"The goal of the curriculum, regardless of the teacher you choose, is KNOW THYSELF. ***There is nothing else to learn.*** Everyone is looking for himself and the power and glory he thinks he has lost."
"I do not know the thing I am, and THEREFORE do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world and on myself."
Jesus defines the course's ultimate goals in different ways, but a very significant angle is that we're trying to remember who we really are. We're trying to tune back into our real identity, to stop believing things are true of us which aren't, and wake up to our real self - a shared identity in Christ.
In the separation we denied who we really are, and pretended to be something we're not. This confused us greatly. Whatever you believe is true, you will believe must be true of you. As your sense of truth and reality shifted from heaven to hell, your whole sense of who and what you are went with it. Including a sense of "where" you are.
As your idea of truth shifted towards spacetime, toward bodies and the ego, it seemed as if your whole sense of self was flung out of heaven and transported into bodies. Having asserted "bodies are true", you believed they were true of you, which placed you in them.
All the things of spacetime, including the world and all bodies and the ego, are not of God. They are not created, or real. Since they are governed by time, they always change and are fickle, so they never have any sense of permanent identity. Even the notion that you are one of the things suggests you will die because your self is irrevocably changed against your will.
We have come to identify with the ego and the body because we think they are the truth. We've confused the truth with false things. Part of sorting out what is true and false is figuring out what category these things belong to. But at the same time, it's going to mean sorting out what category your identity belongs to. As your sense of truth changes, so must your identification with what's true.
The question then is, are you an aspect of a dream? Are you an artificial fake image of a body? Are you a fictional evil selfish ego? And by extension, anything that these things seem to do or experience or feel or think, must surely be NOT a part of your real self, if these things are not part of reality.
By saying you are not a body you're saying you are spirit. Your whole sense of "who and what I am" shifts away from the physical towards something spiritual. This HAS to entail an actual experiential sense of being something of spirit. The feeling of "this is my self" or "this is what I am". This locking-in of identity and self and home and a sense of where you belong, has to become anchored to your soul. So that you actually believe and recognize that you ARE a spirit being. So that you can SEE yourself.
To gain an understanding of what your real self's true nature is, and therefore what you should be trying to tune INTO, and to grasp what things are illusions which you should be tuning OUT of, you need a good sense of the nature of reality. God created you as a permanent, unchangeable, immortal, invulnerable, perfect, loving, powerful, happy being of light. That is what you must come to believe is your actual nature.
God did not create the world or the body, or the ego. He did not create suffering or sickness or death. He did not create unhappy feelings, sad emotions, grief or loss. He did not create sin or guilt or fear. He did not create any kind of suffering, any kind of selfishness, or any kind of specialness. So all of these things cannot be a part of the spirit-being that you are. They cannot truly be a part of your identity.
When you are believing that these false things are TRUE or real, you will identify with them. Anything you GIVE truth to you are trying to be ONE with. You embrace it and accept it and identify WITH it. You resonate with it and agree with it and want it for your own. You see your own reflection in it, and you merge with it. Therefore if you merge with illusory evil ego things, you start to become them.
This leads to experiences such as "I am suffering" "I am feeling unhappy" "I am sick" "I am having a broken body" "I am angry" "I am grieving" etc. And in this experience you will have become ONE with the ego so much that you will believe all of these experiences are literally YOU. That you are having them, you are the one feeling them, you are the one being victimized, and you are the one suffering. But this is because you've merged yourself WITH the ego and the body and have identified them AS you.
"if you are to RETAIN guilt, as the ego insists, YOU CANNOT BE YOU. Only by persuading you that IT is you, could the ego possibly induce you to PROJECT guilt, and thereby keep it in your mind."
"The ego believes that this is what YOU did, because it believes it IS you. It follows, then, that if you identify WITH the ego, you MUST perceive yourself as guilty."
What we have to realize then is that when we're in an "I am suffering" perspective, it is the EGO that is suffering. Because "only the ego can experience guilt." Only a weak frail unwanted miserable false self can possibly experience hell. Only the ego vantage point can make everything into hell. If you are therefore feeling like "I AM [fill in the ego attribute]", you have made yourself one with the ego and have taken it as your own identity. You are clinging to it to save you.
So then we have to realize that we are NOT this. We are not the sufferer. We are not the dream content. We are not the body. We are not the world. We are not that which feels guilt. We are not capable of grief and loss. We have to remember all of the true attributes of Christ and recognize that we ARE those things. We have to become ONE with Christ again, to merge with Christ and claim ownership of being Christ, unite with Christ, accept that everything true of Christ is purely true, and that it is true of us.
If God's truth is the only truth, then our immortal invulnerable self cannot POSSIBLY ever suffer in any way. Any sense of unhappiness, unworthiness, pain, despair, loss, fear, guilt, shame etc must NOT be a part of us. We cannot experience it from a vantage point of being perfect. It must be part of a dream, part of a fiction, part of the ego thought system. You cannot FEEL it if you are NOT that. It cannot BE there if it is unreal.
So now we have to sort out, who am I? What am I? What is true? What is true of ME? What is my real self? What is the nature of the soul that God created me to be as a son of God, as a part of Christ and as heaven? What is the only truth about me that I will accept as the definition of myself? What will I identify WITH which is real and true and permanent? And am I willing to let go of the ego, disconnect FROM it, separate it out from what I believe is part of myself, stop trusting it, stop using it, and stop being it?
Who are you really? You are the perfect child of God which God created to live forever. There is no darkness in you. There is no evil in you. There is no sin or guilt in you. There is no basis for you to fear or suffer. There is no possibility you can ever be sick or die. And nothing can ever attack or hurt you. You cannot BE hurt and you cannot FEEL unhappy. Only a false artificial self could be such things. Only a fictional self could suffer. Only a fake self could have attributes which are not of God.
You tried to reinvent yourself in the separation. You tried to be your own creator. You wanted to be different to how you were created. You wanted to redefine what is true and decide what you are, to make of yourself whatever you wanted to be. Anything except God-like. And so you have spent all this time making yourself into a body, turning yourself into the anti-christ, and trying to be dead. That is not who or what you are. It is not POSSIBLE.
"Now is our Source remembered, and Therein we find our true Identity at last. Holy indeed are we, because our Source can know no sin." "Father, You know my true Identity. Reveal It now to me who am Your Son, that I may waken to the truth in You, and know that Heaven is restored to me."
"Your altar stands serene and undefiled. It is the holy altar to my Self, and there I find my true Identity."
"But we have listened to Your Voice, and learned exactly what to do to be restored to Heaven and our true Identity."
"My true identity is so secure, so lofty, sinless, glorious and great, wholly beneficent and free from guilt, that Heaven looks to It to give it light. It lights the world as well. It is the gift my Father gave me, and the one as well I give the world. There is no gift but This that can be either given or received. This is reality, and only This. This is illusion's end. It is the Truth."
"Again, how simple is salvation! It is merely a statement of your true identity. It is this that we will celebrate today."
"We sing the song of thankfulness today in honor of the Self Which God has willed to be our true identity in Him. Today we smile on everyone we see, and walk with lightened footsteps as we go to do what is appointed us to do."
"For he who can accept his true identity is truly saved."
Hi Nick. I had no sense that your English was not perfect, it sounded perfect to me.
Thanks for your story. Yes when you really look at it, life ending in a grave suggests that anything you ever did was pointless and not worth doing. No matter how hard you tried, it just ended in death. That’s pretty bleak isn’t it, depressing and hopeless.
But then as you said, fortunately something in you, some sanity in you, knows this CANNOT BE TRUE. It cannot be that existence has this kind of nature, with an always bad ending and disappointment and loss. There HAS TO BE a better way, and a better life, and a better world. Reality just cannot be so terribly tragic and despairing. God cannot be like this.
Seeing the awfulness of the world’s cruel paths certainly is an eye opener. Provided you don’t get stuck in its despair, and remember to move past this to realizing there IS a light somewhere, there is a way out of hell and there is another world. That other world is heaven, the Kingdom of God, which is also your self. And there is real hope in that because it offers a life where nothing ever dies.
Hey Paul. I want to share an experience I had yesterday.
Due to my recent meditations on ACIM, etc, I decided to explore on google a cemetery near my home. I discovered that it can be accessed through streetview, because of its popularity. This cemetery, despite being relatively close to where I live, has no relatives or friends buried in it.
After entering streetview, I explored its alleys, seeing the graves, names, dates, photos, thinking of how much broken dreams, hopes, plans…how could many relationships were reduced to those grotesque monuments.
As I did that, I somewhat started to laughing and asked myself: what the fuck is this insanity?! Is really this what “life” is all about? We were born just to live a tiny part of time worrying about the things and problems of the world, desiring a lot and getting almost nothing, losing the few things that really gave some sense, to end up here, locked in a tomb for eternity?! No, this must be a huge mistake. I know, in my heart, that this cannot be the truth. There must be another way.
I’ve already had some experiences that opposes this “description of reality”. But why can’t I still reverse this way of experiencing life? In the midst of this, thoughts like “How dare you refute this” arose in my mind. But I also tried to laugh at them and remember the course lessons.
I was having these kinds of questionings, and while reading some of the course lessons, I felt that at some moment I had something like an intuition, a glimpse that there really is ANOTHER REALITY THAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, WHERE I’M INCLUDED, THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT’S GOING ON HERE, with a sense of certainty, permanence and wholeness.
I feel that it was not an experience resulting from intellectualizations. It was something that had a real impact on my perception and that, for a while, brought me a sense of peace, optimism and a merciful attitude towards this world (not the world itself, but my brothers I see there).
I even considered telling my wife about it, but thought it might not be appropriate (like many things I study and reflect about the course).
As time has passed, this realization has faded from my mind, so that it no longer carries a sense of conviction, as if it had fallen into the mere intellectual domain.
Anyway, thank you again for sharing your reflections. We cannot fail, because we seek the truth.
(sorry for my imperfect english)