Ask: How can I lead my study group out of comparisons to peace?

In my ACIM study group, I notice that when we get to a passage with convoluted syntax or a concept that pushes us out of our comfort zone, we’ll quickly engage in an off-topic discussion, for example, about “the media,” “religion” or “churches.” This is usually prompted by a participant’s remark about how the world of illusions doesn’t understand or live by the Course we so much appreciate. Like the rest of the group, I want to think there is something outside of me that can make me feel “good" about the Course. I’m curious how I can find a way to let go of feeling either “good” or “bad” and help the group locate the source of peace within the Course text.” – GB


What you describe is very typical for new students. The ego’s (personal thought system’s) thinking is always evaluative: right/wrong, good/bad, better/worse, etc. It’s simply the way it works. But although this thinking is from the ego I suspect its source is actually the speaker’s way of expressing gratitude for having found the way to peace that works for them. And what they see in the outside world is their own past – the way it used to be for them. So you could simply point this out, perhaps by stating it as your own experience: That you, too, look out at the world and see how you used to be and how grateful you are to have found your way to peace.

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Do you run a study group and run into questions you cannot answer or issues with your members? I mentor study group leaders and other teachers of ACIM on issues related to their study group and their own process to peace. Learn more about what I offer at www.acimmentor.com.

Comments

will said…
Book Review
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nicci said…
Liz,
this question from GB was very relevant to the study group i attend. your response was compassionate and as clear as the purest lake. the depth of your understanding demonstrates for me what it is like to look upon the world with the Vision of the HS. again thank you.
endless L, n
will said…
Group therapy or group spirituality is a great place to find out what your demons are. Co-dependency is sure to make an appearance. The ego that was thought to be whipped into submission is suddenly there in all its glory
nicci said…
will,
i have had no success whipping my identity with a personal self into submission. offering instead these days, these moments, the willingness to accept where i am now, by Loving and forgiving what isn't real... over and again. endless L, n
hannah said…
im good with a whip *note perfected ego*

will, i hear you re the demons! i was sooo happy when someone started a study group in albany. it was maybe seven years into my study and i had only just started to accept that none of my friends or family were likely to stop thinking i was bonkers, laugh! and i was just starting to realise how i was not respecting them with my desire to bring ACIM into everything (though ceasing that took quite some time still), and that i was actively driving a wedge in our relationships. so finding a group to talk with and learn with just made me grin like an idiot. at first i didnt care that the teacher had different views of what acim was teaching, it all felt interesting and valuable. but as i became more sure through my own studies, and more inclined to speak up about what i perceived the meanings to be, and i started to do again what id done with my family, (always try and verbally teach a better way!) things got rough. i was projecting soo much anger onto the teacher, and she onto me. i worked and worked on myself, lol.. or should that read whipped and whipped, on trying not to feel angry, to have respect for her teaching space etc, to accept that she WAS in fact teaching what most people there were wanting to learn. mu success with that would seriously fluctuate though! it wasnt until a couple of the teachings of liz' blogs combined in my mind that i actually started to grow with it all.. the 'between me and me' blog and the blogs about the two spiritual goals finally helped me work through my projection and anger. i finally started to put the teachings into practise in my own mind, rather than throwing theory around like a weapon of kind intent, laugh! then the gratitude came back, such a relief! i only go along now if the urge takes me, you guys are my study group, lucky things ;)
will said…
N. I have no doubt that is true. But just because a person is doing ACIM there are no guarantees of immediate mental health or spiritual growth. As always my comments are directed at the people starting their journey with the Course.
will said…
N. But that was a gutsy post. I expect you will have a visit soon :)
ES said…
GB

"...a participant’s remark about how the world of illusions doesn’t understand or live by the Course we so much appreciate. Like the rest of the group, I want to think there is something outside of me that can make me feel “good" about the Course."
My take on what you wrote is that the participants in your group are looking in the wrong direction - out instead of in. The world of illusions is insane and that's the way it is. It sounds like your colleagues are lamenting this which reflects their own lack of peace. Believe me I'm the same way. My focus with the Course is to adjust my mind to the world and not the other way around ie. noticing the guilt I'm projecting onto what I see and releasing it - no small task. There will always be something to distract us (especially a Trump circus and the normalising of madness) but lets use it to remind us of peace and move on.
nicci said…
these postings have been very helpful. in gratitude, n
hannah said…
i just realised.. i learned much more through that teacher than i would/could have consciously asked for! isnt life ODD!! hey, n, i just noticed that you are a fellow dont-use-captials-muchly-er/ist! love and gratitude to you too xx
Anonymous said…
How about you start using capitals. It makes for a better read and some of us will take you more seriously.
hannah said…
ah, lol.. i reckon i already take myself quite seriously enough, thank you for not joining me in that!
Anonymous said…
This blog is not facebook.
nicci said…
thank you hannah, for your kindness. n
will said…
Thank you Anonymous, you made my point:)
nicci said…
oh . . . i am finally coming to understand. if my being slow on the uptake, and most of all if i have posted any thoughts here that have caused anyone difficulty or sorrow, i am deeply sorry. my hope is that the Love behind them was somehow, somewhere within, felt.


i wish you all dear friends as you journey on this remarkable path the grace of That Love we all deserve,
we all are.

endless L, n


hannah said…
anonymous, its funny you say that, cos ive noticed that as far as putting the principles of ACIM into practise goes, facebook is just as handy as here. of course you sure get better clarity of what its actually saying and how to put it into practise here than on facebook though, if mainly from liz' actual blog ;) id just skip my posts if theyre annoying! (again, good fb advice, laugh!) (apologies if that feels like a 'duh' comment, its just that ive noticed that we all seem to get value from different approaches here in the comment section, there isnt one right or wrong way hey? there is many a time ive got a great deal of value out of reading the 'chatting' between people here, and have have read others expressions of receiving the same benefit. (its also funny cos liz did mention to me the other day that my posts often read like they were my journal :D )
hannah said…
hey nicci.. ACIM says the things that cause us distress, can be really usable to help us on our path to inner peace. maybe if youve ever caused anyone any disturbance in their peace (though i doubt it nicci, youre so gentle!) you 'offered' them a gift at whatever level they were ready to receive it at? i was talking to liz this morning about feeling guilty for the effects of my thoughts, let alone the effects of what ive said or done. she didnt say that i was offering a gift to anyone i offended.. im not sure if thats an accurate way of perceiving it.. i just know that if I feel offended that i am being offered a gift to remember what is happening at the ego level and why, to remember truth, and to choose which thought system i wish to align with, to identify with. yep, ive flicked in and out of feeling like i can harm and like i cant harm others all day, and so also like can be hurt or cant be hurt by others. most interesting roller-coaster!

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