Monthly Archives: January 2013

Thus Was Fear Born

“The complex set of criteria needed to create a world of separation was, in the instant of creation, anticipated and provided in a form consistent with creation’s laws.  While this world was created with love, as all of creation was, it was also created to provide the desired experience.  Thus was fear born, for a separate self is a fearful self by its nature.  How could it not be?  (A Course of Love, 19.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would avoid a ‘separate self’ today.”iris-1914-17 - monet

Reflections:

1 – Not Separate

If we realize that we are not really separate at all, perhaps, this passage seems to say, we will not experience fear.  It is the belief that we are alone that makes the fear, and who would not be fearful with such a belief?  If we turn to God and His helpers consistently, then we will not feel alone.  We will know that we live in a benevolent universe, and we will experience the peace that such a universe will give us.  And what more would we seek?

2 – Elevated Self of Form

We need to ask for this blessing of an end to the separated state.  When we experience the elevated Self of Form ( as described farther on in A Course of Love), we will know that we, though in physical form, presumably separate from others, are not really alone.  We will know that we chose physical expression for our experience of reality, but we did not choose to actually be alone.  We have many companions in this world and the world beyond, and it is wise for us to remember this.  The knowledge will give us comfort and a deep sense of security.

3 – Tiny, Mad Idea

God responded to our tiny, mad idea (from A Course in Miracles) with the world of separation.  It is said that we, on some level, made this world.  And then the separation began, extending over millions of years, for others were attracted to physicality as well.  So fear was born where it had been not.

4 – Solitary?

It seems sensible to think that we are solitary creatures when we are encased in physical bodies.  And that is the role that we are playing.  But it is a facade, an illusion.  We are actually still at home in God, and we can know this at any time by asking to have a divine experience.  Why not do so today?  It will make all the difference, for once again we will know that we are One with the All, and we will feel secure in the Love that the All emanates.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know today that I am not isolated in a world of form.  I have many helpers, and You are at the top of the list.  I would recognize that separation is an illusion brought on by the fact that w are encased in physical bodies.  But we are not separate from one another nor from You.

Be with me today for a tranquil day.  Thank You for the affirmations from the Bible that I say frequently, for they are very calming.  Thank You for the many ways that You help.

And I ask for Your help as I seek to overcome my lingering belief in separation.

Amen.

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How to Dispel Pain

water lily pond with bridge - monet

“Think not that you react to pain of any kind with the love from your real Self that would dispel it.  The Self you have taken out of the learning loop is the Self of love.  (A Course of Love, 18.24)”

Affirmation:  “May I respond to my loving Self, dispelling pain.”

Reflections:

1 – Love

Is this passage really telling us that if we respond to the Self/Christ who is within, we will be free of pain, for this Self is loving?  Love is the answer, according to what Jesus is saying here.

2 – Are We All Able to Dispel All Pain?

A pessimistic response to Jesus’s words would express doubt, and indeed I do not believe that all of us are strong enough to dispel all pain.  And not all of us are really in contact with the true inner Self.  This is the Self that we know when we are living Christ-consciousness.

3 – Emotional Pain

Personally, I can understand how emotional pain would be more easily dispelled.  The emotional pain can more easily be controlled by one’s thoughts, and we are at least in some control of these.  We may need to calm down, though.

4 – Physical Pain

But what about physical pain?  Can we really dispel this?  Perhaps we can lighten and eventually eliminate our sense of pain.  Certainly our secular biofeedback methods have done much to lessen severe pain for those who have sought such help.  Most do not seek such help, though, and this passage does say that if we listen to the love that is within us, we will find that the pain is dispelled.

5 – Jesus

Jesus says many things that sound difficult for us to understand.  He is speaking on an ideal level, and he is hoping that we will be close enough to love to have this freeing response.  Certainly the truth that love will dispel pain is welcomed.  To the degree that we can open our minds and believe, we will have the faith that will make this assertion correct in our own experience.  We are not, though, all of us ready for this ideal solution, and while this is a more negative reaction, it seems close to the truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me not to be overly pessimistic about Jesus’s statements.  If he says that love from the real Self will dispel pain, then let me open my mind to that real possibility.

Today is a day that many will suffer pain.  May some few read the passage for today, and feel their pain lessen.

Amen.

Determining the Distinction between Pleasure and Pain

“Determination of pleasure and pain is made with the judgment of the separated self who not only believes it is the body, but that it is at the body’s mercy.  The body has no mercy to offer the separated self.  It is only a learning device.  (A Course of Love, 18.23)”

images - van gogh
Affirmation:  “May I avoid judging pleasure and pain today.”

Reflections:

1 – Awaking of Christ-Consciousness

The ideas in today’s passage are echoes of A Course in Miracles.  All in all, A Course of Love is more forgiving of the body, seeing, ultimately, that an elevated Self of form is a legitimate way to live.  We can enjoy this way of living on this earth, and this is when the Christ/Self has been actualized in us.  This is the Awakening or the Christ-consciousness embodied.

2 – Separation

But in the passage above, we are still recognizing a delusional separation from God.  We did not, as we have said repeatedly, actually separate from God, for we are part of Him and thus can only fantasize that we have separated.  In this fantasy our whole world evolved.  And we lost the felt presence of God.

3 – Pleasure

But let us rise to the occasion, recognizing that we want something better (re ACIM).  We want to know God’s happiness, not the pleasures of this world.  We will have pleasure, but it will be more than pleasure, because pleasure is fleeting and never satisfies very long.

4 – Body = Learning Device

The body as a learning device is best used to communicate with others, with out brothers and sisters.  To use it as a way to get out way is a misuse, if our way would be detrimental to another.  So let us be gracious in our understanding of the body, and not try so hard to decorate it with jewelry and fancy clothes.  We may want to be presentable, but the real beauty comes from within.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see the difference between pleasure and pain today, but I would seek joy–God’s joy–rather than simple pleasure, which is fleeting.

Be with me as I see Your will for my life today.  May my decisions be sound, based on guidance and common sense.

Amen.

What Makes This Existence So Chaotic and Erratic

Starry Night over the Rhone - van gogh

“That you keep yourself from desiring anything fully here is what makes this existence so chaotic and erratic.  A mind and heart in conflict is what keeps you from desiring anything fully and thus from creating.  (A Course of Love, 18.14)”

Affirmation:  “Desire fully or not at all.”

Reflections:

1 – Comparison of ACIM and ACOL

This idea is new, not found in any form in A Course in Miracles.  Perhaps this is because the delineation is made in A  Course of Love between the mind and the heart.  We did not hear much about the heart in ACIM, but the mind’s need to dislodge the ego was paramount.

2 – Desire Fully

When we desire fully, we are not in chaos, doing erratic things.  Of course, we need to be certain that we are desiring rightly.  And this  can come only when  glimpses of the Christ/Self within are guiding us.  We must desire because we know that we are after something worthwhile.  Nothing else will do.

3 – Uncertainty

When we are unsure of ourselves, we act in erratic fashion, and we create chaos and drama because we don’t seem to know any better.  God can take away that lack of certainty.  We have all too often been afraid to desire fully, because we thought we might desire amiss.  Ask, and then we can be sure.

4 – Living Harmoniously

When the mind and heart are one in purpose. we live harmoniously, even in this world.  This world does not seem so difficult as before we made this fusion of mind and heart.  When in conflict, stop and think about why:  Is the mind out of sync with the heart?  Do you want something intellectually but not emotionally?  Here we will find the answer to our dilemma, the answer to the end of chaos.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I move beyond just following my heart, into following both my heart and mind in wholeheartedness.  I would desire fully that which You wish for me, and that is salvation.  I know it, but sometimes I don’t realize it fully.  Help me to realize myself fully today.

I would desire fully those things in this world that are good and true.  I would turn aside, without emotion, those things that are bad for me.  May I encourage my brothers and sisters to follow Your way in everything.  The pathway that You point out is so joyous, and following Your guidance, moment-by-moment, is undoubtedly the more joyous of all.

Amen.

Body = Learning Device Given by Loving Creator

monet - pond with lily pads

“While you have been taught that you are not your body, it is impossible for you to deny the body here.  Yet you can change the function you have ascribed to it, and so its way of functioning.  If you do not see it as the result of a fall, as a curse, as a punishment from God, or as your home, a dwelling place that keeps you separate, then you can begin to see it as what it is, a learning device given you by a loving creator.  (A Course of Love, 18.6)”

Affirmation:   “I would choose a body today that functions perfectly.”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Deny the Body

A Course in Miracles indicates that to deny the body, even though it is illusion, is a particularly unfortunate way to react.  Here we feel its physicality, and we know when we feel well or ill, when we feel euphoria or pain.  But we can change the function that we see that it has, to catch another fish as bait (also said by the poet John Donne), and see instead that it is a tool of communication when we are in relationship one to another.  Without seeing a body, individuals would perhaps not respond so well to the help that can be given by another who is also in physical form.

2 – Elevated Self of Form

There are many negative ways that we can view the body, and some are spelled out in the passage for today.  But the best way is to see it, now, as a learning device.  As A Course of Love continues, we will see that the time of learning is said by Jesus to have ceased, and we will see that the elevated Self of form is the definition of our body.

3 – The Body Is Real in the Illusion

We need to be conscious of what we recognize as needs exemplified by the body.  When we push too hard, the body becomes overtired.  And if we keep pushing, ignoring the warning sign of pain, we will usually suffer some illness.  So, while we are here, the body is very real, even in dreams, in illusions.

4 – Temporary Dwelling Place

And we would do well not to deny that which is our temporary dwelling place.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would take care of my physical body today, knowing that, even though illusion, it hurts when illness invades.  And if I strike my hand against an obstacle, the physical pain is real.  So I do not deny that the physical is important to me.  Help me to treat my dwelling place gently and with respect.

Be with me today as I go out into the world and meet my brothers and sisters.  They, at least some of them, will respond only to another physical body, and they will not be frightened by me, seen in a form that is familiar.  Perhaps a vision might provide insight that I cannot provide, but visions are sometimes frightening to their recipients.  I can do much, with Your help, by just being in physicality.

Help me to know that beyond this physical body is one that is truly real, but I will not go there today.  I will be contented with living in the physical, and I will hope for the sustainability of the elevated Self of form, when You are ready for me to have that blessing.

Amen.

Believe that You Can, and You Can

“See you now why those who judge cannot enter heaven?  Judgment proceeds from the belief in sin and the irreversibility of all errors.  If you do not believe you can reverse or ‘turn back’ to the state in which you existed before the original error, then you never shall.  (A Course of Love, 17.12)”

Affirmation:  “May my beliefs dovetail with the good.”

Reflections:Landscape with House and Laborer - van gogh

1 – God Protects Us

There is subtle intrusion here, from Jesus, of the importance of belief in living our lives.  If we don’t believe that something is possible, then it will not find a place in our experience.  If we do believe (turning the statement on its head), then we will experience that for which we ask, provided that it is good and right for ourselves.  For God protects us still.

2 – Three Prohibitions

In A Course in Miracles, we are bade to avoid attack, avoid judgment, and avoid making plans against contingencies to come (unless prompted by the Holy Spirit).  To avoid these things is to invite heaven (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Surely to do these things is to fall away from salvation, and our lives, likewise, will start falling apart.

3 – Judgment

In the passage for today, Jesus especially points out the dangers of judgment.  And, in doing so, he echoes the New Testament, as many of us know.

4 – Original Error

The original error was the presumed separation from God, the rise of the ego, and the loss of that sense of joining with God and all others.  This, according to ACIM, was a “tiny, mad idea” at which the children of God forgot to laugh.  And in the forgetting did it become possible for the impossible to seem to happen.

5 – Erase the Evil

We do need to realize that all of this misfortune can be erased.  We do not have to presume a separated state any longer.  When we allow God to speak to us from within (or the Holy Spirit, as described in ACIM), then the Christ/Self can rise to the forefront of our lives.  And our lives will get immeasurably better.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please be with me today as I seek to implement the law of attraction, which is what this passage for today is saying.  I do choose to hope only for those things that You would have for me, because You see the whole picture, and I see in part.  Be with me to implement–not to “effort” to have, for this would be thinking amiss.  If my heart tells me that I am to have something, then I am more likely to be on the right beam.

If I do not feel internally that I can manifest something, then trying to manifest that thing (whatever it might be) is wrong.  I would not go wrong today.  Help me to follow You, as always.  And may my words help others who might chance to read this blog.

Amen.

How to Receive Constant Help

“What it [A Course in Miracles] says is that the unknown is benevolent.  What it says is that what you cannot anticipate can be anticipated for you.  What it says is that you could be receiving constant help if you would but let it come  What it says is that you are not alone.  (A Course of Love, 17.8)”
paintings-by-claude-monet- close-up water lilies
Affirmation:  “May I receive constant help today.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

When I was little, I was not sure that the universe was benevolent.  This was when I had learned just enough science to be made confused with my religion.  (My religion was traditional Christianity.)  I used to lie in bed and ponder questions about the universe.  Was God just superstition?  Was hell real?  Was the center of the universe a terror?

2 – Scary Thoughts

These are scary thoughts for a 12-year-old to have.  But now we have A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love to reassure us that all is well, and we can proffer this knowledge to our children.  There is nothing to fear.  God is here, and God will help.

3 – Constant Help

Receiving constant help is a tremendous blessing, and all that we have to do to receive this constant help is to be open to it.  Actually, I think we do not even have to know that we are receiving the help from a benevolent universe to be blessed by good fortune.  The rain and sun are there for good and bad alike, and ACIM notes that we are all innocent of wrongdoing; we only have made mistakes.

4 – The Future

When we cannot anticipate the future, and we fear that it will be bad, then we can know that help is walking ahead of us to smooth the way.

5 – Reassuring Passage

These three facets of the passage–benevolent unknown, anticipation by helpers, and the fact that we are not alone–make this one of the most reassuring passages in A Course of Love.  And this is just the beginning of many such reassuring passages in ACOL.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You everyday that I no longer have to fear that I am all alone in the universe.  I thank You that I know that You are a constant help to me.  And Your offer of help is a free offer; I don’t have to do anything to deserve Your help.  A free offer!  Such a blessing!

May I drop into the past the scary thoughts that I had as a 12-year-old child.  Thankfully, I had only four years of the scary thoughts before You warmed my heart one night in a religious meeting.  Thank You for that happening, remembered now from my 16-year-old self.  Be with me today, in future warmth also.

Amen.