If you are called to A Course in Miracles, and it feels like Truth to you, and yet you sometimes struggle with trying to be a student of it while dealing with the bullshit of life in the world (and I’m not just addressing new Course students here – I have been doing both of those things for 16 years and I am a Course teacher and coach!)…
If you find yourself thinking, “Yeah, but this fill-in-the-blank thing that is happening to me is different! It’s not something that can just be resolved with ‘love’ or ‘forgiveness’ It’s really real!”…
Or if you feel confused about what A Course in Miracles seems to be saying, and don’t see how you can apply it to certain situations in your own life…
Jump aboard this exploratory starship on its voyage to Planet Miracle.
Our mission: to accompany one another to a higher vantage point in order to see things from a different perspective, and thus change our perception of the world and ourselves.
Whatever wormhole originally brought us across the universe to where we find ourselves today – maybe we are reading A Course in Miracles, or practicing the lessons of the Workbook or singing along to them; perhaps we are attending a study group, or participating in the Teachers of God Friday livestream or doing one of their programs; or we might be listening to another Course teacher’s audiobook, or watching ACIM teachings on Youtube, or going to some miracle boot camp – we are having a unified experience.
It is RESONATING. We can feel ourselves vibrating with the Truth of it in our bones, a long-buried memory of being Home with God has awakened in the depth of our being.
But, even as questions are being answered and the love A Course in Miracles offers us is filling our hearts with light, the continuous process of adapting to this thought system, and doing so while simultaneously trying to figure out WTF it means to live it can feel seriously daunting.
Dude, I get it – it can be like an energetic asteroid field of emotions – where the awesome, no-words-for- it, ineffable, makes-you-want-to-cry power of love meets bat-shit crazy, banging your head on the table, chasing your own tail, chicken with its head cut off frenzy of the ego world in a rollercoaster of conflicting feelings, volume turned up to 11.
I’m not beyond that all of the time myself, but I’m not in it all of the time anymore either.
I think of my own finding of A Course in Miracles, after so many years of spiritual seeking that left me with unanswered questions, as being like I imagine an astronaut feels when they finally get to go up in space. After years of longing, knowing it will be like nothing else they ever do, being a little scared – but irresistibly pulled toward it, and certain on a very deep level that it will completely and forever change them and way they see the world.
What I know is what I’m pretty sure every astronaut in the history of all of the worlds knows – about blasting off and being launched through the upside-down, full-on, tooth-jarring, bone-rattling, soul-shuddering disorienting process of leaving the world as we know it, and rocketing through the atmosphere and into the starlit realm…
The view is COMPLETELY worth it.
Life on Planet Miracle: Answers to Questions About How to Live in the World
Courses mentioned in this video:
ACIM 365Lisa Natoli and her infinite wisdom takes you through all 365 lessons of A Course in Miracles with her commentary. Click here for more information.
Living in Purpose – now offered as Living in OnenessA mastery program to help you go deep and live the principles of A Course in Miracles. Click here for more information.
If this Course is the one that has truly been plotted for you, you know it. The beauty of it, the perfection of it, the light of it, the immense love of it – it is like nothing you have ever seen or felt.
But I’m also going to let you know right now that you’ve got a stowaway – your ego mind is riding shotgun on this spiritual shuttle back home to the Peace of God right along with you – and it is using its version of the Star Trek alien language translator to try and make you turn this thing around and head back to its version of “civilization”. The advanced one, where we attack each other, adopt defensive strategery, are suspicious of everyone, see danger around every corner, expect the worst, and project guilt until proven guilty. You know – where it’s SAFE.
What this means is that when you voyage into the Final Frontier, and take on the intention to reclaim the truth of yourself as the light of the world – pure love, God’s Son, beloved beyond the wildest blue yonder of your ability to imagine – you will notice that the voice of the ego mind, completely threatened by this journey toward the light, is going to get kind of loud. It is going to argue with everything you are learning. It is going to second guess your loving thoughts, play (literally!) devil’s advocate, interfere with your practice, and try to talk you out of choosing love instead of fear.
And it is going to question EVERYTHING.
Because the ego mind lives on fear, and we transform that to LOVE on Planet Miracle. We have an amazing process for doing so called forgiveness, which enables us to breathe the breath of God – unifying all of us and our brothers in the Oneness that is the Truth of us.
The ego mind can’t survive in this atmosphere, so it is going to try and sabotage our efforts, just so you know. Again, this is part of the undoing of the ego. As our thought system shifts from fear to love, we move through an adaptation process whereby the light we are embracing dissolves the darkness in our minds.
In light of this, below I have addressed some of the questions that our Teachers of God participants have written in to us that fall into this category.
“I know that questioning is an ego specialty. I feel kind of blasphemous asking this question, it is about a statement in Lesson 82: ‘My forgiveness is the means by which the world is healed together with myself. Let me, then, forgive the world that it may be healed along with me.’ Has Jesus no longer forgiven the world? Why are we still here?”
While it is true that A Course in Miracles teaches us that all questioning is of the ego, and knowledge is of the spirit, I believe that on our way to remembering the knowledge we have forgotten there is right-minded questioning. This would be for the purpose of helping ourselves understand the ideas in the thought system the Course is teaching. Lesson 82 is a review of lesson 63, “The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.”
Jesus is referring to us, the one Son of God, as the light of the world. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus does not identify only himself as the light of the world, but rather, all of us including him, which he refers to as the Sonship. He is saying that we will have peace of mind – our collective one mind – as we practice forgiveness.
The statement, “My forgiveness is the means by which the world is healed together with myself. Let me, then, forgive the world that it may be healed along with me” is saying that as we practice forgiveness, we heal our own minds.
This world is a dream our ego mind has made up, and as we forgive our illusion of the world, by forgiving everyone and everything in it, the illusion that we are separate from God and each other will be healed as our minds are healed. Jesus as a man completely forgave the world, thus completing the Atonement, which is the full realization that the separation from God never occurred.
Why we still appear to be here, even though in reality we never left our home with God except in the dream of separation, is because we have not yet completely forgiven the world. We are still invested in the ego’s illusion, believing we are a body, living in the world, interacting with other bodies. Each time we practice forgiveness we undo the ego’s thought system more and more, and dissolve more of the unconscious guilt that we have about thinking we separated from God. Eventually we will completely undo it, as Jesus did, completing the Atonement for ourselves, and our awareness will be home with God rather than in the world.
“ACIM notes that this world offers nothing that we want, and one of the stages in the Teachers of God program is relinquishment of the valueless. Are we not to have material enjoyment – relationships, things, objects, etc. – even though we know in and of themselves they are nothing, for we are the totality and cause of it all?”
You partly answered the question you posed by stating in your last sentence, “even though we know in and of themselves they are nothing, for we are the totality and cause of it all.”
Jesus is not asking us to live in the world without material possessions – he is advising us not to identify with the things of the world as being important, because they are part of a dream that the ego mind is making up.
While we are appearing to be in the illusory world of form, we seem to inhabit a body and a material world. We can do so, and enjoy the creature comforts of the world, and roll with the changes that are inherent in the world of duality, while knowing the Truth is that it is all a dream.
Or, we can completely identify with the world, believe we ARE our bodies, get very invested in the state of and serial adventures of the body, be fearful of what is going to happen to it, focus all of our time and energy on protecting the body, and remain in a state of complete unconsciousness about who we really are.
Whether we have a dream where we enjoy a lot of material wealth or have none doesn’t matter in terms of the dream – they are both aspects of the same illusion. Our over-identification and preoccupation with the body and material comforts keeps our time and energy focused on remaining in the dream – I believe that is Jesus’s point – that if we spent time instead on forgiveness, seeing our brothers and thus ourselves as innocent, thereby undoing the ego thought system, we would release ourselves from the dream as opposed to making it more real.
With regard to the inclusion of relationships in your statement that “of themselves they are nothing”, in actuality, several passages in A Course in Miracles identify relationships with our brothers as the source of our salvation.
A great deal of the work of the Course is quite centrally focused on the transformation of those relationships from special to holy – or from fear to love.
It is difficult in this world of form not to have special relationships – those of special love in which we feel closer to certain family members, romantic partners, or friends – or we have an aversion to others, which the Course refers to as special hate.
The Course’s teachings ask us to strive to make all of our relationships holy -and thus not special – by giving them to Spirit to be used for His purpose. One way of doing this is practicing forgiveness of others and ourselves for whatever we see that makes us feel like we love some people more than others, or some not at all.
Another way is to see everyone as either expressing love or calling out for love – in either case, our response to them is love.
From (another) Julie:
“If the understanding is that God is All as All, so there is ever only health, harmony, and fulfillment in Truth, how do we respond to situations that seem to contradict this? For example, homeless people asking for money, or being asked for donations, or someone having a heart attack in front of you? If God is All, then these situations are an impossibility, so how can you uphold the Truth and take rightful action, yet not be tempted to accept the false as true?”
The Truth is God Is All. However our awareness is that we are here in the world of form, and so we respond by doing what is loving, and make choices appropriate to the world we think we are living in.
If we are appearing to wake up in a body in the morning, then we’re in the dream.
If we believe we are seeing homeless people who are asking for money, or that we are being asked for donations, or that someone having a heart attack in front of us, those things are all part of the ego’s projected dream.
If we were to refuse to help a brother on the grounds that it would be “giving into the temptation to accept the false as true,” as the Course says about our experience of the physical world, “it is almost impossible to deny its existence…Those who do so are engaging in a particularly unworthy form of denial.”
What is meant here is that although it is always our choice as to how we respond to what seems to be happening in the dream – whether to give money to the homeless, or make donations, or offer our help in an emergency, or whatever we see as our rightful action to take – to choose not to do so in order to avoid “making the illusion real” would be the ego mind using A Course in Miracles to justify an unloving response that we feel guilty about having.
Upholding the Truth would be to acknowledge that anything and everything in this world – including the world itself, all bodies, whether experiencing heart attacks or not; homeless and not homeless people, charitable organizations and the causes they support – is an illusion. The course of rightful action would then be to forgive it, and ourselves for dreaming it, and ask to have our vision corrected, and then do whatever we are guided to do in the world.
“I lost my employment and need to keep paying my bills, and the natural thing is to keep looking for jobs. Yet isn’t that trying to solve the problem? Do I stay home and pray? I can trust that something will happen to correct this issue but how does it happen if I don’t take some form of action? If no one knows I’m looking for income, how will it come to me? I’m so confused.”
Us trying to “solve the problem” in the context of A Course in Miracles means attempting to do so on the level of form, without asking for Spirit’s guidance.
Essentially, this means looking for a solution on the same level of mind that created the issue in the first place.
The ego mind wants us to choose between the options you presented in your question – either stay home and pray or take action and look for a job. This is because the ego’s circular logic of “Seek and do not find” ensures that we never find the answer and are never at peace.
Applying Course philosophy here would be first, surrendering any situation in which we find our peace disturbed to Spirit. Forgive the appearance of the problem for the ego illusion that it is, and forgive yourself for believing in it. Ask to see it differently. Put it on the altar as your gift to God to be transformed, and ask for guidance about what action to take from a place of love, rather than from one of fear.
Then trust. Trust is the place from which you then do what you are moved to do in the world – look for employment or new income streams, inform people you know that you are seeking work, etc. You will be given answers and instruction in the form of Divine ideas, or helpful people, or an opportunity will unfold. When you are coming from anxiety or panic, you are constricted, not open, and the answers cannot find you. When you stay in trust, you allow direction to come to you.When you stay in trust, you allow direction to come to you. Click To Tweet
Thank you so much for joining me on this adventure today. The Teachers of God Foundation offers several awesome programs that will continue to answer your questions, expand your understanding, and give you practices that help you to live A Course in Miracles.
Two among my favorites are ACIM 365, a guide with commentary to the lessons in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles; and Living in Purpose (now offered as Living in Oneness, a mastery program that offers a deepening of the way you apply Course philosophy to every aspect of your life in order to experience greater peace, love, and joy.
Did you find something in this blog to be helpful in your navigation as Spirit Cosmos Mariner, destination Love?
If so, please leave a comment below.
Of all the planets among all of the stars in all of the galaxies in all of the universes, you chose to walk into mine. I am so glad you did. I love you.
May the Force be with you.
Rev Kelly Russell,
Spiritual Life Coach, Holistic Psychotherapist & Teacher of A Course in Miracles
Thank you Kelly! Your blogs always provide so much clarity. I Love your teachings, and I Love You too.
Thank you Donna! I am happy to be in service in this way. Thanks for reading!
Thank you Kelly😙love your teaching ❤❤❤
Thank you dear Kelly!
What a wonderful way to start my morning! It was like you were speaking directly to me well I am loving the message and I’m diligently doing the work but it is still difficult for me to practice TCIM in this current world I am residing in. Do you ever offer a one on one conversation with someone instead of communicating via blog? . Thank you ..thank you for all you do to help us navigate through this unfamiliar world we are part of!! Love and peace.
Hi Kathleen! I’m so happy you found the blog helpful! Yes, you may communicate with me via firstname.lastname@example.org. 😊
love the astronaut analogy !!! Great visual and full of emotional/feeling connection.
Thank you ! I LOVE you 🙂
Thanks for this guidance – very timely as usual and a reminder of so many Lesdkns I have forgiven !
Kelly, what a fun analogy, launching into space and feeling the old self disseminate while feeling the incredible wholeness of Divine Love restructuring the Self as I am.
Another inspired blog and video. I relate totally with you. I love your style, integrity, lighteness of being and joy in sharing the healing experience of living atonement. Thank you for being the light you are and sharing so brilliantly with us all.
Hi Danet! Thank you for the comment. It is my privilege to be inspired to use my body for communication in this way. It’s so fun! I’m so happy you enjoy it. Thanks for reading!
I love you, Kelly Russell. Thank you for shining your light into the world. Your blog is a favourite of mine and this particular one really spoke to me. Keep going, sister! xo
Hi Kelli! Thank you! I’m so happy to hear that Spirit spoke to you through the blog! The whole point is to help us to discern that Voice, isn’t it? Thank you for reading.
Love this question and answer format. I’m printing paragraph about applying course philosophy to solve problems and putting it next to my GOD box 😊❤❤
Hi Zoila! I’m so glad you like the q & a , and that it felt helpful.Thank you for reading!
Keep it coming! Love to all!
Are you available for one on one coaching? I have personal and professional reasons for asking since I am a spiritual coach as well.
Hi Diane! Yes, I am available for 1:1 Coaching. You may contact me at email@example.com.
Begrudgeingly I go
Thank you Kelly for presenting this material in this format. Enjoyed reading the blog (and taking several notes as reminders of things to remember) and the video, in the bright sunshine near a body of water (a very familiar setting in my new place of residence). Really love how you help to teach us specific ways to apply the Course to the questions and issues that come up in our daily “separated self/ego lives” that we appear to be living in this world. Namaste. James
Thank you for the comment, James, I am happy to be of service in this way. I have been helped in my understanding of the Course by so many teachers., and as the Course reminds us, we teach what we need to learn. Thanks for being on the path with me!
Thank you, Kelly!! Namaste
Thanks Kelly. Love the analogy to space travel. Great blog.
Thank you Kelly, loved the blog! I really enjoyed all the references to Star Trek. Great teaching
I REALLY appreciate the totality of this presentation — it’s thoughtfulness, precision, and clarity. I likewise feel for those who ‘appear to be’ confused and “discabobbilated” by the apparent contradictions and turmoil that seem to happen in our lives seemingly in response to our quest to “awaken” and embrace the Course’s teachings. I find myself facing my own “make believe” in a very trying and powerful way: health challenges. My wife “appeared” to nearly die last year – declining to the point of summoning the family to say “good-byes.” By God’s grace, she decided to stay and with a great deal of love and work has since recovered remarkably — somewhat like a phoenix — to be much, much better now. Yet, the situation seems to be living on borrowed time, waiting for the next “event” and wondering just what is in store, what might tip her over the edge, or happen again to take her down? I am her primary caregiver, her hubby of 37 years, and her absolute “bestest” friend and heart of her heart. The stress has been horrendous. As is so often the case for caregivers, my own health has taken a hit — despite our /my organic, wholistic, and very educated lifestyle. All this happened before the Course reclaimed me.
Now, thoroughly in the grips of the Course once more (it found and claimed me again this last April), I find myself seemingly confronting the illusions and delusions of the ego face first. I am more than “a little willing.” Quite honestly to my utter amazement, I am fully devoted to the Course and its thought system, committed and as vigilant as I manage with time and distractions — and yet… how do I deal with the issues — the seemingly VERY dire and immediate issues, that continue to “haunt” us both? If I understand the Course correctly the best thing I can do is devote myself to its study — round the clock, as it were. Therein lies the only thing that really has value in this “world.” But aside from working, aside from tending all the little mundane activities of “living” in this realm: cooking, shopping, banking, etc. I face immediate and persistent health challenges — her’s and mine — that are HERE! seemingly NOW! and MUST be dealt with — all of which seem — NO MATTER HOW much I pray, how much I ask for help, how much I “work” at surrendering, how much I love and “think” I am forgiving, how much I study, how much I yearn for illumination — VERY real indeed — and a direct contradiction to all that we are embracing!! Having been a meta-physician for most of my life, I recognize the conflict between the “make believe” I make up and the Reality the Course offers. How does one come to terms like these? I acknowledge that all of these conflicts are ego-based attempts to wrap me up in de-railing turmoil and conflicts. I believe sincerely that it IS NOT working and I /we remain devoted to the teachings. What I need help with is understanding WHY my prayers, my sincere and heart felt efforts to reach out to Spirit go seemingly unheeded? Why — with all my best attempts at surrendering these seeming issues — there is NOT SOME KIND of relief? Let Up? — for her or myself! Is it simply that I have not embraced the Course “long enough”? Is it simply a matter of time and attention — earning sufficient brownie points? Is it that I am SO deeply entrenched in my own feelings of unconscious “guilt” that I haven’t peeled enough layers of the ego’s onion to get through yet? I choose to understand. What is the best course of action here? I know — KNOW — that God is with us. I am not as troubled as this writing seems to suggest — primarily because of the Course (perhaps that is a miracle in itself) …But, the situation wears …and wears, and wears. After ALL that my lady has endured, to say nothing of myself, WHY is there no “relief”? As the saying goes: “How long, oh Lord, must we endure?” Thank you for your work, for all you do, and — in advance — for any counsel you may offer.
Hi, Kelly — Yeah, I am back after a bit of reflection. This morning I was strapped for “time” needing to get into my office. I felt some clarifications were in order and that these may be of interest to others. There were two additional points I failed to include in the earlier post that really were at the heart of my challenge and question for you. We are told in the Course that nothing in this world has any meaning. The first two lessons in the Workbook emphasize that we give meaning to everything we experience. This raises the issue at the heart of dealing with “health challenges.” Both my wife and I desire to rise above the appearance of “illness.” We recognize and concur that most things are Spiritual issues at heart (“ALL” – according to the Course). But how does one find the balance point between dealing with potentially life threatening “symptoms” or experiences — i.e.: treating them with all forms of “magic,” if you will — and “making them” very “REAL” indeed — and striving to avoid embracing the ego’s machinations? On one hand NOT to give such events “meaning” — and significant meaning at that — obviously is not sound. And yet, it seems that doing so falls right into the clutches of the ego. Double Ugh! This seems the proverbial case of being between a rock and a hard place!
On somewhat the same note — on a more mundane “level” — and at the heart of the theme of your blog — how does one come to the balance point between studying /living the Course and the rest of one’s life, here on Planet Chaos? As I said earlier, I am now devoted to the study of the Course and the information that abounds around it, as well as other and related Spiritual texts. Again, if one takes the Course literally — (is there any other way to do so?), than the ONLY thing that really has value in this World is studying and “practicing” the Course in Miracles in order to wake up! I could easily find myself kept more than busy happily reading my days away. And yet, I want to hike, I want to exercise, I want to take time to pursue other creative interests I enjoy, read other books just for the fun of it, be involved in other pursuits, and even watch a DVD now and then. These things are certainly NOT important from the standpoint of “salvation,” yet are they not somewhat “essential” to life, while we are so engaged here? How DOES one reason out the balance point of living the Course and living a life????
As before, thank you for all you do and offer of your time and attention. I will appreciate any insights you might send my way. Blessings.
Thank you Kelly! My ego speaks when I have to defend my path, either in my head or as direct confrontational experiences.
Hi Kelly, I cannot tell you all my love for your sharing of this. I was called to the Course almost exactly two years ago, but admit I read it without understanding for most of this time. I am only beginning to grasp all the depth and love and miracles. That’s how I found your blog. Thank you so much!