Monday, August 6, 2012

A Little History

This blog is a follow-up to my book It’s All Mind: The Simplified Philosophy of A Course in Miracles. It will include short articles as well as general ideas and news, all related to the book and the philosophy of the Course.
I’d like to open with a short history of how the book came into being. I had followed a number of spiritual practices starting in the 1970’s, including the Course. I bought a copy in 1978 and it had a profound effect on how I viewed the world I lived in. I did the Workbook and continued to read the Text off and on over the years.
In the early 2000’s I experienced what I called at the time, a crisis of faith. I felt I was drifting and needed a new spiritual kick in my life. One day I decided to redo the Workbook lessons, coming at it after 20 years of life experience. I turned my spiritual attention more completely toward the Course and began to read a number of books about the Course.
I attended several classes and workshops with Ken Wapnick and began reading his books as well. One of them, The Message of A Course in Miracles, Vol. 1, All Are Called, presented the most complete picture of the basic concepts and philosophy of the Course. Based on those ideas, I began to think about how to simplify this philosophy down to its essence, stripping away the complex language of the Course. 
Of course, I knew that by doing this, much of the beauty and subtlety would be lost, but I felt there needed to be something that would lay out the philosophy in simple terms that could be used as a companion to understanding the Course. This could be especially helpful for new readers of the Course, who often give up after a short time, and some of whom never return to it.
I spent a couple of years mulling over these ideas, trying to distill the Course into only what was absolutely essential. Out of this process I distilled the concept of God down to these four aspects,
1 - God is All That Is, Everything. There is nothing that is not God.
2 - God is Mind, Thoughts, Ideas and nothing but Mind.
3 - God is Pure Love. All experiences of God are Loving.
4 - God Creates. God is not static, but is in a constant state of Creating.
From these aspects and the idea of separation, the rest of the philosophy flowed. I wrote and edited the book in 2008 over a two week period. Once I was finished, though, I had a problem. The book was only about 35 pages long – too short for a conventionally published book and too long for an article. I played around with some alternatives for awhile and then put it aside.
Over the next two years, the ebook revolution took hold, and I began to realize that in ebook-land there was no proper length for a book. Since pricing could start at zero and go up in one dollar increments, and since there was no cost for printing, the price was independent of the length and any size book was viable as an ebook.
I published the book in June, 2010 through Smashwords and a few months later on Amazon, and the rest is history. I’ve been very pleased with some of the wonderful feedback from readers. Though I know the book isn’t the answer for everyone, for many it has provided the essential underlying philosophy that has allowed readers to more fully embrace the Course.

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