Note: Published in Miracles magazine, May-June, 2015 (publisher Jon Mundy).
TITLE: A COURSE OF LOVE: THE COURSE, THE TREATISES, THE DIALOGUES
FIRST RECEIVER: Mari Perron
PUBLISHER: Take Heart Publications
PUBLISHED: Combined Volume, September 2014
REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales
Can you imagine “another Course in Miracles”? This phrase, “another Course in Miracles,” was the startling introduction that Mari Perron heard internally, shortly before she assented to scribe. She recognized the voice as Jesus. Within a week, he was coming through to her for a new Course with an internal impression of words—the same method that Helen has described in receiving ACIM. The three-year process of receiving (channeling) happened about 15 years ago, and it has been a well-kept secret since, apparently waiting for its time. Now Take Heart Publications has published a new combined volume of the three books scribed by Mari, and A Course of Love (ACOL) is coming into its own.
I interviewed Mari Perron a decade ago, a few months after I wandered into Barnes & Noble and found an enticing pink jacket on a white book with an intriguing title, A Course of Love. Mari is articulate, unassuming, genuine. She told me that those who have studied ACIM were identified for her by Jesus as the best audience for A Course of Love, because we are ready for it. I have found that A Course in Love answers questions that earnest seekers still have despite careful study of A Course in Miracles.
As you most probably know, there are several other individuals who have asserted that they have “heard” Jesus internally, and there are web sites and books arising from this phenomenon. Some individuals do believe that they channel Jesus “live,” that is to say, they speak words as they hear them internally. I make no judgments about these other works and manifestations. I ask you only to consider A Course of Love as particularly appropriate for those of us who are dedicated students/teachers of A Course in Miracles. A Course of Love says that it is a “continuation” of ACIM, and, as such, it describes numerous parallels between the two works. One seeking to channel, even Jesus himself, can only use the vocabulary that is in the mind of the scribe. Mari had read A Course in Miracles (by her count) seven times just prior to channeling A Course of Love. In my opinion, she writes with Presence and as an especially clear channel for Jesus’s purposes in writing A Course of Love. Here is what Jesus in ACOL says about this:
“Where the original Course in Miracles was a course in thought reversal and mind training, a course to point out the insanity of the identity crisis and dislodge the ego’s hold, this is a course to establish your identity and to end the reign of the ego.” (A Course of Love, C:P.8)
Some of us who have studied ACIM and emerged with weakened egos have, in the words of A Course of Love, “rejected” ourselves. We think that to claim our rightful place of identity with the Christ within lacks humility. A Course in Love says that such an attitude is actually borne of fear.
“You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God.” (C:P.20)
But now we approach “final learning through the realm of the heart. This is where the confusion ends. This is why we call this course A Course of Love.” (C:P.44)
Some will read the first book (the “Course”) of ACOL to be a further refinement of A Course in Miracles–a refresher with added principles for those who have studied ACIM, a compendium of necessary thoughts for those who have not studied ACIM. As much as A Course of Love is believed to be a sequel to ACIM, ACOL can stand on its own because of the material in the first book. The second and third books (the “Treatises” and the “Dialogues”) represent the complexities of ACOL, to be read after the first book has been assimilated, after a break in reading. They have much depth, and their principles will require careful reading.
One overarching theme: We are being led from our emphasis on the mind, where we often think we need proofs, into an emphasis on the heart, which knows without having cognitive proof. Ultimately, we are told, we must combine mind and heart into what Jesus terms “wholeheartedness.”
In ACOL, we see the end of the illusory separated self, moving into our new identity as the Christ Self. We live in Oneness (unity) and in holy relationships (no longer special) with God and with others. Everyone is chosen (an ACIM declaration also). We move beyond old ways of learning to new ways of learning, new ways which include living in observation of our living rather than traditional means of study. Our seeking has an end, and that time is now. We are said to be now living in the time of the second coming of Christ, the time of the Holy Spirit having ended. We don’t need an intermediary any longer; we can approach the internal God directly, no longer being afraid of Him.
As ACOL progresses, Jesus moves into a role no longer as teacher, but as a companion. He directs us to allow elevation of the physical body in Christ-consciousness, and to sustain that new identity in the “elevated Self of form.” This is the way of the future, a future that not even Jesus will predict. Having given up the ego and established a new identity, we are living in a way that is not in conflict with God’s will and our true will for ourselves. We are separate from God no longer, not even in illusion. Jesus speaks directly to us when he concludes:
“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.” (E.6)
Many who have loved A Course in Miracles will find much value in A Course of Love. Like ACIM, ACOL too must be read attentively and also slowly, approached with an open mind and a thoughtful heart. The words are beautiful. There are jewels here. And solace, oh, so much solace for the heart! Others, early readers of ACOL, have told me that the emphasis on the heart is very comforting, as well as helpful, to them.
A Course of Love has my enthusiastic recommendation.