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Thoughts on One Son & Non-Dualism

What is Creation? Creation is the sum of all God's Thoughts, in number infinite and everywhere without all limit. Only Love creates and only like Itself.~ACIM Lesson 321

    The term, “non-dualism” seems to be pretty popular in today's Western spiritual circles.  It seems if one wants to sound more spiritual, all they need to do is to throw this term somewhere in what they are saying. A Course in Miracles, it seems has fallen into this (somewhat limited) conceptual category, even though the course never uses the term once. Instead, the course uses the term OneMindedness in referring to what could be called the non-dualistic aspect of ACIM.

   Yet, many people seem to equate non-dualism as reducing everything down to a numerical number. But as the course asks and answers what Creation is, it shows that Creation is the sum of all of God's Thoughts INFINITE, not finite. There seems to be a difference between Oneness and the numerical number 1.


   The other day, I was reading a quote someone copied and pasted from one of Renard's books stating that there is only one of us here, as there is only One Son. This interpretation seems to have created some kind of circular solipsism in which each person believes that they made up everyone else and that everyone else is merely the central person's ego fragment. In essence, one's brothers do not really exist. This interpretation seems to create an attitude among many people where they reduce brothers down to being self serving objects to be used by the central person for their own “salvation”, instead of communicating and communing with brothers by joining with them. In more severe cases, people have used the concepts of ACIM and illusion to simply berate, ridicule, and be nasty to others based on the “fact” that it doesn't matter because “it is all an illusion.”

   Yet, I do not believe this is what the course teaches. In fact, it says that in this world we exist with and for our brothers, in Heaven we co-exist with God. Yes, in sleep we make up our brothers by seeing them in a body, and making ego's of them from our own past learning and our own self concept, so we, as the course tells us, do not really see our brothers, but our own split minds everywhere. As the course says, “ In sleep you are alone, and your awareness is narrowed to yourself. And that is why the nightmares come. You dream of isolation because your eyes are closed. You do not see your brothers, and in the darkness you cannot look upon the light you gave to them.”~ACIM


   But what about the fact that the course says God has only One Son? Wouldn't multiplicity then have to be metaphor and dualism? Well if one equates non-dualism with a reduction to a numerical number, then yes, it would have to be. Yet, the course states that Creation is the sum of all of God's Thoughts (multiplicity) in number infinite (multiplicity). I think the problem in this, is the literal interpretation that the One Son is just that...a Son....a persona of some sort. But if we unwrap what the course defines as the Son, we may see a more open interpretation where multiplicity is not metaphor and not contradicting the OneMindedness (non-dualism aspect) that the course speaks of.

    The course tells us that God has only One Son and then explains what this One Son is. The One Son is the Sonship and the Sonship is said to be the sum of all that God created. In the earlier versions (UrText and Original Edition) the course states the Sonship is the sum of all the souls God created and also refer to the Sonship as the Family of God.  In the 50 miracle principles, God is stated as being the Giver of Life. Thus does this statement infer that God is the Prime Cause of Life, thus making Life, God's Effect. If the Son of God is God's Effect, then it is not a stretch to say that the Son of God is Life itself. Thus am I and my brothers (and sisters and all of life) an integral aspect of Life being a son of God and being Life itself as Son of God. I am not separate from my brothers, cause I cannot be separate from Life.

   Is the non-dualism aspect of ACIM about OneMindedness or a reduction to a numerical number? The problem is, if there is only God which would be the reduction to the numerical number 1, then taken to its logical conclusion, it would have to have been God that put Himself to sleep and dreamed a dream of separation in which God would need salvation to wake up to Himself and Reality. This would make God insane, not to mention that we would be God, which the course calls the Authority Problem that created the whole mess of separation in the first place. The argument could be made that it never really happened so in Reality God never did this, but even a dream/illusion MUST be dreamed by a mind. Anyone looking to their own night time dreams can see that this is so.  But the course doesn't say there is only Cause, but that Cause must have effect to establish Causation.

    The course is more about idealism than this interpretation of non-dualism. As the course tells us, we are an idea, the Holy Spirit is the idea of healing, the ego is an idea (though a miscreation), time and space are ideas and God is an idea.

   OneMindeness is then only the Thoughts of God that is shared with all creation.  Since Creation is the Will of God, we are the Will of God. To be of one mind is to be of one will. As the course states, “This communication is the Will of God. Creation and communication are synonymous. God created every mind by communicating His Mind to it, thus establishing it forever as a channel for the reception of His Mind and Will. Since only beings of a like order can truly communicate, His creations naturally communicate with Him and like Him.”~ACIM

    Though I could add much more, I think this blog is long enough, LOL.

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Comment by Eric G. on June 3, 2012 at 9:50am

I was just reading the UrText and I was reading a couple of passages that tied into this blog. As mentioned before, the course tells us that Creation and Communication are synonymous and only beings of a like order can truly communicate.  Yet the course also tells us that miracles make minds one in God. So again, on one hand there is multiplicity and on the other hand, there is singular. But what does the course mean by minds becoming one in God? There are two statements in the Urtext that may help with answering this.

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."~UrText

The real meaning of "are of one kind" is "of one mind or will." When the will of the Sonship and the Father are one, their perfect accord IS Heaven.~UrText

Eric: So in essence, to be of one mind also means to be of one will. This makes sense considering that only the Thoughts of God that are extended to all minds are real.

The course also speaks of creation and communication as being synonymous, and the separation is another way of saying there is a block in communication. It also says that only beings of a like order can truly communicate. There is a passage in the UrText and Original Edition that is not found in the FIP version. It says:

The world, in its original connotation (natural grand division), included both the proper creation of man by God, AND the proper creation by man in his Right Mind. The latter required the endowment of man by God with free will, because all loving creation is freely given. Nothing in either of 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. ~UrText & Original Edition

Eric: This seems to fall in line with beings of a like(same) order being able to communicate which the course says is synonymous with creation. When there is a block in communication within the Sonship, which would also block communication with creation and Creator, the course tells us,

An "unwilling will" does not mean anything, being a contradiction in terms which actually leaves nothing. When you think you are unwilling to will with God, you are not thinking. God's Will is thought. It cannot be contradicted by thought. God does not contradict Himself, and His Sons, who are like Him, cannot contradict themselves or Him. Yet their thought is so powerful that they can even imprison the minds of God's Sons if they so choose. This choice does make the Son's function unknown to him, but never to his Creator. And because it is not unknown to his Creator, it is forever knowable to him.”

There is a line in the course that is often truncated and used for non-dualism reduction to a numerical number. It says, “The first in time means nothing, but the First in eternity is God the Father, Who is both First and One. Beyond the First, there is no other, for there is no order, no second or third and nothing but the First.”~ACIM

Yet, read in context and simply reading one more line it says, “ You who belong to the First Cause, created by Him like unto Himself and part of Him, are more than merely guiltless.”~ACIM

Eric: So the First that the course is referring to in which there is no other; in which there is no second or third, etc. is referring to Cause. In time the first means nothing, obviously because there seems to be many causes, but in eternity there is only One Cause. Yet as the course tells us, Cause MUST have an effect. Not because effect creates Cause, but it does establish Causation.

The problem that non-dualism has when it is seen as reduction to a numerical number and ultimately there is only God and creation is a metaphor, is the fact that ultimately then, it would have to be God that put Himself to sleep and dreamed a dream of separation from Himself and made a world of illusion in which God would have to save Himself from Himself through Atonement and wake up to Himself. Even an illusion such as a dream MUST be dreamed by a mind. Even our own night time dreams shows this.  It is a circular process in which as the course says, one must then appeal to mysteries, though the course also says that healing is not mysterious.

Comment by Eric G. on May 12, 2012 at 10:55am

Just to add, the course actually says that everything is an idea

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