A Course in Miracles: Correction, Not Accomplishment

A Course in Miracles is not about an accomplishment. It is not an achievement the way finishing a course on bread baking or coding with html is an achievement. It is simply a correction.

We have believed what thought told us: that the external material is reality, that time is reality, that we are corks tossed by cruel winds on unforgiving seas. That is how it has always been and how it must always be.

Thus we are forever disappointed. Thus we angry and sad – at ourselves, at each other, at society. Some of us have no food, some have too much, and none of us can see that it is all the same problem.

What we perceived as failure and destruction was in fact a fructive and sacred undoing attended by God, gently restructuring our thought that we might think with God and be glad.

A Course in Miracles comes along and says we only have one problem: we believe we are separate from God and that correction must be made internally, at the level of mind (e.g., WpI.79 and 80). “Correction” means seeing – becoming aware – that our belief in separation was mistaken.

Who would hold onto a mistaken belief, once they see it is mistaken, and see too the grief the mistake has wrought? If we go for a walk, and take a wrong turn, we would simply turn back, hand in hand. Why make our belief in separation any different?

If we stay with the clarity and simplicity of this insight, it will destroy our preconceptions of God and holiness, and it will undo our insistence on powerlessness and the law of scarcity. We will wake up to the subtle energy of Christ, the beneficence of the ten thousand Bodhisattvas, the singular multiplicity of Brahman.

First there is a dismantling of our reliance on thought and all thought taught us.

Then we stand in thought’s ruins – fearful, angry, cowering. We consider rebuilding, suing somebody, moving to a new location.

But if we can stay with that discomfort – that initial sense of ruin and wrack – then we will realize that home is all around us: and that not one need we have can go unmet because of what we are in truth. So there is nothing to do and there never was. What we perceived as failure and destruction was in fact a fructive and sacred undoing attended by God, gently restructuring our thought that we might think with God and be glad.

We will see this fact – which is the fact of our unalterable unity with God – and for a little while struggle with it. What a good student I am! I wonder if I can sell this? I don’t deserve this.

But it doesn’t matter. Who understands there is only one problem, and thus only one solution, and that both are inherent in the mind shared with God, has reached the end of the line. We can get off the train or not. We can get off and get back on. We can even walk back up the tracks to a previous station, buy a ticket, and repeat this or that part of the journey.

But it doesn’t matter. The journey is over. Healing is completed once we see there is not – was not – will never be – anything broken, anything ill.

Correction is simply letting go of those habits of thought that obscure the pure crystalline emptiness of our divinity, which is here, which is now.

Give attention to this! Not as an idea, not at the level of words, but at the very center of your capacity for awareness. A Course in Miracles is true or it is not. Half measures avail us nothing. If it is true, then you remain as God created you, and cannot be touched by conflict. Don’t you want to find out if that is true? Again, not as an idea, not as something that is pleasing to say between this and that activity, all the relative duality of our lives in the world, but as the singular fact of existence.

You are perfect as God created you. But the body is not perfect. Thought is not perfect. What is then? If you stay with this – if you ask to be shown the real nature of your perfection – it will be shown to you. And having seen it, you cannot not be changed. The world – from the tea you drink to the wars you observe – will no longer hold your attention.

Peace is the salient attribute of the Child of God and is the one thing we can extend to one another. And we extend it by doing nothing. It is so simple and so beautiful.

We remain as God created us (WpI.94.2:4).

Our minds hold only what we think with God (WpI.rIV.in.2:2).

There is only one Life, and we share it – now and forever – with God (WpI.167.12:1).

Who thinks otherwise need only desire correction: need only ask for help to change their mind to think with God and know the peace of God. The secret is there is nothing else to know. The whole of salvation rests on that simple fulcrum.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Anil March 24, 2014, 12:30 pm

    Should I be getting tired of repeating my thanks to you, Sean ? (=

    Just kidding. Am smiling as I write this, but gratitude is a good thing in my book, and who knows when the simple pleasure of gratitude might be taken away from me by the vengeful ego I believe in, especially when I am in my churlish moods ?

    For now, it remains, not as plentiful as I once enjoyed, but slivers of gratitude remain, and for that I am grateful.

    For the last couple of days, I have begun wondering whether acim is really the path for me, then I read an essay like this one, and I am back to feeling this is the right thing for me, perhaps its like the end of the line, then going back and buying another ticket from a station prior, and repeating it again, and again, until I just rest at the end of the line, and perhaps nothing but peace to breathe in and breathe out, breath after breath, forever…

    Many thanks, my brother. Good night !

    • Sean Reagan March 25, 2014, 9:21 am

      Thanks are always welcome! I appreciate your presence, Anil. I hear you about going back and buying another ticket, doing it again and again. It’s frustrating! It helps me when I remember a) I am not alone but sharing the way with friends like you and b) even if I am unaware at the egoic level that God is real, God is still real, and I am still being guided. In a way, just calling that to mind – even if it’s just words – is a kind of prayer that suffices to make the next step possible.

      We’ll get there!

  • zrinka March 26, 2014, 11:15 am

    Dear Sean, beautiful:)
    It all comes down to PEACE. Not to impose peace on others, expect it or demand it on people or situations – But to come with peace, leave everything else behind, bring peace only. Peace is truly *V*ictory over self*imposed limbo:) Anyway, everyday I remind myself that only regret I (would) have in my life is when I forget I am Peace. It is such a wonderful opportunity (this life) – to feel, breathe and be peaceful. Of course, there are myriad opportunities and approaches to Life/Being and all is here for everyone, but this one – to be Peace – this one feels True and most Beautiful for me. Somewhere I read (I Ching I think) this quote – *Take care to be as peaceful and nurturing as the cow in the meadow; you are strong enough to be gentle* I loved it. If there is one thing I want to do, that is it. Still, it is so easy to be distracted. And forget. The most important and obvious thing:)

    I loved this paragraph, gentleness and straightforwardness of your message and style. It sums it up for me, that is the call I feel needs to be taken. *A Course in Miracles is true or it is not. Half measures avail us nothing. If it is true, then you remain as God created you, and cannot be touched by conflict. Don’t you want to find out if that is true? Again, not as an idea, not as something that is pleasing to say between this and that activity, all the relative duality of our lives in the world, but as the singular fact of existence.*
    Don’t you want to find out if that is true? Yes:)
    Also, I’m so happy you are well , you en*Lighted Light:) Hope your lovely family is happy and well also!!! If remember well, I left this quote on this pages previously, but I will repeat it because it is truly worth it – my favourite Christ*ened message

    *Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.*

    Peace with you Sean:)*

    • Sean Reagan March 26, 2014, 11:31 am

      Zrinka!

      How wonderful to hear from you! I thought of you the other day – daffodils coming up through the snow near the road, little shoots of green in all that brown grass and dusty snow. I am so happy to hear from you.

      Yes, peace. We are peace. Christ is peace, in all its manifestations. I am reading Sri Aurobindo – slowly, slowly – and he teaches that we are evolving, moving towards this space of light and love and peace and that it takes time and attention. How easy to drift away into relative thought, into conflict, into wanting . . .

      More and more I feel the pull of peace as stronger than that which would pull me away or back from it . . . yet there is always some sense of fear, still, that I will be asked to give something up, make some sacrifice. . . . I think we have to fall all the way into God – not hold back, not try to keep a finger tip on the ledge – and like all falling, it is frightening.

      Maybe we fall slowly? Sometimes I think I have been here a thousand years . . . a thousand times a thousand years, complicating what is so simple and natural . . .

      All wishes for your blooming Croatian flowers . . .

      Sean

      • zrinka March 26, 2014, 9:15 pm

        Dear Sean, thank you:) It always lightens and warms me up to read your thoughts and wonderful poetic fragments. Also, the idea that someone like you exists in this world and that I had privilege to meet you, simply makes me happy. You say that you feel the pull of peace stronger more and more—– and I must say I feel it also — in you:) Actually I had a rather strong (but gentle:)) impression of it while reading. When I read your words *Don’t you want to find out if that is true?* I felt your love and peace so strongly, as if you truly knew/felt we are being held by arms of God. I guess that is what a true course of miracle is, and it is wonderful:) Perhaps falling stops being frigthtening, if we stop focusing on it. As you said somewhere, forgiveness comes *before* and not after. Instead of always noticing movement (upwards or below), which we expect will lead to some End (peace?), -why not bring/offer peace first? Isn’t that the right thing to do, to bring the *Present* – like in the story where son leaves his home in search for answers, only to return to his old parents – with the most beautiful Present, and that is himSELF Being able to give —Love, to share it. Only peace has no measure, it is abundant and free like air. Like love and faith. I think the greatest miracle is to truly believe in oneself, in oneself’s ability to be peace and love. To truly believe you are where you are suppose to be, doing the right thing, that is a miracle:) This miracle can only be born from inner peace. Peace first:) and Love… As Jacques Prévert said in poem Barbara, one of my favourite ones (perhaps first one I ever read) : *And don’t be mad if I speak to you familiarly* I speak familiarly to everyone I love*Even if I’ve only seen them once*I speak familiarly to everyone in love*Even if I don’t know them*

        I haven’t read all of Sri Aurobindo’ s work, but what I love about his philosophy is how he insists on union of God/divine spirit with so called *normal* existence – Being in the world free, yet living the life of the ordinary men. It resonates strongly with me for I believe there is nothing to escape and nowhere to go (although I often act quite the opposite, yearning for escape, hermit life in seclusion, free from the worries of the world:)). I often remember Nietzsche who said something like this (at least this is how I interpreted it:)) – If there is such thing as *eternal recurrence* and all of as are living the same life over and over again (with the same *outer*inner* limitations and circumstances), then the true *superman*, Promethean type, would be the one who would not despair over the thought of cyclicity and therefor reject Life as it is, but discover the divine will (in himself)- to BE the best of Life. – Now. Because now is – forever. So often we want to leave everyday existence for exploring *higher*realms – Yet the question is what is *high* and what is *low* (what anxiety propels us from not accepting eternal Presence wherever we are), and where is God? Is he not here? I believe he is. God is always here and now. But we are not:) We are waiting —- and searching —for him*her*wholeness, thinking of something special and complicated we have to do or be to find him. Because we think he is * so * special. When in fact, at least that is what I think, there is nothing special about him, nothing exclusive – just plain, simple Everything is in him, offering in every moment unconditional unlimited plain and simple good old Love. Like the one man feels when his children smile at him or his wife hugs him before sleep:) That Love could save the world if it needed to be saved:)

        Sending you and your Loved ones blooming Croatian flowers. Peace it is:)

        • Sean Reagan March 28, 2014, 7:56 pm

          Prevert’s poem is lovely . . . as is the idea of believing in our ability to be peace and love . . . that seems very helpful to me, that little faith that we can be that which we secretly long to be, that unending beam of light and yet we go to such lengths to hide it and frustrate it . . .

          Lately I am aware in a deeper way of the way that we are all connected, and thus appreciate the course’s (and other traditions) emphasis on service to/love for/devotion to one another. What can we give without measure? Where does it come from? I think to find it we have to open and become passive almost, allowing that light to pass through us – pick us up and everyone else too!

          I am new to Aurobindo, and loving him, and the experience of reading him. It’s like being at the start of a journey, the border of a country you have never seen before, and there is all this space and time – ideas – to explore.

          I, too, share your conviction that there is nothing to escape and nowhere to go (even as, like you, I often act as if that is not true at all). So much energy invested in finding what is already here, recovering a gift that was never lost, finding a teacher for what we already know, et cetera et cetera . . . This is at least in part what I love about Dickinson, keeping her sabbath by staying at home, that calm insistence that one cannot really be without God . . .

          We say it and we say it and yet somehow don’t quite reach that place where we no longer have to say it . . . Such wordy lives given to scraps of grace when the bounty is at hand, in silence – in stillness . . .

          • zrinka March 29, 2014, 5:29 pm

            We say these words so often – *one cannot really be without God* – to remind ourselves, that the moment of falling/separation is not real, but imagined. How long shall we have to remind ourselves this? I don’t know. But is it really so awful, this imperfection of ours, our forgetfulness, our Strife with letting go of the past (of that Moment we messed up), our strife with fearing the future (fearing the Moment we will mess up again)? We make mistakes, we learn, we evolve, we live. Our Guilt (because we see ourselves as imperfect, incomplete) and Desire for Perfection prevent us from offering – Forgiveness (peace) – first. So what if in one Moment (or hundreds of moments of our day) we lose ourselves in words spoken/thought. In every other moment we have opportunity to remember/feel We Are Here, and therefore come back Home. Instantly. Why not stay (for a few moments:)) in just enjoying this one blessed silent moment, instead of *thinking* about Acquiring next one or a lifetime of this? Let the future be unknown. Our guilt because of slipping/falling from Peace*Bounty*Heaven (in some previous moment), prevents us from seeing that we have- Bounty- at – our – will. Even NOW we can choose Bounty*Happiness, if we decide to forgive ourselves our previous fail. So what if we didn’t choose it in previous moment or if we’ll slip again (and we will)? let’s says, we chose peace now. In this one moment. That is simply a Great thing to do/feel and there is nothing more to it (no perfect time continuum, there is no past –present – future story of impeccable perfection we start to evolve in our head) I think that in understanding this lies freedom. In placing focus not on guilt and shame because of our human nature, but on simple happiness because of opportunity of being able to choose to rest in God’s arms – consciously. Whenever we choose it, it’s great. If we choose it often, we will become used to feeling great (feeling home) and share this greatness with others. This happiness is not an order or commandement (based on Fear), but simply an opportunity to live a wonderful, peaceful life. It is so simple and genuine. There is nothing exclusive about it. Happiness/peacefulness is here for all and it is truly given with Love. As is everything there is. Honestly, I don’t think *Not Remembering (being Lost)* is Bad – because one cannot really be without God and God always holds us, even when we are not aware of it. But Remembering is always great. Simply the best:) It gives us opportunity to give Love back, to Love him, to share Love with everything because it is Him, it is us. And the best thing, at least in my opinion, is that even this wonderful opportunity isn’t forced upon us. Of course, various ego establishments inner and outer, try to make turning to God (peace) about turning from hell, punishment and failure. Personally, I don’t believe in evil, hell or failure. Choosing God (Peace, Love) is a choice like any other. But this choice can be made only by a free man, a man who loves himself, this world, everything there is. A man who knows he has a choice (free will) and knows he will be loved no matter what he chooses. Who forgives himself for not remembering so many times, over and over. Who forgave himself this imperfection, so he sees no imperfection anymore:) He sees only Love that is warmer and lovelier than all imperfections. When realizing he is loved this way (all the way long, all the time, forever), he becomes able to love himself and others in this manner. Or is it the other way around? 🙂 meaning that is only after he forgives himself and offers Love first (to himself and others), and goes beyond judging all imperfections, that he we’ll realize that he was Loved in this same manner all the way, all the time, forever.
            No imperfection, Beauty it is:)

  • Lisa March 26, 2014, 12:29 pm

    Spirit is coming through you Sean. Loud and clear. Thank you for your sweet and gentle reminder today.

    • Sean Reagan March 27, 2014, 10:03 am

      You’re welcome, Lisa. Thank you for reading & being here . . .

      Sean

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