I find the lessons in ACIM grueling (Ask Maria)

“I had a spiritual “calling” about 5 years ago… I’ve read an awakening implies a shift in perception which I did not have, but there was this unmistaken inner energy that made itself known in a active and comforting way.

I was so filled with gratitude and awe as I witnessed this transformative energy work its way in my life.

I’d never knew or heard about awakenings or anything like this. I wasn’t actively seeking. In fact I was absolutely miserable.

I began reading articles about Kundalini awakenings, and even though they didn’t apply to me, what they spoke to touched me very deeply.

I eventually found my way to ACIM. Sadly I’ve only made it through 75 lessons in a little over 4 years.

The resistance I feel, in spite of initially thinking I wanted this, is like a boxing match.

I find the lessons in ACIM grueling and it always feels like a struggle doing them. I don’t look forward to doing them.

And this inner energy which seemed to grace me without my even understanding anything about it has seemed to grow quieter… I can’t say I want the Truth above all else because I don’t really know what I’m asking for.

I recently read that you can’t manufacture this kind of desire or motivation, it’s a “fire” that finds you and doesn’t let go…

I thought it had found me 5 years ago… should I just commit myself to doing the lesson regardless of how I feel?

Motivation or not?

Thank you.”


My reply:

It has grown quieter because you are not listening to it.

It’s obviously directing you away from ACIM, and I know that people who are into the course in miracles and are dedicated to it would perhaps not agree with me but I’m speaking from my own experience; when your gut tells you to let go and move on it means “let go and move on” even if it’s your most cherished belief.

If your intuition or gut tells you to move on from something then you definitely should regardless of what other people or a certain teaching or book tells you to do.

Every teaching serves its purpose at a certain point in our evolutionary process and if you allow yourself to get brainwashed into one specific teaching like for example ACIM by forcing yourself to do the lessons then you might eventually build your life and business around that belief system believing it is “the Truth”, but in reality no book is “the Truth”.

And I’m talking about any kind of belief systems and books and teachings, it can be a religious belief system, a new age belief system, whatever it is; if you allow it to rule your life (when you “must/should/have to do this or that”) then you’re a slave even if you think you’re free because every belief system is false.

Awakening means you wake up from all belief systems.

When you don’t have any beliefs anymore, that’s when you’re truly free but you can’t see this until you are on the other side.

Human beings love believing in things and most people love idolizing other human beings weather its a Guru or a singer or whatever they might be.

In essence most people live their lives based on belief in something and they worship ‘authority’ especially if they think they have knowledge of wisdom they lack, but even if they’re just charismatic and talk complete BS and nonsense, people still love following them and putting them on pedestals.

That’s the prison of human kind in a nutshell.

We revere others and ‘make idols’ but forget about our own truth or we ignore it because it’s not what others believe or think.

So afraid of themselves that they don’t dare to look beyond what they believe or perceive to be true because if they did their ego would die.

And the ego doesn’t like that so it puts pressure on you to perform and conform according to a set of rules made by other human beings.

Again, a concept, a teaching, even a teacher or Guru has their place in our spiritual growth, so I’m not bashing any of it, but when it’s time to let go and move on it’s time to let go and move on.

Trust yourself. Don’t let a book rule your life! It’s only a book.

And some books are dangerous to the human mind while some other books provide and promote healthier perspectives and so on but for God’s sake don’t let any book be the guideline of your life.

I personally burned all my books before I moved to Spain, ACIM included (and yes, “that” book too) because I could not for the world live with the thought of having passed on falseness and further delusion into humanity by giving those books away.

So I burned them; all kinds of books; all my law of attraction books, books about angels, astrology, self-help books and different spiritual books, I mean there were not many left that ended up in the second-hand store where I left some of the many books I had.

And there was no emotions involved, no drama whatsoever, I felt nothing special when I burned the books.

It wasn’t a statement or anything like that, just a simple bonfire made of books that I had to get rid of for practical reasons since I was moving to another country.

I still remember the feeling I had though when I woke up from the ACIM teachings (yes, I’ve been there too and done that) but I can’t remember anymore which specific sentence it was but there was one single sentence that I read in the course in miracles book that opened my eyes to the Truth of that book not being true at all.

Its message might be spiritual and noble and all that, but it’s not inspired by any God or Jesus.

Again, it’s only a book and we don’t even know if Jesus has ever existed to begin with.

Take what resonates and leave the rest and move on with your life and know that there will be other books until there will be no more books.

That’s how it goes so don’t get hung up on one teaching especially if it’s grueling for you to even open the book. Let it go.

Maybe it comes back to you at some later point in your spiritual growth process, and maybe not.

My point is; move on.

If it’s not resonating anymore it’s time to let it go.

This is what your intuition has been telling you but you have put a book before your own internal knowing so that’s why its voice has diminished and you can’t feel its presence as strongly anymore.

But once you start to listen to it again you will soon feel in alignment again – with yourself, not some teaching that your ego tells you is “the Truth” that you should follow.

That’s my advice to you, see if it resonates.

Another thing worth mentioning when it comes to this subject and that can be helpful to you is this;

Remember what I wrote in this post: mariaerving.com/reviewing-the-past-ten-years-of-your-life?

When I did this review of my life and asked myself “If I could only keep one change from the past ten years, only one, and every other lesson/change/transformation had to be forgotten, which change would I keep?” the answer was very clear to me and it actually kind of blew my mind.

I would say that the answer to that question, if I would include (which I also did when I looked into this question) my whole life, all my transformations included, all my happy days, all my lessons, everything – every single thing; if there was only one thing I could keep, it would be the realization that God does not exist.

Of all the things I have realized and discovered and been through, this was my number one thing that I would keep.

That’s the most profound thing that has ever happened in my life and it has brought me the most joy, freedom, and liberation even if it took me a lot of pain and suffering to get to the point of awakening from that particular belief.

I hope me sharing this with you helps you in your process somehow.

The most important thing there is is to be completely honest and sincere with yourself and that alone will pretty much take you all the way, when you dare to follow what rings true for you instead of following what others lay before you on your path.

Be selective and honor yourself; live your own truth.

"This above all: to thine own self be true"
“This above all: to thine own self be true” – Shakespeare


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  1. Lisa

    Thank you so much for replying to my question and so quickly. I’m really grateful there is somewhere/someone I can ask since there is nobody in my immediate circle who I can.

    Throughout my short journey (I’m quite “green” in this realm, plus I’m middle-aged) resistance has been huge. I guess I need to figure out what I really want and if ACIM is for me.

    I read your article about the ego and your experience with “it” fighting for “its” life. You spoke about giving in and living a mediocre life or sticking with it. And I’m somewhere in between…not fully committing to the journey. It’s funny that I was graced with this wonderful opportunity/opening and I’m still on the fence after all this time. I know I’m the only one who can decide, and I appreciate your time and your answer.

  2. Lisa

    After all that: how to know if it’s the ego not digging ACIM or it’s not really for me..

  3. You’re very welcome Lisa, I love when readers write me with questions 🙂

    ACIM might not be for you now but maybe later, or it might be for you now and not later, and maybe you take a break from it altogether somewhere in between and then decide to take it up again.

    That happens a lot in the process of awakening; some concepts or teachings doesn’t resonate at first but do later and sometimes a teacher (or teaching) comes back to us for a while before we let it go completely.

    And even if we at some point have let go completely, it might still come back later on, .. 🙂

    So it’s good to not be too rigid about any of this, see it as a book and not something you or anyone else has to dedicate your lives to.

    It’s just a book.

    I remember the first time that particular book was presented to me, it was many years ago and it did not resonate at all, in fact I thought it was stupid and weird.

    Then a few years later it came to me again and then I was ready to read and study it and then eventually with my spiritual growth I came to the point where I let it go because it no longer resonated.

    (I woke up from it when I read that one sentence, that was it. It was very profound).

    That can happen with all kinds of books and teachers and teachings; at one point they seem wacky and weird and then later on they speak deeply to us.

    My point is to not stay with any book or teaching and make it “the Truth”, that would only lead to stagnation in your growth process. (Just look at any fundamentalists, there’s simply no room for growth when somethings has been made “the Truth”).

    Yes, the ego fights to hold its position as the leader of our life but in your case I don’t feel that the resistance is coming from ego when it comes to ACIM, but of course I can be wrong. Only you can answer that.

    My feeling is that – well, what I mentioned earlier in my comment reply, that maybe it’s not for you or maybe you’re not ‘there’ yet when it comes to this particular teaching, or maybe it’s just not your cup of tea after all.

    I would suggest to be less rigid about it and allow yourself to be open to all kinds of books yet at the same time be selective and picky about what resonates and what not.

    Sometimes only parts of a book is interesting or resonating and then it’s more like “meh” and we lay it aside and take it up again later on.

    The most important things is to follow your own flow (be dedicated to only that) and you can simply try it out for a week with ACIM for example and see how it feels intuitively. Let it go and see how it feels.

    You will know if it’s your ego or not by experimenting like this; this is how we develop our inner knowing, by trying things out, feeling our way forward.

    Feel very welcome to share how things unfold for you from here whenever and if you feel like sharing 🙂

  4. As I was out walking just now the word “lukewarm” came to me.

    That’s the perfect word that describes how I function; I’m never lukewarm about anything.

    I’m either into something or someone or I’m not, and if I’m not I move away from it (or them) but if I am into something, like for example a book – I’m all in and very intensely so.

    But whatever it is; if I watch a movie for example and it’s not really captivating my interest after the first 15 minutes or so I don’t continue watching it.

    But if it is on the other hand interesting I usually Google it, read reviews and comments about it, I do research into it if I know it’s a true story etc etc.

    That’s how I function 🙂

    I simply don’t see the point in having my attention on something or someone if it’s of little or no interest to me and by doing that I become (and am) very focused on the things that do interest me (and thus my time and energy is well “spent” or invested).

    So what I would ask myself if I were you is the simple question “why am I doing this/reading this/watching this/listening to this?” and see what comes up.

    What’s the core reason for you to continue grueling your way through a book (at this point in your process) if you’re not really into it..?

    See what comes up.

    Hope this was helpful to you.

  5. Lisa

    Just want to give thanks again for taking the time for your thoughtful responses. I actually felt lighter all day long after reading your second response as though someone opened a window and let fresh air in…thank you !

    It’s interesting that you wrote about how you live life since this issue has been bubbling up lately with me. I feel I’ve been on “automatic pilot” going through life. So this is not only a ACIM issue, it appears to be wider than that and I’m grateful you brought that to my attention. It has given me an opportunity to look at this from a fresh angle. I will take your advice about trying ACIM for a week and see what happens.

    I don’t want to ramble on…well really I do, but I won’t, but I’ve read and re-read your responses and other articles on this site and hope to be able to share more about (hopefully) this continued journey. Your articles are interesting and and what you share on how you live life (traveling, house and pet sitting) are inspiring and help me to question what do I want…

    With Gratitude!

  6. Ramble on Lisa, really, feel free to do just that because there’s nothing I enjoy more than to have these conversations with my readers.

    And I am so happy to hear that what I share is useful and helpful to you so thank you for saying that.

    I hope to see more comments from you soon on other articles as well and other questions you might have (send in as many as you’d like 🙂 ).

  7. Art Saucedo

    Hello again.
    Just thought I’d let you know how things are going. I recently went on a job interview. Just the thought of going back to work depresses me.
    Monday thru Friday, 2 weeks vacation, seeing the same people day in and out. I just don’t want to do it.
    So I’ve decided to buy some property and go off grid. I’m handy and my buddy is a carpenter. So I’m going to build a tiny home. I’m selling almost everything I own and just keeping what’s really important. The home I’m going to build has 300 square feet, so only the things I really need.
    I’ll own my own property and work travel assignments when I want to work!
    It was like having a light going on. I’ll have the freedom to do the things that make me happy.
    All because I let go of fear. All things are possible.
    A friend of mine thinks I’m losing my mind. She said, aren’t you afraid you might get sick? What about health insurance?
    I said, happy people don’t get sick.
    I feel excited and happy about life again.

  8. I’m so glad to hear about your decision to follow your heart – keep me updated on how things go! 🙂

    I gave away everything too so all I left with when I moved to Spain was my cat, two suitcases and my laptop.

    I have a box in one of my sisters attic with old photos and some personal letters etc in it but that’s it, that’s all I own.

    Actually I own less today since I have been living in my suitcase for the past six months or so.

    Not that I want to live this minimalistically forever though;

    I like nice things and a house of my own (a mansion actually:) and all that, but my point is that I know how it feels to take the step and just go for it and the letting go of the old is part of the process.

    It’s exciting and it becomes more ‘real’ when you begin the actual shedding process.

    I don’t agree with your last comment though about health insurance.

    Happy people do get sick all the time.

    I believe it’s important to be practical too and not say things to yourself that isn’t true.

    A health insurance is good to have and that’s one of my challenges right now with my India trip;

    I still have no clue how I will be able to afford a travel health insurance and will have to figure something out because it would not be fun to get sick when you’re on the other side of the planet.

    And I consider myself as a happy person.

    It really makes no difference if you’re happy or miserable because you still have this body and it can get sick and “happiness” won’t protect it.

    That doesn’t mean you live with fear, it just means you take care of yourself and your health to the best of your ability and to me having a health insurance sounds like a great idea when you backpack travel in India.

    I don’t know where you live (USA?) but I would look into some alternatives and options even if you decide to live off grid and maybe even away from society.

    Just my personal opinion and take on this.

  9. Mark

    To the questioner, Lisa:
    You have found a good place to learn about the experience of awakening. As Maria points out, this is an experience. It’s not in a book. Which is not to say books and teachers aren’t helpful, because they are, very much so. They can show you things it would take decades to learn on your own by trial and error. But when one stops resonating, that is your call to move on. Teachings are like stepping stones. Depending where you are, you need abc lessons before being ready for the xyz lessons. “When the student is ready the master will appear” as they say in the Zen tradition. Something that was huge for one seeker won’t resonate with another. This is all very specific to you and your journey. Ultimately you are your own teacher. Truth is always guiding you, you just have to listen.

  10. Lisa

    Thank you for your response! I’m sorry I haven’t responded sooner. Just trying to find my way. I’m not sure if it is that ACIM doesn’t resonate with me (I’ve read almost the whole text and have learned a lot and enjoy that) but doing the lessons feels perfunctory. So at least for now, I’m not forcing the issue. I think there is a fear if I’m not doing the lessons my motivation will die and my thoughts will run a stray. Where will the focus and structure be? However, I realized that this happens at times even when I do the lessons. So lately, I’m just trying to “forgive” whatever comes up without forcing the lessons on myself and see what happens. Thank you again. Your words and Maria’s words have been very helpful and comforting.

  11. You’re very welcome! Great to hear back from you 🙂 Yes, I mean maybe that was the only thing you needed to take from it; to forgive. Which is huge in itself.

  12. Lisa

    It is huge! And when I put into practice what I’ve learned it never ceases to amaze me how it works itself in my life. After reading your responses and Marks, I finally get what you’re saying. And how can something be helpful when it feels labored and obligatory? There might come a time when it doesn’t feel that way or maybe not, but I agree that forcing something that just isn’t happening for me right now doesn’t make much sense. What a relief!

  13. I’m glad to hear that Lisa 🙂

    Sometimes we only need a little something from a book or teaching that helps us move forward and not always necessary the whole thing.

    There’s no rules that says that we must do this or that – the only “rule” we should follow is our own flow;

    To do the next obvious thing we feel guided to do (that feels right for us) and sometimes that is to only read half a book and then put it aside (or throw it away entirely), or learn something from a such and such teacher and then move on from them and so on.

    Because in the “end” it all leads to no teacher and no teachings/no books etc, only the pure and simple living of it (=Truth, which can’t be taught or spoken about in words).

    The relief is always an indicator that we are doing the right thing for ourselves and that’s when we can move on with a sense of new freedom.

  14. Lisa

    I can’t thank you enough…really. It seems so simple and obvious, but i just wasn’t seeing it. I was being a bit narrow-minded in my thinking and so sure I was doing something wrong. Thank you for opening up the door…I feel I learned something very valuable which I can take with me always!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!


  15. Hi Lisa! 😊

    You came to mind as I was writing a post today.

    Not sure if you subscribe to the comments on this article, but I’m really curious to hear how you’re doing now 3 years later?

    Are you still struggling with the ACIM or have you moved on from it and left it behind you?

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