Saturday, April 15, 2017

An Informative Book, Part 2

     Last week I was discussing Alan Cohen's book A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love, which explains the basic teachings of ACIM in an easy-to-read manner. 

     While reading, I found some good points that I could incorporate in to my life, but also was bothered by some things.  Perhaps it is the result of Cohen's need to pare down the enormous ACIM texts, but I felt it was missing some things.

     Here is a quote where I became most bothered:
End the world today by refusing to contribute to the pool of fear that has kept the world of sorrow in force.  End starvation by feeding your soul.  End war by ceasing the war against yourself.  It is your happiness, not your pain, that will save the world.  Misery has enough company. (p. 193)
     I had to think a long time before I understood why that bothered me.  I had to step back a bit and think about what viewpoints various religions teach.  Some religions stress good works and striving to make one's world a better place.  Others stress the unreality of this world and the reality of an ultimate Universe/One/Spirit.  Still others try to balance the two viewpoints.

     I think that ACIM tends to fall into the second camp, denying worldly reality while emphasizing the ultimate Reality.  Here's where I disagree.  Yes, you can spend your life achieving great spiritual insight and enlightenment, but if your neighbor is treated unjustly or your children's schoolmate goes hungry every night or your political leaders try to demonize ethnic groups or take away your rights, I think it a work of spiritual service to do something about it.  Your enlightenment won't ease their hunger or pain.  Your spiritual insights won't deter political shenanigans.  Maybe it is my empathic nature speaking, but I don't know how you can find peace when your silence allows violence and injustice to continue. 

      It's something to think about.

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