Differing Views

Differing Views

There is an ongoing discussion in the ACIM community concerning appropriate response to differences of views and interpretations of Course teachings.

There are a number of different ways readers respond to posts with which they disagree.

[1] The individual feels outraged that the poster could be so far off and lets them have a piece of their mind. A stern correction is made sometimes followed by insults or name calling.

[2] The response is outwardly civil but contains subtle insults indicating that the writer he is responding to is speaking from the ego whereas he sees himself in touch with the true reality and should be listened to.

[3] The poster is criticized for having a specific view and is told that generic love or acceptance is the answer to all and we should not seek specific knowledge given in the Course.

[4] The responder comes across with the attitude of “I am right and you are wrong and if you do not see it, you will be in big trouble.” This person often seems unsettled if his correction is not accepted.

[5] Then there are those who believe that any discussion of differing views is wrong as one interpretation is just as good as another.

[6] The person replying may disagree with the post but responds with an attitude of sharing his views and explains why he thinks they are correct. There is an attitude of an equal soul communicating with an equal soul. This person is accepting of you as a brother and friend whether you accept his view or not.

I personally appreciate those who reply to me who are in that last category though it is also nice to see replies of those who do agree.

Overall, we could reduce the attitude of general posters down to two categories which would be:

Those who have an attitude of sharing and

Those who have the attitude of “I’m right and you’d better listen.”

Most students develop a feeling that tells them which category the poster is in, but there are times when a poster is sincerely sharing, as in the first category, but is accused of being in the second. For some, any statement, or even quotations from the Course is seen as a proclamation of superiority.

The Course places strong emphasis on sharing, and in my opinion sharing of views should be encourage instead of being attacked. We all have interpretations which are the best we can perceive and it is not an act of superiority to honestly share them as long as the attitude is that the reader is free to accept or reject them.

Overall, I am impressed with this group for the amount of engagement that takes place and I appreciate some of the lively discussions here. I do think we should always look for opportunities to merge our disagreements into oneness with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. That cannot be done unless we honestly express our thoughts.


I find it interesting that students of all spiritual traditions believe their source materials say what they do not say.

For instance, many think the Bible says that money is the root of all evil, or that all men are created equal, or the lion shall lay down with the lamb.

It says none of those things.

I have found that A Course in Miracles is not immune from this distorted understanding. Here are a few things believed by many that is not in the Course:

[1] Many students argue over whether the true reality is non dual or not when the words “non-duality” or “duality” are not even found in the Course.

[2] Many seem to think that salvation is an individual thing whereas the Course says: “Together is your joint inheritance remembered and accepted by you both. Alone it is denied to both of you.” T-31.II.11

[3] Many believe there is no time in heaven yet the Course teaches that there is time called “present time” which is vertical whereas our time is horizontal.  “The present is the only time there is.” W-pI.164.1

[4] Some see ACIM teaching that mind and reason is to be negated and shunned for love is all there is.  But the Course says this:

“What has been given you? The knowledge that you are a mind, in Mind and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid, because you were created out of love.” W-pI.158.1

Obviously mind and love are interdependent.

[5] Judgement is always bad.

The Course teaches that judgments made by the ego are always distorted whereas under the guidance of the Holy Spirit judgments are reliable:

The Holy Spirit “sorts out the true from the false in your mind, and teaches you to judge every thought you allow to enter it in the light of what God put there.” T-6.V.C.1

[6] We should rely on established authorities and medicine for our health. Yet the Course says:

“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. It needs no complicated structures of defense, no health-inducing medicine, no care and no concern at all.” W-pI.135.5

[7] What is true for one may not be true for another.

This is a common belief among all spiritual students, but the Course makes clear that truth is not relative:

The first chaotic law is that the truth is different for everyone. T-23.II.2

Salvation is the recognition that the truth is true, and nothing else is true. This you have heard before, but may not yet accept both parts of it. Without the first, the second has no meaning. But without the second, is the first no longer true. Truth cannot have an opposite. This can not be too often said and thought about. For if what is not true is true as well as what is true, then part of truth is false. And truth has lost its meaning. Nothing but the truth is true, and what is false is false. W-pI.152.3

These are just a few things I have found and could create a larger list. How about you? Have you heard statements from students that are supposedly supported by the Course, but are nowhere to be found?

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