The stated purpose of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is, “to provide a way in which some people will be able to find their own Internal Teacher” (Preface, How It Came into Being). ACIM is a Course and often refers to its curriculum. From many passages in ACIM, it is clear that the Holy Spirit is the Internal Teacher, the Teacher to which the Course refers. In one helpful example the Text says, “Like any good teacher, the Holy Spirit knows more than you do now, but He teaches only to make you equal with Him” (T-6.V.1).
In A Course of Love (ACOL), the purpose is, “rather than being one of finding meaning, is one of coming to know through relationship. It is in coming to know through relationship that you come to know your Self” (C:27.3). ACOL speaks often of the Unity of Self and the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). In the Treatise on the Personal Self it says, “But again let me remind you that the Holy Spirit is not other than who you are but an aspect of who you are and Who God Is” (T3:17.6).
As we can easily see, while the approaches may be different, the two Courses have very similar purposes. Both seek to help people discover the presence of the Divine within themselves and within ALL. Through learning, exercises, observation, Self-reflection, being and revelation they both use the familiar to point us toward the previously unseen, toward the Unity of God as the Infinite inclusive whole, of which Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Self (you, me and all of us), as well as all of creation, each seem to be a part… but also the whole.
I have heard it said that some Christians have such reverence toward scripture that, despite the commandment not to worship idols, they almost treat the Bible as the fourth member of the trinity. I think that much the same can be said of ACIM and ACOL students. Like many religious groups, sometimes ACIM and ACOL students and teachers, focusing upon differences and comparisons, lose sight of all that they have in common. At such times I wonder if aren’t mostly caught up again in ego and illusion, forgetting to look in the direction the Courses point out for us. There is a helpful analogy/exercise from Zen Buddhism in which we should imagine someone pointing with a finger toward the moon. This is to remind us that the teaching (the finger) is not the Truth (the moon), it is merely something familiar to point the way toward something that seems unfamiliar in our current state of being. The language and other symbols used within limited consciousness are merely fingers pointing toward the Infinite/Eternal/Truth.