Radiant Message of God’s Love

“The only part of your mind that has reality is the part that links you still with God. Would you have all of it transformed into a radiant message of God’s Love, to share with all the lonely ones who have denied Him? God makes this possible.” (ACIM, T-14.V.1)

Our inner Christ Self is the linkage with God, the internal linkage that allows us to welcome others, to love them intensely, and to be at home in all the universe. We are no longer lonely when we recognize that we are one with God. And we reach out to others, as just something that we want to do. Not a compelling, in reaching out to others. Just something that we feel led to do, with no coercion at all.

Our Christ Self is discussed at length in A Course of Love. It is the truest of true reality, the “only part of your mind that has reality.”
Let us go forth today to reach out to others in whatever ways we can. They will welcome our interest and our words, if we listen guidance within that tells us when and where to speak.

Reality, true reality, is asking us to do the best that we can. And guidance is always there to be sure that our thoughts, words, and actions are well-considered.

Does Illusion Fall Away in ACIM’s Real World?

“The real world is all that the Holy Spirit has saved for you out of what you have made, and to perceive only this is salvation, because it is the recognition that reality is only what is true.” (ACIM, T-11.VII.4)

Perhaps reality, being “only what is true,” is not illusion at all, is no longer the dream in which we perceive the world. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love do not develop this idea very much at all; it is left to tantalize us with its innuendo. Certainly the eternal in our experience, the intangibles of love, harmony, peace, joy, happiness, are not illusion, and it may be these intangibles that Jesus is discussing. Honest people have differed on what he is saying, dedicated students/teachers, all, of A Course in Miracles.

We are teased out of thought when we wonder if seeing the real world, which ACIM notes happens only briefly, is not an illusion. We are caught up in Awakening by God Himself, and through this action do we know peace for the first time. Whether or not the images that appear before our eyes are perception or knowledge is not made clear to me in ACIM. Maybe I am too dense, but I still have questions.

How could the illusion of our eyes, in this outside world, suddenly, with the advent of the real world, true reality, be “real”? This is one question for us to puzzle over, because none of us has a definitive answer. This much is certain: the intangibles are eternal, and therefore true—but the eyes don’t see these intangibles.

“This is a very simple course. Perhaps you do not feel you need a course which, in the end, teaches that only reality is true. But do you believe it? When you perceive the real world, you will recognize that you did not believe it. Yet the swiftness with which your new and only real perception will be translated into knowledge will leave you but an instant to realize that this alone is true. For as Heaven and earth become one, even the real world will vanish from your sight. The end of the world is not its destruction, but its translation into Heaven. The reinterpretation of the world is the transfer of all perception to knowledge.” (ACIM, T-11.VIII.1)

Will Heaven be a physical manifestation of truth? And will Heaven be here and now?

This quotation certainly seems to say “yes” to both questions. But A Course in Miracles can be obscure, and I seek to say nothing that is controversial, because controversy is divisive in that it separates us from each other in the study of ACIM.

We can ask to see this real world sooner rather than later. And we can do what we can to remove the blocks to love’s awareness.

This much we can do.

And it will be no mystery why we are healed.

“Reserve not one idea aside from truth, or you establish orders of reality that must imprison you. There is no order in reality, because everything there is true.” (ACIM, T-17.I.5)

This defines “true reality,” if we have ever needed a definition.

“How does one overcome illusions? Surely not by force or anger, nor by opposing them in any way. Merely by letting reason tell you that they contradict reality. They go against what must be true. The opposition comes from them, and not reality. Reality opposes nothing. What merely is needs no defense, and offers none. Only illusions need defense because of weakness.” (ACIM, T-22.V.1)

This quotation explains why we need be defensive about nothing. Defense weakens us, making what we would defend against. This is an axiom of A Course in Miracles.

We can get ourselves so caught up in illusion, and so defensive, that we let the ego run wild in our psyches again.

We do not need this. Nobody needs this. The ego, so apparent to others, will keep us weak for eons—if we let it. Now is the time to turn aside gently from the ego, take heed no longer, and know truth for the first time.

“Where once you recognized only illusion and called it reality, the mind joined in union will now, more and more, recognize only truth and experience only the truly real.” (ACOL, 1.10)

This brings back the quandary with which I became this posting. Will we experience only the “truly real”? Does this go beyond simply intangible emotions (love, peace, etc.)?

Certainly it seems to say this. And what a great promise this is, if this should be true! We don’t have to fear being lost in illusions any longer. Our dreams are over, maybe in physical manifestation as well.

Ask deep within for the answer to this quandary. I suspect that honest people will vary on their interpretations, but that is no reason for us to be divided one from the other. We do realize that the intangibles are not dreams. And joy, peace, love, harmony, happiness, will beckon us forward every step of the way, paving the way for Heaven on earth.

Eternal Love Is the World’s Only True Reality

“Every loving thought that the Son of God ever had is eternal. The loving thoughts his mind perceives in this world are the world’s only reality. They are still perceptions, because he still believes that he is separate. Yet they are eternal because they are loving.” (ACIM, T-11.VII.2)

We have all heard platitudes about how important love is to our very existence, but this quotation does not mouth platitudes. We are told that our loving thoughts are eternal, that they are the world’s only reality. Yet as long as we think we are separate, we will be caught in a perceived world. Only when we move beyond perception to knowledge do we reach the reality that we long to find.

Love is God, and we are a part of God, and so we are love as well. While this does not mean that God is an emotion, it does mean something very close to the emotion of love that we understand as holy. It is very far, on the other hand, from the emotion of love that we thrust upon others whom we deem are special to ourselves.

Special love will not last, and for those of us first caught up in romantic love, we need to take heed. The special love that is the first bloom of romance must move forward into the holy love that sees that the perfection we envision is truly real. The perfection of our beloved is the only part of special love that is right and true. And the first bloom of special love does see this clearly.

I often think that talking of mature love sounds so deadly. We are told, in effect, to grow up and love more sanely. But real love is not needed as a test of sanity. The part of special love that is seeing perfection is seeing truly. And then we expand this perfection to a wide scope, and we extend this sight into the future, and then we have the holy love that is lasting.

“Love is the condition of your reality. In your human form your heart must beat for the life of your self to take place. This is the nature of your reality. Love is as essential to your being as the heart to the body.” (ACOL, C:1.3)

We need love. We all know this, but we also feel powerless, sometimes, to keep the loves in our life that we want. People come and go, and loves seem also to come and go.

A true understanding knows that the ones we have loved are never lost to us. That love that we felt is a part of eternity, and eternity means “lasting.” We don’t have to see, speak to, or write the person whom we once adored. He or she may have no part in our lives.

But the loves lives on, taking on a life of its own.

And this early love does not mitigate against later loves. Love, once present, expands the heart so that other love comes more easily, for the measure of our love is what it has done to us. We have changed internally by the very act of loving. And this loving lasts and lasts, making new and fresh incarnations along the way.

We don’t have to worry about being bereft of love. Our hearts simply need to be open to what God has for us. He never departs; he never allows us to feel alone for very long. He knows that we need other people, as we also need Him. And He will supply that need with every heartfelt cry.

Do Not Be Afraid to Look upon Fear, for It Cannot Be Seen

“Laws do not operate in a vacuum, and what leads to nothing has not happened. If reality is recognized by its extension, what leads to nothing could not be real. Do not be afraid, then, to look upon fear, for it cannot be seen.” (ACIM, T-11.V.2)

So often we have heard or read that we need to walk right up to fear, look it in its face, and it will disappear. This quotation says the same. And it goes further: There is not anything there to be seen at all.

My experience has sometimes been different, because I am able to scare myself with my own desert places. I can panic when I look upon fear too closely. But, given that I know A Course in Miracles, it is a panic based on nothing, on illusion only. There is nothing there that can actually harm me. Nothing at all.

We are not dealing with the real when we deal with fear, however we deal with it. We are dealing with illusion, with the scary thoughts of our deluded minds, and we are walking away, at the same time, from reality. Reality is not scary in the least. And so we don’t have to scare ourselves with our own desert places. Not at all.

Reality builds upon itself; that is what is meant by the “extension” comment in the quotation. The more we look on true reality, the bigger it gets, the more of our force field is taken up by the sweet beauty of reality.

Choose reality today. Gently turn aside from fear, not with resistance (for fear grows strong with resistance), but with love. Love overcomes fear, always and forever. And it is just such love that will save us.

Remember from Eons Past What We Know of God

“Give up gladly everything that would stand in the way of your remembering, for God is in your memory. His Voice will tell you that you are part of Him when you are willing to remember Him and know your own reality again. Let nothing in this world delay your remembering of Him, for in this remembering is the knowledge of yourself.” (ACIM, T-10.II.2)

This favorite passage from A Course in Miracles does emphasize that the Voice (the Holy Spirit) will guide us surely into true reality, which is the remembrance of God. We are not, it is important to note, learning something new when we learn of God; instead, we are remembering something forgotten eons ago. The way back has been long and difficult, painful in the extreme, but those days are ending. The way now becomes smooth, there are no pebbles to kick against with our feet, and we are living better than we ever have before. We are learning to trust God again, and this in itself is a cause for great rejoicing.

We need not delay in this world. We want knowledge of ourselves, and in knowledge of God is knowledge of ourselves laid. We will live in great glory when we have put aside our wonderings about reality, and let reality be written upon our world. Then the illusions may very well fall away, and we will see the intangibles—faith, love, joy, harmony, peace—with new eyes.

We are part of God, Who lives deep within us. We project an insane dream, but not from such depths as God lives. He leads us back to Him ever so gently, making sure that we don’t stumble. His way is good and true, and it leads to true reality.
Would we lack for anything when we live in true reality, illusions sought no longer?

True Reality Is Eminently Obvious

“The ego is afraid of the obvious, since obviousness is the essential characteristic of reality. Yet you cannot overlook it unless you are not looking.” (ACIM, T-9.VII.3)

I have emphasized, from A Course of Love, many times that we are moving away from the ego and all of its woes. The most obvious parts of our world are not the egoic interpretations, but the reality that is coming about from our dropping of fear and judgment. This reality is blessed, a true gift from God. And we don’t have to wait to experience true reality. If it is obvious, as this quotation says, then it is there for all of us to see. And see it we will, when we have met the conditions of dropping fear and judgment from our group of emotions.
When something is obvious, we don’t overlook it unless we are not looking. The quotation says this, and we know this is true in our own experience. Ask for the obvious today. Let the obvious in your surroundings call to you.

If the “obvious” seems to be painful, then sit with that thought and emotion for a while. Don’t turn the thought and emotion into suffering. Just sit with the pain. If looked at intently, pain will begin to dissipate, for it is only illusion—nothing more. And illusion doesn’t stick around if we are onto it, if we have discerned that in fact it is illusion.

We can give up our dreams of a mad world. We can give up our madness. Find something that absorbs our consciousness, that gives us peace, and see that the pain dissipates.
And the obviousness of true reality will dawn—not later, but now.

The Reality of Everything Is Totally Harmless

“Wrong perception is the wish that things be as they are not. The reality of everything is totally harmless, because total harmlessness is the condition of its reality. It is also the condition of your awareness of its reality. You do not have to seek reality. It will seek you and find you when you meet its conditions.” (ACIM, T-8.IX.2)

We have made a world from our projections from within, a world that is perceived rather than truly experienced. And this perception has been wrong, has gone awry. We don’t have to stay with these misapprehensions, though. There is a better way. And true reality is what it is.

How do we experience true reality? When we recognize that we can be harmed by nothing, we are well on our way. Of course, in this world, this assertion strikes us as irrational. Surely there are many things in this world that hurt us. But our real Self is not hurt, and it is this Self that is able to experience true reality. This Self does not spend time lamenting perceptions of the world that are not accurate. This Self sits in the sun and is contented. Would we not all long for this experience?

Our conditions to meet include harboring no fear and no judgment. These are the twin conditions that keep us stuck in illusions, in our dream world. We may think that stress, fear, is always with us, but we need to think again. Fear is not with us when we are open to the God within. Judgment does not overtake us when we are communing with Him.

So: Today, let loose the misperceptions with which we have peopled our world. Know that fear and judgment can be left behind, and that the quickest route to that right choice is to touch base with the inward God. Meditate on Him, and see if there are not bright spots in your perception. Soon knowledge will replace perception, and we will know that all is well. Let us choose that all will be well today.

Choose Not Be Affected by Lack of Love from Without

“In reality you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love. These can be from yourself and others, from yourself to others, or from others to you.” (ACIM, T-2.I.5)

This quotation doesn’t seem to make sense when we first read it. Of course we are affected by the lack of love expressed by others! But are we, really? We are our own Self, the entity whom God created, and we are not actually changed by anything that happens outside ourselves—including expressions of lack of love. In such a situation, we need only turn within, to the God within, and feel the love percolate up to the surface from deep within. We are fine; we are loved by God; we need fear other people in the world not at all.

This explanation needs some “sitting with” to reach full agreement with your very human mind. And perhaps the mind cannot comprehend this idea at all. Maybe it takes the heart. Our hearts know things that the mind, especially when caught by the ego, can never know. Ask the heart if it feels unloved when a significant other turns his/her back on us. Is it not pride, an egoic notion, that is truly hurt? If we ask deep within, we will know that our essential Self has known no pain; this essential Self is right there, waiting for our little self to come to its senses. We are loved, and we are not hurt when the source of that love changes.

We will always have love in our lives. We need never wonder if we will go lacking, for we won’t. This is a characteristic of true reality; this is the truth of what we experience in this sometimes sad world. Love never goes away; it just hides sometimes. But communing with our depths, communing with God, will right our little world again when we have suffered loss.

Ask today from whence your love might best come. You will sense an answer, and the pain and suffering (if this is your experience) will subside. Remembering God’s love is all that it takes.

PART 3: WHAT IS TRUE REALITY? CHARACTERISTICS OF REALITY

We Are Spirits Having a Bodily Experience

“The miracle sets reality where it belongs. Reality belongs only to spirit, and the miracle acknowledges only truth.” (ACIM, T-1.IV.2)

We are spirits having a bodily experience. We are not primarily bodies. Even when we have reached Christ-consciousness, and even when we have sustained that Christ-consciousness, living the elevated Self of form that Jesus extols, we still are, at base spirits. Our spirits can recognize a miracle when we see one. Skepticism has been discarded, and we revel in the glory of a true reality that is always and only miraculous.

Our true reality has spirit, then, at its base. And until we recognize this as what true reality really means, we will be to some extent at loose ends. We like physicality, or we would not have incarnated in flesh. Don’t you think we had some choice in the matter? (A Course of Love is silent on this question.) If we did have some choice, then it is true, as Jesus says, that the choice to occupy an elevated Self of form in an eternity is really ours.
Nobody needs to make a decision like this now. The world as it exists today would not be desirable as an eternal home. But a portion of the entity who we are might very well choose to live on this earth, bringing ourselves and others to salvation. Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that the return of everyone to God may take millions of years. We do not have to be daunted by this suggestion. We can, instead, be grateful that our existence is about to take on new meaning in this world. We have the means before us to reach Christ-consciousness, to live with miracles surrounding us all the time. We have the new revelations (as I view them) of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Both books speak to our time, in language that understands secular psychology (hence the emphasis on the “ego”) and, at the same time, acknowledges the depth of generations to a mystical tradition.

We are truly in an enviable position now. We are in the time of Christ, a time awaited by many for centuries before us.

A New Choice

“A choice for a new kind of experience that has led to the creation of an unreal reality so populated by the god-like and the god-less, so near to replacing creation with destruction, so hate- and pain-filled, that you have been moved to a new choice.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 36, 36.15)

What a promise this quotation holds: a new choice! We don’t have to live such a pain-filled life ever again; we can so create that the lamentable happenings of the past are a distant memory, never to be revisited.

We have made a god who is god-like (because we have some dim memory of what God is really like), but who is really god-less. And we have made a world of destructive tendencies, hate- and pain-filled, because we were living insanely. Nobody in their right mind would make the world that we have had to live in; certainly our loving God did not create it.

This belief is central to A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, that God did not create the world that we inhabit. Not all of us are ready to accept this idea yet, but as long as the germ of an idea is planted, we may come further along to this point of view in time.

God is here to rescue us, though. He never left us all alone in an illusory, mad universe. He always stood ready to retrieve us for a real world of joy and harmony. And it is this reality, this true reality, before which we stand poised today. We cannot give up the pain-filled illusion without realizing that someone quite out of their mind made this insanity. And God is not insane. Our new reality rests on a solid Foundation.

Let us make the new choice today. Let us look within for guidance as to what type of true reality we wish to inhabit. And then take the steps given us to create that new peace in a new world.

There can be no better way to spend today.

On Free Will and Willingness, by Ivor Sowton

On Free Will and Willingness. ..This Chapter 11 is going deep for me. I am getting into a practice of applying the latest chapter Mari reads for us (endless gratitude, Mari!) DIRECTLY TO MY LIFE RIGHT NOW.

I’ve had a lot of issues in my life with “I’ll be good if I can just do this and that and thus, and by the way so many other people already do these things far better than I can, so I’ve got to try much harder and maybe in some far distant future time I will have improved enough to make the grade.”

Can you relate to this? But if I try to drop all that and just be more present with the current Course of Love chapter and apply it to my actual present experience, then that’s really helpful. So, here goes! The theme of the chapter that I’m feeling now is about how I almost desperately hang on to MY will, in spite of the fact that it’s clearly not bringing me the Peace of God. The old ego pattern is to maintain a safe distance from direct experience of others in relationship and sharing. So mistrustful. So used to feeling less than. So not trusting that benign lessons could be being freely offered me by others who are actually trying to help me in a true spirit of friendship rather than put me down.

So in this chapter Jesus is so personally encouraging to me to offer that “temporary willingness” He recommends. So masterful He is here! For if He demanded total willingness I would be pushing myself to come up to too high a bar, trying to grit my teeth and demand that of myself immediately– and I would get discouraged. Instead He is helping me grow in trust, in baby steps if need be, gradually coming to trust God more and more. I feel very very lucky in that I have developed more trust in Jesus over the last few years. That is a wonderful relationship we can all form, I really feel. Or maybe for some it is another great Master; but chances are that if you have taken the trouble to join this Group and are sincerely trying to open up to A Course of Love then your relationship with Jesus is pretty deep also, right?

We are SO blessed in this. For me even in the dark times, which remain frequent for me, I am praying to Jesus, on a spectrum of entreating Him for help right down to complaining to Him or even being mad at Him for not lifting me out of whatever mire I’m sunk in–but in a way I know He doesn’t mind….And now to conclude with the last paragraph in this great Chapter 11: “…Love is the unity you seek. In having chosen separation over unity you but chose fear over love. When you let go of fear and invite unity to return, you but send out an invitation to love and say you are welcome here.” I am right now willing to try that out, in small doses if need be, pacing myself to the trust level I can handle now. Thank-you all!!!

We Are “Enough”

“You may have left behind aspirations of wealth, and replaced them with ideas of having more time, more fulfilling work, simpler pleasures, and yet you still see your new state as one that does not touch upon this aspect of ‘reality.’ The better life you might attain will be a by-product rather than the effect of Cause.

“Here is the real of the old ‘reality’ most solid and unrelenting. Not having ‘enough’ is the ‘reality’ of your life because it was the reality of the learning life.” (ACOL, Dialogues, Day 3, 3.22 – 3.23)

There are several ideas in this quotation that need some explanation. Surprisingly, perhaps, A Course of Love says that we are heading away from the time of learning through intermediaries, especially the reading and studying that we have done. We are heading into the place of observation of the world and what it contains, and then discovery of reality. We, we are told, are living in the time of Christ, and we need no intermediaries, not even the Holy Spirit, for the time of the Holy Spirit has now passed.
Of course, we may not even know from whence our guidance is coming. I have friends who still hold dear the Holy Spirit, and I don’t think that Jesus would downplay their inclinations. The Holy Spirit is a part of the Trinity, which includes the inner Christ Self we are to follow now. So as long as seek mightily to follow the guidance that we ask to receive, I think that we will be alright.
Why do we think that we don’t have “enough”? Is it not lingering fear of what the future will bring, whether or not we will be taken care of in this problematic world? Our unreal reality is of a world that doesn’t give us what we need, but we have to bear part of the blame for this, because we have been looking in all the wrong places. We are now to look outward at a new, true reality, one that doesn’t seek for inferior goals. We don’t necessarily need the soft life that we may have replaced the goals of ambition.

Our true reality is yet to be written. Jesus says, toward the end of A Course of Love, that he won’t be predictive, that not even he has the knowledge to know where we are heading, what we can create. But one thing is sure: The transformation of ourselves to a more perfect, elevated Self, is inevitable once we seek out the answers, answers that are there in our given world to observe and to discover. Look around you today, and see if you don’t notice a clearer world than you have previously observed or discovered. The clarity is God’s gift to us as we walk ever farther on the pathway home.

Prayer Says Good-Bye to Fear

“To use prayer only as a means of reaching out to a god seen as separate is to attempt to use what cannot be used. . .Prayers such as these emanate from either heart or mind and have not the power of the wholehearted. Prayers such as these emanate from the state of fear that is the reality of the separated self.” (ACOL, 6.5)

All of us have prayed as though we were in a foxhole. These are the desperate prayers, when we are very vulnerable, for whatever reason. And all of us grew up seeing God as an all-powerful Eye Who could see anything that we were doing, and Who would mostly punish us if we did something that was “wrong.”

It is impossible to avoid these concepts of God. But the time has come for a more mature concept of the Deity. We believe, if we follow A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, that God is within, that we are all “God-stuff,” and that when we turn inward, we connect with Something both very deep and very high. We see this illusory world as a product of projection from within, yet we sense also that there is a Higher Reality, a reality that we long to experience.

When we turn inward and pray real prayers, our prayers are heard, but by a God Who does not feel inspired by our illusory fear. He will still listen, of course, but we are in a compromised state of mind and heart when we pray out of fear, and we often feel that our prayers have not reached the ceiling, that we have not been heard. This is because fear is a barrier to touching the Divine. It keeps us from what we most want.

There is a way around this. First, calm the mind and heart in whatever ways you have discovered work for you. For some, this is meditation. For some, it is reading the Workbook lessons that are a part of A Course in Miracles. For some, it is as mundane as deep breathing. But unless the mind and heart are somewhat calm, our prayers convict us of things that we think we have done wrong. And this isn’t a fruitful state in which we touch God.

We aren’t reaching to a God beyond the stars. It is nearer than our breath. And always there. He does not punish, however much we think that we deserve punishment. He is always present to listen. But from deep within us. Not outside.

“While your mind did not accept the truth of your identity or the reality of love without fear, it existed in a reality of fear and judgment, and bound heart and body to this reality.” (ACOL, Treatise on the New, 7.5)

This is the old way of thinking, a way that ACIM and ACOL sought to dismantle. We used to fear mightily, and we may still have flights of fear, but there ought to be some lessening by now. Our egoic mind is falling apart, finally, and we are living in a better personal world than we have ever known before. We may still have painful elements to our world, but the suffering (you may have observed) has lessened. This is because the ego has smelled defeat, and while the throes of the death process may be acute, they are not unending.

Leave behind fear and judgment as a decision of the mind and heart. Walk into the sunlight of a new world created by a loving God Whom we are coming to recognize, often for the first time.

In Separation from God, We Have Distorted Reality

“Is it so impossible to imagine that what God created was distorted by your desire to have your reality be other than what it is? Have you not seen this kind of distortion take place within the reality you do see?” (ACOL, 9.28)

Eons ago, when the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) took hold, we thought that we would make a world that we would like better than the one that God envisioned and created for us. This was indeed madness. But, like adolescents, we forged ahead, and he made the decision to let us exert the free will with which He had endowed us. And what a mess we made for ourselves!

This was the detour into fear, the detour from true reality. And it is only now, in Christ-consciousness, that we have a chance to recoup what we have lost—the true meaning of reality as God intended it for us.

We know that this world is a place of madness. We know this if we have even an inkling of how badly things have gone for us. We have pain that escalates into suffering, and we feel so alone in all the world.

But now we are finding our way back, making out way back on the carpet laid out before us. We are heading backward into time (an ACIM concept), to the place that we left. And we tell ourselves that everything will be better this time. We know better now, we know better from hard experience. We cannot get along without God, as much as we might think we can. He made us to commune with Him, our Maker, and the extent to which we do so fuels the pace at which we right our world again.

Don’t be satisfied with a partial world of adolescent rebellion today. Free will is a great gift, but not when it is misused. Ask deeply, today if you like what you have made. The answer, if asked honestly, will be “no.” Then set about to get the guidance needed to create as elevated Selves of form with the God of our greater imaginings.

He will be there waiting for our return. He has never left us. He has always been waiting for our return to sanity. And that sanity is now beckoning us for a great Awakening.

The Ego Is Best Left Behind

“This is your reenactment of creation, begun each morning and completed each night. Each day is your creation held together by the thought system that gave it birth. To observe this is to see its reality. To see this reality is to see the image of God you have created in God’s likeness.” (ACOL, 8.24)

The word “ego” is not used in this quotation, but that is what I think is meant. When we live with the ego, we reenact creation, but in a skewed way, to our detriment. We have images of ourselves, other people, and God. And these images are idols. Let’s give up this foolishness now. Let’s listen to A Course of Love when it tells us, metaphorically, that the ego is dead in us. We are proceeding as Jesus encourages, leaving ego behind, developing an identity with our inner Christ Self. This Self will then direct us, just as the Holy Spirit did in the last era. We have, according to ACOL, moved out of the time of the Holy Spirit and into the time of Christ. Let’s act as though we believe this. The action will then lead to the belief.

So true reality is definitely not the ego’s frame of mind. This is something that we have known now for a long time. But, because we are mortal, and fallible, and subject to making mistakes, we forget, and we fall back into egoic ways of thinking. Then we backtrack, losing our place on the pathway to enlightenment, for there can be no compromise with the ego that leads to Christ-consciousness.

How do we leave the ego behind? The most forward-thinking action is to consciously do nothing that is egotistical. “Ego” and “egotistical” do not quite mean the same things, but there is a close relationship. The ego is the persona that we have adopted, whereas egotistical thinking and actions play out that persona in our everyday world.

We don’t have to live this way. There is a better way, outlined in ACOL. Let’s take steps along that better pathway today and every day. Let nothing dissuade you. This change of mind, and this listening that we are giving the heart, is far too important to the future of the world to let ourselves backslide.

Struggle Is Not Meant to Be

“Just as you eat to still your hunger only to become hungry again, so does the rest of your life need constant maintenance to retain the reality you have given it. ‘Struggle to succeed and succeed to struggle yet another day’ is the life you have made, and the life you fear heaven would replace.” (ACOL, 6.13)

We have made such a mess as we sought to make the reality that we wanted in this world. How many of us really are addicted to struggle, think that it is virtuous?

I think many of us are. We think that hard work is its own reward, but, oh, are we so wrong. Life is not meant to be a struggle. We are meant to live peaceably and in contentment. Until we change our goals, we will not understand this directive. We will think that we are missing the mark if we drop struggle, because the ego made everything a struggle, as though we wouldn’t measure up unless we constantly worked.

“And yet the very reality that you have set up—the reality of not being able to succeed in what you must constantly strive to do—is a situation set up to provide relationship. Like everything else you have remembered of creation and made in its image, so too is this.” (ACOL, 9.26)

We still find ourselves in relationship one to the other, even in our egoic state of mind prior to getting a glimpse of true reality. We have “remembered” part of what creation really meant for us, but we have remembered it in only a pale reflection of what it is. This remembering is commonplace in our world, but we don’t normally recognize what we are remembering—that we are seeing a pristine world prior to the fall into insanity.

We can let ourselves off the hook. We have so often chastised ourselves for failing. But this is not the issue. Our egos have set up the world for us to fail, because the ego is constantly being undone. If the ego were not being undone, we would ultimately be lost, seeing no way out. That the ego fails repeatedly is a lesson that we will one day come to see, and this lesson offers us the first glimmerings of our way out—our way to salvation.

Choose a day without struggle. If there is something that you don’t want to do, but think you should—just choose not to do that activity. Find out from your reticence what is going on is this non-productive state of mind. You may find that you have been walking along the wrong pathway, and your true reality is trying to let you know. You can always try this activity tomorrow if the experiment proves unfruitful. But I think that you will learn great things by listening to the small Voice that warns against the activity for which you have no motivation. There is a reason for no motivation. Listen and be forewarned.

Misery and Despair Are Madness

“If you believe even the tiniest fraction of what is true, if you but believe you are a small part of God no bigger than a pinprick of light in a daunting sun, you still cannot believe in the reality of misery and despair. If you do, you believe this is the state of God as well.” (ACOL, 2.12)

We are one with God, and so in this context the quotation makes sense. We need to realize that the misery and despair that we wallow in is insanity, nothing more. But insanity is very hard to overcome, and the solution does not always come easily. The solution is Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, and not many people have currently reached this state. I, for one, have not, though I long for this place of “carry water, chop wood” that the Eastern religions extol.

We must realize that our misery and despair are insanity, and when we do believe this, we are on the road home.

Nothing bad has happened to us except that we dreamed a bad dream, and we continue to sleep in bad dreams. Happy dreams will come before enlightenment, and it is these that will save us now.

We are part of God, and so with communion with our depths, our way out is assured. Cling to this in the hard times. God is a very present Force in our lives, and the nearer we get to enlightenment, the more real He becomes. A Course in Miracles recommends the Holy Spirit as a Mediator, but A Course of Love indicates that, no longer afraid of God, we can approach Him more directly.

And this direct approach will take us out of any and all misery and despair. Approach God and see if this is not your truth as well.

Choose the Joy of Heaven Every Day

“You can label joy heaven and pain hell and seek the middle ground for your reality thinking there are more than these two choices. A life of little joy and little pain is seen as a successful life, for a life of joy is seen as nothing more than a daydream, a life of pain a nightmare.” (ACOL, 2.7)

This quotation is only a partial quotation, but the entire passage indicates that Jesus here is not advocating a middle ground. We don’t want to be halfway between heaven and hell. We want to be entirely in heaven, and this is not something that has to wait for the afterlife, the Other Side.

We can know joy here, joy to a substantial extent that blesses us with each and every day. We may not always have positive things happen to us, but although we may know some pain, we don’t have to see this escalate into suffering. Our attitude is everything. We can see the joy in the midst of any adverse life circumstances that come our way. We don’t have to choose the middle way of little joy and little pain.

There is some magical thinking going on in our minds when we select the middle way. We think that if we don’t reach too high, the gods won’t strike us down. But we don’t believe in plural gods. And God Himself doesn’t punish, though we probably were brought up to believe that He punished us if we did “bad” things.

Get this egoic thinking out of the way. Choose joy today. Pray for a more positive outlook for whatever circumstances surround you in your life.

The way to see life as heaven is mapped out for us in A Course of Love. We need look no farther for the newest revelations in our spiritual lives.

Turn Aside from the Mind to the Heart

“What is learned by the mind only rearranges reality. The mind then holds to the new reality as a new set of rules without change. It sees reality through these new mental constructs and calls this way of seeing new. In order to support its new reality it must insist that others follow these new rules.” (ACOL, 1.2)

We must understand that A Course of Love downplays the mind, in large part, I think, due to the fact that the mind has previously been ego-oriented. ACOL emphasizes the heart, which doesn’t get changed by the egoic mind, and which often gives us the solace that the mind cannot. We do learn, as we get deeper in A Course of Love, that the mind and heart need to combine into a state termed “wholeheartedness,” because we cannot function without the mind and heart working together. Our mind is now pretty much free of the ego, if we have been faithfully reading and taking to heart the instructions in ACOL.

Thus we learn at the beginning of ACOL that the mind is dealing in constructs that mislead. We also want others to follow the rules that our mind has laid down.

Quickly we can realize that this won’t work, not long and not well. What are we to do, but deemphasize the mind as we move farther into A Course of Love?

“All the mind can do is rearrange reality and hold it still and captive and rule bound.” (ACOL 1.5)

This is what the mind does to reality. Is this anything that we would want?

“The mind will attempt to understand with its own logic and fight the logic of the heart. The mind will see new rules and perhaps be willing to rearrange its reality once again.

“The mind is its own reality. You cannot escape the mind’s reality with the mind. You cannot learn how to escape the reality of the mind with the mind’s pattern of learning or of logic. You cannot live in a new and fresh world and retain the mind’s reality.” (ACOL, 1.8 – 1.9)

These quotations do not say so, but the way to turn aside from the mind’s view of reality is to trust the heart’s prompting. We have to get outside the mind to see what it is really doing. It won’t destroy its own constructs about reality. We don’t want to destroy anything, because violence makes what we would eliminate. We simply gently turn aside, basking in the warmth of the heart’s inner knowing.

And by so doing does our little world come around alright again.

Our Little Self Has Been Caught in Adolescence

“He seems a sorry figure, weary, worn, in threadbare clothing, and with feet that bleed a little from the rocky road he walks. . .

“This is your chosen self, the one you made as a replacement for reality. This is the self you savagely defend against all reason, every evidence, and all the witnesses with proof to show this is not you.” (ACIM, W-166)

Do we really want to see ourselves as this quotation depicts? Certainly not, but this is our picture of ourselves when we are feeling sorry for ourselves. And we feel sorry for ourselves when we lose track, even momentarily, of the grace in which we live. When we lose track of God.

Jesus is very poetic in his descriptions. When we fret and worry, we make ourselves into a tragic figure, one that we feel sorry for, and that others may as well.

This is all so unnecessary. When we know that we are guided to the right thought and action, when we know that we are never alone, our lives smooth out and we feel safe again. Turn to guidance when you have questions. The

Answer will usually come immediately. If not, go about your day in the surety that the Answer will come.
And that Answer that you need will come. Be assured of that. There is no better way to live a life.

“To say that the personal self will not exist only as the self you present to others is to say that the personal self will now cease to be seen as your reality.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 1.10)
The “little” self has been the self of the ego, which, A Course of Love assures us, is not our way any longer. This little self is also known in ACOL as the personal self. We do keep this self to present to the world, but we really don’t believe in it any longer.

We know that there is a deeper Self Who rules our lives. And with this we are satisfied.

“Our discussion merely examined the reality you chose to believe in, the reality of an ego-self, a self-concept seemingly stuck in an adolescent phase of development.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 2.12)
We are adolescents when we choose to rebel against reality, choose to rebel against God. God had to let us go our own way at this point, eons ago. He made no attempt to rein in our free will, which was to make a reality that tried to leave Him out.

Of course, we could not really do that. God cannot be left out of the equation, for we are part of Him. But we could imagine ourselves independent of God, and the imagining became very real.
And lamentable. But we know more now. We know that we don’t have to forge ahead like a ship with no anchor. God is our anchor, and well it is that this is true.

“Your Self and God will be but memories to you while your reality remains that of the physical experience and the personal self.” (ACOL, Treatise on the Personal Self, 13.2)

Our Self and God are memories to us, because we are recollecting what we have known previously. But to become more than a memory, we must try to reach beyond the physical reality in which we are embedded. The elevated Self of form will use this physical reality, but in a new way. We will know that we are fully united with God, that He is always there for us, that we aren’t independent little entities with no mooring.

The personal self will be transformed into the elevated Self of form. And in this transformation will the character of our world change for the better.

We need this elevated Self of form to live happily in a world that perception used to rule, but that now knowledge rules. We will create again, not “make.” And we will be home in a new world, creating anew a new place to be. We will know creation of the new.

We Are Not Special

“Only the special could have enemies, for they are different and not the same. And difference of any kind imposes orders of reality, and a need to judge that cannot be escaped.” (ACIM, T-24.I.3)

When Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we need to see ourselves as the “same,” he is saying that we are all equal, not presently, but ultimately. Some do know more temporarily, and it is this that gives us pause for thought. It is this that can give the ego a field day, for if we are unequal now, does that not mean that some of us are “special”?

No, being unequal in knowing about salvation is just the way of the present. In time, all talents will be shared in equal measure, for only time separates us from equality. And time does not really exist, being an illusion, like all that we see in our physical world. We live in eternity. We are just seeing immediate points in order to be able to experience that eternity.

We are not special. Or, conversely, we could see that all of us are special. At any rate, there is only sameness in actuality. We cooperate with our best talents now, knowing that all will share those talents eventually.
We will find ourselves judging if we think that we are special, different from each other. And judging keeps us from awakening. It is one of the three ways in which enlightenment recedes in the distance. (The other two are rising anger and planning against contingencies to come, planning that is not authorized by the Holy Spirit.)
Orders of reality are a false concept, a way of viewing our lives that does not dovetail with the real. And true reality is where we would live. There are, it is true, levels of understanding our reality. But we all live in the sameness of true camaraderie, when we listen to the Holy Spirit as we go about our day.

He will keep us from fretting and worrying. He will ease our minds.

Seeing Chaos Is Evidence of Unreality

“Certain it is illusions will bring fear because of the beliefs that they imply, not for their form. And lack of faith in love, in any form, attests to chaos as reality.” (ACIM, T-23.II.20)

We live well when we love, love ourselves, love others, love God. We don’t do so well when we are submerged in the chaos of worry, anger, hate—any of the negative emotions. When we worry, we rue God’s blessings. We don’t see that His guidance for us, the Holy Spirit, will get us out of any jam. We are lost in illusions when we worry. And all of us stay lost in illusions to one extend or another.

When we are fearful, we are opening ourselves to all sorts of negative emotions. How do we rid ourselves of the fear? Turn to love; it is just that simple. Commune with God; know that He is always with us. His blessings will eliminate the worry, nearly always. If not, we need to go deeper. Why are we letting fear rule, when we all know better? Are we bored? Are we anxious? Are we concerned about something over which we have little or no control?

The answers will vary from time to time, but there is always one antidote: Turn to God in love, ask for the blessings of the Holy Spirit, and ask for God’s protection. He will always respond in the affirmative.

“When you chose to deny relationship, you chose a thought system based on the opposite of your reality. Thus each choice to deny union reveals its opposite. What is separate from peace is chaos. What is separate from good is evil. What is separate from the truth is insane. Since you cannot be separate, all these factors that oppose your reality exist only in opposition to it.” (ACOL, 6.8)

When we are worrying, we are lost in chaos. We don’t see a way out until we distract ourselves with the best that we know: God’s love and attention to our every need. We are choosing to be, maybe ever so slightly, insane. And, as a result, we wallow about in misery.
This can’t go on. God needs our holy minds to redeem His world. And the only way that this can be initiated is to have a change of heart in ourselves first. Then we will be a position to make things better for others. Do-goodism doesn’t work for long. We can’t save the world if we haven’t first been saved. And A Course in Miracles and A Course in Love give direction to our misguided efforts to be salvation’s beacon light. We turn inward, and then in the inward turn do we see aright again—maybe for the first time in eons.

Turn aside from chaos today. We need to know that we don’t have to worry, to be anxious, to fret, to be insane. Those things can all be in the past.

Test out God today. He welcomes our heartfelt questionings. He will never fail us. His Way will take us home.

Walk into the Light of Miracles Personified

“You do not doubt that the body’s eyes can see. You do not doubt the images they show you are reality. Your faith lies in darkness, not the light. How can this be reversed? For you it is impossible, but you are not alone in this.” (ACIM, W-91)

We are not alone. In the terms of A Course in Miracles, we always have the Holy Spirit with us—there, guiding us, if we are willing to listen. And we don’t really see anything except illusions with the physical eyes. We see truly when we have vision that is not of the physical eyes. Then we are not seeing “images” at all, but true reality.

If we can just remember that we are not alone, even when all around us the world seems to be disintegrating, then we will be reassured always. Even if the outer world weren’t in disarray (which it is), then our surrounding world does tend to fall apart from time to time. Then we need to keep the faith, to know that our guidance is true, that there is a legitimate, good, way out. And we are certain that all of our worries are usually borrowed troubles.

We need to doubt that the body’s eyes see truly. When we let that doubt in, we are primed for seeing with real vision. We see the intangibles that are all around us, even when things are going badly. We can, once again, see truth, beauty, sunlight, a beautiful morning, love, the affection that we get from our most significant others. We know, most of all, that we are all in this together. We don’t lament our lot in life any longer.

And it is no mystery why we are healed.

See with True Vision

“Perception is a choice and not a fact. But on this choice depends far more than you may realize as yet. For on the voice you choose to hear, and on the sights you choose to see, depends entirely your whole belief in what you are. Perception is a witness to this, and never to reality. Yet it can show you the conditions in which awareness of reality is possible, or those where it could never be.” (ACIM, T-21.V.1)

Our perceptions are choices made within a deluded mind. What we see inwardly, we project outwardly, seeing thereby what we really want to see.

There is no exception to this rule. The oft-repeated phrase, “Projection makes perception,” makes illusion mandatory. We are not seeing reality at all. But: We know how reality can be made aware in our perceptions also, though exactly how is not spelled out. This is one of the more obscure assertions in A Course in Miracles.

We don’t want to see illusions, but we can find a modicum of reality even in what we see—if we are faithful to our inner Guide, the Holy Spirit (or, as A Course of Love says, our inner Christ Self). In what we see, we form our opinion of what reality really is, what we truly are. And from this there is no escape.

Look today beneath the sights and sounds of an illusory world, looking for the reality that lurks behind the camouflage. You will get glimpses, if you look truly and without hidden agendas to see what you want to see, regardless. The love that is all around us is true, for example. But we often don’t see these intangibles, and look instead for the material world, a world that always disappoints.

Look for the reality that is hidden from our physical eyes. Real vision, according to A Course in Miracles, sees into the true reality and is not dependent on physical sight at all. It is independent of physical sight.