The Fortune of Forgiveness: FAQ #1288 with Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles

Can my outward misfortunes be attributed to my lack of forgiveness?” This sentence is a summary of a more detailed question … with an even more detailed and insightful answer –Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) #1288 from the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) – that Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles read and talk about in this audio. In their weekly live online series Saturday mornings on ACIM Gather, they read together from FACIM’s FAQs (or other topical material of interest to students of A Course in Miracles) and add commentary inspired by what they have found helpful during the week.

Among many other ideas integrated in this weeks conversation, we touched on an ACIM perspective on the stages of grief model from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and ultimately acceptance … and how ego co-opts those opportunities – even acceptance – which otherwise could be used to undo the problems that ego made up – by compounding it’s silly mindlessness with each step. We also touched on how that seemingly separate self promotes “pitiful and meaningless ‘private thoughts’ ” the concluding phrase in ACIM’s Workbook Lesson 52.

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on March 25, 2017.)

Lyn Johnson


Thought you missed (any or all of) the 3rd annual virtual MiracleShare ACIM Conference? Nope; it’s still just as available for watching and listening any time! That’s one of many fun aspects of a virtual conference … it’s harder to “miss” if it’s every where and every when … or more so than physical events, at least! You can learn more about the virtual conference here, read the outline notes for my 30-minute video here, and still register for this excellent event here.

Double Shield of Oblivion revisited: CA Brooks and Bruce Rawles on ACIM Workbook Lesson 136

GIST and the double-shield of oblivionThis audio features CA Brooks and Bruce Rawles talking – on another segment of her bi-weekly ACIM internet radio program on 12Radio – about a Course concept called “the Double Shield of Oblivion” that appears in the middle of the 5th paragraph of Workbook Lesson 136 of A Course in Miracles (boldface added where this idea is introduced):

“It is this quick forgetting of the part you play in making your “reality” that makes defenses seem to be beyond your own control. But what you have forgot can be remembered, given willingness to reconsider the decision which is doubly shielded by oblivion. Your not remembering is but the sign that this decision still remains in force, as far as your desires are concerned. Mistake not this for fact. Defenses must make facts unrecognizable. They aim at doing this, and it is this they do.”

We’re encouraged in ACIM’s curriculum to look at ego’s two defensive shields – the outer shield being the material world of space, time, bodies and all the ‘stuff’ we all seem to be endlessly busy contending with … and the inner shield being the unconscious, yet unfounded fugitive thought system of sin, guilt, fear, victimhood, death and all aspects of insanity that aim at keeping us mindless. We turn around ego’s double defenses by using our bodily experiences with a completely different purpose from ego’s maladaptive intent: we begin to notice – without condemnation – that those experiences are reflections of our interior mental states. This breaches ego’s outer defense shield, the one we swore (to this insane self-concept) we would never do, triggering full alert status when we begin to examine our thoughts objectively, and with kind compassion. Seen through the eyes of our Inner Kindness Teacher (a.k.a. Holy Spirit) we realize that this inner shield of oblivion, protected by ego’s “pay no attention to the unfounded thoughts behind that curtain” mantras, cannot withstand the ultimate appeal of perfect, unchanging peace of Oneness that lies beyond our investment in indivi-Duality.

We also read an excerpt from two consecutive sections in Kenneth Wapnick‘s brilliant work “The Journey Home: The Obstacles to Peace in A Course in Miracles“, pages 13-18, where he explains the double shield of oblivion in more detail. Here is another audio about the Double Shield of Oblivion and yet another older conversation with CA Brooks.

CA Brooks - 12Radio

Interview with Robert “Dr. Bob” Rosenthal of the Foundation for Inner Peace

Dr. Robert RosenthalThis initial video (likely to be an ongoing series) is an interview with Dr. Robert Rosenthal (who goes by”Dr. Bob”) – the new co-president of the Foundation for Inner Peace and Bruce Rawles. Dr. Bob shares insightful vignettes and milestones from his extensive (and early!) history with Drs. William Thetford and Helen Schucman, his life story intertwined with Judy Skutch Whitson’s family and the publishing history of ACIM, his plans for New Zealand tourism and screenwriting that both ended up redirecting him to his spiritual path, and paying attention to what doesn’t seem to be working … and when things seem to ‘open up’ to transcend our individual ‘plans’ to make our lives work. We also discuss crucial issues such as the correct way to load a roll of toilet paper, ear-wiggling, Lilliputians, Monty Python skits, not wanting to be rescued, and other fun stuff.

Dr. Bob is the author of From Plagues to Miracles: The Transformational Journey of Exodus, From the Slavery of Ego to the Promise Land of Spirit, which explores the metaphysical metaphors and symbolism of the story of Exodus, available in both paperback and Kindle editions. Listen to numerous interviews with Dr. Bob here as well on Charlotte Spicer’s BlogTalkRadio channel series.

Nothing to fear in Truth: CA Brooks and Bruce Rawles on ACIM’s Workbook Lesson 48

This audio features CA Brooks and Bruce Rawles talking – on another segment of her bi-weekly ACIM internet radio program on 12Radio – about  that appears in Part II of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles which precedes Workbook Lesson 48, which reminds us that in truth, there is nothing to fear. We catch up on ‘dream news’ and return to the ongoing mindful examination of the “alternative reality”  thought system of fear – and the unsavory results that this shabby substitute for Perfect Peace proffers – and the thought system of unchanging love that motivates our continued investment in shared interests and trusting the Teacher of Kindness we all share.

CA Brooks - 12Radio

There is nothing to fear.

The idea for today simply states a fact. It is not a fact to those who believe in illusions, but illusions are not facts. In truth there is nothing to fear. It is very easy to recognize this. But it is very difficult to recognize it for those who want illusions to be true.

Today’s practice periods will be very short, very simple and very frequent. Merely repeat the idea as often as possible. You can use it with your eyes open at any time and in any situation. It is strongly recommended, however, that you take a minute or so whenever possible to close your eyes and repeat the idea slowly to yourself several times. It is particularly important that you use the idea immediately, should anything disturb your peace of mind.

The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness. The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear. – W-pI.48

Emotions, Specialness and Love: FAQ #1260, 1261 with Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles

Great wall of China ... and hearts
Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles talk about seemingly seasonal topic of love and ACIM’s helpful perspective on special love, special hate, divisiveness, ego’s emotional backlash to mindfulness, and how to apply our Inner Kindness Teacher’s forgiveness practice to everyone and everything. Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) #1260 and Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) #1261 are the topics of these two consecutive audios. In their weekly series Saturday mornings on ACIM Gather, they read together from FACIM.org in this audio recording about FAQ #1260 and this audio recording about FAQ #1261.

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on January 21, 2017.)

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on February 4, 2017.)


Thought you missed (any or all of) the 3rd annual virtual MiracleShare ACIM Conference? Nope; it’s still just as available for watching and listening any time! That’s one of many fun aspects of a virtual conference … it’s harder to “miss” if it’s every where and every when … or more so than physical events, at least! You can learn more about the virtual conference here, read the outline notes for my 30-minute video here, and still register for this excellent event here.

Lyn Johnson

FAQ #1256: Dealing with anger and depression: Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles

Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles talk about how to deal with anger and depression as they read Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) #1256 together from FACIM.org in this audio recording by  in their weekly series Saturday mornings on ACIM Gather … 

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on January 21, 2017.)


Thought you missed (any or all of) the 3rd annual virtual MiracleShare ACIM Conference? Nope; it’s still just as available for watching and listening any time! That’s one of many fun aspects of a virtual conference … it’s harder to “miss” if it’s every where and every when … or more so than physical events, at least! You can learn more about the virtual conference here, read the outline notes for my 30-minute video here, and still register for this excellent event here.

Lyn Johnson

ACIM Workbook Lesson 330: “I will not hurt myself again today.”

In this video, Susan Dugan and Bruce Rawles read from and talk about A Course in Miracles, Workbook Lesson 330, entitled “I will not hurt myself again today.” Susan has a recent eloquent blog post on the same topic here. This short Workbook lesson reminds us that martyrdom, victimhood, and mental suffering is always a choice in the mind:

Let us this day accept forgiveness as our only function. Why should we attack our minds, and give them images of pain? Why should we teach them they are powerless, when God holds out His power and His Love, and bids them take what is already theirs? The mind that is made willing to accept God’s gifts has been restored to spirit, and extends its freedom and its joy, as is the Will of God united with its own. The Self which God created cannot sin, and therefore cannot suffer. Let us choose today that He be our Identity, and thus escape forever from all things the dream of fear appears to offer us.

Father, Your Son can not be hurt. And if we think we suffer, we but fail to know our one Identity we share with You. We would return to It today, to be made free forever from all our mistakes, and to be saved from what we thought we were.

A related section from the text entitled “Hero of the Dream” brings us back to mindfulness with this encouragement:

“The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true. Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true. For you could not react at all to figures in a dream you knew that you were dreaming. Let them be as hateful and as vicious as they may, they could have no effect on you unless you failed to recognize it is your dream.

This single lesson learned will set you free from suffering, whatever form it takes. The Holy Spirit will repeat this one inclusive lesson of deliverance until it has been learned, regardless of the form of suffering that brings you pain. Whatever hurt you bring to Him He will make answer with this very simple truth. For this one answer takes away the cause of every form of sorrow and of pain. The form affects His answer not at all, for He would teach you but the single cause of all of them, no matter what their form. And you will understand that miracles reflect the simple statement, “I have done this thing, and it is this I would undo.”

Bring, then, all forms of suffering to Him Who knows that every one is like the rest. He sees no differences where none exists, and He will teach you how each one is caused. None has a different cause from all the rest, and all of them are easily undone by but a single lesson truly learned. Salvation is a secret you have kept but from yourself. The universe proclaims it so. Yet to its witnesses you pay no heed at all. For they attest the thing you do not want to know. They seem to keep it secret from you. Yet you need but learn you chose but not to listen, not to see.”  – T.27.VIII:10-12

Susan writes frequently and eloquently about A Course in Miracles in her very engaging blog, ForaysInForgiveness

FAQ #1253: Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles discuss dreams, projections and cravings

planetarium projectorLyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles talk about dreams, projections and ego’s constant cravings (one of seemingly endless permutations and fragmentations of it’s ‘maladaptive solution to the non-existent problem’ as Ken Wapnick liked to say) – and our Inner Kindness Teacher’s remedy of forgiveness as they read Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) #1253 together from FACIM.org in this audio recording by  in their weekly series Saturday mornings on ACIM Gather … 

“…the world you see is the delusional system of those made mad by guilt.” – T.13.in.2:2

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on January 7, 2017.)

Lyn also mentioned the upcoming Weekend of Freedom Retreat to be held at the Art of Living Retreat Center in North Carolina Oct. 5-8, 2017; here’s a video about the 2017 WOFR event.


Thought you missed (any or all of) the 3rd annual virtual MiracleShare ACIM Conference? Nope; it’s still just as available for watching and listening any time! That’s one of many fun aspects of a virtual conference … it’s harder to “miss” if it’s every where and every when … or more so than physical events, at least! You can learn more about the virtual conference here, read the outline notes for my 30-minute video here, and still register for this excellent event here.

Lyn Johnson

FAQ #1251: Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles discuss

Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) #1251 from FACIM.org is the subject of this audio recording by Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles in their weekly series Saturday mornings on ACIM Gather … The first FAQ asks the question: “If our thoughts create reality, how can all our conflicting thoughts co-exist?” The question ties into the subject of level confusion and many other course-related subjects. We also talked about Walt Kelly’s Pogo cartoon which reminds us that our projects are our own problem, not anyone else’s … “We have met the enemy and he is us” as well as the mathematical metaphor of truth tables (where only when we consider the innocence of all are we dealing with truth) and the ever-amusing (yet unfailingly relevant) Bob Newhart “Stop It” Therapy skit. 🙂

This conversation led back – as so many others also do – to the first miracle principle from Chapter 1 of ACIM’s text:

“There is no order of difficulty in miracles. One is not “harder” or “bigger” than another. They are all the same. All expressions of love are maximal.”

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on December 31, 2016.)


Thought you missed (any or all of) the 3rd annual virtual MiracleShare ACIM Conference? Nope; it’s still just as available for watching and listening any time! That’s one of many fun aspects of a virtual conference … it’s harder to “miss” if it’s every where and every when … or more so than physical events, at least! You can learn more about the virtual conference here, read the outline notes for my 30-minute video here, and still register for this excellent event here.

Lyn Johnson

FAQ #1246,1247: conversations with Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles

Frequently Asked Question(FAQ) #1246 and FAQ #1247 from FACIM.org are the subjects of audio recording #1  and audio recording #2, respectively, over 2 consecutive weeks by Lyn Johnson and Bruce Rawles in their weekly series Saturday mornings on ACIM Gather … Timely for the season, both these conversations address the source of  the inspiration that became A Course in Miracles, as scribed by Dr. Helen Schucman. The first FAQ addresses the question: “What is the difference between the historical Jesus, and the Jesus who dictated the Course? ”

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on December 17, 2016.)


The second FAQ addresses the question: “Am I realizing my own true role or am I “kicking out” Jesus ?” In this dialogue, we recalled that author Neil Douglas-Klotz pointed out a concept that resonates with Ken Wapnick’s commentary that ego isn’t “evil, sinful or wicked” just “silly” … Namely that the Aramaic word that is generally associated with “evil” was merely “unripe” in the original Aramaic, which removes the implication meriting judgment or condemnation, just as one wouldn’t punish a child for not having mature understanding. We also talked about other simple mnemonic aids such as the Four Agreements of Don Miguel Ruiz (Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, Always Do Your Best) , and four steps of Ho’oponopono (which can roughly be related to ACIM’s concepts of remorse (choosing once again), forgiving (our decision-making mind), gratitude and love (which happen automatically after we’ve revealed and released our investment in ego’s dysfunctional approach to everything). While ACIM doesn’t advise for or against countless other spiritual techniques and teachings, it would seem appropriate to allow our Inner Kindness Teacher to use whatever we’re familiar with in service of our forgiveness classroom. We also talked about a favorite quote from Workbook Lesson 189:

“Simply do this: Be still, and lay aside all thoughts of what you are and what God is; all concepts you have learned about the world; all images you hold about yourself. 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.”

(This audio program originally aired on ACIM Gather on December 24, 2016.)


Thought you missed (any or all of) the 3rd annual virtual MiracleShare ACIM Conference? Nope; it’s still just as available for watching and listening any time! That’s one of many fun aspects of a virtual conference … it’s harder to “miss” if it’s every where and every when … or more so than physical events, at least! You can learn more about the virtual conference here, read the outline notes for my 30-minute video here, and still register for this excellent event here.

Lyn Johnson