Questions About The A Course In Miracles Teaching

What Does It Mean That ACIM Is Not About Behavior?

A Course In Miracles does not teach any "specific" behaviors like many other spiritual disciplines or religions. Actually, what religions or spiritualities frequently teach about behavior is what not to do. ACIM does not teach that it is a sin to be sexual outside of the "sacrament" of marriage. ACIM does not teach that homosexual behavior is wrong. ACIM does not teach that eating meat is "murder." Therefore ACIM does not teach vegetarianism or sexual abstinence. ACIM doesn't teach that you have to go to church on Sunday. ACIM doesn't teach that you need to tithe 10% of your income to a central organization. In this sense, ACIM isn't about behavior.

However, it is the author's opinion that to make a general statement that ACIM in not about behavior is simplistic. The author does not believe that it is true. "God offers only mercy. Your words should reflect only mercy because that is what you have received, and that is what you should give." (OrEd.Tx.2.20) That's a behavioral guideline. Our words should be merciful / loving. This is ACIM telling us how to speak. That's behavior. It also in not 100% true that ACIM never teaches anything specific about behavior either. "It is not wise to lie down for [your quiet time]. It is better to sit up, in whatever position you prefer. Having gone through the workbook you must have come to some conclusions in this respect." (OrEd.Mn.16.5) Better to sit up than to lie down for our quiet, prayer meditation time. That is definitely a specific behavior.

ACIM is very clear that Holy Spirit and Jesus should be guiding our behavior. "In everything be led by Him and do not reconsider." (OrEd.Tx.13.81) Holy Spirit and Jesus are charge of our behavior. That's a powerful behavioral teaching from ACIM. It's clearly repeated in the Workbook. "What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom?” (OrEd.WkBk.71) This passage teaches us to ask Holy Spirit what to do and say. That is a clear behavior teaching. In truth, there are many powerful behavior teachings all throughout ACIM. Here's another one, "You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think." (OrEd.Tx.2.73) We get our thinking "straight" and aligned with Holy Spirit, with Jesus, then we will "behave" correctly. That is a behavior teaching.

It is actually accurate to say that ACIM is a profound teaching on "Miracle Minded" behavior. In many place there is an actual call to action, a "Great Crusade." "As you share my inability to tolerate lack of love in yourself and others, you must join the Great Crusade to correct it. The slogan for the Crusade is  Listen, learn and do: Listen to my voice, learn to undo error, and do something to correct it." (OrEd.Tx.1.31) The "slogan" for our life's mission is "listen, learn, and do." Doing is behavior. This is a behavioral teaching. In another place ACIM teaches us that we will be "busy doing" when we follow the Holy Spirit's or Jesus' guidance. "This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent. For from this center will you be directed how to use the body sinlessly." (OrEd.Tx.18.70) Continuing on these themes of Crusade and busy doings there is this quotation, "Let us not rest content until the world has joined our changed perception. Let us not be satisfied until forgiveness has been made complete. And let us not attempt to change our function. We must save the world." (OrEd.WkBk.SpTp241.5) ACIM is teaching us that we are going to be so busy doing on this Great Crusade that we can not rest content.

It is also extremely clear that ACIM is requiring us to use our bodies in the salvation process, even specific parts of our bodies. "My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today -- Have but one purpose—to be given Christ -- To use to bless the world with miracles." (OrEd.WkBk.353) The same idea is expressed again here, "Pray that the Second Coming will be soon, but do not rest with that. It needs your eyes and ears and hands and feet. It needs your voice. And most of all it needs your willingness." (OrEd.WkBk.SpTp301.5) The "Second Coming," the "Great Crusade," the Atonement itself needs the behavior of our bodies as a whole and of specific parts of our bodies as well. In this way ACIM is a dynamic and profound behavioral teaching.

 

Please help support the healing work of the Community Miracles Center by becoming a Supporting Member. Our members receive many ongoing benefits that help them grow into a full realization of the A Course In Miracles philosophy guiding their mirs. Together this ministry is bringing the Real World into manifestation.

To become a CMC Supporting Member click here: CMC Supporting Members.

You can also make a one time donation to the CMC here: One Time Donation.
You can also call during regular business hours: (415)621-2556.

© copyright 2012, Community Miracles Center, San Francisco, CA. All rights reserved.

What Does It Mean That Words Are Symbols Of Symbols

It is easier for me to understand the words being "symbols of symbols" teaching from the Manual for Teachers when I apply it to things of this world. After all, it is only in this world where things like words and symbols exist anyway. I have an idea in my mind of a living thing with roots in the ground, a trunk that shoots skyward, branches that reach and spread, and broad green leaves that catch the sun – a tree. I project that idea onto the world where I see a symbol of the thing in my mind. I see and feel a large "living" organism with roots, truck, branches, and leaves. I see and feel a tree. But that tree I see and feel is just a symbol for the idea of tree I have in my mind.

Now, in order to communicate with my brothers and sisters I manifest a word, a symbol, to refer to the physical tree, which was itself a symbol for the idea of tree I had in my mind. The word "tree" is a symbol for the physical organism with roots and leaves, the "tree," that was itself a symbol for the idea of "tree" I had in my mind. "Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality." (OrEd.Mn.21.1)

The "reality," in this case, is the idea in my mind. The first symbol is the object in the physical world – the tree. The second symbol is the word we use to refer to the object, the word "tree." The word is a symbol of the physical tree, which is a symbol of the thought tree.

I believe Lesson 325 means exactly what is says literally. "Lesson 325 -- All things I think I see reflect ideas." If I think I see a tree it has to be because I have an idea of "tree" in my mind. There is no world out there. "There is nothing outside you. That is what you must ultimately learn" (OrEd.Tx,18.49) It's an illusion in my mind. It's a dream. In a dream at night, if the dreamer encounters a tree, it is because an idea of tree is in the mind that is dreaming. We are dreaming the three dimension world that seems to appear in front of us, "outside" of us. In truth, there is no outside. "He always perceives this world as outside himself, for this is crucial to his adjustment. He does not realize that he makes this world, for there is no world outside of him." (OrEd.Tx.11.29)

 

Please help support the healing work of the Community Miracles Center by becoming a Supporting Member. Our members receive many ongoing benefits that help them grow into a full realization of the A Course In Miracles philosophy guiding their mirs. Together this ministry is bringing the Real World into manifestation.

To become a CMC Supporting Member click here: CMC Supporting Members.

You can also make a one time donation to the CMC here: One Time Donation.
You can also call during regular business hours: (415)621-2556.

© copyright 2012, Community Miracles Center, San Francisco, CA. All rights reserved.

How Did We Create The World?

First, the world is not a creation. It is a making or a manifestation. Creation in A Course In Miracles refers to Eternal things, like Us or like our own True Creations. Things that seem to exist in this world of time and space are made and not created. So, how did we make the world? What always works for me is to remember that ACIM tells us that the world is a dream in our minds. We make it just like we make up all the dream worlds we find ourselves in when we sleep at night. It's a mental construct, an hallucination really. ACIM tells us we took a "scrap" from here and a "thread" from there and assembled them into a chaotic world that doesn't exist. "... here the maker of the dream believes that what he made is happening to him. He does not realize he picked a thread from here, a scrap from there, and wove a picture out of nothing. For the parts do not belong together, and the whole contributes nothing to the parts to give them meaning." (OrEd.Tx.24.41)

Usually in dreams we have at night we do not realize that we are dreaming. We think the dream is real. That's all that's happening right now with this world we seem to be in. We're dreaming it, but we don't realize it. It seems real. ACIM helps us to learn we are dreaming the world we appear to be in. At first we learn it as an intellectual idea. However, as we continue to practice ACIM we begin to have more an more experiences that prove to us that what the Course has taught to us intellectually is actually so. Once we learn that we are the cause of the world we are saved, and we bring salvation to the world. "I am not asked to take salvation on the basis of an unsupported faith. For God has promised He will hear my call and answer me Himself. Let me but learn from my experience that this is true, and faith in Him must surely come to me." (OrEd.WkBk.327.1)

 

Please help support the healing work of the Community Miracles Center by becoming a Supporting Member. Our members receive many ongoing benefits that help them grow into a full realization of the A Course In Miracles philosophy guiding their mirs. Together this ministry is bringing the Real World into manifestation.

To become a CMC Supporting Member click here: CMC Supporting Members.

You can also make a one time donation to the CMC here: One Time Donation.
You can also call during regular business hours: (415)621-2556.

© copyright 2011, Community Miracles Center, San Francisco, CA. All rights reserved.

ACIM Talks Frequently About Our Creations. What Are They?

"Our Creations," or as A Course In Miracles calls them frequently "Your Creations," is one of the more perplexing ACIM ideas. It is very unique to the Course discipline itself and I am not aware of a similar concept in any other spiritual path. There are 39 references to "Your Creations" in the Text and the concept is referred to numerous other times using different words, so it is not an obscure, seldom mentioned idea but a common, frequently mentioned one, and as such must be important. Our Creations do not exist here in the world of time and space that we find ourselves in, so don't look to experiences of this world to give you any clue about Your Creations. Our Creations only exist in Reality, the level of eternal Spirit.

For me, the most important thing to remembers is that Our Creations have the same relationship to us as we have to God. I interpret these as the eternal beings that we have created, our Sons/Daughters, our Divine Children. They are the "Christ(s)" that we have created. They establish our Fatherhood just as we establish God's. We are incomplete without them just as God is incomplete without us. We are their true Cause and they are our true Effect. Here's a difficult idea, they are appropriately in awe of us as we are appropriately in awe of God. "Without your Father, you will not know your fatherhood. The Kingdom of God includes all His Sons and their children, who are like the Sons as they are like the Father." (OrEd.Tx.7.113) "[God's] joy lay in creating you, and He extends His Fatherhood to you so that you can extend yourself as He did. You do not understand this because you do not understand Him." (OrEd.Tx.8.47) Here's a longer passage that spells it out clearly, "The creative power of both God and His creations is limitless, but they are not in reciprocal relationship. ... you are inspired to create like God. Yet in creation you are not in reciprocal relation to God since He created you, but you did not create Him. We have already said that only in this respect your creative power differs from His. Even in this world there is a parallel. Parents give birth to children, but children do not give birth to parents. They do, however, give birth to their children and thus give birth as their parents do." (OrEd.Tx.7.1)

I think it is important not to get too hung up on this concepts because we are trying to use words to describe the Divine Reality beyond words, and there will always be problems. The Course tells us to be careful of this pitfall, it can be an ego distraction. "Yet is this magnitude beyond the scope of this curriculum. Nor is it necessary we dwell on anything that cannot be immediately grasped." (OrEd.Tx.26.19) When the Course talks about our true function in Heaven as the extension of creation, "Our Creations" is what it is referring to. Thanks for the question. This question always comes up for students eventually.

 

Please help support the healing work of the Community Miracles Center by becoming a Supporting Member. Our members receive many ongoing benefits that help them grow into a full realization of the A Course In Miracles philosophy guiding their mirs. Together this ministry is bringing the Real World into manifestation.

To become a CMC Supporting Member click here: CMC Supporting Members.

You can also make a one time donation to the CMC here: One Time Donation.
You can also call during regular business hours: (415)621-2556.

© copyright 2011, Community Miracles Center, San Francisco, CA. All rights reserved.

Why Does It Seem So Hard To Remember We're Divine?

Your question is very well worded and shows how much you do know. It only "seems" hard. In truth it isn't hard. It seems hard to think we are a Divine being because we cling stubbornly to thinking of ourselves as something else and we want that something else to be true. A Course In Miracles has numerous ways of explaining this, however all the explanations don't truly help if all we do is intellectually learn them. The only way out of this illusion is through it. For  me, I keep doing my best to come from an awareness of my Divinity, my God self, and then offer up to the Holy Spirit for correction all the beliefs that I can identify that stand in the way of this. When I remember that it can not actually be hard to remember who and what I am I feel encouraged to keep doing my best.

One way ACIM describes "why" is because we, in our insanity, believe that God is going to punish us for the the "sin" of separation we think we have committed. So we, in another futile act of defiance, punish ourselves first by believing we are limited, weak, and mortal. It's like we're say, "I'll show you Divine Creator. You think you're so omnipotent do you? I punish myself worse than you could ever think of. I'll get sick, have terrible pain, and die! Yah! How's that Big One?" ACIM says, "But if he chooses death himself, his weakness is his strength. Now has he given himself what God would give to him and thus entirely usurped the throne of his Creator." (OrEd.Mn.5.3)

We are very attached to this type of thinking. Instead of surrendering into our eternal, infinite perfection we inflict suffering on ourselves to show the Divine, God, that we're just a big and powerful as It is. Except the God doesn't want to punish us. That's our insanity. This is the thinking that makes it all "seem" difficult.

 

Please help support the healing work of the Community Miracles Center by becoming a Supporting Member. Our members receive many ongoing benefits that help them grow into a full realization of the A Course In Miracles philosophy guiding their mirs. Together this ministry is bringing the Real World into manifestation.

To become a CMC Supporting Member click here: CMC Supporting Members.

You can also make a one time donation to the CMC here: One Time Donation.
You can also call during regular business hours: (415)621-2556.

© copyright 2011, Community Miracles Center, San Francisco, CA. All rights reserved.