Don't Blame the World

When you identify with a personal self, you believe that separation from God is real. You believe that you are guilty for attacking God, and snatching some of God for yourself. You expect that God will punish you for this, so you fear God. The only way out of guilt/fear-of-God is to realize that the personal self is not you; you are Eternally One with God. Then you can let go of the personal self, and the guilt and fear-of-God that are inherent in your belief that it is real. Lesson plans like A Course in Miracles teach you how to do this.

Often students blame their feelings of guilt, shame, and fear-of-God on their upbringing. Sometimes it’s a religion they blame, sometimes it’s their parents, sometimes it’s both. But guilt and fear-of-God do not originate in the world; they originate in your mind, just as the world does. In fact, the purpose of the world is to “prove” that you are sinful, guilty, and deserving of punishment. So you don’t need the world to teach you guilt and fear; you already come into it with guilt and fear in your mind, and then you find these ideas justified and reinforced in the world. Really, you can say that those that teach that sin and guilt are real, and that your fear-of-God is justified, are just being honest about what is at the core of all personal identities. What they deny, however, is that the world does not change God in any way, so nothing real has occurred. But they are a step ahead of those who say that they do not feel guilty, and do not fear God, but still perceive the world as real. Those who don’t acknowledge their guilt and fear can’t undo them.

It’s almost inevitable that new students are going to blame something in the world for their erroneous beliefs, because that’s what you do when you identify with a personal self! It’s always something else that is responsible, never you. And it’s hard to accept that you are the source of the world, because your first response to this idea is crushing guilt and fear. The Course’s constant reassurance that you have done nothing real is there for a purpose. Only when the unreality of the world really begins to sink in can you begin to accept that it is in your mind, and then start to undo your belief in it.

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


Hal Seeley said…

I have been attempting to sense, or feel, this fear and guilt for the last few days to no avail. It is my impression that we have to somehow come back to the point when fear and guilt was born before we can undo it with the help of the Holy Spirit. Have you been able to sense or feel this deep seated fear and guilt? I know we talked about a deep seated rage before and I have been able to fell and sense that, but not fear and guilt.

ACIM Mentor said…
Oh, yes, Hal, I've been feeling it. Many of my articles a month or so back were about my finally confronting THE guilt and fear. It's actually there all the time; until you identify it, you just think it's "life". Any little niggle of discomfort, any guilt or fear, is ultimately THE guilt and fear. However, I was not able to really look at them until recently, and I can do so now only because I have reached a point of feeling the Holy Spirit with me always. As the Course says, it takes some preparation to be able to look on stark insanity!
ACIM Mentor said…
Oh, and I want to add about the rage: Anger is fear, and fear is the result of guilt. So, if you've been feeling the rage, you've been feeling the guilt and fear.
sweetheart said…
That is not quite accurate, Liz.

Many people feel rage and think that it is just that. Feeling the rage is not automatically feeling what is under it.

This takes practice and awareness. For me it involved being as still as possible and letting the rage or anger burn inside. It is extremely painful. It is hard to meet the enormity of he feeling and not move.

This is key - not moving in any way. Not with thoughts, not with actions, just staying with the feeling and asking god to show you what is the gift in this painful experience.

The gradually the underlying fear and guilt slowly come to light. It took me years of deep meditation and prayer.

You are right about the guilt and fear beneath the rage, but feeling one is not necessarily feeling the other.
Hal Seeley said…
Immediately after publishing my post I had an answer I believe came from the Holy Spirit that fit in with some stuff I have been reading by Kenneth Wapnick. Kenneth said the world we project is a shadow of the state of our mind. The Holy Spirit said to simply look at the fear and guilt in the world and you will see the fear and guilt in your mind. This coincides with what Kenneth said and intellectually I get it. But what is missing for me is that stark terror and heavily depressing burden of guilt that would drive me to run and hide from God. Yes I do at times feel guilty and there are times I feel fear, but these feelings are of things in this world and I am unable to connect those emotions to the "Big Ones" that caused the separation. Maybe the original fear and guilt are so huge that I would go mad if they surfaced and maybe I am just not prepared to face the insanity as you suggested.
ACIM Mentor said…
Yes, Hal, it comes up in time, when you have been prepared for it. This is all a process, so you can't force anything. Just learn what's right in front of you, and you'll get there!
Suzan said…
Liz - I have just been introduced to your mentoring and feel so blessed!
I have question that nags at me. What does the Course mean by the term "world"? I know that seems elementary, but is it our perception, is it the world's thought system or is it the physical world itself?
I had a very traumatic expericence a few years ago (bordering on psychosis) that brings up HUGE resistance to the "world". I can feel fear and insecurity projected onto almost everything. I know that as I was recovering from my hellish experience, the mind was searching for "reasons" for my fear and it used anything in my awareness as "cause". I still have automatic emotional responses, and become so angry at myself for allowing the mind to run into such incredibly dark places.
So, do I start loving the world? (even though it's not there) Or, forgive myself for these misperceptions? Somehow, either choice leaves me without any "grounding".
Your input is greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much!
ACIM Mentor said…
In some contexts the Course is referring to the universe of form when it says "the world" and these are usually obvious. But mostly the Course is speaking about your thoughts about the universe of form when it refers to "the world" because it is in these thoughts that you live. The universe of form has no meaning in itself and you are always responding to your thoughts about the universe of form.
The ego always speaks first, so automatic emotional responses are natural. The goal is not to repress them but to let them go. Let the ego have its say then step back and choose to come from spirit instead. This is practicing forgiveness. It's never the world that you have to forgive, but your thoughts about the world.

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