Volume 6 Number 3 September 1995
The Lessons of the Holy Spirit - Part 1
Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
A Course in Miracles teaches that the ego speaks first, is always wrong, and that the Holy Spirit is the Answer, Who speaks only for the truth. Following that thought, we can understand that the three lessons of the Holy Spirit that Jesus provides at the end of Chapter 6 in the text carry with them the implicit Answer or Correction for the three principles of the ego thought system. These can both be summarized in the following manner:
1. To have, take all from all.
2. To have separation, teach attack to learn it.
3. Be vigilant only for the ego and its kingdom of guilt.
The Holy Spirit
1. To have, give all to all.
2. To have peace, teach peace to learn it.
3. Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom.
In this article we shall consider the first of these principles and lessons from the ego and the Holy Spirit. Part II, to be presented in our December newsletter, will discuss the second and third of these.
Since the Holy Spirit teaches by contrast—the most effective way of teaching truth within a dualistic world—we begin by discussing the first principle of the ego's thought system of separation: To have, take all from all. As with any ego concept, it is always best to understand it in its original ontological context, which is our belief that we have indeed accomplished the impossible by separating ourselves from God, our Creator and Source. As Jesus explains in the text, all mistakes that have ever been made are contained within that original mistaken belief that seemed to occur as the tiny, mad idea that is the dream's origin:
The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first (T-26.V.3:5).
Later in the article we shall return to the Holy Spirit's Correction. At this point we would like to state the forms the tiny, mad idea might have taken: "I am not as God created me, because I am self-created. In fact, I am my own 'First Cause,' and not God's Effect." "Indeed," boasts the ego, "I am the source of all creation and the god which brought it forth." Thus, we can understand that the goal of the ego thought system is to fashion an opposite to Heaven by stealing from the true living God the power of all creation. And so the maxim of the ego—the principle that underlies its very existence—can be restated as follows: In order to have all, take it from the All. Remember at this point that the ego's insanity is occurring only at the thought level, within the mind that now seems to be separate.
Let us review what the ego thought system has now brought forth within the mind, maintaining that these statements are true:
1. It has annihilated First Cause (God) and Its Effect (Christ), and the Oneness of Heaven.
2. It can think thoughts apart from God.
3. It is self-created.
4. It has made a realm which is the opposite of Heaven and a substitute for it.
And in its distorted thinking, the ego believes that it has achieved this impossibility by taking "all from All." As a result of this insanity, the ego now asserts that it has all and is all.
The ultimate result of this tiny, mad idea was the projection of this attack onto God, thus turning Him into a vengeful God to be feared. Projecting the thought of attack and separation out of the mind—along with the associated guilt and fear—gave rise to the physical universe and the dream we call life, where all perception is born. Having, being, giving, and receiving are now perceived as totally different from each other and opposite to the state of Heaven, where they are in truth all united as one Thought.
The ego's dream universe of time and space, separation, fear, hatred, and attack, is thus—to restate this important point—a result of the mind's projection of this insane attack thought on the true, living God, and a belief that Heaven could be destroyed by a "power past omnipotence" (T-29.VIII.6:2). This phenomenal universe, therefore, functions under the ego's program called attack. And so everything that seems to happen in the dream state we call the world is merely an effect of the attack thought that is the end product of entertaining the tiny, mad idea, and making it serious and "possible of both accomplishment and real effects" (T-27.VIII.6:3). Moreover, the overwhelming nature of the ego's nightmare dream of sin, guilt, and fear led to the dynamic of burying these thoughts in order to shield itself from the terrifying anxiety they engender. And so the ego devised a part of the mind—the unconscious—where all these thoughts could be hidden. But we must remember that once these nightmare thoughts are repressed, concealed, or denied, they are obviously forgotten; yet they still carry with them enormous effects within the dream of time and space. It is a law of the ego mind that when a thought is denied, it is automatically projected outside the mind. As a result of these projections—to state it once again—a universe of separation arose, wherein all the so-called living figures in the dream are kept separated, programmed to attack, and unaware of their origin within the ego mind. Furthermore, by accomplishing the separation of having from being, which denies our true Identity as Christ Who both is All and has All, the ego has seemingly secured its own separated existence. This then blots out our right minds, which contain the Holy Spirit's Correction. (to be continued)