A Course in Miracles: What is Salvation

Salvation is a promise made by God that we are not separate from God, and that the illusion that we are separate will end. It is a promise that our current state of confusion, despair, struggle and pain is not real and will pass away, taking all its effects with it.

Nothing happened. It’s all okay.

Salvation is also a directive – gentle but clear – that salvation is not an action we take in the world. It’s not a reward for prayer or good behavior. Rather, it is a natural effect of our willingness to accept the gift of healing that has already been given to the mind that still believes it is split between dreams of fear and Love.

. . . [W]hen the mind is split there is need of healing. So the Thought that has the power to heal the split became a part of every fragment of the mind that still was one, but failed to recognize its oneness (W-pII.2.2:3-4).

Salvation is given; it is inherent. The question is, are we ready?

An extension of this understanding of salvation is that we are not called to fix the world’s many problems. We are not called to regimens of self-improvement. These projects, however worthy they appear on terms the world sets (I.e., do them or don’t do them), merely reinforce the illusion of separation. When we believe that we are personally responsible for salvation, then we are as far from salvation as it is possible to be.

This is why we sometimes say that A Course in Miracles is an invitation to a new relationship with perception. What appears broken or sick in the world is a symptom of the mind that still believes it can choose between war and peace, chaos and clarity, sacrifice and abundance.

But if only one option is real, then the choice cannot be meaningful. Truth is true, always (T-9.VIII.7:2).

Imagine you are hungry and I give you a plate full of bread and a plate that is empty. Please, I say. Help yourself to whichever meal you prefer. It is not a real choice! It is the illusion of choice.

That is what it means to believe that actions we take in the world can somehow save us from the world. The world and our lives in the world present only illusions of choice, not actual choice.

Salvation is undoing in the sense that it does nothing, failing to support the world of dreams and malice. Thus it lets illusions go. By not supporting them, it merely lets them quietly go down to dust (W-pII.2.3:1-3).

Can we see the illusion as an illusion? Are we learning to learn how to? That is our work as students of A Course in Miracles.

When what is false is revealed as false then what remains is what is true. When we no longer regard the world as a source of either suffering or salvation, and our self as the actor responsible for choosing one or the other, than what was hidden by the illusion of separation is revealed: the world becomes an “altar to the holy Name of God whereon His Word is written” (W-pII.3:4) and we become happy celebrants at this altar.

Really, this “altar” is a metaphor for stillness and open-mindedness. It is a metaphor for our willingness to be in relationship with the Holy Spirit instead of the ego. Indeed, it is the Holy Spirit’s call in our mind to stillness, open-mindedness and willingness.

When we answer that call – when we dwell in the quiet peace that the Holy Spirit naturally extends to any mind that consents to be Its host – then we glimpse the “glory given us by God” and become happy in a way that the world neither recongizes nor endorses (W-pII.2.4:3). We are – to borrow and maybe even reclaim a phrase – “born again.”

Here, A Course in Miracles utilizes a familiar image to help us understand what “born again” means. We are, in a metaphorical sense, returning to Eden – an initial state of happiness and unity in which there was only peace and no illusion of choice.

The grass is pushing through the soil, the trees and budding now, and birds have come to live within their branches. Earth is being born again in new perspective. Nigh has gone, and have come together in the light (W-pII.2.4:4-6).

This is the “happy dream” to which we are all called by our brothers and sisters which and from which we call to our brothers and sisters. Together, our voices rise in a song that shares with the world the return of creativity and freedom, the end of time and judgment, and the remembrance of God.

Salvation is the restoration of a natural and serious happiness to minds that did not know what happiness was, and so substituted their own ideas and images, which could not help being imperfect and fragmented because they arose from fragmentation. Separation begets separation. But the opposite is also true, wholeness begets wholeness.

Thus, our practice is one of no longer accepting the perceptions of the world which reinforce separation, individuality, competition and conflict. We do not fight those perceptions! We do not argue with those who yet hold and advance them. We merely let them go, knowing there is another way. We trust that letting go is the way the other way is revealed, and our trust is not misplaced. God does not make promises that go unkept.

Let us then devote ourselves to our shared rebirth in the Mind of God. Let us together create the new Eden merely by doing nothing to obstruct its creation and coming forth. In quiet stillness, let us join as one, and do nothing else but enjoy God’s Gift of happiness and peace.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.