Bill Thetford’s Independence Day


Bill Thetford [co-scribe of A Course in Miracles] died on July 4, 1988.  On that day, not long before he collapsed of a heart attack, he had announced to his close friend Judy Skutch Whitson that it was Independence Day and finally he himself felt free.

“By the time of his death in 1988 at age 65, Bill Thetford had practiced these lessons to perfection, leaving this world of time and space free of guilt and grievances. As his time on earth grew to an end he was able to release all that held him back from true peace.  Would that we could all reach that goal.” Excerpt from review by Alice T. Mac Mahon of “Never Forget to Laughwritten by Carol Howe.
From Carol Howe’s FACEBOOK List: “Never Forget to Laugh”
On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of Bill Thetford’s passing, it seems timely to offer you the third in a series of extra material not found in his biography, Never Forget To Laugh. For those of you who have not read his amazing story, Bill pronounced ahead of time that he would declare his independence of the Fourth of July, and he did – July 4, 1988. Enjoy!

“Apparently, Bill, from beyond the veil, still has some things to say to those who choose to listen, either through waking experience or in dreams. Visiting in Hawaii at the time of Bill’s passing, Jack and Layle Luckett were on their way to a friend’s birthday party when they were given the news. Their informant started to choke up on telling them and Jack said, “Don’t go into fear. Be joyful. This is a wonderful moment!” although he wasn’t sure how it was going to be returning to their La Jolla apartment without Bill. (Bill and the Lucketts shared a condo at that time.) However, knowing they would tell the assembled group about his passing at the appropriate time and that many strong feelings would be evoked, Jack said, “I was led to a reading from A Course In Miracles and told the group, ‘Hold hands, as I have some wonderful news for you.’” The reading that came to him was from Lesson 253, My Self is ruler of the universe – “It is impossible that anything should come to me unbidden by myself. Even in this world, it is I who rule my destiny. What happens is what I desire. What does not occur is what I do not want to happen . . ..” Jack knew it was perfect and felt Bill had given him the lesson to read.

When they returned home to La Jolla, on entering the condo they shared with Bill, they found fresh red gladioli he had left for them and felt his welcoming presence, hardly the cold, empty place they might have anticipated. They also found on his bed a copy of the Course with a bookmark at Lesson 253 – My Self is ruler of the universe—the very lesson Jack had been led to read as they announced the news. They then proceeded to their bedroom where they found a cartoon Bill had fastened to a pillow. Knowing that Jack had been, among other things, a criminal lawyer, Bill knew he would get a kick out of it. The picture showed the foreman saying to the judge, “We find the guilty defendant not guilty!”

Layle added, “Right after he left—I think it might have been the next day—he spoke inside me and I really felt it. He said, ‘Tell everybody in the Course in Miracles groups to tune into me, that I am available to them and will bring whatever visits, messages, confirmations, verifications – whatever it is they need.’” Layle shared this message with a woman in Australia who said she had been looking for a place to live and wondered if that might be “too dumb” a request for Bill. Layle suggested she ask him, which she did, and the woman recounted, “He came to me in my dream and told me where to look, what to do, how to say it, and everything else.” The next day she found her place to live.

People in the Garden group (the Lucketts’ ACIM group) also had experiences they felt were unmistakably from Bill. One of their group told them of her “big dream.” She indicated that in her dream she saw herself on a city street and felt drawn to a tall, multi-storied building. She stepped in and looked over the offices listed in the lobby. One on the top floor, written in bold letters, stated Office of the Holy Spirit. With great excitement, she took the elevator to the top floor and, as the doors opened, saw a sign shaped like a hand that read, “To the office of the Holy Spirit.” She walked down the hall to the old-fashioned doors with frosted glass inset in mahogany on which was printed in gold, “Office of the Holy Spirit.” Unable to wait another second, she opened the door, looked in and found the room empty except for a desk. Sitting behind the desk with a big smile on his face was Bill Thetford.”

Although a dream, it says it all and it is literally true that anyone, whether they knew him personally or not, can still call on him for help. Seems like all the world could use a little of that Bill Thetford warmth, irrepressible sense of humor, and acceptance. And the way for us to experience those blessings is to offer them.

Prayer for the Gulf


Dr. Emoto’s Prayer for the Gulf of Mexico

Prayer for the Gulf of Mexico
                                   [click photo to PLAY]

Kellie Love on Courage

Real Courage
By Kellie Love*
[as it appeared in the July 2010 Newsletter]


Peace never proceeds from victory.

There is something attractive about raw human courage, valor, the willingness to do the “right thing” in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Surely Spirit would approve of this activity. Surely this selfless sacrificial effort would earn merit!? The legendary St. George slain the dragons that persecuted and devoured countless worthy souls. Surely his model would inspire worthwhile emulation?

Not so! St. George of “The Dragon” fame teaches the wrong message. What is taught as “courage” to slay the dragons does not lead to the underlying real objective of Peace. Peace doesn’t come from the violent slaying of the dragons in the pit. Peace never proceeds from victory. Only conquest, subjugation and resentment proceeds from victory. The pursuit of victory is one of the chief distracters preventing mankind’s discovery of true peace.

Peace only comes from Peace. Peace comes from releasing all impulse toward conflict. The only way to achieve escape from oppression is surrender. What we call “oppression” is the forced (violent?) control/manipulation of the behavior of another. To stop that event, one must somehow simply stop it. One does not stop it by mounting a countervailing or contrary oppressive attempt. Such coercion is either unsuccessful, creating great misery, or successful, creating continuing oppression of another color.

Peace comes from peace. Peace comes from releasing all impulse for conflict. Thus, the only way to “win” is to accept, not to attack in (self-) righteous anger. If peace is the objective, it is always available. It is always as near as the refusal to attack. At this point in the discussion, my ego sounds like a motorboat: “but, but, but, but”. Still, it is a truism that “peace can arise only when conflict is abjured”.  Are we perhaps really seeking something other than peace?

But, even if accomplished, foregoing the ego’s impulse toward (violent?) counter-attack is only an elementary learning. It’s relatively easy to understand how self-defeating and counter-productive attack truly is. The crafty ego may lose that first round easily, but it is not yet finished. It has a bag full of “compromise” positions to try out, any one of which might hook your belief.

One of the ego’s early attempts at compromise is: “I will surrender when I am sure it is appropriate, but first a careful analysis of the situation is required.” It seems important to judge who is correct, who at fault, who should be the proper authority, whose will is the more beneficent, more helpful.

Analysis will not lead to peace either. Analysis, being an ego-based judgmental undertaking will not even lead to real understanding. At best, careful analysis may generate a “position”, a posture, a more coherent bias with which to derail any hope for true forgiveness.

The ego says, “I’m not attacking anyone (right now), I just know who/what is Right!” From this more hardened, committed position, the ego can prevent “forgiveness” (i.e. overlooking what never occurred) for a long, long time. The ego is insulted upon each occasion that you affirm: “I do not know the thing I am. I do not understand what is really happening here and I have no basis upon which to judge this situation.

Another familiar ego compromise is, “It would be foolish to become just another faceless, useless victim of malevolence. Peace would be better served if I resisted now, instead of later after suffering much more loss.” Or, how about the martyr-ego’s compromise: “I now challenge you to hurt/destroy me, knowing that by doing so you will expose your malevolence and immorality for all to judge.”

This is only a variation on the Course’s statement: “behold me brother, at your hand I die.” This posture can even seem (deceptively) holy. It certainly seems to be passive enough! Can there be real virtue in passivity?

Mahatma Gandhi would say not! His discipline of non-violence was never passive. His entire nation-wielding strategy was based on relentless confrontation with the evils and excesses of the Colonial power. He was always ready to challenge arrogance or stupidity, by insisting that it be carried to its logical conclusion, but never by violent opposition. It was the same tactic in social terms that the Japanese martial arts employ. Artfully yield to the aggressor, using the aggressor’s  own energy to accomplish his defeat.

I suggest that we’re not being counseled by The Course to be passive. We are being counseled to be totally courageous. Real courage is relentlessly, actively forgiving. Real courage is to stand up in the trenches and say, “can we talk?” Real courage is to go outside, sit on the gun-barrel of the menacing tank and talk. Peace is not for wimps. It takes guts. It takes consummate courage to face what appears to be great threat and offer only forgiveness.

Love is the sole alternative to fear, whatever the ego may insist. To escape fear, the only path is to embrace love. Peace is the natural and inevitable fruit of Love. The embracing of love leads as certainly to peace as peace leads to glory.

Only “cowards” like the ego could attempt to find peace through victory.



* * *


*In 1976 Kellie Love began, independently, to record the ACIM text as a personal discipline to aid in learning the material. With encouragement from the Foundation for Inner Peace, he finally completed this home-brew recording in 1982. It was judged promising but not technically adequate for publication, and he was commissioned by the Foundation for Inner Peace to spend 6 weeks in a commercial studio recording the definitive version of ACIM. This was published and the cassettes were distributed by the Foundation and Earl Nightengale Press for many years.

In 1985 upon issuance of the 2nd edition, a new recording by another reader was substituted for this original recording. It wasn’t until 2007 that Kellie was inspired to complete a new recording of the now available “Original” ACIM containing much original textual material that had been removed from the earlier FIP edition. This recording is a fresh and complete version of the Original Course from the original “Voice of the Course”.


Gaff ~ Thoughts of an Old Fisherman


GAFF and Mother Water 
Lorena R. Peter, Ph.D.*

[as it appeared in the July 2010 Newsletter]


[Previous Article]

            It was still dark when Gaff got to his spot on the beach. He pulled his wagon down on the sand and put out his chair in time to see the spectacle that marked the boundary between night and day: the sunrise. First, there was a finger of gold making its way onto the horizon from somewhere on the other side of the planet. More fingers joined the first, encroaching farther along the horizon and up. It was as if the sun were pulling herself into the morning sky with those fiery fingers. Then there was the sun itself. As the brilliant golden orb rose up over the clouds on the horizon, he talked to Mother Water.

            “Mother, I can see that more and more people are beginning to understand their connection with the planet and the need to heal it, to give back to you. I only wonder if we’re not too late. I worry when I hear about oil gushing into our source of food and toxic fumes billowing into the air that sustains us. I worry when I read about the pollution of our water supplies and chemical pollution of our bodies. I worry. But then, I also have faith that you will show us how to heal you and through you, to heal ourselves.”

He pulled the pirate flag from the wagon and unfurled it. It started a gentle flapping in the light breeze even as he planted it in the sand near his chair. He turned back to the sunrise. “Like the gargoyles, this skull and crossed leg bones is a symbol of protection. Protection from what, Mother Water? I’m beginning to think we need protection from ourselves more than from any other threat on the planet in the Universe. WE are the threat.

“While people argue about what is real or unreal, they miss the point of all of this, don’t they? I awoke this morning feeling that I was a part of something huge, something more than my body or my life or even this planet. What is real is the loving energy of this Universe that supports us all. At least, that’s what feels real to me.

“I used to see the importance of every human being on this beach and his relationship to my path, but now I see something more. I see the gift of the sunrise as an expression of your love for us. The clouds, the waves, the sand, the shells… all gifts and a part of you that we can love. And yet, they are also a part of us. I only hope to do my part in encouraging people to come out of their small neighborhoods into the love of the greater metropolitan cosmos. It is there for all of us-pulling us to it, to you.”

The old fisherman of Kure Beach sat for a time, absorbed in the beauty of the moment. Still watching, he stood to walk to the waves lapping gently on the sand. He put his bare feet into the water with the same reverence due a baptismal font.

“I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” These words from his days in the church skipped through his mind like the refrain to a familiar song as he bathed in the water of Mother Earth. The refrain continued as he bathed in the beauty of the sun rising over the clouds on the horizon. The clouds looked like trees on a piece of land somewhere far out in the ocean. Is that what all this is? An illusion of reality that allows us to demonstrate the love that heals? An illusion like those clouds that look like land? The healing of love like the golden rays of the sun that covers those clouds, eventually creating enough heat to make them disappear?

“There is substance to this life and the people in it. It is important because it enables us to practice healing the mind, the body, and the spirit as we know the author of A Course in Miracles has done. This life and the people in it are serious and they are real because they are love. Yet they are not eternal. The trick is to believe in the truth of the eternality of Universal Love and of our spirits and to treat everyone you meet with the respect due your long-time friend. At the same time, to realize that these bodies may be temporary, but they are important as the physical vehicles that allow us to learn about the power of love. Learn by doing.”

He shook his head. “Such heavy thoughts this morning, Gaff! This beach… this is more inspiring than any church I’ve attended. Mother Water, you have provided me with more answers than any book I’ve read. And you’ve washed away more of my ills than any holy water in the church ever did. And yet the church is where I started and so I love it for what it offers.”

Then he looked quickly up to the still-dark sky behind him. “I’m not discouraging anyone from attending church, You understand. Not if that’s what You want for them. I’m just saying that this beach is my church and I spend my days communicating with You, God. I thank you for all the blessings you have brought to me on this beach and everywhere in my life. I accept your guidance in all things. ‘Thy will be done’ and I know that thy will is for me to be filled with joy.”

Then he returned his gaze to the streaks of gold coloring the sky over the ocean. He shook his head in the awe of it all. He felt the love that surrounded him, that healed him, that gave him the strength to meet the challenges of each day. This is real: this is LOVE.


*Lorena Peter, Ph.D., writes entertaining mysteries, romances and wisdom books. All have strong spiritual underpinnings and paranormal elements. She blends a medical intuition and healing practice (and travel) with her writing. For more information go to WWW.LORENAPETER.COM. There you will see photographs of locations discussed in Gaff as well as a chapter for your perusal. You may contact her on Facebook. For her understanding of the Course, she thanks Carmen Cameron and the class in Louisville, KY.


Scribing by Sun~Rose



Jesus Expanding The Miracle Principles
Given In His Course In Miracles
original edition

as received and transcribed by Sun~Rose*
[as it appeared in the July 2010 Newsletter

(1972 manuscript as given to Hugh Lynn Cayce
by Helen Schucman and William Thetford)

Chapter 1

I. Principles of Miracles


May 25, 2006

20. Miracles reawaken the awareness that the Spirit, not the body, is the altar of truth.

It is the awareness that … Spirit – not body is the Altar of not only Truth, but of Life, Love, Principle, Identity.  Never – never – are any of You ‘mortals’.

Your Divine Principle, or Source, is always God, Spirit.  You are not from the proverbial sperm and egg.  These are just childish games and rules invented by the dreamers.  It is necessary to wake up from them.  This is why I walked on water and through walls.

I was not playing parlor games with My disciples, but rather wanting to jolt them out of their complacency with so-called matter.

It was not done overnight – nor frequently in the past 2000 years; and yet, at any moment You can waken, realize the strange rules, with which You have bound yourself and others, are merely strange, not rules at all.
There is no mortal.  The ghosts and goblins that you see called ‘human’ are no more real than Halloween costumes of the same.
The individuals – thinking they are really clever and inventive – have come up with their persona – (which, as you know, is ‘mask’ in Latin) and have become obsessively identified with it, forgetting that it is just a pointless figment of their imagination.
Indeed, such a thought would send most dreamers into a defensive rage.  (Yes, it is good to note and understand that all rage is a defensive stance, while also being an addiction.)
Who are these individuals?  Again: anyone who prefers the unreality of dreams to the Joy and Peace and – yes, Fun! – of Life as One with God.  So count yourself among them, while You wish to idly dream on, making all your own decisions.  And yet, the moment that You turn to Join – before You’ve yet to speak – a hand has clasped your outstretched one, and … all your loneliness is gone.  Spirit now is free to work, as You defer to It.
The recognition of the Help frees mind to hear.  This is the recognition that leads to the healing power of the miracle.
What did I say to you those years ago that cut right through your fear?  That Spirit is your loved one’s Reality; and when acknowledged – that Truth reigns supreme.  And so it was, as your fear melted, it melted hers (for minds are joined) – and the healing of her body freely commenced.
The healing of the mind takes only such a shift.  Her mind is Mind – as free as Spirit – hatred, rage and fear can stick not to the Light.

21. Miracles are natural expressions of total forgiveness. I think We will continue to speak on this because there is a need, not just in your experience but multiplied a billion-fold.  Your world is raging, a defensive move against the fear.  And all that will dissolve that rage is summed up in the single word ‘forgiveness’.  There is much more to this than the letting go of grievances, as freeing as that is.  It is a shift of focus – of raison d’être – a change of mind for why You’re here.
Almost everyone has come to gratify addiction. A simple glance at your own behavior, as well as that of others, is enough.  There are many of them: anger, fear, drugs, sex, power, dominance, victim, control, war games, money, complaint.  This is the state We have discussed before of being here for getting.

To be here for giving constitutes the state of ‘for-giveness’.  It is the only way to put the ego to the side.
Although it was unspoken then, it surely is clear that I came to give – not get. The gifts were freely taken by greedy children, most of them, without a thought to what lay unseen behind the Gift of Healing.
Those who play at being ‘mortal’ are so hungry for things, for relief from all their pain and lack.  And yet the Gift, when taken and not understood, is like admiring and wearing the beautiful wrapping paper, while the Garment of the Gift of Life lays, discarded on the floor.
When You are miracle-ready, this means You are ready to accept God’s Giving.  What does this really mean?  Who wouldn’t want God’s Gifts?  ‘Oh God help me! …  After I’ve tried these vitamins, doctors, drugs, high colonics, surgeries, therapies, radiation, chemotherapy.

Heal me please when none of these really work.  And, while You’re at it, please don’t ask me to love my nasty boss, controlling father-in-law or the neighbors who play rock music at 1:00 a.m., or my child who just pierced her navel.’
Accepting miracles, God’s Gifts, means the beginning of accepting the All-Giving of God.  Which means – at least in a small degree – to begin to remember Home.

More of You need to begin to allow the miracles You experience to change your lives, instead of just accepting them for making the human experience (so-called) more comfortable – temporarily more comfortable.  A healing of a headache is a statement that You need to have no more of them.  God’s Gifts are permanent.

Through miracles, man accepts God’s forgiveness by extending it to others. So, how shall You extend the purpose of giving – of being here for giving – to others?  It is a two-step waltz.  The first step is the Acknowledgement of the Divine Presence of God as your neighbor and yourself.  And the second equal in importance is the Gift of active Love, which You will be Guided to extend.

‘Oh, You’re the blessèd child of God, be well.’ – leaves the Gift still half undone.  Ask Me, ask God, and You will be Guided what to say and what to give so that the wounded one may really feel the Love and find their healing come – not through your ministrations, but because of them – your willingness to give.

And from your Gift, extended in the Name of God (unspoken may it be), something New takes place for Giver and Giftee.
A small remembrance of How It Is has now appeared for both of You – a ray of Heaven in the midst of hell, which somehow glows with possibilities brand-new.  And both of You are one-step nearer Home.


to be continued….

*Sun~Rose is the scribe of the recently published book,



 BOTH now available on

Q and A with Carmen

 Good Questions 
Questions & Answers
By the late Carmen Cameron*
[as it appeared in the July 2010 Newsletter]


There is nothing I like more than a good question about the Course.  And by “good question“, I mean a thought provoking one – a question that makes me reassess what I currently believe and perhaps come to see it in a new light. As a result, we have a very interactive study group of Course students here in Louisville where everyone is encouraged to share their insights and questions. It is also a very diverse group with people from widely varying religious backgrounds so we get a lot of very insightful questions and I’ve been making a note of them for the last 15 years. 
Question:  Why are there no commandments in the Course?”

AnswerA. I know that it is really a jarring experience for anyone raised in a traditional Judeo-Christian or Muslim tradition to encounter a spiritual thought system like the Course that has no clear-cut list of “do’s” and “don’t’s”.  Those of us raised in those religions grow up with the simple clarity provided by a structure of rules that draw a comfortable and obviously demarcated “fence” around our lives. 

Having no commandments, the Course can FEEL a little too “permissive” to be helpful – or even somewhat “scary”, especially in the beginning.  (The personal responsibility that comes with so much freedom is something that can psychologically overwhelm a mind that takes very clear behavioral boundaries for granted.)
But the essence of commandments is controlling behavior – which is an effect – and NOT addressing the cause – the split in will (in other words, a split mind), at all:
            “Correcting at the behavioral level can shift the error from the first [willing two conflicting actions] to the second type [doing what you “should” in spite of it not being what you want to do] of strain described above, but will NOT obliterate the fear.”  T-2.VI.5.10
So while commandments may restrict negative human behaviors temporarily (and that’s a good thing), they force a constant need for control (not so good – it’s very stressful, in fact) because the CAUSE is obscured and overlooked.  And the ego just loves control, which is a defense, for just that very reason!
And so commandments are, at best, a temporary – and, at worst, a superficial – solution to the problem. 
Dealing with the cause is all that really works, however.  And that’s why ACIM focuses on the cause, not its effects.  And that is sure to cause the ego fits! (I am chuckling softly here at the self-recognition that last sentence brought to mind.)
And that, in turn, is why the closest thing to a “commandment” in the Course is its endorsement of “The Golden Rule”.  But even that has a qualifier:
            “Consider the Golden Rule again.  You are asked to behave towards others as you would have them behave toward you.  This means that the perception of both must be accurate, since the Golden Rule is the order for appropriate behavior.  You can’t behave appropriately unless you perceive accurately, because appropriate behavior DEPENDS on lack of level confusion.  The presence of level confusion always results in variable reality testing, and hence variability in behavioral appropriateness.”  the original form of  T-1.III.6
Without accurate (or healed) perception – which is the major goal of ACIM – even the Golden Rule falls short of yielding genuinely appropriate (i.e., consistently loving) behavior!  Rather, the mind and will must be changed at a far more fundamental level than mere behaviors.  And that change is challenging (and daunting) work.  That’s why there is so much resistance to it. 
And it’s also why commandments feel so comfortable even though:
            “It is extremely difficult to reach Atonement by fighting against sin. Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming, for all of them look to the FUTURE for release from a state of present unworthiness and inadequacy.
            Your way will be different, not in purpose, but in means.”  T-18.VII.4.8 – 15.1
The Course gives us those means.  Not more – or even better – rules and regulations.  But it gives us the simple truth of reality, instead, so we can see (and choose) more truly.  Trusting that we are no longer spiritual children but finally ready to mature beyond the “need” for a heavenly parent’s list of do’s and don’t’s.
 And please be gentle with yourself, dear reader, in this process for just like learning to walk, some stumbles are almost certain.  But our goal is GUARANTEED!  (I rest in that.)


* Carmen Cameron, who is a founding member of Course in Miracles Society, has been teaching classes in A Course in Miracles since 1994.  She was a presenter at the 2009 Miracles Conference in San Francisco and is scheduled to present again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is:

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