NOTE: This is the 2nd Installment (or “Instillment” : ) of the Introduction to the Course that I began posting yesterday.
INTRODUCING A COURSE IN MIRACLES
“This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. 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. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.”
This Course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”
And here is a beautiful “prayer” from the Course that I would like to once again share with you here at the outset, especially as it highlights my role as both a teacher AND student, as well as your role as student AND teacher…
I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do,
Because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever he Wishes,
Knowing He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let him teach me to heal
“Every good teacher hopes to give his students so much of his own learning that they will no longer need him.
This is the one true goal of the teacher.”
~ A Course in Miracles
The intention behind this presentation is to provide a contemporary, up-to-date introduction to the phenomenon that is A Course in Miracles (aka “ACIM” and/or “the Course”), one that brings together the most helpful information about the Course from the Web and other resources. This is primarily intended for those who are new to ACIM, but it could also very well prove helpful to those who are already somewhat familiar with it or even “seasoned.” Keeping with the Course’s own emphasis on simplicity, every attempt will be made to keep this as simple and clear as possible, as well as fair and balanced. Because of this, feedback on this presentation is most certainly welcome.
So let’s begin…
FINDING ANOTHER WAY, A BETTER WAY
“Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit.
Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly,
that there must be a better way.
As this recognition becomes more firmly established,
it becomes a turning point.
This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision, simultaneously
weakening the investment in physical sight.
The alternating investment in the two levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict, which can become very acute.
But the outcome is as certain as God.”
~ A Course in Miracles
The writing of the Course actually began with the decision of two people (Helen Schucman and William Thetford, research psychologists at Columbia University from the ‘50s onward) to find “another way” to communicate and be with each other harmoniously as opposed to their usual antagonistic encounters. Perhaps you are now coming to the Course because you, too, are seeking “another way” in your life. Well, you should know that although the Course was ostensibly a way to help Helen and Bill to find peace in their relationship with each other, it is really meant for all of us, as the Course teaches that at essence we all have a shared interest in peace, love and understanding, and in finding our true self (Self). To help to understand this point, here are some of the issues that might have led you to this point (i.e., reading this book), see if one or more of these applies to your life:
~ A failed or troubled relationship, whether with a spouse or significant other, parent, sibling, or friend.
~ Achievement of worldly success, only to find that you are still not happy.
~ Or conversely, failure to achieve success in life, leaving you feeling hopeless.
~ A sense that there must be more to life than this.
~ Fear about dying, or anxiety/panic about the future, for you or someone close to you.
~ A sense of deep regret and/or guilt about your past actions.
~ Confusion about spirituality and religion and how to know what the truth is regarding them.
~ A falling out with your birth religion, or religion in general.
~ A deep sense of loneliness and despair, or otherwise depression.
~ An unshakeable feeling that you are a fraud, a phony and/or that you really don’t like yourself, or worse.
~ Putting your trust in someone or something, only to be betrayed.
~ A perfectionism that leaves you paralyzed.
~ Recognizing that nothing is bringing you the happiness (love, peace, etc.) you truly seek.
~ A spiritual experience that left you with questions as to its meaning, one that you cannot seem to find in the world of traditional religion.
And so on…
Now, if any of these applied to you, then the Course might just be for you. And in fact, the Course really is for every body, and isn’t it the case that everybody experiences one or more of those things that were just listed? The thing is that not everybody is ready yet for the Course because it either might not be the right spiritual path for them, or they might not be at the point where they are ready to seek its guidance.
This idea can be summed up in a very simple statement:
“The Course is for everybody,
but not everybody is for the Course.”
(Or: The Course is for everyone who thinks they’re a body – more on this soon…)
The Course itself says:
“‘Many are called but few are chosen’ should be,
‘All are called but few choose to listen.'”
I sense that your being here right now means that you have in some sense heard the “call” and are in a place to really listen to and consider what the Course says and has to offer you. Given this, let’s get waste no time to get into the thick of it…
[To Be Continued Tomorrow]
 ACIM, T 4.I. 5:1-2.
 ACIM, T2.III.3.5-10.
Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford, the scribes of A Course in Miracles.
Helen Schucman with Ken Wapnick