Proof of Heaven ~ a book review

Proof of Heaven
A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife
By Eben Alexander, M.D.*



In today’s world of electronic interconnectedness, it’s amazing how some ideas seem to go ‘Viral’ and others don’t.

I received word of this book via a group email from a friend Tricia Aude who was a friend of  Helen Schucman and William Thetford, scribe and co-scribe respectively of A Course in Miracles and currently transcribes the messages of Jesus aka Rajpur ( Hindi for ‘place of the prince’) as He delivers them through Paul Tuttle.

Or was it a message I received from another dear friend who mentioned they have just purchased and read it via Kindle or a second friend who shared they had just finished it.

The Universe was saying, pay close attention, just as it did years ago when I kept hearing ‘A Course in Miracles’ mentioned over and over or recently when I learned of Anita Moorjani’s NDE experience. It appears that this is another one of those ‘wake up calls’ from [y/our] BEING.

And so it is!

The most significant facets of this Near Death Experience [NDE] are:

  •  The person who experienced it was a skeptical neurosurgeon scientist.
  •  The CORTEX of his brain was not functioning yet he experienced crystal clear clarity.
  •  He had a complete and total recovery from E. coli meningitis, which is a medical miracle.

We may have seen television shows regarding NDE’s which often begin with phenomenal claims of other worldly experiences and end with a scientific de-bunking using medical science of the brain to prove it was ‘all in their head.’ The evidence the scientists present is offered in an effort to show that there IS no ‘scientific proof’ that these experiences were anywhere but in the physical brain. This is exactly how Eben [Dr. Alexander] thought until his own first-hand experience of an NDE.

“The more I read of the “scientific” explanations of what NDE’s are, the more I was shocked by their transparent flimsiness. And yet I also knew with chagrin that they were exactly the ones that the old “me” would have pointed to vaguely if someone had asked me to “explain” what an NDE is.”

As I began reading this book and began reading some of the doctor’s experiences during his seven day coma I noticed a skepticism that was creeping in. I was asking myself: “Does this feel true or is this just another ploy to sell books and ride on the wave of NDE curiosity?”

Although I am very open minded, I always employ my own internal ‘TRUTH METER’. I ask, “Does this resonate with the Truth I know within as the Christ?” This experience Eben was relaying was very different from the NDE’s I am used to reading and hearing about and that caused my comfort zone to be stretched. His NDE, in the beginning, wasn’t all warm and fuzzy and I wondered if it were truly REAL.

As A Course in Miracles tells us, “Nothing REAL can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the Peace of God.”

When Dr. Alexander began to speak about the REALITY of his experience, that’s when my METER registered GREEN! I was getting a sense that the reality of the Interconnectedness and immensity of Spirit that Eben experienced could never be threatened.

“The word real expresses something abstract, and it’s frustratingly ineffective at conveying what I’m trying to describe. Imagine being a kid and going to a movie on a summer day. Maybe the movie was good, and you were entertained as you sat through it. But then the show ended, and you filed out of the theater and back into the deep, vibrant, welcoming warmth of the summer afternoon. And as the air and the sunlight hit you, you wondered why on earth you’d wasted this gorgeous day sitting in a dark theater. Multiply that feeling a thousand times, and you still won’t be anywhere close to what it felt like where I was.”  P.39

Dr. Eben Alexander, husband, father, neurosurgeon  contracted the extremely rare condition of E. coli meningitis completely out of the blue. Only 1 in 10 Million people will do the same. He made a full recovery one month after lying in a coma, near death, for seven days. This book is his best attempt at trying to share an experience which was truly beyond words.

As the book progresses, his story becomes an exquisite tapestry.  The experiences of his family and friends and doctors in the hospital, dealing with this grave E coli infection, are interwoven with a recounting of Eden’s experience as a consciousness, with no connection to the past, in a ‘place’ where words could never do it justice.

Even though it kept the attention of the reader by the vacillating between the solid world that we know and the ephemeral albeit Real world that Eben was experiencing, it wasn’t until toward the end of the book that I found myself grabbing for the tissues.

Just as we have all experienced wanting to tell everyone we know about a great book we just read or a great movie we just saw, Eben wanted to share this discovery with his friends and family and most of all with his colleagues. And that’s when he came up against ‘himself’. He saw in their eyes his own disbelief;  the disbelief he had once embraced.

“I was wildly –and naively–eager to share these experiences, especially with my fellow doctors. After all, what I’d undergone altered my long-held beliefs of what the brain is, what consciousness is, even what life itself means–and doesn’t mean. Who wouldn’t be anxious to hear of my discoveries?”

“Quite a few people, as it turned out. Most especially, people with medical degrees.”

But more than just wanting his colleagues to look beyond the solid physical aspects of their experience, he also extended his Vision to our united situation on this planet. When he expressed these thoughts my heart opened with recognition and empathy:

“For all of the successes of Western civilization, the world has paid a dear price in terms of the most crucial component of existence-our human spirit.”

“The shadow side of high technology—modern warfare and thoughtless homicide and suicide, urban blight, ecological mayhem, cataclysmic climate change, polarization of economic  resources—is bad enough.”

“Much worse, our focus on exponential progress in science and technology has left many of us relatively bereft in the realm of meaning and joy, and of knowing how our lives fit into the grand scheme of existence for all eternity.” P.152

“Without recovering that memory of our larger connectedness, and of the unconditional love of our Creator, we will always feel lost here on earth.” P.171

We are all so ensconced in the 3D that it seems we can’t see the forest for the trees. I began to see Eben, much as he sees himself, as another facet of our infinitude who knows now that he is “Here to Heal”. Eben recovered the memory of our larger connectedness.

“So I was communicating directly with God? Absolutely. Expressed that way, it sounds grandiose. But when it was happening, it didn’t feel that way. Instead, I felt like I was doing what we can all do right now through various methods of prayer and deep meditation.  Communicating with God is the most natural one of all, because God is present in us at all times.”

“Omniscient, omnipotent, personal—and loving us without conditions. We are connected as One through our divine link with God.” P.161

There is a part of Eben’s life that I have not mentioned and it has everything to do with the message he received and more importantly the Being who brought the message to him. Now I leave that mystery of WHO that was for you to discover, dear reader, although the message itself is for all to know and to remember.

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”
“You have nothing to fear.”
“There is nothing you can do wrong.”


The following link is to a 30 minute PRESENTATION by Dr. Eben Alexander

“The brain is NOT the cause of consciousness.”
“At the deepest level there is ONE Consciousness.”
“The Body and the physical reality is not all there is to the world.”

Morgan Freeman’s “THROUGH THE WORMHOLE” 43 minutes


*Eben Alexander, MD  has been an academic neurosurgeon for the pastDr. Eben Alexander 25 years, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women’s and the Children’s Hospitals and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Visit him at    

*Rev Reja Janaki Joy Green [Reja_CIMS] is one of the founding members of the Course in Reja Joy GreenMiracles Society [CIMS]; She is the CIMS webmaster, newsletter editor and producer of the Daily Lesson Mailings. Rev Reja facilitates the Course in Miracles study group in Omaha,  and at the time of this writing was in the 2nd year of the  CMC Ministerial program.  

As a registered Yoga Instructor, Rev Reja teaches Hatha Yoga from the perspective of A Course in Miracles and hosts several social media groups for those who share this journey. Currently she resides with her loving husband Chris Green in Omaha, NE.

Anita Moorjani ~ Dying To Be Me … a review




[as it appeared in the June 2012 Newsletter]

Review by Reja Joy Green

“It was as though every moment held infinite possibilities,
and where I was at that point in time was a culmination of every decision,
every choice, and every thought of my entire life.
My many fears and my great power had manifested as this disease.”

When I read this paragraph in Anita Moorjani’s book “DYING TO BE ME: MY JOURNEY FROM CANCER, TO NEAR DEATH, TO TRUE HEALING”  it reminded me of what my husband and I often say to participants as we begin our  presentations on A Course in Miracles [ACIM]. We express the idea that absolutely every decision they have made in  their lives has culminated in bringing them to this room and to this moment. Likewise, every decision I have ever made in my life has brought me to writing this review in this moment and all of the decisions you have EVER made have brought you to this moment in which you are reading it.

It was the next sentence in that paragraph that stopped my mind for a moment:

“My many fears and my great power had manifested as this disease.”

Yes, I have learned and have experienced fear as a power capable of manifesting dis-ease. This is quite understandable. And yet the second part of this sentence was an idea that might even go unnoticed if the reader were looking from their regular, comfortable, point of view. Such a concept may not be understandable and so glossed over. “…my great power had manifested as this disease.”  What did Anita mean by this? Why would our POWER manifest as a disease?

To answer this we may want to start with Anita’s experience of ‘disease’.  A dear friend [Soni] and also her brother in law had contracted cancer and had perished from the disease. When this happened Anita became deathly afraid of getting sick herself and also afraid of the medical treatment when she saw how it had ravaged her friend’s body and had not prevented her death.  In her study of cancer, Anita learned that cancer could come from many activities: the polluted air we breathe, the pesticides and preservatives in our food, the chemicals in the water we drink, even the negative thoughts that we think. Her fear only increased.

And then the inevitable happened. In 2002 Anita was diagnosed with cancer. Since conventional, western style medicine had not helped her friend, Anita tried alternative methods:

“I tried faith healing, praying, meditation, and energy-healing sessions. I read every book I could get my hands on about cancer, learning every possible connotation given to the disease. I worked on forgiveness therapy, and forgave everyone I knew—then forgave them again. I traveled through India and China, meeting Buddhist monks, Indian yogis, and enlightened masters, hoping that they’d help me find answers that would lead to healing. I tried being vegan, meditating on mountaintops, yoga, ayurveda, chakra balancing, Chinese herbal medicine, pranic healing, and Chi Gong. But despite all this, my cancer just kept getting worse.” (Kindle Edition, pp. 133-134).

It was at the point of imminent total organ failure, after a four year battle, that Anita’s fight was over. She completely surrendered to – what turned out to be – REALITY.

In this amazing book, DYING TO BE ME, Anita chronicles her life before her diagnosis in Part I, when she developed  a limiting and fear-filled thought system based on years of harassment and abuse for being seen as ‘different’. She shares how she became completely ‘other centered’ and continually struggled to fit in and be accepted and yet the result was always a deep sense of unworthiness.

Part II chronicles her journey to death and back. Anita describes the “Near Death Experience” [NDE] itself, and what happened next. “Being healed of cancer and working to find a new place in the world has been a surprising, challenging, and exhilarating journey!

In this section, Anita describes how she felt after the NDE when she was aware of a connection with everyone in her life, including those at the hospital:

“I felt as though I were connected to them all at a deep level and knew everything they were feeling and thinking, almost as though we shared the same mind.” (pp. 83-84)

As a Course in Miracles student, reading this is a wonderful  affirmation of what we are learning in the Course which teaches:  ‘minds are joined’.

Part III is an expression of Anita’s understanding of “healing, the way the world is today, and how we can live as a reflection of who we really are, allowing our magnificence to shine through.”

When the end came, and Anita finally let go completely she took the leap of faith, and was buoyed up by the LOVE that she knew herself to BE.  That’s when she realized,

“My many fears and my great power had manifested as this disease.” (p. 70)

Anita shares more about the Power manifesting as disease in the Question and Answer area at the end of her book:

“I had this understanding: Ooh, I see—it didn’t happen to me, because in truth, I’m never a victim. The cancer is just my own unexpressed power and energy! It turned inward against my body, rather than outward. I knew it wasn’t a punishment or anything like that. It was just my own life force expressing itself as cancer because I didn’t allow it to manifest as the magnificent, powerful force of Anita.” (p. 165)

When I read this I recalled a portion of the ACIM TEXT which teaches us:

“The mind chose to divide itself when it willed to create both its own levels and the ability to perceive, but it could not entirely separate itself from the Soul because it is from the Soul that it derives its whole power to create. Even in miscreation will is affirming its Source or it would merely cease to be. This is impossible because it is part of the Soul which God created and which is therefore eternal.” ACIM OrEd.Tx.3.45

We derive our power to create from our Soul which is eternal and to which we are eternally connected. There is only one Power and we are given free will to use that Power. When it doesn’t have an avenue of expression it will turn within.

In Anita’s NDE, she came to realize that it was her self-identity which caused the POWER to turn inward:

“I believe that my cancer was related to my self-identity, and it feels as though it was my body’s way of telling me that my soul was grieving for the loss of its own worth—of its identity. If I’d known the truth of who I actually am, I wouldn’t have gotten cancer!” (p. 180)

And Lesson 136 in A Course in Miracles tells us:

Sickness is a defense against the truth.
I will accept the truth of what I am
And let my mind be wholly healed today

Time is also amazing when viewed from within the NDE.

“Time felt different in that realm, too, and I felt all moments at once. I was aware of everything that pertained to me—past, present, and future—simultaneously. I became conscious of what seemed to be simultaneous lives playing out.” (p. 67)

In ACIM we learn that time is an illusion.

Only eternity is real. Why not use the illusion of time constructively?” ACIM OrEd.Tx.1.26

“It is in the reality of now, without past or future, that the beginning of the appreciation of eternity lies. For only now is here, and it presents the opportunities for the holy encounters in which salvation can be found”. ACIM OrEd.Tx.12.30

Anita comes to the realization that Now is the only time there is and how it holds our ‘salvation’!

“But if all time and experience exist right now, and we’re simply moving through it as we express our magnificence in a physical world, then we have nothing to fear. We don’t have to live in anxiety about what comes next. We can recognize the energy that we’re already a part of, and we can be love in every aspect of our lives. It’s unfortunate that we keep searching outside ourselves for answers—in religion, medicine, scientific study, books, and other people. We think the truth is somewhere out there, still elusive. Yet by doing this, we’re only getting more and more lost, appearing to move from who we truly are. The entire universe is within us.” (p. 144)

And as Course students we are well aware of the dictum:

Seek not outside yourself. The search implies you are not whole within and fear to look upon your devastation and prefer to seek outside yourself for what you are.” ACIM OrEd.Tx.29.46

“Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time.” ACIM Manual for Teachers, #24, 6

This book by Anita Moorjani is such an amazing gift of love.  I am so deeply grateful for her willingness to heal others by sharing her experience of healing.  Anita had tried ‘forgiveness’ as a healing method for her ‘cancer’ and it had failed. She was using the paradigm of thinking something needed to be forgiven, although forgiveness is only called for once there is condemnation.

In her NDE, Anita experienced that we are seemingly suffering from another type of cancer and that is the cancer of the mind which shows up as our condemnation of others for the evil they have done. Anita shares that in the NDE:

“There’s absolutely no condemnation in that realm, because there’s nothing to condemn—we’re all pure consciousness.  On the other side, there’s total clarity about why we are the way we are and why we did anything we did, no matter how unethical it felt in life. I believe that those who hurt others only do so out of their own pain and their feelings of limitation and separation. Perpetrators of acts such as rape and murder are far removed from even having an inkling of their own magnificence.” (p. 169)

This experience of the light beyond the apparent brought Anita the realization that, there is no longer “Us and them”:

“Criminals have lost their center, and what they’re doing to others is actually a reflection of how they feel inside about themselves. We like to think of perpetrators and victims as ‘them’ and ‘us,’ but there is no ‘them.’ It’s all us!

“When we realize this, we feel only connection with everyone and everything. I understood that in the other realm, we’re all One. We’re all the same.” (p. 170)

Synchronistic-ly, today’s ACIM Lesson tells us:

Christ’s vision has one law. It does not look upon a body and mistake it for the Son whom God created. It beholds a light beyond the body, an idea beyond what can be touched, a purity undimmed by errors, pitiful mistakes, and fearful thoughts of guilt from dreams of sin. It sees no separation. And it looks on everyone, on every circumstance, all happenings, and all events without the slightest fading of the light it sees.” ACIM Lesson 158

Anita shared in her book that she went from an ‘outside-in’ view of reality to an ‘inside-out’ view. She wrote that she used to think that the external world was real and “that I had to work within its confines”.  With this view she realized she had given her power away to the outside world and that external events had the ability to control her. “Even illness was an external event that just ‘happened’ to me randomly.”

Anita then writes:

“However, after my NDE, I began to see myself as a divine and integral part of the greater Whole. This includes everything in the entire universe, everything that has ever existed and ever will, and it’s all connected. I realized that I was at the center of this universe, and knew that we all express from our perspective, as we’re each at the center of this great cosmic web.” (p. 113)

Reading these words puts me once again in touch with the essence of Who I AM.

It seems only appropriate to end this article with the very last words in Anita’s book which are the truly inspiring and always make me cry to read them.

In the Question and Answer section the Questions was:

“If there were a message or lesson from your NDE that you wish everyone could know or understand, something that you wish you could shout out from the rooftops, what would that be?”

And Anita answers with all the Love in her Heart:

“ I would want you to know that every part of you is magnificent—your ego, intellect, body, and spirit. It’s who you are—a beautiful product of this Universe’s creation. Every aspect of you is perfect. There’s nothing to let go, nothing to forgive, nothing to attain. You already are everything you need to be. It can seem so complicated, but it’s not.

“If a religion makes you feel lesser than its deities, then you’ve either misinterpreted it or it’s not doing a good job of teaching you the truth. If a guru, teacher, or master makes you feel that you aren’t “yet” enlightened and still have more to “learn,” “release,” or “let go of” before getting there, then they’re not doing a good job of teaching you who you truly are, or you’re misunderstanding them.

“Remind everyone close to you to be themselves, and tell them that you love them just the way they are! They’re perfect and so are you. There’s nothing not to love. Most suffering stems from feeling “less than.” You aren’t less than anything or anyone! You are complete.

“The only thing you need to learn is that you already are what you’re seeking to attain. Just express your uniqueness fearlessly, with abandon! That’s why you’re made the way you are, and that’s why you’re here in the physical world. (pp. 182-183)

P.S. “As though to confirm my realization, I became aware of both my father and Soni communicating to me: Now that you know the truth of who you really are, go back and live your life fearlessly!” (p. 76).

And she is!!

I believe that the greatest truths of the universe don’t lie outside,
in the study of the stars and the planets.
They lie deep within us, in the magnificence of our heart, mind, and soul.
Until we understand what is within,
we can’t understand what is without.
I share my story here in the hope of touching your heart in some way
and reminding you of your own magnificence.

~ Anita Moorjani

Near Death Experience Research Foundation [NDERF] INTERVIEW
with Anita Moorjani

Anita Moorjani was born in Singapore and then lived in Sri Lanka until she was 2 years old. An ethnic Sindhi woman from India, her family then moved to Hong Kong where she grew up speaking fluent Sindhi, Cantonese and English, as well as being conversant with a multitude of cultural idioms. She was educated in English schools in Hong Kong and later studied in England before returning to Hong Kong to take up a senior management position for a French fashion company where she traveled all over the world using her multi-cultural, multilingual background in a variety of business and social settings.

Donald James Giacobbe ~ The Purpose of Unifying the Mind

The Purpose of Unifying the Mind

by Donald James Giacobbe*

[as it appeared in the November 2011 Newsletter]


This article about unifying the mind is  an excerpt from the book
Christian Meditation Inspired by Yoga and “A Course in Miracles”:
Opening to Divine Love in Contemplation.


  My approach to spirituality before studying the Course was a blending of yoga and seeking Christ within, which included a heavy emphasis on practicing meditation. Yoga means “union.” I thought meditation was my best means of joining with the Holy Spirit to bring about unification. But what does the Course say about joining with the Holy Spirit?

            Joining with Him in seeing is the way in which you learn to share with Him the interpretation of perception that leads to knowledge. You cannot see alone. Sharing perception with Him Whom God has given you teaches you how to recognize what you see. It is the recognition that nothing you see means anything alone. Seeing with Him will show you that all meaning, including yours, comes not from double vision, but from the gentle fusing of everything into one meaning, one emotion and one purpose. God has one purpose which He shares with you. The single vision which the Holy Spirit offers you will bring this oneness to your mind with clarity and brightness so intense you could not wish, for all the world, not to accept what God would have you have. Behold your will, accepting it as His, with all His Love as yours. All honor to you through Him, and through Him unto God.[1]

          Yes, union with the Holy Spirit happens in meditation, but prior to studying the Course, I did not appreciate the value of perception and did not know how to best use it for my spiritual growth. I know that in meditation I could reduced my scattered perceptions by focusing on one perception. Also, I knew that I could let go of even that single perception and enter the restful state of contemplation. But I thought that the limit to perception was its unification into one perception during meditation, and I was convinced that the best use of perception was to let go of it altogether. It did not occur to me that what I had learned about perception in meditation could be generalized into my daily life. I thought that my outer experience of the world was so filled with scattered perceptions that I could not possibly unify them as I could in meditation. Yet from the Course, I would learn how to focus on what the quotation above describes as the “one meaning, one emotion, one purpose,” which is the one purpose God shares with me. It is the purpose of oneness itself, which in a practical sense means the unification of perceptions that seem to be separate. The oneness of my meaning, emotion, and purpose, and, indeed my oneness with God Himself, is in my mind now. I realized that to find the oneness in my mind, I needed to learn how to unify my thought system, meaning to unify what appeared to be totally disorganized perceptions.


            When I first started to read the Course, I learned about many ways of using perceptions to grow spiritually. Here is a list of some specific Course recommendations for changing perceptions:


From self-will to God’s Will

From illusions of the past to the awareness of now

From private thoughts to thinking with the Holy Spirit

From perceiving separation to perceiving oneness

From unloving perceptions to loving perceptions

From illusions of nightmares to happy dreams

From projecting guilt to accepting innocence

From holding grievances to giving forgiveness

From attack thoughts to miracles

From illusions of special love to extending love to everyone

From mistakes to corrected perception

From seeing with the body’s eyes to seeing with Christ’s eyes


           It seems at first glance that all these approaches to changing perceptions are different, but they have the common element of unifying perceptions by directing new perceptions toward the one goal of God. Because my background was in Christian yoga, I decided to use the term “Miracle Yoga” to describe my understanding of the Course. The goal of the Course is to unify perceptions. The five aspects of Miracle Yoga emphasize a single approach to unifying perceptions. Miracle Raja Yoga arrives at the unification of perception by focusing inwardly in meditation on one thought, which has already been emphasized. Miracle Bhakti Yoga brings about the unification of perception by centering on one emotion, which is love. Miracle Karma Yoga relies on maintaining one function to accomplish the unification of perception. Miracle Relationship Yoga produces the unification of perception through one relationship. Miracle Jnana Yoga achieves the unification of perception by seeking one truth.

          The five methods of Miracle Yoga lead to five places. In the practice of meditation used in Miracle Raja Yoga, you use one thought to bring stillness to the mind. “And turn you to the stately calm within, where in holy stillness dwells the living God you never left, and Who never left you.”[2] Meditation is a process of moving the mind from many distracting thoughts to one thought. The objective is to unify the mind. “One thought, completely unified, will serve to unify all thought.”[3] In meditation moving the mind in the direction of unification based on one thought leads to the “circle of your peace.” This place has many other names: “inner altar,” “changeless dwelling place,” and “holy sanctuary.”

            In Him you have no cares and no concerns, no burdens, no anxiety, no pain, no fear of future and no past regrets. In timelessness you rest, while time goes by without its touch upon you, for your rest can never change in any way at all. You rest today. And as you close your eyes, sink into stillness. Let these periods of rest and respite reassure your mind that all its frantic fantasies were but the dreams of fever that has passed away. Let it be still and thankfully accept its healing. No more fearful dreams will come, now that you rest in God. Take time today to slip away from dreams and into peace….

            You rest within the peace of God today, and call upon your brothers from your rest to draw them to their rest, along with you. You will be faithful to your trust today, forgetting no one, bringing everyone into the boundless circle of your peace, the holy sanctuary where you rest. Open the temple doors and let them come from far across the world, and near as well; your distant brothers and your closest friends; bid them all enter here and rest with you.[4]

          Miracle Bhakti Yoga emphasizes love. The focus on this one emotion of love unifies the mind because love itself is unifying, described in this way: “…the attraction of love for love remains irresistible. For it is the function of love to unite all things unto itself, and to hold all things together by extending its wholeness.”[5] Focusing on love brings you to the “real world,” which is also called the “circle of brightness” and the “happy dream,” and which consists of only loving perceptions.

            This world of light, this circle of brightness is the real world, where guilt meets with forgiveness. Here the world outside is seen anew, without the shadow of guilt upon it. Here are you forgiven, for here you have forgiven everyone. Here is the new perception, where everything is bright and shining with innocence, washed in the waters of forgiveness, and cleansed of every evil thought you laid upon it. Here there is no attack upon the Son of God, and you are welcome. Here is your innocence, waiting to clothe you and protect you, and make you ready for the final step in the journey inward. Here are the dark and heavy garments of guilt laid by, and gently replaced by purity and love.

           Yet even forgiveness is not the end. Forgiveness does make lovely, but it does not create. It is the source of healing, but it is the messenger of love and not its Source. Here you are led, that God Himself can take the final step unhindered, for here does nothing interfere with love, letting it be itself. A step beyond this holy place of forgiveness, a step still further inward but the one you cannot take, transports you to something completely different. Here is the Source of light; nothing perceived, forgiven nor transformed. But merely known.[6]

          Miracle Karma Yoga involves taking selfless action and expressing your function. Applying the one function of following God’s Will and God’s Plan leads to the “Circle of Atonement.” Your special function is always a form of forgiving others, which enables you to forgive yourself.

            Everyone has a special part to play in the Atonement, but the message given to each one is always the same; God’s Son is guiltless. Each one teaches the message differently, and learns it differently. Yet until he teaches it and learns it, he will suffer the pain of dim awareness that his true function remains unfulfilled in him. The burden of guilt is heavy, but God would not have you bound by it. His plan for your awaking is as perfect as yours is fallible. You know not what you do, but He Who knows is with you. His gentleness is yours, and all the love you share with God He holds in trust for you. He would teach you nothing except how to be happy….

           Each one you see you place within the holy circle of Atonement or leave outside, judging him fit for crucifixion or for redemption. If you bring him into the circle of purity, you will rest there with him. If you leave him without, you join him there. Judge not except in quietness which is not of you. Refuse to accept anyone as without the blessing of Atonement, and bring him into it by blessing him. Holiness must be shared, for therein lies everything that makes it holy. Come gladly to the holy circle, and look out in peace on all who think they are outside. Cast no one out, for here is what he seeks along with you. Come, let us join him in the holy place of peace which is for all of us, united as one within the Cause of peace.[7]

          Miracle Relationship Yoga is focused on holy relationships based on partners having a common purpose and seeing holiness in everyone. Maintaining a relationship of holiness allows you to see the “face of Christ,” which is the “vision of the Son of God.” In the holy relationship, you have the opportunity to see the light behind your brother’s body and see his guiltlessness. Looking past your brother’s mask, you can even perceive the face of Christ. “The face of Christ is looked upon before the Father is remembered.”[8] The face of Christ reminds you of your true relationship with God and with all your brothers and sisters in Christ.

            You have a real relationship, and it has meaning. It is as like your real relationship with God as equal things are like unto each other. Idolatry is past and meaningless. Perhaps you fear your brother a little yet; perhaps a shadow of the fear of God remains with you. Yet what is that to those who have been given one true relationship beyond the body? Can they be long held back from looking on the face of Christ? And can they long withhold the memory of their relationship with their Father from themselves, and keep remembrance of His Love apart from their awareness?[9]

Miracle Jnana Yoga is concerned with finding truth and gaining understanding. This seeking of one truth leads you to the “borderland” where all false perceptions are replaced by true perceptions. Here you choose between illusions and truth by bringing them together and seeing that illusions are meaningless and so can be easily released.

            There is a borderland of thought that stands between this world and Heaven. It is not a [physical] place, and when you reach it is apart from time. Here is the meeting place where thoughts are brought together; where conflicting values meet and all illusions are laid down beside the truth, where they are judged to be untrue. This borderland is just beyond the gate of Heaven. Here is every thought made pure and wholly simple. Here is sin denied, and everything that is received instead.

This is the journey’s end. We have referred to it as the real world. And yet there is a contradiction here, in that the words imply a limited reality, a partial truth, a segment of the universe made true. This is because knowledge makes no attack upon perception. They are brought together, and only one continues past the gate where oneness is. Salvation is a borderland where place and time and choice have meaning still, and yet it can be seen that they are temporary, out of place, and every choice has been already made.

Nothing the Son of God believes can be destroyed. But what is truth to him must be brought to the last comparison that he will ever make; the last evaluation that will be possible, the final judgment upon this world. It is the judgment of the truth upon illusion, of knowledge on perception: “It has no meaning, and does not exist.” This is not your decision. It is but a simple statement of a simple fact. But in this world there are no simple facts, because what is the same and what is different remain unclear. The one essential thing to make a choice at all is this distinction. And herein lies the difference between the worlds. In this one, choice is made impossible. In the real world is choosing simplified. [10]

There may be some uncertainty in your mind about whether you will ever manage to let go of all illusions and accept your place in Heaven. But the Course maintains that there is no uncertainty in God, and so, you can trust in His Will being accomplished. “Have faith in only this one thing, and it will be sufficient: God wills you be in Heaven, and nothing can keep you from it, or it from you.”[11]Your going Home is only a matter of time, and time itself is just another illusion.


**References are from 2nd Edition of A Course in Miracles, published by Foundation for Inner Peace
To locate these References in A Course in Miracles – Original Edition please do a phrase search on-line

1. T-14.VII.7.1-9, pp. 288-289

2. T-18.I.8:2, pp. 373-374

3. W-108.5:1, p. 195

4. W-109.5:1-8, 8:1-3, pp. 197-198

5. T-12.VIII.7:10-11, p. 235

6. T-18.IX.9:1-7, 10:1-7, pp. 395-396

7. T-14.V.2:1-8, 11:1-9, pp. 282, 284

8. T-30.V.7:5, p. 637

9. T-20.VI.12.5-11, p. 439

10. T-26.III.2:1-14, 3:1-6, 4:1-10, pp. 546-547

11. T-13.XI.7:1, p. 268


*Donald James Giacobbe was the director of the Aquarian Age Yoga Center in Virginia Beach, VA. He provided yoga teacher training certification courses and led meditation workshops and retreats. Don has attempted in his teaching of meditation to strip away the rituals of Zen Buddhism and yoga practices and transpose only the bare essence into a Christian context. Don encourages the doing of God’s Will, being receptive to the Holy Spirit, and finding Christ within the temple of one’s own heart. While respecting all Christian spiritual expressions, he became a monk by making his vow directly to God, without the stamp of approval from any religious organization. In 1988 Don became a student of A Course in Miracles, and his practice and teaching subsequently changed from “Christian Yoga” to “Miracle Yoga” This form of spirituality is a synthesis of yoga and the philosophy of A Course in Miracles, encouraging the seeker to see with “forgiving eyes” and perceive Christ in everyone. Don’s goal is to maintain a balance between opening to divine love inwardly and allowing that love to be extended outwardly to others.

You can find a more complete description of the five aspects of Miracle Yoga at

** All quotes in the article and references (with pages noted) are from the “second edition” of the Course published by Foundation for Inner Peace.


Available on Amazon

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Scott Kalechstein Grace ~ Teach Me How To Love

Teach Me How To Love

A True Story  that Touches Hearts and
Helps with the Laundry

[Song on YouTube]


[For more information on this book, just CLICK the picture above]

Oh my! What an experience. There I am on my  porch-deck, crying – then laughing – then laughing – then crying. There was so  much I resonated with in Scott Kalechstein Grace’s book “Teach Me HOW TO  LOVE” Teach Me How to Love: A True Story That Touches Hearts & Helps With The Laundry.  I absolutely loved it!!

Not only did I also live in New York City around the same time as Scott did,
but I also went through a very similar search for meaning. I bookmarked some places that intrigued me like when Scott “focused like a laser beam on the here and now”. It was during that time when Scott was a struggling artist
selling laundry bags on the street’s of the NYC boroughs and had to vigilantly be on the watch for the police. Scott wrote, “Perhaps the finest moments of connection happen when we are willing to abandon the popular script and improvise our own”, speaking of when he handed a funny permission slip from his Mom to the police who came back later and wanted a copy of it since their cronies hadn’t believe them.

Scott wrote of his laundry bag performance as a “ministry” which it
truly was. Throughout the book we witness Scott’s ability to be HERE and NOW no matter what he is doing and to transform day to day interactions into moments of “connection”. My husband is a mainframe programmer and works in various cities but he always sees it truly as a venue to extend his love. My husband goes to work, much as Scott describes his work in this book:

“excited and eager to make a small difference in people’s lives, to bring a little levity to their gravity.” People end up realizing that there’s
been a shift in their lives and they are just not the same as before and that’s because their hearts have been touched by the extension of Love.

That’s the gift Scott has and it’s a gift he has now developed to the point of being able to transform his connection with others into an instant “Song Portrait”.[He shared this talent recently on Facebook!]

AH, and Scott shared so many synchronicities in his book! I love synchronicities! They are incredible, like when Scott “heard” to play
“AMAZING GRACE” in the airport and a man in the crowd shared that he had just buried his Mom and that song was her favorite and how he felt it was a message from her. The man said, with tears in his eyes: “I felt her presence. I heard her telling me she was quite all right, and that she would always be with me.”

Another time Scott was guided to pick up a little pamphlet at a workshop, just after asking for guidance in healing the relationship between himself and his mother and discovered that the pamphlet contained a conversation between the workshop leader and an unidentified person which was actually SCOTT! The conversation had occurred four years earlier at another workshop in which Scott was working out his relationship with his Mom!! Afterwards Scott got a chance to share the pamphlet with his Mom which began the healing of their relationship.

Throughout the book Scott shares his breakthroughs which are incredibly genuine and heartfelt. There was the time Scott got his white pants dirty just before having to stand up and give a talk and he was quite upset until he finally realized, “Is there ever a moment or place where the opportunity to express love doesn’t exist?” NO!! Now is the only time there is and LOVE can always be expressed. Love waits on welcome, not on time.

Regarding Soulmates, Scott wrote: “I imagine if Jesus were preaching to today’s crowd on the Soulmate subject that he might say: ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of your own soul, and your Soulmate will be added unto you.'” That was my experience. I had finally given up and said, OK God. I am here only to be truly helpful. If that means I will be alone, so be it. I am here only to heal, to be healed and to love. I decided to stay in NE and shortly afterwards met and married my Soulmate!!

Scott wrote: “Music had always been a source of great joy for me, but it was beginning to show up as something I never knew it could be: a delivery system for guidance, healing and transformation.”

That’s what this book is. It’s a delivery system for Guidance, Healing and Transformation. It gives us a wonderful glimpse into Scott’s journey, which is our own, as he opens up his heart and lets himself be Guided. I’m blessed to  have read it and now I’m blessed to be sharing it with you. As the sub-title says: It’s “A True Story that touches hearts and Helps with the Laundry”!!

Reja Janaki Joy Green
Omaha, NE
[More of Scott’s music in CIMS October Newsletter]

*Scott Kalechstein Grace lives in Marin California with his lovely partner Venus, and their darling daughter Aysia. He is a Writer / Coach / Comedian / Speaker, as well as a Singer / Songwriter / Recording Artist / Minister and Workshop Leader.


Bette Jean Cundiff ~ Sacred Steps


Sacred Steps: A Program of Soul Progression

Based on Ancient Yoga and A Course in Miracles

By Bette Jean Cundiff*

When I was asked by the author to write the forward to her book, I was extremely honored. I agreed to read the book and then I would decide how I felt about it.

The following is my forward and as you can see, I was very moved by its beauty and artistry as it weaved together Ancient Yoga and A Course in Miracles, both disciplines that I truly love. ~ REJA JANAKI JOY GREEN


In A Course in Miracles our Elder Brother reminds us that there are no accidents.

“There are no accidents in salvation.
Those who are to meet will meet because together
they have the potential for a holy relationship.
They are ready for each other.”

~A Course in Miracles-original edition [ACIM-oe] Manual For Teachers #3 What are the Levels of Teaching?

You have this book in your hands or you are reading it as an eBook and that is no accident. Every decision you have ever made throughout your entire life has brought you to this beautiful moment of NOW. And in this beautiful moment of NOW there is no past. The future is not yet. There is only this Holy Instant in which you are being called once again to LISTEN. LISTEN within for Guidance. LISTEN to your Soul and let it tell you the next right step on your journey without distance. That next right step may very well be these “Sacred Steps”.

I first met Bette Jean Cundiff in New York City in the 1980’s when I attended a workshop she was giving together with Paul Steinberg. Paul was the brother of Saul Steinberg who was the printer of the very first set of the hardback edition of A Course in Miracles through Coleman Graphics. The workshop was called, “Miracle Experiences: The Goals and Healing of Your Special Relationships in ‘A Course in Miracles’ “ and was one of the first I had taken as I began my journey with A Course in Miracles.

Bette had also written “The Children’s Material” which I used as a guide in bringing up my young son using the principles of A Course in Miracles. I owe Bette a debt of gratitude for this material and the benefit my son and I received. I recall my son would turn to me and in his little voice would chide me saying, “Mommy. Where is your happiness?”; Knowing I would remember that it is inside me, and would point to my own heart as we would both smile in remembrance and recognition. ♥

And now we come to “Sacred Steps: A Program for Soul Progression”, Bette’s most current book which appears to be a culmination of the past 30 years of studying, sharing, teaching and writing about what she has learned and what has been ‘given’ to her through inner Guidance.

As a student and teacher of Yoga, as well as a student of A Course in Miracles, I cherish the beautiful and artful integration of ancient yoga with A Course in Miracles that Bette presents here. The ideas are thought provoking and creative but more than that, they are presented in a way that brings a feeling of peace and unconditional love. I felt nurtured and safe and my heart opened to their Truth. The words were more like notes in a symphony and each word and even each letter seemed to be wrapped in LOVE; a LOVE which was almost palpable.

Describing each Chakra, Bette uses color, texture, and feeling to paint an in-depth picture offering a deep experience of their meaning. Then, in-between each description, additional information builds a foundation: Your Electromagnetic Field; The Power of the Universe as the Sacred Serpent; The Body’s Windows [major organs and glands] ; The Earth’s Windows [vortices]; The Celestial Radiance [personal aura]; The Rhythm of Color [Color as waves of energy]. I discovered that this foundation brought with it an appreciation for life.

“…And every time you walk into a room you change the whole electromagnetic energy field by your simple presence.” P30

As well as a sense of renewed responsibility:

Your personal and radiant aura offers your message of peace and love to the world. It surrounds, you, caresses you and gently or powerfully touches the people in your life.” P46

Bette beautifully presents the chakras as related to the levels of Soul evolution but then offers various modalities such as Sacred symbols [geometrics] as well as movement and affirmations to help with the integration. And finally there is practical application with a personal training program offered in the form of a Workbook.

My sense is that this book is a blessed gift offered to your Soul from another aspect of the Infinitude which is One with you. It’s truly a gift of Love to Love. There is only this Holy Instant in which you are being called once again to LISTEN. LISTEN within for Guidance. LISTEN to your Soul and let it tell you the next right step on your journey without distance. That next right step may very well be these “Sacred Steps”.

Reja Janaki Joy Green
Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]


*Bette Cundiff has been a teacher of A Course in Miracles since 1977 and has traveled throughout the US, Canada and Australia setting up conferences which teach about forgiveness. She is author of the internationally recognized children’s version of A Course in Miracles, “The Children’s Material” and has also produced a full miracles course in a novel for the young reader “Help is on the Way!”. In addition Bette is author of “Side by Side, the Twelve Steps and A Course in Miracles”. Many of her books have been translated into Spanish.

Here is Bette, in her own words:

In 1976 a powerful light filled ‘voice’ impressed onto my mind wonderful thoughts that I could not help but write down. Writing books naturally followed. Over the years this Guiding Light has occasionally assumed a sense of personality, but no matter, I knew the wisdom given to me came from That which fills us, directs us and of course loves us all. For more than thirty years I lectured around the world on spiritual psychology, comparative religions, spirituality, A Course in Miracles, the Twelve Steps and co-dependency recovery and so much more. From that time on, studying, sharing, starting up study groups globally, and writing about what I had learned and what was ‘given to me’ through inner guidance has been my passion.

Susan Dugan ~ Runaway Bunny

Runaway Bunny

by Susan Dugan*

 [as it appeared in the June 2011 Newsletter]

“Read it again, Mama,” my then two-year-old daughter would chant night after night at bedtime. And regardless of how tired I was, I would start over, vaguely conscious even then that my own little bunny would all too soon be running away as all little bunnies eventually do.

“Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away,” I read.

“So he said to his mother, ‘I am running away,’” my daughter would chime in. She loved that part.

“’If you run away,’ said his mother,” I continued, “‘I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.’”

Like most young children, my daughter loved this tale by Margaret Wise Brown concerning a little bunny’s fantasies about striking off on its own, assuming various identities and hell-bent at trading the security of a safe, toasty warren and a parent’s adoration for more alluring horizons. Becoming for example a fish in a trout stream that tries to swim away only to have its mother come after him and fish him out with a pole. My daughter would clap her small hands as the little bunny became a rock on a mountain, a crocus in a garden, a circus performer, and a sailboat in its frenzy for freedom and laugh as the patiently indulgent mother followed in hot pursuit, morphing into a mountain climber, a gardener, a trapeze artist, and a steady wind to blow him back into her loving fold.

“Read it again, Mama,” my daughter would command each time I attempted to close the book. Because, in truth, she liked the descriptions of the bunny’s adventures and the Mama’s chase much more than the ending where the bunny gives up and comes home. She has always been like this. In daycare, instead of clinging and pitching fits like normal children, she would wiggle down off my hip and toddle bravely off toward the playroom calling out names and dispensing hugs like a politician working a fundraiser. I would stand watching as the other parents labored to pry their writhing, wailing spawn from their calves, trying to convince myself that this was a good thing. I had raised a confident child. Still, it was all I could do to resist casting a line and reeling her back in.

Fast forward 16 years and my daughter is mentally and emotionally preparing to leave the family den without so much as a backward glance as all brave bunnies eventually will. Chomping at the bit to forge a new, improved, and more exciting life for herself. I am acutely aware–as we begin her final semester in high school and final varsity soccer season; as we start filling out graduation announcements and planning a celebration for family and friends–that my days as a live-in parent are numbered. As she studies for her final IB exams and weighs final college offers, I am also conscious that the story of The Runaway Bunny is everyone’s story, a story of taking the “tiny mad idea” that we could flee our Father’s all-encompassing, eternal Love and play hide and seek with him in a hallucinated world of which he—remaining thankfully, unalterably sane–knows nothing.

I’m OK with this, I tell myself as I set about whipping up another comfort food classic—macaroni and cheese and tuna noodle casserole and my famous spicy turkey meatloaf—she is, ironically, rarely around long enough anymore to eat. I know I am really trying to assuage my own persistent sense of loss. A nagging regret that defies my growing faith in what A Course in Miracles is saying. Its take on the nature of our closest relationships and the enduring specialness of this specific relationship in particular I still think I want more than the perfect, all-inclusive Love all the seeming fragments of the one child of God continue to pretend to push away.

Then, too, I catch myself watching my daughter sometimes with a deep sense of longing, wishing I could impart what I am learning in A Course in Miracles about our universal authority problem, the ego’s journey into an invented world wherein it continually seeks but never finds itself.  A reenactment of the original journey away from the mind we embarked on when we forgot to laugh at the thought of separating from our creator, choosing instead to follow the ego away from the one mind and then forget we ever had a mind. Assuming bodies–intent on competing both for survival and divine attention and approval–and forging deeper and deeper into a dream of self-imposed exile from perfect, eternal, all-inclusive Love. Cutting deals with others to get our needs met that never work for long enough while continuing to try to entice the ego’s God to follow us into this world and validate our illusions.

But I know we cannot fix or change or spare any of the inhabitants of this world what the Course calls their “curriculum,” not even the ones we literally bring into it. This comes as a particular affront to parents and yet, we can only choose love over fear whenever an opportunity to do so presents itself. We can only choose for the inner teacher of love; thereby teaching love; the inner teacher of invulnerable strength; thereby teaching invulnerable strength.

On the level of form, I find myself grieving what still sometimes feels like my daughter’s impending defection, even as I recognize the time has come for her to give this world’s illusions her best shot. We have outgrown my long fantasized ability to protect and control her and I realize that the faster she experiences all the world has to offer, the more quickly she will learn to resign as her own teacher as we all must eventually do. Still, a part of me wishes I could somehow intervene, somehow spare her the time and disillusionment that eventually propels us to finally plead for a better way.

Sometimes I still wish I could just convince my daughter to accept the ending to The Runaway Bunny, wherein the little bunny realizes it might just as well stay put and reap the benefits of maternal nurturing and the mother rewards him with a big, fat carrot. But I know too much about how this dream works now. Besides, that would require me to accept it myself and I am not quite there yet, still invested in this world at least when it comes to the fate of my little bunny as I swallow another spoon of baked mashed potatoes in her behalf and wait with my little dog for my daughter to come home.


*Susan Dugan is an A Course in Miracles student and teacher blogging about practicing ACIM’s extraordinary forgiveness at Her collection of personal forgiveness essays, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness was recently published by O-Books and is now available on Amazon She appears in the documentary A Course in Miracles: The Movie along with premier Course Scholar and Teacher Kenneth Wapnick, PhD, best-selling Course Author Gary Renard, and Nouk Sanchez and Tomas Vieira, Take Me To Truth: Undoing the Ego.


Nothing to Forgive ~ J. Michaels


Nothing to Forgive

By J. Michaels*


[As it appears in the June 2011 Newsletter]


The goal of forgiveness is to realize that there is nothing to forgive. That goal is stated quite eloquently in one of the most articulate and persuasive books ever produced in the English language, the revolutionary spiritual teaching of A Course in Miracles.  I have studied this divine curriculum on a daily basis ever since the first time I picked it up, almost twenty years ago. That teaching, studied so diligently and absorbedly, changed my life in unimaginable ways and led me away from an egocentric, self-absorbed existence to a life now filled with blessings. That long and inspired journey taught me forgiveness, which opened my mind to the infinite possibility of a life existing alongside the delusional and ego-ruled existence that we know as “the world”. I came to see that divine possibility as an ever-existing reality which lives just outside our perceptual boundaries, yet knows no peer or even comparative examples in an inherently-limited, perceptual world. If I may, I will borrow a few minutes from your day to tell you of my adventure and the treasures found in its pursuit.

I received a copy of A Course in Miracles from my wife shortly after the death of my mother. At that time, I had no idea of what it was about (neither did she) and certainly no forewarning of how much it would eventually impact my life. I have always had an inquiring mind, especially when it comes to matters of mind and spirit and that inquisitiveness, accompanied by a deep inner connection, compelled me to study this strange new book. Within a few minutes of my initial reading, I knew I held something very special in my hands. Having always possessed a preference for anything out of the ordinary, the book quickly grabbed my attention and I proceeded to delve into it with an open mind. Despite my proclivity for the unusual, I am also a very pragmatic, results-oriented person and surprisingly the Course appealed to those leanings as well.

What I discovered was an articulate (even poetic) curriculum for seeing the world as we know it in an entirely new light, one that left me both hopeful and spiritually enlivened. It is an intelligent and insightful view of both the frailties of this world and the reality of the divine realm. Better yet, it gives very precise instruction for dealing effectively with the former and for discovering the truth of the latter. Unlike many spiritual practices, it deals not only with spiritual concerns but also with the part of the mind which drives our ego-centric lives as well as the part capable of unveiling and living in the unified Mind of the Divine.

An essential component of the practice of Course precepts is forgiveness, as mentioned previously. The big difference however is the way the Course defines the term. Unlike the traditional perception of forgiveness as pardoning someone for wronging us, the Course prescribes forgiveness as a means for eliminating the barriers created by the guilt and fear driven ego mind and thereby revealing to us our true spiritual nature. It does so by providing compelling arguments that we should forgive not because someone has wronged us but rather because, in truth, the “wronging” only occurred in an illusory state of mind, or dream. As radical as it may seem, this revolutionary worldview has been proposed and endorsed by such great historical minds such as Plato, William James, Albert Einstein, and Carl Jung, as well as contemporary luminaries such as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. The Buddha himself taught that most of us live our lives in a dream state and that our main goal in life ought to be to awaken from it to the reality of our divine nature. Jesus of Nazareth spoke of his “Father’s House” and the many wonders of the divine world as his truth.

The good news is that we can awaken from the illusory dream of a perceptual-based world created by an ego-ruled mind and live our lives in a more enlightened way. That way is the path of forgiveness and of A Course in Miracles.

In order to provide an example of how forgiveness works in the material world, I offer a story from my own life. Many years ago, shortly after my wife and I married, she began to experience dreams in which I was unfaithful to our marriage vows. Although she readily admitted there was no basis for suspicion or the dreams, she continued to have them. Having studied dreams for many years, I understood that they were simply revealing to her aspects of her subconscious that had nothing to do with reality.  Yet the dreams seemed so real to her that upon awakening, she was actually angry at me for some time until it completely dawned on her that she had been dreaming. This is much like what we all experience in dreaming at times and points out how “real” our lives can appear to us, even in a dream state. It is only upon “awakening” that we realize that we have been dreaming and have finally returned to the real world.

I remember similar experiences during the sixties as I experimented with hallucinogenics. The state of mind induced by those drugs convinced me, while under their influence, that my altered state of mind was, in fact, my reality. I was so convinced of it that I did some pretty stupid things. Unlike some others, I did not go as far as to believe I could fly and leap from an upper level balcony, but I suspect that was due more to good providence than good sense.

All of these experiences, including my wife’s dreams, convinced me that our sense of reality is very much conditioned by our state of mind and, that in a perception-based existence, our reality is not only limited but distorted as well. Once we accept that premise, it is but a very short leap to consider the world as we perceive it as misrepresented at best and illusory at worst. My years of study of the Course and subsequent experiences in the world have only served to confirm that belief and to further convince me of the unsatisfying and false view of reality the material world presents.

Though it may seem that we have traveled a tangent here in search of an answer, we have not. For the basis of forgiveness as I have described it here is predicated on the fact that we judge, condemn, and even crucify ourselves and others based on behavior and performance in a world built on illusion. Having said that, should we not forgive ourselves for something we never, in truth, did? Should we not reconsider our allegiance to a world built on such a fragile foundation? And would not a good starting point for that reevaluation be letting go of any judgments or resentment based on what may or may not have actually happened? Any reaction to an event is based on the assumption that what we perceive is true or else would we not simply ignore it? If that premise of truth does not persist under the microscope of reason, do we not do ourselves and others a grave injustice by continuing as if it does? Is it not possible, as the Course states, there is nothing to forgive.

What we discover, once we accept the absurdity of a life based on an illusory foundation, is a reality much more satisfying and certain than any found in the limited, contradictory, and uncertain world we have accepted for so long. Despite a long history of disease, violence, death, wars, and nightmarish epochs such as the Inquisition, we continue to accept our “reality” as our due; while at the same time expounding that it was created by a benevolent, loving Creator. I don’t blame this mess on God. I believe the world as we perceive it is a result of our own misguided perception and willingness to accept illusion as our reality. No perfect, loving God would deign to create divine offspring only to then let them live in such a world. I submit that God did create the world; only not the one we perceive and “validate” with our frail and unreliable senses. I believe He created a world so superior to what we normally experience we would be filled with joy at the mere sight of it. That world, my friends, exists. It has always existed and it will exist forever, whether we are aware of it or not. Yet once we do awaken and become aware of its truth, we will know beyond any doubt whatsoever, that it is the real world and that we have spent our lives dreaming a nightmare of our own construction. But rather than regret, we will know only of the all-encompassing Love our Beloved Creator has used to create the real world. I know this from A Course in Miracles. I know this from practicing forgiveness for twenty years, including the forgiveness of my son’s murderer. And I know this from having seen and touched that world.

Nothing I can put into words can adequately describe of what I speak but know it is a promise made by God to His lost and errant children as they leave the dream of hate and come home to Him in Paradise. Is it not worth some small effort to consider the possibility of a divine life that exists now, and not just some abstract and distant promise of an artifact of mortal death? I look around at the material world and I see no reason to cling so fervently to it or the dismal existence that it offers. For me, I’ll bet my money on forgiveness, and God.

Copyright 2011 J. Michaels

J. Michaels
Writer, Storyteller, Poet
Spiritual Life Coach