Ask: Can you explain how the self has no motivation when ACIM talks about motivation?

“…That the self has no motivation is difficult to understand since the Course and other spiritual teachings tell us that there is a purpose to our experience, that the purpose is to awaken, or to manifest Love, or something like that. In other words, there is an intention or motivation. This seems in contradiction to the idea that the self has no motivation but just acts.
It also leaves unanswered how it all started. Why should action have even started if there was no motivation?...” – RP (March 23, 2018)

As a spiritual teaching, A Course in Miracles is not an end but a beginning. Its purpose is to lead you to the Awareness of Truth (Holy Spirit) and to help you undo your obstacles (guilt, fear, attachment) to staying aware of Truth. So, eventually, the Awareness of Truth leads you past ACIM.

“This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you.” (W.ep.1)

What I have written about lately is what I see now that the belief in guilt has fallen away, and as self-identification has begun to fall away, from this mind. In other words, I see what forgiveness reveals. And that seeing takes in the whole picture, rather than just the snapshot of this individual mind’s experience. I see now how the entire story of not-Truth/the undoing of not-Truth works, the self’s part in it, and this seemingly-individual split-mind’s part in it. I see there is no guilt, because all that is occurring is the idea of not-Truth/the undoing of not-Truth playing out. And because that idea’s outcome is inevitable, the playing out is automatic.

When I write my articles I often share from my own experience. When I mentor over the phone, however, I meet my clients where they are. So I am aware that what I write lately is not understandable to a mind still self-identified and that still experiences guilt as very real. Intention, motivation (I want this), me as a cause (my purpose) for a future effect (my awakening as part of a greater Awakening), etc. all had meaning for me for a very long time. (I’ve been at this for 34 years). So I do not expect that those who have not yet had my experiences will fully understand what I share now. Judging from the comments I’ve received I see I need to make this clear when I write from my current experiences!

While intention and motivation still make sense to you then continue to apply them with the guidance of the Awareness of Truth. You will only come to a more advanced understanding by being honest with yourself and the Awareness of Truth in your mind about what makes sense to you now. You will only advance by learning what is right in front of you to learn. You can think about experiences you have not yet had, but you do not have to force understanding. As I plodded along this path there was a lot that I had to accept I would not understand until later. And understanding has come with experiences of Truth.

There is no intention (motivation) behind the experience of not-Truth (the universe of form). Because Truth is All, It must contain the idea of Its Own opposite. But because It is All, It cannot have an opposite. So the opposite of Truth can only ever be an idea. But it is an idea that was undone by Truth’s All-encompassing nature as soon as it arose. So it simply is, just as Truth simply is. But what it is, is nothing.

A mentor is someone with more experience that you turn to for help along the way. As a mentor, I do not ask you to join me where I am. I meet you where you are. Email me at to set up a telephone appointment. Learn more at

If you have a question the answer to which you think will help others, email it to me at and indicate that you want it answered in the newsletter/blog.


Christine said…
I was just re-reading the book the "Fifty Miracle Principles" gone over in Q and A fashion by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick...I read where Ken wrote that the goal of the Course is not Love, not to awaken, but to Forgive (the Course's version of forgiveness). And also that the first Miracle principle is about there not being a "hierarchy of illusions". Somewhere else he exclaimed, "Zero times a million zeros is still zero." Just thought of these, I will re-read your Post here again...these are just knee jerk thoughts!
nicci said…
thank you again Liz. this was very clear. in my moment to moment practice i am being called a lot to accept in advance of understanding. it is a trust building experience and i can see that trust is needed. i do have at least an intellectual picture of where this is all leading. your sharing lends strength to my willingness to open in greater trust to the Inner Help i am receiving. and was exactly what i needed this morning when i opened your blog. in deep gratitude, n
Unknown said…
Of course, there's always a 'motivation'!
But, only ONE choice, ACIM says...
The choice for sustaining the world of specialness, separation, lack, fear, GUILT (which was THE MOTIVATION for the mind to dream up this world and BELIEVE it real - after having chosen TO PUSH THE LOVE OF GOD AWAY !!...)
Or, the choise to follow the Holy Spirit's path to GO HOME and awaken there in God !
(the Course says: you ARE at home in God but DREAMING of exile...)

I recommend, that whenever we speak of 'self', we clearly signify whether we speak of the 'Self'(which God created) or the 'self'(the hero of the dream, the person, whom WE dreamed up)- it IS crucial to the understanding of ACIM !!

Happy Easter to everyONE <3
nicci said…
stepping back in briefly to say yes. thank you. Ken's distinction about the purpose of this path was timely for me. after reading your comment yesterday evening, it got me taking a closer look at my experience of the miracle as it is occurring in my practice; i saw clearly how the inner alignment with the HS and the forgiving has always preceded and given way to a resulting flooding of an incomparable Love. so the stated purpose of the Course, to "remove the blocks to the awareness of Love's Presence everywhere (through forgiveness)" got so much clearer for me. i now realize i have been having the experiences that support the Author's teaching about Love as being beyond teaching. Love, and the awareness of Love is the result of learning to forgive.

thank you again for reminding me of Ken's observation, and the interest it gave me to look closer at how this all unfolding. there is a flow of sorts echoed lightly in how this is all playing out ... it feels good.

endless Love, n
Christine said…
N, you are welcome. You are more eloquent a writer than I, words always read like a parking ticket. The forms are all different, but the content is the same, yeah, that's what I'm going with!
nicci said…
and once more...

Christine, your words gave me a chuckle. i'm particularly fond of imagery, and yours (the parking ticket) was delightful. i will add it to my mental list of wonderful metaphors, which puts you in the company of some great writers (PG Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, Melville, and the author yours most reminds me of: Tom Robbins). n
Christine said…
Frank C said…
The last 2 posts, and all the great comments, have short circuited my logical, 3D brain and has rendered a great blow to the chatter of the monkey mind, stunning it into long periods of silence. I'm beginning to catch glimpses of the Peace of the Christ Mind, and I'm reminded of another statement by Ken Wapnick that claimed that the main (and maybe only ) function of ACIM is teaching FORGIVENESS, and he used this quote as a way of defining it very clearly: "Forgiveness is still, and quietly does nothing... it merely looks, and waits, and judges not". To me, this is a perfect definition of learning to be fully present, in the here, and NOW!
hannah said…
love your comment, frank.. ive been experiencing this too.. the fact that all this thinking and sorting out is only helpful *up to a certain point*, then it becomes clear that after that, it is just like a perpetual motion machine that keeps the ego running. blessed logic that then becomes obsolete, and if clung to becomes an anchor that keeps the mind conflated firmly with the self, and away from the stillness and love that the ego is so afraid of! and there is no guilt in that machine, it is nothing in truth! but it is never still.. and stillness, wholeness.. ah, hello joy!

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