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am 29. September 2013
Before I get started, I should state that I don't write this review to be judgey of the author or the lovers of this book. I believe this philanthropic woman is very sincere in trying to be truly helpful, and has been by presenting ideas that meet many people where they are at with their spirituality.

With that said, however, I don't find this to be the ideal book to learn about A Course in Miracles. And as Jesus (or as I like call him, J-Dog) says in the Course, "Contrast and differences are necessary teaching aids, for by them you learn what to avoid and what to seek." And, "The Holy Spirit must teach through comparisons, and uses opposites to point to truth."

Now, I am certainly not saying that the author has nothing of value to say here, and that you should avoid this book. It's obviously been very helpful to many people in its own right over the years. And it could very well be exactly what you need for yourself right now. The author certainly has some good things to share. The problem with this book is that it doesn't really represent the true message of A Course in Miracles, which is referred to in the sub-title of this book.

What you really have here is a New Age/Self-Help, semi-dualistic interpretation of the Course, while the Course itself is a purely non-dualistic teaching by nature, meaning that God is and nothing else is. The Return to Love book speaks on the same level as the popular New Age authors whose books I studied in the mid 1990s through early 2000s, most notably Wayne Dyer and Neale Walsch. For me personally, I got to the point on my spiritual path where I outgrew that level of teaching just as everyone else will (or has) at some point. This level of teaching simply just doesn't go deep enough, even if it appears to be very enlightening.

Thus that leads to the other big problem with this book, from A Course in Miracles perspective, is that what the author has to say is geared towards changing the conscious mind and not addressing the unconscious mind, which is what REALLY runs us. Changing the conscious mind will only have a temporary, helpful impact at best. Like most of the iceberg is underneath the surface of the ocean, you can't see it; most of the mind is out of our awareness. But there is a way to get in touch with it, but you won't find that way in this book. And I know for me personally, I didn't make serious progress on my spiritual path until I started addressing the unconscious part of my mind.

On a level that we are not consciously aware of, we have this guilt buried in the mind over the seeming separation from God, what the Course refers to as the "blocks to the awareness of love's presence," and "the secret sins and hidden hates" which we must undo via the true forgiveness process outlined in the Course in order to really be free. As the Course states, "Of one thing you were sure: of all the many causes you perceived as bringing pain and suffering to you, your guilt was not among them." This unconscious guilt shows up to us symbolically in the form of all our negative emotions.

The author does talk about the importance of forgiveness, however, there is no real explanation as to what true forgiveness entails, and HOW to apply it in whatever comes up in front of your face on any given day. And leaving out the fact that all our problems are symbolic of the seeming separation from God, "A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct." So the Course teaches that, "Forgiveness is the only function meaningful in time." And, "The way to God is through forgiveness here. There is no other way."

Another thing going on here with this book is that the author uses terms such as "energy"; "consciousness"; "vibration"; and such, making them out to be important and real. However, the Course says of such ideas that they are "...the domain of the ego." The Course also teaches that there is no hierarchy of illusions, "All that a hierarchy of illusions can show is preference, not reality."

Also, the author talks about God in a way that implies that God acknowledges our individual lives here on earth, and that God and the "power of the universe" are one and the same. The author even has prayers in the book that begin with "Dear God." Yet the Course teaches, "The secret of true prayer is to forget the things you think you need."

And according to the Course, there is no world, so how could God acknowledge anything happening in the world, when there isn't one. A pretty far out idea for many, I grant you that, but that is what the Course is teaching and NOT what the author is writing about in this book. And the Course doesn't just say that there is no world. It says, "There is no world! This is the central thought the Course attempts to teach." And, "Whatever is true is eternal and cannot change or be changed." The universe, therefore, is obviously not true, not of God, and has no power. The Course also says, "The world you see is an illusion of a world. God did not create it, for what He creates must be eternal as Himself. Yet there is nothing in the world you see that will endure forever."

There's barely any mention about going Home in this book, which is what the Course is ultimately all about. Even in the section called Heaven's Gate, the author goes on a political spiel instead, making the world out to be something that needs to be fixed. Yet the Course teaches that the world cannot be fixed, "There is no point in trying to change the world. It is incapable of change because it is merely an effect. But there is indeed a point in changing your thoughts about the world. Here you are changing the cause. The effect will change automatically." And the Course teaches, "This is a course in cause and not effect."

So there is no explanation on what it means to go Home, and how to go about doing that. And as the Course says, "This world you seem to live in is not home to you. And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true." And, "This world is not where you belong. You are a stranger here. But it is given you to find the means whereby the world no longer seems to be a prison house or jail for anyone." So you won't be finding the way to return to where you really belong through this book, at least not by taking it at face value. You're likely to be left with the idea it's about making your life better rather than awakening from what you think of as your life. And there's no mention of our lives being self-predetermined. Like the Course teaches, "The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself."

Furthermore, there's no mention of how time and space is adjusted by the Holy Spirit and disappears for us as we perform a miracle, a miracle meaning that we apply forgiveness on whatever comes up in front of our faces on any given day. "When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it." And, "The miracle shortens time by collapsing it, thus eliminating certain intervals within it."

The author also implies that our uniqueness, individual identity is something to be valued. Yet with the final destination of the Course being the return to Oneness, you can't have both Oneness and individual identities; it's impossible. And the Course teaches, "Forgiveness is the end of specialness." And, "You can defend your specialness, but never will you hear the Voice for God beside it."

I understand, and this is perfectly ok, that very few are ready for the real message of A Course in Miracles which is why there are so many mis-interpretations of the Course out there such as this one. The real message is just too threatening for one's ego for most people at this point in time, including many who consider themselves to be spiritually progressive when they are actually rather conservative. So, it's just a matter of what you're ready to accept, nothing wrong with that, but people shouldn't confuse this book as being the same as the Course.

Don't get me wrong, I do feel that this is a good book for people wanting to investigate new ideas and break free from the thinking of the world and the confines of organized religion, or perhaps for people who struggle with low self-esteem; this would certainly be a step in the right direction. But this book is more about "don't die with an unmet potential" or "live life to the fullest" or "become a better human" kind of a book; certainly nothing wrong with that. However, Return to Love leaves much to be desired if you're looking for a clear explanation on what A Course is Miracles is really all about; you'll just end up confused and conflicted because it's not consistent with the Course, even if you're not consciously aware of it.

Just from the Introduction piece alone the author states, "Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we have learned here." And, "We came here to co-create with God by extending love." Well, if we didn't have fear, we would not have been born into this world to begin with. In fact, the Course says, "The world was made as an attack on God. It symbolizes fear." So we're not here to co-create with God, we're not really here, we need to awaken from the belief that we are here and return to where we are a co-creator with God and the same as God, by removing the "blocks to the awareness of love's (God's) presence" via the true forgiveness process.

So if you are indeed looking for a book that puts A Course In Miracles into the everyday vernacular, without compromising on the integrity of its message, I would highly recommend The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk about Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness by Gary Renard. It explains A Course in Miracles like nothing else does, and is the only book (along with his follow up book, Your Immortal Reality: How to Break the Cycle of Birth and Death) I've ever read on spirituality that made total sense to me from cover to cover, and left me with no unanswered questions.

Gary's books are the real deal when it comes to the Course, you many not like everything said, and it may downright piss you off, but you will get the straight up truth, no sugarcoating, and no being told what you necessarily want to hear. Like it states, "As with Jesus' teachings of 2,000 years ago, the world is attempting to do its usual job of obliterating the truth by incorporating parts of it into its illusions and covering over the real message of the Holy Spirit. We won't leave out the ideas you don't like. If you resist them or don't want to accept them after you hear them then that's your decision, but at least it won't be because you weren't told."

Giddy up!

~ Mike Lemieux, author of Dude, Where's My Jesus Fish? A Compilation Highlighting the Blunt and Uncompromising Teachings of Arten and Pursah on A Course in Miracles
0Kommentar|7 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 15. Juni 2000
I had begun reading this wonderful book days ago. Even though I am still reading chapter 3, I can already feel a change in my perception. God, I now realize, is the only reality. And because God is Love, then Love is the only reality. Everything else is illusion. All else is illusion. Never before has the Love of God been so clarified. Thank you, Ms. Williamson, for your book and your insight. No doubt I will become a serious pupil in the Course in Miracles after the completion of Marianne Williamson's inspiring book A Return to Love. Thank you, Amazon.com, for allowing readers to submit reviews. A Return to Love has changed my life.
0Kommentar|3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 5. Juli 2000
One could hardly expect a rational lawyer, scientist at heart, and agnostic to write such a glowing review of Ms. Williams' new age philosophy. But this book is superb! As a recovering catholic, the language is a bit hard to digest. But if you can get beyond the emotional blocks on the christian terminology, the philosophy she lays out teaches an extrodinarily powerful way to view the many challenges we face in life. This is an excellent book.
0Kommentar|3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 5. Oktober 2009
Ja, das schafft Marianne Williamson. Jeder, dem A Course in Miracles schont begegnet ist, weiß um die Schwierigkeit,
das Gesagte zu verstehen. Manchmal ist er aber auch ganz leicht.
Frau Williamson versteht es, uns an die unglaublichen Inhalte von A Course in Miracles heranzuführen, zu sehen, was
da draußen und drinnen los ist, wie es um unsere Liebe steht.
Das Buch ist herzöffnend - also sehr gut! H.B.
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 24. Juni 2000
Author and lecturer Marrianne Williamson breathes life into the esoteric writings of the New Age Bible "A Course in Miracles". She extracts portions of the Course and weaves her life stories and personalized insights into the otherwise obscure texts.
The result is a wonderfully written book that feels like I am reading her spiritual diary rather than a "How-To" book. The book feels real and authentic and provides a nice balance between the teachings found in the Course and examples in her personal life. Even if you don't embrace the teachings in A Course in Miracles, you will definitely not be disappointed by the beautiful insights she provides. Like spring house cleaning for your soul, it will open doors in your heart and mind and breath new life into your soul.
0Kommentar|Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 9. April 1999
I had been struggling with some difficulties in my life that had me very sad. A lifelong friend of mine reccomended this book to me and I bought it immediately. It literally changed my outlook on virtually everything and everybody in my life. I've always had a strong faith in God and this book made me feel more peaceful and content with my life. I now truly listen to and care about the people around me. Marianne Williamson's explanation of love versus fear makes so much sense. These are words to live by. I have recommended this book to many of my friends and have given my own copies away a few times. It was a comfort to me during an uncomfortable time.
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am 12. Juli 1999
I was given a copy of A Return to Love by an acquaintance. She was a woman in the healing field, and I was seeing her due to dealing with an illness that left me disabled for many years. After I read this book and returned it to it's owner, it wasn't until years later, after having my heart severly broken, that I went to pick up a copy of it for myself.
This book describles in a perfectly understable, warm, and sometimes humerous voice, what The Course in Miracles is all about. I must admit, I never heard of The Course in Miracles, and as of present, I just ordered a copy of it for myself and started reading it.
Since The Course is such a technical book (and probably the most difficult to understand next to the Holy Bible), Ms. Williamson helps us out a little with outlining the basic principles and ideas of The Course in Miracles.
Whether you're problem is in the area of God, love and relationships, self-esteem and self-love, money, illness . . . she touches upon them all.
Just recently, I've begun to listen to some of Marianne Williamson's audio tapes, which are based on her many lectures around the world. I must say she is a captivating, charming woman who radiates intelligence and warmth -- not to mention her wonderful sense of humor. I just get such comfort from her . . . her tapes, and this book in particular. This is one of those books that you can read again and again, and continue to gain insight and peace from it.
It's wonderful to have such people as Marianne Williamson bring her messages of love and peace to the people, and helping us look at ourseves and God in a different light.
This is a MUST for anyone on a spiritual journey. My only complaint is that Marianne Williamson doesn't write enough books.
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am 11. Juli 1998
It took me a long time to get around to writing this review, because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to think of enough powerful adjectives to describe this book! Not only is this book so full of love and compassion, it directs you to the plain ole common sense approach to solve problems and live your life to the fullest. And believe it or not, the common sense approach is simple, but the approach we usually try to take is complicated. This book is the "common sense, encouragement, loving direction, and compassion that your mom should have given you, but didn't". I encourage everyone to read it, even if you only read a couple of pages a day. As I read this book, I felt Marianne was the mother, teacher, guidance counselor, and friend that I never had. I love her advice! Love is the answer and love solves all problems. From the seed of love derives all positivity: self-confidence, love for others, being humble, going after dreams, being modest etc. Marianne's advice is the advice I should have received as I grew up. If we all received that advice, the world would be a better place. My world is a better place because of Marianne's loving and compassionate advice. That's why I advise everyone to read this book!
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am 22. März 2000
Where do I even begin with this review? This book has entirely changed my life, my perspective, my attitude, my feelings about myself and others, I could go on and on. This is something that I cannot stop talking about. Anyone who is lost, confused about religion, who feels poorly about themselves or others, depressed, or just doesn't feel like life is much "fun" anymore.....read this book! I can't even tell you what a load it takes off and how wonderful it is to learn that God LOVES you, is not out to punish you, and only has your happiness in mind. I can suddenly walk into a room and feel GREAT about myself knowing that I am a BEAUTIFUL, wonderful child of God. It is the most amazing thing I have ever felt! From this book I have learned what life is about, and what it's not about. After reading it, I bought an additional 10 copies and hand them out to anyone who seems interested. My hope is that everyone can find this love that Maryanne teaches so that they may be as incredibly happy with themselves and their lives as I am today!
Thank you so much Maryanne, for changing my life!
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am 12. Januar 2000
...not to be over dramatic, but this book and Ms. Willaimson's "A Woman's Worth" changed my life. One of my best friends turned me on to Marianne Williamson. I gave both of these books to my mother and my sister for Christmas, and have suggested them to many other friends. I believe that God has given Marianne a gift, and I am grateful that she has shared it with us. In fact, I think God blesses us all with a certain gift. That's what this book is about--finding your gift and using it--not being afraid or embarrassed--not letting your ego get in the way. This book does not preach--it just shows you that acting out of love is the best and easiest way to live your life. In our society we tend to loose sight of that, and make things way more difficult for ourselves. This book has also helped me to believe that God is a loving God. I still uphold the bible. I just believe that God speaks through Marianne, as he does all of us. So, enjoy! Thank you Marianne for sharing with us.
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