Course Meets World Commentary Greg Mackie

On this page, I will post short commentaries relating A Course in Miracles to a topic "in the news." Here's how it works: I will present material drawn from the world's media—a newspaper article, a blog, an Internet discussion, etc. (with a link to the original source). Then, I will discuss the relationship I see between it and A Course in Miracles. For example, I might show how it echoes things said in the Course, or contrast what it says with the Course's view of the same topic. The goal is to bring a Course perspective to topics being discussed in the larger world.

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  • What would love do? We're all familiar with "What would Jesus do?" Well, to me, A Course in Miracles is all about "What would love do?"
  • Family

    The holidays are a time to reconnect with family. Even if we are turned off by the images of consumerism gone into overdrive, even if we are ambivalent about putting the Christ back in Christmas, we can still affirm the importance of spending time with family. That's what Christmastime has come to mean to me. It's a time when I can be with my family and we can remember how important we are to each other. That's "the reason for the season."

  • Who Can Despair When Hope Like This Is His? Toward a Truly Helpful Response to the World Situation Recently, Robert and I published an article on a brief passage in the original dictation of A Course in Miracles that almost certainly refers to Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms." This article, titled "We Have the Answer: Jesus' Vision of a Better World and How We Can Achieve It," was meant in part to be inspiring. But a good friend of mine had a different reaction: For him, it brought up a sense of despair, because in his eyes it seems that in spite of our best efforts, things in the world are getting worse and worse.
  • Do What You Love? "Do what you love." How many times have we heard this? And who could object to it? It seems like the perfect advice for anyone seeking to live a happy and meaningful life. However, I recently read a New York Times article by Gordon Marino that points out a number of problems with an uncritical acceptance of the "Do what you love" mantra-problems that I believe are solved brilliantly by the concept of the special function in A Course in Miracles.
  • "I Just Want You to Know That I Love You"
    How Antoinette Tuff's Miraculous Extension of Love Prevented a School Shooting
    We've all been stunned by the string of school shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. What can we do to stop such horrific events? The problem is complex, and I don't think there are any easy answers when it comes to the details. But I'm convinced that whatever the answers may be on the level of form, on the level of content the answer to this problem is the same answer that A Course in Miracles says will solve every problem, no matter how apparently intractable: love. A miracle worker named Antoinette Tuff gave us a powerful demonstration of this recently when she prevented a another school shooting in Georgia, simply by responding to the gunman's violent call for help with gentle, compassionate love.
  • Happiness Through Self-Discipline When we think of self-discipline, we often think of some dour Puritan who, in the immortal words of H.L. Mencken, is beset by "the haunting fear that someone, somewhere is having a good time." Self-discipline might be a good way to gain some far-off future reward, we tell ourselves, but what a drag it is in the present, right? Well, maybe not. Recent research suggests that in fact, people who are self-discipled are, on average, happier than those who are not - a happiness that is not just anticipation of future rewards, but happiness in the present moment. Perhaps, as A Course in Miracles affirms, self-discipline applied in the right way toward the right goal really is the way to happiness here and now, as well as in the future.
  • No Other Way: The Hard-Nosed Realism of Nonviolent Love A Course in Miracles tells us that attack leads to danger and fear, and that totally non-attacking love is the only way to safety and happiness. This radical view naturally begs the question: Given how dangerous the world seems to be, is there real-world evidence to suggest that the kind of radically loving way of life the Course advocates is a realistic way to live? The good news is that there is indeed a great deal of evidence - so much, in fact, that I'm convinced that an ethic of nonviolent love is not pie-in-the-sky idealism, but rather the epitome of hard-nosed realism. There truly is no other way.
  • "I See Him as My Friend": A Woman's Forgiveness of the Man Who Killed Her Daughter

    Note: The horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut (December 14, 2012) happened a few days after I finished this piece. I thought about writing a piece about the shooting, but realized that this piece about forgiving when faced with extreme situations could be fruitfully applied to that situation. Let us all, step by step, replace anger and fear with the healing balm of love and forgiveness, in Connecticut and throughout the world.

    Those of you who read these "Course Meets World" pieces regularly know that I love good forgiveness stories. Here is yet another one: the remarkable story of a woman who forgave a drunk driver who killed her daughter. As a Course student, what I find especially striking about this particular story is how her forgiveness reached deeper and deeper levels as events progressed. Over time, she went from not wanting to forgive at all to truly joining with the man she had formerly condemned.

  • "Love Is in the Fabric of the Universe" I recently read a New York Times article which described a new program in spiritual psychology at Columbia University, the first of its kind at an Ivy League school. In my eyes, this program, started at the very place where Helen and Bill scribed A Course in Miracles forty years ago, is a very positive development. I hope that this program and others like it will bring concepts like spirituality and love into the mainstream of academic research where they belong, and that it will even help make the Course itself the subject of serious study that it deserves to be.
  • A Beacon of Forgiveness in Aurora One of the big events in the news right now is the horrific shooting massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. On July 20, James Eagan Holmes opened fire during a premier of the new Batman movie, killing twelve and wounding fifty-eight more. Of course, we grieve for the dead, hope for a speedy recovery for the wounded, and send love and prayers to everyone involved. Here, though, I want to focus on one man wounded in the shooting who has brought light to the darkness: Pierce O'Farrill, who has forgiven Holmes and thus has reminded us all that, in his words, "there is a Light that shines brighter than the darkness ever imagined."

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