Questions and Answers from the perspective of A Course in Miracles

Questions and Answers from the perspective of A Course in Miracles:

Do we have a soul? Yes, and it is as real or more so than your experience of self in this life; but it is not eternal. It is still an illusion because it separates you from your eternal Self which is One with God. Our souls are a pattern of lessons we need to learn in order to go back into God.

What is our eternal Self? The Christ Mind is our real and eternal Self. We share it with God.

Is the universe God? No the universe is not real. It is a dream the Son of God (that includes you, me, and everybody else) is having. God the Father did not make this world. The world is a dream the Son is having and it will be over one day.

Is A Course in Miracles true? Yes, it is indeed true. It is a gift of God to His Sleeping Son.

Is A Course in Miracles the same as Christianity? No the Course is a distinct path. You choose one or the other.

Is there a Pope for A Course in Miracles? No, and no church either. The Course is designed as a self-study course in which you and the Holy Spirit undo the mistakes in thought you have made.

Is God a person? No, indeed not. God is impersonal unconditional Love. God is the ground of all being, or being itself, not a single being, like the Old Testament Jehovah.

Does God send people to hell? God only knows eternal truths. He is Love, Truth and Knowledge. He knows no such thing as sin, error, retribution or punishment. He knows no forgiveness for it is not needed in Heaven.

Will I go to Heaven when I die? Not unless you have completed all your lessons. Otherwise you will be given other opportunities to learn them. The Course strongly suggests reincarnation as the way we are given new chances to learn old lessons.

Is there a spirit world we go to when our bodies die? The Course strongly suggests that nothing happens to the spirit when the illusory body dies. The mind is still present with its illusions, just without a body. But the Course does not rule out the idea that the spirit (mind) joins with other minds who have constructed spirit worlds, as reported often in Near Death Experiences. But these spirit worlds are still a part of the illusion of separateness. They are not Heaven.

Is there a Heaven? Indeed. It is our true Home. The Course tells us that God created a spiritual universe (not this physical one) in which He and His One Son create by extending themselves. Heaven is a condition of complete Oneness. There are no individual souls in Heaven. Heaven is the perfect Oneness of God and His One Son and is characterized as all-encompassing Love without an opposite. There is nothing but this Love, and so there is no observer.

Who am I? According to the Course, the body is an illusion. But you are your mind, or your spirit. The belief that you are distinct and separate from others is an illusion called the ego. In truth your spirit is the same as my spirit. We are all the same spirit, seemingly split into parts. And that whole spirit put back together is the divine Son of God.

Who is Jesus? The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God. The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do. Yet who can save unless he sees illusions and then identifies them as what they are? Jesus remains a Saviour because he saw the false without accepting it as true. And Christ needed his form that He might appear to men and save them from their own illusions.

In his complete identification with the Christ, “the perfect Son of God, His one creation and His happiness, forever like Himself and one with Him,” Jesus became what all of you must be. He led the way for you to follow him. He leads you back to God because he saw the road before him, and he followed it. He made a clear distinction, still obscure to you, between the false and true. He offered you a final demonstration that it is impossible to kill God’s Son; nor can his life in any way be changed by sin and evil, malice, fear or death.

And therefore all your sins have been forgiven because they carried no effects at all. And so they were but dreams. Arise with him who showed you this because you owe him this who shared your dreams that they might be dispelled. And shares them still, to be at one with you.

Is he the Christ? O yes, along with you. His little life on earth was not enough to teach the mighty lesson that he learned for all of you. He will remain with you to lead you from the hell you made to God. And when you join your will with his, your sight will be his vision, for the eyes of Christ are shared. Walking with him is just as natural as walking with a brother whom you knew since you were born, for such indeed he is. Some bitter idols have been made of him who would be only brother to the world. Forgive him your illusions, and behold how dear a brother he would be to you. For he will set your mind at rest at last and carry it with you unto your God.

Is he God’s only Helper? No, indeed. For Christ takes many forms with different names until their oneness can be recognised. But Jesus is for you the bearer of Christ’s single message of the Love of God. You need no other. It is possible to read his words and benefit from them without accepting him into your life. Yet he would help you yet a little more if you will share your pains and joys with him, and leave them both to find the peace of God. Yet still it is his lesson most of all that he would have you learn, and it is this:

There is no death because the Son of God is like his Father. Nothing you can do can change Eternal Love. Forget your dreams of sin and guilt, and come with me instead to share the resurrection of God’s Son.And bring with you all those whom He has sent to you to care for as I care for you.

Amen!

bench into eternity

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Looking again at the grief we have when losing a friend

Looking again at the grief we have when losing a friend…..We pretty much know what happens at physical death. The body drops away. That is about all. The mind of the person remains and finds its way into the spirit world with other discarnate minds. Some of those minds are wrong minded and some right minded. Birds of a feather flock together. But it is important to remember that all the spirit worlds are a part of this illusion of universality. They are not eternally real. Dying does not make anyone enlightened. It does not dispel illusions the mind is holding. It is different to be a mind without a body but it is not necessarily better. After a time in those spirit worlds most discarnate minds come back into another physical body in order to work on the lessons we need to learn, to undo the errors in thought which made this illusory universe in which we dream we are separate from God and each other. In talking about Jesus the Course identifies him this way: “The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do.” He dispelled that illusion by identifying himself with the Christ mind and we have to do the same. All of our lessons go to this goal. “The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God.” We are all on the trail of the Christ, whether in the illusion of the physical world or the illusion of the spirit world. The reality we are awakening into is the Christ Mind. In Truth we are all a hologram of the Christ Mind. We are all One Mind. The so-called “soul” is not eternally real. It is just a pattern of karma we have, a curriculum of lessons, to dispel the error of thought that gives us the illusion of separateness, and yes, of individuality. God has One Son, and we, as minds, are all a part of that Sonship. The Son is dreaming now. He is in a little nightmare of thought, brought about by a tiny mad idea that He could be something different from His Father….something different, like an independent observer, outside of the Whole, outside of the Will of God. Being a part of the Sonship we share that dream and are waking up by doing our lessons. The Holy Spirit is here in the dream to help us both with our lessons and with awakening. As we awaken fully we give up all little illusions of soul identity, and merge back into the Ocean of God, not to be extinguished. The single drop is not lost in the Ocean. The fullness of the Ocean enters into the drop. Just as surely, every loving thought and deed we have done within the dream of separateness has been perfectly remembered within the Mind of God, for we have share those thoughts with Him. Everything that has been “real” within our countless lives has been perfectly remembered in the Mind of God. Is that not a better picture of eternity than trillions of souls existing forever in some sort of eternal church meeting, or roasting in hell? What is not true cannot be made true. “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
Photo: Looking again at the grief we have when losing a friend.....We pretty much know what happens at physical death. The body drops away. That is about all. The mind of the person remains and finds its way into the spirit world with other discarnate minds. Some of those minds are wrong minded and some right minded. Birds of a feather flock together. But it is important to remember that all the spirit worlds are a part of this illusion of universality. They are not eternally real. Dying does not make anyone enlightened. It does not dispel illusions the mind is holding. It is different to be a mind without a body but it is not necessarily better. After a time in those spirit worlds most discarnate minds come back into another physical body in order to work on the lessons we need to learn, to undo the errors in thought which made this illusory universe in which we dream we are separate from God and each other. In talking about Jesus the Course identifies him this way:  "The man was an illusion, for he seemed to be a separate being, walking by himself, within a body that appeared to hold his self from Self, as all illusions do." He dispelled that illusion by identifying himself with the Christ mind and we have to do the same. All of our lessons go to this goal. "The name of Jesus is the name of one who was a man but saw the face of Christ in all his brothers and remembered God. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer, but at one with God."  We are all on the trail of the Christ, whether in the illusion of the physical world or the illusion of the spirit world. The reality we are awakening into is the Christ Mind. In Truth we are all a hologram of the Christ Mind. We are all One Mind. The so-called "soul" is not eternally real. It is just a pattern of karma we have, a curriculum of lessons, to dispel the error of thought that gives us the illusion of separateness, and yes, of individuality. God has One Son, and we, as minds, are all a part of that Sonship. The Son is dreaming now. He is in a little nightmare of thought, brought about by a tiny mad idea that He could be something different from His Father....something different, like an independent observer, outside of the Whole, outside of the Will of God. Being a part of the Sonship we share that dream and are waking up by doing our lessons. The Holy Spirit is here in the dream to help us both with our lessons and with awakening. As we awaken fully we give up all little illusions of soul identity, and merge back into the Ocean of God, not to be extinguished. The single drop is not lost in the Ocean. The fullness of the Ocean enters into the drop. Just as surely, every loving thought and deed we have done within the dream of separateness has been perfectly remembered within the Mind of God, for we have share those thoughts with Him. Everything that has been "real" within our countless lives has been perfectly remembered in the Mind of God. Is that not a better picture of eternity than trillions of souls existing forever in some sort of eternal church meeting, or roasting in hell? What is not true cannot be made true. "Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God."

Our Dear Brother, Ken Wapnick goes Home

It is my sad news to report that Dr. Kenneth Wapnick, the teacher of A Course in Miracles since its beginning, has passed over. His foundation gave this message: ” It is with the utmost sorrow that we inform you of the death of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick on Friday December 27, 2013. He died peacefully at home with his beloved wife Gloria and family at his side. The family will have a private service and plans are being made for a forthcoming public memorial.

“There is no death. The Son of God is free.” (W-pI.163)
“Teach not that I died in vain. Teach rather that I did not die by demonstrating that I live in you.” (T-11.VI.7:3-4)

Ken was my dearest friend, and definitely my mentor in ACIM. All of the articles I have posted on FB about ACIM were given to Ken first for his comments. We never had any significant disagreements. Ken was a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology and a fine theologian as well. His many books and videos survive him. He fulfilled the job Jesus laid out for him and he is receiving, I am sure, thanks, gratitude, and good reviews for his life by the angels.

For me, it is a great personal loss. Ken was my fan as well as my mentor. Part of Ken’s journey into Spirituality came from his love of opera. Over the years I sent him many arias, scenes and operas that I performed and he was always a heart-felt fan. I always knew that I could share anything with him and get his honest answer.

We will not dispute the higher decision to call Ken Home now, but we inevitably wonder about the future of ACIM without Ken. Ken, there with Helen from the beginning, was appointed by Jesus to be the teacher of the Course. He held the ship steady even while ACIM was splintering into schisms at an alarming rate, matching even Christianity’s early splintering into sects, which continues to this day. Thankfully Judy Skutch remains at the helm of The Foundation for Inner Peace.

Thank you, my dear, dear, dear friend and brother Ken I love you and I so thank you for all you gave me in this life. You lived a Christ-like life and touched us all. Fly high dear friend. I will see you again one day. ♥♥♥♥

Ken

Spirit to Spirit Communication

My paternal grandmother had some gifting in healing. She was an Ozark country woman with nine children to raise in the great depression. Her husband was a farmer and an itinerant Baptist preacher. He was a gentle soul with a beautiful silvery voice. She was a boisterous, take-charge, drill Sergeant of a mother, but if any people in their area of the woods had problems, they would go to Minnie Shore. She was especially good at witching off warts with some sort of knowledge her Beck clan had passed down to her. I don’t think there was any doubt but that she had some spiritual gifting, underdeveloped as it might have been. I did not get to know her well. She and Vernon (the preacher) moved to California when I was a small boy. Had I been around her she surely would have seen my own gifting and come along side me. I needed that desperately, but it was not to happen. Fast forward to my life in seminary preparing to be a theologian. Vernon was happy that I was getting the theological education that he never did. Our family went to California on a visit when I was still in seminary. Something took place between my grandfather and me that was quite precious. I could see that he was going to die shortly. As we left, I said to him, “I’ll be seeing you.” There was more than words in that sentence. His eyes popped open wide and he smiled real big as he said, “Yeah, I’ll be seeing you.” We had made a spirit to spirit communication. I never saw him again, but in that exchange we remembered ourselves as spirits who come and go, often in groups together and that gave us a much bigger theology than the Baptists were aware of♥

You know the story from here: While in seminary I heard an inner voice telling me to leave seminary and become an opera singer, something for which I had no training at the time. By faith I left seminary, got a job, and when I wasn’t working I was listening to opera. I had all of my theology books in my little apartment covering three walls. I went to the kitchen to feed my cat and when I came back to the living room, the biggest book in my library–about 18″X18″–was sitting on the floor, opened up. It was certainly not there when I left the room. As I looked at it, a picture of my grandmother Minnie came to my mind and I heard a voice in my head say, “Regardless of what you do, don’t forget what you have learned here.” That was the first time I was aware of a spirit contacting me to give a message. What she advised, though, was amazing because I had not learned that “old time religion” in seminary. I had learned to be a scientist who analyzed the Bible with critical methodology. I did not forget what I had learned. I became an opera singer but I kept digging for my Truth. It led me out of traditional Christianity and into a form of Spiritualism that respects all paths up the mountain. My grandmother had indeed come along side me to help. I so look forward to seeing her and Vernon again♥♥♥♥♥

Beautiful Construction

Our lives are constructed so that we keep running into people who will shape our lives. When I was a high school student, I knew nothing about opera. But every Christmas we would get a Goodyear Christmas album with the great opera singers of the day singing Christmas songs. I so looked forward to that every year. There was something about those great voices that hooked something very deep in me. After high school I went to Southwest Baptist University. I thought I wanted to major in music but I was discouraged by a teacher who thought I had no talent, so I majored in theology with a double major in speech/drama. The best singer on the faculty of the Music Department was a bass named Ted Harris. The year that I entered school Mr. Harris was rehearsing for a performance he was going to sing with Jerome Hines, the famous Metropolitan Opera bass. I just sat down in the hall outside Mr. Harris’ door and listened to those incredible sounds coming out of him. I think that was the first time I heard the name Jerome Hines. Skip forward, I was in seminary and one of my dorm buddies was an opera buff who played opera morning, noon, and night in the dorm. I listened with him to all the great singers, especially to Jerome Hines. I found it interesting that he would go into skid row and work in a soup kitchen or sing for the homeless men who came.

While I was in seminary I sang in the oratorio chorus. A beginning sort of voice was coming out of me. In order to earn a little money I got a job as the music director of a small Baptist church in rural Kentucky. During my time there, the area churches had a singing contest. I entered and sang “The Holy City,” and won. The pastor of the church I served said, “Wow I should call my friend Jerome Hines about you.” There was that name again.

My opera buddy wanted to go down to Memphis over the weekend to see their production of Boris Godounov starring….you guessed it, Jerome Hines. We got front row seats. I wanted to watch how he worked on stage. Hines was astounding. Unfortunately, the others singers were local talents who could not compete at that level. Backstage Hines was a little miffed at the production, saying, “This company is not ready to produce Hansel and Gretel, let alone Boris.” We went backstage to see him. He was warm and gracious and I was star struck. I transferred seminaries after a year to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City Missouri. Who should come into the area fro a community concert but Jerome Hines. I went with my old college teacher, Ted Harris, to watch Hines. He was magnificent as always…but he never remembered me from any of these visits. You know the story from here. I heard an internal voice that told me to leave seminary and become an opera singer. I won the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions and moved to New York. One of the first things I did in New York was to arrange for an audition with Jerome Hines of the Metropolitan Opera. Now in 1975 I was going to get to sing for him. I was to go over to New Jersey to audition directly for Hines himself. In those days I was not really nervous. I was excited and ready to go. My voice could do anything and I could pound on it for hours, if necessary, and it would still be fine for the next outing. I prepared my benchmark arias that had won the Met auditions for me and took a train, then a bus, to the New Jersey audition site. It was a small room to sing in. Hines was seated only a few feet from me. Still, I went eagerly to the task and sang Macbeth’s last act aria, “Pieta, rispetto, amore,” which had won for me the Midwestern Finals of the Met Auditions, interpolating a long, sustained, high A flat at the end. Hines was visibly impressed and began talking about his recording of Macbeth with Leonard Warren. He was warm and cordial but every bit the opera star that I expected him to be.

He talked several minutes about great baritones he had known and how favorably my voice compared. I could not have asked for a more favorable review from one I idolized so. I got the part and began preparing the role. The baritone I was replacing, Calvin Marsh, was a Met baritone with a huge voice, beautiful color, commanding range, and a veteran. He was a tough act to follow. My voice was much different than his, darker, almost a bass-baritone compared to his, yet more lyrical because of youth. My old college teacher, Ted Harris, was to sing the bass part of the villain, Eliakim, one of the chief priests (a fictitious character), who conspires with Judas to capture Jesus. I was going to get to see two dreams come true, to sing with my teacher and my idol.

Over the years I continued with the Hines company. Jerry and I became close friends and he became my mentor in opera. The last time I sang with him, he was 75 and still had a strong voice. In his last years he would call me up and talk about singing. He wanted an assurance that he had made a mark with his life’s work. Really, that is all that any of us want, just to know that we have helped others in our lives. How many people did Jerome Hines affect? He was set in place in my life, that is for sure, and I love him for being there♥♥♥♥♥

The stream of ages flows

The stream of ages flows and in it is all that is of love. You and I are one bubble in that stream. Could we but see the world truly, the flow is all we would see. All love is the same. In every place and in every one you have experienced it, it is part of that stream of ages. I sit here now with my companion, Blanche, and we are one love in two silly bodies. The flow comes into and through the heart. Here we live and move and have our very being. We are Love’s Presence:) We are the magnificent radiance of God!♥♥♥ Could we but know that and stay in the flow, the world we think we see would disappear and all separations removed. Love is and we are its manifestations. We are the bubbles in the stream and the rocks over which it flows. We are source and the end. We Love therefore we are, not as separate bodies, but as One. We are the breath of the wind through the trees; we are the cat’s purr; we are the happiness of two becoming one; we are the birds that fly through the air and the fish that swim through the creeks; we are the Love that holds all things together as One; and we are here NOW, not in time, but in this moment of Love realized and fear vanquished. We are the tears that stream down our faces; we are the arms that embrace us; we are Love’s Presence, and there is nothing to do. No ambitions can stand in Love’s Presence. Consciousness itself cannot stand in Love’s Presence. From deep within the unconscious flow of the stream of ages, I know that I Love you.♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

We stand here today, in Love’s Presence

We stand here today, in Love’s Presence, in higher dimensions, because of the beauty and peace our brothers have laid. We stand on shoulders so strong and can see the distant land so clearly because of those who came before us and cared. They raised us up and now we must do our part. We must find new levels of inspiration to lift up our brothers and sisters, to stand on one plane together. At Heaven’s Gate there is a plane for us to share. Just one tiny footstep it is into the Ocean of God. The tiniest film, no thicker than a soap bubble, stands between us there and the Fullness of the Father. We are here thanks to our brothers and sisters who came before us and paved the way with their honesty and truth. They saw the promised land, and they shall not fail to enter into it with all of us. God’s children– humans, animals, flowers, rocks and trees, every grain of sand–are all going back into the Father from which they appeared to emanate. In Truth, we have never left Heaven. We traveled but in dreams while safe at Home. And God’s Son has always been One and with His Father still. Rejoice! The Light of remembrance has come! Lift up your heads for God’s Son returns to His Father!♥♥♥♥♥