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Understanding contradictions in ACIM

  • By Paul West
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  • In Brothers, Creation, Ego
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  • 17 minutes 10 seconds
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In ACIM Jesus sometimes says things which SOUND contradictory, but they are not. He will claim one thing, then claim another, sometimes in the same sentence. And it will sound like the two things are totally opposite. So then you'll tend to conclude only one of the two statements can be true. But this is a mistake.

Here are some examples of logically cryptic-sounding self-contradictory statements:

"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."

"I and my Father are one."

"One brother is all brothers. Every mind contains all minds, for every mind is one. Such is the truth."

"Within its holy circle, is everyone whom God created as His Son."

"Healing is when two minds recognize their oneness and become glad."

"God has but one Son, knowing them all as one."

The reason they sound contradictory is because they simultaneously take two logically opposing positions. For example he tells us God has one son, but in the next breath tells us God created many sons. Or he tells us there's "I" and "my father" and then says they are "one". Then he's talking about brothers, suggesting more than one, but is talking about how they are seemingly one thing. Or how God created "everyone" within heaven, but then refers to them as a seemingly singular "one son". Even to suggest that God has one son, but that he knows "them all" as one.

So then you find yourself asking, how can it be possible that God is having one son AND that God is knowing "them all" as one? And USUALLY what almost everyone does, who thinks the way most people think, is to SIDE WITH one or the other of the statements, and DISMISS the other. Because that "seems to make sense". Because if you can turn a blind eye to the contradiction, you seem to "solve" the problem. But this is a TOTAL FAIL. Here's why.

The ego thought system is based on separation. The separation always suggests that something is true of one thing which is NOT true of another. It is the opposite of an equality-based system. It reasons that the truth is DIFFERENT for everyone. That something is either true of this OR that, but not both. The whole ego approach is to differentiate and make un-equal everything it refers to. This results in ME VS YOU, ie war.

Examples of this are e.g. "I am innocent, you are guilty". "I parked in the first parking space, not the second". "I bought the red one, not the blue one". "Its either male or female". "You can go north or south". "I took the left door, not the right door." "I am Paul, not Jim" etc.

The whole PHYSICAL world, and all of space and time, was MADE based on this thought process or "way of reasoning". In fact you can say the physical world IS the ego thought SYSTEM. And so when you THINK this way, in terms of "EITHER THIS OR THAT, BUT NOT BOTH", it maps very very well to the physical world. It doesn't seem to produce contradictions either.

I'm either in America or in England but not in two places at once. I can go north or south, but not both. I am old or young, but not both. I can have the salad for supper or the beef steak but not both. I can buy the house or the condo but not both. etc. I can go left or right but not both. etc

The trouble is, God's Kingdom is TOTALLY OPPOSITE to this way of thinking, being opposite to THIS WORLD.

"Earth, heaven's opposite in every way."

The whole system is completely unlike it. And what's POSSIBLE in God's system is IMPOSSIBLE in the ego's system. And what makes SENSE in God's system appears to be utter NONSENSE in the ego's reasoning.

And the thing is, pretty much everyone in this world, whether you're into ACIM or not, and even if you are, USES the ego's reasoning system to draw conclusions.

That's fine, if you're talking about the physical world. But the instant you start talking about God's Kingdom, his laws, his nature, his creations, you are now in TOTALLY inappropriate territory for that way of thinking. That way of thinking is NOT how God thinks, so it WILL NOT map correctly to God's Kingdom or draw correct conclusions about it. And HIS world is not broken up into pieces of "either this or that."

The key difference is that God's Kingdom and system of thought, logic and reason, are based on INCLUSION AND SHARING. Whereas the ego's system is based on EXCLUSION and SEPARATION. This can be simplified to two simple equations or formulations:

God: BOTH THIS AND THAT ARE EQUALLY TRUE.

Ego: EITHER THIS IS TRUE OR THAT IS TRUE, BUT NOT BOTH.

You can also see that since God's Kingdom is reality, and the ego is the idea of the OPPOSITE of God, the ego is a logical "operation" of NOT GOD, or the negation of God. And if eternity is "always", the ego's opposite is NEVER. ie "always never."

Which is why its whole system is based on this notion of "This is true, but that is not". ie EITHER this is true, OR it's false, but not both. Or this applies to ME OR YOU, but not both at once. There is no simultaneous, at-once, sharing, or inclusiveness, in the ego world. And that limits its thought process.

In God's thought system, God shares all of himself with his creations. This SHARING, fundamental to his nature, means that his creations HAVE everything God has. Without limit. Without compromise. Without one person having something and having to wait until the other is done with it. They SHARE it, like simultaneous access. And they OVERLAP each other, which is impossible in the physical world without causing an atomic explosion.

Similarly, the Golden Rule which describes God's thought system, applies here just the same. What is true of one brother, is true of another brother. What is true of one of God's creations, is true of ALL creations. Every thing God creates is EQUAL in its nature and its wholeness and its perfection and its LIKENESS to God.

So now you can say something which sounds bizarre like, if what is true of ME is true of YOU, then it is true of BOTH of us. It is true of ME *AND* YOU. Which means if it is true that I am me, it must also be true that YOU ARE ME ALSO. And now there are two things, me and you, which are ALSO simultaneously BOTH one thing, while still being two things.

THAT is the "oneness" that is taking place in reality. And it's this oneness of sharing that many do not understand because it DEFIES exclusive thinking. I am INCLUDED in my brother, I am INCLUDED In God, and my creations are INCLUDED in me.

In God's system, a whole bunch of seemingly bizarre things are possible and true. For example Jesus talks about how when you GIVE in reality, you SHARE it, and now YOU have it AND the other has it. Because now both of you share the same thing. And instead of having to LOSE the thing, you now allow another to GAIN it while you RETAIN it. Which means it has INCREASED. This defies the ego's reasoning.

"Ideas are increased by sharing."

It would be silly to suggest that when God creates, he sacrifices himself and there is nothing of himself left, given that he GAVE ALL of himself to his creation. But that's what the ego would conclude. The ego would also conclude that if YOU have everything, NO ONE else can have ANYTHING, because there is nothing left to have that is not already yours.

Ego produces a FINITE system because it does not want to share anything and so sees everything as LIMITED in its amount. This also leads to conditional love, like love is a scarce commodity to be traded. The ego would say if you have all of God, no-one else can have any of God, because the ego is based on SELFISHNESS, which arises naturally as part of a system of exclusion. As Jesus confirms:

"Each Soul knows God completely. This IS the miraculous power of the Soul. The fact that each Soul has this power completely is a fact that is entirely alien to human thinking, in which if any ONE has everything, there is nothing LEFT."

In the ego system, when you give something, you lose it, the other gains it, you sacrifice, and there is no increase. If I have a pizza and I want to "share" it with you, I have to SACRIFICE AND LOSE half the pizza. This is compromise, not sharing. We both have less than wholeness. But in heaven, its the total opposite. I can have the whole pizza, you can have the whole pizza, because we share it. We OVERLAP. We merge together and are one in our having of the pizza. And now we BOTH have THE WHOLE.

Similarly when you think about sons of God, the EGO's way of thinking would say you have to put things in concrete boxes and keep them SEPARATE. Which leads you to conclude, EITHER I am in my body, OR I am in your body, but not both. But God's law would say, I am in my brother and in myself at the same time. What is true of me is true of him. Therefore there are TWO brothers who ARE ONE. Their oneness or union DOES NOT IN ANY WAY overthrow or erase or undo or cancel, the fact that there are STILL TWO. And this applies clearly in cases like "one brother is all brothers", and "I and my father are one." Jesus confirms:

"This appears to contradict another statement: "I and my Father are one." It doesn't. There are still separate parts in the statement, in recognition of the fact that the Father is GREATER. Actually, the original statement was "are of one KIND.""

"Every mind is in all minds."

Notice here that he clarifies that there are STILL TWO PARTS in the statement. There is still ME and GOD. Two entities. Yet, they are ONE. Which means logically, 1=1 and 2=1. This makes no sense to the ego. But it is true. And accurate. And correct. This is how things are in reality. God has created a son, SHARED everything with him, so now THEY BOTH have everything, and thus they BOTH AS TWO ... are one. Their oneness does not undo their twoness, and their twoness does not undo their oneness. None of this has to do with the ego or "the separation".

The ego on the other hand, or those who THINK WITH the ego, tend to think about God's kingdom in EITHER OR terms. This is a complete logical failure. It results in false conclusions all over the place. If AIR, let's say, is in one box AND in another box, the ego would have to say, the air can only be IN one box OR the other box, not both. But the air is in both boxes. Similarly, a son of God is in his own box, BUT he is ALSO in the boxes of all the other sons. And in God's box/being.

If you use ego reasoning to draw conclusions about the inner contents of the Kingdom, YOU WILL come to a false conclusions, guaranteed. God's Kingdom is not made up of SEPARATE (un-shared) BOXES. It's made of SHARING boxes. So you can't say "either this or that", or "either one son or many", or "either God or God and a son", or "either oneness or separation" or "either one or many". That's all ego thought. It's a mistake. You have to THINK LIKE God to "get" what God's system is really like. And that way of think is to think WAAAY outside the box.

Once you recognize that God's system is based on a totally different kind of logic, basically "BOTH AND" rather than "EITHER OR", *EVERYTHING* Jesus says no longer is a contradiction. It is no longer contradictory to say "God has but one son knowing them all as one". It does not mean He only has a count of one son, because that ignores the fact he has many. And is does not mean that by having many they are "separate" in the ego sense, because they DO SHARE EVERYTHING and therefore transcend their boxes and thus ARE one. Their oneness and manyness coexists.

If all you do with these kind of statements is to TAKE SIDES with one PART of the statement and relegate the other to "the ego", that's a total fail. Because now you will relegate perfectly legitimate multitudes of creations of God to the realm of EGO, or multiple minds are now considered fragments of one mind, or multiple sons is considered an illusion. WHICH IS WRONG. It is completely a total failure of logical reasoning because the wrong kind of logic is being used

You can't just say "well it says I and my father are one, therefore I don't exist.". That's BS. That's what the EGO concludes. That's not God's conclusion, nor is it true. It is still true that YES, essentially, in truth, you and God ARE ONE THING. But, this oneness DOES NOT in the traditional sense mean or imply that there aren't ALSO two things. God IS a father and DID create a son.

I want to just make it clear that this is also NOT the same thing as"duality". Some people will argue that God having many of anything is duality. It is not the same at all.

Duality is the ego's idea of separateness. That is, that something is EITHER this OR that. This denies sharing. When you change the "OR" into an "AND", to correctly map to God's nature, the statement becomes THIS AND THAT. Which now suggests that there is sharing between TWO or more things. This is no longer duality, but it is also NOT THE END of individuality or many-ness. In any "contradictory" statement Jesus makes like that, THIS (part A) AND THAT (part B) are BOTH true. Without cancelling each other, and without opposing each other.

God's Kingdom is not duality. Duality means separate boxes WITHOUT sharing. As Jesus confirms:

"It is the part that believes your existence means you are SEPARATE. Everything the ego perceives is a separate whole, without the relationships that imply BEING."

Those RELATIONSHIPS, are the SHARING nature of the Kingdom. You need more than one of something to have relationship. It's what joins you with God and the Christ mind. But these relationships also do NOT undo your individuality. Nor does it imply that you having a self is unholy.

God who is whole, creates additional wholes beings. He cannot create partial beings. "The soul has not only been created perfect, it has been FULLY created, there is no lack in it." So now if God has a son, which he does, because he's a creator, and a father, His son MUST BE A WHOLE, yet to ego logic you can't have two wholes.

If God is all encompassing, there is NO ROOM FOR ANY SON AT ALL. To the ego, anyway. Because "two wholes" is nonsense to the ego. Yet many proponents of oneness and non-duality like the idea of there being at least a son still, which is COMPLETELY illogical in any thought system.

Ego thinkers who struggle with logic will conclude this. But the truth is God does have a son, and there ARE TWO WHOLES. The reason this is POSSIBLE is because of sharing. The two wholes SHARE everything, and therefore ARE ALSO ONE WHOLE. EACH SON therefore is a WHOLE SON, has everything, and shares it with the WHOLE of the rest. As Jesus confirms:

"God who encompasses all being, NEVERTHELESS created "separate" beings, who have EVERYTHING individually, and want to share it to increase their joy."

This is a statement of divine logic. God is whole, and yet, he SHARED himself to create MANY "separate" beings, INDIVIDUAL WHOLES - souls, sons, who HAVE EVERYTHING because they share all of God, and they WANT to SHARE it. This statement was taken out of later editions btw, probably due to ego thought processes that deemed it "nonsense" or "suggesting separation", appearing to be a contradiction when it IS NOT. God created separate beings who are share as one.

Technically God should not have a son, or be a father, or a creator, if God is everything. Because what is all encompassing cannot have an opposite, thus cannot create a division or separation. BUT God DOES that, not by SPLITTING, but by SHARING. He allows within his own being the presence of additional beings provided they SHARE ALL of what is, thus NOT invalidating their individuality OR the wholeness of the system

"Nothing real can be increased, except by sharing."

Even to the ego the idea of God having even ONE son makes no sense. It implies separation and two-ness. And that is against the EGO'S spiritualized concept of "oneness" meaning "a count of one". Ego reasons, if you remove all separations, you must end up with ONE BLOB. One perfect blob, which we'll call oneness or God. And thus IT concludes THIS is what God is like. But this is the logical outcome of EGO thought processes. And it is COMPLETELY WRONG.

Or perhaps we can say it is partly right, because God IS one and his whole creation IS one, BUT.... it is also many. And it is this "one AND many" which the ego CANNOT comprehend. It can reason there is one, OR many, but not both. And BOTH is true. Because God IS a creator of many sons, and has a FAMILY. And his nature is to share, and be inclusive, which means BOTH me AND God exist.

"the whole family of God, or the Sonship"

"Ultimately, every member of the family of God must return"

AND, you have your own creations, which further adds to the sonship. AND God created the holy spirit. AND the angels. The Holy Trinity DOES have three entities. And "The Kingdom of God includes all his children and their creations." AND "Heaven is the sum of all God's thoughts, in number infinite." Infinite creations is a LOT MORE than "one". But the ego would balk at this as if it's some kind of "duality", or separation, or ego. EGO concludes that God is ego-like!

So if you really want to grasp HOW and WHY Jesus is NOT contradicting himself, and WHY his seemingly opposite statements are NOT against each other, and why ALL parts of his statements are true simultaneously, and why God did create multiple children who are BROTHERS, and why separate individual beings does not mean ego or duality, you have to adopt a whole different way of reasoning. A thought system LIKE how God thinks.

"Either this or that" is ego and DOES NOT work when used to think about ANYTHING in heaven. And this one "default" way of reasoning is what almost EVERY acim student uses, because we don't recognize that we're basing all our thought on a false permise and assumption. It's an assumption to believe that two things cannot be one thing, or it's "natural" for two things to be separate and not share anything, or that you can never have two things being one thing. You have to question this.

Such thinking has led to countless horrendous manglings of the course material and its meaning. Relegating Jesus's TRUE statements to PARTIAL truths and partial falsehoods. Which has produced interpretations of the course which fall way short. People then either conclude WRONG things about heaven, or they give up and exclaim its not possible to undestand it because they can't see HOW to think outside the box. BOTH are ego reactions to ITS failed logic.

"No-one who looks upon this "reasoning" EXACTLY as it is could fail to see it does NOT follow, and it makes NO sense. Yet it SEEMS sensible"

To the ego, the truth is UTTER NONSENSE. But what is nonsense to the ego, makes perfect sense to God. To him it is completely natural to create an infinite number of creations which all are whole and coexisting in total harmony, sharing everything without selfishness or egotism. And God's creations DO NOT think in terms of "me or you", but in terms of US. You have real holy brothers and always will.

"We are creation, WE, the sons of God."

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