So have you heard of this spiritual text known as A Course in Miracles? Maybe you heard some of your friends talking about it, maybe you saw it on someone’s coffee table or book shelf somewhere. In either case, you’re curious now and you’re searching around trying to find out, just what is A Course in Miracles exactly?
It’s a Foundation for Inner Peace
If you’ve seen the text before, you will have noticed that right on the cover it lets you know that this is either A foundation for inner peace, or it’s THE foundation for inner peace. Of course there can be arguments made for either point of view, but being an ardent student of this text myself, I can tell you firsthand that it’s definitely necessary to understand at some point if you are interested in inner peace at all.
Fundamentally A Course in Miracles is a thought system. It’s a thought system that is designed to identify, uproot, and replace those thoughts you have that are the cause of misery and suffering in your life with those that will lead to inner peace.
Inner peace is of course a natural result of practicing this course, although in truth it is designed to take one far beyond simply experiencing some inner peace. The ultimate destination as the course states is to bring one to what it refers to as Atonement, which is a little inner peace and then some to put it lightly.
Nothing Real Can Be Threatened
The Course starts out be saying that, “nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists, herein lies the peace of God.” It’s amazing that the ultimate truth can be summed up in just a simple sentence. It kind of makes you wonder why in the world the words that follow this sentence, you know, the rest of the book, are necessary at all if it’s that simple.
The truth of the matter is that what we take as real currently, the real world as they say, is actually not real at all. According to the course the world we perceive around us is an unconscious projection of our guilt that we believe we separated from and thus sinned against God.
The world around us is our way of punishing ourselves for this deed as well as hiding from a perceived punishment from God that we believe is coming our way.
Not only do we believe that the world and even universe that we can currently perceive is real, but we perceive ourselves as and identify as human beings. But if we are to take the course’s meaning of reality to be true, then what’s truly real is eternal and cannot change or be changed at all.
As we can clearly see, there isn’t anything in this world, including our own perceived sense of individual identity known as being human, that lasts forever. If it doesn’t last forever, how, then, can it be true?
What is Real Anyway?
The Course is very clear and direct that what is real is essentially God and God alone. And by God it is referring to total and complete abstract awareness, bliss, and being that is completely perfect, eternal, and loving.
Our true nature, as the course states many times as well, is the offspring, extension or Son of God. We are eternal and changeless just as the Father is, the only difference being that we did not create ourselves.
So this is reality. Anything that we perceive as not being formless abstract and eternal, such as everything with form and that exists in time and space for example, is completely unreal.
Of course fully awakening to this fact as reality, having this as a direct personal experience, and reading this information intellectually are two very different things. Having this direct personal experience is the goal that the course is leading one toward.
Nothing Unreal Exists
We’ve kind of touched on this already, but essentially anything that changes and has form is unreal. And what would be another word for change? Death.
Essentially death and suffering are totally nonexistent except in the mind of the dreamer, that being you. I suppose that would be good news if in fact that is exactly what is going on here in our supposed reality.
But this is what A Course in Miracles is saying when it is talking about what is unreal. That ultimately, you don’t have to worry about all the things that have caused you pain and that have come and gone in your life. It’s ok, it’s just a dream.
Beginning to see the world around you as not only a dream and thus fundamentally unreal, but that it is in fact YOUR dream is the foundation of the thought system of the course. This is the beginning to undoing fear and suffering and in finding true peace.
Herein Lies the Peace of God
Once you begin to see that everything in your life is your dream, then you can begin to employ the chief tool the course gives for finding peace and waking up to your true reality, and that is the instrument the course calls advanced forgiveness.
Advanced forgiveness is to differentiate between the forgiveness we’re all used to. Normally someone does something that bothers us and if we feel that we are good people, we can ‘forgive’ or sort of overlook what this person did. But our mind still registers it as something that is very real and thus judges it even if at a subconscious level.
True forgiveness, on the other hand, sees that because this is a dream, whatever happened didn’t really happen at all. Not only that, but if this dream is in fact coming FROM you, then whatever is bothering you is simply something that you are doing to yourself.
Essentially you are forgiving yourself for what never happened because this is your dream of self-hatred. This is advanced forgiveness and it is the principle means of reorganizing your thoughts to not only find inner peace, but to secure your awareness of the Atonement and wake up from the dreams of suffering to the reality of bliss everlasting.
And that my friends, is what the miracle is all about.