Monday, August 12, 2013

Studying The Course - A Mandatory Course in Life and Miracles!

As you may have seen in recent posts lately, I've had some major breakthroughs with a shift in how I think and my relationship to myself and to the world. At lot of this I am attributing to picking up A Course In Miracles as my next "course" of study. I don't remember exactly why I decided to go for it; did I click on a link about happiness to some article I was reading? Did I just want something spiritual to do? I know another part of it was that I knew I really needed to apply forgiveness in my life, and that's what the course is all about.
So, what is the course?

In Gabrielle's article on the Course, she muses:

"My primary guide on my journey to self-love has been the metaphysical text "A Course in Miracles." The Course is a self-study curriculum emphasizing practical applications for relinquishing fear in all areas of life. The Course's unique thought system uses forgiveness as the road to inner peace and happiness.

Admittedly, when I first began reading The Course, the language and many of the concepts were extremely foreign to me. But, ultimately, I realized that getting bogged down in semantics was a silly distraction. What really mattered was how relevant The Course's teachings were to my life, and my absolute willingness to be guided to change."

Well there’s a good “why”, but what about the “what’s”?  The Course is a channeled work that was edited by Helen Schucman along with William Thetford in 1965 and published in 1976.  Read more about it hereShe does not consider herself the author, rather she wrote down a conversation that she was dictated by her inner guide, whom she relates to as Jesus.   

“Jesus?,” you say, “what?”  Here’s the deal, many occultists felt that part of their inner counsel has included “Christ/Jesus” in some way.  I am more concerned with answers that make sense and give me hope, peace and happiness, rather than I am about whom the medium identifies as the inner guide.  Bernstein says in this vlog entry, “focus on content, not frame”. 
It took me a while to get what she was saying.  But it goes like this—it’s not about religion, rules, or the outside appearance, or what something looks like or how many people are involved, it has to do with what you are actually doing.  Does it feed me and make me happy?   Does it serve others?  Is it working?  That’s what’s important, not the name of the contact. 

            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."

 A couple of weeks ago I attended an in person study group of the Course of Miracles that was hosted at a local Church of Christ.  I gave it a shot.  What I was disappointed in was that there was a strict inequality between the leader of the group, who was a Reverend, and everyone else.  One member even said, “No, you enlighten me.  You are the teacher, so teach.  I am the student and am an open book to learn from you, Teacher.”  Now, I’ll admit this person was being a bit glib and lightheartedly poking fun a bit, but I don’t want to go to a class to listen to someone quote the Bible.  I would go to bible study for that, not ACIM study.  I was still thinking about sticking it out, as I’m a strong believer in the power of organized classroom study and the power of group minds.  However, when I was sharing my hesitations with my mother, she pointed out that it was all wrong.  The Course is designed as a self-study course.  Everyone is equal in their ability to contact their inner guide and higher self directly.  There is no ascended master, no church.  It is all accessible within.  Ah.  That helped!  I knew something didn’t feel right.  Thanks Mom.  Funny thing was she told me this after I admitted to her; I didn’t really want to go back to the group, even though I was excited about the course.

So, since I was open at that point to listening to my mother, she also recommended starting with off shoot material to start with rather than diving directly into the Course Text itself.  SO, I started reading The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard.   

One of my blog’s readers, Rhonda, so graciously reached out to me last week to *nudge* me on if I was planning on creating an online or email group so that a bunch of us could study the course together, share ideas, questions, and encouragement.  So here are a couple of options.  I found a great online forum that meets online once a week on the website that Bernstein mentioned in her vlog post above. Here: 
Or, as a way to make this more intimate and personal, if anybody wants to study with me via email and online, I love sharing discourse, ideas, and having study buddies.  No group projects, though, please!  LOL.  My inner perfectionist can’t handle that!  Aren’t you glad that you don’t stay stuck in grade school forever?  I sure am.  Now I get paid for being a team player and it’s called collaboration, not, the dreaded, “group projects”.  Just email me if you’re interested in reading The Disappearance of the Universe and/or A Course in Miracles together with me.

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