Q: I’m really into the concepts of “A Course in Miracles”, but the language the book uses really bugs me. I don’t really dig the term GOD (I think of a man with a gray beard), let alone Holy Spirit… and I don’t like how it is written in masculine pronouns (“He” “Father” etc.). I’m struggling here… can you help?”
You bet. First off, you’re not alone! There are many people out there who struggle with the language of the Course. Keep these ideas in mind when these feelings of resistance come up…
Feeling resistance to the language of the Course is a GREAT ego defense to keep you from learning and progressing with the Course. The ego will pull anything it can out of the hat to keep you from finding out that you’re NOT your ego, and that you’re Love. The ego fears you’ll abandon it for Love, and you will! So your ego would prefer that you not learn the Course, because it is a Course about Love. So the question becomes, are you willing to look past the resistance of your ego, to learn the concepts behind the terms?
All terms are potentially controversial, and those who seek controversy will find it. Yet those who seek clarification will find it as well. They must, however, be willing to overlook controversy, recognizing that it is a defense against truth in the form of a delaying manoeuvre. – A Course in Miracles
It is the concepts of the Course that matter – not the language, the symbols, or the terminology. “God” isn’t a guy, there is no white beard, and the masculine pronouns aren’t referring to men. Initially if the wording bothers you, try substituting something else. Here are some words I use in place of “God” and “Holy Spirit:”
“God” – Truth, Love, Oneness, Being
“Holy Spirit” – Inner Guide, Inner Guidance System, Inner Teacher, Voice of Love
Also, keep in mind that the Course is clear that this is only one path of many. It is NOT the only way.
A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible but necessary. It is this experience toward which the course is directed. – A Course in Miracles
This was always reassuring to me in that the Course is not about any kind of rigid spiritual dogma, and it is not about converting anyone. It is a course that applies directly to you, your relationship with others, and your relationship with your Inner Teacher. No one else can do this work for you. So you have to decide if this is your path. If it is, be willing to look at your resistance to the language with your Inner Teacher. Hand that resistance over to your Inner Teacher and ask for help to see it differently.
One more thing! Another area that people might get hung up with is that the voice of the Course is believed to be the voice of Jesus. If this bugs you, again, you have to decide if you are going to let this stop you from learning the concepts. The Course reassures us that Jesus is only one of many teachers (again there is no religious dogma!).
Are other teachers possible, to lead the way to those who speak in different tongues and appeal to different symbols? Certainly there are. – A Course in Miracles