The ACIM Student and Being Different

A reoccurring theme with many serious students of A Course in Miracles is how they have felt different all of their lives. Some are okay with this; others still want to be accepted and to fit in. The difference can show up as having been more perceptive than the average person; having a psychological orientation; never accepting what the religion of their family of origin taught; being more sensitive and intuitive; always sensing that there was something more than the world had to offer, etc. The question they often have is, are they different because they were always headed toward a spiritual path (or really already on one)? Or did their being different lead them to seek relief in a spiritual path?

The answer is both. Because you are on a spiritual path you were always headed toward one. But in the unfolding story how you end up on a spiritual path could show up as looking for relief from the pain of being different. In any case, the spiritual path resonates or you would not remain on it.

When I was in life-coach training I once asked a teacher, how large is our market? She said that it is estimated that at any given moment about 1 in 5 (20%) people are on a path of personal growth. (Of course, this is only in the developed world. Where people do not have access to basic education and/or struggle to survive they do not have the luxury.) By a “path of personal growth” she meant anything from reading self-help books to attending 12-step or other self-help programs to psychotherapy to being on a spiritual path. And it is my experience that only a tiny minority (probably less than 1% of the world’s population) on a spiritual path are very serious about growing their awareness of Truth. It is no wonder ACIM students often feel they are “different”!

And as your awareness of Truth grows you will only feel more “different” as you detach from the values of the world. The more at peace you are the fewer people to whom you will relate. But the upside is, you are at peace so it does not matter! However, until you experience wholeness in Truth you may have a nagging sense of not fitting in. Humans are social animals. Fitting in is necessary for survival so it is frightening to feel that you don’t fit in.

But then again, the whole human condition is one of feeling unique and therefore alone. You may belong to a group but you are a unique member of the group. You can relate to many somewhat but never to any one person wholly. No one ever feels that they wholly fit in anywhere, not even in their families. Until you transcend a human identity you will be afraid of being too “different”.

In ACIM it says “‘All are called but few choose to listen.’” (T-3.IV.7) This means that the Truth is in every mind but not every mind is moved to find It and to grow their awareness of It. If you need a story for this, ACIM provides one. The story of time is a projection of the idea of the opposite-of-God. This idea was over as soon as it was thought because God cannot have an opposite. In the story of time this undoing shows up as seemingly-individual minds going through a process of becoming aware of Truth.

Some students tell me that they think that the world is in a new era of “awakening”. Well, you won’t see this if you step back and look at the whole world. They think this because they have surrounded themselves with like-minded people. Their world has changed and they project this to the rest of the world. But as their awareness of Truth grows they will stop taking stock of themselves and a world. They will live in the awareness that only the Truth is true.

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


Christine said…
Yes, we are misfits among misfits. I never minded, though. I kept studying and practicing the religion in which I was born (Christian Science)...then kind of broke away in my early thirties from it. Then a period of nothing much, then A Course in Miracles. Didn't seek it, was given the text book (Schucman's original). I still act normal (I guess!!) and like being alone, OR with people. But I am continuously and constantly 'reflecting' (or open minded/asking, etc).
Anonymous said…
I AM different, but not special.
Anonymous said…
But aren't we learning we are all the same? Deb
will said…
"I AM" No your not:)
ACIM Mentor said…
Deb: The Truth is the same in every mind. But we are not and never will be the same as people.
will said…
Only the Truth is True or Only God is Real is more than a slogan. It's the bottom line. If only God is real and we know we're not God what are we supposed to do then? We as people can't see that as true, but that's where the Course is headed. It's something to consider.
Anonymous said…
Yes, thank you. Deb
Anonymous said…
Why would you make the statement that ACIM students and followers are "different" from everyone else. Isn't that statement separating "us" from "them" which is opposite the Course teachings. Creation: specialness! Even if you feel "out of step" from the "others" we're all teachers all of the time. Therefore just blend in and naturally teach the truth.
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, I think you may be spiritualizing the illusion. In other words, trying to make the illusion Truth-like. Truth is One (the same throughout) but in the illusion we manifestly are not all the same. To pretend otherwise is not helpful.

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