In order to explain What The Course in Miracles “the Course” is about, it’s important to know what it is not. Below I will attempt to provide an overview for anyone interested in learning more, or curious about developing a self-guided spiritual practice.
Starting with definitions; spirituality is often confused with religion. In simple terms spirituality is a pursuit of enlightenment or finding God (or the many other terms used- I’ll keep it simple with God). Religion is also about connecting with God, yet in a more organized fashion, with a doctrine of what is good and bad, and based in duality, with the concept of “sin” being a part of the teachings.
The Course differs from religion in that it is a self study spiritual pursuit, assisting you on a path to finding God through non duality or oneness, by way of 365 lessons (one per day), a workbook and manual for teachers. According to the Course, our relationship with God is changeless. Nothing can affect its eternal peace. All we can do is fall asleep and not remember. Yet even during our sleep, our "sins" have no real effect on our relationship with God, and so they don’t even exist. The focus of the course is the practice of true forgiveness; of what we consider to be our so called sins, or the perceived sins of others, and eventually the removal of all barriers to peace. Many find the book to be a difficult read, as it is a jump from the teachings of the world done through our ego, to a deeper understanding of oneness. When you are ready to learn or remember who you truly are, it feels like an inner pull or little voice to remembering truth that will get you started, or keep you going!
After studying spirituality for over twenty years, I have found many answers through ongoing reading of the Course and daily lessons; finding inner peace that I couldn’t reach from any other source. As I continue to study as both a teacher and student, my “inner” life has not only changed, through an ever expanding gift of intuition and deeper connection, but the outer physical has also been affected.
Reading Gary Renard’s, Disappearance of the Universe which explains the principles of the course in an easy and fun way helped me crack open the book, and what once seemed like hieroglyphics to me became much easier to understand. The Course is purposely a slow read, in a format that was deliberately written in a way to stand the test of time.
To those who have labeled the Course as another cult or religion, I gently remind that the study of the principles within the reading does not encourage creating a community of like minded people (although it can happen and be beneficial) but by going inward you can find all answers. Once I started applying the principle of forgiveness, a main foundation of The Course, like minded people just started showing up, to support my learning. The Course requires no one else to participate, and isn’t the only way to finding God. As it states, “there are many paths to enlightenment”, this is just one.
Letting go of your ego, and the return to your original state of complete wholeness; not by embracing your ego, or making it real or your friend, or even trying to understand it is the foundation of the Course. This is accomplished by understanding what the world is, how you created it, the illusion of it, and how to forgive everything and everyone in it. The Course is simple and often parts are repeated on purpose, as it is slowly unwinding your ego, and bringing you back to your original mind. The goal is not to eliminate problems in your life, but to reach a state where the problems no longer affect your peace, and your true function in life is uncovered.
There are teachers and groups embracing parts of the course while eliminating others, as well as finding conflict within it. If you are looking for conflict you will find it. If you seek peace, you will find that. The entire course is summarized right at the beginning; "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
If you would like some help getting started, I am offering a free introduction to Course concepts on Wednesday January 31 at Burlington Health Foods & Wellness at 6 p.m. Register or inquire by calling 905.632.8600 or on line at www.burlingtonhfw.com Course based spiritual counselling sessions can also be done either in person or over the phone. In a one on one session I am guided to asking questions that will uncover blocks to healing relationships, illness challenges or any of the other many ways we get stuck. You don't have to be a course student to benefit.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me.