Ah, just get over it! It doesn’t bother me." These are common remarks I hear from my fellow A Course in Miracles (ACIM) students about the predominantly male language. We are expected to assume on blind faith that Jesus is including women. ACIM uses, "Him" "He," and other all male gender terms over 3,731 times. "She," "Woman," and "Female" are not used at all. "Her" and "Mother" once. "Sister" two times and that is it. Babies get more mention – 5 times.
A Course in Miracles communities clearly have female leadership, but the lack of female gender language has been a sore point for many women. Even in this modern age women still face discrimination. We have never had a female president. Men lead most of the world’s religions. The Catholic Church still does not have women on their council. We do have some gains in the Protestant sects where woman have been ordained as Priests, however they use the male term "Priest" not the female term "Priestesses."
Recently in talking with a woman Episcopalian Priest, I was shocked to find out the extent of her struggles in dealing with the patriarchy leadership of her denomination. She has headed up a congregation for 13 years so I assumed that her relationship with the patriarchy leadership was respectful. "Oh no," she said. "I have had to form a support group with other women Priests, as it is more difficult than ever dealing with the male leaders." Surely in more progressive or metaphysical spiritual circles there is more balance and recognized equality?
A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers, says a characteristic of God’s teacher is gentleness. "Ah, just get over it!" doesn’t feel very gentle. I have met women who could not handle all the male language and left the Course. Tough luck for them, I guess. Considering how the Course says we are to be awoken gently, surely the Holy Spirit must have a more gentle answer. And yes, She does. A brilliant answer came to me in my meditation after I posed the question about the gender issue. Her answer totally resolved the male gender issue but how may surprise you. It did me.
The Foundation for Inner Peace, who originally published A Course in Miracles, did stop and take into consideration and prayed about the exclusive male gender issue. They collectively got the same answer. They were not to switch to non-gender terms.
In my quest for a deeper understanding of this issue, I found answers in the Gnostic texts of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Gospel of Thomas (translated and compiled by Jean-Yves Leloup). These Gnostic texts tell the story of Peter’s anger about having to include a woman like Mary Magdalene "who are lower than life" in their inner circle. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus tells Peter that if he wants her to be a man, "I will make her a man." But how can he do this? I wonder.
A Course in Miracles says to me (as a woman), "I am a Son of God." The term Son clearly implies male so how is Jesus going to incorporate the feminine into the mix. In the Gnostic texts, Jesus goes on and declares that it is by her breath that she is fully human. The spirit of life that breathes in us is the same. Life in any man, or for that matter any woman, is not different, but equal.
We see this idea of the role of the breath in A Course in Miracles. "There is but one [holy instant]. The little breath of eternity that runs through time like golden light is all the same – nothing before it, nothing afterwards." (OrEd.Tx.20.41) There is only one reality according to the Course. We are not separate from God. God is Love, and all that breathes – the breath of life – "a tiny breath" becomes "the measure of reality." The only thing that is real is Love. No gender need be applied. The Spirit of Love is equal to all.
However, for an A Course in Miracles devotee and an ordained Priestess of Mary Magdalene who teaches the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, I still struggled with the male language. But even Magdalene’s gospel has strong male language. On page 8 in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene it says, "For it is within you that the Son of man dwells. Go to Him, for those who seek Him will find Him." Having found "Him" (Karen King’s translation), "Go then and preach the gospel of the Kingdom."
What’s a Divine Feminist to do? I was teaching that day on page 8, before a group of Divine Feminine seekers. Here I was faced with all these "Hims" again, and I am not getting over it (no offense guys). In my morning meditation, I poured out my heart in prayer for help with the "Him" thing. If I was to "just get over it," then Holy Spirit was going to have to give me a sign to accept it. I would then do my best to surrender the "Him" thing, but only if I have too.
I let go with a deep sigh as I sat in the silence. As I took a deep breath in, a peaceful voice arose in my mind and said: "You tell them, it is "‘H’ period, ‘I’ period, ‘M’ period." "‘H.I.M.’ what is that?" I said. The gentle voice continued, "‘H’ stands for ‘Heaven.’ ‘I’ stands for ‘In,’ and ‘M’ stands for ‘Me.’ ‘Heaven In Me.’" Wow, what a great new understanding of "Him."
Opening her Gospel, I looked up the next sentence following the "Him" thing, it says, "walk forth …." I suddenly realized when I seek H.I.M./Heaven In Me and I find H.I.M./Heaven In Me then I can "walk forth" as the embodied demonstration of H.I.M. /Heaven In Me, or as A Course in Miracles says, as a "Son of God"’ for I am walking in God’s Kingdom.
Now I can be grateful they did not switch out the hundreds of "Him’s" in A Course in Miracles. This is like a secret code of the Divine Feminine, which I whisper to myself every time I come across a "Him." It allows me, a woman, to be as H.I.M., a Son of God.
Also utilized The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle by Karen King.♥
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This article appeared in the February 2018 (Vol. 31 No. 12) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members, Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.