Any Meaning in Nothingness?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 1 – for Saturday, January 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “Nothing I see in this room means anything.”

Selected Passage:

“Notice that the statements [in the lesson] are not arranged in any order, and make no allowance for differences in the kinds of things to which they are applied.  (WB3)”

Reflections:

This is the initial step in the Workbook for Students, though it is stressed elsewhere that only time separates the student from the teacher.  Here we do not, upon first reading A Course in Miracles, understand this lesson.  Later on we find out that projection makes perception (what we project outward from ourselves determines the “dream” of our perception).  And in the beginning we are not projecting reality at all, but a misguided and confused dream that often frightens us.

So nothing that we look at means anything, because it is based on our ego’s (the ego is still strong in us) misperceptions.  We do not yet have vision, which will only come as we are guided by the Holy Spirit into more pleasant dreams (“the happy dreams the Holy Spirit sends,” which come before the real world and God’s reaching down to us and granting us our Awakening).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I begin again to go through the Workbook, may I make the strides in understanding that only You can accomplish in me.  I cannot make progress on my own, for I am wholly dependent upon You.  May I reach for vision today, in this very first lesson.  May I understand that as long as the ego is in command, my perception is flawed.

Thank You.  Be with me throughout this new year, a year that I envision as one of joy, peace, and holiness–in Your company.

Amen.

Conclusion to “Treatise on the New”

“Make no mistake that what is asked of us is everything.  What is asked is our total willingness to abandon the old, our total willingness to embrace the new.  But also make no mistake that what is given to us is everything.  All the power of creation is released unto us.  Let us begin.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.36)”

Affirmation:  “embrace the new”

Reflections:

This is given by Jesus at the conclusion of “A Treatise on the New.”  We are ready to move into the Dialogues, which are meant to be a sustained conversation with Jesus in which we are seen as equals.  Unlike ACIM, he does not describe himself as our elder brother.  He does not describe himself as our teacher.  He is our companion on our life’s journey, and he remains there for us always.

In ACIM, we are bade to imagine that he takes our hand as we walk along, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.”  May we believe this promise today.  We are not alone.  Not only is Jesus with us (which may take a suspension of disbelief), but also mighty companions whom we don’t know on this plane (an ACIM tenet).  If we knew what is available to us by way of help, we would never fear again.

May we never fear again, beginning today.

Prayer;

Dear Father/Mother,

I feel excited about the “new” that Jesus has promised, and for which he has prepared me.  May this upcoming year be a good one, and may I know that You are there for me always.

Thank you for the “Treatise on the New.”  And thanks to Mari Perron for channeling this writing.  May we share with our brothers and sisters, as they are ready to accept.

Amen.

The Long Journey Is Over

“You have arrived!  The long journey that brought you here is over.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.15)”

Affirmation:  “long journey – over”

Reflections:

What a marvelous statement from Jesus!  And yet it is the highest way of viewing his words.  We can still lapse.  We can still have moments when we are not the sustained, elevated Self of form.  Indeed, the Dialogues themselves are written so that we can travel farther along the journey.  There are two levels to A Course of Love, just as there are two levels of A Course in Miracles (the former my interpretation, the latter the interpretation of scholar/writer Kenneth Wapnick).

But we do not have to struggle as we have.  We can have Heaven on earth.  Jesus promises this elsewhere.  And may we take him at his word.

Remember, from ACIM, that this has been a “journey without distance.”  We have always had the potential to be realized,  to realize ourselves as Awakened beings.  It is only now that this potential is being actualized in more and more of our brothers and sisters, and in ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I hope that, in some sense, I have arrived.  I recognize the long journey, but the way has sometimes been hard, and I do immediately know what joy lies all around me.  Help me to see and feel the joy today.

I ask for Your help as I assimilate the fact of arrival.  Help me even to know what “arrival” means.  Be with me throughout the day, and help me always to acknowledge Your loving presence.

Amen.

In What State Do We Now Abide?

“You eagerly awaited each learning challenge in the hopes that it would bring you to the state in which you now abide.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.14)”

Affirmation:  “I abide now where I have wanted to abide.”

Reflections:

This passage echoes a theme of ACOL.  We have read, and read, and read so more–and now we must realize that we really do not have to read to come into fuller understanding of God.  Of course, in our contemplative time, we may still want to read familiar passages to prompt our reflections and bring us ever closer to the divine spark within.  But we do not have to seek new and different readings.  We can rest in what we have already read.

We have arrived.  What a glorious promise this is!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Let me rest awhile in the knowledge that You have promised that I have “arrived.”  If that is not yet true, may I rest in surety that I will eventually abide where You have promised.

May my contemplative time bring me ever closer to You.  May I not be tempted to run hither and yon in an attempt to reach Awakening.  You will decide the time, and You make no mistakes.

Amen.

Eradicate Learning in Separation – Choose Sharing in Unity

“. . .[B]e vigilant of your thought patterns so that you eradicate the idea of learning in separation and replace it with the idea of sharing in unity.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.10)”

Affirmation:  “no learning in separation. . .instead sharing in unity”

Reflections:

1 – Learning in Separation

We did learn in separation, and this explains in part the self-centeredness that we knew in our phase of learning.  But when we reach out to our brothers and sisters, we are sharing in unity.  And this is the right place to head.  Never neglect those individuals to whom we are close.  Do not withdraw unto one’s self.  This in itself would be enough for the ego to gain another foothold.

2 – Unity and Relationship

“Sharing in unity” is akin to the oft-repeated assertion that in the time of Christ we are to share in “unity and relationship.”  “Unity and relationship” are hallmark words in A Course of Love, and they are used so frequently that we may forget exactly what they mean.  Basically, these words mean that we are “One in the many” (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).  As One, we are in unity, and in the “many,” we are in relationship to our brothers and sisters.

3 – Creating a New World

Unity and relationship, the One in the many, are the twin ways that we will create in a new world, a world which we inhabit by the sustained, elevated Self of form.  This Self of form is the physical form that we know now, but it is moved by revelation from God, direct and normally unmistakable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to refrain from the learning that separates, instead opting for the sharing in unity that I can experience with my brothers and sisters.  Learning, I recognize, is often separating, but I am less clear about sharing with my brothers and sisters.  Help me to understand more fully today.

If I make missteps today, please remedy them for me.  Not everyone I meet is ready to understand A Course of Love.  Help me to offer only what my brother or sister is ready to accept.

Amen.

Sustainable Dialogues

“Once these dialogues are sustainable without need of the written word, the written word will be less necessary.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 12.7)”

Affirmation:  “sustainable dialogues – written word less necessary”

Reflections:

1 – How Many Times to Read ACOL?

There is a chance that those who have read A Course of Love through once (or even more than once, several times) may feel that it is wrong to go back to these volumes.  We may think that we are “learning,” when that has been counseled against.

2 – We Need to Reread ACOL Intensively

I think this is a misreading.  While it is true that in the Forty Days and Forty Nights on the mountaintop (from the Dialogues), Jesus says that his intention is not for us to make this journey repeatedly, it is also true that the chapters are dense with meaning.  And one or even a few readings will not make them our own.  We need actually to memorize some of the words, to keep their pristine glory in our minds.

3 – The Role of Contemplation

How are we to “learn” if it is not through reading?  I think that contemplation, a form of meditation, is in order here.  Others might call this prayer (though ACIM and ACOL do not discuss prayer very much, probably because it is assumed).  God will speak to us through revelation, we are reassured, but there must be a time set aside to receive messages.  And this normally comes through contemplative time, though it may also come through chance words spoken by our brothers and sisters.  Indeed, anything in our world can be a way to receive God’s revelation.  But we must be careful that what we are receiving is actually true guidance from God.  There must be a sureness about what we are receiving.  And we must also recognize that our egos can reassert themselves and lead us astray when we least desire to be led astray.

4 – Understanding from God

May our understanding rise to knowledge, as God Himself reaches down and blesses us with revelation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

You know that I have always read much.  But I have also contemplated much.  I ask for Your guidance about the proper balance of these two ways of coming to knowledge (rather than just perception).  You grant the knowledge and the revelation.  Let me always be aware of Your presence.

As this year draws to a close, and my reading of ‘Treatise on the New” draws to a close, may I retain the concepts as I move forward in my “journey without distance.”

Amen.

Revelation

“Learning has had to do with what is perceived.  No longer learning has to do with what is revealed.  Learning has had to do with what is unknown.  No longer learning has to do with what is and can only be known through revelation.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 10.11)”

Affirmation:  “‘no longer learning’ means that we know from revelation”

Reflections:

1 – Revelation from God

Revelation is only from God (an ACIM tenet).  This passage suggests that we have now been made ready to receive God’s revelations, and that we do so by leaving behind our search through learning (unless we choose to continue learning, which is also alright, according to Jesus in ACOL).

2 – The Role of Learning

Many of us enjoy learning and therefore will not readily leave it behind.  Teaching and learning are two of the ways that we reach our brothers and sisters.  So there are no hard and fast rules in salvation.

3 – Teaching and Learning

Jesus does indicate elsewhere that those who leave learning behind will go on to create.  Actually teaching is a form of creation, and so the “teaching and learning” that ACIM describes is not far from the truth.  We are reaching our brothers and sisters when we do teach (and learn), and we are also creating a new world through Jesus’s blessing.

4 – Learning through Revelation

Learning through revelation is the easiest and simplest way to learn.  It is effortless, and as long as we are open to God, this type of revelation, once we are ready, will come.  We do not have to reach for it.  But only God can decide when we are ready for revelation.  Revelation is only from God to us, never the reverse.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I stand ready to receive Your revelation today.  May I hold myself in readiness.  May the revelation that You wish to bring me come.

Thank You for being there for me, as always.  I have not always known that You are there, emotionally, but intellectually I have always known.  Help me to “feel” Your presence today.

Amen.

Self-Centeredness

“Realize that the self-centeredness of the final stage of your learning has been necessary. (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 9.7)”

Affirmation:  “May I understand the things that are necessary for me.”

Reflections:

This passage, in talking about our self-centeredness, is reassuring.  We probably realize that our search has sometimes removed us from our surroundings, including our brothers and sisters.  We need to be ready to return to them, but we are not to discount our self-centeredness as a lamentable aspect of our search.  Jesus says that it was necessary.

If we had not turned inward, we probably would understand far less than we actually do now.  And turning inward naturally turns one to the self.  Jesus would have us to reach outward again once the elevated Self of form has been sustained.

We do not reach outward always, though, as Jesus himself spent hours in prayer, all alone, when on earth.  We will always need a certain degree of inwardness, and sometimes this does become self-centeredness.

On this Christmas Day, may we not stay within ourselves if it is at all possible to spend quality time with our loved ones.  This is a day to rejoice and be glad that Jesus indeed did come to earth as a physical being.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reassuring me that my own, recognized, self-centeredness is not a thing to be lamented and for which to beg forgiveness.  We need inwardness, which self-centeredness really is, and we need it to make progress toward the time when we will be free and easy with our brothers and sisters, reaching outward.

If our life situation allows it, today, Christmas Day, is a time for reaching out to those who have been closest to us.  May we forget ourselves today, at least part of the time.  But may we also say a prayer of thanks for the baby born so long ago in a manger in Bethlehem.

Amen.

Envisioning

“Now is the time to leave behind study for imagining, envisioning, and desire.  Now is the time to move out of the time of becoming who you are to the time of being who you are.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 9.4)”

Affirmation:  “from becoming to being”

Reflections:

We are constantly encouraged in A Course of Love to leave learning behind.  We have sought our way through much reading, frequently.  There must come an end to all this seeking, and to realize that we do know.  We can still learn, if that is our choice, but most of the time we are bade to let the inner knowing from Christ-consciousness be our guide.  We do not always, in this time, pause to reconsider; we do not have so much trouble making decisions.  We just move with the knowing that what we imagine, envision, and desire is the right pathway.

There is a caveat to all of this.  Many times we may think that we have gone farther along the pathway than we actually have.  Then the ego has a field day.  The ego can lead us astray when we think that it has actually withered away.  The ego is very wily, and it will not easily give up its grip upon us.  After all, we have had eons of conditioning.  So proceed cautiously.  We must be sure that the imagining that we are doing is truly Christ-centered, and not our own little selves that would lead us astray.

Imagining and envisioning are much more effortless ways of living than is intense studying.  What a relief to know that we do not have to continue seeking, that the Answers have been given us!  We can rest in God’s love, and we can live, comfortably and safely, in His arms.

I personally believe that A Course of Love was given to us by Jesus to let us know that there is an end to the seeking that our ego would have us continue to take:  “seek but do not find” (an ACIM tenet).  Let us pray today to have the ego wither away, to be replaced with the knowing that Christ-consciousness affords for us.  May we thank God for this new day in our experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

There is an Answer to all the problems that we think that we perceive.  Actually we have no problems, in Christ’s love, but we often don’t recognize this.  May we recognize this today, as we leave behind the time of learning and move into the time of being.

Thank You for always being there for me in all the days of my life.  I have not always recognized that You have been there, but I do so recognize it today,  My heartfelt gratitude goes out to You.

Amen.

Guidance in the Time of Christ

“Coming to know through learning will be of the past as soon as Christ-consciousness is sustainable and you begin to come to know through constant revelation of what is.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 8.17)”

Affirmation:  “constant revelation of what is”

Reflections:

This passage explains a little bit of the difference between the time of the Holy Spirit and the time of Christ.  In ACIM, written for the time of the Holy Spirit, we are normally conscious of guidance; guidance comes by way of promptings, dreams, visions, an “inner knowing.”  In ACOL, the “inner knowing” is in the ascendancy.  This is the “constant revelation of what is” mentioned in this passage.

Certainly many of us have experienced resistance in the time of the Holy Spirit to the promptings that come.  In the time of Christ, this resistance has melted away because the guidance seems ever more intimate to ourselves.  With the Holy Spirit, the guidance can seem to be coming almost from “outside” ourselves, though this is not the case.  In the time of inner knowing, the time of Christ, we know internally and recognize that the guidance is internal.  Thus there is less conflict.

Following the Holy Spirit on a constant basis can almost seem, sometimes, as though we were living in a strait jacket.  We “must” do what He says.  And we feel guilty if we don’t.  We feel this resistance because the ego is still strong in us.  And the ego has withered away in the time of Christ.  We see our own real Will, which is the same as the Will of God (if we are attune to Him), assert itself, and we are glad to follow our own real Will.  We do not resist.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I let the ego wither away, so that my guidance is clear.  As we move into the time of Christ, may my guidance be always welcomed by me.  This will come, of this I am certain.

Help me today to hear the inner Voice with acceptance and joy.  Listening to inner guidance is the best way to live, and it will ensure that what comes is the best that is available for me.  Of this too I am sure.

Amen.

Our Rebellion from God = Mutually Chosen

“Your rebellion was not allowed, it was mutually chosen.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 8.11)”

Affirmation:  “May I choose to heal the rebellion today.”

Reflections:

This concept from A Course of Love is at least relatively new; I have not read of it before, but of course there are many New Age writings of which I am unaware.  There is a hint of the idea in Ruth Montgomery’s The Search for the Truth.  She, an early psychic who received information by automatic writing from “Guides,” says that we were sparks sent out from God, gradually to find our way back.  And some went farther than others, and needed more time and help to return.  In ACOL, Jesus is saying that our rebellion from God was chosen mutually by Him and us.

Certainly this concept makes sense in light of the surrounding passages, most of which are presented in this blog.  God is the divine spark within, and our real will is the same as His Will (an ACIM tenet).  So God could set the limits on our bent to miscreate, particularly in that we cannot destroy ourselves (and this is the “why” of the limits).

Believing that our rebellion was a way to experience the all, we can see that we are, like Ruth Montgomery’s Guides say, sparks of the divine that were sent out from the Center (a paraphrase, and also a metaphor of the Guides).  Some strayed farther than others, and, as Edgar Cayce said, some became entrapped in matter on this earth.  Cayce says that these entrapped souls, the Daughters of Men, needed the Sons of Light to save them.  So souls, led by Jesus, came to earth to rescue those who could not have risen above matter unless others came to their aid.  In a similar fashion, Jesus says in ACIM that he stands at the end, to help us, when we have gone as far as we can toward Awakening.  Then God reaches “down” and rescues us; He takes the final step (an ACIM tenet).  In ACOL this beatific moment is called “Christ-consciousness.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to assimilate all of these writings about our ultimate reality into a coherent whole.  There have been hints before that the separation, though illusory, has had effects that have hurt our little selves.  May I leave behind that hurt today; my real Self has not been hurt at all.

May I recognize that, just as God and I chose the separation, together He and I can mend the separation so that we are One again.  My real will is the same as His.  May I use my real will today to accommodate to God’s Will.

Amen.

God “Let Go”

“What do you who are parents do with a child who is too impatient, too bright, too eager, to learn slowly and to mature gracefully?. . .What you do is realize the impossibility of imposing your will and, because of this impossibility, you realize that you must let go.  Thus your decision was also God’s decision.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 8.10).

Affirmation:  “May my decisions be God’s decisions.”

Reflections:

This passage explains succinctly the course that was taken in the separation from God.  No further words are necessary.  Let us contemplate the passage, and let God speak to us about what we ought to do now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen today as You guide me Home to you.  You know the way; I too often forget even the little that I know.  If I was ever rebellious, and tried to run ahead of Your divine plans for me, help me to grow up today and to drop that rebellion.   Thank You for this succinct explanation, because all of us who read what Jesus has said can reflect on what we know of adolescents in our society and sometimes in our homes.  May we realize that our “rebellion” from You was necessary, even as the adolescents in our society need to rebel in order to come to understand what their identity really is.

Thank You for today’s comprehensive explanation of what happened in the separation.  May the separation be healed today, and may I awake to the blessings that You have for me in my restored state.  If I am not yet ready for the separation to be healed, may I do nothing that furthers it.  May I turn to You for a full healing and Awakening to the glory that You hold out to me.

Amen.

A GIFT FROM MARIANNE; A Review of Marianne Williamson’s “The Gift of Change; Spiritual Guidance in a Radically New Life”

A Review of Marianne Williamson’s The Gift of Change; Spiritual Guidance in a Radically New Life (HarperSanFrancisco, 2004).  To order online, visit http://www.marianne.com.  Also available in bookstores nationwide.

Marianne Williamson has contributed more in the popular mind to advance the message of A Course in Miracles than anyone else.  Frequent readers of her books will find that The Gift of Change depends more heavily on ACIM than any book since A Return to Love, the classic that opened the eyes of many to the blessing of ACIM.  There is a difference, though, one which Marianne herself recognizes; she is now a mature woman, more buffeted about by the contrary winds of life, and she knows more fully how drastic is the message of forgiveness developed in ACIM.

The Gift of Change is structured (after an introductory chapter) into ten profound and fundamental changes that the serious student of ACIM will undergo.  Marianne’s chapter headings are worth highlighting in detail, for here one may gain an appreciation of the depth and breadth that The Gift of Change embodies:

–From Forgetting Who We Are to Remembering Who We Are;
–From Negative Thinking to Positive Love;
–From Anxiety to Atonement;
–From Asking God to Change the World to Praying That He Change Us;
–From Living in the Past and Future to Living in the Present;
–From Focus on Guilt to Focus on Innocence;
–From Separation to Relationship;
–From Spiritual Death to Rebirth;
–From Your Plan to God’s Plan;
–From Who We Were to Who We Are Becoming.

Marianne footnotes ACIM ideas either by stating her debt directly or by inserting an asterisk.   She does not stray far from ACIM, and the delightful images in her own words highlight why reading her books is edifying, whether one has studied ACIM or not.  As has been pointed out in the pages of the magazine, Miracles, Marianne’s audience reaches those also who have never been drawn to A Course in Miracles.

The thesis of the book is given in a succinct two sentences that, in essence, summarize all of the ten changes that Marianne goes on to elucidate:  “The online way the world can make a quantum leap, from conflict and fear to peace and love, is if that same quantum leap occurs within us.  Then and only then will we become the men and women capable of solving the problems that plague us.”

How do we do this?  Marianne says that we spend a committed part of each day in prayer and contemplation/meditation.  Then, ever so gradually, we present ourselves authentically to God all the time:  “not just every hour, but every moment of every day.”  Yet Marianne recognizes that virtually none of us can sustain Awakening; she says, “Sometimes we walk closely with God, and sometimes we sprint to the other side of the universe.”  But God’s mercy redeems; we fall on our faces many times, but He is always there to pick us up—and to move us through the changes that we need to embody.  Changing ourselves, we will thereby be led to change the world:  “The only thing that will triumph over evil is for enough good people to actually do good.”  Marianne says early on, “It is time to do what we know in our hearts we were born to do.”

The ten changes are applicable to ACIM students/teachers as well as to those who are not.  Marianne is very much attuned to the world in which we find ourselves, and there is a strong evangelical tone to her words.  In reading her, I find myself asking, “Will I be part of the problem or part of the solution?”  Marianne fervently hopes that her readers will sign on as part of the solution.  And in these ten changes, she details exactly how to do just that.

Marianne’s gift is a joy to read and a clarion call to change our world.  The call to change our world, though, is predicated on an inner shift in perception (in  ACIM terminology, a “miracle”).  Marianne belongs to a long line of ministers of the word who believe that outer change is misguided unless it is predicated first on inner shift.  In The Gift of Change she develops exactly how to effect that inner shift through changes with which everyone can identify.  The Gift of Change merits an unqualified endorsement.

_____
The reviewer is Celia Hales.   A former religion librarian, she lives with her husband in Oxford, Mississippi.  She has several blogs at the following addresses:

https://celiaelaine.wordpress.com

http://celiahales.wordpress.com

http://elainehill.wordpress.com

Disconnecting from God?

“Since God was the center of your being, it was impossible to disconnect your heart and still live.  What could be disconnected was your will, or in other words, your mind.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 8.8)”

Affirmation:  “God, the center of my being”

Reflections:

This passage explains how the separation came about–the separation from God.  We disconnected our minds from Him, and we went astray.  Elsewhere we learn that it was a conscious choice, and that God acquiesced in it.  We were too eager to move ahead of His Way.  We were like rebellious adolescents.  And so He let us have our way.

There is a lovely exposition of this by way of a comparison with parents who let their rebellious adolescents go their own way.  They do not try to stop their headstrong tendencies.  They do not disinherit them.  The parents know that they must let go.  And God knew this as well.

Today us resolve today not to rush headlong into situations for which we have no guidance.  We are trying to depend on self alone when we do this, and we will feel fear (an ACIM tenet).  Let us determine to leave fear behind, knowing that it has always been a conscious choice.  Let us determine to make Heaven on earth as our daily walk continues.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please help me, today, to undo the separation that exists between You and myself.  It is time to go Home, not to Heaven but to the real world in this world.  Help me to return Home today.

Be there for me, I ask of You.  I cannot make this “journey without distance” without You.

Amen.

From Learning to Creating

“But the choice many of you will make–the choice to move from learning to creating–will create a new world.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’
7.9)”

Affirmation:  “a new world”

Reflections:

We are asked here to create a new world, one in which it is commonplace to experience Christ-consciousness.  We will create, rather than continuing to seek our way through further learning.  How will we “create”?  Only God can tell us that.  When we stay close to Him, we will know what to do next.

This passage continues the comparison between those who still find value in learning, and those who leave learning behind and create a new world.  Just as with the ways of Jesus (the “doing”) and Mary (the “being”), there are no hard and fast rules about how to handle this choice.  If we find value in learning, Jesus gives us his blessing.  But many will move onward,, and this, he says in this passage, will create a new world.

Teaching, though, is a form of creation.  It is both “doing” and “being.”  But not all will choose to be teachers, though teaching and learning were the hallmarks of A Course in Miracles.  This course, A Course of Love, takes us a step farther.  We will know internally, from revelation from God, in an elevated Self of form (still a physical being).
In ACIM, some were described as “Teachers of Teachers,” individuals who had eventually cast aside the body, not to return in any form to this world, but instead to impart their ideas to those living in physical body.  And sometimes these Teachers of Teachers appeared as visions.  In ACOL, we are concerned now with what we will do when we live in the elevated Self of form.  We will still have physical bodies, and it is up to us–our choice–how we live our lives in this form.

Let us pray today for the right pathway for our talents.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to make the best choice in deciding what I will be or do in this new world.  Help me to have Your guidance in making this choice.

May I realize that “being” and “doing” can be done separately, or together, and that there is no judgment on Your part of which is better.  Either way can and will work in the new world.  Help me to to help create this new world.

Amen.

Continue to Learn?

“Some will choose to continue to learn through the full variety of the human experience even after it is unnecessary.  Why?  Because it is a choice, pure and simple.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 7.8)”

Affirmation:  “full variety of human experience”

Reflections:

This suggests that many of us will live on earth long after the time that the elevated Self of form has been accomplished.  The elevated Self of form, of course, is the sustained Christ-consciousness.  Most of us will leave “learning” behind, but there are those who love to learn, and this will not be denied them.  They will still make their contributions to the All.

We are always given choices in this world.  Free will is a probable will (an ACOL tenet).  God placed the limits on our ability to miscreate, but only to save ourselves from destroying ourselves (an ACIM tenet).  We will know by studying both ACIM and ACOL that our real will is actually the same as the Will of God.  We will not vacillate between following guidance (as the thought of the Holy Spirit or through direct revelation from God) and following what we perceive as our “own” will.  This “own” will is likely to be a holdover from the days when the ego held sway.

Let us resolve to let the ego wither away.  And God will help us to do just that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have always loved learning, but maybe I need to realize that there is a stopping point.  Continued seeking for religious truths is not needed when the Answer has been given to me.  May I move forward today with the assurance that I can “let it be.”

Thank You for given me the assurance that there will be an Answer, an assurance that came in the night.  I know now what You were trying to tell me.  Please be with me today as I live out Your promise.

Amen.

No Fear in Christ-Consciousness

“You cannot sustain Christ-consciousness while fear remains in you, just as you cannot sustain Christ-consciousness while judgment remains in you.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 7.5)”

Affirmation:  “no fear and no judgment”

Reflections:

“Fear” and “judgment”–the two nay-sayers in the search for Christ-consciousness.  How many of us truly can say, today, that we never experience either of these two emotions?

That is the difficulty we all encounter as we seek to move forward.  Only God Himself can reach down and bridge the gap (an ACIM tenet).

We will see glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and then we will recognize what its sustainability will do for us.  Certainly whenever we experience moments that are completely joyous, we have left behind fear and judgment and entered into a new life.  May we come to understand how to sustain this new life, beginning today.

A Course in Miracles mentions one other mistake that will keep us astray:  planning against contingencies to come.  In the worldview of ACIM, we are to depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance of what to do.  In the worldview of ACOL, it is dependence on the inner sense that we have, because we have walked farther along the pathway.  And the God that is within.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave fear, judgment, and unnecessary planning in the past today.  Leaving these behind is my only hope.  Help me to be consistent as I long to follow Your way.

Be with me today when I slip and make mistakes.  I do not want to make mistakes, but I am human, and mistakes happen.  Correct my misdeeds and wrong thoughts, and lead me back to the pathway toward Christ-consciousness.

Amen.

Sustaining Christ-Consciousness = No Judgment

“Those who sustain Christ-consciousness will abide within it free of judgment. . . .This perfect world will be observable to them and in them.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 7.4)”

Affirmation:  “the perfect world”

Reflections:

Would we not like to see a “perfect world”?  This passage says that this is possible, once judgment is dropped from our repertoire of decisions.  Then Christ-consciousness gives us a reality that is beyond our wildest imaginings.

This passage emphasizes once again the absolute primacy of giving us our little, personal judgments of our brothers and sisters.  Until we do so, we are as trapped in matter as they are.  We must look within to forgive them, and then the perfect world will emerge.  Of course, not everything will be “perfect,” in the opinion of our little selves, but the bad elements will no longer have the ability to terrify us.  We will live, immersed in life but with our heads above the fray.  We will not let these little tragedies affect us so adversely, because we will know that they are unreal, illusory.

We also must understand that we are not to judge ourselves; often we are, as has been said, our worst enemies.  It may be harder to fail to judge ourselves than to fail to judge our brothers and sisters.  This difficulty may be especially pronounced in students of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, because we have read of the banning of anger and attack (an ACIM tenet), and the encouragement of unity in relationship to all of our brothers and sisters (an ACOL tenet).  So we must be gentle with ourselves, calling our mistakes just that–mistakes–not “sins.”  And then we must move to correct those mistakes.

How may we do this?  We turn to God.  We turn to Jesus.  We pray for the gentleness of those who have accepted the way of salvation.  And then we will not judge ourselves nor our brothers and sisters.  Then we will be well on our way to Christ-consciousness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me not to judge today.  I need not to judge myself nor my brothers and sisters.  I especially need not to judge myself if I have made a mistake and judged my brothers and sisters.  I need to ask for forgiveness, knowing that forgiveness is always forthcoming when the mind and heart are joined in wholeheartedness.

May today be a good day.  May I walk farther along the pathway toward Christ-consciousness, knowing that when I cease to judge, my way is made more sure.

Amen.

Refrain from Judgment

“Christ-consciousness will be temporary or sustainable depending on your ability to refrain from judgment.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 7.1)”

Affirmation:  “refrain from judgment”

Reflections:

A Course of Love echoes A Course in Miracles in this brief passage.  May we pray today to refrain from judging our brothers and sisters.  We cannot see the totality, and so judgment is actually impossible, except as carried out by the Holy Spirit (an ACIM tenet).

There is a lengthy passage in ACIM that explains for us why we cannot judge accurately.  Can we know all that has happened outside of our sphere?  Can we see all aspects of the past, and all aspects of the future, that will be affected by our judgment?  No one would claim this prescience, and therefore nobody can judge rightly.  We must leave the decisions to Someone who does know the whole situation, and in the words of A Course in Miracles, that is the Holy Spirit.

When we drop into judgment, we make ourselves miserable.  ACIM says that forgiveness is our only function, and when we forgive, we do not judge.

Accurate judgment is impossible because we have limited vision.  We must turn above to make better decisions through guidance, forgetting judgment as a bad idea.  In A Course of Love, this guidance is in an inner peace; in A Course in Miracles, it is the intuitive knowledge that the Holy Spirit is guiding us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to hear this lesson today.  May I refrain from judgment all the days of my life, and may I start today.  Earlier it has been possible for me to refrain from judgment, but when I get stressed, sometimes my good intentions are not enough. ACIM tells me that my good intentions are not enough.  May I recognize these limitations of mine today, and may I act upon the choice to leave judgment aside, choosing instead the guidance that is ultimate spirituality.

Thank You for helping me in this endeavor today.  Please be with me as I go through the day, reminding me of what I have chosen for today.

Amen.

The Secret = Sharing Christ-Consciousness

“The changes those who have existed in Christ-consciousness have wrought have been great, but they did not sustain Christ-consciousness, primarily because they were unable to share Christ-consciousness directly because of individual and collective choice.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.7)”

Affirmation:  “May I come to understand the importance of sharing Christ-consciousness.”

Reflections:

This passage talks about individuals who lived in the past, and also perhaps about ourselves, when we experienced Christ-consciousness, but did not sustain it.  As hard as it may be to understand, we did not sustain it because we chose not to do so.  Elsewhere we learn that we returned to attack, judgment, and planning for an uncertain future (ACIM tenets), and that it is these thoughts that kept us from sustaining the elevated Self of form.

Twice I have experienced periods of revelation, but I did not sustain the elevated Self of form.  Eckhart Tolle indicates that there may be many such moments in our lives.  But gradually the Way is opened, and we do sustain the Self.  A Course in Miracles talks about this Self, but is not specific about what is meant.  A Course of Love is quite specific, and we would do well to study the parts of the volumes which emphasize the elevated Self of form (the physical being, but with Christ-consciousness).

We have chosen not to sustain the elevated Self.  But let us make a better choice as we come more fully to receive God’s revelation.  He needs us to save His world.  As has been often stated, Jesus needs our hands and feet (a biblical tenet).  So there is continuity among the Bible, ACIM, and ACOL.  We receive the teachings for which we have become ready.  And we may pray that our world is ready now to receive the revelation directly from God.  ACIM explained the means to revelation; ACOL builds on this knowledge, and Jesus assures us that it is knowledge (not perception).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I share the good news that You have given me.  We can now share Christ-consciousness, and then come to sustain it.  This is the secret which those of the past did not fully understand.  May many of us understand, and carry out this injunction to share what we have knowledge of, what we know from Christ-consciousness.  Only then will we sustain the elevated Self of form.

Please be with me today as I seek to share my knowledge, given by You.  May I not assume more than I really know, and may I share only what is true.

Amen.

A New Choice

“I call you to a new choice with the full realization that your choice along will affect millions of your brothers and sisters–as long as–and this crucial, you do not give in to ideas of separation and disunity.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I make a new choice today.”

Reflections:

We are One with our brothers and sisters.  We will save many of them, but we are not to see them as separate from us, even before they have reached their salvation, their Christ-consciousness.

This totality of One is reassuring, even as we see many tragedies in our world that have been perpetrated by our brothers and sisters, lost from God for the moment.  They will come to understand; they will find their way back to God.  But the world winds on wearily, and the return may take millions of years.  Let us run with patience the race that is set before us (a biblical concept).

If we remember, as A Course in Miracles teaches, that once the journey is begun, the end is certain, we can rest content.  We can know that we will make the “journey without distance,” and we can be patient.  If Christ-consciousness does not come now or even in the future, we can know that it will come eventually.  As ACIM says, we but take a pathway that has already been laid out; we are “remembering,” and the point at which we “come home” has already been set.  This sounds a bit like predestination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or A Course of Love), but whatever we call it, the outcome is sure.  We will find our way Home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to be patient today.  If I stay lost in dreams, may I still see glimmerings of Awakening.  Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to me, though the means are needed.  Help me to listen to You as You speak to me through the Holy Spirit, or, more directly, through an inner knowing.

Be with me throughout the day today.  I love You, and You know this well.

Amen.

Be Tolerant

“There is room in the universe, dear brothers and sisters, for everyone’s choice.  I call you to a new choice,, but not intolerance of those who are not ready to make it.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.6)”

Affirmation:  “called to a new choice”

Reflections:

We are to be tolerant of our brothers and sisters who have not walked the full pathway.  Not all are ready to accept the words of Jesus as scribed in A Course of Love.  We are not to look down upon them.  Perhaps a smile is all that they can handle.  We are not called upon to be proselytizers of the way that we have found.

We are called to a “new choice,” but not intolerance of those who are not ready.  This is a bit of a strong warning of the misstep that we might make.  And our arrogance would be ego-inspired, taking us down rather than up.  Surely we do not want to walk the path of the ego all over again.  And Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations with God series, says that evolution is not a “straight line.”  So it would behoove us to walk carefully down our pathway.

The universe(s) is a very large place, metaphorically as well as actually, physically.  It can accommodate the many pathways that people find in their way back to God.  ACIM says that there are many courses, all with the same purpose.  In ACIM and ACOL, though, we have found one united pathway that many believe came from Jesus.  We should not, as ACIM notes, follow pathways that are meant for others, but to adopt that which we see as our own, our best way back to God.  ACIM and ACOL work together to embody that pathway for many people.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be and remain tolerant of others and their different pathways.  May I especially be tolerant when they do not subscribe to my pathway, as seen in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  May I be understanding even if they denounce me.

May I follow the way that is mine.  This involves my holy relationships to my brothers and sisters.  This does not necessarily involve tedious hours spent in contemplation.  Jesus himself has said this, and may I take it to heart.

Amen.

The Natural State

“A shared vision of unity and a return of all to the state natural to all, is that I ask you to imagine, envision, and desire.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I imagine unity and a return to a natural state.”

Reflections:

This passage gives us what our prayer is to be for.  We are to share ourselves with our brothers and sisters, and to ask that they too return to the state that is natural to all–the state of communicating with our Creator, with God (an ACIM concept).  A Course in Miracles says that we taught ourselves not to communicate with our Creator, and that this is not a natural way of living.  Let us return to the natural today.

The terms, “imagine, envision, and desire,” are hallmarks of ACOL in which we believe that the new Christ-consciousness to which we are all called will embody this essence.  It will not be learning anymore, the curriculum of ACIM.  We will understand through direct revelation from God, and this will not be a perceptual truth, but a knowledge.  And knowledge that is true comes only from God.

The word “natural” in the passage is particularly appealing to me.  We all desire the natural in our little individual worlds.  We do not find that we are attracted to that which is strange and peculiar.  And the natural is what ACOL is to bring about.  If a thesis lacks the test of naturalness, it is best left aside.  But this is not to allow intolerance in our lives.  What is natural to one individual is frequently not so natural to another, and we must be tolerant of these differences.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I return today to unity with all my brothers and sisters, as I pray for them.  May we return, together, to the state of co-creation with You, the state that is natural to us.  May this blessing happen sooner rather than later.

Thank You for guiding me gently along the correct pathway.  My pathway is strewn with blessings when I am wise enough to recognize these blessings.

Amen.

The Probable Future

“In this time of Christ, this time of direct revelation and direct sharing, the probable future you imagine, envision, desire, will be what you create.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I watch my mind to enable it to create the probable future that is really best.”

Reflections:

This passage asks us to watch our minds, and to fall in line with what our spirits would wish for us.  Let us not fall into “mind wandering,” which A Course in Miracles says we are much too willing to do.  The mind is very powerful, and it will create what we envision.  Let us raise our sights to create the very best that we can.

In the time of Christ, there is no delay in seeing the results of our thinking–at least not as much delay as previously in the time of the Holy Spirit.  A Course of Love presages the time of Christ, as A Course in Miracles describes the time of the Holy Spirit.  The two do seem to overlap, as students study both of these courses.

May we know that what we envision can indeed come true.  Let us watch our minds so that we do not inadvertently bring into “reality” (actually our illusory dream) that which we do not want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I want the future that you would have for me.  May my mind not drop into negativisms, and thereby help to create a future that I–and You–really do not want for myself.  May I be led to envision the best and brightest future.

May I now try to stay in the dream, even if it is happy.  The dream is not the end that You seek for me.  May my Awakening be soon.

Amen.

My Identity and Inheritance Are Sure

“The only guarantee I can offer you is the guarantee that you are who I say you are and that I speak the truth concerning your identity and inheritance.  What you choose to do with this knowledge is still up to you.  What you choose to create with this knowledge is still up to you.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.2)”

Affirmation:  “May I create good things with the knowledge that is given to me.”

Reflections:

The fact of our responsibility in the matter of choosing our future can be daunting, but should not be, because we do not have to choose alone.  We have helpers, including Jesus, and, if we have listened internally, we have our inner direction.

This concept is a very freeing one, even though it may frighten us as we think of the implications.  Reality is not scary as long as the ego has been relinquished.  Pray that this is so for us today.

We will choose to create a heaven on earth.  I am confident of this, because we have seen evidences of those who reach for Jesus’s word and abide in it.  Today let us pray for what our parts should be in creating this heaven on earth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know my part in helping to create Heaven on earth.  May I understand the knowledge that is imparted to me by You.  May I neither overestimate or underestimate what my part can be in making a better world for myself,  and my brothers and sisters in this world.

My inheritance is sure.  I have long realized this truth.  Help it to become ever more real to me today.

Amen.

What I Imagine Is Possible

“What you envision, imagine, desire, hold as being possible is possible, because you make it so.  It is your interaction, both individually and collectively with the consciousness that is us, that creates probable futures rather than guaranteed futures.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.1)”

Affirmation:  “May I envision a good probable future.”

Reflections:

This passage is like Jane Roberts channeled for Seth:  We create our own reality, and we move into a complex interplay of probable futures with our brothers and sisters playing their roles as well.  We do not have to adopt for ourselves all that Seth promotes, though, to understand that we do choose what we will experience.  This is not a choice of the little, individual self, but the Self, the larger Self, of which we partake on other planes as well.

We cannot know the future definitely, because of the fact that all futures are probable–thus not sure to turn out the way that we expect.  This is why psychics often fail in their predictions; they are tuning into another probable future, one that the self of the moment will not choose.

“Probable futures” constitute a potent idea.  This means that we can bring into our world those futures that are more promising and happier, if we so choose.  Let us choose to find joy today in our futures.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I use all of my imagination today to create a positive future.  This is not the dreams that I am caught in in this world; this is the reality which I have come to know.

May I choose the probable future that is most promising.  May I co-create, with You, the Way that You would have me go.

Amen.

My State of Consciousness = A Part of Christ-Consciousness

“Your state of consciousness, be you alive or dead, asleep or awake, literally or figuratively, is a part of the consciousness that is Christ-consciousness.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 6.1)”

Affirmation:  “May I fully realize that my consciousness is a part of Christ-consciousness.”

Reflections:

We are part of the All.  That is what is meant.  We, in our elevated Self of form, constitute part of what is meant by “Christ.”  We are never alone.

“Christ-consciousness” is a term not well-understood by those of us who are still in a state of moving toward Awakening.  If the way seems long, we are to be content (according to A Course in Miracles), because, once begun on the journey without distance, the end is sure.  We may know fleeting glimpses of Christ-consciousness, often before we move into the sustained state.  These fleeting glimpses are the revelation that something even better is coming.

Eckhart Tolle has much to say about the state of Enlightenment, or Awakening.  He notes that this is not a constant state in the beginning, normally.  It fluctuates.  When we are at peace, in joy and contentment, we are seeing a glimpse of what we will experience, without drama, on a continuing basis later on.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I sustain Christ-consciousness today.  May I realize the state of mind and spirit that is without fear.  Be with me as I seek to know Your truth.

If the way to Christ-consciousness seems long, be with me as I seek to be patient.  The ending is sure, once the pathway is taken.  Thank You for walking along with me, and occasionally for “carrying” me.

Amen.

The After-Life

“The after-life has simply a time of increased choice because it has been a time of increased awareness.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.13)”

Affirmation:  “increased choice because increased awareness”

Reflections:

Jesus is here saying that we can know in the elevated Self of form those things that formerly we could only know after death, on the Other Side (“the after-life”).

Now we can have this awareness without crossing the barrier of death.  What a lovely thought for those of us who have always had lots of curiosity about the true nature of reality.

Enjoying the knowing that comes to us is a great boon.  We need not fret and struggle so, but rest in the knowledge (and it is knowledge) that all is well.  What happens is meant to happen.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in certainty that the after-life will be something which I will enjoy tremendously.  But let me not live in longing for that which is ahead.  May I live in greater awareness and greater choice today, in this world, as well.  May I enjoy the real world that shows before my eyes as I let illusions, the dream in which I am caught, dissipate.

Thank You for the greater awareness and greater choice for today that You have already granted me.  May my gratitude color the interactions that I have with others today.

Amen.

To Learn Directly from God

“Because you have now made a new choice, a collective choice as one body, one consciousness, to end the time of the intermediary and to begin to learn directly, you are given the same opportunity now that was formerly reserved for you only after your death.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.12)”

Affirmation:  “learn directly today”

Reflections:

Learning directly is looking within for our answers.  God is within (as well as perceived–and known–as without).  He will lead us surely.  We do not have to doubt.  If we have experienced salvation, we will know what to say and do.  We do not have to hesitate.

Of course, we will not do “crazy” things, though some of what we are bade to do may seem embarrassing to us.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that this conclusion of ours comes from a shabby self-perception, that the words that come to us are truer by far than something we would falsely imagine might be better.  We are bade to offer these words that come to us without doubt.  Just a few times of doing so will assure us of the validity of Jesus’s advice.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I learn directly from God today.  This is the favored way in the time of Christ (as in A Course of Love)  rather than in the time of the Holy Spirit (as in A Course in Miracles).  For some time I may vacillate between the two ways of knowing (as opposed to perceiving), and I ask your patience with me as I experience a new way of seeing.

Be with me today.  May fear leave me forever.  May the love that is Yours come to encompass my brothers and sisters, and myself, so completely that I am lost in that love.

Amen.

A Call to Choose Christ-Consciousness

“I am calling you to make this choice now.  This is not a choice automatic to you in human form or even  upon the death of your human form.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.11)”

Affirmation:  “make this choice now”

Reflections:

Jesus would have us to accept Christ-consciousness now.  He says that we are ready.  Will we forever doubt?

Often we think that there is something else that we need to learn.  We believe that the next book, or the next speaker, or the next documentary, or the next prayer, will lead us more easily than what we know already.  This is not so.  Jesus would have us rest in the present moment, sure of him and sure of ourselves.  Our union with Christ will be the only Guide that we need.

Often self-help literature implores us to improve ourselves, but this is not what Christ-consciousness is all about.  Frequently self-help is to improve the dream that we are in.  Christ-consciousness is the call to awaken.

When we are called to awaken, we cease turning to the next book, the next system of thought, the next whatever.  We rest in surety that we know, because God has granted us knowledge, and we are leaving mere “perception” behind.  Let us choose for knowledge today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to follow the guidance that comes to me inwardly.  This guidance will surely and safely lead me to Christ-consciousness.  This is the elevated Self of form, about which A  Course of Love speaks so eloquently.  This means that I do not have to die to experience the knowledge that only You can give.  Please grant me knowledge to live and love today, this day in all its fullness.

Thank You for Your guidance.  If I do my part, it is most certain that You will do Yours.  You have only been waiting until I was ready.  I am ready today.

Amen.

Who Am I Truly?

“To align your will with the Will of God is to make the choice for Christ-consciousness, to make the choice to be aware of who you truly are.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.10)”

Affirmation:  “May I align my will with the Will of God.”

Reflections:

A Course of Love builds on A Course in Miracles, because the latter had counseled that the Will of God is actually our own real will.  This does take the conflict out of our feeling that we are puppets on a string, doing God’s will (which we wonder if we really want to do).  We are not puppets.  God is the divine spark within, and when we reach inward, we come to know what it is that we ought rightfully to say and to do.

ACIM focused on the Holy Spirit as our guide.  ACOL counsels a movement, a time, beyond the time of the Holy Spirit, with movement into the time of Christ.  We will know what to say or do without strain.  Life will move easier for us.  We will not feel that tug of resistance, of which so many of us are familiar.

The time of the Holy Spirit often meant that we did what we realized we should do, but without wholly wanting to do so.  ACIM says that this will result in anger, suppressed or expressed.  The time of Christ is different, in that we realize that doing what we sense inwardly, once we have tested it for truth, is the best result.  We will cease our struggle, because we will realize conclusively that to do God’s will is to do our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May the strain of “deciding” for the Holy Spirit leave me.  May I devote myself to following what I know to be Your will in ease and peace.  May my struggle cease, because my inward knowledge is guiding me.

Help me to decide for the consciousness of Christ today.  Jesus has said that I am ready; may this wonderful declaration come true in my life in joy and wholeness.  May I remember again what I forgot long ago.

Amen.

Is My Best Choice My Free Will?

“Free will does not make the impossible possible.  Free will makes the possible probable.  It is thus probable that you will use your free will in order to be who you are.  But it is not guaranteed!  It is your choice and your choice alone that is the only guarantee.  This is the meaning of free will.  (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.9)”

Affirmation:  “probable that I will be who I am”

Reflections:

The “probable” is a concept that was described  by Jane Roberts in the scribed “Seth” books.  Seth talked of “probable realities,” of which we are always at intersection points.  A Course of Love builds on this idea.  In this passage, we learn that we create our own reality, just as Seth said.  Now Jesus seems to be agreeing with this early psychic conclusion.

We need to  “be who (we) are.”  We need to move beyond the little self-contained, separated self to the elevated Self of form in this world.  This will be the certainty that we have risen to Christ-consciousness.  We do not have to struggle to be who we really are.  We need only accept these inspired words of Jesus, and let our free will lead us down the correct pathway.

Unless we find our right pathway, the one that is right for only us, then we will not live out the probabilities that are best for us.  When we live according to the instructions of Jesus, then we will live out those probabilities that are right.  In ACIM, this best way to live was described as following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  In ACOL, this best way becomes an inner knowing, because Jesus would have all of us live out on Christ-consciousness.

Live today as seems right.  Nothing wrong ever turned out right.  Then the free will that we all desire will be in line with the creative powers of the universe.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I understand “free will” as I never have before.  May I know that my best probable future depends on following the highest and best that I know, whether following the Holy Spirit (ACIM) or an inner knowing (ACOL).

Help me today to have a good day.  It is not one based solely on the “feeling” of a good day, but its actuality.  This may or may not actually feel “good.”  But it will be right, in the highest sense of which we are capable.

Amen.

Do We Have Free Will?

“Your finger does not act independently of the whole.  You might say that your finger does not, then, have free will. . . .The same is true of you!  You cannot express yourself independently of the whole! (The Treatises of A Course of Love:  ‘A Treatise on the New,’ 5.8 – 5.9) ”

The concept of free will was long a challenge to me, until I read A Course in Miracles, and learned that God’s Will and my real will are one and the same!  What a glorious realization this is.

In A Course of Love, we see that, as in ACIM, we choose for the whole rather than our little self; we choose for all of our brothers and sisters when we make a God-inspired choice.  This helps to explain why “free will” doesn’t mean that we can miscreate and never reap the consequences.

We do have free will, but God has set the boundaries of our miscreations.  We cannot go outside these boundaries.  Pain becomes too great, and we learn, as Helen Schucman scribed in ACIM, that pain is not without limit.  Sooner or later we realize that there must be a better way.  This other way is what she and Bill Thetford sought to find, and Jesus gave them ACIM was the result.

Now we might say the same for Mari Perron and A Course of Love.  “Another Course in Miracles” was presented to her.  And she was willing to provide what many view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I look to You for a full explanation of what my free will really is and what it means.  A very important concept, I realize that it is one that must be understood and understood fully.

Thank You for the explanation given us today in this passage from A Course of Love.  Thank You for the peace of mind that this passage gives me.

Amen.