Holy Spirit = Teacher Who Cannot Make a Mistake

1 – His Answers

“Be glad you have a Teacher Who cannot make a mistake. His answers are always right. Would you say that of yours? (M70)”

2 – Holy Spirit

The Teacher here is the Holy Spirit. And this is yet another prodding that we will follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

3 – Probing Question

The probing question, “Would you say that of yours?,” referring to the correctness of our answers, if insightful. Certainly we know that we make mistakes, and that our answers about what to do in various situations are not always correct. Indeed, they are perhaps more frequently wrong than right. This is what behooves us to follow a higher guidance.

4 – Intuition

We have earlier indicated a number of ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Probably the most common is what we usually call intuition. This means that we go against the teaching of this world, in that we are taught to rely on our judgment. The Course counsels just the reverse, noting in significant passages that our judgment is frequently wrong because we cannot see the whole picture.

5 – Advantage

“There is another advantage,–and a very important one,–in referring decisions to the Holy Spirit with increasing frequency. Perhaps you have not thought of this aspect, but its centrality is obvious. To follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance is to let yourself be absolved of guilt. It is the essence of the Atonement. It is the core of the curriculum. The imagined usurping of functions not your own is the basis of fear. (M70)”

6 – Guilt

To be absolved of guilt is actually the primary reason that we ought to follow the Holy Spirit, for guilt is madness, and madness and judging are why the Awakening do not come to us. As long as we are lost in madness, we will judge; it is just that simple. And when we give up judging, we will welcome, by God for us, the Awakening. We will awake when we give up judging (an ACIM tenet).

7 – Judgments

When we take on functions that are not ours—making judgments about our own pathway—we are actually usurping what belongs to Another. And that Other is the Holy Spirit. Our world trains for a totally different world view. Our world trains for self-reliance, but how good has this been for us? Not very good at all, because we can’t know all the circumstances when we make a decision. We can’t see the past, present, and future—all that impinge on a given decision. So how much better it is to rely on One Who does know! Let us not forget this.

8 – Not Folly

So let us give up our judgments about what to do to the Holy Spirit, Who will guide us in daily life. This is not folly; it is the soundest good sense. Nobody can make accurate judgments when so much depends on what we don’t know. And we are not omnipresent.

9 – Fear

“To return the function to the One to Whom it belongs is thus the escape from fear. And it is this that lets the memory of love return to you. Do not, then, think that following the Holy Spirit’s guidance is necessary merely because of your own inadequacies. It is the way out of hell for you. (M70)”

10 – Hell

Let us escape from fear today. Let us get out of hell. Fear is hell, the hell on earth that we make for ourselves. And there is a simple way out.

11 – Misinterpretation

Now, we will not always follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There will be times when we misinterpret, when we think we understand and really don’t understand. We will think that we see two ways to go; there is only one, but we are not infallible.

12 – Stubborn

We will also get stubborn sometimes. We will decide where and how we want to go, and when we get a nudge to change directions, we won’t want to do so.

13 – Change Directions

Change directions as soon as you can bring yourself to do so, to make that altered direction the one that you really want. The Holy Spirit will make it easy for us. He will let us know what to do, and as soon as we can make the switch, our lives will smooth out.

14 – Jesus

This is Jesus’s promise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Once again I find that I am negligent in always following the guidance that I receive. I fall down when I don’t follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. May my understanding be honed so that I ascertain rightly, and may I then walk quietly and calmly into Your light.

Thank you for providing this sure guidance. I have not always followed, but I have known of Your guidance for many years. When I have followed Your guidance, I have been happy.

Amen.

Who Needs Prayers? Who Needs a Smile?

1 – Giving What Is Needed

“Who would profit more from prayers alone? Who needs but a smile, being as yet unready for more? (M70)”

2 – Interactions

Our interactions with our brothers and sisters always must be attuned to what they are ready to accept. Perhaps a vocal witness is the wrong tactic. Then we will be let to pray for them, or, as this passage says, to give only a smile. We do not want to turn off others by unwelcome proselytizing.

3 – Catherine Marshall

Catherine Marshall, a spiritual writer of earlier times, counseled putting a “golden zipper” upon our lips when around unbelievers who are not actively seeking our help. This is Mrs. Marshall’s advice particularly where significant others are concerned. Those closest to us do not want to be inundated by unsought advice about their salvation.

4 – Questions

If we are lucky, when they see that we have changed, they will begin to ask questions. Then is the time to take off the “golden zipper” from our lips, and to witness to them. May this day come soon for all of us, especially with those closest to us.

5 – The Curriculum

“The curriculum is highly individualized, and all aspects are under the Holy Spirit’s particular care and guidance. Ask and He will answer. The responsibility is His, and he alone is fit to assume it. To do so is His function. To refer the question to Him is yours. Would you want to be responsible for decisions about which you understand so little? (M70)”

6 – Individualized

The phrase, “the curriculum is highly individualized,” means, I think, that we all have, tailor-made for us, the pathway that serves best. We learn what we are ready to learn, and we run across the guidance, in the form of reading (often), or words, or intuition, the particular reactions that we are prompted to have. We are not left to our own devices. We are led every step of the way.

7 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, is chosen by God for this task. We can appeal to Him, and, without exception, be answered. We may not recognize this Answer immediately, but if we are attuned at all (not overwrought), we will come to understand sooner rather than later.

8 – Guidance

We are to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. That is our function, to refer to Him in all things. To defer to Him in all things. Let us proceed cautiously, sometimes, through our days, especially when the way seems confusing and we don’t know what to do.

9 – Be with Us

Be with us as we seek this guidance on a constant basis. This guidance will lead us back to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be a good witness for You. May I not let my own troubles interfere with helping those who surround me. May I choose rightly what they are ready to accept by way of salvation.

Help me today. I need Your help. I am hesitant to choose what my brothers and sisters can best accept from me now.

Amen.

All Living Hearts Are Tranquil with a Stir of Deep Anticipation

1 – Everlasting Things

“All living hearts are tranquil with a stir of deep anticipation, for the time of everlasting things is now at hand. There is no death. The Son of God is free. And in his freedom is the end of fear. (M68)”

2 – Fear

Would that we could welcome the end of fear on a daily basis! But somehow we all fall back on anxieties and fears, falling short of accepting God’s grace in our daily lives. When fear comes, we must go within and contemplate what it would mean to end the fear. Get still. Commune with God. Simply ask Him for the blessing of His peace.

3 – God

In all likelihood, when we have done our part to quiet our troubled minds, He will step in and finish the work. We will know the peace of God.

4 – Medication

Sometimes He uses pills to effect this transformation. Jesus asserts that pills, medication, are not to be avoided, though pill are a form of magical solution. But, being in a fear-ridden state, if we tried to live without pills we might be worse off.

5 – Ask

Ask God what solution He would hand out to you. He will find a way to get through to you. He will show you a solution, and this solution may come swiftly. The main thing is to recognize the answer to prayer when it comes. Be alert. Be aware. And thank God when that solution comes.

6 – Song of Heaven

“And we, God’s children, rise up from the dust and look upon our perfect sinlessness. The song of Heaven sounds around the world, as it is lifted up and brought to truth. (M69)”

7 – Beautiful

These are very beautiful words that calm my soul as I write. We have not sinned, however much we think that we have. It is true that we have made mistakes, but these will be relinquished for resolution when we are sorry for them and make restitution. They will not be attracting again to us; we just want a solution, a remedy.

8 – “Sin”

Sin, on the other hand, when a thing is so labeled, has an attracting feature. I don’t know why this is, but Jesus recognizes this about our egos. We will want to do that sinful thing again, and then the ego has a field day.

9 – Holiness

“And we accept His holiness as ours; as it is. As God created us so will we be forever and forever, and we wish for nothing but His Will to be our own. Illusions of another will are lost, for unity of purpose has been found. (M69)”

10 – God’s Will = Our Will

God’s Will is our will; this we must recognize. The Holy Spirit chooses for us, only for us in every instance. It is the ego which has a separate will, and this will always leads us astray. There is no peace in the ego’s eyes. When we choose to effect God’s Will in our daily lives, we lose illusions that there is another will. We no longer think, like Jonah, that we know better. We know that God knows what will really make us happy, and we fall in line with that Will of His.

11 – Joy

“These things await us all, but we are not prepared as yet to welcome them with joy. As long as any mind remains possessed of evil dreams, the thought of hell is real. God’s teachers have the goal of wakening the minds of those asleep, and seeing there the vision of Christ’s face to take the place of what they dream. (M69)”

12 – Vision of Christ’s Face

This passage says some very important things to us. The passage equates evil dreams with the thought of hell. And the passage spells out what we are to do about that: waken the minds of those asleep. When we do so, the vision of Christ’s face takes the place of the evil dreams.

13 – Toward Awakening

This says that we have work to do, to bring Awakening to all minds. We can move toward Awakening for ourselves by studying the Course diligently. We will then not be unhealed healers, but those ready to take our part in the plan of salvation, the part that God has prepared just for us. Until we respond affirmatively to the call for salvation, our part is missing. Nor can it be taken by anybody else. We are unique in that sense.

14 – Christ in Our Brothers and Sisters

The vision of Christ’s face is mentioned several times in the Course. We will see Christ in our brothers and sisters when we are prepared. In large measure, that is what we are meant to see. In dreams, which are what we are caught in before we waken, we will not see Christ’s face, because our brothers and sisters sometimes elicit anger and attack in us. When we have let anger and attack fall away, we will be on our way to the salvation that we are bring to others, as well as accepting salvation for ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I leave aside thoughts of anger and attack, and take my place in Your plan for salvation. May I awaken the minds of those asleep. Until I have accepted the Awakening of my own mind, I will not be a completely healed healer.

Thank you for Your help. I need You more than ever today.

Amen.

The Resurrection Is a Change of Mind about the Meaning of the World

1 – Reawakening

“Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death. It is a reawakening or a rebirth; a change of mind about the meaning of the world. It is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the world’s purpose; the acceptance of the Atonement for oneself. It is the end of dreams of misery, and the glad awareness of the Holy Spirit’s final dream. (M68)”

2 – Immortality in This Body?

This passage is frequently misinterpreted by Course students. Many think that somehow the fact of immortality in this body will happen. But this is not what is being said. Death has no meaning, because it is merely a change of form; death is a rebirth into a new life beyond this world. We can symbolically achieve this state while in the body in this world. We will then know the end of dreams of misery, and accept the final dream from the Holy Spirit: “the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Course).

3 – Jesus’s Resurrection

Jesus does not deny his own resurrection in A Course in Miracles, though. This Christian doctrine is upheld. The point is not that we are to follow Jesus’s way in all its particulars, though. That was his contribution. We do not have to face crucifixion. And our resurrection is a means to rebirth into the real world (a Course tenet). The real world is the one sanctioned by the Holy Spirit to be a world in which our perceptions have been cleansed, and therefore we do not project misery into our lives by our own doing.

4 – Rebirth

A rebirth is the great Awakening, one of the final steps before we reach Home. We all long for this miracle, and occasionally revelation reveals this end to us. To reach Awakening permanently, though, we need to know the means, and it is this that the Course spells out for us.

5 – Invitation

“It is the invitation to God to take His final step. It is the relinquishment of all other purposes, all other interests, all other wishes and all other concerns. It is the single desire of the Son for the Father. (M68)”

6 – Awakening

The experience of rebirth or resurrection welcomes our Awakening. It is when we feel that we are finally ready for God’s great blessing: when He reaches down (metaphorically) and lifts us up to Awakening.

7 – Eckhart Tolle

None can set this time for themselves. None of us can. We do not have to be especially “good” for this to happen. This is a statement that Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth) has made. The Awakening may come to people who seem to have many flaws, but God is able, for some reason, at that time to take them out of their flaws. To make them new people.

8 – Surrendered

The Awakening is not a goal to seek, as we seek goals, especially goals of the ego. To seek Awakening is to invite the ego into this greatest of all blessings, and this invitation will never succeed. We must be totally surrendered, we must not put preconditions on God. He would have us totally.

9 – Personal Experience

I have a personal friend in my town who experienced a transformation more than 30 years ago, a transformation that has been sustained. She is one of the easiest people to know whom I have ever met. And she believes that this transformation can be for everyone.

10 – Life as Salvation

“The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reverse entirely. Life is now recognized as salvation, and pain and misery of any kind perceived as hell. (M68)”

11 – Hell

We do not want pain and misery, which are hell to us. This means, perhaps, that the only hell that we will experience is here on earth, where pain and misery often accompany our days.

12 – Life

When we see that our very life is our salvation, then we are home free.

13 – Truth

May we see this truth, that life is salvation, today.

14 – Christ’s Face

“Christ’s face is seen in every living thing, and nothing is held in darkness, apart from the light of forgiveness. There is no sorrow still upon the earth. The joy of Heaven has come upon it. (M68)”

15 – Home

When we can see Christ’s face in everyone, then we are home. We forgive all their trespasses against us; we hold nothing against anyone. We are happy in God’s grace; nothing fazes us.

16 – Grace

Surely all of us have experienced such moments of grace already. This are mini-blessings, a foretaste of heaven on earth. We do not know or feel sorrow. We are happy. May we pray today that this blessing descend upon us sooner rather than later.

17 – Curriculum

“Here the curriculum ends. From here on, no directions are needed. Vision is wholly corrected and all mistakes undone. Attack is meaningless and peace has come. The goal of the curriculum has been achieved. Thoughts turn to Heaven and away from hell. (M68)”

18 – Vision

Our vision has been corrected when we are able to see Christ in everyone. We actually perceive his face as though he were the other person, male or female. This is no hallucination. This is very real.

19 – In Snatches

And it may first come in snatches. Be present when it comes. Be thankful. And pray that this vision might be sustained.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I need rebirth today. I feel weak, and I am fallible. Please give me Your insight. May the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” come upon me, and then may they give way to Awakening.

Be with me today as I try to live Your Word. Thank You for Your promise always to be near.

Amen.

Direct Union with God

1 – Brief Experience

“Sometimes a teacher of God may have a brief experience of direct union with God. In this world, it is almost impossible that this endure. It can, perhaps, be won after much devotion and dedication, and then maintained for much of the time on earth. (M64)”

2 – Awakening?

We are led to speculate what this direct union would actually mean, because it is not Awakening. Some do experience Awakening, and live for long years on earth. The Buddha was one such individual. And present day people live for a long time in Awakening as well.

3 – Mystical Experience

Direct union with God is a mystical experience of the highest magnitude. And one would be somewhat separated from others if this were to happen. God would be his/her experience.

4 – Glimpses

The brief experience of union with God is akin to the Eastern concept of satori, and it is also akin to glimpses of Awakening (much the same thing, for Awakening and enlightenment are the same experience with different names).

5 – Rare

“But this is so rare that it cannot be considered a realistic goal. If it happens, so be it. If it does not happen, so be it as well. All worldly states must be illusory. If God were reached directly in sustained awareness, the body would not be long maintained. (M64)”

6 – Will to Survive

In other words, we would die shortly afterwards. Most people, with the will to survive so strong, would not choose such a fate.

7 – Extend Helpfulness

“Those who have laid the body down merely to extend their helpfulness to those remaining behind are few indeed. And they need helpers who are still in bondage and still asleep, so that by their awakening can God’s Voice be heard. (M64)”

8 – Personal Experience

I do know of one case in which I believe that an individual died at a young age in order to help his immediate family survive well a series of catastrophic experiences. There has been much illness of long duration in that family, much sadness. And religion does not play a large part in what the members of the family believe, and so they lack this comfort.

9 – Eased Way

But if they have the eldest child in the family looking on with help, their way would be much eased. And I think that that is what is happening.

10 – Final Chapter

The final chapter has not been written, for the children of the family are peers of mine. But I have long thought that that eldest child was easing the burden of the ones remaining behind.

11 – Limitations

“Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them. (M64)”

12 – Despair

We often despair when we are in pain and suffering, but these too are a form of limitation, and Jesus here says that we will not be without limitations in this world. We can get help to resolve the conditions that brought fear about, though, and it is this that we ought to pray for. Elsewhere Jesus says that he cannot properly remove the fear for us, because it is our minds which have brought it about, and the alteration of cause-and-effect would not be a good thing for us.

13 – Escape

So we are meant to escape from our limitations, as they arise. We can learn how to do this, but it does take patience and willingness to follow guidance. If a limitation is not removed after much prayer and trying different methods of cure, perhaps this is a “thorn in the side” that St. Paul speaks about in his letters in the New Testament. He believed that this thorn was meant for his good.

14 – Jesus

So Jesus would not have us despair. Help is always near, and we will receive healing, or we will receive the wherewithal to sustain our good will while caught by limitations. Faith is not often stressed in the Course, but this is the attribute that will enable us to withstand limitations. Know that Jesus and his Helpers are nearby, and be reassured.

15 – Saviors

“If you would be a savior, you must understand what needs to be escaped. Salvation is not theoretical. Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes. Nor will its coming be long delayed. All the ehlp you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met. (M65)

16 – Optimistic

Jesus gives us here a very optimistic group of statements. “All the help you can accept” will be provided. This fragment of a sentence notes that we ourselves may limit the help that we accept. We do not have to limit this help, and it would be wise of us to encourage help from beyond ourselves when in a quandary.

17 – Patience

We do need patience, but Jesus proclaims that the answer will not be long delayed. Surely the delay can seem long to us, because our notions of time are not those of eternity. But this delay is not actually long, and it is probable that Jesus is speaking in our terms when he says this. He knows our impatience, and what seems “long” to us. He does not mislead. Our needs will be met, and soon.

18 – Limitations

This passage also suggests that some of our limitations are given us so that we can be saviors; we can understand what others are going through. Certainly an individual who has experienced a given problem, and overcome it, is more likely to be able to help others. Shortly after this assertion, Jesus says once again that his Course is not theoretical. Elsewhere he has said that the Course is always practical. We can see this most clearly when we have overcome a limitation, and thereby be ready to help our brothers and sisters with the same limitation.

19 – Goals

“Let us not, then, be too concerned with goals for which you are not ready. God takes you where you are and welcomes you. What more could you desire, when this is all you need? (M65)”

20 – God

Yes, God takes us where we are and welcomes us. What more would we really ask? We have it all. Even in pain and suffering, God is there. He never leaves us, He never departs. He may usher in a dark night of the soul if He wants to have us seek Him for no ulterior motive—or our own inner Self may do so.

Pray long and hard, in depth, in many minutes. The way, regardless of what it is, will then seem smooth.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am very aware of my limitations today. Help me not to be my own worst enemy. Help me to reach out to You and Your helpers, and be absolved of the current limitation under which I find myself.

I know that You want only good for me. Jesus says that we are meant to escape from our limitations, though we are not without them. Help me to escape from my limitations today.

Amen.

Help from Beyond This World

1 – Teachers of Teachers

“There are those who have reached God directly, retaining no trace of worldly limits and remembering their own Identity perfectly. These might be called the Teachers of teachers because, although they are no longer visible, their image can yet be called upon. (M64)”

2 – Not Long Stay on the Earth

This passage proclaims that when we have reached God directly, we will not long stay on this earth. We will no longer be seen on earth, but our “image” can be called upon. We are then “Teachers of teachers.”

3 – Lay Down the Body?

Elsewhere Jesus says that very few of us willingly lay down the body simply to be of help to others in a greater way. So most of us will not attain this degree of salvation while in this world.

4 – Help

We do have help from beyond the earth. We can call upon this help, and we will receive assistance. No greater bounty can be ours, than to know that we are never alone, that God and His Teachers care for us always.

5 – Appearances

“And they will appear when and where it is helpful for them to do so. To those to whom such appearances would be frightening, they give their ideas. (M64)”

6 – Beyond Your Thinking

Have you ever felt that you got ideas that were actually beyond your scope, your thinking? Of course, and we often saw this as God speaking to us—which it may have been.

7 – From Whom Are We Hearing?

But we must also recognize that we may be hearing from those whom Jesus called “Teachers of teachers” in regard to A Course in Miracles. He seems to indicate that these are noble individuals who have gone over, made the transition to life after death, and then reached backwards to help us. He doesn’t say that these individuals are angels, but human beings, we might believe, who have let all barriers come down.

8 – Frightened?

We might be frightened if we had a visitation. Some in the Course community have claimed visitations, but their assertions were widely disbelieved, and who is to know for sure? Many have been visited by a departed loved one, shortly after death. This has become a common practice.

9 – Whom Do We Know?

Do we know these Teachers of teachers? Sometimes, perhaps, but perhaps more often not.

10 – Hugh Prather

Jerry Jampolsky and Gayle Prather have both been visited by Hugh Prather in the hours and days following his fatal heart attack. The Holy Encounter, a publication by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff, so reported. And the words from Hugh were profoundly comforting. Toward Jerry, Hugh affirmed that we live in an illusion, just like ACIM says. Toward his wife Gayle, he spoke up about the little daily matters of living—glad that he didn’t have to clean the house, encouraging her to hold their cat longer.

11 – Communication from the Other Side

These reports do not have to be believed, but our lives are immeasurably enriched if we can crack the doubt a bit and entertain the possibility that communication from the Other Side is very evident, very possible.

12 – Off the Deep End?

Of course, we don’t want to go off the deep end. Test out these unembodied words that come to you. If they recommend anything harmful, then we are not ready. Don’t get carried away.

13 – Not in Vain

“No one can call on them in vain. Nor is there anyone of whom they are unaware. All needs are known to them, and all mistakes are recognized and overlooked by them. (M64)”

14 – Welcome

This reassurance, that no one can call on Teachers of teachers in vain, is a welcome statement. We have many helpers from the Other Side. We here on earth have long believed ourselves isolated, and that belief has been very damaging to our psyche.

15 – Help

We are not alone. We live in a very peopled universe. And when we open our minds to the possibility of help, that help comes immediately, if we are calm enough to recognize what is happening.

16 – Ask for Help

“The time will come when this is understood. And meanwhile, they give all their gifts to the teachers of God who look to them for help, asking all things in their Name and in no other. (M64)”

17 – Understood

“The time will come when this is understood.” Yes! We are rapidly coming to that time now.

18 – Good

And good it is for our culture.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand the concept of “Teachers of teachers.” May I reach for their help often once I comprehend whom I am asking.

Thank you for providing all this help to me in this uncertain world. May I be quick to take advantage of this help as I go about my day today.

Amen.

Can God Be Reached Directly?

1 – God in Our Prayers

“Can God be reached directly? God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son. His awareness is in everyone’s memory, and His Word is written on everyone’s heart. (M64)”

2 – Bible

This passage recalls to mind the biblical quotation, “The kingdom of God is within.” Certainly many passages in the Course suggest that God is within, that there is no division between God and ourselves. We see here that there is no distance between God and His Son (or Daughter). This is the Self that is the larger part of ourselves, the part that has never left God.

3 – Memory

How reassuring to know that the awareness of God is in everyone’s memory! And that we can indeed, as the Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive,” because His Word is written on everyone’s heart. The sentence from the passage that says this is particularly beautifully written, and it encourages peace and inner quiet by its reassurance.

4 – Be Quiet

We can receive God’s Word directly in the midst of our busiest activities, but more often we hear His word when we are quiet and therefore more receptive to the still, small Voice within. May we turn to Him when perplexed, and may we know that our prayers are heard, and, better still, our prayers are answered.

5 – Barriers

“Yet this awareness and this memory can arise across the threshold of recognition only where all barriers to truth have been removed. In how many is this the case? (M64)”

6 – Projection Makes Perception

God can be reached directly when barriers to His coming have been removed. If God is within, if projection makes perception, then we are projecting an illusory world. But God is akin to a hologram, and Each is present in the One, the All, the every bit. So we turn inward, seeking to diminish the ego’s static that would prevent us from knowing the inner Christ Self.

7 – Awakening

All barriers to truth have not been eliminated in the vast majority of us. These barriers are eliminated only in Awakening, or enlightenment. And in how many is this manifested? Eckhart Tolle indicates that more and more of us are experiencing enlightenment, but the phenomenon is not yet widespread in society.

8 – Soon

May we move into this new day sooner rather than later.

9 – Teachers

“Here, then, the role of God’s teachers. They, too, have not attained the necessary understanding as yet, but they have joined with others. This is what sets them apart from the world. And it is this that enables others to leave the world with them. Alone they are nothing. But in their joining is the Power of God. (M64)”

10 – Join with Others

We must join with others to have enough power to effect change. This does not mean that we try to change the world from an unhealed perspective. The inefficacy of the unhealed healer is a phenomenon described in A Course in Miracles. And we don’t want to be unhealed healers.

11 – How Do We Join?

So, in whatever way we can, we join with others. This may be only a telepathic joining, or it may take other forms. We may choose to join a study group of A Course in Miracles, we may join other prayer groups, we may attend traditional church services. All of these practices have a place in salvation, in spreading the word.

12 – Proselytize?

The only thing that we are forbidden to do is to proselytize, of to attempt to do so, when the individual(s) in front of us are not yet ready. This would be a sure turnoff.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I turn to You often during the day. I know that I can reach You directly. Help me to reach into my memory and into my heart to find You.

Only if I turn to You will have a truly good day. I know this. Help me to live it.

Amen.

Psychic Powers

1 – The “Devil”?

“‘Psychic’ abilities have been used to call upon the devil, which merely means to strengthen the ego. (M63)”

2 – Ego

The “devil” is not seen by the Course as a powerful figure; the devil is simply seen as a way of characterizing the ego. Moreover, the contest between hell and Heaven is seen to be an egoistic drama, something that our minds have made up because of the rise of the ego in us. This happened as a result of a tiny, mad idea that entered the mind of the Sons and Daughters of God, and this tiny mad idea became our downfall. In actuality, we have not left Heaven; our Self is there.

3 – Travel Back in Time

And we travel back in time to that time past remembering, until we are Home again. All of these ideas as Course tenets. We cannot begin to understand, but we can accept these tenets, because they come from Jesus–our elder brother who has walked the whole pathway, and who stands ready to give us a helping hand when we cannot undo all the mistakes that we have made.

4 – Intuition

These psychic abilities may be as simple as a tiny intuition of what to do or say next. We can test out these feelings, and if they lead us to a better world, we would be foolish not to follow them. We are not being led by the ego at such times, or by the “devil.” indicates).

5 – Limitations

“Those who have developed ‘psychic’ powers have simply let some of the limitations they laid upon their minds be lifted. It can be but further limitations they lay upon themselves if they utilize their increased freedom for greater imprisonment. The Holy Spirit needs these gifts, and those who offer them to Him and Him alone go with Christ’s gratitude upon their hearts, and His holy sight not far behind. (M63)”

6 – Mind

If we could only let the limitations on our minds be lifted! And we can. We have this within our power, and to do so is strictly within the Holy Spirit’s purview. God wants us to enlarge our scope, and here is one way that we can do.

7 – Ask

How do we let the limitations on our minds be lifted? I think that we ask. That’s right, we just ask—in prayer, for these gifts, which are of the Holy Spirit. If we want to be more psychic in our daily lives, just ask. And then watch quietly while more and more “hidden” knowledge becomes available.

8 – Personal Experience

I have noticed over the years that the way in which I get guidance has changed, not in full content but in more frequent content of an altered nature. Earlier, when I was 30 and before, I listened to “feelings,” and these were more prevalent the more vulnerable that I was emotionally. If I were especially stressed, I would have feelings about what to do and say rise to the surface very easily.

9 – Safe?

But is this safe, emotionally? Sometimes not. And we need to be safe emotionally at all times. The Holy Spirit cannot use us effectively if we are living on the edge.

10 – Unconscious

In the last few years, I have noticed that words from the subconscious come into my mind, almost unbidden. These are words from my inner Self, I think. And they are my own thinking reflected back to me, I think. But they have psychic power. I know, or have knowledge, of things over which I would not normally “know.” And when I act on the actions that are prompted, life goes more smoothly.

11 – Reflective Thinking a Must

I am especially attuned to my most significant other, my husband. I seem to know what to say and not to say, knowing him so intimately as I do. Of course, this knowledge, if it might be called that, is not 100 percent. And I sometimes barrel ahead without thinking reflectively, which is frequently a mistake.

12 – God

God takes us where we are, and builds from there. Psychic flashes are prevalent for me, and I would not have this gift turned to the ego. Even writing about it is a danger. But I pray to be protected from turning the psychic into an ego manifestation. I simply mean to share, to see if others have a similar reaction.

13 – Ego, Again

The ego would love to turn psychic flashes into its own. Such a dip in cognition would affirm the value of the ego, especially if material objects are not valued as previously. This will not do. The psychic, turned egoistic, is a sad commentary indeed on a gift of the Holy Spirit.

14 – Holy Spirit

May all of us seek to use additional gifts of the Holy Spirit only for God’s purposes.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not use my psychic inclinations as a way to strengthen the ego. May I have no pride in having psychic abilities.

Please be with me as I explore my psychic nature. And may I use it only for the good of my brothers and sisters, and the good for myself.

Amen.

Are “Psychic” Powers Desirable?

1 – No “Unnatural” Powers

“There are, of course, no ‘unnatural’ powers, and it is obviously merely an appeal to magic to make up a power that does not exist. It is equally obvious, however, that each individual has many abilities of which he is unaware. (M62)”

2 – Inner Knowledge

When we walk along the pathway to Awakening, we will find ourselves surprised by the inner knowledge that comes to us. We must be careful, lest the weakened ego use this newfound knowledge to trip us up. There are no unnatural powers; we are simply becoming more natural.

3 – Right Here and Now

Be glad of knowing in advance what might transpire on any given day. Normally the psychic flash is not for some far-distant vision, but right here and now. We will also know when we are saying and doing things that are not quite on the beam, when we are leading people astray. These intuitions matter.

4 – Psychic Flashes

Of course, we may get psychic flashes for events that are important to us and that are far in the future. I knew when I was about 30 that I would marry at 39. And I did. I had not met my husband-to-be, but I realized that I had seen, however briefly, the future. Of course, getting married was an important event, personally, for me. Marriage gave me my “brother,” as A Course in Miracles says, and he has been my greatest earthly teacher.

5 – Ordinary People

So the psychic does intrude on ordinary people. The psychic who receives pay for services rendered needs to be above board at all times, and it is sometimes hard to predict psychic flashes. And so dishonesty is rampant in the psychic-for-pay field. What a pity! This is the turning of a gift into a weapon of the ego. And Jesus would never have us do this.

6 – Magic

We do not want to appeal to magic, in the sense that Jesus uses the word. He uses magic to mean the irrational faculties that psychology has identified.

7 – Communication

“Certainly there are many ‘psychic’ powers that are clearly in line with this course. Communication is not limited to the small range of channels the world recognizes. If it were, there would be little point in trying to teach salvation. It would be impossible to do so. (M62)”

8 – ACIM

The Course is never specific about these “psychic” powers, but it may be interpreted that the usual kinds of psychic powers are meant, all a form of ESP. Certainly we sometimes seem to know what those closest to us are thinking. This is a universal experience.

9 – Guidance

Guidance from the Holy Spirit is often received in a psychic manner. We get an intuitive sense of what to say or do next, and we follow, and we discover that what we said or did by this prompting was, oh, ever so right. Living by following guidance is the most joyous way to live.

10 – Flexible

We must be flexible, be able to turn on a dime, if we wish to take advantage of psychic powers that are in line with the Course. The Holy Spirit does, indeed, sometimes guide us months and years in advance, but this is not the most common way. The most common way is to intuit the next thing that we should do or say. Otherwise, we would, in our egoic state, be susceptible to planning against contingencies to come, which the Course specifically says is not a desired characteristic. We need to do the next right thing, and then the next, and the next. Then life flows smoothly, and we know the blessings that A Course in Miracles holds out to us.

11 – Limits

“Who transcends these limits in any way is merely become more natural. He is doing nothing special, and there is no magic in his accomplishments. (M62)”

12 – Ego

We cannot see ourselves as special in any way and avoid an identification with the ego. We are not doing anything special when we are being psychic. We have just, at least for now, transcended the boundaries of what formerly kept us captive.

13 – Psychic Powers

“Even those who no longer value the material things of the world may still be deceived by ‘psychic’ powers. As investment has been withdrawn from the world’s material gifts, the ego has been seriously threatened. It may still be strong enough to rally under this new temptation to win back strength by guile. Many have not seen through the ego’s defenses here, although they are not particularly subtle. (M63)”

14 – Warning

This passage includes a stern warning, and it is one that I have taken to heart as I have experienced more psychic gifts as time has passed. I want the ego to wither away, and to do so I cannot reinforce it by my own faulty thinking. The ego, as a part of our belief about ourselves, will do anything to keep us “safe” as the ego defines safety. If we don’t put much store by the physical things of the world, we still may be beguiled by psychic powers that seem special. And “special” is of the ego. Always.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be led to the psychic powers that can benefit my world.

May I not seek for what would be harmful. May the Holy Spirit guide me. May I always be willing to accept His guidance.

Be with me today as I explore my psychic nature. Thank you for being a part of my life always.

Amen.

Atonement and Reincarnation

1 – Discussion about Reincarnation

“Does this mean that the teacher of God should not believe in reincarnation himself, or discuss it with others who do? The answer is, certainly not! If he does believe in reincarnation, it would be a mistake for him to renounce the belief unless his internal Teacher so advised. And this is most unlikely. (M61)”

2 – Interpretations

These words have been interpreted many different ways by those who have written about A Course in Miracles. Those who do believe in reincarnation think that Jesus is “siding” with them, and those who do not, think the opposite. Jesus does not mean to tip his hand in this statement on either side of the question. That would negate the words that he has channeled just previously. (See the last reflection.)

3 – Like Minds

But we are not forbidden to discuss our beliefs with those of like minds. Jesus does not hinder us from free discourse.

4 – Salvation

Reincarnation is said elsewhere not to be the important question that it is sometimes thought. We still have to work out our salvation currently. Spending too much time in theological speculation will only slow down our speed. Jesus needs us to reach out to our brothers and sisters, regardless of their theological beliefs. He needs for us to form holy relationships with them. This is the real secret of the Course (an interpretation, not a Course tenet).

5 – At This Moment

“The emphasis of this course always remains the same;–it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it. This is still your one responsibility. (M61)”

6 – One Moment

This moment is all that we have—this one moment. There is no past or future, for there is no time. Time is an illusion that allows us to experience physical life on this plane. But the Now is all that we can know, and so believing in reincarnation is superfluous. We don’t want that belief to tangle us up. We can regale in the past lives that we may have had; we can look ahead to future lives. But it is only in the present, the Now, that we can work out our salvation.

7 – Folly

And we are going to embroil ourselves in folly if we focus on the past and future of reincarnation. Many people who hold this belief also think that they were famous people of the past. This may or may not be true, but for any given individual, it is probably only a fantasy. There are too many ordinary people whom we might have been in the past—far more than names that we know from history or the Bible.

8 – Gain

This doesn’t mean that our speculation is ALL folly. We may gain much from imagining that we have been a well-known figure in the past. We may be led to live up to that reputation. But we need to focus on the present and not make studies of our previous lives (if that were possible). We need to work out our salvation now.

9 – Atonement

“Atonement might be equated with total escape from the past and total lack of interest in the future. Heaven is here. There is nowhere else. Heaven is now. There is no other time. (M61)”

Heaven is Now! What a glorious statement! And when we accept Atonement, or the undoing of the ego, we are living (or trying to) in the present.

10 – Heaven Is Here

And Heaven is here. We can indeed have Heaven on earth; we do not have to wait for the afterlife. How so? We won’t be internally disturbed; we will have an equanimity that is self-assured and poised. We will move to help people in pain and suffering, but we will know that we are caught in illusion, that the pain and suffering are not real. Of course, a physical cut hurts. Our bodies seem very real to us. But, in the final analysis, the inner Christ Self has not been hurt in the least. We are merely children playing a game.

11 – Happy Game

Salvation can be the happy game that children play (from ACIM). We do not have to dwell on the unfortunate. We do what we can to help others, but we realize that what we are seeing that is pain and suffering is unreal. So we don’t take it to heart the way that we used to. This doesn’t mean that we are unfeeling; it simply means that we are seeing life on earth for the illusion, the maya, that it is, for the first time.

12 – Happy Dreams

We can and will have happy dreams even in the midst of pain, once we have accepted Atonement, the undoing of the ego, in the way that ACIM recommends. We will find our illnesses falling away; we will be led to healing, sometimes miraculous, sometimes through the medical establishment. We will find a healed mind, first, in all likelihood. But projection makes perception, and so from a healed mind we look out on a healed world. Sickness doesn’t stand a chance.

13 – Sickness

Of course, there is sickness that is never healed in any way that we can recognize. But even this sickness, this illness, can hold blessings. Our inner Self is making these decisions, and we experience nothing that our inner Self has not passed on as an acceptable experience for us. Learning can be gotten by many means, and pain and suffering are one such means.

14 – Hard Road

We can choose a gentler path, but sometimes the hard road is faster. Reincarnation teachers have long seen the hard life as the one in which we learn the most, we make the most progress.

15 – Adversity

Humankind is at its best in adversity. A soft life may mean that we are prone to backslide, and none of us wants that. So be grateful for the little crosses that come. There is a reason; cling to that, even when the reason is obscure.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have feelings about reincarnation, but it is best that I share those theological ideas only with intimates. I do not want to hinder my usefulness to my brothers and sisters.

May I realize that reincarnation is not the real issue. I have to work out my salvation now, and this means to be focused in the here and now always. Thank you for clarifying this for me.

Amen.

Is Reincarnation So?

1 – Not to Deal with Now

“Reincarnation would not, under any circumstances, be the problem to be dealt with now. If it were responsible for some of the difficulties the individual faces now, his task would still be only to escape from them now. If he is laying the groundwork for a future life, he can still work out his salvation only now. (M60)”

2 – Take No Stand

“For our purposes, it would not be helpful to take any definite stand on reincarnation. A teacher of God should be as helpful to those who believe in it as to those who do not. If a definite stand were required of him, it would merely limit his usefulness, as well as his own decision making. (M60)”

3 – Litmus Test?

Many people would use reincarnation as a litmus test for the validity of the Course, if we were to take a public stand on where we stand on this issue. Jesus is not interested in controversy, but only in what will work for us in our lives in a practical way. So he recommends that we avoid the question of reincarnation publicly, for to engage in debate would only lessen our usefulness.

4 – Jesus

Elsewhere Jesus says that the Course can be used by both those who believe in reincarnation and those who don’t. Jesus is not interested in theological interpretation, but only in the day-to-day lives of his followers. Elsewhere he says that there can be no universal theology, but a universal experience is necessary.

5 – Only Way? No

This universal experience he spells out in the Course. This is not to say that the Course is the only Way. It is one way that many people have now chosen for salvation in this world. And the introductory pages of the text say that this is a required course, with only the time that we take it to be voluntary. Our way is to have brothers and sisters in significant relationships–holy relationships–with ourselves. This eliminates the tedium of long hours spent in meditation. All special relationships, the Course says, are meant to become holy. This is the practical means that the Course is bringing us Home.

6 – Reversal of Thought

“It cannot be too strongly emphasized that this course aims at a complete reversal of thought. When this is finally accomplished, issues such as the validity of reincarnation become meaningless. Until then, they are likely to be merely controversial. (M61)”

7 – When It Is OK to Discuss Reincarnation

This passage gives the reason that we are not to discuss reincarnation unless we are with people of a like mind. We don’t need to invite controversy. I myself have tried very hard, over the years, to keep controversy out of my blog. My innate reaction is to avoid controversy, to keep life smooth, and I would like to feel that people who read my blog are looking for a calm reassurance that all is well.

8 – Our Witness

Controversy would just interfere with our witness. We don’t need to start arguments; we need to avoid them. We don’t have to dissemble, but we can be circumspect is what we say.

9 – ACIM Leaders

Leaders in the ACIM movement differ on how they feel about reincarnation. Based on his writing, I have concluded that Jon Mundy, publisher of Miracles magazine, does not believe in reincarnation. Most other leaders have not taken a stand, and so I don’t know how they feel. I find that I can read the words of ACIM two ways, and so there is much room for disagreement.

10 – Silence

But the benefit is that we don’t have to proselytize for our opinion. We can remain silent on this issue unless and until we are in a group of kindred spirits. Then we are encouraged to discuss reincarnation, if we so desire.

Dear Father/Mother,

Remind not to engage in controversy, because this will only limit my helpfulness. May I discuss reincarnation only in intimate circles of like-minded individuals. Publicly to take a stand on reincarnation might limit my usefulness.

I know that You will guide my speech. May I not be tempted to run ahead of Your guidance.

Amen.

Love Cannot Be Far Behind a Grateful Heart and Thankful Mind

1 – Name of Jesus Christ

“Remembering the Name of Jesus Christ is to give thanks for all the gifts that God has given you. And gratitude to God becomes the way in which he is remembered, for love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind. (M58)”

2 – Not Magical

Calling on the Name of Jesus in prayer is not a magical act. It reminds us that he is our elder brother, who is there to help us whenever we ask. He promises this in the Course. At one point he recommends that we imagine him taking our hand and leading us, and he assures us that this will be no idle fantasy.

3 – Keys to the Kingdom

Being grateful and thankful are keys to the Kingdom. We are so often not grateful for the good that we receive. No sooner than we have received it than we are off asking for something else–never stopping very long to say “thank you.” But this passage indicates that love will follow a grateful and thankful heart and mind. And love is the opposite of fear, love and fear being the only two emotions (the rest being variants of these two).

4 – Blessings

So, with a grateful heart, thank God in prayer for the blessings that He has given us. And use Jesus’s Name, if we can feel secure in doing so. As an elder brother, he appreciates (as do we) that we are giving credit to him when it is due. (This is an interpretation, not a Course tenet.)

5 – Christ’s Vision

“In his eyes Christ’s vision shines in perfect constancy. He has remained with you. Would you not learn the lesson of salvation through his learning? Why would you choose to start again, when he has made the journey for you? (M59)”

6 – The Pathway

Jesus walked the pathway before we came along. He led the way for us, for we have chosen him as our way. There are other leaders for other traditions, but we have chosen Jesus. And he has chosen us. Why, indeed, would we stumble along, trying so hard to get it right, when just a word from Jesus would set our little worlds right side up? Why do we hesitate?

7 – Let Down?

I think we hesitate for fear of being let down. We think that maybe Jesus won’t be there for us. But his promises are that he will be.

8 – Ask for Help

Why not take a risk and ask for his help today? Why not indeed? I suggest that none of us will be disappointed, though a doubtful heart may interfere with our awareness of his answer. Ask in confidence, certain that A Course in Miracles is right, and see if we are not well-assured by his response.

9 – Jesus

“This course has come from him because his words have reached you in a language you can love and understand. . . Do you, then, teach with him, for he is with you; he is always here. (M59)”

10 – Always Nearby

A very reassuring passage, this passage affirms that Jesus is actually always nearby, even when we are thinking of other things. “He is always here.” Yes! Jesus would not leave his followers adrift in a difficult and tragic world. We call on him, and he answers.

11 – Simple

It is just that simple.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am grateful for my many blessings, and I feel this both in my heart and my mind. Your blessings pour out on those who are grateful for what they already have. May I be careful to acknowledge Your presence in my life today.

Thank you for Jesus’s help. He has promised to be with us also, and we pray in his name.

Amen.

Is Jesus Still Available for Help?

1 – Temptation

“God’s gifts can rarely be received directly. Even the most advanced of God’s teachers will give way to temptation in this world. (M58)”

2 – Fallibility

Even the most advanced of God’s teachers is still fallible. We won’t get it right all the time. We will succumb to temptations in this world, and that includes especially the tendency to feel anger and then to attack. In addition, we will judge ourselves and others. And we will make contingency plans against uncertainties to come. These three actions are all ways in which temptations take us away from God. And we will fall on our face in our dealings with our brothers and sisters.

3 – Holy Spirit

Leaving temptation behind is an ongoing pathway. We will never, perhaps, be free of temptations in this world, but the times that they intrude upon our lives will lessen as we live closer to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

4 – Miracles

God gives us gifts, though we may not recognize them when they come. One might not recognize a miracle at high noon, if our thoughts are solely on our own desires and wishes. We may study the Course, and as we do, we will do better in this world. Our power will come to us as we let guidance lead the Way.

5 – Name of Jesus

“The Bible says, ‘Ask in the Name of Jesus Christ.’ Is this merely an appeal to magic. . . What does calling on his Name confer? Why is the appeal to him part of healing? (M58)”

6 – Faith

This invocation is not an appeal to magic; it is a statement of faith, a truly undivided appeal. We know that Jesus performed miracles in his life, and we think therefore that the miracles that we ask to be performed for ourselves now will have a welcome ear in him.

7 – Jesus

And so it is. Jesus hears still, though nobody on earth can figure out how this may be. There are laws of the physical and spiritual world of which we know nothing. Calling on the name of Jesus is one such appeal to laws of which we know nothing.

8 – Still Available?

“Is he [Jesus] still available for help? What did he say about this? Remember his promises, and ask yourself honestly whether it is likely that he will fail to keep them. . .Would the greatest teacher be unavailable to those who follow him? (M58)”

9 – Yes, Jesus Is Available

This passage proclaims, without question, that Jesus is available to us. Other passages suggest that we ought to visualize holding his hand, and we are told that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

10 – Traditional Christianity

Many traditional Christian teachings, inspirational writing, give accounts of time when individuals felt that Jesus, with the healing touch, was present and performed miracles—especially a relaxed calm in the heart. An inner peace. May we all experience this when we ask. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that he will come with one “unequivocal call.”

11 – Cloning

How is this possible? We don’t know, but we can surmise, that Jesus can clone himself, appearing to many people simultaneously and in different settings. Nothing is said in ACIM about this, but we can speculate. How else would his presence to any and all of us be possible?

12 – Greatest Teacher

In this passage he is proclaimed the “greatest teacher.” Edgar Cayce, a psychic of the last century, said, in trance, that Jesus was the leader of a group of souls that came here to save people who had become enmeshed in matter. This does not mean that there are not other leaders. Christianity, fundamental Christianity, has long believed that people must accept Jesus as the Son of God, the only Redeemer. ACIM does not say this. ACIM says that there are other teachers for other people, for nobody is left bereft of counsel and help.

13 – Take a Chance

We need to take a chance today and ask for Jesus’s help. We should not feel presumptuous in so doing. He has welcomed that advance in ACIM. And it is not arrogant to believe that he will come when called. He will not intrude, but he is there when we need him: one unequivocal call.

14 – Comforting Passage

May this word be a blessing for us today. The passage is comforting in the extreme. And we know that we all need help.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not give way to temptation, though You say that I will be likely to do so from time to time. May I not give way to temptation today.

Thank You for your support always. May I avoid anger and attack today. May I be good to my brothers and sisters. When I hear guidance, let me be steadfast to hold it close to me.

Amen.

Healing and Atonement

1 – Identical Concepts

“Healing and Atonement are not related; they are identical. There is no order of difficulty in miracles because there are no degrees of Atonement. (M55)”

2 – The Sequence

If we are right with God (atonement), then the healing of our minds is next to happen. Note that physical symptoms may still be present, but the mind is where the healing happens. Physical symptoms very well may disappear in time (and there is no time, and so this is irrelevant).

3 – Undoing

Atonement, the “undoing,” happens when we surrender to God. We find that salvation has been waiting for us all along. We also find that miracles can and will heal anything that ails us. The fact that miracles do not always happen for us is not a reason to doubt the validity of some miracles. God may be saying “no” to us, and our inner Self will have acquiesced to this denial.

4 – Accept Atonement

“Accept Atonement and you are healed. Atonement is the Word of God. Accept His Word and what remains to make sickness possible? Accept His Word and every miracle has been accomplished. (M55)”

5 – Ideal Level

This assertion belongs to the “ideal” level of A Course in Miracles. The books are written on at least two levels, and not all of us can reach up to the ideal level at all times.

6 – Faith

This is not a reason to lose faith. In fact, Jesus healed when faith was strong—only “believe,” he said.

7 – Unhealed Illness

Of course, you as well as I can point to many examples of sick people who believed that they would be healed, and to our eyes they were not healed. Is this reason to doubt what God has promised to us?

8 – Inner Healing

I think not. Know that an inner healing may happen even when outer circumstances do not change. The inner may be a far superior form of healing than the outer. We will be given the grace to accept our predicament.

9 – Can You Believe?

See if you can reasonably believe in a healing. If you cannot visualize a healing, then chances are good that this healing is not in the cards for you. Our failure to visualize something is almost proof positive that we are on the wrong track (an interpretation, not stated in A Course in Miracles).

10 – Progress

“The progress of the teacher of God may be slow or rapid, depending on whether he recognizes the Atonement’s inclusiveness, or for a time excludes some problem areas from it. In some cases, there is a sudden and complete awareness of the perfect applicability of the lesson of the Atonement to all situations, but this is comparatively rare. (M55)”

11 – Holy Spirit

We need to turn to the Holy Spirit with all of our decisions, but rarely are we courageous enough to do so. It takes time to trust Him. When we come to learn that following His advice brings good, and following our own often leaves us unhappy, we will turn to Him more and more. And our lives will get better, accordingly.

12 – Do Not Rely on Yourself

Sometimes a miracle happens, and as soon as one accepts the Holy Spirit into his or her life, then that person recognizes that the truth is good for all things. We usually don’t experience this sudden awareness, though, because we have been reared to place our dependence upon our own judgment. We think that we are missing something unless we rely upon ourselves. But this is a false doctrine. The world teaches it to us, but the Course teaches just the reverse.

13 – Judgment

Our own judgment can never know all the factors about a given situation. But the Holy Spirit does know all factors. Would we not be foolish to fail to take advantage of such a Helper? This Helper is always available to us, and He has only our best reactions at heart.

14 – Function

“The teacher of God may have accepted the function God has given him long before he has learned all that his acceptance holds out to him. It is only the end that is certain. (M55)”

15 – Healing May Be Delayed

This passage contains a hint that healing may be delayed. Sometimes healing is delayed for our own good, in that a sudden healing might precipitate depression, because we have learned to see our sickness as part of our self-image—and we know not where to turn if healed. (Paraphrases from ACIM.)

16 – All Will Be Healed

In the end, we are all healed, whether now, later, or on the Other Side. We will know abundant health, now or in the future, for sickness has no place in the Son/Daughter of God’s reality, the true reality.

17 – Inclusiveness

“Anywhere along the way, the necessary realization of inclusiveness may reach him. If the way seems long, let him be content. He has decided on the direction he wants to take. What more was asked of him? And having done what was required, would God withhold the rest? (M55)”

18 – Patience

This passage essentially says to be patient. There are illnesses that are contained only by medication, and Jesus himself says in A Course in Miracles that, though “spells,” he does not oppose taking pills if this is what we need to keep down the fear, the anxiety. An increase in fear is the last thing that we need now.

19 – Awakening

We want Awakening, but the way may be long for most of us. Awakening in our current culture in this world is relatively rare, and when it happens at all, it is frequently not sustained, but is instead a passing satori (a glimpse of Awakening). But the end is certain. God wants us to awake, and when we turn ourselves over to Him in all particulars, our way eases. We have happy dreams sent by the Holy Spirit, and these happy dreams teach us what God would have us know, how He would have us proceed before He reaches down to lift us up to Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my progress as a teacher of God be rapid. Help me to realize that trusting the Holy Spirit for guidance in all my decisions is the way to go.

I know that You want the very best for me. And You need me to reach out to my brothers and sisters. Help me to do Your will, which is also my own.

Amen.

Judge Not the Words that Come to You

1 – Chosen Words

“Gradually, he learns how to let his words be chosen for him by ceasing to decide for himself what he will say. . . .Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. (M54)”

2 – Holy Spirit

This passage explains that the Holy Spirit, if we listen with a keen ear, will indicate to us what to say. This is not necessarily in a “voice,” but internally we have an indication of what to say. We can misinterpret, especially if we are confused or mentally unstable, but if we are of sound mind, very soon we will be able to distinguish what is the Holy Spirit and what is not.

3 – Many Ways

There are many ways that the Holy Spirit reaches us: words spoken by a brother or sister that seem especially pertinent to our situation and cue us to words or behavior; a “feeling” that we should (or should not) say or do a certain thing; dreams; in rare cases, visions or hallucinations. Sometimes words may come into our minds that seem a bit beyond us; we did not actually choose to “think” those things. That is likely to be the Holy Spirit’s communication.

4 – Diligence

If we are diligent in following, the guidance will continue. If we resist, the guidance will seem to cease until we are more willing. The Holy Spirit does not force Himself upon anyone. We receive best when we are in a relaxed manner and mood. Tension may break the connection, because it makes us unsure of ourselves. If we persist, the time will come shortly that we can be certain of the Holy Spirit’s communication. But because God deals with all of us differently, depending upon what we are ready to accept, there can be no firm guidelines that fit everyone.

5 – A Special Case

“This process is merely a special case of the lesson in the workbook that says, ‘I will step back and let Him lead the way.’ The teacher of God accepts the words which are offered him, and gives as he receives. He does not control the direction of his speaking. He listens and hears and speaks. (M54)

6 – Intuition

This section of the Manual offers a way of understanding our intuition that is hard to follow when we are stressed or in a bad mood. Our overwrought nature will make us doubt whether or not we actually hear anything at all, certainly anything at all that is relevant or accurate.

7 – Overwrought

When we are overwrought, the best thing to do is go within, to quiet one’s self. The little self, the personal self, is what needs quieting, for the Christ Self is always calm. We won’t know where to turn when we are in the throes of a deepening mood. We will wonder if anything that we perceive is accurate. And getting quiet will put us back into flow. Flow is when the day just moves along peacefully and gently; we are busy, but not too busy; we are calm and at peace in the midst of chaos, even.

8 – Hear Internally

If we hear internally words that we believe are those of the Holy Spirit, this passage indicates that we ought to offer those words to whomever we are with. These words may make us uncomfortable, but they will not hurt. If they seem to be hurtful words, then we are misperceiving, the Holy Spirit is not talking, but the ego is.

9 – Discernment

Listen to the Holy Spirit, but discern whether or not our inclination to talk is divinely inspired, or otherwise. Don’t speak if uncertain. Wait until we are sure.

10 – Hindrance

“A major hindrance in this aspect of his learning is the teacher of God’s fear about the validity of what he hears. And what he hears may indeed be quite startling. (M54)”

11 – Uncomfortable

This aspect of “hearing” means that we may find ourselves confronted with divinely inspired words that go against the grain. It may make us feel uncomfortable or ill at ease. We may doubt whether or not God is really with us. I would say that we must refrain from speaking if we have doubts. We will know the change when we switch out of egoic mood and into the flow that only the Holy Spirit can inspire.

12 – Easier Later On

This discernment becomes easier as we walk further along our pathway toward Awakening. The Society of Friends (Quakers) talk often about “discernment,” and this aspect of their faith is what I want to hold out to you now. We do not willy-nilly offer up anything that occurs to us to say. That would be very detrimental to our hearer. We calmly and peacefully wait until we are sure that the words that we hear internally are meant to be said. The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts when we are confused. We do not have to doubt that God will get through to us.

13 – Irrelevance

“It may also seem to be quite irrelevant to the presented problem as he perceives it, and may, in fact, confront the teacher with a situation that appears to be very embarrassing to him. All these are judgments that have no value. They are his own, coming from a shabby self-perception which he would leave behind. (M54)”

14 – Embarrassment

This is the embarrassment passage that so many find puzzling and contraindicated. We do not want to be embarrassed. But let us consider the words of Jesus here, the fact that he is pointing out that we actually have a “shabby self-perception” which he would remove from us.

15 – Speak Out

Don’t hesitate to speak out, even though we think that we will appear foolish. Make sure that it is divine guidance, and when you are sure, offer those words that come to you. You will find a quick acceptance on the part of your hearers. You will quickly be assured that the Holy Spirit is directing your speaking.

16 – Judge Not

“Judge not the words that come to you, but offer them in confidence. They are far wiser than your own. (M54)”

17 – Judging Rightly

So even here we don’t “judge,” for to judge is to be mistaken. Only the Holy Spirit judges rightly.

18 – God’s Word

“God’s teachers have God’s Word behind their symbols. And He Himself gives to the words they use the power of His Spirit, raising them from meaningless symbols to the Call of Heaven itself. (M54)”

19 – Listening

We will find a following among those who listen to us, if we listen aright. We will find that our words will take on new meaning, even to ourselves. We will grow strong in confidence, certain of the Holy Spirit’s entries into our lives.

20 – Authority

And our words will have an authority that our personal, little self has never known. We will speak with a candidness and a certainty that known no bounds.

God will be pleased with us. Take care that the ego does not attach itself to this new found confidence, and all will be well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I always hear the words correctly that you wish me to say. May I not doubt, and may I not make mistakes in speaking what You will. May I not be confused in my thinking.

Your guidance is sure. When I doubt, perhaps I am still relying on the ego. May I not rely on the ego today.

Amen.

The Prayer of the Heart

1 – Herein Lies Heaven or Hell

“It is impossible that the prayer of the heart remain unanswered in the perception of the one who asks. If he asks for the impossible, if he wants what does not exist or seeks for illusions in his heart, all this becomes his own. The power of his decision offers it to him as he requests. Herein lies hell and Heaven. (M53)”

2 – Protected

Few of us know our hearts well. We sometimes ask for things that we really don’t want, and yet in our hearts, we do, and then these prayers are answered. Elsewhere Jesus assures us that God will protect us from danger in prayers that are really bad for us. So even in the prayer of the heart we are protected.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

We may not realize that we are protected, though. We may, since projection makes perception (a Course tenet), find that erroneously we are in a situation that we didn’t think we asked for. Yet, we did, on some level. This is a particularly difficult concept when we are dealing with painful issues in our lives or in the world.

4 – Not Punished

Elsewhere the Course says that we can believe what nobody else believes to be true, because in our perception, we have made it true for ourselves. Particularly do we find this in emotional matters, but it is true in the physical as well. This is not a “blame the victim” mentality, because we are not being punished, however much it may appear that we are. God does not punish, however much we may think punishment is warranted. Our own decisions give us hell or Heaven. That puts us in the driver’s seat, a very good place to be if we are attuned to God’s power and His way.

5 – Words in Teaching

“Is the teacher of God, then, to avoid the use of words in his teaching? No, indeed! There are many who must be reached through words, being as yet unable to hear in silence. (M53)”

6 – Smiles

Actually, the only time that the Manual encourages us not to use words is when other people are not ready, when they don’t want to hear what we have to say. Jesus never counsels reaching out to someone is he/she is not ready, not open to what we say. Some are ready only for a smile, he says elsewhere.

7 – Words

But, when we teach, when others are ready to hear what we say, we are led to speak in words—even though words are just symbols, twice removed from reality.

8 – Proselytizing

Proselytizing doesn’t usually work, unless the person is very open to change, to a realization that he/she has not yet had. Proselytizing to the uninterested will turn that individual even further off. By what analysis would it work in the reverse? We aren’t open to what we don’t want to hear, and this is especially true in matters of faith, where doubt may make a closed mind.

9 – Share

So, share, but share carefully, when asked—or when we recognize that the other would like to hear what we have to say. A too-holy attitude will always be a turnoff. And religious people may not always represent their faith well. I have noticed that the ego gets a strong toehold in many very religious people. In fact, three of the most religious individuals I have ever known have also had the biggest egos, as I have evaluated them.

10 – Ego

This is not the way of A Course in Miracles. We need to, and indeed must, stop when we see that our ego is getting in the way of our witnessing. We need to just let the ego calm down as we don’t reinforce it. We need to pray that the ego will just dissipate, just wither away.

11 – Definition of the Ego

Note that this ego is not the same as what Freud and other psychologists are talking about. Psychologists recognize the importance of a strong sense of self in growing up to adulthood. When we are strong, then our boundaries can melt safely. This is an attitude recommended by acclaimed Course teacher Marianne Williamson in her book on prayer entitled Illuminata.

12 – Ego = Part of Our Belief about Ourselves

The ego that A Course in Miracles decries is a persona that is not only egotistical, but also a false way of seeing ourselves. It is, as defined by ACIM, a part of our belief about ourselves. But it is false, through and through. And it is constantly being undone. What good thing pursued by the ego doesn’t become ashes and dust over time? So what we pursued was not really a good thing at all.

13 – Holy Spirit

The ego always brings us to this impasse. But there is a way beyond. It is found in the simple, daily walk with the Holy Spirit, listening to His guidance (in the many ways that He shows guidance to us). Often we sense guidance by intuition. Sometimes it is just an inner knowing. Sometimes it is a chance word or phrase uttered by another. Don’t get superstitious about what you see or hear in the outer world, but test out guidance and see if you don’t thrive in a way that you have never known before.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know that You protect me always, even when I ask for things that would not be good for me. Jesus assures me of this. Yet my own perception can seem to give me bad things. May my perception of my world be cleansed.

Thank You for helping through the confusions of this world. I know that You love me always, and in that I will be protected.

Amen.

Prayer

1 – Prayer of the Heart

“Strictly speaking, words play no part at all in healing. The motivating factor is prayer, or asking. What you ask for you receive. But this refers to the prayer of the heart, not to the words you use in praying. (M53)”

2 – ACIM

The Course does not say a tremendous amount about prayer, though, we might realize, much is implied (an interpretation of the Course). Here we see the “asking” prayer, and we receive a warning: What you ask for you receive, if it is the prayer of the heart. Elsewhere we learn that if we pray for something, and are actually afraid of it, we will not receive it, because our fear contradicts our asking. Being afraid is a certainty that what we are asking is not a prayer of the heart.

3 – Unanswered Prayer?

All of us have prayed for healing and have seemingly not had some of those prayers answered. Jesus says that we have chosen various symptoms of pain, and if we remain unhealed truly, we may just replace one chosen symptom with another. We do not know, usually, what the Self truly wants–even unto death. We may pray for our healing, and to remain alive, when the Self has decided that this body is best laid aside. We are assured that there is no true death, that we are creatures of eternity.

4 – What Does the Self Want?

So keep in mind that turning to the Holy Spirit for guidance about what the Self wants may be the best choice.

5 – Symbols of Symbols

“Let us not forget, however, that words are but symbols of symbols. They are thus twice removed from reality. (M53)”

6 – Prayer of Silence

So I surmise here that the prayer of the heart that works best—if efficacy is what we want—is a prayer of silence, a darting, longing toward what we view as God, however we view Him. I am thinking of the anonymous medieval treatise on mysticism, entitled The Cloud of Unknowing. This writer emphasizes just a wordless longing that we feel when we are in our best moments in prayer. We reach out to God as we conceive Him (and A Course in Miracles says that God is the All, the One), with a heartfelt longing that is close to our heart. In so doing, we will experience the Presence of God—unless we are caught in the throes of suffering a dark night of the soul (when God seems absent, but only absent in illusion, for He never departs).

7 – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is said to have mostly, throughout her long life, failed to find the sweet tenderness of God’s love in her prayers. Her letters have testified to this. She did not waver in her faith, though she missed the sweetness. Atheists have brought this unusual aspect in Mother Teresa to try to claim evidence that God does not exist, for would He withhold Himself from so faithful a servant as Mother Teresa?

8 – Barrenness in Prayer

No one knows why absence was Mother Teresa’s experience of God. But knowing this can give us solace when we go through a period of barrenness in prayer. We are not to seek the sweetness as an end in itself. We are to seek God for Himself alone.

9 – Experience

“The prayer of the heart does not really ask for concrete things. It always requests some kind of experience, the specific things asked for being the bringers of the desired experience in the opinion of the asker. (M53)”

10 – Asking

So here we are encouraged not to spend all of our time, at least, asking for specifics. We are actually wanting to experience something, and our heartfelt words, often rendered silently, are believed to bring about this experience in our daily life.

11 – The Heart

The prayer of the heart, we are told elsewhere, is always answered. If our words deny the heart, then our words are not answered. The heart always knows what it wants, and this is what is answered. If the heart contradicts something that we say, in prayer, that we want, we will not receive that something. If we are afraid of having something that we ask for, we will not receive it, either, for the fear means that the heart has not spoken.

12 – May Not Recognize

The heart always is quiet and peaceful in its asking for a specific experience. And the prayer is answered, though we may not always recognize the answer when it comes. This latter point is important, for all too often, in our limited way, we rail against God for not answering our prayers.

13 – Folk Wisdom

It has been said that God always answers: Sometimes yes, sometimes no, and sometimes, wait. This is not repeated in A Course in Miracles, but in my reading there is nothing in ACIM that contradicts this folk wisdom.

14 – Words

“The words, then, are symbols for the things asked for, but the things themselves but stand for the experiences that are hoped for. (M53)”

15 – Real World

So we use words, often, in prayer, and they are symbols that are actually removed from the real world. The real world is God’s gift to us when we have fulfilled the conditions of salvation. And it is not really physical. It is an experience that immediately precedes our Awakening, a step that only God can take for us. He metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up, against all reasoning. We cannot achieve Awakening, and the striving for it will mean that the ego has created a problem that will not be dissolved until we get ourselves out of the way.

15 – Be Careful

We can ask for any experience, but the most stern warning is also folk wisdom: Be very careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely receive it.

16 – Overwrought

With that in mind, it behooves us to ask God what is really best for us before we engage in prayer. He will answer in the quiet of our heart, when our mind is stilled and our emotions have settled down to peace. We cannot “hear” when we are overwrought.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please bring my prayers into my heart, asking for what the Self truly wants, and only for what is good in Your sight. May I receive the assurance that prayers of the heart are always answered.

Thank you for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I pray. Thank You for being there for me.

Amen.

What Is the Peace of God?

1 – God’s Will = My Real Will

“What is the peace of God? No more than this; the simple understanding that His Will is wholly without opposite. There is no thought that contradicts His Will, yet can be true. The contrast between His Will and yours but seemed to be reality. In truth there was no conflict for His Will is yours. (M52)”

2 – Job

This passage is a sticking point for many. How can we have free will in this world? We think of Job in the Old Testament, and the ego tells us that what God wants for us not what we “will.” But it is. There is actually no conflict between our real will and the will of God. The farther we progress in our study of the Course, the more certain of this tenet we will become.

3 – Peace

When we accept that our real will and that of God’s is the same, we will have the peace that heretofore has eluded us. Take this tenet to heart, and see what a difference in our lives it does make.

4 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit will guide us to God’s will. His whispers are true; the feelings that we have to do or say certain things can, unless we are very confused, be trusted. The Course elsewhere says quite a bit about how to follow this guidance. The Course assures us that our own judgment is flawed, and we are encouraged, even bade, to leave our judgment behind and turn to the Holy Spirit. He alone knows all circumstances and can guide us surely. We then will truly know the peace of God. And anything else is counterfeit.

5 – Tiny Frail Imaginings

“Now is the mighty Will of God Himself His gift to you. He does not seek to keep it for Himself. Why would you seek to keep your tiny frail imaginings apart from Him? (M52)”

6 – God Too Busy? Of Not in Illusion?

We sometimes think that God is too busy to deal with us. And some students/teacher of A Course in Miracles think that God is outside of illusion, and therefore does not know about us, having turned over a link to us to the Holy Spirit.

7 – Workbook

I think that both suppositions are faulty. The Godhead would be able to tune into anything at all, anywhere. That is part of omnipresence. As well, the final Workbook lessons seem to assume a personal relationship between ourselves and God. We are praying to Him. So I think that Jesus knows that we are known by God.

8 – Insignificant

We have tiny frail imaginings. We fret so much about so much that is insignificant. God’s Will, for us, is to let us know what is right for us to entertain in our lives. We don’t need to fret, and all of us realize this when in our better moments. But most of us have long swaths of time in any given day when we are discontented, even bored, certainly anxious—unless we are in a stress-free environment.

9 – Our Heritage

“The Will of God is one and all there is. This is your heritage. (M52)”

10 – Predestination?

Yes, we are One with God’s Will. We have no reason to suspect that something else is our heritage. Does this mean predestination? Does this mean that everything is already decided about our lives?

11 – Allowing

No, I think not. The Will of God allows many things to happen that are not optimal for us. We can always switch to the optimal at any time, just by adjusting our attitudes. Our physical bodies and their situation are not significant because they are illusion. Our minds are real, and often caught by the ego. We don’t have to live like this. We can let the inner Christ emerge, and this Self will work to smooth out our living.

12 – God’s Peace

“The universe beyond the sun and stars, and all the thoughts of which you can conceive, belong to you. God’s peace is the condition for His Will. Attain His peace, and you remember Him. (M52)”

13 – Home Free

If we truly feel the peace of God, we will be home free. We will know that life is as it should be, that nothing that happens to us has to be lamented.

14 – Remember God

Would you like to remember God? Jesus says in ACIM that if we attain God’s peace, we will remember Him.

15 – Drama

We need not to allow drama to subsume of our lives. The drama is a separating factor from God. The ego loves strife, and loves drama, because it helps the ego to believe that it is really living. But real peace is a far more enjoyable state of mind. Try for even moments every day, and you will see.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I recognize the truth that Your Will is mine as well. May I be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this matter of following Your Will. May I not doubt, but rest in surety when I am prompted to think or act in certain directions.

Thank you for delivering me from the question of Job in the Old Testament. May I rest in this knowledge and be happy.

Amen.

A Tranquil Mind Is Not a Little Gift

“Stop for a moment now and think of this: Is conflict what you want, or is God’s peace the better choice? Which gives you more? A tranquil mind is not a little gift. Would you not rather live than choose to die? (M51)”

1 – Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?

The question in this passage is akin to a question asks elsewhere: “Would you rather be right or happy?” The idea is similar, because we so often get caught up in our own turmoil, thereby making the turmoil worse.

2 – Drama?

Surely all of us would choose a tranquil mind, unless our ego has us so addicted to drama that we choose the negative drama over peace of mind. A negative drama is a form of dying, because real living is meant to be peaceful. Elsewhere Jesus says that we are intended to be perfectly “calm and quiet” all the time. Most of us find this hard to accept, so accustomed to conflict are we. The ego has a deep inroad in us.

3 – Tranquility

Tranquility is a better gift, though, and as we progress in our training as teachers of God, we will readily recognize this. A lack of drama in living is an attribute of those who have awakened, and one goal of the Course, for us, is an Awakening. We may not all reach this, but we can have moments of time in which we are awake. This is advice from Eckhart Tolle (author of The Power of Now and A New Earth), not from the Course per se.

4 – Joy

“Living is joy, but death can only weep. You see in death escape from what you made. But this you do not see; that you made death, and it is but illusion of an end. Death cannot be escape, because it is not life in which the problem lies. (M52)”

5 – Warning?

If read in one way, this passage is a stern warning. If we have envisioned our problems as ending when we die, perhaps—just perhaps—we are told here that if we do not resolve our problems in this life, we will still face those problems after death.

6 – Comforting

It is comforting to imagine that our aches and pains, physical and emotional, will disappear when we cross the veil into life after death. We can imagine that we won’t need to take medication any longer. We can imagine that our back won’t ache, for example. And I think that this would be true.

7 – Psychic Pain

But inner psychic pain may take its toil even beyond death. If we have not worked out our problems in this lifetime, perhaps we will face some of that working out in another realm. It behooves us to walk carefully, for I am actually commenting on something that only psychics have described. And their commentaries differ.

8 – Pray

If we diligently seek to pray away our difficulties here, facing those difficulties but also seeking an end to them, then whatever comes in the next life will be a blessing. We will be ready for that next life.

9 – God

“Life has no opposite, for it is God. . . . Forgive the world, and you will understand that everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained. In this one sentence is our practicing given its one direction. And in this one sentence is the Holy Spirit’s whole curriculum specified exactly as it is. (M52)”

10 – Powerful

This excerpt, “Everything that God created cannot have an end, and nothing He did not create is real. In this one sentence is our course explained,” is a powerful statement that cries out for explanation. It is akin to the epigraph at the beginning of A Course in Miracles. We don’t have to fear the physical, for it is illusion and therefore not real. And the mind’s genesis, the inner Self, is real, for God created it. And this Self has no end. What a blessing! We don’t have to fear mortality. We don’t have to fear that life does not continue, for we do have immortality.

11 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit would have us realize that nothing here that we experience is, in itself, a tragedy, for it can be easily undone if understood as the learning experience that it is. The Self approves all things that happen to this mind and body. Nothing escapes. Nothing occurs that was not agreed upon by the Higher Self, the Christ who is within us all.

12 – Turmoil

We need to remember this truth when we seem beset on all sides by turmoil. When we are in anguish. And pain. And just the minor, numerous irritations of this life. We may stay too busy in this life, because we see no way to live differently. We may feel that our jobs are asking for their pound of flesh (from Shakespeare), but on some level we have agreed for this circumstance to be our lot in life. If we don’t like what we are experiencing, sometimes it takes only prayerful contemplation to rectify the situation. We do have helpers from the Other Side. And we can ask for, and receive, help whenever we need it. Help will always, always, arrive. And we will recognize this help when we have gotten calm enough to accept it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your peace. I ask to be happy being perfectly calm and quiet all the time. May I leave drama behind as I move toward Awakening. May I have a tranquil mind.

Your peace is all that I want. When something upsets me, let me think of my real goal of peace before all else. Thank you for Your help.

Amen.

How Is the Peace of God Retained?

1 – Anger

“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again, and the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. (M51)”

2 – Expression of Help / Call for Help

The main point that this passage makes is best understood if we realize that elsewhere we learn that all is either help or a call for help. We get angry when we think that we have not been appreciated, or someone has done us wrong, or a million varieties of these two examples. If we reinterpret this attack from another brother or sister as a call for help, then we can see that they are innocent, and we truly have nothing to be angry about.

3 – Returning Anger

It is important to note that this passage says “returning anger, in whatever form”–a pertinent point. We often feel upset without fully realizing that what we are feeling is anger. Suppressing or repressing the anger is not helpful, and this is a mistake that many Course students make. Our right and proper reaction is forgiveness of the attack, because our brothers and sisters are as innocent as are we. We have made mistakes, and they have also, but we are not “sinners.” Calling an attack a “sin” only reinforces it in our minds. We need to overlook the attack, not make it real by dwelling on it (a Course tenet).

4 – Peace

Peace can be with us all the time, but this achievement (and it is an achievement, but not of the ego) may not come to any of us soon. More and more time can be spent in peace, though, if we keep the tenets of the Course in mind. The above paragraph summarizes a good bit of the basic psychology of the Course about attack and anger. For us to be peaceful, we have to have a peaceful psychology, and A Course in Miracles offers this.

5 – The Sword

“Now must you once again lay down your sword, although you do not recognize that you have picked it up again. But you will learn, as you remember even faintly now what happiness was yours without it, that you must have taken it again as your defense. (M51)”

6 – Defenses

We don’t need defenses of any type. God takes care of us without defenses. Elsewhere we are told that defenses make what they try to defend against. And this is true of anger as well. If we take up the sword, metaphorically, we will die by the sword. There is no other outcome.

7 – Relationships

All of us want nourishing relationships. And criticism of our significant others is a way that we show our anger, and it is always barrier-producing. We need to drop the barriers, the defenses, that we have erected to protect ourselves from the harm that we think significant others do to us. They will do nothing that our Self has not allowed. And our Self will show us better times when we are more open and vulnerable.

8 – An Adage

This, obviously, does not mean that we are open to physical violence. But words do not, ultimately, harm us. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” That old adage is good advice in this context.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I retain peace in my life. I know that I cannot retain peace if I allow anger to return to me over and over. I must forgive the mistakes that I make and those that my brothers and sisters make. Then I may retain peace.

Please help me to go about a peaceful day today. I know that Your help is at my right hand always.

Amen.

How Is God’s Peace Recognized?

1 – Everlasting Quiet

“First, how can the peace of God be recognized? God’s peace is recognized at first by just one thing; in every way it is totally unlike all previous experiences. It calls to mind nothing that went before. . .The past just slips away, and in its place is everlasting quiet. Only that. The contrast first perceived has merely gone. Quiet has reached to cover everything. (M51)”

2 – Personal Experience

This morning, a Sunday morning, I am experiencing some of that peace of God told us in this passage. There is no preparation that is for certain; the peace comes out of the blue; prayer doesn’t necessarily precede it.

3 – Personal Experience II

I am sitting on my screen porch while the rain pelts down. The ambiance may have created some of the mood necessary to feel God’s peace.

4 – Surreal Peace

The quiet comes unbidden, but then it stays and stays, if we are lucky. The peace is almost surreal. It truly does feel like nothing experienced before, as the passage says.

5 – Presence of God

I know that this mood of mine, this Presence of God, felt, will not last. But while it is lasting, it is blessing me. And I hope that knowing it comes to anybody else can encourage a hope in you that the peace will descend upon you just as unexpectedly.

6 – Satisfy the Conditions

“How is this quiet found? No one can fail to find it who but seeks out its conditions. God’s peace can never come where anger is, for anger must deny that peace exists. (M51)”

7 – Avoid Anger

I am not angry at all this morning. Perhaps that is one key, as this passage suggests. If we seek out the conditions of this peace, what will we seek? We will strive to stay on an even keel with our moods (though sometimes this may seem impossible). We may pray without ceasing, and this too is calming to the mind and negates the ego’s striving to “get.”

8 – War

“How is the peace of God retained, once it is found? Returning anger, in whatever form, will drop the heavy curtain once again. And the belief that peace cannot exist will certainly return. War is again accepted as the one reality. (M51)”

9 – What to Avoid

The stress in these passages is to avoid anger, but I think that this does not mean that we suppress anger. We use our minds to get us out of the anger. We know that whatever we are experiencing is coming about because we don’t recognize another’s attack as the call for love and the call for help that it truly is. When we answer a call, we are no longer bound by the negative feelings that will come up if we don’t answer, if we just try to suppress.

10 – Mindfulness

Our own mindfulness, really noticing each thing that we do, will create conditions welcoming to the relief of anger. Mindful breathing and mindful walking are two techniques recommended by the well-known Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh. Perhaps today we all need to take a cue from his teachings.

11 – Justified Anger?

“Who sees anger as justified in any way or any circumstance proclaims that peace is meaningless, and must believe that it cannot exist. (M51)”

12 – Call for Help

Anger, it is said elsewhere in the Course, is actually a call for help. It may also be viewed as a call for love. Our task is to run to our brother or sister’s side, and to offer solace–that help or love that is really wanted. We may not do this overtly if the other person is not receptive. We may only pray for our brother or sister, or smile at them, or even just make small talk. Ask for guidance in the thought or action that is needed. We must be sensitive to the plight of our brother or sister, and overt action may not be desirable.

13 – Take Peace to Heart

So we see that anger is never justified. Peace is not meaningless. God’s way is right, and peace can exist. These are wonderful concepts to take to heart.

14 – Retaliation

As long as the ego is in charge, we will be tempted to return attack for attack, but responding in this way is always wrong. Attacks is what Jesus calls a “magic thought,” and anger is thus not justified. We need to the inner quiet and calm that ensures that we will respond to magic thoughts of others (and ourselves) with compassion.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I immediately recognize anger on my own part and that of others to be a call for help, meriting compassion rather than anger. May I offer the help and love that is needed. May I be gentle to myself, and may I be gentle to others.

Peace is what I want above all else. I do not want to do anything that renders peace meaningless. Please help me in this.

Amen.

Perception Can Make Whatever Picture the Mind Desires to See

1 – Justice

“Neither justice nor injustice exists in Heaven, for error is impossible and correction meaningless. In this world, however, forgiveness depends on justice, since all attack can only be unjust. Justice is the Holy Spirit’s verdict upon the world. (M49)”

2 – Heaven

What a wonderful place that Heaven will be! Error impossible! And, of course, we are told that we can enjoy Heaven on earth. Of course, too, if we get enamored of believing that we can make no mistakes, we will be deluded big time.

3 – Holy Spirit

We don’t render justice at all. We turn over justice to the Holy Spirit, who knows all circumstances. We don’t let judgment of ourselves interfere, either. If we judge, we are sure to judge wrongly, and so we let guidance show us the way.

4 – Attack

Attack is unjust, because our brother is actually innocent, even though he/she does things or says thing that hurt. He/she is doing the best possible, given the world view subscribed to. We are living a dream that we ourselves have devised; the Self has devised it. And nothing happens to us that our Self has not approved.

5 – The Path

“The path become quite different as one goes along. Nor could all the magnificence, the grandeur of the scene and the enormous opening vistas that rise to meet one as the journey continues, be foretold from the outset. (M49)”

6 – Personal Experience

Things normally get better as we go along. My immediate supervisor, years ago, asked me one day, in a fit of pique on her part, “Do you live a charmed life?” I think she had recognized that I had far fewer grievances than she herself did, and she may also have noticed how many blessings I did enjoy. Of course, salvation is not always linear, not always a straight line. Once I got away from A Course in Miracles, and my little world started crashing down around me. At this point I didn’t much believe that I lived a “charmed life.” But when I returned to my lodestone, ACIM, life smoothed out once again. I was projecting a better dream, and so once again I knew the “happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the ACIM Workbook).”

7 – Grandeur

We cannot know when we first start out on the spiritual pathway all that the future holds of grandeur. This grandeur is different from the grandiose fantasies of the ego, and this grandeur does not hold the pain that the ego always dips into. Things will get better. We just have to surrender to our own egoistic desires, make a pact with the Holy Spirit (Who is always there for us), and follow the guidance that comes. We will not be abandoned; we will know real peace for the first time.

8 – Concepts

“All concepts of your brothers and yourself; all fears of future states and all concerns about the past, stem from injustice. Here is the lens which, held before the body’s eyes, distorts perception and brings witness of the distorted world back to the mind that made the lens and holds it very dear. (M49)”

9 – Persona

When we imagine our brothers, we create a perceived persona for them that is not true; this is the “concept” that this passage explains. Likewise, when we fear for the future, for growing older and sinking into illness, we walk ahead of the Holy Spirit. He tries to meet us in the present, always the present, and when we are projecting ahead, we are endangering our good sense, our good dreams.

10 – Projection Makes Perception

When we project a distorted dream from our minds, we are playing with fire, for the projection may seem very disturbing indeed. Try, just today, to live a few minutes in the present—not worrying about what the future may bring. Of course, we all know that the only moment that we can live in IS the present, but we find it very difficult not to look back and not to look ahead. The past and the future are mirages that are not there. Only live in the present, planning as little as possible. If there are plans to be made, the guidance that we get will prompt us what and when to do. We do not have to fear that our lives will fall apart if we live in the present. It is actually the most powerful point available to us; we will be more available for any future problems because we will be “present” to them.

11 – God’s Justice

“Pray for God’s justice, and do not confuse His mercy with your own insanity. Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see. Remember this. In this lies either Heaven or hell, as you elect. (M50)”

12 – Heaven or Hell

It is a tenet of the Course that projection makes perception. This may be difficult to understand, but this passage clarifies the issue: “Perception can make whatever picture the mind desires to see.” Jesus declares that in this lies Heaven or hell, as we elect.

13 – Our Life Situation

This understanding puts our life situation back in our own hands. It is how we see the world, how we interpret it, that determines how we will experience it. Our own insanity has made of this world a hell, and we surely do not wish to stay in this perception.

14 – Judging

We are told elsewhere that it is not up to us to judge our brother or sister. God’s justice is wholly that they are innocent people, as are we, people who are doing the best that they can, given the understanding that they have at any given moment. Our understanding can help them to follow God’s way.

15 – Impartial

“God’s justice points to Heaven just because it is entirely impartial. . .Here all attack and condemnation becomes meaningless and indefensible. Perception rests, the mind is still, and light returns again. Vision is now restored. What had been lost has now been found. The peace of God descends on all the world, and we can see. And we can see! (M50)”

16 – Innocent Children

God’s justice is that we are all innocent children of His. He leaves out nobody, throwing the mantle of His care around us all. We know when we experience His Presence that attack and condemnation are ridiculous choices, and if we are very present, we let those choices fall away. When attack and condemnation fall away, we are happy again. It is just that simple.

17 – Our Vision

Our vision is out there waiting for us. Vision, as described in A Course in Miracles, is not the sight of the physical eyes. It is akin to understanding, to accurate perception, to perception verging into knowledge given us by the Holy Spirit. We can see! Our problems just drop away when seen in this light. We can, if we are lucky, have a moment of enlightenment, a satori, and experience God’s love in a way that is new to us. Our vision, restored, helps us walk along a smoother pathway. If we are grateful sufficiently, we have thanked God all that He wants. He, after all, does not need our gratitude; we do. He needs our communication with Him, though, for He recognizes that we sleep and need to be awakened. He recognizes that His channels of communication are closed. We are told also in ACIM that He is lonely when the minds that He created do not communicate with Him. If this seems like anthropomorphism, then perhaps this is OK. God is a very real Presence, and when we are lucky, when we have fulfilled the requirements, we will feel His Presence in our lives.

18 – God’s Presence

Sometimes we don’t feel His Presence, even when we have been diligent in following His way. At such times, we may be experiencing His withdrawal, allowing us a “dark night of the soul.” The only way out is to go through this bad feeling, and the bad feeling may last a very long time. But we are not left comfortless, as Jesus promised in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit will take us where we are and lead us, ever so gently, to the light again. And we will be stronger for having gone through the dark night of the soul. God has, in that dark night, shut us up to Him alone. And we will be grateful that He did.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May my perception be cleansed, so that I elect to see only Heaven. This does not mean that I deny insane things that I see, but it does mean that I choose to see their unreality. This world is illusory, as the Course teaches me.

Help me to see Heaven in my everyday world. Help me not to get lost in dreams that are essentially insane.

Amen.

The Sole Responsibility of God’s Teacher Is to Accept the Atonement for Himself.

“The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors. (M48)”

1 – Atonement Means Correction

This tenet of the Course is not always understood. Many people want to describe the Atonement as “at – one – ment,” and this may be a reasonable conclusion. Jesus’s answer, though, is that Atonement means the correction, or undoing of errors. Certainly we are not perfect here, or we would not be in this world. Jesus says elsewhere that it is our purpose to become perfect, and when this happens, we will not return to this world at all. We can reasonably conclude that we will have help from the Other Side, because he also says elsewhere that the Teachers of Teachers are not seen by people who live in this world.

2 – Undo Errors

May we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit so completely that we do see the undoing of errors in ourselves. The only way that this undoing can happen is to follow this guidance. We are not strong or brave enough to bring about our own perfection. It takes divine intervention.

3 – Be a Healed Healer

This passage implied that our first responsibility is to ourselves. We will make mistakes in trying to extend salvation to others if we are “unhealed healers” who wish to do good, but don’t really know how. Once we have accepted Atonement for ourselves, we will be in a position to extend salvation to others. Our times of making mistakes will fall away, leaving Jesus in a position to work through us in a way that he has never been able to do so before.

4 – Miracle Worker

“When this has been accomplished, the teacher of God becomes a miracle worker by definition. (M48)”

Would you like to be a miracle worker? This passage says that when we have accepted the atonement, the undoing of errors in ourselves, then we become a miracle worker by definition.

5 – Not Perfect

Now I do not think that this means that we have become perfect. This would be the ego speaking. In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that we just turn aside from those character traits that make us less than we would like to be. If we have anger, and we don’t want anger, we just turn aside from it; it will be there or not, as we will it. And, in the case of anger, we would will it away.

6 – Jesus

The idea that we have to be perfect before God can accept us is not true. Jesus says that he stands at the end of the pathway to correct those errors that we ourselves cannot correct. He corrects our unresolved mistakes.

7 – Ideal

It is an unnecessary burden on us to try to be perfect, though the New Testament does indicate that we ought to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. This is an ideal, and we will know many ideals in this life when we sign on with Jesus. He will hold us by the hand and gently lead us forward.

8 – Limitations

He knows our limitations, and in this world we are not free of limitations. Making mistakes is one of those limitations, and he is, as I said, here to correct what we are not wise or strong or keen enough to correct.

9 – Ego

I worry that some will allow the ego to intrude and call us “miracle workers” when we actually have far to go, still, on the pathway. We can effect change, it is true, but we still will fall down. The Holy Spirit will take charge in our lives to lead us to be true miracle workers, but the credit goes to him, not us.

10 – “Sins”

“His sins have been forgiven him, and he no longer condemns himself. How can he then condemn anyone? And who is there whom his forgiveness can fail to heal? (M48)”

“Sins” are a misnomer, as we have learned. We make mistakes, and mistakes don’t have the attracting value that sins do. We will repeat mistakes when we call them “sins,” because of this attracting feature. It is a perversity, in my opinion.

11 – Mistakes

But all the wrong thinking and the wrongdoing a “mistake,” and we just want to correct it. We don’t condemn ourselves for our mistakes, and it is certain that when we forgive ourselves, we are setting ourselves up to forgive others. I think we cannot really forgive others until we have first forgiven ourselves.

12 – God

God does not forgive, we are told in A Course in Miracles, because He has never condemned. If we ourselves never condemn our mistakes, and never condemn the mistakes of others, we will recognize the highest—that there is really nothing to forgive in the misthoughts and misdeeds of others.

13 – Healing

We do want to heal, to heal personally and to reach out to others to heal them as well. Ask today what you can do to effect this great miracle. Ask what miracles you are to perform. Jesus will guide us, for the Atonement principle is in his power.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please assist me to understand Atonement. May I accept it fully for myself, and then may I reach out to others from a state that approaches error-free circumstances.

I know that Your guidance will help me to reach Your will for me. Atonement for myself is my first directive from You, and I know that You will help me to reach this glorious state.

Amen.

If the Teacher of God Senses even the Faintest Hint of Irritation in Himself as He Responds to Anyone, Let Him Instantly Realize that He Has Made an Interpretation that Is Not True.

1 – Healing

“In order to heal, it thus becomes essential for the teacher of God to let all his own mistakes be corrected. If he senses even the faintest hint of irritation in himself as he responds to anyone, let him instantly realize that he has made an interpretation that is not true. Then let him turn within to his Eternal Guide, and let Him judge what the response should be. (M48)”

2 – Negativity

This passage succinctly describes what our reaction should be when confronted with negativity. If we become even slightly irritated at a circumstance in the outer world, we are to turn within, to our internal Teacher, the Holy Spirit. He will remind us of what our response should be.

3 – Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit often guides us very specifically, because our problems seem to be specific. He will lead us out of the storm in which we sometimes find ourselves. We will speak with new authority and with wisdom that is beyond us. This is a great blessing, and one of the most important motivators to learning A Course in Miracles.

4 – Irritation

If we are feeling irritation, this is a prime time to let our mistakes be taken from us. We do not need to compound the error by turning to attack. Then the ego will have taken the upper hand. We need to be healed if we are to heal. An unhealed healer is a contradiction (a Course tenet). May we all be led to turn to the inner Guide for the best reactions in such moments of temptation.

5 – Pupils

“So is he healed, and in his healing is his pupil healed with him. The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself. (M48)”

6 – Immediate Response

When we turn inward to the Holy Spirit, and, once again, ask for His assistance, then He WILL respond—and immediately. We don’t have to wallow in distress. When we turn inward, we are allowing Atonement to work in ourselves. We are accepting a new way of living, and this is constitutes the atoning value of Jesus’s place in our little world.

7 – A Clear, Grassy Path

If our significant other is healed, if we ourselves are healed, then we walk a clear, grassy path back Home. We only have to accept salvation for ourselves; this is the Atonement principle. But in our acceptance, our “pupil,” whoever he/she may be, is healed as well.

8 – Not Magic

This is not magic, though it may sound that way. This is not irrational thinking. It is the soundest good sense, as stated by Jesus in A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Irritation does not seem as bad as anger, but the Course would say that both are equal. May I turn immediately to the Holy Spirit when I sense irritation, and may I let it fall away. The Holy Spirit will guide me.

May I not flare in anger before I realize what is happening. May this be the first step on my pathway to eliminating poor thoughts and behaviors in myself.

Amen.

God’s Teachers’ Major Lesson Is to Learn How to React to Magic Thoughts Wholly without Anger

1 – Witnessing to Reality

“If he [the teacher of God] argues with his pupil about a magic thought, attacks it, tries to establish its error or demonstrate its falsity, he is but witnessing to its reality. Depression is then inevitable, for he has ‘proved,’ both to his pupil and himself, that it is their task to escape from what is real. . . .Magic thoughts are but illusions. (M47)”

Sometimes we think we see that our significant other is just off in left field. Sometimes our significant other is suffering, and as a result is stubborn and angry. The reaction of stubbornness and anger is a reaction borne of magic thoughts, of irrationality. If we truly knew, if our significant other truly knew, how to have a completely loving relationship, then together we would create this lovely thing for each other.

2 – Don’t Give Credence to Magic Thoughts

Our ignorance of how to do that is all that is holding us back. But we ourselves must take care, when faced with stubbornness, anger, and irrationality, not to react in a negative fashion. To do so is to give credence to magic thoughts; it is to make them real in our illusory world. If we focus on these negative traits, they will be harder to overlook (ACIM tenet). May we go gentle into the day, overlooking negativity, seeing only light in this potentially beautiful world of ours.

3 – Irrationality

We must not take a direct assault on a magic thought, a thought expressed of irrationality. If we approach the problem gently, our significant other may soften, for we have not attacked his ego. Attacking his thoughts will always be perceived by his ego as an attack on his/her person. And be met with resistance.

4 – Resistance

We don’t need this resistance. It will never get us what we want, which is a loving relationship. Our significant other, as well, wants a loving relationship—even if he/she is not fully aware of the possibility of curing problems with love.

5 – Wholly without Anger

“God’s teachers’ major lesson is to learn how to react to magic thoughts wholly without anger. Only in this way can they proclaim the truth about themselves. (M47)”

6 – Anger

Our brothers and sisters who are not Course students will have many superstitious ideas (“magic thoughts”) that may arouse anger in us. They may attack us. Unless we are quiet and calm, we will react negatively, thus undoing the good that they might receive from us.

7 – Major Lesson

Note that Jesus says that reacting to magic thoughts wholly without anger is the “major lesson” of God’s teachers. This is a significant statement. He knows that we lose our patience easily, and we must be patient if we are to set a good example, if we are to reach others in the only way that they can accept.

8 – React without Anger

We cannot be identified as God’s teachers until we have mastered this difficult lessons of reacting without anger. This asks a lot of us, because the ego, in most of us, has not yet withered away. The truth about ourselves is that we respond to anger with a desire to help and to express love, not retaliate in kind. When we have mastered this difficult lesson, we will be well on our way to being the teachers of God that Jesus needs.

9 – Correction

“Correction has one answer to all this, and to the world that rests on this:
“You but mistake interpretation for the truth. And you are wrong. But a mistake is not a sin, nor has reality been taken from its throne by your mistakes. God reigns forever, and His laws alone prevail upon you and upon the world. His Love remains the only thing there is. Fear is illusion, for you are like Him. (M47)”

We can never get angry from a fact. It is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger, and we allow anger when we emphasize, in our minds, magic thoughts that we incorrectly perceive as threatening. Magic thoughts are illusion, and so they cannot really threaten, but in our illusion, our dream, they can do so. It is up to us to recognize an illusion when we see it. And overlook it. Overlooking, if we are in danger of any real harm, is crucial.

10 – Don’t Correct “Faults”

If we are confronted with a mistake, let us know that it is not up to us to correct another’s “faults.” The Holy Spirit will do this in His own good time. We are being arrogant, an arrogance of our egos, when we think that it is up to correct the presumed “faults” of another.

11 – Egoic Arrogance

We can recognize a mistake, and we can gently substitute what we see as the truth. If we are rejected in this attempt, perhaps we acted too soon. Perhaps in our egoic arrogance, we thought that we, rather than the Holy Spirit, could effect a change in the relationship that we have with another.

12 – Guidance

We need to take the humbler view. We can sometimes do very little, but that little may be mighty. Don’t stew in wondering what to do or say; just ask of guidance, just ask of the Holy Spirit.

13 – Listen

He will respond immediately, and the more often we listen, the more crystal clear His Answers will be.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to react to my brothers and sisters wholly without anger, especially when they are saying things about which I disagree. Sometimes their thoughts will conflict with the Course, and this will bother me, if I am not careful. Help me not to be bothered, but to react wholly with love.

Help me to stand back if my brothers and sisters are not ready to learn the material of the Course. Help me to give what I can in a good and loving manner, and to know when to stop. Thank you helping me to decide the right time to change my manner of response.

Amen.

Anger in Response to Perceived Magic Thoughts Is a Basic Cause of Fear

1 – Basic Cause of Fear

“Anger in response to perceived magic thoughts is a basic cause of fear. (M45)”

Has someone whom you always considered a very rational individual suddenly started expressing what appear to be irrational thoughts? I think this is because each strong character trait, such as rationality, has a shadow side, as Jung would tell us. The shadow side of rationality is irrationality, and irrationality is very threatening, especially when a significant other seems to be reversing trends of a lifetime.

2 – Irrationality

This irrationality, which we may hear, is what we are perceiving as a magic thought. And this is a prime reason that we fear, if we get angry about the threatening of our world view. If we become afraid, our own better thinking may fall by the wayside, and we ourselves may become irrationally fearful.

3 – Stress

Stress can bring all of this lamentable thinking about. I have come to see stress as a manifestation of the fear vs. love dichotomy in our world. And stress is the manifestation of fear.

4 – Holy Spirit

Let’s do what we can today to walk a smooth pathway. The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice to us, will help. He can keep us calm even if our significant others are not calm. Even if our significant others are caught in irrational thinking.

5 – Irrationality

If we ourselves have ever been irrational (and who of us has not been?), then irrationality in another will become more threatening to us. Let’s pray together today that all such insanity fall from us. Let’s pray today for a good day.

6 – Magic

“A magic thought, by its mere presence, acknowledges a separation from God. (M45)”

We are having magic thoughts also when we let the irrationality of another get to us. This is because when we are attached to God in prayer, we don’t feel fearful of presumed irrationality. We know that God has everything in hand. It is when we ourselves allow ourselves to become fearful (and this will happen when we are threatened by another’s fears) that we are most cognizant of our separation from God.

7 – Prayer

Pray today to mend this separation. Pray today to mend the barrier between you and your brother/sister. Barriers fall down when we get guidance from the Holy Spirit.

8 – Counterproductive

It may be counterproductive to tell someone else that he/she is being irrational, or that we are perceiving that he/she is being irrational. By the very definition of irrationality, if someone else is being irrational, that person will not recognize truth when confronted with it. He/she will see our evaluation as a kind of attack, which indeed it is. It may very well be best to keep one’s interpretations (for they ARE interpretations) to one’s self, and just smooth the troubled waters.

9 – Later On

Later on, when the coast is smoother, we can ask our significant other about those expressed opinions which have upset us. We need to share everything that we possibly can. There are no exceptions to this rule, unless sharing would hurt the other person. Sharing is normally healing.

10 – Sleeping Guilt

“But what will now be your reaction to all magic thoughts? They can but awaken sleeping guilt, which you have hidden but have not let go. Each one says clearly to your frightened mind, ‘You have usurped the place of God. Think not He has forgotten.’ Here we have the fear of God most starkly represented. (M45)”

This passage explains why we are sometimes confronted with magic, or irrational, thoughts in another. We are being shown our “sleeping guilt.” We have become frightened of God. We are fearful of God.

11 – Insanity

This is stark insanity. There is nothing in our relationship to God that, in a sane mind, is fearful. All of us are said, in A Course in Miracles, to be mad, to one extent or another—until we awaken. Let us pray to be healed of our guilt, for it is the guilt that has driven us insane, the guilt of our presumed “sinful” nature. But we have only made mistakes, correctable mistakes. And we don’t need to stay insane. The Holy Spirit will take us by the hand—indeed, Jesus will take us by the hand. And we will be led to freedom of thought, to freedom of thought without fear.

12 – God

Then the irrationality of magic thoughts won’t hurt so much. We will know that God is handling this situation for us.

13 – God’s Teachers

“Into this hopeless situation God sends His teachers. They bring the light of hope from God Himself. There is a way in which escape is possible. It can be learned and taught, but it requires patience and abundant willingness. (M46)”

Here Jesus laments the worsening situation of our world. He knows that we cannot continue to survive, nor to thrive, if those of us who have followed him do not do our part in salvation. But he is optimistic, even as he sounds a cautionary note. We can help ourselves and our brothers and sisters to escape from this impossible situation in which we find ourselves. But we need patience and abundant willingness to do so.

14 – Practicality

What does this mean for us, practically? I think that for those of us who have chosen the Course as “our Way,” then this passage means that we must study and learn ourselves all the time that we are trying to reach others. The Course is long enough and sophisticated enough that we cannot recall all its tenets unless we refresh our memories on virtually a daily basis. This does not mean just doing the workbook, but also dipping into the text and the manual for teachers.

15 – The Course

If we study the Course, our own lives will go better. We will then be in a much better situation to reach our brothers and sisters. We will be in the right frame of mind to want to share the good news. We will not be resistant. Remember that Jesus is there to help us always. He promises this. And our guidance from the Holy Spirit is a sure thing. With Helpers like these, how can we fail?

16 – Anger

“If anger comes from an interpretation and not a fact, it is never justified. Once this is even dimly grasped, the way is open. (M46)”

We are interpreting the magic thoughts of another. And if we get angry about being confronted with irrationality, we are not feeling something that is justified. We get angry when we are threatened in our world view. We don’t want our boat rocked. But sometimes, in our troubled world, this happens.

17 – Facts vs. Interpretation

But we never get angry at a fact; it is always an interpretation that gives rise to anger (ACIM tenets). And our anger at irrationality may be so subtle as not to be felt very keenly.

18 – Hidden Anger

This hidden anger is especially insidious, for it subjects us to fear, to stress manifested in ourselves. If we are not careful with our emotions, this stress will have an outlet, and that outlet will be an expression of anger.

19 – Brothers/Sisters

Our brother/sister deserves better than this from us. Let us pray to have our own magic thoughts, our own irrationality, healed around these concepts. We are safe, and when we fear another’s irrationality, we think that we are not safe. And, on some level, this makes us angry.

20 – Calm Mind

There are rules by which this will not occur, but first and foremost, we need a calm mind.

21 – Madness

“Madness but seems terrible. In truth it has no power to make anything. (M46)”

Madness can do nothing, for it is illusion. Be calm, be not overwhelmed by another’s irrationality. It is only madness, and madness has nothing that can cause fear in a mind (ours) that is steeped in comfort given us by God’s holy Presence.

22 – Fleeting

So the irrationality of another cannot ultimately hurt us. The fact that irrationality is mostly fleeting is a blessing. We don’t have to dwell on these magic thoughts. We can set them aside as insanity. And we can know that the expression of magic thoughts, the expression of madness, is “distress that rests on error” (from the ACIM Text).

23 – Walk a Green Earth

Pray today to do your part to assuage that distress. Then you, as well as your significant other, will walk a green earth again.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I have the patience and willingness to function rightly as a teacher of God. May, indeed, I be a teacher of God. May I never lead anyone astray.

I know that not all of my brothers and sisters are ready to receive direct teaching. May I be sensitive to what they are ready for, and may I offer only this in confidence that I am making the right decision in reaching them.

Amen.