Together we dispel the darkness

Easter eggsI rapped gently on his office door.

My imaginary inner teacher glanced up from his desk, smiling, and waved me inside.

I dropped into the chair, cleared my throat. “Bless me Father for I have sinned,” I began, bowing my head and pressing my palms together.

“I have a better idea.”

“But I have a confession to make,” I said, the sense of dread I’d carried all night deepening. After all, he had never refused to meet me in the condition I think I’m in before.

“What if we just talk instead,” he said.

“You mean, like equals?”

He shrugged.

My heart raced. “What are you, out of your mind?”

“Like friends,” he said.

I swallowed, drew a ragged breath, head still bowed. He had never failed me before, but still. I had not always been, shall we say, completely honest with him. Not that I’d ever been completely honest in the confessional of my youth, either. I mean, say what you want about me, I was not a stupid child. “I don’t think I want to heal,” I whispered, now. There, I’d said it. I waited for the heavens to open up, the shower of fiery just desserts I’d been not-so-artfully dodging all my life to rain down on me.

“Go on,” he said, still smiling.

“I don’t want to identify with my inner strength; I want to prove my weakness. I don’t want to be proven wrong, I want to prove I have no choice.”

“How do you know this?” he asked.

I thought about the blue ping pong ball Ken Wapnick used to symbolize the decision maker in our one mind on his chart at the Foundation for A Course in Miracles in Temecula, California. The time I was attending a workshop there and he playfully threw it at someone in the audience who’d asked a question along the lines of the “senseless musings” Jesus speaks about in the workbook (Lesson 139, paragraph 8). An apt metaphor for what we think happened to us—being cast out of heaven as punishment for our decision to side with the ego—when, in fact, we did the alleged fleeing. Projecting the fantasy of independence out into a vast nowhere, entering imaginary bodies, and forgetting all about that bouncing blue ball that had never really gone anywhere at all. How it seemed an apt metaphor, now, for my own wayward Course-student behavior over the past week.

I thought about the multiple problems—one damn thing after another, really—that appeared to have resurfaced on the playground of my enormous, interactive forgiveness classroom. The way in which I mindlessly became deeply engrossed in the ego’s game of “who’s got the greater guilt,” played out all around me, designed to root me more deeply in this dream of permanent exile from real love, as though I had no choice in the matter. How quickly the deadly game devolved into a rabid hunt for the treasure of guilty grievances buried long ago and forgotten that seemed to have resurfaced to mock me. Gleaming jewels in my Pandora’s Box of reasons Susan will never find her way home. The shameful ballast that would weight me here forever, just when I thought I was finally making progress with this Course.

“If I wanted to heal, I would,” I said, in answer to his question. “But I must not want to heal. Because new evidence of my unworthiness just keeps cropping up all the freaking time. I’m so busy with damage control; I don’t have time to look with you, even though I know that’s how to heal.”

“We’ve talked about this.”

“I know, I know. Quit trying to manage my own life, is what you’re really saying. Trying to go it alone is what got us into trouble in the first place. But, Jesus, it’s not like I don’t try.” I leaned in closer. “Can we speak candidly?”

He nodded.

“I’ve even imagined myself walking with your hand in mine, you know? Showing you the proverbial monsters under my bed, in the closet, dancing on my bedroom walls, bombs detonating all around me. When I do that I see the monsters are just a play of light and shadow, the bombs have been disarmed. There can be no fallout. I am safe in my bed again, merely dreaming, just like you say in the big, blue book:

“No one can escape from illusions unless he looks at them, for not looking is the way they are protected. There is no need to shrink from illusions, for they cannot be dangerous. We are ready to look more closely at the ego’s thought system because together we have the lamp that will dispel it, and since you realize you do not want it, you must be ready. Let us be very calm in doing this, for we are merely looking honestly for truth. …” (From Chapter 11 V. paragraph 1)”

He nodded.

“Still, the truth is, I get tired of seeing things your way.”

His brows shot up and down the way they do.

I lowered my voice again. “I mean, I know you told me a while ago I needed to have a more intimate relationship with you, to make it the priority of my days, But you’re not exactly the easiest person to live with.”

“Is that a fact,” he said.

I nodded. “You don’t seem to really get me, sometimes, you know? To be perfectly honest, I can still only take so much of you at a time. Maybe eight, nine hours, max, from the moment I wake up. Then I’m ready for something else altogether. A mental blast from the past, for example, once more soiling my present and jeopardizing my future, a mental argument with someone about the mess they made in my classroom, relishing a friend’s juicy story, binge watching House of Cards, courtesy of my new Netflix streaming capabilities. I could go on. And on. But really, it goes downhill, fast, from here.”

“I think I get the picture.”

“All designed to prove I really am this pitiful, little self, not a decision maker outside the dream of time and space, capable at any moment of changing my mind about the cause of my distress. Still, since that’s all there really is, I must have chosen to throw your love away again, right? Not because I’m stupid. Not because I’m beyond redemption. Just because I’m secretly terrified your love will swallow me whole, pun intended.”

“Excellent,” he said.

“The thing is, maybe I’m still too afraid to look with you 24/7, but at least I know what I’m doing, and why. And I’m beginning to see that, even when I judge myself harshly for it, it never works. Because, let’s face it, you never go anywhere. I realized this the other day while I was editing my next collection of forgiveness essays and there you were again, hiding in plain sight in the spaces between the letters, reminding me this process is not linear, just like you might have mentioned; I don’t know, a few billion times. I had experienced the answer, real peace, light, true kindness, before, following even my darkest dreams, which means that healing must be in progress right now, even though I’m not currently feeling it.”

“Go on,” he said.

“I mean, reading my own writing was like reading a message in a bottle I had written into the script and left for myself, a love letter from my right mind. You hadn’t left me, after all.”

He handed me a tissue from his endless, invisible stash.

“But how can I trust that?” I asked, after a while.

He narrowed his eyes.

“I mean, I wrote it. And just look at what a mess I’ve made of things.”

“I’m always looking,” he said, smiling.

“I see. So the ego’s version of my so-called life is always along the lines of: “You’re unraveling on all levels—surrender Dorothy! But you’re saying the messy curriculum just means I’m ready to look at more guilty lies with you, allowing your light to shine them away. So what, if I’m not ready to do it 24/7? I’ll get there.”

We had a good laugh together then.

Back in my living room, I fired up another episode of House of Cards, and started to explain the plot to Jesus, who, it turns out, had all the time not in the world.


Here’s a link to details about a new Saturday workshop and new Tuesday night class I am offering here in Denver beginning in May 2014.

I enjoyed talking with CA Brooks of 12 radio about attending the March 2014 Foundation for A Course in Miracles academy: I will be joining CA as a regular guest on her ACIM show the first Friday of each month, 9 a.m., mountain standard time.

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles is offering Kenneth Wapnick’s two-part work The Message of A Course in Miracles as well as “What It Says”: From the Preface of A Course in Miracles on sale only to online customers during the month of April.

Now, when you buy on Amazon, you can support The Foundation for A Course in Miracles, too! Details here:

Here’s a link to an outpouring of moving tributes to our late, beloved teacher Ken Wapnick, who deeply touched, and taught (and continues to teach) so many of us how to heal our minds, with an absolute grace that robustly lives on:

The Foundation for A Course in Miracles continues to offer illuminating classes taught by a talented, devoted, inspiring staff! Check out their offerings here:

I enjoyed talking again with CA Brooks of 12Radio as a guest speaker on her weekly program about ACIM. 

HALF-HOUR MENTORING SESSIONS NOW AVAILABLE: 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 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 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 harmless, and gently allow our split mind to heal. One-on-one, hour or half-hour mentoring 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 below. (No one is ever turned away for lack of ability to pay.)

My dear friend and wonderful teacher Lyn Corona continues to offer wonderful new classes at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center through her School of Reason for Course students and teachers. You can subscribe to her website to receive information about upcoming classes.

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 I found his recent, kindly right-minded contemplations there on the death of our beloved teacher Ken Wapnick deeply comforting! 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:

Here’s another ACIM hangout video I did with my friend Bruce Rawles . In this one, we talk about our love for our teacher Ken Wapnick, a demonstration of kindness to one and all, and how we can honor his life and heal our minds by living all he has taught us! 

My latest book, Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle versions. If you read and find the book helpful, I would so appreciate you posting a brief (a sentence or two is fine) review on Amazon. 🙂

Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want is also available at the Rocky Mountain Miracle Center in Denver, Colorado, where I teach weekly on Tuesday nights, takes up roughly where my last ACIM essay collection left off, and conveys my growing faith that no matter how wrenching, wild, or wacky the dream of our lives may appear, we always have a choice about which inner teacher we are looking and listening with: the ego, the part of our mind that believed the “tiny, mad idea” of separation from our source had real effects. Or the “right mind” that remembered to gently smile at the bizarre thought of it. If you’re thinking about buying a book and live in Denver, please consider purchasing a copy from the RMMC to help support their great work.  Forgiveness Offers Everything I Want, and my previous book, Extraordinary Ordinary Forgiveness, are now also available from the ACIM Store:












  1. Your writing always surprises me; I never would have expected to see the works ‘shameful’ and ‘ballast’ paired in a sentence; yet that is a perfect description of ego’s assessment of our identity! More brilliant musings on how silly our resistance to truth is, and how gently cultivating the willingness to just look – at that silly ballast – helps us un-install it as our identity. Thanks, Susan! 🙂

  2. Thank you, Bruce! It does seem a shameful, weighty matter when we take it seriously! 🙂

  3. Susan,
    I love your writing and this one seems very close to home. Knowing that I am healing and on the verge of falling back into the dream.

  4. Thanks so much for your kind response, Stanley!

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