Ask Amy: Is ACIM a Self-Study Course?

Q: Ever since I began reading A Course in Miracles, teachers and students have been saying that ACIM is a self-study course. This doesn’t feel right to me. I mean, the Course is all about practicing forgiveness which involves other people! What do you think?

A: Well, let’s start with the meaning of “self-study.” According to, “self-study” means “the study of something by oneself, as through books, etc., without direct supervision or attendance in a class.”

Consider this: you cannot learn what A Course in Miracles has to offer without direct supervision! If you, as a person, try to absorb ACIM, it won’t stick — like grease repelled by Teflon. Your entire purpose, as an ego-mind, is NOT to understand what the Course is teaching. The ego finds A Course in Miracles repellent.

“This course has explicitly stated that its goal for you is happiness and peace. Yet you are afraid of it. You have been told again and again that it will set you free, yet you sometimes react as if it is trying to imprison you. You often dismiss it more readily than you dismiss the ego’s thought system. To some extent, then, you must believe that by not learning the course you are protecting yourself.” (T-13.II.7)

So, if you want to benefit from ACIM, you must accept direct supervision.

Now, let’s breakdown the word “supervision.” Super. Vision. Hmm, who has super vision?

“The opposite of seeing through the body’s eyes is the vision of Christ, which reflects strength rather than weakness, unity rather than separation, and love rather than fear.” (Preface, What It Says.10:1)

In case you haven’t caught on yet, your Direct Supervisor is the Holy Spirit.

To “self-study” (take note of the lower case “s” in “self-study”) the Course, is, literally, not to study the Course. In fact, ACIM does not require study at all! What Jesus asks of you is to be willing to request spiritual guidance from One Who Knows because, unlike the ego’s self-study solutions, “…the Holy Spirit’s vision is merciful and His remedy is quick.” (T-13.III.7:2)

Merely taking an intellectual approach to A Course in Miracles puts you in danger of being a good “know-it-all”: learning concepts, memorizing terminology, grasping the model of two thought systems: the ego’s and God’s, etc. This can take you only so far, because God’s Thought cannot be put into words, concepts or terminology.

If you are what I call “sponge-able,” that is, willing to read without understanding, then the Course serves as your awakening tool. The ego-mind-body-person, cannot direct the forgiveness practice that ACIM offers (relating to “others” until you see ego projection/perception for what it is and realize we are Brothers-Christ-One Sonship). As Jesus tells us, “The Holy Spirit has the task of undoing what the ego has made.” (T-5.III.5:5)

When you are willing to follow the Holy Spirit’s Guidance you embark on a Self-study course! It becomes clear that it is not the body’s eyes that read ACIM, rather a readiness for the memory of God within has been activated and you are flowing with Grace. This results in something far better than Self-study … Self-Awareness. Can you discern the difference?

For an immediate experience of your Self right now, fill in the box to the right, “Want to know how God sees you?”