Monthly Archives: February 2014

When Not at Peace. . .

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace. (T90)”

This passage starts a sequence of helps to return us to a peaceful state of mind. A Course in Miracles says elsewhere that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is our desire to get rid of it. How true, if we stop to think! We are so used to drama and turmoil that we think that we are depressed when we get calm for a change. Yet calm and quiet are where we are headed (ACIM tenets).

I have a friend who questioned this “perfectly calm and quiet all the time.” I know from our long friendship that she is especially prone to drama, and she was letting me know that she liked it like that! Yes, but a little farther along her pathway, and she may change her mind. I certainly hope so.

This passage bears repeating as a lovely blank verse poem. If we are not at peace, we have made one or more errors. We are in charge in making the decisions that will bring us to peace. We can decide otherwise, and thus choose peace, moment by moment.

We do not have to feel guilty, because of the power and glory of the Holy Spirit. He can undo the consequences of our wrong action or thought–the error that made us lose our peace in the beginning.

Peace is a great blessing. All of us would choose it, rather than drama, if we would give it more thought. “Perfectly calm and quiet” is said elsewhere in ACIM as the direction in which we are heading. We may, actually, not welcome this now, because we are tied to our dramas, but as we choose more and more the peace that God grants, we will know the genius of this proscription.

“I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise. (T90”

This puts us back in the hot seat as the decision maker, which we always are. We make the decisions about what reality we will encounter, though not in a simplistic fashion, for the dictum, “We create our own reality” has been much misunderstood. Taken in its worst light, this means that we see ourselves as victims, and we blame ourselves for the wrongs in our life that happen. It is not quite like that.

Our Higher Self makes many of the decisions about what we will experience, and the Higher Self sees a much broader view.

It is also cautionary not to blame another as a victim. We can’t see what their Higher Selves have in mind. What others are going through is not a conscious choice of the lower mind.

“I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace. (T90)”

This moves us into deciding that we want to change our minds, because we want peace. We are being gently led down a pathway to greater peace. Jesus recognizes that our ego will offer some resistance.

“I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him. (T90)”

Do not feel guilty! You will be OK. Guilt is not the same as remorse. If we have erred, it is natural to feel some remorse. But we do not wallow in it, and all too often we wallow in guilt. This is insanity.

The Holy Spirit will undo the wrong. Don’t interfere. Let Him.

“I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me. (T90)”

We always choose God when we choose aright. We always feel better after we have chosen for God. And the way home is several steps closer by our so choosing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to decide for peace, not drama. I am in charge of this decision, with the help of the Holy Spirit. If I am not at peace, I have decided wrongly. I choose now to change this decision to one of peace.

Help me to know the value of being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May the Holy Spirit, day by day, lead me in this direction.

Amen.

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Never Feel Guilty!

“If you allow yourself to become guilty, you will reinforce the error rather than allow it to be undone for you. (T90)”

1 – Reinforcing the Error

This passage emphasizes an important psychological truth, but one that we may never have heard before reading the A Course in Miracles. The passage also contains some ACIM teaching that would preclude full understanding without our reading.

2 – Ego

One of the greatest problems that we face when engulfed by the ego is the problem of guilt. We think that we have done horrendous things, and maybe we have, but only in illusion and only as mistakes–not sins. Mistakes cry out for resolution, for remedying. They do not have the attraction that a deed named a “sin” seems to have for our frail psyches.

3 – Holy Spirit

If we choose to eliminate guilt, we will help the error to be undone as well. But “we” do not undo the error; that is the providence of the Holy Spirit. He works in cooperation with our willingness to leave guilt behind. And, with guilt behind, the error is easily overlooked. We choose not to repeat the error as soon as we label it thusly–an error, or mistake, not a sin.

4 – Be Firm with Yourself

“Be very firm with yourself in this, and keep yourself fully aware that the undoing process, which does not come from you, is nevertheless within you because God placed it there. Your part is merely to return your thinking to the point at which the error was made, and give it over to the Atonement in peace. (T90)”

5 – Forgiveness

We need to forgive ourselves. This way we avoid the guilt that threatens to engulf us, even over minor matters (because we don’t perceive those matters as minor). A Course in Miracles says that guilt has made us mad (insane). And an important point: God does not forgive us, because He has never condemned us. One does not forgive unless he has first condemned. That is why it is so important for us to forgive our brothers and sisters. We have condemned, sometimes even unconsciously, and we need to rectify this mistake.

6 – Would I Fail to Forgive Myself for This?

But the most important aspect is that we have had trouble forgiving ourselves, and if we can’t forgive ourselves, we can’t forgive others. It is just that simple. So our prayer should always be, when faced with an attack from another, “Would I fail to forgive myself for this?” Often the answer will be “no,” and we need to alter that choice to something better—complete absolution through forgiveness.

7 – Atonement

Atonement is mentioned again in this passage. Many of us have a problem with the term Atonement, but it is mainly described in ACIM as an “undoing.” We let our errors be undone by the Holy Spirit, and thus we approach Atonement. We are absolved of error, for we have turned our misthoughts and misdeeds over to the only One who can correct them: the Holy Spirit. And He is always quick to change what has hurt us. He means us well, unlike the ego, which never means us well.

8 – Finding Peace

“Say this to yourself as sincerely as you can, remembering that the Holy Spirit will respond fully to your slightest invitation:

“I must have decided wrongly, because I am not at peace.

“I made the decision myself, but I can also decide otherwise.

“I want to decide otherwise, because I want to be at peace.

“I do not feel guilty, because the Holy Spirit will undo all the consequences of my wrong decision if I will let Him.

“I choose to let Him, by allowing Him to decide for God for me. (T90)”

The above passage is a good one to read and reread when in the throes of our neurosis. The Holy Spirit will act to relieve us of our neuroses, just as Jesus has promised to so act as well. Jesus will stabilize us, and he will heal us. The Holy Spirit, being a part of the Holy Trinity, but an Idea, will move to do the same. All that is asked of us is that we surrender to His will for us. We will never regret that surrender.

9 – Unequivocal Call

The Holy Spirit does not impose Himself on us, but He acts at our slightest invitation. This is similar to Jesus’s promise to come at a single “unequivocal call.” We need the Holy Spirit at the point in our progress. Later on, approaching Awakening, we will turn to our inner Christ Self to change us for the better.

10 – Peace that Passeth Understanding

We are at peace when we have allowed the Holy Spirit to have His way with us. That peace is akin to the peace that passeth understanding, from the Bible.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

If I make mistakes, I will feel guilty when I come to myself. This feeling of guilt can be undone when we seek to be forgiven, of ourselves and of the other person whom we feel we have wronged. May I find that forgiveness now, and leave guilt behind.

Help me to turn to the Holy Spirit when I am tempted to make mistakes that will induce guilt. Thank you for being there for me.

May this be a good day. I am so thankful for the new turns in my life. Blessings seem to be reigning down upon me, and it behooves me to be grateful for these blessings. You are the Source of blessings. And I can so choose to recognize how to react non-neurotically in my daily life. This much I can do, though I cannot do it all. Be with me as I seek to make the best decisions as I go about my day. May my decisions always be informed by guidance. And may I fail to be resistant to that guidance.

Thank You.

Amen.

Holy Spirit = An Idea

1 – Transfer of Perception to Knowledge

“The way to recognize your brother is by recognizing the Holy Spirit in him. I have already said that the Holy Spirit is the bridge for the transfer of perception to knowledge, so we can use the terms as if they were related, because in His Mind they are. (T78)”

Perception is temporary, caught in time with us, but knowledge is eternal, and is of God. These are tenets from elsewhere in A Course in Miracles. Miracles are perceptual, and therefore do not last. Revelation is knowledge, and therefore is eternal. Revelation always comes from God, and it is intensely personal and therefore hard to convey to another. Its validity is determined by the self, the personal self that is trying to access the inner Christ Self (from A Course of Love).

2 – Holy Spirit in Our Brother/Sister

The Holy Spirit is in our brother, and when we recognize the Holy Spirit in him/her, we are seeing the other truly. The Holy Spirit is in us in a very practical sense. Though an idea, He is the Source of Universal Inspiration, the way that we come to know, as opposed to our perceiving. The ego perceives; the self which is accessing the Holy Spirit knows.

3 – Idea of Healing

“The Holy Spirit is the idea of healing. Being thought, the idea gains as it is shared. (T78)”

Ideas do increase when shared. That is why it is so important to seek first the intangibles of God, the peace, hope, joy, harmony, and the like. If we seek first for material pleasures, we will never be satisfied very long with anything we get.

4 – Increases when Shared

“The idea of the Holy Spirit shares the property of other ideas because it follows the laws of the Universe of which it is a part. It is strengthened by being given away. It increases in you as you give it to your brother. Your brother does not have to be aware of the Holy Spirit in himself or in you for this miracle to occur. (T78)”

This is a passage with deep meaning. It suggests that we do not have to get our brothers and sisters to study the A Course in Miracles before they will derive great meaning from it. They will derive that great meaning by our own living out of the principles of ACIM.

5 – A Strengthened Idea

When we give away our understanding of the Holy Spirit, we enrich our brothers and sisters. The idea of the Holy Spirit is strengthened. And they do not have to even be aware of what we are doing.

6 – Miracles

Jesus calls this sharing of the Holy Spirit a “miracle.” It will indeed seem so as we see our brothers and sisters more loving and peaceful, just by the fact that we are trying to share our understanding of the Course with them.

“The Voice of the Holy Spirit is weak in you. That is why you must share It. It must be increased in strength before you can hear It. (T79)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I share my understanding of the Course and the Holy Spirit, silently, with my brothers and sisters. May I especially share this understanding with those most close to me.

We will bless our brothers and sisters by our own understanding. May I not try to get anybody else to follow my way, but by my own following of it, may I lead others to You.

Amen.

The World Is Very Tired. . .Our Task: the Joyous One of Waking It to the Call for God

1 – Weariness

“The world is very tired, because it is the idea of weariness. Our task is the joyous one of waking it to the Call for God. (T77)”

Have we not often awakened in the morning with a sense of weariness, thinking, ungratefully, “another day.” Our lack of gratitude for the day is what is keeping us from a great day. And our lack of gratitude is making our world weary.

2 – Don’t Rue the Day

We have better things to do with our time than to rue the day. We have a joyous function—to wake up this weary world to the Call for God. This is the sense that we are to save the world, that the salvation of the world is in our hands.

3 – A Smile

We do not proselytize those individuals who are not ready, though. Many are not, needing only a smile from us to make their day. The way of A Course in Miracles is not everybody’s way. Far from it. And there are many thousands of other courses that point the way. Indeed, even for ACIM students, each teaches a different version of the course.

4 – Joyousness

So affirm the day with an invitation to joyousness. It will make all the difference, not only for ourselves but also for others.

5 – Tired?

Do we feel tired when we wake up in the morning? That common feeling is what we see discussed in this passage. Elsewhere Jesus assures us that we are not really capable of being tired, but we are very capable of wearying ourselves. When we feel joy, we most often drop weariness.

6 – Waking the World

Our function in the world is variously described in A Course in Miracles. Here it is defined as the task of waking the world to the call for God. (Elsewhere, our function is defined as forgiveness, or even just happiness.)

7 – Helen Schucman

ACIM, according to Helen Schucman (the scribe) was sent at this time because the world is in a very bad situation. All are called to help to create better conditions. May this be our function today: to make those we meet or even think about have a better experience of their day.

8 – All Power

“My mind will always be like yours, because we were created as equals. It was only my decision that gave me all power in Heaven and earth. My only gift to you is to help you make the same decision. (T77)”

This is Jesus speaking. It is a welcome idea that Jesus is there for us, and that we are equals, or are meant to be equals. He has walked the whole pathway, and he stands at the end to rectify any mistakes that we could not alter (ACIM tenets).

9 – Heaven and Earth

The “same decision” would be the intent to have all power in Heaven and earth. Jesus is still our leader, though, for we do not usurp his power. But we have our own power to walk into. We have very big shoes to fill. And, when we do fill those shoes, we will know a joy that is unbounded. We will be home.

10 – The Mind

“I have assured you that the Mind that decided for me is also in you, and that you can let it change you just as it changed me. This Mind is unequivocal, because it hears only one Voice and answers in only one way. (T77)”

The “One Voice” is the Holy Spirit:

“The Holy Spirit is the call to awaken and be glad. (T77)”

We are to respond to this call to awaken. We must realize, though, that we cannot effect the Awakening by our own volition. God takes that step, but we will be ever more ready when we have mastered the means that Jesus is describing to us in A Course in Miracles. He says elsewhere that revelation may occasionally show the end to us, but to reach the end, we must have the means. And the means are being carefully explained to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I drop weariness from my list of troubles. May I substitute joy as the feeling that I would experience.

May we come this day to a new understanding of our task in this world. May we take the part that God has given to us–waking the world to the Call for God.

Amen.

The Call to Joy Is So Strong that the Ego Always Dissolves at Its Sound

1 – Strong Call

“The principle of Atonement and the separation began at the same time. When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the call to joy. This call is so strong that the ego always dissolves at its sound. (T75)”

This passage identified why joy is the preferred way to come to salvation and on to Awakening. The ego dissolves when we are overcome with joy. Indeed, we could not feel such joy if we held onto the ego, for the ego does not mean us well.

2 – Blessing

A call for joy that is so strong! This is a great blessing.

3 – Separation

What did the separation accomplish? Nothing! That is what A Course in Miracles teaches. We have actually never changed in our Selves as we really are. The separation was a tiny, mad idea that is now no longer in the mind that thought it (ACIM concept).

4 – Peace and a Calm Mind

May we react to the joy that God would have us feel, and thereby leave the ego and separation behind. We will then know the peace that a calm mind induces.

5 – Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit is in you in a very literal sense. His is the Voice That calls you back to where you were before and will be again. (T75)”

The presence of the Holy Spirit is not abstract, is not theoretical, and is not a metaphor. The presence of the Holy Spirit in us is fact, truth, literal truth.

6 – Separation?

We have only fallen away from where we were “before,” before the presumed separation. I say “presumed,” because we never actually separated from God; we only thought that we did, and this thought has made all the difference.

7 – Part of God

We are part of God, and so we could not really separate from Him. But in illusion we could think that we did separate, and this tiny, mad idea built up a world of separation that has been a trap for us.

8 – Trap

Let us get out of this trap forthwith. We stay only because we prefer it, the familiar to the forgotten, the unknown. Yet the forgotten is where our real joy comes. And with this call for joy, we are well on our way home.

9 – The Voice

“It is possible even in this world to hear only that Voice and no other. It takes effort and great willingness to learn. It is the final lesson that I learned, and God’s Sons are as equal as learners as they are as sons. (T75 – T76)”

If we can get ourselves to follow guidance consistently, we will be led away from judgment and therefore on our way home. Judging our brother/sister is the only thing, repeat, the only thing, that has stood in our way. And the guidance of the Holy Spirit will take us consistently away from that tendency toward judgment.

10 – Choose Again

We cannot be unjustly treated. This is a tenet of A Course in Miracles. We are deprived of nothing except by our own choice. And we can, at any and every moment, choose again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have a calm mind, because I have known joy that dissolves the ego. May I remember these moments of peak experience, so that I can call on them when the going gets rough.

May I realize that the separation accomplished nothing–that my real Self has continued in peace and joy with You.

May this good day go well. Thank You for my many blessings. I know that I am fortunate indeed, as are my brothers and sisters when they stop to think about it. You have never left us bereft, but are always near. The sense of Your Presence will sustain us through the darkest nightmare. And, if we remember to thank You for our blessings, the nightmares will fall away for our thinking will be straight and true.

Amen.

“Seek and Ye Shall Find” Does Not Mean that You Should Seek Blindly and Desperately for Something You Would Not Recognize.

1 – Where Can I Go for Protection?

“This is the question that must be asked: ‘Where can I go for protection?’ ‘Seek and ye shall find’ does not mean that you should seek blindly and desperately for something you would not recognize. Meaningful seeking is consciously undertaken, consciously organized and consciously directed. (T66)”

We ought not to beseech Heaven for a miracle that we would not recognize at high noon. This is a paraphrase from a favorite book of mine by Michael Drury. If we seek haphazardly, we seek amiss. And we will not find. But meaningful seeking, that is seeking that is directed by the Holy Spirit, always ends happily. We find. And we are blessed by what we find.

2 – Seek and Ye Shall Find

When I was in high school, the quotation from the New Testament given here (“Seek and ye shall find”) meant a great deal to me. With science and evolution, I was no longer a fundamentalist. And I needed something to cling to. I somehow realized that if I sought from God, He would answer.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Matthew 7:7)”

This was my lodestone, in high school and beyond.

3 – Learning

“You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you. However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value. Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last. (M66)”

Why would we choose to learn something that is not of sting value to ourselves? This seems to be a paradox, and perhaps it is. But when we realize that we may have chosen whole careers that were not chosen for the right reasons, we may realize that the ego has been involved.

4 – Careers

But we probably had problems in those careers that were chosen for less-than-the-best reasons. More than just careers have been involved, though. Our choices in relationships may have been flawed as well. Our insanity covers a great deal of our lives.

5 – Value

We can learn best when we turn to learn those things that are of value. And those things are always lasting. Surely we can do this as we learn from A Course in Miracles to choose aright.

6 – What For?

“In all these diversionary tactics, however, the one question that is never asked by those who pursue them is, ‘What for?’ This is the question that you must learn to ask in connection with everything. What is the purpose? Whatever it is, it will direct your efforts automatically. (T67)”

We need to choose aright, obviously. “What for?” can put us on the right pathway. Elsewhere ACIM says that we sometimes want to learn something because its value will not last. I think that this is a diversionary tactic by the nefarious ego, always with the intent to waylay us. The ego acts as though it were autonomous, and sometimes it does seem to be, but we remain in control. Our minds can turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance just as easily (more easily, actually) as the ego.

7 – Egotistical

Turn from the egotistical. Don’t let such notions occupy our holy minds a moment longer. The “egotistical” is not all that the ego means, but it is a start. The ego is our false persona, the one that strives for triumph at our brother’s expense, the one that longs to achieve when cooperation works best in our world, the one that puts the self in a very self-centered light. Don’t follow these dictates any longer. They will not get us what we want. Oh, they may seem to do so. But after the short-lived joy of getting something we want, we are once more in despair because our wants have not been satisfied. When we place our faith in the intangibles of God, the peace, hope, joy, harmony, music of the spheres, we are led along a rose-strewn pathway that always leads to what we truly want.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we choose only those things that have lasting value. May we turn aside from those things that do not have lasting value. May we not be tempted to learn those non-lasting things because they do not have value.

I know that the ego is involved when I reach for something that cannot be sustained. Help me always to choose aright, and this means that it is time to leave the ego behind.

Amen.

Being Dis-Spirited / Stabilizing the Unstable

“I raised the dead by knowing that life is an eternal attribute of everything that the living God created. Why do you believe it is harder for me to inspire the dis-spirited or to stabilize the unstable? I do not believe that there is an order of difficulty in miracles; you do. I have called and you will answer. I understand that miracles are natural, because they are expressions of love. My calling you is as natural as your answer, and as inevitable. (T65)”

1 – Jesus

Jesus is again speaking here. He is emphasizing that all miracles are natural and any is as easy for him to effect as any other.

2 – Miracles

We obviously find this hard to believe, for others if not for Jesus. Yet we are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that miracles are our natural inheritance. It is fascinating that here Jesus reaffirms that he raised the dead in his life on earth. This, perhaps, has been an element of the New Testament that some have found hard to understand–even long-time Christians. ACIM, scribed 2,000 years later, may make this claim more plausible.

3 – Certainty

Jesus is certain that we will respond to him. This certainty is comforting to us, because perhaps we see the way to Life as long and arduous. The pathway need not be such. We can turn to

4 – A Friend

Jesus as our Friend, as he has always promised that he would be. (In A Course in Miracles, he identifies himself as an elder brother.)

5 – Mind

“Your mind will elect to join with mine, and together we are invincible. You and your brother will yet come together in my name, and your sanity will be restored. (T65)”

This passage is a reassurance from Jesus that when we join in holy relationship with our brother, we are joining with Jesus. Our sanity is restored, according to the teaching of ACIM, by this method. It is the method of ACIM.

6 – Relationships

In the way of ACIM, we are meant to see that our special relationships transform into the holy. This saves us time. It is said in ACIM that contemplation will achieve the same purpose, because of its aim, but that contemplation is tedious and time-consuming. With a joining to our brother/sister, we are well on the way to Awakening.

7 – Romance

This way of proceeding works well with our Western propensity to romanticize our relationships. We believe in falling in love, and we do so, sometimes many times over the course of a lifetime. But we never forget the ones we have loved. Love is, as Shakespeare said, not love that alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove (from Sonnet #116). And so those of us who subscribe to this truth are particularly apt to find A Course in Miracles appropriate to our needs. We are ready for it. And we find it, this means to our way home in God.

8 – Higher Mind

“I do not attack your ego. I do work with your higher mind, the home of the Holy Spirit, whether you are asleep or awake, just as your ego does with your lower mind, which is its home. (T65)”

This is Jesus speaking. He is our elder brother (a Course concept), willing to help at any and all times. It is important that Jesus does not attack our egos. Elsewhere he tells us that attack is never justified, and he himself exemplifies this assertion.

9 – Holy Spirit

It is reassuring to know that we have help in trying to change our minds to be at one with the Holy Spirit. We surely do not understand what all of this change entails, and we need counsel that is sure and lovely. Jesus provides this, but silently, nearly always without our being aware of his presence.

10 – Holding Jesus’s Hand

There is a passage elsewhere in ACIM that invites us to imagine our holding Jesus’s hand as we go about the world. He asserts that this is no idle fancy. We cannot understand how this is possible, but Jesus is one who has made it Home, and we dare not doubt his word. We never need to feel alone or lonely again. Not only do we have Jesus, but also other companions of whom we are not usually aware. Surely there is no reason to be afraid, though, as very human people, we will probably still succumb to this temptation to fear for ourselves. In our better moments, passages such as the one above from ACIM can be our reassurance that all is truly well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need help, now and always. Help me to keep my mind in close cooperation with the Holy Spirit, and not dip into ego-oriented desires.

May Jesus help me, as he has promised. Then I can rest assured that all will go well for me in this world.

Amen.