Give Up Difficulty for Ease

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“Let me be clear.  The seeming lack of difficulty in this course is where its difficulty lies.  To give up difficulty for ease is more than some egos are willing to accept.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I know ease today.”

Reflections:

1 – Ease

Reading A Course of Love should be a task full of ease.  The difficulty arises when we try to study it as we study other courses of study, including A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love is more abstract, which is the means by which our hearts are engaged.  We do not have to study, and, if we try, we will go astray.  We will also be greatly frustrated if we try to study it as a textbook.  This is not the right approach at all.  Just let the words drift into your mind, stopping for nothing, taking deep thought for nothing.  Repeated readings will get the gist of it into your heart, actually by bypassing the mind (which wants to analyze).

2 – Beauty of the Language

The beauty of the language is enthralling.  When we let the words flow over us, we are captivated by the content as well, though we may not recognize this at first.  We may think, and rightly so, that we are missing a lot, or that we are reading things that we do not fully understand.  As we move closer to Awakening, the words will begin to make more sense to us, and without any strain at all.

3 – The Ego

Our egos continue to get us into trouble.  The ego wants to make everything hard that is actually meant to be easy, because its rule is to seek but not to find (an ACIM tenet).  Try to loosen the ego’s hold on our minds, but not by overtly resisting it, for resistance makes the ego strong.  The ego is strong in strife (another ACIM tenet).

4 – Easy Reading

A Course of Love is actually easy reading, much easier than A Course in Miracles.  Mari, the scribe, listens with her heart perhaps more than her mind, and Helen (ACIM scribe) listened to her mind.  This approach is exactly what Jesus needed in channeling to the two individuals, for ACOL is to the heart what ACIM was to the mind.

5 – ACIM and ACOL

We will do well when we realize that, after ACIM and now as we consider A Course of Love, we are ready to listen to our hearts.  They know without demanding proof of everything.  They lead us aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose ease today, especially in reading A Course of Love.  I wish no more to be frustrated by the fact that my mind cannot study ACOL as it did A Course in Miracles.  

May this day morph into one of ease.  May my heart inform my mind that egoic influences are dead in me.  And may that deadness be true.

Amen.

Inevitably Receive the Answer

Impressionist-Paintings-020“In unity and relationship, each is not only capable but will inevitably receive the answer and come to the understanding or interpretation that is right for her or his heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I interpret life well today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Are One

We are One, in unity as One and in relationship to the All.  These two words, “unity and relationship,” are used repeatedly in A Course of Love.  And well they are, for they emphasize a major theme that complements the idea that mind and heart need to work together in wholeheartedness.  If we are wholehearted, we will rejoice in the camaraderie that we know with others, as well as with ourselves and God Himself.  There is no end to the joy that we will know.

2 – Interpret Life Well

We will come to interpret life well.  We will no longer be lost in a maze of confusion.  The things that we need to do will occur to us at the point that knowing what to do becomes important.  We are led, and led gently and well by God, Who knows us better, of course, than we know ourselves.

3 – Life Improves

Be with us today as we seek to interpret well.  May our analysis of the day be benign, slighting no one.  May we know that life gets better as we seek God more often.  When He becomes our constant companion, the one to whom we refer all perplexities, we will be well on our way Home.  And Home is not the Other Side, but the real world that A Course in Miracles tells us about.  This is the world that we will see when enlightenment is sustained in our elevated physical Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to know, to interpret, my life as it is meant to be interpreted, in an accurate way.  May I know what to do and when.  And may I remain calm and joyous, letting confusion drop away.  When anxious moments arise, may I just let them go.  And let them go in the moment, the Now.

Be with me as I travel through this day.  May I no longer pay my “pound of flesh,” as a Shakespearian character did, but know that being anxious is not a talisman to keep bad things from happening.  I would live in trusting You.  May that strong degree of trust engulf me today.

If my mind strays to worry, may I know that I am failing to have enough faith to get through the day.  You don’t send bad things, but in our world bad things do happen.  And there is always a good lesson in these things that will eventually, and sooner rather than later–in faith–take us home to You.  A home in this world that is heaven on earth.

Thank You.

Amen.

Be Very Careful What You Set Your Heart Upon

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“I ask you merely to receive in order to learn receptivity, the way of the heart.  I ask you only to pause, to give the mind a rest, to enter a realm foreign to the mind and yet beloved to the heart.. . .I ask you to give yourself a chance to forget about approaching this as one more self-improvement exercise, or one more objective to accomplish.  Only in this way do you come to realize that you are already accomplished.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I would give my mind a rest today.”

Reflections:

1 – Already Accomplished

What does it mean to be the “already accomplished”?  It is an ego-less state, that is for sure.  Feeling the truth of this joyous statement does not mean that the ego has one more kudo to chew upon.  On the contrary.  It means that we reside in a receptive mode, the one of the heart, that allows things to come to us.  We don’t go out, aggressively, to self-improve.  Such self-improvement campaigns usually end in disappointment, and during their time in the sun, they are frequently a tribute to our egotism.

2 – Passivity

How do we become more receptive?  This involves a certain passivity, because to be receptive means that one is not out there trying to bring home the world’s jewels for ourselves.  We would be disappointed if we tried.  That is why the law of attraction does not always work well in the long haul.  The stories that we are told never tell us the times that the law failed to bring joy.  But fail it will, if we seek the goods of this world without the blessings of another world.  If we seek pleasure, without the joy of God.

3 – Source of Attraction

We do ourselves a disservice when we seek to attract without acknowledging the Source of our attraction.  And we often ask amiss, and though we bring that hoped-for thing to our doorstep, we will not remain happy about it.  Something will come that trips us up, if we have not surrendered to God and His will for us.  We are told in A Course in Miracles that God’s will and our real will are actually identical.  But it takes much prayer and much guidance to ask aright for the things in our world that would really be of benefit to us.  There is a strong warning, “Be very careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely have it.”  Yes, we will have it because of the law of attraction, but we need guidance in setting our hearts upon the right choice to ask.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I seek a rest today.  I want to attract to myself only what is good and right for me.  Help me to do so.  And may You protect me from myself if I need that.

Help me to understand more fully the law of attraction.  It is puzzling that I think that You will protect me if I ask amiss, and then I wonder if indeed You will.  This is a lack of faith, and I would faith in You as a central facet of my life.

Be with me as I seek to turn over to You, that I do turn over to You, the things that trouble me.  You know best how to resolve everything for the good of all.

And I ask that today.

Amen.

A Receptive Heart

Style___impressionism_3_by_monguz“You are coming home to the way of the heart.  What you gain by sharing with others is a situation in which you ‘learn’ in unity through the receptivity of the heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I share with others today.”

Reflections:

1 – Heart

May my heart be receptive today.  May I share with others, to the extent that You would wish.  May I share accurately, and may my heart dictate the words that I write.  Only when the heart is engaged do we really come to realize that we are really alright the way that we are, that all is well with us, and that we can correct the faults of our personality simply by willing these faults to disappear.

2 – Unity

All of us are One.  This is what “unity” means.  And we are one not only with our brothers and sisters, but with God and His helpers, and with ourselves, our deepest Self.  May this assurance bring us comfort today.  May we realize that the oneness of our being means that we are never alone, and therefore we do not have to fear isolation.  We are not meant to be isolated, however introverted we may be.  Everyone needs some companionship, and it is in the assurance that we are One that we know that we are not alone.

3 – Observe

May our hearts be receptive today.  When our hearts are open, we can observe (the replacement for learning) in a way that we cannot otherwise.  May today be a good day, a receptive day, that lends us credence for a safe world in which all of us abide under God’s care.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the intuitive indications You have given me today.  They provide much solace, much comfort.  May I not depend on intuition to live my life totally, but may I know that the solution is always with the problem, and so the answer is there for me to find–immediately.

When I listen to my heart, I am the better off for it.  May I encourage others to have a good day, listening also to their hearts.

Amen.

Listening with the Heart

guillaumin-ivry“Often you will find a desire to read A Course of Love again–to read it aloud–to hear it spoken.  This is a natural desire to let the words of this Course enter you in yet another way–the way of voice.  Again it is not required nor even recommended that these readings be interrupted by a search for meaning.  Listen.  Respond.  Let meaning be revealed.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I will reread A Course of Love, listening with my heart.”  

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Study

We are encouraged here not to “study” A Course of Love.  This is hard for us, for A Course in Miracles required study, and intense study indeed.  But A Course of Love is to be read with an abstract mind, letting its truths permeate the mind with a balm that dismisses the need to analyze.  In fact, we miss the point if we try to analyze.

2 – Read Aloud

Let us read at least some portions of A Course of Love aloud.  The language is beautiful.  Hearing the words as we will speak them will encourage a different part of our minds to respond.  And our heart will get in on the act.  And the heart is what has been the new element introduced by Jesus in ACOL.  Let us not forget that it is by way of the heart that we come to know much that has eluded us earlier.

3 – How the Heart Learns

It can be frustrating to read A Course of Love and to feel that we are not “getting” it fully.  This is the way that the heart learns, though–by inference more than direction.  And when we are frustrated, we need to slow down and let the words just roll over us.  We will not then be disappointed in what we find therein.

4 – Don’t Struggle

Be attentive to what ACOL says.  But do not struggle to learn.  Let its wisdom enter your ear as you read aloud, and then know that what is missed will be observed in another pass through its words.  A Course of Love is meant to be read and reread before its words are written on our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to expand my learning via the heart into not only a reading of A Course of Love, but in other ways in my life.  I will listen with the “ears” of the heart, ever attune to what You are trying to tell me.  Let me relax in Your pleasure.  May I not strain to understand, but be patient as I let the truth be revealed to me.

The heart knows what the mind cannot comprehend.  I would learn with my heart in all ways today, just to see where it takes me.  And I am reassured that the heart will take me to very good places indeed.

Amen.

On Rereading A Course of Love

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“In wholeheartedness then you are ready to return to a second reading of A Course of Love.  In wholeheartedness you will find difficulty falling away and understanding arising.  You are beginning to know yourself in a new way.  You are beginning to know yourself without the perceptions and the judgments of the mind.  You are beginning to know yourself as you truly are and you will begin to hear the language of this Course as the language of your own heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I am beginning to know myself as I really am.”

Reflections:

1 – No Judgment

We need to let judgments fall away.  Judgments and expectations are two major barriers that we erect against intimacy with out loved ones.  And we would be rid of these barriers.  A Course in Miracles counsels that we will fall away from our salvation if we attack, make judgments, or weave plans against contingencies to come.  This is a somewhat hidden warning, but there in the Text nevertheless.  And we would today take a look at judgment.

2 – Wholeheartedness

Wholeheartedness is the natural state of our being.  In wholeheartedness, we have woven mind and heart together to form one.  And we will know ourselves better.  At this point we are bade to reread A Course of Love, and it is intimated that therein we will come to know ourselves better.  We will be without the judgments of the mind when we have moved completely into wholeheartedness.  The heart does not ask for “proof” as does the mind.  The heart just knows, with a sureness that comes from God.

3 – Know Thyself

If we only could know ourselves as we truly are!  And this is the promise of the passage for today.  We have so often thought that we did not know ourselves, and certainly, with the ego in ascendancy, we did not know our real Self.  Our real Self is the elevated Self of form, the physical being that lives in this world, but who derives sustenance from high realms.

4 – The Self

The Self is a blessing.  And when we glimpse this Self, even in fleeting moments, we will know what the future holds for us.  And it is good indeed!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would listen to the language of my own heart, not only in ACOL, but also in everyday life.  What is my heart trying to tell me?  What is my heart saying?

This turning inward to ascertain what is truly important is a giant leap toward the life that I want.  I look to the future, but always I am also satisfied in the present, trying to live in the Now as much as possible.

Help me know what my loved ones need from me today.  And may I provide what is mine to provide.  If their needs are for something that I cannot provide, may You see that they receive the prayer of their heart.

Amen.

How to Read A Course of Love

water and sailboats - images“Listen to the words as if they are spoken to you, for such they are.  Listen as you would listen to a friend in conversation.  Listen simply to hear what is being said.  Listen simply to let the words enter you.

“This is recommended for your first reading of this Course.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “Let me read ACOL as I would listen to a friend.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Study

It is hard to study A Course of Love.  We are told in this passage for today that such studying, such learning, is not necessary–or even desired.  It is preferred that we listen lightly to what we read, that we let the words come into us in what I would describe as an abstract way.  We are learning through observation, not study, and observation is the new way of learning in the new world of Christ.

2 – Mari

Learning in an abstract way may be frustrating to us.  Indeed, I found it frustrating, for I was used to the real study that A Course in Miracles required.  Different people respond differently.  Mari herself (the scribe of A Course of Love) said that she had forgotten much of what was in ACIM, despite reading it seven times before channeling A Course of Love.  Her mind is simply different from that of some of us.  And in her case, we can be glad indeed!  Otherwise, Jesus’s wise words might never have reached us at all.

3 – Relax

So let us relax as we read A Course of Love.  A calm and tranquil spirit will find all that we need to find in such relaxation, such easy reading.  Do not think that you have to catch it all on the first reading.  Jesus recommends repeated readings in this addendum.

4 – Gentle and Easy

The conversation with a friend, which reading A Course of Love compares, is gentle and easy.  Let us be gentle and easy as we seek to incorporate into our hearts all that ACOL says to us. Then and only then will we be ready for the wholeheartedness that is largely the goal of A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I read A Course of Love, help me to approach it in an easy and relaxed way.  May the words wash over me without effortful thinking.  You mean for us to assimilate ACOL differently from A Course in Miracles.  I thank You that we are farther along on the pathway home.  May I find the right approach to enlarge my understanding and to truly hear the words that this trilogy conveys.

Be with us this day to keep as calm as ACOL would have us be.  Just as ACOL is meant to be read from a serene viewpoint, may I carry this attitude over to interactions with people as well as books.  Be with me for a day that will make for great strides toward home to You.

Amen.

Give Up Effort in Reading ACOL

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Note:  A year or so after the Course of Love series was complete, Jesus provided “learning in the Time of Christ” as an aid to those questioning how to work with the material of this Course.  It has been edited here to serve as an introduction for taking, and living A Course of Love.  The full text is available from http://www.acourseoflove.com.

“Yet it is your difficulty in giving up your attachment to learning through the application of thought and effort that creates the perception of this Course’s difficulty.  Thus it is said to you to take this Course with as little attachment to your old means of learning as is possible for you.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “Do not retain old ways of learning.”

Reflections:

1 – The Unconscious

It is not possible to read any of the volumes of A Course of Love with the “old” way of learning, or at least that has been my experience.  The material must be absorbed differently, with a bit more of an abstract approach.  The material does not lend itself to traditional means of studying, and I have done much studying in my life.  The material, instead, asks that we contemplate, as we read, with an almost detached mind.  Then the material becomes absorbed through the unconscious, where the material can do the most good.  If we try to “study” in the old way, we will just frustrate ourselves, because we will find that we cannot easily retain what we have read.

2 – Ignore “Old” Way of Learning

So give up old ways of learning, and let the heart speak to you as you read, gently, all three volumes of A Course of Love.  Abstraction, we are told in the A Course in Miracles, is the most natural way of the mind.  We have made specifics our god, and that concrete thinking does not work for the heartfelt A Course of Love.  (It does work better for A Course in Miracles, though.)

3- Let Your Heart Speak

We do not need to make a tremendous effort to “learn” A Course of Love.  This will not lead to mastery.  Let your heart speak to you as you read, and you will be sure to have placed your allegiance where best it can be placed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would give up my frustration that studying A Course of Love gives me.  I will read as though I were reading a story, and I will let my unconscious mind absorb the tenets.  This is the preferred way to read, and I would do so today.

Be with me during this day of turning aside from the ego.  I did turn aside from the ego yesterday, for a long time, and so today my ego is likely to try to have a field day.  No longer.  I will listen to You, listen in no fear, and know that I do not need the ego to “protect” me.  Indeed, the ego has never protected anybody.

May I get along well with my brothers and sisters today.  And may friends, known and unknown, have a good day.

Amen.

Soothe Your Worries Away

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“If you do not think you are yet prepared, if you think you are not yet ready, cease to think.  Read again these words of love and let the sound of love soothe your worries away. Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you and I will return them to you transformed by Love.  (A Course of Love, 32.5)”

Affirmation:  “May I give my inferior thoughts to Jesus to transform.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort from ACOL

This passage for today is very comforting.  Let us read again from A Course of Love when we are upset, for these are the words of Love.  These are words that can lead us back to God.  The very sound of words of love will ease troubles away, and in this we have help.  We are never alone, though we may imagine ourselves to be.

2 – Jesus as Primary

Jesus takes his place as a primary factor in our lives with this passage for today.  “Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you. . . .”  What comfort!  We cannot understand how he will transform these troubled thoughts, but we can give Jesus a chance.  And he will not fail us; that is my conviction.

3 – Troubled Words Transformed

For troubled words to be transformed by Love is to let those troubled words be transformed by God, Who is Love (with a capital “L”).

4 – A Heartfelt Appeal

We are bade to cease to think, if we think that we are not yet ready for all that Jesus holds out to us.  He is appealing to the heart, which does not need to think.  And that heartfelt appeal will draw us in.

5 – A Conclusion

This is the final passage from the main part of the original volume of A Course of Love.  It is indeed enough, for we know that Jesus walks with us, to soothe and comfort us, to lead us Home.  And that is surely what we have wished all along.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be soothed today.  I would join with Jesus as my companion, my friend, and I would listen to the internal promptings that may come from him.  He promises to be with us upon one unequivocal call.  I make that call today.  I leave with him the things that trouble me, for he is able to transform them so that they trouble not me nor anybody else.  What a blessing this is!

May I know the soothing presence of Jesus.  May I recognize that there are other teachers, but, for me, Jesus is the most important one.  I have chosen to follow the way that he has pointed out, and though I read from other individuals, my heart belongs to him.

Amen.

Be True to Love

monet-soleil“This Course has succeeded in ways you do not yet understand and have no need to understand.  These words have entered your heart and sealed the rift between your mind and heart.  Be true to love and you cannot fail to be true to yourself.  (A Course of Love, 32.4)”

Affirmation:  “Be true to love today.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL Has Succeeded

It is very reassuring to read that A Course of Love has succeeded in ways that I don’t understand.  And that I have no need to understand.  Certainly I do not recall the whole volume, but perhaps it has found a place in my heart.  And the heart does not think intellectually.

2 – How to Practice Love when It Is Hard

How are we to be true to love?  We are to practice love even when it seems hard, even when others attack us and we feel like retaliating.  Retaliating is not the way, for we will only feel worse later on.  Do what we have learned to do in the face of seeing a lack of love.  Perhaps taking a timeout is best.  Or praying in another room.  The temper can get the best of us frequently, especially when we are unwell.  Let us not succumb to crankiness today.  Remain loving, quietly, if in no other way.

3 – Wholeheartedness

In this part of the conclusion of A Course of Love, Jesus reminds us that he has led us from mind and heart being separate, to the wholeheartedness that combines the two.  This is a central theme of ACOL.  When we are true to love, we are true to ourselves.  There is no other way to be true to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to practice love today, even when circumstances seem to make practicing love hard.  Our significant others are not always in good moods; they may be doing something that they really don’t want to do; they may be worried about their health.  The problem can be any number of things, but I ask today to have the patience to stay sweet and to wait out the bad mood.

Be with us as we seek You in wholeheartedness, mind and heart combined.  This is the way that is being shown to us, and it is a wholly good way.  May we seek and find You today.

Amen.

You Are Home

images -impressionist“Thus we end this Course with love given and love received in truth.  You are the learner here until you realize that you are Love.  You then become the teacher of what you are.  Your mind and heart join in wholeheartedness in the embrace.  You are home, and there you will forever stay.  (A Course of Love, 32.3)”

Affirmation:  “I am home.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort

What a glorious statement of our place in this world!  Being “home” is a comforting thought, and it the place toward which we have longed to come for such a long, long time.  Eons have been spent in searching for what can only be found within, the God within.  And to find God, we must give up the version of our personal self that is the ego.

2 – Definition of the Ego

This assertion does not mean that we will fall apart on the inside.  The ego, as defined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, is a false view of self, having no basis in reality.  It is not as Freud thought, the integrator of the essence of ourselves.  Instead, while a part of our belief about ourselves, it is the home of lies about our real Self.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

When we have truly integrated, we will become the elevated Self of form, and we will know what Jesus is talking about.  This is the Christ-consciousness that so often we have longed to experience.

4 – Soon

May the day be soon for all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am eager today to be completely at home with You, not that I want to die but that I want to live in Your blessing always, as the best that You can make of me.  “Home” is heaven on earth, and that I long for with all my heart.

Be with us as we seek to do Your bidding.  Your bidding is actually what we ourselves would always choose, because Your will is our real will.

May my brothers and sisters find You today, even as I too seek.

Amen.

Your Uniqueness

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“It is in the different relationship of one aspect of creation with all the rest that the difference you so prize as your uniqueness exists.  And only there.  Only in relationship are you uniquely you.  Only relationship exists.  For Love is relationship.  (A Course of Love, 32.1)”

Affirmation:  “Only in relationship do I come into my own.”

Reflections:

1 – Relationships

We exist and live in a world of relationship, not only with our deepest Self but with all others.  And “others” includes nature as well.  We are not alone in any sense of the word.

2 – Why Isolate?

Why do we so often want to isolate ourselves?  This is actually the sheerest folly, even for introverts.  All of us need to reach o ut in some fashion, and when we do reach out, we come into the full expanse of our powers.  We give and we receive.  We are part of the whole, the All, part of God.

3 – Ego

We prize our uniqueness, but if this uniqueness is an ego-mind aspect, we are led astray.  The persona that we show is an ego-oriented self, and it remains the personal self, not the Self.

4 – Abide in Love

We are meant to abide in Love, and Love is of God.  Only this much will satisfy us.  We deserve better than what an egoic notion of our self could provide.  God would wish more for us.

5 – More

Let us find that more today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would focus only on my uniqueness as a function of what God has given me.  I would not seek a self-image, a persona, that is informed by the ego.  And this will mean that I cast aside egotistical ideas about my physical appearance.

So many of us focus on the external.  Help us today to focus on the internal, the uniqueness that only God can give.

Amen.

Finding Comfort in the Sacred Trinity

“When you call upon Love you call upon your Source.  When you seek the wisdom of your morisot-summer-dayheart you call upon me.  When you seek the truth that is in your mind, you call upon the Holy Spirit.  Thus is the Sacred Trinity always available in every situation, and for whichever learning mode you are most comfortable.  (A Course of Love, 32.2)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand the Trinity.”

Reflections:

1 – Traditional Theology in Christianity

The passage for today harkens back to traditional theology in Christianity–the Holy Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Let us take each part and see what we can come up with.

2 – God, the Father

The first part, the Father, is God Himself (gender is actually neutral).  When we feel Love, we are seeking God Himself.  And we will find Him.  We do not  have to believe that God doesn’t know about us, unless that is the theology of A Course in Miracles that appeals to us.  There is a difference of opinion within the Course community about this question.  In addition, Neale Donald Walsch, in his Conversations with God series, indicates that God, in effect, sent us out to play and does not really care what we play.  This suggests that the illusion is really somewhat meaningless.  Yet the illusion is very real to us, and we do feel pain and we do experience suffering.  So there are no easy answers.  It is best that we take unto ourselves only what seems to speak to us, not straining to believe what does not come naturally.  Jesus says in ACIM that a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary.

2 – The Son

The second part, the Son, is Jesus himself.  He says in this passage that when we seek the wisdom of the heart, we are seeking him.  We do not understand how he can be with anybody and everybody simultaneously, but he seems to suggest that this is possible.  And we know that there are natural laws about which our science, as yet, knows nothing.  Calling upon the presence of Jesus is part of traditional Christianity also, and feeling his presence, when he is called upon, also is a part of traditional faith.  Certainly I have been led to feel closer to him from my reading of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, for I used to see Jesus as a judgmental figure.  This judgmental figure seems to be a product of certain passages in the New Testament.  But the love that Jesus actually has for humanity shines through very vividly in these newest channeled writings.

3 – The Holy Ghost

The third part, the Holy Ghost (Spirit), speaks to our minds.  His was the Voice that we were to listen to in A Course in Miracles.  He speaks to us, in those volumes, as intuition, as well as a host of other almost miraculous ways.  Jesus tells us in A Course of Love, though, that we are in the time of Christ now, and so we harken to Christ-consciousness rather than the Holy Spirit.  We may not yet understand this, but when we have experienced the Awakening, we are promised understanding.

4 – The Bible, ACIM, and ACOL

Certainly this blending of traditional Christianity with A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is a blessing.  We don’t have to discard what has served us well in the past.  We need only walk into the future with the best that we can find in the newest writings available to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the continuity of Christian thinking.  This continuity is a great comfort to me in today’s troubled times in our world.  May we see that Jesus comes to fulfill Scripture, not to turn away from it.  His words reach us now in ways that we are ready to hear.

May I come to greater and greater understanding as time passes.  May my brothers and sisters come to greater and greater understanding as well.

Thank You for the inspiration that prompts the texts that mean so much to me.

Amen.

What Would Love Have Me Say?

Monet-Field-of-Poppies-II-font-b-famous-b-font-hand-made-Oil-font-b-Paintings“That Source is Love, and it is available in every situation but for the asking:  What would love have me do?  What would love have me see?  What would love have me say?  (A Course of Love, 32.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose Love consistently today.”

Reflections:

1 – God = Love

Love is not just an emotion.  As we know, Love is another Name for God, another name for the Divine.  We do not understand this mystery in our minds, but our hearts do understand, and it is our hearts that A Course of Love frequently appeals.  And when we join mind to heart, we have the wholeheartedness that is required of us by ACOL.

2 – Akin to ACIM

This series of questions in today’s passage are reminiscent of year another series of questions, along the same lines, from A Course in Miracles.  But in ACIM, we are bade to ask these questions of the Holy Spirit.  And here the three questions are bade of love, another way of viewing emotion in the heart.  So Love does partake of emotion.

3 – Certainty

We can know certainty, when we look within and see no lack.  We respond in Love, and then we know what to say, do, and even think.  There is no confusion on this point.

4 – Look Within

This indeed is the certainty that this world has lacked heretofore, and the certainty that we have craved.  As previously noted in A Course of Love, we have looked to this certainty in our relationships, where it cannot be found.  But when we look within, lo, there it is indeed.  And our words, actions, and thoughts smooth out so that we attract all that is right and good in our world.

5 – Law of Attraction

Much has been written about the law of attraction, in which like attracts like, and we can have anything in our world if we realize that we “create our own reality.”  Many have found that this practice of thinking and making affirmations does not always work as promised.  That is because we are trying to make a formula of God, and He will not be pigeonholed that way.  We cannot carry God in our hip pocket, as my freshman professor of religion warned us in class one day.  God is too big to be manipulated by our mere words.  Even our feelings are not enough, for this is simply the wrong way to get what we want.  We may succeed for a time, but all will turn to ashes and dust in our hands if we do not place the Divine at the center of our lives.  He is the only certainty in our changing and unstable world.

6 – Will All Go Smoothly for Us?

God does not give guarantees that all will always go smoothly for us.  It is certain that following a faith will make us happier and more joyous, but we will always have difficulties, for difficulties are part of the human condition.   These difficulties will not seem so onerous, though, when we know that there are higher laws of which we know nothing.  God has not revealed all of his secrets to our limited minds and hearts.  We could not sustain these secrets if He tried, and so He gives us only what we are ready to have, and this is not always the same as our heartfelt wishes.  Having all that we want would not always be good for us, for often, in our frailty, we ask for the wrong things.  And he protects us from ourselves in such cases.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to choose what Love would do, say, and even think.  This is asking of You what You would have me do, say, and think.  There is no formula that would make of You a genie in a bottle.  You do not respond in the affirmative to our every affirmation, even the ones that we seek to “allow.”  You are too big for that.  You are also too caring of us, for sometimes we ask awry.  We ask for what would not be good for us.

I would ask today only for what is right and good in Your sight.  Then and only then am I certain of getting what I have asked for.  Thank You that this, in my interpretation, seems true in my experience.  Anything else smacks of a pact with the devil (i.e., the ego).

Amen.

Our Hatred of Uncertainty

pissarro - pobae026_landscape_chaponval_1880_mus_orsay_paris_france“Since you live in a world of such extreme uncertainty, one of your highest requirements of those you have relationships with is a mode of behavior that allows you to know what to expect.  (A Course of Love, 31.36)”

Affirmation:  “I will not have expectations of my loved ones today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Dilemma

The passage for today highlights a very human predicament.  Because the world is uncertain in that we never know what to expect next, we try to impose certainty by having expectations of our significant others.

2 – Do Expectations Work?

But does this ever–ever–work?  I don’t know of any case in which it works consistently.  Our loved ones are not here always to do our bidding.  And even when they are willing to do so, the flesh is weak, and we cannot always depend on them to be there when we need them.  Nor can we depend on loved ones to do for us what only we can do for ourselves, we in conjunction with the Divine.

3 – Asking Too Much

We are asking too much of our loved ones with unrealistic expectations.  It is expectations, ironically, what cause the breakdown of many relationships.  “Don’t lean on me, for you will knock me over.”  I once heard internally these words in regard to a particular significant other in my life.  We do not want to displace our burdens on already burdened human beings.  They may not be able to sustain us.  And, moreover, sustaining us it not their business.  We need to be whole human beings, secure within ourselves, with God’s help, who form a healthy bond to another.  Do not our secular psychologies say much about co-dependent relationships?

4 – Can Never Predict

We can never predict accurately what our loved ones will say or do in any meaningful way, even when we know them well.  And this is asking too much of them, as I have implied.

5 – Depend on the Self/Christ

Then we cannot choose amiss, though we will still make mistakes that are eminently correctable.  We can always choose again if a given day goes badly.  Our main choice, for God, has been made, and we are, if intellectually certain, ready to walk a green earth under such conditions.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not get uptight today due to uncertainty, for I would depend upon my Self/Christ, and God to give me the guidance to live in an uncertain world.  There is no other way to live dependably.

Be with me as I walk in this uncertain world today.  You and You alone can heal me, can allow me to know what to do to choose the Self/Christ within, and the guidance that comes from such a choice.

Help me to choose once again, if this day should go awry.  I can always start the day again, if things do go awry.  But I do pray that this day will proceed easily and peacefully, Your way.

Amen.

Transformation

Paul-Cezanne-Painting-012

“Your experience here is but an extension of mind into a realm in which experience can occur.  Your ego has made of this something different than it is.  Rather than extension of mind your experience has become a projection of ego.  This can change.  (A Course of Love, 31.35)”

Affirmation:  “I would withdraw from the projections of my ego.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL vs. ACIM

A Course of Love is more welcoming to experience in this world, in my opinion, than is A Course in MiraclesACOL sees real benefits to an experience in this world, provided that we are moving toward the elevated Self of form.  This elevated Self of form is the sustained awareness of the inner Self/Christ which we will know when we have walked the whole pathway, the pathway to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening.

2 – The Insane Ego

Our experience here is of the physical.  In ACOL, such an experience is not denigrated.  But our problem is that our minds have dipped into insanity by way of the creation of an insane part, the ego.  And the ego does not love us or wish us well.  We can frequently see in the ego the old devil, or enemy, concept of traditional Christianity.

3 – The “Devil”

Just what was the devil, or enemy, in traditional Christianity?  It was a fallen angel who took on God as its rival, at times (as in Job) causing God to engage in contests that sought to prove that the devil knew better.  And there is in many of us this dualistic nature of thought still raging.  We have not left behind this egoic interpretation, for that is exactly what the devil really is, an invention of the ego.

4 – Battle with God?

We are not in a battle with God, and neither is our ego.  The ego just thinks that it is battling God.  God doesn’t respond.  He knows that eventually all of us will choose to eliminate the pain from our lives and choose again His way.  We, unfortunately, do not always understand the truth that His will and our will are actually identical.  We want what He wants for us, but we are just unsure about this.  We think that it is an infringement on the free will that he gave us.

5 – An Imprisoned Will

Actually this is a misnomer.  Our will is actually imprisoned when we choose against God (an ACIM tenet).  And we would not choose to live a life that is, essentially, a loveless and painful experience.  We find joy in turning to the God within.  There is no greater joy than communion with Him or with His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  Once we realize that truly His will for us is the same as our true inner will, we will no longer be in conflict.  We will no longer be Jonahs, railing against His will for us.  We did not create ourselves, though an agnostic or atheist might have trouble with this assertion.  We need to set to one side our intellectual doubts, and just allow the experience of God to infiltrate our minds.

6 – Agnostic or Atheistic?

We will then not long remain agnostics or atheists.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would transform my experience in this world from a battleground for the ego to an experience of a transformed Self for whom God is very real.  I would see that my ego’s idea that I am battling God is not true.  I would seek to know only the true.  

May all of us walk together toward an experience in this world that is the best that this world can offer, the best that life on the earth can offer.  We will be surprised at the transformation that can occur.  And we need to take steps toward that transformation today.  Thank You for guiding us.  Thank You for Jesus’s inspired words in A Course of Love.

Amen.

The Truth Is Not a Secret

giverny-3 - monet - garden“Your ego thoughts can never share the truth with you nor with anyone else.  The ego invented the idea of ‘telling’ the truth and using it as an opposite to telling an untruth or lie.  Thus were born ideas of being able to keep truth a secret, one of the most ridiculous ideas of the ego thought system.  (A Course of Love, 31.25)”

Affirmation:  “I forget my ego’s version of the ‘truth’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Non-Dualism

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love present a non-dualistic view of reality.  This non-dualism is the fact that God is All, and that anything else is illusion, projection, or dreams.  Thus the “truth” of the ego, which is illusory, means nothing.  All of this is part of the theology of both ACIM and ACOL.

2 – Don’t Let Theology Delay You

If the theology bothers you, don’t let it cause you to dismiss ACIM and ACOL out of hand.  Jesus says in ACIM that theology can delay us, and we would not be delayed.  We would have the universal experience that he says is possible.  And a universal expereince threatens no one.  A universal theology, on the other hand, is impossible.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

3 – Personal Experience

We need to tell the truth.  We need to drop lies from our pantheon of impulses.  But that does not mean that the truth has any truth in it when the idea that we are expounding comes from the ego.  It is quite possible even to tell the ego’s truth in your nighttime dreams; I did that just last night.  And I awoke in a good mood, but I quickly told myself that this good mood was an appeal to my ego, and not something that I wanted to encourage.  The ego dies hard in us, even when we have studied carefully for years.

4 – Appeal to Sanity

Today’s passage is an appeal to sanity.  The ego is not sane (and neither was my nighttime dream).  We would drop the insanity or madness from our lives, and the only way to do that, if we are working in the framework of our courses,  is to be diligent in our practice of the tenets of ACIM and ACOL.  (There are, of course, other ways to reach God, but our way is ACIM and ACOL, if we so choose.)

5 – The Ego

Don’t fret or worry if the ego intrudes, as it did in my nighttime dream.  Don’t resist, either, for the ego is strong in strife.  Just turn aside gently, and choose again (an ACIM tenet).  Choose again on this journey without distance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The truth is not a secret, kept from us.  We are fully able to ascertain Your truth, but we must do so without the intrusion of the ego.

I would know Your truth today.  I would drop all egoic and egotistical ideas from my mind slant, and I would welcome You instead.

Be with me as I walk along my pathway for today.  There is nothing that being with You in Your presence will not improve.  Thank You.

Amen.

Guilt and Shame

monet - bridge reflections“Those things about which you feel guilt and shame are simply the remnants of lessons unlearned.  While you hang on to them by keeping them hidden, no learning occurs.  (A Course of Love, 31.19)”

Affirmation:  “May I be aware of my guilt/shame today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Do Not Admit

Many of us on the spiritual path do not want to admit to our guilt and shame, but we need to take a look at all parts of ourselves if we are to be awakened.  Guilt and shame may be exactly what is causing us to stay on this side of awakening.  There aer two parts in this lesson, and each mean something a little different.

2 – Regrets

Guilt is a proactive emotion, and is often the result of something that we have said or done that we regret.  The answer is to ask for forgiveness, and to remember that in this we need to ask ourselves for our own forgiveness.  God does not forgive, we are told in A Course in Miracles, because He has never condemned.  He wants only our good, and He fully understands our frailties.

3 – Shame Different from Guilt

Shame is a little different from guilt.  We may be ashamed when there is no need, in which case we have a kind of false shame.  There are always mitigating circumstances, and sometimes our minds are not rational.  We may do or say things that we later look back  upon with shame, but we had diminished responsibility, for which we need to give ourselves some latitude.  Of course, sometimes we do things that are shameful and for which there are no mitigating circumstances.  Then we need to address the guilt that in all likelihood attends the feeling of shame.

4 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the touchstone of A Course in Miracles.  And there is no better way to put guilt and shame behind us.  Make amends if necessary, and know that God Himself does not hold anything against our fundamental innocence.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know that, rationally, there is nothing to feel guilty and shame about.  That does not mean that I have eliminated all error, but just that forgiveness is mine whenever I ask for it.  Of course, this means that I must listen to You and not repeat the mistake.  To repeat the mistake and repeatedly ask for forgiveness is a misjudgment, in my opinion.

Thank You for the fact that guilt and shame came to the forefront today.  I needed to hear this lesson.  We often say or do things that we regret.  None of us is perfect.  And today I am particularly prone to noticing my imperfection.

Be with me as I seek to reestablish a good self-image, even though that is a persona that is not the real I.  I would soon be done with personae, and rise to my Self.  A Course of Love will show be how.  Thank You for that channeled work.

Amen.

Overcome Depression

“Impossible learning goals lead to depression.  This is why we must learn anew with a mind Green-font-b-Wheat-b-font-font-b-Field-b-font-with-Cypress-II-By-Van Goghand heart joined in wholeheartedness.  (A Course of Love, 31.13)”

Affirmation:  “May I avoid depression today by not seeking impossible learning goals.”

Reflections:

1 – Egoic Goals

We have all too often sought to learn things that are impossible for us to learn.  These were goals of the ego.

2 – A Better Way

But Jesus assures us that there is a better way.  We do not have to get depressed, trying to learn something strange that is not “for us” at all, for we do want to leave the ego behind.  The ego always leads to depression, for it is an idle thought that is not really idle.  There are no idle thoughts, for all lead to form at some level (a tenet of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Wholeheartedness

May we seek the wholeheartedness that gives heart and mind in conjunction with each other.  May our minds be so cleansed of egoic attitudes that we can listen to our hearts, and then we can invite the mind back into the equation with a major welcome.

4 – Heart Knows

The passage for today gives a major theme of A Course of Love.  It is not a hard theme to learn.  We know that the heart “knows” in a way that the mind does not.  And we would be wise to listen to our hearts in lieu of convoluted thoughts of our minds.  When the mind is cleansed, then is time enough to welcome it back, with great joy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not court depression by seeking to learn things that are impossible to learn.  I would forsake egoic goals forever, and I would take a stance today to do so.  Depression is major life problem for many people, and it just may be that many of us thrive–or fail to thrive–because we are ego-oriented.  The ego is always being undone.  It is always that way.  For every up moment, there is a down one, and the down ones ultimately predominate.  I would be free of this foolishness forever.

Thank You for leading me to understand that the egoic goals that I courted in my youth and early adulthood were false thinking.  I did not know any better.  But now I do.  And I pray to You that I will not let myself be misled by a part of myself–the ego–that refuses to wither away.  I do not need the ego to live a fully satisfactory life, and, indeed, I cannot kowtow to the ego and still lead a satisfactory life.  The ego as defined here is a false way of viewing life, not the organizing principle that another definition would have it be.

May I just turn aside from ego ideals.  May I not actively resist them, for the ego become strong in strife.  Be with me as I seek to take my place as an equal among peers.  There is no need to seek for superiority, for superiority is a false value.  All talents will one day be shared equally among Your children.

Amen.

In God Only Find Your Self

van gogh - birds against dark sky“Give up this notion of losing your Self to God, and you will be done for all time with resisting God.  Only in God can you find your Self.  This is known to you, and is the reason for man’s quest for God throughout all time. . . .Not looking to God to find your Self would be akin to searching everywhere but the Earth for humankind.  If you do not seek where what you wish to find can be found, you seek in vain.  (A Course of Love, 31.10)”

Affirmation:  “I turn to God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nirvana

Perhaps many of us have feared the concept of nirvana, when the soul loses itself in God completely and is annihilated in God.  But Jesus is not here advocating such a belief.  He says that we find ourselves in God, and it in the Self that is consumed by God that we know peace.

2 – Lose Ourselves to Find Ourselves

Surely we all want to know peace.  And we may not know how to go about losing ourselves in God, losing ourselves to find ourselves.  This is a legitimate question, but one that is easily answered when we give the technique a try.

3 – Feel God’s Presence

When we feel God’s presence, we are giving this technique a try.  And who has not felt God’s presence?  The warmth is palpable, and so welcome.  We would have more of it; we would never leave it.  But the emotions are involved, and when the emotions are involved, there is always change.  So we do not feel God’s presence on a constant basis.  The times that we do feel His presence, though, are enough to propel us forward into asking for my evidence of His Being.

4 – Feeling Warmth in God

May God be with us as we seek His presence today.  Enough times of such warmth will assure us that He is not to be feared, in the sense of being afraid of him, or of the possibility that we will be annihilated.  We will be all-consumed, but not annihilated, and there is a substantial difference between these two concepts.

 

5 – In God

To be all-consumed by God is to feel His love at all times, as well as the love of our Self that negates pain (a tenet of A Course of Love).  This is indeed a blessing that we would seek, and we may ask for it today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would no longer fear nirvana, which suggests loss that is foreign to my deepest understanding.  I would no longer resist God because I fear losing my Self.  In God I find myself.

Help me to feel Your Presence, a Presence which I feel, in my good moments, as a palpable warmth.  Thank You for giving me this blessing.  And may I do longer have foolish fears of annihilation in You.  Your are my completion, and that is all that I need to know.

Amen.

Akin to Eckhart Tolle

claude-monet-poplars-on-the-epte-81679“In the sense of time described by the word present, there is no infinitude, but only a vague concept of now.  This is the key concept that I not only knew but demonstrated.  This is the legacy, the inheritance, I left to you.  (A Course of Love, 30.8)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in the Now today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Now

This passage from Jesus is well-described by Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now.  But our minds are like runaway puppies, eager to explore past and future, seemingly impossible to pin down to the present.  Yet the Now is Jesus’s legacy to us.  He lived in the Now, and he wants us also to do so.  It will not come to us by trying, but only by the grace of God.  And we will not lose anything thereby.  We can and should ask now for the experience of living in the present, the present that is eternity.  All moments that we experience are always Now.

2 – A Richness of Life

Why do many spiritual leaders stress living in the Now, if it is so difficult to do?  They do not choose to encourage us in such a practice because it is difficult, but because it works in our lives.  Living in the now allows a richness of life that nothing else can satisfy.

3 – People’s Choices

Many people choose daring adventures that force themselves in the Now.  They report that at such times of such peak experiences, they, for once, felt really alive.  And that is what living in the present will do for us.  It will make us feel truly alive, truly grateful for the opportunity of a life spent on earth.

4 – Just Stop

How do we slow down and stop enough to experience the Now?  The only way to stop is to stop.  Give a few moments to prayer, contemplation, meditation, and the like.  Let the mind become still.  Do not fret.  If we are especially fortunate, then the experience that we have at such moments of stillness will give us a hunger for more times like this.  We will be hooked on the Now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize eternity.  This is the idea that Jesus is truly getting across.  I would understand eternity by living in the Now.  And all will be well.

I can practice living in the Now by being mindful as I go about routine tasks during the day.  Help me to follow Your way as I go through this day.

Thank You for the revelations that You have given to Eckhart.  

Amen.

Do Not Be Afraid of Death

cezanne - still life - fruit

“This world as you perceive of it is built around the foundation of fear, a fear that stemmed from the belief in finite life, in being born into a body and dying to the body.  The person who knows, truly knows, the simplest truth of the identity of the Self no longer lives in a dualistic position with God, but in a monistic state with Him.  (A Course of Love, 30.7)”

Affirmation:  “I do not have to be afraid of death ever again.”

Reflections:

1 – Death and Our Identity

Today’s passage is, first of all, about death.  But, more than that, it is about our real identity in eternity, the Self that exists in eternity and does not have to ever fear the demise of the body.  Yes, surely, the body will die, but the Self has never even been born into this finite world, because it is totally beyond illusion and is, in truth, a real thing, living in the real world.  (A Course in Miracles indicates, in the Manual, words to this effect.)

2 – Monistic State with God

The passage concludes with the fact that we dwell in a monistic state with God, being One with Him.  We do not have to conceive in any way whatsoever that God is separate from ourselves, for He is not.  When we believe in a separate Being who is God, we are dwelling in dualism, and ACIM and A Course of Love do not teach dualism.  In that sense, ACIM and ACOL are at odds with some biblical statements that regard the world as God’s handiwork, and describe an anthropomorphic figure who can come down and walk with us in the garden.  This is a beautiful myth, and it is not far off track, when we conceive of our deepest being, being God, that we are a part of Him.  We can commune with God, for He is the Universal, and He recognizes that our channels of communication to Him have been closed, because we have been asleep.  And, metaphorically, he “thinks” that He must awaken us.  (These are paraphrases from A Course in Miracles.)

3 – Work with God

Let us do all that we feel God is asking of us to be made ready for Awakening (as ACIM calls it) or Christ-consciousness (as ACOL calls it).  We do not know the hour that this blessing will be bestowed on us.

4 – Awakening

It behooves us to be ready, but not to strive to be ready.  Awakening is the gift of God, and we do not have to make elaborate preparations for its arrival.  The holy instant will so transform us that Awakening will be easy and tranquil, relaxed and peaceful.  (The “holy instant” is described in ACIM.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that I am no longer afraid of death.  I am probably more afraid of suffering unto death.  But I ask You to help me with that as well.  I know that life is eternal, but I did not come to this conclusion on blind faith.  There are indications along the way, and I thank You for leading me to read the right things that supported, for me, a belief in eternal life.

Help me to get ready for Awakening, but I know that it is not indicated to strive for Awakening.  You make the decision, and I await Your good pleasure.  Thank You for the glimpses of Awakening that You have shown me.  And those glimpses show me that what will come is good.

Amen.

Be Like the Little Children

Sunset_Foggy_Weather_Pourville - monet“Your learning must take on a new focus.  Be like the little children and inhale the world around you in order to make it part of your Self.  Be like the little children, and learn in order to claim your learning for your Self.  Learn who you are through each experience rather than learning in order to find out who you are or what your contribution will eventually be.  (A Course of Love, 30.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would think of a childlike response to the world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Echo of the New Testament

This passage echoes the New Testament, of course.  And here Jesus is using the analogy of little children to teach us a new way to learn, and it is through observation (though he does not say so at this point).  We need to “inhale” (a strange word) the world that surrounds us in order to learn through each experience that we have.  It is the process, rather than the end result, that Jesus emphasizes in today’s passage.

2 – Being Supersensitive

How might we inhale the world?  How might we observe?  We can indeed become supersensitive to the world in which we find ourselves, and supersensitive to the daily experiences on our daily round.  Neither of these suggestions is difficult.  But we need to get beyond a focus on the end result of what we are seeing (observing), just to experience–period.  Then the observation that we make will be learning in a new way, the new that has been presaged in A Course of Love.

3 – The Present

Often we settle down into a book or a web site, and concentrate with all our might on the message that it might contain.  But we also have an eye to the future, what we will get out of this message that will transform us, or somehow make us better.  This is not living in the present, and many religious leaders counsel living in the present as much of the time as possible.  Always the present is the only time that there is, but, oh, how hard it is for us to recognize this very simple truth.

4 – Observation

Observation of the outer world, focus on our experiences in it–both will eventually take us to the present, and to our home in God.  May we leave aside preoccupation with past and future today as we dwell in the only place that there truly is, the present.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend time today thinking of what it means to think as a little child.  I recognize that this is not an exercise in immaturity, but the height of rationality and good sense.  But I don’t usually think this way.  Perhaps I need to trust You ever more, and trust is a prime attribute of little children.  They normally have trust in their parents, and I can transfer that same kind of trust to You as my heavenly Parent.

I do not fully understand trust.  Guide my thoughts today so that I come to comprehend better.

Amen.

Worry Explained

van gogh - flowers4“All your worry over the future and the past is but a worry about the return of gifts given.  What gift of opportunity did you not accept in the past, might you not recognize in the future?. . . .What peace might you know if you realized, truly realized, that all gifts come but once and are forever?  The past nor the future matter not.  All is available in the here and now where giving and receiving occur.  (A Course of Love, 29.25)”

Affirmation:  “I would cease worry immediately, for gifts are given permanently.”

Reflections:

1 – Obscure Passage

The meaning of this passage is a bit obscure until we dissect the sentences.

2 – Past and Future

First, we are to cease worrying over past and future.  We have been afraid that the peace that we know in the present is a brief peace that will disappear when circumstances.

3 – Giving and Receiving = One

This does not have to happen.  Our faithfulness to the truths that Jesus gives us in A Course of Love, the giving and receiving as one, is all that is required.

4 – Accept God’s Plan

Second, we have the opportunity to accept the plan of God today.  We do not have to let this opportunity slip by the wayside.  And we must not.  We need not fear that this opportunity will not be offered again (for it will), but why wait?

5 – Christ-Consciousness

Third, the peace that we feel can and will be permanent when Christ-consciousness is sustained.  This may be a long time off, but in the meantime, many of us will be given glimpses of the revelation that all is well.  We will know Christ-consciousness in ever-greater intervals of time.  And that is the great promise.

6 – Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving are one.  How often and how long have we known this?  But perhaps these words are simply words to us.  To give is to invite the receipt of the gift given.  We find that like attracts like, and this is the law of attraction, about which so much has been written recently.  Many have found the truth in this law, but we would find amiss if we stop with just the material benefits.  The material benefits will not long satisfy.  It is the intangibles of God that count for the most–the joy, the harmony, the peace, the tranquility.  And in these intangibles do we learn the most about giving and receiving being of one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease worry, the worry that has dogged my steps for many years.  All of this is such foolishness.  Do I or do I not trust You?  I know that if I follow Jesus, everything will be alright.  And Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are manna unto my spirit.  Thank You for his part in Your plan.

May I return also to the Bible in my contemplative moments.  I see the Bible, especially the New Testament, ACIM, and ACOL as part of a continual tradition.  Others may not agree, but I thank You that this interpretation gives me peace.

May all of us have a good day.  May none of us turn pain into suffering.  With You in our lives, welcomed in, then all indeed is well–regardless of outer circumstances.  Thank You.

Amen.

Choose Once Again

“The choice to change your belief is before you.  Are you ready to make it?  As you once pissarro_stage-coachchose separation you can now choose unity.  Not knowing that unity was a choice prevented you from making this choice before now.  Now I tell you clearly, the choice is yours.  Choose once again.  (A Course of Love, 29.18)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose unity today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Way to Christ-Consciousness

We need to change our beliefs, to believe no longer in the separation that never was, and to embrace the unity that always has been–which we are now ready to accept.  There is no other way to Christ-consciousness.  We must be aware that we are “as” relationship to all, “as” as well as “in.”  And it is in the “as” that we come to see that we cannot get along without communion with God, with our deepest Christ Self, and with other people, our brothers and sisters.

2 – Unity Our Greatest Need

When we recognize that unity with the All is our greatest need, we will be willing to cease this desire for meaningless independence, the isolation that so many of us feel deep in our minds and, perhaps, even, we think, in our hearts.  Our hearts do not really feel thus, though, for they do not have the intellectual doubts about God that stop or, at least, impede, so many of us.  Let us ask for the intellectual understanding that will quell our restless minds, but let us not get hung up about it.  We know in our hearts that God is real, and that He is the only real thing in a real world.  Everything else is illusion, for we ourselves, and everything, is a part of God.  Our brothers and sisters are, likewise, one with God and one with ourselves.

3 – God’s Blessing

It is time to choose again, to choose the blessing that God would bestow upon us.  Fear can fade away when we say the affirmations that come us to from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, as well as the Bible.  These affirmations proclaim a truth that is above doubt, a truth that all is really well with us–regardless of outside circumstances.  Even pain is alleviated and kept from escalating into suffering when we live close to the deepest within ourselves, the deepest which is God.

4 – Join in Unity

May we join forces with all whom we see today, to join in unity with our brothers and sisters, and to pray for the Christ-consciousness which will mean that we will live in unity without any time constraints, permanently.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to get very clear about what we need–and that is a unity with all, You and All that exists.  May I reach the clarity that will tell me this in my deepest heart of hearts.  May I depend on You for the answers to my needs, knowing that needs are always answered.  My wants may not be realized, and that is as it should be.  I may want what would hurt me.

Thank You for helping me to realize that I must keep my mind clear to avoid attracting the wrong things.  I have some say in this, though You will guide me–always–when I let myself be open to guidance.  May I follow Your will and Your way today, all through the day.

Amen.

Cease Toiling

ptg-monet-magpie“Your work is that of creation.  Your creation is your service to the world as your Father’s work is his service to you.  As you cannot imagine God toiling, so you should cease to imagine yourself doing thus.  (A Course of Love, 29.10)”

Affirmation:  “I would refrain from ‘toiling’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Protestant Work Ethic

Many of us think that God is a hard taskmaster, because the Protestant work ethic is embedded in our culture here in the United States.  God is not a hard taskmaster; it is ourselves that merely think this, erroneously.  God would have us work effortlessly, and when we are living the Self/Christ that we really are, we are at peace, relaxed, and capable of great service to others (and ourselves) without strain.  We work the easy way.

2 – Toil Unnecessary

It is only our perchance for toil that seems to bring it upon us.  We do not need to toil in service to ourselves, and we also do not need to toil in service to others.  Easy does it.  The best and hardest work is that which is the easiest to do.  We may not immediately believe this assertion, but let us reread the passage for today, and, if we believe it, we will know this to be true.

3 – Creation

Our creation is not the “making” that was of the ego.  Instead, our creation is creating in the real world, the world beyond illusions, the world of joy, peace, harmony.  These intangibles of God find concrete form when we listen to His guidance to us.  And only then.  We work amiss when we try–try–to do “good works” for Him.  He would not have us strive to please Him by such means.  He will teach us the easy way to work, if we will only listen.

4 – Hardest Work Becomes Easy

So, let us have no more of hard toil.  The hardest work, objectively, becomes easy when we invite God into the mix.  Let us do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When we relax in Your embrace, the most stressful day becomes smooth.  We do not need to toil, wearing ourselves out.  When we are at home in You, then we can work very, very hard–but the work will seem effortless.  And, of course, effortlessness is the easy way to work.  

Thank You that Jesus said long ago that his burden was light.  And when the burden is light, it truly is not a burden at all.  May we spend the rest of today thanking You with grateful hearts for the burdens that no longer weigh heavily upon us.

May we cease fretting and worry.  These are among the most common burdens, and with You in us, with us aware of You in us, fretting and worry are understood to be needless.

May the day go well.  May we bless our brothers and sisters with our words, our thoughts,
and our actions.

Amen.

My Child, Return to Me

monet - lily pads2

“If God were to speak to you Himself and tell you of what means your service would be to Him, He would but tell you this:  My child, return to me.  God has no Will apart from yours.  Your return to unity is all God seeks for you, for Himself, and for all His children.  The return to unity was my [Jesus’s] accomplishment, and all that is meant by what I have often repeated here:  Only you can be accomplished.  Your service is but dedication to this goal.  (A Course of Love, 29.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would return to God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

This passage for today is indeed beautiful.  If all God asks of us is to return to Him, then we would do well to heed Him.  Our will and God’s are actually identical, and therefore we do not have to fret that we will be led down paths that we don’t want to take.  We need to realize that we are part of the while, and in returning to the One (God) we return to unity.  We are living in relationship to all at the same time that we are unified with all.  Unity and relationship are touchstones for A Course of Love.

2 – The Accomplished

We will serve, ourselves and others, and in this service we will become like Jesus, in that we will be “the accomplished.”  We need not fear that this is arrogance of the ego, for it is not.  It is the way that things actually are when we are living the Self/Christ.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

The Self/Christ is the elevated Self of form, which means that we are living a physical existence in this world, but we are elevated to the union with God that we all so need.  Union with God, the unitive state, is what mystics of all generations have found, and in the finding they have known peace indeed.

4 – Of Service

Let us ask today to be the accomplished, and with this accomplishment, we will want to be of service to ourselves and others.  We can ask no great blessing than this, to be One with God and our brothers and sisters, one with the All.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be patient as I am of service to others today.  May I make sure that I am embracing You at every turn.  This is what You want.  This is what I want.  May I not let impatience for more hold me back even further.

My I embody the elevated Self of form as soon as You deem possible.  May I enjoy the days that lie between now and then, and may I remain patient always.  Only You know best.

Amen.

Avoid Over-Dependence on Others

“Knowing is alien to you, and that is why you seek validation.  Each validation is seen and felt as a reward, a prize, a confirmation that you believe allows your conviction to grow.  Because you believe it, this is, at first, quite true.  But now it is no longer the time to rely on conviction that comes from the witnesses you find along your way.  (A Course of Love, 28.10)”

Affirmation:  “May I depend on my own knowledge.”

Reflections:

1 – Warning

All of us on the pathway back to God have turned to other people and their words to help us make the journey.  But here there is a strong warning from Jesus.  We are not to become too dependent upon others.  We are, instead, to rely on the inner Self/Christ.  We turn inward for correction, as well as an indication of the next step to take.  And we will not be disappointed.

2 – Commune with God

This passage does not say this, but it seems to me that the gist of it is a powerful incentive to commune with God far more of our waking hours than we normally have.  If we turn inward, we are, in fact, turning to God, so long as we are assured that the Self/Christ inside is operative.  If we turn to the egoic part of our mind, and we encourage the personal self to emerge, we will often be misled.  Let us have none of that.

3 – Validation

Validation does not have to come from other people.  We can live quite sanely through following our own lights.  The problem is not that we don’t know enough, but that we don’t put into practice what we do already know.  Let’s change this today.  Practice what we know.  Yes, that is the way home to God.  If we depend on others, we will get very confused.  Politicians learn this truth the hard way.  There are so many advisors, and they differ so much in what advice they give.  The wise politician looks to his/her own lights in making decisions, once all the facts are in.  We ought to do no less.  And our own lights include God and His advice.

4 – Bible Verse

The Bible has a telling verse:  “If ye know these things, happy ye are if ye do them” (from John).  This verse seems particularly apt to our passage from A Course of Love today.  We choose amiss when we don’t listen to the God within, to the Christ/Self within, but instead look overly to our brothers and sisters for validation of what we feel unsure about.  We can easily be misled by others who do not see the whole picture.  When we ourselves feel unsure, because we know that we can’t see the whole picture, how can we depend on others in any sure way?  So we look within.  And there we find God’s guidance reaching out to us.  He knows.  Listen today to Him.

5 – Egoic Mind

We are so used, in our egoic minds, to looking to others to make us feel good.  We certainly do not need to make this mistake again, or, indeed, anymore at all.  Look within.  Pray,  Commune with God.  And much more will go wel for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look to You today.  I would not depend on others to tell me what to do.  They do not know.  You do.  Thank You for your good advice.

Validation is important, but the source must be credible.  And this Source is God.  The most credible Source of All–indeed, the only One.

Be with us today as we seek to have positive experiences.  Help me to live peaceably with my brothers and sisters.  May the actions that they take toward us be well-considered, and may we also treat them well.

Amen.

You Can Know without Knowing What to Do

pissarro - trees“As the dawn is unrestrained  in its bursting forth, so has been your time of innocence.  Not so the approach of day as the sun slowly rises and as slowly sets.  This is a time of being both guided and restrained.  A time of realizing that you can know without knowing what to do, and that this is not a mistake.  (A Course of Love, 28.10)”

Affirmation  “I will be patient today in my ‘knowing.'”

Reflections:

1 – Reassuring Passage

This passage is a reassuring gesture on the part of Jesus to us who are still learning.  We may have experienced a sudden relief when we realized that we truly are innocent, but as time goes on, the movement toward Christ-consciousness slows down–as the sun slowly rises and slowly sets.  While this slow movement is not always the case and does not receive the most attention, it is the most common way.  We see glimpses before Christ-consciousness can be maintained.  Indeed, maintaining the elevated Self of form is very rare indeed, at least at this time in our history.

2 – Commune with God

But we can commune with God, we can internally ask questions of Jesus, and we can read A Course of Love–all to get a roadmap to enlightenment.  Most of the outstanding examples of enlightenment in our history have been sudden experiences, but the very suddenness may have given rise to the awareness of the existence of these people.  A more gradual Awakening is kinder to us, for then the light does not suddenly dawn upon us, leaving us perhaps a bit frightened.  (These are interpretations based in part on both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.)

3 – Rest in Stillness

When we “know,” but don’t know what to do, I think it would be wise to rest in stillness until we do know what to do.  We do not want to go off willy-nilly, making mistakes that will only set us back.  Ask for guidance, for the solution is always found with the problem.  We will always be answered, and my experience is that it does not take long for the answer to come.  Ask, and ye shall receive (from the Bible).

4 – Imaginary Bonds

We often strain at imaginary bonds that seem to restrain us.  We have learned so much from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, and we are so eager, as a result, to walk the whole pathway to Awakening or Christ-consciousness.   Our eagerness with A Course of Love is greater than with ACIM, even.  This difference, this increase, is because we finally see that we have “learned” all that is needed, and we simply need to assimilate our learning so that it becomes knowledge rather than perception.  The knowledge cannot come until we let the ego die, and sometimes this dying is painfully slow–even when we wish it to happen fast (perhaps especially when we wish it to happen fast).  The knowledge will go with us on the whole pathway to full salvation.  And we need to rest awhile in peace, before we will know what our next steps ought to be.  We are not bade to evangelize the world, but we are bade to live in it as followers of Jesus.  At this point he is fast beyond our companion, our teacher no longer.

5 – Change in This World

Help us to assimilate this knowledge so that the change can happen universally in this world.  Life is at a crisis point (as life has always been), and we need to accomplish what we can to wish our brothers and sisters well in all of their activities toward salvation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the knowledge that will lead me to Awakening.  I would be ready sooner rather than later.  I would not delay by egotistical means.  I would drop the ego.  Help me to do so, today.

Be with us as we seek to have a good day.  This is a blessing, to have a good day.  May we enjoy our companions, including Jesus, if we can believe that he is always by our side.

Amen.