Ask: Does ACIM say anything about tithing?

“…Many people extol the benefits of tithing (usually in the amount of 10 percent or more) to wherever they feel they are being spiritually fed. I'd very much like to hear your views on tithing from A Course in Miracles perspective. I'm sure nothing in either the text, workbook, or manual mentions it (or not that I've come across anyway), but some ACIM teachers recommend it nonetheless. Is there a sound basis for this Course-wise?...” –LH

            You are correct that tithing is not mentioned in A Course in Miracles. No behavior is necessary for inner peace. If you want inner peace you only have to be willing to be aware of God (True Being). And willingness is of the mind, not of the body.
            Like all behavior in the world, tithing is meaningless in itself. Some people tithe as a traditional practice. Others tithe as a practical way to express gratitude. And there are some who view tithing as part of the process of attracting or manifesting wealth in the world.

Tithing reveals an obstacle to peace in your mind if you tithe out of guilt (“I should”) or out of a belief that you must make certain things appear in your life to be happy and at peace. But if you tithe because you are used to doing so or to express gratitude then it will not get in the way of your awareness of God.

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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 Mentor Newsletter/Blog.

Comments

will said…
I had to go shopping, I’m out of everything. I live in Sedona Arizona and the closest box store is about 20 miles away so I have a little drive ahead of me. Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s about 5:30pm and the sun is really showing off the colors of the mesa. That and there are some thunder clouds in the distance, huge white things like you would see in Kansas but rarely here, 40-50,000ft up in the sky. I’ve got a Jeff Beck piece called Freeway Live (Jam) playing that I down loaded from YouTube (it’s hot stuff check it out). Got my favorite drink and I’m relaxed and kicking back. I’m thinking about what has been going on since I made the commitment to be serious about practicing the Course. I have been aware most of my life of this dark cloud or wet blanket that forever seems to be in the back of my consciousness. It is worry and fear and just plain negativity thrown in. It’s a monkey on my back. It’s subtle but it’s there and there isn’t going to be any Joy as long as it is hanging around. I used to drink to get past it which worked really well until it didn’t anymore. I haven’t drank or used drugs for thirty years now and this thing has always been there. Like Liz said last week, the twelve step recovery programs are just the greatest to stay sober but they are really not for digging this type of thing out by the root and getting rid of it. The Course is about that, that’s why I’m doing it. Anyway part of the dark cloud is about money. I have picked up some traits from my dad that I swore I would not let into my life. The two of us lived together for a number of years before he died. He was very tight with money. He was from the depression, he was smart and he knew what he was doing in taking care of himself so this isn’t a negative thing about my dad. From my observation being tight has some baggage that goes with it. Like stress and anger and fear. I’m not really tight with money but it is in the dark cloud tormenting me so I'm wondering as I drive if I need to loosen my grip on money, really let the Holy Spirit be in charge. I don’t think I will experience the Holy Spirit with this unless I do let go. So when I get to the box store I find myself buying $8 dollar shampoo instead of $1.50 and buying some groceries that I would not ordinarily buy because of the pressure from the dark cloud. I’m trying to let go and you have to start somewhere. Funny where this practicing extension is taking me.
will said…
Here’s the important part. If I had not been doing the Course, if I had not been practicing meditation, if I had not decided to take Practicing the Course more seriously I would never be aware of this thing I’m calling the dark cloud and the need to deal with it. If the mind is running fast all the time and your not working with the Holy Spirit you can’t get below the surface of your consciousness. The personal mind is very effective that way. If you don’t know it is there (the cloud) you can’t bring it to the Holy Spirit to be healed. Although the Course says it is an illusion and has no power of its own it is there as a block to realizing Reality and needs to be dealt with by bringing it to the Holy Spirit. As I practice I suspect there will be a lot more of the same.

Liz, any comments are appreciated.
Christine said…
Look forward to your thoughtful commentary every week, Will. Your comment about money is so regular - the ego/split mind uses a substance we made up (gave value to, projected, etc.)to "fill that void" - a vehicle for "getting", to fill the need gap...the ego's favorite is its drive to get. Money is neither good nor bad - it is neutral and we have assigned its meaning. It is a useful tool here - just as gas for fueling one's car, buying a home, food, etc. I recall Ken Wapnick's saying on a CD that when we are at Peace, it wouldn't matter if we had a million dollars in the bank, or one dollar. The ego/split mind nags us (those of us who suspect the 'dark cloud' to be hanging over us)about stuff: ie., if we get this amount of money, or go here or there, or do this or that, finally, we will have obtained true permanent peace/happiness. Oh boy. It seems to never end (it's more like a comedy than a tragedy)...until we get a grip on our thinking. Reign it in like a horse that's acting stupid...stupid, not 'evil'! Anyway - some people would be 'happy' buying the $8 shampoo, some would be happy (my husband loves deals almost to obsession) to 'win' by buying the $1.50 shampoo. There is still that sense either way - it is just one's own projection of meaning on that specific object. Most everyone in the world doesn't have a clue (seemingly) of the awareness of the insanity we call our lives! It is a slight burden to have it, keep studying this chosen path we call the Course, get through the layers of guilt, etc., and that's all I know for now.
will said…
This morning during my quiet time I was aware of how my personal mind, the ego, argues that form in the dream can't be neutral because it comes from the same part of the mind as ego. So it has to be negative. I can sit here and tell myself that it is in fact neutral but it really doesn't change anything. I think this is where the miracles of A Course in Miracles comes in. The miracle is the experience. You go from thinking how sugar tastes to actually having it on your tongue. There is a big difference between the two. People can argue with me that sugar is not sweet but if I have tasted it (the miracle) then I know the Truth and it is no longer some kind of intellectual exercise.
ACIM Mentor said…
Comment for Will: Yes, indeed.
will said…
To finish that thought, I have not yet experienced the dream as neutral. I suspect that is quite a shift.
will said…
I’m working my way through some things and I want to go back to money and shampoo. I have spent my entire life (until recently) either on the street or a paycheck away from being on the street. The thought of ending up back there again scares the hell out of me. I am vulnerable to that particular fear. When I talk about money (or shampoo) it is not about fixing it in the dream, getting a job that type of thing. It is about trusting the Holy Spirit to take care of me. The text talks a lot about how we don’t trust God because we have never followed through long enough with the trust to really know where we stand. I always get fearful and jump in and try to fix things so the fear will go away. Well I want to know (experience) now where I stand, so I want to be strong in the face of this particular fear until I can experience the Holy Spirit taking care of me (or not). It’s not about money it’s about fear and the Course’s guarantee to remove it.
Christine said…
Liz - correct this if it is wrong - this "me" Will speaks of - it is "us" the one seeming split us? This is the same thought (split mind thought/fear) in which we all share, on the inside.Seemingly having separated from our Source, we've projected out zillions of different stories and meanings to our specialness, etc. And that the Holy Spirit that we want so desperately to 'take care of me' is me, and not a power that is far off somewhere to reward 'me' or punish 'me'.
ACIM Mentor said…
One split mind (what ACIM calls the Son of God) projects out zillions of versions of itself. The "me" that Will speaks of is one of those versions. Like the one split mind it is split between Truth and illusion. Yes, the Holy Spirit speaks for the Truth in every mind. When you are used to identifying with the ego (illusion) the Holy Spirit seems "other" so we begin by asking It to guide us. But you are really asking the part of your mind that knows Reality to guide you. It's not "other". The ego is actually the "other".
will said…
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will said…
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will said…
One of the positive things about writing things down and getting them out in front of you is you find out in a hurry how much of what your thinking is true and how much is off base. Back to the drawing board.
Mike said…
Yes I know and there's a reason why The Course talks about things that A.A. or any other 12 step fellowships and "programs" does not. it's not a wonder people looked at me when I told them to "get a real God" at meetings when the fellowship went into their fear based spiel.

Unfortunately there's a lot of that going on in there and I want to stay away from the personal investment of all the negative junk in there and I know you and Liz both have personal investments in A.A. in one form or another.

As for money it's true it's just a way to get from point "A" to "B", it's just a useful tool and that's about it and I never get what I want but what I need and I'm happy with that. I can always feed the homeless too if I ever get copious amounts of it, open a shelter for abused people because I AM grateful of how far I've come or use "fame" towards the same goals/ends

But today is today and now is right now, and apparently you need a "name" the mind can attach to and conjure up an image for which is never real in the first place so here it is; Mike because it seems egos are getting annoyed and suspicious. The reason I post as anonymous is because that beyond it all there IS "God"...even beyond 12 step "programs" and fellowships.

I didn't ask for this, I didn't expect it either and I definitely asked "Why me?" when this happened and the answer came back, "Well why not" of course.

And while Jeff is classic, I like Steve Vai these days because he so expressive and fluid, but of course all that is ego created too, but the mind chatter does stop when I play myself.
will said…

Mike
God, the mind chatter, I thought I would go crazy. It felt like a hurricane going on inside my head. The first time I walked into an AA hall was the most difficult thing I have ever done. I think I was on the opposite end of the spectrum than you. Fear was the monkey on my back. It’s okay to not like 12 Step, it’s not for everyone. Here’s the problem as I see it. Addiction is a mental illness. You can feel the illness when you stop using for a while. The mind goes crazy it is running so fast. You don’t have to have that going on for very long and a person relapses. A couple of tokes or a few stiff ones and the craziness stops. If a person tries to go ‘one on one’ with the mind “because he is stronger than it” he almost certainly will lose. You have to talk about what is happening, talking releases the pressure, 12 Step gets you to a place where you can talk about it with people who know intuitively what you’re saying. The side stuff like ‘the people in AA or their interpretation of God’ or whatever is the disease of addiction in action. You can see how powerful it is by the reluctance to let go of thinking about it this way. Very strong stuff. So I just put all that crap aside and just go and do what I need to do. You may think you are having an enlightened observation about 12 step but probably half the people who go there have the very same thoughts, it’s the mental illness talking. Well I sure didn’t mean to go off on a tangent here but it’s where the caffeine lead me so maybe someone will get some good out of it. It helped me to write it.
will said…
Mike, I was just thinking about the old days. Your crazy if you think I wanted to go to AA. Absolutely the last place I wanted to be. But my girlfriend who had already gotten sober about nine months previous wouldn't have sex unless I went. At first I said to hell with you but after awhile when she wouldn't answer my phone calls and when I'd see her around she was just looking extremely fine. So I went. I really don't encourage people to get off drugs and alcohol anymore. It was just too hard on me. It wasn't like you quit and the world gets better. You get sober and the world gets worse. You have to really want it to get it.
Mike said…
It's not that I don't like 12 step programs, in my opinion the steps are the greatest gift to mankind in the 20th century. I know I was crazy too, sick because I was dually addicted Metallica's Mater Of Puppets was a pretty good portrait of what I was going through and the cheaper the alcohol the worse the hangover was.

It got so I just closed my eyes after a binge and I would see "little demons faces" yapping at me, not to mention the death wishes, the wrecked cars and marriage and feeling like I was poisoned instead of hungover and it either had to be the alcohol and drugs or me and I chose to do something about the dis-ease and myself. It's a good thing the meetings were there and while there was support, I was pretty much on my own because the help of the fellowship was pretty limited

I just discovered there was a lot more to this thing than just "recovery from drugs and alcohol" and yes ironically it took the steps and a nervous breakdown to see what was going on. Normal? After what I've been through as a result of the steps I have to ask what is 'normal'? It sure was outside my realm of "experience".

The people in A.A. that are still psychologically addicted are what Eckhart Tolle calls "pain bodies" I believe/Know that "God's reach" is far and that there's no miracle that's too big or small for "him". It says so in The Course too and a lot of the Principles sound a lot like Promises...and we need those like the air we breathe, without them there'd be no chance at all.

will said…
I began to have nightly dreams that were just filled with blood and all that goes with it. I wasn't scared by them but I think that was because of the amount of alcohol I was drinking.

What I would say, and I think it's important, is that all addictions are a psychological illness. A very serious one. The alcohol and drugs really don't play that big a part in the illness. For instance when a person detoxes and the physical need is not there the mind is still screaming for it or does after a period and just keeps talking crazy shit. People think all they have to do is detox and it's over but really it's just beginning. I look at it as the brain has been physically damaged by the substances and the result is what we call alcoholism but it's not that different than any other damaged organ they all have their symptoms.
Mike said…
Yes it says so in The Big Book, abstinence is just the beginning, you have to "work" the steps out of The Big Book in order to recover and I made a couple half hearted attempts at them with little to no results until I reached a wall with "my way" of doing things and it was then I started to sincerely do what was suggested which led me to that Big Book step study group where I ended up going through the steps and a quarter of the way through the 9th step, and not "halfway through" as popularly reported at meetings despite what it says in Chapter 5 that was all she wrote and the beginning of a whole new ballgame.

And sure I heard all the "stuff" about the "permanent sickness" etc. "It takes 5 years to get your brains back and 5 years for the program to work" this from a respected member and it sounded like a damn jail sentence, I almost brought into it because all I knew ,so far, was A.A. at the time the rest of the answers came later.

I wasn't even talking about "my story" which strictly came from ego anyway I tried and couldn't all I ended up doing was talking about forgiveness and solution out of the Big Book. People started calling me "Real Mike" because I was identifying myself as a "real alcoholic" and found out I had a lot of personal power and because of that I ended up "stealing" this girl from her CEO boss boy friend when the relationship was on it's last legs anyhow. We ended up living together where I played "house husband" helped her and did very little meetings because I was too happy to drink.

The "A.B.C."(Apartment, Broad and Car) scare story turned out to be just that. It was also there that I started to gain Self Realization in my life and my mind was coherent and cohesive very far from being what I was. Totally amazing, and awesome and a Real Miracle.

And that's why I believe there's a lot of fear based stuff going on in there because what I was going through was 10 million miles from what the fellowship were talking about.
Mike said…
I don't want to cause trouble for anyone but there are specific things that the ACIM says and they aren't in there just to "look good".

Either they're fact/Truth or they're not.

And from my Experience with this I choose the latter as they are obvious fact.

I want to point some things out here;

It is the purpose of this Workbook to train your mind to think along the lines the Text sets forth.

The only general rules to be observed throughout, then, are: First, that the exercises be practiced with great specificity, as will be indicated.

This will help you to generalize the ideas involved to *every situation* in which you find yourself, *and to everyone and everything in it.*

Second, be sure that you do not decide for yourself that there are some people, situations or things to which the ideas are inapplicable.

This will interfere with transfer of training.

The very nature of true perception is that it has no limits. (Not even 12 step programs)

It is the opposite of the way you see now.

Some of the ideas the Workbook presents you will find hard to believe, and others may seem to be quite startling. (Obviously)

This does not matter.

You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do.

You are not asked to judge them at all.

You are asked only to use them.

It is their use that will give them meaning to you, and will show you that they are true.

Remember only this; you need not believe the ideas, you need not accept them, and you need not even welcome them. Some of them you may actively resist.

None of this will matter, or decrease their efficacy.

But do not allow yourself to make exceptions in applying the ideas the Workbook contains, and whatever your reactions to the ideas may be, use them.

It also says;

A universal theology is impossible

BUT

A Universal Experience is not only but *necessary* i.e. important.

There is a very specific reason this book exists...and not just "for fun'.

As I stated in a previous post I saw the ACIM at an acquaintance's house where there was another member of A.A. rooming with him and both were members.

The title A Course In Miracles alone piqued my interest what it said in there piqued my interest more. I ended up going back to visit a few times to visit and more over to look at "that book". They even remarked about how I always "had my nose in that"

There was another thing that stood out to me one of the Principles;

Principle 5 - Miracles are habits and should be involuntary.

It's said that you should "work" the steps and "trudge" the road to happy destiny.

These statements imply effort when miracles, which is talked about in A.A. and 12 step fellowships all the time, come effortlessly...or at least they should.

Miracles were sure coming effortlessly with me.

My end assessment was that; there is something to this and it's not just about "fun".

The ACIM and what it says in there is there for a reason.

Thank you; "M"
Anonymous said…
When The Holy Instant first hit it was the happiest time in my life, everything was Love and Grace and within a "year" which is a blink of an eye in "God's time" I had a girl friend that loved me dearly and a brand new Toyota, it was The Christmastime of my life

I didn't ask for them, they just came despite what people say about "things"

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