Reading A Course in Miracles: The Ego and False Autonomy

Something jumped out at me this morning as I read this section:

Salvation is nothing more than “right mindedness,” which is not the One-mindedness of the Holy Spirit, but which must be achieved before One-mindedness is restored (T-4.II.10:1).

This is the second time A Course in Miracles has mentioned One-mindedness. In Error and the Ego, it mentions how our minds are confused because while the ego can ask questions, it cannot answer them meaningfully. Only One-mindedness, says Jesus, is without confusion of any kind (T-3.IV.3:3).

Right-mindedness, on the other hand, has been tossed around left and right. In fact, the focus on right-mindedness can lead to some confusion of its own, namely, that it is a final state or condition in and of itself. However, right-mindedness is merely seeing – or perceiving – correctly. It is a prerequisite to One-mindedness and – as that sentence I quote above suggests – is the real goal of the Course. It is our salvation.

This distinction can quickly become academic or intellectual. But it is worth considering because it directly impacts our goal in studying and practicing A Course in Miracles. Right-mindedness is akin to miracle-mindedness (T-2.V.3:1), which is the natural result of accepting the atonement for ourselves (T-2.V.5:1). Choosing the atonement places our minds at the service of miracles – those day-to-day expressions of love that, in time, facilitate our return to God.

What is One-mindedness? Please don’t think I’m copping out by taking a pass on that. Or simply saying that I don’t think the course is focused on that. That’s the step God takes. Salvation is transforming our minds to a place of right perception which – while not Heaven itself – is so close that the transition from the one (right-mindedness) to the other (One-mindedness) is immediate and total and without effort or mental energy of any kind.

I don’t know One-mindedness. I have ideas about it. From time to time I do experience right-mindedness, the clarity of hearing Jesus and the gift of seeing the ego for what it is. These are merely way stations on the road. They are glimpses of salvation, signs that we are choosing correctly, that we are not making the journey alone or without sure guidance. I am grateful for them.

In some ways, what this section does, is make me reflect that the journey – already over in the metaphysical sense, already done in eternity – is going to take a long time in time. And there is nothing to do but keep on keeping on (as Bob Dylan once sang). The ego’s promises are hollow and false and lead nowhere but in vicious circles. The way of miracles feels long and arduous. But little steps add up. I need to remember that from time to time.

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