A search on The Foundation for Inner Peace website show the term “you think” shows up 272 times in A Course in Miracles.
As I go through each passage where “you think” shows up in the book, it’s very clearly stated that nothing we see or think means anything. We think we think.
We think we are thinking.
We think we think because we think we’re bodies.
But “I am not a body. I am free.”
For many people, this idea is purely conceptual and not their living understanding which came about through a direct experience.
The way you know that you are a not a body is if you experience perfect peace, perfect happiness, perfect freedom, joy, love, appreciation and gratitude.
You are no longer bound by “the body’s serial adventures”.
You are no longer feeling frail, weak, helpless or afraid.
You know what you are.
You know Oneness and Wholeness as your identity, as the One Self.
I studied and practiced A Course in Miracles since 1992 when I first heard about it. I dedicated my life to it. At one point, I gave all my books away (I did the math and my books totaled over $8000 that I had spent on buying them in the 90s – fiction, spirituality, self-help, self-improvement, Eastern mystics) and I gave them all away and kept only A Course in Miracles.
For about five years, A Course in Miracles was the only book I read (from 2001-2006) and I read it every single day. I was determined to wake up, to know the Self, to reach happiness and peace.
I had moments of joy and peace (that would sometimes last hours) but then I would find myself in doubt, conflict, anger, frustration.
Frustration about what? That I still found myself in a body.
Frustrated that other people were having spontaneous enlightenment experiences without doing anything (Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle) and here I was still in the dark when I was so totally completed devoted and willing.
Back then I thought Jesus could help me – because I thought Jesus was outside of me - and I spent hours in prayer, talking to Jesus, asking for help, saying “I’ll do anything” and “I’m all yours” and “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it” and “I’m here. Use me. Here I am”
Nothing happened. No voice. No angels appearing. No revelations. Just quiet with nothing changing.
So my thought was: “I just need to do the workbook lessons of A Course in Miracles again, and this time I’ll be totally dedicated. Completed committed. I won’t make any exceptions. I will forgive everyone and everything.”
Every year I would do the workbook lessons again, thinking “This is my time! This is my year!”
And every year there were moments of happiness, clarity and peace, but I still felt stuck, still no closer to “the goal” of awakening and knowing the Self.
WHAT WAS I DOING WRONG??
What I know now: I wasn’t doing anything wrong – but no one had instructed me to question the “I” that was doing A Course in Miracles. No one said to me (and it’s not in A Course in Miracles) to investigate and find out who or what is the “I” that wants to wake up.
And yet … it’s all in A Course in Miracles!
But I couldn’t see clearly what I see clearly now because a lot of the ideas in A Course in Miracles cancel each other out.
For example: I’m not a body and “the body disappears because you have no need of the body except the need the Holy Spirit sees.”
I am not a body. I am here only to be truly helpful. I am the light of the world.
WHO IS THE “I” IN THESE STATEMENTS?
I would have a realization “I have no need of the body” and one instant later I’m waiting for the Holy Spirit to use the body for His purposes.
The Great Cancel Out.
I would say and think “I’m not a body. I’m the light of the world. My only function is happiness. My only function is the one God gave me.”
And I – who is the I – would “be” happy, generous, kind, loving, patient, open-minded and helpful.
Who is the I here?
It’s the Lisa Natoli body-identification, trying to wake up.
And then I, Lisa, would feel exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed and pissed off and angry that no one was appreciating or acknowledging my good efforts and generosity.
So what happened?? I did what I swore I would never do.
I put A Course in Miracles aside and started looking at non-duality teachers like Rupert Spira, Francis Lucille, Jean Klein and Ellen Emmet.
Things changed almost immediately for me when I put the Christian terminology aside. Instead of using words like God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Christ, Son, He and Him – I began to try out words like Consciousness, Awareness, Oneness, Wholeness, Eternal Changelessness.
I went through a period of guilt that lasted for several months to a year, like I was betraying my beloved Jesus. It was like having an affair, cheating on my relationship with Jesus when I swore I would never leave A Course in Miracles.
But I thought: I have to do this. I’ve been with A Course in Miracles for 25 years (from 1992-2018) and I’m missing something here. I’m totally devoted and all I want is to know the Self and be truly helpful. I was completely willing to let the body-identification/personal self-identity go – and there was some piece of the puzzle not on the table.
Everything began to get clear when I let go of the idea that there was a Holy Spirit or God or Christ “out there” that was helping me. There was never a “He” or a “Him” because there is only Oneness. I began to experience wholeness and oneness. I stopped feeling like I had “to do” anything to reach salvation.
I didn’t have to be happy. I am what happiness is.
I didn’t need to be truly helpful. I am what helpfulness is.
I didn’t need to be the light of the world. I am what this light is.
For years I was always feeling like I had to “prove” my worthiness, but giving to others, helping, uplifting, inspiring, encouraging.
And I never questioned: Who is the “I” that is giving to others, helping, uplifting, inspiring and encouraging?
It was the body “I” – the Lisa Natoli body-identification.
No wonder I was exhausted!! No wonder I was frustrated. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to be what you are not.
You are not a body.
I am is free.
Finding Rupert Spira and his book “The Nature of Consciousness” was the end of seeking and searching for me. This was in 2018.
It was the end of sickness and suffering.
It didn’t happen overnight – but I knew the whole way out from that point on.
And then I came back to A Course in Miracles and laughed out loud because the whole message is contained right there on the very first page in the Introduction with the term “the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”
Love’s presence isn’t our natural inheritance.
The AWARENESS of love’s presence is our natural inheritance.
So it’s been quite a journey and I’m very grateful.
And we think the thoughts we are thinking are “my” thoughts.
We think we have thoughts.
Who is the “I” and who is the “my” and what is “mine”?
Is it the body-identification (what A Course in Miracles calls “the ego”) or is it Consciousness, the Awareness of Love’s Presence?
Asking “Who is the I here?” was the key for me.
It unlocked the door.
It gave me the final missing piece of the puzzle that showed me the whole completed finished picture.
It’s right there on Workbook Lesson #1 – on the very first day of A Course in Miracles mind-training – right there on the very first page of the workbook, it’s stated: “Nothing I see means anything.”
How did I miss this for over 25 years of “doing” A Course in Miracles??
The “I” doing this lessons was the “I” of “I am a body” and this “I” is determined to not get it.
This “I” is determined to convince you that you are going all the way, while hell-bent on making sure you go nowhere.
As we proceed just a few lessons further – Lesson 2, Lesson 3, Lesson 4, Lesson 5, Lesson 6, Lesson 7, Lesson 8 - we find it keeps repeating the same theme: Nothing I think I see is there. I see only the past. I see only my thoughts projected outward.
HA! Hidden in plain sight.
A Course in Miracles even says: You have no eyes, no mouth, no hands, no feet.
We have no brain, no heart, no body.
You are pure eternal changeless wholeness, the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.
For anyone struggling for years with A Course in Miracles, I invite you to either continually ask “Who is the “I”?” every time you come to an “I” sentence in A Course in Miracles.
Ask yourself this question every time an “I” statement arises in your mind “I am sick. I am upset. I am happy. I am depressed. I am helpful.”
Who or what is the “I”?
Consciousness is never sick, so if you are thinking “I am sick” then it can only be the personal self-identity and you are NOT that.
You are not a body. Sickness is impossible. Suffering is impossible. Sadness is impossible.
And if you are experiencing these things, ask “Who or What is the “I” experiencing this?”
“Who or what is having this thought?”
Who is the I?
Try this out for a day, a week, a month.
And if this doesn’t help you, I invite you to come over to the wild side and check out non-duality teachings.
I love you.
There is a way out – and it’s so simple that it’s hard to believe we miss it when it’s in plain sight, here and now.
You are the happiness you are seeking. You are the love you long for.
You are the light that lights up this whole world.
And now ask: who is the “you” in this statement? Who is the “you” that lights up this world?
This “you” doesn’t have a body. It is unbound and entirely free.
This “you” was never born and will never die and encompasses everyone and everything, all events, all situations, all thoughts, feelings and sensations.
“Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play.” -A Course in Miracles
If you are interested in the teaching of A Course in Miracles with the Nondual understanding of Rupert Spira's book, The Nature of Consciousness, learn more about Living in Oneness by clicking this link: https://pages.teachersofgod.org/the-living-in-oneness-experience