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What is the difference between the Course and traditional psychology?
How do you see the difference between "A Course in Miracles" and traditional psychology?
Traditional psychology offers a study of the mind. It also has many hypotheses and theories about human behavior and defense mechanisms of the mind.
"A Course in Miracles" is written from an awakened mind. It is like a road map out of the guilt of this world. It uses the terminology of Christianity, psychology and education, but has very different meanings for many of the words. For example, ”salvation" is more than a belief in Jesus and his death on the cross. It involves accepting the correction in the mind to the belief in separation from God. This requires a careful questioning of the ego and loosening the mind from all ego beliefs.
Psychology could be described as the study of the problem. "A Course in Miracles" provides the way to the correction. It is truly a teaching in forgiveness. The Course teaches that forgiveness is for your own misperception. It releases the grievance in your heart and allows you to see that nothing was done to you apart from your own wish and that you are willing now to release that wish.
Aren't we all conditioned to see things in a certain way because of the culture we grow up in?
Yes, I found that to be true. In college I studied many different cultures and saw that there are many different cultural scripts - conditioning - and so I began to wonder what my own script was. It is kind of like a fish swimming in a fishbowl, coming up to the edge of the glass and peering out, wondering what is outside this glass. This is how I saw my own mind. So for maybe six years in college I began to question everything that I believed. I began to open my mind and not assume that I knew what was happening. For me this was a difficult time period because many people around me in my own culture were telling me, “David, you are wasting your time. Pick your part and play your part like everyone else! You will grow old and you will die like everyone else.” That was not good enough for me. I felt there had to be more than that.