Questions Regarding the
Teachings of ACIM


QUESTION: "Why do I sometimes feel so lonely"?

This article will really serve two very good purposes: first, to hopefully answer the question, "Why am I lonely?", and second, to introduce a book that really should be required reading for any student of the Course.  The book is called, "The Universe Is A Dream", by Alexander Marchand.  Alex has done a brilliant job of taking the essence of "A Course in Miracles" and put it into comic book format.  It can easily be read in about 4 hours, but I assure you, one reading will not be enough.  I suggest it as supportive reading for new people in the Course because the ideas are the same, but the comic book format makes it a bit more digestible than Elizabethan English and iambic pentameter.

The image to the right is a cell taken from the book,
and I believe it is the entire reason for our sense of loneliness, but what it does not explain is,
why?  I will make an attempt to fill in that blank, using and expanding on, certain ideas from the Course. (as usual, in blue Italics)

The first question we need to ask is, "What is loneliness?"   I think we might all agree with our friend in the image, that our loneliness comes from not having others around...and to use her words...other bodies.  My presentation was mainly geared toward the idea of body separation, but my proofreader brought up another possibility that I had not originally considered.  

Another form of loneliness, is one that can be experienced even in a crowd.  It comes from the feeling of something lacking in a relationship.   That relationship can be a romantic relationship with another person, or with a group like family, friends, co-workers, etc.  I think the common thread for these situations is a recurring sense of lack...of something.   While the form may be significantly different, content is still the same...a lack of connection in some form or another...physical, emotional or spiritual.  Put more simply...the idea of separation.  But let me continue in the original direction, which will clearly join with the revised thinking as the article progresses.

We may now consider, in addition to the physical loneliness expressed by our female subject, the idea that Alex is trying to convey in his editorial comments on the cell.  Our erroneous thinking starts with where we think we are, and what we think we are...and at this point, we think we are bodies seeing other bodies, and that we actually live in a physical world.  And as long as we hold those beliefs, both will remain real to us

Therefore, without another body around, or from any sense of separateness, we feel "lonely"... which brings us to the conclusion that loneliness is a feeling.  And as far as I can see, feelings are just an emotion subdivided and defined, but an emotion just the same.  (Form, not content.)

But wait!   The Course tells us there are only two emotions; Love and Fear. (b)   And the Course further clearly states that one one of these two alleged emotions is real...Love. (c) So what is really going on when we are feeling lonely is but a sense of fear.   This fear can be generated by several underlying subtle and likely subconscious ideas,

  • When I am lonely, I cannot experience love.
  • When I am lonely, I cannot experience my connection to my brothers.
  • When I am lonely, I cannot experience my connection to "all that is".

(For the above examples, consider replacing the word lonely with, separate, disconnected, or any other word that creates a similar negative feeling.)

But what if..............  


But what if we considered the idea that loneliness or "aloneness" was really just a sense of separation, or lack of "something" implied much earlier.   And, as stated above, whether your separation is true or not (and I assure you it is not, but only a false sense), while it is believed in the mind, the experience of it will be true for you (until you choose to release the belief). (d)

But once again, we need to pause and reflect.  As the Course clearly says, as early as the introduction, "Love can have no opposite."   So any thought, idea or temptation to believe the opposite (fear, or in this case loneliness/separation) is merely another aspect of the illusion..not Reality.  It is another of the myriad forms of temptation, and the Course's definition of temptation is anything that would "persuade the Son of God that he is a body". (e)

At this point it should be clear that we have come full circle on the idea of being alone.

  • Our beliefs (or belief system) affects our thoughts.
  • Our thoughts influence our decisions.
  • Our decisions influence our actions.
  • The interpretation (perception) of the results of our actions influences (reinforces) our beliefs.

And thus is formed a vicious cycle, the solution for which is to change our original belief system (our foundational premise).

Let's take a side-by-side look at the problem and the solution(s).

Our beliefs (or belief system) affects our thoughts.

This idea should be clearly reinforced by an abstract understanding of the second lesson of the Course workbook. "I have given [anything I see, hear, touch, or experience in any way] all the meaning it has for me." (paraphrased)  Release YOUR meaning.

Our thoughts influence our decisions.

This one is a no-brainer.   Change your mind.

Our decisions influence our actions.

Once you have changed your mind about anything, making a different choice is much easier.  Be mindful of the encouragement from the Course, "Choose once again if you would take your place among the saviors of the world, or would remain in hell, and hold your brothers there."  No matter how many seeming incorrect choices we have made, we can always "choose again."

The interpretation (perception) of the results of our actions influences (reinforces) our beliefs.

This requires no additional action or explanation.  The concept that Truth Itself does all the work needed, whether at the level of the conscious, or subconscious, should be sufficient.   After all, the Course reminds us so many times, "I need do nothing."

In conclusion, our sense (illusion) of loneliness simply exists only in our thoughts.  Our separation from another, or from God, never happened except in our mind as a result of accepting the "tiny, mad idea" as a real possibility.   Our thoughts are totally within our control, and will literally change our perception of the world (circumstances) around us.  Remember the ideas from these early workbook lessons:

  • LESSON 10 - "My thoughts do not mean anything."
  • LESSON 19 - "I am not alone in experiencing the effects of my thoughts."
  • LESSON 21 - "I am determined to see things differently."

As you can clearly see, through the Course's individual ideas, the Course offers you amazing power to literally change your life.  But collectively, putting all the seeming pieces together like a giant spiritual jig-saw puzzle, it offers you the ability to literally change the world you are currently perceiving.  Since your perceptions can change everything, you are thus imbued with infinite power.  Use it wisely.


(a)  Image used with permission, "The Universe is a Dream", Alexander Marchand, p.139

(b) " I have said you have but two emotions, love and fear."

(c)  "The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite."  From this we can only conclude that fear is unreal.

(d) "The way to correct distortions is to withdraw your faith in them and invest it only in what is true.  You cannot make untruth true.  If you are willing to accept what is true in everything you perceive, you let it be true for you. Truth overcomes all error, and those who live in error and emptiness can never find lasting solace.  If you perceive truly you are cancelling out misperceptions in yourself and in others simultaneously.  Because you see them as they are, you offer them your acceptance of their truth so they can accept it for themselves.  This is the healing that the miracle induces."

(e) "Temptation has one lesson it would teach, in all its forms, wherever it occurs.  It would persuade the holy Son of God he is a body, born in what must die, unable to escape its frailty, and bound by what it orders him to feel.  It sets the limits on what he can do; its power is the only strength he has; his grasp cannot exceed its tiny reach."

Written 11/02/12

Once led to engage in full time ministrRobert (Bob) Searsy as a Course teacher, Bob opted to become and independent non-denominational minister so that he could teach a pure version of ACIM without the need to satisfy any particular denominational tenets.  Bob, originally from NY, now reside s in Southern California where he teaches in churches and home settings.  More on Bob can be found on his http://www.rdsears.com

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