Monthly Archives: February 2016

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.

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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.