12. What is inner guidance?

A Course in Miracles frequently mentions following the guidance of an Inner Teacher, Guide, or the Holy Spirit. This can be interpreted as following our Inner voice of reason or intuition. This also has connotations of not performing actions based on subjective judgements of a situation, past habits, or fickle desires.

If one is in a state of non-forgiveness, this voice will always guide toward non-judgement and peace of mind. From a state of forgiveness, this guidance will direct your actions to an outcome that is beneficial and maximizes the peace of mind for all parties. This peace extends further than our limited, subjective perspective can predict.

This “Voice” speaks primarily by imparting understandings though not through an audible speaking voice. Silence is fine. The teaching of A Course in Miracles takes us out of the realm of needing physical input (sight, sound, touch) and teaches us how to recognize mental input (conveyed understanding).

To enter “listening mode”, one must clear their mind of past understandings of the event. Eventually a thought will appear that promotes peace instead of the previous ideas.

The response will probably sound like silence, but it has the emotional content of peace, relaxation, and understanding. Depending on the level of forgiveness achieved, words and/or concepts may accompany the feelings of peace.

If you are worried that you are not hearing correctly, that very disturbance of mind will cause you to not be in a peaceful state of mind.

Once you ask for guidance, you must watch your attention space. You should pay attention to your attention – the sensations and thoughts within your awareness. The answer is always peaceful, so you must look for the thoughts that promote peace.

Today we pass illusions, as we seek to reach to what is true in us, and feel its all-embracing tenderness, its Love which knows us perfect as itself, its sight which is the gift its Love bestows on us. We learn the way today.

Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.

ACIM Workbook for Students, Lesson 189
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