12/19/07

God in a box

Some time ago I was listening to someone discussing "A Course in Miracles" in connection with receiving guidance from spirit. He said, "You need to ask the Holy Spirit about your problem, and when you do, this is what the Holy Spirit will tell you . . . ." He then proceeded to repeat his carefully memorized two-minute elevator speech consisting of his condensed theoretical understanding of the Course.

At this point I tuned out. I have encountered this general attitude many times among certain fundamentalist Christians who are convinced they know what message spirit has for you. Among many Christians this manifests as a desire to post the Ten Commandments in public places, as if doing that would actually cause anyone to change.

With Course students it seems very similar. Many Course students like to boil the vastness of the Course's message down to a handful of over-simplified and easily remembered slogans, but this is just a way of stuffing spirit into the ego's own straight-jacket. It is a way of appearing to be in touch with spirit without actually doing the inner work required to actually reach communion with spirit. It is mainly a self-deception.

It is a method putting God in a box.

I suppose the problem is based upon a belief that asking for spirit guidance results in the words from "A Course in Miracles" being echoed back, but that is not the case. The words from the Course you have been studying these many years are now part of the past that binds you. The innocent vision of spirit "serves a wholly open mind, unclouded by old concepts, and prepared to look on only what the present holds." (ACIM Text)

Indeed, there comes a time when the words of the Course become "old concepts."

The ability and habit of coming to spirit with an open mind and heart, and empty hands, is what the training leads to. It is a great misunderstanding to think, "I have studied the Course and so I know what message spirit has for me, and for you too." It is not this at all. This is a way of keeping judgment by using the words of the Course as the basis for judgment. You can memorize the words of the Course and be able to repeat it backwards in your sleep, but that will not improve your ability to judge in the least. Knowledge of the Course does not result in good judgment.

"It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it."

This takes us back to the beginning, and the miracle worker's prayer:

"I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me."

To seek guidance from spirit requires, at minimum, enough self-honesty to admit that you do not know in advance what answer you will receive. Otherwise, it is not asking spirit for an answer, it is telling spirit what answer your little self feels comfortable with.

11/30/07

Copyright status of A Course in Miracles

This is an issue that I am frequently asked about, as just recently happened by email. It is time that I start posting this information more publicly.

An email from M & P -

Dear Tom: Am an avid practitioner of ACIM and Voice for God. First let me bless you for having the 1972 version, I love the fact that it is the pure version from Helen and Thetford There is also a www site that gives us free texts from ancient and modern books called "Sacred-Texts.com". They say they haven't included ACIM because of copyright problems; I didn't know that the 1972 version was on line then. Since the 1972 version is excellent, can they be given that text? Would you be willing to contact them about it?


. . . and my answer:

Not really, in my opinion. I am familiar with sacred-text.com (and love it). Some time ago I studied its copyright policy, and it takes a conservative, and safe, approach to copyright issues.

There is considerable ambiguity about the copyright status of the 1972 version, and I am taking a calculated risk by publishing it online, as is anyone else who does so. Actually, in my opinion, the ultimate copyright status of the 1975 version is also quite ambiguous. One Federal judge in New York city has very limited jurisdiction, and it is conceivable (however unlikely) that a different judge in another jurisdiction could be prevailed upon to make a different ruling on the 1975 copyright, if anyone is interested in going to the considerable expense of litigating the issue again. Not only is the validity of the 1975 copyright and the copyright on the 1972 version in legal limbo, there is considerable doubt about actual ownership of those copyrights, to the extent that they remain valid.

My admiration for the Course, and my special fondness for the 1972 version of the Course makes me brave, I guess. Or foolhardy, perhaps. Some unknown heir of Helen Schucman could pop up unexpectedly and assert a copyright claim to the whole thing. This involves an undeniable risk of being sued out of the blue.

If I understand sacred-text.com's attitude correctly, this is not a risk they would be willing to undertake, but that is just my guess.

11/28/07

Community Miracles Center website

The website of Community Miracles Center in San Francisco has been around forever, it seems. I don't know exactly when Rev. Tony and Rev. Larry started it, but I'm sure that it was going strong well before 1998, when I first noticed it, if I remember it correctly. Over the years, it has always been a source of information and inspiration for the Course community. In recent years, the website's 1990's origin and design began to show, as other sleeker Course websites came online. The explosion on online Course activity that has taken place since the removal of ACIM copyright and trademark restrictions in 2004 almost threatened to leave the CMC icon in the dust.

For those of you who do not know, or who chose not to remember, fear was intentionally fostered by the self-appointed "guardians of the faith," starting with FACIM's acquisition of all legal rights over the Course in 1999 and ending with the intervention of a higher power in 2004. Scores of fledgling Course-related websites bit the dust during that period. Tony, Larry and the San Francisco Community Miracles Center were always there on the front line, standing up for freedom. They shall forever have my gratitude and appreciation.

Anyway, I visit the CMC website regularly to stay informed about what is happing in the Course world. My last visit before yesterday was back on November 15th when the 2009 ACIM Conference was announced.

Sometime in the last two weeks, without any fanfare that I know of, the venerable CMC website underwent a total overhaul, both in structure and in appearance.

Community Miracles Center has not only totally re-designed the look of its classic ACIM website, it has also adopted the Open Source web content management system provided by Joomla.

Take a look. It is really nice. Twenty-first Century style and function, but still warm, friendly, funny, and informative.

11/14/07

ACIM December 2007 Lesson calendar

ACIM Lesson calendar screen shot image
Here is a handy ACIM Workbook Lesson reminder calendar for December, 2007, with links to Lessons 335 through 365. This calendar is available for use online, and also for download as a printable PDF file.
ACIM Lesson calendar for December, 2007

11/5/07

A Course in Miracles video documentary

cover image of A Course in Miracles Documentary video
View abridged version (70 minutes of 120 minutes) in seven segments posted on YouTube. Links to A Course in Miracles video documentary here.



11/2/07

Miracle Distribution Center 2008 ACIM Calendar

ACIM 2008 wall calendar

This ACIM wall calendar is available from the Miracle Shop at Amazon.com





Big bargains on used Course books




Sometimes there are some great one cent used book bargains available on Amazon.com.

You heard me right. One-cent books. A penny for a book. $0.01!

How is this possible? There has to be a trick, you think. No one would bother selling a book for a penny.

This is the way it works. Amazon.com allows its third-party used book sellers to charge $3.99 for shipping, so the total cost of a one cent book, including shipping, is $4.00. By using US Post Office "Media Mail" rates, it only costs about $2.00 - $2.50 to ship the book, so the used book seller makes its profit on the shipping! It's not a big profit, to be sure, maybe only a dollar or two, but it is still a really great bargain for you!

I've purchased dozens and dozens of hard-to-find used book through Amazon.com this way, and I've never had any problems at all. Media Mail shipping is a little slower to arrive than are other delivery options. Sometimes it can take 10 days to two weeks for a book to arrive, depending upon where the book was shipped. Obviously it takes something shipped from Oregon longer to arrive in Kentucky then it does for something shipped from Ohio, but it is well worth the wait in dollars saved.

These are books you'll probably never see at your local used book store. It's a really great deal, and you can save a tree in the process by buying second-hand books.

The book pictured above is "We Never Left The Garden" by Pamela Galadrial, 228 pages, and published in 1996. It is Pamela Galadriel's first book, with her own illustrations. It is an illumination of Course principles with deep heart.

As of this morning there were four copies available for a penny each. No, better make that three one-cent copies of the book. I just bought one for myself, but if you hurry, you might be able to get one here.

10/29/07

Inner landscapes - sexual attraction

The inner worlds can be pictured as intricate and varied as the geography of the outer world, and each life as a traveler through psychological landscapes. At some times it may seem the inner terrain is strewn with rocks and pot-holes that make froward progress difficult, that keeps our eyes focused upon the ground ahead. Other times we may fix our gaze upon the grandeur of distant panoramas without any thought about the ground under foot. The picture presents various aspects of life, and the mental habits we fall into and the confusions we have become comfortable with. From the wider perspective of the spirit, all approaching storms are seen far off and can be easily avoided, and the erroneous beliefs that so frequently cause us pain are readily recognized and can be corrected.

There is within each of us a divine desire to join with our brothers. It is a powerful and fearful impulse. It is powerful because it is the irresistible pull toward our reality as God created us. It is fearful because to join with another threatens the cherished self-image of independent autonomy. To resist the pull is like a stone resisting the pull of gravity, and not roll down hill. The pull cannot be resisted, but it can be deflected and distorted.

The impulse for minds to join is the miracle-impulse, as that terms is used in “A Course in Miracles.” The distorting force of false autonomy twists the divinely inspired miracle-impulse for minds to join into physical sexual attraction. As the Course states, “The confusion of miracle impulse with sexual impulse is a major source of perceptual distortion, because it induces rather than straightening out the basic level-confusion which underlies all those who seek happiness with the instruments of the world.”

Jesus compares being bound to inappropriate sexual impulses to one living in a desert. He is, of course, referring to an inner psychological state and not an outer environment. The main characteristic of a desert in the world’s environment is its lack of water. A psychological desert is an inner landscape starved of the living waters of spirit.

Jesus advises, “The thing to do with a desert is to leave.”

10/21/07

The power of attention

"The task for this period is not to let uncreative thought have lodging room. You say you make pictures, your mind conceives them like dark magic. Try not to do this, and the best way not to make negative pictures is to make spiritual pictures. Let into your mind the noble company of thoughts, thus will you keep out the rabble. Make your mental company glorious."
From: Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood
"To be IN the Kingdom is merely to focus your full attention ON it. As long as you believe that you can attend to what is NOT true, you are accepting conflict as your CHOICE. Is it REALLY a choice? It SEEMS to be, but seeming and reality are hardly the same. You who ARE the Kingdom are not concerned with seeming. Reality is yours because you ARE reality. This is how having and being are ultimately reconciled, not in the Kingdom, but IN YOUR MINDS. The altar there is the ONLY reality. The altar is perfectly clear in thought because it is a reflection of PERFECT Thought. It sees only brothers because it sees ONLY in its own Light."
From: A Course in Miracles Chapter 7, Section 3 - The Reality of the Kingdom

—oOo—

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

Tom Fox on Scribd.com
Tom Fox on Facebook
Tom Fox on ACIM Chat

Through Heaven's Eyes

from: The Prince of Egypt

A single thread in a tapestry,
though its color brightly shines,
can never see its purpose
in the pattern of the grand design.

And the stone that sits up on the very top
of the mountain's mighty face,
does it think that it's more important
than the stones that forms the base?

So how can you see what your life is worth
or where your value lies?
Ohhhh, you can never see through the eyes of man.
You must look at your life
look at your life through heaven's eyes.

Lai-la-lai...through heaven's eyes.

A lake of gold in the desert sand
is less than a cool fresh spring,
and to one lost sheep, a shepard boy
is greater than the richest king.

Should a man lose everything he owns
has he truly lost his worth?
Or is it the beginning
of a new and brighter birth?

So how do you measure the worth of a man
in wealth or strength or size,
in how much he gained or how much he gave
the answer will come.
The answer will come to him who tries
to look at his life through heaven's eyes.

Lai-la-lai...through heaven's eyes.

And that's why we share all we have with you
though there's little to be found.
When all you've got is nothing
there's lots to go around.

No life can escape being blown about
by the winds of change and chance,
and though you never know all the steps,
you must learn to join the dance.

You must learn to join the dance.

10/20/07

Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert

Olivia shares Elizabeth Gilbert's Advice On Oprah, and I am struck by the similarity with the Rules for Decision in "A Course in Miracles."

As Olivia reminds us, Elizabeth Gilbert recommends, "Ask yourself every morning when you wake up: What do I really, really, really want? And answer it truthfully each morning."

Compare this with:
"Throughout the day, at any time you think of it and have a quiet moment for reflection, tell yourself again the kind of day you want; the feelings you would have, the things you want to happen to you, and the things you would experience, and say: If I make no decisions by myself, this is the day that will be given me."
. . . from Chapter 30 of the Course.

See Elizabeth Gilberts' "Eat, Pray, Love" here.

Early Christian writings online

Christian Classics Ethereal Library. The mission of the CCEL is to build up the church by making classic Christian writings available and promoting their use. English translations of early Christian writing available online.

Oracles of the Lord

An interesting observation about the probable rhythmic and rhymed style of Jesus' original sayings, from the article entitled, The Lord's Prayer, by Jack Kilmon:

"This author [Jack Kilmon] believes that one of Jesus’ disciples, probably Levi Mattathia ben Alfai (Matthew), wrote down notable sayings of Jesus both during and after his sermons. Written in Aramaic, this collection of sayings would be referred to as the "Oracles of the Lord" by Eusebius in his Church History written in the 4th century. Some scholars, capable of isolating these sayings in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, would call the source "Q." The Lord’s Prayer may have been contained, in it’s original form, in this collection of sayings. A "fingerprint" of Jesus’ sayings seems to be a two-four beat rhythm and rhyming. This was a device of good oratory of the time that assisted listeners in remembering what was said . . . Scholars learned to identify much of the "Q Source" material as genuine Yeshuine sayings by this meter and rhyme when the Greek of the New Testament record was "retroverted" to the Aramaic of Jesus."

One cannot help but see a parallel with the extensive use of iambic pentameter (blank verse) in the Course.

3-day ACIM retreat July 18-20, 2008

Limited to forty people, this three-day ACIM retreat has been organized by Alan Dolit, to be held in Oceanside, California on July 18 - 20, 2008.

"For a laughingly low price of $150 per person we can have two nights in a modern comfortable motel like setting with single or double rooms including six prepared meals and all activities. The abbey overlooks the ocean and is only a few miles to the beach.

"We can accommodate about 40 persons, and people have already started signing up. I am calling it "We are all teachers". If anyone would like to attend, send a refundable deposit of $50 payable to Alan Dolit to hold a place. The balance would be due by January 15th.

"Include name, mailing address, phone no, and email address along with the check. Please note because of space limitation, this will be on a first come, first served basis. If there is still available space after Jan 15, the rate increases to $175, and to $200 after March 15th."


Alan Dolit
3755 Vista Campana North #56
Oceanside, Ca 92057

Gorgeous for God, by Lisa Natoli

Gorgeous for God ISBN: 9781434319906Course student Lisa Natoli has recently published her first book, Gorgeous for God: The power to change the world by changing your mind.

Gorgeous for God
is based upon the writings in Lisa's blog by that same name, which she started in 2004.

From the introduction to the book:

"In November 2004, I created a blog called Gorgeous for God which is based on the teachings of Jesus from A Course in Miracles. I wrote every morning in the hope that by giving a little time each day to God, I would become more aware of my own self-imposed fears, blocks and obstacles (so that I could release them) and begin to witness what A Course in Miracles offers: an experience of living in a world where there is only love, all the time. What happened was nothing short of a miracle: I became perfect . . . May this book spark a light in your own mind that will inspire you to go beyond all littleness to the magnitude and brilliance in which you were created."

Gorgeous for God may be ordered from Miracle Shop at Amazon.com US. ISBN: 9781434319906

10/9/07

God Calling - Daily Christian Devotional

During the early 1930's, two anonymous English ladies known only as the "two listeners" undertook an experiment to see if they could listen for and hear their inner teacher. Readers familiar with the origin of "A Course in Miracles" will recognize the similarity with Helen Schucman's and Bill Thetford's joint undertaking that resulted in the transmission of the Course.

In their own words, this is what happened.

"In December 1932 my friend and I sat down, pencils and paper in hand and waiting.

"From the first, beautiful messages were given to her by our Lord Himself, and every day from then these messages have never failed us.

"We felt all unworthy and overwhelmed by the wonder of it, and could hardly realize that we were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by HIM personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their Churches, books and other sources. Certainly we were not advanced in spiritual growth, but just very ordinary human beings, who had had more suffering and worry than the majority and who had known tragedy after tragedy.

"The tender understanding of Our Lord's messages was at times almost heart-breaking. But He always insisted that we should be channels of Love, Joy and Laughter in His broken world."
The results of this undertaking were published in book form titled "God Calling," along with a companion volume, "God at Eventide." "God Calling" consisted of 366 daily devotional messages, most of which Course students will be quite comfortable with and inspired by.

These lessons are being presented, one per day, at: God Calling.

9/7/07

Something for the "no worlders" among you . . . .

I just couldn't resist the evil, but witty, spirits that sometimes
possess me. So, for all who live and breathe Lesson 132, and find
solace for every difficulty by repeating "There is no world!" from
Workbook Lesson 132, I have devised the perfect gift:

It is the There is no coffee! coffee mug.


You know who you are, and I made this just for you. Unless, of
course, "There is no money!"

Bon chance, mon cher.

9/3/07

Carl Rogers' theory of happiness

Carl Rogers was one of the most famous American psychologists and therapists of the 20th Century, and he was Bill Thetford's mentor at the University of Chicago. Carl Rogers' theory of optimal development, or the fully functioning person:

"He describes this as the good life where the organism continually aims to fulfil their full potential. He listed characteristics of a fully functioning person (Rogers 1961[4]):

"1. A growing openness to experience – they move away from defensiveness and have no need for subception (a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness).

"2. An increasingly existential lifestyle – living each moment fully – not distorting the moment to fit personality or self concept but allowing personality and self concept to emanate from the experience. This results in excitement, daring, adaptability, tolerance, spontaneity, and a lack of rigidity and suggests a foundation of trust.

"To open one's spirit to what is going on now, and discover in that present process whatever structure it appears to have . . . (Rogers 1961[4])

"3. Increasing organismic trust – they trust their own judgment and their ability to choose behavior that is appropriate for each moment. They do not rely on existing codes and social norms but trust that as they are open to experiences they will be able to trust their own sense of right and wrong.

"4. Freedom of choice – not being shackled by the restrictions that influence an incongruent individual, they are able to make a wider range of choices more freely. They believe that they play a role in determining their own behavior and so feel responsible for their own behavior.

" 5. Creativity – it follows that they will feel more free to be creative. They will also be more creative in the way they adapt to their own circumstances without feeling a need to conform.

"6. Reliability and constructiveness – they can be trusted to act constructively. An individual who is open to all their needs will be able to maintain a balance between them. Even aggressive needs will be matched and balanced by intrinsic goodness in congruent individuals.

"7. A rich full life – he describes the life of the fully functioning individual as rich, full and exciting and suggests that they experience joy and pain, love and heartbreak, fear and courage more intensely. Rogers' description of the good life:

" This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. (Rogers 1961[4])"

From:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Rogers

8/26/07

The pool at Bethesda

Once during the high holy days when all the Jews were gathered in Jerusalem, Jesus went out shopping for a new pair of sandals. As he wandered aimlessly looking at the various shops and chatting with different sandal makers, he realized that he was quite close to the famous pool of Bethesda.

Healing miracles happened at the pool of Bethesda during the high holy days, and there was sure to be a crowd gathered there. Sometimes the people were so excited after being healed that they ran straight out of the pool and danced shouting down the street in their bare feet. With any luck, Jesus thought, he might find an abandoned pair of sandals in just his right size.

As he walked toward the pool, Jesus saw an old man laying on a woven mat not far from the edge of the pool. The man held his face in his hands, and he was weeping softly. Jesus approached. "Nice pair of sandals you have there, grandfather," he spoke cheerfully, "What ails thee?"

The old man looked up and turned his tear-streaked face toward Jesus, and met his gaze. Without hesitation, the old man told his story. "My parents committed great sins against the Lord," he explained, "and I have been lame since birth these many years in punishment for their transgressions. Every year I come to this pool during the high holy days in search of a healing miracle, but because I am poor I have no manservant to help me into the pool when the angel of the Lord troubles the water. Each time, some other is the first to reach the pool before me, to receive the blessing."

Jesus knelt down at the old man's side and looked intently into his eyes. A single tear slid down Jesus' face and splashed upon the paving stones. "You are wrong, friend." Jesus admonished. "You have not been cursed by God as punishment for your parent's sins, you have cursed yourself. It's your mind that needs healing, not your legs. You are not a body, and your legs are not real. Although I feel the intensity of your pain and I grieve with you, it would seem that you still want to punish yourself more for your imaginary guilt and fear of God. But, keep your faith. There is always next year."

With that, Jesus straightened up, and taking one last wistful glance at the man's sandals, he walked off into the crowd.

8/20/07

Alphabet Angel Miracle Mugs

Blessings - Angel Miracle MugAlthough not compete yet, the 17 alphabetic angel miracle mugs A through Q, are now available from CafePress, at Alpha Angel Miracle Mugs

The art is Carmen's original work. A slightly different version of these drawings (black & white line drawings) is available as a down-loadable coloring book from Lulu.com,at My Angel ABC Coloring Book by Carmen Cameron.

The 17 Alphabet Angel Miracle mugs include these quotes from A Course in Miracles:

Awaken - You will Awaken to your own call.

Bless - Miracle Workers can only Bless.

Compassion - Only the sane can look upon madness with Compassion but not with fear.

Dance of illusion - The Dance of illusion has never brought you joy.

Equally - Shining innocence belongs Equally to every living thing.

Forgiving eyes - Beauty will bless your sight when you look upon the world with Forgiving eyes.

Gratitude - The Gratitude I give my brother will lead me back to God.

Healing - Miracles fall like Healing rain on a dry and dusty world.

Innocence - There is nothing in the mind of God that does not share His shining Innocence.

Joyful - Learning is Joyful if it leads you along your natural path.

Kind - Kind and merciful is your release.

Love of God - Give the Love of God to everything you see.

Miracles - The power to work Miracles belongs to you.

Naturally - Miracles occur Naturally as expressions of love.

Oneness - The Sonship in its oneness transcends the sum of its parts.

Prayer - All prayer is answered.

Quicken - Quicken our footsteps not that we may walk more certainly to God.


Peace,

Tom
Louisville, Kentucky

8/5/07

New Miracle Mugs




One basic mosaic design with gold trim, three color schemes so far, six different miracle quotes for each color scheme (18 total), applied to two size mugs and a stein.


8/1/07

Pollyanna and True Perception - commentary on ACIM

I have usurped a short article, Pollyanna and True Perception, by Liz Chronkite.

I found this article on the Yahoo! Group "Peace of God." I have no idea who Liz Chronkite is, or how to contact her to ask permission before republishing her well written article.

I did not republish this article because I agree with it. I do not agree with it very much at all. The article is, however, a good example of a well-defined category of thinking with regard to the teaching of A Course in Miracles, so I placed it in my ACIM Notebook as a reminder to myself, until such time that I can comment upon it further.

7/31/07

Affirming unity and the realization of oneness

A year ago I created a graphic simulacrum of a stained glass window, based upon one symbolic theme commonly used by Unity churches in various forms. As you can see, this simple graphic has three major elements: The word "Unity" at the bottom, a soaring dove in flight, and the unobstructed shining sun above.



As I revisited this artwork last night and this morning for other purposes (see: Inspirations from A Course in Miracles), I was struck by the perfection of the symbolism as it relates to the teaching of A Course in Miracles.


For us, lost in the confusing labyrinth dream of separation, the starting point may come to us through words. With A Course in Miracles it is more than 500,000 words. With this piece of art, it is the single word "unity." Something in the meaning of the words connects with a hidden yearning within us, and by sharing the thought the idea grows in strength within.


The ACIM Workbook lessons leads us, with words, through a series of contemplations and affirmations that, with repetition and a little willingness, plants the seedling ideas firmly in our minds. After a period of germination and with a proper attitude, the seed-ideas may sprout. As they push above the surface of our befuddled minds, we get a first taste of the reality behind the words, and the mind is given wings to fly.


The dove generally symbolizes both the Holy Spirit reaching down, and the desire for peace reaching up. Inner peace, as the Course teaches, is the one condition necessary for knowledge. The Holy Spirit represents the vast array of help and support that is available to us for the asking. The minute we desire peace, peace is offered, and it is this that which gives wings and the ability to ascend in the here and now below, to the here and now above.


The shining sun is a symbol both for God, the giver of life and light, and also our own soul or essential God-created self. When we reconnect to God, we reconnect to our eternal self. When we reconnect to our eternal self, we reconnect with God.


So, the words carry the idea. The idea plants a seed within. Affirming and practicing the idea from within a fog of doubt and fear nurtures the seed planted within. When the seed sprouts, it gives us a glimpse of the truth. This glimpse of the truth inspires the will to proceed in trust in the face of apparent adversity. The ideas gather strength and the dove takes flight.


All this, from a simple word "unity" to the ascending reaffirmation of spirit through experience, in a simple picture.

"You have received all this. No one who walks the world but has received it. It is not this knowledge which you give, for that is what creation gave. All this cannot be learned. What, then, are you to learn to give today? Our lesson yesterday evoked a theme found early in the text. Experience cannot be shared directly, in the way that vision can. The revelation that the Father and the Son are one will come in time to every mind. Yet is that time determined by the mind itself, not taught. . The time is set already. It appears to be quite arbitrary. Yet there is no step along the road that anyone takes but by chance. It has already been taken by him, although he has not yet embarked on it. For time but seems to go in one direction. We but undertake a journey that is over. Yet it seems to have a future still unknown to us."

ACIM Workbook Lesson 158

5/10/07

The meaning of mind and editing changes

This article, The meaning of mind and editing changes was first published in the year 2000 by Gene W. Smith, within a few months following the discovery and general release of the earlier version of A Course in Miracles Text, known as the Hugh Lynn Cayce version.

Dr. Smith's fine article was the first to shed scholarly light upon the significance, and conceptual extent, of the editing changes that were imposed upon the Course prior to publication in 1975.

3/5/07

Letters of a Scattered Brotherhood

Inner promptings

Dear friends,

Let us consider again what our daily living is, this human living without thought; the conduct of people, the philosophy needed to live upon earth, to live intelligently, and the mystery of pleasure and pain. First it appears that we are spoiled from lack of discipline - self-discipline. We are ignorant, too, and full of wild emotions, savage dislikes, greed, and pride - pride of family, of race, community and nation.

This emotional fever-bag is our danger, for left to itself, inflated by angry argument, it is destructive and overpowers the balance of clear thinking. Through it we are influenced and swayed by passing events, the daily news and all the harm of misinformation. When possessed by states that are ungoverned, even while we carry our outward poise, there is a kind of lawlessness that swings to inertia, a what's-the-use attitude of mind, a refusal to make an effort which is a kind of lawlessness also. A child asks, Why is it necessary to have law and discipline? Because it is needful to establish a balanced order of conduct. Think for a moment of yourselves as raw material; through your acceptance or rejection of a thought, an idea, you establish your lives, your individualities. Emotion is as wild and unpredictable as the weather and must be faced and dominated. No wonder the ancients called it the devil, for at times it will run away with you, weaken your resolves, loosen your armor and plunge you into hell. Here is where pain often comes in and is indeed the drill sergeant. You have seen how many wild natures have been touched and softened by pain and sorrow. But why go that way to illumination? You who have started on this strange and beautiful journey, who have sensed immortality and touched it, have opened a door into a place where the mystery of life will be simplified for you if you will obey these promptings from within.

For many this is beyond understanding and they seek the satisfaction of penance in sacrifice and good works. That is not to be condemned, but it is only the first step, for as was said by one who lived in the thirteenth century, "Visible deeds do not increase the goodness of the inner life, however long and broad, whatever their number or dimension; its goodness is its own. The visible deeds of virtue can never be worth much if the inward process is small or has little life; but they never can be of little worth if the inner life is rich and great. The inner life goes on perpetually and draws upon God, from the very heart of Him, for the inner life of a man is His son."

Therefore obey the promptings that come to you from within when you have true communion with Him, and you will learn your requirements, your disciplines, renunciations as well as illumination and the peace that passes all understanding. With this knowledge you will find that it will be very uncomfortable for you if you get out of balance. This power held in stillness will go far toward stopping wars, for it will indeed move mountains and bring order out of chaos, as it is a living force. If you believe that character can be changed and transmuted, act on the promise. For to be freed from the laws of the material world we must pay the price, and the price is to make this instrument clean, pure, steady, vigilant, strong and faithful in little things.

Come closer to the center of all light; come freed from the ignorant emotional habits, from subtle appetites of prejudice and criticism. More is told you than by spoken words; only make way for the Light and you will be oriented and held in safety and great will be the results in your day, your hours, your seconds of time. The mystery of living will then be revealed to you . . . it is the transmutation of this living entity into the divine spiritual Man.



Published on Scribd.com - eBook in PDF format


Letters of the Scattered Brotherhood
House of Light digital edition

114 pages
11 x 8.5"


View on-line or download here.





Editor’s introduction
Read on: Miracle Course Journal

—oOo—

Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky

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2/23/07

The snipe hunt hit the wall.

Here is the kind and gracious response to yesterday's email:

. . . . We buy from the two largest distributors in the country. They publish a monthly list of books that are available from them. We recycle one [the larger of the two] of their lists as our catalog, and state on our site that any book [that fits our model] is available. We do that whether we have ever bought that book before or not [and we hadn't in your case because no member had ever asked for those titles before]. The reason we do that is that our arrangement with the distributor is that they deliver the books we order that are on their published list usually one business later and almost never later than two. So, theoretically, we can deliver any book from that list to you.

It was only after reviewing your reading list, however, that we learned that neither distributor has any Wapnick book on cd. None. We've run across the situation before where they say they have books which turn out to be unavailable, but it's been rare . . . .


So . . . the short answer is that Wapnick's audio CDs are simply not available through normal distribution channels.

That's the end of the story, I guess.

2/22/07

The Great Wapnick Audiobook Snipe Hunt

On January 31, I ordered two of Kenneth Wapnick's audio CD sets from Amazon.com, namely:

Jesus, Fantasy or Truth, and;
An Overview of a Course in Miracles
See a list of all (supposedly) available titles

The indication was that it would be three weeks before they would even ship to me from Amazon, because Amazon.com did not stock either item, and Amazon needed to obtain copies from the publisher, Wapnick's non-profit, the Foundation for A Course in Miracles.

This was OK with me, so I placed the order and waited. This week, three weeks later, I received notification that Amazon had not yet received the items and it would be an additional two weeks before they would ship to me.

A five week delay is not acceptable to me. It's crazy. There is a bug in the distribution system somewhere. It just does not take that long when things are working the way they should. I canceled the order and I told everyone I could not to buy Wapnick's audio CDs from Amazon.com until the Foundation for A Course in Miracles got its supply problems fixed.

Then I started looking for alternative sources, and I found a promising, and less expensive, alternative in a company that rented audiobook CDs, using the same basic system as Netflix used with video DVDs. This company had about 15 of Wapnick's audiobook CDs in its catalog, so I joined.

It wasn't until AFTER I joined the program that it was made clear the audiobook CD rental company didn't actually have ANY of the Wapnick audio CDs in stock, and that none were available to be rented right now. Oy vey!

The question is, will they now go out any buy these audiobook CDs for their inventory? And, if so, will they be able to get them quicker then Amazon could? I sent this email this morning:


Can you please tell me what is the point of including audiobook CDs in your catalog that you do not actually have available for rent? I just recently became a member, mainly because you listed about 15 audiobook CD titles by author Kenneth Wapnick.
It wasn't made clear until AFTER I became a member that you didn't ACTUALLY have these title for rent . . . ANY of them.
Most people would be extremely put off by this, unless you now intend to go to your distributor and purchase all of these titles for your ready-to-rent inventory. Is this what you will do? If not, it smacks of bait-and-switch advertising, which is generally frowned upon.

I guess we'll see what happens next. Stay tuned. There's more to come. Many lessons to be learned here, no doubt.



2/18/07

Featured Book - Absence from Felicity

Ken Wapnick's psycho-mythological account of Helen Schucman's life and the origin of "A Course in Miracles" (read it online) is featured at:

General Description
Back Cover
Table of Contents
Chapter One Excerpt

"Absence from Felicity" is probably Kenneth Wapnick's best book.
I'd recommend "Absence from Felicity" to anyone interested int he
Course, but I'd also recommend that nobody take what "Absence" says as literally true, historically accurate, or even particularly honest. That would be a mistake.

"Absence from Felicity" is anything but objective. "Absence" is sub-titled "the STORY of Helen Schucman . . . ," and that's what it is . . . . a story. It isn't history, autobiography, or biography, although it contains element of each. It is the "story" that Wapnick tells and the hero of the story, without much surprise, is Wapnick himself.

1/14/07

Course Books for Canadians

I've just begun to set up an Amazon.CA aStore for miracle-related books, for my Canadian friends.

Canadian Miracles Bookstore at Amazon.CA