Monthly Archives: July 2013

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

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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