Italian Translation Team Leader: Isabella Popani
Isabella reading the Introduction to the Course in Italian
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
I was born in Milan in 1949 and worked as an executive secretary until 1988, when I decided to leave the office to devote myself to my own personal and spiritual growth. I first met A Course in Miracles in 1986, during a visit to the Findhorn Foundation (Scotland), of which I’m a Resource Person. I was visiting their bookstore when a friend of mine pointed to the “blue book” and said, “You should read this one!” At that time I felt that my English was not so good. I had been using it a lot in the past, but in the last six years I had worked in an organisation taking care of ill-treated and psychologically disturbed children with few opportunities to practice English. I said to myself, “The book is too big and difficult to read, and I’m not prepared to face it.” So I decided not to follow my friend’s suggestion.
But the things changed one year later. As soon as I bought it, I felt I had to do something with it, not just for myself. However, as a counsellor and group and workshop leader, offering courses on personal and spiritual growth, I had never considered myself as a translator. I had translated only as a hobby for the pleasure to share with others something they were unable to access. Lacking a degree, I felt that I did not have the “title” to be an official translator. Nevertheless, I began to feel that I was called to do that.
When Fulvio, Sergio and I met for the first time, none of us could even imagine where that first meeting would lead us. Each one of us had been working on the Course individually, and our idea was to compare our individual work and share our experiences as students of the Course. But after that particular afternoon together, I felt that we shared a common purpose. So I wrote to the Foundation for A Course in Miracles and asked if they were still interested in an Italian version of the Course and, most of all, if we could be the translators. That was the beginning of our adventure.
Translating the Course gave me an opportunity to deepen my knowledge of English, as well as of Italian and, most of all, of myself. In the five years spent to do this job I had to look at myself, face many challenges, in particular my own resistances to the principles of the Course in my life. It was really a healing process involving new friends and colleagues. I especially want to honour the loving presence of Teresa Pasquetto Blanchard, and thank her for all her support. She was Italian, but married an American man who took her to live in the States. She “appeared” when I was in need of help for the editing of the Italian translation, working on the computer to insert all the needed corrections. She died in a car accident, with her brother and sister, when the job was almost completed. Thank you, Teresa.
Since the Italian Course was published in November 1999, I have continued to share myself as much as I can… teaching the Course but mostly teaching people to look at themselves in a different, more loving way.
Interview with Isabella Popani and Fulvio Merlino, July 6, 2012
Italian Translator: Fulvio Merlino
In my life there have been questions I have always asked myself and that from time immemorial, since I was a child, made me feel upset and left me with a feeling of anguish. The questions were: what am I doing here? Why should I be engaged in anything, why should I plan if I have to die and everything ends in nothing? And death could come at any moment? My parents, worried about me, took me round to different doctors who never found anything “pathological.” My uneasiness took me, during my existence, to devour book after book, to take part in countless workshops, trainings, and therapeutic groups. During one of these trainings I met A Course in Miracles, I asked to buy it (it was still in English and had to be sent from the U.S.) but it didn’t arrive.
During my way to Findhorn I stopped in London and, in the B&B where I stayed, I found the Course on the bedside table. For two days, instead of going sightseeing in London I stayed at home reading that book which attracted me so much. Some sentences of the book immediately struck me in a deep way, because they made me bring to the light certain thoughts I had tried to cover over with “new age” ideas which, at that time, I tried to like.
The first phase of my encounter with the Course has been what can be defined as a “honeymoon.” I was enchanted with the beauty, depth and truth of what I was reading. I would have liked to tell the world that this was the definitive solution to all problems. After a while I realized, going a little deeper, what the study of the Course meant; I had to doubt my entire belief system, all of it. That is, I had to doubt my identity and this frightened me, a lot.
Anyway, I got in touch with Isabella Popani and Sergio Pestarino and we thought to translate the Course. I went to the United States to the Foundation for A Course in Miracles, and there I met Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick and the whole staff. We signed a contract and for several years we worked at the translation under the loving, careful and almost daily supervision of Ken.
In 1996 I moved from Milan to Guspini in Sardinia where the work went on with workshops and with other translations of Ken’s books and also with the creation of a web site which aims to be an extension of the American Foundation for A Course in Miracles web site.
Our work goes on at present under the loving, caring and careful supervision of Ken. The Course is my spiritual path, but my ego does not agree and always tries to put a spoke in my wheels and it is very ingenuous in its “job.” But I know I have the greatest ally one can hope to have, the Holy Spirit who, in any upset, uneasiness, anguish of any type gently suggests to me: “Brother, Choose Once Again.”
Visit the official Italian website of A Course in Miracles
UN CORSO IN MIRACOLI: UCIM.it