A Course in Miracles Lounge

Let Love teach you what You are.

On a list I'm on, this question was posed this morning: To accept the Atonement for yourself, do you have to agree with me (or anyone) on the meaning of ACIM? Now, does anyone else have to agree with
you?

My take is this:

While I've come to appreciate the Bible more over the years, A Course in Miracles remains the spiritual path the continues to profoundly speak to me. Nevertheless, we can look at the bible as it relates to this idea of interpretation.

Literally thousands of people (if you consider ministers, scholars, authors, Sunday school teachers, etc.) teach/speak/share on the Bible. We can find material ranging from the rabid fundamentalists to those who look at the deeper metaphysical symbolism found in the bible. Some people teach it to children in Sunday school, while others teach it to scholars in college.

Who get's to be the authority on what the bible says? Thank God, not the people who take Leviticus literally word for word! lol

I personally find the teachings in the Bible more profound and applicable to my life if I look at the deeper meanings, so I'm thankful that I'm not stuck with the more literal fundamentalist approach.

Even when it comes to the various bible translations, I like using various ones, maybe that's the "teacher" personality coming out, but sometimes reading a certain translation provokes an Aha moment, "Oh, *that's* what it means!" Yet many argue about which Bible translation is the most valid, best, etc. -- yes not unlike what we currently see in the Course community since the original texts have been discovered and published.

While debate and conflict abound in *all* religious/spiritual communities all over the world, I'm thankful for freedom to let Holy Spirit be my guide versus outside authority.

I do find it interesting that in the Course community, some feel that we should all interpret ACIM the same. ACIM is a deep and profound spiritual path, and it's amazing to me that anyone thinks that they've really got the foothold on the truth it contains, or that one could fully grasp it in a year of haphazardly applying its principles.

I've been with it around 18 years now, and each year I gain new understanding about aspects of the course. It's amazing to me that even one lesson can unfold deeper gifts to me even after I've read it many times over the years.

There is still much in the course that I freely admit, I don't have a clue about. And, I'm fine with not totally understanding it. ACIM introduces us to our inner teacher, who then, if we're so willing, leads us through an *individual* curriculum...all leading to the same outcome.
I'm grateful that my curriculum involved spending years with ACIM and Holy Spirit, before I got to the internet (HAHA), because by then, I'd learned to trust guidance and not be swayed by the opinions of others.

I'm also grateful for everyone I've come across who have been passionate about and inspired to share what they have learned through long time application of ACIM. To me, it makes perfect sense, that all are needed -- it's God's way of meeting us where we are.

So I for one feel that we ought to trust our guidance, honor that of others, and yeah, accept the atonement (correction process) for ourselves. ;)

So, who's right about interpretation of A Course in Miracles? God meets us where we are. In your willingness to let Holy Spirit be your guide, you will be led to peace.


P.S. Thanks to Ken for inspiring this post! ;)

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Comment by Tony Amendola on December 30, 2009 at 10:26pm
Jesus :)
Comment by Sheryl Valentine on December 30, 2009 at 9:57pm
Eric wrote:For myself, I find when I understand the course best is not when I am intellectually “getting it”, but when I am living it. When the witnesses that the words of the course point to manifest. Peace, joy, love, oneness, presence, etc.

Hi Eric, I love what you say here...loved your whole post actually. ;) Yes, that's it for me too. I do love talking about the course and pondering the course, and all that jazz, but really, the moments that have brought the most joy in my life, the moments that have made me feel most, what? proud of myself (ya I know! lol) were those moments where I extended love instead of an attack, where I chose to be defenseless... I guess what I'm trying to say is that, it's those moments where I actually *experience* that giving and receiving are the same that I feel most blessed...anyhoo, hope you get my point... And hey Ruby, I love you!
Comment by Ruby on December 30, 2009 at 7:13pm
Thanks Sheryl and Eric. I've been feeling lately if teaching is really about words. To teach is demonstrate and God is Love. Often, words are meaningless without the heart connection. And as the Course tells us, "The miracle is taken first on faith, because to ask for it implies the mind has been made ready to conceive of what it cannot see and does not understand." "The truth of what we are is not for words to speak of nor describe. Yet we can realise our function here, and words can speak of this and teach it, too, if we exemplify the words in us." The words "if we exemplify the words in us", to me means living it, being a living demonstration and then my words will hold the power of the energy I am extending. And I guess I'm going through a reflective period of being honest with myself. I must admit there are times I need to get away from informational debates, just because it gets confusing for me. I love Eckhart Tolle's work and the Course and Ken Wapnick as well... which speaks to our innate higher intelligence within... not through logic but through awareness, listening to the still small Voice within. Namaste, Ruby
Comment by Eric G. on December 30, 2009 at 12:43pm
Who's interpretation of the course is the right interpretation?

Well if I had to put money on it LOL. I would put my money on the person that is at peace with what is. The person that can heed the advice “Love and do what you will”, because what they do falls in line with Love.” I certainly would not put my money on the person that goes around telling people that their interpretation is correct. For an interpretation of anything is merely a point of view and not Truth. Though I suppose it could be said to be that person's truth or their belief in what truth is.

For myself, I find when I understand the course best is not when I am intellectually “getting it”, but when I am living it. When the witnesses that the words of the course point to manifest. Peace, joy, love, oneness, presence, etc.

I find it interesting that I had such a deep disdain for this book before I ever saw it, but just hearing about it being quoted in other books. I told myself that I would never read such a stupid book. And to make a long story short, one day I saw it a couple of years ago staring at me on a table, and was without explanation compelled to buy it and read the text and loved it!! I read it quite a few times before even doing the workbook. I'm slowly but surely and sometimes with resistance doing it now. I'm on lesson 191 today.

The one thing that I find by not only doing the workbook lessons but re reading the text and my own application of the course is that the course is so multi- dimensional that the more I read it and live it, the deeper the meaning of the course becomes and the clearer certain parts of it becomes. I sometimes even find a more metaphysical meaning in a certain passage than before.

So I could tell you my interpretation of the course, but is it true? I would say no, because six months ago I thought something a little different and maybe six months from now, I will see it still in a new way. A different way, with a more deeper meaning.

The course definitely challenges the intellect. That is for sure. I remember even reading that Helen was said to be happy to finally have a spiritual path for intellectuals. But I think that while we need the intellect to grasp the course's metaphysical, metaphorical/allegorical symbolism and concepts, so that we can go beyond to what the symbols point to. That it is very easy for the ego to come in through the back door and start to intellectualize the course, believing that through the intellect, the person understands the course. My opinion is that this will only keep the practical application of the course at arm's length. For the intellect cannot know Love, or God, or Peace, or Oneness, etc. At best the intellect can only know about these things through concepts and beliefs in these concepts.

If I tell someone what love is, because they want to know. I'm not really telling them what love is. I'm merely giving them a conceptual description of love. Is it the Truth? No, at best it can only point to it.

The first verse in the Tao Te Ching sums it up quite beautifully and the word God can very easily replace the word Tao and the verse still makes sense.

“The Tao that can be named is no longer the eternal tao, but something reduced for the convenience of the conceptual mind.”

Many people have different interpretations of the course. A lot of what people “discuss” about the course, I am not too concerned about, because the concepts being discussed often unknowingly implies time and future, through the idea of accomplishment.

For example, I'm not too concerned about becoming a “forgiveness master” as one course student said of another. For this in my perception implies that there are a certain amount of things to be forgiven and then will the goal be accomplished. In this example, the universe will disappear. Not only does this imply accomplishment and time, for to accomplish must be in the future, because Now is only potential, but is also keeps forgiveness fragmented, because to be a forgiveness master in the context that it was discussed implies that we must keep forgiving individual things. Kind of like how the world defines forgiveness.

I don't see forgiveness as a series of acts, but a permanent attitude for a lack of a better word. An acceptance of What Is. The world's forgiveness always seems to imply time, but the Holy Spirit's forgiveness is Now. It is always Now. It is the present state of mind to accept Now, what is. To not resist Truth, while screaming, “I want it thus!!”

Krishnamurti said that “Truth is a pathless land.” ACIM states that this is a journey without distance. Both point to the same thing.

Krishnamurti posed the question to a group of people listening to him once when asked about seeking truth.. He said and I paraphrase, “You say you seek for truth, but are you? The moment you seek for truth, you are obscuring it, because what you are really looking for is a substitute for it. An intellectual concept, an idea, a belief. Something to make you feel safe. Something to comfort you from your fears, but not to free yourself from them. Something to give you security within the walls you have built around yourself, because of fear. You cannot seek for truth. That is ridiculous. Truth Is. What you are seeking for is something, anything to replace truth.”

He said it much better than I paraphrased, but it's the idea. And ACIM repeatedly says the same thing over and over, passage after passage.

What is my interpretation of the course? Is it not simply another belief? It cannot be Truth, for truth doesn't vacillate, yet my interpretation of the course has within the short time I have been a student.

Intellectual concepts of Truth can be very helpful, but only when we realize that they are only temporary building blocks for understanding only to be peeled away to let the Truth shine unencumbered.

Symbols are not truth. Yet they can point to it. Intellectual concepts are not truth, yet their limited framework can be used to go beyond themselves.

I have been there and done it many times, but intellectual debate about what the course does or does not mean. What the course does or does not say, really has nothing to do with Truth, but our interpretation of truth. And as long as we're caught up in our interpretations and convincing others that our interpretations are correct and therefore we are more “spiritually advanced” because of our “wisdom”. Then we leave no room for Truth to Be, because we have substituted our interpretation of it in its place. Always keeping it at arm's length.

Take care,

Eric

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