Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Ask: How can my personal desire become a means for peace?

“Your response to a student's recent question re. visualization included the following: [The Course] ‘teaches you to use your goals in the world as the means to become aware of the Truth within you. Instead of ends in themselves your goals become means to the goal of peace.’ How would you apply this to my desire to get a sailboat?...because I did truly enjoy every aspect of owning one. I know that getting a boat will not bring me peace but I still would love to get one… How could this personal desire for a sailboat become a means to my ultimate goal of peace?” – ES


Some of our desires and preferences are just expressions of personality. They are neutral in themselves. We are not always looking to them for salvation (wholeness, peace), in which case they would be obstacles to peace. If you feel moved to act on this desire simply bring the Holy Spirit (awareness of Truth in your mind) with you in the process. Let It be your partner in decision making and in any actions you take. Then the situation will be a means to be aware of the Holy Spirit. As your awareness of and trust in the Holy Spirit grows so will your peace.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ask: Can you address the discrepancy between daytime "dreaming" and nighttime dreaming?

“…I was wondering if you could address in one of your articles the seeming discrepancy between our daytime 'dreaming' in which we more and more frequently turn to Jesus or the HS to help us remember Truth and our nighttime dreams in which (in my case anyway) it is as if the Course never entered my life.  This has puzzled me for a while...” - LG

            This seems to be common among A Course in Miracles students, although some students do tell me they call on the Holy Spirit or Jesus in their dreams. For myself, it is very rare that my spirituality comes into my dreams at night, at least as far as I remember.
            Dreaming at night is really just our mind’s way of blowing off steam. For some it seems to be more of an avenue to self-awareness than for others. For myself, some dreams have been significant and I recognize that right away on waking. Other than that I usually only pay attention to them when I recognize a reoccurring theme. Then I know something in my mind is being revealed to me.

            However you dream, just accept that as natural to you.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Computer Crashed

I made a mistake. I had been backing up my computer every sixth months. The last time was January 15 so I was coming due to do it again. But my computer crashed June 17! Obviously I have not been backing up often enough. Painful lesson learned. Such is life in the imperfect universe of form.

My IT department (my beloved techno-savvy wife, Courtney) has used a recovery program but it looks like much of what I’ve done in the past 5 months has been corrupted and is lost. I’m still sorting it all out (very tedious) but I’ve already found some significant losses. I’ve lost my journal for the past 5 months. And I lost my articles. I can rebuild what has been published from my blogsite but I lost articles I had written to be put out in the next few weeks. Hopefully I will be inspired in the coming weeks!

This week’s article was supposed to be an answer to a question a reader had about dreams. Dear Reader, if you still have your question and my response please email it to me at Liz@acimmentor.com and I will put it out next week.

If you have an appointment coming up with me, please contact me to be sure I have you on my schedule (I lost that, too). Also, remind me of how often we meet! If you became a new client of mine this year please email me your contact information [address, phone number(s), email address]. Also, remind me about payment. For example, if you bought a block of time and still have some on account.


Now back to sorting out what has been lost and what needs to be rebuilt…

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ask: What does ACIM say about visualization and wanting things in the world?

“…I want to ask you as an ACIM student, a new one, what is the perspective of the Course about the technique of visualization, very used in New Age books like a means for getting what we want. And what is the perspective of the Course about wanting something like a successful career, money, financial freedom, fitness goals, academic goals, etc. Are they bad? Is it inappropriate to wish them and go for them?...” FG
            A Course in Miracles teaches that lasting peace and happiness comes only from an awareness of Truth (what it calls “God”) within you. Using techniques of any kind to manifest what you want in the world to make yourself feel whole, happy, secure, at peace, etc. is a misuse of the mind. This misuse is misguided, not “wrong” or “bad”. It comes from the mistaken belief that you need something outside of you to feel whole.

            ACIM also recognizes that you are not yet in touch with your inherent wholeness in Truth. So it teaches you to use your goals in the world as the means to become aware of the Truth within you. Instead of ends in themselves your goals become means to the goal of peace. Every situation becomes a classroom where you can learn of Truth from the Holy Spirit (the part of your mind that is aware of Truth) within you. So you do not have to give up your desires in the world. Instead, share them with the Holy Spirit in your mind. Then they will be the means to peace rather than obstacles to peace.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

More on A Different Approach to the Body

Last week’s article, “A Different Approach to the Body”, resulted in a wave of comments and questions at my blogsite and in my email. The central point of the article was to give an example of how one should be led from within rather than from a teaching in the world. However, the comments and questions I received were largely about the example rather than the central idea. Here I will attempt to clear up some points that seemed to confuse some students:

First, I did not mean to imply that the different approach to the body to which I was led by the Holy Spirit (the awareness of Truth within me) was wholly out of line with what A Course in Miracles teaches. Some sent me quotes from ACIM that were in line with what I teach. However, if I stopped with those passages from ACIM I’d be disregarding significant portions of what else ACIM teaches. So, yes, much of what I teach about the body is in line with ACIM. But I’ve also been led away from its core teachings about the body. ACIM puts a lot of emphasis on how the mind causes illnesses in and is the source of healing the body. My awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) has led me to see form as all one illusion and to disregard it as a whole. This includes the level of mind that makes decisions about the body’s condition.

Second, this part of my article confused many. They could not see the distinction I was making:

“For example I would read in ACIM that illness in the body is caused by my identification with the body. In my guilt I would feel fearful when I read this. But later when I would think of those passages the Holy Spirit in my mind would explain that I experienced illness because of my identification with the body. This, of course, makes perfect sense. I would not experience illness otherwise.”

Here’s the distinction: ACIM says that illness in the body is caused by one’s identification with the body. If one withdraws their identification from the body, the body will be healed:

“The idea of separation produced the body and remains connected to it, making it sick because of the mind’s identification with it.” (T-19.I.7)

“The body, valueless and hardly worth the least defense, need merely be perceived as quite apart from you, and it becomes a healthy, serviceable instrument through which the mind can operate until its usefulness is over.” (W-135.8)

What I have learned from the Holy Spirit is that like all form, the body is limited, changeable, and open to manifestations of dysfunction in many forms. This is so because the experience of form is the opposite of eternally perfect, limitless, formless Truth. Medicines, treatments, etc. for the body are available at the level of the body (form). I only experience illness when I identify with an ill body. However, as mind I can detach from the experience of the body, whatever its condition, and watch it in the recognition that it is not real and is a passing experience.

So, to sum up: ACIM teaches that illness in a body is caused by the mind that perceives itself in that body. It teaches that one only has to choose to not be ill and they will not experience illness or a manifest illness will disappear.

What I have been taught is that illness in the body is the result of causes (genes, environment, attitudes, behavior, lifestyle choices, energy) at the level of form. Some causes (attitudes, behavior, choices, energy) can change if one changes them and this may result in illness not manifesting, being mitigated, and perhaps healing. One’s willingness to have the body be well results in their becoming aware of the appropriate medicines, treatments, diets, etc. at the level of form.

The significant distinction here is that ACIM teaches that the body can be perfected by one withdrawing their identification from it. Where I have been led is to see that one can withdraw their identification from the body and experience detachment from its conditions. But the body continues on as inherently limited, occasionally or chronically dysfunctional, deteriorating form that eventually ceases to be animated (“alive”) and decays if it is not preserved (mummified, etc.) or destroyed.

Why is this distinction important? Because ACIM’s way kept me focused on the body’s condition as an indicator of my state of mind. The way I have been led has allowed me to be at peace no matter the condition of the body. I accept that the experience of form will never be perfect. This sets me free to detach from it and to focus on mind instead of the body. The result has been for my awareness of Truth and peace to be my focus as the body falls into the background of my experience.

For me, anyway, ACIM’s way blurred the line between Truth and illusion; between Formless Mind and form-bound thinking. The way I have been led has made the distinction between Truth and illusion clear to me. Any concern with form is limiting.

Third, ACIM does not say that the goal is to heal your mind to heal the body. (Again, I have culled what ACIM says about the body and healing at my website, www.acimmentor.com/acimandbodydisorders.com). Nor was I suggesting that this is what ACIM teaches. What it does teach is a result of health for the body as the mind is healed. In other words, physical healing is not the goal for healing the mind, but is a side effect. Where I have been led is to attend to mind and let the self (body, personality) be as it is without judging it. This is how I detach from it. And I have experienced a mind growing in its awareness of Truth and peace while the body continues on with many of the typical issues of middle age. My experience seems to be in line with other spiritual teachers, mentioned by some readers, who no longer identified with a self and yet whose bodies died of illness. (I do not yet claim to not identify with a self at all. But it is harder to find).


Having written all of this, I hope readers will eventually come to realize that we are talking about nothing. Attend to the body and it will grow in your awareness. So will guilt and a feeling of vulnerability and fear. Attend to Truth and It will grow in your awareness. So will the awareness that you are whole and perfect in Truth and that the body is nothing.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Different Approach to the Body

Last week I wrote about how I learned to put aside expectations that arose from spiritual study and to allow myself to be led from within. An example of this would be how I was led to an approach to the body that was different from what I read in A Course in Miracles.

When I first became a student of ACIM I was, like everyone, filled with guilt (but didn’t know it). So I read ACIM through a filter of guilt. I read a lot of love and release (forgiveness) in ACIM, too, but in many ways I felt condemnation when I was reading. I vaguely knew this was coming from me but my belief in guilt was so strong that I couldn’t look at this directly for many, many years. One of the topics over which I felt tremendous guilt while reading ACIM was the body, especially when it came to physical illness.

ACIM teaches that the universe of form, which of course includes bodies, was not made by God. Therefore, the body is not real. However, I experience a body and denying that I experience the body would denigrate the power of my mind. So I do not have to deny the experience until that happens naturally. The body is only an idea in the mind and everything that happens in the body, including reflexes, instincts, illness, etc. is actually a choice of the mind. The body is neutral and in its neutral state it manifests perfect health. Illness in the body is caused by the guilt and fear of God I experience in my identification with the body. So if I do not identify with the body it will manifest perfect health. (You can read in detail what ACIM teaches about the body and illness and physical healing at my website: www.acimmentor.com/acimandbodydisorders.html).

However, from the beginning I was often told something else by the Holy Spirit in my mind as I read ACIM. Sometimes I would think that I was only being given an interpretation. But later I’d discover that it was not only an interpretation. I was experiencing something very different from what ACIM said. For example I would read in ACIM that illness in the body is caused by my identification with the body. In my guilt I would feel fearful when I read this. But later when I would think of those passages the Holy Spirit in my mind would explain that I experienced illness because of my identification with the body. This, of course, makes perfect sense. I would not experience illness otherwise. The clarity with which I experienced this made me think that my original, fearful interpretation was being corrected. But later I’d come across the same passage or one like it and I’d see that I was given more than an interpretation. I was given a whole other approach. This happened often when I read about the body and illness. And it only happened when I read about the body and illness. No other topic in ACIM was changed for me.

ACIM says that using form (medicines, treatments, etc.) to heal the body is “magical thinking”. The body can only be healed by the mind. But the Holy Spirit told me that the remedies for form are at the level of form. Cause and effect applies at the level of form. Genes, environment, attitudes, behavior, choices, and energy all affect the body at the level of form. So at the level of form medicines and treatments are not “magic”. They are manifestations of the choice to be relieved of physical symptoms at the level of form. The Holy Spirit told me that I am mind and that “magical thinking” is not thinking that medicines can help the body. “Magical thinking” is the belief that healing the body would heal mind. You can see that there is a big difference here.

Once when I was thinking about sickness the Holy Spirit explained to me that when a lion takes down a gazelle it is not personal. The lion is only trying to survive. It’s the same with a virus, like a cancer or a ‘flu. The virus is only another organism in the world. It is not personal when it attacks a body. It’s only doing what viruses do to survive. So a virus is not “wrong” or “bad”. It’s neutral. It has no meaning in itself. It’s just part of the experience of the world.  The whole experience of the world is one of guilt and fear. Illness is not a special case of this. The body does not have a neutral state of perfection. The whole of the universe of form, as the opposite of Perfect Truth, is inherently dysfunctional. This dysfunction is not wrong or bad. It is just the way that the opposite-of-Truth is. Again, this is very different from what ACIM teaches.

What ACIM had to say about the body and illness always felt off to me. However, the Voice of ACIM was always consistent to me so I never felt that Helen had let in other voices or her own ego. So for a long while I assumed that the “off” feeling was just a projection of my own guilt. This other, clear approach that I have received from the Holy Spirit came over a very long time because in my guilt and fear my mind was closed. It also confused me. Was it different from ACIM? Fear made it hard for me to sort them out. I expected that when I was less fearful and therefore open what ACIM teaches would become clear to me. And it did (see link above) but it still felt “off” to me. I thought I must still be blocked. It took me a long time to see that I had actually been led to a different approach.

When I asked the Holy Spirit about the difference between ACIM and where I have been led I was told that Helen had a different goal from my goal. I cannot speak to her goal. But mine has always been to know Truth and be at peace. Helen was told that if she healed the body of illness by simply choosing against illness it would demonstrate the power of mind. She would learn that the mind decides how the body feels. She would learn that she is not the victim of the universe of form. Last year during a brief illness I caught a glimpse of the level of mind where the choice of illness is made. When I saw this I simultaneously saw that that level of the mind is not real, either. The body, illness in the body, the part of mind that causes responses in the body – all of that is not-Truth. I was not led to change that level of mind to heal the body. I was led to let it all go. All along I’ve been led to detach from the body – indeed, all of not-Truth - not to seek to change my mind to heal the body.

When I translated ACIM into plain, everyday language I kept its message about the body and illness the same though it conflicted in many ways with what I was learning directly from the Holy Spirit. In fact, that was when I began to enquire into the difference. But it was not my place to change ACIM’s message. What I teach now is what I have learned directly from the Holy Spirit. When students contact me to learn how to heal the body by changing their minds I direct them to other ACIM teachers whose interest seems to lie in that direction.


This approach to the body is still unfolding for me. I will continue to be led from within rather than from a book or another person in the world. Teachers and teachings are not ends in themselves. They are means to my goal of being aware of Truth but only when viewed through the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit) in my own mind.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Trust Your Own Path

If I had my way (oh, there’s so much I could say after this!) no one would be able to read spiritual material or to listen to spiritual teachers that are more advanced than they are. It seems to cause so many problems. And of course the problems are not in the material but in the readers and listeners.

I’ll say again what I’ve said often lately: this path has not unfolded in the way that I thought it would. I have gone along for a ride that has taken some surprising turns. Of course the way I thought it would unfold was shaped by what I read into others’ experiences. It was not necessarily what the writers intended.

Sometimes I misunderstood what others shared because I was not yet at their level of awareness. Sometimes I didn’t have their experience and felt I must be failing or missing something. And sometimes others simply used different words to describe an experience we shared. Often I reached a point where I’d say, “Screw what I’ve read! What has my experience taught me?” For me, experience always trumps concepts. So eventually I did accept that I know nothing. I just have to sit back and let this journey to peace unfold as it will without judging it.

I missed miracles because of my guilt and expectations. In guilt I felt I was always falling short. In guilt I couldn’t see that I was in a process because I was so certain I was somehow wrong or off.  I focused on what I lacked, not the peace, the insights, the everyday and higher miracles, the Revelations that I had experienced. I wasn’t sufficiently grateful for those because they weren’t “enough”. Unconsciously I was afraid that they were all I would experience because I was afraid that they were all I deserved. So even when I came to accept that I was in a process I would still have horrible bouts of resisting this awareness. I wanted peace now, damn it, because unconsciously I was afraid it would never arrive.

Expectations meant I often looked in the wrong place for results. The biggest example of this was my expectation that the ego (personal thought system) would change. Of course it didn’t so I felt a failure. But then peace came to stay and the ego was still in my awareness. That’s when I realized I had been looking in the wrong place for peace. Peace came to me, not to the ego. Of course! The ego isn’t me. Isn’t this what I was learning? Now it seems obvious.


There were so many big and little expectations, some of them not consciously held by me, that have been undone or have fallen away. So I say to you: Read or listen to others’ experiences with interest but not with expectations for yourself. Keep your mind open and let your path unfold. Some experiences you will understand right away. Some you too will experience in time. Some you will never experience. Trust the unfolding of your own unique path from within you. Be with the Holy Spirit (the awareness of Truth in your mind) where you are right now. You are now where you have to be to get where you are going.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and  Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.