Into this dark and trackless situation comes A Course In Miracles©, and provides us with that ROAD MAP. Not only does the course explain to us how we “got here,” but tells us exactly what we are and are not doing Compared to our True Reality, and then provides us with the Map and the process for completing the journey successfully. The following is an outline of that JOURNEY.
(1) HEAVEN is the world of knowledge, wherein dwell God and His creation (The Christ, being all living things) in the unity of His Will and spirit. This BEING is a state of abstract, absolute perfection as ALL that is, being totally complete, joyous, and eternal. Although we cannot understand or define this state, the closest we can say is that it exists as a “thought” in the “Mind of God.” We are told that it is as if part of the Christ mind fell asleep, and in that sleep dreamed a dream of being more than perfect and total.
(2) This insane TINY MAD IDEA resulted in an insane dream of specialness, galaxies, universes and eventually a world and bodies. When we “got there,” everything appeared upside down and backwards, like a reflection in a mirror. Only an insane world could come out of an insane idea.
Although God knew it was only a dream, He created another “thought” called Holy Spirit to go into our sleeping mind and go with us wherever we “traveled.” So, Holy Spirit is always in our mind on our “journey,” and it is His job to remind us what we really are, and where we really are always. We WILL awaken to this REALITY, only WHEN we do so is up to us. This describes “free choice.” Our thought that something else other than pure BEING in God was possible, was the birth of our EGO.
(3) The “DESCENT OF MAN” (The journey begins - the dream.) So in choosing to leave Heaven and begin our “journey” in the dream, we invented ego which we joined onto our already perfect SPIRIT, both being parts of our mind. Unbeknownst to us, God had placed Holy Spirit in our minds as well. Also there was another part of our minds, which was the decision-maker, or the observer, which decides whether we are going to be in the RIGHT mind of our SPIRIT, or the WRONG mind of our ego. In our journey, we spend most of our time in our wrong mind (ego) at the beginning, gradually spending less time there and more in our RIGHT mind (SPIRIT) as the journey progresses.
(4) So we descend the “twisted stairway” until we reach the WORLD OF THE EGO, and begin our search for specialness. We invent a needy body and look for other bodies, and all manner of things, to fill up its needs. We don’t feel complete, but do not realize it is because we left our COMPLETENESS behind. We begin our lengthy, confusing and painful search for what we “need.” The “time” we spend in these fruitless searches may take many years or many lifetimes. And so the dream continues as we search for our identity. We become the “hero” of the dream, and believe we are the effect of what our dream is doing to us. We go on from dream to dream in search of our illusive completion.
Into this closed and hopeless situation comes the Holy Spirit with His teaching that, “only the TRUTH IS TRUE.”
And finally, when we have had enough of the pain and anguish of the ego world, and realize that it is just not getting us anywhere, we come to,
(5) a TURNING POINT in which we say (like Helen and Bill) that there MUST BE “A BETTER WAY.” At this point we come to a rest stop in our journey. Here we get still, go within, and listen to the Holy Spirit for our guidance. This Turning Point comes in different ways to different people. I have heard Judith Skutch say that her life was completely “full up” with work, relationships, and busi-ness. But none of it was providing what she was looking for. In her anguish and despair, she locked herself in her bathroom, looked up, and pleaded, “Won’t someone up there PLEASE help me!”
My Turning Point came very gently. Everything I had been doing just drifted gently to a complete stop. I thought I was quite willing to keep on going, but the Universe said, ‘No, it’s time for you to stop, be very still, listen and learn.” So I did. I got to a very peaceful place (in a log cabin, in the woods), got very still, and listened. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be listening for, but one evening a flash came into my mind out of nowhere, and I said, “I know, I know what I have been looking for - it is my SELF!” Hardly an earth-shaking revelation to anyone except to me! Two weeks later ACIM© was dropped right into my lap and I had my Answer. It was a whole new way of thinking, seeing and being. Everything was different and shining in a new light. And “All this beauty will rise to bless your sight as you look upon the world with forgiving eyes.” “The smallest leaf becomes a thing of wonder, and a blade of grass a sign of God’ s perfection.”
(6) From this opening my PATH OF LEARNING began.
So we pursue the Text of ACIM© which is the part we learn through understanding and intellect. We begin to distinguish between our SPIRIT and EGO minds, and when we are in one or the other. As we interact with our brothers, we have the opportunity of employing forgiveness and noticing the differences it makes.
We begin to realize “there are no accidents” and “ALL things are lessons God would have me learn.”
Heaven cannot be regained alone. “The ark of peace is entered two by two.” And then “the Journey Home is the curriculum of the Course.”
Most of ACIM© is spent in describing all the learning stages on this part of our journey. This process, again, can take a very long time as we learn the lessons between love and fear, truth and illusion, light and darkness. Eventually we begin to realize that we understand the difference. We come to the end of this part of the journey and see there is no more road in this direction.
(7) We have come to a BRANCHING OF THE ROAD and see that a decision has to be made whether to turn to the Light of Truth, or return back into the ego’s world of illusions. No other decision is possible, and it has to be made NOW. Many will make the turn for ILLUSIONS and go round the circle again, and perhaps again, before the choice is made to take the turn to TRUTH. Once we have finally made this choice, we are on the final leg of our journey.
(8) Now we are on the PATH HOME. In Phase II, we now experience the lessons learned in Phase I. As shown in the WORKBOOK, we experience the forgiveness of joining with our brothers as we complete our walk back to God. This part of the journey may also take a long time, but our sight is now fixed on the goal and we don’t look back.
Fears may come to go again, but now we see the end is certain, and our path is dedicated to one of joining with our brothers and of seeing only The Christ in them and ourself.
(9) We begin to see the REAL WORLD of the Holy Spirit shining before us. When the Light of Truth finally dawns on you, and the darkness of your old beliefs just fades away, you will be totally amazed at how you could have been so mistaken for so long. For the Light of Truth, once fully seen, can never again be denied.
The Real World can be recognized a long while before we get to it. But then it is our goal, our fixed “light at the end of the tunnel.” Our purpose for completing the Journey is always before us, even if our ego tells us the light at the end of the tunnel is the train coming towards us, or we see a sign that says, “For economic reasons, the light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarily shut off.” So through thick and thin, darkness, pain and pleasure, keep on heading for the Light, for it is there TRUTH lies, resting in The Peace of God.
(10) And we rest in peace, knowing that God Himself will take THE
FINAL STEP and lift us back Home to Heaven as ONE, when we and all
our brothers are ready.
|When all the words are spoken,
And all the songs are sung,
When every dream is over
And the ladder has no rung.
|So I shall turn inside again;
There’s nowhere else to go.
It worked before, a TURNING POINT,
And ask just, “HELP! " to know.
|When all the hopes have lost their charm
And life is at an ebb,
Idols all gone — one by one,
And plans are lying dead.
|I know that there are lessons here,
And that I chose them too;
But this one seems the big one
And so very hard to do.
|It seems as ‘though in nothingness
There’s no point in going on
And nowhere else to go at all;
No purpose in a dawn.
|Commitment to the One Desire,
A pledge to find the Self.
The goal of Heaven wanted,
Above, beyond all else.
|Lethargy has gripped the soul,
Friends have all gone by.
Winter’s wind is coming down
And shine has left the eye.
|-They say the first step’s hardest;
Once taken — no retreat.
The Seeker has learned all the words,
Now the Pilgrim drags his feet.
|There is no place within this world
For Peace and Love to be.
No hearty laugh nor purposed work,
No place at all for me.
|Learning must now die to learn.
The heart must conquer mind.
Unseen Hand and single Call,
Companions for mankind.
|The slough of despond mires me.
Numbness grips my very soul.
No past, no dream means anything:
No point in worldly goal.
|“Above all else,” the words are heard
Commitment ringing clear.
I want that Place of purest Love
Not another form of fear.
|I feel as ‘though the ROAD HAS BRANCHED,
There is no road ahead.
I know not which way I can turn;
The future’s dumb, the past is dead.
|And so I take that fateful step
To Home and Light, today.
‘Though however long the Pilgrimage
To NOW, I cannot truly say.
|With faith there is that Peaceful Place
As shown by those who “see,”
And trust in Him Who showed the Way –
“Sell all, and follow Me.”
What must I do? -- NOTHING.
What must I give? — EVERYTHING.