What is Level Confusion in A Course in Miracles?
Updated: Jun 30
In embracing your desire to LIVE ACIM. It is essential to clarify your understanding of A Course in Miracles' metaphysics! One major stumbling block for ACIM Live students attempting to Live ACIM has to do with what the Course calls "level confusion." “A major step in the Atonement plan is to undo error at all levels. Sickness or "not-right-mindedness" is the result of level confusion, because it always entails the belief that what is amiss on one level can adversely affect another. We have referred to miracles as the means of correcting level confusion, for all mistakes must be corrected at the level on which they occur. Only the mind is capable of error. The body can act wrongly only when it is responding to misthought. The body cannot create, and the belief that it can, a fundamental error, produces all physical symptoms. Physical illness represents a belief in magic.” ACIM Quote (T-2.IV.2) Question: Is there anything I can do to make my mind more ready or wake up faster? In the beginning we all want to get through to the end of the Course—we want that happy dream experience that ACIM talks about. We claim we are ready to bow out of our former lives of pain and suffering like when Bill Thetford expressed his frustration over the working atmosphere in his psychology department and exclaimed "there has to be a better way!" And Helen Schuckman his research assistant said she would help find it.
Tired of being gazumped by fear we open our hearts and minds to the Spirit's plan for us. And just like Bill and Helen—the two first students of A Course in Miracles—this 3-volume book is the Answer for us too! Exactly as Jesus shared it—no interpretation required. If we have any questions, Jesus always clarifies them in the next few lines! Sometimes it seems that fear is an involuntary emotion, it can suddenly overwhelm striking like a tornado. We seem to be at the mercy of it. A Course in Miracles shares that "a meaningless world engenders fear" and Lesson 13 in the workbook is where Jesus first introduces the idea of fear being a choice in the mind. Because the fear is actually coming from a conflict in the mind that needs to be seen.
In the workbook, Jesus says that we may see an insane world, a crazy world, a dark world, a fearful world. We may see a lot of things that ego is projecting onto the world, but actually a meaningless world—a world without meaning at all—engenders fear because, He says, "I think that I am in competition with God." We may resist this idea, or refute it but that doesn't change that the world itself means nothing.
Because we believe in a "self concept" an image or persona that God didn’t create, that is the conflict in the mind. That is the competition, this battle of the "selves." That is the meaningless world, the one that God did not create. The world isn’t to blame for fear. It engenders fear. "A meaningless world engenders fear because I believe I’m in competition with God." It is the belief in the ego (this separate identity) that engenders the fear, not the world that the ego projected, not the cosmos of time and space. It’s a great relief when you begin to recognize this because suddenly you realize it's not the credit card debt that is upsetting you, or the guy that cut you off in traffic, or the burnt toast. It's not the pandemic that is upsetting us. it’s not my mother, brother, partner or even my loud neighbors. It’s nothing of the world. The world means nothing, nada, zero, zip. The world doesn’t have the power to upset us at all!
Level confusion in essence is an identity crisis about who we are and what we have control over!
It is this belief in the mind that I am something different than how God created me. Now, that is a problem! If God created me perfect, if God created me eternal and created me as spirit and created me as oneness and I believe something different, then I believe I am separate and apart. With private minds, private thoughts, judgments, and preferences I’ve got my own past and my own personal future and ambitions. If I believe I am this human construct this self-concept that God didn’t create and doesn’t even know about, then that is an enormous identity confusion. Instead of being an eternal creation I believe I am this little time, space creature at the mercy of the world or the egos god.
So we can’t blame the world. We can’t blame any circumstances. We can only pull the plug on the whole thing so that you can laugh and go, wow, that was silly, to have believed something that’s not true about my own identity. That was crazy; that was deceptive. That was not truthful to believe I was so tiny and so small when actually I was so vast as God created me.
Most of the questions that humans have are about effects. The world is a projection. If the world is a world of images and there is nothing in time and space—then none of these images are eternal. But if all of these projections are just coming from the ego, and if you could get down and pull the plug on the ego, you’ve just pulled the plug on all the suffering in human history, past or future; you’ve just pulled the plug on the whole lie. You've just pulled the plug on everything! That’s why we are d