For the Truly Serious, and Indespensable Tool
Everyone who owns a copy of A Course in Miracles should also own a copy of Robert Perry's Glossary of Terms from 'A Course in Miracles.' In my opinion, it's that kind of a love-inspired document. For years now, I have had a copy of the first edition of this glossary on the night table beside my bed, along with the three-volume Course and its two supplements, primarily because I experience all of these documents as complementary treasures for my own salvation.
The introduction to the glossary begins with these words: "A Course in Miracles is a modern spiritual path. Designed as an educational program in spiritual development, its aim is to completely reverse the way we perceive the world." The glossary reflects that goal on each and every page.
My dictionary describes the word "glossary" in the following way: "a collection of difficult or special terms with their meanings." It is that, of course; but also much more.
How to use the glossary is explained in six short pages of the introduction. Following what is suggested in the introduction, however, is entirely up to the student or learner. Just as with the Course itself.
Robert makes quite clear that an entire book could be written about each definition found in the glossary, and one gets the impression that Robert has most probably already done that—at least in his mind. Which means, almost two hundred definitions equals almost two hundred books! And all in the compact form of just 115 pages, attractively demonstrated through a range of interesting approaches. In short, a very readable document.
For me, it even reads like a book of poetry at times, just as the Course does.
Because of the way the glossary is written and organized, one gets the impression that true mastery of the Course and its principles, while seemingly a never-ending process, is leading us to nothing less than a true personal transformation, ending with God in Heaven. Nothing less.
Just as with the Course itself, the glossary is an holistic document. Meaning, the parts and the whole are fully integrated, and are never in conflict. Total congruency in thought can be experienced with each definition.
Again as with the Course, the glossary feels to me like a truly guided piece of spirit-based work under the Holy Spirit's direct guidance. That is why I feel it is a document I can fully trust and embrace for the purposes of my own Atonement.
The definitions speak for themselves but, in my opinion, need to be personally experienced in order to be fully appreciated. Since I am limited to a certain number of words in this review, I can only offer some brief commentary. What I noticed in particular was that there was, at least for me, no difference in experience between the first and second editions of this glossary; simply an extension of thought and deeper insights.
The following definitions I found especially meaningful: Atonement; being; call for love/help; delusional system; eyes of Christ; freedom; "God's Son is guiltless"; heart; holiness, holy; holy relationship; impossible situation; law of love; making error real; pupil; script; teaching-learning situation; treasure house.
In particular I liked some of the subtleties I found in some of the commentaries.
For example, under "Atonement" I notice in a parenthetical remark that "it thus refers to the recovering of at-one-ment, not the state of at-one-ment."
Under "impossible situation" we find these two sentences: "This is why the world is depressing, because the whole world is an impossible situation. Yet we can develop our abilities and follow our Guide to the point where we can actually get out."
Under "making error real," we are reminded that this "does not refer to making the error of the separation real; the phrase 'making the error real' does not appear in the Course."
On the subject of "pupil," we find this "also speaks of pupils of a teacher of A Course in Miracles (see M-17, 18, 23, 24, 29)."
All of which I see as subtle teaching/learning points, just as in the Course itself.
And there is more—much more. As I said at the beginning of this review, "Everyone who owns a copy of A Course in Miracles should also own a copy of Robert Perry's Glossary of Terms from 'A Course in Miracles.' Own one, and find out directly if this is also true for you.