Question asked of Liz Cronkhite:
I get a lot of comfort from reading A Course in Miracles (ACIM) but I have to admit I have not had some of the spiritual experiences that others say they have. I feel guilty to say this, but I’m not sure I really believe everything I read and frankly I’m not always sure I believe in a God…
First, I want to point out that the feeling of comfort that you have when you read A Course in Miracles is the Holy Spirit (Teacher of Truth) within you. So that is one spiritual experience that you do have. It’s important to recognize that you do feel the Holy Spirit when you read ACIM so that you can recognize the experience in other contexts as well.
There is never any reason to feel guilty for being honest. In fact, you cannot move forward without first acknowledging to yourself what you are truly experiencing. There are two lies that people commonly perpetrate against themselves on a spiritual path that are huge obstacles to peace. One is thinking that “belief” is all that is required. But “belief” is only a decision to intellectually accept something as true whether or not you have experienced it as true. It’s really a con that you play on yourself. You either experience God (Reality; True Being) as real or you do not. So “believing in” God means nothing. Experiencing God is the goal and leads to true peace.
The other lie that many perpetrate against themselves is blind “faith” in God. But you either trust God or you do not. Pretending to trust God when you do not really do so only increases your fear, stress, and guilt. Trust comes after many, many experiences of God because God is a wholly different experience from the one that you are used to in your identification with a limited body/self. You cannot force trust. You either feel it or you don’t.
Acknowledge your doubts to the Holy Spirit, even if you are not certain It exists. You have nothing to lose being open and willing to experience God. If God turns out not to exist then everything stays the same. You won’t gain anything, but you won’t lose anything, either. And if God turns out to be true then you gain Everything. Even after many experiences of God I often fell into doubt and I’d say, “I don’t know if You exist but I’m willing to experience You if You do.” More important than the words was a feeling of true openness. And always something occurred within me to show me that my True Being is beyond the limited experience of the self.
In time, after many undeniable experiences of God, you will not give power to the doubts. The ego (personal thought system) will never accept that God is real, but it speaks only for itself, never for you. You will know that God is real and release the ego.