22 Core Teachings of A Course in Miracles
This is not the Course, not even close. The Course presents a whole system of practical metaphysics that requires repeated application to truly be effective and undo the ego.
These quotes really must be read in context to get the bigger picture of what’s being said and meant.
Yet they will still be helpful as a reminder for some and perhaps as an inspiration for others to actually begin to take a deeper look at the Course.
Personally, I would not have taken A Course in Miracles that seriously if I hadn’t first read Gary Renard’s “Disappearance of the Universe,” which really helps to clarify and simplify it’s message.
I still don’t know how I feel about how Gary’s book came about, yet as of now I have decided that it doesn’t matter, it’s the message that counts, and more important even, the practical application of the message.
So how is all of this connected to Yoga? Well, Yoga means “Union,” and the highest philosophy of India, Advaita Vedanta, is the philosophy of Nonduality, which is exactly what the Course teaches, though with the added teaching of “true forgiveness” as given by Christ.
My teachers all held Jesus to be a great avatar (ascended master come to earth), perhaps the greatest ever.
I can see this now.
In any case, great minds think alike, and after all, as the Course says, there is only one mind anyway.
So let’s not get caught up in superficial differences of “oh, that’s Christian” and “that’s Hindu,” because it’s really all one.
ACIM = A COURSE IN MIRACLES
DU = Disappearance of the Universe
ps. Enjoy the pictures below, but the deeper message here is in the words…
The Real & The Unreal
1) “Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”
(Main message of the Course, from the Introduction)
[Compare with Shankarcharya’s classic statement of Advaita Vedanta:
brahma satyam jagan mithya
jivo brahmaiva napara
Brahman [God] is the Reality, the universe is an illusion,
The living being is Brahman [God] alone, none else.
“To mean you want the peace of God is to renounce all dreams.” ~ ACIM
OM ASATOMA SADGAMAYA ~ “Lead us from the unreal to the real.” (ancient Sanskrit mantra)
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP6W1MaxJLI
REMOVING THE BARRIERS TO LOVE
2) *“The search for love is but the honest searching out of everything that interferes with love.” *
“The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught.
It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.” (ACIM, from the Introduction)
[Compare with Rumi: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”]
Commentary: This is all the process of yoga is — Peeling the onion, going back to union, to the One Love that we are… what we call “God.” The Course calls this “Undoing the Ego.” http://www.undoing-the-ego.org/index-ute.html
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb9P8BLipqo
THE WORLD IS AN ILLUSION
3) * “There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach.
Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can
let himself be led along the road to truth…” *
“The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever.” ~ ACIM
“No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected.” ~ ACIM
“There is nothing outside you.” ~ ACIM
[Einstein: A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.
This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”]
Will you bring truth to your illusions, or your illusions to truth?
Row Row Row Your Boat…
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW8TlrYhBxk
TRAINING THE MIND
4) * “This is a course in mind training.
An untrained mind can accomplish nothing.” *
DU: “One of the goals of the Course is to train your mind so the time will come when instead of judging automatically, you will forgive automatically.”
DU ~ “This is a lifelong spiritual path with numerous rewards along the way — but they happen within a difficult process.”
DU ~ “One of the reasons that A Course in Miracles is so long is that, even though the truth may be simple and consistent, your ego is not — and it needs to be undone gradually.”
“And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long , long time.
– He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance.” ~ ACIM
[Commentary: The Yoga Sutras recommends constant practice and “non attachment.” It also says that we can get there faster with more intense practice. The paradox is that time is an illusion and that whenever we get there, in whatever dream lifetime, is at a time beyond time anyway!
More Yoga Wisdom: “Make the mind your servant and not your master.”
“The truth is simple, but it’s not easy.”
“Get with De-program.” ~ Mr. Smiley : ) ]
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSIajKGHZRk
ACTION IN THE WORLD
5) * “This is a course in cause and not effect.
Therefore, seek not to change the world,
but choose to change your mind about the world.” *
“The ego made the world as it perceives it, but the Holy Spirit, the reinterpreter of what the ego made,
sees the world as a teaching device for bringing you home.” ~ ACIM
[Compare: “You can’t change the world, you can only change yourself.”
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi
“Your own Self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” ~ Sri Ramana Maharishi ]
Commentary: Putting yourself at “Cause” means that you take 100% responsibility for everything. There is no
more allowance for blame or victimhood.
Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS-16m1OhtA
I Sit Corrected
(Just “Be Still and Know…I Am”)
FEAR & LOVE
(or, Fear OR Love)
6) * “Fear and love are the only emotions of which you are capable.” *
“Fear binds the world. Forgiveness sets it free.” ~ ACIM
“The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength.” ~ ACIM
“Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.” ~ ACIM
“It is but your thoughts that bring you fear.” ~ ACIM
“There is nothing to fear.” ~ ACIM
Jesus ~ You cannot serve two masters.
DU: “The words love and fear in the Course represent two complete and mutually exclusive thought systems.”
Ram Dass: “Live from your soul, not your ego.”
Roosevelt: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” –> and even that’s NOTHING to fear!]
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4fWN6VvgKQ
GUILT & SUFFERING
8) * “The guiltless mind cannot suffer.” *
Commentary: According to DU, Jesus was crucified, but did not suffer. He realized that he was guiltless and so were his apparent persecutors. He also realized he was not his body.
A similar process happens in yoga. At first the practice of yoga can be very challenging, even torturous. Over time, it becomes easier and easier as
blockages are released from the body-mind. For me personally, yoga and exercise in general have become nearly effortless and fun – until I go to the next layer/level where I begin to access the unconscious.
DU ~ “Pain is not a physical process, it is a mental process.”
[Compare: Buddha’s 4 Noble Truths:
The four noble truths are:[a]
- The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction)
- The truth of the origin of dukkha
- The truth of the cessation of dukkha
- The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha]
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.last.fm/music/Bob+Dylan/_/Watching+The+River+Flow
THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATION
9) * “A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.” *
“The truth about you is so lofty that nothing unworthy of God is worthy of you.
Choose, then, what you want in these terms, and accept nothing that you would not offer to God as wholly fitting for Him.” ~ ACIM
“You dwell not here, but in eternity.” ~ ACIM
“We are here to awaken from the illusion of separation.” ~ Ram Dass (and other spiritual teachers)
The Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Jesus
Commentary: The word “individuality” has the word “duality” in it.
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tiOMu_Bf8Q
10) * “Forgiveness is the healing of the perception of separation.” *
Commentary: Ultimately, forgiveness is an illusion, because we’re forgiving something that’s not there…It’s purpose is to lead you to God, but it’s not of God.
Unlike all other illusions, it leads you away from separation and not towards it. The Course calls it a “happy fiction.”
“This is not a course in philosophical speculation, nor is it concerned with precise terminology.
It is concerned only with Atonement, or the correction of perception.
The means of the Atonement is forgiveness.” ~ ACIM
“He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive.” ~ ACIM
“There is a simple way to find the door to true forgiveness, and perceive it open wide in welcome.
When you feel you are tempted to accuse someone of sin in any form, do not allow your mind to dwell on what you think he did,
for that is self-deception. Ask instead, “Would I accuse myself of doing this?” ~ ACIM
“Forgiveness allows love to return to my awareness.” ~ ACIM
“God does not forgive for he has never condemned.” ~ ACIM
DU ~ “Forgiveness and arguing are mutually exclusive, and forgiveness is always the way.”
DU ~ “You have to learn how to turn the tables on the ego. The only way to forgive what is within is to forgive what seems to be without.”
DU ~ “True forgiveness is the real purpose of life, but you’ve got to choose it in order to make it yours.”
Jesus: “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
“That which is hateful to you do not do to your fellow man.” etc.
[Commentary : All is forgiven — AND there is nothing to forgive! ]
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xezg3z5IE8I
11) * “The ego cannot survive without judgment.” *
“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brother totally without judgement.” ~ ACIM
“Judgment and love are opposites. From the one comes all the sorrows of the world. From the other comes the peace of God.
Judgment will bind my eyes and make me blind.” ~ ACIM
The Golden Rule: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Jesus
‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'” ~ Jesus
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” ~ Jesus
“Fire the Judge and hire the Witness.” ~ Gurudev
(“As God is my Witness.” : )
“Non-judgment day is at hand!” ~ Swami Beyondananda
Commentary: Again, taking the Golden Rule to its most absurd conclusion: Loving our brother/sister as ourself because they are ourSelf!
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwbGjzF3mB0
…and it’s all in your mind!
PEACE OF MIND
12) * “There are no small upsets.” *
They are all equally disturbing to my peace of mind.”
DU ~ “It is just as important to forgive a cold as a physical assault,
and just as important to forgive a subtle insult as the death of a loved one.”
Commentary: Having a bad hair day is just as needing of forgiveness as having a bad hair life! Or if you’re bald, a bald hair day! Forgive it all!
All is Forgiven…AND There Was Nothing Ever to Forgive.
[Mr. Smiley’s Recommended Mantra ~ “It just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter…”]
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cTYhY3NUWE
THE MASTER TEACHER
13) * “To teach is to demonstrate.” *
“As you teach, so shall you learn.” ~ ACIM
“I am among the ministers of God.” ~ ACIM
“The ego does not want to teach everyone all it has learned, because that would defeat its purpose.” ~ ACIM
“There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought;
no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. Such are the truly honest.” ~ ACIM
[“Be the Change.” “Lead by example.” “Walk your talk.” “Practice what you preach.” — And forgive yourself if you don’t! Because you probably won’t!
Gandhi ~ “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in Harmony…Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed.”]
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4GZFbCqx18
Okay, that was a joke, try this one instead:
14) * “Each (of us is) a miracle of love.” *
“Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle-readiness.” ~ ACIM
“There is nothing my holiness cannot do.” ~ ACIM
“Miracles mirror God’s eternal love.” ~ ACIM
“The miracle is the only device in your immediate disposal for controlling time…
The miracle substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years.” ~ ACIM
[Commentary: Ram Dass’ book about his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, is called “Miracle of Love.”
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g26e89xV1HU
HEALTH & SICKNESS
15) * “Sickness is of the mind and has nothing to do with the body.” *
“Sickness is but another name for sin.
Healing is but another name for God.
The miracle is thus a call to Him.” ~ ACIM
“The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind, for a purpose for which it would use the body, is the basis of healing.
And this is so for healing in all forms.” ~ ACIM
DU ~ First Biggest Rule About Spiritual Healing: “It’s not about the patient. All healing is a result of some kind of forgiveness, and all forgiveness leads to self-healing.”
Second Biggest Rule: “Pain is not a physical process. It is a mental process.”
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy625sZAHN8
(well, it is possible to multi-task on this one, ’cause God is not a cruel multi-taskmaster, haha, i tried ; )
16) * “You have sought first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all else has indeed been given you.” *
DU ~ “How much success or money you get has nothing whatsoever to do with how spiritually enlightened you are.”
DU ~ “If you remember you’re not a body, then you can step back and see that what you desire is valueless.”
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
[Commentary: If abundance comes, let it be a “perk of the job” so to speak, and then use it to further the work you are doing. The Course essentially is telling us to make the world and the things of the world nothing, because they are. If we are fervently seeking them and praying for them, then we are missing the point.]
Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tGuJ34062s
17) * “The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need.” *
“I once asked you to sell all you have and give to the poor and follow me. This is what I meant: If you have no investment
in anything in this world, you can teach the poor where their treasure is. The poor are merely this who have invested wrongly, and they are poor indeed!” ~ ACIM
“Not my will, but Thy will.” à Not the ego’s script, but the Holy Spirit’s.
Commentary: In yoga, meditation is generally considered a more beneficial practice than prayer. There is a saying, “When you pray, you talk to God. When you meditate, God talks to you. Generally we only really pray unless we’re in a crisis, or if we really need something. This type of prayer is coming from a place of fear, not love.
Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruAi4VBoBSM
18) * “This course does not attempt to take from you the little that you have.” *
“The special relationships of the world are destructive, selfish, and childishly egocentric. Yet, if given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth—the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven.
The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness.
The Holy Spirit transforms them into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream.
Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected. Each one is another chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other. And each one becomes still another invitation to the Holy Spirit and to the remembrance of God.” ~ ACIM
DU ~ “A dream is nothing, and sex is nothing.
But I wouldn’t recommend that you turn to your partner after making love and say, “That was nothing.”
DU ~ “Tension can be released by forgiveness, but until someone is very proficient at it they shouldn’t be forced to give up earthly desires.”
“Let not their form deceive you. Idols are but substitutes for your reality.” ~ ACIM
DU ~ “We’ve made a false idol out of the sexual feeling, like a substitute for God.”
First Commandment (Book of Exodus): “I am the Lord thy God…Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods [Idols] Before Me.”
What other false idols do we have?
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY9-98tkfvg
LIFE & DEATH
19) * “Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem.” *
“If death is real for anything, there is no life. Death denies life, but if there is reality in life, death is denied.
No compromise in this is possible.” ~ ACIM
“Death is the symbol of the fear of God.” ~ ACIM
“God did not make death because He did not make fear. Both are equally meaningless to Him.” ~ ACIM
“Are you afraid to find a loss of self in finding God?” ~ ACIM
“The reality of death is firmly rooted in the belief that God’s Son [you] is a body.” ~ ACIM
“Without the idea of death, there is no world. All dreams will end with this one.” ~ ACIM
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmASTC7wR6U
20) * “Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.” *
[Commentary: Other names in the Course for Enlightenment are “Resurrection,” “Salvation,” “Atonement,” “Awakening.”]
“Your resurrection is your reawakening.”
DU ~ Enlightenment is “the total absence of unconscious guilt.”
DU ~ “Enlightenment happens during one of your illusory lifetimes. The body is laid aside once and for all only after your mind awakens from the dream.”
DU ~ “When you’re enlightened, you will completely awaken from the dream. Even though you’ll still appear to be in a body, you’ll see what the Course refers to as the real world. …You’ll see only innocence everywhere, because it’s your own innocence — the innocence of Christ.”
“Before enlightenment – chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment – chop wood, carry water.” ~ Zen Saying
Commentary: The “Son of God” which the Course so often mentions is none other than…You! You are the One you’ve been waiting for!
You are Christ! (Or if you prefer, Mary!) And so is everyOne else, too!
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELRBvDz6YgU
THE COURSE IN MINIATURE
21) “I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.
I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.
I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.
I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit
will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.
I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me.”
- Text, Chapter 5
- This passage is sometimes called “the Course in miniature”
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piOlKl7hLhA
22) * “GOD IS” *
“Life has no opposite, for it is God. ”
“Life and death seem to be opposites because you have decided death ends life. Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God create cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real.
In this one sentence is our Course explained.
In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction.
And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is.” ~ ACIM
“We say ‘God is,’ and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless.
There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something
not itself. It has united with its Source. And like its Source Itself, it merely is.” ~ ACIM
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Jesus
Commentary: Funny how we need these big books to tell us “God Is” and all else, including all of the words, are ultimately meaningless. It’s a work is process, the lifetime plan…
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWhMyOs0pCQ
22+ = 23) Come on, there had to be one more, the most important one!
* “Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea,
at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh.
In his forgetting did the thought become a serious idea,
possible of both accomplishment and real effects.” *
Trivia Question: Where does Jesus laugh in the Gospels?
I don’t seem to recall Jesus ever laughing or smiling – let alone singing or dancing. Gotta watch the movie “Godspell” for that! J
But we do have Jesus crying as in the shortest verse in the Gospels: “Jesus Wept,” which is just a little shorter perhaps than the saying of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas (a non-canonical, Gnostic Gospel), “Be Passerby.”
“Laugh at the ego and be free!”
The Gospel of Rock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo
More “Gospel” Music
CAN MUSIC SAVE YOUR MORTAL SOUL?
“This is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago.”
You Also Might be Interested in the “Gospel of Rock” (Ministry of Rock) blog I was doing for awhile…
(The above link to a piece on the deeper meaning of Stairway to Heaven was the most commented on.)