A Course In Miracles is “a complete self-study spiritual thought system . . . it teaches that the way to universal love and peace-or remembering God-is by undoing guilt through forgiving others.” (www.acim.org) Although the language is of traditional Christianity verse, it expresses a non-sectarian, non-denominational spirituality. The book has been a mainstay in the New Age movement and has been called a “sacred scripture” by J. Gordon Melton, author and founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and Wouter Hanegraaff, author and a professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy.
The teachings were channeled from Jesus to one of the authors, Dr. Helen Schucman and transcribed by William Thetford, a psychologist, and author. They are daily teachings to help us evolve into spiritually enlightened individuals that are looking for a way to battle the “ego” which the Course uses “to denote wrong-mindedness, while right-mindedness is the domain of the Holy Spirit, Who teaches forgiveness as the correction for the ego.” (www.facim.org)
Kenneth Wapnick, an author and longtime teacher of ACIM, states “the metaphysics of A Course In Miracles is non-dualistic, as it expresses one pre-separation state: God. In fact, the Course can be said to represent what we may call a perfect or pure nondualism. This form of non-dualism holds not only that God is truth, and all else is illusory, but that God is in no way involved in the illusory and unreal world of perception.” (http://en.wikipedia.org) He states that Jesus was a symbol of God’s love and not the historical Jesus of Nazareth.
These teachings have spun a wide population of believers and students alike that are striving to become enlightened in their spiritual path. “Since it first became available for sale in 1976, over 1.5 million copies have sold worldwide in sixteen different languages” (http://en.wikipedia.org) There are study groups, websites and books that explore the teachings of A Course In Miracles. Here is a story from one of my friends that has read one of these books and has felt the effect of it.
I was 27 years old and suddenly divorced. I had just returned from Germany with my 19 month old daughter, Meagan. I was desperate, feeling unwanted and wondering where my life was going as all my dreams had been crushed. I needed a job, a place of my own and a plan to get Meagan and myself on track to a happy life. I had begun to read a book called A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”: the author was Marrianne Williamson.
It helped me open up and I realized that no matter how badly I was hurt I could never live without love and that I would take a chance and trust again.
One afternoon I was driving down the road feeling especially sorry for myself. I was having a relapse of the “Why me?” syndrome. I felt completely and utterly alone.
I looked in my rearview mirror, to my amazement I saw Grandpa Howard and Donnie sitting in my back seat smiling at me. Donnie looked so handsome and Grandpa so loving. They were just beaming. They were so joyful and radiant. Donnie was murdered when I was just 5 years old and Grandpa died of a stroke while I was away in Alabama at age 10. I missed them both terribly and had fantastic dreams and nightmares about their deaths during my childhood.
It couldn’t have been more than 3 seconds or so that I looked at them in my mirror, I wasn’t scared or startled. They were there with me -this was not a glimpse out of the corner of my eye. I had an overwhelming feeling of peace and I realized at that moment I was never alone and we people, humans, energy, are all connected and always will be. Whether this was a real ghostly experience or a manifestation in my mind to help myself in a dire situation I don’t know. I do know this: I saw them, they were with me, and they are still with me.
It still gives me great comfort to know that no matter how close or far I may think they are, no matter how low I get, they are still around and love me.
Have you ever went to pick up the phone and knew who was calling before actually answering it? Do you have a sense of what someone is saying and you feel you could complete their sentence for them? Precognition is defined as “knowledge of a future event or situation, especially through extrasensory means.” (www.dictionary.com) According to “the Mystica-An on-line encyclopedia of the occult, mysticism, magic, paranormal and more . . .”
Usually, the majority of precognitive experiences happen within a forty-eight hour period prior to the future event, most often it is within twenty-four hours . . . Severe emotional shock seems to be a major factor in precognition. By a ratio of four-to-one, most concern unhappy events, such as death and dying, illness, accidents, and natural disasters. Intimacy is also a major factor, 80 to 85 percent of such experiences involve a spouse, family member or friend with whom the individual has close emotional ties. The remainder involves casual acquaintances and strangers, most of whom are victims of major disasters such as airplane crashes or earthquakes. The difference between precognition, premonition, and prophecy: precognition involves knowledge of a future event while premonition involves the sense or feeling that something is going to happen; whereas all prophecy is precognition, but not all precognition is prophecy.” (www.themystica.com)
Here is a very moving story from a friend of mine that had a similar experience.
One day, years ago, when I was doing hemodialysis at the Acute Unit at Bon Secours DePaul Hospital one of my patients was just very sick. She had lost a leg and was just generally physically sick and sick at heart- tired of being sick and of the effort it took to keep going day to day. Dialysis takes a lot out of a person and then to lose a leg, well, she was at a very low point in her life. Now she was a very spiritual person, not someone who talked about it, but someone who lived her love of God and showed it by always being gracious to those of us around her and never complaining no matter how bad she felt. This day she had just left the dialysis unit to go back to her room and as I said she was really at a low point. Shortly after she left I heard them call a “Code Blue” (cardiac/respiratory arrest, but I’m sure you know that) on her floor. Immediately (and it makes me cry now to think about it) I felt such a sense of peace, calmness, and release. I knew she had died and had gone to her reward. But it amazes me still how I knew she had died and how I felt her relief and her thankfulness at going home to her maker. There was no doubt in my mind that dying was a joyous occasion for her.