The Christ in You Knows Not of Difficulty

monet - lake with trees“Realize that when you think that this total reversal of thought concerning your self and your world will be difficult you are listening to the your ego. The Christ in you knows not of difficulty. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 11.10)”

Affirmation: “This change for salvation is effortless.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego

We all too often make things that are actually easy, hard for us to do. This is the ego talking. The Self/Christ knows not of difficulty. When we know difficulty, we need to reslant our thoughts. And the heart can come to our rescue. The heart knows things that the mind can never know, and the heart knows these things without reasoning and intellectual doubt. What a blessing the heart really is! But we must join the mind to the heart if we are to be wholehearted, as A Course of Love recommends.

2 – Jesus

The Christ is in us. We often shy away from thinking of this, for we think (still) that Jesus had something that we don’t have, something to which we do not have access. This is untrue, because even he, 2,000 years ago, indicated to this disciples that there was nothing he had that they too could not have. We think that we are being egotistical when we claim the Christ in us. And perhaps if we simply say the “Self,” we will be relieved of this anxiety and uncertainty.

3 – Inner Christ

But the larger Self (inner Self) is the Christ that we have not consistently lived. Awakening will bring the Christ to us on a consistent basis. In the meantime, we must await the greatest blessing. We must realize that our experience of the Christ may be intermittent and uncertain, for a time.

4 – Enlightenment

Experiencing the Christ will not always be intermittent and uncertain. When we remain faithful to Jesus and his message, we are well on the way to where we want to go: home. And that home is the enlightenment of ordinary individuals such as ourselves.

5 – Change

This change will come effortlessly, though our study may seem quite effortful. It is not really, and when we think of effort, we are delving into the ways of the ego. Avoid the egotistical, turn Your mind to guidance only, and the ways that Jesus points out will become clearer and more attainable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am seeking to avoid thinking in an egotistical fashion when I hear the good news that the Christ/Self is within me. I do choose to let the ego just wither away. And for this to happen, I need to avoid egotistical ways.

Be with me today as I seek to find Your way in harmony and peace. Be with me today as I seek to catch glimpses of enlightenment. This blessing will come only when I am ready, and to be ready, I need to be thinking in a calm, rational way. The “way out” ways of thinking are not called for, and they will mislead. The ego knows not of what we seek, but it would try its hardest to keep the Self from us. May I leave this foolishness behind today and always.

Amen

All that Is Real Is Shared

woman with a cat - renoir“[O]nly with your understanding that all that is real is shared does the ego lose its power. The ego was made from the belief in separation and all that followed from it. Thus your true identity must be re-created from the belief in unity that is inherent in the acceptance that you are a being who exists in relationship. Separation is all that opposes relationship, and the ego is all that opposes your true identity. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 11.7)”

Affirmation: “I will share today, that the ego might die.”

Reflections:

1 – ACIM

These ideas in the passage for today are logical extensions of much in A Course in Miracles. We share with others in relationship, and this creates a unity, for all of us are actually One, with ourselves, with our brothers and sisters, and with God. When we are ready to be in relationship as our foremost endeavor, we are truly ready to give up the ego. In secular terms, this means that we choose cooperation, which is a benign concept, over competition, which is often egoic in nature.

2 – Protective Defense

We try to choose separation from others when we are being particularly protective of ourselves, trying to save ourselves from hurt. This in itself is not bad, but the ramifications are, for to separate from others is to be all alone with the ego. Only the ego wants this separation, and with the separation comes strife, and the ego is strong in strife (from ACIM).

3 – Personal Experience

I was quite retiring and shy as a teenager. And some of this carried over throughout my college years. Finally, finding reference librarianship did much to bring me out of my shell–but discovering A Course in Miracles did even more. We do not need to fear others, to turn inward in a withdrawn way. We do not have to fear others at all, for they have no power over us that we do not give them. We choose what happens to us on some level, though this choosing is not conscious, and we have to be careful that we don’t blame the victim when something bad ensues. The Self/Christ makes these decisions, and that world view is much bigger than anything that the personal self can see.

4 – True Identity

So the ego is all that opposes our true identity. Of course! What more could it be? And when we turn aside from egoic thinking, listening to our heart, we will find our way home. The “journey without distance” (from the Text of ACIM) is completed sooner rather than later. Do not, however, lament if the way still seems long. Brighter days are here as we learn to give up the ego in every way that we perceive. And the knowledge that comes to us from God will ensure that our walk is smooth and our way is well-marked.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I walk a calm way today. I have been overpressing lately, trying to do too much, being on the go all the time. This is no way to live a life. Help me to regroup and to lead a more placid existence.

I would share with others, but not so as to make any others jealous of each other. Especially my significant other needs to know that I am there for him. May I make this clear today, clear to him in a way that is unmistakable.

I would choose to avoid egotistic doings today. May my choices reflect the truth that I try to follow Your guidance. Thank You for the guidance that You have already given me today.

Amen

Struggle Alerts to the Presence of the Ego

rowers
“It will seem all but impossible to live in relationship when those around you are still convinced of their separation and still seeking to glorify it. You will still perceive of the world as operating under the laws of man and as long as you perceive of the world in such a way you will be forced to live by its laws. This will cause struggle and as you now know that struggle of any kind alerts you to the presence of ego, you will continue to do battle with the ego rather than leaving it forever behind. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 11.2)”

Affirmation: “I give up struggle today.”

Reflections:

1 – No More Struggle

Oh, to give up struggle! This would be a blessing that all of us would welcome. And here it is held out to us–when we give up the ego. The way of the ego is hard indeed, though perhaps for a long time we have not realized this. A Course in Miracles says that we pay for our flights of joy by tears of pain, when we are caught in egoic thinking. There is always this oscillation. But there is a way to stop the oscillation.

2 – Anger and Attack

It does seem all but impossible to stay true to our ideals when we are confronted, especially in our significant others, with anger and attack as well as judgment from them about us. But regardless of how long we live, this is the way of the world. And we are often surrounded by such individuals because they have been given to us as students. We are currently their teachers of salvation, though teaching and learning are actually inseparable (an interpretation from ACIM). There is a way to live peacefully amid the strife, because we are no longer so interested in the goals of this world, the goals which are usually egoic in nature

3 – Ego

Decide to battle your own ego no longer. Turn aside from saying and doing egotistical things, and you will come to recognize when the ego has intruded upon your peace. A little lilt in your demeanor will frequently signal the coming of the ego. You look back with pleasure on an occasion from yesterday. But know that when you seek to experience the pleasure, there will be occasions in the future when you rue your behavior. And the occasions will be similar except for your subsequent reaction to them.

4 – Sigh of Relief

So let us give up struggle with a sigh of relief. There is no reason to rue our relationships, either. We are here for a purpose, and while we do not actively proselytize (in line with ACIM and ACOL), we do make ourselves available to share when the people around us are ready to hear. You will know when that time arrives. In the meantime, turn inward for consolation. The Self/Christ is much better suited to giving us solace than anything external to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forego struggle henceforth. When I get ahead of myself, help me to pull back. Let me take the relaxed and easy way through this world. Your way is the way of happiness, and happiness does not include struggle. May I remember struggle is not necessary and is actually undesirable.

Be with me as I seek to follow Your path today. Your path is one of joy and tranquility, not pain. I would cease to experience suffering, even when pain does rear its head through my own egoic leanings. Help me to forsake the ego forthwith.

Amen

No Reason to Be Afraid

monet - japanese bridge2“The Christ in you has no need to plan. A need to come to know. . .yes. But a need to plan. . .no. The Christ in you needs not for you to choose a lesson plan, but to let life itself be your chosen way of learning. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.19)”

Affirmation: “May I do no planning today.”

Reflections:

1 – No Need to Plan

Jesus warns against planning, first, in A Course in Miracles. In a little-known section of ACIM, he indicates that the way to lose one’s way to salvation is to attack, to judge, and to plan against contingencies to come (unless planning has been informed by the Holy Spirit). We can recognize that all three of these–attack, judging, and planning–are defenses against an uncertain future, a future that we don’t want to be uncertain. We are scared.

2 – Fear the Future?

But do we really have to fear the future? If we are dreaming the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings, we will walk a smooth path. And, in A Course of Love, the dreams give way to (at least) glimpses of reality. Mari Perron, who channeled ACOL, believes that in the time of Christ we are no longer living dreams. She believes that we thrust into the real world, as indicated by ACIM as well as the “reality” of ACOL. If so, we really do not need to choose the defense of planning. We do not need to make a lesson plan out of our lives. We just need to live our lives and therein to learn from our lives.

3 – Learn through Life

So we are to learn through life itself. Actually, has not this always been the case? Many spiritual writings, though not all, believe that we are in a school room on earth. Psychic writers have said this as well. (Notably, Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations with God does not see the earth as a school room.) Whether or not we are actually in school is not a question with which we need to preoccupy ourselves. We do not need to let theology delay us, for all of us will never agree on theological points.

4 – Next Step

We do need the universal experience, though, and that is life itself. We do not give up planning entirely, if we have to catch a plane, for example (as detailed by Eckhart Tolle in a CD entitled “Even the Sun Will Die”). But we do not make sweeping generalizations about our life’s course. The next step is really what we need to know. And that next step will enter our minds unfailingly when we ask for guidance, either from the Holy Spirit (if one is following A Course in Miracles) or the Self/Christ (if one is following A Course of Love).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would realize today that my fears have always been ungrounded. What I need to know comes to me in the moment, not from extensive defensive planning. I do not have to be afraid of anything. Even if the worst that I contemplate comes to pass, You are here for me. And that is all that I really need to know.

Be with me today as I seek to leave social anxieties behind. And all other anxieties as well.

There is no reason to be afraid. May I never lose sight of this truth.

Amen

When Plans Went Awry

“Unless life goes the way you have intended for it to go, you do not feel gifted or blessed even when you may have looked back often on situations that did not go as you had planned and nevertheless gifted you with experiences or opportunities that would not have arisen had your chosen plan come to fruition. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.18)”

Affirmation: “I am blessed even when my plans go awry.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Testimony

I do know that the way that my life has evolved has been the best for me. Before I learned from A Course in Miracles that plans are discouraged unless the Holy Spirit prompts planning, I made lots of plans–many of which did not come to fruition. But it has been better this way.

2 – Personal Experience

I wanted to return to graduate school and get more prepared to teach English. But jobs were scarce, and my ultimate choice to go to library school proved advantageous, not only because the job market was better, but also because of a personal need to increase extroversion. I needed to learn to cooperate with others in a better and more consistent way, and because library work demands teamwork, I did eventually get better at working with others in a smooth way. If my ambition of English teaching had panned out, frequently I would have worked alone with my students. And besides being emotionally draining for me, this choice would have left little chance for teamwork.

3 – Joseph Campbell

So chosen plans went awry, and, looking back, I see how that is best. Joseph Campbell is quoted in A Companion to Joseph Campbell as saying that now, life was coming up very sweet for him. I feel the same way. There is an advantage to attaining maturity. It stills some of the fruitless ambitions of the young adult years, and it gives a peace that was not attainable at an earlier age.

4 – When Young
manet - lady with parasolBut if you are still quite young, you may think that if only a given pathway, a given plan, works out as you wish will you be happy. This is a fallacy, but only time will teach you that. Nothing that I say will really make any difference. So Jesus has it right in A Course of Love. We don’t appreciate our plans going awry.

5 – Time

But the benign passage of time will show us that what is transpiring is truly for our own good.

6 – Learning

And, as we proceed through our lives, we will come to know that learning is continuous and ongoing (from ACOL). We do not reach a static state, remaining there, even though the turmoil of the ego would have us long for such a state. When we let the Christ Self rule, we will be free of turmoil, and we will know that there is no end to learning and evolution in that learning (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL). And we will be glad that there is no end to learning. We will continue to evolve, and we will evolve through quietness and peace–“perfectly calm and quiet all the time” (from ACIM). This may not be our goal right now, but time will let us see that what Jesus has recommended is best.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the course of my life. I know that the life that I lead now is good and true, and that I would have walked a harder pathway, for me personally, if I had chosen another vocation. So You knew best all along, and You closed doors that would have opened that other vocation. But there was an open doorway farther down the path, and I took it and never looked back. Thank You.

May I learn today, as I will continue to learn through time. But the learning will be easy and effortless, and the outcome what You wish, if I follow Your guidance. Thank You for granting me the will to follow You, for there is no better way to live.

I would learn through observation of my life and my living. I would learn through my holy relationships, turning all special ones into holy. May the day go by peacefully as I turn on a dime to follow You at all times.

Amen

Coming to Know Once Again

monet - blue flowers
“Why, then, is this called learning? Learning simply means to come to know. If what you know has been forgotten, you still are in need of the learning that assists you in coming to know once again. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 10.11)”

Affirmation: “I would learn about salvation today.”

Reflections:

1 – Forgotten Much

We have forgotten much. That is the reason that salvation needs to come to us. We have learned much, but often we have learned the wrong things. And we have learned things that are not eternal, often wanting those things just because they weren’t eternal.

2 – Observation

Now we move to learning that which will stay with us. And we learn, we find from elsewhere in A Course of Love, that we learn through observation, not intense study. We rest easy in this world, looking both inside and outside, for our learning. We learn, most of all, through guidance, because guidance lets us know what to do next. Following intuition is one of the secrets of a successful life.

3 – Intuition

When I am particularly obstinate on any given day, I am not inclined to follow intuition. My ego has moved back in ascendancy, and I am not having a good day. This happens to all of us to one extent or another.

4 – To Start the Day Anew

But it does not have to be so. We can take a quiet moment of reflection to start the day anew, as Jesus recommends in the Text of A Course in Miracles. We can always start the day over, and indeed we really ought to do so if we are consistently choosing a different action from the one that intuition is prompting.

5 – Learn Anew

We need to learn anew, to learn once again. We forgot vital things eons ago, and just now are we coming to our own again. The way is not hard, though it may be long. Millions of years long, but we who study the way of ACIM and ACOL can shorten this time for ourselves and others. Sometimes a thousand years and more are saved (from ACIM).

6 – Learn Aright

Ask for the right way to learn today. Don’t delay, for delay is likely to be of the ego, which tries to make everything that is easy, difficult. Difficulty is of the ego, for Jesus’s way is smooth and peaceful and effortless. Ask for his way today. He will show you what he means and how to do it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would start my day aright. I know that I can always start the day over again if things go awry, but why waste time? I wish for a good day. I ask You for a good day. And I ask to learn what I need to learn to be ready for You to choose consistent Awakening for me.

May all of us walk the path today. May all of us help each other, to the extent that any of us are willing to be helped. The day goes smoothly when we are calm, tranquil, and when we reach out to others. Thank You for this insight.

Amen

Special Relationships

“Once you are no longer concerned with needs and the meeting of needs you will no longer be concerned with special relationships. You will realize that there is no loss but only gain involved in letting them go. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.16)”

Affirmation: “I will let my special relationships go in favor of the holy.”

Reflections:

1 – Needs Met

Is it really true that we won’t have to worry about needs any longer? Indeed so. Our needs are met at the point of need as we progress toward Home. And Jesus assures us that we have arrived. I think that this is his way of encouraging us to stop seeking. We can read and reread favorite inspirational messages, but our way Home is assured.

2 – Longing

We still long for special relationships, because we do not want to be alone, and our significant relationships are, to us, the best place to go for solace. This is egoic thinking. We do not have to listen to our egos any longer. We will be free of the ego when we have turned outside from fearful thoughts.

3 – Ego

Yesterday I indicated, based on the passage from A Course of Love, that turning aside from fear did in fact eliminate the ego from our thinking. This transition seems hard to us, because we have thrived on fear, even invited it. But this was the egoic mind in full force. We need to realize that this part of our belief about ourselves, the ego, is eliminated when we make a concerted effort to choose anew every time that we are tempted to do the egotistical thing (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL). When we turn aside from egotistical thinking, we also turn aside from fear, for fear is activated by the down cycle of the egoic oscillations. We have known flights of joy, but these soon turn to pain and even suffering–when in the throes of the egoic mind. Surely we want something better for ourselves now.

4 – Holy Relationship

Choose holy relationships over special. Or, as we are encouraged to do in A Course in Miracles, turn the special relationship into the holy. We may feel that our relationships are disjointed during this period, but it will be the very best thing for us. We can choose no higher, unless it be a choice for God Himself.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would turn all of my special relationships into holy ones. I start with my chosen significant other and fan out from that one. I can do this, for You will help. I know, if I follow guidance, that this is Your way for me. Having holy relationships, or in particular one holy relationship, is my primary way home.

I would not be fearful today, for fear feeds the ego. And I would not allow my mind to dip into egotistical thoughts, for this is the essence of what goes wrong for me. Help me to reach out to You for solace. And may I not forget others in my search. We all need each other, and we need each other to eliminate fear and to be peaceful and harmonious.

Amen

Starve the Ego-Mind Out of Existence

pissarro - landscape“What is food for the ego-mind is fear and the removal of these final fears will quite literally starve the ego-mind out of existence. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.15)”

Affirmation: “I would remove fear from my mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Identical Questions

How do we rid ourselves of fear? How do we put the ego-mind out of existence? These two questions are actually identical, for with the one comes the other.

2 – Quiet Inner State

I have found that a quiet inner state steals the thunder from fear. I get fearful, angry, and anxious, only when I am stressed. And when this overwrought state is removed by contemplation, quietness, and sometimes meditation, then I see that the conflict-ridden ego just drops away.

3 – Timeout

But when I am overwrought, God cannot get through to me immediately, when I ask for His presence. My ego-mind has risen, and I must turn aside from this ego-mind if I am to have peace. Mostly I need to stop and take a timeout. While this is not always possible, it is possible to turn inwardly, through affirmations, to still the mind. Stilling the mind reduces the anger and the desire for attack, and soon all is well.

4 – Marianne Williamson

We tend to want to keep an aroused state going. We run on adrenaline. And this is not way to run a life. Marianne Williamson says that we are addicted to adrenaline. And she is right. We think that we would lose our edge in this sometimes competitive world if we became too laid back. But a Type B personality would do just that–take it easy and stop the frantic chase after success. For what is success anyway but a question of the ego?

5 – Keep a List

We need to starve the ego out of existence. And to do so we need to keep lists of things to do when we are fearful. Turning to our personal list will calm the mind. Sometimes we need to write out this list, for when we are too overwrought to think clearly. Other times we don’t have to resort to paper and pencil, but will call to mind what we need when we need it. And all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be calm and peaceful today, easy to live with, easy to live with for others as well as myself. I would thereby quite literally starve the ego-mind out of existence. I would feel fear no more, and it is fear that feeds the ego. I would cease any and all competition, choosing cooperation as the better means to get things done. And my goals should be met just as well from cooperation as from competition–in fact, the meeting of goals from cooperation with others actualy works far better.

Help me to have a good day. Help my brothers and sisters to have a good day. We need You, and when Your are present, so that we sense You, then the day smooths out and all is well. Thank You.

Amen

Rest

degas - dancer“There is no such thing as a static level in unity where creation is continuous and ongoing. You should have no desire to reach such a state and the awareness that you are in such a state can alert you, or serve as a sign, that the ego-mind and its fear-based thinking has momentarily returned. This does not, however, mean that you will never be at rest or that you will be constantly seeking to arrive. As has already been said, you have arrived and rest exists only in the state of unity. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.14)”

Affirmation: “I will remember to rest today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Wish to Rest

We often wish to rest. There is a favorite passage in A Course of Love about the “embrace” with Jesus, in which he encourages us to rest in his arms. A very personal passage, this indicates that he too knows of our weariness and seeks to assuage it. We will be able to rest when we have “arrived” and are not burdened by the ego mind. But creation is not static; there will still be things that we are called to do. The joy of doing those things will be palpable, though. We will not struggle anymore.

2 – No Struggle

Not to struggle seems to good to be true. But in the state of unity with our Self and others we are not called to struggle. We rest in God’s peace, and we still find rest as we go about any busy doing that He calls us to. These moments of peace sustain us throughout the day.

3 – Personal Experience

I find that a quick restorative is all that is needed when the day starts off wrong. Sometimes we need just to sit down and talk to God, being certain that we allow Him time to talk to us as well. Just this morning I started rushing around (always a mistake), but I stopped in time, and just sat in meditation for a few moments. That was enough to get me back on track.

4 – Ego-Mind

The ego-mind can return. We are not home free yet. And when the ego-mind returns, we struggle. Let us recall this equation, and know that when the struggle arises, we are once again caught by ego. And we would not have it so.

5 – No Seeking

What does it mean to “have arrived”? It means that we can stop seeking incessantly. We have long, most of us, been on a search for God. But He never left us, and He will show us so if we will get still enough, often enough, to listen.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I wish for peace and rest today, as every day. I long for Your comfort, Your blessing that the ego-mind will depart, and I will be at home in You. Be with me as I find this state of being.

May today be the first day of a string of pearl-like days, filled with the assurances that only You can give me. May the day be well-spent, not selfishly seeking what could only benefit me, but what will benefit others with whom I come in contact.

Amen

Abdicate Not Your Own Needs

renoir - lady sewing
“The extent to which you are willing to abdicate your needs in order to attain something is the extent to which your belief in want or lack is revealed. This is the purview of special relationships. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.10)”

Affirmation: “If I have a true need, I will seek to satisfy it today.”

Reflections:

1 – Lacks

We do not really have lacks, though we think we do. And these perceived lacks in ourselves are what lead us directly to special relationships, the finding of other people who will fill the need in ourselves, will fill us up with their very nature and personality.

2 – Fallacious Thinking

All of this thinking is fallacious. We do not have needs that go unsatisfied, though we may think that we do. The solution is always with the problem (from A Course in Miracles), and we get an answer virtually immediately, when we still our minds and seek guidance. Our wants are not always satisfied, though, and we confuse wants with needs. In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that our very wants may be fulfilled.

3 – Being Compliant

We think that we have to abdicate our needs to get people to love us. We think that we need to be very compliant in a relationship, to please the other at the cost of our own peace of mind, and to long for a joining that is unnatural. We are not meant to look to others for our fulfillment, though we do need others, in relationship, to lead us to salvation. This is the way of the brother’s relationship to us in ACIM.

4 – Holy Relationships

We need, as I have said repeatedly in this blog, to transform our special relationships into holy. This is a pivotal point in A Course in Miracles, and the idea is carried over in A Course of Love. When we have all holy relationships, we will not seek to “please” in order to curry favor. We will know that we are loved just as we are.

5 – Our Heartfelt Wish

And is this not what we have wished all along?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You for a good day, a day in which my holy relationships remain holy, and I do not seek to please in order to be loved. This desire to please is based in part on conditional love, and I would know unconditional love from Self and others. I must also give it, though. Giving and receiving are necessary in both directions.

May I be for my brothers and sisters what they need today, but not in an effort to please them, to be compliant so that they will love me. I have long sought to be somewhat passive, at times, in relationships, because I have been surrounded by strong personalities. But I would fulfill my needs in holy relationships, and for this I do not need to make excessive efforts to please.

Amen

Meditation / Yoga / Affirmations

_5236338_hf“Some practices more commonly thought of as tools might be meditation, exercises of the body such as yoga, or exercises of the mind such as affirmations. These tools are all means of releasing ego mind and inviting the one mind, or unity into the present moment. When seen as such, all these tools, including needs, can ignite the combination of learning and unlearning, the letting go of one so that the other can arrive. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 9.2)”

Affirmation: “I will let go of the ego so that the Self can step forward.”

Reflections:

1 – Practices

The practices mentioned in A Course of Love, in this passage, are not mentioned in A Course in Miracles, though the final lessons in the Workbook are thought by some students/teachers to be meditative in approach. Here Jesus names the practices that will undo the learning that we have obtained heretofore, leaving us free to welcome the Self/Christ.

2 – Present Moment

We are asked to think of the present moment, an assertion that many, many spiritual practices have recommended. We release the ego mind in the present, so that we know unity–with Self as well as others. The unity is one of unity in relationship, the One reaching out to the many, and “unity and relationship” are hallmarks of ACOL.

3 – Meditation

I practiced meditation three times a day for years for 30 minutes each time. I was deep into my career of librarianship, and the work could be and often was, stressful, and this despite most people’s assumptions that libraries are stress-free environments. But I am no longer a librarian, and in recent years I have not kept up the practice of meditation. This ought to be changed in me. Meditation is enormously comforting and calming to the emotions, and the insight that comes as a result can sometimes be profound. All practitioners say the same.

4 – Yoga

I now practice yoga most mornings, first thing in the morning. I have a meditative routine that stills my mind and prepares me for the day, and I keep at it for about 20 to 30 minutes. The day gets started right, and, perhaps, in a way, this is a form of meditation for me now.

5 – Affirmations

And affirmations are particularly helpful when I am stressed. Norman Vincent Peale often recommended this form of learning. And he prepared compilations of biblical passages that are particularly well-suited to being converted to affirmations. One favorite is entitled, “Thought Conditioners.”

6 – Turn Aside from the Ego

We need to make a concerted effort to avoid egotistical thinking and actions. This is easily done if we catch ourselves in the moment and turn aside, not to resist but simply to make another choice. And in the unity that we will know when we are living in an egoless way will much understanding come to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to practice all three of the learning techniques mentioned herein–meditation, yoga, and affirmations. I will be the better for it. No effort need be involved. I just drop the ego and decide to follow established practices that will better my mind.

Thank You for the sense of Your presence that I enjoy. I am desirous of enlarging the number of moments during the day that I sense Your presence, and I ask that You stay with me, not withdrawing and leading me into a dark night of the soul.

Amen

By Leaps and Bounds Formerly Reserved for Angels

“Thus again is your learning advanced by leaps and bounds formerly reserved for the angels. You are your own wings, your relationships but the breeze that keeps you afloat. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 8.8)”

Affirmation: “I am my own wings, but I need my relationships to keep me afloat.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus’s Expectations

In A Course of Love, Jesus expects a great deal of us. He indicates that our learning will advance mightily as these days speed by. We make our own decisions, I think he is saying, but we almost desperately need our relationships to stay afloat. We cannot thrive if we are too much without others to help us along. We help others, and they return the favor. We may be introverts, but all of us need people to a degree. Extroverts already know this.

2 – What More Could We Ask?

“. . .By leaps and bounds” is a great reassurance. And this wonderful, gigantic progress was formerly reserved for angels! What more could we ask, for our God has given it all to us!

3 – Learning through Observation

We need to learn, but in A Course of Love we learn through observation. We do not study intently, with great effort, to absorb what Jesus is saying to us now. That intense study served us well in the past, especially in A Course in Miracles, but ACOL is read differently. We need to read it, and read it repeatedly, but with a casual eye, as though we were reading a story. The message will infiltrate our minds and hearts without strenuous effort, and, indeed, strenuous effort would derail our purposes in learning now.

4 – A Gentle Way

So be glad that our way is gentler now. We do not so much have the ego getting into the act. We do leave aside the ego for periods of time, periods of time that will lengthen as the days pass. And we will be led home gently, without struggle and effort. Read A Course in Love with a warm heart, and its words will take that attitude of the heart, and blossom that attitude into something that will indeed feel as though an angel has touched us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the reassurances that you are giving today. I need to hear such reassurances, for stress still comes to visit me, regardless of how often I intend to have calm and peace. My good intentions, I well know, do not suffice. I would turn to You often to keep me on an even keel. Surely You will give me the blessing of Your presence as I seek to navigate through troubled waters.

This world is sometimes difficult, but I know that the world seems this way because my perception has become skewed. I would return my thoughts to You, and in that comfort I would receive Your blessing. I ask for Your comfort as the days proceeds. And may I sleep with calm mind and body tonight.

Amen

What Changes and What Does Not

Edgar_Degas_painting_Degas_ - riders on horses
“It was said often within this course that the truth does not change. Thus the truth of who you are has not changed and you are as you were created. Form and behavior are, however, subject to change, as are your expressions of who you are. This distinction must be fully realized here in order for you to accept the truth of who you are and to come to an acceptance of the unchangeable nature of this truth. . .This is the final acceptance that you have ‘found’ and that you have been found. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 8.6)”

Affirmation: “I must realize that I am as God created me.”

Reflections:

1 – I Am Still as God Created Me
This passage for today takes several avenues to support the assertion in A Course in Miracles that we are still as God created us (from the Workbook of ACIM). We are still innocent beings, though we ourselves have trouble accepting this. We see our mistakes and call them “sins.” Yet we will correct mistakes, and trying to call those mistakes sins causes those thoughts and actions to cling to us. We would not have it so.

2 – Truth

The concept of “truth” is sometimes seen as relative, but Jesus here in his channeled work, ACOL, declares that truth is immutable. Our abilities to recognize that truth is not always present, though. All of us see truth somewhat differently, because our personalities are quite distinct (from the Manual for Teachers of ACIM). But the truth of who we are has, as I have indicated in the first paragraph above, has not changed in all of our time as children of God. But our forms and our behavior have changed, and for this we can be thankful. Soon, we hope, we will occupy the elevated Self of form, and with that change our behavior will undergo a sea change. We can only be happy for this change.

3 – Forms Change

If we wish our forms to change, we must realize that aging does change our forms. And this change is not to be lamented. Each age of life has its own benefits, even when we go through times of illness. Learning takes place, and for this we can be grateful.

4 – Behavior Changes

Our behavior will change also as we come closer to Awakening or Christ-consciousness. We will no longer be concerned with egoic aspects of our being, and the ego will gradually diminish. For this too we can be grateful.

5 – Guidance

Let us simply ask today for guidance on what the truth really is about our lives. We will not be let down. Our guidance from the Self, inspired by God, will show us the way.

6 – Be Grateful

And for this we can be grateful as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for my form and my behavior have changed over time. I do not lament what the passage of time has wrought, for I recognize that my wisdom has increased, my truth has increased. And my behavior is not so prone any longer to attack and anger. For this I am grateful.

May I reach out to others today, if my brothers and sisters are ready to hear what I can say.

May the day go smoothly. I need for this day to go smoothly, because stress takes me away from You, and I would stay close to You all day long.

Amen

Collapsing the Need for Time

degas - dancer2“There is not a period of waiting or a period of time between giving and receiving. There is not a time lapse between the recognition of needs and the meeting of needs. It is accepted that giving and receiving occur in unison, thus further collapsing the need for time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 7.20)”

Affirmation: “I will all day give and receive.”

Reflections:

1 – Solution Is with the Problem

This passage for today emphasizes a kindred idea in A Course in Miracles: recognizing needs and the meeting of needs (A Course of Love), and the solution is with the problem (ACIM). This idea is particularly encouraging to me, for when I ask, internally, for guidance on anything, most of the time I get an answer within a short time, even immediately upon occasion. The idea comes to me from my own mind and heart, but I would like to think that the personal or “little” self is informed by the larger Self.

2 – Time

It is auspicious to note that time is actually collapsed when we see a need and ask for a solution. Jesus has more to say about time in other parts of the texts. He indicates that he will arrange time to allow us to perform miracles. Nobody here understands how this is possible, but we can listen with the heart and not seek for intellectual confirmation. The heart knows when the mind balks. The malleability of time is a law of physics. And religion and physics seem to be coming close together in recent years.

3 – Needs Met

If we have a need, and we ask for the meeting of that need, we will normally be reassured. The answer may not come in the form that we expect (or even that we want), but it will come, and the answer will be even better than what we thought we wanted. I know this from personal experience. The ways of God do not have to stay mysterious. We can know much of the mind of God from internal searching of our own heart and Self.

4 – Giving and Receiving

If we give, we will receive in kind. This means often that the Golden Rule to do unto others what you would have them do unto you is a very good response. In addition, the laws of karma are triggered here. Cause and effect still reigns. But grace can mitigate the worst results of wrong thoughts and actions.

5 – Grace

We do not hear much about grace in ACIM and ACOL. The word itself is not important, but the idea is. We are saved from ourselves by God Himself (a personal interpretation), and we can then reach out to aid others. We do not have to wait to do a good deed or to spread kindness. Our days will blossom into truly desirable hours if we follow the recommendation from Jesus that we give and receive, allowing time to collapse. It is important to let time collapse, because our brothers and sisters, along with ourselves, are caught in this world now. And the world winds on wearily, and suffering continues. Jesus would change all of this, and we are his hands and feet to do so.

6 – Reach Out

Reach out to just one other person today, and test the truth of giving and receiving as one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the fact that time will collapse if I recognize a need and find the need met. This is such good news in this weary world. It helps us to live in a world of dreams–still–but happy dreams. I long, though, for reality to filter through. And I ask for more glimpses of the real world today. May I do nothing to hinder the real world’s emergence.

I ask for Your presence in my life. May I feel You with me. And thank You that I sense You right now.

Amen

Receiving Does Not Imply Lack

degas - dancer“You who are beginning to realize that you have much to give, realize that you have as much to receive and that receiving does not imply that you are lacking! (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition<, 7.18)”

Affirmation: “I do both give and receive today.”

Reflections:

1 – Trite Expression?
Giving and receiving as one has been so much talked about and written about as to be almost trite. Yet giving and receiving are very profound terms, which we must understand if we are to walk the path to salvation. Especially with A Course of Love. We are told repeatedly that we are in unity and relationship in this world, whether or not our ego still reigns. (And we are told that the ego’s reign for us is well nigh over.) Being in unity as one, but in relationship to the many, mean that giving and receiving occur naturally. It is what we are meant to do constantly in our world.

2 – Give More?

We often think that we ought to give more than we receive, though we pay lip service to the concept that giving and receiving are equal. And in today’s passage, Jesus reminds us that to receive does not mean that we are lacking. He even uses an exclamation point at the close of the sentence to emphasize his point!

3 – Lacking?

Why do we fear that we are lacking? What is the fear of being in lack so threatening to us? I think it is because of our own guilt that somehow we don’t measure up. This is an error, as we are still as God created us (from A Course in Miracles). But we are prone to disbelieve this assertion that ACIM makes, primarily because we can see, internally, so many mistakes and so much lack–as we perceive lack.

4 – An Ego-Driven Thought

All of this second guessing is ego-driven. And we are told in ACOL that we are turning aside from the ego. So we need to accept the truth that guilt is not honest, that we are not being honest with ourselves when we struggle with this complex of ours. We need to take Jesus’s word that we are not lacking! He has even told us that we are The Accomplished, though I doubt that many of us yet believe this. Any vestige of ego could not believe it, and that vestige thinks that we are wrong to contemplate such a joy! Keep in mind that the ego does not mean us well, even though we made it and we have been told that it will not be destroyed (from ACIM).

5 – Joy

We need to think today of ways that giving and receiving can be joyously felt. We need to offer our service to others, even as we accept what others do for us.

6 – Unity

Therein are our brothers and sisters one with us, in unity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for being with me today, as the day has not particularly begun well. I would start anew and make the whole better. Thank You for the guidance in A Course in Miracles that tells me that I can start a day over just anytime.

May I give at least as much as I receive, though I think I recognize that there may be differences in giving vs. receiving on any given day. Be with me today to let me do for others what they need. And may I especially touch my significant others. I would offer to them the comfort and solace that they need, and I would strive not to be overly needy myself.

Amen

Considering Miracles and Time

degas - ballerinas“The recognition that you are already accomplished is a condition of your recognition of the state of unity. It is a recognition that you exist in unity outside of the pattern of time. Miracles create an out-of-pattern time interval. Thus living in a state of miracle-readiness is the creation of a new reality outside of the pattern of ordinary time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 6.9)”

Affirmation: “I will live in miracle-readiness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Miracle-Readiness

What does it mean to live in “miracle-readiness”? First, it assumes that we believe that miracles are not only possible, but likely, and likely to happen to us. This sometimes takes a giant leap of faith, though neither A Course in Miracles nor A Course of Love say very much about faith being required. When even once, one has experienced a miracle and recognized and remembered it, then the way is smoothed for more to follow. We don’t need to ask for a miracle that we wouldn’t recognize at high noon. But we do need to ask for miracles that we would recognize.

2 – Outside of Time

We are outside of time when we are in miracle-readiness. In A Course in Miracles, Jesus indicates that he will adjust time so that we can work miracles that he himself has chosen. So this is an example of A Course of Love following A Course in Miracles, with the same explanation–just in different words.

3 – Misguided Miracles

Why can we not choose our own miracles to perform? Consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided (from ACIM). We do not know enough to know when to do any specific miracle. We would try to judge, and we are trying to leave judgment behind completely, because we don’t see the whole picture. In ACIM, we leave judgment to the Holy Spirit. In ACOL, we leave judgment aside, because we are following guidance from the Christ Spirit within. In ACIM, we are in the time of the Holy Spirit. In ACOL, we are in the time of Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to consider miracles today. You want me to see them as natural and inevitable, once I am following Your way. I know that miracles are outside time, but I do not always recognize the miracles that I do encounter. Often I overlook what You have given to me. May this pattern of events change for the better. I would recognize miracles given to me, and I would perform miracles that guidance show me to perform.

I do not want to doubt the validity of miracle-readiness. I do not want the ego to get involved, for this would mean great calamity. I thank You that You indicate in inspired writing that I can indeed perform miracles, under guidance that is devoid of ego.

I ask for Your help today to move beyond conventional wisdom to a knowledge of higher realms that includes a knowledge of my place in Your scheme of things, Your place in miracles.

Amen

Growth and Change

China_Edouard_Manet_oil_paintings_world_famous_oil_paintings2011151746002 - roses“As a tree exists fully accomplished within the seed and yet grows and changes, you exist fully accomplished within the seed that is the Christ in you even while you continue to grow and change. Physical form and action of all kinds are but expressions of what already exist within the seed of the already accomplished. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 6.8)”

Affirmation: “I will focus on the seed that is I today.”

Reflections:

1 – Still Grow and Change

This passage for today explains how we can be The Accomplished, and still need to grow and change. This explanation has not been apparent earlier in the Treatise. We are like seeds, embryos, who are growing and changing with every expression of Self. Like the tree, which is fully formed in the seed, we are fully formed also. But our expression of that form is not yet complete.

2 – Elevated Self of Form

But the expression of that form will become complete, when ultimately we become the elevated Self of form, the Christ Self who currently is hidden deep within ourselves. We do not have to struggle to make this transition. It will come naturally, in the course of things. And we will never be the same again.

3 – Transformation

In the meantime, the transformation may come in spurts; we may experience the Christ Self in glimpses only, maybe for quite a long while. And these glimpses will not last, although some lucky people do undergo a sudden Awakening (as did Eckhart Tolle, who details his experience in The Power of Now).

4 – Help the Seed Grow?

Do we need to help the seed grow? Somewhat, but not entirely. Anything resembling struggle will be of the ego, and we want to turn aside from the ego. We can contemplate, meditate, pray, read, and in the doing of it we will learn by observation where we are headed. But intense study is not required, and indeed would be counterproductive.

5 – Easy Does It

Go easy with yourself, and all will be well, in time, in God’s time.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to understand fully what You are asking of me. I need to know that You don’t want me to struggle to transform. But that you do want me to transform.

This change is elusive to me, and I wonder if there is anything else I need to do to comprehend more. Your way is being spelled out, but I still don’t always feel that I am The Accomplished, as said in this treatise. I see weaknesses.

Be with me to transform those weaknesses into strengths.

Amen

Divine Calls

degas - grecian dance
“These last two calls, the call that appears in the form of a sign and the call that comes in the form of a demand, are about specifics in a way that the call that comes as an announcement is not. They represent the remnants of learning from the past, the final breaking of old patterns. They may seem to signal difficult times, but they are times that must be gotten through and lessons that need to be allowed to pass through you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 5.6)”

Affirmation: “I will be patient through any hard times.”

Reflections:

1 – Signs / Demands

Jesus mentions several different types of calls here: a sign, a demand, and an announcement. The first two represent a holdover from the past, but we must integrate what they mean to us. Signs sometimes are misinterpreted, because in a certain frame of mind, everything can seem to be a sign. How do we interpret something as a genuine sign? If our minds are calm, we will discern through contemplation of the supposed sign. And we will be certain to realize that no harm is coming to anyone. A demand does not often seem as though it is the way that Jesus would interact with us. But perhaps we have gone so deeply into madness–all of us–that there comes a time when Jesus must make a request for a change, perhaps a sudden change. We may not welcome a demand, but if we are certain of the Source, we will know that the demand is for our own good.

2 – Announcements

Announcements are more benign. And welcome, given our state of mind. We are being told something that we need to know.

3 – Different Types of Call

Can we tell the difference between signs, demands, and announcements? Probably we can, but the discernment may take some calm reflection, and we may need to give it some time. We do not automatically know everything now, even though Jesus has called us The Accomplished. We are still on the pathway. And the pathway may seem long and tortuous. It is not really, but then we have gone deep into madness (from A Course in Miracles). We need some time, and some gentle pressure, to bring ourselves out to sanity.

4 – Difficult Times

Jesus indicates here a difficult concept: that we may know difficult times. Certainly we do not welcome this. But, just like grieving over a lost or dead individual, we must go through the experiences ahead of us. We cannot go around, over, or under those experiences. The only way is through them. And Jesus will be with us, as long as we want him there. He tells us in A Course in Miracles that we can imagine that he is holding our hand as we walk along, and he concludes that this will be no idle fantasy.

5 – Jesus

Nobody in this world can imagine how Jesus could seemingly be in two (and more) places at once. But he has transcended all barriers, and I have enough to faith to believe that if he says it, it is true. Let your heart tell you if he is near. Many individuals have sensed his presence over long years, and there are many reports of his presence in inspirational literature published long before ACIM and ACOL. So his presence as our healer seems assured. I would rather suspend doubt, and allow myself to be comforted, than to cling to an intellectual misgiving. Again, let your heart tell you that what you are experiencing, in feeling Jesus nearby, is true. The heart does not need the proof that the mind does.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose to follow Your call, but, in my weakness, I ask that the difficult times, if they come, be brief and easy. I do not want to suffer, though I do not fear death. I would follow Your call insofar as I can discern what it is that I am to do. I know that You would lead me only to the good and worthy. There is a reason that I sense a call, if it comes, and that reason is one that I will understand with my heart–even if no person close to me understands at all. I can follow the beat of a different drummer, and that will make all the difference in my little world.

I thank You that I did once, clearly, hear a call, and I thank You that You saw to it that I stayed true to what I perceived. But I do not want to go back to those difficult days. I thank You that times are easier now, and I thank You that Your words through Jesus in channeled writings have shown a way that is meant to be happy for all. Happiness is a worthy goal, and I would enjoy Your Being and Your nod toward happiness with all my mind and heart. May the calls that come to me be gentle and peaceful. And in advance I thank You for this.

Amen

Our Natural State Is Miracle-Readiness

Woman in a Boat - renoir2“As was said within A Course of Love, time is but a measurement of the ‘time’ it takes for learning to occur. As this notion of time dissolves, the state of miracle-readiness becomes your natural state. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.18)”

Affirmation: “I ask for miracle-readiness today.”

Reflections:

1 – What We Are Headed

Would it not be wonderful to know that we are living in miracle-readiness all the time? That this is our natural state of being? Well, this is where we are headed now in A Course of Love. We do not choose the miracles we will perform, though. Jesus directs us, because consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided (from A Course in Miracles). We can rest, knowing that one who has transcended all barriers is right beside us, guiding us. We do not try to understand how this can be so. We just try a bit to follow, and then the results of the following are evidential to us. We will know who leads us.

2 – Jesus

The Christ Self will ultimately lead us to miracles. Jesus does not want to make all decisions for us, a statement that he imparted to the scribe Mari sometime after A Course of Love was channeled. Later on, in the Dialogues, Jesus resigns as our teacher, and becomes simply our companion. And so there will be shifts in what we perceive as this change is happening.

3 – Natural

“Natural” is a good word. What is natural to us is our birthright. And listening from within will give us the guidance that we need, when we are in a calm and tranquil, contemplative, state of mind. The guidance may and often does turn us aside from the pathway that we were barging ahead upon. We need to be able, as I have said before, of “turning on a dime.” And remember that harm will never come if we have heard correctly.

4 – “Shabby Self-Perception”

We may sometimes be embarrassed by what we are called to do. But Jesus in A Course in Miracles says that this perception is coming from a shabby self-perception. There is no reason to be embarrassed. We are following the pathway that will lead us Home, and sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I think, when I read what Jesus is saying in the passage for today, that I am not worthy of such exalted characterizations. I realize that I do not have to be worthy, because this sort of thinking is just of the ego. But I think that I do need to be ready for Jesus’s encouragement to take hold. I need to know that miracle-readiness is not something for me to effect, but something that happens to me from a Higher Power from within–You.

I would stand in miracle-readiness as much as I can, but I ask You to understand if I fall down. I will always only fall down if I decide, ever, to depend on myself. My Christ Self is united with You, and I am asked to listen to this Self which I seem not to know well enough. But You will help. You will guide. As You have always. I have just been too obtuse to recognize.

Be with me today as I seek to unite my own will with Yours. Always I have only wanted what You want for me, but I have not always known this. Now I intellectually know this, and I ask You to lead me to emotionally know this as well. Be with my brothers and sisters, and guide our steps in this sometimes difficult world.

Thank You.

Amen

What Ought I to Do?

art_appreciation_edgar_degas_pink_ballerinas
“You who have so recently felt the peace of true acceptance are not asked to leave that peace to go in search of calling but are rather asked to listen from within that peace to what you feel called to do. This is not about the past and all those things that at one time or another you thought would bring you fulfillment. This is about recognizing who you are not. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.12)”

Affirmation: “I would listen within my peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Listen Within

This passage is very reassuring. We don’t have to go in search of who we are; we listen within, and that within place is a place of peace. We do not have to search out what we are to do next, what our calling is. This will come to us in due time. Jesus seems bent on giving us a sense of solace, or comfort. We are alright the way we are, and we certainly do not have to merit God’s grace. His grace is a free offer, open to all who turn to Him.

2 – Fulfillment

We have searched in many places to find fulfillment. But we know now that fulfillment through material goods is a fulfillment of the ego, and we are letting the ego go. This means that the present emphasis in our society on the law of attraction, often that which focuses on material objects, is not fully a good thing. If we are to use the law of attraction well, we will ask for that which is intangible, because it is the intangible that will give us lasting peace. We are never satisfied with material goods, any particular material good, very long. We always have to seek more. But that is the way of the ego–always. And we would be done with the ego.

3 – Past and Present

We are not focusing on the past any longer. Whatever good it held will be saved for us. We are focusing on the present, trying to live in the present with a full heart joined to our mind. We need no more to find the peace that is promised in this passage for today.

4 – Listen in Our Hearts

When we listen within the peace–in our hearts–we will know what to do next. We will not second guess this advice, because it will come through to us gently and it will be easily fulfilled. Intuition is never strident. We are not coerced, and if it seems that we are, we are allowing our ego to rule again. The advice from inner peace is always reassuring and well-received, for the Christ Self knows what to do next. Our personal “little” selves do not know. And unless we are overwrought, we will hear accurately.

5 – Being Overwrought

Being overwrought is one time that guidance has trouble getting through to us. So, if we find ourselves overwrought, it is best to take at time out, a period of contemplation, meditation, or prayer, that will still our minds. Then what our heart is trying to tell us will be heard clear as a bell. Let not doubts interfere. And remember that any seeming advice that would harm another is false. Only good comes from inner peace, from listening to our Christ Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to listen within so that I know, beyond a doubt, what I should do next. I am beyond trying to merit Your favor by doing “good.” You don’t want me to “achieve” to be loved by You. Your love is always here.

Thank You for the sense of Your presence that abides within me in my better moments. May I treat others with the same good will that I would wish to receive. May my words be gentle and kind. May no anger mar the good intentions of what I say or do.

May the day be peaceful and quiet. May no overwrought emotions come between You and me. I need to keep a peaceful heart to be able to hear Your word.

Amen

No Struggle / Only Ease

paintings-by-hilaire-germain-edgar-degas-7“A first step then in learning to recognize when you are acting upon notions of who you think you are rather than on who you truly are, is the appearance of the struggle or resistance. A a swimmer quickly learns, the only way to return to ease of movement is to cease to struggle or resist. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.6)”

Affirmation: “I would choose ease today as I follow ACOL.”

Reflections:

1 – Metaphor

The metaphor of a swimmer is used very well in A Course of Love. We are told elsewhere that we would not want to try to move in the water the same way that we move on land. Our movements are actually easier in water, but require an awareness that our environment is different from land. We move with more ease in the water, if we do not fight the water. This fighting would be a completely detrimental reaction, leading to major problems in swimming. And the same, in effect, with trying to live ACOL. We move with ease and not resistance when we don’t fight the words that have been given us. We soon feel much more ourselves, as the Christ Self will come through more and more over time, and we will be living our real Selves.

2 – No Struggle

We do not need to struggle anymore! What a relief this is! To give up struggle is something that we have wanted to do for a long time, but very likely we did not think giving up struggle was possible. And maybe we didn’t think that it was even desirable. We pit ourselves against forces beyond our control, thinking that we are building character. And we do, in fact, build some strength by struggling. But there is a better way. We give over our concerns to a Higher Power, and He paves the way for us. He is strong for us. In A Course in Miracles, this Power is the Holy Spirit. In A Course of Love, this Power is the Christ Self. Jesus declares elsewhere in ACOL that we were previously in the time of the Holy Spirit, but that now we are in the time of Christ. He is not here referring to the Jesus of 2,000 years ago, but to the Self that we all can inhabit.

3 – Time of Christ

Moving in water can be effortless, but it requires some practice. One may intuitively grasp the concept of swimming, but usually some training is required. And the same with what we are doing here. We are learning in the time of Christ. We are learning effortlessly, but we need some attention to what we are learning to assimilate all of it. And that new way of learning is by observation, not intense study (which would be very effortful indeed). We will learn, and we need to relax in the learning. One’s better life depends on mastering these concepts in A Course of Love (since we have chosen to use this as our means to Christ-consciousness), but we do not have to do so with great expenditure of effort. Indeed, to try that way would be counterproductive.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would learn a new way in the time of Christ. I would learn without trying to resist or to struggle, but I would learn with effortless ease. Sometimes to my personal self this seems too good to be true. But this evaluation comes only when my ego is rearing its head.

Learning now can be full of ease as well as joy. I do not have to pit myself against hard challenges. I ask You to pave the way for me. Tell me how to do my part. Tell me, guide me to do the right thing. May Your intentions for me win out always.

Be with all of us who still question if a new way is too easy. I know intellectually that a new way is not only possible but also easy, and I would bring my emotions in line with this knowledge. Thank You for being with me, for giving me the sense of Your presence.

Amen

ACIM and ACOL Linked

monet-harbour-at-argenteuilA Course in Miracles and A Course of Love work hand-in-hand because the change of thinking taught within A Course in Miracles was a change of thinking about your self. It attempted to dislodge the ego-mind that has provided you with an identity that you but think you are. A Course of Love then followed in order to reveal to you who you truly are. While you continue to act within the world as who you think you are rather than as who you are, you have not integrated these two pieces of learning. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 4.3)”

Affirmation: “I will follow ACIM and ACOL teaching today.”

Reflections:

1 – Linkage Outlined

This passage for today links the two works, A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. If we can believe Mari and our own analysis (and most of us can), Jesus followed ACIM with ACOL for his own reasons. Obviously he had more to say to us. The dislodging of the ego in ACIM did not leave us satisfied, though many have not yet discovered A Course of Love and do not know where to turn next. It is especially disheartening to know that many continue seeking, though in ACOL Jesus makes it clear that we do not need to continue on our search. We may not fully realize what The Accomplished means, but we would like to try. We can cease our search, certain that the combination of mind and heart into wholeheartedness will not lead us astray.

2 – Ego vs. Christ Self

We read A Course in Miracles to dislodge the ego. But we must replace the ego with something, and that something is our Christ Self, the inner Self who blends with God to allow expression through physicality in this world. A Course of Love asked us to give up the ascendancy of the mind, which so often wants proof that the heart does not need to have. The heart just knows within. We do not need proof of God, for example. Inwardly, when we listen to our heart, we know that there is Something beyond this world.

3 – Duality vs. Oneness

We do not need to be scared of the ego. It is simply a part of our belief about ourselves (from A Course in Miracles). It is the part that saw duality as the way of this world. But we are One with God. Duality does not exist. Good and evil are misnomers, bur all is good–not in illusions (as in this world), but in truth. We do not need duality, or opposites, to function effectively. The mind thinks in terms of black and white, good and evil, but when the mind is thinking in these terms, the ego is in ascendancy. We are told in ACOL that the ego will not be destroyed, because we made it, but that we will willingly turn aside from all that it represents. Then we will be ready for the Christ Self to move into ascendancy, and we will know Awakening (at the time that God decrees).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for leading me farther along the pathway. Thanks You for these two trilogies. The latest revelations from Jesus are indeed sweet, and studying both of them has improved my life dramatically, in part, because my interior monologue has changed–attracting different things. I can change what I choose to think about. That much is under my control, though still I can let my mind wander. I would not let my mind wander today.

Help the day to go well. May the words of these two trilogies penetrate to the innermost parts of my mind, and may my mind be joined to my heart in reverence to and acknowledgment of You.

Amen.

Gently Led to Christ-Consciousness

renoir-the-swing“Now you must fully recognize the distinction between the ego-self that previously was the self of learning and experience, and the Christ Self that is now the Self of learning and experience. You must take on the mantle of your new identity, your new Self. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.4)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to be my Christ Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Gently Led

We need to be careful to say too early that we have lost the ego and that we are living the Christ Self. At first, we have glimpses of the Christ Self, and we live in this state a little of the time. If we remain true to the pathway, this time of living the Christ Self increases in duration. We do not have to fear this increase. We have been gently led.

2 – Awakening

We especially have to be careful of asserting that we have Awakened, that we have reached enlightenment. While this is where we are all headed, very few of even the most diligent students have reached this degree of salvation yet. And others will note if we claim something that is not ours yet, or at least ours on a continual basis. We need not to mislead. If the ego has even a toehold in us, the ego will take advantage of our hope for Awakening, and we will allow ourselves to be beguiled.

3 – Vainglory

Let us pray to be protected from vainglory. We do not make any decision about Awakening. It is God who, metaphorically, reaches down and lifts us up (from A Course in Miracles). We need to be careful that we don’t try to lift ourselves up. Lifting up by the bootstraps never worked for any reason, including egoistic ones. And it certainly won’t work for Awakening.

4 – Patience

As much as we all hope for Awakening sooner rather than later, we must rest in patience. The time will be right for fulfillment, but none of us knows the time. If it seems long off, know that every day spent in love of God and others and Self will bring that blessing nearer. We are on the pathway.

And the end is certain (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the assurance that all of us–all, everyone–is on the pathway back to You. Even when I am not sure, sometimes. Even when my ego beguiles me.

I would walk gently and carefully where and how You lead. Be with me today as I seek to keep the highest ethical standards to my thinking and my actions.

Amen.

Listen to Your Heart

bridge in monets garden
“Your link between the realm of unity and the realm of physicality is your heart. Your heart tells you of the already accomplished and bids you to express it with your physicality, thus uniting the two realms through expression. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.2)”

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

Reflections:

1 – Best Way to Live

A Course of Love, the trilogy, throughout emphasizes the heart, though we do know that wholeheartedness–the linkage of mind and heart–is the best way to live (as stated therein). Now we know that we will be one when we listen to the heart and respond in our physical bodies to what we view as the best way to live. This is through letting the Self/Christ shine forth.

2 – Already Accomplished

We are expressing ourselves when we recognize that we are already accomplished, that we have already done all that we need to do. On the surface, this does not seem possible, but perhaps we do not yet fully understand what Jesus means. We have sought and sought, always seeking and often not finding. And there comes a time when seeking must end, for our own peace of mind. That time is now. Not that we don’t still need our meditative, reflective times–because we do. But we know that we have accomplished for Jesus hoped for us when we have let the Self/Christ shine through. And then in our physicality we express ourselves. And we hope that that expression is right and good.

3 – ACIM vs. ACOL

We don’t have to downplay the physical, and this is perhaps a single major difference between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Perhaps Jesus channeled again, in part, to make this point clear to us. We are not inferior because we like the physical expression of our bodies. We live in a higher realm, but here the physical is very real to us (though an illusion, or maya). We do not have to denigrate ourselves for liking what we can accomplish physically–in sports, in love, in simply walking around this beautiful world. God can take the physical and make of it something very grand indeed.

4 – Listen to the Heart

Let us listen to our heart. It will not lead us astray, although the one proviso might be that we are so overwrought as not to read the heart’s message correctly. Then we need to calm down, go within, and ask until the answer is clear. Sometimes our mind interferes with the message of the heart, because the mind is agitated and perhaps the ego has not fully withered away. But the heart speaks wisely and for all good.

5 – Wise to Listen

And we are wise to listen to it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the many blessings that I derive from reading ACIM and ACOL. Thank You that my many questions often find answers in their pages. May I rest in the certainty that living in this world in physical form is right and good for me. I do not have to scourge the body to find solace for my soul.

May my brothers and sisters listen to their heart, even as I try to listen to mine. If their hearts say something different than my own, may I know that this too is right and good, and while we may not always agree, we are One in You.

Be with me throughout the day and night. May the ego be silent indeed today and tonight.

Amen.

Why We Took Physical Form

monet - bridge reflections2“There would be no need for form if there had been no desire for expression. Life is the desire to express outwardly what exists within. What I refer to so often here as being within, as if ‘within’ is a place in which something resides, is unity and it is the place where being resides. It is the place or realm of one heart and one mind. It is the place where everything already exists fully realized. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Nature of Unity and Its Recognition, 3.3)”

Affirmation: “I would use my body for expression today.”

Reflections:

1 – This World

This passage for today emphasizes why we were born in this world at all–why eternal beings took physical form. It was for expression, and there ends the matter. We did have a “tiny, mad idea” that separated us from God (or so we thought, but not actually), and therein was the ego born (from A Course in Miracles). What expression did we wish if the ego had not been born? That would seem to be the Self/Christ toward which we are headed now. The Self/Christ that is not egoistic and that seeks within for all answers.

2 – One

We are One with all–one heart and one mind. We tend to forget this, even when we have walked a long way on the pathway.

3 – World Is a Projection

But we must not forget. We are One, and we are a part of God, who dwells within. We project the world from within, and we project a better world when we are dwelling in our Self/Christ.

4 – Fully Realized

What does it mean to say that within everything is “fully realized”? I think that it means that we are merely bringing forth what has always existed. A Course in Miracles indicates that we simply walk a pathway in reverse, retracing our steps. The end is certain, and that end is One with God. We do not have to suffer (though we feel pain in physical form), and we can turn inward for comfort always. Indeed, we must turn inward for comfort.

5 – Karma

The way that we express ourselves in physical form says a lot about our current state of mind and heart. If we hurt others, we ourselves will hurt. If we injure others, we ourselves will be injured. Cause and effect are real, and in that the law of karma is played out. As we give, we receive.

6 – Self Emerges

And the best gift is a full mind and heart, offered to God as our real Self/Christ within emerges.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would contemplate today why I would ever have chosen to be born in this world. It is reassuring that physical form is not to be rejected, but perhaps to be rejoiced upon. I would express myself in the way that You deem best. I would turn aside from egotistical thoughts, feelings, and actions, and instead let Your guidance run my life. You know best what I really want, for our wills are identical.

Be with me today as I walk through this world. If disappointments loom, then may I release on them immediately. There is no blessing greater than the way that You point out to me. And I thank You for this.

Amen.