Being Sure of God

“There is a trust that goes beyond proof and beyond the need for any witnessing at all.  van gogh - stilllife - fruitThis is the trust of knowing.  Knowing is of the heart, and holds a consistency and certainty that the dawn of innocence does not contain.  (A Course of Love, 28.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would ‘know’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Knowing vs. Perceiving

Jesus has longed for us to know since he first mentioned these words in A Course in Miracles.  There he contrasted “knowing” and “perceiving,” and indicated that only in knowing is there permanence.  Perception was what we had projected from within, and it is illusion, for we are living in a dream.  Elements of the real world do surface, though, when we live from knowing.  Knowing is of God, and it something for which we are now ready.

2 – Intuition

Listen to your heart.  Sometimes this heartfelt message is sensed as intuition, but not always.  There are many ways that the heart can come to understand.  Inspirational words of others are yet another source.  And, of course, scripture–whether of the Bible, other holy books, or the latest perennial philosophy of ACIM and ACOL.

3 – Innocence

When we have first known innocence, and known that it is of ourselves, we have loosed the hold of the ego on ourselves.  This is where ACIM took us.  We have not sinned, but have merely made mistakes that we would correct, and which we would forgive in ourselves.

4 – Jesus

But we have traveled beyond simple innocence now.  We know that the innocence is a fact, but we also know many other things.  Jesus has taken us by the hand, and through the reading of A Course of Love, he is leading us to full equality with him.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be sure of You today.  I have had faith for a long time, and I do not leave my mind at the door when I pray.  I know in a way that I did not when I was younger.  Thank You for this certainty, for this truth of knowing that You are with me always.

May my trust be expanded.  Trust has been a bit of a problem for me, and I would not have it so.  Trust is the bedrock of our salvation, and I would trust completely and wholly that You are with me all the time.  Thank You for the trust that is growing within me.

Amen.

Living a Life of Love

1217335673_paul-cezanne-wallpaper-the-sea-at“You are ready now, and all that will prevent you from living a life of love is unwillingness to do so.  There is only one remaining source of such unwillingness.  Your willingness will now depend on whether or not you trust.  Do you trust these words?  Do you trust in God?  Can you trust in your Self?  (A Course of Love, 27.21)

Affirmation:  “I am willing to live a life of love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Trust

Trust is the bedrock of the Teacher of God’s life (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  Nothing else good, on a permanent basis, can really come to us until we trust, in God and in our Self.

2 – Better Living

We are reassured that we are ready now for that better living.  This is akin to Helen (co-scribe of ACIM) and her remark to Bill (co-scribe) that she would help him find another way.  And in A Course of Love, the work that was begun in ACIM comes to fruition.  We see Jesus not any longer as just our teacher, but as our heartfelt companion.  This is not so different from traditional Christianity.

3 – Life of Love

We are willing to live a life of love.  Only doubt that it can be so would prevent us from so living.  And we can banish doubt from our minds by a concentrated will to do so.  If pursued by doubt, turn to your heart, which does not seek for proof.  Ask internally what your heart really knows.

4 – The Heart Will Answer

And you will be answered.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live that life of love that is indicated herein.  May I trust enough to do so.  I feel ready, sometimes, for a continual life of love, and I thank You for those times that I feel so blessed.  Extend those times to be a continuous thread throughout my life.  May today be the beginning of the rest of a life of love.

I wish to be able to express love in a way that can be accepted.  Guard my tongue if I am saying the wrong thing, based on thinking the wrong kinds of thoughts.  Help me to be of assistance to those in my circle.  May I listen to what my heart is telling me, and with that heartfelt messages will arrive, guiding my thinking, my words, and my actions.  I fully believe this, and I thank You for the assurances that You give me constantly.  May I always be ready to accept Your assurances of love and peace and hope and tranquility.

Amen.

Typical Fears No More Arise

L'Estaque - cezanne2

“Living in relationship provides a constant knowing of this sort, a simple knowing of a way things are meant to be.  It is a knowing felt within the heart for which there still will be no proof, but for which there will be the certainty you heretofore have lacked.  The typical fears you have experienced in the past will not arise within this knowing.  (A Course of Love, 27.19)”

Affirmation:  “May no fears arise in me today.”

Reflections:

1 – Knowing

When we live in relationship to God and ourselves, our deepest Selves, plus with others, we are living as Jesus recommends in this passage for today.  We will feel a “knowing” in our heart that we are on the right pathway.

2 – Relationships

This is the pathway recommended initially in A Course of Miracles, but then the emphasis was on relationships, holy relationships with others, especially our most significant brother (or sister).  In A Course of Love, Jesus expands the concept of relationship to mean a relationship not only to God, but to the Self/Christ within.  When we reach deep, deep, inwardly, we are reassured, in a way that nothing else can, that all is well.

3 – Home

This is the certainty of which Jesus speaks in this passage.  This is the assurance that we are on the way home, and not to the Other Side, but the heaven on earth that we can actually know here.

4 – Listen

Be with Jesus’s words today.  See if they don’t make a huge difference.

5 – Certainty

The certainty that we are on the right pathway comes when we lift ourselves up mentally and in a heartfelt way, and we do the best that we know how.  We don’t allow ourselves to get downhearted, if there is any way that we can avoid it.  We are cheery, we are upbeat.  We are not discouraged, for Jesus is with us always.

6 – A Promise

He has promised this.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know certainty of true knowledge today.  I would not press to know, but I would rest in the certainty that this is what You want for me.  I would not fall into a too-strong desire for Christ-consciousness, for You make that decision.  You are always with me, inside of me, for I am part of You.  Thank You for this knowledge.

Be with all of my brothers and sisters today.  May we let typical fears that arise with just living to fall away.  We need be fearful no more.  Thank You.

Amen.

revised

When in Conflict

The-Ballet-Dancer-by-Edgar-Degas-large“To live in relationship is to live in harmony even with conflict.  It is an understanding that if conflict arises in your present there is something to be learned from your relationship with conflict.  (A Course of Love, 27.14)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in harmony today.”

Reflections:

1 – Learn from Conflict

We do learn from conflict, though we might not like to do so.  When we remain in harmony within ourselves, though, extending this outward to displaying no anger nor attack with others, we can view the conflict dispassionately.  We can remain harmonious, even though those around us are not.

2 – Retain Harmony

What are we learning?  We are learning the benefits of retaining harmony in any situation, even though that push our buttons.  We are learning that anger and attack have no foundation in truth (from A Course in Miracles), and that they are not justified in us as children of God (and all of  us are children of God).  We can make the best of a bad situation, though, when others misbehave.  We do not have to assume a “holier than thou” attitude, either (and this attitude would be most inappropriate).

4 – Conflict in This World

Today’s passage indicates that wherever there is conflict in this world (and that place is almost universal), we can stay true to our understandings, gleaned from ACIM and A Course of Love, and yet still learn from the conflict.  We did not create the conflict, but we can learn from it.  And we choose not to exacerbate the conflict.  We remain in harmony with all.

5 = When Baited

Others may try to bait us.  But we do not have to rise to the bait.  This may be easier said than done.  Some ways to react:  Take a timeout.  Simply excuse yourself from the room.  Listen quietly and tolerantly.  Ask internally what to say or do in response.  Remain calm and collected.  Above all, do not become emotionally heated.  Chill out.

6 – Personal Interpretations

None of these suggestions are found in ACIM or ACOL, but are personal interpretations, based on my own living experiences.  You will have other solutions, and, if so, I would welcome your comments to this posting.  Thank you.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I recognize that I am my own worst enemy, making conflict within my own personal self when I would do well to turn to You.  I make the conflict all too often, second guessing myself and doubting the intuitions that rise to the surface.  I would end this reaction today.  I would live in harmony whenever possible.  Whenever it is not possible to live in harmony in my relationships with others, I would learn from the experience.  Then I can leave the conflict behind, knowing that I have gleaned all that can be gleaned from what has happened.

Be with us today.  Thank You for the beginning of a good day.  Whatever happens, may I be prepared, with Your help, to handle it.  Life is not always easy, but it can always be good when I am enfolded by Your love.

Amen.

Relationships of the Self/Christ

“Is it such a huge leap to go from saying you only exist in relationship to you only exist as Avenue-de-lOpera-Rain-Effect-artist-Camille-Pissarrorelationship?  You think it is, and feel your self further diminished and lacking in identity just by contemplating such an idea.  And so you must be reassured of the Self you are.  (A Course of Love, 27.10)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand that I exist as relationship.”

Reflections:

1 – Definitions

What is the difference between existing “in” relationship and existing “as” relationship?  “In” relationships we are still two entities (extended to many) that are in concert one to the other.  “As” relationship means that we are not unique in any way, but that the one Self that we are is simultaneously everywhere.

2 – Hard Point

This may be a hard point to grasp.  The subtleties are great.

3 – Selves/Christ in Union

To accept that we are “as” relationship, we must recognize the One that is everywhere and everything.  This is another way of speaking of God.  And we have already grasped that our one personal self is a part of Him.  Is it such a giant leap to see that our Self is actually Selves–Christ in union with all?

4 – Theology

This is part of the theology of A Course of Love.  It is not necessary to take this understanding unto yourself if it seems obtuse.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that theology may only delay us, for a universal theology is impossible; a universal experience, though, is indeed possible and is to be sought out.

5 – Be Patient

Let the concept in today’s passage rest lightly on your mind.  As time passes, think of “in” and “as” again, and see if this distinction is beginning to be more acceptable to you.  But do not fret if it is one of the last concepts in ACOL to find your nod.  We are learning much by observation, and as we progress, in the future, through the other two volumes of ACOL, we will find much that will support the distinction of “in” and “as.”  Then the difference, though great, will not seem so forbidding.  (Note:  Two earlier portions of this blog covered parts of the Volumes 2 and 3.  These were the “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” covered from April 1 – May 14, 2010, and “Treatise on the New,” covered from May 22 – December 31, 2010.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to understand today that my Self is part of the One, the Whole, and that all Selves are One.  Thus to say that we all exist “as” relationship makes sense.  Help me to comprehend today.

May this day good well.  Thank You for the good beginning.  May all of us answer each other’s needs, and may our wants that truly are needs be answered as well.  The solution is with the problem.  And may obsessions drift away.

Amen.

The Mystery of the Human and the Divine

cezanne - fruit“When you fully realize that the only way to know the Self is through relationship, your concerns about concentration on the self will end.  Life is not a matter of self versus other.  Life is a matter of relationship.  Life is not a matter of human versus divine, but a matter of relationship between the human and the divine.  (A Course of Love, 27.7)”

Affirmation:  “Life is solely a matter of relationship.”

Reflections:

1 – From ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, the emphasis with relationship was upon our brother.  We were led to understand that in our relationship to our brother was our way home.  We did not need long periods of contemplation, because we learned to love our brother.

2 – From ACOL

In A Course of Love,  we are led to see an internal relationship, unique to ourselves, in the relationship of the human and the divine.  We are led to realize that the Self has come of age now, and that the personal self is declining in importance to ourselves.  This Self is the inner Christ.  This is the way in which we are like Jesus.  And this is, according to ACOL, our way home.

3 – Human and Divine

The relationships between the human and divine is often, perhaps, a mystery to us.  It will remain a mystery until we have accomplished Christ-consciousness through God’s action toward us.  He makes the decision regarding the time.  This is a point that I have made repeatedly in this blog, and it is a tenet of both ACIM and ACOL.  He makes the decision of when to reach down (a metaphor) and raise us up.  In a sense, Christ-consciousness is our own resurrection.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

May we mold the human and the divine into the elevated Self of form.  And, if we have not yet started toward this, let us start today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would unravel a bit today the mystery of the human and the divine.  I would reach glimpses today of Christ-consciousness by relaxing into Your will and asking for a miracle.  May the peace that You give encompass me and thus make this miracle possible.

Be with all of us today, all of my brothers and sisters.  May I fulfill for others the needs that are mine to fulfill.  May I look to You to fulfill what I cannot fulfill.  Needs are always answered, of that I am sure.  And I thank You for fulfilling needs.

Amen.

Turn to the Christ/Self Within

“There is no mold, no form, no stock answer.  This is why all answers have disappointed L'Estaque - cezanneyou in the past.  Your answer is not the same as any other.  No matter how filled with wisdom one person’s answer may be, it is not yours.  (A Course of Love, 26.20)”

Affirmation:  “May I find my personal answer today.”

Reflections:

1 – Different Answers

This passage for today gives an explanation that may have eluded us before.  Regardless of what has helped another person, that same word may not help us, because we are all individuals with different pasts, different temperaments, different needs (to a degree).  We cannot look to stock answers to find salvation, and especially not to find Awakening or Christ-consciousness.  We have to look inward, at the inner Self, for our Answer, an Answer which rests in God.

2 – Turn Inward

Knowing that nothing anybody else can say may help is possibly a downer.  So we continue seeking, and we are often disappointed in our seeking.  This is all the more reason to turn inward.  I believe that accumulation of words from external sources will eventually coalesce into something that can be of benefit to all of us.  God uses external sources to get His message out also.  Not everything can be learned without any external help.

3 – We Have Sought Long Enough

That is why Jesus has channeled A Course in Miracles, and, some believe, A Course of Love.  He wants us to know, in the latter, that we have sought long enough.  We are enough.  We are ready.  And God would seem to be waiting for us to realize this (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would find my personal answers from within.  Other people’s answers can help inform mine, but mine alone is sufficient for me.  May this not disappoint me, but be cause for joy.  I need only turn inward to You, and what I seek will be found in the Christ/Self within.

Be with me today to keep me calm and tranquil.  May no difficulties arise, and if they must, may I have the wherewithal to handle them easily and in a relaxed fashion.  Help me to be patient with others with whom I interact.  May I take care of the needs that are mine to handle, and may I know joy in the process.

Amen.

What the Elevated Self of Form Means

“This is the invitation to the celebration.  This is the invitation to greet this day with no worry, disappointment, or planning.  This is the invitation to greet your Self and to find your Self within this day.  (A Course of Love, 26.18)”

Affirmation:  “I will look to my Self today.  May my Self be evident to me.”cezanne - houses

Reflections:

1 – Do We Have What It Takes?

The passage for today is very optimistic, and we might wonder if this reflects Jesus’s optimism about us.  Will we really prove to be who and what he wants us to be?  Do we really have what it takes?

2 – Start the Day Aright

A day started out right has much to recommend it.  If we decide, early today, that we want a celebration, then we might well have it.  We can drop worry, disappointment, and planning–if we have the right support from God.  And we will have that right support when we know that Jesus’s affirmations are true.

3 – Experience the Christ/Self

We need to experience our Self today.  It is the only way that we can be truly peaceful in a world that grows more difficult every day.  This Self does not hamper the growth of a better world in any way; living this Self is the way.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

How do we reach the elevated Self of form?  What, indeed, do these words even mean?

5 – What the Elevated Self of Form Means

The words, “elevated Self of form,” means that we will live in this world as physical beings but we will be living in Christ-consciousness.  The Self/Christ in us is an elevated being when we compare to the personal self, the little self, that was dominated by the ego.  The Self in form has thrust aside the ego as a bad idea, though as a part of ourselves it will simply cease to be; it will not be destroyed in any violent act.  We just turn aside from thoughts of the ego in making our decisions; indeed, we do not make our decisions alone, but in concert with the Christ within.  We assume guidance to be a constant factor in our lives, and we do not recoil from it–ever.  We know that the guidance that we know to be true is the next right action to take.  And so we live, simply and peacefully, fully reconciled to God and fully in harmony with the world in which we find ourselves.

6 – The World Will Change

The world will change when these changes have reached a critical mass.  And we can help that day be sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would start this day aright.  I would leave aside worry, planning, disappointments.  I would sense my Christ/Self within today.  All will be well if I can stay true to this resolution.  I do have plenty of help.  Help is only a call away.  You are with me, and there are helpers abounding.  Thank You.

I would live the elevated Self of form today, if only in fleeting moments.  Your guidance will bring this out in me.  I am grateful to You for the assurance that we are meant to live the elevated Self of form.  The physical does not have to be downplayed.

Be with me as I seek to drop worry today, worry and obsessions.  I must do my part, and, with Your help, I will succeed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Be Still / Experience All that Is Holy

sainte-victoire-lauves - cezanne“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind?  Can you let the disappointments of yesterday go and be no more?  Can you let the planning for the future cease?  Can you be still and know your Self?

“This is perhaps disappointing to you, but it is all that is required.  If you could truly succeed at doing this for one instant, you would experience all that is holy and be forever one.  (A Course of Love, 26.16 – 26.17)”

Affirmation  “May I listen to inspired words and be reassured.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ-Consciousness

This passage, which repeats what was begun yesterday, reinforces all that is required of us.  It makes clear that keeping worry from the mind, not dwelling on the past or planning for the future, will lead us to Christ-consciousness.  We would do this for only one instant, and we would experience “all that is holy and be forever one.”  This is a definition of Christ-consciousness, the blessing toward which we are moving.

2 – A Simple Answer

Is the simplicity of the answer a disappointment to us?  We sometimes like to work too hard, thinking that hard work will get us what nothing else can.  But the heart does not work the way the mind does.  The heart simply knows, and with this knowledge comes the willingness to let go and let God.

3 – Relax

We need to relax in the blessing of God’s presence.  We need to realize that hard work doesn’t really get us what we want.  Christ-consciousness is a gift of God, and a change of what we think about is all that we really need.  We need to live in the Now, as Eckhart Tolle has told us.  Eckhart is an enlightened teacher who is identified with no one faith in our world.  But his books, The Power of Now and A New Earth, have identified the fact that he is indeed enlightened.  His way, though, was not the way of A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love had not yet been channeled.

4 – Enlightenment

Enlightenment is real is our world.  We do not want to claim this blessing if we risk making assertions that prove not to be true.  So we go slowly.  What we experience may be only a glimpse, and may not be sustained.  But Jesus would have us to sustain the elevated Self of form, something that he says has never been done in our world.  (It is unclear if he includes himself in this statement.)

5 – Rest in God’s Love

We need to drop the worries of the present, close off the past and the future, and rest in God’s love.  Then we will be positioned to accept God’s blessing of Christ-consciousness when he deigns to offer it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend the remainder of the day in contemplating what You would have me experience as I, like all of us, move closer to enlightenment.  May I be still, as Jesus asks, and experience the Self who I am.  May this contemplation give me peace of mind and heart.  Help me to make of the remainder of this day a particular day of meditation.

I need to drop worry, cease senseless planning, and think no more of disappointments that might once have unnerved me.  Your way for me has been best, when I have been faithful enough to follow.  May I be faithful enough today, and may this today extend into the future with ease.  You would not have me struggle in this world.  I can experience effortless ease when my faith in You is sufficient.

Thank You for the reassuring words of Jesus.  May his mission be fulfilled with all the help that he asks of us.  And may never a bit of egotism intrude that would ruin it all.

Amen.

Overcoming Worry, Planning, and Disappointment

cezanne.appg - still life“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind?  Can you let the disappointments of yesterday go and be no more?  Can you let the planning for the future cease?  Can you be still and know your Self?  (A Course of Love, 26.16)”

Affirmation:  “I will be still and know my Self.”

Reflections:

1 – We Need Peace of Mind

We need to recognize that living in any time other than the present, and living in the present with worry is devastating to our peace of mind.  We need to drop the past, similarly, and cease planning for contingencies to come.  We will be guided to make plans if those plans need to be made, and at the very point of need.  Otherwise, we can safely be stll and welcome the coming of our Self, the coming of the Christ within.

2 – Invite Christ-Consciousness

This technique is actually a manual for how to invite Christ-consciousness.  We only need to be still!  What a blessing!  Can we believe it?  It is in the receiving that we will know the truth of this promise.  We can ask for Christ-consciousness, but if we do not believe that this blessing will be given to us, we will not be in a position to receive.  We need to ask and then contemplate receiving.  As Norman Vincent Peale says, we are expert askers but inexpert receivers.

3 – Willing to Receive

This factor of being willing to receive, to thank God for the receipt, is pivotal.  Until we have become willing to receive, to believe with all our heart that we are ready, then the receiving will not happen.

4 – Do Not “Seek”

So long as we continue seeking, we will not receive.  There is always something more that we can read.  It is true that we need inspirational meditations for the long haul.  But we do not need to use such reading to “seek” what has already been given.

5 – Christ-Consciousness

When we are ready for Christ-consciousness, we need to know–really know, not perceive–that the blessing will be given.  Our faith, a concept not discussed very much in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, will stand us in good stead.  Faith is simply assumed.  And with that faith will come an assurance that all is well.  It is all alright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease planning for the future.  You will prompt me when plans need to be carried out, at the point of need.  I would also cease worry and eliminate disappointment.  All of these things are necessary before Christ-consciousness can be mine.  Help me to begin to eliminate these distractions today, right now.

Be with me as I go through the day.  You know what needs to be planned, because planning has been something hard for me to overcome.  Likewise, worry has dogged my pathway.  I would cease such foolishness immediately.  You will guide me as to how to do that.  I do believe this.  And the New Testament says, “Fear not, only believe, and she shall be made whole.”

Thank You for the continuity of the Bible, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love.  Not everyone sees this continuity, but I choose to look for it, and I find it.  Thank You for these inspired readings.  Your way is mine, and I ask for the faith and diligence to walk to You, to walk that pathway.

May all of us have a good day.

Amen.

The Now for Christ-Consciousness

“This Course is but a trigger.  These words the prelude to the explosion.  It is as if you have been Wheat Field with the Alpilles Foothills in the Background - van goghwaiting for someone to whisper:  Now!  The whisper has come.  The time is now.  (A Course of Love, 26.25)”

Affirmation:  “The time is now.”

Reflections:

1 – “Explosion”

The words of this passage refer to the “explosion” that will occur, from a whisper, when we are ready for Christ-consciousness.  We need, some of us, simply to accept that the time is now.  The time has arrived.  We do not have to do or say anything further.

2 – Awakening

Not all of us are ready for this blessing.  But we can rest in assurance that when we are ready, God Himself will act to (metaphorically) reach down and lift us up.

3 – Always Seeking

Always we have thought that there was something else that we had to read, something else that we had to do, some other pathway that we had to explore.  It appears to me that one of the reasons that Jesus wrote this sequel is that students of A Course in Miracles could not seem to cease their seeking.  Here in A Course of Love Jesus gives us the signal to cease our seeking.  We know enough.  We are ready.  Even, we are told, we do not have to be perfect (a belief that many of us have, at least subconsciously).  Just rest and receive from God.  Again, I emphasize that Jesus says that “now” is the time.

4 – Ready for the Awakening

Does not this passage for today seem too good to be true?  We have waited long to read such a passage, such an assurance that we really are ready to receive Awakening or Christ-consciousness.  At first we will see in glimpses, but these glimpses will lengthen, and when they do, we will almost imperceptibly be living in Christ-consciousness all the time.  It is true that some, such as Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth) have sudden experiences of union.  But it would appear from my reading of A Course of Love that such individuals are in the minority.  Most are given, as A Course in Miracles points out, a slowly evolving pathway.  If the light were suddenly turned on for those of us still asleep, we would be very, very frightened.  ACIM makes this clear.  Our happy dreams from the Holy Spirit have prepared us, though, and now we are ready to move into the great blessing of Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, without fear.

5 – Wait Long?

Will we have to wait long?  Not if we take Jesus at his word.  But neither do we want to claim this great blessing before we sense its true arrival.  We do not want to be false prophets, here as we reach the culmination of a long road to the epitome of salvataion.

6 – Christ-consciousness

Pray for Christ-consciousness, and assume that if Jesus has said that we are ready, it is only a matter of time before we will find that his word is indeed true.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in Jesus’s assurance that the time is now for Christ-consciousness.  But I know that the “now” in eternity is not the “now” of this world.  And so I will be patient.  But I will need seek fruitlessly.  Constant seeking is a deterrent.  And I would not defer Christ-consciousness.

Help us to follow in Your way, knowing that You make the decision of the rightness of Awakening.  I would have it no other way, though I admit to being impatient.  Take this impatience from me, and give me peace and comfort in Your grace.

Be with all my brothers and sisters.  We need each other, perhaps as we have never needed each other before.  Help us to say and do and think what You would wish.

And may Christ-consciousness be not long delayed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Effortless Happiness

Reproduction-oil-paintings-Vincent-Van-Gogh005“You do not yet, but will soon realize the happiness that is ours.  Your mind cannot accept that happiness, as well as meaning, is due you through no effort of your own.  (A Course of Love, 25.9)”

Affirmation:  “Happiness is due me through no particular effort.”

Reflections:

1 – Free Gift

We do have happiness, when we have the type of attitudes that invite it.  We don’t have to “effort” to deserve happiness.  Happiness is a free gift of God, just as is His guidance.  He wants us to be joyous.  He wants us to live lives that are filled with all blessings that we will accept.  We must receive from Him, though.  We cannot think negative and depressing thoughts, not received from Him, and expect happiness to follow.  Natural laws still apply.  And common sense would tell us that we need to work with our minds to bring forth the goodness that God has in store for us.

2 – No Effort

Is this, then, “no effort”?  Yes, for it takes no struggle to sit quietly and envelope ourselves in God’s love.  This stillness will assure us that just below the surface of our negative thinking is the natural, uncomplicaated, and healthy habit of mind that ensures the sensing of happiness.  Just let go, and the healthy pattern will surface.

3 – Richard Carlson

The ideas in the preceding paragraph are informed, in part, by Richard Carlson, a psychologist and specialist in happiness who wrote a number of books about not “sweating the small stuff.”  Prior to that successful series, he wrote other books on alleviating depression and inviting happiness (some of which are out of print).  The natural, healthy sensations of happiness will arise easily when we allow the very unnatural habit of depressed thoughts to be eliminated.

4 – Happiness Will Bubble Forth

So let us take the effortless way to improve our attitudes so that happiness will bubble forth.  Just sit in the stillness with a clear mind not focusing on anything in particular.  See, by experiment, if Your sensation of God’s presence, which will come unbidden, does not alleviate depression and welcome a calmer, more peaceful feeling that can only be called the beginnings of happiness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand that happiness is a laudable goal, and that it is my due, through no particular effort of my own.  I do need to fill my mind and heart with peace, though, and this will happen when we read and reflect on Jesus’s words.

May we reach out to others who do not feel happiness.  May we be their guide home to happiness.

Be with us as we seek Your way.  And may our pathway smooth before us.

Amen.

Lightheartedly in the Flow

pissarro - artist's garden“When you are guided to act in ways that are contrary to usual patterns of action you have taken in the past, you will often meet resistance.  Try to be lighthearted at such times and to remember that if it ‘doesn’t matter,’ you might as well try the new way.  Remind yourself that you have nothing to lose.  You will soon learn that this is so.  (A Course of Love, 25.24)”

Affirmation:  “I will follow guidance consistently.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance

One of my favorite topics to think about is the question of guidance.  And this passage for today is directly on this topic.  What might I say to you about guidance?

2 – “Turn on a Dime”

First, it is hard to be consistent in following guidance.  I still pause and consider before acting, and this may not be a bad thing.  Our emotions can carry us away, and we can do unwise things.  We would not do insane things, and insanity is an attribute of an undiminished ego.  I often ask to be able to “turn on a dime,” once the guidance appears to be sure to me.  And when I do, I never regret it.

3 – Clear Mind

Guidance is also lighthearted and clear to the mind.  We do not have to obsess or to analyze.  Something within us just “knows.”  And, when we act accordingly, we will soon come to see that it is as Jesus has said, we will find out that all is right.

4 – No Pressure

Guidance is not pressured.  If we feel pressured, it is likely that the ego is involved, and that we are misleading ourselves.

5 – How to Know Guidance?

How do we know guidance?  Feelings, intuitive feelings, mainly.  But dreams do figure prominently in the Bible, and I do also listen to my dreams.  If the dream is particularly lucid, it becomes a touchstone for my life.

6 – In the Flow

When we are “in the flow,” so to speak, of life, then guidance comes easily and is welcomed.  When we are resisting, we ought to wait.  We are not ready.  Do not fight yourself, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles.

7 – Great Blessing

Guidance is one of the greatest blessings of God.  And we ought, therefore, to take it seriously, but, paradoxically, with a light heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We all live too highly strung lives, even those of us who are not working full-time.  Our emotional lives are too much in turmoil.

Jesus can help us with this, as he tells us what to do in A Course of Love.  Follow guidance, but with a clear mind and a light heart.   Guidance comes in many ways, and it behooves us to try to listen wisely.  Not passively or without thinking, but with the full use of our faculties.  But we must not make a big deal of evaluating guidance, for by its very nature, it is a bit beyond us.  Guidance comes, frequently, in intuition.  But a word from a book may just as easily speak to us.

Help me to turn on a dime, if I am on the wrong pathway.  Be with all of us today to give us, with Your help and our cooperation, a good day.

Amen.

Eliminating Perplexities

“While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received paintings-by-camille-pissarro-6is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment.  You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have ‘turned the question or concern over’ and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  “When I have a perplexity, I turn it over to God.”

Reflections:

1 – Perplexities

Perplexities do not have to remain perplexities.  There is a quick solution, as I said yesterday in this blog:  The solution is with the problem (an ACIM tenet).  We are learning better what that means as we read A Course of Love.  We are learning to turn inward, where all is quiet, to our heart, and thereby to receive an answer.  This is an elaboration of what A Course in Miracles teaches, which seems to be another indication that what we have here in ACOL is actually a sequel from Jesus.

2 – “Basket Case”

I read recently from an inspirational writer of one of his family members who came up against severe problems at various junctures in her life.  She would, in his words, be a “basket case.”  But this did not last long.  When he would visit shortly thereafter, she would be calm, though the difficulty was still there.  She would reply, in response to his comment that all seemed well, that she had “turned that over to God.”  The emotional reaction was much more muted.

3 – Turn It Over to God

If we can learn to do this on a constant basis, we will live a much calmer and saner life.  We will not be lost in insanity, the state that all of us exist in until we come to know better.  We leave behind anger and attack, we turn our lives over to God, and we are rewarded by a peaceful life, with the “peace that passeth understanding” (from the Bible).

4 – Heart and Mind = Wholeheartedness

A Course of Love constantly appeals to the heart, and only toward the end do we see that a blend of mind and heart is actually the way for us.  We have to let go of egoic notions of the mind, though.  And the emphasis upon the heart, in the opening pages of ACOL, is exactly what we need to hear in the beginning.  We will come to know better when we give up asking for tangible proof.  The heart already knows.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I quickly turn any perplexity over to You.  You want to help me.  It is a free offer.  Surrender works.  Thank You.

May I be good company today with my brothers and sisters, and especially with those who are my significant others.  May this be a good day.  Help us to know how to turn perplexities into solutions.  This is something that we all need frequently.

Be with us today and always.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet All the Time

monet - iris3“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.  You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity.  Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  ‘I will spend some time in quietness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Need for Stillness

We need to be still.  We need to practice stillness.  Reading this passage prompted me to stop typing and to be still.  I turned to some inspirational reading, and now I am back.  Perhaps the stillness will impact this blog posting.

2 – Solution Is with the Problem

This passage for today is another way of stating a truth from A Course in Miracles:  that the solution is with the problem.  We have only to state the problem, to ask for the solution, and to receive that solution immediately (normally).  When we expect quick answer, we normally get them.  This is, of course, not always true, but this does hold true more often than not.  Sometimes our emotions are so warm (even hot) that we need to cool down before the answer will come, the solution will come.  This is what the stillness of this passage is trying to say.

3 – Healing

We must realize that there is a solution to every problem.  If we are in need of healing, we may know that the healing may be emotional rather than physical–but emotional healing is often far more important, even, than physical.  We will be given the will to walk on.  We will know that God cares.

4 – Practice the Presence of God

We need to practice the presence of God in as many ways as we can.  Praying silently, and aloud as well, are two good ways to invite God’s presence to impress Itself upon us.  It is often thought that meditation does the same, though Jesus in ACIM does not counsel much time spent in contemplation.  He says that our way, with ACIM, is in our relationship to our brother (or sister).  And we who practice ACIM have long recognized the truth of this statement.

5 – Meditation

The final pages of the Workbook of ACIM do seem meditative, though.  And perhaps it is.  (There is a difference of opiiion among students/teachers of ACIM about this.)  We can let guidance lead the way–guidance of the Holy Spirit, in ACIM; and guidance of Christ-consciousness, in A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I sometimes need just to be still, to bask in Your warmth, to know that peace of that passeth understanding.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we will ultimately choose to calm and quiet all the time.  This is a statement of the meek, who do not seek to self-aggrandize themselves.  May the moments of stillness and quiet that I have known today carry on throughout the day and evening.

Help us to understand that being perfectly calm and quiet is a desirable thing.  We are so used to drama, and that may be why our ego is not yet dead in us.  We crave drama, and with that often comes attack and anger.  I would not have it so in my life.  Help me to live Your way.

A moment spend reading is a moment well-spent.  Thank You for leading me to that conclusion.  I have read Jesus’s words in the New Testament today, and I thank You that we have that record.  Also I thank You for the blessings of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Amen.

Patience as We Await Christ-Consciousness

“If you acknowledge your impatience as a sign of readiness for change that does not necessarily monet - yellow water liliesrequire action on your part, you will feel some relief.  (A Course of Love, 25.22)”

Affirmation:  “I will acknowledge impatience but not be ruled by it.”

Reflections:

1 – Ever More Eager

This impatience in the passage for today is a referral to the fact that we will become ever more eager to reach Christ-consciousness.  But we must be patient, for we may not be ready.  We may not be ready for a long time.  We do not have to adopt an impatient attitude.  We do not have to do anything at all.  No action, as the passage says, is required.

2 – Personal Experience

I have longed for quite a while to reach the Awakening, or Christ-consciousness.  But I am not ready yet.  And I do accept that.  Most of us, indeed, are not ready. I am fortunate in having had glimpses of Christ-consciousness–for three months and, later, for six months–and other glimpses, briefly, during daily life.  I am assured that these glimpses will lengthen over time, if I stay true to the pathway.  God will provide, in His own time.  And who would I be to try to hasten God?

3 – Part of God

Of course, I am a part of God, as are all of us.  So we do have some influence on this deepest part of ourselves.  But the personal self does not know.  Only the Self/Christ within knows, and we must be aware that our knowledge of this part of ourselves is still limited.  But we can wait, and we can wait patiently.  There is no hurry.  There is much that we can teach, even though we have not reached the pinnacle.

4 – Learn through Observation

Be wtih us today.  May we carefully study, learn through observation, and reach out to others, if they are interested in what we do or say.

5 – Just for Today

This is enough for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please remove those barriers in my mind and heart that keep me unready for Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis.  Help met to avoid attack and anger.  Help me to be patient as I wait for Your timing.  This is not a thing to rush, or to imagine that I have when I don’t.  I ask for sanity and good sense in the real world, a safe transition to Christ-consciousness.  No fear as I make the transition.

Be with all of us as we seek You.  You will know when we are ready.  And then, and only then, will we know fully why the wait has been so long.

Amen.

Definition of Creations

“If the urge to create is strong, certainly let it serve you.  But do not seek for praise or monet - sailboats2acknowledgement of your creations at this time.  You will soon realize that creation is not of, or for, the personal self.  (A Course of Love, 25.20)”

Affirmation:  “May what we create be without praise-seeking.”

Reflections:

1 – Creating Is What We Are Doing Now

Creating is what we are now doing all the time, if we have taken the precepts of A Course of Love to heart.  We are no longer just “making” a world.

2 – Creation of the Self/Christ

But creation is of the Self/Christ, not of the little self, the personal self.  This personal self was too ego-inspired.  For that reason, we may be asked of God to keep our creations private, lest we be led astray, by the ego, because we get praise for those creations.

3 – Personal Experience

Nobody is my hometown knows of my blog, for I have not told them, for a very personal reason.  Now I know that the real reason is that I might receive some sense of praise that would mislead me by activating my ego, still not dead in me.

4 – Definition of Creations

The same motive might attend your creations of whatever nature.  A Course in Miracles spoke of our “creations,” but did not define them.  Now here in A Course of Love Jesus does define creations, and it is a very simple definition of what we create of whatever nature.

5 – Diminish the Ego

We must do what we can to diminish the ego, and if keeping our creations a secret, then that is what we ought to do.  We need to recognize that we are weak until God has made us strong, and our weakness needs protection against temptations that may overcome us.  We ought not to step out seeking praise from anyone about anything, for surely this craving for adulation is egoic.  And we would leave the egotistical behind.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I create in Your will today, a will that is also my own (for that is the way things are)..  When I follow Your will, I find that it is what I want as well.  The plan is perfect.

Be with me as I see the ego diminish, or as I hope that I see the ego diminish.  Let me not get cocky, or for surely this is of the ego.  May I turn to the Self that is within me, and may I listen to You, also within me.  

Be with me for a good day.

Amen.

How to Live in Love

“All Selves are joined in wholeheartedness.  The one Self is solely involved in living love.  (A Course of Love, 25.17)”

Affirmation:  “I am One with all.”monet - bridge and bush

Reflections:

1 – All of Us Are One

We are one, all of us, and often I have made this point in this blog.  But we don’t often believe this.  I must remind myself of the truth of it constantly.  Knowing that we are one with each other, and with God, is a freeing mechanism of the highest order.  We don’t fret any longer.  We know that we are safe.

2 – Living in Wholeheartedness

Living in wholeheartedness is, according to A Course of Love, the union of mind and heart toward which we are headed, as we know all that salvation holds out to us.  We no longer look for “proofs” of the mind that are largely ego-inspired; we listen to our hearts, who know that proofs are not needed.  But we don’t just have blind faith.  We do have understanding that is not perceptive, but understanding that is knowledge from God Himself.  We are led, step-by-step, into the larger world where we can live freely and peacefully with each other.  These are the Selves of which we are one.

3 – The Selves = One

The Selves, then, are actually One, one with everything and everyone.  Let us meditate upon this truth today, and let words fall by the wayside.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would make the decision again today to turn to love rather than fear.  I ask that You accept this determination and shape my desires so that I do not have to repeat myself and pick myself off the floor because I have failed once again.  Help all of us to reach toward You with a certainty and a determination that will brook no failure.  I know that You want us to commune with You in prayer, and that it is through prayer, with the silences of listening, that we will come to know Your greatest joys for us.  Be with us today as we seek to treat all whom we meet with the love that they so richly deserve.

If I fail today, may I recognize that You will rectify all mistakes.  I need not fret that I am not perfect.  Indeed, Jesus tells us in A Course of Love that perfection is not required.  He tells us in A Course in Miracles that he stands at the end to correct any mistakes that we could not..  So thank You that we are in good hands.

May we seek to grow today in lightness, even as we grow in love.  You would not have us approach life with a seriousness that eludes peaceful and easy living.  The light touch, the light burden, all hallmarks of Jesus.  May we incorporate these traits into our own Selves.

Amen.

Glimpses of Awakening

pissarro- street scene - city“Living in love in every instance is what occurs when the whole Self is involved in the love of life.  There are no ‘parts’ of the Self fractioned off and holding resentments.  There are no ‘parts’ of Self living in the past or the future.  (A Course of Love, 25.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would live my Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Present

How can we fail to live, somewhat, in the past and the future?  It is always so hard to keep constantly focused in the present, though this is perennial advice which so many of us fail to follow.

2 – Live in Love and Be in the Present

When we live in love, living in the present becomes easy.  We love life.  We love our brothers and sisters.  And we, appropriately, love ourselves.  But most of all, we love God.

3 – Plans

We will be guided to know when to make plans for the future.  This guidance will occur at the time that thought or action is needed.  (These are paraphrases from A Course in Miracles.)  Otherwise, we are bade not to make plans against contingencies to come.  So simple, and yet so hard to live consistently.

4 – Forget Personal Self

If we love life, we will be so immersed in it that we will forget the personal self in favor of the Self/Christ.  This Self is the one that we really want to live within.  And we can do so, when God knows that we are ready for Christ-consciousness.  He will reach down and lift us up, and the change in us will be magnificent.

5 – Personal Experience

Twice I have had glimpses of this revelation; one lasted three months, the other, six months.  I was living in love both times, and so I do know that this admonition of Jesus’s is true.  Living in love makes such a difference.  I would live in love all the time, and this will, I think, hasten God’s action toward to lift me up to Christ-consciousness (i.e., Awakening).  I will eagerly seek, but I will not dictate to God what I want Him to do.  He knows already.

6 – Living in Love

This way of living in love is magical, but not in the sense that Jesus uses the term “magic” in A Course in Miracles.  It is an unbelievable immersion in joy and harmony.  All seems right with the world, and that is because we are, however, briefly, right with ourselves.

7 – Revelation

May we so live today that this revelation will come to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The fact that twice a long time ago I lived in love enough to experience glimpses of Awakening is motivating to me, hopeful that Awakening will come again.  But I try not to pester God with my request; He knows best.  It is enough to know that Awakening awaits all of us, when we are fully ready.

Be with me today for another good day.  If I stay active, I do have good days.  And when You make my agenda for the day, I have good days.  Open me to guidance today in all respects.  That is the only way that I want to live.

Help me to reach out to my brothers and sisters in need.  We all are in need at various times, and we are meant to help each other out.  When one is strong, the other is weak.  We take turns.  And this is as You intended us to live–in unity and relationship with ourselves, with You, and with others.

Amen.

Living from Love

renoir - girls putting flowers in their hair“You begin to live from love when the personal self gets out of the way.  And when the personal self gets out of the way in any instance, it is the turning point.  It is the signal that you are ready to live from love.  This is what the Course is about.  Living from love.  Living from love is what will reverse the lessons of the past.  Reversing the lessons of the past is what will allow one to live in love in every instance.  (A Course of Love, 25.16)”

Affirmation:  “I would live from love all day today.”

Reflections:

1 – Definition of Personal Self

The personal self has historically been the egoic self, and we are fast moving away from that egoic self.  When we are loving, we are welcoming the Self/Christ that is the real Self that is within.  This Self will begin showing itself the more that we live from love.  And in living from love, we leave fear behind–strong motivation indeed.

2 – The Ego

Our lessons of the past have partaken of the ego, and, as a result, the lessons learned have not always been true.  We have misled ourselves.  We need never make the mistake that it is God who is to blame, for this is insanity.  He gave us free will, and He would not, under any circumstances, renege on that great gift.  But, because of free will, we often see horrific happenings in our world.  And we wonder why God does not intervene.  And that is only one step away from blaming God for the tragedies in which we become embroiled.

3 – Free Will

God would grant free will to all, and there are many who misuse this great gift.  To deny to those who misuse this gift, the gift itself, is to turn aside from the evolution of the universe.  God waits patiently.  He has waited patiently, knowing the ultimate outcome will be good.  That does not justify the means that some of us have used in a nefarious way.  But it does help to explain why evil exists in our world.

4 – Bad Things Lessened

When we live from love, even the bad things seem somehow to be lessened.  Sure of the final outcome, we offer solace where needed, but we do not add our own uncertainties to that solace.  We do not intone, “Perhaps it was God’s will.”  Bad things are never the will of God.  If we can open the door ever so slightly to this interpretation, we will be ever more ready to live a tolerant life.

5 – Reverse the Incorrect

Let us spend some time today in communion with God, asking Him how we might reverse the incorrect lessons that have marred our past.  He will respond, for reversing that false learning is what A Course of Love is all about.  Be grateful that we do indeed have an answer to “Seek and ye shall find” (from the Bible).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live from a loving heart today.  Thank You for the specific answer to one of my prayers yesterday, with understanding of what to do coming immediately after the prayer.  The solution really is with the problem.  Thank You.  

Today has started well, in large part because I have sought to carry out what I received from You immediately after prayer yesterday.  What a blessing You have given me.  I sensed at the conclusion of my prayer, which I had typed out, that there would be a quick answer.  And indeed there was.  Thank You for these glimpses of the psychic.

Be with me as I seek to show love today to my significant others, most especially, but to all others that I might touch in some way.  You know best how that might come about.  Thank You for Your guidance, and may I be strong enough and courageous enough to follow Your guidance consistently, to turn on a dime if necessary.

Amen.

Adopt an Attitude of Invulnerability

“While you believe fate works against you, you are not in concert with the universe.  These attitudesmonet - field with trees confirm a continuing belief in your separated and vulnerable state.  During the time of tenderness, you will learn, through the practice of devotion, to identify and reject all such attitudes and to adopt an attitude of invulnerability.  (A Course of Love, 25.12)”

Affirmation:  “Fate works with me.”

Reflections:

1 – Time of Tenderness

If tenderness at first is our experience, with attendant vulnerability, we will move along in time to a new state of mind and heart, one of invulnerability.  This is a welcome change, and it is not a front, and it is not harsh.  Invulnerability of the right kind means that we are totally protected in our lives by God Himself.

2 – Our Devotion

To whom is our devotion directed?  To none other than God Himself.  When we practice visualization and affirmations, along with our prayers (communion with God), then we are indeed in a favored position.  The problems and difficulties of our lives will fall away.  We may not forever be free of struggles, but the very struggles that might previously have floored us, will seem much lighter and will affect us adversely in a much lessened way.  We will know, in our bones, that God is there for us.  As a part of God, we will come to recognize that our communion is with our innermost Self/Christ.  And we will act out of that Self/Christ, not from the personal self.  The personal self is always a limited version of the much larger Self that we really are.  And the personal self is too informed by that part of the ego that has not withered away.

3 – Invulnerability

So:  Let us welcome invulnerability, knowing that there is nothing artificial about it.  It is not a defense that will crumble.  It is God Himself, holding us to His bosom.  We are blessed indeed, and our lives will smooth out in ways that now we can only contemplate dimly.  Our contemplation will become more vivid as we walk along.  As our attitudes change, and we attract that which we wish to have–blessings–we will indeed seem to the unknowing to be leading charmed lives.  But our lives will be no more charmed for ourselves than for anyone else who is ready to give up the ego and walk into God’s outstretched arms.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I move from the time of tenderness, with its increased sense of vulnerability, may I adopt the attitude of invulnerability.  That is where You are pointing, and I would do well to recognize it.  Fate does not work against me, and You protect me when my mind miscreates.  May my attention go to that which I truly want, thereby working in concert
with the law of attraction.

I cannot look to You to save me from my own mental processes all the time.  You are a loving Father/Mother, and You do not wish harm to come to me.  Jesus waffles a bit about how protective You will be if my mind drops into dissatisfaction and negativity.  I am responsible for what I think, for all thinking creates form on some level.  May this remain a dream state that does not impede the dream reality in which I live.

Help me to have a good day.  I know what to do, and it is up to me to do it.  You have taught me well.  Help me to be a good student.  Thank You for Your many blessings in this sometimes difficult world in which we find ourselves.

Amen.

Tenderness

camille-pissarro-harvest“And each learning experience will be a learning experience because it will touch your heart. . . .You may feel as if everything makes you want to cry because everything will touch you, each lesson will feel tender.  Unlearning has no harshness about it.  If you simply allow it to come, it will reward you constantly with what can best be described as tenderness.  (A Course of Love, 24.1)”

Affirmation:  “I invite tender thoughts to my day.”

Reflections:

1 – Being Vulnerable

The tenderness that Jesus speaks of in the passage for today is not, perhaps, a wholly welcome feeling.  We feel too vulnerable when we are feeling tenderness.  But our heart is softening, and we are sometimes close to tears as we contemplate the gentleness with which God treats us.

2 – More Desired Emotion

Yet tenderness is a much more desired emotion than is harshness.  Tenderness is of love, and harshness is of fear.  And love will crowd out fear.  The more tender we are, the more open our hearts are to the blessings of God.  And we ourselves help in the process of gaining a better life, for like attracts like, and we find ourselves without the will to condemn, a will that ruined things for us as well as the others whom we sometimes condemned.

3 – Allow Tenderness to Envelop

We need to allow this tenderness to envelop us.  We need to welcome the vulnerable part of our hearts, the part that makes us want to cry–for it is indeed a tragedy that we have walked this earth for so long in such a bad fix.  We felt separated from God, and we blamed ourselves for this sense of separation.  But what is part of God (we ourselves) can never actually have been separate.  God has been waiting patiently, while we had our adolescent rebellion against him.  As His communication channels with us open once again, after eons of being asleep to the knowledge of Him, we are welcomed back with just this tenderness that we are experiencing.

4 – A Softened Heart

There is no mystery here.  We know, if we think about it, that we like a softened heart.  We feel love that way.  And it feels good to feel love.  May our days go better as we let this knowledge–for it is knowledge, not perception–become an intimate part of our assessment of our lives.  When we are happier, we will be in a better position to reach out to others in our lives, to make their lives go better as well.  We do not reach out, if our advances are unwelcome.  But we stand ready to help when others express an interest in our lives and in what we believe.

5 – Charmed Lives

It may seem sometimes, in this process, that we ourselves are living charmed lives.  But those who do not know why will wonder what gives us the joy.  If they ask, we can respond, in as kindly a way as possible.  Our lives are no more charmed than the lives of others who have seen the same light that we have.  And that light is within us all.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I live more mindfully, I will react from a tender spot in my heart.  This is You softening my harshness, and I do only welcome this change.  If I cry, You will cry with me.  You will soften my heart to gentleness and lovingness, and all will be well.  I will live a charmed life, as will all who listen carefully to You.  Thank You.

I welcome this time of tenderness.  Having met Mari, who scribed A Course of Love, I know that she lives tenderness, and she is a good role model for what Jesus was trying to tell us in this remarkable trilogy.  Be with us as we would all seek to be more like Mari, who heard the words first.  She lives a quiet life, and it is in quietness that You are heard most consistently.

Be with me today as I seek to be attentive, ever more attentive, to the significant others in my circle.  Thank You for the camaraderie that I know in everyday life.  The camaraderie and the love.  You are blessing me tremendously, and for that I thank You.  I ask You to bless, in a similar way, all of my brothers and sisters in this world.  May what I say in this blog touch their hearts, and it will be You touching their hearts.

Amen.

Life Experiences

pissarro003“You might ask, how do you learn what you have failed to learn previously? . . .Your life must become your teacher, and you its devoted pupil.  Here is a curriculum designed specifically for you, a curriculum only you can master.  Only your own life experiences have led to the learning you have accumulated and translated into beliefs.  Only your own life experiences will reverse the process.  (A Course of Love, 23.29)”

Affirmation:  “My life experiences will now reverse the failed lessons of the past.”

Reflections:

1 – Reverse the Learning of the Past

How do we reverse the learning of the past, the egoic learning that so misled us and made us miserable?  We must simply take the next step that seems right to us, as we listen to our hearts.  We can reverse any and all egoic tendencies, and in so doing we will learn anew and, this time, learn aright.

2 – Are We Learning Aright Now?

How can we know that what our life experiences are teaching us, now, is correct?  We can answer one simple question:  How do we feel?  Are we finding joy in the midst of everyday experiences, however painful they may be?  Are we happy, in spite of these inevitable difficulties?  And do the difficulties seem to be a breeze for us, where earlier they might have derailed us entirely?

3 – Follow the Heart

If we are following our hearts, there will be a noticeable decline in painful experiences.  What we need to learn will still be presented to us, and sometimes struggle will be involved, but when we turn to God in communion, our burdens will lighten immediately.  Not hours later, bur, if we believe strongly enough that God is helping us, the burdens will lift immediately.  We will know that this blessing has occurred when the day seems somewhat lighter to us, and we ourselves feel lighter.  We are, finally, listening to God, as well as our brothers and sisters.  There is no end to the ways in which guidance can come to us.  But come it will, when we turn gently aside from the egotistical ways that previously directed our path in this world.

4 – Reverse the Separated State

Our life experiences will then be in a position to reverse the isolated and separated state in which we have believed ourselves to be.  We will learn joyful lessons, so different from the misery that we brought upon ourselves by keeping God out of our lives.  We will attract the good by our attitudes.  Our calm and peace will envelop us, and we will turn to God instinctively, as the day progresses.  And as each day passes into a new one, we will find ourselves ever more ready to affirm God’s blessings.  We will know that we are on the right pathway, finally.  And if we are honest, we will recognize that we did it all to ourselves!  God is ever more eager for our healing than we ourselves are, as Norman Vincent Peale, an inspirational author/pastor of the last century, said.  In our own experiences, we can know that Dr. Peale was right.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to listen to my heart today.  If another intervenes between my heart and myself, may I know how to respond, because we are influences by others’ agendas.  May all work out for the best, as You have taught.

Be with me as I seek to learn from my life.  May my life experiences not be a drag upon me, but a joy.  May I regret nothing from the past, knowing that all that I have lived through has prepared me for each next step.

Amen.

Dedicate All Thought to Union

“If you will remember that the one exercise for your mind is dedicating all thought to union, you will bridgepontoise2pissarrokeep your mind engaged and less resistant to unlearning.  When you feel resistance–and of course your mind will resist unlearning what it has striven to learn–return your dedication to union.  Acknowledge your mind’s resistance as a sign that unlearning is going on.  Acknowledge it but do not engage it.  (A Course of Love, 23.25)”

Affirmation:  “I would focus on union today.”

Reflections:

1 – Union

Union is the fact that all relationship is One.  We are one with God, with our Selves/Christ, and with our fellow human beings–not to mention the world itself and the universe of which the world is a part.  There seem to be many parts to what surrounds us, but all are united as One.  And that is the unlearning that we must choose to focus upon today.

2 – Resistance

When we resist this axiom, then we can know that we are actually in the process of unlearning.  We are actually on the way home.  The resistance from the ego, mightily weakened by now, is strong, but it is not insurmountable.  We do not have to add our resistance to that in which our ego is engaged.  We can simply turn aside from resisting, just choose a different pathway, and all will be well.

3 – Turn to the Heart

The mind is the home of the ego, and we would do well to turn to our heart today.  We need to truth of the heart to carry us through the mind’s resistance.  If the mind questions, “How can this be?,” we can counter with our own heart’s response:  It does not matter “how,” just that it is true.  This is what the passage means when the words say, “Acknowledge it but do not engage it.”

4 – Be Patient

We need to listen to our hearts more and more as time passes.  Eventually, in A Course of Love, we will join mind to heart, in wholeheartedness, and all will be well.  We are getting there, but we have not arrived yet.  In this in between time, let us be patient.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would unlearn some of what I have tried, in my ego, to learn–and I have striven mightily.  Help me to recognize union when I see it.  Help me to acknowledge that union is what I want more than anything, most especially union with You.

Be with me as I seek to unlearn those things that would hold me back from Awakening.  I know that Awakening is Your blessing for me, and I wait in patience.

Amen.

When What You Imagine Becomes Reality

pissarro-montmartre-night“Still you find it difficult to believe that what is possible depends upon what you can imagine being possible.  You must cease to see the difficulty and begin to see the ease with which what you can imagine becomes reality.  (A Course of Love, 23.17)”

Affirmation:  “I would imagine what I wish to see created.”

Reflections:

1 – Law of Attraction

This is the way that A Course of Love states the law of attraction, or like creates like.  If we imagine strongly enough, we will have that which we seek.  If we imagine good, good will come to us.  In a warning, we also must realize that if we imagine the bad, the bad may also come to us (though God protects us to a degree).

2 – Imaging the Good

There is no difficulty is imaging the good.  We can steep ourselves in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the Bible, or inspirational literature.  We can look to others for guidance that will help to take us home.  We are not bereft in this world of ways in which we can learn how to imagine the good.  We need only to look around ourselves to see how to create the good.

3- Creating

“Create” is the operative word here, for in Christ-consciousness we are creating rather than “making.”  And we all have had, by now, glimpses of Christ-consciousness, or we would not have read this far or studied A Course of Love through the passages indicated.  We are ready.  And we will have ease in what we create from our imaginings.

4 – Be Careful of What You Dwell Upon

The passage for today is particularly reassuring.  It says that what we imagine will easily come to pass, will easily be created.  The only proviso is that we must be careful of what our thoughts dwell upon.  If we think of negative things, then negative things will come to us.  If we think of positive, the positive will come.  And we all know which is better.

5 – Ease

“. . .[T]he ease wtih which what you can imagine becomes reality.”  What a blessing this is!  May we watch our minds and hearts carefully today, to be sure that what we dwell upon is really what we want.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do not fully understand the law of attraction, and I do realize that You protect us to a degree, in that there is a delay before negative things spiral down upon us.  And we must be careful not to tie You to a formula.  You are not, in my opinion, a genie in a bottle, bent on doing our bidding.  Maybe our bidding would not be good for us, and then You will often say “no” to our requests.  This is traditional religious thinking, and I see no reason to depart from it now.

Be with us as we consider the importance of what we consider our “idle thoughts.”  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that all thinking produces form at some level.  And so we need to watch our minds carefully.  There is really no such thing as an idle thought.

May today be good.  May we give up the obsessions that sometimes threaten our peace of mind.  And may we ask only what what would be good for us and others.  May we not include selfish prayers that benefit no one, including ourselves.  Let us acknowledge that there are mysteries here that we do not understand fully, and we need to tread softly.

Amen.

Knowing through Relationship Is How Life Is

pissarro - street scene2“The relationship becomes the known.  While it is your nature to seek for more, it is also the nature of life to exist in relationship and to become known through relationship.  This is how knowing comes to be.  Knowing through relationship is not a ‘second best’ situation.  It is how life is.  It is how love is.  (A Course of Love, 23.2)”

Affirmation:  “I focus on relationship today.”

Reflections:

1 – What Relationship Means

This passage does not only mean relationship with other human beings.  This passage means relationship with all that we know, our inner Self and the world as we see it.  We stand in relationship to all, and that is how we learn, and that is what we love.

2 – Not Solitary Creatures

What does it mean to be “in relationship” to all?  We can take these words literally.  They mean what they say.  We are not solitary creatures; we were not created that way.  We are meant to be in relationship to all that surrounds us.

3 – With Significant Others

Of course, we focus most of all on our relationship to our significant others.  This is the way that A Course in Miracles defined salvation to be found.  And here A Course of Love picks up where ACIM left off, and also amplifies the concept.  It is a progression, because we were not ready for the full truth when we were dislodging the ego, as in ACIM.

4 – Reciprocity

We need to give our significant others the love that they need.  They in turn need to reciprocate, but this is not mandatory for the blessing to happen to us.  We will learn from love even when it is unrequited.  And we will learn from love when it ebbs and when it flows.  There is nothing that we learn outside of love, for Love is all that there is.  Everything else is illusion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that the world that I see is illusion, though it seems real enough to me.  I would recognize that the love that I feel in relationship and unity is the only true reality.  Help me to live peacefully with this knowledge, for it is knowledge, not perception.

Be with me throughout this day, to make of it a good day.  You will make of it a good day, and it is only I who would rue it.  I would not rue today.

Amen.

Definition of Love

“Knowing and love are inseparable.  When this is realized, it is obvious that love is the only true monet - travels with victoriawisdom, the only true understanding, the only true knowing.  Love is the great teacher.  And your loving relationships the means of learning love.  (A Course of Love, 23.1)”

Affirmation:  “I would learn love from my relationships today.”

Reflections:

1 – Knowing

We must seek to “know,” not to perceive, for perceptions are fleeting and knowledge is eternal.  When we love our significant others, and even beyond to other people, we come to knowledge.  This is the way of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  It is through relationships that we come to know.

2 – Love Cancels Out Fear

Only in relationships will we be free of fear, for love, true love, cancels out fear.  Is not this motivation indeed?

3 – Dislodge the Ego

The motivation to dislodge the ego, and to replace that ego with true identity, is paramount if we are to know lasting happiness.  And lasting happiness, along with salvation and forgiveness, represent our function here.  Happiness, salvation, forgiveness–all are synonymous.  And when we have reached outward to our brothers and sisters, we will know that love is here to envelop us.

4 – Today’s Task

May we know this today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know love today, for surely this is the all-important pathway to happiness.  And happiness is a worthy goal, though I have not always believed that it was my function (along with salvation and forgiveness, as ACIM says).  Help me to love, first, my significant others, and then may I also love myself as I love them, and then may I love my brothers and sisters, met and unmet, in this world.  I am conscious of the Other Side.  Indeed, I imagined that my great-grandmother and a friend of ours visited me in the middle of the night two nights ago when I was having trouble sleeping.  I sensed their presence, though I did not see nor hear anything.  Thank You for that experience.  A very comforting experience.

May I seek only to bring comfort today, an affirmation that Hugh Prather, the late writer/speaker on ACIM, recommended.  May I bring comfort to my husband, who is so good to me and such a blessing in my life.  I waited a long time to find him, but the wait was worth it.  Thank You for giving me the patience to wait until the right man entered my life.

Be with me as I seek to know more of love today.  You are Love, and You are not simply an emotion.  Help me to see more of that which You are.  And thank You for guiding me so gently and peacefully to good days of serenity.

Amen.

Intimacy

pissarro - village“This intimacy itself will allow you to see your ‘self’ as an integral part of all that exists within your world rather than as the small and insignificant personal self you generally accept as your ‘self.’  By eliminating the personal, the universal becomes available.  As the universal becomes available, you will have no desire for the personal.  Even so, you will find that what you consider your individuality or uniqueness is very much intact, but that it is different than you have always imagined it to be.  (A Course of Love, 22.23)”

Affirmation:  “I would encourage intimacy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Moving Away from the “Little” Self

This passage is an excellent statement of what we will gain when we give up focusing so much on the personal, or “little” self.  We will still retain individuality and uniqueness, but we will also be part of the unity of our world, and we will be in relationship to others, always.  We have been so self-centered that we have forgotten our brothers and sisters.  And we would not do that.

2 – Transcend the Personal Self

The universal will be joined in unity and relationship, two words that are used repeatedly in A Course of Love.  The personal self will be deemphasized, as we reach outward to other people.  We will not denigrate the personal self, but we will transcend it.  And then we will know the universality in our experiences.

3 – A New Uniqueness

We will come to know a new individuality or uniqueness in ourselves.  This change will help us to both honor ourselves and others.  We will not lose anything thereby.  On the contrary, we will know the best of all possible worlds, for our perception will have been cleansed, and we will have moved into knowledge granted us by God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know this new “uniqueness” today.  I would move away from, just turn away from, without resistance, the personal self that has been too much turned inward to a self-centeredness.  When I reach out to my brothers and sisters, I reach out in Your will.  But that does not mean that I neglect myself.  All in good time.  To give and receive are one.

Be with me as I explore this new uniqueness of self.  It is something that I don’t know enough about, yet, and I implore You to show me.  May I still recognize myself in the true sanity of the real world, and may I not be jolted out of my accustomed world into a new and strange place.  I ask for a gentle Awakening.  Thank You for those glimpses of the Awakening that come to me from time to time.  I ask that all of my brothers and sisters experience the same, in gentleness and in love.

Amen.