Clarification of Terms: Introduction
This course is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of the error of perception of the Son of God as separate from the Father, the Creator. The Son of God is not "separate from" but "one with" the Father.
The means of the Atonement, or the process of correction, is forgiveness, which is defined as "overlooking the error," and is the course's aim. We do not excuse the error; instead we recognize that in truth the error never occurred. Only the ego "errs" and the ego is not real. Thus, no ego, no error. One must look with the Holy Spirit to see the truth of this statement.
Precise terminology is not this course's concern. All the terms in the course are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy will find it. Those who seek clarification will find that as well. We save time by overlooking the delaying tactic of controversy, recognizing that it is a defense against the truth. Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. Therefore a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. Consistency in experience is where the end of uncertainty is found.
You will learn that to study the error will not lead to the correction of it. If you are indeed to succeed in overlooking the error, you must succeed in looking past it to the correction, which is the truth.
This course of necessity remains within the framework of the ego where it is needed, as spirit needs no correction since it is in the state of grace forever. Therefore the course does not aim beyond all symbols of error because it is planned only to set the direction towards spirit. Because hearing in silence appears difficult for many, words are also used as symbols to assist the student with correction of the error, even though symbols cannot express what lies beyond symbols. Since in the illusory world symbols is all we have, we do the best we can.
Only the ego questions, because only the ego doubts. The course merely gives an answer once a question has been asked. The course answers simply and truly and is wholly consistent. Many questions will be asked by the ego that will NOT be answered in the course, as the course does not recognize the validity of many of the "questions" that the ego will ask. The mere form of a question does not lend validity to it. The content of the question must also be valid, as without this validity an answer may be impossible.
As an example the ego may ask "how did the impossible occur?" There is no valid content to this form of "question," therefore there will be no valid answer. However there will be an experience to answer any question, so seek only this. Thus, do not let theological controversy delay you; instead, go directly for the experience that will demonstrate the truth consistently.
Now let us look at a few of the terms that are used, and the course's clarification of those terms.