Monthly Archives: March 2011

I Am Always Certain What to Do, What to Say, and What to Think

ACIM Workbook Lesson 83 – for Thursday, March 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “My only function is the one God gave me.”

Selected Passage:

“I have no function but the one God gave me.  This recognition releases me from all conflict, because it means I cannot have conflicting goals.  With one purpose only, I am always certain what to do, what to say and what to think.  (WB148)”

Reflections:

The only function is forgiveness, or pardon.  (Usually it is called “forgiveness” in ACIM, but the word “pardon” is also used upon occasion.)  Why would this be true?  ACIM does not actually say that we are in a schoolroom in this world, but much of what we read may be interpreted in this way.  We are here to save the world.  There could be no more lofty purpose, and there is no more lofty purpose.  Our function of forgiveness will also lead us to happiness (elsewhere called our function, as well).

Affirmation:  “My happiness and my function are one.”

Selected Passage:

“. . .I must learn to recognize what makes me happy, if I would find happiness.  (WB148)”

Reflections:

Here is the dual nature of forgiveness and happiness.  Forgiveness leads to happiness; nothing else works this way.  Certainly the ego does not, though we have flights of euphoria when we have “triumphed” over another.  But this euphoria soon turns to ashes.  We would leave behind false ways of seeking happiness today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If You send me euphoria today, may it be a joyous feeling that is completely in line with Your best intentions for me.  May any euphoria that I feel or long to feel fail to partake of the ego.

When my only goal is salvation (for myself and others), then I do know what to say and what to do, because the Holy Spirit guides me.  May I ask You, once again, that I be flexible enough to turn quickly away from the false way, into the right way–led by Your grace.

Amen.

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Peace to Every Mind = By Forgiveness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 82 – for Tuesday, March 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “The light of the world brings peace to every mind through my forgiveness.”

Selected Passage:

“My forgiveness is the means by which the world is healed, together with myself.  Let me, then, forgive the world, that it may be healed along with me.  (WB147)”

Reflections:

The affirmation and the passage are both very reassuring and comforting.  If we just dwell a moment on the words themselves, we will find ourselves more at peace.  This peace assumes that we actually believe the words.  And a student/teacher of ACIM will soon find that his or her understanding is enough to believe the words.

Affirmation:  “Let me not forget my function.”

Selected Passage:

“This may threaten my ego, but cannot change my function in any way.  (WB147)”

Reflections:

We ought actually to be glad when the ego is threatened (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  When the ego is threatened, it is on the way out.  And we do learn, along our pathway, that the ego is constantly being undone.  If we are still ruled by egoistic thinking, we will feel depression at such times.  But the best way to handle this depression is to know that temporarily we have let fear, in one of its many guises, rule us.  We have believed that the ego would save us.  And nothing is farther from the truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I bring peace to everyone whom I meet today.  This  is a high goal, but with Your help, I am confident I can reach this goal.  Be with me if conflict threatens to disturb this day.  Let Your peace overshadow all.

Thank You for answering my prayer for guidance.  Keep me willing always to follow Your way.  Keep me willing to turn on a dime, when I sense that the way I am taking is not Your highest Will for me.

Amen.

May All My Conflicts Disappear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 81 – for Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am the light of the world.”

Selected Passage:

“In [the world’s] calm light let all my conflicts disappear.  (WB146)”

Reflections:

When we recognize that we are the light of the world, then we will see a world, with vision, that is calm and conflict-free.  We may not enjoy this utopia at all times, for we are still caught in limitations, and ACIM says that we are not going to be free of limitations in this world.  But we can take a step forward.  We can ask that our limitations be removed, and to the degree that we believe that they have been removed, to that degree may we be free.

Affirmation:  “Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.”

Selected Passage:

“My acceptance does not depend on my recognizing what my function is, for I do not yet understand forgiveness.  Yet I will trust that, in the light, I will see it as it is.  (WB146)”

Reflections:

We may have trouble fully comprehending the greatness that forgiveness can thrust upon us.  We may not fully understand pardon.  ACIM tries to teach us that forgiveness is the great need of ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters.  It is given, repeatedly, as the function that is most important for us to fulfill in this world.  We must remember that we do not forgive real wrongs; we only forgive illusions.  And the wrongs that we have perceived are all calls for help (or calls for love).  We do not recognize this, very often, particularly if our brothers and sisters are attacking us.  We must make a determined effort not to “make real” this attack, to overlook it instead (Text tenets).  Then we will know that forgiveness is the function that gives us back Heaven, even in this world.  Awakening will not be far behind a full understanding of the value of forgiveness, or pardon.  Remember that we are never ask to forgive the real.  This would be what The Song of Prayer calls “forgiveness to destroy.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know no conflicts today.  If my day seemingly goes well, may I be at peace.  If my day seemingly goes badly, may I still be at peace.  There is no reason for my heart to find rest anywhere except in You.

May I be a light of the world today.  This is a great blessing, and one for which I thank You.  May I shine and shine in the world today, before everyone whom I meet.  May nothing interfere with Your blessings for me.

Amen.

I Have No Problems

ACIM Workbook Lesson 80 – for Monday, March 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize my problems have been solved.”

Selected Passage:

“If you are willing to recognize your problems, you will recognize that you have no problems.  Your one central problem has been answered, and you have no other.  Therefore, you must be at peace.  Salvation thus depends on recognizing this one problem, and understanding that it has been solved.  One problem, one solution.  Salvation is accomplished.  Freedom from conflict has been given you.  Accept that fact, and you are ready to take your rightful place in God’s plan for salvation.

“Your only problem has been solved!  Repeat this over and over to yourself today, with gratitude and conviction.  (WB143)”

Reflections:

The one central problem was separation, a belief that had its origin in putting our faith in our own judgments as interpreted by the ego.  We thought that we were all alone in the world.  Oh, yes, we might have companions in our brothers and sisters, but always this alliance was subject to disruption, due frequently because we did not know how to forgive.  We blamed others for our own mistakes.  We also blamed them for mistakes that impacted us.  And all of this “understanding” was so misguided!

Today we can live free, with the knowledge (not perception only, for that is of the ego, until the perception has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit) that we have no problems.  We will be told all that we should do in every situation that perplexes us.  We do not have to make anything in to a problem.  If we blow up our issues, surely we will allow ourselves to be overwhelmed, and this is a poor way in which to welcome guidance into our lives.  We may be so upset that we cannot hear the guidance accurately.  So let us put all of this nonsense behind today.  May we realize that our problems have been solved, that the Holy Spirit is with us internally as the communication link to God.  We can find solace in a confused and confusing world; we do not have to take it into our minds and bodies through stress or illness.

Illness is an external searching (an ACIM tenet).  And we now know that we can look inwardly for our solutions.  Let us do so today.  And may we thank God that our problems have been solved.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You, dear God, for leading me to realize that regardless of what appears in my life, my problems have been solved.   I have no problems!  If this seems too good to be true, let me look within and listen to Your holy Word, and I will know that all is perfect just as it is.

I realize that this does not mean that there will not be the appearance of problems.  But these are illusions perpetrated by living in an illusory world.  I ask for Your reality today.  And I know that Your reality is good and pure, healthy and prosperous.  Let no illusion to the contrary shake my faith today.

Amen.

All Is One = God, Ourselves, Others

ACIM Workbook Lesson 79 – for Sunday, March 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”

Selected Passage:

“If you could recognize that your only problem is separation, no matter what form it takes, you could accept the answer because you would see its relevance.  (WB142)”

Reflections:

1 – Recognition of Oneness Leads to Awakening

We are really One, one with ourselves, with our brothers and sisters, and one with God.  If we only recognized this, and accepted the other words in ACIM, we would be blessed with Awakening.  Of course, we do not have direct control over the timing; only God does.  But we can foreshorten the time, sometimes saving as much as a thousand years (an ACIM tenet), if we are diligent in our study and in our dedication.

2 – We Have No Problems

We do have no problems.  Oh, surely, we have issues that need to be addressed.  But it is the ego that blows those issues into huge problems that seem insurmountable.  These issues are not insurmountable.  If we turn to the Holy Spirit with all of them, over time (sooner rather than later), we will see the issues dissipate.

3 – We Are Not Meant to Go It Alone

Problems are a sign that we need help.  We are not meant to go it alone.  That is the point of this lesson on separation.  All too often, we think that independence is more laudatory than interdependence.  But we are here with our God and our brothers and sisters for a reason.  God wants us to talk to Him.  He is always available, deep within us (as well as without, for we perceive that there is a “without”).

4 – Abandon Separation

Let go of separation today.  Reach out to another, and let that response warm you.  The more that you take to heart the directive to let go of separation, the more we will realize that we do not have to feel alone.  Separation was the idea of the ego that we are encased in bodies, and that this cannot be overcome.  But it can.  There are more ways for God to reach us than the world recognizes.  Jesus says elsewhere ACIM that if the ways of communication that the world recognizes were all that there were, salvation would be impossible.  But it is possible, and highly recommended–sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reach out to someone today who needs me.  May I not let his or her need go unmet.  We are indeed all One with God.  And where there is Oneness, there is no separation.

Separation is an illusion of the ego.  Separation has brought us nothing but misery.  May we realize this today, and may we turn aside from the ego and all its supposed “gifts.”  None but have been bought with tears.

Amen.

Let Grievances Wither Away

ACIM Workbook Lesson 78 – for Saturday, March 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “Let miracles replace all grievances.”

Selected Passage:

“We will remember this throughout the day, and take the role assigned to us as part of God’s salvation plan, and not our own.  Temptation falls away when we allow each one we meet to save us, and refuse to hide his light behind our grievances.  (WB140)”

Reflections:

Today’s lesson builds upon the one from yesterday.  If we do not allow temptation to change, negatively, our attitude toward our brothers and sisters, we will know the light, we will know miracles.  Temptation is simply the desire to replace what we recognize to be God’s will with another will, a will of the ego.  And we know that doing this simply brings our downfall in daily life.

Miracles are our birthright.  It is a Text tenet that something has gone wrong when miracles do not appear.  We can speculate that this means that miracles will appear more frequently than infrequently (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We do not often recognize miracles as “shifts in perception,” but this is the definition given them by Kenneth Wapnick, scholar and writer for A Course in Miracles.  We are still in the perceptual mode, and therefore miracles do not last.  Revelation is of God, of the “knowing,” and is extremely personal to the receiver.  Nobody else can truly interpret for you when revelation has happened.  In the Text, a distinct difference is seen between miracles (perceptual) and revelation (from God to us, never the reverse).

Revelation will occasionally reveal the end to us, we are told in the Text.  But to get there, to Awakening, the means are needed.  And Jesus carefully explains the means to us in ACIM.  (These are all paraphrases from the Text.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my grievances disappear in the light of the miracles that You will bring to me today.  May I express my gratitude for Your miracles.  May I never take You for granted, even though Your love is steadfast even when mine is not.

Help me to accept the joy that miracles bring.  And, if it is according to Your plan, may revelation today show up in my world.  Only revelation can reveal the end to me, and I am eager to see what You have in store for me.

Amen.

I Am Entitled to Miracles

ACIM Workbook Lesson 77 – for Friday, March 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am entitled to miracles.”

Selected Passage:

I am entitled to miracles.

“Ask for them whenever a situation arises in which they are called for.  You will recognize these situations.  And since you are not relying on yourself to find the miracle, you are fully entitled to receive it whenever you ask.  (WB138)”

Reflections:

Early in the Text, Jesus says that he is in charge of miracles, because he recognizes the miracle-readiness of everyone.   Our own choice about miracles can and probably would be misguided (a Text tenet).  Here we are encouraged to ask for a miracle.  This seems a bold thing to say, but ACIM recommends it, and we are encouraged by much that ACIM says.  We are surprised by the joyous blessings that are ours to receive.

This passage says that we will recognize when miracles are called for.  Perhaps we are not sure about this assertion, but actually our uncertainty may be because we are unaccustomed to believe that our prayers will always be answered.  But they will be; we would even have known this prior to discovering ACIM.  Of course, we learned in growing up that sometimes the answer is “no.”  But Jesus is more positive in this passage.  The miracle will come.  It may not say “yes,” perhaps (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM), but we will be reassured and at peace when we have asked for a miracle and when it has been received.

We are not to rely on ourselves.  This has been the way of the ego, but that way constantly got us into trouble.  We are to rely on the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration.  And God is within, and so we know that He is always available.  Dependence on ourselves is particularly troublesome, because we have been taught this by the world.  But ACIM is different, and we are bade to communicate with God (“commune”–a quote from the Text), and we will find our way Home more quickly than we ever imagined.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that you realize my need for miracles in my present life.  When times become tough,  I always turn to You and ask for a miracle.  Perhaps this is not misguided.  You always respond with quiet and peace.  My mind and spirit are at rest when you respond with a miracle that eases my disturbed thinking.

Be with me today as I go through the day.  I hope that You will not feel it wrong of me to look for miracles as I walk through the day.  I hope that I will find them; indeed, I know that miracles will be there for me.  Thank You.

Amen.