Saturday, May 25, 2013

In Memoriam Margot Krikhaar

Wednesday May 22nd, 2013 Margot gently laid her body aside. Her job in this world was completed, it was time to leave the earthly stage.
In accordance with Margot's wishes, the cremation will take place in private, among a small circle of friends and family.
For those who want to express their condolences, there is an opportunity to do so in a digital condolence register.
In some way, the translation of the Course into Dutch was not complete until the work of Margot Krikhaar appeared, for with her work an original Dutch process of assimilation began. It was very symbolic that she studied the Course in Dutch, when it was published in that language in 1999, and understood it like no other, experiencing her awakening in 2007. In short order, after the appearance of her first book, Awakening in Love, she became a leading Course teacher in Holland. That first book to all intents and purposes represented "the girl next door does the Course," and it is so personal and disarming, but at the same time shows that the Course "works," even if you read it in Dutch, as long as you just practice what it says. In short, at that point the Course was no longer a foreign object, but had thoroughly landed in Holland. At the same time her very personal, and very disarming account of her work with the Course is now reaching English readers as well, and will undoubtedly help many.

Presently, I am at the outset of translating Margot's second book, The Great Liberation, which was the essence of her teaching of the Course, and has all the disarming simplicity and directness as the first book, while at the same time being more formal and systematic. It is a more polished work, and it certainly shines like the brightest diamond, and presents the Course in a very easily comprehended, linear presentation. It was during her work on the second book that Margot was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer, and she ended up fairly quickly having to build down her teaching work, finish up the book and some articles, and planned her succession in the form of a foundation that was to manage her literary estate. Finally this week she passed away.

As soon as I read the book Awakening in Love for the first time in manuscript form, I felt as if the Course had gotten a Dutch voice. My personal observations of the Dutch Course scene, from my expat-perch in New York, provided my context for these observations. It was in the late nineties some time that I began to follow some Course discussion groups in Holland. For me the motivation simply was that I liked to stay current in my native tongue, and I might as well be reading something that interested me. I was amazed how all the issues that we had previously gone through in the US, were being rehashed in Holland, and at times it seemed as intense and disturbing as anything I had lived through in the States. Even the work of Gary Renard, which is also an account of very personal experiences with studying the Course, and which very much stays on message, could not escape being a translated book, simply because it was. But Margot bought the Course in Dutch when it came out, and simply set about practicing it, without any concern for the raging controversies, and with the account of her experiences the Course simply had landed in Holland, and found an original, Dutch voice.

I had known the manuscript of Awakening in Love for a few years before it was published by IPP. Annelies Ekeler and Margot took the book around to every publisher they could think of. I had written a letter of recommendation for the book. Finally, Margot asked Annelies if she would function as the publisher. After it was published, it never occurred to me that it should be translated, but once that project got under way, I began to notice the positive responses the book was getting, and I knew it is destined to be helpful for Course students anywhere. It is simply  a very powerful personal account of what it means to study the Course, and to truly practice forgiveness, in a style that makes it easy to recognize ourselves as we go through our own process. Magot's account simply invites empathy and recognition.

We owe Margot a debt of gratitude for the clarity and honesty with which she shared her own journey with us, and it is clear that through her work directly and indirectly she is present with us any time we want. I am confident her books will be invaluable to many, and hers undoubtedly was a life well lived. One can only be grateful that in the end she was able to leave this world and her body in a peaceful way, with a practical demonstration of what it means to "gently lay the body aside." Her extensive and public diaries about the experiences with her illness will also be very helpful to many who are dealing with similar issues, as are her articles. The end was the purest demonstration of what we really mean with Requiescat in Pace, except in this case it's no longer a matter of may she rest in peace, for we know she is resting in peace. It is no longer a wish, it has become a certainty, in as much as she had long since found inner peace, which was evident throughout her dealing with her final illness as well as her passing away. As much as Margot taught the Course through workshops and books, she taught it by living it.

Copyright, © 2012 Rogier F. van Vlissingen. All rights reserved.