Ego and ACIM Groups

I hear from students who are disappointed to go to A Course in Miracles study groups or other gatherings, live, online, or over the phone and encounter a lot of posturing, conflicting personal selves. Somehow, they expect Course groups to be different from other gatherings; they expect other students to supply the Love and Light that they feel they lack. Of course, it does not matter whether you are with Course students or non-Course students, because, in any situation, you can only get what you put into it, without exception. Your experience always comes from within you; there is no world outside of your mind. The images that you perceive (the sounds that you hear, the material forms that you touch, etc) are neutral in themselves; you decide what they mean to you.

If you want to join a group or organization, Course-related or otherwise, the question to ask yourself is, why? If it’s to supply a lack, you will be coming from your identification with a personal self. You will be looking to other personal selves to supply your lack, and you will inevitably feel that others have failed you. But if you are there to learn from the Holy Spirit, then you will listen for the Holy Spirit and dismiss the rest. These experiences are automatic to the thought system that you choose. If you come from the personal mind, you will clash with other personal selves; if you come from the Holy Spirit, you will learn from the Holy Spirit, and overlook all of the personal blather.

‘Only what you have not extended to any situation can be lacking.’ (MACIM-17.7.4)

Your response to anything teaches you which thought system in your mind that you are choosing. Your experience is always the effect of this choice; it never comes from something that seems outside of you.

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


Jo Chandler said…
Dearest Liz,
As usual you nailed your subject in very few, well chosen words. I cannot tell you how profound I find your messages--no frills, just substance. Your straight forward talk gives me assurance and confidence to move forward (or should I say gives me confidence to stand still and accept God). Thank you.

jacomina said…
Im going to try my local acim group again Liz. This time remembering to listen to God (can I say God instead of HS?) instead of ego. And remembering "your response to anything teaches you which thought system in your mind you are choosing". And yet I fear I will be angry and have wasted my time as people in the group keep talking about themselves and they dont seem to want to get it. I feel guilty for this harsh judgement but also recognize thats whats got me stuck. The harsh judgement that is. Its too easy for me to study alone and avoid contact with people where (for me and for me only) so much needs to heal. Thank you and have a wonderful Christmas Holiday
Mariah B said…
First off, Liz, thanks SO much for posting this. There certainly has been an "air" of "hostility" in many ACIM groups, online, and in person.. I was a part of certain groups, and many of the "Leaders" were extremely rude, and harsh. My first reaction was to attack back...of course that never works. Then I tried looking at the situations with the Holy Spirit. I then noticed a shift. Heres the thing: if you know that certain people are there just to push your buttons, what is it for? Do you leave the group or stay?
Its similar to being in an abusive realtionship. Do you stay because you "love" the person, or do you leave? Its all up to you! Many people are attracted to hurtful situations, so that they can project their guilt onto someone else, and feel like a victim. But how long are you going to do this, before you Choose NOT to be a victim anymore?
There comes a point in Time, when we make a new Choice, and are no longer attracted to ego-drama. IF peace is your goal, you CAN make a new choice, and decide to choose Peace!
By leaving a few groups, I have now been introduced to different situations, and my perception has shifted in a profound way. I have been actually REALLY practing True Forgiveness, and actually doing the work that is required in ACIM. Being in the groups in a way was a huge distraction (mainly because I was there to feel as if I "belonged" there..similar to high school).
Sometimes I fall back into victim-mode and think of how rude people were. But I almost immediately forgive myself. Some say that by leaving these groups, I'm running away from the problem. Well, on the level of form, yes. But ACIM has nothing to with what you DO, and everything to do with how you THINK. In the group or not, it doesn't matter, because all events are neutral, and illusory. I can still ALWAYS practice forgiveness in my mind, when the "stuff" hits the fan, lol. (Which is just like saying, "when the unconscious guilt rises to the surface").
Thanks for a great post Liz!!!
ben bigelow said…
I do find lots of diversity in meetings. I had myself, "what am I doing here?" last meeting I attended, and the answer came to me, "servant". I was aware I was there with the intention to serve others.
"Projection makes perception."
That's the basis of the course, isn't it.
What we see out there, doesn't really exist but as a projection. Forgiving the world is forgiving our perception of the world, isn't it?
ACIM Mentor said…
I'm not sure if your question was rhetorical or not, Ben, but just in case it wasn't, I will answer:

Yes, you don't forgive others; you forgive your thoughts (projections) about others.
Anonymous said…
Thank you Liz. this explains a lot. I need not say nothing more on this matter

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