Course in Miracles
2 - Illusion of Separation
IIlusion of Separation
section deals with a fundamental misuse of knowledge, referred
to in the Bible as the cause of the "fall," or separation.
There are some
definitions which I asked you to take from the dictionary which
will be helpful here. They are somewhat unusual since they are not
the first definitions which are given. Nevertheless, the fact that
each of them does appear in the dictionary should be reassuring.
to extend forward or out.
Project (noun): a plan in the mind.
World: a natural grand division.
We will refer
later to projection as related to both mental health and mental
illness. We have already observed that man can create an empty shell,
but he cannot create nothing at all. This emptiness provides the
screen for the misuse of projection.
Garden of Eden, which is described as a literal garden in the
Bible, was not an actual garden at all. It was merely a mental state
of complete need-lack. Even in the literal account, it is noteworthy
that the pre-separation state was essentially one in which man needed
nothing. The “tree of knowledge”
is also an overly literal figure. These concepts need to be clarified
before the real meaning of the separation, or the “detour
into fear,” can be fully understood.
as defined above, is a fundamental attribute of God which He gave
to His Son. In the creation, God projected His creative ability
from Himself to the Souls He created, and He also imbued them with
the same loving will to create. The Soul has not only been fully
created but has also been created perfect. There is no emptiness
in it. Because of its likeness to its Creator, it is creative. No
Child of God can lose this ability because it is inherent in what
he is, but he can use it inappropriately. Whenever projection is
used inappropriately, it always implies that some emptiness or lack
exists and that it is in man's ability to put his own ideas there
instead of truth.
If you consider
carefully what this entails, the following will become quite apparent:
the assumption is implicit that what God created can be changed
by the mind of man.
the concept that what is perfect can be rendered imperfect, or
wanting, is accepted.
the belief that man can distort the Creations of God, including
himself, is accepted.
the idea that, since man can create himself, the direction of
his own creation is up to him is implied.
distortions represent a picture of what actually occurred in the
separation. None of this existed before, nor does it actually exist
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.
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
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.
World of Perception
the “lies of the serpent”
were introduced, they were specifically called “lies”
because they are not true.
man listened, all he heard was untruth. He
does not have to continue to believe what is not true unless he
chooses to do so. All of his miscreations
can literally disappear in “the twinkling of an eye,”
because they are merely visual misperceptions. Man’s
Spiritual eye (Holy Spirit) can sleep, but a sleeping eye can still
see. What is seen in dreams seems to be very real.
Bible mentions that “a
deep sleep fell upon Adam,” and
nowhere is there any reference to his waking up. Genesis
of man in the world, as he sees it, has not yet been marked by any
genuine or comprehensive reawakening or rebirth. This is impossible
as long as man projects in the spirit of miscreation. It still remains
within him, however, to project as God projected His Own Spirit
to him. In reality, this is his only choice, because his free will
was given him for his own joy in creating the perfect.
All fear is
ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that man has the
ability to usurp the power of God. It can only be emphasized that
he neither can nor has been able to do this. In this fact lies the
real justification for his escape from fear. The escape is brought
about by his acceptance of the Atonement,
which places him in a position to realize that his own errors never
the “deep sleep” fell upon Adam, he was in
a condition to experience nightmares because he was asleep.
If a light is
suddenly turned on while someone is dreaming a fearful dream, he
may initially interpret the light itself as a part of his own dream,
and be afraid of it. However, when he awakens, the light is correctly
perceived as the release from the dream, which is no longer accorded
It is quite
apparent that this release does not depend on the kind of “knowledge”
which is nothing more than deceiving lies. The knowledge which illuminates,
rather than obscures, is the knowledge which not only sets you free,
but which also shows you clearly that you are free.
you may believe are of no concern to the miracle, which can heal
any of them with equal ease.
It makes no
distinctions among misperceptions. Its sole concern is to distinguish
between truth on the one hand, and all kinds of errors on the other.
Some miracles may seem to be of greater magnitude than others. But
remember the first point in this course; that there is no order
of difficulty in miracles.
you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love.
These can be either from yourself and others, or from yourself to
others, or from others to you. Peace
is an attribute in you. You cannot find it outside. All mental illness
is some form of external searching. Mental health is inner peace.
It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without,
and capable, through your own miracles, of correcting the external
conditions which proceed from lack of love in others.