Welcome to my inner world!

This site contains the results of my 15 plus year exploration of A Course in Miracles. Therefore, it will be of interest almost exclusively to students of this book and is dedicated to them. If you are new to A Course in Miracles or merely curious, I suggest you look at " A Brief Introduction...." Other than that I have no suggestions as to how to proceed. Let yourself go wherever you want to go. Take as little or as much as you like.

The section entitled "Book Chapters" represents a work in progress which may never be published other than on this site.

Throughout history there has been only one class or type of people who have claimed to find lasting happiness, undisturbed peace and joy. They are not the rulers and politicians, nor are they the conquerors, explorers or military. They are not the wealthy and sucessful; neither are they the famous or accomplished. They are neither the artisans nor artists, scientists nor inventors. The only group who claims lasting happiness and true inner peace are called variously saints, mystics, or masters. Regardless of his or her cultural context, each claims to have come upon an actual, self-evidencing experience of his or her relationship with the universe and everything in it and, therefore, with the Ground and Source of all being, which is often conveniently called "God." A Course in Miracles is a roadmap leading to that same discovery to which Jesus of Nazareth pointed two millenia ago, "Lo, the Kingdom of Heaven is within."

It seems that the first thing to be said is that my purpose for this site is not to sell anything...books or ideas. Most of the material contained here was written down or gathered by me during the past 10 years or so since I began reading A Course in Miracles. I consider it my meditations-on-paper. The primary recipient and beneficiary of these insights is me. I consider these writings to be for me rather than from me. I am not interested in convincing you of anything or telling you what A Course in Miracles means. I do hope to stimulate deep and sincere personal inquiry on your part. Your questions are far more important than my answers.

In that vein I am not concerned whether you agree or disagree with this material, nor whether you believe or disbelieve it. The matter of truth, pundits notwithstanding, is neither a matter for belief nor debate. Truth merely is and its discovery is an intensely personal experience that cannot be reduced to words, concepts or methodology.

One caution-

For many years I have seen Dante's Divine Comedy as a metaphor for the spiritual journey -- that one must "go through hell" to get to Heaven. Although Dante's piece in its totality becomes elaborate and ornate, rife with medieval imagery, hard-line Roman Catholic theology and Florentine politics, all of which make the work seem ponderous and of little use to us today, I believe that the basic metaphor, when seen essentially as a symbolic view of an inner journey and freed from the specifics, outlines the direction of the journey rather clearly. So here I will attempt a brief synopsis with those qualifications in mind.

In the midst of a mid-life crisis, Dante realizes that he has strayed from the True Way into the Dark Wood of Error, or Worldliness. As soon as he has realized his loss, Dante lifts up his eyes and sees the first light of the sun, the symbol of divine illumination, lighting the shoulders of a little hill, the Mount of Joy. It is the Easter season, the time of resurrection, and the sun is in its equinoctial rebirth. This juxtaposition of joyous symbols fills Dante with hope, and he sets out at once to climb directly up the Mount of Joy.

Immediately his way is blocked by the Three Beasts of Worldliness -- The Leopard of Malice and Fraud, the Lion of Violence and Ambition, and the She-Wolf of Debauchery -- who drive him back despairing into the darkness of error. But just as all seems lost, the spirit of Virgil, Dante's symbol of human reason, appears and explains that he has been sent to lead Dante from error. There can, however, be no direct ascent past the beasts: the man who would escape them must go a longer and harder way. First he must descend through Hell, the recognition of sin; then he must ascend through Purgatory, the renunciation of sin; and only then may he reach the pinnacle of joy and come to the light of God, Paradiso. Virgil offers to guide Dante, but only as far as human reason can go. Another guide -- Beatrice, the symbol of divine love -- must take over for the final ascent, because human reason is self-limited.

Above the gateway to Dante's journey, the journey into and through Hell, hangs a sign:

"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

That caution is repeated here. Hope, in a very real sense, is the enemy. It is the eternal hope of somehow finally rearranging, reinventing, relegislating the world into something satisfying that deceives us into remaining tied to this world of form as the only possible "reality." The world doesn't "work;" it's not going to "work;" it wasn't designed to "work." Kafka once said this about hope, "Hope? Oh yes, for God there is much hope. For Man, none at all."

Perhaps one of the most direct and important instructions in A Course in Miracles appears in a section of the text entitled "The Real Alternative." It says clearly, directly and simply:

"Learn now, without despair, there is no hope of answer in the world."
Text, p. 654 (second edition)

With that joyful note, I leave you to your own devices. Thanks for stopping by!

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daan dehn
October 29, 1998
(rev 3 Jun 03)

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