Scribed by Mari Perron. To order, visit <http://acourseoflove.com>.
This review covers all three volumes in the three-volume series: (1) A Course of Love; the Complete Course; (2) The Treatises of A Course of Love; and (3) The Dialogues: Coming to Voice.
Review by Celia Hales. Revised with new title. Previously published in Miracles magazine (publisher Jon Mundy).
Can you imagine another Course in Miracles, again this time in three books (but this time with a definite sequence for reading)? Suspend judgment for a moment and imagine that Jesus has unfinished busineess with us. I personally believe that this is what we have in the A Course of Love series. Certainly individuals other than Mari Perron have believed themselves to be channeling Jesus in the years since ACIM. It would be inadvisable for me to take a stand on any of these books; this is a subject fully beyond my knowledge. Yet as well, it would not be useful to debate the authenticity of the A Course of Love (ACOL) series without introducing you to this remarkable gift. That you learn of this series and make your own choice, to read or not to read, is my goal in this review. Maybe you will find that this series has been out there waiting for you.
The series starts simply but profoundly with an offering called A Course of Love. (This first book in the series was reviewed by this reviewer and is posted on this blog under the title, “A Course of Love: Review I.) The words in this first volume are comforting and reassuring. This is the basic book in the series, the beginning, meant to appeal to the heart. (Later on, we find that Jesus links the heart to the mind with a plea toward “wholeheartedness.”) If read too quickly (which can be done, unlike ACIM, much of which is poetry, blank verse) the first book may not resonate deeply. My view of this is that, as Jesus told Mari, ACIM students are “ready” for ACOL. We will seem almost to “know this already.”
The second and third books in the ACOL series will put to rest any doubts about whether or not we ACIM students really need to learn (and “unlearn”) more. (These also rested my questions about Jesus as the one channeling the material to Mari.) The Treatises are dense and packed with meaning; The Dialogues, the same. I found that I needed to read them very slowly and thoughtfully. In these last two books Jesus surprisingly resigns as our teacher, and even suggests that learning through the Holy Spirit has come to an end because this is the time of the “second coming of Christ.” The last book, The Dialogues, builds to a crescendo in its final pages that left me weeping as I read. We may be more reading for Awakening (ACIM‘s term) then we realize. What joy!
This set of four short books has a definite progression in the order given; one builds upon the previous one and on to the next. They are intended to give us further guidance for living in “wholeheartedness,” even as we are recognized as thinking beings who cannot live by feeling alone. There is even a recognized need for a break in “thinking” (and therefore in reading, I would wonder) between the first book in the series (ACOL) and the second one (The Treatises). (There is, however no recognized need for a break between the second and third books (The Treatises and The Dialogues).)
We are meant to live in sustained Christ-consciousness, though this in no way makes us unique nor more “special” than anyone else. Everyone is chosen (an ACIM declaration also). We are, in these treatises, both “learning” and “unlearning” so that we can move beyond to observation and the state of unity in holy relationships (never special) one to the other. The conclusion of the fourth (and last) treatise is the “Treatise on the New.”
(Reviewer’s note: Reflected upon in this blog; see “about,” and then search “archives” for the dates posted). At the conclusion of the “New,” we are said to be in the resurrection, the time of the second coming of Christ.
In sum, “This course has led you through resigning as your own teacher, to becoming a true student, and to now leading you beyond the time of being a student to the realization of your accomplishment. (10.1)” We will now, through vision and direct revelation, be in a time of glorious surprises for which we do not need to (nor can we) prepare or plan. We are transforming the personal self to the Self, or Christ-consciousness. Jesus calls for us to have a personal relationship to him, but, surprisingly (as noted), he resigns as our teacher. He says, “I do not have the answers that would continue to make of me a teacher and you a student. The answers to the elevation of the personal self and the living of Christ-consciousness in form are yet to be revealed and shared. (12.32)” He concludes the final treatise with the injunction, “Let us begin.”
This third book in the series is a joining of Christ to each of us. Jesus moves into a role no longer as teacher, but as a companion. He directs us (before moving away from his traditional role as teacher) to claim the Self that we are; this involves an elevation of the personal self through complete acceptance of what is, by maintaining and sustaining our being (the Christ-consciousness). Jesus emphasizes that this state cannot be “learned,” but can come into being only by our natural state of knowing brought on by wholehearted desire.
The Dialogues conclude (in over half the book) with “Forty Days and Forty Nights.” (Reviewer’s note: Reflected upon in this blog; the title of each posting begins with Day x; see “all posts” in the sidebar). In these Forty Days and Forty Nights, we are meant to commune on the “mountain top,” yet remain in our daily lives, balancing the two–elevation and the personal self–until the self of form is elevated and sustained in that elevation. Jesus asks for our commitment as early as the Fourth Day; he indicates that we can make the journey to the mountain top many times, if desired, “but this is not what I call you to. (Page 114)” He asks us to live through “unity and relationship” (words that are frequently repeated throughout The Dialogues).
Jesus concludes with these moving words: “You will realize that you know what to do. Expect heaven on earth, you were told. This is what it is. There will be no doubt, no indecision. Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along. Expect this. And it will be. (Pages 248 – 249)”
I hope that the time has come for the A Course of Love series to find a wider readership. As mentioned, Jesus tells us in the ACOL series that the time of learning is over. Perhaps perpetual students of ACIM need something more to move them to greater action in the world. May the ACOL series speak–loudly and powerfully–to your heart and mind–as Jesus says, “wholeheartedly.” Let us claim the heritage that is ours, no longer fearful that we are acting out of ego. I believe that Jesus saw our weakened egos (a success of ACIM), but he needs us to truly leave our fears behind and claim our power.
Then the more widespread Awakening of our world surely might begin.