A Course in Miracles has in essence saved my life. When I had no spiritual connections in this world to hold me up, after a winding trail that started with Power vs. Force ~by David Hawkins I decided to purchase A Course in Miracles (all three volumes).
Though the beginning felt awkward do to the language pattern the Course uses I eventually found within the Text my exact heartfelt beliefs about the world and existence. Suddenly there was an intricately woven spiritual compendium that reflected my beliefs. It literally saved me from giving up on life. It recharged my faith/hope batteries and sent me forward with purpose.
Unfortunately just as some have mentioned I found the Lessons volume of the Course to be highly impracticle. But this did not diminish what value I was gleaning from the Text. This is when I came upon the Power of Now. Tolle provided the practical guidance I needed to fulfill the vision provided by the Text of A Course in Miracles.
"Reality belongs only to spirit." ~acim
Right there a quote from the Course that has a direct connection in my mind to what Tolle teaches of the universal nature of Being.
"What is not love is always fear, and nothing else." ~acim
Again, in no uncertain terms, the Course clarifies quite firmly that one is either living in love or living in fear; or from Tolle's language, one is either asleep and in ego or awake and in Spirit/Now.
"Infinite patience calls on infinite love, and by producing results now it renders time unnecessary." ~acim
This quote ties it up all nicely for me. To drop the mind and enter the Now one touches the essence of Spirit which is infinite patience and love. And because the results of those infinite values show up now as an immediate consequence of resting in Being, time loses all meaning.
There is nothing to wait for.
There is nowhere to go.
There is nothing to fear.
There is nothing meaningful to be lost.
There is nothing out there to be gained.
There is only what you have, and that is everything.
There is only one "place" to be, and that is Heaven here in the Now.
A Course in Miracles teaches Oneness Absolute. That "nothing real can be threatened and that nothing unreal exists... herein lies the peace of God." As far as the Course is concerned all that is not Spirit does not exist. And because Spirit is eternal, Love, Joy, Peace, and perfection nothing we see in the world around us that does not reflect these qualities must invariably be untrue... the veil we have placed before our eyes to hide God(Spirit) from our selves.
"When you remember, you will know that what you remember is eternal, and therefore is now." ~acim
In other words when I wake up to Spirit I will recognize its eternal nature and know within that it is only what It Is Now; eternity is now, it does not extend like a line from the past to a place in the future.
A Course in Miracles spends a good portion of the beginning of the Text diving into the dynamics of the ego and how it affects the mind. Now the word mind in the Course is not definable the same way as it is in PON. It is more of what one might call the soul.
After grinding things up with the ego for awhile one is then taken on a gradual journey towards the Light with more emphasis on what we are in Truth rather than on what we are according to the ego.
The ego has power because we believe ourselves to be the ego. Thats why spiritual paths which move one away from ego identification can be rough because detaching from the ego can feel like suicide. Once Spirit is let in through even the smallest point we then have the chance to see a choice between what we thought was us to what we really are in Truth.
The spiritual journey then becomes a series of choices in the Now, though the choice is only ever between two things: Spirit and illusion. How we know the present moment all depends on what our choice is. Are we choosing Being in the Now or are we choosing to lose ourselves in the illusory machinations of the ego?
Near the end of the Course it says: "Choose once again." Everytime you must, choose once again. Choose continuously for Heaven and you will continuously know Peace. Choose continuously for illusion and you will continuously know nothing but sleep.
"For here is God, and where He is only the perfect and complete can be." ~acim
That means here in me, here in you, here in all of us. We are all perfect and complete right now. We need nothing more, and nothing need be taken away but that which we foolishly added thinking it would give us more than that which we already have. How can one have more than everything? To attempt as much is to play with dreams. We seem to have added something but it was made by a thought born of the mad idea that everything is not enough.
According to the Course time is not real. And as such when we truly realize this all effects of past and future disappear.
According to Tolle time is not real. And as such when we trully awaken to the Now the Presence of Being will fill in and replace all the useless illusion with which we had littered our perceptions.
The Course gives me the big picture in extensive intellectual prose, so much so that my faith has somewhere to turn for verses, quotes and metaphysics; stuff I need when I'm stuck in time. These quotes and concepts point my motivations and aspirations toward the divine within.
Tolle gives me the grass roots operations and procedures for traversing through my life as an awareness weaving in and out of Reality. Tolle provides the manual I can use to directly plow through the veil of illusion and awaken to the Now regardless of how far I perceive I have fallen.
Both sources provide an invaluable spectrum of teaching that I cherrish together as One. Though I cannot fit them together perfectly in my mind concept to concept... I do hold them together most snuggly in the room in the castle of my mind set aside for spiritual teachers, teachings and insights.
If you're still awake at this point in my post I thank you and congratulate you.
I do have a tendency to be rather verbose, though I hope I am equally able to share something valuable or at least entertaining...
"Everything you teach you are learning." ~acim
"As you teach so shall you learn." ~acim
"What you believe you will teach." ~acim
"You are always teaching." ~acim