Monthly Archives: May 2012

How to Strengthen the Holy Spirit in You

“The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the Universe of which it is a part.  It is strengthened by being given away.  It increases in you as you give it to your brother.  Your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit in himself or in you for this miracle to occur.  (T78)”

Affirmation:  “The Holy Spirit is strengthened by being given away.”

Reflections:

1 – Live ACIM

This is a passage with deep meaning.  It suggests that we do not have to get our brothers and sisters to study the Course before they will derive great meaning from it.  They will derive that great meaning by our own living out of the principles of the Course.

2 – Set a Good Example

We have long taught in our world that one’s example is the best teacher.  Living what one says is far superior to giving the words.  Any parent knows this.  And if our words conflict with our living out of the words, the individual we are affecting will look to our behavior first of all.  We do a great disservice to Jesus if we study the Course and then do not live its principles among our most significant others.

3 – Strengthening the Idea of the Holy Spirit

When we give away our understanding of the Holy Spirit, we enrich our brothers and sisters.  The idea of the Holy Spirit is strengthened.  And they do not have to even be aware of what we are doing.

4 – A Miracle

Jesus calls this sharing of the Holy Spirit a “miracle.”  It will indeed seem so as we see our brothers and sisters more loving and peaceful, just by the fact that we are trying to share our understanding of the Course with them.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I share my understanding of the Course and the Holy Spirit, silently, with my brothers and sisters.  May I especially share this understanding with those most close to me.

We will bless our brothers and sisters by our own understanding.  May I not try to get anybody else to follow my way, but by my own following of it, may I lead others to You.

Amen.

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Overcoming Weariness

“The world is very tired, because it is the idea of weariness.  Our task is the joyous one of waking it to the Call for God.  (T77)”

Affirmation:  “our task is a joyous one”

Reflections:

1 – How Do You Feel in the Morning?

Do we feel tired when we wake up in the morning?  That common feeling is what we see discussed in this passage.  Elsewhere Jesus assures us that we are not really capable of being tired, but we are very capable of wearying ourselves.  When we feel joy, we most often drop weariness.

2 – Hearing from the Holy Spirit

We may feel tired emotionally, not in our muscles.  We may be fretting internally about some matter that has not yet been wholly given over to the Holy Spirit.  We may not know exactly what is disturbing our equilibrium.  But we can always know that there is One who does know.  We can ask, and my experience has been that I am told–and quickly.  I do not hear a voice, but the idea appears in my mind, full-blown.  It seems a bit beyond me, as something that I could not have reasoned out, because my mind alone has been too close to the situation.  There is a freeing that comes when we turn a problem over to the Holy Spirit for rectifying.  This frees up the mind and soon the answer to what to do next appears, almost without prompting.  (These ideas are personal experience only, not stated directly in ACIM.)

3 – The Call for God

Our function in the world is variously described in the Course.  Here it is defined as the task of waking the world to the call for God.  (Elsewhere, our function is defined as forgiveness, or even just happiness.)

4 – Walk through This Day in Peace

The Course, according to Helen Schucman (the scribe) was sent at this time because the world is in a very bad situation.  All are called to help to create better conditions.  May this be our function today:  to make those we meet or even think about have a better experience of their day.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I drop weariness from my list of troubles.  May I substitute joy as the feeling that I would experience.

May we come this day to a new understanding of our task in this world.  May we take the part that God has given to us–waking the world to the Call for God.

Amen.

Call to Joy Dissolves the Ego

“The principle of Atonement and the separation began at the same time.  When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the call to joy.  This call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at its sound.  (T75)”

Affirmation:  “the strong call for joy”

Reflections:

1 – Overcome with Joy

This passage identified why joy is the preferred way to come to salvation and on to Awakening.  The ego dissolves when we are overcome with joy.  Indeed, we could not feel such joy if we held onto the ego, for the ego does not mean us well.

2 – Blessing!

A call for joy that is so strong!  This is a great blessing.

3 – Like the Lilies of the Field

Certainly we will willingly give up our egotistical ways when we realize that avoiding that avenue is the very best way to happiness.  Our joy is not of this world.  Our joy comes from God, and He leads us down that pathway by guidance.  When we have heard this call for joy, we will react as many of Jesus’s early followers did.  We will leave behind much of our investment in the material things of this world, and we will seek the intangibles of God.  This does not mean that God does not care about our material needs being met.  He does care, for He knows that these things are important to us (though sometimes too important).  The lilies mentioned in the Text of A Course in Miracles are reminiscent of words in the New Testament.  And we are meant to be just as unfettered by living in this world as are those lilies that cover our world with beauty.

4 – Tiny, Mad Idea

What did the separation accomplish?  Nothing!  That is what the Course teaches.  We have actually never changed in our Selves as we really are.  The separation was a tiny, mad idea that is now no longer in the mind that thought it (a Course concept).

5 – A Calm Mind

May we react to the joy that God would have us feel, and thereby leave the ego and separation behind.  We will then know the peace that a calm mind induces.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I have a calm mind, because I have known joy that dissolves the ego.  May I remember these moments of peak experience, so that I can call on them when the going gets rough.

May I realize that the separation accomplished nothing–that my real Self has continued in peace and joy with You.

Amen.

Definition of Atonement

“The Voice of the Holy Spirit is the Call to Atonement, or the restoration of the integrity of the mind.  (T74)”

Affirmation:  “The Holy Spirit. . .the Call to Atonement.”

Reflections:

1 – The Pivotal Voice

This passage sets forth the pivotal role that the Holy Spirit, our guidance, plays in restoring us to our right mind.  When we listen to this Voice only, we are well on our way to peace and happiness.  Atonement is a correction (an ACIM tenet) to our hearts and minds, a change of purpose in the way that we view our life on earth.

2 – Peace with the World

Atonement is reached when we have made peace with the world and all who are in it.  We have reached a state of oneness with all living beings.  This does include our forgiveness of all with whom we come in contact, or even think about.  Forgiveness frees us for Atonement.

3 – Listen to the Holy Spirit Always

We must listen for the Voice always.  This does not mean that we are mentally ill, or that we are choosing a pathway that is detrimental to our mental health.  The Voice is usually manifested in varieties of way, but mostly through an inner knowing that defies description.  Sometimes the Voice comes through what is obviously our own thinking, but yet paradoxically a bit beyond us.  We know that we are reaching wisdom that is not ours alone.  We have reached to God, and He will guide us when we are willing to give up self-will.

4 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

God’s will for us and our own real will are actually identical.  When we realize this, we have overcome a feeling that we are being pursued as Job was in the Old Testament.  The Course says that we need not fear God’s will for us, that the Holy Spirit would wait for our willingness; He will not impose His will on us if we are not ready.   Actually we will not need for Him to step aside unless we feel threatened.  And this false sense drops away when we listen more carefully to His dictates.  They are always for our good.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Help me to discern when my inclination is coming from the Holy Spirit.  Help me not to let my own thoughts interfere.

May I follow the guidance that I perceive to be true.  This will lead me Home to You.

Amen.

Helpful and Harmless

“God is praised whenever any mind learns to be wholly helpful.  This is impossible without being wholly harmless, because the two beliefs must coexist.  The truly helpful are invulnerable, because they are not protecting their egos and so nothing can hurt them.  (T71)”

Affirmation:  “The truly helpful are invulnerable.”

Reflections:

1 – We Can Learn to Be Helpful and Harmless

May we learn to be both helpful and harmless.  This passage recommends that harmlessness is an attribute of those who are following its way of peace and love.  We will not attack when in our right mind, though we sometimes slip up.  We know that anger is unjustified, even though we may still feel it from time to time.

2 – Conflict

When we are unnaturally tired, it is my interpretation that we are struggling with some conflict that Jesus would willingly take from us.  Ask the Holy Spirit how He would have us react.  If we are struggling to “do something” for a brother or sister, and it just doesn’t feel right (though it would be a loving act), perhaps now is not the right time.  Perhaps we need to reassess and ask how we might really help.  Sometimes doing nothing at all, at the present moment, is the right response, the harmless response.

3 – Invulnerability for Us

When we are bent on helping our brothers and sisters, we will not knowingly do them harm.  Not only do they benefit, but so do we.  This helpfulness renders us invulnerable to the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” to quote Shakespeare.  What this means is that we are invulnerable to pain from our egoic selves.  We are leaving our egos behind as we embark on the pathway set forth by A Course in Miracles.

4 – Laudable Goals

So:  helpful and harmless.  What goals these are!  And how blessed we are when, even in our imperfection, we reach those goals in our daily lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I not lose my temper.  May I remain helpful and harmless to my brothers and sisters.  

When I have remained helpful and harmless, then I am invulnerable to hurts as well.  This is a great desire of mine.  Thank you for helping me to be both helpful and harmless.

Amen.  

Do Not Isolate Yourself

“Salvation is a collaborative venture.  It cannot be undertaken successfully by those who disengage themselves from the Sonship, because they are disengaging themselves from me.  (T69)”

Affirmation:  “Salvation is collaborative”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Isolate Yourself

We are not meant to isolate ourselves in this world–even to study the Course.  We are meant to stay in the world ,and to minister to our brothers and sisters.  Our brothers and sisters are the Sonship.  (Note:  Scribed in the sixties, A Course in Miracles uses the same masculine terminology that the Bible does, but in the sixties, the masculine gender was recognized by everyone as including both genders, male and female.)

2 – Let Jesus In

Jesus, in this passage, indicates how important it is that he be a part of our lives.  This is his wish, but it is not mandatory.  Indeed, Helen and Bill were reluctant, when introducing the Course, to tell their listeners that their considered opinion was that the speaker was Jesus.  They knew how foreign this would sound to some hearers of the new message.

3 – Jesus as Elder Brother

Jesus can do more for us if we consider him a friend, an elder brother.  He speaks at one point of how we can imagine him holding our hand as we walk along, and he indicates that this will be no “idle fantasy.”  We cannot understand how this is possible, but we can take him at his word and see if it does not appear that he is with everyone who gives an insistent call.  He will come at the first “unequivocal” call (from the Text).

4 – The Consequences of Withdrawal

When we withdraw for too long, we also withdraw from Jesus.  And we cannot do that, because he and the Holy Spirit are our guides to better living.  He is the elder brother who catches us when we fall, and the Holy Spirit is the inner guide that leads us every step of the way–guidance.

5 – Salvation for Ourselves AND Others

Surely we do not want to disengage from Jesus.  So this passage has a warning for those of us who would seek our own salvation and not frequently enough think of the Sonship.  The two go hand-in-hand.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

When I am tempted to withdraw, help to remember my contribution to my brothers and sisters.  They need me, as I need them.  Salvation lies in our relationship.

May I learn from the Course with careful study, and then may I take that learning into the world.  This is the solution that will work for the world and for me.

Amen.

Our Mission Is Very Simple

“My trust in you is greater than yours in me at the moment, but it will not always be that way.  Your mission is very simple.  You are asked to live so as to demonstrate that you are not an ego, and I do not choose God’s channels wrongly.  (T68)”

Affirmation:  “Jesus does not choose God’s channels wrongly.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ego

Jesus seeks to bring us to him in these well-chosen words.  He assures us that he is certain that we will live without the ego, that we will first live as though we are without an ego.

2 – Mission Substantial

We have a substantial mission in this world.  We are one of “God’s channels.”  We are meant not to find our way Home ourselves, but also to facilitate the coming Home of our brothers and sisters.  Jesus’s faith in us in intense, because he knows that the only way that this world can work is if we do our part to reform the hearts and minds of our brothers and sisters–not to speak of our own.  When we do this, all will be well.

3 – Proselytize?

This injunction from Jesus does not mean that we aggressively proselytize.  In A Course in Miracles, he states that some are ready only for a smile.  And so we turn off others if we try to interest them in “our” way–A Course in Miracles–prematurely.  We do not want to turn others off.  We seek to avoid the controversy of theology, as this is only dividing and a barrier between others and us.  We are best to seek help from guidance as often as we possibly can, because we are apt to become zealous in our approach if left on our own.  Jesus does not want us to strain to represent him in this world.  The easy and natural approach will always work best (an interpretation, not stated directly in ACIM).

4 – No Call to Specialness

“I do not choose God’s channels wrongly.”  This is not meant to be a call to specialness.  All are chosen as God’s channels; all are meant to return Home.  And Jesus says elsewhere that all will return, though it may happen over millions of years.  This is not cause for despondency, because we have Jesus as our elder brother every step of the way.  Our own way will lighten immeasurably as we learn to put into practice the dictates of the Course.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Help me to realize that I am a channel for God.  However many mistakes I make, still is this true.  Thank you.

May I take up my mission in this world.  To do so, I need to live as though I am without ego.  Help me to relinquish the ego, and to take my place in the salvation of this world.

I know that when the ego rears its head, I am unhappy.  This is my clue that I have gotten off my pathway to You.  Please guide me gently back home.

Amen.