ACIM and New Beginnings

A small group of friends and I have committed to doing the ACIM workbook this year, a lesson a day, and meeting once a week online to talk about how that experience is going, what we are learning, what is being revealed and so forth.

Today I did lesson one, which is a kind of simple yet elegant introduction to the function of A Course in Miracles.

We have these bodies and they bring forth a world. If we are attentive, we see that another way to say this is that the world brings forth these bodies. The two are in a consensual interplay that generates an apparently endless stream of images, sensations and stories.

All the first lesson asks us to do is consider that the various aspects of this streaming world have no meaning. We are not asked to deny their existence or relabel them as illusions or anything. Let them be.

We are simply being asked to consider that the world – which includes the body – has no meaning.

Of course, this is not strictly true. The world and the body mutually bringing one another forth have the meaning we give them. But who is this “we?”

The meaning given by ego – by the self that believes it is contained in a vulnerable body in an often-dangerous world – is wrong in a way that hurts.

It is this error that A Course in Miracles is given to correct.

When we remember what we are in truth – Creations of a Living God for whom only Love is real – then we will be able to envision the world and the body in clearer gentler ways. In essence, we will see past them to the Light of Creation Itself.

Yet for now – as near as we are still to the beginning – it is sufficient to merely be open-minded about meaninglessness.

When we can accept meaninglessness (which is easier to say than to do), then our openness to actual meaning – to God’s meaning, Love’s meaning, Truth’s meaning, One’s meaning – gently expands and peace and joy intensify accordingly.

This is the other way, upon which we have taken the first steps.

One way to know if ACIM is working in our apparent lives is to simply notice how happy or unhappy we are. All the course wants for us is a natural, serious and sustainable happiness. We bring this forth together as students committed to our own learning in communion with our like-minded brothers and sisters.

Together, we are an oasis of happiness and peace – of learning – welcoming all passers-by, because giving welcome is how we are made welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven, which is Love. Together we are not alone. Together we are the Kingdom.

I wish you a quiet, creative and devoted ACIM practice in 2021, one that brings you as much vision and inner peace as you are ready to accept for this hurt and dying world. I am deeply grateful for your presence, and offer my own in return. If I can be helpful in any way, reach out.

Love,
Sean


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7 Comments

  1. Looking forward to the lessons and getting a new insight which im getting after 17 years of trying to understand what these early lessons were about. Thanks again sean

    1. Thanks for reading, Sean. I am looking forward to it as well. In a lot of ways, leaning into our ACIM practice as beginners yields a lot of peace and quiet. Thank you for being here.

      Love,
      Sean

  2. I would like to attend. I’ve tried & failed with the workbook lessons for many years. I would love to visit with someone by phone if possible. 918-916-6855 David G.

    1. Hi David,

      I hear you on the value of a group. The first two times I did the lessons I was mostly on my own – I had some long-distance conversations from time to time, but not a consistent embodied group.

      This present group is relatively new and still finding its way. But it’s possible that it will open up – in some ways, I think that would be really welcome and helpful.

      If that happens, can I reach out to you?

      Sean

  3. Sean, I also committed to do the workbook through again this year and started on Lesson 1 today. I’ll enjoy being in sync as you do the same.

    The litmus test of progress you offer (and I know, you know, we can’t really know – but I sure do like litmus tests!) caused me to ponder “happiness” and where I am on that spectrum. Then I asked my husband – “on a scale of 1 – 10, 1 being miserable and 10 being ecstatic, where would you place me?” He put me at 8-10. My own answer was 5, which raised his eyebrows. I explained it by describing myself as a monk with hiccups – feeling and having the appearance of peaceful and kind generally, with unexpected random outbursts of both irrepressible joy and utter dismay. It’s like being half way up a ladder, then getting surprised and jumping up or falling down a few steps – eventually to get calm and settle back down to slowly process each step again. I am so grateful that working this course has nurtured a growing peace that grounds me as I learn. Does that make me “happy”? If it is a synonym for the undergirding peace I feel, then yes.

    Thank you for causing the contemplation. Happy New Year! Now I am feeling the joy of joining with my brothers in love. That’s not a hiccup.

    1. Hi Claudia,

      I like litmus tests too! Here in the dream I think they are all versions of this ACIM “test:”

      Perfect love casts out fear.
      If fear exists,
      Then there is not perfect love.

      But:

      Only perfect love exists.
      If there is fear,
      It produces a states that does not exist (T-1.VI.5:4-8).

      I love the hiccuping monk image. I have used the stumbling monk image for myself. We are good company in this imperfect monastery!

      (Monastery of misfit monks? I think there a lot of members 🙂 )

      Love,
      Sean

      1. Perhaps eventually we are all members. Everyone is sure welcome to join.

        Funny how, in hindsight, we see the purpose of things that confounded and frustrated us previously. When asked to declare a major in college, I was at a loss, so I took some adult’s advice to get as broad a liberal arts degree as I could – because “that couldn’t hurt me.” I graduated with a BS in Psychology and a minor in French (and yes, had to go on to grad school since neither of those were going to get me much of a paying job – LOL). But the BS required a logic course – something that frightened me because it sounded like math (ew) but I signed up anyway. Turns out I was made for modus ponens/modus tolens-type thinking. That degree also established a firm foundation in all things Freud, Jung, Adler, Horney, Skinner, Maslow, Piaget, etc. Today I don’t know if that educational foundation was laid in order to inform my future course study or if I was attracted to the course because of that firm educational foundation, but no matter – it has served me well. I smile every time I see the “logic” of the course laid out like you have it above. Who knows what anything is for (and I have given it all the meaning it has for me) but it is nice to look back at the painful floundering times of college and see that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28 or T-4.V:1:1-2).

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