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Reading A Course in Miracles: The Escape from Darkness

In A Course in Miracles, we experience the world at what we might call a conscious level – the level of ordinary perception, bodily perception. But, taking a cue from Freud, Jesus posits other levels both below and above consciousness as well. We are responding – at the consciousness level – to directives from those other levels all the time.

We might call the upper levels the Jesus levels, or the Holy Spirit levels, or the Christ mind levels. This is where revelation comes from, intuitive suggestions, healing impulses. And we might call the lower levels – that untenable and murky sea of repression and denial in which fear and guilt reside – the egoic level.

We might also call both those levels darkness – that is, we cannot see them or what exists within them with our physical eye. Accordingly, we believe they’re not real.

Of course, that’s silly. Who would argue that the lives we experience are not driven by fear and love? Glimpses of revelation, hints of God from “above?” Projected evil and chaos and strife from “below?”

We see their symbols, sure. A beloved parent on the one hand, a horrible car crash on the other – but not the actual love. Not the actual fear.

However, with the aid of our spiritual sight – that is, with the Holy Spirit, our Christ mind – we can “see” fear (a call for love) and love perfectly.

In fact, they are all the Holy Spirit sees.

This section merely restates a premise from the introduction: that the Course isn’t teaching us the meaning of love and it’s not particularly invested in enlightenment or revelation. It’s sole objective is removing the blocks to our awareness of love. We’ve got the love – we just forgot that we have it.

The blocks to that awareness can be found in the metaphorical darkness – those levels of our mind that we can’t “see” because either a) we’ve denied their existence and/or b) we’ve done such a splendid job of projecting them onto “the world” where we can judge them as unworthy of us or too good for us.

Most of our fear comes from knowing – usually subconsciously – exactly what we’re up to. We’ve buried our holiness beneath miles of sludge-like guilt. We feel guilty for having apparently separated from God and we fear retribution.

That we are perfect creations, holy and beloved and untouched by this nightmare we call our lives in the world, eludes us entirely.

We heal this darkness – we undo it – in two steps. First, we acknowledge that it can’t really hide anything. That is, our efforts at denial and projection are not working. Sooner or later, we’re going to have to accept that and face up to what we’re terrified will kill us dead as soon as it’s brought to light.

Second, we realize that the symbols of our guilt and fear are not real and so we don’t have to hide them. How can you hide what doesn’t exist? And, on a similar note, the guilt and fear themselves are illusory because we did not break from God. Our union remains perfect and whole.

Our problem – the separation and the nightmare that flowed from it – never happened.

When we accept this, we naturally integrate – the levels above and below merge and we become one again, without needs of any kind and no longer bound to the so-called scarcity principle.

That it takes miracles to accomplish this goes without saying (or I think it does). The miracle realigns – piece by piece, little by little – our thoughts with God. The darkness fades as it is brought to light. It’d be nice if this happened in one fell swoop, but we tend to it slowly. Maybe over lifetimes.

What’s nice, however, is knowing that it’s already done. We are on a journey that we finished a long time ago. The light is sure and the darkness – as real and powerful as it seems in this moment – is merely a decision we made to ignore the light. We can make a different decision, starting by bringing Jesus into the equation and asking for guidance.

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