Monthly Archives: August 2015

Thought Reversal Guided by the Heart

“A major thought reversal is required now before we can go on. It has been stated and emphasized countless times before, and it will be here as well: What you give you will receive in truth. What you do not receive is a measure of what you withhold. Your heart is accustomed to giving in a way that your mind is not.” (ACOL, C:7.1)

Giving and receiving in truth can be a phrase so familiar as to lose its meaning as we read A Course of Love. But its meaning is very clear in ACOL, and it is a necessary thought of our thought reversal from the ego-mind to the art of thought (letting the Self lead the way). When we do give to our brothers and sisters, we can see immediately that they respond positively, if our giving has been positive. What we withhold from them, we in effect withhold from ourselves. And this is not something that we want to do when we are seeking to make positive decisions about positive change.

We might think that we are so downtrodden that we don’t have much to give. We might be so caught up in our own problems, so self-absorbed, that we don’t have any mental energy to devote to giving.

These are legitimate concerns. But most of us are simply making excuses. We can give, and we can give freely, when we let our heart do the choosing about what to give. Our heart doesn’t think that to give is going to leave us with less. Our heart knows better than this. It is the ego-mind that thinks that giving will mean a deficiency in our having. And this is the ego-mind that we are pledged to leave behind.

Give a little today, just to see what it is like. Tip a bit more at lunch out. Hug a little harder your loved ones. Give with no thought of what we will get in return, for this is the most genuine way to proceed.

Jesus is articulating a law of the universe when he tells us that what we give, we do indeed receive back. These laws are in place whether we believe they are the truth or not. But we can test them out and find that they are indeed truth. And the benefits that will accrue to us will determine our future pathway. They bring with them evidence of a better way to live.

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Entertain Happy Thoughts!

“It is your denial of all your happy thoughts that has led you to a life of such unhappiness. Thoughts of terror and of sin you will embrace, but thoughts of resurrection and new life you still before they have a chance at birth and call them wishful thinking. What harm do you expect happy thoughts to do to you?” (ACOL, C:6.21)

Do you often find that unhappy thoughts predominate our thinking? Our “what if’s” are a big problem, usually. And we worry and obsess about the slightest things. Never a pleasant thought that we sustain! We need to change this, as this passage makes clear.

A Course of Love wants us to think happy thoughts. To dwell on what is going right. One way to do this is to keep a gratitude list. We can begin with just five things, written down in the evening before bed, five things that we are grateful for. This is a painless and potent way to lift our way out of depression. Some days it will be easy to find five; some days we will have to fall back on the tried and true because we have had a decidedly bad day. No matter. The exercise is sufficient to lift our mood, done over time, carefully and consistently.

I have heard first hand from a number of people that this suggestion works. The specific number, five, ensures that everyone will have enough blessings to quickly and usually easily find five blessings to thank God for. And when we do so, we drift off to sleep in a better frame of mind. The first dig out of depression has happened.
When we take to heart the truth that we create our own reality, we can see how harboring distasteful thoughts can be so bad for us. We make more of the same! Just that. And Jesus asks us, poignantly, in this passage, just what do we think that happy thoughts are going to do for us? They will lift us up, change the tenor our days.

There is no doubt about the truth of this assertion, to change the day by thinking happier thoughts. The law of attraction, which unfortunately so often is employed to bring materialism into our lives, also works for the intangible as well. And the law of attraction is another way of saying that we create our own reality.

Play with these ideas today. Accept whatever disastrous thought comes to mind, but resolve not to dwell upon it. Just accepting it, and moving on, in the flow, will move mountains of debris under which we have buried ourselves.

Try it, and we will see.

Peace is Enjoyment of Both Rain & Sun

“How can I make peace attractive to you who know it not? The Bible says, “The sun shines and the rain falls on the good and evil alike.” Why then do you think that peace is endless sunshine? Peace is merely enjoyment of the rain and sun, night as well as day. Without judgment cast upon it, peace shines on all that you would look upon, as well as every situation you would face.” (ACOL, C:6.16)

A maxim of Eastern religion has it: “Be willing to have it so.” This seems to be what we are reading in A Course of Love for today. If we don’t try to make things other than they are, we have a peace that will be undisturbed.
Of course, we have a natural tendency to want to better things. But this can and often does lead to perpetual dissatisfaction with the “rain” in life. We can have peace in the midst of the rain, as this quotation for today emphasizes. We don’t need to give up our higher hopes for a better life, but just temper them somewhat. And be peaceful in the midst of whatever is going on around us—whatever.

We know that we need to give up our judgment of the world and its people, ourselves included. This giving up of judgment is not hard to do; indeed, A Course in Miracles tells us that it is the keeping of judgment that is hard. It makes more rain on our days. Much more. If we would know peace, we cannot keep judgment.

So often we fall into judgment without fully realizing what we are doing. We need something negative about someone whom, at base, we are threatened by, and then we wonder why we suddenly feel disjointed from our good day. It is the judgment that has done it. We cannot keep judgment and hope to have peace; we can now see this first hand.
There is a still center in us that is undisturbed by anything that transpires outwardly. It is to that still center that we ought to return when challenged by anything in our lives. ACIM says that there is no challenge to the advanced teacher of God. The advanced teacher has learned to go with the flow of the day. To follow guidance to that flow. And never to let the flow dissipate.

Find our still center today. And see if today doesn’t unfold in a better way. This is the “another way” that Helen (scribe of ACIM) promised Bill (co-scribe) to help him find. And people have been finding that other way ever since.

Now we have A Course of Love to guide us to establish a new identity. We can’t establish a new identity with judgment holding onto our coattails. We need to give up our evaluations of other people, any and all that are judgments.

And we will find that the sun shines far more often than the rain falls.

Give Up Struggle & Follow Guidance

“Struggle to succeed and succeed to struggle yet another day” is the life you have made, and the life you fear heaven would replace. To give up the idea that this is where meaning is found, fulfillment attained, happiness birthed amongst sorrow, is seen as giving up. Heaven’s help is most called upon for just this time, this time when giving up is close, for never do you feel more in need of help than when all your plans have failed and giving up becomes an alternative more attrac¬tive than carrying on.” (ACOL, C:6.13)

When we give up, paradoxically we are closer to home than ever before. We are finally open to God, and this makes all the difference.

We have become very accustomed to struggle over the eons of separation. Now, when we are told that enlightenment doesn’t come from struggle and work at all, we don’t know what to think. How do I reach Christ-consciousness, then, if I can’t work for it?

Three books channeled by Jesus have given us many answers, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and The Way of Mastery. Not all believe that Jesus channeled all three, but there are similarities among the three that invite that speculation. In all, Jesus advocates a surcease of struggle, a giving up of needless effort, a following of the guidance that will come to us. This guidance will take us home. If we do nothing more to go home, then following our guidance is the only thing that will succeed where everything else has failed.

So give up struggle as a bad idea. Turn the details of our days over to a Higher Power, either the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ Self. We won’t know where the guidance is coming from, but God is within—as are the Holy Spirit and the Christ Self—and so knowing exactly which entity is guiding us is a moot point. But guidance we need, and, as we progress along the pathway, guidance is what we will want.

Give up to all except this guidance, and see what a fantastic difference it makes in our days. Guidance is my little theme song, and today is the first day of the rest of our lives.

Let’s make this day count by following the guidance that comes.

God’s Is a Warmth Not of This World

“A warmth not of this world, given freely, with no work involved, causes you to shake your head. How can it be for you if you cannot put in effort to attain it?” (ACOL, C:6.10)

A comforting passage, this passage gives us something to think about that will calm our days, and is this not what we all want? The warmth is of God, for His blessing upon us is a love that comes with warmth, feeling that seems not of this world. And indeed it isn’t. It is of the heaven that we seek to inhabit, even while we live in this world. These are foretastes of what lie ahead. And well we can anticipate a surcease of unhappy times, a surcease of suffering and pain. Our days will improve when we learn to follow God’s rules for a happy day.

Surprisingly, perhaps, things do not have to be perfect for us to have good days. For us to feel this warmth that the passage tells us about. And we have all this warmth without effort of any kind. An effortlessness that is lasting. What a blessing this is indeed!

We are so used to working our way in this world, working, trying to make things better. But we have been working at cross purposes with God, Who does not want us efforting at all. Of course, we will still get things done, we will go on “busy doings,” but the strain will be gone. Our new way of living will ensure that we are in league with God’s way of working in the world.

Don’t let disappointment at not being perfect in feeling the warmth of God get you down. Dark nights of the soul may still await us. But they won’t last forever, and we know that they are simply a way station on the road to heaven.

Be still today for a while, for God’s warmth is felt in stillness. He would have us sit with Him; He would sometimes shut us up to Him alone.

The blessings of the new way of life advocated by A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are manifold. We do not have to wait long. Keep the faith, turn over our concerns to God Himself, and see if the future that is promised does not unfold before our astonished eyes.

Learn What Our Heart Would Have Us Learn

“All this forgiveness can do for you. Forgiveness of the original error—the choice to believe that you are separate despite the fact that this is not so and cannot ever be. What loving creator would create a universe in which such a thing could be? A thing alone would be a thing created without love, for love creates like itself and is forever one with everything that has been created. This simple realization will start you on the path to learning what your heart would have you learn.” (C:6.6)

We already know that we need to forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters, and even God Himself. But now we hear that we have to forgive the original error of supposed “separation,” that we once thought that we could ever be separate from one another and from God Himself. Love creates like itself, and love is forever one. This is enough for us to listen to today. This is enough for many days.

Our heart wants us to learn many things, but love is the principal thing that the heart would have us learn. And forgiveness of our misconceptions is a long way on the road to love.

Why would we ever want to be separate? We would just want to experience this, to see what it would be like to try to make a universe separate from our Creator. Just to do it. And God Himself joins in this endeavor, for we are part of God, and to do so without His cooperation would have been impossible.

We need today to put such foolishness aside forever. We don’t really want to retain a philosophy of living that is contrary to what is sane and rational, and being “separate” is not sane and rational. Why would we choose such agony for ourselves, for agony it is. The choice to be alone in all the universe is not a choice that can make any sense.

Our special relationships have taught us that we don’t really want to be alone. But they have their drama, the highs and lows of acceptance and rejection, and we don’t want that either. We must transform these inferior loves into holy relationships of joining one to the other in forgiveness and genuine love, not to get something, but to give. And in the giving we receive as well.

We do get tired of hearing that we have to forgive. But this is the basis of A Course in Miracles, and, as such, the starting point for A Course of Love. Let us proceed on this pathway a little longer, and then we will ultimately realize that we don’t have anything to forgive at all. It has all been an illusion, a dream, and we are willing to give it up in exchange for true reality—a dream no longer.

The Truly Real Is Relationship

“Joining rests on forgiveness. This you have heard before without understanding what it is you would forgive. You must forgive reality for being what it is. Reality, the truly real, is relationship. You must forgive God for creating a world in which you cannot be alone. You must forgive God for creating a shared reality before you can understand it is the only one you would want to have.” (ACOL, C:6.1)

Many of us find the message of this passage to be hard to take, because like many passages in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, it goes against our education and training in this world. Having to “forgive” the world for being what it is sounds like a foreign concept. But we often think that we are supposed to be autonomous. We are not. And what a relief this can be!

We are trained to depend on become more independent as we grow older, as we first grow beyond adolescence. Indeed, much of the rebellion of adolescence is because young people are trying to become independent of their parents. This is a natural “moving away,” and most young people reconcile with their parents as they move out of the teen years.

But something more is being told us here. We are meant to share this world with other people; we are never meant to go it alone. We have found that we gravitated to special relationships, which have been a way to balance our desire for independence and our need for joining with others. And this joining is natural, the way we are built, the way God created us. We are actually going against what is natural to our natures when we seek to lead solitary lives. When we seek to be too independent.

Joining works. It assuages loneliness, surely a bad thing for us to experience (and many do experience loneliness).

We also learn that we aren’t meant to make decisions independently, but to depend on our guidance. ACIM calls this Source the Holy Spirit; ACOL calls this Source our Christ Self. We will not be able to tell the difference. But we will know that our decisions turn out right when we follow the inner nudges, the intuition—and the myriad other ways that God can get through to us.

Decide today to be a part of the world of people. Enjoy a camaraderie of care and love with those we meet. We will not be disappointed in our better day.