A Course of Love (ACOL) claims to be a continuation of A Course in Miracles (ACIM). It was heard inwardly and written down, as was ACIM, and in both cases the “voice” claimed to be from Jesus. However, the literary style of ACOL, though similar to that of ACIM, is not the same and appears to be an attempt to mimic it. In addition, there are major differences between these two works that need to be pointed out, because some of the teachings in ACOL contradict core teachings in ACIM that have helped and still are helping many to purify their minds of earthly illusions and the limiting beliefs of the ego, so they can receive the blessings of the Holy Spirit. If people believed the teachings in ACOL, the spiritual help they would otherwise receive from many of the teachings and practices in ACIM would be nullified. The purpose of this article is to shed light on some of the fundamental differences between the two works.
The following page and section numbers refer to ACOL: Combined Volume.
In 1.1, 7, 12, ACOL says that now – at this point in learning this course – the ego has been separated from the reader’s personal self, and the reader’s “remembrance of the Christ-Self has abolished the ego-self… ” In other words, it claims the reader has now realized the Christ.
ACOL says if you try to help others who are suffering you may lose your inner peace, that you should minister to those in illusion only if your unity (oneness) with Jesus Christ is accomplished and if, without being in unity, you try to help others leave illusions behind and return to unity, it will not work (20.14-15). This is not true. If you seek and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit within you when trying to help others, you will not lose your inner peace, and it is always helpful to recommend the teachings of ACIM to those who are receptive and ready.
If ACIM has benefited you, you can mention this to all who would be open to hearing what you have to say. By sharing with love and a desire to help others, our love increases, for we receive what we give. This is a divine principle, and those who live in love and in harmony with God’s laws help others. a course in miracles david hoffmeister speaks of the laws of God, which have not changed. ACOL tells us that the time of Christ is now upon us, that new laws are now in effect, and that we no longer need the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. There is no evidence of this. The time of Christ may be fast approaching, but the Holy Spirit is still with us. And when we listen to and follow His gentle guidance, He leads us to the Christ… the wisdom, love and light within… the truth of what we are.
These sections contain many false statements in an attempt to convince the reader that, in order to realize the one Self, one has to unite with oneness by separating from oneness.
In 11.5, ACOL tells us, “It is only in relationship that the oneness of the self separates from oneness and so knows oneness.” What could this possibly mean? If oneness is oneness, it could not separate from oneness.
ACOL also says, “God is the oneness and the separation.” How could God be the oneness and the separation? ACIM teaches that God is real, separation is illusion, and reality cannot be part real and part illusion.
Furthermore, in 11.5-6, ACOL says that, without relationship between separate selves, personal selves of form, God would not know “He” existed, and God would not know God. This is not true. The illusion of separate selves was not needed for God to know Himself and His existence. God is omniscient. He knows He exists and what He is through direct knowing of His reality, unlike human thinking, which depends on words and images in the mind that almost always represent physical perceptions, which are the mind’s interpretation of sensations caused by energy currents coming from sensory nerves in the body. When we think of something, even something spiritual, we almost always use words and images that are normally used to represent physical perceptions, which are illusions, not reality. God is reality and through direct knowing knows Himself and His existence.
In 11.3-5, ACOL also tells us that God, the self of form, and the One Self (the Christ) within the self of form, are capable of being either the observer or the observed only through the means of separate relationships joining in union and, in 11.6, that what is separate and joined in relationship is All because it is all that is knowable. To say that what is separate and joined in relationship is everything implies that, without separate selves of form (separate selves in physical bodies) joining in relationships, nothing else (which includes God and the Self) could have existed. The message of ACOL is that the existence of God and the Self was made possible by man. It is the opposite of what Jesus teaches in ACIM. In ACIM, Jesus tells us that God is our Author (Creator). He encourages us to set aside the false concept that we can create what we are, Chapter 3, VII (4), and to affirm that we are as God created us.
The Self – the Higher Self, or Son – is one’s reality. We may not be aware of the Self, but it is what we really are. The Self is blissful, loving, omnipresent consciousness, one with the Supreme Consciousness, God, and is changeless, ever as God created It. It already is elevated, in other words, is of Spirit, not flesh, and has no form. It is eternal, although individual souls under the influence of the ego identify with the body – the mortal, physical form they inhabit for a time – and thus do not experience their eternal reality.
God is the Supreme Blissful Reality beyond form, and it is our relationship with the Holy Spirit, whom God created to guide us home, and with those who are united with this loving aspect of God, that enables us to transcend form and become aware of our eternal reality as the Self.
ACOL is an attempt to persuade us that we needed to separate from oneness and relate to each other as individuals with bodily form in order to know God and the Christ, and for God and the Christ to exist. This is the antithesis of truths that Jesus and others who have known God and the Christ have taught down through the ages.