“The misuse of will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable. Pain thresholds can be high, but they are not limitless. Eventually, everybody begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition is more firmly established, it becomes a perceptual turning point. This ultimately reawakens the spiritual eye simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight. The alternating investment in the two types or levels of perception is usually experienced as conflict for a long time, and can become very acute. But the outcome is as certain as God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.VI.8:1-7)

When we misuse our will, it becomes imprisoned. This seems to me to a check on our miscreation. God knew that His universes needed to survive, and His children needed to thrive in them, and so He sets limits. When we make poor, bad decisions, we experience pain. And this pain, when it becomes acute enough, signals to us that we have to change our ways.

It is not necessary to learn through pain; Jesus tells us this in A Course in Miracles, in another section of the book. It is much more lasting to learn through rewards, but sometimes we become extremely stubborn, and the only thing—the only thing—that will get our attention is an understanding that there must be a better way, a way without all this pain (and suffering). When we reach this point (and everybody will reach it eventually), we are primed to choose again, and this new choice is what will save us.

Miracles can shorten this period of discomfort immensely. So it is miracles that we ought to pray for, miracles as expressions of love. The only thing stronger than fear (and fear brings pain) is love. And love sets us on the flower-strewn pathway back to God, the pathway of healing the illusory separation in which we have all believed.


2 thoughts on “Pain

  1. I was looking to edify myself on your experience in ‘pain’ to assess your qualifications to speak about it. I have suffered 43 years with rheumatoid arthritis, since age 5. According to your post, my poor choices certainly must be the cause of my increasing pain, deformity, lack of mobility and cascading diseases. Or perhaps you would say that my parents made the poor choices. You surely must have forgotten Jesus’ words to his disciples when asked why the blind beggar sitting on the side of the road was born blind. They asked, ‘Teacher, who has sinned that this man has been born blind, him or his parents?” Jesus answered, “NO ONE HAS SINNED, He was born this way so that God’s glory could be seen through him!!” (John 9:13) Look it up, its there as I have read it a million times.

    “When we make poor, bad decisions, we experience pain. And this pain, when it becomes acute enough, signals to us that we have to change our ways.”

    Have you ever actually read, pursued, and sought knowledgeable counsel of the Holy Scriptures, God-breathed scriptures that are never to be altered? I guarantee you that if you do that you will most certainly find that Jesus, his apostles and all of his disciples had unfathomable pain. Never has there existed a “flower-strewn path” to God, NEVER. You are offering false teaching and telling those who are suffering that it is their own fault. I am a devout Christian, who has suffered greatly and whose prognosis is filled with agonizing suffering and it has zero to do with free will. My free will chooses to follow my Savior to help others who are suffering endure it and to allow God to use that suffering for His Glory by helping others. you think you are offering hope but you offer condemnation and you fail to use the only authority anyone should use when they dare talk about God, the Holy Word of God.

    1. You have suffered greatly, but never did I intend to suggest that in every case a person in pain has caused that pain, never did I suggest to “blame the victim.” Blaming the victim would indeed be false teaching.

      My apologies for causing more pain to you today.


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