Monthly Archives: December 2011

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.

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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.