My Introduction to ACIM
It all started with this book called A Course in Miracles, given to me as a gift.
My first reaction was “cool … I always wanted to learn how to perform miracles.” Then I began peeling away the shrink-wrap and was in for quite a surprise.
Definitely not a book on magic tricks or any sort of supernatural conjuring. My excitement quickly faded as I started flipping through the pages. There was a lot of Christian terminology, and the pages themselves even felt like Bible paper – very thin and wispy.
The more I read, the more convinced I was that no rational, intelligent person could believe what this course was teaching.
So I threw the book away.
But in a very strange way, the book kept calling out to me. I had never had any mystical experiences – and didn’t believe in anything of the sort. It wasn’t as if I had no choice, but I felt an extremely strong urge to retrieve the book from the trash.
I needed to give this book a second chance.
Didn’t matter. After the second reading – which was a much more extensive and objective analysis – I came to the same conclusion: pseudo-religiousness, perhaps even borderline cultish.
And so I threw the book away again.
But I felt that same undercurrent pulling me back toward that damn course.
What was happening to me? I didn’t understand how a book could dominate my thoughts like this. I’m a very logical, analytical person … where are these feelings coming from? It was quite silly, and I felt ashamed. But I couldn’t stop thinking about this book.
I decided the only way to rid myself of this seeming obsession was to fly across the country to Temecula, CA (at the time I lived near Philadelphia, PA) and meet this Ken Wapnick fellow who had been part of the course’s entree into the world and was teaching workshops near San Diego.
Once I met Ken, I would see through this preposterous grip and finally cut my ties with this course.
A Life Changing Experience
I walked into a small entry room where receptionists were handing out name tags for workshop participants. One of the receptionists was an unassuming, somewhat nerdy-looking balding man with a thick Brooklyn accent and a pronounced speech impediment. This was Ken Wapnick. He came around the table to shake my hand.
Life as I knew it dramatically changed.
I had never before been in the presence of someone who had so transcended their ego. I felt this incredible aura of love, compassion, and non-judgment. It was the most surreal encounter I had ever experienced.
No words were initially spoken, yet I was overcome with this one idea: What if all my thoughts about the course (and so many other things in life) were coming from a place of judgment? And from there came the wonderment of what it would be like to experience the world (and people) from a place of non-judgment.
Thus began my quest to learn from transformational thought systems such as A Course in Miracles and people like Ken Wapnick – and practice those lessons in my life that has been chock full of judgement, attack, and the aggrandizement of my ego.