Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D

(adapted from the Glossary-Index for A Course in Miracles , Fourth Edition)
available from
Reproduced by kind permission of the Foundation For A Course In Miracles, 1275 Tennanah Lake Road, Roscoe, NY 12776- 5905, USA.

(see: attack)
(see: Holy Spirit)


the Holy Spirit's plan of correction to undo the ego and heal the belief
in separation; came into being after the separation, and will be
completed when every separated Son has fulfilled his part in the
Atonement by total forgiveness; its principle is that the separation
never occurred.


the attempt to justify the projection of guilt onto others,
demonstrating their sinfulness and guilt so that we may feel free of it;
because attack is always a projection of responsibility for the
separation, it is never justified; also used to denote the thought of
separation from God, for which we believe God will attack and punish us in return.

(Note–"attack" and "anger" are used as virtual synonyms.)


the Course speaks of the separation as being a dream from which we need to awaken; salvation therefore consists of hearing the Holy Spirit–the Call to awaken–in ourselves and in our brothers: thus accepting the oneness with each other that undoes the separation which gave rise to the dream in the beginning.


level I: the embodiment of the ego; the thought of separation projected
by the mind and becoming form; the witness to the seeming reality of the separation by being a limitation on love, excluding it from our
awareness; includes both our physical bodies as well as our personalities.

level II: inherently neutral, neither "good" nor "evil"; its purpose is
given it by the mind.

w-m: the symbol of guilt and attack

r-m: the means of teaching and learning forgiveness, whereby the ego's
guilt is undone; the instrument of salvation through which the Holy
Spirit speaks.


symbol for the transition from perception to knowledge, and thus is
equated variously with the Holy Spirit, the real world, and God's last
step; used also to denote the shift from false to true perception and
the real world.
bringing darkness (illusions) to the light (truth)

the process of undoing denial and dissociation, expressing the decision
to bring our guilt to the light of the Holy Spirit to be looked at and
forgiven, rather than fearfully keeping it in the darkness of our
unconscious minds where it could never be seen and undone; living in
illusions brings sickness and pain, bringing them to truth is healing
and salvation.


cause and effect are mutually dependent, since the existence of one
determines the existence of the other; moreover, if something is not a
cause it cannot exist, since all being has effects.

knowledge: God is the only Cause, and His Son is His Effect.

perception: the thought of separation–sin–is the cause of the dream of suffering and death, which is sin's effect; forgiveness undoes sin by demonstrating that sin has no effect; i.e., the peace of God and our loving relationship with Him is totally unaffected by what others have done to us; therefore, not having effects, sin cannot be a cause and thus cannot exist.


the Second Person of the Trinity; the one Son of God or totality of the
Sonship; the Self that God created by extension of His spirit; though
Christ creates as does His Father, He is not the Father since God
created Christ, but Christ did not create God.
(Note–not to be equated exclusively with Jesus.)
see: creations, vision


knowledge: synonymous with creation, an expression of our unified
relationship to God which can be likened to a flow of spirit and love;
only spirit can communicate, unlike the ego, which is separate by

true perception: we experience communication in our right minds through
the Holy Spirit, allowing His Love to be shared through us.


the extension of God's being or spirit, the Cause, that resulted in His
Son, the Effect; described as the First Coming of Christ; it is the
Son's function in Heaven to create, as it was God's in creating Him.

(Note–exists only at the level of knowledge, and is not equivalent to
creation or creativity as the terms are used in the world of

see: creations


the extensions of our spirit; the effects of our creating, analogous to
the creation when God created His Son by extending Himself; as
extensions of Christ, our creations are part of the Second Person of the
Trinity; creation is ongoing in Heaven, beyond time and space, and
independent of the Son's lack of awareness of it in this world.

see: creation


a symbol of the ego's attack on God and therefore on His Son, witnessing
to the "reality" of suffering, sacrifice, victimization, and death which
the world seems to manifest; also refers to the killing of Jesus, an
extreme example that taught that our true Identity of love can never be
destroyed, for death has no power over life.


w-m: the final witness to the seeming reality of the body and the
separation from our Creator, Who is life; if the body dies then it must
have lived, which means its maker–the ego–must be real and alive as
well; also seen by the ego as the ultimate punishment for our sin of
separation from God.

r-m: the quiet laying down of the body after it has fulfilled its
purpose as a teaching device.


the last remaining freedom as prisoners of this world is our power to
decide; while unknown in Heaven, decision is necessary here as it was
our decision to be separate from our Source that must be corrected; this
is accomplished by choosing the Holy Spirit instead of the ego,
right-mindedness instead of wrong-mindedness.


w-m: avoiding guilt by pushing the decision that made it out of
awareness, rendering it inaccessible to correction or Atonement; roughly equivalent to repression; protects the ego's belief that it is our
source and not God.

r-m: used to deny error and affirm truth: to deny "the denial of truth."


the post-separation state in which the Son of God dreams a world of sin, guilt, and fear, believing this to be reality and Heaven the dream; the Son, being the dreamer, is the cause of the world which is the effect, although this relationship between cause and effect appears reversed in this world, where we seem to be the effect or victim of the world;
occasionally used to denote sleeping dreams, although there is no real difference between them and waking ones, for both belong to the illusory world of perception.

see: happy dream


the belief in the reality of the separated or false self, made as
substitute for the Self Which God created; the thought of separation
that gives rise to sin, guilt, fear, and a thought system based on
specialness to protect itself; the part of the mind that believes it is
separate from the Mind of Christ; this split mind has two parts: wrong- and right-mindedness; almost always used to denote "wrong-mindedness," but can include the part of the split mind that can learn to choose right-mindedness.
(Note–not to be equated with the "ego" of psychoanalysis, but can be roughly equated with the entire psyche, of which the psychoanalytic "ego" is a part.)

face of Christ

symbol of forgiveness; the face of true innocence seen in another when
we look through Christ's vision, free from our projections of guilt;
thus it is the extension to others of the guiltlessness we see in
ourselves, independent of what our physical eyes may see.
(Note–not to be confused with the face of Jesus, nor with anything external.)


the emotion of the ego, contrasted with love, the emotion given us by God; originates in the expected punishment for our sins, which our guilt demands; the resulting terror over what we believe we deserve leads us–through the dynamics of denial and projection–to defend ourselves by attacking others, which merely reinforces our sense of vulnerability and fear, establishing a vicious circle of fear and defense.


looking at our specialness with the Holy Spirit or Jesus, without guilt
or judgment; our special function that shifts perception of another as
"enemy" (special hate) or "savior-idol" (special love) to brother or
friend, removing all projections of guilt from him; the expression of
the miracle or vision of Christ, that sees all people united in the
Sonship of God, looking beyond the seeming differences that reflect
separation: thus, perceiving sin as real makes true forgiveness
impossible; the recognition that what we thought was done to us we did to ourselves, since we are responsible for our scripts, and therefore only we can deprive ourselves of the peace of God: thus, we forgive others for what they have not done to us, not for what they have done.

see: looking at the ego


knowledge: creation, the extension of God's Love or spirit; God creates
His Son, Christ, Who in turn creates as does His Father; our function of creating, ongoing throughout eternity, is restored to our awareness when the Atonement is completed.

perception: forgiveness, healing, salvation, the acceptance of the
Atonement for ourselves; our "special function" is to forgive our
special relationships; the function of the Holy Spirit is to carry out
the plan of the Atonement, reminding each Son of God of his special


the First Person in the Trinity; the Creator, the Source of all being or
life; the Father, Whose Fatherhood is established by the existence of
His Son, Christ; the First Cause, Whose Son is His Effect; God's essence is spirit, which is shared with all creation, whose unity is the state of Heaven.


the feeling experienced in relation to sin; its reflection from our
minds is seen in all the negative feelings and beliefs we have about
ourselves, mostly unconscious; rests on a sense of inherent
unworthiness, seemingly beyond even the forgiving power of God, Who we erroneously believe demands punishment for our seeming sin of separation against Him; following the ego's counsel that to look on guilt would destroy us, we deny its presence in our minds, and then project it outward in the form of attack, either onto others as anger or onto our own bodies as sickness.

see: scarcity principle

happy dream

the Holy Spirit's correction for the ego's dream of pain and suffering;
though still illusory, the happy dream leads beyond all other illusions
to the truth; it is the dream of forgiveness in which the real world is
ultimately seen and salvation attained.


the correction in the mind of the belief in sickness that makes the
separation and the body seem real; the effect of joining with another in forgiveness, shifting perception from separate bodies–the source of all sickness–to our shared purpose of healing in this world; since healing is based on the belief that our true Identity is spirit, not the body, sickness of any kind must be illusory, as only a body or ego can suffer; healing thus reflects the principle that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.


the non-dualistic world of knowledge, wherein dwell God and His creation in the perfect unity of His Will and spirit; though exclusive of the world of perception, Heaven can be reflected here in the holy
relationship and the real world.

see: knowledge

holy instant

the instant outside time in which we choose forgiveness instead of
guilt, the miracle instead of a grievance, the Holy Spirit instead of
the ego; the expression of our little willingness to live in the
present, which opens into eternity, rather than holding on to the past and fearing the future, which keeps us in hell; also used to denote the ultimate holy instant, the real world, the culmination of all the holy instants we have chosen along the way.

holy relationship

the Holy Spirit's means to undo the unholy or special relationship by
shifting the goal of guilt to the goal of forgiveness or truth; the
process of forgiveness by which one who had perceived another as
separate joins with him in his mind through Christ's vision.

Holy Spirit

the Third Person of the Trinity Who is metaphorically described in the Course as God's Answer to the separation; the Communication Link between God and His separated Sons, bridging the gap between the Mind of Christ and our split mind; the memory of God and His Son we took with us into our dream; the One Who sees our illusions (perception), leading us through them to the truth (knowledge); the Voice for God Who speaks for Him and for our real Self, reminding us of the Identity we forgot; also referred to as Bridge, Comforter, Guide, Mediator, Teacher, and Translator.

"ideas leave not their source"

the expression of the law of cause and effect, for cause and effect
cannot be separate: an idea cannot leave the mind that thought it.

knowledge: the extension of God's Thought, His Son, has never left its Source, for what is of God can never be separate from Him.

perception: the world of separation has never left its source in the
separated mind, though it appears to be external to it; thus, there is
no material world, only a projected illusion of one.

w-m: projecting guilt from our minds by attack reinforces its presence in the mind that thought it.

r-m: extending the Love of the Holy Spirit through forgiveness–seeing Him in others–increases the awareness of His loving Presence in ourselves.


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; the anti-Christ.


something that is believed to be real but is not; the ultimate illusion
is the separation from God, upon which rest all the manifestations of
the separated world which may be understood as distortions in
perception; i.e., seeing attack instead of a call for love, sin instead
of error; the illusions of the world reinforce the belief that the body
has a value in and of itself, a source of either pleasure or pain;
forgiveness is the final illusion as it forgives what never was, and
leads beyond all illusion to the truth of God.


the source of the Course, its first person or "I"; the one who first
completed his part in the Atonement, enabling him to be in charge of the whole plan; transcending his ego, Jesus has become identified with Christ and can now serve as our model for learning and an ever-present help when we call upon him in our desire to forgive.

(Note–not to be exclusively identified with Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity.)


knowledge: strictly speaking God does not judge, since what He creates
is perfect and at one with Him; the Course's references to God's
Judgment reflect His recognition of His Son as His Son, forever loved and one with Him.


w-m: condemnation, whereby people are separated into those to be hated and those to be "loved," a judgment always based upon the past.

r-m: vision, whereby people are seen either as expressing love or
calling for it, a judgment inspired by the Holy Spirit and always based upon the present.

see: Last (Final) Judgment


the Holy Spirit's correction for the world's injustice; the belief that
God's Sons are equally loved and equally holy, undoing the judgments based on separation; the end of sacrifice and the belief that one's gain is another's loss; called "the rock on which salvation rests." knowledge

Heaven, or the pre-separation world of God and His unified creation in which there are no differences or forms, and thus it is exclusive of the world of perception; not to be confused with the common use of "knowledge," which implies the dualism of a subject who knows and an object which is known; in the Course it reflects the pure experience of non-duality, with no subject-object dichotomy.

see: Heaven

Last (Final) Judgment

knowledge: contrasted with the traditional Christian view of judgment and punishment to reflect God's loving relationship with all His Sons:

His Final Judgment.

true perception: contrasted with the traditional Christian view of
judgment and punishment and equated with the end of the Atonement when, following the Second Coming, the final distinction is made between truth and illusion, all guilt is undone, and awareness is restored to us as Christ–the Son of the living God.

last step

this step, belonging to God, occurs when the Atonement is complete and all ego interferences have been removed; when nothing remains to separate us from God, He takes the last step, raising us unto Himself; strictly speaking God does not take steps, and the term actually refers to our experience of returning to our Source Which we never truly left.


the Course asks us not to take the ego and its world seriously, for this makes them real in our minds; rather, we are urged to laugh gently at the ego thought system and all its seeming consequences, remembering at last to laugh at the "tiny, mad idea."

looking at the ego

the essence of forgiveness: looking with the Holy Spirit's or Jesus'
nonjudgmental gentleness and patience at our ego thought system; since it is guilt that prevents us from looking at our specialness, thus
sustaining the ego and keeping its true nature hidden, it is looking
without judgment at our attack thoughts that undoes the ego: thus,
looking at the ego without guilt and fear is the essence of the Atonement.

(see: bringing darkness (illusions) to the light (truth))


knowledge: the essence of God's being and relationship to His creation, which is unchanging and eternal; beyond definition and teaching, and can only be experienced or known once the barriers of guilt have been removed through forgiveness.

true perception: impossible in the illusory world of perception, yet
expressed here through forgiveness; the emotion given by God, in
contrast to the ego's emotion of fear, and reflected in any expression
of true joining with another.


the attempt to solve a problem where it is not, i.e., trying to solve a
problem in the mind through physical or "mindless" measures: the ego's strategy to keep the real problem–the belief in separation–from God's Answer; guilt is projected outside our minds onto others (attack) or our bodies (sickness) and sought to be corrected there, rather than being undone in our minds by bringing it to the Holy Spirit; referred to as "false healing" in "The Song of Prayer."

memory of God

the Atonement's final stage, which follows seeing the face of Christ in all our brothers and precedes the last step, taken by God Himself; we remember God through forgiveness, undoing all beliefs in separation that obscured His Presence to us.mind

knowledge: the activating agent of spirit, to which it is roughly
equivalent, supplying its creative energy.

perception: the agent of choice; we are free to believe that our minds
can be separated or split off from the Mind of God (wrong-mindedness), or that they can be returned to it (right-mindedness); thus, the split mind can be understood as having three parts: the wrong mind, the right mind, and the part of the mind (decision maker) that chooses between them; not to be confused with the brain, which is a physical organ and thus an aspect of our bodily self.

see: Mind of God

Mind of God

equated with the creative function of God which represents the
activating agent of spirit, supplying its creative energy; as an
extension of God, the Mind of Christ–God's Thought–shares in the
attributes of the Mind of God–One-mindedness; after the separation, the Mind of Christ appeared to be split in two: Mind and mind.miracle the change of mind that shifts our perception from the ego's world of sin, guilt, and fear, to the Holy Spirit's world of forgiveness; reverses projection by restoring to the mind its causative function, allowing us to choose again; transcends the laws of this world to reflect the laws of God; accomplished by our joining with the Holy Spirit or Jesus, being the means of healing our own and others' minds.

(Note–not to be confused with the traditional understanding of miracles
as changes in external phenomena.)


the Mind of God or Christ; the extension of God which is the unified
Mind of the Sonship; transcending both right- and wrong-mindedness, it exists only at the level of knowledge and Heaven.


knowledge: the reality of God and Christ, Whose perfect unity
constitutes Heaven.

perception: reflected in the world through forgiveness, the undoing of our belief in separate interests; our joining together with others,
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, reflecting our function of creating in Heaven.

see: One-mindedness


level I: the post-separation, dualistic world of form and differences,
mutually exclusive of the non-dualistic world of knowledge; this world arises from our belief in separation and has no reality outside of this thought.

level II: comes from projection: what we see inwardly determines what we see outside ourselves; crucial to perception, therefore, is our interpretation of "reality," rather than what seems to be objectively real.

w-m: perception of sin and guilt reinforces the belief in the reality of
the separation.

r-m: perception of opportunities to forgive serves to undo the belief in
the reality of the separation.
see: true perception

periods of unsettling

our guilt and fear cannot be undone without dealing with them through the opportunities for forgiveness used by the Holy Spirit; this honest looking within our minds with the Holy Spirit or Jesus–a process the ego counsels against–is what leads to the periods of discomfort and anxiety we almost inevitably feel in the process of shifting from wrong- to right-mindedness.


A Course in Miracles emphasizes that within the dream of separation forgiveness occurs over time, and is therefore a process of growth; our fear of God's Love is so great that we cling to our specialness as protection, and thus we must learn gently and patiently that the ego's guilt and attack reinforce pain, while the Holy Spirit's forgiveness leads to joy.

see: periods of unsettling


the fundamental law of mind: projection makes perception–what we see inwardly determines what we see outside our minds.

w-m: reinforces guilt by displacing it onto someone else, attacking it
there and denying its presence in ourselves; an attempt to shift
responsibility for separation from ourselves to others.

r-m: the principle of extension, undoing guilt by allowing the
forgiveness of the Holy Spirit to be extended (projected) through us.

real world

the state of mind in which, through total forgiveness, the world of
perception is released from the projections of guilt we had placed upon it: thus, it is the mind that has changed, not the world, and we see through the vision of Christ which blesses rather than condemns; the Holy Spirit's happy dream; the end of the Atonement, undoing our thoughts of separation and allowing God to take the last step.

right-mindedness; thinking in accordance with the Holy Spirit, choosing to follow His guidance and learn His lessons of forgiveness, seeing sinlessness rather than sin, and choosing vision instead of judgment.

(Note–not to be confused with rationalism.)


the awakening from the dream of death; the total change in mind that transcends the ego and its perceptions of the world, the body, and death, allowing us to identify completely with our true Self; also
refers to the resurrection of Jesus.


the part of our separated minds that contains the Holy Spirit–the Voice of forgiveness and reason; we are repeatedly asked to choose it instead of wrong-mindedness, to follow the Holy Spirit's guidance rather than the ego's, and thus return to the One-mindedness of Christ.sacrifice

a central belief in the ego's thought system: someone must lose if
another is to gain; the principle of giving up in order to receive
(giving to get); e.g., in order to receive God's Love we must pay a
price, usually in the form of suffering to expiate our guilt (sin); in
order to receive another's love, we must pay for it through the special love bargain; the reversal of the principle of salvation or justice: no one loses and everyone gains.


the Atonement, or undoing of the separation; we are "saved" from our belief in the reality of sin and guilt through the change of mind that forgiveness and the miracle bring about.

scarcity principle

an aspect of guilt; the belief that we are empty and incomplete, lacking what we need; this leads to our seeking idols or special relationships to fill the scarcity we experience within ourselves; inevitably projected into feelings of deprivation, wherein we believe others are depriving us of the peace which in reality we have taken from ourselves; in contrast to God's principle of abundance.

Second Coming

the healing of the mind of the Sonship; the collective return to
awareness of our reality as the one Son of God, which we had at our
creation, the First Coming; precedes the Last Judgment, after which this world of illusion ends.


our true Identity as Son of God; synonymous with Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, and contrasted with the ego self we made as a substitute for God's creation; used rarely to refer to the Self of God.


the belief in sin that affirms an identity separate from our Creator;
seemed to happen once, and the thought system which arose from that idea is represented by the ego; results in a world of perception and form, of pain, suffering, and death, real in time, but unknown in eternity.


a conflict in the mind (guilt) displaced onto the body; the ego's
attempt to defend itself against truth (spirit) by focusing attention on
the body; a sick body is the effect of the sick or split mind that is
its cause, representing the ego's desire to make others guilty by
sacrificing oneself, projecting responsibility for the attack onto them.

see: suffering


the belief in the reality of our separation from God, seen by the ego as an act incapable of correction because it represents our attack on our Creator, Who would therefore never forgive us; leads to guilt, which demands punishment; equivalent to separation, and the central concept in the ego's thought system, from which all others logically follow; to the Holy Spirit, an error in our thinking to be corrected and therefore forgiven and healed.

Son of God

knowledge: the Second Person of the Trinity; the Christ Who is our true Self.

perception: our identity as separated Sons, or the Son of God as ego
with a wrong and right mind; the biblical phrase "son of man" is used rarely to denote the Son as separated.

special relationships

relationships onto which we project guilt, substituting them for love
and our true relationship with God; the defenses that reinforce belief
in the scarcity principle while appearing to be undoing it–doing what they would defend against–for special relationships attempt to fill up the perceived lack in ourselves by taking from others who are inevitably seen as separate, thereby reinforcing a guilt that ultimately comes from our believed separation from God: the thought of attack that is the original source of our sense of lack; all relationships in this world begin as special since they begin with the perception of separation and differences, which must then be corrected by the Holy Spirit through forgiveness, making the relationship holy; specialness has two forms:

special hate justifies the projection of guilt by attack;
special love conceals the attack within the illusion of love, where we believe our special needs are met by special people with special attributes, for which we love them: in this sense, special love is roughly equivalent to dependency, which breeds contempt or hatred.


the nature of our true reality which, being of God, is changeless and
eternal; contrasted with the body, the embodiment of the ego, which
changes and dies; the Thought in God's Mind which is the unified Christ.


one of the basic ego witnesses to the reality of the body and the
non-existence of spirit, since the body appears to experience suffering or pain; to be in pain, therefore, is to deny God, while being aware of our true invulnerability as God's Son is to deny the reality of pain.

(Note–suffering and pain are used as virtual synonyms.)

see: sickness

Thoughts of God

knowledge: the non-spatial extension of God's Mind or spirit; includes all of creation, our true Self as well as our own creations; being part of God, His Thoughts share in His attributes: unified, eternal, formless, creative, and changeless.
true perception: used infrequently to refer to thoughts of the real
world; e.g., peace, salvation, healing, and the miracle.


the unity of Its Levels is not understandable in this world; consists of
1) God, the Father and Creator,
2) His Son, Christ, our true Self, Which includes our creations, and
3) the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God.

true perception

seeing through the eyes of Christ, the vision of forgiveness which
corrects the ego's misperceptions of separation by reflecting the true
unity of the Son of God; not to be equated with physical sight, it is
the attitude that undoes the projections of guilt, allowing us to look
upon the real world in place of the world of sin, fear, suffering, and

see: perception


something is either true or false, reality or illusion; there can be no
compromise: we are either created by God or made by the ego; this
principle explains why there is no order of difficulty in miracles,
since all that is needed for healing or the miracle to occur is to shift
from the illusions of the ego to the truth of the Holy Spirit.


the perception of Christ or the Holy Spirit that sees beyond the body to the spirit that is our true Identity; the vision of forgiveness and
sinlessness through which is seen the real world; purely internal,
reflecting a decision to accept reality rather than judge it; a shift in
attitude from the ego's purpose for the body (specialness) to the Holy Spirit's (forgiveness), and thus is not to be equated with physical sight.

Voice for God

(see: Holy Spirit)

Word of God

God's "answer" to the separation; used variously for different aspects of this answer: e.g., forgiveness, peace, Atonement, and the Holy Spirit.
(Note–does not refer to Jesus or Christ, as it does in the Bible.)


level I: the effect of the ego's belief in separation, which is its
cause; the thought of separation and attack on God given form; being the expression of the belief in time and space, it was not created by God,
Who transcends time and space entirely; unless specifically referring to the world of knowledge, refers only to perception, the post-separation domain of the ego.

level II:

w-m: a prison of separation which reinforces the ego's belief in sin and guilt, perpetuating the seeming existence of this world.

r-m: a classroom wherein we learn our lessons of forgiveness, the Holy Spirit's teaching device to help us transcend the world: thus the purpose of the world is to teach us that there is no world.

see: real world


the part of our separated and split minds that contains the ego–the
voice of sin, guilt, fear, and attack; we are repeatedly asked to choose right-mindedness instead of wrong-mindedness, which imprisons us still further in the world of separation.

All contents Copyright © 1995, Foundation for A Course in Miracles.
All Rights Reserved. A Course in Miracles is a registered service mark and trademark of the Foundation for Inner Peace. Used by permission.