I’ve decided not to post every single day that I’m reading A Course in Miracles (ACIM) but rather to let myself digest the content internally for a bit before writing.
Early on, everything in the book seemed quotable, remarkable, a statement that could stand alone and give tremendous insight. Now, I’m finding the text to be far more dense.
This occurred to me today when my 5 year old sat in my lap and asked me to read aloud to him. Knowing this was not a book he would actually listen to or understand, he humored me by sitting and listening to two pages’ worth.
Nothing was clear. Everything was very theological and in some ways, over both our heads.
I was given advice from ACIM-related website to let the text wash over me rather than analyzing every sentence. This is what was needed – at least at this juncture in the book.
I find that some paragraphs and pages are written so clearly to my mind that it’s as simple as anything I could have imagined, yet more profound. Other paragraphs I’m not sure when complete understanding will occur.
Now this is interesting…
What is clear to me is the section on illness of the body, and how our reliance on physical solutions and remedies is a belief itself in ‘magic’. Because only the mind and ‘right-thinking’ can truly heal. “The body makes its own illness.”
Think of the placebo effect. We are cured because we believe the medicine is the cure – whether or not it is a sugar pill.
The text references the component of fear as it relates to sickness. However, it does not go so far as ti recommend that we abandon medicine. It would take a powerfully clear mind with tremendous, yet simple, pure faith, to do away with outside interventions.
ACIM recommends that when fear is present, or even panic, that outside/external world remedies are needed and should be relied upon. This would include medicines, doctors, tools, etc.
Please keep in mind that giving short excerpts here, plus my interpretation of the text is no substitute for reading the pages. You’ll find this section on sickness round about pages 24, 26. There is much to consider on this subject.
But what I most want to dive into is the topic of fear.
It can be paralyzing in its hold on us. And while we can often go about our day without truly acknowledging many of our fears, it doesn’t mean they aren’t rooted in.
For me, I know I’ve had fears around health and well-being, as well as fears about my family, fears about money.
I’ve been listening to Gabrielle Bernstein’s, “The Universe Has Your Back,” at the same time that I started ACIM. I’m in the section of her book where she tells you to acknowledge your fear. To feel it. To experience it. To spend time with it without looking away from it. Not to anesthetize. Not to distract yourself. To be with it.
In this way, the emotion of the fear will pass through you.
This is what we want. This is what should occur naturally.
Have you ever heard that emotions should be or are energy in motion? And that when we do not truly let ourselves feel the emotion and pass through us, it becomes stuck? It is this ‘stuck energy’ from past emotions that many people believe cause stagnation in the body (which acupuncture works to remedy) or emotional issues or physical illness.
Sitting with fear is intense. Many emotions are very intense.
And we tend to want to distract ourselves, turn the radio on, call a friend… rather than let it sink into us.
There’s a line from a song by Victoria Williams, “Crazy Mary,” that says, “that which you fear the most, will meet you half-way.”
I shudder a little inside every time I hear her sing that, because it’s the concept of being afraid of being afraid. The idea that by simply acknowledging a fear, that you will draw it closer to you.
Yikes. It feels like loss of power. It feels like doing everything you can to pretend that that particular fear does not exist- rather than dwell on it.
What I’m talking about doing here (and what I believe A Course in Miracles) is referring to, is a middle ground of the two. Not ignoring it. Not dwelling on it.
Observe it. Sit in silence with it. 2 minutes, 20 minutes… whatever it takes to give yourself enough time to be fully present with the fear. Feel it coursing through it. Feel the worst case scenario. Let is wash over you and through you.
Then let it go.
Let it pass away from you. Do not pick it up again. Not in an hour, not in a day, not in a week.
I suspect that what I’ll find the further along I go into this book, is that the teaching is really, acknowledging that all of these thoughts – the good and the bad – they are not real. They are not our true selves, or rather, they do not represent our true selves.
Remember the early quote from the book about perfect love? Perfect love casts out all fear. And perfect love is all that exists. If there is fear, there is an absence of perfect love. Yet perfect love is all there is.
It sounds like a magical riddle.
Truth is knowledge is love is God. Perception is false is delusion is a self-created nightmare. Yet truth is knowledge is love is God.
I’m loving this. I’m steeping in these new tenets. I carry them with me in my consciousness each day just a little.
At this point, we are well aware of the depths of spiritual development that ACIM attempts to teach us. Only 40 pages in or so I cannot imagine what awaits me past page 1000.
But, not to make light of the gravity of the spiritual development ACIM holds… I cannot help but think about a scene from one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s about acknowledging the truth – the nature of reality. Watch.
The Matrix. Scene: There is no spoon.
Do not try and bend the spoon. Why not? Because that’s impossible. Only try to realize the truth. “There is no spoon.”
There is no spoon. Perception is what we think reality is. Yet, quantum physics will tell you objects are mostly made up of empty space.
Okay, now we could go down the quantum physics rabbit hole, which I’ll save for an upcoming post. 🙂
What about you? Can you reconcile A Course in Miracles with Quantum Physics? How strong do you think the Mind/Body connection is? Can you heal through your thoughts or prayer? When we aren’t healed is there a higher purpose, something that transcends our understanding?
More questions than answers, I know. Stick with me though… we’ll dive through it all together.
Make sure you get the podcast episodes.
Wednesdays are dedicated to A Course in Miracles teachings