More than 30 years ago, feeling beaten down by my seedy lifestyle, I asked my mentor, Jane, how she remained so peaceful. She said she studied a book called A Course in Miracles (ACiM).
A few years later, Jane sent me Love Is Letting Go of Fear (a summary of the Course’s main principles), and I clung to it like a life raft! At 35, I was in my third marriage which was already in a shambles due to my lying and substance abuse.
Three years later, I quit drinking and asked a sponsor to help me work the Twelve Steps. It was no coincidence that she also studied ACIM, and soon included me in a study group. Since then I’ve joined a few different groups, and have found this to be the best spiritual path for me.
Why does it fit me so well? You might recall that I refer to myself as the “former queen of worry.” My study of ACIM teaches me how to dissolve my fears, anxiety, resentments, and selfishness. And, during the year 2020, I have needed every lesson it has taught me to live with peace and trust!
What is A Course in Miracles? (from Wikipedia)
The purpose of the book, A Course in Miracles (ACIM), is to bring about a “spiritual transformation. In 1965, Helen Schucman began working at a medical center as Bill Thetford’s research associate. When their weekly office meetings became quite contentious, Thetford concluded that “[t]here must be another way.” Schucman believed this interaction triggered a series of visions, dreams, and heightened imagery, along with an “inner voice” that told her: “This is a Course in Miracles, please take notes.” The next day, she explained her “note taking” to Thetford. To her surprise, he encouraged her to continue the process. Schucman said that the writing made her very uncomfortable, though it never seriously occurred to her to stop. The transcription was completed in 1977. ACIM is published by the Foundation for Inner Peace in Novato, CA.
General Principles of ACIM : Gigi’s Ideas (Workbook lesson number in parentheses)
A miracle is a shift in perception. We choose God’s loving thoughts over ego’s fearful thoughts. We can align our minds with either Love or Fear.
Love: God. Spirit. The only reality. Everything that comes from love is good: e.g., peace, service, care.
Fear: The ego. Illusions. The part of the mind that knows only fear: judging, separating, attacking. God did not create the ego. It’s driven by bodily instincts for survival and competition. When people operate out of fear, it’s simply an appeal for help.
Who Am I, Really? “We’re spiritual beings living in a human body.”
I am a beloved child of God. I am spirit. (But I’ve forgotten this.) (114)
I am not a body. I am free, for I am still as God created me. (201)
God is in my mind. My mind holds only what I think with God. (141)
Don’t Trust Ego’s Thoughts
Ego’s voice is the first one and the loudest one we hear. It tells us happiness is not in God; that it’s in worldly people, places & things.
I’m never upset for the reason I think. (5)
I’m upset because I see something that isn’t there. (6)
I see only the past. (7) I have no neutral thoughts. (23)
The world I see holds nothing I want. (128)
We Are Free
We’re sinless in God’s Eyes: We love ourselves and others because God does. Fear (ego) separates us from our own spirit AND one another.
When people operate out of fear, it is simply an appeal for help.
What I see is a form of vengeance (attack/defense). (22) (but it’s not true)
My grievances hide the light of the world. (69)
There’s Only One of Us Here
What we see in another is what we believe about ourselves. As we love and forgive others, we dissolve our sense of separation from God and our fellows. We’re students and teachers to one other.
To give and receive are one in truth. (108)
All that I give is given to myself. (126)
I’m not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts. (18)
How to Escape Ego and Fear
Every time we’re disturbed, we need to reject ego’s negative perceptions and ask God (Love) to help us see things differently. According to ACIM, there is no “order of difficulty” to either problems or miracles. They’re all the same: either misperceptions or the truth.
I Want to Be Free of Ego’s Perceptions
I share God’s will for happiness for me. (102)
I am not the victim of the world I see. (31)
The past is over. It can touch me not. (289)
I could see peace instead of this. (34)
I Choose Love over Fear
I am determined to see this differently. (21)
Let miracles replace all grievances. (78)
Let every voice but God’s be still in me. (254)
I rest in God. (109)
Love is the way I walk in gratitude. (195)
Want to Learn More?
Start with Marianne Williamson’s A Return to Love, then join a study group. I’ve found Karen Casey’s Daily Meditations for Practicing the Course and 52 Ways to Live The Course in Miracles to be very helpful.
Gigi Langer has studied ACIM since 1988. She now attends Course study groups in Michigan and Florida. Langer is a certified facilitator of Gerald Jampolsky’s Attitudinal Healing, a program that helps children and adults struggling with disease apply the ideas from ACIM.
Gigi Langer’s new book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection was published by Possum Hill Press in February, 2018. Get a signed copy here.