Ask: (#4) How do I know if I've misunderstood something I've read?

(This is the conclusion of a conversation published as the March 21, 28, and April 4 articles).
 “So what you're saying is I shouldn't derive my sense of self from this world because it's not real? Why does it feel real to me? I've realized I misunderstood my readings of the Course, so now I'm doubting whether to continue studying the Course or not. How do I know if I've misunderstood something or not?” – KR

It feels real to you because you were born into this consciousness and you don’t question its reality until something happens to make you question it.  Workbook Lesson #132 discusses this a bit:

“There is no world! This is the central thought the course attempts to teach. Not everyone is ready to accept it, and each one must go as far as he can let himself be led along the road to truth…But healing is the gift of those who are prepared to learn there is no world, and can accept the lesson now. Their readiness will bring the lesson to them in some form which they can understand and recognize. Some see it suddenly on point of death, and rise to teach it. Others find it in experience that is not of this world…And some will find it in this course…” (W-132.6-8)

For most who have an experience that shows them that the world is not reality there is an unconscious readiness to learn Truth that opens them to the experience.

As you study the Course you will find things that do not line up with what you have believed before. And you will find things that do not line up with what you thought you already understood in the Course. This is how you will know that you have not understood. And this is why it takes many, many years of deep study with the Holy Spirit. It is a process of undoing a belief system that you thought was real. It is a life-long process that starts with a lot of confusion and even disorientation but leads to true, lasting peace, joy, and clarity. I have found these past 30 years worth it because peace has come to stay for me, but I can tell you the beginning was very hard and I often regretted starting it! Whether or not you are ready to learn it is not something I can judge. And you may not be able to judge for yourself. This is something for you to bring to the Holy Spirit.

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Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace, and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.
If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others send it to Liz@acimmentor.com and indicate that you want it answered in the ACIM Newsletter/Blog.

Comments

Charles said…
Actually the Course itself calls it "very simply and easy". Also it gives you a year to accomplish this course, it makes no references to taking a lifetime.

Taking more time has to do with a lack of willingness and a percistance of resistance.

Are you afraid of being the Christ right now?

In the back you will find that it says very few people are willing to do this at this point, that does not change the fact that this Course is and was intended as a "quick" lifechanging event and not a lifelong curriculum.
ACIM Mentor said…
Actually, the Course is not only for a year. The Workbook lesson plan is only for a year. Those are generalized lessons. Then it leaves you with the Holy Spirit for your own individual curriculum.
Also, the Course states that it is only a beginning.
It does state that it is meant to save time. But it does this by having you look directly into the obstacles in your mind. This takes many years of, yes, willingness, but there is much to be undone! It also tells Helen to consider how long she has been in ego when she was apparently complaining about how long it was taking her to get it.
I do not want students to think they are "failing" if they are not "enlightened" after a year of lessons. The lessons are very rudimentary, though they do not seem that way when you start. And the Text, too, is really a primer for a spiritual path. You will not see this for a very long time. ACIM is the very beginning. There is far to go. It will serve you better to accept that this is a process. Be patient and gentle with yourself.
will said…
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Karen said…
It helped me to know that Liz thought she didn't do very well with the lessons. I often feel that way. I know I have a long way to go, but I also feel sure I'm on the right path for me.

I read the text and did the lessons about 20 years ago. I realize now that I didn't understand what the course was about at that time. I expected some almost magical change in my life but that didn't happen. I now understand that this isn't about changing your life. It's about changing the way you see your life and what you think of as your self. It's about realizing who and what you really are.
Eve said…
Hi Liz,

I really enjoy reading your newsletters, I always find them helpful with a deeper insight that so often leads me to enhanced clarity with regards to some of the teachings in the Course.

I see that this one contains the last part of the ongoing conversation with K.R.

I would like to comment on the following statement in your response:

"It is a life-long process that starts with a lot of confusion and even disorientation but leads to true, lasting peace, joy, and clarity."

While the above statement may be true for some, it is definitely not true for everyone. If it were "me" making that statement, (and I AM another "you"), I would immediately "cancel/clear" it and qualify it with conscious, Life-affirming language such as this:

"This is a process that may begin with confusion and possibly disorientation, yet it may also be found quite simple to grasp. This process can take as long as it takes for each individual. Even though this is a required course, it is only when one is truly ready to step upon this path of unlearning and undoing that the curriculum begins."

Thank you for all your hard work, your honesty, integrity and allegiance to the Light that is our Eternal Life.

Many Blessings in the Highest Light,
Eve
will said…
Over the past few months I have had the wonderful experience of the things I have studied, practiced and prayed about in the Course coming together into an understandable whole. Like the pieces of a puzzle coming together and being able to see the bigger picture. Understanding. I had Holy Spirit energy. I have been writing quite a bit on this site about my insights. It is very enjoyable to write about it and feel it. I have had new energy and resolve to practice the Holy Instant. But now the dust is beginning to settle as I knew it would and I am starting over again. It is a new starting place to be sure, but I have already begun rowing to the other side again.
will said…
An interesting aside which is important to talk about. No sooner had I wrote and talked about my progress and starting over again (above) than I had a vicious ego reaction that expressed itself as anger and retaliation towards another person. This isn't the first time this has happened and I have read where Liz talks about this kind of thing happening to her. Tolle calls it the Pain Body. The intensity of it threw me for awhile with the brain saying I was a phony that kind of stuff. I took a hard look at the emotion and the behavior and brought it to the Holy Spirit to be healed. Of course the ego wants guilt and shame. The need for these things to surface so you can ask for forgiveness from the Holy Spirit, taking illusion to truth for healing, is a corner stone of the Course. There is a ton of garbage that needs to come to the surface where you go through the process of looking at it and going to the Holy Instant with true sincerity and ask for healing. This is why I don't care for flowery language when talking about the Course. In my opinion, if your doing the Course correctly your going to be down in the trenches with some ugly and difficult stuff. Bad stuff. And this is going to take some time, like a lifetime.
will said…
When people talk about a "life time or a long, long time" to do the Course my brain translated that into there is no benefit in this lifetime. The Text sometimes reads that way too. As if you don't have all the things down perfect nothing is going to happen. The Holy Spirit is well aware that this takes time but in the meanwhile if you go to the Holy Instant as often as possible and ask for Gods will for you there are major things taking place, but most of the time it is happening below the radar. As we clear away the garbage (the blocks to awareness) that come up in our lives by doing forgiveness, that is, looking at the problem seeing is as something you want to be rid of and go to the Holy Instant, to the Holy Spirit in the quiet of your mind and ask for healing. You have to 'get real' when your doing this. But every time you do this the blocks to your vision and healing are removed. But there are a lot of them so don't get frustrated. If you can help it:) Healing is going on it really is even though for a while you can't sense it.
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Anonymous said…
For me there were no mistakes. I have been a course student for 19 years. Over the years I have had many 'aha' moments and highlighted many of those profound statements in my text....only to find the next time round,(and the next time), that the statement that so moved me, meant something entirely different!

The opening in me, came to me, where I was in that moment. No more was given to me then I could handle. Had I understood its true meaning before I was ready, I would have given up... and ego would have ruled.

My growth in willingness was like a flower opening a petal at a time and the understanding that had first come to me was not only wonderful but absolutely necessary for my process.

Over and over this happened until I would laugh at how open I had become. Only then was I ready to tackle some of my biggest obstacles to peace.

For me...a perfect plan. A wonderful ongoing process that at 62 I realize, all happened in the twinkling of an eye. It went by so fast... what is a lifetime when time is only an illusion? Happy Dreaming... LVO

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