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:

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 a course in miracles.” 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 acim. Pun intended on this one: Let’s finish setting the stage for this discussion with the following quote from yet another author:

In this second article in the series on the “miracle” and the “mind,” we’re going to continue our discussion of spiritual specialness as someone being chosen by God to do His work without recognizing it is really the ego. In A Course in Miracles (ACIM), many link being a Course teacher of God with being miracle-minded just as we see in many religions with chosen spiritual leaders such as a pastors, ministers and priests, etc. In the first article on spiritual specialness, we incorporated a quote by Kenneth Wapnick that, “Love is quiet and need not make assertions.” Being someone chosen by God to do “god’s work” is an assertion of the ego; and it makes the error real. It is a defense against God’s Love wherein we don’t recognize that we’re actually competing with God (and thus everyone).

Mr. Wapnick also has some wonderful passages that get straight to the point on this matter. These are taken from his two-book set on, “The Message Of A Course In Miracles” which is filled with what the Course does and does not say. These quotes speak for themselves and do not need reinterpretation:

Spiritual specialness refers to people acting out their egos’ specialness, but disguising it as spiritual dress. This frequently comes in the form of believing that they have received “special” instructions, “special” favors, or “special” commissions from “special” divine persons such as Jesus or the Holy Spirit, all of which serves to make these people spiritually different from others and therefore more “special” (Few Choose To Listen, p. 141).

What we are calling “spiritual specialness” appears in the members of almost all spiritual or religious movements. This usually comes in the form of believing that the group or members have been singled out by God or the Holy Spirit to perform some holy function that will benefit humanity and contribute towards the saving of the world. However, such intrinsic specialness is clearly not the case with the teachings of A Course in Miracles (Few Choose To Listen, p. 144).

Specialness is also seen in a variety of other forms beyond the labels just mentioned. For example, claiming who we “share the stage” with, i.e., other Course teachers is the same limelight error. We do all of this because of our enormous repressed fear and guilt; and we do it instead of learning and practicing the Course. This is a course on sameness and one that exemplifies kindness:

This inability to truly practice A Course in Miracles’ kind principles of forgiveness that they study, and sometimes even teach, has perhaps been the most serious failing among its students. This book’s sequel, “Few Choose to Listen,” discusses how students often conceal their thought system of specialness under the guise of spiritual counseling or friendship. The absence of simple kindness is, unfortunately, unmistakable to all except the Course student making the spiritual pronouncements (All Are Called, p. 306).

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