This post is part of a series of posts entitled: Reflections from A Course in Miracles. This is Chapter 3, Section Vii. Creating versus the self image.
This last chapter is tricky for me to address as an agnostic, because I do not wan to turn off any readers who may be Christians. Please know that I do my best to express my views without offending anyone. I would prefer an open dialogue about any differences of opinion rather than lose you as a reader, I value every opinion as the more opinions I expose myself to, the wider my perspective and the broader my vision. As I have shared before, the more opinions we are exposed to, the more pieces of the puzzle we!
With that said, This final section has several pertinent points to address.
First, we are reminded of our personal power and the power of our minds. In paragraph two, we learn of the Devil for the first time in the text. I would like for you to consider this:
Remember the image of a little angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? I like to think of this as my intuition and my shadow side. We can easily see how the inner critic or inner judge we have discussed before could be “the devil.” My inner critic always tries to sabotage my life by telling me I am not good enough, not smart enough, not capable enough.
The voice that judges, the voice that critiques, it is the dark side of the force, it is the wicked witch, it is the joker and penguin and every manifestation of evil that ever existed. Each of us has a piece of the darkness, each of us has an inner critic, the inner judge, the inner saboteur whose primary job is to make your life more difficult. The voice of your inner devil is unique to you, but you know him, you know his voice, you know his words, you know the voice of which I speak.
But, remember we always have a choice. We are one with spirit. We are manifest perfection and we can choose to turn down the volume on the inner critic and judge and choose to listen to the angels instead. We can choose to listen to the voice of the inner chearleader, the one voice of the one who believes in us, believes in our passions, believes in our perfection and knows beyond a shadow of doubt that we are perfect and can accomplish anything. The choice is always there, so turn down your critic and turn up the sound of the cheerleader!!
Much time is spent in this last section of Chapter 3 discussing the idea of the Garden of Eden and the fateful apple. I believe and have always beleived this to be a metaphor, not somethign to be taken literally.
First of all, how could “God” create us in his perfect image and then hold us accountable for a “Sin.” If God had truly forbidden us to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge, why would he also set us up for failure.
I have also, always had a hard time with the idea of a Holy Book teaching about forgiveness and love and then threatening a judgement day where I will be held accountable for my various sins.
In ACIM, we learn that this text from the Bible, like most stories is a metaphor, because the TRUTH is too difficult to describe.
The apple from the Tree of knowledge signifies, in my humble opinion, our choice to live here on earth in human form. Our spirit forms decided to take on a body and come to earth in order to experience the vast array of experiences and emotions that are part of the human experience. This was a choice. It was the choice to eat the apple. It is the separation we discuss at length in ACIM. It is symbolic of the choice to live in human form, where our body and souls are separated and we believe in the reality of this form, but deep down, we each contain the knowledge that we and spirit are one. This is what we seek to remember. This is the Rapture, the Ecstacy, the Final Judgment. When we suspend judgment and live like the spirit of love that we were intended to be, the trivialities of the human condition become less and less important. We are all here for a lesson, we are all here to contribute in some way. Suspension of judgment is the first step in letting go of the control ego has on us and opening up to the knowledge that exists deep within us.
Whether you arrive at that place in prayer, in meditation, in dance, in therapy, in academia or in a church, the end goal is always about choosing love and acceptance over fear and judgment.
This chapter uses a lot of words to bring us around to this conclusion, but this is my interpretation. I would love to hear your thoughts!