If you have spent enough time exploring spirituality, you have in all probability learned about A Course in Miracles. Maybe you’ve even “done” it. A wide array of spiritual seekers-New Age, Christian, Buddhist-have browse the Course or at the least have it sitting on their bookshelf. It has turned into a familiar the main landscape.
And yet that familiarity masks exactly what a unique and unconventional document A Course in Miracles is. The Course falls into the category of channeled material, yet most such material generally seems to ride the waves of popular currents of thought, telling us pretty much what we expect to hear: “You are God.” “You create your personal reality.” “You can have it all.”
Whilst the Course echoes countless themes from the world’s spiritual traditions and from modern psychology, what’s perhaps most striking about it is how original it is. Just whenever you think that you know what it is going to say, it heads off in some completely unfamiliar direction, one that appears to have no parallel in any other teaching, ancient or modern.
Therefore, if you intend to hear the old familiar truths, A Course in Miracles isn’t for you. On every page, it is trying to overturn the taken-for-granted assumptions on which your world is built.
For instance, most of us naturally want to distinguish ourselves through noted achievement, ability, and recognition. We all wish to be special a course in miracles and spiritual awakening. The Course points out as you are able to only be special by being better than others, and that trying to create others worse than you is an attack. It says, “Specialness is triumph, and its victory is [another’s] defeat and shame.” Wanting to defeat and shame another, it says, just leaves you burdened with guilt.
Similarly, most of us attempt to fashion an optimistic image of ourselves, by adopting pleasing appearances and responsible behavior. The Course says that this image we have so carefully crafted is actually an idol, a false god that people worship in the place of our true identity, which no image can capture: “You have no image to be perceived.” The Course claims that people don’t need a refined image or special attributes, for underneath these superficial things lies an ancient identity that’s exactly like everyone else’s yet has infinite worth.
Finally, most of us assume that if you have a God, the world was developed by Him. The Course reminds us of what most of us know, that the world is a place of suffering, disease, war, and death. Then it says, “You but accuse Him of insanity, to believe He made some sort of where such things seem to possess reality. He is not mad. Yet only madness makes some sort of like this.”
If you have ever suspected that there’s something deeply wrong with the world, that there’s an insanity that’s seeped into everything, including perhaps your personal heart, then the Course may be for you. For it is in the midst of the bad news so it delivers its good news.
It promises, “There’s a means of living on earth that’s not here, though it generally seems to be.” This way, the distressing appearances of life no longer govern our state of mind, nor dictate our response to others. We can find “quiet even yet in the midst of the turmoil” of the world. We can respond with open-handed generosity, even though others attempt to hurt us. We can release days gone by even though its residue lies all around us. We can walk through our day with “no cares and no concerns…no fear of future and no past regrets” even if we have failed to manifest living of our dreams.
How can we reach this unshakable peace? We get down to business and go about retraining our minds. We practice seeing things differently. In this technique, the Course provides abundant help. It has hundreds of exercises targeted at shifting us right into a new perception-exercises in forgiveness, entering the present, seeing ourselves differently, and experiencing God.
Yes, the process takes effort (how did effort become so unpopular?). And yes, it promises to turn our inner world upside down. Yet perhaps we have grown fed up with our inner world, maybe even a little sick of it. Perhaps we have realized that as mercurial as it is, it is remarkably resistant to real change. Perhaps, then, we’re ready to use something new, or even to take something off the shelf that people only thought was familiar. Perhaps A Course in Miracles is the thing we have been looking for.