Since early in 2007 the efforts to deliver an email of hope as offered in A Course in Miracles to prisoners have already been ongoing. Prisoners have already been a puppy project for this writer for several reasons. The first of the reasons could be attributed to the personal connection with having served nearly all of a five year sentence in prison, but the greater reasons have related to what occurred while there. It was 1974 and I was twenty-four years old at the time. My own history up to that point was one like so many stories of a young street thug, growing up in a functional class Chicago neighborhood, discouraged and disillusioned by the mediocrity and grind of what life had to offer.
That there had to be something better was always a predominating thought. So’better’for me, was the excitement and the radical comradity of our little clique of thugs, always plotting, always stealing, always searching for that thrill. So when those activities resulted within my first arrests, confinement in juvenile punishment facilities and finally in a five year prison sentence,( the big time), I was delivered to a juncture. I would crash and burn. Previously embraced justifications for my anti-social behavior would soon be shattered and all the glamour of the life of a criminal would cease to contain a trace of validity.
The underlying conviction that there had to be something better yet remained nevertheless now (after the experience I’ll describe below) that something would take on a completely new and remarkable definition.
So at twenty-four and while wallowing in the misery of prison life this is exactly what occurred that would lead to forever changing the way in which I would perceive the world:
The real Me…The I…The Essence of Who and Where I AM emerged for just a couple of short minutes one summer afternoon after a complete sleepless night of worry and immense fear over the possibility that I will be killed the following day.
For the very first time in many years I considered the God I perceived and I prayed for deliverance. I begged and prayed for many hours with fever and intensity never before offered.’He’answered…’ He’delivered me. And for a few brief moments’He’lifted Me from your body and embraced Me as a loving Father does His Son and assured Me yet again, that I could be alright.
While your body lay on the prison cell cot below, the awareness of “I” expanded to include every molecule of air around Me… every feature, the sunlight that streamed through the barred window, the trees and grass outside, the room itself…everything was Me. A crescendo of’sound’accompanied the experience that completely absorbed all sound on the planet and played as every instrument atlanta divorce attorneys orchestra all around the world, in perfect harmony.
Now, many years later, and after much search, many books, and following the message of Forgiveness as gently prescribed in A Course in Miracles, I came to realize that the’person’who searched could not get the answers. That individual, something of the same thought system that created him, would seek and never find while he was simply in the way. His beliefs, his concepts and ascribed personage blocked ab muscles awareness of whatever he sought. He’d to escape their own way first. He’d to surrender their own image of who he thought he was before any Real knowledge could enter.
The Law of Forgiveness would lend him the means to do just that. In Forgiveness, the little self would fade to the oblivion that it came and what might emerge is that which was there all along. That Essence of the Real Self, that “I” and that assurance that everything could be alright. And from that Essence a Power uncommon in this perceived world would accompany it and everything would change for the better, forever.
Today, nearly every day this writer visits the neighborhood post office to deliver copies of the first edition of A Course in Miracles [donated by Course in Miracles Society] along with an an easy task to comprehend introduction to The Course as made available through the writing version of Gary R. Renard’s The End of Reincarnation to lists of prisoners who’ve expressed the want to find out more about the Course. With the writing version is just a brief essay describing what is known as The Five Signs, david hoffmeister audio five mystical experiences during this life which led to adopting a functional application of the spiritual discipline taught in A Course in Miracles.
With assistance from people like Jon Mundy and his Miracles Magazine, Regina Dawn Akers and her The Holy Spirit’s Interpretation of the New Testament, Gary R. Renard and Tami Simon, (The End of Reincarnation) and Dov Fishman of The One Mind Foundation and Acim Gather, as well as Beverly Hutcheson, Marrianne Williamson, Robert Perry, and those friends who help with postage donations, and especially Course In Miracles Society, a fresh wave of compassion is spreading through the entire populations of prisons all around the country.
For many of these prisoners, long forgotten by family or friends, this new avenue of communication brings welcome relief and a soft, warm and loving response with their cry for help. It brings Hope where apathy, despair and grief make their home. It delivers Love where blame, guilt and punishment saturate the atmosphere. It brings the possibility of the Peace of God to a’place’where the egos appetite for misery,pain and hopelessness can now move aside to welcome a glimmer of Light.
May the Love, Light and Peace of God be experienced by them, and with every second feel another moment spent in His Endless Embrace.