Since early in 2007 the efforts to provide a message of hope as offered in A Course in Miracles to prisoners have been ongoing. Prisoners have been a puppy project because of this writer for all reasons. The initial of those reasons might be caused by the private connection with having served most of a twenty year sentence in prison, but the higher reasons have to do with what occurred while there. It was 1974 and I was twenty-four years old at the time. My own personal history around the period was one like so many stories of a new street thug, growing up in a working class Chicago neighborhood, discouraged and disillusioned by the mediocrity and grind of what life had to offer.
That there had to be something better was always a predominating thought. So’better’for me, was the excitement and the radical comradity of our little clique of thugs, always plotting, always stealing, always searching for that thrill. So when those activities resulted in my first arrests, confinement in juvenile punishment facilities and finally in a twenty year prison sentence,( the big time), I was taken to a juncture. I’d crash and burn. Previously embraced justifications for my anti-social behavior would soon be shattered and all the glamour of the life of a criminal would cease to contain a good trace of validity.
The underlying conviction that there had to be something better still remained but now (after the ability I’ll describe below) that something would undertake an entirely new and remarkable definition.
So at twenty-four and while wallowing in the misery of prison life it’s this that occurred that would result in forever changing just how I’d perceive the entire world:
The real Me…The I…The Essence of Who and Where I AM emerged for just a few short minutes one summer afternoon after an entire sleepless nights worry and immense fear over the likelihood that I will be killed these day.
For the first time in many years I turned to the God I perceived and I prayed for deliverance. I begged and prayed for much time with fever and intensity never before offered.’He’answered…’ He’delivered me. And for a few brief moments’He’lifted Me from the human body and embraced Me as a loving Father does His Son and assured Me yet again, that I will be alright.
While the human body lay on the prison cell cot below, the awareness of “I” expanded to add every molecule of air around Me… acim lessons every feature, the sunlight that streamed through the barred window, the trees and grass outside, the space itself…everything was Me. A crescendo of’sound’accompanied the ability that completely absorbed all sound in the world and played as every instrument atlanta divorce attorneys orchestra throughout the world, in perfect harmony.
Now, many years later, and after much search, many books, and after the message of Forgiveness as gently prescribed in A Course in Miracles, I came to understand that the’person’who searched could not get the answers. That individual, something of the exact same thought system that created him, would seek and never find when he was simply in the way. His beliefs, his concepts and ascribed personage blocked ab muscles awareness of that which he sought. He’d to escape his own way first. He’d to surrender his own image of who he thought he was before any Real knowledge could enter.
The Law of Forgiveness would lend him the means to do just that. In Forgiveness, the little self would fade to the oblivion from which it came and what might emerge is the thing that was there all along. That Essence of the Real Self, that “I” and that assurance that everything will be alright. And from that Essence a Power uncommon in this perceived world would accompany it and everything would change for the greater, forever.
Today, virtually every day this writer visits the neighborhood post office to provide copies of the initial edition of A Course in Miracles [donated by Course in Miracles Society] along with an an easy task to comprehend introduction to The Course as made available through the writing version of Gary R. Renard’s The End of Reincarnation to lists of prisoners who’ve expressed the need to find out about the Course. With the writing version is really a brief essay describing what is referred to as The Five Signs, five mystical experiences in this life which resulted in adopting a practical application of the spiritual discipline taught in A Course in Miracles.
With the help of people like Jon Mundy and his Miracles Magazine, Regina Dawn Akers and her The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament, Gary R. Renard and Tami Simon, (The End of Reincarnation) and Dov Fishman of The One Mind Foundation and Acim Gather, as well as Beverly Hutcheson, Marrianne Williamson, Robert Perry, and those friends who assist with postage donations, and especially Course In Miracles Society, a fresh wave of compassion is spreading through the populations of prisons throughout the country.
For many of these prisoners, long forgotten by family or friends, this new avenue of communication brings welcome relief and a mild, warm and loving response to their cry for help. It brings Hope where apathy, despair and grief make their home. It delivers Love where blame, guilt and punishment saturate the atmosphere. It brings the likelihood of the Peace of God to a’place’where in fact the egos appetite for misery,pain and hopelessness can now move aside to welcome a glimmer of Light.