Here’s the single most important question of your life:
Do you choose Love or Fear?
This inquiry is the foundation for A Course In Miracles, and as simple as it sounds when you apply this question to every moment of every day, this deceptively basic observation illuminates your entire internal landscape and allows you to witness how your fundamental fears of rejection, separation and lack create the content of your life. For so many of us this means being trapped in a perpetual cycle of retaliatory attack and preparatory defense, leaving us feeling like life is a battle ripe with exhaustion and overwhelm.
Connecting you to the Guide within
Not unlike other spiritual teachings, if the Course resonates with you, it has the power to connect you to your internal guidance system. One that is not just within you, but that is the uniting lifeline shared by all. The emphasis of which helps to build your compassion muscle and dissolve feelings of alienation.
In addition to the text, the self-guided daily lessons can be understood as a powerful form of cognitive therapy that will enable you to gradually feel more connected to the world, allow you to release judgements of yourself and others, give you the key to unbind yourself from resentments, jealousies and fears. The lessons shine the light on grievances and create the space needed to face them, while providing the context to let them fall away and reveal your truth.
The standard definition for Cognitive (Behavioral) Therapy says that, “negative patterns of thought about the self and the world are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns or treat mood disorders.” Similar to the CBT process, ACIM daily lessons found in the Workbook, and echoed in the Text itself, train your mind by the repetition of new positive thinking patterns, about both your inner and outer worlds.
In the process necessarily building new pathways in your brain and opening up the possibility of new ways of seeing. This is roughly the premise with CBT, but in a sense you don’t feel as much on your own with ACIM. You have a sense of being guided rather than left to fight with your mind in the struggle to overcome negative thoughts.
There is a curriculum. There is something great at stake that feels like a pull outside of what you’ve identified as yourself. But that pull is not outside of your Self, it’s not in a therapist, a guru, a teacher, it wells up deep inside.
This newfound inner-grounding sets the stage for you to take greater responsibility for your life, your thoughts and actions. While allowing comfort in the knowledge that, in fact, you are not on your own, but rather guided by a power that is greater than the sum of its parts, yet as great as the sum of all that is.
The lessons also create the space and right environment for gradually developing a meditation practice. After trying countless meditation techniques, I had decide that I’d only ever have access to a moving meditation during peaceful activities like yoga or running. I thought myself to be hopeless when it came to the ideal of a yogi sitting blissfully on a miniature pillow. As the lessons began to incorporate incrementally longer periods of guided meditation (mind you, only 2-15 minutes at a time), in a short timespan I’ve been able to tap into something that did not feel possible before. All without sitting cross-legged on said pillow.
When the time is right the book will find you
I originally began to read ACIM in 2011, but at the time, the text read like Greek to me, I was put off by the Christian verbiage and felt a sense of guilt in not being able to quit my social drinking altogether (something I had heard should be observed while studying the course). I was deeply drawn to the book and the promise of Miracles, but it just didn’t click on a functional level.
I moved several times over the next few years, but despite still being a mystery, the book always remained by my bedside. It was not until the beginning of this year that ACIM fell open at me feet once again, just as life had brought me to my knees. The distance between me and the book seemed to vanish. Resolute in taking it up, I began with the lessons and after laboring through the first thirty pages of the text, the light shown down on my understanding of the message and the words delivering it. In an instant the passages transformed in my mind from religious rhetoric, to a deeply engaging and personal prose, iambic pentameter and all.
Scribbles + Miracles
Although I’m only a beginner, as an extension of my own learning and growth, I’m called to share with you the drawings, words and contemplations you’ll find in Scribbles + Miracles. As a celebration of the changeless and unspeakable truth, the forms with which I express myself can only hint and point to the the light in which we share. My only aspiration is that some beauty touches you in this non-denominational, non-religious, quickly-digestible, exploration of the spiritual realm.
“One Teacher is in all minds and (S)He teaches the same lesson to all”
For all those years while A Course In Miracles remained unread, I followed and lapped up the wisdom of several teachers of the Course. The two authors who’s delivery resonates most profoundly for me are Marianne Williamson and Robert Holden. But there are many teachers of the Course. Powerful voices who have based their life’s work on ACIM principles include Gabby Bernstein and Alan Cohen. Well known spiritual teachers such as Wayne Dyer and Eckhart Tolle have explored ACIM within their broader exploration, and reading groups with local teachers can be located at the ACIM Resource Center.
If your interest is piqued, but you need to dip to a toe or two before diving in, one of these books may be your gateway to ACIM:
- Happiness Now!: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good FAST
- The Message of A Course In Miracles: A Translation of the Text in Plain Language
- A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”
- A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love
- May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness
If you want to learn more about how ACIM came to be, read Journey Without Distance, by Robert Skutch, director of the Foundation for Inner Peace. I have yet to read this book, but from what I gather it’s a good piece of dramatic non-fiction and an excellent introduction to the Course. It’s certainly on my reading list.
Go to the the source
After reading some of the books above, and starting out with Gabby Bernstein’s, Spirit Junkie, I can tell you that the best course of action is to simply go to the source. If I could go back to 2011 and coach myself, I’d lovingly guide myself to keep going with ACIM no matter what my perceived hindrances or shortcomings.
I’d dispel the idea that I needed these other voices to translate something that felt beyond the scope of my own comprehension. It’s simply not true. It’s not hard. It’s not coded. It may be beyond the ego’s reasonable understanding, but that may be what’s necessary to facilitate communicating universal truth.
“Your wholeness has no limits because being is infinity”
More than ever, the world needs you to be in your power. Why not see if the message of ACIM speaks to you?
Get it on Amazon for about $15.00
Find a translated version at The Foundation for Inner Peace
“One Teacher is in all minds and He teaches the same lesson to all.” (A Course In Miracles, Text-VIII.128.7.2.)
“Your wholeness has no limits because being is infinity.” (A Course In Miracles, Text-VIII.131.7.5.)