Monthly Archives: August 2012

Are You Afraid of God?

“You are afraid of Him [God], and do not see you hate and fear your Self as enemy.  (M-19.4)”

Affirmation:  “May I think calmly.”

Reflections:

1 – Afraid of God?

This passage is true because we project our God from within, seeing Him in our own image.  And that image believes that the true Self is Someone to be feared.  The true Self is elsewhere identified as the Christ within, or Christ-consciousness.  (These ideas are developed in A Course of Love.)

2 – Holy Spirit = Our Guide

We have no reason to be fearful of our true Self.  It is the ego that has led us to this impasse.  And we must be careful of nothing.  Let the Holy Spirit make the decisions that we are afraid to make.  Let Him guide.

3 – Internal Self

To hate and fear our own internal Self is a great deterrent to improved living.

4 – Forgiveness

How might we cease to hate and fear our Self?  We must entertain forgiveness of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.  The fact that we still hold something against ourselves and others is the point around which our problem revolves.  But we can, through greater insight, bring an end to this foolishness.  We can still see that we did not create ourselves, and it is only a detour into fear that we have made.  (Interpretations of ACIM, most not stated precisely therein.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I can remember when I feared You, and not in the sense of “awe,” which is what is meant in the Bible.  I really was afraid of You, fearing that I would be sent to hell for any of the childhood misdeeds that I did.  I know now that not is childhood a time of innocence, but so is adulthood.  Thank You for leading me to A Course in Miracles, which proves this point.

Be with me as I seek to enlarge not my ego, but my real Self, the inner Self that is a part of You.  As a part of You, I have never really been separated from You.  All of that thinking was a detour into fear, a fantasy that we forgot to laugh about.  So this tiny, mad idea took hold, and the ego of us all was born.  May the ego in all of us just cease to exist.  May we cense to depend on such a shallow basis for self-worth, for the ego can give no genuine self-worth.  You are the Source of my self-worth, as well as my self-esteem, and I would turn to and our Guide, the Holy Spirit, for the flow of my days.  Help this day to be good, and may I answer any need that is legitimately mine to answer.  I pray that You have guided me today.

Amen

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A Miracle Worker? How Possible?

“Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors.  When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition.  (M-18.4)”

Affirmation:  “Correct me today.”

Reflections:

1 – Atonement

This is what we need, all of us:  Atonement.  We need to have our errors undone, all corrected.  If this seems a long way off, then let us be patient.  Jesus says that for everyone to return to God, to undo the separation (believed in but an illusion), it may take millions of years (from the Text).  But we do not have to be disheartened by this analysis.

2 – Do Not Be Disheartened

Why not disheartened?  We are not alone.  God and His Communicator, the Holy Spirit, are with us constantly.  Indeed, we are a part of God.  We do not normally realize this, because we focus too much on the errors that our own “creation,” the ego, leads us to ake.  And Jesus will be with us when we have made one “unequivocal call” to him (a quotation from ACIM).

3 – Intuition Brings Our Help

Do we believe all this?  Perhaps not yet.  But give yourself time.  The truth will become manifest as we see our help come to us, intuitively, just as we need it.  Don’t second guess this truth.  Don’t be so quick to put up roadblocks.  If the intuition is honed by love, then it is likely to be genuine.

4 – Ego Makes Power Plays

“Intuitions” of the ego are usually power plays, and we do not want or need that.  Is the ego puffed up by this indication of what to do next?  Walk slowly, and think again about the best course of action.

5 – We Will Find Out Way Home

We will all learn eventually.  We will all find our way home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would, in my own small circle of friends and acquaintances, become a miracle worker.  But I would listen for Jesus’s nod of what to do or say.  Only his guidance is necessary or desirable.  Anything else is misguided, because the ego gets involved, very involved.

Be with me today to find the Atonement anew.  Thank You for the times in my life when You have felt especially close to me, giving me Your advice.  Let me reach deep within me today to find You.  And let my manmade ego not intrude with unwelcome advice.

Help us to follow You today.  Help us to know how to help, how to heal.  If we need healing, may we find healing today.  And the same for all of our brothers and sisters.  May we attract that which You desire for us, knowing inwardly that health is Your choice for us.  Let us not intrude with ideas of illness.

Amen

A Mistake Is Not a Sin

“You but mistake interpretation for the truth.  And you are wrong.  But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes.  God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world.  His Love remains the only thing there is.  Fear is illusion, for you are like Him.  (M-18.3)”

Affirmation:  “Love is the only thing there is.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Condemn Yourself

This is a reassuring passage, one that leads us to understand that God truly is Love, and that we have only made mistakes–nothing to condemn ourselves.

2 – When Afraid

When we are afraid, when fear has moved into our conscious minds, we need a remedy, and we need it now, not later.  The best remedy is to fill our minds with these reassurances that Jesus gives to us in A Course in Miracles.  The fear may make our heart beat rapidly, pounding in our chest, but we can still say to ourselves, “This is illusion.  I have no reason to fear.”

3 – Moving Away from the Abyss of Fear

And then we can distract ourselves from the abyss of fear in which we have fallen.  A Course in Miracles does not give specific practices, beyond affirmations in the Workbook, that can be called upon.  But most of us know that prayer, communion with God, helps tremendously.  And communion with God is emphasized in the opening pages of the Text.  We can also do something as mundane as listen to quiet, soothing music–praying as we listen.  We can talk to a significant other, if we have not called upon him or her so often that we have worn out our welcome.  And, of course, when fear comes, it is frequently in the middle of the night, when we do not want to awaken anyone.  Writing in a journal can help.  Some have found meditative yoga to be helpful.  I have found it useful to pray aloud, away from others in a quiet room.  Praying aloud seems to keep me on track.  If one is agitated, the best thing that we can do is simply to rest in that agitation, watching it subside gradually.  We will actually all get the amount of sleep that we need.  We need not fear insomnia, thereby making it worse.

4 – Is It Guilt?

If guilt is a major reason for our fear, then we can pray for forgiveness.  Remember that God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (an ACIM tenet).  But we need to forgive ourselves, and this we can do.  The ego may object, but then the ego does not wish us well.  We need to be gentle with ourselves; we need to wish ourselves well.

5 – Sin vs. Mistakes

Remember that the concept of “sin” and the concept of “mistakes” are very different.  Sin has an attracting nature, one that would have us repeat the same thought or action.  Mistakes, on the other hand, simply call for correction, something that we can do when our motivation is strong.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not be fearful today.  There is no reason that the daily activities need to make us afraid.  We can get excited, but better not to get fearful.  

You know that our emotions are often vacillating.  We feel one way one moment, and something entirely different just a moment away.  I would stop this merry-go-round of fear in its tracks by denying the ego its field day with my mind.

May You help me to turn to You repeatedly, anytime that the ego threatens to engulf me with fear.  Thank You.

Amen.

Forsake Anger / Guilt Forgiven = Overlooked Completely

“And now is guilt forgiven, overlooked completely in His sight and in God’s Word.

“Anger but screeches, ‘Guilt is real!’ Reality is blotted out as this insane belief is taken as replacement for God’s Word.  (M-18.2 – M-18.3)”

Affirmation:  “guilt forgiven”

Reflections:

1 – Varying Definitions of the Ego

Anger is empowered by the ego when it screeches at us, “Guilt is real!”  This is a tenet of A Course in Miracles which differs from traditional Christianity.  But then the ego was not known about, in the sense that we know about it now.  Freud changed all that, though Freud’s definition of the ego is not the same as that of Jesus.  Freud thought that we all needed a strong ego to mediate between the superego and the id.  Jesus’s definition of the ego as a part of our belief about ourselves, but not a necessary thing to secure a central place in our psyche.  Jesus would have the ego wither away (though he does not use the term “wither”).

2 – The Ego Becomes Strong in Strife

We cannot let the ego wither by trying to overcome it with drastic measures.  We cannot launch a frontal assault.  The ego becomes strong in strife (a Text tenet).  That is why anger is so real when the ego is in the ascendancy.

3 – Jesus Corrects Errors that Are Beyond Us

But we have only made correctable mistakes.  And Jesus stands at the end to correct all errors that we ourselves cannot correct (an ACIM tenet).  This suggests that he is our friend, as traditional Christianity tells us.  He is always there for us, taking our hand, if we wish to so imagine.  He says that this is no “idle fantasy” (a quotation from ACIM).

4 – Mistakes / Not Sins

Because our mistakes are correctable, they are not “sins,” which would seem to be forever uncorrectable without a sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross.  And Jesus in A Course in Miracles asks us to look beyond the cross to the resurrection.  He says that we make a mistake when we “cling to the old rugged cross.”

5 – Theology May Delay Us

These ideas are definitely a step beyond the New Testament, and Christianity as taught in most of our churches.  If we are not yet ready to entertain these concepts, do cling to the practical nature of A Course in Miracles.  Theology will only delay us, and we do not need to be controversial.

6 – Guilt Recedes when Anger Recedes

See if the idea of guilt does not recede when anger recedes.  That is really all that we need to test.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would let the ego wither; I would not accentuate the ego through anger, for the ego is strong in strife.  I would feel no strike today.  And that becomes easy when I am having a good day.  Thank You for this good day today.  And may the same occur tomorrow.  We need Your help to be happy, for many of us have not always thought that happiness is a laudable goal.  But it is one of our functions, along with salvation and forgiveness, and I believe that when we reach for salvation and forgiveness, we find ourselves, unaccountably, happy.  We grow from the days spent in pain, but we do not have to learn through pain, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles.  We can learn through rewards, which give us a lasting learning experience.

Be with me as the day closes.  And help me to remember to express gratitude to You tomorrow morning, first thing, for another day in which to enjoy this world.  We are not meant to yearn only for a hereafter.  We are meant to be happy with this world as well, and the Holy Spirit will see that we have happy dreams in this illusory world.  Healing may occur for us, emotional and/or physical, and we would do well to remember that we are making the illusion that we live in.

Amen.

React Wholly without Anger

“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger.  Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves.  (M-18.2)”

Affirmation:  “no anger today”

Reflections:

1 – An Interpretation that Is Not True

When one of our significant others says something that angers us, we can be sure that we have made an interpretation that is not true (based on ACIM).  If we feel that the statement is patently false, we may feel anger surging upward.  And we may react badly.  Is this how we would represent God’s Way to the individuals in our lives?

2 – Egoic Tantrums

If the thought stated by another is magical in thinking, then we especially need to be conscious to not responding with anger.  We will make the statement true for both of us.  We will lose ourselves in an egoic tantrum.  And it is not this that we would do.

3 – Major Lesson

The passage for today indicates that we have these ideas as a “major lesson”:  God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger.”  This is a strong statement from Jesus.  How much better can we witness for God if we do not fly off the handle so often and so easily?  Yes, there is a major lesson here for us.

4 – How to Handle Anger

I have found that leaving the room, if our significant others react angrily to us, is an effective way not to verbally attack in response.  I have not found that “counting to ten” works very well.  There are always things that are on the tip of the tongue, ready to be said.  But a moment of quiet in another room is effective.  I welcome your comments to this posting, giving your ideas for avoiding verbal (or physical) attack when anger appears in our environment.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose to react in a lovely fashion when something seems to set me off.  You would have it thus.  Of this I am sure.  Help me to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the encouragement not to lose my cool.

We need to think carefully about ways to react when we are struck by anger.  Attacking verbally, and certainly physically, are not good ideas.  We will alienate those closest to us, the ones with whom we have the holiest of relationships.

Be with us today as we walk through the day.  Help me to consider how to respond if I am provoked, and may that response be as gentle as You would wish, and that would be very gentle indeed.

Amen

Book Announcement

I’ve been asked to post an announcement about “The Fifth Disciple,” a new book by Cynthia Bove that’s a comparison of the Gospel of Thomas and A Course in Miracles. The two spiritual manuscripts, according to Christ Lenois of One Books,  parallel each other in surprising and insightful ways.
An excerpt from “The Fifth Disciple” is available at the following link:
The excerpt is called “The One Answer,” and it provides a solution to what the author calls our “one problem: the belief that we are separate from the Divine.”
We’d love to hear your comments about “The Fifth Disciple.”
–Celia Hales

Anger Recognizes an Illusory Reality

“Can nothing give rise to anger?  Hardly so.  Remember, then, teacher of God, that anger recognizes a reality that is not there; yet is the anger certain witness that you do believe in it as fact.  Now is escape impossible, until you see you have responded to your own interpretation, which you have projected on an outside world.  (M-17.9)”

Affirmation:  “I would not believe in the things that anger shows me.”

Reflections:

1 – “Nothing”

The “nothing” is the illusion.  And this passage for today also indicates that projection leads to perception.  We project outward what we are seeing and feeling internally.  We project an illusion, a dream.

2 – Anger at Interpretations

Remember that nobody can be angry at a fact.  It is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger.  (Paraphrases from ACIM.)  And the interpretation is always false, if it brings forth any emotion akin to anger or any action akin to attack.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

“Projection makes perception” is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles, and Jesus would not have us delayed by theology.  He is concerned with only what everyone can accept.  Theology may only delay us.  And we do so like to engage in debate!  Yet, for those who are ready to accept the theology, it is there for us in ACIM.  There is nothing without (from the Text).  There is nothing outside of ourselves (also from the Text).  When we come to see this, it will be a revelation that has shown the truth of it to us.  And we cannot convey revelation from God to another, because it is intensely personal to ourselves.  God knows how to speak to each of us in a manner that we can understand.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not be angry today.  I would not be agitated today, for stress leads, for me, inexorably toward anger.  Anger is not justified, because we are always interpreting, and we are interpreting illusions.  Why would we get mad at an illusion?

Thank You for these statements from Jesus in A Course in Miracles.  I am grateful everyday for the magnificence of ACIM, for what a blessing it is!  Be with me as I seek, everyday, to understand this channeled work of Jesus all the more.

Amen.