The True Self – More than a Persona

“The purpose of this Course has been stated in many ways and is stated again here: The purpose of this Course is to establish your identity. The importance of this purpose cannot be underestimated. Let us address the question of why this is so important.

“You have been caught in a cycle of seeing the self as important for a period of time and then seeing the self as unimportant for a period of time. Seeing the self as important seems at one time like a function of the ego, and at another as a function of the divine. You become confused between the personal self and a true Self only because you have not as yet identified your true Self. Once you have identified your true Self all such confusion will end.” (ACOL, C:27.4 – 27.5)

How do we identify the true Self? We remove the barriers to love’s presence. We drop attack, we drop anger, and we humbly approach the God Who resides within. The true Self is the part of God Who does reside within each of us. It is God’s answer to the separation, the separation that could never actually have occurred because God could not separate from us and live; and the reverse, that we could not separate from God and live, is also true.

We are trying to establish a new identity on a solid footing, a footing quite unlike the unstable stasis that the ego provided. The ego gave instability its name. We never knew what drama was going to hit us next.

Now we are seeking to live a more stable life, a life in which we turn aside from anger and attack, and we welcome the love that in our heart of hearts we all want more than anything else.

The personal self will remain as the self whom we present to the outer world, but the inner Christ Self will inform that personal self so that it is something much more and much better than a mere persona. We will know, for the first time, what harmonious living is all about. We will have a solid core for the first time since the ego took over. We will live fully, and in the living fully we will renounce the ego and all of its machinations.

We turned to the ego out of a sense of threat. Pray today that we encounter no reasons to be threatened again. Being threatened raises the banner of pain, and the red hot experience of anger and attack. We don’t need this type of undergirding any longer. We are safe in God’s arms, in the Self who is finally released from the depths of our very being. Our new identity will save us. Nothing more could do so.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the harmony and peace that reading A Course of Love gives to me. The feeling is, I think, a matter of letting my heart rule my head. The head—my mind—can seem to get in such conflict. And I would leave conflict behind as I seek to live in love, always and forever.

Thank You for helping me to realize that an ideal persona is as much a falsity as the ego. The ideal persona is an outgrowth of an egoic orientation, something I would leave behind. The true Self will lead me truly. And for that I am very grateful.

Amen.

We Need the Clarity of a Full Heart

“As a being birthed by a thought of God, you grew simultaneously with God’s thought. You knew your place in the pattern of creation from the outset. A full life is quite simply a fulfillment of that thought and that pattern. The only way to know it is to think it once again. The only way to think it once again is to be wholehearted, for a split mind and heart do not think clearly.” (ACOL, C:26.25)

Jesus is here calling us to recollection and reflection, to reliving our lives so that we truly “know” them. He wants us to relive what we have been through, before we leave it behind for the eternal present. Our lives take on meaning when we give some thought to what has transpired in earlier years. We don’t, if we are smart, fall into self-pity, but we do relive as we reflect. We heal by so doing. And the healing is the real reason that Jesus here counsels us to “know” it by thinking it once again.

There is some theology in this quotation as well, the idea that we are a thought of God that grew simultaneously with that very thought. This means, actually, that we are part of God, for His thoughts do not leave Him.

We want full lives, and we can have them. When our mind and heart have been reunited into wholeheartedness (as Jesus terms it). As Jesus says, a split mind and heart do not think clearly. What does this mean? It means that what our head tells us is something different from what our hearts say—a concept that has been around in our culture for a very long time. Now Jesus is using this concept to bring us back to God.

We want to think clearly. We don’t want anger and attack to derail us, because when this happens, we most certainly don’t think clearly with either our mind or our heart. We need the clarity that a full heart can bring, and that is why A Course of Love emphasizes the heart so often and so completely.

The way home is clear. It only takes a little willingness to bring us there.

Dear Father/Mother,

I am struggling with some of the theology of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love today. Take this from me, for Jesus has said (in ACIM) that a universal theology is impossible, but that a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary. May I think in terms of “both – and” as I see differences between my thinking and the thinking of others. We may both be right, each in our own way.

We need the warmth of the love that is in our hearts. This solves all dilemmas. All dilemmas.

And we will know that warmth when we turn to You. You never forsake us; You never leave us to get by on our own devices. This is especially true today, just as it is every day.

Thank You for always being here, deep within me, deep within my soul—the part of me that is You.

Amen.

Finding the Warmth of Love from God in Our Heart

“You are a thought of a God. An idea. This thought, or idea, is what you seek. It can be found only at its source. Its source is love, and its location is your own heart.” (ACOL, C:26.21)

A lovely quotation, this is A Course of Love at its best. This is saying that the philosophical school that embraces Idealism is the right and true reality. But we don’t have to be philosophers, or to understand Idealism, to see that we are ideas, or thoughts that have love as our genesis. True, we have wandered far from love, but we are slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) making our way back. Jesus at this point in ACOL is still our teacher, though in the final book, the Dialogues, he resigns as our teacher and becomes simply our companion (among other nouns that give us pause in the wonder of what he says).

We are urged over and over in ACOL to turn to our heart. When we read ACOL, we understand its message so much more, and we are much more heartened, if we listen with our heart. We feel warmed as we read, perhaps in a way that we didn’t in A Course in Miracles. This is not the fault of the beautiful words of ACIM, but a measure of our own progress. And Jesus has also found, in ACOL, a new way to appeal to us: through our heart, a heart that doesn’t require the proofs of ultimate, true, reality as much as the mind. The heart simply knows and trusts.

How do we know that we are loved by a significant other? Do we listen to our mind to tell us? Or do we open up the center of our being, our heart, to receive the proffered love? The heart has its reasons that the reason cannot know, and the reason is lodged in the mind. This old saying has new meaning to us now that we are reading A Course of Love. We know in our depths that the heart is the answer, the answer, that is, if we trust what Jesus is telling us, if we listen with an open heart.

Love freely and well, not in a physical sense necessarily, but with an abundance that the mind can only guess about. Don’t wait for another person to reach out to us; let us reach out and see what happens. There are many hurting people in this world, many troubled hearts, and the extent to which we can pour love over heart wounds is a measure of how healed the world can yet become.

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to recognize that our heart knows about love in a way that our mind does not. And when we turn to our heart, we feel You, because we feel Your warmth. This is the secret that Jesus has uncovered for us: to turn to our heart is to turn to You, and to feel You here for us.

Thank You. I love the warm feeling that I get when I read the beautiful words of A Course of Love. And this warmth makes me ever move closer to You. This warmth lets me know that You love me, and that You love me mightily.

Amen.

A Trigger for Enlightenment

“This Course is but a trigger. These words the prelude to the explosion. It is as if you have been waiting for someone to whisper: Now! The whisper has come. The time is now.

“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind? Can you let the disap¬pointments of yesterday go and be no more? Can you let the planning for the future cease? Can you be still and know your Self?” (ACOL, C:26.15 – 26.16)

Here Jesus gets close to us and whispers, “Now!” to our longings to be free of impediments that keep us from ultimate salvation. A Course of Love is a trigger to lead us past the fear of God to the love of God, past the fear of our brothers and sisters to the love of our brothers and sisters, and the same dynamic for ourselves as well: We stop fearing what we might do if left to our own devices and instead we trust the leader, Jesus, who is leading us ahead to a new life lived in trust and harmony.

If we will only be still and listen to the Self deep within each of us, then we will know the secret of dropping worries, forgetting disappointments of the past, avoiding senseless planning in an effort to control the future. Our Self knows about these avoidable mistakes, and our Self can take us past them to a new tomorrow. If only we will listen and stop trying to insert patterns of the ego that still try to intrude on our peace of mind.

We have now reached the point in A Course of Love when the teachings come together with a certainty that allows us to know that we are home free—if we allow ourselves to experience that Home. We are truly our own worst enemies. We think we make some progress one day, only to retreat the next into feverish dreams. Today’s quotation is the call to stop hindering our progress. It is time to claim our salvation, for Jesus has said that the choice is ours.

We have to make a decision that we are ripe for enlightenment. But, importantly, we learn from both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love that God makes that final decision of timing. But God is not separate from us; we are a part of Him. We are not His handiwork, separate and apart from creation, but an intimate part of differentiation of the godhead into the wonders of true reality. We are both union with God—the One—and relationship with Him and the All. Only in this relationship, this differentiation, could God experience Himself, for the All cannot know Itself if the unity is the only thing that there is. Thankfully, unity broke apart to have “separate” pieces with which God had relationships. Each of us is one of those relationships, as is every living thing.

Stop trying to halt true reality; take our places on the great pathway for all humankind back to God, whom we never actually did leave nor could leave. Trust that the way will be revealed to us. And then we can, at last, rest in the wonders of a God Who never abandoned us, even when we tried to abandon Him.

Dear Father/Mother,

We think with You a bit today about the wonders of the One and the many, the single, all-encompassing Everything; and the differentiation into parts, with each of us (and everything else distinct) being a part. This is the unity and relationship that A Course of Love emphasizes. This is what we need to hear, if only we can understand that the All, the One, undifferentiated, could not even know Itself.

But relationship solves that dilemma, for You and for us. Be with me as I thank You for this Solution. The day is bright with optimism; the way doesn’t seem so long, when these insights come and when they revisit.

Be with us as we seek to understand what we can with our finite minds. Our hearts know the truth. And I thank You for the revelation of ACOL that tells me this.

Amen.

Jesus Offers His Aid to Us

“This is what we now leave behind as we seek to become involved with life. I say we because I am with you and will not leave your side. I say we because your first involvement is involvement with Christ, an involvement that links us in oneness and glory once again. I say we because we are life. I say we because we cannot live love apart from one another.” (ACOL, C:26.8)

Jesus, later on, will ask us to “accept” him (from the Dialogues, Day 1). For those of us who look now to A Course of Love as our roadmap, he is the only way to salvation. But he also says that he is not forbidding other religions, other Gods in whom we may believe. So one, by inference, does not have to be Christian to accept Jesus as the one who is telling us how to get out of our morass. He is leading us by the hand, with specific instructions in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, to a better life, to salvation in all its fullness. For those who choose other religions, he has no quarrel. But if we want to read ACIM and ACOL, and follow its instructions to a fuller life, we can best do this is we fully accept Jesus and what he tells us.

We are linked to Jesus and to all other people by the inner Christ Self. This is the Self we have heretofore not known; we have been too afraid to look within, too afraid of the God within. We have feared God, and so for 2,000 years we looked to the Holy Spirit as an intermediary. Jesus tells us now that we are in the time of Christ, the second coming of Christ—and this means a direct knowledge of God, for our fears are rapidly dropping away. We know that God is a God of love, that He means us no ill, that He never punishes us. We bring our pain and suffering upon ourselves, and of course there is mystery to this. But we don’t blame ourselves or other people when we are ill; we don’t blame the victim, for Jesus makes this clear in A Course of Love. Nobody is to blame for the illness that may overcome us. And we offer compassion to ourselves, if we are sick, or to others, if they are sick. We don’t think, even internally, that they did this to themselves.

There is a paradox here, for we have also been told that we create our own reality. Indeed, we are encouraged in ACOL to create a new world. And sometimes sickness encroaches on this world. It may simply be that there are microbes that infect us and breakdowns in the physical over which we have no control. Nothing happens by accident, we are told in both ACIM and ACOL; there are no accidents in salvation. So it behooves us to keep an open mind when we are faced with incomprehensibles that lay us, or those we love, low. We are also told that while pain may overtake us, we do not have to let pain escalate into suffering. Our minds and hearts can remain free, even if our physical bodies are infirm.

Jesus, he says, is always here for us. His cloned essence follows us around in our daily rounds, if we want this, for we do have some say in what transpire in daily life. Jesus loves us with a depth of love that we cannot fathom, for we are as yet quite limited in our understanding of what “living in love” really means. When we set our minds and hearts to a higher plane, we can rise above the physical limitations of this world. And we can, however imperfectly, live in love.

Dear Father/Mother,

We feel the physical, though we know that it is not real. We have bodies that break down sometimes and suffer ills that render us in pain, and if we are not careful, in suffering as well. These are the facts of our world today.

But we can rise above emotionally. Sooner or later we all learn this, whether from our reading or from our observation of this world. The way to a new day in a new world is fast approaching. And our hearts hold the answers to emotional stability that our minds cannot fathom.

Thank You for the bonanzas that we reap when we turn to You alone. Others can and do help, but our stable core is of You. Help us to remember always that You are our hope and our salvation.

Amen.

The Glory that Is Ours

“Again I offer my life as the example life and reiterate the message expressed in A Course in Miracles: The true meaning of the crucifixion is that it was the last and final end to all such fears and myths. All such fears were taken to the cross with me and banished in the resurrection of the glory that is ours.” (ACOL, C:26.4)

Here Jesus addresses the crucifixion. He asserts that it was not meant as a propitiation for our sins. He asserts that the real value is to say that he has killed the suffering and pain of human life on that cross, and then he would have us look to the resurrection for the glory that is beyond it. Fear has been banished (though we may still fear sometimes and this should not be cause for being morose). Fear is understood as an archaic experience, not meant to be assimilated into our new lives, the new lives that we are creating in a new world.

Jesus did live an example life, and many have gained much from studying what we know that he said and did. Now he is guiding us once again, as he did in A Course in Miracles as well. These new revelations, in ACIM and A Course of Love, are meant to provide solace in a world on the brink of disaster. Jesus is taking us by the hand and leading us back from the abyss.

Jesus chose a very dramatic way to get his point across. He doesn’t ask us to do the same (lest we tremble with fear that he is asking for crucifixion). He has already led the way; it is now up to us to assimilate that way into our daily lives.

The crucifixion served as a powerful symbol of killing violence with gentleness. Now Jesus would have us look to his resurrection, a resurrection in which he emerged in a new form (he says this in ACOL). The resurrection heals because it is so positive. And with our propensity for pain and suffering, we need a harbinger of better days. It is time that we understood this meaning of the resurrection for the glory that it is. Eternity is ours; time is only temporary, and an illusion as well.

Turn to our inner voice to see what healing message the crucifixion and the resurrection might mean in this day and time. The message is the same, but the way that we will interpret will likely differ. We are looking to new revelations to show us the way.

Dear Father/Mother,

So many of us are repelled by the crucifixion, and perhaps it is right that we are. We don’t know what to think of the resurrection, and Jesus offers only clues in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Whatever are we to think?

I ask You to guide my intuition to a response. I would not try to make definitive answers that Jesus leaves alone in ACIM and ACOL. I would instead ask that my inner knowing step to the forefront, and that I see in the resurrected Christ a model for myself. This is not ego, but the strictest humility.

Amen.

In Stillness I Hear God

“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed. You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity. Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice. When an answer comes to you, acknowledge that it is an answer from your new identity and express appreciation for it. While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment. You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have “turned the question or concern over” and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.” (ACOL, C:25.23)

Today’s quotation is a very precise and meaningful guide to guidance from within. Previously, we relied on guidance from the Holy Spirit, Whom we have seen as an intermediary between God and ourselves. Now, though, we are no longer afraid of God, and we can approach Him directly. This means that we look to the inner Christ Self, who is the part of God within each of us. We don’t sense that we are providing a buffer between God and ourselves. Instead, we are opening ourselves to the fullness of God, His glory and His grace.

Following guidance is so very necessary, and on some days it may seem so very hard. We doubt what we sense. We get stubborn. We fall by the wayside.

These are the times that we need the inner stillness ever more. When we quiet down, allow our sense of quiet to encompass us, we will cease the stubbornness about following that quiet inner Voice. We will grow mellow, and we will grow appreciative. Then we are open to having a very good day indeed. Stubbornness, without fail, produces a bad day. And we give ourselves many reasons to have bad days.

But we want good days. Always we want this. And we can have it, regardless of what is transpiring in our inner and outer world. We can rise above difficulties, rise above suffering and pain, and take our place as esteemed children of God who are following His way. This harmonious and gentle pathway will avail much.

If the day has started awry, we can always start over in our minds and hearts. We can just drop the stubbornness about having our way, especially when we realize, once again, that God’s way and our preferred way are actually identical.

Don’t delay a moment longer. Turn to an inner, quiet voice to discern what we are to do and say. The benefits are outstanding in all respects.

We will never regret this choice.

Dear Father/Mother,

Today, as every day, I ask to follow Your guidance. I no longer want to try to be independent, a being without needs, for I have many needs. And you solve them all. Thank You.

Help us to follow guidance, not to be stubborn about letting You take the lead. The day will unfold like an opening flower if we are attuned to Your Being.

Amen.

We Need to Make Universal Contributions

“You may also notice a growth in your desire to take credit for what you have created, and a desire to create anew. At this stage, this desire will come from a feeling of needing to reassert the self. This need will arise as you realize that you can take no credit for your life. Wanting to take credit is of the ego, and at this stage the desire to create may be linked with ego as well. Your personal self will be looking for a place in which to reside. It will be looking for identity. It will want to say: “This is who I am.” This is an exciting sign, for it means the old identity is losing hold. Be patient during this time, and your new identity will emerge. If the urge to create is strong, certainly let it serve you. But do not seek for praise or acknowledgement of your creations at this time. You will soon realize that creation is not of, or for, the personal self.” (ACOL, C:25.20)

Our creations are not of ourselves, if they are the best kind. We need to tap into the universal, not an individual contribution. Until we tap into the universal, we won’t be creating anew at all; we will be rehashing the old.

Our egos want us to take credit for what we do, for what we create. But the only lasting contribution, Jesus tells us elsewhere, is one that is not an “individual” contribution. The lasting contribution partakes of eternity, not time. The lasting contribution is not of the ego at all, but the bonus accrued from living in love.

We may think that our individuality will be lost unless we put our personal stamp on what we say and do. And to a point, this is true. But our real individuality is the inner Christ Self, who partakes not of the temporal. We see that lasting contributions are what we want to make, and for these we can take no credit. It is the Christ Self acting through us. It is a direct link from God. And it is loving in its entirety.

Our contributions will be many in the new world. But we won’t derive “personal” satisfaction, in an egoic sense, from those contributions. We will recognize that we are tapping into something that is beyond our little minds. Even beyond our hearts. And we will know that we are going to make a lasting contribution when we cease to need to feel personal responsibility for what we say and do. The contribution is a bit beyond us, always. And this is its saving grace. It is also the evidence that we have, at last, moved beyond the ego.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for letting me understand that I can take no credit for anything resembling an “individual” contribution. My viewers of this blog do not want an individual contribution from me; they want me to tap into something that is more universal than that. And I can take no credit for this larger Self, larger than my personal self, who forms the words that I write.

All of us need to know that we must be about achieving contributions through the universal, not the particular. May this truth lodge itself deep within my heart, and may I thank You, always, for leading me beyond the little self to Something larger.

Amen.

Adrift No Longer

“This first joining is a choice made from love without regard for the personal self. You begin to live from love when the personal self gets out of the way. And when the personal self gets out of the way in any instance, it is the turning point. It is the signal that you are ready to live from love. This is what this Course is about. Living from love. Living from love is what will reverse the lessons of the past. Reversing the lessons of the past is what will allow you to live in love in every instance.” (ACOL, C:25.16)

The “first joining” that this passage indicates is the joining of the Self with the personal self. Hereafter, the only thing that the personal self will do will be to present a face to the external world. Otherwise, we will live with the inner Christ Self making all of our decisions. And do we need to even say that this will mean living in love?

Living in love is a good goal, an excellent goal. Even if we did not know all that it would bring to us (and it will bring much good), we would still believe that it is the best way to live. Our religion, traditional and otherwise, has taught us this much.

Living in love means that we are joyous, harmonious, at one with our environment, ourselves, others. We are not separate from God either, for the inner Christ Self is the part of God whom we embody. Our lives will smooth out, our predilections become at one with truth. The way becomes clear to us for the first time. We pray, and we receive answers from within. We join our wishes and our hearts with Jesus’s way for us. We are adrift no longer.

Dear Father/Mother,

A blessing this is indeed—to be adrift no longer. If we know that turning inward will give us the answers to how to live, would we not be foolish to fail to turn inward?

Be with me today. Help me to turn inward as I take each step today.

Amen.

Being in Harmony

“If you believe you and your brothers and sisters are here in a state of reprisal, having fallen from grace, then all action will be out of harmony. If you believe you and all other living things are here in a state of grace, then all action will be in harmony. If you believe one living thing is more important than any other, then all action will be out of harmony. If you believe all are essential, then all action will be in harmony.” (ACOL, C:25.10)

We want to live in harmony in our world. And when we feel that we are separated from God, fallen from grace, we have a hard time—an impossible time—of trying to live in harmony.

We are equal to all others, and when we sense, instead, that we are either inferior or superior, we think in error.

Recognizing that our separation from God has ended (and was never actual in the first place, but an illusion), we can walk a green earth again. We will be in harmony, and this harmony will indeed serve us well. Harmonious living is the easiest thing available to us; it is the only true way of living well.

Why have we believed that we have fallen from grace, that we are living separate from God? Of course, we see bad things in our world, we do bad things in our lives, and we suffer accordingly. We turn our anger inward, leading to depression, and decide that we must have done something terribly wrong. Like children in a divorced family, we blame ourselves; we think that if we had done things right, we wouldn’t be in this fix.

In a sense, we are right. We have made mistakes, but these mistakes Jesus in A Course of Love and A Course in Miracles does not categorize as “sins,” which would seem unforgivable. Instead, we can rectify our mistakes, and we can be forgiven for those that we can’t rectify. Harmony can return to our world. And we can legitimately stop blaming ourselves for every little thing that goes wrong.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live a harmonious life, believing that rather than being out of grace with You, that I am in grace. This means that I do not have to feel any longer than I need to justify my existence. Living is justification enough.

Be with me throughout this day. Help me to be good company, when I am in company; and may I keep a good attitude always.

Amen.

Being Devoted to Others

“Devotion is synonymous with true service. True service does not look for what another has to give or what another has that you might use. True service recognizes God’s law of giving and receiving, and the practice of devotion is, in effect, the practice of allowing giving and receiving to be one. It is, during the time of tenderness, a true practice that, like vigilance, is a means to a desired end. You must practice recognizing your feelings of lack of love, and realize these feelings come from your inability to receive. Do this practice until it is no longer needed.” (ACOL, C:25.7)

Jesus uses the word “devotion” with a very precise meaning; it is the dedication that we feel to ourselves and others when we are loving ourselves and others. We are “serving” by loving, and this service does not mean subservience at all. Serving another is something that is good, for our way of living in the world—once we have come to know the truth—is to serve and be served, to give and receive. Serving and being served, giving and receiving are one action, for we are one Self. We can, if it helps us, think of the actions as twofold, for the Self of form does make what comes to use from another seem somehow different. But, in actuality, since the Self is always One with another, the action is complementary, an action of the one Self serving the one Self.

When we are not receiving love, we feel unloved. But it is always in our perception that this dichotomy comes about. We tend to reject that which we do not understand, and when we lack love, we have actually rejected that love which is actually around us at all times. Receive and be glad. Recognize that our perception is faulty when we are too blind to see what is all around us.

Dear Father/Mother,

Our devotion to others in our lives is the best way that we can exhibit love, and I want to thank You for the inspiration that came from words like this in A Course of Love. Our devotion means that we care, and we know that You care for us, very deeply—far more deeply than we can even imagine, for we are inhibited in love.

Be with us for a good day, as always I ask this. May we know when to forge ahead and when to rest, when to strive to improve and when to sleep, when to reach toward our goals and when to take a breather. The best means of learning this is from our observation as we go about our day. Help us to make wise decisions in what we do and say.

Amen.

Each Time We Feel a Lack of Love, It Comes from Within Ourselves

“How can love always be present when you can undeniably feel each and every absence of love? The problem is in the perceiver rather than the perceived. Each time you feel a lack of love, it comes from within yourself. This lack of love, or “faked” love of which you cannot help but be aware, is a signal to you that you want something. When you become aware that you want something, you are also becoming aware that you feel you lack something. All feelings of lack are synonymous with feelings of fear.” (ACOL, C:25.5)

This quotation for today is pivotally important as we seek to make our way in the world. Rejection has been a personal theme song for me at various junctures in my life, and it is enormously helpful to know that when rejection seemed to happen, I was perceiving in error. I was not open to receiving love. I had wanted something extraneous to the central point of love. My ego had gotten involved.

Has your ego gotten involved as you thought you wanted something other than pure love? Was there something grandiose in your imaginings? Was there something egoic in the sense of material or status implications? Very likely there was, for that is what Jesus is telling us in this quotation.

When we think that we lack for something, we are in a state of fear. This is, likewise, important to know in regard to this love business, this rejection business. There are no lacks in God’s Kingdom, and His Kingdom is not only the Other Side, but this world—when we have perceived this world differently. We will inhabit this world as the elevated Self of form, the coming together of mind and heart in unity, the coming out of the Self whom we have kept hidden for so very long.

Know that rejection is an illusion. We were not open to the love that others had for us; we rejected internally. Likewise, they shouldn’t have felt rejection from us, for they too had no lack.

This may sound like science fiction, but I believe what Jesus says. And his true words will have us walking into a much more favorable condition in this world. We don’t have to fear the lack of love, for it is truly all around us.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to perceive love all around me. Help me to know that the rejection that I have sometimes felt in my life has been a mirage. I would see mirages no longer. Help me to see only love, for that is who You are, and who I am.

Be with all of us as we walk through this day. This day is bright with promise now that we know that rejection records don’t have to be played over and over.

Help us to reach out to others, fearless of rejection—for the problem is in us, the perceivers. May we leave rejection behind, as we have left the ego behind.

Amen.

Tenderness in Our World

“Where you learned to hate, you will learn to love. Where you learned to fear, you will learn safety. Where you learned to distrust, you will learn trust. And each learning experience will be a learning experience because it will touch your heart. It may be as simple as a smile from a child that melts away all the resentment you held from your childhood—because you allow that smile to touch your heart. It may be a time of weepiness and what you would term emotionalism. You may feel as if everything makes you want to cry because everything will touch you, each lesson will feel tender. Unlearning has no harshness about it. If you simply allow it to come, it will reward you constantly with what can best be described as tenderness.” (ACOL, C:24.1)

When we read on in A Course of Love, the beauty of the words lulls us into a sense of comfort. This comfort is called the “time of tenderness,” when we may even weep for apparently no reason. These are heart-warming moments, not to be pushed aside but embraced. These will take us every closer to the salvation that we all seek. These will take us Home.

Unlearning is gentle. And our life experiences, as we learned yesterday, will lead us to this change. We don’t need to rush things, or to be become frustrated because things don’t seem to be happening as we want. The beauty of this time of tenderness is that it creeps up on us in unguarded moments, moments filled with joy. We weep in joy, not frustration, anger, or resentment—and not even from sadness. We may, it is true, be somewhat melancholy in these times, but we will not regret the melancholy. We will lean into it, and when we do so, we allow it to teach us new things, new things from observation of our world.

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day in the time of tenderness lead me to a patience with myself and all others, my brothers and sisters in Christ. May I also have patience if I see others who are still caught in egoic nonsense; the ego will cease to capture all of us one day, and may that day come sooner rather than later.

Help me to be patient with myself, to let the tears flow when they want. I am heartened by the heartwarming feelings that flow over me. And I hope that this means that my heart is softening to a forgiveness of myself and all others, even You, for creating a reality that I, in my ignorance, sometimes have rued.

Amen.

Life Experiences Are Our Best Teacher

“Your life must become your teacher, and you its devoted pupil. Here is a curriculum designed specifically for you, a curriculum only you can master. Only your own life experiences have led to the learning you have accumulated and translated into beliefs. Only your own life experiences will reverse the process.” (ACOL, C:23.29)

Jesus counsels us in A Course of Love to leave behind the learned wisdom of the past, a method that keeps us depending on others rather than listening to our Self and our heart. In this quotation for today, we are led to see that observation of our lives will provide the most fertile ground for our growth. He moves into theology when he asserts that everything that happens to us is planned to bring us back to God, and this return is what life on earth is now all about.

We can rest easy. Our Self will guide us now, if we have ears to hear. Our Self is the inner Christ, the entity that we share with everyone, for there are no divisions with the Self. Likewise, when we share with everyone, our very thoughts are not private. Believing that we keep our thoughts private is a ploy of the ego, which wants us to believe that independence is the best way to live.

And how wrong the ego is! Instead, we are encouraged in ACOL, by Jesus, to know that interdependence with our brothers and sisters will give us the most satisfying life. The only life that makes any sense. We are encouraged to know that when we look inward for direction, we will then look outward at the world, and our brothers and sisters, and then act with a certainty that we have lacked heretofore.

Our life experiences do teach us much. Even egoic living knows that. But our life experiences take on new meaning when we are told that all are planned with our greatest benefit in mind. We think that we control so much, but this is a mistake; we control very little, and when we come to this realization, our minds and hearts will be opened to a new way of living in a new world. We will begin creating the new, this new world to which Jesus is calling us.

What a blessing it is to know that life experiences are planned for our edification! We can rest in peace knowing that a benign fate is planning our ends, and that when we don’t resist, we will walk into the best future that imagining can devise.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for this piece of information, this piece that tells me that You, along with my Self, have set out a future built on my daily experiences—all planned to take me back Home to You. This means that I am no longer driven to read the old tomes designed to return me to You. I don’t have to rely on others’ assertions; I can see in my daily life and its experiences all that I need to lead with my heart, a leading that will plant me in Your lap.

Be with me throughout this good day. I thank You for the better days that I have been having. As I lean into guidance from my Self, I walk a green earth. And I imagine that You are smiling down upon me, even as I imagine Jesus doing the same.

Thank You for my rich imagination, a potent reminder that You are always in the center of my being.

Amen.

Union with God Overcomes the Egoic Separation

“All unlearning opportunities are opportunities for miracle readiness. There is no trick to identifying unlearning opportunities. From this point forward, I assure you, all experiences will be thus until unlearning is no longer needed. If you will remember that the one exercise for your mind is dedicating all thought to union, you will keep your mind engaged and less resistant to unlearning. When you feel resistance—and of course your mind will resist unlearning what it has striven to learn—return your dedication to union. Acknowledge your mind’s resistance as a sign that unlearning is going on. Acknowledge it but do not engage it.” (ACOL, C:23.25)

We need to unlearn separation, especially egoic separation, and substitute union with God, our brothers and sisters, and our Self. Jesus makes the point that all things that happen to us in this life are meant to bring us back to God. We are therefore steeped in unlearning experiences. Our life is the way that we best come to know, as ancient secondary sources are not as good for the time of Christ as what life itself presents to us.

How do we cooperate with viewing life as a way to unlearn separation? We turn within, to the Self, and in the doing of this we are achieving the first union, arguably the most important. Our Self, Who is one with the All, has been more or less hidden within ourselves for eons, because we were trapped by the insanity of the ego. A misstep that could not occur in actuality, but that did occur in illusion. So we cooperation with the nudges that come to us by way of intuition and other nuances of guidance. We remain flexible as we go about our daily routine, not rigidly stubborn in wanting our own way.

It helps to be mellow. I am at my worse when I am feeling anxiety rising in me; that is when I get too stubborn for my own good. Stubborness in avoiding the way that guidance is pointing out is only hurting ourselves, though our significant others also feel the brunt of this dynamic if we are in attack and anger mode.

We can do something better with our lives than to remain stubborn. Take a time out, if the day is going badly, and just (as A Course in Miracles counsels) start the day over. It is wiser to have a day that begins well, for then we do not waste time. But we are very human, and very fallible, and perfection is not required of us (from A Course of Love).

Union with God will take us Home to Him. Being mellow and remaining flexible are two techniques that work as we seek to remain malleable creatures in God’s sight. The way is clear: We must heal the illusory separation from God, and adapt union with the One, the All, as our modus operandi. And the world that we see, projected from within, will never be the same again. We will have discovered the secret to living well in this world.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

As this day filled with sunshine goes along, I find my mood lightened and my demeanor flexible. Mellowness overcomes me. May this attitude continue all through the day and into the evening. May I follow the guidance that has been so gentle with me today. May I follow this guidance, always so gentle when I am not stubborn.

Guide me to a good appreciation for the helps that You give me. May I welcome experiences of union that are life-enhancing and affirmative. May I also welcome glimpses of enlightenment that ever lengthen into something that will eventually become the pattern for me. May all who read my words today feel the same confidence in this change that I personally feel in this instance.

Amen.

Spirit and Form Work Together

“Spirit is your more direct link with the one Source. Spirit is directly from the Source, while form is a by-product of spirit. Thus form is once removed, or further away from the Source. Again working backward, however, the form you have created is still a step necessary in the return to the Source. The necessary step is that of moving beyond form—recognizing and acknowledging form for what it is and then continuing on, working backward to change your belief, to allow imagination to serve you and spirit to fill you.” (ACOL, C:23.20)

Many of us who are students of A Course in Miracles have looked to our physical forms as an impediment to all that is good. We need to realize that this physical form we have can be a help as we seek to get back to God, as we seek to heal the separation. This passage from A Course of Love says that, for us, our form is a necessary step to the return to Source. We are caught in matter, and there must be a way out, to allow us to heal the separation and to return to God.

Of course, in my reading, all matter is illusory. This builds upon the assertion in A Course in Miracles that “There is no world!” Other interpretations are indeed possible, though, and we do not need to be delayed by the theology of ACOL. Our universal experience will be enough for us.

So how do we use form to get back Home to God? We know that form, driven by the ego, has taken us away from Him. And we rest in the knowledge that form can also return us to our Source. Our spirits animate matter, our form, and this is what will lead us back to God.

We would be ill-advised to just long for the afterlife, when form is no more (or so we believe). Outside time and space, the afterlife seems a cozy place to dwell. But we are not there yet, and we are called to Life in this world. This world can give us a good and satisfying life, and to do so we need not to denigrate our form. It is part of what we are.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

As much as my form sometimes seems an impediment, I know that this is not the way that You would have me look at my physical body. Physicality can be a great blessing, and I ask to see that blessing today.

Be with me as I seek to follow the pathway that You have laid out in front of me. Your way is best, as always. Curb my impatience to understand all. Let me realize that I am finite while in this body, and this state does not have to be denigrated.

Thank You for guiding me.

Amen.

Miracles Embrace the World

“I repeat: Belief of another kind can foster the creation of form of another kind. A wholehearted belief in the truth about your Self is what is required to cause this to be so. It is what is necessary now. It will change the world.

“Belief of another kind is what miracles are all about. It is what you are all about as a miracle worker. For you to change your beliefs is the miracle that we are after, the result we seek from this Course.” (ACOL, C:23.13 – 23.14)

Jesus is here introducing the concept that will be a major feature of the final book in A Course of Love, the Dialogues. He is mentioning here, without using the words, the elevated Self of form. This is the body that we occupy that is informed by the Self, our inner essence, the part of us that joins with God so that we finally know who we are.

Quite a controversy has arisen about whether or not A Course of Love is a dualistic thought system, whether God seems separate and apart from His world, whether mind and body are different, whether unity and relationship as described in A Course of Love mean that all is not One. This is an unnecessary debate, for if one looks to the heart, these questions just fall away. Is A Course of Love, and the elevated Self of form, a helpful concept as we find our way toward Christ-consciousness? As we transform the world over the next millennia?

If we look for controversy, always and forever we will find it. There is always the means to take theological concepts and consider them exclusively to the detriment of the heart’s knowledge. But is theology necessary for inclusion as we consider the heart’s knowledge? As we consider the elevated Self of form, a new creation in a new world that we are co-creating with God?

The way to surety is to turn within. There we find God waiting for us. He lives our lives with us, for we are in no way separate. That is the monism on which A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love dwell. A universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary. These words from A Course in Miracles will put our minds and hearts at rest.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Grant us the magnanimity to embrace the whole world, those who agree with us on various matters as well as those who don’t. The world will be a better place when we hold hands. And I ask for this hand-holding today and every day.

Be with us as we seek to know Your truth, as we turn within to the truths that speak to our heart.

Thank You for always being right here with us, experiencing our joy as the reality that it truly is.

Amen.

Don’t Make God Over into Our Own Image

“When obsessively in love you may want the other person to be you, but rarely the other way around. This is what has caused you to make God over in your own image and to try to do the same to others. This comes of seeing oneself as an image rather than as a being existing in relationship. This comes from ego rather than from the true Self.” (ACOL, C:23.8)

We can get some inkling of what God is like by realizing what we do with our relationships. We make God over in our image, to great detriment. We also seek to make our special relationships a projection of ourselves; this is really what “want the other person to be you” is saying.

But God is not to be made over in our own image, because our image of ourselves, at least our separated selves, is faulty. When we feel neurotic, we see a neurotic God. And this will never do.

We are in relationship to God, even as we are One with Him. Unity and relationship. We are One, but we could not understand the One without differentiation from the One. That is why unity and relationship are not dualism, but the most splendid good sense. God and we are united in being, and different in relationship. This allows us to experience reality, true reality. Nothing else would suffice.

When we see God in our own image, we are seeing with an egoic mind. And we are quickly leaving the ego behind us. So a new understanding needs to come about. This is that we are a part of God, that we are a part of the All, the One, and that the only thing that is different is the relationship that His differentiated Reality brings about. We don’t often feel this way, for we are not used to thinking in an all-encompassing manner. But we are both differentiated into parts and part of the Whole. And when we are differentiated, we know ourselves best when we love deeply the others in this world, yet still are conscious of the One.

This is the secret of leaving behind a concept of the world as a dualistic creation. God is One with us; we are One with Him. And in this truth, our whole world falls into place.

Prayer

Dear Father,

May we leave aside controversies that only divide us. Our little minds, even though they are part of You, are too limited to understand full reality. But we can catch glimpses. And I hope to do so today.

Help this day to go well. I ask this everyday, and I mean it everyday. The best that we can do is to turn to You for help when things seem to go awry.

Be with us today as we walk along our new pathway, back to You.

Amen.

Love Is Not Limited

“Thus, while your partner in love transcends total knowing, this too is “how it is.” How it is meant to be. Love inviolate. Each of you is love inviolate. Yet relationally, you may be able to “read each other’s thoughts,” be cogni¬zant of the slightest switch in mood, finish each other’s sentences. You know the other would lay down his or her life for you, rise to any occasion of your need, share your every fear and joy.

“Non-partnered love also shares a knowing through relationship. The loved one may be on the other side of the country, separated by distance, or previous choices, or past hurts, and yet a relationship continues.” (ACOL, C:23.3 – 23.4)

We know much about our significant others in this lifetime. We can know much without making them examples of specialness, for specialness is forbade in A Course of Love. We get nowhere by imagining that we are partnered with only a few others, leaving out all the rest. We take nothing from our most precious partner when we expand our intimacy to our brothers and sisters.

Of course, this intimacy says nothing about sexual intimacy. And, prone as we are in our culture to think of sex, we can get confused if we don’t spell out the difference. Intimacy is love of the highest magnitude, and we don’t have to single out individuals in a “special” sense to bestow this love upon them.

We share with others at a distance through psychic means, though Jesus does not spell this out in the quotation for today. We do communicate across the miles, though, and we form love relationships that are lasting. Once we have loved, we never give up that love. And that is the way love is intended to be.

We are in relationship with all others, all of our brothers and sisters. And when we realize that we don’t have to make these individuals “special” in our own sight, we have taken a giant leap forward in our understanding. We take nothing away from those closest to us by loving all others. When we love with a deep love, we know that there is enough love to go all around.

Prayer

Dear Father,

Be with me today as I seek to love the ones whom I encounter. May my interaction with all others be easy and peaceful, joyous and in harmony. The truth is that we will never be satisfied until we are in love relationships with all others.

May my day go smoothly. May the difficulty that I have in getting going in the mornings just fall away as the bright sun burns off the mist from my eyes. Be with me as I seek to keep a good attitude about all things. And thank you for Jesus’s hints about how to live well.

Amen.

Embracing the World with Intimacy

“When you are asked questions such as, “How was your day?” respond as much as possible without using the word I or my. Quit referring to people and things in terms of ownership, saying “my boss,” “my husband,” “my car.”

“This removal of the personal “I” is but a first step to returning you to the consciousness of unity, a first step in going beyond meaning as definition to meaning as truth. As odd and impersonal as it will seem at first, I assure you the feeling of impersonality will be replaced quickly with an intimacy with your surroundings that you never felt before.” (ACOL, C:22.21 – 22.22)

Do not all of us want more intimacy in our lives? And if this change of words can bring that to us, ought we not to try it? After all, if we believe that Jesus channeled these words, I think we ought to consider that he knew what he was talking about.

How can we understand this? Leaving out the personal “I” or “my” does seem to remove the possessiveness from our lives. And is not possessiveness one of the things that we feel most strongly about in our special relationships?

Jesus is showing us that we don’t need the specialness, as much as we think that we still do. We have lived with our egoic possessiveness of certain others for so long that we can’t imagine how it would be if our husband or wife were to love others with the same intensity. Of course, we are not talking about physical intimacy here. We are talking about a holy love that holds the other in an embrace that includes the whole world. Can we really dare leave this goal untouched?

The way back to God has to be a way we have not found yet. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love try in a myriad of ways to address the culture in which we live, the ways in which we interact with our brothers and sisters.

This small experiment in leaving our possessive pronouns just may be a harbinger of things yet to come for us. An embrace of the whole world.

And what more could we ask?

Dear Father,

Help me not to try to “possess” those closest to me. Help me to reach out to my larger world. I trust the techniques that Jesus advises, and I ask that I remember those techniques as I go through my daily rounds.

Be with me every morning, walk with me through the afternoon, and grant me serenity from a day well lived in the evening. You are deep within me, and my Self knows this. Help me to know my Self.

Amen.

Trying to Analyze Our Way into Heaven

“You have made of yourself a laboratory where you bring everything for examination, categorization, testing, and filing away. This is the scenario that separates you from everything else within your world. Everything has meaning only according to what it means to you and not as what it is.” (ACOL, C:22.17)

We have been quite self-centered, and while there is a time, explained by A Course of Love, for this self-centeredness when we are on the pathway to enlightenment, this self-centeredness during the time of separation has not been warranted. We have been guilty of thorough and ongoing analysis, and analysis normally is of the ego. We sift through the aspects of our world, in separation, and we try to make sense of what we see. But we are wrong.

It is only in love that we can find any truth in this weary world. And love doesn’t seem enough for us, for what religious tradition has not harkened to this as an answer, and things have remained the same? We have been trying to solve our problems, our sifting through evidence, by ourselves? Sure, we call on God, but we don’t really expect to hear His answers. We think that we are best dependent on ourselves, as we always have. And this, alas, does not get us what we want.

We need to see things as they are. As “is” is a recurring theme in ACOL. We have always been self-referencing, and this will not work. We have seen, indeed, that this does not work. Now it is time to try something different.

Ask to be shown the world around us as it really IS. This will be a projection from within, for within leads to without. But what a projection it will be! The Self will come out to play, the inner Christ Self. And in this change holds our solution to salvation, the salvation even unto Christ-consciousness, the salvation that has heretofore eluded us.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for cluing me in that what I need is to let the Self emerge from depths inside. I don’t think I know this Self, but it is the truest piece of myself that there is, and so I really do know this Self truly.

Thank You for another good day. I thank You in advance for the good that this day will bring. And I ask to walk a smooth pathway.

Amen.

Reflection Eases Our Mind and Heart

“The “meaningless” category might include such things as the happen-ings of your daily routine, chance encounters, illness, or accidents, while in the “beyond meaning” category exists the relationship that broke your heart, grief, poverty, war, the events that seemed to alter your destiny, the search for God. By using the word sit, I mean to imply that these things have not passed through you and in the act of passing through formed a relation¬ship and a partnership with you.” (ACOL, C:22.13)

In this quotation, we are back to the “onion” analogy: We are to let those things in our lives that have been meaningless or beyond meaning just pass through us, and then we will have absorbed their shock and can move on to a better future. When we don’t absorb the meaningless or the beyond meaning, these things clog up our minds and hearts, and we can’t make progress toward enlightenment. We are stuck. And nobody likes this feeling.

Jesus is giving us very practical advice in these words of the passage for today. He knows that we let the bad memories from the past hold us back. We need simply to reflect on what has happened, to re-experience the memory, and then to be ready to leave these bad memories behind, lest they trip us up.

Ask today to move into the future, unburdened by the trials and tribulations of the past. Reflect for a while, and then just move beyond dwelling on what has gone amiss.

This is the best way to move into the New.

Prayer

Dear Father/Mother,

I want to move into the New today, the new reality, the new world. I want to let my old mistakes fall away, my old regrets be no more. This is a new day in Your world. Help me to treat this new day right.

Be with us as we seek to have a future unlike the past, a better future with You, reaching out from deep within us, from the Christ Self, to reform this world. We don’t proselytize, though, but we do share with others at every point that seems right. We reach out in this sharing, and in this doing the world will never seem the same again.

It will be a better world, seen from within, projected outward. May I walk in Your light today.

Amen.