Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Making Explicit the True Meaning of Forgiveness: My Facebook Statuses for July, 2012

Two, or three, years ago, I set up a Facebook account, but I never really did much with it, until Sunday 8 April, Easter Sunday, auspiciously, when it occurred to me that I could post a Status statement on Facebook, daily.  This would enable me to express myself regarding the meaning of forgiveness, and spread the word about the incredible event coming up in the fall, International Forgiveness Week and Weekend of Perfect Peace, September 14-23, 2012, at the Healing Center of Endeavor Academy, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

It was clear to me that each day I could make explicit the meaning of forgiveness in a pithy statement, and at the same time, encourage readers to send in their statements expressing their forgiveness experiences.

We will collect these statements and make them available during the Event, as well as possibly publish them in a book.

Please write about your experience of forgiving thoughts in 600 words, or less, and Submit Your Essay, using this link:

It was also clear to me that on the first of each month, I would post a blog containing the statements from the preceding month.

These are my Status postings for July, 2012.

In Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” after staging a play within the play, Prospero says these lines:

Our revels now are ended.  These our actors,
as I foretold you, were all spirits and
are melted into air, into thin air.
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
the cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
the solemn temples, the great globe itself,
ye all which it inherit, shall dissolve.
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
leave not a rack behind.  We are such stuff
as dreams are made on, and our little life
is rounded with a sleep.
Act 4, Scene 1

Of course, this is a powerful analogy.  For the players on stage, the play within a play has disappeared; for the spectators in the audience, the play, too, will fade away.

What the members of the audience may also believe is that that the dream they are living, the world they are seeing with the body’s eyes, will also disappear, and their lives will end in death, “rounded with a sleep.”

For us, though, we know that there is no death, and this passage from a Lesson in  A Course in Miracles triggered this memory of “The Tempest,” countering its sentiments.

Lesson 162, I am as God created me.

This single thought, held firmly in the mind,
would save the world. From time to time we will
repeat it, as we reach another stage
in learning. It will mean far more to you
as you advance. These words are sacred, for
they are the words God gave in answer to
the world you made. By them it disappears,
and all things seen within its misty clouds
and vaporous illusions vanish as
these words are spoken. For they come from God.


While reading Lesson 157, Into His Presence would I enter now, I came across this sentence.

Today it will be given you to feel
a touch of Heaven, though you will return
to paths of learning.

And the image of a signpost came to mind, a sign pointing the way.

And then I thought of all the books I had read, all the people I had met, all the workshops I had gone to, all the therapy sessions along the way.  Although, in retrospect, they were not the answer in themselves, they were simply pointing me in the right direction.  I was moving along the right path.  I was learning as I went. 
Everything is used.

And I am still learning.  I am now being led by the Course and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and Master Teacher to an experience beyond learning.

Today it will be given you to feel
a touch of Heaven, though you will return
to paths of learning. Yet you have come far
enough along the way to alter time
sufficiently to rise above its laws,
and walk into eternity a while.
This you will learn to do increasingly,
as every lesson, faithfully rehearsed,
brings you more swiftly to this holy place
and leaves you, for a moment, to your Self.

And in my gratitude is my salvation.


We saw the most extraordinary movie last night, simply entitled “Café” (2010), directed by Marc Erlbaum.  Almost the entire movie takes place in a café.  I do not want to give the movie away.  I simply want to put it in the context of A Course in Miracles.

One of the characters, Craig, is working on his laptop, when its screen suddenly goes blank, and then a girl appears, telling him that he is an “avatar,” and everything around him does not exist, except as a “programmed reality.”

This, of course, is exactly where Jesus begins His Lessons.

Lesson 1, Nothing I see means anything.

As the movie goes on, there are so many difficult relationships and situations, and tragic events, that you wonder how it can all possibly be resolved.

At the end, the “programmer” informs Craig that if he is willing to let it all go and die to the “programmed reality,” the illusion, he will save it all.  For us this means to unite with his True Self and experience his second coming.

For every one who ever came to die,
or yet will come or who is present now,
is equally released from what he made.
In this equality is Christ restored
as one Identity, in which the Sons
of God acknowledge that they all are one.
And God the Father smiles upon His Son,
His one creation and His only joy.
9.  What is the Second Coming?

No Spoiler Alert necessary; I am going to stop here.


How automatically we tend to stamp figures in our dreams with our projections.  How quickly we characterize them:  enemy, friend,  number 1 enemy, best friend, tolerable, intolerable, and so forth. 

I just came across for the first time the meaning of the word “character.”

Roman artisans, highly skilled in working with some kinds of metal, developed a special tool for stamping and marking.  The name of this tool passed through Old French into English as “character.”

Medieval courts used a character to brand a convicted lawbreaker so that person could never again pass as an upright citizen.  The letter A was burned upon a woman guilty of adultery; the letter M marked a murderer; and the letter T was burned upon the forehead or shoulder of a thief.  By the sixteenth century, “character” had come to stand for the sum total of one’s qualities.
(What’s In A Word? Webb Garrison (Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, TN, 2000), p. 37.

Thank God, Jesus designed His 365 Lessons in A Course in Miracles, so that we can learn to forgive the “characters” that we have stamped in our dream.

Each lesson has a central thought, the same
in all of them. The form alone is changed,
with different circumstances and events;
with different “characters” and different themes,
apparent but not real. They are the same
in fundamental content. It is this:
Forgive, and you will see this differently.
Lesson 193. 3:3-7



In one of his “The Infinite Way Letters, 1959,” Joel Goldsmith talks about “personalizing errors.”

In our unenlightened state, seeing only the appearance, we may judge of one, “You are a killer,” of another, “You are a thief,” of another, “You are an adulterer,” or of yet another one, “You are disagreeable;” and in doing this we are bearing false witness against our neighbor because God is our neighbor.

“Personalize” comes from the Latin, “per,” meaning through, and “son” meaning sound.  In the ancient Greek theaters, actors wore wooden masks, so that sound could be amplified throughout the amphitheater.  So, when we personalize errors, we are putting a mask on our own projections, stamping them, characterizing them them, as “killer,” “thief,” “adulterer.”  Goldsmith urges us not to defend ourselves from the projections of our carnal minds, but rather, recognize their non-existence.

The carnal mind is not something to be fought, overcome, risen above, or destroyed:  It is simply to be recognized as nothingness, never personal.


I am in the world, and not of the world; you are in the world, and not of the world.

It is quite possible, right now, to sit back, breathe in and breathe out, and experience being not of this world.
I love the metaphors that Jesus uses to describe e this state:

ancient peace
sense of holiness
your treasure
your rest

There is a silence into which the world
can not intrude. There is an ancient peace
you carry in your heart and have not lost.
There is a sense of holiness in you
the thought of sin has never touched. All this
today you will remember. Faithfulness
in practicing today will bring rewards
so great and so completely different from
all things you sought before, that you will know
that here your treasure is, and here your rest.

Lesson 164.4


While reading Lesson 185, I want the peace of God, I came across this sentence:

To mean you want the peace of God is to renounce all dreams.  5

This reminds me of an article in the newspaper in which the writer was extolling the virtues of daydreaming.  He said that while he was on his way to work in the morning, he imagined running the Boston Marathon, closing in on a runner at the end and passing him.  The man he passed was Bill Rodgers who won the Boston Marathon four times.

The writer said he walked into work highly motivated.

This is clearly a dream within a dream, and it provides a useful context for this passage, demonstrating that choosing one illusion over another can only be escaped by truly wanting the peace of God, stepping out of the dream, entirely.

To mean you want the peace of God is to
renounce all dreams. For no one means these words
who wants illusions, and who therefore seeks
the means which bring illusions. He has looked
on them, and found them wanting. Now he seeks
to go beyond them, recognizing that
another dream would offer nothing more
than all the others. Dreams are one to him.
And he has learned their only difference
is one of form, for one will bring the same
despair and misery as do the rest.


This morning, early, after my shower, sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee, I felt utterly peaceful, just gazing through the windows, seeing through the appearance of the trees and bird feeders and cloudless sky, and I said to myself, “This is all there is, this moment, being present.”

What time but now can truth be recognized?
Lesson 164.1

(Seeing through the eyes of Christ is truth; seeing through the body’s eyes is false).
The present is the only time there is. 

And so today, this instant, now, we come
to look upon what is forever there;
not in our sight, but in the eyes of Christ.
He looks past time, and sees eternity
as represented there.

(“Re-presented,” the ego always sees first through the body’s eyes; the eyes of Christ see truth presented, again.)

He hears the sounds
the senseless, busy world engenders, yet
He hears them faintly.

(I am in the world, yet not of the world, and in this state of mind, the sounds of the world are heard faintly).

For  beyond them all
He hears the song of Heaven, and the Voice
for God more clear, more meaningful, more near.

And now, sitting quietly, I am receptive to hear the Holy Spirit, speaking to me all through the day.


“How does one become a butterfly?”  she asked pensively.  “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” (Bill and Judy Guggenheim, Hello from Heaven)

When I read this, my first thought was this:  the first 7 Lessons of A Curse in Miracles represent the caterpillar.

Nothing I see means anything.
I have given what I see all the meaning it has for me.
I do not understand anything I see.
These thoughts do not mean anything.
I am never upset for the reason I think.
I am upset because I see what is not there.
I see only the past.

The first paragraph of What am I? represents the butterfly.

I am God's Son, complete and healed and whole,
shining in the reflection of His Love.
In me is His creation sanctified
and guaranteed eternal life. In me
is love perfected, fear impossible,
and joy established without opposite.
I am the holy home of God Himself.
I am the Heaven where His Love resides.
I am His holy Sinlessness Itself,
for in my purity abides His Own.

The Guggenheims follow the caterpillar/butterfly quotation with this paragraph, in which I substitute in my mind, “this book” as A Course in Miracles.

If you are willing to read this book with an open mind and an open heart, you will  completely eliminate your fear of death.  As a caterpillar once limited to the ground, you will undergo an inner transformation and become like a butterfly free to soar.  This new freedom will allow you to live your life fully and joyously, with a sense of peace.


In His Introduction to the Workbook of A Course in Miracles, Jesus tells us that its purpose is to train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of everyone and everything in the world. 4

One way He does this is to slow us down by posturing our voice to read His words.  He puts words together in such a way that our voice assumes a particular posture to read them, as we read silently, or out loud. 

|For example, please read this sentence in Lesson 185, I want the peace of God.

He wants the peace of God,
and it is given him.  For that is all
he wants, and that is all he will receive.

First, this is written in blank verse, the accent on every other syllable,


And, “that” is accented each time, and “that” is followed by a caesura, a break, or a pause, indicated by this symbol: //.  Please read the passage gain, becoming aware of your posture. . . of your voice, that is.

He wants the peace of God,
and it is given him.  For THAT // is all
he wants, and THAT // is all he WILL receive.
And he will receive it because he WILLs it.

When you see what Jesus is doing in just two sentences, you can marvel at how He manages to slow us down throughout His Text and Workbook, enabling us to step out, for a moment, from our habitual, automatic, unconscious way of perceiving, giving us an opportunity to train our minds, systematically, to  “a different perception of everyone and everything in the world.”


One of my favorite ways to look at “mind” is to say that part of it splits off, allying with the ego, looking through the body’s eyes, making up a false, illusory world.  While all the time, it could decide to unite with the Self, melting into the peace of God, looking through the eyes of Christ. 

I just came across a great simile to describe this split-mind, a bat, in this poem “Mind,” by Richard Wilbur (b. 1921).

I just love it because I grew up with the expression, “Bats in a belfry,” describing our insane mind, usually accompanied by pointing a circling index finger next to the head.

Mind in its purest play is like some bat
That beats about in caverns all alone,
Contriving by a kind of senseless wit
Not to conclude against a wall of stone.
It has no need to falter or explore;
Darkly it knows what obstacles are there.
And so may weave and flitter, dip and soar
In perfect courses through the blackest air.
And has this simile a like perfection?
The mind is like a bat.   Precisely.  Save
That in the very happiest intellection
A graceful error may correct the cave.

At the end of the poem, I was thrown for a moment, by the word, “error,” meaning a deviation from accuracy, a mistake.  It comes from the Latin, errare, to wander.

But, then I realized, that deciding to unite with the Self makes the world, the “cave” disappear, and this is only an “error” from the point of view of the egoistic mind, and in fact, it is a wandering into truth by the Grace of God.


William O. Douglas (1898-1980) was a Justice on the Supreme Court from 1939-1975.  In looking back at his life, he wrote:

During moments of sadness or frustration, I often think of the time when I was seven years old when my mother told me about my father’s illness and death.  His last words to her before going into a fatal operation were these:
“If I die, it will be glory; if I live, it will be grace.”

I marveled at how this echoes A Course in Miracles.

. . .it will be glory.

Our Father, bless our eyes today. We are Your messengers, and we would look upon the glorious reflection of Your Love which shines in everything. We live and move in You alone. We are not separate from Your eternal life. There is no death, for death is not Your Will. And we abide where You have placed us, in the life we share with You and with all living things, to be like You and part of You forever. We accept Your Thoughts as ours, and our will is one with Yours eternally. Amen.
Lesson 163.9

. . .it will be  grace.

Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.
Father, I come to you.  And You will come
to me who ask.  I am the Son You love.

Lesson 168.6


You are as God created you; and the reference to “you” is mind, consciousness, awareness.  And your mind is the mechanism of decision, deciding in every moment to see through the body’s eyes, or see through the eyes of Christ.  “Decision” comes from the Latin, decidere, meaning to cut  away, as in incision, incisor.  When you decide for the body’s eyes, you cut away any awareness of Christ’s vision; when you decide for Christ’s vision, you cut away any awareness of the body’s eyes.

This all came to mind when I read this passage from “The Shift” by Jim Self.  This is a beautiful, incisive, look at the results of deciding for peace and love.

Choice creates opportunity.
Opportunity allows for well-being.
Well-being awakens happiness, openness and the inner smile within the Heart.
From your open heart, your single purpose is within your grasp.
p. 28


After reading a passage in A Course in Miracles, I had this thought, “You CAN take it with you;” obviously, this plays on the common phrase, “You can’t take it with you,” meaning material things into Heaven.  However, you CAN take Heaven with you as you walk into the world.

Here’s the passage.

What time but now can truth be recognized?
The present is the only time there is.
And so today, this instant, now, we come
to look upon what is forever there;
not in our sight, but in the eyes of Christ.
He looks past time, and sees eternity
as represented there. He hears the sounds
the senseless, busy world engenders, yet
He hears them faintly. For beyond them all
He hears the song of Heaven, and the Voice
for God more clear, more meaningful, more near.

Lesson 164.1

Sitting here, peacefully, breathing in and breathing out, I can stand up, take the next step, and carry this peace into the world, receptive to the Voice for God, letting the light do the work.


 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:19-21

This has come to us over the centuries to remind us to focus on the truth behind the curtain of this illusory world. 
This passage came to mind when I read this in A Course in Miracles.

This is the day when vain imaginings
part like a curtain, to reveal what lies
beyond them.
Lesson 164.5:1

Open the curtain in your practicing
by merely letting go all things you think
you want. Your trifling treasures put away,
and leave a clean and open space within
your mind where Christ can come, and offer you
the treasure of salvation. He has need
of your most holy mind to save the world.
Is not this purpose worthy to be yours?
Is not Christ's vision worthy to be sought
above the world's unsatisfying goals?
Lesson 164.8

In His incomparable “How To” Manual, Jesus provides the opportunity for us to practice, moment by moment, HOW to keep our treasures foremost in our mind.

Obviously, this is the same Jesus, speaking to us 2000 years ago, and whispering in our ears now, right now.


The Thought of God protects you, cares for you,
makes soft your resting place and smooth your way,
lighting your mind with happiness and love.
Eternity and everlasting life
shine in your mind, because the Thought of God
has left you not, and still abides with you.

Lesson 165.2

Just after reading this, I marveled that I came across a passage that gives personal, specific references to the Thought of God.

God allowed me to feel His presence—whether by the warmth that filled my belly like hot chocolate on a cold afternoon, or that voice, whenever I found myself in the tempest of life’s storms, telling me (even when I was told I was “nothing”) that I was something, that I was His, and that even amid the desertion of the man who gave me his name and his DNA and little else, I might find in Him sustenance, simply feeling his breath, heartbeat, presence. (John W. Fountain, The God Who Embraced Me, This I Believe, Jay Allison, Dan Gediman (Picador, New York, 2006), p. 69


There is great excitement in the scientific community because of the recent discovery of the “God Particle.”  In quantum physics, this discovery is heralded as a great breakthrough, providing evidence for what Peter Higgs theorized in 1964.

Apparently, the “God Particle” explains the origin of mass.  Here is a description by Karl Giberson. 
The Standard Model explained the origin of mass as the result of a field existing everywhere -- a sort of universal fog through which moving particles have to plough. This fog -- if it exists -- impedes moving particles, like millions of tiny arms reaching out and grabbing at the particles as they pass. The slowing created by this creates the phenomenon of mass.

Enter the Higgs Boson. Fields in physics have particles associated with them and the existence of the particles provides evidence that the fields are real. After several months of peeking its head around corners at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, the particle has been definitively sighted
. (“God and the God Particle,” Huff Post Religion, July 9, 2012.)

To read more, please go to my blog post by clicking on the link, below:


I like this passage by James Van Praagh, a medium.

You see, when people shed their physical bodies at death, their spiritual selves see life from a whole new perspective.  It’s as if they’ve had Lasik surgery—they can finally do without their glasses and can see more clearly.  Spirits understand why certain situations had to happen, what they had to learn from them.  They also realize how they could have skipped certain mistakes by not letting their egos get in  the way.  After passing into the light, spirits are eager to share their new found knowledge with the living.

It’s a lot about being responsible for your thoughts and choices. Your thoughts have power.  The life you are living right now is the result of your thoughts.  Thoughts are energy—they are real things.  It is because of the power of our thoughts that spirits encourage us to forgive even when it’s the hardest thing to do and to push through your fears.  Our spiritual friends want us to contribute to life, to be happy and  to finish any unfinished business before we reach the time when we step through the threshold of light and return home. (Unfinished Business, HarperOne, New York, NY., 2009), pp. 2,3

This reminds me of this passage from the Bible.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to f ace:
Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 
1Corinthians 14:12

Thank God for A Course in Miracles.  We have learned to “see life from a whole new perspective,” here, now; we have learned to experience the light, yet remain in our bodies, as we live out our time on this earth, guided by the light.


Master Teacher of Endeavor Academy often called us “Associations.”  I realized that he was characterizing us by the way we think.  We, habitually, automatically, free associate as we picture a world made up of our thought-images.

My thoughts are images that I have made.
Title, Lesson 15

Temple Grandin shows us, exactly, how this occurs in her mind in slow motion.

Because I have autism, I live by concrete rules instead of abstract beliefs.  And because I have autism, I think in pictures and sounds.

Here’s how my brain works:  It’s like the search engine Google for images.  If you say the word “love” to me, I’ll surf the Internet inside my brain.  Then, a series of images poops  (OK, I can’t help it; that’s a typo, but I can’t change it because it’s perfectly appropriate, and besides, I can see Master Teacher laughing.) into my head.  What I’ll see is a picture of a mother horse with a foal; or I think of “Herbie, the Love Bug;” scenes from the movie Love Story; or the Beatles song, “Love love, all you need is love. . .
” (“Seeing in Beautiful, Precise Pictures,” This I Believe, Picador, New York, 2006), p. 87

The first step in letting thought-images go is to recognize their occurrence, right, here, right now.


I  have always loved this passage in A Course in Miracles because it helps me quiet my busy mind.

The miracle comes quietly into
the mind that stops an instant and is still.
It reaches gently from that quiet time,
and from the mind it healed in quiet then,
to other minds to share its quietness.
And they will join in doing nothing to
prevent its radiant extension back
into the Mind Which caused all minds to be.
Born out of sharing, there can be no pause
in time to cause the miracle delay
in hastening to all unquiet minds,
and bringing them an instant's stillness, when
the memory of God returns to them.
Their own remembering is quiet now,
and what has come to take its place will not
be wholly unremembered afterwards.
Chapter 28.1.11

And then I came across this passage by Deborah Hall, a psychologist, in her essay, “The Power of Presence,” and it provides a powerful juxtaposition.

Presence is a noun, not a verb; it is a state of being, not doing.  States of being are not highly valued in a culture that places  a high priority on doing.  Yet, true presence of “being with” another person carries with it a silent power—to bear witness to a passage, to help carry an emotional burden, or to begin a healing process.  In it, there is an intimate connection with another that is perhaps too seldom felt in a society that strives for every-faster “connectivity.” (This I Believe, Picador, New York, 2006), p. 101


When I read this passage in “My Personal Prayer Book,” it reminded me of a practical distinction that Jesus makes in His Course, pointing out the difference between “making” and “creating.”

O Lord! Forgive my foolish pride that seeks to enhance my images.  I posture and pretend in order to impress people I fear will reject me.  Really, God, these efforts are just lies—exaggerations and illusions I foolishly make and then desperately try to maintain.  I’m tired of acting this way, Lord.  I’m tired of being afraid of being found out.  Set me free to be who I truly am.  I am willing to gain the peace of mind that truth will bring.  (Christine A. Ballman, Margaret Ann Huffman, Publications International, Lincolnwood, IL., 2009), July 12.

And this passage from the Course.

The mind can make the belief in separation very real and very fearful. It is powerful, active, destructive and clearly in opposition to God, because it literally denies His Fatherhood. Look at your life and see what you have made. But realise that this making will surely dissolve in the light of truth, because its foundation is a lie. Your creation by God is the only Foundation that cannot be shaken, because the light is in it. Your starting point is truth, and you must return to your Beginning. Much has been seen since then, but nothing has really happened. Your Self is still in peace, even though your mind is in conflict.

Chapter 3.VII.5;1-8

Only the oneness of knowledge is free of conflict. Your kingdom is not of this world because it was given you from beyond this world. Only in this world is the idea of an authority problem meaningful. The world is not left by death but by truth, and truth can be known by all those for whom the Kingdom was created, and for whom it waits.


I am going to juxtapose two wonderful passages, one from the Bible, and the other from A Course in Miracles.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
1 Corinthians 13:11-13

The wearying, dissatisfying gods
you made are blown-up children's toys. A child
is frightened when a wooden head springs up
as a closed box is opened suddenly,
or when a soft and silent woolly bear
begins to squeak as he takes hold of it.
The rules he made for boxes and for bears
have failed him, and have broken his 'control'
of what surrounds him. And he is afraid,
because he thought the rules protected him.
Now must he learn the boxes and the bears
did not deceive him, broke no rules, nor mean
his world is made chaotic and unsafe.
He was mistaken. He misunderstood
what made him safe, and thought that it had left.

Chapter 30.IV.2

I can get pretty intense about my slippage into the dream, forgetting who I AM, and so I find it helpful to realize that I can learn to have a playful attitude about my childish ways of looking at the world; I can LIGHTen up and stop taking it so seriously.


I have performed many wedding ceremonies, and one of my favorite passages in the ceremony is this one.

Love would set a feast before you, on a table covered with a spotless cloth, set in a quiet garden where no sound but singing and a softly joyous whispering is ever heard. This is a feast that honors your holy relationship, and at which everyone is welcomed as an honored guest. And in a holy instant grace is said by everyone together, as they join in gentleness before the table of communion. And Christ will join you there as long ago He promised and promises still. For in your new relationship, is Christ made welcome. And where Christ is made welcome, there He shall be. Chapter 19.IV.A.16

This came to mind when I read this passage in A Course in Miracles.

Grace becomes inevitable instantly in those who have prepared a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received; an altar clean and holy for the gift. Lesson 169.1:3

My only function is to prepare a place in my mind to receive the Word of God by the grace of God.


Over 400 years ago, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets.  In Sonnet 55, he predicted that his rhyme would outlive “gilded monuments” and “sluttish time.”  Here is the first quatrain.

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this pow’rful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.

He is confident that this sonnet will immortalize his beloved.

Since Shakespeare has lasted this long, it makes me wonder just how long Jesus’ unworldly masterpiece, A Course in Miracles, making explicit the immortality the True Self, will last.  It will last forever because of content alone, and in addition, almost 20% of His Text and 75% of His Workbook are rendered in blank verse.

Here, for example, is just one of His Sonnets.

This world you seem to live in is not home
to you. And somewhere in your mind you know
that this is true. A memory of home
keeps haunting you, as if there were a place
that called you to return, although you do
not recognize the voice, nor what it is
the voice reminds you of. Yet still you feel
an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.
Nothing so definite that you could say
with certainty you are an exile here.
Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not
more than a tiny throb, at other times
hardly remembered, actively dismissed,
but surely to return to mind again.

Lesson 182.1

To read my blog post on “prose and Poetry in A Course in Miracles,” please click on the link below:


While reading an essay by Robert Kurson in “The Book that Changed my  Life,” I came across two paragraphs that totally amazed me because they captured the common, ordinary, universal way of thinking in the human condition.

During a series of insomniac nights as a college sophomore, I pondered what it meant to be dead.  The idea of not existing, and worse, not existing forever, was terrifying in ways daytime thoughts never can be.  Would it be silent?  Cold?  Lonely?  It seemed too much for the mind to grasp.  I got to wondering how people walked around every day with equanimity when such a gargantuan and terrible and inescapable fate awaited. (Gotham Books, New York, NY, 2006) p. 93

I kept reading his essay, thinking that he would make a breakthrough that would free him of his fears, but, alas, he found only a way to justify his fears, actually finding solace in knowing that he would die.

I read Ernest Becker’s “The Denial of Death” three times that year.  I found answers to nearly every question I can think to ask about being human and about being in the world.  In it, I found explanation for why men do what they do.  It may sound odd to suggest that there is comfort to be found in a book about knowing our own mortality, but that is the beauty of Becker, and his gift is to show us that it is the beauty of ourselves.  p. 94

After reading this, I resisted the urge to run and take a shower, and instead, I read these passages from Lesson 163, There is no death.  The Son of God is free.

Death is a thought that takes on many forms,
often unrecognized. It may appear
as sadness, fear, anxiety or doubt;
as anger, faithlessness and lack of trust;
concern for bodies, envy, and all forms
in which the wish to be as you are not
may come to tempt you. All such thoughts are but
reflections of the worshiping of death
as savior and as giver of release.

Our worshipping of death is an obstacle, defending us against God.

What would you see without the fear of death?  What would you feel and think if death held no attraction for you?  Very simply, you would remember your Father.
  Chapter 19.IV.D. 1


Describing the human condition as a “trial” is an excellent metaphor, and this is its origin.

Among the most vexatious problems for farmers in the Middle Ages was the separation of trash and impurities from the fruits of harvest.  Grain was sifted and blown to remove chaff, while wool was handpicked to rid it of burrs and other impurities.  From the colloquial Latin word “trier” (to sort), any act of separating good from bad was termed a “trial.” (Webb Harrison, What’s In A Word?, Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, TN., 2000), p. 41

Jesus uses “trial” in His Course in Miracles to describe the duality.

There is no pain, no trial, no fear that teaching this curriculum can fail to overcome.  The power of God Himself supports this teaching, and guarantees its limitless results. Chapter 14.V.6:6,7

You have no problems that He cannot solve by offering you a miracle.  Miracles are for you.  And every fear or pain or trial you have has been undone.
Chapter 14.XI.9:2-4

Jesus tells us that seeing life as a duality is seeing life with your mind asleep.

Let us today be children of the truth,
and not deny our holy heritage.
Our life is not as we imagine it.
Who changes life because he shuts his eyes,
or makes himself what he is not because
he sleeps, and sees in dreams an opposite
to what he is? We will not ask for death
in any form today. Nor will we let
imagined opposites to life abide
even an instant where the Thought of life
eternal has been set by God Himself.
Lesson 167.10


In Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us to “turn the other cheek.”

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:39

This can be easily misunderstood, for example, there is a lot of bullying going on in the schools today, and turning the other cheek may suggest a kind of passivity in facing a bully.

But the power of what Jesus is advocating becomes clear when you read this passage from His Course in Miracles.

You make what you defend against, and by
your own defense against it is it real
and inescapable.  Lay down your arms,
and only then do you perceive it false.

|Lesson 170.2

You make what you defend against
, and this is the evil; it’s simply a thought.  And by not resisting it, you have an opportunity to see it for what it is and let it go.  In our defenselessness, we can let it go, forgive it.

It seems to be the enemy without
that you attack.  Yet your defense sets up
an enemy within; an alien thought
at war with you, depriving you of peace,
splitting your mind into two camps which seem
wholly irreconcilable.

By “laying down my arms,” I am surrendering my false thought-image, the bully standing there, and I can now experience peace.


Brian Castner, a Marquette University graduate, just published a book entitled, “The Long Walk:  A Story of War and the Life that Follows.”  He served as an Air Force EOD specialist (explosive ordinance device) for eight years, 1999-2007.  Here is his vivid description of the preparation for the Long Walk.

Armor on, girded with breastplate and helm and leggings and collar.  Eighty pounds of mailed Kevlar.  No one can put on the bomb suit alone:  Your brother has to dress you, overalls pulled up, massive jacket tucked earnest in his careful thoroughness.  One last check, face shield down, and then into the breach alone. No one takes the Long Walk lightly.  Only after every other option is extinguished.  Only after robots fail and recourses dwindle.  The last choice.  Always.
This passage came to mind when I read this paragraph in His Course in Miracles, where Jesus assures us that He is walking with us, always.

I take the journey with you. For I share
your doubts and fears a little while, that you
may come to me who recognize the road
by which all fears and doubts are overcome.
We walk together. I must understand
uncertainty and pain, although I know
they have no meaning. Yet a savior must
remain with those he teaches, seeing what
they see, but still retaining in his mind
the way that led him out, and now will lead
you out with him. God's Son is crucified
until you walk along the road with me.
Review V.6

I juxtaposed these two passages to demonstrate that the road we walk without  inviting Jesus to walk with us is just as dangerous as the Long Walk to disarm an EOD.  It is a hyperbolic comparison, meaning an excessive exaggeration, but a walk no less perilous than the Long Walk.  After all, Jesus does tell us that we crucify ourselves, if we don’t walk with Him.


Jesus is so precise in his use of words in His Course in Miracles.  Just look at the root meanings of these three words and see how He uses them to communicate fully in the passage that follows.

“Intent,” purpose, from the Latin, intentus, a stretching out, to lean toward

“Dedication,” set apart, from the Latin, dedicare, consecrate, proclaim, affirm

“Attain,” to succeed in reaching, from the Latin, attainder, to come up to, reach, and my favorite, ENDEAVOR

Our next few lessons make a special point
of firming up your willingness to make
your weak commitment strong; your scattered goals
blend into one “intent.” You are not asked
for total “dedication” all the time
as yet. But you are asked to practice now
in order to “attain” the sense of peace
such unified commitment will bestow,
if only intermittently. It is
experiencing this that makes it sure
that you will give your total willingness
to following the way the course sets forth.

Introduction to Lessons 181-220

Obviously, being attentive to words is just a step, and it’s a step in the right direction, leading to the experience. 

Jesus goes on to say:

Words alone cannot
convey the sense of liberation which
their lifting brings. But the experience
of freedom and of peace that comes as you
give up your tight control of what you see
speaks for itself.


I just love reading personal accounts of individuals being touched by God, demonstrating the truth of what we are, expressing what it is like just beyond the thin veil of illusions we have made.

I was alone upon the seashore as all these thoughts flowed over me, liberating and reconciling; and now again, as once before, in distant days in the Alps of Dauphine, I was impelled to kneel down, this time before the illimitable ocean, symbol of the infinite.  I prayed as I’ve never prayed before, and knew now what prayer really is:  to return from the  solitude of individuation  into the consciousness of unity with all that is, to kneel down as one passes away, and to rise up as one imperishable.  Earth, heaven, and sea resounded as in one vast world encircling harmony.  It was as if the chorus of all the greats who ever lived were about me.  I felt myself one with them, and it appeared as if I heard the greeting:  “Thou too belongst to the company of those who overcome.”  (Richard Bucke, Cosmic Consciousness)


In a book by Guy Finley, entitled The Seeker, The search, The Sacred, he lists three stages of the journey to awakening that seem to characterize, as well, the steps that Jesus uses in His Course in Miracles.

Discrimination:  the ability to discern what is true from what is false.

Intention:  the will to act upon and clarify one’s discoveries.

Illumination:  the realization of a new order of being freed from the bondage of self-induced limitations.

And then Finley nicely illustrates them.

Discrimination:  One day in the midst of that misery born of being in some kind of abusive relationship, a new idea enters into this woman’s mind.  A simple truth rocks her world:  patterns can’t change themselves!  Now she knows that to remain where she is guarantees she will remain a victim.

Intention:  She must act!  An inescapable intention is born that gives birth to a glad day when she walks out.

Illumination:  A short time later, over a quiet cup of tea, a Light appears in her mind.  It comes in the form of a simple, but grand realization:  Only when one is comfortable, content with being alone, can one be true to another.
  (WeiserBooks, San Francisco, CA., 2011), pp. XX11,XX111

A miracle is a correction. It
does not create, nor really change at all.
It merely looks on devastation, and
reminds the mind that what it sees is false.
What is a Miracle.

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