On Easter Sunday April 8, 2012 a large group of A Course In Miracles students gathered at the San Francisco gathering place of the Community Miracles Center. As a special Easter Service seven ACIM students gave short talks focused on the topic, “Easter, A Course In Miracles, And Me.” The CMC calls these special services “Community Voices” since it gives many in the community a chance to have their voice be heard. What follows is a lightly edited transcription of those seven talks.
Rev. Adrienne Bermingham
Rev. David Thornton offered me 40 bucks to be first, but I said “No” because I can’t handle the anxiety. (laughter) Easter. What does Easter mean to me? What simply came up for me was my memories of childhood: the egg hunt, the egg coloring – not so much the dressing up for me you might guess. (laughter) I have a picture, I should have brought it: bonnet, crinoline, petticoats, Mary Janes ooohhh (big sigh) ... I’m so glad Mom did that and took the picture of me being darling and cute.
We would go to dinner at the Green Mill up in Penngrove. That was a big deal. There are pictures of us, and I remember my brothers, and I remember the love and, I remember the family. And I miss them, because most of them are gone. But they’re in my heart, and most of that is healed which is an amazing thing.
Also Catholic Church ritual. I’m sorry, nobody does it as good as they do. One year I escaped from here, I left here, and went down to the Mission, Oh my God, it was great! I will have to say that I asked, “I guess you guys are packed every Sunday?” He said, “No we are lucky if we get a quarter of this.” They don’t pull in the people. It’s just that frankincense, the priest, and just whatever he’s saying because I never listen and I’m so glad I didn’t. (laughter)
The next idea is A Course In Miracles. I remember Larry’s class. I came in to the CMC about 14 years ago. There was Larry at the top of the stairs. I looked up and I went “sssssssss.” (Rev. Adrienne makes a scared hissing sound.) “Oh God!” And he looked down and went “sssssssss.”(Rev. Adrienne makes a the same scared hissing sound again.) “Oh God.” Anyway, I ended up in his class. There were about 13 students. Some of you may have been in it. I don’t remember who was in that class, but it was really interesting.
There’s a couple of key A Course In Miracles principles that have always been valuable to me. I’m not going to quote these correctly, but the first idea is that God knows nothing of the physical world or what’s going on in this dream. That’s really interesting because I could not understand, for me, how God, as a loving God, would allow whatever we do here. Well, He doesn’t! He doesn’t even know. He, She, It – whatever.
Also, number two, our life experience is our choice. I always felt like I didn’t necessarily like that idea, but it gives you great freedom to know that you can totally change your mind about what’s going on.
Third, our brother is our savior, our mirror. That one I never got, until recently. It’s really interesting once you accept that, at least for me, how this can really change, and this can become a positive world.
Number four, God wants for us perfect happiness, joy, and peace. That one I really didn’t get, because I was really buying into the idea of lack, and disappointment, and pessimism, and who I could accuse, and what I could go after, and blah, blah, blah. That was a struggle in finding the number four.
Which brings me to “me” currently. Just turned 60 this year. A lot of people asked me what would you like for your birthday and, really, literally, I couldn’t think of anything on the outside or anything. Car? Trip to Europe? I don’t care. One of the reasons why is because the inner state that I’m living with today, inner state, inner, is so wonderful. I can truly say that this year. Fifty-nine was hell. It was hell. Whatever. The inner state, for me, the inner feeling that I have, is really wonderful. Everything else is icing. I used to hear people say that. I would say, “I don’t understand that.” But I do understand it today. There’s much more to that, but I won’t focus on it other than to say I am glad I am who I am and that I stuck with it, I hung out, and I went through the struggles.
ACIM, I wasn’t able to see the love in it. It’s very heady, it’s very complicated in ways, it has a lot of thoughts and I want to just mention, I won’t mention the names, but there’s other things that I’ve been doing in the last year that have helped me to understand what this Course has been trying to say. So now I can bring it all together and see that peace, love, and happiness is what the Course wants for us. I just couldn’t quite get it in the way the Course was written. It takes what it takes.
What I would finally say is that there is a really simple thing that I did, and I think this is key. I made a decision for joy, peace, and love. I really, truly said, “I have had it!” I saw what was going on. A couple of events happened for me, and it really hit me hard. I made the decision. I think that is what happens to you. You make a decision. No amount of reading, other programs, other organizations, other anything really made a difference for me. It helped to get me going, but the decision was to actually go for those ideas. I wasn’t ready for that thought. I didn’t know you could have it. I had no idea you could have it. I am grateful for that at 60. I could use another truck but ... (laughter) I don’t think I need it. Thanks a lot. (applause)
Thank you Rev. Tony for making me do this. I didn’t realize some of these connections in my life. It’s kind of interesting.
I want to start with today’s lesson. “I will accept my part in God’s plan for salvation.” (FIP.WkBk.98) Absolutely. I also want to weave in my Easters from when I was little. How I didn’t accept my part.
I grew up in the 50s. I was two years old in 1950. That was when Los Angeles was rural. We had chickens. (laughter) A cow next door named Daisy. For Easter we had all different sizes of eggs, and colors of eggs, from the chickens. We were Baptists. We went to church on Sunday morning, Sunday School, and Sunday evening, and Wednesday night ... (laughter) And I faithfully went to church that way until I was 22.
This is my dream. I know it’s a projection, and I’m responsible for it.
I didn’t “believe.” I thought I was the one who was normal. I just didn’t believe all that stuff. In the Baptist Church Jesus was the Son of God. He died for our sins. Then if we believe in him, “... whosoever believeth in Him ...” (John.3.15) could go to Heaven. I kept quiet. I figured that I was normal. There were other people who didn’t believe either. (laughter) If you had asked me if I would accept my part in God’s plan for salvation I would say “yes,” because I was a good girl. (laughter) And once in awhile I would get afraid, especially if the Second Coming was coming. If there was a pastor who was particularly passionate about, “Christ could be here any day! You don’t want to be left behind.”
I would say, “Okay God, how could you do this to me?” If it’s really “real” help me to believe. Nothing happened. I never got an answer – at least I thought. But if I take a look at the section “The Answer To Prayer,” “Everyone who ever tried to use prayer to ask for something has experienced what appears to be failure.” (FIP.Tx.9.II.1) “Let us suppose, then, that what you ask of the Holy Spirit is what you really want, ...” Did I really want it? “... but you are still afraid of it. Should this be the case, your attainment of it would no longer <be> what you want.” (FIP.Tx.9.II.2)
Easters were always dressing up and Easter egg hunts. I wanted to go away to college at 17, but I could only do that if I went to a Bible college. My girl friends did too, from church. We went to college and studied the Bible. That was fun. My last semester I had a professor that I trusted. I said, “I don’t think I believe in this.” He asked, “Did you tell anybody else?” I said, “No.” He said, “That’s good. Don’t tell anybody.” (lots of laughter) But then he said, “You’re going to be useful. You’re going to come back in the second coming.” And I thought .... I can remember every single instant of that meeting with him. But I dismissed it for another 30 years. When I graduated, that was the end of Bible and church.
I got married to a wonderful man. We took the kids to church on Easter Sunday and they came back and they said that they didn’t really want to go. My Easter Sundays would go back to flowers, Spring and Easter egg hunts.
After 17 years of marriage my husband said, “You don’t love me anymore.” So, my kids and I moved to Sausalito. And I knew right then that I hadn’t said .... I don’t think I had said a kind word to him in a long time. It was all form. I was a driver. Let’s be successful at this. Let’s do this. Let’s do that. I did all the insurance. Are the kids ready?
My son is the one who brought me to a spiritual path when he was 18. He had developed ... developed? He was not himself. He was really into drugs. Drugs had overcome him in his senior year. He voluntarily went into Serenity Knolls (editor’s note: a drug rehab facility), three months mir-in. Clean and sober ever since. I’m really proud of him. I was in Al-Anon for four years. During that time I went into Attitudinal Healing which has the same principles as the Course. I joined Sharon Sherrard’s group. I’d like to spend even more time with the Course. It has totally changed my life. I’m very, very different. The second coming is not the second coming of Christ. It’s the reawakening, because this whole last 12 years has been reawakening for me.
As I look at our lesson in paragraph two, “How happy to be certain!” How happy to be certain on Easter. “All our doubts we lay aside today, and take our stand with certainty of purpose, and with thanks that doubt is gone and surety has come. We have a mighty purpose to fulfill, and have been given everything we need with which to reach the goal. Not one mistake stands in our way. For we have been absolved from errors. 6 All our sins are washed away by realizing they were but mistakes.” (FIP.WkBk.98.2) Beautiful.
Rev. Marilyn Grant
Good morning everyone. I’m so happy to be here. So happy to see all of you. Some I’ve seen recently. Some I’m seeing for the first time, and some I see again and I’m grateful.
I’m going to do a Tony thing. I looked up in Webster’s (laughter) what the word “resurrection” meant there in print. It said, “To raise from the dead, to bring back to life, to bring back into notice.” I’ve always loved that word “notice.” I learned that in 12 Steps when I was going there. Just notice my behavior. That program, too, isn’t about punishing.
There’s noticing and I thought, “Okay I notice when I can rise above the battlefield in my mind.” And then I looked up “notice.” It says, “Announcement or warning, written or printed sign, giving warning or rule. A formal warning of intention to end an agreement.” That agreement that I made when I was going to the Catholic churches and the Catholic schools, the books that they had us reading at that time got me into a lot of fear. I can end that agreement. End that agreement. Accept the agreement of A Course In Miracles.
A memory I have from Easter is about Holy Cards. We always had a lot of Holy Cards. I remember that one of Jesus in the robes and all the light that surrounded him. I still have some of those Holy Cards around. That’s a memory that I have.
What I want to say now is ... (Rev. Marilyn start rapping.)
On this day of celebration I’ll fit this Easter bonnet
Because I really like to rap so I’ll just get right on it.
This Easter time, this day of resurrection,
The truth comes out. It’s just a call for correction.
Change the hate to love, an order very tall
But the Course says, shift to right mind, that’s all
The Christ in all of us deserves acknowledgement
In this world of time, it is time well spent
This Easter map clearly shows us the way
If I’m at peace, I’ll see only love today.
Jesus as a teacher taught love and acceptance
He never told us to seek for any vengeance
In spite of all attacks on Jesus’ life
He chose for us the mountain top and turned away from strife.
If we’re afraid, it means we’ve dropped Jesus’ hand
He wills us to hold on while he strikes up the band
Hallelujah is the word I truly like
It’s a word we can sing morning, noon, and night.
The crucifixion story, some got it all wrong
No need for confession. It’s time for a song.
In moments of dread there’s no room for a smile.
That’s when Jesus says, “Come sit with me awhile”
Jesus is available when we’re making a decision
He has a no fail plan of peaceful precision
To heal is to recognize our unity with others
And bless the Holy Spirit in all of our brothers
As a girl I was taught the 40 days of Lent.
Now I hear the Course saying there’s nothing to repent.
It was all just a dream, a scheme, to keep us in the dark.
And now the light of love expands to much, much more than a spark.
The ego mind deceives us in its state of need.
Jesus says there really is no need to plead.
Fragrant lilies invite us to give up the crown of thorns.
As I let peace and joy extend from my mind to yours
As I let joy and peace extend from my heart to yours
Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.
Thank you Rev. Tony for asking me to do this. I like that someone said, “... for making me do this.”
I have been asking for the experience of loving my mother for most of my adult life. Since reading and studying A Course In Miracles for the last 12 years I especially wanted to feel loving toward and forgive my mother and myself in this area. It happened this Christmas and it is my personal resurrection, mother-lode story. Some of the people in Marin have heard parts of this.
Resurrection is always tied to crucifixion. If you don’t crucify yourself you don’t need to resurrect. (laughter) This entire mother issue was a lode of crucifixion, guilt, abandonment, suffering, being let down .... I’ll spare you the details of my childhood growing up. But as a Course student I want to relate the more grown up issues from a Course perspective.
Intellectually everyone in this room knows, and experientially too, that we are responsible for what we see. We are always repeating the tiny mad idea where we thought we separated from God. We have also experienced the concept of forgiveness, “Forgiveness recognizes what you thought your brother did to you has not occurred. It does not pardon sins and make them real. It sees there was no sin.” (FIP.WkBk.pII.1)
I’m also familiar with our last set of lessons about grievances and problems.
“I am never upset for the reason I think.” (FIP.WkBk.5)
“My grievances hide the light of the world in me” (FIP.WkBk.69) and block miracles.
The ego’s plan of salvation is, “The change of mind necessary for salvation is thus demanded of everyone and everything except yourself.” (FIP.WkBk.71.2)
I know there’s only one problem, and the problem is separation. Sometimes I can’t really use that well. I also know that my only problem has been solved and that all problems are the same. I’ve experienced and know personally that no perception that is out of accord with the judgment of the Holy Spirit can be justified. But still I did not love or forgive my mother.
Every Christmas I went home to love her and returned a miserable failure. Even my ego gave me reasons to love my mother. “Look,” my distorted wrong mind berated me. “Your mother is old. Love her before she dies. How can you expect your old mother to change when you can’t or won’t change? Just try to be nice! Be appreciative. Keep your mouth shut. Don’t argue for the one hour, or so, a day you have to see her.” And I’d go home and fail at even this. I’d come back to California to “share” – I use this word loosely because sharing crucifixion stories isn’t sharing – with the Marin Tuesday night lessons group how, once again, my trip back to Ohio to see my Mom failed.
So what happened that changed everything? In November 2011 I went to Temecula to hear Ken Wapnick for five days. He spoke on the fourth, and last, obstacle to peace, the fear of God and lifting the veil. Ken is about 70 years old and he has the clearest mind I ever met. I experienced, directly, the power of one mind that can shine into another, because all the lamps of God were lit by the same spark. It is everywhere and it is eternal.
Ken was very clear about all the reasons we do not love. The Course is very clear about this and these are the parts of the Course that we don’t like. It’s chilling to behold. It’s dark, dark water, but seeing this so clearly I said, “No.” Ken was also very crystal clear about all the reason to love. And it came to me several times in mind to love my mother. And I said, “Yes. Yes. Yes absolutely. Yes now.” That puts you in the happy dream. The Course says, “Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was.” (FIP.Tx.18.5.1) The holy instant, the holy relationship, and the Holy Spirit’s teaching are all aspects of the plan to change the dreams of fear to happy dreams. So, in offering this resurrection story I see a clear and lengthy holy instant.
Thinking about this further I am certain other factors for what the Course calls our “little willingness” contributed to at least some part of this. Some of my prayers were heart felt. In June I experienced my heart melting and when your heart opens then you realize how closed up you’ve been.
Twelve years of A Course In Miracles, ten years of Sharon Sherrard teaching Monday night class, Tuesday night lessons, teaching how to hear Holy Spirit’s voice, I saw no progress on this issue. But time is just another illusion to beat yourself up with. All my joyful little willingnesses contributed to this.
I call this the mother-lode because all mother issues lifted and dissolved without identification and analysis. Even before I left town I heard myself whining about going home to Ohio, and I said, “Maybe this time it will be different. Maybe it has already happened.”
I got home. I stayed with one of my sisters. I went over to Mom’s hoping to do one hour of peace. I stayed 3 or 4 hours. My sisters came and got me and they wanted to know, “Hey, what’s going on?” My mother was saying the entire time how beautiful I was, how good I looked. This was easy to listen to. (laughter)
I talk to Mom every day now because I want to. I call just to hear her voice. I don’t care what she says. When I told her this it made her happy. It’s true. I love to hear her voice.
Dropping the mother-lode causes weight loss. Food isn’t necessary. Some of your anxiety eating disappears.
I leave you with one of my favorite sections in the Course, “The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.’ ... If you can accept it as your own last useless journey, you are also free to join my resurrection. Until you do so your life is indeed wasted.” (FIP.Tx.4.In.3) Crucifixion, or whatever cross you bear, merely reenacts the separation, the loss of power, the futile attempts of the ego at reparation. Such repetitions are endless unless they are voluntarily given up. Until then, you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. (laughter)
“The message of the crucifixion ...” resurrection “... is perfectly clear: Teach only love, for that is what you are.” (FIP.Tx.6.I.13)
Hi everybody. Happy Easter. I have no notes. I have no speech written. Nothing prepared. It’s an easy topic for me to talk about.
As I was hearing everyone share I was thinking about Catholic School. I came into Catholic School in 6th grade, in clothes, not in a uniform, so I didn’t really fit in. (laughter) I ate the bread and did all this stuff, but I didn’t have the right to passage to do that stuff. I just did a “fake it till I could make it” kind of thing, but it caught me. When it came to the Confirmation I hadn’t had the First Holy Communion but I had been eating the bread thing (laughter).
That’s how my life went for a long time. I came into this family, this insane, very wealthy family. My dad was an inventor and a genius. I came from Sacramento to this mansion in San Francisco, dropped into this Catholic School and had no idea what I was doing. I was this country girl who rode horses. I heard them talking, those priests. I had to tune most of it out. It was frightening. I knew I was going straight to hell just for what I thought when I was young.
You see that guy up on the cross, he died for our sins, and it was just horrible to think that this God would take his one and only son and kill him for everyone else, but that’s what I saw in my family. That’s what I observed. It was a battle for love. One guy could be okay and the rest of them were all fighting for love. It was a rough experience.
I dealt with all of that by getting really high. (laughter) It was easy to do. My Dad owned bars and restaurants, delis and beauty shops. We had a lot of money, and there was a lot of people, and we had a lot of fun. There were bouncers, and we could get away with anything we wanted. The DEA was involved. My Dad was a high roller up in Reno, and it was super high society, and it looked glamorous, and it was wild and fun. We broke all the rules, and I didn’t think they applied. They didn’t. That life worked for a long time, but something happened for me and my spirit.
I ended up marrying my best customer. He owned the Nestle Tea company so he could afford to keep our habit going without getting into criminal activity or whatever it would have taken to support that lifestyle. We’d go to bed at night, and I remember that they would all be fine, and I couldn’t sleep. I knew this was wrong. This partying thing wasn’t working for me, and my spirit was just dying. Nothing was bad on the outside. My life looked so wonderful, but in the inside I just knew I couldn’t do it.
I kept going further and further away from being able to just be numb, because my spirit kept wanting to mir. So, a long time advanced and I never listened to that Voice, but my addiction just took over me. I just couldn’t do it. I started going to meetings in 12 Step rooms. I had a daughter by then.
I went from getting kicked out of this really wealthy family and cut off, to living in a share rental with 10 other people and being a single mom. I learned in the 12 Step rooms how to do all that. You actually go to work and be a worker among workers, because I wasn’t raised with those tools. We did what we did, and I made more money in one night than most people did in a year. I didn’t know how to function, and AA people taught me all of that, how to function. They taught me about all kinds of things that taught me what integrity is. They kept bringing up forgiveness. I worked those resentment prayers, and I did everything that I could. I could pardon the sin, but I didn’t know how to forgive.
A Course In Miracles started calling me in the 80s. I read Return To Love because I wanted to love, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know that I could love.
After about 13 years of living in the sunlight of spirit and being “Miss AA” – I mean I was like the “President of AA.” (laughter) I had 6 sponsees, and I was doing everything that I was supposed to be doing. I had bought a house by now. I had a thriving business. I had gained a little bit of weight and I thought, “I’m going to take some diet pills and just drop this weight.” And I asked God, “Don’t let me hurt my daughter.” Thirteen years of AA and diet pills just didn’t work. It went down, and it went down really hard and really fast. Not fast enough. During that whole time I ended up ... I had really trashed my body and I flat-lined with my heart. The night that I flat-lined happened to be Easter night at midnight. That night my brother died of heart megaly. We didn’t know till 14 weeks later when we got the autopsy report. But the next night, when I went to sleep I had this vision of all this shity stuff that I did when I relapsed. I was in court. I was the judge and I was the jury and I was on trial. And I was forgiven. I really learned that nothing happened and that it was all me. That resurrection and crucifixion all happened at one time and the message that Tony gave us earlier that the error never occurred was really clear to me. I’ve made it my passion to try to share that and give people relief from the resentments and to walk this path.
I’m glad to be a part of it.
Rev. Brad Pethoud
(Rev. Brad is dressed in a traditional, priestly, vestment robe.) Wow! All of you are amazing. I like all of your talks. I’m obviously somewhat out there. (laughter) I’m a Benedictine solitary. An Episcopalian. And I think we do it best! (laughter) One person said we’re “Catholic Lite. All the pomp but 99% guilt free.” (laughter)
I returned to the church because, frankly, I feel most at home there. People who know me well know I’ve always liked the “bells and smells.” (laughter) The Course has really helped me to return to the church. The Episcopal Church is quite different. It’s definitely on the progressive end. I think the Episcopal Church “gets it.” Where as other churches are ... eventually we’ll all get it. (laughter) Some it seems to take longer than others. (laughter)
My talk is on the resurrection, both in the New Testament and in A Course In Miracles, and what that all means to me. As a Christian, both a traditional one and an A Course In Miracles Christian, the resurrection of Jesus Christ has been the sole point of my faith. The reality of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the primary reason for my belief and faith in him. As the Apostle Paul says, in the New Testament to the Christians of Corinth, “If Christ hasn’t risen from the dead than our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (Cor.15:14) Paul is the earliest Christian writer. His Epistles were written somewhere around 50 and 62 A.D. and they circulated throughout the early church before the four Gospels ever did. The earliest Gospel is Mark’s Gospel which was written around 70 A.D.
I believe there was a resurrection experience that the people at the historical Jesus’ time had. The Gospel accounts of how the resurrection of Jesus appeared vary. In Mark’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Solome, found the stone at the tomb where Jesus was laid, rolled back. They found a young man dressed in a white robe sitting there. He tells them that Jesus has risen from the dead.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary encounter an Angel who roles back the stone. The Angel’s appearance, we’re told, is like lightening, his raiment white as snow. The Angel tells the women that Jesus has risen and bids them come look where he was laying.
In Luke’s Gospel we’re told the story of Joseph of Arimathea who goes to Pilate and asks for Jesus’ body so they can properly bury him in Joseph’s own tomb. He gives up his own tomb. Joseph, and Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, lay Jesus in Joseph’s tomb. Then Sunday, at early dawn, the two women leave for the tomb and bring spices to embalm Jesus’ body. They find the stone of the tomb rolled away and Jesus’ body missing. Two men stand by them in dazzling apparel and ask them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
Also in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus appears to two of his disciples. Cleopas and Simon on the road to Emmaus. However, they don’t recognize him until they break bread together and Jesus gives the blessing. Then they are brought back to the last supper. Then Jesus suddenly vanishes. When they finally recognized who the guy was that they were walking with they return to Jerusalem and tell the 11 disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead.
In John’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb very early Sunday morning. When she sees that the stone of the tomb has been rolled away and discovers that the tomb is empty she runs back and tells Simon-Peter and the disciple that Jesus “loved,” and tradition tells us that’s John the Evangelist, she tells them what she’s found. She’s panic stricken because she thinks that somebody has taken Jesus’ body.
In A Course In Miracles, I don’t see a conflict between the New Testament account and the Course’s account of the resurrection. Both are clearly saying that death has no power, that death is not real, it’s an illusion. God did not kill His only begotten son for what we believe are our sins, failings, lack of forgiveness of ourselves and each other.
What it is, Christ’s death, the illusion, it’s more relational than it has to do with punishment. We have a relation with each other because essentially we are all the same. We’re all one son of God. When we’re not in attune with each other we’re just out of whack.
That’s my hit on the resurrection. That’s what it means for me and Christ has risen!
Rev. David Thornton
No notes. I have different thoughts about the kind of things I want to say. Thank you Brad for the history lesson. I, too, was baptized a Catholic, did a little bit of Catechism and had a little bit of that formal training. Did the church thing like a lot of people. I too came away from that experience thinking, “This doesn’t work for me.” I too hit the 12 Step rooms looking for something, for an answer, because I knew, maybe this Bible, this Christianity story doesn’t work but there’s got to be something going on. What’s this all about?
I took an interest in a variety of different kinds of things over the years. I think the 12 Step programs helped me a lot open up to the idea of spirituality and finding an answer. From that experience I went through a divorce with my first wife.
I met my wife Marilyn in an eight week divorse recovery class. Marilyn did introduce us to the Course principles. First of all, the program says, “Easter, ACIM And Me.” Easter for me means nothing. It’s just another day. There are Christians out there celebrating this special day. This special time, this special thing they are going to do. My understanding from the Course is this word “special” can be pretty damn tricky.
Nothing is special. That’s my understanding from the Course. Nothing is special. It’s all the same. So, what do we do? What are we looking for? An answer. What’s the answer? To find peace, the peace of God. As the Course says, peace of mind. Peace in your heart, peace in your soul.
The beauty of the Course, to me, is that I realize the definition, for myself, of the Holy Instant. It’s this moment. It’s right here, right here, right now.
Every time I come up here (Rev. David pounds the podium for emphasis) I will say the same thing. It’s this moment. It’s all we have. (another podium pound)
The other word that I really like, and I have not yet done the Tony thing and looked it up in the dictionary, (laughter) and I probably should because I swear by it, it’s the word “paradox.” To me the word, “paradox” – it can mean two separate, different things at the same time.
Of course, for me, love or fear. That’s our choice. And that, to me, is the main message of the Course, that we have this choice. (Another big podium pound. This time Rev. Tony’s Tibetan cymbals that were resting on the podium fall to the floor and clang) Hey, what do you know. I’m getting a little carried away. That’s okay because that’s who I am. That’s what I do. (laughter) I love A Course In Miracles because it shows us that we have this choice to find love, and joy, and happiness, because it’s inside of us all the time. It’s been there forever. It will continue to be there forever.
The thing is, for me ... a little side note. In the 12 Step programs they say, “Take what you like and leave the rest.” So when I speak take what you like and leave the rest. (laughter) I will not be offended. For me, the beauty of the Course is that we discover we our love. We are inherently wonderful, beautiful, and good. We are goodness. That’s what we are. I don’t care what you’ve done. The Course doesn’t care what you’ve done. There is no past. Why? Because if there’s a past we get locked into trying to fix it. There is no future because we get locked into trying to be a certain way because of our fear. Fear of what we are and who we are.
We don’t know what the hell this is! We call it the illusion. We call it the dream. We can call it anything we want.
The success of the Course is when you wake up and you resurrect. You realize, wait a minute, I’m good. I’m okay just the way I am. You will find yourself extending that to everything and everyone around you. You will not want to hurt, damage, soil, anything because it is all so beautiful. It’s just so beautiful.
That sun out there, the leaves, this food. I know. It’s the same message. I keep saying it every time. That’s all I’ve got for you. That’s all I’ve got.
The Course is about discovering that we are love. That’s all. That’s all it is. It’s just another day and we don’t have to nail ourselves to any cross or anything. All we have to do is look in here and say, “Wow!”
I don’t know what else to say. Again, I’ve run out of words.
Let’s eat. Y
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This article appeared in the April 2012 (Vol. 26 No.2) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members,Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.