A Course In Miracles is confusing me!
I suspect I’m not the only one who has looked up from this book in exasperation and declared, “A Course In Miracles Is Confusing Me!” If you are currently giving ACIM your best effort and finding it very hard to understand, this blog will hopefully help you through the daily lessons by clarifying terms and explaining the structure of this world-famous book.
Anyone who makes it past Lesson 12 will encounter very traditional Judeo-Christian language which, from my personal experience, created a block in my mind while seeking to comprehend the daily teachings.
My Journey Past the Religious Language in A Course In Miracles
When I began reading A Course In Miracles, I did not know it was written in strong Judeo-Christian language. I almost put the book down when I discovered this because my experiences with organized religion has never been a positive one. But something about the tone of the book held my attention. I had a strong sense that there was value within the religious language which the toxic, misguided influence of religious organizations had no right to keep me from accessing. To allow my repulsion of religious language to keep me from grasping the messages hidden in the book would be to allow those abusers of religious language to maintain control of those words. It was not the words that bothered me. It was the cultural meaning around them. Could I become resilient to that toxic culture and discover real value in the book? I was intrigued. I also felt it would be wrong to stop reading a book because the words seemed religious. As a woman of science, I knew reading a book could not harm me, and I felt it was my responsibility to thoroughly inform myself of the material if I were to shape an objective, honest opinion about it.
So I persevered. I would wake up each morning, eager to discover the next statement in the course until one day I found my mind draw a sudden blank. When Lesson 174 stated, “I will accept my part in God’s plan for salvation.” my irritation grew too large to ignore. To my surprise, I asked aloud in an angry outburst, “What the hell do you mean by “salvation?” I was surprised that the word salvation would have such a dramatic effect on me. But I really could not continue reading the book for several days.
I received an answer to my question in a very gentle way later that week. While looking up how to spell a totally unrelated word on the online Webster’s dictionary, what word should I stumble onto? Salvation. The dictionary definition did not have any religious tone. It simply said, “preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.” Well, that sounded pretty good. When I brought that definition to the day’s lesson, the message became quite simple and straightforward.
This redefining of words kept happening. Whenever a real conflict with the religious terminology would arise in me, so too would an answer arrive… very quietly a day or so later. Like a gentle breeze, a different definition would touch my awareness so that when I read the text again, it did not cause the same initial irritation.
With every new lesson I found myself silently asking the book for clarifications such as, “Why do you not say “child” here instead of “son” to include both genders?” Or I would ask, “What do you mean by the word “sin” here?” Every time, slowly, gently, an answer to my questions would emerge.
As my questions grew more lengthy, the answers also grew more lengthy so that I needed to take up a pen to receive the longer answers. I then realized I was in a living conversation with the book. I realized the book was a consciousness that would respond whenever I engaged It. I was having a conversation with it like it was a person. Only the person was a distinct part of my mind. That part of my mind felt peaceful, formal, and infinitely patient with me.
Ever so slowly, my anger grew less and less, not just with the book, but with everything and everyone in my life. Something real was happening. Real changes in my experience of daily life were occurring in ways gentler than I’d ever known. Peace and well-being started hanging around for longer and longer periods of time. When I would meet people out in the world, I would smile big and I would feel I had big news to share with them. But when I would try to put that feeling into words, I found I had no real news to report to them other than, “I feel very peaceful! It is amazing! It is a… miracle.” Nothing was happening but big things were happening.
During this time, I refrained from saying to people, “I am reading the most amazing book!” I did not mention that I was reading it because I knew it would sound like a sales pitch. I also knew that the Christian language the book was written in was not going to be tolerated by most of the people I associate with, and I totally respected and understood that perspective. I knew that most people would likely misperceive me as a religious person. And it was this misperception that compelled me to start this very large blog project.
So if you have thrown this book aside in frustration and exclaimed, “A Course In Miracles Is Confusing Me!” this blog is an effort to bring the archaic language of religious terminology into a more relevant translation for modern minds so that the valuable messages are accessible and meaningful for today’s way of thinking.