In A Course in Miracles, extension is the opposite of projection. It is similar in form, but altogether different in content, and thus in effect. When we project, we are attempting to disown what is fearful and distressing. When we extend, we are blessing ourselves and others by offering love to them.
Another way to think of this is to say that projection maintains guilt feelings while extension undoes them. Projection is a survival mechanism of the ego while extension is a reflection of our willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to act through us in accordance with God’s will. The former ensures that we will continue to perceive ourselves as separated from God while the latter brings that misperception to an end.
In a sense, projection blocks our awareness of love – our memory of our oneness with God – and extension allows that love to flow again, establishing the essential fact of our indivisible unity with God.
Both projection and extension are internal. They happen in the mind. They are the mind’s decision to side with spirit or with ego, with truth or with deception, with Heaven or with hell.
This decision-making process is very subtle and deep, and almost always occurs outside the range of our immediate awareness. The way that we know what mind is doing in this regard is to give attention to the external world, which reflects our internal condition. If we perceive a world that is cruel and unfair, circumstances that make us miserable and lonesome, people who are judgmental and unkind and so forth, then it is safe to assume that we are not siding with the Holy Spirit but with the ego. We are projecting separation; we are not extending oneness.
It is critical that we accept responsibility for this decision. Nobody can do it for us, though good teachers can lead us to the place where the possibility of decision is tangible, real and immediate. Salvation is nothing but our decision to accept reality as God created it. Extension of that reality naturally and surely follows.
Deceive yourself no longer that you are helpless in the face of what is done to you . . . It is impossible the Son of God be merely driven by events outside of him. It is impossible that happenings that come to him were not his choice . . . Suffer, and you [as mind] decided sin was your goal. Be happy and you gave the power of decision to Him Who must decide for God for you” (T.21.II.2:6, 3:1-2, 5-6).
Thus, the issue is not really ever what is happening outside of us – that is never the level at which change is required. The issue is always internal. It is always the decision to choose either the ego or the Holy Spirit. What is external witnesses unto our choice and thus facilitates a helpful change of mind.
Essential to our practice of A Course in Miracles is the understanding that all of this learning and doing is merely in the nature of reenacting a drama that never happened. That is, we are not truly separated from God, and so all of separation’s perceived effects never happened either. In this light, both projection and extension are really just teaching tools that help restore to memory the fact of our abiding and creative unity with God.
The Kingdom is forever extending because it is in the Mind of God. You do not know your joy because you do not know your own Self-fullness (T-7.IX.4:1-2).
The miracle is that shift of mind that allows us to remember our wholeness, and to know ourselves as creations of God, creating as God creates, because anything else is impossible and cannot be. In reality, this is what is happening right now. That is why the course teaches us that we “have not failed to increase the inheritance of the Sons of God, and thus have not failed to secure it for [ourselves]” (T-7.IX.6:1).
So we are home: and we are also remembering we are home. It is not a doing but an undoing, and there is no pressure to succeed. Together we walk with Christ in a Light where sin is impossible and God’s forgiveness and love extend through and with us unto eternity. We light our way home: and home is the light we are.