Do You Still Select Some Aspects of Your Life to Bring to Your Learning, While Keeping Others Apart?

“The extent of the teacher of God’s faithfulness is the measure of his advancement in the curriculum. Does he still select some aspects of his life to bring to his learning, while keeping others apart? (M15)”

1 – Upset the Apple Cart

In the beginning of our walk to Awakening, we remain careful not to upset the apple cart. We bring part of our life, sometimes the small part that we formally devote to devotionals, to our learning toward salvation. We don’t surrender all. Oh, we may surrender, even surrender anew, from time to time, even frequently. Yet in our daily walk we keep some parts of our lives separate from Who we perceive God to be. We don’t want Him “controlling” us.

2 – Fallacious Reasoning

This type of reasoning is fallacious. Only when we bring all parts of our learning, in life, to God and the Holy Spirit do we really make progress along the way. Although at first, selectivity in what we bring to God is almost inevitable, later on we need to keep a tight rein on ourselves to be sure that we are not falling away. We need to relax in God’s love, knowing that nothing that the Holy Spirit bids us to do will undo us. Of course, we are fallible, and so we can misconstrue the Holy Spirit’s messages—His guidance—but not for long, if we stay close to the Divine. We will get hints that what we are about to say or do is not kosher.

3 – Judgment

At first we don’t give up judgment very readily; at first we don’t choose guidance consistently. This is because the world’s training has consisted of reliance upon judgment, our own judgment, about what to do or say. As we grow, we think that we are honing judgment to be a more complete and competent person. Eventually, we think, we will stand on our own two feet, not making mistakes, or at least not making as many.

4 – False Persona

This is wrong, for this type of thinking is of the false persona that we have adopted that is the ego. The ego is a part of our belief about ourselves, but a false part. The definition of the ego in A Course in Miracles is, I am quick to say, not the definition of Freud. He saw a strong ego as necessary to our effective survival and our living. But he defined ego differently. Freud saw ego as a unifying, coalescing piece of the psyche that mitigated between the id and the superego. A Course in Miracles, in contrast, sees the ego as a false persona, but one that we all develop. Yet life constantly undoes this false persona, because that is the way that life is set up. The ego, constantly being undone, throws us on a shift between joy (false joy) and despair. The thrills that the ego shows us in our dramas always cause tears of pain. ACIM notes that every flight of joy is matched by these tears of pain, bought at the cost of tears.

5 – Why?

Do we really want to live this way?

6 – Faithfulness

“Faithfulness is the teacher of God’s trust in the Word of God to set all things right; not some, but all. (M15)”

To believe the Course in all situations is to remain faithful to its tenets. This makes us faithful followers of its tenets. This only is faithfulness.

7 – All Things Set Right

We must believe that all things will be set right, not in some far-off future, but here and now. It all has to do with our perception. We project what we perceive (a Course tenet). If we can believe that the Word of God will set all things right, we do not have to take upon ourselves the “sins” of the world.

8 – Trust

“Trust” is mentioned in this passage. Elsewhere we learn that trust is the bedrock of the teacher of God’s faith. If trust goes, all else follows. We lose our faith, and we have slipped once again into egoistic thinking. If we attack, make judgments, or plan defenses against an unknown future, we have lost our way. We need to regain trust, and study of the Course is our way, our way Home.

9 – One Answer

“To give up all problems to one Answer is to reverse the thinking of the world entirely. And that alone is faithfulness. (M15)”

This passage identifies the giving up of self-control is favor of God-control, or control by the Holy Spirit, through our willingness to be led. Most people make this shift only very gradually, because the shift is seen by us, in the throes of the ego, to be personally insulting (a Manual tenet). The world has taught us to rely on our own judgment; we do, usually, not easily give this choice up, and we usually do so only in fragments. We choose some aspects of life to bring to the Holy Spirit, keeping carefully limited what we “tell” Him.

10 – Happiness

This is not the way to live well! All of us want to live well. Indeed, the Workbook, as well as other parts of ACIM, counsel us that happiness is God’s one intention for us. We may question this, thinking that happiness is not a lofty goal. Yet can we really help others from a position of misery? In such states of downtrodden living, we are normally turned inward on ourselves, and only begrudgingly offer solace to others at all. When I was in my early twenties, and in the grip of neurosis, I was not outgoing, and I did not like other people to the extent that would be normal. I felt that it was all that I could do to keep myself going, to solve my own problems. Little did I realize at the time that turning outward miraculously cures neurosis, curing personal problems at the same time.

11 – Readiness

“Yes each degree, however, small, is worth achieving. Readiness, as the text notes, is not mastery. (M15)”

God will take us where we are and go from there. When we are in readiness, the miracle happens. We are still a long way from mastery, but we need, at least, to cultivate readiness.

12 – Guidance

Readiness means that we do make a decision to follow guidance of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. We develop flow, and flow feeds on itself. We have a good day in flow, and the next day we want to have yet another good day in flow. “In flow” means that we move freely throughout our day, choosing easily because we are in constant touch with the Divine.

There is no better way to live.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

May I acquire this faithfulness that You describe. May I have the trust that You will set all things right.

If I study the Course, I will come to understand faithfulness. I do not fully understand now, but I hope to do so, with Your help. Help me to understand the Word of God in this matter of setting all things right.

Amen.

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The Gentle Have No Pain. Why Would They Not Be Joyous?

1 – Beloved

“The gentle have no pain. They cannot suffer. Why would they not be joyous? They are sure they are beloved and must be safe. (M13)”

Gentleness works. On the days that I am most gentle, I walk a smooth pathway. Nothing fazes me. Life is good. Part of this blessing is that I know that I am safe in this world, regardless of what the world throws at me.

2 – Safety

You are safe also. All of us are equal children of God, receiving equal blessings when we come to ourselves enough to ask for those blessings. But we must ask. The Bible is filled with examples of blessings that can be ours, but for which we must ask (ACIM tenet).

3 – Greedy?

We are not being greedy when we ask for what God wants for us anyway. He wants all good for us. Never is He guilty of bringing to us pain; we do this to ourselves.

4 – Personal Experience

When I was growing up, I did not want to be greedy in any sense at all. My mother told me that she and my father had a hard time knowing what Santa should bring, because I would not name what I wanted.

5 – Personal Experience II

Later on, when I was 25, I saw a vision (hallucination) of my bad karma, and it was the fact that I wanted to “get mine.” This is technically called “rapaciousness,” and William Faulkner, Nobel Prize laureate, has a great deal to say about this character trait. It is wanting for self, a reaching forth in a negative fashion. Loosely understood, it is greed.

6 – Restlessness

But gentleness quells all this restlessness to “have.” It is quite true that God wants us to have everything good, and we will not be satisfied until we do have everything. The ego tells us that sometimes we separate out something very desirable (from the ego’s standpoint) as if to say that having this one thing, we will forego all other (ACIM paraphrase). Yet this fails to satisfy, if we succeed in getting this desired goal. For we want everything, and everything does belong to us in truth.

7 – Joy

“Joy goes with gentleness as surely as grief attends attack. (M13)”

We will be happy if we can remain gentle; this is joy. We will certainly feel remorse, at least later on, if we succumb to attack; this is the tragedy of grief experienced.

8 – Attack

It is true that momentarily after attack, we may feel better, not worse. This is because we think, erroneously, that we have gotten rid of the guilt that has otherwise dogged us on our paths. But we haven’t really gotten rid of the guilt. It has, instead, become enhanced through our giving in to attack. This is the folly that we don’t see when suddenly we “see red.”

9 – Find the Gentleness

To find the joy, we must find the gentleness. To remove the grief, we must disavow attack. This formula works in daily life. Why don’t we all give it a try?

“God’s teachers trust in Him. And they are sure His Teacher goes before them, making sure no harm can come to them. They hold His gifts and follow in His way, because God’s Voice directs them in all things. (M13)”

Yet another passage affirming the validity of guidance by the Holy Spirit, Who is identified here as God’s Voice, we know that this is true—if we have studied A Course in Miracles to any extent at all. The Holy Spirit, to Whom we give up our own puny judgment, gives us our real will. And we are made happy in this exchange.

10 – No Harm!

No harm! Yes! Even bad things lose their sting. We know that our real Self, the Christ within, cannot be harmed in any way. Let the world do what it will, we are safe.

11 – Song of Thanks

“Joy is their song of thanks. . . .How joyous it is to share the purpose of salvation! (M13)”

Would it not be a wonderful thing to be joyous all the time! That is indeed the very blessing that is held out to us in Awakening. I have a friend who experienced Awakening some 30 years ago, and she is a prime example of happiness in life. The negative does not hurt her at all. She sees the bigger picture.

12 – Awakening

And so can we all, even before we experience enlightenment. Enlightenment is increasing in numbers, according to Eckhart Tolle, but is still comparatively rare. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us (from the Bible), knowing what the glorious end will be.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I give up attack in all my dealings with my brothers and sisters. This one step will give me joy. Gentleness will also accompany this change in me.

Thank you for the courage to give up attack. Help me to realize that it offers nothing that I want, and everything that I do not want. Lead me along Your pathway to joy, led by the gentleness that You will help me to acquire.

Amen.

God’s Teachers Are Wholly Gentle. They Need the Strength of Gentleness, for It Is in This that Salvation Becomes Easy.

1 – Harmfulness

“No teacher of God but must learn,–and fairly early in his training,–that harmfulness completely obliterates his function from his awareness. It will make him confused, fearful, angry and suspicious. (M13)”

Certainly, if we think about it, we know the truth of this passage. When we have dipped or dropped into a negative mood, everything looks black. We are courting depression.

2 – Reaping the Results

If we do harm to another or to ourselves even in a thought, we will reap the result. We will become confused about our purpose because we will start being suspicious, even paranoid. We will become fearful, because we don’t know where the next attack will appear—and it will appear. When we become fearful, we are stressed, and stress (at least in my experience) nearly always produces anger, even attack.

3 – Nobody Wants to Live This Way

Nobody wants to live this way. We do not wish to do harm to others or ourselves, and we are given in A Course in Miracles the way to live so that we lives harmlessly. The Manual of ACIM is especially helpful in this regard, including most especially the passages on giving up judgment and living in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

4 – Pray Harmlessly

If we pray to live harmlessly, our prayer is in accord with what God wishes for us, and we will walk a primrose path. Our prayer WILL be answered, being the divine Way. Let’s make a decision today to live in the Presence of the Divine, of God, and all of the subsequent decisions will be ever so much better.

5 – God’s Teacher

“Nor can God’s Teacher be heard at all, except by those who realize that harm can actually achieve nothing. No gain can come of it. (M13)”

We lose the guidance of the Holy Spirit, God’s Teacher, when our minds dip into harm. He simply departs from us, knowing, probably, that we are temporarily unable to access our better nature, the nature of the indwelling Spirit of Universal Inspiration. We will feel bereft, especially once we have become accustomed to hearing God’s Voice (the Holy Spirit).

6 – Voice?

Note that in all likelihood we don’t actually hear a voice. We might worry about our sanity if we did. My own sense of the Holy Spirit comes through intuitive feeling, a knowing, or my own thinking that enters my mind when I am not consciously choosing to think of a given puzzle in my life, a given decision that I want to make about what to say or do next. I used to have feelings almost exclusively. The internal “thinking” mode has come to me only in the last few years, and I have not truly known how to interpret this. I have never read anything like it, though surely the phenomenon is commonplace. I have wondered if this new phenomenon is akin to the thesis set forth by Julian Jaynes in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

7 – Julian Jaynes

Julian, since the seventies, has enjoyed quite a following in some circles. He hypothesized that the ancients thought differently from us because they had not yet developed consciousness; they hallucinated voices, and these voices were largely auditory. His thesis explains the many passages in the Old Testament in which we are told that “God spoke” to individuals. The theory cannot be disproved; nobody can know what thinking was really like in the distant past.

8 – Madness

But surely there are times we ourselves may experience something similar, something similar even in our relative sanity. I say “relative,” because ACIM notes that all of us who have not yet awakened are mad, to one degree or another. We are not living as ultimate salvation would have us live. Yet there are degrees of insanity, and we live more and more sanely when we follow the Holy Spirit’s directives. We learn that gentleness really works.

9 – Wholly Gentle

“. . .God’s teachers are wholly gentle. They need the strength of gentleness, for it is in this that the function of salvation becomes easy. (M13)”

10 – Consoling

This is a consoling passage. Which of us would not want to be gentle, to feel gentleness?

11 – Strength of Gentleness

When we learn, through this passage, that the strength of gentleness helps us in salvation, then our motivation to become gentle multiplies.

12 – No Anger and No Attack

To be wholly gentle is not to attack and not to act on anger. Both are lamented elsewhere in the Course as not being justified under any circumstances. How so? Our brothers and sisters are innocent of sin (though perhaps not of having made mistakes). When we can see the innocence of others, we are well of our way to becoming gentle in our interactions with them.

13 – Praying

Gentleness is a trait much to be admired. We do not often pray for this, perhaps, but perhaps we should. In it are found many of the other traits that we do aspire, frequently, to have.

14 – Might of God’s Teachers

“The might of God’s teachers lies in their gentleness, for they have understood their evil thoughts came neither from God’s Son nor his Creator. Thus did they join their thoughts with Him who is their Source. And so their will, which always was His Own, is free to be itself. (M13)”

Our will becomes free, no longer imprisoned, when we realize that God’s Will and our real will are actually identical. The Holy Spirit chooses for us. We are not lost in a quandary of false values and false decision-making points. We don’t have to feel like Jonah. We actually do what we truly want when we follow the guidance that comes to us, guidance that we do test out, because we can still be mistaken in our choices.

15 – Harmfulness of the Ego

If the guidance that comes to us is of no harm to another, we are on the right track normally. Any harmfulness is of the ego, and we are trying to let the ego wither away.

16 – Our Path

Gentleness is our path now. Let’s make a decision to react gently to any and all circumstances, to any and all circumstances that we can.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for gentleness, for in gentleness is the function of salvation made easy. I pray for Your help to allow gentle thoughts and actions in my life and the lives of those I touch.

May I be a teacher of God. This is something that Jesus would have me to be, and I pray that I am doing what is necessary to be such a teacher.

Amen.

Steps on the Way toward Awakening

1 – Period of Undoing

“First, they must go through what might be called ‘a period of undoing.’ This need not be painful, but it usually is so experienced. (M10)”

At this point in the development of trust, the movement toward Awakening, we find that many of things in which we placed great value are, very suddenly, no longer in our lives. We may experience substantial grief at this point.

This period of undoing may occur relatively early in one’s life. College is an awakening experience, in another sense, and the changes that one undergoes are not always happy. We may lose touch with our treasured friends from high school, college may be much tougher than high school, and all in all we experience identity crises as the old props of home and family are removed.

Not everybody, of course, goes through this stage at this point in life. There are many variations.

2 – Period of Sorting Out

“Next, the teacher of God must go through ‘a period of sorting out.’ This is always somewhat difficult because, having learned that the changes in his life are always helpful, he must now decide all things on the basis of whether they increase the helpfulness or hamper it. (M10)”

Once the props have been removed, we need a new stasis of personality, a new way to accept the life that we have been given. One important made in the Manual, in this passage, is that we have here learned that all changes are always helpful. This is akin to the biblical injunction, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” This quotation meant a great deal to me when I was going through this step.

We do not have to fret. We will come through this mixed up period and be the stronger for it.

3 – Period of Relinquishment

“The third stage through which the teacher of God must go can be called ‘a period of relinquishment.’ If this is interpreted a giving up the desirable, it will engender enormous conflict. (M10)”

Sometimes we have to give up something that seems, at the point, very precious to us. We may be asked to follow God’s will, as we perceive it, without reassurances that all is well. God sometimes withdraws and lets us make our own decisions. While guidance is very much a part of this step, it does not mean that we understand the “why” of what we are being asked to say and do. I think very often we don’t. We follow blindly, if we stay true to the pathway. We know what we are to do, but we may not fully want to do it, not yet realizing that God’s will for us is always our real will (ACIM tenet).

4 – Period of Settling Down

“Now comes ‘a period of settling down.’ This is a quiet time, in which the teacher of God rests a while in reasonable peace. Now he consolidates his learning. (M10 – M11)”

We do have periods of respite on this gentle path to Awakening. This identifies such a time. We are told, shortly after this passage, that we will go on from here with “mighty companions.” This seems to indicate help from the Other Side, whether angels or not is not clear. We may be helped by Teachers of teachers, those who have gone on to beyond this life to help those of us still left behind (ACIM tenet).

We need these quiet times, for without them the way would be too arduous, and we might drop out—choosing to make our way blindly, without listening to the Holy Spirit. We might lose our way on the path to Awakening. There are no guarantees.

5 – What Do We Really Want?

“And now he must attain a state that may remain impossible to reach for a long, long time. He must learn to lay all judgment aside, and ask only what he really wants in every circumstance. Were not each step in this direction so heavily reinforced, it would be hard indeed! (M11)”

This is the real disappearance of the ego, in my understanding. What one really wants is not egoistic things of this world, yet the call of the ego has been strong in us, and we relinquish the things of this world with some struggle.

What do we really want? Ah, that is the question. We do want the peace of God, and we cannot have this on a sustained basis as long as the ego is strong in strife.

6 – Period of Achievement

“And finally, there is ‘a period of achievement.’ It is here that learning is consolidated. Now what was seen as merely shadows before become solid gains, to be counted on in all ‘emergencies’ as well as tranquil times. . . .This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would ‘go’ anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete? (M-11.”

I think I can say without ego that the first part of this passage is where I am now—but not the second part of the passage. I can see my learning being consolidated, even as I write my blog. Part of my “solid gains” can be seen in difficult times, “emergencies.”

I have not yet reached the state of real peace, with Heaven’s state fully reflected. I still have difficult days part of the time. I still forget all my learning sometimes, especially when stressed.

It seems to me, from where I sit, that the final half of this passage, the “period of achievement,” identifies the state in which one has been awakened or enlightened.

7 – Recapitulating

Affirmation: “Help me to ask what I really want in every circumstance.”

This passage explains one of the steps on the way to Awakening. It sounds easy, but the playing out of the passage is hard indeed. To lay all judgment is not easy, as the ego thrives on judgment. And the ego it is that we need to lay aside.

But Jesus assures us that we have “heavily reinforced” help to lay all judgment aside. This is a great blessing. This help comes from the Holy Spirit. In addition, Jesus himself has said that he is always with us. We have only to ask for help, and it will be forthcoming.

This passage represents a stumbling block to many. This is where we get stuck in our pathway to Awakening. We must recognize that the way may be long, and that there may be setbacks along the way. But the glorious end is certain.

“This is the stage of real peace, for here is Heaven’s state fully reflected. From here, the way to Heaven is open and easy. In fact, it is here. Who would ‘go’ anywhere, if peace of mind is already complete” (M11)”

This passage represents the ultimate achievement in matters of salvation. The passage tells us that peace of mind is possible even in this world, and that therein lies Heaven.

The theology underlying the Course is not always easy to follow. But here we have a definite stand that Heaven is possible of achievement even in this world. And this is a grand promise indeed.

The way to Heaven is “open and easy,” and, in fact, it is “here” now. What more glorious release could we wish to have? This is a goal worth striving for, and Jesus’s promise is that we shall know Heaven even here, once we have walked the pathway that the Course sets out.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for Heaven on earth. Jesus has promised it to me, and I claim his promise.

May I have the peace of mind that gives Heaven to me, even in this world. I thank you in advance for the fulfillment of this glorious promise.

Amen.

God’s Teachers Have No Basis for Judging, because We Are Not Aware of All Situations that Have Impacted Points of Decision.

1 – Do Not Judge

“God’s teachers do not judge. To judge is to be dishonest, for to judge is to assume a position you do not have. (M12)”

In our better moments, all of us are God’s teachers as well as His students. There is no difference between teacher and student; only time separates, and time seems to be flexible. In our better moments, as well, we don’t judge. Judgment implies a omniscience that we do not have. Only the Holy Spirit (and later on, the inner Christ Self, deep in the Unconscious) can see what past, present, and future circumstances impinge on a given situation. Since we as our personal self don’t have the benefit of knowing all of these factors, we need to depend on Someone who does. This means that we give up judgment, which is always false, in opposition to what this world has taught us from childhood on. We give up what we never had, which was a prescience about the things to come, so that we might make sound decisions. We must learn that we were wrongly taught. We alter what the world has taught us about developing sound judgment on our own, and we move to listening internally to what the Holy Spirit says about what we best think and say and do.

2 – Choosing Wrongly

We are being “dishonest” when we depend solely on our personal selves, our “little” selves. We do not have a position that can see all past, present, and future circumstances—and so we virtually always, if left to our own devices, will choose wrongly. We try to assume a position that we don’t have, a position of all-knowing, when we all know that this is a mirage.

3 – Give Up Illusions of Grandeur

Let’s give up these illusions of grandeur about our knowledge forthwith. Let’s give over our judgment to the Holy Spirit or the Christ Self (as detailed in A Course of Love), knowing that now we have a Guide Who will not fail.

4 – Judgment

“Without judgment are all things equally acceptable, for who could judge otherwise? (M12)”

Judgment is one of the hardest ego tactics to give up. Herein we are bade not to make choices using our own judgment, but to let all things be equally acceptable.

5 – Don’t Condone Wrongdoing

This does not mean that we condone wrongdoing, or that we accept, without action, all the things in our world that we believe need correction. But it does mean that we start with ourselves first, and we don’t judge our brothers and sisters for choices that we cannot understand. We leave that judgment to the Holy Spirit, who sees all events prior and forward in time.

6 – Judgment Causes Misery

Judgment is easily laid aside once we see all the misery that it has caused for us and this world. Why would we hold to an illusion that we can judge at all? We have no basis for doing so, because we are not aware of all the situations that have made a given choice in this world. To judge is to be involved with an illusory self, one that really cannot know the best way. It is far better to leave judgment to Someone who does know–the Holy Spirit. He always sees the innocence is all actions. Everyone does the best that he or she can, given the circumstances, and everyone feels justified in his or her choices. The Course would not have us to judge matters of which we cannot know the whole.

7 – Honesty / Trust

“Judgment destroys honesty and shatters trust. No teacher of God can judge and hope to learn. (M12)”

We are in the time of learning when we are studying A Course in Miracles. Later on, if we follow the sequence and entertain the possibility that A Course of Love is a true sequel to ACIM, also channeled by Jesus, we will give up learning in favor of simple observation of our surroundings, present before us and thought about.

8 – Honesty = Consistency

Now we learn, as we follow A Course in Miracles. Honesty actually means consistency (ACIM Manual), and no word or act belies our desire to be honest in our dealings with ourselves and with others, as well as with our God. If we judge, we give up the chance of being right. We give up our experience of love, for judging is a separating factor, ruining our relationships. We find ourselves caught in a negative spiral, and negativity breeds further negativity, as Rhonda Bryne in The Power points out so eloquently. Only when we inject the positive in our dealings will we find peace and more positivity. Only then can we hope to be happy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

My ego clings to judgment because judgment–as well as anger, attack, and planning for the future–keep the ego alive. May I recognize this ploy for what it is, and turn aside from judgment this day.

May I understand why I need to be accepting in this world. May I recognize when action is required of me to right a wrong, but may I be very careful about these choices. May I seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit always.

Amen.

Honesty. . .Nothing You Say Contradicts What You Think or Do.

“Honesty does not apply only to what you say. The term actually means consistency. There is nothing you say that contradicts what you think or do; no thought opposes any other thought; no act belies your word; and no word lacks agreement with another. (M11 – M12)”

1 – Important Passage

This is, to my mind, a most important passage from A Course in Miracles. Being honest, constantly honest, has been a point for me in my life; I have sometimes rejected people who did not tell me the truth. And I have been lied to, though when encountering one who is dishonest, it is hard to know at what point the lie occurred.

2 – Trust

Honesty promotes trust, and dishonesty makes one doubt every encounter. I think that my own first dishonesty as a child, when I lied to my mother when she was punishing me for a misdeed, has colored my perception of honesty all the time since. I seemed to lose God at that point. I was five years old, and the loss of God was the dimming of my sight. Even my physical sight dimmed, causing me to require glasses by age 9 (and needed glasses sooner).

3 – Sound Good Sense

The important of honesty is that it is sound good sense. We don’t have to remember what we have lied about. The fact that consistency is the hallmark here is pivotal to a good life. We don’t have to say one thing, and think or do another. We are at one with ourselves, through and through. Anyone who can reach this level of understanding is well on the pathway to Awakening, but most of us still dissemble, at least from time to time.

4 – Stop the Dissembling

We are encouraged with this passage to stop the dissembling, to be consistent in our inner thoughts and our outer words. No less would be required of us along the pathway home to God.

5 – No Conflict

“At no level are they in conflict with themselves. Therefore it is impossible for them to be in conflict with anyone or anything. (M12)”

An admirable situation, we are out of conflict. And conflict is often what gives rise to attack, because conflict breeds stress, and stress breeds anger, leading to attack. At least in my experience.

6 – Peace of Mind

“The peace of mind which the advanced teachers of God experience is largely due to their perfect honesty. (M12)”

What would we not attempt to do to experience peace of mind always? Throughout each and every day?

7 – How to Have Peace of Mind

This passage tells us how. Just strive to be at one with one’s subconscious thoughts, leading to conscious deeds that are consistent with inner Self. The inner Self is the Christ Self (according to A Course of Love), and this is our beacon as we move beyond A Course in Miracles, away from the time of the Holy Spirit and into the time of Christ.

8 – Consistency

Perfect honesty, as explained, really means “consistency.” We don’t say or do anything that contradicts the love that is in our hearts. We therefore do not know conflict, but instead perfect peace of mind.

9 – Teachers of God

Are all of us advanced teachers of God? Not yet, but we are destined to become that, once we have gone through the workbook, as well as studied carefully the other parts of the Course. We will know the peace of mind that is reserved for those who have walked the full pathway.

10 – Heaven on Earth

This is a glorious promise, one of the best in the Course. Surely we will do our part to bring about this Heaven on earth of peace of mind. No one can ask more of us, and Jesus assures us elsewhere that it is easy. We may find this hard to believe, even after years of studying the Course, but easy it can become for us when we turn to the Holy Spirit for all of our answers.

11 – At One with One’s Self

“No one at one with himself can even conceive of conflict. (M12)”

This is an endeavor worth pursuing! Ask today how we might effect this positive persona. May we be at one with ourselves, and in the achievement, we will cease to know conflict. And when conflict goes, so many negative traits of our personal self go as well. This passage is, to my mind, extremely important.

12 – Communion with God

Pray to know how to be at one with self. There are no easy answers, but communion with God will give us those answers.

13 – Challenge

“There is no challenge to a teacher of God. Challenge implies doubt, and the trust on which God’s teachers rest secure makes doubt impossible. Therefore they can only succeed. (M12)”

I have long loved this passage, the fact that “challenge” does not have to arise. In my past, I have thrived on challenge, but sometimes the challenge was of the ego. This passage indicates that challenge is not a desired state of mind. We choose for all people when we eliminate challenge as an egoic notion.

14 – Marching Orders

We do not need to doubt. We get our marching orders from the Holy Spirit (if we are following ACIM) and from the inner Christ Self (if we are following A Course of Love).

15 – Guidance

What a wonderful state of affairs! To fail to doubt our words and deeds is to know that we are listening to guidance, though of course we remain sometimes vulnerable to misthought. We may not hear aright. But when we are on the beam, and emotionally stable, we will know with an inner knowing what we are to say and do next. Ask often. We will be led well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I long for peace of mind above all other joys. And I recognize that it is joy that this peace gives to me.

May I be perfectly consistent in my thoughts and behavior, and may I realize that this is what honesty actually entails. Please stay by me.

Amen.

The Surface Traits of God’s Teachers Are Not All Alike. Their Superficial “Personalities” Are Quite Distinct

1 – Characteristics of God’s Teachers

“The surface traits of God’s teachers are not at all alike. They do not look alike to the body’s eyes, they come from vastly different backgrounds, their experiences of the world vary greatly, and their superficial ‘personalities’ are quite distinct. (M9)”

2 – Everyone

This world has a variety of people, and any of them may have come to see the light, and to follow the way of God. Personalities can conflict, though, and so we may not always like everyone, even when they too are on the pathway. And this, being on the pathway, does not it include everyone?

3 – Surface Traits

The fact that surface traits differ can be reassuring. It does ensure that we will not necessarily recognize our brothers and sisters who are walking the pathway. It makes us more tolerant of diversity. Would God have made us so distinct unless there were a good reason?

4 – Different Pathways

This passage says that we can walk very many different pathways to God. ACIM is just the way that you and I have chosen. We should recognize that other pathways are just as valid for others. Nowhere does the A Course in Miracles contradict this idea.

5 – Differences Are Temporary

“All differences among the Sons of God are temporary. (M9)”

Elsewhere in ACIM we learn the talents of individual people differ in this world, but there will come a time when all talents are shared alike. This is one reason that we need not be vainglorious about differences among us. Only time separates us in differences, and time does not really exist.

6 – Other Side

A second reason that we need not be vainglorious is not discussed in A Course in Miracles, but is widely discussed in other New Age literature. We get help from the Other Side. This includes the geniuses among us as well as us ordinary people. We don’t even have to turn to New Age literature to recognize this phenomenon. Julia Cameron, a creative artist of fiction and drama, who has written and taught widely to undo the blocking of creativity, quotes numerous famous people from the past who credit their work to God. She herself knows that she does not so much think up writing as sense that the writing is coming through her.

7 – Julia Cameron

Julia also recommends initiating a dialogue with Higher Power, in which we pose questions and seek to get answers. We “listen” for answers. This practice works. When I practice it, I find that the advice which I scribe is much superior to anything that I might think “on my own.”

8 – Pride

So let us realize that our differences are temporary, and we have no reason for hubris. We need to realize that we are the same, not different, and it behooves us to be grateful for this sameness (ACIM tenet). The ego would never tell us this, for the ego thrives on differences that seek to set us apart from others. But we will never be happy with such thinking. What pride has not failed to put us in a depressive spiral once the thrill of momentary victory is gone? This is the only happiness that the ego gives, and the ego gives to take away. The ego is always being undone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When my sisters and brothers who are on the pathway seem very different from me, may I not despair, but instead give thanks. We need to be different to appeal to different sisters and brothers. The diversity serves God.

Help me to know what to say when I meant someone who seems quite distinct from me. Help me to reach out in the best way, the way that You would have me to reach.

Amen.