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.

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.

Choose the Heart and Bypass the Mind

“As you read, be aware of your heart, for this is where this learning enters and will stay.  Your heart is now your eyes and ears.  Your mind can remain within your concept of the brain, for we bypass it now and send it no information for it to process, no data for it to compute. (A Course of Love, 3.14)”

Affirmation:  “May I be aware of my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – An Appeal to the Heart

A Course of Love appeals, in this early section of the first volume, to the heart.  (Later on, Jesus will appeal to both the heart and mind, and call this “wholeheartedness.”)  The heart does not demand proof in the same way that the mind, so recently bereft of the ego, does.  We risk falling back in to the ego whenever we rely too heavily upon the mind (an interpretation, not stated in either ACIM nor ACOL).

2 – Heart Knows Love

The heart knows love.  And therefore does not demand the intellectual gyrations that all too often the mind tries to engage in.  The heart “listens” with an inner ear to Jesus, and therein knows the truth of what he speaks.  The heart is our next step to Christ-consciousness.

3 – Bypass the Mind

Note that Jesus here says that he will give no more words to the mind to comprehend.  He will bypass the mind.  And this is good.  For too many of us have sought and sought, gone from one system of thought, especially religious thought, to another.  And we have never gotten the green light to just stop and be satisfied.  Until now.  In A Course of Love, Jesus says that the seeking is over.  We are accomplished.  We have reached the conclusion of the pathway.  And we are safe in Jesus’s arms in an embrace (to be considered later in this blog).

4 – All Is Well

Be grateful to the one who walked before us on this pathway.  We do not have to feel alone ever again.  Of course, most of us know intellectually that we are not alone, but here we feel the solace in our hearts.  And all is well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would “listen” with my heart today.  I would not try to understand through the limited ways of the mind, the learning that we are leaving behind in A Course of Love.  May I entertain some of those “thoughts that I do not think,” just as Mari scribed ACOL.  May this new way of discovery be the way that I walk, beginning today.

Amen.

For Inner Vision Close Your Eyes

“Close your eyes on all that you have become accustomed to seeing.  And you will see the light.

“In the light that comes only to eyes that no longer see, you will find the Christ who abides in you.  (A Course of Love, 3.5 – 3.6)”

Affirmation:  “Christ abides in me.”

Reflections:

1 – An Invitation to Meditation?

This passage seems almost an invitation to meditation, but it does stop short of recommending meditation.  Many people see in the concluding pages of the Workbook of A Course in Miracles a call to meditation.  And perhaps it is.  We ought not to invite controversy into our thinking.  We will just see what there are in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that we can take unto our hearts and live with in gladness.  Turn aside from anything that we seem unready yet to accept.  But read carefully, and contemplate in our hearts, and we will be well off indeed.

2 – Christ Abides in Us

Christ abides in us.  He/She is our Self, a Being deeper (or higher, depending on the concept that one has) within that guides us and comforts us.  Christ is in Jesus, of course, but in A Course of Love, Jesus makes clear that he has nothing that we cannot aspire to have.  And this is a great blessing.  Later on in the trilogy of A Course of Love, he will resign as our teacher, and become our true heart’s companion.  This is where we are heading in A Course of Love.

3 – Christ = Our Real Self

Christ is an all-encompassing term, meaning our real Self, a Self that we will later come to understand, in part, as our “elevated Self of form.”  Jesus has been stressing that the real world is not  seen with physical eyes, but with inner vision.  And there is no form that is truly real.  We do live in an illusion.  But in the illusion we experience form, and that is not a bad thing, nor a thing to be lamented.  God chose for us, as adolescents, to seem to depart from Him, because to hold on would be to deny free will.  Jesus compares this action to the action that parents take toward an unruly adolescent who would assert his/her freedom.  The parents let go, just as God Himself let go.  And only then did we realize how much we needed Him.

4 – See with Non-Physical Eyes

Return to God today.  See with non-physical eyes the vision that Jesus would have us see.  And all will be really well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forget the world for awhile today, reveling in the mysteries inside of me.  Thank You for reminding me that my physical vision, my physical eyes, do not see aright.  It takes inner vision to see the Self who I really am.  May that Self become ever more a part of my outer being today, so that I can let my light shine aright for You.

Be with us today as we walk together in this world of illusion.  May we quiet ourselves when such quiet seems warranted, and may we find in the quietness a holiness in ourselves that only You put there, and only You can lead us to see.

May I so let my light shine today that You can be seen by the others in my world.  And may I not let You down in any way.  May I not let my brothers and sisters down.  We all need to be good examples for each other, so when one of us slips, the other can catch his/her hand.

Amen.

Beyond Our Deepest Imaginings

“To truly see is to begin to see the formless.  To begin to see the formless is to begin to understand what you are.

“All that you now see are but symbols of what is really there before you, in glory beyond your deepest imaginings.  (A Course of Love, 3.3 – 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “a glory beyond my deepest imaginings”

Reflections:

1 – See the Formless

May we see the formless, beginning today.  This is a real function for ourselves, though it is not herein described as a function.  We need, though, truly to see.  This is real vision.  This is the real world.  Here we are living forgiveness, and we are living love.  A Course in Miracles sought to have us experience “vision,” and A Course of Love does the same (in this respect).  May we move into this greater vision, for with it will come greater understanding.

2 – From Forgiveness to Understanding

We are often told to forgive, and then we will come to understand (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM and ACOL).  I have found this sequence–from forgiveness to understanding–to be a true manifestation of the way reality works.  We get it backwards when we hold grievances, but yet try to understand–for we are trying to do what will never work; we are trying to do the impossible.

3 – Forgiveness Clears Our Minds

But forgiveness clears our minds of negatives, and we are then prepared to have the vision that God would have us see.  This is one of the greatest blessings of both ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Home

I would see what is really before me today.  I would see the glory that is beyond my deepest imaginings.  And then I would know that I am truly home.  And I will rejoice that it is so, for home is where I long to be.  And I do not have to die to experience this home.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would truly see today, and to see I need to forgive, for then I will come to understand.  It always seems to work in this direction–forgiveness to understanding, never the reverse.  And may I truly realize this distinction today.

I do know that even this world can hold glory beyond our deepest imaginings.  I would pray to see some of that glory today.  

Be with me as I seek to forgive myself and others today.  May this be a good day in all respects for not only myself, but also all others whom I encounter in any way.

Thank You for listening to my prayer.

Amen.

God / Real World / Love / We Ourselves = Formless

“You are not form, nor is your real world.  You seek the face of God in form as you seek for love in form.  Both love and God are there, but they are not the form that your body’s eyes see.  Just as these words you see upon this page are symbols only of meaning far beyond what the symbols can suggest, so too is everything and everyone around you, those you see and those you only can imagine.  To seek the ‘face’ of God, even in the form of Christ, is to seek for what is forever without form.  (A Course of Love, 3.4)”

Affirmation:  “The real world is not form.”

Reflections:

1 – Being without Form

This passage, like many others that we have considered, is a part of the theology of A Course of Love.  We do not have to be delayed by theology (A Course in Miracles tenet), unless we so choose.  We need only to seek the practical (also an ACIM tenet).  But we may be interested in this theology.  Just what does being without form really mean?

2 – Positive vs. Negative

If the real world, as well as God and Christ, are without form, then we do not have to pay too much attention to the images that we make in our minds.  They are images that are symbols only–symbols of a great reality that we cannot, in this world, fully comprehend.  But we can get some idea that the intangibles–the love, joy, peace, harmony, serenity–are real.  The negative emotions that the ego/fear make, though, are not real–the anger, hate, stress, anxiety, attack.  These negative emotions will only hold us back from experiencing our inheritance in this world.  Let us leave these negatives behind today.

3 – Symbols of the Real World

We are in a world that is composed of symbols of the real world.  Even, Jesus says, the words on this page are symbols of a more real reality.  May we seek the fact of God today, but may we realize that seeking His face is a dead end, for He is not there in our images.  Be with God in communion today, and see if His reality does not touch us.  He will answer when we call.  Jesus will also, as he promised in A Course in Miracles.

4 – Time of Christ

We are heading into Christ-consciousness, for now is the time of Christ.  This is a further development from A Course in Miracles, which was the time of the Holy Spirit.  Let us try to come to terms with these differences between ACOL and ACIM.  But let us take unto ourselves the concepts only that we are ready to accept.  And then our lives will smooth out and we will live at peace in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Of course, most of us have recognized for years that to image what You might look like is to make an image of a human being out of You, and we know that this is an incorrect way to imagine You.  But we are just beginning to learn that we too are formless, that reality is actually formless, and, of course, that love is formless.  In illusion, but in illusion only, is there a form.

Later on in A Course of Love, we will be led to join our inner Christ/Self with an elevated Self of form that we will live in as part of the physical world.   This is where we are headed when we head for Christ-consciousness in this world.  May we all accept the things that Jesus tells us so that that day might be soon.  And thank You for the blessings that such a transformation promises.

Amen.

The Ocean or the Cheetah

“All that you desire and cannot learn is already accomplished.  It is accomplished in you.  It is you.  Imagine the ocean or the cheetah, the sun or the moon or God Himself, attempting to learn what they are.  They are the same as you.  All exist within you.  You are the universe itself.  (A Course of Love, 3.2)”

Affirmation:  “All is accomplished.”

Reflections:

1 – A Part of God Himself

This passage is not meant to be read in a grandiose way, but in a grand way.  We are a part of God Himself, and this concept is not often understood.  Mystics do understand, but what they have often said has been interpreted to be blasphemy.  Jesus himself said many things, as quoted in the New Testament, that were considered blasphemy.  Now he is telling us again exactly where we stand.  We are a part of the universe(s), and we actually have no reason to try to “learn” what we are.  As this passage says so vividly, the ocean or the cheetah would not attempt to learn what they are.  And neither should we.

2 – Accept the Practical

These are theological underpinnings of A Course of Love, and, as such, can be controversial.  It is best for us to step aside from controversy and to accept the practical aspects of ACOL.  Does believing this passage make our lives easier?  Does it make sense out of our experience?  If so, then entertain the possibility that Jesus is not misleading us here.  Indeed, in my experience and the experience of a good many others, Jesus simply does not mislead.  How could we imagine misleading by one such as Jesus?

3 – A Hologram

We are seeing in this passage a kind of hologram.  Each part contains the whole, as the whole (as incomprehensible as the whole might be) contains each part.  Our Self does not think in small ways, and neither should our personal (what I have termed “little”) self.  We would do well to consider Jesus’s statement in this passage, and to take it as a lodestone for our lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for this most vivid image of the ocean and the cheetah, each who would not think of “learning.”  We do not need to learn much more beyond what we already know.  We are reaching the “Accomplished,” a step on the pathway that we reach a little farther along in A Course of Love.  Thank You for these blessings of our rightness before You.  But correct our failings, even as we celebrate that You have blessed us with all that is good.

Be with us today as we seek to have a good day with our brothers and sisters.  When we imagine the ocean or the cheetah, we don’t try to imagine any learning at all.  And blessed is the day when we can just “observe,” without laborious learning.

Amen.

Solace for Our Hearts

“Into this battlefield you have bravely marched.  The war rages by day and by night and you have grown weary.  Your heart cries out for solace and does not go unheard.  Help is here.  (A Course of Love, 2.20)”

Affirmation:  “Help is here.”

Reflections:

1 – “Help Is Here”

In this “help,” Jesus is referring to himself.  In some senses, he is a much more present help in A Course of Love than we found in A Course in Miracles.  In the latter, ACIM, he was appealing to our minds in an intellectual sense (especially in the Text and Manual, and less so in the Workbook).  He was dislodging the ego, which is a concept of the mind.  But here, in ACOL, Jesus is stressing the heart, a concept which we all can understand and which does need the empathy that Jesus offers to us.  We need to know that we are supported when we delve into heart-related matters.  And Jesus offers us that support.

2 – We Need Comfort

Our hearts want solace; we want to know that we are loved.  And we are, far more than we can return the love.  Our emotions are blunted from too many long years of pain and sometimes suffering.  We need the comfort that only someone like Jesus can provide.

3 – Battlefield

Jesus sees this world as a “battlefield,” and we might do the same.  If we have not voiced the word, “battlefield,” we have surely thought it without verbal identity.  Maybe we just called this world a “hell,” which is the vernacular that is more commonly used.  We have made of this world a “hell,” but, if we follow Jesus’s message in ACIM and ACOL, we can, quite literally, turn this world into a heaven.  What more could we ask?

4 – We Are Weary

We are very weary of the trials of this world.  We are weary of our own trials, which have come to us to allow a better choice to be made this time around (an ACIM tenet).  May we spend today seeking ways to go beyond our trials, to turn a situation around for the better not far off in the distance, but immediately, now.  And may we turn this world into a heaven.  Grant us the understanding and belief that such a turnabout is not only possible, but probable.  If we follow Jesus’s word.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today is a time for comfort.  Today is a time for solace for our hearts.  

We are weary of this world and its battles, this hell that we have sometimes made for ourselves.  May we turn today to both Jesus and to You, for with the turning to an elder brother, and with the turning inward to the Divine, we are finally taking steps that will turn our world into the heaven that we have been led to understand that this world can be.

Be with me today as I seek to live a better way.  May I choose “another way,” as the co-scribes of A Course in Miracles, Helen and Bill, learned together.  And may my good feeling not be long in coming, for I am impatient to know the way that You would show, in all your graciousness, to me.  Thanking You in advance, I am Yours.

Amen.

Living with Happiness and Love and Miracles

“Without your vigilance it [the ego] may even seem to have become stronger than before and fiercer in its criticism.  It pretends to hold you to new standards, only to use what you have learned to increase your guilt.  Thus it wins in daily battles and works for your final abdication, the day that you give up and admit defeat.  It challenges your right to happiness and love and miracles, and seeks only to have you claim that living with such fantasies does not work and will not ever be possible here.  (A Course of Love, 2.19)”

Affirmation:  “happiness and love and miracles”

Reflections:

1 – Reminiscent of ACIM

This passage reflects the attitude of A Course of Love in regard to the ego, an attitude that is in agreement with A Course in Miracles.  The ego was dislodged by our study of ACIM, and this previous reading was necessary as a precursor to A Course of Love.  (Mari Perron herself, the scribe, read A Course in Miracles seven times prior to channeling ACOL.)  But we need to go beyond just dislodging the ego, and that is, I believe, why Jesus channeled the later work, A Course of Love.  We need his definition fo “wholeheartedness” to replace the void that perhaps we have felt with no dependence on the ego.  We have to step forward and let the heart take over a bit from the mind.  We do not ignore the mind, but we combine the heart and the mind into what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.”  So mind and heart work in conjunction with each other.

2 – Mind & Heart = Wholeheartedness

The paragraph above is a paraphrase of a good bit of what is told us in the opening pages of ACOL.  If we can keep these distinctions between mind and heart and wholeheartedness close to ourselves, we will come a long way toward understanding the new way of learning, dubbed “observation.”  But in this first volume of ACOL we are still learning in a somewhat anomalous way.

3 – The Ego = the Nemesis

As Jesus describes the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves, the ego sounds a lot like previous conceptions of the “devil.”  Yet all of this idea is internal.  There is not outer devil, in the understanding of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  We do it all to ourselves (though we do not blame the victim, as the Self makes decisions that the personal self knows not of).  We would recognize that in an egoic world, we cannot conceive of the good without the bad, God without the devil.  And this is also madness.  But it is the way that our minds work.  We need to better than this, and we can when we study ACIM and ACOL.

4 – Into the Time of Christ

We do have a right to happiness, love, and miracles.  And we would do well to step forward to claim that right.  The Christ within us, the Self, will guide us as we move beyond the time of the Holy Spirit, into the time of Christ.

5 – Move Forward

And may we move willingly, not clinging to the past because it is all that we have known.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would spend today being sweeter, and this means that I look aside from the ego.  I don’t resist the ego, for that would increase its power in my life–but I just turn away, focusing on the love that is at the center of my being.  I focus on the Self/Christ that is internal to me.  I focus on the happiness and love and miracles that are mine to choose.  And they are mine to choose.  We do not have to live a paltry life.  Glorious blessings are our birthright.

Be with me today as I seek to be a sweeter person.  That is all that one member of my family ever asked of me, and I have remembered his blessing fondly.  His desire was in stark contrast to the push to “succeed” and to “achieve” that everyone else in my family wanted.

But You want us only to follow Your pathway, and Your pathway is a way of ease and the cessation of difficulty.  You will lead us to every miracle that You have saved for us.  Our health can improve daily, our dispositions as well.  And we can be the sweet creatures that You, too, want us to be.

Amen.

The Ego Slowly Dies

“Once you are what you have learned, there is no room in which the ego can exist and,, banished from the home you made for it, it slowly dies.  Until this happens, the ego takes pride in what the mind has acquired, even unto the greater peace and contentment offered by your learning.  (A Course of Love, 2.19)”

Affirmation:  “I would see the ego die a little each day, including today.”

Reflections:

1 – A Wily Ego

I have often used the term “wither” in regard to the dying of the ego.  But Jesus hear speaks firmly, saying that the ego “slowly dies.”  The ego, as we all know, is wily.  And we even take unto ourselves the credit for our increasing peace and contentment while we learn; this is the ego speaking, for we ourselves, in the egoic state, are doing nothing to increase our peace and contentment.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

Jesus would have us identify with what we have learned, and I think that this is a secret to why many of us are heading now into the era of Christ, leaving behind the era of the Holy Spirit.  We are identifying with the higher Self, the Christ, in us, and when we do so, we recognize that looking inward and not perceiving that an external help, in the form of the Holy Spirit, is meant to make our decisions.

3 – Identify with the Christ/Self Within

But let us not move too carelessly, but move carefully.  The ego will still speak to us as long as it is alive in us, in even the smallest degree.  And we will be misled.  Let us commune with God, as A Course in Miracles asks us to do, and only when we know, internally, that a given course of action is right should we take the first steps in that direction.  This will then be the clue that we have identified with our learning, and that we are listening to the Christ within.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have made many promises to myself and God about the ego, but still the ego has hung on.  I do know that greater degree of peace and contentment in which the ego can take comfort.  But this is thinking that goes awry.

Today I choose instead of the ego a sweeter living, a calmer me, a more tranquil identity.  This inwardly focused identity is the Self that I really, and this Self conjoins the human and the divine.  Until I can live it, let me experience this blessing in snatches in my heart.  I would be through with the intellect trying to think its way into heaven.

Amen.

Comfort for the Troubled Heart

“The Holy Spirit has brought what comfort you would accept to your troubled mind.  Now turn to me to comfort your troubled heart.  (A Course of Love, 2.15)”

Affirmation:  “Jesus, comfort my troubled heart.”

Reflections:

1 – The Time of Christ

This passage explains, in the initial pages of the first volume of A Course of Love, the difference between the time of the Holy Spirit and the time of Christ.  The Holy Spirit worked with our minds, to dislodge the ego.  Jesus, an ascended Master and Christ, works with our hearts to solidify the gains made thus far and to lead us farther along.  We do not need to feel that we need never read ACIM again.  We can still learn from both ACIM and ACOL.  But, as we have studied ACIM for years, the time is now ripe for us to encounter A Course of Love.  And to walk, with Jesus, into the time of Christ, and the wholeheartedness of mind, spirit, and heart to live as one (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

2 – Misery and Despair = Illusory

We will know that misery and despair are not real when we have turned to our hearts, which sees not these illusory states at all.

3 – Wholeheartedness

A wholehearted attitude, which is where Jesus is taking us in ACOL, overlooks the attempt to explain everything in terms that we can intellectually understood.  Our hearts are not intellectual in the sense that we know our minds are.  We bypass the mind when we seek the heart.  And the heart is loving.  Our myths and our religions tell us this.

4 – Jesus

May we have peace today as we make the determination to follow Jesus through the first volume of A Course of Love.  He will ultimately resign as our teacher, because he will see us as his equal, but we still have some learning to do.  And what better teacher could we find?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please comfort my heart today.  May I turn to Jesus to have this effected.  I would be strong, healthy emotionally and physically, and calm, tranquil, at peace.  These are not unreachable states of mind and body.  We can have it all, if this is the all that we wish.

Thank You for the comfort that You gave me last night when I had trouble sleeping.  Many people have the same problem.  Please brings Your comfort to all of us.  Teach us how to handle insomnia, when it occurs, if it occurs.

Thank You.

Amen.

Eyes of Love See Not Misery nor Despair

“There is not a soul that walks this earth that does not weep at what it sees.  Yet the Christ in you does not weep, for the Christ in you sees with eyes of love.  The difference is the eyes of love see not the misery or despair.  They are not there!  This is the miracle.  The miracle is true seeing.  Think not that love can look on misery and see love there.  Love looks not on misery at all.  (A Course of Love, 2.10)”

Affirmation:  “The Christ in me does not weep.”

Reflections:

1 – The Illusory World

A Course of Love does not elaborate on the sometimes confusing statement made here, “They [misery and despair] are not there!”  Given the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, I think that we are here to view the misery and despair that we observe as being illusory–not real.  ACIM is particularly keen on this interpretation.

2 – Need for Compassion

This conclusion does not mean that we lack compassion, nor that we fail to offer compassion to ourselves and to our brothers and sisters who are in need.  We know that bad things happen in our illusory world, and these bad things certainly can indeed bring pain and suffering.  The pain does not turn into suffering, though, if we acknowledge clearly enough to our beleaguered minds that what we are experiencing is not real.  We can be healed in many ways, and sometimes we are not “healed” physically, but emotionally.  Yet we are assured by Jesus that healing will always be accepted when the individual is ready for it.  (He does not state whether or not he is speaking of physical or emotional healing.)  I think it is best that we take Jesus at his word, even when we are incapable of fully understanding.  He has shown us much in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that have brought us out of the forest of discontent.  Surely we can trust him to lead us rightly in the matter of healing.

3 – The Other Side

Of course, most of us make the transition to a better world in death through an illness of some type.  And so, in these cases, our healing is a graduation ceremony, for nobody believes that he/she takes his/her infirmities to the next world (the Other Side).

4 – See with the Heart

Still this passage may appear confusing.  How can love not look on misery at all?  We have physical eyes that see, but my interpretation is that Jesus would have us look with our hearts, and with our hearts we love.  We do not judge ailments as something real.  We know that the love that we feel in our hearts is the only truly real aspect of this sometimes difficult world in which we find ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see with my heart today, recognizing that the misery that I feel or that I see if illusory, because this whole world is illusory.  May we find the real world today, inwardly, so that our joy might be complete.

May my heart be soothed as I begin this day.  May Your blessings abound, and may I not forget to thank You for those blessings.

Be with me throughout this long day.  May I put aside my own contribution to any misery that I feel, knowing that to focus on it is to make it seem more real.  And the misery is not real.  Thank You for the knowledge of this truth.

Amen.

Based on Level of Understanding, Everyone Does His/Her Best

“Your real Self is the Christ in you.  How could it be anything but love, or see with eyes other than those of love?  Would you expect any decent human being to look on a loveless world, on misery and despair, and not be moved?  Think not that those who seem to add to the world’s misery are any exception.  (A Course of Love, 2.10)”

Affirmation:  “My real Self is the Christ in me.”

Reflections:

1 – “Evil” Brothers and Sisters

This passage indicates that those whom we see as “evil” or even “sinful” are still moved by the despair in our world.  Can we believe that everybody is doing the best that he or she can, given his/her level of understanding?

2 – Mistakes = Not “Sins”

And there is no “sin,” only mistakes that can be corrected.  We can set aside sin’s attractiveness when we embrace “mistakes” as the errors that we make.  We will not wish to repeat the error (from A Course in Miracles).

3 – Renegades

We know from the writing of individuals who have been dammed by this world for their “sins” that they themselves did not think that they were doing anything wrong.  Even the blackest of “sinners” think well of themselves.  And individuals in prison think that there was something special about their wrongdoing, something that would make it all alright.  Are we any different, we who may go to church on Sundays, may pray, and may seek to follow what we perceive as God’s Way?

4 – Humility

We too make mistakes, and sometimes we hurt the ones that we love more than any others.  We may be filled with a righteousness that Jesus turned against, according to the New Testament.  Let us not have it so.  Let us ask for the humility to know that we do not know how to live.  We need God’s help in this, for only He can set us straight.  And then we will give up our sense of rightness, knowing that only God is truly good.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know that others who struggle are nevertheless doing the best that they can, given their current level of understanding.  The same holds true for me, especially when I struggle.  May no dark nights of the soul darken my pathway.  But if a dark night comes, may I immediately turn that dark night over to You, knowing that therein lies the peace and the blessing that I seek.

May I forgive those whom I think should know better.  May I judge no man nor woman, child, nor elder.  This is meant to be a forgiving world, and there are answers in this world for all who seek them.  Let us seek today until we find our needs met.  I know that the solution lies with the problem, and I know that my perception of that solution will come quickly, once I have surrendered, once again, to You.

Amen.

An Ecstasy of Unspeakable Joy

“To continue to identify love incorrectly is to continue to live in hell.  As much as highs and lows of intense feeling are sought by some to be avoided, it is in the in between of passionless living that hell is solidified and becomes quite real.  You can label joy heaven and pain hell and seek the middle ground for your reality thinking there are more than these two choices.  A life of little joy and little pain is seen as a successful life, for a life of joy is seen as nothing more than a daydream, a life of pain a nightmare.  (A Course of Love, 2.7)”

Affirmation:  “I choose a life of joy.”

Reflections:

1 – Give Up the Drama of Hell

This passage discusses the drama that all of us, to one extent or another, need to give up.  We do not need a middle way, a way of muted feelings.  But we do need to give up the drama of hell.  We do not need a passionless living, because this is the real hell.  But we need to choose, again and again, the high ecstasy of joy in daily life.  That is the only way that we can be happy.

2 – Life without the Ego

A life of joy is not a daydream, though here (in this passage) we hear that we think a life of joy is a daydream.  We can truly know lasting joy, when our attitudes are straightened out and we are on the pathway home.  We need to let the ego wither away, and in A Course of Love, we find that we are well on the way to reaching that epitome.  Life without the ego (as defined by Jesus) is a glorious gift.  And it is builds upon the “happy dreams the Holy Sprit brings,” as defined in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles.  Now we are living more fully from our depths, or, if you will, our higher Self, the Christ in us.  This is Christ-consciousness, and this blessing will be present intermittently until it is made a sustainable state.  Nobody, according to ACOL, has sustained Christ-consciousness as a steady state always–yet.

3 – What is “Success”?

We would not have a life of little joy and little pain, and call this a “successful life.”  This will never do.  We are meant for better than this, we as children of God.  Let us ask Him today what He would have us do to live the best life that He can envision for us.  And let us trust that, in the silence, He will speak to us of unspeakable joys that await.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When we live a day of contentment, we know joy.  But when we live a day of ecstasy, we touch heaven.  We would not choose a passionless life, and a passionless life is not the same as a life devoid of drama.  The two may sound similar, but they differ, and we would eliminate the meaningless drama without dropping passion from our lives.

Be with me as I seek to do this, to drop the drama but to keep the passion.  I would know the ecstasy of a life led according to Your dictates.  There is no better way to live, and I ask You to help me find this blessing today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Love or Fear Is Your Reality by Your Choice

“Love is at the heart of all things.  How you feel but reflects your decision to accept love or to reject it and choose fear.  Both cannot be chosen.  All feelings you label joyous or compassionate are of love.  All feelings you label painful or angry are of fear. This is all there is.  This is the world you make.  Love or fear is your reality by your choice.  A choice for love creates love.  A choice for fear creates fear.  (A Course of Love, 1.18)”

 


Affirmation:  “A choice for love creates love.”

Reflections:

1 – A Summation of ACOL

This passage is a summation of much that A Course of Love says, in all three volumes of the work.  If we are having a good day, on some level we have chosen love; if we are having a bad day, on some level we have chosen fear.  We cannot simultaneously live in both worlds–the world of love and the world of fear.  We make the choice constantly.  How we begin the day determines, to a great extent, what we will attract into our lives on this day.  We are creating our reality.  (Much New Age literature has said this, beginning with Jane Roberts’s Seth in the seventies.)

2 – Reach Out to Others

We would choose joyous and compassionate feelings, and these are emotions akin to love.  If we choose something else, we will not be happy, and A Course in Miracles indicates that happiness is one of our functions (salvation and forgiveness are other functions given in ACIM).  Happiness is a lofty goal, not an inferior one (as we may have thought).  We can really “be there” for our brothers and sisters when we are happy.  Any less exalted feeling will mean that we are turned back in on ourselves, to the detriment of ourselves and others.

3 – Let the Heart Speak

If we are fearful, we will not know happiness.  It is just that simple.  If we find ourselves overcome with fear, we need to take a timeout for heartfelt prayer.  This is a time to let our heart speak to us (the heart is primary in A Course of Love).  If we just get out of our ego, by whatever means we can, we will be forgiving and loving, and almost inevitably, we will know joy.  Do not let anyone or anything take away joy today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I was stressed yesterday, and again this morning, I was inadvertently choosing fear, and anxiety–fear–is what I got.  I cannot afford to indulge in such foolishness.  My frame of mind cries out for the emotions of love–the joy, harmony, delight in a good day.  I cannot afford to indulge in the darker emotions, because I might be so weak thereby that I would lose some of the emotional stability that I have long enjoyed.  Help me, the next time there is stress on the horizon, to recognize that I can choose differently.  I can take action that will reduce the stress that I am beginning to perceive.  I can slow down.  I can talk to someone.  I can pray or meditate.  Mostly, I can recognize that my anxious feelings are a choice that I would just avoid escalating.

Be wtih my brothers and sisters today as the sun comes up for another day in this beautiful world.  May I do what I can to give those I encounter a good day.  And may I not forget to thank others for the blessings that they too are bestowing.  We are all in this together.

Amen.

Love in a Loveless World

“What could cause you to yearn for love in a loveless world?  By what means do you continue to recognize that love is at the heart of all things even while it is not valued here?. . .[L]ove is what you are as well as what you strive for.  Love is means and end.  (A Course of Love, 1.16)”

Affirmation:  “Love is means and end.”

Reflections:

1 – This World Has Nothing to Offer

This passage about a “loveless world” is well suited to a comparison to what A Course in Miracles says:  that the world has nothing to offer.  And if we recognize, as A Course of Love seems to say, that love is all that we really want, then the two works are in agreement with each other.

2 – Why Is Love Not Valued Here?

Why is love not valued here?  The reign of the ego, which borders, in part, on the egotistical.  And love can never be egotistical.  If we try to compete with each other, we will just make enemies, even though, in the short run, we may seem to get ahead of our brothers and sisters.  Cooperation is a much more efficacious way to live.  And cooperation is one of the attributes of love (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

3 – We Remember God

We yearn for love in a loveless world because on some level we are remembering God and all that He brings to us.  This is the key to knowing that God exists, this remembering unconsciously and sometimes consciously.  We recognize, however dimly, that in the ancient past there was a place that we loved and where we were loved.  This before we allowed separation to enter our minds.  And we will know this place, this Heaven, again, once we and all of our brothers and sisters have been brought home again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Even in this world we can know love, but not when we fail to seek it out.  And we do fail to seek out love when we are trapped by the ego.  Let us know that this world of materialism does in fact offer nothing that we really want.  But may we live in the abundance of God’s blessings, which are intangibles of peace, harmony, tranquility, joy, stillness, quiet, etc.

We know that You want our material needs met as well as our spiritual needs.  You know that we pray for the same, but we often, foolishly, pray for the material when the spiritual is what our heart longs for.  Our heart knows better than our limited mind what will make us happy.  May we pray for that which will give us lasting joy, lasting peace, today.  May we go to sleep tonight knowing that our work is not in vain, that we are learning even as we seem to suffer or to be in pain.  We will be taken care of, though we need to pray for the right direction for our efforts.  May we thank You that You are guiding us every step of the way.  We need only listen, and Your guidance comes through to us.

Then we are ready for a new day’s dawning, a better day than the one previously spent.

Amen.

Yearning for Love

“This is what you have made this world for:  To prove your separate existence in a world apart from your creator.  This world does not exist.  And you do not exist apart from your creator.  Your yearning for love is what tells you this is so.  It is the proof you do not recognize.  (A Course of Love, 1.15)”

Affirmation:  “I am a part of my Creator.”

Reflections:

1 – Maya

This passage harkens back to A Course in Miracles and it familiar refrain, “projection makes perception.”  ACIM also said that this world does not exist.  So what are we seeing?  We are seeing an illusion, maya (in Eastern terms).  What we see inwardly, without physical eyes, is then projected outward to what appears to be a wholly concrete reality that cannot be denied.  But deny it we must, if we are to have peace.  Yet first we must change the nature of our inward look.

2 – Calm Oasis in Our Hearts

If we look inwardly and see rancor in our mind, we cannot be at peace outwardly.  And we will perceive rancor outwardly.  Our hearts are always at peace (whether we recognize it or not), always a part of God and a calm oasis, regardless of the emotions that seem to besiege the mind.  We, in A Course of Love, are told to make a distinct difference in  understanding the thoughts of our minds, and the feelings of our hearts.  ACOL seeks to bypass the mind, because the mind is what is so important to the ego, which we would see end in our experience.  In bypassing the mind, ACOL‘s words of Jesus influence the heart to see (inwardly) more clearly.  These are not physical eyes that see; this is true vision (and vision is discussed in A Course in Miracles as well).

3 – Solitary?

We do yearn for love, the love of our Creator and the love of our brothers and sisters.  We are not meant to be solitary creatures, though some of us are more introverted than others (and this is just an aspect of personality not to be denied or denigrated).  Jesus tells us here that it is our yearning for love that will prove to us that we are a part of God (though he uses other words in the quoted passage).

4 – Talk to God

We do not recognize that this yearning for love is proof that we are meant to communicate with our Creator.  A Course in Miracles said that we have taught ourselves the most unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator.  But we can open our hearts to the love of our Creator, and the love of our brothers and sisters in union and relationship to ourselves, and then we will be at home in God, at last.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You to listen to me today when I talk to You, even when my thoughts are peevish and irrational.  I am not always living the life that You would wish for me.  I know that You listen, and respond–especially, perhaps, when I am least likely to comprehend a response.  I need You today.  I need to know that the yearning in my heart is my wish for You.

Thank You for the words of Jesus, communicated to Mari, that we would wish to be close to You.  All of us have always known this in our hearts, but we have for eons allowed our egos to rule our minds, and so we have felt very lost.  I know that we have never been lost, but to think has made the illusion so real as to seem insurmountable.

Let us take down all barriers today that separate us from You.  You are within, waiting for us to talk to You.  Gently remind me today, when I forget.

Amen.

Disengage from Meaningless Conflict

“To strive for that which has value is what this course  is about.  It has nothing to do with struggle.  You think also that to leave struggle behind, to disengage from the conflict of this world that causes it, is to turn your back on the real world and all that has meaning in it.  In this you think correctly.  . .This desire to engage in struggle has nothing to do with your sense of responsibility and duty.  It is merely your ego’s attempt to involve you in distractions that keep you from your real responsibility.  (A Course of Love, 1.14)”


Affirmation:  “May I strive to do Your Will today.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego’s Struggles

We all have struggled long and hard for accomplishments in this world.  But Jesus would say that, in all likelihood, most of those struggles were instigated by the ego (an interpretation, not state in ACOL).  So, having given up the ego (or in the process of doing so), we do not have any reason whatsoever to “struggle” anymore.  The suffering entailed won’t buy us anything that we want.  So what is the difference between struggling and striving?

2 – Striving

Strive is, bottom line, more compassionate to ourselves.  It is also a more positive attitude.  A Course of Love does not want our sacrifice of ourselves for the “good” of somebody else (an ACOL tenet).  Sacrifice is never called for, according to ACOL.

3 – Guidance

But we will continue to strive to help, and it will not feel like work to do so.  We have guidance.  We are on the road to Christ-consciousness.  We have entered the time of Christ, and we are exiting from the guidance of the Holy Spirit (on which we depended mightily while studying A Course in Miracles).

4 – Christ-Consciousness

Very likely this transition to Christ-consciousness will not happen suddenly, though this sudden transformation is also a possibility.  We will see glimpses of Awakening before we sustain Awakening.  Let us ask for a glimpse today.  Elsewhere in ACOL Jesus encourages us to ask for a miracle, one that would put our minds at rest, one that would provide certainty that we are not alone.  Perhaps today is the day for us to ask for a glimpse of Awakening, for we can ask for miracles any day.  They are our birthright.  If you can conceive of the miracle happening, then indeed it can happen.  Do not be foolish about this recommendation, but do look inwardly before you ask.  We may all be surprised with what we are guided to request.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave behind the fruitless struggles of this world.  But may I remember my brothers and sisters who need my assistance.  To disengage from conflict is to drop the ego–nothing more.  I would strive when led to do so, but I would not struggle again.

This world is a place of struggle, and joining others in struggle does not help them.  We need to realize why this is so, and perhaps the passage for today will guide us in our interpretations.

Help us to have good days always.  If there are things that need to change in our lives, may we strive to change them.  But otherwise, let us be mindful of the needs of ourselves and  others, and seek to answer those needs without struggle.  Without the ego.

Amen.

How Might We Become Complete?

“The goal of this world is for you to stand on your own, complete within yourself.  This goal will never be reached, and only when you give up trying to reach it can you begin to learn anything of value.  You are complete only within God, where you endlessly abide.  Striving to be that which you can never be is the hell you have created.  (A Course of Love, 1.13)”

Affirmation:  “I would depend on God, my Father.”

Reflections:

1 – “Complete within Yourself”

This passage from A Course of Love builds upon the passage from yesterday’s posting, “Are You Loveless and Alone?”  The passage gives a strong warning that we would not actually strive for that which this world encourages:  “complete within yourself.”  This is not a natural way to be.  It is full of stress and pressure, and it ignores the fact that we are in a world filled with our brothers and sisters, to whom we are meant to reach out–to help them and to help ourselves.

2 – Complete Only in God

We are complete only in God, as this passage says.  He is our completion.  And, with Him and our brothers and sisters, we are part of the All.  When we strive to be that which it is not in our nature to be, we make our own hell.  And we are very unhappy in this hell that we have made.

3 – “Make” and “Create”

A Course in Miracles keeps separate the idea of what we “make,” as opposed to what God “creates.”  But A Course of Love is not so careful about this terminology.  Here the passage says that we have “created” the hell in which we live.  Perhaps we may loosen up a bit about the terminology that we use.  Both terms, “make” and “create,” still keep us in hell, until we turn back to what is natural to use as Co-Creators with God.

4 – Independence

We need to give up the goal of independence, a word that is implied but not used in this passage.  We need to stop trying to be “complete within” ourselves.  We can never reach such a goal, and we will find happiness only when we give up trying.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I learned a long time ago that I would never be complete as long as I tried to be super-independent.  When my ego ruled, I thought that this independence was the epitome of right living.  How wrong I was!  Of course, You know that I remembered You, but I even thought that you wanted me to be independent of my family, and because I was shy and introverted, I had a small, though close, circle of friends.

How different life is now that I have learned from Jesus what a mistake it is to seek to be so independent!  We are meant to serve and to be served.  We are meant to help others, and they in turn will help us.  We are meant to reach out.

Once I started reaching out, life settled down for me.  Thank You.  This passage, written long after I learned from You that I would live best if I reached out, does say the same thing in different words.  Maybe Jesus was my companion then, unrecognized (and feared) by me at the time.

We learn as we grow in Your grace.  Help us all to live a bit more interdependently today.  And may we know the truth of the passage for today from A Course of Love.

Thank You for still being there for me in the years that the ego ruled.

Amen.

Are You Loveless and Alone?

“Those who are seen as loveless and alone in the world are those you find to be the objects of your pity.  Yet you do not realize that this is the state your ego has you endlessly striving to achieve.  (A Course of Love, 1.13)”

Affirmation:  “Let my ego wither away.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ego and Self-Sufficiency

The ego wants us to, somehow, make ourselves self-sufficient.  We know this, if we stop to think.  Has not much of our adjustment to society included the desire to be independent–first, from our parents, and later on, from almost anyone else as well.  Our egos have prized independence.  But is this natural?

2 – In Relationship to All

It is not natural to be “independent,” separate from God and our brothers and sisters.  We are meant to be in relationship to all.  In union with all and in relationship to all.  We think that we want love, but on our own terms–to give and to receive when we are willing.  Sometimes we agree to separate, and then to meet again when it is convenient to us (from the ACIM Manual).  But love almost never turns out well this way.

3 – The Ultimate Independence

If we realized that the ultimate of independence would be being “loveless and alone,” then we would not prize the independence so much.  We would see its failures in our own lives.  And independence has failed mightily, most of the time.

4 – Being Cared For

Our ego has tried to make us feel guilty for wanting others to sometimes take care of us.  But this caretaking is a two-way street most of the time.  We can help others as well, at least until our oldest old age is reached.  And we dread that day with a passion, though we would not die too early, unless we are driven to distraction by depression.

5 – Communicate with God

So let us not strive for independence, knowing that a failure to communicate with our Creator is most unnatural (from A Course in Miracles).  God is always there to help.  And He is eagerly leading us toward Christ-consciousness, which will be a strength that will show us when to turn to others and when to turn to God alone.

5 – Let’s Take Heed

Let us take heed today, and not strive for the independence that will leave us “loveless and alone.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that I have rarely felt “loveless and alone,” though I have been known to cry into journal pages that seemed to indicate that.  Thank You that those days seem far behind me now, with You as my Mainstay.  Your blessings are the joys of my life, as they would be for anyone.  When one love exits from a life, another enters.  When one door closes, another farther down the pathway opens.  You do not wish us to be loveless and alone.

Whey do we prize independence so much?  Some of us may do so out of shyness, but we are never truly happy when we cut ourselves off from our brothers and sisters.  We are, I feel, not meant to be alone.  Some of us are more introverted, but a certain degree of love asks that we invite others into our heart.

Be with me on this lovely day.  I thank You for the knowledge that we are not meant to be solitary creatures in a lonely world.  We are meant to reach out.  And, when we do, the heavens open for us.  

Thank You.

Amen.

The Authority Problem: Who Created Us?

“You must realize it is your desire to make of yourself your own creator that has caused all your problems.  This is the authority problem.  It is pervasive in the life of your physical form and in the life of your mind.  It is only your heart that does not consider this an issue of concern.  This is another reason we appeal to the heart.  (A Course of Love, 1.11)”

Affirmation:  “Listen to my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – Did We Make Ourselves?

We sometimes, when especially trapped by egoic thinking, believe that we made ourselves, that we are our own creator.  This is an understandable belief, because we are told in many places (especially in Jane Roberts’s Seth books) that we “create our own reality.”  We do, in all likelihood, make the world that we see.  It is a tenet of A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception.  And another tenet:  “There is no world!”

2 – We Are Never Told that We Created Ourselves

But we are not ever told that we created ourselves.  In some of our grandiosity, we may think this, and it is a major stumbling for some of us.  We think that somehow the world evolved with us ourselves somehow creating ourselves.  This could not be farther from the truth.  We may find it difficult that we could make the world of illusion, the universe of illusion, in which we live.  Traditional religion sees a guiding hand behind all of this.  But nowhere, in no religion, are we taught that we created ourselves of our own volition.  Yet we somehow believe this, sometimes.

3 – Made the World but Not Ourselves?

Do we understand this how we could make our world and not ourselves?  Of course not.  And we do not have to rely on exhortations to have “faith.”  We can simply entertain the possibility that these interpretations of illusion are accurate.  If we do accept that what we are seeing is an illusion, and a dream, then we do not have to try to make sense of everything that we see.  None of us accords much credence to the fantastical things that happen in our nighttime dreams.

4 – Are We Real?

We may even doubt, sometimes, that we are real, and instead think that we too are as illusory as the world in which we find ourselves.  But when we look out, projecting from within, we need to know that there is an invisible divinity within.  We are not in touch totally, for we are human.  But the divine is within, and we project the perceptions outwardly that we see.

5 – Our Heart Does Not Fret about These Matters

But our heart does not worry about such things.  This passage makes that clear.  And, if we disregard the body and the mind for a bit, we will see that we really don’t care to get involved in controversies that body and mind would have us seek out..  Our heart knows that love is the only true answer–that, and the forgiveness that brings us to accept our brothers and sisters, and to correct our own mistakes and thereby forgive ourselves as well.

6 – Listen to Your Heart

So let’s listen to our hearts today.  What does our heart say to do or say?  We will find ourselves easily in a forgiving spirit if we listen to our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen with my heart today.  May I rest in the understanding that You have given me (I believe) that while the world is illusory, I am not.  There is a divinity in back of all this illusion, and though this is my interpretation, not stated precisely in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, this belief is one that I find comforting and palpable.  Thank You for granting to my questioning mind this level of understanding.

But, as I told You, I will listen to my heart today.  I will leave aside metaphysical interpretations that perhaps cannot be accepted by everyone who reads this blog.  May we join together in common ground that celebrates the wonders of You and this world, however difficult, in which we find ourselves.  This world’s beauty is unmistakable, and it is this in which my heart finds resonance.

Amen.

Overcoming Frustration

“It is only through union with me [Jesus] that you learn because it is only in union with me that you are your Self.  All your effort is based on disbelief of this truth, and on your attempts to prove that this truth is not the truth.  All that this effort brings you is frustration.  (A Course of Love, 1.10)”

Affirmation:  “union with Jesus”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

It is my interpretation, based on A Course in Miracles, and assuming that A Course of Love is a sequel channeled by Jesus, that Jesus is saying here that those who choose him must go “through” him to Christ-consciousness.  He is our chosen leader.  But A Course in Miracles mentions other teachers who will speak for God also.

2 – Edgar Cayce

This can be confusing, because A Course of Love seems to say that Jesus is the only way.  This is a belief held by many traditional Christian faiths as well.  And, continuing with the New Age theme, it is also a position taken by Edgar Cayce, the psychic from Virginia Beach, whose foundation is now the Association for Research and Enlightenment.

3 – Reject Controversy

But let us reject controversy, though it is important we be aware of differences of opinion about Jesus.  I choose him as my leader, my elder brother, and so I listen when I think that he is speaking to me through scribes such as Helen Schucman/Bill Thetford and Mari Perron.  I also entertain the idea that he may speak more directly to me, though I do not dwell on this thought, because I could easily be mistaken.

4 – Christ/Self

When we unite with the Christ in Jesus, we unite with the Christ in our Self.  That is what is being said in this passage for today.  And this is where we are heading, though it may take longer than we hoped.  We do not know how long it will take, because time is an illusion, and time to God means something very different from time to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reach out to Jesus today, having made the choice of him as my leader in matters of faith.  Others choose differently, and that is, of course, perfectly acceptable before You (though many do not hold to this idea).  I would accept Jesus as my elder brother, who walked the pathway ahead of me, and thus can lead me through the brambles and thicket.

May all of us choose today the leader that we would have.  If we are not ready to make that choice, You will be with us nevertheless.  I do believe that You know what is happening in our illusion, for that is my experience (though others believe that You do not enter the illusion that is our dream).  

May we step aside from any controversy or theological stance that divides.  May we pray as One today, to You as our Creator.

Amen.

For ACOL Students, Jesus Is Our Teacher

“Resign as your own teacher.  Accept me [Jesus] as your teacher and accept that I will teach you the truth.  Find no shame in this.  You cannot learn what I would teach you without me.  You have tried in countless ways and can try still again.  But you will not succeed–not because you are not smart enough–not because you will not try hard enough, but because it is impossible.  (A Course of Love, 1.10)”

Affirmation:  “Jesus is my teacher.”

Reflections:

1 – No Shame in Dependence on Religion

Jesus asserts in this passage that he is our teacher, and that there is no shame in this.  So many of us have spent at least some time in our lives being ashamed of our dependence on our religion, thinking that we were not strong enough to make it on our own.  But that was surely the ego talking (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

2 – ACOL Names Jesus

Jesus makes it even clearer in A Course of Love that we must “accept” him.  This will be a stumbling block to some of us.  There are individuals who study A Course in Miracles and do not think too much about who originated it, who channeled it.  But we are told, later on, in A Course of Love, that there is no getting around the necessity to accept Jesus as our teacher, and then as our equal (once we are past learning, and he resigns as our teacher).

3 – In ACOL, the Primary of Jesus

A Course in Miracles says that there are other teachers, for would God leave us without someone who could speak to our different cultures?  But if we are to follow A Course of Love, we indeed must accept the primacy of Jesus in our spiritual life.  He is our chosen leader, though others are free to choose a different teacher.  But to choose differently, to gloss over our dependence on Jesus, is “impossible” in A Course of Love.  May we find solace in this assertion and not find conflict.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I find it easy to accept Jesus’s primacy in our lives as a result of reading A Course of Love.  But my religious pathway has been primarily Christian, and so Jesus has always been central.  I worry about those who cannot see the value of ACOL because they reject the notion that someone must choose a leader, and, for students of ACOL, that leader must be Jesus.

This does not rule out, as A Course in Miracles does not rule out, that there are other legitimate teachers, founders of other religions and other pathways toward which we can find God.  This is simply one pathway out of many, and God speaks to all people, taking them where they are and giving them a way home.

But it is simply a given that those of us who find in A Course of Love a particular pathway that appeals to us must accept that Jesus is the channeler.  There is not getting around this this time.  We can read and learn, perhaps, but we will never fully understand all that ACOL holds out to us if we reject Jesus’s primacy in these words.  

Let all of us consider that Jesus may have made a point here that will lead to great benefit for all who are attracted to A Course of Love.

Amen.

False Shame

“Those who are true leaders follow until they are ready to lead.  They do not strike out on their own at the beginning, before they know the way.  There is no shame in learning, no shame in following the course another has put forth.  (A Course of Love, 1.9)”

Affirmation:  “I would follow and lead, at different times.” 

Reflections:

1 – Leaders and Followers

We are often taught in school that being a leader is somehow preferable to being a follower.  And, so, as a result, we may lead, but in wrong directions.  Let’s don’t do that today!

2 – Heading toward Observation, not Learning

We need to learn until we are ready to lead by observation (A Course of Love tenet).  The old way of learning will indeed eventually fall away, but most of us have not reached that point yet.  We still have learning to do, and there is no shame in recognizing this.  Indeed, the recognition is a strength and asset.

3 – No Need for Shame

We need not feel shame if we know less than others in any given direction.  We know more in other directions.  Always there will be those who know more and those who know less, but we are all, ultimately, equals.  It is only remnants of the ego that would assert that we ought to be leaders always.  Our spirit knows that we have more humility than that.

4 – Insidious Emotion

Shame is a particularly insidious emotion.  We would do well to ask for guidance in leaving behind such a destructive thought.  Here in A Course of Love we have the guidance, we may believe, of Jesus.  Most of us recognize him as an elder brother who has walked the pathway ahead of us, and thus is in a particularly good position to show us the way.  He will correct all mistakes that we cannot correct (a tenet of A Course in Miracles).  He stands at the end to help us tie up the loose ends of our salvation.  Let us be grateful that indeed, at that point, we accept our place as followers and do not try to lead.  We would surely lead ourselves astray.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would lead about only what I am knowledgeable, and I would pray to You to guide me in what I say and do, and, yes, even think.  We reap what we sow, and I would sow good things today.  Help me to be emotionally and physically healthy, ready to do Your bidding.  And may those whose lives I touch be helped by the interaction.

Let us forget a minute about leaders and followers.  Both have their place, in different arenas, in our world.  And let us not lead when it behooves us simply to follow.

And the best one to follow is Jesus.

Thank You for his life and example.

Amen.

Overcoming Worry

“Let your worries come and let your worries go.  Remember always that they simply do not matter except in terms of time, and that you will save time by letting them go.  Remember that your worries affect nothing.  You think if your worries affect time this is an effect, but time is an illusion.  (A Course of Love, 1.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I save time by leaving worries behind.”

Reflections:

1 – Worries Are Illusory Also

Here we hear again that time is an illusion.  In A Course in Miracles we also learned that the world itself is an illusion that we project from within, making the perception that we “see.”  Here the emphasis is on our worries, a practical concept, for who among us does not have worries?

2 – Drop Defensiveness

If we could know that we need not hold our worries to ourselves in an effort to defend ourselves, we will make much progress.  With guidance from either the Holy Spirit (ACIM) or Christ-consciousness (ACOL), we will know what we ought to do; we will be alerted at the time that we need to do it (whatever “it” is).  If there are plans that need to be made, we will receive guidance for that as well.  There is no strain in following God’s Will.

3 – Effortless Living

Effortless living, without the burden of worry!  Norman Vincent Peale, who received quite a bit of acclaim as an inspirational writer/speaker in the latter half of the 1900s, says that we would be inclined to go and retrieve our bundle of worries, even if we left them at God’s altar in a church.  We are so comfortable with our worries!  We are at home with them.  But at what cost?

4 – Personal Experience

We do God a disservice by wasting our mental energy in worry.  I used to think that, like Shakespeare’s “pound of flesh,” I would be somehow protected from pain if I worried sufficiently.  Didn’t that worrying prove that I cared?  That I was doing all that I could?  But this was irrational thinking, as any counselor could have told me.  We don’t need worry as a good-luck talisman against worse troubles.

5 – Leave Your Worries at God’s Altar

So ask for help today in leaving your worries at God’s altar.  Leave them there, and don’t sheepishly go back to the altar and retrieve your little familiar bundle of worries.  Try to clear your mind today, and see if the worries don’t recede ever so little.  Practice with a clear, free-floating thought process will mean that we have a mind ready to receive guidance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I drop worries from my repertoire of emotions today, for worry is a form of fear–and I have long ago prayed to walk away from fear.  I would choose love, and one form of love is tolerance of myself and other people.  May worry disappear before the practice of tolerance.

Be with me today as I walk Your pathway.  Life is best begun again, for any given day that starts badly.  If I have gotten overwrought already today (and I have), may I follow the advice that I read in A Course in Miracles to start the day anew.  So the day will flow smoothly after all.  There is no need to rue our days.  Nearly everybody has problems that can be helped by less worry and more tolerance.

Thank You for leading me to this resolution, so early this morning.

Amen.

An End to Senseless Seeking

“Your willingness to learn is evident or you would not be here.  Yet you learn and then you let the ego come and take all you have learned from you again and still again.  (A Course of Love, P.42)”

Affirmation:  “May my ego be silent today.”

Reflections:

1 – Move beyond the Ego

Jesus is chastising us in a very gentle way in today’s passage.  He is right, of course.  We do learn from A Course in Miracles, and, now, from A Course of Love, and then we don’t move beyond the ego and the ego urges us into poor self-centered thoughts and actions as well as anger and attack.  We must realize that the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves (a definition from A Course in Miracles), is not undone by a frontal attack.  The ego grows strong in strife.  But if we just turn aside, we will find more success in eliminating egoic dictates from our consciousness.  Let us turn aside today.

2 – Still in “Learning” Mode

We are still, in the Preface to A Course of Love, in the “learning” mode.  This learning mode will continue throughout the first volume, which we are considering for a number of months.  Some of what we read is a reconsideration of tenets of A Course in Miracles, and therefore will sound very familiar to us.  But there are new elements, because I believe that Jesus had unfinished business with us following A Course in Miracles, he led to further blessings in A Course of Love.

3 – Why We Need A Course of Love

Perhaps the main reason that we needed A Course of Love is that Jesus saw us still seeking, seeking, and seeking yet again.  He saw us in our confusion, and he sought to clear this confusion up (an ACOL tenet).  We weren’t sure that we had “learned” everything needed, and so kept to our explorations through learning.  After these first and second volumes of A Course of Love are considered, there comes in the third volume a time when Jesus says learning is to cease; we are from here on to observe, to make observation of our surroundings, but not to “learn” in the old-fashioned way.  Let us keep in mind that the early volumes of ACOL are all heading toward this cessation of learning in the old way.  We will eventually need just to stop and to recognize that the glimmerings of Christ-consciousness that come to us will lead the way.

4 – Avoid Needless Seeking

But right now we are at the beginning of the first volume of ACOL.  Let us take heed together, so that we will be ready to stop our needless further seeking  when we have considered all that Jesus now has to tell us.  And we will be blessed indeed.  What a struggle all of our seeking has been!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I realize that A Course in Love is meant to clear up confusion, the endless seeking that even the most astute of students/teachers of A Course in Miracles finds compelling.  May this senseless further seeking end now.  May I know that A Course of Love brings this seeking, this compulsion, to an end.  And may I bring this compulsion to an end in me.

Be with us as we seek to learn in this first volume of A Course of Love.  Some of it is review of ACIM, but not all, because there are new elements–particularly the central place of the heart, to which Jesus appeals.  May we listen to our hearts today as we read and reflect.  May we have a good day as we go about this illusory world.  And, as always, I plea for reality to come soon.  Thank You for listening.

Amen.