Clarification of Terms

A Course In Miracles
Manual for Teachers
Clarification of Terms

This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology. It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of perception. The means of the Atonement is forgiveness. The structure of “individual consciousness” is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the “original error” or the “original sin.”To study the error itself does not lead to correction, if you are indeed to succeed in overlooking the error. And it is just this process of overlooking at which the course aims.

All terms are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy will find it. Yet those who seek clarification will find it as well. They must, however, be willing to overlook controversy, recognizing that it is a defense against truth in the form of a delaying maneuver. Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. 7 Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends.

This course remains within the ego framework, where it is needed. It is not concerned with what is beyond all error because it is planned only to set the direction towards it. Therefore it uses words, which are symbolic, and cannot express what lies beyond symbols. It is merely the ego that questions because it is only the ego that doubts. The course merely gives another answer, once a question has been raised. However, this answer does not attempt to resort to inventiveness or ingenuity. These are attributes of the ego. The course is simple. It has one function and one goal. Only in that does it remain wholly consistent because only that can be consistent.

The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. The ego may ask, “How did the impossible occur?”, “To what did the impossible happen?”, and may ask this in many forms. Yet there is no answer; only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you.

You will notice that the emphasis on structural issues in the course is brief and early. Afterwards and soon, it drops away to make way for the central teaching. Since you have asked for clarification, however, these are some of the terms that are used.


Reality versus religion

At one point, religion and politics were one and the same. The priests were also the doctors, the psychologists, the judges, the rulers and the lawmakers, all rolled into one. Religion is a means of social control based on a supreme being and stories of reward and punishment, heaven and hell. Tools religions use to control are: laws, threats. fear, blame, shame, guilt, anger, sorrow, belief, superstition, rites, rituals, and so on.

Scriptures are not religions. They are descriptions — as much as words can accomplish — of a state of union with God. This state is something we have all touched upon. It is our golden moment. It is intimate, honest, and touches us profoundly. It takes us though and out of the chaotic matrix that surrounds and envelops us so that we can return to where we were when we were created, to pure peace and the awareness of Oneness. Even a moment of that experience touches us deeply. It’s the ultimate inside job.

Scriptures contradict and correct a lot of superstitious religious concepts and fill in some blanks in our understanding of how things work. And all scriptures are in agreement in the essential areas. “God is love” and the angry, punishing “god” who demands blood, is exposed like the little man behind the curtain in the land of Oz.

In the Introduction to A Course In Miracles it says,

Nothing Real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.

The course encourages us to hang on very tightly to what is Real and to release anything less. Love is Real and eternal, it says. Fear is an expression of forgetting love.

The bible says “God is Love.” ACIM expounds on that, “You have but two emotions, love and fear. One is changeless but continually exchanged, being offered by the eternal to the eternal. In this exchange it is extended, for it increases as it is given. The other has many forms.”

Other than “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” the other most significant things Jesus may have said were, “Love one another,” “Judge not,” “Forgive,” and “Fear not.”

Christianity leans heavily on the idea of love, almost as if it is a duty or a chore, and a sin to not be good. But the masters do not send their disciples into the fray empty handed. We need a heart full of love to accomplish our goals. We cannot do that without knowing how to dip into the source of love itself.

We are very powerful spiritual beings. Nothing can harm who and what we truly are. We need not fear. And this is where the course touches on the subject of Knowledge. Knowledge, it says, is beyond its scope, for Knowledge is the lab after the lecture. Knowledge is where we meet what all scriptures call “God.”

God is light; energy can be seen as light. God is the vibration of life; energy can be felt as a pure vibration that fuels all life. God is what everything and everyone, everywhere is made of. God is immortal; energy had no beginning and will have no end. Both God and energy are omnipresent and omnipotent, without which there is no consciousness.

We learn and parrot, “And God said, Let us make man in our own image and likeness”, “God is Light”, “God is Love” “Our Father” and so on, but we do not realize the full implication of those words. The course tries to explain them from many different directions. It is relentless in its effort to help us distinguish between what is Real and unreal, so that we will choose the One and take the other lightly.  And we will know. In the ACIM Text, Chapter 18, it says,

“This course will lead to Knowledge,
but Knowledge itself is still beyond
the scope of our curriculum.”

ACIM Essentials starts here…

Welcome to *A Course In Miracles Essentials and ACIM 2011*. We invite you to join the study/healing program held at Unity of the Valley on Monday evenings at 6:30pm PST and/or Skype conference calls on Friday evenings at 6pm PST. Each evening will include the “topic of the week”, a brief review of the upcoming lessons for the week, and a mini-healing workshop. By the end of 2011, we should have a good grasp on healing – what works and what doesn’t.

Please poke around on this website. Get an RSS feed for free daily email reminders of the daily workbook lessons. Sign up for the forum. Meet kindred spirits. Ask questions. Make comments. Share miracles. Have fun. And so on and so forth. Lessons are also announced on FaceBook at the Auntie Patricia group – – and on Twitter at auntiepatricia

If you are studying the workbook lessons on a different schedule, you can ask to have the settings changed – if you use the AWeber form on the ‘Subscribe” page at ACIM Essentials.

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