Articles - Mind-Spirit
MIND and SPIRIT
As with other pairs of words or symbols where A Course in Miracles contrasts and
compares two related ideas, such as Jesus-Christ, The Ego-The Miracle, or True Perception-
Knowledge, this one (Mind-Spirit) follows right along with its approach in explaining the
perceptive vs. the True aspects of an idea, which is part of the methodology employed by the
Course in order to teach reversal of the world’s thought system.
Usually the symbol on the left side of the "pair" is something we can perceive and relate to in
our way of thinking here, in the world while the symbol on the right is the true or heavenly
aspect of the central idea. By using word pairs, the Course teaches a whole concept.
What then, is the relationship between mind and spirit and why is it presented in the same
contrast-and-compare fashion as other more obviously contrasting terms?
To grasp this, we can think back on our high-school years. Remember chemistry class when
we fooled around with certain chemicals in order to prepare a solution? To activate the
solution or unleash its dormant potential it was necessary to mix-in an activating agent,
another chemical of contrasting properties that would make the solution "react" and become
what it was meant to be.
This premise is used by the Course in order to begin defining the word mind and its
relationship to spirit. Mind gets spirit moving… going… creating. You might think of spirit as
a light bulb too… and mind as the energy that flows through the conduits and eventually
lights up the bulb, allowing it to be what it is meant to Be.
A more practical example can be drawn from a popular movie, School of Rock where actor
Jack Black plays the role of Dewy. A "loser," a guy that by the definition of present-day
society is simply not the role model you would pick to be your child’s teacher.
Dewy is a little on the overweight side, sleeps late, drinks beer, likes both day-old pizza and
his beard, plays loud rock music for a living, has not earned a penny in months, and is about
to be kicked out of his home for not paying the rent. Soon, a school calls looking for his
roommate who is a substitute teacher. They need him urgently and, quite predictably, Dewy
impersonates his roommate to get the much-needed job.
He shows up at the school the next day and starts to teach a bunch of middle-school kids,
without knowing much about being a teacher, or about the things that he is supposed to be
teaching, like math and science. But Dewy has a passion: music, or better yet, Rock.
As the story develops Dewy learns to love the kids and ends up teaching them about loving
and discovering themselves, through music. The kids end up forming a killer rock band.
In this movie, each kid had a story; a great example of each of us as a separate
consciousness. Tumika, for example, an African-American preteen a bit on the chubby side,
lacked self-confidence and bore quite a sad little face most of the time. But, boy could she
sing. Then there was Geoff, a 10 year old Jewish boy, whose father, a bully, was slowly
beating his passionate heart into submission.. and so on.
As little robots in a grown-up world some of the kids were sad, some serious, and all were
Dewy became the activating agent that helped unleash the creative power of their spirits, their
latent creative energy. His mind reached their spirit in a way that neither their parents, nor
their teachers or the school principal with all her discipline and rules had been able to do.
They were being conditioned through fear and informed about the world, yet knew nothing
Tumika was afraid to be laughed at, if she got on stage because of her size. So, Dewy told
her about Aretha Franklin and how when she took to the stage no one cared about her weight
because all they wanted was to feel transported by her powerful voice as she hit those notes
she only could…. and the girl got on stage and she rocked the house that night! One by one,
as they chose to listen to Dewey instead of the uptight and scary School Principal, the kids
found themselves, their talent, and their connection to spirit. But they had to make the choice
and act on it.
"In this world, because the mind is split, the Sons of God appear to be separate."
When Dewy arrived, each one of the kids was a separated mind, each in their own little
world, doing the best they could within a universe that was alien to their true spirit, their true
nature. Yet, when they were on stage or were rehearsing with Dewy they became ONE.
Each had a role to play in the unity called School of Rock Band. Even those who couldn’t
sing, dance or make music, had their own part to play: the lights, the special effects, the boy
with marked gay tendencies who loved fashion came through as the band’s stylist and what a
style they performed in! Each played his part to perfection, each gave Himself to the public
on stage, but the band was ONE, and that was the Whole, and that wholeness was
contagious as they stole the audience’s heart.
So… let’s say that mind whose attention is split, can either choose to listen to Dewy, or the
scary School Principal that forbids access to joy. Mind activates spirit, and as it does so, this
results in either creation or making. Now, if mind is an activating agent of spirit then what is
"Spirit is the part that is still in contact with God through the Holy Spirit" (C-1.3)
"The other part of the mind is entirely illusory and makes only illusions." (C-1.4)
Basically, spirit and mind are two seeming aspects of a whole. The individual consciousness
(Tumika, Geoff, you and me) can choose to listen to the mind’s true connection to spirit, and
therefore God, or to its fake made up rules that keep the separateness real. When Tumika
gave up her fear, her true Voice, her True Self was allowed to come through, sadness left
her face, confidence set in, and she released her power to Rock that audience with her soul.
She found a new self she didn’t know she was.
When an activating agent mixes with a chemical, they become one as the chemical is
activated, and the activating agent disappears, it is no more. It dissolves away to allow the
chemical to perform in all its potential, as what it really is. They become ONE potent solution.
When mind joins spirit, when it listens to it and really hears what spirit has to say, it activates
the creative energy of spirit by becoming ONE with it. The illusory part of mind, the
individual consciousness is no more. However, that consciousness can rise and sore to
heights so close to Heaven it is almost there, and eventually join and become ONE with the
So, to whom shall we listen today? Is it Joy, or the embodiment of Fear? Is it Dewy, or the
scary School Principal?