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.

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.

A World of Joy

“Remember now one lovely day, for each of you has had at least one that was a shining light in a world of darkness. A day in which the sun shone on your world and you felt part of everything. Every tree and every flower welcomed you. Every drop of water seemed to refresh your soul, every breeze to carry you to heaven. Every smile seemed meant for you, and your feet hardly seemed to touch the soft ground on which you walked. This is what awaits you as you join with what you see. This awaits you as you place no judgment on the world, and in so doing join with everything and extend your holiness across a world of grief, causing it to become a world of joy.” (C:5:32)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wish such a day often, even everyday? Is such a blessing possible? Probable?

I think that it is, but I do think that it is rare in our world. I have read of people who never met a person they didn’t like, people who feel happy every day. But I would be the first to tell you that this is not I. Oh, I hope for better days, and I do have many good days—but constant and unremitting joy has not been my lot in life.

I doubt that it has been yours either. But we can move ever close to such a blessed state by doing certain things daily.

It is well to start the day right, as A Course in Miracles points out. And, of course, Jesus also tells us in ACIM that the day can be begun again if it starts out less than the best. How to start the day right?

We need a time of quietness. And not all of us can squeeze this in first thing in the morning. It means getting up earlier, before our family rouses It means that we give a part of each day to God, right off the bat. And we are the better for it.

I do not always do this, but when I have, the rewards have been great. I go out on our sun/screen porch, where the early sounds of the morning, and my reading and prayer, grant me peace. Having this peace first thing in the morning is the best way to ensure that the day will unfold well. If the day turns frantic, we can then go within, in memory, for that moment when everything seemed right with the world—when God was in His heaven, and we were visiting Him, so to speak.

If you can’t carve out the first part of the day to spend with God, spend time with Him as soon as possible as the day unfolds. We will never regret these moments of quiet. We will flourish in a world that seems at time to have gone mad. As it has.

Return in memory to happy times. Recall a pristine day, as the passage for today encourages us. And remember that prayer is God’s way to talk to us. Prayer is sometimes silence, for God is heard in silence.

The world today does not live by these rules. And they are my rules, my interpretation, based on A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. When you have time, develop your own rules.

You will live far happier days. And you will the God Whom you may have forgotten somewhere along the way.

Overcoming Intellectual Doubts about God

“Your desire to be separate is the most insane desire of which you have conceived. Over all your longing for union you place this desire to be separate and alone. Your entire resistance to God is based on this. You think you have chosen to be separate from God so that you can make it on your own, and while you long to return to God and the heaven that is your home, you do not want to admit that you cannot get there on your own.” (C:5.22)

Separation, being alone, independent, not needing anything or Anybody else, is just insane. We have invented our special relationships to accommodate this insane desire to be separate but merged. And our special relationships are normally full of drama, highs and lows, separation and mergers, and we know no peace. Only when we transform those special relationships into holy ones, reminiscent of our true relationship to God, do we know any peace. This is why the relationship to our brother (or sister) is the way home for us as described in A Course in Miracles.

The true relationship is one of joining with God, and with our brothers and sisters. We think that to be autonomous is a good thing, but we fail at it repeatedly. And we chastise ourselves for this failure, when actually this failure is a symbol of the fact that we don’t get along very well when we attempt to separate ourselves from our faith in God.

We are part of God; He is living us. So the very idea of separating from Him (or Her) is insane. It is impossible. And the sooner we give up the idea of living an independent life, separate from our Creator, the sooner we will live in happiness. We taught ourselves the very unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator. And did we ever suffer for such a ridiculous notion!

Of course, some of us have intellectual doubts about God. To those who feel this way, I would say to look, as A Course of Love, encourages, to our heart. Our heart doesn’t need the proofs that the egoic mind demands. Our heart will soften and seek to love. And in that love we will find a love for a Higher Power, for in our heart we know that we are not all alone in the universe. It has been said, borrowing from World War I imagery, that there are no atheists in foxholes. But, closer to home, there are no atheists who listen to their heart in this matter of the reality of God. We try to be intellectually suspicious, but we can’t sustain such an idea when we feel such warmth in our heart. Where is this warmth coming from? How do we know that God exists? For these two questions are identical. And our heart knows the answer to both questions.

Stop the mind from raising objections. Just consider that we have been wrong to trumpet independence as the way to live in this world. Reach out to the others in our lives, and see if that reaching out doesn’t touch the heart. Then and only then, with soft and sweet feelings in the heart, are we open to eliminating our skeptical attitudes toward the loving God Who created us.

A Miracle of Transcendence

“It is your continuing desire to have a relationship only with the world without that causes such a world to remain. This is because your definition of relationship is not one of joining. What you join with becomes real. As you take it into your Self you thereby make it real because you make it one with your real Self. This is reality. All you do not join with remains outside and is illusion, for what is not one with you does not exist.” (ACOL, C:5.17)

This world in which we find ourselves is illusion, and yet we, in our limited way, think that this illusory world is all that matters. We don’t have to think this way. We can have it another way, a better way. We can join with what surrounds, and in the joining does what surrounds us become internal and therefore one with us. This makes for a miracle of transcendence. We have taken this world into our Self and in the doing of this, this world becomes reality. It is one with us.

These are theological ideas, and, as such, can easily become divisive. We do not have to allow the theology of A Course of Love to divide us. We can accept what comes easily and effortlessly, and we can leave the remainder for another day. Not all of us, even genuine enthusiasts of ACOL, believe that the reality in which we find ourselves is illusion. And, certainly, this one passage indicates that when we join with the outer world, the outer world does become reality. True reality. The Self has encompassed the whole in which we find ourselves. And we are home in God, for God is the All, the One, in which we are enmeshed.

This one idea from this passage, the fact that when we join with the outer reality, it becomes real to us, is an idea of major importance. It answers some of the critics of A Course of Love, some who would say that not believing in the illusion of the physical world is a litmus test for our genuineness in our study, or even in the genuineness of A Course of Love.

Dwell with these ideas a while. See if they speak to us. I believe that they will. When we join with the outer world, we are joining with our concept of Love, and what we join with, in Love, becomes a part of us, a part of the true reality in which we find ourselves.
And finally we are indeed home in God.

Bringing Love to Us and Us to Love

“You do not yet believe nor understand that the urges that you feel are real, and neither good nor bad. Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love.” (ACOL, C:5.11)

We are told in this passage that we are not “bad.” But so often we think that we are. This is the ego finding fault with us once again. We live in fear when we response to our feelings with trepidation. This is so unnecessary, so unnecessary: “Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear.”

Jesus makes the startling assertion here also that even our feelings of destruction and violence come from love. We cannot understand this; there is no point in trying. Just open our minds to the concept. We don’t need to act on feelings of destruction and violence, of course, and we would be very wise not to do so. We are misguided, in that we don’t know how to transmute these destructive and violent feelings. For this transmuting we need guidance. And guidance is always forthcoming when we ask.

The best thing that we can do is to accept all of our feelings, even the so-called “bad” ones. Just accept. That does not mean to condone, because we would all be better off if we could quickly and easily get rid of the negative emotions. Praying them away works. It may be practically the only thing that works.

Prayer works in so many ways, but not to a God Whom we perceive as outside ourselves. For He is we, we are a part of Him. Until we take this truth and assimilate it, we will be lost in miseries and tragedies, the tragedy of the human condition.

The human condition does not have to be tragic. We will ultimately inhabit an elevated Self of form, which is the enlightened Self Who is now deep within, layered over by illusions that seem to have no end of trouble for us. We do not have to lament the physical body, for the physical body can be elevated to a good thing. Let us do so today.

If you would awaken, then mellow out. The genius of enlightenment is that it is so calm, so tranquil. It is true that some who go through Awakening do so from a very chaotic point of departure—depression and the like. And these transitions to enlightenment can be, but do not have to be, traumatic. The best way to ease into enlightenment is to welcome it with mellowness. The glimpses of Awakening show us an invulnerable self, even the personal self, that is transmuted into something that blesses every part of us and our days.

Our feelings are to be accepted, even the so-called bad ones. But we don’t act on the bad ones, and sooner or later they fall away—when we catch enough glimpses of the Christ-consciousness toward which we are all moving.

Ask for help today in lengthening the glimpses that come to us, the glimpses of Christ-consciousness. This is a prayer fully in line with God’s desires for us. There is no better prayer, no better way to spend our prayer time.

Our Heart Knows Love

“We are beginning now to paint you a new picture, a picture of things unseen before but visible to your heart if not your eyes. Your heart knows love without a vision of it.” (ACOL, C:5.7)

Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love tell us that our physical eyes do not really see anything except illusions. So the physical eyes cannot be depended upon for real vision. And by “vision,” Jesus means an intuitive as well as rational understanding of what true reality really is. And this always includes love, harmony, peace, joy, and the like. It doesn’t includes anything material, and we are urged not to ask for the materialistic, because it normally means that we are feeding the ego.

As we get this far along in A Course of Love, Jesus is introducing to us what the heart can see and the physical eyes cannot. He knows that our heart is for feeling, and that feeling envelops us in a way that the mind does not. The heart draws us in, and when we are open to listening to our heart, we are drawn ever closer to the Christ-consciousness (enlightenment, Awakening) that is the purpose behind ACOL. We are meant to awaken, and when we make a decision that we want to do so, heaven and earth move to give us our request. When we have been purified, meaning that the fear and judgment from the depths of our being has been brought to the surface and opened to the light, then God is ready to grant us our request for enlightenment. He waits on us. He is always ready, but we are not.

Our heart does know love. And making Love our priority is of major importance in our desire to awaken. So it stands to reason (at least my reason) that when we listen to our heart and know love, we will walk ever closer to Christ-consciousness. This interpretation is an emphasis in The Way of Mastery, another work that is attributed to Jesus (as Jeshua, said to be his preferred name, because it emphasizes his humanity).

We cannot will our way to enlightenment. To try to do so is to have a demanding spirit, and surrender—not a demand–is the only correct attitude toward God. We surrender to Him, we live for His purpose, and we know love—for He teaches it to us.

Living Love is the best way to live. And, indeed, in the new world that we will be creating when we walk God’s pathway, it is the only way to live. Think of Love today often. Our day will go better, indeed, it will go the best.

Inner Christ Is Wholly Human & Wholly Divine

“The Christ in you is wholly human and wholly divine. As the wholly divine, nothing is unknown. As the wholly human, everything has been forgotten. Thus we begin to relearn the known as the One who already possesses all. It is this joining of the human and divine that ushers in love’s presence, as all that caused you fear and pain falls away and you recognize again what love is. It is this joining of the human and divine that is your purpose here, the only purpose worthy of your thought.” (ACOL, C:5.1)

Our Self, the inner Christ, is both human and divine—just as was said about Jesus’s life on earth. We are inhabiting a body that is very much at risk for danger in a violent world, and we may still be inhabiting a body whose mind is eclipsed by egoic consciousness. If so, we are still suffering in this world of humanness. But things happen in stages, and perhaps we are not yet ready to let go of all things egoic. The Self, the inner Christ, the divine in us, would very much like to see us change our minds, to move beyond the ego into a consciousness that has been transformed. Again, all in stages. We may request an acceleration, but we are not in total charge; God has quite a bit of say in the matter. And we are a part of God.

When we join human to divine, we are giving up our emphasis on the ego, and with that, our pain (which still may be with us) will cease to be suffering. It just is. And we will rise above. Our purpose here is to join human with divine, and, ultimately (as described in A Course of Love, to inhabit the elevated Self of form. We will certainly be happier when this transformation has happened.

We have tried a multitude of ways to make the world satisfy us. And the world has always defeated us, brought us down, for we have not been consistently happy. And happiness is our function, according to A Course in Miracles—along with salvation and forgiveness as equated functions.

Make a decision today that we will seek Love as we understand God to be. This represents a joining of the human with the divine, for we are still on earth, still very much a part of this world. But seeking Love is a purpose, out of many that we might choose, that really gives us fulfillment. The only purpose that gives us fulfillment.

Try today to walk a little closer to God. We will sense His Presence, and the day will certainly go better.

A New World Will Arise

“This foreign world where you have been so lonely and afraid will linger for a while where it can terrify you no longer, until finally it will fade away into the nothingness from which it came as a new world rises up to take its place.” (ACOL, C:4.27)

This “new world” is not different from the familiar earth, but our perceptions are transformed, and so everything and everyone looks different. Our perceptions will have been cleansed when we reach Christ-consciousness, Awakening, enlightenment. We will have transformed the mind all the way down through the subconscious, and this purification means that everything and everyone will seem different. But it is we who have changed. Would this purification not be something that we ask the Holy Spirit or the inner Christ Self to effect?

With the ego ruling our minds, we have, for as long as we can remember and eons earlier, been lonely and afraid. We have thought that we are encased in a body, a solitary creature all alone in the world. For regardless of how many special relationships we surrounded ourselves with, we still knew in our depths that these might end for us. Either a premature ending, or by death, and we never knew the day nor the hour.

When we move into finding glimpses of Awakening, we will lose our fear of being solitary, with no one to help us. We will feel safety in the depths, and with this safety comes the peace that passeth understanding. We will no longer be terrified by this foreign world. We will know for sure that it is illusion, and illusion cannot harm us.

So pay attention to the thoughts that well up within us today. A purification of our thoughts needs to happen for Awakening to occur. If we cooperate with this procedure, listening always for guidance, we will accelerate the process of coming to know true living—a true living that is directed by the Christ Self, not the ego. We have to be willing to turn on a dime, when our guidance so dictates. We have to be willing to listen, all the time, to that guidance.

The way is not distant for many of us. Seekers will find, and then, as A Course of Love says, we will seek no longer. We will have found.

Experience a Little Heaven on Earth

“The lucky ones among you have made a place resembling home within your world. It is where you keep love locked away behind closed doors. It is where you return after your forays into the world that you have made and upon entering believe you leave the world’s madness outside your door. Here you feel safe and gather those you love around you.” (ACOL, C:4.21)

We all identify with this passage. We know what it is like to come into our home, our safe haven, after a day of disappointment in the outer world. Our homes do reflect the Home that we are really after, the Home of heaven. If we are lucky, as Jesus says.
Some of us do have discord in our personal homes on earth. And so we have no place that we can hide.

Most of us have love in some form that we can recognize. Some form of love that meets our deepest needs, even though we are not always sure that our loved ones understand the real person behind our mask. We have lived this mask so many years that we know not how to share the real person, and so we feel lost and alone in our inner personal self.

There is an antidote, and that is to let the inner Self out to play. This Self does not wear a mask, and so we will need just to trust that this Self will be well-received. Because it is a Self of love, we can bet everything we own on its good reception. Others long for love, and when we are living the Self, we give love without demanding anything in return. We are living the best that we can. And when we aren’t demanding, others almost magically return the love that we are offering. Giving and receiving are One in truth. And we learn this, easily and for all time, when we live the inner Christ Self.

Imagine, when you come in from the harsh, cruel world that you are entering a little haven that is a precursor of heaven itself. Drop the discord, if there has been any. Just offer our genuine love to those in the world who mean the most to us.

We will be surprised by how our inner havens will change for the better. And living well, in our personal homes, will prepare us to tackle the outer world with less rancor. Our outer doings in this world will change for the better as well.

We can create a little heaven on earth in this way. Our havens presage Heaven itself. And we don’t have to wait for the afterlife to so experience what is right there waiting for us in this world.

Living in Love Creates Transformation

“. . .[L]ove is nothing like your image of your life and has no resemblance to how you spend your days or the way your days will end. Love is all that is set apart in your perception from what you do here.” (ACOL, C:4.18)

Our perceptions of reality are skewed, at this point, early in the reading of A Course of Love. We think that we know how to love, but we really don’t, and it is this lack of knowledge that trips us up. We think we know what we do in our living on earth, but we are living an illusion. So true love actually has no part in what we are doing here; we only want to imagine that the special love of our special relationships is true reality. It is anything but.

We need to open to love in a way that we never have. We need to recognize that love will offer us a future unlike the past, a future that we will enjoy beyond measure. Living in love is the basis of transformation, the basis for Awakening or Christ-consciousness. We give up judgment, we give up fear, and we walk into the sunlight with Jesus. It is just that simple and just that hard, for, make no mistake, this change in orientation to the true world demands the giving of all that we have held dear. We won’t give up our special relationships, though; we will transform them into holy. And the change may be disconcerting, at least for a while. But this change from the special to the holy holds the key to all the rest. Make no bones about it, this change requires the surrender of all that we have held dear, for we have held dear what would imprison God’s Son or Daughter.

It is time to make a choice to give up illusions. It is time to walk Home. Jesus will help us. Other beings will help us. We never walk alone. God Himself will help us. The transformation that is required to see true reality is a change in vision, of the inner eye—not the physical eye. The transformation will come first in glimpses, lengthening in time, over time. Then, if we are very diligent in our forgiveness, in our giving up of judgment and fear, we will move into the maintenance of Christ-consciousness, and then, ultimately, into the sustainability of Christ-consciousness. And with this change, nothing will ever be the same again.

Ask for help in receiving the blessing of Christ-consciousness today. Ask to see the glimpses that foretell the future for all of us. Do not delay. Delay is likely of the ego, an ego that does not mean us well, for we made it, and we made it not through love. Choose love once again, and everything will fall into place.

Listen to the Heart in Every Instance

“When you think of acting out of love, your thoughts of love are based on sentiment and must be challenged. Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. Love is not throwing logic to the wind and acting in foolish ways that pass as gaiety but cannot masquerade as joy.” (ACOL, C:4.12)

If we are “acting,” we are indeed acting. Just playing a part in the masquerade that passes for true living in this world. We don’t choose to act in illusion any longer. We choose really to live in love.

If we are feeling irritated, or, as Jesus says, “surly,” then what do we do then? Do we give vent to the emotion that we are feeling?

Surely not. But we can’t suppress it, either. So what do we do?

The best and surest antidote is to pray the bad feeling out of our system. God will answer us when we are lost in the egoic tenor of bad feelings. Of irritability. Of surliness. He knows our limitations, and these bad emotions are a hangover from our days of letting the ego rule us. If we were to ignore the sane solution of praying to get our emotions straightened out, we would be living a lie. Being “nice” is a solution that won’t work, for almost anybody with whom we come in contact will see our negativity below the façade of a sweet face.

If we do charitable deeds, they must come from the heart. Trying to merit heaven won’t work, either. We can’t do anything to merit heaven, for it is beyond the concepts of good and bad. Heaven is there, waiting for us, when we have tried all the pathways to peace, and we have found all but one untenable. The one that works in the genuine emotion of choosing love in every situation without smoothing over negative emotions with niceness. God will help. Without Him, there would be no hope at all.

We are insufficient to save ourselves. Perhaps we have always known this, but the ego has hidden this fact from our minds. But our hearts know this truth, and our hearts also know the way Home.

Listen to the heart in every instance. God will speak through our hearts. Turning one’s mind over to the influence of the heart is the way to make good things happen. The heart is the best thing that we have going for ourselves.

Little Nudges of Guidance

“Yearning, learning, seeking, acquiring, the need to own, the need to keep, the grasping call, the driving force, the chosen passion—all these things that you have made to replace what you already have will lead you back as surely as they can lead you astray.” (ACOL, C:4.8)

God is very smart. Of course. He chooses the very way that we have been led astray to bring us back. What would work better? I can’t think of anything, and God can’t either.

Yearning, learning, seeking, acquiring, etc., are powerful detriments to our glory. But they are also powerful incentives to come back Home. Our great power has been used to lead us astray, but that same power is now being used to lead us to a better place, the Home that we left eons ago. Is it not a fortunate thing that we live in such times, the time of Christ in which many will find their way to Christ-consciousness?

We don’t know why this epoch is now the time of Christ. Nor do we know why the time of the Holy Spirit has been superseded. Our questionings are vast, filled with the ignorance of self-betrayal. We would know more if we had experienced a transformation, the transformation that Jesus wishes us to choose. We can express willingness for this change to come about, and we need to do so, but we are not in total control of the timing—only God is. But rest assured that He will act to lead us into complete freedom, an imprisoned will no longer, when we are prepared.

Pray to be prepared sooner rather than later. Live mindfully. Live attentively. Learn through observation of the events and people surrounding us. Drop judgment, something that is within our power. Insofar as possible, drop fear (though this is less easily done than dropping judgment). Above all, listen to the nudges of guidance; these will come, unbidden, when we just allow a little willingness to listen. And the nudges of guidance come in many guises: intuition, overhead conversations, feelings, words arising in the mind that we don’t seem to have “thought,” the well-meaning advice of others that seems right on the nose. God finds a way to get through to us, if we will only lend half a mind to discern what He is saying.

Recognize Love, and Fear Will Vanish

“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied? No shadows linger when doubt is gone. Nothing stands between the child of God and the child’s own Source. There remain no clouds to block the sun, and night gives way to day.” (ACOL, C:4.5)

When we don’t recognize love, we don’t recognize our Self and thus we don’t recognize God. This is bound to make us fearful, is it not? We are living in doubt about who we really are. While this is not perfectly clear to us, this living in doubt, we can accept the truth of the statement and then see if understanding dawns.

When we don’t understand something, it is because we have not forgiven. To understand all is to forgive all. And when we have forgiven, understanding comes next. We need to forgive ourselves for our own mistakes, our own lacks. God does not hold mistakes against us, and that is why we have never sinned. Sin would be a mistake that would be much harder to forgive, for we think that we have betrayed God, and that He will not forget nor forgive.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. God will see that we are guided, either by the Holy Spirit or the Self, and He holds no mistakes against us. He created us! He knows that we are fallible! But it is only the personal, little, self that keeps making mistakes. Once we turn over our jurisdiction to the Self that embodies us, our error record drops immensely.

We are so stubborn! We don’t always follow guidance, and if we did reverse this trend, we would be so much better off. God sees out actions, and He knows when we are about to reject guidance in our daily life. He acts to ease our discomfort, but he won’t step in and obstruct free will. So we are in a quandary.

The only wise choice is to make the decision, once and for all, that even if we don’t understand the “why” of a given directive, we will choose to follow it. God doesn’t put heavy demands on us. He takes us where we are, and then builds upon it to lead us back to Home and to Him.

Our self-doubt will diminish and eventually pass away when we become certain about who we are. This is just the definition of having self-doubt fall away. Right now we are surely unclear about true reality and who we truly are. But it won’t always be that way. We will come to clarity. And in the clarity we will thank God for His generosity. He has taken us by the hand and led us Home. And everything will get better. Nothing will ever be the same again, and this change is the great blessing of our lives.

Our Love Is Not in Vain

“Think not that these are senseless questions, made to bring love and pain together and there to leave you unaided and unhelped, for pain and love kept together in this way makes no sense, and yet makes the greatest sense of all. These questions merely prove love’s value. What else do you value more?” (ACOL, C:3.21)

Senseless questions are not real questions, and they don’t accomplish anything in this world. But Jesus asks questions full of sense, questions asking where we are going from where we have been, questions that ask us to take another look at true reality. And when we do take another look at true reality, what do we find but a world enveloped in God’s love?

We don’t value anything above love, though we may, in egoic clutches, reach for those things that will hurt us. True love never hurts. Only egoic special love does that. True love is abundantly kind, above all else.

We all remember the drama of special relationships that we thought were true love. My, how we remember that! But, if we are lucky, that special relationship will morph into a holy relationship, and our hurt will subside. We will know that our beloved is after the same thing that we are—true love, which knows only peace. And kindness. The Dalai Lama once said that kindness was his religion. And surely we can understand what he is trying to say. A kind demeanor for the world is sure to bring more kindness in its wake. And we will know, for a sure thing, that our love has not been in vain.

Open Our Hearts to Love

“These words of love do not enter your body through your eyes and take up residence in your brain, there to be distilled into a language that you can understand. As you read, be aware your heart, for this is where this learning enters and will stay. Your heart is now your eyes and ears. Your mind can remain within your concept of the brain, for we bypass it now and send it no information to process, no data for it to compute. The only change in thinking you are asked to make is to realize that you do not need it.” (ACOL, C:3.14)

This passage denotes the huge change in orientation to the Self that A Course of Love advocates: a movement from the mind to the heart. The heart that doesn’t need proofs and ruminations and thinking and resultant confusion that the mind exhibits. If one is told to consider a given idea with our heart, we will know immediately what is being asked. And we will do it, gladly, for somehow we recognize that the heart has knowledge that the mind doesn’t. We feel loved by our heart. We feel that whatever we take in in that way is chosen by us for a better life.

Later on, we will see that in actuality we merge the mind and the heart into what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.” But we never forget the primacy of the heart as we seek to reach the better end to life on earth. The mind doesn’t get sent information to process; we just rest in the warmth that we feel from the heart when we are embracing love.

What better way is there to spend a day? Wounds of the heart heal when we magnetize love to them. We know that God loves us, though we can’t always know how or why. We just recognize that He will not let us down. We turn to Him, and everything is almost magically made right.

Open our hearts to love. That is one key to a better life in this world. Even this sad and troubled world. We will never find a better way to live. A way that is less likely to wound the heart afresh. Let God shower His love down on our hearts today.

He will not fail us.

An Idea of Love Is Planted in the Garden of Our Heart

“You who are looking for help wonder now how this would help you. What is there left to say that has not been said? What are these words but symbols, by my own admission? It is in what they symbolize that help arrives. You do not need to believe in the words nor the potential of the exer¬cises to change your life, for these words enter you as what they are, not the symbols that they represent. An idea of love is planted now, in a garden rich with what will make it grow.” (ACOL, C:3.9)

A Course of Love emphasizes love, as we might imagine would be appropriate for a course that focuses on the heart. We understand immediately what the heart feels; we are not lost in complexities of the mind that an ego would foster. The words that occur in ACOL are intuitively understood. Jesus doesn’t try to teach us what love means; he merely points the way. He has said that the meaning of love is not something that can be learned. And with the words in this passage, we may well see a further indication of this truth. The words hint; they do not teach.
Jesus says that he is planting an idea of love, “in a garden rich with what will make it grow.”

That garden, I believe, is our heart, and it is rich with the desire to be One with God. This yearning actually increases the likelihood that the idea of love will take root, that we will begin to act on our feelings of love for ourselves, for God, and for each other. We will dwell on the good things that we know, the good that we have done, and others have done. And we will not be so quick to lose our temper, to attack, to drop into all sorts of negative reactions.

Yes, Jesus is dropping into our essence the idea of love. And it is up to us to do something with that idea. Love is our inheritance from God, an inheritance that we have all too often not known because of our egoic thinking. Our egoic minds got in the way of the truth of our heart’s desires. Let the heart rule again, and love will blossom in this beautiful garden of the heart.

We Are the Light & Love of God Himself

“Into this rank confusion is brought a simple statement: Love is. Never changing, symbolizing only itself, how can it fail to be everything or to contain all meaning? No form can encompass it for it encompasses all form. Love is the light in which form disappears and all that is, is seen as it is.” (ACOL, C:3.8)

This quotation builds upon the one from yesterday, when we understood that we embody love. We don’t have to learn who or what we are (as if we could anyway), but we rest in the assurance that we are completed in Love. We are completed in God. And we are a part of God, walking on this earth, and in this form.

Love is the most exalted emotion that we can imagine. Nothing else comes close. Surely God knew that He must rest His universe on something that was so glorious that all of His creations would flock to it. And flock we do to Love. Of course, heretofore we have learned mostly of conditional love, and of dramatic love—complete with highs and lows. This was of the ego.

Now we are moving into the peace that passeth all understanding. This is what Love brings to us, when Love is in its fullness. Then our bodies and their forms seem inconsequential, and we rest in the fullness of the entity that surrounds and inhabits our bodies. This spirit does not need form, except for physical eyes to see. In our quiet times, we can feel the Love that overshadows us, independent of form. And then, when we go out again in the world, we take our forms with us, and others can see the light in our eyes that remains from our time with God.

Rest today in the assurance that the form that we occupy is illusory. It allows us to live in a physical world, and that is all. Be content today to know that what we are is ever so much more than a body. We are the light and love of God Himself.

God Loves Us Unconditionally

“Just as true knowledge cannot be learned, love cannot be learned and you cannot be learned. All that you desire and cannot learn is already accom¬plished. It is accomplished in you. It is you. Imagine the ocean or the cheetah, the sun or the moon or God Himself, attempting to learn what they are. They are the same as you. All exist within you. You are the universe itself.” (ACOL, C:3.2)

We are moving into a new era, announced by A Course of Love. We are moving beyond the learning that we have been seeking, into a new age where we see that we are The Accomplished. We don’t need to question our identity any longer. We don’t need to question our readiness for God to reach down and lift us up. We don’t need to question, period.

We are part of the Whole, the All, the One. And in so being, we don’t need to question what part of that Whole we embody. This is a moot point. We are part of the One, part of God, and we have reached a stasis of achievement that is not of the ego.

We are not learning the meaning of love in A Course of Love. This cannot be taught, as A Course in Miracles told us. But we are moving into the meaning of love simply by living the instructions given in ACIM and ACOL, not instructions on how to attain love, but assurances to us that love is our inheritance. We don’t have to learn what is ours by right. And God loves us unconditionally, as He always has, but which we couldn’t see when we were lost in the ego.

We embody what we are, which is Love’s essence entirely. Our ego has merely been a dream that is coming to be cast aside as a bad idea. We don’t learn what we are, but we live in love. And with that, our inheritance blossoms all around us, and we are happy.

Peace Breaks Out with Glad Rejoicing

“We will begin by working on a state of neutrality in which the war is no longer fought, the daily battles cease. Who wins and who loses is not of concern to us here. Peace has not yet come. But the white flag of surrender has been waved and dropped upon a hallowed ground where neutrality will for a short time reign before peace breaks out with glad rejoicing.” (ACOL, C:2.22)

When we seek to change from the state of insanity to something sane, we may need to take it step-by-step. A state of neutrality may need to happen first, before our movement into Christ-consciousness. We, in this state, remain open to all that would be shown to us. We are surrendered to whatever may happen. We will not have to wait long.

Our lives get better at this point of surrender. We are no longer fighting daily battles, because we are endeavoring to live the life that God would have us live. We have fought such battles in fighting life and the best that we have in us. Our ego has undermined our good intentions, and, of course, we know that good intentions are never enough. Our ego would undermine anything that we sought to do better, because surrender means that the ego dies. The ego knows this.

We are gradually walking into the sunlight. We are not fighting useless and senseless battles any longer. We are resting a bit in neutrality, waiting for peace to arrive. And arrive it will, and soon. We need this peace.

Be assured that our time of trials is almost over. When we surrender to God, following guidance of the Christ Self, we know a peace that will never leave us. We are experiencing real love for God, and He knows that all we need to Awakening is to experience this love consistently. He will not tarry long before He looks in on us—and then the blessing of Awakening will rest upon us.

Pray that none of us will have long to wait.

Comfort for Our Troubled Hearts

“Look not to figures from the past to show you the way beyond illusions to the present. Look within to the one in you who knows the way. Christ is within you and you rest within God. I vowed to never leave you and to never leave you comfortless. The Holy Spirit has brought what comfort you would accept to your troubled mind. Now turn to me to comfort your troubled heart.” (ACOL, C:2.15)

Jesus offers his best to us, the comfort that we all long for and are entitled to have. He is part of the Christ Mind which we all share. And in this passage, he is offering his healing to us. Would we not be foolish indeed to turn aside from this healing?

Christ is within us. And as we emerge from the time of the Holy Spirit into the time of Christ, we need to begin looking within for our answers, looking within for our guidance. We can do so, and we will not be disappointed with what we find. We may not be certain any longer whether our guidance comes from the Holy Spirit or comes from the inner Christ Self, but the All is a part of God, and so why would it even matter which? Jesus is leading us to a new understanding of what the Christ really means.

Our hearts have been troubled, our hearts as well as our minds. Today let us walk a new way back to God. Try a fresh approach. Talk to Jesus in your mind and heart, asking him for his blessing as we seek to come to understand. He will not disappoint us. He is always there, though we don’t understand how he can clone himself for everyone who might ask at any given point.

We don’t have to understand cloning to believe that there is a mystery that we don’t get. But Jesus says that he will come in response to “one unequivocal call,” and I believe him. His promise is one of the great blessings of my life, and the fact that I believe him keeps me on an even keel.

I would wish that even keel for all of us. Turn aside from the ridiculous notions of insanity. Let Jesus talk to you internally, for he can do so. This is what a savior is for. It is not an inconvenience to him to reach out to us. He wants us awakening to the new world that he would have us create.

Be sure that our wishes for a better future are the same wishes that Jesus would have for us. Leave insanity behind by touching the best that is within. And this best is the inner Christ that we share with Jesus.