"Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality." ALL words in ACIM are symbols TWICE removed from the truth.
The word "apple" is twice removed from reality. The thing it represents, the actual apple itself sitting in your fruit bowl, is once removed from reality. Notice that words are symbols OF SYMBOLS. Therefore the apple itself is a symbol, and is NOT reality. Everything in this world is symbolic, just as all dreams are made of symbols.
"The body is the symbol of what you THINK you are."
"The body DOES appear to be the symbol of sin"
"The body is the symbol of the ego"
"As nothingness cannot BE pictured, so there IS no symbol for totality."
"Give welcome to the Power beyond forgiveness, and beyond the world of symbols and of limitations."
"The body can become a **sign** of life ... and by its health and loveliness proclaim the truth and value that ***it represents***." (symbolizes)
Symbols are not an end in themselves. They don't have their own identity. They represent something else. They serve as a reflection or representative for something they point to. The body for example is not a THING in its own right, it is not an end. It SYMBOLIZES something else, and therefore is an effect of something else.
"Regarding the body as an end, it has no real use for it at all, because it is not an end. "
The metaphysics of ACIM does not really exist at the level of words twice removed. The metaphysics is once removed from reality. The words themselves, SYMBOLIZE, the metaphysics. They are expressions FROM or structured BY the metaphysics. Behind the words, deeper than the words, there is a core metaphysical structure which the course's expressed statements are BASED ON or coming from.
Or to put it more accurately, the ACTUAL metaphysics takes place as STATES OF MIND, as REALITIES, as WORLDS, playing out in the mind as SYSTEMS of logical thought. A THOUGHT of separation produces an ENTIRE WORLD representing that LOGICAL STATE. So what is this "deeper" metaphysics? There is a perfectly pure LOGICAL SYSTEM, underlying both reality and illusions. But the system is not a concept. It actually takes places as STATES of mind. As experiences of "realities". Conclusions have effects because PREMISES ARE CAUSES!
Both God's thought system and the ego's thought system are based on a LOGICAL premise. God's premise is Himself. His nature establishes the laws of what is TRUE. As He expresses/creates, His thought SYSTEM functions, and follows the laws established in his nature. The OUTCOME or "logical conclusion" of His system of thinking, MUST be in accord with his nature and be THE ONLY possible outcome that could come from such a starting point.
Because God is eternal, the outcome of His thinking must be eternal. Because God is alive, His thoughts must be alive. Because God is love, His thoughts must be made of love. Because God is happy, His thoughts must be happy and lead to happiness. Because God is a creator, the living beings He creates must be creators also (co-creators).
Everything that comes FROM Him is in accord with His Will and nature, and is in his perfect LIKENESS. It HAS to be in His likeness because in a logical system, everything that comes from the ORIGIN of the system stays WITHIIN the confines of the system and thus is governed by the same laws.
These FACTS, have nothing to do with interpretations, ideals, made-up spirituality, theory or theology, or any other kind of conceptual make-believe. These are ACTUAL FACTS of reality. And "metaphysics" is based on irrefutable FACTS. It is a fact that God is a creator, and therefore it MUST be a fact that God's creation is also a creator. Regardless of whether ACIM ever mentioned that in its words at all, that HAS to be true.
ACIM happens to say "A co-creator with the Father must have a Son." But you can DEDUCE this, LOGICALLY, by following God's system of thought. Simply, God is a creative father. He passes on Himself to whatever He creates. Therefore, logically, if God Himself has a nature which results in a Son, then the Son MUST have a nature which results in a Son of a Son. YOU, as a Son, MUST therefore have creations. This isn't true just because ACIM says so in its words. It's true LOGICALLY. And that is the deeper metaphysics. Jesus has BASED those quoted statements ON that logic.
Let's look at another example, the separation from God. Without even considering anything ACIM says about separation, let's assess it with purely impeccable logic and see what we get.
Ok so God wills eternal life because God IS eternal life. God wills happiness. God wills a total lack of limits because He is unlimited. God gives freedom, because God IS freedom. The co-creative living entities that God MUST create, therefore must have His freedom. But this also means, they are free FROM any kind of limitation or restraint. The only truth is that they must function WITHIN the system of God. They cannot leave God. BUT, they can exercise their co-creative ability to freely choose to try to DENY or oppose God's will and nature, thus opposing their own. What would HAVE to happen if you did that?
Look at it purely logically. Reality is ..... light, life, happiness, peace, love, unlimited, constant, unchanging, equal/harmonious, permanent, truthful, open, immortal, etc. BECAUSE, this is what God is. So everything IN God's system must be this too. What would an OPPOSITE to this be? What would you get, if you DENIED this system and tried to bring about an OPPOSITE system?
Well, an opposite system would have to be based on the "belief" that all of the nature of God is NOT true or real. It has to be a PREMISE, that OPPOSES God's premise. So the premise is, ... darkness, death, unhappiness, conflict, hatred/fear, limitation, change, inequality/difference, impermanence, everything is false, closed, mortality, etc. Because these are the LOGICAL opposites to God's nature. And if this collection of "unpleasant" CONDITIONS is the PREMISE of the entire ego SYSTEM, everything WITHIN this "line of thinking" MUST RESULT IN, all of these things. DEATH, is the logical outcome of the ego thought system.
So the question is, does this logical conclusion LINE UP with what A Course in Miracles says. And the answer is YES. It does. In fact Jesus even says so.
"From the belief in sin (the premise), the faith in chaos MUST follow. It is because it follows that it seems to be a ***logical conclusion***; a valid step in ordered thought. The steps to chaos ***DO follow neatly from their starting-point***. Each is a different form in the **progression** (logical thought process) of truth's reversal, leading still deeper into terror, and away from truth."
"The Holy Spirit uses logic as easily, and as well, as does the ego, except that HIS conclusions are NOT insane. They take a direction EXACTLY opposite, pointing as clearly to Heaven as the ego points to darkness and to death."
"The logic of the world MUST therefore lead to nothing, for its GOAL is nothing."
So what you find is, if you can get a grasp of the PURE LOGICAL BASIS of God's system, and if you can then grasp the idea that the "separation" is simply the idea of AN OPPOSITE TO REALITY, you can LOGICALLY come to conclusions. And the fact is, that these conclusions EXACTLY MATCH what Jesus has described in A Course in Miracles. WITHOUT ERROR. They totally correlate to the separation, the result of separating, the OUTCOME of starting on a basis of sin.
"The wages of sin is death - ie, if you start with sin (which is the idea "an opposite to God is possible", you must end with death". Death is the suppression and denial and NEGATING OF, God's reality. It is the "end of life" because it OPPOSES GOD'S WILL which supports life.
Therefore, and this is a metaphysical FACT.... a belief in separation MUST LEAD TO a seeming "world" or "logical state of mind", wherein everything is based on an idea of sin and death. e.g. "Without the idea of death there is no world." "The world is a picture of the crucifixion of God's son" - ie its the idea of God's LIVING son, pictured in a condition OPPOSITE to living. Similarly "the world was made as an attack on God" is based on the LOGIC that by trying to OPPOSE THE TRUTH, you "attacked" the premise of the truthful thought system (God), by trying to establish another SYSTEM that was totally opposite.
For example, Jesus says "Earth, Heaven's opposite in every way". Why is Earth OPPOSITE to Heaven? Because it is part of a "world" or STATE of OPPOSITION to THE TRUTH. The world is thus a logical outcome of the ego thought system. It is MADE OF DEATH. It is made of denial. It is made of sin. This isn't something I need to say based on ACIM saying it. I can make this "claim", IMPERSONALLY, WITHOUT OPINION, because the METAPHYSICS accurately indicates that this MUST be the case.
Now, here is the interesting thing about metaphysics. The underlying core logic describes VERY accurately, PERFECTLY, not only the nature of God's "system" or world, and the nature of any world that tries to oppose it. Through LOGICAL REASONING, which must be "impeccable", you can actually make "statements"- symbolic word expressions once removed from the metaphysics, that were never written IN the Course itself, but which are TOTALLY in line with it. This is not an opinion or a matter of making something up. The LOGIC tells you, BY ITSELF, WHAT MUST BE TRUE.
For example we could say, anything that is opposite to God who is eternal life must be incapable of living forever. It doesn't necessarily explicitly SAY that in the course, but it MUST be true. It does however say basically the same thing in other words, e.g. "there is no life outside of heaven."
We could also say, "everything in this world opposes reality". It doesn't necessarily say that in the course. But it MUST be true. The metaphysical LOGIC, the impeccable reasoning, TELLS YOU, that it MUST be true because it is perfectly sound logic. And this world IS A LOGICAL SYSTEM BASED ON AN ENTIRELY LOGICAL PREMISE.
The really interesting thing is, the metaphysical LOGICAL SYSTEM completely removes the need for OPINIONS. Of any kind. If God is truth, anything not of God is not true. That is purely logical. It's not an opinion. In fact the LOGIC is such a COMPLETE system, with no strange fuzzy exceptions or loopholes or things unaccounted for, totally black and white in its perfect clarity and precision, that it leaves NO ROOM for ANY INTERPRETATION. NONE.
And this is why the multitude of "interpretations" of the course, ALL of which are NOT really based on pure logic, are faulty and OF THE EGO. And this inevitably results in conflict and arguments because it inherently leads to CONTRADICTIONS. The ego cannot even reason correctly. Our normal ego thought processes don't even typically function "LIKE GOD THINKS", and therefore comes to FALSE conclusions about His system of logic. Frequently. And you can see by all the debate and WAR in this forum the sheer extent of this CONFUSION, which has resulted from NOT SEEING THE METAPHYSICAL FACTS CLEARLY, errors in logical reasoning, and false conclusions that EGOs have arrived at. There is ONLY ONE TRUTH.
All we can do is look at the logical system and let IT TELL US, what the truth MUST be. If we don't, and we start trying to MAKE UP TRUTH, or DECIDE what the truth is, we are now delusional and are not following the logic and are not having REASON. We then will not MAKE SENSE and this leads to all confusion. That means, the logical conclusions being drawn here, or by anyone who can reason impeccably, COMPLETELY TRANSCENDS opinion. It REFLECTS the truth. It is FACT. That means it is not MY opinion, or yours, or anyone's. It is how things actually are.
Therefore, if you can grasp this and SEE the sense in it, you can USE the metaphysical logical BASIS of everything the course says as a TOOL. You can USE it, practically, to inform you of what the course MUST BE MEANING. You can actually hold up a quote, and COMPARE IT, to the metaphysical structure, and provided your grasp of the structure is accurate, it will TELL YOU the context in which the quote is placed, the meaning of the references, what it is referring TO, and thus what it MUST MEAN.
If you get used to doing this, you will find gradually that everything Jesus says in the course is BASED ENTIRELY ON logical reasoning. Jesus is an absolute MASTER of this. And you will then realize that all of the WORDS in the course are in fact expressions OF the metaphysics. The number of ways and forms of expression OF those FACTS, is largely unlimited. Jesus wrote a huge book expression FROM the facts. He could've written more. If you "get the facts straight", and are not in denial or making logical errors, you can evaluate everything the course's WORDS say, and CORRECTLY RECOGNIZE what they MUST MEAN, in light of what the logical truth says MUST be true.
This however is one area that we are all struggling with, because most of us do NOT think logically or impeccably enough. We make a lot of errors. And the main reason for that is simply NOT SEEING the core logical BASIS behind the ENTIRE metaphysics of the course. And so instead, we'll try to "put together the pieces" from the bottom up, starting with loose ends, trying to assemble a cohesive picture, and making a lot of errors along the way. We then depend too heavily on the WORDS. The wordings. The phrasing. What it SEEMS like it says. And we will find that sometimes the CHOICE of words can seem misleading, when you compare it to the metaphysical meaning.
What the logic can do for you though, is it can provide you with a powerful tool for discernment, it can guide you, it can tell you what Jesus's words mean, it can clarify what the words CANNOT mean, and it can help you to get past all the nit-picking arguments and disagreements that come from MULTIPLE OPINIONS, all of which result from a LACK OF true facts and too much faulty reasoning or "blindness" to the LOGICAL METAPHYSICS. All of the discussions about "is it this or that" come from this "difficulty" with seeing the logic behind it.
Does A Course in Miracles line up with a PURELY LOGICAL set of conclusions, a logical system of black and white conclusions? YES. It totally does. Was this world made as a result of a LOGICAL conclusions? YES. Does death occur because of the conclusion that MUST come "inevitably" from a premise of real sin? YES. Would we make BODIES as a logical CONCLUSION in a thought system? YES, because they are the "natural outcome" of WALLS THAT BLOCK TRUTH, as "separation devices". Bodies ARE the idea of the rejection of wholeness. They ARE limitation, as an experiential idea or state of mind.
The atonement is logical too. It is nothing but the recognition that only the truth is true. There is no real sin. An opposite to what is all encompassing does not exist. It is the TRUTH. It represents God's PREMISE and therefore results in the resuming of the extension of creation. IT HAS TO. That's part of its logical basis. This is also why by "denying the denial of truth", you LOGICALLY cancel out the denial. Because you took what is FALSE, and you tried to make it TRUE, in order to deny that the truth is true. So if you REVERSE that by DENYING that the false is true, you deny the denial of the truth, restoring the truth as the only truth. This is entirely logically based.
To restore you to reality, you must UN-OPPOSE God. You must stop "negating" the truth". You must stop believing in sin, which is the idea of God's system having been destroyed and opposed. You must surmount death, which means resurrection is nothing but an assertion of TRUTH, which is life. Everything to do with God's creation, everything to do with the separation, everything to do with the descent into the ego and death, and everything to do with healing and awakening to reality, is all ENTIRELY the interplay of PURELY LOGICAL SYSTEMS or states.
Awakening is even logical and inevitable because you, being an effect of God, must FOREVER be an effect of God, since God never changes, and therefore CANNOT ever stop being God's son. Your reality is SECURED as a result of the logic of the system. The ending of death is just as inevitable, because when you get yourself into a logical STATE of ONLY TRUTH, there cannot be a state of an opposite to life, and death is therefore "snuffed out" as Jesus puts it.
Jesus's choice of words is masterful, but sometimes potentially misleading. There is a lot of material to digest. There seems to be a lot of stuff to figure out. Sometimes things seem contradictory which are not. And our egos make a TON of logical errors. Error, ie sin, is nothing but a logical mistake. You cannot oppose God's will, so it is "error", logically, to CONCLUDE you can. Healing is therefore the undoing of error, by re-establishing the facts of reality and accepting God's premise as the only true one.
This is all the metaphysics. It's behind the words. When you GET it, you can express FROM it, and be coming from the truth. You can express 100,000 books BASED ON this and every single one will be in line with ACIM. We're inside a logical system of thought, albeit based on a FALSE starting point, resulting in FALSE experiences, and FALSE outcomes. A false outcome is SUFFERING. Suffering is inevitable when the entire SYSTEM is founded on opposition to health and life. Suffering means you are "suffering from" being mistaken about the facts of reality.
If you want eternal life and happiness, you must open up to accept the REASONING of the Holy Spirit, which is the SAME as God's SYSTEM or WAY of thinking. Thought BASED ON TRUTH will set you free.
ALL of the conflict in the ACIM community is based on NOT SEEING and NOT ACCEPTING the purely LOGICAL CORE TRUTH in A Course in Miracles. All of the disagreement about what it says, what it means, what it implies, is all based on NOT being logically sound. ALL OPINIONS ARE MUTE! Your opinion has no value, and nor does mine. We are supposed to get away from having opinions. We are supposed to recognize the FACTS OF REALITY, instead of trying to MAKE UP interpretations. Interpretations are entirely ego. The course HAS NO INTERPRETATIONS. The course is based on FACTS. It is based on TRUTH.
And truth is not an intepretation. It is an expression FROM THE PURE LOGIC SYSTEM OF GOD'S THINKING. When everyone finally recognizes this and accepts the ONE CORRECT metaphysics, there will be no more NEED for conflict, no more BASIS for confusion, no more REASON to fight about it, and no more DEBATE about what it means. Behind all the seemingly varied WORDS in the course, behind all the many EXPRESSIONS, behind the choice of phrases and the language and the way Jesus speaks, there is a PURE METAPHYSICAL CLARITY.
Do not be DECEIVED by the ILLUSION OF DIFFERENT FORMS in the course. Do not be deceived by taking the WORDS too literally. The WORDS ARE NOT THE METAPHYSICS. They are only based on it. And if you base your entire understanding on THE WORDS, you will very likely come to false inconsistent conclusions. When you get bogged down in isolated quotes, inconsistent reasoning, things taken out of context, and all the rest of it, you are missing the CLARITY of the course's truth.
Go deeper. Get behind the words. SEE the logical structures. Recognize the metaphysics. It's beyond words. It's beyond those symbols. The course is PURE TRUTHFUL FACT and it is totally consistent without contradiction. If you are confused, wondering about meanings, uncertain about structures, or any other reaction to what's said, you are not using logical reasoning and so are using blind ego interpretation. If you see contradictions, you made a logical error.
If something doesn't fit, you haven't seen the logic behind it clearly enough. And if you conclude things OUT OF ACCORD with what the LOGIC says, you are mistaken, regardless of what the words seem to say. Jesus is 100% perfectly ACCURATE in every single thing he has expressed FROM a PERFECT GRASP of the PERFECTLY CLEAR metaphysical basis of truth. HE has not made any errors. His expressions in words are not erroneous. He is PERFECTLY CORRECT. Our only challenge is coming to SEE, RECOGNIZE and ACCEPT, the CORE TRUTH behind the entire course. REASON will allow you to literally SEE SENSE.
"The introduction of reason into the ego's thought system is the beginning of its undoing. For reason and the ego are contradictory. Nor is it possible for them to co-exist in your awareness. And reason's goal is to make plain, and therefore obvious. You can SEE reason. This is not a play on words, for here is the beginning of a vision that has meaning. Vision is sense, quite literally. If it is not the body's sight, it MUST be understood. For it is PLAIN, and what is obvious is not ambiguous. It CAN be understood. And here do reason and the ego separate, to go their different ways."