- Written by Rev. Tony Ponticello
Judy became the very public face of A Course in Miracles in the late ‘70s. She personally introduced it to thousands of people in events around the country. She told a compelling story of how ACIM had been scribed by Helen with connection and support from Bill, how miraculously it came to Helen word for word just as it was printed, and how the whole copying, distributing, and then publishing of it was one miracle after another. She told how she at first had to “xerox” copy after copy to give to people who were interested and how there was no way she could keep up with the demand for early copies. She talked about how the money to professionally publish was miraculously received. The story seemed almost too good to be true.
When we are doing this whole chronological age thing, I think we are just participating in this dream that is the world. We are telling a story of how our body was made by other bodies (our parents), our birth, how all that happened, that we were born into this world, and lived a little while. There was youth and getting mature, then being in that prime part of life. That prime slowly starts to fade though. It's what seems to happen, and then in the end we are united in the dust. We turn into dust.
"God still is Love, and this is not His Will." (OrEd.WkBk.99.5) A Course in Miracles says that if that was really the world that God created, you couldn't think of God as loving. You couldn't think of God as loving if that is truly the world He created. That is the dream that we have manifested. Since we are the ones manifesting it, the only way to stop from manifesting it must come from us. I am challenging myself to stop manifesting that dream of serial body adventures, progressing steadily to this inevitable thing called bodily death. I'm not taking that as a given anymore. I believe that God is still Love and that's not God's will. That's not God's will! That's an illusion! I don't have to buy into it.
The Community Miracles Center is a local and worldwide fellowship. We share our experience of A Course In Miracles and other related spiritual teachings in order to heal our perception of ourselves, our relationships, and the world."
"There is no choice in this because only you can be the foundation of God's church. A church is where an altar is, and the presence of the altar is what makes it a church. Any church which does not inspire love has a hidden altar which is not serving the purpose for which God intended it. I must found His church on you because you who accept me as a model are literally my disciples." (OrEd.Tx.6.12)
1. Articles of Incorporation Secretary of State of State of California Feb. 9, 1987 (Shows Church intended purpose)
2. Recognition Letter Franchise Tax Board State of California Jun. 17, 1987 (Shows legal Church status)
3. Recognition Letter Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. Jan. 8, 1988 (Shows 501[c] Public Charity status)
4. Amendment to Articles Secretary of State of State of California Jan. 14, 1998 (Shows name change)
5. Reissue Recognition Letter Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. Oct. 10, 2018 (Shows 501[c] Public Charity status with new office address)
God's will on earth, what is it? Well, A Course in Miracles is very clear that God's will on earth is healing. God's will on earth is salvation. We are here to heal everything, everyone. We are here to save everything, everyone. The Course acknowledges "... the Will of God is done on earth as well as Heaven. [The salvation of the world depends on me] unites all wills on earth in Heaven's plan to save the world."(OrEd.WkBk.186.1) That's from the Workbook Lesson 186. We had that lesson not that long ago.
The salvation of the world depends on us, and that's an acknowledgement that we are doing God's will here on earth. That is our mission, and that is what we are doing. "The salvation of the world depends on me." (OrEd.WkBk.186) This is what we're about, and this is how we bridge that gap, but we must not see a big gulf between earth and Heaven. We must bridge that huge gulf instead of accentuating it. I see so many people wanting to accentuate the gap, wanting to make it bigger instead of making it smaller. We have to dedicate ourselves to wanting to make Heaven and earth one, not wanting to make them more separate. Heaven has a plan to save this world, and we unite in that plan. What we're doing here today, gathering here today, is uniting in that plan to save the world. We are here to do it, and we have to acknowledge that we indeed are doing it.
So what is fear? Merriam-Webster defines it as "an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger" or "anxious concern." And A Course in Miracles has a lot to say about fear. I mean it has a lot to say. There are 1,185 uses of "fear" (with all its different forms such as "feared" and "fearless") in A Course in Miracles. That means, on average, every page of A Course in Miracles – including the Workbook and Manual for Teachers – has "fear" on it at least once. It also appears more often in the title of chapters and sections than words such as "ego," "God," and "love." That's serious stuff!
A Course in Miracles assumes we know what fear is – jumping right into it at the second paragraph of chapter one! "The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite." (OrEd.Tx.1.2) The Course then continues to tell us that "Every aspect of fear proceeds from upside-down perception.... All aspects of fear are untrue because they do not exist at the higher creative level, and therefore do not exist at all. To whatever extent a man is willing to submit his beliefs to this test, to that extent are perceptions corrected." (OrEd.Tx.1.94, 98)
I'm aware, because I am well read, that there are cities that have way more effectively dealt with their homeless problems. Houston, Texas comes to mind. Houston, Texas, has had a 54% reduction of homelessness since 2011. In the last decade, over a period of a couple of different mayors, Houston has had a 54% reduction in homelessness, and it is becoming a model city in terms of what other governments could do. I'm not going to get into everything that Houston has done, I'm not an expert on it, but I know they have done several things. I've read about this. There are programs that work. They're certainly working in Houston, and we're not doing anything like those here in San Francisco. We could, but we have to develop the political will, and it's getting weary. It's getting weary to witness. We have been putting up with it for a long time, and it just keeps getting progressively worse.
In that quotation from Workbook lesson #191 that I started the talk with, it said, "Look about the world, and see the suffering there. Is not your heart willing to bring your weary brothers rest?"(OrEd.WkBk.191.12) The next line states this. "They must await your own release. They stay in chains till you are free." Till you are free. "They suffer pain until you have denied its hold on you. They die till you accept your own eternal life."(OrEd.WkBk.191.13) Freedom is all tied up with this, and there is nothing more wearying than not having freedom – nothing is more wearying than not having freedom. This caused me this past week to truly look at some things, to look at how am I not free, and how am I participating in that lack of freedom? Maybe just how am I accepting that lack of freedom? This is challenging me to do something about it.