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The Inner Voice

Excerpts from the Seminar held at the
Foundation for A Course in Miracles
Temecula CA

Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.


Part I

The title, "The Inner Voice," would seem to suggest that we will be talking about the Holy Spirit. That is only partly true. The problem is that we have two inner voices and herein lies a tale. The basic purpose of this workshop is to make the point that one cannot hear the inner Voice of the Holy Spirit without first hearing, recognizing, and then doing something about the inner voice of the ego. A Course in Miracles says that the ego speaks first, is always wrong, and the Holy Spirit is the Answer (see T-6.IV.1:1-2). The Holy Spirit is the answer or solution to the problem, but if you do not know the problem—especially if you do not know where the problem is—then you have nothing to which you could apply the solution. Therefore, however brilliant or holy the answer or the solution is, if you do not know what it answers or solves, it is absolutely worthless to you.

One of the mistakes students have been making since the mid-1970s when A Course in Miracles was first published is thinking that since they hear an inner voice, that voice must be the Holy Spirit's. They are not aware that there are two voices. There is a line in the clarification of terms that states:

In this world the only remaining freedom is the freedom of choice; [that is] always between two choices or two voices (C-I.7:1).

Again, the problem that students have with the Course is not realizing there is this other voice. Several years ago I gave a workshop called "To Channel or Not to Channel" (channeling is the contemporary term for "hearing an inner voice"). One of the thrusts of that workshop was that everyone makes a big deal about channeling, about hearing an inner voice. The fact of the matter is that we all channel all the time. We channel either the ego or the Holy Spirit. And what that means is that the body is literally nothing; it is a puppet, like a lifeless piece of wood. As the Course says, it does not think, it does not feel, it does not grow, it does not get born, it does not live, it does not die, it does not get sick, it does not get well; the eyes do not see, the ears do not hear, the brains do not think (see, for example, T-6.V-A.1; T-28.V.4; T-28.VI.2). The body literally does nothing but carry out the wishes of one of two masters in the mind, the ego or the Holy Spirit.

Thus, every single thing we think we think, we think we say, or we think we do is channeling. It is not a big deal. Everyone breathes; everyone speaks prose. It is just something we all do. We cannot help doing it. The very fact that we experience ourselves as here in a body means that we will always be channeling. What this understanding does is take the mystique, the prestige, and the pride out of hearing an inner voice. In other words, it is no longer a big deal—everyone hears an inner voice because there is no outer voice. Remember, the brain does not think. This also means the mouth does not speak. If ears do not hear and eyes do not see, then mouths do not speak. They are literally like lifeless pieces of wood.

That is an important premise of this course, which, unfortunately, frequently goes unnoticed and unrecognized. Yet, there is this underlying premise that everything here is an illusion, which means the body is simply nothing more or less than a projection of a thought system in the mind. Originally the body arose out of the thought system of the ego, and the ego's thought system is one of separation. That is what the ego is—the belief that the separation from God happened. The body, therefore, if you will pardon the pun, is the embodiment of the ego. It is the thought system of separation given form (see, for example, W-pI.64.1-2; W-pI.72.2). Now, one of the hallmarks of the separation thought is specialness. We decided that we wanted to be special. In Heaven no one is special because there is no one in Heaven; there is only one in Heaven. There are no people in Heaven. There is no being called God and another being called Christ that are differentiated one from the other. Love is one. God is One, and there is no other. So there cannot be any specialness.

The thought that we could be separate from God is the "tiny, mad idea" (T-27.VIII.6:2). When taken seriously, it is the notion that I am indeed a separate special self, which means I am to be taken seriously. This is basically a thumbing of one's nose in God's face, saying to Him, in effect: The specialness You will not give me, I will now assume for myself. I will now make it for myself. Thus, the thought system of separation is really synonymous with talking about the thought system of specialness. Further, if the body is the embodiment or the projection into form of the thought system of separation, it is also the projection of the thought system of specialness. Obviously we all believe we are very special. Infants demand that they be given special attention and will let you know very quickly and loudly when you do not give them special attention. We grow up always demanding and then cherishing the special attention we get. And from the ego's point of view it does not matter if that special attention is positive or negative, as long as it is attention. We want to be noticed. We want people to pay attention to us. If they hate us, well, there is an us that they hate. If God hates me, if He is angry at me, if He is vengeful and wants to punish me, at least there is an I that He is going to punish. There is a self that He perceives and is displeased with. That is much better from my ego's point of view than being one with Him in Heaven where He does not even know I exist, because in Heaven we do not have existence; we only have being. Being is equated with spirit, which is equated with oneness, which is equated with love.

Again, the body is nothing more or less than a projection into form of a thought. It is the thought that is the source of the body, the cause of the body. The body is literally nothing in and of itself. What seems to give the body life, importance, and specialness is our belief in it, our thought. It is our belief in the ego that very quickly translates into belief in the body, giving it specialness, importance, and the reality we think it has. The body literally does nothing but carry out the dictates, the orders, and the commands of the mind. Once the body is made by the ego, as the Course explains, it becomes neutral (W-pII.294). The body then can serve the ongoing purpose of the ego, which is to prove that the separation from God is real, that specialness is real, that the dream of life outside Heaven is reality, and that Heaven—which is the true reality—is only a dream. That is the ongoing purpose of the ego. That is why it was "born." That is why the world was made; that is why the body specifically was made; and that is what keeps it going.

As minds, the commitment we all have is to the ego's goal of perpetuating the illusion or the lie that the separate existence we seem to have is true. We speak of the body as being neutral once it is made, because there is another Voice other than the ego's voice, the Voice of the Holy Spirit. That Voice has as its goal to help us look at the ego's system and recognize it is illusory, to see the ego for what it is: one huge lie. And it is seeing that lie and labeling it as such that helps us finally get out from under its domination, which really is our domination of ourselves. At that point the thought system of the ego loses its power, we withdraw our belief in it, and eventually, as the Course says of the world, it disappears back into the nothingness from which it came (M-13.1:1-2; C-4.4). At that point we awaken from the dream, the dream is over, and we are back in the Home we never left.

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Part II »