Why Should We Take the Course Seriously?
I have been a seeker of wisdom and truth for my entire life which is beginning to be fairly lengthy by earthly standards since I was born in 1945. During this time I have studied a quite a number of spiritual and philosophical writings. Many of them which present themselves as enlightening or from other worldly sources do little for me. On the other hand, many who make no claims but just present the highest they know have been quite inspiring.
When a writing does come along that claims to be inspired by God, Christ or a Master I ask myself this question:
“Using my creative imagination, could I have written this?”
In almost all cases the answer is yes. That doesn’t mean that all such works are not true or do not have truth. Instead, it means that some mortal in the flesh, or astral entity, could have just made the whole thing up.
But then, three or four times in my life materials have come to me that are so profound, as well as beyond that which I could have created, that my attention was indeed captured causing me to take them seriously. In addition to recognizing the writings as coming from a higher intelligence I also found they presented truths that were verified by my Inner Voice as well as my personal spiritual experiences.
Therefore, a handful of teachings I have stumbled across in my life have become an earned authority to me. An earned authority is one that has proven itself reliable (though not infallible). An unearned authority is one that makes claims but with little or no evidence to back it up. The difference with an earned authority is this. When it teaches something that is not part of my belief system I do not automatically reject it but take it seriously and mull it over in my mind. If I cannot accept it in the present I put it on the shelf until I can get a definite yes or no on the matter.
If an unearned authority tells me that aliens from the Pleiades are going to arrive next year to take us into the fifth dimension, then I take that with a grain of salt.
But if an earned authority, that has proven itself in the past, makes an unusual prediction or statement I will take it seriously and do what I can to find the truth of the matter.
This is my situation with “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM). This is one of those rare works that I take seriously. Here are the reasons.
(1) This is a work that was originated by a very high intelligence, definitely beyond the reach of the scribe, Helen Schucman, a fine lady of normal intelligence but who showed no evidence of an almost supernatural intelligence necessary to produce such a work.
I ask myself: “Could I have written this using my highest creative thinking?” This is one of those rare times that I must admit the answer is no.
(2) There were a number of teachings, not found in other materials (that I know of), that I had already discovered to be true.
One was its teachings on guilt. The standard thinking is that guilt is associated with conscience and if we do not have it we are a lost soul. Shortly before coming across ACIM I discovered for myself the illusion behind guilt and how to neutralize it. When I then read about the Course’s teaching on the matter I was impressed indeed for it was in harmony with my own discoveries. Here is an example from the Course:
“What is truly blessed is incapable of giving rise to guilt, and must give rise to joy. This makes it invulnerable to the ego because its peace is unassailable. It is invulnerable to disruption because it is whole. Guilt is always disruptive. Anything that engenders fear is divisive because it obeys the law of division. If the ego is the symbol of the separation, it is also the symbol of guilt. Guilt is more than merely not of God. It is the symbol of attack on God. This is a totally meaningless concept except to the ego, but do not underestimate the power of the ego’s belief in it. This is the belief from which all guilt really stems. T-5.V.2
A second teaching that impressed me was the importance of letting go of all grievances. Before I read ACIM I had come to the conclusion that grievances were extremely detrimental to spiritual progression as well as physical health. I was in great harmony with statements such as this:
“For every grievance is a block to sight, and as it lifts you see the Son of God where he has always been.” W-pI.78.3
“You who were created by love like itself can hold no grievances and know your Self. To hold a grievance is to forget who you are. To hold a grievance is to see yourself as a body. To hold a grievance is to let the ego rule your mind and to condemn the body to death. Perhaps you do not yet fully realize just what holding grievances does to your mind. 6 It seems to split you off from your Source and make you unlike Him. It makes you believe that He is like what you think you have become, for no one can conceive of his Creator as unlike himself.” W-pI.68.1
A third point and a clincher was a personal interpretation I had on these words of Jesus:
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matt 25:40
Now the standard Christian thought is that the least of the brethren are the homeless and downtrodden. But I concluded that this was not true for almost everyone feels some empathy for them and wishes them well. Instead, I concluded that the least of the brethren were those who you thought of as being the worst and most irritating or evil people on the planet. I had never found any teaching to agree with me until read a similar view in ACIM. It reads:
“We will select one person you have used as target for your grievances, and lay the grievances aside and look at him. Someone, perhaps, you fear and even hate; someone you think you love who angered you; someone you call a friend, but whom you see as difficult at times or hard to please, demanding, irritating or untrue to the ideal he should accept as his, according to the role you set for him.
“You know the one to choose; his name has crossed your mind already. He will be the one of whom we ask God’s Son be shown to you. Through seeing him behind the grievances that you have held against him, you will learn that what lay hidden while you saw him not is there in everyone, and can be seen. He who was enemy is more than friend when he is freed to take the holy role the Holy Spirit has assigned to him. Let him be savior unto you today. 6 Such is his role in God your Father’s plan.” W-pI.78.4-5
If I was not a convert to ACIM’s brilliance this was the turning point. This presented the idea I had in my mind better than I could have written it myself.
I wasn’t impressed with ACIM though merely because it only taught things that was in alignment with my thinking for this was not the case. It taught many things I had not considered before and a number that disagreed with my thinking. But because the intelligence in it is of a high order it is an earned, though not an infallible, authority with me. Therefore, when I come across something that appears to not be sound I ask myself: “Could my thinking on this have been incorrect?” or “Am I correctly understanding that which is presented?”
This has happened a number of times and has always caused me to think. Some of these were resolved by finding clarifications in other parts of the Course and others I now see were strong points emphasized in one direction to cause a shift in the reader’s attention. Then there are mysteries not yet resolved. We shall be talking about some of these.
Read Introduction HERE, Read Chapter One HERE. Chapter Two HERE, Chapter Three HERE, Chapter Four HERE, Chapter Five HERE Chapter Six HERE, Chapter Seven HERE, Chapter Eight HERE, Chapter Nine HERE, Chapter Ten HERE, Chapter Eleven HERE, Chapter Twelve HERE Chapter Thirteen HERE Chapter Fourteen HERE
Copyright by J J Dewey
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