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Foundation for A Course in Miracles

JULY THEME
Dealing with Change
through A Course in Miracles

For many of us our lives on Planet Earth have been affected by change and uncertainty, especially over the past several months. Much happens in our inner and outer worlds that seems beyond our control. According to A Course in Miracles’ metaphysics, the first change the Sonship experienced was the loss in awareness or shattering of Heaven's changelessness, the knowledge of the Christ-Self, the one Son of God. Consequently, unconsciously, change in the world reminds us of that first loss of Heaven and knowledge of Our Identity, making further experiences of change and shift potentially fearful. Fear guarantees that our response to change will be maladaptive, as we deny or avoid, control or limit, and are gladdened or grieved over changes in the world and our lives. These are ways of dealing with external problems always at the level of form—at the level of the world and our bodies—without recognizing there is but one real change. The most important change we do have control over is our choice of content, reflected in our choice of teachers in the mind—the teacher of conflict and change or the teacher of inner peace and changelessness.

The changelessness of Heaven is in you, so deep within that nothing in this world but passes by, unnoticed and unseen. The still Infinity of endless peace surrounds you gently in its soft embrace, so strong and quiet, tranquil in the might of its Creator, nothing can intrude upon the sacred Son of God within.

This month we are suggesting a number of Kenneth's teachings that address the theme of change, offering us the Course's very helpful perspective on change in these most challenging times.

Healing the Unhealed Mind

The central focus of this book is the theme of body and mind, a theme I repeatedly come back to in my teaching. It can be restated as the theme of form and content that is so often discussed in A Course in Miracles. The ego preserves it­self by having us identify with the external or physical form at the expense of the mind’s content. In the context of this book, we see the ego’s ingenuity in having us focus on the external symptoms of sickness, their amelioration then seen as healing. True healing, however, comes only when we let the true Healer return our attention to the mind’s symptom of guilt. By so doing, our unhealed minds are cleansed of the er­roneous belief in guilt’s reality, freeing us to become healed healers.

Our recognizing that sickness and healing are only of the mind is one of the Course’s major purposes, for it is the basis of forgiveness. It is the purpose of this book to help further students’ understanding of this process, which is a signifi­cant part of the healing journey we take with Jesus. It is not their hands that heal.

It is not their voice that speaks the Word of God. They merely give what has been given them.… And this is the function of God’s teachers; to see no will as separate from their own, nor theirs as separate from God’s.

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"There Must Be Another Way" 

The words that led to the birth of A Course in Miracles form the theme of this workshop, which discusses forgiveness as the "other way”—rather than specialness—of relating to ourselves, each other, and to God. Our resistance to choosing this "other way" is examined in the context of the two alternative ways of looking at specialness: looking with the ego’s judgment and condemnation, which lead to denial and projection of our guilt; or with Jesus’ love and forgiveness, which lead to our letting go of guilt and acceptance of our oneness.

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The Course's "Prime Directive":
Non-Interference with Form

The idea of the "prime directive" is taken from the popular science fiction series Star Trek, in which the more advanced civilizations operated under a Prime Directive where they were never to interfere with the internal growth of another civilization. In this context, Jesus' "prime directive" in A Course in Miracles is not to interfere with form, thus allowing us to go through a process of internal development so that we would come to learn that our problems are not in the world of bodies, but in how we are seeing the world of bodies. The discussion in this workshop therefore centers on what the purpose of the Course is and what it is not, what the purpose of the Holy Spirit or Jesus is and what it is not. As we move from the external (form) to the internal (our decision-making minds), where both the problem and the answer lie, we can now choose Jesus as our teacher, correcting our mistake of believing we separated from love and thus become reflections of the healing Love in which we all are joined as one.

Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.

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"And God Thinks Otherwise"

This 2008 workshop focuses on the ego's anger that God not only "thinks otherwise" about it and its thought system, but does not even know about it. Our Creator's recognition of our individual existence was the "special favor" we asked of Him, and when it was not granted—how could Perfection know of imperfection?—we made our own God Who did recognize us. This replacement for the true Creator interacts with us and the world, which bears witness to the seeming reality of the ego's substitutes for God and His Son. A Course in Miracles helps us see our mistake in preferring separation to oneness, which enables us finally to choose humility over arrogance, innocence over sin:

God knows His Son, and knows the way to him. He does not need His Son to show Him how to find His way. Through every opened door His Love shines outward from its home within, and lightens up the world in innocence.

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"Nothing So Blinding As Perception of Form"

A key theme in A Course in Miracles is the ego's confusion of form and content. In fact, this is the purpose of the body and world (form): to distract our attention from the mind (content), which contains both the problem and the answer. Made by the ego to keep us from changing our mind, the body and world can yet serve the holy purpose of the Holy Spirit. Looking at the forms of our life through His true perception, we are able to shift our purpose for living from survival within the dream to awakening from it; from attack to forgiveness; from specialness to holiness.

Let your perception of your brother not be blocked by your perception of his sins and of his body.… Beyond his errors is his holiness and your salvation.

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Life: A Required Course

While as individuals we have no power to change our life scripts, we have all power to change how we look at them: from feeling unfairly treated with grievances justified, to looking through the Holy Spirit's vision and perceiving shared instead of separate interests. Thus, our special function of forgiveness changes our minds, not the situations and relationships in our lives. Since we choose the script, it is required that we learn from it. The only issue, then, is from which teacher do we choose to learn: the ego, which will keep us asleep in hell through guilt and attack; or Jesus, whose love will gently undo the ego's blocks and awaken us to the Heaven we never left.

Your special function opens wide the door beyond which is the memory of His Love kept perfectly intact and undefiled. And all you need to do is but to wish that Heaven be given you instead of hell, and every bolt and barrier that seems to hold the door securely barred and locked will merely fall away and disappear.

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Learning from the Holy Spirit:
A Commentary on Workbook Lesson 193:
“All things are lessons God would have me learn.”

This is one of the most important lessons in the workbook, in that it integrates the two levels of A Course in Miracles: the theory and the practical application of this theory. It also brings to the surface the confusion sometimes resulting from these two levels of the Course's language. This line-by-line commentary clarifies these issues and explains specifically what it means to see our lives as classrooms, taught by Jesus. We are urged to avoid the common mistakes of denying feelings and experiences, or believing that God and the Holy Spirit intentionally send us lessons to improve our individual lives in the dream.

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Transformation:
The Journey through Form to Formlessness

This final day of a five-day Academy class summarizes the week's theme of journeying through form to formlessness. The two sessions are each based on one of Helen's poems: “Transformation” and “The Star Form” respectively. The first session focuses on the shift from wrong-minded to right-minded perception, reversing the ego's thought system of separation by seeing through Christ's vision and hearing “creation's song.” The second session completes the journey by reflecting the transcendence of form and return to the formlessness of God: “There was a cross, but it has disappeared. There was a world, but there is only God.”

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Future Loss is Not Your Fear.
But Present Joining Is Your Dread.

The Course’s explanation of our experience of fear and its ultimate undoing is central to the Course’s objective of exposing the deception intrinsic to the ego’s dynamics, expressed in the startling quotation that gives this program its title (T-26.VIII.4:3-4). When fully understood, this two-sentence statement gives a picture of the whole thought system of A Course in Miracles and its uniqueness as a spiritual path. The discussion focuses on the practice of the holy instant, which rests on the fact that we are minds not bodies and the serious implications of that fact.

If you are tempted to be dispirited by thinking how long it would take to change your mind so completely, ask yourself, “How long is an instant?” Could you not give so short a time to the Holy Spirit for your salvation? He asks no more, for He has no need of more. … In exchange for this instant He stands ready to give you the remembrance of eternity.

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​The Changeless Dwelling Place

Changelessness is the theme of this workshop, based on the section from Chapter 29 in the text. This theme is discussed on two levels: 1) Our changeless dwelling place in Heaven and its memory in our right minds. 2) How to reflect the changelessness of God's Son in our relationships within the dream. After a presentation of A Course in Miracles' view of the perfect, changeless unity of God and His Son, the discussion focuses on the ego dynamics that have led us to believe that we dwell in a world of change and that our variable perceptions and responses are justified. The changes in our responses to each other are seen to rest in the changes in our response to the Holy Spirit's invitation to dwell with Him in the place in our minds where "this whole world has been forgotten … where time has left, and echoes of eternity are heard."

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​Seek Not to Change the Course

This seminar presents some of the more common misunderstandings of A Course in Miracles. Among the topics covered are the centrality of the Course's non-dualistic metaphysics in understanding its practical teachings on forgiveness, and the importance of students allowing themselves to expand to the Course's level, rather than scaling it down to theirs, which can only lead to a distortion of the Course's teachings.

This lecture consists of a 75-minute discussion of some common misunderstandings about the Course, followed by a 60-minute session of questions and answers. Among the more important themes covered is the centrality of the Course's teaching that God did not create the world, and the application of this principle to the Course's teaching on forgiveness.

This presentation took place in La Mirada, California on June 10, 1986.

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