Kenneth Wapnick, Ph.D.
“Everyone is entitled to His gift of healing and deliverance and peace.” This statement from “The Justice of Heaven” in the text expresses the central theme of this workshop, the title of which comes from Portia’s well-known speech in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. In its depiction of the relationship between justice and mercy—”And earthly power doth then show likest God’s when mercy seasons justice”—the play provides the backdrop for this presentation of the Course’s unique teachings on mercy and justice. True kindness and mercy must be universal, the Course teaches, and therefore can be born only of a prior thought that we all are the same, otherwise our conferring of justice and mercy is limited to those whom we judge worthy of it, as Shakespeare clearly exposes in his play. This workshop thus explores the thought systems in our minds, split between wanting to be merciful and wanting to be merciless, between hearing and responding lovingly to the call for mercy that stands behind all hatred and cruelty, and responding with condemnation to hatred and cruelty wherever we encounter it.