Laying the Foundation - Materials
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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- 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.
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
- 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.
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...
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.
Goal of ACIM - No theology is sacred. ACIM is a tool to
help distinguish between illusions and truth.
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"
Read also: Separation
Q&A , God is a
Pure Idea , Questioning
Assumptions , Meaning
of 'Ideas Leave Not Their Source'
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
Did the Mind Make the Ego? - (MP3 7:20mins 2.94MB)
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?
- 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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
What is under my "physical addictions"?
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.
to the Metaphysics of the Separation- Transcript - Metaphysical
underpinnings of this core idea. Read this before continuing to the
Read also: The
Original Belief in Separation
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
About Prayer and God's Will? - (MP3 7:16mins4.99MB)
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
on Manifesting and Prayer - (MP3 6:32mins 5.24MB)
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
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.
- 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
on Forgiveness - Shedding light on the meaning of forgiveness
as Jesus talks about it in ACIM.
it means to decide for the Light - (MP3 8:25mins 3.4MB)
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
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?
- 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
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
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
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
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.
on Teaching and Learning - (MP3 12:12mins 4.33MB) -
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Has No Exceptions - What is true for you is true for me
and is true for all if it be the Truth.
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
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.
to 'Unlearning the World' - Materials Set Two