In this series of articles, we have been discussing specialness and more specifically spiritual specialness as it is becoming a prevalent form in the Course community. Like all forms of specialness, spiritual specialness is a defense of the ego (against the opposite). It maintains the separation in the mind as the spiritual reason for differences. In this fifth article, we’re going to bring the discussion around to idols as it is meant in A Course in Miracles (ACIM).
You will recall from the fourth article on fragmentation, we are looking to become aware of when we are choosing the ego (Ken Wapnick) because the ego is the part of the mind that believes in division (T-5.V.3). Idols should warrant consideration and learning as they are ego:
Idol is the symbol of the substitution of the ego for our true Self or god; a false belief that there can be something other than, or more than God, and thus separate from Him, a belief which is then projected onto the special relationship: people, things or ideas (Glossary-Index for A Course in Miracles, Kindle location 550).
Here is the answer to every problem that will confront you. In this world, you believe you are sustained by everything but God. Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, influence, prestige, being liked, knowing the “right” people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers. All these things are your replacements for the Love of God (Lesson 50).
Here within the dream, or illusion, the word symbol definition for “idol” is, “A person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered.” In the last article on fragmentation, we also discussed how spiritually special Course teachers are cult leaders and the word symbol definition for a “cult” which most do not consider is, “A misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.” All of these symbols point to the same thing: Specialness in all its forms are idols meant to replace the Love of God and maintain the separation in the mind.
Throughout this series we’ve also referred to spiritual specialness as caring who they share the stage or limelight with, i.e., the special relationship and teaching their own ego version of the truth. Pun intended on this one: Let’s finish setting the stage for this discussion with the following quote from yet another author:
Everybody is trying to find and express their truth. Their so-called truth is actually designed to keep them stuck where they are. What J is teaching in his Course is that the truth is not different for everyone. It is not relative. He’s saying the truth is the truth whether you understand and agree with it or not. The truth is not subject to your interpretation, and neither is his Course. He’s the Teacher, you’re the student. If that’s not the case, then why do the Course? (The Disappearance of the Universe, Gary Renard, page 92).
Idols of Specialness
Kenneth Wapnick is known for saying that the Course is not for those who believe they are “spiritual giants” which spiritual specialness believes. Spiritual giants use the first law of chaos: The truth is different for everyone (T-23.II.2) which is what Renard’s quote is pointing us toward understanding. This cannot be said enough: Spiritually special “giants” teach their ego interpretation of the truth, i.e., a variety of forms of idols meant to replace God’s Love and maintain the separation. If this is the heart of the problem, then it’s probably a good idea to really want to understand this so you can learn when you are choosing an idol, i.e., the ego.
The practical application of the Holy Spirit’s purpose is extremely simple, but it is unequivocal. In fact, in order to be simple it must be unequivocal (T-17.Vi.1:1-2). Jesus keeps saying that this is a very simple course… why it is simple: It’s unequivocal. There are not two different ways of interpreting this course. The Course is what it is. It says what it says. It doesn’t say different things to different people (Rules for Decision, Kenneth Wapnick).
Yet, this is precisely what spiritually special Course teachers as cult leaders are doing! Wapnick makes a very valid point that can help us understand when we are choosing an idol of specialness:
Have Jesus beside you here in the illusion (and notice it says Jesus and not a spiritually special Course teacher) but don’t keep it that way. Don’t keep bringing Him into the illusion. You want to learn to go where He is (Kenneth Wapnick, parenthesis addition mine).
Therefore, it is imperative that you are looking to the Holy Spirit instead of an idol to teach you. What that means is first, idols are our own forms of specialness which we all act out in our lives in some way or another. However, this also includes not projecting our specialness desires onto others by not choosing a spiritually special Course teacher as a cult special idol thereby making that form of ego into a replacement for the Holy Spirit as our teacher which is the same as a replacement for God’s Love.
Think about it. Cult leaders or the spiritually special do not believe laws apply to them whether they are breaking them outright or merely skirting the edges. History is filled with examples. In fact, they don’t even think ethics apply to them. They are outside everything because they are “giants” chosen by God to do his work whether as leaders or group members. If you choose to endorse their specialness, you choose specialness for yourself because we are all the same. It’s not true joining since it brings together what is first believed to be separate but isn’t really separate in reality. Belief in separation is reinforced, i.e., fragmentation is made to appear real which divides the Sonship. There is no other reason on the level of the mind for why some are “in” the group and others are “out.”
Hence, the dream is a dream of devastation made to conceal love and usurp God (Echoes of Eternity video on YouTube, Kenneth Wapnick). Therefore, it cannot be kind to ourselves or these spiritually special Course teachers to keep choosing idols of specialness to replace God’s Love whether we are joining in their dream of specialness or making our own. There is no difference.
Let us now come back to miracle-mindedness, the point of this series, and reiterate why we must look at our own specialness and be willing to forgive instead of looking to replace God’s Love with any idol whatsoever. It comes down to the desire to return home or to remain a dreamer of devastation:
Miracles are right-mindedness, “thoughts of God,” true perception: used infrequently to refer to thoughts of the real world; e.g., peace, salvation, healing and the miracle. Our joining together through the undoing of our thoughts of specialness, is simply the acceptance of our inherent oneness as God’s Son; sharing this purpose of forgiveness is our one and only function (Glossary Index, Kindle location 759, 983).
The miracle establishes you dream a dream and that its contents are untrue. I am the dreamer of the dream. It’s your dream. You are not the product of the fragments of the dream. There is only one dream. Forms are doing what you dream as there is no separation, i.e., we are all having one dream of separation played out in many forms (Echoes of Eternity YouTube video, Kenneth Wapnick).
Remember, you teach what you want to learn; and you learn what you teach. Do not teach what you do not want to learn. It is that simple if you are honest and mindful of what you are choosing. Pay attention and be mindful of what you are choosing if you are a serious Course student.
Be kind if you want to learn the Course. Spiritual specialness is not kind. It’s veiled hostility as a dream of devastation which looks upon the contents of the wrong mind and asks for more because it believes the contents to be true. On the other hand, a miracle looks on devastation and reminds the mind that what is sees is false. Forgiveness is the home of miracles and is first taken on faith and with willingness to one day understand (Lesson 341). Hence faith isn’t taught. It is learned with the Holy Spirit who will gladly earn it.
How you treat other people is a pretty good indication of how you feel about yourself. If you’re looking at them with hostility, you’re saying that you have a mind that’s in conflict. If you’re looking at them with kindness, it’s a symptom of a mind that has peace. Not only that, but it will determine and reinforce how you feel about yourself. It’s a cycle, either a peaceful or a vicious one. (Gary Renard. Your Immortal Reality, Kindle Location 1522).
Everyone here is fighting a hard battle because if it’s in form, it was projected from a mind at war (competition) with God (Cast No One Out, Kenneth Wapnick, parenthesis addition mine).
Again, be kind. It really is that simple. It’s the gift you give yourself, i.e., the gift that keeps on giving. Kindness doesn’t replace God’s Love. It is His Love – the mind of miracles which is a correction for the dream of devastation. The kindness of his sight rests on himself with all the tenderness it offers others (T-25.VI.1). The “his” is you. What you offer a brother you offer yourself: Specialness or kindness. We are the same One.