Ask: Can you clear up these purported paradoxes about the Holy Spirit and individuality?

I've been studying/reading Circle of Atonement's Robert Perry's (co-author of the New ACIM Complete and Annotated Edition) " Return to the Heart of God" and in a passage about the Holy Spirit he talks about paradoxes the Holy Spirit as both the Voice for God and He (HS) is God's Voice. Then he brings up another paradox the Course paints a picture of Heaven in which there are beings that have their own identity and their own will, yet are also at one with the whole and in perfect unison with a larger will. This is a bit perplexing; how much do we bring with us, our individual identity into Heaven?” - JW

I’m not certain why the Holy Spirit as the “Voice for God” or as “God’s Voice” would be a paradox unless one reads “God’s Voice” as God speaking rather than as “God’s Spokesman”. If you read it as the latter, it means the same as “Voice for God”. (Voice for God = Spokesman for God/God’s Voice = God’s Spokesman). But perhaps the paradox is something else?

A Course in Miracles defines Heaven this way:

Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this Oneness, and nothing else within. (T-18.VI.1)

Oneness (as either Wholeness or the same throughout) is the experience of God (Truth). At the level of awareness (consciousness, perception), Oneness is experienced as what ACIM calls the Real World, Vision (Christ’s or Holy Spirit’s), True Perception, etc. In that View, the world of form with its individual identities and seemingly-free wills is still seen and each individual is understood to be part of a larger, unified, unfolding story of the undoing of not-Truth. It is also understood to be a meaningless expression of a meaningless idea. (I have written about this a lot in the past few months). The Oneness of the Mind beyond what is seen in form is understood to be Truth and the unity one sees is understood to be an extension of the awareness of Oneness.

Sometimes, one has flashes of this in what I call a “higher” miracle. As one drops the self, however, it more and more becomes their View. As ACIM points out in the Manual for Teachers about the last stage, the Period of Achievement, when self-identification is gone and Oneness is understood to be Truth:

This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven's state fully reflected. (M-4.I.A.8)

“Heaven’s state” being Oneness.

In my experience of direct Revelation of God (Truth), there is only God in God. There is no parts, no individuation. It cannot be described because there is no experience like It at the level of awareness. I can only guess that perhaps Mr. Perry has experienced higher miracles, but not yet a direct Revelation, and he has therefore confused the reflection of Heaven with Heaven Itself. This is common and easy to do if you have not gone beyond a higher miracle to Truth Itself, because the reflection of Heaven is just this side of Heaven. But I can tell you, as joyous as the reflection is, it is as different from Heaven as a photon is from the sun.

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Anonymous said…
This is why I could never get into the Circle of Atonement. They have basically just made a very New Age friendly version of the Course. In my experience, you are correct Liz: there are no individual beings or angelic hosts in Heaven or whatever, God is not smiling down on us nor wanting us to have great lives here on Earth. There is just God and that's that.
will said…
I have had a curiosity and interest in life after death for many years. I believe there is life after death. But I also believe in what Jesus is saying in the Course. I don’t think there is a contradiction. Here’s why.
Jesus’s description of heaven and how events unfold after the body dies is what happens if you are spiritually at the level of Jesus which is what he is encouraging us to attain. You have reached the top of the ladder so to speak and he tells us what happens. This is important information to tie the Course philosophy together. If it wasn’t included, we would all be saying “But what happens when we die?” It would be a distraction to say the least.
But this is not what is going to happen to 99.9% of us. We are a work in progress. We are not spiritually at the level of Jesus. For us there is life after death of some kind. The evidence for this is becoming increasingly hard to ignore. There is no contradiction in this with what Jesus is saying in his Course.
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said…
Will, Joel Goldsmith wrote about developing or evolving our spiritual Consciousness, or Christ his Parenthesis in Eternity, and other books...
Anonymous said…
I believe He is asking us to perform higher miracles as step up the ladder to God realization. The body is repurposed for the final judgment, Blessings
Frank C said…
Liz, It seem to me that lately your postings are becoming more and more incomprehensible... in looks like your saying something meaningful, I just don't seem to get it anymore... but, after exploring the Course for 30+ years, I can see clearly that it is an individual course, designed to be interpreted (and implemented)by each of us with the assistance of our "Higher Self", whatever you want to call it... the Course, like every other written document, is just words, twice removed from reality.. symbols of symbols (in it's own words) . Everyone seems to get hung up the accuracy of the text while missing the message... spend the time listening to your inner guidance... the TRUTH will always be in YOU!
ACIM Mentor said…
Frank, exactly.
will said…
Learning a new field comes in steps.
1. Learn the vocabulary.
2. Learn the concepts.
3. Put the pieces together to form a whole.
4. Put the field into use.
The mentor blog is focused on the first three.
will said…
Something that got my attention a year or two back, maybe longer. Liz was writing about Forgiveness as it took place for her. She was constantly looking and evaluating with Jesus what she was thinking feeling or doing. It was a very interactive thing. I remember because I had been through a lot of counseling in the past and I remember thinking “I don’t want to do that crap again.” That’s how it struck me at the time. The point is, Forgiveness is not a passive thing where you believe Jesus is with you and he will erase everything without your participation. I’m reading a book about this right now is what brings it to mind. This is not my input but just what I read in the Wapnick book. Just sharing. Anyway, you really have to “mean it” when you look with Jesus. Otherwise you go through the course thinking you are doing Forgiveness when nothing is really happening. He says it is not about walking around thinking “I’m with Jesus so I am covered.”
I started going through the Mentor Article book to try and find some of what Liz had written. I’ll post it when I find it.
hannah said…
ive found something surprising with forgiveness!

i always thought it would be something that my mind did with what i was perceiving, as in.. 'i will look at this situation or person in my mind and/or in my life there differently' and that will be forgiving them/it/me.

but when i started to really understand what True forgiveness meant, what it felt like, was when i stopped doing that (though habit carried that on for a while of course) and started really trying to sink into not judging my feelings of non forgiveness. i could forgive in the way we start out looking at forgiveness to some degree in some things, different degrees in others, depending on how i measured the 'severity of the transgression'. so i always felt i was going in circles basically.. i'd feel i was getting somewhere, then losing ground again. i *did* become somewhat kinder through this process though.. a little bit, haha.. which was likely what made me open to the next step.

but when i changed my approach to turning it all (forgiveness) inward to practising dropping how i judged myself for *being* judgemental.. thats when i started to feel a shift in actual understanding of the difference between 'forgiveness to destroy' and 'true forgiveness'. so.. when i stopped trying to do it in the way i'd imagined what doing forgiveness was supposed to look like, (ie changing the way i viewed the situation) and started to work instead with the one focus in every situation, of accepting it was not only ok, but the whole point.. in fact it was what 'jesus' was actively encouraging!.. to drop the feeling of guilt when i was judging/attacking something. acknowledge it was coming from some part of me that wasnt loving, was afraid and guilty, and drop the counter-attack guilt that that was where i was. everything else flows from there very naturally.
George Fordham said…
I've found the books and teachings of A circle of Atonement a great help and inspiration in my study of ACIM. Robert Perry and other teachers there do not claim infallibility, they can make mistakes like the rest of us.The Holy Spirit uses all teachings of ACIM from any source, and we would be wise not to be judgmental. Namaste, George.

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