Understanding Amiss

ACIM Workbook Lesson 3 – for Monday, January 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “I do not understand anything I see in this room.”

Selected Passage:

“These are not exercises in judgment.  Anything is suitable if you see it.  Some of the things you see may have emotionally-charged meaning for you.  Try to lay such feelings aside, and merely use these things exactly as you would anything else.  (WB5)”


We are individuals steeped in confusion, even when we think we know the most.  It is very necessary in these first lessons to avoid the emotional, and to see everything just as it is.  This is not unlike Zen Buddhism, where the object is seen for what it is only.  Whatever one is doing, he or she just “does.”  We do not project meaning onto the world that may only confuse an already troubled mind.

For the perennial student of the Workbook, these first few lessons may seem tedious.  After all, we think we know that projection makes perception (an oft repeated assertion in the Text), and we know that what the ego perceives is always lamentable.  But, we still can learn, once a year, from these early lessons.  We reinforce in our minds the fact that the ego has probably still retained a foothold in our minds.  And we would not have it to be thus.  Exercises such as these early ones can prepare us for ever more attempts to disown the part of our mind called the “ego.”


Dear Father/Mother,

May my ego wither away this year.  I am impatient, because my mind is filled with the statements of Your Course.  Yet I have not walked the whole pathway yet, and I know this well.  Help me to disown that part of my mind called the “ego.”  May I reach, ever upward, toward Awakening.

Thank You for being with me as this new year begins.  I have great hopes for a good year.  This year spent with Your Workbook for Students is an exciting way to live.


5 thoughts on “Understanding Amiss

  1. Julia Clark

    Dear Celia,
    My journey to this point has been incredible. It began during a devastatingly turbulent period in my life. If my personal life with a crumbling marriage and three emotionally battered children were not enough, I began full-time employment which included a daily FOUR hour round-trip commute. (No–“four” was not a typo!) Since there is only so much “top 40” radio that one can listen to, I began purchasing and listening to books on CD. I felt inexplicably drawn to spiritual teachings and made my way through Dyer, Beckwith, Abraham, Ho’ponopono. etc. Along the way, I dabbled (and still do for guilty pleasure!) with astrology and youtube videos of healing, love, DNA-repair frequencies and the like. Yet throughout it all, I kept “hearing” a mentioning of a certain book–which, as you can guess, was ACIM. One day, nearing the last half-hour of my return commute, I was particularly exhausted and emotionally wrung-out from my teaching position in an inner-city elementary school as well as my prolonged divorce proceedings which involved restraining orders, family psychological evaluations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. I stopped in a Barnes and Noble with the intention of buying a guide on how to write a will. Simply put…I had pretty much lost mine to go on. But for the constant “presence” of my three children in my heart and on my mind, I was beginning to look more and more over the side of the enormous bridge that I crossed to get to work each day. As I walked into the bookstore in a numbed daze, I glanced down at the “bargain” books that this chain always has stacked near its entrance…and there it was. I could have just as easily glanced to the left as to the right where it caught my eye–but, of course, I did not. I stopped in my tracks and picked up the text in disbelief. I recall turning it around and around to determine if it was “the one” that I had heard about so often in my endless hours of CD listening. The tissue-paper like quality of the pages somehow convinced me of its authenticity, and I immediately purchased it along with a small book on the 72 Names of God–and truthfully, with the will writing book that I had originally intended to purchase. Strangely, this all occurred over two years ago…which leads me to YOU. Thankfully, much of the chaos and disruption of that time in my life has been quelled and transformed by Jesus–when I finally learned to ASK for his help and to STOP trying to fix it all on my own. In fact, during the ONLY time in my life that I completely “gave up” and fell at Jesus’ feet, I managed to experience the miracles of selling an over million dollar home in less than thirty days, of changing jobs from one with a four hour commute to one with under 20 MINUTES, of purchasing a home in the same town so that my children could continue to attend the same schools (after 40K worth of pennies from heaven appeared out of nowhere and afforded me the down-payment, etc.), of signing my final divorce papers, and of seeing my eldest child begin his freshman year at college with a financial aid package that made his attendance even remotely possible. I could actually go on with even MORE of the seemingly endless string of miracles that washed over me slightly less than a year ago. While there have been plenty of tears and traumas that ran concurrent to these miracles, it is the enormity of God’s help during “impossible” circumstances that brings me to my knees (literally) in awe and gratitude when I recall it. Throughout all of this, I had been attempting to read ACIM, but was never able to get past Lesson 43. I am actually being quite generous with that number, because I really never made it past Lesson 10 or so when considered from the stance of actually reading and applying the lessons in an orderly day-to-day scenario as it is meant to be experienced. The lessons in the “40’s” are only underlined and annotated as a result of me getting so frustrated over time that I would finally just sit down and read it like a novel skipping from the WB to the manual, etc. Honestly, I kept falling asleep…yes, asleep. It was like I was going into a trance or an induced slumber even though I didn’t want to! My head would swim at the words and concepts on the pages in front of me, and I would consistently find the book on my chest or on the floor next to my bed when I awoke the next day! Strangely, my inability to absorb the material must have (had?) little to do with ability/intelligence as I have close to not one, but two masters degrees with a 3.9 GPA in all of my coursework! What is it then? Jesus called me toward this text for it to begin its whisperings to me? Is this common for individuals to go into spiritual overload/meltdown when reading ACIM? SO…I will fast-foward to the last month of May 2012 when I was dabbling on youtube again and came across Dr. David Hawkins. I became fascinated by his teachings and his voice and his presence and could hardly believe when I heard him reference ACIM! Clearly, I was not listening to his lectures in any “order”, as it seems apparent that ACIM is of ultimate importance to him as he deems it the way to living in a state of LOVE. Therefore, I pulled out my own ACIM, and began to trudge through it again…without complete success–until I found your site. I think that Jesus would laugh that I was actually googling “falling asleep while reading ACIM” when I came across your blog…not that you mention THAT (I don’t think!!), but there was enough of a similarity between my query and your site to make the connection. And so, I thank you, because your reflections and explanations on the lessons have FINALLY given me the means to keep going as I am now fully engaged and fascinated by your writing as a follow-up to my daily ACIM reading. You may never read this, but I still thank you, and Hawkins, Dyer, Beckwith, et al, for leading me to this very perfect time in my life to allow the course to unfold as He would have it. God bless you, and thank you for going ahead of me…as I will go ahead of others…so that we may ALL return home by awakening to God’s love.

    1. Celia Hales Post author

      Dear Julia,

      Your journey has indeed been difficult. And I am very touched that my blog could have some small part in turning your life around through A Course in Miracles.

      Thank you so much.

      Love, Celia

  2. Celia Hales Post author

    Dear Julia,

    Replying again. Yours is an incredible journey, and I was just floored, which explains my short earlier comment.

    Your life has turned around, as mine did (but not from such difficulties as you had). A Course in Miracles is truly a gift of major proportions to our world.

    I appreciate that you have found your way home.

    Love, Celia

    1. julia89ru@yahoo.com

      Dear Celia,
      Thank you for your reply! I can sense some overwhelm/anxiety from you at my “story,” which is why I rarely share it with others. Please know that I my chuldren and I are safe and sound, and I am truly happy and grateful for all I have lived. The connection that I have with Jesus as a result of all of it makes any past challenges worthwhile. Some of us just can’t “locate” Him in the butterflies or the ocean’s spray as easily as other’s seem to do; indeed, there are some who must BONK themselves over their own heads repeatedly until they fall down in a daze…and only then look up to see Jesus not standing–but crouched at their sides waiting patiently for the “go ahead” for Him to lift them gently off the ground and up to His heart. At least that’s how it was for me. He never pushed and never intruded… And now that I bump into him so many many times a day, it amazes me that I could have been so oblivious so Him before! Boy! To have the patience of Jesus for just one minute…haha! We truly do begin to wake up to what was always there. So please do not be concerned about me! It was worth every tear to become aware of Him in my life– and the gifts that he sends each day…like you to help me with ACIM!
      🙂 Julia
      PS- I am reading a sweet book entitled Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge which offers such lovely “portraits” of a very relatable Jesus.
      Nice summer/beach reading 😉

      1. Celia Hales Post author

        Dear Julia,

        There is a passage in A Course in Miracles in which Jesus says that if it would help us, then imagine that he is holding our hand. And he continues that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

        Your experience seems to bear this out.

        Thank you for writing.

        Love, Celia

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