Monthly Archives: August 2011

How to Be Safe

ACIM Workbook Lesson 244 – for Thursday, September 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am in danger nowhere in the world.”

“Your Son is safe wherever he may be, for You are there with him.  He need but call upon Your Name, and he will recollect his safety and Your Love, for they are one.  How can he fear or doubt or fail to know he cannot suffer, be endangered, or experience unhappiness, when he belongs to You, beloved and loving in the safety of Your Fatherly embrace?

“And there we are in truth.  No storms can come into the hallowed haven of our home.  In God we are secure.  For what can come to threaten God Himself, or make afraid what will forever be a part of Him?  (WB415)”

Reflections:

We are a part of God.  And many others have explained a metaphor of God and His universe as a hologram.  We find God within, and we project the world of illusions without, making it clear, from a theoretical point of view, that we are in control of our destiny.  ACIM also makes this point in slightly different context, assuring us that we are in control, in the center of things, and that we cannot blame another for our plight.

The prayer above is an example of a level of understanding A Course in Miracles for which all individuals are not ready.  It takes great learning to realize that our suffering is all illusion, as is our unhappiness.  We seem to live in a very real world, though we are told that most of us inhabit an illusion of a world.  We find the real world when we come closer to union with God (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Until we know salvation more intimately, we must see these words in the prayer as a goal toward which we reach.  We must not fall into dismay if we are not ready.  ACIM says this, in slightly different words.  If we fight the words of ACIM, we are not ready (a Text tenet).  We are told in the Text not to “fight” ourselves.

The embrace of God (in this passage, above) is akin to the embrace of Jesus in A Course of Love, which some view as a sequel to ACIM.  Both are comforting in the extreme.  We are not meant to wallow in our misery, but to ask for help, and to know, ahead of time, that that help will be forthcoming.  We may experience pain, but we do not have to experience suffering.  Learning through pain is temporary, Jesus tells us, and only learning through rewards is lasting.  Let us ask for the way to learn through rewards today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be safe today.  I would think of Jesus often, for he gives no indication in the New Testament that he was ever afraid, despite the horrendous end to his earthly life.  Help me to recall Jesus’s example, and to feel and to act on my own safety.

May I reach inwardly to You frequently today.  Doing so allows me to feel Your presence, and is there a better way to spend a day?  Help me to spend today wisely, with calm, serenity, peace, and tranquility.

Amen.

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I Will Judge Nothing

ACIM Workbook Lesson 243 – for Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today I will judge nothing that occurs.”

“I will be honest with myself today.  I will not think that I already know what must remain beyond my present grasp.  I will not think I understand the whole from bits of my perception, which are all that I can see.  (WB415)”

Reflections:

If we do not have “present grasp,” then how do we know anything?  We do not know from our perception, for perception is projected from within and is illusory.  We can “know” when we have invited the Holy Spirit to show us the real world.  This real world will arise before our eyes, and it is composed of joy, truth, beauty, happiness, peace, and the like (an interpretation, not stated directly in ACIM).

Perception and knowledge are quite different.  And it is knowledge that we seek.  May we turn to guidance of the Holy Spirit for that knowledge.  And let us not be misled by egoistic thinking that parades as guidance.  We need to test the indications that we receive to be sure that they pass the test of love.  Do nothing that fails this test, for it is not of God (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

We are not to be the judge of what may happen.  We are to leave this judgment to the Holy Spirit, Who alone can see the whole picture.  We do not know all from the past, the present, or the future.  And we have been wrong many times, when we thought that we were right.  Would we use such faulty reasoning as our own judgment to make decisions?  No, we would not.  (These are all paraphrases from the Manual.)  Turn all decisions over to the Holy Spirit, and we will walk in peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I judge nothing today.  May I recognize that there is One who knows all the circumstances–past, present, and future–and it is only He Who therefore can judge wisely.  This is Your Communicator, the Holy Spirit.  May I not fall into judgment, for to do so is surely to invite the ego into my doings.

Be with me today as I seek to lead a good life amid individuals I love, some of whom have reason not to forgive me for the mistakes that I have made.  May I be patient, knowing that You will right my errors, and also bring my loved ones into an acceptance of me as a person who tries, but sometimes fails.

Amen.

I Am Not Alone

ACIM Workbook Lesson 242 – for Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “This day is God’s.  It is my gift to Him.”

“I will not lead my life alone today.  I do not understand the world, and so to try to lead my life alone must be but foolishness.  But there is One Who knows all that is best for me.  And He is glad to make no choices for me but the ones that lead to God.

“And so we give today to You.  We come with wholly open minds.  We do not ask for anything that we may think we want.  Give us what You would have received by us.  You know all our desires and our wants.  And You will give us everything we need in helping us to find the way to You.  (WB414)”

Reflections:

The point for all of us is to return to God, knowing that we are One with Him.  As A Course in Miracles makes clear, we did not in actuality separate from God at all; this was part of the illusion in which we live.  But of course we live that illusion, and so, until we have awakened, we think that we are separate.  And we suffer from feeling apart from God.  It is unnatural, as ACIM makes clear, not to communicate with our Creator.  He knows that our channels to Him are closed, and He would awaken those who sleep.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)  We would awaken also, if we knew that it were possible.  And it is possible.  We do not know the time nor place, because God Himself reaches down (metaphorically) and lifts us up to Himself.  He makes that decision of timing; we do not.  All of the thrashing about that we might do to bring the time of Awakening in for naught.  The best that we can do is to learn the means, and ACIM gives us those means.  We learn in ACIM that moments of revelation may reveal the end to us, but to get there the means are needed.  And Jesus is carefully explaining the means.

If we would be home in God, we need to commune with Him–and “communing” means prayer.  This is explained in the 50 opening principles of miracles in the Text.  We are communicating with God when we are communing or praying.  Then He knows that we are with Him.  We can imagine that this makes the God within very happy.  Certainly we can know from experience that this communicating with God makes us very happy.  And we are meant to be joyous.  We are not meant to carry solemn faces.  Before we awaken, in order that the Awakening be gentle, we are given the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Workbook).  May we come to understand that happiness is not an inferior goal for all of us.  “Saving the world” will not be done by solemnity, though reverence is a  laudable trait.  We must first know salvation ourselves before we will be in a position to heal others.  Otherwise, we are unhealed healers attempting the impossible (a Manual implication).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that since I became a believer, I have realized that I am not alone in all the universe.  This was a very long time ago, now, but there is still much that I am learning.  I am not through with learning yet, as You are not through with creating me as You would have me be.

I still make many mistakes, and I know that as soon as I can forgive myself, and the others in my life forgive, then all is well.  Help me to reduce the number of mistakes that I make.  May I find today a glorious day, spent in Your presence.

Amen.

Holy Instant = Salvation Comes

ACIM Workbook Lesson 241 – for Monday, August 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “This holy instant is salvation come.”

“The day has come when sorrows pass away and pain is gone.  The glory of salvation dawns today upon a world set free.  This is the time of hope for countless millions.  They will be united now, as you forgive them all.  For I will be forgiven by you today.

“We have forgiven one another now, and so we come at last to You again.  Father, Your Son, who never left, returns to Heaven and his home.  How glad are we to have our sanity restored to us, and to remember that we all are one.  (WB414)”

Reflections:

When we forgive others, including Jesus for what he and they have not done, then we are freed.  Jesus is particularly keen on the idea that we forgive him for what he has not done, for we often hold negative feelings toward him.  We may not even be aware of the extent to which we are ambivalent toward our savior.  We may not realize that this is our own downfall, and that it will delay our homecoming by much time.

When we forgive, our thoughts affect “millions.”  The passage says this, but we do not really believe it.  We do not believe that our minds are that powerful, because we are really afraid of that power (an ACIM tenet).  But the psychic nature of our world is true.  Salvation, Jesus says in the Manual, would be impossible if only the channels that the world recognizes were true.  When we become more psychic, we are merely becoming more natural.  There are no unnatural powers.  And knowing this is not a cause for a greater egotism.  (All of these sentences are paraphrases from the Manual.)

We are united with our brothers and sisters when we have forgiven them.  Let us forgive today, that we may know the joy that Jesus holds out to us in this day’s lesson.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose holy instants today.  I would choose salvation in its most pristine form.  Be with me as I seek You grace today.  Do not lead me into a dark night.  I would ask for the felt presence of Your Being.

Thank You for the holy instants that I have known over my lifetime.  Some came before I studied A Course in Miracles.  I did not know what lay ahead, and I am particularly thankful today for those early holy instants.  

I would invite holy instants today.  Be with me so that I am not tempted to turn this holy experience into something ego-driven.

Amen.

Fear Is Deception

ACIM Workbook Lesson 240 – for Sunday, August 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “Fear is not justified in any form.”

“Fear is deception.  It attests that you have seen yourself as you could never be, and therefore look upon a world which is impossible.  Not one thing in this world is true.  It does not matter what the form in which it may appear.  It witnesses but to your own illusions of yourself.  Let us not be deceived today.  We are the Sons of God.  There is no fear in us, for we are each a part of Love Itself.

“How foolish are our fears!  Would You allow Your Son to suffer?  Give us faith today to recognize Your Son, and set him free.  Let us forgive him in Your Name, that we may understand his holiness, and feel the love for him which is Your Own as well.  (WB412)”

Reflections:

So many of us are caught in fear.  It is the normal condition of mankind prior to seeing the light of salvation.  And fear may return even after experiences of being “saved,” though perhaps not of being Awakened.  Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now and A New Earth) declares that no thought has brought him pain since his Awakening (from a compact disk entitled, “Even the Sun Will Die”).

If this be true, perhaps all of us would wish for Awakening in great haste.  But the time of Awakening, ACIM says, is God’s Own choice.  Metaphorically, He will reach down and lift us up when we are ready.  We are prepare for this revelation by understanding the means of getting to this culmination (a Text tenet).  The means are carefully explained by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  In the meantime, we may have instances of revelation that do not last.  But perhaps they are meant to point the way to what awaits us at the end of our journey (the “journey without distance”–a quotation from the Text).

We are Sons of God, so-called not because Jesus or God is sexist, but because the language of the sixties, when ACIM was channeled, included the feminine within the masculine.  Now we can readily say “Sons and Daughters” of God, and this will be more accepted by our culture.  When “Son” is capitalized, it means the Self that belongs to God in innocence.  It is not the little self that has been consumed by the ego.  We would leave the ego behind as we open to the God within.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would experience no fear today.  May I realize that the stress of daily living is actually a form of fear that what we find facing ourselves, or what we have just been through, is fearful in its essence.  We are afraid of being hurt by some circumstance, but it is usually a circumstance that we cannot control in its entirety.  May I turn over the day to the Holy Spirit, and may my daily stress be lessened by the guidance that He gives me.

Be with me today as I pray for a relinquishment of the fear that I once knew.  I am thankful that stress in my life is currently reduced, and I pray that this circumstance will continue.  May I do nothing to increase the stress that I must face.  And since I know that projection makes perception, I have it in my power to see that the circumstances that I face do not make me fearful.  I have this power, but I do not always use it, because I am fallible.  Guide me, therefore, as I walk the pathways of this earth.

Amen.

False Humility

ACIM Workbook Lesson 239 – for Saturday, August 27, 2011

Affirmation:  “The glory of my Father is my own.”

“Let not the truth about ourselves today be hidden by false humility.  Let us instead be thankful for the gifts our Father gave us.  Can we see in those with whom He shares His glory any trace of sin and guilt?  And can it be that we are not among them, when He loves His Son forever and with perfect constancy, knowing he is as He created him?

“We thank You, Father, for the light that shines forever in us.  And we honor it, because You share it with us.  We are one, united in this light and one with You, at peace with all creation and ourselves.  (WB412)”

Reflections:

The ego would have us believe that all sense of justification by God is prideful; ACIM calls it “arrogance.”  But we are not being arrogant when we proclaim God’s choice of us to lead others to salvation (with ourselves coming to salvation first, or else we are “unhealed healers”–a quotation from ACIM).  We do not have to feel the false humility that this lesson warns against.  We can be genuinely strong in our understanding that we are beloved of God, and that He will keep us from the pride that is ego-driven.

We have made mistakes, which can be corrected, but we have not “sinned.”  We are at base purely innocent beings, doing the best that we know how at any given moment.  Of course, we slip, but we can correct our course as soon as we become aware of it.  Then we can forgive ourselves for the slip.  God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (an ACIM tenet).  We need our forgiveness, because only then can we feel justified by God.  This is part of the dream that we find ourselves caught in.  Forgiveness is unnecessary in Heaven, and we can know a Heaven on earth, given time to assimilate God’s Word to ourselves.

We would be at peace on any given day by forgiving ourselves of all the perceived mistakes that we have made.  There is no attraction to a mistake, as there is to sin (an ACIM tenet).  Mistakes do not call for continuation, as do sins.  We simply move to make correction, and we are freed thereby.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have made mistakes today.  Indeed, I make mistakes constantly when I dip into egoic thinking and fail to remain attuned to the Holy Spirit and His guidance.  May I forgive myself for the mistakes that happen, that seem to happen almost against my will.  I get angry and attack when I am stressed.  Help me to see the value in remaining calm and quiet, and with such serenity I am not tempted to feel anger nor to attack.

Be with me in the upcoming day as I try again.  I know that when a day goes badly, I can always start again, have a new beginning to that day.  I would have a new beginning today.  I would be comforted by the fact that You love me, and that You have provided the Holy Spirit to guide me, even as I misperceive.  Help me to have cleansed projections today, so that I perceive aright.  And then may these cleansed perceptions lead into knowledge of You.

Amen.

Salvation Rests on Us

ACIM Workbook Lesson 238 – for Friday, August 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “On my decision all salvation rests.”

“Father, Your trust in me has been so great, I must be worthy.  You created me, and know me as I am.  And yet You placed Your Son’s salvation in my hands, and let it rest on my decision.  I must be beloved of You indeed.  And I must be steadfast in holiness as well, that You would give Your Son to me in certainty that he is safe Who still is part of You, and yet is mine, because He is my Self.  (WB411)”

Reflections:

We are One.  Our brothers and sisters are our Self.  This is an idea that Conversations with God, by Neale Donald Walsch, also develops.  There is no place that we leave off and our brothers and sisters begin.  Yes, we are all One.

We do not have to understand this concept fully to accept and to live it.  This concept gives the best assurance that we will be there for others when they need us, because we will understand, on a practical level, that we are showing up for ourselves as well.  Likewise, they will be there for us, once they too realize that we are One.  What a glorious way this is to run a universe!

We are needed by God to bring others to Him.  This has long been a tenet of religions worldwide.  Certainly the Bible makes this clear as well, especially the New Testament.  In many ways we can see that ACIM is the next step for Jesus beyond the instructions he gave while he walked this earth.  His disciples were bade to take his message into all the world.  And churches have been doing this in all the years since.

It is extremely comforting to know that we are beloved of God.  Often we forget this, because we tend to see God in our own image, and we often do not love ourselves.  But we must realize that we can love others only to the extent that we, non-egotistically, love ourselves.  The love that we feel for others first originates in our own hearts, and if it is not there in our hearts, it will not be there for others.  (These last few sentences are not ACIM interpretations, but are my own thoughts.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to fully comprehend and live the truth that my brothers and sisters are one with me.  May I be there for them, and I ask today that they be there for me.  We need each other in this very troubled world.

Help us to be doers of salvation.  For this, for us, we need to read A Course in Miracles with real attention.  Help me to give my full attention today to my meditations and prayers surrounding my devotional time with ACIM.

Amen.