The Vision of the Holy Relationship

In the last article I discussed the difference between the two “visions”: What the body’s eyes report and the meaning (or the awareness of no meaning) that your mind projects or extends. Spiritual Vision is not just a “nicer” way of interpreting the world. It is a wholly different vision that you can invite and welcome, but you cannot make it happen. It comes to you when you are ready and open to It.

When I was a new student of A Course in Miracles for a few months I experienced the Vision of the Holy Relationship with another. I saw that we were one and the same, obviously not as bodies and personalities, but in Truth. The inner Vision I had was that the Truth in her was the exact same Truth in me. Even thinking about her brought an experience of deep recognition beyond any human experience. This is the experience that Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford had. I recognized it completely when I read the passages in ACIM about the Holy Relationship. This Vision is what, in ACIM, Helen was reminded to remember in her relationships with others.

I want to be clear that this Vision is not the stoned-out hippy ideal of “Yeah, man, we’re all one. Let’s all just love one another.” It has nothing to do with the level of form. It transcends it completely. It does not result in a desire to change world policies. It reveals that the universe of form is not Reality. It draws you inward, into an awareness of Perfect Formlessness, instead of leading you to change imperfect, unreal forms.

The woman with whom I experienced the Holy Relationship left my life after a few months. But the Vision of the Holy Relationship remained. What this taught me (when I finally chose to accept the lesson) was that this Vision had nothing to do with her or our relationship. The Vision was within my own mind. It was the Vision of the Holy Spirit. That relationship was the mirror in which I saw the Truth within me. The relationship reflected Oneness, or Wholeness. And that Wholeness was within me. It did not come from anywhere outside of me.

My dilemma as a spiritual teacher who uses ACIM as a common language with others is that very few seem to have had this experience. Many experience what I call “higher miracles” in which they have a moment of Spiritual Vision that transcends the universe of form even as they are aware of form. Sometimes they have this experience with others. Sometimes no one else is involved. But the experience of sustained Spiritual Vision that is the Holy Relationship is rare. So what I found was that many students were trying to apply ideas in ACIM in ways that it could not be applied because they were not experiencing the Vision that is the centerpiece of the Holy Relationship. And they were feeling like failures.

So years ago when I first wrote about my experience of the Holy Relationship I discussed it as two experiences: the mystical and the practical Holy Relationship. “Mystical” refers to experiencing the Vision of the Holy relationship.  I experienced the mystical in that first Holy Relationship. There wasn’t time in that particular relationship for me to really get to the practical application of that awareness. However, years later in my relationship with my wife, Courtney, I was able to apply the practical lessons that came from an awareness that my Wholeness is within me, not in another. This did not involve the Vision of the Holy Relationship but rather what I learned from it. And as a teacher the practical Holy Relationship is what I emphasize since the mystical Holy Relationship seems to be so rarely experienced.

When you read ACIM it helps to understand that when it discusses the relationship between Helen and Bill (“your brother”; originally “each other”) it is reminding them that there is a whole other Vision through which they could see each other. That Vision is the Vision of forgiveness because it shifts you to an awareness of Truth. It is not merely a nicer personal view of the other. Even if you have not experienced the Vision of the Holy Relationship but you have had a higher miracle then you do have something to which to refer in your own experience when you read those passages. You can remember that there is a whole other Vision. If you have not yet experienced a higher miracle you can read in those passages a reminder to invite this other Vision into your awareness.

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


SKR said…
Hi, Liz: I am confused. I think you talk about Helen and Bill having a Holy Relationship. But my understanding is that they fought and bickered in their relationship thus they were looking for a better way of relating. Because if I remember correctly even in later years they still had issues with each other. Can you clarify?

I so appreciate your newsletter and read it every week.

ACIM Mentor said…
Helen and Bill had a contentious professional relationship that led to them looking for a "better way". This was their (unconscious) invitation to the Holy Spirit. This also led to a Holy Relationship.

The Vision of the Holy Relationship is quite apart from the personal aspects of the relationship. The ego does not change. It continues on as before. In fact, even more threatened by the Vision it cannot join in or understand. The choice is to stay in ego or to go with the Vision. One cannot do both. This was the choice always laid out before them in ACIM.

If you read Chapter 17, Part V, The Healed Relationship, in the Text you will see how the beginning of the Holy Relationship is very, very uncomfortable. The ego is intensely threatened and resistant. It was that section to which I related the most. It described exactly what I experienced.
SKR said…
As always, thanks for the clarification. Susan
Marissa said…
So the mind has to be aware of Truth in order to experience a Holy Relationship or the Holy Instant, otherwise if any doubt, fear, blockage of any negative emotion or feeling comes in, it has let the ego mind take over? In other words I as the decision maker choose the Truth, choose the right mind, and decide to see everything as One, and realise that what I see with my physical eyes in form is unreal; and so forgive it why do I still see this and not the real world, true vision? Because I still believe I'm a body? Your mind must have been ready to accept the Holy Relationship early on without fully immersed in ACIM. Also if my ego is a separate thought system to my right mind/Holy Spirit thought system, how do I gauge my attainment of peace if the ego/body is separate and may have tantrums & dramas? Could I still experience a Holy Relationship one minute and the next minute have a temper tantrum with someone or something?
the mixie pixie said…
I am so grateful for your willingness to do this work. I am wondering (and perhaps you have adressed this before, and can refer me to the article) what do you mean when you say "higher miracle"? Thank you.
Hi Liz,

You posted:

"But the experience of sustained Spiritual Vision that is the Holy Relationship is rare. So what I found was that many students were trying to apply ideas in ACIM in ways that it could not be applied because they were not experiencing the Vision that is the centerpiece of the Holy Relationship. And they were feeling like failures."

Perhaps it would be helpful to point out to the students that frequently throughout their day they DO experience "Spiritual Vision that is the Holy Relationship," and are just unaware of it. The experience of SV is in the egoless state of _____________. For instance for me, the __________ was shoveling snow, or the __________ was vacuuming the hallway. There was no "I" there, and no "body" doing it. There was only Perfect Forgiveness, and Love without the blocks.

What is required for a "sustained" Spiritual Vision is: (1) allowing your definition of Love to be changed (2) continue to remove the blocks (aka beliefs) to Love's Presence, (3) releasing all expectations of what the Spiritual Vision should be like.

The resulting Peace is a "state of neutrality" that permeates absolutely everything. Liz?

ACIM Mentor said…
Marissa, I was not aware of Truth before I experienced the Holy Relationship. The Holy Relationship was the miracle that brought me the awareness of Truth. You cannot make this happen. It will happen when you are ready for it. So in the meantime practice willingness to have this experience by being willing to look at and undo your obstacles (guilt/fear) to being aware of Truth.

You gauge your awareness of Truth by your awareness of Truth! And also the peace it brings. You will experience a peace apart from the ego. From this awareness you will just observe the ego without judgment.

Yes, you can experience the Holy Relationship, or any miracle, on minute and the next be back in ego.
ACIM Mentor said…
Julia, I describe a "higher miracle" in this article (as well as others): It is a Vision which transcends the universe of form while still perceiving the universe of form. You see it but you also see it is not real.
ACIM Mentor said…
Cairn Hummingbird: The state of neutrality that you describe is the peace that results from having had the Vision of higher miracles or the Holy Relationship. But it is not the Vision itself. Spiritual Vision shows you that only the Truth is true. Peace is what you take with you from that Vision.
Marissa said…
I have just spent the last hour and ahalf listening to your interview Liz! Maybe I should have done this before writing my comment. Thank you so much for this. Lots of clarity. I realise I am communing with the HS and getting answers, however I stop it as soon as I hear it and say to myself, I cannot give You the commitment, the time, the focus. I'll come back later when I can give you my undivided attention!!! I have just subotaged my communing and blaming outside factors, when all along I have a direct line!! I am inspired to write a journal once again. I realise also I have felt the peace and experienced miracles.......I too was waiting for 'the burning of the bush' sign. Haha. I hope you leave the interview for us to listen to as I would like to go back to it and listen again. Does it not say repetition is not only good but necessary? Thanks again Liz for the wonderful tips & tools given. May 2016 be a year of awakening & finding inner peace whilst being an ego x
Hey Liz,

In your defining Spiritual Vision, would you say: "Only the Truth is true...and Peace is not a personal experience."?
ACIM Mentor said…
Cairn Hummingbird,

Spiritual Vision is an experience. In it you see that only the Truth is true. And the peace you experience in it is beyond the personal. The whole experience transcends the personal.
Unknown said…
"Forgiveness is the key to happiness.I will awaken from the dream that I am mortal,fallible and full of sin, and know that I am the perfect Son of God." ACIM
Frank C said…
"Forgiveness is still, and it quietly does nothing...
It merely looks and waits, and judges NOT" ACIM

aaaaahhhhhhhh... the STILLNESS!!!
Unknown said…
Where can I find this in the Courself Miracles?
Unknown said…
Where can I find this in the Courself Miracles?
Frank C said…
Hi, Bill...

I took that quote directly from a Ken Wapnick video on Youtube (of which there are many) where he said that he felt it was the most powerful statement in ACIM. The full quote is here:

"Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not." W-pII.1.4:1-3
the mixie pixie said…
I guess I need to clarify my question re:"higher miracle". The phrase implies that there are "lower miracles", if you will. I am wonderiing what makes a miracle "higher" vs other kinds of miracles, and where in ACIM will I find these distinctions, or are these your own? I have read a great deal of the text, but not all, and have not run accross this idea. Truly not trying to be picky. I am trying to understand because it seems to me ACIM defines miracle differently from the common vernacular. Thank you.
ACIM Mentor said…
Julia, ACIM does not make a distinction between miracles. But we experience them in varying degrees. What I call a "higher miracle" is just this side of a direct Revelation. You still perceive the world but you know that only the Truth is true. But there are everyday miracles that are not quite so intense an awareness of Truth, for example, hearing (or intuiting) an answer from the Holy Spirit, feeling the Presence with you when you are in a crisis, shifting away from separation toward oneness, etc.
nicci said…
thank you liz. i have been using the practice with acim to engage forgiveness with my mother, who passed away 50 years ago. then one morning over a year ago while in quiet contemplation with HS i experienced a sudden opening into an incomparable joining in Oneness with her. you describe here what occurred. the experience has resulted in a total dissolution of any power previous memories of seeming cruelty once had over me. the mind, when it remembers her, is flooded with a sustained joining and Love i attempt to but simply cannot describe. your sharing here has moved me to understand and commit more fully to applying this gift of healing to all my relationships, moment to moment. thank you endlessly. nicci

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