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Reprinted from_Healing the Cause by Michael Dawson. Published by Findhorn Press, Scotland.

ACIM Summary chart

"You may be surprised to hear how very different is reality from what you see."(T348; T-l8.I.5:1) Our senses report to us a seemingly real and substantial world. The Course informs us however, that we spend all our sleeping and waking time in a dream of seeming separation from God. Our true nature is still spirit, as God created us, and will be eternally. God is described as perfect, limitless, formless, eternal and changeless and so therefore His Creation, the Christ or Sonship, must also be. Nothing in our universe can be described by any of these words and therefore it cannot have been created by God. We are ideas in the mind of God and as ideas we cannot leave the mind of God. This perfect unity of God and Christ is Heaven and nothing can threaten this.

For reasons we cannot understand, a thought of separation from God, which the Course calls the ego, entered the collective mind of the Sonship. This idea, at which we "forgot to laugh", stated that we could take the place of God and become the Creator. God's answer to this was the creation of the Holy Spirit in our mind to correct this "tiny mad idea" of separation.

Choosing not to listen to the Voice for God, we experienced an overwhelming sense of sin at what we thought we had accomplished. From this act of sin came guilt and the fear of God's punishment. Our minds became split into the wrong mind of the ego, the right mind of the Holy Spirit and the sleeping Son of God (the decision maker) who has now to decide who to listen to. The ego part counsels us that we cannot survive the avenging anger of God as represented by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our mind. Out of fear, we listen and identify with the ego's counsel and project the thought of separation out of our mind as an image. This image is the physical universe where we can now hide from God's anger and our guilt.

A veil of forgetfulness falls over our decision and this illusory world appears very real to us. Yet we are still safe in heaven although lost in our dream of exile. So powerful is this illusion that we could not awaken without the help of the Holy Spirit. Our body now seems a reality and not spirit which vision would reveal to us. The ego teaches us to deny our guilt and project it onto others. Our guilt (self-hate) now seems to be created by people and circumstances outside ourselves. We now feel justified in feeling anger towards others and attack in self-defence becomes a necessity (special hate relationships). Feeling a great lack within us, the ego counsels us to find people who can fulfil our imagined needs - security, sex, money career etc. (special love relationships).

To awaken from this dream and regain our lost vision, we need to undo our belief in separation from God. The Holy Spirit's plan for our awakening is called the Atonement (correction of perception). We begin to learn that the world is but a neutral mirror to the beliefs in our mind. No person or event has the power to give or take our peace from us. When we get disturbed about someone or something "out there" in the world we are only seeing a projection of some part of our mind that is not forgiven.

If we can have the "little willingness" to allow the Holy Spirit's counsel of forgiveness to enter our mind we can begin the journey of undoing separation by joining with others. We forgive by first removing our projections from the world and then bringing them back to our mind where they originated. Now we have the opportunity to heal our mind by ceasing to judge its ego content. It is our self-judgment that prevents our mind being healed by the Holy Spirit. Guilt demands punishment, not healing.

As we learn to stop judging ourselves we allow the ever present love of the Holy Spirit to shine away the clouds of guilt in our mind. This shift of perception from the ego's world of separation and attack, to the Holy Spirit's counsel of joining and forgiveness is called a miracle. As we practice forgiveness in our relationships, we start to undo the guilt that covers the memory of God's love in our mind. We begin to see that we have not been running away from God's anger, but from God's love. To allow the awareness of God's love back into our mind will cause our ego to disappear, and this is our greatest fear.

Relationships become classrooms in which we learn to forgive ourselves by forgiving others (holy relationships). Jesus is the greatest example to us in teaching this lesson of forgiveness. Increasingly, we realise that when people attack us through fear, they are really asking for our love. Thus we begin to allow the Holy Spirit to transform our world from the prison of the ego to a teaching device that will awaken us from the dream of separation and allow us to enter the real world of vision.

With the reawakening in our mind of the knowledge of who we really are, we will walk this world in complete peace with an inner joy that nothing can take from us. We will now perceive everyone as our brothers and sisters whose reality is eternal spirit and to whom we extend the love of the Holy Spirit.

See also "What it Says" from Preface to A Course in Miracles

A further summary of the Course by Kenneth Wapnick may be read at his website

This summary and chart has been inspired by ideas contained in
_Awaken from the Dream by Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick. Foundation for_A Course in Miracles

Chart - A Course in
        Miracles - inner peace,forgive,forgiveness,healing

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