Ask: Discrepencies Between Law of Attraction and the Course

I am glad some are asking about the discrepancies between the Bible and the Course. I have just finished reading the Law of Attraction channeled by Abraham through Esther Hicks. Here also there is a wide discrepancy between the descriptions of who we are in physical bodies as described by Abraham, being a definite and determined decision to come "here" as the forefront of thought and extend All-That-Is, and the Course which states that we have no choice but to come "here" until we are healed and no longer need to.
Another major discrepancy is the advice on how to live: LOA suggests we focus our thoughts as far as possible on what we want whereas the Course suggests the exact opposite: do NOT formulate and ask for anything.
If you are familiar with the above writings would you please give us your thoughts on these issues…– RC

I, too, like it when students bring up discrepancies between other spiritual teachings and A Course in Miracles. Bringing these discrepancies to the Holy Spirit was how the Course’s teachings were clarified for me, and also helped me to understand what I was experiencing as I practiced the Course. When used with the Teacher of Truth, contrast is a wonderful way to sort out Truth and not-Truth.
I have not read The Law of Attraction, nor have I looked deeply into the teachings of Abraham/Hicks, but I can address your questions. It is not important what a teaching actually says; what is important is how you read it, and that is expressed through your questions.
The Course does not teach that you have no choice but to come into the world until you are healed and no longer need to. The world is an idea in your mind, not a place where your mind goes into a body. If you are implying by “until you no longer need to” that seemingly-individual minds reincarnate, then the Course also does not teach this. As I quoted a few articles ago, the Course states directly that many lives apart from God have no more meaning than one life apart from God. Each personal self is a projection of one mind that seems to be split between God and not-God. Since it is all one mind, some seemingly-individual minds merely tap into other “stories” for personal selves in that one mind and decide that they were their own individual past lives. This is why many claim to be the reincarnation of the same people!
I’m going to use here the metaphor of a dream that the Course uses to clarify this further. The one split mind is what the Course calls the son of God, or the “dreamer of the dream”. Each seemingly-individual mind in the “dream” is only a “figure in the dream” of that one mind - just as when you dream during sleep, each figure in your dream is really just a projection in your mind.
Even though you think that you are a dream figure, in actuality you are the mind behind the dream – you are the dreamer of the dream. Every mind is, which is why every mind is really one and the same. The “illusion” is that there are many minds that are different from each other. You only become aware of this, however, when you choose to “awaken”. The process of awakening makes you more and more aware that you are not a dream figure, but the dreamer of the dream. In other words, you are Limitless Mind, not a mind in a body in a world. You will never grasp this idea with the personal thought system’s intellect, because it cannot understand this. But you will come to understand this as you practice turning to God in your mind and releasing (forgiving) the world.
Which is why, if you are serious about inner peace, you will not be interested in dreaming a better dream (focusing your mind on manifesting what the personal thought system in your mind - ego - wants), but in awakening from the dream (being aware that you already have everything and that the perception of lack is only a dream).
When you focus on what is showing up in the world, you engage in what the Course calls “upside-down” thinking. You teach yourself that the personal self is not just an idea in your mind, but what you are. You think that the world causes your sense of peace or conflict, when in fact peace and conflict are states of mind that you choose. You confuse cause and effect – the world is your cause and you are its effect – when in fact, you are the mind that causes the world that you perceive.
What this means in practice is that when you center your mind in the conflicted, erroneous thought system (ego), you project away the power of your mind and think that you are helpless. You think that you are a dream figure in a nightmare that is the making of a separate, unknown mind (sometimes called “God”). But, when you center your mind in Truth (which you may choose to call “God”), you reclaim your power, and the dream that unfolds in front of you manifests the peace of your mind. You recognize that it is a dream: an effect of your mind; not your cause, nor your reality, so you have no need to try and control it.
So, it is always the case, as The Law of Attraction teaches, that the source of the world that you perceive is you. But LOA (as well as many other similar teachings) then contradicts itself by reinforcing your belief that the world causes you by telling you that, if you want to be happy, you must control what shows up in the world. You cannot be both cause and effect; either the world causes you or you cause it. Attend to what is showing up in the world, and you remain in conflict, confusing yourself with your dream. Attend to maintaining your peace of mind, and you will remember What you are as the dream fades from your mind.


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Comments

Samantha said…
Brilliant clarity! Thank you!
jacomina said…
Yes, Finally clarity. So much more than other teachers have been able to explain. I'm so glad this question was raised and Liz nailed it. Thank you all.
Well worded explanation :)
Anonymous said…
I see that this post is quite old, but I have been getting into ACIM over the past year and just recently became very interested in the Law of Attraction teachings of Abraham as well, and I'd like to correct the point that LOA entails that "if you want to be happy, you must control what shows up in the world." Quite the contrary, at least as it is taught by Abraham. Yes, Abraham does encourage manifesting our desires in the physical and taking joy in that process (the whole process though, not just the outcome). But they also greatly emphasize being "unconditional," that is, unconcerned with conditions in the world. Instead, they say, focus on your feelings. Feel happy. Feel appreciative. Feel loving. This is alignment, and this is what then produces the conditions we find more desirable. As far as I can tell thus far, it's very much in line with ACIM. I feel I will continue to derive a lot of value from both teachings!

"I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked." ACIM
Philip Foti said…
Very good, I am a student of the Course and have been listening to Abraham... initially very skeptical for the very reasons eloquently stated above, yet I felt compelled to listen and be open... ultimately the Course teaches that we have no neutral thoughts, that all thoughts create form in some level in this illusion, then it occurred that Abraham and the LOA is simply stating that whether we agree or not...our thoughts "manifest"... period..

Manifesting is what thoughts in the perceptive world do..

I understand that those listen and filtering Abe from the ego will no doubt see this is looking to the outside world for salvation...a trap...he who has ears to hear... but I don't see that ABE is saying that at all as ABE always precludes with first being rooted and aligned in Source... and from a place of alignment with source only can and will love and abundance (Magnitude, No want) manifest, many times I heard ABE clearly state that the Questions or Asking (desires) will come from the alignment with Source...("All I want is peace" ACIM...is a desire aligned with source) also ABE like ACIM says not to be caught in specifics but to align with the emotion of Source and let that flow (Song of Prayer- ACIM)...

It's important to listen to ABE deeply and carefully, with HS help ... I think the parallel is clear...

And as always .. if any teachings... don't lead to peace... let them go... because even a well intentioned and valuable teaching when interpreted and hijacked by the ego can create confusion...

There are no neutral thoughts...

Only LOVE is real...

Phil

Seeking Alignment said…
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and well-informed answers. I have been studying both for many years, and fully agree that their concepts are very much in alignment.

I attended some 3-day seminars in Temecula for The Course last year, and I asked that question many times. Everyone I talked to told me that I couldn't study both at the same time, because it would cause confusion and conflict in my mind. But that didn't happen for me. Quite the opposite.

The similarities didn't become clear to me until I got really deep into my study and understanding of both. At first, my interpretation worried me because at times I thought they were in disagreement with each other, and I believe that Truth is Truth, or it is not. Now, I can't seem to find any concrete examples of discrepancies between the two.

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