If a Magic Thought Arouses Anger in Any Form, God’s Teacher Can Be Sure that He Is Strengthening His Own Belief in Sin and Has Condemned Himself.

1 – Major Lesson

“How to deal with magic thus becomes a major lesson for the teacher of God to master. His first responsibility in this is not to attack it. (M44)”

2 – Jesus’s Definition of “Magic”

As mentioned previously in this blog, Jesus gives the term “magic” a very specific interpretation. It is the form given magic by psychology, which is to equate magical thinking with irrationality. We need to set aside our airy, fairy ideas about “magic” being something good, at least for the moment.

3 – Irrational Thinking

We don’t want to attack irrational thoughts of another, even when this irrationality is an attack on us. If we are doing what is right, we will get quiet within, maybe distance ourselves for the moment from the perpetrator, and talk to God. His Holy Spirit will guide us. And we will feel more compassionate, for our significant other is suffering, even in the attack.

4 – Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh has a wonderful book called simply Anger, in which he describes the best way to be mindful and to respond to attack with compassion. He says that we ought to speak out when we are suffering from attack, but certainly not from an attack of our own. We need to realize that the ego has taken control of us in those moments of confusion and disarray, those moments of anger. If we tell the other that we are suffering, that we are trying to be mindful and to heal, then the way may very well be open to better communication.

5 – Courage

Of course, sometimes to speak out takes great courage, for we don’t want to do anything that will exacerbate the conflict. Soft words do a lot to unhinge anger, though. Slow and quiet words of compassion are healing, and our significant other will recognize this—unless the ego has a very, very strong hold. Sometimes the only thing that we can do if the ego in another is very strong is to pray for a miracle. The miracle will come. Healing will arrive. Only believe this, try to make yourself believe this, and the blessing will arrive right on schedule.

6 – Ego

We ourselves have to have to right attitude, though, and we cannot have the right attitude if we have not mindfully rid ourselves of the ego’s hold on us. If our suffering is overwhelming, we may still blame the other, though this is not the right way to think. In such cases, a little time apart, but in the same house, may be necessary.

There is always a way.

7 – Anger

“If a magic thought arouses anger in any form, God’s teacher can be sure that he is strengthening his own belief in sin and has condemned himself. He can be sure as well that he has asked for depression, pain, fear and disaster to come to him. (M44)”

8 – Heal

This is when the attacks of another really get to us; we fail to regroup and heal, something that God only can do for us. If we get angry, we are not offering compassion. And it is compassion that will eliminate the anger.

9 – God Only?

Is it only God who can do this for ourselves? Are we really that helpless? Perhaps not. Perhaps I overstated. But it is sure that if we don’t go within and heal quietly, we will not heal at all. Venting, as Thich Nhat Hanh makes clear, is not ultimately healing. We are making the seed of the anger grow. We may think that we get rid of our anger, because after beating a pillow we are tired, but when the tiredness has dissipated, and another occasion of anger arises, we will find our anger that much accentuated. Nothing works other than to go within, quietly, where God resides.

10 – Outcome

“Nor should it be forgotten that the outcome that results will always come to teacher and to pupil alike. (M44)”

11 – Rhonda Byrne

Teacher and pupil are equals. So we experience the same. Rhonda Byrne’s books (The Secret; The Magic; The Power) say the same. What we give, we receive, and there are no exceptions to this rule. It is unclear from Rhonda’s writings if she has been influenced by A Course in Miracles.

12 – The Good

If we want something good to come to us, we must give our good things. It is that simple.

13 – Attack

“Attack can enter only if perception of separate goals has entered. And this must indeed have been the case if the result is anything but joy. (M44)”

14 – Anger

This is an important passage because it is about attack, am emphasis in ACIM. Under what conditions do we feel anger rising? Under what conditions do we attack others (and ourselves)? If we perceive that we want something different from the other, then we are prone to attack to preserve what WE want. While this is not self-evident upon first reading, if we reflect on it, we will realize that it is true. We think that we have separate goals from our brother, that we are at odds with him. And if we are not joyous, then we have perceived that he/she and we want different things.

15 – Joy

If joy is our canary in the mine, then we know when we are diving off the deep end. If we know unhappiness, we are diving off the deep end.

16 – God’s Wish

See how often Jesus mentions joy as a harbinger of better times ahead? He says that God wants only happiness for us, that happiness is our function (one of several, including salvation and forgiveness as well). Happiness is not a minor goal. We can do for others much better when we ourselves are happy. We fell like reaching out, something that doesn’t happen when we are in the throes of our neurosis.

17 – Single Aim

“The single aim of the teacher turns the divided goal of the pupil into one direction, with the call for help becoming his one appeal. This then is easily responded to with just one answer, and this answer will enter the teacher’s mind unfailingly. From there it shines into his pupil’s mind, making it one with his. (M44)”

18 – Guidance

This passage echoes the reflections in this blog, so often recurring, of the primacy of following guidance from the Holy Spirit. This passage indicates that the answer will enter the teacher’s mind (that’s our minds) unfailingly. So we do get responses from the Holy Spirit when we engaged in his business, our function of salvation.

19 – Overwrought Emotions

The guidance is never slight. If it seems slight, our emotions may be too overwrought to hear what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to us. Go within, get quiet, and see if with calm emotions you do not get guidance as to what to do.

20 – Calm

Be calm in daily life. Our days flow more smoothly, and we live the word of A Course in Miracles that has come to mean so much to us.

21 – Facts and Interpretations

“Perhaps it will be helpful to remember that no one can be angry at a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to negative emotions, regardless of their seeming justification by what appears as facts. (M44 – M45)”

22 – Angry

We will learn, as we study the Course, that wrong interpretations always happen when we are angry. And vice-versus. If we become really, really angry, it is certainly a misrepresentation that we are seeing. We have made an interpretation that is false (a Course concept).

23 – Negative Emotions

When we learn the part that we play in negative emotions, that we have interpreted facts, then we are encouraged to drop this maladaptive behavior. Facts are neutral, and it is only when we judge our brothers and sisters that we become so very angry at their behavior. If we learn that everything is either an expression of love or a call for love (a Course interpretation), then we will be ready to forgive their negative behavior and to run to their side with help. Sometimes we cannot give this help overtly, because our brothers and sisters are angry, too, and would not welcome our intervention. Then we wait for a better time. In the meantime, though, we are at peace. We have forgiven.

24 – Blessings

What a blessing it is to give up negative emotions! This will not happen all at once, at least not usually, but happen it will as we progress in our study of the Course. We are not perfect, but we will become a little more evolved, which will lighten our load and give us the joy and peace and calm that we desire.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I reinterpret my anger today, knowing that I have made an interpretation that is false. I know that my brothers and sisters are innocent, that they are only calling for help–and love.

Help me always to control my temper. Help me not to fly off the handle at the slightest sign of anger. Thank you for helping me to stay calm and quiet in all circumstances.

Amen.

Attempts to Supplant God’s Will May Indeed Seem Frightening, but They Are Merely Pathetic.

1 – Avoidance of Magic = Avoidance of Temptation

“The avoidance of magic is the avoidance of temptation. For all temptation is nothing more than the attempt to substitute another will for God’s. (M42)”

2 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

Elsewhere in the Course we learn that God’s will is actually the same as ours. It is the same as ours if we only knew ourselves better. Studying the Course will open up ways to know ourselves better. And much study will convince us that we are not like Job of the Old Testament, unwilling recipients of guidance, but instead willing recipients of guidance because we know that what we “hear” is legitimate and will bring us closer Home.

3 – Ego

“Magic” thoughts are those inspired by the ego (an interpretation of the Course, but not stated directly therein). Often magic ideas are superstitious ideas that have become a part of us through long years of following the ego.

4 – God’s Way

If we set our will each morning to following God’s way, we will be well on our way to avoiding temptation. We will know that what God wants for us is what we too desire. Anything less is magic.

5 – Pathetic

“These attempts may indeed seem frightening, but they are merely pathetic. (M42)”

6 – Heaven Restored

“Rooted in sacrifice and separation, two aspects of one error and no more, he merely chooses to give up all that he never had. And for this ‘sacrifice’ is Heaven restored to his awareness. (M42)”

7 – Irrationality

Magic, as defined by Jesus, is irrationality (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). And the magic, the irrationality, is rooted in the belief in sacrifice and in the separation from God. Sacrifice and the separation are both the “detour into fear” (from ACIM) which happened when the ego arose in our thought processes. But we don’t really have anything worth having when we have the ego.

8 – Heaven

When we give up the error that is the ego, Heaven is restored to our awareness. Can we believe this? Can we willingly give up egoic and egoistical strivings? If we can assess carefully, we will acknowledge that the puffed-up ego does not mean much in the final analysis. When we are on our death bed, we won’t put much store in anything that the ego had us striving to do; we will know that it was all vanity. Why not reach that conclusion while most of us have many years left of life? Why not enjoy Heaven on earth, the promise that is here held out to us by Jesus himself?

9 – Helen and Bill

The truth of these statements is found in the living out of them—nothing more. Reflect on where you have been and where you hope to go. See if ego is still managing your pathway. And just wonder, just wonder, if there might not (and Helen and Bill found, co-scribes of ACIM) be another way?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am still not flexible enough to turn aside from my own self’s wishes to follow the guidance that I am perceiving from the Holy Spirit–at least not always. Please help me toward this willingness. I know that it is the very best thing for me.

Please be with me throughout this day, as I perceive, through my intuition, the will of the Holy Spirit. This may be my greatest need. Please help me to perfect following guidance as I go about my normal life.

Amen.

There Will Be Temptations along the Way the Teacher of God Has Yet to Travel, and He Has Need of Reminding Himself throughout the Day of His Protection

1 – Temptations

“Yet there will be temptations along the way the teacher of God has yet to travel, and he has need of reminding himself throughout the day of his protection. How can he do this, particularly during the time when his mind is occupied with external things? He can but try, and his success depends on his conviction that he will succeed. He must be sure success is not of him, but will be given him at any time, in any place and circumstance he calls for it. (M42)”

2 – Protected

Temptations! Yes, we are still subject to them, despite how many hours we have studied the Course. But if we are convinced that we are protected, we will overcome these temptations.

3 – If in Doubt, Don’t

How do we recognize a temptation? “If in doubt, don’t.” This is an interpretation of the Course, a statement not found therein. But it seems to work most of the time. It sounds cautious, but perhaps avoiding temptation is a time to be cautious.

4 – Holy Spirit

We cannot depend upon ourselves to overcome temptation. It “will be given him,” (i.e., “us”) at any time that we call for it. We overcome temptation by calling on the Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us strength to overcome.

5 – Wavering

“There are times his certainty will waver, and the instant this occurs he will return to earlier attempts to place reliance on himself alone. Forget not this is magic, and magic is a sorry substitute for true assistance. (M42)”

6 – “Magic”

Jesus uses a particular definition of “magic” that is largely negative. He does not use the lighthearted wish for something exquisite that we have usually associated with this term. His is the term used in traditional psychology, in which “magical thinking” is seen as essentially irrational.

7 – Irrational Thinking

If we turn to irrational thinking, we will not receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will be caught by egoic thinking. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is eminently better, because the Holy Spirit helps us to move into flow in our days. Our days will develop as beautiful pearls on a necklace, one right after the other, wondrously being created as we walk along our pathway through life.

8 – Certainty

If our certainty wavers, we will miss all this. So be careful today, and don’t let certainty waver. God wants us happy, and He will arrange events for us that will make us so, if we are amenable to His Will. His Guide, the Holy Spirit, takes the time and attention with us that we need. There can be no better way to craft a life than to give up personal judgments to the all-embracing knowledge of God’s Universal Inspiration.

9 – Nothing

“When all magic is recognized as merely nothing, the teacher of God has reached the most advanced state. All intermediate lessons will but lead to this, and being this goal nearer to recognition. (M42)”

10 – Nothing at All

Magic—irrational thinking—is not actually anything at all. It is illusory, but being illusory doesn’t mean that we won’t see it as real. We are very likely to see our most irrational thoughts as reflecting true reality, and when this happens, we are truly lost in the insanity to which all in this world are ultimately found.

11 – Insanity

But when we realize that all of our irrational thinking, our insanity, brings us nothing that we want, that it is truly meaningless, then we have reached the most advanced state.

12 – Today

Let that place be where today finds you.

13 – Will of God

“There is no substitute for the Will of God. In simple statement, it is to this fact that the teacher of God devotes his day. Each substitute he may accept as real can but deceive him. But he is safe from all deception if he so decides. Perhaps he needs to remember, ‘God is with me. I cannot be deceived.’ Perhaps he prefers other words, or only one, or none at all. (M42)”

14 – God’s Will = Our True Will

God’s Will and our true will are actually identical. He says, in effect, “Do this, for it will make you happiest.” That is not to say that we will be doomed if we fail to follow any and all guidance, just that we will be less than as happy as we could be. And God would not have us less than as happy as we could be.

15 – Guidance

We move with God through the day, God as speaking to us through the Holy Spirit’s guidance. And we live well this way. Nothing and nobody can take our joy from us when we are living close to God, close to His Guide. We have limitless release and pure joy (from the Manual of ACIM), and we find delight in the smallest things with which we are confronted in a given day. We no longer rue the day.

16 – Charmed Life

Even another who attacks us cannot break through our protection. When we are One with God, we walk a charmed path.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to recognize temptations when they arise. And help me to say, “If in doubt, don’t.” This has helped me before, and I pray that this statement will help me always.

Please be with me to guide me from the temptations that may beset me. May I know that this is a particular form of trial, and I know that trials do beset us in this world.

Amen.

Yes, There Is No Order of Difficulty in Solving Problems

1 – No Distinctions

“He need make no distinctions among the problems he perceives, for He to Whom he turns with all of them recognizes no order of difficulty in resolving them. (M41)”

2 – Child’s Play

How wonderful it is to know that, however difficult the problem might appear to us, it is child’s play to the Holy Spirit. He will find the answer for us, if we but listen. Elsewhere Jesus proclaims that one miracle is not more difficult than another, that there is not order of difficulty in miracles. But we usually don’t really believe this. More study and loving guidance will lead us to the truth of the statement.

3 – Holy Spirit

The “He” in this passage is, of course, the Holy Spirit. The language of the Course reflects the sixties, when the books were scribed, and follows as well the terminology of the Bible. We should not let our faith waiver because the language is not gender-inclusive. That would be asking too much of a document written before such sensitivities entered our culture.

4 – Ask

Since the Holy Spirit sees no order of difficulty in solving problems, He will solve them when we turn to Him. We have only to ask. And asking is not greedy. In supplication, we know that God is greater than are we, and if we turn as little children to Him, He answers us. We have to be willing, though, to relinquish our own propensities to do things our way. God’s Way may, and likely is, very different. And we will be led Home as we follow His Way.

5 – Safe

“He is as safe in the present as he was before illusions were accepted into his mind, and as he will be when he has let them go. There is no difference in his state at different times and different places, because they are all one to God. (M41)”

6 – Safety

All of us want safety. We don’t always get it. Bad things happen, even to good people. But this passage reflects a reassurance that we are as safe as we were before time began and illusions entered the mind of humankind. We are also told that safety is in every situation. We have God with us. Actually, what more could we ask?

7 – Safety of the Mind

The safety of one’s body is a concern for many, but it is actually safety of the mind that is most important. Many of us fill our minds with trivialities that reduce the power of mental acuity, that or we take pills or drink to excess, and the mental acuity that should be ours falls by the wayside. No one needs to reject Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in this day, any more than when he wrote it. Safety is absolutely essential before higher levels of needs are addressed.

8 – God

Be assured that God wishes us well. Know that our bodies are safe, even unto death. The body, being illusion, changes form in that illusion, but this is of essentially no consequence. We age, and we get sick from time to time, or even long-term, but the body is a projection of the mind, and it is the mind with which we ought to be most concerned. Watch your mind for the scraps of fear that arise. And know that this need not be. The capriciousness of the ego is ever-present, except in moments of grace, but we do not have to buy into its dismal view of living. We can and we must live on a higher plane.

9 – Time

“How simply and how easily does time slip by for the teacher of God who has accepted His protection! All that he did before in the name of safety no longer interests him. For he is safe, and knows it to be so. He has a Guide Who will not fail. (M41)”

10 – Guidance

In order to get full benefit of this passage, we must trust the Holy Spirit to guide us. To do so effectively, we must be willing. Not only willing, but eager to turn on a dime when our guidance is to do something different from what we may be doing.

11 – Feeling

Guidance comes in many ways. All of us have experienced guidance, but we not always have even recognized what was happening. Most often guidance from the Holy Spirit comes in the form of a “feeling,” or intuition, that we ought to do or say a certain thing.

12 – Forms of Guidance

As time goes by, guidance may take other forms: a chance word overheard, an interior word from our inner Voice. The ways are numerous, but one thing that all have in common is that, if we follow, we will feel safe. One caution: If the internal guidance seems negative, we are not ready. Mentally unstable people need to be especially cautious, because there are voices that are not those of the Holy Spirit.

13 – Time

Time that slips by easily! What a welcome part of our lives this can become. We are not afraid any longer of what life may bring us, because we know that, with the Holy Spirit to guide us, we are equal to anything that comes our way. This is one of the greatest benefits that the Holy Spirit does bring to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May time slip by easily today. As I go about my day, may I turn to the Holy Spirit often for the next step, and then may I take it safely. I know that I am always safe.

May my brothers and sisters be blessed by our encounters. If I follow guidance before I speak, the words that come out of my mouth will be right. And then, too, my brothers and sisters will feel safe.

Amen.

One Thought that Should Be Remembered: Thought of Pure Joy; a Thought of Peace, a Thought of Limitless Release, Limitless because All Things Are Freed within It.

1 – My Favorite Passage

“There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy; a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release, limitless because all things are freed within it. (M41)”

2 – On the Right Direction

This is far and away my favorite passage from A Course in Miracles. It sets my day on the right direction, regardless of what attack and anger thoughts or deeds have intervened. The words “limitless release” and “pure joy” are blessings beyond my description.

3 – Beautiful Passage

This is one of the most beautiful passages in all of the Course: “pure joy” and “limitless release.” How much we have to be thankful for!

4 – A Good Day

When we remember these words throughout the day, we indeed do have a good day. They are the epitome of peace and happiness.

5 – Our Hearts

The messages these words convey should be etched in our hearts. We can indeed have pure joy, regardless of what surrounds us, because we know that this world is an illusion. This does not give us the right to do just anything, but it does give some distance to the wrongs that we note. We can also know limitless release, because we are free in God and the Holy Spirit. Regardless of what transpires on the outside of ourselves, on the inside we can be free and at peace.

6 – Afraid of Nothing

“How foolish to be afraid of nothing! Nothing at all! Your defenses will not work, but you are not in danger. You have no need of them. Recognize this, and they will disappear. And only then will you accept your real protection. (M41)”

7 – Defenses

We bring up defenses when we feel threatened, and we often feel threatened, not because of anything external to ourselves, but something internal: stress. We are all prone to stress in our busy world. We do want we can to protect ourselves, but A Course in Miracles assures us that our defenses will not work, but we have no need of defenses. We are safe, and we have always been safe. There is no real need for fear—but try telling us this when we are caught in the throes of being afraid.

8 – Our Real Protection

Our real protection seems to be our propensity to follow guidance of the Holy Spirit (though this is not spelled out at this juncture in ACIM). Our real protection is Someone Whom we can accept whenever we get ourselves out of the way sufficiently to accept help.

9 – Help

We need help. Why do we reject what could save us from despair? Ah, that is the question, for we struggle so often in this world, forgetting our lofty beliefs and forgetting how very easy the path becomes when we welcome our brother/sister with an open and serene heart.

10 – Our Way Home

A Course in Miracles puts forth our love for our brother/sister as our way home. This is the way that ACIM is saving us time; we don’t have to devote long hours to contemplation, though meditative moments seem to be encouraged in the Workbook, particularly at the conclusion of this part of ACIM. We live a holy relationship, a relationship saved from specialness, and in the living out, day by day, we are saved from ourselves. We know peace, for when we recognize that our brother/sister’s attack and anger are distress that rests on anger, we can forgive. And we know that because we live an illusion, nothing bad is actually happening to us as we live side by side with others, even others who attack and show anger.

11 – The Best that One Can

Everyone does the best that he or she can at any given moment, given his or her level of understanding. If we could just incorporate this truth in our everyday life, our lives would flow so much more smoothly.

12 – Significant Others

Nor do our significant others have to accept our pathway to allow us to live peacefully with them. We will find, without our trying to change them, that when we accept them just as they are, with no attempts to change, that a change will miraculously happen. Accepting as one really is, is a powerful practice. It is the primary thrust of Hugh and Gayle Prather’s counseling practice for troubled couples. Just accept the significant other as he/she is. Just that.

13 – Ann Landers

Only if there is danger to one’s person do we need to separate. It is sometimes wise to consider Ann Landers, the advice columnist. She asked us to consider, “Am I better off with or without him/her?” when we are in a troubled relationship. Usually we are better off with the individual. Shared history makes for a powerful bond. In this world it is so easy to close our hearts, but that is not the way of love.

14 – Jesus

Remember that Jesus took the long view in the New Testament. We don’t have to believe in a fundamental sense what he said to gain value from his denunciation of divorce. He was onto something.

15 – Marriage

I think it not a far stretch to see that Jesus’s characterization of our special relationships turned holy is a continuation of his primacy of marriage in the New Testament. In A Course in Miracles, we are encouraged to see our brother/sister as innocent; we are in fact told that this is the only way to forgive, totally, completely.

16 – Forgive-to-Destroy

We do not “forgive to destroy” (as A Song of Prayer describes), in that we continue to remember the misthought or the misdeed, remembering and “forgiving” because we are “better” than the other. This is the only forgiveness that this world can give. But we are outside this world when we truly forgive because we see the innocence in our brother/sister. We know that they are not attacking us out of perversion, but simply because, at the time, that is the best that they can do.

17 – Struggling Brothers/Sisters

Our hearts can go out to a struggling brother or sister. So many of those we encounter are struggling. It behooves us to practice our faith. To know that this too shall pass.

18 – To Be Saved

And to recognize that we are saved in our holy relationships, in our forgiveness of our significant others.

Dear Father/Mother,

May today I know the pure joy, peace, and limitless release that Jesus promises. May I know what these words really mean, and may I act on them throughout the day.

Thank you for being there for me always. I do not always sense your presence, and when I realize that I have drifted apart from You, may I get quiet on the inside and remember You are with me.

Amen.

Is Each One to Be Judged in the End? . . .The Final Judgment Will Not Come until It Is No Longer Associated with Fear.

1 – Indeed, Yes!

“Is each one to be judged in the end?

“Indeed, yes! No one can escape God’s Final Judgment. Who could flee forever from the truth? But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear. One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him (M38)”

2 – Last Judgment

The Last Judgment is fraught with fear because of the associations made in traditional religion. The way of A Course in Miracles is not fearful. (ACIM is never meant to be fearful.) We are reassured in this passage that we will not face the Final Judgment until we no longer associate it with fear.

3 – Personal Experience

I had an experience of a Last Judgment in a kind of waking dream that was akin to hypnosis. This happened many years ago and has not been repeated. I was talking on the phone to someone I cared about, and he acted as one of the brother to whom Jesus has entrusted the Final Judgment.

4 – Personal II

I was asked a series of questions about my life. The questions made me cry, for I felt that I had often fallen down in my quest for salvation. Then I was given directives for the future, something that I said, at the time, out loud, was “a tall order.”

5 – Personal III

In the years since, I believe that I have done most of those things which I was bade to do. Of course, memory is faulty, especially hypnotic memory, and so I can’t be sure. But the memory of the “judgment” that I experienced is sweet to me. And sometimes that is all that matters.

6 – Time

“Time pauses as eternity comes near, and silence lies across the world that everyone may hear this Judgment of the Son of God:
“Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God. Where is the world, and where is sorrow now? (M38)”

7 – No Sorrow

This is how I feel as I contemplate my own experience of a Final Judgment. There seems to be no sorrow in it. Even if I have not done or said all that was asked of me, I know, from A Course in Miracles, that Jesus stands at the end to correct any mistakes that I cannot. He is always there. He can be depended upon.

8 – Be Quiet

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness. And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him. (M38)”

9 – Holy Spirit

“His Voice” refers to the Holy Spirit. We often don’t choose to be quiet. We are addicted to the adrenaline rush, and our work lives (and our home life) often demands that we move quickly, even when worn down and tired. A few quiet moments a day are all that God asks. He would not burden us by making demands upon that are unrealistic. He is our true reality, and he knows what we are going through. We do not therefore have to be apologetic if only a few minutes of quiet are given to Him each day.

10 – Quiet Listening

We correctly ascertain guidance when we are in quiet listening. This is not always a “for sure” thing, but it is for sure more often than not. Who could hear guidance is a loud and boisterous world? Who would know which voice we were really hearing?

11 – Stillness

The Holy Spirit gives guidance in stillness. This is why it is so important to carve out a few moments each day for listening to His Voice.

12 – Sad / Angry

“You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt; give up these foolish thoughts! They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer. (M38)”

13 – Thoughts

We must get such thoughts as these out of our holy minds. We are feeling like victims when we think in such a way. And we are not victims of this world, for we choose, on some level, what happens to us. This does not mean that we blame ourselves, for the inner Self makes these decisions without our fully understanding. But on some level we are conscious of the decisions that we make for our days, our lives.

14 – Misunderstood

Yet to feel misunderstood is a misuse of good, creative thinking. These are “small” and “meaningless” thoughts. Know that if nobody else understands, God does. And the Holy Spirit will guide. Just listen in quietness and you will know what to do.

15 – His Judgment

“His promises have guaranteed His Judgment, and His alone, will be accepted in the end. It is your function to make that end be soon. It is your function to hold it to your heart, and offer it to all the world to keep it safe. (M39)”

16 – Salvation

Our function is to bring salvation to this world. Yet we proceed cautiously, not going where angels fear to tread. We need to save time in this weary world. And what we say and do does make a difference.

17 – A Safe World

We need to keep the world safe, and we can do this by holding these promises in our hearts. Do we understand this? No, but if Jesus has said it, I believe that it is true. And we will know what to do when we listen inwardly.

18 – Holy Spirit

The Judgment of the Holy Spirit is what is discussed in the above passage. His Judgment is true, for He sees past, present, and future as one panorama. We see only in part, always, and we see falsely all too often. We cannot judge rightly, and so why do we persist in trying to judge? To do so is truly fool hearty, and we would desist from such thoughts and the behavior that it spawns.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have been restless today, as I am so many days–especially in the morning, when I need the most to dedicate the day to You. May I take the time right now to be quiet and to invite the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I walk through this wintertime.

Thank you for being there for me. I know that no matter how exasperated I may get later on today, if I turn silently within to You, You will right things.

Amen.

The Miracle of Easter

“Give faith to your brother, for faith and hope and mercy are yours to give. Into the hands that give, the gift is given. Look on your brother, and see in him the gift of God you would receive. It is almost Easter, the time of resurrection. Let us give redemption to each other and share in it, that we may rise as one in resurrection, not separate in death. (A Course in Miracles)”

Nowhere in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love does Jesus deny that the resurrection happened. Here he gives a very prosaic call to give redemption to each other, that we may be one in resurrection, not separate in death.

May we spend this Eastertide in joyous remembrance of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Whether or not you believe in a physical resurrection or not, you are still welcomed to the table celebrating Easter. Jesus does not demand, in A Course in Miracles, that we adhere to any particular theology; he specifically says that there can be no universal theology, but that a universal experience is not only desirable, but necessary.

We are seeking that experience today. Be with God in communion as we greet the spring and the time that Jesus came into his own.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to put aside doubts and to recognize that in the spirit of A Course in Miracles specific beliefs are not demanded of me. I do not seek theology, but an experience of finding Jesus and You in my daily life. Surely there can be no better way to live a life than to commune constantly with Heavenly Powers.

Help me to have a good day today, as always. Thank You for this sunny day, an occurrence that always seems especially appropriate on Easter.

Amen.

Atonement Is for You. But Learn This Course and It Is Yours.

1 – No Regret

“God’s teachers can have no regret on giving up the pleasures of the world. Is it a sacrifice to give up pain? Does an adult resent the giving up of children’s toys? Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house? (M33)”

2 – No Lasting Pleasures

There are no lasting pleasures in this world. The pleasures that are lasting are intangible, and by definition not of this world. That is why using the law of attraction to get physical things will not be satisfying over the long haul. But using the law of attraction to get love, joy, peace, harmony—these will be lasting.

3 – Pain

We all too often do know pain when we are caught in the ego’s throes. We think that we are happy, and we are—for a time. But the ego is constantly being undone, because it is a part of belief about ourselves, a false part. And so God leads us ever so gently to a better way. A Course in Miracles points out that other way.

4 – Seek

“’Seek but do not find’ remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise. (M34)”

5 – Ego

The ego will always seek but not find. Any pleasure will almost immediately be balanced by a sense of pain, however minor it may be.

6 – The Physical Toys

Do you want to seek and find? Then we must turn aside from the physical toys of this world, though in themselves they are not wrong. Just not lasting in pleasure. We will always want something more. Always something more. For the ego is insatiable.

7 – What Do You Want?

“And what, O teacher of God, is it that you want? You have been called by God, and you have answered. Would you now sacrifice that Call? Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you. There is no other hope in all the world that they can trust. (M34)”

8 – Teachers of God

We are talked to here as teachers of God, and only time separates the teacher from the student, and time does not really exist. We need to answer the plaintive call of others who are lost in ignorance, pain, and suffering—but not in an overt way of proselytizing. Some are ready, as the Manual says, only for a smile.

9 – Proselytizing

The quickest way to turn someone off from God and the Holy Spirit is to lean on them, to proselytize. We will know when someone is ready to hear us. We will know. Then we speak. But only then.

10 – Holiness

“It is its [the Word of God] holiness that makes you safe. It is denied if you attack any brother for anything. For it is here the split with God occurs. A split that is impossible. A split that cannot happen. Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible. (M34)”

11 – Attack

We need to give up attack, even attack that occurs only in our minds. Even if we don’t say anything, the attack has hurt us. And there is a Oneness to the Mind so that others will sense what we are thinking (not an ACIM tenet).

12 – Holy Spirit

How do we give up attack? The quickest way is to immediately commune with God when tempted to think less of another. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from the scene of the “crime.” Sometime we are not strong enough to avoid attack thoughts. And it is then that we need help. We need to ask help of the Holy Spirit, and that help is always forthcoming.

13 – Atonement

“Atonement is for you. Your learning claims it and your learning gives it. The world contains it not. But learn this course and it is yours. (M35)”

14 – At – One – Ment

Atonement is illustrated by some teachers of the Course as “at-one-ment.” This is not the full meaning, but it does lead in the direction that we want to go. Jesus is in charge of the Atonement, and he fulfilled his part in it in his life and resurrection on earth. Now he would help us to fulfill ours. Our way is not the way that he walked, and it can be decidedly pain-free.

15 – Motivation

This passage gives a strong motivation to learn the Course. Surely we want Atonement, the salvation that we all so desperately need. The Course does not have to be seen as difficult if we keep to the basics that Jesus explains, often repeatedly. Everything is either love or a call for love (or help); anything else if a misrepresentation of what is actually going on. We need not attack or feel anger when we recognize that our brothers and sisters are innocent of wrongdoing. Their real Self has not sinned. Their little self has made mistakes. These concepts embrace the fundamentals that the Course would have us to understand.

16 – For Us?

Do we believe Atonement is for us? If not, then we are acting against Jesus’s word to us. He has promised us that Atonement is for us, and nothing else that we might add to that fundamental is true.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Jesus speaks in the Course. May I have the Atonement that is promised in the Course, and may I have it soon.

You know that I long for many things, but Atonement is at the top of the list. Be with me now as I seek for Your blessing and ask for the gift of Atonement.

Amen.

God’s Teachers Choose to Look on Dreams a While. All Choices Are Made Consciously, with Full Awareness of Their Consequences.

1 – Conscious Choice

Do we really believe the title of this posting? Do we believe that all of our choices are made consciously?

2 – Doubt

I think not. We think that the subconscious mind undoes us, more often than not. Yet Jesus asserts that we are making conscious choices. I think that this choice is made by the inner Self, which knows no unconsciousness. When we avoid guidance, we often make bad situations for ourselves, and in this avoidance, we learn that we are making a conscious choice to make our own judgments, judgments that are always wrong.

3 – Central Lesson

“The central lesson is always this; that what you use the body for it will become to you. Use it for sin or for attack, which is the same as sin, and you will see it as sinful. (M32)”

4 – Avoid Sin and Attack

We need to avoid “sin” and attack. Of course, we know this, but the flesh is weak, and we do often retaliate when faced with attack. We will then see the body as sinful, a truly lamentable self-image.

5 – Not Troubled

When we use the body rightly, we are not troubled by attack that reaches us from without. We go blithely along, untroubled by anything. Let us resolve today to so live. One does not have to be unhinged by attack or anger presented to us. We can realize that we are seeing distress that is based on error (from the ACIM Text). And we can gently turn aside, giving the poor attitudes no support from without.

6 – The Holy Body

“Use it [the body] to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy. Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die. When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all. (M32)”

7 – When We Die

The body is laid by when we die. Most choose some sickness to effect a release from this world, but actually we don’t have to engage sickness to get release.

8 – Self-Preservation

Death is not a popular subject. We still cringe, wanting to live longer on this earth. Self-preservation is hard-wired into our psyches, and that is not bad.

9 – Word of God

Let us bring the Word of God to others in thought, word, and deed. Then we will see our bodies as holy, and we will not lament that we are still in this world. We will be glad of the opportunity. Thoughts of relinquishing our troubles will no longer trouble us. Our self-preservation instincts will carry us through.

10 – The Mind

“The mind makes this decision [the decision to lay the body aside], as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition. Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. To do that would be to give the body another purpose from the one that keeps it holy. (M32)”

11 – Decisions

The mind makes the decisions; the body does not. We tend to forget this when we are sick. Sickness is faulty decision-making, an ACIM tenet. We think that it gets us something that we want.

12 – Sickness

But the “something” that we want is never the sickness that has laid us low.

13 – Holy Spirit

If we do not make the decision for death alone, with Whom do we make it? The Holy Spirit guides us in the final days of our lives, just as He has guided us throughout, as long as we have allowed Him to do so.

14 – God’s Voice

“God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as It tells him what his function is. He does not suffer either in going or remaining. Sickness is now impossible for him. (M32)”

15 – The Ideal

More difficult passages about sickness. This is the ideal in A Course in Miracles, and not all of us can be ready for this ideal. But we can take steps in the direction of the ideal.

16 – Sickness

And when we do, our sicknesses are lessened incrementally.

17 – Oneness

“Oneness and sickness cannot coexist. God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while. It is a conscious choice. For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences. (M32)”

18 – Illusion

What we are seeing in this world is illusion (a Course concept). The Course also calls what we see “dreams.” And we have chosen to look upon dreams, knowing on some level what will transpire for us. We may suffer, but we do not have to do so. Pain does not have to bring suffering, if our minds and hearts are in agreement with the Holy Spirit, who makes only one judgment: “God’s Son is guiltless.”

19 – External Searching

We can also be free of sickness, which is some form of external searching. The external searching may teach us something, of course, which is its purpose. But the Course would not have us learn in this way.

20 – One

We are One with our brothers and sisters. We know, on some level, what will happen in our lives. And we have chosen it–not consciously, of course, but on a deeper level. This is different from a “blame the victim” mentality, and it would be wise that we keep to ourselves this concept if voicing it would be hurtful to another. Not everyone is ready to see that choices made to experience illusion are not ultimately hurtful, however horrendous they may appear in our insane world.

21 – Awareness of Dreaming

“Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers. They watch the dream figures come and go, shift and change, suffer and die. Yet they are not deceived by what they see. They recognize that to behold a dream figure as sick and separate is no more real than to regard it as healthy and beautiful. (M32)”

22 – Unity

“Unity alone is not a thing of dreams. And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs. (M32)”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be aware that my dreams–my illusions–are chosen consciously. I realize that my little self is not aware of this, but my larger Self is. And I do not blame myself or others for this state of affairs; it is simply a law of this world.

Be with me today if I seem to feel pain. May I not turn this pain into suffering by my own inner turmoil. You have promised to be with me always, and I thank you for Your blessing.

Amen.

Peace Is Impossible to Those Who Look on War. Peace Is Inevitable to Those Who Offer Peace.

1 – The World We See

“The world you see cannot be the world God loves, and yet His Word assures us that He loves the world. God’s word has promised that peace is possible here, and what He promises can hardly be impossible. But it is true that the world must be looked at differently, if His promises are to be accepted. (M29)”

2 – Two Worlds

Is it possible to live in two worlds simultaneously? I think that it is, and, though this passage does not specifically counsel this living in two worlds, I think that this is implied. How to do that? Know that one’s head may be in the clouds even as one’s feet are on the ground. We can live in the spiritual realm while possessing a physical body on earth, and this physical body is the elevated Self of form (as described in A Course of Love).

3 – The Physical

The physical is not denigrated; it is exalted. And, being physical creatures, we welcome this exaltation. We look differently upon the world that God loves, and we in our physical bodies are part of that world.

4 – Happy

He will never leave us nor forsake us. He wants us happy. We cannot be happy if we regret the bodies that we occupy.

5 – Illusions

It is true that A Course in Miracles emphasizes the illusory nature of this world, and it is just because it is illusion that we can look upon it so differently. We can change the illusion, the dream, to something better, with the help of the Holy Spirit, who brings us happy dreams.

6 – What the World Is

“What the world is, is but a fact. You cannot choose what this should be. But you can choose how you would see it. Indeed, you must choose this. (M29)”

7 – Interpretation

This passage explains that what we see is an interpretation. We can choose to interpret through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, or we can look upon devastation and feel badly.

8 – Change Ourselves First

The Course consistently asks that we look at ourselves first, making changes in ourselves rather than trying to change our brothers and sisters to fit the image that we have made of them. If they have made mistakes (not “sinned”), then we forgive. That is the way of the Course. We remember that, regardless of how bad the situation looks, the wrongdoing has been perpetrated by someone who was doing the best that he could, given his view of the world.

9 – Choose

So we choose how we see the world. We do not judge its wrongs; we let the Holy Spirit do that. We choose to look upon sinlessness, and in so doing, we are in the state of grace. None of us could hope for more.

10 – Holy Spirit

“The text explains that the Holy Spirit is the Answer to all problems you have made. These problems are not real, but that is meaningless to those who believe in them. And everyone believes in what he made, for it was made by his believing it. (M29)”

11 – No Problems

Would you like to live as though you have no problems? This is indeed possible and even desirable.

12 – Personal Experience

I remember when I once had several problems, chief among them being to find a new job. But I was enthralled by what I had read in A Course in Miracles, and I calmly told my mother, “I have no problems.” This assertion helped to make it so, and a few short months later, I was happily ensconced in a new work position. The fact is that in that moment of telling her that I had no problems, I set the stage for the solving of my “problem” of no job. My faith was strong at that moment.

13 – Faith

Were my faith always so strong, my life would have been much smoother. Resolve today to have a smooth life, depending on your faith to make it so.

14 – Judgment

“Gently His [the Holy Spirit] Judgment substitutes for yours. And through this substitution is the un-understandable made understandable. (M29)”

15 – Guidance

This passage refers to the guidance that we have been studying recently in this blog. The guidance, according to A Course in Miracles, comes from the Holy Spirit or Universal Inspiration. He is “in” us in a very real sense. He is our link to God, and God is deep within us, covered over by a layer of forgetfulness.

16 – God

Let us resolve today to remove some of the layers of illusion that separate us from our God. This action is completely possible, and to make this illusion disappear we need only to believe that it is possible.

17 – The Un-Understandable

We understand the un-understandable now. We see through things that have been mysteries to us. Awakening certainly brings new insights, for the unconscious is suddenly conscious. This can be a time of great turmoil, but it does not have to be, for ACIM is preparing us for the great blessing of enlightenment. The means are being carefully explained to us. When we give up judging, we will awaken—that is the promise given us in A Course in Miracles. And in the passage above, we are encouraged to give up judgment. Let the Holy Spirit tell us what to think, say, and do. There is no better way to proceed.

18 – Peace

“Peace is impossible to those who look on war. Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace. (M29)”

19 – Personal Experience

I was once in a very difficult work environment. And I posted these two sentences on the bulletin board in back of my desk at work. They had a good effect. They gave me peace, just to read the words.

I was faced with a human “enemy” who wanted to see me undone. Her attacks had come out of the blue, for I had thought, for a year, that we were friends. That betrayal was the worst part, and I often asked myself, “How could I have seen her so differently?”

She needed a scapegoat to bolster her own shaky ego. A colleague once described my “enemy” as being encased in armor to protect herself. Indeed she needed to feel that she was protected from receiving the same barbs that she was giving out. Of course, this was impossible. The armor, borne of the ego, only made things worse.

I remained on good terms with her, despite a certain wariness in me. And within two years of her vicious attack, my life changed and I moved from that difficult job.

She went on to find another scapegoat, for I heard what happened after I left that job.

Do we really want to live this way? Certainly not! She was a mirror for my own ego, and as I escaped from the world that I saw, giving up attack thoughts, I did indeed escape, at least partially, from the ego. My new colleagues at my new work were much more congenial people. I had moved into a place of good karma.

My “enemy” had her own demons, pursuing her relentlessly. It was not, as I found, up to me to enlighten her of the best way to live. But it is certain that her ego constantly was being undermined. That is what happens to an egoic attitude toward life.

20 – Offer Peace

So let us offer peace to all we encounter. We will know a joy that is unbounded. Our days will flow in new peace. And we will encounter far fewer “enemies” among our fellow men and women.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to leave the past behind, especially the bad memories. I do not have to relive that past. With Your help, I have escaped, and I thank You for that.

Thank You for the many years of work in a congenial environment. I knew how to appreciate congeniality when I found it. Most of the time I didn’t look back. May I look forward today.

Amen.

Relinquishing Judgment Will Bring You Peace. Can It Be Difficult to Want but This?

1 – Judgment

“It is not difficult to relinquish judgment. But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it. . . .Teacher of God, this step will bring you peace. Can it be difficult to want but this? (M28)”

2 – Pressure

Judging puts an enormous pressure on us. We feel bad, we hurt others, and we don’t see life realistically and accurately. It is also one of the ways that we stray from our pathway to Awakening (a Course concept).

3 – Guidance

We can make the choice to stop being the arbitrator of good and evil. We can turn to guidance for advice on how to live our lives. We may not always interpret guidance accurately, because we are human, but we will normally see life much better when we are trying to relinquish judgment.

4 – Peace

We want peace. So what more advice do we need than that which is given in the Course? Relinquish judgment, and peace is ours for the taking. After we have asked, we receive–a biblical concept as well as one of the Course.

5 – Flow

If we wish to have a good flow to our days, we must relinquish judgment. This includes our “evaluation” of people and events. We don’t need to engage in such analysis, for analysis is virtually always of the ego.

6 – Live the Day with the Holy Spirit

I can attest easily to the good that I have when I resolve to make no decisions “on my own.” If I choose to live the day with the Holy Spirit influencing my decisions, I am assured of a good day, regardless of the verbal attack and anger that I see. The attack and anger simply don’t get to me. They don’t have any effect, for I recognize that it is my dream. The dream can be changed, once the dreamer (myself) is recognized.

7 – First in the Morning

Let us resolve today to ask for flow early in the morning. If it is already late, let us metaphorically start the day over. Jesus tells us that this is indeed possible. If you stump your toe getting out of bed, you need a quick restorative, or the day will go downhill from there.

8 – Go Internally

Don’t let this happen to you. Go within quickly and talk internally to the Holy Spirit. See if the beginning of difficulties don’t dissolve instantaneously.

9 – Make No Mistakes

“He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own. Now he makes no mistakes. His Guide is sure. And where he came to judge, he comes to bless. Where now he laughs, he used to come to weep. (M28)”

10 – Holy Spirit

This passage is an amplification of the surrounding passages, which have bade us to turn our decisions over to the Holy Spirit. His is the true guidance, the times when we will not make mistakes.

11 – Interference

Sometimes we don’t know for sure if what we are hearing is guidance of the Holy Spirit. We may wonder, accurately, if our own little minds are interfering with the divine. And our little minds may be. It is important, therefore, (though this is not spelled out in the Course) that we test out our guidance to see if it is true. As we become more proficient in recognizing true guidance for what it is, we will make surer decisions. Whatever we are doing, if we are judging ourselves, it is sure that we are not following the Holy Spirit.

12 – Laugh

It is important to see that we can laugh instead of weep. Guidance is not an all-serious matter. The Course indicates that lightness is one of the attributes to which we can become accustomed. The farther along the path we travel, the more lighthearted we will become.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me throughout the rest of this day. May I make no decisions, at least no major decisions, without consulting the Holy Spirit or my inner Self.

May judgment fall from me. May I know that to judge is to make mistakes, for I cannot judge accurately. May I turn all judgment over to Your Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit, and may in so doing the best that You have for me will be manifested.

Thank You for being there for me, today and always.

Amen.

Now Can the Teacher of God Rise Up Unburdened, and Walk Lightly On. Giving Up Judgment, His Sense of Care Is Gone.

1 – Sense of Care

“Now can the teacher of God rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on. Yet it is not only this that is his benefit. His sense of care is gone, for he has none. (M28)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage refers to turning over our decisions to the Holy Spirit. We carry life more easily once we have done this, and we do not feel burdened, as if we are carrying a load on our backs.

3 – Walk Lightly

Our sense of care is gone. We walk lightly in the light. These reassurances are worth their weight in gold. Who would not wish to walk the earth in peace and calm that is not abated?

4 – A Sure Guide

Why would we have a sense of care, when we have a Guide that is sure? We must only ask that we be given the grace always to follow that guidance. As we do follow that guidance, we become more and more reassured that it will always be there for us, and we drop our cares into the lap of God.

5 – Judgment Gone

“He has given it [sense of care] away, along with judgment. (M28)”

6 – Martha and Mary and Jesus

What a joy to give up the sense of care! We are, like Martha of the New Testament, worried about so many things. Martha was preoccupied with preparing a meal, and she wanted Mary, her sister, to help her instead of sitting at the feet of Jesus, where Mary was drinking in the words of Jesus.

7 – Rebuke

Yet Jesus kindly rebuked Martha, saying that Mary had chosen the best part, which in this case, was listening to him.

8 – Sit at the Feet of Jesus

May we be like the Marys of the world, not to disregard our obligations, but as often as at all possible, to sit, metaphorically, at the feet of Jesus and drink in his words. Then indeed is our care given away.

9 – Judgment

“Judgment, like other devices by which the world of illusions is maintained, is totally misunderstood by the world. It is actually confused with wisdom, and substitutes for truth. (M27)”

10 – “Good” Judgment?

Judgment seems to be wisdom, but, as we have been suggesting, it is far from wisdom. We think that “good judgment” will get us the outcome that we cry to have.

11 – Guidance

This is not true. Good judgment, whatever that is, will not get us the outcome that we cry to have. Only following guidance will do that.

12 – We Cannot Judge Rightly

“It is necessary for the teacher of God to realize, not that he should not judge, but that he cannot. In giving up judgment, he is merely giving up what he did not have. He gives up an illusion; or better, he has an illusion of giving up. He has actually merely become more honest. (M27)”

13 – Honesty

Would we like to be more honest? Of course! And this is the way—give up judgment! We cannot judge aright—ever. We may make wise decisions because we have been protected by God, but the consistent right decisions only come from guidance.

14 – Intuition

What does it feel like with intuition, the most prevalent kind of guidance? I sense a feeling tone to such guidance, in that I sense what the next right step should be. Sometimes guidance looks to the future, but in the step-to-step process of our days, intuition usually gives us the next right step. Sometimes the guidance comes to us as our own thinking rather than as a feeling. We will know that this thinking is guidance because it will seem a bit beyond us, though actually the thinking is coming up from the unconscious deep within. There God rests, and there the Holy Spirit communicates from God to us.

15 – Judgment Always Impossible

“Recognizing that judgment was always impossible for him, he no longer attempts it. This is no sacrifice. On the contrary, he puts himself in a position where judgment through him rather than by him can occur. (M27)”

16 – Relinquish Judgment to the Holy Spirit

This inner process of thinking, or the inner process of feeling (intuition), allows judgment “through” us to come out. So we do not give up judgment entirely; we just relinquish it to the Holy Spirit, Who is deep within. And His decisions are right. We will soon realize this. It takes little time to know that one’s egoic notions are faulty, and that the guidance of the Holy Spirit is on the beam.

17 – Guiltless Son/Daughter of God

“And this judgment is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad.’ It is the only judgment there is, and it is only one: God’s Son is guiltless, and sin does not exist. (M27)”

18 – Theology

This passage is a theological construct of A Course in Miracles. God’s Son (or Daughter) is innocent of wrongdoing, for he/she has acted only in illusion, a dream. And thus he/she has not acted at all.

19 – Sin

Sin does not exist, for sin is seen as an attractive alternative. Call something a “sin,” and we want to do it again. This is lamentable human nature.

20 – Mistake

In contrast, call something a “mistake,” and the only right thing is immediately seen to be correction of the mistake. Our “sins” are all mistakes, in the theology of ACIM.

21 – Past, Present, and Future

“In order to judge anything rightly, one would have to be fully aware of an inconceivably wide range of things; past, present and to come. One would have to recognize in advance all the effects of his judgments on everything and everything involved in them in any way. And one would have to be certain there is no distortion in his perception, so his judgment would be wholly fair to everyone on whom it rests now and in the future. Who is in a position to do this? Who except in grandiose fantasies would claim this for himself? (M27)”

22 – Prescience

This passage summarizes what we have been considering. We can’t know, in a prescient manner, what we are about. Lacking knowledge of past, present, and future in all its ramifications, we no longer attempt to judge on partial understanding. We give over judgment to the Holy Spirit, who is omniscient or all-knowing.

23 – Lay Judgment Down

“Therefore lay judgment down, not with regret but with a sigh of gratitude. Now are you free of a burden so great that you could merely stagger and fall down beneath it. And it was all illusion. Nothing more. (M28)”

24 – Jesus’s Appeal

This passage is Jesus’s appeal to us to stop the foolish judging to which we are almost addicted. If possible, try to live this day without judging what to do next. Let guidance direct your footsteps.

25 – Close of the Day

And see, at the close of the day, if you did not get into a free-flowing frame of mind that offered you a good day.

26 – Reassuring Passage

A reassuring passage, as so many of the passages A Course in Miracles, are. We are bade to lay judgment down–to make no decisions for ourselves. Can we really do this? The Course elsewhere indicates that we should set our will at the beginning of the day to follow guidance, and then give thanks at the end of the day. Then our decisions will be far more likely to be right. ACIM is always practical, and asking at every juncture may not always be practical (an ACIM concept).

27 – A Guide

It is calming to know that we have a Guide who will not fail. This we can feel with gratitude.

28 – Burden of Judgment

The burden of trying to make judgments of what to do or say has always been extremely difficult for us. And we learn now that doing so has all been illusion. We don’t have to feel all alone in the universe. We have a Guide, and His guidance is the Way that makes our life a calm and gentle experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led to lay judgment down forevermore. I do know in my heart of hearts that judgment can only hurt me. Let me be through with it forever.

Thank you for guiding me through the Holy Spirit. When I follow His prompting, I know that I am always taking the right pathway.

Amen.

The Teacher of God Does Not Make His Own Decisions. He asks the Holy Spirit for His Answer, and It Is This He Follows as His Guide for Action.

1 – Teacher of God

“As the teacher of God advances in his training, he learns one lesson with increasing thoroughness. He does not make his own decisions; he asks his Teacher for His answer, and it is this he follows as his guide for action. This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

Affirmation: “Help me to turn to the Holy Spirit for my guide to action.”

Reflections:

2 – Guidance

This is a concise statement of how important it is to follow God’s guidance as seen for us in the Holy Spirit (an ACIM concept). It may be harder in the beginning to follow this guidance, but the difficulty may never fully drop away. Our ego dies hard. But we are promised that following the guidance that we receive will be easier and easier as we advance in our training. And that is all the assurance that we need.

3 – Don’t Make Your Own Decisions

We do not make our own decisions, based on our own faulty judgment. Our own judgment cannot but be faulty, for we are told elsewhere that we cannot know all factors in the past and future that impinge on any given decision. Once we give up trying to follow our own judgment, life becomes easier.

4 – Advanced

This passage remarks on the advanced teacher of God. Not all of us, even those of us who have studied A Course in Miracles for years, can realize this appellation for ourselves. But we will come closer and closer as we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is actually the easiest way in which to live.

5 – Easier and Easier

“This becomes easier and easier, as the teacher of God learns to give up his own judgment. (M26)”

6 – Smooth Flow

Would we like to develop a smooth flow to all of life? This is the Answer, following guidance that we ask to receive from the Holy Spirit. He does not force Himself upon us—never does He do this. We must be open to His help. And then the miracles happen.

7 – How “Hear” Guidance?

How do we “hear” guidance? There are many ways, and guidance may be understood, often, only by the person who receives it. I have penned an article entitled, “The Gift of Guidance,” which can be found in this blog by putting “gift and guidance and hales” in the search box. This article lists some ten ways that the Holy Spirit has spoken to me over the years. It is very personally written.

8 – Ego

Be careful of guidance, for sometimes the ego intrudes. If the message that we are getting would be harmful to anyone, know that we are misinterpreting. And if we don’t really want to listen, then don’t. Jesus says not to fight ourselves, that we are not ready in such cases. A Course in Miracles is always very practical.

9 – Fairly Slow Process

“The giving up of judgment, the obvious prerequisite for hearing God’s Voice, is usually a fairly slow process, not because it is difficult, but because it is apt to be perceived as personally insulting. (M26)”

10 – Testing Out Guidance

It is not an ACIM tenet, but I think that testing out guidance, when the results would be benign and not harmful, is helpful. It will ensure us that we are on the right path. This will help, in my experience, to eliminate the sense of being “insulted” that Jesus mentions.

11 – Intuition

We also don’t want to go off the deep end in following intuition. Sometimes the ego is very wily, and we embark on all kinds of dubious means to justify something that only the ego wants to do. We convince ourselves that it is God speaking to us. You can probably recount many, many incidents in history in which people have so thought. We cannot judge these encounters, for they are unique to the individual involved. But sometimes we have to wonder.

12 – Give Up Judgment

So we have to make a decision to give up judgment, our own little understanding that needs to be augmented. If we are stable enough, we will soon—very soon—come to recognize the difference between the “guidance,” the false guidance, of the ego, and the true guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will have a self-authenticating Word from God to us, we will simply “know,” but not to know why we know. Yet this inner assurance will be enough to take steps to follow guidance. Now that if we feel peace within, we are in a much better position to believe that it is truly the Holy Spirit Who is guiding us. Later on, when reading A Course of Love, we learn that the era of the Holy Spirit is over, and that the time of Christ is at hand. Then we listen to the inner Christ Spirit. But at this juncture in A Course in Miracles, we are not there yet.

13 – The World’s Training

“The world’s training is directed toward achieving a goal in direct opposition to that of our curriculum. The world trains for reliance on one’s judgment as the criterion for maturity and strength. Our curriculum trains for the relinquishment of judgment as the necessary condition of salvation. (M26)”

14 – Contrast

Here the contrast between the world’s learning and the learning associated with A Course in Miracles is encapsulated most precisely. We think that when we have “grown up,” we will be self-reliant, judging wisely, able to make our own decisions without help. Oh, we may pray sometimes to know God’s direction for us, but we often don’t do so consistently. And not praying consistently ensures that we will listen to our own judgment.

15 – Our Judgment Is Faulty

But our judgment is faulty. Elsewhere we learn that nobody can know all of the past, present, and future, so that we make wise judgments. But the Holy Spirit does have such prescience. And this is why we would be wise to ask for His guidance at numerous junctures throughout each day. Jesus says that we don’t have to become preoccupied with each step, because this is not practical, but that the proper mind slant, adopted upon awakening, will set us on the right course.

16 – Confused

If we become confused, we need to turn inward to the Holy Spirit right away. He will never let us down. Only if we are so overwrought and agitated that we can’t hear His Voice will there be a problem (and sometimes He gets through to us even then).

17 – Commune with God

Go apart and commune silently. Know that the upset will pass (“This too shall pass,” though not an ACIM tenet, is nevertheless true.) Relax into Your day. Know that decisions made in the heat of an argument are virtually always ego-driven, for the Holy Spirit is very quiet.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to make a determination to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit at every turn of my life. May I be reassured that this is the best way to live, the only way that leads completely to happiness.

Thank you for my Guide. May I know if I am misperceiving, and may I turn from that to true guidance.

Amen.

Give Up Your Little Life Beset with Fear

1 – Waking

“Help me to wake My children from the dream of retribution and a little life beset with fear, that ends so soon it might as well have never been. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.8)”

2 – God

This is a prayer, presumably, from God Himself, asking that His children—us—be awakened. He would do the awakening, when we are ready. Let us never forget that; he makes the decision when we are ready.

3 – No Retribution

God would have us set aside a dream of retribution, which is punishment borne of judgment. He would have us set aside a “little life beset with fear.” I do know that personally I never get angry unless I am stressed, and I think that this may be true for many people. For many others whom I encounter. May we give up our dreams of retaliation (a form of retribution) and give up our dreams of fear.

4 – Fear?

We have nothing to be afraid of. That is the glorious promise.

5 – God Calls

“Listen, My child, your Father calls to you. Do not refuse to hear the Call for Love. Do not deny to Christ what is His Own. Heaven is here and Heaven is your home. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.8)”

6 – Heaven

“Heaven is here.” Yes! When our hearts are right, we know Heaven on earth; we do not have to wait until after death. Heaven, right here, is our home. And we all long to return to home.

7 – Christ Self

God would have us recognize His call for Love. We are meant to embody the Christ Self Who is within. This is our heritage.

8 – Meditation

These statements are meditative in intent. They are not meant to led us farther along the pathway by our minds, but by our hearts. We meditate upon the lovely words and soon find ourselves farther along the path homeward.

9 – Release

“So now return your holy voice to Me. The song of prayer is silent without you. The universe is waiting your release because it is its own. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.10)”

10 – Judgments

We need to give up our own judgments. We need not to try to make decisions on our own, something that is impossible anyway. We make decisions with Christ or the Antichrist (from the ACIM Text), because our agreement with another is what makes all things happen. And we would make decisions with Christ, Which, in ACIM, is the Holy Spirit. We would not choose to go about our world today, wily-nily. We would choose to live it with Christ. Let’s be assured that our intent to do so is all that is needed.

11 – A Call from God

“Remember this; whatever you may think about yourself, whatever you may think about the world, your Father needs you and will call to you until you come to Him in peace at last. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.10)

12 – Listen

God will never give up on us. He will continue to call until we are ready, and until we listen in earnest.

Dear Father/Mother,

Let us lead a good life today. I realize that a “good life” is an abstraction, but I would try to make it concrete—following You throughout the day. Let me remember to ask of the Holy Spirit what my next step ought to be. And then may I listen and follow.

This is the only way to walk along the pathway home.

Amen.

All Healing Is of the Mind, and so Continuing Physical Symptoms Should Not Alarm Us

1 – Healers

“Healers there are, for they are Sons of God who recognize their Source, and understand that all their Source creates is one with them. (S-3.III.5)

2 – Gender-Inclusive Language

Of course, “Sons” also includes “Daughters,” because the terminology of the 1960s was all-inclusive, the male embodied the female as well.

3 – Sons and Daughters – Capitalized

This passage suggests that Sons and Daughters, capitalized, are the real healers. This is reminiscent of the warning that an “unhealed healer” cannot really heal (from A Course in Miracles). And those who have not yet recognized their inner Self may be living in the personal self, which listens to the ego, and not be able to heal very much at all.

4 – Exceptions

Of course, there are exceptions, for God can use us all.

5 – The Source = God Himself

The Source, in this passage, is God Himself. We are sourced in God, and until we recognize this, all that we do will be confused.

6 – God’s Voice

“God’s Voice alone can tell you how to heal. Listen, and you will never fail to bring His kindly remedy to those He sends to you, to let Him heal them, and to bless all those who serve with Him in healing’s name. (Song of Prayer, S-3.III.6)”

7 – Holy Spirit

God’s Voice is the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration. Listening to this Voice will tell us what to say or do when faced with illness of whatever sort. The Holy Spirit has a “kindly remedy.” And He blesses all.

8 – Reassuring

These are reassuring words indeed. We can be assured that the mind will be healed, and ultimately everything that is not of the mind (or the spirit), everything that is of the body, is illusion (ACIM tenets).

9 – Holy

“How holy are the healed!. . .Their healing has restored their wholeness so they can forgive, and join the song of prayer in which the healed sing of their union and their thanks to God. (Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.1)

10 – Forgiveness

When we are healed, we can forgive! A wonderful promise.

11 – The Sequence of Healing

“You first forgive, then pray, and you are healed. Your prayer has risen up and called to God, Who hears and answers. Song of Prayer, S-3.IV.4)”

12 – Physical Symptoms

We ought not to fret if we forgive, then pray, and then have continuing physical symptoms. It is not up to us to decide when God’s healing will be accepted.

13 – Healing Is of the Mind

And remember that all healing is of the mind, and so the body may often still display symptoms of illness. We have often chosen those very symptoms as a learning device, and if the particular ones we are faced with were healed, they could easily soon be replaced with other symptoms of illness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the many healings, over the years, that I have known I my life. Often the healing was mental, or emotional, and that too is good. But when I was very fortunate, the healing was physical as well. Help me to think aright so that I can be placed under Your care for complete health. As Catherine Marshall said, I know that you are “for health” all the way.

Amen.

There Is a Place for Helpers in Healing

“False healing rests upon the body’s cure, leaving the cause of illness still unchanged, ready to strike again until it brings a cruel death in seeming victory. (S-3.II.6)”

1 – False Healing

This “false healing” is the “body’s cure,” which ignores the mind’s powerful importance to healing. The body’s cure would be physical healing. Physical healing sometimes does not last, though there may be a respite. And, frequently, the body adopts some new symptom of yet another illness, and the cycle starts all over again.

2 – Healing of the Mind

The healing of the mind is different, and A Course in Miracles says that healing that lasts is always of the mind. When we have chosen a symptom in the body, the body will choose another symptom if the mind has not been healed, “ready to strike again.”

3 – Forgiveness

So the cause of the illness has not been eradicated. We are told elsewhere that only forgiveness can heal the mind and thus heal sickness of the mind. The mind is always the healing place to begin.

4 – Healing-to-Separate

“Healing-to-separate may seem to be a strange idea. And yet it can be said of any form of healing that is based on inequality of any kind. (S-3.III.2)”

5 – Difficult Passage

This is a bit obtuse. We do not want to see inequality between our brother and ourselves. We want not to experience “healing-to-separate.” If we think that we have walked further along the path to God than our brother, and therefore think that we are better than he/she, then we are much mistaken. Only time separates us from our brother, and time does not really exist; it is an illusion.

6 – Equality

Let us resolve to bring equality into all of our relationships. The sooner we see everyone as inherently equal, the sooner we will experience healing of the mind, and often of the body as well.

7 – Physicians

“Someone knows better; this the magic phrase by which the body seems to be the aim of healing as the world conceives of it. And to this wiser one another goes to profit by his learning and his skill; to find in him the remedy for pain. (S-3.III.3)”

8 – Esteem

This passage explains our propensity to elevate physicians to a higher plane, to go to them, always, for cure. Now Jesus never denigrates physicians or the medications that they give. He says that pills, though a form of magic, may be a compromise cure. We may increase our anxiety if we try to heal without pills, and we are already in a compromised state of mind, and so anything that raises anxiety is not good.

9 – Patient’s Mind

But the mind of the patient only is the way that healing progresses. The mind decides if healing will be allowed. If healing is not allowed, then illness may progress even unto death (and most choose some illness as the way to exit from this life to the Other Side). “Special agents” seem to be ministering to us, but actually they are not always needed. Yet do not see this statement as a choice not to go to physicians, for Jesus never says this. The mind of the patient makes the decisions about illness or healing. (These are tenets from the Manual of A Course in Miracles)

10 – Helpers

“Is there a role for healing, then, that one can use to offer help for someone else? In arrogance the answer must be ‘no.’ But in humility there is indeed a place for helpers. (S-3.III.4)”

11 – Helpers = Physicians

These helpers are often physicians. And in humility there is a place for helpers. And we ourselves can be helpers as well. We do not have to alone and lonely when we are sick. We can reach out, and in the reaching out, often we find solace and healing. Our minds may have made the decision, but we may be too weak to heal ourselves alone. We do need help, and often this comes by way of orthodox medicine and/or other people who heal by alternative methods. We decide, though not sometimes as the conscious mind. The Self makes these decisions, the inner Self which we do not always consciously access.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have a healing today. I know that I don’t need a physician today; the healing I need is emotional. Help me to react peaceably to all that I encounter. Help me to be less stressed, for it is only stress that brings out the anger in me. I would be tranquil and calm, in love with You and all of Your creation today.

Help me to know when to go to physicians. They have their place, and Jesus never denies this. Help me to know the difference between healing with You only and healing with others.

Be with me as I walk through this day. May it turn out better than I fear right now.

Amen.

What Death Should Be: A Quiet Choice, Made Joyfully and with a Sense of Peace

“False healing merely makes a poor exchange of one illusion for a ‘nicer’ one; a dream of sickness for a dream of health. This can occur at lower forms of prayer, combining with forgiveness kindly meant but not completely understood as yet. Only false healing can give way to fear, so sickness will be free to strike again. (S-3.II.1)”

 

1 – False Healing

 

There is much in the Song of Prayer that explains when and if healing will occur when we have asked for a healing. Jesus uses terms in the Song that do not occur in A Course in Miracles. Here we see the term “false healing,” in which we simply exchange dreams of sickness for a dream of health. But this dream of health may not last, if we have not forgiven totally. Our forgiveness is still often the “forgiveness to destroy,” in which we “forgive,” but we do not forget, and we think ourselves superior to the one we are forgiving. We think that we are in a better position than he/she is, but we certainly remember the wrong word or deed.

 

2 – Forgiveness that the World Gives

 

ACIM tells us that this type of forgiving is all the world can give. And it is a false forgiveness. We think that the person could have done better, when in actuality all of us are doing as well as we can, given our understanding at the time. The word or deed of another is actually a call for help (an ACIM tenet), and the only sane response (also a term from ACIM) is to rush to the other’s side with help. It keeps our rights from being sacrificed (ACIM tenet).

 

3 – Our Rights

 

What does it mean to keep our “rights from being sacrificed”? We are due a good day. All of us are. And when attack has entered the picture, which always happens when we hold against another his/her insanity, then we are sacrificing our own rights to a good day. We are mulling over things best forgotten. Only if our personal safety is an issue do we need to distance ourselves, and even this is not an ACIM tenet. To my mind, though, it is common sense to remove one’s self from the vicinity of another in attack mode, verbal or physical.

 

4 – Death

 

“Yet there is a kind of death that has a different source. It does not come because of hurtful thoughts and raging anger at the universe. It merely signifies the end has come for usefulness of body functioning. And so it is discarded as a choice, as one lays by a garment now outworn. (S-3.II.1)”

 

5 – Other Side

 

We move in this passage to the end of life, to the time that forgiveness has been extended to all whom we have encountered, and we are ready to go home to the Other Side. We do not always get sick at this juncture, though most do. We can simply lay the body aside as a well-worn garment, ready to assume a new form, our ethereal body (not an ACIM tenet, which does not identify what we will be like after death).

 

6 – Choosing Death

 

We can choose death in this world. We do not have to stay here if pain is too great. And I am not talking about suicide. The Self within knows when we have had enough, and there are exit points. Then we develop a terminal illness, and we leave.

 

7 – Remain Healthy

 

But it does not have to be thus. We can, in the ideal world, remain healthy until the end. And then simply lay the body aside. But this usually does not happen, for many of us are weak and frail. We do not yet know how to forgive sufficiently to keep ourselves from sickness and always to choose health.

 

8 – What Death Should Be

 

“This is what death should be; a quiet choice, made joyfully and with a sense of peace, because the body has been kindly used to help the Son of God along the way he goes to God. (S-3.II.2)”

 

9 – Consoling Thoughts

 

So death should be a quiet choice, made “joyfully and with a sense of peace.” What consoling thoughts! Thank you, Jesus, for guiding our minds to such a conclusion.

 

10 – Liberty

 

“We call it death, but it is liberty. It does not come in forms that seem to be thrust down in pain upon unwilling flesh, but as a gentle welcome to release. (S-3.II.3)”

 

11 – Ruth Montgomery

 

Liberty! That is what death at the conclusion of a good life is really all about. Ruth Montgomery, in 20th century writings by automatic writing from her Guides, asserted that death is like walking through an open door. Would that this be all that it is for all us! Ruth wrote such books as A Search for the Truth and A World Beyond, after a long and distinguished journalist in Washington, DC.

 

12 – Death as Benign

 

So we can choose to see death as something entirely benign. We have nothing to fear. Suffering, yes, perhaps. But pain does not have to turn into suffering. We can exit gently.

 

Prayer:

 

Dear Father/Mother,

 

May I see death in a wholly benign way. May I welcome death at the time that is right for me. I realize that this is not yet, for I am healthy and very immersed in living in this world. When my time comes, help me to lay aside my physical body as one would lay aside a well-worn garment.

 

Help me to live joyfully every day of my life. May my prayer life, today, be enriched by turning to You in “praying without ceasing.” When I pray for assistance, You always respond, and right away. You tell me what to do to have peace. I can depend on You, and for this I thank You.

 

Be with me now throughout this day. May my words and deeds always reflect well on You. Help me to set a good example as a student/teacher of A Course in Miracles.

 

And may this day go well. Thank You.

 

Sickness Is a Shadow on the Holy Face of Christ

“The body’s cause is unforgiveness of the Son of God. It has not left its source, and in its pain and the mark of death upon it this is clearly shown. (Song of Prayer, S-3.I.2)”

1 – Song of Prayer

Now we return to the Song of Prayer, a tract scribed by Helen later than A Course in Miracles, also channeled by Jesus. This passage emphasizes the pivotal important of unforgiveness, in that it is seen to be the cause of the body. The body’s source is seen to be unforgiveness, and we experience pain and death as a result.

2 – A Course of Love

This emphasis is different from the later-channeled A Course of Love, in which we are bade to embody an elevated Self of form and the physical is not denigrated nearly so much.

3 – The Difference?

What is the difference here? I think that the first emphasis, that the body is to be lamented, is an ideal. This is one level of A Course in Miracles. But we are not living that ideal; we occupy a physical reality in which we all have bodies that do hurt when probed or struck, and which do die.

4 – Unforgiveness

We need a way to look at the unforgiveness, once unforgiveness has been replaced with forgiveness. This is when the elevated Self of form makes sense. We are living in a forgiven world at that point, and we are seeing the real world—the world of peace, harmony, joy, etc. We no longer hold the mistakes of our brothers and sisters against them. And we have forgiven ourselves as well. We are at home in God.

5 – Body

Then we can enjoy the body, when inside is the Self, the Christ Self that had only been covered up by the part of our belief about ourselves that is called the ego. We have elevated the physical, and we no longer need to lament that we have a physical body. We can merge the ideal with the practical, and we can live a good life, even though encased in matter.

6 – Healing as an Effect of Forgiveness

“The body can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. Only that can give remembrance of immortality, which is the gift of holiness and love. Forgiveness must be given by a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows on the holy face of Christ, among which sickness should be seen as one. (S-3.I.3)

7 – Healing

This passage, also from the Song of Prayer, emphasizes the central place of healing in Jesus’s message. If we truly forgive, we are placing ourselves under a higher law, one that embraces healing from sickness as an integral part of this world. Remember, though, that it is the mind that is healed always. This may or may not include the healing of the body. Physical symptoms of sickness may continue, even though the mind has been healed. (These tenets are from the Manual of ACIM.)

8 – The Mind

Note the emphasis in this passage on the mind: “a mind which understands that it must overlook all shadows.” Sickness is seen as one of these shadows, and we overlook that sickness. This is akin to the fact that we are encouraged, even taught, to overlook our brother’s mistakes, his attacks and anger directed at ourselves.

9 – Overlooking

This process of overlooking is crucial to living a peaceful life. We do not set ourselves up for more grief by overlooking. Indeed, we set ourselves up for more grief by refusing to overlook. We are encouraged to remember the good deeds of our brother, not to focus in our thoughts on his misdeeds. If we focus on his misdeeds, we have made them real to ourselves, and then how can we overlook what we have made real?

10 – The Secret

We cannot. That is the secret. Overlook and move on. Only if one’s own self is in danger should we consider some other course of action, for God’s way does in no way demand sacrifice of our own best interests.

11 – Judgment

“Nothing but that; the sign of judgment made by brother upon brother, and the Son of God upon himself. For he has damned his body as his prison, and forgot that it is he who gave this role to it. (S-3.I.3)

12 – Do Not Judge!

Do not judge! That is the idea behind this brief two-sentence passage. When we do not judge, we will awaken (from the ACIM Text). We do not have to damn the body as a prison. We can rejoice instead that we have been given a serviceable instrument in which to do God’s bidding, for His bidding is what we really, in our heart of hearts, want to do. The Holy Spirit will guide us very specifically. We will be told all that we need to know, all that we need to say and do.

13 – Body

We can give the role of prison to our bodies, but it does not have to be so. Even the weakest and sickest bodies in the world can find some meaning in living. The most infirm people, upon occasion, have done more for this world than those with robust health and robust bodies. Think of Stephen Hawking, the most famous physicist in the world, who suffers from disabilities that are in the extreme. Yet he accomplishes much. Think of Helen Keller, robbed of her hearing and sight at the age of two, who went on to be an inspiration to millions. With examples like this, how can we lament our small illnesses? They can be overcome, if we do not let our minds succumb to the illness as well as our bodies.

14 – Help in the Voice

“What he has done now must God’s Son undo. But not alone. For he has thrown away the prison’s key; his holy sinlessnes and the remembrance of his Father’s Love. Yet help is given to him in the Voice his Father placed in him. (S-3.I.4)”

15 – Holy Spirit

This passage emphasizes, once again, the powerful place of the Holy Spirit in taking us back home to God. We cannot heal ourselves; we have thrown away the prison’s key, the key to our bodies, and, indeed, our minds. The Holy Spirit is God’s Voice, placed in us to lead us home to Him. Listen today. Follow today. See if the day does not improve.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a good day in Your love. I would remember that guidance will take me from any ruined day at any moment that I turn to the Holy Spirit within. He guides, he teaches me to love, he teaches me to forgive. The way is clear to a sunny day with such a Helper as this.

Be with my brothers and sisters as I seek to forgive them any mistakes that have included their actions toward me. May I love with a love greater today than anything I have known in the past. May I love with Your love, shown to me by Your Holy Spirit, my Guide, Your Voice.

Amen.

No One Is Where He Is by Accident, and Chance Plays No Part in God’s Plan

1 – Changes

“Changes are required in the minds of God’s teachers. This may or may not involve changes in the external situation. (M26)”
A reassuring passage, this indicates that we do not have to suddenly change outer circumstances when we assent to the way of A Course in Miracles. Some do, but not many (though I was one of those).

2 – The Mind

The mind is here explained to be in the ascendancy, as always. The body is an illusion, as has been stressed over and over in ACIM. The mind will work the changes that we want to make, even if those changes include changes in the external situation. The mind is the decider.

3 – Chance?

“Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan. (M26)”

I find this to be a very reassuring statement. We are not adrift in the world, wily-nily finding our way without any help. We are part of a plan. Very comforting.

4 – Mistake?

So we are not where we are by mistake, and so my difficult situations in life have been for a purpose. I once had a work situation that was close to intolerable. Strangely, I had had a honeymoon on that job that lasted for a year, and then annual peer reviews came about. One of my colleagues, with whom I had been socializing, thinking we were friends, wrote a devastating peer review. And I was devastated accordingly.

5 – Attack

Nothing was ever the same again. I came upon the Workbook lesson, “I can escape from the world that I see by giving up attack thoughts.” And I listened to this lesson very, very carefully. I tried to forgive my former friend, for the review had made a breach between us; we did not socialize together anymore.

6 – Personal Experience

Two years later I was out of that situation at work, and embarking on my marriage and a new work environment. I wrote back to my old place of employment, telling someone who had remained a good friend, “Everyone here is surprisingly congenial.” She decided, she later said, that this was a very sad statement, for it denounced the work environment where she still resided. I had not even realized that this statement was denouncing.

7 – Personal Experience II

Yet the passage above would say that there were things for me to learn in that earlier work environment, that even my former friend could teach me something. I later came to realize that she needed to push others down so that her ego would feel better than others. She continued similar actions with new people after I had left. So it is likely that the peer review had more to do with her own neuroses than with my performance.

8 – Ego

I just didn’t know this at that time. I suffered, or, more appropriately, my ego suffered from being called incompetent. My own ego was too strong and too big to be healthy. Indeed, any ego at all is too strong and too big.

9 – Life Situations

“There are those who are called upon to change their life situation almost immediately, but these are generally special cases. (M26)”

This passage speaks to the pathway of those of us who are ACIM students. It answers a question that many will have, namely, “What will happen to me?”

10 – Change

Herein is described the fact that some who read the ACIM will be asked almost immediately to make changes in their life situation. These may or may not be permanent changes. But, for those of us who are still fearful, A Course in Miracles is reassuring in asserting that only “special cases” may meet with an immediate change in life situation. For the cowards among us (and which of us does not fall in this category at some times), this lets us off the hook.

11 – Guidance

If we do sense guidance from the Holy Spirit that we are to change our life situations almost immediately, then the Holy Spirit will be there throughout the entire episode, be it lasting or temporary. We need not fear; we need only trust.

12 – Relationships

“Relationships in particular must be properly perceived, and all dark cornerstones of unforgiveness removed. Otherwise the old thought system still has a basis for return. (M26)”

The first thing that changed for me when I became a student of A Course in Miracles was my relationships, because I changed. I no longer reciprocated if someone attacked me; I no longer showed anger. I cried into my journal if I felt anger. And it worked.

13 – Reading ACIM

I married within three years of finding ACIM. And I quickly read and reread the books in order to keep my relationship going smoothly.

14 – Work

I also left a work situation that was suffocating. I took to heart the Workbook lesson, “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” And I did escape. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I knew then that ACIM worked. When we change our projections, then our perceptions are cleansed of ill effects.

15 – ACIM Works

In all the several years since, I have returned to A Course in Miracles if I feel ready to retaliate when someone has supposedly “harmed” me by verbal attack. ACIM works. Retaliation, attacking back, gets us nothing that we want. And it will ruin the relationships that we have, more often than not.

16 – Defensiveness

Defensiveness also needs to go. Don’t defend yourself, because the defense makes what you are trying to avoid (ACIM tenets). Avoiding attack and avoiding defensiveness are two cardinal rules for making relationships work, according to the ACIM instructions.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I was led to change my life situation almost immediately upon reading the Course, but it was not a lasting change. It did make changes in my heart, though, and for that I am grateful.

Thank you for helping me to adjust to a new life situation, and help me now adjust to my new life situations. I know that You are always with me.

Amen.

There Can Be No Order of Difficulty in Healing Merely because All Sickness Is Illusion

“There can be no order of difficulty in healing merely because all sickness is illusion. Is it harder to dispel the belief of the insane in a larger hallucination as opposed to a smaller one? (M25)”

1 – No Order of Difficulty

Do we really believe this? If we don’t, this explains our difficulty with the concepts of healing that Jesus is discussing.

2 – Of the Mind

Earlier we noted that he indicated that all healing was of the mind. This eliminates the problem with continuing physical symptoms, for the body, we know, is not real—but an illusion. The reference to hallucination is important. Elsewhere Jesus asks us if we see a difference in the number of pitchforks that a devil holds—or do we see all of this as hallucination? His metaphor here is very, very similar. We do not have to view a large hallucination as more “real” than a smaller one. All are illusory, for we are trapped in a dream from which we need only awaken.

3 – Forgiveness

And we cannot awaken ourselves, though we can smooth way by forgiving our brother/sister, our significant others. The holy relationship is the way that this course is saving time. We don’t use large amounts of time in contemplation; we just forgive our brother/sister for what they have not, in reality, done. And we are healed thereby.

4 – Awakening

God does the Awakening, when He knows that we are ready (ACIM tenet).

5 – The “Devil”

“Will he agree more quickly to the unreality of a louder voice he hears than to that of a softer one? Will he dismiss more easily a whispered demand to kill than a shout? And do the number of pitchforks the devils he sees carrying affect their credibility in his perception? (M25)”

6 – Illusions

“When he realizes they are all illusion they will disappear. (M25)”

7 – Hallucination

Here are especially graphic illustrations of what hallucination can do to us. We are projecting our “reality,” our illusions, even when we are not insane in the psychiatric way of thinking. All of us, however rational we appear, are mad to a degree until we accept Awakening. We live in insanity.

8 – Madness

Knowing that, prior to Awakening, we are, to varying degrees, mad, can go a long way toward justifying forgiveness. The angry words, the attack, can be seen for what it is—the cry of another human being to be loved. His distress is based on error (from ACIM Text), and we know that all of us make errors.

9 – Body’s Eyes

“The body’s eyes will continue to see differences. But the mind that has let itself be healed will no longer acknowledge them. . . .the healed mind will put them all in one category; they are unreal. (M25)”

10 – Perceptions

The body’s eyes see perceptions, based on projection from within, that are untrue. When we have a healed mind, we will see the unreality of what we have previously viewed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask today to be healed of my misperceptions. I know that I bristle when someone verbally attacks me, but I also know that the anger that I feel dissipates when I realize that this beloved son or daughter of You is actually crying out for help. I realize that I am to rush to his/her side with that help—if intervening now is advisable.

Help me to know when it is advisable to intervene, and when it is wiser to withdraw briefly until the air clears. You do not demand sacrifice, and our own well-being is dear to Your heart.

May I know that You wish all of your children well. And I know that Your heart bleeds when You see us hurt each other.

Amen.

An Illusion Is an Attempt to Make Something Real that Is Regarded as of Major Importance, but Is Recognized as Being Untrue.

1 – The Mind

“By definition, an illusion is an attempt to make something real that is regarded as of major importance, but is recognized as being untrue. The mind therefore seeks to make it true out of its intensity of desire to have it for itself. (M24)”

This definition of illusion can be understood by many of us because of life situations in which we have tried to “fool ourselves” into believing, sometimes vehemently, something that is not true. In our depths we often recognize that what we fervently want to believe is not true, because we may get a curious “stop” to our attempts to pray for this outcome. If this happens to us, we would do well to reflect on what is actually at stake.

2 – Illusions

Illusions are prevalent in our world. There is so much pain in even everyday life that we retreat from feverish dreams into an illusory world that seems–but only “seems”–better. Somewhere is our deepest being we recognize that we are believing in an illusion, and we, somewhere, feel self-betrayed. We do not often let this deeper understanding surface, though. We may live for years with illusions that would have been left behind in the beginning if we had only turned to the Holy Spirit earlier.

3 – Self-Betraying

The mind is very powerful, and it can seem to make an illusion true. Such tactics are self-betraying in the long run, though. We don’t want to believe a falsehood, and our intensity of desire for an illusion is the real culprit here. The desire will abate when we recognize that we are fooling ourselves and when we turn to the Holy Spirit for more substantive consolation. Then and only then will we be free to let the illusion fall away.

4 – Feverish Dreams

“Finding health a burden, it retreats into feverish dreams. And in these dreams the mind is separate, different from other minds, with different interests of its own, and able to gratify its needs at the expense of others. (M24)”

5 – Tangled Up

Our “feverish dreams” are the tangles we get ourselves into when we seek for answer with our ego. The ego doesn’t know, and, most importantly, we can tell when the ego is uppermost in our minds. We need to let go at that point. Relax and let the guidance of the Holy Spirit come through. We will always know when we have momentarily released the ego, because we will immediately feel calmer.

6 – Wily Mind

The mind is a wily creature. It wants to stay with a bad experience just to see it out. Don’t get trapped by this feverish dream.

7 – Others’ Needs

Be sure to take others’ needs into account. All too often, when we are suffering, we think that it is all we can do to manage ourselves. But we don’t have to manage ourselves; turn the self over to God. Is this easier said than done? Only when we are agitated. Take a break. Have a cup of tea. Pray. Meditate, if only briefly. The world you return to will seem different, somehow. And that difference is that you have let go of your feverish dreams. We can be very stubborn sometimes, and resist the letting go. But we are ever so much better off when we remain flexible, or when we return to flexibility. We need to be able to turn on a dime, when intuition prompts a different decision.

8 – Seeing

“Only the mind evaluates their [the differences] messages, and so only the mind is responsible for seeing. It alone decides whether what is seen is real or illusory, desirable or undesirable, pleasurable or painful. (M24)”

The mind is not really where we want to stay, according to a possible sequel to A Course in Miracles, entitled A Course of Love. We want to be in the heart, which does not need the reasoning that the mind requires. We just “know,” when in the heart. And ACOL recommends that mind and heart be joined, into what is called “wholeheartedness.” This is the way home.

9 – Perception

“It is in the sorting out and categorizing activities of the mind that errors in perception enter. And it is here correction must be made. (M24)”

We don’t need to analyze our perceptions so much. Perceptions are always varying, because they are perceptions of changing illusions, changing dreams.

10 – Knowledge

We need to move to knowledge (from perception), which the Holy Spirit will help us with. Knowledge is of God, and knowledge cannot be “proved.” It just is. We will know the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave illusions behind. May I seek only what is true, only what I know in my depths is true.

If I have derived pleasure from believing my illusions, this has not been also without pain. May I recognize that I do not want pain, and may I let my illusions leave me.

Amen.

Should Healing Be Repeated?

“This question really answers itself. Healing cannot be repeated. If the patient is healed, what remains to heal him from? And if the healing is certain, as we have already said it is, what is there to repeat? (M22)”

1 – The Mind

What is certain is that the MIND is healed. The physical symptoms may last. The fact that ease is required is important. We don’t keep coming back with more pleas; we accept that healing has occurred.

2 – Jesus

This may be difficult to accept, but I do believe that Jesus is giving it to us straight. We need to recognize that the body is illusion, and its continued symptoms do not really mean much except in this world. Our mind’s well-being is the most important.

3 – Channel for Healing

“Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded. Should he be tempted to doubt this, he should not repeat his previous effort. That was already maximal, because the Holy Spirit so accepted it and so used it. (M22)”

4 – Holy Spirit

A very reassuring passage, this indicates that we as teachers of God will not fail. The Holy Spirit does the healing, and the healing is of the mind.

5 – Continuing Symptoms

“One of the most difficult temptations to recognize is that to doubt a healing because of the appearance of continuing symptoms is a mistake in the form of lack of trust. As such it is an attack. Usually it seems to be just the opposite. It does appear unreasonable at first to be told that continued concern is attack. . . .Yet love without trust is impossible, and doubt and truth cannot coexist. (M22)”

6 – The Sticking Point

This is the sticking point: How can we believe healing has occurred when the body still exhibits symptoms of disease? It is with the mind that the Holy Spirit works, and that is not seen by the physical eye.

7 – Doubt

“The real basis for doubt about the outcome of any problem that has been given to God’s Teacher for resolution is always self-doubt. (M23)”

8 – God’s Teacher

The meaning herein is a bit obscure, but basically the passage is letting us know that God’s Teacher, who is the Holy Spirit, will always resolve problems for us. The answer may not come immediately if we are not yet ready. It may take awhile. But come it will, unless we doubt. And what is there but self-doubt? Surely, if we have come this far, we do not doubt the resolutions of problems by the Holy Spirit. If we hesitate, we are using our own minds against ourselves, and this is the meaning of self-doubt.

9 – A Resolution to Our Problems

We must trust the Holy Spirit to bring about a resolution to our problems. Elsewhere Jesus asks that we pray for a resolution of the conditions that have brought about fear. This concept is akin to what is meant in this passage. Cause-and-effect will not be tampered with, by the Holy Spirit or Jesus. Jesus says that he will not tamper with the power of our minds, and that we ask him to do so at our peril. Only the power of our minds keeps us caught in dreams of pain. There is a way out, and the Course spells out what it is. Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit! We cannot emphasize this enough. It is the solution to our myriad problems, and it is the Answer to our prayers as well.

10 – Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is a particularly insidious form of self-betrayal. We would be wise to drop our misgivings about the power of our own minds, and then turn our wills over to the Holy Spirit. Then the resolution to our problems will be seen, often sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I look forward to the quick resolution of the problems that I have given to the Holy Spirit to solve. May I not doubt that He will resolve my problems. Let me have trust in His Word.

Thank you for being there for me. I look forward to a brighter world ahead.

Amen.