The first book that I opened when I began to study A Course in Miracles was the Text – a gargantuan piece of work that pushes 700 pages in a pretty tight font.
The first book that actually had an impact on me was A Course in Miracles Workbook. The Text is abstract and theoretical, a joy to any ego that wants to dig really deep and study itself. I could get lost there forever without seeing the light.
But the Workbook was different – is different. As I work my way through it a second time, I am more impressed with its simplicity and clarity, its quiet confidence. I know people who are students of the Course who do not do the lessons and that’s fine. If that’s where they are – if it’s where they want to be – great.
But for me, the Workbook and the lessons saved ACIM from being just another way station on the road to self-improvement, to the substitution of intellectual satisfaction for true stillness, true awareness. It is practical and studied, inviting a very precise and coordinated action.
The Course is very clear that it’s not for everybody – an important caveat. And it’s equally clear that individual methods of studying and working with the course are going to be varied.
For me, the lessons are like rocks that I use to navigate the deep and winding stream of God, of coming to know God better and better. Each one breaks down a little more psychological resistance, chips away at the intellectual balustrades thrown up by the ego.
They are simple and harmless and take very little effort. Today’s – Lesson 10 – involves five individual practice sessions of just a minute each. Nothing!
And yet, to me, everything. I stopped on the trail earlier, bright sunlight and wind, the snow swirling off the ground into my eyes, and reminded myself that “my thoughts mean nothing.”
Easy to say, but then somehow it becomes like a tiny thread. You hold it lightly and it leads you deeper. There are flashes, flickers. Everything that stands between me and my experience of Love can be undone in a second. Tara Singh says this often, that each lesson – if we can really read it, really bring it into application – will awaken us. And I can feel that – the possibility, the inevitability even.
If you are new to the Course – or returning to it or curious about it- don’t neglect the Workbook. Spend some time with it. It is in many senses the simplest to read and yet the most powerful in its capacity to undo. There’s no need to believe it. Simply come to it. It will do the rest.