UCDM: I picked up my first copy of the book A Course in Miracles circa 2005. I had heard it referenced by many of the spiritual teachers I was into at the time and figured I should probably check it out. One of my first memories of reading the Course was sitting on a hospital bed while waiting for x-rays on my ankle from a skateboarding accident. I remember reading the introduction, which said, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.” Sounds good right? Well I’d be completely full of shit if I said I had some revelation, or really even any clue as to what that meant. It sounded neat and esoteric however, so I read on. After a couple of weeks, I put the Course aside as it was the equivalent to reading a book written in Chinese. I happily went back to reading my books by Ram Dass and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche….At least I could understand some of them, or at least pretend to when talking about them.
Fast-forward to 2007. I was in a local library when I stumbled on an audio book called Secrets of the Immortal: Advanced Teachings from a Course in Miracles. I’d again be lying if I said I had any revelation from this audio book, not because its content wasn’t sufficient, but because I downloaded it to my computer and never listened to it. Again, I went back to reading my others spiritual texts, at this point I’d advanced to the like of Ken Wilber & Sri Ramana Maharshi, definitely much harder to pretend to know what they were saying in conversation, but I tried.
One year later, in 2008, for whatever reason, I looked at my copy of A Course in Miracles and made the resolution that I was going to finally read it, and not only read it, but understand it! Well, I can say that this time I stuck with it, for the most part. I remembered the audio book I’d ripped to my library the previous year, so I uploaded it to my trusty iPod and started listening to it on various commutes. Secrets of the Immortal actually broke the Course down in a comprehensive, yet user-friendly way that I could work with.
About half way through the audio book I realized I didn’t even know who I was listening too (damn bootlegged copies), so I went back to the computer and found out it was Gary Renard. That name really meant nothing to me at the time, nor did any of the other Course teachers like Kenneth Wapnick or Marianne Williamson, as this is not a particularly sought after spiritual path. Not because it’s a strict discipline, or there is dogma attached to it. If anything, it’s the complete opposite of that.