Monthly Archives: January 2012

Wholly Worthy of Forgiveness

“But should one brother dawn upon your sight as wholly worthy of forgiveness, then your concept of yourself is wholly changed.  Your ‘evil’ thoughts have been forgiven with his, because you let them all affect you not. (T662)”

Affirmation:  “a brother wholly worthy of forgiveness”

Reflections:

1 – True Love = Forgiveness

If we have truly loved another, we have truly forgiven.  This brother is “wholly worthy of forgiveness,” and then we see that we too are wholly worthy of forgiveness.  How could it work another way?  Our significant others will know when we have incorporated this tenet into our lives.  Life will smooth out; we will not attack when we are stressed; we will love in a more demonstrative way.  And our significant others will respond to the new way that we are living, though they may not understand it, at least not yet.  Let them wonder, and when they ask what has caused the change in us, then is the time to share, over time, the tenets of A Course in Miracles.  Do not try to share before others are ready, or we will surely turn them off.  It is up to us to ask for guidance in this matter of sharing what we have learned.

2 – Our Real Self Is Not Hurt

It is best that we let no one hurt us, because in truth our Self has not been hurt (a tenet of A Course of Love).  If this emotion of healing seems too lofty a concept, then at least do not let a brother know that he has hurt us.  By feeling hurt and letting it be known, one believes that it is possible for illusions to bring suffering.  It is not necessary to learn through pain; this is a concept of A Course in Miracles.  The fact that we do learn through pain does not negate ACIM; it only means that we have misjudged ourselves.

3 – The Real World

Our reality has not suffered, has not known pain.  The real world of the Course makes this clear.  The illusion would not have it so–yet the reality knows the truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would accept deeply the truth that when one loves, one forgives.  If we have truly loved, we have truly known that the individual is forgiven of anything and everything that might have hurt us.  We need love only once to know this truth.

In the natural course of life, we love many others.  Our brothers and sisters are here for our love.  Thank You for letting us know that our special relationships need to turn into holy ones.  May You help me to do that in every instance, with every brother and sister who has ever crossed my path.  Thank You for the truth that this is indeed a very sane response, that no one has hurt me in the real world, and that my Self is still innocent of wrongdoing.  It is only in time that I have “sinned,” and time does not really exist.  May I come to live in Your eternity more and more.

Thank You for the peace that You have granted me today.  I know that You would have me feel this peace each day.  It is only the remnants of my ego that prevent me from the serenity that You wish for me, a serenity that would be permanent.

Amen.

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A Prayer to Relinquish Attack

“You could not recognize your ‘evil’ thoughts as long as you see value in attack.  You will perceive them sometimes, but will not see them as meaningless.  And so they come in fearful form, with content still concealed, to shake your sorry concept of yourself and blacken it with still another ‘crime.’ (T622)”

Affirmation:  “‘Evil’ thoughts are meaningless.”

Reflections:

1 – Leave Attack Behind

A Course in Miracles would have us leave attack behind forever.  If we do attack, we may feel better momentarily, thinking that we have gotten the guilt out (an interpretation by Ken Wapnick), the anger vented, but we will accuse ourselves of “sin,” or, as the Course says, yet another mistake.  We will feel worse about ourselves, a “sorry concept,” that has been blackened by yet another crime.  This will not do.  We cannot live a rewarding life this way.  So what do we do?

2 – Turn Anger over to the Holy Spirit

The words of the passage are deep.  They suggest that the only way out of our illusions of sin are to leave attack alone.  Turn over our anger to the Holy Spirit.  Let him judge the severity of the deed against ourselves, done by another.  It is not for us to judge; let Him.  We are told in ACIM that attack and anger are never justified.  But this does not mean that we repress (or try to suppress) our anger.  Today’s psychology knows better, even as does ACIM.  Today’s psychology would have us vent this anger, but is this really the best way?  Don’t we likely hurt others in the process of venting?  And do we not feel guilty that we have hurt ourselves as well as others?  If we follow the way of A Course in Miracles, and turn our anger over to the Holy Spirit, He will relax us and stress will resolve (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  When we have given our hurt over to the inner Guide, we know that we are not alone.  And we will live, daily, on a much better footing.

3 – Attack Never Works

We think that attack gives us something that we want.  We are wrong.  The way of attack can never work.  ACIM embodies that premise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

One of my greatest regrets is the verbal attack that I made to someone who was actually one of my greatest friends, though we have never seen each other much at all.  When someone is out of our life, it is too late to make amends.  We can only try to forgive ourselves for this lamentable behavior.  You have not ever condemned me for my foolishness, and so You do not need, actually, to “forgive.”  But I need to feel forgiveness in my own mind and spirit, and that is what I pray for specifically today.

Be with me as I seek to walk a fresh pathway, clear of the false ways of acting that impeded my life when I was much younger.  Thank You for A Course in Miracles, for the blessing of ACIM.  We live in an eternity, and in eternity we are innocent.  May I take this promise unto myself today.

Be with my brothers and sisters who read this blog posting.  May they know forgiveness for any regrets that they still harbor for deeds that cannot be undone from the past.

Amen.

A Fearful Script

 

 

“Fear is a judgment never justified.  Its presence has no meaning but to show you wrote a fearful script, and are afraid accordingly.  But not because the thing you fear has fearful meaning in itself. (T641)”

Affirmation:  “Fear is never justified.”

Reflections:

1 – Anxious Out of Habit?

Many of us are, almost by nature, anxious.  This is a manifestation of fear.  If we can remember that we are fearful only because of the “script” we wrote, we can often make some progress in talking ourselves out of this anxiety.

2 – Fear Is Never Justified

This passage says that fear is never justified.  To remember this, and to put it in practice, is not easy.  But it is possible.  And, the Course says that its tenets are simple.

3 – Live Effortlessly

It takes a patient mind to learn how to live simply.  When we rush about and see the stress all around in our rushing, we ask for the anxiety that we would do well to live without.  Let us leave the fearful script behind!  We will still get to our goals, but with far less strain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am one of those who have lived with far too much anxiety.  I have often used anxiety as a goad to get me to finish some task that I have set myself, and sometimes this task has been ego-inspired.

I would leave  all this foolishness behind me today.  I would have You direct me to accomplish what You would like to see, but with the effortlessness that You promise.  There is always time for what is needful.  I believe that I was guided to that realization many years ago in graduate school, but after that time ended, I did not always remember what You had shown me then.  You want to help us, to offer assistance.  It is a free offer, and, today, I accept Your help unconditionally.

Thank You for granting me the serenity of feeling Your presence.

Amen.

Distress Rests on Error

“If pardon were unjustified, you would be asked to sacrifice your rights when you return forgiveness for attack.  But you are merely asked to see forgiveness as the natural reaction to distress that rests on error, and thus calls for help.  Forgiveness is the only sane response.  It keeps your rights from being sacrificed. (T638)”

Affirmation:  “Distress rests on error.”

Reflections:

1 – Distress Rests on Error

The most memorable part of this passage is the phrase, “distress that rests on error.”  If this phrase is remembered, we will have a ready remark to call to mind if arguments happen in our environment.  We will then be more willing to take a timeout, and to begin the process of forgiving the lamentable encounter.

2 – Pardon Is Fully Justified

This passage notes that pardon is fully justified.  This, regardless of how many times we reread the Course, may still be a sticking point.  Yet the bottom line is the dream, the “maya.”  Our brother has merely made errors, mistakes, and he, like us, deserves forgiveness for the poorest choices.  We are said to have “sinned” in time, but we live in eternity, where we are innocent (ACIM tenets).  If this is not fully comprehended, it is our failure yet to adopt for ourselves the most basic of the tenets of A Course in Miracles.

3 – Forgive Insanity

“Forgiveness is the only sane response.”  Of course!  We need the sanity of the Course, because our brother’s poorest choices have come out of insanity.  No one will find insanity hard to forgive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would rest in the thought that much that I observe that is negative is because my brother and sister are in distress.  And not only in distress, but actually living in an illusory world that is lost in insanity.  We who desire to share salvation need only to recognize that we and they are in pain.  A person who is insane is said to have diminished responsibility, and this characterization is true for the vast majority of our brothers and sisters in this world.  Nobody has to be locked up to be insane, in the interpretation of ACIM.

Be with me when I see insanity and fail to recognize the distress that prompted the poor behavior.  And may I forgive myself for my poor behavior over my lifetime.  May we all forgive not only our brothers and sisters, but also ourselves.

You have not condemned me when in eternity I have made mistakes.  Help me not to condemn myself.  May I just pick myself up and try to be a little kinder the next day.

Amen.

Anger Is Never Justified

“Anger is never justified.  Attack has no foundation.  It is here escape from fear begins, and will be made complete. (T638)”

 

Affirmation:  “I choose neither anger nor attack.”

Reflections:

1 – Attack and Anger Out of Bounds

Let’s just recognize the truth of these statements, even when the withered ego rebels.  Remembering that attack and anger are out of bounds is a great liberator.  It will help in the tough times that we go through with our loved ones.

2 – See the Relinquishment of Fear

There is a great boon here as well:  Leaving behind anger and attack leads to the relinquishment of fear.  Fear has dogged our every step, even when we have not been aware of this.  As the Course teaches, there are only fear and love, and, of the two, only love is real.

3 – Anger and Attack = Grievances

Anger and attack are usually present because we hold grievances.  And it is only when our grievances have been left behind that we know safety (from the Workbook).  It is said in ACIM that it is as though we held a dagger above our heads, and it will fall or be averted as we choose to forgive or to attack.  Our brother or sister attacks us because each is calling for help.  And it is our duty to rush to his/her side with assistance.  Doing so keeps our rights from being removed.  We recognize the truth of the situation, and we will find that we ourselves also get help when we need it.  As we give, we do receive (from the Treatises of A Course of Love).

4 – Our Innocent Brother

The underlying idea here is that our brother and sister are actually, in essence, innocent.  They have, like we all, been guilty of mistakes, but these can be overlooked–if we don’t at first make them real by thinking too much about them.

5 – Only Love Is Real

We are living a dream in which nothing except the love is real.   That is why anger and attack are never justified.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I know that when I feel anger what I am involved in an interpretation which is not true.  If I am outraged, it is even more certain that I am misperceiving.  In this world, of course, we are very human, and, for most of us, our fallibility includes being embroiled from time to time in arguments.  I would not let this state of affairs continue in my life, in the life that You have given to me.  Help me to recognize when I am misperceiving, and help me to forgive–regardless of how great the error of my significant others actually is.

I would accept that I am seeing a bad scene because I do not want to see it.  Help me to understand this paradox from A Course in Miracles.  I would choose to see only those scenes that will honor You, and that will give me the peace that only You can offer to me.  Be with me today if attack and anger become temptations.  I would turn to my Guide at such times.  I would ask to see the real truth, which is that I live in an illusion, and only the real things of peace, joy, serenity, and the like, are true.  I would find truth today.

 Thank You for leading me in recent time to a more peaceful pace of living.  May stress not overwhelm me, because I never get angry unless I am stressed.

Amen.

Judge Not

“How can God’s Son awaken from the dream?  It is a dream of judgment.  So must he judge not, and he will waken. (T622)”

Affirmation:  “I will judge not, that I may awaken.”

Reflections:

1 – Challenge

This is a great challenge to those of us who have not yet awakened.  The advanced teacher of God does not see challenge, but it is there for the vast majority of us.  Perhaps the only thing, concretely, that we can do to hasten Awakening is to remember not to judge.  Judging is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit, and He makes one judgment only, “God’s Son is innocent.”  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – We Are Innocent

Do we really believe that we are innocent?  Can we really see that we live in eternity, where we have not sinned, though we have “sinned” in time?  We live in an illusion, and we must not choose to do just anything at all, because everything is illusion.  This is a particular unfortunate interpretation of ACIM that perhaps few of us choose to make.  We still try to do the right thing; we do not choose what we perceive as wrong or “evil.”

3 – Cease Judging

We can choose to stop judgment at the point that we first notice it.  This takes practice, but it is not outside our will, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  It is God Himself, according to ACIM, Who takes the final step to awaken us.  The timing is His own.

4 – Judge Not = Awaken

There is a great promise in this passage.  “Se must he judge not, and he will waken.”  What a blessing it is!  And how easy does Jesus make it sound.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not evaluate my life and those who are a part of it today.  Evaluation is very close to judgment, and judging is not my prerogative.  You counsel against judgment.  I am not happy when I judge, when I have failed to forgive, and this in itself is enough to know that I have strayed from the pathway back to You.

I would be happy today.  Send me on busy doings, but in the doing keep me close to You.  I would feel Your presence as I carry out the sometimes difficult tasks that I am called on to fulfill.  May my day be busy and full, but blessed by the sense of Your presence.  May Your Guide keep me walking smoothly and serenely.

Amen.

The Secret of Salvation

“The secret of salvation is but this:  That you are doing this unto yourself.  No matter what the form of the attack, this still is true.  Whoever takes the role of enemy and of attacker, still is this the truth. (T587-T588)”

Affirmation:  “I am doing this unto myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Does Life Seem Hard?

If life seems very hard, we can think of these words.  They are not easy to understand, because they sound like a “blame the victim” scenario.  But A Course in Miracles never intends this.  We do not consciously bring bad things upon ourselves, at least most of the time.  And the evil that is in the world is not our own personal fault.

2 = ACIM and Victimhood

This aspect of the Course has been misinterpreted by many people.  And many have rejected it because of the “victim” problem.

3 – Happier Days

Do not reject any longer.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, we will see happier days.  We will ponder the happenings around us, and they will cause pain.  But suffering is our own choice, and we can choose to turn over to the Holy Spirit all things that hurt.  This includes for others as well as ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When my relationships that I pray have turned from “special” to “holy” not give me problems today.  May I listen to Your Guide, and may I be for my significant others all that they need today, all that they honestly need for me to provide.  May I not take over their problems as my own.  We are here to assist, but not to take away the lessons that our loved ones are here to learn.  Help me to remember this truth today.

Thank You for leading me to understand that A Course in Miracles never “blames the victim.”  I know that our Self may have plans that we do not see.  And You may have plans that we do not comprehend.  But You never wish bad fortune on anyone, and I know this well.  Help me not to question Your love in any situation or at any time.

I do love You, and I appreciate that You love me unconditionally, in every situation in which I find myself embroiled.  May I resign from attack and anger, and reach inwardly to Your Being within me.  May my projections bring lovely perceptions today.

Thank You for carrying me when I am too weak to do anything helpful for myself.

Amen.