Help Reading A Course In Miracles

camper van at mountain
Help Reading A Course In Miracles

Daily help reading A Course In Miracles

Have you attempted to read the book A Course In Miracles only to find it very difficult to finish?  I understand this because it is not an easy book to read.  After completing the book twice, I experienced such personal benefit that I decided to start this blog project.  My aim is to offer daily help reading A Course In Miracles so that the value of this powerful spiritual text can reach readers like you.  

This pages is the library of posts for my unofficial 3.0 version of A Course In Miracles.  Here is where you can find a discussion of each of the 365 lessons offered in the Workbook for Students found in ACIM.  If you find a particular day’s lesson challenging to understand, come to this library and receive daily help reading A Course In Miracles!

Why is A Course In Miracles so hard to read?

I find there are three reasons why A Course In Miracles is challenging to read.  

1. The book is written in a stilted and poetic voice.

2. The book uses Christian terminology that can be alienating to modern readers.

3. The actual lessons are a new logic that challenges our current way of seeing the world.

The Formal Language: The heightened poetic language found in A Course In Miracles can often sound a bit like Shakespeare and cause mental fatigue.  The sentence structure often forces the reader to pause and ponder the meaning of statements.  This formal structure is a deliberate tactic by the author to shift the readers mind out of its usual cycle of thinking and into a slower, deeper thought process.  Slowing down our thoughts enable difficult concepts to be conveyed.  Like putting on a certain piece of clothing to tell the brain we are entering a professional environment, the formal language tells our brains to get ready for less casual thinking. 

The archaic Judeo-Christian terminology:

Religious words like “son of God” and “salvation” can be a real stumbling block for people like me who do not engage in practicing institutionalized religion.  Hearing outdated and gender-specific language has on several occasions caused so much irritation in me that I wanted to throw the book across the room.  If we can refrain from tearing up the book and push through, however, we actually become part of a movement that seeks to restore religious words to their original spiritual purposes.  

The archaic religious language is actually a subtle history lesson in the evolution of human thinking which were in the process of evolving and expanding.  Exact translations of ancient texts often read as offensive because the modern reader has moved beyond that old world view.  While old translations excluded the feminine principle, these translations hope to bridge the distance and focus mainly on the intent of the outdated metaphors.  The history of the religious phrases and the actual dictionary definitions are fascinating to discover. Looking up definitions can really help reading A Course In Miracles.  In an effort to make the daily teachings easier to understand, I set out here to clarify what is meant by each religious term used.  Clarifying exactly what is meant by the words “God,” “forgiveness”, “salvation,” and many other stumbling block phrases, I will bring the teaching into a more effective, non-religious reading experience.

The New Logic:

But even if we overcome the challenging poetic and religious language, the book can still be challenging to finish is because the lessons are a new form of logic, like higher math, that take determination to grasp.  In fact, our frustration with archaic language is actually a subtle expression of our misguided ego, which is identifying with conditions that A Course In Miracles seeks to free us from.  When we begin this course, we soon learn that there is a part of our minds that do not want to learn any new logic.  There is a part of our minds that are conditioned to argue, question, doubt, and attack the concepts presented here.  This is why A Course In Miracles is hard to read.  But with a little effort and a bit of updated translation, the teachings are quite understandable.  Despite the challenging language, A Course In Miracles is actually one of the most accessible spiritual texts available thus far.  It is much easier to read than most other ancient works such as the Upanishads or even the Bible. 

But why read the book at all?  What’s the big deal about it? What is it really offering?  The answer to these questions can only be found on the other side of having read the book.  I only know from personal experience that this work holds a real power to help relieve pain in your life in a long-lasting way.  Hopefully, with a bit of help reading A Course In Miracles, you can discover the same relief for yourself. I hope you give the book a try! And I hope you visit this library of posts often to receive daily help reading A Course In Miracles whenever you may need it.

Is A Course In Miracles religious?

No.  It is spiritual.  A religious practice is an organized structure of behavior and social customs that are (ideally) practiced in an attempt to reach spiritual understanding.  A spiritual practice may or may not have an organized religious structure. A spiritual practice is primarily governed by discovering what is true regardless of cultural traditions.  Even though A Course In Miracles uses Christian language to describe its lessons, the book is not a religious text.   Most traditional Christian religions do not recognize the book as part of the Christian worldview and even consider the work to be dangerous.  On the other hand, at first glance, the work can easily be wrongly seen as religious.  This can discourage non-religious readers.  But A Course In Miracles is, first and foremost a spiritual text, not a religious one.  And the book itself explains the difference between spiritual and religious quite eloquently.

The use of religious language in A Course In Miracles is deliberate on the part of the author.   The words and phrases that were originally intended to clarify an accurate description of Reality have instead been twisted by religious institutions for centuries for their own purposes of control. Because of this misuse of language, A Course In Miracles puts great effort into reclaiming those terms and restoring them to their spiritual and truthful intent.  That is also the main goal of this blog project.  The purpose of this  “3.0 version” of A Course In Miracles is to continue in the same spirit of the book’s own message and purpose to keep updating the language of how the spiritual ideas are conveyed to modern minds.  Language changes.  Language becomes dated and ineffective.  But the messages of true spiritual teachings stand the test of time because what is true is eternal.

Who am I to translate this classic work?

I am just someone who found the work compelling and who feels that the teaching could reach more people if it were explained in a more modern way. I am someone who has completed the course several times over. I have made this work part of my life. I turn to the concepts in this book multiple times a day whenever I feel confused or challenged. Recalling the teachings throughout the day provides me with elegant and simple guidance constantly.

During my first reading of the work, I found journaling about each day’s lesson helpful in overcoming my irritation with the archaic Christian language.  This private journaling process eventually evolved into a public blogging project. I figured that what I was struggling with was probably happening to others. I felt reluctant at first to redefine the terms that caused me frustration.

But the lessons themselves often encourage the reader to put the day’s message into one’s own words. With the book’s prompting, I became curious to see what might happen if I brought a more secular language to the teachings of this world-famous book. It is my primary intention to be useful in the efforts of bringing the accurate messages found here to life.

All commentary is 100% based on the original publication which I feel is the primary resource for taking the year-long curriculum. By redefining many of the religious terms used in the book, I have deepened my understanding of the timeless wisdom tucked hidden away in these pages. But the original publication is indispensable.  It is my intention to create a companion guide that will help the reader excavate the wisdom hidden in the challenging language to make it more accessible to modern-day readers.

Since all language changes over time, Spiritual teachings endure through the ages because an effort is made by people like you and me to reconnect the messages with more useful language. While there may be those who object to reinterpreting the original publication, the book itself is very clear about encouraging the readers to put the lessons into their own words. And that is what I’ve done here.

If it turns out I do not understand one of the lessons or I interpret it wrongly, I feel there is no danger in this. Religious institutions have been misinterpreting the messages of the bible and other spiritual texts for centuries. And still, the teachings of peace and compassion have endured throughout time because those teachings exist outside of time itself. It is my personal experience that, if I am mistaken here or there, this work holds a profoundly patient space for the learning process. It is a course after all. A course teaching spiritual concepts. Spiritual concepts are eternal and thus impervious to corruption.

You, dear reader, will be the first to sense where my own interpretation may be off. And at that moment, you will be locating the very personal empowerment the Course is teaching. This work will survive any number of misinterpretations. True spiritual teachings have infinite patience for the learning process.

Let the Journey Begin...

Reading A Course In Miracles can be a life-changing experience when you take the time to give it daily attention.  It can become a companion to your day-to-day struggles that can bring real and lasting relief.  This blog follows each day’s lesson and offers a variety of vocabulary to all the religious words and phrases so that the concepts presented can be related to without holding a traditional Christian worldview.  I will not only bring the daily lessons into a more informal language, I will translate all religious terminology to be understood outside of a religious context.  

I highly recommend giving the original publication a try and if you get stuck or frustrated, I hope you find this resource here a useful companion to your journey with the teachings.  

If you have just discovered A Course In Miracles, I also highly recommend not jumping into the middle of the work.  Begin with lesson one and proceed numerically each day. This Course has been very carefully thought out and works best as a curriculum.  It does not matter when in the year you start.  

Technically the first lesson occurs on January 1st.  But start with lesson one at any time in the year and complete the 365 lessons in sequence.

Daily help reading A Course In Miracles

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." -Albert Einstein

This blog is an effort to bring the archaic language of religious terminology into a more relevant translation for modern minds so that the messages in the original publication are made useful for today’s way of thinking.  

The Library of Lessons