Chapter 1 gave us a lengthy list of miracle principles, many of which hinted at the content of the Course. Chapter 2 begins the development of the main Course themes.
In my personal opinion, the Course would be much easier to work with with less esoteric (perhaps archaic is a better word) wording. Chapter 2 brings in the concepts of the Chalice, the Inner Altar, more on the Atonement, and continues with its discussion of the ‘divided mind’, ‘right-mindedness’, ‘separation’, ‘projection’. ‘Sonship’, ‘denial’, ‘spiritual eye’ and more. Chapter 2 also offers different versions of some psychological terms. I found reading it difficult because with each new meaning – not always clearly stated – I kept pulling back to figure out what that new meaning might be! This is only somewhat helped by the Glossary included in most versions of ACIM.
People tend to interpret new information in terms of what they already know or believe to be true. I caught myself very obviously doing this with ACIM. When read through my own strong beliefs that we are not our bodies but are pure and eternal spirit, the Text makes sense – but I catch myself repeating, “Why does this need so many words to say the obvious?” Pretty egotistical of me, considering that the writer indirectly claims to be Jesus.
It does seem that the Course is worded the way it is for three reasons. All have to do with the person it was dictated to and the people it seems intended to reach.
- Helen herself was a Roman Catholic (although not practicing) and the inner dictation/conversation needed to be in a form that she could understand. (As an aside, apparently Helen herself never believed in the Course although she found it remarkable.)
- Those who are expecting a second coming of Jesus would expect that Jesus would speak in a similar form as the Bible, for the purpose of credibility. Could Jesus plausibly arrive as a smart-mouthed skateboarder and be believed by the segment of the population expecting Jesus to return? It seems more likely that Jesus would appear (and speak) as himself. (Note that Jesus did NOT speak English 2000 years ago; this is sometimes used to discredit the Course. But it seems obvious that using a new language would present little difficulty to the Son of God.)
- It’s not easy to change a human’s mind about deeply held values. Two possible ways to do this are to use a symphonic approach and to continuously repeat the ideas, for the purpose of familiarity. By bringing ideas is, exploring them, letting them go, and then coming back to them, each time the idea seems more familiar and more acceptable. This seems to be happening with ACIM.
To listen to the summary of Chapter 2, go here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/undotheego/CEE_ACIM_Chpater_2_March_20_2018.mp3