A COURSE IN MIRACLES Should Be Rejected
By Philip Eversoul
An article from the Urantian Sojourn, Spring-Summer 1995
Comparing Irreconcilable Teachings
The starting point in approaching ACIM-A purported revelation of pure truth-is to ask who wrote it. It is easy to find that the author clearly implies he is Jesus Christ. He mentions having been crucified (p. 85 text); he asserts he is in charge of the Sonship (p. 5 text) and of the Second Coming. (p.58 text) Having determined the author's claim to be Jesus or-at any rate-an ultimate authority on truth, the conscientious UB reader then seeks to find out how consistent the teaching of ACIM is with that of the UB in general and of Jesus in particular as portrayed in the UB. It should not take long to discover that ACIM is utterly and totally irreconcilable with the UB.
First, ACIM denies the reality of everything under the category that UB readers know as" God the Supreme." ACIM denies the validity-the positive meaning-of time, space, growth, evolution, becoming, progress, levels of understanding, or gradual ascension through the universe. These are not God's ideas.
"The Holy Spirit uses time, but he does not believe in it." (p.90 text)
"Accepting the Atonement teaches you what immortality is, for by accepting your guiltlessness, you learn that the past has never been, and so the future is needless and will not be." (p.222 text)
"I have repeatedly emphasized that one level of mind [the lower, or ego level] is not understandable to another [the higher mind that the Holy Spirit speaks to]. So it is with the ego and the Holy Spirit; with time and eternity. Eternity is an idea of God, so the Holy Spirit understands it perfectly. Time is a belief of the ego, so the lower mind, which is the ego's domain, accepts it without question. The only aspect of time that is eternal is now." (p.73 text)
When we enter the realm of ACIM, we are in a context in which the only barrier to our re-experience of the absolute perfection whence we came is our state of ego-delusion, which does not really exist. Our ego-delusions make time seem real; living in time or through time is not our natural or divinely ordained state. Once we rise above our ego-delusions-which it is possible to do in an instant-we will return to our eternal experience of absolute perfection. Progressive God-realization through the maturation process of time, whereby we expand our capacity to experience God as we move up the universe, is simply an egodelusion in ACIM. It has no validity. Once we leave this world, there are no other worlds of ascension. For ACIM, this world is built upon ego-delusion.
Second, ACIM teaches that the ego, while it is the only source of all our problems, does not exist. Therefore, our problems do not exist, and everything really is perfect, as it always was and always will be. Only the ego believes otherwise, and it does not exist. Since it does not exist, it cannot be somehow transformed or regenerated into the realm of light and truth. The ego generates the delusions of time, space, gradations, levels, growth, and evolution. It does this in order to justify itself and its lostness in its own delusions, all the while denying, of course, its own lostness and denying it holds any delusions, thereby separating itself from God and perfection. The ego "exists" only because of the mind's initial false belief in its separation from God and perfection, and it maintains the "realm" of time and space in order to maintain its own "non-existence." The ego cannot achieve salvation, and has a deathly fear of God, love, truth, and light.
"God has given you everything. This one fact means that the ego does not exist, and this makes it profoundly afraid." (p. 56 text )
For the author of ACIM the question never arises of how a non-existent entity can have any characteristics or attributes at all. Because of this key absurdity, the "revelation" is an exercise in nonsense. The author continually accuses the ego of insanity, but since the ego does not exist, the author is actually describing himself as insane. If the author were as spiritually pure as he claims to be, he would not, within the terms of his own philosophy, even perceive the ego. Perceiving the ego and what it does-evil and sin- is an ego-delusion. ACIM stresses this.
Third, ACIM teaches that we have no freedom to choose good or evil.
"To think that you can oppose God's Will is a real delusion. The ego believes that it can, and that it can offer you its own 'will' as a gift. You do not want it. It is not a gift. It is nothing at all." (p. 1 10 text)
"Disobeying God's Will is meaningful only to the insane. In truth it is impossible. Your Self-fullness is as boundless as God's. Like His, it extends forever and in perfect peace. (p. 123 text)
Yet on the next page, ACIM says:
"Truth is God's Will. Share His Will and you share what He knows. Deny His Will as yours, and you are denying His Kingdom and yours. (p. 124 text)
This implies choice. But it is only an ego-choice to deny God's Will, and the ego does not really exist.
"The ego tries to teach you that you want to oppose God's Will. This unnatural lesson cannot be learned, and the attempt to learn it is a violation of your own freedom, making you afraid of your will because it is free." (p. 1 30 text)
"I said before that you are the Will of God. His Will is not an idle wish, and your identification with his Will is not optional, since it is what you are. Sharing His Will with me is not really open to choice, though it may seem to be. The whole separation lies in this error. The only way out of the error is to decide that you do not have to decide anything. Everything has been given you by God's decision. That is His Will, and you cannot undo it. (p. 125 text) As we know, the UB defines sin as deliberate disloyalty to Deity. The UB is very clear that this can happen.
Fourth, ACIM denies that the physical body is real. To me, this is a test of your common sense. We also have the UB to assure us that the physical aspect of the universe is real, from our planet to the Isle of Paradise. The UB speaks constantly about the triune nature of reality, spirit/mind/matter. The scientific papers in the UB describe physical reality in great detail.
But ACIM says: "God did not make the body, because it is destructible, and therefore not of the Kingdom. The body is the symbol of what you think you are. It is clearly a separation device, and therefore does not exist." (p.97 text)
"The ego's fundamental wish is to replace God. In fact, the ego is the physical embodiment of that wish. For it is that wish that seems to surround the mind with a body, keeping it separate and alone, and unable to reach other minds except through the body that was made to imprison it." (p.122 workbook)
"Who sees a brother's body has laid a judgment on him, and sees him not. He does not really see him as sinful; he sees him not at all." (p.410 text)
"The body cannot be looked upon except through judgment. To see the body is the sign that you lack vision, and have denied the means the Holy Spirit offers you to serve His purpose." (p.411 text)
Fifth, ACIM teaches that there really is no evil or sin. Within its philosophy, this makes sense because it teaches that we really are absolutely perfect, transcending time and space, and cannot choose other than to do the will of God.
"When you are tempted to believe that sin is real, remember this: If sin is real, both God and you are not. If creation is extension, the Creator must have extended himself, and it is impossible that what is part of Him is totally unlike the rest. If sin is real, God must be at war with Himself. He must be split, and torn between good and evil; partly sane and partially insane. For He must have created what wills to destroy Him, and has the power to do so. Is it not easier to believe that you have been mistaken than to believe in this? (p.377 text)
This argument is based on the denial of the reality of timespace evolution. In a universe of absolutes only, good and evil cannot coexist or be in conflict. But evil and sin are possible and actual-in the relative universe where they can be limited in the extent of their temporary damage.
"Sin is not real because the Father and the Son are not insane. This world is meaningless because it rests on sin." (p. 495 text)
For ACIM, the perception of evil and sin are entirely due to ego-delusion; "the world" that ACIM describes so darkly depends on the ego for its seeming existence.
"The Atonement itself radiates nothing but truth. It therefore epitomizes harmlessness and sheds only blessing. It could not do this if it arose from anything but perfect innocence. Innocence is wisdom because it is unaware of evil, and evil does not exist." (p.33)
And why is this? It is because the Atonement is the truth that the original separation, causing the ego to manifest, does not exist.
"The full awareness of the Atonement, then, is the recognition that the separation never occurred. The ego cannot prevail against this because it is an explicit statement that the ego never occurred." (p.90 text)
Sixth, the world we now live in-which in ACIM is never called a planet -is seen as another irredeemable egodelusion.
"The real world was given you by God in loving exchange for the world you made and the world you see." (p.219 text)
"You do not want the world. The only thing of value in it is whatever part of it you took upon with love. This gives it the only reality it will ever have." (p.212 text)
ACIM asserts that it is only the split mind, the mind with an ego in it, that sees a world in which death is a reality
"Therefore the mind projects the split, not the reality. Everything you perceive as the outside world is merely your attempt to maintain your ego identification." (p.206 text)
"God does love the real world, and those who perceive its reality cannot see the world of death. For death is not of the real world, in which everything reflects the eternal.
"The world you made is therefore totally chaotic, governed by arbitrary and senseless 'laws,' and without meaning of any kind." (p.207 text)
Contrast this with a brief paragraph from the UB:
"The problem of sin is not self-existent in the finite world. The fact of finiteness is not evil or sinful. The finite world was made by infinite Creator-it is the handiwork of his divine Sons-and therefore it must be good. It is the misuse, distortion, and perversion of the finite that gives origin to evil and sin." (p.1222)
To be fair, it should be noted that the UB recognizes that man, being what he is as the lowest and most ignorant of will creatures, will inevitably create evil and will probably create sin. The Creator and his Sons know this and allow for it. It is the price to paid for raising children in a time-space environment.
"The endowment of imperfect beings with freedom entails inevitable tragedy, and it is the nature of the perfect ancestral Deity to universally and affectionately share these sufferings in loving companionship." (p. 1203)
In ACIM, we never know where we are in a physical sense. There is no clarity of place, of geography, or of cosmology. The atmosphere is relentlessly metaphysical, nebulous, and eerie. In this unnatural setting, a disembodied mind discourses on the non-existence of the problem that it is obsessed with.
Forced to take a stand
Because all these doctrines are irreconcilable with the UB on such fundamental issues, it is clear there is no way to harmonize it with ACIM. ACIM takes an absolutist position. It purports to be the unqualified, absolute truth. It denies all relativity. Its view of reality is black and white: pure black and pure white. If you disagree with its teachings in any way, you are ipso facto wrong, insane, and lost in your ego. You either know everything (literally), including the truth of ACIM, or you know nothing (literally). Therefore, it is impossible to take a moderate and modulated position towards ACIM; ACIM forces the reader to respond to it in absolute terms. If you think you can pick and choose what you like and don't like about ACIM, then you don't understand its message and you are not taking it in the serious terms it demands of its readers. This is how, I believe, some readers of the UB manage to find a "compromise" between the teachings of the UB and those of ACIM. They are philosophically naive, complacent and lazy.
If you disagree with ACIM-and I disagree with it fundamentally-or even if you disagree with it partially, then you are forced, by the terms of the book itself, to decide whether you or the author is insane. That is the challenge that ACIM hurls at you. Can a conscious son of God disagree with ACIM? ACIM makes this is absolutely impossible. I declare that I am a conscious son of God, and I say that ACIM is entirely rubbish. Since the author of ACIM must respond by declaring me to be insane, I have to reply by declaring that the author of ACIM is the one who is insane. There can be no compromise.
Anyone who experiences the truths of The Urantia Book in his own life must perceive that all the premises, all the basic assumptions, of ACIM are false. On all the main philosophic issues-what is the universe, how does it work, what is our role in it-the Urantia Book and ACIM are totally incompatible. Whatever good insights ACIM has, they are placed in a universe that does not exist, and thereby those insights are rendered invalid. Because of its false context and false intent, nothing that ACIM says is true. ACIM never describes what it considers to be the universe except to say that it is One and limitless, i.e., beyond "perception." ACIM claims to be teaching only the plain truth about reality, but as a conscious son of God I declare that ACIM teaches fundamental unreality, and that the purpose of ACIM is to mislead its readers with profound falsehood.
The Suspect and his Motive
ACIM is utterly and totally irreconcilable with my basic sense of reality, my understanding of my place in the universe. ACIM thrusts the issue of what is real in my face, and I must take a stand one way or the other. I find that ACIM completely violates my sense of reality; I find ACIM unreal from beginning to end.
As a result, I must conclude that the author of ACIM is a raving lunatic, someone who cannot be trusted to make a true statement about anything. I must conclude that this person cannot be Jesus. I see that he is an impostor posing as Jesus, trying to make me believe he is Jesus so that he can guide me in his course in mind training, ACIM, to make me follow him. He wants me to practice the exercises in the Workbook to make my mind receptive to his. He wants me to learn to always listen to a certain Voice.
"The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice That calls you back to where you were before and will be again. It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God's Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons." (p. 69 text)
I ask myself, who would want to use such a Voice in such a deception? The likeliest superhuman suspect, in the mind of a UB student, is Caligastia. A student of the Bible would call him Satan or the Devil. I find that what ACIM is teaching is exactly what Caligastia would want to teach if he sought to escape his condemnation: that there is no sin or guilt, that we are all equally blameless, pure, and innocent, that we cannot choose to do evil, that everyone is inherently forgiven because no evil ever occurred, ever will occur, or ever could occur. The belief that anyone could choose to do evil or sin, or that any suffering or harm ever occurred because of evil and sin, is only an egodelusion, according to ACIM. When I assume that Caligastia is indeed the author of ACIM, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Everything fits neatly. Therefore I am convinced that he wrote ACIM.
First of all, what is his motive? It makes sense that Caligastia wants to be welcomed back, and ACIM can be best understood as his attempt to explain why he should be. All his former superhuman companions now shun him, so he must seek association with humans. He wants desperately to be accepted, and to do this he finds it necessary to assert that evil and sin do not exist. In his view, the only way to reconciliation between the sons of God is to deny that they can ever do evil. This is a vitally important clue to the true identity of the author. He writes copiously about how no brother should ever be condemned or attacked for any reason-without ever trying to make the distinction between the sinner and the sin. For him the sin is an ego-delusion and therefore there can be no sinner. In a section of Chapter 29 called "The Anti-Christ" he begins by asking what an idol is. The Anti-Christ himself writes about the AntiChrist, posing as Christ. Can you believe it?
"An idol is a false impression, or a false belief; some form of anti-Christ, that constitutes a gap between the Christ and what you see ... (p.575 text)
"This world of idols is a veil across the face of Christ, because its purpose is to separate your brother from yourself .... (p.576 text)
But he points out that such idols are not real. Note well what he says:
"Christ's enemy is nowhere. He can take no form in which he ever will be real. (My emphasis).
"What is an idol? Nothing! ...
"An idol is established by belief, and when it is withdrawn the idol 'dies.' This is the anti-Christ. ...
"Where is an idol? Nowhere!" (p. 576 text)
Caligastia is saying that because there can be no AntiChrist, he certainly isn't one either. He continues to justify this position by asserting, as he has at several points earlier in his book, that: "Complexity is not of God. How could it be, when all He knows is one. He knows of one creation, one reality, one truth, and but one Son. How, then, could there be complexity in Him?" (p.508 text)
"God has not many sons, but only one. Who can have more, and who be given less? It is for him the Holy Spirit speaks, and tells you idols have no purpose here." (p.577 text)
"Why does he declare such an absurd doctrine? It is simple: if there is really only one Son of God, then individual responsibility cannot be assigned to particular sons. If there is really only one Son of God, living in eternity, infinity, and wholeness, then this one Son is perfect, complete, and absolute. There is no room for individual sons to make choices that might be good or bad, leading to individual judgment about their worthiness. The belief in the existence of individual sons of God is one of the consequences of ego-delusion. This is why we must forgive, accept, and embrace our brothers no matter what evil they seem to have done and no matter how unrepentant they may be: in doing so we participate in re-integrating the One Son of God from out of the shattered pieces of the Sonship caused by the fall into ego-delusion. If there really is only one Son of God, then no supposedly individual son can be found guilty of crime.
"The Holy Spirit's function is to take the broken picture of the Son of God and put the pieces into place again. This holy picture, healed entirely, does He hold out to every separate piece that thinks it is a picture in itself. To each he offers his Identity, Which the whole picture represents, instead of just a little, broken bit that he insisted was himself. And when he sees this picture he will recognize himself. If you share not your brother's evil dream, this is the picture that the miracle will place within the little gap, left clean of all the seeds of sickness and of sin. And here the Father will receive his Son, because His Son was gracious to himself (p.557 text)
Because there really is no sin or evil, no one must be judged. In ACIM, the neutral word "judgment" is almost always taken as "condemnation." No son of God is to be judged. The very cause of the original fall into the ego-state was a dream of judgment.
"A dream of judgment came into the mind that God created perfect as Himself. And in that dream was Heaven changed to hell, and God made enemy unto his Son. How can God's Son awaken from the dream? It is a dream of judgment. So he must judge not, and he will awaken." (p. 577 text)
"Judgment is an injustice to God's Son, and it is justice that who judges him will not escape the penalty he laid upon himself within the dream he made. God knows of justice, not of penalty." (p.578 text)
But of course in God's justice, no one is ever found guilty of anything. Caligastia continues his appeal by asserting his inherent right to be pardoned:
"Anger is never justified. Attack has no foundation. "Pardon is always justified. It has a sure foundation. (p 593 text) Why is this? Same old reason. Evildoing doesn't exist. Your own sick mind is the only source of evil.
"God's Son is perfect, or he cannot be God's Son. Nor will you know him, if you think he does not merit the escape from guilt in all its consequences and its forms. There is no way to think of him but this, if you would know the truth about yourself. (p.595 text)
"No one deserves to lose. And what would be unjust to him cannot occur. Healing must be for everyone, because he does not merit an attack of any kind." (p. 502 text)
Sure, Cal. ACIM is Caligastia's State of Mind. ACIM is very much like an appeal written by a convicted murderer on death row who is trying to show why his appointment with the electric chair should be canceled. Caligastia is using ACIM as the justification for his contention that he should not be annihilated as an archrebel: crime does not exist, evil, sin, and guilt do not exist, no one can do wrong, we are all perfect, and only the ego-which does not exist- believes otherwise. ACIM is Caligastia's own description of his state of mind, and it is he whose mind is continually flipping back and forth between his knowledge of the absolute realms and his own lurid egodelusions about the crucifixion, the body, sin, guilt, hell, punishment, judgment, attack, and insanity. I dare say no human being ever had the weird sort of perspective on Christ that he describes:
"Behold your Friend, the Christ Who stands beside you! How holy and beautiful He is! You thought he sinned because you cast the veil of sin upon Him to hide his loveliness. Yet He still holds forgiveness out to you, to share His holiness. This 'enemy,' this 'stranger' still offers you salvation as His Friend." (p.394 text)
What Christian or follower of Jesus ever thought that Christ sinned or ever tried to deny his spiritual loveliness? For that matter, what atheist ever thought that Christ sinned? Caligastia here is actually talking about himself and the way he is perceived by his fellows, and he does it posing as Christ. That is why this passage is so grotesque. A few pages later, Caligastia lets it all slip out. He forgets to stay in his Christ-pose, or Holy Spirit-pose, and speaks for himself:
"Forget not that it is your savior to whom the gift [of forgiveness] is offered. Offer him thorns and you are crucified. Offer him lilies and it is your self you free.
"I have great need for lilies, for the Son of God has not forgiven me. And can I offer him forgiveness when he offers thorns to me? For he who offers thorns to anyone is against me still, and who is whole without him? Be you his friend for me, that I may be forgiven and you may look upon the Son of God as whole." (p.397 text)
If he had said, "your ego has not forgiven me," he would have been staying in character and in consonance with his doctrines. But he said the Son of God has not forgiven him. The Son of God is not entrapped in an ego-state; the Son of God knows the truth. And the Son of God has not forgiven him, meaning that he remains under condemnation for his rebellion, which we know from the UB.
In ACIM, all apparent evil or sin is set up by the mind's belief that it is separate from God. Since this belief is the cause of the ego and all its delusions, all apparent evil disappears when this false belief disappears. This means that evil does not and can not actually occur; it is only a delusion; it is never real. On absolute levels of reality, this is true, but on relative ones, it is not. Since ACIM denies the reality of relative levels of time and space, it denies that persons can actually do evil in the illusory non-absolute realm.
Why ACIM is written to no one
ACIM describes the split between the higher mind and the lower mind: the Holy Spirit works with the higher mind and the ego rules the lower. This divided mind is the "third state" that ACIM addresses. But ACIM is really addressed to no one. Although ACIM needs a "third state" between the darkness of the ego and the light of the Sonship in order to have a rationale for existing and to have someone to address, the doctrines of ACIM do not allow for a transition between the state of unknowing and the state of knowing. The ego cannot be saved and cannot learn truth; the son of God without the ego knows his eternal perfection.
This is why ACIM says:
"Truth and illusion have no connection. This will remain forever true, however much you seek to connect them." (p. 372 text)
"How long is an instant? As long as it takes to re-establish perfect sanity, perfect peace, and perfect love for everyone, for God and yourself. ...Long enough to transcend all of the ego's making, and ascend to your Father." (p.283 text)
"This course is not beyond immediate learning, unless you believe that what God wills takes time.
And this means that you would rather delay the recognition that His Will is so." (p.288 text)
"You are not two selves in conflict. What is beyond God?" (p. 313 text)
"Salvation is immediate." (p.519 text)
"How simple is salvation!
All it says is what was never true is not true now, and never will be. The impossible has not occurred, and can have no effects. And that is all. Can this be hard to learn by anyone who wants it to be true?" (p.600 text)
In ACIM, there is no transition allowed-in principle between being in the truth and being in falsehood.
"The ego cannot afford to know anything. Knowledge is total, and the ego does not believe in totality." (p. I 1 5 text)
"Each day, each hour and minute, even every second, you are deciding between the crucifixion and the resurrection; between the ego and the Holy Spirit. The ego is the choice for guilt; the Holy Spirit the choice for guiltlessness. The power of decision is all that is yours. What you can decide between is fixed, because there are no alternatives except truth and illusion. And there is no overlap between them, because they are opposites which cannot be reconciled and cannot both be true [my emphasis]. You are guilty or guiltless, bound or free, happy or happy." (p.255)
"Denial has no power in itself, but you can give it the power of your mind, whose power is without limit. If you use it to deny reality, reality is gone for you. Reality cannot be partly appreciated. That is why denying any part of it means you have lost the awareness of all of it." (p. 118 text)
Of course, if you deny "any part of it," you might deny Caligastia's right to exist, and that is his real agenda throughout ACIM: to convince the reader that it is wrong to condemn him or his deeds for any reason. He denies the reality of repentance because repentance entails the acknowledgment of one's evil deeds; for him, evil deeds do not exist. This is why his version of forgiveness likewise does not entail the acknowledgment of any evil deeds to be forgiven; for him, forgiveness is the realization that the supposed evil deeds, from which one supposedly suffered at another's hands, never occurred.
"If you point out the errors of your brother's ego, you must be seeing through yours [i.e., seeing through your ego], because the Holy Spirit does not perceive his error. This must be true, since there is no communication between the ego and the Holy Spirit." (p. 155 text)
If a son of God is "in" his ego, how can he listen to, or accept, the leading of the Holy Spirit as the way back to God? If this son is not "in" his ego, he is already perfectly conscious of all truth, according to ACIM.
So, how can a son be lost in ego-delusion and still be capable of following the teachings of God through the Holy Spirit? How can his "split" mind be half-clear when the black-and white teachings of ACIM do not allow for it? ACIM spends most of its text talking to the son of God about his ego, explaining to the son what this non-existent ego is doing or planning.
But how can ACIM do this without presuming that the son is free of his ego? If he is free of his ego, he doesn't need the Course. If he is in his ego-state, how can the Course reach him? In his ego-state, he will find ways to resist and deny and delay and distort any truth. There has to be a "third state," a realm of compromise, but ACIM won't allow it. The closest it can come to a compromise is to say that: "The mind can, however, make up illusions, and if it does so it will believe in them, because that is how it made them." (p. II 5 text)
But these illusions are not real and don't exist. That is why the Holy Spirit, as explained in the sentences just after the above quote, undoes these illusions by "perceiving conflict as meaningless." In the world of ACIM, you are either in your ego or out of your ego, in the dark or in the light.
"Salvation is a paradox indeed! What could it be except a happy dream? It asks you but that you forgive all things that no one ever did; to overlook what is not there, and not to look upon the unreal as reality." (p.590 text)
The reason for this is that the way out all your problems, according to ACIM, is to realize that you don't have any problems, never did and never will. You must realize that any evil, suffering, frustration or negativity of any kind that you ever thought you experienced really never occurred. You must realize that you are already in absolute perfection, that you always were and that you always will be. Any other experience is not real and never occurred. That is why the teachings of ACIM are black-and-white.
Are We Human?
ACIM does not recognize that we are human-as well as divine. If we were human, we would ipso facto be imperfect and fallible in our earthly nature. But such an idea is anathema to ACIM. All the imperfection of humans and their world must be ascribed to ego-delusion and in particular to the ego's belief in the reality of the body, not to our inherent status in the scheme of things. As far as I can tell, the word "human" does not appear in ACIM. If it does, it is a rare occurrence. The closest phrase I've seen is "son of man" (p.481 text), which is used as another synonym for ego and is contrasted with "Son of God." Because of its implications, the very word "human" is dangerous to ACIM's teaching. It suggests another philosophy that is antithetical to the doctrine that we are eternally perfect but somehow in a fallen state due to an ego-delusion. This is why ACIM denies the reality of our physical bodies, calling them "clearly a separation device." If our physical bodies, with their finiteness and mortality and imperfection, are real, then we are really human and ACIM's teachings are absurd. Caligastia's Plea to us Caligastia's purpose in ACIM is to get the reader to accept him as a brother, an equal Son of God along with all Sons. He consistently tries to make the case that no brother has ever sinned, that no evil has ever been done, that all suffering is an ego-dream. Typical of this, he declares:
"How willing are you to forgive your brother? How much do you desire peace instead of endless strife and misery and pain?... Forgiveness is your peace, for herein lies the end of separation and the dream of danger and destruction, sin and death; of madness and of murder, grief and loss. This is the ,sacrifice' salvation asks, and gladly offers peace instead of this.
"Swear not to die, you holy Son of God! You make a bargain that you cannot keep. The Son of Life cannot be killed. He is as immortal as his Father. What he is cannot be killed. He is as immortal as his Father. What he is cannot be changed." (p.572 text)
A little later, he makes another variation of this argument. He asserts that God cannot be loving if he perceives evil and renders justice to supposed evildoers.
"The Christ in you remembers God with all the certainty with which He knows His love. But only if His Son is innocent can He be Love. For God were fear indeed if he whom He created innocent could be a slave to guilt.
"The fear of God results as surely from the lesson that His Son is guilty as God's Love must be remembered when he learns his innocence." (p. 602 text)
In another few pages he goes further and asserts that any sin you perceive in another is really your own belief in your own sins. If you don't see your brother as pure and holy, it is your own "fault" or ego-delusion. Conversely, if you are pure and innocent, you will never see sin or evil or fault in others. The cause of evildoing is never in another person's independent choice, thereby generating an actual occurrence of evil, but in your own distorted perceptions and beliefs.
"Only the self-accused condemn [others]. ...You never hate your brother for his sins, but only for your own. Whatever form his sins appear to take, it but obscures the fact that you believe it to be yours, and therefore meriting a 'just' attack.
"Why should his sins be sins, if you did not believe they could not be forgiven in you? Why are they real in him, if you did not believe that they are your reality?... If you did not believe that you deserved attack, it would never occur to you to give attack to anyone at all." (p.606 text)
The contradiction in this argument is that if you do perceive a brother attacking another brother in the manner just quoted above, then you are the one with the ego-problem. If you perceive and believe that one brother is attacking another, then you are giving reality to your delusion. The correct solution, according to ACIM in other passages, is not to perceive such "unreality" at all. Therefore, Caligastia, by accusing the reader of engaging in such attacks, is actually revealing his own belief in his own sins. By his own logic, he is accusing himself. If he did not believe that he deserved attack, it would never occur to him to accuse his readers.
He is characteristically incapable of distinguishing a condemnation of the deed from a condemnation of the doer. He explains that the mind that harbors sin attributes it to the body in order to deny responsibility for believing in it. It is the mind that responsible for fabricating the existence of sin-nonexistent deeds- and for blaming them on the body.
"Sins are in bodies. They are not perceived in minds. They are not seen as purposes, but actions. Bodies act, and minds do not. And therefore must the body be at fault for what it does. It is not seen to be a passive thing, obeying your commands, and doing nothing of itself at all. If you are sin you are a body, for the mind acts not." (p 606 text)
"The mind that thinks it is a sin has but one purpose; that the body be the source of sin, to keep it in the prison house it chose and guards and holds itself at bay..." (p. 607 text)
But bodies and sin do not exist, as is made clear throughout the book. To see them in others is to see them as ego-delusions in yourself. To make these accusations Caligastia is, by his own rules, accusing himself of ego-delusions. To escape these egodelusions, again by his own rules, he would have to admit that he is their source; not others.
"In His [the Holy Spirit's] forgiving dreams are the effects of yours undone, and hated enemies perceived as friends with merciful intent. Their enmity is seen as causeless now, because they did not make it. And you can accept the role of maker of their hate, because you see that it has no effects." (My emphasis) (p.552 text)
"They [miracles] are the glad effects of taking back the consequences of sickness to its cause. The body is released because the mind acknowledges, 'this is not done to me, but I am doing this."' (p.553 text)
Your brother's sins are not real because your ego is their source. You make his sins vanish by realizing they derive only from your ego. "Forgiveness is not real unless it brings a healing to your brother and yourself. You must attest his sins have no effect on you to demonstrate they are not real. How else could he be guiltless? (p.527 text) "Your function is to show your brother sin can have no cause." (p.527 text)
By explaining how the ego-delusion of sin is escaped through the realization of one's responsibility for holding onto ego, Caligastia is wrapping up his case for asserting "There's no way I can be a sinner."
On that point, let me give the Urantia Book the last word. Read it and weep, Cal.
"The greatest punishment (in reality an inevitable consequence) for wrongdoing and deliberate rebellion against the government of God is loss of existence as an individual subject of that government. The final result of wholehearted sin is annihilation. In the last analysis, such sin-identified individuals have destroyed themselves by becoming wholly unreal through their embrace of iniquity. The factual disappearance of such a creature is, however, always delayed until the ordained order of justice current in that universe has been fully complied with." (p.37)
"In preaching the gospel of the kingdom, you are simply teaching friendship with God. And this fellowship will appeal alike to men and women in that both will find that which most truly satisfies their characteristic longings and ideals. Tell my children that I am not only tender of their feelings and patient with their frailties, but I am also ruthless with sin and intolerant of iniquity. I am indeed meek and humble in the presence of my Father, but I am equally and relentlessly inexorable where there is deliberate evildoing and sinful rebellion against the will of my Father in heaven." (p.1766)