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Announcing a major new book in progress about A Course in Miracles by journalist, publisher, and veteran student D. Patrick Miller.

Try to Be a Little Kinder” is currently being written by the author of Understanding A Course in Miracles and Living with Miracles, and the original publisher of The Disappearance of the Universe. Based on four decades of study and research, this book will be a provocative & entertaining summary of the “big ideas” offered by the Course. It is being written for both new and experienced ACIM students, as well as those unfamiliar with the teaching. Read the Introduction here.

The writing of this project is being crowd-funded here with the opportunity for contributors to preview and comment on the manuscript in progress.

No contribution is too large or too small. Everyone who participates will be thanked on this page and in the book itself. As a journalist Patrick is accustomed to collaborating with many subjects, but this is the first opportunity for potential readers to support and participate in the creation of a new book:

'Kind' contributors of $50 or more will receive a signed copy of the book upon publication. (Delivery will be free within the US, with discounted shipping outside the US.)

A Little Kindercontributors of $100 or more will receive the signed book and be added to a mailing list to receive and comment on previews of the work in progress (possibly including a Zoom discussion group).

Really Most Kind’ contributors of $150 or more will also be entitled to one 2-hour Zoom consultation appointment with Patrick, about their Course study or any other aspect of their spiritual experience.

Finally, a ‘Finest Kind’ contribution of $1500 will reserve one full year of personal coaching with the author on the subject of ACIM or other spiritual challenges (see Consulting.htm).

The fund-raising goal for this project, to finance the
writing of “Try to Be a Little Kinder” during 2024, is $15,000.

Every contribution will speed this project along!


The primary donation option is PayPal, which accepts debit and credit cards.
You can also use Venmo (to Patrick-Miller-348) or mail a check
to D. Patrick Miller, PO Box 3354, Napa CA 94558.






D. PATRICK MILLER has played a significant role in the public recognition and understanding of A Course in Miracles. Soon after becoming a student in 1985, he started applying his skills as an investigative journalist to researching and writing about ACIM. He was the last reporter to interview Bill Thetford before his death in 1988, and he spent hundreds of hours in conversations with other Course principals and students, including Ken Wapnick, Judy Skutch, Bob Skutch, Jerry Jampolsky, Lee Jampolsky, Roger Walsh and Frances Vaughan, Robert Perry, and many others.

His first decade of research resulted in a number of print magazine features and the book THE COMPLETE STORY OF THE COURSE, published in 1997 by his own press, Fearless Books. A substantially revised version, entitled UNDERSTANDING A COURSE IN MIRACLES, was published in 2008 by Ten Speed Press (now in a second edition from Fearless). His book LIVING WITH MIRACLES: A Common Sense Guide to A Course in Miracles, was published by TarcherPenguin in 2011. He has also written two short books of inspiration, a novel, and a poetry volume inspired by ACIM.

In 2003 Patrick published the first edition of THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE UNIVERSE by Gary Renard. About 15,000 copies of the Fearless Books edition were sold in the first year before the license was sold to Hay House for a new edition in 2005, and it has since become an international best-seller, followed by three more books by Renard. As an agent or publishing consultant Patrick has also facilitated the publication of books by other Course-inspired authors, including Maria Felipe, Corinne Zupko, Dana Marrocco, Diederik Wolsak, Barrett Hedeen, Fiona Williams, Betty Connelly, Gary Tiemann, Raymond Wells, Rod Chelberg M.D., and others.

From the beginning of his experience with the Course, Patrick has brought both a reporter's objective eye and a dedicated student's inner perspective to his writing about ACIM. His third full-length book on ACIM will present a concise guide to the essential truths of this remarkable teaching, drawing on almost forty years of personal study and professional research.


“Try to Be a Little Kinder”:
The Essential Truths of A Course in Miracles

Working Table of Contents


Ch1: Things Are Not as They Seem
"There is no world! That is the central lesson this course attempts to teach."....

Ch2: You Are Not Who You Think
"The body is the ego’s home by its own election. It is the only identification with which the ego feels safe... Yet the ego hates the body, because it cannot accept it as good enough to be its home. Here is where the mind becomes actually dazed."...

Ch3: Joining the Mind of God
"Deep within you is everything that is perfect, ready to radiate through you and out into the world. It will cure all sorrow and pain and fear and loss because it will heal the mind that thought these things were real, and suffered out of its allegiance to them."....

Ch4: Learning to Choose Self Over Ego
"The ego exerts maximal vigilance about what it permits into awareness, and this is not the way a balanced mind holds together."....

Ch5: Fighting the Love We Seek
"For fear is loved by those who worship it, and love appears to be invested now with cruelty."....

Ch6: Learning to Forgive 24/7
"Open your eyes today and look upon a happy world of safety and of peace. Forgiveness is the means by which it comes to take the place of hell."....

Ch6: Saving Time on the Long Haul
of Getting Free

"For what would seem to need a thousand years can easily be done in just one instant by the grace of God"....

Ch7: Seeking a Future Unlike the Past
"Who can grieve or suffer when the present has been freed, extending its security and peace into a quiet future filled with joy?"....

Ch8: Our Inheritance of Joy
"The world you see does nothing.
It has no effects at all. It merely represents your thoughts. And it will change entirely as you elect to change your mind, and choose the joy of God as what you really want."....

Ch9: How the World Ends
"The world will end in joy, because it is a place of sorrow.
When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone."....

all quotes above are from
A Course in Miracles


In my first interview over thirty years ago with Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D, a leading philosopher of the modern spiritual teaching known as A Course in Miracles (ACIM), I asked him if it was possible to sum up the teaching of the Course in a single sentence. I wasn’t trying to stump him. But I expected him to admit that, given 1200 pages of sometimes impenetrable,  sometimes ecstatic reading that includes a year’s worth of absurdly challenging meditations, there is no way to boil this startling spiritual curriculum down to a one-liner.

I was in for a surprise, however. Ken chuckled and said, “Sure, that’s easy… 'Try to be a little kinder.'”

At the time I was not aware that Ken was probably quoting Aldous Huxley, author of the novel Brave New World and a famed memoir of psychedelic experience entitled The Doors of Perception. Influenced by Eastern metaphysics including the teachings of Swami Prabhavananda and Krishnamurti, Huxley was one of the first 20th century Western philosophers to venture into mysticism with a sophisticated perspective. Yet late in his career he admitted that “It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than 'Try to be a little kinder.’”

This admission by two accomplished philosophers has less to do with any embarrassing limit to their understanding of the “human problem” than with the human tendency to create a formidable array of vexing difficulties that resist even a complex prescription, much less a line of simple advice. The Course refers to this tendency in Workbook Lesson #79,  “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved’”:

"No one could solve all the problems the world appears to hold. They seem to be on so many levels, in such varying forms and with such varied content, that they confront you with an impossible situation. Dismay and depression are inevitable as you regard them. Some spring up unexpectedly, just as you think you have resolved the previous ones. Others remain unsolved under a cloud of denial, and rise to haunt you from time to time, only to be hidden again but still unsolved."

The lesson goes on to suggest that all these problems really boil down to one, but we use their seeming multiplicity to avoid facing it: “If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance.”

Anyone unfamiliar with the Course could be forgiven for asking, “Separation? Separation from what?” Even veteran students may have a difficult time explaining just exactly what this “separation” is. Here’s my attempt: The Course asserts that our normal sense of self, as an individual ego identified with a human body, is a profound and tragic self-deception. We are all actually alive in an infinite and totally abstract Mind — a creative awareness that exists beyond the constraints of time, space, and matter — which ACIM generally refers to as God. The singular, eternal quality of that Mind is Love, and nothing else actually exists — including you or me or any body. Hence the Course anthem “God is but love, and therefore so am I.”

But in our acceptance of what the Course calls a “tiny, mad idea,” we all believe that we exist not within the loving Mind of God, but instead as separate bodies and personalities struggling to survive as long as we can on this earth. That means we think we somehow left the metaphysical Mind of God — that is, we split off our awareness from the perfect, abstract, eternal condition of Love — in order to know ourselves as distinct, individual beings within the physical limits of time and space. But we don’t remember why, how, or when we made this fateful decision. This means we’re not fully aware of our predicament. ( That predicament has given philosophers, scientists, writers, and artists an endless array “what’s it all about?” challenges to explore.)

And in a supreme existential irony, we spend much of our time in this separated illusion looking for love in one limited form or another.  The all-encompassing experience of Love as our infinite source — our real home — seems not just lost, but incomprehensible to us.

The net result is that we haven’t the faintest idea of what or who we really are, even as we struggle mightily to assert and defend ourselves on the ever-shifting sands of our troubled existence. As the Course asserts, “There is no statement that the world is more afraid to hear than this: "I do not know the thing I am, and therefore do not know what I am doing, where I am, or how to look upon the world or on myself.”

To top it all off, the Course frequently reminds students that the bewildering predicament of humanity isn’t even real. That’s because it is not actually possible to separate from the loving Mind of God — only to suffer a delusion that we have. This tiny, mad idea is a weird conviction about which we have “remembered not to laugh.” In other words, we’re trapped in a bad dream that, in every moment of every day, we’re taking too damn seriously. While we don’t know exactly what happened to land us here, we do know there’s something innately wrong with this world. And we feel deeply and inexplicably guilty about it… as if it’s all our fault somehow. Not knowing how to face or even recognize all the guilt we feel, we habitually look for someone else to blame for our circumstances. People of other races, nations, religions, or just a different gender identification may all seem like good candidates. From projection of this deep-seated, ontological blame arise all our hatreds, prejudices, and abandonments of each other. In a very real sense, every war has its roots in our belief in separation.

Given this shocking “human condition” that applies to all of us, one can see the need for a healing ethos of kindness. This idea is echoed in the old saying: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” On any given day that battle may or may not involve conflicts with other people, but it is undeniably a private battle with ourselves as we struggle to make sense of our lives. In a nutshell, the Course’s answer to that existential battle is thorough and perpetual forgiveness of everyone and everything we see around us. This discipline for the mind and heart far exceeds what comes to most of us “naturally”, and hence the need for an uncompromising curriculum.

It's something of a miracle that a teaching with such a challenging answer to the human problem has been perennially popular, attaining a following of millions since its publication in 1976. Not only is it difficult to read, comprehend, and apply in daily life, its study can generate a significant degree of personal turmoil. As Ken Wapnick used to warn potential students, “If your life is not in crisis before beginning your study of the Course, it will be soon after.”

My own study began in  the midst of a siege of personal turmoil so severe that I turned to ACIM out of sheer desperation, and I worriedly doubted its validity for at least my first year of study. Yet, over time, the crisis of suffering that brought me to the Course began to ease — first by imperceptible degrees, and later by undeniable improvements in my physical health, emotional condition, and mental attitudes. Due to my native skepticism, I was not about to take anything taught by the Course on faith (and I still don’t). Yet its principles gradually proved themselves true again and again, sometimes even when I didn’t want them to be quite so true.

In John 8:32, Jesus Christ says to his followers that if they believe in his teaching,  “then ye shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” A Course in Miracles can usefully be seen as a contemporary guide to the original truths taught by Christ (which are largely lost or muddled in the modern teachings of Christianity). Put another way: the Course is literally a "mind training" in Christ consciousness. Part of that training leads us to recognize how hard we habitually fight freedom. We readily accept the imprisonment of our native spirit in our bodies, our emotional preoccupations, and our mental delusions. The truth could indeed set us free, but we’re prone to fighting our own liberation. That’s why we’re in such need of at least a little kindness toward others and ourselves.

In this book, it’s my intent to review this and other key aspects of the truth taught by the Course. This is neither a history nor commentary on its Text and Workbook, which I’ve offered in previous books and in many articles in print and online. Instead, I hope to grasp and offer the essence of the inner freedom that the Course offers to its students. I’m not trying to draw grand conclusions or offer a definitive summary of ACIM. I’ll be satisfied if readers experience just a few “hits” of its truth from what I pass on. And that may be all that any writer or teacher can do, because the Course itself is ultimately indefinable.

As another notable Course philosopher, Robert Perry, once suggested to me: “if there are a million Course students, there are a million different Courses out there.” Even that may be a low estimate, because I’ve personally experienced a handful of different Courses in my own study over nearly forty years. As I’ve gradually changed, I’ve understood more and more of the curriculum that had previously been inaccessible. In fact, at any given moment a student’s copy of A Course in Miracles can be experienced as a very complex Rorschach inkblot test. What we see in it is partly a projection of our inner condition of the moment. What’s amazing about this kind of Rorschach is that we can be so changed by studying it. What we see in it now may be startlingly different and deeper the next time we take a look.

Still, at every moment in which I’ve experienced a significant healing of my body, mind, heart, or relationships as a result of Course study, I have to admit that each healing was characterized by the same inner change:   feeling a little kinder. This may sound inconsequential, but that subtle feeling of growth has always been tinged with an infinite joy – what the Course says is our “home in God.”

Compared to salvation, redemption, or enlightenment, a little kindness may seem like an unremarkable spiritual goal. But in the face of all the difficulties we encounter and habitually create, kindness often doesn’t come easily. It requires a more self-aware and persistent discipline than most of us can effortlessly maintain. As unlikely as it may seem, what slowly heals the often overwhelming “human problem” is indeed trying to be a little kinder to everyone, including ourselves, at every moment of challenge. That way points us toward the joy and freedom of our true home.