The subject of Creation: Why are we here?

Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. In his forgetting [to laugh] did the thought become a serious idea, and possible of both accomplishment and real effects. (T-27.VIII.6:2-3) 

The universe began when nothing saw itself in the mirror. – Tor Norretranders, The User Illusion

This is the short answer: we are not really here. We think we are. Like dream figures in a dream, our perception of ‘reality’ is distorted. Our true identity is in Heaven, with God. We have never left Heaven. We only think we have. Everything that you see with your physical eyes, everything that you touch, everything that you smell and taste, all of this is illusion. It is a dream. When you awaken from this dream it will be no more.

Seriously dude?? But it’s so… real…

It seems real because you have been so deeply ingrained into the dream. You are so deeply engrossed with the film that you no longer realise that you are watching it from your seat, able to walk out of the cinema whenever you choose. It seems real because you have based all your knowledge on your five senses and your past experiences, which is only but a feedback mechanism to assert the validity of the dream.

OK.. umm.. But why do we think we are we here?

To answer this question, we must wear the hat of duality to explain what never really happened. We have to assume that it actually happened. As such, the story which follows is a myth. It is meant to be taken metaphorically, not literally. It is a tool to enable our linear minds to understand what would otherwise be impossible to comprehend. None of these symbols, metaphors, images or analogies will be entirely satisfactory to the mind – but they will be helpful in some measure.

This article will be based on the text in Chapter 4 of The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard. The way in which the ‘tiny, mad idea’ is presented in DU is just about as clear and as accurate as I think is possible to express in the English language, and I see little point in me trying to replicate this feat.

DU explains it by means of 4 divisions (of the mind):

  1. The first division: The ‘birth’ of separation
  2. The second division: The arising of choice
  3. The third division: Listening to the ego
  4. The fourth division of the mind: Joining with the ego – the arising of the world


The first division: The ‘birth’ of separation

In the beginning, which of course transcends time, there was only God and His Son. It was like one big happy family in Heaven. At some strange moment, which is reality never happened, the Son of God believed that he could separate himself from his Father. That is the moment when the separation occurred. In truth, as the Course says, this could never have happened, because how could a part of God separate itself from God? Yet the fact that we are all here, or we think we are here, would seem to indicate something else.

Pg. 35, A Talk given on A Course in Miracles, Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.

Before the beginning, there were no beginnings or endings; there was only the eternal Always, which is still there – and always will be. There was only an awareness of unflawed oneness, and this oneness was so complete, so awe-striking and unlimited in its joyous extension that it would be impossible for anything to be aware of something else that was not Itself. There was and is only God in this reality – which we will refer to as Heaven.

What God creates in His extension of Himself is called Christ. But Christ is not in any way separate or different than God. It is exactly the same. Christ is not a part of God, It is an extension of the whole. Real Love must be shared, and the perfect Love that is shared in God’s universe is beyond all human comprehension. Humans appear to be part of the whole, but Christ is all of it. The only possible distinction between Christ and God – if a distinction was possible – would be that God created Christ; He is the Author. Christ did not create God or Itself. Because of their perfect oneness, this doesn’t really matter in Heaven. God has created Christ to be exactly like God, and to share His eternal Love and joy in a state of unencumbered, boundless and unimaginable ecstasy.

Unlike the concrete, specific world you appear to be in now, this constant and enthralling state of awareness is completely abstract, eternal, unchanging and united. Christ then extends Itself by creating new Creations, or simultaneous extensions of the whole, which are also exactly the same in their perfect oneness with God and Christ. Thus Christ, like God, also creates – because It is exactly the same as God. These extensions do not go inward or outward, because in Heaven there is no concept of space; there is only everywhere. The result of all of this is the endless sharing of perfect Love, which is beyond understanding.

Then something appears to happen which, as is a dream, doesn’t really happen – it just appears to. For just an instant, for just one, inconsequential fraction of a nanosecond, a very small aspect of Christ appears to have an idea that is not shared by God. It’s kind of a “What if?” idea. It’s like an innocent wondering in the form of a question – which unfortunately is followed by an apparent answer. The question, if it could be put into words was, “What would it be like if I were to go off and play on my own?” Like a naive child playing with matches who burns down the house, you would have been much happier not to find out the answer to that question – for your state of innocence is about to be seemingly replaced by a state of fear and the erroneous, vicious defences that this condition appears to require.

Because your idea is not of God, He does not respond to it. To respond to it would be to give it reality. If God Himself were to acknowledge anything except the idea of perfect oneness, then there would no longer be perfect oneness. There would no longer be a perfect state of Heaven for you to return to. (Ken’s comment: It is not possible for God to be aware of the idea because God is non-dual, ie. consciousness does not apply) As we will see, you never left anyway. You’re still there, but you have entered into a nightmare state of illusion. While you have traveled only in dreams, God and Christ, Who are always One, have continued as they always did and always will – completely unaffected by what J refers to in his Course as the “tiny, mad idea…” of separation.

In this cosmic instant of seeming individuality – and no matter how attractive you may think individuality is, it is nothing but separation – there seems to be a tiny aspect of Christ that is now aware of something else. That is duality. Now, instead of oneness, you have twoness. Before, there was the perfect oneness of Heaven and nothing else. That is non-duality, or non-twoness. That is still reality. There is not really more than one thing, but now something different seems to be going on for you. There seems to be God and something else. That is the illusion of duality, and the world of multiplicity and the endless subjects and objects you perceive in it are merely symbolic of separation. While you may still try to create, you cannot really create without the power of God, so everything you make eventually falls apart.

Pg. 124, The Disappearance of the Universe

At this point in our story you have the very beginning of consciousness – yet another thing you foolishly value highly. In order to have consciousness you have to have separation. You’ve got to have more than one thing. You have something else to be conscious of. This is the beginning of the split mind. As the Course teaches in no uncertain terms:

Consciousness, the level of perception, was the first split introduced into the mind after the separation, making the mind a perceiver rather than a creator. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. T-3.IV.2.

Pg. 129, DU

The second division: The arising of choice

Arten: We’ve already talked about the first division of the mind, and along with it has come consciousness. Because of this, for the first time, you have a conscious choice to make. Before that, there was nothing to choose between. But now there are two possible responses to this idea of separation. That’s what leads to the second division of the mind. We’ve already said the seemingly separated mind appears to divide and subdivide. That symbolizes separation. But all the divisions are symbolic of the first few. Once you really understand the first ones, you will understand them all as the same, despite appearances to the contrary. You have to remember that after the first division, Heaven is just a memory.

Gary: What do you mean by that?

Arten: Consciousness is not of God, so now something completely different seems to be happening for you – an experience of individuality. Whenever the mind divides, its new condition is reality to it – and its former condition is denied and forgotten. A psychologist would call this repression, except the magnitude of what we are discussing if far beyond what any human could be aware of. However, the dynamic is the same in the sense that what has been repressed is unconscious. Incidentally, the unconscious is not a place – it’s a device of the mind. It’s still possible to remember what’s been denied, but without help, it would be highly unlikely for you to remember that which you have dissociated.

Now, the you that we and the Course are referring to has nothing to do with you as a human being – it’s part of your mind that makes decisions. Even when you appear to be making a decision here in this world you are not really making it here, because you are not here. In our story this new, seemingly individual mind is going to make its very first decision.

At this point there are only two choices, and there will always be only two choices. There you have the second division of the mind. Now you appear to have a right mind and a wrong mind, each representing a different choice or a different response to the tiny, mad idea.

One choice is the memory of your true home with God, symbolized in the Course by the Holy Spirit, and the other is the thought of separation from God, or individuality, symbolized in the Course by the ego.

Pg. 131, DU


Once again, you mind has two choices to select from; we are now at a critical juncture in the seeming separation. The memory of what you are is both the answer to the separation and the principle of the Atonement rolled into one. As the Course teaches about the Holy Spirit:

He came into being with the separation as a projection, inspiring the Atonement principle at the same time. T-5.I.5.2

Obviously, the Course has its own meaning for various terms, including Atonement. As the Text explains, the Holy Spirit has always taught the Atonement.

He tells you to return your whole mind to God, because it has never left Him. If it has never left Him, you need only perceive it as it is to be returned. The full awareness of the Atonement, then, is the recognition that the separation never occurred. T-6.II.10

If, at the point where we find ourselves in the story, you had chosen to believe the Holy Spirit’s interpretation, or response, to the separation instead of the ego’s, then your little dream adventure would have been over. The ego had a selfish yet tantalizing response of its own. If you continue to believe in the separation, it offers you your own individual identity – separate from God, very special and uniquely important. As J puts it in the Text:

The ego must offer you some sort of reward for maintaining this belief. All it can offer is a sense of temporary existence, which begins with its own beginning and ends with its own ending. It tells you this life is your existence because it is your own. T-4.III.3

Of course, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into – and you make another numb choice. This is all new to you, and you’re more than willing to give curiosity a chance to kill the cat. You choose with the ego so you can see what it’s like to be special and apart. This in turn causes the third division of the mind.

Pg. 132, DU


The third division: Listening to the ego

So – in our story, you’ve chosen with the ego, and now you’re identified with it. The first division made the awareness of your perfect oneness with God just a memory. The second division brought two parts to the mind. The third division has made the Holy Spirit just a memory, and the ego now has your attention. You look to it to explain to you what’s going on, and the ego has a message for you. The message is this: You’d better the hell out of here, pal. Then it proceeds to give you some reasons. In your confused state of mind, these reasons sound pretty damn convincing in their logic.


“Don’t you know what you’ve done?” – the ego asks in our metaphorical story – “You’ve separated yourself from God! You’ve sinned against Him big time. You’re in for it now. You’ve taken paradise – everything He gave you – and thrown it right in His face and said, ‘Who the hell needs you?’ You’ve attacked Him! You’re dead. You haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell against Him – He’s awesome and you’re nothing. You’ve ruined everything; you’re so guilty. If you don’t haul ass out of here right now, it’s gonna be worse than death!” 

Oh my God, you think in response to the ego. What have I done? You’re right – I’ve ruined everything and attacked Heaven! But where can I go? What can I do? I can run, but I can’t hide. There’s no place I can hide from God Himself!

“Well, that’s not exactly true,” says the ego, “because I’m here to help you. I’m your friend – and I have an idea. I have somewhere we can go together. You can be your own boss and not have to face God at all. You’ll never see Him. He won’t even be able to get into this place!”

Really? you ask. That sounds pretty damn good to me. Let’s go!

“All right,” says the ego. “Do exactly as I say.”

Pursah: Of course everything the ego is saying about God and what’s happened is not true, for the ego is about as sane as Caligula Caesar. God would never do anything except love you. It’s here that you need to know just a little bit more about how the mind works.

Because of the power of the mind, you need to appreciate the power of your belief. It was your belief in the idea you could be separate from God – your taking it seriously – that gave it so much seeming power and realism. As the Course says:

Freedom from illusions lies only in not believing them. T-8.VII.16.5

Pg. 138, DU

Pursah: Once you’ve chosen to listen to the ego’s temptations to be a separate individual, your belief in the reality of the separation begins to cause some very serious problems for you. God now seems to be outside of you, and everything you experience tells you that you’ve separated yourself from Him. That’s a problem you still have this very second, even though it’s unconscious to you. Practically all of your mind is unconscious to you, just like almost all of an iceberg is underneath the surface of the water. As long as you believe in the reality of the physical universe Gary, then everything you perceive will be a constant, unconscious reminder to you that you’ve committed the act of separating yourself from God. As you’ll see, that’s an important point.

Arten: Getting back to our little mis-creation extravaganza, the ego-voice in your mind has told you some things about your condition and also about God that simply aren’t true. You’ve bought it partly because you like the idea of being an individual with a seemingly separate will – even though that’s not really possible. By taking the separation and the ego’s voice seriously, that translates within your seemingly separated mind as a sin against God. Now if you’ve sinned, that means you’re guilty, and on this metaphysical level you feel it – even though on the level of the world you will not always feel it. Being the guilty bastard you think you are, it means you ‘re going to be punished, big time. Even on the level of this world, a psychologist would explain to you that guilt unconsciously demands punishment – and if you really think about that, it will explain a lot. On the metaphysical level we’re talking about how you sincerely believe that you’re about to be attacked and punished by God Himself!

The anticipation of this fate-worse-than-death kind of punishment from God creates fear – a fear so terrible you can’t even comprehend it. Yet you’ve been running away from it for what seems like billions of years. So now we’re at a point where we can tell you why your universe, your world, and your body were made by the mind in the first place. They were really all made simultaneously, even though in a linear dream, things seem to happen separately.

There is no other spiritual discipline that understands and explains the motivation behind the making of this world, the same motivation that runs it today. That motivation is fear, always ultimately traceable to the fear of God. The trans-temporal, non-spatial, seemingly separated mind is in a paralyzing state of fear because of a punishment you believe is coming from God. So the ego convinces you that you need a defense, without bothering to mention that the defence it offers is designed to ensure its own survival through your individuality. In fact, if you look at the last four syllables of the word individuality, you will see that they spell duality. That’s not just a semantic accident.

The ego’s voice speaks to you as though it’s your friend and is watching out for your best interests. You’ll recall we’ve already said the ego has convinced you that God is going to get you and you’d better run for it to a place where you’ll be safe. That place is this universe. As far as the ego is concerned, the best defence is a good offense. In fact, defence and offense are two sides of the same coin. In discussing how some of these concepts relate to each other, the Course teaches:

The ego is the part of the mind that believes in division. How could part of God detach itself without believing it is attacking Him? We spoke before of the authority problem as based on the concept of usurping God’s power. The ego believes that this is what you did because it believes that it is you. If you identify with the ego, you must perceive yourself as guilty. Whenever you respond to your ego you will experience guilt, and you will fear punishment. The ego is quite literally a fearful thought. However ridiculous the idea of attacking God may be to the sane mind, never forget that the ego is not sane. It represents a delusional system, and speaks for it. Listening to the ego’s voice means that you believe it is possible to attack God, and that a part of Him has been torn away by you. Fear of retaliation from without follows, because the severity of the guilt is so acute that it must be projected. T-5.V.3.

Pg. 140


The fourth division of the mind: Joining with the ego – the arising of the world

Arten: So now the instant has finally arrived in our spectacular revue where the ego is about to give you its grand answer to your nightmarish but imagined predicament.

The awesome magnitude of the painful shame and acute guilt in your mind, resulting from what you believe you’ve done, appear to require an immediate and complete escape. So you join with the ego, and then the incomprehensible power of your mind to make illusions as a perceiver – rather than make spirit as a creator – causes the method of your escape to become manifest. At this point the ego, which you are now totally identified with, uses the ingenious but illusory method of projection to hurl the thought of separation out of your mind, and you – or at least the part of you that seems to have a consciousness – appears to be projected right along with it. This instantly causes what is popularly referred to as the Big Bang, or the creation of the universe.

The Big Bang
Now you appear to be in the universe, while you do not realize that you are actually quite literally out of your mind. 

Now, the enemy you live in terror of, God, no longer seems to be in the mind with you – where you thought you wouldn’t have had a chance against Him. Instead God, and for that matter everything else, is now apparently completely outside of you. The source of your problems, including your guilt, are now someplace else – even though we’ve already made it clear that there can’t possibly be anyplace else. The making of the cosmos is your protection from God, your ingenious hiding place. At the same time, the universe itself becomes the ultimate scapegoat.

Jail cell

Now, both the cause and the blame for your problem of separation, not to mention the blame for all of your new, illusory replacement problems, can be found – if you look hard enough along with the ego – somewhere outside of you. Indeed, a whole new level has been made in which the thought system of sin, guilt, fear, attack, and defense can be acted out in such a way as to protect your seemingly separated mind, which you presently think of as your soul, from your terrible, yet completely unconscious guilt and fear. To illustrate just how much the ego resists looking at this guilt in the mind, all you need to consider that despite the fact that A Course in Miracles is very much about the healing of this unconscious guilt, most of the teachers of the Course never even mention it.

Now, as the crowning achievement in its grand scheme, the ego makes – drum roll, please – the body.

The Body

This allows the ego to permit into your awareness, almost exclusively, only those things which testify to the reality of its cherished illusion. Yet the body itself is just another part of the illusion, and to ask it to explain the illusion to you is no different than asking the illusion to explain itself – and of course the ego is more than happy to furnish you with its answers.

This universe, the world, and your body give form to a defense structure in which you hide from your imagined sin, guilt, and the resulting fear of God’s vengeance. The ego has a method firmly in place to deal with this now-unconscious sin, guilt and fear – by projecting it onto others.

Pg. 142, DU


§ 18 Responses to The subject of Creation: Why are we here?"

  • Luis Vargas says:

    Very clear explanation of how we got here. Still, what is the reason or the purpose to be here is not clear.

    • Luis Vargas says:


    • Kenneth Bok says:

      Hi Luis,
      From an ACIM viewpoint, ie. the 'highest level' of a response I can give, there will never be a good answer, because the question itself has already assumed the answer – ie. that we are already here. This might help:

      However, if one looks at various 'patterns' within the illusion, eg. karma / evolution of consciousness / reincarnation / repeating lessons until we learn them – those theories might be helpful for you in understanding 'why you are here'.

      I highly recommend The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard if you haven't read it already – it should answer your question!


  • Jeremy says:

    A beautiful blog Kenneth. Thank you for all your good work. All things work together for good.

  • Juan says:

    Ken, since the course is teaching at the level of the mind what should we do when ‘reality’ confronts us. For example, someone is about to attack me. Do I defend myself, which only reinforces the illusion , or let the attacker attack? I know I’m going to defend myself but my dilemma is that I’m reinforcing the illusion! Do I forgive after I have defended myself?



    • kenbok says:

      Dear Juan, it is an important question that you’ve asked and certainly one that I’ve asked as well. The unequivocal answer to that I would say, is definitely to defend yourself. You can forgive after as you say. The same goes for using medicine, etc.

      The important thing to realise is that we all have different stages to our learning (or unlearning). If being defenceless elicits more fear than defending yourself, then the choice is obvious. At a certain point in our unlearning journey, we will have such a strong commitment to peace that being defenceless becomes entirely natural, even in dramatic situations as you have described. I have heard many real life stories of this and I know of Course students who do not have painkillers at home etc. And of course, we all know J’s extreme teaching example of the Crucifixion. But until we have such a strong commitment and degree of allowing Spirit in, it’s best to do what is necessary and sensible in every situation!

      I hope that helps.


  • Ezra says:

    Luis Vargas, ” what is the reason or the purpose to be here is not clear”.

    To become LOVE!
    To realize that you have been created out of the pure love of God. It is to unite in Onesness with God and become that love! By realizing that this world is just but an illusion created by the brain through the five physical senses, you’re then able to Unify yourself with that pure essence of unconditional Love and be as ONE with God. Through this then, you work from the highest levels of consciousness, bless and have compassion for all sentient beings, even the animals including the tiny helpless ones. Your higher consciousness will be guided and will scan the illusions of this world and rest upon the suffering, this Unconditional love and compassion will be felt by those who need healing and you will serve highest of the high within the field of light.

    You can change the world, you are a co-creator with God and can demonstrate such “miracles” when (a) You Unite in ONEness with God through and within all of creation, (b) Believe/know that what you’ve asked for in prayer has already happened, AND..(c) You open your heart in compassion, joy or pure unconditional Love towards that which you’ve prayed for.


  • Helle says:


    The concept of the tiny mad idea is one of the few things about ACIM that doesn’t seem to make any sense to me. If all that existed was a state of perfect love and unity – that kind of thought shouldn’t even be possible. If no awareness of anything but love and unity exists … how could a tiny mad idea arise? How could anything “mad” arise from that perfect state?

    I love ACIM, but this part doesn’t hang together for me.

    : ) Helle

    • kenbok says:

      Putting my ‘theory’ hat on – I’d say that that thought doesn’t exist, but seems to. The tiny mad idea has not arisen at all. And perfection remains perfect.

      But that’s what the theory is. I experientially do not know this. Ken

    • Frank says:

      I agree with you Helle. The thought could not have arisen from a state of Perfect Love. ACIM portrays the “tiny mad idea” as a mistake that was made by Perfect Love which resulted in the birth of ego. I simply don’t believe we’re here because Perfect Love made a mistake. We’re here because Perfect Love wants us to be here. Why? The closest thing I’ve found to a reasonable answer is this: God is all present, all knowing, all loving… There is only one thing God is not. God is not limited in any way shape or form. So, God created us to experience limitation. Everything about us, and I’m referring to our human form now, is limited. God lives in us and through us to experience limitation. Our only task, while we’re human, is to “experience” (which, of course, cannot be avoided). And therein lies the reason everything is perfect just the way it is (and of course it’s also the reason there is no judgment, no right/wrong, it’s the reason this is all an illusion…).

      • Norman says:

        I went through a substantial period of my life when the perspective you offer, became mine as well. But I just could not believe that God could ever condone, much less create, all the intensity of misery and suffering that is entailed in duality. The Course provdes for me the only explanation that has ever felt right to me. That God could not create pain and dying children, that God has no way to know of such “hard truths” and that nothing ever happened, but only in a nothing dream or nightmare.

  • greganesh says:

    The “Tiny Mad Idea” is mad – in itself, I believe. I don’t think it came from Jesus, but from a neurotic overly intellectual psychologist that saw and projected her own neuroses onto everything she perceived….and wrote a book about it (a long one). That’s why the world, the stars, and indeed the the entire manifest cosmos -as seen through such a viewpoint – are LITERALLY the creation of the ego. Talk about taking the Tiny Mad Idea seriously and forgetting to laugh! It also seems like “Course Jesus” is giving the ego waaaaay too much credence and credit. For if it created the whole manifest cosmos, well that’s pretty creative, orderly and godly…. for a pathetic little ego.
    Sometimes I wonder if that was just put in there as some kind of inside sarcastic joke, just to see if “Course students” would take it seriously enough that they wouldn’t be intelligent enough to laugh at the idea (like they should) and instead seriously parrot such nonsense passages as truth. Under the “tiny mad idea” theory (if taken literally), everything that exists “physically” is essentially evil, and a plot to get you “caught up in the illusion” and make you miserable. Taken literally, people are essentially evil, animals are essentially evil, and even trees are essentially evil .
    Yep, talk about projecting your own ego onto everything you perceive and making things ugly! I think the joke’s actually on Course “students” and “teachers” themselves who literally believe and spout this kind of idiotic tripe.
    I just had a realization today looking at the beauty of nature today. We OURSELVES (a.k.a. human beings), ARE nature, and INSEPARABLE from it. We are essentially life looking at life – and some of us as “not life” when we are perceiving in the paradigm of the ego (Wapnick, Hoffmeister, etc). Now THAT kind of projection IS madness. I say, don’t blame the creation itself for your own fucked up thoughts, oh ye great Course teachers. I also noticed today that the trees and grass and plants and animals didn’t assault me or try to kill me. In fact they were just being their beautiful Selves without pretension and without aggression…..unlike some people I’ve run into recently. I think the only “sons of God” with an ego problem are us human beings. We have met the enemy and it is staring us in the mirror everyday. I say let’s start taking responsibility for our own thoughts and projections and stop blaming God! Whether God comes in the form of a tree or a stone or an animal. Face the fact that you hate yourself, and THAT is the problem. Then STOP hating yourself and treat yourself nice-like (or at least nicER).
    The Course completely contradicts itself on this point because the whole message of the book(s) is that what you see (trees as egotistically evil, sunsets as ugly) is all your perception projected outward. It’s not possible for the manifested cosmos/big bang to have been made by the ego if the Course again and again emphasizes that what is (“apparently”) manifest is actually “neutral”. For what part of the ego and its “creations” even approach being “neutral” ? The Course is right on in its analysis of the psychological nature of the ego itself and so much more, but on this particular point – which just so happens to be a “cornerstone” of its whole thought system” , the Jesus of the Course blatantly falls on his sword, and for no reason whatsoever. “Course Jesus” could’ve had it in the bag (a complete philosophy that made sense) if he had just said that the tiny mad idea is YOUR choice because God gives all of “his” creations free will. You, who are a Soul (as the Urtext says 169 times but all the references were deleted) CHOSE to come down to earth to experience limitation, if only to STILL see God through this apparent illusion, that’s all. Nothing to beat yourself up over and nothing to feel miserable and evil and guilty about every moment.
    But instead the Course claims the choice to come here was 1- enmasse (therefore it could be easily interpreted as you had no control over it) 2- the choice to come here was futile and pointless and that we could have had it in “the bag” -all of us “Sons” of “God” and be right now, in essence, in a “green heaven”, where we would be flying around with angel wings, having a great time in total non-dual bliss and joy if we hadn’t been so selfish and dumb as to come down here and made some horrible mistake together; which also -by the way- fosters feelings of guilt (which is supposedly something the Course is trying to stop in us from doing to ourselves).
    3- the Course is constantly telling us that we can choose differently. But I feel so damn guilty from my initial “choice” to come down here “enmasse” (which I don’t even feel is a choice I made on my own), that such Course platitudes have had very little real effect on changing my life for the better, if at all.
    There are many passages (especially in the work book), that would seem to contradict this view however; these are wonderful, poetic tracts that allude to the oneness of the all things, the world, nature and ourselves (true Selves). Unfortunately, this doesn’t make for a very cohesive “thought system”, as claimed by many teachers and proponents of the Course.
    However, I cannot throw the whole Course baby out with the bath water because there is a lot of valuable insight I have gotten from it -at least on an “intellectual spiritual” level. There are many valuable metaphysical principles it DOES teach which ring and have rung true for me, personally. Unfortunately, it stops there. And God is actually an experience of “what is”, and not some intellectual exercise of spiritual mental masturbation. If it was, we’d all be enlightened already.
    So as much as I would love to accept the whole Course, hook line and sinker, I cannot. I will take from it what speaks to me as truth, take it with a grain of salt, and leave the rest. I’m not a puppet on a string (Thank God) and I can think for myself and experience spirituality/”God” directly – as it is the only way to actually do so!
    Also, thank God that NOBODY has a monopoly on God, and I can throw the Course across the room, give it away to somebody (which I did) or get it again and burn it in a bonfire while dancing around in total blissful abandon if I want to. I can do whatever the fuck I want! Why? Because God gave me a mind to think with, a heart to feel with a soul I ascertain wisdom with, and free will to will with. “God” wants me (and you) to learn of “God” from direct experience, not through books!
    Why? Because the moment we try to put truth to paper – actually even from the moment we formulate a “spiritual truth” in our minds, the essence of a given truth becomes distorted – and in essence, ACTUALLY LOST.

    • Regina says:

      Hi Greg,

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you adopting the bits that ring true and dismissing the rest. Not sure why you appear to be so miffed with the book (I am new to the Course and it has no baggage for me), but in any case decide for yourself what you believe about God and stick with what works for you.

      Take care


  • jeff barbieri says:

    hey kenneth, i think it’s too important not to examine and fix the small errors in the text here….

    The making of the cosmos if your projection from God,…..

    It tells you this life is your existence because it is your own. T-4.III.3

  • jeff barbieri says:

    hi Kenneth, perhaps examine this sentence as well?

    The making of the cosmos if your projection from God, you ingenious hiding place.

    (if/is projection/protection you/your)

  • carl says:

    Well, I’m revisiting ACM after a brief flirtation twenty years ago. There are parts of it (and I am by no means an “expert” or deeply knowledgeable about ACM) that firmly resonate. And there are questions that a number of earlier commenters have raised that puzzle me as well. All thought systems/religions have unanswered and unanswerable questions, I suppose; it’s just a matter of how big the question is for each of us. I don’t understand why a part of us/God would break off into an experiment of separation and then feel guilty about it … and regarding the question of “us,” i.e., any particular individual, why is it that each individual works or should work toward Atonement if the individual really isn’t a discrete mind? To simply say that the illusion compels us feels kind of circular to me … anyway, as I noted, I’m very much a novice with regard to the ACM; but I do feel that there is much of deep value in it.

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