Visitors to the Yahoo! group on The Disappearance of the Universe will recognize the name
of
Lucía Espinosa immediately, and know that there was a discussion on the forum about her
plans for this upcoming book, which is based on the hint that was contained in
DU that the 365
Course quotes contained in that book provide a complete summary of the Course's teachings,
which one could use for daily meditations etc. Because of her editorial choice to present these
"quotes" as a "
sayings collection," I felt a discussion of the book was in order here.
Those of us who have really worked with Gary's books are in no doubt that they are inspired
material, for they speak to us on so many levels all at once, and they clearly represent yet
another dimension to facilitate our learning of the Course, by re-casting it in the framework of
Gary's conversations with his friends, the ascended masters Arten and Pursah. Gary's
experiences with Arten and Pursah, and with learning the
Course, on one level are nothing but
a dramatization of our own learning opportunities with the Course, inviting us to empathize, and
identify with Gary as Course student par excellence, as he goes through his own slapstick
routines of Course learning. Clearly, in preparing this little book
Lucía has discovered yet
another dimension in which this material operates, which she reflects in her choice of title. Not
only was the Course spoken to Helen Shucman, the 365 quotes from the
Course were again
spoken through Gary's books during his conversations with Arten & Pursah. And
Lucía heard
the spoken quality in those quotes, in particular also because of the context of the
Thomas
Gospel
 which permeates Gary's work, in as much as his own discovery of having been
Thomas in a prior life, as well as Pursah representing the recollection of that lifetime, which is
obviously central to the book. Throughout Gary's books the focus is on what "J" really did say,
2000 years ago as recorded by Thomas, and today in the form of ACIM, and to clear away
the clutter of subsequent interpretation and distortion, and to get back to what the words were
meant to say as they were spoken by the speaker.
The
Thomas Gospel is fast becoming the symbol of hearing the authentic teaching of Jesus,
before the distortions of it began to accumulate in the narrative Gospel tradition which came
later, and which was never again to get out from under the heavy editorial influence of Paul,
whose first letters are contemporaneous with the Gospel according to Mark, which in and of
itself has perhaps the least amount of Pauline influence, but nevertheless already shows some of
the influences that were to distort the teachings of the living Jesus into the dead body of
Christian dogma (eucharist etc.). Pursah's kernel of the 70 authentic
sayings in the Thomas
Gospel
help us find the "historical" Jesus in pure form, free of the materials that were added on
later.
In Spoken Miracles, Lucía hears a kernel of the Course, almost as a sayings
tradition, which can speak to us in a very direct way as a refresher of the Course -
though it could also be an introduction to the Course.
The book represents Pursah's
Cliff-notes for
A Course In Miracles, and as such it is a wonderful way to straighten us out, if
we get wrapped around the axle with the ego's complications again.
Lucía's own introduction is fascinating, and may serve to make the material accessible to many
seekers. No doubt few might have wandered as widely and at such a young age as
Lucía has,
starting with studying a form of Gnosticism at age 13, but as she meandered through various
spiritual and religious traditions, she touches seemingly on anything that is around in the
contemporary landscape, including a brush with the dogmatic certainty of fundamentalist
judgment and the Leave Behind series, to which Gary also offers some choice comments in the
course of his books. The
Course itself emphasizes in the first entry of the Manual for Teachers,
that God's Teachers come from anywhere and everywhere, from any religion or no religion, and
in that spirit
Lucía's wide ranging explorations will offer many readers the opportunity to
recognize themselves in her, and thus to hear again the still small voice inside, which leads us to
truth in the end.
Reading the book is a mind-blowing experience, for even if we already realized the rich
crystalline structure of the
Course, until Gary came along, most of us would have thought a
popular introduction to the
Course was an impossibility, and a meaningful summarization
equally an impossible task, except that
it turns out that DU, like a Russian doll, contained
this supposedly impossible summarization. It just took
Lucía's faithful scribal work to
free it up from its rough shape and to polish the diamond.
This resulting little gem of a
book truly astound us with the brilliance of the
Course on yet another level, as impossible as
that seems. I've studied the
Course for too long to venture a guess how this book would strike
someone who came to it without a knowledge from the
Course, it seems to me that very much
like the sayings of Thomas it would evoke a hunger to know and understand more of the
thought system that was being implied more than explained in them, in which case it could lead
people to the Course. As a refresher for long standing
Course students, it is definitely... well...
if I may say so: refreshing! It could be used as the thoughts for the day for a year long refresher
program, or also simply read, or you could dabble in it.
Last, not least, this book is also a great buy at $9.95, and in a way it provides a more portable
Course than the portable Course - the small format edition of the Course from the original
publishers, which is still more luggable than portable. So for a weekend trip take this one along
if you are traveling light!  And I supect that
just like The Disappearance of the Universe
itself serves as an introduction to the
Course for many people, this little book too may
become a first invitation to the
Course for a great many people - kind of a no risk trial.
Another Way
Editorial Review of Spoken Miracles by Rogier F. Van Vlissingen