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A COURSE IN MIRACLES Chapter 11 God or the Ego

VIII.  The Problem and the Answer 1-7

  1. This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it.  Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. And then everything you made will be forgotten; the good and the bad, the false and the true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge.
  2. The Bible tells you to become as little children. Little children recognize that they do not understand what they perceive, and so they ask what it means. Do not make the mistake of believing that you understand what you perceive, for its meaning is lost to you. Yet the Holy Spirit has saved its meaning for you, and if you will let Him interpret it, He will restore to you what you have thrown away. Yet while you think you know its meaning; you will see no need to ask it of Him.
  3. You do not know the meaning of anything you perceive. Not one thought you hold is wholly true. The recognition of this is your firm beginning. You are not misguided; you have accepted no guide at all. Instruction in perception is your great need, for you understand nothing. Recognize this but do not accept it, for understanding is your inheritance. Perceptions are learned, and you are not without a Teacher. Yet your willingness to learn of Him depends on your willingness to question everything you learned of yourself, for you who learned amiss should not be your own teacher.
  4. No one can withhold truth except from himself. Yet God will not refuse you the answer He gave. Ask, then, for what is yours, but which you did not make, and do not defend yourself against truth. You made the problem God has answered. Ask yourself, therefore, but one simple question: “Do I want the problem, or do I want the answer?” Decide for the answer and you will have it, for you will see it as it is, and it is yours already.
  5. You may complain that this course is not sufficiently specific for you to understand and use. Yet perhaps you have not done what it specifically advocates. This is not a course in the play of ideas, but in their practical application.  Nothing could be more specific than to be told that if you ask you will receive. The Holy Spirit will answer every specific problem as long as you believe that problems are specific. His answer is both many and one, as long as you believe that the One is many. You may be afraid of His specificity, for fear of what you think it will demand of you. Yet only by asking will you learn that nothing of God demands anything of you. God gives; He does not take. When you refuse to ask, is because you believe that asking is taking rather than sharing.
  6. The Holy Spirit will give you only what is yours and will take nothing in return. For what is yours is everything, and you share it with God. That is it’s reality. Would the Holy Spirit, who wills only to restore, be capable of misinterpreting the question you must ask to learn His answer? You have heard the answer, but you have misunderstood the question. You believe that to ask for guidance of the Holy Spirit is to ask for deprivation.  
  7. Little child of God, you do not understand your Father. You believe in a world that takes because you believe that you can get by taking. And by that perception you have lost sight of the real world. You are afraid of the world as you see it, but the real world is still yours for the asking. Do not deny it to yourself, for it can only free you. Nothing of God will enslave His Son whom He created free and whose freedom is protected by His Being. Blessed are you who are willing to ask the truth of God without fear, for only thus can you learn that His answer is the release from fear.[1]

Today we will review the first seven paragraphs of The Problem and the Answer, finishing the last eight paragraphs in the next post.  In paragraph one Jesus tells us that while it seems obvious that only reality is true, we still do not realize that what we perceive with our flesh senses is not reality at all, but a crude mix of truth and untruth which makes it entirely impossible to distinguish between the two. 

It is not until we perceive the Real World, and again I capitalize this, because for me the Real World is such a profound and utterly transformative encounter.  The condition of reality is simply a willingness to see past all that is not true, all that is not right, all that is not God in one another, in all of Creation, in God Himself.  When we will with Holy Spirit, we collect and save only the Good, the True, the Righteous.  Everything else has no interest for it is a lie, it is not real, it is part of the fictional kingdom that opposes the real one. 

Just as we could never test and tempt our little children with a curse or a poison, nor do we blame their innocent mistakes upon them and make them bow down to us and bring us blood offerings to make up for their “sins,” neither are we to think those things of our Father, for this would make us afraid of Him.  This would make us walk about on our tippy toes, afraid to piss Him off, afraid that He would cast us out, afraid that even though He is the One Who was nice enough to bring us into existence, He is also the One mean and angry and spiteful enough to make our existence so miserable and miserly that we would wish death upon ourselves.   

Plainly Jesus tells us to surrender our know-it-all egos and become loving and trusting like children, believing the best of their parents.  A truly treasured child does not fear his parents but looks to his parents for everything he needs and wants.  He expects his parents to meet his needs, not to become viciously irate.  When little children make a mistake, they expect their parents to kindly correct them with patience and by example, not burn their little hands or cut off their feet or threaten to castrate them.  These are the things that maniacal, deranged, and fearful parents do and when our parents treat us like this, we are ashamed of them, we are afraid of them, and we cannot truly love them or respect them.

We must be very careful when we read this Course, when we read the Bible, when you read my blog or I read yours, that we ask Holy Spirit to reveal the truth in it and only save what is true.  Jesus tells us to always ask Holy Spirit for the true interpretation of what we are accepting as guidance and truth.  For only Holy Spirit’s perception is true. 

When we recognize that not one human thought, not one human endeavor, nothing that we can perceive with our flesh eyes is wholly true, this is our firm beginning.  It is not as if someone else led us astray.  Intentionally or not, that which is flesh is no guide at all!  We simply fail to understand anything until we accept our inheritance, until we accept our worthiness, our Sonship with our Father, our Brotherhood with Christ.  Until we learn to question everything we were ever taught, everything we read, everything we were told and bring it to Holy Spirit and ask for the Light of Christ to shine in our minds and give us the truth, we are looking to the wrong teacher. 

There was no magical time in history when humanity had an “in” with God.  There are no magical prophets who had more of the Kingdom of God within them than you have in you or I have in me.  God would not be God if He distributed Himself unequally among His Sons. 

When we ask for truth, God gives us truth.  When we put down our perceptual reality and admit that we cannot know the truth as long as we perceive with our flesh eyes and depend upon our human understanding, when we go beyond our perceptual realm to the Source of all that is, to the core of our very Being, we find the answer to all of our existential angst. 

Do we want the problem, or do we want the answer?  Do we want the sorrow, or do we want joy?  Do we want fear, or do we want love?  When we decide for the answer, we will have it.  It was always there waiting to be recognized – as the perceptual world dims and fades away, the Real World becomes manifest. 

This Course can be no more specific.  Until we are willing to do what Jesus teaches us, we are merely playing with the ideas.  We are saying, “Oh that sounds good, yes, that rings true.  I’ll bet that is the way it really is…”

I take the Course to mean what it says.  As long as I want to be specific and make it about me, Holy Spirit will answer everything I ask Him about troublesome encounters, ego-triggers that are aroused in me by my special relationships, the grudges that I have a particularly hard time putting down on the inner altar.  Every response I get to specific questions is always the same though it will take the form of the personal.  It is the One answer.  I do not have to be afraid of what Holy Spirit asks of me for He gives to me but never takes anything away.  When I give Holy Spirit the grudge I have held against you for all these years, He took nothing away from me, but He shared the love He has for you with me.  Now instead of feeling resentful and remembering all the ways you disappointed me and seemed to take advantage of my good nature are gone!  I love you.  I remember how much joy you brought into my life.  I cannot imagine having lived my life without your merry little ways and your spritely courage and the fun times we shared.  

When I gave all my grudges against my mother to Holy Spirit, He took nothing away from me, but He gave me my mother!  While she may serve as an extreme example of those who devote their lives to a hurtful image of God, she remains the mother that God gave me to teach me the things I needed to know about the perceptual world.  My love for her and her love for me is eternal.  This love is what we bring to God’s Kingdom.   The reality of my mother is her love, kindness, tenderness and joy.  This is what Holy Spirit gives to me.  At any given time I can revisit the ego version of my mom; but that version is dark and void – it has no light and no truth.  It has no draw for me because I have set her free as I have been set free.

Learn to trust entirely in Holy Spirit for this is the way we recognize our true Selves in Christ.  Holy Spirit is our inheritance as God’s Son.  Holy Spirit is our Higher Guidance System which our limited understanding would oppose out of ignorance and fear.

As we learn the wisdom of Holy Spirit we could no longer be content to think of ourselves as unworthy of God.  Our whole state of consciousness rises to Sonship.  We are no longer to accept a groveling, servanthood position in God’s Kingdom because this was a false position to begin with.  We are Sons of God, whether we accept Christ now or we accept Christ later, nobody gets away for we are a brotherhood.  Our place in the Kingdom is not the servants’ quarters, but we are one in God and in Christ.  There is not above and beneath – these are all ego concepts that pertain to this realm but certainly not to God’s Kingdom.  These ideas belittle us and belittle God in our own minds.  We cannot expect others to buy into that which belittles us for even when we are unaware of Sonship in our lives, as Sons of God we recognize what is unworthy. This is the reality of Holy Spirit.  As we come to Him without our egos, without a sense of fear that He will ask too much of us and take something we love and cherish away from us, we realize the Father’s love. 

When we think that God is going to deprive us of our happiness, it is because think that we get what we want by taking away from others.  We still believe in the perceptual world instead of the Real World.  No matter how much we fear and rebuke and cast judgment upon the perceptual world, the Real World is ours for the asking.  It is the answer.  We can bark about how much money this one has and that one has and say what we would do if we had that much money, but we will never have that much abundance as long as we are barking at and yapping about inequality and unfairness and social issues that are the consequence of the perceptual world.  If we make the perceptual world our home we will never find happiness, we will always misunderstand and hold one another and God accountable for what we perceive. 

The Vision of Christ is ours for the asking.  Be willing to see past all the good and bad, the rich and poor, the black and white, the Jew and Gentile, the saved and the lost, the narrow path and the wide path – and see only the One way, the Only Way.  There is no slavery or servanthood in God, there is no Queen and drones and worker bees in God’s Kingdom.  We are free and our freedom is protected in God – for we are the attributes of God.  Today be blessed by your willingness to ask the truth of God without fear – for this is the only way we can learn that His Love is the answer to every question, and every obstacle. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Chapter 11 God or the ego. VIII The problem and the answer 1-7. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

For daily 2021 Workbook lessons visit www.i-choose-love.com courtesy of Linda R.

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Filed under: ACIM

About the Author

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Coming up on sixty, my love for God, home and hearth, my husband and family fueled my decision to devote the rest of my life only to pursuits which brought love, joy, peace, and purpose. I am a writer, seeker, student, and teacher with experience professional and otherwise from waitressing to teaching the English language in China, Taiwan, and Singapore. I hold a BA in Psychology from Bloomsburg University, which took nearly 30 years to attain while I squeezed courses in between raising my children, journaling, relationships, work, and an assortment of escapades, some of which I would rather forget! An ongoing passion for reading, writing, adventure, food, and fun, eventually led me to the love of my life, James, whom I met in 1996 and married in 1997. Our life together has been an exciting journey of work and travel, spiritual awakening, and domestic bliss ever since. Although we have experienced the tragic loss of family members and friends through death and estrangement, we have managed to turn our special relationship into a holy one by the grace of God and an acute and growing awareness of “there must be a better way!” In 2006, I published my first novel, Luella’s Calling, and am currently working on my second, Grover Good and the Stone Chateau. From 2013 through 2018, I worked as a Prevention Education Specialist for Transitions, a local domestic violence sexual abuse victim’s service agency. My work there, fueled by a lifelong enthusiasm for teaching, led me to obtain an MS in Education from Scranton University. In 2018, I resigned to accompany James on his work travels while focusing on my calling to study and teach A Course in Miracles. To that end, I dedicate the rest of my days to writing, sharing, and teaching the message of salvation found within the Course pages. Thank you for your interest in this blog. As I do not respond to comments on the posts, if you care to contact me, please email me at eckief@yahoo.com.

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