About off topic

These contemplations help me become more aware of the undivided wholeness of absolute reality, which is the aim of mysticism. They are mainly inspired by my study of the book A Course in Miracles (ACIM). This is a spiritual self-study program aiming at “removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance” (ACIM, Introduction).

Before I began studying the Course I had read many books about non-duality by teachers like Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj, so when I discovered the same non-dual approach in the Course I felt quite at home with its metaphysical ideas. The very practical mind training it offers, making it possible to experience inner peace in our daily life, is where the rubber meets the road.

This, hopefully, explains the title a bit, because wholeness, undivided reality and mysticism will always be ‘off topic’ in this illusory world of separation. Reality doesn’t fit in with illusions. It replaces them. My awareness of reality now lets them go, out of my own free will, joyfully.

Stan Schaap

P.S. There are quite a few books with which you could ease your way into the study of A Course in Miracles.

1. When I first started studying the Course, I gave up after about 60 pages. Then I discovered the books by Gerald Jampolsky and his enthusiasm about the Course, especially how it ‘miraculously’ changed his own life, brought me back. A simple book of his to start with, might be: Love Is Letting Go of Fear.

2. Another helpful book that was just pointed out to me, is The Infinite Way by spiritual healer and modern mystic Joel S. Goldsmith, who died shortly before the Course started to come into being. It is remarkable how many beautiful insights his little book of 1947 shares with A Course in Miracles of 1976.

3. A recent book that provides a good introduction, is A Course in Miracles Made Easy: Mastering the Journey from Fear to Love by Alan Cohen.