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ACFIP Newsletter
Issue 17 - June 2008

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 seventeenth issue of the Australian Centre for Inner Peace Newsletter.

*  Investigating the Self
*  Collapsing Time
*  Poem - I Saw That He Was Like Me
*  Workshops
*  Books and Audio Materials for Sale
*  New CD - 3 Exercises with German translation
*  Links
*  Inspirational Quotations

If you wish to read previous issues please go to http://www.acfip.org/newsletterarchive.html.

If your email address ends with .au I put your address on my Australian list for advance notice of workshops I am giving in Australia. If you do not want to be on this list please let me know. If you reside in Australia and want to be on this list, but you address does not end in .au, please email me and I will include it.

If you are new to the Course you might find my summaries of help.
You can find them at http://www.acfip.org/sum.html and http://www.acfip.org/art4.html

Michael Dawson



Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God
intro,Text - A Course in Miracles

A Course in Miracles  asks us to challenge our conventional wisdom about who we think we are and what the world really is. Until we do this we are walking around asleep and suffering will be our constant companion. The above quote states that, "Nothing unreal exists", which means if something is not eternal (i.e. never born) its nature is that of a dream. In the Workbook Jesus states, "There is no world. This is the central thought the course attempts to teach." W-p1.132.6:2-3
If it is the 'central thought', then we need to pay close attention to it.

So what does exist? A man walking at dusk mistakes a coiled rope for a poisonous snake and is terrified. He sees what appears to be a real problem that needs an urgent solution and he will not hear otherwise. It might take considerable persuasion from someone who knows the truth that there is nothing to fear in this situation. The 'snake' is a projection of the man's mind and has no inherent existence. Some Buddhist schools would say it is empty and "does not exist from its own side", and that everything we perceive or think is likewise empty or void, without any inherent reality or existence.

I believe the Course agrees with this, referring to the ego as a dream that will disappear back into nothingness when we so choose just as darkness vanishes (not hides) when the light appears. Whilst we identify with the ego we make it real and therefore we insist we exist as an individual. To maintain the illusion of individuality we need to defend against the truth by concentrating on the unreal - a world empty of any inherent existence.

So who am I? This trunk with four limbs and a head? Do I feel diminished if I trim my nails and have a hair cut? Or lose a limb? No - the 'I' thought remains. What of our thoughts and the emotions they generate? We can watch them come and go, we can stand back and observe them or their absence so we can't be them. Are we a collection of our body parts, thoughts and emotions? Again no, for if we can't be found in the parts we cannot exist in the collection.

The thoughts of which I am aware do not mean anything because I am trying to think without God. What I call "my" thoughts are not my real thoughts. My real thoughts are the thoughts I think with God. I am not aware of them because I have made my thoughts to take their place. Lesson 51

The concept of an individual self is made up by the mind - it is just another thought taken as important. Our body, mind and feelings are just like the coiled rope and have no inherent existence. We have simply given a meaning to them or labelled them as 'me'. The early Workbook lessons emphasise this point. Lesson 1 states: "Nothing in this room means anything". In the review of Lesson 1 (see Lesson 51) it says, "The reason this is so is that I see nothing, and nothing has no meaning. It is necessary that I recognise this, that I may learn to see". In Lesson 7 Jesus uses the example of a cup saying, "What do you know about this cup except what you learned in the past? You would have no idea what this cup is, except for your past learning. Do you, then, really see it? Look about you. This is equally true of whatever you look at." This is another way of saying we label everything we perceive and give it meaning it does not possess of and in itself.

What God did not create does not exist. And everything that does exist exists as He created it. The world you see has nothing to do with reality. It is of your own making, and it does not exist. Lesson 14

When the first letter of the alphabet was written on the board, in our first reading class as children, we did not see an 'A'. Perhaps we saw a tent or a mountain. We had to be taught to label it an 'A' and that is how we now see it. But it is not an 'A' in and of it itself but a series of strokes. Even the word 'stroke' is a label.

Imagine for a moment that through self-forgiveness we let go of our personal identity as a man, woman, parent, child, worker, etc. Who is left to want gain, praise and a good reputation? Who is left who wants to avoid loss, blame and a bad reputation? Then we will know the peace of God and finally remember who we are - not an individual but Christ - the one eternal, formless spirit that God created in His Mind.



Such is each life; a seeming interval from birth to death and on to life again, a repetition of an instant gone by long ago that cannot be relived. And all of time is but the mad belief that what is over is still here and now. T-26.V.13:2-4

To achieve the goal of the Course we need to practise forgiveness. To understand the Course we need a knowledge of its metaphysics which includes time. Forgiveness collapses time, speeding the moment of spiritual awakening when we finally accept the Atonement - the awakening from the illusion of time and space.

Jesus states we need new ideas about time but also says how difficult it is for us to understand these ideas. Linear time is what we take as the truth, whilst Jesus tells us that time is holographic - everything is happening in one moment. However, we can at least understand time's purpose and allow our deeply rooted ideas of time and space to be shaken a little. As we proceed along the Course's path of awakening we will encounter experiences that will seem shocking and fear-provoking to our egos. It will be helpful therefore to meet these times with some foreknowledge so that awe and not fear is experienced. (T-1.VII.5).

The ego uses time to preserve itself. It tells us that in the past we decided to separate from God and achieved this. To save us from the resulting overwhelming guilt it advised us to deny this ever happened. This imagined sin in the past is experienced in the present as guilt leading to a fear of punishment in the future. All our fear stems from this unconscious guilt from a separation that never really happened.

In contrast the Holy Spirit reminds us that the "tiny mad idea" (see below) of separation was undone by the Holy Spirit the moment it was thought.

God gave His Teacher to replace the one you made, not to conflict with it. And what He would replace has been replaced. Time lasted but an instant in your mind, with no effect upon eternity. And so is all time past, and everything exactly as it was before the way to nothingness was made. The tiny tick of time in which the first mistake was made, and all of them within that one mistake, held also the Correction for that one, and all of them that came within the first. And in that tiny instant time was gone, for that was all it ever was. What God gave answer to is answered and is gone. T-26.V.3:1-7

In that "tiny tick of time" the whole universe was born, evolved and died along with all the thoughts we experienced.

"All thinking produces form at some level." (T-2.VI.9:14), and so all these thoughts manifested in time and space. This is somewhat similar to parallel universes hypothesised by some quantum physicists - that all possible results of an experiment exist and the participating scientist chooses one of them to manifest. Although everything was corrected in that 'original instant' we have chosen not to accept the Holy Spirit's correction and perversely continue as if we are still special individuals separated in space and linear time.

The world of time is the world of illusion. What happened long ago seems to be happening now. Choices made long since appear to be open; yet to be made. What has been learned and understood and long ago passed by is looked upon as a new thought, a fresh idea, a different approach. Because your will is free you can accept what has already happened at any time you choose, and only then will you realize that it was always there. For we but see the journey from the point at which it ended, looking back on it, imagining we make it once again; reviewing mentally what has gone by. TM-2.3:1-5

To help make this a bit clearer I will use a couple of analogies. There are currently available fiction novels which give the reader a choice of which plot to develop. At the end of each chapter you choose from a choice of plots; for example, if the hero gets married or decides to say single. You are then directed to the appropriate page and the story continues based on your previous choice of plot. A multiple, but not infinite, story line. In that original instant of seeming separation we also had an enormous, but not infinite, number of stories which we now reviewing in our time and space theatre.

Dr Kenneth Wapnick, in his excellent book, A Vast illusion - time according to a Course in Miracles, uses the analogy of the VCR. The sleeping son of God or decision-maker is sitting there watching video tapes of what occurred in that "tiny tick of time". He has a choice between two huge and equal piles of video tapes - the ego tapes and tapes of their correction by the Holy Spirit. One of the correction tapes is entitled 'Atonement' in which the sleeping son of God finally wakes up and joyfully realises he never left his Father's home and that time and space are illusions. At this point he stops the pointless practice of viewing videotapes of what has already occurred.

It is important to realise that the way of awakening, like everything else, has already happened and can't be changed.

The time is set already. It appears to be quite arbitrary. Yet there is no step along the road that anyone takes but by chance. It has already been taken by him, although he has not yet embarked on it. W-pI.158.3:1-4

But when we decide to view that tape is not.

This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. T-in.1-5

As the course emphasizes, you are not free to choose the curriculum, or even the form in which you will learn it. You are free, however, to decide when you want to learn it. And as you accept it, it is already learned. M-2.3 : 6-7

That is the purpose of the spiritual path - to speed the time of awakening. As Jesus states a few times in the workbook, we could save thousands of years (many reviews of ego tapes) if we did a particular lesson correctly. Thus time can be collapsed through forgiveness. As an example, your partner may suddenly die and leave you heartbroken. In that original instant you may have had two thoughts - to turn to drugs to alleviate the pain or dedicate your life to finding a peace that no death can take away - the choice of two videos to review. If you turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance He will urge you to review the latter and so save time.

Due to our fixation with linear time it is hard for us to realise the all our problems are solvable instantly. The correction video has always existed and we need not delay in reviewing it.

I seem to have problems only because I am misusing time. I believe that the problem comes first, and time must elapse before it can be worked out. I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence. That is because I do not yet realise that God has placed the answer together with the problem, so that they cannot be separated by time. The Holy Spirit will teach me this, if I will let Him. And I will understand it is impossible that I could have a problem which has not been solved already. W-pI.90.3.

This also relates to the teachings in the text about the Laws of Chaos were it states there is no hierarchy of illusions, no order of difficulty in miracles. Any problem, irrespective of its seeming magnitude, has already been corrected and is simply waiting acceptance. Our job is to turn to the Holy Spirit and ask His advice on what video to review thus speeding the time to when we review the Atonement video.

To you who still believe you live in time and know not it is gone, the Holy Spirit still guides you through the infinitely small and senseless maze you still perceive in time, though it has long since gone. You think you live in what is past. Each thing you look upon you saw but for an instant, long ago, before its unreality gave way to truth. Not one illusion still remains unanswered in your mind. Uncertainty was brought to certainty so long ago that it is hard indeed to hold it to your heart, as if it were before you still. T-26.V.4


I Saw That He Was Like Me

I saw that he was like me -
Passionate, sexy, creative,
Gifted, intuitive, warm,
Loving, tender, powerful....
And Male
And I loved him.

We shared passion, sex, creativity....
Our gifts, intuition, and warmth.
We loved tenderly, powerfully -
Male and Female
I saw that he was like me
And we loved.

But a shadow appeared....
Secretive, irritable, power-hungry -
Vain, egotistical, cold...
Possessive, controlling -
Using God as a cover....
Attached to things other than me....
This wasn’t like me!
Typical Male
I began to fear him, despise him,
Long to change him.

But the quiet Voice of God
“He is like you.
You are to love him....
Whole, as he is
As you are....”

I refused to listen
And I watched the
shadow spread

Destroying what we called love.

Self-righteous, I named
his faults -
The causes of my loss.

But the persistent Voice of God
spoke again -
“He is like you....
You are to love him
As he is,
As you are....
As I love you  

And suddenly my own voice echoed me -
as I kept a truth from view
Irritable, power-hungmy,
as I ordered my child to chores
Vain, egotistical
Qheck the mirror for reassurance....
Cold, possessive, controlling
as I chose someone that I could rescue,
and direct...
Using God as a cover....
Surely not....
Am I, God? Have I?

And God’s quiet Voice came again
“He is like you...
You are to love him
As he is,
As you are,
As I love you.”

And so I bring the shadow -
Monstrous, terrifying,
Ugly, dark
and fearful -

To the Light

And I cry.
“Here it is, God! It has been
so terrifying to look upon...
And I have hated it so long  
and I weep   

And God says
“He is like you
You are to love him
As he is,
As you are,
As I love you
For you are One.’

And I heard Him.

I saw that he was like me

And the shadow faded
in the Light.

by Linda Chubbuck

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.

Forthcoming Workshops on A Course in Miracles
in Australia and Germany
Australia 2008 Dates

Brisbane, Queensland

Sun 24 August, 2008 - 1 day workshop
9.30am to 4.45pm

Healing Our Relationships - the path home
A Course in Miracles workshop

When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.
As you see him you will see yourself.
As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself.
Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.
Whenever two Sons of God meet, they are given another chance at salvation.
Do not leave anyone without giving salvation to him and receiving it yourself.
A Course in Miracles T-8.III.4

Relationships provide the mirror in which we see what needs to be forgiven in ourselves. In moving from anger and dependence to forgiveness and honesty we start the journey of our spiritual awakening.
No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

Relaxation Centre,
15 South Pine Road
Brisbane 4051

Relaxation Centre
07 3856 3733
(Please do not book through me)

TIMES: 9.30am to 4.45pm
COST: $55
Bring lunch to share


Clare, South Australia
September 27/28    2008
(2hrs drive north of Adelaide)

Awakening to Our Spiritual Reality.
A Course in Miracles workshop

You do not have to seek reality.
It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.
A Course in Miracles  T-8.IX.2:4-5

The deepest but forgotten truth about ourselves is that we are one with the love and mind of God. Identification with our bodies and personalities blinds us to our spiritual reality. The Course teaches us how to awaken from this dream of separation from God and to experience joy and peace. If our intention to awake is sincere and we have the humility to realise we know nothing and are willing to be taught by spirit we will meet the conditions of awakening.

Topics will include:
What is enlightenment?
Why we fear to awaken
Traps on the spiritual path
Pointers on the path
Not knowing-the need for humility
The need for a full heart and an empty mind.
Undoing our blocks to guidance

Exercises will be used to help remove the obstacles to peace and open to the guidance within.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

Sat September 28 - 9.30am TO 5.30pm
Sun September 29 - 9.30am TO 4.30pm

Tel: 08 8842 3114
PO Box 614
Clare, SA 5453

Deposit: $60 to cover basic costs ($30 non-refundable)
plus a donation for the workshop.
Food provided.


Hillier (Gawler), SA
(40 minutes drive from the centre of Adelaide)
October 4/5 2008

The Key to Inner Peace.
 Moving from a somebody to a nobody
A Course in Miracles workshop

You are not special.
If you think you are, and would defend your specialness against the truth of what you really are,
how can you know the truth?
A Course in Miracles

 One day, I discovered I didn't need a personal history, so, like drinking, I dropped it.
 Carlos Castaneda in Tales of Power

As we let go our beliefs, concepts, seeking, self importance and goals, peace and joy will return.
When we no longer defend our self created image (ego) awareness of our eternal spiritual reality awakens.
Exercises to help undo our ego and listen within will be given.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

Clifford Road
South Australia
(40 minutes drive from the centre of Adelaide)

Sat and Sun - 9.30 TO 5.00

Booking Fee - $30 (non refundable)
Workshop Fee - By Donation at the workshop
Some accommodation on site - $40
Bring food to share for lunch both days

For details Contact:
Pamela St Claire
(08) 8322 0444
email: pstclaire@chariot.net.au

People should send their Booking Fee to:

Pamela St Claire
36 The Causeway
O'Halloran Hill  SA 5158
and include a cheque made payable to P. St Claire


Germany 2009 Dates


June 20/21 2009
9.30am to 5.30pm

A Full Heart and an Empty Mind
- A Course in Miracles workshop -

Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.

A Course in Miracles - Lesson 189

The deepest but forgotten truth about ourselves is that we are one with the love and mind of God.

To let this memory return to our awareness we need to question everything we think is true, to realise we know nothing about how to awaken to peace and joy so that we may be guided, and learn to extend kindness and goodwill to others. Insight of the mind must be balanced with compassion of the heart.

This workshop will explore how we can awaken to peace and joy through the healing power of insight, kindness, gentleness, awareness and forgiveness.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

An Evening Introductory Talk - Fri June 19
7.30pm to 9.30pm


Beethovenallee 16
Bonn 53173
tel: 0228 - 36 47 37


June 27/28 2009
10am to 6pm

A Full Heart and an Empty Mind
- A Course in Miracles workshop -

Empty your mind of everything it thinks is either true or false, or good or bad, of every thought it judges worthy, and all the ideas of which it is ashamed. Hold onto nothing. Do not bring with you one thought the past has taught, nor one belief you ever learned before from anything. Forget this world, forget this course, and come with wholly empty hands unto your God.

A Course in Miracles - Lesson 189

The deepest but forgotten truth about ourselves is that we are one with the love and mind of God.

To let this memory return to our awareness we need to question everything we think is true, to realise we know nothing about how to awaken to peace and joy so that we may be guided, and learn to extend kindness and goodwill to others. Insight of the mind must be balanced with compassion of the heart.

This workshop will explore how we can awaken to peace and joy through the healing power of insight, kindness, gentleness, awareness and forgiveness.

No previous knowledge of A Course in Miracles is required.

Evening Introductory Talk - Fri June 26
8pm to 9.30pm

Location of workshop:
Center Margarete Sennekamp
Schauinslandstr. 39
79100 Freiburg-Günterstal
Tram 4, Klosterplatz

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

Michael discovered A Course in Miracles whilst visiting the Findhorn Foundation in 1982. He subsequently became a member of the Foundation for about six years and involved himself with healing and teaching. In 1994 he published Healing the Cause - A Path of Forgiveness which serves as an introduction to the Course. His second book, The Findhorn Book of Forgiveness (Findhorn Press) uses exercises, stories and case histories to guide the reader to inner peace through forgiveness. Michael now lives in Australia and gives workshops on the Course world-wide.



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)

*New CD - 3 Healing Exercises in English with German translation. Available August 2008.
Ex1. Forgiving Ourselves.
Ex2. Changing Perception and Finding peace.
Ex3. Changing Perception of another - exercise for two people.

These exercises are similar to existing exercises already available on CDs but are translated into German.

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



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 http://www.facim.org

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.miracle-studies.net.au  lists study groups for Australia and new Zealand

A Course In Miracles Pen Pals:
The 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:
The aim of this board is to provide a place for people to chat about ACIM.
Any related discussions are more than welcome and I believe helpful! - moderated by Glyn Milhench

Belief.net ACIM discussion:
This Belief.net web-based discussion is hosted by Joe Jesseph.



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 email list.

Do understand that you are destined for enlightenment.
Co-operate with your destiny, don't go against it, don't 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.



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 Mountain - 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, Black Dot Publications, 2003