordering thought, as well as the following: ACIM involves changing goals, this is perceived as sacrifice. Under the Holy Spirits teaching there is no loss and there are only two orders of thought; love and a call for love. Correction can only take place at the level of mind; by choosing right mindedness and perceiving differently. Peace is not situational, it is a choice, an experience in mind. It is a choice to perceive a call for love rather than a cause of upset on the screen. Level confusion involves guilt. The sole responsibility is to accept the atonement for ones self. Mind training sees that all healing is in mind. The deceived mind believes the dream is reality. The mind must go inward to focus on function and purpose, to experience that function and happiness are one.

  27. A New Interpretation part 4 - Talking about the Script and Linear Time (23:46mins 8.8MB) - Read the Transcript - The mind that perceives the world is perceiving the past. Getting in touch with attack thoughts (past thoughts) and letting them go is salvation. Although memory is an ability made after the separation, it can be used to remember the present. The present is revelatory; pure light. The immediacy of salvation means salvation is not in the future. Cause and effect are not separate. To see the image maker and the images are one is healing. The ego promotes and maintains linear time in terms of guilt and pleasure i.e. real guilt or pleasure occurred in the past, can be repeated in the present, and is anticipated in the future. The Holy Spirit teaches that there is only now. Joy comes from fulfilling your function; doing Gods will.
    Read also:
    How to view time, space and the script

  28. A New Interpretation part 5 - More Metaphysics and Opening Up to Discernment (24:11mins 8.52MB) - Read the Transcript - ACIM is a book of metaphors e.g. ideas of time are used and undone in the Course. Giving and receiving are the same. A fundamental block to this realization is the belief in sacrifice. The mind gets exactly what it wants. If it doesn't know what it wants and is confused, it gets confusion. While there are attack thoughts in the mind, witnesses are drawn forth and interpreted, and then the mind experiences the effects of these thoughts/interpretations. The deceived mind dissociates with universal law and so there is a need to practice until there is an experience of atonement. ACIM is a direct tool, a system that points to the truth. It is helpful to plunge into one system. As confusion abates there is an ability to relate to all from a place of clarity. There is one ego and there is nothing positive about it.

  29. The Serenity Prayer; no control over the world - This talk focuses, of course, on the simple wisdom found in the Serenity Prayer. It is a transcribed dialogue that embodies the essence of A Course in Miracles and simplifies what can seem to be a lot of metaphysical intricacy.
    Read also:
    Attempting to control , Seek not to change the world , What I can vs what I can't control , Releasing the 'control' addiction

  30. What About Prayer and God's Will? - (MP3 7:16mins4.99MB) - Read the Transcript - A short, clear synopsis on prayer, using the metaphor of rungs on a ladder, and a description of Gods will. Praying for specifics is a lower rung metaphor, a middle rung metaphor is realizing the mind is powerful through visualization and seeming to manifest. A highest rung metaphor is realizing that prayer and desire are the same, that desiring only peace brings the experience of joy because there is no investment in form. Gods will for His Son is perfect happiness. His will is not known in this world. Free will is when the mind has accepted the atonement. Mind is then free, is one with God.
    Read also:
    Clarifying free will , A prayer to be in touch with the Comforter , The Ladder of Prayer , Clearing the Altar of the Heart , God is a Pure Idea

  31. Touching on Manifesting and Prayer - (MP3 6:32mins 5.24MB) - Read the Transcript -The Holy Spirit does not really work in the world, he is in the higher mind; the light in the mind. As dark concepts and beliefs are raised up and released it seems that changes have been made in form. The script is written but the experience depends on which lens is looked through. If the mind perceives itself as a powerless victim, manifesting can be a helpful step. The mind prays unceasingly and when the prayer becomes God above all else, prayer and desire become unified.
    Read also:
    The experience beyond manifesting , Are dreams also idols? , Manifesting: the Ladder of Prayer 2

  32. One Universal Goal - (MP3 13:23mins 5.3MB) - Read the Transcript - A Course In Miracles advocates having one universal, abstract, non-specific goal. Specific goals are generated by the self concept. All desires are prayers, bringing witness to what the mind wants. Single, unified desire, is the undoing of splintered desires. Mind has to willingly accept a unified purpose / goal, being God.

  33. A Discussion about Needs - (MP3 42:54mins 17.1MB) - Read the Transcript - A discussion about the perception of needs. Most personal goals are to achieve a sense of worth. The fundamental error is the belief in lack and that comes from the belief in separation from God. The world is perceived as causative by the deceived mind. The mind reacts to interpretations of what is on the screen. The deceived mind sees an objective world. The healed mind sees it was a misperception. The Holy Spirit sees choice, decision and the problem, where they are. The problem and the answer are in the mind, not in the world. Perception is changed / healed when problems are brought inward to the mind, to the Holy Spirit, for release. There is one problem and one solution. The Holy Spirit is the answer and the answer is within the mind. Peace of mind is a present decision.
    Read also:
    Trust would settle every problem now

  34. Speak on Forgiveness - Shedding light on the meaning of forgiveness as Jesus talks about it in ACIM.

  35. What it means to decide for the Light - (MP3 8:25mins 3.4MB) - Read the Transcript - Very simply put, it seems there are multiple choices or decisions to make regarding dealing with doubt thoughts and illusions. It comes down to seeing that only the eternal is of value, and the Holy Spirit is the choice that brings what is truly desired.
    Read also:
    Beyond the image is abstract light

  36. A Series of Questions and Answers On the Holy Spirit - Includes: What is the ego's function in communication? How to discern between the ego and the Holy Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit speaking through me? Who can hear the Holy Spirit?

  37. Some Common Questions - Reviewing the idea of karma , Can evil and innocence be reconciled? , Is this practicable for the fully employed? , Does the Holy Spirit do things in the world? , Why is guilt never justified? , Destiny, choice, channeling and 'I need do nothing' , How to deal with illusions , Will the world hate me if I follow Christ? , How can I surrender to God? , Why am I not getting anywhere? , Is it ever right to give up on a relationship? , Is sex ever an act of love? , Coming to consistency , What is Real? , Two basic questions , Is the devil real? , Clarification on a few principles , Feeling like the worst ACIM student

  38. What is the difference between a true spiritual path and a cult? - The best indicator of an authentic spiritual path is one that instructs that responsibility for your state of mind at any given moment rests with you. A cult is a symbol or representation of the belief that your state of mind is dependent on a person, place, event, or circumstance and is not a decision of your mind.
    Read also:
    What about Jesus Christ?; religion and theology

  39. Mind is One (selections from ACIM) - A fundamental and uncompromising concept. "One brother is all brothers. Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one. Such is the truth. Yet do these thoughts make clear the meaning of creation? Do these words bring perfect clarity with them to you? What can they seem to be but empty sounds; pretty, perhaps, correct in sentiment, yet fundamentally not understood nor understandable. The mind that taught itself to think specifically can no longer grasp abstraction in the sense that it is all-encompassing. We need to see a little, that we learn a lot."
    Read also:
    One; Christ Mind , One Mind - Unified Perception , About Jesus and Private Minds , Getting to the bottom of belief , On joining , On psychic abilities

  40. On Private Mind - The whole basis of the ego is that you have a private mind with private thoughts and you’ve got some hideous things in there; things that if you’re husband or your best friend or your lover ever knew about they would be gone in an instant.
    Read also:
    Collective vs. Individual Consciousness

  41. Christ Mind Interview - The Christ Mind is the vast experience of unconditional Agape love, not of this world. Christ Mind is even beyond a unified field. It is so vast that it transcends perception, it transcends what for centuries has been called matter, and now as we see with Quantum physics that the unified field is completely overthrowing the laws of Newton, the behaviors of objects, the physics... the observer in Quantum physics is the closest that we come in this world to Christ Mind, which is vast love, One with the Creator.

  42. Touching on Teaching and Learning - (MP3 12:12mins 4.33MB) - Read the Transcript - Two ego defenses are learning ACIM as a conceptual system without transferring the training, and diffusing the teachings by mixing the course with other paths. A helpful stepping stone idea is teaching levels, i.e. student and teacher. In truth there are no levels. There are two thought systems and one or the other is being learned or taught in every instant. To believe some grievances are valid is to value the wrong mind. The belief in the ego, the Holy Spirit, and a decision maker is an error. Mind is aligned with the Holy Spirit or the ego and decisions come from one advisor or the other. To be a teacher of God is to teach the Holy Spirits thought system. When it is realized that no ego beliefs serve, it is gone. To go fully into ACIM is to sink into a deep, inner revelatory experience.
    Read also:
    On teachers and learning without limits , Releasing the master teacher concept , Teachers - Students , 'Wanting' to be a Teacher of God , The importance of an invitation

  43. The Holy Encounter; Teaching your mind about yourself - (MP3 5:31mins 3.79MB) - Read the Transcript -Every encounter is a holy encounter. You are teaching your mind about yourself. Every encounter is an opportunity for peace, defenseless, and salvation. Opening to this experience is seeing that there are no levels, no plans, and no categories of like-minded people. Christ is seen in everyone. What is seen is a witness to what is in the mind.

  44. Withdrawing the Mind from the World - (MP3 set) - Withdrawing the mind from the world (Awakening) can seem to entail the flushing up of many doubt thoughts and even confusion at times. Some of those thoughts can seem to be mirrored by those closest to us. This set looks at the 'dynamics' of relationships in the context of awakening and embodies the common experiences and what can seem to be 'trials' that anyone who begins to question the world encounters at some point.

  45. Withdrawing the Mind from the World part 1 - Looking Directly at Specialness (44:51mins 20.5MB) - Read the Transcript - One participant shares a situation of becoming unable to relate to friends who are not on the spiritual journey. There is fear of loss of relationships, fear of where the Course is heading, and conflict and anger arising. There is confusion because it is not feeling peaceful to hear the Holy Spirits Guidance. The undoing of the self concept involves experiences of struggle, distress and lack of ease, because the self concept is seen as reality. It is essential to see the difference between the ego’s and the Holy Spirits goals. All problems are based on duality being reality, resting on the fundamental belief that ideas leave their source.

  46. Withdrawing the Mind from the World part 2 - Looking at the Hierarchy of Values (44:48mins 20.5MB) - Read the Transcript - Jesus directs the miracle through the right mind. The laws of friendships and the desire to keep special relationships are beliefs to be surrendered. To judge is to be in the wrong mind, in the unholy instant. Ordering thought, judging illusions and attachment to specialness deny the possibility of seeing oneself in the present, and being in the miracle. The ego is afraid of the light and afraid of loss. It projects a vacuum, unable to for-see miracles and holy encounters. The mind vacillates back and forth, desiring autonomy / leadership and then being a follower, resenting both positions. Both are a denial of Self. Mind is not of this world.

  47. Withdrawing the Mind from the World part 3 - Looking at the Belief that Ideas Leave Their Source (39:25mins 18MB) - Read the Transcript - The dichotomy of inner and outer is to be dissolved. Attempting to be detached from outer problems is a perceptual problem / backwards thinking. Ideas leave not their source. Healing is recognizing it is always my perception, thoughts and beliefs. Perspective is a choice. The ordering of thought and judgment bind the mind to form. Complete forgiveness is the atonement; a total commitment, a mind overhaul. The ego sees awakening in terms of linear time, comparing and despairing. It projects the past into the future, using past learning rather than present trust in the Holy Spirit. Symbols of willingness and devotion are in ones own mind. God’s plan for salvation cannot fail.
    Read also:
    Opening to God's voice; feeling disoriented

  48. Truth Has No Exceptions - What is true for you is true for me and is true for all if it be the Truth.

  49. Finding: Seek no further - Be willing to discover that you are a "seeker" no longer, but One Who Is. Just what would change in experience (besides everything) if the Real You experienced True Identity and flowed from knowing Union with God instead of clinging to doubt and walking on eggshells seeking it?
    Read also:
    A Parable of Forgiveness , Peace comes with acceptance , Knowing your purpose

  50. Opening to Divine Love - Releasing the temptation to look outside for the "source of love" and instead extending the Love within is the key to a lasting happiness.


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