Summary of the Thought System of A Course in Miracles
Kenneth Wapnick, P.D.
Part 2 of 2
This Excerpt was taken from the book entitled A Symphony of Love: Selections of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick’s Writings, which is available from our Online Store by clicking here.
As aid in helping us to recall our true Identity, and as answer to the ego, God placed in each Son the Holy Spirit, His Voice which speaks for our true Self, reminding us what we are and have never ceased to be. The Holy Spirit dwells in the part of our mind that has remained in God, but which we have forgotten. He is the mediator between the truth we are, and the illusion we have made ourselves to be. He is the communication link between God and His Separated Sons.
The Holy Spirit leads us gently through our world of illusion, using our mistaken perceptions as opportunities for teaching His lessons of love and forgiveness, the recognition that what we thought was done to or by us has not occurred, because we remain forever as God created us. It is in this recognition—that we forgive our brothers for what they have not done to us—that undoes guilt. For not only have our brothers not done this to us; neither have we. If we are as God created us there can be no lack, and we cannot be attacked nor attack, since attack is an expression of fear, and fear is only of the ego. It was only through our misperception of ourselves and our brothers that we believed in the reality of attack. It is our invulnerability that establishes our brother’s innocence and demonstrates our own.
By bringing the problem of guilt from outside ourselves to within ourselves, we are in actuality bringing the problem to the Answer, or the Holy Spirit, where it alone can find its healing. Our investment in seeing the problem as external, which the special relationship reinforces, keeps the problem from ever being resolved and this keeps the belief in our own guilt intact. Forgiveness removes the projection, making possible the resolution of the only need we truly have in this world; the forgiveness of ourselves. It is this forgiveness that the special relationship denies and obscures, and which the Holy Spirit holds out for us, asking only our willingness that our errors be corrected by Him.
This willingness need not be perfect. The Holy Spirit needs only the faintest whisper of desire to be able to enter in and begin His healing work. And this invitation comes whenever two brothers join together and share a common purpose. In that holy instant of sharing is the ego transcended and the reality of the separation denied. Of ourselves we could not do this, but our little willingness joined with the power of God accomplishes the miracle which heals the separation. The Holy Spirit awaits only our invitation to undo what never was.
The corrections that the Holy Spirit introduces into our thinking are what are known as miracles. The miracle is the shift from the ego’s perception to the Holy Spirit’s, the vision of Christ that sees all brothers as one. It looks through forgiving eyes of innocence and love, looking past the distortions in perception that have arisen as defense against the true perception of our Identity in God. It is the miracle that replaces holiness for guilt, truth for illusion, and light for darkness. It is the expression of this statement from the text: “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love” (T-26.IX.6:1). It is this transformation of the world of sin and guilt we made into the forgiven world with Christ’s blessing bestowed upon it that is the plan of the Atonement. And it is this correction the Course would have us learn.
The purpose of the Course could thus be stated as teaching us to listen to the Holy Spirit and not the ego; the Voice of love and forgiveness, rather than that of fear and guilt. Through the application of the principles of the text in the daily workbook lessons, we are helped to shift our perceptions from the ego’s to the Holy Spirit’s: His vision that allows us to see the face of Christ in all our brothers. Thus are we brought to recognize that same face is ours. The error of the separation, protected by guilt, is wiped away, leaving God to return to the Minds He created and never left.
The Course, as in any other spiritual path, is a lifetime’s work. Its purpose is to shift perception, and the 365 workbook lessons are the means whereby this re-training begins. It is the first major step in the process, after which we are left in the hands of the Holy Spirit, our internal Teacher, to be guided in the lessons only He knows we need, that His truth become our only reality.
As the final pages of the workbook state: “This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. … He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own” (W-ep.1; 3:3-5).