ACIM CLARIFICATION OF TERMS INTRODUCTION

ACIM CLARIFICATION OF TERMS INTRODUCTION

1. 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.

2. 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, here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.[1]

Today as we begin our study of the clarification of terms, Jesus emphasizes that A Course in Miracles is not based on theory or theology. As we read and study A Course in Miracles we aim for an inward experience! We learn what Atonement is, we learn that to atone is to overlook, we learn that overlooking is forgiveness and that forgiveness leads us to God.

There is no need for any of us to justify our devotion to this Course. We are not here to start a new religion. We do not make false promises. We do not rely on texts that others may declare original and holy. We do not try to answer impossible questions or pretend to know what lies beyond the reaches of our human struggle to understand. We do not try to devise ways to entice others to join with us or invent stories to captivate their imaginations. A Course in Miracles simply provides another answer once the real questions have been raised. 

With one function and one goal, and within the framework of that one function and that one goal, the Course is consistent. If you look for loopholes, contradictions, and inconsistencies in this Course, as in anyone or anything, you will find them! But remember that looking for such things is an ego attempt to delay the experience of peace, to obscure your true identity in Christ, and to keep you in a state of separation and disunity. 

And so we continue in our quest for an experience of oneness, an experience of being one with Christ, with God, and with each other in wholeness, holiness, love, joy, and peace. We will not let our religious beliefs and traditions, or our lack of religious beliefs and traditions delay us – we will simply seek the miracle of experiencing God’s love and devotion. 

For the next two weeks we will study the clarification of terms during our devotional practice. Some of us are reading the text again this year; some of us are doing the lessons, some of us are simply letting the things we have learned sit and walk and stand with us as we go about our lives in the flesh.  In whatever capacity we continue to learn from A Course in Miracles, a deeper understanding of the terms and a reminder of the limitation of words is beneficial to our mutual and individual holy practices.

While we will not be reposting the lessons or the yearly text study for 2022, we have posted a daily reading/study guide for this year. Today, Monday, January 24th, we begin our reading of the Clarification of Terms and then shortly after, will begin a daily study of the Manual for Teachers. There is no need to sign-up for this study – all the materials will be made available digitally for all who care to join us.  While everybody is welcome to follow our study, for those of you who asked for a more structured course of study, please send all required essays, papers, and responses to eckief@yahoo.com.  A certificate of completion and a zoom meeting awards ceremony is scheduled at the end of the study.  We will stick as closely as possible to the syllabus, keep in mind, however, that the syllabus is merely a tool to keep us on track. While we use it as such, we do not allow the syllabus to take the place of the daily guidance we receive from Holy Spirit.  Feel free to study at your own pace, never taking our commentary or interpretation as God’s Word without contemplating it carefully in Spirit.  We urge you to visit other sites which teach this Course, welcoming the teaching and learning process of all. 

Thank you again for studying A Course in Miracles with us. As always please direct any inquiries or comments to eckief@yahoo.com. Mercy and Grace now and always. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Clarification of terms. Introduction. Foundation for Inner Peace, Second Edition (1992).

Audio credit: www.eckiefriar.com

Published by eckief

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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