Questions and Answers -- Q & A
Answer: Yes, we do, and we also officiate at baby blessings, memorial services, and wherever a minister's services are needed. We are happy to help. A donation to the church is appreciated for the service.
Question: i have been studying the course since January 2018 and i am on lesson 251 and chapter 21 of the text. i listen to many of ken wapnicks workshops but i am troubled by the fact that the course teaches there is no sin and we cannot judge others . the course claims to not effect our behavior. i love all creatures and to murder them seems so terrible to me so i have been a vegetarian and later a vegan. i belong to unity which used to be vegan but has abandoned that beautiful truth. you seem to have a very good website which i just discovered. my question is can a person reach god realization or the enlightment the course claims we can achieve and kill animals and then carnally eat them without a conscience. some of my fellow students are vegetarian but many are not. are you a believer in compassion to humans and also animals? i will respect your website more if i know you are close to enlightment by loving all beings. (Submitted by Don Horrocks on September 8, 2018)
Answer: Hello, Don, thank you for writing. I am so glad you found the Course this year, and Lesson 251 kind of depicts the whole purpose of the Course: the awakening of truth in our minds. I am glad also that you study Ken Wapnick's work as I have found him to be an august teacher.
Question: What is the difference between communication and communion? (Submitted by B.D. on July 20, 2018)
Answer: The Holy Spirit sees the body only as a means of communication, and because communicating is sharing it becomes communion. (T-6.V.5:5) It might be well to note here that fear cannot be communicated as it is attack and attack breaks communication. Egos do appear to join in temporary allegiance, but always for what each one can get separately. The Holy Spirit communicates only what each one can give to ALL.
Additional References: T-1.IV.1:5 When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy. T-1.IV.2:3-5 The miracle sets reality where it belongs. Reality belongs only to spirit, and the miracle acknowledges only truth. It thus dispels illusions about yourself, and puts you in communion with yourself and God.
Question: I feel that deep down my heart is not ready to forgive. My mind says I have forgiven but my heart has not, so there is a discrepancy! Shall I wait till my heart comes on board & meanwhile keep LOVING myself in a radical & deep way! (Submitted by B.D. on July 16, 2018)
Answer: The internet articles to which you referred are talking about the world's definition of forgiveness: Someone did something wrong and I either forgive them for doing it -- or choose not to forgive them.
Question: I just saw a U-tube video that said "crucifixion is always followed by a resurrection" and suggests that we invite people to crucify us. So is crucifixion the way to a resurrection in this world? (Submitted by Lynne R. on June 2, 2018)
Answer: To invite people to crucify you is a misuse (miscreation) of God's Word. You are to invite people to love you, not crucify you, because love is what you and they are. The message of the crucifixion is “Teach only Love, for that is what you are.”
References: ACIM: T-6.I.13
Question: Will you expand upon the above answer? (Submitted by Lynne R. on June 2, 2018)
Answer: Yes. In Jesus' resurrection is your release. (T-11.VI.1:1,6) Our mission here is to escape from a crucifixion, not to invite it. (T-12.II.7:4) Redemption, not crucifixion, leads us to what is already perfect in us. Resurrection is remembered through LOVE.
The Course phrases it thus:
"We are embarking on an organized, well-structured and carefully planned program
aimed at learning how to offer to the Holy Spirit everything you do not want.”
So to ASK for what you do NOT want (e.q., asking people to crucify you and give you all their "negatives") in order to help you “bring on” the resurrection is highly counterintuitive to the Course. (T-3.I.1:2) Example: Teaching that a red light means to "go" and a green light means to "stop" would be highly counterintuitive.
References: ACIM Text, inserted above.
Question: The Bible says to love your neighbor as yourself. Does that mean we have to first love ourselves before we can love our neighbor? (Submitted by Lynne R. on June 2, 2018)
Answer: Definitely love your Self. And your Self is in everyone as God has only one Son. Love your Self, however, by simultaneously loving the Self in others; else you are loving your self and it is separation. Some would say to love your Self first in order to love others. Yet to love your Self IS to love others. Loving is joining, not separating, and is not in order of hierarchy. Love is an all-encompassing idea and is equal and maximal for all God's Sons. If you are learning to love yourself "first," then you are not learning God's Love at all.
And in the Course (Miracle Principle 18), it says:
"A miracle is a service. It is the maximal service you can render to another. It is a way of loving your neighbor
as yourself. You recognize your own and your neighbor's worth SIMULTANEOUSLY." (CAPS mine.) (T-1.18.1:1-4)
Question: There are so many "teachers" available, like on Hay House, U-tube, churches, etc. How do I choose my teacher? (Submitted by Lynne R. on June 2, 2018)
Answer: Jesus in A Course in Miracles teaches only love and resurrection -- through forgiveness and truth, not through crucifixion. Jesus and the Holy Spirit teach truly and perfectly. Many other teachers teach correctly AND incorrectly, so students are learning what works and what does not work, with no differentiation between the two. These teachers teach what "sounds" right, yet often it is not. It is difficult to advance that way because even as we are taking steps forward, we are still taking steps backward, and that is a waste of our time. The function of a teacher of God is to SAVE TIME, not to waste it.
Choosing our teacher(s) is important. It is difficult to ignore what we are taught that is not true. (It may be likened to ignoring an orange elephant in the room.) And until we learn what IS true, we are not in a position to decide. Our "feelings" are not a proper guide to the truth as they come from our thoughts which are not always true either. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can decide what is true and what is not true until we know the truth ourselves. We must thus choose our teachers wisely; subsequently, we will teach wisely. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the perfect teacher for you.
Humility is strength in this sense only; that to recognize and accept the fact that you do not know is to recognize and accept the fact that He (the Holy Spirit) does know. You cannot know how to respond to what you do not understand.
References: ACIM: T-16.I.4:4,6
Question: If there is NO death . . . are there SOULS who did not want to leave, who are now earthbound? (Submitted by BF on February 9, 2018)
Answer: There is no death because God did not create death. Anything He did not create is not real. He did not create bodies either, which appeared after the “separation,” so they also are not real. Only love is real. In fact, we are all spirit "in a state of grace forever” and are still with the Father, having never left. We are DREAMING we are here on this earth. So NO SOULS are earthbound. In fact, the earth itself is not real, having not been created by the Father. Would a loving Father create an alternate home for His Son that is rife with strife, or that is unreal? Certainly not.
I hope this answers your question. If you want a more “down-to-earth” answer, please let me know and thank you for writing.
References: ACIM: T-1.III.5:4
Comment: Thank you so much! You explained that very well for me. My husband laid his body down and I constantly feel his Spirit. I talk to him, but I do not want to hold him back here, but I have had trouble “letting go.” I am a Course student for 35 years and this transition has been my greatest challenge as he did not want to leave and lived a long time w/out food and water. I thank you and bless you for your reply. (Submitted by BFM on February 14, 2018.)
Response: You and your husband are still together and will never be apart. Your spirit and his have always, are always and will always be One. He is relieved of the cumbersomeness of his body now, which is a blessing to him and therefore to you. You will remember your Oneness with him and all your “brothers” as you awaken in spirit with the help of the Holy Spirit. We are all eternally together in truth. GLORY BE.
Answer: Hello, Otter (Joshua), I have been in touch with the teacher of a class in Auburn, Wa., which is about 23 miles from Spanaway. I have asked him if he has a student who can give you a lift to class and have sent you his information. I am so glad the Course is working for you. On the website (www.UCome.org) there is a weekly Workbook Review which may be helpful to you in your studies. There is a Contact page where you may ask questions or make comments, which with your permission will be addressed on the Q & A page. The link to the discussion is being activated by Google and may take an indeterminate length of time to effect. The website was devised partially to give students access to an online class if they do not have one locally. I am happy to have a one-on-one with Course students -- whether they are local or out-of-town, and will be happy to study with you. I understand you do not want to have normal "social" contacts. The Course says the fastest way to Enlightenment is through "holy relationships," so I hope you will continue to shine your light with others, and they with you. Our email address is [email protected] if you want to use it. Reverend Lori
Comment: Try the Bible. Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life." (Submitted by JW on October 17, 2017)
Answer: Yes, and Jesus also says that numerous times in A Course in Miracles. We are on the same page, JW, even if we are not in the same book. Jesus also says "I am always with you." And then, "Because I am always with you, you are the way, the truth and the life." This is why I also read the Course, JW, as it amplifies the scriptures in the Bible. Will you join us?
References: ACIM: Text Chapter 7, Section III, Paragraph 1, Sentences 7 and 9.
Comment: Spirit is directly connected to the Source, hence Higher Self; sees bigger picture & exact opposite to Soul. (Submitted by BD on October 16, 2017)
Answer: The term "soul" is not used in the Course except in direct biblical quotations because of its highly controversial nature. It would, however, be an equivalent of "spirit," with the understanding that, being of God, it is eternal and was never born. Thus spirit and soul are not the "exact opposite" as the above comment indicates. "Spirit" and "soul" are the same. "Spirit" is the Thought of God which He created like Himself. The unified spirit is God's one Son, or Christ. Spirit is the part that is still in contact with God through the Holy Spirit, Who abides in this part but sees the other part as well. The other part of the mind (ego) is entirely illusory and makes only illusions.
References: ACIM: Clarification of Terms, 1. MIND -- SPIRIT, paragraphs 1,2,3.
Question: What do you say to a woman who is speaking only negatively about her deceased husband? (Submitted by J.D. on July 31, 2017)
Answer: Thank you for your question, J.D. You may ask the woman if her negative thoughts about her deceased husband are bringing her peace? If the answer is no, then you may suggest she ask for another way of seeing him -- one that WILL bring peace. This way you are not judging and also not advising, just ASKING and OFFERING a suggestion. There is more than one way to view everything here on this earth!!
Comment: Dear Lori, I think your website is terrific, and you are clearly one of the true scholars on A Course in Miracles. So I am pleased that the site is going up and that it has a true Authority behind it. I feel certain that you will enjoy a positive outcome, and good participation. (Submitted by Marie A. on June 17, 2017)
Answer: Thank you for your appreciative words, Marie. The Church appreciates you and your help as well. You are a true blessing!
Question: I have had difficulty breathing ever since I moved to the seaside of California. Did God give me this condition? Like, is there a reason I have this difficulty; is there a lesson here that I need to learn? (Submitted by D. in 2017)
Answer: God gave you everything you need in your creation, and "breathing difficulty" was not on that list. God's Will for us is perfect happiness, and life is clearly happier when we are clearly breathing. Choose to be a "happy learner" and watch these "difficulties" pass away into the nothingness from which they came. This is a happy lesson to learn from this situation.
References: ACIM: Workbook Lesson 101.h; ACIM: T-14.II -- The Happy Learner.
Answer: It is sometimes thought that being "blunt" is being real, and the action is often followed by this sentence "I am just being real." Yet we are the most "real" in this worldly illusion when we are being kind, compassionate and loving. You can speak "concisely" without being "blunt." Wisdom and Kindness are excellent companions. Jesus depicted this beautifully when he is reported to have said "He who is among you without sin, let him first throw a stone . . ." He could have chastised them, yet he chose otherwise. He used wisdom coupled with kindness. His words were more instructive and helpful, than critical and blunt. He taught that as you see your brother/sister, so do you see yourself. He helped the would-be stone throwers to see things differently. His words were so powerful that they evoked peace. ONLY LOVE IS REAL.
Reference: Lamsa Bible: John 8:1-11 (7).
Answer: Thank you, Lois, it is a JOY having you in my classes! Your Course understanding and wisdom is appreciated by us all. Contributions can be made to the church via PayPal or other credit companies. The "Donate" button is on the Contact Page, and at the top of most of the pages of the website.
Question: The mother-in-law image has really taken a toll on society over the last half century. Comedians have taken it to the limit and others, too. That seems so unfair. I understand that some may deserve it, but surely not everyone falls in that category? (Submitted by A.F. on September 4, 2016)
Question: Why do I dislike being corrected? And how do I overcome this to accept correction with grace? (Submitted by A.F. on September 3, 2016)
Answer: The adversity to correction is of the ego. Correction is embarrassing only to the ego which wants you to think it knows everything. Yet in order to overcome this response to correction, you must see correction differently. Correction in the course is actually a miracle. "A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by (Jesus). It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly (thus) perception is healed." One of the ways in which we are truly helpful to each other is through correction. Errors lead us away from God. Truth leads us toward Him. So wanting correction for an error is a blessing. It is the way we LEARN AND GROW in the lord. Why would anyone want to keep an error? Why would anyone want a blockage on the path to God? Love a person enough to care that they know the truth and that they be set free from error. In fact, you might almost say to relish being alerted to mistakes, so they can ALL be corrected, and thus you can get higher and nearer to truth and to God. Yet, as with anything, correction must be done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit with forthright honesty, standing firm in the truth, and above all with kindness and with LOVE. True correction is both given and received with God's grace.
Reference: ACIM -- T-1.36 Principles of Miracles