An Update on "Unsettling"

There has been some confusion and a few questions since my last article, “Happily Ever After”. For example, what is the relationship between the experience I wrote about in that article and the Revelation (see Unsettled) that I had at the end of 2007 where I experienced Complete Joy? This is a good time to bring readers up to date with what I have been going through in the “Period of Unsettling” (see the Manual for Teachers, Development of Trust), since many want to know what each stage is like. If you remember, the Holy Spirit told me I had entered that stage just after that Revelation. I cannot convey the experience of a Revelation, Which is a direct experience of God, but whenever I have one, on my way “back” to a perception of the world I always learn something. After that Revelation I swung from standing just outside of Complete Joy to the stark terror of the personal mind. What I wrote about in “Happily Ever After” was a continuation of that lesson. In fact, since I’ve entered this stage I have been living out the pendulum swing between Truth and illusion. I am fully aware of both in my mind, and the distinction between Truth and illusion has grown clearer and starker for me. As I mentioned in a recent article, I’m not addressing anything new in this phase of my learning, but I am addressing everything at its most fundamental level now. For example, I’m no longer denying the source of my guilt and fear by blaming them on something that seemed to have occurred in the world. If I feel guilt or fear I know that it’s because I believe that I have separated from God and that I think that God will punish me. This is a great relief to me because I can deal with the thoughts in my mind at their source instead of playing around the edges. I know that when I have these thoughts that I am listening to the personal mind and I can look at this honestly and go the other way to Truth.

There’s a passage in the Manual for Teachers about the previous period, the Period of Settling. It says that at this stage you feel reasonable Peace, but you have not come as far as you think. I was so aware of this line that I was always vigilant to not think that I had come farther than I had. In fact, I really never felt that I had come very far because, no matter how much I understood intellectually, I had not had any comprehensive shift in my experience. So when I entered the Period of Unsettling I became aware that so far I had not done anything but prepare for what I was about to experience. I realized that this is what that line about the Period of Settling was all about. The way that I describe it is, if this process was like eating a piece of fruit, then everything before the Period of Unsettling was just my eating through the soft flesh; now I’m at the pit. It seems hard and impossible to penetrate, yet I keep having these shifts that reveal that nothing is really there. The more I try to grasp guilt and fear the more they dissipate like fog in my hands.

I have bouts of crushing guilt, sheer terror, and utter despair, but they are rare, and pass as quickly as they came. I realize at those times that these things are in my mind all of the time, only usually disguised in milder, more tolerable forms. I’m finally seeing into the very heart of the personal mind, but that is all. I’m not seeing anything real, where once if I had seen these things I’d have been terrified. This period is “unsettling”, but it’s not as hard as the Period of Sorting out, in which I spent fifteen years, because I had little awareness of Peace then to offset my fear and discomfort. The horrible moments that I have now are more than offset by Holy Instants that lift me out of the world and reveal the Truth to me, and by my ongoing sense of the Presence of the Holy Spirit. I always have the Answer and Comforter with me. If I had to quantify it, I’d say I’m 80% at Peace all the time, no matter what else seems to be going on in my mind. I have moments of Pure Peace, but obviously I do not sustain this or I wouldn’t be here to write this! I sense that the last 20% will come in one fell swoop when I accept Total Peace at last. I’m also very confident in the process I am in because it is the Holy Spirit that does it all, as it has always been the Holy Spirit that does it all. I only have to be willing to go through the process, so I simply sit back and watch it unfold. But more importantly, I have moments when I feel with certainty that all of this is already over; it’s not really here. There is no story, there is no process; there is only God.

Read The Message of A Course in Miracles: A translation of the Text in plain language at


Mariah B said…
Thanks for sharing this, Liz! I like how you have inetgrated bits of your personal life into your articles, having to do with the COURSE! Thats onederful and makes it much easier to understand. I would like to ask though, I have had some great things happen to me in the last few weeks or so. I have moved out of my ex's house, got over him, and now live alone. Im surrounded by loving friends, and life seems to be going great. I want to know if any of this has to do with me practicing true forgiveness? Or is this a stage of ego distractions that make the world more "comfortable"? i read somewhere that you advance more during hard times. I also know that anything that brings you pleasure eventually bring you pain. You can have a "good life" in the world, but at what cost? Does this make sense?
ACIM Mentor said…
Mariah, if you have really made a commitment to your awakening, you can now be sure that everything that happens is happening in line with your new Goal. It sounds like you may be experiencing a period of undoing, which occurs when you do practice true forgiveness. Your outer life now has to line up with your inner shift.
You do not advance more during hard times. Actually, you learn faster and easier when you are a happy learner. But the personal mind may interpret the shifts that occur in your outer world as "hard times", and these shifts often occur after important inner shifts.
Not everything that brings you pleasure will bring you pain, either. The only Real Pleasure is God, and there's no pain There! And what is a "good life" is a matter of what you value. You can have a good life that is simple and drama-free, but the world may see that as lacking because it's not full of things and drama. A good life in the world will not cost you anything if it is centered on What has Real Value.
Roeland said…
Dear Liz,

Thank you for your answer to Mariah.
I have always been introverted and lead a secluded life, almost like a monk. I believe this fits my character and preferences.
To have forgiveness lessons one does not have to see many people. Forgiveness lessons present themselves very easily.
In fact I believe that if more forgiveness lessons would present themselves I could easily become overwhelmed and drawn into the drama of the ego.

I am very happy studying the Course, doing the workbook lessons and live almost as a monk.
Thank you for your great blog and your outstanding work.

Laura said…
I see how my experience I shared in a recent email to you is reflected so accurately in this post, except I may have the 80-20 reversed. I am building Trust and learning how to truly step back, witness without judgment, and let the Holy Spirit lead in any doings....

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