Do Not Make Errors “Real”

“To perceive errors in anyone, and to react to them as if they were real, is to make them real to you” (T167).

Affirmation:  “I will not make errors real today.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not See Error

A Course in Miracles would have us see our brothers and sisters as innocent, caught in a dream of attack and grievances, but able to find their way to a real world that is very different, through the help of the Holy Spirit.  To effect this change in our perceptions is easy, once we turn over our judgments over to the Holy Spirit.  We literally do not see error in our brothers and sisters.  We extend love to them, and our perceptions are modified accordingly.  This is really all that we have to do.

2 – We Have Sinned in Time, but Not in Eternity

A Course in Miracles notes that we have “sinned” in time, but not in eternity.  And there is, ultimately, no time, because time is an illusion.  We have only made errors or mistakes in eternity, and we are strong and wise enough to recognize the value in forgiving errors in ourselves and our brothers and sisters in this world.  If we are blaming God for anything, we can likewise let go of those grievances–a gesture that will be freeing to us.

3 – Let Us Seek to Live in the Real World

To live in the “real world” is not described conclusively in ACIM.  But much note is made of the fact that following the ego is only following illusions, and that following the ego makes it impossible to live in the real world, otherwise known as simply “reality.”  We can interpret ACIM by realizing that the real world is composed of the attributes of love–the joy, the peace, the forgiveness.  Sometimes we do reach the real world fleetingly.  All of us remember times when all seemed right with our little world, and we were completely at peace.  We may have recognized this as a “peak experience,” a term used by Maslow and receiving much press in popular psychology.

4 – Peak Experiences

If we want more peak experiences, we need to live in the flow that will give us the real world (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Living in the flow is a concept that all of us can appreciate.  We throw ourselves into some task, and time disappears for us.  We realize, minutes or even hours later, that we have experienced a peace in those moments that usually eludes.

5 – Forgive = the Secret

Jesus would have us forgive ourselves and others, and thereby to invite the forgiveness of the errors that we all, without exception, make.  Then those errors do not become “real” in our experience of them, and we are walking gaily on the pathway home.

Prayer:

 Dear Father/Mother,

 I would begin this new year with high hopes and many expectations that I will live in You and not in my ego.  I would let the ego wither away.  By this I mean that my false sense of self needs to go.  You know this better than I.  Thank You for the words in ACIM that caution my reliance on the ego, a part of my belief about myself.

 I would invite peak experiences this year.  I know that You would have me live in a better way than I did last year, and I would hope not to disappoint You.  Be with me as I seek to come to understand Your wishes for me ever more completely.

 Let me be good to my significant others as well as all others who cross my path this year.  We need each other.  We need to let attack and anger go, knowing that poor behavior is a sign that we need help.  All of us will still need some help along the way, but I would live in Your love so completely this year that I do not cause others to distress. 

 Help me to live up to my resolutions this year, to be a better person, to love ever more deeply, to let the ego just disappear as a part of my belief about myself.  Thank You for your ever-present help.

 Amen.

A COURSE OF LOVE: REVIEW II

Scribed by Mari Perron.  To order, visit <http://acourseoflove.com&gt;.

This review covers all three volumes in the three-volume series:  (1)  A Course of Love; the Complete Course; (2) The Treatises of A Course of Love; and (3) The Dialogues:  Coming to Voice.

Review by Celia Hales.  Revised with new title.  Previously published in Miracles magazine (publisher Jon Mundy).  

Can you imagine another Course in Miracles, again this time in three books (but this time with a definite sequence for reading)?  Suspend judgment for a moment and imagine that Jesus has unfinished busineess with us.  I personally believe that this is what we have in the A Course of Love series.  Certainly individuals other than Mari Perron have believed themselves to be channeling Jesus in the years since ACIM.  It would be inadvisable for me to take a stand on any of these books; this is a subject fully beyond my knowledge.  Yet as well, it would not be useful to debate the authenticity of the A Course of Love (ACOL) series without introducing you to this remarkable gift.  That you learn of this series and make your own choice, to read or not to read, is my goal in this review.  Maybe you will find that this series has been out there waiting for you.

The series starts simply but profoundly with an offering called A Course of Love.  (This first book in the series was reviewed by this reviewer and is posted on this blog under the title, “A Course of Love:  Review I.)  The words in this first volume are comforting and reassuring.  This is the basic book in the series, the beginning, meant to appeal to the heart.  (Later on, we find that Jesus links the heart to the mind with a plea toward “wholeheartedness.”)  If read too quickly (which can be done, unlike ACIM, much of which is poetry, blank verse) the first book may not resonate deeply.  My view of this is that, as Jesus told Mari, ACIM students are “ready” for ACOL.  We will seem almost to “know this already.”

The second and third books in the ACOL series will put to rest any doubts about whether or not we ACIM students really need to learn (and “unlearn”) more.  (These also rested my questions about Jesus as the one channeling the material to Mari.)  The Treatises are dense and packed with meaning; The Dialogues, the same.  I found that I needed to read them very slowly and thoughtfully.  In these last two books Jesus surprisingly resigns as our teacher, and even suggests that learning through the Holy Spirit has come to an end because this is the time of the “second coming of Christ.”  The last book, The Dialogues, builds to a crescendo in its final pages that left me weeping as I read.  We may be more reading for Awakening (ACIM‘s term) then we realize.  What joy!

The Treatises

This set of four short books has a definite progression in the order given; one builds upon the previous one and on to the next.  They are intended to give us further guidance for living in “wholeheartedness,” even as we are recognized as thinking beings who cannot live by feeling alone.  There is even a recognized need for a break in “thinking” (and therefore in reading, I would wonder) between the first book in the series (ACOL) and the second one (The Treatises).  (There is, however no recognized need for a break between the second and third books (The Treatises and The Dialogues).)

We are meant to live in sustained Christ-consciousness, though this in no way makes us unique nor more “special” than anyone else.  Everyone is chosen (an ACIM declaration also).  We are, in these treatises, both “learning” and “unlearning” so that we can move beyond to observation and the state of unity in holy relationships (never special) one to the other.  The conclusion of the fourth (and last) treatise is the “Treatise on the New.”
(Reviewer’s note:  Reflected upon in this blog; see “about,” and then search “archives” for the dates posted).  At the conclusion of the “New,” we are said to be in the resurrection, the time of the second coming of Christ.

In sum, “This course has led you through resigning as your own teacher, to becoming a true student, and to now leading you beyond the time of being a student to the realization of your accomplishment.  (10.1)”  We will now, through vision and direct revelation, be in a time of glorious surprises for which we do not need to (nor can we) prepare or plan.  We are transforming the personal self to the Self, or Christ-consciousness.  Jesus calls for us to have a personal relationship to him, but, surprisingly (as noted), he resigns as our teacher.  He says, “I do not have the answers that would continue to make of me a teacher and you a student.  The answers to the elevation of the personal self and the living of Christ-consciousness in form are yet to be revealed and shared. (12.32)”  He concludes the final treatise with the injunction, “Let us begin.”

The Dialogues

This third book in the series is a joining of Christ to each of us.  Jesus moves into a role no longer as teacher, but as a companion.  He directs us (before moving away from his traditional role as teacher) to claim the Self that we are; this involves an elevation of the personal self through complete acceptance of what is, by maintaining and sustaining our being (the Christ-consciousness).  Jesus emphasizes that this state cannot be “learned,” but can come into being only by our natural state of knowing brought on by wholehearted desire.

The Dialogues conclude (in over half the book) with “Forty Days and Forty Nights.” (Reviewer’s note:  Reflected upon in this blog; the title of each posting begins with Day x; see “all posts” in the sidebar).  In these Forty Days and Forty Nights, we are meant to commune on the “mountain top,” yet remain in our daily lives, balancing the two–elevation and the personal self–until the self of form is elevated and sustained in that elevation.  Jesus asks for our commitment as early as the Fourth Day; he indicates that we can make the journey to the mountain top many times, if desired, “but this is not what I call you to.  (Page 114)”  He asks us to live through “unity and relationship” (words that are frequently repeated throughout The Dialogues).

Jesus concludes with these moving words:  “You will realize that you know what to do.  Expect heaven on earth, you were told.  This is what it is.  There will be no doubt, no indecision.  Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along.  Expect this.  And it will be.  (Pages 248 – 249)”

Summing Up

I hope that the time has come for the A Course of Love series to find a wider readership.  As mentioned, Jesus tells us in the ACOL series that the time of learning is over.  Perhaps perpetual students of ACIM need something more to move them to greater action in the world.  May the ACOL series speak–loudly and powerfully–to your heart and mind–as Jesus says, “wholeheartedly.”  Let us claim the heritage that is ours, no longer fearful that we are acting out of ego.  I believe that Jesus saw our weakened egos (a success of ACIM), but he needs us to truly leave our fears behind and claim our power.

Then the more widespread Awakening of our world surely might begin.

This Holy Instant Would I Give to God

ACIM Workbook Lessons 361 – 365 for Tuesday – Saturday,
December 27 – December 31, 2011

Affirmation:  “This holy instant would I give to You.
        Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
        Certain that Your direction gives me peace.”

“And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.  (WB486)”

Reflections:

1 – A Year with the Workbook of ACIM

So we end the year that we have given to God through studying the Workbook of A Course in Miracles.  But we are not through.  There is farther to walk along the pathway.  If we have not yet experienced Awakening, it is there waiting for us.

2 – Depend on the Holy Spirit

We need to do very little, but depend greatly upon the Holy Spirit.  His part is much larger than is ours, and we should not be disturbed by the disproportion of this.  We are asked very little in ACIM.  The books seem thick and complicated, but this is an illusion, and the more we study them, we more we realize how simple the truth really is.

3 – May We Commune with God

May we end this year in communion with God, Who is always there for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the guidance that the Workbook for Students of A Course in Miracles gives to all of us.  We need that guidance, for without the practical counsel of the Workbook, we would in all likelihood not understand the message of ACIM.

Be with us in these final moments of the year that we have spent with the Workbook.  And if we feel prompted to go through the Workbook again, may we do so, beginning the next year with high resolve and a committed spirit.  If we do not feel so led, may we listen to that counsel as well.

Be with us, whatever our pathway to You may be in the future.  May we learn until the time of learning has ceased.  Thank You for Your patience with us.

Amen.

Should I Repeat the Workbook?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 360 – for Monday, December 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “Peace be to me, the holy Son of God.
        Peace to my brother, who is one with me.
        Let all the world be blessed with peace through us.”

“In holiness were we created, and in holiness do we remain.  Your Son is like to You in perfect sinlessness.  And with this thought we gladly say ‘Amen.’  (WB484)”

Reflections:

1 – We Say “Amen”

This is the final lesson before five days of repetition.  Now we say “Amen.”  Jesus has guided us through a year meant to lead us home to God.  Have we made it?  Although many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles take the workbook lessons year after year, nowhere does Jesus proscribe this.  We can make our own choice in the matter.  We do not have to be tied to the Workbook if we are ready to move on.

2 – Turn to Our Guide

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in this decision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to know if You would have me repeat the lessons of the Workbook in the upcoming year.  Many students/teachers just start over with a new year.  These individuals find the meditative aspects of the Workbook a good daily devotional.  Would I?  Help me to know today.  May my Guide, the Holy Spirit choose for me in this instance.  I do not know my own best interests.

I thank You for the closeness to You that the Workbook has brought to me this year.   Your felt Presence is a joy for me, a solace in times of trouble, a tranquil peace in more serene times.  May I ready myself today to move into a new year.  And I would spend that year also with You, whether or not my Guide directs me to repeat the Workbook.

Thank You for a good year.

Amen.

God’s Answer Is Some Form of Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 359 – for Sunday, December 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “God’s answer is some form of peace.  All pain
Is healed; all misery replaced with joy.
All prison doors are opened.  And all sin
Is understood as merely a mistake.”


“Sin is impossible, and on this fact forgiveness rests upon a certain base more solid than the shadow world we see.  Help us forgive, for we would be redeemed.  Help us forgive, for we would be at peace.  (WB484)”

Reflections:

1 – The Prison Doors are Opened

There is much summation in the lesson for today.  The prison doors are opened, and we are free.  What will we do with this freedom?  We will serve our brothers and sisters in bringing salvation to them.  We will not proselytize, if they are not ready.  But we will stand ready before the time that they are, waiting for that time to arrive.

2 – A Shadow World

Sin is impossible, and this is because we live in a shadow world, a world of illusion.  We are as God created us; we have not changed, as much as we think that we have.  We did not, in actuality, ever separate from Him.  That would be impossible.  But we could think that we had separated, and that is the situation in which we have found ourselves.

3 – The Peace of God

May we know God’s answer as peace today.  May we find only the peace of God as we walk through this day.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I return often today to the Workbook lesson.  There is much that You would have me remember, much that capsules what has come earlier this year in the Workbook.  I would rejoice that the prison doors are opened, that You have granted me the blessing of knowing what to say and do.  May I never lose sight of this blessing, and may I never take it for granted.  Also may I never imagine that You are leading me, when it is really my ego–once again rearing its ugly head.

Be with me on this Christmas Day.  May my brothers and sisters who do celebrate Christmas enjoy their day.  If my brothers and sisters reading this do not celebrate Christmas, may they reach toward You by whatever means are comfortable to them.  May the words of A Course in Miracles comfort all of Your children.

I would know Your peace, and I would ask You to deliver me from all that is in my heart and mind that keep me from knowing Your peace.  My intentions are firm, but I know that intentions are never enough.  I will always fall down unless I let You lift me up, unless I let Your Guide show me Your Way.

Amen.

God Will Listen

ACIM Workbook Lesson 358 – for Saturday, December 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “No call to God can be unheard nor left
        Unanswered.  And of this I can be sure;
        His answer is the one I really want.”

“Let me not forget myself is no thing, but my Self is all.  (WB483)”

 

Reflections:

1 – The Christ Self

My Self is all, and that Self is the Christ Self.  Here we are coming into our own, the Self Whom God always intended us to be.  This is His answer to us in these final moments of the year.  We can come home to him as the Self we really are.

2 – Commune with God

Let us spend the rest of this reflection time in praying, in communing, with God for the glory that He means for us to have.  May we not say that we are unworthy, for this is the ego being arrogant.  God has prepared us.  It is only the ego that would say otherwise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray sincerely and with strong intent to know that You hear me.  I thank You for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but when I am deep in trouble, I want You.  And You are there.  You are within, and the Self that is part of You projects the world that I see outside myself.  This gets into mysteries that I do not pretend to understand, but I have hints from You.  My mind is too small to comprehend all of Your magnificence.

Be with me today.  I need to pray by writing, or by saying words aloud.  Sometimes when I speak internally, I regret that my mind wanders.  Be with me today, and with my thoughts, to keep my thoughts on track.  I would not neglect You by my own shortcomings in concentration.

Thank You for this year spent with the Workbook.  Thank You for what You and the Holy Spirit, not to mention Jesus, have taught me.  I would choose to put into effect in the New Year all that You have taught me.  I realize that I will not always succeed with my resolutions, but I trust that You will be there to keep me walking along the pathway to You.

Thank You for your comfort today.

Amen.

Miracles Meet Our Every Need

ACIM Workbook Lesson 357 – for Friday, December 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “Truth answers every call we make to God,
        Responding first with miracles, and then
        Returning unto us to be itself.”

 

“Your Voice instructs me patiently to hear Your Word, and give as I receive.  And as I look upon Your Son today, I hear Your Voice instructing me to find the way to You, as You appointed that the way shall be:

    “Behold his sinlessness, and be you healed.  (WB483)”

Reflections:

1 – See Sinlessness / Be Healed

When we see sinlessness in our brothers and sisters, we are herein promised that we will be healed of our sickness and pain.  This is a strong statement.  Perhaps the physical element of sickness or pain may remain, but the shackles will be gone from our minds.  And is that not healing?

2 – From the Old Testament / Hebrew Bible

So often we use sickness and pain as excuses not to do our best for God.  The Old Testament is filled with examples of prophets who tried to resist the call because they did not think that they were the right person for the job.  But God knew best, and when the call was answered, they too learned that He had been with them.

3 – Let Us Be All that God Would Have Us Be

The miracle can heal even physical and emotional sickness and pain.  But the real blessing of healing is the freedom that it grants our minds.  We are not longer limited by what we perceive to be boundaries that hemmed us in.  We are freed to be creative in the fullest sense, the sense that God meant for us as his children, our Self/Christ.  This miracles happens when we perceive others as sinless, sinless because we live in an illusion.  May we recognize this truth, and soon overcome our reluctance to be all that God would have us be in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would allow miracles that You prompt to restore my sense of equilibrium today.  May no pain or sickness intrude on the day that belongs, rightfully, to You.  I would choose to see the good in my brothers and sisters, and I would ask Jesus what miracles he wants me to perform that will ease their lives.  All of us have troubles from time to time, but we do not have to lie down and give up.  Your way always gives a solution, because the solution is always with the problem.  Help me to remember this when stress builds up.

If I sense that You are asking me to do something that I do not feel able or strong enough to do, help me to realize that most people have, at least those who follow a religious pathway, have found themselves in this predicament before.  I would ask You to do the leading, to show me the way, and then I would give up all illusions that I could do anything that You ask without the constant guidance of Your Guide, the Holy Spirit.

May I be flexible today, to turn on a dime as I go about my day.  This is not a straitjacket; you know what is best for me, and, if I listen, the Holy Spirit will point out the next step.  And the one after that, and after that.

Amen.

A COURSE OF LOVE: REVIEW I

Scribed by Mari Perron.  To order, visit <http://acourseoflove.com&gt;.

This review covers the first volume in the series of three volumes.

Review by Celia Hales.  Revised with new title.  Previously published in Miracles magazine (publisher Jon Mundy).  

A Course in Love is believed to answer questions that earnest seekers still have despite careful study of A Course in Miracles.  The framework is the same; the author (Jesus), the same.

Some of us who have studied ACIM and emerged with weakened egos have, in the words of A Course of Love, “rejected” ourselves.  We think that to claim our rightful place of identity with the Christ within lacks humility.  A Course in Love (ACOL) says that such an attitude is actually borne of fear.  “You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God.  (P.20)”  But now we approach “final learning through the realm of the heart.  This is where the confusion ends.  This is why we call this course A Course of Love.  (P.44)”

I interviewed Mari Perron, who channeled this work, for this book review.  She is a genuinely humble individual who is articulate and very attuned to the values of ACIM.  Much about the initiation of ACOL can be found on her web site (http://www.acourseoflove.com).  Those who have studied A Course in Miracles were identified to her as the best audience of the Course of Love series, because they are ready for it.  Indeed, the works, three in all, were presented to Mari as “another Course in Miracles.”  It is true that others have believed themselves to be channeling for Jesus in the years since ACIM; I make no judgment about any of these works, but do encourage you to check out ACOL.

If there is a single difference between A Course in Miracles and  A Course of Love, it is this:  ACIM, through the Holy Spirit, brought comfort to the mind; ACOL seeks to bring comfort to a troubled heart.  (2.15)  And this comfort is by identity with the Christ within, a source not for pride but solace brought to us by Jesus himself who embraces us with love.

There is an assumption winding its way through ACOL that how dare we be happy when all about us is such unhappiness and injustice in the world.  ACOL‘s answer is that we claim our power by following our internal guidance to do good in the world.  We cannot know what to do ourselves; even to try would be to strengthen the ego.  We are meant to be in union, and with this the heart intercedes.  (5.20)  “Those who would not change the world one iota through their constant effort, in peace create the world anew.  (6.17)”

ACOL bids us feel joy, noting that all often we prefer to be serious:  “You are looking for the rest and quiet joy that only comes from love.  (12.5)”

The thesis of A Course of Love can perhaps be summed up in the following sequence of ideas:

A wholehearted choice to abandon all ideas of glorifying the separated self and to let the world be what it is, will begin the transformation.  This requires the first unification, the unification of mind and heart, after which unification with God is naturally returned to our awareness, but this unification returns us to the Christ in us and the one mind united with God that we have never left.  Creation’s power then returns to us to help all the separated ones remember union.  (19.4)

ACOL is a very comforting book.  Jesus bids us come into his embrace and be safe.  (20.2)  “The embrace makes one of two.  (20.7)”  He continues, “The embrace can be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people.  (21.6)”

Jesus bids us to be the Self that we truly are, the Christ within.  This is not egotism, but the truest clarity.  And this Self is known through relationship, through union.  It is a time of “great humility.  Of wearing the face of Christ for all to see.  (28.8)”

Those who have loved A Course in Miracles will find much solace in A Course of Love.  Like ACIM, ACOL too must be read attentively and also slowly, but when approached with an open mind and a thoughtful heart, this book in the A Course of Love series merits my unreserved recommendation.

Sickness Is but Another Name for Sin

ACIM Workbook Lesson 356 – for Thursday, December 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “Sickness is but another name for sin.
Healing is but another name for God.
The miracle is thus a call to Him.”

“Your Name replaces every thought of sin, and who is sinless cannot suffer pain.  Your Name gives answer to Your Son, because to call Your Name is but to call his own.  (WB482)”

Reflections:

1 – Sickness and Pain Are Illusions

This is the level of A Course in Miracles that offers no compromise.  Certainly in this world we do know sickness and pain, but, ultimately, these are not real.  That is the one conclusion to which we can come.  We live in illusion, in maya.  And as long as we project from an egoic interior, we will project sickness and pain.  We will perceive sickness and pain, but when we tell ourselves that what we are seeing is not real, we will be at peace.

2 – But Do No Deny Your Sight

God grants us healing–healing that sometimes we can see and sometimes we cannot.  ACIM is always practical, and these books would not have us to deny the sight of our egoic eyes.  We see sickness and pain, and therefore it is there for us.  To deny this sight would be a particularly unworthy form of denial.  But we can be healed when we find God within.  Healing is not always of the physical, and even the mental may take its hits.  But healing is real when we trust God to show us the Way.

3 – Sinless in Eternity, Not in Time

We are sinless in eternity, not in time.  But there is no time, ultimately.  And so there is no lasting sickness or pain.  Let us ask God today to teach us the real truth behind these words.  May we take unto ourselves the truth of the illusion in which we find ourselves, and may we walk into the sunlight with Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The lesson for today teaches me important truths, and I thank you for those.  I cannot deny the pain and sickness that my perception shows me in this unreal world, but I can turn to You for help in handling the pain and sickness that I observe.  And I can know that what is happening does not affect the Self, that we are well in eternity.  And You will help us to cope in this world, when pain and sickness intrude.

Be with me and guard my mind so that I do not make my own pain and sickness.  Help me to realize, as Jesus has said in A Course in Miracles, that sickness is external searching.  I would not search externally today.  I would turn inward to have You heal me, and even when my perception still sees pain and suffering, I will know that, ultimately, all will be well.  My prayers can do much to lead me to accept Your healing.

Be with me today and with all brothers and sisters who suffer.  May we ask for a quick healing, and ask in faith that what we ask for, frequently is granted.  Thank You.

Amen.

There Is No End to All the Peace and Joy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 355 – for Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no end to all the peace and joy,
And all the miracles that I will give,
When I accept God’s Word.  Why not today?”

“I need not wait an instant more to be at peace forever.  It is You I choose, and my Identity along with You.  Your Son would be Himself, and know You as his Father and Creator, and his Love.  (WB482)”

Reflections:

1 – Recommitment

This is yet another dedication of ourselves to God.  We need to realize that just accepting God once, or even myriad of times, is not enough.  Our acceptance of God and His Will has to be ongoing, a recommitment daily, and even moment by moment.

2 – “Create”

When we rededicate ourselves to God, we know peace and joy.  This is the great blessing.  We are at the point of “creating” rather than “making” our world.  We have accepted the Self/Christ Whom we are meant to be, and we are at peace.  What more could we really want?

3 – Perfectly Calm and Quiet

In the Text, we are told that we will ultimately want to be “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time.  Perhaps this did not seem a worthy goal at the time we first read it, but do we not see it now?  Have we not changed this much over the course of this year?

4 – An Ongoing Commitment

Let us accept God’s Word today, ultimately.  And then let us do the same tomorrow, and the day after.  There is no end to the joy and peace that we can know when we have accepted God’s Word as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know peace and joy, in quietness and calm, today.  I would not rush through this harried world at all.  Your way is perfectly calm and quiet, and that is what You intend for us to emulate.  Help me to emulate You today.

I would recommit to You today.  I know that You need me never to forget You, as I walk through my days.  Help me to remember Your presence.  Help me to feel Your presence in my heart.  With that felt presence, I know that all will be well with me.  Thank You.

Amen.

Christ = the Self We Are Meant to Share

ACIM Workbook Lesson 354 – for Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “We stand together, Christ and I, in peace


And certainty of purpose.  And in Him
Is His Creator, as He is in me.”

“For who is Christ except Your Son as You created Him?  And what am I except the Christ in me?  (WB481)”

Reflections:

1 – Definition of the Christ

Here is a further amplification of what “Christ” actually means.  He is the Self that we all embody in our essence.  We are still as God created us.  We only think that we ever separated from Him.  And in the lack of separation, we find the Christ/Self whom we are.

2 – Be at Peace

We are at peace when we have remembered these truths.  We do not have to rely only upon the personal self, the little self which has all too often been informed by the ego.  We can rely on the Voice that God gave in Answer to the separation, the Holy Spirit.  And we have one purpose with the fullest understanding of the term “Christ.”  We have certainty of purpose in furthering salvation.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

Our Creator is within.  We project the world that we see.  There is nothing outside of us, and that is what we must ultimately learn (Text tenets).  May we turn to our Creator, our God, within, whenever we are perplexed.  We do not have to remain in doubts.  The solution is always with the problem.  Not ultimately, but right now.  It, practically, may take awhile for the truth of  a solution to dawn upon our deluded minds.  But dawn it will, and all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would turn inward today, constantly listening to the guidance of the Guide that You gave me.  I would have a good day, knowing that my intention does make some difference in the way things turn out.  Be with me today as I share my day with my brothers and sisters.  Help me to know when to reach out and when to refrain.  May I make no overtures that are unwelcome, but may I not hesitate to make overtures that I sense may be welcome.

Help me to understand what my real Self, the Christ within, really means.  I know that my little personal self may not comprehend fully, but guide me gently to a fuller understanding of all that You intend us to know on this plane.  

Be with my significant others, those nearby and those at a distance, those I have contacted recently and those I wish to contact but hesitate to do so.  May all I have ever encountered be aware of the love that surrounds all of us when we turn inwardly to You.

Amen.

May Miracles Bless This World

ACIM Workbook Lesson 353 – for Monday, December 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “My eyes, my tongue, my hands, my feet today
Have but one purpose; to be given Christ
To use to bless the world with miracles.”

“Father, I give all that is mine today to Christ, to use in any way that best will serve the purpose that I share with Him.  Nothing is mine alone, for He and I have joined in purpose.  (WB481)”

Reflections:

1 – Rededicating to God

Today’s lesson is a dedication, or rededication, of our lives to God.  We share with Jesus our true Selfhood, the Christ that we really are.  And so we give our personal selves–our tongue, hands, feet–to the service of Christ, meaning more than just our elder brother, Jesus, but the Self that we all share.

2 – Sharing with Our World

We do not selfishly hold on to what we think “belongs” to us.  We share with Christ, and we use our gifts to save the world.  We do not cling to what we imagine to be “mine,” but we notice that we have joined with a larger purpose.

3 – We Do Not Need Many Words

As these final lessons come to us, we realize that we do not need many words to understand what is being said in A Course in Miracles.  We are finding our way home, and the best way to do that is to commune with God, in quietness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be quiet today, communing with You.  Thank You for this year of Workbook lessons.  Of course, they are invaluable to our growth in Your Spirit.  May I remain stress free during this holiday season, with so much activity in my daily life.  May I know what Christmas really means.  This is a prayer that we all pray, but may I make it my true prayer today.

Thank You for comforting me in times of stress.  Help me to know that You are the only cure.

Amen.

Judgment and Love Are Opposites

ACIM Workbook Lesson 352 – for Sunday, December 18, 2011

Affirmation:  “Judgment and love are opposites.  From one
Come all the sorrows of the world.  But from
The other comes the peace of God Himself.”

“You have not left me comfortless.  I have within me both the memory of You, and One Who leads me to it.  (WB480)”

Reflections:

1 – Love / Don’t Judge

We do not really want to judge.  We do really want to love.

2 – Love vs. Judgment

The experience of love brings great boons, even in this world.  The experience of judgment brings only sorrow.  It is as though we pointed our index finger at another, and three other fingers on the same hand are pointed back at us.  We indict ourselves when we judge another.  We cannot know all that each individual, each brother or sister, is going through.  We need to give slack, just as we ourselves would want the same.  We forgive, and we find that same forgiveness flowing back toward us.  The three fingers pointed back at us then offer comfort.

3 – Finding Comfort

We have the memory of God within, and we have access to His Voice (the Holy Spirit).  This dual gift is unbeatable.  We cannot lose, when we turn inwardly to the memory of God and the Voice that guides us.  We have comfort.  Much comfort.  And we are well on our way to being at home with God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel Your peace today.   And I would feel the comfort that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, provides to all who turn to Him.  May i not forget today that Your Guide is always true.

I would not judge.  If I am tempted to do so, i will remember that any attack or display of anger is actually a call for help and love.  And I will ask, inwardly, if there is something that I can do to render my view of this situation more in line with Your own.

I would love today.  I sometimes realize that the feeling of expressing love is an attribute of my real Self, the inner Self that has not believed in separation.  I would remember this truth today.

Be with me as I seek to find You often today.  You are always there, and please never let me forget this.

Amen.

How to Have Peace / How to Have Pain

ACIM Workbook Lesson 351 – for Saturday, December 17. 2011

Affirmation:  “My sinless brother is my guide to peace.
My sinful brother is my guide to pain.
And which I choose to see I will behold.”

“I can also see my brother sinless, as Your holy Son.  And with this choice I see my sinlessness, my everlasting Comforter and Friend beside me, and my way secure and clear.  Choose, then, for me, my Father, through Your Voice.  For He alone gives judgment in Your Name.  (WB480)”

Reflections:

1 – Sinful or Sinless?

We can choose to see our brothers and sisters as sinful or as sinless.  And what we see becomes the reality that we make for ourselves.  We ourselves, as well as others, are not really sinful, though we have made errors, and these need to be corrected.  Common sense would tell us this, and errors (mistakes) do not hold the allure that sin often does.  Sin has an attracting feature, and often makes us want to commit the same or a similar sin once again, and then again indefinitely.  Error calls only for correction.  And then we have made the right decision.  (The Text says that the perception of “sin” has an attracting quality.)

2 – Sinless Brothers and Sisters

When we see our brothers and sisters as sinless, we have freed ourselves from the grip of perceived sin.  We live as Sons/Daughters, when released from the grip of perceived sin.  We get out guidance as to how to react from the Holy Spirit (called in the passage above, the “Comforter” and “Friend”).  This Comforter is the only One meant to make judgments, for He alone knows all circumstances–past, present, and future.  His alone is the infallible judgment.

3 – Listen to the Voice of the Comforter

When we listen to this Voice, we determine what to say or do next.  And we can follow His guidance only when we are flexible, when we can turn on a dime.  Then we surely see ourselves and others as making errors that require correction, but nothing else.  We do not require punishment either for ourselves or others.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know from A Course in Miracles that we are not sinless in time, but that we are sinless in eternity–and there is no time.  This seems beyond me often, but physics alludes to such tenets.  Help me to live in eternity today, to know that my brothers and sisters have not harmed me in any way, that my Self is still as You created me.

Thank You for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.  I thank You that I am often comforted by Him, and that sometimes this comes when worries occupy my mind.  Help me to turn all negative things, including useless anxiety about everyday concerns, over to Your Guide.  He will resolve all in His own time.  I am not to get impatient and wish for a quick resolution, because Your time–Your eternity–is different from what I experience in my daily life.  

Help me to feel peace in the midst of the chaotic circumstances that constitute our larger world.  May I do what I can to help the larger world, but may I especially do what I can in the smaller sphere of my own home and hearth and significant others.

Amen.

Miracles Mirror God’s Eternal Love

ACIM Workbook Lesson 350 – for Friday, December 16, 2011

Affirmation:  “Miracles mirror God’s eternal Love.
To offer them is to remember Him,
And through His memory to save the world.”

“What we forgive becomes a part of us, as we perceive ourselves.  The Son of God incorporates all things within himself as You created him.  Your memory depends on his forgiveness.  What he is, is unaffected by his thoughts.  But what he looks upon is their direct result.  (WB478)”

Reflections:

1 – Miracles in This World

We would “save the world,” and the way that we can do this is through miracles.  We do not, as we have noted many times in this blog, choose which miracles to perform.  Jesus guides us in this decision.  And no miracle will be unaccepted forever.  If it does not seem to have effects now, we need only wait, and the results will become evident.  Time does not have any meaning, for only eternity exists.  When we remember God, we do save the world.

2 – Projection Makes Perception

Our thoughts determine what we will see with our body’s eyes.  And this the truth of projection making perception.  We are not determine by our thoughts, for we have not changed in essence.  But what we see is so determined, and if we would see aright, we need to think aright.

3 – At Home in God

These final lessons are guidance in how to worship rightly (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Words become unnecessary, as we are  at home in God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May the miracles that You would have us perform arise easily and peacefully before our eyes.  May we not arrogantly choose what miracles we will perform, but let ourselves be guided, sometimes almost imperceptibly.  May we do Your will in this world.

I would, in these final weeks of the year that we have spent together, be reassured that the end of the Workbook is not an end to our communion.  Nor is it the reassurance that we have learned all that we need to know.  We await Your word on when our learning is at an end.  In the meantime, may we be patient students, eager and willing to learn Your way.  And may we help our brothers and sisters as we continue to learn.

Amen.

Today I Let Christ’s Vision Look Upon All Things

ACIM Workbook Lesson 349 – for Thursday, December 15, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today I let Christ’s vision look upon
All things for me and judge them not, but give
Each one a miracle of love instead.”

“Father, Your gifts are mine.  Each one that I accept gives me a miracle to give.  (WB478)”

Reflections:

1 – All Miracles Come from Love

All miracles come from Love.  And vision is what we will see when we have let Christ’s vision take the place of our false perception.  May we offer miracles today that Jesus prompts us to offer.  May we make no decisions today, ourselves, about what miracles to offer, for our own decisions will be faulty.  We look to our elder brother, Jesus,  for his guidance in these matters.  Time is under his control, and he can arrange time to allow us the time that we need to perform the miracles that he asks us to perform (from the Text).

2 – Vision vs. Perception

May our perception be replaced today by vision.  Then we will be seeing truly.  The body’s eyes do not really have vision; they only perceive, and falsely.  Vision shows us the things of eternity–the intangibles of peace, love, joy, tranquility, calm.

3 – Accept God’s Gifts

God grants us many gifts over the course of a lifetime.  When we accept His gifts with grace, we are well on the way to accepting Him and the salvation which he offers to us.  When we accept a gift, we are granted the power to offer a miracle.  And our miracles will foreshorten time considerably (a Text tenet)–each one of us, acting in concert with one another.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my day be filled with miracles.  This seems a bold request, but I know that You wish joy for me.  Happiness is a laudable goal.  And it is in happy times that we can give the most to the others in our world.

Help me to know which miracles to offer.  I realize that this are not to be under conscious control, as this would be misguided.  But I ask You to use me today in any way that You deem appropriate.

Amen.

I Have No Cause for Anger or for Fear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 348 – for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

 

Affirmation:  “I have no cause for anger or for fear,
For You surround me.  And iin every need
That I perceive, Your grace suffices me.”

 

 

“I have no cause for anything except the perfect peace and joy I share with You.  What need have I for anger or for fear?  Surrounding me is perfect safety.  Can I be afraid, when Your eternal promise goes with me?  (WB477)”

Reflections:

1 – Anger/Attack Not Justifieed

A Course in Miracles counsels against anger and attack, saying that they are not justified or warranted in any situation.  Of course, most of us cannot live on this level consistently.  But when we can, we turn aside from fear.  God surrounds us and is in us.  His grace is sufficient unto every need.

2 – Turn to God

With God, we feel perfect peace and joy.  When we pray, we normally feel His presence, and we are comforted.  Anguish turns to peace; fear drops away.  What more could we ask, when that is all that we need?

3 – Grievances Gone / Safety Found

The Workbook says that when we let all our grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe.  May we know this today.  May we forgive our brothers and sisters all of their attacks and expressions of anger toward.  May we know peace in this forgiveness.  There is “sin” in time, but there is not time; since there is no time, we are living in eternity, where the world that we see is an illusion, a projection from within.  So we ourselves and others have made errors, but we have not “sinned,” being ultimately outside of time and in eternity.

4 – Walking through the Day

May this knowledge, and it is knowledge rather than perception, follow us through this day and out into the greater world.  And may we do for others those things that we wish to have accomplished in ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would so live today that I do not give stress a welcoming mat.  I know that if I remain relaxed and in Your care, there will be no reason for anger to arise in me.  I will know that my brother or sister’s attacks are calls for help, and I will rush to their side with the aid that they need.

May this day be peaceful.  I know that I can so pace the day, with Your help, that I can get my “to do” list done, and still have plenty of time with which to commune with You.  You come first; it is when I forget that that I get into trouble.

Amen.

Anger Must Come from Judgment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 347 – for Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Affirmation:  “Anger must come from judgment.  Judgment is
The weapon I would use against myself,
To keep the miracle away from me.”

“Straighten my mind, my Father.  It is sick.  But You have offered freedom, and I choose to claim Your gift today.  And so I give all judgment to the One You gave to me to judge for me.  (WB477)”

Reflections:

1 – The End of Insanity

This lesson offers more than just a plea for communion, prayer, with God.  We are asking for the end of insanity, the end of our sick minds, the end of our madness.  And we ought never to underestimate the extent of this world’s insanity (an ACIM tenet).

2 – Eliminate Judgment

We must eliminate judgment from our cluster of mental gyrations.  Attacking, judging, and making plans against contingencies to come–these are the three ways that we lose our way.  If there are plans to be made, the Holy Spirit will prompt us at the appropriate time.  But judging is something else entirely.  It is to be left to the Holy Spirit, Who alone knows all the circumstances, past, present, and future, and judges, therefore, rightly.  (We can never have enough understanding to see all circumstances, though sometimes we think, arrogantly, that we do.)

3 – Anger Has No Justification

There is never any justification for anger.  But this does not mean that we stuff our emotions.  We sublimate, in the presence of the Holy Spirit (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  If we are not judging–making an interpretation that is not true–then we will never see a reason for anger.  We will rush to our brother/sister’s side with healing, recognizing the unhealed thought or action is only a call for help or love.  Would we not want to be understood, unconditionally?  Would we now want love when we have felt anger?  Let us do to others what we would wish that they might do for us.  As is stated in ACIM repeatedly, giving and receiving are one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember, now and forever, that my thoughts of anger are insanity, and it is not this that I would invite into my world.  May my stress be alleviated, for I know that virtually always I am stressed if I get angry.  You know that anger is a call for help, either on my part or the part of another.  I would focus on that call for help, and ask You how best to resolve the issue;

I would give up insanity, the insanity that almost all of us who live in this world have to a greater or lesser degree.  We are living in a mad world, and we are influenced by the madness of others.  Perhaps we see this madness most as neurosis, but however it appears to us, it merits compassion.  We do not have to be sucked into the malaise of our brothers and sisters, nor do we have to remain in malaise ourselves.  You are always here for us, and when we turn inward, in a serene frame of mind, You set our minds and hearts at rest again.

I would live in rest today.

Amen.

Today the Peace of God Envelops Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 346 – for Monday, December 12, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today the peace of God envelops me,
        And I forget all things except His Love.”

“. . .I would find the peace which You created for Your Son, forgetting all the foolish toys I made as I behold Your glory and my own.  (WB476)”

Reflections:

1 – A Reality Check

This passage is a reality check.  What is really important to us?  If we say the “peace of God,” then we will forget those “foolish toys” that the ego inspired us to cherish (and probably to spend our hard-earned cash on, if they are material things).

2 – The Felt Presence of God

We are at peace when we are feeling the presence of God.   When we are still and quiet, that peace envelops us.  And we do not hanker for things beyond our sphere.

3 – Commune with God

Spend time today in communion with God.  He will not fail us.  And that communion will bring happier days, beginning immediately and going full force into the future.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would see as a quiet day.  I would not make waves.  I would know peace.  And this will be the day that You give me if I commune with You on a continual basis.  I would pray often today.  Guide me throughout this day.

May this quietness enfold me and give me peace without anxiety.  I would not ask for a solace that I would not extend to others.  May my peace enfold the brothers and sisters whom I meet along my walk today.

Amen.

I Offer Only Miracles Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson 345 – for Sunday, December 11, 2011

Affirmation:  “I offer only miracles today,
        For I would have them be returned to me.”

“Peace to all seeking hearts today.  The light has come to offer miracles to bless the tired world.  It will find rest today, for we will offer what we have received.  (WB476)”

Reflections:

1 – A Weary World

A Course in Miracles says that the world is very weary now.  We have seen such troubles  over the centuries.  No comprehensive Awakening has occurred, and so the world looks to those who cherish salvation to save it from itself.  We are “seeking hearts.”  We have received help, and it is up to us now to offer that help.

2 – Offer Miracles

If we offer miracles, then miracles will be returned to us.  And rest will come to our tired hearts.  It is obvious that we must offer what we have received.  That is the way that salvation is effected in our world.

3 – May We Find Peace Today

May we find peace today.  Staying close to God in our thoughts and emotions is the best way to find that peace and also to offer it to others.  Pray often, and the blessings of those prayers will rebound to one’s self.  Then we will feel comfortable enough to reach out, because we are no longer self-centered enough to want salvation only for ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask You to help me to do my part today in bringing hope to this weary world.  We are, many of us, beset with difficulties.  Although this is an illusory world, and these difficulties are not real, we experience them as real–for we are caught by the illusion.  May we ask Your help today in rising above our difficulties, whether they be physical or emotional or both.  May we know that You are greater than whatever may beset us in an illusory world.

May some of the weariness of this world fade away.  It is unrealistic to ask for all to fade away, for the night has been long, and we have gone deep into insanity.  Lead us, step by step, out of the madness and into the light of Your love.  Be with us, and help us to feel Your presence always–and especially today, as we consider all that seems to beset us.

Amen.

The Law of Love

ACIM Workbook Lesson 344 – for Saturday, December 10, 2011

Affirmation:  “Today I learn the law of love; that what
        I give my brother is my gift to me.”

“Let my forgiven brothers fill my store with Heaven’s treasures, which alone are real.  Thus is the law of love fulfilled.  And thus Your Son arises and returns to You.  (WB75)”

Reflections:

1 – The Law of Love Is Benign

“All that I give is given to myself” is an ACIM fundamental.  Jerry Jampolsky elaborated beautifully on this concept in his early work, Love is Letting Go of Fear.  The law of love is benign, unless we are still letting the ego rule.  We get what we give; that is the law of love.  When we love another, that same love is returned to us (but not always by the same person that we love at the time).

2 – What Are Heaven’s Treasures?

What are Heaven’s treasures?  ACIM does not specifically detail each treasure, but we can interpret that at the head of the list is the peace of mind that God alone can give.  God deals most often in intangibles, but He also knows that we have material needs, and it is not contrary to the spirit of A Course in Miracles to pray for the material as well as the intangible.  But the material is illusory, and the intangibles are eternal.  So where does it seem that we should put our emphasis?  The conclusion is obvious.

3 – Forgiveness

Our forgiven brothers will fill our store with Heaven’s treasures.  This is just how important forgiveness really is.  Until we forgive, we are like beggars at Heaven’s gate.  But when we forgive, we are made ready for the bounty that is our real inheritance.

4 – We Forgive because We Need to Do So

We forgive because it is something that we need to do.  It is much like expressing love for God.  ACIM says that He recognizes that His communication channels are closed, and He thinks that we sleep and need to be awakened.  One means is A Course in Miracles.  Another might be seen in A Course of Love.  And yet others in the Bible, as well as other scriptures of other faiths.  ACIM says that there is a course for every teacher of God.  Our students are waiting for us, have been waiting for us to answer the call.  And they will find us.  Let us be ready and willing to do our part toward bringing salvation to them.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would put into practice the benign law of love today.  Help me to know, as had been said many times, that we receive as we give.  May I give only love today.  And may I have the emotional and physical health not to be so self-centered that I seem to think only of myself.  Help me always to remember my brothers and sisters.

Be with all of us as we close this year of studying the Workbook.  May we glean from the words of the Workbook all that we can at this time.  And may we share as much of what we4 have learned as others are ready to accept.

Amen.

The Role of Relationships in Salvation

ACIM Workbook Lesson 343 – for Friday, December 9, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not asked to make a sacrifice
        To find the mercy and the peace of God.”

“The mercy and the peace of God are free.  Salvation has no cost.  It is a gift that must be freely given and received.  And it is this that we would learn today.  (WB475)”

Reflections:

1 – No Sacrifices Asked of Us

A Course in Miracles never asks sacrifices of us.  This truth would go a long way toward reassuring us that our God is a loving God, never a punishing one.  God’s goals for us are free gifts; we do not have to earn His mercy and His peace.  These free gifts are freely give, without any cost to anyone.

2 – ACIM Salvation in Relationships

The history of many religions, including Christianity, are based on the idea of sacrifices.  We would be led to understand by ACIM that this is not the way for us.  Our way is found in the forgiveness that transforms our special relationships into holy ones.  Our salvation is found in relationship, in the relationship to our brother/sister.

3 – We All Have Many Relationships

We may think that we have no single significant other, and thus the way of ACIM is closed to us.  But this would be a misreading.  We have relationships of various duration with everyone who peoples our world–from the stranger that we meet in the elevator, to the child who accidentally runs into our pathway.  There are no accidents in salvation, according to ACIM.  All who are intended to meet, will meet; and when the ending seems premature, we can know that we will meet again.  It is the goal of every special relationship to become holy, especially those relationships that are most problematic to us.  The lesson can be learned when we recognize the same degree of readiness in ourselves and our closest associates.  We may not recognize that the balance is perfect, but if it is and we learn the lesson, we can help to transform others (from the Manual).

4 – Salvation Is A Gift

So let us learn the lesson for today, that salvation is a gift to be freely given and received.  And then let us thank God that this is so.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would take some moments today to reaffirm the primacy of my relationships in my religion.  A Course in Miracles teaches that this is the way home, this forgiveness of each other.  When we focus on those closest to us, we are speeding up our way back to You.  I would ask for a celestial speed-up today.

Be with me as I seek to be loving and kind, forgiving and peaceful.  Today is not a day to lose my temper and to attack.  Your way is different, and as long as I keep the stress in my day low, it is likely that I will walk the way that You choose for me.  I never get angry unless I am stressed.  And I would ask that this personal characteristic not interfere with my pathway and my relationships today.  Help me to remain at ease in Your world.  And may I extend my peace and Your peace to all whom I meet.

Amen.

I Let Forgiveness Rest upon All Things

ACIM Workbook Lesson 342 – for Thursday, December 8, 2011

Affirmation:  “I let forgiveness rest upon all things,
        For thus forgiveness will be given me.”

“The key is in my hand, and I have reached the door beyond which lies the end of dreams.  I stand before the gate of Heaven,, wondering if I should enter in and be at home.  (WB474)”

Reflections:

1 – Paving the Way to Awakening

This passage paves the way to Awakening, a way paved first by our forgiveness of ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters.  But we are “wondering if I should enter in and be at home.”  This last sentence highlights the fact that the time of Awakening, while entirely God’s choice, is not untouched by our own dedication to forgiveness:  “The key is in my hand.”  When we reach beyond the door, we have gone beyond dreams, even the happy ones brought to us in preparation by the Holy Spirit.

2 -Forgiveness = Path to Salvation

When we forgive all things, then is forgiveness given to us.  God, it is said in the Text, does not forgive, because He has never condemned.  But the forgiveness required by this world is a function that we ourselves assume when we embark on the path to salvation.

3 – It Is Necessary to Go On

The affirmation and the passage chosen for today are working in tandem.  We forgive, the key is in our hand, and then we stop–wondering if we should go on.  It is necessary to go on.  We have been prepared by the Holy Spirit’s happy dreams not to be scared by the experience of Awakening.  Without that careful preparation, we would be terrified when confronted and thrown into Awakening.  God is too loving to have us enter a new state while tied to the old one.  We loosen the ties gently and easily, and walk into the sunlight with God.

4 – Why Are Happy Dreams Not Enough?

Sometimes, when the dreams are especially happy, we may think that this is “enough.”  Why go on when we don’t know what lies beyond the door?  But there is a definite reason why we need to go beyond the door.  It is our next reasonable step.  Once we have moved beyond the door, there is no turning back–if Awakening is sustained.  Prior to his sustainability, we may know glimpses of Awakening that do not last.  These have been brought to us by revelation, but to get to the end of the road, we need to have the means explained to us (Text tenets).  And A Course in Miracles is doing just that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to key in today to the fact that forgiveness of my brothers and sisters is an absolutely mandatory next step for me.  I must make forgiveness total, and I must revisit shadows of unforgiveness that rear their heads.  We can always be a little more loving, a little more kind, a little more forgiving.  May all of us join in this common endeavor for salvation.

I would know today that You lead the way always.  Your Guide, the Holy Spirit, gently and easily maps out a daily walk, on which are found the people whom I need to meet, just for this day.  Help me to remember always that there are no coincidence in your universe.  We need to see the people whom You have led us to see.  May I be flexible enough to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout each hour of this day.

Be with me as I start a new day.  May I realize that this day is the beginning of the rest of my life, and may I be careful to thank You for the many blessings that lie around me.  May today be good in all respects, keeping my understanding of Your vision before always.

Amen.

My Sinlessness Is All that Keeps Me Safe

ACIM Workbook Lesson 341 – for Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “I can attack but my own sinlessness,
        And it is only that which keeps me safe.”

“How pure, how safe, how holy, then, are we, abiding iin Your Smile with all Your Love bestowed upon us, living one with You, in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete; in sinlessness so perfect that the Word of Sinlessness conceives us as His Son, a universe of Thought completing Him.  (WB474)”

Reflections:

1 – Theology vs. the Practical

There are some theological concepts in the prayer for today.  While we do not want to haggle over the theological, it is fascinating to contemplate the nuances of meaning in A Course in Miracles.  Keep in mind, though, that theology can distract us, and that Jesus says that it with the practical that we want to focus.  There can never be a universal theology, but a universal experience is not only possible, but also desired.  And ACIM provides some theology, for those who like this type of message, as well as abundant practical helps for living in this world.

2 – Explicating the Prayer

I want to focus on two aspects of the prayer.  First, “living one with You [God], in brotherhood and Fatherhood complete” and second, “a universe of Thought completing Him [the Self that we are all meant to rediscover].”

3 – God = Brotherhood and Fatherhood

If we are to live with God in both brotherhood and Fatherhood, then there is an inkling, in my interpretation, that we are meant to become co-creators with God.  This is the “brotherhood” aspect.  But always we are aligned with God as our Father (using the masculine gender, as ACIM does).  Our brotherhood is assured as soon as our will is no longer imprisoned by an ego run amuck.  And Awakening will follow.

4 – A Universe of Thought

The second quotation, the “universe of Thought” suggests that the universe is Thought, a Thought that our Self knows, even though the egoic self does not.  This is Idealism in philosophical terms.  ACIM does see the world as an illusion, not real, and so nothing that happens in this illusion is actually true.  We are Thoughts of God, when we are in our most exalted Self rather than the egoic self.  The “Word of Sinlessness” is God Himself (though the prayer is not specific).  And if God Himself gives us the indication that He is the Source of Sinlessness, then we might find it easier to believe that we are sinless–only having made mistakes that are theoretically correctable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

What nuances of meaning are in today’s lesson!  Thank You.  I would ultimately know You as co-creator, regardless of how long (in earth years) this may span.  I would follow Your Guide, the Holy Spirit, as I seek to walk the pathway back to You that You indicate is possible.  I would give no credence to a separation that has not really happened.  I am still as You created me.

Be with me throughout this day, regardless of what the day may bring.  Yesterday had a few bumps in my ride, and it is likely that today will as well.  I will not let that deter me.  When stymied, I will turn to Your Guide, intended for me.  Thank You for His Answer to all perplexities that may arise.  Help me to enjoy fellowship, inwardly, with You, and fellowship, outwardly, with the others in my circle.  Thank You for always holding me close when the day fills with what appear to be crises.  Let nothing of the ego blow my adversities out of proportion.  There is absolutely nothing that You can’t handle, that You won’t make come out alright in the end.

Amen.

I Was Born into This World but to Achieve This Day

ACIM Workbook Lesson 340 – for Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Affirmation:  “I can be free of suffering today.”

“Father, I thank You for today, and for the freedom I am certain it will bring.  This day is holy, for today Your Son will be redeemed.  His suffering is done.  For he will hear Your Voice directing him to find Christ’s vision through forgiveness, and be free forever from all suffering.  Thanks for today, my Father.  I was born into this world but to achieve this day, and what it holds in joy and freedom for Your holy Son and for the world he made, which is released along with him today.  (WB472)”

Reflections:

1 – A Holy Day

This is a holy day, according to our lesson from the Workbook.  It promises that, through our forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters, we will live in a personal world from which suffering is absent.  Note that this does not say that we will never experience pain, but we know from the Text that pain is not necessary.  We do not have to learn through pain; rewards as a way to learn are more lasting.

2 – A Pipe Dream?

Does this seem to us to be pipe dream?  Perhaps.  Certainly we need only turn on the radio and catch the news broadcast, or read the world news on the web or in a newspaper, to know that all is decidedly not well in this world.  But we can look at these things, and make one judgment in line with the Holy Spirit:  This that I see is unreal (from ACIM).  Then we are made ready to project another way from our inner world.  We can project an experience for ourselves that does not hold suffering, even if it should, from time to time, hold pain.  In this world we are not to be without limitations (an ACIM tenet), but we will be given the grace to rise above them.

3 – Project Good Dreams

Let us focus on this prayer to God.  We learn through following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who wills only good for us.  And when we follow that guidance, we are well on our pathway back to God.  We do not make our own misery.  We have moved beyond that vale of tears.  We learn to depend on guidance for all aspects of our lives, and following what the Voice for God says, we project only good dreams.  We accept life in all its fullness, even when pain is present, and so we do not add our lamentable rejection of that pain, making it suffering (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not get lost in pipe dreams today, but I would choose good dreams today and everyday.  Help me to realize anew that this wish is in line with Your desires for me.  And we will all know good dreams, happy dreams, until You reach down, metaphorically, and make this day the time that I am awakened by You.  I would wish for You to come sooner rather than later.  But I will be content to remain securely within Your timing.

May all of us project happy dreams.  Thank You for granting me the will to follow the Holy Spirit, and thereby to do my part in following Your will.  I would be flexible today, secure in Your love, ready to do Your bidding instantaneously.  Be with me so that this wish becomes a reality.

Thank You.

Amen.

I Will Receive Whatever I Request

ACIM Workbook Lesson 339 – for Monday, December 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will receive whatever I request.”

“Father, this is Your day. It is a day in which I would do nothing by myself, but hear Your Voice in everything I do; requesting only what You offer me, accepting only Thoughts You share with me.  (WB472)”

Reflections:

1 – Struggle No More

This is another logical progression in the Workbook from day to day, building on yesterday’s lesson.  If we trust enough to offer our problems to the One Solution, we will not only find the solutions to those things that perplex us, but we will find perfect solutions.  We need struggle no more.  If times seem hard, let us remember that there are always those who have it worse than we do, and some of these individuals have found a way to praise God in the midst of their troubles.  Trouble is not a respecter of persons.  It comes to the good and the “evil” alike.  But those who turn to the Holy Spirit for their solutions are not often kept defeated.  Their deliverance is sooner rather than later.

2 – The Holy Spirit = Voice

The Holy Spirit is the “Voice” meant in this prayer.  We deliver the day unto the Holy Inspiration, and then we thank God that His Answer is there for us.  Our gratitude is not demanded (an interpretation of ACIM, not stated therein), but we will out of the fullness of our heart want to offer that gratitude.  Gratitude thus becomes a means to express forgiveness of our previous misconceptions about this world and the people in it, especially our significant others, our “brother” (ACIM terminology).

3 – Solve Problems Quickly

Problems are meant to be solved, and solved quickly.  We do not need to cling to our fears about our daily sustenance in this world.  Certainly we remain concerned when we see ourselves and others hurting, and we would do what we can to heal the brokenness of which we all partake at various times in our lives.  But we who follow A Course in Miracles know some secrets that we need only share to those who are ready to listen.  Then the miracle becomes real in our own experience.  And God’s Voice has shown us the Way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I declare in my words and actions the emphasis that the Holy Spirit would bring to my day.  I would not make these decisions by myself, but I would commune with You and Your Voice, and I would offer the certainty that, when I hear aright, I will remain on the pathway that You smooth for me.  Today is no different from any other day.  I need You today just the same as always.  But I would make a special appeal to remain flexible as I walk throughout this day, struggling no more, knowing that You do not want me to struggle.  All too often, I know, struggle is of the ego and leads us away from the goal that You hold out to us–a home with You, reveling in Your felt presence.

Help me to realize that the struggle that seems so laudatory is anything but.  We are meant to commune with You, and then we are meant to accept Your Words, and then proceed peacefully and easily with our lives.  Anything else is an egoic dream, and I would not dream those dreams any longer.

Thank You for the gift of A Course in Miracles.  For others, there are other pathways; but for some of us, ACIM is the answer to so many of the questions that our minds have tried to solve.  May my mind be one with You today.

Amen.

I Am Affected Only by My Thoughts

ACIM Workbook Lesson 338 – for Sunday, December 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am affected only by my thoughts.”

 

“His thoughts can frighten him, but since these thoughts belong to him alone, he has the power to change them and exchange each fear thought for a happy thought of love.  He crucified himself.  Yet God has planned that His beloved Son will be redeemed.  (WB471)”

 

Reflections:

1 – God Within

This passage builds on the message from yesterday, spelling out what yesterday’s passage implicated.  Our frightened thoughts come from a mind not united with the God within, but they are unique to ourselves and can be changed.  When we let our minds merge with the God Who resides within, then do we truly know peace of mind for the first time.

2 – No More Fear Thoughts

We exchange our fear thoughts for thoughts of love.  Let us always remember that we are doing this unto ourselves; we are not plagued by other people, and we are especially not plagued by an angry God.  God is as we have always been taught by the New Testament, and now by A Course in Miracles, as a God who loves us unconditionally.  We have crucified ourselves by our imagined imprisonment by a will not our own.  We have endured this imprisoned will because we made the ego, the symbol of our separation from God–a separation that could not happen in fact, but which could seem to be real, causing what seem to be real effects.

3 – The Resurrection

But God had a plan to redeem us.  It is not the focus on the crucifixion that much of modern Christianity believes, but a focus on the resurrection–that we too can rise above the suffering of this mad world and know God’s greatest blessings.  The plan, we are told in the Text, was placed in the mind of God’s son/daughter as soon as the mad idea took hold, and seemed to cause real effects.

4 – The Solution Is with the Problem

The solution is always with the problem.  If we keep this in mind, we will not often find ourselves in troubled conflict.  We will reach a higher level of mind where the problem has already been solved.  Ask with the assurance that your prayer will be heard, and that the Answer to Your conflict has been given in the Person of the Holy Spirit.  Ask for guidance to solve life’s varied problems, and then rest in surety for the Answer to come.  We will not have to wait long.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You most importantly today for the fact that the solution is always with the problem.  I can give any problem over to the Holy Spirit and then know that the answer will pop into my mind at the right time, almost always sooner rather than later.  We do not have to suffer in silence.  And we do not have to run ahead of the Holy Spirit, making problems after He has already given us the solution to the one problem that we are facing at the moment.

Increase my trust, My Father.  It is enough for me to know that answer will come quickly.  I do not have to make things tough on myself.

Thank You.

Amen.

My Sinlessness Protects Me from All Harm

ACIM Workbook Lesson 337 – for Saturday, December 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “My sinlessness protects me from all harm.”

“My sinlessness ensures me perfect peace, eternal safety, everlasting love, freedom forever from all thought of loss; complete deliverance from suffering.  And only happiness can be my state, for only happiness is given me.  (WB471)”

Reflections:

1 – Do We Want to Be Happy?

Do we want to be happy?  Is this a worthy goal, even above “saving the world,” as we sometimes have been taught?  In A Course in Miracles, happiness is sometimes seen as our function, and when this is assimilated, we know the truth of all that forgiveness holds out for us.  The passage for today offers many glorious promises, including the challenging concept of complete deliverance from suffering.  Part of this promise can come from the fact that what we project is coming from a purity within that has been recognized.  We will not project suffering when we are in our right minds.  That most of us, still, are not in our right minds explains succinctly why there is so much suffering still being experienced.  We may, until Awakening, know pain; but we need not have this escalate into suffering (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).

2 – Madness

We can ask today for the perfect peace, eternal safety, everlasting love, freedom from loss, as well as deliverance from suffering.  Do not be surprised if our prayers are answered, if only temporarily.  Until revelation reveals the end to us on a sustainable basis, we will drift in and out of madness.  And when we are consumed by madness, we will think amiss and project amiss.  Ask today to be free of the oscillations that bring suffering upon us.  Be sure that we are asking in God’s Will.

3 – ACIM‘s Beautiful Language

A good way to invite this blessing is to study A Course in Miracles whenever upset.  The words themselves are poetry (expressed in iambic pentameter, Shakespeare’s verse form), and the beauty of the language will carry us far along into a different state of mind, a state further removed from insanity.

4 – “Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

If we would know happiness today, we must give up all that stands in the way.  And when we realize that we are actually sinless, we will be free, however temporarily, of the insanity that has been holding us back.  Our illusions will take on the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Workbook), and then, before we know it, God Himself will act to pull down Awakening upon us.  Then there is no need to look back.  Our reality is wholly in line with God’s Will.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spend awhile today reading A Course in Miracles.  I would revel in its beautiful language.  Help me today to know the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings.  You have shown them to me, over and over again.  Thank You.  Help me to feel Your Presence and Your happiness again today.

Help me to realize that happiness is not an inferior goal.  I would do more for others if I am happy, because I will not be so preoccupied with any neurosis.  And Jesus can heal neurosis.  His words in ACIM prove this to me.  Thank You again.

Amen.

Forgiveness Lets Me Know that Minds Are Joined

ACIM Workbook Lesson 336 – for Friday, December 2, 2011

 

 

Affirmation:  “Forgiveness lets me know that minds are joined.”

 

 

 

“Forgiveness sweeps away distortions, and opens the hidden altar to the truth.  Its lilies shine into the mind, and call it to return and look within, to find what it has vainly sought without.  For here, and only here, is peace of mind restored, for this the dwelling place of God Himself.  (WB470)”

Reflections:

1 – Peace of Mind Comes with Complete Forgiveness

These final passages in the Workbook choose to make firm the decision for forgiveness that is the central thesis of A Course in Miracles.  These passages would firm up our decision for the peace of mind, something that can only come when we forgive completely.  “Forgiveness sweeps away distortions,” and by this we can led to see that we have been looking with a distorted eye upon the mistakes of our brothers and sisters.

2 – Lilies Within

The theme of lilies is again found.  There are many lyrical passages in ACIM, and the passages in the Text on lilies are particularly beautiful.  We need to find the lilies within, to find within what we have vainly sought without.  We have even sought without in sickness, because sickness is described in the Text as a form of external searching.  We can be well, if not physically, then within our spirit.  And often spiritual healing carries a physical component.  When we rest in God’s peace, much that seems awry in our world gets corrected, and this passage gives the overview of how that miracle happens.  Forgiveness reaches into the mind and heals it; we no longer look without for healing.

3 – This Illusory World

Our peace of mind is a true experience of reaching the “dwelling place of God Himself.”
This way of speaking emphasizes that God is within and that we project our world from without.  The Text says that there is nothing outside of ourselves.  While this may seem like a metaphysical tenet that we cannot comprehend, it is the easy way of teaching ourselves how to forgive  If we are in a mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM), then we realize that the projected world is illusory; it is that mass hallucination.

4 – Very Little on Blind Faith

We are still as God created us.  This is an oft-repeated sentence from the Workbook.  Until and unless we believe this, we will not be in a good position to forgive fully.  We will still harbor a secret thought that we have been hurt in some real way by the misdeeds of others.  But this secret thought is healed, and we know that we too are forgiven, when we reach out with love from our hearts and forgiveness in both our hearts and the intellect of our minds.  A Course in Miracles requires that we accept very little on blind faith.  Belief in the absolute right of our brothers and sisters to our forgiveness may be as close as we come to needing to accept ACIM on faith.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for allowing me to understand that You answer our questions without asking us to rely on a faith that is focused on mysteries.  We need to forgive, and while we may not see that this one act will solve our problems, we can come to see this as we act it out.  Help me to forgive today.  Help me to refrain from both anger and attack, however tempting these negative emotions may sometimes appear.  Your counsel is always the peaceful way.  Never do we need to dwell on the negative.

May I see your lilies today.  I would walk freely and easily in this world, and You are the instigator of my peace, the peace that allows me to walk freely and easily.  Be with me throughout the day.  Keep me focused on the positive, regardless of how many things may happen today that test my patience.

Bless my brothers and sisters.  My relationship to them enables the means by which salvation comes–through special-turned-holy relationships.

Amen.

I Choose to See My Brother’s Sinlessness

ACIM Workbook Lesson 335 – for Thursday, December 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “I choose to see my brother’s sinlessness.”  

“What could I restore Your memory to me, except to see my brother’s sinlessness?  (WB470)”

Reflections:

1 – The Memory of God

The memory about which this passage talks is the memory that we are meant to have, the memory of God.  It is part of a prayer, and that is why the passage says “Your.”

2 – Recognize Sinlessness

We need to understand only when we recognize our brothers and sisters as sinless will we have peace.  Is this not hard to do, however?  We remember, failing to have forgiven, the attacks and anger that have been sent in our direction, and we cannot quite feel that this is coming from an innocent person, a sinless person.  To fully comprehend, we must buy into the philosophy of A Course in Miracles completely, knowing that we live in an illusory world and that nothing has ever truly hurt the real Self whom we are.

3 – Our Real Self Knows No Harm

If we make a choice to see the sinlessness of our brothers and sisters, we will be well on our way to the wholeness that will allow us to forgive any past misdeeds.  We will know that our real Self has not been harmed, and if this is the case, what do we have to hold against others?

4 – Forgive Ourselves Also

We may it difficult, as well, to forgive ourselves for similar misdeeds toward others.  Unless and until we can forgive ourselves, we are unlikely to forgive others completely (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We too have not sinned, but have made mistakes (some of which can be rectified).  If we can make amends, now is the time to do so.  If it is too late to make amends, then we need to commune with God about our next step.  Hugh Prather suggested doing penance, and perhaps this too is a pathway that we might consider.

5 – The Memory of God Returns

We will find the memory of God in our minds and hearts when we have seen, truly seen, the sinlessness of our brothers and sisters.  If this seems impossible now, pray for guidance, that the difficult may be made easy.  And the difficult can be made easy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this day’s lesson, which gives us a simple formula for remembering You:  Forgive our brothers and sisters, and recognize sinlessness.  The real Self has never been harmed.  

May I recall this simple truth when the day turns rough.  I would walk into sunlight with You, guided there by the Holy Spirit.  

Amen.