God, Jesus and A Course in Miracles

Ideas Leave Not Their Source

“Ideas leave not their source,” is a very important ACIM principle. It appears first in T-5 Section IV, Teaching and Healing, where we learn how each loving thought by a Son of God is shared and held by everyone because of the love it contains. Jesus forms the concept as follows establishing; as an idea of God, we have not left God.

Ideas of the spirit do not leave the mind that thinks them, nor can they conflict with each other. [T-5.IV.3.5.]

Being “of the spirit” the ideas are level one. Ego-centric level two ideas cause conflict and attack. In T-19, Section IV The Obstacles to Peace; C, “The Third Obstacle: The Attraction of Death,” Jesus again states the principle.

We know that an idea leaves not its source. And death is the result of the thought we call the ego, as surely as life is the result of the Thought of God. [T-19.IV.C.]

An idea of the mind is free according to the mind that thinks it.

or it remains joined to its source, which is its jailer or its liberator, according to which it chooses as its purpose for itself. [T-19.I.16.5]

Jesus’ most complete discussion of this principle occurs in Text Chapter 25, Section IV, “The Laws of Healing.” There he contrasts it with projection. The answer (the Holy Spirit) is from Heaven, not part of the separation, not affected by the illusion of time, but is real because it has not left its’ source.

Ideas leave not their source, and their effects but seem to be apart from them. Ideas are of the mind. What is projected out, and seems to be external to the mind, is not outside at all, but an effect of what is in, and has not left its source. [T-26.7.4]

The ego thought that the world is real reverses the concept to read, “ideas do leave their source,” which fills our split mind with sin, guilt and fear. However Jesus assures us that,

Cause and effect are one, not separate. God wills you learn what always has been true: that He created you as part of Him, and this must still be true because ideas leave not their source. Such is creation's law; that each idea the mind conceives but adds to its abundance, never takes away. [T-26-VII.13]

A comprehensive declaration of this concept occurs in Workbook Lesson 45 paragraph 3. As part the goal to change our mind about the world, the lesson relates it to our belief in death. In spite of that belief, our identity as part of God assures us that death is only of the body. Jesus then sends us back to our mind.

A thought is in the mind. It can be then applied as mind directs it. But its origin is where it must be changed, if change occurs. Ideas leave not their source. The emphasis this course has placed on that idea is due to its centrality in our attempts to change your mind about yourself. It is the reason you can heal. It is the cause of healing. It is why you cannot die. Its truth established you as one with God. [W-45.3.4-11] (emphasis added)

So, we direct our mind back to the decision maker, the part of our separated mind that chose the “tiny mad idea.” There we “choose once again,” and remember that we have never left our source, the Mind of God.