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ACFIP Newsletter 
Issue 3 - DECEMBER 2004

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
FAX: 61- (0)7 3415 3267




Welcome to the third issue of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace Newsletter. If you wish to read previous issues please go to

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 as it can take some time after arriving in a new country before people find out what is being offered.

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). Other items will include information about my talks and workshops at Point Lookout and elsewhere in the world and details of my books and audio materials for sale. If you are new to the Course you might find my summary of help. You can find it at

Michael Dawson



Opening to the Light

Why wait for Heaven? Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes. The light is in them now. Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all. 
from A Course in Miracles W-pI.188.1:1-4

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?

Within the illusion of time we long ago decided separation was preferable to oneness. We entered space and time seeking happiness outside ourselves. That we have not succeeded is obvious - one look at the world clearly shows this. However, we are still optimistic and carry on searching for that elusive peace and joy. At times we find it only to see it slip away from our grasp. Our ego encourages us to keep trying not mentioning its real goal is to ensure we never succeed.

I have said that the ego's rule is, "Seek and do not find." Translated into curricular terms this means, "Try to learn but do not succeed." T-12.V.7:1-2

The ego is the thought of separation that we, the sleeping Christ, have created. It lives as long as we give it power and we will continue to do this while we think it serves us. It wants to continue and thus seeks ways to keep us believing it's worth keeping. As we begin to slowly realise that following the ego's thought system of separation brings only pain we start to turn to the Holy Spirit in our mind for help. We start to open to the light.

Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point. T-2.III.3:5-7


The ego becomes alarmed at the direction we are starting to take and counsels us to return to him. He warns us that the Holy Spirit works for God and don't we remember we broke up Heaven, took God's power and set ourselves up in time and space where we hope God will not find us and exact his just revenge!

I have watched participants on workshops having some form of experience that brings them closer to God's love and light and then a short time after they experience some fear, depression or sickness.

As the light comes nearer you will rush to darkness, shrinking from the truth, sometimes retreating to the lesser forms of fear, and sometimes to stark terror. But you will advance, because your goal is the advance from fear to truth. T-18.III.2:1-2

On the one hand we are starting to tire of the ego's ways of attack, judgement, justified anger and victimhood but are terrified of losing our sense of identity, specialness and individuality. We are strongly attached to thinking we are a body with important roles and ambitions in the world. The notion of spiritually advancing and finally sitting on the right hand of God is very appealing. But notice something about this picture. You are still there! Duality has crept into the oneness of Heaven. This is the ego's version of spiritual growth - you take him with you to God.

In the fifth stage of the "Development of Trust" in the Manual for Teachers Jesus tells us we will all go through a "Period of Unsettling". Although we are close to the top of the ladder of trust, the Real World, we may remain a "long, long time" at this penultimate stage. Why? We need to willingly release the sense of "I", of a "me" before we can return home.

Peace and joy exist only in the state of oneness or union with God. To know this means releasing our investment in the ego's thought system of separation. Our dilemma is illustrated in the following story.

A man is swinging on a trapeze. He knows this trapeze well but is starting to tire of it. He is not happy where he is and knows he must change something. Suddenly he sees an empty trapeze swinging backwards and forwards in front of him. On closer inspection he sees his name written on the bar. He knows he must let go of his familiar trapeze before he can grasp the new one. His fear of the new and the death of the old make him want to hold onto the old trapeze with one hand whilst trying to grab the new one. An impossible task. Likewise, the ego still has a powerful hold on us whilst we are being drawn ever more strongly to the light of the Holy Spirit.

The "Obstacles to Peace" in Chapter 19 of the ACIM Text spells out the various arguments the ego will use to persuade us to stay with him. He tells us the body is valuable for what it offers and that pain "proves" that it is real and the Holy Spirit is a liar when He says it's an illusion. Death is further "proof" that the body is real and separate from God. Our attraction to guilt, attack, hate and anger also act as a defense to experiencing the love of God, which would lead to the death of the ego. The ego warns us that God is waiting at the end of our spiritual path to exact his justified vengeance (so don't go there!) Better to get caught up in the world's ambitions, know the body is the only reality and don't rock the boat.

As we slowly start to desert our ego its cries will follow us until that day dawns when we finally give up all investment in its illusions.
And the illusions subtly change. Seeing through the cruder illusions of the eg (that materialism will bring us happiness), we then fall into the trap off spiritual materialism. Yearning for God and enlightenment can keep us trapped for a long time.

The desire for truth is the highest of all desires, yet, it is still a desire. All desires must be given up for the real to be.....When all search ceases, it is the Supreme State.
from I Am That by Nisargadatta Maharaj.

Knowing we will experience fear and ambivalence on our journey is very helpful. The journey back to God is not sweetness and light. As the ego continues to rear its ugly head we can start to practise forgiveness.


Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. W-pII.1.4:1-3

This quotation is asking us to look quietly at our ego and not to fix them or improve it. We are asked not to hate or love it for it is nothing, simply the absence of love which is awaiting our welcome. It must wait while we welcome the ego instead. The ego, not being real, merely needs to be observed without judgement. As we learn slowly to maintain a witness attitude to our ego's behaviour we remove our investment from it and it begins to fade. Starved of attention and guilt its food supplies shrivel and it must start to lose its grip on our minds. But as soon as we feel guilty about its behaviour or thoughts we are saying to it, "You are real, I believe in you".

This is our day in and day out practice. Not yearning for God or enlightenment. Just watching our mind and not judging what we see while asking the Holy Spirit/Jesus for help in seeing the situation peacefully. Slowly we start to smile at the ego's goings-on. "Oh, I see I want to throttle the driver who just cut me off on the road. That reminds me of the anger I felt yesterday when someone jumped the queue I was waiting patiently in. So what's new!"

Many times we will forget to forgive and ask for help. On seeing this we can still learn to smile at our lack of practice, to forgive ourselves for not forgiving.

I recently saw someone had summarised my AAA approach to forgiveness and include it below.

What is denied cannot be forgiven. Awareness of our inner world is as important as awareness of our outer world. Our egos will fight our attempts to become more aware of our darker sides. Watch thoughts without judgment - develop a "compassionate witness." The ability to watch thinking means we are not our thoughts.

What you resist persists. Acceptance dissolves guilt. Acceptance invites healing and change. Change is feared and can block forgiveness.

Awareness and acceptance are our responsibility. A genuine desire for peace invites healing. Our inner guide completes the forgiveness process and will choose the form forgiveness takes: our job is to surrender to its guidance.

Reprinted from www.care2.com - adapted from The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness, by Michael Dawson

As we practise our daily forgiveness lessons the wall of the ego starts to fade revealing God's light behind it - a light incapable of destruction, only of being hidden. The fear of God's love for us, which will dissolve our egos, begins to fall away and we understand and follow Jesus's guidance at last:

My brother, you are part of God and part of me. When you have at last looked at the ego's foundation without shrinking you will also have looked upon ours. I come to you from our Father to offer you everything again. Do not refuse it in order to keep a dark cornerstone hidden, for its protection will not save you. I give you the lamp and I will go with you. You will not take this journey alone. I will lead you to your true Father, Who hath need of you, as I have. Will you not answer the call of love with joy? T-11.in.4.

(The theme of this article is developed in my workshop "Opening to the Light")




I had not been feeling well for a couple of days. There was a mixture of sadness and tension, a desire to do little and a need to be by myself. I had a few clues where this all originated but was not absolutely sure. Not quite the mood to be in when in the middle of house renovations with my partner doing most of the work!

I finally decided this pain was not going away and I needed help. When nobody was in the house I lay in a comfortable position on the bed and placed my hand on the top of my chest where the tension was concentrated. In this way I became more aware of the sensation and more accepting of the situation. I asked Jesus for help in healing. As I asked I was also aware that I was sincere in my asking - I really did want his help. It felt reassuring that I actually meant this and was not just saying the words without conviction. I felt I was surrendering to a higher power and not relying on my ego to fix it all up for me. (That never works anyway but still does not stop me falling into that trap. After all, I had waited two days already before asking for help as I had assumed I could get myself out of this mood.)

Another insight I had after I had prayed for help was that I was reluctant to give up this pain. I knew from the study of A Course in Miracles, especially the section on the Obstacles to Peace in the text, that we are attracted to pain, guilt and death as it makes our egos and the separation seem very real. We came here because we thought we could find happiness outside ourselves and do not wish to be proved wrong. We certainly do not want our egos shown up to be illusory and our quest futile. There is nothing like a dose of pain to make it all seem real again and the Holy Spirit a liar.

I will receive whatever I request.
No one desires pain. But he can think that pain is pleasure. No one would avoid his happiness. But he can think that joy is painful, threatening and dangerous. .... Let us resolve today to ask for what we really want, and only this, that we may spend this day in fearlessness, without confusing pain with joy, or fear with love. Lesson 339

Having this insight about retaining my pain really helped. Seeing this thought out in the open allowed me to reassess what I really wanted and I decided it was stupid to carry on like this. As I continued to lie quietly on the bed with my hand on my heart the sadness and tension simply melted away in a few minutes, leaving me feeling light, happy and energised. I did not do anything more after the prayer and insight as that would be an intrusion of the ego trying to be important and 'helping' me with its counsel. The cause of pain is always the same. At some point we have dropped the guiding hand of Spirit and held the judgemental hand of the ego instead. We do not need to know the details. All I had to do was welcome the healing light and love of Spirit to which I had opened the door to by my prayer and surrender. It was all so simple and left me wondering, again, why I wait so long to ask for help!

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.


from "The Meaning of Forgiveness" by Kenneth Wapnick. p.101

Several years ago, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the sudden realization there was someone standing in my room. After the momentary shock, I remembered "there is nothing to fear" (workbook, p. 77), and calmly asked my uninvited guest: "What can I do for you?" The situation was not obscure, however. It was clear that the man was on drugs and desperately needed money for his next fix; burglars rarely enter occupied apartments. He threateningly held his hand in his jacket as if he had a gun, to punctuate his demand. My defenselessness seemed to change the atmosphere in the room, however, and the man soon began apologizing for having broken in and disturbing my sleep. I gave him whatever money I had in my wallet, and the man paused as he took it and then returned a couple of dollars, saying: "This is all your money, I can't leave you with nothing." And he went on apologizing. I assured him it was all right, and urged him to do what he had to do. As I ushered the man to the hall, waiting with him for the elevator, I said: "God bless you." HIs final words as he disappeared into the elevator were: "Please pray for me." I assured him I would, although I knew that this holy encounter had been the prayer. No injustice had been done, for there had been no real loss. The amount of money was small "price" indeed for the blessing of forgiveness that had been given and received as one.

Please see the Contacts section at the end of this newsletter for more information about Kenneth Wapnick and the Foundation For A Course In Miracles


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.

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



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

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

EMAIL: mdawson@acfip.org
FAX: 61- (0)7 3415 3267