Redefining christian elements in ACIM

Saturday, Apr 16, 2022 4546 words 20 mins 12 secs1 comments
An A Course in Miracles Blog  © 2022 Paul West

A glossary of christianity terms reinterpreted and clarified by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.

Here are some elements of ACIM which may sound christianity-oriented, but of course Jesus redefines and clarifies their meaning.

1. Heaven - is the kingdom of God which God created one with Him and which is immortal and eternal. You are part of it, as is everyone. It is reality. It is a living creation in which all things are alive forever. It is not Earth.

2. Hell - the attempt to oppose heaven, reality, God, yourself and others, by believing in a state which really does not exist, as if it does. A state opposite to the nature of God, which lacks everything and is therefore devoid of meaning. Onto this empty shell you can project ideas of hell or or heaven, which are seen as a reflection. A belief that hell is real turns the nothingness into hallucinations of something evil. Earth is part of the empty shell, the veil of illusions.

3. Being cast out of heaven - if you are not in heaven, you are dreaming of being exiled. God didn't cast you out, you left. Or at least, you believe you are no longer where God is. This produces an illusion of a world outside of heaven, which includes the Earth. God didn't abandon or reject you, you wanted to not have him be your father and to receive nothing from him. You became the prodigal son who thought he could be better off on his own.

4. The devil - anyone who denies God is against God. They are also against Christ, making them the anti-christ. Being against God you are attempting to turn yourself into a devil. The devil is your belief in an impossible opposite to God. It is your ego. Every separated individual is the anti-christ. But these states are not real. They are make-believe fiction and fantasy in which someone who is confused believes they are something they can never be. Thus there is no real devil or anti-christ, only people with mental illness.

5. Sin - the idea that separation is possible and real and has real consequences. That you can cause reality, therefore you can cause God. Therefore you have committed the "original sin" of trying to attack God. Except nothing real (immortal) can be attacked, so sin is really just a mistaken belief that sin is possible. When correctly recognized as a mistaken belief, it is regarded as error, and errors can be corrected without punishment. If sin were real, punishment by death is inevitable. But if sin is a false idea, then there is no death.

6. Salvation - to the ego-oriented person, salvation is anything opposite to God which takes you further away from God. In this light death is seen as salvation from life. In truth salvation is the return to God through willingness and acceptance that only his truth is true. To be saved is to be free from sin, ie error. Which means simply to be sane and to recognize correctly what is really true. Salvation is the same thing as atonement, true perception and true forgiveness.

7. Atonement - to the ego-oriented person, this is punishment for sin, demanding death. To pay for what you did. Ego says you attacked life so your life will now be attacked. Real atonement is the recognition that attack is impossible, there is no sin, and only what God created really exists. Atonement is the final miracle in which you recognize reality for what it is and reject anything not of God. Where you realize that only God's Kingdom exists and there is no world. That you are still as God created you, causing you to wake up from your dream and return to reality.

8. Evil - the notion that some power other than God exists and can cause changes in the immortal. Evil is nothing but mental illness, insanity, confusion, and just a belief in an opposite to God. It's an attempt to overthrow the kingdom and rebel against reality, making a person seem insane. Believing truth is false and false is true, all properties of nothingness and evil are assigned to God, while all properties of God are assigned to nothing. This produces hallucinations of enemies and attack and hell. There is no evil because it is nothing but a false belief in something impossible.

9. Repentance - you must repent of sins, or choose to stop being a sinner. In truth you cannot really be a sinner because sin is not possible. You can believe you are a sinner, however. And it is this belief that must be undone. To "choose again" is to repent by aligning yourself closer to God and rejecting the ego/devil.

10. Confession - really means to admit the truth, but only to admit the truth of God is true. To admit to having seemingly done something that is impossible in reality, may seem like honesty, but it's really admitting to something unreal. A true confession admits that you are christ and are purely innocent forever.

11. Word of God - the true nature of God expressed and manifested in creation. God's authenticity and honesty and trustworthiness. The expression of God's love, his voice, and his creations. It is the whole kingdom and its truth. 12. Faith - similar to trust, in terms of who or what you are placing your faith and allegiance in. Faith in the ego/devil means trusting a lie and moving towards death. Faith in God means trusting the turth and moving towards life. It's also tied into what you give "credit" to, and therefore what you value or want. If you value God you want God and credit him with being true. Therefore you trust him and side with him, and therefore have faith (know) that his laws are the only laws.

13. Resurrection - A return to life, meaning a return to immortality and eternity. This is possible only in the context that currently those who reject God are to some degree "playing dead" and are trying not to live. Resurrection is the assertion of pure life and is the opposite of choosing to die. It surmounts death and abolishes it and has power over it. It might be expressed or demonstrated as in Jesus's resurrection in which he showed through physical form that death has no power over him. It also includes the power to abolish sickness and death in all its forms, including physically in self and others.

14. Savior - Jesus is an example of a savior in that he united his will with God's, therefore uniting the will of the whole sonship with God's for us. Part of us therefore became united with God again in Jesus's resurrection. In this sense he has now in a position of being able to save ie help us - to become saviors.

15. Prayer - Ultimately communion with God in which everything is given and received. Love is received and love is expressed. It is a request for and an acceptance of everything. In its lower forms it devolves into specifics and requests which include a wish for some kind of attack or control or special favor.

16. Revelation - a true revelation is a state in which fear is totally abolished. It is a one-way communication from God to a child of God, and is like being imprinted with God. In the experience it is deeply personal and there's only you and God there. It does not include others. But its content can later be shared with others. It is not a mere insight or download or slight upgrade, it's a powerful world-blotting-out intense expression directly from God.

17. Soul - God created many souls which are individual beings who comprise the sonship and are the Kingdom. They are simultaneously all one as the Christ, also known as the one son of God. They are not children of Christ, they are children of God. They share everything with each other and therefore are each other. Souls are permanently perfect co-creators with God and create their own kingdoms of living beings together. You have a soul which is your real self/identity in christ, and you have your own kingdom of creations in heaven, which are your children.

18. Christ - Christ is also referred to as the one son, a part of the holy trinity, but christ is also EVERY son of God. Each soul is christ and you are christ just as Jesus is. Which means you are also part of Jesus and vice versa. We are all joined together in christ. Christ is the perfect holy state of being of all souls and the christ-mind is shared by all minds.

19. Trinity - Before the separation from God there was a duality, ie God and his Sonship. But in the separation God also added the Holy Spirit, producing a trinity. The Holy Spirit is the call to awaken, God's Voice speaking to His Son, which guarantees his healing and his return to reality. All three aspects of the trinity are now permanent and only the trinity is real.

20. Holy Spirit - God's creation which was added in the separation to keep a link between God and his children so that they could never be lost. It is God's guarantee of their union with him and the permanent potential for their return home to share everything with him. He bridges the gap between parts of mind that seem united in christ and parts which seem separate. He is the appointed friend and help and corrector and therapist and comforter and healer God has designated to lead us out of hell.

21. Forgiveness - really the recognition that there is nothing to forgive. In this recognition is the clear sane recognition of what is true and what is false. And only God's truth is regarded as true. In that truth sin is utterly impossible and nothing real can be changed. Therefore it's the acknowledgement that everyone is as God created them and nothing has ever happened to change God's will. It disregards all notions of an opposite to immortality and shines a beacon of light in the darkness for all those who think they are unforgivable. Forgiveness is a reflection of your immortal nature, and therefore entails invulnerability in which no-one can ever be accused of doing anything to you.

22. Angel - beings created by God as part of the Kingdom. They are created below the sons of God (or from?) and act in roles of protection and guidance and healing. You can communicate and work with them even while on earth.

23. The fall of man - the separation from God, which was an attempted belief that separation is possible, a tiny mad idea, took place in the minds of souls. But also some angels became involved and believed in the separation. This produced what is termed "the fall" in which we exiled/projected ourselves from heaven, into a fictional realm of exile outside of heaven, which is not really anywhere. Lucifer, an actual angel, was included in the fall. He symbolizes the devil perhaps but all separated souls are just as much the anti-christ. This was an actual rebellion in heaven against God and a desire to be God, producing the authority problem and the rejection of God's fatherhood/authorship. A desire for their own kingdom they could rule without him. This produced spacetime, the world, and earth, which was the idea of hell as heaven's opposite.

24. Blasphemy - technically real blasphemy is impossible because God cannot be opposed or offended. But you can believe things which are seemingly against God's nature. Any form of fear, suffering, sickness, death, an annoyance, even a slight lack of joy, unhappiness, lack of peace, are all blasphemous in that they claim something that is not true in God's reality. Therefore they are trying to work against God's truth and oppose his laws. This is of course all a fantasy and there is no sin.

25. The last judgement - God's evaluation of you is the same as it was when he created you perfect, which is that you remain exactly as you were intended to be and nothing can change you. Therefore you are worthy of God and are perfectly innocent forever. Nothing has ever been done to affect your entitlement to his love and you have never sinned or attacked anything real. You merely dreamed of it in a nightmare of your own making, where you deceived yourself. The last judgement upon the world we made (earth etc) is that it is nothing and does not exist.

26. Church - perhaps a term best used as a synonym for the sonship or the kingdom, which are the same thing. The body of God, if you will, is the outer expression of God - his creation. All members of the sonship are part of the church of christ, and this membership is permanent.

27. Communion - while "holy communion" may be a symbolic act, real communion takes place in heaven as the perfect symbiotic union of God and his children. It is the total immersion and openness to God, receiving from Him and expressing in return. To commune is to know, to be, to share. On Earth this devolves into "communication" which can have varying degrees. The separation from God was really a communication breakdown, ie an unwillingness to receive or to see eye-to-eye. Miracles raise the level of communication until communion becomes possible again.

28. Creation - a term only applicable to what takes place in heaven and not on earth. It requires the perfect total whole extension or giving of what the creator has, to what the creation is. The creation inherits everything of its creator and has nothing else. It shares everything with him, having not left him, and therefore can only exist to share it. All creations are co-creators therefore because they inherit the ability to create. Creations are living beings of light, and can only create living beings of light. They cannot create physical objects or forms of matter or energy or other elements of spacetime. Earth is not a creation because it cannot create more earths. Everything in spacetime is a "dead end".

29. Crucifixion - while Jesus's activity on the cross is mostly referred to as "the crucifixion", crucifixion itself really means the attempt to crucify christ, which is everyone, through allegiance to the ego and to death. It's the attempt to prove that God's immortal son can be killed. Every form of fear and suffering and unhappiness and death is a form of crucifixion. This includes the making of an entire seeming universe of spacetime which is a picture of the crucifixion of God's son ie kingdom. It depicts all possible forms of death and is run by laws of death. Being hell, everything in it is crucified and crucifying. Ressurrection marks the ascension back to heaven.

30. Disciple - someone who freely wills to follow someone who may be more advanced, above, or wiser than themselves. Jesus does state in ACIM that if you were not to follow someone of greater wisdom you would be unwise. This indirectly suggests you should follow Jesus as his discipline and learn from him, but is not a mandate. We're also told that Jesus told the disciples to be physicians of the lord, that is to go out and heal the sick and raise the dead, and to heal themselves, with the power of the holy spirit. It is again implied that we are asked to do the same.

31. Garden of Eden - originally really the state of heaven, in which there was no need or lack of anything. Everyone had everything. It wasn't literally a garden with apple trees in it. Adam and Eve were just a couple of God's children. The tree of knowledge of life and death is symbolically the ego thought system, which if believed in (partaken of, eaten, consumed, believed) seems to "poison" the mind, make a person self-conscious of their shameful existence, and attempt to hide in the bushes of the darkness of the mind, to hide from God. They seem then to be expelled from heaven but really have believed in their own expulsion because they want to be exiled, having bought into temptation by believing the tiny mad idea of "the serpent" (ego).

32. God - of course, the prime first creator, the absolute reality, the only true law, the infinite immortal being who shares everything of himself in order to express and apply himself through creation. The father of all eternally living beings and the source of all existence. The all in all. The guarantee of eternal peace and perfection. God relates to every child fully and personally while relating to all children the same way, making him both personal and impersonal. Everyone knows God.

33. Holiness - related to wholeness and purity, innocence and the lack of belief in sin. A state of alignment with God's reality and with truth. Sanity, harmlessness, gentleness, light, healing, power, certainty and openness. Just one of many synonyms for the state of being in heaven.

34. Miracle - in the big picture everything real is permanently miraculous. Miraculousness is the nature of reality in which one thing is all things and all thing are one. This breaks all rules relating to limitation and separate boxes and isolation and exclusion. All expressions of love (God) are miraculous. God creates miracles. You are a miracle of God. God extends through you, God works miracles. You are a miracle capable of creating miracles. Miracles are expressions of life. Even in the world of dreams, on earth, miracles mirror creation in heaven, and are thought-creations which give life, provide love, fill a lack, resurrect, and correct the mind from its mistaken beliefs, producing healing. Since their nature is extension, they are received from God and given to your brothers. There are without number or limit and there is nothing they cannot do. They are truly supernatural - above the nature of the world, based solely on the laws of another world (heaven).

35. Temptation - really just the way that illusions of nothingness seem to symbolically assert and represent things which are opposite to God, as if to try to persuade you to buy into and believe in them. Illusions present themselves as things happening which cannot happen in reality, sins occurring, attacks having effects, real suffering, to "tempt you" to believe further that such things are possible. If you give them your belief, you buy into it and are deceived. If you see through the illusion and frame it in the truth, you deny it and reject its lies and do not believe in it. You can be tempted but not coerced against your will. Being tempted to believe sons of God are bodies is a major hurdle to be overcome because it is not true, but difficulty to recognize as false. The ego/devil is said to tempt souls deeper into hell, which is our own mind/beliefs making faulty decisions.

36. Commandment - not talked about much in ACIM except to say that God's will cannot be opposed, his laws are unbreakable, his nature has permanently established reality, and you cannot do anything to interfere with it. What God has created, no man can put asunder. This does not include the rather social-religious commandments or "guidelines for behavior" on earth. God does not coerce. Thou shalt be free. Thou shalt love your brother as yourself. Thou shalt live forever. Thou shalt come to no harm. Thou shalt be always happy. Thou shalt give and receive as one. Thou shalt share everything with everyone.

37. Worship - Appreciation and awe of God is appropriate, as is loving God and thanking Him, but he does not have an ego with which to receive any kind of praise. You cannot tell him how great he is as if to give him something he does not have. He cannot receive offerings of sacrifice or exalting words. He has no need of anything. But you can celebrate what has been given and rejoice and be glad that only his truth is true. You can thank him for what you are and for what you have been given, and for what your brothers have as well. But you're not supposed to idolize him or your brothers or jesus or turn anyone into a figure "above" you. Only God is above you and that's why you have awe of him.

38. Healing - in ACIM this usually refers to the transformative process of change whereby something begins in a less healed state and moves towards a more healed state. Miracles can induce healing but a "miracle of healing" is a level confusion. Miracles are a remedy, like a drop of detergent upon dirt, which causes the dirt to be removed. Healing is the result, but the miracle itself is not the healing. This is also why miracles can cause shifts in perception but are not the shifts, because the shifts are part of the healing effect, not the miracle that caused them. To heal you give healing and learn to receive healing as you give it. All those who become healed become instruments of healing. Your function on earth is the healing of the sonship as a miracle-worker.

39. Christian - apparently someone who follows christ, but you should recognize that you are christ as well. You are supposed to return to the state of owning up to being christ, recognizing that everyone is christ. Acting as christ and being christ-like is to be christian.

40. Second coming - really has nothing to do with a singular person coming down from heaven for a second time for a second go-around. It's really what happens when all those on earth are choosing to return to heaven and, of themselves, become the christ. The first coming was Jesus showing the way to return to heaven, and the second coming is us actually implementing and following that and doing the same.

41. Eternal life - really granted by God the instant he created you and everyone. It means permanence and the impossibility of anything ever happening that could interrupt, damage or change that permanence. This means it is a state of total immortality and invulnerability. Everything real lives forever.

42. Eternity - a state of heaven and reality in which everything real always exists, is always the same, never changes, and exists here and now and forever. There is no "time" involved, only presence.

43. Golden rule - Not an optional rule, but really the unbreakable law of God that you are everyone. Therefore how you treat them you are immediately and directly and personally treating youreslf. The part of you that is in them is the receiver of what you give, because giving and receiving are one. This produces an incentive for only shared interests and for giving only love, otherwise you will hurt yourself by trying to hurt another. What you do unto others you do unto yourself. By treating them how you would want to be treated, you directly do treat yourself that way and directly receive that treatment, regardless of whether other opt to reciprocate or not.

Some ACIM quotes...

"I told you that I could reach up and bring the Holy Spirit down to you. But I can bring Him to you only at your own invitation. The Holy Spirit is nothing more than your own right mind. He was also mine. The Bible says, "May the mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus," and uses this as a BLESSING. It is the blessing of miracle-mindedness. It asks that you may think as I thought, joining with me in Christ-thinking."

"The Holy Spirit is the only part of the Holy Trinity which is symbolic. He is referred to in the Bible as the Healer, the Comforter, and the Guide. He is also described as something separate, apart from the Father and from the Son. I myself said, "and if I go I will send you ANOTHER comforter, and he will abide with you."

"The Bible enjoins you to be perfect, to heal ALL errors, to take no thought of the body AS SEPARATE, and to accomplish all things IN MY NAME."

"The Bible instructs you to "KNOW thyself," or BE CERTAIN. Certainty is always of God. When you love someone, you have PERCEIVED him as he is, and this makes it possible for you to KNOW him."

"The Garden of Eden, which is described as a literal garden in the Bible, was not originally an actual garden at all. It was merely a mental state of complete need-lack. Even in the literal account, it is noteworthy that the pre-Separation state was essentially one in which man needed nothing. The Tree of Knowledge, again an overly-literal concept, (as is clearly shown by the subsequent reference to "eating of the fruit of the tree") is a symbolic reference to some of the misuses of knowledge referred to in the section immediately preceding this one."

"The Bible repeatedly states that you should praise God. This hardly means that you should tell Him how wonderful He is. He has no ego with which to accept thanks, and no perceptions with which to judge your offerings. But unless you take your part in the creation, His joy is not complete because YOURS is incomplete. And THIS He does know. He knows it in his own Being and its experience of His Sons' experience. The constant GOING OUT of His love is blocked when His Channels are closed, and He IS lonely when the minds He created do not communicate fully with Him."

"That is why the Bible says "There is no death," and that is why I demonstrated that death does not exist."

""No man cometh to the Father but by me" is among the most misunderstood statements in the Bible. It DOES NOT mean that I am in any way separate (or different) from you, EXCEPT IN TIME. Now, we know that time does not exist. Actually, the statement is much more meaningful if it is considered on a vertical rather than a horizontal axis. Regarded along the vertical, man stands below me, and I stand below God. In the process of "rising up", I AM higher. This is because without me the distance between God and man is too great for man to encompass. I bridge the distance as an Elder Brother to man, on the one hand, and a Son of God on the other. My devotion to my brothers has placed me in charge of the Sonship, which I can render complete only to the extent I can SHARE it."

"When the Bible says "Judge not that ye be not judged" it merely means that if you judge the reality of others at all, you will be unable to avoid judging your own."

"I have been correctly referred to in the Bible as "The Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world."

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WOW Wow what an amazing post. Pretty much a summary of ACIM. Much appreciated!

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