Questions Regarding the
Teachings of ACIM


QUESTION: "I know what I've learned in church about Salvation, but what is Salvation according to A Course in Miracles?"

It is quite evident from teaching (and learning) A Course in Miracles week after week, that even after reading a perfectly clear answer to a question, there always appears to be more questions.  Let me begin by looking at a quote from Chapter 21 of the Course, with particular attention to the word unambiguous.

"Your learning potential, properly understood, is limitless because it will lead you to God.  You can teach the way to Him and learn it, if you follow the Teacher Who knows the way to Him and understands His curriculum for learning it.  The curriculum is totally unambiguous, because the goal is not divided and the means and the end are in complete accord.  You need offer only undivided attention.  Everything else will be given you.  For you really want to learn aright, and nothing can oppose the decision of God's Son.  His learning is as unlimited as he is."

With this in mind, the Course is clearly saying that any answer to any question answered within the course is clear, concise and unambiguous.   In other words, it does not need me, or anyone else, to add or detract from the answer given within the Course.   The problem is that we as students still do not have an undivided goal, nor are we giving the Course our undivided attention.

Further, we are reminded that the Course is a self-study course, yet the Voice of the Course still calls its students to become teachers.   I don't think that means just to be lecturers, or leaders of classrooms as such, but to be teachers by example in our lives.   By demonstrating what we know to be True is true by the demonstration of that knowledge.  In other words, it is by walking the talk...action that reinforces the words.   So rather than redefine Salvation, let us apply the words into action.  What does my life offer that demonstrates the Course's definition of Salvation?   For those who have heard me teach, and see how l live, it is evident to them that what I teach (say) is reflected in what I do.

For this exercise I would like to reflect on certain parts of the Course's answer to the question, "What is Salvation?", which is contained in the Workbook for Students between lessons 230 and 231.  As I have done above, all the quotes taken from the Course will be in blue italics.

"Salvation is a promise, made by God, that you would find your way to Him at last.  It cannot but be kept.  It guarantees that time will have an end, and all the thoughts that have been born in time will end as well.  God's Word is given every mind which thinks that it has separate thoughts, and will replace these thoughts of conflict with the Thought of peace."


I find these words quite encouraging in that it is "a promise", "made by God", and that it must be kept.  To use another oft quoted phrase from the Course, "We need do nothing."  It is all on God.  It also points out that "time will end" being replaced by eternity and that all the unreal and separate thoughts of conflict "born in time" and carried with us through our lifetime, will be replaced with thoughts of Peace.   The good news is that we don't need to wait for the end of time for this to happen.   We have the daily choice of what thoughts will dominate our mind.  After all "this is a Course in Mind Training."   But there's the rub...training.  Training requires practice, and practice requires discipline...and nobody likes that word...discipline.  It takes an effort to constantly remind ourselves, when embroiled in a difficult situation, or in conflict with one we have judged as a difficult person, that the solution is to "see this differently" and that that "I could see Peace instead of this".  It means closing our eyes to the sight of the ego (body, world) and opening them to the vision of Christ (Spirit).   This is a practice, a discipline, and a key goal of the teachings of the Course and can be done without anyone ever knowing...it is all done within.

"The Thought of peace was given to God's Son the instant that his mind had thought of war.  There was no need for such a Thought before, for peace was given without opposite, and merely was.  But when the mind is split there is a 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.  Now it did not know itself, and thought its own Identity was lost."

What we seem to need as a constant reminder, the above passage as an example, is that the separation never occurred.  It only seemed to occur.  It occurred only in our belief, not in Reality.   When the Son of God entertained that "tiny, mad idea", all of what we believe to be real in this world seemed to come into existence.  According to the above passage, the answer...the "thought of Peace" was given at the same time.  In that "tiny, mad idea" was given the seed of the thought that the Son could be separate from the Father and from that thought, the entire universe of time and space seemed to come into being...the split mind.  In the fraction of that nanosecond that you accepted the idea of separation, the mind appeared to be split...and you seemed to lose your identity as God's perfect and Holy Son.   I hope you notice that I am stressing the word seemed almost ad nauseum.   The good news remains, that it never happened.

So what is the "thought that has the power to heal the split"?   It is the Holy Spirit, or the Voice for God within you.   It is that part of your mind that has been retained for you, your True Identity, perfect and whole that merely needs to be reminded...to be awakened from the dream of separation.   This is your salvation...being saved from the idea of separation from God, that never did, or ever could occur.  And here is where we awaken from a dream billions of years in the unfolding, waiting for our remembering who we Really Are and return Home.

"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.  And what they hid is now revealed; an altar to the holy Name of God whereon His Word is written, with the gifts of your forgiveness laid before it, and the memory of God not far behind."

Salvation is undoing...I love it.   The best imagery I can think of is in a particular game of blocks called Jenga.  In the game, an entire vertical structure is built with all the blocks, and the object of the game is for the players to remove a single block in turn until the structure collapses from the removal of the last key block supporting the structure.  The person that pulls the collapsing block is the loser of the game.

Think of your life as a symbolic game of Jenga.   Each time the Holy Spirit reveals a forgiveness opportunity in your life, the Holy Spirit is removing one of the supporting blocks of your dream of an existence in a confusing and insane world of time and space.   But unlike the game of Jenga, when the last support to our insanity is removed, the world of the ego disappears (collapses) to be replaced by the real world.  What looked like losing is ultimately winning.   How appropriate in understanding that our world is totally upside down, and that the world of truth is found in dis-believing, or un-believeing everything this world would teach us.

"Let us come daily to this holy place, and spend a while together.  Here we share our final dream.  It is a dream in which there is no sorrow, for it holds a hint of all the glory given us by God.  The grass is pushing through the soil, the trees are budding now, and birds have come to live within their branches.  Earth is being born again in new perspective.  Night has gone, and we have come together in the light."

Here is the key, and the discipline...coming daily...and watching the results unfold naturally.  If we are not taking every opportunity, every day, to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are wasting time and blowing smoke.   So many times in the workbook, in speaking of an aspect of our desires, the phrase "above all else" is used.   We really should be wanting, studying, living, and teaching the Course, "above all else."  That "little willingness" that is requested when we first begin the Course is altered rather dramatically in the Teachers Manual to "abundant willingness".  I am reminded of the story of the farmer who was explaining the difference between the egg the chicken provided for breakfast, and the bacon the pig provided.   For the chicken it was a repeatable offering, but for the pig it was total commitment.

"From here we give salvation to the world, for it is here salvation was received.  The song of our rejoicing is the call to all the world that freedom is returned, that time is almost over, and God's Son has but an instant more to wait until his Father is remembered, dreams are done, eternity has shined away the world, and only Heaven now exists at all."

OK, now we understand, and have, our salvation, but as the Course says over and again, we keep what we give away.   The Truth has set you free.   Live like it, and to keep it give it away.

Written 10/25/12

Once led to engage in full time ministrRobert (Bob) Searsy as a Course teacher, Bob opted to become and independent non-denominational minister so that he could teach a pure version of ACIM without the need to satisfy any particular denominational tenets.  Bob, originally from NY, now reside s in Southern California where he teaches in churches and home settings.  More on Bob can be found on his http://www.rdsears.com

Course In Miracles Society
7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200
Omaha, NE 68114