Bits and Pieces Seem Sensible?

“The world will end when its thought system has been completely reversed.  Until then, bits and pieces of its thinking will still seem sensible.  (M-14.4)”

Affirmation:  “May my thought system be reversed sooner rather than later.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Rearing

The thought system that needs reversal is ego-inspired.  This ego causes us more problems than a little!  And we were probably reared with a strong competitive streak that was essentially ego-oriented.

2 – Personal Experience

My parents wanted me to make them proud.  Neither ever read A Course in Miracles, but I wonder now how different I would be if they had.  I think that they would have been ripe for accepting the ideas, for when the ego is strong, we tend to recognize that our way of life needs improvement.

3 – Attack & Anger Lead to “Venting”

I personally needed to know that verbal attack and anger were not the way to respond to someone else’s “venting.”  The someone else was always asking for help and for love.  And to offer those things–help and love–took the sting out of the venting.  Try it yourself.  I think that you may be surprised at how much easier your life will evolve.

4 – Being Defensive

Another idea that may still make sense is to defend one’s self against attack.  Or to defend one’s self against anything that seems adverse.  But A Course in Miracles says that we make what we defend against; by our defense is the awful thing made real.  This too is an idea that may need testing out.  (ACIM does not object to our testing, though this is an interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

4 – ACIM Forbids

So no defense, as in planning for contingencies to come–contingencies that the Holy Spirit has not instructed us to consider.  And no attack and no judging.

5 – An Easier Way

Our way will already seem to be easier, when we have stopped considering those bits and pieces that still seem to make sense to the ego.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Monday has come and gone, and to my way of thinking, “bits and pieces” of the ego’s thinking still seem to make sense at this very moment.  I pray that any delay that I allow is not detrimental to anyone in my care.  My husband and I both still have egos, and we must make some decisions together.

If my intuition over the weekend was informed by too much ego, perhaps the intuition was wrong.  But I can point to no times in my past that intuition that has been prayed about actually turned out to be ego-inspired.

Be with us as we allow time to pass.  The Holy Spirit knows us well, and perhaps now is the time to learn that the anger that I felt last week has led my thinking to be too influenced by the ego, meaning that my psychic attunement was off.  I know that the solution is with the problem.  And I pray for patience to make the right decisions for my loved ones, in consultation with the Holy Spirit on a heavenly plane, and my husband, on the earthly plane.

I would learn a great deal that would benefit me in the future if the ego actually does lead wrongly, causing intuition to run false.  I pray for Your true guidance, and I pray for the right words to make my present situation a good one–not only for myself, but for all other that my life touches.

You are still working with me.  You have not finished with me.  May I never get so arrogant as to think that I have all the answers at any given time.

May the mystery clear up, sooner rather than later.

Amen.

How the World Will End

“The world will end with the benediction of holiness upon it.  When not one thought of sin remains, the world is over.  It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched.  It will merely cease to seem to be.  (M-14.2)”

Affirmation:  “The world will not be destroyed.”

Reflections:

1 – Cease to Be

Many of the prophecies of our world has attempted to predict the end of the world.  But here Jesus discusses a very benign way for the world to end:  It will just cease to be.

2 – Illusions

Certainly very few individuals in our world can understand this pronouncement.  It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles.  In my interpretation (not stated in ACIM), the world, as an illusion, will cease to be when the time for illusions is past.  And this miracles will happen when all of us have returned home to God–not necessarily through death, but through a return to the real world, and then an Awakening in God.  We will not be dreaming when this miracles occurs; we will be awake for the first time ever.

3 – Millions of Years

When will this miracle take place?  The Text says that the return of the “separated” ones (those who think that they have separated from God) may take millions of years, just as the separation itself took place over millions of years.

4 – Regret?

Is this cause for regret?  Do we see the length of time as a reason for despondency?

5 – The World Will Get Better

I think not.  For as time goes by, and more and more of ourselves and our brothers and sisters awaken, we will see a world resplendent with beauty and joy.  We will have no reason to be despondent then.  Our mission is simply to bring that time closer, and Jesus is our leader in this, for time and space are under his control.  Can we believe this?  He would deal gently with us if we have an intellectual problem with such affirmations (from ACIM).  But we may find ourselves and home and in God much quickly if we can suspend judgment of that which we cannot, now, understand.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with us today, as we live in a world that is far from perfect.  Guide our physical eyesight, as well as our vision (non-physical eyesight) to experience a benign world.  May we have a good day, living in this world.

Help me to contain myself today when the world is too much with me.  We cannot know joy, true joy, unless we have the peace of God.  I ask You to grant me Your peace today.

Be with me, I pray.  And thank You.

Amen.

Call by God Answered

“And what, O teacher of God, is it that you want?  You have been called by God, and you have answered.  Would you now sacrifice that Call?  Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you.  (M-13.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would answer the Call from God.”

Reflections:

1 – Students/Teachers

This passage is for students of A Course in Miracles as well (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Only time separates the student from the teacher, and time does not really exist.

2 – Loyalty

All of us can be at least a bit wavering in our loyalty.  Life gets busy, our prayer time drops off, and only when we find ourselves in a jam, do we remember to ask God for help.  Doesn’t this sound familiar?

3 – The Pathway

Here, in this passage, Jesus would keep us on the pathway.  He knows that our brothers and sisters need us, and they need us very greatly.  Would we turn from those we love deeply?  No.  Then let us not turn from those we know less well.  They too need us.

4 – Plan of the Teachers of God

The plan of the teachers of God is said elsewhere to be a plan that is the only possible solution to the pain in which most brothers and sisters of ours find themselves.  We do care, or we would not be reading these reflections.

5 – What Would God Have Me Do–Today?

Let us ask God what we might do today, for Him.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help us to find Your plan for this day.  Let us not second-guess You at all.  Be with us throughout the day, so that we know where and when to do Your Will.

May all of our decisions be right.  If we make mistakes, because we are human, help us to correct those mistakes before they might harm ourselves or another individual.

Let me hear Your guidance, Your Holy Spirit, aright today.

Amen.

Give God a Chance

“Decide for God, and everything is given you at no cost at all.  Decide against Him, and you choose nothing, at the expense of the awareness of everything.  (M-13.8)”

Affirmation:  “I choose the awareness of everything.”

Reflections:

1 – Decide for God?

How does one decide for God?  Perhaps we are skeptics.  Perhaps we have a guilty conscience.  Perhaps we have intellectual doubts about God.  Then what?

2 – A Chance

Give God a chance.

3 – Try a Little

That is all that is required.  Try a little prayer.  Ask for something that you think is in line with God’s Will, but be sure that you are not “testing” Him.

4 – God

You may not succeed.  But God may.

5 – What Do We Have to Lose?

What do we have to lose by trying to believe, even just a little?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

This is starting out as a hard day, because I asked for guidance in a particular situation, and I am unsure if my ego intruded.  I am unsure if the guidance that I received is from You.  I asked for further indication, and that was forthcoming, and the Answer from You was the same.  Is my ego just trying to foment struggle?

I would calm down, following Your guidance.  I am not alone in this decision facing me.  My husband is with me, and I believe in help from the Other Side.  Be with me today; help me to drop the issue for the weekend, so that next Monday, when I can actually do something, I will be in a state of mind that will allow the calm carrying out of what guidance has already shown me.

Thank You.

Amen.

Illusory Split from God Experienced in Attack

“[The Word of God] is denied if you attack any brother for anything.  For it is here the split with God occurs.  A split that is impossible.  A split that cannot happen.  Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible.  And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen.  It seems to happen at the ‘sacrifice’ of truth.  (M-13.7)”

Affirmation:  “I will not attack under any circumstances.”

Reflections:

1 – Sword over our Heads

We are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that when we are tempted to be angry (and to attack), it is as though we hold a sword over our heads.  And it will fall or be averted as we choose to ask for peace and turn aside from the reverse, the anger and attack.

2 – We Are Human

We are human, and we have human frailties.  We will still, sometimes, get angry.

3 – Insanity

If we can, when tempted by anger, to assert that what we are being baited with is just insanity, we will easily (sometimes easily) turn aside.   And what we are viewing is insanity, but it is also a call for help and for love.  The Holy Spirit will teach us this, if we will let Him.  And nobody responds to a call for help with anger.  A call for help is a piteous call, and deserves our sympathy.

4 – Our World Will Smooth Out

If we do well with these ideas, our world will smooth out.  It is when we attack in response that the trouble starts, for we have set up a situation in which baiting happens between ourselves, and our brothers and sisters.

5 – Do Not Respond to a Bait

We would respond to no bait today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If we believe in the split or separation from God only when we are in attack mode, then it does behoove us to get out of that mode.  Forgive me if irritation arises today, or if a significant other tempts me to attack, or if I am just in a bad mood and feel like venting.  None of this is in Your Will, and I would live Your Will, though I am human and will always make mistakes that You can lead me to correct.

Be with me to stay in harmony and calm–and joy!–today.  If the individuals I see are having a bad day, help me to stay serene and to do what I can to make that day better.  My own attack, added to theirs, would lead us all down the thorns of the egoistic pathway.  Nobody needs that.

Be with me as this day plays out.  Help me to get enough rest so that I am not as likely to fall into poor ways of behaving.  Keep me in Your care, and lead me to the sure pathway that is happiness in You.

Amen.

Overcome Misery / Find Lasting Happiness

“‘Seek but do not find’ remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise.  (M-13.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would seek and find, not the reverse.”

Reflections:

1 – We Find Only to Lose

We do not ever really “find” anything permanent in this world, when we are following this world’s dictates.  We find only to lose, later on–sometimes immediately, sometimes delayed.  Does this make any sense?  Would we follow the world’s dictates when we are sure to be losers in the process?

2 – Peace, Joy, Harmony, Tranquility

I think not.  We need to ask for the intangibles of God–the peace, joy, harmony, tranquility–and we will be richly rewarded.  We will know happiness, lasting happiness, for the first time indeed.  And happiness, according to A Course in Miracles, is a laudable goal.

3 – Egotism Leads to Misery

The ego is mixed up in this confusion.  Following the world’s dictates really means seeking for that which is egoistic.  And we know, by now, where that leads.  Straight to misery.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would find happiness in my daily round today.  I would keep in mind what You have led me to know:  the solution is always with the problem.  When I tell myself this, my mid calms down, and I can think–not worry.  And then the answers come.  May I live out this understanding in all that I do and say and even think today.

I would not be miserable, which I view as actually an affront to You.  You have should me much, and would I reject that knowledge in a low point of mind?  Emotions play tricks on us all too often, and I would choose the harmony that only Love can give.  Help me to be consistent today in my good humor.  Help me find time to laugh, to enjoy Your world.

Thank You.

Amen.

Hope of Heaven / Remembrance of God’s Love

“Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice its values would demand of him.  To them he sacrifices all his peace.  To them he sacrifices all his freedom.  And to possess them must be sacrificed his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father’s Love.  Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?  (M-13.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would value the valuable only.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ego

This passage is about the ego and its supposed benefits in following it.  What a mistake we make when we try to follow the ego.  We are cast down as often as we experience ecstasy, and the ecstasy is always short-lived.  This is the way that we are, ever so gently, taught that the ego is not “the way.”  We, in harmony with the Holy Spirit, have found a new way that will benefit in far greater dimensions.

2 – This World = A Dream

We do not see that this world is a dream, and, while it may be a pleasant dream at times, it is still a dream.  The Holy Spirit beings us happy dreams (from the Workbook), so that when we are finally ready for Awakening, we will not be scared of it.

3 – Sacrifice

Sacrifice is a notion totally rejected by A Course in Miracles.  And well it should be.  Our
world has been a place where most people thought that sacrifice for others was a virtue.  Not so, according to A Course in Miracles.  We do not have to give up anything to do right by our brothers and sisters.  We will all be cared for.

4 – Don’t Make This World Important

When we make this world too important to us, we do sacrifice, though.  We sacrifice our happiness and hope for ever-increasing joy to a dubious, impossible dream.  We do this injustice to ourselves when we follow the ego instead of the Holy Spirit.

5 – Follow Our Guide

May we follow the right Guide today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do rejoice that I am getting the madness out, the madness that all of us, to one extent or another, have while in this world.  I would not choose the insanity of the ego anymore.  Help me to be true to this declaration.

Be good to me today.  It will be a busy day, and I want to promise to You that I will not forget my prayers to You.  Be with me as I seek to follow my Guide.

Amen.

Glimpse the Face of Christ

“Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house?  No one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation.  (M-13.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would see Christ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Vivid Language

With particular vivid language, this passage shows some of the negative view of our world as we live it.  But not with condemnation.  Jesus is compassionate always, and here he is expressing concern but not negativism.  He is telling it like it is.

2 – Awakening

We will escape the world when we have experienced Awakening, even though we may still be living in this world.  When material things no longer beckon us, as the ego wishes, we will be a long way toward home in God.

3 – Meaning of Glimpsing the Face of Christ

We need to understand glimpsing the “face of Christ.”  It is said elsewhere in ACIM that Jesus saw the face of Christ in all his brothers (and sisters, because the word “brother” includes women and is coming from the sixties, when ACIM was channeled) and remembered God.  We may find this miracle happening sooner rather than later, but only, perhaps, as a glimpse.  The insight will not last, for miracles are perceptual, and therefore do not last (a Text tenet).  When we experience this miracle more often and for longer periods of time, I would believe that we are inching closer to Awakening (Enlightenment).

4 – See This World with Clear Eyes

We do live in a “slaughter house.”  But we do not often realize this, for we have become accustomed to the maiming and killing.  We need, perhaps, to see the world with clear eyes so that we will be ever more motivated to leave–not through death, but through a higher vision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose to look on all my brothers and sisters today while seeking to glimpse the face of Christ in them.  I remember a friend once saying to me that we are meant to see the fact of Christ in everyone.  Certainly Jesus has this view as well.  May I too come to have this view, this understanding.

Be with me as I go through the day.  Help me not to take offense at anything that might happen.  Help me to live Your way.

Be with my brothers and sisters, especially those who are struggling today.  The struggle is temporary, for A Course in Miracles notes that the solution is always with the problem.  But we don’t have see this, and so the solution eludes us.  May the solution of any thorny problems that others and I have today appear right away.  I do know that this is Your way.

Thank You for bringing me this far through this world.  And may I give something back to everyone with whom I form a bond of any nature.

Amen.

Commune with God = Immediately Feel Better

“Who can escape this self-condemnation?  Only through God’s Word could this be possible.  For self-condemnation is a decision about identity, and no one doubts what he believes he is.  He can doubt all things, but never this.  (M-13.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would foster self-acceptance.”

Reflections:

1 – Acceptance

We condemn ourselves when we fail to understand that God’s Word would give us freedom.  It is perhaps a paradox that we don’t understand, and it is born of the separation that only apparently happened.  The separation never actually happened in fact, but only in illusion, in the dreams in which we are caught.  And we condemn ourselves for supposedly rejecting God.  We recognize, however dimly, that it is our acceptance of God and His blessings that we are ever truly at peace and happy, joyous.

2 – Reject God?

We think that we have rejected our Maker, and to prove this rejection, we don’t communicate with Him.  We pray only when in dire straits, the foxhole prayers.  This is, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles, a most unnatural habit that we have taught ourselves.  We are meant to commune with our Maker, and it is God who made us, not we ourselves.  We tend to forget this when we are being especially egotistical, and therefore especially caught by the ego.  But we can learn a better means of living.  We can return to frequent communion with God and His Voice, the Holy Spirit, and as soon as we make the choice for this return, we will immediately, sooner rather than later, feel better.  Our lives will immediately smooth out, and we will feel love again.  We will reach out easily to our brothers and sisters, and we will accept ourselves as having made mistakes, but none that cannot be forgiven.  Note that God does not forgive (an ACIM tenet), because he has never condemned.  It is only with self-condemnation that we are concerned in today’s passage.

3 – Gentleness

Be kind to yourself today.  We need the strength of gentleness, for it is only with gentleness that ACIM becomes easy to accept, salvation become easy to experience.  Be rid of the insanity of self-condemnation, and all will be well again in our little worlds.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would stay close to You today.  I am certain that when days go awry, it is because I have not been close enough to You.  Perhaps my sense of guilt, because of the ego, has come alive, and so I think that I am not worthy.  But I am Your child, and You do love me.  I have ample evidence of this love in the blessings of my life.  And even if those blessings were withheld, I would know that You are there for me, carrying me.  Thank You for this parable of the way things really are, retold by Hugh Prather.

I would commune today with You, even when my mind is on other things.  You do not expect conscious constant contact.  You know that we have busy minds  (perhaps too busy), and that we have many things that we have to do in this world.  May we think of You just a little more often, and in the thinking may we understand that it is You Who created us, not we ourselves.

I know that I will feel better today if I follow these goals.  Be with me when I forget.  I may forget You, but please, don’t You forget me.

Amen.

How Do I Discover Happiness?

“Once this confusion has occurred, it becomes impossible for the mind to understand that all the ‘pleasures’ of the world are nothing.  But what a sacrifice,–and it is sacrifice indeed!–all this entails.  Now has the mind condemned itself to seek without finding; to be forever dissatisfied and discontented; to know not what it really wants to find.  (M-13.3)”

Affirmation:  “The ‘pleasures’ of the world are nothing.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego

The passage for today highlights the manner in which the ego has us by the throat.  We “seek without finding” and we are “forever dissatisfied and discontented.”  Does this not characterize our journey here when we are seeking after something that, in retrospect, we identify as ego-identified?

2 – Happiness

We would not let the mind behave in such a way, if we would know happiness–and happiness is one of the functions that A Course in Miracles gives to us.  We reach this happiness by forgiveness, the one function is this world that cannot be turned against us.  It always works.  But we do not pardon or forgive “real sins,” as there is no such thing.  We know, once we have studied ACIM, that our “sins” are actually mistakes for which we would seek a remedy, a correction.  We are only attracted to correcting the mistake; we are not drawn, as with “sins,” to repeat the sin.

3 – Ego = Leads to Strife and Fury

We would not live in unhappy circumstances.  And if we follow the ego, this strife and fury are exactly what we will find.

4 – Our Better Way

Turn today from such insanity.  Do not allow the mind to become confused.  Our way, as pointed out in ACIM, is the way that leads to happiness, quiet, and calm.  And these will be our goals when we have assimilated ACIM through and through our minds and hearts.

5 – The Ego Is Constantly Being Undone

If we reflect upon it, we will know that the joys of this world are matched by equal lows.  The ego is constantly being undone, and it is our will, as well as God’s, that this undoing occur.  We cannot live a free life with a constrained will, an imprisoned will.  And that imprisoned will is exactly what obeying the ego commands.  We would be free, and the only freedom is in becoming aware and certain that what God wills, and what our real will is, are identical.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Happiness in this world does not mean that we give up all the pleasures of this world.  There are many pleasures that are in complete accord with what Jesus is saying.  If we felt that we were called to give up all pleasures, what would lead us to seek his way?  Your Way, though, gives me the understanding that the egoic influence upon things of this world is misguided.  So the power plays of this world do need to disappear from our thinking.  Help this to happen for me today.

May I enjoy the pleasures that are perfectly in line with A Course in Miracles.  These are better called “joys” rather than “pleasures.”  These joys give us a peace beyond compare.  We are no longer attracted to drama for its own sake, and our days smooth out as a result.  We find that the people in our lives seem to be behaving better.  We do not find so much about which to complain.  And so naturally we live with more ease.

I would not give up pleasures, but I would transform them.  And in the transformation is all that You would seek for me.  You would enable me to find happiness, as Jesus has given “happiness” as one of our functions.

Amen.

Power, Fame, Money, Physical Pleasure = Meaningful to Body

“It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give.  What can the sacrifice of nothing mean?  It cannot mean that you have less because of it.  There is no sacrifice in the world’s terms that does not involve the body.  Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice.  Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the ‘hero’ to whom all these things belong?  Could they mean anything except to a body?  (M-13.2)”

 

Affirmation:  “I need sacrifice nothing.”

Reflections:

1 – The World Has Nothing to Offer

Most of us do not really yet believe that the world has nothing to offer.  We are still that much caught up in the ego.  As long as we are egocentric, we will seek for power, fame, physical pleasure.  But when the ego has withered, at least a little, we will instead seek the intangibles of God–the love, joy, peace, tranquility, calm, quiet.  And we can be happy in this world, so long as we are not chasing rainbows of materialism.  God wants our material needs satisfied also, but if we devote ourselves only to the material, we lose out on so much more.

2 – Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

And we do find in this world the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  The reason for the happy dreams is that we would be too terrified by the sudden appearance of Awakening.  A gentler dream needs to precede Awakening.  And so we are prepared carefully for the great blessing of Awakening.

3 – Patience

It does take great learning to accept these ideas.  And it takes patience to assimilate them.  Teachers must repeat their lessons until they are learned, and Jesus himself has set the precedent for this in the Text, when he said that nothing that we do or make, etc., creates our worth.  Our worth is given us by God.

4 – Heaven on Earth

So do we write off the world and escape into some otherworldly heaven?  I think not.  We can experience heaven on earth, but we have to meet the conditions, which involve an egoless experience.  So long as we are fueled by the ego, we will know vicissitudes of joy and sorrow in an alternating fashion.  And the guilt that the ego would drive us to would be hell indeed.  (Elsewhere the Text affirms that guilt is hell.)

5 – Values Will Change

We seek to enjoy God’s intangibles and to love our brothers and sisters (as well as ourselves, which is necessary for all love to proceed from us).  We do not need to sacrifice anything that is truly good.  Our values will change as we walk farther along the pathway to God.  And we will not seek the inferior values that all too often are present in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am extremely grateful that, after studying A Course in Miracles for a long time, I can honestly say to You that the pleasures of this world do not mean as much to me as they once did.  I am not above wanting pleasures of this world, but it is more important to me to know Your peace, joy, harmony, and calm.  Thank You for walking with me far enough along the pathway to You that I have made this shift in my values.

May I be understanding if others do not share this concept.  It takes a long while to understand that this world does not really offer anything that is lasting, and only the lasting is the eternity that we all seek, whether we know it or not.  May my walk into eternity today include my brothers and sisters, and may I not make demands upon them that they are not yet ready to accommodate.

Amen.

Oneness = Only Non-Dream

“Unity alone is not a thing of dreams.  And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs.  (M-12.6)”

Affirmation:  “unity”

Reflections:

1 – We Are All One

We are all One, with each other and with God.  This is the understanding of unity that I take from an interpretation of A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love similarly stresses unity also, as well as relationships with our brothers and sisters.

2 – Elements of the Real World

We are caught in a dream (ACIM tenet), an illusion.  But there are elements of reality, the real world, in what we experience.  And unity, as well as relationship, are elements of the real world.  We will experience unity and relationship to a much greater extent when we have experienced Awakening.

3 – Unity Is behind the Dream

If we know that unity is behind the dream, we have ample reason to rest easy.  There is nothing that we need to worry about.  God is underneath all, and we are His children.  The unity is behind all “seeming,” as we are told here, and we do not have to worry about “seeming.”  We are protected.

4 – Harold Kushner

What about the bad things that happen to “good” people, as Harold Kushner has said in his book by the same title?  We are told in the Workbook that healing always occurs when it is asked for, but there may be lingering symptoms and we may not be ready to accept the healing.  These are hard passages to understand, because we are bidden not to deny inappropriately, but still to realize that the continuance of symptoms does not mean that healing has not occurred.  The healing will be there when we are ready to accept it.

5 – Healing Is Always Here

And there is both emotional healing and physical healing, and sometimes the emotional is the most important.  That is the ultimate truth of ACIM, that healing is always here.  We may be right with God with an emotional healing.  Moreover, the illness for which we seek healing may be the individual’s way to die.  It may not be appropriate in such cases to cry for a healing.  Most of us in today’s world do choose to leave for the Other Side through an illness or disease.  Advanced teachers of God, we are told in ACIM, may just lay their body aside when its usefulness is over, but not everybody is advanced–yet.  Time, which does not really exist, separates the student from the teacher.  So all will reach the Awakening eventually, though that time may take millions of years (just as the separation also extended over millions of years).  (These latter points are paraphrases from the Text.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I revel in Your goodness today.  This day has started so well, and I pray that this will continue.  When I am reassured that healing is always an aspect of our life on earth, then I am reassured also that no matter what comes, all is well.  Be with my significant others.  Thank You that as of today, everybody close to me is well.  And may my faith not be shaken if this is not always the experience that I have.

We live in a dream, but unity is not a thing of dreams.  We live in unity, as One with each other, and in relationship, as we experience the various parts of ourselves that others embody.  Help me to carry this paradox in my mind and heart.  Be with me as a I seek to convey these paradoxes to other people.  May the intuitive truth light upon the minds and warm the hearts of the individuals who read this blog.  

Amen.

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

“God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while.  It is a conscious choice.  For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences.  The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are?  Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers.  (M-12.6)”

Affirmation:  “awareness of dreaming”

Reflections:

1 – The Degree of Insanity

We dream, but our progress back to God is either pleasant or unpleasant, depending on our degree of insanity in the dream.

2 – We Dream

To say “we dream” is to mean that are in an illusion, not the real world.  We live with an imprisoned will when we are caught by the ego, and all of us have experienced the bad times of the ego.  When we follow its guidance, we know pain and suffering.  We may know heights of joy, but these are eclipsed by an equal number of low points (a paraphrase from ACIM).  We would not choose to live a labile life, when we know better how to live.

3 – “Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

The better way is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who changes the kind of thinking that we do.  We start attracting a better life, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  And we know a quiet peace that heretofore may have been unwelcome to ourselves.  In fact, in ACIM we learn that being “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is to be expected as we reach home.

3 – The Real World = A Condition of Mind

The real world is not easily identified, but it is the condition of mind that we enjoy when we are almost ready gor Awakening, when God Himself metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up.  We know happiness, which ACIM says is our function.

4 – Insane World

When we know that we are dreaming in an insane world, we will not be upset by what we see.  We will know that it is all illusion.  We will empathize with our brothers and sisters who are caught in pain, but we will  not overdo our sympathy, lest we contribute to making pain part of their self-image (a paraphrase from ACIM).

5 – Have a Better Day

Let us be aware of dreaming today.  And, with that, a better day is set before us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a better day today, ever better, day by day.  Thank You for the many blessings conferred upon me so recently.  When I am unsure of what to do, I just need to listen to guidance.  And the Answer will come, unfailingly, into my mind.  A Course in Miracles promises this; You promise this.  The Holy Spirit fulfills His role splendidly.

Be with me today in my dream of what life can offer.  May I know the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.  And may I move ever closer to Awakening, an Awakening that will be sustained.

Thank You.

Amen.

Experiencing Deep Love Eliminates Fear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 199 – for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.”

“The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked.  Attack thoughts cannot enter such a mind, because it has been given to the Source of love, and fear can never enter in a mind that has attached itself to love.  It rests in God.  And who can be afraid who lives in Innocence, and only loves.  (WB382)”

Reflections:

1 – Heaven on Earth

If we could live the way in which the quoted passage, above, says, we would go a long way toward having Heaven on earth.  Were it not for our mistakes and our habits of long-standing, we would be able to live this wondrous way.  A Course in Miracles presents an idealized way of living, and many of us are not able to live up to its many wonderful promises.  But we can begin each day, and end each day, with time for contemplation of ACIM, our meditations, and these will reform long-standing errors.  ACIM can heal a neurotic through Jesus’s guidance.

2 – Choose Not to Be Afraid

May we live the Source of love today.  We need to determine that we will leave fear behind, to determine that we do not choose to be afraid ever again.  We will in all likelihood not succeed in the beginning, but we can, with God’s help, keep trying.  And that is all He asks.

3 – Serving the Holy Spirit

Serving the Holy Spirit means that we will follow the guidance that comes to us.  It may be by intuition (a likely response), an inner knowing that seems deeper than simply intuition, an interior word from the Holy Spirit, prayer, contemplation, meditation, writing in a journal to solutions, and so forth.  We do not know the many ways that the Holy Spirit can guide us.  But if we are open to His prompting, our lives will transform in ways that seemed impossible only yesterday.  Time is in Jesus’s hands (a Text tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose love, and gratitude for my many blessings in a strong way to choose love.  Help me to know that being grateful does enhance my feelings of love.  And choosing love over anger is always a blessing.  I would eliminate anger from my repertoire of emotions sooner rather than later.

Thank You for the guidance that I received yesterday in my realization that something might arise that would cause anger.  I decided to leave the room.  As it turned out, I could not easily do so, but still, remembering what I had decided kept me quite and self-contained.  This in itself is a tremendous blessing.

Now, again today, as the day has started well–help me.  May the day go well for all its hours.  And may I always be thankful for the many blessings that You have given me, and for the many blessings that You have given all of my brothers and sisters in this world.

Amen.

Only My Own Forgiveness Sets Me Free

ACIM Workbook Lesson 198 – for Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Affirmation:  “Only my condemnation injures me.”

“Only my condemnation injures me.
Only my own forgiveness sets me free.

“Do not forget today that there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought.  Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.  (WB380)”

Reflections:

1 – Assertion of Great Importance

Here is an assertion of great importance, but particularly easy to overlook within the scope of A Course in Miracles:  no form of suffering or pain that the lack of forgiveness has not caused and that a gesture of forgiveness cannot heal.  Here we are indeed set free from our moments of suffering and pain!  What a glorious affirmation this is!

2 – Be Willing to Forgive

It does not mean that we will forever be free of suffering and pain, for we are human and we still make mistakes.  But we have in our power the will to reduce those moments by quite a bit with our willingness to forgive, and our unwillingness to indulge our ego’s bent toward unforgiving thoughts.

3 – We Have Chosen

Our ego would have us to blame others, and in so doing to find things that seem unforgivable, for have not we been hurt by the words and actions of others?  But ACIM says that we are responsible for what we see, that we have chosen what we experience.  This is an definite statement in ACIM that brooks no exceptions.  We find it hard to believe only because we are still caught in ego games.

4 – Our Will to Forgive

Think for a moment what power our will to forgive has in it!  We can choose to forgive, and, if this comes hard, we can commune with God until it comes easy.  We are not pawns in some cosmic joke; we can effect chance in the world that we experience.  May we change that world for the better today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forgive easily today, if You help me.  I would not engage in any attack, for I love the people who surround me.  May I see that anger is a ploy of the ego.  May I know that my forgiveness will free me.

If anger arises, may I just leave the room.  A short timeout is all that may be needed.  I ask You to help me if the day turns tense, if stress enters.  And does stress not enter, from time to time, for all of us?

Be with me closely today.  I feel vulnerable to anger, because yesterday was a very busy day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Forsake Attack / Find Gratitude

ACIM Workbook Lesson 197 – for Monday, July 16, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “It can be but my gratitude I earn.”

“God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself.  And what belongs to God must be His Own.  Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.  (WB377)”

Reflections:

1 – Attack / Forgiveness

As long as attack is attractive to us, we will need to turn again and again to forgiveness so that we get back on the right track.  And who among us can say that we never have the urge to attack (usually verbally), or that we never feel anger?  These are very human characteristics.  After all, think of Jesus in the temple with the moneychangers, as depicted in the New Testament.

2 – God Does Not Condemn

When we have made progress toward leaving attack behind, we will know the love that is described in today’s Workbook lesson.  We will know that God does not condemn, and we will know that our best action is also not to condemn–even when we don’t recognize that there has just been a mistake that can be rectified by forgiveness.  Remember the illusion in which we live.  The Self is never hurt–only the “little,” personal self.  And we would not take offense at a brother or sister who is having a hard time and takes it out on us.  We need to be bigger than that.

3 – Very Human Traits

All of this is not easy.  We carry these human traits, many from childhood and brought on by the insane ego.  Most of us have not completely relinquished the ego, and so we are more prone to take offense easily.

4 – Harmony

We need to do what we can to bring more love into our lives.  Do we not sense the harmony that can be ours when we choose the word or deed that comes from love rather than attack?

5 – God = Love

Let us today ask for the grace to live our lives in love, or in Love.  For God is Love, as the Scriptures tell us, and now as borne out by A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reminding me that attack has no place in the group of reactions that we would have in this world.  Attack always blinds us to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and attack also hurts our brothers and sisters.  We need the harmony that Love (God) and love (Awakening or Christ-consciousness) can effect in our lives.  May I ask for that harmony to be mine today.  I realize that this may be a daily prayer, for I do not know when I will be ready for You to reach down and awaken me.

Thank You for being here for me.  The day has been good so far, and always a day goes better when the morning is good.  You know that I am not a morning person, though I get up and start the day at a relatively early hour.  You know that I need structure to my day, to make that day be devoted to the pathway that You point out to me.  Thank You for guiding my decisions, so that the little decisions that the Holy Spirit gives me, moment-by-moment, are heeded.

I am grateful for the blessing of Your Love.  May I never forget my indebtedness to You.  And may I never forget how much You love me.

Amen.

Dreary, Hopeless Thoughts = Hell

ACIM Workbook Lesson 196 – for Sunday, July 15, 2012

Affirmation:  “It can be but myself I crucify.”

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?  (WB374)”

Reflections:

1 – Fear of God = Hell

So the fear of God is hell!  Elsewhere Jesus says also that “guilt” is hell.  And so it seems that our own guilt at our presumed misdeeds and bad thoughts has made us fear God’s retribution, and therefore we have experienced hell on earth.  (And, if the truth be told, we have spent part of our lives, at least, fearing hell after death.)

2 – God Never Condemns

God never condemns, and so He does not need to forgive us for our thoughts and actions.  This is a sticking point for many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles, because we cannot seem to get out of our minds a God Who may have created part of the pain and suffering in our world, or at least ought to do something about it!  These thoughts misdirect our minds.  God neither created pain and suffering, but we, in a “tiny, mad idea” thought that we separated from Him, and we entered a world, built up by us, that is insanity.  And in an insane world there is pain and suffering.

3 – A Way Out

Is there a way out that we can take beginning today?

4 – Get the Madness Out

Yes, there is a way out.  And we need only learn as a student the precepts of ACIM, and, with our minds losing some of its insanity, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook) can attract to ourselves a much better living experience.  These are benign dreams that some would say we have used through the “law of attraction” (a tenet of a bestseller entitled The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne).  But we too want more than the materialistic if we are to be happy.  The altruistic ideas of God will inform a world in much stronger terms than simply an improvement in our material conditions.  And, for the intangibles of God, we turn to our Guide, the Holy Spirit–or the Christ-consciousness within (if we have traveled this far on the pathway back home).  (The concept of Christ-consciousness is described in A Course of Love, believed by some to be a sequel to ACIM and also channeled by Jesus.)

5 – We Are Out Own Worst Enemy

So let us cease aiding and abetting our own hell on earth. We have taught ourselves the unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator (an ACIM tenet), and we have reaped the lamentable result in our world.  Let us turn today to a different way of living, and find our way home in God with all of its attendant joys.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I think that most of us have found ways to be happy, and some of our unhappy moments are when we forget to put into practice what we already know.  Certainly our depressed thoughts do constitute a hell outside of You.  We can get medical help, and we can turn to A Course in Miracles, to prayer, to friends and family, to writing in a journal; there clearly are limitless ways that may have helped in the past.  

Thank You for the good day that I am having.  But the day did not start in a promising way, because I felt sleepy and wanted just to nod off again.  Jesus would not have us to withdraw, as he says in ACIM.  And when I began writing (one of my solutions), everything turned around.  Then I visited my mother at her retirement community, and that gesture took me out of myself.  Thank You for the good day that this has turned out to be.

May my brothers and sisters be cheered by something today, if anyone is feeling down.  May we help each other, if by no other way that good thought vibes.

Amen.

All Cause of Sorrow Disappears

ACIM Workbook Lesson 195 – for Saturday, July 14, 2012

Affirmation:  “Love is the way I walk in gratitude.”

“Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss.  The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others.  And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they.  How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts!  For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause?  And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more?  Your gratitude is due to Him alone Who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.  (WB372)”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Compare

We would be wise not to compare ourselves to others.  There will always be those who seem to have more, as well as seem to have less.  This practice of comparison is not a good practice that could ever lead us to a sane mind.

2 – Cooperation

We need cooperation, not competition, in our world (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  And in cooperation we find the gratitude due our brothers and sisters that is so lacking when we are competing with them for the “top” spot in our world.  We find ourselves loving each other more when we cooperate toward a common good.  We do not find ourselves in a loving mood when we are competing.

3 – Public Schools

Even the public school system is learning this truth.  Research in educational circles has been going on for a quarter of a century, and more, that recommends “cooperative learning” in our schools.  It is conceivable that this wide-based endeavor will turn out very different young adults than in our generation.  Our world needs a new system, and perhaps cooperative learning and living will emerge in the next generation.  (These ideas are not discussed in ACIM or in A Course of Love.)

4 – Pity Is Unworthy

It is particularly unworthy if we simply look with pity on another’s suffering, and use that situation to be glad that we too are not suffering that much.  Surely we ought to do what we can to lighten another’s load, and turn suffering into joy.  Surely we ought not to doubt the results of a healing when symptoms still seem evident (a Manual tenet).  But we need to recognize that, however lamentable, the suffering is not real (a Manual tenet).  It is an illusion, however much it may seem real to us or to the sufferer himself/herself.  The real Self (the “Christ” in us) has not been harmed.  Our task now is to move beyond suffering and to turn it back, if need be, simply into pain that would be avoided.

5 – Sickness as a Way of Life

Not everyone is ready for this change.  Some use sickness as a way of life, and a sudden healing might precipitate depression so deep that one would want to commit suicide (from the Manual).  So healing has to wait.  But we cannot doubt that a healing will be accepted when the individual is ready.  This can be either physical or emotional healing, and perhaps the emotional is the most important.

6 = With Grateful Eyes

Let us look with grateful eyes on our brothers and sisters, and let us help them, with more kindness, through their journey.  What better way to spend our day?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do feel grateful today for my many blessings.  I would feel more gratitude than is usual for me, for this lesson today is a reminder of how much we owe to You.  Be with me today as I walk through this world.

May I never use sickness to get me something that I want.  Nothing needs to be used in such a way.  I would not feel pity for those less fortunate, though I would try to help my brothers and sisters in need.  Show me what to do and say.

Thank You.

Amen.

Rest Untroubled / Gently Reassured

ACIM Workbook Lesson 194 – for Friday, July 13, 2012

Affirmation:  “I place the future in the Hands of God.”
“Now are we saved indeed.  For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us.  If we forget, we will be gently reassured.  If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be soon replaced by love’s reflection.  And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind.  No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.  (WB371)”

Reflections:

1 – Euphoria vs. Dejection

I do not think that we often think of the world as our “enemy.”  But it is quite possible that, as Jesus says, this is a legitimate way to think of the what we have made the world to be for ourselves.  Driven by the ego, and with an imprisoned will (ACIM tenet), we find ourselves alternating euphoria (when the ego has “won”) and dejection (when the ego has been deflated).  If the ego were sane, we would never be in this predicament.  But living with our ego has driven our own minds to madness.  And this Jesus would not have for us.

2 – How Do We Get the Madness Out?

How do we get the madness out?  A frontal assault on the ego will not work, as the ego would just go underground, where its machinations would continue–disturbing our peace of mind and giving us bad dreams in a reality that is not truly “real.”  We simply are bidden to turn aside from the ego’s promptings, and often this may be seen by us as those things to which egotistical desire is a motivation.  We turn aside the ego’s promptings gently, because the ego is strong in strife (an ACIM tenet).

3 – A Different Way to Live

Does this turning aside from the ego seem a hopelessly impossible task?  If so, try to learn a different way to live, the way outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Try to give over attack, judgment, and planning that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit to a Higher Power.  This Higher Power is, in fact, the Holy Spirit, and He will come to our call.  Jesus promises the same, i.e., to come in respond to “one unequivocal call” (ACIM quotation).

4 – We Need Help

We need help.  It is the ego that thinks this makes us less, to admit our defeat in trying to live by the ego’s dictates.  But it is the wisest reasoning, and it is a reasoning that is inspired by intuition, one of the primary ways that our Guide (the Holy Spirit) speaks to us.  We will find, as time goes by, that turning on a dime, when we receive prompting is a very freeing way to live.  We may not know what will come afterward, but we do learn, through this method, the next right step.

5 – The Next Right Step

And knowing that next right step makes all the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the fact that currently my life is going smoothly.  Everyone has difficulties from time to time, and I would stay in touch with You during the easy times as well as the problems.  Thank You that all in my immediate circle are emotionally and physically well.  Thank You that I am emotionally and physically well.  May my brothers and sisters whom I do not know move into this certain realm, where You are there and all is well.

Be with us throughout the day.  Thank You specifically for this Workbook lesson, one that is so reassuring and compels peace to enter our minds and hearts.  Be with us today to keep serene in the midst of the ordinary path that we walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

Live in the Moment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 193 – for Thursday, July 12, 2012

Affirmation:  “All things are lessons God would have me learn.”

“Each hour, spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lesson in forgiveness in the form established for the day.  And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before.  The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way.  Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it.  Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal  in the world of time.  (WB369)”

Reflections:

1 – “Chains of Time Are Easily Unloosened”

This is a comprehensive statement of the dictate of A Course in Miracles that we live in the moment.  We don’t often do that, though.  We are more familiar with trying to live one day at a time.

2 – Relinquish What Just Happened

Here, though, ACIM goes a step farther, and asks us to relinquish what has happened just a moment ago.  This allows grievances no time to build up.  We offer forgiveness virtually simultaneously to the offending word or deed.  And this puts us squarely on the path toward home in God.

3 – Hour by Hour

So, here it is “hour by hour,” rather than day by day.  A challenging thought!  But we know that the teacher of God, according to the Manual, does not know challenges, for he/she lets guidance direct the way, always.  It is highly unlikely that we can sustain this degree of flexibility in following guidance, though.  What we must do is to accept the guidance just as soon as we are emotionally able.

4 – Having a Good Day

There are a few stunning pages in the Text that tell us how to have a good day.  And in the midst of these words we see that we frequently don’t like how we feel when we have put ourselves squarely in control.  Our lives seem to be spinning out of control, even with our best efforts.  This is because the ego is insane (an ACIM tenet), and the ego does not wish us well (also an ACIM tenet).  If we don’t like how we feel, we can turn to guidance at any time, and with good results.  And the sooner we readjust our priority in thinking, the sooner we will walk a green earth again.

5 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the central lesson of A Course in Miracles.  God does not need to forgive us, because He has never condemned us (an ACIM tenet).  But we need to forgive ourselves, and, if we have wandered amiss, we may need to ask forgiveness of certain of our brothers and sisters.  Given this willingness to forgive, we will understand:  “to understand all, forgive all” (an aphorism from my reading of many years ago, not ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live moment by moment, not jumping ahead to even the next hour.  If there are plans to be made for my day, I will receive a prompting from the Holy Spirit of what to plan, and also how to “plan” the planning.  We are never left bereft.

Be with me throughout this day, and especially help me to practice the lesson for today.  I have the feeling that my life will improve dramatically to the extent that I can fulfill what this workbook lesson says.

Amen.

Stab of Anger

ACIM Workbook Lesson 192 – for Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Affirmation:  “I have a function God would have me fill.”

 

“Therefore, hold no one prisoner.  Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free.  The way is simple.  Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head.  And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.  Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death.  And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.  (WB366)”

Reflections:

1 – See the Sword Averted

A very important passage, this lesson for today is telling us what we must do when we feel a stab of anger.  And who among us does not still feel anger, even if one believes himself/herself to be enlightened?

2 – Stress and the “Pain Body”

We are likely to be stressed at the time that we seem most out of control.  As Eckhart Tolle would say, our “pain body” is in the ascendancy, and we want pain at any and all costs.  We are not in our right mind; we are even more insane than the usual.

3 – The Ego = Strong in Conflict

If we can realize that averting the sword above one’s head actually makes us free, we might be more inclined to follow this passage when the daily pathway turns grim.  We want to be free, but we cannot be free if we are caught by anger and attack, for the ego is strong in conflict (paraphrase from ACIM).

4 – Temptations to Anger

Our brothers and sisters who tempt us to anger are actually doing us a favor, for without their input, we would not be inclined to choose the good more often than the bad.  They, in turn, are merely asking for help at such times.  A brother or sister who attacks is calling for help, and the only sane response is to rush to his/her side with that help.  We must be reasonable, and ACIM does not counsel doing anything that will escalate the conflict.  If we are in danger, bodily or mentally, it would be wise to act later on, when the heat is out of the moment.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)

5 – Venting and Our Anger

Do we really owe our brother or sister thanks for the stab of anger that his/her venting has elicited?  According to ACIM, we do.  We can recognize that we will not likely ever be free of moments of being tempted into anger, but we can fly into a great calm rather than into a great fury.

6 – This Lesson for Today

Making that choice is what today’s Workbook lesson is all about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to be free of stabs of anger.  If my brother or sister tempts me to anger, help me to turn aside from attacking verbally.  Help me to realize that in all likelihood, this brother or sister is stressed, and I have been there, throughout my lifetime, many times.  I would want someone to forgive me when I am letting Eckhart’s “pain body” rise to ascendancy.  May we all pray today that our pain bodies will be released, and that we will enjoy the peace and harmony that You want for us above all else.

Be with me as I walk the pathway to You today.

May I take a timeout, leaving the room temporarily, if my temper is threatening to get the best of me.  It is actually the “worst” of me.  And I would not indulge my ego today by venting when I am stressed.  And I don’t get angry unless I am stressed.

May my brothers and sisters adopt what coping mechanisms they find most useful in avoiding anger and attack.

Thank You.

Amen.

Accord Mercy

 

ACIM Workbook Lesson 191 – for Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Affirmation:  “I am the holy Son of God Himself.”

“You who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep and suffer pain, hear this:  All power is given unto you in earth and Heaven.  There is nothing that you cannot do.  You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you.  Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.  (WB364)”

Reflections:

1 – No Longer an “Imprisoned Will”

“Mercy” is not often mentioned in ACIM, though it is frequently taken for granted.  In today’s passage, we see our way to happiness.  We see our way out of an “imprisoned will” (quotation from ACIM).  We learn that we have been writing scripts that we live out, and in which we find ourselves lonely and in dire straits.

2 – Choose Happy Dreams

This does not have to be.  We can as easily choose happy dreams, “the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  We are the scriptwriters, and our ego writes sad and demoralizing scripts.  We need not cooperate with this game any longer.  And “game” is what it is.  We need to play better, and A Course in Miracles shows us how.

3 – The ACIM Ideal Mode

“There is nothing that you cannot do.”  This sentence sounds patently false, but it is simply, from my interpretation, an instance of when ACIM is to be lived in the “ideal” mode.  In the best of all possible worlds, we would seek guidance frequently, and we would ask for those things that are appropriate for ourselves.  This will not lead to “pie in the sky” thinking or doing.  This will lead to sanest good sense.  We will ask what we are suited for, not for those wisps of melody that are not our “song.”  We all know intuitively when we are praying for a blessing that is not the right blessing, not the blessing that God would bestow on us.  We need only look within, in simple honesty, to recognize when we are in an internal fight with God for what we want that He does not think is in our best interests.  Would we pray for something that will bring us ill, under these conditions?

4 – Let Go and Let God

Let go and let God, as we have often read.  Let Him direct our prayers through the medium of the Holy Spirit.  Then we will add our thoughts and actions, and we will find the silver lining in our daily lives for which we have often wished.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not see myself today in any sense as weak or frail.  You are always here for me, and You know what I can do.  You will guide me through the Holy Spirit.  Thank You for the confidence that You have placed in me.

Let me open to Your will.  May I recognize that Your Will and my will are actually identical.  May my day go smoothly, in Your grace.

Amen.

I Choose the Joy of God Instead of Pain

ACIM Workbook Lesson 190 – for Monday, July 9, 2012

Affirmation:  “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.”

“Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last.  Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear.  Let no attack enter with you.  Lay down the cruel sword of judgment that you hold against your throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.  (WB362)”

Reflections:

1 – When in Anger or Attack

Today’s passage will comfort in times of distress, especially when we are in anger or attack mode.  We are to get quiet, feel the peace of Heaven, and let the discouraging emotions die an easy death.  We will then feel better, and the effect will be extreme relaxation and serenity.

2 – Do Not Judge

If we judge on an ongoing basis, we will never know Awakening.  We are told elsewhere that judging precludes Awakening.  We are also told that if we seem to slip from grace, we have in all likelihood dipped into attack, judgment, or have started making plans against contingencies that are not supported by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Text tenets).

3 – Help in Dropping Judgment

If dropping judging can do so much for us, how do we effect this?  We must remember that we have lots of help.  There are Teachers of teachers, watching from the Other Side (from the Manual).  There is our internal Guide, the Holy Spirit.  And Jesus offers his help, help that he will bring to us upon hearing “one unequivocal call” (quotations from ACIM).  So we call on this help; we do not even attempt to drop judging as a personal crusade.  Personal crusades are one way that the ego hides from us, and the outcome is never good (personal interpretation, not stated directly in ACIM).  We are bad to commune with God (in the opening pages of the Text).

4 – We Are Never Alone

We never, in short, need to feel alone, because we never are alone.  But we have to relinquish the ego-oriented self-will that is not open to God’s direction.  As ACIM says many times, God’s Will and our will are identical, but we just don’t recognize this.  The Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He lets us know what will make us happy, for happiness is a function that ACIM ascribes to us.

5 – No More Judging

We pray that judging step aside from us.  We pray that the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves, cease to call the shots.  And when we have become pliable and flexible in God’s Hands, we will know the peace that today’s passage promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to get through this day.  It appears to be difficult, but this is only a mirage.  No day with You is difficult.  And I bring my own pain upon myself.  Help me to do no judging of my brothers and sisters.  All are doing as well as they can.  And help me to do as well as I can.

Amen.

What You Feel Within = What You See Without

ACIM Workbook Lesson 189 – for Sunday, July 8, 2012

Affirmation:  “I feel the Love of God within me now.”

 

“What would you see?  The choice is given you.  But learn and do not let your mind forget this law of seeing:  You will look upon that which you feel within.  If hatred finds a place within your heart, you will perceive a fearful world, held cruelly in death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers.  If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world of mercy and of love.  (WB359)”

Reflections:

1 – A Lovely Passage

What a lovely passage from the Workbook!  And the images are so profound.

2 – Fear = Hatred

If we have ever lived in fear, perhaps we have not realized that hatred has found a place within our heart.  Perhaps this seems too harsh.  But Jesus frequently equates attack with hate (in other places in ACIM); he goes the whole distance in categorizing our emotions.  Jesus does not see lukewarm emotions, indicating to us elsewhere that a hint of irritation is the same as intense fury (separated from us only by a veil).

3 – Not Always Fearful

We do not always see a fearful world.  So we are not always caught by the hatred (and attack) that the ego would foster.

4 – The Love of God Within

We see a world of mercy and of love, perhaps increasingly so as our study of A Course in Miracles proceeds.  According to the passage for today, this sight means that we are feeling the Love of God within.  What a blessing this is!

5 – A World of Mercy and of Love

We would not view “death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers.”  We would see a world of mercy and of love.  Let us go forth today to see Love wherever we are, and if someone else seems to attack us, let us remember that he or she is really calling for help (an ACIM tenet), and may we give help accordingly.  This is the way that Love works.  And it is our holy relationships that will carry us home to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see a world today of mercy and of love.  I would feel within the love that You wish for me to feel.  And I know that when I feel that inward love, then the world that is externally is very different, very much better.  Thank You for helping me to reach this understanding.

This workbook lesson teaches me what is repeatedly said in A Course in Miracles:  projection makes perceptions.  May I project from a mind and heart that is rooted in love, and by so doing to see a world that is beautiful.  I know that the suffering in this world is actually illusory, but let this understanding in no way detract from the compassion that I would feel for others.

Be wtih me today as I walk through my world.  May my words be sweet, my demeanor graceful.  I would be the person today that You wish for me to be.  May I reach out to my brothers and sisters with the help that You know that I am suited to give.  But may I never try to overreach, to help when I am being an unhealed healer.

Amen.

Why Wait for Heaven?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 188 – for Saturday, July 7, 2012

Affirmation:  “The peace of God is shining in me now.”

“Why wait for Heaven?  Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes.  The light is in them now.  Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.  Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well.  The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own.  It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your source.  It shines in you because it lights your home, and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home.  (WB357)”

Reflections:

1 – Are Our Present Lives Unreal?

The most welcome opening sentences of the passage for today lend an unreal aspect to our mundane lives.  Can it truly be that we are missing out on Heaven on earth because we are covering our eyes from the light that would show us Heaven?

2 – Enlightenment

Importantly, we see the way to Enlightenment (also called Awakening in ACIM) pointed out in this passage as well.  We “recognize,” but we are not miraculously changed.  Our personalities remain the same.  And A Course of Love (perhaps a sequel to A Course in Miracles) says that we do not have to be perfect to experience this change.  We need only to make the decision for those imperfect things (or things that we deem to be imperfect) be eliminated from our emotional make-up, and they will be gone.  Throughout ACIM we are told that our minds make our experience of this world.  In A Course of Love, we are told that wholeheartedness is the aim toward which we are now ready to point.  This is a blend of mind and heart, for the heart knows blessings and understands concepts (intuitively) that the mind can never know.

3 – End of the Journey

When we have taken the steps outlined in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we will be at home in God.  The end of the journey that never began is at hand.  May this blessing come sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk ever closer to You and ever-closer to Christ-consciousness.  I would not do so in arrogance, but in true humility and with the Authority that You give me.  You are the Source.  May I never forget that.

Be with me today through the sometimes lonely road that we all walk.  May I find my friends there for me today, and especially may I find my significant others there for me.

Help us to help each other, as Jesus would certainly proscribe.

Amen.

No Place for Sacrifice nor Suffering

ACIM Workbook Lesson 187 – for Friday, July 6. 2012

Affirmation:  “I bless the world because I bless myself.”

“Never believe that you can sacrifice.  There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value.  If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen and correction must be made.  Your blessing will correct it.  Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well.  No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.  (WB355)”

Reflections:

1 – Doing for Others

We have long believed that when we sacrifice for our loved ones, we are doing the right thing.  This passage for today assures us that, even when we are doing for our loved ones, God does not demand sacrifice.  We may do the same things, but when we are in God’s flow, we will not see our actions as sacrifice.  A change of attitude is all that is needed.

2 – Change of Attitude

“If the thought occurs” is the pivotal point, the indication that we need to change our attitude.  We need to entertain the thought of correction.  Correction is the definition of Atonement (an ACIM tenet).  When we have accepted Atonement for ourselves, we will know correction in our daily lives.  And our daily lives will take a substantial and lasting turn for the better.

3 – Blessings and Thankfulness

Blessings and thankfulness are often linked in my own mind.  If we wish to bless someone, we are being thankful for their place in our lives.  And then we have opened the door to more blessings for ourselves as well.  We will not sacrifice and suffer in our holy relationships, because we will know love

4 – Forgiveness

If we have not forgiven ourselves for our past misdeeds, we will carry a heavy load of guilt, and guilt is hell (an ACIM tenet).  Let us reject such foolishness by simple forgiveness.  We need only ask, and the blessing of forgiveness is ours.  There can be no better way to have a good day.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this glorious day.  I had a moment of an anxiety attack this morning, and, with distraction and prayer out loud to You, the moment left me–and quickly.  Help me to remember always that You are nearer to me than my breath, that I am a part of You.

No sacrifice seems too good to be true!  We will be caregivers for our significant others, but if I view this as a sacrifice, I need to change my attitude.  There is much to be gained from taking care of our loved ones–for them as well as ourselves.  May I never forget that this caregiving is a two-way street.

Be with me as I seek to leave all suffering behind.  The last three days have been glorious ones for me, and a tiny change in my routine created some of that difference.  Be with me as I seek to attract Your blessings, and many of these are the intangibles of love, peace, joy, tranquility, and serenity.  No need for drama in a life that is calm and quiet.

Amen.

Do as God’s Voice Directs

ACIM Workbook Lesson 186 – for Thursday, July 5, 2012

“Do as God’s Voice directs.  And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is That asks, and who would make denial.  Then consider this; which is more likely to be right?  The Voice That speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure of everything?  Let not its voice direct you.  Hear instead a certain Voice, which tells you of a function given you by your Creator Who remembers you, and urges that you now remember him.  (WB353)”

Affirmation:  “Salvation of the world depends on me.”

Reflections:

1 – Summary

This passage is a concise summary of one of my favorite tenets of A Course in Miracles.  We need to follow guidance.  It is an imperative.  And we need to be sure that the guidance that we are getting is genuinely from the right Place, not from the ego.  The ego likes to masquerade as our Maker, and we would be wise to test out our guidance, to be certain that the ego is not intruding, giving us ideas for self-aggrandizement that will only give us grief.  (This is interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

2 – Intuitive Advice

When we ask for advice, intuitive advice, from the Holy Spirit (or from Christ-consciousness, if we have progressed that far), then we are assured that we will have a good day.  We will not be “confused, bewildered, inconsistent, and unsure of everything.”

3 – Motivation

Is not this great motivation?  Could we ask for anything better?

4 – Flow and Ebb in Balance

Our days will flow and ebb in precise balance with the degree to which we are attuned to what our Guide tells us.  Begin the day with God, follow Him throughout the day, and then thank Him at night for the glorious day that you will have had.  These are instructions from the Manual, in which we are led to realize that a constant asking may not be practical, and it is the practical with which A Course in Miracles is most concerned.  If we turn to the Holy Spirit at the beginning of our day, at the end of our day, and in between, when we get a moment to reflect, then our day will be wisely spent.  Jesus does not ask for more than we are willing to give.

5 – Be Still

I have found, though, that more frequent turning inward for guidance is, for me, a better practice.  I do not say that I always succeed in coming to know God’s Will for me, but, if I become quiet, and listen inwardly, I am more likely to know what guidance is saying than if I rush about and hurry so.  Intuitive thoughts come unbidden, when we have been quiet enough.  There is a caveat, though, in that we must be sure that the intuitive thoughts that we choose to act upon do not harm ourselves or anyone else.  Then if we can be sure that we are being harmless (as well as helpful), we will walk a green earth.

6 – A Blessed Day!

There is no better way to have a blessed day!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day be as grand as yesterday!  Thank you for the blessings that You are bestowing on me in the present.  May I listen attentively to Your Voice, and may I follow Your advice to me.

Be with me as I walk about my world today.  There is no better way that I have ever found than to follow Your guidance consistently.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Holy Body

“Use it to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy.  Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die.  When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all.  The mind makes this decision, as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition.  Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. . .God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as It tells him what his function is.  He does not suffer either in going or remaining.  Sickness is now impossible to him.  (M-12.5)”

Affirmation:  “the Word of God”

Reflections:

1 – The Ideal

This is the ideal.  And not all of us can reach it.  This passage says that the body does not get sick; but our body gets sick.  And sometimes we suffer.

2 – We Are Still Children

This passage gives us a goal toward which to reach.  It does not mean that we have failed if we do not reach it.  As has been said, would you blame a child in kindergarten for not being able to master graduate school work?  We are such a child.

3 – God’s Voice

But what we can do, as has often found its way into this blog, is to listen to God’s Voice in our daily lives.  We can intuit what to say or do next.  We do have some control over how we view sickness.  We can frequently prevent pain from turning into suffering, just by our attitude.

4 – The Body Will Become Holy

If we follow the way pointed out in A Course in Miracles, the body will become holy.  This happens when the only use toward which we put the body is communication.  And we communicate what the Holy Spirit has told us as an inner Guide.  We do not ever make decisions alone:  Either we listen to the ego or we listen to our Guide, the Holy Spirit (an ACIM tenet).  Until we truly listen to the Holy Spirit, we are not often aware that we actually have been seeking advice of the ego.  This egoic bent is what we have been used to following.  But we can change.

5 – Listen to Our Guide

Listen to our Guide today.  See what a difference this change makes in in the day that we have.  And then thank God for this change.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day be a glorious one!  I thank You for the increased vitality I have as summer gets underway in a big way.  Help me to appreciate this warm weather, not to rail against it.  Your seasons in this world are a blessing to us.

Be with us in the United States as we celebrate Independence Day today.  Thank You that we are still friends with our British friends.  May we recognize that all of us are One on this earth, and just as the British forgave us for departing, we must look to today’s world for the times that wars have happened, noting forgiveness as a lodestone.

Amen.

The Purpose of the Body

“Yet what makes God’s teachers is their recognition of the proper purpose of the body.  As they advance in their profession, they become more and more certain that the body’s function is but to let God’s Voice speak through it to human ears.  (M-12.4)”

Affirmation:  “Let me listen to God’s Voice today.”

Reflections:

1 – Body for Communication

This passage identifies the theme that I brought up yesterday:  The body is meant for communication.  We allow the Holy Spirit to determine what we will say, when we will say it, and to whom.  Anything else is likely to be the ego, which still has a toehold in most of us.

2 – Salvation

Salvation is seen to be the profession of teachers of God (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Such an exalted profession can lead to egotism, though, and this we do not want.  We are merely instruments in the Hands of the Holy Spirit, Who is God’s Voice.  May we remain not arrogant, but humble in the carrying out of our duties as we see them.  May nothing we do or say or think encourage the egoic.

3 – Guidance

As teachers of God continue their profession, they become more certain that the only (yes, the only) thing that they have to do is to follow the guidance that comes to them moment by moment.  If we are too involved with daily life to “listen” moment by moment, then Jesus says elsewhere that we are to ask for guidance at any time that we can.  This is the practical nature of A Course in Miracles.

4 – Body Not an Adornment

The body is not meant to be an adornment, but that is, all too often, the function that this world has given it.  This does not mean that we cease caring for our appearance (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We would do well to be presentable in our daily lives, reaching out in a way that does not offend anyone.  But, as always, we must be true to ourselves.  And more and more we see that being true to ourselves is being true to God, for His Will is the real will of ourselves as well (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not allow my body to intrude today where I do not want it.  I do not want it in order to make others envious.  I do not want it for adornment, for a bracelet that simply enhances the wrist.  I want the body to be mine for communication with my brothers and sisters.  Help me to know how to have this single-minded function for my body.

Be with me as I walk through the day.  You would have us to look well, but not to be prideful of our appearance.  May I listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit today.

Amen.

Psychic Ways to Hear God’s Voice

“Only very few can hear God’s Voice at all, and even they cannot communicate His messages directly through the Spirit which gave them.  They need a medium through which communication becomes possible to those who do not realize that they are spirit.  A body they can see.  A voice they understand and listen to, without the fear that truth would encounter in them.  (M-12.3)”

Affirmation:  “Only very few can hear God’s Voice at all.”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Voice

As time has gone by, I think that more and more of us can hear God’s Voice.  The Voice is that of the Holy Spirit, and following His guidance is seen by A Course in Miracles as the way out of the maze that we have made for ourselves.  His Voice shows us the way home, the way toward not only salvation but also Awakening.

2 – Bodies = for Communication

We are told elsewhere that we are to use our bodies only for communication, that we will learn that others can be reached through our words and our actions.  If we use our bodies to evoke jealousy, attack, anger, resentment, we are using our bodies amiss.

3 – The Voice of a Brother/Sister

We are not normally afraid of another’s body.  We do not fear what another says to us or does to us, in the normal sequence of events.  (We may fear another’s anger and attack, and this is entirely human.)  But if we suddenly heard interior voices, without preparation, we would be in the same situation that the scribe of ACIM, Helen Schucman, was in when she heard, “This is a course in miracles.  Please take notes.”  So often we do not hear internally, but through the medium of another human being’s voice.  And our fears are silenced.

4 – Internal Directives

As time goes by, we will “hear” internal directives.  These may come in a variety of ways, some that we recognize as “psychic” (as the world calls them).  We may receive guidance through what is commonly known as intuition; we may pick up easily on a friend’s casual comment, the one that seems just meant for ourselves and our present situation; we may run across what is to us a particularly significant passage in a book (especially A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love).

5 – Are We Insane?

Does this make us different, somehow, from those who have been categorized as mentally ill?  Perhaps.  ACIM declares that all of us are insane to a degree, because we live in a world that is impossible and also mad.  Those who are psychotic may hear voices, and so with our own situation, we need to be especially discerning.  If a “voice” ever counsels harm in any way, then this is definitely not Love speaking.  My personal interpretation is that we can ask, “Is this from Love?,” when we hear a locution, and if the answer is “no,” then we would be wise to refrain from any action.  And even if we think that we are acting from a message from Love, we may still be mistaken.  After all, we are human.

6 – Testing Locutions

So testing out our locutions (internally heard voices) and intuition does seem mandatory.  The world has suffered greatly from those who thought that they were following God’s Will, only to learn that their actions were perceived by others in this world as anything but loving.

7 – Will the End Be Loving?

Be careful of what you perceive through “psychic” means.  ACIM is quite comfortable with the psychic, as described in the Manual, but, as with anything that comes upon us that is new, we need to be careful the end will be loving.  And that the means are not detrimental to anyone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the times in which my psychic messages have given me insight and kept me on Your pathway.  I would not make mistakes, listening to my ego and thinking that it is divine guidance.  Be with me as I test out my thoughts about what has come to me via a sixth sense.  Don’t let me get carried away.

Thank You for the knowledge, and I know that it is knowledge, that You have shown me throughout my life.  I also know that my perceptions have sometimes, perhaps frequently, been wrong.  Help me to know the difference between knowledge and perception.  Let me drop the ego’s perceptions from my list of accustomed actions.  I would let the ego wither away.  And I know that the ego can be very wily, even when I am trying to follow Your Way.  Perhaps particularly when I an trying to follow Your Way.

I do appreciate the psychic that has improved my mood, given me insight, and led me closer to You.  Let me not take pride in any messages that come to me by psychic means, for this is surely evidence that the ego has taken ascendancy again.  Be with me in discernment, so that I walk Your pathway and Yours alone.

Amen.

The Son of Man Becomes the Son of God

“Thus does the son of man become the Son of God.  It is not really a change; it is a change of mind.  Nothing external alters, but everything internal now reflects only the Love of God.  (M-12.1)”

Affirmation:  “I ask for a change of mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Too Good to Be True?

The state of mind which is described in today’s passage may sound too good to be true, too ideal to be a realistic, practical change of mind.  But we have A Course in Miracles to study, giving us the means for Awakening (from the Text).

2 – The Gender Problem

Of course, “son” and “Son” include the feminine also.  In the sixties, when Helen Schuman and Bill Thetford worked together to bring ACIM to the world, the masculine gender was taught in schools to be inclusive language that also included women.  This had changed by the seventies, and a sticking point for many younger individuals have been turned off by the masculine terminology.  But this is a straw issue.  The Bible also uses the masculine in most available translations and paraphrases.  We should not let this difference cause us any concern.

3 – Reflect the Love of God

Going back to the passage again, if the internal part of us could reflect only the Love of God, would we not have the Awakening that we seek?  Most of us can aspire to this ideal, but very few of us have actually sustained Awakening.  Before sustainability, we will know glimpses of Awakening, periods of time that show us the way that will eventually open to us.  In the meantime, we dwell with our feet on earth.

4 – A Goal for Today

To reflect the Love of God is a goal that all of us can seek to embody daily.  When we fall from these heights, we can ask forgiveness of ourselves and others, and we can try again.

5 – An Even Keel

There is no other way.  We walk the mundane paths of this world until we know the joy that Jesus would have us know on a sustained basis.  Let us reach for the stars even as we keep our minds and hearts on the even keel of a person seeking to allow the ego to wither away.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would reflect the love of God today.  I would turn from petty problems that disturb me, to an all-encompassing thankfulness that my life is actually going so well.  If I can keep from letting the ordinary stress of life bother me, I will be in the right frame of mind to express the love that I feel God wants me to express.

May we not be disturbed by the male-female problem in terminology of A Course in Miracles.  The sixties were an era, now long ago, in which this scribing took place.  And people thought differently about language then.  In reality, we do not have to let straw issues disturb us.  Jesus is inclusive of women as well as men.

May the day go well.  May we enjoy the peace of a sunny day.  May we know that sunny days remind us of love, and lead us to think of love.  I would think of love today.

Amen.