There are many subjects in ACIM which can be difficult to understand. When we try to understand anything, we try to "make sense of it". If it makes sense, we're willing to accept it as true, because we can't "see any reason why not". Everything seems to make sense without contradiction so we regard this as "it must be true."
The problem is that our way of making sense, is NOT compatible with some of the subjects in ACIM. And not many people realize this. HOW you make sense of something has a lot to do with WHAT sense comes out of it. The kinds of conclusions you come to is actually hugely influenced by HOW you reason things out.
In the physical world of spacetime, in a world of separation and separate objects, thinking in the way that we typically do "makes sense". It lines up very well with separateness. In this world we have therefore learned to think in a separating way. This versus that, one thing and not another, either this or that but not both. We think of all things as kept apart from each other. Nothing ever overlaps or shares or transcends boundaries.
It works great when you're talking about whether to park your car in the first or second spot. Or whether you'll eat dinner at your house or a friends house. Or whether you want the red or blue shirt. Or when you are doing math. Or when you are choosing which way to turn. Or whose body belongs to who etc. This is all based on a very simple logical idea of "EITHER OR". Or what you can also describe as an "exclusive or".
Something can be this, or that, but not both. Because in a separated world, everything is based on EXCLUSION. A banana is not an apple. An orange is not a pear. Either I have 100% of the money or you do. Either I am at work or at home. Either the license for the car belongs to me or you etc.
This works for just about everything in the known "universe" simply because all of the physical objects in space time are BASED ON SEPARATION. The world around you, all forms of matter, are exact representations of the IDEA of separation. Houses do not overlap. Cars are in different lanes. Trees cannot take root on the same spot. Planets cannot occupy the same orbit etc. Everything physical is separate, and therefore it "makes sense" to think about all physical things in terms of separateness.
Therefore, we have all grown up immersed in, working with, thinking about, talking about, and interacting with, a separation-based environment, in which we have learned that THINKING in a separation-based way is the best kind of language to use to describe it. Our who way of "reasoning things out" is based on separation, and we do this so automatically we don't even realize how unnatural it is.
The rule of separation is that one thing is not another thing. They are different. One thing shares nothing with another thing. The two things are seprate and are kept apart. One thing you can put in one box, another you can put in another box. The two things cannot share boxes, or transcend boxes, or be in two boxes at once. Nothing is allowed to occupy the same space or literally BE another thing. One thing is never in two places at once. Two things are never one thing, and one thing is never two things. And on this basis we perform ALL of our thinking about the world.
But this way of thinking is COMPLETELY INCOMPATIBLE with reality, with heaven, with God's creation and mind, with the Sonship, with anything to do with the PRE-SEPARATION state, anything to do with the sons of God, anything to do with real relationship, and anything to do with the REFLECTIONS of heaven on earth... which includes the atonement, miracles, forgiveness, holy relationships, and so on.
When you think in terms of "either this or that but not both", you don't make any errors, provided you are thinking ABOUT physical stuff. If you take this highly polarizing mindset and think ABOUT non-physical stuff, you IMMEDIATELY FAIL. And to understand why that is, you need to understand why the Kingdom of God operates on an entirely different kind of LOGIC and reasoning. A logic that is NOT based on separation, does NOT follow rules of separateness, and where the seemingly impossible becomes possible.
As soon as we're talking about oneness, or sharing, or transcending limits, or having a relationship in which you recognize yourself in another, or the unity of the sonship, etc we're no longer talking about states of separation. When we talk about ideas being given away and increased and the person who gives it still has it, that's not compatible with separation-based logic. When we're talking about you being one with God, you cannot use separation-logic to describe that. When we talk about how one soul has everything and so does another soul simultaneously, that is NOT compatible with separation logic.
Indeed Jesus speaks of many kinds of overlaps, blends, merges, sharings, equations, and various ways that two things are one thing and one thing is two things, and at first these things will seem to make NO sense.
For example "God has but one son knowing them all as one". Does that mean in separate terms, that God does only have ONE son, OR does it mean that he has many? Before you answer that, you might notice what KIND of thinking you are using. Are you thinking in an "either this or that" kind of way? Are you asking yourself, whether EITHER he has one OR he has many? Because if you are, you are USING SEPARATION to think about something beyond the realm of separation.
When you do that, you will come to false conclusions. You are taking something that transcends separations, and you are IMPOSING separations and limits on it by thinking about it that way. You are POLARIZING something that is not polarized. You look at it and you SEE separate boxes in it, you put "one son" into one box and "many sons" into another box, keeping them APART. But that is a destruction of the nature of what heaven contains. It corrupts the data, so to speak.
God does in fact have one son. And, simultaneously, God does in fact have many sons. BOTH of these statements are true, at the same time, and to the same degree. One is not MORE true than the other. It isn't MORE true or encompassing that God has one son, than that he has many. Nor are the many part of duality - which is another false proof people use to claim "why" God can't have separate parts. Nor does their manyness indicate separation in the physical terms we're used to. What this requires is a leap in the WAY YOU THINK, to think like God, and NOT like the ego.
There has to be a way of reasoning, of MAKING SENSE, that actually does make sense, while also supporting ideas where TWO THINGS ARE TRUE AT ONCE without it being a contradiction. Two things which seemed like two in separate terms, but which are not two things. For example, we're told that God is whole, and that God creates at least one whole son. To create a WHOLE thing, God has to GIVE THE WHOLE of himself.
Separation-based thinking would claim that if God gives 100% of what he has, he has NOTHING LEFT. And thus God disappears as soon as he gives unconditional love. But does that really seem likely?
What actually happens is that God gives the whole of himself, through a oneness act of SHARING it, and now both God AND the thing he created have the WHOLE of everything, and at the same time. That DEFIES the kind of logical reasoning you've been using your whole life. IT DEFIES the separation.
Now we're told that if you want to HAVE everything, you have to GIVE everything. "To have all, give all to all." How can that make ANY SENSE whatsoever to someone who thinks in separate terms? It makes NO sense. If I give everything, I have nothing, right? That's our experience in spacetime in a world based on separation. If I give the whole pizza to you, I get no pizza at all. But that's NOT how it works in God's reality and creation. We are literally being told that if we give 100%, we will still HAVE 100%. And that if we DON'T give 100%, we will LACK 100%. How can it be true that you LOSE when you don't give anything away? Can you see how that SEEMS like it makes no sense whatsoever, in terms of how we normally think?
To put it simply, God, his creation/Kingdom/heaven, the sonship, all our creations, the holy spirit, miraculousness, all of the qualities and properties of ultimate reality, IS NOTHING LIKE THIS WORLD. Nor does it run on the same logic. Nor do the aspects of it interact or relate in the separate ways that we think all things in the physical universe relate - not even remotely. This is part of "earth, which is heaven's opposite in every way." And because heaven is OPPOSITE to a separated world, you have to use AN OPPOSITE WAY OF THINKING if you want to grasp what the course is saying about those things.
The opposite of regular logical reasoning, is paralogical reasoning. Where BOTH AND makes sense, and EITHER OR does not. Either/Or is another way of saying "NOT BOTH". Logically speaking, "not both" or "share nothing" was the ego's assertion in the separation, which led to the separated world of spacetime. "Not both" is the OPPOSITE of "both have everything."
In reality, God can create many things and STILL be one. God can create one son, a billion sons, and STILL be one. EACH created being can be the WHOLE of creation. YOU, can be ALL your brothers, while simultaneously there being billions of brothers. YOU, can be EQUATED to the utmost degree, with another person, to the extent to even say you ARE them, WITHOUT losing your self. Because in reality it is BOTH true that I am me AND I am you. I am one with God AND I am myself.
Another popular line is that "I and my father are one." If you think about this in terms of separation, you will make two boxes - "I" - and "my father." You will then take those two boxes and say, "these two boxes are one box." And then you will say that, because you have merged the boxes, the contents of the boxes have merged. And that therefore, in conclusion, there is only "one thing left". BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE. This is a complete failure in reasoning, as Jesus points out. Just because I am one with God doesn't mean he and I form a singular big "blob" in which I have NO self and I AM HIM. You are NOT equal to God.
"This is because God and man are NOT equal." urtext T1B40AC "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."" urtext T1B40AA
Here Jesus clearly states that the father is GREATER than the son. That's because God encompasses MANY sons, just as God has MANY thoughts. That is why you have AWE of God because he IS bigger than you. To say you are one with him does mean you SHARE everything with him, and are PART OF him, but you are NOT equal to him. That is what ACIM says. And to understand that you cannot think in separating terms, you have to think in terms of "both and".
Both I and God are whole. Both me and my brother are God's creations. This is what the golden rule is based on, that the truth is the same for everyone - my truth is the same as your truth, what is true of me us true of BOTH of us. It's true of me AND you. You cannot think about ANY of the topics in ACIM that are on the other side of the separation, unless you are prepared to put aside your ego-based separation-based laws of reasoning and logic, and think WAY outside the box using paralogical reasoning. You will not only not make ACCURATE sense of anything Jesus says, you will also DISTORT IT to hell.
THIS, is why, many ACIM teachers, and MOST ACIM students, have come to false conclusions about a large chunk of the course. They have used the same ego reasoning and thought processes ABOUT things which are NOT ego-like. And when you do that, you project separations onto things that are not separate, and you fail to acknowledge separations where they are natural and present. There IS a separation of sorts between father and son, and between you and your creations, but it's not the KIND OF separation we see in spacetime. SHARING, DOES require multitudes, and does NOT require isolation.
Very few people understand this, so if you've made it this far and are following along, then good for you. Thinking like God is SO ALIEN to how the world thinks that for many people it will take a lot of practice to REASON like God does. His whole mind, his whole thought process, the whole act of creation, the whole dynamics of heaven and the sonship, are NOTHING LIKE this world. And until you learn to recognize when you are thinking like an ego ie "either this or that", separating things out in your mind, versus when you are thinking like God - recognizing their UNION AND SHARING, you will continue to draw false conclusions about what ACIM is saying.
Even as you BEGIN to move away from false perception, ego projections of blame, attack thoughts etc, and move towards God's reality, you will have to start to open up to seemingly ILLOGICAL ideas that you really have a hard time making sense of. What does it even mean that "One brother is all brothers?" Or that "Healing is when two minds recognize their oneness". What does it even mean that my brother is my savior because the christ in him is in me? Any notion of having ANYTHING in common with another is NOT separation idea, and ANY degree of holy relationship TRANSCENDS seeing the two of you are "separate".
The presence of separation in spacetime means, two things share nothing. What is the opposite of this? The opposite IS NOT that "there are not two things". The opposite is that "Two things share everything." That's what a lot of people do not understand about what separation means. Duality and Trans-duality (heaven's nature) are not the same thing. God having many sons is NOT a separation idea. God having parts is NOT a separation idea. Because those separate things ARE ALSO one. The ability for something to be both one AND many simultaneously, is what ACIM refers to as "miraculousness."
Ending separation does not mean erasing all trace of separateness. This is a MAJOR false conclusion with so many people. The reason being that this is still staying within the thought system of the ego while trying to undo it. Trying to KEEP the that something MUST be "either this or that", and then getting rid of "that" to end up with "this". That is NOT what oneness is like. Oneness is about sharing with others, union among many, singularity as multitudes, God having many thoughts which are all one (which is reflected in miracles - they each contain the rest).
You'll be far more accurate and clear about what the course DOES mean when you recognize that heaven has holographic properties, the whole is in every part and every part is whole. God is in all his children. Every son of God is one. I have everything and so do you. God has many sons who ARE all one as christ. Yet they are many.
"Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts, in number infinite, and everywhere without all limit." urtext W320W111 "The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons and their children, who are like the Sons as they are like the Father. Know then the Sons of God, and you will know ALL Creation." urtext T7L8
"We are Creation; we the Sons of God." urtext W320W114
"God has but one Son, knowing them all as One. Only God Himself is more than they, but they are not less than He is." urtext T9E3
If in any way, at any time, you are "singling out", "isolating", "putting in boxes", "separating off", as you think about these abstract topics, you are making a major mistake and blinding yourself to the truth. Learn to think in such a way that ALLOWS miraculous possibilities. Where there is sharing and overlap. Where the two are one and the one are two. Where we can be joined and be ourselves. Where I can see myself in you, as you, and as myself. And where we can all still be a collective family in UNION without it meaning we're exclusive. Reality is INCLUSIVE, and being included means you are part of everything, it does NOT mean you can't have an individual identity.
FIP 3rd edition: "God, Who encompasses all being, created beings (PLURAL!) who have everything individually (INDIVIDUALITY!), but who want to share it to increase their (PLURAL!) joy. (https://acim.org/acim/en/s/86#5:1 | T-4.VII.5:1)"