Understanding ACIM

One of my very favourite quotes from A Course in Miracles is:

“You are still convinced that your understanding is a powerful contribution to the truth, and makes it what it is. Yet we have emphasized that you need understand nothing.”


The tongue-in-cheek attitude hits straight at the arrogance of thinking the Course can be “understood,” which more accurately means to be interpreted or explained. Everywhere I look I see books attempting to “explain” (the derivation of the word means to flatten out) the meaning of ACIM…different ways of trying to make the teachings more palatable, less absolute…like Attitudinal Healing and others attempting to personalise and dilute the Course or turn it into some sort of New Age love fest. The Course means exactly what it says, no more, no less.

“Yet there is no answer; only an experience. Seek only this, and do not let theology [philosophy, words, concepts, interpretations, explanations] delay you.”


In the section of Chapter 14 called The Test of Truth, these instructions are given:

“Those who remember always that they know nothing, and who have become willing to learn everything, will learn it. But whenever they trust themselves, they will not learn. They have destroyed their motivation for learning by thinking they already know. Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone. Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God they be not separate. They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.”

T.14.XI.12.4 (bold added)

And what is this test of perfect peace?

“You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true. If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God’s lesson, and not your own. Unless all this is true, there are dark lessons in your mind that hurt and hinder you,….”


So, unless you have the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding….” (Philippians 4:7 KJV) then you have no understanding.

Whoa!!!!! So, sit down and shut up. Understanding is the booby prize.

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