An Example of Misusing the Specificity of ACIM

(This is very, very long so you may prefer to read it on something larger than a mobile).

I know it bothers some of my readers when I teach that A Course in Miracles was written specifically to Helen and Bill in their Holy Relationship and that it is helpful to read it through this awareness. I do not mean to take anything away from anyone by pointing this out. Instead my intention is to help readers avoid some of the pitfalls of guilt and misuse of ACIM into which I fell and into which I hear other students fall. ACIM is not diminished as a useful instrument that the Holy Spirit (Awareness of Truth in your mind) can use to teach you because it was written first and foremost to Helen and Bill. Many spiritual teachings are about someone’s specific experience and guidance. In fact, it is helpful in deepening your awareness of the Holy Spirit when you have to use discernment to sort out what was meant for another specifically and what lessons you can generalize for yourself. This is how study grows your awareness of the Holy Spirit.

So here I am going to give you an example of how I misused ACIM from my own very, very early experience with ACIM.  I tried to apply what was meant specifically for Helen and Bill to my own situation. And I had good reason to think I could because it was regarding the Holy Relationship. I have written about my experience of the Holy Relationship before but not in such detail. The details, I think, may help highlight the point I’m trying to make about applying ACIM too literally to one’s own experiences.

This is too long for the newsletter so here’s a link to the article:



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Comments

bat said…
i loved this so much and could relate to your feelings of anguish and torment. Thank you for sharing, and for bringing clarity to my mind. I needed to hear this today. Blessings to you, Liz.
Anonymous said…
Thank you so muc for sharing your experience and example of how you personalized messages in ACIM, and how that my served to confuse you. Now I understand why you felt such turmoil and anguish for so many years, and why you now seem so strong, confident and clear, particularly with your boundaries. I can learn a great deal from your example. It is a caution to me to be aware of when I find myself doing the same. Many blessings!
Anonymous said…
Only in the not knowing can we know. Its all dream stuff. How can we be sure of anything in an illusion? The finite mind can never understand the Infinite. At this level of the dream we are the least conscious, basically mindless as long as we think we are a body and there is a world external to us. EVERYTHING is a projection of mind including the Holy Spirit. The ego mind thinks it understands what this projected world is about and that we can know things like - for whom the Course was written for, etc... But who is that one who thinks it knows anything??? Only in becoming empty do we find the FULLNESS of GOD - the SELF and there is nothing outside that SELF. Nothing is as it seems. Only Love Is... Appearance or Reality. Peace comes to the quiet mind. If we quiet all the thoughts and opinions we find the Silence, and in that Silence do we Remember who we are.

In Love & Peace
Jeremy said…
Liz, I want to thank you for sharing that.

I also want to thank the 'Anonymous' who started the comment with "Only in the not knowing can we know." This comment is extraordinary and powerful. Can I know it is true? No. And yet... it certainly strikes against all I think I know and which has not brought me peace.
Christine said…
Thanks, Anonymous - and thanks, Liz - thank you for sharing the article...
Anonymous said…
What jumped out at me in this important share was the very end, "I was done with the part of me that still held on". That transported me to look at relationships I was needlessly holding onto to and well, the part of me that that relationship symbolized. This also helped show me, it is not necessary to hold on for many more years of the same with any "other". Just say no. Thank you Liz. You bring comfort to me.

And thank you as well Anonymous for also speaking with Truth.

Carinos, Deb
will said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
It may take me another read to connect all the dots but what I got out of your article was that people misconstrue and misapply acim concepts, quotes etc. in ways which do not foster growth. I know you don't like being called an iconoclast because it implies that you are destroying something so lets just substitute the words "challenge or question cherished beliefs", and there you are. That being said, how about the way many (most?) students and teachers attribute the authorship of the Course to Jesus, and that this is an unassailable fact. (One well known teacher wrote that the reason Jesus gave us ACIM is that the people have so misunderstood and bungled his original message in the form of traditional Christianity, he was giving us a second chance - an idea I find unbelievable. I relate it only to show how far some people will go to prove their point.) Regarding the concept of "misusing specificity" do you think that if Helen Schucmann had been raised in a devout Buddhist tradition, she would have written the Course as though the Buddha had given it to her, using Buddhist terms and so on?
ACIM Mentor said…
Anonymous, from the start ACIM was always the Christ Mind in me speaking to me. Jesus has never held any significance for me. I see Him as the symbol in Helen's mind for Christ in her mind. Some people need something concrete and have a hard time with the abstract.

Most of us make an idol of ACIM when we start out. We cling to every word as though it is salvation and cannot be questioned. That is just guilt and fear. But if you are open to being taught by the Holy Spirit within you It will eventually lead you away from that. The student will see that ACIM is just an instrument to be used by the HS; it is not Truth in itself.

Helen was not Christian but was drawn to Christianity. So, yes, if she'd been drawn to Buddhism instead the HS would have used Buddhist ideas and symbols to reach her.
will said…
It is midnight and I just read Liz's story again. This long grueling love is part of my life, a part that I continue to try to close. No revelations, no Holy Relationship just slogging through it. All I have is the book. Like Liz, after her first revelation I knew everything ACIM said is true. I needed that to lean on. For me it is bittersweet, the blogs putting ACIM into a different perspective. It isn't that important now. Burnout. I'm just reeling it in to a day at a time, what is right in front of me now. I 'do' forgiveness but my heart isn't in it. Something I realized some time back, when you are in pain you are alone as you will ever be. When you are not in pain it is very difficult to relate to the powerlessness of pain. We get intellectual with that person or try to fake it with kind words. But remember back when you were in pain and standing in the middle of a crowd you still felt as alone as you ever had in your life. Words, advice, they just can't get past the barrier of the ego that is love.
will said…
I just watched a video on YouTube called "The Miracle and Our Changeless Reality."
It's an older Ken Wapnick video that really reflects on Liz's blog this week. Very basic, easy to understand and really has an impact. Check it out.
Anonymous said…
I guess you have to stay present to the holy spirit's lesson, you don't always know what is going on in your own mind...

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