Best Of The Web
“The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for Inner Peace, which includes a gif of what I assume is a third eye, blinking. The Workbook’s introduction explains that, while “[s]ome of the ideas the workbook presents you will find hard to believe…. [t]his does not matter. You are merely asked to apply the ideas as you are directed to do.” The ideas do not need to be accepted or believed; they simply need to be applied, and they will work.
The ideas include the illusory nature of the world, which is a malignant dream created by humanity’s desire to prove its separation from God, who made it. Our guilt over this willed separation is projected outward, into external evil, which we control: Everything we want to happen does; nothing we don’t want to happen can. Our consciousness is actually collective, because we all collectively are the Son of God, who is Christ. The first lesson is “Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything,” and the exercises involve applying the sentence to specific things one sees. The 223rd lesson, the one open in another tab as I write this, is “God is my life. I have no life but His,” and is a meditation on the practitioner’s total oneness with God (“I was mistaken when I thought I lived apart from God, a separate entity that moved in isolation, unattached, and housed within a body. Now I know my life is God’s, I have no other home, and I do not exist apart from Him. He has no Thoughts that are not part of me, and I have none but those which are of Him”). It ends with a prayer.
A Course in Miracles does not purport itself to be a religious book, but rather to describe objective laws, and the school grown up around the book since its publication in 1976 considers it a “spiritual self-study program.” Inasmuch as the definition of “religion” has been debated for the century-plus that religious studies has existed as a field, that’s a defensible position. It’s certainly no more tendentious or self-serving than the insistence of white post-Christians that Buddhism isn’t a religion, either. But A Course in Miracles posits a God, a Christ, a metaphysics, true things we do not immediately grasp or see, an explanation for suffering, categories of sin and forgiveness, power beyond us that can be used, and a goal for the spiritual person to pursue. It was written by a psychologist and professor at Columbia University, Helen Shucman, who took shorthand notes on what the clear inner voice she identified as Jesus dictated to her between 1965 and 1972. Shucman then read the notes to her department head, William Thetford, who typed them out. She was not identified as the writer of the work until after her death, at her own request.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end..."
"The 2000s felt like a decade of looking forward. Wi-Fi went mainstream, phones got smarter, social media connected us, digital tools let us rely less on physical ones. But the 2010s brought a shift. There was still tons of new technology, but..."
"While some women experience pregnancy and childbirth as joyful, natural and fulfilling, others find themselves recoiling in horror at the physical demands of carrying and sustaining a child in their womb, and even more so at the potential..."
"A few months ago, the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo bemoaned the death of the Manhattan power lunch. Gone were the long, decadent afternoons filled with networking and Negronis: “Suit-and-tie-wearing machers in media and Wall Street gave way to..."
"Economic inequality has moved to the top of the political agenda in many countries, including free-market poster children like the US and the UK. The issue is mobilizing the left and causing headaches on the right, where wealth has long been..."
"If you’re not familiar with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats — or even if you are — then you probably have many, many questions going into the film adaptation this weekend, especially if you’ve witnessed the widespread bafflement the trailer..."
"Despite his precisely targeted campaign and some unexpected support, the chances of Gideon Saar engineering a surprise defeat of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Dec. 26 primaries for the Likud party leadership are still considered modest.."
"Peter Thiel is Big Tech’s most prominent Trump supporter. He is an unabashed enemy of the free press, having covertly funded a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker three years ago. He has become one of the most vocal pro-monopoly advocates, taking a..."