Class includes chapter notes I've put together over the past two years as well study questions. The notes are a work in progress and are meant only to serve as a study aid. Each time the class studies a particular chapter, the notes evolve as work with the principles of the course leads to new experiences and an ever deepening understanding.
Here's a short excerpt of the current notes from The Manual for Teachers, Clarification of Terms.
Clarification of Terms
In the course, the term Mind refers to “the activating agent of spirit.” When it is capitalized, Jesus is referring to the Mind of God or the Mind of Christ, which is One Mind. There are no differences in the one-mindedness of God; there are no opposites, there is no change, and this level of mind does not learn because it knows.
Knowledge, as used in the course, is the term for a state of awareness, or a state of beingness, that is beyond all perception; it is certain, whole, and unchanging. It encompasses all of God’s Creation and there are no aspects within the whole that have more or less knowledge.
Jesus will tell you in Chapter 3:
Knowledge is timeless, because certainty is not questionable. ¹¹You know when you have ceased to ask questions. (ACIM, T-3.III.2:10-11)
Because knowledge is not perceptual, it transcends consciousness. Thus, knowledge is beyond the scope of the course, which serves only to bring you to the threshold of knowledge after which learning is no longer necessary.
The lower-case use of the word mind stands for the aspect of mind that appears to be split off from One-Mindedness. You might think of it as the “lower” mind. But keep in mind, this lower level of mind is an illusion and therefore everything it produces can only be like itself—an illusion. Perception is the term used to describe the illusion-making apparatus of the mind. It is the means by which illusions are made to seem real.
Spirit is the Thought of God, which He created like Himself. Spirit is eternal, limitless, creative, and unchanging.
²Spirit retains the potential for creating, but its Will, which is God’s, seems to be imprisoned while the mind is not unified. (ACIM, C-1.4:2)
Spirit is the part of you that is still in contact with God through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within your spirit—or is one with your spirit—but can see the other (illusory) part too. It does not join the other part, it does not believe the stories the ego mind tells, but He is aware of it for it is His function to mediate communication from the higher Mind to the lower.
The Holy Spirit mediates higher to lower communication, keeping the direct channel from God to you open for revelation. ⁴Revelation is not reciprocal. ⁵It proceeds from God to you, but not from you to God. (ACIM, T-1.II.5:3-5) [from Text]
Note: Jesus gives you a clear definition of revelation in Chapter 1of the text.
Will is of God and cannot be separate from Him nor changed by an illusionary state of mind. His Will is always unified, meaning the entire Sonship shares His Will as it is. The illusory mind cannot comprehend Will as it is. It therefore has no meaning in this world where it appears to be divergent and separate. You are free to believe whatever you want, but you cannot change the Mind of God or His Son. You cannot subvert or steal Their united Will, which is your own despite your beliefs to the contrary. Therefore, the only freedom you actually have here is the freedom of choice between two teachers—the Holy Spirit Who teaches right-mindedness and brings Christ’s vision of the real world into your awareness. Or, the ego who teaches only wrong-mindedness and perpetuates illusions of separateness to justify anger, guilt, disease and death.
JLM note: Consciousness is the receptive mechanism of the mind. It can receive messages from above—the Holy Spirit and the Christ Mind—or from below—the ego. Imagine consciousness is like a layer of Jell-O that sits in the apparent gap between the Christ Mind and the ego mind. What you put into it determines what you will perceive, and thus what you will experience. Messages that come from above teach you right-mindedness, which is still perceptual and therefore not knowledge but reflects the truth accurately so you learn to be unafraid of it. True-perception allows you to become aware of the real world. This is a state of mind that is still a part of the illusory world, but so closely mirrors the knowledge of Heaven, that when you finally accept it fully, you willingly allow God to carry you out of the illusion completely.
Consciousness has levels, and it can change and learn. Therefore, when you allow it to receive the messages Christ sends you through the Holy Spirit, you can be taught to perceive things in a way that heals your mind. This is the nature of miracles—they change your perception and shorten the amount of time you will remain dreaming. They are the means by which you realize you and your brother are one. And everything that lives is one with God.