In this fourth article in the series on the “miracle” and the “mind,” we are going to discuss how the unkindness of specialness is translated by the ego into making the Sonship appear fragmented. While nothing is actually fragmented or separate in reality, the mind (because everything is in the mind) has the appearance of being fragmented because of the projected forms which are nothing more than ego judgments of specialness, uniqueness and individuality. These are used to make us stand out as special in a crowd of sameness and thus they divide the Sonship. This speaks to the very heart the one problem: The separation. These judgments maintain it. No one is different. Everyone is the same regardless.
Only equals are at peace and to be equal we must look past the differences seen with the body’s eyes to this major point in A Course in Miracles (ACIM): We all have the same ego (the same fear and guilt in our mind) and that unites us. We also all have the same right mind and the same ability to choose between them. To say we are spiritually different (special) from what is actually a part of us (the same) is saying we prefer to maintain the separation from God and that is what we will actually learn and teach.
The function of the miracle is not to have us stop choosing our egos. It is to have us be aware that we are choosing the ego. Again, I can’t emphasize this enough. This is what gets almost all Course in Miracles students way off the mark (Rules for Decision, Kenneth Wapnick, underline mine).
Fragments are merely the dualistic way in which we perceive differences where there are none. Look at this quote from Kenneth Wapnick:
The Sonship [the whole] in its Oneness transcends the sum of its parts” (T-2.VII.6:3). In other words, one cannot appreciate the pure wholeness and oneness of Christ by simply adding up the billions and billions of fragments that the world thinks is the Son of God, a quantifiable entity consisting of certain amount of separated fragments. Christ in His very nature is a perfect and undivided One, as Mind, and He loses that essential characteristic which defines His Being if fragmentation of any of its forms is acknowledged as real (The Message of A Course In Miracles: Few Choose to Listen by Kenneth Wapnick, page 67, underline mine).
For this series of articles, we’ve been using spiritually special Course teachers as our example wherein they use “spiritual dress” to make themselves more special and chosen by God to do His work. This makes them different, i.e., stand out in a crowd as special from others who are their equals. In the context of this discussion, this makes fragmentation real because judgments are made about differences. Where there are differences (instead of sameness) there is no peace and so the spiritually special cannot learn nor teach peace.
The ego thrives on the comparisons of specialness. When you compare yourself with others, wherein you are important and they are not because Jesus gave you a special assignment… you see differences where there are none (because you are focused on forms which do not matter). The only way you should think of yourself as having an important function is to realize everyone else has an important function too: forgiveness (The Healing Power of Kindness, Vol. 2: Forgiving Our Limitations by Kenneth Wapnick, location 884, Kindle, underline mine).
Cults are groups that believe themselves special from everyone else. Cult leaders are like any group leader who make themselves and their group special. Since purpose is in the mind, then their purpose is specialness, uniqueness and thus separation and fragmentation by seeking to divide the Sonship. They join in form but not in mind as ego is about separation. In other words, while everyone shares the same ego, the ego says each one is different and not joined so there is no true joining. Groups come together because they first believe they are separate and so they are essentially reinforcing that belief.
Everyone has memories of notorious cults in history; however, let’s make sure we understand what is meant by a cult or its leader. The word symbol definition for a “cult” which most do not consider is, “A misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.” Wapnick has already pointed out that the Course is being made special and turned into a religion. It also falls in line with the definition of a cult and spiritually special Course teachers as cult leaders because of the demands of their ego. Assertions, demands and needs are clues that the ego has been chosen. Special faith is taught by the ego to reinforce ego.
Here is the answer to every problem that will confront you. In this world, you believe you are sustained by everything but God. Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the “right” people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers. All these things are your replacements for the Love of God (Lesson 50).
Cost versus Payment
In the Course, there is a difference between cost and payment and the ego always demands payment. Unhealed healers try to heal for money as payment (P-3.III.2) and as cult leaders, they may offer retreats in their home, put on workshops, etc. It’s not always about living with them as is most widely known about cults. What they offer places limitations on learning that exceeds the “cost” of any monetary payment.
There will be those of whom the Holy Spirit asks for payment for His purpose. There will be those from whom He does not ask. It should not be the therapist [cult leader, spiritually special Course teacher] who makes these decisions. There is a difference between payment and cost (P-3.III.2).
Cult leaders, even in the Course, are like therapists, “… indeed useless to the world’s salvation. They make demands, and so they cannot give. Patients (students) can pay only for the exchange of illusions… and the cost is great” (P-3.III.3)
These so-called special leaders care about fame, fortune, being known in the Course community, with whom they share the limelight and managing others issues, etc. Everything is a demand disguised as God so it’s really the ego. The demand can come in many forms but it includes placing “faith” in their ego god who becomes in-charge of us to manage our issues. Their ego is the teacher and since their ego is the same as ours, then one illusion is merely exchanged for another, i.e., the cost is that we don’t learn anything that would actually help.
Additionally, cult leaders are using the third and fourth laws of chaos, i.e., “You only have what you take” and having taken, “Another’s loss is their gain.” They take without realizing that they can never take away anything except from themselves because the Son is One and undivided in reality (T-23.II on The Laws of Chaos). Therefore, to teach specialness is to teach division and what you teach you learn. That’s how simple it is to be mindless with the ego and not pay attention to what is being chosen or as Wapnick points out, to not be aware that you are choosing the ego.
So long as specialness is chosen, what is “kind” remains a series of differing judgments meant to attack fragments thus making them real. Fragments are the symbol of the belief in separation. On the other hand, when we practice true forgiveness, and want to let go of our specialness because unity and sameness are desired, the teacher of kindness is the Holy Spirit. He helps us learn when we are choosing with our ego.
To be miracle-minded is to use forgiveness and take our specialness directly to Him and that’s not easy. We forget that assertions are the world or ego appointed defenses against its opposite. By their very nature, assertions make fragmentation appear real, which as Wapnick points out is the very opposite of the Sonship as One. My favorite quote of his that I use as a barometer for the ego is, “Love is quiet and need not make assertions” because specialness always makes assertions or demands.