Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dark Night of the Soul

“Child of God, you are alien here but need not be alien to your Self.  In your knowledge of your Self, all threat of time and space and place dissolves.  You may still walk an alien land, but not in a fog of amnesia that obscures what would be a brief adventure and replaces it with dreams of terror and confusion so rampant that no toehold of security is possible, and day turns endlessly into night in a long march toward death.  (A Course of Love, 4.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I know my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Self

The Self (capitalized) is meant in A Course of Love to be the Christ who is in each of us.  Christ, as we know, is not limited to Jesus.  He paved the way, and is still leading the way, but he does not believe that he has anything that we cannot attain.  Even this sentiment is expressed in the New Testament, and certainly this sentiment finds a welcome home in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

2 – Terror and Confusion Begone

The passage for today is particularly vivid in its metaphors.  We are told that we can see our lives here as a brief adventure, and we do not need to have dreams of terror and confusion.  But most of us do, and most of us still do–despite study of ACIM and ACOL.  We are all equals in the journey that we take, the “journey without distance” (quotation from ACIM).

3 – Clear Our Minds

When we are lost in the emotions of fear–terror and confusion, as herein described–we are not in a good frame of mind even to study ACIM and ACOL.  We need, perhaps, to clear our minds in whatever ways we have determined work for us.  Possible avenues are prayer (communion with God), meditation (if we are led to do so, but long hours of “contemplation” are specified citing by Jesus in ACIM as being “tedious”), conversation with significant others in our lives, counseling, even listening to music.  (These are personal recommendations, most not cited in ACIM nor ACOL.)  When we are lost in terror and confusion, it is hard for the Holy Spirit and Christ-consciousness to reach us.  We have temporarily lost our way, lost it to the ego that has not died within us.

4 – Dark Nights of the Soul

Seek calm and quiet and stillness in whatever ways work for you.  Stay relaxed, sure of your eventual emergence from this dark night of the soul.  Dark nights of the soul come to all of us on the way back to God, and they do not mean that we are the less for having them.  It is part of the journey, and it is also a time not to give up on our religion.  We will know comfort again.  In the meantime, we stay the course.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day today and every day.  Even when hard times come, I do not have to feel abandoned.  I know intellectually that You are here, even when I don’t feel anything.  And I pray to sense Your Presence in my daily walk about this world.

May the fearful emotions, the terror and confusion, not veil my eyes from the light of the sun.  May I know that anytime I experience fear, there is a dawn coming that will be better.  May I choose to be tolerant of myself when I am torn by conflicting emotions.  They are evidence of the human condition, not that I have lost my way–though it may feel that way.

Be with me today and always.  Help me to turn aside from terror and confusion without adding to the fear by my own thinking.  Let my heart, which knows of comfort, speak to me today and every day.  Be with me, be with us, as we seek Your pathway through this sometimes tragic world.

Amen.

Advertisements

Rejoice! Doubt Is Gone.

 

“How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?  No shadows linger when doubt is gone.  Nothing stands between the child of God and the child’s own Source.  There remain no clouds to block the sun, and night gives way to day.  (A Course of Love, 4.5)”

Affirmation:  “Night gives way to day.”

Reflections:

1 – Night Gives Way to Day

What a wonderful promise:  “Night gives way to day”!  This is where A Course of Love says that we are heading, where there are no shadows, doubt is gone, and we recognize that as a child of God, He is our Source and One with us.

2 – Grandeur – Not Grandiosity

We must not let the ego latch onto these statements and make grandiosity out of them.  There is grandeur here, certainly, but it is a grandeur that is of God, and our personal selves would never know how to act if it weren’t for the grace of God to show us what to do.  The same goes for what we say, and even what we think.  When we enthralled by love, we are well on the way to our home in God, with no division in our minds and hearts.  There is no separation, the separation that we once believed in.  There is no need to think that in order to experience everything, we need to imagine ourselves separate from our Creator.

3 – Does God Know of Us?

And there is no reason to think that we are less because we communicate with God.  There is thinking among us that God does not know about us, because we are caught in illusion, and He is does not enter illusion.  But this is not my experience, and therefore I do not try to teach this lesson.  We need, however, to accept from ACIM what speaks to our hearts, and we need not to divide from each other.

4 – Reincarnation

The same desire to avoid controversy is present when the subject of reincarnation comes up.  In A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that our teaching and learning should be acceptable to all–to those who believe in reincarnation and to those who don’t.  Any stand on this question is best left alone.  We need to teach and to live only what can enhance the message of Jesus.  And controversial issues, including theological ones, are not the “practical” that ACIM (and, by extension, ACOL) seeks to teach.

5 – Vision Will Return

May we enjoy the light of the day today.  May we know that night is only a rotation of the earth, and not a constant state.  And if our own lives comes to seem dark, may we know that vision can and will be returned to us when we turn to God in whatever way He seems most real to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this glorious day, another day to live in a world that can become vivid in its joy.  I am grateful for my many blessings, and foremost is my good state of mind.  You have found a place in my heart that nobody else fulfills.  And thank You for filling my heart with Your love.

May the love that I feel when I sense Your “felt Presence” be especially keen with me today.  May I watch my moods, and turn aside from any dark ones that seem to descend upon me from nowhere.  They are not worthy of my attention.

Be with me throughout the rest of the day.  And thank You for taking good care of all of my brothers and sisters.

Amen.

When All Fear Ends. . .

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established.  All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is.  How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?  (A Course of Love, 4.5)”

Affirmation:  “I relinquish doubt today.”

Reflections:

1 – Doubt

We have not even believed in our own true existence.  We have so doubted ourselves, and love, and God, that we scarcely knew where to turn–ever.

2 – Feel Love and Fear Is Gone

We need to take to heart this message, as it is the key to leaving fear behind.  When we recognize that we are love, and that we are surrounded by love, and we really, really feel this, then we will not fear anymore.  There will be no reason for fear.  Our safety is assured.  Regardless of what we attract in this world by our wayward thoughts, we will know internally, in our better moments, that God loves us and that we are not alone.  We will find surety in this thought, when this thought has taken hold in our hearts–and our minds.

3 – Wholeheartedness

The combination of mind and heart is called in A Course of Love “wholeheartedness.”  Jesus is getting ready to introduce this idea.  But first we need to just step aside from the mind, and listen to our hearts.  Our hearts will offer the solace that we often do not find in this world.  We will, with God’s help, be healed.  We will know real love for the first time.  We will no longer be lonely, for God will provide those things that we really need.  Our needs are always met; this is a certainty.  And if we need friends and family as support, these too will be provided.  We need only ask in certainty, and our pleas will be heard.  Our needs will no longer overcome us, and we will be free to live the better life that we are meant to find in this world.  Yes, even in this world.

4 – Fears Are Made by Us

Let us step aside from fear today.  Let us know that fears are made by us and our mistaken belief about what we are.  Fears are not of God.  Let us ask today for only the things which are of God.  And because this is a prayer in His Will, we will be answered in abundance and in assurance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for setting aside my fears this morning.  My routine for the morning was broken, and, as a result, my fear intruded.  This is a prime example of the danger of too much routine, too many predictable rituals.  Help me to leave these undesirables alone.

Be with me as I seek to recognize that You are with me always, that feelings of love will negate fearful thoughts.  This recognition has always been a part of ACIM and ACOL, but until recently somehow its import was lost on me.  I would lose this recognition no longer.  I would know that Your felt Presence assures me that I am with You, that You are with me, and that we are One.  

In this is my loss of fear and anxious thoughts assured.

Amen.

Longing for Love

“Longing is your proof of love’s existence, for even here you would not long for what is not remembered.

“All your long search for proof of God’s existence ends here when you recognize what love is.  (A Course of Love, 4.3 – 4.4)”

Affirmation:  “God is Love.”

Reflections:

1 – Love

This is a very cogent passage, in which we learn that all of the longing that we have, the longing, apparently, for love, is proof that God exists (an interpretation, not stated in A Course of Love).  Surely many of us have longed for love, not only from God, but also from others in our circle.  We have longed for the love of a potential significant other; this is the romantic longing about which many of us know much.  We have longed for greater love from our parents, for we often try to blame them when things have gone wrong in our lives (though this is a false issue, because we and they are blameless).  We have often longed for more friends.  And we have longed for material things, which in some cases has meant that we felt a “love” for those missing things.

2 – Turn to the Heart

When we know what love really is, then we cease to look further for proof of God’s existence.  And we know what love is when we turn to our hearts.  This continues the train of thought that Jesus has developed in these opening pages of ACOL.

3 – Of Love

Our hearts will tell us of love.  We need look no further.

4 – Using Our Minds to Find God

Why did we ever think that we needed “outside” proof of God’s existence?  Why did we ever?  Because we are thinking beings, using our minds.  And our minds long for intellectual proof.  Our minds are sometimes the reason that we are said to be our own worst enemies.  Our minds get us in so much trouble.  And part of that, always, is that the ego has reigned in the mind.  We need to accept the message of the first-channeled A Course in Miracles; and then we follow with the knowledge–and it is knowledge–that our hearts hold the key to our understanding, a tenet of A Course of Love.

5 – All Will Be Well

Then all will truly be well with us.  We will attract only the good when our minds have been informed by our hearts.  Our hearts will attract the good that our minds will not affirm.  And we will be very grateful.

6 – The Real Question

For what more could we ask?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am reassured by the assertion that longing is proof of love’s existence.  And I read this as Love with a capital “L,” meaning You–my Father.  Surely we all know that we want love, and perhaps we are only misguided when we place the things of this world above the love that is both in and beyond this world.  May we find what we seek.  May we find the love that our hearts long to experience once again.  May we remember the time when love was certain for us.

Our fantasies about romantic love are often an impediment, for love comes to us in many forms, only one of which is as a significant other with whom we share our life.  May we enjoy our romance, but may we never make this romance a substitute for the Love that is the real Center of our lives.  And this is You.

Amen.

Such Foolishness as the Heart Desires Will Save You Now

“You who think this idea [to appeal to our hearts] is rife with sentiment, sure to lead you to abandoning logic, and thereafter certainly to cause your ruin, I say to you again:  take heart.  Such foolishness as the heart desires will save you now.  Remember it is your heart that yearns for home.  Your heart that yearns for love remembered.  Your heart that leads the way that, should you follow, will set you certainly on the path for home.  (A Course of Love, 3.18)”

Affirmation:  “take heart”

Reflections:

1 – Different Appeals Work for Different People

A Course of Love is sometimes a circular path of reasoning, with the same thought expressed by Jesus in several different ways.  We need all these ways, for what will appeal to one of us will not appeal to another.  And Jesus is speaking to all of us.  He is leading us to observe our world, to observe with the non-physical eyes and therefore to understand true vision, and to accept him as our teacher and, then, our companion (for we have no more need for a teacher other than our own Christ-consciousness).

2 – Far Along Our Pathway

These are words that can be misconstrued.  Surely we must be far along our pathway if we are not in need of Jesus as our teacher.  First, we must master, with our hearts, the first volume of this trilogy.  This volume gives us the almost-final words that will teach us how to learn.  (And the second volume, the Treatises, goes a few steps farther on.  It is the final volume, the Dialogues, that take us to the mountain top with Jesus and that assures that all is well with us.)

3 – Foolishness with a Purpose

The heart is said to be “foolish,” but it is a foolishness that has a purpose.  The partially sane are apt to be quite foolish at times (from A Course in Miracles).  And we are still, at this point, only partially sane.  We can commune with God to take us farther into sanity.  And we can ask Jesus’s help in this endeavor.

4 – The Heart Not All Emotion

Do not think that the heart is all emotion, though it is the love (in one definition, an emotion) that draws us closer to God and closer to Jesus.

5 – Fear Not to Follow the Heart

We need not fear to follow our hearts, that we will take steps that are amiss.  They are our new route home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I follow my heart today, the guidance that through my heart I know what to say and do.  May I cease doubting.  Let me lean not unto my own understanding, but acknowledge and follow You.

Following the heart is not actually foolish.  It is the shortest route home.  

And we all desire home.

Amen.

Guidance from Our Hearts

“It is to our hearts that we appeal for guidance, for there resides the one who truly guides.  (A Course of Love, 3.17)”

Affirmation:  “May I appeal for guidance to my heart.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ Within

Christ is within our hearts, our higher Self, the elevated Self of form (the latter being what A Course of Love eventually explains).  We are not different from Jesus as the Christ; he just walked the whole pathway back to God, something that we have yet to do.  But in this first volume of ACOL, he is seeking to teach us, through our hearts, what we need to do to walk that pathway with him as our teacher.  By the final volume in the trilogy, he will have resigned as our teacher, saying that we no longer have need of him as a teacher.  He then becomes our companion along the pathway.

2 – God Seen with Inner Sense

The heart, as we have been saying, does not demand intellectual proof of anything.  We just sense, or intuit, what to say or do, and when we follow this guidance, we are led home to God.  We do not die; we live in this world, but we see God with an inner sense, an inner vision with non-physical eyes.  (A Course in Miracles implies the same.)

3 – Avoid Discouragement

We must not get discouraged along the way.  As A Course in Miracles pointed out, we are not meant to be without limitations in this world, but we are to overcome them.  Previously, in ACIM, we followed the guidance of our Guide, the Holy Spirit (or Great Communicator, or Universal Inspiration), but now, in ACOL, we are to follow the guidance that comes from our hearts in the Christ spirit, for we are now in the time of Christ.  I would believe that there is some overlap, and that here Jesus is speaking specifically to those of us who are students of A Course of Love, who are those who have studied and understood A Course in Miracles.

4 – Be Vigilant Against the Ego

Be vigilant today against letting our minds take over, for this is a prime egoic tendency, and with the ego in ascendancy, we will be unable to hear what our hearts are trying to tell us.  Jesus is bypassing the mind, the intellect, for just this reason–that the ego lives here, sometimes beyond the time that we would wish it.  We may have made a decision to let the ego wither away, just disappear, some time before this actually happens.  And we are especially prone to making mistakes (though not “sins”) if we don’t listen to these new words from Jesus, and open our hearts for their counsel.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be contented today, sure in Your love.  When challenges seem to arise, I will recognize that there really is no challenge that Your love cannot solve.  We are not meant to be challenged, because when we follow Your guidance, we choose for all humankind, sure of Your guidance and sure of what we ought to do.

Thank You for the improvement in my day as the morning ebbs.  Help me not to drop into melancholy, but to know that You have everything in hand.  With You we are safe.  With You we are loved.  Your way is best for us.  And I ask that all that I touch today, including myself, find Your way to the blessings that You hold out for us.  May we know tranquility.

Amen.

Following the Heart

“You who have been unable to separate mind from body, brain from head, and intelligence from knowledge, take heart.  We give up trying.  We simply learn in a new way and in our learning realize that our light shines from within our heart, our altar to the Lord.  Here the Christ in us abides. . . .(A Course of Love, 3.26)”

Affirmation:  “Christ abides in my heart.”

Reflections:

1 – Bypass the Mind

Here Jesus elaborates, in a spiral way, the thesis that he developed in the passage for yesterday.  He means that we bypass the mind in our new learning, for the mind is wily, and too insistent on proof (though Jesus does not say this).  Jesus will now go straight for our heart, the seat of the emotions, and we will learn through the love that Christ in us will bring to the forefront (an interpretation, not stated precisely in A Course of Love).

2 – Christ Is the Higher Self

The Christ is our higher Self, and this higher Self is in all of us, but unrecognized by most of us.  Those of us who do recognize the higher Self do not fully comprehend Who we have recognized.  But this is mind stuff.  And Jesus would have us move beyond this to a better solution to our problems.

3 – Heart Doesn’t Ask for “Proof”

Turn to your heart and ask, rationally, if you do not know of what Jesus speaks.  The heart does not ask for “proof” in the same way that the mind, befuddled by a lingering ego, does ask.  Jesus is not interested in proving anything to us, but only in bringing us around to his way of understanding.  And we will succeed in this, for it is God’s Will as well.

4 – Glimpses of Christ-Consciousness

Christ-consciousness at first comes in glimpses.  We do not see the whole.  And Jesus elsewhere says that no one has ever sustained Christ-consciousness (it is unclear if he includes himself in this analysis).  But he would have us prepared to sustain the elevated Self of form.  And in A Course of Love, he shows us, through observation, exactly how to do that.

Let us stay tuned.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would take a special effort today to let my mind rest, and to invite insight through the feelings of my heart.  My heart does not ask for the proof that the mind demands (foolishly).  Our heart is smarter than the mind.  It knows what we need and want, and we discover through our acceptance of what “is” that we also know.

Be with me today as I hope for glimpses of Christ-consciousness.  I know that this is Your will for me.  Help me to be patient, to stay in the flow today, to welcome You.

And then all will be well.

Amen.