Is A Course in Miracles a self study course?

Question "A Course in Miracles, has been described as a self study course. My question is: What does that mean, and is it practically possible? "

Response: It's a pun that originated with Bill Thetford, whom we know for a fact had a great fondness for puns. It may have been inspired in him from the Course's echoing the ancient wisdom, "know thyself." If 'know thyself" is a guiding principle, then the undertaking is a "study of self."  Get it? A course in the study of self is a self study course.

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Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky


A question of friendship

I remember weird tidbits, like "i" before "e" except after "c" and the word "weird." One such tidbit is from the 1980's Star Trek Next Generation. The android character Data was struggling with the concept of human emotions and attachments. In conversation with a crew member who was about to leave the Enterprise for a different assignment, she said to Data, "I'll miss you." Data responded, "My circuits have grown habituated to the frequent presence of your sensory input as well." Sigh. Is that what it is?

 Just yesterday, NASA's comet-chasing spacecraft "Stardust" was ordered to burn all its remaining fuel and to shut down permanently, after a very successful 12-year mission. For Allan Cheuvront, the Stardust program manager for Lockheed Martin, it was "Like saying goodbye to a friend." Cheuvront had worked on the probe since 1996, when it was still in the design stage. He had an emotional attachment bond with a piece of machinery millions of miles off in space. It was personal.

 These attachment bonds are one way we maintain the illusion of continuity, identity and stability in an otherwise chaotic world. People come and go. Friends are made and lost. Some who run off to join the circus are remembered fondly with a wish to meet again. Others depart with a "Good riddance, I'm glad that's over with." A few hang around for a very long time. The Course tells us that all who meet shall meet again, but in an entirely different part of the book it describes what it means to really "meet" another, soul to soul.

 Did the NASA Stardust spacecraft have an inherent God-created identity, called a soul, for Cheuvront to meet and re-connect with? I don't think so, but there is no litmus test for this. Was the Star Trek character Data a creation of the Son of God imbued by his creator with the spark of eternity? Maybe, if you wish. It was just a story.
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Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky


Space weather metaphors

There is an earth sky phenomenon known as the equinox auroral storms. They happen twice a year, during the spring equinox (now) and the fall equinox in September. When the north and south magnetic earth poles are aligned with the sun during the period of equinox, magnetic ropes form as a connection between the earth and the sun. These magnetic channels facilitate the flow of energetic solar particles from the sun to earth's upper atmosphere, which display as colorful dancing auroras in the night.
"What makes the northern lights dance? Measurements by NASA's fleet of THEMIS spacecraft indicate that these explosions of auroral activity are driven by sudden releases of energy in the Earth's magnetosphere called magnetic reconnection events. The reconnection events release energy when magnetic field lines snap like rubber bands, driving charged particles into the upper atmosphere. Stretching into space, these reconnection events occur in the magnetosphere on the Earth's night side at a distance about 1/3 of the way to the Moon." NASA
Reconnection events produce light!

This is a lovely metaphor for reconnecting to Source. Let there be light.

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Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky


The Egyptian miracle

In the Western esoteric tradition, ancient Egypt has frequently been used as a symbol for the world of flesh, or as it is named in A Course In Miracles,the world of the ego. The power of the Pharaoh was pervasive, capricious, indifferent, and seemingly absolute. The working out of history on a grand scale has been the story, repeated again and again, of escape from the conditions of slavery epitomized by the story of Exodus and the early Hebrews as captives of a cruel and despotic regime.

The United States of America, as a nation, can be rightfully proud of its role in history as a leader of evolving civilization by incorporating the principles of liberty and freedom as keystones in the structure of our self-government. Seventy years ago, on January 6, 1941, when the country was on the verge of confronting the dictatorial war machines in Germany, Italy and Japan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his eighth State of the Union Address, best remembered for his enunciation of the Four Freedoms.

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want — which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear — which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

This famous speech was referenced in the ACIM urtext.
You have heard many arguments on behalf of “the freedoms,” which would indeed have been freedom if man had not chosen to fight for them. That is why they perceive “the freedoms” as many instead of one.

In recent days the good people of Egypt have risen up peacefully and fearlessly to protest their enslavement and to demand what is rightly theirs. As citizens of the United States, we cannot but in good conscious stand up along with our Egyptian brothers and sisters, and affirm with them the core beliefs of our own heritage:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
As the Course reminds us, "You must still choose freely to devote your heritage to the greater Restoration. As long as a single slave remains to walk the earth, your release is not complete. Complete restoration of the Sonship is the only true goal of the miracle-minded."

Still, there are many voices of fear yet yammering for attention in this country. There are those who look to the future with dread, and hope to bargain with the devil for a few more years of "stability" at the expense of our brothers and sisters in Egypt. The lunatic prognosticators are spinning their assorted scenarios of doom to come because of this recent upheaval, but the black vision of the frightened separated ones shall not prevail. Not this time.

The argument that underlies the defense of freedom is perfectly valid. Because it is true, it should not be fought for, but it should be sided with. Those who are against freedom believe that its outcome will hurt them, which cannot be true. But those who are for freedom, even if they are misguided in how they defend it, are siding with the one thing in this world which IS true.

Returning to Roosevelt's speech, he stated:
No realistic American can expect from a dictator's peace international generosity, or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion — or even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors. "Those, who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Be glad for the developments in Egypt and look to the future with a bright hope. Be at peace. As the Egyptian youth have declared, "Fear has been defeated."

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Tom Fox
Louisville, Kentucky