A Course In Miracles: Truth or Cult? A Student Responds...

Can You Really Ever Know "Truth?"

(And now, it is December 27, 2013. The comments still trickle in. Thanks again for the ongoing interest and please keep the comments coming. It helps me to reorganize my thinking and to update any of my own ignorances!!)

(June 17, 2012: I've been going over all the comments here at this post and am gratified to know that I achieved my goal, that is, in bringing attention to ACIM in a way that helps present a lot of different views. If you're reading this for the first time, please leave a new comment sharing your perspective. If you have returned, leave a new comment as well. The doors remain open.)

The following quote comes from a recent news release announcing:

"A Course In Miracles is an effect of supra-consciousness, that is, with Jesus Christ as its true Causation. The acceptance or admission that A Course In Miracles originated from an absolutely unearthly source, while it appears simple, is the single most difficult barrier to enlightenment the immature consciousness faces. No matter how overwhelmingly predominant the evidence, both in method of origination and in content that this is indeed so, the assertion is finally inevitably an act of faith [Bold added by this post author]. You must remember that human conceptual consciousness is explicitly formulated in a self-perpetuating structure of thought that denies singularity. Nothing could be more devastating to the dualistic mind construct, that is limited perceptual reality, than the realization that A Course in Miracles is indeed not of this world* but actually Truth speaking to falsity. In other words God-man speaking to man."

I studied the Course for a number of years and I will admit, there's a lot of good stuff in it. But is it Truth with a capital 'T'? As the bold portion proclaims, ultimately it is an act of faith. And therein lies the challenge. Every religion or religious movement will tell its followers that it requires an act of supreme faith in order to "get" what the movement is saying or teaching. Now for the blasphemy. Everything in the Course--EVERYTHING--has come directly from the human mind. Remember this: Any so-called Truth being presented by one of us humans must of necessity filter through our brain and our mind. It will always be colored by our experience and our perspective. It will be affected by our culture and our beliefs. There's no way around that. It cannot come to you in pure form.

So, to take something on faith requires giving up rational thought. Sometimes that's all we have to determine the validity of a teaching, be it religious, philosophical, or even scientific. Let the Course teach you what you want. Just be willing to keep an open mind. As with any teaching, take what resonates with you and discard the rest. Keep your mind intact by being its owner. Don't let outsiders control you. And they will try. You don't have to take that on faith.

The Old Philosopher said, "Those who think they know, know nothing; those who know they know nothing, really know." And that's the truth.

* Please take all so-called 'channeled' material with a grain of salt. Just because you're dead doesn't mean you're wise. Simply a reminder. But then, you knew that, right?

Think freedom, think choice, think for yourself...

Spirit is within you. Stand in that, on that, for that. You won't be disappointed!
Spirit is within you. Stand in that, on that, for that. You won't be disappointed!

Comments - Please be respectful... 119 comments

sequoiablessed profile image

sequoiablessed 7 years ago from USA

Truth is not something that is taught, it is remembered through a feeling of knowing. Some call it resonance, but ultimately we just know that we know and at the same time stay on the path to knowledge, because we really don't know. This is a very good Hub, thanks for sharing.


RichardSpeaks 7 years ago

We really don't know. That's the Catch-22. When someone says they know, they are deluding themselves. But, that's what has led to all the chaos within religion. They all know the Truth; hence, we must put an end to your Truth because it is not the same as our Truth. Heretic!

A Course In Miracles is just one more point of view. The difference is, the author isn't out to destroy those who don't agree with him.

Thanks for the comments.


Kimberly Bunch profile image

Kimberly Bunch 7 years ago from EAST WENATCHEE

Interesting read. Here's one that is along those lines: http://hubpages.com/hub/spiritualpath


Another Course student 7 years ago

Very well put.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 7 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Many thanks.


alex 6 years ago

It is true that a course in miracles is considered blasphamy to the catholic faith. But do know that it's only trying to help you get where you need to go


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

The Church would say that ACIM is a demon posing as a being of light. But that's what religious people almost always say about spiritual paths that don't agree with their own. The Protestants believe that most of the Catholic practices are blasphemous. Go figure.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

alex, if it were the truth then why in it's own canon does it say to keep the clergy and parishoners in the dark "AT ALL costs"? I find that amuzing to say the least. I also wrote a hub about blind faith from one of the Twilight Zone Episodes they had on their marathon at New Years. I named it "To Serve", (http://hubpages.com/hub/To-Serve) You ought to read it and see what God you are following without knowing. I wonder what it was that the Catholic Church is keeping from the rest at all costs. What is so good or so bad with what it is they are keeping from them?


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Here is a very simplified explanation as to why the Church keeps believers in the dark. First, the Church knows that the Bible is contradictory. It claims those contradictions are meant to keep the Truth from the ignorant and that only the priests and bishops have access to it. Therefore, the Church must be the final authority, the highest authority. Not the Bible. It's too confusing for the average peasant to understand. If the common people got wind of the idiocy of the Bible, they might rebel and protest. Hmmm... Protest? Protestant? Got it! And that's what happened. Once people got the Bible in the common language, rebellion began to happen. And the Church has been in a war with the rebels ever since. Blame Martin Luther or whomever you choose. But that's the reason the Church kept the folks in darkness. They knew the Bible was a mishmash of nonsense. In order the maintain power, they had to maintain authority. Once the people read the Book, all hell would and did break loose. And it will never be reined in on again.


Susan 6 years ago

"First, the Church knows that the Bible is contradictory. It claims those contradictions are meant to keep the Truth from the ignorant and that only the priests and bishops have access to it. Therefore, the Church must be the final authority, the highest authority. Not the Bible."

And that is why the Reformation happened. The Bible is not contradictory in the first place. And the Protestants and Reformers do not believe it is idiocy or a mishmash of nonsense either.


RichardSpeaks 6 years ago

You're right. The reformers believed in Sola Scriptura: Only the Bible. What they didn't realize was, the Protestant Bibles were based on a rather poor Greek rendition called the Textus Receptus. To this day, scholars of every stripe know that the TR is full of changes, errors, misspellings, deliberate and accidental. No one knows what the original autographs actually say. Why? Because we don't have them. Even if what the Gospels and Paul's Letters contained were the very Word of God Himself, it wouldn't matter. We do not have them.

Any scholar, Protestant or Catholic (if they are honest and forthright) will admit that the Bibles as we know them today are quite different from anything that might have been original.

One last thing: Anything that passes through the mind and the hand of a human is, by definition, flawed. Ultimate Truth cannot be passed from human to human. That is, if Ultimate Truth even exists. And if it does, there isn't a person alive who knows what it is.


Agreement 6 years ago

I wanted to add to these comments.

"As with any teaching, take what resonates with you and discard the rest."

Comment: I agree with this statement. However I would add that what resonates with you changes over time. As with any living teaching, what's written reflects your own depth. As your understanding becomes deeper, so does what resonates with you.

"Keep your mind intact by being its owner."

Comment:I agree with this. The mind is a tool that is to be used and set down when done. I would also add that "ownership" of the mind, can be quite difficult. I would say see if you can find the "off switch". See if you can stop the incessant stream of babble that is constantly running. Once you can turn on and off the stream of thinking at will, you have become the owner of your mind rather than the mind owning you.

"Don't let outsiders control you. And they will try. You don't have to take that on faith."

Comment: Agreed. I would add that only you control you anyway. When you decided to adopt another persons point of view, even then, though it's not your original thought, you are controlling you. You change your mind, you decide what you will accept and not accept. Ultimately, you always control you, it is an illusion and a denial of the mind that makes you believe that you don't.


RichardSpeaks 6 years ago

Well put. I would add this comment:

Turning off the "incessant stream of babble" is easier said than done. In fact, according to certain teachers and teachings, it can take many life times (if you happen to believe in multiple lives). Therefore, trying to turn off the noise can be a bit impractical. Rather, I would suggest a simpler route. Accept the noise and continue the journey. Sometimes, there is music within the noise. Often, there is a diamond in the dunghill. The noise serves as much of a purpose as anything else. It's only noise if you call it that, don't you think?

I long ago ceased trying to eliminate anything "noisy" in my spiritual walk. I have learned (and this applies only to me) that each circumstance and experience has produced its own unique gifts. I would not be who and where I am today without them.

It's important to remember that the light is always shining, even if we occasionally find ourselves in the shadows. In fact, it's the shadows that give light its meaning and it's depth, its contrast and perspective.

Illusion? Perhaps. A necessary one, to be sure.

Many blessings!


Violet Flame profile image

Violet Flame 6 years ago from Auckland, NZ

Hi RichardSpeak,

About the point where you said "Everything in the Course--EVERYTHING--has come directly from the human mind." and that "it cannot come to you in the pure form"....I wonder if you knew that Helen took down the entire text of A Course In Miracles on "dictation". She did not write down a single word out of her own "mind". There are a lot of materials out there to support what I just claimed.

Also, for whatever it's worth, I found "The Disappearance of The Universe" by Gary Renard an excellent guide book for understanding A Course In Miracles. I've now found ACIM very simple to understand. In fact, it's only repeating some very basic believes throughout the whole book.

many blessings xoxo


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

I understand your devotion. It's no different from those who believe the Bible was dictated directly. None the less, nothing can be pure in human language, even if dictated word for word. Language is faulty. It's always open to interpretation and error. And a thousand years from now, the Course will seem antiquated and will be argued for and against by descendants we will never know.

Bless you. I know that you have received much from the Course.


sowhat profile image

sowhat 6 years ago from USA

ACIM It's not for everyone. Where ever you are spiritually if you are seeking peace of mind the right way will appear for you. Meditate on your desire and it will manifest itself. Just ASK. I personally have benefitted more from the Course than anything else written down. I have been able to change my mind about my self and my life. That gives me a way to grow and evolve to the peaceful person I want to be. It's not easy and it's not explainable to some but if you seek you will find what is right for you. We are all in this together. Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

I believe it's important to remember that we do not create a simple individual reality, but a collective one. Otherwise, we could not hold this picture of the universe together in a cohesive way. Having said that, within our collective reality are many individual experiences. Those experiences help to give flavor to the overall structure of the universe. Everything that is happening plays a role, including the stresses and anxieties of the various creatures, here and throughout the cosmos. The good, the evil (just words, by the way) are all necessary to the well being of All That Is. Or it would not be possible in this universe.

The universe is perfect. How can I say that? Because we have no other universe with which to compare it. It's like a diamond. There is a standard of diamonds that sets the bar for all diamonds. It's because there is a diamond that is as close to perfect as possible, hence, the standard.

This is our only universe as far as we know. It is The Standard. So, perfection. No matter the appearance.

I'm glad the Course has served you so well. Blessings.


sowhat profile image

sowhat 6 years ago from USA

New follower to your blog.

Sometimes I want to be as articulate as you are when describing the course. I've studied for about 18 years. Since beginning I've not wanted to stop although I have wanted to put it down for a while. It's heaviness can get me weighed down and I feel like I am climbing a hill too high for my abilities. I do however return and am reassured that my intention is pure and that I will grow into more wisdom or understanding about my experience. You mention faith and that to me is the blood of it's teaching.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

And this too:

The Course is clear. You are the Center. If you look at your own core, you will find whatever it is you seek. Nothing outside you has The Answer. Everything can be a guide, a pointer, but ultimately, you are It.

I like that.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

Long Time no hear Richard. Yes Faith as is taught by the church is outside of oneself, while Faith that Jesus was teaching was that which comes from WITHIN oneself. Now most Westernized churches don't teach that because if they did there would be no need for churches. They wouldn't have the power and a need to control the people.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

You hit the nail on the head, LG. Taking charge of one's own growth means letting go of superstition. That includes the Devil. And without the devil, there is no need for salvation; hence, no need for Christianity, which hangs on a belief in Satan more than a belief in Jesus. Odd, eh???


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

I have got to post what I said on FB! I really do get the grief with this idea or knowledge. I used to take it seriously and now I laugh at them because it is funy how they will come right at you and attack you without ever realizing the research put behind that statement. The first hing that they say is that I have not read the Bible and then the False teachings. What a ploy and it is a very good one because look at all the religiouns and they fight with one another...just like the song says One Tin Soldier Rides Away.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

When you follow a religion of a book or a prophet or a particular deity, you HAVE to believe it is the only way. Otherwise, why bother, right? So, choosing to believe that the power is within oneself ends up as a slap in the face to anyone believing in an outside power. They tend to get angry; they tend to accuse; they tend to avoid you eventually. And the worst? They feel sorry for you because they know you're hell bound.

Here's the funniest part: Even if you call yourself a Christian, you might be hell bound if you don't believe exactly as they do.

Outcome? Virtually all Christians are bound for hell according to the other Christians. Just ask any Mormon, JW, Pentecostal, Baptist, or Catholic. They each have THE Truth and you are wrong...dead wrong!

Oh, we people!!


Doc 6 years ago

Who cares what the Catholic Church thinks. They do not tolerate anything that does not add to their coffers or their political influence. This is an institution that protects child molesting priests, child abusing nuns, discriminates against gays, and oppresses women. The Catholic Church has no moral credibility from which to criticize alternative beliefs.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

You may have a point. But neither do any of the other Christian or Muslim sects and denominations. All have sinned and come short...


Tony Amendola 6 years ago

Hi

I come from a very different place to many here on how ACIM came to me and I hope that this is helpful to all who read or dont read ACIM.

I have never praticed Religion or Spirituality....My Bible reading consisted of a few pages which brought me to a conclusion that there were two Gods being spoken of.

I decided that If God were Loving He would show me

If He were not Loving...........I wanted no part of Him

I didn't know If there was a God.......But realised the only way to know would be to be shown. That was around 1996

Through life lessons I slowly grew to realise the importance of Love...........and had to learn what Love was not also.

In 2003 during an intense Expereince of Love I remembered Self .........My only words at the time for this were "We are all One and there is only Love" .....Everything Exists in thought............Nothing I had expereinced "here" was real.........It was nothing.

And in its place ............Everything..beyond words.

So a year later a friend of my mums recognised what i was trying to speak of............and gifted me ACIM.

In it is described the Expereince that I had (Have as its Eternal) perfectly..........not on one page but on just about all of them ........I call it source signiture.

If you read the Forgotten song, that is what I (I being ALL) Expereinced.......

Now you may think that as this was how I came to ACIM that I would tell you all to read ACIM ..........IT IS THE KEY ETC ETC

NO...............

Firstly i do recognise many of the lessons in ACIM as the changes of mind i had during my apparent life here.

Yes it is the clearest form of teaching I have seen

BUT..........

There are many forms of this course is absolutely true

My way was in fact through life, songs and films........it held all the lessons within it and i can point to many of these that helped me to make the change of mind.....

Also the Bible says exactly the same thing as ACIM...........BUT you have to go back to the original "root" meanings of the original words used as these were mistranslated and misintepreted. It is easy for me as I know what I look for.....

If you listen to the teachings of Church doctrine you are misled .........Investigate the Bible......look into those things that dont make sense and you will see a very different Bible to that which Religions have taught.

It is a book of Love.

Then there is Buddhism...........The Dharma has "source signiture"

The OT has Source signiture

Horus has Source Signiture

Bahai has Source Signiture

Hindu Upnishads has Source signiture

You see when the Bible says Jesus had great understanding of the Scriptures it means ALL scriptures ........ Jesus would speak as confidently about Buddhist teachings as he would about Mosaic etc etc because when taken back to the original meaning they all say the SAME thing :)

And if his audience was not Religious he would speak in parables............always teaching Love via forgivness

Always teaching to look only at the Truth in the other

Always teaching to look past the flesh to the Truth.....

Truth is, Jesus gave us a simple message which is enough

Love all as self

Judge not

And you will note that while he began His ministry preaching and debating..........He concluded it "Forgiving" and doing nothing else.....

As for my intense moment of Love which lifted me into the Awareness of CHRIST SELF AND THEN TO LOOK UPON AND BECOME ONE IN GOD.............It was Love, Love bourne through Forgivness seeing another as my Self.

A Course in Miracles says that if you cease judgement.... It is the end of the ego

That is correct

That was my way

For a little time

Tony

tonyamendola@hotmail.com


WillVan 6 years ago

Hi , Thank you Tony for your insight and comments on Richard's Blog.

It was like reading my own experience in the path of awakening .

I always communicated , from a young age with a source , studied the Bible , and always argued with

Teachers or pastors , and remember well I wanted to separate the Bible in two and only keep the Teachings of

Jesus , mainly the Love messages. Since the last twenty years , if I asked for a answer , it is always given me by all sorts of

means, ( opening a book somewhere or someone telling me , even by songs, documentaries or movies ) All the teachings have Thruth within them

,sometimes I could read over them and grasp it not, till I was ready to understand or it was given again in another form. Sai Baba tought me a lot, to open my mind and respect all teachings and people and the ACIM helping me further to see and experience the One- or Is ness. Now the time for argueing is ended , to each their own believes on their paths, they will all lead to the same destination, I believe.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts,

LOVE & LIGHT for All,

Willem


soldier 4 christ 6 years ago

i just wanted to mention after reading all your thoughts which is quite interesting.

note 1 thing alot of you have sencerity for christ which is good, the second coming of him will not be like the first, he will be coming to cause peace,

will we all be able to accept the king, Jeovah has appointed.

God has many aspects, wisdom, power.. but he is love


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 6 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Why will God set up a monarchy on earth instead of a democracy?


Donna Suthard profile image

Donna Suthard 5 years ago

WHAT IS WONDERFUL ABOUT THE COURSE IS MIRACLES, IS THAT YOU CAN DIRECTLY HAVE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES, BY PRACTICING IT. I STUDIED THE COURSE IN MIRACLES WHEN I WAS IN MY 30'S I WAS SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND MISERABLE..I CHOSE TO STUDY IT AND PRACTICE IT FOR 1 YEAR. AT THE TIME WHEN I FIRST BEGAN STUDYING ITS PRINCIPLES. I READ SOMETHING THAT RESONATED WITH ME. IT WAS THE TEACHING THAT ANGER IS A CALL FOR LOVE. AT THAT TIME I HAD A DIFFICULT WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOMAN THAT I WORKED WITH. WE WERE BOTH CO HEAD TEACHERS IN A DAYCARE. SHE BEGAN YELLING AT ME AFTER RETURNING FROM HER MATERNITY LEAVE..IT MADE ME FEEL VERY UNCOMFORTABLE. ONE DAY I WAS DRIVING HOME, AND I BEGAN TO THINK ABOUT HER. I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW I THINK TO HEAL OUR RELATIONSHIP, I'LL GET HER SOME FLOWERS WITHOUT HER KNOWING ITS FROM ME!. AS SOON AS I HAD THAT THOUGHT, I WENT INTO A TOTAL STATE OF BLISS. I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED SUCH AN ENERGY OF LOVE. EVERY CELL OF MY BODY RESONATED WITH THIS ECSTATIC LOVE...IT WENT ON ALL NIGHT..IT WAS SO UNBELIEVABLE..AND FOR ME ITS THE MOST CONSISENT THOUGHT SYSTEM I HAVE EVER STUDIED. I ALSO RESOONATE WITH THE TEACHINGS OF YOGANANDA, AND BABAJI.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 5 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

I'm glad you have found a way to express your spiritual self in a way that feels right for you. I send you blessings.


Carrie Sparkles 4 years ago

I've been studying the Course for over a year.It has helped me let go of a lot of anger and think more positively.My biggest problem with traditional christianity is that there are so many branches of it.How is one supposed to pick from being a Catholic,Protestant, Baptist, Seventh day Adventist etc?


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

The Course, it would appear, has been very helpful to a lot of people. I applaud that. Still, most denominations will claim the same advantages. I have friends who are among the various Christian groups you mention who are very satisfied with their spiritual walk. Ultimately, it comes down to choosing what one feels will be the best path, while doing the least harm and the most good. I am certain Jesus would go along with that. Thanks for the comments.


Stephen Sponsler 4 years ago

Hello. I have found myself 'dipping' back and forth with this course, not indulging. The course flat out states in its preamble it is not about the God in the Bible. Taken straight off their page, "the God of the Course is not the God of formal religion, and certainly not the God of the Bible. In truth, our Source is beyond all concepts and anthropomorphisms, and has nothing in common with the biblical God who has all the attributes of special love (a God who has a chosen people) and special hate (a God of punishment) that are associated with the ego thought system." But then consorts that these are the words of Jesus spoken through an atheist? This makes no sense whatsoever. Much discussion above concerning churches and religion. There is a way first off. And this is prime importance, "Do you know what you believe?!" SERIOUSLY. Or is one looking for something to believe in? I did some very serious soul searching, so this must be stated. God did come to me and spoke in a silent language which sound ' mysterious' but is not how it was. Mainly, wisdom imparted and much more comprehension to all matters, including that of my profession that otherwise was not known. I had no attributed any of this to "jesus", but will say to be honest this started out 'thinking as if" atheist, and using in-depth research came to believe very powerfully in and of and with God. How could God know me? The only conclusion, through Jesus like the course writes, although I do not know what "Jesus" the course is referring to. As far as churches go, I can approach the course the same way as with ACIM, take what works and throw out the rest. However, there is a church amongst many that do not cling to politicking , accusing, condemning, judging, or forced doctrine. It is between God and Jesus, just like ACIM...but that is where it ends. Point being,'how well does one know God (in a spiritual sense), or is one searching without knowing?". Knowing God did not take a year, nor did it take that long for miracles to occur in my life. It took 2 months without picking up a book. (Footnote: I will add, that 30 years ago I was placed in a situation to save two lives in the ocean, and it was an absolute miracle I was even there that day...with all cards normally against that possibility. Yes, the man and son would have died within one minute (according to the medics)..had I not been there and called two others over to help. Want to see a miracle? Save a living creature from near death or strive to...the rewards come. Meditation is what I see ACIM being, so whatever can work for somewhere..fine...caution.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thanks for you well thought out comments. I support you in your continued relationship with the Source of All That It.


wellwateredgarden 4 years ago

As with all knowledge ... eat the chicken, leave the bones.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Wellwateredgarden: Indeed.


onespiritedangel profile image

onespiritedangel 4 years ago

My experience with ACIM has been a complete nightmare. I sought the help of a hypnotherapist online to address past childhood abuse. The man I ended up with was a "God Nazi," who referred to himself as "one of God's teachers" of ACIM and promised me he had something faster and better than hypnotherapy. He was verbally and emotionally abusive and a complete liar. He told me he had temporary special priveledge from God to do whatever it took to get everyone to see "the truth." He was responsible "for the salvation of the universe." Another line he often used was, "once I admitted I was a liar, I was no longer a liar." I still have nightmares about him coming after me. I have done a lot of research on ACIM since then, and found a site, forum.rickross.com to discover that ACIM is a cult. There is a training site in WI that churns out very abusive "teachers of God." I just finished reading, "Awake Among The Sleeping," a work of fiction based on the real life experience of one of the "teachers" from that program who "woke up" after his wife committed suicide from being brainwashed by these people. The author is Ian Blair Hamilton. You will never convince me that ACIM came from Jesus. Another author, Bruce Fraser Macdonald, claims it was authored by Simon Magus, a magician who lived the same time as Jesus. Cult brainwashing is on the rise as people become more and more spiritually desperate due to present day stressors. Read "Mind Programming" by Eldon Taylor. It's just amazing what humans will do in the name of "God."


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Within many of the major religions there are true freaks who prey upon those who are seeking some kind of inner peace and direction. The watch word is 'Caution!' Fundamentalisms and cults arise where people see a possibility of grabbing power and control. Thinking for oneself is more essential than ever. I do my best to help in that regard.


genevieve Christ 4 years ago

the truth is in you


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Indeed.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

June 17, 2012: I've been going over all the comments here at this post and am gratified to know that I achieved my goal, that is, in bringing attention to ACIM in a way that helps present a lot of different views. If you're reading this for the first time, please leave a new comment sharing your perspective. If you have returned, leave a new comment as well. The doors remain open.


Dandy7 4 years ago

onespiritedangel, Sorry to hear of your bad experience with a self-diluted nut. When it comes to the Bible there are a lot of them out their. The Bible can be a wonderful help and comfort but most teachers are so wrapped up in their own brand of teaching that they can't see the truth of the book. Each writer of each book in the Bible is presenting God as he came to him. God has dealt with people in difference ways at difference times. Poor translations are much of the problem. If you study the Bible without preconceived ideas you can know the truth. Try St. John first, he wrote to make the way plain. Gary Amirault has a lot more along this same line. To me ACIM is just a copy of Bible ideas by some man.


RichardSpeaks profile image

RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thank you for your comment, onespiritedangel. "If you study the Bible without preconceived ideas you can know the truth" In order to be free from preconceived ideas about the Bible, one must come from a culture that has never heard of it. Western culture has been inundated with biblical standards and there is literally no escape. Consequently, coming to the Bible without some kind of notion is next to impossible. So again I say, approach with caution. Everyone will have an opinion.


Cynthia K 4 years ago

Hello Richard and everyone ~ I just got to this site due to "Super Soul Sunday" today on Oprahs Own channel.

The first few posts here were very interesting from 2 years ago. Now if I can, allow me to fast rewind/forward respond and bring to light some of the new info fom Kirk Cameron having done Monumental ~ the movie.

Cameron's movie shows the history of why we ended up with rebellion to England and at what cost that was to many Christians and the King of Englands fight to "keep the church lid on truth and what is cannonical".

I once traveled to Israel and saw the 'effects' of fights which were seated in "believe our way so we can change, control or annihilate you".

Has it not always been the way?

The fight for power and control of others has and will always be an evil most people have to overcome. Modern day bullys or even Fox's Book of Martyrs has some very good examples of ego, pride, fearful fight for control and jealousies wrapped in anger. Whether it was Nero, Hitler, the Crusaders, people of power at the Salem witch trials, modern day fights over Issac and Ishmael 'birthrights in Gods eyes' or even sellers of books which claim to have the only "truth" everyone needs.

Truth will always be an issue and source of contention as long as we (singularly, few or majority) judge with our personal scepter and take our eyes off The God of Abraham Issac and Jacob. It is not about the book we ascribe to or the building we attend but the relationship we nurture. Each religion (including ACIM) has bits of truth but there is only one universal truth.

There is none righteous, no, not one lest they come through "the way, the truth, the life'. He is the 'door' by which all persons come to the Father.

Be blessed in your search!


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thank you for your comments, Cynthia. I do take issue with your premise, however. To claim that 'the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob' is the real truth is basically doing the as you write about other spiritual paths. The Bible is a man made book, written over many thousands of years by many authors, editors, interpreters, and translators. Whatever 'god' said to the original people has been lost through the centuries. We do not have anything original from the writings. And the New Testament in particular. No original Gospels, some fake Pauline letters, committee battles over the Book of Revelation. Human book. Human frailties. Human everything. And not all versions say the same things. So, maybe bits and pieces of 'truth' hidden in all that stuff, but not easy to deduce.

Again, thanks for sharing.


pj 4 years ago

Was ACIM truly dictated How would we know? Does Gary Renard have a handle on the truth of the universe How would we know. Right, it all comes down to faith and for the logical mind that is hard to come by. We all want to believe in a soul but how do we know? Spirit? How do we know? Could be wishful thinking because the ego does not want to think of extinction. How do we know?


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

True. We don't know. Anything. So, we do the best we can. We try to make sense out of our world. We've been doing that since the evolution of our neocortex. Remember, each of us lives at the center of our own universe. That means the world spokes out from us. We have no other way to connect except from our own center. Whatever is being told to us, sold to us, or shared with us is always hearsay without proof. And proof with which we can, individually and collectively resonate. In other words, we create our own experience of reality. And I say if God or Source or Spirit or Oggy Doggy is going to speak to me, let it be direct, not through a guru or a 'God told me to tell you...' missionary.

Thanks for the comments.


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

True. We don't know. Anything. So, we do the best we can. We try to make sense out of our world. We've been doing that since the evolution of our neocortex. Remember, each of us lives at the center of our own universe. That means the world spokes out from us. We have no other way to connect except from our own center. Whatever is being told to us, sold to us, or shared with us is always hearsay without proof. And proof with which we can, individually and collectively resonate. In other words, we create our own experience of reality. And I say if God or Source or Spirit or Oggy Doggy is going to speak to me, let it be direct, not through a guru or a 'God told me to tell you...' missionary.

Thanks for the comments.


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Donna Suthard 4 years ago

Speaking from my own mystical experiences, from studying The Course in Miracles, and applying the teachings in my own personal life, I know its the greatest path for me... I never needed to belong, to a church or religious group..I studied this Course on my own for a year..Its not intended to be a religion, but it is the advanced teachings of Jesus.. Its about having a personal Relationship with God, and healing and forgiving our relationships with Jesus as our teacher, and others. Its universal in application, and its all about learning to think with The Mind of God, and listening to the Wisdom given as to how to truly love unconditionally, the way God intended! Thank you for a wonderful hub....


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thanks for your welcome comments. Each of us must indeed find a way through this illusion called life that will serve us, satisfy us, and enable us to be of real value to the world. You seem to have found your way. Blessings.


Pyrky 4 years ago

I've just discovered and started reading ACIM and already am thrilled. It's explaining so much about life and why I am how I am. I believe as I go through the book I will become a better person. I'm also glad I found this blog.


Tony 4 years ago

You just haven't had enough pain, yet.


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Tony, I'm not sure what you meant by the comment.

Pyrky, as long as you keep an open mind and do not become a 'junkie', ACIM can provide some very enlightening points to ponder. Best to you on your journey...


Pyrky 4 years ago

Tony - how can you tell how much pain I've experienced by one post? Trust me, I have had pain and still have pain everyday of my life. I'm just not sure if you're judging me because I am enjoying and having some positive reaction to a book I'm reading or you don't like my post.


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Each one of us comes into this life in pain and we experience much of it throughout our lives. No one really knows the levels of pain in another. So, I offer my favorite quote from Philo of Alexandria: Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

When we can stand in another's shoes, only then can we judge. And that is unlikely to happen in any one lifetime.

Thanks for sharing...


whatever 4 years ago

Cult Cult Cult clear cut and decisive-but you have to have enough experience


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Even the word 'culture' has 'cult' in it. So, technically, if we belong to any group that has separated itself out in some way, say, Rotary, US Army, Pentecostal Church, Girl Scouts, even private schools, then we might be in a 'cult.' It's not just Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses, or Scientology. It's all of us who need the enclosure of a group.


Linotronic 4 years ago

To the writer... I do not wish to project a conclusion on you, but something struck me from your very first line.

(I studied the Course for a number of years)

It is my experience that the course initially IS to be studied

(the application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge)

However, after the study is where, in my perception, we loose our way. What the course reminds us of is that the EXPERIENCE of remembering can only come through PRACTICE. Herein lies the TRUTH.

So in MY experience... the TRUTH is EASILY understood through the verification process of PRACTICE which creates EXPERIENCE. As the saying goes... (practice what you preach) which we KNOW that many of us do not. Which is why some may still be unable to DECLARE what they KNOW to be true... because they have yet to practice allowing for the experience.

The course, although not all choose to, can be Verified. This is done by choice of creation and the subsequent response. This WILL lead to (those moments of clarity... becoming longer and clearer)... resulting in the Knowing of... based upon the experience of.

YES... we can KNOW... for IF truth IS... we merely need to match that energy to BE that energy.

There is NEVER fault with ANY material which is to be studied... the fault is only in OUR verification process of that material which many still believe that the mere study can give.

FAITH is unnecessary AND inappropriate when truth has been verified. Therefore the course does not ask nor require our faith, it REQUIRES our practice... upon this alone can it be verified.


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Linotronic 4 years ago

To the writer...

Something struck me from your very first line.

(I studied the Course for a number of years)

It is my experience that the course initially IS to be studied

(the application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge)

However, after the study is where, in my perception, we loose our way. What the course reminds us of is that the EXPERIENCE of remembering can only come through PRACTICE. Herein lies the TRUTH.

So in MY experience... the TRUTH is EASILY understood through the verification process of PRACTICE which creates EXPERIENCE. As the saying goes... (practice what you preach) which we KNOW that many of us do not. Which is why some may still be unable to DECLARE what they KNOW to be true... because they have yet to practice allowing for the experience.

The course, although not all choose to, can be Verified. This is done by choice of creation and the subsequent response. This WILL lead to (those moments of clarity... becoming longer and clearer)... resulting in the Knowing of... based upon the experience of.

YES... we can KNOW... for IF truth IS... we merely need to match that energy to BE that energy.

There is NEVER fault with ANY material which is to be studied... the fault is only in OUR verification process of that material which many still believe that the mere study can give.

FAITH is unnecessary AND inappropriate when truth has been verified. Therefore the course does not ask nor require our faith, it REQUIRES our practice... upon this alone can it be verified.

To the students...

ACIM is a self study course...this is key to its practice.


Mike from long island 4 years ago

Glad to find this page. I can only handle about 5


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thoughtful comments. I'm certain they will touch certain readers.


WallArt1062 4 years ago

Thanks for speaking on this topic Richard.

I support ACIM and the most fascinating aspect of this book, in my opinion, is the author. Helen Schucman was an agnostic and did not agree with what she wrote or the messages she was receiving. She hid her scribing from her family and close friends and requested her participation not be revealed until after she died.

An agnostic. How clever!


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

WallArt1062: I know. Still, the subconscious can do some very weird things. Of course, I have to say that. Why? I don't buy into channeled woo woo. But that's just my take on the process. In spite of that, there are some very potent suggestions in the Course. And it seems to have served a good amount of those who study it.

Thanks for your comments.


WallArt1062 4 years ago

Well Richard, she held some of the same views so you'd better be careful or the channeled woo woo might come to you you! :)


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Woo woo has indeed come to me in the past. And for a while, I thought I'd been 'visited' but not so. I eventually came to realize that I had made it all up. It ceased, never to return. What was that woo woo? Holy Roller Pentecostal 'Baptism of the Holy Spirit.' Woo woo, to the max.


Franco 4 years ago

What I find particularly interesting is, that of all the religious beliefs I have studied only ACIM explains why God is not a participant in what occurs here on earth. Every belief that I ever studied has God interacting with us in some way. ACIM teaches us that he does not interact and therefore can explain why we suffer. I never could buy the idea that a loving God would put his children in danger of any kind. My mother was filled with love and she was better than the God I learned about through Catholicism. If my mother could be unconditionally loving, then why couldn't God be at least as good a being as she was. ACIM answers that. He doesn't even know we are experiencing this dream. I don't know if ACIM is correct or not. All I know is it makes far more sense than anything I have ever read before. Yes, it is based on faith but isn't all religious dogma?


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Many thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree. If ACIM serves you, then by all means let it be your guide. As you say, there are worse paths than this!


ALmilwaukeeWI 4 years ago

To: Richard Speaks

I must first tell you that I was curious to know if there was anything online about ACIM and did a search. Of all the sites that came up on my screen I randomly chose your site. (no regrets) I rather like the way you respond to each post/blog that is entered in a fashion that reflects the teachings of ACIM. I also noted that you did not respond negatively towards a couple posts/blogs that clearly showed in their comments that they had not comprehended or read thuroughly(spelling) ACIM before making their comments.

I picked up ACIM about 30 years ago. The time you take it is voluntary. The span of years that I have had this course in no way makes me an expert. It truly is something I have had to put down and walk away from for a short time and then return to it. It has been the basis of my core beliefs. I am number 5 out of 12 children not born into or raised in a religion. For the first time in my life I was asked what I believe in a catholic church by a priest in front of several people at an evening group in an archdiocese. This was my first time going to this fellowship that was supposed to be focused on people effected by other people that have aids or they themselves have aids.

When the priest asked me to share my beliefs, I said I was not prepared to do this. He said, "it's okay, go ahead". As if on queue, my voice became strong clear and with conviction about principles of miracles.

I do suspect that these idea's may not be consistent with catholism ideas (tho no one ever said this to me). I was told by this priest when I said I would be interested in reading about catholism that he had some literature he would give me. This was 4 weeks ago and i have left messages over a dozen times and have not heard from him. I am having 2nd thoughts about returning to this place, since it seems to me that what is in need is a miracle to help those afflicted. I don't know that I would really have to be physically present to practice ACIM principles. I would like to check back at this site and read your response. Thank you for your time on this. AL


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

An open heart and an open mind are always good things. There are many ACIM groups and support groups located throughout the US and many other countries. Please check out your own city to see if you can find a group. http://www.miraclecenter.org/services/study_groups...


davidww 4 years ago

"Any so-called Truth being presented by one of us humans must of necessity filter through our brain and our mind. It will always be colored by our experience and our perspective. It will be affected by our culture and our beliefs. There's no way around that. It cannot come to you in pure form." Who says there's 'no way around that'? This thought would also occlude the reliablity of "The" Bible, of course, and I don't mind that, but if someone successfully hears and successfully scribes, who is anyone to dare say " It cannot be done"? It has certainly been done to my satisfaction in the case of a A Course in Miracles. I recently read from a R.C. priest that the ACIM Jesus "doesn't like the crucifixion". Duh! Can you blame Him?


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thanks for your comments. I stand by my premise. All information, filtered through the human brain, is always changed in some way, even if ever so slightly.


onespiritedangel 4 years ago

Franco-why do you feel it necessary to believe that "god doesn't know what we are going thru?" Maybe "god" is an abusive energy or just an energy that enjoys the "show" he created when he supposedly created us...god is EVERYTHING, whatever we consider "good" or "bad," I don't believe words have any meaning to this "god thing."


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

All words are limited. There is no ultimate truth in words, especially in the words 'ultimate truth.' Each of us is moving through this journey in the best way we can and that includes coming up against the natural energies of this world. Nothing escapes pain; nothing escapes death. It's the law and it is no respecter of persons. As the ol' Bible says, "God makes the rain to fall on the just and unjust alike." No one, no religion, no path is special. We and all living things are in this together. I'm fine with it. But then again, I don't live in a developing country. My sense of reality would be very different if I did, I am certain. And of course, I leave myself the escape of possibly being wrong about everything! Thanks for the comments.


John 4 years ago

Why all the angst? If it brings you peace, then it is of God. If it brings you pain, seek another path. All this talk of being "right" or "wrong" is simply the ego.


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RichardSpeaks 4 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

John: Thanks for the comment. Yes, all is ego. It cannot be avoided. So, instead of fighting it, we recognize the energy of it, embrace it, look it in the eye...and do our best. That way, ego is a gift rather than a stone tied around our necks.


Bobby 3 years ago

We all return home eventually.


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Perhaps this is home. We just forgot for a moment...in order to get the full benefit of the experience.


Julie 3 years ago

By what fruits will ACIM be known. The world is full of beauty, love. It is not ones mind that holds one back, but rather, ones heart. For one that has a wonderful loving relationship with her Loving Father, I have only one thing to say about ACIM. Every WORD FEEDS THE EGO even when denying the One who created it all.

God is LOVE. Love WINS


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thank you so much for sharing. May your new year be the best yet.


Pampadil 3 years ago

For my birthday this year I received a devotional from my co--worker who is an enthusiastic Christian. The devotional was written by a woman who used what she thought were God's words coming through her in meditation and written in first person as if by Jesus. You know, when you talk to God and he answers in that quiet voice. I thought then that there is no difference between this devotional and the course workbook. After all aren't the words manifesting from God Jesus through the individual? So why would her devotional be accepted by the Christian church and not the Course? Because the author is a proclaimed Christian. Why are C.S. Lewis's and J.R.R. tolkein's wizards accepted but not Harry Potter characters? Because the authors were Christian. Man made religion. Man made rules. Listen to His voice. Trust Him. We look to things outside us to help us, like the course or bible teachings but if we quiet down we can hear the truth in that quiet voice. Good luck brothers!


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

As long as we remember that the 'voice' will never tell us to do anything outside of love, if it is indeed authentic. And advice to others is not always within the bounds of love, even if we think it's 'for their own good.' Keep advice to a minimum and only accept that advice which is meant for you and not someone else. No matter how much you may think it's directly from 'god.' Caution when dealing with any kind of 'voice.' Again, caution.


natalieakiko 3 years ago

what a great thread. Thank you for making this available.

I think everyone has given much thought and sincere contemplation.

Just last night was my ACIM group here in NC. I am a certified medium, whatever that means. All I know is that yes, since I was a child I can discern voices.So I come at it from the same as well as different perspective as the comments above. I know one must have discernment and I have honed that to a level that I physically know something is true for me. When I hear TRUTH and truth really has no opposite, I can feel it in my very being just like when I can tell if a message from Spirit is from my filter, or not authentic or genuine. This I know IS TRUTH...we are all ONE, we are all connected, you need do nothing, you are whole perfect and complete.The underlying structure of the world is almost frighteningly perfect, its our artificial ideas and ego based living that makes it looks so horrid. In actuality everything is moving in a perfect way, its our vision that skews it.Like wearing glasses not of your own prescription.So what does one do...take off the glasses.


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

And consider this; Even the way we see things is part of the process. There are no mistakes. And in the end, the good and bad have all been part of a perfect process. The flaws, if there are any, are in the thinking. And even that's perfect. But it's hard for most people to see the blessing. The curse seems to be so much more glaring, so much more at hand. The work of loving continues.


GeoVane 3 years ago

Having been born and raised Catholic I have that experiential relationship with it that has led me to a number of opinions. Some reglions ‘evolve’ over time into beuracracies that are then more concerned with the perpetuation of their organization and its dogma than the spiritual growth of their members (parishoners). If they (the ones who have the knowledge) can mold the minds of the flock then the flock will be better off, right? I broke up with them long ago when in a pre-nuptual meeting the priest told me I’d be having as many children as ‘God gives me’. We could not see eye to eye on that one so I married elsewhere. God did give me children, thankfully, but I didn’t end up needing a dormitory to house them all. At that age I rejected that type of coersion instinctively seeing it as ridiculous; as ridiculous as telling me what books I can and cannot read.

Which brings me to the CIM; a unique set of readings that are an amazing gift. I tried reading them when I was in my twenties but laid them down; I wasn’t ready. I was led back to them via a path of other books by Eckert Tolle and Marianne Williamson. I’m thankful every day that I have found them. We all think we have a free will and that we ‘decide’ what we will do and think until we discover what these books contain. You might not be any better off than one of Skinner’s rats before that, at least that’s my opinion; you do as you’ve been conditioned to do. If one has a devotional to share or if they are a ‘medium’ that can be a wonderful thing but if they tell you this is “THE” way or the only way then I’m walking the other way.

Before Christianity was called Christianity, before the Roman Empire embraced it, it was called ‘The Way’. Maybe we’re all just finally getting back to ‘the Way’. What I see in that time is people with a whole new way of thinking where they embrace love as a way of life and that everyone matters equally. Are we there yet? That of course is a rhetorical question. There isn’t much, if anything, in the Course that wouldn’t transform the world if it could be widely understood and adopted. So, whether it came from the mind of man or it’s the voice of God doesn’t matter to me much. The insights that Christ, Buda, and others have had are known by you at your highest spiritual level. Call it faith, knowledge or truth; does it matter. Maybe it does to the ego. The content of the CIM will continue to stand on its own while the content of other ‘knowledge’, Mein Kampf’ for example have died.

I’m still just a beginner in the CIM and thankful that I’ve been exposed to what I have so far. The ego will try to analyze what God is and does and why and if he enjoys watching us in pain, etc. It can’t be known on a logical level. All one can do is embrace the journey and if you see what these books tell you to see (and not see) your life may well be a miracle.


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Indeed, we are all still just beginners. May your journey be blessed and your life joy-filled. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.


john samsen 3 years ago

Great hub, Richard!


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thanks, John!


stacey 3 years ago

the simple truth is that we were created perfect, with out sin by a loving Father who loves His creations. We should love each other because that is what we deserve. Sin was an isnsane idea that died long ago. All there is, is Love. That's the Course. And this is from a Student of the Course for the last 23 years, and a Catholic my whole life. I accept forgiveness for myself and offer it to my brother, because in the end there is only Love. Peace be with you all.


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thank you for sharing, Stacey. Blessings to you always.


andreinna 3 years ago

Hi RichardSpeaks, I have enjoyed reading all of the posts in here. I have not read ACIM, I have never heard of it before. I picked up a copy of the book "May Cause Miracles" because I saw they were promoting the book locally, I opened it and it constantly makes reference to ACIM, it seems that I would need to read ACIM in order to understand this book... I googled search it and voilá, I found this hub and a very interesting conversation about Truth, and love, and ego, and so many wonderful posts. It kind of remind me of Kabbalah and the vase, and the light, and the ego once again. Thank you for such a great input, I am happy. All of these somehow makes me feel content. I send many blessings to all. :)


SteveKz 3 years ago

I'm reading the course for the third time. I read it first in my twenties, again in my mid-thirties and now my mid-fifties. Each time I get a deeper understanding. Concepts build from the context of life experiences. I find the course helps me in grabbing the deeper meanings of other sources and authors as well (Krishnamurti, Depak Chopra, Neal Walsh, Richard Ruiz, etc). Raised a Catholic, I rejected long ago the teachings, but I can see truth underneath the clutter. I can read novels, see movies, hear songs and see truth in them. I'll probably read the course again in my seventies and eighties and see a wider and deeper context in the amazing creation around me.


kahunakylie 3 years ago

Hello Everyone,

I did a google search for ACIM and "cult" appeared in the top 5 results. Just FYI.

This is a fabulous discussion. Thank you Richard for staying involved. Here are my 2 cents:

I have tried many religions and where I'm at now is being a Possibilian. Google that. It is fantastic. Why someone didn't think of it before is beyond me. It is so simple and scientific and gratifying, for Atheists to Believers.

I love the ideas I am learning from ACIM. They fit for me, as a psychotherapist and a seeker. What seems to be an issue here is that they were channeled. Oh gee. We all know how any crazy person can claim that they got the Truth through Revelation. So should we give the ideas a chance, or just move on to someone more sane?

A person who seems sane to me is Alan Watts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts

He spent his life looking at all of this and landed with Zen. If you want to spend 20 minutes with his ideas, read this little gem he wrote at the end of his life: The Way of Zen.

http://www.amazon.com/Way-Zen-Alan-W-Watts/dp/0375...

I got it on Amazon on read it on the plane. It was like, yeah. OK. This guy has figured it out. You don't have to believe anything or deal with what is truth.

I would just like to throw that into the discussion. I do very much value my exposure to ACIM. What I retain from it is

1) It is all about love.

2) We are all One.

How can you go wrong with those ideas?

Love,

KahunaKylie


Jacob 3 years ago

the whole idea that the course was inspired by Jesus through the writer of the course being true from the metaphysical perspective is different from the tradition perspective. From the metaphysical perspective, if one says that something spiritual happened to them, that is taken as an experience from the persons perspective. All experience has no need be proven or justified according to this way of seeing. There is no objective truth to be proven. The claim that a voice told her a message and the messenger being Jesus doesn't need to justified because, to the metaphysicist, the difference between her and Jesus are illusionary. I guess I should say someone who believes in oneness because not all metaphysical thinkers believe in perfect oneness. But you get my point. That is what someone who is not used to this way of thinking would completely disregard this book. And of course even when this is accepted, the journey to one's true nature can feel like a battle at first. and I am currently in that mode. Where I have moments inspired by the holy spirit or love and others where my ego does the thinking. It is what we all must face and that is apart of the healing process. I am more aware than ever in my life how much I for so long had and have such an urge to punish. to punish myself and others. It is the punisher mentality that seems to be so deep in the unconcious reflecting self hatred and guilt. God show me who I really am, I want to awaken, I deserve love, I love the whole world and all its beings, we are innocent, let me put my defenses down, be strong in my defenselessness, and surrend to the perfect love that we are...


angela 3 years ago

Once we recognize that our thoughts (self-created illusions) affect how we experience our reality, then we can understand that relying on them for a joyful, peaceful existence is limited. I suppose there has to be a level of 'faith' in accepting we are created beyond just a physical form. I think the purpose of the mind/heart is to be the vessel for divine knowingness...if and when we surrender to that which is greater than a worldly self, and remain open to greater awareness.


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thanks for all the comments.

Consider this... Why is it so off the mark to think that maybe the natural universe is not only all there is, but all that's needed? We don't understand one inth of the totality of this cosmos. And yet we think we need to somehow transcend it, to reach some state of nirvana or heaven or Valhalla outside, separate, distinct from this amazing place. I say no. I'm at home here in this universe. I am made from the same energy that powers the stars, the galaxies, the universe itself. And I know almost nothing about it. Even what the scientists tell us is limited. If there is anything beyond this natural existence, it's of no interest to me. I have my hands full with this little corner of Everything. And I am blessed to have been a part of it, even if only for a single blip in time.


Courious 3 years ago

Where can one that actually searches for miracles go? I've read a lot of stuff recently and this seems to be so nice. Just as I type this, I got to the point where it says that it takes but an instant (in eternity). Well... here's the problem. If this was the real deal, I'd say that after a year people should start to do miracles. If I type "miracle proof a course in miracles" on google I find no answers. Yet we know of this to be possible since Joao de Deus and different masters treat AIDS, cancer and all the nasty stuff in under a few sessions. I mean... Can you imagine cutting into flesh and people not screaming and also blood not coming out? Can you imagine seeing a cancer dissapear in under 3 minutes? Probably not. Yet it exists and proof of it is on youtube.

The problem is...I believe there are ways and that it should be available to us as well, but it seems that they are hidden under a great pile of lies. And i don't really like this. An instant in eternity. That could either be an instant or a lifetime or few lifetimes or hundreds. People like Baird T. Spalding seem to have been able to teleport in under 2-3 years of staying with Masters and even in my country we have a Master that while being in jail he attended his mother's funeral and returned to the cell in the same day traveling a distance of hundreds of kilometers in but a couple of hours. Now this is proof. If someone has any proof regarding the results of this course, please post them here. If not... it's just a bunch of pretty words arranged in the form of a promise.

I mean the title of the book is: "A course in miracles". I sure would like to see one and I especially hope that I'm not right when I say that it's just a pretty promise.


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Curious: I don't know what kind of miracles you seek. But do not hold your breath waiting for anything supernatural to happen. However, there are natural ways to induce 'miracles' that ultimately are much simpler and better for your peace of mind. I wrote a short e-book on the subject. You can download it for free here: http://www.scribd.com/richard_matthews_12


strawman5 3 years ago

Ive read the Course many times for over ten years, and have still not found it's definition of "capital t" Truth. Nor have I experienced a trancendent, ultimate reality that would establish this world as an illusion. Am I doing something wrong here? Anymore, the Course just sounds like pretty poetry and sophistry, though I have become increasingly aware of it's semblance to various no-self teachings.


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RichardSpeaks 3 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

I may have mentioned this somewhere way back amongst all these comments, but it won't hurt to write it again...

Any time someone claims a truth, and passes it on, it is automatically distorted as it comes through the human host. Language is never perfect and 'transmissions' through any human language are garbled at best.

Point? There is NO ultimate truth in The Course. In fact, no ultimate truth in ANY course, be it Bible, Buddha, or Bubble Bath. The truth, if such exists, is in the journey.

And again, since these words are coming through me, a human, trust at your own risk!! :-)


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woodyganesh 2 years ago from Thailand

Sometimes I wonder if the Course really wants our pure, unadulterated freedom or just wants people to be stuck in another mindset / belief system that will take the real me away from me (not the ego or unreal falsely identified me). Kind of like invasion of the body snatchers, where I become part of some hive mind (a.k.a."Holy Spirit"). Then I wonder again if it's just my ego talking and I'm just really afraid to "go for God." However, word of caution: Jiddu Krishnamurti once said that EVERY system of thought (religious/spiritual/what have you), no matter how beautifully poetic or how true will NOT ultimately free you because it is still based in thought. This is because not until truth (whatever that is) is actually EXPERIENCED will you know it ("know" as in Gnosis or {spiritual} knowledge in the Course). Ironically the Course addresses all this and more and says precisely that. That a universal theology is impossible, but "a universal experience {of "God"} is not only possible but necessary." And as to the Krishnamurti statement, we know about the Course's teaching on content vs. form, so it's got that covered too. There is also talk about true freedom and true justice in there and it's got all the bases covered.....which ultimately creeps me out. Why? because it seems to anticipate answer every question in there somewhere and never be wrong, as far as the overall logic of ITS "thought system."

However, I have found a number of contradictions in the Course which I have explained in detail in my own blog on hubpages entitled: "My Love / Hate Relationship with a Course in Miracles" (under: http://hubpages.com/@woodyganesh).

I have come to the conclusion that the Course is one of three things:

1- the Course was dictated to Helen by a very wise, higher dimensional being far beyond in wisdom to anyone living on earth at this time (And, yes, it could actually be the spirit/soul of Jesus, since one cannot rule out any possibility in the universe).

2-Helen was a mentally disturbed split personality that had to convince herself that there was "something" - some system of belief or thought - to hang onto to help her through her miserable life better.

or

3-It was some kind of mind control project by the MK Ultra which sent the message into Helen's brain via Skull to Brain Technology in order to get people hooked into cult thinking in order to circumvent and short circuit people from finding true spiritual realization, (feed them LSD instead - remember the original dictation occurred between 1965 and 1972 exactly from the beginning of the hippie movement until its end), and find one's own unique (NOT special!) true and sweet Self without drugs.

*personally I tend to vascillate between possibility #1 and possibility #2 sometimes in very short spans of time. One minute I can hate the whole Course and just throw it out of my mind and my life (and across the room) and then I can see the other side of it which is that it is TRUE; TRUTH TRUTH TRUTH on every page. Ultimately however, I feel that I will NEVER become enlightened (or God realized by reading the Course itself - not even close. Why? Because it's "just a book" (I tell myself) and truth MUST be experienced.

Ahhhh, but that's what the workbook is for! (See, it's got every base covered! Damned thing!)


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RichardSpeaks 2 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Over the past three decades, I have read many 'channeled' works--Seth, Emanuel, Ramtha, the Bible, as well as ACIM--and have found bits of inspiration in them all. But as far as 'truth' is concerned, I always keep in mind that all truth is distorted once it emerges from the human brain through the mouth or writing. It cannot be helped. Why? We see 'through a mirror darkly,' as St. Paul suggested. We are all living in our own illusions. Not delusions necessarily, but illusion nonetheless.

With that in mind, I hold to the adage 'Believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear.' It's tough, but it keeps me on balance.

In the mean time, lots to explore and the journey is amazing.

Thanks for your insightful comments.


woodyganesh 2 years ago

Why is the absolute truth so hard to get down on paper?

Because truth is ultimately subjective....and free will is rampant


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RichardSpeaks 2 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Or, and this is more to the scientific outlook, there is no true free will; hence, we cannot avail ourselves of anything not predetermined. So, calling something truth becomes moot. Or not.

But I don't buy into that premise. I see truth more as a twinkle rather than a light. And seeking it is like trying to see your own cells. They are totally visible but it takes a certain kind of knowledge (sight) to see them as they really are. And even then, there is much to discover. The cell continues to provide info as we dig deeper. But it is never hidden. It simply awaits our arrival.


Truth? 2 years ago

One can only know truth - because there is nothing else to know and be known. Ever.

The term knowing in this sense is a nonseparate term. There is no gap between the knower and the known - and what may have seemed a self is a part of the expression by which Idea is self-aware.

But what is generally defined and believed and identified and mutually validated as knowledge is a distorting filter by which one seems not to know. A model of self and reality definition that is taken as reality itself.

The truth must be the truth of you. Your truth is a unique integral signature vibration within All that Is - or you would not be!

A true alignment is not to any notion of 'truth' but a living guidance that is of a wholeness, of a oneness, of a unifying and integrating intent.

To re evaluate what is being chosen and experienced here... in this room, in this place, so as to discern the meaninglessness that robs us of our appreciation and gratitude and stop choosing it.

The Calling to and from our Spirit - from our true alignment with All That Is - is of opening and embracing the moment we are living - all of it!

Concepts of truth seek to coerce life to fit them. There's no sharing in that. If A Course in Miracles resonates with the knowing in your heart then you will let it serve the nativity and growing of the knowing in your awareness. But without true alignment - even Scriptures become a weapon. It's up to you. It's always up to you.

You are the truth you seek - but will never find alone, unshared.

I love the Course - but that love is the love that also lives this day.

It is (for each) all about You. Only about You.

While You believe you are a mentality - you pretend to be tiny - in which to play out in the idea of separation from Source. Any true or awake communication addresses your knowing and not y0ur thinking - even if it gives you something to ponder.

The truth of your joy, your enlivening, your overflowing, your enthusiasm and heartfelt connection - these are energetic tangibles that automatically share. They don't need a label saying 'I am happy' to communicate truly. True happiness has forgot to define itself and is simply one with. This knowing transcends the world while blessing it.

To receive this of another is to be reMinded. To seek it for oneself is to be self-blinded.

Coming 'back' into our Right Mind is not the making real of 'wrong-mindedness' so as to then adjust it.. But is the prodigal rewakening of what is always true from an illusory journey.


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RichardSpeaks 2 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thank you for your comments. Just one remark....

There seems to be just a slight inconsistency between 'You are the truth you seek - but will never find alone, unshared' and 'It is (for each) all about You. Only about You.'

One final observation... What you write is a bit difficult to grasp, to comprehend. Not sure it's clear as to where you want your reader to go. Maybe you could expand on your words.

Again, many thanks for commenting.


Just a regular guy 2 years ago

Wow! All I can say is you all must be doing some mean fry daddies. Get a load of this: reality just might be.....REALITY!


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RichardSpeaks 2 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Of course. Thing is, we each experience it uniquely. From light to brain, we will interpret even the tree, the tabby, and the toilet in distinct ways. Are those objects really 'there'? Sure, but again, where is 'there'? Time, space, matter....all of it is truly subjective. Subjectivity, then, may indeed by the 'true' reality. Speaking of quarks....


tompahma 2 years ago

Today, reading this blog, I'm excited to hear the various understandings of the many who've had experience with studying ACIM. I've been following this material for over 20 years now, and still don't KNOW and understand all the teaching has to offer. I've also studied the Bible, native american teachings and eastern teachings of Krisnamurti and Tao.

This week I'm going to hear a presentation given by Marianne Williamson. I'm wanting to ask a question of her...and still pondering what or if I am to ask her something. I've been meditating and asking for guidance so that whatever is to be asked does not come from only my ego.

Blessings to all who are on their path...tompahma...woman who walks with the apples


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RichardSpeaks 2 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

And success to Marianne in her political pursuits!

Thanks for your comments.


James 2 years ago

The only difference between a religion, a sect, and a cult is the number of people who have been deceived by it into abandoning reality and reason in favor of myth and superstition. Schucman and ACIM are obvious frauds.


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RichardSpeaks 2 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

There are those who believe all channeled materials, all psychic readings, Tarot, astrology, and other kinds of what is known as 'woo woo' are fraudulent, fake, and fantasy. Still, some get something out of everything. And as long as the cult or the woo woo is not hurting anyone, or cutting off the heads of journalists, or picketing the funerals of dead soldiers, then what the heck, eh? I've never heard of an astrologer or psychic calling for the murder of the President or yelling that everyone else is going to hell. That would be major religion.

Thanks for the comments.


Bill L 2 years ago

The whole point of the course's theology and practice (forgiveness, atonement) and Buddhist practice (sutras, koans, etc) are that NONE of it is the Truth. It can't be -- these are all just mechanisms that are used to bring the mind to a direct experience of the truth. I remember being bothered and unable to relate to a specific set of concepts from the Course and ... Ken Wapnick said just to use whatever concept was more helpful. I 'got' his point (and understood that he wasn't advocating watering down the course). Similarly, when the late zen master, John Daido Loori of zen mountain monastery, emphasized that when the historical Buddha experienced enlightenment & then thought of what to do to guide others to the same, he developed the teachings solely as a means -- and that to take any of it as truth would be incorrect. The old 'raft to get to the other shore' metaphor --they're both just rafts & once u get to the shore, the raft has nothing to do with the shore. Do these paths require faith? Only some initial faith in that these mechanisms are viable for enlightenment. Then milestone experiences along the way directly confirm the viability of the mechanism. One good thing about zen is the reliance on enlightened zen teachers to help avoid a student's misinterpretation of early milestone experiences which can cause delay (read '3 Pillars of Zen' for some good information on this). With the Course, one can see if the path of having everything reinterpreted through the non-ego part of the mind (and the use of the mechanism of 'forgiving' everything + everyone that has been given its purpose for ego goals) provides experiential milestones. I don't know if anyone has experienced enlightenment with the course whereas zen has a good track record. The course's use of forgiveness is non-trivial and is not what is meant in the standard sense. It emphasizes that this mechanism yields a gentler and non-scary path to realization of the truth. But the bottom line: all of these things are mechanisms. Forgiveness isn't true. Channeling isn't true. The 4 noble truths and the 8-fold path of zen aren't true. The sutras and the course theology aren't true. But ... they are meant to be powerful mechanisms to lead the mind to truth. I'm still weighing the course's viability b/c I doubt everything but ... it's pretty powerful in day-to-day interactions when my skepticism takes a back seat.


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RichardSpeaks 2 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Thx for your well thought out comments.

Religious paths such as conservative Christianity or political Islam or cults like JW or Mormon or Scientology depend upon 'certainty' as a way to not only keep the doctrines and dogmas glued in place, but also to control the adherents. ACIM, Zen, or other forms of 'self realization' mechanisms, as you put it, scare the bejesus out of such groups. Skepticism is heresy and anathema. The open mind often means the open road and hence, departure from The Faith. And The Faith cannot allow such dissidence. So...

All the more important for such mechanisms. As the Buddha allegedly pointed out, don't listen just because someone or something else tells you to, but only if it resonates within you. Of all the direction I've ever allowed myself to receive, that is the most useful.


Richard Plowden 16 months ago

I believe that acim and cwg are not of humans, because they are too accomplished, (particularly the blank verse of the former.) However, they can't both be right. After giving the matter much thought, I have come to the conclusion that all channelled works have one thing in common-the authors want humans to behave considerably better than they are currently behaving. Not a bad idea!


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RichardSpeaks 16 months ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

Perhaps, but it must always be recognized that anything 'channeled' through a human mind is going to be influenced by that mind, and will be flawed in some way. Like the bible.

As to wanting humans to behave better, well, we are a product of evolution. We act as we act because Nature gave us the capacity to do so. It is up to us to overcome our natural inclinations and survival instincts such as greed, power hunger, and tribalism. We have not overcome those traits in more than 200,000 years. Why? They have kept us on the planet. Will they continue to do so? No. Why not? Technology. Tech does not think as we do, but it carries all the same flaws.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments.


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darciefrench 13 months ago from BC Canada

I came to know God and to want only God's Love prior to doing the Course. In an instant, I spontaneously went Home. It was indescribable. There was no form, no memory -- no perception of anything, it was as if everything was innately Provided. There was only Pure Love, Absolute Completion. I was as I always have been: Fully Satisfied in and of My Self. The state of perfection was obscured again when ego apparently kicked back in. The Course has helped me recognize why that happens, and to ask for the Holy Spirit's Help as needed. The Holy Spirit always has one answer - look beyond the confusion of perception to the Source of Creation, look within to the eternal extension of God's Love. Without ego and its belief in separation, I am an extension of God's Love, which is known experientially as Perfection, in and of Itself.


elegantdays 13 months ago

my brother and girlfriend are totally intrigued by this book and what it states. However he has gone the total opposite direction with totally abandoning his whole family and their thoughts. I am glad he found something, but why the abandonment? His thinking and writings are hateful....This is supposed to bring peace, not hate!!!


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RichardSpeaks 13 months ago from Portland, OR Metro Area Author

When someone is operating from a place of fear, there is no telling what kind of rhetoric will issue forth. The Course is considered a cult by many, especially among the more traditional Christian communities. But any new path has its learning curve; sometimes people need to readjust. I would give your brother some time. He may well discover his own anger and fear and decide they are not worth the energy.

Best to you....

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