Norwegian Translation Team Member: Albert Harloff
Albert reading the Introduction to the Course in Norwegian
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.
Who am I? Who knows!?
Born in Bergen, Norway in 1934, I grew up during the German occupation of Norway from 1940-45. Studied Naval Architecture at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1956-61 where I got my Masters degree. Worked with computer programming applied to shipbuilding at Bergen Mechanical Shipyard in Bergen. Took a degree in Business Economics in Bergen 1967. Later on became interested in leadership and how to work together in meaningful ways.
In 1978 I left my family and spent 2 years at the Findhorn Foundation community in Scotland, Great Britain. While there, during the summer of 1978 I was asked to participate in a group which was studying A Course in Miracles. It was love at first sight, and also an introduction to the ”Friend who goes with you” (Workbook, Epilogue, 2) which for me is the Holy Spirit. More and more, through all sorts of experiences, the communication with this Friend on a daily basis has become the most important aspect of the Course for me.
In 1989-90 I joined a small community in Stjernsund, Sweden. This community had been formed in 1984 based on inspiration from The Findhorn Foundation community, using meditation and consensus as a basis for decision-making. There was a strong interest in the Course, and I gave several weekend introductions to the Course for visitors.
From 1990-96 I lived in Madeira with my second wife. We started a vacation center and had many visitors from Northern Europe who had an interest in the spiritual side of life. In year 2000 I moved back to Stjernsund in Sweden and joined the Swedish Network for the Course.
This Network had been started in 1993 and the members arrange two gatherings every year. The spring gathering of 2012 was arranged by Ruth Elenius and myself and the central theme was communicating with the Holy Spirit. Also I was elected chairman for the Network at the same gathering. So, at present I am very much engaged in Course activities in Sweden. We have a Network home page www.mirakelkursen.org, and also a 20-page magazine Mirakelnytt, which is published three times per year, organized and run by Network members.
My involvement with the Norwegian translation is as follows. During my visits to Findhorn and my good friends there, Frances and George Ripley in the summer of 2007 I met with Tove Gjoel and Svenn-Arne Granum in the open Sunday Course study group. Tove had just finished the translation of the Course to Norwegian and needed a publisher. I suggested my good friend Roald Pettersen who is one of the founders of the Stjernsund community, has studied theology, is a journalist, was a starter and publisher of a New Age magazine in Norway, and is presently working as a translator and publisher of books through his company Indre Ledelse Publishing (Inner Guidance Publishing). Roald looked at the manuscript from Tove and felt that it needed a lot of revisions. In particular the many references to the Bible were not accurate. So the Foundation for Inner Peace suggested a complete revision, and Roald asked if I would be willing to co-operate with him in this task, since I had been working with the Course for so many years.
This was a great disappointment for Tove, but her work was of course used as the basis for the revision. In addition the Swedish translation, which had been published by this time, was also used because Gunnila Freudenthal, the main translator of the Swedish edition, had worked very diligently in close contact with Kenneth Wapnick during her work. Also the Swedish and the Norwegian languages are somewhat similar.
Roald and I worked very closely together for two years, he in Norway and I in Sweden, establishing the basis for the Norwegian vocabulary to be used. As I was publishing a book of my own in Swedish (Ske Din Vilja i.e. Thy will be Done) I had to discontinue my cooperation with Roald after the textbook had been completed. So my part was taken over by a team headed by Laila Henriksen. The Norwegian version was first published in 2010.
It is a privilege to continue working with the Course. And also to “walk with my Friend”. I see the Course as an introduction, it is what’s behind the book that is important to me, for which I want to be a facilitator by promoting the Course and its lessons as one of many paths leading to a meaningful individual life. With great thanks for all the help given to me!
Norwegian Translation Team Leader: Roald Pettersen
I was born in 1947 in a rural Norwegian town called Gjøvik and always knew I was a child of God. My mother was not religious and did not understand how I had found the very concept when I asked to attend Sunday school to learn more about Jesus. When I was ten, we moved to suburban Oslo, and our closest neighbors spoke Finnish. They gave me a textbook of the Finnish language and were fascinated with my interest, since Finnish is considered one of the least accessible of Western languages. I learned it the natural way. I was a lively child and wanted to learn everything at once, absorbing as a sponge.
In school, we started with English in the sixth grade, and German in the eighth. I remember being disappointed with the German grammar because it had only four cases. Finnish has fifteen. I read through the German grammar in a few weeks, as an exciting novel! In the tenth grade, I got the opportunity to learn Russian. I almost scared my teacher because I learned so fast. It felt like just refreshing old memories.
To pursue my vocation as a child of God, I started to study theology and thought I would become a priest. The studies began with languages: Latin gave me a feeling of finally finding home, because it is the mother of all Western languages. I also started on a more superficial acquaintance with Greek and Hebrew, in addition to the introductory studies in theology. Most of the textbooks were in German because of our Lutheran tradition, but the New Testament was read in Latin and Greek.
It had started to dawn on me that the fellowship I experienced among my co-students was not what I sought. My God was infinite and limitless, whereas theirs seemed more occupied with restraints and prohibitions. They were more interested in exploring what was inside the walls of the Church, whereas I yearned to spread my wings outside. So I quit the studies and put my Bibles on a shelf; but the faith of my childhood remained. I started to work as a journalist because I also like to write, and took a year off for English studies at Columbia University in New York. This was back in 1969, and Helen Schucman must have been working on the Course right there and then.
I found that the Bible is an excellent way to learn languages, since I know what it is supposed to say. I have read greater portions of it in English, Swedish, Russian, German, Latin, French, Finnish and Norwegian, and can instantly recognize a Biblical term if I hear one.
I continued my writing career as a press officer in the governmental Agency for International Development and visited many developing countries, picking up some Swahili and Vietnamese. Not surprisingly, I married a Finnish colleague and moved to Helsinki. We spoke English together as a compromise, or Norwegian-Swedish or Finnish when needed. Our son became trilingual. We all still thrive in surroundings where everyone can switch languages instantly according to the topic, or to please the last person to enter the room.
I started to yearn for my true calling, which I found at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. Without hesitation, I quit my well-paid job in Finland and moved to rural Sweden as a co-founder of the Stjärnsund Foundation, a spiritual community inspired by Findhorn. Finally, I could be a full-time servant of God’s Plan. I had read hundreds of books in English on esoterics and spiritual development when the Course was introduced to our community in 1987 and made all other books seem obsolete. We had the opportunity to try out the Workbook in our group, reading and discussing the day’s lesson together every morning, and miracles literally occurred every hour.
Erik Åhrberg and I started on a Swedish translation of the Course and completed the required samples, but were told that the major languages had to be given priority. Little did we know that he would publish the Swedish edition twenty years later, and that I would both edit and publish the Norwegian version!
After ten years abroad, I moved back to Norway to start Alternative Network together with a partner – a magazine for spiritual development and alternative medicine, combined with networking. One of my first articles as an editor was, of course, an introduction to the Course, which has continued to be an integral part of my life.
In 2000 I founded Inner Guidance Publishing together with my new life partner who chose to depart from this dimension shortly afterwards, leaving me and the company in an economic mess. Nine books were published before I came in contact with Tove Lyng Gjøl and her husband, Svenn-Arne Granum, who were finishing the Norwegian translation of the Course after almost ten years of hard and faithful work. In the autumn of 2007 I contacted the Foundation for Inner Peace to learn about the publishing terms, and soon learned that the Norwegian edition needed a fresh edit. I was surprised that this “edit” required three more years of intensive work including extensive discussions with colleagues. The Danish, Swedish and Finnish editions had already been published, so the Norwegian students were justified in their impatience.
Would this be my new mission in life? I was tired of working alone after my companion died, and dreaded the thought of being chained to a computer screen for at least a year. Yet I knew of no other Norwegian who could be better qualified to finish this honorable task, including advanced word processing and group communication via the Internet. My good friend, Albert Harloff, who had moved back to our old Stjärnsund center in Sweden, was willing to share the work. He has given several workshops on the Course, and I have always admired him for his deep understanding of it. So we undertook the work together.
We started to have frequent talks via the computer to discuss the vocabulary, and were soon invited to Temecula in California to have daily talks (alone!) with legendary Kenneth Wapnick. I instantly fell in love with him and his glorious wife. We agreed to use the Swedish version as a guideline for the interpretation, since more than a thousand clarifying mails from the Swedes to Ken already had paved the way. But I still found it necessary to send several hundred more notes to Ken. During the later stages of the work, our group was expanded with Laila Henriksen for the Workbook translation, and Turid Bekken and Else Irene Cruse as proofreaders.
As a former student of theology, my first fascination with the Course was amazement over the many hundred correct Bible quotations. I felt that Jesus wanted to explain to modern man what he really meant with what he said two thousand years ago. Thus, I wanted to choose the words so that other Norwegians might have the same recognition if they wanted to; although several advanced teachers of the Course maintain that it is not a Biblical work.
Visit the Norwegian translator’s website at: indreledelse.no
Norwegian Translator: Tove Lyng Gjøl
I was born the 9th of April 1948. After many years in pharmacy, I became a teacher with the education equivalent to a Bachelors degree, and I am now teaching pharmacy in upper secondary school. I also have five years of education in alternative medicine, and have been practicing as a homeopath for 15 years.
My “Journey” started in 1992. Svenn-Arne Granum, my husband, came back home from a channeling workshop. He was excited about some books he had been told about, A Course in Miracles. At that time, we were about to break up from our everyday life, and these books were exactly what we needed. We bought them immediately (three in all), and in February 1993 we set off to the Findhorn Foundation in the north of Scotland. We had been told that nearly everyone at Findhorn was a student of the Course. This was an overstatement, but the Findhorn Foundation is a “magical” place. Here you meet the “right” people at the right time. I knew already that I was going to translate the Course into Norwegian, but I had not told anybody about my plans. It scared me a lot to think about; at the same time I felt enormous joy at the idea.
Michael Dawson, a man who had been studying the Course for many years, became our first contact at Findhorn. His workshop “Healing the Cause” was very popular at that time. It is based on the most central principle of the Course: forgiveness. In the spring of 1993, he left for Australia for four months, and let us stay in his house. What was revealed to us there I will never forget! Bookcases packed with books about the Course, books he had written himself, and Kenneth Wapnick’s books, and tapes from his many lectures. We read and copied as much as we could, with Michael’s blessing.
By the autumn of 1994, I had worked through the lessons of the Workbook for Students, and felt it was about time to start the translation. We contacted the Foundation for Inner Peace and presented our plans to Dr. William W. Whitson. He told us to translate Chapter 23 and return it to him. After approval of this chapter, the translation process started. We did not know that we had undertaken a task that was to last until November 2007.
Late in the summer of 1995 we were invited to The Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM) to be interviewed by Kenneth Wapnick. We, of course, knew he was very well known for his knowledge about the Course. We were nervous and also excited, having been told that Kenneth was very strict and thorough, and he was the person to decide if we were suited for the task. Kenneth turned out to be the most friendly, obliging person, with a great sense of humor. After several reading sessions we could go back to Norway knowing we were officially accepted as translators of A Course in Miracles.
To translate the Course has been a huge challenge, even for people familiar with this kind of work. Most translators needed many years to finish. We have been told that ten years, and even more, is not uncommon. We have followed the guidelines in our contract with the Foundation for Inner Peace. Everyone who has studied the Course in its original language has recognized that an accurate translation of the terminology can be very difficult. Resolving the conflict between accuracy and fluency can be very frustrating and stressful. At the same time the text has to be understandable to the readers. But Kenneth Wapnick was the best support we could possibly have, guiding us through our process in a very professional way.
During the first year of our work, we got in touch with Karl Boysen in Denmark. He had started his translation a few years back. This contact gave me the idea to arrange a meeting with all the Nordic translators: Gunnila Freudenthal in Sweden, Pirrko Pelkonen in Finland, and of course, Karl Boysen in Denmark and Svenn-Arne Granum and myself. I contacted Dr. William W. Whitson about my plans, and he said, “Yes!” to a Nordic cooperation. The first meeting was held in Roeros, a small town not far from our place at that time. We had three wonderful days to get to know each other, we had the most interesting discussions around our work so far; words, sentences, interpretations. Later we were given the opportunity to meet once a year in each other’s countries: Turku in Finland, Ribe in Denmark, and Sigtuna in Sweden. The last meeting took place in Trondheim, Norway. By that time Karl had finished the Danish version. The Finnish and the Swedish came next. These meetings have been of priceless help for all of us, and we are very grateful for them.
In 2004 Anne Gjeitanger called me. She was a professional editor, proofreader and author. She worked her way through the Text with great confidence, nearly one chapter every month. I had my hands full following her speed. I missed her very much when she pulled out after more than two years. She has now published several novels of her own. I also give thanks to Torstein Skalmerud for his support. And last, but not least, Svenn-Arne Granum, my dear husband, gave me a great deal of challenge and opportunities for reflection. He is the one who always says “yes” so that he can begin long philosophical discussions. We benefit a great deal from each other in our studies of the Course.
It has been a challenge for us to find a publisher, willing to publish the book. In the summer of 2007, we contacted Roald Pettersen in “Indre Ledelse.” After our first meeting he signed the contract with the Foundation for Inner Peace. I was disappointed that I was no longer required to participate in the final editing, however, the Course once again became my guide.
The Course is about forgiveness, and in the text it says: “To forgive is to overlook. Look, then, beyond error and do not let your perception rest upon it, for you will believe what your perception holds.” ( T-9.IV.1:2 )
I wish with all my heart, and I strongly believe that Et Kurs i Mirakler will bring joy and happiness to its many readers in Norway in the years to come.
Visit the Norwegian ACIM Facebook group
Et Kurs i Mirakler.
See a sample page for this translation.
ET KURS I MIRAKLER
Norwegian Softcover Edition
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