Monthly Archives: November 2015

Forgiveness from the Compassion of Our Heart

“Forgiveness, which replaces judgment, must come from your heart. To forgive based on the logic of your mind rather than the compassion of your heart is to only give thought to forgiveness. This many of you will give, even to deciding to forgive despite your better judgment. See you not how little sense this makes, how insincere this even sounds?” (ACOL, C:17.16)

We are told in A Course of Love that to reach Christ-consciousness, we must give up fear and judgment, for these are incompatible with God. This quotation for today tells us how to give up judgment. Replace judgment with forgiveness! And be sure to forgive from the heart, or the heart is a place that doesn’t have to have “good” reasons to forgive. The heart knows that love is the only answer. Our mind, especially when still influenced by the ego, will try to incorporate judgment into forgiveness. It is this last attempt at incorporation of judgment into forgiveness that decides to “forgive despite your better judgment.” And it is clear that Jesus takes a dim view of such mental shenanigans.

We do want to make sense; we do want to be sincere. And the mixing of judgment and forgiveness is an ego’s dream, unlikely to achieve the desired result. Turn to our heart when we are confronted by analysis of the mind that thinks in such a convoluted way. Our heart will not lie to us. Our heart will show us the way home.

And forgiveness is the antidote to judgment. They are polar opposites, as we can tell by simply defining the two. All of us want Christ-consciousness, or enlightenment or Awakening, and we want it sooner rather than later. Our glimpses of Christ-consciousness (which usually come first) will show us what attitude of thought is necessary to maintain, and ultimately, sustain this new state. Our glimpses let us know that a mellow spirit, a thankful heart, and a receptive spirit all invite a glimpse.

Let us invite glimpses of Christ-consciousness today. And if any judgment seeks to intervene between us and our greatest desire, let us banish that judgment forthwith—with forgiveness.

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The Heaven on Earth that We All Seek

“See you now why those who judge cannot enter heaven? Judgment proceeds from the belief in sin and the irreversibility of all errors. If you do not believe you can reverse or “turn back” to the state in which you existed before the original error, then you never shall.

“And yet all you need do is turn back. Being an observer of your body has prepared you for this. Step back now to the place that has been held for you. You have not lost “your place in line” because you wandered. It has been held for you by the most loving of brothers, a brother united with your own Self.” (ACOL, C:17.12 – 17.13)

This “most loving of brothers” is Jesus himself, who, many believed, channeled A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. So our place has been held by one who is united with us in our Self, a Self we share with all others. We never have to feel alone and lonely again, for we have a universe of beings with whom we are One.

Judgment is forbidden us, because it keeps us from entering heaven. We need to return to what we were before the original error, or the detour into separation from God. And if we judge, we think that there is sin and that errors cannot be reversed. So we damn ourselves.

God would not have it so. His loving son has prepared the way for us, and prepares the way still. We do not understand how we share a Self with all sentient beings, but in ACOL we are told that we do. And there is much in ACOL that rings true to me, this assertion included.

Enter the fold again today. This fold will ensure that we turn aside from judgment, that we welcome the fact that our Self is One with all others, and that we know that Jesus is holding our place for us in the grand scheme of things.

What more would we ask? Ask that we take this knowledge unto ourselves today, that we still our doubts, and that we open our hearts just a crack. The mellowness that we will feel will assure us that we are onto something. Something grand. And Jesus himself will take our hand, leading us to the heaven on earth that we all would love to see.

Follow Guidance of the Inner Christ Self

“A Course in Miracles asks you to “receive instead of plan,” and yet few of you understand the meaning of this simple instruction or what it says to you of the unknown.

“What it says is that the unknown is benevolent. What it says is that what you cannot anticipate can be anticipated for you. What it says is that you could be receiving constant help if you would but let it come. What it says is that you are not alone.” (ACOL, C:17.7 – 17.8)

A Course in Miracles counsels against planning for the unknown future, usually. Jesus says in ACIM that we will be guided to make plans, if plans are necessary, and otherwise we need not concern ourselves with leaving the present to forge ahead to the future. This guidance is seen to be the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But now we are said to be living in the time of Christ, with the era of the Holy Spirit having been superseded. So our inner Christ Self will do the guiding. This is how we get constant help, when we let it come. This is how future happenings can be anticipated for us. This is how we know that we are never alone. The Christ Self, from deep within us, a Self joined with God, is now available for us.

This is very good news. To have a wiser being within us who knows better than we do what the future ought to hold for us. To have constant guidance without having even to be aware that this guidance is flowing into our lives, for it is so innately a part of us that the guidance flows smoothly, without any interference. Here we are receiving rather than planning. But our lives are functioning better than they ever have before.

Let the Christ Self come out from the depths. Listen to the whispers of guidance that come. Know that with such help, we need never be apprehensive of what the future will hold. We are protected. We are loved.

The best that we can do is to become comfortable with the concept of the Christ Self as a beacon of light in a world of confusion. Its light will keep us safe, grant us peace, and spread harmony over our little part of the world. And this Self will do more, for we ultimately affect everyone (though we can’t see how this is possible). Our salvation is the salvation for everybody, ultimately. For we are One, and this One is what will save us and them, too.

Join with the Christ in Us to Be Healed

“Where two are joined together can be used rightly here as well as in regard to relationship. Your choice to separate from God is but a separation from your own Self, and this is truly the separation that needs to be healed to return you to God.” (ACOL, C:17.2)

We are seeking to join our heart and our mind, our personal self (the one without the ego) and our Self, and we are seeking to join with God internally. These are the “two” that are mentioned, and they mean different things in A Course of Love at different times. But since all is One, these changes in terminology do not really matter much. We are seeking to join with our Self, the inner Christ, and when this happens, we have healed the split between God and us; we have healed the separation.

We have truly separated from our true Self. And to get back, earlier we needed the Holy Spirit, for by separating from our Self, we had come to fear God, and we needed an intermediary Who would help us return. Now the era of the Holy Spirit has been superseded by the time of Christ, and we approach God directly, this time without fear.

What a lovely truth—that we can approach God directly, without fear! This may still seem foreign to our ears, for we have felt twinges of fear around the concept of God for so long that we have not known how to seek Him without any fear. Now we do know, for our reading of A Course of Love has paved the way. We seek God in silence, expecting that He will answer us, also in silence.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be thankful today of all that You have given me, more blessings than I can count. May I revel in gratitude, for this mellow feeling accomplishes much to lead me to be The Accomplished, as A Course of Love points out.

Help this day to go well. I expect it to go well, and while expectations are not always good, this one has a good feel about it. Help my brothers and sisters to know You. May we all know You. You are here for us in every situation in which we find ourselves, and when we join with our Self, we will know this.

Thank You for being with me, keeping me mellow. Your peace is with me now, and for that I give thanks to You.

Amen.

Love the Self and Usher in the Return of Heaven

“If you cannot claim at least a small amount of love for your own Self, then neither can you claim your power, for they go hand-in-hand. There is no “common good” as you perceive of it, and you are not here to assure the continuance of society. The worries that would occupy you can be let go if you but work instead for the return of heaven and the return of your own Self.” (ACOL, C:16.26)

This quotation seems to be refutation of the social gospel that many find important to the practice of religion in the world today. Jesus says that there is no “common good,” and that we are not here to assure the continuance of society. But are these statements a refutation of the social gospel?

I think not, for Jesus also says that we need to work for the “return of heaven,” and what would this state be but a much preferred way of life in our world? He pairs this statement with the assertion that we need the return of our own Self—seeing a return of heaven, here, and the return of our Self, here, as equally important—perhaps. Even if these two are not seen as equally important, we can well recognize that we can’t very well have one without the other.

Elsewhere Jesus counsels against proselytizing. Our first task is to get our own house in order, for anything that emanates from a divided self is a self that is still caught by the ego. We need to love this Self of ours, this Self with a capital “S.” And this may be a new idea for us, for we have had trouble finding anything to love in the being that we are. When we love the Self, our insane worries will fall away. And this is a goal well worth striving for, though not struggling for. Striving is good; struggle is not only unnecessary, but also undesirable.

We want our own power, but in order to assume power, we must first love the Self. In our darkest hours, when we are the most dejected, we look dimly on the house that we have built. This “house” is the personal or little self, and it has nothing to do with the Christ Self who dwells within. The Christ Self will assert its authority when we get our personal baggage out of the way. And that means we turn aside from the ego, its longings and its demands. There is only love, borne of unity; and fear, born of the egoic self. And we know which one we truly want.

Jesus is here giving it to us straight: Remove the impediments to Love’s primacy. Assume our own power. And therein establish the love of the Self that will usher in a heaven on earth. This is the new to which we are called.

This is creating a new world, a call that we find within the pages of A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I seek to love this Self that You have given me. Don’t let me drop into dismal thoughts, thinking that this command is something that I don’t have within my power. We can love our Self, and others, and God—and it is best that we engage in practices that will cause this love to blossom.

Thank You for this good day. The sun is shining, the temperature is temperate, tree limbs move gently in the breeze. There is nothing amiss in my world unless I choose to drop into depressing thoughts. And I would not do this. I would welcome a glimpse of enlightenment, if this is possible on this beautiful day. Be with me as I drop my worries, I drop all judgment and all fear, and I welcome You into my heart.

Amen.

This Book [A Course of Love] Is Exactly What I Needed, by Barry Cosme

Published in amazon.com reviews for A Course of Love, November 13, 2015. Republished by permission.

This book (ACOL) was the perfect gift for me, exactly what I needed. I encourage anyone who might be interested to invest some time with it. There is a compelling authority and authenticity to this book that deeply touched me in some startling, unforgettable and life-changing ways. I highly recommend it! On a scale of one to five, I give it a TEN. This is the first, and so far the only, book review I have ever written. While I have read many great books, for this book I feel moved to share with others how moving it has been for me. I trust that you will experience something similar! In hopes that it is helpful to readers who might have done some similar seeking, let me share a bit of my story with you.

I have been on a spiritual journey through one means or another for my entire adult life, including the study and application of A Course In Miracles (ACIM) for nearly 30 years. ACIM is an amazing book; probably the Introduction by itself contains enough wisdom to completely transform one’s life. Certainly ACIM was the most brilliant, helpful and even beautiful book I had ever read to that point and even since then is only eclipsed by ACOL. I believe that if someone completely grasped the mind training in ACIM to fully learn forgiveness and the reversal of world-view that it brings, they would achieve enlightenment and spiritual mastery on the level that has almost never occurred on Earth. Yet, despite sensing/knowing this with nearly perfect certainty, I still felt unable to fully actualize this in my life; I felt somewhat stuck, despite enough positive change in myself and my life to maintain my continued interest for decades.

Yet, for me at least, the impressive tools or ACIM didn’t take me quite as far as I believe its Author intended or as far as I wanted to go. This could clearly be a deficiency on my part, yet as far as I can tell, I don’t think I was alone in this respect. For those of us who had not quite gotten the full realization yet of ACIM, another course was created, A Course of Love. This new Course, which does not require prior study of ACIM, resolves some seeming problems that appear to have cropped up for many. With ACIM’s emphasis upon the mind, ironically, even its brilliant mind training can result in some students substituting one set of mental rules for another, rather than leaving such rules behind. In this case, it seems easy (at least for me) to become stuck in perpetual striving, learning, becoming… and never really reach accomplishment.

The approach of ACOL focuses upon the spiritual heart of the reader’s being. This was a stretch for me, whereas I found the focus upon the mind in ACIM to be more comfortable. Yet, this challenge was part of what I needed to get me moving. While love cannot really be taught, it can be experienced and recognized for what it is. While Love exists, gracefully reaching out to us, embracing us, it is up to us (up to me) to let Love reveal itself to us/me. Because the ends and the means are really one, the method for the revelation of love… is love itself. Through forgiveness and acceptance of myself, of others, of God and of the All of Everything, I express the very love from within that is the revelation of Love for which I had been seeking.

On my journey, I had long ago come to understand that: a) I was, and that we are, one with Infinite Love; b) time and the apparent reality of the physical world are not what they appear; and c) apparent problems with this must be resolved as matters of awareness. Yet, despite these understandings, I still felt stuck; how could I become aware of that of which I was not aware, unless the awareness (and thus salvation) came from elsewhere? The end result I had been seeking always escaped me because I started from the premise that I did not have that for which I was searching.

Until my second reading of ACOL, I had always been waiting… waiting and hoping for someone else to save me because clearly I couldn’t do this for myself, as I did not have what it took, I didn’t have that for which I was seeking. I had been waiting for Jesus, for God, for someone or something other than me, to please complete me and transform me into the ideal person that I had sought so long and hard to become. Through gentle, persuasive and relentless logic, the Author of ACOL talked me around this seeming barrier. I finally realized that I did not need to wait; I had finally seen enough to convince me that if anything was going to happen for me, it was up to me to take the initiative…in this and every moment. At last I saw that if all of creation is One in Love and Being, then the answers I had been seeking must be in me right now and that I really do have the capacity in every moment to let the Truth reveal itself to me and to guide me to extend this Truth through my expression of It and of myself.

So where does this leave me? Many years ago, when I finished my first period of intense study of ACIM for several years, I saw the result as putting me in touch with the Holy Spirit, my inner teacher or guide, and this has since been of immense value. After my similarly intense study of ACOL, I am far, far less focused upon learning, in which the effort of the student seems to be the key determinant of success. Instead, I am much more relaxed, almost basking in the direct grace and embrace of Love’s revelations, in which success dependably comes from Unity rather than from my unreliable individual effort. I am no longer focused upon intermediary relationships, whether with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit or with others in my life and instead expect and find direct revelations of Truth. Similarly, I am also not focused upon intermediate steps, conditions or requirements and I accept this as a miraculous transformation.

While on my quest, I had many questions and problems. These were intermediate steps that I thought needed to be answered and solved before I could arrive at the end of my journey. Now I have released these in the revelation of the divinity of my brothers, of my sisters and of myself. I gladly accept the Reality of Love, both the Love that comes to me and the Love that I express, all of which is One. I treasure this all-encompassing embrace and at the same time also my human imperfections that are part of the dance I perform, the artistic expression that reveals that Love is everywhere and always. While the journey of seeking may thus be ended, the expression through which Love newly reveals itself is without end and for this I am eternally grateful.

I am much more comfortable simply Being… instead of becoming. By accepting myself as I am and others as they are, even with the appearances of human frailties in all of us, my vision of the Truth beyond appearances is enriched and deepened. In the past, I would have filtered my acceptance to see what was pleasingly in accord with the image I had for myself and others, to see how we measured up to the ideal… or how we fell short. Even when I thought this was rather sophisticated and enlightened in some ways, it was really still just the same old pattern of judgment and condemnation. Rather than striving to become the vision of perfection I held in my mind, I have released myself and others from this trap. I am no longer striving, searching or otherwise expecting the fruits of my meager human efforts, or those of others, to show me divinity. I am no longer trying to fit myself or others into an image that seems to dictate expected behavior. Instead it is so wonderful to simply Be, and in my acceptance of myself, I am also able to accept others and God. It feels so spacious and empowering to build newly upon such freedom.

Forgiveness, acceptance, love and being are each the journey and the journey’s end; the means and the ends are the same; “As within, so without” (ACOL). In every moment I can feel love… by offering love. Thus in all apparent circumstances, no matter how they might seem beyond redemption, I can find the happiness, divinity and the unity of Love. This is truly the Peace that transcends human understanding! And at the same time, this is also part of the creation of a new vision of Life.

Fully Claiming Our Birthright

“God forsakes no people, but people forsake God when they give away their power and claim not their birthright. Your birthright is simply the right to be who you are, and there is nothing in the world that has the power to take this right from you. The only way you lose it is by giving it away. And this you do.” (ACOL, C:16.23)

Being who we are is a hallmark of A Course of Love, especially in the ending chapters of the book. But we are early in the book at this point, and we find the same theme. What does it mean to “be who we are”?

We are not, rightly, a self divided against itself, a self lost in separation from God. How can we enjoy any good sense of power if we are divided against ourselves? This is a prescription for failure, and it is failure that we have known, with interludes of supposed “success,” for eons. We need to be whole beings, united with our real Self from deep within, and in communion with our Creator—something that is only natural to our being.

We give away our birthright, the right to be who we are, when we don’t assume our full stature as created beings of God, Christ-conscious beings (as the next step in evolution). Our awareness is stunted by the ego, a made-up belief about ourselves. And this ego, which we prize so highly, has almost taken on a life of its own. It is artificial, but it thinks itself the only real part of us. What a misrepresentation! In A Course of Love we learn just what a misrepresentation the ego has become to us.

We must adopt the most natural outgrowth of our evolving nature, and that is Awakening, or Christ-consciousness. We cannot move into this fullness as long as we let the ego rule our thoughts and desires. We are stuck, and we are powerless in such a situation. And Jesus, in ACOL, is doing his best to lead us out of this quandary.

Be determined today to make a new start in this world. We can abide in heaven, even in this world, and when we assume our natural condition, we will abide in heaven, for our perceptions will have become cleansed, and we will have knowledge that God has heretofore veiled from us, because we have been ignorant about how to live.

Life will take care of its own. If we don’t make a shift to a better worldview, we will likely go down in flames, at least metaphorical flames. This we don’t want; this, none of us wants.

Let our new start draw in our brothers and sisters also, for a solitary drive to inhabit the Christ Self will not offer the sharing that is in our nature. We are One with others also, one with them and one with God. And this unity is what will save us.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be free of neurosis today. I would seek to inhabit my real Self, the Christ who is deep within me. And I would share this good news with others, my brothers and sisters. We never know when what we do or say will make a difference for some one other.

Help me today and every day. I need to know that my prayers are heard, that You are there. And I do know this. I sense Your love in my daily life. Thank You for this.

Be with all of us as we make our way in an often troubled world. When we awaken to Your truths, our way will smooth, and then we can be free of neurosis forever.

Thank You.

Amen.