by Sheri Baker
It’s not a radio station or a game for the Nintendo Wii console. It’s a popular acronym for “What’s In It For Me?” — five words that drive most every decision we make.
You may not consciously ask the question, but it’s got to be in your thought process somewhere or you wouldn’t be able to fix breakfast. It helps you evaluate the risks versus rewards for all your actions.
I wondered WIIFM when I first laid eyes on A Course in Miracles (ACIM) more than 25 years ago. I expected it to be a textbook on the art of manifesting supernatural events, and figured knowing how to turn water into wine might actually come in handy someday.
Fortunately, the Course did not meet my expectations. It far exceeded them.
Because of its name, people often come to the Course with the idea of learning how to manipulate their thoughts to make things happen in the world. As a student and teacher of this highly unconventional curriculum of spiritual transformation, I can tell you that the Course does emphasize the power of our thinking, but only toward one goal: awakening to the truth of who we are.
Shifting our fear-based thoughts to those rooted in love is the miracle. And, ironically, when we can make this internal shift, what we traditionally think of as the miraculous may naturally occur as a welcome byproduct. It’s water, not wine, that still flows through my faucets, but I have experienced other effects of inspired thinking that defy rational explanation, such as instantaneous healing, and the collapse of time and space.
In studying the Course, what I initially anticipated would merely be another in a series of interesting books one encounters along the road to higher awareness, has turned out to be my primary spiritual path. If you have an open mind and a willingness to look deeper into what the Course says, it can serve as a disciplined mind-training to help you break down what it refers to as our false, “upside down perceptions.” It also provides answers to some of life’s most provocative questions:
- Who am I and why am I here?
- How can I better connect with my highest guidance?
- Why do I get sick and how can I heal?
- How can I best help others heal?
- Why do some relationships work and some don’t?
- How can I be more loving and forgiving?
- Why am I so resistant to hearing and living my truth?
- What is the meaning of happiness?
- How can I achieve peace of mind?
New perspectives on these and other fascinating mysteries of life can bring you infinite rewards regardless of your entry point into this profound spiritual document. Have you heard about ACIM and simply want to know more about it? Are you a Course student already, but crave a greater depth of understanding of its content? Perhaps you’re primarily interested in learning how to maximize your healing efforts.
Whether or not you connect with ACIM is a decision only you can make. To be sure, the truth will set you free, but first it must tear down many of your currently-held assumptions. To facilitate this process, my intention in this article series is simply to present some of the thought-provoking ideas in the Course which you may find interesting and insightful, as well as practical and useful in your daily living and quest for spiritual illumination.
It took a long time to find my path, and even longer to make sense out of it. I sampled numerous offerings from what I refer to as the cosmic “spiritual buffet table” before recognizing the “food” for thought that would serve as my soul’s primary sustenance. Even if you discover ACIM concepts do not speak to you at this time, it can be helpful to investigate what doesn’t work for us before we can recognize what will. Legend has it that Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. When asked how it felt to fail 1,000 times, he said, “I didn’t fail. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
In a way, coming to the realization of how magnificent we are is a journey of 1,000 steps as well. If you’re still contemplating a further look at the Course and wondering WIIFM, the answer is nothing less than a miracle. And who knows? One day from that bottle of Evian may even spring forth a robust Cabernet.