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 become (in effect) immune to physical pain, given attainment of proper Right Mindedness, it is axiomatic that the reality or experience of this pain is very much with us prior to our attaining this state, and that GOD despite his omniscience accommodates this. I would appreciate your help with this because I am otherwise “blown away” by the truth and potential offered by ACIM
.– RM

1. Your questions indicate that so far your experience with A Course in Miracles has been largely intellectual. You cannot see from within the personal thought system (ego) that the universe of form, including physical pain in any degree, is not real. This is because the personal thought system is itself part of the universe of form. When you are aware of Truth and coming from the thought system of Truth in your mind (Holy Spirit) the unreality of the personal thought system and its universe of form is manifestly apparent.
The Course does not ask you to accept what it says in blind faith. It asks you to invite Truth (God) into your awareness so that you can see that It is the Truth. It sounds like you are at the point in your path to peace where you need to put aside intellectual reasoning and open yourself to actually experiencing miracles. These are shifts in your mind toward an awareness of Truth (they may or may not manifest in the universe of form). These experiences will give you a deeper reading of the Course and a whole new way of looking at the universe of form.
It is also important to note that the Course states that the universe of form is an illusion because this is a fact, not to condemn you for not yet being aware of this. Its whole lesson plan meets you where you are in your experience that the world is real. It is not asking you to deny your experiences but to invite Truth (Holy Spirit) into them so that they can be used to lead you back to peace. It is the personal thought system that takes the fact that the universe of form is an illusion to increase guilt and fear in your mind. It does this by telling you that you “should” deny what you are experiencing or that you are “wrong” or “bad” or “failing” for having these experiences. These thoughts are obstacles to you seeing the gentle process of re-awakening to Truth that the Course offers.
2. What the Course says it that God does not know of pain but sees that you believe in pain so has sent the Holy Spirit to you to help you undo this belief. (“The Atonement” in the Course means “correction”). There is no contradiction or convolution in this. It is, however, insulting to the personal thought system (ego) that God is completely unaware of it and its effects.
The Course does not teach that you have the power to make yourself immune to pain. It tells you that in Truth within you there is no such thing as pain. To be aware of this it to be in your “right mind”. In other words, it is not asking you to perfect the personal experience and make it Truth-like. That is the personal thought system’s attempt to “spiritualize” the personal experience. If you want peace the goal is not to fix the personal experience but to let it go. This is an important distinction because otherwise you may feel that you fail if the personal experience does not change. It will never change. It is what it is, and that is the opposite of Truth in every way. But you have the Truth within you and It is an experience of unchanging wholeness, love, peace, and joy. If you want to be at peace all that you need to do is be willing to let go of the personal experience and open yourself to experience Truth instead.

Learn about the books The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, The ACIM Mentor Articles, 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.


Todd Penland said…
Thanks so much for sharing this. I really love the part about not perfecting the personal experience; that we are not guided to create a replica of Truth here. I found that very helpful.
Jo Chandler said…
I am grateful to the person who posted these honest questions. I've had these doubts myself at one time or another.In fact, I was feeling sorta down this morning and discouraged. I was feeling as if I needed to do something to change my current status in this world. Your answers and explanations, as usual, hit the nail on the head and reminded that instead of trying to "perfect" my ego, I can simply open my mind and my heart to the truth of who I am. HS will take care of the rest. Thank you.
Juan Agramonte said…
As students of the Course we learn by repetition. We tend to forget. Seeming pain throw us out of balance. Thanks for the reminder which you so clearly explained. Thank you.

Popular posts from this blog

The Grand Tour of Fear

You Don't Have to Go It Alone

Understanding the Ego Backlash