This is going to have to be pretty long because this is a very difficult subject to explain, so bear with me. Some of you may be willing to accept what I'm going to say, some will not.
Oneness. What does it seem to mean? God is whole. God is complete. God is "all there is". God is everywhere, omnipresent, lacking nothing. God is the same everywhere. So... if this is true in terms of ego logic, it means the following:
God has no son. God is dreaming this world. God is a murderer. God created death. God makes people suffer. The separation happened inside God. God is mistaken. God is afraid. God is all people. God is experiencing "himself" through and as all people in the world. There is nothing other than God. We are God. Separation is real. God created this world. etc.
Absolutely none of that is true. That is the purest most logically accurate definition of what non-duality means to the ego. It is the most precise conclusion you can draw from how the EGO understands oneness or what it means to be "one". If oneness truly means "there is only one", the God is responsible for hell. And it is grossly mistaken.
If God is one, then God cannot even create anything because there is nowhere for the creation to occur and nothing to add which wasn't already there and so, literally, "there is only God". This is the conclusion many many Course folk have come to. It seems to in some ways make sense TO EGO THINKERS and those who use linear logic who think that such linear logic is capable of encompassing and understanding the nature of God.
God is not like this. And oneness does not mean "there is only God". And non-duality, as the opposite of duality, does not properly describe the holographic creative nature of God or reality. Non-duality is CLOSE to being correct, and is more correct than duality, but it is still a concept and it falls way short, as you will see. If there is non-duality there should be just "one thing". In that, there can be no Son of God at all, no creation, no love, no extension, no sharing, no sonship, and no holy relationship.
In fact, what's happened widespread in ACIM folk is various false conclusions which have established themselves as if written in stone "what the course says". And yet the consequences of these errors are quite horrific. To believe God is all there is is to equate God with ego and death. To claim that God is all there is also denies and murders every Son of God.
Now, let's talk about how God actually exists and thinks and creates and the nature of His creation. If the strictest definition of oneness or non duality is true, then God cannot even create anything. And in a sense, PARTS of the Course speak to this. E.g. "God is". And also, "nothing real can be increased except by sharing". So anything real, like God, is permanent, fixed, unchanging, does not increase or decrease, and therefore there can be no creation whatsoever. Which means no son. UNLESS, this thing called "sharing" happens.
Recognize that God is love, and because of what love is, it automatically goes out and shares and extends. It shares because it has no reason to hold anything back. It is fundamentally a state of sharing, including, giving, and this radiation of love is another way of describing the act of creation.
God in and of Himself is whole, complete, lacking nothing, needing nothing, and is already permanent. Like a solid rock. Unchanging. That does not really sound like something that can create, does it? It seems very fixed. Like absolutely nothing is happening or possible. That's strictly what most definitions of "oneness" imply also. That nothing else is possible besides God existing. That's false.
God loves, and in that love, God radiates, extends, shares, creates, miraculously. Ego logic will NEVER account for "the miraculous", and God's creative ability is truly miraculous, which is why YOU ARE A MIRACLE. To the ego, God CANNOT create, and the act of His creating defies ALL EGO LOGIC and demonstrates that God is a miracle worker. Something happens in God which defies explanation and seems impossible yet happens. God SHARES AND CREATES something "other" than Himself, out of nowhere.
If you think of God like a light bulb, God is the fixed light bulb which does not move or change really, but the bulb radiates and SHINES light. The light goes outward and illuminates. That "shining", that light radiating, that is creation. The light radiating is not necessarily the same thing as God Himself. God is complete and whole already, but God SHARES Himself by shining light and radiating and extending, and that which extends outward is creation.
It is in this way that God created the world of Heaven. Here is how the Course describes it is a NATURAL division:
"The world was made as "a natural grand division," or a projecting outward of God. That is why everything that He created is like Him. Projection, as undertaken by God, is very similar to the kind of inner radiance which the Children of the Father inherit from Him. It is important to note that the term "project outward" necessarily implies that the real source of projection is internal. This is as true of the Son as of the Father."
So God in and of Himself is complete and whole, but He "projects outward" (extends) and that which is projected forms a "world" (heaven). This world is, in a sense, "divided from" God in a natural way, in that it comes FROM God and is God SHARING, but God as its SOURCE still remains in a sense, beyond it.
This is because God is the "first cause" and what God radiates is the "effect" of God. His Thought/Shining is the effect of Him as the "thinker". The effect of God is not capable of turning around and "causing God" in reverse, or of making God its effect. The creation (the Son/sonship) is being constantly sustained by, projected by God, forever, is coming FROM God, and therefore the Son is ONLY "as God created Him" and cannot change what He is. The Son has no real say in what He is at all, He merely gives thanks for having been created perfect.
God is cause, not effect. God cannot be affected. This causal extension or "creating of effect" in a way puts up a kind of "wall" or division you could say, just on a causality level, which in a sense, separates the creation from God's own Self, but only in the sense that the created Son cannot cause God back. But the Son CAN share love with Him.
This is not the same thing as the "separation" that we are accustomed to thinking of as what the ego does or relating to the "separation from God" which was a different matter. The "separation from God" happened when the Son, who is only effect and not capable of causing God, attempted to cause God. That means the Son tried to will against God's will or to undo what God has created, trying to replace it with something else. That was an act of impossible denial, which brought about the separation and the "fall of man".
That's an entirely different thing to the "natural division" between God and His Son. The division between God and Son is NATURAL in that this is How God intended it, that the Son is imbued with the SAME WILL TO CREATE, the same love, the same completeness, the same wholeness, AND SHARING the WHOLE OF GOD within itself, as well as sharing THE WHOLE OF CREATION within itself. All of God is in the Son, shared with the Son, and yet the Son is in some way also "divided" from God as a creation of God or thought of God.
In nonduality and oneness concepts there is no accounting for God thinking anything at all, yet alone creating a son. It completely glosses over the fact that God is LOVE, and love radiates and extends and creates. When people tell you what the definition of oneness is they become very clinical and ego-specific in describing God as a kind of "single blob". There is no love in that concept, nor does it appreciate the NATURE of Oneness, which is to share, extend everywhere, create, increase, and to experience JOY. Do you equate oneness with joy, or power, or love, or creativity, or miracles? As a logical device, no. But God is joyful and creative and all powerful and miraculous.
Now, it is possible for God to create AT LEAST One Son, and the Course references the "one son of God" in various places. And due to misunderstandings, many people have come to believe God only has one Son. So now there are two camps - a set of people believing that God is one therefore has no son or "I am God", and a camp of people accepting there is One Son (somehow) but not more. It relates to how much of the nature of God is grasped.
OK. So holograms. Did you know God thinks holographically? Do you know what a hologram is or why this is totally different to how the ego thinks? If you are thinking about God's creation or oneness without thinking about holograms, then you WILL come to false conclusions, such as that there are no divisions in heaven or God has only one Son or no son, because non-holographic logic CAN ONLY arrive at these conclusions. Ego logic is FAULTY and limited.
The essential idea of a hologram is that the whole is able to express in many "parts" and yet each part contains ALL of the whole. This makes NO SENSE to the ego, because it thinks in terms of separated space, where it is impossible for all of God to be in one part AND all of God to be in another part simultaneously. The ego will wager, "there is not enough God for God to be elsewhere, if God is fully here". And that's why the ego is BLIND to the nature of heaven. It does not account for SHARING.
Here's what the Course says about the holographic nature of God and the Sonship - note how ILLOGICAL and CONTRADICTORY these all sound, at first:
"The recognition of the part as whole, and of the whole in every part is perfectly natural, for it is the way God thinks, and what is natural to Him is natural to you."
"One brother is all brothers. Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one. Such is the truth."
"It should be noted that God has begotten only one Son. If you believe that all of the Souls that God created are His Sons, and if you also believe that the Sonship is One, then every Soul must be a Son of God, or an integral part of the Sonship. You do not find the concept that the whole is greater than its parts difficult to understand. You should therefore not have too great difficulty with this. The Sonship in its Oneness does transcend the sum of its parts."
"Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts, in number infinite."
"God created His Sons by extending His Thought, and retaining the extensions of His Thought in His Mind. All His Thoughts are thus perfectly united within themselves and with each other."
So Jesus is saying two things, which seem to clash. 1) God created One Son. 2) God created many sons. The conclusion here, to THE EGO, is either, a) God only created one Son, or b) The "many" or "multitude" nature of the sonship tells us that it is OF THE EGO and is therefore not real. Are either of these conclusions true? NO! They are both mistakes, and reveal the limitations of the ego's thought system when it tires to understand the EGO DEFYING nature of God.
In a hologram, the whole is present in EVERY part. Now, if you think in terms you are familiar with in this world, like physical objects and space, you think ok, if I take 1 gallon of water and I pour it into a 1 gallon container, there is no water left to fill another container. Yes? This is ego thinking. And ego thinking gave rise to this ENTIRE universe, including all physical forms, and all laws of physics, to paint a picture that attempts to PROVE that God's NATURE is NOT the way things are. And we have used physical form as a way to understand the nature of existence. This is a major error. We are BLINDED by sight of form, because forms express the EGO IDEA of separation, limitation, "measuring" how much of something there is in a finite way, and then concluding that there is lack and limitation.
When ALL of God is poured into one creation, how much God is there left to pour into another? ALL OF HIM! He does not run out. He INCREASES BY SHARING. The ego cannot believe this. The multiplying of fish and bread to feed 5000 people is a good example of this principle. Giving ALL to something does not diminish it AT ALL, it merely increases by being given away.
God puts ALL of the whole of his nature into His creation, in EACH thought. And what He creates is FULL, complete, and whole, AND shares ALL of itself with God, and includes all of God, and all of any other creation God creates. So then God has another thought, creates another WHOLE, and then another WHOLE, and another. You should get the idea then, spatially, even in ego terms, that adding more wholes INCREASES the sum total - and this is How the Kingdom expands.
To the ego, it is impossible that God be fully in one location and yet fully in another. This is completely impossible in terms of a physical object. However, bi-location is a miracle because it demonstrates that we are not bound by space or by instances or amounts. The Course says that God has many thoughts, INFINITE IN NUMBER. That amounts to an INFINITE number of Sons of God. And each Son of God is WHOLE and complete and perfect in itself, has free will just like God, extends and creates just like God (you have your own creations in Heaven), and radiates love just like God. This means each son is not just some "partial person" or limited or unlike the rest, it means EVEY son is FULL, whole, complete, absolutely unlimited, and shares EVERYTHING with God in perfection. And so do all the rest.
That God does not diminish when sharing himself fully to create a WHOLE SON, means automatically that God can create MANY sons without any diminishing of Himself at all. And all of God is in every Son. AND every Son is within every Son. And the ENTIRE SONSHIP is within every Son. This is entirely NATURAL AND NORMAL in Heaven. Heaven therefore contains INFINITE "naturally divided" (causally divided) INDIVIDUAL WHOLES - which are souls or Sons of God - each one holy and perfect.
So now we need to talk about why some people are confused in constantly saying that God has One Son or there is "only oneness" or the Sonship is an part of separation etc. It's because people are getting PART of the picture and not the whole picture, because EGO LOGIC is telling them to EXCLUDE some parts of the holographic nature of God. They can "see" that God's oneness makes sense, but this seems to imply there is no son or at least not more than one. They can't see HOW God can have created many sons OR how a "division" is natural. And so they just can't get their heads around the nature of God or how it's possible for there to be a sonship at all.
And if you will go looking, ACIM contains specific quotes which SEEM to support the ego's interpretations by focusing on only one PART of the holographic picture, using that as justification for why "the course said this". For example, "God has but one Son", or countless references to "God's Son". Well, this leads God people to conclude that the Course is saying God doesn't have more sons. It's a mistake. With no grasp of God's NATURE - which is holographic, it makes sense people will be in error. And then they will say well, since God has only one Son, the sonship is a lie, or I do not exist, or I am God, or I do not have a self, or there is no-one here, or whatever else.
These are NON-DUALITY concepts which FAIL to appreciate God's nature. And you can see how, if it is true that God has many sons, these kind of "beliefs" are HARMFUL. They basically DESTROY the sonship, DENY the Self, and render God impotent.
When I finally understood how God thinks holographically and realized that non-duality is bullshit and a limited EGO concept of God, I felt great RELIEF about the simple recognition that "GOD CREATED ME". Me, as an INDIVIDUAL. Not me as an EGO, that's different, but that I have a HOLY SELF, which is sharing with other holy selves, and all of us are PERMANENT and INTENDED by God to have free will. When I saw this, I cried tears of joy, and also release of sadness, which had built up from the non-duality teachers which includes Ken W, who have MISLED countless students and spread LIES ABOUT HEAVEN, resulting in the belief that "I do not exist", which can only lead to despair and depression because it DENIES GOD'S CREATION.
A course in miracles is NOT non-duality at all. The principle of Oneness is NOT that there is "only one and nothing else". Oneness truly means, sharing, creation, unlimited extension, INFINITE wholes, and a heaven filled with SOULS that live forever in a state of perfection and wholeness, sharing everything they are with ALL OTHERS including God. Why do you think Jesus refers to you as a brother? It's not just a temporary thing. You will ALWAYS be equal to and a brother of Jesus, AND at the same time, one with Him, and literally sharing everything WITH Him, AND still having your own soul, and still having your own free will which happens to be the same in focus as God's.
So now we have a very different picture of Heaven, and it has NOTHING to do with Earth or this universe. "Heaven and Earth are opposite in EVERY way." Heaven is a PLACE in the sense that it EXISTS as God's creation and you can experience it and BE there in it/with it. There are many references in the course where Jesus says "in Heaven" and also referring to Heaven as a "world" and as something God created. And given that THIS world - earth, physical universe, DOES NOT EXIST BECAUSE THERE IS NO WORLD - where IS there to BE or live or exist other than Heaven? In that sense, it IS a place, far more a REAL place than planet earth. Earth is not a place at all.
Heaven is within the mind of God. "The kingdom of God is you" is another reference to you being The Son of God and one of may sons of God. You are part of and all of heaven. Something you can be INSIDE OF and BE, and where there are infinite souls and angels, plus the Holy Spirit, plus an entire sonship of equal souls, all equal with Jesus, all individually a Son of God, AND also every one of those souls is THE Son of God as well. And each soul continues to CREATE MORE. There is nothing unnatural about this at all. All PARTS of heaven are of ONE ORDER.
Per Jesus: "The world, in the original connotation of the term, included both the proper creation of man by God and the proper creation by man in his right mind. The latter required the endowment of man by God with free will because all loving creation is freely given. Nothing in these statements implies any sort of level involvement or in fact anything except one continuous line of creation in which all aspects are of the same order." (Here "man" is the same thing as soul or son of God, not humans.)
One final word then. Each Son of God, being a hologram of God, is whole and complete in and of itself, lacking nothing. And AT THE SAME TIME, is so OPEN and so SHARING, that it is wired into the ENTIRE CREATION of God. Picture it as your mind is so expanded that you are "one with" ie sharing in, the entire sonship. God therefore experiences ALL of his many thoughts, as ONE, while simultaneously allowing them to be many.
This is why there are many references to God having only one son. When it's speaking of this, it refers to how God experiences all Sons as though they are all the same and one, experienced simultaneously and so sharing that they do not seem "separate". Yet they are still divided. And then when the course speaks 250+ times about the many sons of God, this is not contradictory because God DOES have many sons AND one son.
God thinks holographically. All of God is in every son and all of every son is in every son. The whole sonship is in every son and every son in the sonship. You are the ONE SON of God, AND you are one of many. This is heavenly logic, not ego logic. When every individual PART of the sonship has returned to its true nature, all of the sonship as a whole communicates with God again.
The only other point to make I think is the difference between division and ego separation. In heaven you are divided from others and from God. But only in the sense that you are a loving family who shares everything together. Loving families are still individuals yet joined. The individuality does not go away. When walls are erected between family members, ie artificial separations are introduced, there is denial of the sharing, denial of the oneness, and denial of wholeness. This UNNATURAL DIVISION is the ego. This is what the course refers to as separation.
You have to get your head around the idea that you can be individual AND joined and that this is normal, natural and real. It is not your individual soul nature that makes you an ego. It is not that you are PART of a huge family of souls (sonship) that makes you an ego. What makes you an ego is that you withdraw your connection from God, withdraw your connection from the sonship, and become ISOLATED behind artificial imaginary walls of denial. It's got nothing to do with whether you are an individual or not.
Perhaps the most misunderstood thing about ACIM is the belief that ego means separate self, and therefore means individuality, and therefore having an individuality is ego. THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!! Individuality is not the problem. Cutting your individuality off from sharing with the whole is the problem. Trying to be a "part" of the hologram that does NOT contain the whole. Trying to not be an effect of God. Trying to cause God and change Him and affect Him. Cutting yourself off from the sonship. Believing you are not equal to all brothers. Being special. THAT is the problem and that is what the ego is made of, not your individuality.
Individuality does not mean you are separate from God, it means you are one of God's Son's. YOU DO EXIST. Just not as an illusion of an isolated self who has no connection to others. What is death but the end of all connection and the bringing about of total separation from Life? Joining with Life does not make you disappear! It's not about "you're not really out there". It's more like, "you are MORE than you APPEAR to be." You are God's Son and one of many sons. You are one with God and with all others and you SHARE with them all, one in sharing, not in number.
ACIM is not non-duality. And ACIM is not about the ego's idea of what oneness means. ACIM is not teaching that God only has a single son "separate from" the many sons. Heaven is a cascade of creation and miracles and light and souls and beauty and sharing and union and freedom. This is why YOU are responsible for everything YOU CHOOSE. Choose again.