Kenneth Wapnick Memorial Tributes
"From the heart, may it go to the heart."
The following tributes and expressions of gratitude were submitted to the Foundation following the death of Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. While Kenneth's physical presence is no longer with us, his wise, gentle, and loving spirit will forever remain with the Foundation, and with all those whose lives he touched.
February 22, 1942 – December 27, 2013
Memorial Tribute by
Michael J. Langlais
Dear Friends at FACIM,
Although I have not been long familiar with ACIM, I am deeply conversant with its principles. The Course found me after many years of coming to it by other ways, which is but One Way. I simply want to say "Thank You!" to a Son of God I shall not meet face-to-face in this dream-life. It is the Course and Dr. Kenneth Wapnick's vision and interpretation of it that have inspired what I know to be my concluding spiritual development. Dr. Wapnick's work is breathtaking in its range and penetration. Every page I read brings more light. It is my fondest hope that the work of this remarkable and brilliant Teacher will continue to be available for future generations of learners. As a Teacher of the Course he is without peer. Heart-thanks to Ken, Gloria & family, and to Foundation staff for their selfless and loving service to Truth.
His work goes on. Blessed be his memory.
Michael J. Langlais
Memorial Tribute by
I have tried to write, but tears come flooding my eyes.
I know you would laugh your loving endless laugh saying with your eyes:
-No, Lillian, I am not dead. I am here with you.
Right away tears come, I am afraid of this life without you.
-No, Lillian, I am here with you. I would never leave you.
It must be that I still doubt that I can survive without your voice, your hands, your infinite patience with my lack of trust. It must be that I still doubt I will learn to forgive.
It must be that I feel alone in the universe now that I know I will not see your face again.
-No, Lillian, you are seeing my face now.
-Yes, it is true. I can hear your voice, I can read your books, I can see your eyes in my eyes. I know how you worked so that I would have your words, your love imprinted in every page you ever wrote. I am so deeply grateful for every minute I spent with you.
Tears keep coming. Tears keep coming. Tears keep coming.
Thank you, Ken, thank you, Ken.
Memorial Tribute by
I've been following the teachings of A Course in Miracles since 1980 and first met Ken Wapnick when I had the great good fortune to hear him speak in California in 1980 or 1981. I've been following him ever since. In 1981 or 1982 I called him in New York from California. I had a question for him and was so pleased that he took the time and was willing to schedule a call and talk to me. It was 3pm East Coast time and I called from work. I was slightly star struck and put him on a pedestal. In the middle of our conversation he had to stop for a moment. I could hear lively kids voices in the background and I could hear Ken yelling at them (or speaking "firmly" as he would say). The sound was muffled like he had his hand over the receiver but I could hear the intensity in his voice. I was a little shocked ("How could this spiritual person yell so vociferously?"). I also thought maybe he's doing this on purpose to teach me not to put him on a pedestal. I will be amazed if I ever again meet a teacher of A Course in Miracles on a level with Ken. I felt he truly knew what he was talking about and expressed it in a way that I could take in. Seeing him in person a few times at Tennanah Lake and Temecula (not enough!) I felt the love he radiated, teaching, speaking, and as he went from person to person warmly greeting everyone. Some people you put on a pedestal and they stay there, for good reason.
Memorial Tribute by
Tribute to Kenneth
Over the years that I've been studying with Ken, his response to my ego machinations often included a reference to music: "just listen to Mozart, Beethoven or Renata Tebaldi and you'll be fine." With Ken's gentle guidance, I'm beginning to recognize the blocks to really hearing the melody and at times I can also perceive Jesus' calling me through the music.
I will continue on with the process of growing into the Course and into the music, but I'll miss Ken—his hugs and kisses, his tickles, his confidence in me, his refusal to judge (although i tried hard on that one), his consistency, his clarity, his patience, his creativity, his scholarly brilliance, and most of all, his sparkling and pure loving presence.
Memorial Tribute by
I'm incredibly thankful that Ken spent his life as a "translator" of the Course in Miracles, bringing his depth of understanding of the Course into simple terms and language that I could more easily understand. Although I only attended his talks twice, I have a large collection of his recorded talks, which I gratefully play whenever I travel.
His lessons have been a blessing, and have helped me immeasurably. I have enjoyed his humor, and I particularly appreciate his gentle, elegant responses to audience questions about the Course, since I can relate to the issues discussed.
I will miss him like a father. Godspeed.
Memorial Tribute by
Dr. Patrizia Terreno
Ken has always been there, whenever I needed him.
He suddenly appeared into my life twenty years ago, when—after studying almost alone the Course for about 5 years—I invited him and Gloria to lecture in the Institute I was directing in my town in Italy. At the time my life was offering me a difficult choice, only apparently an outer one, where I was supposed to join assertiveness and gentleness, two qualities that I perceived as incompatible. During his lecture he amazingly demonstrated to me that it was possible. His bright example has been more convincing than his altogether scholarly lecture, and led me to the decision of choosing him as my teacher of life and spirituality.
It has been a true turning point: in my life there has been a "before Ken," and an "after Ken." Ken has always been there, in all my years of "sorting out".
I used to go to Roscoe whenever I could to take his Academy Courses, while engaging at home in my daily study of his books and records. Without his profound understanding of the Course, his extremely detailed comments, his convincing clarity and vision, I would have probably wandered for a long time in the ego's tortuous and diverting interpretations of it. I am sure he has saved me years and years of work, facilitating my understanding, and helping me to consciously go through the snares my ego was laying in front of me as I was proceeding. Thanks to him I have understood the importance of a careful and systematic study of the theory of the Course. And from such an understanding came my decision of transforming what until then had been a solitary spiritual choice into a professional activity, giving birth to my school in Italy. Now I needed his help more than ever, because I didn't always find within myself the answer to the myriad of questions that were surfacing along the way. Yet, knowing how extremely busy he was, I didn't dare to disturb him for asking what I assumed to be too insignificant to deserve his care and attention.
Yet Ken was always present, whenever I needed him.
He impacted my life in a much more consistent way when he began supervising me in 2007. Then our relationship dramatically changed. Until then, for more than 10 years, I had focused almost all my work on the study of the theory. Now Ken started to gently but inflexibly bring my attention to the practical application of the Course to my daily life, encouraging me to go through the seeming tragedies of life with the Mozartian lightness of a spiritual giant. The value of his teaching has been incommensurable. His example, exactly as in our first encounter in 1994, was the perfect demonstration of the same principles he was so masterly teaching in his courses and books. In the following almost seven years I have submitted him dozen and dozen topics, both on personal issues and on my practice as a teacher. He always answered promptly, with impressive patience, with tolerance and gentleness. He demonstrated how being faithful to the content doesn't necessarily mean a formal consistency; how you have to steadily walk with small, equal steps, distrusting your ego's urge to rush; how important it is to face your choices defenselessly and with empty hands, with the levity of one who, flying, is able to suddenly shift his own direction, over and over, yet never loses track of his own inner polar star.
At times Ken was "too much" for me, because his advices seemed too difficult to understand, let alone follow. Therefore I adopted a policy: whenever I would disagree with him, I just didn't judge. I looked at my thoughts and I waited....I knew that I would understand him later. In time I would realize this was true.
Little by little I started to submit him all my writings, especially the ones that were to be printed, because I knew how deceitful the ego is, and I have learned at my own expenses to trust not my good intentions. While supervising my writings Ken always put himself apart—he, who was such a brilliant writer!—for helping me to trust a strength that is within me even if doesn't come from me. He taught me, in a very practical fashion, to be extremely vigilant for a Voice That I had listened to since my childhood, in order to let It become, in a future time, the only Voice I will hear within my mind.
One day, discussing with him about his comment on Mozart's Magic Flute, I told him that for me he symbolized Sarastro and I identified myself with Pamina. He smiled at this idea and since then on I often afforded to call him this way. I also coined an adjective, "wisissimo ", that joins the root of the English word "wise", which perfectly adapted to him, and the Italian superlative suffix "issimo ", which means "the most". Since then on Ken became for me "wisissimo Sarastro ", "the most wise Sarastro". Only now I understand that by inventing such a playful neologism, which links the two languages, I meant him being, for me, a bridge between that supreme wisdom he was so able to daily manifest and my burning aspiration to permanently live it. For years I had been a professional actress, and, by graciously adhering to my invitation to relate to each other as "wisissimo Sarastro'' and "Pamina," Ken demonstrated his excellent capacity of adapting himself to the form presented by his student, in order to transmit a changeless content. Our form was certainly special, yet through it Ken taught me to acknowledge and manifest the sameness that joins all of us.
I know that Ken is, and always will be, there whenever I need him.
His luminous example sparkles in the inner sky of my mind and his teaching is the solid bedrock on which I steadily found my steps.
With profound gratitude I feel I belong to his legacy and with as much profound humility I try to witness it.
Memorial Tribute by
Ken came to NYC to gave a weekend lecture at Fordham University in 2008. I believe it was his last lecture in NYC. Most of the audience were from ASP, the Association of Spirituality and Psychotherapy, which organized the lecture.
I was a member of ASP at the time and had already been dedicated to the Course for over 13 years. I was so excited to finally see Ken.
Friday morning, the second day of the lecture, I found that the subway line in my neighborhood was not running. I couldn't find any available cab for a while because everyone was taking cabs that morning. When I finally caught one, time was running out. Then my cab ran into a street fair and was stuck in gridlock.
I was upset for a while. I didn't want to miss any part of Ken's talk. I also didn't want to show myself as a rude student to Ken. I wanted to be a good attendant at his lecture.
Then I remembered, "Wait, Yasuko. Again? You wanted to be a remarkable daughter and student your entire childhood to please your parents and teachers. You wanted to stop it. It was one of the biggest reason you started to study the Course. Stop it. And surrender the thought about being late to Holy Spirit."
I could relax. No worries. Instead, I started conversing with the driver and enjoyed the ride. I thought I would be really tardy, but I somehow arrived at the venue only 15 minutes late.
When I stepped in the lecture hall, the lights turned on. Until that moment, something had been wrong with the electrical system and the lecture hall, full of 1 50 students and Ken at the front, had been patiently waiting in the dark.
Ken said, "Ah, we can start now." Then, he saw I was walking to a vacant seat and said, "Ohayo! [=Good morning! In Japanese] You gave us a starting signal." Yes, Ken welcomed this late student with such a kind humor!
On that day, at lunch time, I witnessed Ken and Jon Mundy talking closely and intimately (candidly) as if they were actual brothers. Jon introduced me to Ken.
Several years later, I received a letter from Ken regarding my Course lesson guidebook, which was about to be published in Japan. Both his manner of talking with me in person and his written correspondence with me were very warm, frank and openhearted. I believe everyone who interacted with him had the same experience.
For the past 20 years, which is the number of years I've been dedicated to the Course, I have always felt that Ken was the strict teacher who was leading us to miracles, not to magic. I really appreciate his teaching. I could check my compass all the time because Ken was pointing out the North Star all the time for me.
And yet, when I heard the news of his body's passing, I realized that I had not known him at all. It's not because I didn't have many opportunities to see him in person.
I had to correct my mind because I heard that "Ken got sick and passed." I repeated so in my mind again and was upset. "Ken got sick and passed,"
No, he didn't. "Ken is now gone." No, he isn't.
It's simply because he was not here from the beginning.
Ken is not a being who used to be in NY and moved to California, and is now not on this earth. He is not a being who is moving around, nor coming and going.
As I said, I met him at Fordham University on 2008. I thought so. But it was not Ken. Ken was/is/will be everywhere. Ken was/is/will be in my mind.
After he passed, I am becoming closer and closer to him. I am feeling him stronger and stronger in my mind. I see him everywhere. I especially see open-mindedness and generosity. Whenever I feel it, I have to stop whatever I am doing for a moment because I am overwhelmed by it.
I am now slowly getting to know him and receive him. Of course, it was Ken to teach me this—all relationships start as a special relationship, but you should correct your mind and see a holy relationship with the person.
Ken, thank you very much. We are your students and are demonstrating your teaching through the experience of accepting you, love itself. Ken, I now truly accept that I don't need to be a good student, just because I am a happy student of you.
Memorial Tribute by
Tribute to Ken
My heart goes out to all of you who had the privilege of being with Ken in person and no doubt feel the sadness of his passing.
Being an overseas student, nothing seems to have changed. Ken continues to teach me as he always has thanks to our electronic age and the work of the wonderful FACIM.
It's not as though had he lived longer there were more things he could have taught us. He, like the Course itself says the same one thing over and over, just dressing it up with a different title to each Workshop to satisfy our need for variety. His dedication to not compromising the message and thus keeping us honest, has earned my undying gratitude.
And yet how delightful is his impish sense of humour that might suddenly arise if the moment calls for it and no matter how often I may listen to the same CD, I find myself always laughing at his little quips that endear himself to me constantly, a subtle reminder in itself, not to take it all too seriously.
Ken tirelessly teaches me to remember that I am a decision-maker with the choice to see differently in any given moment instead of seeing the world as the cause of my unhappiness. I was therefore very surprised when only recently it dawned on me that things in my world very often do change when I practice forgiveness but I have been taught so well not to look there that I hadn't even noticed! And having discovered that, it doesn't matter anyway because inner peace from changing my mind has become more valuable to me. There are no words to describe my gratitude to my extraordinary teacher.
Memorial Tribute by
E Francesca Caulfield
K = Kindest Master Teacher I/we ever will know in the experience of the Miracles Course content & materials, so grateful to have studied with you at Roscoe, NY & continued learning through your Oasis of Peace, S. Cal., FACIM Resources.
E = Encouraging & inspiring other minds with our Elder Brother, Jesus, to join in forgiving with integrity what "never happened."
N = "No separation, no death" as you would say, and "not the notes," but "the whole song." We will join our Mind with yours now & forever, dear Dr. Ken Wapnick in "the Arc of Golden Light."
W = Wisdom Teacher & our guide for our Miracles "journey without distance, time and space," one with our right Mind.
A = tribute-author of 36+ books about ACIM's content, DVDs of numerous seminars, teachings and epistles for all of us, your many students—thank you so much—in the Lighthouse Publications & your living legacy of Internet "You Tubes."
P = Professor, Ph.D. "Emeritus" of the Miracles Course content, now graduated into the "Arc of Golden Light," having personally responded to my/our written letters about the Course when we—your many students—requested clarifications. You faithfully coached us with patience, your sense of humor and wit by neatly typing your letters on point back to us. These letters were/are full of profound insights that we treasure forever, pearls of spirituality alongside the garden of "lilies of forgiveness."
N = No "unholy trinity" as you say, "of sin, guilt, and fear" because "nothing happened," "the tiny mad idea"/ego ceased the instant it seemed to occur as the Holy Spirit, the Answer, is in our right Mind eternally. With you, brother Ken, we will choose our right Mind and join with you through "the decision maker."
I = Intelligence you commanded, Dr. Ken Wapnick, Ph.D., about classical, ancient traditions, Biblical archaeology and modern psychology after Freud and Jung. You were well-versed in Hebrew, Judaism, studied Gnosticism, early and modern Christianity, Catholicism, the Gospels including the lost Gospels, those found at Qumram caves, the Apocrypha and finally your life's work found you—A Course in Miracles, the late 20th Century transcribed, transmitted spiritual communication, a Great Book of Life for our escape from time lighting a path for those who will experience this dimension in linear time perhaps for 500 years to follow. You, Ken Wapnick, were the only person capable of putting the Course's message in proper perspective, we know this to be true, and you so beautifully fulfilled your mission with this wondrous document.
K = Key Instructor, our beloved brother, Ken Wapnick, who did not see yourself as better than us, but humble and loving to us, your students who are all escaping madness through practice and application of ACIM principles and workbook lessons. We were all destined in our happy experience to study with you, who taught us the meaning that the ego does not exist and that we are truly Home when we remember that "God Is."
Concluding Prayer for Ken Wapnick
May you rest in peace, dear brother Ken Wapnick, now in the Light of our Creator. We are all eternally grateful for everything you wrote for us about A Course in Miracles, all that you did, and what you will continue to do to educate us reminding us to return to our Source of Light and Happiness in quiet peace. We do remember as we awaken together with you in fields of fragrant white lilies of unchanging, lovely spirit. Pacem aeternae.
Memorial Tribute by
If I have neglected to Thank You, I Thank You now for allowing me to experience the worst and most excruciating pain ever in my life—caused by your seeming death.
Or the first time (today) there appears to be some clarity in my mind—which I had totally disengaged from. While I continued to think my pain, suffering and tears were due to your death—I am slowly coming to the realization that my ego is clinging to the life I allowed it within my thoughts: one that believes death is real and Ken is gone. Your commentary on What is Death? followed by What is the Resurrection? helped give me the insight that I am mourning the loss of my ego—having nothing to do with your not being present.
For fleeting moments, I find it impossible to feel separated from you—your words are indelibly printed in my heart. I just need to read them or hear them, and I am reminded of your Eternal Presence. Thank you for always being the mench that you are. Paul and I Love You as no other.