What the Physical Form Does Not Contain

“Your form does not contain your heart, or the Energy of Creation, or God.  Your form is but an extension of this Energy, a representation of it.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.5)”

Affirmation:  “My form. . .an extension of Energy.”

Reflections:

By “form,” here, is meant the physical form.  And Jesus says that this physical, little self, can be the elevated Self of form at any time that we truly desire it.

Surely we return to daily living with a greater understanding once we have made this understanding our own.  We live with more patience, and, when stumble, we reach out and reestablish our equilibrium.

Keep a clear head and heart as we progress.  Do not let despair of attaining our goal deter us.  We have attained, but perhaps we live in unawareness of this.  Let the awareness come today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize that my physical self does not contain my Essence.  My physical self is only a representation of God’s Energy.  These words do seem obscure, but help me to understand today.

May I attain the elevated Self of form on a sustained basis.  This is the Christ-consciousness that will elevate my life to that level to which You wish me to rise.

Amen.

The Heart and Center of My Being

“The many forms are made one body through Christ-consciousness. . . .Awareness of this one Source of energy, and thus that this one energy exists in everything and creates the life in everything, is Christ-consciousness.  It is also what we have been referring to as heart and as the center of your being.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.3)”

Affirmation:  “the heart of my being”

Reflections:

Surely we are aware that our heart is the center of our being.  Many, throughout the ages, have spoken of this.  A Course of Love joins mind and heart to “wholeheartedness,” and this is the ultimate.  We use our intellects, but we are not trapped by them.  We listen to the guidance that comes from within, and this is coming from the Divine within.  Then we are truly living in Christ-consciousness.

We are led back inward at every point.  We get the guidance that we need, then, to reach outward to our companions along the way, our brothers and sisters.

All is energy, the energy of God.  Matter is only a form of energy in which the vibrations have been slowed down.  Because of this slowness, things do not always happen suddenly.  The Now is always available to us, though, as Eckhart Tolle points out in The Power of Now.  We can have the Awakening that we long to have.  We have been prepared, and A Course of Love is one of Jesus’s avenues to show us the way.  ACOL builds on the previous understandings of A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know today that my heart is the center of my being.  May this bring me ever-closer to Christ-consciousness.

Thank You for always being there for me.  I say this often.  You do not need to hear it, but I need to say it.  Thank You for Your manifold blessings.

Amen.

A Song of God

“This could as easily be stated as your being a Song of God.  You are God’s harmony, God’s expression, God’s melody.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.2)”

Affirmation:  “I am a Song of God.”

Reflections:

We are blessed by God.  We are His expression.  And this is a good expression.  We are living God’s lives for Him.  It is the way that He experiences reality.  Neale Donald Walsch, in Conversations with God (a trilogy), says much about this aspect of reality.

To be a song is a lovely metaphor.  We want to give God good days.  This means that we are not to feel sorry for ourselves, however dismal the weather (or our personal weather) seems to be.  We live for the highest and best of which we are capable.  Then we will truly know God’s reality.  We will know that the divine spark truly is within each of us.  The Divinity is within, as well as without.  And, just as in hologram, the spark of the whole is embedded in each portion.

All to often we let ourselves get depressed when things do not go our way.  At such times, go within to God.  Ask for His presence to be made known.  And He will respond.  There is a whole world waiting for us to explore.  Do not retreat to dismal thoughts when this is the world that God has made, and we are to rejoice within it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am blessed to be a Song of Yours.  I do not fully understand this, but I do know that you love me–with a love that does not diminish, regardless of what I say or do.  You are always there for me.  I thank You often for Your presence, and today I mean it especially keenly.

I know that You will guide me..  Guide me today to be a true and lovely Song of Yours.

Amen.

Remaining in the Physical Body

“What this treatise is saying to you is that if the physical experience appeals to you, and if you create the union of the human and the divine as a new state of being, this choice will be eternally yours.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.18)”

Affirmation:  “union of the human and the divine”

Reflections:

This statement means that the physical may remain attractive to us.  We do not necessarily want to achieve Awakening, and then abandon the world.  We may want to enjoy the physical, but with a new emphasis on the divine in the physical.  This is heaven on earth.

Edgar Cayce, an early 20th century psychic, indicated that many of us come to this world to help those who are “trapped” in matter.  If this is true, and it very likely may be, then we would want to return to this world to help those who cannot free themselves without our help.  We are doing God’s work; we are his hands and feet.

Jesus will help us to know the right pathway for our future.  We can choose to live the physical, or, after death, we can remain on the Other Side.  We do have choice in this matter.  We are not pawns of the universe.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do not know if the physical body will remain attractive to me, that I will return to this earth time and again in different bodies.  ACIM recommends that we not take a stand on reincarnation.  Help me today to be true to ACIM.

I do know that I thank You for the physical body that I have today.  May this body remain healthy and strong, and may my emotions remain peaceful.

Amen.

The Union of the Human and the Divine

“What you are called to do is to, through your multitude, sustain Christ-consciousness, and thus create the union of the human and the divine as a new state of being.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:   ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.18)”

Affirmation:  “the human and the divine”

Reflections:

Keep the goal of sustaining Christ-consciousness ever before.  Do not lapse into discontent if the day seems hard.  On this earth there will be times of doubt.  But we know the truth of Jesus’s teaching.  He has made his teaching clear for us to comprehend.

We are asked to have a new being, one that embodies both the human and the divine.  The human and the divine has always been our birthright, but we did not know how to reach it until now, perhaps.  Now we do know, and we are bade to drop uncertainties and doubts, and to walk into the sunlight with Jesus.

When we encompass the human and divine as one being, we will know a better pathway.  We can read and pray, we can reach out to Jesus (who is always with us), and we will live a happier life.  Do not despair, whatever we do.  Keep in mind that we have much help, and that Jesus is the companion that we seek the most.  He will never let us down.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to understand today, in my innermost being, what You are asking in the union of the human and the divine.  May I come closer today to sustaining this state of unity.  Please be with me today when I falter and seem to fail.  May I not falter and seem to fail.

Thank You for Your presence in my life always.  May I know that I am a part of You.  Jesus has said this, and I believe it.

Amen.

Christ-Consciousness

“To sustain Christ-consciousness in form is creation of the new.  My one example life could not sustain Christ-consciousness for those who came after me but could only be an example.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.18)”

Affirmation:  “May I reach and sustain Christ-consciousness today.”

Reflections:

Jesus could not do it for us; he could not guarantee that Christ-consciousness would come to all of us when we ask for it.  But we can learn much from his life.  We can study Scripture, and thereby come to know more fully what Jesus asks of us.  He asks nothing more than we accept what is ours for the taking.  He asks us to realize that his way is an example life for us to follow.

But we do not have to be crucified.  That was his gift to us.  We can follow a much gentler pathway, and he would have us to do so.

Do not be discouraged if the way seems long.  We are set in the direction that we wish to travel.  Flow with life; do not shrink from exploring all that life holds out to us.  This does not mean to dwell in the depths of misdeeds, but to reach for what is best and right for all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

On this Thanksgiving Day, I thank You for all the blessings that you have bestowed on me–especially these latest words from Jesus in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  They have changed my life.  Thank You for this.

May we be good to our kin as we gather today for a celebration of all that is good in our lives.  May we love with the love of the spirit.

Amen.

Returning to Our True Identity

“Have we not worked throughout this course to return your true identity to you now?  The joining of heart and mind in relationship is the joining of the personal self with the true Self in the reality in which you exist now.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.16)”

Affirmation:  “in the reality in which I exist now”

Reflections:

This passage encapsulates the primary theme of “A Treatise on the New.”  We are not to look for some far-off and distant culmination for the blessing that we seek.  Christ-consciousness is ready for us, here and now, if we are ready.  And we can be ready.  That is spoken to all who are studying A Course of Love.

We will not always feel the truth of these words.  We will fall down, often many times, before we know Awakening to be a constant state.  These lapses should not deter us.  We will find our way Home.

There is no time.  This is an implied message of ACOL.  All time, in fact, exists simultaneously, which is one of the laws of those who follow the newest findings of physics.

Do not fail to reach the pathway today.  Know that lapses in understanding that happen today will fall away tomorrow.  Know that the reality in which we now reside is the best place from which we can grow to the elevated Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

In this Thanksgiving season, I thank You for my true identity, especially for the truth that my true identity can be known now–without tedious waiting for some distant future time.

If I find myself prone to doubt this truth, may I rethink my position, and accept Your words as true.  We can know ourselves in our true identity in this world, and may we recognize this glorious truth today.

Amen.

How to Be Reborn

“To believe that you are mortal is to believe that you must die to the personal self of form in order to be reborn as a true Self.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘ A Treatise on the New,’ 4.16)”

Affirmation:  “reborn as a true Self”

Reflections:

How often we lament the minor and major health problems that beset us!  But ACOL would have us deemphasize these problems of form.  When we are reborn as the true Self, the highs and lows of health of the form will diminish in value.  We will stop focusing on such, knowing that the Self is always healthy.

This passage highlights a frequent misinterpretation about life after death, which A Course of Love seeks to set straight.  We do not have to die to experience the rewards of Heaven.  We can enjoy Heaven’s benefits in the here and now, when we have experienced the diminution of the personal self (the “little” self, as I am interpreting it) and the rise of elevated Self of form.  To experience all the benefits of this new Self, we must forgive (an ACIM tenet), and we must love without reservations.  We must see ourselves as well as all of our brothers and sisters as innocent, or in grace (the latter, a statement occurring once in ACIM).  When we recognize that all are as God created us, then we know that our mistakes have not been unforgivable “sins,” but merely mistakes that we seek now to remedy.

This truth will be known to us when we become involved in something bigger than our little self of form.  The elevated Self knows better.  May we know better today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would accept my birthright as a Self that has been encased in a little form, but which I would elevate to a higher Self.  Help me to forgive myself and all of my brothers and sisters today.  May I know only joy as I seek to do this task of forgiveness.

I am truly a guiltless Son/Daughter of God.  Once I realize this, I will know that as I seek to rectify my mistakes, they are taken from me.  And then I thank You that Heaven on earth can truly be experienced, even though I don’t know how in all the particulars.  Jesus has promised this in ACIM and ACOL, and I trust him as an elder brother who has walked the whole pathway back Home.

Amen.

Turning Inward to God

“To abide in a state of separation is to abide in an unnatural state from which you eventually will seek release.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.15)”

Affirmation:  “May I turn to God often today.”

Reflections:

ACIM says that we have taught ourselves the unnatural fact of not communicating with our creator.  We are meant to turn to God often, the internal God known to all of us.

There is much truth in the reassurance that we are meant to talk to God frequently.  He is often the only solace that we have in a troubled world, and especially when our own little world is difficult.  Friends and family may desert us, but God never does.  Love is ever-present in ways that we can experience.  This in itself is a great comfort in times of trial.  And never forget that times of trial, according to ACIM, are the way that we make a better choice this time–a choice that we made wrongly previously.

A Course of Love, just as ACIM, talks about natural and unnatural states.  To “talk” to God frequently (sometimes, it is seems, even “all” the time) is to come closer to overcoming the unnatural sense of a separation from Him.  God is internal and external; God is the All.  When we turn inward, we are coming as close as we can to a true, natural end to the separation from God that we have taught ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize that I do not have to feel separation from You.  You are closer than my breath.  You are the Within.

I know that I may not “feel” anything on a constant basis.  May I not depend on feelings to know that You is helping me.   May today be a good day, sensing Your love of me, as well as Your love for my brothers and sisters–sent by You for me to be their healer.

Amen.

Matter – Divine?

“Continuity is an attribute of relationship, not of matter.  It is only in the relationship of  matter to the divine that matter can become divine and thus eternal.  If you can abide in unity while in human form, you will have no cause, save your own choice, to leave human form.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  A Treatise on the New, 4.15)”

Affirmation:  “Matter can become divine.”

Reflections:

This statement is not a call to believe in the immortality of the physical form that we occupy today.  It is, rather, a belief that we choose the moment of our death.  We do not live blindly buffeted by fate in such matters.  Jane Roberts, an early psychic who channeled Seth, said much the same thing.  We live our charts of our lives, and we exit from this life when we have chosen.  This puts us in the driver’s seat.

The truth of this interpretation is clear, it seems to me, in the opening sentence:  “Continuity is an attribute of relationship, not of matter.”  We do not choose to continue matter indefinitely, but we do often choose to continue the relationships that we have begun here.  At least this is my belief.

A Course in Miracles says that it is the goal of all relationships to become holy, and so we will transform our special relationships while in this world or, perhaps, in the next.  All who meet will meet again, to make of their relationship a holy one.  What a blessing this is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I choose to make all my relationships holy.  May You help me to do this.  Only with Your help is it possible.

May I choose to see the eternal in my physical body, the elevated Self of form.  May I know this great blessing in my interactions today.

Amen.

Shall I Continue to Live in Physical Form?

“Once the return to unity has occurred in form, the decision to continue in form or to not continue in form will be yours.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.14)”

Affirmation:  “unity in physical form”

Reflections:

This suggests, but does not spell out, that we have the choice of whether or not to return to earth in another incarnation.  Edgar Cayce said that many of us are here to save others who would not be able to find their way back without us.  This seems reason enough to know that many of us will choose to come back.

This is not a statement on reincarnation, a statement that A Course in Miracles encourages us not to make.  We will turn off those whom we are trying to reach if they do not find reincarnation plausible.  So we do not take doctrinal stands, which can only divide.  It is enough to know that the embodiment of form, the elevation of form, is our choice as we accept Christ-consciousness in our lives.  ACOL calls this the “elevated Self of form,” and it is an oft-repeated refrain.

The passage does seem to say that we have some way to make a decision through the Higher Self about the time of our death.  It does not condone suicide at all, though.  It merely suggests that the Self of which we are a part–the Self that has not taken form–does in fact guide us in making life-and-death decisions.  A Course in Miracles echoes this theme in a passage on illness.   It suggests that we choose the agents that will minister to us in sickness, and that we get well if that is our decision; if we choose not to get well, then we go on to the Other Side.

Of course, this decision is not made by the “little” self, the personality that embody in this world.  It is an “other-worldly” decision, and we cannot know for sure, normally, what the decision will be.  But our spirit knows, and it is this that makes the decision of remaining in form (in body) or to go to the Other Side.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am not ill unto death; most of us reading this are not.  So my Self has chosen to have a form on this earth for the foreseeable future.  May I make the most of this time.  May I love and cherish You, and may I love and cherish my brothers and sisters in this world.

Thank You for helping me today when I falter.  May I put my faith in You only.  May I realize that the choice for illness is a faulty decision-making process, and that You are “for health” all the way.  May I choose good emotional and physical health today.

Amen.

“Knowing” about Life Ever-Lasting

“Faith will become unnecessary, as life ever-lasting becomes known to you.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  A Treatise on the New, 4.13″)

Affirmation:  “May I know that life is ever-lasting”

Reflections:

Faith is all too often seen as something that we try to convince ourselves about, but that we actually find hard to believe.  Here Jesus reassures us that the time of the blind faith requirement is no longer.  We will know.  We will understand.  Like a great man of psychology, Carl Jung, we will not even have to “have” faith, because we will just “know.”  This is a fact of Christ-consciousness.

According to the Bible, faith was the evidence of things not seen.  Now, in this era, we will “see.”  Now enough people have reached Awakening that we are undergoing a sea change.  The play on words of “see” and “sea” is inadvertent, but illustrative.  We will know without having to place blind faith before us.

Most of us reading this do already believe in eternal life.  May we so live our lives on this earth that we are prepared for the Other Side.  But may we recognize that we do not live for the afterlife.  We live for today, taking the time to experience daily the blessings that are ours.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know, as only Jesus can understand, that life is eternal.  May I not have to depend on a timid “faith” that this is so.

Thank You for the assurances that Jesus is giving me.  Help me to apply this new knowledge as I try to live, joyfully, today.

Amen.

Transform!

“I am calling you to the new.  I am calling you to transform.  I am calling you to Christ-consciousness.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.12)”

Affirmation:  “transform”

Reflections:

Worry and anxiety and fear will hinder Jesus’s gifts for us.  We will not transform if we allow these emotions to overtake our good sense.  Here he is calling us to join him in understanding.  We know enough with our minds.  A Course of Love calls us to join our minds to our hearts in wholeheartedness.  Then we will be ready to accept the Christ-consciousness that will make all the difference.

If the way seems long, A Course in Miracles counsels patience (but not in so many words).  We have determined our course; would the boons be denied us?  I think not.  We may go through dark nights of the soul, but waiting on the other side of our dark nights is the blessing of union with God that is a felt oneness (a statement by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now).

Let us today humbly ask for the gift of Christ-consciousness.  And then may we believe that Christ-consciousness has been given to us.  We will not always trust our feelings, as they can mislead.  We know in our hearts that when we ask, we do receive.  Receive today, and rest in peace–even when the “feeling” is absent.  It has come, and it will be felt in the future.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that my words today are earnest.  I also know that I do not always “feel” anything.  May I know that feelings can mislead.  May I leave fear behind and know only love in a guiltless world.

I know that You want Christ-consciousness for all of Your children.  May I do my part, whatever You may say, and may I always do my part willingly.

Amen.

Reaching A Time of Fullness

“[This] is the time during which you have within your awareness the ability to come into your time of fullness by accepting the inheritance of your Father.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.9)”

Affirmation:  “my time of fullness. . .my inheritance”

Reflections:

Inheritance–our rightful inheritance–is a great promise, one that we may have intuited years ago, in our youth.  We are children of God, and, with Jesus, we are now invited to accept our rightful co-creation with God.  We are ready when Jesus accepts us.  And in A Course of Love, he has done so already.

If the way seems hard, we need to remember that struggles create real men and women of us.  The men and women of the Bible, in all the familiar passages, did not work for God without struggle.  Their lives were often quite hard.

But this is a New Day.  We do not have to experience anew the tribulations of those who have gone before us.  The time of new revelation is at hand.  Let us just reach out and take what is offered by Jesus in these wonderful promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I receive the inheritance that You have offered to me so freely, today.  May I step aside from needless tribulations that I have brought upon myself, and know that Your way is the way of peace.

Jesus has said most recently that we do not have to have tribulations, because he has overcome the world.  May we believe him, and accept the inheritance that is ours today.

Amen.

Embodying a New Self

“The change in the form you now occupy, the change I have spoken of as that of elevation of the personal self, is a natural part of the pattern of life-everlasting.  It is long over-due.  It is long over-due because you have rejected rather than accepted your inheritance.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.8)”

Affirmation:  “May I know the elevation of the personal self today.”

Reflections:

We have to be open to the change in our form that Jesus asks of us now.  What does this mean?  It means that we will accept the promise of Christ-consciousness that he is holding out to us.  At first we may not sustain this Christ-consciousness, but we will see glimpses.  When fear or judgment or planning for the future in a defensive way intrude (ACIM tenets), we will fall down.  But when fear, judgment, and planning are left behind, we can once again invite God to show Himself within our hearts.  And He will do so.

Christ-consciousness is our rightful inheritance.  Let us accept it today, regardless of whatever outward difficulties may remain.

We cannot just will, though, this change in our personal selves.  As A Course in Miracles makes clear, it is God Himself who “reaches down” (a metaphor) and calls us to Awakening.  Awakening and Christ-consciousness are identical (an interpretation, not stated in either ACIM or ACOL), though the term “Awakening” is used consistently in ACIM, and the term “Christ-consciousness” is used consistently in ACOL.  We must open ourselves to God’s action by prayer and reflection.  Preparation is necessary, as ACIM makes clear.  As ACIM says, revelation may occasionally reveal the end to us, but to reach the end, one must understand the means (which are being explained in ACIM, and, by extension, also in ACOL).  Once we have made our preparation, we can rest easy.  If the way seems long, we can still rest content.  We are assured that once begun, the end of the journey (Awakening, Christ-consciousness) is certain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize that Christ-consciousness may come into my life gently and easily, almost as though it is nothing “special.”  We will know that it has come, first, in glimpses.  May I enjoy those glimpses today.  Jesus would have me to sustain Christ-consciousness while in my physical form on this earth, and I would have it so as well.  That would take me beyond just “glimpses.”

Let this affirmation be Your Will as well as mine, since I know that Your Will is also my real will.

Amen.

Life After Death

“Changing form is part of the pattern of life-everlasting.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.8)”

Affirmation:  “I need not fear death, for it is only a change in form.”

Reflections:

This passage echoes a previous reflection on life after death.  We are not meant, according to A Course of Love, to hope for new discoveries in science that will give us an eternal physical life on earth.  Would we really want such a thing, if it were possible?

Some early writings on A Course in Miracles thought that a passage in those volumes promised that eternal physical life would be not only possible, but to be expected.  This has not been upheld by more recent writings, and ACOL now comments on this hypothesis.

We may be threatened by death, in that it is the one thing that we cannot control.  The control freaks among us may be especially threatened.  We do not know exactly what form our body will take in the afterlife.  Even careful readings of psychic commentary do not make this finally clear.  But of one thing we can be certain:  Life after death is not to be feared.  We will change form, but we will know life everlasting.  And we can hope that the death itself, as Ruth Montgomery’s Guides said, will be like “walking through an open door.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know in the depth of my being that death is not the end, that I only change form.  I do not, therefore, have to fear death.

As time goes by, and pain comes to me through health changes, may I not suffer any more than would happen when I finally make the transition to life everlasting, life after death.

Amen.

The Seasons of Life

“You do not realize that your nature, and the nature of your life, like that of all around you, is governed by seasons natural to the state of love, seasons of regeneration.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 4.2)”

Affirmation:  “May I be patient as the seasons of my life change.”

Reflections:

This passage suggests that there is springtime in our heart.  As the years go by, we experience ebbs and flows, but always we return to the flow, the regeneration.  When times are tough, we can look upward, figuratively, and realize that, as often said, “This, too, shall pass.”

The fact of love as the source of regeneration is important.  When we fail–when we attack, when we judge, or when we make plans against contingencies to come (ACIM concepts)–we fall away from the better understanding that we know in our hearts.  This “falling away” can last some time before we find our way back to the right pathway.  But this season is one of wintertime, and wintertime is followed by springtime, the regeneration.  When we, with help of God, find love for ourselves and our brothers and sisters, again, we are born afresh, we are back in regeneration.

When one is 21 and something bad happens, we do not realize that life is full of ebbs and flows.  When young and we are hurting, we do not have the life experience to know that things are going to get better.  So the suffering may be very intense.  Let us share with our brothers and sisters, and perhaps especially our younger brothers and sisters, this truth of the flow that will return.  Regeneration happens because God loves us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I feel springtime in my heart, even though it is autumn.  May I know your love with such a great knowing that all is well with me.  May I be patient today if something goes awry.

Thank You for the ease with which I have lived most recently.  If regeneration is happening for me, then thank you for this word from Jesus that explains this happening.

Amen.

Life Everlasting

“The promise of life everlasting was not an empty promise.  It is a promise that has been fulfilled.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.15)”

Affirmation:  “May I revel in the fact of everlasting life today.”

Reflections:

This promise echoes the New Testament, in that we are led to understand in some of Jesus’s words, said on earth, that life everlasting begins now.  We do not have to wait for heaven to be happy; certainly A Course in Miracles suggests this idea clearly.  Eternal life is a joy waiting to be found while still on earth.

Edgar Cayce, the psychic of the last century who died in the Forties and who lived at in Virginia, once did a reading that indicated, in great detail, the Last Supper.  One of the sayings attributed to Jesus by Cayce was a reassuring word by Jesus to his apostles that indicated that “heaven” would be experienced even now, in the moment, when the apostles were gathered with him in love and fellowship.  If we take Cayce seriously (and many people over the years have done so), then we can believe that Jesus was encouraging that the life everlasting to begin now, and, moreover, in the happy times, it is heaven on earth.

Eternal life is a given for students of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Many psychics have detailed what life after death is supposed to be like (Note:  Ruth Montgomery in The World Beyond, is one such), and when we take the teaching of ACIM and ACOL to heart, we can believe that the future beyond our bodily death is very grand indeed.  And so the fear of death is gone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

What a grand promise is life everlasting!  If we believe truly, we will lose all fear of death.  And we know that pain does not have to lead to suffering, so the illness of life is mitigated.

May I experience the joy today that You would have me to feel.  This is a glorious day; may I recognize this.

Amen.

Unity and Everlasting Life

“. . .[T]he nature, even of form, once returned to its natural state of love, is one of unity and everlasting life.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.13)

Affirmation:  “May I remember to only love today.”

Reflections:

This passage comes very close, in my opinion, to a promise that we can know “heaven on earth.”  We do not have to die to experience the joys that previously were believed by our elders as reserved for the afterlife.

The “everlasting life” is a phrase that has heretofore been reserved for the afterlife, although traditional Christianity does teach that one joins into this life once one has been “saved,” in the old-fashioned sense.  But it does seem that A Course of Love goes a bit farther in its promises than anything that has appeared previously, even in other New Age thought.  The term “unity,” used so often in ACOL, appears in this context.  This unity always refers to unity with God, inside and outside, and in particular the unity that we share with our brothers and sisters in this world.  This makes us all One, and One with God (a tenet of ACOL).

How can we know the joy that everlasting life holds out to us, even in this sometimes troubled world?  And even in our sometimes troubled personal world?  We must remember that in our better moments, we realize that we love and are loved.  This twin concept, loving and being loved, is not new, but it is newly emphasized and interpreted in A Course of Love.  We have  been told repeatedly that at this point, we have left the ego behind.  And so, we have actually left fear behind, leaving only the love that we have longed to have.

We may still know fear from time to time.  Christ-consciousness does not always come suddenly and completely, with a complete break with the past.  Awakening does not either, and the two concepts are so often linked that they may be seen as one and the same.  That puts ACIM and ACOL on the same wave length, because Christ-consciousness is trumpeted in the latter, and Awakening in the former.

And we can know this joy in physical form.  That is a basic tenet of ACOL, and in this ACOL emphasizes something that is not made firm in ACIM.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I love and, if it is Your will, experience love today.  May I know that any lack of love that I perceive is simply a disguised call for help (and love) on the part of the other person.  Surely I will know Your love today, in my mind and spirit, even if not always in my emotions.

May Christ-consciousness descend upon me today.  I do not know this state on a continuing basis, but may I catch glimpses of this glorious state today.

Amen.

The Original Nature of Our Being

“There is a reason why the original nature of your being cannot exist in a form unnatural to love.  A form whose nature is fear cannot house the creation of love.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.12)”

Affirmation:  “May my form house only love today.”

Reflections:

This passage explains further what was begun in the passage quoted yesterday.  We can know our “original nature,” even in physical form, but we cannot know this original nature if we still live in fear.  Fear is the home of the ego, and we are told in A Course of Love that we have left the ego behind.  If vestiges seem to remain, they are illusory, and are meant to be thrust off as unworthy of a child of God.

So the physical can house a being of love, which all of us are aiming to be.  But if we don’t reach for this love, we will not know our “original nature.”  The elevated Self of form, the Christ-consciousness housed in the physical, cannot shine through.  We will be stuck in fear-ridden unreality, the world of the ego.  And we will not know our ultimate glory in this world.

The “New,” as described in this treatise, is meant to convey that we are living in a new time, a time in which we can experience the love that we have lost through separation from God.  We can actually “remember” the state of union with God, and thereby realize that we truly never lost it.  But having forgotten it through the succumbing to the ego’s wily ways, we were unaware of all the joys that could be ours.  The “New” would have us forget all of our former nonsense, and to walk into the sunlight with Jesus (an ACIM concept).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know only love today, not fear.  So often fears still try to intrude, even though I have read and studied the words of Jesus in ACIM and ACOL.  I would not have fears to intrude today.  You do not wish me to have fear intrude.

When the day seems difficult, guide my ways into more peaceful pathways.  I know that You wish the best for me, and that is found only in loving relationships with You and with my brothers and sisters in this world.

Amen.

Vision

“The physical form is not the natural or original form of the created.  Vision is the means by which the original nature of the created can once again be known.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.12)”

Affirmation:  “May vision come to me today.”

Reflections:

This passage suggests that we existed in a spiritual form before we were born into the physical world, to have the physical form that we accept as natural.  And the elevated Self of form, which we have oft said, is what we are reaching for in this world.

A Course in Miracles does not make the specific statement that we existed in a spiritual form prior to birth into the natural world.  But ACOL does.  Perhaps many of us who are students of ACIM have assumed our spiritual pre-existence, though.

In ACOL, we are told that we can use our newfound vision to recapture the essence of that spiritual state, but we do not have to die to recapture it.  Physicality is not a false state, one to be lamented.  ACOL is quite specific about the heights to which we can climb while still encased in the physical.  ACIM refers more specifically to the illusion that is the physical world, and this has led some students to deemphasize the physical as one to be regretted because of our fall from grace.  ACOL is more optimistic.  It definitely does not champion immortality in the physical form (it denies this elsewhere), but the fact that the physical seems real to us is less discounted.  We are to take advantage of the joys that such physical reality can bring to us, not in any immoral sense, but in more of a joyous way than ACIM suggested.

When we turn to vision, we are led to understand that we can see with our wholeheartedness the joys of physical form.  Note that this vision is not of the eyes, but of the mind and heart combined.  We know in a way that we can only know when we are whole.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I revel in my physical form, especially when I feel that it has been elevated to my Self.  This may not happen all at once, but I may have glimpses of this glorious state.  May I have glimpses today.

Thank You for being there for me, in good times and in bad.  Nothing can be really bad when I know that Jesus is holding my hand as I walk through this world.

Amen.

The Final Judgment

“Once all has been judged with the vision of love, judgment is over naturally for it has served its purpose.  This is the final judgment.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.8)

Affirmation:  “May I be judged with the vision of love today.”

Reflections:

Finally we have a definition of the final judgment!  ACIM also tells us that it is nothing to fear, that it will be carried out (and welcomed by us) by Jesus, with the help of our brothers (and sisters).

When we see all in love, we recognize that indeed there is no need for judgment.  There is also, as stated elsewhere in ACIM, no real need for forgiveness, either–for we have moved beyond it.  But in this world, we still do need experience and to express forgiveness, for it is the way that the ego cannot touch.  The way out of the bind in which we find ourselves.

So much of fear and the ego has been made of the concept of the final judgment.  Many cringe in fear at this wholly benign concept.  God’s Son (and Daughter) is innocent.  There is no reason for denunciation.  All are chosen (a tenet of both ACIM and ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I used to fear the Final Judgment.  But Jesus’s words make it such a benign concept, so loving and right.  Thank You for this new understanding.

May today I eliminate my own judgments from my life.  It is not up to me to judge my brothers and sisters.  May I remember this all day today.

Amen.

Judgment and Vision

“As the natural state of love is returned to you, judgment falls away because vision will arise.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.8)”

Affirmation:  “May vision come to me today.”

Reflections:

This statement is very much akin to one in A Course in Miracles.  We are told that to attack, to judge, and to make plans against contingencies to come will all cause us to lose our way.  In this passage from ACOL, the negative factor of judgment is addressed.  We are to turn to vision, our real salvation from God

Judgment is an aspect of fear, and so long as we judge, we are still caught up in the fears brought on by the ego.  ACOL assures us that we are moving beyond the ego, or we would not still be reading these volumes.  If we have truly left the ego behind, our fear will not long hinder us.  We will live a blessed life, helped through it by the vision that ACOL suggests in this passage.

What is “vision”?  It is simply the right way to view the things of this world.  We are not often conscious of viewing through our vision.  We think that our eyes see, but ACIM says not.  Our eyes see illusion.  Vision is an internal thing.  And it is the way that we will reach higher and higher, or, if you will, deeper and deeper, until Christ-consciousness comes to overshadow us, and we are at Home at last.  This does not mean that we will die; it does mean that we will live, as oft repeated, the elevated Self of form (a tenet of ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave judgment behind today, knowing that to judge rightly is absolutely impossible for me.  I cannot see the whole picture, and therefore I cannot judge rightly.

Thank You for granting me the vision that I ask for.  I know that I need only fulfill the conditions that you spell out, and then ask, and then vision is mine.

Amen.

A Fearful World and Our Childhood

“Even the most loving parent, like unto your most loving image of God, having brought a child into a fearful world, became subject to the tests of time.  Thus did the world become a world of effort with all things in it and beyond it, including God, weighed and balanced against the idea of fear.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I leave behind the world of fear today.”

Reflections:

This passage recalls to mind our childhoods, which were often tainted with the image of a fearful world, because that is what our parents believed.  Even religious parents carried this image to a great degree, believing, if they were particularly protective, that we, their offspring, must turn to them to be “saved” from a world that would do us harm.

Jesus would have us lay all this conditioning behind.  We are in an unsafe world only if our perceptions show us such a world.  And even in harsh conditions, we can rise above.  We, of course, do not always do so, because war and natural disasters test us to the limit.  But, as Eckhart Tolle says, we can avoid turning pain into suffering.  This statement is not made specifically in either ACIM or ACOL, but Jesus does say in ACIM that we do not have to learn through pain.  There is a better way.

We must be realistic about what Jesus is saying, because, as Kenneth Wapnick (a writer and scholar of A Course in Miracles) has said, there are two levels to A Course in Miracles.  One I would view as an ideal, sometimes not achieved; the other, the more practical, day-to-day world in which we find ourselves.  We can find this Ideal more often than not through our communion with the Holy Spirit (as in ACIM) or our assumption of Christ-consciousness (as in ACOL).  We are not alone, and we do not have to walk our pathway alone.  There is a spiritual world that impacts our own, and it would be well for us to turn to spiritual guidance more often than not.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we forgive our parents for the conditioning that they, in their innocence, gave us about living in a “fearful world.”  Let us realize today that this world is fearful only in our perceptions of it, and these perceptions, with the help of the Holy Spirit, can be changed.

May we walk into the sunlight today.  May we take Jesus’s hand and walk without fear.  Mighty companions walk beside us along the way.

Amen.

Joy, Lack of Effort, Love

“For every being there is a natural state that is joyful, effortless, and full of love.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I be in my natural state today.”

Reflections:

Again, today, we see that our being can embody a natural state that is, as stated, “joyful, effortless, and full of love.”  What a wondrous promise!

How do we find this natural state?  Study of ACIM and ACOL is a first step.  A great deal is not said about prayer in either set of volumes, but much is assumed.  A miracle, though not chosen consciously (because that might be misguided, which is an ACIM tenet), can bring about the desired natural state.  It is true that we may not stay within this blessing, but, as time passes, we will see this real world (an ACIM tenet) more and more often.  And ACIM also tells us that revelation may occasionally reveal the end (Awakening) to us.

The journey to the mountain top with Jesus, in the Forty Days and Forty Nights of the ACOL Dialogues, ends with our acceptance of the elevated Self of form, the acceptance of Christ-consciousness.  More and more individuals in our world are reaching this state, as other writers, such as Echhart Tolle (The Power of Now, The New Earth), have stated.

May we take more tentative steps along this pathway today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please be with me today as I seek an anxiety-free, natural state that is effortless and joyful.  I know with all my being that this is what You wish for me.  May my little self not get in the way.  May the ego remain withered away.

Whatever the day brings, I know that I am surrendered to You.  That in itself is a blessing, just to know that.  Thank You.

Amen.

Don’t “Try”

“To have to try to be who you are and to express who you are is the result of the displacement of the nature of love with the nature of fear.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘ A Treatise on the New,’ 3.5)”

Affirmation:  “May I cease trying to be love, and just be love today.”

Reflections:

We do not have to “try” to be anything in particular.  When we let the illusions drop away from our minds and hearts, we will remember what we really are, and this reality is good.  The remembrance is everything.  Trying suggests work, and elsewhere Jesus says that his new way of living is effortless.  This assertion is like unto the one in the New Testament, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The fact that being who we really are is natural and effortless is a reassurance of the most keen kind.  How do we achieve this, especially when we realize that we still may harbor anger and attack, harbingers of fear?  Jesus says elsewhere in A Course of Love that if we don’t like a particular trait, we just decide to eliminate it, and then it is done for us.  Maybe this sounds too good to be true, but Jesus is in charge of miracles (an ACIM tenet).

We need to open, wholeheartedly (a tenet of ACOL), to the feeling of love.  This means also when doing so is a stretch.  A “stretch” does not have to be hard or difficult.  Just ask for help, and it will be forthcoming.  ACIM makes the assurance of assistance, upon asking in prayer, a part of the coming of the real world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to just choose love today.  May I not “try,” when I am so weary of trying.  Love is natural to all of us, and when we ask Jesus’s help, we will experience the love that we so desperately have sought in all the wrong places.

Help me to reach to Jesus today.  Help me to have the spirit of love in my interactions with the brothers and sisters that I meet today.

Amen.

Love and Fear

“This displacement of the original intent can be simply stated as the displacement of love with fear.  It is as simple as that.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I go through fear to the love that is at the core of my being.”

Reflections:

As discussed yesterday, the two emotions (according to both ACIM and ACOL) are fear and love.  For far too long, we have been ruled by fear in all its distressing disguises.  Now it is time to turn to love in a serious, meaningful way.  There is no other way that we can save our world.  The time is crucial now to make the decision for love.

When we do make the decision for love, we will manifest the original intent of our sojourn on earth.  In time, we will change into the elevated Self of form, a Self that is part of the Christ-consciousness of all of our brothers and sisters, one with ourselves.  May this day come sooner rather than later.

As strange as it seems, it is hard to give up fear, because our minds hold spasmodically to the old records that just go around and around in our minds and our actions.  If we recognize that, when we feel fear, we are actually wanting to feel love, that we are actually expressing a call for love–then there is hope for ourselves.  Turn to Jesus as our companion, and ask his help.  He has promised to be there for us, though to believe this requires an act of faith that our reasoning minds cannot understand.  There are spiritual laws in operation in our world of which we know nothing.  That is how, I believe, Jesus can be everywhere and with everyone simultaneously.  In ACIM, he says to imagine that we are holding his hand, if this will help us; and, he assures us, this will be no idle fantasy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I hold Jesus’s hand throughout today, knowing that he will lead me along the path to love and away from fear.  May I put my doubts aside and realize that there are spiritual laws in this world that we do not now dream of.  Jesus’s presence is surely one of these laws.

Thank you for helpfulness today.

Amen.

Original Intent = Cause

“Original intent has everything to do with the nature of things for original intent is synonymous with cause.  The original intent of this chosen experience was the expression of the Self of love in observable form.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love: ‘ A Treatise on the New,’ 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I express my Self of love today.”

Reflections:

The “chosen experience” discussed in this passage is the advent of mankind on earth, the human form that we inhabit.  But we did, in fact, have a “fall from Grace,” (as depicted metaphorically in the Old Testament), and we detoured into the ego (a part of our belief about ourselves, as discussed in ACIM).  The ego led us to all kinds of fear, manifested mostly in anger and attack, and led us away from the love that we so desperately crave.

Because we thought that we had rejected God, we were reluctant to do what we perceived as His bidding, His “Will.”  ACIM tries to change all that, explaining that to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit is to do our will, that He speaks for us.

So, as A Course of Love makes clear, we did not hold to the original intent of our entry upon earth.  Now later reading in ACOL will support us as we endeavor to become the elevated Self of form, the original intent.  May we take a few steps along this pathway today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I show the Self of love that I really am this day.  May I not fall into attack and anger, as these are illusory and evidence of the ego having its way with us.

God created me loving.  My Self has not changed from this, though we have fallen into an ego-oriented little self that knows much pain and suffering.  Please take the pain and suffering from me today as I live the Self of love which God meant for me.

Amen.

The Curriculum to Guide Us

“Remember, only from a shared vision of what is can you begin to produce unity and relationship through unity and relationship.  This is your purpose now, and this the curriculum to guide you to the fulfillment of your purpose.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 2.33)”

Affirmation:  “May I join with my brothers and sisters for a shared vision.”

Reflections:

Jesus never says that his way is the only way; he just says that his readers of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have chosen him as their guide, and it would be unwise to confuse our minds with ways meant for others (a tenet of ACIM).

He has an almost “hands-off” approach to whether or not we accept his teachings.  He does not force anyone to believe him.  I think that he has enough faith in his teachings and in his relationship to the Father to know that those who read with any open mind and heart will accept what he says.  There is an authority here that is found only when one interacts with Jesus.  It is akin to the experience portrayed in the New Testament, when it is said that Jesus spoke with authority.

In this passage, he is speaking of A Course of Love as the curriculum to guide us.  Certainly, in my reading, A Course of Love is the logical, practical next step to A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love works.  It is not as complicated a reading as is ACIM, but it is no less authoritative.  Jesus partakes of his channel, Mari Perron, to the extent that she has lent her mind and heart to the process.  He writes very beautifully through her.  Mari did not use the blank verse that is a hallmark of A Course in Miracles.  The co-scribe to A Course in Miracles, Helen Schucman, was a Shakespearian scholar, and so perhaps it is natural that transcribed in iambic pentameter.  A Course of Love is also part of the curriculum, as Mari heard internally–“another Course in Miracles.”

Both works, A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, are eminently practical to the daily life.  Jesus said in ACIM that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible but necessary.  This experience I believe he continues to give to us, through Mari, in ACOL.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we join with our brothers and sisters today for a shared vision.  May we build upon A Course in Miracles by reading A Course of Love.  May both works bring us ever closer to Awakening and to Christ-consciousness.

Thank You for the knowledge God brings to us through these readings.

Amen.