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Going Through the Workbook Lessons
Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited to bring clarification to certain points of the dialogue and for easier readability. For this reason, it does not match the corresponding audio mp3 word-for-word. However, the overall content and the expressed ideas remain unchanged.
Participant: I have a question about the lessons. I have tried to get through them one per day and I always get distracted. How important is it to go straight through, one day at a time?
Speaker: In the introduction he instructs not to do more than one lesson a day. And he also says that if one lesson is particularly appealing to you, if it seems to be getting at things, then you can stay with one lesson for several days. It’s not like another ritual where you start on January first and go straight through without missing a day. He is saying just don’t do more than one per day because they are so sophisticated. These lessons are very simple and yet very powerful. Another thing he says is just do them. A lot of times people will go through them having fear they are not doing it right, kind of like oh, I am not doing this right, boy did I blow lesson five, I have to go right back to one and I don’t want to mess up because this is important! It shows an underlying belief that God is watching us or Jesus is watching and I have to do it perfect. It is part of the design that he knows there will be things that come up in the beginning and resistances. So it is even like the way it is designed, instead of jumping into the deep end it is designed to be like going into a wading pool first and wiggling your toe around and then putting your foot in.
Participant: If it is any consolation, I did the first 50 lessons about five times [group laughter]. I would jump start and then stop for six months and then think maybe I should go back to lesson one. But I didn’t want to go back to lesson one, so I just prayed about it and got that for me it’s right—it’s been so long since I did these lessons that I’m going to go back and start over.
Participant: I think asking internally about that is so important. There isn’t even any particular way to pick up and begin with the Course in Miracles if you feel guided to do that.
Participant: It’s about not fighting yourself. If you are drawn to it for a day or two and then you don’t want to look at it for six months not to fight yourself. You are not quite ready. But when you start feeling the pull... and the Course is not for everybody to begin with... it explains explicitly that it is a path for some people and it might not be your path. But if you start reading it and it really calls to you, you know that it is for you, but even then you need still take it at your own pace. I was going to jump in and do that workbook right away right after I met Bill Thetford for the first time, because I was not too sure if it was a book from Jesus. I was out in California and I thought this is so California. Here is this woman from NY and she is channeling Jesus and I am supposed to believe that this book is from Jesus, and I was like, yeah, right... But I was really aware that there was this other voice that needed to say, I knew it, I knew it. I had to go to meet—and that was how authentic I was—to go meet Bill Thetford because I would know if he was a fraud, or if he was whatever, I would know it. Unfortunately, he died a couple of years after that and I never saw him again. I actually had to go watch this man and see how peaceful he was—if he was on the level or just part of another cult, or something. And he just sat there. He was like, if you have a question, I would be happy to answer it for you. He did not even want to talk and then he would be real helpful if someone asked him a question. And he was just peaceful, you could not mistake it. He was not selling anything he was not pushing anything. He just sat there and so then I knew. And then I ran out to this Course in Miracles, boy this is hot stuff! I mean once I started reading it I knew in my heart it was my path, whatever it was, it was for me. I also believed it was from Jesus. As I started doing it I found enormous resistance. I mean I love this book, I could stay up all night reading it, and yet when I started doing the workbook lessons I could not get through one day. I said, God I love this book and I would set it down and three months later I had not looked at it. Wait a minute. And I would miss it but your ego fights you every step of the way. I mean it just fights you to death on it. I mean it is the total opposite, the total thought reversal of everything you had ever been taught in your life. And that is what Bill Thetford said really got to him. They were scribing the Course and he was typing the notes that Helen was getting and at one point it said to him: “This course will ask you to challenge every belief you have ever held, every one.” And he was like; do I really want to do that? Am I up to this? I mean it’s the loss of gravity, the loss of nutrition, time, space, just about everything we have ever been taught. I mean it is just the total opposite because this world is so full of the ego that everything we believe, we have been taught by the ego.
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