Food and A Course in Miracles

A lot of people ask about ACIM and diet – are we encouraged, as students of the course, to eat a certain way? Avoid certain foods? Do we fast at this or that time of year and so forth? Does A Course in Miracles forbid eating meat?

Garden tomatoes from this past summer . . .

I think those are natural questions amongst seekers in general. Lots of religions have rules and regulations around food. When I was an aspiring Buddhist most of the men and women with whom I sat and studied were vegetarians. It was an extension of compassion – a way of demonstrating kindness to all life. In part because of that model, I was a vegetarian for many years. I have fond memories of those years, particularly  after I met my wife and my cooking really took off. Chrisoula and I had – and still have from time to time – some incredible veggie dishes. Edward Espe Brown’s Zen-inspired cookbooks (especially The Tassajara Bread Book), Deborah Madison’s work, the various texts spiraling out of the Moosewood Collective . . . I still turn to those recipes.

When I was Catholic – especially as a child – we refrained from eating meat on Fridays (a point somewhat lost on the fish we sometimes consumed). As I grew older and more committed to Catholicism I did a fair amount of fasting – avoiding meals, limiting what I ate, and sometimes going for many days with only juice. Nor are Buddhism and Catholicism the only traditions where food is regulated in some ways.

But when we commit to practicing A Course in Miracles, we leave that behind. Well, we leave it behind in the sense that we no longer associate a formal way of eating – of embracing or rejecting a type of food or food preparation – with salvation. The Course has a single goal – to heal the mind that believes it is separated from God. Its references to behavior are scant at best. That is because correcting behavior does not necessarily heal the mind, while healing the mind will always affect behavior – though often in surprising ways.

Our little orchard was prolific this year . . . these were the blossoms in Spring.

The idea that we can be saved – can end our separation from God, can enter Heaven, et cetera – by changing habits of behavior is an old one. But if it were that easy, we wouldn’t need to have religious and spiritual practices. We’d just adopt certain regulations of behavior, set up some punishment/reward system to reinforce the desired behavior, and police one another. That does not lead to inner peace. In truth, it doesn’t really lead to outer peace either.

What is helpful is making contact with the part of our minds that believes if we can only tweak the external – get the right partner, or the right spiritual practice, or the right diet, or the right prayer – then we will be happy and never struggle again and then remembering that salvation does not work that way. The separation is an inside job – a problem of thought, not circumstance – and so it has to be addressed internally. What is going on outside of us exists as an effect of our thinking, not as a cause. We can learn from it, sure, but the fundamental shift is still going to be at the level of mind.

Thus, you can be a devout meat eater – taking down a meat lover’s pizza every night and a rasher of bacon at breakfast – and be a student of A Course in Miracles. You can also be a vegetarian. Or a vegan. You can be – as Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes once said – a dessertatarian and be a student of the Course. There is no right or wrong way to approach food. As Krishnamurti once said, here paraphrased: eat meat or don’t eat meat but get on with it. In other words, the healing the Course contemplates has nothing to do with our bodies. We can’t eat or fast or exercise or dance or walk our way to inner peace. It’s all in the mind.

Prize-winning eggs from our flock of layer hens.

That said, it’s important to not be cavalier about the issues that can come up around food. For many of us, it is an area in which we need considerable healing. Forgiveness is always appropriate. If someone is addicted to food in some way, then their practice of the Course is going to involve forgiving – seeing with Jesus or the Holy Spirit – that relationship. And that forgiveness – which, remember, happens in the mind – will probably have some effect on the outside.

Our practice of A Course in Miracles is deeply personal. The course never looks the same from one student to the next. We are called to heal in very specific ways. I know Course students who are very passionate about not eating meat. I respect that. My own practice with food has been to deepen my relationship with it at the level of production – Chrisoula and I (and the kids) grow a tremendous amount of veggies and fruit, raise pigs for meat, chickens for eggs and meat, buy beef from local farmers. We have even kept bees and a goat for milking. I don’t think anybody’s practice of the Course has to mimic that – indeed, it probably shouldn’t. But it is neatly tied into forgiveness for me – a kind of simplicity, a kind of self-reliance, a kind of healthy diet.

The question is always: does it work? It is it helpful? It is important that we not be bullied into thinking that we have to practice a certain way. A Course in Miracles meets us where we are and helps us move from that place ever closer to inner peace and coherence. In that light, what is “right” for someone in an external way is not going to be right for somebody else. It’s okay to find our way.

Apple harvest! Always one of the great joys of homesteading . . .

Ultimately, the course is about changing our minds, where “change” means “heal.” Sometimes that change shows up in the world. Obviously my home and living arrangements look different than other students who aren’t as devoted to homesteading. Obviously, my relationships are in many ways shaded by my family’s commitment to growing, raising and preserving our own food and nurturing a network of like-minded consumers and farmers. But what really matters is the mind in and through which all of this lovingkindness takes place. I  eat and relate to food in the most loving way that I can. If the goal is love – healing the mind – then whatever follows will be helpful.

To that end, be kind to yourself. Remember the guidance of Lesson 294: the body is “of service for a while and fit to serve, to keep its usefulness while it can serve, and then to be replaced for greater good” (W-pII.294.1:11). Don’t endanger yourself or others in the name of spirituality. Eat well; eat in a way that minimizes guilt; eat in a way that extends love to your brothers and sisters, broadly defined. We gain nothing by depriving ourselves of calories, nutrients, water and the simple joys that attend eating. Wherever we are at with respect to food, our eating – the whole gestalt of it, from growing to preparing to eating to composting – is yet a way to remember that together we are Love.

Note: As this post has been read and commented upon over the years, I have become increasingly sensitive to the importance of respecting the food and eating choices of my brothers and sisters. The course is silent on the subject of what to eat; beyond that, food is like everything else – a means to forgive (that is, to see in a loving and holistic way) the world and all its contents. It is necessary to give attention to life as it arises; it is not necessary to adopt rigorous diets, undergo intense fasts or otherwise attack our bodies.

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      1. I really appreciate you writing this article. It made a lot of sense to me and answered some of my questions. Thank you very much.

  1. Sorry I totally disagree with you. The course in Mirackes is all about love and rejecting all that us violence . Eating meat and all animal products stems from violence, Veganism is the most loving way to live and totally aligned with the teachings of ACIM. You love all, period.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Mike. It is true that in these bodies we have to make decisions which reflect our understanding of the unconditional Love inherent in A Course in Miracles. Clearly, for you, veganism is a loving decision by which you bring ACIM into application. To that end, I am both appreciative and admiring.

      However, it is important to keep in mind that A Course in Miracles does not dictate specific or particular behaviors for its students. Read and study are about it; beyond that, the application becomes very personal and intimate and it is really impossible to dictate to another what they should “do.” Indeed, to become invested or attached to one form of love or peace, is to confuse form with love. Essentially, by insisting that the body behave in this specific way – celibacy, veganism, vipassana meditation etc. – we are making the body (ours and others) and the world real. There is no right way to live here that will render what is illusory real.

      It is easy to slip into a space of believing that whatever choices with respect to form that we have made ought to be applied by everyone everywhere. I’m honestly kind of baffled that Emily Dickinson isn’t required reading for all people who are devoted to awakening. That instinct – that everyone should behave like us – is tribal and systemic and human. But is not really loving, in the most inclusive and unconditional sense of the word. It is certainly not consistent with ACIM, which so clearly discerns between form and content, and urges us to go beyond the confines of “this” but not “that.”

      So far as the rationale for Veganism as the most loving choice . . . I have never found the moral argument for veganism/vegetarianism especially persuasive, given the hierarchy it imposes on life (a tomato’s life is worth less than a cow’s – that seems the specific opposite of “loving all”). Emerging scientific consensus re: the life of plants and in particular Michael Marder’s work on this subject of consciousness should really give any vegan pause. There isn’t really a moral high ground in the world, Mike!

      Thank you again for sharing, Mike. I appreciate your thoughts & your passion for the choice you have made. Good luck!


      1. Common sense and teaching about the body comes from the divine. There is absolutely sense involved in what we put into our bodies. Our bodies are finite, and will not tolerate chemicals eaten just to prove a point that they are not harmful. The guys in the fiery pit were a rarity, and had little choice in what happened so a miracle happened Eating drano, msg, bad foods, and depending upon something like a miracle when in fact, we need to be prudent, is ridiculous. Blessing our food, when we are eating the only available resource, is a positive things.

      2. Hi Sean,
        It seems like a lot of people who support eating animals like to compare eating apples or carrots to eating an animal, as if it is the same thing. Animals are living breathing, feeling, conscious, sentient beings like us. But an apple? Apples are none of these. Apples do not have a brain or a central nervous system therefor not capable of being aware, feeling pain or suffering.

        Animal bodies are illusion just as ours, but they have mind just like us and too and are part of the Sonship, yet mankind is responsible for inflicting the horrific injustice of pain on suffering on our brothers in animal form just to satisfy our taste buds.

        1. Thanks for sharing, Denise. I haven’t read this post in a long time.

          Focusing on central nervous systems – and thus sentience – as the dividing line between what we can eat and what we can’t (or shouldn’t) is anthropormorphic. Yes, a pig is more “like” a human than a tomato is with respect to sentience. But why is “like” a human the standard? Why should the sentience levels of homo sapiens be more important than a tomato? And – importantly – why should the sentience level of a pig be more important than a tomato?

          Plants are intelligent; plants want to survive and reproduce. They communicate with one another. They feed off of – and back into – their local ecology. They are autonomous living beings – put one in your mouth and you end its autonomy and life as surely as when you shoot a pig and bleed it out. To live is to eat the other; and the other never wants to eaten. It, too, wants to live.

          So deciding that plant life is less valuable than organisms with with brains requires one to make a judgment about life that is not ultimately sustainable.

          I think the focus is better placed on the care we take with our food – to be “worthy of our meat,” to paraphrase Wendell Berry. How is it raised, how is it harvested, how much is given back to the earth, how it shared at the table and in the local economy. For example, we raise our own pigs and chicken for meat, and for eggs, we barter for local beef, we have a large – 6,000 square foot – garden for veggies. We have a small apple orchard & raspberry bushes. Our compost operation is enormous and nurtures many local gardens, including our own. Of course not everyone can do this but care can be taken in many ways, at many levels.

          I have no objection to folks who are vegetarian. But I don’t think it is the moral high ground a lot of folks would like it to be.

          In terms of illusion . . . I would not use that word today. I find it one of many that Helen used that is misleading. “Mind” is not really embodied – it is not contained in a brain – and I think it is inaccurate to suppose plants are not also “Mind.” I wrote a bit in that direction here if you are interested.

          Thank you again, Denise. I appreciate your thoughts.


        2. If I was new to a course in miracles and many were callous meat eaters then I would believe that taking the Acim as not contributing to a better world I chose it because many are vegetarian. There is a lot more in ACIM than food but compassion should be nearly as important as tolerance. I think as a person spurity ally evolves they should become like a Janist or strit vegan because speciesm
          Is done by relatively unconscious souls however we must forgive carnal minded people as Vegans are only 2 % of the world’s population
          I am a vegan for humanitarian, environmental; health and spiritual and karmic reasons. I pray someday people will have compassion on all life including humans trees animals etc

          1. Thank you for sharing, Don. As you know, outside of its directives for doing the daily lessons, the course is mostly silent on the question of behavior – you have to eat this, your sex life has to be that, et cetera – for a good reason. The healing it contemplates is not of the body but the mind. Trying to reverse that – healing the body, then the mind – leads to a lot of confusion.

            As I pointed out earlier, human beings eat in order to survive. And to eat is to end the autonomy and life of something else that is alive, whether it is a pig or a chicken or a tomato. There is literally no way out of this, save to starve oneself to death.

            There is nothing wrong with choosing this or that mode of being that one feels is most resonant with their spiritual values at a given juncture. If being vegan or vegetarian plays that role for someone, then fine. Go for it. But if you are convinced that you are more “spiritually evolved” than folks who made a different choice, then you are still confused about what it means to be human being learning and growing in love. You are still trying to fix the body at the expense of mind. It’s not a crime against nature, but there is a better way.

            It is helpful always to give attention to the distinctions that we make in our lives and to the values we assign those distinctions. Are they sustainable? Are they loving?

            One thing we often learn in that process of giving attention is that we have a tendency to subtly reinforce our separateness and specialness by emphasizing our behavior as spiritually/morally/ethically superior to the behavior of others. This is a form of lovelessness – “I get it and you don’t.”

            When we reach the level of mind – and as I have said elsewhere, the course is only mildly helpful in this regard – the behavioral stuff, including the behavior of others, tends to take care of itself.

            Thanks again for sharing.

            ~ Sean

        3. Denise I agree totally with you and I left my own comments denouncing animal holocosts occurring on this earth plane
          Do you take the course of miracles like I do. I have great respect for much of the course but spiritualizing away cruelty and violence really trouble me and I can’t understand why Christians are 95 % cruel meat eaters and won’t budge from their positions.
          Is the ACIM flawed like the youtube teacher Mark Passio discusses at length or is it just human egos perverting ACIM not able to discern true love in all its complexities. Do you have any thoughts as I am deeply concerned about this heresy in all ideologies except Janism and buddism

          1. Donald, I believe that a big reason why 95% of Christians are cruel meat eaters is because the Bible claims that Jesus told his disciples to eat His flesh and drink His blood as a ritual of “Holy Communion.” I doubt very much that Jesus really ever said this. Cannibalism creates a very strong bondage karma. Cannibalism results in guilt which results in addiction until the guilt can be absolved. I believe this was a trick employed by the political establishment to create bondage of the masses to the church establishment. Do you think that Jesus would want his followers to practice cannibalism, even if it is “just in their imagination”? No, I don’t. But I do believe that people in possession of personal power can be very crafty in their duplicity. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that cannibalism is cruel, not divine, unless some authority figure can manage to squeeze it into the Holy Bible and trick people into believing that this idea came from God. This is complete nonsense. In ACIM, Jesus teaches that Holy Communion is communication and is accomplished with the mind, not the body, and certainly NOT by an act of eating something!!!

        4. Dear Denise
          This subject of violence to animals is a big stumbling block to me. In some ways I think a very consciencious Buddist or Janist is more to be admired than a ACIM student who hurts himself by drinking, Smoking pot for recreation, and killing sentient beings, gambling, etc etc. Yes the course supposedly
          Doesn’t govern behavior but does that give us licence to act irresponsibility and commit hurtful errors that degrade our health and cause suffering to other persons and beings. Isn’t violence part of the ruthless ego control system?
          I agree completely with your answer. Do you go to a ACIM group and are there some vegetarians or Vegans in your group? Does the destruction of our world bother you like it does me?

        5. Thank you Denise. I believe with you. There is no argument in ACIM or anywhere for killing (and in most cases, torturing) non-human animals. Perhaps my understanding is not complete or I will ever never understand the intentional causing of pain to another as illusionary. It is love filled not loveless as you say of my thinking. I’ve heard the justification that “plants feel pain” argument before. I’ll leave it there. I will not abandon my study of the course…

  2. I knew from small that there was something up with eating animals and then on and through adult life went through vegetarian stages. However it was upon finding ACIM, and quite early on, that it was crystal to me that animals are part of the sonship and I couldn’t justify eating meat. The whole point of ACIM is to become conscious- it is hard to believe for me, as it’s not my experience, that you can be both a student of ACIM AND eat meat. That’s how it was for me

    1. Thank you for sharing, Sarah.

      Of course one should follow their internal sense of right and wrong. If becoming “conscious” means you don’t eat living animals – but do eat living plants – then okay. As I have pointed out in previous comments and in the post itself, the distinction is largely arbitrary. However, we are embodied and those bodies survive by ending the autonomy of other bodies. If you find drawing the line at animals a helpful division of the so-called sonship, then go for it. But be aware of the inclination to conflate that division with some objective given truth.

      In other words, the problem isn’t eating meat or not eating meat. The problem is the belief that the distinction matters in some absolute and binary way.

      p.s. Along those lines, you might also want to look into the belief that “the whole point of ACIM is to become conscious.” Thanks again for reading & sharing. 🙂

  3. I try and protect animals from human abuse particularly found in factory farms. As far as I am concerned no human has the right to steal , imprison , torture and muder other beings. These conditions are rampant in commercial farming. Never the less we generally do not require meat. I am a vegan because of compassion towards animals but I receive many health benefits from it.
    I am taking the course of miracles at lesson 75 in 2 separate house groups but it bothers me that you and some others who claim to understand the course and teach it to others have given up compassion towards other beings simply because the course doesn’t explicitly condemn it. I never read in the course yet any indication that murder , rape, adultery, theft, drugs, drunkeNess are undesirable directed towards humans or animals. In our hearts we know that these things are totally unexceptable for those seeking to reunite with God.
    You cannot be offended by my statements if you follow the course and will practice total forgiveness as the course relentlessly talks about.
    Why would you stop being a vegan when you took ACIM. I hope I am not judging you but I am very concerned that ACIM may have error in it. It makes me doubt any religion or philosophy that embraces Christian termonology. Christians comprise Aproximately 95 % meat eaters and any Christians I talk to refuse to show compassion to any animal other than cats and dogs and a few others
    There are 950 thousand species of sentient beings on earth and many more uncatalogged. Human egos are causing extinction of forests and animals and religious people other than Hindus and Janis and Buddists are destroying our planet and inflicting suffering. Suffering is real and I don’t think we can spirituality it away by saying that nothing is real. I think this is a perversion of the course and an excuse to live in carnal pleasures that hurt humanity and maintain the separation we all so badly wish to end forever.
    God wouldn’t want cruel beings who always excuse their actions by perverting forgiveness and continuing to practice cruelty and other atrocities.
    I want an answer why we can’t follow liberation back to God and be moral at the same time. Forgive me please but I need an answer or I will eventually have to denounce all Christian ideologies as part truths. I was hoping serious ACIM students and teachers would encourage compassion as well as good health practices.

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing, Donald.

      We all make judgments about the world and how to live well in it. It is part of the human experience. For you – and other commenters on this post – it makes sense to be vegan/vegetarian. You also believe that that this stance is moral and more in accord with ACIM than eating meat.

      I am happy for folks who are vegan/vegetarian. I have no objection to those for whom it is morally resonant and helpfully facilitates their ongoing learning.

      In ACIM terms, by choosing to eat plants and not animals, you are dividing the sonship along the lines of animals and plants and suggesting that eating one is moral while the other is immoral. One is right and other wrong. In essence, you are suggesting that a chicken has a greater right to life than a tomato, or that a chicken’s life is more valuable than a tomato’s life.

      As a serious grower and eater of both chickens and tomatoes, I think you are confused about this!

      If you are a careful observer of plants, and a student of growing them, then you know that plants, too, live and that when you harvest them, they die. That which enters your mouth has lost its autonomy so that you might continue to enjoy yours.

      Again, it’s okay to draw a distinction – you have to draw it somewhere, by virtue of being a living human being – but pretending that the distinction you’ve drawn is the only moral one isn’t rational. Plants are also part of the so-called sonship! Your life isn’t more valuable than a sunflower’s life, and a pig’s life is not more valuable than a kale plant’s life.

      It’s important to keep in mind that A Course in Miracles has one goal, and that is to introduce you to your inner teacher, which it calls the Holy Spirit. That’s it! It’s not about making you more compassionate or more Christian or more righteous. It’s certainly not about aligning your behavior with some worldly standard (veganism, celibacy, capitalist, christian et cetera).

      When you and your inner teacher are in 1:1 correspondence, then the course will fall away (really, spirituality will fall away), and the work/play and the experience of it will change.

      The conflict that you – and others – experience when reading this post is not about being a vegetarian vs. eating meat. It’s that you believe you can be right in a way that makes Sean wrong.

      There is another way, my friend! The course is not the way, but it can help you find the way by introducing you to a teacher who knows the way (or at least knows the silliness of ways altogether – but that is a different dialogue 🙂 ).

      Again, eat meat or don’t eat meat. But do look deeply into your capacity for judgment and see if you can discern the fundamental lovelessness that inheres in it. If and when you perceive this lovelessness, your inner teacher will literally bound to your side and guide you to a peace that allows – but is not contingent upon – the appearance of right and wrong.

      Good luck with your continued practice of A Course in Miracles. Please feel free to keep in touch if it is helpful or interesting.


  4. I’ve been a vegan up until today for one year. I’ve not been having the greatest experience with the Course, most of it has been about realizing the messed up nature of the world. I have been having dreams where I lol at the earth in outer space and a narrator explains things as close up a of genocide, cannibalism etc sort of flash on the screen. I’ve been thinking about this a lot for years, I’ve become a vegan over it, refused to make money, etc. Refused to continue reading the Course because now I’m convinced it’s completely ruined me for life. Anyway what the narrator said was that all the bloodshed, the weird cannibalism on earth is only subjectively horrific based on the idea that the body is sacred. If it’s not real, if it’s just images eating one another in our imagination then it’s actually ironically a testament to our oneness. It’s a distorted image of what we truly are, one. So based on my judgement that the food chain is evil, I made an arbitrary distinction between life forms and projected all that wicked cannibalism on everyone in the world who makes money on a mark up or eats meat. All the little old ladies happily pulling their roast beef out of their ovens became dark symbols of terror for me. Not kidding. So today I decided to eat steaks in order to diffuse the psychological torture, now I feel like a murderer driving around in the middle of the night propelling myself by literally burning the ancient bodies of so many life forms, for no reason. I feel completely insane, and guilty, and actually also started smoking again also. I don’t think being a better ego is going to help me, but I’m not entirely convinced that’s true either. Maybe I will be vegan again tomorrow. Your brother

    1. Thank you for sharing.

      Your vivid description of your anguish and insight reminded me of this passage from the text:

      The roads this world can offer seem to be quite large in number, but the time must come when everyone begins to see how like they are to one another. Men have died on seeing this, because they saw no way except the pathways offered by the world. And learning they led nowhere, lost their hope. And yet this was the time they could have learned their greatest lesson. All must reach this point, and go beyond it. It is true indeed there is no choice at all within the world. But this is not the lesson in itself (T-31.IV.3:3-9).

      It goes on to point out there is a real alternative to the world’s madness but it can’t be found in the world.

      It’s true that if we look deeply into this question of living-as-a-body-in-the-world then we are eventually brought to horror. In order to survive, we have to eat, and whether it is a tomato or a slab of beef, whatever enters our mouth loses – or has already lost in order to enter our mouth – its autonomy. It died that we might live. Murder, not mercy, is the law.

      When I spade the garden, worms die. When I clear forest for pasture, bird nests are destroyed. When I scythe, the blade does not discriminate between grass, snakes, toads and grasshoppers. It kills indiscriminately; the cleared ground is a graveyard, and every corpse is a witness to injustice, cruelty and loss.

      Death abounds.

      Or, at least, the appearance of death abounds.

      There are other ways to see this appearance, and to be in relationship with the appearing. A Course in Miracles is one way; there are others.

      To the extent ACIM nurtures a view that the world is “messed up” it does so only to motivate the student to seek another way of seeing which in turn nurtures another way of being in relationship (which in turn ends the illusion of separation upon which the whole horror show depends for its apparent existence).

      If one is interested in the course, or feels drawn to it in all this apparent strife and hopelessness, then all that can be done is to give attention to the curriculum. We become with all our effort and intention students. Do the lessons, study the material, take a teacher, if and as one presents herself, and see what happens.

      When we see ourselves as bodies, and take the perspective apparently offered by bodies, then inevitably eating meat vs. not eating meat is going to appear to be a valid conflict to which there is a right or wrong answer.

      But if we – with the help of the teacher the course introduces to us – see ourselves as love, or spirit, then the whole dilemma of vegan/carnivore dissolves because its premise – that bodies are real, and so loss and sacrifice are real – no longer stands.

      We are going to suffer until we understand the nature of what causes our suffering, and we are not suffering because we eat meat or don’t eat meat. It is very important to understand this! Taking that distinction seriously is merely a symptom of the real problem, which is our underlying belief in separation as our true reality.

      A Course in Miracles will help you address the underlying problem of a belief system premised on separation as real and thus causative. As this belief system is addressed, its symptoms naturall abate.

      But if we insist on getting worked up about the symptoms – should I eat a cow or not, should I harvest a tomato or not, should I mow with a scythe or not – then we’re never going to get down to the level of the belief system that gives rise to those symptoms. And it is that level that really needs our attention.

      Good luck! And keep in touch, as time and inclination allow.


  5. I have a deep regard for the compassion many vegans show towards animals and for the open-eyed awareness they embrace with regard to the consequences of our food choices on other life forms and our planet. However, when it comes to ACIM, we are taught very clearly that we are not to trust our own judgment or our own logical analysis as to what to DO when it comes to making decisions, which of course, includes food choices. ACIM is not about figuring out which decision is the most loving and making that choice. We are told always to ask the Holy Spirit to decide for us. The Holy Spirit is not our logical, reasoning mind. It is something different. My difficulty for many years, in being a Course student, was in discerning this Voice for God. Which of the many “voices” in my mind was the Voice for God? Was I able to hear it at all? When I was finally able to discern inner guidance, I held it in doubt for a long time because it seemed completely crazy to me. Many of my deeply held judgements, particularly about food, were being smashed to smithereens. In the end, I agree with you, Sean, that being vegetarian is not necessarily more in line with the teaching of ACIM than being a carnivore. It depends on how the Holy Spirit is specifically directing you at each specific moment in time.

    There is one point I disagree with you on, though. I’ve done a great deal of research on breatharianism and have come to the conclusion that it is possible for humans who are living life in the body to be happy and healthy without consuming any food or water for years at a time. Most people would starve to death if they tried this, but never-the-less it is possible and has been accomplished by more people than you might guess. (If you don’t believe me, try watching a video on the Buddha Boy from Nepal who sat in meditation for 6 years without eating or drinking anything not too long ago.) We, as spiritual beings, are sustained by the Love of God. Literally. The Love of God is found Within. Not outside somewhere in some other life form that we need to procure and consume. This is a basic truth in ACIM.

    In my own life, I am still guided by the Holy Spirit to consume food and water. I see physical food as a form of “magic” that helps ease my way while I work to correct my deeply rooted unconscious beliefs.

    1. If you would like to do some research, some other well-known breatharians are: Victor Truviano, Nassim Haramein, Olga Podorovskaya and Pralad Jani. I’ve tried several times to post links to youtube videos but my posts did not go through. Are links not allowed in your comments section?

      A Course in Miracles, Lesson 135:5
      “Yet it is not the body that can fear, nor be a thing of fear. It has no needs but those which you assign to it.”

      Please feel free to take this lesson to heart and free your mind from long-established beliefs about bodies needing food to survive.

      1. Hi Jean,

        Thank you for sharing.

        Just as the course does not differentiate between eating meat and eating vegetables, it does not differentiate between eating and not eating. There is nothing wrong with feeding one’s body, and there is nothing right with it. There is nothing wrong with breatharianism, and there is nothing right with it. As the course points out, the body is wholly neutral (T-20.VII.4:4), and is useful to the precise extent it facilitates the bringing forth of love, which is the union of all minds as one.

        In the service of uniting [the body] becomes a beautiful lesson in communion, which has value until communion is . . . Use it for truth and you will see it truly (T-8.VII.3:4, 4:6).

        The error comes in at the level of the mind when we choose to emphasize this or that approach to the body as being “right” or “better” or “more spiritual.” If one thinks that being a vegetarian or breatharian is more spiritual than another choice, or more harmonious with A Course in Miracles than another choice, then one is still confused about the course. And that’s okay, but if we’re going to know inner peace and bring forth love, than it’s better to be unconfused.

        Our practice of ACIM is coherent and consistent when we aren’t concerned with the body but simply allow it to be used as a communication device without regard for what is communicated or how. The shift is not in how we use the body but in how we see it.

        Guided by the Holy Spirit, [the body] becomes a means by which the part of the mind you tried to separate from spirit can reach beyond its distortions and return to spirit . . . In this sense, the body does become a temple to God; His Voice abides in it by directing the use to which it is put (T-8.VII.9:4,7).

        Again, the focus is not on the specific action that body takes (eating this, declining to eat altogether) but rather the way in which one perceives (or sees) the body as a gift to God for God’s use in uniting all minds as one. Given that, we naturally move away from egoic or traditional views of the body and towards a holier and more helpful view.

        God is . . . my Source of life, the life within, the air I breathe, the food by which I am sustained, the water which renews and cleanses me (W-pII.222.1:1-2).

        Notice that the shift in thinking in Lesson 222 is not about denying the body (which the course expressly advises against, eg (T-2.IV.3:8-11)) but rather about seeing the way the body helpfully makes clear our unity with God. Breathing and eating aren’t the focus; God is the focus, which is to say, love is the focus.

        As I mentioned in an earlier comment to this post, the course’s use of the word “illusion” can be confusing. It doesn’t mean hallucination; it means a wrong perception or interpretation by our bodily senses.

        You might think of a stage magician sawing a woman in half. Yes, we see a woman cut in half, but in truth a woman is not cut in half. Or you could think of Macbeth. We see Macbeth meet three witches but we know there is no actual Macbeth meeting actual witches in front of us. Or you could think of the sun – it is not actually moving through the sky (the earth is revolving) but to our bodily senses it looks that way.

        Our senses bring forth a world; all the course teaches us to do is to reinterpret that world and our experience of it according to our healed mind. Miracles are the way that our confused perception is healed; through miracles, we “see” more lovingly (that is, all things are seen as love or a call for love). On this view, the body does not disappear; rather, we see it as it is – a neutral means for experiencing and extending the love that is God. So long as the body is helpful for that experience and extension, then it will be here. When it’s not, it won’t be. No worries either way.

        When that shift in thinking is clear – and when stabilizing and sustaining that shift becomes the focus of our ACIM practice – then the question of what to eat (or even whether to eat) is no longer essential. That is the true freedom the course offers us – not the freedom to be right about the body, but the freedom to no longer be contained or otherwise dependent on it for love.

        Thank you again for sharing, Jean.


        1. I am not saying that breatharianism is better or more spiritual than eating physical food. What I am saying–and this is straight from the Course–is that bodies (living, human bodies, and yes, this means yours!)–have no requirements, no needs at all, aside from those YOU have assigned to your own body. YOU make the claim that YOU must kill another life form in order to sustain your body and there is no way out of this self-imposed requirement. It’s an out-and-out lie, completely inconsistent with the Course, but this does not seem to concern you. You go on to say, “Our practice of ACIM is coherent and consistent when we aren’t concerned with the body but simply allow it to be used as a communication device without regard for what is communicated or how.” Wow! That’s quite a statement. You are saying that you have no concern for what is communicated? Did you actually mean to say that? So, according to this idea of yours, you can communicate lies all day long and this makes your practice of the Course cohert and consistent?

          You say, “Notice that the shift in thinking in Lesson 222 is not about denying the body (which the course expressly advises against…” You have obviously neglected to do any real investigation into breatharianism. Breatharians do not “deny the body.” They have changed their BELIEFS about the so-called “needs” of their body. They do not need food and they do not desire food. They do not go hungry!!! They are comfortable and satisfied without food. It is not about denial. It is about FREEDOM!!!

  6. So, Sean, how does it feel to discover that you have invested considerable energy in establishing yourself deeply in the seeking-outside-yourself-for -your-nourishment business while all along the Course was clearly telling you that it is found Within? How does it feel to discover that your justification for your attack on other life forms is quite simply not as rock solid as you thought it was?

  7. A little while ago, I posted a music video link with a quote about discovering “who you are.” This link successfully reached the screen. But now I see that it has vanished. Does this mean that you are editing my posts with links to videos? Do you feel that Identity, or “who you are” is not relevant to this discussion? I am wondering why my posts are being edited.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jean. Your posts are not being edited! Posts with links (esp. if there is more than one or if they are youtube videos) are probably being caught by the site’s spam filter and deleted. You can always post the names of folks you’d like to recommend and then if I or others want to search them out, we can.

      In terms of your earlier comment about communication, keep in mind that the communication to which the course refers is not “Sean’s” but God’s. When we see the body truly, we see it not as valuable for its own sake but for God to use for communication purpose of gently healing perceptions of separation, dissociation and fragmentation. Keep in mind, too, that our own communication – Sean’s, say, or Jean’s – is either love or a cry for love, and in both instances can be used for healing. That is to say, even if I was lying all day, it would still serve the purpose of healing 🙂 Assuming otherwise – that lies are bad or wrong or hurtful – misunderstands the course’s nontrivial summation that “nothing real can be threatened” and “nothing unreal exists.”


      1. Well, of course, EVERYTHING serves the purpose of healing always and everyting is ALWAYS exactly as it should be in Reality, but as for myself I want to practice the mental clarity necessary for the experience of a happy dream instead of another spoonful of murder and mayhem. It’s a simple choice and one I am free to make. It’s not a question of judging others. It’s my own decision of whether I want Heaven or Hell for myself. If I chose to see myself as living life in an autonomous body that requires me to seek outside myself for my body’s sustenance, I’ve chosen Hell, and that’s definitely not the decision I chose to make.

        1. Thanks again for sharing, Jean. I appreciate your passion for and commitment to your ACIM practice and your willingness to share it.


      2. Now, what is your advice regarding doing research on breatharianism? Do you also advise extreme caution in this mental exploration?

        1. Hi Jean,

          With respect to food and eating, I feel I’ve said what I can say. A Course in Miracles neither encourages nor discourages any particular model of eating or not-eating. Students adopt the model that – for them – best facilitates the bringing forth of God as Love, in order that our experience of separation might end in unity. The post and my previous comments lay out my reasoning and textual support.

          That’s my real focus; I’m not qualified to give advice about particular diets (let alone avoiding food and water altogether). The body is part of our experience in the world; and it needs food and water to survive. This is not a problem for me! On the contrary, it has been a wonderful opportunity to continue to learn about love and sharing and kindness and community and joy and all of that. Breatharianism strikes me as yet another way that humans can’t figure out how to just allow the body to be a body, and probably quite a dangerous one. There really is nothing new under the sun.

          But folks can – and will – do what they will. My freezer is full of pork that just a month or so ago was running around happily. They met a violent end and their carcasses are being eaten; I don’t think folks are wrong who want to talk about the morality and ethics of that. What do I know, right?

          I don’t think my approach to A Course in Miracles – or my approach to food for that matter – is for everyone. I try to be humble in my sharing and as honest as possible. Of course I fall short. And even when I don’t fall short, there are still folks for whom I’m clearly a poor companion for this particular path. This is okay! There are no hard feelings.

          Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, Jean.


          1. Yes, I see now that you have allowed all of my posts that made it past the spam filter to be viewed without any editing. Thank you for that. The reason I was confused was because the most recent post would be shown on screen briefly, then disappear for several hours, then finally reappear after you had replied to it.

            Thank you for reading and replying to all of the posts in this comments section.

            Your thinking, in regard to breatharianism and ACIM, still remains inconsistent. ACIM states that the body has no needs other than those YOU assign to it. You avoid this fact and repeatedly make the claim that the body needs food and water to survive. There are people, now alive and well, who prove by their example that the Course states a true fact. The human body can indeed survive for years without food and without water. YOU have assigned needs to YOUR body. YOU clearly do not have a breatharian body. This is by YOUR own design. It is YOUR mind that has determined the requirements of YOUR body. You want to generalize and endorse fear with your belief that it is dangerous for other people to assign fewer needs to their body than you have assigned to yours. I see no indication of an eagerness to leave fear behind in an open-minded exploration of previously unknown information. Your fear and your perception of danger seem to be very dear to you, as is your freezer full of carcasses. It’s sad but true (from an egoic point-of-view).

            Have you read David Hoffmeister’s article on nutrition?

            David Hoffmeister ACIM: It is the diet of ego thoughts that seem to fatten or reinforce the self-concept and block awareness of the Christ. Nothing in form is causative. It is not what goes into a mouth which “defiles.” All laws of nutrition are of the ego (read ACIM Workbook Lesson 76). Food, like all the images of the world, is an unreal effect of an unreal “cause.”

            The ego wants the mind to see the split in the world, and dualistic “thought” seems to project a dualistic world. The ego sponsors divisions and categories (i.e. organic/non-organic, good nutrition/bad nutrition, high calorie/low calorie, high fiber/low fiber, high sodium/low sodium). Nutrition is like all magic in that, to the ego, it seems to work – it can seem to produce changes. Yet what is unreal is not capable of “change.” What is the same cannot be different, and what is One cannot have separate parts. The unreal is one error, and only a change of mind brings healing. Nothing in form ever really changes, for all form is the past (see ACIM Workbook lesson 7).

            Release the belief that the past and future are different, and the concept of diet and all “specifics” are released forever. Such is Atonement. Atonement sees that the “separation” never happened, for God and Christ, Cause and Effect are One and can never be divided. Glory to God for the Oneness of Being! Healing is the acceptance of the Correction to the split in the mind. The true workings of the mind are reflected in the following passage from the beginning of ACIM Chapter 21, Reason and Perception:

            Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. Perception is a result and not a cause.

            The concept of diet, like all false concepts, reflects a belief that something of the world is causative. Yet the Holy Spirit looks not to effects, having judged their “cause” – ego – as unreal. Bring all thoughts of false causation to the Holy Spirit, and instantly they are gone. For only that which comes from God is real. Happily, Christ comes from God, and the “I Am” Presence is real. Rejoice in the truth of our Being: “I am as God created me.” W-94

          2. It feels a bit like we’re going in circles here, Jean. But what do I know?


            A Course in Miracles does not mandate right and wrong ways to be in the world. If vegetarianism works, great. If eating meat works, great. Yoga? Celibacy? Farming? All great. To suggest there are modes of behavior which are more closely aligned with course values than other modes – as you are doing by advocating for breatharianism and criticizing meat-eating – is an error.

            By all means pursue a relationship with your body that feels holy and helpful; indeed, you sort of have to do that. But don’t assume that what is holy and helpful for you will be holy or helpful for other students; that’s not how life and A Course in Miracles work. Hence the diversity in form that ACIM students reflect. This is a feature, not a bug!

            In general I agree with the various textual citations you’ve presented – cause is not external and not formal. However, if you follow this logic to its natural conclusion, then you will see that eating/not-eating are the same thing and thus don’t matter. Taking any other approach reifies the body as a central figure in the separation drama. And while that’s neither a sin nor a crime, it does impede our learning and the student/teacher relationship at the heart of the course. Why do that?

            Thank you as always for sharing, Jean. As I said earlier, I feel like we’re going in circles a bit but if it’s helpful then by all means continue. 🙂


  8. One more comment. You say, “I try to be humble in my sharing and as honest as possible. Of course I fall short. And even when I don’t fall short, there are still folks for whom I’m clearly a poor companion for this particular path.” I take this a subtle suggestion that you are a poor companion for me and that I would be wise to notice this and move on.

    Not so fast!!! I don’t see it that way at all. You are precisely the right companion for me at this particular juncture of my journey. I’ve been deeply interested in breatharianism for more than a quarter century. I’ve researched it thoroughly. Likewise, I’ve been a sincere Course student for a similar length of time. Yet, despite my egoic desire for the freedom I perceive in being free from a dependence on physical food, I am still being guided by my inner guidance to consume food. I am not talking about being hungry or my body needing food. I’m talking about being guided by Spirit (despite my wishes) to consume food. I have been told by Spirit that I will one day, in the not-too-distant-future, stop consuming food, but for now I am being directed to continue. Why? Because it’s not about food, nor is it about the convenience of not needing food. It’s about Guilt and Fear and Love and Shame and Trust and Communication. And you are an ideal companion for this particular juncture of my journey.

    1. In your post at 12:09 PM above, you say, “To suggest there are modes of behavior which are more closely aligned with course values than other modes – as you are doing by advocating for breatharianism and criticizing meat-eating – is an error.”

      No. This is not what I have been doing. I have not been advocating for a mode of behavior. I have been advocating for a BELIEF. I have been criticizing your BELIEF that the body has a need for food and water in order to maintain its life. I have been discussing this BELIEF. ACIM is very much about mind training and this involves beliefs about the body and the mind. Is your body your Master or is your mind your Master? When you say that your body needs food and water in order to survive, you are claiming that your body is your Master, presenting your mind with the dilemma of finding the most loving way to fill your body’s requirements. I understand that this BELIEF is held as an unquestioned fact of life by the vast majority of people on Earth, but that does not make it true and it does not make it a belief that is consistent with the lessons in ACIM. The reason I discuss breatharianism is because most people like to see the evidence in “real life” before they accept a new belief. There is plenty of evidence that the human body can indeed be alive and well for years with no food and no water. The question is: Are you willing to accept that you are indeed “ONLY affected by your thoughts,” as ACIM claims? Or do you want to persist in believing that your body is your Master, with needs that it imposes on you for your mind to find a way to fulfill if you want to maintain your experience of life-as-perceived-through-the-vantage-point-of-a-body? What I am advocating is an expansion of your mind, an exploration of previously unexamined data (the evidence of breatharianism) and a re-examination of your core BELIEFS.

      The mode of behavior that I advocate is the mode of behavior that I practice: admitting that I don’t know how to find my way out of the insanity I have found myself caught up in and turning constantly to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction.

  9. I’m not quite finished with my comments! I’d like to make a comment on the “doing” aspect of ACIM. What you DO follows from your beliefs. If you truly believe that a particular action will bring you happiness and freedom, you will do it. ACIM understands this and focuses on assisting us to change our beliefs. The focus is definitely on working with thoughts and beliefs. However, as living beings, we are energy-in-motion (e-motion), and we inevitably take action of some sort. ACIM does not neglect this aspect of life. The Course does NOT say, “Do whatever you feel like. It doesn’t matter what you do.” YOU say, “However, if you follow this logic to its natural conclusion, then you will see that eating/not-eating are the same thing and thus don’t matter.” In terms of a person’s innocence, or worth, or Identity, that’s true. Everyone is already perfect and nothing they do or don’t do can change that. But, most of us are not fully realized spiritual masters. We’ve come to the Course for help in finding our way. And this means help in deciding what to DO. We study the book. We practice the lessons. And we ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. And yes, it does make a difference to our awakening and our salvation whether or not we eat/don’t eat according to our own unique guidance from the Holy Spirit. What we DO does make a difference to our experience of life, and that matters a lot, even if you want to pretend it doesn’t matter to you.

    I have more to say. I was a vegetarian for many years. As a child, I always felt attracted to the pretty colors of fruits and vegetables. Meat didn’t appeal to me but I was required by my parents to eat it. Once I left home, I was very happy to eat as I pleased.

    It was only after learning to listen to guidance from the Holy Spirit that I began to sometimes eat meat again. I found this discouraging, confusing and heart-breaking. I didn’t eat meat because it “didn’t matter.” I ate meat because I was instructed to by my inner guidance and so, therefore, it did matter, even if I could not understand it at the time.

    Why would the Holy Spirit do this to me? Is the Holy Spirit cruel? No. The Holy Spirit’s intention is healing. I had quite a bit of dissociated trauma from my early childhood that needed to surface and be healed. Somehow, eating meat helped me to re-connect with these dissociated traumatized parts of myself so I could begin the healing process. Was this fun? No.
    It was a painful, disturbing, confusing process. And it was a slow process. But I carried on with it simply because I believed in the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    I believe in healing. I believe in salvation. And I believe in Miracles. And, yes, I believe it does matter what you eat/don’t eat. Listen to your own inner guidance and trust the Holy Spirit.

  10. I went to the supermarket directly after my last post. Guess what I was instructed to purchase? An Oscar Mayer Ham and Cheese loaf of sliced sandwich meat, a jar of
    Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, a jar of Vlasic pickles, some organic greens and some whole wheat bread.

    Well, my mom never bought whole wheat bread when I was growing up. We had white bread. The only fresh greens she ever bought was iceburg lettuce, and pickles were a rare luxury (which we kids loved) that we only had on those rare occasions when my father did the shopping. But, Oscar Mayer ham and cheese in a sandwich made with Hellmann’s mayonnaise was a staple.

    Do you think I’ve 100% forgiven my culture and our medical/scientific establishments for being so blind?

    I’m working on it.

    So, what do you think the Holy Spirit will direct me to do with my purchases? Eat the stuff?

  11. I asked the Holy Spirit and got my answer. I am sharing a house with my elderly parents at present. I gave my bag of food to my father, saying, “A free present for you, Dad. If Mom doesn’t like it, tell her she can put it in the garbage!”

  12. And back to the supermarket I went. This time for two small bottles of Unbe-leaf-able coco-lixir, a blend of: coconut water, cucumber, celery, spinach, lemon, parsley, kale and ginger; and two larger bottles of cherry juice.

    I’m quite happy to enjoy a magic formula of juice today.

    Did you know that some people think that two coconuts held up to a person’s chest resemble boobs? Hence, there is an association between coconut water and breast milk? And cherries are a metaphysical symbol for rebirth? That’s how magic works–images or words that link to our conscious or unconscious beliefs. Now, take Hell man’s mayonnaise…

  13. Did you mistreat your children, by claiming you knew what was “good for them” when they sat down to eat? Did you give them the same freedom to eat or not eat that you are now advocating for yourself? Or did you use a little “encouragment” to help them swallow what they did not want to swallow?

    How did you introduce your children to the subject of killing animals? I remember when I first learned that the meat I was served to eat was the dead body of a murdered animal. I was horrified. My mother told me I should not be a coward. People needed to kill animals in order to live. It was a fact of life. I should be brave in facing this truth.

    She was teaching me to “bravely” shut down my sensitivity, my compassion, and my honest assessment of life on this Earth. Un-learning this sort of teaching is what the Course is about.

    It is not about morality or self-righteousness. It is about Love. When you love your brother, you don’t callously kill him.

    It’s an unfortunate fact that the vast majority of humans are addicted to “getting” their nourishment not from God, not from Within, but from some other life form. The Course aims to un-do this “getting” concept. Meanwhile, it does not chastise people for making mistakes. It teaches forgiveness and the letting go of guilt.

    Healing the mind does not come from moralistic admonitions to “behave correctly.” Healing comes from the joining of minds and from letting go of guilt. Minds don’t join in a nightmare because each person’s dream is their own separate, unique manifestation. Minds join in Reality, where we all are equal Sons of God, equally forgiven, equally innocent. And Reality is here, right now, in the holy instant.

    All of us need healing. And all of us are healed already, depending on whether you are looking at the dream or the Reality. Healing is awakening from the dream. If awakening right now is too frightening, we are urged to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit as He helps us exchange nightmares for happy dreams, not because happy dreams are “better” or “more real” than nightmares, but only because it’s easier and not so frightening, to awaken from a happy dream.

    A dream is a dream is a dream. A dream of murder is not more untrue than a dream of warm-hearted affection. But awakening does come more easily with happy dreams. And we do want to awaken to our Reality, don’t we? Or do we?

    Maybe not quite yet. Maybe soon?

  14. I am reading the Course this morning and have come across this quote and thought I’d share it. I’ve already said what I could about this, I realize that, but maybe a quote would be okay, too.

    “The ego never gives out of abundance, because it was made as a substitute for it. That is why the concept of “getting” arose in the ego’s thought system. Appetites are ” getting” mechanisms, representing the ego’s need to confirm itself. This is as true of body appetites as it is of the so-called “higher ego needs.” Body appetites are not physical in origin. The ego regards the body as its home, and tries to satisfy itself through the body. But the idea that this is possible is a decision of the mind, which has become completely confused about what is really possible.”
    Text, Chapter 4, II, 7:3-9

  15. I believe Jesus says in the Course, “There is one thing that you have never done; you have not utterly forgotten the body.”

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jim. Absent textual context or commentary ACIM quotes can float and end up yoked to any number of vantage points. I’ll share some thoughts and if you’d like to respond or clarify, obviously feel free.

      The body is part of our experience of the world – it and the world arise together, the one mutually specifying the other. From the perspective of the body, the body will always appear real and solid and so forth. Same with the world. They are the same thing. It’s not a big deal.

      The challenge inhering in the line you shared is that folks will find themselves craving chocolate or needing to pee or experiencing back pain or getting cancer or eating meat and then think they have to do something about it – in this case, “forget the body.”

      In other words, they will try to forget the context while actually in the context that makes the concept “try to forget” appear so viable. And so they will feel guilty or sad or scared that it doesn’t work. And then other folks come along and – feeling guilty, sad and scared themselves – will carry on about they actually have forgotten their body as a means of projecting their own experience of not-forgetting unto others.

      This is a big problem in the ACIM community – folks berating themselves for taking aspirin and other folks running around claiming to have gone beyond aspirin and headaches and heads . . .

      Trying to do the impossible is what makes people insane. Hence, just make a choice and get on with the real work. As Krishnamurti said, “be a vegetarian or don’t be a vegetarian but get on with it.” The choice between options in the world doesn’t actually doesn’t matter because *they are the same thing. The world and the body are the same construction.

      But so long as one does not see this, then they will continue to fragment, choose this or that fragment as the right or better or more desirable fragment, and subsequently carry on with suffering that attends such confusion. There is, as Bill Thetford said, another way.

      Thus, the really interesting aspect of the line you quoted – and, for me, a significant pointer in terms of that Thetfordian other way – is less a suggestion one should “forget the body” but rather an invitation to ask: “who or what exactly is the ‘you’ who has not forgotten the body?”

      This, of course, moves us close to the domain of folks like Ramana and Nisargadatta and Douglas Harding and Rupert Spira and so forth. I don’t think A Course in Miracles explicitly and consistently invites that question – i.e., who is the one experiencing miracles? Who is the one forgiving? Who is the one who chooses yet again?

      But those questions do underlay the whole project of atonement contemplated by the course. I think that Helen – or Jesus, if you prefer – simply was not able to reach the simplicity and clarity of that juncture. The course remains in my reading a fairly convoluted expression of traditional Christian imagery and mythology, freshman-level Platonic theory, relatively sophisticated Freudianism and – most essentially – a deeply personal and even poetic exploration of Helen and Bill’s early life experience – which was clearly non-trivial – of Christian Science.

      Which is okay! None of that obviates the potential effectiveness of the course material! I have found it remarkably helpful and clarifying. I am deeply grateful to Helen and to Bill and Ken and the various early adopters for their efforts. My own peace and happiness, meager as they are, are in no small part attributable to my ACIM study and reflection, and the teachers who helped guide it.

      But I do think the line you cited is valuable mostly as outlined above – it invites a critical inquiry into self, albeit one that the course as such is poorly positioned to answer. But that too is okay! Sometimes the work is just to get to the better question and then move on as the question – and its emerging answer(s) – direct us.

      I think Eastern spiritual traditions, broadly speaking, have been more accessible and pragmatic in terms of looking at and thinking through questions of who/what is the self and what that means for the experience of living in a world apparently comprised in part of other selves. Hence the popularity of Buddhism and neo-Advaita and so forth. Since what’s true is what works, I’m glad those traditions are available.

      In the western tradition – where I experience residence – questions of self and world have tended to be examined and processed through philosophy and science, specifically biology and physics (though I think mathematicians like George Spencer-Brown and Louis Kauffman are brilliant and insightful). The course nudged me in the direction of writers and thinkers like Derek Parfit, Edmund Husserl, Francisco Varela, Michel Henry, Humberto Maturana and others. These are not easy reads; yet in their work the self and its world are simplified and clarified to a peaceful – even a joyous – degree. Love is real; love is possible; love is our fundament.

      Of course, one is under no obligation – spiritual or otherwise – to tend to those questions, or to those writers, or even to other writers or thinkers or questions. What works? What’s helpful? Those are personal questions we shouldn’t delegate to others. Which is why I could care less what others are eating or drinking or who they sleep with or don’t sleep with and so forth. Getting worked up about that is like thinking characters on a movie screen are going to come off and chase us. But that is not how projection works!

      The secret – which perhaps you know – is that there is actually no problem and thus nothing to be solved (or found or answered or anything). It’s all good, as the kids say.

      But understanding what that actually means – and then becoming fluent and stabilized in one’s understanding – can be the work of a lifetime. In my experience, it’s best to bring some bread and water – and even some spare sandals – for the road. Emmaus is yet anon 🙂

      1. Hi Sean,
        Thanks for the great reply.
        I mentioned that quote from the Course in the context of vegan diets, breatherarianism (I’ll let my iPhone pick the best spelling) fasting, etc. I remember belonging to a group years ago that eschewed pork but chewed on beef. Also, clams and shellfish were out, and you could only eat fish that had BOTH fins an scales. BTW, you had to go to Church on Saturday (and, no, it wasn’t Jewish). Interestingly, you could drink alcohol ceaselessly, because the OT Bible advocated “strong drink “. Tithes were off the scale with 30 % of your gross income mandatory some years.
        What did accomplish spiritually?
        Absolutely, nothing.
        I give this chair, this table, this hand, this body, all the meaning it has for me, is correct.
        Many of us have struggled on different paths, before we were drawn to the Course.
        However, each one in his own time. No one could tell me back then, that I wasn’t being saved for turning down a lobster tail.
        And, I couldn’t conceive of challenging a vegan in 2019.
        So, my point was that going thru the stages of denying the body certain chemical structures over another good lead to spiritual wheel spinning for some, but might possibly benefit others. (I’ve heard that monks in the Himalayan regions chow down on yak meat, due the the lack of corn fields up there).
        In conclusion, a few paragraphs down, Jesus says, At no single instant does the body exist.
        Then, a little ways more, “I need do nothing.”
        Take care,

        1. [Note: Jim’s comments both refer to T-18.VII, for those who (like me) like textual correlation, (even if it does make us seem a little snobby)]

          Thank you, Jim. That was a clear and helpful comment.

          These sentences speak volumes to me:

          No one could tell me back then, that I wasn’t being saved for turning down a lobster tail.
          And, I couldn’t conceive of challenging a vegan in 2019.

          And yet, clearly, there is still some value in being in dialogue with brothers and sisters around what bodies are, what purpose they serve and so forth. After all, here we are.

          You point out that some of us struggle on others paths en route to the course. True enough! And, it seems to me, some of us struggle a bit while following the course. We might even wander away from it at some point. Who knows?

          My sense is that folks adopt that posture towards the course that helps them the most. Hence, you’ve got vegans like some folks commenting here and you’ve got politically active homesteaders like myself. I don’t think the range speaks to “right” and “wrong,” but rather to the inherent flexibility of the course as a teaching tool.

          Francisco Varela, a biologist I admire and whose work is resonant with the course, as I understand and practice it, used to point out that “what’s true is what works,” which I sometimes amend to “what’s true is what helps.” My hope is always that my writing moves in that direction; certainly your sharing here has, for me.

          Anyway, if you’re ever in my neck of Massachusetts, give a holler. I’ll buy you an illusory cup of coffee, or we can pick a couple apples off the trees and keep talking. 🙂

          Thanks again, Jim.


          1. Hi Sean,
            Thanks, again, for such great insight. Copy that, on having a dialogue with our diverse brothers and sisters. I thoroughly, enjoy it, for the most part, but I am careful not to let it upset me anymore.
            I devour the James Stewart narrations of the different Course subjects on youtube, and I am fascinated by the choice of photos. At the end of some, there is music performed The Open Heart, and my favorite is Don’t Wanna Fight Anymore. It is on youtube.
            I am in PA but I love MA. I even had my car stolen in Boston.
            I worked for hp and The Foxboro Co., while up there. If you’re a homesteader, my guess is you’re out West near Springfield-Chickopee.
            Would love to stop in when I’m in the area.
            Take care,

  16. I love all of you. I followed all the debates about vegans and vegetarians. I still choose to be a vegetarian not for health reasons but only for compassion and trying to set others an example. I think i will explore breatharism and any possible principles in the course about the body, food, special love towards those we value and those we dont value.
    The debate about special love and hate didn’t seem to be brought into the equation about food and our attachment to it.
    I love meat eaters as well as Hitler , Monsanto, child molesters, liars and prostitutes
    I love homosexuals and Donald Trump. I love the Pope and the inquisition. I love Mother Teressa. I love Satarha Guitamma and Jesus. I love my course of miracle teachers who all eat meat. I live the Dali mamma who sometimes eats meat. I love all prisoners and cops and bullies. I love those who murder humans giving them chemotherapy and dangerous drugs. I love Dean and Jeanne. I love Ken Wapnick who I listen to all the time. I love the foundation for inner peace as well as Robert Perry who wrote the new circle of atonement ACIM. I love the vicious debates going on over the ur text and the third edition of DIP ACIM.
    Most of my friends are meat eaters and believe in scientistism. I am a person who constantly searches for truth. The course says we should always question our beliefs. Let’s question all our beliefs and continue to grow. Let’s question God, the course, and any specialism we still have. I love all people, animals, trees, rodents etc. I even love myself sometimes. I am my own worst enemy so how can I judge any of you . We are all wonderful radiant beings trapped in an experiment God allowed us to experiment with.
    I want all of us to return to unity and I believe all of you like myself will find our way back to God. Keep questioning and searching for a better way and never be content at any level we reach spiritually.
    Once again let’s work towards unity and complete love towards each other admitting none of us knows the ultimate answers. An early lesson says I am determined to see and i dont act in my own best interest. The Holy spirit has the answers not my ego!!
    Love Don Horrocks

    1. Thank you for sharing, Don.

      As I point out over and over and over, “ultimate” or “absolute” – and “conclusions” altogether – are foreclosed to us. Thus, a policy of going slowly and not judging seems most helpful and functional. A policy of epistemic humility and personal responsibility seems most helpful and functional. You mention this in your final paragraph.

      Yet in all the paragraphs preceding that, you engage in precisely the judgment we both agree should not be indulged.

      For example, it is only possible to assert that one loves Hitler as proof of one’s unconditional love if they’ve already judged others as judging Hitler as unlovable. Otherwise, the example loses its effect.

      The same with Monsanto, liars, et cetera.

      Indeed, to assert love in this way is to necessarily bring forth judgment, hate, et cetera. Else how do we know it’s love?

      And that is not the unconditional, impersonal love that A Course in Miracles – and related nondual paths – contemplate. Rather, in those traditions and practices, a radical equality and inclusivness is brought forth, a love that does not distinguish the lovable from the unlovable.

      Indeed, that which distinguishes has already left the domain of unconditional love. We are better than that!

      And, again, the problem is not the distinction itself – which arises naturally as a function of our structure – but rather our investment in this or that distinction (eat meat or don’t) as right or wrong, which is always a way of indulging avoidance of love.

      I note here Ramana Maharshi’s observation related to this subject.

      Like the practice of breath control, meditation on the forms of God, repetition of mantras, restriction on food, etc., are but aids for rendering the mind quiescent . . .

      Note the emphasis on diet as a means rather than an end. And then, in response to a question about eating food at all or observing special diets, Ramana says:

      . . . one must be free from the feeling that one is doing them oneself. The feeling that I am doing it is the bondage. It is therefore necessary to consider and find out the method whereby such a feeling can be overcome, instead of doubting as to whether medicine should be administered if one is sick or whether food should be taken if one is hungry.

      Thus, if it is helpful to avoid meat, great. If not, that’s okay, too. Sri Ramana’s implication is clear: Getting hung up on diet is a way of avoiding responsibility for love.

  17. One Life, no hierarchies. The hierarchies of different forms of life have their premise in separation from God. The premise then follows the winding spiral of positive and negative assumptions about Life. No creation of God can harm another creation of God. God is His Creations.

    1. I like this very much, Mary. Thank you for reading and sharing.

      I would say “the illusion of hierarchies” and the “illusion of different forms.” And I would also note that undoing those illusions – or seeing through them, perhaps – is why we study A Course in Miracles (or another spiritual path/project). For most of us, differences appear meaningful; the course helps us untangle that confusion from within the differences.

      But that’s me prattling 🙂 Thank you again for such a clear and eloquent observation.

      ~ Sean

  18. Thank you Sean. I was vegetarian for 17 years when I first began the course and have been guided back toward a broader diet in more recent years. The judgment around food is an excellent place to practice forgiveness, but it really has a stronghold in a right vs wrong context for many. Which is of course not what the course teaches. Much gratitude for this writing.

    1. You’re welcome, Patricia. Thanks for reading & sharing. Diet – like many other aspects of living in a body – has been a real gift in terms of being brought forth in love. I’m grateful, too! Hope all is well –


      1. This is the ONLY reason I won’t commit to ACIM. So selfish to be completely complicit to such suffering. No amount of double talk makes it right…
        What is the main reason you eat meat? Taste, tradition, culture or convenience?
        The shadow knows…

        1. Hi Harry,

          Thank you for sharing. You can be a vegetarian and a student of A Course in Miracles; the course doesn’t mandate eating meat 🙂

          Obviously, folks should opt for spiritual paths that feel most helpful to them. A Course in Miracles – and the nondual tradition more generally – is not the last word.

          I don’t have a lot to add to this post or its many comments. I respect your right to make decisions about food that feel authentic and spiritually congruous for you; I think there are other ways to look at the issue that can also be helpful if one is inclined.

          Thank you again for sharing. Cute dog pics on your site! 🙂


  19. Killing animals is not compassionate. If you choose to bring pain and death to others, I see no path for that choice.

    Perhaps my years of study and prayer have led me somewhere the Course is not. I’m happy I found your site. If vegetables experience fear and have a desire to live, then I will choose to die from starvation. Or perhaps I can find food neither animal or plant. Killing others is not ok.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your heartfelt comment.

      We have to be true to our truth, and your truth is that one should not eat animals. For you to do less – or even advocate others do less – would be dishonest. I respect your integrity.

      Perhaps your spiritual path is different than that which A Course in Miracles offers. That’s okay! In the world of separation, we go on under the illusion that choosing between apparent differences is meaningful. There’s a reason I’m tracking ACIM and not Catholicism or Zoroastrianism. There’s a reason my family homesteads; there’s a reason I read a little Emily Dickinson every day.

      The course teaches us that the differences we perceive are illusory. Thus, eating a tomato I grew over the summer is not different than eating a chicken I killed in early fall. And both of those are not different from not eating at all.

      In other words, this is a dream in which all paths – vegetarianism, breathairianism et cetera – are all the same and lead nowhere.

      That is a big pill to swallow and I fault nobody for saying “thanks, but no thanks.”

      That said, in a critical sense – one that matters deeply to me – you are right. Not because eating animals is wrong but because we have to be faithful to the truth of our experience, which is how the Holy Spirit teaches us that this is a dream.

      That is, our learning experience – which is our experience of atonement – actually unfolds within separation. It has a form that we recognize – writing publicly about A Course in Miracles, say, or growing and harvesting as much of one’s food as possible, or homeschooling one’s kids, or doing yoga, or being a vegan, or writing a prose poem a day, or learning a new language or . . .

      The question is not what we do but rather the spirit in which we do it – which is to say, does it arise from ego or from Holy Spirit?

      If we are doing in a spirit of love and open-mindedness – if we are listening to the Holy Spirit – then what we do will serve the awakening of all our brothers and sisters, even if we don’t yet fully understand it how. And it will make us happier, too.

      Our bodyhood is violent. Every time we brush our teeth, countless bacteria die. Guess how many living creatures – microscopic on up – died while the metals were harvested to make our phones? And yes – as anybody who reads the science or works a garden knows, plants are living creatures who communicate with the world around them and are not indifferent towards dying.

      In this world, on the world’s terms, there is no way out. And yes, it sucks.

      Yet there are lights! So while you can starve yourself rather than eat another kale leaf – for kale plants, too, are one with us – please don’t. Your integrity and compassion are clear and true, and we need them in the world.

      Who knows – maybe in a year I’ll wake up and remember your comment and never eat meat again 🙂

      In the interim, again, thank you for sharing and helping me to go on thinking carefully about this important issue. I promise I do not take it lightly.


      1. Thank you Sean. I am very appreciative of your thoughts and time spent writing this post. I will consider your thoughts in time. I will listen Holy Spirit and not ego. Perhaps I will post again.

        Peace and love,

        1. Thank you again for sharing here, Karen. Your compassion and dedication are a testament to your kind heart. I am grateful to be able to learn with you, even a little. 🙏

          ~ Sean

  20. Sean, may God bless you and your family. So much love radiates from your being. Your kindness, love and patience are truly out of this world! To me as an ACIM student, this topic of food was the one I have been searching for clarification again and again. Your post and comments reminded me of what my heart knew all along. Many blessings and gratitude to you. May you shine your light in this world and remind us the way Home.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Jurgita. I’m glad the post was helpful. Food can be an intensely challenging teacher, gently guiding us to be true to our truth. Thank you for sharing the way with me, and blessings to you and yours as well!



  21. Thank you Sean. 🙏🕊️ Yes, food is a very challenging topic indeed. And while eating meat or no-meat is no longer triggering feelings of confusion in me, I now often question the supplements I take (such as vitamin D, magnesium, etc) and also my son’s diet for histamine intolerance. There is a lot to surrender… yet I can see my ego still playing a role here. I am forever grateful for the relief that comes in knowing there is no one right answer…and the loving answer is always in my heart. It is about learning to listen. I am still learning. There is much to be undone… 🙏🤍 Many blessings. Thank you for all you do.

  22. Dear Sean,

    thank you very much for sharing your text about food. I was told in 2010 to become a vegetarian (I think it was the Holy Spirit). I ate lots of meat before. And I liked it quite a lot but had health issues with it. Later I was told to eat vegan. I did this for a few month but it was not healthy eating. For example I fried a lot of vegetables. When I met my boyfriend in 2014 I fell back into eating meat for almost 1 year but it felt always wrong to me. In 2018 I tried raw food. And found ACIM. Inbetween this time I ate meat from time to time. But the last time the health issues came back very fast. Now my teacher Jesus told me to do lots of juice fasts and no sweets, just a bit of alcohol and no fish and meat. I think that everyone is getting his personal plan for what to eat/drink from our inner teacher (hopefully not the ego).

    Love Tanja
    Ps. Sorry if my English is not perfect, I‘m from Germany 😊

    1. Hi Tanja,

      Thank you for sharing . . . yes, the key here is that our relationship with eating and with food is guided by the Holy Spirit, rather than ego. Our paths in the world of form will appear different; their rightness, or helpfulness, so to speak, arises from the Teacher from who we take our guidance.

      Thank you for expressing that!


  23. Animal suffering, such as predation, is indeed horrible. Humans suffer, too. But Jesus, in the Course, once remarked that pleasure and pain are actually the same at this order of reality because both affirm the existence of the body. The Course is trying to help us understand that we are not bodies. That’s probably why it’s short on directing us on food habits.

    But if it means anything to you, I once asked Jesus if he was even with any of the animals when they were being eaten alive, and an answer came into my head: “Every one of them.” I don’t know if that really was him getting through to me, but it sure sounds like something he’d say, and makes sense.

    Thank you for this excellent post.

    1. I should add that fussing over what we eat also affirms the body, and again, that is what the Course is trying to correct. The Course is only trying to change how we look at the world, nothing more. When we are ready, we will be told very specifically what to do.

  24. I am also trying to lead this homesteading lifestyle on a family farm. I have recently had to harvest our 1st animal, and I had to do it myself. I am fairly happy with how I handled it mentally, but I am still wondering if the act of killing is still something that would lower my “frequency” and plunge my mind back down to more of the egoic level. Appreciate any comments you might have on personally killing for food

    1. Dear Olga, if you let the Holy Spirit guide you and not the ego you will find your right way how to handle ALL problems that seems to be in your life. My way is no longer to eat animals but everyone has his/her individual plan for salvation from God.

      1. Thank you for sharing Tanja. I appreciate deeply the clarity and open-mindedness of your comment. Thank you for being loving. 🙏

        ~ Sean

    2. Hi Olga,

      Taking the life of an animal and then eating its flesh and making broth with its bones is . . . a big step for most of us. The direction of that step – away from or towards love – is actually up to us.

      Bodies live by ending the lives of other bodies – we feel this more acutely with pigs and chickens than with tomatoes and cucumbers but the principle is still the same. Behind every bite of food we enjoy – whether we reflect on it or not – there is death.

      On the other hand, even bodies that live out their natural lives become food for the rest of life. This will happen to us too! The cycle is radically equal because nothing is exempt from it. By realizing the cycle of life and death, and not resisting it but living responsibly in it, we step closer to the indivisible love of the Kingdom.

      Anything we do in bodies on the earth can be done in a spirit of love or of fear. If we are students of A Course in Miracles, that is where we stand. It is not WHAT we do but rather the spirit in which we do it that matters.

      For our family here, homesteading is a way of detaching in a nontrivial way from profit-driven corporate models of food production that are bad for plants, bad for animals, and bad for the planet. We are far from perfect in our efforts, but we are steadfast in keeping faith with them. To us, it is a form of love.

      We understand and respect the way that others choose different paths, and even disagree with ours (the comment thread to this post is a good example of the forms that disagreement can take).

      Therefore, what we do in this form of love we choose, is done in a spirit of love. We are good to the animals we will eat; we are good to the plants we will harvest; we are clear-eyed about what slaughter means; and we do not exempt ourselves from judgment. We can ALWAYS do better. God grant us the wisdom to see the way!

      Eating is both personal and communal. Being responsible for what goes into our mouths, and the way we share that experience with our brothers and sisters (who include chickens and pigs and lambs and cows and eggplants and sunflowers and garlic), ALWAYS reflects love or fear.

      Either we believe we are guilty, and project our guilt outward, or we believe we are innocent, and extend love to all.

      This reflects a decision that we make at the level of mind, and it is unrelated to what happens in the world. It PRECEDES what happens in the world.

      So basically, we try here to be prayerful, intentional, and reflective. We talk a LOT about how we live – both in our home and with other families. We try not to avoid asking and answering hard questions. We are willing to change our minds. We did NOT raise meat birds or pigs this year.

      And we are patient with ourselves. We let the work – which includes the dialogue – make us happy.

      You care. This is clear in your comment. You are not doing this homesteading work thoughtlessly; you are not doing it carelessly. That is love! That is the gentle tide of love smoothing the rough sands of fear. That love – which takes the form of caring about what you are doing as a homesteader, and being willing to face what is hard, and change your mind as necessary – is the grace of God in your life, steadily calling you into deeper and deeper communion.

      Ego is nothing against that grace 🙂

      And, again, it is the grace – the spirit in which we act – that matters, NOT the specific action.

      Thanks for reaching out – I hope all is well on your homestead!


  25. I have a been reading a book titled, “The World Peace Diet” by Will Tuttle. I believe it is the most profound book about meat eating and veganism in the world at this time.

    I have attended hundreds of ACIM group meetings, I Love the Course Teachings, and I”m well aware that these Teachings do not proscribe or prescribe behaviours. Yes, all is Consciousness, and yes, this world of seeming forms is an illusion of separation. We are Actually all One, and even more, Love IS All there IS.

    Your arguments about the difference between torturing a pig in the slaughterhouse process, and dicing a tomato are interesting. If it was your experience to be the pig, or to be the tomato, you might have a different perspective. And, just to round out your learning experience in this realm of illusion, this could probably be arranged, that you could have this experience, up close and personal, of each of these end of life trials.

    In this world of illusion though, there is a give and take Law, most call it the Law of Karma, that determines how we progress out of this illusion. If you are slaughtering your animals with great Love and respect, this may change the karmic dimensions of your illusory acts. If you buy meat that has been subjected to the slaughter house ordeal of enslavement, victimization, torture, rape, etc., well then you will eat of these vibrations and partake of the illusion of this experience. And if you also dice your tomato with the same mindful Lovingkindness as you do with your slaughter of animals, then this may change your Holy Mind about what is Really going on, in Truth.

    If you read this book though, that I have given above, you just might change your mind. You seem to be pretty set in your thinking that what you are doing has no consequences on your unfoldment Spiritually. If you are living in the belief that your outer actions are not a reflection of your inner Mind and Spirit that is also interesting. I really like how you hold on to the illusion that a pig tortured is no different than a tomato diced. Like I say, perhaps you might change your mind if you got to experience each on your own illusory hyde.

    What works? We are in these illusions of bodies for a reason. God doesn’t know of these illusions, but the Holy Spirit does, the Holy part of our Minds. We are each given a life of illusions of a particular kind that will help us rise above the illusions, into our True Oneness with the Creator. Your experiences are just exactly what you need to get Free. Who can say you nay.

    But reading this book above, just might help you get through the illusion of time quicker. Remember, this all happened in the tiny mad instant, when Christ believed he could be separate from God, and for an instant, He forgot to laugh at such rediculousness. And this Universe happened in that instant, and then was gone. This is all just remembering what happened in that instant. Much ado about nothing.

    In the One Love that IS ALL.

    1. Thank you Moshe for this very thoughtful comment. I appreciate it deeply.

      In the context of the illusion, where distinctions and differences appear to have value, yes, absolutely, a pig and a tomato are different. But that is really the point, no? It is an illusion. The differences are illusions. Values – which depend on differences – are also an illusion. In a dream I can save the pig and eat the tomato but when I wake up, there is no pig and no tomato. Nothing lived, nothing died. There was nothing to save!

      And in the context of the illusion, no – I would not feel differently being the tomato rather than the pig! I have raised, killed and eaten both and both love life and neither want to die. They just have varying modes of expressing this desire to live and resisting that which would oppress it. The hierarchy of some lives are more valuable than others is a VERY slippery slope, Moshe, and we can do a LOT of damage tumbling down it, as I am sure you know.

      Another way to understand this is to see that the pig and tomato – both of which are alive – are both appearances which point to the one life BEYOND appearances, which we sometimes call God. There is no death in the One Life, much less judgment. Absent a subject and object, who judges? What do they judge?

      In the context of the illusion of separation, we all want to be right! We all want to be better than we were yesterday, or more ethical than the meat-eaters or gun-owners, or more understanding than the one who thinks he understands what A Course in Miracles is saying or what Abhishiktananda taught. But when we take this inclination to be right literally, we reinforce the very error upon which separation exists. Suddenly those differences appear real! And we appear real! And we are the ones who have to do something! So long as there is someone or something to correct or save (be it a fellow biped, a bird or a bee), then our confusion is total and suffering must follow.

      It is ALL a dream, Moshe! Sean, his pigs, his garden, his confusion, his good intentions, his stubborness and his faltering love. All of it! The inclination to see one part as distinct from another part and thus more valuable than another is simply evidence that you, too, dream. The way out is not to change Sean, much less your beautiful self, but rather to join with him as a brother, as an equal, much as that pig is our equal, and the tomato, and the worms in the roots of the tomato plant, and the microbes in the soil the worms consume, and . . .

      You mentioned I appear set in my ways. Maybe! But maybe not, too. We are all in gentle motion here, learning the only lesson there is to learn: that we are all innocent, and that God is just a word for – in your beautiful formulation – “One Love that IS ALL.”

      Thank you again for sharing and giving me a chance to continue to reflect on this important issue, Moshe.


  26. Thanks for your Loving and thoughtful reply Sean.

    ACIM has just one “Aim”, stated in the Introduction:
    “The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all encompassing can have no opposite. This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
    Nothing real can be threatened.
    Nothing unreal exists.
    Herein lies the peace of God.”

    I believe that The Son is expressing Itself as you in your little illusory “kingdom” there in your homestead, to protect your ego body identification illusion from the fear of the illusion of dying from starvation. This is just an aspect of the Oneness that is not yet ready to release this tiny mad idea that “I’m a body with physical needs”, which is a body identification illusion that keeps you from the Awareness of Love’s Presence. Love Really IS all there IS. If you truly know this – Why hide out there in the wilderness with your cashe of imprisoned illusions of “food”, in the illusory form of a garden and animals that you can grow and breed and keep a constant supply? It is fear plain and simple. It is the separation illusion in full swing, hiding from God. God is the only Real Supply, but you are trying to make your own supply apart from His Everlasting Bounty of Life.

    I have read the replys of Jean Boggs about Breatharianism. You also discount his comments and equate non-eating to slaughtering your illusiory farm animals. That’s quite a stretch as you slay your pig in fear, to protect your ego body indentification that you need to eat its flesh to “live” in your physical body. While the Breatherian has removed all the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, with absolutely no body identification at all. This attempt to make what is different the same is an expected ego trick. There are levels of perception that the miracle can correct. which I will discuss in this post.

    You do not want to see this, in your tightly held determination that you need to slay your pigs and your chickens to meet your bodily “needs” for food. It’s a good ego trick, and this is what the ego does, but your constant position in your comments here are just a reflection of fear that you will have to give up your ego indentification as a body. A Bretharian lives in a state of continuous Communication with the I AM that I AM Self, and has absolutely no bodily identification, and is simpley Being AT ONE with the whole of life, while continuing on in the illusion of having a physical body. The Awareness of Love’s Presence has no blocks at all so there is just this continuous Awareness of Truth.

    As long as you continue to slay your farm animals you will never have this possibility of a continuous Communication with your I AM Presence. I read your clever replys and your twists and turns in logic and your attempts to use the ACIM teachings to support your fear of dying of starvation.

    Let’s Look at the Principles of Miracles:

    “29. Miracles praise God through you. They praise him by honoring his creations, affirming their perfection. They heal because they deny body identification and affirm spirit-identification.”

    Imprisoning and slaying your illlusions of farm animals is just a very elaborate ploy for this part of the One Christ expressing Itself as “you” to continue to affirm body identification and deny spirit-identification. No matter how you twist your motives in your Holy Mind, slaying your animals is just not affirming God’s Perfection. You simply postphone the Holy Instant when you give it all up and just BE HERE NOW as the Perfection of the Son. You can’t NOT be this, you can just continue to hide in your little kingdom and kill your pigs and chickens.

    “30. By recognizing spirit, miracles adjust the levels of perception and show them in proper alignment. This places spirit at the center, where it can communicate directly.”
    You may not be Aware yet, but there is a physical reality that has Truth. It’s just that “physical” is not a collection of separte “objects” True Physical Reality is an expression of Love at a dense level of vibrational frequency. The vibration is infinite and has no end. Love remains the Only One Truth, but It is now expressing at a slower rate of Beingness that takes on the Idea of an infinitude of limited forms. When you slay a pig or chicken, the only illusion in that process is that you believe that you are expressing Love by destroying their One Holy Life to protect your ego illusion of separation, to “eat”. When you are ready to recognize your Self as Truly Spirit, then you will recognize them as Truly as Spirit, then you will begin to experience the adjustment in your levels of perception, and you will then see your farm animals in their proper alignment.

    “31. Miracles should inspire gratitude, not awe. You should thank God for what you really are. The children of God are holy and the miracle honors their holiness, which can be hidden but never lost.”
    You have commented many times about the equality of the Sonship. And yet you chose to make yourself superior to the pigs and chickens by not seeing them as Spiritually Equal, and you believe you have the right to take away their life in this denser frequency level of Christ Expression. A silly thing to do Actually because you have no body that needs their flesh to live.

    “32. I inspire all miracles, which are really intercessions. They intercede for your holiness and make your perceptions holy. By placing you beyond the physical laws they raise you into the sphere of celestial order. In this order you are perfect.”
    Not only are you Perfect, your pigs and chickens are Perfect. Leave them alone, let them BE the Truth that they are so you can BE the Truth that you ARE. They are not more Perfect cut up, cooked and chewed into your stomach or your freezer. What a silly idea.

    “33. Miracles honor you because you are lovable. They dispel illusions about yourself and perceive the light in you. They thus atone for your errors by freeing you from your nightmares. By releasing your mind from the imprisonment of your illusions, they restore your sanity.”
    You ARE Loveable, and so ARE your pigs and chickens Equally Loveable. Grant them this Miracle of recognition, end your nightmare of body starvation, See the Light of Christ in them, and let them be your Saviour to atone for your errors in perception, so you can see this same Light of Christ in you, as you. You cannot make them more Perfect by slaying them and eating them. That’s just silly. A good joke on you. That’s just protection of your body identification.

    Again, all is Consciousness so we are not talking about making an adjustment at this level of illusion where things appear to be seperate. This is Truly a healing of the Holy Mind of God, that aspect of the One expressing Itself as you. AS long as you continue to treat farm animals as a physical “things”, something to satisfy your illusion of a need for food, it will be impossible for you to experience what it like to Know THYSELF as the Christ and BE in the Sphere of the Celestial Order.

    “37. A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by me. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it
    properly. This places you under the Atonement principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible.”
    Again you are not going to elevate yourself into a Knowledge of the Divine Order by slaying your farm animals. You can’t make them more Perfect by doing anything to them. Killing them and cutting them up for food in the belief that they are food is an erroneious perception. Let the Miracle correct this error of perception so you can be placed under the Atonement principle, which means to see your pigs and chickens as the Perfect Christ that they already are.

    You cannot destroy their Perfection by killing their physical bodies, but you for sure can keep your True Self looked up behind this illusory beleif that they are yours to kill and eat. This is the Key to understanding – we will sow what we reap in the illusion. The Principle of Sowing and reaping is in the illusion of course, but nevertheless, what we do to others we will have to experience ourselves. This goes to help us be free of whatever we did or said or thought that was not directly Inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    “38. The Holy Spirit is the mechanism of miracles. He recognizes both God’s creations and your illusions. He separates the true from the false by his ability to perceive totally rather than selectively.”
    You may believe that you are listening to the Holy Spirit telling you to imprison, then slay your farm animals, to provide you with needed food. This is just not Truth as you can live on just Spirit alone. Everyone can.

    “39. The miracle dissolves error because the Holy Spirit identifies error as false or unreal. This is the same as saying that by perceiving light, darkness automatically disappears.”

    “40. The miracle acknowledges everyone as your brother and mine. It is a way of perceiving the universal mark of God.”
    You do not honor your pigs and chickens as brothers and sisters by doing anything to them. Just let them BE the Perfection that they are. Doing anything less is just giving in to ego illusions that you can get along without God and actually imporove on His Will.

    “41. Wholeness is the perceptual content of miracles. They thus correct, or atone for, the faulty perception of lack.”
    Your whole illusion of establishing your little hideaway homestead is that you are by God going to be apart from the rest of suffering humanity and grow your own unlimited stores of food. An obvious ego trip to prevent the perception of lack. Give it up. Just BE HERE NOW and the Love comes Pouring into Awareness. Then it will be impossible for you to slay anything for food.

    “42. A major contribution of miracles is their strength in releasing you from your false sense of isolation, deprivation and lack.”
    You are never separate.”

    “43. Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle readiness.”
    Ready or not, you ARE a Miracle, and so are your pigs and chickens.

    “44. The miracle is an expression of an inner awareness of Christ and the acceptance of his Atonement.”
    Are you honoring the Christ Self in your farm animals? Stop doing things to them and just let them BE.”

    “49. The miracle makes no distinction among degrees of misperception. It is a device for perception correction, effective quite apart from either the degree or the direction of the error. This is its true indiscriminateness.”
    The Breatharian does not do anything to anything. It’s just a state of non-reactive, all inclusive Beingness. What happens, happens just the way it happens. There is no judgement, just Inspiration. In this comment I have not spoken, but Inspiriation has Spoken. The very idea of discriminating between food/not food, plant/animal, this or that is no longer in Awareness. Awareness of subject/object is disolved in THIS. Nothing happens but THIS and THIS is ever in motion and yet ever STILL. IT IS everything, and yet It is No-thing. This IS the Awareness of Love’s Presence.

    50. The miracle compares what you have made with creation, accepting what is in accord with it as true, and rejecting what is out of accord as

    As I remarked in my last post, you have manifested the illusions of your life for just the work of being released from them. This is also Perfect. It is the work you have chosen to undertake in this incarnation.
    When the Light shines, where did the darkenss go? It happens in an instant. Just let go and stop blocking the Awareness of Love’s Presence.

  27. It’s been so interesting reading all these comments and points of view.
    Here’s another take for whoever might find it helpful. My husband had what is commonly referred to as a “near death experience” a little over ten years ago. In this experience he clinically “died” twice but – “came back to life.” He rarely speaks of the events that occurred. He has inferred that it was a sacred experience that he is unable/(not “allowed”?) to share everything that happened. But one thing he has always noted since this occurred was that he can’t understand why some folks espouse eating plants over animals- especially pointing to this as a higher, greater moral choice. His experience “showed him” clearly that there “is no difference” between the two. The plants “feel” just as the animals do.
    As Sean has pointed out so eloquently and patiently no entity wants to “end”. As Sean noted “in this world and on this world’s terms” that’s the way of it. The best we can do is meet this and all other challenges with love.
    Excuse the heavy use of “quotes”! The “words” we “use” are sometimes “inadequate”!
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for sharing 🙏

      This has been one of the more interesting posts to come back to over the years – I appreciate your husband’s insight. That continues to feel deeply truthful to me and, in its way, points to the oneness that underlies all experience. All of the body’s challenges – sex, food, shelter et cetera – are challenges that can only be met with love if we are going to find our way out of the egoic nightmare. But it’s not easy, for any of us. I am deeply grateful that we don’t have to do it alone but can share the way – talking, listening, supporting.

      Thank you again!

  28. I give my dogs chicken because it’s their food. The ego’s voice is still very strong filling our minds with concepts and ideas, the whole discussion about vegan vs nonvegan stems from that. There’s no separate ‘me’ who’s looking for healing and salvation, it’s the collective me. Not eating meat has nothing to do with your or mine spiritual practice, we do it for the animals as nonviolence is the most powerful form of yoga and compassion comes naturally. It’s not that one is trying to heal his or her mind, the course speaks to the consciousness within and not to the ego. When consciousness awakens compassion comes naturally to our brothers and sisters in human and animal form. We are one with all life, there are no other bodies. It becomes impossible to hurt yourself.

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