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Are Arten and Pursah Real?

Recently, events – read God – have conspired to put Gary Renard back on my front burner. I’ve written about Renard before and I can sum up my thoughts pretty easily: I have no qualms recommending him to other Course students at whatever stage of study and no stake in the many conflicts that seem to surround him.

Increasingly, I don’t believe in right readings and wrong readings, good teacher and bad teachers – there are only helpful and unhelpful readings and teachers. Our standards in this regard shift over time. And it’s best to take our questions to the Holy Spirit and follow that guidance.

Simple right?

A new friend is an advocate of Renard, encouraging me to try “Your Immortal Reality.” A few people have dropped by the site to offer variations of “thanks, good point” after reading my previous Renard scribblings, and just yesterday I saw that Gary Renard himself will be speaking later this fall just an hour away from me.

I like signs as much as the next human body bent on salvation. Maybe God is trying to tell me something?

I read The Disappearance of the Universe early on in my studies of A Course in Miracles. Someone I trusted lent it to me. And I loved it. It was easy to read, it was reassuring, it broke down some of the harder metaphysical ideas and concepts and make them accessible.

As I dove deeper into the Course, I started to stumble into a lot of the conflict that swirls around Gary. There’s the whole question of whether Arten and Pursah are real or just clever marketing devices. There’s the way in which he hawks stuff – longevity vitamins, for example.

I indulged that for a bit, then moved on. I felt strongly – and still feel – that we have to take what works and not lose sleep when something doesn’t. Jesus reminds us to ask of everything: what is it for? If it’s not taking you closer to Heaven and God – as measured by your happiness – then drop it and move on. Time wastes!

I’ll give you another example. When I first started surfing the web for ACIM teachers, I came across Liz Cronkhite’s site.

And I dismissed it almost out of hand. I felt like the site was poorly designed. Her style was simplistic, unbecoming of such a poetic and masterful text. To say I was petty and haughty is to be kind.

But I never quite forgot about her. And after quite a bit of time had passed, I went back to her site. And it hadn’t changed – I don’t think she’s doing a lot of updating these days – but I sure had. Suddenly I realized that Liz was a deeply committed, uncompromising and disciplined Course student. Not only did she “get it,” but she had a real gift for simplifying it.

I was inspired. I bought her book – The ACIM Mentor Articles: Answers for Students of A Course in Miracles – and loved it.

What I am trying to say is that you can say “No.” You can say “not yet.” Don’t invest in the conflict you perceive – your own or anybody else’s. It’s all the same so just forgive it and move on. If something – anything – is helpful, then great. Okay. This isn’t like joining an elite squad of spiritual gurus. You’re going to get where you’re going and the Holy Spirit can and will use everything in your path to help you along the way. You can count on that.

I read a few passages of “Disappearance” this morning and came across this comment by Arten and Pursah:

It’s not necessary for your readers to believe in us. Our words can benefit people whether they have trust in us or not. It’s the Holy Spirit’s message that matters – not those who appear to be bringing it.

To which I can only say, “Amen.”

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  • Patri January 20, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Brilliant, helpful, extremely timely. Thanks.

  • JC Vaughan October 28, 2013, 5:56 pm

    And I can only say “Amen” also. I have been trying to follow ACIM as well as I can (and I do feel as if I am coming from a very bad, a very low, place in starting), and Renard has been very helpful. Also, he influenced me to check out Kenneth Wapnick. I will be checking on Liz Cronkhite soon. Thank you.

    • Sean Reagan October 28, 2013, 6:36 pm

      You’re welcome, JC. Glad it was helpful!

      ~Sean