Chapter 3: The Godself
You Have Chosen to Remember: A Journey of Self-Awareness, Peace of Mind and Joy by James Blanchard Cisneros.
About a month after graduating from college, I decided to go to Europe for a few months before starting my “real life.” While in Europe, I went to Paris and spent a few weekends at an apartment owned by my uncle. During one of those weekends, my uncle’s friend from Miami, Olaf Halvorssen, came to Paris and stayed in the apartment. He was celebrating a second honeymoon with his wife Mirianne. One night, he invited me to dinner.
Before I continue with my story, let me say that this experience instilled in me the lesson that when the teacher is ready the student will appear, and when the student is ready the teacher will appear. During the dinner conversation, I heard something different. I listened and understood concepts that until then I believed to be unavailable to mortal man. Olaf spoke of forgiveness, peace, love, religion, death and God in such a simple and non-judgmental way that I was truly in awe. Even though I was in awe, somewhere within I understood that everything he said, I already knew! It was more of a sense of a memory reawakening than a lesson being taught. I said to myself, “I don’t know what this man is reading or what he is doing, but I am going to find out and copy every single thing he has done and read every single book he has read.”
A month later, I headed to Venezuela to begin my working life. Before heading south to Venezuela I stopped by his house in Miami. I had not shared with him how grateful I had been for his presence, so I made an excuse to visit him. We talked in the living room for a while, and I noticed that he had been reading a big blue book; I figured it was the Bible. I remember being surprised, because my previous encounters with Bible readers felt judgmental; whereas, Olaf just felt, talked and expressed himself in a very non-judgmental manner. Again I did not ask about what he was reading, but as soon as he went to the kitchen, I ran to the couch where he had been seated, picked up the book and read the title – “A Course in Miracles.” He had mentioned this book a couple of times.
After leaving his house, I went directly to the bookstore. I picked up the book, put it in my suitcase and headed for the airport. As I began my life in Venezuela, I also began to read the book. It was the first “spiritual” book I had ever read. I could not put it down; with each page I was so thankful to know that I was not alone. Every page seemed to reawaken a memory of who I really was. I realized that I was not crazy for thinking this way. After twenty-three years, I had now found a partner (the material in the book) that agreed with me. This partner did not think I was crazy or strange.
I have since read a great number of beautiful books. But “A Course in Miracles” will always be my first love. And now that I live in Miami, I see Olaf at least twice a month.
The concepts in “A Course in Miracles” and the following poem by Kahlil Gibran point to the truth of who we really are, and how who we are differs from what the world teaches us about who we are. “My Soul Counseled Me” is simply my favorite poem, and I am honored to have it in my book, and grateful that you will take the time to read it. I equate the author’s use of the word “soul” to my use of the word “Godself.” I also consider it to be very helpful to listen to what someone else’s Godself told them.
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