ACIM at the Movies

This may seem like a silly idea – seeing the ideas in the Course in movies – but when you are open to the Holy Spirit lessons come from all over. There can be scenes or characters that resonate with you that are not obviously about the Course. And these lessons may resonate only with you – another student might not quite get what you see. You know it when you see it!

Here is an example of some movies that click with me:

The Matrix – Most students recognize this movie as a wonderful metaphor for the Course. It can all be summed up with the line, “There is no spoon.”

Harvey – Jimmy Stewart sees a benevolent being that no one else does. Yes, it’s a giant rabbit – but the point is, his faith in this being is so strong that others begin to see it, too.

The Thin Red Line – A gory WWII movie, yes, but the Jim Caviezel character sees God everywhere, even in the midst of war. When his character is cornered and realizes he’s about to “die” he stops resisting – and you know he forgives his “killers”.

American Beauty – The kid played by Wes Bentley sees an extraordinary beauty in ordinary things, like a paper bag blowing in the wind. I believe his character is experiencing a holy instant in those moments and seeing beyond the veil of this world.

Amadeus – This movie is all about the absurdity of ego. Poor Salieri thinks God is mocking him through a crude, selfish, arrogant genius in Mozart.

The End of the Affair – It’s not the Roman Catholic moralizing overtones of the immoral woman struck down in the prime of life, nor is it the miracle of the boys healing through her “sacrifice”. What touches me is the very end where Ralph Fiennes character, who has professed not to believe in God, asks God to look after the woman he loves and her husband, then tells God to leave him alone. No one is angry at something they don’t believe in. I always see that moment as the beginning of hope for him.

Which movies or characters have had lessons for you?
To receive this blog in your email contact me at


Sarita said…
Hello Liz,

Delighted to read your list of movies and comments. I had a continuous wave of shivers and goosebumps as I read through them! American Beauty is the movie that touched me the most deeply- specifically, I was incredibly moved by the scene you described. I remember walking out of the cinema dumbstruck with awe.

Another movie which inspired me in a very different way was Pay It Forward. Looking back on it now, I can see it undoes the ego's rule of "giving to get" and the scarcity principle.

Love Sarita
carrie genevachild said…
Not silly at all. I see the Course in movies and on television all the time. I see the Course everywhere.

When Aaron and I went to see Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, we deliberately asked Miriam to sit with us and interpret the movie for us. She gave us a Course in Miracles version of the movie.
Jamie said…
I watched "Drugstore Cowboy" last night and Jon Voigt's character shows some beautifully forgiving and compassionate qualities particularly at the end and his treatment of Dustin Hoffman's character.
Anonymous said…
I see Course ideas in movies too, like The Truman Show, 8 1/8 by Fellini, Forrest Gump, It's A Wonderful Life, The Shawshank Redemption, even the "cautionary" ones like Citizen Kane, Rosebud was about Kane's lost childhood,and the movie James mentioned was Midnight Cowboy (Everybody's Talking At Me. I can't hear a word they're sayin'only the shadows of their eyes. I won't let you leave my love behind) =)
hannah said…
i 'discovered' harvey around the same time as the course. i loved how he was the same with everyone, open and respectful, and the joy and faith in his own experience that was unshakable, he just lived in 'reality' regardless. i never thought of the aspect you shared here!

Popular posts from this blog

An Interesting Thing Happened This Summer

Finally, A Real Choice

The Fear to Look Within