Questions Regarding the
Teachings of ACIM


QUESTION: "What is 'Perfect Happiness' and how do I attain it"?

In a recent pass through the workbook in A Course in Miracles I was amazed to re-read in Lesson 101, "God's will for me is perfect happiness".   Not just happiness, but perfect happiness.   As a result I decided to find out exactly what that meant. 

According to the dictionary…

per·fect  (adjective )
1.         conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type
2.         excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement
3.         exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose
4.         entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
5.         accurate, exact, or correct in every detail
Those are pretty amazing descriptions of the level of happiness God wants for me (and you).  I suppose I could summarize that with the idea of “nothing lacking”.  Does that come as a surprise to anyone that already knows there is no lack in God?

So now let’s look at happiness.

hap·pi·ness  (noun )
1.         the quality or state of being happy.
2.         good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. 

Also, quite cool.  But it begged the question, “What makes me happy? What brings me good fortune, pleasure, contentment and joy?”

When being asked to prepare an article for an international publication on these questions, I decided to revisit this earlier article originally written in 2011, but adding a new and very related question, "Who is the "me" that is asking what makes me happy?" 

The answer to that question, "What makes me happy?",  is going to be different for every person based on their own idea of happiness.  So let’s take a look at what makes YOU happy.  Jot down a list of everything, and I mean EVERY, thing, situation, location or whatever, you think will make, keep, or bring you YOU happiness.  Even if it comes out sounding like the "Favorite Things" song from “The Sound of Music”, make your list.  Don't take forever, but be sure to include at least 10 things that randomly come to mind.  Do not assign priority or value to your choices.   We will be examining your list later in the article.

The experiences of our Life, including our level of happiness is solely dependent on what we think and believe.  During our lifetime, too many of us have taken on some form of the “poor me” mentality.  To put into easily understood context, it matters not if you are broke, you can never be poor.  Poor is not an attribute of what you ARE or What created you.  It is simply a reflection of your own thinking, or put another way, your belief system.  If you have been taught that being poor is a good thing...then so shall you be.  It thus became a part of your belief system, and as an absolute result, will be the experience of your life.

And as a further encouragement toward the acceptance of Perfect Happiness, I am reminded of ...


...these words from Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and author of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures",  "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need. (a)  I find it interesting that she intentionally included the word human.  More on that later.

Put more clearly, all of our "needs" are always met by Divine Love, a term which can be interchanged with any title or expression that you use to associate with God,  Higher Power, etc.

And while this is perfectly true, we really need to examine two things.  What is the difference between my needs and my wants?  Who is the 'me' that is asking?

To start with the latter question, is the "me" my ego, or my Holy Spirit within...my true Inner Teacher?   This is sometimes easy to recognize by what is being asked for, and what is expected to bring us happiness. Again, I hope to demonstrate that what we want, need, expect or experience is a function of our thinking or belief system.  And depending on who we think is doing the thinking, will result in dramatic differences in our expectations and more importantly, our experiences.

When I asked a group of participants in my classes, "What makes you happy?, they came up with the following results:

A life purpose, Love, non-judgment, health, family happiness, a peaceful government, a beautiful day, peace of mind, a good career, travel, good food, abounding joy and beauty, harmony, friends, a sense of accomplishment, spirituality, the ability to bless others, seeing positive change, financial abundance, pets, art, music, quiet times, and more.

How did your list compare to theirs? 

Then, we further tried to determine if these were ego (human) needs or Spiritual needs.   Take a moment to review your own list using the Spirit vs. ego comparison.

This was the class result.  In some cases, the class was divided in their opinion.  Again, how does your assessment compare?


Love, non-judgment, a beautiful day, peace of mind, abundant joy and beauty, harmony, friends, spirituality, blessing others, pets, reading a good book, art, music quiet time.

Ego (Body)

Health, a good career, travel, good food.


Purpose, a peaceful government, accomplishment,  seeing positive change.

We also clearly recognized that there are many things on the list that we are not experiencing.   The next logical question is to ask why or why not?

Needless to say, if we concentrate on any of our wishes, desires, wants or needs that support Spirit, there is no real reason to think they cannot be attained from Divine Love by simply manifesting them as our birthright as the Son of God.   And as we continue deeper and deeper into our study of the Course, we find that the "Ego" list is nothing more than a continuation of our ongoing temptation to believe that we are bodies.  (See a related article entitled

What I also found interesting was the idea that there were, or even could be, differences in opinion on how to see them.  After quite a discussion, we realized that everything was being judged, as emphasized by words like good, beautiful, and change.  And further to relate them to Spirit or ego was another level of judgment.  Sadly, we all seem to fall victim to this kind of thinking, including myself.  To see something as what will, or will not make me happy, or what relates to Spirit or ego, is all perception, and almost always entails some form of judgment.   What we finally discovered, and as the Course reminds us, is that the only things that can make one truly happy are those that are eternal.

And in my earlier article presentation, and thinking at that time, I took the position that it all really comes down to whom do they serve?  Ego or Spirit?  Again, a major case of judgment and perception...I was totally wrong in either case.

In the midst of all this analysis, I had what I can only call a V-8 moment...God does not care what WE think will make us happy, and neither should we.  God already knows perfectly what can, and ONLY can, bring us perfect happiness, and it has nothing to do with our own sense of needs and desires.   That may come as quite a shock after all the time we just spent on the analysis.  The only eternal thing that will bring us to the experience of perfect happiness is the complete knowledge of Him, and in turn, knowledge of our Self.

That is when the impact of the term 'human', in the quote from Mary Baker Eddy, came into play and relates to the Course in a very interesting way.   There are places throughout the Course that make it clear, there is no world, and that I am not a body.   It also makes clear that God, in this instance the idea of Father and Creator, knows nothing of our world of perception...but the Holy Spirit does.  Or more accurately, the Holy Spirit understands our dream without believing in it.  We still do, clearly evidenced by the fact we are still in the experience...the fact we are still "here".

In this experience, we all do have the belief in very human needs and desires, even though we are not the body we think we are.  Unless we have the same perfect demonstration that we are like, and one with, the Father, as Jesus did, we will continue to be subject to those needs until we do.  Will that happen in another year or another hundred?  Who knows?   Will it happen in this lifetime or a thousand hence?  Who knows?  But this I do know...

I only have control of this lifetime, or more correctly, how I perceive it.   This is the lifetime with its current opportunities to learn from what appear to be mistakes.  This is the point in my existence where I can practice forgiveness rather than judge, and in doing so open myself to experience the perfect happiness that is the Will of God and my own.

All things seen through the eyes of True Perception...which can be restated as...If they are REAL…THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE REASON not to have this experience.

Any thought contrary to your experience of perfect happiness is a lie, and is totally unreal.  All that is Real (and that includes all thought) is that which has True Cause, and the only True Cause of anything that truly exists, is God.  Restated this way, “Only those thoughts I think with God are Real”. ACIM W-4 (paraphrased).  Since God is perfect, (and as an extension of Himself, so are we) there is nothing in the way of experiencing your perfect happiness except your own mis-thinking; about God or your Self.

So without sounding too sarcastic…LET’S GET REAL.  Let’s bring our thinking into line with Reality...into alignment with your Creator's Will, and your own.

Many great thinkers have said in one form or another. “Change your mind…change your life”.  I want to point out it does not say change the world.  You can't do that, but you can change your perception of it, and thus dramatically change your experiences.   This only seems like changing the world.  Remember, "There is no world".

You can BE perfectly happy.  Why do you think the Master said, “Be ye therefore perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect”  Mt. 5:48

It is both your choice, and the Will of God.  (You don’t really want to argue that point with God, do you?  If you are not experiencing that perfect happiness, I assure you that your experience demonstrates you have been arguing against it.) 

If you want to continually experience perfect happiness, stay out of its way.  Let it flow.  Don't fight the current in the River of God's Will.  Quit being a salmon.

And always remember, to be in, and experience God's will, and your perfect happiness, "You need do nothing".  Stop trying to make something happen that already is.

The summary of all that is True is reflected in two words,  "God IS"...and so are you.

We constantly refer to ourselves as human beings.   But our lives reflect something more like humans doing.  I cannot repeat enough, "We need do nothing".

Stop doing!


Everything else is already included.

Originally written and Posted 8/7/2011

Updated 1/3/13


(a)  For those that have read my extended bio, I came to study "A Course in Miracles" as a result and extension of my studies of Christian Science in the late 80s.

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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