Kingdom of Heaven Is Within

It is difficult to understand what ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you’ means. The reason is because it is not understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, which does not mean anything. The word ‘within’ does not belong. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator create, ad what else but you is His Kingdom? This is the whole message of the Atonement, a message which in its totality transcends the sum of the parts (as we have said about the sonship before).” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.1:1-6)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is you.” Yes, we are the children of God, created out of “God-stuff,” and constituting His Kingdom. The Whole differentiated into parts so that experiencing could proceed forward. When the Godhead knows the All, experiencing is not really possible, because, knowing all, there is nothing left to be discovered. So we, His children, fall into ignorance in this world, experiencing all the time in part, sometimes intuiting the Whole, Who is God Himself/Herself.

This scenario takes care of our yearning to know more and more of God. We accept our finite mind, and we rest in the assurance that the Mind encompasses us, keeping us safe, getting us out of jams that we collect like fireflies. God as the Infinite knows how to extricate us from that which we made ill-advisedly. And so we would be wise to listen to the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Self to know how to proceed in this sometimes confusing world.

We need to drop the ego. We have said this many times to ourselves, but perhaps we don’t know where to begin. Don’t resist the ego, for the ego becomes strong in strife. Just turn aside gently, avoiding that which calls to the egotistical and egoic in us.

This will be enough. Over time, the ego will simply wither away as a bad idea. The ego is, as Jesus defines it in A Course in Miracles, a false idea of what we are, a false persona. He does not use the term ego as Freud did, when Freud wanted us to form a strong ego as we matured so that we would be ready to meet life’s challenges. Jesus’ concept of the ego is this falsity, and we know that falsity is nothing that we need or want. When we embody the soul, we are embodying the whole of ourselves, what Freud was really trying to get at when he defined “ego.”

Our persona is informed by the Christ who is within. When we turn to this self, we are turning to what will work as we travel through this land.

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Move toward the Holy Spirit

“The ego cannot survive without judgment, and is laid aside accordingly. The mind then has only one direction in which it can move.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IV.9:4-5)

We are often, in A Course in Miracles, encouraged to give up judgment. Giving up judgment is a prerequisite for Awakening, because we simply cannot dwell in the new world we are creating when we are judging others and ourselves.

Goodness, we even judge God! And especially Jesus, who is but our elder brother seeking to help us.

This type of nonsense must be stopped. We cannot live more appropriately until we realize that evaluating others, and thinking negatively of them (and ourselves), is folly. And we want to live appropriately. Our happiness depends on it.

The one direction that the mind can move is toward the Holy Spirit, a holy spirit that embraces us with love, and teaches us how to love. This one direction will save us. This one direction will tell us all that we need to know to live satisfactory lives in this illusory world.

Listen Today

“Consider the inevitable confusion which must arise from a perception of the self which completes the sentence stem “When I was completely on my own” with “I had no idea what was possible.” The ego does believe it is completely on its own, which is merely another way of describing how it originated. This is such a fearful state that it can only turn to other egos and unite them in a feeble attempt at identification or attack them in an equally feeble show of strength. The ego is free to complete the stem “When I was completely on my own” in any way it chooses, but it is not free to consider the validity of the premise itself, because this premise is its foundation. The ego is the belief of the mind that it is completely on its own.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IV.5:1-5)

We are not completely on our own, though we try to live out a reality like this when we are caught in the ego. And all of us have been caught in the ego for eons.

That is changing. More and more of us are realizing that trying to be independent and being led by the ego are a bad deal, not worth another minute’s notice. When we allow guidance to come into our head, we live much better. We learn this very quickly. The guidance derived from following A Course in Miracles is coming from the Holy Spirit; as we progress farther along, A Course of Love tells us to listen to the inner Christ-Self, for its guidance is also true. Both ways are valid in this time of transition from the time of the Holy Spirit to the time of Christ.

Are we completely on our own, when we follow the ego? We are not, though we may cling tenaciously to this belief. We can never be on our own. We consult either the ego or our inner guidance from the Holy Spirit or the Self. We are never on our own, however much we may think we want to believe this.

Being independent is a false notion. Our world has trained for this, but how often have we fallen on our face?
Many times. Eventually it will dawn on us, as it did on Helen and Bill (co-scribes of ACIM), that there is another way. And this other way is a better way.

Listening to guidance is the way out of our quagmire.

Listen today.

Harmless & Helpful

“Whether you know it now or not, however, you have willed to cooperate in a concerted and very commendable effort to become both harmless and helpful, two attributes which must go together. Your attitudes, even toward this, are necessarily conflicted, because all attitudes are ego-based. This will not last. Be patient a while and remember what we said once before: The outcome is as certain as God!” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.III.9:1-4)

So we are to be both harmless and helpful, an assertion that tells us how to interact with our brothers and sisters. We may sometimes become angry with them, but anger is not a sin, and when we regroup, we will realize a better way is to live and let live. Nothing more. We will not attack in retaliation, being harmless. We will seek proactively to be good to others, being helpful. These two words, harmless and helpful, give us a mantra to take us through our sometimes stressful days with our brothers and sisters.

We are going to make it back to God; the outcome is certain. Once the journey back has begun (and it has begun for all of us reading and writing this), the end is a clear thing, a certain thing (as Jesus tells us). We need not agonize that we are doing things all wrong, because we are doing the best we can at any given time.

Continue reading “Harmless & Helpful”

Being Home-Free

“The question is not how you respond toward your ego, but only what you believe you are. Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief at all, you are regarding it from an ego viewpoint. That is why the Bible quotes me as saying, ‘Ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ Belief does apply to me, because I am the teacher of the ego. When teaching is no longer necessary, you will merely know God. Belief that there is another way is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. This is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the self.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.III.7:1-7)

The ego is wily, but the day will come when Jesus resigns as our teacher because the ego in us is no longer. Jesus announces this alteration in his interaction with us in the final pages of the sequel to A Course in Miracles, the heartwarming book called A Course of Love. Belief is no longer necessary then, because we “know.” This knowing gives us great relief, for we are no longer straining to know what seems just beyond us. Our knowing is very immediate.

Jesus has been striving to rid us of the ego throughout both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love (and The Way of Mastery). He rests in the knowledge that he will succeed in his effort, and so he does not have to struggle at all. We all will know eventually that there is another way, a better way. ACIM attempted to dislodge the ego, and ACOL seeks to give us a new identity around which the Christ-Self coalesces. It is my thought that ACOL was needed because we didn’t have anything concrete to hold onto after the ego was dislodged; we needed a new identity, and this new identity, the Christ-Self, is spelled out in ACOL.

Beliefs are transient and ego-driven. We cling to belief when we are actually uncertain. As Jesus teaches the ego, we learn to slowly let it pass away from us.

We are then home-free.

Egoic Swings in Mind

“The best concrete example you could have of how the mind could have made the ego is a person who has a great propensity for revelation but can suddenly swing to its complete opposite. Such a person does have real knowledge at times, but when she throws it away it is as if she never had it. This willfulness is so apparent that you need only perceive it to see that it does happen. If it can occur that way in the present, why should you be surprised that it occurred that way in the past? All psychology rests on the principle of continuity of behavior. Surprise is a reasonable response to the unfamiliar, but hardly to something that occurs with such persistence.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.III.3:1-6)

Jesus is probably talking to Helen, because in the era of the sixties, the pronoun “he” was used for both male and female, and here he deliberately (we might think) uses the pronoun “she.” Helen was a woman of many moods, as we might be. Her oscillations required that Jesus support her often as the scribing unfolded. He was right there for her.

Helen had a propensity for revelation. All of us do (though some are more ready for it than others). Revelation gives us real knowledge, as opposed to simple perception. Our perceptions are often ego-related, but not our knowledge. Our knowledge comes from God, and it can come, reliably, only when we have placed ego either to one side, or eliminated it altogether.

We may be surprised by truth. But is this warranted? The truth is always right here with us, just often unrecognized. If we pray to be open to the truth, we are more likely to experience it in everyday occurrences. These are miracles. These are examples of God welling up from within to shower us with love.

Jesus: “In This World You Need NOT Have Tribulation because I Have Overcome the World”

“I need devoted teachers. They heal the mind, and that is always my own aim. The spirit is far beyond the need of your protection or mine. The biblical quotation should read, ‘In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. That is why you should be ‘of good cheer.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.25:1-5)

Very reassuring! And a correction to Scripture, something that Jesus does several times in A Course in Miracles. “In this world you need not have tribulation.” Wonderful!

Do we believe it?

If we think back, we will realize that we are our own worst enemies. The tribulation that we experience is very often something that we have brought on ourselves.

We don’t have to do this. We can walk a calm earth, head in the clouds, feet on the ground, and the words of Jesus to comfort us.

When we are of good cheer, we normally attract more good cheer. Good feelings build on themselves. And we can heal others whom we encounter. This healing is right in line with the best advice in ACIM.

Let’s do as Jesus encourages. Let’s ask him how we might effect the healing of other people. And to do that effectively, we need also to be healed, and so praying for our healing is right in line with the Course.