Electing to heal my mind about the world

drooping_pink_roses_iiI pulled into the local district police station, climbed out of my car, and walked the long way around the parking lot to the ballot drop-off box to cast my vote. Attempting to avoid what appeared to be a local newscaster apparently interviewing other early voters about the presidential election and no doubt one candidate’s allegations of probable fraud, as crimson and golden leaves cascaded to the cement sidewalk in the gentle October breeze. As if this was just another idyllic day in my favorite of all seasons. A season this year seemingly tainted by the acrid stench of projection even the most devout bliss ninny must find nearly impossible to ignore.

After all, the election had, from its earliest moments, provided an epic spectacle of the ego thought system at its worst (which is saying quite a lot). Within which every damning-to-hell word of one candidate in particular had been quoted, recorded, filmed, posted, tweeted, shared, debated, condemned or applauded endlessly. Within which the base behavior of said candidate had inexplicably somehow almost completely eclipsed the impressive credentials and accomplishments of the other. As if the false “fairness” of an unfair world invented to defend against unassailable loving unity somehow required the consideration of both candidates at the same shallow level, squeezing the other candidate into the same incredibly dark, narrow horizontal frame.

I had driven out of my way a few days after the final presidential debate; two-and-a-half weeks before Election Day in an effort to purge the guilty evidence of the incriminating ballot sitting on my kitchen counter awaiting decision from my home as if disposing of some kind of hazardous material. Anxious, as well, to cast my vote and thereby possibly prevent the barrage of phone calls and canvassers ringing our front doorbell.

But surprise, surprise! Although I no longer held the vile envelope in my hands, I didn’t really feel any better. Maybe I would just have to dig one of those sage smudge sticks I’d purchased years ago at the reservation in Taos out of the kitchen junk drawer. Light it up and perform one of those ritual cleansings of our abode I’d learned years ago to remove the negative energy this election seemed to have spread throughout every nook and cranny of our living space. Wafting through the airwaves as it had from radio, television, and digital sources. Asserting the lingering possibility, however implausible; that this one candidate in particular might actually assume control of what we used to call when I was a kid “the free world.” You know, the planet superheroes endowed with superpowers springing to life from the pages of naïve comic books had promised to save from the Commies.

It was in this unreasonable state triggered by my decision for the inner teacher of unreasonableness currently presiding in my apparently feeble decision-making mind that I soon after found myself standing at said junk drawer rummaging around for said smudge stick; and happened to notice in my peripheral vision my imaginary inner professor benignly watching me; his lips twitching in undeniable amusement.

“What?” I said.

But he just shook his head, eyes merry.

“It’s not like I’m actually going to use it,” I said, feeling a little like the proverbial kid caught with her grubby little hand in the cookie jar, placing the woodsy magic device back in the drawer, slamming it shut, and hugging my arms to my chest. “I just wanted to make sure I knew where it was, you know, just in case.”

His brows shot up the way they do.

I looked away. Because, really, who was he to swoop in so late in the electoral game after making himself so incredibly scarce for weeks? Where, for example, was my trusty inner professor during the first debate when I’d vowed to use my viewing only as a classroom for forgiveness and nonetheless ended up within minutes engaging in a rampant volley of outraged texts with my daughter over one particular candidate’s treatment of the other and the moderator’s inability to rein him in?

Or during the second debate before which I’d assigned students in my A Course in Miracles class the homework of questioning the real cause of the judgments that would inevitably arise as they found themselves choosing sides and entertaining the possibility that they were wrong about the meaning of the striking differences they might discover themselves registering between the two candidates. Or when, in the midst of attempting to practice our homework during that debate, I found myself noticing one candidate physically intimidating and constantly interrupting the other and within minutes, became so angry at the travesty the debates had become that I vowed to stop watching them entirely! (You know–next time.)

Or during the third and final debate for that matter, in which I became so rattled by one candidate calling the other a “nasty woman” and what had been revealed about his treatment of women prior to the debate that I polished off an entire quart of ice cream with Hershey’s syrup on behalf of my entire long maligned, disrespected, sexually harassed gender before fuming upstairs to bed. Remotely aware I could choose again for the AWOL inner teacher of sanity but completely unwilling in my sugar-and-fat-saturated condition and its painful, overheated consequences to so much as consider doing so.

“Can you believe he called her a ‘nasty woman’?” I asked him now.

But he only shrugged. “We’ve talked about this,” he said.

I hate it when he says that, but, still, he had a point. God knows, he always does. “I know what you’re thinking,” I said, after a while.

“You always do.”

“See, here I am stomping around feeling so justifiably, righteously abused, completely forgetting that everything I see on all big or little screens seemingly ‘out there’ is always and only an ‘outside picture’ of the ‘inward condition’ (A Course in Miracles text Chapter 21, Introduction, line 5) of guilt in my one mind over believing my idle declaration of independence from indivisible, undifferentiated union had complicated, dangerous consequences that continue to threaten an imaginary ‘free world.’ But if you think about it, I am being so disingenuous. Because a part of me can’t wait to click on my phone, computer, radio, and TV and guzzle another shot of unfair treatment seemingly delivered by this over-the-top bully. Who seems to represent as blatant an exception to your assertion that there is ‘no order of difficulty in miracles’ as I could possibly imagine in the wildest of my wild dreams of exile from our shared reality in Heaven, if you know what I’m saying?”

He nodded.

“‘Can you believe he called Hillary a nasty woman!’ we exclaim. ‘Can you believe this mockery of an election, we cry!’ Trying with all our might to believe we don’t believe it when deep down we believe it to its guilty, rotten core!

See, we believe with all our broken heart that the bully we believe we are, the one that rose up against its creator and waged an all-out battle for president of eternity, refusing to accept the outcome of its assault unless it actually did triumph, actually got his way then and is getting it now,” I continued. “And look, there he is again! Strutting and fretting his hour upon the stage, confounding detractors, invigorating supporters, relieving us from ever confronting the bully within that, as it actually turns out, is nothing more than a big, terrified baby. Only our own inner toddler, throwing a temper tantrum of colossal proportions over the possibility that he may have lost his imaginary battle for celestial control. All the while yearning deeply, hopelessly, to learn he is somehow wrong about this abhorrent persona he created that seems so helplessly bent on self-destruction. Dead wrong about himself, just like …”

I trailed off, because I finally got it. I mean, not just with my mindless brain but with my capital H Heart. I swallowed hard, drew a sharp breath.

“Just like whom?” he asked, softly, after a while. But he already knew. He always does.

“Me,” I whispered, finally.

We were quiet then, standing beside each other now, leaning against the kitchen counter. Gazing out the windowed walls into the garden, where the last of our herbs and roses somehow continued to bloom, upon which honey bees that were not yet extinct after all somehow continued to feed.

“But Jesus,” I said, voice rising again. “There’s the freaking rub! Because in my failure to recognize the child lurking within this seeming larger-than-life villain that has hijacked the national dialogue and seized the airwaves as the same child screaming to be told she’s wrong about herself within me and every other infantile fugitive from love roaming this world hopeless and alone, lies my refusal to experience the true consolation and innocence that would save me!”

“But you recognize it now,” he said.

He had a point. He always does. I lost track of how long we stood together then in deep silence. At last, I yawned, suddenly pleasantly exhausted from another school day learning I am happily wrong about, well, everything.

And so it was that Jesus and I settled in on the sofa with a pot of “Breathe Deep” tea (because who couldn’t use a little help with that these days?) and some pumpkin bread I’d whipped up (from a foolproof mix I’d scored at Trader Joe’s) to catch up with some DVR recordings. “You get to choose,” I said, clearing my throat, because he was the guest, after all.

Designated Survivor, The Exorcist, or How to Get Away with Murder?” I read, scrolling through the list.

His eyes widened.

“You can’t make this stuff up,” I said.

We started to laugh then, I mean really laugh! Then he said I could pick, just like always. And so I did.

“You, my child, are afraid of your brothers and of your Father and of yourself. But you are merely deceived in them. Ask what they are of the Teacher of Reality, and hearing His answer, you too will laugh at your fears and replace them with peace. For fear lies not in reality, but in the minds of children who do not understand reality. It is only their lack of understanding that frightens them, and when they learn to perceive truly they are not afraid. And because of this they will ask for truth again when they are frightened. It is not the reality of your brothers or your Father or yourself that frightens you. You do not know what they are, and so you perceive them as ghosts and monsters and dragons. Ask what their reality is from the One Who knows it, and He will tell you what they are. For you do not understand them, and because you are deceived by what you see you need reality to dispel your fears.

Do not accept your brother’s variable perception of himself for his split mind is yours, and you will not accept your healing without his. For you share the real world as you share Heaven, and his healing is yours. To love yourself is to heal yourself, and you cannot perceive part of you as sick and achieve your goal. Brother, we heal together as we live together and love together. Be not deceived in God’s Son, for he is one with himself and one with his Father. Love him who is beloved of his Father, and you will learn of the Father’s Love for you.”


(A Course in Miracles Text, Chapter 11 VIII. paragraphs 14 and 11)


Foundation for A Course in Miracles Announcements


CD Sale

The Foundation is now offering eleven CD titles for sale at 40% off the regular price through the month of October. (MP3-CDs and Downloadable MP3s are not included). Take a look at what is available here. This will take you to a listing of titles with links to the products included in this sale.


MP4 Downloads

The Foundation is now offering the following titles as MP4 Downloads:

To Be or Not to Be: Hamlet, Death, and A Course in Miracles

The The Time Machine

Classes on the Text of A Course in Miracles, Part 13: Chapter 24 and Chapter 25

Classes on the Text of A Course in Miracles, Part 14: Chapter 26 and Chapter 27

Classes on the Text of A Course in Miracles, Part 15: Chapter 28 and Chapter 29

Classes on the Text of A Course in Miracles, Part 16: Chapter30 and Chapter 31


Super Inventory Sale

We are continuing to clear out the warehouse of all printed books as we make the transition to electronic books. After the current supply of books is sold, the books will not be reprinted, and will be available only in digital download format.

You may view all of the books currently on sale here. Please note that some orders may take up to two weeks to ship after the order is received.


Programs through December 2016

Please view our latest Temecula Schedule page https://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx   to see the Seminars and Academy classes, including Live Streaming of the classes, currently scheduled through December 2016.
You can register for upcoming live and streamed classes (AND GET THE NEW SCHEDULE) taught by the amazingly gifted Foundation for A Course in Miracles teaching staff; who continue to communicate Ken’s teachings with such clarity and grace, here: https://www.facim.org/temecula-schedule.aspx. I really can’t recommend these classes more highly! Rosemarie LoSasso and Jeff Seibert continue to gently encourage us to bring the darkness of all we’ve dreamt up to hurt us (whenever we’re choosing to feel victimized and justified in victimizing others) to the light of the part of every mind that knows only our shared innocence and need to find our way home. Their classes offer us a safe, non-judgmental “space” above the battleground in which to allow the healing of our frightened minds. (And often laugh a lot, too! :))


Schedule individual MENTORING sessions here: https://www.foraysinforgiveness.com/personal-coaching  Although A Course in Miracles is clearly a self-study program and the one relationship we are truly cultivating is with our eternally sane and loving right mind, mentoring can help remind Course students having trouble applying its unique forgiveness in the classroom of their lives that the problem and the solution never lie in the difficult relationship, situation, behavior, health issue, etc., but in the decision-making mind. In every circumstance, without exception, we can choose to experience inner peace and kindness toward all, unaffected by the seemingly random strife of a world designed to prove otherwise. By choosing to look at our lives as a classroom in which we bring all our painful illusions to the inner teacher of forgiveness who knows only our shared innocence beyond all its deceptive disguises, we learn to identify and transcend the ego’s resistance, hold others and even ourselves harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. 

Susan’s mentoring sessions provide valuable support in our forgiveness practice from a Course student and teacher deeply committed to awakening through learning and living true forgiveness. While keenly aware of our resistance to Jesus’ loving message from first-hand experience, she remains faithful to opening her heart to the Course’s universal answer for all frightened hearts and to sharing her ongoing learning and growing trust with kindred faithful, but sometimes frightened and confused, fellow students.

Sessions are conducted via traditional phone or Skype (your choice). Please contact me to find out if mentoring is right for you before submitting a payment. (No one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay!)

Here’s a RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, in which we talk about the importance of catching our unkind thoughts and judgments and looking at them with the part of our mind that sees no differences and makes no comparisons … even while watching the news! http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=584A85D9-26B9-4187-86B672216F9D08E7

Here’s a RECENT VIDEO I did with Bruce Rawles, discussing Section 16 of The Manual for Teachers: “How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgHjOcxzrwg&feature=youtu.be

And a RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12 Radio, on Changing the Purpose of the Body from Prison to Classroom: http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=C936F436-26B9-4187-862BC523BC16D778, and another on what it means to go “above the battleground” (ACIM Text 23, Section IV) http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=13D9C907-26B9-4187-86F1370A394E8755

MY LATEST BOOK, FORGIVENESS: THE KEY TO HAPPINESS, remains DISCOUNTED on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Happiness-Susan-A-Dugan/dp/0983742022 , along with my second book in the forgiveness series, FORGIVENESS OFFERS EVERYTHING I WANThttp://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Offers-Everything-I-Want/dp/0983742014/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=07RKZW8SHE2RNC209A2D

In this RECENT VIDEO, Bruce Rawles and I discuss A Course in Miracles lesson 190: “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPqUpNmAmG0

Here’s a RECENT AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on ACIM workbook lesson 101: “God’s will for me is perfect happiness” and 102: “I share God’s will for happiness for me.” http://www.12radio.com/archive.cfm?archive=16BFF184-26B9-4187-86DD07743FBB7355  You’d think we’d like to hear that God’s will for us is perfect happiness, but we can’t possibly believe that and also believe we attacked God and threw his love away.  Following our inner Teacher’s path of true forgiveness begins to dissolve the guilt in our mind, teaching us that it was just silly to believe we could oppose God’s will and create a separate one. Allowing us to gradually accept that we deserve the happiness we share within God’s presence and could never really destroy. Here’s a NEW AUDIO I did with CA Brooks, 12Radio, on

The Denver-based School for A Course in Miracles (formerly the School of Reason), an A Course-in-Miracles teaching organization, has a beautiful new website: http://www.schoolforacourseinmiracles.org/, with information on great new and ongoing classes based on Ken Wapnick’s teachings.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Center for A Course in Miracles http://www.centerforacourseinmiracles.org/index.html, is an educational Center whose focus is to teach what A Course in Miracles says, address common misunderstandings, and help students develop a relationship with their internal Teacher, inspired and guided by the teachings of the late Dr. Kenneth Wapnick.

The Interviews page on my forays website been revised to make it easier to find and access interviews with Ken Wapnick and others including Gloria Wapnick, and FACIM staff teachers.

In this video Bruce Rawles and I discuss themes from my most recent book, Forgiveness: The Key to Happiness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vEbI3jH8Sk 

My good friend and fellow Course student, teacher, and author Bruce Rawles frequently invites me to chat with him on YouTube about the Course and Ken Wapnick’s teachings. He continues to compile lots of great ACIM information well worth checking out at ACIMblog.com.

My good friend and gifted A Course in Miracles teacher and writer Bernard Groom has been posting beautifully written, heartfelt essays about living A Course in Miracles for years at ACIMvillage.com. Bernard lives and teaches in France with his dear wife Patricia. You’ll find a wealth of information in French on his website including recorded talks available for purchase or free download.






  1. I reread “Electing to heal…” 36 hours after the election, following a mostly peaceful news fast. Your essay helps a lot more now than it even did before the election, especially the shared laughter, thank you Susan, “Better must come…” – Delroy Wilson

  2. Sorry it took me a while to respond, Brian. I just saw this!

    The Course’s uncompromising forgiveness really does offer us a way to look at the apparent insanity that’s going on “out there” that leads to gentle self-recognition, compassion, and peace. (And really shows us how much a part of us doesn’t want to learn! :))

  3. Hannah Troy says:

    I am so grateful for you & all that you do! I ALWAYS feel deep healing while reading your books, interviews, essays, etc. What helped me during the 2016 campaign was a section I’d read a couple of years previously in Ken’s book entitled The Arch of Forgiveness, Chapter 2, pages 14-16. At the time these pages facilitated some kind of spiritual experience that lasted for about 2 days (that’s a long time for me). So when the 2016 election came along I remembered what Ken said! That was a miracle! Also, I seem to remember many of Arten & Pursah’s comments about politics, politicians & elections which are highly helpful. I am motivated to forgive when A & P or Gary mentions that if I don’t forgive the republicans (any “other” side) I will come back as a republican. Reminding me that if i don’t forgive “i” will come back period. Help!

  4. Hannah Troy says:
  5. Hi Hannah:

    Thank you for your kind response to my work. I’m glad you can relate to my foibles. 🙂

    Politics sure is a productive classroom for us. More and more I see the same frightened child that feels so alien, lost, and helpless “here” in the ones I love to hate. That really helps me finally notice the same child I keep denying within who just wants to remember she didn’t destroy love, just like those “other” kids. 🙂

    Kind regards,

  6. Thanks, Hannah!

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