Saturday, 28 December 2013 17:30

 

Ken Wapnick, Well Known
ACIM Teacher/Author,
Has Made His Transition
From Earth Life

 

Kenneth Wapnick Ph.D.
1942 - 2013
Obituary

 

 

Kenneth Wapnick Ph.D., a well known A Course In Miracles (ACIM) teacher and author, made his transition from earth life on December 27, 2013. He was 71 years old and had been dealing with lung cancer for the past few months. The news was released with a short announcement on the web site for his organization, the Foundation for ACIM (FACIM).

Dr. Wapnick has been a fixture in the A Course In Miracles movement since the highly regarded spiritual books were first published in 1976. He has been a continuous Board member of the Foundation for Inner Peace (FIP) who are the original publishers of the book. (FIP later transferred its copyrights for ACIM to Ken Wapnick's organization FACIM.) It was well known that Dr. Wapnick took a large role in the final editing and the preparation of the first ACIM books for printing and distribution.

Dr. Wapnick's first written work, Christian Psychology In ACIM, was originally published by FIP. However Dr. Wapnick soon started his own teaching organization, FACIM, with his wife Gloria in 1983 and took over all publishing of his written works. FACIM was first located in Crompond, NY. In 1988 FACIM moved into a much larger facility in the Catskill Mountains resort area of New York State, near the town of Roscoe. In 2001 FACIM moved to its current location in Temecula, CA.

Dr. Wapnick was a prolific ACIM author and a tireless Course teacher. The FACIM web site shows 31 individual, bound books currently being sold that he wrote. His classes and workshops held in the Roscoe and Temecula facilities were frequently sold out in advance. Many YouTube videos of Dr. Wapnick speaking continue to get numerous viewings, and he is referred to by many other ACIM authors and teachers as the foremost ACIM authority.

Controversy about Dr. Wapnick arose in the mid 1990s when a severe tightening of the previously loose copyright and use guidelines for ACIM was instituted by FIP. The words "A Course In Miracles" themselves, and the acronym "ACIM," were turned into legal trade/service marks and only FIP, FACIM, and thus Ken Wapnick, could use them indiscriminately. Many other ACIM authors and teachers objected to this because it effectively gave FIP, FACIM, and thus Ken Wapnick, a monopoly on ACIM teaching and writing. Also, a major lawsuit claiming copyright infringement was instituted by FIP with FACIM's support in 1996 which extended until 2003. FIP and FACIM lost this high profile case, with the result being that FIP and FACIM lost the initial and primary copyright for ACIM, and then later lost the ACIM trade/service marks. The vast majority of ACIM was thus released into the public domain after the lawsuit.

During the lawsuit, other earlier versions of ACIM were uncovered (some will say "stolen") that showed large amounts of early editing of ACIM had taken place, while FIP and FACIM representatives, including Ken Wapnick, had always claimed that the material was only very minimally edited, or virtually unedited. These earlier versions have now been published by other entities and ACIM students have options to choose from when buying an ACIM book.

Dr. Wapnick held to the position, to the end his earth life, that the work he had done to help bring ACIM into the world, including the editing, was always done with the scribe Helen Schucman's and Jesus' guidance, and that he stood behind the decisions that had been made. Many thousands of ACIM students continued to study with Dr. Wapnick after FIP/FACIM lost the lawsuit, and many of them sided with Dr. Wapnick and believe the other versions of ACIM are substandard, inferior, and were never intended to be published. Still, there is no doubt that the entire ACIM landscape changed during the copyright controversy, and the ACIM community has broadened in its beliefs and interpretations since then.

Ken Wapnick was extremely loved by many students and they feel that he was the one ACIM teacher who made the Course understandable for them. They will greatly miss him. Our love and light goes out to Dr. Wapnick's wife Gloria, his close family and friends, and to his dedicated students at this time of challenge.

© 2013, Rev. Tony Ponticello, San Francisco, CA.
No reprinting without the inclusion of this copyright statement. All rights reserved.

 

A Belief In Fear

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Written by Rev. Myron Jones Friday, 31 August 2012 12:00

 

A Course in Miracles is designed to lead us out of fear, and I have been working with this for over 30 years. You would think that I would be living a fearless life by now, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I have made some great progress, true, but I still notice all sorts of fear thoughts in my mind. I notice fear of love, fear of physical harm, fear of redemption, fear of loss. There is a conference and silent retreat I really want to attend, but its high on a mountain. Why would anyone do that? I have an absolute terror of heights. I tried to move through that fear once, and it didn’t work for me.

What I did learn from the Course is that there is nothing to fear. This must be true, because there is only God, and God is not fear. So where does this sensation I experience when I look down from a great height (or even a lesser height) come from? If fear is not real why do I feel it? If it does not come from God, where does it come from?

Woman on a cliff.jpgThere are only two possibilities from which to choose. Always, there is only God or ego. Since fear did not come from God, it must be made by ego. A Course in Miracles says, “Only your mind can produce fear.” (OrEd.Tx.2.80) So fear is something I made up in my mind, a part of the vast illusion of time and space. I made it with my belief, and the only way I can undo it is to look at that belief and decide if I want to keep it, or let it be corrected.

I did not find my release from fear of heights by traveling up a mountain, because the mountain was not the source of my fear. Trying to back my fear of heights down, and force it into retreating, is like trying to heal through treating the disease. I might get some relief from a particular disease, but disease will simply return in the same form or some other. It is the belief in sickness, suffering, and death, that must be healed to affect a true and permanent change.

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Reflections On Turning 60

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Written by Reverend Tony Ponticello Tuesday, 31 July 2012 12:00

 

On Sunday July 1, 2012 Rev. Tony Ponticello addressed the congregation at the Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. He had recently turned 60 years old. The birthday had been celebrated, joyously, in an abundant special service and pot-luck a few weeks earlier in June. What follows is a lightly edited transcription of this lecture.

I didn’t speak at all in June which was the month of my 60th birthday. I spoke just a little bit on my birthday Sunday celebration. I thought it would be interesting, for me, and a good thing for myself, to speak about some thoughts and reflections I have about turning 60 – what that means for me, a student of A Course In Miracles, and what it means for me, personally, Rev. Tony Ponticello. It’s still a question that I am in process with, so I assume that it will mean different things as this year goes along.

Rev. Tony's 60th Birthday PartySometimes, I hear it said now that, “60 is the new 40.” That always makes me laugh. I don’t know what that is actually supposed to mean. I guess it means that 60 isn’t as old as it used to be. I don’t know if I buy that, but I think it is a challenge, always, to stay young, optimistic, and positively focused regardless of bodily age.

We had a great event here on June 10. There’s a picture of some of us at the event on the program (and on the cover of this *Miracles Monthly*). Some of us had already left by that time. There we are. That was a very sweet event for me. I got to hear people say nice things about me. It was so great to see this room full. It was great to have an official birthday celebration like that, an acknowledgement like that. There were some people here who I hadn’t seen in a long time. That was great. Some of our ministers from years back were here. That was great.

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Oh, Dear, The End Of The World Is Here

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Written by Scott Grace Thursday, 31 May 2012 12:00

 

On Sunday May 6, 2012, Scott Grace addressed the congregation at the Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. Scott is a well know spiritual musician and teacher who always works a lot of humor into his songs and presentations. He has performed widely throughout the A Course In Miracles community, at workshops and conferences for many years. What follows is a lightly edited transcription of his lecture.

Tony, I’m going to start out with a song, because the Dr. Seuss presentation needs a little foreplay in the form of a song, to get you ready. This song is from my latest CD “Something New” which was birthed in 2004.  Ha! (A loud exclamation from Scott.) That was awhile ago. I can’t believe that was my latest CD. I’ve been busy with other things. (Scott recently became a devoted, loving, and proud father.)

Scott Grace

There is a remedy for any ill
It’s over the counter and it’s not in a pill
When you’re all hot and bothered it will get you to chill
With no side effects at all.

A little levity, when you’re not at your best
A little levity, when life is hard to digest
It puts the Rolaids to your acid test
So come on now and get some relief.

I have some allergies but not to hay
My ego breaks out when things don’t go my way
But I need no antihistamine to save the day
My cure is already inside.

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Correcting Errors Seen In Others

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Written by Reverend Tony Ponticello Saturday, 31 March 2012 12:00

 

I am finding an increased intensity in my own A Course In Miracles application lately. Perhaps it is this new bracelet I wear that vibrates quietly on my wrist every hour to remind me to practice my ACIM Workbook lesson. Yes, of course it’s something we sell at theACIM Store.

http://bit.ly/pause_bracelet

Today’s lesson is #101, “God’s Will for me is perfect happiness.” Will I continually choose happiness today? It helps to know that it is the only natural choice to make. The choice for pain and fear is only the result of “feverish imagination,” as the lesson says. It’s up to me to not reinforce this fever.

Rev. Tony and A GargoyleThere has been an interesting discussion on the Miracles On-Line Discussion Group about the correction of error, especially concerning error that appears to be in someone else. I think all A Course In Miracles students would agree that we want to correct the error that we discern in our own minds. The challenge is when the error appears external, usually in a brother or sister, and we don’t see where that particular error exists in ourselves. If true forgiveness entails a recognition that the error is always in us, how can we practice true forgiveness when that just doesn’t feel like the truth. “I don’t do that!” we say. Perhaps we only say that to ourselves, but I find I say it to others frequently too, especially intimates and close relationships. “I don’t think I do that.” “Do I do that?”

Read more: Correcting Errors Seen In Others