Showing posts from 2011

Ask: When is personal love an obstacle to True Love?

          I had written and received the most wonderful response from you in regard to feeling deep love and joy when interacting with my family which consists of my husband of almost 20 years and our two pugs. We are at our happiest when we are all together. I felt guilty because I felt I was "loving" myself deeper into the dream and your advice was that my family is a manifestation of the love I feel within and that I should gratefully continue appreciating and loving them. I felt complete release from guilt but it has returned. There are moments of joy we share that just seem so full and wonderful and I can't help but think I'm ignoring the text and strengthening the illusion.             This passage, from The Message of ACIM, specifically illustrates my fear:
"Do not make any illusion your friend, because if you do, it will take the place of the Holy Spirit, Which God has made your only Friend in Truth."
            How do I process the love I feel witho…

Ask: What is your advice for handling distractions during meditation?

I've been a student of ACIM for nine years. I very recently was led to your plain language versions and feel my progress had been sped up immeasurably. However my meditation honeymoon period seems to be over. The first 2 weeks after reading "The Four Habits for Inner Peace" I easily fell into a wonderful mindless state and barely noticed the hour that seemed to just fly by. Now, most mornings…all manner of things begin to happen…barking…, the phone rings, a leaf blower...a car alarm suddenly ignites…I get a coughing or yawning fit, short unexplainable stabs of pain manifest in parts of my body etc. It's comical!
Sometimes I get frustrated and give up and feel guilty, thinking my progress has been arrested. Sometimes I just smile and wait a bit till everything calms down and continue, able to ignore the illusory external chaos. My questions concerning this are...
What is your advice when all of these distractions manifest. Should I stop and wait until later? If I don…

Ask: How do I approach "private thoughts"?

…I haven't been doing "the Course" for very long, but I do seem to get caught up in "my thoughts". At the beginning of doing the Course, are we just to be concentrating on releasing fearful, anxious, jealous, so called "lower" states of mind? Sometimes, when I am daydreaming about my new bedroom furniture (for example), I become aware that I am thinking "private thoughts" and not thinking with the Holy Spirit. This is causing me a good bit of hyper vigilance, which does not make for a peaceful day!!
…practically, when the
Course says we want neither the "good nor the bad" thoughts, that confuses me. How do you suggest approaching these so-called "good thoughts'? Or, am I jumping way ahead of myself to a goal that is not within reach for me at this time? – SL

You do not have to force your mind to stay focused on Truth (God) all day long. This is not realistic, and frankly there are times when you need to be focused on what th…

Ask: Do two people have to consciously decide to have a Holy relationship?

I have a close female friend my ego brings to mind a hundred times a day (thoughts of intimacy between us). The ego wishes to be closer to her but, even though we have not talked about it, it seems to me that we have both turned off the possibility of the experience of sexual intimacy. Me because I have made the decision to be faithful to my wife and her because she simply would not be an adulteress.
We are both dedicated ACIM students who share a mutual goal of diminishing the ego and being more of what we truly are. While picking up a book for her one day I found Robert Perry's pamphlet on Holy Relationships. This is the first time I remember that subject coming into my awareness. I felt after reading it that at some level beyond conscious thought we have already made the decision to be in a Holy Relationship and it is just now coming to mind. Do two people have to consciously decide to have a Holy Relationship? Is there any value (to the degree that it would help us awaken) in s…

Ask: How can I find my life-partner?

…How can a single person connect to their life partner? I have been single for several years and... I have learned I want a life partner more than a soul mate, I think I am looking for someone who can stand to be with me and I with them for more than 10 minutes at a time; someone to share the dream together while in the dream world. –JP

It is good for your peace of mind that you are being honest with yourself about what you want. So many A Course in Miracles students make the mistake of repressing personal desires in the guilty belief that they are “wrong”. In Truth (God) personal desires are not “wrong” or “right”; they are nothing. But while you are aware of a world they can be either obstacles to or means for peace. The personal thought system (ego) uses them as ends in themselves, so they become obstacles to peace for you. But the Teacher of Truth (Holy Spirit) within you uses personal desires as means for peace if you share them with It. So the first step is for you to be honest w…

Ask: Are we told what our task is?

I am a beginner; still, things have changed so radically for me, and so quickly. I am now at odds about how to earn my living. Are we told what our task is? It must be a manifestation of His Will, but how do we find out? Is it one with “the light of the world”? Will it be unveiled to us? – L

A Course in Miracles states that, if you want inner peace, your one responsibility is to “accept the Atonement for yourself”. The “Atonement” in the Course means correction of your perception that you are separate from God (Truth). This is accomplished through your becoming aware of God within you and your forgiving, or releasing, the thoughts that are obstacles to your staying aware of God within you.
So your “task” does not involve what the personal self does in the universe of form but what you do with your mind. And you become aware of God again in the course of an ordinary, everyday life because it is there that you run into the obstacles (guilt, fear, attachment) to being aware of God that you…

The "Separation" Is Over, revisited

There is no question this week for "Ask ACIM Mentor" so here is an article from June 23, 2007:

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, and 4 Habits for Inner Peace at

If you have a question that you want answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog send it to and indicate that you want it answered here.

Ask: How do I find peace in a relationship where I fear to be myself?

I have a relationship with someone that seems to trigger a fear to be myself. I haven't felt this way with anyone in a long time. I have been asking to see only the face of Christ in her and have had many experiences of just that. I love her unconditionally and am not threatened by anything she seems to do. Yet, I still withhold my true thoughts from her because I am still afraid of what I have perceived about her, which is that she is degrading and not connected to humility in a way that I can relate to. I just feel so separated from her and can't seem to find a way to connect and disarm myself and her. I want to very deeply, but every time I seem to be making headway, I realize that she and I are talking different languages and we both haven't got a clue what the other is going through or saying.
I do not leave the relationship because it seems to me that since I feel such conflict in the relationship that I have not learned what I need to learn. I am willing to stay and …

Ask: Where does the spirit world come into the teachings of ACIM?

I am working through ACIM and have not found any other teaching that has felt so right as ACIM… Where does the spirit world come into the teachings of ACIM? Is there a spirit world or is this also created by ourselves within the dream? Is it really past relatives that people try to connect to?...The spirit world seems to be the only thing created that we believe is beyond our world and seems to be the place we all end up after this dream has what we see as ended…-AR

You are correct that A Course in Miracles never refers to a “spirit world”. It is indeed just a concept of the personal thought system (ego). Like the idea of “reincarnation” it is meant to give to the personal self an aspect of Truth (God): eternality. It is the personal thought system’s attempt to have you believe that the personal self, or at least some aspect of it called a “spirit”, is real. Actually, all sense of individuality falls away in the awareness of Truth. There is only one Spirit (God, Truth).
Yes, some people…

Ask: What is the difference between God's Love and personal love?

What are the differences in the love for God and the love for another 'special relationship' man / woman / child. I know one difference would be conditional love for another body and unconditional love between God and myself. But is it the same kind of love? My ACIM group says they are different and it is too bad they use the same word. I think the love between myself and my spouse is the same as, albeit, a small representation of God's love for me. – RQ

The most obvious difference between the Love of God and personal love is that God’s Love simply is and personal love is always directed toward an object (person, animal, or thing).
God’s Love is God’s Being, which means It is your True Being. The experience of It is radiating joy and peace, without beginning or ending. It is an experience of wholeness that has no correlation in the personal experience.
God’s Love is introduced to you as “God loves you” when you are identifying with a personal self not because God’s Love is re…

Ask: About "teachers of God"...

From the point of view of A Course in Miracles, only one teacher of God is needed to save the world. According to the Course, all the rest would be the ego's arrogant specialness. ACIM also talks about The Hundredth Monkey Theory of Salvation which states that a certain number of people are needed to tip the scales to favor of salvation, and as a corollary, that there is some sort of divine plan to have this done by certain special people… Speaking for myself, nothing wrong with this The Hundredth Monkey Theory, except that I happen to believe in the concept of the critical-masses of people needed to tip the scale of salvation of the world.Perhaps, that is why, I believe that part three of A Course in Miracles is devoted to these God's teachers who are destined to tip the scale in favor of salvation of the world. I read somewhere that Helen, the scribe of the Course, mentioned about the "Celestial Speed Up" process. The manual for Teachers was written for these God&#…

Ask: If I am the dream figure then who is the dreamer of the dream?

If I am the dream figure, then who is the dreamer of this dream? And how do I as the dream figure get in contact with the dreamer? Is Jesus in ACIM addressing the dreamer of the dream? How do I change this dream into the "happy dream" ACIM speaks of? - G.P.

You are the dreamer of the dream dreaming that you are a figure in your dream. A Course in Miracles addresses you as the dreamer.
The “dreamer of the dream” in the Course refers to the split mind, which it calls the “son of God” (lower case “s” on son). It is split between God (What it is) and not-God (the idea of the opposite-of-God). This split mind makes the universe of form and projects its mind into many seemingly-individual minds. So each seemingly-individual mind seems to be a dream figure but is really one form of the one split mind.
You begin your study of the Course almost wholly identified with a figure in the dream, or a personal self (ego). You think that the personal “life” and its world are happening to you an…

Ask: Can sex be a means of holy communication?

I have been attempting to understand how sex might connect us to divinity. I've read the ACIM urtext. I've read your piece, "Sex and the Course Student."

Remember that the Holy Spirit interprets the body only as a means of communication. (T-8.VII.2)

If this is the case, then can sex not be a means of …holy communication? A man I know, who says he is a teacher of the Course, has decided that his assignment from God is to meet as many souls as possible for holy encounters involving "transcendent sex." He says his encounters have nothing to do with sex and the body but, rather, love and spirit. Is this really possible? Or is it a misunderstanding of the message of the Course? Is there such a thing as a misuse of the Course?I've had a few beautiful sexual experiences, and it seems the pleasure that spreads across my body brings me "higher," but I wonder if that's just my ego tricking me?...this man says that he believes Jesus was being cautious …

Ask: How as a child was I responsible for the outer picture of an inner condition?

I am studying a course that asks me to look back at my life. I suffered a lot of child abuse which resulted in no self esteem and a complete inability to function in the world. I am now 65 years old. How do I use ACIM when it says that what you experience is a picture of an inner condition? I was just a child. How could I project this into the world or the people that were responsible for me growing up? I just can’t see that I was responsible but I am willing to accept it if that is the way ACIM explains it… – DH (September 30, 2011)

Here is the quote from A Course in Miracles to which you refer:

“Perception seems to teach you what you see. Yet it but witnesses to what you taught. It is the outward picture of a wish; an image that you wanted to be true.” (T-24.VII.8)

If you read the quote above in context (read the paragraphs around it) you will find that it is not referring to the specifics of an individual life but to the “son of God’s” choice to make a universe of form that is the opp…

Ask: What is the experience of the "period of disorientation"?

On page 368 of The Message of A Course in Miracles (Chapter 16; VI The Bridge to the Real World) it says "In your transition there will be a period of confusion and disorientation but do not fear this because it only means that you have been willing to let go of your hold on the distorted frame of reference which seemed to hold your 'reality' together." What is the experience of this "period of confusion and disorientation”? How do you recognize it? – WW (September 23, 2011)

The transition mentioned here is how your whole awareness of Truth (God) unfolds. You feel discomfort the moment that you have an experience (miracle) that shows you that the universe of form, which you thought was reality, is not Reality. A single or even a few experiences are not enough to shift your mind entirely to an awareness that formless being is Reality. You must experience this awareness again and again to undo your fixed sense that the universe of form reality. Each time you feel d…

Ask: Who in their right mind would believe pain isn't real?

I have been a student of ACIM (off & on) for 5 yrs +…but still encounter basic problems that are becoming increasingly insurmountable:
1. The assertion that our physical existence is "a fantasy" or "an illusion"…Who in their right mind would believe this…?What about the physical pain we experience through the course of our lives?... I'm talking about e.g., Suddam Hussein's "go thru the wood chopper" pain, or anything remotely equivalent. Is this pain not transparently REAL to its recipients?... Without a reconciliation to what we intuitively experience and thus accept as truthful ACIM's assertions become sheer sophistry.
2. It is even more troubling that we are told by ACIM that GOD is in essence oblivious to our physical pain…but then HE…has thus dispatched the Holy Spirit to sort it all out, and lead us to the ATONEMENT. What could be more convoluted than this?
3. Additionally, the fact remains even if we have the power deep within us to be…

Healing Others, Revisited

There was no question for "Ask ACIM Mentor" this week, so here is an article from June 19, 2007 about healing others:

This article and others like it are available in the book, The ACIM Mentor Articles.

Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, and 4 Habits for Inner Peace at

If you have a question that you want answered in the ACIM Mentor Newsletter/Blog send it to and indicate that you want it answered here.

Ask: What are others?

…I am a married man with a very good female friend who I feel very close to. She is also a student of ACIM and we frequently discuss it. I find myself wondering...what is she really? Is she really just a vain imagining of my real self? Perhaps a reflection or projection of what my ego self believes itself to be? – MW

Who anyone is to you depends on whether you choose to identify with a personal self or with Truth.
Truth (God) is formless being. The experience of Truth is boundless love and peace and joy. It is an experience of wholeness. When you are identified with a personal self you are out of touch with your natural state of being. So you feel conflict and lack. You seek to supply this lack through the personal self and you see relationships as the way to do this. The personal thought system (ego) teaches you that others are your source. It projects the cause of your unhappiness onto them. It also tells you that in others you will find the peace and happiness that you seek. This c…

Ask: What about making plans for uncertainties?

I wonder about insurances. Oddly, I have homeowner's and car insurance because they are required and they don't seem to concern me. I recently changed professions and now am without health insurance. I want to be open to guidance but find I am unsure. I know ACIM talks about not making plans for uncertainties. What are your thoughts regarding this? – PB

You are unsure what to do because you are concerned with acting in a way that is “right” or “good” or in line with Truth. This is a common mistake for new students of A Course in Miracles because you are used to thinking that the personal self is you and that the goal is for you to “fix” the personal self to be “right” in the eyes of a separate, authoritarian god.
But that god does not exist. It is only a projection of guilt. As the Course uses the word, God is the one Being that is, not something separate with authority over you. And the goal for you is not to be “right” but to return to your natural state of peace. The reason…

Ask: Is prayer for physical things based on fear?

Is prayer for physical things based on fear? I’m a fifty year old man with a very struggling business. I have been studying the Course for about nineteen months now with regular meditations. I’m in debt that I accumulated over the years and they have gone to such an extent that I am now receiving threats. I normally pray for love and peace but deep down there is strong yearnings to pray for money and good fortune for my business so that I can pay these people, get my business in shape and focus on my spiritual path. Is prayer for money intervention in order to pay my debts based on fear?-HPWS

Fear certainly leads you to feel that you need to pray for anything. And your strong desire to pray for money and good fortune reveals that you still believe that your fear is caused by the personal self’s lack of money. The flip-side of this is that you feel that the personal self having enough money will release you from fear. It’s true that if the personal self had enough money to pay its debt…

Ask: What is God's Name?

Lesson # 183 of the workbook for students for ACIM call upon God's Name, and to repeat HIS Name while sitting silently. My question to you is this: DO I NEED TO HAVE A NAME OF GOD TO DO THIS LESSON? Being raised in the Eastern culture, I know that Muslims call God's Name by Allah, Hindus call God's Name by Bagwan and in the West, I've heard some Christians call God's Name by Jehovah…I often call God's Name by Love because it has all the attributes of what God Is…Can you please share your thoughts about calling upon God's Name? – JJ

No, you do not have to have a name for God to do Lesson 183 because God does not have a name. The word God is the label given in A Course in Miracles to the experience of formless being. This experience is boundless love and peace and joy. What this lesson means to bring into focus for you is that God’s being is your being. So you can use the word God for this lesson or you can use any other word that evokes the experience of God…

Ask: How do you know when boundaries come from love or fear?

I have been studying spiritual paths for several years now and there is one question that nags me most often. How do I distinguish between setting healthy boundaries for what I think I need and setting boundaries out of fear instead of love? I understand when it comes to things like not accepting physical abuse. My struggle comes from less obvious situations. For example, my ex, after 2 years of dating, decided she wanted to be able to date other people. I knew that what I wanted was a monogamous commitment from a partner, but I attempted to stay in the relationship because I loved her and I thought not being willing to open the relationship to include others was fear based. Eventually, I decided that, fear based or not, it wasn’t what I wanted and lovingly exited the relationship. I still don’t know, however, if this was loving or fear based boundary setting. Any insights you have would be greatly appreciated.‑VLB

A fear-based decision for the personal self means one that comes from t…

Ask: Is getting still and present the answer?

…I would like to know more about acting/behaving in this world. Even when I am able to become still, to get present, to let spirit show me the truth (and/or the right thing to do or say), I still operate within this dream. I still have physical and emotional struggles, I still have friends and family in crisis, and that's just what's right in front of me ... there's a "world" out there full of suffering. I "know" that this is ego perception, that it’s not real, even if I haven't awakened from the dream. But since I haven't ...I guess I don't get present too often. Is that "the answer"? That all we can do is get still, listen to spirit for guidance, and practice true forgiveness? Is that what's meant by "you need do nothing?"‑NK

Yes, “I need do nothing” is about practicing what A Course in Miracles calls the holy instant. This means bringing your mind into the present, turning it within, and opening it to God. In the ho…

Ask: What is one's relationship to a profound spiritual experience?

…In '84 I had an experience that has become central to my understanding of oneness. …I awoke… to discover that my body was visibly radiant with a golden energy, the heart being the locus. My initial concern was replaced with awe and a feeling of joyful exultation. I moved my attention from my body to discover that everything without exception (animate and inanimate) was radiant with this golden energy. I went outside...all was on fire with this golden light that, far from being a soft ephemeral glow, crackled with the intensity of a million volts. Emotionally I was overtaken with an awesome feeling of love and connectedness.After I came to normal consciousness, basking in the afterglow of this amazing experience, this instructive phrase was "given" to me (by the Holy Spirit?): Rest/abide as That I AM in, as, and through all arising. To this day, for me, this is the epitome of spiritual wisdom and a touchstone for truth.
…Now, for the question: What do you make of this? Is…

Ask: Why am I bothered when I am not liked?

I've recently joined a community action group and met some new people. To make a long story short, I got the impression that one of the young women really does not like me. I know it shouldn't bother me, but it does. Obviously, there's something in my mind that still believes strongly in the idea of being liked. How can I heal this tendency? – SD

When you want something from others you make them your god. You tell yourself that they are the source of your well-being. If you get from them what you want (in this case, being liked) you are at peace. If you do not get from them what you want you are shattered. A Course in Miracles shows us that this is how the personal thought system thinks. “You are my source…”
This woman may or may not like you. You don’t really know what is going on in her mind. But it does not matter. You see what seems like her dislike of you and that is very real to you because it reinforces thoughts that are already in your mind. If she seemed to like you…

Ask: Why is the Course so Christian?

…I've found that the Course's context has been a problem for students who have non-Christian beliefs (Muslims, Hindus etc). Why does a universal message such as A Course in Miracles have to come in a specific religious framework? And, does that not inevitably breed separation and at the same time denying the universally of specific religion?Indeed, the Christian language of A Course in Miracles, not to mention the presence of Jesus throughout the material, can pose a great challenge for students of other cultures. If my personal-self is looking for a way to invalidate the material or throw up obstacles, then Jesus and Christian can be helpful allies in this battle against the Truth (God).On the other hand, asking for the Holy Spirit for help can introduce yet another challenge for non-Christian readers. Speaking for myself, I miss the rituals I used to practice my religious upbringings. The Course seems to be directed more toward a Western audience than other cultures. Its lan…