The Course Is Too Wordy

ACIM text verticalMost ACIM students get tangled up with the wordiness of the Text at times.  I have to admit that although the Course can be considered a sacred tome, living prayer, and mythic poetry, that I’m not a big fan of Shakespearean verse (as you may know, one of the miracles of ACIM is much of it is written in iambic pentameter, the meter Shakespeare used when writing plays).

Although many of its passages are beautiful, what really speaks to me through A Course in Miracles is its True Authority–the Voice for God illuminates its pages.  To paraphrase a line from Lesson 12, “Beneath these words is written the Word of God.”

Sometimes I’ve found it helpful to switch to another teaching in order to get the most out of A Course in Miracles.  Usually it is yoga.  Yoga introduced me to mantras, chanting and japa–the repetition of a mantra silently or aloud, by saying it, singing it, and, if you like, using prayer beads.

Here are five ways that mantras help me loosen the hold of the ego mind (stay with me — I come back to ACIM):

1)    Sanskrit.  Mantras are often chanted in Sanskrit and Sanskrit is primarily a vibrationally based language.  This means that the meaning of the words is not nearly as important as the healing hum that passes through you as you chant.*

2)    Faith.  When you are willing to repeat a mantra without translating it, you let go of control.  The faith that you demonstrate by releasing the ego’s instrument of language and opening your mind to Spirit reinforces your inner conviction that you are, indeed, a conduit for miracles.  In the Manual for Teachers, we are told that, gradually, we learn to use words in a new way–by letting the Holy Spirit choose them for us.  Mantra helps unlock a mental assumption we carry unconsciously–that we need words to communicate–and puts us back in touch with our Presence.

3)    Relief.  The ego is a mechanism of addiction and obsession.  The bottom line addiction we all suffer from is obsessional thinking.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, repetition of a mantra is a huge relief from ruminating endlessly about our worries, resentments, fears, regrets and sorrows.

4)    Simplicity.  All that’s required is to repeat a phrase.  I’m going to offer you the very simple, tried and true mantra: Om Namah Shivaya.  It is pronounced the way it looks–just sound it out.  Don’t be concerned with mispronunciation; there is a saying that God listens to you chant as a parent hears a baby’s first words–full of delight at whatever comes out.

5)    ACIM-Applicable.  If you find that mantra repetition appeals to you, select a phrase from the Course that comforts you, strengthens you, calms you, or inspires you.  Some that I love and depend on are, “God goes with me wherever I go,” “In quiet I receive God’s Word today,” “Into His Presence would I enter now,” “Love created me like itself,” “I am entitled to miracles,” “I am the light of the world,” and “I will step back and let You lead the way.”

You can keep them short but sweet–and often that has the most pure power.  But, you can also combine some of your favorites.  For years I’ve strung together quotes from the Course, “This holy instant would I give to You.  Be You be in charge, God.  For I would follow You, certain that Your direction gives me peace” with “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me” with “I am Spirit” and then added whatever my internal Teacher offers, such as, “I am infinite.  I am eternal.  I am formless.  I am.  Beingness.”  Trust your inner Teacher and let His words pop into your mind and out of your mouth.  You will find that they are Perfect for you.

*  If you must know what it means, Om Namah Shivaya can be translated as, “I honor the divinity within myself.” and “I bow to Lord Shiva.”  In ACIM- speak, “You are one Self with me, united with our Creator in this Self. I honor you because of What I am, and What He is, Who loves us both as One.”  (W-95.15:3)

You may enjoy these related posts from The Unlearning Classroom:   ACIM and Yoga and  Prescription for Inner Peace

If you need help practicing the Workbook lessons from A Course in Miracles, sign up for my online class, Workin’ the Workbook.