Questions and Answers -- Q & A
Question: May God be with you as you continue to do good work. Please send me a Bible Study. (Submitted by Rev. Joseph Simiyu from Kenya on October 22, 2020)
Answer: Thank you for your note and prayer, Rev. Simiyu. As you can see from this website (www.UCome.org), this is a Study Guide for A Course in Miracles, not a Bible Study per se. So this is it; there is no Bible Study to send to you, though I am certain you can find one online if you search further. A Course in Miracles expands and amplifies the writings in the Bible. It is a mind-training course -- and perhaps this is the Better Way for now. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the Course, and about the Bible, too, should you have any, but only on this Q and A as my computer does not connect to the email address that was sent to me. Reverend Lori GOD IS
Question: Can you help me understand how to learn and teach the rules and regulations governing salvation? (Submitted by B. on January 13, 2020)
Answer: Some people have more regulations for salvation than even Jesus does! He says that salvation is a promise made by God that we will find our way to Him at last. Since God is LOVE, then just focus on LOVE and on demonstrating LOVE and you will be FINE. Also remember, you do not want to set anyone back on their journey to enlightenment. To give is to receive. If you set them back, you are also setting yourself back! So LOVE always, without exception, and you will be a blessing and be blessed! And salvation? Remember, not one will be lost!
Question: Why do I see so much negativity in the people around me? (Submitted by H.D. on October 8, 2019)
Answer: When you choose to see the BEST in people, they will not disappoint you.
When you choose to see the WORST in people, they will not disappoint you.
You SEE what you are looking for, which is only a reflection of what you see in yourself.
Want to see the BEST in others? Then only see the BEST in yourself!
Question: I have so much wisdom to teach others, but they seem to not want to hear it. Any suggestions? (Submitted by M.R. on October 1, 2019)
Answer: How do you teach wisdom? Do you say "I know and you do not know" and proceed to teach your brothers from a position on high? This method of teaching brings resentment. Or do you see only the BEST in your brothers and share it with them from a position of equality? To answer that, consider if you want to project your ego, or to extend love and thus share the truth with your brothers. You decide.
Question: Hallo Lori...I just felt to reach unto you... I am so glad to have discovered your Website and i am so Thankful and Greatfull for your Work...i have a personal Question...I have some Weight / Body Issues since i met my Husband ...It seems i have a lot of Guilt in my Mind i guess because i have projected it unto my Body ...I am ready and willing to Heal my mind but i just dont seem to be getting it how Healing is Accomplished...How do i take the Focus off my Body/ Weight i know its not whom i am ...???... I only want a Peace of Mind...Thank you love and Gratitude to you...My Holiness Blesses you! (Submitted by Ida on May 29, 2019)
Answer: Hello, Ida. Weight/Body issues plague many. The answer is to be creative in some area or other so as to take your mind off the body/food and onto a productive venture. When you are otherwise productively and/or creatively engaged, your mind will not go to food as a substitute for infilling your mind with higher pursuits. I, for example, like to engage in study of the Course and contributing to this website in order to help others gain the Peace of Mind of which you speak. What interests you?
Thank you for discovering the website and my holiness blesses you in your creative choices. Reverend Lori
Question: Why does God not forgive anyone and when did you last forgive someone? (Submitted by E.H on March 3, 2019)
Answer: LESSON 46 says "God is the Love in which I forgive." 1. 1 God does not forgive because He has never condemned. 2 And there must be condemnation before forgiveness is necessary. 3 Forgiveness is the great need of this world, but that is because it is a world of illusions. Forgiveness looks past illusions to the TRUTH.
So a more relevant question is: When did you last "condemn" someone? If the answer is NEVER, forgiveness will NEVER be necessary.
Forgiveness is needed in this world of illusion (as even the Course says), but it is not needed in Heaven, where all is PERFECT. Practice perfection here, and here your heaven will be! This is a good question that you sent -- for those who have not yet risen above condemnation!
Suggestion: Instead of either focusing on NOT condemning or even focusing on forgiveness, focus on GOD and LOVE. LOVE GOD, LOVE YOURSELF, LOVE YOUR BROTHER, LOVE PEACE, LOVE TRUTH. LOVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO WILL TAKE YOU HOME! Go ABOVE the "alpha" state of the mind and its "particular pattern" to the LIGHT! Enlightenment is the goal. Can you go directly for it without sidestepping to deal with illusions? Yes, you can.
Question: Do the church ministers officiate at weddings? If so, what is the fee?
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 enlightenment 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.
The answer to the age-old question of sin, Don, is found in the knowledge that God created us in his image and likeness, and therefore sin is as impossible for us (His Sons) as it is for Him. We are created perfect, and sin has no place in the idea of perfection, does it? Yet on this earth, we have all kinds of ideas that are not of God, but then they are also not of truth. And what is not true is not real. Recognizing what is true and what is false is what Jesus is teaching us in the Course.
And what we eat or do not eat, think or do not think, say or do not say will not change our creation in any way. Understanding this, Don, will help us all to realize that God's Creation is unassailable, unchangeable, invulnerable and inviolate. You see, we are all spirit in the state of grace forever. We are not bodies. Spirit can never be hurt, abused, punished, or killed. Spirit remains as God created, eternally. Remember, Don, that this world is but a dream, an illusion. Nothing is real here. The world we see merely reflects our own internal frame of reference -- the dominant ideas, wishes and emotions in our minds. Even God's Love is only reflected here and Only Love is Real.
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
(Introduction to the Course)
And as for judgment, who can judge God's creation -- truthfully -- and find anything but perfection? God only creates perfectly. Anything else that you see in your brothers is a call to awaken -- for you and for them. And we all will awaken. We will all reach enlightenment as none of us will be left behind.
Yes, I do have compassion for humans and also animals. Love makes anything else impossible. So glad that you understand that. Others, in time, will come to realize that, too. The important thing is that YOU DO.
Please write again, Don. More questions will come to mind as you read and study, and I enjoy answering them. I hope this has been helpful for you. It has for me. And again, welcome to A Course in Miracles and to our website. We are blessed to have you with us as we all awaken together.
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.
The Course's way of forgiveness is reaching a higher level of understanding so as to look BEYOND the situation to the light.
Of course, forgiveness of the world is not the remedy. It will never be the remedy and the world's way of forgiving should not be forced upon anyone, even upon ourselves by ourselves. One cannot see the situation from the point of view of the ego and hope to ever resolve it. The Holy Spirit will help us rise above the battlefield of this world, and the "sight" of this world, into the light of truth. It is only there that true forgiveness can take place.
So forgiving is first a transition. The ego does not transcend. It is the spirit in us that lifts us above the ego to the true understanding of what forgiveness really means. And when we are ready for that miracle, it will happen. Until then, we will stay in unforgiveness, stay in ego, stay in the dark. And we will make the choice for the light at the perfect time in His Will.
So it is not really about forgiveness at all. It is about seeing things clearly and truly.
Once you do, you will see that there is no need for forgiveness, just for Christ's vision.
That is why we have the Course, for the correction of our perception.
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 definitely 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. And the result would NOT be what you want, would it?
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.)
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. There is Something in you that does understand -- the Holy Spirit!
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.
Message: Hello. I've been a student of nondual awakening teachings for about 8 years. And I've had many emotional/mental burdens lightened by investigating these teachings. But recently I've been doing one ACIM lesson per day. I just finished lesson 30. But even by lesson 15 or 16 I had noticed the most progress in the shortest time I've ever experienced. My life has become very simple and I've lost all desire for "normal" social interaction. But I'm feeling more and more drawn to seeking communication and some sort of mentorship or spiritual family. Preferably in-person rather than online. but I haven't found any ACIM groups in my area. I live in Spanaway, Wa. The nearest meeting I've found is in Redmond which would require 3-4 hours of travel since I have no vehicle. I'd really appreciate any direction you could give me or even better if you know of someone who'd be willing to work with me. (Separate question: I see there is some online ACIM discussion group. But I see no link to it) Thank you. (Submitted by Otter Rivers on October 29, 2017)
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 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 Ucome1@aol.com 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 (or in this Study Guide to 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 we are 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.
Question: Is there a way I can be "real" in this world of illusion and still be kind? Does being real necessarily involve being blunt? (Submitted by Lynne R. in 2016)
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).
Comment: Your web site is beautiful. As I read the words I felt the Love. I am so excited for you, the world is a better place because of the wisdom and love you will be sharing through your church. The heavens celebrate you. Blessings. (Submitted by Lois J. on October 10, 2016)
Answer: Thank you, Lois. Your loving words are appreciated, as are you!
Question: I have learned so much from your classes, Rev. Lori, and I would like to make a contribution for all the hard work you put into teaching your classes . . . ? (Submitted by Lois S. on October 5, 2016)
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 on 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)
Answer: Mothers-in-law, and even mothers, have a different row to hoe when their offspring marry. It brings new relationships that must be developed, and a definite change in role. For example, my son is still my son even after he marries, but I must remember that he is an adult now and can make his own decisions. I still listen, and I speak when the Holy Spirit guides me to speak, but mostly I just enjoy him. As for daughters-in-law and sons-in-law, a lot depends upon how they want the relationship to develop with a mother-in-law, and also between the mother-in-law and the grandchildren. Some accept more love and attention and assistance from their mother-in-law than others do. Some take their cue from the experience of their parents, and hopefully it was a happy one. The mother-in-law has to take the cue from the daughter- or son-in-law, and abide by their choice. A happy relationship cannot be foisted upon anyone. I must admit that the relationships can be challenging, yet the situation can also be ripe for humor. Just remember that all relationships are lessons in love, so follow the Holy Spirit as He guides you through them. Let them help you to learn and grow. And be patient. Remember, when following the Holy Spirit a happy outcome to all things is sure!
Reference: ACIM: W-pII.292.h.
Question: Why do some "Christians" treat some people fairly and kindly, and treat others with disdain? It would seem that if people go to church, and study the Bible and other religious writings, that kindness and mercy, fairness and love would be reflected in all their encounters, not just in some! (Submitted by Lynne R. on September 4, 2016)
Answer: Going to church and studying the Bible do not a Christian make. Love, kindness and mercy come from within, not from a building or a book, and extend to everyone when it is truly true. Christianity is not a pick-and-choose thought system. It is All -- not all or nothing, and not even for most, but for ALL. Christianity is INclusive, not EXclusive. Remember that anything that is not appearing as love, is appearing as a "call for love." The Answer, then, is love, no matter the form of the "call."
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 are an attempt to direct 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, anyway? 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 go 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