Paris in the the spring.
Most of us do not realize, until it has been pointed out, that the word “the” occurs twice in the above statement. When we look again and realize there are two, we wonder how we could have possibly missed seeing them both. Now, it is all we can see when we gaze back at the line – “the the”. What could we have been thinking? It seems so obvious. And then comes Knowledge. From ACIM Ch 18.VI…
What could God give but Knowledge of Himself?
Knowledge is a simple two-syllable word that is used quite frequently in A Course In Miracles (ACIM), and its importance can be invisible to us until and unless it is pointed out.
The word “knowledge” is often underestimated by the ordinary, limited human mind, or “the ego”, because it assumes that knowledge refers to what can fit within a finite human consciousness. It cannot imagine there is anything beyond mental comprehension. It does not doubt its own authority. If it believes something, then it defines its belief as fact. Yet the realm of the mind is knowledge, not Knowledge. Divine Knowledge is the realm of Divine Mind.
Could the Knowledge ACIM speaks of be the same Knowledge as in other scriptures? It appears so. For instance, from the bible…
“They will neither harm nor destroy
in all my holy mountain,
for the earth shall be full
of the Knowledge of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.” – Isaiah 11
Then shalt thou understand the fear [awe] of the Lord,
and find the Knowledge of God. – Proverbs 2
Be still and Know that I am God. – Psalm 46
The Kingdom of God is within you. – Luke 17
Yes, the Knowledge the course speaks of is of the highest order. Knowledge refers to an experience beyond the human mind, one it cannot reach, imagine, nor recreate.
How to tell the difference when reading the course? I suggest substituting “Knowledge of God” for the word “knowledge”. In most cases, “Knowledge of God” will fit. If you simply search ACIM for “knowledge”, you will find that statement after statement tie together to give a clear picture of what Knowledge means and why it is vitally important. On page 92 of the urtext is a tiny line that says it all…
The purpose of this course is to prepare you for Knowledge.
Knowledge is important enough to Jesus to bring us the course and it is important to us because it fulfills the promise of Lesson 101…
God’s will for me is perfect happiness.
Does “perfect happiness” mean an upgrade to our mundane human lives? The perfect job, the perfect house, the perfect spouse? Or could “perfect happiness” mean that God’s will for us is to have absolute perfection – the Knowledge of Himself? Imagine having this at your fingertips, available to you on a daily basis…
Beyond the body, beyond the sun and stars, past everything you see and yet somehow familiar, is an arc of golden light that stretches, as you look, into a great and shining circle. And all the circle fills with light before your eyes. The edges of the circle disappear, and what is in it no longer is contained at all. The light expands and covers everything, extending to infinity, forever shining, and with no break or limit anywhere. Within it, everything is joined in perfect continuity. Nor is it possible to imagine that anything could be outside. For there is nowhere that this light is not. – ACIM Ch 21.I
The either/or nature of the course is implicit in the above description. We are either in the world, a fleeting dream comprised of people, places and things that come and go – or we are in this beautiful, exquisite, immaculate, perfect, endless living, loving, flowing, glowing Light that is God. The two are mutually exclusive. One is absolute – cannot be threatened. The other is a temporary reality show.
We are fortunate indeed to have a handbook that prepares us for Knowledge of God, of Reality. We all have learned that the happiness of this world can turn on a dime, while the perfect happiness that is God’s Will for us, is always there, constant, true, exceeding any and all human imagination and expectation.
Why is it important to discern between knowledge and Knowledge in our reading of ACIM and other scriptures? About 5% of the world’s population has had a near-death experience. Some say they wanted to stay in that heaven forever and were sorely disappointed when they were told they still had unfinished business on earth. To encourage them, they were told to “receive Knowledge”. They heard the word “knowledge”, but didn’t realize there is such a thing as an uppercase Knowledge that allows them to see the pure white Light on a daily basis, to feel the Love and Peace. And so, they came back and enroll in school – but this Knowledge, they can’t get in college.
And it’s not just those who have had a near-death experience. Our hearts remember before our earthly births and are calling us back to the Light. When we understand ACIM terminology, we make faster progress.
As long as anyone has a sincere desire to know the Truth, the Holy Spirit will guide them kindly to the keys to the Kingdom, the Knowledge of God. Aspirants used to have to climb mountains and swim oceans to receive Knowledge. Our job, should we choose to accept it, is to clear away the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence, which is no small task.
The value of practicing Knowledge on a regular basis is that we begin to release our false identities – as bodies, feelings, thoughts, personalities and stories – and instead begin to identify more with our true Identity as Light, Love, Spirit, Joy and Wisdom. Unconditional love, compassion and appreciation become our way in the world and the world reflects that back to us, making this a heaven on earth.
This article is to make clear that Knowledge is beyond knowledge, Truth is beyond truth, the Word is beyond words, that the Name is beyond names. Perhaps in another article we will talk about, “All healing is essentially the release from fear” and how to do that, as…
The readiness for Knowledge still must be attained. Love is not learned. Its meaning lies in Itself. And learning ends when you have recognized all it is not. That is the interference; that is what needs to be undone. Love is not learned, because there never was a time in which you knew it not. – ACIM Ch 18.IX
See my book Knowledge, The Essence of World Scriptures for more beautiful quotes about Knowledge, written by saints and sages, masters and mystics throughout the ages.