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ACFIP Newsletter 
Issue 5 - JUNE 2005

Quarterly Newsletter of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace

Michael Dawson
PO Box 125, Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island,
Queensland 4183,

Email: mdawson@acfip.org     
Web site: http://www.acfip.org



Welcome to the FIFTH issue of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace Newsletter.

If you wish to read previous issues please go to

Each of these newsletters will contain an article on some aspect of A Course in Miracles and a section on healing {which will often feature a story about how forgiveness brings about healing). Sometimes I will include articles and stories by other authors.

Information is also available about my talks and workshops at Point Lookout, Australia and elsewhere in the world and details of my books and audio materials for sale. At present, all the workshops I am giving come from personal invitations. I have no dates of when I might be teaching at my new home at Point Lookout as it can take some time after arriving in a new country before people find out what is being offered.

If you are new to the Course you might find my summary of help. You can find it at

Michael Dawson



Resisting the Course

Over the years that I have been teaching A Course in Miracles I have heard many accounts of people's difficulty in studying the Course. They illustrate the strong ambivalence many (all?) students have to studying and putting into practice its teachings. These include starting to study and then putting the book down and forgetting it, only reading the Workbook, and getting angry at the book (including destroying it or throwing it away). Some students try to change the Course to make it more acceptable to their egos. Examples include denial (where certain parts of the Course, especially the metaphysics, are not seen), reading Jesus out of the Course and altering its language. Other students may become preoccupied with such questions as "Why did the separation occur?", forgetting that if we practise our daily forgiveness lessons we will receive an experience that will answer all our questions (C-in.4:4-5).

Helen Schucman, who channelled the Course, also exhibited strong ambivalence to taking down the Course and practising forgiveness. She writes of this in her poem Bright Stranger

Strange was my Love to me. For when He came
I did not know Him. And He seemed to me
To be but an intruder on my peace.
I did not see the gifts He brought, nor hear
His soft appeal. I tried to shut Him out
With locks and keys that merely fell away
Before His coming. I could not escape
The gentleness with which He looked at me.
I asked Him in unwillingly, and turned
Away from Him. But He held out His hand
And asked me to remember Him. In me
An ancient Name began to stir and break
Across my mind in gold. The light embraced
Me deep in silence till He spoke the Word,
And then at last I recognized my Lord.

from The Gifts of God
Foundation for Inner Peace

This beautiful poem applies to us all. One part of us, our right mind, welcomes Jesus's help while another part of us, the wrong mind, wants to shut him out. Our egos happy to ask him for things of this world like health, the right partner, money, etc., but we don't want him to lead us out of this world to where he is.

Jesus is well aware that in studying his Course we will become fearful at times and actively resist it.

This course has explicitly stated that its goal for you is happiness and peace. Yet you are afraid of it. You have been told again and again that it will set you free, yet you sometimes react as if it is trying to imprison you. You often dismiss it more readily than you dismiss the ego's thought system. To some extent, then, you must believe that by not learning the course you are protecting yourself. And you do not realize that it is only your guiltlessness that can protect you.
A Course in Miracles T-13.II.7:1-6

Your mind is no longer wholly untrained. You are quite ready to learn the form of exercise we will use today, but you may find that you will encounter strong resistance. The reason is very simple. While you practice in this way, you leave behind everything that you now believe, and all the thoughts that you have made up. Properly speaking, this is the release from hell. Yet perceived through the ego's eyes, it is loss of identity and a descent into hell.

I saw a cartoon once that showed two doors. Above the first was written "Lecture on Heaven". In front of this door was a long queue of people. The door next to it had the sign "Heaven" above it but no people queued to enter. The fear we have to enter Heaven is mirrored in our fear of studying and practising the Course.

The section in the Text entitled 'The Fear of Redemption" gives a very clear explanation of why we resist the Course. As we progress with our learning we move ever closer to the love of God in our mind. This is the ultimate threat to the ego for it cannot withstand this love and survive. When the ego is finally shone away by God's love our precious individuality and specialness will also go and it is this which terrifies us. One part of us craves the peace of God whilst another part fears it. This translates into wanting to study the Course and leave this world behind (right minded thinking) and not wishing to have anything to do with the Course, seeking fulfilment only in the world (wrong minded thinking).

You think you have made a world God would destroy; and by loving Him, which you do, you would throw this world away, which you would. Therefore, you have used the world to cover your love, and the deeper you go into the blackness of the ego's foundation, the closer you come to the Love that is hidden there. And it is this that frightens you.

Under the ego's dark foundation is the memory of God, and it is of this that you are really afraid. For this memory would instantly restore you to your proper place, and it is this place that you have sought to leave.

Many of us start the Course hoping that we can learn to live more happily in this world. We look forward to finding the right partner or improving our existing relationship, to enjoying better health, to getting on better with people, etc. As we practise forgiveness we will see improvements in these areas eventually reaching "a period of settling down" (M-4.I.A.7), the fourth stage in the "Development of Trust" (M-4.I.A.), where we experience a "reasonable peace". Many teachings have the goal of making our lives here more happy and fulfilling - the book stores are full of them. The Course, however, is not a coping philosophy but a transcendent teaching. In the Bible Jesus says that his kingdom is not of this world. The aim of the Course is to take us to this world, what it calls the Real World. But this means leaving our ego behind, our sense of "I". This leads to the next stage in the "Development of Trust" called "a period of unsettling" (M-4.I.A.7:1) which may last a very long time as we resist letting our individuality go and enter the Real World of oneness with God - the last step on the ladder of trust.

As we start to realise where the Course is leading us we can panic and resist its teachings. We may not realise we are resisting and point to the fact that we regularly read the Course, go to our A Course in Miracles study group and try to forgive. However, to look deeply into our ego thought system is not a pleasant experience. It's more comfortable to live on the surface.

You may wonder why it is so crucial that you look upon your hatred and realize its full extent. You may also think that it would be easy enough for the Holy Spirit to show it to you, and to dispel it without the need for you to raise it to awareness yourself. Yet there is one more obstacle you have interposed between yourself and the Atonement....You are not really afraid of crucifixion. Your real terror is of redemption.

To look without judgement at the hatred in our minds will take us to the darkest foundations of the ego's thought system. This is difficult enough for us to do but beyond this foundation is the love of God, our redemption, and this terrifies us even more as this love will dissolve who we think we are.

It is very helpful to realise we will fear and resist the Course as it prepares us for those moments when we just want to give it all up. Further, when we do start to get glimpses of the Real World with attendant loss of the ego we will understand better what is happening and will be less likely to succumb to fear.

Our ambivalence to the Course can become another chance to practise forgiveness. We might say to ourselves, "Here I go again, frightened of Jesus's love for me and running away again. What's new! I can learn to smile at this and wait patiently for the day when I can let him and his Course back into my life again".

And if you find resistance strong and dedication weak, you are not ready. Do not fight yourself.

The above quote illustrates well Jesus's love and understanding of us. He does not want us to beat ourselves up for being poor students at times but to be gentle with ourselves and our journey with him.



Sister Annette

A healing technique is of secondary importance compared with the presence
of the therapist. By ‘presence’, I am referring to the therapist’s state of
mind whilst working with a client. For healing to occur therapists need to be
guided from within, and this can only happen if they are at peace around the
client. A wonderful healing technique used at the wrong moment is useless.
Knowing when to speak or remain silent, when to use a different approach
or method, must be guided from a place higher than reason and logic.
Therapeutic skill needs to be combined with inner listening. The following
account of a therapy session conducted by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick illustrates
this point (Reprinted from Forgiveness and Jesus by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick.
Published by Foundation For A Course In Miracles © 1983
http://www.facim.org )

One of my first therapy experiences after I began working with the Course
in Miracles afforded me a powerful example of the relationship between healing
and forgiveness. I had seen Sister Annette for about two months. She was
fifty years old and had been in religious life almost thirty years. She was also
one of the angriest people I had ever worked with, filled with a silent hatred
toward those in authority that would have destroyed mountains. Over the
first few sessions, Sister Annette was able to begin questioning some of her
attitudes toward her Order and her desire for revenge. She no longer seemed
quite as committed to the retaliative steps she had contemplated. Or so I
thought. One day Annette walked into the office with her face coldly exhibiting
the ‘wrath of God!’ Her convent co-ordinator had done something she
judged as being beyond forgiveness, and Sister Annette was hell bent on war,
absolutely closed to any suggestions she do otherwise.

That same morning I had come down with a very bad cold and felt
miserable. Not all my prayers and meditation were able to shift this, and I sat
before Annette feeling utterly helpless and discouraged. I knew that if she left
me as she had come in, she would be making an irrevocable mistake she would
regret the rest of her life. Yet nothing I said could budge her, and my growing
frustration only made my cold worse. The more frustrated I became, the more
real I made Annette’s angry symptoms and, correspondingly, my own as well.
Obviously, I was projecting my unforgiveness of myself onto Annette, seeing
in her stubborn clinging to her anger the mirror of my stubborn clinging to
my cold, not to mention my own failure as a therapist. Separation through
our symptoms became reinforced, and healing through joining retreated still
further behind clouds of guilt and anger.

What added to my difficulty was the belief that Annette had been sent
to me from God, and as she was in serious trouble it was my responsibility to
help her. And I was obviously failing. About midway through the session, my
desperation led me finally to remember that I was not the Therapist, and that
I certainly could not be more concerned for Annette than Jesus was. Even as
I was talking and listening to her, in another part of my mind I began to pray
for help, asking Jesus to provide the words that would heal her anger and fear,
and restore to her awareness the love that was her true identity.

The response was immediate, and I suddenly became available to the
help that was there – for me. A warm surge of energy rose up from my chest,
through my lungs, nose and throat, and I could feel my cold being healed and
my head clearing up. At the same time I began to speak. I don’t recall what
I said, and doubt if it were anything too different from what I had said previously.
Only now I was different. I no longer saw Annette as separate from me,
a patient in trouble whom I, as therapist, had to help. She now was my sister,
and by joining with her I was joining with Jesus. I had become the patient as
well, and together we received healing from the forgiving love of God. By the
end of the session, her softened face reflected the shift from anger and fear to
forgiveness and love, as my well being reflected the same shift in myself. I had
learned my lesson that day, to be relearned many times thereafter.

Reprinted from The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press by Michael Dawson


PLEASE NOTE: The Australian Centre for Inner Peace is not a counselling or psychotherapy centre; therefore, we do not offer telephone or email service or counselling, therapy, or crisis intervention for personal problems related to the Course. Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter.

A Story of Forgiveness

When the war in Europe ended in May 1945, the 123rd Evac unit entered Germany with the occupying troops. I was part of a group assigned to a concentration camp near Wuppertal, charged with getting medical help to the newly liberated prisoners, many of them Jews from Holland, France, and eastern Europe. This was the most shattering experience I had yet had; I had been exposed many times by then to sudden death and injury, but to see the effects of slow starvation, to walk through those barracks where thousands of men had died a little bit at a time over a period of years, was a new kind of horror. For many it was an irreversible process: we lost scores each day in spite of all the medicine and food we could rush to them.

Now I needed my new insight indeed. When the ugliness became too great to handle I did what I had learned to do. I went from one end to the other of that barbed wire enclosure looking into men’s faces until I saw looking back at me the face of Christ.

And that’s how I came to know Wild Bill Cody. That wasn’t his real name. His real name was seven unpronounceable syllables in Polish, but he had a long drooping handlebar mustache like pictures of the old western hero, so the American soldiers called him Wild Bill. He was one of the inmates of the concentration camp, but obviously he hadn’t been there long: his posture was erect, his eyes bright, his energy indefatigable. Since he was fluent in English, French, German and Russian, as well as Polish, he became a kind of unofficial camp translator.

We came to him with all sorts of problems; the paper work alone was staggering in attempting to relocate people whose families, even whole hometowns, might have disappeared. But though Wild Bill worked fifteen and sixteen hours a day, he showed no signs of weariness. While the rest of us were drooping with fatigue, he seemed to gain strength. “We have time for this old fellow,” he’d say. “He’s been waiting to see us all day.” His compassion for his fellow prisoners glowed on his face, and it was to this glow that I came when my own spirits were low.

So I was astonished to learn when Wild Bill’s own papers came before us one day, that he had been in Wuppertal since 1939! For six years he had lived on the same starvation diet, slept in the same airless and disease-ridden barracks as everyone else, but without the least physical or mental deterioration.

Perhaps even more amazing, every group in the camp looked on him as a friend. He was the one to whom quarrels between inmates were brought for arbitration. Only after I’d been at Wuppertal a number of weeks did I realize what a rarity this was in a compound where the different nationalities of prisoners hated each other almost as much as they did the Germans.

As for Germans, feeling against them ran so high that in some of the camps liberated earlier, former prisoners had seized guns, run into the nearest village and simply shot the first Germans they saw. Part of our instructions were to prevent this kind of thing and again Wild Bill was our greatest asset, reasoning with the different groups, counseling forgiveness. 

“It’s not easy for some of them to forgive,” I commented to him one day as we sat over mugs of tea in the processing center. So many of them have lost members of their families”

Wild Bill leaned back in the upright chair and sipped at his drink. “We lived in the Jewish section of Warsaw,” he began slowly, the first words I had heard him speak about himself, “my wife, our two daughters, and our three little boys. When the Germans reached our street they lined everyone against a wall and opened up with machine guns. I begged to be allowed to die with my family, but because I spoke German they put me in a work group.”

He paused, perhaps seeing again his wife and five children. “I had to decide right then,” he continued, “whether to let myself hate the soldiers who had done this. It was an easy decision, really. I was a lawyer. In my practice I had seen too often what hate could do to people’s minds and bodies. Hate had just killed the six people who mattered most to me in the world. I decided then that I would spend the rest of my life – whether it was a few days or many years – loving every person I came in contact with    

From Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie, M.D. © 1978 published by Fleming H. Revell, a division of Baker Book House Company.

One of the hallmarks of the ego is that it always takes sides: there are always ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’. Wild Bill did not take sides. It mattered not to him whether the people he helped were so-called ‘victims’ or ‘persecutors’; they were both unhappy and consciously or unconsciously calling for love, which he then gave. It is clear from the above story that Wild Bill did not see himself in either category either and this enabled him to retain his peace under the most demanding of circumstances. It also allowed him to access a source of energy and reserve within himself that allowed him to survive the camps. So much so that he had more energy than the well fed doctors who had come to help the inmates of the camp!

Earlier, I talked about how all things that happen are neutral and we ourselves decide how to react. In the case of Wild Bill, we see how an event judged as horrific by the world became the means by which a saint was born on earth. Seeing the world as neutral does not, of course, condone the affliction of pain and death on others, but reminds us that we can still choose how we respond to situations we find ourselves in.

Wild Bill was an exceptional man who, in exceptional circumstances, chose forgiveness as his path.  

Reprinted from The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press by Michael Dawson



2005 Workshops


BONN - 16/17 July 2005

Opening to the Light
- from the perspective of A Course in Miracles

Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing.

... It merely looks, and waits, and judges not.
A Course in Miracles W-pII.1.4.

The light, love and joy of God are ever present and wait only our acceptance. We need not earn them as they were freely given at our creation. Nor is sacrifice or suffering required. So why do we rarely experience the light? This workshop will look, firstly, at why we are afraid of the light and the illusions we fear to let go. Our illusions and unforgiveness stand as barriers between us and the light.

The second part of the workshop will focus on overcoming our fear through forgiveness - the path of awareness, acceptance and asking for help.

We will use material from 'The Obstacles to Peace' in the ACIM Text and the 'Development of Trust' in the Manual. Exercises will be used to help identify our illusions and fear of sacrifice so they can be healed through forgiveness. We will practise watching our minds without judgement or as the Course puts it ... (forgiveness) "merely looks, and waits and judges not."

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required but attendance at the Friday night talk would be helpful for people new to the Course.

See article in the December 2004 newsletter http://www.acfip.org/nl3.html

Intoductory talk evening 15th July

Beethovenallee 16
53173 Bonn-Bad Godesberg
Tel: 0228 364737


FREIBURG - 9/10 July 2005
Opening to the Light
- from the perspective of A Course in Miracles (description as Bonn w/s)

Intoductory talk evening 8th July

Margarete Sennekamp
Adalbert-Stifter-Str. 16
79102 Freiburg
Tel/Fax : 0761-73930



A weekend workshop near Wellington, New Zealand
11th and 12th November 2005

Opening to the Light
- from the perspective of A Course in Miracles (description as Bonn w/s)

Intoductory talk evening 10th November 2005

Workshop Contact:
Krissy Dussler
15 Haumia Street
New Zealand
Tel: 04 2927 228 2004
Email: krissyreadings@paradise.net.nz



Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press. 1994
The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness. Findhorn Press. 2003

For more details and how to purchase please visit: http://www.acfip.org/books_tapes.html

Audio Tapes and CDs
Since 1986 I have been conducting healing workshops in the UK and abroad, and have continually experimented to find healing and forgiveness exercises that are effective. I have found that a particular exercise can be effective for one person but not another. Accordingly, I was led to develop a series of exercises. Over the years workshop participants asked if these exercises could be put onto audio cassettes and CDs so they could repeat them. This has resulted in the
Healing the Cause - Exercise series - Tapes 1 to 4 (2 exercises on each tape) and CD1 and 2 (4 exercises on each CD)

For more details and how to purchase please visit:



Foundation for A Course In Miracles
41397 Buecking Drive, Temecula, CA 92590
Tel: 909 296 6261 Fax: 909296 9117

Books, videos, CDs and audio tapes by Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick are available from their web site

Question and Answer Service:
Their electronic outreach section has a question and answer service
http://www.facimoutreach.org/ on the theory and practice of the Course. Their database of hundreds of questions and answers is searchable and you can ask your own questions.

Their publications can also be ordered in Australia at:
Adyar Bookshop
230 Clarence Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Foundation for Inner Peace - the publishers of A Course in Miracles

ACIM study groups.
Go to
The Miracle Distribution Center http://www.miraclecenter.org/ for the largest and most frequently updated list of A Course in Miracles study groups available anywhere.

Miracles Studies Australia  http://www.miraclestudies.webcentral.com.au/ lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand

A Course In Miracles Pen Pals
Miracle Network http://www.miracles.org.uk hosts a A Course in Miracles pen pals group:
To join this e-mail discussion group, send your e-mail address to e.pals@miracles.org.uk. They will send you updated lists of other e.pals and inform them of your e-mail address.

A Course In Miracles Chat Groups



About three or four times a week I send a short quotation from some spiritual teacher or poet to people who have requested some uplifting thoughts. I have included some below. If you wish I can add your name to the list.

Please email at


Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment.
Co-operate with your destiny, dont go against it, dont thwart it.
Allow it to fulfil itself.
All you have to do is to give attention to the obstacles created by the foolish mind.

Nisargadatta Maharaj


      When you listen to the voice in your head, that
is to say, do not judge. You’ll soon realize: there
is the voice, and here I am listening to it, watching
it. This I am realization, this sense of your own
presence, is not a thought. It arises from beyond
the mind.
- Eckhart Tolle
The Power of Now


In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do, and that
sign becomes this art.

- Rumi


One is more likely to awaken through surrender than through seeking to waken. The effort to awaken is the effort of ego, whereas to surrender is to give up all efforts and to place oneself in the hands of a vast force that is more powerful than any realization of non duality.

When one finally gives up one’s futile attempts to make reality conform to one’s own wishes, and allows it to unfold on its own terms, all the energy that was tied up in foolish attempts to manipulate the universe is freed up.

Mariana Caplan
Halfway Up the Moutain - The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment


Yet searching is inevitable here. For this you came, and you will surely do the thing you came for. But the world can not dictate the goal for which you search, unless you give it power to do so. Otherwise, you still are free to choose a goal that lies beyond the world and every worldly thought, and one that comes to you from an idea relinquished yet remembered, old yet new; an echo of a heritage forgot, yet holding everything you really want.

A Course in Miracles Lesson 131


      There’s one great delusion that lies at the core
of all of our suffering: the false belief in the reality
of the separation of life and in the subsequent
true existence of an individual ego.

All fervent attempts to control or to mortify this
illusory ego through penance, rituals and sacrifice,
however, will only serve to intensify the delusion
that this ego is actually very real and that it only
needs to be, somehow, subdued, conquered or
- Chuck Hillig

Seeds for the Soul
Chuck Hillig
Black Dot Publications, 2003


Michael Dawson
PO Box 125
Point Lookout
North Stradbroke Island
Queensland 4183

EMAIL: mdawson@acfip.org
WEBSITE: http://www.acfip.org