Weekly Questions and Answers, 10/23/2002

This week's questions:
Q #3: A question about different levels of meaning in the Course.
Q #4: A question about reconciling the war on terrorism with the Course's teachings.

Q #3: In my line of work, the degree of adherence to detail and precision make the difference between what is perceived as an amateurish job and a professional job. Yet, I have been told by a number of Course students that my line of work isn’t important in the big scheme of things, so I should just "let it go" when it comes to administering the quality of the end product. I am confused. Could you please help me understand what I am missing?

A: What you are missing is that some Course students suffer from what we refer to "level confusion." This common error confuses the metaphysical teachings of the Course (Level 1) with the part of the Course that deals only with the illusory dream (Level II). In your question, Level 1 is represented by the "big scheme of things" i.e., "Nothing unreal exists" (T-in.2:3), and Level 2 is represented by you and your line of work, i.e., a body living in a world controlled by a standard of good and bad. As long as you believe you are in this world, it is important that you do the best you can in whatever roles you have chosen. Your specific roles are what constitute the classroom that the Holy Spirit can use to teach you forgiveness. Without the specifics, we can never get to the One Who is beyond the world entirely. Nonetheless, it is relieving to know that, in the end, the work you do does not matter. What matters is with whom you do it. And you can tell with whom you have worked by whether you are peaceful or anxious.

Q #4: After reading your Lighthouse Article "September 11th and the Aftermath" (December 2001), I wonder: Is it ever possible for a Course student to wage a war against terrorists and not be on the actual battlefield with the ego but to be with Jesus instead?

A: Yes, it is possible in principle, since A Course in Miracles is not a course in behavior, but rather a course in changing how we think; or better yet, with whom we think. To believe otherwise is to say that there is a situation in the world that the Holy Spirit or Jesus cannot use as an opportunity for us to learn forgiveness.

Considering it takes two people, each joined with the ego, to create a battlefield, one person choosing to think with Jesus would eliminate the battlefield. At that point one would not be waging a war, but rather, paraphrasing from the text, putting a limit on one’s ability to miscreate (T-2.III.3:3). As stated in the article, "There is a way of halting aggression, whether it is on the individual or world level, that can be firm and resolute, and yet still be kind." This way is through joining with Jesus. With Jesus by our side, we would see the terrorists as fearful, rather than evil. Recognizing their call for help and love, we would perform whatever action, or inaction, Jesus’ love would guide us toward.

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