Zachariah’s Subway Escape

We’re grateful for yet another submission, giving us a new perspective on how A Course in Miracles has changed their lives.

Zachariah Takenpiece had considered himself a rationalist long before coming to New York, however a chance encounter with A Course in Miracles set him on a new trajectory, changing his perception on how the world works forever.

I’ve never been what you would call a true believer.

But after a copy of Course in Miracles fan saved me from near-certain death, I’ve come to accept that perhaps there’s something a little more than just Chaos Theory at work in this ol’ universe of ours.

I’ve always felt uneasy around religious people. I’ve encountered them in every country I’ve visited and regardless of their denomination, sect or belief system there has always been a unifying trait shared amongst the most devout that I’ve found distinctly disconcerting. I understand that holding this kind of view is more than a little bit unfair, after all shouldn’t every human being have the right to believe in whatever they want? Shouldn’t they be able to express their feelings of devotion? And if that devotion spills over into conversion then shouldn’t we allow them their digressions?

Before my life changing moment in New York last Summer I would have said ‘no’.

I blame my Aunt for my (previously) aggressive stance against ‘in-your-face’ religion. Like many middle-aged Americans in the 90s, she couldn’t quite believe what the world was coming to. Having been born in the aftermath of World War II my Aunt Rose had always been told to appreciate the chance we had been given in life. She’d been told that it was thanks to the sacrifices of good God-fearing men (like her Father) that she was alive and well. She’d grown up in an Evangelical bubble, confusing the values of her fundamentalist beliefs with that of America’s. So when she saw something that she didn’t agree with, not only was it deplorable, but it was un-Godly and (worst of all) un-American.

I was a teenager during the mid-90s, in the throes of a bleached blonde bedraggled rebellion that had suddenly become so fashionable that I was considering a drastic switch to the less conventional Goth-chic. Our extended family would meet together every Sunday for lunch, a tradition that our late Grandfather had always appreciated, but somehow these weekly meals had started to become a dreaded occasion for me.

My on-the-nose attempt at rebellion, appeared to my Aunt Rose as the very pinnacle of what was wrong with the world. Here was a direct descendant of her noble forefathers, flagrantly disrespecting the very values of America. Those meals were an endless tirade of criticisms and openly aired insults: against me, America and the world.

When I left to study in New York, I found that I suddenly didn’t need to wear the Cobain-style threads anymore. I didn’t need to openly rebel against anything because there was nothing to rebel against. I cut my hair, got a job and started to look more like the person that my Aunt would have probably liked. That didn’t stop her from trying to ‘save me’ still.

I received the copy of A Course in Miracles in the post with a message written in her hand and dreaded the worse. Just the sight of her spidery writing put chills in me. I was running late for a train, on my way to split-shift at one of two jobs I was holding at the time. The note inside the package stopped me in my tracks.

‘Dear Zachariah,

I hope this finds you well. I understand that for years you did not hold me in the highest of regards and for good reason. I hope you accept my sincerest apologies for all the harm that I have caused, along with a copy of the book that has helped me see the error of my ways.

Your Aunt Rose’

I had to run to try and make the train, which I missed by just a minute. Ten seconds later I heard the squealing of brakes and a grinding crash which shook the subway station. Five people were killed on that subway train and the rest of the passengers were seriously injured.

I’m not sure of I agree with everything written in A Course in Miracles, but I’m glad that my aunt found it. It means that I’m alive today and that I’ve never been closer with a woman that I used to despise.


If you’ve got your own story that relates to A Course in Miracles or the other works done by the practitioners of the movement then please send them into us via our ‘Share Your Thoughts‘ page.