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  • (Paper 0197-23)


    The student of ACIM© may find the meaning of some words and concepts in common use (in the illusion) and ACIM© (The Truth), difficult to translate or understand. The following brief "Dictionary of Words" is offered in an attempt to clarify that important difference. In some cases, several words are used almost interchangeably to describe the same concept such as: Atonement, salvation, resurrection, re-birth, awakening, remembering, Heaven, Light, Life, where each is a different expression of the same thought. Following are the meanings ACIM© puts upon words, which may be other than the world’s view. We say “God IS”; and then we cease to speak. Words are but symbols of symbols, twice removed from the truth. Nevertheless, they are all we have while in the dream, so they must be used to describe the condition we find ourself in until we see what is REAL.

    ANGELS: The Thoughts of God, extended to us through His Love. Angels may provide direction, protection, comfort or knowledge. They operate under the direction of Holy Spirit, as He deems necessary for our perception.

    ANGER or ATTACK: Any thought, feeling or action that is not love, in projection.

    ANSWER: God’s Answer is the existence of the Holy Spirit within our mind. Created and placed there by God in answer to our belief in the separation from our true SELF as the Christ in Heaven.

    ATONEMENT: A correction of the thought that we are separated from God. Atonement leads to the realization that we are not separate physical forms, but perfect spirits united in the oneness of God.

    AWAKE:   LIFE. The condition of our true existence in Heaven, as opposed to our perception of sleeping in the dream of the illusion.

    BODY: Our personification of our ego. The place we chose to experience our specialness and hide from Truth. The thought of separation projected into form.

    BRIDGE: A symbol of the transition from perception of the illusion to truth of the Holy Spirit. The shift from our world to the Real World of true perception.

    BROTHER: Another “living thing” within our illusion. An appearance of the Christ Mind that seems separated from us. That one sent to us to be our savior in awakening by our perception of seeing the Christ in him.

    The special part of our relationship that when viewed rightly, becomes holy. It may be anything with which we develop a “special relationship” but is usually referred to a person within our life, our dream.

    BEING: Our condition as we live within The Christ in Heaven, or the awareness of that state found within the Holy Instant or State of Grace.

    BELIEF: An egoic view of reality. That which is truth to our ego perception. An opinion, with no effect on Reality.

    BIBLE: A book written by men about JESUS from their perception, often long after the happening, then altered many times to suit ego perceptions. Often used to control through threat of punishment.

    A COURSE IN MIRACLES©: A book “written” by Jesus about men. It describes our dream, how it happened, how to awaken through forgiveness of ourselves and what and where Reality truly are. It guides us to its’ goal the Real World of our Holy Spirit.

    CHRIST: The One Son of God as extended out of Himself. The sole (and soul) Creation of God.. Sometimes referred to as Christ Mind, Self, or Mind. Jesus is our elder brother in the Christ, having accepted His atonement before us.

    CHOICE: Liberty of Mind given by God in His creation of His Extension, the Christ. It does not include what is Real, as that was already decided, but when we will decide to see it. In our illusion, we think that choice is ours and not God’s. Choice indicates the absence of Unity (One). In God (Heaven) there is no choice.

    CREATE: (CREATIONS): Our function while as The Christ in Heaven. There is NO creation outside of Heaven.

    CLOUDS: Any thought, action or perceived state which we place over the Light of our Created Self. This includes our body, our world and all perceived situations within it. As in “blankets of darkness”.

    COMMUNICATE: (COMMUNICATION): An uninterrupted flow of knowledge (in Heaven) from mind to mind. In our world, the flow of love through forgiveness.

    CRUCIFIXION: Attack by the ego to preserve its existence. Beginning with a mild annoyance; can lead on to death. In essence, "It is but yourself you crucify.”

    CHARITY: The allowance of LOVE to be.

    DEATH: Any thought, action or place outside of the Christ Mind in Heaven. There is no life outside of Heaven. To think, do or be anything else is to die unto SELF. Physical death is nothing more than a change in form within the ego dream.

    DEFENCE: Ego identification to preserve the illusion (dream of sepparation).

    DEFENCELESSNESS: The recognition of invulnerability arising out of remembrance of original and eternal innocence. The home of perfect safety.
    DISSOCIATION: The choice to ignore truth, as in the separation, both original and ongoing.

    DREAM: The concept that there could be anything at all outside God, the Christ and Heaven. Also called the illusion, thought of specialness, the body, the world. In this form of projection the world becomes real and heaven the illusion.

    DENIAL: Pushing out of awareness the guilt caused by separation, resulting in projection, fear and death in any form. Fear, lack, sleep.

    DEVIL: Denial of ego by projecting onto someone or something outside the self. Also against the self in any form of sickness, lack or fear.

    EGO: The thought or experience of the separated self. Initially expressed as a force outside of ourseif until we can see it is the other side of our own split mind. As Sprit Mind was created by God and is what we Really are, ego was made by us in our perceived separation. A belief; not a fact. Ego constantly attempts to kill Spirit Mind.

    EXTENSION: The transmission of Truth through Love. The means of Creation within the Kingdom of God. Love is extended, whereas fear is made (projected).  We extend miracles to each other because of the Love they come from.

    ETERNITY: The abstract thought of BEING in existence forever without beginning or end. In the world, expressed in the eternal moment of NOW.

    ERROR: A mistake in thought outside the awareness of the Mind of Christ, which gives rise to separation and ego.

    EMOTIONS: Only two are available to us. Love created by God. And fear made by us as separated self (ego). Love is Unity (One) whereas fear is experienced in many forms due to the insecure mind of the believer.

    FAITH: Faith is what you KNOW, belief is what you think you know. Faith is maintained perfect and pure within our Spirit Mind by our Holy Spirit who resides there. Faith is a fact, whereas belief is an opinion. It is inappropriate to place faith in anything that God did not create. When this mistake is done, it should be withdrawn and placed where it belongs.

    FEAR: The end result of separation = (SIN).
    SIN --> GUILT --> FEAR of punishment for having separated, or even worse, of being abandoned to a void of blackness forever. A fear of death. The result of mistakenly believing we have successfully separated and thus set ourseif up for punishment for this unforgiveable SIN, which is our due.
    FORGIVENESS: The act of seeing ourself and all our brothers as without SIN (separation) and being only the created Son of God, The Christ. Forgiveness is not of God, since He knows that nothing was done, so there is nothing to forgive. The expression of the miracle bringing us back to the Vision of Christ.

    FORM: The ego’s invention of reality in which we believe the dream to be real in place of what truly IS.

    FREE WILL: Given to us in our Creation. It does not include what is REAL, for that was already decided by God. It allows us to determine the time (awaken) when we will accept REALITY.

    (OUR) FUNCTION: In Heaven to create. In our world to accept atonement through forgiveness.

    FREEDOM: The natural state of Mind in Heaven. The release of ego values brought to us by our Holy Spirit.

    GAP: The perceived illusory space between ourseif and our brothers, and ourseif and God.

    GIFTS: Of God - love, life and freedom. Of the ego - fear, suffering and death. To be placed upon our “altar” as we value them.

    GATE (of Heaven); That imaginary opening in the “line of eternity”, the line of Heaven through which we “descended” in the separation and through which we will return when time is over.

    GOD: (sic.) TRUTH: LOVE. The un—created Creator that always was and forever will be. The abstract BEING of eternity and infinity. Our Father as Creator of His One Extension - The Christ. “And He created nothing else.” Totality. Unity. Oneness. IS. We say “God IS”, and then we cease to speak. The Christ witnesses to God’s BEINGNESS, and experiences all that God Wills to experience, even to us, that part of the Christ within our dream.

    GRACE: The knowing of “The Peace of God” that is All-That-Is. Within our world an experience of a profound Holy Instant opens a window on Heaven and allows us to know profound Oneness. Spirit is in a “State of Grace” forever which is a continuous Holy Instant. Our natural condition in Heaven.

    GREAT RAYS: The Light of God’s Oneness sent to our Spirit Mind by the Mind of Christ. A constant flow by which we maintain our Oneness.

    GUILT: The result of the belief in the reality of our separation. Most often at a deep sub-conscious level of mind, manifesting as a vague dis-ease or sense of something missing or not right. Displacement attemepted through projection on others or our own body (sickness) as its denial.  It may leave in its wake a sense of unworthiness. Guilt is not a fact, but a mistake in perception. Forgiveness and recognition of our SELF undoes guilt.
    HAPPY DREAM (REAL WORLD); That place of peace in mind provided by our Holy Spirit at the end of our perceived journey. Still within the dream but as close to Heaven as we can go without God’s LAST STEP. Just outside the “gate of Heaven.”  Referred to as the “borderland of thought” or “lawns of heaven”.

    HEALING: “All healing is of the mind.” The correction of our mind in its belief in separation, attack and fear. Forgiveness and atonement are its agents, bringing us into the Real World, beyond which healing is not necessary.

    HEAVEN: That place in Mind in which dwell God and His One Extension, the Christ. A knowing of perfect Oneness. Reality. Life. Infinity. Rapture. Eternity. Our Real Home where we truly live.

    HELL: Opposite of Heaven in which it appears we have been abandoned by God. Eternal blackness of nothing, devoid of Love or Truth. Our destination as decreed by our ego. Any state or level of mind that believes there can be opposites to the truths of God and that it is possible to experience these conditions as real effects.

    HOLY INSTANT: A moment in which we go beyond any limitation of body, mind, time or place and enter into a knowingness of perfect oneness, peace and totality of BEING within All-That-Is. It is entered through total intention to extend the LOVE that we are and be totally in that LOVE. In it we are all-knowing without having to know; total peace without having to arrange it; totally One outside of time or space.

    HOLY RELATIONSHIP: Extension of a special relationship in which we realize we are totally complete and joyous within our created Self, not needing anything or anyone, but, being LOVE, want to share our completeness and love with another. The way to remember God, seeing only the Christ in our brother. Based on forgiveness and joining through Christ’s Vision.

    HOLY SPIRIT: God’s Answer to the separation. The Voice for God within our Spirit Mind. His function is to remind us what and where we are forever and guide us in releasing any interest in the perceived reality of our ego. He sees both Heaven and our world and is our remaining communication link with our SELF as the Christ Mind in Heaven. Our BRIDGE between Heaven (knowledge) and our world (perception). Our Teacher, Guide, Comforter and Mediator.

    I(ME): My perception of my separated self. The name I give myself while I am not at home within my Christ Mind in Heaven. My expression of my ego and its actions and thoughts.

    IDOLS: Any thought or form which we perceive as real outside of our Christ Mind. An attempt to fill that “god-shaped hole within us that only the Christ can fill.”
    ILLUSION: Our DREAM of separation or any of its separated parts to which we give reality. This includes anything of form or thought outside of Heaven and ourselves as The Christ. The opposite to TRUTH, made to substitute for it. Even forgiveness and the Real World are illusions and those that will end all the rest.

    INNOCENCE: Our natural state as created, as we truly are and always will be. One property of innocence is curiosity, which gave rise to the wondering about something else; to a thought of separation. As we see ourseif and all our brothers innocent, we are back Home in God. In our world, Holy Spirit is our Guide in this process. In Heaven,our Protector to assure we don’t forget and do it all again.

    INSANITY: The condition of being in ego mind (wrong mind). Manifested by body, world and ego personality and anything or thought made out of that wrong mind. Consequently anything of the dream. The only sane thing left is our Holy Spirit dwelling in our right (Spirit) mind.

    JESUS: Our elder brother wihtin our dream. The personification of the Holy Spirit. He came to our world to lead us out of it. Teacher by example. A member of The Christ, as are all of us. Ahead of us in time but not in Reality. He set in motion the plan of Atonement. Author of “A Course In Miracles©.”  His Way is our return Home.

    JUDGMENT: In our world, deciding who or what is right or wrong. In our circle of re-assessment, the decision we place upon our mind in deciding if we are totally forgiven (perfect) yet, or whether we have to come back for more lessons in forgiving ourseif. In Heaven (or Real World) there is no judgment as all is ONE. Relinquishment of judgment is forgiveness in action.

    LAST JUDGMENT: When we have decided (with the Guidance of Holy Spirit) for TRUTH, finally and for the last time, and that we are ready to GO HOME.

    KINGDOM (OF GOD): Heaven. Includes “all living things” in the awareness of their Unity in God. God established it and made us part of it. The Knowledge of God experiencing Himself.

    KNOWLEDGE: only in Heaven. God and The Christ co-creating in the Awareness of Creation. In our world we do not have KNOWLEDGE, but can be aware of its existence.

    LAST STEP: God’s action of restoring us to Heaven as we wait in the Real World.

    LAUGHTER: Looking at our ego thoughts and realizing they were nothing more than a silly dream.

    LAWS OF GOD: In Heaven - creation, love, truth and Oneness. In our world - forgiveness, healing and freedom.
    LAWS OF EGO (CHAOS): Projection and death stemming from our perception of separation (sin), guilt and fear.

    LOVE: The emotion of TRUTH in motion. (E-Motion = Energy of Love in Motion). In Heaven - expressed as Being in Oneness.  In the dream - expressed as forgivenesss and awareness of innocence.

    LIFE: “There is no LIFE outside of Heaven.” The instant we took our thought of separation seriously we died unto our SELF. Physical death as we know it is only a change in form and perception, it does not alter what we are.

    LINE OF ETERNITY: The imaginary line defining Heaven in relation to the perceived world of our dream. Contains the Gate of Heaven. The Real World of Holy Spirit is just outside the Gate.

    LIVING THINGS: All the Thoughts of God that unite together to form His One Son, The Christ. Although in Reality only in Heaven, we experience them within Spirit Mind within our dream.

    MAGIC: Any attempt to solve a problem where it is not as in projecting it from our mind onto ourself or others and then attempting to solve it there. Necessary to our perception until we can see it really is within our own mind. The solution is to bring it back into our mind and there “shine it” away with Holy Spirit.

    MAKE: The act of bringing forth into manifestation that which is temporal in the world of perception through the law of cause and effect. It is seen as real by the mind that believes it is separated from God, but in truth it is unreal. Spirit creates through extension. Ego makes through fear.

    MIND: Our expression of Reality as One Mind, being God and The Christ in Heaven. After the separation - split mind being right mind (Spirit) and wrong mind (ego). In the descent after separation mind fractured over and over into many portions such as universal mind, super-conscious, sub-conscious, conscious, etc. Mind is absolute, infinite eternal and all powerful being everywhere all the time, being non-physical. It can transmit and receive thought, similar to a radio frequency. In a broader sense, all spirit (right) mind is within and part of God’s Mind, everything that is REAL being a Thought of God.

    MIRACLE: An extension of Love that allows a change in our perception of people and events. In it our mind is guided by Holy Spirit to see only the Christ in all our brothers and ourself and so remember what we truly are. Such is forgiveness of the illusion and our path to salvation. Miracles are extended by us to each other and are expressions of God’s Love within our dream. The extension of God’s Thought to us would be as a revelation, a one-way transmission. Miracles are natural and as continuous as the love that allows them. If we do not experience them, we have blocked against them. Their direction and transmission is guided by Holy Spirit when we ASK and listen.
    MIRROR: An image set before us so we may be aware of our thinking and, if appropriate, change our perception of the lesson presented. Our journey is a mirror of our mind wherein we may change our mistaken dream through forgiveness to the happy dream of the Holy Spirit (Real World), changing our mirror of darkness to a mirror of heaven.

    NOTHING: Anything that appears to be outside Heaven (the Mind of God) which is Everything. This would include any thought outside of a thought of God and His Kingdom, our body, our world and everything below the “line of eternity”.

    PEACE: A state of awareness of knowledge of Heaven and our BEING there. A totality of Love and Unity. In it we recognize our original innocence, and rest as created.

    PERCEPTION: Viewing a thought while separate from it. Hence, we have perception while in this world, but knowledge when back in Heaven. False perception is seeing from our ego mind; true perception from our Spirit (right) mind. The Real World is still within perception, but is the final and best of all perceptions until perception is given up entirely. False perception gives rise to projection as we try to rid our mind of the guilt that false perception brings.

    PROJECTION: An attempt to place the blame for guilt outside of our mind. A “nasty” mind will project onto others. A “nice” mind will abstain from that but project onto the body, resulting in sickness or even death. To this thinking, “Projection makes Perception”. Projection causes fear, and what is feared must be killed.

    PRAYER: Communication with Heaven. It has many forms beginning with entreaty (help!) on through praying with and for others, for enlightenment, up to “the continuous song the Son sings to the Father, and the Father sings to the Son” in which prayer becomes what it was meant to be. It becomes a process towards atonement through forgiveness of the illusion. It, with the love that it reveals, is the medium of the miracle.

    REALITY: Heaven as the home of what is REAL, everything else being an illusion.

    REAL WORLD: That place of peace in mind established by Holy Spirit which is the goal of ACIM©. Our “waiting-room” when time and illusions are over. Here we see our “Mirror of Heaven” and wait upon “the lawns of Heaven” for God’s final step.

    REASON: The awareness of knowledge as provided by The Christ Mind and through the Holy Spirit. The answer to the illusions and insanity of ego.

    RESURRECTION: Awakening from the dream. Acceptance of the atonement. Transcending the dream, the ego and all thought outside of the Vision of Christ, our true SELF.

    RELIGION: A system developed by man to help live better within the dream, including social order and rules often purported to be “the word of god.”  Note the comparison with The Plan of the Atonement devised and directed by Holy Spirit and Jesus to assure our return to Heaven and the Christ Mind, our true Home and Identity.

    REVELATION: Direct communication from God to His Son being the natural flow in Heaven. Occasionally reflected in our mind for His purposes. Distinct from the miracle, which is communication between equals within the dream.

    SALVATION: To “be saved” from the dream. Also accepting Atonement, resurrection, re-birth, second coming. Accomplished through our change of mind from illusion to Truth.

    SHIFT: The change in mind that accomplishes our salvation. Begins with, “You were saved the moment you realized you had abandoned God.”

    SELF, self: In capitals our Real Self as the Christ Mind in Heaven. Lower case refers to us as our perceived separated self with split mind in the world of illusions.

    SEPARATION: Our perception of being apart from our Self as Christ Mind in Heaven. The act and actions of experiencing our “detour into specialness”. In the dream, being separate from our brothers.

    SIN: Separation. Any sense of lack, deprivation or isolation within the dream. The answer is joining back together again through forgiveness and the miracle. Generally speaking, where SIN is used in ACIM©, separation may be understood.

    SLEEP: A state of mind in which we believe we have denied our LIFE in the Mind of Christ and undertaken a journey into specialness resulting in our seeming separation, the body, the world, isolation and lack. The answer is not to make the dream better but to awaken from it.

    SON: Son of God, the One creation of God, being “all living things” (bearing in mind there is no LIFE outside of Heaven). Sons of God, when pluralized generally referring still to the remembrance or reflection of the Christ Mind, but as perceived as separated from the One in Heaven. When son is lower case, it refers to our perceived separated self wherein dwell both right mind (spirit) and wrong mind ego, ever with the choice of either mind for us to experience at any time.

    SPECIALNESS: Our desire to be “greater than perfect and more than everything.” From the insane thought came the separation and gave birth to our insane, world, body and mind.

    SPIRIT: In Heaven, the substance of Christ Mind, God’s One Creation. Strictly speaking Spirit can only be in Heaven, but is sometimes thought of as Spirit or Spirit mind, synonymous with our right-mind within the split-mind of our dream. Even there, it is unaware of ego and simply shines its truth as created.

    TIME: Our ego invention framing and allowing the perceived separation. Time shatters the eternal NOW, expanding it into past, present and future and allows ego to work his insane scripts. In reality time was over as soon as it was perceived through the intervention of Holy Spirit, His Plan of Atonement, the holy relationship and the holy instant.

    TRUTH: Synonymous with God. The only reality. Truth is fixed, eternal and perfect. The messenger of Truth is Love, Truth in motion.

    TRINITY: In Heaven, God, The Christ and Holy Spirit. The Christ embodies “all living things” of which we are all part within our right (spirit) mind. The ego’s unholy trinity is SIN-GUILT and FEAR.

    UNIVERSE: Capitalized means the Kingdom of God.

    UNIVERSAL MIND: (not an ACIM© term) That part of separated mind, still as one before fragmentation, just below the “line of eternity”. In this mind, all separated minds are still joined, so all information and thought that ever was, past, present and future, is accumulated and known. Certain clairvoyants, sages and prophets throughout time have found the way to access this information, appearing to then possess psychic or “divine” wisdom, exclusive ability or magic powers.

    WILLINGNESS: Within the dream, our intention and desire to give up ego and his attractions, accepting atonement through forgiveness and the miracle, then moving into that place of peace in mind, the Real World of Holy Spirit. We need not do more than be willing to have this happen. Holy Spirit within our right mind will direct us to its accomplishment.



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