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A Better Way

A NEWSLETTER FOR STUDENTS OF A COURSE IN MIRACLES / THE CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT / SPRING 2004 / ISSUE 45

Study powers and powerful inner experiences.


We think of the saint as someone who
can heal the sick or read minds or per-

Ten Character Traits haps levitate, someone who slips easily


into rapturous visions and ecstatic mysti-
cal states. Significantly, however, neither

of the Spiritually supernatural powers nor blissful inner


states are included in the gifts the Course
speaks of here. The gifts we normally think

Advanced of seem to have been intentionally left off


the list. What, then, are the gifts the Course
speaks of? They are character traits. The
B Y R O B E R T P E R R Y special gifts God gives to those who come
....................................................
near to Him are gifts of character.
We are delighted to be able to print an excerpt from Robert Perry’s brand new I find something exquisitely appropri-
ate in this. Who of us has not heard of
book, Path of Light: Stepping into Peace with A Course in Miracles. You can
the spiritual master who can drop into
pre-order the book online at www.circlepublishing.com, where we have some
samadhi at will, yet who in his worldly
introductory special offers, or use the order form printed in this newsletter. Copies dealings displays the kind of character
will be shipped May 1st. This section is taken from the final chapter, and answers traits we have come to expect from dirty
the question: What kind of person are we trying to become on this path? politicians? I think we all assume that
something is really amiss there. True, we

A
t one point, the Course itself all long for mystical experiences. Yet just
(in Section 4 of the Manual, as fundamental is the longing to be good,
“What Are the Characteristics of to be a person of true and uncommon
God’s Teachers?”) provides an extended goodness. In a culture in which so many
discussion of the gifts that come to those people feel they have suppressed their
who become truly advanced on this real feelings in the attempt to be good, I
path—or any path, for that matter. It calls almost feel as if I’m speaking blasphemy.
these individuals advanced teachers of But the yearning is there, and it’s so pow-
God, and says about them: “God gives erful that we’ll do almost anything under
special gifts to His teachers, because they its pressure—even twisted things like
have a special role in His plan for Atone- suppressing our feelings. We want to be
ment.”1 When we think of those who are good, and that desire is unquenchable. As
highly spiritually advanced, two kinds of I have said many times in this book, the
gifts generally come to mind: paranormal Continued on page 4

“Everyone eventually begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way.”
–Text, Chapter 2, Section III
SPRING 2004 1
A Better Way From the Editor

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
A Better Way is published quarterly.
T he last few months have been a whirlwind of activity here at the Circle, and
at last we have something to show for it! First of all, we are delighted to
announce the imminent publication of my new book Path of Light: Stepping into
Within the U.S. the suggested subscription Peace with A Course in Miracles. It is being printed right now and will be avail-
is $15 per year. You may also receive this
newsletter by e-mail, and the suggested
able to ship starting May 1st. You can order it online now at our brand new
contribution for this is $8 per year. If you website, www.circlepublishing.com (the website of our new publishing division),
wish to subscribe to the electronic version of where you can take advantage of some special offers, or use the form printed in
A Better Way, please send a blank e-mail to
this newsletter.
betterway-subscribe@circleofa.com.
Another long-awaited development has been the production of a much
THE CIRCLE OF ATONEMENT smarter-looking newsletter. It has been professionally redesigned to be easier on
is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation the eye. We have also made other changes, notably the inclusion of a number of
based on A Course in Miracles. It was founded smaller articles rather than a few lengthy ones, and have grouped them under the
in 1993. Its publishing division, Circle
Publishing, was founded in 2003. headings of Study, Practice, Extension, and Walking the Path. We felt this would
be more informative for readers as well as being perhaps more inviting. We will
BOARD OF DIRECTORS still retain one lengthy article for an in-depth study of a topic, but the remaining
Robert Perry articles are aimed at supporting and inspiring our readers in walking the path
Allen Watson
Mary Anne Buchowski of the Course.
Nicola Harvey Our lead article in this issue is an excerpt from Path of Light. It is actually the
Greg Mackie last few pages of the book. It uses the ten characteristics of the teacher of God
FINANCIAL POLICY (from the Manual for Teachers) to paint a vivid portrait of the person the Course
Our financial policy is based on a
is leading us to become. If you’ve ever wondered how the Course wants you to
line from Psychotherapy (a Course turn out, this may just provide the answer. I hope you enjoy it.
supplement): “One rule should always be
observed: No one should be turned away
because he cannot pay” (P-3.III.6:1).
Therefore, if you would like any of our
materials or services and cannot
afford them, simply let us know, and
give what you are able to. WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT SAYS
The Circle is supported entirely by
your purchases and gifts, and we ask you
to look within to see if you might be led
to support our vision financially with a
donation above the list price of materials
A Course in Miracles is a spiritual path. Its purpose is to train us to work miracles—
to accept and extend to others the shifts in perception that awaken us to God.
It consists of three volumes, which signify the three aspects of its program:
(any donations are tax deductible). We
✦ Text: Through studying the teaching, the Course’s thought system first enters
encourage you to give, not in payment
for goods received, but in support of our minds.
our work and outreach. ✦ Workbook for Students: Through doing the practice, the Course’s thought system
penetrates more and more deeply into our minds.
MAILING LIST POLICY
✦ Manual for Teachers: Through extending our healed perception to others, the
The Circle will share its mailing list on Course’s thought system receives its final reinforcement and becomes the only
request with other A Course in Miracles
organizations, using our discretion and being thing in our minds.
sensitive to guidance. If you do not want your
name shared in this way, please let us know
and we will ensure it is not. T he Course’s message is that the source of our suffering is not the world’s mistreat-
ment of us, but rather our egocentric attack on the world. This attack convinces us
that we have defiled our nature beyond repair, that we are irredeemably guilty. Yet the
Portions from A Course in Miracles © 1975,
1992, 1999, reprinted by permission of the Course says true reality cannot be defiled; it is a realm of pure, changeless, unified spirit.
Foundation for A Course in Miracles, This realization allows us to forgive the world’s apparent mistreatment of us by recognizing
41397 Buecking Drive, that it did not actually occur. And as we see this forgiveness come forth from us—see that
Temecula, CA 92590.
we are capable of something genuinely loving and egoless—we gradually realize that we
never defiled ourselves. Thus we awaken to the untouched innocence of our true nature.

2 A BETTER WAY
IN THIS ISSUE
Study Departments

1 2
Excerpt from Path of Light: From the Editor
Ten Character Traits of the Spiritually Advanced
by Robert Perry 15
Circle Mail Ordering
12
Making Error Real 18
by Allen Watson Circle Mailbox

Practice 19
Circle Events
8
When Should You Take Your Morning Quiet Time? 19
by Robert Perry Circle Sevices
10 EDITOR
Practice Tip: Early Evening Quiet Time Robert Perry
by Greg Mackie
MANAGING EDITOR
Nicola Harvey
Extension
STAFF WRITERS
9 Robert Perry
Extension Is Energizing Allen Watson
Greg Mackie
by Greg Mackie Mary Anne Buchowski
Nicola Harvey
Walking the Path
PUBLISHED BY

11 The Circle of Atonement


Teaching and Healing CenterP
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by Mary Anne Buchowski
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SPRING 2004 3
TEN TRAITS / from page 1 Thus, he has no need to push the flow. through with what he says. He keeps his
He does act; he decides to go right in- word. He practices what he preaches. He
Course claims that all of our pain comes stead of left, he decides to do this instead embodies, in other words, a kind of ultra-
from our deep-seated belief that we of that. But his actions flow from his integrity, to the point where all of his
have permanently stained our original connection with that unseen Power. thoughts, words, and actions are com-
goodness, that we have corrupted our- Thus, if this Power so directs him, he too pletely in harmony with one another.
selves beyond all repair. A moment’s will plant a garden, but once he does, he There is a trueness that runs all the way
ecstasy is wonderful, but if afterwards we will make sure that he invites everyone through him, through his private
are faced with the same person we de- into it, because he trusts them. thoughts and his public expression. At no
test—ourselves—then that belief in our level is he in conflict with himself,3 and
corruption has not been undone, and this gives him a peace of mind that we
2. Honesty
that overpowering urge to be good has crafty magicians can only dream of.
not been satisfied. Because we don’t trust the world, we
The following ten characteristics— all, to one degree or another, become 3. Tolerance
drawn from “What Are the Characteris- career magicians. We present to our
tics of God’s Teachers?”—paint a portrait audience a carefully constructed illusion. In our efforts to tame the wilderness
of a person who is pure goodness, a per- A little misdirection, a little sleight of of life, we believe it is crucial to have high
son who in any land, at any time, would hand, and we have them believing in standards. They tell us what belongs
be considered a saint, a person whom any something that’s not actually real. Our inside our garden and what must be kept
tradition would be honored to call its signature trick, however, is not making out. If we relax our standards and let
own. This is the person the Course is
leading us to become.
Our signature trick, however, is not making tigers
1. Trust
appear; it’s conjuring an illusion of ourselves.
We look out and see a world that can’t
be trusted. People are scurrying about
focused on their needs and heedless of tigers appear; it’s conjuring an illusion of anything in—rabbits, birds, substandard
ours. Random winds are blowing that ourselves—as wonderful, attractive, seed, cheap fertilizers, and those careless
swirl about us, thoughtlessly disrupting intelligent, caring, and sincere. If we’re people—we’ll not only lose control, but
our affairs as though we don’t exist. In really skilled, we have our audiences we’ll also lose self-respect. At that point,
this general chaos, if we want to survive, it believing in an image of ourselves that is we are no better than anyone else.
seems we have to exercise some sort of no more than a bit of stage magic. Who The advanced teacher, however, sees
control. We can turn our patch of wilder- would love us, we wonder, if we showed something we’ve missed: that this con-
ness into a garden, but only if we can them the truth? stant process of managing our world
tame all those wild forces: put fences up Because the advanced teacher of God through judgment—judging what to let
to keep out the rabbits, post signs to keep implicitly trusts the world, he can afford in and what to exclude—takes a heavy
out all those trampling feet, and—just in to be completely honest. He is not afraid emotional toll. For one thing, it estab-
case—keep our shotgun loaded and of what will ensue, for he is not protect- lishes a very narrow range of acceptabil-
ready. ing a false image of himself. He’s not ity. It says things have to be just right or
In contrast, the advanced teacher of trying to be something that he’s not. His we lose our peace. For another, it makes
God looks on the world with total trust. honesty, in fact, is rooted in self-honesty. us a rejecter, an excluder, one who cannot
He has learned that “all things, events, He has admitted to himself what he tolerate people unless they are just right.
encounters and circumstances are help- knows, deep down, to be the truth about As a result, we sour on ourselves. We
ful.”2 He knows that there is no such himself: that he is the holy Son of God. frown while we pound that “no trespass-
thing as randomness, that even the wild On the foundation of this inner honesty, ing” sign into the ground, because we are
winds blow with his best interests in he is able to demonstrate an outer hon- inwardly frowning on ourselves.
mind. For he trusts that, despite appear- esty that vastly exceeds conventional The teacher of God is unwilling to pay
ances, the world is governed by an unseen notions. Not only are his words honest, this price. Hence, he throws judgment
Power, a Power that is in love with him. but his actions are as well. He follows away. He refuses to distinguish between

4 A BETTER WAY
pleasant and unpleasant situations, or amiable behavior. It is a state of mind with perfect sincerity, “I am safe, un-
between desirable and undesirable people. that mirrors the nature of God, and so troubled and serene, in endless joy,
True, he makes decisions, based on his taps into His infinite power. That is why because it is Your Will that it be so.”7
guidance. But in his heart, everything is the truly gentle have been known to
just fine with him, and everyone is wel- perform miracles. And that is why the 6. Defenselessness
come. “Without judgment are all things meek shall inherit the earth. According
equally acceptable....Without judgment to the Course, “They will literally take it Life in this world appears to require
are all men brothers.”4 This is how he over because of their strength.”5 a massive amount of defense. We need
looks on the world. He has found a toler- medicine to defend against disease. We
ance as wide as the ocean, and thus, like 5. Joy buy coats to protect ourselves from the
the depths of the ocean, his peace knows cold. We build roofs to defend against
no bounds. Who of us does not want to feel joy? sun and rain. We make endless plans,
The problem, however, is that we believe which are nothing but defenses against
4. Gentleness it’s not appropriate to feel joy unless future threats. We even drive defensively.
something really wonderful happens. All things considered, our personal
Can we afford gentleness? We’ve all Consequently, in our eyes, anything defense budget takes up the greater part
had the experience of trying politely to more than occasional joy amounts to a of our income. In addition to guarding
be heard while no one listened, only to state of being out of touch with reality. against physical threats, we also defend
finally get some action when we started Given the condition of things down against an equally long list of interper-
shouting. The world is so set in its ways here, to be in joy all the time, you’d have sonal threats. If people disagree with us,
that railing against the injustices is, at to be mentally deficient. insult our dignity, dispute our intelli-
times, the only force that can push the The teacher of God, however, does gence, or challenge our character, what
wheels out of their ruts. If we gently re- not see joy as an isolated response to do we do? We get defensive. We do ev-
quest that those wheels change direction, specific events. Instead, it is his response erything in our power to stop them from
chances are that the only thing we’ll ac- to the nature of reality, a radiant reality pinning that label onto us.
complish is to get run over. In this view, that lies just behind the drab appear- The truly advanced teacher is free of
maybe the meek shall inherit the earth, ances he sees. It is his “yes” to a God of the need for defenses. Instead of seeing
but first they’ll need to be raised from boundless generosity, a God Who goes defenses as staving off dangers, he sees
the dead. with him wherever he goes and Who the defenses themselves as the danger.
The advanced teacher, however, thinks covers him with kindness and with For each defense contains a crippling
this whole picture is completely back- care.6 His joy, therefore, has a limitless message: that he is “vulnerable, frail and
wards. He actually considers harsh tactics foundation. Hence, there is no need to easily destroyed, and at the mercy of
too weak to effect real change. In his eyes, scale it down to fit within the limits of countless attackers”8 —a hapless fly
gentleness is the strongest force there is, caution and proportion. Further, being caught in a raging torrent. Given this
and he sees the evidence of this on a daily based on the nature of reality, it is no belief, no defense, however impregnable,
basis. He sees that one gentle touch can pipe dream; it is perfectly sane and could save him from chronic insecurity
and fear.
His only defense, therefore, is his
Gentleness is a state of mind that mirrors the supreme confidence that Who he really
is can never be harmed or injured in any
nature of God, and so taps into His infinite power. way, that his reality was “created unas-
sailable.”9 Given this confidence, what
possible reason would there be to armor
reach someone when nothing else will, rational. And since it is also based on himself with layer upon layer of defense?
that one gentle word can be more effec- that which never changes, it is not a And so he walks in simplicity, having no
tive than all the shouting. Experience has fleeting emotion. Rather, his joy has need for all the complicated structures
taught him that the power of gentleness become a fundamental character trait. we look to for safety. He laughs in the
is the power of love, and is, indeed, the He is able to look upon any circum- face of danger, because, quite simply, he
power of God. For love is gentle, and God stance, no matter how dark and threat- sees no danger.
is Love. Gentleness is thus more than just ening it may appear, and say to his God

SPRING 2004 5
7. Generosity patience over a cauldron of impatience. In we saved to settle by ourselves, and kept
contrast, the advanced teacher is truly apart from healing.”13 It expects us to
Everyone feels the impulse to give, patient, serenely patient, no matter how find quite a few, for it knows that we are
but there are costs involved. If we give too long the line is. What is his secret? “All he not yet wholly faithful to our higher
much, there will be nothing left for our- sees is certain outcome.”10 While his eyes convictions.
selves. Our giving is therefore constricted gaze on uncertainty, his mind rests in the That, says the Course, is the only
by a sense of caution, and overseen by a inevitability of a happy outcome. And so difference between us and the advanced
careful gauging of what we can afford. he can relax and “wait without anxiety.”11 teacher of God. He is wholly faithful.
Granted, our idea of what we can afford His trust is so great that he knows that even If he did that exercise, there would be
often translates as what will not cut into the timing of this outcome will be perfect. nothing on his list. He brings all of his
our ability to accumulate at the rate we His patience, in other words, rests on resentments to the healing power of
prefer. In this mindset, our gifts become his trust, the very first of his character forgiveness, without exception. He gives
investments, loans that we intend to call traits. And this trust has a curious effect every single problem into the hands of
in at the appropriate time. on the people he’s waiting for. They actu- the Holy Spirit. That is why we look up
The teacher of God has left this ally move faster. For his patience sends to him. He actually follows through on
mindset completely behind. His generosity them a message: “I am willing to wait for his high ideals. For he has learned the
has an extravagance to it, a lack of cau- you without anxiety because I trust you priceless lesson that we are still learning:
tion that we onlookers find both inspir- completely.” This loving message softens that he can “trust in the Word of God to
ing and unsettling. He might offer the their hearts and kindles their motivation. set all things right; not some, but all.”14
shirt off his back to a complete stranger, Where before they would have dug in
or even an attacker. The reason is that he their heels, now they are drawn forward 10. Open-mindedness
instinctively perceives giving as the way by the power of his love. Perhaps the
in which he himself gains, and sees keep- Course is right when it says, “Now you We probably consider open-
ing things for himself as a sure road to must learn that only infinite patience mindedness to be a virtue. We value
loss. As a result, his criterion for acquir- produces immediate effects.”12 being open to new ideas and opinions.
ing something is: “Can I give it away?” If We respect those who will admit that
not, he has no use for it. He can no longer 9. Faithfulness they may not see the whole picture. But
even understand how something that is how far would we be willing to go with
for him alone could have value. After all, Most of us believe in some very high this? Would we open our minds wide
every visible gift he gives—whether it be ideals, and we really intend to follow enough to let go of every meaning we
of his time or money or skills or posses- them, maybe even all the time. Yet we ever put on the world? That is what the
sions—is really just the wrapping for the have a great many things to juggle, and advanced teachers of God have done. Not
gift of love. And the more he gives this while juggling those axes and chainsaws, only have they forsaken trying to control
gift, the more its radiance simply grows we often drop the ball of our high ideals. their outer world, but they have also
brighter within him. It is no wonder that Of course, that doesn’t always happen. If renounced an even deeper control: the
he associates giving with gain. we are spiritually inclined, for instance, control over the meanings they see in the
we do turn some of our problems over world. As a result, they have left the world
8. Patience to God. Yet we probably also believe there
as they know it and stepped into the no
are certain problems that, if we gave Him
So much of life amounts to standing man’s land of total open-mindedness.
the opportunity, He might solve in the
in line. At any given moment, we are They are not left hanging for long:
wrong way. We decide we better keep
probably standing in about twenty lines, those to ourselves. Who knows what They have in truth abandoned
waiting for money to come through, for bizarre and radical things He might do the world, and let it be restored to
people to change, for our ship to come in, if we held nothing back and gave Him them in newness and in joy so
for our food to arrive. While standing in our whole life? In one of its exercises, the glorious they could never have
these lines, we try to wait patiently, yet Course asks us to “think about all things conceived of such a change. Noth-
doing so can feel like reining in wild horses.
We silently wonder if our patience is too
passive and wimpy, if we should just
While juggling those axes and chainsaws,
speak up in order to get the line moving. we often drop the ball of our high ideals.
Clearly, we are just putting a lid of

6 A BETTER WAY
ing is now as it was formerly. vanced teacher is a shocking refusal to our investment from the battleground
Nothing but sparkles now which engineer his own security. He simply to “the quiet sphere above the battle-
seemed so dull and lifeless before. declines to manage his world for the ground.”19 As the Course points out, when
And above all are all things wel- sake of his separate self. He blithely opts we look honestly at the alternatives, the
coming, for threat is gone.15 out of this universal game; he walks off choice between them is no choice at all:
the battleground, for he doesn’t need its
The advanced teacher did not reach Perhaps you think the battle-
rewards. His happiness is not dependent
this profound openness overnight. It ground can offer something you
on the things of this world. He has
came, in fact, at the very end of his jour- can win. Can it be anything that
found another reality, one which he rests
ney. The Course says that open- offers you a perfect calmness, and a
on as trustingly as a boat rests on the
mindedness is “perhaps the last of the sense of love so deep and quiet that
water. And while we rush around trying
attributes the teacher of God acquires.”16 no touch of doubt can ever mar your
to push our reality into the proper
The reason is that through it, he was able certainty? And that will last forever?20
shape, he simply basks in his, happy, at
to once and for all let go of the glue that
peace, and without a care in the world. It is a long road from where we are
held all his perceptions together: the
Of such people, the Course says: now to the “perfect calmness” of the
perception that sin lurked within those
advanced teacher. Yet we will get there, if
bodies and forms out there. Open-minded- They want for nothing. Sorrow
we can just keep from losing our way in
ness, in other words, is the gateway to true of any kind is inconceivable. Only
the dark. What we need is “an easy path,
forgiveness, and true forgiveness is the the light they love is in awareness,
so clearly marked it is impossible to lose
end of the road. The teacher has been for- and only love shines upon them
the way.”21 What we need is a path of
giving up until now; by our standards, forever.18
light. If we will just place ourselves on
he has been phenomenally forgiving. Yet
Resigning from the battle allows the this path and keep putting one foot in
only here at the end does his forgiveness
teacher to be amazingly kind. Imagine front of the other, we will make it. This is
become real, because only here does it
what it would be like to be around such the promise of A Course in Miracles. ✦
become perfect. Now it is the kind that
a person. He trusts you. He always tells
can raise the dead. Now it gives him the Robert Perry has authored,
you the truth, for he has no image to
power to “heal the world without a word, or co-authored with Allen
protect. He is supremely tolerant of you; Watson, 19 books on A
merely by being there.”17 And now he is
no matter how you behave, he considers Course in Miracles. He is
ready to step off the wheel of time alto-
you his dear friend. He is always gentle, an internationally recog-
gether, for having at last dropped his nized authority on the
never harsh. He simply doesn’t get de-
sword, he is ready to face God without fear Course, and has traveled
fensive, regardless of what you say. He is
and disappear forever into His embrace. extensively.
uncommonly generous; he notices your
needs and gives freely, even lavishly, to
Conclusion FOOTNOTES
meet them. Even when you are impa- 1. M–4.1:4.
What strikes me about this portrait of tient with yourself, his patience with you 2. M–4.I(A).4:5.
the advanced teacher is just how qualita- knows no bounds. And whatever mis- 3. M–4.II.1:8.
4. M–4.III.1:8–9.
tively different his existence is from yours takes you make, he forgives you, for he 5. T–2.II.7:5.
and mine. He has opted out of the game realizes that any perception of his that 6. W–pI.41.Heading, W–pII.222.1:4.
that we are all so busy playing, the game you are not perfectly holy must be his 7. W–pII.329.1:9.
of managing our world for the sake of 8. T–22.VI.10:6.
own mistake, which he gladly gives over
9. W–pI.153.9:1.
our separate self. We are constantly push- to the Holy Spirit. 10. M–4.VIII.1:3.
ing and pulling, including and excluding, Who wouldn’t want to be such a 11. M–4.VIII.1:1.
defending and attacking, tapping our person? Who wouldn’t give anything to 12. T-5.VI.12:1.
13. W–pI.193.11:4.
foot when forced to wait, shouting when have his sense of joy, his freedom from
14. M–4.IX.1:4.
it will move things along, and lying as need care, his trust in his Father? Who of us 15. M–4.X.2:3–6.
be—all to make sure that we surround does not secretly ache to have that feel- 16. M–4.X.1:1.
ourselves with the conditions that suit the ing of wholeness that comes from 17. P–2.III.3:7.
18. T–23.IV.8:2–4.
self we think we are. As the Course points knowing that we are truly good? The 19. T–23.IV.9:5.
out, we spend our lives on the battleground. Course assures us that all these can be 20. T–23.IV.8:7–9.
In contrast, what we see in the ad- ours. It is simply a matter of transferring 21. T–29.II.1:3.

SPRING 2004 7
Practice

When Should You Take


Your Morning Quiet Time?
B Y R O B E R T P E R R Y
....................................................

M
orning quiet time is essential for a student of A But is this some kind of law that we must have our quiet
Course in Miracles. That is when we establish our time the instant we awake? The Course says no:
mental set for the day, so that the day becomes This course is always practical. It may be that the
about God rather than just survival. Having this time in the teacher of God is not in a situation that fosters quiet
morning is an essential part of doing the Workbook. That thought as he awakes. (M–16.4:1–2)
is when you read your lesson and do your first practice period.
Yet even after the Workbook is over, the Course expects you What is important is not the form of taking your quiet time
to continue taking this time, as we are told in Section 16 the instant you wake up, but the content of taking it at a time
of the Manual, “How Should the Teacher of God Spend most conducive to its real purpose. That is why the Course says
His Day?” not “when you wake,” but “as soon as possible after you wake”
The question I want to discuss here is when. When should (it mentions this three times). How we gauge what defines
you take this time? If you have not yet established such a time in “as soon as possible” leads us to the second and third points.
your life, the question of when is obviously relevant. Yet even if
2. “When few distractions are anticipated” (W–pI.32.4:3)
you have regular morning quiet time, you might have nagging
questions at the back of your mind: How important is it to take This is so obvious that it hardly needs mentioning. If taking
your quiet time the minute you awake would mean children
my quiet time the instant I get up? Is it all right to wait until
later? How do I know when the ideal time is? knocking on the door and asking “When’s breakfast?” then that
As with so many such questions, the answers are right there is not a suitable time. Instead, find a time with fewer distrac-
tions. This means two things in the Workbook:
in the Course. I am aware of eleven passages that give an answer
to this question, and they mention the same three things over 1. You are by yourself (mentioned twice)
and over again: 2. You have quiet (mentioned four times)

3. “When you yourself feel reasonably ready” (W–pI.32.4:3)


1. “As soon as possible after you wake” (W–pI.42.3:1)
The previous point is about externals—are you in a noisy
Ideally, the Course wants us to take this time right as we get room with other people in it? This point is about internals—do
up. We will receive more benefits, it tells us, if we do our prac- you feel ready inside to focus on God? This issue of readiness is
tice first thing in the morning (W-pI.rIII.8:1). Why? I think it is mentioned four times and, I think, is primarily a code for “are
because when we first awake our mind is a relatively blank you fully awake yet?” Let’s face it, there are some of us who are
canvas. It is not yet cluttered with all the minutiae of the day. At not human when we first get up. There are some of us who,
this point, we can paint on it whatever we want. And if we take when the alarm clock goes off, still can’t figure out what that
this opportunity to paint a scene of Heaven on it, that is what noise is. For us, trying to take our quiet time the instant we
will remain for a good part of the day, maybe the entire day. On get up makes no sense whatsoever.
the other hand, if we wait too long, then our canvas will begin
getting crowded with scenes of tasks and worries and plans. Summary
And then, by the time we do sit down for our quiet time, we When should you take your morning quiet time? The
might not succeed in erasing what is already painted there. We Course provides a simple formula: as soon as possible after
might very well spend our quiet time mulling over tasks and you wake, as soon as you feel ready (fully awake) and can get
worries and plans. yourself alone in a quiet place. ✦

8 A BETTER WAY
Extension

EXTENSION
Is Energizing
B Y G R E G M A C K I E
....................................................

I
am not a morning person. The What’s going on here? I’ve been won- ping into that source leads out of dis-
sunrise holds no charms for me. dering about that for some time now. I spirited fatigue and into inspiration—
My natural inclination is to burn think a clue lies in the following passage a state in which we are immersed in
the midnight oil and drag myself out from the Course: our true spiritual Self, drawing all the
of bed sometime around ten the next energy and sustenance we need from
Devotion to a brother cannot
morning. So, when Mary Anne asked the inexhaustible font at the heart of
set you back....It can lead only to
me to lead the morning Workbook our being.
mutual progress. The result of
group while she was away last summer, What specifically pulls us out of
genuine devotion is inspiration, a
my first response was “Eek!” The class fatigue and into inspiration? This
word which properly understood is
started at 8:30 each weekday, which, passage offers a striking answer: devo-
the opposite of fatigue. To be fa-
given my normal morning routine, tion to our brothers. The movement
tigued is to be dis-spirited, but to
meant that I needed to get up at seven from fatigue to inspiration is a move-
be inspired is to be in the spirit. To
or even earlier. Now, I’m sure all the ment from the self-centeredness of
be egocentric is to be dis-spirited,
morning people reading this are laugh- looking out for number one to the
but to be Self-centered in the right
ing now, but for someone like me, Self-centeredness of serving the broth-
sense is to be inspired or in spirit.
getting up at seven feels like a real ers who share our true Self. And this, I
(T-4.In.1:3-7)
burden. I agreed to lead the group, but think, is the clue to what happens for
inwardly I dreaded the “sacrifice” of my This passage presents a contrast me during the morning Workbook
precious morning sleep time. between two states of mind: fatigue group. I may be groggy when my
Once I got into the daily routine, and inspiration. We normally think that alarm goes off in the morning, but
though, I was surprised to discover that fatigue is just a normal and inevitable once I’m leading the group, I’m devot-
while getting up early was indeed a part of life in this world. It sure feels ing my time and energy to my broth-
struggle, working with the group was that way to me when I’m rudely awak- ers. I’m making a real effort to help
incredibly energizing. By the end of the ened by my alarm in the morning. But them find peace and happiness in their
group session each day, I had none of here, the Course says that fatigue
the grumpy grogginess that normally actually comes from our incessant
characterizes my mornings. Instead, I devotion to the ego. We wear
felt truly inspired, happy, and eager to ourselves out all day wrestling
go out into the new day. Now that with the world to scrape together
Mary Anne has returned, I only lead what we can to feed our separate
the group on Mondays, but my experi- self. This constant self-serving
ence is the same. I still struggle with makes us feel “dis-spirited” and
arising initially, but once I do and get thus fatigued; it cuts us off from
things rolling with the group, I feel awareness of our true spiritual
energized. Monday is consistently the Self, the real source of the energy
best day of my week. that moves us. Conversely, tap-

SPRING 2004 9
lives. I’m sure the results of my effort are
mixed, but I know of numerous instances
when I’ve been truly helpful to someone Practice Tip
in our group. Those instances have never
failed to lift my spirits. Every lift I’ve
given to someone else has lifted me as
well—progress truly has been mutual. To
the degree that I’ve devoted myself to
EARLY EVENING
serving the group, I have truly felt in-
spired.
QUIET TIME
This has led to an exciting insight for
BY GREG MACKIE
me: extension is energizing. Extending ........................................
help to other people is what truly fuels

E
my life and powers my journey to God. vening quiet time is one of the staples of daily Course practice. Unfortu-
This insight is a dramatic reversal of the nately, though, I’ve found it difficult to make it a regular part of my
way I normally think. I’m a bit of a loner; practice. After a long and tiring day, it’s so tempting for me to just flop into
socializing normally tends to drain me. bed, instead of taking the time to focus my mind and enter into quiet communion
But if the Course is right—and I’m sure with my Father. Many Course students I’ve talked to have struggled with the same
it is—then the reason for this is simply issue: “I’m too tired to do evening quiet time.” What can we do to overcome our
that my socializing is all too often ego- lethargy, and make our evening quiet time the rewarding experience Jesus intends
directed. My experiences with the Work- it to be?
book group, though, have given me a Whenever we’re having problems with our Course practice, the first place to look
little taste of how it feels to interact with for solutions is the Course itself. Section 16 of the Manual suggests a simple solution
others in a spirit of true devotion. This, to our difficulty with evening quiet time. It says, “Perhaps your quiet time should be
I’m beginning to find, is not draining, but fairly early in the evening, if it is not feasible for you to take it just before going to
exhilerating. sleep” (M-16.5:2). The section doesn’t elaborate on why our quiet time might not be
I certainly haven’t fully internalized “feasible” right before bedtime, but one reason suggests itself: we may be too tired at
the idea that extension is energizing. All that point to make it worthwhile. I know I’ve sometimes fallen asleep while meditat-
too often, I still let my ego drag me down ing before going to bed—hardly the peaceful but alert meditation Jesus wants me to
into a tiring, self-serving life. Fortunately, have. So, if bedtime drowsiness is a problem for us, we may find it helpful to do our
the Course promises that “when you have quiet time earlier, when we’re more alert. When bedtime comes, we can then take
given up this voluntary dis-spiriting, you just a brief moment to connect with God immediately before going to sleep
will see how your mind can focus and (see M-16.5:8).
rise above fatigue and heal” (T-4.IV.6:3). I’ve adapted this advice to my unconventional personal schedule, and it has
I’ve seen this happen in my own experi- worked wonders for me. I’m a night owl. After a quiet evening relaxing with my wife,
ence, and for that I am grateful. I look Margery, I’ll usually put in another work session at my computer before retiring at
forward to the day when I will fully rec- one or two in the morning. My old pattern was to try to do my quiet time right before
ognize that extending healing love to going to bed, and this didn’t work as well as I would have liked. I skipped my quiet
others is the golden road from the weari- time too many times, and fell asleep too often when I did do it. But now, I’m doing it
ness of life in this world to the joy of life after my evening with Margery but before my late-night work session. (I know this
in the spirit. ✦ isn’t actually early in the evening, but relatively speaking, it’s early for me.) This has
worked a lot better. Since implementing this plan, I’ve done my evening quiet time
much more frequently than before, and I’ve felt much more alert while doing it. As a
Greg Mackie is a gifted
Course writer and result, my meditations have been more focused, more peaceful, and more rewarding.
scholar. He is the author It’s amazing what a simple adjustment like this can do. If you find that you’re
of How Can We For- often too tired to do your evening quiet time, you may want to try doing it earlier in
give Murderers? and of the evening. You may discover, as I have, that this aspect of your practice will really
the Q&A feature on the take off as a result. May you find in your evening quiet time the deep peace and
Circle’s website.
communion with God that Jesus wants all of us to have. ✦

10 A BETTER WAY
Walking the Path

The Holy Spirit Will Provide


BY NICOLA HARVEY

I
want to share a wonderful story of .............................................. run the new software I needed to run.
something that happened to me last I was told I could go and collect it as
year. It gave me a definitive experi- soon as I wanted to, and so I arranged
ence of the teaching in the Course that to go first thing in the morning. No
the Holy Spirit will provide all things having to wait around for a week!
that we truly have need of. Luckily, the papers for the other
My work in the publishing “wing” of computer I’d nearly bought were faxed
the Circle means that I am very depen- through later, so that I hadn’t signed
dent on a computer. In addition, because the papers and been locked in to buy-
I do quite a lot of traveling, it needs to be ing it. Possibly the most amazing aspect
a laptop computer. That way, whether I am of this story, though, is that the one-
in America or England, I can continue, day competition was held on the very
uninterrupted, with my work schedule. would be putting all the entrants into a day my old computer died. The timing
Two years ago, when the urgent need draw, and the following day they would couldn’t have been more perfect!
for a laptop initially arose, I was very select a winner. The prize was to be a To me this was an incredible ex-
generously donated one by a friend of brand new laptop computer. It seemed ample of what the Course teaches
the Circle, and although it was an old worth a try at least, so I followed Greg’s about the Holy Spirit supplying all the
one, it had everything I needed. Last suggestion and entered the competition. things that we truly need. I did truly
October, however, I bought a new The next day, Robert Perry decided need a laptop, and I did need a new
computer program for a new aspect that the Circle would just have to bite one. I also needed it as soon as possible,
of my publishing work. This program the bullet and borrow money for a new and the Circle did truly need the thir-
required quite a sophisticated com- laptop for me. We went on the Internet teen hundred dollars it would have had
puter, and after having someone check and found one that suited the specifica- to borrow to get me one. My under-
my laptop over, I was told that there tions I needed, and ordered it by phone. standing is that the Holy Spirit will not
was virtually no way it would be able We just needed to sign the paperwork fulfill our endless desires for material
to handle the new software. that the salesperson said he would fax goodies, but that He will supply us with
Within days of this bad news, the through to our office. The one down- anything that we truly need in order to
laptop suddenly started to behave very side was that it would take about a week fulfill the reason we are here.
oddly, and very soon it finally “died” on until it was with me, which was work Leave, then, your needs to
me. Disaster! Now I had no computer time I couldn’t really afford to lose. Him. He will supply them with
at all! And with the Circle’s finances Mid afternoon, there was a phone no emphasis at all upon them....
being so tight, I wasn’t sure how I was call for me. It was the local radio sta- Under His guidance you will
going to get a new one. tion. I thought, “I couldn’t have won travel light and journey lightly,
I mentioned on our staff conference the contest. They’re probably just call- for His sight is ever on the
call that day that my computer had ing me with some other promotion.” To journey’s end, which is His goal.
died. An hour later, Greg Mackie called my amazement, however, they told me I (T–13.VII.13:1–2, 4) ✦
me to say that his wife, Margery, had had won the laptop! What an incredible
been listening to the local classical moment that was! It seemed that all my Nicola Harvey is the Circle’s Course-based
radio station, and they were announc- unspoken prayers had been answered— healer. She has facilitated workshops on the
ing a one-day contest which was part a brand new laptop computer, one that Course in both America and England, and has
of their fundraising pledge drive. They was more than sophisticated enough to written for several Course newsletters.

SPRING 2004 11
Study

MAKING ERROR REAL


B Y A L L E N W A T S O N
....................................................

W
hen we ask the Holy Spirit and to react to them as if they were real, you unfairly, or causing you pain, that is
for specific guidance about is to make them real to you” (T-9.III.6:7). only your perception or interpretation of
what job to take or where to To make error real means to interpret what they are doing. You are making it
live, are we “making the error real” by a brother’s actions as sin, and to view that real by believing it is the truth. There is
presuming that the things in this world interpretation as fact. We then (1) attack another way to see it.
are somehow real? Or does “to make error the “sinner,” (2) erect defenses (the vic- Such a drastic change of perception is
real” mean something else altogether? tim), (3) “forgive” it by abstaining from not simply difficult, it is impossible from
Many people think that the Course counter-attack (false forgiveness or the our usual mental starting point. But this
teaches us “not to make the error real,” martyr), or (4) try to “fix” it (the un- is a course in miracles! This change of
supposing that the error in question is healed healer). mind is very, very real. It isn’t a simple
“the error,” the central error of separa- The Course tells us not to make error change in our behavior. A miracle does
tion. Although the Course strongly em- real in any of these ways because it makes not mean:
phasizes the importance of not making forgiveness impossible:
✦ Pretending you don’t feel attacked, or
error real, it never uses the phrase “make
The ego’s plan is to have you unfairly treated, or hurt. That is just
the error real”; it always omits “the.” It
see error clearly first, and then denial.
uses the phrase in the context of error, or
overlook it. Yet how can you over- ✦ Trying to see it differently, trying to
sin, that we are seeing in another person.
look what you have made real? figure out how to forgive truly.
“Error” refers to the other person’s error,
(T-9.IV.4:4-5) ✦ Feeling guilty because you still see
not to the separation. To make error real
attack or sin as real.
means to believe that our interpretation Once you make that false interpreta-
of something as bad or sinful is not sim- tion and believe it to represent reality, The miracle is about really seeing
ply an interpretation, but a fact. you cannot help reacting emotionally things differently! Really perceiving, at the
When we judge someone’s actions as and behaviorally to it. You cannot forgive gut level, that attack isn’t real attack,
“bad,” our mind has made a choice to see it until your perception is changed by a unfair treatment isn’t real unfair treat-
the ego’s world rather than God’s. When miracle. In the Holy Spirit’s brand of ment, and pain isn’t real pain. It is about
we experience guilt, we have an uncon- forgiveness, however, you overlook the experiencing this so that you know it, not
scious need to project our guilt onto error from the start (T-9.IV.5:3). He heals just getting the concepts. Instead of see-
someone else. We choose to blame some- your mind of its false perception of “a ing the other person as guilty in any way,
one else for our discomfort. real sin.” Forgiving then becomes a “natu- you see them as the innocent, holy Son of
Based on that choice, the mind then ral reaction,” “the only sane response” God. You cannot do this by yourself. You
interprets what we have seen. We label (T-30.VI.2:1-8). can’t work this up on your own; you must
what our brother did as attack, or aban- When you see a person’s ego as if it call upon the help of the Holy Spirit.
donment, or neglect, or some other “sin.” were real, you have already chosen to per- And yet Jesus says, “The way to do this
We then freeze that interpretation. We ceive through your own ego (T-9.III.3:1). is very simple” (T-12.I.1:1). It’s simple
“make it real”; we convince ourselves that If you see anyone—yourself or another because you don’t have to do anything;
our interpretation is fact. We then have an person—as guilty in any way, you are rather, you just stop doing something. Let
emotional response to that “fact” and making error real, because all guilt is me explain what I mean.
base our actions on that response. unreal (T-13.X.6:5; T-13.X.7:3). For a moment, presume that the
Here’s how the Course defines making To put this another way: When you Course is absolutely true, and that sin
error real: “To perceive errors in anyone, believe someone is attacking you, treating and attack simply do not exist. None of it

12 A BETTER WAY
is real. You, along with everyone else, are not only wrongs the other person, it Spirit to give you His interpretation.
still as sinless as the day God created you, hurts you as well. Admittedly, we find it hard to do that.
and everything that looks like sin is an It hurts you to trust your analysis of We’ve become so used to accepting our
illusion. Just presume for a moment that another’s ego because it causes you to interpretations as facts that it seldom
you fully accept this as fact. lose touch with reality! (T-12.I.1:8). You occurs to us to challenge them. That,
Now, if error is not real, imagine what are reacting to something that isn’t there; however, is exactly what we must do if we
you need to do to come to believe that you are delusional. Think about this the are to break free from our imprisoning
error is real. You would have to do some- next time you believe someone is attack- patterns of thought.
thing to make it real to you (T-12.I.1:2). ing you or betraying you. Judging others When we notice that we are perceiving
On the other hand, you don’t have to do sets you up for disaster and exhausts your error in someone, let us remind ourselves
anything to believe in truth (T-12.I.1:3). energy defending yourself against imag- that our perceptions are not the truth,
What’s real is real, and believing in it ined threats.When someone around you and that we do not know what anyone’s
takes no effort. “makes a mistake” and listens to his or actions mean, nor why they do them.
Therefore, to experience truth and not her own ego, it need not have power over And let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us
make error real—to forgive as the Course you unless you give it power. You give it see the situation differently. Gradually,
teaches it, which means to see there is no power by trying to interpret it. You set up that kind of practice will help us to
sin to forgive—all you have to do your interpretation and think it is real, see people increasingly as God’s holy
is…nothing. and the interpretation blocks the truth creations. ✦
What’s easier than nothing? from your sight. The truth is what the
You are currently making error real all Allen Watson is the
Holy Spirit sees; it is the reality of the
author of many books
the time. By definition, all errors are not person as God’s creation: their innocence on the Course, includ-
real; therefore, you must be doing some- and loveliness. Your interpretations, in ing the hugely popular
thing to make them real in your thinking. which error is real, keep you from seeing Workbook Companion
So all you need is to stop doing that. You that truth. So all you need to do to see the series. He is an interna-
don’t have to do anything more, just truth is to stop paying attention to your tionally recognized
cease doing what you are now doing. This speaker and teacher.
own interpretations and to ask the Holy
is why you need to look at your ego hon-
estly. You have to see what you are always
doing in order to know you are doing it,
Walking the Path
and to stop it.
“You do not respond to anything
directly, but to your interpretation of it”
(T-12.I.1:4). It is not what your brother
or sister does that makes you experience
Circle Workbook Practice
attack, or blame, or pain, or loss. It is BY MARY ANNE BUCHOWSKI
your interpretation of what they do. .................................................................
You don’t get angry at a fact; you get
angry at your interpretation of the facts 2003: “Walking with time, sometimes as we shared in class.
(M-17:4:1-2). Negative emotions arise One student found that, even if she was
the Holy Spirit”
from negative interpretations. given a lesson that she didn’t particularly
Therefore, in simple terms: Stop pay- Our year of “Walking with the Holy like, she would do it nevertheless, and
ing attention to your interpretation of Spirit in Post-Workbook Practice” (A would often have a breakthrough that
things, and let the Holy Spirit give you Better Way, Spring 2003) ended with day. I found that, when I was faithful in
another interpretation. encouraging, albeit mixed, results. asking and open to receiving, the answers
When you think that you understand It was a year in which we turned were there, whether it was about the
what things mean, you are making a big inward asking the Holy Spirit for our lesson to practice that day or about a
mistake (T-11.VIII.2:3). Jesus says that daily lesson and trying to let our practice matter of importance in my life.
believing you’ve properly analyzed be guided by Him. As we kept asking My most remarkable experience came
someone’s ego motivation is more than a each morning, His direction did come, one day when I was feeling very power-
mistake—it’s dangerous (T-12.I.1:6). It sometimes in an initial morning quiet less and down on myself. I quietened my

SPRING 2004 13
mind and asked what lesson I should Our theme is “Awake and Share,” but If students have already been through
practice. Then I opened the book, and the focus of our daily classes is on prac- the Workbook, we suggest that they add
found myself reading from Lesson 110, ticing our lessons faithfully as instructed. related thoughts or other Course quotes to
“I am as God created me. His Son can Most of us admit that we haven’t gone their practice. I have actually been enjoy-
suffer nothing, and I am His Son.” My through the Workbook exactly according ing, and even getting excited about, going
instant reaction was, “Oh, no, not this to Jesus’ practice instructions, even through the chronological lessons from
again!” So, hoping to get something more though he tells us to do them “with great the vantage point of an experienced stu-
palatable and exciting, I asked again, specificity” (W-pI.In.4:1), and that, “It is dent. I am writing this on January 15, and
opened the book to the last section of the doing the exercises that will make the to yesterday’s “good news” lesson (#14,
Text, and read, “Learn, then, the happy goal of the course possible” (W-In.1:2). “God did not create a meaningless
habit of response to all temptation to We are approaching our classes as a world”) I am adding, “‘What God did not
perceive yourself as weak and miserable “practice lab,” and instead of spending create can only be in [my] own mind
with these words: I am as God created me. the bulk of our time sharing our experi- apart from His’ (6:5). But ‘my mind is part
His Son can suffer nothing. And I am His ences, we discuss the teaching in the of God’s’; it cannot be apart from His.” I
Son” (T-31.VIII.5:1-4)! If the Holy Spirit lesson and do the practice together ex- have found that my experience of the
couldn’t get through to me in one way, actly as instructed in the lesson. Then we practice has been greatly enriched by my
He’d do it in another! discuss how the practice went and what adding this post-Workbook component.
Through our year of Holy Spirit prac- feelings it brought up. We close with a As you might expect, there is occa-
tice, our trust and confidence in the Holy prayer of thanksgiving and dedication, sional resistance among us to being told
Spirit grew immeasurably, and we came offering our willingness to practice our how to practice, even if in this case, the
away with a more personal relationship lesson faithfully throughout the day. one telling us is Jesus! We are trying to
with Him and a deeper desire to live our Greg Mackie––who now teaches keep in mind that he only gives us these
lives under His tutelage and direction. At Monday’s class––and I try to think of instructions to set us free, not to im-
the same time, I think that we weren’t all creative ways to enliven the classroom prison us. We are trying to see them as
ready for the lack of structure of this practice; for instance, we may add related prescriptions to be taken as directed for
form of practice, as we sometimes lost practice ideas or prepare questions and nothing less than the healing of our
sight of practicing the lessons as the ask students to write down their re- minds, our awakening, and our sharing
Workbook teaches. This led to a different sponses. The day we did Lesson 7, “I see in the awakening of all mankind. ✦
focus for this year. only the past” (the “cup” lesson), I
brought in a tray full of cups. We
2004: “Awake and Share” all chose a cup, spent a bit of time Mary Anne
with it, and then talked about how Buchowski is a pop-
On New Year’s Day we launched our we related the lesson to our par- ular teacher of our
year of practice together here at the Circle daily Workbook
ticular cup. We had a lot of fun,
classes in Sedona,
House. We enjoy starting off the year in especially when we talked about and she also supports
this way as it gives us a stronger sense of how some people had staked out Course students one-
solidarity and community as we journey the cup they wanted and jumped on-one in teacher-
with the Course. to get it before anyone else did! pupil relationships.
Our theme arose out of our desire to
integrate the Course’s teachings and
lessons into our daily lives more fully, to
begin to really awaken, and “take [our]
For Your Consideration
place, so long left unfulfilled, in the Great In recent years, we have been blessed with bequests from people remember-
Awakening” (T-15.XI.10:10). ing us in their wills, and this has benefited us tremendously. We had no idea
This year determine not to deny how helpful it could be until we started receiving those bequests.
what has been given you by God. As you plan for your estate, we invite you to consider naming the Circle of
Awake and share it, for that is the Atonement as a beneficiary. If you decide to do this, please know that you have
only reason He has called to you. our deepest gratitude. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us (see our
(T-16.II.8:2-3) contact details on page 3). Thank you.

14 A BETTER WAY
MAIL ORDER LIST/ SPRING 2004
Circle books, booklets and tapes are by Robert Perry (RP), Allen Watson (AW) or Greg Mackie (GM)

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The Course’s perspective on guidance; $7
Regaining a sense of God’s relevance; $10 The Workbook as a Spiritual Practice (RP)
The Journey Home (AW) Realizing the Course’s promises through
The Answer Is a Miracle (RP & AW)
The spiritual journey as seen in the practice; $5
Learning miracles, the center of the
Course; $8.50
Course; $7
Everything You Always Wanted to Know E - B O O K S
Relationships as a Spiritual Journey:
about Judgment but Were Too Busy
From Specialness to Holiness (RP) Please order these books online only
Doing It to Notice (RP & AW)
Finding God through transforming our
Escaping the painful effects of judgment;
relationships; $11 NEW One Course, Two Visions: A
$8
Reality & Illusion: An Overview of Comparison of the Teachings of the Circle
Seeing the Bible Differently: How A of Atonement and Ken Wapnick on A
Course Metaphysics (RP)
Course in Miracles Views the Bible (AW) Course in Miracles (RP, GM, AW)
A coherent, understandable picture
The Bible and the Course: similarities Exploration of two very different visions
of ultimate reality and our apparent
and differences; $6 of the Course; $7.95
separation from it; $11

SPRING 2004 15
NEW A Healed Mind Does Not Plan All Things Are Lessons God Would We Are the Light of the World
(AW) Have Me Learn (RP & AW) 5 tapes (RP & AW) 10 tapes
Leaving the direction of our lives up to The Course’s teaching on learning Our function as givers of forgiveness
the Holy Spirit; $2.95 from life events; $30 & healing; $55

The Holy Spirit at Work in Our Lives I Am Here Only to Be Truly Helpful
SOURCE MATERIAL (RP & AW) 10 tapes (RP) 4 tapes
Receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit; Using Text practices to deal with fear,
$55 anger & conflict; $25
A Course in Miracles
Hardcover; $35 Walk You in Glory (RP) 7 tapes How to Find Your Special Function
The pathway to true self-esteem; $45 (RP) 7 tapes
A Course in Miracles
Prepare for and carry out your part in
Softcover; $30 You Never Have to Be Afraid (RP) 7 tapes
God’s plan; $45
Release from fear in all its forms; $45
Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and
Healing Is Holy: The Therapist & Healer
Practice
A supplement to ACIM; $5
✦ FORGIVENESS & (RP) 7 tapes
RELATIONSHIPS Course-based psychotherapy & spiritual
The Song of Prayer healing; $45
A supplement to ACIM; $5 Anger (RP) 7 tapes
Miraculous Service (RP) 7 tapes
What we all have…and what to do about
The Gifts of God The Course’s attitude towards helping
it; $45
Helen’s final scribing, and her inspired those in need; $45
poetry; $21.95 Judgment (RP & AW) 10 tapes
The Holy Instant (RP & AW) 10 tapes
What it is, how we can release it, and
Absence from Felicity Entering & experiencing the holy instant;
more; $55
by Kenneth Wapnick $55
Story of Helen Schucman and her Forgiveness (RP & AW) 10 tapes
How Do We Find Inner Peace?
scribing of ACIM; $17 Theory & practice of Course-based
(RP) 1 tape
forgiveness; $55
What real peace is, and how we can
Perception & Vision (RP) 10 tapes find it; $5
TAPE SETS Projection, perception & true vision; $55
The Limitless Power of Prayer
Includes handouts Forgiveness: The Pathway Home (RP) 7 tapes
(RP & AW) 9 tapes Prayer in the spiritual life of a Course
✦ LIVING IN THE WORLD Extensive process in forgiveness: theory student; $45
& practice; $55
What Is the Body For? How to Meditate & Pray (RP) 4 tapes
(RP & AW) 10 tapes Seeing Conflict Differently (RP) 7 tapes The Course’s own methods of meditation
The body’s pleasure, pain, origin, The Course’s approach to resolving & & prayer; $25
purpose, and more; $55 healing conflicts; $45

Holy Relationships (RP & AW) 10 tapes ✦ COURSE THEORY & STUDY
Sickness & Healing (RP & AW) 10 tapes
Why we get sick; how to view sickness; How they begin, progress, and reach
An Introduction to ACIM
healing; $55 their goal; $55
(AW) 6 tapes
Overview of the Course’s message; $30
Seeking & Finding (RP) 7 tapes ✦ LIVING THE COURSE
The Course’s approach to setting & Bringing the Course to Life
reaching goals; $45 A Course in What? (RP & AW) 10 tapes (RP & AW) 8 tapes
Examines many different aspects of Methods for studying the Course; $50
Metal Discs & Paper Strips (RP) 4 tapes
miracles; $55
Seeing money differently so it can bring God (RP & AW) 10 tapes
us peace; $25 Comprehensive treatment of this central
topic; $55

16 A BETTER WAY
Time (RP & AW) 10 tapes
Time, eternity, and entering the present O R D E R FORM
moment; $55
DESCRIPTION QTY TOTAL
The Ladder of Prayer (RP) 7 tapes
The message of The Song of Prayer; $45

Who Are You? (RP & AW) 3 tapes


What are we, and how do we remember
what we are?; $20

The Certainty of Salvation


(RP & AW) 10 tapes
The what’s, why’s and how’s of salvation;
$55
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SPRING 2004 17
Robert Perry replies:

Circle Mailbox
........................................
I think the key to answering your two
points is realizing that the conscious mind
is such a tiny part of the total mind. Unless
you include in your picture of your mind a
Thank you for your letters to the Circle. We enjoy
massive unconscious in between the con-
reading them and sharing them with our readers. scious mind and the Mind of Christ, then
These letters are on a variety of topics, and include the Course’s thought system really falls
your letters to the editor of A Better Way, and your apart. In this unconscious, you do feel
comments on our services, programs, publications, terrible guilt over all of your judgments,
and out of this unconscious, you do mani-
and website. Write to us at P.O. Box 4238, W. fest a world that is betraying you, both in
Sedona, AZ 86340, or send us an e-mail at info@circleofa.com. little ways and in big ways. A little way
Letters may be edited for space or clarity. might be a car that breaks down. A big way
might be a body that breaks down.

A Christian’s View the way you have so clearly chunked it ✦✦✦


down and analyzed it. However, I find it
I have been looking for spiritual guid- I certainly appreciated “Life Is but a
difficult to relate to it for two reasons: 1)
ance for a few months now and came Dream.” This touches on an issue of
My fears have fortunately not manifested.
across A Course in Miracles. I checked the ACIM which is among the most sensitive
I’ve never had anything really important
reviews on ACIM on the UK and US and difficult for me to deal with. We
stolen from me; I’ve never been physi-
Amazon websites and was intrigued. must acknowledge that ultimately, only
cally attacked although both are fears in
After extensive research online I came Heaven (the realm of Spirit, our reality)
my mind. However, if anything like that
across your website. Like most people is real, while we still must reach in (to the
did happen, I would have a hard time
raised as Christians (I am Anglican), I Spirit) and reach out (to our brothers on
owning the cause as originating in my
must admit that the references to Jesus the planet, however illusory it is) in a
mind. 2) I know I am judgmental about
and God scared me. At first it seemed manner which is healing in all ways. I
little things, but I don’t feel guilty about
that ACIM was everything we had been believe that this is where Ken Wapnick
them or think I deserve punishment for
taught not to get involved with. But I was goes too far. His approach might lead one
them in the form of “a world full of dis-
still drawn to ACIM and continued to to a (possibly selfish) mistaken with-
ease and accidents…” and unloving
look into it. The quantity and quality of drawal from the social and economic
people who betray us. Actually I feel my
articles on your website reassured and forces and pain in the world. The Course
relationships with people are steadily
excited me, especially the articles on “The reminds us that there are decisions to be
improving. I feel loved and cared for by
Spiritual Program of ACIM.” I read the made in this world—decisions which
my friends and also by acquaintances
first chapter of ACIM last night and have consequences, at least in a temporal
and strangers.
immediately felt at peace. sense. It also states that we must not deny
However, I do feel the need to awaken
Thank you for your wonderfully our experience in our physical body. Even
from the dream and release all judgments
informative website. I shall continue to though the body is ultimately illusory, the
so that I can feel truly joyous and fearless
be a frequent visitor as your articles help Spirit can use it/us for communication
all the time and clearly understand every-
me to make sense of ACIM. and the redemption process.
thing that happens in my life. I am very
Sylvia Giraud (by e-mail) grateful to you and your colleagues for Robert S. Riley
your wonderful articles and all that you Albuquerque, New Mexico
✦✦✦
are doing to help people see the value of
✦✦✦
Three Responses to the Course and all it offers to make our
“Life Is but a Dream” lives more wonderfully loving. I just loved the article “Life Is but a
Dream.” I’ve been struggling for years
I just finished reading your article and Joan Lorenz with this concept and now I’m finally get-
am feeling overwhelmed and ambivalent Portland, Oregon ting it. Your article helped me put some
about it. It all makes terribly good sense

18 A BETTER WAY
pieces together that have been drifting ing new dimension. I could always see
around, helter-skelter in my mind. the symbolism of this horrible figure
I spent six years in Jungian analysis but its application seemed far off. C I R C L E
after dropping out of theological school. Now I can see how little difference E V E N T S
I’ve been dismayed during the last num- there is between my night and my life as
ber of years about how little impact all a dream. And the way of looking at both REGULAR CLASSES / SEDONA, AZ
those years of studying dreams has had as a therapist (with the Holy Spirit) isn’t
Daily Morning Workbook Class
on my daily life. I dismissed a lot of that all that different. Life examined as a With Mary Anne Buchowski
analysis as having little practical import. dream gives us, I think, the necessary and Greg Mackie
But lo and behold, dream analysis did distance to own our part without getting Focus for 2004: “Awake and Share:
indirectly help me in relating to and strangled by guilt. Bringing the Lessons to Life”
using the concept of life as a dream. Weekdays, 8:30 - 9:30am
Anyway there is a lot I have yet to
I do believe that dreams are an uncon- digest in your article. But as always I Weekly Evening Class
scious statement of what is going on in love having your material to chew on. With Robert Perry
my conscious life. For example, the Many thanks. Deepen your understanding
“hatchet woman” who used to wake me of a variety of Course topics
up in sheer terror as she ran after me in a Judy Robb Tuesdays, 7:00 - 8:30pm
Call our office for details
nightmare suddenly takes on an interest- Calgary, Canada
REGULAR CLASSES / PORTLAND, OR
Weekly Evening Class
C I R C L E S E R V I C E S With Allen Watson
In-depth study of the Text of
A Course in Miracles
Circle Website Our website is a wonderful resource for accessing Circle writings, Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:00pm
and finding out about our events and services. You will find a huge variety of Contact Allen Watson
allen@circleofa.com; (503) 284-3619
articles by Circle teachers, and new ones are added regularly. Other highly
popular features well worth exploring are Robert Perry’s Course Glossary, Allen OTHER EVENTS
Watson’s Daily Workbook Commentaries and Greg Mackie’s Course Q&A page.
We have also just started publishing a small number of e-books, which are Unity of the Southwest, Phoenix
unavailable in print form. To ensure easy ordering of our books and tapes, we “The Irresistible Attraction”
An evening talk with Robert Perry
now have a shopping cart facility online. Visit our website at www.circleofa.com.
Tuesday May 4, 7:00 - 8:30pm
We are dedicated to making this a rich and informative site that provides a wealth
“Path of Light”
of materials in support of your journey with the Course. A one-day workshop with Robert Perry
Saturday, June 5, 10:30am - 4:30pm
For more details, and booking information,
Path of Light Workshops Robert Perry is available to run workshops based call Rev. Julianne Lewis at (480) 946-9481
on his new book, Path of Light. If you would like to host a workshop in your Path of Light: UK Tour
area, please contact our office. with Robert Perry
2 - 8 July, 2004
Support for Students and Study Groups Mary Anne Buchowski is available A series of evening talks and one-day
to work with individual Course students in a teacher-pupil relationship de- workshops in the UK, based on Robert
signed to help them along the path of the Course. We are also pleased to offer Perry’s latest book, Path of Light.
informal support, through correspondence or by phone, to both individuals or Contact the Miracle Network for details:
(020) 7262-0209, or admin@miracles.org.uk.
study groups. Contact Mary Anne at maryanne@circleofa.com.
FOR YOUR CALENDAR:
Course-Based Spiritual Healing If you would like a healing session with Walking the Path of Light
Nicola, please contact her at nicola@circleofa.com. With Robert Perry and Circle staff
Labor Day Weekend, Friday 3 to
Service to People in Prison The Circle provides complimentary materials, as Monday 6 September, 2004
well as support through correspondence, to Course students in prison. Further details to be announced

SPRING 2004 19
The Circle of Atonement
Mission Statement Friends of the Circle
To discern the author’s vision of A Course
An Invitation to Join with Us
in Miracles and manifest that in our lives, If you have benefited from the materials, programs, and
in the lives of students, and in the world. services of the Circle of Atonement, and would like to help
us fulfil our role with A Course in Miracles, we invite you to
1. To faithfully discern the author’s vision of A
Course in Miracles. In interpreting the Course we consider joining the Friends of the Circle. Over the years, the
strive for total fidelity to its words and the meanings Friends’ financial assistance, spiritual support, words of
they express. We thereby seek to discover the Course appreciation and encouragement, as well as the relationships
as the author saw it. we have developed, have brought us many blessings and much
joy, and have been instrumental in our fulfilling our vision
2. To be an instrument in Jesus’ plan to manifest his (see our mission statement opposite).
vision of the Course in the lives of students and in
the world. We consider this to be Jesus’ organization BENEFITS
and therefore we attempt to follow his guidance in In addition to offering you the opportunity to join with us
all we do. Our goal is to help students understand, as in our vision, contribute to our work, and experience being an
well as discern for themselves, the Course’s thought active part of our Circle family, your annual membership of
system as he intended—as a literal program in $180 includes:
spiritual awakening. Through doing so we hope to
help ground in the world the intended way of doing ✦ Four issues of our quarterly newsletter, A Better Way;
the Course, here at the beginning of its history. ✦ 20% off Circle books, tapes, workshops and retreats;
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one another in making full use of the Course. These ✦ Special materials from workshops and classes;
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together comprise an enduring spiritual tradition,
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dedicated solely to doing the Course as the author
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enduring spiritual tradition. To help spark this
tradition we must first become a model for it You may join:
ourselves. This requires that we at the Circle follow 1. through our website (www.circleofa.com—“About the
the Course as our individual path; that we ourselves Circle”)
learn forgiveness through its program. It requires
2. via e-mail to info@circleofa.com (please include your credit
that we join each other in a group holy relationship
card type, number, and expiry date)
dedicated to the common goal of awakening
3. by regular mail; write us a letter and send it, with payment,
through the Course. It also requires that we cultivate
to our office (address on page 3).
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have a facility where others could join with us in
learning this approach to the Course. Through all of Donations above the annual membership fee are grate-
this we hope to become a seed for an ongoing fully received, both for our general operating fund, as
spiritual tradition based on A Course in Miracles. well as for special projects as they arise.

20 A BETTER WAY