The misty monster inside (2)

An important reason why many people give up on their study and practice of A Course in Miracles is that this is not your everyday “feel-good spirituality”. In fact, scholar Ken Wapnick once said that to the ego this spiritual curriculum is a horror story, as it signifies its inevitable demise. This is because A Course in Miracles teaches us how to look at the darkness of the large chunk of the mind’s ‘underwater’ part of the iceberg, together with The Holy Spirit, and how we can learn to allow the Holy Spirit to shine that darkness away forever. In other words, unlike most spiritualities, A Course in Miracles does not teach us to deny or ignore the darkness inside the mind; it rather teaches us to look at it and evaluate it correctly, after which it may gently be undone. Still, we have to be willing to look first. This engenders tremendous resistance, since we are all afraid of what we might find should we truly look at the unconscious, which is unconscious because we are too fearful to allow it into awareness.

To make his students realize just how fearful they are of this large chunk of their mind ‘below the watershed’, Jesus uses some rather forceful language: “You think you are the home of evil, darkness and sin. You think if anyone could see the truth about you he would be repelled, recoiling from you as if from a poisonous snake. You think if what is true about you were revealed to you, you would be struck with horror so intense that you would rush to death by your own hand, living on after seeing this being impossible.” (W-pI.93.1). Jesus is serious about this. And although in the same lesson Jesus explains to us that this horrid image of self is an illusion, since our “sinlessness is guaranteed by God” (W-pI.93.6:1), we nevertheless cannot undo these beliefs if we do not honestly examine them, together with him. “No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. […] We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready. Let us be very calm in doing this, for we are merely looking honestly for truth.” (T-11.V.1:1-4).

Again, many students do not recognize themselves at all in this frightening description of self. On the contrary, they see themselves as kind, loving beings who are learning to focus solely on love, and sharing that. After all, in the very same Course Jesus also says: “Teach only love, for that is what you are.” (T-6.III.2:4). While this is true, this doesn’t mean that we already fully believe this about ourselves, certainly not unconsciously. Spending your days repeating blissful affirmations about the love that you are, without examining the dark unconscious beliefs Jesus talks about, is like ignoring your garden while you keep saying to yourself: “There’s no weeds, there’s no weeds, there’s no weeds.” And guess what? They’ll take your garden! An infallible test for assessing just how much darkness still lurks in your mind is in writing down a list of all the little dislikes, irritations, regrets and rejections you manifest during the day. Even the smallest annoyance offers a valuable message. Remember, “A slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury.”(W-pI.21.2:5) Just try it for at least one day; you’ll be surprised. The key point in this exercise, by the way, is not to feel guilty or dismayed by seeing more items on the list than you had expected, concluding that you are such a lousy spiritual aspirant.

Then, of course, there are those unfortunate students who pretend to see nothing negative at all in the world, and do not allow any negative interpretation to come into awareness. As Ken Wapnick has emphasized in many a workshop, such an attitude is really born of double denial; first, the denial of the misery of the world, and secondly the denial of the fact that the world is merely a projection — a mirror if you will — of what’s in the mind, which is where the world’s misery actually resides. If we refuse to see this misery, the Holy Spirit has no classroom to bring us the forgiveness lessons that truly heal the mind. As Ken Wapnick notes in The message of A Course in Miracles: “Teachers are rendered superfluous if there is no classroom for their students, and no curriculum to teach them. The sorrow of the world we made as a substitute for God is the very classroom Jesus uses, that he may instruct us through the curriculum of our special relationships how the world reflects the real problem of our minds’ decision for guilt and individuality.” (pI, p.178). This way, I’ll never get to the turning point where I exclaim that “there must be a better way”. Twenty years from now I’ll unhappily conclude that I still have an ego. Workbook lesson 135 puts it this way: “You merely take away the hope of healing, for you fail to see where hope must lie [i.e., in the mind].” (W-pI.135.10:5)

A Course in Miracles therefore urges us not to deny any negativity that we feel, however small it may seem. Rather, we should pay careful attention to it, from ‘above the battleground’. The smallest annoyance I become aware of can be reinterpreted as yet another forgiveness lesson offered me by the Holy Spirit. If I can catch myself before I live it out, and instead ask the Holy Spirit: “I am making a mistake. Please help me look at this differently“, I am undoing condemnation, which is the invitation for love to take its rightful place in the mind. This is why A Course in Miracles in so many places stresses the importance of our special relationships: with people, with hobbies, with possessions, you name it. These can act as the royal road to the dark kingdom of the subconscious mind. Of this kingdom, Jesus reflects back to us how we feel about it: “At times, it does not seem I am its king at all. It seems to triumph over me, and tell me what to think, and what to do and feel.” (W-pII.236.1:2). This is because we have rendered it unconscious, believing we have (and are!) a monster inside, ultimately because in the ontological unholy instant we sinned by attempting to separate from God, and pushing the guilt over that sin out of awareness, because it is too horrible to face.

A Course in Miracles shows us that, indeed, you and I do believe we have a monster inside, but this monster is made solely of mist: it’s a flimsy veil which we constructed out of our horror over a sin which never happened. Therefore, the same mind that made the veil can decide to end its investment in it. Jesus cannot do this for us, but with his help, our work of undoing it cannot fail to succeed. Many Course students know the following prayer by heart: “I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.  I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.” (T-30.XII.6:7-10) “Be very firm with yourself in this [prayer] and keep yourself fully aware that the undoing process, which does not come from you, is nevertheless within you because God placed it there. Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace.” (T-30.XII.6:1-2).

To conclude: A Course in Miracles is a spirituality that goes way deeper than just having you focus superficially on the love and oneness in yourself, in others, in everything. While this is a focus towards the truth, you and I will not truly awaken if we do not honestly examine, with the Holy Spirit’s help, the secret sins and hidden hates that we have pushed ‘underwater’ out of awareness. Spiritual awakening does not come from ignoring the misty monster inside “because it is illusory anyway”. Awakening comes from shining the mist (Jesus uses the word ‘clouds’) away with the lamp that we hold together with Jesus: “Since all illusions of salvation have failed you, surely you do not want to remain in the clouds, looking vainly for idols there, when you could so easily walk on into the light of real salvation. Try to pass the clouds by whatever means appeals to you. If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you. And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy. […] Remind yourself that your salvation comes from you, and nothing but your own thoughts can hamper your progress. […] You are in charge of your salvation.” (W-pI.70.10)

— Note: While I am in the process of writing my next book, I may be revisiting some previous blogs. This one was written in December, 2017.

Fear as a classroom

The world appears to be duly immersed in the fear of the Covid-19 virus. After a relatively quiet summer, with few infections, the emotions in the public debate are sharply on the rise again, which only seems to polarize the already painful oppositions in the society even more. These emotions are not just about the virus itself; they’re as much about the strategy the government employs to cope with the crisis, and the possible effects of that strategy. Some say that the government should go much further in rigorous measures, while others claim that the government is merely keeping folks in a state of fear, driven by a pharmaceutical agenda. In both cases, people are extremely worried about the economic and humanitarian consequences that we are all facing, even to such an extent that the ‘cure’ (the rigorous measures) may be worse than the disease (the virus). In short, the world is engulfed in uncertainty and fear, to an extent we have not seen since the second world war.

It is not the intention of this blog to ventilate a particular point of view about all this. For one, it is obvious that corona is a very nasty illness, with very nasty symptoms with those with an already weakened immune system. At the same time, the death ratio turns out to be much lower than the initial horror scenarios would have us believe (at this point, still less than 0.1% of the population), while the influenza death toll appears to be much lower than in previous years. In the Netherlands, each day there are over 200 deaths due to the most common diseases such as heart and vascular disease, lung cancer, heart failure, dementia, strokes, etcetera. Deaths due to corona now slightly contribute to that number, while the ‘missing’ influenza deaths remain to be re-identified. Still, the specter of corona indicating an extremely painful ending of your life has become a firmly fixed notion, further fueling the disruption of society.

From the perspective of A Course in Miracles, this is all part of the same ‘waking dream’, which is wholly illusory. The Course teaches us that you and I are not a body; we are pure spirit, and literally nothing in the world of time and space is able to change that Identity as the Son of God in the least. In other words, according to the Course, there is no reason to have any fear whatsoever about anything (W-pI.48); not in the past, not in the future, not ever. As a spirit, everyone is perfectly safe by definition. Still, although these may be inspiring and comforting words, almost all Course students still intimately identify with the little separated ego self, meaning that we still intimately identify with our body, at least for the major part of the day. We may consistently tell ourselves: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me” (W-pI.201-220), but at the same time we still see our body age and deteriorate, and we try to postpone death as long as possible.

In A Course in Miracles, Jesus explains that we, being the One Son of God, made this all up to be able to have a place “where God can enter not”, where we can experience ourselves as an autonomous individual, while at the same time being able to hide from the purported wrath of a vengeful God, which in reality does not exist. So in the text, Jesus asks us: “Do you like what you have made? — a world of murder and attack, through which you thread your timid way through constant dangers, alone and frightened, hoping at most that death will wait a little longer before it overtakes you and you disappear. You made this up. It is a picture of what you think you are; of how you see yourself. […] All these are but the fearful thoughts of those who would adjust themselves to a world made fearful by their adjustments” (T-20.III.4:2-6). Everything in the world is but a dream that mirrors the idea of separation, attack and death that is the ego.

Already early in the text of the Course, Jesus lets us know he does not demand we deny our existence in the waking dream of time and space; that would be “a particularly unworthy form of denial” (T-2.IV.3:11). As long as we still unconsciously believe that our body is our identity (which is the case for everyone who wakes up each morning in a body), it is a good idea to take good care of the body. Jesus does not even object to the use of medicine to alleviate pain (T-2.IV.4). What’s more, the body can be lovingly employed by the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love, to manifest Jesus’ message in this dream world, if we choose to let Him. As we read in the workbook: “You are my voice, my eyes, my feet, my hands, through which I save the world” (W– So we can use the body as an instrument of salvation.

By placing my thoughts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (i.e., focusing my attention on loving intuition), everything in this ‘waking dream’ becomes a lesson in love. Since in reality there is no world outside of me, and there is no-one else (and no viruses), everything I perceive and interpret mirrors how I perceive and interpret myself: either as a son of the ego in a frightening world, or as the Son of God in a dream in which we all share the same Light source. This Light is our essence as Christ, the one Son of God. By choosing to have my interpretation of everything I perceive outside of me be guided by the Holy Spirit, I eventually learn to interpret myself in that Light. Eventually this will lead to my acceptance of the Atonement.

So from the perspective of A Course in Miracles, the best thing we can do in these turbulent days of societal fear is non-judgmentally looking at our own interpretation of what we perceive and interpret around is. And as soon as we notice, despite our best intentions, that we start to judge again, we can now kindly thank the ego for that, and then quickly hand that judgment over to the Holy Spirit, instead of indulging in it or feel terribly guilty about it, which is what happens with many Course students. Guilt keeps the ego going, including our fear of a terrible ending of our fragile life here on earth. The end of guilt signifies the end of fear, and ultimately the end of the dream.

Choose to be a beacon of peace. Do not condemn any worldly opinion about this virus whatsoever. Know that a dream is a dream is a dream, and choose to have your thoughts and behavior be guided by the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love, by taking a step back and following your loving intuition. This, by the way, does not mean at all that you become indifferent to the world. On the contrary, you can be very involved with the world on a daily basis helping people. Jus ask what Love would do. Whatever the form this help might take, you will offer everyone you meet the most beautiful gift imaginable: acceptance of the other (and therefore also of yourself) as the guiltless Son of God Who is safe forever. Seen this way, all fear is but a classroom in which we learn our lessons in love.

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

The two requiems

In musical terms, a requiem is a contemplation about the transiency or the ending of life, and a plea to God to be reunited with the Light and to be saved from eternal death. They are often deeply emotional, large-scale works involving a considerable orchestra, a large choir and several soloists. The requiem is regarded by some as the pinnacle of human musical expression. Some of the most beloved requiems available today are those of Mozart, Fauré, Verdi and Brahms. The texts usually range from religious to humanistic.

Verdi’s requiem (“Missa da requiem”) and Brahms’ requiem (“Ein deutsches requiem”) make for interesting comparisons. Verdi’s requiem is intensely dramatic, almost operatic, with the highlight obviously being the hugely famous “Dies Irae”, referring to the supposed wrath of God for our savage sinfulness. Verdi’s requiem is verily drenched in death and despair. Brahms’ requiem, on the other hand, is one of solace and homecoming. Brahms refused to add any reproving biblical references; his message was that death is not the end, but rather the reunification with our Creator, wherein we will finally experience eternal peace once again.

This is not to say that I think one requiem is better than the other. Both are obviously sublime masterpieces of the highest quality. They do, however, represent two very different thought systems, namely the two that are treated in-depth in A Course in Miracles. The ego thought system, aptly pictured in Verdi’s requiem, holds that our coveted separation from God was a serious sin, for which the price cannot be anything other than suffering and death. Life here on Earth is permeated by the despairing feeling of “seeking but not finding”, the ego’s maxim par excellence (T-12.V.7:1). At the very best, when we die we might beg to God to be released from eternal death, as we have attempted to pay for our sins through immense suffering here.

Brahms’ requiem breathes an entirely different atmosphere, very often reminiscent of how the Course describes the nature of the Holy Spirit. To be sure, there are dramatic parts, as in (for example) the second movement, where we are told that “All flesh is like grass”, and in the sixth movement we are told that “Nothing here has an enduring state” (i.e., all things must pass). But the overall message is that death is not a punishment, but a liberation, a homecoming in which we will remember again Who we truly are, and where no loss is conceivable whatsoever. Many students will recognize here the way Jesus presents his loving message in the Course: ‘do not deny your every day experiences here as a body, but do come to realize that your mind is choosing nothing but a silly dream, whereas you could also make the choice of returning to your true Home where you will no longer be an individual, but forever at one with God/Love, eternally at peace.’

Our one problem is that, as with both requiems, we want both stories to be true. And so we seem to be in perpetual conflict. We yearn to return to the oneness of God/Love, but at the same time we demand that we can experience that as a separated individual, as we are still terribly afraid to lose the very special unique identity we think we have made of ourselves. In other words, we still cling to the four beliefs that Jesus summarizes for us in Chapter 2 of the text: “First, you believe that what God created can be changed by your own mind. Second, you believe that wat is perfect can be rendered imperfect or lacking. Third, you believe that you can distort the creations of God, including yourself. Fourth, you believe that you can create yourself, and the direction of your own creation is up to you.” (T-2.I.9-12).

Even when we can intellectually accept that these “gross distortions” are too preposterous to believe, we still engender great resistance to accepting the truth of our oneness instead. The ego, after all, must keep guilt alive in order to ensure its existence. Therefore the ego constantly distracts the mind, thereby telling us not to look inward, for if we did God would surely find us and destroy us. But Jesus demasks this strategy: “This you believe, and so you do not look. Yet this is not the ego’s hidden fear, nor yours who serve it. Loudly indeed the ego claims it is; too loudly and too often. For […] beneath your fear to look within because of sin is yet another fear, and one which makes the ego tremble. What if you looked within and saw no sin? This ‘fearful’ question is one the ego never asks.” (T-21.IV.2:4-3:2). This is of course the message of the Holy Spirit: nothing happened. The Son of God has not sinned and we are still safe at Home. We are merely choosing to dream about exile from Home, and the dream is not the truth.

It all comes down to which thought system you and I choose to identify with on a daily basis, even from moment to moment. Who is my ‘beloved’? Whom do I want to be intimate with? The ego or the Holy Spirit? It’s a good habit to ask yourself this very question the moment you wake up. Your firm decision for the right-minded answer will direct your thoughts, words and actions in the proper direction throughout the day. And if, every time you notice you once again choose to be intimate with your beloved ego once more, you can become aware of that choice. You can then quickly ‘raise your mind above the battleground’ (T-23.IV), look at the situation with Jesus’ loving presence beside you (i.e., within you), and then happily choose again. So please don’t feel guilty over choosing to be intimate with your preferred requiem. Just honestly realize what your chosen requiem represents, without feeling guilty, and survey the road this chosen thought system will lead you to: either to illusions or to truth. And then make your choice once again. A thousand times a day. Happy practicing!

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

A shift in purpose

A Course in Miracles teaches us that everything we think, say and do in time and space has only one of two purposes: either to keep the imagined state of separation (from oneness, from God, from Love) going, or to undo that same imagined state of separation, by forgiving ourselves for any condemning thought, statement or action that we still cherish. A Course in Miracles can be seen as a call to make this shift: “You have been called, together with your brother, to the most holy function that this world contains. It is the only one that has no limits, and reaches out to every broken fragment of the Sonship with healing and uniting comfort. […] The peace of God is given you with the glowing purpose in which you join with your brother.” (T-18.I.13).

This sounds wonderful enough in itself: all I need do is to shift the purpose of my thoughts and the peace of God will be given me. However, many (if not all) Course students unconsciously feel that they are called to sacrifice what they hold most dear: their precious unique special individuality. That’s why so many Course students try to distort Jesus’ message by trying to attain the experience of oneness as a separated individual. This is clearly a hopeless journey, as oneness and individuality cannot coexist. What makes this Course so hard to accept is our gradual realization, as we study the text and practice the workbook, that salvation requires of us that we give up the dream world of our own personality, which the ego made to be able to enjoy autonomous existence.

Although it’s true that the final acceptance of the Atonement requires a letting go of the entire dream world of time and space and individuality, Jesus’ curriculum guides us in making the necessary mindshift from seeing this as a sacrifice, to seeing this as the most desirable thing imaginable. Jesus’ repeated message, therefore, is that it can hardly be a sacrifice to give up a dream world that inevitably ends in death, and is permeated by uncertainty, loneliness, and constant fear (T-31.VIII.7:1). We don’t even have to give up anything that we made here out of our desire for specialness. We mere need to learn to assign a different purpose to these things: again, from reinforcing separation to emphasizing the sameness of all living things.

Jesus comments on this required ‘shift in purpose’ for example in chapter 25 of the text: “All that you made can serve salvation easily and well. The Son of God [i.e., all life combined] can make no choice the Holy Spirit cannot employ on his behalf, and not against himself. Only in darkness does your specialness appear to be attack. In light, you see it as your special function in the plan to save the Son of God from all attack, and let him understand that he is safe, as he has always been, and will remain in time and eternity alike” (T-25.VI.7:4-7). In other words, the Holy Spirit offers us a way of looking differently at everything we initially made (i.e., thought of) to separate, by shifting its purpose: from separation to sameness.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t take anything away from us. He is not some ghostly being that robs us of all specialness “for our own good”, because we ought to stop the dream world and return to the nonduality of oneness. This also means that I, as the dreamer of the dream of dualism, wrote the script for my life, or better, for the entire sequence of reincarnations that I experience in the course of the illusory ages. Whereas I first wrote that script to be able to try to achieve perfection on my own, apart from oneness (“In this lifetime I’ll get it right”), at some point the pain of constant failure becomes too much to bear. Then will I shift the purpose of what I made to the purpose of accepting the Atonement, eventually ending the dream of time and space forever.

To bring the metaphysical back to the practical: in my daily life, this means I realize that inner peace is found in forgiving the darkness in my mind, not in having my own superficial ego needs met. Practicing forgiveness is the way I learn Jesus’ curriculum of finding lasting inner peace. Still, what I learn I do not learn for myself alone: “And it is thus the power of your learning will be proved to you by all the many different witnesses it finds. Your brother first among them will be seen, but thousands stand behind him, and beyond each one of them there are a thousand more. Each one may seem to have a problem that is different from the rest. Yet they are solved together. And their common answer shows the questions could not have been separate” (T-27.V.10:3-7).

So the only way to heal is to choose to be healed, that is, of all the darkness that I once chose in my mind. And this I do by choosing the Holy Spirit as my new Teacher. This new Teacher doesn’t demand I sacrifice anything at all. He merely shows me a much better purpose in all that I think, say and do. “Such is the Holy Spirit’s kind perception of specialness; His use of what you made, to heal instead of harm.” (T-25.VI.4:1). Now we can better understand Jesus’ inspiring call in chapter 16: “The new perspective you will gain from crossing over [i.e., shifting the purpose] will be the understanding of where Heaven is. From this side, it seems to be outside and across the bridge. Yet as you cross to join it, it will join with you and become one with you. And you will think, in glad astonishment, that for all this you gave up nothing!” (T-16.VI.11:1-4).

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

The joy of timelessness

A Course in Miracles teaches us that “time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic.” (W-pI.158.4:1). We are taught that the hours, days and years that we still count are in effect part of a hallucinatory dream that the seemingly sleeping one Son of God is dreaming. This dream of time is merely a maladaptive attempt to hide from the imagined wrath of the Creator Whom the Son thought He rejected because He craved to experience life as an an autonomous individual, which is impossible if the Oneness of God is the only reality. How could a part of Oneness ever wrench itself from Oneness, no matter how many billions of fragmentary parts are produced? This is the tiny, mad idea that the Course talks about. But as long as the world and the body are still steen as all we have, the dream (the ego thought system, including time) remains intact, and with it all the rejection, attack and murder that constitute the ego thought system of separation from Oneness.

And so everyone who walks this planet has a split mind, wherein both the voices of the ego and that of the Holy Spirit are present. Sadly, 99,9% percent of all people still choose to listen mostly to the voice of the ego, thereby guaranteeing that time winds on wearily. A Course in Miracles is a curriculum that teaches us how to awaken from the dream, by learning how to increasingly listen to that other Voice in the mind: the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love. Although this Voice will lead to the experience of timeless inner peace, it also ends our precious cherished special individual existence. That’s why we experience such enormous resistance to following up on Jesus’ advice in the text, the Workbook, and the Manual for Teachers. This, by the way, is of no concern to Jesus: he is not bound by time. He knows (and tells us) that everyone is guaranteed to graduate from his course in due time. Our one remaining freedom of choice is to decide when we will accept the Lessons of Love (which are taught in many other spiritual systems as well; the Course is only one from among many thousands of forms of the universal course (M-1.4:2)).

It can be helpful to frequently take some time to ponder the blessings we could experience once we would choose to follow up on Jesus’ advice a bit more diligently; a bit more passionately; a bit more devotedly. After all, if we can intellectually accept that leaving time and space behind will result in eternal inner peace – as spirit, it makes sense to take time to acquire the mindshift that the Course aims at bringing about. So if we look at our everyday lives, what mind characteristics would be helpful to cultivate to speed up this desired (though still resisted) mindshift from selfishness to oneness, from time to timelessness, from misery to inner peace?

Safety. If I can accept that my reality as spirit does not depend on my body and the world, then I can afford to rest in complete safety. Of course I still take care of my body. Of course I still make sure there’s food, shelter and money to pay the taxes. But that’s all part of the dream. Life is only a struggle as long as I see danger around me and I don’t feel safe. The more I can accept the safety that is my inheritance as Son of God, the easier such trivial matters will flow in my life, as many spiritual aspirants can attest to.

Desirelessness. If, outside of time and space, I – as spirit – have all because as the Son of God I am all, there’s nothing lacking to maintain my timeless peace. What, then, remains left for me to desire? This does not mean we should feel guilty about passionately desiring various earthly things, from hobbies to basic necessities such as food and shelter. But has there ever been not enough in your life? It’s okay to still desire this and that. The trick is not to make a big thing about it. It’s not where salvation lies. Desires are kid’s toys that at some point we realize we don’t need anymore and then lay aside, without regret. And don’t be upset if that process seems to take a lifetime. Time isn’t linear after all.

Defenselessness. If I – as spirit – am safe and have no need for ‘salvific’ desires any more, there’s really no need to attack, condemn, or reject anyone or anything outside me, especially when I realize that all of life combined is the One Son of God and all condemnation is really self-condemnation. To be sure, as long as I still believe my body in time and space is my reality, I need not act as the proverbial doormat. But I can learn to see my judgments a little sooner from ‘above the battleground’, and then quickly choose to forgive myself and to act kindly, that is, without any need to defend myself.

Peacefulness. My ultimate goal here in this particular reincarnation in time and space is to become a beacon of peace all the time. This I can become by conditioning my thought stream to focus on safety, desirelessness and defenselessness. I will forgive myself for still cherishing ego thoughts. I choose these only because I am still too afraid of the Oneness Love of God, which is perfectly understandable. Enlightenment doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a slow process. But what is ‘slow’ in the light of the unreality of time? As a happy learner and a Teacher of God, I can afford to be infinitely patient. And as we know: only infinite patience brings immediate results. Enjoy your awareness of your timeless reality!

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

Ruefully resisting resistance

Many a student of A Course in Miracles spends much time on banging himself (or herself) over the head about the spiritual self-sabotage that their fear of accepting Jesus’ message brings about. After all, this curriculum about awakening from the ego-hell of perception, time and space back to the Heart of God that we purportedly never left but which really doesn’t experientially mean anything to us, is extremely threatening to our unique special ego personality. We do feel we want the lasting inner peace that Jesus promises could be our eternal experience, and yet we also keep stubbornly clinging to our miserable little ego self, since somehow we still firmly believe that this body and this personality is all we have and all we are.

In other words, we all have a split mind: we want oneness, but we also want individuality. The difference between Course students and others is oftentimes that the former are now aware of this split, more than the latter. This increased awareness, however, doesn’t make them happier people. On the contrary; on top of the pain that the ego world brings about by definition, Course students have the added pain of ruefully resisting their resistance against waking up. They see the exit from hell, but they do not yet know how to eradicate their obvious resistance to passing through the gates of Heaven, back to their only reality as Christ. “So, what’s the next step?” they often ask in desperation.

At first, Jesus’ gentle answer to this outcry (“I need do nothing”, T-18.VII) does not seem to be very helpful. Of course, this advice should be read in the context of our identification with our body in the dream world: “Seek not outside yourself [for salvation]. For it will fail, and you will weep each time an idol [a devotion] falls.” (T-29.VII.1:1-2). However, in terms of training the part of our mind that continually chooses between the two possible teachers (the ego versus the Holy Spirit), we should be very active. If I want peace but I experience resistance, it makes sense to train the mind to ever more often choose peaceful thoughts instead of spending days, if not years, in ruefully resisting our resistance to Jesus’ message. Resistance, after all, can never lead to lasting inner peace.

The key, then, to getting rid of this resistance is not to spiritually work still harder at ‘doing’ the Course, but rather on calmly looking at the resistance, and honestly realize what it is all about. Period. There is tremendous power in simply acknowledging to yourself: “Yeah, I’m obviously still afraid of experiencing the Love of God, in which my little self will completely disappear. That’s not a sin; it’s perfectly understandable. I should allow myself some slack and gladly accept where I am now on the ladder that leads to the acceptance of the Atonement, which Jesus tells me I am guaranteed to reach, as will everyone, since there is only one seemingly sleeping Son of God. At least I am not wholly insane anymore, and I want to keep growing, at the pace I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me at.”

Perhaps you want to read the thought above once more. Compare the calm inner peace that emanates from this thought to the tension that arises at the urge of wanting to reach the top of the ladder right now (and the frustration of obviously not succeeding right now!). If I want to graduate from Jesus’ Course as a happy learner, I should cultivate in my mind the ten characteristics of the Teachers of God (M-4), not bang myself over the head about being such a poor student because I fail to follow through on what the workbook lessons tell me to do, five or ten minutes each hour.

An important characteristic in this regard is patience. After all, “What is a hundred or a thousand years to Them [God and Christ], or tens of thousands?” (T-26.IX.4:1). The happy learner realizes that although time appears to be linear, it is really holographic: “Each hour, each minute, each second, and each instant that each second holds, you but relive the time [i.e., the Big Bang] when terror took the place of love” (T-26.V.13:1). So each time I get frustrated about my resistance to accepting Jesus’ message, I am really reliving this ontological moment of the terror and guilt of rejecting the oneness Love of God. Rather than hurting myself about that, I could also honestly acknowledge that this is obviously the choice I still make.

The solution, then, is simple enough: accept the here and now as it is, be very clear about the resistance at hand, and then acknowledge that the decision maker has again chosen the ‘holy frown’ instead of the ‘holy smile’ of the happy learner, guided by the Holy Spirit. Don’t feel guilty about it; just acknowledge the choice and the accompanying pain it brings. That’s the real motivator for getting beyond the resistance, and making a different choice a little sooner next time. Cultivating the ten characteristics of the Teacher of God helps you do that a bit more effectively each day, as long as we still count the days and nights.

To conclude: we can expand the following quote “You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment” (T-3.VI.3:1) to include every situation in the here and now, which is of course the whole point of the quote: all the many seemingly separated forms we experience and interpret, are really one in content: either hate or love; either resistance or acceptance. So stop struggling in trying to get rid of your resistance to ‘doing’ Jesus’ Course: “Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon the battleground [of the mind]. From there your perspective will be quite different. In the midst of it, […] murder is your choice. Yet from above, the choice is miracles instead of murder. And the perspective coming from this choice shows you the battle [i.e., resistance] is not real, and easily escaped” (T-23.IV.5:1-7). Happy practicing!

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

Which me?

In therapeutic group sessions, people will oftentimes complain that they lack inner peace because they are annoyed by others. Even though they know their inner peace need not depend on what others say or do, there seems to be an almost endless list of people to dislike. But if I complain that I do not like my neighbor, who is it that does the complaining? This question is rarely asked, and yet points the way out of the vicious circle of vexation.

A Course in Miracles teaches us that the world we think we live in is inherently illusory, and therefore so are the bodies that we think constitute our reality, as we read in many places, for example in Workbook lesson 155: “The world is an illusion. Those who choose to come to it are seeking for a place where they can be illusions, and avoid their own reality.” (W-pI.155.2:1-2). In this case, Jesus is not speaking metaphorically. He literally means that to experience myself as a body is a deliberate attempt to avoid the experience of my true reality as Christ, outside time, space, perception and matter.

Everyone who walks this earth therefore, still prefers to try to attain lasting happiness through individuality instead of the state of Oneness. Most of us do not fully realize our deeply cherished attachment to the imagined state of individual specialness. Only once you really take some time to contemplate what life would be like without a body, without time and space, without perception, heck, even without consciousness, might it be that the sweat of terror about losing your very self would break out.

This is why in A Course in Miracles Jesus patiently explains to his students, in many places, that the ‘me‘ that complains about that awful neighbor, is not my real identity – it’s my ego, the part of my mind that still likes to be a unique, special individual self. Still, once I lift my mind ‘above the battleground’ (T-23.IV) of my chattering thought stream, I can learn to non-judgmentally observe the dream world I think I’m living in, and then ask for another Teacher where true inner peace can be found, Who in the Course is identified as the Holy Spirit. (In other thought systems this Teacher is called by many other names, always referring to the Voice for Oneness Love.)

In other words, the real me in this world is what Kenneth Wapnick calls the decision making part of the mind. Though still apparently active in the dream of time and space, the decision maker has the power to choose between love and fear at any moment in time. In fact, Jesus refers to this power to choose as “…all power in Heaven and on earth” (W-pI.191.9:1; W-pII.320.1:4). Once my decision maker consistently chooses to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, my identity will unavoidably melt into my Identity as Christ. I will have accepted the Atonement and am awake again in my real Home in the Heart of God.

This sounds easy (and desirable) enough, but our aforementioned imagined terror about losing our special unique individual self makes sure we continually self-sabotage our journey Home in various ways. Of course, condemnation is the chief instrument to keep the ego alive, for as long as I can ‘prove’ that I am different and better than others, individuality clearly seems to be the truth. So how do I learn to embrace the guidance of the Holy Spirit, while still immersed in the conflict between wanting self versus wanting Self?

The key is to increasingly become aware – above the battleground, in silence – of the ego thought stream, and then non-judgmentally look at the thoughts you apparently choose. In Chapter 31 of the text, we read: “Be very still an instant. Come, without all thought of what you ever learned before, and put aside all images you made. The old will fall away before the new without your opposition or intent. […] Forgive your brother all appearances, that are but ancient lessons you have taught yourself about the sinfulness in you. […] Thus it is a way you go together, not alone.” (T-31.II.8:1-3; 9:1,6).

Workbook lesson 155 says that “There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet. And […] those who have not yet perceived the way [e.g., neighbors] will recognize you….” (W-pI.155.1:1-4). In other words, I find inner peace by my decision to “…step back and let Him [the Holy Spirit, the Voice for Love] lead the way.” (W-pI.155).

This does not mean that my ego should now like my neighbor. The ego will always differentiate and reject. It does mean that I can now look at that attack thought in silence from above the battleground, and remind myself: “Ah yes, of course my ego doesn’t like my neighbor. But I am more than my ego. I actually witness a projection of my dislike of myself because of the sin of disliking God in the original moment. I do this to perpetuate the dream of time and space, so that I might still find some happiness all on my own. That’s just plain silly. In reality, my neighbor and I are the same Son of God, at one in Christ. Will I decide to see his form (behavior), or his content (the same Light that shines in all of us)?

As such mindfulness is extremely threatening to the ego, which we still intimately identify with, all sorts of objections will rise about really following through on this, as in, for example. “I tried acting kindly to him once, and it didn’t work. What’s the use?” However, trying to change someone else means once again falling into the trap of specialness. Jesus only asks of me some sincere willingness to see him as the same; to visualize the same Light in him and me. Period. And the time will not be long when my neighbor surprises me by acting kindly to me. And that’s when I start to realize that my “ego me” is not me. I’m the decision maker, with all power in Heaven and on earth to experience peace. Use it wisely!

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

Upset over nothing

In our nightly dreams, we can get upset about the wildest imaginable things. We might chase someone or be chased, switching abruptly from one scene to another; we might even be in a heated discussion about problems in the scene or about the safety of the characters involved. Although dreams can be a helpful aid in clarifying what upsets us in our daily lives that we apparently suppress, when we wake up the morning we’re glad to realize that in the dream we were really upset over nothing. The challenges in our daily lives in ‘reality’, so we argue, are much more serious and understandably make us upset at times.

Enter A Course in Miracles, wherein Jesus informs his readers (students) that even in what we consider to be our daily reality, whenever we get upset, we get upset over nothing. This is because from Jesus’ point of view, this entire world is literally nothing, being a hallucinatory concept about consciousness, space and time in the mind of the seemingly sleeping Son of God. In chapter 27 of the text, we can hear Jesus emphatically assuring us that “…It is a joke to think that time can come to circumvent eternity, which means there is no time.” (T-27.VIII.6:5). Think about that statement for a moment. From the perspective of the Course, this entire world is cut from the same cloth as our nightly dreams: it’s all illusory. Once we awaken from this ‘dream world’, we will be relieved to realize that we were really upset over nothing.

But there’s a slight problem. Who or what would be the “we” when we would awaken? Whenever I wake up from my nightly dreams, I am glad to find myself back in what I utterly identify myself with: my body. But Jesus really cannot comprehensively explain what would be my identity should I wake from the dream of perception, time and space! Unfortunately, the voice of the ego, which is the voice for separate autonomy from God, does have a clear answer. Experiencing myself in a body is a clear sign that my mind chose – and still chooses – the ego as the primary guide of my thoughts, which are always aimed at keeping my precious individual autonomy, separated from the oneness love of God, alive and kicking. So what is the crystal-clear answer of the ego?

“Should you choose to discard the individuality that is my gift to you, assuming for the moment that you were capable of doing such a thing,” so the ego would argue, “you would obviously disappear into oblivion, since there would be nothing left for you to perceive anything with. Moreover, without the body you would instantly be noticed by God, Who will punish you severely for the cardinal sin of having rejected Him in the moment you chose my guidance. There will be nothing left for you to cherish. Your soul will burn eternally in hell. I’d stick with me if I were you.”

And sure enough, every time we blithely start to work at some serious spiritual progress, sooner or later we notice that we self-sabotage our efforts: we distract our minds with trivial matters that “seem so important”, or we simply forget to remind ourselves of our desired goal. There is not a single student who hasn’t experienced the utter frustration of self-sabotaging his or her own spiritual intentions and practice. That’s why Jesus explains in chapter 18 of the text: “Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough.” (T-18.IV.2:1-2). Why is that?

Course Scholar Kenneth Wapnick often told his audience that truly studying A Course in Miracles should engender tremendous anxiety about the fear of ‘being erased’ once we would really follow through. After all, Jesus in effect tells us that our very individual existence is a lie, and that our eyes that read his book don’t really see, and the brain that tries to make sense of it all doesn’t really think. And nobody likes to be told his existence is a lie, and that nothing here in this world is worth assigning any value whatsoever to, as for example Buddhists correctly observe.

A Course in Miracles would be a most depressing curriculum if it didn’t offer us the best banquet of all, instead of the measly crumbs of specialness we try to collect in our dream world. In various subtle ways, in a most careful tempo, with symphonic variations, Jesus tries to make us realize that without individuality, having left time and space behind us, we would not be annihilated, but we would be Christ again, meaning we would be everything. In reality – in truth – no distinctions are possible between God and Christ, since oneness knows of no distinctions. And since in reality we are all, in reality we have all. Right now. Except this is not really understandable from our experience in time and space.

Self-sabotaging our own spiritual practice should merely be regarded as nothing but the understandable fear of letting go of our own perceived precious individuality. It’s really nothing to get upset about, although our anxiety is perfectly understandable. We should allow ourselves some slack: after all, undoing a decision that has been going on for some fourteen billion years now, no matter how illusory it is, is not something that is easily done. And Jesus fully understands. He even quotes from Plato’s Cave allegory to comfort us in our upset: “Prisoners bound with heavy chains for years, […] with eyes so long cast down in darkness they remember not the light, do not leap in joy the instant they are made free. It takes a while for them to understand what freedom is.” (T-20.III.9:1-2).

So please be kind to yourself. Whenever you find yourself getting upset over this or that, remember that it’s really about nothing, since in reality each seemingly separated one of us is already Home, outside time and space, as Christ. Then quickly choose a miracle instead of murder; that is, choose to forgive. Please don’t bash yourself for once again having forgotten Jesus’ instructions. Don’t feel guilty. Try to be much more patient with yourself. Only infinite patience brings immediate results, as again the Buddhists say. Once you truly practice patience, you find that literally nothing that seems to happen is worth sacrificing the inner peace in your mind. Happy practicing!

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

That liberating one percent

All of us regularly feel bothered by certain conditioned responses we know we would rather not choose, but which we just can’t seem to control. Such responses usually come down to some sort of condemnation, followed by associated behavior. Without exception, pain follows in the form of rancor, guilt, or regret. When the conditioned responses become too painful, we seek counsel with a psychotherapist. However, as long as the underlying attraction to stubbornly keep clinging to such conditioned responses (as this affirms our precious unique individuality and superiority to others) isn’t laid bare, no psychotherapy will ameliorate the pain.

The “Being-oriented Therapy” is one of the very few therapies I know of that helps the patient lift his consciousness “above the battleground”, as A course in Miracles names it (T-23.IV), without having to dive into any metaphysics, nondualistic principles or oneness vagueness. Briefly summarized, the therapist invites the patient to seek and find that “one percent” of the consciousness that is able to independently look at what’s happening – right now – with current thoughts and emotions. If you can train yourself to non-judgmentally observe the thoughts that lead to the conditioned impulses, without “automatically” being dragged into them, this must mean that you are not the conditioned self you believe you are. It can be quite a peak experience to realize that for the first time!

Once the patient’s mind has reached that “place on high”, from that “one percent” consciousness state of the observer, you’ve now become what Course scholar Ken Wapnick has coined the decision maker who can choose either one of two guides for the thought stream: either the ego (the voice for special separated autonomy) or the Holy Spirit (the voice for the Oneness Love that is God). In fact, the entire curriculum of A Course in Miracles is aimed at having us remember that we have a decision maker in the mind that has the power to choose to be guided by either individual selfishness or by oneness love. From the perspective of what the Course calls content, there are no other options than these two.

Since we all share the (firmly repressed) burning desire to re-unite with our Creator, only the choice for oneness love (i.e., following the advice of our Inner Teacher called the Holy Spirit) will lead us to the eternal happiness that we all seek for as long as we think we are living here in time and space. It’s only when we have fully learned the Holy Spirit’s Lessons of love and have accepted the Atonement for ourselves completely (i.e., no dark spot in the mind remains to hide the face of Christ in anyone, without exception) will perception give way to the happy realization that duality was merely a silly dream, and that nonduality is much, much better. However, then we’re back in the abstract realm of metaphysics again…

From the perspective of Being-oriented Therapy, though, we need not have fully mastered the abstract concepts of nonduality to experience lasting inner peace in this dream world. Remember, experiencing inner peace here and now reflects the eternal peace in Heaven. That experience will eventually automatically fuse into knowledge once we generalize the principle of forgiveness to all situations and all people all the time. This is why that “one percent” of our consciousness that can observe the thought stream, can truly be called liberating. The question to ask from that state of consciousness is simple: “Will the impulse that I usually follow (but now pause to look at) lead to pain or pleasure?” When that question is asked, the decision maker has been put in the position to choose again, and the best choice to make will be obvious.

This ‘best choice’ is the choice for the miracle that gives Jesus’ curriculum its title. The miracle is the effect of choosing to replace that “ancient hatred” (of the separation) with the “present love” of forgiveness (T-26.IX.6:1). This is the way all past hurts are unmasked and forever undone. In terms of Being-oriented psychotherapy, by activating the observer in the mind, the patient comes to realize that choosing to hold on to perceived hurt only keeps the currently experienced pain intact. That fuels the motivation to change the self-sabotaging conditioned responses that we chose just to keep the sorry picture of an unfairly treated separated self intact, to much better responses that assert that you and I and everyone else are still the same loving Son of God. That’s liberation!

Let’s conclude by quoting the lovely passage in section IV of chapter 23 in the text about choosing to activate that liberating one percent of consciousness that allows us to look at the battleground, evaluate it, and then make the better choice for inner peace: “Be lifted up, and from a higher place look down upon it [the battleground]. From there will your perspective be quite different. […] Bodies may battle, but the clash of forms is meaningless. […But] How can a battle be perceived as meaningless when you engage in it? […] Whenever the temptation to attack rises to make your mind darkened and murderous, remember you can see the battle from above [that’s the liberating one percent]. Even in forms you do not recognize, the signs you know. There is a stab of pain, a twinge of guilt, and above all, a loss of peace. This you know well. When they occur, leave not your place on high, but quickly choose a miracle instead of murder.” (T-23.IV.5:1-6:5).

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

Release the world

For many students, one of the most puzzling aspects of A Course in Miracles remains its nondualistic foundation upon which its entire curriculum rests. While we experience ourselves in time, studying and practicing the Course, hoping to become enlightened and find the lasting inner peace that we want so much, we are bluntly told (cf. lesson 132) that there is no world and, moreover, that we are all mad: “A madman thinks the world he sees is real, and does not doubt it.” (W-pI.132.1:5). So why would Jesus say we are living like madmen in a world, only to learn that there is no world?

In his Course, Jesus patiently explains why we are still firmly convinced there is a world, in which we believe we exist in space and time. Each instant we are conscious of, so he tells us, we are merely reliving the ontological moment of separation when terror took the place of love (T-26.V.13:1). This is the “unholy instant” just before the Big Bang so long ago, when the metaphorically pondering Son of God decided to try the ego’s idea of being autonomous, separate from oneness, apart from God. Since this could never happen in reality, it’s only an hallucination.

Still, this belief was powerful enough to ignite the Big Bang and dream up an entire universe of time and space, in which we seek to hide from the imagined vengeful wrath of God. In order to prevent the sleeping Son of God from changing His Mind to once again prefer Oneness, the ego makes sure the mind is constantly distracted by problems and threats. So that’s why we always have 99 problems to worry about. And in order to displace the guilt we all secretly feel about our decision to renounce God, we are constantly on the lookout to find guilt in others. That’s why we always chortle in glee whenever we find convincing reasons to point fingers at all the ‘evil-doers’ in the world: this means God will let us off the hook when we die.

Lesson 132 and Chapter 26 shed some wonderful light on what is really going on in the mind, and what the way out of this hell looks like. Let’s look at some representative passages. In workbook lesson 132, Jesus summarizes what all of us firmly believe: “Perhaps you think you did not make the world, but came unwillingly to what was made already, hardly waiting for your thoughts to give it meaning.” (W-pI.132.4:4). Ah, yes; we would all agree, wouldn’t we? But then he continues: “Yet in truth you found exactly what you looked for when you came.” So what is it what we looked for? A place to bury and distract our mind from the Oneness love of God, in a state of almost infinite fragmentation, providing us with ample separated scapegoats to project our own perceived guilt on.

“You have enslaved the world with all your fears, your doubts and miseries, your pain and tears; and all your sorrows press on it, and keep the world a prisoner to your beliefs [i.e., that the separation from perfect oneness has indeed been accomplished].” (W-pI.132.3:4). Why would we want to make up such a hell, when we all profess we want lasting inner peace? This is because we want peace on our own terms. We want to be enlightened as a separated individual, and we want God to approve of that. Since our awareness of real Oneness Love would instantly pull the ego out of business, we crave to maintain the illusion of separation. And so we prefer to see a world that clearly continues to prove that the ontological moment of separation did indeed happen.

Now we can better understand what Jesus means when he says that “time is a trick, a sleight of hand, a vast illusion” (W-pI.158.4:1), made to provide ongoing support for our belief in unique, special, separated individuality: each instant that we still prefer to be separated, we but relive that ontological moment 14 billion years ago of choosing to believe in the ego, that instant when terror (i.e., the shattering of perfect oneness) took the place of Love (God, Oneness, perfection). So while we perceive time as something linear, its true nature is holographic: each interval of time contains the whole of the separation nightmare; and each time we choose to condemn someone or something we but relive that original choice.

This is why Jesus teaches as follows: “Belief is powerful indeed. The thoughts you hold are mighty, and illusions are as strong in their effects as is the truth.” (W-pI.132.1:3-4). So, while Jesus clearly states that “There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach” (W-pI.132.6:2-3), he adds that “There is no world apart from what you wish. […] Change but your mind on what you want to see, and all the world must change accordingly.” (W-pI.132.5:1-2). Jesus is of course speaking of forgiveness, the choice to see sameness instead of separated differences. Forgiveness is the one illusion that undoes the ongoing need for still more time.

Forgiveness (or the miracle, the mechanism and the effect of forgiveness) is the choice to follow the Teacher of Love instead of the teacher of sin, guilt and fear. In the Course, this Teacher is called the Holy Spirit, Who is defined as “The Voice for Love”, that is, the Oneness Love that is God. We could also say that forgiveness is the choice to prefer nonduality (eternity, oneness) to duality (the dream world of separation). Jesus reminds us that from the perspective of nonduality (a synonym for “truth”), the dream world of separation never really happened: “Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time past, and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made.” (T-26.V.3:3-4).

Elaborating on the perspective of eternal oneness, Jesus continues his mind-blowing unmasking of the ego’s “vast illusion” of time: “The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them (i.e., all our condemnations) within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that One [i.e., the miracle], and all of them that came within the first. And in that tiny instant time was gone, for that was all it ever was. […] The tiny instant you would keep and make eternal [for 14 billion years now!], passed away in Heaven too soon for anything to notice it had come. […] Only in the past did this world appear to rise. So very long ago, for such a tiny interval of time, that not one note in Heaven’s song was missed.” (T-26.V.3:5-5:4)

The core of Jesus’ message in A Course in Miracles is that we are, right now, already safe at Home in the Heart of God (eternal Love). The only reason we stubbornly keep making time is because we still prefer unique autonomous individuality to oneness, no matter how much pain we often perceive amidst our efforts to achieve happiness. Jesus’ formidable task, then, is to convince us that ultimately we want oneness, not individuality. Since the dream of time is already over in reality (in fact, never really happened), we have actually already made this choice. We think we are still caught in the web of the nightmare of time and space, but A Course in Miracles shows us the way out, that is: practicing forgiveness by choosing to follow the Voice for Love instead of the teacher of condemnation. In short: be kind instead of hateful!

It is such a great comfort to read in A Course in Miracles that we need not do this on our own: “To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past. Each thing you look upon you saw but for an instant, long ago, before its unreality gave way to truth. Not one illusion still remains unanswered in your mind. Uncertainty [duality] was brought to certainty [nonduality] so long ago that it is hard indeed to hold it to your heart, as if it were before you still.” (T-26.V.4).

Yet this is what we all still stubbornly do as long as we still cherish our special, unique individual autonomous little self. A Course in Miracles teaches me that whenever I feel sadness, fear, anxiety, irritation, frustration or outright anger (really all the same emotion, the negation of peace) I can stop myself and realize this is silly. Such emotions only serve to keep the belief in separation intact. That’s not a sin, but it is a silly mistake that will only bring me more misery. Realizing that time is already over, before I let my behavior slide downhill, I can ask a much better question: “What would love do in this situation?” The answer, gratefully provided by the Holy Spirit through an intuitive impulse, will bring me (and the other!) the inner peace I want so much. This way I not only release my own mind from pain, I release the entire illusory world. So why wait for Heaven? Practice kindness and mindfulness right now, for now is the only time there is.

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: