In Gratitude and Appreciation

Dearest Mr. Weber-Caspers:

I am writing to offer my deepest thanks and to send love to you this and every day for the gift of hearing your voice read to me, and make clear and true, the daily lessons in ACIM.  I stumbled on to your reading in early September, and have since listened every morning as an introduction to my meditation practice.  Your voice and music deepen my soul and lighten my day.  For all that you are and for the gifts of Divine Spirit that you give, I am forever grateful.  I look forward to a day when you are in the United States, or I am in The Netherlands, when i can thank you in person.

Eternally blessings, deep thanks and love,

Susan Boatright
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Registered Mediator
244 North College Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana  46202

*NOTE:  maz is the incredible musician who has recorded A Course in Miracles Lessons and set them to his music. A link to his recordings is sent out every day from The Course in Miracles Society in the DAILY LESSONS an TEXT READINGS. Click here to signup to receive them here:

AUDIO of Lessons and Text available here:


Gaff ~ Thoughts of a Fisherman

GAFF ~ Mary Magdalene versus Determinism
Thoughts of an old Fisherman

Lorena R. Peter, Ph.D.*
[as it appeared in the  November 2010 Newsletter]

 ‘Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene at the Empty Tomb’

artist Unknown

Priscilla was bundled up in sweaters covered by a windbreaker. She wiggled on the cooler to settle it in the sand while she watched Gaff cast his lines into the surf. She was taking a break from writing, but wondered at her decision to visit her friend on the blustery beach. How could Gaff fish all through the winter? Or did he?

Rods in their holders, Gaff stood at water’s edge looking out at Mother Water for a good moment and then he came to take his place in the ratty old beach chair beside the cooler. The flag serenaded them with its a-rhythmic thwapping in the breeze.

He smiled. “Taking a break?”

A nod. She looked out at the horizon wondering how much warmer it would get today. Actually, she was hoping for more warmth.

He would honor her silence as long as she needed it. A decision, a nod. “I’m reading about Mary Magdalene and the original church.”

He nodded, waiting for more. A glance at the rod showed the pull of the tides, no fish yet.

Priscilla hugged herself for warmth. It was November: a great time for walking on the beach, but cold to sit. She opened her mouth to speak, but was distracted by a male voice calling a greeting. They turned to see a figure coming across the walkway from the parking lot. Bundled against the wind, he waved and grinned big enough to be seen from where they sat.

Gaff pulled a towel from his wagon and spread it on the sand, ready for company.

“Saw your flag and figured I’d make a social call since I’m walking in this direction today.” He reached them and looked around. “A bit cold today, isn’t it?”

Gaff muttered, “Comes and goes these days.” He looked from person to person. “Priscilla, meet the right reverend Wally. Wally, this is Priscilla, a writer with a diverse reading list.”

Wally plopped down on the proffered towel and looked her over with an expression that unsettled Priscilla. “And what would you be reading now?”

Priscilla glanced at Gaff and then looked at Wally, Defiance was written all over her face. “I’m reading about Mary Magdalene, the wife of Jesus.” Then she looked out to the sea. A smile teased the corners of her mouth.

Wally practiced sputtering. He was getting good at it.  Now Priscilla did smile.

Gaff was smiling, too. “Told you.”

Wally straightened with dignity. “Jesus wouldn’t marry a whore.” Then he turned to look at the water. Period.

Priscilla’s voice was low, but with an edge fit to cut bait. “Pope rescinded that in 1969. You must have missed the small print.”

Wally turned toward her. “Did he say she was Jesus’ wife?”

Priscilla shook her head. “Didn’t go that far, but evidence in the Bible points to that conclusion.” Gaff had told her about meeting Wally.

Gaff chuckled. “Forgot to warn you that she talks about the Bible… without the letters behind her name. It’s an epidemic.” He coughed to hide his laugh.

Wally’s face threatened a storm, but he breathed deeply and attempted impassivity. “Must be her destiny to get caught up in the debate about Mary’s role. My sermon this week is about determinism, God’s plan, and I’ve been looking into it.”

Priscilla’s eyes popped open wide. “Determinism. I’ve read about that, too. Why is it that I’m destined to believe that the Magdalene is the tower and not the whore?” She cut her eyes toward Wally, then turned her attention to a shell in the sand beside her.

He shrugged. “Pretty obvious, isn’t it? You’re a woman fighting for a place in the spotlight. You wouldn’t want to think that Mary got her glory from being one of a crowd of women around Jesus. Giving her a more esteemed position has more appeal. The Virgin Mary was content to stake her reputation on her famous son.”

Priscilla took the bait. “It’s not about me at all. What I’ve read resonates with me– the second coming is when Mary returns and she will only show up when we exalt her as an equal to the male anointed one, the male Christ. She is the female Christ according to the MALE scholars I’m reading.” She could feel the heat of anger rising in her face.

Gaff groaned, rolling his eyes, which he turned to see Wally’s reaction.

Wally shook his head slowly, a smug smile decorating it. “The Second Coming, a woman? I don’t think so. No, your destiny is to follow this blind alley until you come to the end and have to retrace your steps. Then you will come to the teaching of the church for the truth. Goes back to Eve leading Adam astray. God has it all planned for you… your whole journey. You’ll try to lead us astray, but…” He ignored sparks coming from her eyes.

Gaff chuckled. “I’m surprised you didn’t blame some teacher that predicted she couldn’t be as successful as a man.”

Wally definitely underestimated Priscilla’s strength of conviction.

Priscilla grabbed the shell at her feet and threw it at the waves. “This is the very thinking that keeps us in a hole so deep we can’t see out. Goddess Energy is the loving energy that’s flooding the planet so we can see the good in others. The future of the human race depends on acceptance of women as equal… Besides the Great Mary was an important priestess in her own right.”

Wally’s sputtering was preliminary to a tirade and Gaff didn’t want that to pollute his beach. He cleared his throat and put a hand on the person to each side. His voice was strong, but gentle. “What does it matter if everything is set in stone because of what a woman did ages ago? What does it matter if the Mary was a Christ?”

Priscilla and Wally both had mouths open, ready to answer.

Gaff dropped his hands onto the arms of his chair, leaned back, and looked to Mother Water. “These intellectual discussions can be interesting, but are you so distracted by them that you miss the important point? The important point for me is to learn a new way of loving every day. The important point is to follow the guidance of a loving god to find new ways of benefiting the people around me.”

He turned to Priscilla. “Is your discussion of Mary’s role an attempt to show people new ways of valuing men and women to an equal amount?”

She wanted to answer, but stopped to think. A small nod. She saw how she could do that. It only took a slight change in direction.

He turned to Wally. “How is your discussion of determinism going to convince your congregation to leave behind old programming to follow the two commandments Jesus gave? Isn’t part of that old programming the belief that we have to follow what’s written in a book rather than develop a personal relationship with the divine?”

Wally’s eyes were boring through Gaff, but he was listening.

Gaff smiled. “Call it Goddess Energy if you want, but we’re becoming more aware of our capacity to love every person on the planet. Love forms and reforms the water of the world, in the seas and in the people. Love makes life, and the water of life, into a thing of beauty.” He stopped suddenly to look at Mother Water.

Priscilla was speechless. She had never seen Gaff say so much and so strongly. She glanced at Wally and then looked into her own hands. Tears filled her eyes and painted tracks on her cheeks. If writing is her life purpose, then didn’t she want to create things of beauty? She glanced at Wally, lost in his own thoughts. It didn’t matter what this man thought. She had her own path. She looked at Mother Water and said a prayer asking for guidance and thanking her for the friendship with Gaff. High up on her list for this Thanksgiving season was this man who knew.


*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. You may contact her on Facebook. For her understanding of the Course, she thanks Carmen Cameron and the class in Louisville, KY.


Susan Dugan


The Snake Goes Blind

By Susan Dugan*
[as it appeared in the November 2010 Newsletter]


They say the snake goes blind

while shedding its skin

and in its blindness finally sees.

Do I need you like

the snake needs grass

to conceal itself

as it grows a new hide?

Or the ice needs dust

the pearl, a grain of sand

to form around, a speck

of rust to find another

hand to clasp

a heart to trust?

The musician speaks of silence

packed between the notes

the space between the phrase.

May my words long used

as weapons now give your days

the silence of your true self

not yet worn; dying to be born.


*Susan Dugan is a student and teacher of A Course in Miracles living in Denver, Colorado. She shares her journey practicing the Course’s extraordinary forgiveness in an ordinary life on her blog: A collection of her forgiveness essays has been accepted for publication by O Books.





Carol Howe

Extra Material

By Carol Howe*
[as it appeared in the  November 2010 Newsletter]


We need to know that as people—the everyday man, woman or child—we are individually profound.

In Never Forget To Laugh I had occasion to quote two gifted psychics who had read for Bill during his lifetime. In addition, I spoke with several others in 2006 and 2007 out of curiosity to see what they might pick up about him. During a reading with the first one, I mentioned that I was commencing research for writing a biography about a deceased friend of mine, Bill, well-known in some circles, and might she have anything to say about that. After making some relevant and accurate comments, she said, “I’m hearing – did this Bill have anything to do with typing? He is showing me this old-fashioned typewriter and when it gets down to the end you push the carriage over and then it goes back. I want to say he’s written a lot of things or come up with lots of ideas. He seems to be gathering notes together. . . . I feel joy with him, I feel happy with him. And I feel as if this is something he would like very much to have done. He will help you very, very much with it.”

If there is any symbol within Course circles associated with Bill, it would certainly be the typewriter on which the original notes were typed so I was, needless to say, impressed and reassured with the few right-on comments she made about him.

Six months after that conversation, I spoke with another psychic/healer, one of the most gifted in my personal experience (who chooses to remain anonymous) and asked her if she could tune into my friend, Bill, as I was writing a book about him. The following are a few short excerpts of her much longer “tuning-in.”

“Your friend is very happy to speak with you. Okay, what I am hearing, Carol, is that he is at some sort of precipice for his development and growth, a moving on. So what I’m hearing is that the timing of this call is very good. . . . They’re saying to remember him because when you who are yet part of the physical world remember him, you bring him to the physical world. It’s part of how he gets here, like a bloodhound tracing the scent. Your remembering him helps him touch base in the physical world, helps him move about if that makes any sense. I don’t know any other words than that. You help transport him to the people he needs to reach, as well as to be with you, too.”

“Bill wants you to remember all of the living examples you can, like the stories you were just telling. He didn’t talk the talk necessarily, he lived it. He did very ordinary things and yet he had an extraordinary ability to touch other people, whether it was building a sand castle at the beach or whatever. How he did that, what that looked like – you and he can “talk” that back and forth. The concern would be that it would ‘pedestalize’ him because he was so extraordinary. The reader might avoid doing work, thinking, ‘Well shoot, I’m not anywhere near that smart or clever. This kind of insight, this kind of understanding must come to only very top brains, or something.’ . . . Any person can have a sense that he/she is extraordinary, too.”

“He’s saying that humor is very important, stress the humor. God is a funny guy. In other words, not to take our lives, the story that we make up about our lives, so seriously. One of the things that the guys (her “guides”) had to work hard on teaching me is that I don’t really have it until I can laugh at myself. Once I can see how terribly funny something was—whatever it was—then I have it, so he wants you to stress that.”

“He’s (Bill’s) also saying, Carol, that it’s time for this whole power thing to be broken in some way; it has to come down from the mountain. We pretend the power belongs to a special few – the pope, the president, and corporate entities. We need to know that as people—the everyday man, woman or child—we are individually profound. And the everyday person comes with their his/her own mission, too. He wants you to get that message to folks. It’s a big message but I feel pretty strongly that you guys can talk just fine, interacting across the aisle, so to speak. . . . In other words, you’re very receptive to him, which is great. . . . I just saw kind of like two magnetic things touched and okay, good. The contract is made and the deal is signed. Your intention and his are in sync so there should be no problem.”

It will be left to the reader to decide if our “interacting across the aisle” worked!

As in his earthly life, Bill is nothing if not tenacious. In many ways he seemed to attempt to make his presence and his help known. In late October 2008, while driving to an appointment, I was focusing on him, feeling his presence deeply, and receiving his message that I did not have to rely on my memory alone, or that of others, because he was remembering for me. It was unsolicited but once again reassuring and I was feeling very happy about this writing enterprise. Within less than a minute of feeling his words, I glanced over to the lane of traffic to my right and my attention was riveted on the car just ahead sporting an out-of-state license plate that read WNT-65xx. I didn’t focus on the last two digits as I was stunned at the confirmation – William Newton Thetford who died at age sixty-five and the Course was born in 1965. By this time, it would be very difficult for me to adopt any position other than that Bill’s imprimatur is laid on his biography. As Shakespeare famously said in Hamlet, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

* * *

* Since 1979 Carol Howe has presented highly interactive seminars, workshops, retreats, classes, and lectures on universal spiritual principles and their practical application — for the general public, health-related and other special interest groups, and corporations – nationally and internationally. Please visit Carol’s website to view her Books, CDs and Tapes.

After the publication of her book, NEVER FORGET TO LAUGH: Personal Recollections of Bill Thetford, Co-Scribe of A Course in Miracles, Carol began to share additional material regarding Bill. This material is currently being shared on her Facebook Group and will eventually be available on her website.




Q and A with Carmen

 Good Questions
Questions & Answers

By the late Carmen Cameron*
[as it appeared in the  November 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: This may seem silly but, as we approach the holiday season, I always get a little depressed.  Thanksgiving is a massive hassle. Christmas never lives up to its ideal. I never seem to be able to keep my New Year’s Resolution so I just get down on myself every time I think about making one. And then there’s the long, dreary winter that follows. Do you have any practical suggestions of how to deal with “seasonal depression” based on the Course?

Answer: I don’t think that is a silly question at all.  It’s a very human one (and the Course was written for human beings).

             In answer, I’ll let the Course, itself, speak to your question:

 “Neither time nor season means anything in eternity.

But here, it is the Holy Spirit’s function to use them both,

NOT as the ego uses them.”  T-15.X.1.3-4

             This quote is speaking specifically about Christmas, but I don’t think Jesus meant to limit its meaning only to that one season.  So – for myself – I have personally emphasized the need to go to the Holy Spirit with each season (and individual holiday/holy day) to ask HIM how to see it in alignment with his purpose of helping me to awaken.  And that simple practice has changed EVERYTHING about how I perceive – and act upon – the seasons!  Therefore my feelings have changed, too.

             For instance, we have just passed Halloween and its companion holiday, All Saints Day.  The Holy Spirit has given me new interpretations of both which have completely redirected how I relate to each of them. 

             All Saints (November 1st) is intended to honor the “blessed dead” – those who have passed here before us that have(at least, in the eyes of some) mastered the process of becoming loving expressions of our Father here on earth.  The Holy Spirit showed me that instead of dogmas or rituals (or singling out certain people as “special” or “better than” me), to use that day to recommit to reconnecting with souls that are more highly purified than I am yet, people the Course describes as “ascended masters”, people who are still available to help me (I don’t have to “reinvent that wheel” as others have already done so and, therefore, can genuinely help me with it, too). In point of fact, they WANT to help me; I just have to LET them.  All Saints Day is now – for me – a welcome reminder of that fact.  Plus it’s a day marked on my calendar as a handy reminder that help is available whenever I ask.

             Halloween literally is All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints, and it exists because people thought that on the day before the “blessed dead” were to be honored, the souls that had passed in a state of anger would attack the living, wreaking evil retribution and trying to stop their holy celebrations.  And so people would leave out tasty foods to bribe the evil spirit off or post scary masks and images in order to drive them off. (Hence, “Trick or Treat”.)  But the modern way of celebrating Halloween has totally lost sight of its intent.  Even so, the Holy Spirit has turned the new, more fanciful method of its celebration into a very helpful practice for me.  I now use it as an opportunity to do my own INTERNAL “trick or treats” by looking WITH the Holy Spirit at all the “ghosts” – the parts of my long dead past  for which I fear retribution – still genuinely haunt me; at the “monsters” that seem so powerful to me that they still seem to make me feel so small that they can block my path; at the lurid mists of illnesses that some part of me still cherishes.

             The point is that every single holiday and season has an inner, hidden meaning that, once understood and utilized, has incredible spiritual meaning – a meaning that has the power to feed us once we’re willing.  And constant spiritual nourishment leaves no room for any depression.

             And so Thanksgiving becomes just that: an opportunity to express my gratitude.  Not just to God but to every person that I know and love.  (My practice this year according to my instruction in meditation is to express that gratitude in writing to at least one beloved person each day from now through the holiday.)  How could I possibly feel depressed when contemplating dozens of incredible lists of just how much I am blessed?

             Christmas is no longer about celebrating what happened 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem.  It’s about birthing the Christ Mind in me by seeing it first in OTHERS.  And calling It forth through that recognition! And it’s about giving now, not receiving (even though I still love getting presents, now they’re the icing, not the cake).  So every gift I give – whatever the form – is really about the content: an expression of the love of God for another that just appears to be coming through me.  And in affirming my ability to give the love of God to others, I am also expanding my capacity to receive it as my own.  That simple shift in intention around the Christmas tradition has changed EVERYTHING in my experience of it!

             And I, too, have given up on making my New Year’s resolution.  On my own.  As the end of each year approaches now, I sit down with the Holy Spirit and ask HIM what my goal for the coming year should be.  Then each time that I’m tempted to break it, I remember that it was His gift (and the Holy Spirit always maintains the gifts He gives, so it isn’t my “job” to enforce it, just allow it).  And He makes smooth my path, leaving no stone for me to trip on.

             As for the long dreary winter, I no longer perceive it that way.  Now it is a very special and hopeful time. I see it as a season with abundant opportunities to get as quiet within myself as Mother Nature is without.  (The perfect motivation for doing the Workbook one more time.) Just as it is for all living things, it is a time for purification and regeneration in preparation and strengthening for the blooming of my internal spirit that I will EXPECT to accomplish in the spring when I, too, am resurrected – or, at least, a few tiny steps closer to it – at Eastertide.

 May this holiday season – and the time to follow – be your BEST time EVER!


* 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 presented again at the 2011 Conference. Carmen’s website is:


Scribing by Sun~Rose


 Bridge to the Real World

Jesus Expanding on
“Bridge to the Real World”
Given In His Course In Miracles
original edition ~
CH 16 Sec VII 59

as Received and Transcribed by Sun~Rose*

[as it appeared in the November 2010 Newsletter]


TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: The text is taken from the JCIM edition <now referred to as the original edition

>of A Course In Miracles. 

The Course is a Miracle in itself, and I have so much appreciation for Helen Schucman’s ability to hear and express His Voice with such supreme beauty.

I have not changed the Course text at all, except as it is interspersed with Jesus’ current Guidance on it.

The Course text is in bold face and BLUE When You see the word ‘YOU’  capitalized in the Guidance, know that He is not just speaking to YOU, He is honoring YOU.  

.  The Guidance is in normal type.

In His Guidance, He has asked Me to capitalize the pronouns You and We as an acknowledgement of the Divinity of All of Us, an acknowledgement of Equality, an expression of His Love and respect for You.


Chapter 16

VII. The Bridge to the the Real World

You are curious as to why I chose this passage.  It is to help break through the habit of seeing yourself as simply human, not knowing how to access your Divinity and to stay there.  You have been feeling this with some frustration lately, the habitual slip back into the ordinary mindset.  Stop feeling that You won’t be able to hear!  I have no problem speaking. (said with a laughing smile).

Let’s look at the passage:

 For God created love as He would have it be, and gave it as it IS. Love has no meaning except as its Creator defined it by His Will. It is impossible to define it otherwise and UNDERSTAND it.  And how else can it be defined but understanding the nature of All of Us as One grand Whole, Love be-ing What We ARE.

Love is FREEDOM. “Freely ye have received, freely give.”  This is My theme song, now and, as well, 2000 years ago.  It is the rule of Love.  It is the only way to Love truly, and it frees Us from special relationships.  For when your Love is rightly put to use, what else can You do with it but shower it on All.  Your special loves are not discarded but fully included in this Love.

Freely You have received Our Father’s magnificent Love, how else can It be shared but freely letting the Love of God flow equally, from You, as You, to All, just as He equally loves Us All?  And as Love becomes Who You are, suddenly Everyone is special to You.

‘Oh no!’ You say. ‘How can I love like that?  It’s hard enough to love my friends and family, one at a time.  Loving everyone would be impossible!  I’m not big like God.’  And with those words and that decision, You have become a stranger to your Self, in the strange land You call the world, which You have created.  And so You keep yourself separate and apart, so unlike He Who loves eternally, repeating endlessly that You are both unlike and apart from Him, so loving universally is just too hard.

The reason that it’s hard is because You’re not loving all!  Splitting up your love, You’ve singled some out as ‘special’, as ‘deserving’ (for the moment) of your special love, which isn’t really love at all, but symptomatic of your insistence on not being as your Father.

And so You languish in a prison cell of your own making, and You notice not the absence of any locks and doors, for You have imprisoned yourself in a tiny sense of mind and cannot see any further than your beliefs that True Love is lost to You along with Home.

Your Love is never lost because It is what You are.  It is the Light from which the Love You are pours forth.  And It is much easier to access than You think.  Where is It found but as that major part of You known as the Holy Spirit, whose plan consists of a two-word prayer to free You, your Love, and Joy.  We simply ask the Holy Spirit to: “Take over.  Please be Me.”

And this is no stranger that You invite to be your Mind, your Life, your Love, but the Real You.  And You are going to Love the One You really are, more and more each day.

This is an adventure, worthy of the Son of God You are.


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



 BOTH now available on

Comparison of Course Teachings


The Relationship Between the Circle’s Teachings and the Teachings Of Ken Wapnick

by Robert Perry & Greg Mackie

We at the Circle, particularly those of us who write for the Circle (Robert Perry, Allen Watson, and Greg Mackie), have for years been regularly asked by students to clarify the relationship between our teachings and those of Ken Wapnick. These students know that both Ken Wapnick and the Circle of Atonement seek to accurately represent the Course, yet they are also aware that we see the Course differently. This presents a confusing situation for students, many of whom regard both the Circle and Ken Wapnick as authoritative sources of teaching.

We have finally decided to address this issue, briefly in this newsletter and more fully in an upcoming book. What follows in this article will be a list of similarities and a list of differences between our teaching and Wapnick’s. This list will not be exhaustive, but we have tried to make it as accurate as possible. It is difficult to summarize someone’s views as briefly as we have here. To be as faithful as possible in representing Wapnick, we have frequently quoted his own words. Further, in areas where he teaches different (and seemingly incompatible) things, we have tried to capture his main emphasis. Introducing the list of similarities and the list of differences will be a brief account of where, in our view, those similarities or differences come from.

One more point: the purpose of this article is not to present reasoning and evidence in support of our views (which is why there are no Course references attached to our views below). In our book, One Course, Two Visions we explain and support our views more fully, but this article merely aims to present our views and Wapnick’s views as objectively and neutrally as possible.


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