Monthly Archives: November 2012

To Turn from Fear to Love

“It is in saying, ‘Sister, you are not alone’ that spiritual hunger and thirst is met with the fullness of unity.  It is in realizing that you are not alone that you realize your unity with me and begin to turn from fear toward love.  (A Course of Love, 9.27)”

Affirmation:  “We are not alone.”

Reflections:

1 – Not Alone

Knowing that we are joined to Jesus through the Christ that we all share is a great blessing.  We do not have to ever–ever–feel alone.  Our needs, if they are truly needs, will be met.  We will join in the unity that is ours, and we will feel the touch of Jesus’s hand as we join.

2 – No Reason for Fear

When we have touched Jesus, we will finally–once and for all time–know that there is no reason for fear.  We may not be free of fear forever, for we have lived with its fruits for a long time, and habits die hard.  But if we consciously know that fear is not necessary, that we can live in love, we will intellectually understand.  And the feeling of the heart will follow.  When the feeling of the heart is there, we are truly free of the fear.  This goes a long way toward assuring that Christ-consciousness is welcome in our lives.

3 – Spiritually Hungry

Being spiritually hungry is a state easily overcome.  Just read scripture and inspirational writing.  Pray.  Meditate.  Commune with God.  Turn to our brothers and sisters for their insight.  Listen to ministers.

4 – The Pathway

Above all, don’t try to walk the pathway alone.  That is impossible.  We too often try to live our lives apart from others, and as a result, we are in pain and sometimes suffering.

5 – Do Not Isolate Yourself

Let us be through with this idea today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I gladly join with my friends and family today.  May I seek the benefits of comaraderie to offset any pain of isolation.  You are always with me; so are many other whom I cannot see.  There is no reason to fear; I am not alone.

I wish for Your blessing today.  I pray for Your blessing.  I would not be spiritually hungry.  I would know that You have prepared well for me in what I view as a separate state.  I know that it is impossible that I really be separate.  We are One.

Amen.

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Be Reassured Today

“It is the relationship inherent in meeting another’s need that makes the meeting of the need a thing of lasting value.  It is your willingness to say, ‘Brother, you are not alone’ that is the benefit of such situations, not only to your brother but also to you.  (A Course of Love, 9.27)”

Affirmation:  “May I meet the need of another today.”

Reflections:

1 – Excuses

All too often we find reasons, excuses, not to meet the need of another, for we feel that it will be too difficult for us to endure.  We have busy lives, we get tired, we get sick, and so we excuse ourselves from doing for another what seems to be the need.  We turn a deaf ear to the silent cry for help.

2 – Jesus

Is this the way that Jesus would live?  Certainly not.  He too got tired, but he continued teaching.  He drew aside for replenishment, for prayer and communion with his Father, but he always returned to help people, individually and en masse.

3 – Pray

How do we proceed if we need the cooperation of others to meet a third party’s perceived need?  We pray about it.  We do not try to enforce our will on another.  God, if He sees the need also, will see that we are in a position that we can respond.  This I believe.

4 – Not Alone

We are not alone in this world.  We are meant to reach out to others, to help them, and, frequently, in the helping, we also help ourselves.  We are in this together.

5 – The Way Will Be Shown to Us

Be reassured today that if our intent is clear, the way will be shown to us.  We will find a way to help.  On the other hand, if we are wavering in our intent, others in our lives will pick up on our ambivalence, and we will contribute to the problem.  The need of the third party may not get answered.

6 – Needs of Ourselves and Others

Pray today for the needs of ourselves and all in our lives to be met, and with the joyousness that Jesus himself would offer.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today it would be so easy to avoid thinking of the needs of others, focusing only on myself.  But this is not the way to live, of that I am sure.  Help me to reach out to the others whom I see today and those whom I do not see, but whom I affect in any way at all.

Be with me today as I seek to remain tranquil.  The best way to follow You is to remain calm.

Amen.

You Are Not Alone

“All that you are asked to give up is your insane notion that you are alone.  We speak much of your body here only because it is your proof of this insane idea’s validity.  It is your proof as well that a life of fear is warranted.  How could you not fear for the safety of a home as fragile as the body?  (A Course of Love, 9.25)”

Affirmation:  “I am safe.”

Reflections:

1 – Fragile Body

The body is indeed fragile, and when we focus on it to the exclusion of other people–the ones who assure us that we have companions–we think amiss.  Our bodies will be healthy and strong unless we choose otherwise, for reasons that only our inner Self can know.  We would have healthy and strong bodies, and to do so we are not to focus on ailments.  Thinking intently about the ailments only accentuates them in our minds, and even accentuates the ailments themselves.

2 – Life Filled with Love

We also choose a life filled with love, one that crowds out fear.  We will know less fear when we have come to understand that we do not have to “learn” to experience the demise of fear.  We need only reach out to others and to God, and to, we may believe, unseen forces beyond our  physical world.  These many helps are available to us, but when we are sick and feel lonely, we often give in to depression and do not avail ourselves of the help that is crying out to assist us.

3 – The Body

When we think that the body is our sole home, we will be fearful, because the world does things to the body that let us know that the ego does not wish us well.  The body is the ego’s home, and the fragility of the body is the ego’s best evidence that we need to turn to it [the ego] for protection.  But, as A Course in Miracles points out, this will never solve anything, because the ego has never answered any questions, though it has raised a great many (from the Text).

4 – The Christ/Self Within

Let us pray today for the strength of the Christ/Self within, and the knowledge that our position while in this world is a blend of the human and the divine.  We need not fear the physical, for we can overcome its frailty by a persistent dependence upon the power of God to raise us up above limitations.  We may never see the end to all limitations (as ACIM notes), but we can live better when we put our dependence where that dependence is wholly justified–on the spirit of God Who is within us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not fear a weak and/or frail body–ever.  This physical framework is not all that there is to me, and I would know that and thus not fear the aloneness that the body would inspire.  It is my mind that is giving the body the “instincts” that so overcome me; the body does nothing.  May I recognize this today.

May my Christ/Self within come to the forefront and banish these thoughts of weakness and frailty.  There is no better way to live than to live in constant contact with You.

Help me to remember to keep You in mind and heart today, a conscious choice.

Amen.

A Call to the Eternal

“My words call you to the eternal, to nourishment and rest of the spirit rather than the body.  That your sights are set on the care of the body alone is another example of choosing an opposite for replacement.  (A Course of Love, 9.22)”

Affirmation:  “I think of my spirit today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Body

How often we think of the body first!  If we have a twinge of pain, we focus on it, and the very focusing may make it seem worse.  Even chronic pain that is very severe is overcome, in therapy sessions, with a focus on something other than the pain.  When we focus on something we would rather avoid, we only succeed in increasing its presence, even magnifying its presence, in our lives.  This we would not do.

2 – The Spirit

We are on safe ground indeed when we focus on our spirit.  We may not as of yet fully understand what Jesus means by “spirit,” but he elaborates throughout A Course of Love.  The spirit is the essence of the Christ/Self that in inward, and that combines the human and the divine.  We are still in physical form, of course, and we can even revel in that, but we know that there is something more.  And we do not let pains in the physical body distract us from our heart’s blessing.  We will find that ultimately we will combine mind and heart to form the wholeheartedness toward which Jesus is leading us in A Course of Love.

3 – ACOL vs. ACIM

The physical is emphasized a bit more in A Course of Love than in A Course in Miracles.  We may have even gotten the false impression from A Course in Miracles that the physical did not matter.  But Jesus would not have us in pain; he tells us in ACIM that we do not have to learn through pain.  Learning through rewards is lasting.  Learning through pain is temporary.  And we find, later on in ACOL, that the elevated Self of form is where we are headed.  We do not have to deemphasize or denigrate the physical; we just need to see the physical properly.  There is the truth that our spirit cooperates with the physical to bring us the glorious life that life on earth can be.

4 – Replenishment

We do want our spirit to be nourished and replenished.  All too often we have neglected our spirit in favor of trying, often in vain, to improve our physical condition.  Jesus would have both well and in excellent condition.  Such a wonderful promise is the one here!  Let us remind ourselves today of the nourishment and rest to our spirit that is here for the asking, and let us then ask for this nourishment and rest.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would replenish my soul today.  I would not ignore the body, but I would realize where it is in the hierarchy, and I would choose to turn aside from attempts to emphasize the perishable.

Be with me today as I seek You.  I am in need of comfort, replenishment.  Please grant this to me.

Amen.

Banishing Fear

“Can you not see that when you chose to make yourself separate and alone you also made the choice for fear?  Fear is nothing but a choice, and it can be replaced by choice of another kind.  (A Course of Love, 9.18)”

Affirmation:  “I choose love.”

Reflections:

1 – Separate and Alone

This may not at first glance appear to be one of those most important and most reassuring passages from A Course of Love, but indeed the passage can be so read.  If being “separate and alone” is the choice for fear, then can we not reach out to others and find therein our choice against fear?  Everyone has some way of reaching out, some way of finding another who will prove to be a solace from pain.  And be assured that fear is pain of a very acute kind, and a kind that all too often becomes chronic unless we take steps to involve our brothers and sisters in our everyday life.

2 – Brothers and Sisters

Perhaps we don’t feel kindly toward the others we encounter.  Maybe these others don’t seem like “brothers and sisters.”  If we choose to interpret this way, we are sealing our own  fate, for indeed these others are our brothers and sisters.  While it is not true that we can “get along” with everyone we encounter, we can always choose to send along a kindly and loving thought as they hover on the edge of our life, or even exit from it.  God would not have us constantly harassed by individuals who do not mean us well, but we ourselves must always ask what our part has been in this interpretation of actions, words, and thoughts exchanged between us.  For we are interpreting.  It is always an interpretation that leads to ill feelings, never a fact.  One does not get angry at a fact.  (There are tenets of A Course in Miracles.)

3 – Banishing Fear

If we choose not to be alone and separate, the passage for today indicates that we will have come a long way toward banishing fear from our lives.  Such a simple thing!  But how many of us feel misunderstood by others, and how many of us are rejecting when that dynamic occurs?  The love we feel toward others will be returned, if not by the one loved, then by others sent into our lives by God.   I have never known an individual so introverted and shy to not need somebody else in life.  We are not meant to go it alone.

4 – Independence

We often think that independence is a better state.  But this is the choice of the ego, and what good has the ego and egoic ideas ever brought to us?  We have learned through pain when we have learned of the ego.  And this type of learning is always temporary, and we await the next pain.  Learning through rewards, the rewards, perhaps, of having others return our overtures, is a much improved concept.  Even this is not the whole truth, but it is something.  God Himself is always there, and He will be our companionship when brothers and sisters fail us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel kindly, in love, for the people whom I encounter today.  If my mood is low, I am likely to feel less inclined to be generous with those I encounter.  If my mood is high, all is right with the world and everyone in it.

I would be right with the world and everyone in it today.  Help me to overlook any feelings of lassitude as well as thoughts of worry.  You can take our worries from us, because we willingly give them over when we feel assured that You are handling any perplexity.  I would leave my obsessions with You today, and walk into the sunlight with You.

Be with us as we seek to follow Your pathway.  Help me to know with surety what that pathway is.  This is such a repeated prayer, but very important to me.  Let me not abdicate all responsibility in seeking for guidance, but help me to walk easily and effortlessly with You taking me by the hand.

Amen.

Fear and Love = the Two Emotions

“Fear, like all the rest of your emotions, comes in many guises and is given many names, but there are really only two emotions:  one is fear, the other love.  Fear is thus the source of all illusion, love the source of truth.  (A Course of Love, 9.16)”

Affirmation:  “I choose love today.”

Reflections:

1 – From A Course in Miracles

This passage is a direct replay of ideas from A Course in Miracles.  Indeed, the idea that there are only two emotions, love and fear, is one of the most frequently recognized statements from ACIM.

2 – Eliminate Fear

If we would leave illusion behind, and walk into the sunlight with God and our Self, we must find a way to eliminate fear.  This is not always easy, for there are a multitude of disguises, even though at base all of these disguises are of fear.  Jesus indicates in A Course in Miracles that we cannot ask him to remove fear from our lives, for we have made it, and if he acted to remove fear, he would be coming between cause and effect, a most important law.  But we can ask that we get help in alleviating the conditions that have led to the fear (from the Text of ACIM).  This is always a helpful prayer, and like all real prayers, when this prayer is truly meant, it is answered quickly.

3 – Personal Experience

The next night of insomnia you experience would be a good time to test out this idea.  First, commune/pray with/to God, relax, and then decide that maybe God has a reason for your sleeplessness.  What conditions have brought about the fear/sleeplessness?  What do you want to have help on?  Be specific, and it may help to write out on paper or computer the conditions as you view them.  Be certain that answers will come, if not immediately, when you have calmed down enough to let intuitive thoughts rise to the surface.  Then let the prayer sink to your depths.  You have done all you can for one night.  Know that the answers will arrive.  Make this a primary belief.

4 – Anxiety

Anxiety has dogged me all my life, and so I have had sleepless nights.  This, in spite of more than 30 years of making A Course in Miracles my primary study.  But, as time has gone by, the anxiety over a sleepless night has abated, and, as this abatement has happened, the blessing of God’s love has overcome me more and more frequently.  I have also learned secular techniques for dealing with anxiety.  And, of course, I have prayed, long and deeply, for help in the conditions that have brought my fear to the forefront at any given time.

5 – Love

But Jesus also says in this passage that love is the source of truth.  We know this intellectually, and now, through  A Course of Love, we have reached the time to know this through our hearts.  Unlike our minds, which raise unanswerable questions, our hearts do not question.  We feel, and from the feeling, we know.  That is the blessing of this passage from Jesus in A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Another night of an hour and a half of no sleeping, but thank You that I can devote awhile today to a nap.  Help all of us to deal with those things that are less than the best.  We would choose to walk Your way, and this way is always one of peace.  Help me to remember that the next time I awaken in the middle of the night.

Be with us as we seek to choose love and eliminate fear.  This is our major task, along with the forgiveness that we have come to recognize.  We too must forgive ourselves, once we have asked of You the forgiveness that we all need.

Be with me throughout the day today.  May my mood is high, and my actions and thoughts be congenial.  Be with my significant others, and all others who are touched by my words and actions.

Amen.

Jesus Holding Our Hand

“Now you seek to know how to escape what you have made.  To do so you must withdraw all faith from it.  This you are not ready yet to do, but this is what your heart will now prepare you for.  As you are prepared, you walk alongside he who has waited for you with a single purpose instead of alongside the conflicting desires you chose to let lead you to this strange world.  You travel lightly now where before you walked in chains.  You travel now with a companion who knows you as you are and would show your Self to you.  (A Course of Love, 9.9)”

Affirmation:  “I walk with Jesus today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

Jesus is talking about his presence with us in this remarkable passage.  I have earlier speculated about the “how” that Jesus could be everywhere at once.  But there are natural laws in the metaphysical realm that our science know not of.  And this is one of them.

2 – Escape

We would escape from what we have made, and we would withdraw our faith from it.  We need to realize the world that we made has been deeply flawed from the beginning.  We sought to learn apart from God, and we immersed ourselves in mire.  But we are returning.  And in A Course of Love, we look to our heart to guide us, our heart that is within, where Christ/Self is, and where God is.  And we have mighty companions with us as we follow this pathway (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Jesus = Our Companion

Jesus is the companion who knows us as we are, and we travel lightly with him.  This statement is akin to the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament, in which he is quoted as saying that his burden is “light.”  We indeed no longer have to even think in terms of “burdens” (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).  Previously we traveled in chains, with a bundle of troubles that we might periodically release to God, but which we would always retrieve, for we felt bereft without our bundle of problems.

4 – We Have No Problems

Let this thinking fall by the wayside!  A Course in Miracles said that we would come to see that we had no problems.  Our primary problem–separation, or our perceived separation–has been solved, and we have no other problem that God will not address, removing it from our sight.

5 – Healing Is Certain

Healing is certain, and the continuance of physical symptoms is not evidence that healing has not occurred (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  The passage for today is talking about healing in the greatest sense possible (though the word is not used).  May we accept Jesus’s hand as we walk through this illusory world.  And then we will be home in God, and ready to reach out to all that might receive our words and actions.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize anew that today I have a companion beside me.  I have nothing to fear.  There is nothing in this world to fear, though difficulties abound.  There are no real problems when faith is strong.  May my faith be strong today.

May we know that healing is certain, once we listen to the guidance that we receive.  The healing may come through doctors, through medication, through natural means, and even through prayer–a miracle happening.  May any and all “cures” be appropriate and not a misguided effort to bypass that which You would have us experience.

Amen.