Our next topic in our Enhancing Your ACIM Practice Series is the subject of A Course in Miracles being written in all masculine pronouns. This is an interesting topic, to say the least, in fact, in my early days of study, I was promptly offended by the lack of feminine language within its pages. At that time in the early 90s when I first bought our beloved book, I had been studying books such as The Feminine Face of God and A God Like Me. I had been interested in the goddess aspect, including a class I had been taking (wish I could remember what it was) I had written a several page essay on the subject of the feminine being evicted from the Early Church.
In those first few years of study, I was constantly exchanging in my mind each time I read a masculine pronoun, the feminine pronoun. After some time, this faded. Why did this fade? Why is it written in the masculine language at all?
If we look at the history of ACIM, we have to remember that it arrived yes, through a woman, but also through Shakespearean iambic pentameter. It came as traditional English literature which was in the masculine language. While it may upset you or someone you know, it left all differences aside. Perhaps it was a challenge that Jesus knew we would deal with in our modern age. It does give us something to forgive now, doesn’t it?
It only took I would say a year or two for me to release the constant exchange and accept it as it was written. What changed? I do not recall the time or place, it was merely a shift and a controversy I was no longer interested in biding my time. In the Clarification of Terms Introduction, it states: All terms are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy will find it. Yet those who seek clarification will find it as well. They must, however, be willing to overlook controversy, recognizing that it is a defense against truth in the form of a delaying maneuver.
It was for me to release the controversy and conflict and get to the heart of the matter. You could say I was now becoming more focused on the content and not so much the form. I know over these many years I have met and interacted with students who also have been perplexed by this language. However, all things become an obstacle to our learning if we allow it to do so.
The Course is simple, yet our ego minds weave quite a tangle to keep us away from knowing the content of what Jesus says. Perhaps we have had issues with Christianity too. What does this Course teach us but forgiveness and remembering to love all on the level of the mind?
The question to ask ourselves if the language is a barrier for us is, “What is it a barrier to my learning what this Course sets forth?” How does it make you feel? Does it elicit anger within? All these appear to us stirring the pot bestowing upon us that golden opportunity to remember what is true. Does it keep us separate or joined?
Does it mean that as a woman I stop being a feminist in the world? Of course not. There is nothing anti-Course by working for equal rights. The Course is not about our behavior or what we do here in the world, it is with whom (ego or Holy Spirit) I am making these decisions.
I know for me it was a welcome block to be removed so I may see everyone as One. I have no problem now calling all (both male and female) my brother for now it is a word that has a symbolism far beyond this world’s definition. Words are but symbols as Jesus tells us in the Manual for Teachers. It’s our choice how we perceive them.
Additionally, starting July 6th, I’ll be offering a weekly session for 8 weeks on how we can continue to Enhance our ACIM Practice. Learn more here.