No Struggle

“Not one day is meant to be lived in a struggle with what it brings.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.21)”

Affirmation:  “Not one day is meant to be lived with struggle.”

Reflections:

What a reassuring statement this passage is!  We do not have to “fight” life, and indeed we are leading ourselves wrongly when we try.  We learn that acceptance is the way to the real life, the true life.  An awakened individual, about whom I once read, said that his secret was that it did not matter to him what happened.  This reminds us of Paul in the New Testament, when he asserts that, whatsoever state he is in, therewith he has learned to be content.

Jesus would have us to be content on a daily basis, even when life seems tough to us.  Truly it will not seem so tough if we bow to his recommendation.  Life is at times a struggle, but it is a clean struggle if we have asked forgiveness for our mistakes, and we can thereby led to experience the pure joy and limitless release that A Course in Miracles promises.

May we live today a clean life, living in the promise of forgiveness from A Course in Miracles, and living in the unity and relationship promised in A Course of Love.  Then we will turn aside from the suffering that we feel, and even pain is a “clean” pain, with no hint of the “in extremis” feeling that we may have felt in our past.  Life today can be lived better, and what a joy that is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live today without struggle, as Jesus has promised is possible.  May I live in harmony and love, and may I let go of all the “issues” that seem to arise that only upset my peace.  Life is not meant to be a struggle.  I thank You for that promise.

Be with me today as I go about the day, seeking to recall the promise with which I am beginning this day.  Be there for me, the prayer that I pray so much.  I know that You are there, always, and it is only I that sometimes forget.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 219:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

I am not a body.  I am free.

No Need to Evangelize

“This is why it has long been stated that you are not called to evangelize or convince anyone of the merits of this course of study.  This is just a course of study.  Those whom you would seek to evangelize or convince are as holy as your Self.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.19)”

Affirmation:  “We are not called to evangelize this course of study.”

Reflections:

This passage is very important.  Unlike the New Testament, when we were called to evangelize the world, we are not called to do so now.  I think that the difference is that our world has changed.  The Internet, for one thing, brings us closer together.  We read more, either on the Internet or in books.  We are not led to try to convince anyone of anything.  The people who are meant to find A Course of Love will find it; there is no better way.

It is also assumed by Jesus in this statement that many will find other pathways, even though he has said elsewhere in ACOL that this is a  mandatory curriculum.  In the Twenty First Century, many are coming to new understandings, because many are awakening to real life for the first time.  We are healing the separation from God.  We are living in a blessed time, despite the turmoil of this world.

If one is not drawn to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, perhaps there is a better way for him or her.  Jesus says in ACIM that perhaps some will benefit only from a smile, being unready yet for more.  I think that this is what he is saying in this quoted passage.  If we try to proselytize, we risk turning  people off.  They must be turned on through their own heart–the “wholeheartedness” that the first volume of A Course of Love makes clear.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is reassuring to know that people will find their way to You without awkward proselytizing on my part for either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love.  May those who are ready for these writings find them.  May my life be a good example of what following the words of these courses can accomplish.

Be with me today as I seek not to be defensive about anything, especially not these courses from Jesus.  May I simply do Your will, as Your will is made known to me.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 218:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Only my condemnation injures me.

Unity and Relationship

“Only from this shared vision, this observation of what is can you begin to produce unity and relationship through unity and relationship.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.18)”

Affirmation:  “observe what is

Reflections:

The hallmark features of  A Course of Love are the “unity and relationship” in which we are now to live.  We are one in unity, and we are one in relationship.  We do not “learn” in the old way, but we observe in this world, and especially in our encounters with our brothers and sisters, the new way.

“A Treatise on the Personal Self,” the third treatise (just prior to the “Treatise on the New”), explains more fully what unity and relationship really mean.  In a sense, the meaning is no different from the words themselves.  We are all One (unity), and yet we are differentiated into individuals (making relationships necessary, and, indeed, allowing us to experience life, and for the God within us to experience life).

We share a vision with all of our brothers and sisters, whether or not they have walked the same pathway that we are walking through ACIM and ACOL.  They may choose a different pathway, even though Jesus says that this curriculum is required.  He goes on to say, elsewhere, that the curriculum is mandatory much as school is mandatory for young people, but if they don’t go to school, they learn in a different way.  In ACIM, Jesus says that contemplation will work, but that it is tedious, and it is not our way.  In ACIM, our way is the special, turned holy, relationships with our brothers and sisters, through forgiveness.  And even this forgiveness, we ultimately realize, is not even necessary, as the thoughts and actions that we spurned were madness, an illusion.  In ACOL, the difference in emphasis is on the unity and relationship that we experience with these same brothers and sisters who people our world.  Thus there is a logical progression from ACIM to ACOL.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please help me to understand all is One, and that, with my brothers and sisters, we are One in relationship.   When I am very busy, it is so easy to get tunnel vision, to fail to look outward and to offer my help to those who surround me.  May I not forget to reach out to my brothers and sisters today.

Thank you, as always, for being there for me.  As someone said, “I may forget You today.  But please don’t forget me.”

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 217:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

It can be but my gratitude I earn.

The Omnipresent Self

“Your awareness of the Self that you are now was not present in the past, but you can truly now, with the devotion of the observant, see that the Self you are now was indeed present, and was the truth of who you were then as now.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.15)”

Affirmation:  “The Self that I am now was present also in the past.”

Reflections:

This passage indicates that we “remember,” that we have never really lost, the true Self that was covered over during the time of our separation from God.  Our separation, given elsewhere in A Course of Love, was a plan in which we participated because we were eager to experience life, and God had no other way to deal with us but to let us go (much as a parent lets a teen who is rebellious find their way through a sometimes troubled world).  But if we “remember,” we have not really lost that Self that existed prior to the separation.  And we are now ready to remember, in the form of the “elevated Self of form” (an ACOL tenet).

What a joy to know that this new way of living has always been available to us, but that our culture covered it over with concepts of God and the Holy Spirit meant for another time and place.  We are ready now to walk into the light.  May we do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I truly know, in the depth of my being, the Self that You have said I really am.  May today know no attack nor anger.  May my little self not intervene in the glory that I can feel when the Self is in ascendancy.

Thank You for these words of reassurance in the passage for today.  I know that if You say that I have always been this Self, then my awareness of this Self will expand and develop.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 216:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

It can be but myself I crucify.

How Different Are We Now?

“Although you are different now than you were as a child, and different now than you were a few years ago, and different now than when you began your learning of this course, you are not other than who you have always been.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.15)”

Affirmation:  “I am not other than who I have always been.”

Reflections:

A Course in Miracles indicates that our memories of childhood are so covered over with misconceptions that it is like we remember a different past.  This ACIM concept is reiterated and elaborated upon in this passage from A Course of Love.

We are, in many ways, the same people that we have always been.  If we have kept journals, we may recognize this more clearly.  I once read entries from my teen years, and thought to myself, “You haven’t really changed very much.”  Now Jesus agrees with this idea.  But he makes a clear distinction:  We are ready to assume the elevated Self of form, because our study and learning have prepared the way, a way that we could not have known in an early part of our lives.

Much of what Jesus says in A Course of Love is meant to reassure us that we do not have to hold negative views of ourselves, always seeking for a new pathway that will give us the inner satisfaction and will eliminate the inner emptiness that is a part of the human condition.  In ACOL, especially in the concluding Forty Days and Forty Nights of the Dialogues, he indicates that we are ready for Christ-consciousness.

Eckhart Tolle, in an interview available on the CD, “Even the Sun Will Die,” says that our early experiences of Awakening may be brief, and that we may have experienced these brief glimpses even without being aware at the time of what was transpiring.  His own experience of Awakening was significant and sudden, but other people experience a gradual opening to Awakening–nothing as dramatic as what Eckhart experienced.  Eckhart also indicates that many of his correspondents are reporting evidences of a new life, that they are on the cusp of Awakening.

Certainly Jesus would feel that those of us who study A Course of Love are ready.  We have only to accept this great blessing.  We have only ourselves to blame if we do not ask to receive the great blessing of Christ-consciousness.  If it is withheld from us, then perhaps we are not as ready as we think.  But Jesus’s clear explanation in A Course of Love does say that we are ready for the elevated Self of form.  It is held out to us for the taking, and what a blessing it is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have had glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and for that I thank you.  I hope to move gradually into an experience of Christ-consciousness continually.  Help me to do this.

Help my brothers and sisters to evolve also.  I know that this is Your will for all of us.  Be with us throughout this day, and may we remain calm and easy in the face of any outer turmoil.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 215:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

No Glorification of the Ego

“You would not be here if you were still interested in glorifying the ego, but you also are not yet completely certain of your Self and in your uncertainty, still subject to the patterns of thought of the old.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.13)”

Affirmation:  “I would not be here [reading ACOL] if I still interested in glorifying the ego.”

Reflections:

This passage emphasizes the movement between studying A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Most people will come to A Course of Love after studying A Course in Miracles, and thereby to have been lead to the thought processes that helped one to relinquish the ego as a bad idea.  In ACIM, the ego is presented as a false way of viewing the self, part of our idea about ourselves, part of our belief about ourselves.  And it is seen as a part of the self that led to visions of a terrifying hell that might await us on the other side.

Now we are in A Course of Love, and we would not have read this far if we still felt that glorifying the self was something that we thought good.  Maybe we are still susceptible, but elsewhere in ACOL, we are told that we have left the ego behind.  What a relief!  Indeed, much of ACOL is meant to lead us to accept our limited self as it is, and to welcome the elevated Self of form that we are meant to inhabit.

In our uncertainty, explained in this passage, we will occasionally fall behind.  Salvation is not a straight line to heaven; there will be detours.  But we can be assured that if we follow Jesus’s advice, there will be fewer detours.  We need to leave the old behind, and to accept these new ideas for the salvation that they bring, the Christ-consciousness that they make nearer.  Then we will completely ready to leave the old behind.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that I will sometimes slip and let the ego take the upper hand.  Even though I am studying A Course of Love, salvation is not a straight line.

May I live today for my brothers and sisters, as well as for my better Self–my real Self.   Thank You for always being there to help in any and all situations.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 214:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

Those Who Will Follow Us

“. . .[T]hose who have achieved ‘first place’ do so realizing that the elevated ‘place’ they briefly hold is of a finite nature and that others will soon do the same and that those who follow in time will do so more easily, with less effort, and with even greater success.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.12)”

Affirmation:  “more easily and with less effort”

Reflections:

This passage from the “Treatise on the New” echoes a similar statement by Jesus in the New Testament.  He indicated that those who followed him would do even greater things.

In the same way, those of us who are coming to A Course of Love early on will eventually be surpassed by others who have greater understanding than do we.  The world will have advanced, and so their speaking to a new audience will have more meaning in a later culture.  It is perhaps too early for the Christ-consciousness of which Jesus speaks to take hold in a universal way.  Elsewhere Jesus says in ACOL that soon the world will be peopled by those who were born in the time of Christ, and they will not need nor understand the ways of the time of the Holy Spirit.

Now we are caught between two worlds:  the world in which guidance comes from the Holy Spirit (as A Course in Miracles relates), and the world in which Christ-consciousness rules (as A Course of Love relates).  We will receive guidance through an inner knowing in the time of Christ, the new time.  We will not, unwittingly, look outside ourselves for our guidance.  We will know from observation, not from learning (an ACOL concept).

It is certainly helpful to those of us who have long been seekers, and with some effort, to know that the way of the future holds less need for effort.  Life is meant to be lived peacefully, and while struggle may continue, it will lose its hold on us.  We will live in peace, not so much from inner conflict, and more from a loving heart.  May all of us work today to speed this “new day” on its way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am frequently very much wanting to find the easiest and most effortless way to do my tasks.  If “easy and “effortless” are called for, may they come to me today.  And it is a blessing that those who come after me will enjoy this boon ever more often.

Thank you for making my pathway easy by your Grace.  Even when times have been difficult, there is joy because You have helped the pathway to be smoother.

Amen.

ACIM Workbook Lesson for Day 213:

I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.

All things are lessons God would have me learn.