Or maybe it is. I don't know. It wasn't the path I personally thought I wanted way back when, but it suckered me in... :)
Maybe you will suddenly be given ACIM by someone and it will seem to follow you around the house until you open it. Or maybe you will get a subtle hint...like the blue book will fall off a bookshelf on your head while you are looking for something helpful on Spirit Guides or Angels in Barnes & Noble. Or maybe you will suddenly look twice at the doorstop you've been using for years to prop open the door to the back porch, and for some reason today you notice it says "A Course Of Miracles" on the spine, and isn't that amazing, because you could really use one, a miracle that is, right now.
My point is this: A Course In Miracles is not a path to a better world. It's a Path leading out of the dream, which is the only place the world exists (or seems to). None of us want to hear this at first. Actually most of us just gloss over that part for many years as we "study" it. Because of its premise, it is frustratingly non-committal about what we should "do" when we hit the rough patches in our lives except for the one consistent thing: Go back to the mind and bring Jesus/Holy Spirit/Self/Truth with you and just look without judgment. When you really really really want to do something or feel really really guilty and think you should do something -- this can seem irrationally passive. Wrong even. Maddening even!
But honestly, it's not that it's passive that makes us so irked. (i.e. angry/fearful) Deep down it's that it is so darn radical, and the truth of the matter, it is taking something away from us that we've chosen. Not from the One "I" who we are in the Truth, but from the individual ego self that we identify with (wrongly) in the illusion. Remember the ego is the part of the split mind that thinks we're here, the world is here, and God is separate from us, and that keeps us thinking we have a clue about anything, which keeps us judging which keeps us stuck in guilt, which keeps us choosing separation, yadda yadda yadda...around the circle to nowhere we go.
And that gets me to my real point....
After a while we start to put 2 and 2 and 2 together..and X and LMNOP...and all the other spiritual beliefs we carry around. We've been a collector for years and yet we find that if we're honest, they don't add up or make sense together, which to be useful, and Truthy, they really should do. At some point, we get so weary of tripping over our own feet, that we decide we better lighten our load. We put all the spiritual "truths" we've collected on the table...we spread them out and look at each one. We see if we can put them together in any kind of coherent puzzle and if so, what kind of picture the puzzle creates.
If I believe it because it's True (or at least points the right direction) then it should fit in this puzzle somewhere! We assure ourselves of this declaration for good reason. Now we're being logical for once. Or more accurately, we are maturing spiritually, and it's time to give up our toys.
Here's a typical scenario....
I bring out the puzzle piece that says "I am Love"...then I pull out the puzzle piece "God created me" ...ahh, yes...those feel good. I've had them a long time.
I pull out the piece "I am here to experience the world" and the puzzle piece "God has created a beautiful world." Those feel good too. Old friends.
Then maybe I go get a glass of water, and as I'm walking through the living room, I catch a glimpse of news. CNN is reporting the latest death tolls of some war or some famine, or maybe the local channel is reporting on some murder or some rape....or maybe it's not the news, but a political talk show, and the conservative host is arguing with the evil, commie liberal -- or the liberal host is arguing with the evil, fascist conservative......
I go back to my spiritual puzzle pieces, and I take a sip of water and just look. I make a new puzzle piece out of cardboard...it says, "the world is full of chaos, death, destruction, hate, greed, violence etc."
I feel the anxiety rising. (What the heck?) I stay with it, though. I push around "God is LOVE" and "God created the World" and "I am Love" and nose them up against, "the world is full of chaos, death, destruction, hate, greed, violence, etc."
Ok, dammit, these do not all fit together!
I push them all around the table some more...I try to match them up somehow. Maybe scoosh the too-big parts into the too-small parts to make a compromise "fit"? Maybe make a new piece that tries to connect them both. "God is LOVE and I am LOVE and the world is actually a really LOVING place, no matter all the murder and mahem, which is just ME getting to Experience the dark so I can learn from contrast."
Wow. That fits but sounds kinda funky. Like if God is LOVE, then I have to be LOVE (how can something create something it is not)... but this last one I made (or read somewhere) is hard to make sense of. Why would perfect Love need to learn anything? Also, learning implies there's subject/object...I'm way too far advanced to think God's a white guy with a beard looking down on me, "the other." I feel we are truly One. This piece just seems to compromise in every direction and it sort of fits, but not very cleanly.
And this "not fitting" is becoming more of a problem as I grow in spiritual wisdom. Without connecting them, I am a bit splintered...schizophrenic even. On Mondays I'm nice and wise, and on Wednesdays I'm mean and evil. I am on a pendulum, and I feel like Cybil!
Alright...the only thing left to do is to consider that maybe, just maybe, I need to give up a puzzle piece. How about "God is Love"? Eek. No way. If I give that up, why even put this stupid puzzle together at all? Besides that feels right, and sometimes in my darkest hours it is the only thing I have to hold onto! Lots of teachings and gurus that are smarter than me about all of this have come to this conclusion. I'll keep this one because I've experienced enough to know this is True.
How about "I am Love" ... well shoot. If God is LOVE and if I exist at all, how the heck could He create something not like himself? That would make Him imperfect, at which point he's not God at all. Nope, that's illogical. So I must be Love, or at least what's real about me must be. I'm keeping that one.
Well, all I'm left with is "God created the world." Hmmm........
I put my chin on the table for a long think. As I stare at my puzzle pieces through my water glass, I notice how they warp and seem to change. What is "the world"? I remember how quantum physicists have said that at the tiniest level of micro reality, there is no tangible matter to be found. NO matter. Again, what is "the world"? What is my body, my perceptions, my life? Then I remember that Einstein says even time is a "collective hallucination." So no time, no matter. Huh.
I take the piece "God created the world" and I throw it away. I make a new piece, "There is no world." Ding ding ding! Now all the pieces suddenly go together!!!
But there's one problem, one MAJOR problem. If God didn't create the world, then what the heck is happening here? Why do I think I'm in a world, in a body, with a past and future, with family and a job, and a laptop and a blog...why? Why is there a CNN and why are there stories about murder on it? Well, there ARE good things, too, I remind myself. "Yeah but," I retort, "I can't believe God is more schizo than I am...making flowers, rainbows, and purple unicorns on all the even days and war, starvation, and disease on odd days. No way."
(Is it getting hot in here?)
If God didn't create the world, I must have. And the only reason to do something is because you want it for some reason. It seems like a good deal at the time. It seems to give you something "better" than you had before.
Aye, here's the proverbial rub.
The world then is a "wish fulfillment" dream of an ego that thinks it separated (or accomplished the impossible). And to give the dream up and awaken, I have to give the ego up as my reality and identify with that Love, that Love that must possess me, not the other way around. Getting to the chase, if I give the ego up, it means I give the idea of a little individual self up. I stop believing in the story of Laura.
Whoa, the rub is getting rubbier.
I spin what's left of my water in my glass, and I watch the perceptions I receive through it get fuzzier. Perceptions change. The world is morphing and fading in my mind, as am I. Is the cup 1/2 full or empty? Neither..there IS no cup.
And now I finally complete the puzzle. I can own the piece I was afraid to look at before, so now the gentle, gradual unlearning can really begin. It is all so radical but simple...I see that I have never wanted the Truth. I wanted "me." But I'm softening to the idea now...a glimmer of willingness is dawning. And that's the first step.