How Much Of The Message Is The Medium?

This is another post in a series of posts comparing the books “A Course in Miracles” and “Steps to Knowledge.”

Many people have found the literary style of A Course in Miracles worthy of investigation.  The style element I recall the most is the use of iambic pentameter, or “da-Da da-Da da-Da da-Da da-Da” as the rhythm of a line

Every lesson in the Workbook for Students of A Course in Miracles after lesson 99 is written in iambic pentameter.  It was not something I was expecting.  I didn’t even know what iambic pentameter was when I studied A Course in Miracles.  I remember thinking “It’s curious that many lessons have the same rhythm.”

There are occasional, infrequent instances of poetic language in Steps to Knowledge, like this one:

“It [the power of Knowledge] can be seen in the innocence of a child’s eyes; it can be imagined in the greatness of the movement of galaxies.” (Step 235, “The power of Knowledge is becoming evident to me.”)

My experience of the literary style of Steps to Knowledge is that of simple, direct, forthright declaration.  Right or wrong, true or false, it means what it says.  And that is a style consistent with this description of Knowledge:

“All things you truly need will be provided. It is when you want things that you do not truly need that your awareness of this becomes confused, and this leads you into dark speculation and grave disappointment.What you need will make you happy; what you don’t need will make you confused.This is very simple, very straightforward and very direct. Knowledge is always like that. Knowledge affirms that which is essential. Here your approach to life becomes simple and direct.Thus, you experience life as simple and direct.” (Step 253, “All things I truly need will be provided for me.”)

Just like the song on my lips and the song deep in my soul have to be the same song for me to progress, the literary style of a book and its content have to be singing the same song.


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1 thought on “How Much Of The Message Is The Medium?

  1. Hello. I am writing on ACIM and iambic pentameter, but I am no expert on the subject of prosody. A friend of mine assures me that the theme of Part I, Review VI of the Workbook is IP, but I don’t understand how it fits the definition of IP. I was wondering if you could explain it to me. The verses in question are: “I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.” I tried to break them down myself, learning prosody notation rules from online, but what I came up with was: “i AM | not A | body | i AM | free | FOR | i AM | still AS | god CRE|atED | me,” which seems incomplete to me. My friend says it breaks down this way: “i am NOT a BODy I am FREE for i am STILL as GOD creAted ME.” Since I have a limited understanding of IP I am not sure how to take his prosody, is it accurate or not? I would just like to clarify this with someone who understands the technicalities of prosody. I feel lost in it. Thank you for your time.

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