The two advisers of the king

My annual “Miracles in contact” Course workshop, called “A kingdom to rule”, is now available online on YouTube, with English subtitles/captions:

The workshop’s theme is of course derived from workbook lesson 236: “I have a kingdom I must rule”. This kingdom is the mind. Ken Wapnick often referred to this king as the decision making part of the mind. Whenever Jesus invites us to ‘choose once again’, he adresses the part of the mind that chooses either the voice for separation (the ego) or the Voice for Love (the Holy Spirit). This is the only choice we need ever make in our lives; indeed, it is the only choice we can make.

A wise king always consults his advisers before deciding. And so it is with our mind. Each hour, each minute, yes even each instant we, as the decision maker, choose the adviser to which we listen, in the split second before we make the decision. Most people choose the ego about 99 percent of the time. A Course in Miracles has come to us to explain that we can indeed train the mind to learn to hear the other Adviser, Who is always within us, but Who we shout down through the constant rattle of the ego. In a sense, the essence of the Course is to train the mind to lift itself above the battleground (T-23.IV), learn to listen to both advisers, and then make a better choice.

In theory we could do this in an instant. At a first glance, the choice doesn’t seem difficult at all. After all, no-one wants to suffer and live a life of negativity, right? And yet 99% of the people still choose the voice for negativity 99% of the time. This means we still believe this adviser serves our best purpose. And what do we think is our best purpose? Keeping the illusion of our autonomous individuality alive and well; in other words: make sure our own little separated kingdom will continue. If a king consults an adviser Who tells him that the king would be far better off by giving up his little kingdom and fuse with the Kingdom of the Father, how likely is that advice to be followed up on? Not very likely. This is why we fear to hear the Voice for Love: we are afraid our precious individual existence will be erased, which would indeed be the case.

This is why the Course spends so many pages on having us reconsider who and what we really are. As long as we still believe the body is all we have and are,  the Voice for Love will rarely be heard. Only when we reach the point on the proverbial ladder where we can honestly say and mean: “I am still one Self [as pure spirit], united with my Creator. I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me [again, as pure spirit]”, will we have found the courage to hear the better Adviser and follow through on His advice. Only when you are slowly learning to trust the truth that you, as spirit, are safe, are guided, and will be welcomed back Home with great joy, will you not only hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit, but welcome it and follow through on His Advice, no matter how odd it may sound at times.

This is, very briefly, the gist of this workshop. Its purpose is to serve as a reminder that we are not by definition doomed by the ego’s capricious advice. We can learn to become aware of the power of the mind, learn to ‘switch on the Light’ and make a better choice a little sooner each day, each hour, each moment. This is undoubtedly the most important curriculum you’ll ever take in this lifetime in this dream world. And the Course guarantees everyone will pass the exam in due time. When is solely up to us. So why wait for Heaven?

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See my Feb. 2020 Course workshop on YouTube called “A kingdom to rule” (English captions/subtitles available).

See also my Feb. 2019 Course workshop on Youtube called “Farewell to your self, to find your true Self” (English captions/subtitles available).

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

Seven ways to describe Love

Some classical music masterpieces seem to have originated straight from Heaven, and this is i.m.h.o. certainly the case with Brahms’ A German Requiem (1867). In retrospect, Brahms stated he would have retitled this work “A requiem for mankind”, which seems to fit its universal feel better. Although its lyrics seem to suggest it is a work primarily about sorrow and death, Brahms meant it to be a message of solace, a promise of the certainty of everlasting love to come after this ethereal life of pain and seeming death. Indeed, the seven movements can each be experienced as depicting a particular aspect of God; that is, the nondualistic God as described in A course in Miracles; the God Who equals everlasting Love. If Brahms had known the Course in his lifetime, he might have named the seven movements of his requiem as follows.

1 – God is Love
In the Bible, God is depicted as the almighty Creator Who has his good days and bad days. Both love and anger are clearly part of Him. He judges all our doings, and meticulously prepares His judgment on each of us, to be ‘shared’ with us the day we die. In other words, the biblical God is clearly a dualistic God, subject to opposites. A Course in Miracles, however, obviously presents a nondualistic God, Who equals only Love. Therefore, anything that is not Love is an illusion and does not exist in reality. That is why everything we experience in time and space is no more real than are our nightly dreams. When we finally accept the Atonement, that is, see the face of Christ in all our brothers, we remember God; we awaken from the dualistic dream and return Home to the Eternal Love that we are. The solace in this track, then, is that even though we seem to suffer at the hands of time, our happy return to eternal Love that is God/Heaven/Christ, is guaranteed to be our experienced reality in the end. It’s strictly up to us how long we still want to crucify ourselves.

2 – God (Love) is eternal
Clearly, nothing in this world of time and space lasts. “All things must pass”, as George Harrison recounted in 1970, in the midst of Helen’s process of the scribing of A Course in Miracles. The Course clearly states that anything that does not last forever is without any value. While the Course does not chide or scold us for our desire to cling to false gods (special relationships with people, possessions, events, you name it), Jesus does invite us to reconsider what would make us truly happy. In the end, the only plausible answer is eternity: the nondualistic state of the Love that does not change, since there is no time or space for anything to change in. Surprisingly, the Course states that we are there already here and now; that is, we can experience the reflection of Heaven by temporarily silencing the ‘raucous shrieks’ (or constant babble) of the ego. See for example workbook lesson 106: “Let me be still and listen to the truth”.

3 – God (Love) is mercy
In A Course in Miracles, “mercy” is virtually synonymous with “grace” and “forgiveness”. It is a state completely free of any condemnation whatsoever. Again, a large part of the Course is about reversing the biblical notion of a vengeful Creator Who is out to punish us for our ‘cardinal sin’ of having separated from Him. One particularly helpful illustration of this is the Course’s referral to the biblical parable of the prodigal Son. Even though this son, who had left his father’s house only to find nothing of any value in the world, was deeply ashamed to return home, his father welcomed him warmly back. There was no accusation, no rejection, no need for any guilt. In other words, again: our Father is only unchanging Love. Each of us will be welcomed back with unconditional love, no matter how wretched or guilty we may unconsciously feel in time.

4 – God (Love) is Home
Deep down inside, we know that this world of time and space is not our true home. “A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, nor what it is the voice reminds you of. Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown. Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here. Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.” (W-pI.182.1:3-6). If God had ordained our home to be a world where nothing lasts, where everything withers and dies, “God would be cruel” ( Happily, our true Home is in nonduality outside time and space. It is solely up to us to decide when we will truly choose to see the face of Christ in all our brothers, ending all condemnation forever, paving the way for our return home to Heaven.

5 – God (Love) is consolation
No matter what pain and hurt seems to befall us, unconditional love always comforts, as it recalls the unchanging timelessness of our true Home. Love is the the state of mind where sorrow of any kind is utterly inconceivable, as there is nothing to oppose the perfect peace, happiness and joy that is the state of Heaven. As the soprano very tenderly sings in this fifth movement: “You now have sorrow; but I shall see you again, and your heart shall rejoice and your joy no one shall take from you. I have had for a little time toil and torment, and now have found great consolation. I will console you, as one is consoled by his mother.”

6 – God (Love) is life
According to the Course, anything that does not live forever cannot be called life. Therefore, in our dualistic world of time and space, true life cannot be found. Bodies are not really born and they do not really die; they are merely schizophrenic imaginations of the sleeping Son of God dreaming of exile. Anyone who has briefly experienced a light episode, wherein time and space seemed to vanish and all was bathed in pure light, knows this truth: anything in time and space will not last, and is therefore not life. Moreover, almost anyone with a near-death experience emphasizes that the state of life outside time and space is much, much more real than anything we experience here in this world.

7 – God (Love) is peace
“Knowledge is not the motivation for learning this course. Peace is.” (T-8.I.1:1). “Whatever you may think about yourself, whatever you may think about the world, your Father needs you and will call to you until you come to Him in peace at last” (S-3.IV.10:7). We come to Him thus, not by committing suicide, but by our acceptance of the Atonement through unconditional forgiveness of everyone and everything. We cannot do this on our own, since we are still too attached to self-indulgence. But our willingness to gradually change our minds to consistently follow the Inner Voice for Love (i.e., the Holy Spirit) guarantees that peace is everyone’s due. So why wait for Heaven? (W-pI.131, 188).

In my opinion, the recording of Brahms’ Requiem that most closely approximates the emotional depth as described above is by Herbert von Karajan in 1964, with Eberhard Waechter, Gundula Janowitz, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Singverein. Just put on the headphones and let the essence of its message sink deep down inside. There’s no need to follow any lyrics. Just let the music come. You may be amazed at the depth of consolation, life and peace it offers.

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See also my Feb. 2019 Course workshop at called “Farewell to your self, to find your true Self”. (English captions/subtitles available)

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page:

Do I want to be pure spirit?

Workbook lesson 97 is called “I am spirit”, and Jesus comments on this as follows: “Today’s idea […] simply states the truth. Practice this truth today as often as you can, for it will bring your mind from conflict to the quiet fields of peace.” (W-pI.97.1:1-4). That should be ample motivation to stick with the inner peace once I experience this. And so I mutter: “Yes, yes, I’m not a body, I am free, for I am still as God created me [i.e., as spirit]”. But apparently I don’t want to be pure spirit as yet. Why not? Because I forget about the lesson for hours on end and I still get upset over this and that! All Course students have experienced this frustration. So what to do to convince myself I really want to be pure spirit?

Most students are familiar with the somewhat disheartening opening of workbook lesson 185, entitled: “I want the peace of God”, wherein Jesus reminds us: “To say these words is nothing. But to mean these words is everything” (W-pI.185.1:1-2). The trouble is, yes, I do want the peace of God, but I want it on my own terms. I want God to be my sugar-daddy who will fix my perceived problems here, in my own personal little world. In other words, I still stubbornly “prefer to be right, rather than happy”  (T-29.VII.1:9). This is because of my fear that if would truly accept that I am pure spirit, my personal self would be finished, and therefore I would cease to exist!

So if I were really honest with myself, I would admit that, no, I don’t want to be pure spirit yet, because this is much too frightening to my perceived identity as a unique separated individual. For many Course students, a most unfortunate consequence of such a conclusion is that it seems to induce loads of guilt over being such a poor, wretched, worthless spiritual pupil. “Sigh. This Course is the clearest guide to inner peace that one might think of, and yet I don’t follow through because I am too weak and fearful to find the motivation to practice what it says.” Obviously, such a conclusion is merely a clever ego tactic to keep itself alive and well: clearly separated from God, with no inner strength to ever switch on the inner light which would make the ego disappear.

As long as I succumb to the deceptive temptation of wrong-minded thinking, all my efforts to learn this Course seem futile indeed. Happily, the real power of A Course in Miracles lies in its gentle guidance to gradually make the shift from wrong-minded to right-minded thinking. And this is a slow process. One particularly helpful passage comes in chapter 15: “[This Course…] does not require that you have no thoughts that are not pure. But it does require that you have none that you would keep.… In your practice, then, try only to be vigilant against deception, and seek not to protect the thoughts you would keep to yourself. Let the Holy Spirit’s purity shine them away, and bring all your awareness to the readiness for purity He offers you” (T-15.IV.9:1-2,8-9).

So my real practice is merely to become aware of my negative thoughts slightly sooner than before, and then not judge myself for being “bad”, but merely realize above the battleground (T-23.IV) that this negativity clearly serves the purpose of wanting to keep the seeming separation intact because I’m still too fearful of the notion of being pure spirit. Then I will not feel guilty about being spiritually inadequate. Sure, I may not be fully enlightened as yet, but at least I’m on the right track in reconditioning my mind from wrong-minded thinking to right-minded thinking. Each time I can gently smile about my own silliness and ask myself what Love would do instead, and then follow the Holy Spirit’s loving impulse, I am choosing a miracle, and the experience of inner peace will inevitably follow.

Very early in the text, Jesus states that “[A] miracle substitutes for learning that might have taken thousands of years. […] The miracle shortens time by collapsing it, thus eliminating certain intervals within it” (T-1.II.6:5,8). This lofty metaphysical idea about cleaning up karma and ending the cycle of reincarnation, however, should be applied to the smallest things in our everyday lives. We still believe that, for example, when we offer a simple, genuine smile to a stranger on the street, this may not be a significant contribution to our own salvation. But Jesus gently reminds us that we have no clue whatsoever about our greatest advances and failures: “You cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success” (T-18.V.1:5-6).

In chapter 31 of the text, Jesus further addresses this importance about our ‘little’ encounters in which we can affirm the mutual truth about ourselves as being pure spirit: “The holy ones whom God has given you to save are but everyone you meet or look upon, not knowing who they are; all those you saw an instant and forgot, and those you knew a long while since, and those you will yet meet […]” (T-31.VII.10:5). According to A Course in Miracles, the temple of the Holy Spirit is not the body (as St. Paul taught us in the Bible); it is a relationship. And this is with anyone and/or anything I perceive outside of me. The truth about myself that “I am spirit” will dawn on me when I practice in relinquishing my judgment of all that I perceive outside of me, even in seemingly insignificant encounters.

In practicing this, I will yet learn that where in my wrong mind I believe I am losing a bit of my unique special autonomy, my right mind brings the experience of the peace I want so much. It’s all a matter of being vigilant for which teacher I choose to guide my thoughts, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, year by year. That’s why the Manual for teachers closes with the inspiring plea: “And now in all your doings be you blessed. God turns to you for help to save the world. Teacher of God, His thanks He offers you, And all the world stands silent in the grace You bring from Him.” (M-29.8:1-3) And the unexpected moment will come when you will be astounded to realize with perfect clarity that, yes, I do want to be spirit, joined as one Self with the whole Sonship, on its way back Home! Could there be any greater joy than that?

See also my “Miracles or Murder: a guide to concepts of A Course in Miracles“. This guidebook, endorsed by Gary and Cindy Renard, was published in March 2016 by Outskirts Press and is available at


See also my Feb. 2019 Course workshop at called “Farewell to your self, to find your true Self”. (English captions/subtitles available)

Dutch visitors may also be interested in this Dutch page: