Is A Course in Miracles Dangerous?

For a long time my answer to this question was: don’t be silly. And in a sense, that’s still my answer. It’s just a book with a year’s worth of lessons that most people never even finish, let along bring into application. What’s the risk? What’s the harm?

But I think a better answer might be that A Course in Miracles can be dangerous, especially if you’re settled into a way of thinking about life and God that you don’t want disturbed, and you’re actually committed to looking into that way of thinking in a sustained and serious way.

Even half-hearted students tend to find the course disruptive to their established belief system. And this is not always welcome, and can often feel like an attack. And attacked people usually feel like they’re in danger.

Yet this sense of the course only arises because we are scared of love – and, in particular, of the world’s symbols of love, especially God.

. . . you see love as destructive, and your only question is who is to be destroyed, you or another? You seek to answer this question in your special relationships, in which you seem to be both destroyer and destroyed in part, but able to be neither completely. And this you think saves you from God, Whose total Love would completely destroy you (T-15.X.7:4-6).

So when you ask if A Course in Miracles is dangerous, it might be helpful to go a step further and ask: of what am I scared? God? Love? The death of ego? The end of the world?

In the context of the body and the world – and the egoic belief system undergirding both – these questions appear reasonable. So in that context, it’s important to ask them and the go deeply into the various answers. A Course in Miracles is a way – not the way but a way – to do this.

It’s not a cult. It’s not a shallow New Age fantasy for non-serious people, though like all paths and traditions and methods, some people work it harder and more effectively than others.

The course is simply a means by which to challenge established patterns of thought that are bringing about results – guilt, anxiety, unhappiness, fear et cetera – that we don’t want. In that sense, it is a pragmatic framework for psychological healing in a spiritual context.

Now, does A Course in Miracles always work? No. Can it confuse people in unhelpful ways? Sure. Sometimes. But that is the nature of healing – there are no sure things. We find a program or technique that feels resonant and we give attention to it for a while. If it works, great. If not, that’s okay, too.

Becoming happy – in a deep and sustainable way – is a reasonable goal in the context of our bodies in the world. A Course in Miracles can be a fruitful means of reaching that happiness. The “danger” it poses reflects the radical shifts in thought that – upsetting at first blush – actually produce a quiet joy and inner peace.

And, of course, if everything goes haywire, we can always turn back.

Like what you’re reading? Consider signing up for my weekly newsletter. No sales, no spam. Just thoughtful writing about love and A Course in Miracles.


  1. Just restarted the course from stopping in the 1980’s. From a small group in a room donated by Science of the mind church which I did not attend but twice looking for answers.
    Now being a newly man widow from December 2020 I am looking for direction and answers. Five years caretaking my wife with slowly degrading health has ended. Studied many spiritual and energy based and some quantum materials has opened my mind to
    More possibilities in this three dimensional existence of which way is back home and what are the traffic rules to avoid tickets?

    The way a pigeon can fly home, I know I will find my home the same way.. to be able to explain it to an horse, cow, dog , cat, spider, ant, another human is impossible. They all have their own exact way unlike no other.

    1. Thanks for sharing, George. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your wife; you sound grounded and clear.

      The traffic rules and the tickets . . . I love that analogy. And I know you’re mostly thinking out loud . . . But I think the rules, such as they are, inhere in your observation that pigeons find their way (and Monarch butterflies, too). Tomato seeds don’t grow into rose bushes.

      There does seem to be an order, from which we are not separate. I don’t know that there is anyone out there enforcing speed limits 🙂 My experience is mostly that the laws are self-enforcing (and that the appearance of many laws reflects a single law).

      Good luck with re-acclimating to ACIM. You sound like a Taoist, honestly, but ACIM seems to neatly be a road map for lots of us, pigeons, eagles, rose bushes and bipeds.

      Thank you again for sharing.

      ~ Sean

  2. Thanks so much for your very deep writings. I started the course a few years ago but put it down for a few years as “I” felt like my whole world was falling apart, because of this study. Have read differing opinions, yet am back again, reading it and doing the lessons. Not sure of anything right now but I do appreciate all your writings and sharing. Homesteading sounds like a great way. I am currently in New England as well. Take care and thank you. Susan.

    1. You’re welcome, Susan. The Course can be disruptive, but also, in the end, there is some comfort to it, a sense of being in the right place and studying the right material. It’s not for everyone! And it’s okay to walk away from it and try other paths, if they seem more helpful or feasible in some way. Sometimes the Course shows up just to remind us that we are supposed to be somewhere else 🙂 Trust yourself 🙏🙏

      ~ Sean

  3. Sean, thank you for your thoughtful take on ACIM. I look forward to hearing more from you. In infinite love & gratitude, Ellie

  4. 2021 and 2022 were the Years where I first heard or gathered in my awareness the existence of the ACIM a book that came about in the same year I was born. To make it even an extraordinary event in my Life as a Portuguese and had the opportunity to be participating in a Spanish speaking Course, that is an opportunity to work on Unconditional Love by it self. Maybe it is one of those self enforced Laws, “when the student is ready the Master appears”
    I am writing from Portugal, after listening to deeply troubling News, that a Dear Friend a father of 3 very young children, is in Hospital with Brain swallowing, and today the 77 Lesson was “Tengo derecho a los Milagros”. And I found great peace in the sentence. And that me look deeper into the ACIM and that was my doorway to Your writings, the article “Is ACIM Dangerous? “ my sincere Gratitude

    1. Thank you, Mónica. It is my experience too that the Course meets us where we are – taking us closer to Truth, to the precise degree we are ready, willing and able. I am very grateful for it. And for those who share the way with me! We cannot do this without our brothers and sisters. Thank you for reading and sharing and being here 🙏🙏


  5. I appreciate the sharing of your thoughts Sean. I’m in agreement with most of what I’ve read in the comments. It took me 5 years to finish the lessons as there were times when days, months or weeks were needed to fully grasp/absorb the text. Overall, disruptive is the word I’d choose as well. For me, finishing it was like placing a bowling ball in an active washing machine. Everything changed. And that’s no exaggeration. My comfort is, now, I have a permanent place to dwell when I choose to retract from the “world.” And it’s a place of peace/Love that only ACIM provided me. Still, wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. It’d be like giving a plane to a 14 year old with no pilot’s training. May this message find 2023 treating you well.

    1. “Disruptive” is a great adjective for the Course; if it’s not disrupting than there’s a good chance it’s just confirming the old error, reaffirming the inclination to be lulled to sleep by ego. I don’t really recommend the Course, but I do feel that if it grabs hold of one, then there’s usually a good reason. It can certainly be quite a ride 🙂

      Thanks for reading & sharing – I appreciate that.

      Here’s to clear skies & no crash landings 🙏🙏


  6. Sean
    why are you saying that you do not need not recommend the course of miracles?
    no argument just curious.
    personally, I do not want to talk about it to anyone other than people who are course students .
    I am very grateful that I found ACIm however, It asks us to look at this world as adream, that all our thoughts come from the past, there is no past and time really does not exist. Just to name a few. I have been doing this off and on since 1997. I am just now getting some clarity of the above statements and what is called. level two of the course which, of course comes from Ken Wapnick. I will persevere until the end of my life with this study, because I do not see in any other religion. Anything that comes closest to what man’s issue really is .suffice it to say it is a complete reversal in mind training .
    just some thoughts thanks for being part of ACIM. Adrienne

    1. Adrienne. I feel similar about the course as nothing answered my heart’s questions in such a way as this teaching.

      Thanks for this post, Sean.

    2. Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for reading and sharing. In my experience, the Course finds people when they are ready. It doesn’t seem to require evangelization from me. I mean that mostly in the sense of saying to people, hey have thought about trying this spiritual path? If folks ask what my practice is and all that, I’m happy to answer and talk about it. Part of it also is just giving space to God to do God’s work and not getting in the way. I realize that for some folks, they are guided to share and extend the Course differently.

      In terms of the rest of your comment, I basically agree with it. The Course has been a blessing in my life as well.

      Thanks again for reading.


      1. I have known about this study in miracles program since the mid 80s,
        used it , learned, felt the
        clarity that comes of accepting the simplicity of love.
        My access to the book moved away and life happened I eventually forgot about it.
        Life has been a bit terse recently, no fun you might say, and then I saw this thread and i remembered !
        thank you one and all for sharing your love

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.