Ask: Does ACIM use the word "soul" to mean the same thing as "mind"?

“When I was 10 my grandmother passed away. The music playing was Ave Maria and it made me cry. My mother tried to comfort me by saying, Your grammy's soul is in heaven now". I was miffed and said rather loudly, "Where was her "soul" before she died? And before she was born!" My mother had no answers. 
Now 6 decades later, I look back on that event within the perspective of ACIM and the Holy Spirit. I wonder about the Course's position in that only the mind is real, there is no birth, life, or death of the illusory body. Are the terms "soul" and "mind" similar in these situations? e.g. does ACIM use the term "soul" to mean the same thing as "mind"? 
Could the experience at the funeral mass have been an indicator of my mind being in touch with Truth at a time when I believed my body to be 10 years of age?” – J

When most people use the word “soul” they are referring to the ego without the body. They are thinking of the “essence” of the “person”. This is also often what they mean when they refer to a person’s “spirit”, which they think of as individual and unique. They think of this soul/spirit as existing before a person was in a body, that it then went into the body, and that it will leave the body when the body dies. So “soul”, or an individual spirit, as these terms are usually used, are concepts for something that does not exist.
A Course in Miracles avoids the word “soul” because it is a controversial word, as I just described. It uses “soul” only when referring to Biblical quotations. In those cases, it is equivalent to “Spirit”, Which in ACIM is the Thought of God (or Idea of God) in your mind. (You may wish to read “Mind-Spirit” in the Clarification of Terms after the Manual for Teachers).

You experienced at ten years old questions that many people have. You were not necessarily in touch with Truth but those questions may be what led you to eventually be open to Truth.

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Comments

will said…
I have had a book called "Practicing The Power Of Now" by Eckhart Tolle sitting on my book shelf for some time and started re-reading it a few days ago. This is a very powerful study of the Holy Instant that is appropriate for Course students.
Christine said…
I am not trying to "combine" Christian Science with the Course, but I did learn as a child the "seven synonyms for God" - which Mary Baker Eddy wrote down in "Science and Health"...they were just descriptive words sort of, like bread crumbs that lead us back to heaven...they were: Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle"...no particular order...CS was a wonderful springboard that lead me to the Course.
will said…
From 'Practicing the Power of Now.'

"Let me give you a visual analogy to illustrate the point I am making. You are walking along a path at night, surrounded by a thick fog. But you have a powerful flashlight that cuts through the fog and creates a narrow, clear space in front of you. The fog is your life situation, which includes past and future; the flashlight is your conscious presence; the clear space is the Now (Holy Instant)."

I find the visual descriptions of spiritual practice very helpful.
christine said…
Liz - does the ego/personal thought system, also have a "now", of which Will speaks? Or could there be a "not-now"?
ACIM Mentor said…
As ACIM puts it, to the ego "now" is just a transition from the past to the future. In other words, its "present" is still seen through the filter of the past. You are still in the story for the self.
The "now" that Will refers to is the still, quiet place within you that is timeless. There is no story There.
will said…
Christine,
You didn't ask for my comment but I have been thinking about what you asked. I think the phrase 'conscious presence' that he uses could be the now of the personal mind. He continues this analogy a page later:

"If your overall situation is unsatisfactory or unpleasant, separate out this instant and surrender to what is. That's the flashlight cutting through the fog. Your state of consciousness then ceases to be controlled by eternal conditions. You are no longer coming from reaction and resistance."

Trying to use the word now for both states may cause confusion.
will said…
error: "controlled by external conditions."
christine said…
Thanks for both comments. So, you can remember the past - but just don't have an 'emotional charge' (story) attached to the facts? I remember on 'Seinfeld' when George Costanza's father took some class on 'inner peace' or something, and if anything upset him, he would yell, "Serenity Now!!"
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, exactly.
George was practicing denial not serenity!
will said…
Liz,
I am very visual when I think so when I would think of extension it was as if it was something that I had to do. I kept thinking of it as something the personal mind had to do. So if I am out walking around I am supposed to be mentally extending love or thoughts of Truth to each individual person. I received the email below and what he seems to be saying is if I am present (like when doing meditation) I am extending. Extension is already happening I just need to aline myself with it. Below is part of the email.

"The reason that this work equals extension is simple: we don’t need to learn how to extend love, and we don’t need to practice it. It happens automatically and naturally. It’s like breathing. When we stop projecting guilt and fear, extension of love is already there, already operating."
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, extension happens automatically when you remove your obstacles to it. You make the choice for extension and this means you choose to remove your obstacles to it.

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