Deemphasize the “I”

“Begin to imagine life passing through you rather than getting stopped for examination at its pissarro - flowers in vaseintersection with you.  Begin to imagine seeing the world without the emphasis on your personal self.  Begin to form sentences and eventually to tell stories without the use of the ‘I’ pronoun.  (A Course of Love, 22.20)”

Affirmation:  “I will deemphasize my personal self today.”

Reflections:

1 – An Onion

The affirmation summarizes what our passage for today is saying, but the passage usually particularly vivid illustration.  Jesus has used the image of an onion to explain what his passing through is all about.  There are various layers, all of which represent parts of ourselves and our world.

2 – Don’t Get Stuck in a “Layer”

But we are not to get stuck in any given “layer.”  We are to let all of reality, true reality, just pass through us onto something else, one adventure after another.  And life can be an adventure.

3 – Avoid “I”

We are encouraged to stop saying “I” so much.  We are encouraged, in sentences nearby, not to refer to other individuals as “mine.”  We are to free others as we wish to be freed.  This does not mean that we love any less, only that we recognize the ultimate right of all to be free.  And when we grant freedom to others, we automatically receive it for ourselves, for giving and receiving are one.

4 – Analysis

We often have analyzed too much.  This is the mind at work, and A Course of Love encourages us to look to our hearts (and, then, our mind and heart in conjunction, which make for “wholeheartedness”).  When we have analyzed too much, we have not let life pass through us.  We have stopped at various points in the layers of the onion to consider what everything means.  And we will be wrong, for it is only in the passing through, the letting go, that we truly experience the real world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would deemphasize the personal self today.  I will not say “I’ so much.  That should encourage others to likewise deemphasize the “I.”

May I have a good day.  May I just let events flow through me.

This day You have given me to enjoy.  And to observe, coming closer to You and others, as well as my Self, all the time.  When we seek to serve You and others, we are also serving ourselves.  Let nothing hinder this threefold way of service today.

Amen.

Everything Must Pass Through You to Gain Reality

“Yet it is the passing through that creates the intersection.  Everything within your world and your images_081day must pass through you in order to gain reality.  While you might think of this as everything outside of yourself, please, when thinking of this, use the word I have provided:  everything within your world.  (A Course of Love, 22.9)”

Affirmation:  “I would gain reality today.”

Reflections:

1 – “Pass Through”

The passage for today is a particularly difficult concept to grasp.  Basically, the passage (with the surrounding ones) is saying that we “pass through” the reality that we see, both in ourselves and in our surroundings, the whole universe.  We do not take anything and grasp it to ourselves.  That would solidify the experience, the last thing that we want.

2 – Let Go and Let God

Passing through is a concept that allows us to let go and let God, a traditional concept that many of us have heard for a long time.  When things pass through us, we do not hold tightly to that which hurts.  We just let it in and out.  The same holds true for joy and happiness, along with the pleasures that come with both.  We just entertain the good thoughts, and then we let go.  And we are the better for not grasping to retain the good feeling that joy and happiness give us.  There will be more days of joy and happiness.

3 – Observation

We do not need to struggle over this concept.  It is one of the concepts that we learn from observation, not from traditional learning.  Trying to grasp the concept with the mind will only make it more elusive.  Just “listen” with the heart.  Then the key ingredient–not holding on–will become evident.

4 – Reality

We would gain reality today, but the true reality, not the illusions in which we have been caught for so long.

5 – Look Inside Also

We need to look inside as well, because the intersection includes our own inner experiences.  We must pass through those in order to emerge stronger on the other side of whatever difficulties assail us.  We must pass through this world, including our own place in it, to understand that passing through is what we are doing.  We are not “stuck” here.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand the concept for today.  May I see that I relax into the world, and then let what I see pass through me without resistance.  To resist is to hold on to the wrong thing.  May I allow true reality to get a toehold in me today.

May I also look within, and may I change those things that inhibit.  We need to be fully Yours in order to be of service to others.  I would choose to say only what is in accord with what You have taught me.  Don’t let my ego, the withered ego that has still not dissipated, to intrude today.

Amen.

Wholeheartedness

China_Edouard_Manet_oil_paintings_world_famous_oil_paintings2011151746002“No matter which path you follow, the path of the mind or the path of the heart, you will not get where you are wanting to go until they are joined.  You might imagine three paths–one path representing mind, one path representing heart, and one path representing wholeheartedness.  The path of neither mind nor heart alone will take you where the path of unity will take you, and the journey will not be the same.  (A Course of Love, 21.7)”

Affirmation:  “I choose the path of wholeheartedness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Combining Mind and Heart

We have previously been emphasized following the heart, which was necessary as a contrast to following the mind.  But now Jesus is ready to guide us to combine the two, mind and heart.  And this combination results in what he terms “wholeheartedness.”  Our mind is no longer ruled by the ego, and so this is a safe combination.  We need the mind while living in this world.  We also need the heart.  And the two combined give us true direction in this sometimes difficult world.

2 – A Path of Unity

We must join the two–mind and heart.  The passage for today makes this necessity absolutely clear.  We do want to know where we are going.  And it is a path of unity.

3 – Unity as Defined Here

Unity is here used in a different sense than the “unity and relationship” that defines our connection of others in our world.  Unity here is strictly of the mind and heart, within ourselves.  But when we combine the two within ourselves, we are ready to reach out to others.  We are ready for the unity and relationship with our brothers and sisters, with Jesus, and with God.  We can follow the correct path no other way.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am ready to join mind and heart into wholeheartedness.  You have prepared the way for me, and I know that when I ask Your help in coming mind and heart, I am asking in our joint will.  Help me not to inaccurately think that my heart can do better without my mind.  My heart, being the seat of emotions, can, without the rational, sane mind, lead astray.  I would not be led astray today.  Help me to stay on Your pathway.

Thank You for the emphasis on wholeheartedness that comes near the conclusion of A Course of Love.  There is a reason for this, and I suspect that it is because we have heretofore been far too dependent on the mind.  So You brought us to a dependence upon the heart, which knows without laborious and insane thinking.  Now You would combine easy and sane thinking with the emotions of the heart to form a unity.  What a glorious plan this is!  We are indebted to Jesus for bringing us this truth in a form which is easily accessible and easily accepted.

Amen.

The Embrace II

degas - dancing class2

“The embrace can now be likened to the starting point of a shared language, a language shared by mind and heart and by all people.  It is a language of images and concepts that touch the one heart and serve the one mind.  (A Course of Love, 21.6)”

Affirmation:  “May I sense the embrace of Jesus today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

The passage about the embrace of Jesus with us is in my opinion the most beautiful portion of all three volumes of A Course of Love.  We are bade to lay our head on Jesus’s shoulder, and we are comforted completely.  We know no fear in the embrace, and we are at peace and perfectly tranquil.  Jesus is not exclusive to any of us, but embraces us all.  And there is nothing untoward in this embrace.  It is a chaste embrace, something that is perhaps not entirely clear upon first reading in ACOL.

2 – Jesus, Our Companion

Jesus is not our lover, but he is our companion.  And ultimately in ACOL he will cease to be our teacher, but become our equal.  This may be a welcome change for him, so long praised by the world and so long set apart.  Here he rejoins us, and we are, like him, both human and divine.  Our elevated Self of form has reached beyond the ego in the mind to the place of the heart in our exalted body.  We trust in him, and we walk a new and infinitely better path.

3 – No Fear of Jesus

Be with me as we seek to comprehend the ramifications of the embrace of Jesus.  May we not fear him at all.  And fear has been an accompaniment of the long years of egoic rule.  We were afraid of Jesus.  And now we know that we need not to have this uncertainty about him ever again.  He is our friend extraordinaire.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in the embrace of Jesus, my companion, as he is the companion of all who so choose.  May I know no fear, because Jesus is with me.  May I be comforted, as Jesus intends.  The joy of the moment may surround me with a certainty that all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

Thank You.

Amen.

Follow Your Heart

Degas.etoile“When your heart can feel, you need no judgment to tell you the difference between one thing and another.  You thus can begin to quit relying on your body’s eyes to distinguish the true from the false, the real from the unreal.  (A Course of Love, 21.3)”

Affirmation:  “May I listen to my heart today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Heart

Today’s passage is another indication of the primacy of the heart in our new experience of being one with Christ.  If we listen to the heart (this passage is saying), we will know the good.  We will no longer be mired into the egoism of the mind, which wants to understand and/or prove all things.  We do not need to “prove” all things.  This is an egoic interpretation, and we would be wise to quit such rationalizing immediately.  Our benefit will come immediately also.

2 – Look Inward

We have relied on our body’s eyes to tell us what we see, but we see illusions.  And so we need to look inward.  What we see from within is a changed world, a world of true reality, a real world.  Our body’s eyes deceive, and we would be deceived no longer.

3 – Little Edges of Light

When we have seen the little edges of light around familiar objects (from A Course in Miracles), we will know that vision will come quickly.  This perceptual indication will not last, because no perception lasts.  But the knowing that comes with the perception will last.  And what we know will help us to realize that God is always with us, that Jesus is our companion, and that we are surrounded by help from our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to go it alone any longer.  Indeed, we must not.  We are placed in this world with others for a reason.  We are never meant to be isolated.

4 – Reach Out

When we reach out to others (if they welcome it), then we are helped immediately.  We must be careful not to force our unwelcome attentions on another, though.  This is a mistake often made in special relationships, and we would have all of our special relationships evolve into holy ones.  Then we will have an inner knowing about when to act, and when not to act.  We will function in the dark no more.

5 – Inner Vision

Be with us today as we seek to follow your inner vision.  We will not trust the perceptions of our outer eyes, our physical eyes.  We know that the ego deceives, and we would be deceived no longer.  Help us to follow Your way, and Your way alone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to follow my heart in all circumstances today.  There is a time for the mind, but the heart knows in a way that the mind can never know.  I have all too often looked at life in an intellectual way, and this has skewed my view of this world.  May such skewing fall by the wayside, and fall immediately.

Help me to reach out to others who may be hurting.  Help me to respond to others in a way that would be helpful.  Thank You for the camaraderie of kindred spirits.  Thank You for this experience.

Be with us as we seek to see with inner vision today.  The inner is always preferred to the outer, for the outer is illusory.  I would see the real today, the intangibles of peace, hope, harmony, joy, serenity.  Help me to do so.

Amen.

Being Used by Another

van gogh - stilllife“It will be helpful if you keep in mind that the idea of to serve is being used to replace the idea of to use and is its opposite.  It replaces the thought of taking with the thought of receiving.  It implies that you are welcome to all the gifts of the universe and that they can be given, through you, to others as well.  (A Course of Love, 20.45)”

Affirmation:  “May I give to others today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Are All in This Together

Certainly the more altruistic of us know that to be of service to another is a far better thing than to use that individual is some nefarious way.  We are here to serve others, and in the serving of others, we ourselves are served in the process.  We are all in this together.

2 – Use

If we seek to use another, it is very likely that we will find ourselves to be used by another in some way.  It is akin to the analogy of a finger pointing to another, and three fingers of the same hand pointed back at the self.  We do not need this.  We need to serve and to be served, but in no way do we need to use another.

3 – Parents and Children

Use can be subtle.  Use can have all the appearances of love.  Parents are especially prone to use their children to satisfy their own ego ideals.  Whatever they have not achieved in life, they look to their children to do for them.  And they take pride in the doing, heaping praise on the “used” children for the reflected glory that these children have brought to the parents.

4 – Egoic Involvement

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love would negate all of this lamentable behavior.  ACIM does not speak of “use” in this sense, but use is an important concept in ACOL, and rightly so.  We are trying to drop all behaviors that appear to be praiseworthy, but are actually excuses for continued egoic involvement in our lives.

5 – Give and Receive as One

We need to give and to receive as one, and this giving and receiving is serving.  It is not egoic in any sense at all, and that is one of its main benefits.  This serving offers to the world what we can best give, and in turn the world offers a great deal to us.  We are showing a “drive to get” that is of the ego.  We are loving to others and to ourselves.  And the change is remarkable in our perception of the world.  Love is reflected back to us, and we know that service is what we are best attuned to do,

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we forgive any and all who sought to see reflective egoic victory in our successes.  They did not understand.  And may we never be guilty of the same.  We need to learn that using another for such ego ideals is a very poor way to serve, for, after all, it is not service in any way.

May we drop the ego from our mind slant.  This may be easier said than done, but it may not, after all, be very difficult anyway, once we set the will to so do.  May I so set my will today.

Help me to be forgiving of any and all who have “used” me in the past.  The damage does not have to linger.  We can move beyond hurt borne of neurotic need.  And the understanding always comes after the forgiveness of the behavior–not before.

Be with me today as I seek to enjoy the gifts of the universe.  You have prepared a lovely home for us, and while what we see is our illusion, it does reflect a better, true reality.  May I see that better, true reality today.

Amen.

Perfection

“To believe in your perfection and the equality of your gifts is peaceful, because it releases you from trying to acquire that which you previously believed you were lacking.  If releases you from judgment because you know that your brothers and sisters are also beings of perfection.  (A Course of Love, 20.43)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand perfection.”

Reflections:

1 – Perception = Innocence

“Perfection” here is closely aligned to our understanding of “innocence.”  In this concept, we have only made mistakes in perfect innocence; we are not guilty of sins that cannot be forgiven.  God has never condemned us for our misdeeds.  He just loves us.

2 – Christ-Consciousness

But perfection also seems to go a step forward in A Course of Love.  Jesus indicates that we do not have to correct all mistakes before we are considered ready for Christ-consciousness.  In A Course in Miracles, he said that he stood at the end of the path to correct all mistakes that we could not correct.  I think that this same understanding holds now with ACOL.

3 – As God Created Us

How does it mean that we can see our imperfections and yet read in ACOL that we can know perfection?  It is similar to the difficulty that many of us had in ACIM with our innocence.  Perfection and innocence both mean that we are as God created us (an ACIM tenet).

4 – Eliminate Judgment

The benefit to believing that we are as God created us is enormous.  We do eliminate judgmental thoughts about others from our minds.  We do not have to put down another in order to feel ourselves more justified, a better person.  This sort of nonsense is gone forever.

5 – Rid of Illusions

May we accept Jesus’s word today that we are both perfect and innocent.  Any illusory self is not perfect or innocent, but we are trying to be rid of illusions forever.  And this includes a desire to see the real world in place of the difficulty one in which we live as in a bad dream.  Ask today to see the real world, reality as it is.

6 – Improvement in Life

And see if life does not improve immediately.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We are not perfect in that we never do anything wrong, or we never make mistakes.  But our innocence is strong nevertheless, because we are as You created us.  Help me not to forget this today.

May I drop any and all judgmental thoughts from my repertoire of attitudes and emotions.  Judgment only hinders my return to You.  And I would not have it so.

Be with me as I walk through this day in happiness.  I know that it is possible, and I ask for Your help in making it so.

Amen.

You Would Not Be Other than Who You Are

rusart - van gogh

“You would not be other than who you are.  You may know that this is true or you may dwell in fantasies, desiring what another has or some success, fame, or riches that seem impossible for you to attain.  And yet, whether you know it is true or not, it is true:  You would not be other than who you are.  (A Course of Love, 20.42)”

Affirmation:  “I would not be other than who I am.”

Reflections:

1 – Jealousy / Envy

When jealousy or envy rears its ugly head, we are likely to think, momentarily, that we would be so much better off to have or to be what the source of our jealousy or envy has.  This is illusion.  Worse still, it is a very demoralizing illusion.

2 – All Gifts Are Shared

Actually, all gifts are shared by everyone equally (a tenet of A Course in Miracles).  Not necessarily right now, but ultimately.  And knowing that we will one day share and share alike has to be comforting.  In the meantime, God answers our prayers by satisfying our needs.  Not necessarily our wants, but our needs.  No one goes without, however unlikely this statement may be in the face of the suffering that we see throughout our world.

3 – Closeness to God

We know that this is true, for there is little relationship between those who are in dire straits and those who have abundance.  Actually those in dire straits may be closer to God through their prayers than those of us who are better off.  And the closeness to God is everything.  When we wander away, we suffer.  When we come back home, we are reconciled in the best way possible–accepted by a loving Father who supplies our every need.

4 – Role Models

We would not choose to be another.  True, we can see role models in another, and seek to be like him or her.  But we would not change places with that other individual.

5 – We Want to Be Ourselves

The bottom line is that we want to be just ourselves.  And any thought other than this is illusory.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I am contented with who I am.  I recognize the truth of the main quotation in the passage for today.  Thank You that I am contented.  Help not envy or jealousy lead me to want what another has.  This would be a mistake.  We only do well when we accept ourselves, as we are, and seek only to compete with ourselves.  We can want self-improvement, but still basically we have to accept that we are OK as we are.  That does not mean that we won’t correct what imperfections we can.  It simply means that we have a decent self-image.

Thank You for drawing close to me in prayer.  I appreciate the knowledge of Your felt presence.  There is no better way to spend the day than to walk in close contact with You.  Thank You for staying close and not withdrawing, for me, in a dark night of the soul.  I realize that this could change tomorrow, and I accept that, but for now, all is good with our communion.  

Thank You.

Amen.

Do We Have to Be Perfect to Achieve Christ-Consciousness?

Self-Portrait_in_Front_of_the_Easel17 - van gogh“You are not flawed.  You are not wanting.  You would not be other than you are except when you give in to making judgments.  Look deeply and you will see that what you would call your imperfections are as chosen and as dear to you as all the rest.  (A Course of Love, 20.41)”

Affirmation:  “I am not flawed.”

Reflections:

1 – Puzzling Passage

The passage for today is puzzling upon first reading.  Would we really hang onto our imperfections, considering them not to be flaws?

2 – Give Up the Negative

The answer is in Jesus’s statements in A Course of Love which indicate that the negative things about ourselves can be given up when and if we decide that we do not want to have these qualities.  Even as negative a quality as anger can be so considered.  We decide that we don’t want to be angry anymore, and then (the time frame is not specified) we find that our anger has left us.  If, on the other hand, we do not denounce our anger, then it will stay with us.  And this latter point is what Jesus in all likelihood means when he talks of “imperfections” as “chosen and dear to us.”

3- Not Perfect

We do not have to be perfect to achieve Christ-consciousness.  This is a tenet of A Course of Love which is not emphasized in A Course in Miracles, in regard to Awakening.  We are told in ACIM that Jesus stands at the end of the pathway to correct the errors that we ourselves could not correct (an ACIM tenet).  And so, on first reading, it sounds as though the biblical injunction to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect applies to Awakening (i.e., Christ-consciousness).

4 – Human as Well as Divine

Keep in mind, though, that we are human as well as divine.  And human beings will always make mistakes; it is the natural course of things.  Anyone thinking that he/she is perfect is very badly misled.  But would that mean that we cannot attain Christ-consciousness?  This passage would suggest that we can indeed reach Christ-consciousness, even when we are not yet perfect.  What a blessing this is!

5 – Christ-consciousness

Remember that the moment of reaching Christ-consciousness is at first seen in snatches, in glimpses, and then, ultimately, becomes a sustained experience.  Very, very few individuals have sustained the elevated Self of form (as A Course of Love calls it), but it is the mission of ACOL to lead more and more of us to that glorious culmination.  God makes this decision, though, about when we are ready.  And in the meantime, we must not try to hurry this blessing.  He knows when the time is right.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would claim the promise today that we do not have to be “perfect” to experience Christ-consciousness.  Jesus will handle anything that we are too weak to transmute into perfection.  Let us rest in that assurance, given us in A Course in Miracles.  And in A Course of Love, we learn that the idea of perfection needs more thinking.  Nobody would ever even see glimpses of Awakening if we had to be perfect.  And many of us have seen these glimpses.

Thank You for Your help today.  Don’t let me get mixed up with the theology of ACIM and ACOL.  Help me to follow Your way to the happiness that is a worthy function in my life.

Amen.

Gifts of God

KarenV-Monet-Step-6“All gifts of God are given equally and distributed equally.  It is your belief that this is not so that causes judgment.  All who believe they have ‘more’ fall prey to righteousness.  All who believe they have ‘less’ fall victim to envy.  Both ‘fall’ from grace and limit their ability to receive.  (A Course of Love, 20.40)”

Affirmation:  “God grants gifts equally to all.”

Reflections:

1 – Depression

We often think, in our egoic mind, that another is superior to us in some way, and this activates the depression of the ego in its deflation.  All egoic thoughts work this way.  There is a great deal to be said for depression as the result of the ego being undermined at every turn.  And what other way could work to turn us from the ego?  If it made us happy all the time, our salvation would be impossible to reach.

2 – Gifts Are Given Equally

God gives all gifts equally and distributes all gifts equally.  When we feel “less than” another, we judge; the same, when we feel “more than” another.  It is true that in this world gifts appear to differ, but one day all will know that everything belongs to all, and in equal measure (from A Course in Miracles).

3 – Righteousness / Envy

We would not fall prey to either righteousness or envy.  We would give up these deplorable attitudes.  Instead, we would welcome our brothers and sisters as the students/teachers of the Way that they are.  We are all equal in God’s sight.  And when we humbly accept our lot in life, to be improved as God’s grace shows us, we will be living a more desirable life.  We can strive to achieve, but not for egoic reasons.  The ego always loses in the end, and if we seek to prop up our weakened ego, we will lose all the blessings that A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are seeking to give us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do believe that the rain falls on the saved as well as the sinner (so to speak).  I do believe that the gifts of God are a free gift, that He wants to help us walk through life.  And I have had the mystical experience that proved this, at least to me, and this happened many years ago.  I have not doubted that God’s gifts are a free offer of help in all the years since.

Thank You.

Amen.

No Longer Use People / Serve Them

“The inanimate as well as the animate is called upon, depended upon for service.  All use Farmhouses in a Wheat Field van goghis replaced with service, and appreciation replaces the callousness with which use once occurred.  (A Course of Love, 20.38)”

Affirmation:  “I will not use another person today.”

Reflections:

1 – Use

We are led to understand in A Course of Love that much of our time on earth has been a reaching out to others to “use” them in some way.  We have known that we need others, but rather than love those others with a wholehearted embrace, we have chosen to “love” those who can do something for us, who can answer some need within ourselves.  This is to use the other person.

2 – Self-Interest

What a sad way to live!  And, most importantly, it won’t work, even if our egoic notions are telling us that it will.  Other people, whether religious or not, know when our interest in them is tainted by self-interest, and other people naturally recoil from this.  Only in special relationships, in which it seems that each person has something that he/she can gain from the other, is there even the illusion of a mutual exchange.  And the special relationship does not stay special.  Frequently, if it doesn’t evolve into a holy relationship, the special relationship deteriorates into hate.  Our needs fail to be met by the other, and we hold that against him/her.

3 – Service

We do not need to use others.  We need to be of service to them.  And the best things that we do will justify us in our own eyes.  We will feel guilt no longer.  We will experience the love that we are meant to experience, for we are giving, not “using” another.  When we give, we also receive, for both are equal in God’s sight.   Only when we give and receive in equal parts do we share the holiness that is ours by birthright (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

4 – Appreciation

When we are of service, we naturally appreciate the one whom we are serving.  We do not treat him or her with contempt or callousness any longer.  Our way has brightened, and we are once again on the way back to God.  What better way than to walk with Jesus along a brighter path?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I serve others today, in the best connotations of what Jesus meant.  May I not let self-interest cause me to “use” anybody for any reason whatsoever.  May I not stoop to that level.

Help me to ask You how I might best be of service to others.  Let me not see the need for service where it would be unwelcome.  Help me to withdraw if another does not want me near.  Help me to follow Your guidance in such matters.

Be with me as I seek to expand my service over the coming days and weeks.  I would do more for You, but only the more that You ask.

Amen.

Overcoming Bitterness and Uncertainty

Giverny 036 - monet
“Bitterness and uncertainty are replaced by hope.  Hope is the condition of the initiate, new to the realization of having a home within the embrace.  It is the response that says to all you have just read, ‘Ah, if only it were true.  If only it could be true.’  (A Course of Love, 20.36)”

Affirmation:  “hope”

Reflections:

1 – Three Thoughts

There are three distinct trains of thought in the passage for today.  Let’s take them in order.

2 – Bitterness and Uncertainty Left Behind

First, we see that, as progress in reading A Course of Love, we leave bitterness and uncertainty behind.  Bitterness is a state of mind that was not a focus of A Course in Miracles, but is important to ACOL.  We are seen to be bitter about many of the things that have happened to us on our pathway through life.  And we hold this feeling of bitterness, this grievance against God, close to ourselves.  We cannot live this way in peace.  We must and will choose a better way.  And hope is the answer.  Even when life seems to go against us, because we have, like a mirror, attracted bad things to ourselves, we can recognize that this state of affairs does not have to be permanent.  We can choose again, and in the next choice, we can reach the tipping point of above 50 percent, which changes everything–if we hold firm to this concept of what we wish to see in our lives.  (Ideas are adapted from Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret trilogy.)

3 – Hope

We enjoy hope when we accept the embrace of Jesus as what we want, as we realize that he is serious about offering us the total, unconditional love that we crave.  And he soothes us, for we are much in need of comforting.  This the embrace does for us.  We imagine that Jesus is enfolding us in his arms, and we instantly feel justified.  We feel accepted by God as well as by Jesus.  And we accept ourselves, knowing that regardless of how many mistakes we have made, we are loved.

4 – The Embrace

The final sentence in the passage for today is the central hope of the embrace.  If only it could be true that I am forgiven!  If only it could be so simple to feel the peace that I want to feel!  This is the promise that hope brings to us.  And if we accept the indications of our heart, we will know peace, serenity, and we will also know happiness.  Jesus’s embrace can and will do all of this for us.

5 – Forgive Self

So let us drop our own unforgiveness toward ourselves.  We will even continue to make mistakes, for we are human (as well as divine), and we are living in this world, where there are many temptations.  But we need not feel that all is lost, that there is no hope.

6 – Hope Will Take Us Home

This passage tells us that there is hope.  And this hope will take us home to God, while we continue to walk this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is always with the problem, and when we have articulated precisely the problem, and just as precisely turn that problem over to You, the solution appears–and quickly.  Your time is not ours, but more often than not the time is soon, even within our timeframe.  This gives us hope, which we are studying today.  And of course any lingering bitterness about what life has dealt us, or any uncertainty about what to do in the future, dissipate.  We always know the next right step, when we have taken the time to ask with sincerity.  Thank You.

Be with me today as I seek to solve the pesky problems that have married my mornings recently.  I feel anxious in the morning, and You would not have it so.  I feel on the verge of a breakthrough, and I have hope that this is a certainty.  I do ask for help with sincerity.

Thank You for listening to my prayer.

Amen.

We Need to Know What to Do

“As long as you fear your own ability to know what you do, you cannot be fully imagescooperative.  (A Course of Love, 20.32)”

Affirmation:  “cooperation”

Reflections:

1 – Tiny Little Statement

This is a tiny little statement with deep meaning.  If we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing, we will not be fully cooperative with our brothers and sisters.  We will think, subconsciously, that we may lead them astray.  And well we may.  We need to ask for guidance at every turn, and when that is assured, we can be cooperative without fear of making wrong decisions.

2 – Guidance

We do have the ability to know what we do, and we can do the right thing when we look to God as our guidance.  Many of us have sought over long years to “do the right thing,” but we have remained unsure of ourselves.  Have we really always made the right decisions?

3 – Mistakes

Probably not!  But mistakes do not ultimately matter, for we have received Atonement.  We are one with God, by the time that we have walked the whole pathway.  We are both human and divine, and we know that we are on the right track.

4 – God Will Provide

Nobody needs to be fearful in his/her daily life.  God will provide, and when we make the determination to “do the right thing,” we can rest assured that His guidance will be forthcoming.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As You know, guidance is one of my favorite topics.  I welcome the advice that You give me.  The only problem is when I wonder if the advice is coming from my ego and not from You.  Then I can easily get confused.

Take the confusion from me today.  Help me to discern exactly what Your will really is, and I do know that it is my will as well.

Amen.

Is Not the Embrace Holy?

images“This lesson is only as complicated as the most complex among you needs it to be .  But for some it can be simple, as simple as realizing the oneness of the embrace.  Within the embrace you can let all thought go.  Within the embrace, you can quit thinking even of holy things, holy men and women, and even divine beings, even the one God.  Is not the embrace itself holy?  Is not the sunrise and sunset?  (A Course of Love, 20.21)”

Affirmation:  “I welcome the embrace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

This passage for today is especially beautiful in writing style as well as the message.  We can realize, when we imagine that Jesus embraces us, that we are totally protected and totally safe.  We can let our worries fall away.  We can drop our concerns.  We have no problems, for the solutions are presented at the point that the problems appear (an ACIM tenet).  Such a glorious way to live!

2 – Safety in Love

If we could only sustain this realization, this perfect safety in love, we would be well along the pathway home.  May we follow the way that Jesus has so beautifully pointed out to us.  May we not get ourselves all tangled up with the fretting of this world.

3 – Embrace = All Is Forgiven

The embrace is Jesus’s way of saying that all is forgiven.  Despite any regrets that we have, we do not need to hold them against ourselves, thinking we are not worthy, for we are children of God, and we remain as He has created us.  Everything else is illusion, and though we cannot discount what has happened in illusion, when we ask for forgiveness of our mistakes, all is indeed forgiven.  May we never forget this blessing of Atonement.

4 – Simple Lesson

May we learn a simple lesson today.  May we not make it complex or complicated.  It is as simple as telling a child that Jesus loves him/her.  We have not outgrown Jesus, but now, in A Course of Love, he ultimately sees us as companions to him, equals in every respect.  This is not the message of traditional Christianity, but perhaps it is a new message for our age,

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May we bask in the love that Jesus shows us that he has for us.  May we not let our minds wonder how this might be.  He is real, and he knows us–all of us.  Let us look beyond what science tells us to what we know in our hearts.

May we feel the embrace of Jesus today.  He will see that we come to understand all that we need to understand, so that intellectual doubt does not intrude.

Amen.

Holy Imagining

“Is not all you can imagine holy when you imagine with love?  Is not all you cannot imagine holier still?  (A Course of Love, 20.12)”

Affirmation:  “May I see the holy today.”Still Life with Bottle and Lemons on a Plate - van gogh2

Reflections:

1 – Love

Love is the most important aspect of our living in this world and in world beyond (I believe).  And with love comes holiness, if it is a pure love.  And what love is not pure unless it is chosen for base reasons?  We do imagine that love brings the holy, and we do imagine that that which is beyond us, in worlds beyond, is holier still.  We do not know this, but somehow our hearts tell this to us, and we believe (when we don’t let the skeptical mind interfere).

2 – Look with Loving Eyes

If we look out on the world with loving eyes, we will see the holy.  We will abstain from attack and anger, and we will be certain that our eyes see rightly.  We will not fall into depressed spirits, usually, and we will have the means to climb out of a depressed pit when we do so fall.  The joy that comes from love is genuine.

3 – We Can Have Good Days

We cannot expect never to have difficulties.  But Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we do have the means to have good days.  If our day starts wrongly, we can start over.  And we can do so repeatedly.

4 – Charity

Be with us today to ensure a good day.  Remind us, when we forget, to look on all that we see with love.  And that includes the thoughts of our minds, the things that we do not say.  We need to have charitable views about everybody with whom we encounter, and if we do not feel this, then something is amiss, and we need to pray for greater understanding, to see the whole picture.  Be with us as we seek to make aright all of our relationships.  And may we always be forgiving, knowing that we are merely forgiving illusions, nothing real.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day be truly a grand one for all whom I touch in any way.  May the people who read this blog be blessed.  Guide me in what I say.

It is a great blessing to know that we can have good days, and if the day turns bad, we can start anew.  Truly a great blessing.  It is reasurring to know that we are meant to have good days.  And when something doesn’t go well, it can be rectified.  Help me to remember this good news today.

Amen.

Share One Heartbeat

images

“It [the world] is the place of your interaction with all that lives within you, sharing the one heartbeat.  The heartbeat of the world does not exist apart from God.  The heartbeat of the world is thus alive and part of you.  This heart connection is what we seek to return you to.  (A Course of Love, 20.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would return to the heartbeat of the world.”

Reflections:

1 – Metaphor

The passage for today, a particularly poignant passage, gives us a metaphorical context for A Course of Love.  We are led to understand that we are One with the All, and everything in the world is a part of us.  This in itself is reassuring and comforting.

2 – Hearts Join

If we want to take the heartbeat seriously, we will do well.  We will have a point of departure in the heartbeat that teaches us to turn inwardly, to our own hearts, when we are perplexed.  And we have come to know that this is where God resides.

3 – We Are One

And we are One with the world and everything (and everybody) in it.  We would do well to remember this always.  It is not enough just to turn to God in an introverted fashion.  We need to reach out to our brothers and sisters in this world.  And then we will know what the one heartbeat really means.

4 – Contemplate

This metaphor encapsulates a vision of A Course of Love that has not heretofore been discussed.  Let us spend some time today contemplating what it all means.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would like to start sharing the one heartbeat with those closest to me, and then extend outward.  We need to love unconditionally, and those closest to us naturally come first.  These are our significant others, and we need to give and receive unconditional love with those others.

Be with me today as I seek to be a good companion with the others in my life.  May others whom I encounter notice that there is a love about me that is genuine and heartfelt.  May my significant others bask in that love.  And may they return that love to me.

Thank You for today’s passage.  I appreciate the beauty of the words, and I would take the message unto my heart.  Be with me for a good day today.

Amen.

There Is Nothing Outside of Me

“Here, rest comes to weariness and gently lays it aside.  Time has ended and there is nothing you must do.  Being replaces identity and you say, I am.  I am, and there is nothing outside of me.  Nothing outside of the embrace.  (A Course of Love, 20.9)”

monet - field with woman and childAffirmation:  “There is nothing outside of me.”

Reflections:

1 – “There Is Nothing Outside of Me”

I puzzled over this quotation from A Course in Miracles for a long, long time.  What does it mean?

2 – Part of God

A teacher in a group discussion once explained it as saying that we encompass all.  And I think that she was close to the meaning.  We are the All, the One.  The nearest symbol that I have is the hologram, where every part is seen in each part.  God is the All, but we are a part of God (according to ACIM and ACOL).

3 – The Embrace

When we need to have reassurance, comfort, or release, here is a place to find it.  This place is within the embrace of Jesus and of the universe(s).  We feel rest from weariness, and we lay aside our weariness.

4 – “I Am that I Am”

When we are saying “I am,” then we are close to God’s pronouncement in the Bible, “I am that I am.”  We are trying to replace being, or God, with our personal, egoic identity.  And we are coming close to doing that.

5 – Rest

“Time has ended and there is nothing you must do.”  Certainly those of us who have worked long and hard at our jobs, with our families, with the community and world of which we are a part, may come to understand this passage as an invitation to take a much-needed rest.  Our work hereafter will be effortless (an ACOL tenet).  We will feel contentment, tranquility, and joy.

And we will feel love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please help me to understand that there is nothing outside of me.  We are the All, and we are part of You.  These are deep mysteries, and I am puzzled.

Help me to get through this day well.  It promises to be a difficult day, and I need Your help.  

Amen.

The Embrace

“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted.  Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mind.  Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right.  Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist.  Feel the gentleness and the love.  Drink in the safety and the rest.  Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.  (A Course of Love, 20.2)”

Affirmation: “May I feel the embrace today.” van gogh - sunflowers10

Reflections:

1 – Most Beloved Passage

This passage for today is one of the most beloved of all passages in A Course of Love.  In it, Jesus is speaking personally to every reader, but he is also speaking from a more universal perspective, saying that the universe is safe and holds us within its embrace.

2 – Gentleness, Love, Safety, Rest

The personal aspect will appeal to some; the more universal, to others.  We are bade to feel the gentleness and love of the embrace, the safety and the rest.  Jesus invites us to close our eyes and imagine what cannot be seen.  Often we have been told (in A Course in Miracles as well as A Course of Love) that our physical eyes cannot have “vision.”  We only have vision for the real world, which is not physical in the way that the illusory world is physical.  The physical world is seen differently in vision, and that is all that we really need to know.

3 – Comfort

This passage is comforting in the extreme, and it would be helpful to return to it over and over when we are ill-at-ease or distraught.  Life does throw us curves sometimes, and we would do well to take advantage of all that Jesus is offering to us.  He is with us, when we make one “unequivocal call” (from ACIM).  Can we understand this?  No, we can’t.  But, somehow, Jesus transcends ordinary physical laws and is with all of us as need arises.

4 – Personal

Do I believe this, truly?  Absolutely.

5 – A Blessing

And I hope that we will all come to believe this blessing also.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have felt the presence of a person who seemed, to my mind, to be Jesus.  There was a comfort to this presence that I have felt from nobody else.

Be with me today as I seek to work out my intellectual doubts.  There are natural laws about which our science, as yet, knows nothing.  And I think that Jesus’s presence with us is one of those natural laws.  He comes in response to one unequivocal call, as A Course in Miracles tells us.

Thank You.

Amen.

Prayer Works!

“A mind that can conceive of a creator combined with a heart that yearns for knowledge of, and union with, that creator, can bypass the need for the separate thoughts of the separated one’s thought system.  But you must be trained to do this.  Thus your training begins.  And begins with prayer.

“As was said in the beginning, praying is asking.  (A Course of Love, 19.17 – 19.18)”

Affirmation:  “May I remember to pray often today.”

Reflections:

1 – Creator/God

The passage for today is packed with meaning, very dense with meaning.  When we can understand that we did not create ourselves, we then realize that believing in a Creator is not intellectually dishonest.  Then when we allow our heart to speak, and we know what our heart wants most is union with that Creator, we are well on the way home.  We do not have to “think” with “separate thoughts of the separated one’s thought system”–in other words, with the mind and its egoic tendencies.

2 – Need Help

We cannot effect this change ourselves, though.  We need help, and so our help begins with prayer.  Prayer is actually emphasized more in A Course of Love than in A Course in Miracles.  In the latter, prayer is simply assumed (and is often called “communion with God”).  We first ask for the miracle to reach us.  Prayer at its most elemental is asking, a point made by Catherine Marshall, an inspirational writer of the last century.

3 – Personal Experience

I know from personal experience that prayer brings results, and brings results quickly.  We are not left dangling.  We are led home, step-by-step.

4 – We Are Not Alone

And we are the better for recognizing that we are not all alone in the universe.  God is both within and we project the world without.  God is in all of us, and we and the world, even in illusion, is a part of Him.  But do not be delayed by this theology.  If this reasoning does not find a place in your heart, bypass the reasoning entirely.

5 – The Heart

And listen to your heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow guidance consistently today.  A puzzling situation just arose, and against my “judgment,” I followed guidance, and all is well!  This type of experience does reinforce what we have been studying in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Thank You.

Amen.

Needs Are Met at the Point of Need

iris-monet“In creation, all needs are fulfilled the instant they become needs, which is why there are no needs.  If everything you need has been provided, having needs makes no sense.  (A Course of Love, 19.14)”

Affirmation:  “I find answers as soon as I have needs.”

Reflections:

1 – Needs vs. Wants

All needs are met.  All wants are not.  Why?  What we need is accurate, but what we want may actually hurt us.  God protects His children, and He does not give what will ha (from A Course in Miracles).  How do we explain the pain of this world?  We have free will (not a tenet of either ACIM or ACOL).

2 – Adolescents?

The pain can also be explained by an A Course of Love passage that notes that we have been like adolescents in rebellion, and so God “let go,” much as parents let go their teenage children who are trying to assert their own identity.

3 – Point of Need

It is important to note that needs are met at the point of need–immediately.  Of course, we can note in everyday life that we don’t always recognize that our needs have immediately been met.  We are slow to see.  But see we will, sooner or later, and we can pray that our seeing may be sooner.

4 – No Problems

This passage is akin to the ACIM passage that indicates that we have no problems, though we think that we have.  The solution is always placed with the problem–immediately.  And so, when we are tuned in, we get our solution as soon as we articulate the problem.  And articulating the problem is important, for otherwise we exist in a kind of mind fog.

5 – We Are Protected

May we pray today that our needs, being met, will trouble us no longer.  We are prepared for, we are protected, and we have safety.  There is a loving God Who does all of this for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reminding me today that my needs are always met, and not just met sometime, but at the point of need.  This is akin to knowing the solution is always with the problem, and that actually we have no problems (though we think we have).  Our “wants” are not always met, and perhaps that is a good thing.  We often ask amiss.

I would have no part of an adolescent rebellion today.  That is to stay in the past.  I would welcome Your guidance on a constant basis.  That is really the only way to live smoothly.  Thank You for given me a right spirit within when I ask for it.  

Be wtih me today, aso that I have patience.  I need patience, as do all of us, with our loved ones.  I am perhaps more impatient than I would like to think.  I thought that my life situation gave me a lot of patience, but perhaps that is a fallacy.  Be with me today as I see my patience tested.  And may I know that true needs will be answered immediately.

Amen.

Wholehearted Yearning for Union

“It is in your holy relationships that union can be found and experienced, and thus from these that you fuel your desire for union with all and for knowledge of your creator.  This yearning must but be a pure yearning–untainted by fear and judgment and approached with wholeheartedness–for it to be fulfilled.  It is not the means that are lacking but the wholehearted desire.  (A Course of Love, 19.7)”

Affirmation:  “Bless my holy relationships.”Café-Terrace-on-the-Place-du-Forum,-Arles,-at-Night,-The - van gogh

Reflections:

1 – Holy Relationships

If we have wholehearted desire, today’s passage assures us that we can find union in our holy relationships.  This is our way home, according to both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Holy relationships bypass the need for hours of contemplation.  We are our brother’s keeper, and we do well to acknowledge this and to act on it.  Then we will know the peace that we seek.

2 – Holy Oneness

From our holy relationships, we move to a desire for Oneness with all, a holy Oneness rather than the physical that we sometimes think.  The physical is not downplayed by ACOL, though; it is, in fact, applauded, in a sense, by the closeness that it leads us to feel.  It can be a way of reaching toward God.  But union with the All is not physical, but metaphysical.  And we then have knowledge of our Creator God.  We are not alone in our wonderings any longer, but we know.

3 – Jung

Jung, the eminent psychologist, was once asked about faith, and he replied that he “knew,” implying that, for him, knowledge of God was not limited to a nebulous faith.  What a witness this is!  We will come to be so sure in our knowledge of God that we do not have to appeal to faith in the matters of which we are unsure.  We will be told all that we need to know.  And very, very little will be veiled from us.  (An interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL.)

4 – Union

If we are falling short, let us ask ourselves if we have the wholehearted desire for union that this passage indicates we must have.  Do we see any reason for union?  Do we still think that there is something in separateness that will give us the experience of what we want?  If we do want separateness, we will remain in it.  But do we really want to be so isolated or alone?  Do we really want to fear?   All of these things comes with the separate.  And not many of them would any of us long to experience.

5 – Are We Afraid?

We may be afraid of union, not knowing what will be asked of us.  And, indeed, much may be asked of us.  But we will find that we can do these requested missions with ease and peace, with effortlessness.  God does not hold us to a work ethic that we ourselves made.  God desires good works, we might think, but He knows that we are weak and frail children, and that we need help.  Ask (a necessity), and that help will be forthcoming.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would overlook all slights that happen to me currently, seeking instead the union with all my brothers and sisters, and God, that this passage recommends.  May we be forgiving, for this world is difficult, and if we forgive, we will come to understand.

May my yearning for union be without fear of any kind.  May my anxiety melt away.  And may You spend the day with me today, so that I sense Your presence.

Amen.

Healing through Yearning

“Your saving grace is that even a separated self yearns for union and knowledge of its creator.  Thus along with this yearning was a means provided for its fulfillment, and with this fulfillment lies the end of the separation.  (A Course of Love, 19.6)”

Affirmation:  “May my yearning turn to God today.”

la-prominade-monet

Reflections:

1 – Yearning for Union

We are, in a sense, saved by our yearning.  The presence of yearning (for union) is evidence that we are not meant to remain isolated (or to think ourselves isolated).

2 – Peace that Passeth Understanding

There is a way of praying that is a yearning for God.  This prayer is very satisfying emotionally.  It asks for little specifically except the sense of His Presence.  And, when this sense, this feeling, comes, there is a tranquility that is unlike anything else.  This experience is indeed the “peace that passeth understanding” (from the Bible).

3 – Gratitude

When we experience the fulfillment of this yearning, we are satisfied in a deep sense, a sense deeper than anything else can or does bring.  And we are grateful.  The gratitude can be both an outgrowth of the fulfillment, or the initiator of the prayer.

4 – Dark Night of the Soul

Of course, many of us know of the dark night of the soul, when no prayer seems to bring comfort.  It is felt by some that at such times God withdraws a bit for reasons that are obscure.  He wants us to want Him for Himself alone, not His comforting Presence.  (That is one explanation, but nobody really knows.)  At such times, we are bade not to abandon our faith, but to go deeply within it by whatever means we are led to experience.  This may be deeper and longer prayers, meditation, contemplation, helping others, forgetting self, losing one’s self in a large cause; the list is endless.  We will have to determine what will work for us.  Yet in all likelihood it is not ourselves that brings us out of the dark night of the soul, but God and His helpers.  We are not strong enough; we are too frail.  We cannot effect such a sea change in ourselves without help.

5 – The Cloud of Unknowing

But the yearning is important.  The Cloud of Unknowing, an anonymous medieval manuscript, makes yearning its central point.  With a dart of longing, we reach toward God, and He stretches out His Hand and touches us.  Then what more could we want?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I yearn today to know the tranquility that is mine when I pray and receive You.  I feel the peace that passeth understanding, and I am mellowed out.  This sense of Your presence is a balm for every hurt, a solution to every problem.  It is the best that I can hope for, and I thank You that this peace comes often.

Be with me today as I seek my Self/Christ within.  Today will be a quiet day for reflection, and I thank You for the lack of stress that I foresee.  We can each choose, in our own way, the calm that transcends conflict.  And I would choose so today.

Amen.

Begin Your Transformation

“A wholehearted choice to abandon all ideas of glorifying the separated self and to let the world be what it is will begin the transformation.  This requires the first unification, the unification of mind and heart, after which unification with God is naturally returned to your awareness, for this unification returns you to the Christ in you and the one mind united with God which you have never left.  (A Course of Love, 19.4)”

van gogh - field6Affirmation:  “May I be united with the Christ in me today.”

Reflections:

1 – A Sequence

There is a sequence of occurrences in this passage that is worth noting.

2 – Do Not Glorify the Separate Self

First, we must abandon thoughts of glorifying our separated self (or the self that we think, in illusion, is separated).  So often we seek to glorify the physical, with material objects and the trappings of “success.”  But we are digging our own grave when we do so.  So let us ask today how to avoid glorifying the self.  We will be told, and then when we act on this knowledge (for it is knowledge, not perception), then we will be set on the right path.

3 – Mind and Heart = One

Second, we need to ask that our mind and heart be made one.  We know many things intellectually, for many of us have studied diligently.  But intellectual understanding is often not comforting in the middle of the night, when fears try to overwhelm one.  So we need to invite our heart to join.  This is our emotional aspect, and we do not need intellectual proof when our emotions are involved.   We simply feel the good feeling (or the bad), and we live sanely.  The lack of intellectual “proof” does not disturb the heart, for the heart knows things that cannot be proved.  And the heart does not ask for proof.

4 – Christ/Self

Finally, we seek to unite with the Christ/Self in us.  This is the Self of whom Christ-consciousness is concerned.  We have never actually left this Self, and this point (made repeatedly) is pivotal.  We can clain Christ-consciousness as our birthright, but it is God Himself who makes the decision about when we are ready to receive this blessing..

5 – The Base of ACOL

This sequence is at the base of A Course of Love.  If we can ask for and receive (for receiving is, of course, necessary), then we will have walked the whole pathway.  And all of us wish for this.  We pray for this.  And one day this blessing of Christ-consciousness will belong to us all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for a transformation to begin today.  I know that I need to turn myself over to You in mind and heart for thsi transformation to happen.  Be with me as I make every effort to turn myself over to You today.

The Christ/Self who is within is my lodestone.  It is my way home to You.  Help me to sense today, if only for a moment, what this Self can do for me.  And may I reach out to others, for it is only in connectedness that we see the light.

Amen.