Since early in 2007 the efforts to supply a message of hope as offered in A Course in Miracles to prisoners have now been ongoing. Prisoners have now been a pet project for this writer for all reasons. The very first of those reasons could be attributed to the personal experience of having served nearly all of a twenty year sentence in prison, but the greater reasons have related to what occurred while there. It absolutely was 1974 and I was twenty-four years old at the time. My own personal history around that point was one like so many stories of a new street thug, growing up in a working 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. When those activities resulted in my first arrests, confinement in juvenile punishment facilities and finally in a twenty year prison sentence,( the big time), I was delivered to a juncture. I’d 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 but now (after the ability I’ll describe below) that something would accept a completely new and remarkable definition.
So at twenty-four and while wallowing in the misery of prison life this is what occurred that could lead to forever changing just how I’d perceive the planet:
The real Me…The I david hoffmeister audioThe Essence of Who and Where I AM emerged for just a couple short minutes one summer afternoon after a complete sleepless nights worry and immense fear over the chance that I might be killed these day.
For the very first time in many years I turned to the God I perceived and I prayed for deliverance. I begged and prayed for much time with fever and intensity never before offered.’He’answered…’ He’delivered me. And for a few brief moments’He’lifted Me from the body and embraced Me as a loving Father does His Son and assured Me once more, that I would be alright.
While the body lay on the prison cell cot below, the awareness of “I” expanded to add every molecule of air around Me… every feature, the sunlight that streamed through the barred window, the trees and grass outside, the space itself…everything was Me. A crescendo of’sound’accompanied the ability that completely absorbed all sound on earth and played as every instrument atlanta divorce attorneys orchestra all over 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 person, something of the same thought system that created him, would seek and never find because he was simply in the way. His beliefs, his concepts and ascribed personage blocked the very awareness of that which he sought. He had to get free from his own way first. He had to surrender his own image of who he thought he was before any Real knowledge could enter.
The Law of Forgiveness would lend him the way to do just that. In Forgiveness, the little self would fade into the oblivion that it came and what would emerge is that which was there all along. That Essence of the Real Self, that “I” and that assurance that everything would 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, almost every day this writer visits the local postoffice to supply copies of the initial edition of A Course in Miracles [donated by Course in Miracles Society] along having an simple to comprehend introduction to The Course as made available through the text version of Gary R. Renard’s The End of Reincarnation to lists of prisoners who have expressed the want to find out more about the Course. With the text version is really a brief essay describing what is referred to as The Five Signs, five mystical experiences during this life which resulted in adopting a practical application of the spiritual discipline taught in A Course in Miracles.
With the help of 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 assist with postage donations, and especially Course In Miracles Society, a new wave of compassion is spreading throughout the populations of prisons all over the country.
For several prisoners, long forgotten by family or friends, this new avenue of communication brings welcome relief and a light, warm and loving response for 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 chance of the Peace of God to a’place’where the egos appetite for misery,pain and hopelessness is now able to 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.