The Question of Karma - from Helen Schucman's unpublished notes - ACIM

A Course In Miracles (ACIM)

Helen Schucman's unpublished notes

The Question of Karma

About the question of karma: Most theories of reincarnation are essentially magical, and the whole question is not really necessary to religion at all. The chief value of the concept lies in its helpfulness in counteracting the idea of hell, a belief that is hard for the ego to relinquish. As the symbol of separation, the ego cannot escape guilt feelings, and fear of punishment is inevitable. Do not dwell on these fearful thoughts. 

 One of the main dangers of karmic theories is the tendency they induce to engage in the genetic fallacy, overlooking the truly religious fact that now is the only time. They look to the past for an explanation of the present, but do not succeed in separating the past from the present. They recognize that mind is the builder, but do not realize that it is only what it is building now that really generates the future. The past, in itself, does not have the ability to do this. Whenever we move from one instant to the next, the previous one no longer exists.

This course will lead to something quite different than past-life readings, because it points only to the future. It leads to a future that you will know. There was a past, but it does not matter. It does not explain the present or account for the future. Patients in psychotherapy frequently go over their childhoods in some detail and at considerable expense, and it merely encourages their egos to become more tolerable to them. I would hardly want you to repeat that same error.

You may be curious to know about your past. Knowledge is not won through curiosity, which is an ego attribute. Knowledge can be found only if it is sought to give it to someone else. This means that you are ready to appreciate its real value and have already accepted its worth for yourself. Even when you cannot go to God with someone, you can go for him and bring knowledge back to him.

If this is in the future, why would you care at all about the past, except to the extent that your ego objects to your rightful destiny? Are you interested in healing insanity or in studying its past? That is of concern only if you believe that something that could remedy it happened in the past. Even my personal history is of no value to you except as it teaches you that I can help you now. But no history of irreconcilable viewpoints is helpful in establishing truth. The soul has no history, being the same yesterday, today, and always. The history of a split mind is not a constructive focus for those who are being trained in an integrated and true concept of themselves.

I am quite willing to tell you about your past when it no longer is of any interest to your ego, and if it is of help to someone else. Otherwise, it would be much better to devote yourself to knowing God. I once told you that the Atonement will not be complete until all the children of God have come home. We do not care about where they have been or what they have done. We would not want to evaluate their past any more than we want to evaluate them.

It is almost impossible for the mind to look at some past-life readings totally without judgment of any kind. For instance, they often relate a bodily condition to the past even when they affirm that mind is the builder. Their emphasis on gains and losses is not to be yours. These terms are evaluative, and are therefore in variance with the goals of your course.

We have discussed the separation in some detail, as we have also done with its healing. The interim is of no importance. Your judgment is a real defense, without any attack on truth, only when it evaluates the separation and its symbols as what they are, and enjoins the withdrawal of your belief in them. I would indeed be a poor teacher if I allowed any interference in the development of a skill which you have by no means mastered.


ACIM Rules for Decision

 "Prove your thoughts have creative power by consciously imaging constantly, and walk on the water. No matter what happens in the course of a day, revise it. Make the day conform to what you want it to be, and you are walking on the water." Neville Goddar

Rules for Decision

Decisions are continuous. You do not always know when you are making them. But with a little practice with the ones you recognize, a set begins to form which sees you through the rest.
It is not wise to let yourself become preoccupied with every step you take.
The proper set, adopted consciously each time you wake, will put you well ahead. And if you find resistance strong and dedication weak, you are not ready. DO NOT FIGHT YOURSELF.

Begin your day by thinking about the kind of day you want.

Tell yourself there IS a way in which this very day can happen just the way you want it to.

Try to have the day you want.

The process starts with this.

First: Say to yourself:

“Today I will make no decisions by myself.”

This means that you are choosing not to be the judge of what to do. But it must also mean you will not judge the situations where you will be called upon to make response. For if you judge them, you have set the rules for how you should react to them. And then another answer cannot but produce confusion and uncertainty and fear.

This is your major problem now. You still make up your mind, and THEN decide to ask what you should do. And what you hear may not resolve the problem as YOU saw it first. This leads to fear because it contradicts what you perceive, and so you feel attacked. And therefore angry. There are rules by which this will not happen. But it does occur at first, while you are learning how to hear.

Next: Throughout the day, at any time you think of it, and have a quiet moment for reflection:

Tell yourself again the kind of day you want;
the feelings you would have,
the things you want to happen to you,
and the things you would experience

Say to yourself:

“If I make no decisions by myself,
This is the day that will be GIVEN me.”

These two procedures, practiced well, will serve to let you be directed without fear, for opposition will not first arise and then become a problem in itself.

But there will still be times when you have judged already. Now the answer will provoke attack, unless you quickly straighten out your mind to want an answer that will work. Be certain this has happened if you feel yourself unwilling to sit by, and ask to have the answer given you. This means you HAVE decided by yourself, and cannot see the QUESTION. Now you need a quick restorative before you ask.

Third: Remember once again the day you want, and recognize that something has occurred which is not part of it. Then realize that you have asked a question by yourself, and must have set an answer in your terms. Then say,

“I have no question. I forgot what to decide.”

This cancels out the terms which you have set, and lets the ANSWER show you what the question must have really been. Try to observe this rule without delay, despite your opposition. For you have ALREADY gotten angry, and your fear of being answered in a different way from what your version of the question259 asks will gain momentum, until you believe the day you want is one in which you get YOUR answer to YOUR question. And you will not get it, for it would destroy the day by robbing you of what you REALLY want. This can be very hard to realize, when once you have decided by yourself the rules which promise you a happy day. Yet this decision still can be undone, by simple methods which you can accept.

Fourth: If you are so unwilling to receive you cannot even let your question go, you can begin to change your mind with this:

“At least I can decide I do not LIKE what I feel now.”

This much is obvious, and paves the way for the next easy step.

Fifth: Having decided that you do not like the way you feel, what could be easier than to continue with,

“And so I HOPE I have been wrong.”

This works against the sense of opposition, and reminds you that help is not being thrust upon you, but is something that you want and that you need, because you do not like the way you feel. This tiny opening will be enough to let you go ahead with just a few more steps you need to let yourself be helped. Now you have reached the turning-point, because it has occurred to you that YOU will gain if what you have decided is not so. Until this point is reached, you will believe your happiness depends on being RIGHT. But this much reason have you now attained; you would be better off if you were WRONG.

Sixth: This tiny grain of wisdom will suffice to take you further. You are not coerced, but merely hope to get a thing you want. And you can say in perfect honesty,

“I WANT another way to look at this.”

Now you have changed your mind about the day, and have remembered what you REALLY want. Its purpose has no longer been obscured by the insane belief you want it for the goal of being right when you are wrong. Thus is the readiness for asking brought to your awareness, for you cannot be in conflict when you ask for what you want, and see that it IS this for which you ask.

Seventh: This final step is but acknowledgment of lack of opposition to be helped. It is a statement of an open mind, not certain yet, but willing to be shown:

“Perhaps there IS another way to look at this.
What can I LOSE by asking?”

Thus you now can ask a question that makes sense, and so the answer will make sense as well. Nor will you fight against it, for you see that it is YOU who will be helped by it. It must be clear that it is easier to have a happy day if you prevent unhappiness from entering at all. But this takes practice in the rules which will protect you from the ravages of fear. When this has been achieved, the sorry dream of judgment has forever been undone. But meanwhile, you have need for practicing the rules for its undoing. Let us, then, consider once again the very first of the decisions which are offered here.

We said you can begin a happy day with the determination not to make decisions by yourself. This seems to be a real decision in itself. And yet, you CANNOT make decisions by yourself. The only question really is with WHAT you choose to make them. That is really all. The first rule, then, is not coercion, but a simple statement of a simple fact. You will not make decisions by yourself WHATEVER you decide. For they are made with idols or with God. And you ask help of Christ or anti-Christ, and which you choose will join with you, and tell you what to do.

Your day is not at random. It is set by what you choose to live it with, and how the friend whose counsel you have sought perceives your happiness. You always ask advice before you can decide on anything. Let THIS be understood, and you can see there cannot be coercion here, nor grounds for opposition that you may be free. There IS no freedom from what must occur. And if you think there is, you must be wrong.

The second rule as well is but a fact. For you and your adviser must agree on what you want before it can occur. It is but this AGREEMENT which permits all things to happen. Nothing can be caused without some form of union, be it with a dream of judgment or the Voice for God. Decisions causeresults BECAUSE they are not made in isolation. They are made by you and your adviser, for yourself, and for the world as well. The day you want you offer to the world, for it will be what you have asked for, and will reinforce the rule of your adviser in the world. Whose kingdom is the world for you today? What kind of day will you decide to have?

It needs but two who would have happiness this day to promise it to all the world. It needs but two to understand that they cannot decide alone, to guarantee the joy they asked for will be wholly shared. For they have understood the basic law that makes decision powerful, and gives it all effects that it will ever have. It needs but two. These two are joined before there CAN be a decision. Let this be the one reminder that you keep in mind, and you will have the day you want, and give it to the world by having it yourself. Your judgment has been lifted from the world by your decision for a happy day.

And as you have received, so must you give.

Do you not understand that to oppose the Holy Spirit is to fight YOURSELF?

He tells you but YOUR will; He speaks for YOU. In His Divinity is but your own. And all He knows is but your knowledge, saved for you that you may do your will through Him. God ASKS you do your will. He joins with YOU. He did not set His kingdom up alone. And Heaven itself but represents your will, where everything created is for you. No spark of life but was created with your glad consent, as you would have it be. And not one Thought that God has ever had but waited for your blessing to be born. God is no enemy to you. He asks no more than that He hear you call Him “Friend.”

How wonderful it is to do your will! For that is freedom. There is nothing else that ever should be called by freedom's name. Unless you do your will you are not free. And would God leave His Son without what he has chosen for himself? God but ensured that you would never lose your will when He gave you His perfect answer. Hear it now, that you may be reminded of His love, and learn your will. God would not have His Son made prisoner to what he does not want. He JOINS with you in willing you be free. And to oppose Him is to make a choice against YOURSELF, and choose that YOU be bound.

-  oOo   -

Tom Fox
Somerset, Kentucky


A Course In Miracles and Self Awareness

You’d think that being aware of what we think would be easy, but it isn’t. Modern life is noisy, busy and distracting. A deliberate method must be intentionally adopted to silence all the outer distractions and to focus upon what is happening within.

Although many prefer to focus upon the theoretical metaphysics of A Course In Miracles, and the nature of reality, or imagining what God thinks, the more practical minded seekers tend to focus upon the day to day practices that lead to the ultimate goal . . . accepting the Atonement and a realization, “I and the Father are one.”

“Knowing thyself,” or remembering one’s true self, and becoming aware of Love’s presence, is the same. “Teach only love, for that is what you are,” the Course enjoins. If you remember who you are, you remember love. If you become aware of love, then you know who you are.

Every thought that is not love acts as a barrier to the awareness of Love. Every idea of who I am that is not true acts to hide me from myself. Removing the barriers to awareness of Love is a process of becoming aware of who I am.

“Consider how much vigilance you have been willing to exert to protect your ego, and how little to protect your right mind.”

It begins and ends with what we think. What we think leads us toward sanity and truth, or it leads us away. Our thoughts are what either hide our true self, or which reveal it. Becoming aware of what we think is a necessary part of any process of sorting out the true from the false

You’d think that being aware of what we think would be easy, but it isn’t. Modern life is noisy, busy and distracting. A deliberate method must be intentionally adopted to silence all the outer distractions and to focus upon what is happening within.

"The goal of the curriculum, regardless of the teacher you choose, is "Know thyself." There is nothing else to seek." ACIM Text (FIP) T-8.III.5.1 - 2

"Truth cannot deal with errors that you want. I was a man who remembered spirit and its knowledge. As a man I did not attempt to counteract error with knowledge, but to correct error from the bottom up. I demonstrated both the powerlessness of the body and the power of the mind. By uniting my will with that of my Creator, I naturally remembered spirit and its real purpose. I cannot unite your will with God's for you, but I can erase all misperceptions from your mind if you will bring it under my guidance. Only your misperceptions stand in your way." ACIM Text (FIP) T-3.IV.7.2 - 8

-  oOo   -

Tom Fox
Somerset, Kentucky


Gene Smith (1947 - 2021)

It is with sadness that I learn of the passing of my friend Gene Smith last month in Southern California. I first met Gene online in 1999 during the height of the ACIM copyright wars. Gene became involved in the struggle as a founding member and President of the Course In Miracles Society, which was the first publisher of A Course In Miracles Original Edition. For those who do not know about it, the Original Edition is the first version of ACIM to see the light of day in 1972 after Bill Thetford edited the raw ACIM transcript.
Gene was perhaps the most well educated person I ever encountered, with multiple PhDs in mathematics and the philosophy of science. Gene was definitely the most sophisticated and well trained intellect of any I know to have taken ACIM seriously. Gene took ACIM very seriously, and he knew it well.
I will miss Gene, but I will not forget him
-  oOo   -

Tom Fox
Somerset, Kentucky