Monthly Archives: February 2012

Belief

“Belief produces the acceptance of existence.  That is why you can believe what no one else thinks is true.  It is true for you because it was made by you.  (T14)”

Affirmation:  “May I believe only what is true.”

Reflections:

1 – No One Else Agrees with You

The second sentence in this passage is the pertinent one.  Many of us become lost in illusions of our own making, and those around us know the mistake that we are making.  They may try to tell us, but we may not listen.  Usually we don’t listen, to our regret later on.

2 – Pioneers?

It might be helpful, if we find ourselves in a position in which we are alone, the only one believing as we do, if we are pioneers of some sort or are we simply mistaken?

3 – We Have Projected our Perception

We have made the world which we perceive.  That is why we believe what no one else thinks is true.

4 – An Ego-Inspired World

What a sad commentary on the ego-inspired world!  Surely we lead confused lives until we let go of our misconceptions.  Then and only then can we turn to a better way.  And the Course is the better way that many of us have accepted as our truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have been guilty of believing what nobody else thought was true.  Most of us have.  

May we leave these misconceptions behind as we enter a new world lit by your love.

Amen.

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Real Purpose of This World

“The real purpose of this world is to use it to correct your unbelief.  You can never control the effects of fear yourself, because you made fear, and you believe in what you made.  (T1.6.4)”

Affirmation:  “you made fear”

Reflections:

1 – Love and Fear

Love and fear are the only two emotions, according to A Course in Miracles.  All other emotions are variants of these two.  Of the two, love is of God and fear is of the man-made ego.  The ego, as long as we are under its control, does believe in itself as the rightful controller of our minds.  Given this idea, it follows that the ego-controlled mind cannot control the effects of fear.

2 – Turn to the Holy Spirit

What are we to do?  The answer is always the same; the Course is simple, in that the Holy Spirit is repeatedly given as our Answer.  Turn to Him inwardly, and He will free us.

3 – Fear Can Be Self-Controlled

Elsewhere Jesus says that fear can be self-controlled.  There is a subtle difference here, in that this passage indicates that the effects of fear cannot be self-controlled.  We cannot know how widely our thoughts and actions will affect the world.  We need to ask for the miracle to prevent our ego-inspired self from affecting our world detrimentally.

4 – Diversion

Sometimes turning inward does not even seem possible, because we are so upset.  A Course in Miracles does not recommend distraction by music or a silly, funny video–but my experience of fear is that it can have so disturbed a reaction on the mind that only diversion will calm.  Then when diversion, distractions, have calmed us, we are quiet enough to return to prayer, and we can ask forgiveness for our stubbornness.  Keep in mind that God has never condemned, and so it is actually not even necessary for us to seek, in prayer, His forgiveness.  But we do need to forgive ourselves.  And this may be easier to come by if we realize that God does not condemn, that it is ourselves that have condemned ourselves.  And this is not a rational way to think.  We should never underestimate the madness of this world.  And we are in this world, and we will partake of part of its madness.  Only in seeking the real world will we find peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We live in a sometimes fearful world.  We don’t fully realize that we make this fear.

Help us to turn our fears over to You, to know that You will help to eliminate the conditions that bring about the fear.  This is the cure that we ask today.

Amen.

Peace = Forgiveness

“You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness.  (T13)”

 Affirmation:  “complete forgiveness”

Reflections

1 – Complete Forgiveness

This is a solemn statement, even a warning.  We do find forgiveness too hard to offer in this ego-centered world!

2 – Deserve Forgiveness?

Perhaps we don’t know how to forgive.  We may believe that the word or deed that someone did to us does not deserve forgiveness.  Certainly a belief like this is a bitter problem for us when we try to come to understand forgiveness.  We are actually denying ourselves forgiveness, of ourselves, and from others.  Forgiveness is always deserved.  The individual who perpetuated the word or deed against us has said to himself or herself that he/she was justified in what he/she did.  We all justify our ways of treating others.  Even the worst individual in our world would see himself/herself as a victim, free of blame.  We have seen this in some world figures.  Would there be any less among those of us who are unknown in the world?

3 – Peace

Complete forgiveness will offer peace.  Forgiveness is not hard to give when we realize that the bad effects have not really happened at all in reality.  And the perpetrator acted only in madness, in insanity, out of a mind controlled by ego.  These two truths, taken together, will lead us easily to pardon our brother.

4 – We Receive Peace

And we receive peace for this!  Can anyone choose another way when so much is held out to us?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When we are tempted today to hold something against our brother, help us to see, once again, that only in complete forgiveness is our salvation found.

May our brother know that we have forgiven him (or her).

Amen.

Tyrannous Control

“Whatever is true is eternal, and cannot change or be changed.  Spirit is therefore unalterable because it is already perfect, but the mind can elect what it chooses to serve.  The only limit put on its choice is that it cannot serve two masters.  If it elects to do so,
the mind can become the medium by which spirit creates along the line of its own creation.  If it does not freely elect to do so, it retains its creative potential but places itself under tyrannous rather than Authoritative control.  As a result it imprisons, because such are the dictates of tyrants.  To change your mind means to place it at the disposal of true Authority.  (T13)”

 

Affirmation:  “Spirit is therefore unalterable”

Reflections:

1 – Why the Ego Is Bad for Us

This passage explains at some length why we experience bad things when we are under the influence of the ego:  We are under “tyrannous” control rather than Authoritative (i.e., the Holy Spirit).  This means that pain can become very great before we change our minds, and open them up to a greater spiritual truth.  But our experience of pain is not without limit, and there must come a time when we know that there is a better way.  This better way is the Holy Spirit and His guidance–Authoritative control.

2 – Following Guidance

When we change our minds and place them under this guidance, we know “true Authority.”   Simultaneously, our pain lessens and we begin to know happy dreams within the world.  This is not a magic trick, but the working out of true reality, the march toward the “real world” (as characterized by A Course in Miracles).

3 – The Holy Spirit

We do not have to feel bereft when we give up judgment to the wiser counsel of the Holy Spirit.  The Manual reminds us that we never could judge accurately, because we don’t see the whole picture–past, present, and future, along with all the myriad of events that impact our little world.  We cannot choose accurately with our own judgment for this reason, as well as the fact that we are making interpretations of facts, and interpretations lead to anger and all manner of negative thinking.  We never, for example, get angry at facts.  We only get angry when we have interpreted these facts in some way that we feel has hurt ourselves.  We are not told, Jon Mundy points out, never to get angry, but we are told to recognize that our thinking has gone awry, awry into interpretations.  Anger is just in ACIM never to be justified.  We are never angry for the reason that we think (from the Workbook).  We have been misperceiving, and our brothers and sisters need our help for any attacks that they have made upon us (and vice-versus).

4 – The Mind, Serving Spirit

The mind in the service of spirit is powerful indeed.  And what this mind will create is good.  The mind under the service of the ego could only “make” things; it could not create at all.  Do turn to the Holy Spirit, and we will see our experience in the world improve immediately.

Prayer:  

Dear Father/Mother,

May we turn to You when we find ourselves under tyrannous control.  May we know that tyrannous control is not Your will for us.

May we realize that when we turn to the Holy Spirit, we are following our will as well as Your own.  This will automatically improve our lives.

May You go with us today as we seek to remember that Your will is always ours.

Amen.

Specialness

“The specialness of God’s Sons does not stem from exclusion but from inclusion.  All my brothers are special.  If they believe they are deprived of anything, their perception becomes distorted. (T12)”

Affirmation:  :”I would have clear perception today, perception leading to knowledge.”

Reflections:

1 – Everyone Is “Special”

All of us are included in this statement about specialness.  We are all equals.  Elsewhere Jesus says that none of us has anything that is not also given to our brother.  He also says that temporarily some may have more than another, but eventually this will change.  These are theoretical foundations of A Course in Miracles.  What is this “more” that some have now?  It is an understanding about forgiveness that leads to salvation, and, with this, happiness.  All of these–forgiveness, salvation, and happiness–are said at different points in ACIM to our “function.”  We may find that we are too self-centered when we are unhappy to reach out effectively to others, or even to forgive them.  And we may get so down on ourselves that we don’t see how salvation is possible for one such as ourselves.

2 – Wait for the Mood to Lift

This is faulty thinking.  When our mood lifts, we will see more clearly.  Our seeing may still be perceptual rather than a knowing, but the right perception leads inexorably to knowledge of God.  This pathway becomes clearer the farther along we walk.  At this point, it may be enough to know simply that we will be happier when we ask for guidance, and this guidance will console us.  Our needs will be met.  We may not now believe this, for we live in a sometimes difficult world, but our attitudes will change, and even if other people perceive problems for us, we will live protected in the haven of God’s Arms.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)

3 – Perceiving in a Distorted Fashion

When we feel little and left out, we are perceiving in a distorted fashion.  We think that we are deprived.  But none of us are deprived of anything, except it be our choice.  We can choose again, and the Holy Spirit will respond.  We may actually receive what we ask, or we may not.  If it would hurt us, we will not receive it.  Jesus says that a loving Father does not give a Son (or Daughter) what would hurt him (or her).  He will protect us still, if in our ignorance we ask for what will harm.

4 – Gifts of the Holy Spirit

When we ask for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are always answered in the affirmative.  These are not “special” gifts, but gifts that are the inheritance of everyone.   By so doing, we have taken the right prayer and wedded it to the philosophy of A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do understand that all of us are “special,” which can also be stated that none are “special,” because we are all equal.  I would not let the ego intrude today; I am trying to encourage my ego to wither away.  I do not mean my personal self, but the egotistical, false sense of self that I all too often had in the past.  I would let that past stay in the past.

May we come to understand that one day all gifts from You will be shared by everyone.  In the meantime, for awhile some will have more of one thing, and some more of another.  All of this is only temporary, in our illusory world.

Be with me today as I seek to remain in the flow with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I would welcome entry into the Christ-consciousness, but I await Your nod on this.  I have had glimpses of Awakening, and for that I am grateful.  I pray for all my brothers and sisters that they will have glimpses, before the new Way is sustained.

Amen.

Complete Dependence on God

“‘Except ye become as little children’ means that unless you fully recognize your complete dependence on God, you cannot know the real power of the Son in his true relationship with the Father. (T12)”

Affirmation:  “May I become today a pliable child in God’s Hands.”

Reflections:

1 – Surrendering to God

Surrendering to God is a wondrous possibility that gives us everything.  We are dependent upon Him, but it is not a dependence that is wrong.  We are meant to depend on God, and our lack of communicating to Him is most unnatural (as A Course in Miracles says).  God knows when we are not communicating with Him, and He “thinks” that His children are asleep and must be wakened.  Everyone who follows ACIM agrees on this premise, even those who believe that God does not know about our daily lives, because we are caught in illusion and He is not so caught.  And those of us who do believe that God does know about us and the myriad details of our lives also recognize, when we study ACIM, that we are asleep and need the Awakening.  It could be argued that the whole purpose of A Course in Miracles is to lead us to Awakening through forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

2 – A Statement by Jesus

This passage explains a statement attributed to Jesus in the New Testament.  Little children are dependent upon their parents, as we see God as our Father (and Mother).  It is natural and right that we turn to Him in our daily pathway.  It is unnatural not to do so.  Those who believe that God does not know us do, nevertheless, believe that His Guide, the Holy Spirit, is the Universal Inspiration that tells us, in direct ways, how to negotiate through our world.  When we fail to listen, we are virtually certain, sometimes immediately, of getting into trouble.  When we do listen, our pathway smoothes out, and we are at peace once again.  May we walk an untroubled pathway today.

3 – Life Will Smooth Out

When we talk to God or we talk to the Holy Spirit, we are getting the answers for our lives that we are meant to know.  And, indeed, life smooths out, and we are at peace.

4 – Listen to the Holy Spirit’s Voice

Isn’t this what we have wanted all along?  God would have it so, and so it is.  When we listen to the Voice that speaks to us of God’s all-encompassing love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the comfort that I know from You.  I do not wish to get caught up in theology, about whether or not You do enter our dreams, our illusions.  I only know that from the universe I receive comfort.  And then all is well in my world.  Thank You for that.  You are my rock in this sometimes troubled environment of this world.

Be with us as we walk through the world.  Let us not let theology about You divide us.  May we learn of You however we best can.  May we feel Your presence in our minds and spirits and hearts.  May joy accompany us, as You would have.

I thank You specifically today for the lessening of stress in my immediate environment just now.  You have given me some tools to handle stress, intuitively, and they are working.  Thank You.

Amen.

No Needs

“Those who perceive and acknowledge that they have everything have no needs of any kind. (T11)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to recognize that I do have everything.”

Reflections:

1 – All Have “Everything”

We have actually been given everything, just as have our brothers and sisters.  We do not rationally understand this, but we do not have to be slaves of our rational mind.  In truth, everyone has been given everything.  This is one of the philosophical tenets of A Course in Miracles.

2 – What Does This Mean?

What does this mean?  It suggests that even though, temporarily, some of us have less than others, we will be shown the way to more by our brother or sister, who temporarily has more.  Talents will be shared equally in the Kingdom (a paraphrase from ACIM).  We do not have to feel that some talent that we have admired in others, and perhaps enviously wanted, is forever impossible for us.  God takes the long view, and this world is not our home.  We can make good lives for ourselves here, regardless of the difficulties, because Jesus says that there is no challenge to the advanced teacher of God.  Challenge implies doubt, and doubt is impossible for one who is  trusting in a Higher Power.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

3 – Challenges Not So Good

Heretofore we have probably believed that challenges were good, that they kept us on our toes (so to speak).  But challenges also kept us uneasy, and we can know that we will success at any task that the Holy Spirit has given us to do.  This does not mean that we will never struggle, because we are fallible, and we may arise from our struggle with greater strength.  But A Course in Miracles counsels us to walk the effortless way, which does not mean that we do nothing.  When we are on the pathway meant for us, life becomes effortless.  And then we sometimes accomplish a great deal, always on the timing that belongs to God.

4 – Our Needs Fulfilled

We do not then have needs that go unfulfilled.  We also have no problems, even though most of us think that life is filled with problems.  We lack nothing, and when we realize this, we will be on our way home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that I have, along with everyone else, been given everything.  I realize that this is not a statement for our world, but all gifts here are temporary.  Ultimately all talents and all gifts are shared with everyone.  Thank You.

May I realize that You care about my needs.  I fret sometimes, and that is my ego rearing its still-present head.  I would have the ego wither away.  I would not depend on anything of an egotistical nature to mar my life.  And I wish the same for all whom I encounter in any way.

Be with us today if things turn stressful.  So many people are hurting in our world.  Help as much as they will let You to smooth their way.

Amen.