By Darryl E Berry Jr | 6/22/20
Objective Moral Law | Divine Command Theory | God | A Course in Miracles | Mind
There’s a question in religious and philosophical circles that goes as follows: “Do you think that there could be objective moral law, that is to say moral law independent of human opinion, if there is no God? And the answer is yes, – on both accounts. There can be and is objective moral law independent of human opinion. And God doesn’t exist – at least not in whatever ilk of religious sense of God.
I’m a student of a teaching called A Course in Miracles (sometimes called simply “the course” throughout). And through this teaching I’ve learned a great deal. And when I say “learned a great deal” I don’t just mean intellectual learning from reading. I mean learning in the sense of the experiences I’ve gained and perspectives I’ve partaken in through its application. As brief and fleeting as some of my spiritual experiences have been, the validity of the experience remains inviolate.
One of the things I’ve learned through the course is that we ultimately have two parts to our mind (A Course in Miracles, Ch. 12). We have what’s called the wrong mind, or the ego, which is the part of our mind based upon and predicated on fear. Identifying with this part of the mind has us hate, and scorn, and believe in and experience scarcity and lack, and see and perceive separation and competition and division. The other part of our mind is called the right mind, or the “Holy Spirit,” which is the part of our mind based upon and predicated on love. Identifying with this part of the mind has us forgive, and extend compassion, and believe in and experience wholeness and abundance, and see and perceive oneness and shared interests and sameness.
What is called enlightenment or total spiritual awakening can be described as completely relinquishing the ego perspective and wholly identifying with the right-minded perspective. And this right mind is completely beyond the perspective of the individual. One identified with the right mind is not a human being, not a man nor a woman, but a pure manifestation of love and inner peace. Both this aspect of our mind, and the one totally identified with this aspect of mind, are totally beyond human opinion and frailty and distortion.
Another experience I have had through applying A Course in Miracles, via tapping into the perspective of the right mind, is briefly experiencing the perspective of the universal mind that is dreaming the universe. It’s clear that there is no universal God that created us all and will welcome us into Heaven. No God of any religion exists. There is simply an insane mind dreaming a meaningless dream, and upon its awakening this entire universe or multi-verse or what have you “will disappear into the nothingness out of which [it] was made” (A Course in Miracles).
This means that any moral law or choice not made from the perspective of the right mind is human opinion. And any moral law or choice that is made from the right mind is objective, i.e., completely free of and beyond human opinion. Therefore, Jesus was such a great man. He wasn’t some special son of some all-powerful being running about the universe. He’d simply achieved what all of us can and ultimately will achieve: enlightenment. And thus, he was the embodiment of the right mind. “His Love, like God’s, was total, impersonal, non-selective and all-embracing. He treated everyone equally, from rabbi to prostitute. He was not a body. He was no longer a human being” (Renard, 41). And God – an in-universe God – being nonexistent, is never involved in any of this. And to explain these last statements, the course does mention the word “God” quite frequently. But it’s a word used symbolically to refer to “Reality” – what is beyond all form, and perception, and change. It alone is what’s real and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the illusory universe of duality and form. As the course refers to God, It’s not a being that created the universe, but an unblemished and perfect and ultimately indescribable Reality having nothing whatsoever to do with the illusory universe. In a sense it’s what we finally recognize after we’ve woken from the dream of nothingness; like waking from a dream a night.
I imagine some non-religious folk might object quite like I might object to religious folks’ positions. I might challenge the religious to provide proof of God before trying to engage me in some banter about a non-existent God being involved in some moral dilemma. Non-religious skeptics might challenge me to provide proof of the Holy Spirit, or of the right mind. Both the religious and non-religious might challenge me to prove that – whether or not it really exists – this “right mind” is or can be really some higher or separate part of mind, i.e., distinct enough from the individual personality to be distinct from personal opinion.
I really don’t know if it’s possible to prove to someone the existence of the right mind. I don’t know if it’s measurable, even by the most advanced technology possible in the universe. But I know it’s possible to prove it to oneself. And I am certain that we have all experienced it at one point or other in our lives. My learning informs me that that everyone’s mind is composed of the right and wrong mind, and however identified someone is with the wrong mind still the right mind is there and informs them at least a bit at some point in their life (Renard, 399). And I’ve learned from experience that if one finds a pure spiritual path like A Course in Miracles and applies it, to the extent that one applies it the awareness of and gradual identification with the right mind is accentuated.
And similarly, I don’t think I can prove to anyone else that this or that person is really listening to the right mind, or is an embodiment of the right mind, and not just deluding themselves or fooling others. And apparently, it’s easy enough to delude ourselves that we are more advanced in that regard than we are. I’ve been through my periods of ‘spiritual specialness’. And I’ve spoken to several people over the years who had convinced themselves they were embodying or ‘speaking for the Holy Spirit,’ when it was clear they were mired in fear in whatever form it entailed at the time. And sometimes it’s been recognized by that one directly.
The good thing is, we don’t have to find someone who is or believe that anyone is enlightened. We can simply work on becoming enlightened ourselves. And by and by we’ll become more and more able to ‘hear’ and embody that voice for ourselves. And until then, it’s clear that the world has been slowly but surely moving towards higher standards of morality through the everyday maneuverings of progress. We can use reason and logic and everyday experience to better purify our moral landscape. For instance there’s apparently less slavery in the world – at least overt slavery – than there was in decades prior. At least in theory (or propaganda) our societies are moving towards greater and greater respect for freedom and liberty and life. The good news is that nothing in or of the world can affect the mind, which is ultimately outside of the world and in fact dreaming the world. Thus, we’re always empowered to get in touch with the level of mind and choose the right mind and experience its truth for ourselves.
Hoofard, Nathan Michael. “Judaism & Divine Command Theory”. YouTube upload, 14 June 2000, https://youtu.be/fUSIpDTPRBI.
A Course in Miracles (ACIM), 3rd ed., Foundation for Inner Peace, 2007, Excerpted from Text Chapter 10, Section IV, Paragraph 1; Text Chapter 12, Section I, Paragraph 9-10.
Renard, Gary R. The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk About Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness, Quoting ascended masters Arten and Pursah, Hay House, Inc., 2003, pp. 5-6, 41.
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