ACIM Chapter 2 The Separation and the Atonement

The title for chapter 2 is The Separation and the Atonement. Within this chapter are the following sub-titles: The Origins of Separation, The Atonement as Defense, The Altar of God, Healing as Release from Fear, The Function of the Miracle Worker, Fear and Conflict, Cause and Effect and the Meaning of the Last Judgment.

The Garden of Eden was the condition of the mind of man before the separation occurred. Man knew that he was complete in himself and there was nothing he needed because he was connected to creator God. With the lies of the serpent, man began to believe that with his own mind he could change what God created, that he was lacking something, that he could distort his perception of himself and of God, and that he could do whatever he wanted. All fear is ultimately reducible to the basic misperception that you have the ability to usurp the power of God.

The Atonement (the correction of your false perceptions) undoes this separation and restores your mind to wholeness. Eventually everyone will go through this process and have their mind restored. You can procrastinate on when you will do this, but God has set limits on your ability to mis-create (creating from fear/false perceptions rather than love/truth). Eventually everyone begins to recognize that there must be a better way to live, and when this thought is awakened within you, you begin your search beyond just your physical existence and perceive the spiritual side of life. This entails realizing that spiritual sight is real and physical sight is an illusion.

Only the mind can create so all correction of misperceptions begins at the thought level. The spirit is already perfect and the body only exists as a learning device for the mind. The body responds to whatever the mind tells it. The atonement enables us to have “right-mindedness.” As the Holy Spirit reveals to you the errors in your thoughts about how you perceive, believe and understand yourself and everything around you, right-mindedness begins to occur and you begin to have the mind of Christ.

I am going to give you a direct quote from Jesus because there is no way my words could say it as well as his. “You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to mis-create and have not allowed me to guide it. When you are fearful, you have chosen wrongly. You must change your mind, not your behavior, and this is a matter of willingness. The correction of fear is your responsibility. Before you choose to do anything, ask me if your choice is in accord with mine. If you are sure that it is, there will be no fear. Only your mind can produce fear. It does so whenever it is conflicted in what it wants, producing inevitable strain because wanting and dong are discordant. This can be corrected only by accepting a unified goal.

Know first that this is fear
Fear arises from lack of love
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love
Perfect love is the Atonement (correction of false perceptions)

As long as you recognize only the need for the remedy, you will remain fearful. However, as soon as you accept the remedy, you have abolished the fear. This is how true healing occurs.”

Those of you raised in the church are familiar with the term, The Last Judgement. There are different interpretations of what this is, when it happens, who it is for and what purpose it serves. This book has some interesting things to say about this. It is actually a final healing rather than a final punishment. Punishment is opposed to the restoration of right-mindedness which is the goal of the last judgement. The last judgement means everyone will finally come to understand what is worthy and what is not. Therefore, it is something you do for yourself rather than something God is going to do to you. It is you working through the atonement process while you are here on earth, correcting all the mis-perceptions or mis-creations you created from fear so everything you finally retain is lovable.

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