The Only Teacher to Follow
A Course in Miracles is a self-study course for inner peace. It is an inward path that does not require you to be involved with other students. It is meant to be studied with the Holy Spirit (awareness of Truth) in your own mind. ACIM is not a passive path. You must have some self-starter qualities to truly benefit from ACIM. You must have some trust in your own discernment and critical thinking. You must use your own experience and common sense.
When you begin ACIM it can be helpful to study and discuss the practice of ACIM with other students, especially with those who are more experienced. But helpful study and practice with others will reinforce, not replace, your awareness of the Holy Spirit within. Unfortunately I’ve heard of three ACIM groups that are cult-like in their approach to teaching. And I’m sure that they are not the only groups like that out there. These groups ask their members to follow their leader or leaders rather than the Holy Spirit within. And in this process the members give up their power to the leader or leaders of the group. So if you are ever concerned that you could become involved with a cult or cult-like group here is a simple guide to choosing healthy, helpful teachers of ACIM:
A healthy, helpful teacher of ACIM will lead you inward to the Holy Spirit within you. “Holy Spirit” is the label given to the thought system in your mind that is aware of Truth, whether or not you are conscious of It. You can, and must, choose to become conscious of this thought system if you want to remember Truth and be at peace. The Holy Spirit within you is the only Teacher for you to follow if you want true peace. Only It can take you through the unique highways and byways of your mind to Truth. It may lead you to teachers in the world (in person, over the phone, through writing). But these teachers’ job is to reinforce your awareness of the Holy Spirit within you through validation and the undoing of blocks (guilt, fear). If he or she is a true teacher of Truth you will feel in charge of your relationship with them. Even if you want to give them power over you they will never accept it. So:
Do not trust a teacher who says “follow me”. You want teachers who say “follow the Holy Spirit within you” and who help you to do so.
Do not trust anyone who says “my way is the right way and any other way is wrong”. Every path unfolds in its own unique way. Learn to trust the unique unfolding of your own path from within.
Do not trust anyone who says they know what the Holy Spirit wants for you. Only you can hear the Holy Spirit for you.
Do not trust a teacher who uses “should/shouldn’t”, “right/wrong”, or “good/bad” statements about your behavior or thoughts. These increase guilt in your mind. ACIM is a path of undoing guilt so you can release yourself to Truth. What you want are teachers who suggest behaviors and thoughts that undo guilt and fear and increase your peace.
Do not trust a teacher who asks you to change to conform to their standards or to their group. For example, they may ask you to dress a certain way, to speak a certain way, to take a new name, etc. A true teacher of Truth knows that an awareness of Truth leads to transformation from within that shows up not as conformity but as authenticity.
Sometimes people hope that following someone else will be easier. They hope that someone else will do the work that only they can do. If you want peace no one else can hear the Holy Spirit for you or undo your obstacles to peace for you. These are within you. There is no way to peace faster than the process ACIM teaches. It teaches you to go directly to the only Help (Holy Spirit) that works. And it teaches you to deal directly with your obstacles to peace (guilt/fear) where they are, within you. Because it is a short-cut it is intense and not for everyone. But for everyone who wants peace there is a path.
Peace will only come to you when you are willing to feel empowered within. If you find that you are looking for someone to follow, or you are already following someone, then I suggest that you are not yet ready for a true spiritual path. Before you can embark on a true spiritual path you must feel worthy enough to be empowered. You can prepare for a true spiritual path through psychotherapy or other forms of self-help that help you grow your self-worth.
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.