Levels in ACIM and what level confusion means

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018 1338 words 5 mins 56 secs1 comments
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2018 Paul West


1. God is the primary level of reality. God "causes" the 2nd level.

2. Creation, heaven, Holy Spirit, Sonship. This is a permanent pre-separation state where many children of God live in harmony. Each child has a mind, and some of those minds chose to believe in mis-creating another level.

3. This universe, including Earth and all human bodies. The "purest" way to experience this level is in true perception, a reflection of heaven, the face of Christ, once-removed from Heaven. Being in this world you still have a choice whether to be in true perception or false perception. The making of this level introduced or came from "level confusion".

4. False perception produces hallucinations and distortions of imagined worlds laid on top of or as a "perception of" the world. This is the experience of hell on earth. The world itself is still an illusion shared by the many sons of God, so now there's illusions on top of illusions.

In ACIM Jesus is NOT always talking about the same level. Each level is a different CONTEXT, and each is kind of "inside" the one above it. So if he's talking e.g. about your perception of the world, he's talking about you being in false perception and transitioning to true perception. If he talks about "the world IS perception" he's now talking at a higher level than that - level 3. If he talks about "there is no world" he's talking even higher than that, at level 2.

If you read ACIM believing that there is "only one level" or that everything it says is "true everywhere" or in all contexts, you WILL become confused and mistaken. All kinds of false conclusions come from this.

Another very common mistake is "hopping around the levels" during mid-sentence in order to try to justify or justify-against something being true. We've all done this ;-) For example "the body isn't real so why bother healing it" or "the world doesn't exist so why perform miracles". That's an intellectual straddling of two simultaneous levels and trying to make the truth of one override the other. That is an error in logical reasoning. Some people aim straight for higher level non-duality kind of truth being the only valid level, which produces profound denial and level confusion.


The first level confusion occurred when we as God's "effect" (creation) turned around and pretended that we, on a "lower level" could be the CAUSE of the higher level that caused us. Our attempt to "cause God", or to will against God, or affect God (sin), is the authority problem, and it is also level confusion.

So level confusion means that someone is confused about which level causes which other level. What is cause, and what is effect. A common way this plays out is someone takes something Jesus says at some higher level, and then attempts to "apply it to" a lower level context, in order to "explain away" there being any relevance to anything said about the lower level. This is a classic intellectual defense, and an error in reasoning.

An example might be, the course says I am not a body so I will stop eating. Or, the course says my hobbies are not real so I am not going to do them. Or the course says I'm not a body I am free, so when anyone says anything about bodies I'm going to overrule them and trump their claims by *switching context*, ignoring the context of the conversation, and pretending that the higher truth is the only one that applies here - this is intellectual arrogance.

Confusing cause and effect leads to the belief in magic, which is the belief that something which is actually an effect, is causing you, and producing effects in you. It also means you have turned yourself from "cause" into an effect. It also relates to how you see God, believing you are the cause of Him and therefore can produce effects in Him (sin) - which leads to the death wish.

And as Jesus says, "all sickness comes from a confusion of the levels." Which means, ALL forms of sickness (body or otherwise) show up when you believe that you are NOT the cause, and instead something BELOW you is the cause of you, making you its effect. It's the same thing as believing the BODY causes the MIND and can make itself sick against your will. It's as if you have switched the higher and lower levels around. Jesus also talks about how MIRACLES restore the "order of the levels". Ie, they put causality where it belongs (e.g. in the mind) and effect where it belongs (e.g. the body/world).

Fixing a faulty perception of cause-effect rearranges the levels into their natural order and prevents you from seeing yourself as "at the effect of the world I see." It places you back in the driving seat of recognizing that nothing happens to you against your will. Your mind is on one level, your body is on another. Similarly, your mind is on a level BELOW or WITHIN God's level. Your mind is also below the level of your soul (the soul never leaves the sight of God, each soul has their own mind which can choose whether to accept God's will or not).

So level confusion began with the separation idea. And it will continue until you are in the atonement. Until then, you likely will continue confusing levels and seeing things "backwards".

This is why we have to learn to discern WHEN Jesus is talking at one level, and when He is talking at another.

It can SEEM as if Jesus is contradicting Himself if He says one thing and then later says another. But these two things would ONLY contradict if they were on the SAME level. When you realize they are NOT on the same level, it makes more sense. For example when He says the body is not real and God did not create it, that is a higher level truth. When he says the body can be used as a communication device to extend love, that IS on a LOWER level. And therefore it IS confined to and limited to the context of having a body, and all the truths Jesus teaches about the body's unreality/inimportance/nothingness are STILL true. So you have to beware of which level he's talking at and when.

Just even realizing that the course HAS levels was really eye opening for me a few years ago. Until then I just lumped everything together. When you realize Jesus is teaching at and talking in different contexts, it really really clarifies a lot of things. Many people struggle with this, and it's why a lot of the course didn't seem to add up for me for many years.

One final note. When we use higher level concepts to "dismiss" the validity of anything at a lower level, that too is level confusion, and a form of denial. e.g. "there is no world, why bother healing people" is level confusion. Within the context of the world, WHILE there is a world, we ARE to heal people. UNTIL there is no world level, it's not our experiential truth that there is no world. AFTER the world has disappeared, there will be no more need for these miracles. You have to remember what is happening WHEN and where you actually ARE in the context of levels. Otherwise the result of this is just more split mindedness and denial.

To be awake in the atonement is to have NO level confusion. That means you realize you are the CAUSE of everything you experience. It means you know NOTHING can happen to you against your will, and never has. It is the secret to salvation - that you must have done it all to yourself, and you now choose again. It also means you now have POWER OVER THE LOWER LEVEL, which makes you a MIRACLE WORKER who can now break and override ALL of the ego's laws, including laws of physics, time, space, biology, etc.

Read more on: AcimLevels

Link to: https://www.miraculousliving.com/blogs/a-course-in-miracles-blog/levels-in-acim-and-what-level-confusion-means



This clarification was wonderfully helpful. Thank you!

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