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ACFIP Newsletter 
Issue 4 - MARCH 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
FAX: 61- (0)7 3415 3267



Welcome to the fourth 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



Another world awaits us

You dwell not here, but in eternity.
You travel but in dreams, while safe at home. T-13.VII.17:6-7

The above quote so beautifully tells us that this world is not our home. It is pointless to try to find permanent peace and joy in what the world has to offer. How can a dream satisfy? To pursue pleasure automatically brings pain. They are two sides of the same coin. First there is the fear that we will not attain what we crave. If we do attain it we will fear to lose it or grow tired of our prize and start searching over again. This very search for satisfaction blocks the awareness that God has given us everything at our creation.

The Course explains to us that in our desire for something different, to play at being God and become individuals we had to fall asleep in Heaven. It is only in the dream state we can achieve our desire for separation. To maintain the illusion that we have really achieved our goal of separation we need to make our dream seem very solid. The section in the Text on the Obstacles to Peace states how attached we are to the body, guilt, pain and death for they seem to make this world real. Just one look at what is portrayed in the media will show us what we give our interest to. There is nothing like pain to make this world true and what the Course states as truth a lie. We pursue our relationships of 'special hate' (choosing someone to project our guilt onto) and 'special love' (needy relationships used as a substitute for God's love) as they are are our best safeguard from waking up and returning to the awareness of God's love for us which would shatter our precious dream of individuality.

All your time is spent in dreaming. Your sleeping and your waking dreams have different forms, and that is all. Their content is the same. They are your protest against reality, and your fixed and insane idea that you can change it. In our waking dreams, the special relationship is your determination to keep your hold on unreality, and to prevent yourself from waking. And while you see more value in sleeping than in waking, you will not let go of it.
A Course in Miracles

Sometimes something happens to shake the reality of our collective dream and fear is the usual result. I can remember watching a play on television that had caught my attention. Suddenly part of the picture broke up and the face of the actor speaking became a series of small squares. I felt a fear go through me that what I was so intently watching a moment ago was simply an illusion. I used to teach electronics and understood how pictures are displayed on a cathode ray tube. I also knew how distortions could occur just like the one I had seen. But none of this knowledge prevent the small wave of fear that swept through me. What I had been reminded of was that what I had taken for reality had dissolved for a moment. I could sense that I did not want my everyday world to start shaking at the edges, for the illusion to reveal itself as it is. As we start to awaken from the dream of separation and another world becomes apparent our egos become terrified. What should be an uplifting experience may well become a terrifying one. Jesus warns us early in the study of the Text that:

This is a course in mind training. All learning involves attention and study at some level. Some of the later parts of the course rest too heavily on these earlier sections not to require their careful study. You will also need them for preparation. Without this, you may become much too fearful of what is to come to make constructive use of it. However, as you study these earlier sections, you will begin to see some of the implications that will be amplified later on.

In the film The Matrix we are shown a world after a war between humans and super intelligent robots where the robots are the winners. The robots still need the humans to live so they are bred in farms and kept asleep. The humans are programmed with a collective dream so they don't realise what's happening to them. The dream seems very realistic and they have no knowledge of their real state. Except for a few humans however, who have succeeded in waking up and escaping from the farm. These awake ones have found a way to enter the collective dream of the other humans and offer them the opportunity to awake as well. As you might imagine, the sleeping ones have a hard time believing the story of the awakened ones and are not sure if it's worth the trouble of waking up.

Jesus has taken on the same role of the awakened ones in The Matrix. He enters our dream (when we invite him) and attempts to teach us that we are asleep and that another world, what the Course call the Real World awaits us. He knows we would be petrified to wake up in one go, even though we may ask for this, and instead gradually leads us from nightmares to happy dreams of forgiveness until we can finally wake up to the perception of the Real World. Now we have become lucid dreamers where we know what we see is a dream and that nothing in it can harm us, become a cause for fear, give us peace or take it away. We see everyone in the dream through the Holy Spirit's judgement as either extending love or asking for it. The Real World is not Heaven but its reflection here in time and space.

The path becomes quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. Yet even these, whose splendor reaches indescribable heights as one proceeds, fall short indeed of all that wait when the pathway ceases and time ends with it.

So how can we wake up from our present nightmares into the perception of the Real World? We simply have to want to above all else. And here lies the problem. Parts of our current dream are seen as undesirable and increasingly so. We gradually become disillusioned with what the ego's world has to offer although once we pursued it with great intent. We start to see the prizes that world offers us come at to higher price - our peace of mind. But parts of the dream still appeal and these we still want. We may see through the deceptions of materialism, status, power, money, ambition, etc. but still be snared by other attractions including the so called spiritual. Perhaps we yearn for a spiritual soul mate, to be seen as spiritual, to find fulfilment in healing and teaching others. But as the Course warns:

Anything in this world that you believe is good and valuable and worth striving for can hurt you, and will do so. Not because it has the power to hurt, but just because you have denied it is but an illusion, and made it real. And it is real to you. It is not nothing. And through its perceived reality has entered all the world of sick illusions.

Notice the use of the word 'anything'! Any dream, no matter how holy-sounding, is still a trap from waking up to who we really are - the one Christ, the formless eternal spirit that was never born and hence can never die. That is why Jesus never asks us to pursue some goal in the world but to wake up from the dream of separation (what the Course calls accepting the atonement for ourselves). All dreams must finally be given up and the illusion of sacrifice that usually accompanies this thought must be seen through as another ego ploy to delay our awakening.

You cannot dream some dreams and wake from some, for you are either sleeping or awake. And dreaming goes with only one of these. The dreams you think you like would hold you back as much as those in which the fear is seen. For every dream is but a dream of fear, no matter what the form it seems to take.
T-29.IV.1:7-8, T-29.IV.2:1-2,

For many of us, as we get older, the world has less and less to offer us and the message of the Course has an increasing appeal. But still there are aspects of the world that hold our attention and to let these go seems to be a sacrifice. The Development of Trust section in the Manual for Teachers highlights this. Of the six stages in gaining trust four are described as difficult with the illusion of sacrifice being the dominant hindrance to achievement of trust. At the fifth stage of the development of trust we are asked to let go the very individuality we prize so highly. The loss of 'I' is seen by our ego as committing suicide and our resistance to that step is enormous, a true dark night of the soul.

The world can teach no images of you unless you want to learn them. There will come a time when images have all gone by, and you will see you know not what you are. It is to this unsealed and open mind that truth returns, unhindered and unbound. Where concepts of the self have been laid by is truth revealed exactly as it is. When every concept has been raised to doubt and question, and been recognized as made on no assumptions that would stand the light, then is the truth left free to enter in its sanctuary, clean and free of guilt. There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this:

I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.

Yet in this learning is salvation born. And What you are will tell you of Itself.

Increasingly the world is simply seen as a classroom of forgiveness. A place where relationships of every sort reflects back to us what is unhealed in our own minds - the only place where forgiveness is needed. As we practise our daily lessons of forgiveness our sense of separation slowly diminishes along with our ego identity.

The attachment to being a separate individual is the last dream to let go before we awake to the everlasting peace and joy of the Real World and wonder why we delayed so long to enter it!



Denial of Anger

The following case history is taken from Healing the Cause. Findhorn Press. See

While I was living at the Findhorn Foundation, a woman who had been ill for three weeks approached me for a healing session. She had flu-like symptoms and a persistent cough which kept her awake at night. During the relaxation stage of the healing session, as I was holding my hands above her chest, she began to feel an uncomfortable sensation in that area. I wanted her to explore this as I felt it contained some insight for her. To help her accept the discomfort, I asked her to describe what she felt or saw in her chest. She said that it felt as if there was a closed wooden gate there. I asked her what she wanted to do with that gate, thinking she might gently open it. Instead, in her mind's eye, she took a large hammer and smashed the gate to pieces. Suddenly she became aware of an intense anger that was focused in this area of her body. As she became aware of it, it moved higher up and lodged in her throat. This caused a coughing fit to occur.

Pursuing the approach of helping her to accept what was there, I asked her to describe how her throat appeared to her. She first described it as a hard red ball but it suddenly changed into a picture of a tall, black, ugly looking monster. She was very disturbed at seeing this image in her mind. I knew the picture of the monster was an important messenger carrying information about what was denied in her unconscious. It was important for her to accept this new picture and not to resist it. I encouraged her to try and make friends with the image but she found this very difficult. However, at one point she felt guided to give it a gift. She saw herself take a golden chain out of her heart and clasp it around the neck of the monster. As she did this, its eyes changed from being cold, hard and angry to eyes of love and compassion. I encouraged her to approach the monster to see if she could touch it. She was able to stroke it for a few moments only.

At that point, the healing session finished. She had become aware that during these three weeks of illness she had been denying strong feelings of anger. The following day she told me that her cough had disappeared shortly after the session had finished and the remaining symptoms of her illness had also now gone. We had both been given a powerful example of the effect of denial. Her original anger had been internalised, creating sickness in the body. It was here that she thought the problem lay until she undid her denial, accepted the pain in her mind and let it go.


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.



(Summary of A Course in Miracles)

Letter to my Father
by Bill McDonald


Dear Dad,

I've been away so long, I thought I should write to fill you in in what I've been up to. You didn't try to stop me when I first became bored and thought I wanted to leave our perfect home. In Your wisdom, You knew that couldn't really happen and you let me fall asleep and dream that it was so.

Such adventures I have had, You wouldn't Believe. I have to say that maybe I didn't use the unlimited creative powers you gave me wisely and ran a little wild. I was in a rebellious state and to be honest, I didn't want my world to be the least like Yours, so I made everything exactly the opposite, just for the hell of it. First I decided Oneness would have to go. That didn't serve my needs at all so I dreamed up duality as the basis of a thought system that would ensure the continuance of my kingdom.

In place of your ever expanding universe of love, I made up 'life' like a carousel, seeming to advance but never really getting anywhere and always reinforcing duality. Now, away from Our Home, I had unlimited scope for my inventive mind and each new idea built on the one before ending up with such a complicated thought system, no one could ever fathom out what was going on.

I wanted my world to be different, so I dreamed up form with a multitude of individual bodies with different sexes, colours and shapes and provided built in obsolescence to everything here. It was one of my best ideas, as nothing here lasts forever, I could deny your existence as a loving God. Constant change was the order of the day: I set it up so that the only way anyone could exist was to kill in some form or other living off someone else or being killed themselves. As a result it meant everyone has to live here in a state of fear knowing that something or someone will get you eventually. No matter how hard you try to avoid it ageing and death is inevitable. It doesn't make as much sense now as it used to, as I'm not quite as insane any more, but it sure seemed like a good idea at the time.

I know You wouldn't have any idea what I mean, but I thought up my own 'trinity' of sin guilt and fear giving me the opportunity of categorising people to suit my needs. The end result was always pain. 'Pain', Did I tell you about that one. I found when I experienced pain I could not experience You, which suited my delinquent mind perfectly. Sex was another 'good' idea, because with it I could seem to join and yet remain separate . I could even imitate your creative power by creating other separate bodies. It kept my mind occupied for quite a while, let me tell you. I thought pleasure and pain were different never realising they were opposite sides of the same coin.

'Sickness' was also a 'brilliant' idea as it gave me a feeling of isolation and separation from my brothers and of course, You. The powerful mind you gave me enabled me to deny it was all my own idea and in this amnesic state I could blame someone else for my lack of peace and condemn You for setting up this horrible world in the first place.

Throughout the dream I've been searching for some new experience never realising all I ever wanted was to return Home again. I've done everything and been everywhere, many times over. In my mind I've experienced every possible alternative. I've been a murderer and a saint, a king and a pauper.

I've been male and female I've lived in every kind of body all over the world and in every universe. I played the role of victimiser and victim and switched from one to the other frequently. I've been beautiful and healthy, crippled and diseased, . I have died as an infant and lived to be very, very old. I have been generous and kind. I've been hungry and I've been greedy and uncaring. Not that I didn't have fun playing all these dramatic roles, rebelling against you in every possible way. If they ever hand out academy awards for our performances here, I will at least will be nominated in all the categories.

I managed to forget most of the time Your Love for me was changeless but there were periods when my guilt of leaving you made me feel very unworthy and I had this crazy fear, it would only be a matter of time before you would catch up with me. I tried to totally fill my mind up with unlimited distractions to avoid thinking about You and Your Love.

You remember how I wanted to be special. Well let me tell you in my dream, I achieved just that. I knew somehow you would never treat me as special as you can only love every one of your Sons equally, so an idea came to me I could find someone else who would. I thought this would solve all my problems and I would never need to think about my guilt again. How wrong I was. I soon found out special love is constantly changing and isn't love at all. After a while the shine goes off everything. I realise now my attachment to those special people and things represented my guilt as the purpose of the relationship was to cover it up. By listening to your voice in my mind, I am slowly learning how to change my special relationships to holy ones. I know that I must love my brothers as you love me or I have no chance of ever knowing you,

I thought I made a real mess of things and You would never forgive me, but deep down I think I always knew that regardless of what state my mind is in, or whatever I think I have ever done, and no matter how wretched I thought I was or am now, You remain oblivious to all these experiences I am talking about. You know nothing at all of this nonsense and have never changed your mind about me, nor would you ever do so.

All through my insanity I have had Your gift of the Holy Spirit in my mind, constantly and gently leading me back to my real Home with You. I'm beginning to tire of the dream in which all the miriad of alternatives always end up looking the same. I am waking up gradually and looking forward to coming home to You, this time for good.

Thank you Dad for your patience.

Your prodigal Son

Reproduced from Miracle Link newsletter by kind permission of Bill McDonald



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