(this will be a fairly long post, so please bare with me)
The ego thought system is based on separation. Separation resulted in space and time. In space, spatial relations are HOW the ego thinks. The physical universe IS its thought system.
This includes physical objects, which are separated out, where an object is EITHER HERE OR THERE, (but not in both places). This is a "natural" ego thought process. One thing seems to exist in one location only and not all locations. One thing is NOT something else, and all things are DIFFERENT, separate, and kept apart.
The entire physical universe is arranged according to this WAY that the ego thinks. It regards the entire thing as structured by SEPARATIONS. One object versus another. One location versus another. And then it draws comparisons, and has reasoning, and finds conclusions, based WITHIN the framework of separation.
So you, in your ego thought processes, then start to THINK this way. You think in terms of EITHER THIS OR THAT. And this seems to make SENSE to you because it maps directly to how the world is arranged. It then becomes "second nature" to think of anything in the world in SEPARATE terms.
For example, I parked my car in the first spot, not the second. I ordered the fries instead of the onion rings. My car is red, not blue. This is my body, not your body. Earth is not Mars. etc.
Our whole WAY of thinking runs according to these rules, based on SEPARATING things out, sectioning them off, isolating them, keeping them APART, emphasizing their differences, and locking them up in little prison boxes. And we think this is a natural way to think, to relate, to communicate, to reason.
Then we go about USING this way of thinking, to think about EVERYTHING. Not just to think about things which ARE based on a thought system of separation, but even to think about things which are completely BEYOND the ego thought system.
"It is the part that believes your existence means you are SEPARATE. Everything the ego perceives is a separate whole, without the relationships (sharing) that imply BEING."
This may not seem to present any problems when you use SEPARATION-BASED reasoning to discuss the things of space and time, but it COMPLETELY misses the mark when you think this way about heaven, God, creation, sonships, sons, souls, etc.
The Kingdom of God is a thought system, and God similarly has a WAY of thinking. His WAY of thinking is NOT based in the idea of separation. It is NOT based on the limitations of space or time or spatial relations. It does NOT separate things off, make them different, put them in SEPARATE BOXES, or keep them apart.
God's thought system/reality also does not demand that something HAS to be separate from something else. It does not require something to be EXCLUSIVE to one box and not another. Nor does it assert that everything that exists MUST be partitioned off into EITHER one state OR another. God simply does not THINK in terms of "either this or that".
God's mind, his creation, his way of THINKING, is actually based on a totally different kind of reasoning. This reasoning is INCLUSIVE, rather than exclusive. It also completely embraces the idea of SHARING. The ego's thought system completely blots out ALL suggestions of sharing, overlap, simultaneity, unity or oneness.
In God's system, it is NATURAL for there to be one thing, which SHARES all of itself with another. It is natural for one thing to GIVE all of itself and STILL RETAIN all of itself without loss. It is natural for TWO things to BE one thing. It is natural for one thing to be in ALL locations simultaneously. It is natural for one thing to be in one box, AND in another box, at the same time. It is natural for something to SPAN and TRANSCEND separations.
The Golden Rule, the law of God and of equality, simply states that what is true of one thing is true of another. Whatever is true of God is true of His Sons. Whatever is true or me is true of you. This is equality. God treats all his creations the same way. The Golden Rule reflects this, because it is a rule based on INCLUSION. We are both included in the same truth. The ego however is COMPLETELY AGAINST sharing and inclusion. And so is this world.
In reality, God THINKS in a holographic way. In a hologram, the whole is in every part, and every part is a whole in its own right, and every part shares the entirety of the whole with the whole. ACIM confirms that this is the way by which God thinks, and NOT through a process of separation:
"The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you."
This means for example that GOD IS WHOLE, being infinite. And God as a creator therefore extends and creates ANOTHER WHOLE. His Son, is a WHOLE SON. A full creation. As described here:
"The soul has not only been created perfect, it has been FULLY created. There is no lack in it."
"There can BE no disinherited parts of the Sonship, for God is whole, and all his extensions are like Him."
"EVERY mind that God created is equally worthy of being healed because GOD CREATED IT WHOLE."
However, for God to BE whole, and to CREATE wholly, and thus to create another WHOLE.... becomes TOTAL NONSENSE to the way that the EGO thinks. And if you think in the same separation-based way that the ego thinks, this FACT registers to you as total nonsense. You will reason, "how can it be possible that there are TWO wholes, that makes no sense!". It makes no sense to a thought system of separation, yes. But God's reality is NOT based on that kind of system. God is not limited by separation or spacetime.
In order to recognize AND accept, that God's mind and creation DO NOT follow the ego's rules, and that God does not THINK or create like the ego would, and God's Kingdom is NOT spatially separated out like the physical world is, you will have to become willing to think massively outside the box. You CANNOT use separation-based logical reasoning to evaluate the truths or falseties of reality.
Let's look at what happens when you try to shove God into a box-based thought system. God for example gives ALL of Himself when he creates. His Son inherits EVERYTHING. But... if you are thinking with the ego, you SHOULD conclude that by God giving all of Himself AWAY, there SHOULD be nothing left. Thus God should snuff out of existence and only His Son should remain. This is LOGICAL to the ego because the ego believes in SACRIFICE AND LOSS, which is inherent to a box-based world. But it is complete nonsense.
Similarly, you could suggest that if God gives EVERYTHING to ONE SON, there is NOTHING LEFT to give to another Son. This is how the ego would think in finite terms. However, God has ALL of Himself left to give again to ANOTHER son, and another, and another, without any reduction at all in Himself. And this is how the Kingdom INCREASES. And by giving ALL of himself away, reality is increased. As stated here:
"Each Soul knows God completely. This IS the miraculous power of the Soul. The fact that each Soul has this power completely is a fact that is entirely alien to human thinking, in which if any ONE has everything, there is nothing LEFT."
"To have all, give all to all."
You can see that if you think in exclusive, separating terms, you WILL come to FALSE conclusions about what's happening in reality. You'll conclude that if I have everything, you have nothing. But in reality, as Jesus describes in ACIM, me having everything DOES NOT prevent you from having everything also. How is it possible that we BOTH simultaneously have everything? Because we SHARE IT. And this sharing does NOT mean compromise or that we each only get half.
Sharing is the way by which God's Kingdom INCREASES. Because if it weren't for the ability to share, there would be no logical way for God to ever create anything more than just God, because he is already unlimited and everywhere. As this states:
"Nothing real can be increased, except by sharing."
If SHARING, INCLUSION, BOTH/AND is the natural thought SYSTEM of Heaven's reality, and it follows that thought PROCESS when it reasons anything, then SELFISHNESS, EXCLUSION, EITHER/OR, SEPARATION is the natural thought system of spacetime. And they are TOTALLY opposite. They are opposite because "this not that" is a direct reflection of the separation idea of "ego not God" or "death not life" or "non-existence not existence." The ego thought system is the NEGATION of reality.
If God creates two sons, who are brothers, and both are whole beings who have and share everything, co-creating with God, and then we look at this fact WITH THE EGO, we will see false conclusions. For example we'll say that there can't BE two sons. Or that if there are two sons, that's "duality", because now the two sons are KEPT APART in separate boxes meaning duality.
But this is not how it works at all. The fact that there are two, WHO SHARE, violates the boundaries of those boxes. One son is IN the other son and vice versa because they share everything. So there are two sons, who are ALSO each other.
"One brother is all brothers. One mind is all minds. Such is the truth."This also extends to the relationship you have with God. Those who think LIKE the ego, will reason that EITHER.... God is all there is, OR there is a separation. Or similarly, EITHER God and I are one thing, OR we are two things. Or that, if you get rid of all separations, you will end up with oneness.
There is a major flaw in that reasoning. The ego first establishes that you MUST think in a separating way, in which there is duality, and all things are kept apart. THEN it has you DESTROY all of the other parts except for one of them, by getting rid of the idea of separations between the parts. But it will not have you get rid of the ego thought process. Then it concludes falsely, that when you remove the separations, you end up with ONE THING. And this one thing is thought to mean "oneness", or to represent God.
This however is a false conclusion, because now "separate boxes" have been mapped onto God, and God has been shoved into a separate box, all by himself, and there is no creation and no sonship and NO SHARING. And the ego rejoices that it has imprisoned God this way, in the name of freedom.
When you look at what ACIM says, Jesus DOES NOT say that God is alone, or that he is separated off from creation, or that he has no creations. Instead it tells you in fact that God has a huge family and is simultaneously one with them. And that His oneness DOES NOT ERASE their manyness.
"Heaven is the sum of all God's thoughts, in number infinite."
"We are the Kingdom, WE, the Sons of God."
"The Kingdom of God includes all His Children and their creations."
This does not mean the Kingdom is duality or that it contains separate boxes. It means it contains overlapping shared beings who ALL have everything and ARE everything, seemingly as OPEN boxes who are not in any way confined, yet are still many things. HOW that's possible, is due to heaven's miraculous nature.
Ego thought processes do not allow this to be true. Nor does ego thinking allow it to be possible that when you are "one with God", you still have an individual self. EGOS then become AVERSE to any notion of individuality, which is self destructive, which the ego loves. You being one with God, DOES NOT ERASE your individuality.
"This appears to contradict another statement: "I and my Father are one." It doesn't. There are still separate parts in the statement, in recognition of the fact that the Father is GREATER. Actually, the original statement was "are of one KIND."
There ARE STILL "separate parts" in the statement, AND in some ways God is NOT totally like His sons, in terms of function or role. Meaning, YOU still exist as a distinct entity, AND God exists as a distinct entity. And what you SHARE between you, is your oneness with each other, AS TWO BEINGS. That is what ACIM teaches. And its definition of oneness is not "one thing being alone", it is EQUALITY. Being of THE SAME KIND. And an equality which is more than just two separate boxes next to each other - an equality where you SPAN the boxes.
Similarly, the ego will falsely conclude that if God and His Son are TWO things, this is duality. It is not, because we're again jumping the gun and projecting separate boxes onto heaven. Just because they are TWO, does NOT mean they do not share, and does NOT mean there is no unity. The Father and the Son are one, but there is still a Father and a Son. Just as WE will ALWAYS be brothers even in heaven.
In fact, the way by which God is everything, AND YET, His children are also FULLY created beings, who are also everything, is the course's definition of MIRACULOUSNESS. This miraculousness is completely alien to the ego thought system and all separation-based reasoning. The ego has NO CLUE, how it is possible, that God could have even created ANYTHING, yet alone multiple beings who somehow have been added-on to an already infinite reality. Nevertheless:
"MIRACULOUS CREATION was his own Source, and also his own real function.""Each Soul knows God completely. This IS the miraculous power of the Soul. The fact that each Soul has this power completely is a fact that is entirely alien to human (ego) thinking"
"Miraculousness", is the nature of God's reality. UN-miraculousness is the nature of spacetime. Everything in God's MIND and reality is permanently miraculous. It is miraculous because it makes possible what the ego says is IMPOSSIBLE. Just as the ego is the idea of impossibility.
For one soul to be a whole being, that shares everything with another whole being, as brothers, and with God, without a loss of self or individuality, and without ceasing to be "separate", and without being CONFINED to separate boxes, is miraculous.
This miraculousness is also reflected in THE MIRACLE. And in true perception. And in learning to THINK LIKE GOD, which the course asks you to do. In order to think like God, you have to TRANSCEND the "separating off and putting in boxes" nature of the ego and its thoughts. And that includes thinking of souls as separate bodies.
This entails overlooking separations and seeing unity beyond it. It requires you to not be blinded by perception of form, because form is anchored in separation. Your whole perception has to become similar to heaven's reality, which breaks all the ego laws. And this is also why miracles break all the laws of space and time AND of ego reasoning.
Becoming able to THINK LIKE GOD, requires you to align with the truth of the Golden Rule, in holy relationship, where what is true of you is true of all others. Where differences are completely ignored. Where no-one is IMPRISONED in a box. And where your whole way of REASONING is LIKE God's.... that is, based on "paralogical reasoning" - or AND/BOTH reasoning, rather than either/or.
We could say, THE ENTIRE COURSE is geared towards developing this BOTH/AND kind of perception, thought and experience, for all students. We are supposed to stop thinking with the ego, OR LIKE the ego. And we are supposed to learn that we are undo no laws but God's, and HIS laws are NOT laws of separation, exclusion, spatial relations, or limitations.
In order to fully grasp ANYTHING that ACIM says about the pre-separation state, God, the Kingdom, oneness, sonship, sons, souls, creation, extension, holy spirit, etc..... any of that non-ego stuff, you CANNOT USE the ego-based reasoning method. If you do, you will fail. Guaranteed. And you will see truth that is false, and what is really true will appear false to you. That's how BACKWARDS the ego thought system is.
Any conclusions you come to about God or oneness etc, if it's rooted in "either this or that", IS WRONG. Guaranteed 100%. Only when you start to think in terms of BOTH.... me AND you.... WE.... only then do you start to approach the NATURAL way of thinking like God, which is a miraculous state of mind. And ONLY by thinking that way will you understand and grasp the metaphysical facts of God's nature.
Non-duality for example is complete bullshit. It is bullshit because it is the result of an EGO thought process. The ego reasons, well, I believe all things are separate, so if we attack all the parts and end up with one victor, this ONE THING that's leftover, which is practically nothing, but is a single thing, symbolizes God. Because to the ego "less separation" is equated with spirituality or simplicity. So it will then map this "one thing" idea of oneness onto God and claim God is one thing - that there is NOTHING ELSE other than God. That God is SEPARATED OFF. That is NOT what ACIM teaches at all!
God is not only a creator and a father, God has a HUGE family of whole beings, all of whom are co-creators with each other. You and your brother co-create your creations. You and God and your brother co-create together. Even the holy spirit is a co-creator. And we all have this HUGE family of created beings in heaven. This is utterly incompatible with both the traditional idea of "oneness" and the idea of "non-duality".
And ALL of those beings are of ONE KIND, and SHARE EVERYTHING, and yet ARE SIMULTANEOUSLY MANY. Because that is HOW GOD THINKS. A holographic thought system in which the whole has created many parts and each part shares the whole with the whole of the rest. That is what ACIM says! And in order to INCLUDE all of what ACIM says, WITHOUT EXCLUDING any material or any factual statements, you will ONLY be able to accept ALL of what it says if you think in a non-separating way.
As soon as you get the simple idea that heaven's reality is based on BOTH/AND, rather than either/or, it will all fit into place and become clear. Because everything real is based on a both/and system of reason and thought processes. Creation ITSELF is based on sharing between two. God SHARES HIMSELF, in order to create, and He does not will to be alone. The natural logical outcome of that is that WE, as many permanent brothers, in the sonship which God DIRECTLY created, are all "one" (equal/sharing) because we share everything.
If this does not make sense to you, it is because you are thinking with the ego. If it seems like nonsense, it is because the ego is projecting its separation ideals onto it. If you cannot follow it, either I explained it poorly or you can't get past your ego thinking. But either way, God's entire reality is NOT LIKE EARTH, and you have to learn to RADICALLY think WAAAAAAY outside the realm of boxes if you want to recognize its true nature. Heaven is not spacetime!
"Earth, Heaven's opposite in every way."
This is more than just another way to think or use the intellect. This ties into how you should PERCEIVE, how you experience the real world, how you tune into the miraculous state of mind, the nature of the miracle and the atonement, all holy relationships, living by the golden rule, holy spirit's thought system etc.. It's all based on heaven's nature which is NOT based on a world of separate boxes.
"The separation IS the notion of rejection. As long as you teach this, YOU still believe it. This is NOT as God thinks, and you must think as He thinks if you are to know Him again. Any split in will MUST involve a rejection of part of it, and this IS the belief in separation."
"Exclusion and separation are synonymous."
"Can you who see yourselves WITHIN a body, know yourself AS AN IDEA? Everything you recognize you identify by EXTERNALS, something OUTSIDE itself. You cannot even think of GOD without a body, or some form you think you recognize."
"To you the miracle cannot seem natural, because what you have done to hurt your mind has made it so unnatural that it does not remember what is natural to it. 2 And when you are told what is natural, you cannot understand it. 3 The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you. 4 Wholly natural perception would show you instantly that order of difficulty in miracles is quite impossible, for it involves a contradiction of what miracles mean. 5 And if you could understand their meaning, their attributes could hardly cause you perplexity."
"God's miracles are as total as His Thought, because they ARE His thoughts. God shines in them all with perfect light. If they recognize this light anywhere, they know it universally. "
"For you cannot understand Wholeness unless YOU are whole, and no part of the Son can be excluded,"
"the whole Kingdom as literally PART OF YOU."
"For in your part lies ALL of it, without which is no part complete, nor is the whole"
"One brother is all brothers. One mind is all minds. Such is the truth.""If they are deprived, their perception becomes distorted. When this occurs, the whole family of God, or the Sonship, is impaired in its relationships.""Though every aspect IS the whole, you cannot KNOW this, until you SEE that every aspect IS THE SAME, perceived in the SAME light, and THEREFORE one. "