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.

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.

Love Does Not Demand Payment

impressionist paintings
“How you implement this idea [refusing to believe in earning and paying] will be your choice. But the idea that you do not have to earn your way nor pay your way must be birthed and lived by. While most of you will immediately think of your survival needs, this is far from the only area in which the idea of earning or paying your way can be found. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.7)”

Affirmation: “Under the laws of love, I don’t have to earn or pay for my pathway.”

Reflections:

1 – Earning and Paying

Upon reading the passage for today for the first time, we are very apt to discount it as impractical. Of course we have to earn our way! Of course we have to pay for our way! But do we really? What does earning and paying for really mean?

2 – Cost

In the idea of earning and paying, everything comes at a cost. And in the laws of mankind, that is indeed true. But the laws of mankind are laws of illusion, laws of the ego in that illusion. And the laws of love say something very different.

3 – Laws of Love

We still have to make our way in the world, and so it would be very wrong to quit our jobs and expect the world to care for us. We do not willingly give up our livelihood, and that is good. But the laws of love need no payment, and it is in the love that we would live today. We need the love of ourselves toward ourselves (self-love), love for God, and love for our brothers and sisters (giving and receiving). We are not meant to be alone, to be solitary creatures in our isolation because we do not trust.

4 – Trust

We can trust the world to give love back to us that we have also given to the world. And for this blessing there is no need to think of earning that love or paying for that love. The earning and paying are all of the old world, the world before the time of Christ. Now we seek only love, though our material needs do enter in (and rightfully so). God would have all of our needs—physical and emotional—be met. And this will happen as we proceed along our pathway. God’s children lack only from their own choice, but it is a choice of the Higher Self, not the personal self. And lack is not a conscious choice, and so we are not to blame the victim.

5 – Love

Look to love for your answers. Don’t think of any necessity to pay for this love. It is a free gift, an offer from God to us that will not be obliterated.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize today that love is a free offer from You. Your help is also a free offer. There is no reason to think in terms of payment or “earning my way” where You are concerned.

I would seek the love, in relationship, that is mine today. I would willingly recognize that payment taints the agreement that I have made with love. Love is mine to have and hold, as it is for everyone.

May I spend today in love. May all of us spend today in love.

Amen.

Separate and Alone? Or in Relationship?

Impressionist-Paintings-020
“The life of the physical self became a life of suffering and strife only because the physical or personal self forgot that it exists in relationship and believed itself to be separate and alone. In its fear, it made an ego-self which, because it sprang from fear, was not consistent with the laws of Love or of creation. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.9)”

Affirmation: “I realize that the personal self can be a Christ Self.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego and Fear

We are in relationship to each other, and that means that we are not alone, even in this world. Of course, God is always within us; He is the All. Yet we are not meant to be alone, and being alone brings on fear. We would, I believe, not have made an ego-self if we had not been so fearful. Yet fear brings on more fear, and a deeper retreat into madness.

2 – Relationship

If we remember that we are meant to be relationship, not only with ourselves, our deepest Self, but also with one another, we will eliminate fear at its deepest. We will eliminate the need to kowtow to the ego, and the ego will gradually wither away. There is no better way to live than to recognize, day-by-day, that the ego is withering away. We turn aside from the ego at very point we recognize that we are believing ourselves to be separate and alone. We turn aside from egotistical leanings, though this is not the full meaning of the “ego.” The ego is a false sense of our personal self, a part of our belief about ourselves. And it was never true. We, on some level, recognize its falsity, and this in turn also makes us fearful. A retreat into madness is always fearful. And we would not retreat into madness.

3 – No Longer Alone

Let us turn to one another today. Let us realize that when we recognize that we are in relationship to our Christ Self within, and the God within, and in relationship to our brothers and sisters, we are certainly no longer consumed by a belief that we are alone. And this sense of being alone has given us, in large measure, the fear that dogs our steps. The ego was developed to answer to that fear, but the ego actually accentuates the fear. The ego-mind is best left behind in the mists of past days with their unhappiness. Let us walk into the sunlight with God, sure in His love and sure in our relationship to All. May we love our brothers and sisters, and bask in the certainty that, just as God is there for us, our brothers and sisters are there for us as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would undermine the ego today by recognizing that I have never been separate and alone. I have always been relationship to You, my Self/Christ, and my brothers and sisters—not to mention the physical universe as we perceive it.

Knowing that I am not separate and alone will take away the need to assert an ego-self. I think that I need to set myself apart when I am fearful of myself and others. This attitude need not be. And I would leave it behind forever, beginning today.

Thank You for letting me know that I am never alone, and I have never been. I was a long time coming to this knowledge, but now that I have assimilated, the future looks ever brighter.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Physical Self Is Not Inconsistent with the Laws of God

Robert Hagan 1947 - Australian Impressionist painter - Tutt'Art@ (17)“The choice to express who you are in physical terms was not a choice made of fear but made of love. A physical self is not inconsistent with the laws of God or of creation. It is simply a choice. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.9)”

Affirmation: “I will rejoice in my physical body today, living in love only.”

Reflections:

1 – No Degrading the Physical

We see that the physical body is not to be degraded as inferior in experience to the things of the spirit. We can live in love with the physical body. And we did not make a “bad” choice when we decided to live in physicality. We simply made a choice that can be glorified.

2 – Body

So many religious traditions deemphasize the body and especially see it as unfortunate. We are taught that we need to bring it under control, that the body will lead us astray.

3 – Ego

Actually it is the ego which will lead us astray. The physical body is neutral (from A Course of Love). It is what we make of the ego that determines how we will live on earth. If we choose out of fear, we will live in a body that seems to react to every stress. We will often regret the body, because its reactions seem to have a mind of their own, and we suffer accordingly.

4 – Illusion

This is all the way of illusion, and if we sense this fear, we are living much of our time under our egoic influence. Let us not do so today, or any day. May we drop egoic influence, and the best way to begin to do that is to do nothing about of egotistical reasons. We can drop the ego; it is choice that we are empowered to make. And when we drop the ego, we will recognize that the body does nothing. It is a thing that allows us to express our self, a means of expression as well as communication, and nothing more. We need neither to fear its reactions or to glorify those reactions.

5 – Body as Communicative Tool

Be with the body in love today. Let the body be a means by which we can communicate with our brothers and sisters. And let us not use the body willfully. We need to recognize that the body does nothing of itself; it is the mind and heart that determine what the body does.

6 – Today

And let the body do only good things today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the insight, given in the passage for today, that Your will and the body are not at odds. I can be glad that I have a body to serve as a means of communication in this world with my brothers and sisters. I can be thankful for my body as a means of expression. And I do not have to wait for the Other Side, where bodies are ethereal and obey laws different from what I know on earth.

May I use my body well today. May I keep it healthy and strong, physically, and may my emotions be tranquil. May I have emotional stability in my physically healthy body. Illness need not come near me if I create rightly in this world. And illness that does come is a form of external searching, and I would search only internally, in You.

Amen.

Embodying a State You Have Not Even Dared to Dream

Monet_Water_Lilies_1916“As it dawns upon your once slumbering mind that change on a grand scale awaits you, you will grow fearful if you do not realize that what is being proposed to you here is something completely new, something you have not even dreamed of. This state you have not even dared to dream of is a state in which only God’s laws of love exist even within the realm of physicality. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 12.7)”

Affirmation: “I would experience God’s laws of love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Physicality

The passage for today shows us that physicality is not bad, that it is a good state. This is the attitude throughout A Course of Love, which seeks to lead us to the elevated Self of form, a state in which Christ-consciousness is sustained. Of course, we are told that absolutely nobody has sustained Christ-consciousness yet. And Jesus is asking us to reach that state of sustainability. But the idea that the physical body is good is to be celebrated is a departure, in effect, from A Course in Miracles.

2 – Gnostic Influence

There was a heavy Gnostic influence in ACIM, and the world of maya, or illusion, was seen to offer us nothing that we would want. The world did not have anything to offer except the hope of happy dreams, from which we were eventually led beyond to Awakening and the real world. And we were led to believe that the Teachers of teachers were no longer born into this world, but that we receive their teachings from the Other Side (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Elevated Self of Form

But if we live God’s way of love, we can enjoy the physical body in this world. We are no longer looking to the ego for satisfaction in that physical body, but to our Christ Self. And then, if we are faithful to our learning, we will eventually sustain the elevated Self of form.

4 – No Curse!

What a blessing to know that the body is not a curse after all! There is much that we enjoy in this world, and we do not have to wait for the afterlife to enjoy ourselves. And we can enjoy ourselves in innocence borne of an elimination of the ego in ourselves. This analysis, unique to ACOL, is cause for rejoicing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would embody this new state sooner rather than later. I would see that the physical body is not to be lamented, but to live in, under Your laws. Now nothing is missing. I will eventually die, and my ethereal body may be different from the physical body that I have now, but nothing has to be missing now. I can fully enter into Your laws right now, here and now.

I would choose to experience the elevated Self of form—as much as I can do the choosing, for I know that the final decision is in Your hands. Be with me as I seek to follow the path back to You. Let me turn inward today as I walk a close walk with You.

Amen.

A Warning about Righteousness

paris street - rainy day
“This first lesson on the temptation of the human experience comes in truth as a warning against righteousness. It comes to remind you, as you replace the thought system of illusion with the thought system of the truth, that having remembered the truth of who you are, you are called to forget the personal self who would find this cause for righteousness. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.17)”

Affirmation: “I would avoid self-righteousness today and every day.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego

The passage for today gives a stern warning about how the ego can entrap us again. The ego is very wily, and though only a part of our belief about ourselves, it does seem to act out of our control. But it is simply madness, but madness that can wreck great havoc. We are moving from illusions to truth, and when we recognize this, the ego can rear its head through a sense of self-righteousness, that we are somehow “better” for this difference. We are “better” to the ego, which sees this change as a chance for self-aggrandizement. And then we are trapped in illusion again. The journey from the house of illusion to the House of Truth has been aborted.

2 – Only Time Separates

The temptations of the human experience are great, and it is up to us to bypass these temptations. Only time separates the Son/Daughter of God, the Christ Self, from those these trapped in an egoic sense of the personal self. All will find the way back eventually, and we are needed to bring that time closer, because the world is weary, and all things in it are weary (from A Course in Miracles). The world is very tired, and it winds on in a wearying fashion, causing us to weary ourselves (also from ACIM). Do our brothers and sisters not need as greatly? And to save them from themselves, we ourselves must be “saved,” heading through salvation to Christ-consciousness.

3 – Journey

The journey has been long, though it has all been an illusion, and we are actually on a “journey without distance” (from ACIM). Let us not become self-righteous on this illusory journey, negating all the good that we could do for ourselves as well as others. Self-righteousness is such a pitiable state, and those who are on a spiritual pathway are the main ones who are afflicted with this trait. So it behooves us to watch ourselves carefully. We can still backslide, in my opinion. We can still lose our way. And certainly knowing the contents of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, if we lack the lack and fall into self-righteousness, is a prescription for disaster.

4 – Pray

Let’s pray today that we may be spared from the temptation to think ourselves better than others who have not read all that we have read, studied all that we have studied. We are not better. We are equals. And in heaven we share all talents equally. The only advantage today in having “more” than another is the chance to be happy, and the chance to share that happiness with others. This is all that salvation holds out for us. We are perfectly calm and quiet, without drama, and so enlightenment is really “nothing special” (a Zen thought). But it can be everything for us when we walk the narrow pathway that keeps us from temptations and draws us ever closer to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would avoid righteousness today. If I succumb to it, I will be like the Pharisee of the New Testament, who thanked God that he was not like other men, and he left his prayer unjustified. I would recognize that the ego can still entrap me with such thoughts. I would avoid this maladjusted thinking today.

Help all of us to realize that we are here to assist each other in our path toward salvation. I do not seek to proselytize, only to share with others who are ready to hear what I might be able to say. And in this endeavor there is a minefield for the ego. I would avoid that minefield today. Help me to recognize that You are there for all of us, and that only time separates any bit of knowledge that any of us have come to recognize.

Amen.

House of Illusion vs. House of Truth

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“The house of illusion exists within the House of Truth because it is where your brothers and sisters think they are. The house of illusion is not a hell that anyone has been banished to. It can at times be a chosen hell, just as it can at times be a chosen heaven. Choice and the awareness of the power of choice that exists within is all that differentiates one from the other. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.13)”

Affirmation: “I would leave behind the house of illusion today.”

Reflections:

1 – Change

This passage for today is a reassurance for our sisters and brothers who are not yet emerging from the house of illusion into the brighter world of the House of Truth. We are elsewhere bidden not to rejoin others in this house of illusion, if we have already emerged into the brightness of true reality. Yet the explosions within cue us to the fact that change is underway. We will not long be without our significant others, with us in the House of Truth.

2 – Hell on Earth

We do not wish for anyone a hell on earth, and the house of illusion is sometimes that. It can also be a heaven, as when we dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles). But we are in a more substantial heaven when we have emerged from these illusions. We try to make our elevated Self of form sustainable, and while this is not always a realistic goal, it is realistic to know that we can and do catch glimpses of the real world nearly every day.

3 – Choices

Our choices are open in reality, in the House of Truth. Our choices are restrained in the house of illusion, for our will is imprisoned (from ACIM). An imprisoned will induces discomfort in the extreme, even pain. And we would be free of imprisonment. Let us today resolve to live well, to emerge from illusions into truth.

4 – God’s Will Is Our Real Will

Our choices ought always to be aligned with what God’s will really is, for His will is our real will. This negates the oft-repeated sense that we are being coerced. The Holy Spirit (in ACIM) and the Christ Self (in A Course of Love) do not in any way coerce us. We live a free life, secure in the love of our Father.

5 – Heaven

Let us today live in heaven, whether we are still caught by illusions or whether we have emerged into the light of truth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the House of Truth today. I would not reenter the house of illusion. And I am actually helping my brothers and sisters more by so doing. I cannot help from within the house of illusion, because my own mind would be caught in illusions again. And I would not have it so.

Be with me as I seek earnestly to live abundantly within the House of Truth. I would leave fear, as an egoic notion, behind. I would enjoy the peace and tranquility that is promised me by you, when I enter the House of Truth. Help me to know only calm and quiet today.

Amen.

Temptations of the Human Experience

renoir - boating party“Thus we begin to address the temptations of the human experience. Two are spoken of in tandem here: The temptation to judge and the temptation to accept the existence of a reality other than the truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.12)”

Affirmation: “I will seek the truth today, not judging anything or anybody.”

Reflections:

1 – Judging

This passage for today echoes part of a passage from A Course in Miracles: the prohibition not to judge, lest we lose our salvation, our walk toward Christ-consciousness or Awakening. The indication that we try to walk away from the truth is the fact that we, in bowing to the ego, all too often stay lost in illusions—the opposite of truth. Truth is, however, a slippery concept.

2 – Truth?

I once met a man who was trying to employ people in his political operation, and he put great emphasis on publishing the “truth.” But I realized that his mind was lost in illusions, and I felt that he honestly did not have a handle on a “truth.” Many zealots in our world think that they set forth the truth, but we ourselves may have misgivings about the particular brand of truth to which they ascribe.

3 – How Can We Know?

How can we know? In the bottom line, we cannot be sure, even when we have prayed long and hard. Zealots also pray long and hard, and they are certain that God is on their side. The litmus test is whether or not what we believe will hurt someone else. And if there is any chance that what we do will hurt, we can be sure that this particular pathway is not God’s.

4 – Hurt

Of course, our own proclivities in life may mean that we inadvertently hurt others when we tell our truth. This is particularly prone in romantic relationships, when another loves us (or vice-versus), and the love is not reciprocal. This is not the kind of hurt to which I refer. The kind of hurt to which I refer is the kind fraught with violence. And we all know that our wars and rumors or wars, sometimes fought for the noblest of reasons, are examples of hurting, though sometimes, perhaps, unavoidable.

5 – Attack, Judging, and Planning

And we must not judge. ACIM goes further: We are not to attack, and we are not to make plans against contingencies to come (unless prompted by guidance). Judgments hurt us, for we are not in a forgiving state of mind. And so judgments are examples of temptations best avoided.

6 – Today’s Task

So avoid temptations today: Avoid judgments and avoid trying to evade the truth as we see it. We will all make different decisions, based on our personalities and backgrounds, but the way seems clear when we walk the pathway of love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need to realize that my greatest temptation right now is to plan for the future, even if guidance has not led me in that direction. This is a path that I would not take, though my idle mind bends in that direction. I would also avoid attacking others, and I would avoid judging others. Right now those two temptations do not hurt me so much as the planning that I am wont to do. Be with me to put a stop to this planning.

I would follow your pathway. I would live as long as you deem right for me, doing healthy things to keep my physical and emotional body is good shape. I would be there for my brothers and sisters. They have been there for me, just as You always have been. Help me to walk the straight pathway back to you today. And guide me ever-closer to Christ-consciousness at the time that You deem appropriate.

Thank You.

Amen.

This Is What You Are Now Called to Do

“This is what you are now called to do:

“Be aware that the love of God lives within you. Live within the peace of God. Live by the truth.

“This could be restated as you are love, you live in peace, you live by or in accord with truth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 11.7 – 11.9)”

Affirmation: “I will live in love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Jesus

The instructions that Jesus gives today, in this passage from A Course of Love, are not new by any means. But he has an authority that defies explanation, except that he is our chosen leader. He speaks with the authority that he did in the New Testament, when he spoke not as the scribes and Pharisees. It does behoove us to listen to what he tells us in this new century, this time of Christ.

2 – God Is Love

We are to live by the truth that God is love, that we are to live within His peace. Such simple words, but so hard to do! We live in such complicated times, and it would be better if we simplified our lives to reject the complexity, the complexity which is often of the ego.

3 – Live in Love

What does it mean to live in love? As A Course in Miracles tells us, we live in love when we overlook anger and attack from ourselves and others, and by the overlooking, we do not make real, and we are led to forgive the errors made by ourselves and others. This also is easy to say but so hard to do. If we can just remember that we are living in illusion, at least until we have reached the real world that Christ-consciousness shows us, we will be well on our way to a better world, a better experience.

4 – Communicate with God

We find such joy in life when we communicate with God. In the early pages of the Text of ACIM, Jesus tells us that God is lonely when He recognizes that His channels to His children are closed, that we sleep, that we do not communicate with Him. We can change this. The handle to the door of our heart is on our side of the door. God is always ready to accept us; it is ourselves that get preoccupied with the things of this world that take us from Him.

5 – Prayer without Ceasing

Let us give up this spurious living. Let us return to frequent prayer, prayer without ceasing. Is this possible? It is possible to take God as a partner in daily life, to turn to Him as we would to any trusted ally, and to ask, internally, questions about our day with its many problems. We will get answers, so much so that we will wonder why we neglected Him for so long. Why did we not learn years ago that Christianity is eminently practical? Maybe we just have not yet recollected what has been within all along. We do know, and now is the time to bring forth that knowledge again.

6 – Talk to God

So seek to love today. We will fail if we don’t communicate with God throughout the day. Resolve now to talk, internally, to God as we walk through the day. He will be there. And we will know miracles that will warm our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to remember You today. May I walk through this day in close consultation with You. May I do absolutely nothing without knowing, internally, that You are in agreement with what I do. May I reach out to You, metaphorically, though I know that You are really within me. Be with me today.

Amen.

Like Gravitating toward Beautiful Music

pennsylvania impressionism3“You will find that your new language will gather people to you in much the way people will gravitate toward beautiful music. Many will be eager to learn what you have remembered because they will realize that the memory of this language exists within them as well. It will come naturally to you to welcome these back to the common language of the mind and heart joined in unity. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.15)”

Affirmation: “I would hope today that I set a good example.”

Reflections:

1 – Our New Language

The passage for today identified the “language” that we will speak in this new world of Christ-consciousness. It will be a language of the mind and heart joined in unity. And this is the wholeheartedness of which Jesus has spoken frequently in A Course of Love.

2 – Setting an Example

We need to think a bit about the example that we are setting for others in our daily rounds. If we avoid this new language, this quiet and beautiful language, our words may be filled with anger and attack. What kind of example would that set for non-believers? How can we draw people to a new life if we, who profess to know better, are constantly falling into egoic attitudes, even though Christ-consciousness shines through in glimpses?

3 – Our Behavior

We need to be consistent in our behavior even when Christ-consciousness is not present. We need to realize that the forgiveness that A Course in Miracles proscribes is possible for us. We can overlook the baiting that others do to us, and we can overlook our own anger, if we are diligent. We can gentle ourselves by a quiet word with God at the point of being overwrought. We can ask what Jesus might do in a similar situation. Of course, he was not without anger, as witness his attitude in the temple during his last week on earth. He drove the moneychangers from the temple. I have long viewed this as a manifestation of extreme stress, for Jesus knew that he was walking toward his death, and a painful death at that, the death of crucifixion.

4 – Forgiveness

The fact that Jesus so behaved gives us an additional reason to forgive ourselves when we slip. But our temptations to slip are not normally so extreme as was his. We face much smaller temptations, though to us they may appear to be huge.

5 – Quietness

Let us vow to set a good example today. Turn aside the attacking word with quietness. Let the language of the mind and heart in unity set forth your pathway. Let us be good to each other, for the day is long and there are many times that we will be tempted to slip into stress that fuels anger. Let us vow to avoid these temptations to anger and attack today. Let us keep to the language of the mind and heart in unity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would speak the language that will set a good example in this life. I would turn aside from anger and attack and be gentle. I know that I can never set a good example of the things that I believe if I am “venting.” There is never any good reason to raise one’s voice in anger. There will always be regret afterwards.

Be with me as I seek to find the language that will attract my brothers and sisters to me, but not an attraction that will fuel my ego. I seek to have the ego wither away, and I seek to live in peace and gentleness all the days of my life.

Will You be there for me, as I make this resolution?

Amen.

You Have Not Forgotten Thought System of the Christ-Self

“What we are doing now is much like translating the learned thought system of the ego into the thought system of the Christ-self that you but think you have forgotten. As you dwell in the house of truth, if you do not resist unlearning the ego thought system, the thought system of your true Self will quite simply return to your memory. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I would remember the thinking of my true Self today.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Resist Unlearning of Ego

The passage for today is very reassuring, in that we learn that we can just not resist unlearning the thought system of the ego, and the forgotten memory of the thought system of the Christ-self will reemerge. We have just forgotten what has been buried in us all along. We do not have to struggle to learn something new. The truth has always been present, but the part of ourselves that was the ego just overshadowed our real thinking, the real thinking of our Self.

2 – The Self

Is there a difference between our Self and the Christ-self? No, there is not. I often just say “Self” because in many cases we think we are claiming something that does not belong to us when we say “Christ.” Our ego all too quickly gets involved again, and the ego tells us that we are being arrogant, that we cannot possibly share in the Christ that Jesus himself embodied.

3 – Share

But we can share in this Christ, and we can just gently turn aside from the egoistic thinking that rejects this thought as vainglorious. If we resist the ego, it will only become stronger. So do not resist, but just gently reply, when it “speaks,” with a “no.” This no will silence the ego, and we will be let ever so gently into the communion with God that will assure us that we are on the right track.

4 – Universal Christ

We do not become Jesus, of course. All too often we think that he is the only one who can be Christ. Yet it is not egotistical to claim a universal Christ of which we are a part. The ego will never be a part of this, but we in our Self will be, and this Self is found deep within, where God is. We project the world, but the point of Christ within is the essence of God Himself. And the same is true for all of our brothers and sisters, who are not illusion. Our brothers and sisters are as real as we are, and they too share the Christ that is within us. All is One in this non-dualistic universe(s), and God is One. Ask within if this interpretation can be accepted by you.

5 – Universal Experience

But do not let theology delay you. We are after a universal experience, which is necessary (from A Course in Miracles). The universal experience for today is to recognize that the Christ within is capable of transforming ourselves as well as the world that we perceive. We are on the cusp of a transforming experience when we take to heart the passage for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would gently turn aside from the thought system of the ego so that I would easily and peacefully unlearn that thought system. I would learn the thought system of the Christ Self, one that is gained in large part through my heart. Help me to reconcile myself to this twin resolve today.

I would share in the universal experience that is the transformation of all of us from the ego-mind to the Christ-mind. I would delay not. Help me to gently turn aside from all that was unfortunate in the past and to turn gently ahead to a glorious future.

Amen.

Uncertainty Is Now an Echo from the Past

sotter - pennsylvania impressionists“Uncertainty will not now come to teach you lessons you have already learned but will only visit you as an echo from the past. It is a habit, a pattern of the old thought system. All you must do is not listen to it. Its voice will not be gentle or full of love. Its voice will hold the unmistakable edge of fear. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.11)”

Affirmation: “I will avoid listening to any echoes from the past.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear

When we feel the unmistakable edge of fear, we know that we are thinking amiss, not listening to our heart. And uncertainly, Jesus seems to say here, is a symptom of fear. To be sure! That is what we want now. And that is what we can have.

2 – Personal Interpretation

We are leaving the old thought system behind. How can we do that? There are indications, though the ones that I mention now are not all spelled out in A Course of Love nor even in A Course in Miracles. First and foremost, we can learn to live with ourselves better. We no longer chastise ourselves for our mistakes, but we acknowledge those mistakes and seek to correct them, promptly. We pray a great deal, though this prayer may take the form of fragmentary prayers for others and ourselves. And we thank God for His many blessings, for gratefulness keeps His abundance flowing to us. We use affirmations, scriptural passages from the Bible, ACIM, or ACOL—words that help us to keep on the right path.

3 – Warm Hearts

With regimens like these in place, we walk a surer path. We are uncertain no longer, for our hearts are warmed by the experiences which we encounter. If we remember, from ACIM, that the solution is always with the problem, we will know that whatever uncertainty emerges is easily rectified. We do not have to wait for an answer most of the time, but we wait patiently when the answer does appear to be slow in coming. Probably our own mind is interfering with receiving God’s Answer.

4 – We Just Know

Listen to your heart. We do not need the proofs of God’s favor that the mind would ask to have. We do not need proof of God at all when we are listening to our heart. We just know, and we know in a way that is unmistakable.

5 – Uncertainty

Continuing to live in uncertainty is thus an echo from the past, an echo lodged in fear. And we would be free of fear. We need to walk into the future with confidence, and we can do so. The farther along we walk, the more confident, and the more certain, we become. Thank God for these blessings.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When I stay close to You during the day, I walk a certain pathway. Things work out well. But when I let You drop from my mind, I walk a turbulent path. I would walk a smooth path today.

Help me to avoid uncertainty. Uncertainty brings on insomnia, and I would be free of that. May I take the steps toward living with myself well. And when I live with myself well, I am living with You well.

There is no better to spend a day than to spend it in fellowship with You. Let me remember this if anything goes awry today.

Amen.

Recognize the Christ-Mind by How Gentle Its Thoughts Are

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“The first step in being able to forget such thoughts [of the ego] is in recognizing them as separate and distinct from the thoughts of your right mind or Christ-mind. This will be easy because the thoughts of the ego-mind were always harsh with you or with others. The Christ-mind and the thoughts that come from the voice of the Christ-mind will be gentle. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.9)”

Affirmation: “I would experience the gentle thoughts of the Christ-mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Gentle Thoughts Give Happiness

Most of us may now recognize that gentleness is much preferred over the raucous shrieks of the ego-mind. And the Christ-mind gives us the gentle thoughts that give us so much happiness. Is it any wonder that happiness is a worthy goal to be sought?

2 – Avoid Harshness

We do not really want to be harsh with ourselves or with others. I have recently prayed that I would get along better with myself. This seems to be an inspired prayer, not unlike a prayer to get along better with other people. We want to be gentle. It is a mandate if we wish to live well.

3 – Flow

What other characteristics accompany gentleness? Peace of mind, tranquility, serenity, calm. And we are more loving as well. When we treat others as well as ourselves gently, we flow with the day. We don’t have to talk ourselves into a good mood; it is part of the blessing of the prayer to be gentle.

4 – Commune with God

The ego ought to be falling away now. And we will know this when we commune more with God. Communion sometimes means verbal prayers, silently or aloud, but it also is a state of mind and heart. We feel better when we communicate with our Maker. Try it and see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would remember You today. I know from my reading that You are lonely, in an anthropomorphic way, when Your children don’t communicate with You. You recognize that we sleep and need to be awakened. I would awaken at Your command. But help me to be patient.

Help this day to flow well in gentleness. May I avoid harshness in my words and in my demeanor, and may I do You justice as I walk through my day. Others need me, and certainly I need, in an almost selfish way, to treat myself well in order to be able to serve others. There is no better way to live than to talk with You on my daily rounds. I pray that I will not forget You today.

Amen.

Salvation a Game that Happy Children Play

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“Not one situation coming to you now will be a repeat of the past. How can it be when the past was lived in the house of illusion and the present is lived in the house of truth? Being cognizant of this is the only way that the simultaneous learning and unlearning that was spoken of earlier will be able to be realized. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.7)”

Affirmation: “I will seek to learn new things today.”

Reflections:

1 – Badly Taught

Earlier in this chapter in A Course of Love, Jesus asks us to forget as much as possible. Apparently he thinks that we were badly taught, and the reason comes out in the passage for today: We were living in the house of illusion. Now, he encourages us ever so much again by saying that we live now in the house of truth. He, if not we, are certain that we have walked far toward Christ-consciousness.

2 – How Happy Are You?

How can we measure our progress? A very simple way is to decide how happy we are, even if life is still tough in some respects and maybe in many respects. We will have an ineffable joy if we are living right. And actually things will turn out better, though Christ-consciousness and the preparation for it do not mean that all will always go swimmingly. Certainly Jesus had things go very badly, though he believed in what he was doing, and history has borne out the wisdom of his pathway.

3 – Do You Blame?

Other ways to know if we are proceeding along a path that leads ever closer to Christ-consciousness is to determine how we feel toward other individuals. Do we still blame them when they act badly? Do we still blame them when they blame us for something? Do we forgive readily? The life that is dedicated to Jesus’s way will proceed in concert with other individuals, always away that we hold each other’s hand as we walk through life. We walk side-by-side also, especially with our significant other, our brother (from A Course in Miracles). If we take turns moving ahead and falling back in this walk, neither we nor our brother make any forward progress. But if we walk gaily along, holding hands, we know salvation to the joyous game that children play (from ACIM).

4 – Walk to the House of Truth

So we walk to the house of truth. We may not always be certain what that truth really is, but nevertheless, we know that we are not wholly caught in illusions anymore. We feel better most of the time. Life seems a blessing, not a curse. And we walk in love of ourselves (for self-love does not have to be egotistical), others, and God.

5 – First Day of the Rest of Our Lives

Take time today to forgive, to love, and to reach ever forward on our walk. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Let’s don’t rue the day. We can and will reach Christ-consciousness, if we remain true to what we are reading. Only remember that God Himself makes the decision of when we are really ready to accept the ultimate blessing of living in this time of Christ.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would emphasize my walk toward reality in my prayers to You today. I walk as humbly as I can, though egoic notions still impinge. I am ready to be done with the ego, and indeed Jesus says in A Course of Love that we all, who have reached this far, are done with the ego. May I recognize the truth of this statement.

I would drop my illusions today. I would drop the things that I say to myself that are injurious to myself. May my thoughts and words in in Your will, today and always. Be with me as I seek to walk into truth.

Amen.

All Lessons Are Gifts

pennsylvania impressionism2“Acceptance of what is, is acceptance that whatever is happening in the present moment is a gift and a lesson. What comes as a lesson may not seem like a gift, but all lessons are gifts. . . .They will not be lessons that you find difficult or distressing if you accept them as lessons and realize that all lessons are gifts. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.6)”

Affirmation: “I would accept my lessons as gifts today.”

Reflections:

1 – Everything a Gift

When something good happens, we can readily see this as a blessing and a gift. When something bad happens, we bewail our fate, and sometimes we blame God for the unfortunate occurrence. Yet everything that happens, according to what Jesus channeled in this passage for today, is a lesson that is a gift. Even the bad things.

2 – Scary Things

Does anything ever have to be truly bad? Of course, here on this earth we interpret scary, frightening happenings as bad, and we recoil from them. We think that the world chaos is deplorable. We ask how a loving God could so create, and could so place us in this world. Yet this is not the right question. We have free will, and this free will means that sometimes bad things will happen. This includes illness, for physical bodies partake of the imperfections of our world as well. We never need to blame God for our misfortune.

3 – Dreams

Of course, when we dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook of A Course in Miracles), we see far more blessings as gifts—for the happenings that occur to us are fortunate and blissful. These are easy to accept as being from God’s Hand. Are they always? Yes, for we have aligned ourselves with Him and His will (which always is our own real will as well).

4 – Struggle

Accept gifts today, accept lessons today. The lessons may entail struggle, but we will hone character by struggle. And we will grow thereby.

5 – Grow, Grow

Marianne Williamson often tells a Jewish parable about a blade of grass, always looked over by an angel who says, “Grow, grow.” We can see this parable as applicable to us. God would have us grow. And He does, I believe, send His angels to help us along the way.

6 – Prayer

So may we pray that our lessons be gentle, but may we accept them also if they are harsh. They will be less harsh when we do not have an imprisoned will (from ACIM), the type of will forged by the illusory ego. Turn to the inner Christ/Self, and see if the lessons that we all experience do not immediately seem more benign. And then we can recognize those lessons as the gifts that they are.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would grow today, even if there is struggle. I do not believe that struggle is inevitable. When we align ourselves with You in toto, we walk a smooth path. And that is what I would do today. Be with me to make it so.

I would accept all things that happen as a gift from Your hand. I do know that some things surely happen that are not optimal, that You allow but do not condone. But traditional Christianity often talks about what You “allow,” even when this allowing does not seem good. And surely You do stand aside so that our free will is not violated.

Be with me today as I seek to do Your will, which ever is my own.

Amen.

Blame

Towpath_Bridge - hass“All you need do is catch yourself in the act of placing blame and say to yourself, ‘I was placing blame again and I choose to do so no longer.’ You need not spend any more time with blame than this and I offer you no word of sentiment to replace it. I ask you simply to take the thought of it from your mind as quickly as it enters. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 10.4)”

Affirmation: “I will avoid blame today.”

Reflections:

1 – Blame and Guilt

It is easy for the ego to get one tripped up by encouraging the placing of blame on others and on ourselves. We need to do neither. We are all innocent, as A Course in Miracles so eloquently states. Blame is to my mind a first cousin to guilt, and it is guilt that has driven us mad (from ACIM). We need to keep our relationships with others as cordial as possible, and holding grievances would mean that this is impossible. We are not safe when we hold grievances, because we point a finger at another, but three fingers are pointing back at us. And grievances and blame are akin.

2 – Benign Emotions

Why would we harbor ill will if we could harbor more benign emotions? And we can harbor more benign emotions. We get ourselves all tangled up, criticizing (even in our minds) the words or actions of another. We don’t make friends that way; we alienate people. There is no way that we can blame without suffering repercussions that are bad.

3 – Blaming Ourselves

We often blame ourselves when we think that we have fallen short of our ideal behavior. And this is just as bad as blaming others for their shortcomings. We are innocent! And that is enough to know. We don’t have to chastise ourselves that we are falling short. We are enough.

4 – Let Grievances Go and Be Safe

The ego trap of blame need trouble us no further when we remember from the Workbook of ACIM that when we have let all grievances go, we will know that we are perfectly safe. Without that knowledge, we invite anxiety, and blaming ourselves and others is a prime way that anxiety (and fear) can enter our lives.

5 – Being Good

We are good people, even when we don’t act in a good way. Our inner Christ Self knows no sin, and even our personal self knows only mistakes—not sins. And we would correct mistakes as soon as possible. Then there is no reason to blame ourselves for falling short of what we want to be. We can pick ourselves up and simply try again—no harm done, for we live in an illusory world in which God knows that his children are innocent. If the blame seems to invite it, we can ask for forgiveness of others and ourselves. God does not forgive, because He has never condemned (from ACIM). God just loves, and it would behoove us to follow the Almighty in this laudable task for loving only.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will not allow myself to fall into the temptation of blaming either myself or another for perceived shortcomings. I know that this is an egoic trap, and that blaming will only bring on the more sinister guilt.

Help me to keep to this vow. Help me to avoid blaming if things don’t go to suit me. The day is long and there is time for much to go wrong. But I can start the day over again at any time, and I would do so if I step amiss.

Be with me for a good day. Always be with me.

Amen.

Heaven on Earth

pennsylvania impressionists
“You who have followed me beyond the walls of the house of illusion are now called to begin the act of revealing and creating anew the life of heaven on earth. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.6)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to help create heaven on earth.”

Reflections:

1 – The Future

What a delightful future! Jesus says in this passage that we are beyond the walls of the house of illusion, and so now is the time to work together to create heaven on earth. Could we ask for anything more in this world? I think not. This is the ultimate promise.

2 – Inner Guide Reveals Our Part

What would we do to reveal and to create heaven on earth? Only our inner Guide, our inner Christ Self, can answer this question, because I think that the answer is different for each of us. We have a common goal, but the means to reach that common goal—heaven on earth—are different for each of us, because our talents differ, our personalities differ, our gifts differ. We are unique, each of us, and that uniqueness means that there is no single answer available.

3 – Contributions to This World

If we had to predict our course in this lifetime, our way to contribute to this world, what would it be? I think that we ought to spend some time contemplating this important question. Of course, our answer will differ as we move through life, because we grow and develop, we change, and we move into different probabilities (from the writings of Jane Roberts, who channeled an entity known as Seth). As times change, we must change with them. And so if the way that we first seek to walk becomes closed to us, if a door is closed, we walk onward, and find an open window. God never leaves us with a closed pathway. Many have so said.

4 – Missions

We are called to a mission, and it is up to each of us to find that mission, though it differs from person to person. Certainly we do not proselytize others to the way of A Course of Love, or of A Course in Miracles, if those others are not ready. Those channeled books are our way, but there are many courses in this world (from ACIM), and each individual interprets from his/her own perspective. Even our teaching of ACOL and ACIM will differ, because the words give different insights to people with varying experiences. This is why no universal theology is possible (from ACIM).

5 – Universal Experience

But a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary (from ACIM). And the universal experience now includes a call to reveal and to create heaven on earth.

6 – Now

May we begin now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would try to create heaven on earth. I would try to do my small part, guided by You. I will surely try to make amiss if I barge ahead without consulting You. You know the way; I do not. Help me to walk the right pathway, making turns as You indicate, today.

I need to be able to turn on a dime. I need to change my course whenever You indicate that I am traveling along a road that is a dead end. May I walk only sure pathways today.

I would live in this heaven on earth that I wish to help create. And so would my brothers and sisters. Let us go forward today, together, seeking Your way to create heaven on earth always.

May today be truly recognized as the first day of the rest of our lives.

Amen.

Being Tempted to Reenter the House of Illusion

early 20th century Pennsylvania impressionism“You will be tempted, nonetheless, to reenter the house of illusion, if only to grasp the hands of those you love and gently tug them through its doors. You will be able to take note of the explosions happening within and will want to return to add your own to those going on inside, thinking that with the force of one more, maybe the walls will finally come tumbling down and those inside be held within illusion no more. (Treatises of A Course of Love: Treatise on the Personal Self, 9.5)”

Affirmation: “I cannot help others by reentering the house of illusion myself.”

Reflections:

1 – Other People Caught in Illusion

We mean others well, most especially our significant others who are still caught in illusion. We have moved outside the house of illusion, but there are explosions within that rock the world. And we would rescue our brothers and sisters who still reside in the house of illusion. Can we do this meaningfully?

2 – Do Not Lose Your Insight

Jesus says not. We do not help by reentering the house of illusion, for we will lose our insight. We do best by living in reality, in the real world, once that has been granted us. And then, by our example, those caught in the house of illusion are coached outward. There is no better way.

3 – A House of Cards

The “explosions” are evidence that the house of cards that is the house of illusion is beginning to fall. This world is transforming, though the transformation, entirely, may take millions of years (a tenet from A Course in Miracles). Just as it took millions of years for the separation to occur. But the way back has been set now. And those of us who live in this new world of Christ are ready, even when, in our weakest moments, the ego informs us that we are mistaken, that we are poor and miserable and guilty of arrogance.

4 – Not Arrogance

It is not arrogance to listen to Jesus in A Course of Love, and to realize that finally we have moved beyond believing in the part of ourselves that we defined as the ego. We are no longer living that illusion. It is true that we may slip (a personal interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles or ACOL). But we get ourselves up from the ground, dust ourselves off, and start all over again (as a popular song notes).

5 – House of Illusion on Borrowed Time

The house of cards that is the house of illusion is living on borrowed time. May we listen to the explosions within, from our vantage point from without. And as others emerge from the chaos within the house of illusion, may we be there, in reality (the real world), to help everyone adjust to the light in which we now live.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know that I cannot help my loved ones by reentering illusion with them. I can best help them by staying in the real world, the world of truth, the House of Truth, that is outside the House of Illusion. Within there are those who are beginning to see differently, to see a better way. And it is they who are causing the explosions that will ultimately bring down the House of Illusion.

Thank You for these concepts, and I pray that they are a correct interpretation. Help me to be contented and reassured that Your way is best, that You will do what I cannot do. But if You give me a way to help, I will try to carry it out—when you lead me, how you lead me.

Thank You for being with me today in this sometimes conflicted world made up of both illusions and truth, for both I sometimes recognize. I would live in truth always. Help me to do so.

Amen.