Monthly Archives: February 2013

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.

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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.