After A Course in Miracles Teaches Us Meaninglessness, Where Do We Go From Here?
We received another great question from one of our blog readers (we will call her “Grace”) about the book A Course in Miracles. And she gave me permission to share her email with you and answer it here on the blog. Although she is not entirely asking whether A Course in Miracles teaches nihilism, her question has some flavor of that. And I’ve also had a lot of other people tell me that A Course in Miracles is consistent with nihilism and moral relativism.
For those who would like a working definition of nihilism by the way, this is what Merriam-Webster says: “a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths.”
The short answer is that A Course in Miracles is not consistent with nihilism or moral relativism so I thought this was a great opportunity to consult the ACTUAL TEXT of the book instead of whatever wishful thinking we might have about the book to answer Grace’s helpful question. Here’s what she writes:
I like reading your posts because I find them challenging to my already existing beliefs and I love to explore ideas that challenge me. I’ve read A Course in Miracles and resonate with it, but the idea I took away from it was basically this was a holographic universe or illusion to the reality of Oneness. With that idea, how can anything in this illusion be good or bad? Is it not just set up as a sort of video game for people to have their own experiences, lessons and what not? I would think the core lesson is to learn that love and compassion is the answer to everything, but shouldn’t it be ok to achieve that via a multitude of different routes?
Curious about your thoughts…
I feel delighted to hear that the posts are engaging you on a deep level. As you probably know, A Course in Miracles says: “To learn this course requires willingness to question every value that you hold. Not one can be kept hidden and obscure but it will jeopardize your learning. No belief is neutral. Every one has the power to dictate each decision you make.”
Now your question has many layers, and you are correct that the Course in essence teaches that we are living in “a holographic universe or illusion to the reality of Oneness.” The Course does not use the word “hologram,” however it makes clear over and over again that everything we perceive is a projection of our beliefs, and that every part contains the whole and vice versa. Thus, if we want to change the world, we must change our minds. However, we are not changing our minds in isolation because we are One that All that Is. As such, “communication is salvation.” When we communicate with other minds that appear to be separate from our mind, we are actually transforming the global subconscious mind and moving toward a unified perspective. We are always really communicating with our One Self.
We cannot just “agree to disagree” because all that means is that we have failed to unify our seemingly separate minds with the One Mind. That’s why I am so focused on “stay in the conversation until consensus begins to emerge.” What I’m doing through public communication and also through EFT tapping (which is a way of reaching deep into the collective subconscious mind) is harmonizing parts of the subconscious mind that are not yet in alignment with the Will of God.
So then you ask, “With that idea, how can anything in this illusion be good or bad?”
Some people interpret the “video game” aspect of the Course to mean that they can now be nihilists and attempt to “10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves” and it “doesn’t matter if they eat meat” because it’s all meaningless anyway. None of that is consistent with the Course. If we kept those ego-self-serving and murderous beliefs, all we could possibly see in the hologram is a desolate world of killing and pain and death. And that clearly is not the goal here.
You are correct that the ultimate lesson of the Course is “the core lesson is to learn that love and compassion is the answer to everything.” So that lesson has not been learned if people are slaughtering pigs so they can eat bacon in the morning. That lesson has not been learned if people violate the Course’s guidance not to seek a special partner. That lesson has not been learned if others are excluded from our sexual “union.”
In one sense you are correct that everyone has different paths, yet those paths must ultimately converge. Some of us like me had to be confronted with our unethical behavior like eating meat a number of times before we became honest with ourselves. So in that sense my path on that issue took longer than it did for some of my friends like Steve Pavlina who became vegan way back in 1992. Yet ultimately everyone must give up eating meat and practicing monogamy because those practices violate the core lesson of love and compassion. The sooner we learn the lessons, the faster we get out of pain and into a constant state of joy.
And for those who think “death is part of life” or “monogamy can be justified,” as we talked about in an earlier article, those positions simply cannot be reconciled with the text of the book.
Over and over again, A Course in Miracles makes clear that Earth WILL be transformed into Heaven. And the ONLY way that can happen is for us to stop participating in practices that make Earth into HELL for anyone.
Some examples of the utopian vision of the Course, which is a prophecy that will be fulfilled:
“When you have looked on what seemed terrifying, and seen it change to sights of loveliness and peace; when you have looked on scenes of violence and death, and watched them change to quiet views of gardens under open skies, with clear, life-giving water running happily beside them in dancing brooks that never waste away; who need persuade you to accept the gift of vision?”
[Notice how violence and death are gone in the new vision – how can we keep the slaughter of animals then and ever possibly fulfill that graceful vision?]
“Love, too, would set a feast before you, on a table covered with a spotless cloth, set in a quiet garden where no sound but singing and a softly joyous whispering is ever heard. This is a feast that honors your holy relationship, and at which everyone is welcomed as an honored guest. And in a holy instant grace is said by everyone together, as they join in gentleness before the table of communion. And I will join you there, as long ago I promised and promise still. For in your new relationship am I made welcome. And where I am made welcome, there I am.”
[Notice how everyone is welcomed? how then can we keep exclusionary atomistic relationships that exclude everyone?]
“The holy instant is the miracle’s abiding place. From there, each one is born into this world as witness to a state of mind that has transcended conflict, and has reached to peace. It carries comfort from the place of peace into the battleground, and demonstrates that war has no effects. For all the hurt that war has sought to bring, the broken bodies and the shattered limbs, the screaming dying and the silent dead, are gently lifted up and comforted.”
[Notice how the broken bodies and shattered limbs are all corrected? How is that possible if we keep eating meat and fish? By continuing to be predators, we are keeping the belief in pain and death - so if we want the new world, we must let that practice and its entire belief system go ...]
So you see, it is true that the forgiven world is just a perception. However, it is not possible to see the forgiven world while holding on to the predatory and morally bankrupt beliefs of the “old” world. So our lives have to change. And while it is true we will all take a different path to get there, all of our paths will converge in a non-monogamous and non-meat-eating place called Truth.
Grace, I hope that answers your question. And if it does not, please feel free to comment here on the blog (everyone else is welcome to do the same), because I could talk for hours and hours about this and cite dozens of passages from A Course in Miracles if need be … until we reach consensus :)
If you missed our earlier article about A Course in Miracles, catch it here:
And if you missed our earlier articles about monogamy, check them out here:
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Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening
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