Truth needs no interpretation, because it needs no defense (T-17.IV.10:2). It is one without another, perfect in its simplicity (T-26.III.1:8).
That’s the suggestion A Course in Miracles makes. In truth there is no choice, because there is nothing to choose between (T-26.III.1:10). Thus there is no conflict anywhere in the system. That’s not the way we live right now – eternally happy and always at peace. But it was once, and it will be again.
That, too, is a suggestion the Course makes.
For now, ensconced in bodies beholden to a world in which uncertainty is the law and the death the certain end, what the truth is is not really our concern. It’s like we want to travel to Boston but the car is broken. First we have to fix the car, or find another way to travel. Boston will be there.
In A Course in Miracles, the “way to travel” has to do with the interior guidance we follow for our living. We have two choices – the Holy Spirit and ego. The Course teaches us how to clearly discern between them and, based on that discernment, to make a decision to listen to one and not the other, so as to no longer be conflicted and torn.
Ego and the Holy Spirit have profoundly different teaching styles which produce very different outcomes. We are always listening to one or the other, and with a little practice, can notice their effects instantaneously. The Holy Spirit produces awareness of a calm and sustainable happiness that naturally gives itself away. It is in us but not of us (M-4.I.1:5).
The ego produces both possessiveness and defensiveness, always with a barely-manageable intensity. Happiness is a fleeting feeling we pursue and cling to, not a thing we are and thus effortlessly extend.
Both the Holy Spirit and the ego are in the human mind as ways of interpreting and understanding what we perceive. Both are telling a story. Both are familiar but ego tends to be the one to which we most readily give attention. We have been conditioned by family and culture to take its teaching literally for a thousand lifetimes. It adds up.
The ego interprets against truth, distorting it to make competition and conflict seem reasonable and inevitable. The world is full of clashing interests and agendas; as bodies we are vulnerable; if we don’t look out for number one who will?
And then, having sold us that bridge, the ego comes up with all kinds of ideas about how to look out for our selves, not a single one of which ever involves seeing the falsehood of the underlying construct, which is the separated, alienated self which is itself an illusion.
The Holy Spirit also interprets, but always in favor of truth. It knows we are not ready for a direct experience of Love, so it facilitates a happier and happier dream. Where once we suffered alone, now we share and celebrate. The Holy Spirit understands what illusions are but, rather than resist them, it uses them to teach us how to see beyond illusion, and thus to become increasingly open to truth.
So our ACIM practice in many ways is simply to look in a deep and sustained way at our thoughts – at the patterns in our thinking – and notice how thought functions. Can we see when we are projecting? Can we see how bias subtly arises to shade our view?
This has to do not with the content of thought but with its function – the way that thought works. That is what we want to see, and that is what the Holy Spirit will gently undo. The specific projection is never the problem; it’s the inclination to project at all that is the problem. And so that is what needs to be healed.
And as we do this, in time, we slowly awaken. The sleep of forgetfulness ends, one miracle at a time. We begin to perceive in harmony with truth because our minds are no longer held captive by ego, entranced by its deception and manipulation. We go slower and judge less; we are less attached to particular outcomes because we trust God. We know that all things work together for good (e.g., M-4.I.1:4). Acceptance, not understanding, is required.
There is a lot of happiness in this way of living. The happy dream is no joke. Nor is the happy dream static or one-off. It becomes happier and happier as we open more and more to the Love and understanding that is our natural state of being in creation.
We do not have to protect the truth. We do not have to seek, study or contemplate oneness. We simply have to give attention to the Holy Spirit, following its lead, and learning from its reliability, that our faith in God is not misplaced, and can only lead to an ever-deeper experience of joy and peace.