Category Archives: A Course in Miracles

“KNOW THYSELF” – BUT WHICH SELF?

by Celia Hales

To “know thyself” has been the great preoccupation of many people for a long time. According to the new Circle of Atonement edition of A Course in Miracles, the maxim was featured in the Roman era, when someone whose name is lost to history inscribed these words in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo. (And there are indications, found elsewhere, that the maxim goes back to Egypt.) Now, in modern era New Age texts, the maxim has been given new meaning, a meaning that we can help us, for the first time, put into practice what it means.

We have puzzled over this saying for generations, because we were looking at the wrong self—an egoic self who befuddled our minds and confused our lives. We have been lost to an ego that made a persona for us that was wrong. We have been lost to materialism, and “getting mine” in a rapacious sense. Now we are coming around to something better.

A Course in Miracles, now a spiritual classic that first became available in 1976, says that a concept of the self is not needed—nor even desirable. Moreover, a concept is “meaningless.” (COA ed. ACIM, T-31.V.7) This is because all concepts are, at base, idols. And when A Course in Miracles was channeled, most of us were lost in the ego, making the attribution of an idol very apt.

Now we have a sequel to ACIM, a book channeled in the same way, by a woman hearing an interior voice whom she knew to be Jesus. (The receiver of ACOL is Mari Perron.) This “continuation” of ACIM (so dubbed in its pages, A.4) is entitled A Course of Love. A Course of Love goes a step beyond the ego, the ego that was largely dismantled by A Course in Miracles. ACOL delves into the self, the very self that “know thyself” means, and this is the Self with a capital “S.”

We can look into these new ideas without trying to form a concept of the self, without trying to form something that is meaningless. We can simply use the ideas to form a new identity—an identity that follows naturally when the ego has been given up as a bad idea. (A new identity, in fact, is what A Course of Love, seek to establish in us.

Our “little” self, with a lower-case “s,” is called the “personal” self in ACOL. This is the self we present to the world, and regardless of where we are on our pathway back to God (for that is where we are heading), we still present this personal self to the world. In the beginning of our journey (the time of A Course in Miracles), it is an egoic self, caught in the ways of this world, lost in illusions of who we are and what we are about. Later on, in A Course of Love, we learn that there is a “Christ-Self” deep within each of us, a Christ-Self who is longing to come out to see the light of day. This Christ-Self will be learning as we walk along our pathway, for, though it is part of God, this Christ-Self is not limitless, as God is. We are and remain finite, but we do, even in the beginning of our journey, get glimpses of where we are heading.

And we are heading to Christ-consciousness (called “Awakening” in A Course in Miracles). This Christ-Self will, in a mystical sense, join with a larger Self as we proceed. A lovely symbol of what we are is given in ACOL. (C:7.6) ACOL describes a “dot” of the body, which the Christ-Self surrounds and embodies. When we follow our guidance, we will look beyond this dot to a larger circle, “white space” still farther out, and this white space is the One, the All, God Himself in His larger dimensions. Thus the inner Christ-Self becomes One with All-That-Is. In this transformation, our heart and mind are joined as well.

Our heart, the center of our self, will know things that our mind could never hope to know. Our heart doesn’t need “proofs” of God’s existence, the way that the mind often hopes to find. The heart just feels warmth when it approaches the numinous. And A Course of Love is very good at encouraging us to sense the warmth of God’s love that undergirds us all.

We appeal to this new Self when we decide to know ourselves (“know thyself”), when we have journeyed long and hard, along rough highways, to the new entity being born. ACOL says that we are living in the time of Christ, the new time that follows the time of the Holy Spirit. And in this new time, we are merged with God and have a direct link to Him. This link is the Self, the Self of the united mind and heart, the larger Self whom we access that is beyond the body, but yet a part of it. This Self, in fact, is called the “elevated Self of form,” and it is our new being in a world that we will newly change, or that we will create. (Some of us will change the world, and some—maybe many more—will create a new world.)

We have long thought that we could come into our own only when we die. We thought that to meet God face-to-face would mean that we were on the Other Side, having crossed the threshold of death.

Not so, says the newest spiritual words as channeled in A Course of Love. We can know God (and “know” is the operative word here) while in this world. We are invited into a direct relationship with Him, for we are no longer fearful of talking with God. Previously, when we were enthralled by the ego, we feared God in a very real sense. So the Holy Spirit was given us as a less-fearful alternative, an intermediary.

There is no reason that being in this world in physicality, physical bodies, has to mean separation from God. We entertained a “tiny, mad idea” (FIP ed., ACIM,T-27.VIIII.6) so long ago, and this led us to believe that we could make a world, indeed a universe, that we would like better than what God had provided for us. How wrong we were! And now we know how wrong we were, and we seek restitution. We thought we “fell” from grace, and indeed we did try to go it alone, without God’s help. But we never actually separated from Him; we could not do so and live, for we are a part of Him. Now He is calling us to return to His fold, just as the prodigal son returned to his father. (This, in fact, is the archetype for our experience here on earth.)

This return will involve a heightened awareness of reality, the kind of heightened awareness that will finally give us a happy existence. In the normal course of events, at first we will get glimpses of this new awareness, Christ-consciousness, but these glimpses are just that—glimpses–and will not last. Then we find that the glimpses lengthen, and so we are experiencing real vision for the first time. After this, we maintain Christ-consciousness for a while, trying with all our might not to let it slip away (for if it does, we will form a new ego). Maintenance of Christ-consciousness, though, is an in between state that does not last. Finally, we sustain Christ-consciousness. And with our new awareness, we move to change and/or create a new world. (and the channeler is very keen to have us “create” a new world).

All of this enlightenment process does not happen suddenly, in most cases. Of course, sometimes there is a quick descent of Christ-consciousness or Awakening, and the person affected may be very confused about what has, in fact, happened. But the pathway, as outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, is usually gentle, and time keeps pace with us. We do not return to reality with the “sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear.” (FIP ed., ACIM,T-17VII.13) We are, indeed, gently slipping into eternity when we are living as Christ-conscious beings. Time is and has always been simply a measure, a way, of spreading out reality so that we can experience it in a measured way.

So the larger Self guides our journey from now on. In union with the All, the One, our God. And this is the Self whom we truly need to know in the maxim, “Know thyself.”

We no longer turn to outside authorities to point out the way for us. We understand that learned authorities of the past are just that—past. Many of them say the same things, and these things are often no longer relevant to our lives. So we turn to inner contemplation and meditation, prayer and the miracle, to guide us surely.

“Know thyself” has become an integral part of who we are, for we are no longer looking out on the world with egoic eyes, no longer seeking for aggrandizement in a misguided world. We are knowing the true Self in true reality. We are reaching both within and outside the dot of the body to a Self Who is one with God.

We have come home.

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WOULD YOU PREFER THAT YOU BE RIGHT OR HAPPY?

by Celia Hales

The New Age is bright with promise about the choice for happiness as a way of life and certainly an ethical goal. The spiritual classic, A Course in Miracles, and its sequel, A Course of Love, both espouse a way of being that offers full happiness to those who are ready for it.

This does not include those who look, in the way of the Law of Attraction, to material satisfaction. The material doesn’t satisfy long, but being and doing, with a view toward living in true reality, are indeed satisfying.

The title of this short piece comes from A Course in Miracles. (T-29.VII.1) It is an often quoted. But we do not have to look to the New Age for proof of the edification of happy living as a way of walking the path back to God.

Jesus says the same in the New Testament:

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

We have been asleep, and only dreaming a dream of reality. ACIM and ACOL, affirming the new world that we are creating, affirm this; and the Bible could be so read. ACIM says:

“Yet the Bible says that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and nowhere is there reference to his waking up.” (T-2.I.3)

ACOL says:

“Love alone has the power to turn this dream of death into a waking awareness of life eternal.” (C:4.7)

And the New Testament says:

“Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.” (Luke 8:52)

Who among us does not want a miracle in our everyday lives—tedious, tense, and tortuous the pathway back to God often seems to be? We need only awaken from our tortured dream, and happiness could be ours. A happiness that is fully promised and recommended as an ethical choice by New Age texts and the Bible.

DO WE SEE A JUDGMENTAL JESUS?

by Celia Hales

In 1970 I visited Florence, Italy, and the Baptistry, an ancient building devoted to the baptism, mostly, of infants and children. Overhead is a looming mosaic of Jesus, with large, luminous eyes, and hand raised to show the wound of the nail. I cringed. His eyes looked at me with judgment—harsh judgment. My negative image of Jesus was confirmed.

At that time Helen was scribing furiously. A Course in Miracles was not published for another six years. My discovery of ACIM happened in 1981. And I was immediately hooked. Though I had a full-time job, I read A Course in Miracles compulsively in every spare moment. And this behavior continued for many years.

Fast forward to 1995, and another visit to Florence and the Baptistry. As I entered the building, I prepared to meet Jesus’s gaze with some trepidation, for, after all, I had experienced the judgment. But this time I saw eyes that were a blank slate, waiting for me to write my perceptions on them. And he wasn’t judging me at all.

A Course in Miracles had wrought the miracle. I saw a Jesus who would be—or do—anything that I needed to bring me to God.

A Course of Love, a sequel to A Course in Miracles (and called, in its pages, a “continuation” of ACIM (A.4)) asks the question:

“Have I been a judgmental God in your universe? Then you have been judgmental and lived in a judgmental world.” (ACOL, D:Day39.21)

Surely I was that in 1970. And just as surely had I changed by 1995, many hours of studying A Course in Miracles under my belt.

In 1970 I had just emerged from the world of collegiate competition at a prestigious university. Competition both feeds and undermines the ego, for in a competitive environment, the ego is boosted by accomplishments and shrivels when work doesn’t measure up to expectations. My ego fostered judgment of my peers at that university. There didn’t seem to be any way around it.

A Course in Miracles and life experiences changed all that. By 1995, I was nine years into a cooperative workplace, a library, where we worked together constantly and believed that two heads were better than one in virtually any situation. The changes were good for me. My ego was being dislodged. As A Course of Love says about A Course in Miracles, “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 . . .” (C:P.8)

And when in 1995 I looked up at Jesus in the Baptistry in Florence, he gazed back at me, evenly.

I don’t have reason to be scared of Jesus anymore.

ETERNITY AND ACIM: A REVIEW OF JON MUNDY’S ETERNAL LIFE AND A COURSE IN MIRACLES

TITLE: ETERNAL LIFE AND A COURSE IN MIRACLES
AUTHOR: JON MUNDY, Ph.D.
REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales

If I had to choose one word to describe Jon Mundy’s latest offering, it would be “reassurance.” Of course, those of us who have studied and taken to heart A Course in Miracles believe that death is not the end. But Jon makes that truth crystal clear with supporting evidence for the unbeliever and anybody unfamiliar with ACIM— near-death experiences that are prompted by psychedelics, near-death experiences that are natural, and accounts from dying people who do cross the threshold. Pervading his writing is a calming tone that will be soothing to the fearful who may be facing death sooner rather than later. His many selected passages from A Course in Miracles are superbly chosen, for he draws upon his vast knowledge of ACIM to select those passages most certain to speak to the matter of eternal life. Nobody could do a keyword search and find these gems; they are carefully chosen by an author who knows ACIM intimately from long years of dedication.

Jon Mundy is among the handful of individuals who helped to launch A Course in Miracles. The scribe, Helen Schucman, much older than Jon, counseled him in a personal way about the issues with which a young man contends. He also formed a bond with Kenneth Wapnick that continued for long years and included similar significant encounters. Jon’s respect for Ken is covered in a chapter – long very personal tribute that recounts Ken’s incredible journey with ACIM that prompted some 32 books, plus substantial contributions in other media. Jon’s memories of the early years will be eagerly read by those who love ACIM. Throughout, Jon has a very human voice in his writing that urges the reader forward in the book; he knows how to encourage one to keep reading, to keep turning those pages to see what else is going to happen.

Jon frankly lets us see into his heart when he describes in some detail his guided experimental use of psychedelics as a way to get beyond the ego and find himself looking death in the face. Readers who might be inclined to judge Jon for his experimentation should realize that he had these experiences in the seventies. He was guided by a psychiatrist/shaman who took pains to see that the people in his care were safe. The near-death aspect of Jon’s experience was prompted by the doctor’s administration of ketamine, an anesthetic.

Jon does not recommend that we follow in his footsteps, indicating that his way was harsh (he calls it “hell”), whereas the way to overcome the ego in ACIM is gentle. It seems apparent that Jon has spent a great deal of reflection in all the years since in trying to understand what he saw in near-death experiences. This reflection has been augmented in more recent years by near-death experiences that were not drug-related. He speaks easily about these experiences, certain that there is a plan and that it is gentle. Jon also draws on others’ experiences in near-death to pull back the veil over the afterlife.

The latter half of the book is devoted to a carefully developed exposition of what A Course in Miracles says about eternity. As mentioned, the selected passages from ACIM are exquisite; one gets the impression that Jon went about selecting the most beautiful of all available, knowing that he couldn’t give every instance of what eternal life means in ACIM.

What does eternal life mean in A Course in Miracles? Jon weaves this story in and through quotations from ACIM itself. Eternal life is a life that can begin on earth; there is no need to think that eternal life comes about only at death’s door. Heaven is here and now, if we have discarded the egoic separation from God, a separation that could only happen because we had a “tiny, mad idea” that we wanted to try to make creation be something other than what God had decreed. And all that we ever made was illusion. Jon makes the point that the radical monism of ACIM is extremely pertinent to eternal life. Our illusory bodies seem real enough to us, but real they are not. The only thing that is real is that which we cannot touch—peace, joy, harmony, and the like. And these things are eternal. Time and space are illusions that are found only in the physical universe. And nothing illusory is eternal. But Life and Love have always been and always will be. This is the promise of eternity that ACIM describes so wonderfully.

Jon’s reassurance about eternal life is borne of what he knows. He does not believe; he knows. And this insight pours out on every page, weaving anecdotes in some chapters, recounting ACIM in others. Jon has a very personal way of writing that develops an intimacy with the reader. He looks beyond his own persona to develop universal truths about eternity and eternal life as reflected in real experiences, his own as well as others, and in the philosophy of A Course in Miracles.

Jon Mundy has written many books, but this one is surely one of his best. Recommended for anybody who fears death, even a little, and who among us does not?

NEW AGE TEXTS TACKLE THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING

Published in New Age Journal (online), March 4, 2017.

by Celia Hales

New Age enthusiasts have long read and considered what is now a spiritual classic, A Course in Miracles (copyright 1975). Now another classic is in the making by the same presumed author, Jesus. This one is called A Course of Love, published in a combined volume—three works in one–in 2014. The author uses different words for sickness/illness in the material scribed by Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, and Mari Perron, A Course of Love, but many of the words mean the same thing. The thread of meaning is virtually identical. The author has a dim view of sickness, stressing that although it is meaningless in the long run, sickness offers an opportunity for forgiveness, full acceptance, and—the ultimate answer—love.

Let’s see what our presumed author, Jesus, says in both of these courses.

A Course in Miracles talks about sickness as a defense against the truth. It is negative and so unnecessary. The cure for sickness in ACIM is forgiveness granted by one brother to another.

When we are sick, we are not asking for peace, for sickness is an illusion like all the rest of the illusions with which we surround ourselves, and we do not realize that we have failed to ask for peace. Ask for peace, and see what change may come, and come sooner rather than later. Jesus even says that all forms of sickness are the illusory but visible evidence of the fear of Awakening.

A Son of God cannot be sick in reality, true reality. And so we are asked not to view an individual as sick, not to give credence to the illusion. By so doing, we reinforce the illness, and this we would never knowingly want to do.

Sickness is but another call for love, and we are bidden to respond accordingly. One brother whose mind is whole can reach out to a split mind and heal it. Thus, one brother heals another, in love, always in love. Healing is accomplished the instant that a sufferer no longer sees any value in pain.

In Psychoanalysis: Purpose, Process, Practice, the supplement to ACIM scribed by Helen a little later than ACIM, he says that illness can be only an expression of sorrow and of guilt. And we weep when we are separate from God, even though we know that this is an illusory separation. We weep for the innocence that we think we have lost. We have a view of the self as weak, vulnerable, evil and endangered, and thus in need of constant defense (as said in ACIM). Illness then is a mistake like all the other mistakes that we have made in our “separation.” Sickness is insanity, like the other mistakes.

Defenselessness is strength. And the sooner we come to know this, the better, and the healthier we will become. When two brothers join in healing, healing is assured. But to continue to believe in sickness because of the appearance of symptoms is to believe amiss. This is a particularly difficult idea to believe.

Forgiveness extended from one brother to another will heal. God has entered their relationship, and with Him, all is possible. Only an unforgiveness can possibly give rise to sickness of any kind. (P-2.VI.5) The passing of guilt comes about when we know that forgiveness has been received. And guilt is all mixed up with our ideas of being unforgiven.

The Song of Prayer, another supplement to ACIM, emphasizes that certain negative traits, such as hatred in our heart, and attack, are banished from the mind, prayer will heal—but not until these traits are completely gone and we have reunited with our Source. The theme of all of Jesus’s channelings is present in Song of Prayer. The body, he says, can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. The cause of sickness is the unacknowledged wish to die and to overcome the Christ.

A Course of Love dwells on sickness as either rejected or ejected feelings, feelings about which consciousness was not chosen, and so the feeling made the physical manifestation. Only love, in the embrace, and fostered by the Self, will heal for all time. And this is paradise re-found. (ACOL, D:Day16)
We have often suffered through our lives at the hands of rejected love. And Jesus indicates that this common experience can easily bring on illness. Because the pain is great, we reject the feelings rather than process them, and thus set ourselves up for sickness.

Bitterness, which is of the heart, keeps the cycle of suffering in place. And love’s disappointment is a particularly fertile place to foment bitterness.

Jesus makes clear to us in ACOL that no person is to blame for the sickness that overcomes them. It is a victimless phenomenon. Jesus indicates that we are to remove blame from our repertoire of emotions. It serves no useful purpose, and we replace it with nothing specific, we just remove it. Acceptance, though, is the next logical step.

Being in harmony with poor health, and accepting it for what it is, will return us to good health. Studying the lesson that sickness teaches is most important. What does our illness say to us? What is the lesson that it has come to bring?

I think Jesus is developing two trains of thought, one in ACIM and its supplements, and one in ACOL. Yet the ideas are similar. Rejected or ejected feelings (ACOL) are almost by definition the feelings that we are defending against (ACIM). ACIM describes feelings that cause us to lose our way as attack feelings, judging, or planning against contingencies to come (except when prompted to plan by guidance). ACOL describes feelings that cause to lose our way as loneliness or despair, anger or grief.

All of these feelings that we reject (and thereby cause illness) or eject (and thereby blame on other people), or we defend against, are negative. So I think that the New Agers who believe that we make our sickness by our negative thoughts are onto something. But to blame the victim is just more of the same. We’ve simply made a mistake. All who are sick are due compassion (ACOL).

We are healed through acceptance of the truth of what is. Our minds are healed, and then the bodily identification with physical ailments dissolves. (Both ACIM and ACOL say this.) We don’t get anywhere in resisting illness, because this is rejecting or ejecting (ACOL), and therefore defending ourselves against (ACIM).

I have some sense that these meanings are part of the “ideal” level of reading the works. On a practical level, not all illnesses are healed, regardless of how we twist our minds around the concepts that Jesus gives us. And our minds may be healed when our bodies are not. The healing of the mind and emotions, moreover, may be the greatest blessing.

Everyone has to exit this world somehow, and usually we go through illness of the physical body. This is when we discard the body out of choice, as one “lays by a garment now outworn.” (S-3.II.1) This experience does not carry the negative connotations that sickness in the midst of life does.

So, to heal sickness, we look to the reason for our negative feelings: What feelings are we rejecting or ejecting, or what are we defending against? We feel weak in this illusion of sickness, an illusion that is in no way reality, but nevertheless something that accompanies most people, at times, through our journey through life. We do not blame ourselves or other people for this evidence of illusory separation from God; we know that we are caught up in a dream of our making, and the sooner we return to our Source, the quicker our recovery can begin.
And it may not be a lasting recovery. If we slip again into illness, we look to heal our feelings yet again. Our Source can and does heal. But not always, and we don’t choose to blame ourselves if, like St. Paul, we have a “thorn in our side.”

Yet love is the ultimate answer, explained in ACOL in the following words:

“Could suffering really have gone on for countless ages simply due to your inability to birth the idea of an end to suffering?

“Has not a part of you always known that suffering does not have to be even while you have accepted that it is? Let us now put an end to this acceptance through the birth of a new idea.

“This idea is an idea of love. . . .

“It is an idea that says that if you live from love and within love’s laws you will create only love. It is an idea that accepts that this can be done and can be done by you in the here and now.” (ACOL, T3:8.12 – 9.1)

So, here we have it, in Jesus’s own words as received by Mari. He also says that previously we have said that we loved too little and we loved too much, but never “enough.”

Now Jesus is challenging us to love enough.

AN APPRECIATION OF COA’S NEW EDITION OF ACIM

Published on amazon.com.

by Celia Hales

The Circle of Atonement has recently released a fantastic new resource for lovers of A Course in Miracles, an edition based on the original handwritten notes of Helen Schucman. Robert Perry, editor, and Greg Mackie, assistant editor, assembled a team of experts who worked over ten years on this edition. It is truly a labor of love on their part. Masterfully done, it restores some 45,000 words to the second edition published by the Foundation for Inner Peace in 1992 (and republished, with Helen’s supplements, in 2007).

I came to know of this edition from Lisa Natoli of the Teachers of God Foundation, a foundation supporting the work of those who love A Course in Miracles. I was surprised when I read that this new edition is the one that she will now use, even though she had earlier felt that the FIP edition was sufficient. On the strength of this recommendation, I purchased the new edition by the Circle of Atonement, billed as a “complete & annotated edition,” and since reading it obsessively for several days, I have become completely enthralled with what I find.

First and foremost are the 45,000 restored words to A Course in Miracles. Several chapters in the beginning part of the Text, particularly, were at issue. One’s understanding of miracles as expressions of love will be much enhanced.

Throughout the new edition (almost 2,000 pages) there are substantive footnotes on almost every page, well-written, cogent, respectful to the original. In going back to notes of Helen, we can even now see what words Jesus emphasized when he was speaking as an internal voice. These words are faintly underlined, making me feel that I were listening to Jesus himself. Cameo essays are in the back of the volume, cameos that highlight the very personal nature of some of Jesus’s words to Helen and to Bill Thetford. In keeping with Jesus’s professed intentions, the personal words to Helen and Bill were not included in the Course proper, but are described in some detail in 33 cameos.

Why this new edition seemed necessary is covered in detail in an appendix. I read this with great interest, and concluded that Robert, Greg, and their team were right: A complete and annotated edition is needed. The new edition is available for $48 from the Circle of Atonement; also available from Amazon.

This is simply a fantastic editorial feat. Recommended most enthusiastically by a long-time lover of A Course in Miracles.

DEVELOPING A RELIGION: A Review of Thomas Moore’s A Religion of One’s Own

Republished from Miracles magazine, July/August issue (Jon Mundy, publisher)

TITLE: A Religion of One’s Own: A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

AUTHOR: Thomas Moore

PUBLISHER: Gotham Books (Penguin Group)

REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales

Thomas Moore’s writings on the soul have a particular interest for students of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. And this book, A Religion of One’s Own, he views as a sequel to his well-known, well-recognized Care of the Soul. Notice the following quotation, a quotation that fits right in with the philosophy of ACIM and ACOL:

“Bliss is the joy that arrives when you are released from the pressure to be a small self. Bliss descends when you open yourself to life in all its abundance and breathtaking power and let it so suffuse you that you forget your worries about being somebody and justifying your life. You give in. You let life take over. You become a holy person instead of a secular egotist, and you then you discover that your holiness is the base of your own religion.” (89% through the kindle book)

A Course in Miracles affirms that happiness—another term that includes bliss—is one of the several functions that are given to us. (The other principal ones are forgiveness and salvation.) And A Course of Love strongly recommends giving up the little self and substituting the larger Self. Both ACIM and ACOL say that we must give up the ego.

I suspect that Moore has read A Course in Miracles, as have most religious leaders of today, but he does not lean on its philosophy to any real extent. The similarities to ACIM and A Course of Love are, instead, perennial wisdom with Moore’s particular take on today’s plight. The thesis of A Religion of One’s Own is that we have been living too much of a secular life, a life that has failed us, and it is mandatory that we overturn this tendency by sampling the rich heritage in religion, mythology, psychology that is available to us. Throughout this book, he gives hints of how to incorporate this heritage into our modern day life.

Moore’s ideas are sometimes startling. He gives a great emphasis to intuition, or what ACIM and ACOL would turn guidance. But he recommends somewhat magical techniques for ascertaining intuition, from casting runes to tarot cards to reading tea leaves. He sees these methods as practical ways of enhancing our intuitive leanings. He does not overlook the role of the psychic in utilizing these methods effectively. He sees dreams as a particularly effective way to give us direction in life, believing that a dream diary fits right in with a life of prayer, mediation, and quiet reading.

Moore returns to his favorite individuals in this book, building on a short list that he has developed in previous writing. His favorites are headed up by James Hillman, his mentor and the inspiration for much of his writing in the Neoplatonic tradition. Others cited include Emerson, Thoreau, Thomas Merton, Jung, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Moore builds from his counseling practice to give anecdotes from his patients, disguising their identities. He gives his wife great credit for helping him to live a monastic-like life outside of the monastery, but one that is erotic also. He believes that all of us would benefit from just such a peaceful retreat from the world, even as we go out daily from our retreat to earn our living.

Early in this book he affirms, “This new kind of religion asks that you move away from being a follower to being a creator.” (4% into the kindle edition) This is a primary emphasis of A Course of Love, in which we are encouraged to move into Christ-consciousness and then, by sustaining this new state of being, create a new world. Moore also affirms the value of waking up and staying awake, an emphasis of both ACIM and ACOL.

Yes, there is much in Moore’s latest offering to interest students of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. He does use the concept of soul repeatedly, and this is a word that Jesus avoids, most of the time, in A Course in Miracles. But Moore says that we need a “religion that comes out of our hearts and minds and is tailor-made to our own values and sensitivities.” (5% into the kindle edition) Readers of A Course of Love will immediately recognize the similarities.

Moore’s writing invites soul in the Ray Charles tradition. His prose is often mesmerizing in its impact.
A Religion of One’s Own is an important book, fully promising an enthusiastic following in line with Moore’s earlier Care of the Soul. A wholehearted recommendation.