A Course in Miracles – Clarification of Terms – Introduction
C-in.1. This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology. 2 It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of perception. 3 The means of the Atonement is forgiveness. 4 The structure of "individual consciousness" is essentially irrelevant because it is a concept representing the "original error" or the "original sin." 5 To study the error itself does not lead to correction, if you are indeed to succeed in overlooking the error. 6 And it is just this process of overlooking at which the course aims.
C-in.2. All terms are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy will find it. 2 Yet those who seek clarification will find it as well. 3 They must, however, be willing to overlook controversy, recognizing that it is a defense against truth in the form of a delaying maneuver. 4 Theological considerations as such are necessarily controversial, since they depend on belief and can therefore be accepted or rejected. 5 A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. 6 It is this experience toward which the course is directed. 7 Here alone consistency becomes possible because here alone uncertainty ends.
C-in.3. This course remains within the ego framework, where it is needed. 2 It is not concerned with what is beyond all error because it is planned only to set the direction towards it. 3 Therefore it uses words, which are symbolic, and cannot express what lies beyond symbols. 4 It is merely the ego that questions because it is only the ego that doubts. 5 The course merely gives another answer, once a question has been raised. 6 However, this answer does not attempt to resort to inventiveness or ingenuity. 7 These are attributes of the ego. 8 The course is simple. 9 It has one function and one goal. 10 Only in that does it remain wholly consistent because only that can be consistent.
C-in.4. The ego will demand many answers that this course does not give. 2 It does not recognize as questions the mere form of a question to which an answer is impossible. 3 The ego may ask, "How did the impossible occur?", "To what did the impossible happen?", and may ask this in many forms. 4 Yet there is no answer; only an experience. 5 Seek only this, and do not let theology delay you.
C-in.5. You will notice that the emphasis on structural issues in the course is brief and early. 2 Afterwards and soon, it drops away to make way for the central teaching. 3 Since you have asked for clarification, however, these are some of the terms that are used.