A Course in Miracles: Forgetting What We Know

Think but an instant just on this; you can behold the holiness God gave His Son. And never need you think that there is something else for you to see (T-20.VIII.11:3-4).

Our task as students of A Course in Miracles is simply to choose the goal of peace. There is literally nothing else that we need to do. The means to reach peace, and the nature of peace, fall outside both our responsibility and capability.

Only the ego finds this hard to understand.

We could think of it this way. Imagine that we want to go to Boston. We don’t have to invent or create Boston – Boston is already there. And the means to get there exist as well – trains, cars, buses, bikes. Pick one and get on with it.

That metaphor, like all metaphors, is imperfect and clumsy but perhaps you take its point. A Course in Miracles is quite simple in its application. To the extent we find it difficult or frustrating, it is only because we still insist on taking charge of both means and end. We have the goal of peace, but we also have a goal of being in charge of what peace is and how to attain it. And goals that conflict cannot be reached.

Peace is already here. What obscures it is the idea that we have to do something to reach it, sustain it and so forth. That is the ego speaking. It tells us that we have to do stuff, and it has all kinds of suggestions. Yoga, vegan diet, another self-help book, meditation, kirtan, prayer seminars . . .

None of those things are bad – but none of them are good either. It is so important to see this! The question is never what are we doing, but rather what is our purpose in doing it. If our purpose is peace, then what we do will be a means to peace. If our purpose is to obscure peace, then what we will do will obscure peace.

In a way, peace is the absence of accomplishing and accomplishment. We give up on both means and end. We just want peace and we know that if we get out of the way, peace is what will emerge. Yoga is as good a long walk, a long walk is as good as sitting in the park, and sitting in the park is as good as watching television.

What happens when we get out of the way?

What happens when we stop taking thought so seriously?

What happens when we choose peace and – when we forget we have chosen peace – choose peace again? And again?

A Course in Miracles is one way to answer those questions. It is not the only way, or even the best way, but it can be a very effective way. Reading the text and doing the workbook lessons brings us back to the fundamental choice, and the only one we ever need make: do we want peace or the absence of peace?

Only two purposes are possible. And one is sin, the other holiness. Nothing is in between, and which you choose determines what you see. For what you see is merely how you elect to meet your goal (T-20.VIII.9:1-4).

So we choose peace. And then step gently aside. When idle thoughts distress us, we set them aside. We “merely close our eyes, and then forget all that we thought we knew and understood” (W-pI.rVI.4:3).

It is enough. It truly is enough.

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  1. Hi Sean,

    It is always a pleasure to read your blogs. You know, with all the silliness with literal theologies, “ascended this” and ” channeled that”, and all the politics surrounding the course, I’ve been distancing myself from it. I’ve actually not read anything from it in quite some time, but it is reading blogs like this, with all of its wonderful simplicity that reminds me of the practicality that the course continually tries to point one towards. It reminds me that for all the silliness that surrounds the course, the course itself is not silly.

    Take care,


    1. It’s great to hear from you, Eric. I hope you and your family are well.

      I think often of all the drama that surrounds A Course in Miracles. More and more I tune it out and just do the work. I am over and over amazed at how simple and ordinary the course is – and yet how powerful. I’m glad I found it. I was thinking to myself earlier today of the finger pointing at the moon motif – and I thought, once you see the moon you don’t need the finger, but you are still grateful for the finger!

      Thanks for checking in.

      ~ Sean

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