Unless otherwise specified, I'm talking about the thought system of A Course In Miracles, not just the book. In other words, I'm more interested in the content than the form. The form is Christian terminology, Freud, Shakespeare and whatever else the scribe knew of that the Voice could teach with. The content is, well, that's the subject of this article.
~insert table of contents here~
You may be surprised to find that the Course is compatible with many aspects of atheism. The 'God' of A Course In Miracles didn't create the universe and doesn't interact with it in any way whatsoever. In fact 'He' is not even aware of the universe. The universe is very specificially a place where there is no God.
Some Course students call themselves "dualistic atheists" - meaning that they don't believe in a dualistic deity who interacts with the universe. A dualistic deity that interacts with the universe must be either insane or cruel.
A Course In Miracles offers has no behavioural component; it doesn't tell you what to do with your body. It is concerned only with your mind. So Course students often behave like atheists, unguided by any 'divine moral imperative'.
The Course also doesn't need to be believed in order to work. The Text must be studied and its thought system understood and the Workbook excercises used, but we are free to disagree with it all.
However, there are a few obstacles that you specifically may trip up on:
- The 'Voice' of the Course identifies himself as Jesus
- It's expressed in biblical language
It's important not to confuse Christianity with Jesus, and not to blame him for everything that has been said and done in his name.
The religion of Christianity was made up by St. Paul, a reformed murderer.
The bible was made by a bunch of people who never knew Jesus, and didn't understand what he was teaching. And anything they didn't like was not included and made illegal.
Nevertheless, the language of Christianity is something we are all familiar with and is really our only reference point. So Jesus uses it as a starting point and corrects it. So the language that was used to convey a message of hate and terror, is instead used to convey the kindest, gentlest message I have ever heard. Not once in all my reading of the Course have I felt the slightest bit threatened.
There are some words you may struggle with, for which there are less-christian alternatives:
|Christian word||neutral synonym(s)|
|God||Source, Truth, Reality, Love|
|Holy Spirit||right mind, helpful thoughts|
|miracle||healing change of mind|
|Atonement||at one ment, completion|
However, at some point, when you've learned how to forgive, you may want to apply what you've learned, to Christianity and it's silly words.