Course in Miracles or Four Steps to Forgiveness?

“William Martin has written a powerful guide book on learning how to forgive, not just our brothers and sisters, but also ourselves.” Jon Mundy, Ph.D. author of Living A Course in Miracles.

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Students of A Course in Miracles sometimes ask me, “How does The Four Steps to Forgiveness compare with Course in Miracles?”  As well as being interested in the differences between the two they are also wondering whether they are compatible.

I see The Four Steps to Forgiveness as being completely compatible with A Course in Miracles (CiM). As a way of getting started in forgiveness, the method in Four Steps to Forgiveness is quick and easily accessible. There is no need believe anything in particular, and there is nothing much to study, in order to use it. People can just pick it up and start using it right away – either from the website or as a free download. If later the person wants to study CiM there is nothing to prevent them doing that and they may well get a lot more out of it having already had specific practical experience in forgiving.

We could even think of Four Steps to Forgiveness as a very useful preparation for CiM. However, the Four Steps can stand on its own. Any workable approach to forgiveness, steadily applied, takes people to a deep level and can bring profound experiences, so the Four Steps does this too.

To understand where the Four Steps to Forgiveness fits in to the bigger picture it is important to keep in mind the current state of the world. In many places people are in process of loosening their connections with traditional religions and are wary of anything with religious or spiritual associations (no matter how profound). In some countries it is actually a criminal offence, with sometimes very severe punishments, to appear to have renounced one’s religion (do a search on “Apostasy” if you find that hard to believe). Also is some countries the governments frown, to put it mildly, on books or material which promote “religious” ideas. In these situations the completely secular approach of the Four Steps allows it to be openly available and openly used without putting people in danger. Though thankfully, CiM is making headway in some of those countries either directly, or via the work of Gary Renard,  Marianne Williamson and the like.

If someone is using the Four Steps to Forgiveness to help them, for example, save their marriage. Not only would no student of CiM object to that, but very few authoritarian governments, or religious authorities, are likely to object either. On the contrary they may well encourage it. Yet, the simplicity of Four Steps to Forgiveness, and the fact that it does not come with any religious associations,  means that people can readily adapt it to a specific religion (or culture) – if they want to.

Any sincere student of CiM realises that they are also a teacher of forgiveness. This does not mean that the method a student of the Course offers to others always has to be CiM. If we come across someone ripe for learning how to forgive we can offer whichever method seems most suitable for that person; CiM, The Four Steps to Forgiveness, Ho’onopono or whatever.

Every method of teaching forgiveness ultimately comes from the same source and our primary goal must be to serve that source; not to serve a particular method. To do otherwise with the Course would be to become the CiM version of “bible thumpers”.

As a student-teacher of forgiveness, please try The Four Steps to Forgiveness so you can see for yourself the ways in which it is useful to you and those you teach.

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