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The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk about Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness

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What would you do if you were sitting quietly in your living room when a mysterious couple appeared from out of nowhere—and then told you they were “ascended masters” who had come to reveal some shocking secrets of existence and teach you the miraculous powers of advanced forgiveness?When two such teachers appeared before Gary Renard in 1992, he chose to listen to them (an What would you do if you were sitting quietly in your living room when a mysterious couple appeared from out of nowhere—and then told you they were “ascended masters” who had come to reveal some shocking secrets of existence and teach you the miraculous powers of advanced forgiveness?When two such teachers appeared before Gary Renard in 1992, he chose to listen to them (and ask a lot of impertinent questions). The result is this startling book: an extraordinary record of 17 mind-bending conversations that took place over nearly a decade, reorienting the author’s life and giving the world an uncompromising introduction to a spiritual teaching destined to change human history.


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What would you do if you were sitting quietly in your living room when a mysterious couple appeared from out of nowhere—and then told you they were “ascended masters” who had come to reveal some shocking secrets of existence and teach you the miraculous powers of advanced forgiveness?When two such teachers appeared before Gary Renard in 1992, he chose to listen to them (an What would you do if you were sitting quietly in your living room when a mysterious couple appeared from out of nowhere—and then told you they were “ascended masters” who had come to reveal some shocking secrets of existence and teach you the miraculous powers of advanced forgiveness?When two such teachers appeared before Gary Renard in 1992, he chose to listen to them (and ask a lot of impertinent questions). The result is this startling book: an extraordinary record of 17 mind-bending conversations that took place over nearly a decade, reorienting the author’s life and giving the world an uncompromising introduction to a spiritual teaching destined to change human history.

30 review for The Disappearance of the Universe: Straight Talk about Illusions, Past Lives, Religion, Sex, Politics, and the Miracles of Forgiveness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rogier

    This book reads like a whodunit, but almost surreptitiously it is a profoundly accurate introduction to A Course in Miracles. It accomplishes the impossible in this respect, and it has proven to be helpful both as an introduction for newcomers to the Course, as well as a refresher for long time students, not to mention it has helped many people who've become stuck in their work with the Course through an avalanche of commentaries which distort the Course, and introduce contradictions into its cr This book reads like a whodunit, but almost surreptitiously it is a profoundly accurate introduction to A Course in Miracles. It accomplishes the impossible in this respect, and it has proven to be helpful both as an introduction for newcomers to the Course, as well as a refresher for long time students, not to mention it has helped many people who've become stuck in their work with the Course through an avalanche of commentaries which distort the Course, and introduce contradictions into its crystalline clarity by mixing in other teachings. If the Course is for you, this may be your best introduction. It also serves the purpose of an overview, so that you don't get lost in the trees, but can see the forest as you start working with the Course, which can be a bit overwhelming at first, just because of its sheer size.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    If this book was supposed to bring me peace- it didn't. I do agree that we should not identify with the ego, but we should try to lovingly watch it as our higher self and say 'even though I am not this illusion I love this illusion', thus gently detaching through acceptance, but still seeing the beauty of our journey. I have contacted my spirit guide and read many books about ascended masters. I felt that the guides, Arten and Pursah, spoke too harshly for me. They seemed to be pushing people to If this book was supposed to bring me peace- it didn't. I do agree that we should not identify with the ego, but we should try to lovingly watch it as our higher self and say 'even though I am not this illusion I love this illusion', thus gently detaching through acceptance, but still seeing the beauty of our journey. I have contacted my spirit guide and read many books about ascended masters. I felt that the guides, Arten and Pursah, spoke too harshly for me. They seemed to be pushing people too fast in "going straight to heaven now" instead of "following at your own speed and enjoying the ride". I side with Ekhart Tolle's method instead, and recommend that. But, many blessings to those who are transformed by this way of teaching.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    this book introduced me to A Course In Miracles that I now live by - it is a wonderful read for those following ACIM or for those interested in finding meaning to all that is

  4. 4 out of 5

    Modupe Field

    Wow wow wow, It is amazing, I have never read any spiritual book like this before. It wasn't until this book that I heard of a course in miracles. I have read alot of spirituality books and buddhist version of enlightment and all sorts but nothing rang more true for me than this book. If anyone has no prior knowledge of a course in miracles, this is probably the best place to start. As I said before, I have never heard of ACIM, I have heard sayings that "you are a part of God and he is a part of Wow wow wow, It is amazing, I have never read any spiritual book like this before. It wasn't until this book that I heard of a course in miracles. I have read alot of spirituality books and buddhist version of enlightment and all sorts but nothing rang more true for me than this book. If anyone has no prior knowledge of a course in miracles, this is probably the best place to start. As I said before, I have never heard of ACIM, I have heard sayings that "you are a part of God and he is a part of you" or that "this world is a dream". I dont think I fully understood what that meant until I read this book. When I first read the book, I kept it aside for a few weeks because this book and its theories and concepts will literally change the way you think. When I felt ready, I picked the book back up and then miraculously read it til the end and even before the end of the book I ordered the Course in Miracles text as I wanted to start my path to enlightment and return back home to God. You cannot mix your traditional views of the church with this book, it just would not work. This course is unique in its own way, now I finally feel ready to experience the essence of God with the help of the Holy spirit and finally break down the walls of illusion. If it helps you can check Hinduism on Bramham and Self-realisation. It is talkin about the same thing just in different and more practical ways

  5. 5 out of 5

    July Wolfe

    I'm so grateful that someone recommended this book to me five years ago. It's a great explanation of the basics of "A Course in Miracles," a self-study course on the reliquishment of a thought-system based on fear, and the acceptance of a thought-system based on love. I had picked up the Course several times in my life but couldn't get into it. Half way through "Dissappearance," I went out and bought the Course and have been studying it since. Gary Renard breaks down the language and the concept I'm so grateful that someone recommended this book to me five years ago. It's a great explanation of the basics of "A Course in Miracles," a self-study course on the reliquishment of a thought-system based on fear, and the acceptance of a thought-system based on love. I had picked up the Course several times in my life but couldn't get into it. Half way through "Dissappearance," I went out and bought the Course and have been studying it since. Gary Renard breaks down the language and the concepts inherent to the Course and makes them understandable and applicable. I've probably read this book more times than I have any other, and I get something new out of it every time. I've recommended it to spiritual-minded friends and have even bought copies for friends. A life-changing book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Saiisha

    I picked up this book (as it happens so often) based on the cool title. And its references to A Course In Miracles was another draw for me, since I love ACIM. And it didn't hurt that the book has 4-5 star reviews on GoodReads. So it was a huge disappointment to me that I couldn't relate to the book - I couldn't relate to the tone of the dialogues between the author and the ascended masters who appear to him on his living room couch, I couldn't get past the amateur language, and I couldn't bear t I picked up this book (as it happens so often) based on the cool title. And its references to A Course In Miracles was another draw for me, since I love ACIM. And it didn't hurt that the book has 4-5 star reviews on GoodReads. So it was a huge disappointment to me that I couldn't relate to the book - I couldn't relate to the tone of the dialogues between the author and the ascended masters who appear to him on his living room couch, I couldn't get past the amateur language, and I couldn't bear the immaturity of some of the conversations. This book could be an entry point for a lot of readers for the content it provides in a different way, but it just wasn't for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    J.W. Baccaro

    It's difficult for me to truly rate this book. I would actually had given it a 4—maybe even 5 star rating had the author claimed it was a work of fiction, but he does not. It was suppose to have really occurred. Pursah and Arten (the two ascended masters), apparently come to the author while he was meditating, just appearing out of thing air, sitting on their couch, and begin to tell him strange things about the world, things about Christ Jesus (who they refer to as “J,” mostly), and how they wer It's difficult for me to truly rate this book. I would actually had given it a 4—maybe even 5 star rating had the author claimed it was a work of fiction, but he does not. It was suppose to have really occurred. Pursah and Arten (the two ascended masters), apparently come to the author while he was meditating, just appearing out of thing air, sitting on their couch, and begin to tell him strange things about the world, things about Christ Jesus (who they refer to as “J,” mostly), and how they were at one time apostles of Jesus. Then, it gets deeper, and more ridiculous. This book has got to be one of the biggest scams or cult leading ideas out there. No pun intended, for those hooked on this, (I'm just an illusion anyway), but I just could not buy into this nonsense, as peaceful and beautiful as it reads. It will lead you astray from the human race, and isolate you from reality. I love the philosophy of Buddhism, but the Disappearance of the Universe, I feel, is NOTHING like the beauty of Buddhism, neither is A Course In Miracles (The book the ascended masters always refer to), it's just another scam intended to make the author rich by inserting his own viewpoints on religion, faith, philosophy, and the way of the world. What threw me off even more were the mistakes in physics the "Masters" (who are suppose to know everything, infalibily), talked about, even worse was the section that talked about Mars, and one of the Ascended Masters commenting: "You didn't really think you came from an ape?" I hardly ever sink to words like this in my reviews, but come on, give me a break!! No pun intended, but this is something I would NEVER recommend, especially to my loved ones in search of Truth. This book strolls far from the Truth, I believe, and will just lead one further astray.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan Sampson

    The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard This is, by far, the best book I've read in ten years. It may be reflect on the Course in Miracles, but it is more approachable. The Course's Biblical wording and cadence put me off. However, Disappearance was a grounded, visceral exploration of the whys and hows of a spiritual journey through life. Gary's grounded irreverence mirrored my own and spirit's understanding of that very human response made this book an astounding read. Thirty years ago, The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard This is, by far, the best book I've read in ten years. It may be reflect on the Course in Miracles, but it is more approachable. The Course's Biblical wording and cadence put me off. However, Disappearance was a grounded, visceral exploration of the whys and hows of a spiritual journey through life. Gary's grounded irreverence mirrored my own and spirit's understanding of that very human response made this book an astounding read. Thirty years ago, I read the Ramtha material, and it resonated. Other books since that time have not spoken to me to that depth or degree except for Disappearance of the Universe. I would made this mandatory reading for every human being. Enough said. Thanks Gary.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara K.

    This book unlocked A Course in Miracles (ACIM) for me. I'd been reading ACIM for a while, very slowly. I sort of got it, sort of didn't, and it just went very slowly. I'd just started to gain a more intense interest in it when I came across materials from three authors: Kenneth Wapnick, Robert Perry, and this author, Gary Renard. I kept seeing this book recommended very strongly by some and dismissed as a fraud by others. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about and added a sample of it t This book unlocked A Course in Miracles (ACIM) for me. I'd been reading ACIM for a while, very slowly. I sort of got it, sort of didn't, and it just went very slowly. I'd just started to gain a more intense interest in it when I came across materials from three authors: Kenneth Wapnick, Robert Perry, and this author, Gary Renard. I kept seeing this book recommended very strongly by some and dismissed as a fraud by others. So I decided to see what all the fuss was about and added a sample of it to my Kindle. Then I bought it. Then I sped through it during a period of time when my spouse was away and I had time to just read for hours at a time. Wow! You either believe Gary Renard's story or you don't, or you decide it doesn't matter. I decided it doesn't matter. Whether Pursah and Arten are real, or just characters in Gary Renard's mind, they provided me the insight I needed to begin to more deeply understand ACIM and intensify my study of it. It's surprising to me, and yet it shouldn't be, that controversy has arisen within the ACIM community. It's not really a religion, but it's close enough that the inevitable disagreements occur. The controversies and disagreements between Perry and Renard, and between Perry and Wapnick, and any others I haven't come across yet are unfortunate, but I don't really see any point in taking sides if I want to study the Course in a holistic way - and I do. So I'm reading them all. If you are willing to take this book with a grain of salt at first and get everything you can out of it, then it's for you. Maybe you'll decide Gary Renard is the greatest teacher ever. Maybe you won't. But I do think you'll get a better understanding of what A Course in Miracles is all about: forgiveness. This is not your mom's version of forgiveness (unless she happens to be a student of the Course, or maybe a Buddhist). It's not a "they are wrong and I am right, but I forgive them" flavor of forgiveness. It's more that none of it ever happened, and we're not really here, so what's there to forgive? I didn't really get this as it was presented in the Course, though I might have as I went along, but I got it much faster by pausing to read The Disappearance of the Universe. There are many passages included from the Course, which are definitely worth remembering, but I also find Pursah's and Arten's wisdom and their take on the Course to be at times quite profound. Other things they said in this and Gary Renard's other books I'm not so sure about. So your experience of this book will be your own, and should be, but I think it's important to read many sources if one is going to read about ACIM. Here is another perspective on this book that might give further insight: http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-The-Disa...

  10. 5 out of 5

    MizzSandie

    Finally, I’m done. Yeah, that was honestly my first thoughts as I closed the book on the last page. I had several issues with this book and it’s content and setup. I will name them here, in no particular order. * the many contradictions. Yep say one thing, then say another. Or do another. Or set rules and give directives. For others to follow of course. But if you are enlightened of course you don’t have to. Geez. * the many repetitions: I really felt like I was being forced to read the same book ov Finally, I’m done. Yeah, that was honestly my first thoughts as I closed the book on the last page. I had several issues with this book and it’s content and setup. I will name them here, in no particular order. * the many contradictions. Yep say one thing, then say another. Or do another. Or set rules and give directives. For others to follow of course. But if you are enlightened of course you don’t have to. Geez. * the many repetitions: I really felt like I was being forced to read the same book over and over (a book I didn’t much like either)without it being of any help or making me any the wiser, but just feeling like dogma on dogma and an attempt to make me swallow this particular ‘Truth’ - by forcing it down my throat. I would have preferred the book had been less repetitive, and should I wish I could go back to re-read it, or it could have been followed by another one. * in the light of the above point, the length of the book, was really annoying.... I had to commit myself to finish it, just so I could be done with it. * Pursah, Arten and Gary - and their relationship and banter (and the names of A and P, too). Sadly, I didn’t find any of their interaction interesting or any of their banter funny. And I didn’t feel any connection with either of the three, either. They all mostly annoyed me. * the endless quotations from A course in miracles. I have read that book (actually own a copy), and I found part of it really inspirering, and part of it too religiously worded and parts I didn’t agree with, as i interpreted it. So I was hoping for interpretations on ACIM, that would help me relate better to that book and it’s message, but unfortunately they were few and far between. Mostly I got more of just the same, and the book felt like more of a repeat, a bad copy, than a companion that actually helped. I did make me want to go back and read ACIM again, as it did spark or reignite a curiosity and interest in that book. But also, I’d rather read the real deal over, than just a bunch of quotations tossed into a ‘new’ frame. * the elitist and condescending language, mindset and directive. This one I really couldn’t stand. Cant in general. I’ll give you a few paraphrased examples; like ‘this book is only for intellectual people. Everybody who studies it and gets it are just SO smart! Of course we are not saying you have to be smart to study it. We’re just pointing out whenever we talk about people who study the Course that they are intellectual and smart and then .... lettting that association speak for itself. But clearly implying things and that way being slightly manipulative.’ ‘there’s only one RIGHT way to interpret ACIM - and this is that one (surprise surprise)!’, ‘we are not special, but we ARE among the few of Gods perfect helpers, who have acces to the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, unlike the many others who are lost and trying, but will of course also one day realize that we are RIGHT.’ ‘Do this and you will be saved. But only if you do this. No you don’t have to. But you will. Eventually. When you realize that this is The Only Way, and you have to. Unless you want to stay in Hell. No? Them follow me. Right this way. Don’t question. Just trust me. Good boy, good student, learning well to be obedient and to think as we say.’ Oh please. Really? * claiming to be non-dual, by claiming that there is something that is APART from God, that God takes no part in, because He (of course its consistently referred to as HE) didn’t create it. If God is all that Is, how can anything created not be of God? Even if it isn’t created by souls, that are AS God, OF God, IN God - if these Godcells (or whatever one would call them) creates an illusion, wouldn’t that then also in a way be God that created it? On this issue I do happen to agree to some, but not all of it. Because I do believe that the world and forms are in a way illusions, doesn’t really exist, and that we are much more than our bodies, and our spirits can’t die, and we are always loved by God, and that we are all on our way Home. And I do believe that we are all One, that we come from the Source of Love and Light or the Godhead, and so the Source can be found in us all. But I don’t believe it in the very literal sense that it is worded and spoken about in this book, or that a god is completely absent or as rare as they make it out to be. I see signs of God and it’s Love, Wisdom, Light , just as I see signs of its absence. So God is here, and so is the forgetting of God, the God-souls that have closed themselves off to the Light and the Love of God, and ventured into dark alleys, that have chosen to explore what God is not, and some have gotten lost on their journey, but have not been forgotten and are not without help or guidance and will eventually find their way back, and turn towards the Light again. That’s what I believe, and that is where me and the Disappearnce of the Universe might use different ways of saying maybe the same thing? Or maybe being saying slightly different things, sort of the same way. Either way, I’m sticking with my version ;) * the way it was written, the topics covered. Because it was so repetitive and the same answer given to everything (forgive!) it seemed rather pointless. And the dialogues and the dynamics just didn’t seem to really have much to teach or for me to learn. It could have all just a sense easily been just blatantly stated within a few pages and saved me time. Which is another both annoying and contradictory factor: *the obsession with hurry hurry, quick quick, save time - even if it’s all unreal, doesn’t matter, has already happened. So much for enlightened consistent beings huh. Sum up: This book was a decent reminder of the points I already knew. And so it helped bring some of my knowledge to the forefront and to practice that part a bit more in my daily life. It just had a really annoying way of reminding me, and so the format and ‘the characters’ didn’t work for me. It didn’t teach me anything new, so I didn’t really feel inspired or felt like the many many pages was really worth it. And it also tried to teach me things and stated things I didn’t agree with at all or find rather silly. But; I forgive this book. So all is well :)

  11. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    If you are ready for it, this book will start the process to radically change your life. There are several politically incorrect things about this book that will put some readers off however if you can look past those surface things, you'll find something you've been looking for your whole life. If you are ready for it, this book will start the process to radically change your life. There are several politically incorrect things about this book that will put some readers off however if you can look past those surface things, you'll find something you've been looking for your whole life.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Angela Coulter

    This is an awesome read... but only if you're ready for it! :-) Wonder what the infamous "Course in Miracles" is all about? What I tell people is that this is sort of the Cliff Notes version, in a very conversational tone. Even so, I found that even though I tend to tear through books, this one I had to take in half hour doses at a time (I would read it on the elliptical), because I would often need a few days to digest some of the stuff in here... very palatable, but HUGE in concept. Totally wor This is an awesome read... but only if you're ready for it! :-) Wonder what the infamous "Course in Miracles" is all about? What I tell people is that this is sort of the Cliff Notes version, in a very conversational tone. Even so, I found that even though I tend to tear through books, this one I had to take in half hour doses at a time (I would read it on the elliptical), because I would often need a few days to digest some of the stuff in here... very palatable, but HUGE in concept. Totally worth it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Orth

    Scandalous! If you are firmly invested in the dominant paradigm do NOT read this book. The author challenges many, firmly, long held beliefs about the Bible, Jesus's life, and other things long since "concluded as truth". I read this a couple years ago and am coming back to it now that I am A Course in Miracles student, this book takes a lot of the ACIM concepts and makes them more accessible and easy to understand. Highly recommend if you are willing to have your assumptions challenged. I recomme Scandalous! If you are firmly invested in the dominant paradigm do NOT read this book. The author challenges many, firmly, long held beliefs about the Bible, Jesus's life, and other things long since "concluded as truth". I read this a couple years ago and am coming back to it now that I am A Course in Miracles student, this book takes a lot of the ACIM concepts and makes them more accessible and easy to understand. Highly recommend if you are willing to have your assumptions challenged. I recommend those who want to remain asleep skip this one.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Using A Course in Miracles as a foundation, this text promotes the use of forgiveness as the tool to awaken from our shared dream and approach enlightenment. Odd premise but very useful material, everything in this book rung true to me. An interesting approach to the predicament of our reality.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pete Brigham

    Gary Renard came to the New Thought spirituality world with a unique background. A survivor of a decade’s worth of gigs as a rock guitarist, Gary once claimed that his experiences with the enhancing substances of that lifestyle left him with no memory whatsoever of the 1980’s. Despite this, or maybe because of it, Gary started meditating. One day two “beings” appeared to him during a meditation session, and over the course of several years and many appearances, the two Ascended Masters carefully Gary Renard came to the New Thought spirituality world with a unique background. A survivor of a decade’s worth of gigs as a rock guitarist, Gary once claimed that his experiences with the enhancing substances of that lifestyle left him with no memory whatsoever of the 1980’s. Despite this, or maybe because of it, Gary started meditating. One day two “beings” appeared to him during a meditation session, and over the course of several years and many appearances, the two Ascended Masters carefully explained the fundamental philosophy of A Course in Miracles to him. Whether Artem and Pursah actually existed, or ever appeared to Gary, is an irrelevant question. Even a cursory familiarity of the book would make it clear that ACIM does not think ANY of us is really here to begin with. So if we are all dream figures, then why not believe in dream figures who claim to have been friends of Jesus? The fact is that with their guidance, Gary wrote an extraordinary book—maybe the definitive “how to” guide to A Course in Miracles (which I consider to be the greatest spiritual guidebook ever written, at least in the modern era). My micro-quibbles with ACIM (that its language and tone are too Christian, for example) apply to DU as well. I quibble with the extended treatment given to the Biblical lives of these two former disciples of Jesus in DU (or J, as he is called in the book). The Course might say, "who cares who they were, or who we were, since there is only ONE of us?" DU also places probably too much emphasis on the unreality of sickness. Yet these are not real faults. With such a clean and powerful synopsis of the Course, the book can only be called a masterpiece, and its straightforward language makes it accessible to every Course student. Yes, it is peppered with Gary-isms: references to sex, beer drinking etc. But DU also provides a spectacular and thorough explanation of the Course to the uninitiated, complete with dozens of helpful quotes from the Course. There can be no doubt that DU will continue to gain in recognition as one of the greatest spiritual works of our age, or any other. In the book, Artem and Pursah gently and systematically review the Course with Gary, using his many past lives and religions for context (Tao, Jewish, Sufi, Greek, Native American etc). The central Course position of forgiveness is hammered home—not the false forgiveness of our modern world, but a true forgiveness born of joining, a forgiveness that sees no sin because it sees Oneness and shared interests everywhere. It discusses the ego, which is only another word for our (mistaken) sense of individuality. It addresses the issue of our secret guilt, the hidden driver for our ideology of separation that pits us against each other. In this way, DU de-mystifies the Course by making this dense volume accessible to everyone. (Even us men). The Disappearance of the Universe is absolutely a must-read for any spiritual seeker who may not be fully ready for the length and density of the Course in Miracles. But it is wholly comprehensive. I have heard Gary speak, and it is clear that despite the bravado, he is intimately knowledgeable about the Course, and does not mince words to soften the message (as so many Course teachers do). He hews to the purist approach of Ken Wapnick and only a few others. The golden words of his two ascended master teachers speak to us from the Other Side in these pages, and their voices whisper softly that there IS no other side, and we are already in Heaven, "dreaming of exile." Ultimate enlightenment is only a short step (or in Gary's case, one more lifetime) away. For all those interested in A Course in Miracles, yet intimidated by the “commitment” it requires, I strongly recommend The Disappearance of the Universe as an excellent overview and source document.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bill Sheridan

    Really not sure what to make of this book although I was hoping it would provide me with some enlightenment with regard to he meaning of life! The open-minded part of me can start to relate some of the 'crazier' concepts of the universe expressed in this book to some of the latest concepts of the universe put forward by quantum physicists, but the sceptical part of me thinks that this is a con. The idea of these two individuals, Pursah and Arten (the 'ascended masters') appearing out of the blue Really not sure what to make of this book although I was hoping it would provide me with some enlightenment with regard to he meaning of life! The open-minded part of me can start to relate some of the 'crazier' concepts of the universe expressed in this book to some of the latest concepts of the universe put forward by quantum physicists, but the sceptical part of me thinks that this is a con. The idea of these two individuals, Pursah and Arten (the 'ascended masters') appearing out of the blue to the author and returning on a regular basis to help him in his studies of 'A Course in Miracles' is difficult to believe no matter how open minded I try to be. The narrative also appears exceptionally repetitive and in my opinion becomes a little tedious after the first few chapters. There are some humorous interludes in the supposed conversations between the author and the ascended masters which lighten what would otherwise be a somewhat boring (if fiction) or unconvincing (if fact) book. Unfortunately the overall impression that I came away with hat this was someone jumping on the bandwagon of A Course in Miracles and indeed the book seemed like a promotion for the ACIM group.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Michael Taylor

    Another 1,000 pg book that vacuums iniquitous amounts of words from my short existence - but it did its job. It gave me a path through life by introducing me to A Course In Miracles. Gary Renard is a prophet in the sense that he introduces people to The Text, but he's still susceptible to the realm of human error which The Course says to exit. But it was interesting how this book primed me for the ACTUAL Course by having 100 bits and pieces like a trail of breadcrumbs. It made me hungry for it.. Another 1,000 pg book that vacuums iniquitous amounts of words from my short existence - but it did its job. It gave me a path through life by introducing me to A Course In Miracles. Gary Renard is a prophet in the sense that he introduces people to The Text, but he's still susceptible to the realm of human error which The Course says to exit. But it was interesting how this book primed me for the ACTUAL Course by having 100 bits and pieces like a trail of breadcrumbs. It made me hungry for it... it was a giant tease. And then! I got THE COURSE! And every sentence was like a miracle! Absolute Genius! But there's a REASON why it's referred to with words such as "Text" and "Course." It's like a college course textbook, the ones that drone on without any pictures that students go to THE ACTUAL LIBRARY to study in great detail in the piece and quiet! So, of course it's NOT for everybody (not even myself when I get bored), but it's beautiful and most of all: True.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    This book was a recomendation by a dear friend. I began reading it late yesterday. The first chapter was interesting and I felt there was truth to it. As I continued reading, I marked several passages, and additional reading recommendations. However, the further I got into the book, the more I thought I was reading a script for an infomercial for ACIM. Forgiveness and love are universal messages. This may be the right teaching for some, but I prefer Tolle.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alesa

    This is a book that I have been studying (not reading) for about six months now. It's about the Course in Miracles, and adds depth to my understanding of the Course. I am very grateful to the author for writing it. Like the Course itself, it is transformational -- a true gem. I real only a page or two at a time, wanting to digest and comprehend every single word. This is a book that I have been studying (not reading) for about six months now. It's about the Course in Miracles, and adds depth to my understanding of the Course. I am very grateful to the author for writing it. Like the Course itself, it is transformational -- a true gem. I real only a page or two at a time, wanting to digest and comprehend every single word.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    "Under the Holy Spirit's thought system, the proper response to any situation is always love. When you think with the Holy Spirit, you're consistent in your attitude, which is love," (p.213). "...you can experience the peace of God now" (p.254). "Under the Holy Spirit's thought system, the proper response to any situation is always love. When you think with the Holy Spirit, you're consistent in your attitude, which is love," (p.213). "...you can experience the peace of God now" (p.254).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I agree with alot of the ideas in this book. However, I believe it is a total fabrication with reguards to the Masters who converse with the author. Do yourself a favor, and skip this book and go straight to A Course in Miracles.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Crystal J. De la Cruz - Hopper

    I likely would have never read this book had it not been recommended & given to me by a dear psychologist friend whom I greatly respect. She said it was a great intro to A Course in Miracles. Perhaps she recognized the "WTF?" face I made when I flipped through the pages & skimmed over bits that were just beyond my ability to wrap my brain around at the time. I must say, however, that regardless of one's personal or religious beliefs, world view, knowledge & understanding, or spiritual evolution, I likely would have never read this book had it not been recommended & given to me by a dear psychologist friend whom I greatly respect. She said it was a great intro to A Course in Miracles. Perhaps she recognized the "WTF?" face I made when I flipped through the pages & skimmed over bits that were just beyond my ability to wrap my brain around at the time. I must say, however, that regardless of one's personal or religious beliefs, world view, knowledge & understanding, or spiritual evolution, this book will make you question everything you ever thought you knew. And regardless of what conclusions we draw in the end or what we decide to accept, the fact that we question will always bring up closer to our truth. In this way, Disappearance is brilliant & utterly mind-blowing... People do not question enough. This book is well-written & interesting. Mr. Renard conveys his thoughts & story articulately & humorously in a smooth flow. It's an enjoyable, easy read... and about as thought-provoking as they come. True, its not something everyone is ready for, however, if you're on a seeking path or just curious, do yourself a favor and read with an open mind, a sense of "what if?" and question everything that pops into your head... Reserve judgement & entertain the vast possibilities.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jake Chambers

    This is a GREAT book if you have any interest in the Course in Miracles. It is purist non-dualism, just as the Course in Miracles was, and not like the rash of new-agey books that are supposedly based on the Course in Miracles yet are decidedly not non-dualistic. Summary: Neither you nor I nor the world nor the universe even exists. God did not create any of it. In fact, it is all but a dream from which awakening IS God (or Love or Happiness Itself or whatever you choose to call nonseparate Bliss This is a GREAT book if you have any interest in the Course in Miracles. It is purist non-dualism, just as the Course in Miracles was, and not like the rash of new-agey books that are supposedly based on the Course in Miracles yet are decidedly not non-dualistic. Summary: Neither you nor I nor the world nor the universe even exists. God did not create any of it. In fact, it is all but a dream from which awakening IS God (or Love or Happiness Itself or whatever you choose to call nonseparate Bliss of the Real). So, we can continue dreaming and try to change what we don't like in the dreaming to something else, OR we can awaken. There's only two choices, two voices: the voice of the ego (fear) or the voice of the Real (love).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    The author is on an acid trip he never came back from.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mat

    Gary Renard's recollection of two ascended masters who appeared to him to teach him about existence through the principles of "A Course in Miracles." Regardless of whether or not you take his account as factual, this book will clear up any negative preconceptions you have with the Christian language and terms used as learning tools in "A Course in Miracles. If you've had experience with "A Course in Miracles," and couldn't get past that stigma, or if you simply could not understand what it was a Gary Renard's recollection of two ascended masters who appeared to him to teach him about existence through the principles of "A Course in Miracles." Regardless of whether or not you take his account as factual, this book will clear up any negative preconceptions you have with the Christian language and terms used as learning tools in "A Course in Miracles. If you've had experience with "A Course in Miracles," and couldn't get past that stigma, or if you simply could not understand what it was actually teaching, this book will help you clear up such misunderstandings so that you can begin achieving correct perception, and experience true reality beyond illusions. Or not.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Andreas

    I have never heard of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) before so the mystic ideas here were absolutely new to me. It's not easy to accept them, which is also acknowledged by the author. To overcome the intellectual barrier you need to perform the exercises from ACIM (supported by the background knowledge) until the truth is experienced. For a reason that becomes obvious later, the author gets guidance from two, well, let's call them ghosts (or personifications, if you prefer this term). This is where I have never heard of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) before so the mystic ideas here were absolutely new to me. It's not easy to accept them, which is also acknowledged by the author. To overcome the intellectual barrier you need to perform the exercises from ACIM (supported by the background knowledge) until the truth is experienced. For a reason that becomes obvious later, the author gets guidance from two, well, let's call them ghosts (or personifications, if you prefer this term). This is where my trouble with the book starts. Honestly, I cannot decide if this is just a huge scam or if the author is sincere. We will know for sure if people land on the Mars and discover signs of extraterrestrial cultures, which is hinted at in the book. For the sake of the review, let's assume that the events have happened. What I liked were the explanations how to work with ACIM. The endless repetitions are a bit boring but also necessary because the whole concept is different. It actually turned my interest back to the different world views that exist and to my little surprise the idea that we have never left God and our whole world is just a game of our ego is not new. Philosophers usually leave God out of the game and just discuss how we can be sure that everything around us is real. It was also interesting to read the criticism of the Bible. A strong argument from the mystics is often that things don't have to be taken too literal, especially when it comes to the mind and enlightenment. Another shot was The Gospel of Thomas, which I have never heard of before. I already feel something dark and obscure luring in the background and calling my name... What I didn't like in the book was the rough tone. I didn't notice this at first, everything reads like a "normal" discussion. There were some short passages later in the book that were much more gentle and caring, and I preferred them much more. In the middle I also had the impression that the ideas were hammered home too much. I guess this was done to make it tangible for Gary Renard and support him on his way. It doesn't work equally well for other people including me. My recommendation is to read the book with a skeptical mind. Check the ideas and don't idealize the person behind it. This is one of the biggest strengths of ACIM: it clearly states that it's not the only way and it doesn't force anyone. People need to learn at their own pace.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Helen Pilypas

    This is one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read. A lot in me resisted what I was reading. Having grown up as a Christian, I’ve had a certain view on the world. I believed, for one, that God created the world. This book suggests otherwise, that it was not God that created the world at all. Otherwise, God would have to be cruel, with cancer, and war, and suffering in this world. I have to admit that reading this made a lot of things make sense for me. Questions I had in Christianity and q This is one of the most challenging books I’ve ever read. A lot in me resisted what I was reading. Having grown up as a Christian, I’ve had a certain view on the world. I believed, for one, that God created the world. This book suggests otherwise, that it was not God that created the world at all. Otherwise, God would have to be cruel, with cancer, and war, and suffering in this world. I have to admit that reading this made a lot of things make sense for me. Questions I had in Christianity and questions I had that made me uncomfortable with Christianity. For instance, it didn’t sit well with me that the Bible condemned homosexuality, or condemned anyone for that matter. I didn’t want to believe in a God that punished us with hell. I am still wrapping my head around this book, though. One of the hardest things is giving up the idea of individuality. I like being me and that’s all I’ve known and I greatly resist the idea that I couldn’t be me and that one day I’ll even forget being me as just a dream, when I’m one with God and Christ. The resistance could definitely be a trick of the ego, though, that wants us to be separate as a defence mechanism. I quite like the book talks about how we project onto others… our fears, our blame, and our hatred. If it’s outside of us we can feel better about ourselves, keep repressing our own guilt and cope. But the true way home is forgiving others because it’s a symbol of forgiving ourselves and our repressed guilt. I like that the Holy Spirit (or our right mind), can use this world as a training ground with forgiveness lessons. The idea of forgiveness even becomes fun… knowing that it can change our future from certain bad things having to happen because we’ve already learnt our lesson. Forgiveness speeds things up for us and can even lead to healing. This book is definitely food for thought. Something I’m going to ponder for a long time. I’m much more open to reading a Course in Miracles now, too. It’s something I had started in the past and stopped because I got really offended at the idea that nothing I saw around me was real or that I was not real. I felt pretty real. When I started reading this book I thought Arten and Pursah were pretty direct and even rude for ascended masters. But I later got over that and focused more on the message than the messengers. Whether you believe they’re real or not, it’s the message that counts. Does it ring true for you? I recommend keeping up with this book even if it’s difficult at first. It’s quite profound even if it seems like a difficult pill to swallow. A lot of peace and calm can be found reading this book too. A lot of realisations. A lot of growth. A lot of “A ha!” moments.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Francisco De Aldana

    The world is a Dream and Forgiveness is the key to Awakening and Salvation. Calderón, arguably Europe´s greatest Modern playwright, had already said as much in La vida es sueño (1628) ("Life is a Dream"). But Calderón, a vitalist who avoids falling into the subjective and cognitive idealism of a George Berkeley, made clear that Love, including "Special" romantic Love when rooted in the heart, is Real -even in this unreal world: "Solo a una mujer amaba/que fue verdad creo yo/ en que todo se acabó The world is a Dream and Forgiveness is the key to Awakening and Salvation. Calderón, arguably Europe´s greatest Modern playwright, had already said as much in La vida es sueño (1628) ("Life is a Dream"). But Calderón, a vitalist who avoids falling into the subjective and cognitive idealism of a George Berkeley, made clear that Love, including "Special" romantic Love when rooted in the heart, is Real -even in this unreal world: "Solo a una mujer amaba/que fue verdad creo yo/ en que todo se acabó/ y esto solo no se acaba". In Calderón´s poetic world view the metaphysical is inseparable from ethics and love, and "good deeds are not lost ever, not even in dreams". Predestination does not annul freedom of the will. In "The Disappearance of the Universe", in contrast, since this world is an illusion, the reader does not leave inspired to attempt courageous and generous acts of sacrificial love as with Calderón´s Segismundo. (The notion of sacrifice is deconstructed by the "ascended masters"). According to Renard, God did not create this world; the world is a product of our separation from God; fellow humans are creatures of our own dreaming mind; everything we experience has already been scripted by us in another dimension; Free will is an illusion of the ego. All this leads -at least, for me- to paralisis, even nihilism. And many questions remain unanswered: Why did we separate from God? Why must we "incarnate"? Why do we carry an unconscious guilt if we are not responsable for said separation? Is said guilt proportional to the sufferings of humanity? , etc Finally, any disagreement with the 2 "ascended masters" is a testimony of the workings of our ego. This could be read as an updated, new age versión of the "signs" of the calvinist predestination to hell; hell being here: Condemned once again to reincarnate in psycho planet earth. In the place of sins, we have our "unconscious guilt" as the cause of our effective suffering. (On a side note, the "ascended masters" have their own own opinions on political and historical events. For instance, Ghandi´s peaceful revolution was successful because the "British are very civilized", not because in 1947 the UK was exhausted after WWII. It also seems said master is clueless about the history of Ireland and Africa). The metaphysical world view expounded in "The Disappearance of the Universe" is not mine, but this is nevertheless a thought provoking metaphysical and spiritual book. I most enjoyed the author´s healthy sense of humor.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I read this book several years ago but never reviewed it. After having just read Renard's second book I just had to review this one too. "The Disappearance of the Universe" was a very accessable summary of A Course in Miracles, which I was studying at the time. So I recommend it if you are having trouble understanding the basic teachings of ACIM. But then again, there are other ACIM writers who are great at making ACIM more accessible. I have read numerous books by Robert Perry, I found him hones I read this book several years ago but never reviewed it. After having just read Renard's second book I just had to review this one too. "The Disappearance of the Universe" was a very accessable summary of A Course in Miracles, which I was studying at the time. So I recommend it if you are having trouble understanding the basic teachings of ACIM. But then again, there are other ACIM writers who are great at making ACIM more accessible. I have read numerous books by Robert Perry, I found him honest and trustworthy. Why I am hesitant to recommend this book? Mainly the ending. When I got to the ending chapter and read that one of the ascended masters told Renard that he was the reincarnation of St. Thomas the Apostle AND Pursah (the ascended master) was him in the future I was so disgusted. I couldn't believe the author's gall claiming to be St. Thomas. And I felt so stupid for falling for his story of having two “ascended masters” visit him for several years, teaching him ACIM. I chucked the book into the garbage as I didn't even want to donate it and subject this falseness to someone else. Before coming to the end of that first book, I had bought Renard's second book "Your Immortal Reality", otherwise I wouldn't have bought it. I have had it around these few years, not really sure why, curious I guess because it's based on The Gospel of Thomas. Today, kinda bored, I pulled it out and read 1/4 of it. This was worse than the first one! In one of the first few chapters Renard comments how gorgeous Pursah is and wants to have sex with her, which he asks if that would be weird having sex with yourself. What?! How can anyone take what Renard writes seriously? St. Paul, along with all the other Apostles, lived in danger for what they were teaching, most were martyred for their faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. They were taught directly by Jesus for three years. I don't think they were "mistaken". They were strongly convicted to what they believed because they had proof of the risen Jesus as they saw him die and they saw him alive again three days later. And they stood firm in their faith, even under threat of torture and death. That is proof of their Truth. Please don’t read this book. If you are interested in the ACIM, read Robert Perry’s stuff. He is honest and trustworthy. If you want to follow Jesus Christ, have a look at Dallas Willard’s work. Amazing stuff!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt Nielsen

    This book is very strange and abstract. Much like the Osho book I picked it up purely because it sounded interesting to me at the time, and it was interesting. In fact, I had to put it down about half way through because it was just getting to be too much for me... too deep... But I eventually picked it up and finished it and it really twists your mind around with regards to perception and how you look at this world and plane of being. Definitely worth looking at if you have ever wondered if this This book is very strange and abstract. Much like the Osho book I picked it up purely because it sounded interesting to me at the time, and it was interesting. In fact, I had to put it down about half way through because it was just getting to be too much for me... too deep... But I eventually picked it up and finished it and it really twists your mind around with regards to perception and how you look at this world and plane of being. Definitely worth looking at if you have ever wondered if this whole world is just a dream... I guess my biggest problem with it was it's description of heaven. It described heaven as an "eternal orgasm" where we are all just one big happy glowing ethereal vapor thing that has always been and will always be. There is no individuality and we are all one. That really doesn't sound like a heaven I want to be a part of. I know I have my problems and my quirks but it is those things that make me who I am. I wouldn't want to give up my individuality, good and bad, for an "eternal orgasm". I like who I am and want to grow as a being... Of course this book would convince me that it is just my ego talking and that it is tricking me. If that is the case than I think I will just keep on being tricked, because I would prefer this to the reality described in this book.

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