Book Review: A Course in Miracles and the Top 20 Quotes

a course in miracles book summaries Apr 28, 2024

 Dr. Jon Repole 

A Course in Miracles stands as a beacon of spiritual wisdom and guidance. It offers profound insights into forgiveness, love, and the nature of reality. At its core lies the principle that the mind can be trained to perceive love instead of fear, leading to inner peace and spiritual awakening. Ultimately, it's a journey from the head to the heart and aligning with our highest Self. 

This book has been a constant source of love, light, and guidance in my life. In this blog, we delve into the essence of A Course in Miracles through some of my favorite quotes. The Course invites us to shift our perceptions, release the grip of the ego, and embrace the truth of our divine nature. I hope you take some time to reflect and ask yourself what these quotes mean to you and your life :) 


20 Quotes from A Course in Miracles 


1. "This course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. The oppositive of love is fear, but what is encompassing can have no opposite. This course can therefore be summer up very simply in this way: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God."

These are the opening lines from the Course! The words encapsulate a fundamental principle: that only love is real, and everything else is an illusion (fear). By recognizing the inherent stability and permanence of love, we can release fear and find peace in the midst of life's uncertainties. It reminds us that our true essence – the love that we are – is eternal and cannot be threatened by the transient challenges of the world and our mind's chatter. 

This quote invites us to examine our own inner landscape and identify the barriers we have erected against love. These barriers can take various forms, such as fear, shame, judgment, resentment, guilt, or attachment to the ego's illusions. By recognizing and acknowledging these barriers, we can begin the process of dismantling them, allowing the natural flow of love to emerge from within us.

We are invited to take responsibility for our thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes, and to cultivate alignment of our soul's awareness, our mind's attention, our heart's intention, and our behaviors with the frequency of love.  By doing so, we can liberate ourselves from the limitations of fear and separation, and reconnect with the boundless love that resides at the core of our being.

This quote sets the foundation of the Course's curriculum and categorizes all emotions into two primary states: love and fear. Love represents the essence of our true nature, our connection to the divine, and the source of all that is good, harmonious, and fulfilling. On the other hand, fear arises from a sense of separation from love, leading to feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and existential angst. However, behind the cosmic joke (the illusion of fear) and like a wave unable to part from the ocean, we cannot be disconnected from our Creator - even though our ego tells us we can. 

As we read on in the text, the Course tells us that everything is either love or a call for love. In other words, we begin to understand that every expression of fear is ultimately just a call for love. It suggests that behind every negative emotion, every act of aggression, or every instance of conflict lies a deeper longing for love and connection. When we experience fear or negative emotions, we are essentially crying out for love and understanding, seeking to bridge the perceived gap between ourselves and others, or between ourselves and the divine.

Therefore, according to A Course in Miracles, the key to transcending fear and experiencing lasting peace and fulfillment lies in recognizing the underlying call for love in ourselves and others. By choosing to respond with love, compassion, and understanding, we can heal the wounds of fear and separation and return to the awareness of our inherent unity with all creation.

Simply put, the opening quote invites us to shift our perceptions from fear to love, transforming our lives and relationships in profound and meaningful ways.


2. "The ego's rule is, Seek and do not find."

This teaching exposes the futile nature of ego-driven pursuits, which often lead to dissatisfaction and unfulfillment. The ego operates on the belief that happiness lies in external acquisitions and accomplishments, perpetuating a cycle of seeking without ever finding true contentment. This quote serves as a reminder to transcend the ego's illusions and seek instead the lasting peace that comes from within. We are warned to avoid the proverbial hamster wheel of life. 

3. "Heaven is not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect Oneness." 

Unlike the quote above, this teaching tells us that we no longer need to spend endless days and nights seeking to nourish an inherent lack or void. Instead, we must begin to recognize that wholeness is our natural state. Through years of conditioning, we have obscured this wisdom from our spiritual sight by thoughts of separation, fear, guilt, shame, and blame.

This quote challenges traditional conceptions of heaven as a physical location or reward for virtuous behavior. Instead, it presents heaven as a state of consciousness characterized by the awareness of unity with all creation. By shifting our perception from separation to Oneness, we can experience heaven in the here and now, transcending the limitations of the ego and connecting with the eternal truth of our spiritual nature. As we do so we may begin to recognize that the kingdom of God is within. 

4. "When you want only love you will see nothing else."

Here, the Course emphasizes the power of intention in shaping our perception of reality. By choosing to focus on love, we align our minds with the truth and invite love to permeate every aspect of our lives. This quote encourages us to shift our priorities and cultivate a mindset rooted in love, knowing that love is the only reality worth seeing. 

The Course, elsewhere, tells us that projection makes perception. In other words, what we perceive in the world around us is not necessarily an objective reflection of reality but rather a projection of our own thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. Our minds are constantly interpreting the sensory information we receive from the external world, filtering it through the lens of our past experiences, conditioning, and subconscious beliefs. As a result, we see the world not as it is, but as we are. We are constantly letting the past inform our present.

This process of projection occurs unconsciously and shapes our perception of ourselves, others, and the world. For example, if we harbor feelings of fear or unworthiness within ourselves, we may project those feelings onto others, perceiving them as threatening or hostile. Similarly, our positive beliefs and attitudes can lead us to perceive beauty, kindness, and abundance in the world around us.

Therefore, according to A Course in Miracles, our perception of reality is not fixed or objective but rather fluid and malleable, shaped by the content of our own minds. By becoming aware of our projections (if you spot it, you got it) and the beliefs that underlie them, we can begin to take responsibility for our perception and choose to see the world through the lens of love rather than fear. In doing so, we can transform our experience of reality and align ourselves with the truth of our inherent unity and interconnectedness with all creation.

5. "In you is all of Heaven. Every leaf that falls is given life in you. Each bird that ever sang will sing again in you. And every flower that ever bloomed has saved its perfume and its loveliness for you."

This quote celebrates the divine essence within each individual and the interconnectedness of all life. It invites us to recognize the sacredness of our existence and the role we play in the tapestry of creation. By embracing our inherent divinity, we awaken to the beauty and wonder of the world around us, seeing ourselves reflected in every leaf, bird, and flower. We must recognize our inherent power because the kingdom of God exists within us. And we must be humble because it exists in every leaf and bird, as well.  

6. "When you made visible what is not true, what is true became invisible to you."

This quote highlights the consequences of investing belief in illusions rather than truth. When we prioritize the ego's illusions over the truth of our spiritual nature, we lose sight of reality and become blind to the love and beauty that surrounds us. It serves as a poignant reminder to discern between the false and the true, and to choose truth over illusion in every moment.

A practice we will most likely spend the rest of our lives perfecting! We must not become content with the distorted reality we have created because ignorance is NOT bliss.

7. "If you are tempted to be dispirited by thinking how long it would take to change your mind so completely, ask yourself, How long is an instant?"

Here, the Course challenges the notion of time as a barrier to spiritual transformation. It reminds us that change can occur in an instant when we choose to shift our perception and align with love. This quote encourages us to release attachment to the past and future, and instead embrace the power of the present moment to create profound and lasting change. The Course reminds us simply, "Love waits on welcome, not time." 

I believe it is best to view time holistically (past, present, and future arising simultaneous) rather than sequential (past first, present now, and future at a later date). In doing so, we are invited to loving  reinterpret the meaning of the past and allow our future, highest, healthiest, and most heroic Self to inform our decision making in the present moment (rather than our limited and wounded past Self). 

8. "Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation."

This quote suggests that any sense of lack or scarcity we experience stems from withholding our giving. It underscores the idea that true abundance arises from a state of generosity and openness. When we withhold our giving—whether it's love, kindness, compassion, or resources—we create a perception of lack in our lives. However, when we freely give of ourselves without reservation, we align with the inherent abundance of the universe. This teaching invites us to examine our attitudes towards giving and to recognize that our willingness to share is directly linked to the fulfillment we experience in life.

9. "Those who are certain of the outcome, can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety."

Here, the Course invites us to cultivate a sense of trust and certainty in the ultimate outcome of our spiritual journey. It suggests that when we align our minds with the truth of our divine nature, we can relinquish the need to control or manipulate outcomes and instead surrender to the flow of divine providence. This quote reminds us that true peace comes from trusting in the wisdom and love of the universe, knowing that all things are unfolding according to a higher plan.

We are asked to dream, create goals, take action, AND enjoy the process, AND surrender to the outcome - everything will unfold as it should. 

10. "The memory of God comes to the quiet mind."

Here, the Course emphasizes the importance of stillness and inner peace in awakening to the presence of the divine. In the quiet of our minds, free from the distractions of the ego, we open ourselves to the memory of our true nature as extensions of God's love. This quote serves as a reminder to cultivate moments of silence and contemplation, allowing the memory of God to flood our awareness and guide us on the path to spiritual awakening. 

11. "The holiest of all spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love."

This profound quote encapsulates the transformative power of love and forgiveness. It suggests that the most sacred and hallowed places on Earth are not necessarily those adorned with grandeur or religious significance, but rather those where the healing force of love has triumphed over deep-seated animosity and resentment.

The phrase "an ancient hatred" evokes the idea of longstanding grievances, conflicts, or wounds that have persisted through time, perhaps passed down through generations or deeply ingrained in societal structures. These are the burdensome legacies of history that weigh heavily on individuals and communities, perpetuating cycles of pain and division.

However, the quote goes on to speak of the remarkable transformation that occurs when such deep-seated hatred is transmuted into present love. This transformation is not merely a superficial reconciliation or temporary truce, but a profound shift in consciousness—a recognition of our shared humanity and interconnectedness. It involves releasing the grip of resentment and embracing empathy, compassion, and understanding.

In essence, the quote teaches that the most sacred and holy spaces are those where healing and reconciliation have occurred, where individuals and communities have chosen to transcend the limitations of ego and embrace the transformative power of love. It invites us to actively participate in this process of healing and forgiveness, recognizing that true peace and wholeness can only be found through the cultivation of love in our hearts and in our relationships with others.

12. "You do not ask too much of life, but far too little. When you let your mind be drawn to bodily concerns, to things you buy, to eminence as valued by the world, you ask for sorrow, not for happiness."

This quote challenges the materialistic mindset that equates possessions and achievements with happiness. It invites us to reflect deeply on our expectations and aspirations in life. At its core, it suggests that we often underestimate the vast potential and possibilities available to us. Rather than aiming for greatness, fulfillment, or genuine happiness, we settle for mediocrity or limit ourselves with modest goals.

When the quote asserts, "You do not ask too much of life, but far too little," it implies that life itself is abundant and overflowing with opportunities, experiences, and blessings waiting to be embraced. However, our perception of what is possible is often constrained by self-imposed limitations, fears, doubts, and societal conditioning.

By urging us to reconsider our expectations and aspirations, the quote encourages us to dream bigger, reach higher, and dare to envision a life of profound meaning and fulfillment. It challenges us to question the beliefs and assumptions that hold us back from pursuing our deepest desires and aspirations. The universe is infinitely abundant and ready to meet our genuine needs and desires. Instead of viewing life as a scarce resource to be rationed, we are invited to adopt an attitude of abundance and receptivity, trusting in the inherent benevolence of the universe.

Ultimately, this quote serves as a reminder that we are capable of achieving far more than we often believe. It encourages us to embrace our inherent worthiness and step boldly into the fullness of life, ready to receive its boundless gifts and blessings with open arms and an open heart.

13. "Why wait for Heaven? Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes, The light is in them now. Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all."

Here, the Course challenges the notion of enlightenment as a distant goal to be attained in the future. It suggests that the light of divine truth is already within us, waiting to be recognized and embraced. This quote invites us to awaken to the reality of our inherent divinity and release the illusion of separation that obscures our perception of truth.

14. "God calls and you do not hear, for you are preoccupied with your own voice."

This quote highlights the importance of quieting the ego's incessant chatter in order to hear the voice of divine guidance. It suggests that our preoccupation with egoic concerns and desires often drowns out the still, small voice of God within us. By releasing attachment to the ego's demands and listening with an open heart, we can attune ourselves to the wisdom and love that flow from the Source of all creation.

15. "Do you prefer that you be right or happy?" 

This quote encapsulates a profound truth about human nature and the choices we make in our interactions and relationships. At its essence, it confronts us with a fundamental question: What do we prioritize in our lives, the need to be right or the pursuit of genuine happiness and inner peace?

In many situations, our ego drives us to prioritize being right above all else. We become entrenched in our viewpoints, opinions, and beliefs, often at the expense of harmony and understanding with others. This attachment to being right can lead to conflict, resentment, and isolation, as we prioritize defending our own perspective over empathizing with others or seeking common ground.

However, the quote challenges us to consider whether this insistence on being right truly brings us lasting happiness and fulfillment. It invites us to reflect on the toll that our attachment to being right takes on our well-being and relationships. While the ego may derive a temporary sense of satisfaction from winning arguments or proving our point, it often comes at the cost of deeper connections and genuine happiness.

In contrast, prioritizing happiness means letting go of the need to be right and embracing qualities such as compassion, forgiveness, and humility. It involves recognizing that true happiness arises from within and is not dependent on external circumstances or validation from others. By releasing our attachment to being right, we create space for empathy, understanding, and reconciliation in our relationships. We open ourselves up to the possibility of deeper connections and a greater sense of peace and fulfillment.

Ultimately, the quote challenges us to reevaluate our priorities and consider whether our insistence on being right serves our highest good. It reminds us that genuine happiness and inner peace are found not in the pursuit of external validation or victory, but in the willingness to let go of our ego's need to be right and embrace the path of love, understanding, and reconciliation. Elsewhere the Course tells us, "At any moment, I can choose peace instead of this."

16. "Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world."

Here, the Course teaches us to shift our focus from trying to manipulate external circumstances to transforming our internal perception. By changing our minds about the world – seeing it through the lens of love and forgiveness – we can transcend the limitations of the ego and experience a profound shift in our experience of reality. This quote reminds us that true change begins within, and when we choose to perceive the world with love, we become agents of transformation in the world around us.

This quote is echoed by all great thinkers including: 

Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

Persian poet Rumi: "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself."

17. "The only way to have is to give."

This quote encapsulates a profound principle of abundance and reciprocity that is echoed in various spiritual traditions and philosophical teachings. At its core, this quote suggests that true fulfillment and richness in life arise not from hoarding or acquiring material possessions, but from the act of giving and sharing with others. 

One interpretation of this quote is that by giving freely of ourselves—whether it be our time, attention, resources, or love—we create a flow of abundance that enriches both our own lives and the lives of those around us. When we give without expecting anything in return, we tap into the boundless wellspring of generosity and kindness that exists within us.

Our capacity to receive is directly linked to our willingness to give. By cultivating a mindset of generosity and open-heartedness, we create space to receive the gifts that life has to offer in return. This reciprocity forms a harmonious cycle of giving and receiving, where abundance flows freely in and out of our lives.

On a deeper level, the quote speaks to the transformative power of giving as a pathway to personal growth and spiritual evolution. When we give selflessly, we transcend the limitations of ego and expand our sense of identity beyond the confines of individuality. In the act of giving, we recognize our interconnectedness with all beings and align ourselves with the universal principle of unity and love.

Lastly, this quote invites us to recognize that true wealth lies not in what we possess, but in the depth of our generosity and the richness of our connections with others. It challenges us to embrace a life of service and contribution, knowing that in giving freely, we ultimately receive the greatest gift of all: a profound sense of fulfillment and purpose.

18. "To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you."

Here, the Course redefines forgiveness as the act of remembering the love that lies at the heart of every relationship. It suggests that forgiveness is not about condoning or excusing past actions but about releasing the grievances that cloud our perception of love. By choosing to focus on the loving thoughts shared between ourselves and others, we can dissolve the barriers to love and experience true healing and reconciliation.

19. "There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not 'harder' or 'bigger' than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal."

This quote challenges our conventional understanding of miracles and invites us to reconsider our perceptions of what is possible. It suggests that miracles, defined as shifts in perception or experiences of divine intervention, are not graded by difficulty or magnitude. In other words, the universe does not distinguish between what we might perceive as a small or large miracle. Instead, all miracles are seen as equal in the eyes of a higher power or universal consciousness.

This concept challenges the human tendency to categorize experiences based on their perceived level of difficulty or significance. Often, we might believe that certain miracles are beyond our reach or that some problems are too big to be solved through divine intervention. However, this quote suggests that such distinctions are irrelevant in the realm of miracles.

The quote implies that the power to manifest miracles resides within each of us, regardless of the perceived complexity of the situation. Whether it's a seemingly minor shift in perspective or a dramatic transformation of circumstances, the source of miracles is the same—the universal energy of love and divine guidance.

By affirming the equality of all miracles, the quote encourages us to approach life with a sense of openness and receptivity to divine intervention. It invites us to release our attachments to specific outcomes and trust in the inherent benevolence of the universe. In doing so, we cultivate a mindset of faith and possibility, allowing miracles to unfold in our lives in ways that may surpass our limited understanding.

Ultimately, the quote reminds us that miracles are not reserved for special circumstances or select individuals. They are available to anyone who is willing to surrender to the flow of divine grace and align with the principles of love and forgiveness. In embracing this perspective, we open ourselves up to a world where miracles are not bound by limitations, but are instead a natural expression of the infinite potential within us all.

20. "The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself."

Finally, this quote encapsulates the central teaching of the Course: that our true identity is found in the recognition of our oneness with the divine. It suggests that as we come to know God, we also come to know ourselves – not as separate beings struggling in a hostile world, but as divine expressions of love and light. This quote invites us to awaken to the truth of our inherent divinity and to embrace the profound transformation that comes from recognizing the presence of God within ourselves and all creation.

Bonus Quote/Question 

Use this simple prayer/quote from the Course: 

"What would you have me do, where would you have me go, and what would you have me say and to whom?"