ACIM suffers from the same problems that many other "minor-industry" new-age movements do; namely, that it is difficult to determine whether it is real or merely a way for someone to make money. So you're always going to find people who don't like it, or dismiss it as "just another cult."
That doesn't necessarily mean that the material is bad; it just means that there will always be naysayers in the world. Google any spiritual term with the word "cult" or "scam", and you will always find plenty of people willing to voice their negative opinion about your particular brand of spirituality.
The following is excerpted from a letter responding to the article about A Course in Miracles at the Skeptic's Dictionary:
I am going through the online version now and don't see anything bad about it.
I am still at the beginning and the ideas are a bit hard to grasp. What I like about it is that it takes very little time and it forces you to see the things around from a different perspective. I think that doing so consistently for a full year will have a lasting effect on your perception of the world.
The main reason I am going through it is because I'm a Wayne Dyer fanboy and Dyer keeps mentioning ACIM in his books and lectures :)
answered 02 Feb '10, 03:26
I did go through it about 7 or 8 years ago. Nothing harmful about it, nothing that didn't help me to progress spiritually. I would say it is beneficial. Personally, though, it didn't resonate with me on any level. I could tell you few things of lasting value that I learned from it. Many other things helped me so much more. You have to decide for yourself.
answered 28 Jan '10, 15:47
I am reading ACIM as I read other spiritual books, and it is no cult. It does espouse some concepts very different to biblical followers, but I am open to that. As you read it, you will be amazed at the similarities to the words of this text and the words of the Qur'an, Buddhism, Mayan Toltec beliefs. It is far more secular than the bible, but I must say it is often difficult to understand. If the phrasing of the text puts you off, read the books by Joel Goldsmith (who also channeled Jesus back in the 1940'/50's). It is very readable. Essentially, they all say the same thing: we are all the same, we are nothing but love and joy. Any of these philosophies can help us move back toward our divine beginning.
answered 22 Feb '11, 23:36
In 2003 i experienced a revelation, enlightenment etc ... say it as you will. Prior to this I had not read any spiritual book nor followed any spiritual practice. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) was the first book i was led to after this experience ... what it says is 100% true! As i say i didn't read it or anything else before so was not influenced by anything.There are some that profit from ACIM, some that write about the course and make mistakes and they are all in the perfect place to learn as well.If you choose to do the course, it says to read the text first as this will give you a "basic" understanding of what it means and make the lessons more meaningful.
The lessons are to be done one a day although the course says you may take longer and thats ok. It calls itself "mind training" and says that it is a self study course. In my experience i read something, don't understand it and so ask ... then when i am ready to accept the meaning it just "comes" to me. It states that it's a required course but that there are many forms all with the same content. It states that gods son, also known as all of us, as one, are innocent and claims that we can experience this, that is what god showed me.
Definition of cult; a religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
ACIM has no leader and no authoritative figure, it is self study, it is radical teaching, only love through forgiveness, those studying it are encouraged to continue with their normal life.
Now lets compare that to the many religions and some christian churches which teach hell and eternal punishment which was never mentioned in the original scriptures, nor did they ever speak of sin but only of errors. Check out the root meanings and you will be amazed at what has been added, and worse, that which has been removed ... reincarnation was a belief written in the Bible but was removed circa 550 CE ... prior to this a vote was conducted to remove and include books to the Bible, about 14 books were removed when the King James Version was introduced ... the list is breathtaking! Interestingly when you begin to get to the root of the true meaning of the Bible it says the same as ACIM, Buddha, Upanishad, Rumi and on and on!
The Bible after all of that twiddling by men ... the truth still remains in the words spoken by Jesus ... if you look through love in non judgement as Jesus directed :)
In my humble opinion if ACIM speaks to you do it, if it doesn't then keep love in your heart and trust that it will guide you ... it will
God is LOVE
See you ALL at Home :)
I did it for 4-5 months and decided it wasn't for me. In a nutshell the book is about forgiveness love and peace. Forgiveness is probably seen as the main focus. Through forgiveness you can reach love peace joy etc. There is a daily lesson.
Each lesson is like a meditation. The first few lessons take no time at all, however after a few months if done properly the lessons become extremely time consuming. It is not easy to understand either and is best done in conjunction with a weekly group where more knowledgable people can advise and guide.
Many things put me off ACIM. In the group I went to I didn't see any evidence of people who were anywhere near spiritual enlightenment. Even amongst their highly regarded spiritual teachers no one seems to be anywhere near the level of enlightenment reached by Eckhart Tolle or Byron Katie etc. There are so many.
In fact one of their highly regarded teachers 'probably' made up a story about two accended masters who gave him information about ACIM. He wrote a book about it, after destroying the tapes of course and made a lot of money from it. Evidence has since come to light that he is probably a fraud and made the whole thing up. Acim students appear not to care about the damning evidence against this teacher. They can become quite aggressive if you mention any of the facts about this. I found it impossible to hang around with others who quoted him as if he was a genuine spiritual teacher.
Finally, one of their beliefs is that we are not really here. This life is all just an illusion, so nothing really matters. We are actually living with God now and are not really here. I could not grasp or believe this at all. Although I can understand how it would be easy to forgive if you thought you were not really here. I think forgiveness is a major part of spiritual enlightenment but not in the way ACIM does it. It felt forced and unnatural.
However I don't think its a cult. Appart from the famous teachers of it I don't think anyone really made any money from it. The weekly class I went to just asked for a donation. No one gave more that a few pounds and they sometimes didn't cover the cost of the room. Even the original scriber who channelled the information donated the book and didn't make money from it.
The other things cults get accused of is separating people from family and friends. ACIM could never be accused of this, because even if your family treated you badly they would tell you it didn't really happen since we are not really here. All part of forgiveness etc.
I still have the book. It has many many wonderful quotes in it.
Jeanne: If you understand the definition of a cult, your belief system called Christianity in all its various forms is a cult, too. Any group or philosophy that touts itself as "The Only Right and Correct Way" is a cult. Period. Whatever your particular brand or denomination is, just ask the other Christians. Most will say you're in a cult, especially if you're evangelical, Catholic, Mormon, JW, Southern Baptist, Pentecostal, Apostolic, Greek Orthodox, or, well, you get the point. But you go on thinking you know The Truth. We'll just sit back and say, 'There, there, little one. Go in peace.'
answered 27 Nov '10, 23:29
Simply judging by the material itself, ACIM is on such a sophisticated level metaphysically that it's really hard to find much fault with it. As far as it being "bad", if it is some kind of cult, it is literally the least harmful cult ever. It calls for no money, the book has no author names/fame to be gained from this, etc... If it is a cult it's the crappiest cult ever, which is odd considering how deep the material is.
answered 13 Dec '10, 04:46
I have been studying The Course in Miracles and I've been back and forth wondering if it true or not. The more Divine guidance I ask for, the more doubts keep on coming to me...
I have read that one of the authors worked for many years in a CIA research team, in which the subject was mind control techniques.
As said, apparently not many people made money from the Course. At least not the authors. But was that really the goal, if the Course was a scam?
Not in this case. I'll explain:
Based on the theory that this was just another CIA experiment, once the message had spread out the country and the world, a good percentage of the world population would have just been nothing more than catatonic zombies. They could have perfect slaves, do with them whatever they wanted and students of the Course would never fight back! Easy targets.
I've talked with some students of the most known ACIM schools in the world and I can tell you that they are really brainwashed... They claim to be enlightened, based on a theory (resume by me) that if you deny everything at all then you are enlightened because you have seen the Truth and therefore are enlightened. But none of them is enlightened, I guarantee you that. They see every question as an attack and call themselves advanced teachers based in the answer that they know nothing!!! I have a lot of e-mails that everyone would be astonished by its content. So I guess their higher level of enlightenment must be autism!!! lol
A famous book called "Disappearance of the Universe" (author Gary Renard) is about two ascended masters that appeared Gary Renard several times, talking about the Course. You can feel that it is a fairy tale talking about the Course while you read it, so far so good. A lie, but a poetic one... But almost at the end of the book, you get the not really that hidden message that catholic priests are pedophilian, the english are great, America is the nation responsible for taking care of the world and the war in response yo the 9/11 was understandable and inevitable!!! Damn, the ascended masters knew it all, except that the 9/11 was an inside job...
So once again the CIA crap came to my mind... But still I will keep on doing the Course, let's see if I change my point of view about it.
answered 12 May '11, 21:08
i appreciated reading the responses, thanks everyone for sharing. my 2 cents- i'm studying the text with a weekly group offered by a teacher whom i consider to be very knowledgable in many different ancient spiritual practices. many times i've heard him refer to other philosophies, and he says that the material in the Course does not exclude any wisdom from other religions. I believe that the Course is a complete translation of Who and What we really are, at least in my experience. i have not travelled eastern countries or studied too much of tibetan buddism but the course resonates with me the way Thich Naht Han's, Rumi's, and Eckhart Tolle's words do. The course is a very very practical and encouraging work, for me. i came to it out of desperation to hear truth, to heal my angry and limited, painful habits of thinking. thru the text and doing the daily lessons, i am finding the deep peace that we all, apparently, were given for ETERNITY. the course encourages me to seperate truth from illusions, and to keep my awareness firmly on the truth. through that focus, learning to use my Mind for the highest, highest good, i do believe i will yet perform miracles. because hasn't science now proven how unimaginably powerful our minds are? imagine the power of uniting our minds and Wills with the Universe's will? The quantum leap from fear and doubt and scarcity-thinking to abundance, life, and Miracles...............well this moment, with its scientific evidence as well as life transforming evidence, is too good to waste! find YOUR truth and be happy, if ACIM is true for you and helps you, you will know it. if not keep searching, meditate, move and experience yourself on your journey Home.
answered 21 Jan '13, 11:58
as i understand ACIM, it is a technique of allowing the divine presence to work spontaneous and natural miracles through you. other effects in other people will be "being in the flow, zone or groove". you will be channelling your holistic self through a positive ego.
from the preface: it's only purpose is to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own internal teacher.
from the INTRODUCTION: Nothing real can be threatened Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the Peace of God
as anything else in this world, it can be misinterpreted and misused by people, organizations or institutions. everything is basically neutral, what matters is the meaning you invested into anything, generating the reality reflective of your state of being.
as one evolves, current techniques may not work in the future. they have done their job. one will have to move on to more suitable methodology.
If you approach this text with an open mind you will benefit greatly. I completed the year long text about four months ago. Now that i have a clearer perspective, i am able to see the changes and progress that has occured in my life as a benefit of it. It's almost like taking vitamins. The big stinky kind. They smell a little funny and you're not quite sure what there made of, but man do you feel good when there running through your system! I am sure that this text can produce the same results as a kundalini awakening. respond if you want to hear more... also, two of my closest personal relationships were healed and i have an everpresent sense of calm and well being.
ps. go for it! read the text and do the workbook simultaneously.
answered 23 Jan '11, 00:04
Tony gave a good answer to your ?. I've had an amazing experience w/acim and continue to 6 years later. Go at your own pace, read the text first, then do the daily exercises. Follow the instructions ( important ! ). It takes a minimum of 13 months, probably longer. You won't care if you're open to it. :)
answered 09 Aug '12, 23:23
No, it's not, I have read through it skimming and everything I had read seemed pretty good to me, and agreeable.
Link fixed 10-19-14
Course In Miracles Audio Book Both links work now 10-19-14
I've just found out about the book and was going to ask the question asked in this thread. As some links are broken or not longer available, I will supply one more, the most complete I have found till now, full text in .pdf version, with Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers, free, printable version:
I would like to know, is the Workbook by itself worth the while reading without going through the text? I ask this because I found the workbook's ideas quite good, but I am not certain if the book is just the thing for me...
answered 15 Nov '10, 15:39
I still have an old copy of the Book in my personal Library. I was quite intrigued with their practice, but I have come to understand that it is a Book with a complete different method of healing that I have ever come across. It has enlightened me in many ways, and I must say that it has broaden my Horizon into the spiritual aspects of things, and it has left with me a sense how much more I need to learn, and do, but it is a hard Book to fully digest!
answered 28 Nov '10, 07:29
Inactive User ♦♦
ACIM is most effective if used conscientiously.
I managed to complete the year-long Workbook on my third try, after twice bailing on the process. About a month after finishing the Workbook on my third attempt, I began to "channel" a voice that offered information for spiritual growth. Like Helen Schucman, I don't become the entity. I "hear" the words inside my mind.
I have read the ACIM Text four times since 2003, and was recently directed by my guide to repeat the Workbook portion of the book. I could tell how much ego I still had in my mind based on my response: "Oh no! Another year of that?!"
I have tried to join ACIM study groups three times since 2006. Each time it seemed to me that other group participants were not truly interested in releasing the ego - which is what ACIM promotes. ACIM is all about undoing the ego.
I think that one has to feel very desperate to change - long very much for truth - before one will take ACIM seriously enough to follow the book's practice instructions. Only when one performs the exercises religiously will one have the kind of experiences necessary to change one's learned beliefs about God, human relationship, guilt, blame, happiness, peace - everything. My guide has often told me that most human beings do not pursue the kinds of experiences necessary to change their minds about God and spirituality. One must pursue to have!
One thing that few others may realize is that doing the workbook actually changes the "physical" makeup of one's mind. The words of ACIM carry a higher healing energy that is introduced into the mind when one works with the ideas in the book. The vibration makes one begin to reach for more of that feeling. This experience helps one turn, more and more, from ego thinking to what I call "God thinking".
Anyway - great book. As far as I'm concerned, this is the new Bible. Sometimes, I imagine Jesus thinking, "Okay - that other one got kind of lost in translation. Let's try it again."
answered 12 Sep '12, 18:16
My favorite spiritual text to date. Why I like it:
This book is based on true deception against Christianity. It uses language/ lingo that is similar to biblical doctrine thus creating a misleading idealism of creating our own personal set of miracles so to speak that takes us away from our personal relationship with JESUS CHRIST.It is a cult!!!
answered 30 Sep '10, 00:31
If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website