I think about the Christian teachings I grew up with. It wasn't just that I was a sinner because I did bad. I was a sinner because I was born that way. I was bad because I was born, because that is what people are – they're sinners. That's the Christian teaching I had. I grew up, and eventually I did leave the Christian Church. I grew up and was in the professional world. At my job, a person would get their performance evaluation, and there would be this whole award preogram. If you got a good performance evaluation you got an award – money! They would tell everybody who got the awards, and who got the money.
I've learned to compare myself. I'm not as thin as I want. I'm the "fat" girl. How much judgment is there about our bodies? I'm not good enough. How can I expect good? Even sometimes we take stuff from the Course and make it to fit our plan. In some portions of the Course it talks about our belief that we've murdered God. Well if we've murdered God, goodness gracious, how could anything be for our good if we're doing that horribly? So we can take things from anywhere in our experience and make it for our unworthiness. Yet it says, "What could you not accept if you but knew that [it all was for] your good?" (OrEd.WkBk.135.19)
29 years! When I first came to the Community Miracles Center I was at that time spiritually deprived. I didn't have any spiritual understanding, because I was drinking and taking drugs in those early years. I was doing everything you can imagine. Then I went to AA and got clean and sober. Then I had to find more spiritual stuff and I couldn't find it. I go back to 1989 when I first saw this blue book, not the blue book of AA (laughter) but this one. I saw this blue book in one of the booths at the Castro Street Fair. (Rev. Tedosio held up a copy of the Foundation for Inner Peace *A Course in Miracles*.) So I looked at the book but I was still drinking then. I said "Aw this is nothing but a cult." I threw it back at the guy. I said "I'll never read that book." But I think that was kind of a sign at that time because the next year I was walking down Haight Street. I was looking up from the street at this building and I saw the sign California Miracles Center. (Editors note: The CMC had only a small sign in the window on the second floor and it was not lit. Rev. Tedosio must have truly been destined to see it.)
I walked up and I met Reverends Tony and Larry. Larry scared me. (laughter) I was welcomed. I bought A Course in Miracles and I started reading it. I think it changed my mind, because I saw things differently when I read the first things in the Course. It made sense to me now. I think this was because I was sober and I wasn't looking at it the other way. So I was very glad to start. Then Community Miracles Center started the classes, and I went to the classes and I went to the parties at Larry's house. They were fantastic and I was ordained at Rev. Larry's house. That was fantastic too. I'm very glad that I got involved at what is now called the Community Miracles Center. I never knew that I would become a board member. I've been here for a while and I just like the organization. I like what we've accomplished. We have places to go like Las Vegas next month. Those are the things I see that have grown out of Community Miracles Center and I am very happy to be part of it. So I thank you all for letting me be here and talk to you because I love you all. That's one thing I learned – unconditional love to all.
It has been a little over a month since the A Course in Miracles Conference happened in Las Vegas. As I take a moment to reflect upon the Conference, it brings up a mixture of emotions for me with regards to my experience there. The over-arching feeling is of love. It is amazing being in a surrounding where there is such a high spiritual energy that filled the rooms for three consecutive days. The theme of the Conference itself I found to be perfect considering where we were having it. We were having a spiritual conference in a city that is known to this world as "Sin City." There are tons of things happening in Vegas that might be perceive as sinful, and there is no better place for spiritual healers to congregate. As a Course student I recognize that every single day I am given the opportunity to forgive and extend love to everyone who I come in contact with.
There was something about this particular Conference that allowed my juices to flourish. I do believe that in order for us to change this world we need to have an open mind, to go outside of our comfort zone. I know for me, listening to the amazing Presenters over the weekend brought great hope that we will be able to change our minds and change the world to be more healing and loving. Along with the amazing Presenters we had the remarkable people who attended the Conference. Being able to interact with so many people during the three days was exactly what I needed at that moment in my life. Each person, who I had the opportunity to interact with, brought new perspectives to me on how I perceive myself in this world we think are in. One of the beauties of A Course In Miracles is that we are always given a chance to utilize the teaching in this world we are in. What a better way to put it to practice than at a spiritual conference that is happening in "Sin City." I know for me, I had many opportunities to put ACIM to use while at the Conference.
In another place in A Course In Miracles — it's actually talking about something else controversial that can't be proved, reincarnation. So, it's talking about reincarnation but it applies just as well to this. I'm going to substitute a few words to make this quotation a little more applicable. "For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on [the authenticity of The Disappearance Of The Universe.] A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. ... Our course is not concerned with any concept that is not acceptable to anyone, regardless of his formal beliefs. His ego will be enough for him to cope with, and it is not the part of wisdom to add sectarian controversies to his burdens." (M-24.3.1-2,4-5) "It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of [The Disappearance Of The Universe] become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. The teacher of God is, therefore, wise to step away from all such questions, for he has much to teach and learn apart from them." (M-24.4.1-4)
It's a sectarian controversy. The wisest thing would be to not get embroiled in it. To side step, away from it. Actually, I'm going to use the text of this sermon as my way to answer the whole question about The Disappearance Of The Universe. (Thus, this article in *Miracles Monthly.*) I think we should get on with the main task at hand which is teaching A Course In Miracles and not get so embroiled in this idea whether Arten and Pursah actually exist, because nobody can prove it either way. The author says it happened. That's just the way the situation is. We need to accept the situation.