Surrounding the book, there seems to be an intensifying conversation for many people about intensifying our work with the Course, and making it more personal. There is no doubt in my mind that the Course is as comprehensive as it is for a reason, but equally the expanding literature around the Course serves a purpose. The standard bearer is of course Ken Wapnick, and the merit of his work is that it explains the Course with the Course, and by seeing every sentence and every paragraph in the context of the overall work, students are prevented from going off-track, which has been the risk of much of the secondary literature.
Gary Renard and some writers who have followed in his wake (Mike Lemieux comes to mind) has the role of popularizer--something everybody thought could never be done--by putting the Course teachings in the vernacular and also by offering the view "in the kitchen" of his own life, of learning by doing, and of forgetting to forgive, and starting over on a constant basis. Next to Gary's growing body of work, Mike Lemieux's Dude, Where's My Jesus Fish provides almost the Cliff notes to DU and YIR, and a lot of humor besides. Laughter is definitely a healing power!
Margot Krikhaar's book is in a category all its own, and she also sticks to the message of the Course. What makes it unique and interesting is that she did it in another language (Dutch), and she only got her start with the Course when it appeared in a Dutch translation, which was not till 1999. However, she must have been really ready. Like many of us, she had explored a lot of things along the way to her encounter with the Course, but when she found it, it was love at first sight. She had had some cursory exposure to it, but it clicked once she had the book in her hands in Dutch. She started from a Catholic upbringing, which is not something I personally identify with, but other than that almost all of her experiences, which she shares with her reader in this book, were very evocative in triggering memories of what I might have been doing at similar stages of life. The book covers Margot's life up to the point of discovering the Course, and what happened afterward through to her experience of awakening. After the current book appeared, Margot quickly emerged as one of the leading Course teachers in Holland, though more recently she has had to give that up for health reasons.
On September 12th, 2012 we had a special evening of my regular NY Course workshop at the New York Theosophical Society on East 53rd Street in Manhattan. That was more or less the starting signal for sales of the e-book. For now the book will ONLY be available as an e-book until volumes justify doing a print edition. The session brought together nearly all of the people who had been directly involved in the production of the translation, starting with the publisher, Annelies Ekeler, and the woman who financed the translation, as well as myself and two proofreaders who had worked on it with me. As I've shared elsewhere on this blog, for myself the project had been a big forgiveness lesson, and I'm sure the same goes for many of the other participants. That's only natural, and the payoff came in new inspiration and an expansion of learning.
Annelies Ekeler, is the dream publisher for this type of material, and IPP is becoming an interesting feature in the Course process in Holland, with both two titles by Margot, and a title from Ken Wapnick, and more on the way. Starting with this book, now also with the reverse, bringing Dutch books to the international market.
Besides being the inspired conductor of the little orchestra of this publishing house, she also is an active teacher herself, and a blogger on the Course, in her native Dutch. I want to share a piece she wrote recently, which I'm translating hereby:
It is not how 'heavy' your life is or the amount of suffering which determines when the mind awakens within itself, it is the mind which determines when the projection of sin, guilt and fear stops. Awakening is not a reward for suffering, or the cleaning up of your karma, nor a reward for many lives of suffering, or a reward for sacrifice, awakening is not the result of giving and taking. Awakening is also not the result of doing your best, working hard, and it also is not a reward from a God who feels especially benevolent towards you. Awakening is also not a special reward for a chosen one, nor is it a reward for daily prayer, contemplation or meditation.
The above catalog of everything awakening is not, can however be useful as forgiveness material, by taking back all of these ego-thoughts in the mind, where they can dissolve into the Oneness of Spirit through forgiveness.
Awakening is the decision of the mind to no longer believe in, or choose for, sin, guilt, and fear, but to forgive these, so that the mind awakens to itself, where it has never left.I was very happy when Annelies sent me this concise summation as a reminder, and I am happy to share it here at the outset of a year in which we want to study Margot's material in my weekly workshops at the Theosophical Society. These words are a very powerful reminder of the basic nature of the forgiveness process:
- The problem is not out there, but in here
- In here I can look at it and decide that it's no longer what I want
- Now I can ask Jesus or the Holy Spirit for their vision of the situation, and let it go into their hands.
Copyright, © 2012 Rogier F. van Vlissingen. All rights reserved.