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Higher Learning

Kenneth And Gloria Wapnick On A Course In Miracles

A peculiar thing happened to Kenneth Wapnick on the way to the monastery: he encountered a massive, mystical manuscript that changed the direction of his life. This manuscript was published as A Course in Miracles in 1976, and in the years since it has changed the lives of countless others as well. With a million copies in print in English, and new editions available in Spanish, Portuguese, German, and French, the growing influence of the Course appears assured.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Excerpts From A Course In Miracles

Everyone who ever tried to use prayer to ask for something has experienced what appears to be failure. This is not only true in connection with specific things that might be harmful, but also in connection with requests that are strictly in line with this course. The latter in particular might be incorrectly interpreted as “proof” that the course does not mean what it says. You must remember, however, that the course states, and repeatedly, that its purpose is the escape from fear.

Day Of Rest

This July Sunday is hotter than any I have ever felt in Wyoming. It has been dry for weeks. The sun hangs limply in the sky, but for all its limpness, it blazes. The clouds are thin and high. The temperature is over a hundred.

If The World Were A Village Of 1,000 People

If the world were a village of 1,000 people, it would include:

  • 584 Asians
  • 124 Africans
  • 95 eastern and western Europeans
  • 84 Latin Americans
  • 55 former Soviets (including Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and other national groups)
  • 52 North Americans
  • 6 Australians and New Zealanders.


In the summer of 1958, the summer before I started kindergarten, my family — my mother; my father; my sister, Marie; my mother’s mother; and I — took its first and last family vacation. I can’t even guess at the occasion, nor at what kind of summer it might have been. We went to a place called Conneaut, on Lake Erie, in the northeast corner of Ohio where it borders Pennsylvania. I don’t know if we were there for a week or a weekend; given my family’s bent for self-abnegation, I suspect it was the latter. That summer I had impetigo. For how long, I’m unsure. The entire summer? Just those days in Conneaut? (Did I indeed have it?) That my family ever ventured out of Pittsburgh, that the actual trip to Conneaut is not, for some pitiful reason, wholly imagined, is documented by a spate of black-and-white photographs stamped “1958” on their backs. I wonder who took them; my family did not own a camera.

Interview With The Witch Doctor

“I would seriously advise staying away from the witch doctors,” the Bavarian missionary tells me. “They are dangerous people.” He has a strong German accent and a lisp; as a result, I can’t take anything he says seriously.


On Earth As It Is In Heaven

I knew I was in trouble. It was the way Mama looked at me from across the dining-room table, like I had wandered off and left her, even though I was sitting right there. We lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida then, and it was a hot night, even with the thunderstorm going outside. I was studying my lines for the sixth grade’s spring play, and Mama wanted to talk. I watched her smear the perspiration on her forehead with the back of her hand, looking at me hard, and I could hear the rain coming down heavy, like waterfalls gushing onto the concrete around our apartment.

Speaking In Tongues

I remember the preacher said: “Let them be joined together forever in the Holy Spirit,” and I kind of wrinkled my brow because God is easy and Jesus is easy but the Holy Spirit thing was always way beyond me, and I wasn’t really sure that what I had in mind was a ménage à trois with some supposedly benevolent essence, and in my poor agnostic head I imagined the two of us suspended in the spiritual plasma of the Holy Ghost for eternity, like watermelon pickles.

Readers Write


I was still in high school and C. was leaving for college in the fall. We told my parents we were going to Santa Fe for the night, and that we were going to stay in a motel. My mother was at the sink washing dishes, and I remember the way her back looked — shoulders motionless, neck rigid. She didn’t turn around at all. My father said quietly that he asn’t sure it was legal.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Sy Safransky's Notebook

March 1995

The past rushes into the room, breathless, dressed in something outrageous she just threw together. Only the past would show up this way.

Musings From Our Founder ▸


“Spirituality is not a course in literature.”

Stewart Brinton

More Quotations ▸
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