In language gorgeous and raw, Perkinson exposes personal traumas and fears, reveals in soul-wrenching detail her struggle and victory over alcoholism and mental illness, and gifts us with the joy, spiritual transformation, and the many cosmic appointments with forgiveness she's experienced since going blind but gaining her sight.
"J" is Jesus and A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is the international phenomenon published by the Foundation for Inner Peace in 1976 after Columbia University psychology professor Helen Schucman channeled the voice of Jesus over a period of seven years - word for word. ACIM has provided a path to spiritual transformation for millions across the world, and gained its largest growth in popularity after Marianne Williamson discussed the course on Oprah in 1992.
Essential to understanding ACIM and Letters from the J Underground is, Perkinson writes:
"J teaches us that the key to everything is true forgiveness and the idea of a shared love. He teaches us that a universal theology is not necessary but a universal shared experience of love and forgiveness is to gain access to going home: Heaven and staying there and not returning any longer to a world of confusion and despair."
For Perkinson, this world provides many cosmic appointments with forgiveness. When I first met her, Perkinson led a gathering of writers - Featherstone Writers - who met weekly to discuss the craft of writing, receive feedback, and to share "writerly news" - articles, essays, and other tidbits specific to writing. There are a number of writers in town who came to believe they were real writers through Perkinson's loving attention.
So, the ultimate cosmic appointment with forgiveness came when this one-time high school English teacher, published author of fiction and non-fiction, and editor who relied on her sight for her livelihood, started to go blind. Yes, she was angry and afraid. You can read about it in J Underground, but ultimately she chose forgiveness. "The peace of God is inside all of us. When we forgive, we tap into that altar of light He placed there."
In J Underground, Perkinson takes special care to note that "the Course is only a self-study book. It is not meant to become any kind of religion at all." It is about two competing thought systems which either reflect love or fear. And "only love is real." Spend any time in Perkinson's presence and you just know you are in the presence of someone who practices forgiveness. Says Perkinson, "When I encounter a cosmic appointment with a forgiveness opportunity - as we are never at a shortage for those in this classroom of a world - I remind myself to turn it over to the Holy Spirit. It takes willingness."
Not only is Perkinson willing to forgive small transgressions - the irate woman who cursed her in traffic as Perkinson was realizing she needed to give up driving - but the big transgressions as well - years of overmedication for mental illness, tremendous battles with alcohol and drug abuse, attempts at suicide . . . GOING BLIND.
Letters from the J Underground is revelatory; exposing the heart and soul of a woman who should have every reason to be bitter and angry yet brings light and joy instead. Long out of the gay closet - she came out as Lesbian years ago - in J Underground, Perkinson comes out of the most personal, perhaps riskiest closet of all - the Reincarnation Closet. But Perkinson has nothing to lose by revealing her past selves. She's absolutely fine with who she is. A child of the Holy Spirit.
Whether you are skeptical or not, Letters from the J Underground is a gift from Perkinson to the reader. In a world that seems rife with hatred and hostility, murder and mayhem, famine, disease, crimes against humanity - and the list goes on - Letters from the J Underground offers an altar of light.
To purchase Letters from the J Underground visit: https://tinyurl.com/ycoxjszm
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