Monthly Archives: September 2013

You Are Doing This unto Yourself

renoir - moulingallette
“The suffering that has been chosen has been mighty. The choice now is not a choice to explore the why behind it or to look for remedies for the past. The choice now is whether you want suffering to continue or want to abolish it for all time. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.11)”

Affirmation: “I would choose to abolish suffering today and every day.”

Reflections:

1 – Eckhart Tolle

I have often quoted Eckhart Tolle in this blog, to the effect that pain does not have to turn into suffering. (Eckhart wrote The Power of Now and A New Earth, and he is an international spiritual teacher not limited to any particular religious tradition.) Now we are bade by Jesus to leave suffering behind forever. Jesus says that we can do this. It is a choice.

2 – Choice

How might we make that choice? It is easy. Just make the decision that you will recognize that you are doing this unto yourself (from A Course in Miracles). And choose not to do it any longer (a recommendation from Dr. Phil). We have this much choice. We can stop suffering in its tracks by recognizing that we can exert our power to overcome it. We can and will still experience pain in this physical and emotional body on earth, but, as Eckhart says, we don’t have to turn that pain into suffering.

3 – Blame and Bitterness

The two principal reasons that we hold onto suffering are blame and bitterness borne of guilt (from A Course of Love). We may think that we do not deserve a happy life, for we have done so many things wrong.

4 – God Has Never Condemned Us

This is false reasoning. God has never condemned us, and therefore He has no reason to forgive (from ACIM). But we ourselves must forgive ourselves, and this we can do. We would wish others to forgive themselves; would we withhold this blessing from ourselves?

5 – Madness and Forgiveness

I think not, when we reason it out. There is much madness still in us, though the madness is diminishing. We can make others as well as ourselves happier when we have forgiven. And forgiveness is the principal message of ACIM. That we have moved beyond forgiveness is perhaps not true. We will ebb and flow as we move toward Christ-consciousness.

6 – Guilt

So let us choose today to give up our guilt, and with it our blame and bitterness. With this choice, we make the decision to give up suffering, even though pain may still be present. And when we turn to happy dreams, we will even find that often we are free of the pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When the day goes badly, I must realize that I am doing this unto myself. I will get clues when I need to slow down and be careful, if I am open to listening to an inner Voice. May I be so open today.

Let us choose to have good days. Let us be patient with ourselves when we falter. And may the times of faltering lessen.

Amen.

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How Little Consequence Fears Had in Truth

paintings-by-pierre-auguste-renoir-young girls at piano“You will also clearly see all of the choices that throughout your life were caused by fear and how little consequence they had in truth. These fearful choices took nothing from you or from others. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.9)”

Affirmation: “The fears of the past had no consequence.”

Reflections:

1 – Fears of the Past

The passage for today is a startling statement. Is it really true, as Jesus says? Have the fears of the past really made no difference?

2 – Love

Just prior to this passage, Jesus affirms that it is the love that we have experienced that made us the persons now that we would not change. We would not be other than what we are. This statement in itself needs some understanding, for at first glance it does not appear true. Do we really want how we are now? If we believe that love has made what we would not change, then our central core is love, and Love with a capital “L.”

3 – Of the Ego, in Illusion

And the fears have been of the ego, and in illusion, and therefore do not matter in the least. We have suffered, true, but we have suffered in illusion. Nothing real has ever been threatened (from A Course in Miracles). Because we are leaving illusions, and with illusions, the ego, behind, we have nothing left to fear. We can truly realize that the fears of the past are meaningless.

4 – Let Love Direct

So let love direct our course. We will be what we wish when we realize that reality is created of Love, and that nothing but Love counts for anything.

5 – Sequence of Events

If, while caught in the illusion, fears still rear their ugly heads, realize that the best that can happen to us is that we gently turn aside from our fears. Then the ego will dissipate, and we will soon be living in the real world. Awakening will follow shortly thereafter. And all will be well.

6 – Millions of Years

If this degree of salvation seems unattainable today, then let us be patient. It took millions of years for the separation to occur (from the Text of ACIM), and it may take even longer for the separation for everyone to be healed (also from ACIM). But once set on our course, the ending is certain. And for those of us who follow Jesus’s directions, there will very likely be no millions of years. We will help to lead others who have not yet benefited from Jesus’s words.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the knowledge that my fears do not matter in the grand scheme of things—that only Love matters. I would drop fears so immediately that my head will spin. I am relieved that those fears have not impacted anything real.

It is my choice to follow You in every minute detail as well as every grand scenario. Help me to do so. This world is a challenge only when I forget myself. There is no challenge when I gently let intuition rule, guiding each next footfall.

Amen.

Leave Behind Illness, Scarcity, and Disrespect

renior - ladies in the rain
“This is precisely why you must choose not to keep the life of discomfort caused by perceived illness, the life of scarcity caused by perceived lack, the lack of stature caused by perceived disrespect. It is only by your choice that you will keep these things and only by your choice that these things will leave you. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.7)”

Affirmation: “I would choose to leave behind illness, scarcity, and disrespect.”

Reflections:

1 – Discomfort

We can choose to leave behind negative things in our lives. Here three aspects of negative living are highlighted: illness, scarcity, and disrespect. How might we do this?

2 – Choice

Choice often does not seem to be a possibility for us. We don’t normally think that we can just decide to be well and free of illness, and have this blessing come upon us. The law of attraction says that we can have what we want to create. But the Self/Christ is the one who does the choosing, and often this Self seems unavailable to us. I say “seems,” for many of us are caught still in the personal self that is contaminated by the ego. The Christ Self does the choosing, and we can influence that Self by taking the personal self deep within.

3 – Illness

We would choose to leave behind illness if we could. Sometimes the Christ Self chooses the negativity of illness for a lesson. But we learned in A Course in Miracles that we don’t have to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is much better and more lasting. Learning through pain is temporary. But it is the only way, often, when we are stubborn. God has to get through to us in some way. And our Christ Self knows this and acts in our lives accordingly.

4 – Scarcity

We fear scarcity, and in this fear we can make the scarcity an illusory reality in our world. God knows that we have material needs, and it is true to the law of attraction, also, that we can create the material wants that we call forth. If this calling forth is for ego gratification, though, the blessing, the happiness, will be short-lived. And we will want and want again, trying to fill ourselves up to avoid scarcity. There is a better way. And that is to let God do the choosing for us. Let Him satisfy our material needs, if not our wants, and we will not have a sense of scarcity even in the midst of plenty. Our own wanting is never satisfied long.

5 – Disrespect

Disrespect is different from the others, for this sense comes often from what others think of us. Wishing that we had the approbation of others is a dead-end street. Wanting approval means that we are in a very “grabby” mood, and we will not have the satisfaction of long being assured that we have approbation. We want a gentile sense of respect from others, and we can have this. But we don’t get it by the wanting itself.

6 – Choose Once Again

If illness, scarcity, and disrespect dog your steps, choose again. As ACIM says, “Choose once again.” The personal self, once it fully understands, is capable of reaching downward, in the heart and mind, to the Christ Self within. And it is this Christ Self that will heal us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose only good things, certain that I don’t have to choose negativity in order to appreciate the positive. I would especially let illness drop away entirely, despite growing older. I can enjoy my physical body and then, when my time comes, lay it down peacefully and without pain/suffering. I can choose this, and if my Self agrees, the way is smoothed.

Be with me today as I seek to have a good day, free of depressed thinking and doleful thoughts. I would be joyous, happy in the blessings which I have. Your way shows me those blessings, and if I just follow guidance, the blessings multiply without any effort at all.

Thank You.

Amen.

Those Who Will Be Visited by Great Change Are Those Who Desire It

RenoirDanceatBougival“As you begin to dwell in the house of truth and see with the eyes of love, you will see far less about the life you lead that you would change than you would imagine. You fear where all your new ideas might take you, and for some great changes may surely await, but those who will be visited by great change are but those who desire it. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.5)”

Affirmation: “I will contemplate whether or not I want great change.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I know first hand the truth of this passage. I recognize that at this moment I do not wish for great change in my life. There is some struggle, but largely my life is going well (contrary to some periods in the past), and perhaps this passage means that ought to credit my study of A Course of Love with this general good in my life. We do create what we dwell upon, and when we have dwelled upon the good message of ACOL, we are less likely to want great change.

2 – Solution Is Always with the Problem

For those of you who are going through a rough patch of time, yes, of course, choose anew for change. It is very likely that this change for the better will ensue quickly, for the solution is always with the problem, and when we ask for the solution, it presents itself. It is important to note that great change will not be thrust upon us if we are unwilling to experience great change. We will “desire it” and see the change come to pass. We have nothing to fear, for we are perfectly safe.

3 – Gratefulness

The best way to ensure good times as a continuation into the future is to be grateful for what we already have (an interpretation, not emphasized in either A Course in Miracles or ACOL). The function of gratitude is to get us ready for even better things in the future. Even if the present seems dire, we do indeed have many things for which to be grateful, even though our eyes may be blind to those things. Talk to someone who has a fresh eye, who can see the advantages that you do actually enjoy. This is a better pathway than cursing what seems to be darkness.

4 – Change May Come Gradually

Change will come to all of us, but an implication of today’s passage is that the change will not come overwhelmingly or in great quantity if we are living a life that we like. We have become ready to accept what we have.

5 – Acceptance

Accepting what we have is the first step toward increased blessings. And gratitude for what we have is the means. Again, this is an interpretation, and it is based on the law of attraction.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am intensely grateful today for what I have. It is easy, of course, to be grateful when things are going well. But some individuals develop great faith when things are going badly. And they have learned through pain to do so.

Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is lasting, and learning through pain is not. Let us seek today to learn through rewards. And may those rewards gradually lead us to the changes in our lives that we wish.

If we see much wrong with our lives, let us move forthrightly to change. May we welcome this change, never fearing it. Fear is of the ego, of course, and we are leaving the ego behind—indeed, we have done so, though lapses may still occur. Evolution is not a straight line.

May all of us have a good day. May we rest in the contentment that allows us to be truly productive, but without strain or struggle. We do not have to struggle to be good; we merely have to rest in Your promises. You will take us home, and You will reach down and lift us up to Awakening when the time is right. I rest in that promise today. Thank You.

Amen.

The Ultimate in Salvation

san Marco Renoir painting“It should be becoming clear to you by now that, although you dwell in the house of the truth, you are capable of bringing with you old patterns of behavior. Once the translation of the new thought system for the old is complete, this will no longer happen. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.3)”

Affirmation: “I would avoid old patterns of behavior today.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to translate the old thought system into the new—the old egoic patterns into the new truth of reality as it is meant to be lived through Christ-consciousness, the ultimate in salvation. But we are still caught in the fears of the old pattern, and as long as those fears stay with us, we will have a problem. We will not be moving forward.

2 – Fear

Take time today to contemplate, with God, what we might do to speed along the process to completion of salvation. Many of us have had mystical experiences along the way, even glimpses of Christ-consciousness, but these have most usually not been sustained. Ask, and ye shall receive (from the New Testament). Ask to reach Christ-consciousness and to sustain it. To do so will mean that we make a conscious choice to leave fear behind.

3 – Divine Help

Can we leave fear behind on our own? No! We cannot. We need divine power to leave behind something that has become so ingrained in us. But God’s will for us is surely to leave behind the old thought system of egoic fear, and to walk into the sunlight with Him. He would have us transform ourselves, and ultimately the world. And time does not mean the same to Him that it does to us. What may seem a very long time, even millions of years (from A Course in Miracles), will pass very quickly in the grand scheme of things.

4 – Paradox

Don’t be afraid to leave fear! This assertion sounds paradoxical, and indeed it is. But do we not cling to the past in thousands of ways? Are we not afraid to let go and let God? His truth for us is far greater than we can imagine. He can show us how to lose the past by an all-encompassing movement, even run, toward the future.

5 – God

Let God show us today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to leave fear behind forever. I have often prayed a prayer for the lessening of anxiety, yet despite the glimpses of the ultimate in life, I still invite anxiety from time to time by my attitudes.

Let me leave this foolishness behind now and each day in the future, taking one day at the time. It is not Your will that we cower against this world, though it is true that this world can hurt us. I would not invite hurt by my attitude. I would enjoy tranquility and peace today and every day. Help me to do so.

Thank You.

Amen.

Self-Actualization

Pierre-Auguste-Renoir-painting-ren05
“While the foundation of fear, like the ego, will have left you now, a pattern of behaving fearfully may still remain and as such be a deterrent to new ideas and to action. As long as these patterns of fear remain as deterrents to action, you will not experience the freedom of living from the new thought system. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 14.1)”

Affirmation: “I would be free of fear today.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

I talk a great deal about fear in this blog, because it is the single most inhibiting characteristic of our lives when we are still dwelling with the personal self that has not been elevated to the Self of form. And that includes all of us, because Jesus says in A Course of Love that nobody has yet sustained the elevated Self of form. As time passes, perhaps a chosen few will sustain enlightenment and then the elevated Self of form will seem to be and will be a goal that all of us can visualize ourselves reaching. We do not make the decision of when, though. That is entirely out of our hands, though we can study to be ready when God calls. He makes the decision of when Awakening will come to each of us.

2 – New Life

We cannot live the new life to which we are called if we cling to vestiges of fear. The continuing pall that such vestiges will drop over our lives would make a better life for the personal self impossible. And we do not want to allow this better life to escape our hands. We need to know how to act, what to do, and what to even think.

3 – Prayer

The best way to prepare is communion with God (a personal interpretation, not stated in ACOL or A Course in Miracles). When we live with the shadow of the Almighty, we live on sacred ground indeed. We live safely, sure of our protection always, as He watches out for us. He does not always save us from pain, but He will always show us a way to prevent turning that pain into suffering. And we do not have to learn through pain (from the Text of ACIM). We can learn through rewards. And the rewards insure that the learning will be permanent. All too often what we learn through pain is temporary, and we forget as soon as the pain goes away.

4 – Christ-Consciousness

We need to live the new life that is held out to us. We catch glimpses of Christ-consciousness, and, even if this is not sustained, we return to level ground with more of ourselves realized. And we are intended to head toward the realization of our Self/Christ. We are meant to be self-actualized. The fact that we cannot snap our fingers and get God to respond should not be a deterrent to our slow and easy acquisition of His words. He will guide us surely to Christ-consciousness. And what He does will last, one day, of that we can be sure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be self-actualized today. I realize that I may not have walked far enough along the path to reach this blessing. But I want to think, say, and do the things today that will advance my progress. Help me to do so.

Christ-consciousness is the blessing that we all seek. May I be patient as I catch glimpses, but do not sustain the epitome. I know that there is a reason for this. I am not yet ready, but I pray that I will be soon. I ask this prayer on behalf of my brothers and sisters as well.

Amen.

When I Have Let Grievances Go, I Will Know that I Am Perfectly Safe

camille-monet-and-her-son-jean-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-renoir-large“I am safe and nothing that I do or do not do will threaten my safety. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.8)”

Affirmation: “I cannot threaten my safety today.”

Reflections:

1 – Grievances and Safety

This passage for today is an echo of a significant passage from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. ACIM say that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. But here in A Course of Love, we are not even warned about grievances (but maybe because we are presumed already to have let grievances go). Nothing that we do or do not do can threaten our safety. We will in a safe universe.

2 – Peace and Quiet

Of course, that does not mean that the body will never feel pain. But our Self will never be hurt. Our core Self is always calm and at peace, quiet. The inner assurance that we can derive from believing this blessing is overwhelming. We can likewise allow pain, if it comes, but we ourselves have the wherewithal not to turn that pain into suffering. We are safe.

3 – Safety and Security

Safety and security are never unsought in this world. But when we are caught by the ego, we cannot know safety and security on a constant basis, because the ego is constantly being undone. Our flights of joy turn to chaos and tears.

4 – Our Only Security = God

In this world, we will live in a much more stable environment when we give up seeking security. Our only security is God, and He has always been there for us, though we have not always known this. If we seek to prepare for our material needs, we may find ourselves shaken, for sometimes we seem to have needs that go unmet. This is the illusory “reality” of this world. Yet God knows our needs, and our real needs are met. Our wants are not always met, and perhaps our Christ inner Self knows that it would not be good for us to have all of our wants met. We get in our heads some very strange wants.

5 – Needs and Wants

Be willing to wait on God’s timing for the satisfaction of wants. First may be a desire for safety, and this is a need that is met, even when we don’t see it that way. The needs are often inscrutable, for we so often confuse needs and wants. What God gives to us may be superior to what we earlier wanted. Let us trust Him enough to know what is best for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have clung to Your promise that when I let all grievances go, I will know that I am perfectly safe. I feel the truth of that promise just this moment. Thank You.

You know that we need safety and security in this world, and the only real security is found in You. Even when bad things happen (and they do in this world), I can know that my Self is not hurt. The inner Christ Self is never harmed, and that is truly the only self that we are. Our egoic personal self often knows flights of joy followed by the depths of despair, because the ego is a false part of belief about ourselves that is constantly being undone. I would let the ego go today. I would make that a priority, though I realize that I may pray this prayer tomorrow also. The ego dies hard. But it does die, and my glimpses of Awakening have shown me that.

Thank You.

Amen.