If we are all in an "illusion" what is your moral campus? I mean, and do not take an offense to it, I buy the concept of acim since it is simplified Buddhism and as such it is my faith. If I want to teach some one about Maya I could not give a better book to read is the course, or better yet listen to the tapes (what a powerful verse and language)
But learning about Maya(acim) will not help you to "awake", or will it? Is that enough, you think to "forgive" constantly but remain the same person as you were in 10 reincarnations before? Where is the progress, where is the path?
Spirituality is referred as a path we walk on.
In a way; what would stop me to be the same little person who lies, want to get ahead, thinks of himself and lives his petty, stupid little life without any remorse or any lessons learned throughout lifetimes? I can just forgive myself for being selfish. Will forgiveness teach me to be like Mother Theresa? I doubt it. It will become repetitious and boring after a while.
Have you met anyone who "awakened" via acim? I do no mean this question as contentious but a serious one. I know people who “awakened by practicing selfless, meditastive and spiritual lives,
Artists or even priests, but I like to know if “forgiveness” is really enough or it is just a façade.
A Course in Miracles is a comprehensive spirituality which is indeed sufficient unto itself. It is a very profound and radical work. It is not all that easy to fully understand and appreciate its teachings. Most people require many years of study and practice and even then, after many years, find that they have only come a part of the way along the path of the Course which does indeed lead to enlightenment or awakening from the illusion (i.e., the dream of separation). In asking these questions, which are good and legitimate ones, I think you recognize that you do not yet fully understand the Course. When you have a more fully developed understanding, you will no longer have these questions -- assuming that you continue to read, study and practice the Course.
It is true that the central, practical teachings of the Course are about forgiveness. But forgiveness is a path which prepares our mind for awakening to Oneness, which is the essence of the Love of God. And forgiveness is not something that one accomplishes merely with the intellect, but involves the miracle of a change of mind from the thought system of the ego to the thought system of the Holy Spirit of Whom Jesus is one manifestation. Buddha is another such manifestation.
One of the first steps in fully understanding the Course is recognizing that it is about mind which is a dimension of spirit outside of time and space. What the Course means by mind is not the brain or any correlate of the brain, which is merely part of the the illusory body that is controlled by the thought system we, as the mind's decision maker, have chosen at the level of mind. Forgiveness is not about behavior or about mere thinking, both of which are effect not cause. It is mind that is cause, so to make use of the Course one must first learn how to access and identify with our mind. It is only at the spiritual level of mind that the "miracle" of changing from ego to Holy Spirit is possible. What seems to happen within the illusion is a reflection of what takes place at the level of mind. Again, mind is the cause and all else is effect.
What has been given you? The knowledge that you are a mind, in Mind [i.e., the Mind of God] and purely mind, sinless forever, wholly unafraid, because you were created out of Love. Nor have you left your Source, remaining as you were created (W-pI.158.1:1-3).
> If we are all in an "illusion" what is your moral campus ?
Our moral compass is what the Course means by the Holy Spirit, Who represents the thought system of the Atonement in our mind. The Atonement is simply the knowledge that only Oneness is true and that, at the level of mind and spirit, we are not separate. Within the illusion that plays out as the recognition of brotherhood and the necessity of forgiveness -- of allowing ourselves to become instruments of love and peace within the dream of separation, judgment, hatred and conflict.
[The Course's] only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher [e.g., moral Guide within the dream] (Preface to the ACIM text, p.viii).
> what would stop me to be the same little person who lies, want to get ahead, thinks of himself and
> lives his petty, stupid little life without any remorse or any lessons learned throughout lifetimes?
What you describe is the outcome of the ego thought system as it is manifested in the dream. The ego thought system represents our wrong mind and is dedicated to self interest. The alternative -- what replaces the ego -- is the thought system of Jesus or the Holy Spirit which represents our right mind. We have to learn how to choose to be guided by our right mind, and that involves first of all learning that we are mind, not body and brain; not a separate person in a world of other separate persons.
> I can just forgive myself for being selfish.
No, you can't do that on your own. The ego cannot forgive the ego. When you [as mind] really forgive your selfishness, you will have chosen the Holy Spirit as your guide in all things.
> Will forgiveness teach me to be like Mother Theresa?
Yes it will. That's basically being like Jesus, and to allow yourself to be guided by your right mind is to be like Jesus.
> Have you met anyone who "awakened" via acim?
Yes I have. Kenneth Wapnick is an example. He does not advertise himself as enlightened, but when you've been around him for a while his enlightenment becomes apparent, and he is by far the most authentic and reliable teacher of ACIM I know of. It would probably help you to read some of this book. I recommend The Message of A Course in Miracles.
> I know people who “awakened by practicing selfless, meditastive and spiritual lives,
> Artists or even priests, but I like to know if “forgiveness” is really enough or it is just a façade.
There are many paths to enlightenment. A Course in Miracles is one of them. But it is a path of mind not one of behavior, because mind is the cause and behavior is effect. Those who follow behavioral paths will eventually have to discover the reality of mind.
Many have spent a lifetime in preparation, and have indeed achieved their instants of success. This course does not attempt to teach more than they learned in time, but it does aim at saving time. You may be attempting to follow a very long road to the goal you have accepted. It is extremely difficult to reach Atonement by fighting against sin. Enormous effort is expended in the attempt to make holy what is hated and despised. Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose....(T-18.VII.4:4-9).
Thanks for the response. Yes, I know of Mr. Wapnick, and I respect him a great deal. He is the "genuine article", so to speak. Most people who advertise as being "enlightened" are not, and those who are - do not care. :)
I am planning to learn a little more about acim and this website/forum seems like a good place....
Indeed, if one thinks about it, when we have an "aha moment" about ANYTHING in life it is usually the breakthrough that is needed to set us on the course of recovery. This is to say, when I know I am dreaming and fully realize maya/illusion as ALL MUNDANE, human endevour then and ONLY THEN Iam on the true spiritual path.
Is this like a 12 step in AAA (or in anything for that matter) one must hit the rock bottom, and decide to crawl out?
Andras: ...one must hit the rock bottom, and decide to crawl out?
Yes, I think it's like that. You know, what triggered the scribing of the Course was a heart felt plea for a "better way." The tricky thing is that we would already have that "better way" if we really wanted it. Instead, we choose to identify with the ego which teaches that the "better way" is to project our guilt onto someone or something perceived to be outside of us. So, we judge and attack. In that way we blame our unhappiness on that something (a situation in the world) or someone (a special relationship partner) and never have to take responsibility for the inner choice for the ego that led to the unhappiness in the first place. Surprisingly, we want to be miserable. That's because we want to be separate, but blame the consequences on someone or something other than our decision to believe the ego's story of separation.
You who prefer separation to sanity cannot obtain it in your right mind. You were at peace until you asked for special favor [i.e., to be a separate individual]. And God did not give it for the request was alien to Him [i.e., separation is alien to Oneness], and you could not ask this of a Father Who truly loved His Son [because the essence of Love is Oneness]. Therefore you made of Him an unloving father...[i.e., the ego's version of God as found in the Bible -- a "God" who believe is sin (separation) and both punishes sinners as well as demands sacrifice as atonement for sin.] (T-13.III.10:1-4; brackets mine]
I want the peace of God.... No one can mean these words and not be healed. He cannot play with dreams, nor think he is himself a dream. He cannot make a hell and think it real. He wants the peace of God, and it is given him. For that is all he wants, and that is all he will receive. Many have said these words. But few indeed have meant them. You have but to look upon the world you see around you to be sure how very few they are (W-PI.185.2:1-8)
As for learning more about the Course on the Web, you might check out some of the posts on the Beliefnet Group for ACIM here:ACIM Group and see the resources of the Miracle Studies Web site beginning here:http://www.miraclestudies.net