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The Experience Beyond Theology

Q: I must say I'm touched by your concern for me and the intensity of your passion for the Course and its message of salvation evinced so strongly in your most recent epistle. You stress repeatedly that we tend to see [perceive] only what we want to perceive, and that my perception represents what I want to see, and not what's really there. I trust you will accept that this propensity to misperceive based on prejudice is not unique to me, and that you might also share it?

A: I love You as my very Self. The Joy of Christ is the intensity of the passion I express. I am aligned with the Holy Spirit's Perspective and do not share the "propensity to misperceive." I now see that illusion cannot be shared. Only the Holy Spirit's Perspective can be shared, for the "personal perspective" of the ego based on the premise of "private minds/private thoughts" was the only error. Only love can be shared, and the attempt to "share" an illusion is literally impossible. I know of your desire for true freedom, and therefore point out that your questioning must be aimed at what you believe freedom to be that is covering the Experience over in awareness. As Christ says in ACIM: "It is of them who learned of freedom that you should ask what freedom is." (T-20.IV.4.5)

Q: With "a little willingness" the Holy Spirit corrects our perception and then what we project is the Love of God, not the confusion of the ego.

A: Actually the Holy Spirit extends and the ego projects. Love extends and error projects. Projection is always of the ego. As Christ says in ACIM:

"The difference between the ego's projection and the Holy Spirit's extension is very simple. The ego projects to exclude, and therefore to deceive. The Holy Spirit extends by recognizing Himself in every
mind, and thus perceives them as one. Nothing conflicts in this perception, because what the Holy Spirit perceives is all the same. Wherever He looks He sees Himself, and because He is united He offers the whole Kingdom always." (T-6.II.12)

Q: I will tell you also that almost everything I thought was true about the world and God 40 years ago I don't agree with today. My mind was changed about many things, and it was changed mostly by people with whom I initially disagreed totally. I was "a little willing" to listen when I came across a persuasive case, whether I "wanted" to believe it or not. So it's not true that there is no amount of evidence which can change my mind.

A: You are beginning to discover that everything that "you think you think" is completely meaningless. This is a reflection of the "undoing lessons" of the ACIM Workbook, particularly #4 & #10.

Q: I'll tell you one more thing, I spent three years in Biblical Studies at a Church College. Some of my teachers were spiritual giants and they taught me a great deal more than they knew they taught me. One thing they taught me was how to do Theology and Scriptural Exegesis carefully and professionally. I love doing both, with those who are capable of doing either, and that's not everyone, which is fine.

A: The concept of theology has only temporary value as a "stepping stone" to the Awakening Experience. The Text of ACIM is intended to make the Workbook lessons more meaningful, yet it is application of the lessons (without making exceptions) that is the key to the transformation of consciousness or the happy dream. The goal is true forgiveness, and theology must be laid aside for this Experience to occur in awareness. As was quoted in my last e-mail to you: "Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends." (C- in.2)

Q: We don't talk theology, we just DO IT. Which is actually even more fun! Whether talking it or doing it with others, I usually learn something, which is where the Joy comes in. God knows I'm not always right! One can't learn if one thinks one is. On the other hand, I'm not always wrong either :). It does say after all "Blessed are the peacemakers." There is nothing in there about "Blessed are the Theologians of Peace." Action counts. Talk is cheap, however entertaining. Often it just entertains the ego. However, the body's sole function is communication, which can involve talking. Communication with good will can advance joining and the removal of blocks to the awareness of love's presence. Where that is the goal and the result, our efforts are not in vain.

A: Talking about theology could be summed up in the following passages from ACIM: "The study of the ego is not the study of the mind. In fact, the ego enjoys studying itself, and thoroughly approves the undertakings of students who would "analyze" it, thus approving its importance. Yet they but study form with meaningless Content." (T-14.X.8.6) "All unhealed healers follow the ego's plan for forgiveness in one form or another. If they are theologians they are likely to condemn themselves, teach condemnation and advocate a fearful solution." (T-9.V.3.3) Do not let the attachment to theology delay the application of the daily lessons, for all learning inspired by the Holy Spirit is aimed at the Experience of Awakening. The ego is the seeming block to the awareness of this Experience and therefore it is the ego must be unlearned or undone to Wake Up to Reality.

Q: While studying New Testament Greek and Hebrew Prophecy I also had time for a few Psychology courses, including one in Perceptual Psychology. The bias of perception, so often stressed in the Course
when it contrasts the misperceptions of ego with the correct perceptions of the Spirit is well known to Psychology, and presumably to the Psychology Professors, Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford. They would also have known about a similar phenomenon called "Extension Transference" whereby a pattern of thinking, or mental extension, from one arena can be transferred to another, unconsciously, whether or not it is appropriate. It was "extension transference" that enabled some Nazis to view the Jewish inmates of concentration camps as vermin, like rats, whose extermination was an unpleasant but
necessary duty. The model of "vermin" was "inappropriately extended" to human beings in those days, most of us would think now. Some of these Death Camp guards sincerely believed they were simply "exterminators" on par with the chaps who clean out fleas and roaches. We can certainly call that an error, but it is not "evil." Nor a cause for anger.

An example of that, related to the bias of perception or, in the words of the Course "projection makes perception," is when we take a principle such as "it's a good idea to stop at stop signs" and apply it as an absolute, that in all cases all laws should be strictly obeyed, including, for instance, the law that required one to "rat" on Jews in 1943 Greater Germany.

A: What you are calling a principle (ie., "it's a good idea to stop at stop signs") is a make-believe thought that is part of a false self-concept that God did not create. Spirit transcends the belief in the physical. If you read the Principles of Miracles at the beginning of ACIM you will see examples what I call the miracle principle. The miracle principle does apply "in all cases," and if you apply the Workbook lessons without exception you will Experience this as true. There is no order of difficulty in miracles precisely because the principle is equally applicable in all cases. This is the transfer of training at which the ACIM Workbook aims and on which the Experience of true forgiveness depends.

Our Spiritual Being, represented by the Holy Spirit, is shared as one Purpose or Perspective. The Holy Spirit knows what is truly most helpful "in all cases." The Holy Spirit is always present within to Guide our thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and inspire the seeming "actions" of the body. Whether or not one listens to the Holy Spirit appears to be a choice, but remember that the Holy Spirit is always within, ever present, and always waiting to be heard.

In any situation, if you quiet the thoughts, quiet the emotions, quiet the urges of your mind and listen within to the Holy Spirit, you intuitively know what is the right thing to say or do. It follows that if you are a willing listener you don't need a legislature or a philosopher or a psychologist or a church authority of any kind to tell you what is right-minded and what to say or do. If you are honest with yourself you know the answer is inside of you. The Holy Spirit is the Guide that always leads to the Peace of God.

When the mind seemed to fall asleep and forget Divine Principle as Being One with God, the Holy Spirit was Given as the Guiding Light Whose Purpose was forgiveness and Awakening to Oneness. But a sleeping mind does not always want to listen to the Holy Spirit. Sometimes a sleeping mind listens to the ego. This is a mistake, for the ego is not real and knows not Reality. Thoughts, emotions, perceptions, and actions of the body which proceed from the ego produce the illusion of enslavement of the mind. Does the Holy Spirit know that the sleeping mind is not going to always listen to the Guidance offered? Of course. The Holy Spirit knows about the sleeping mind's fear of Awakening.

The Ten Commandments were Given mostly as behavioral "guidelines" intended to remind the mind about Divine Principle. I say mostly because the Commandments to Love the Lord Thy God and not to covet and to have no graven images or idols before God are not behavioral in that they apply directly to the altar of mind. The Holy Spirit thus said: Here, since you often forget to listen to Me within, I'll let you know in advance that I, your Memory of Spirit, am never going to Guide you to kill, am never going to Guide you to commit adultery, am never going to Guide you to steal, and am never going to Guide you to bear false witness against your neighbor, etc. You may call these laws, yet they are simply crude guidelines which Help lead you Home to Heaven. Christ is the Divine Principle or Spirit to which these "laws" point. The Christ is the Spirit of God's Love, and the only real "Law" is Divine Love. This "Law" cannot be broken for It has no opposite. Yet this "Law" can seem to be unremembered. This seeming amnesia is the time-space cosmos of a sleeping mind.

These Ten Commandment "laws" were inspired by the Holy Spirit as reminders or stepping stones to turning within and following the Guidance of the Holy Spirit "in all cases." When the Eternal Principle of Spirit, of God, of Christ was forgotten, ego "laws" were "made" or "projected" out of fear. Listen deep within. Do not listen to the ego's "reasoning." Listen to the Holy Spirit. The "laws" made up by the ego are nothing and lead nowhere. Yet the Holy Spirit leads the sleeping mind to a gentle Awakening.

Q: Your Course exegesis exemplifies a good deal of "extension transference" in which an idea is pulled out of context, and applied to a situation quite irrelevant to it. The Pharisees of the New Testament were rather famous for doing that, nit-picking at Jesus constantly over the most trivial technical breaches of the law, leading Jesus to point out that the Spirit of the Law, not its letter was important. "The Law was made for man, not man for the law." They took a reasonable idea "obeying a good law is a good thing" to absurd lengths and made of it an absurdity.

A: Examples from the Holy Spirit are Given and used to show that there are no exceptions to the miracle. They teach "resist not evil" by proving that there is nothing real to resist. The context or content of all examples I share IS the miracle principle. What you perceive as "extension transference" is but the attempt to deny that the miracle applies in all cases.

Q: I've already made the point about the "outrageous" quote relating to material things, not fundamental spiritual truths. The example of the temple tax is one of a "material request." The fact that Jesus paid it by catching a fish and pulling a coin out of its mouth, for all to see, which is comparably outrageous to the demand to pay itself, demonstrates his feelings on the subject. But still, he paid it. It really was simply a "material request" to support the Temple and the priests. Outrageous to ask the penniless to support the fabulously wealthy perhaps, but still, it was strictly a material request.

A: A request to "cease and desist" publishing or distributing a copyrighted material is also a specific "material request." The example of Jesus paying the temple tax is an excellent example of the quote I shared in my last e-mail from ACIM: "Recognize what does not matter, and if your brothers ask you for something "outrageous," do it <because> it does not matter. Refuse, and your opposition establishes that it does matter to you. It is only you, therefore, who have made the request outrageous, and every request of a brother is for you. Why would you insist in denying him? For to do so is to deny yourself and impoverish both. He is asking for salvation, as you are." (T-12.III.4)

Q: We may however, through collaboration driven by fear, convince ourselves and others that we are surrendering our freedom. That is "making the error [seem] real." And that is what many have done, on many occasions through the ages, thinking it was "holy."

A: Fear is always a wrong-minded perception. The miracle shows that there is never any case in which fear is justified. The miracle simply sees the false as false, therefore it is clear that there is nothing to oppose. The miracle sees that there is nothing to rebel against, for there is nothing "outside" the wholeness of the Holy Spirit's Perspective.

Q: Where we differ is on tactics. I believe it is best not to pretend to do the impossible, surrender freedom, and I openly deny the denial of truth that the copyright is, and refuse to obey it, except at sword point. This is precisely how Jesus, Paul, Silas, and Barnabus responded in the New Testament to similar demands that they cease their teaching. They refused, and were arrested. They did not obey these "outrageous demands" and they said they could not, for to do so would violate the law of God. You set out to obey it in form while denouncing it in content, creating a conflict for yourself in which
your actions and your beliefs do not correspond. I, at least, am consistent. My behaviour reflects my belief. I am not into pretending to be what I'm not here.

A: There is no pretense in the miracle, for only the ego pretends. There is no conflict in the miracle because there is no pretense. You wrote saying it was not possible to take freedom away, then added "I believe it is best not to pretend to do the impossible, surrender freedom," attempting to acknowledge that pretense is possible but not the "best" approach. The ego is the pretense and you are not the ego. True freedom is of God and cannot BE taken away or surrendered. The miracle demonstrates this to be so. The miracle demonstrates that conflict is impossible in wholeness.

Q: The conflict here is not really between you and me, but between you and you, it is "intrapersonal" as every attempt to deny freedom must be, according to the Course.

A: If you perceive any conflict this is a Call for Love. Peace comes to the mind which sees that conflict is impossible because attack is impossible. Only the ego believes that attack is real, yet without the concept of attack there is only peace. The ego is not real and there is only peace. Forgiveness is impersonal in a very literal way, for it transcends the belief in private minds and private thoughts and separate persons. The detached Perspective of the Holy Spirit reflects the biblical phrase "God is no respecter of persons." "Intrapersonal" is another word for the self-concept, yet the miracle shows that no self-concept can stand in the Light of Truth. The Truth is: I am as God created Me. The Truth and the belief in attack do not co-exist, for perfect Love casts out fear.

Q: I am not uncertain or confused about what is honest and what isn't here.

A: You wrote: "I openly deny the denial of truth that the copyright is, and refuse to obey it, except at sword point." It must dawn in awareness that belief in a "sword point" has nothing to do with the miracle principle in which there is no loss or fear. The miracle is honest, and the ego (being a lie about identity) is the illusory experience of uncertainty, confusion, and dishonesty.

Q: Your argument is, I believe, extension transference. You are taking a mental extension and misapplying it to a situation in which it makes no sense and actually leads us to a false conclusion. Just like the "Jews are vermin" false transference, though in this case, fortunately, much less lethal.

A: There is no order of difficulty in miracles and no hierarchy of illusions. The miracle simply sees the false as false.

Q: I think, **, that we agree on far more than we disagree, details of Course exegesis notwithstanding. We agree that the copyright derives from fear, and ego, not from the Holy Spirit and that its design, which is to infringe on freedom, is one that cannot succeed because it violates the Law of God. In this world of perceptions however, we may persuade ourselves that it can or has succeeded with Psychological mechanisms such as denial. That is "making the error [seem] real." As Jesus told Helen, in one of those parts "abridged out" of later versions, "never underestimate the power of denial."

A: The "we may persuade ourselves..." is an impossible attempt to make "denial" and the ego real in awareness. Who is the "you" "in this world of perceptions"? You are a Child of God, created in Spirit, and the ego is not You. The ego knows not of true freedom in Christ. There is no need to attempt to identify with the ego, for Christ is the Reality of One Self. In the Holy Spirit's Perspective it is obvious that the ego is not true and cannot therefore be believed.

Q: What is odd is you say that I am imagining it to be real while I consistently say it's not, it should just be ignored, it's pure illusion. And I refuse to obey it because the unreal cannot honestly be obeyed. Yet you seem to think that your pretending it is real by obeying it demonstrates its unreality better. You can maybe see why that does not quite add up in my mind?

A: Love does not oppose. In the miracle it is obvious that all form is illusion. The miracle knows no need, being a reflection of Wholeness. The ego is the belief that there is an "it," a "copyright law," that is real and that one can therefore "refuse to obey." Why would a mind "refuse to obey" something it actually knew was unreal? The "refuse to obey" is an example to the ego's attempt at "making the error real." Resist not evil because there IS nothing to resist. Love looks upon Itself. In the Holy Spirit's Perspective there is nothing apart from one whole mind and therefore there are no "villans" "out there." False belief (ego) is the illusion of an "enemy" "out there." Christ has no "enemy."

Q: As for "projections" I think your notion that I am angry and embattled is that, a projection, and not a reality. I do not believe the copyright can restrict freedom "in truth" although we cannot deny that it can appear to do so "in time." Indeed it is intended to appear to do so.

A: Release the belief in time and you have released the "can restrict freedom" concept.

Q: Just so the Course tells us delay is "tragic in time" but not in "eternity." This distinction between the Course's levels of perception is one I think you need to study a bit.

A: Eternity has no levels. The miracle shows mind as causative and effects of the world as meaningless. Wrong-mindedness, the ego's perception, sees causation "in the world." Because you have believed that a make-believe "copyright law" can "restrict freedom," the illusion of upset has been experienced as real in your awareness. Yet how can a make-believe "law" take away peace of mind? The Holy Spirit's joyous Answer is that it cannot. The world is but a false "effect" of a false "cause." The ego made the world as you perceive it. God creates Eternally in Spirit. God did not create this world. Your anger stems from a confusion about your Author, your Source. God is the Author of Reality, and Christ is an Effect of God. You cannot create yourself, but can accept our Self as God created the Self. Forgive the belief that God created this world and experience the Joy of the Holy Spirit! In the Holy Instant there is no such thing as a "copyright law." Empty your mind of all such concepts, for illusions will never content the Holy Child of the Living God.

Q: Ego perception is mistaken, and not real, but the Holy Spirit's corrected perception is "correct" and of this the "real world" consists. In correct perception the copyright is simply a bad joke, and a simple mistake, a misperception. It must be, because it supposes freedom can be limited.

A: The ego and its fragmented world of time-space was simply a joke - and a joke is neither bad nor good. It is laughable. Happily there is nothing to oppose or correct or change in the Holy Spirit's Corrected Perception. Distorted perception that seemed to "see" a fragmented world of private minds and private thoughts, attack and defense, and heros and villans is over now. The past is gone and nothing but a blessing remains. Consider the joy of true forgiveness. In contrast to the ego, true freedom and peace rest in this one lesson:

"Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is." (W-pII.1.5-6)

Q: I do not really think you are opposed to the idea of brothers who have a dispute coming together with friends and impartial others to discuss ways of resolving the problem. In such sharing the illusory nature of the conflict should become apparent, as should the Holy Spirit's solution which will always be in the best interests of everyone.

A: We have "come together" with the Purpose of welcoming the Solution exactly as It is. Welcome Truth exactly as it is, right Now, and there is Great Cause for rejoicing! Experience the Joy Beloved One!!! Be happy Now!!! I offer you this simple reminder:

"There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn, for it is the realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is restored to you. For God created only this, and He did not depart from it nor leave it separate from Himself. The Kingdom of Heaven is the dwelling place of the Son of God, who left not his Father and dwells not apart from Him. Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within." (T-18.VI.1)

I Love You forever and ever.

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