Joy that Knows No Bounds

“The joy that will come to you from the thoughts of a mind joined in union will be unparalleled in your experience here. “Ah,” you will say with a relief and joy that knows no bounds, “this is what it is to experience and know the truth. This is what it is to create, for this is what it is like to think as God thinks.” Where once you recognized only illusion and called it reality, the mind joined in union will now, more and more, recognize only truth and experience only the truly real.” (ACOL, T1:1.10)

Union in A Course of Love means two things, related but not identical. First, union means the joining of heart and mind to form wholeheartedness. This change will transform us. It will make the second thing possible: the emergence of the Self from within, and in this emergence will come union with this Self and union with God.

Of course, all of this change will mean that enlightenment, or Christ-consciousness, is now possible for us, at first to be seen in glimpses, then in lengthening glimpses, and finally to be maintained and then sustained. It is possible for there to be a sudden change that is disorienting, but this form of change occurs less often than the gradual, quiet Awakening.

And we will know joy in union with God and in union with our Self, the part of God Who dwells within each of us. This promise is an enlargement from the dictates in A Course in Miracles, when happiness is seen to be our function (along with salvation and forgiveness). I don’t think that we need to quibble over the difference between the joy that Jesus describes in ACOL, and the happiness that he encourages in ACIM. The point is that our future is much brighter than what we have been living through, suffering because we failed to recognize and to live miracle-readiness.

The art of thought, discussed so obliquely in this first book of the Treatises, is variously described as creating like unto our Creator (God), or miracle-readiness, or prayer, or the miracle itself. The art of thought is also seen a diametrically opposite the thinking of the ego-mind, and so it is imperative that we be certain that we are no longer motivated by egoic ideals.

Let’s welcome this joy today, knowing that union is finally being reached. We live wholeheartedly, and in this new way of handling our world, we merge with the Self, the part of us Who is God Himself.

With such a change, could anything be less than ideal? Aren’t we truly and completely on our way now to a glorious new day, creating the new world that Jesus so longs to see us do?

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be grateful today for the many blessings poured out upon me previously, and the promise of ever greater blessings now and in the future. I would wait patiently for Your action in my life, for the glimpses of Awakening to lengthen, for the Awakening that You want for me to come about. When I am at peace in this world, the future seems bright indeed. And all of us can welcome a little more peace.

Be with my brothers and sisters. May I reach out when I can, and may I draw inward for sustenance when this retreat is necessary. Help me always to be open to guidance, always to cease second guessing the nudges that come to me.

Thank You for another promising day in Your Presence.

Amen.

Rest for a Tired Mind

“The mechanics of your over-worked and over-stimulated mind were what you were asked to leave behind as this act of leaving behind was the only means by which you could allow your mind to be restful enough for it to even contemplate union or the new learning required in order to facilitate your return to union. Your return to union is your return to love and it is accessed at the center or heart of your Self. Your mind was in need of silencing in order for you to hear the wisdom of your heart and begin your return. Now, in order to complete your return, mind and heart must work as one.” (ACOL, T1:1.7)

Most of us have long sensed that we have been working too hard; in Jesus’s words, we have an “over-worked” and “over-stimulated” mind. Isn’t it a great blessing that we give our minds a rest now?

In peace we can contemplate the heartfelt counsel that Jesus gives in A Course of Love. If the mind is restful, it can contemplate union, the union of mind with heart that becomes the oft-touted (in ACOL) “wholeheartedness.” We are going into new learning, at least for a time, the time that we study the Treatises. We are returning to love, and surely this will be welcomed by all of us.

Many of us have long prized our intellect, but we surely have recognized that intellect can take us only so far. And if it has been an egoic leaning, a prideful thing, then we need to leave that prizing behind. Ultimately, we realize that the fact that one person has a higher IQ than another means nothing. We are not our IQ. We come much closer to being our heart, and in the teaching of the heart, union, which is what we need to be, will blossom.

Union is at this point a composite of mind and heart into wholeheartedness. Later on, we will see union in ACOL as the joining of the Self with the All, a blessing that is Christ-consciousness or Awakening. None of us need to wait long for this change, if we live in peace and harmony, if we don’t judge, attack, or make plans against uncertain contingencies to come.

Union is what we are about today. And the art of thought, which we will learn in this treatise, will take us up to the door. All we need to do is knock, and the door will be opened.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in peace today, not struggling with my intellect to make progress in this world. I am not about striving today. I know that my own striving actually avails nothing.

May I have Your help to be at peace? May I have Your help to find my way safely and in good grace, today?

Thank You.

Amen.

Heartfelt Remembrance

“While A Course of Love has led you to a state of wholeness of mind and heart, or wholeheartedness, your realization of this state of being requires further guidance.
. . .
“The first instruction I give to you is to seek no more. All that you are in need of knowing has been provided within A Course of Love. That your learning does not feel complete is not a failing of this Course or of your¬self. That your learning does not feel complete is the result of forgetfulness, which is the opposite of mindfulness. Your further learning then is learning based on mindfulness or remembering.” (ACOL, T1:1.2 – 1.3)

It is certainly welcome news to all of us that we have found, that we need seek no more. So many times in the past we have gone from one spiritual teaching to another, never satisfied. This seeking could perhaps go on indefinitely, but Jesus would not have it so. He has counseled us to combine mind and heart into wholeheartedness; this from the first book of A Course of Love. But the further guidance that he would impart to us is the art of thought, the theme of the first treatise, from the second book of A Course of Love. And the art of thought is miracle-mindedness, for which mindfulness is a handy prerequisite. By mindfulness, Jesus does not mean some Eastern philosophy, but the remembrance that he would now encourage. We forget much, but when we turn the art of thought on our remaining memories, we are making headway toward the goal of ACOL.

Remembrance is what we are here for, but not in the sense that we would live in the past. We will bring our memories to the present, with living in the present. And we will not look ahead to the future in fruitless planning that guidance does not ask of us. This living in the present brings a present moment awareness that smooths out our days. A present moment awareness gives us happiness, for not even suffering and pain are present in just a single moment. Nearly all of our perturbed feelings when overwrought are the result of remembering past pain and looking ahead to the dreaded future suffering ahead. In the present there is calm and peace.

We can reread the first book of A Course of Love numerous times, if we feel so led. The learning continues into the second book, the Treatises. But we live behind traditional learning, in traditional ways, in the third book, the Dialogues. We are finally getting somewhere in our seeking. And we know that now seeking further is not needed. ACOL will answer our final questions, take us to the next stage in our unfolding, the Christ-consciousness about which we obsess so much.

Mindfulness aids living in the present. If we pay attention to what we are doing, and why, with full awareness, we will make real progress. And our days will be like a string of pearls, all perfect and perfectly rounded into an experience that is whole. We need not anguish any longer; the way home is shown us as we live wholeheartedly, with A Course of Love (and A Course in Miracles) as our guide.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live in the present, feeling the warmth of the sunshine, sensing Your Presence. Help me not to dwell in the past, or to look ahead to an uncertain future. Just be here now. And everything will fall into place.

May I find You today as I live in the warm and peaceful Presence that You are. Be with me as I seek to overhaul fruitless ways of living and to make a new beginning. Now is the time; today, the day.

Amen.

Embrace the Love

“Thus we end this Course with love given and love received in truth. You are the learner here until you realize that you are Love. You then become the teacher of what you are. Your mind and heart join in wholeheartedness in the embrace. You are home, and there you will forever stay.
. . .
“And what of miracles? The last and final miracle has occurred, for what miracles are needed when mind and heart are one and you have returned to the embrace? This is the miracle to end all need of miracles, the only accom¬plishment of the only Son of God. For what your heart has shared with your mind is shared with all minds and what your heart has to share is only Love. Thus has Love returned to Love.” (ACOL, C:32.3 and 32.6)

Jesus ends the first book of A Course of Love with an emphasis on Love. Later on, we will see that we cease to learn in any traditional sense, that learning is behind us now, but with these final moments in the first book, we are still learners.

And what of miracles? These also seem to be behind us now, though synchronicities will still occur that we will be tempted to call miracles. When we have joined mind and heart and are living wholeheartedness, we are living as life has been intended all along. And we are home.

We will not all have reached enlightenment at this juncture, though that is the ultimate intent of A Course of Love. It is something of a mystery still. Why do some reach enlightenment and others still catch only glimpses (for all of us, Jesus tells us in ACOL, catch glimpses)? God makes the decision, and so there are no mistakes, as there are no mistakes in all of creation. If we wonder why we don’t have sustained Christ-consciousness, we would do best to ask our Source, the inner Christ Self Who reflects God Himself. Are we doing anything wrong? Or have we chosen to remain outside the wall?

These are not easy questions to ask, easy answers to receive. Perhaps it is enough that we are miracle-minded, that we live Love as best we know how, that we live in wholehearted fashion as best we know how. We do not have all the answers while we live on earth. And impatience is a barrier, for we will have suppressed anger at our failure to achieve Awakening, and this won’t get us where we want to go.

Live the best that we know. The first book of ACOL has given much guidance. Reread as indicated. We will find our hearts warmed by the encounter that we have with Jesus in the pages of A Course of Love.

And we will move ever closer to Christ-consciousness, in that warmth.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be patient today, seeking to enjoy the peace that only You can and do give. When my agitation rears its ugly head, teach me to calm down, to relax, to get still. In the stillness I will find You.

Be with me today, on this beautiful day of sunshine. Help me to put aside anger and attack, all judgments, needless planning, and walk into the sunlight with Jesus holding my hand.

Amen.

Let Love Guide Our Steps

“That Source is Love, and it is available in every situation but for the asking: What would love have me do? What would love have me see? What would love have me say? When you call upon Love you call upon your Source. When you seek the wisdom of your heart you call upon me. When you seek the truth that is in your mind, you call upon the Holy Spirit. Thus is the Sacred Trinity always available in every situation, and for whichever learning mode you are most comfortable. All learning modes, however, will eventually return you to the Source, which is Love. The difference between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is but the same difference of which we speak when we assure you that you are of one Mind and one Heart, and that regardless of this truth you will not, in coming to know and experience this, lose your Self.” (ACOL, C:32.2)

Jesus describes in beautiful words what he interprets to be the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we are in a particularly loving frame of mind and heart, we are seeking God, the Father, and we will be satisfied. We need only ask what to do, see, or say, and we will be answered through our Self, the Self who is never lost.

The Trinity, as a manifestation of traditional Christianity, has been particularly sacred and particularly mysterious. It is still, both of these. We use our minds when we reach to the Holy Spirit, and this is totally in line with the mind-oriented teaching of A Course in Miracles. Jesus says that when we seek through our heart, we are asking him personally for what we need or want. This does make sense, as he has championed the heart as the new way for knowledge to come to us, explained in A Course of Love.

God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit form a Trinity that meets all needs in us, the needs that the Self recognizes that are immediately met, therefore ceasing to be needs. Recognizing the Trinity is a particularly soulful way to live and work. If we react with our heart, we know warmth in everyday living that may have been missing previously. The heart knows warmth in a way that the mind, our intellect, does not. And the heart believes, without a ceaseless telling of what life is all about. We just know, and know well.

God, our Source, is available in every instance when we call on Love to tell us what to do, see, or say. When we react in Love, we cannot miss our calling. And our calling will be effected immediately, for God would brook no delay.

All of us have slightly different callings, reflecting what we do in this world to spread Love throughout all its regions. And Love is very needed, as we all recognize immediately. Our troubled world needs the balm of Love, for in this way its difficulties will be eased, the suffering diminished and then banished for all time. We have a high calling, each of us.

May we proceed on the way of that calling today. Just ask what the tasks for today are; guidance will reveal those tasks to us. And there will be an assurance in the telling that has been missing heretofore. Ask, and we will receive.

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for minute glimpses of guidance today as I got about every moment of my living. I know that I do not ask amiss, for the guidance is there when I am ready to listen, and the guidance will be as minute, covering every detail of living, as I am willing to hear.

Be with me throughout this day. Help me to remember to ask, for guidance is something that must be sought. If I fail to ask, guidance normally won’t come through. So guide my thoughts to find the guidance that You are trying to give me when I have a willing heart.

Thank You.

Amen.

The Best Experiences Avoid the Ego

“You do not exist outside of relationship, just as your mind does not exist outside of oneness. Your experience here is but an extension of mind into a realm in which experience can occur. Your ego has made of this some¬thing different than it is. Rather than extension of mind, your experience has become a projection of ego. This can change.” (ACOL, C:31.35)

We are in relationship to all that exists, and this makes for the oneness that Jesus is extolling in this passage for today. Because we are not isolated, we need each other. Our experience in this world, with others, is an extension of mind that allows us to have experience in a physical world. We are not making a world out of ego projection any longer, and this explains why A Course of Love looks on the outer world differently from the way that A Course in Miracles explains. ACIM said that projection makes perception, and this was projection of the ego, for we were still trapped in the ego at that time, at that part of reading in ACIM. But extension of mind, what we are doing now, is a step forward, a better way, in which we join with others in relationship, and we have experiences that are much better. We are no longer isolated.

In the separation, we wanted to be isolated and alone, independent, with allies only but no companions. But we were not set up this way. We were not created this way. The center will not hold. And the ego, in its madness, probably does know this. It probably knows that it is living on borrowed time. And becomes vicious because it is threatened. This leads to nightmares in a living hell that this world can so easily become.

All of this can change, and will change, when we allow salvation to do its holy work. Salvation means many different things to different people, but in ACIM and ACOL, salvation, ultimately, means Awakening or Christ-consciousness. If we allow the glimpses of Awakening to lengthen, by a mental choice to live peaceably, we will know a tranquility that will automatically allow the glimpses to lengthen. We know many things about enlightenment, and these many things can help us now. Leave off anger and attack, judgment and needless planning, and let guidance of the inner Christ Self tell us what to do and say. This is the only way to live well.

And it will be no secret that we are healed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see the glimpses of enlightenment that come to me lengthen and spread out upon my world. I would reach out to others in holy relationship, and in this act, I would find You. You are my fortress from a bad world, when it is bad. You are my most important relationship, the model for all other relationships. Help me to enlarge on glimpses of enlightenment through a wholehearted welcome to You and Your children, the others with whom I am in relationship.

Be with me today to watch my steps along the road that I travel.

Thank You.

Salvation Is Simply Your Return to Your Self

“It is in this perfect sense of the perfect sanity of truth that salvation lies. Salvation is simply your return to your Self.” (ACOL, C:31.32)

We have been long away from our Self, for the Self is the Christ within, and we have allowed a foreign element to rule our minds—the ego. When we heal the separation from God, we have “merged” our non-egoic mind (and heart) with the Christ Self, and so, once again, we are truly One with God. When we spell out what is happening, or has happened, it sounds complicated, but that is not actually true. We are in our element when we merge with the Self, the Christ Self, and we are ready for the ultimate in salvation, the Awakening or Christ-consciousness.

We will know when we are drawing nigh to enlightenment. We will catch mystical glimpses in our daily lives that will enthrall us. Jesus in A Course of Love says that all of us have these glimpses. The problem in our early lives may have been that we didn’t recognize what was happening. Even if we were diligent in the practice of our religion. Now with the new revelations of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we have treatises that speak to our mind, our intellect, and our heart, the center of our being, and these two works will go a long way toward giving us the sustenance that we need for our souls.

So: “Salvation is simply your return to your Self.” How true! And how far away from that simplicity we have gone. Our egoic minds were quite caught in a complicated lack of true reality. Let us put all that nonsense behind us now. Let us listen to the inner Self as It speaks to us, and may we listen very, very carefully. We will be helped along by our glimpses of Awakening, but that is not the whole of it. The Self requires attention, a mindful listening that will require the best of what we have. Our intellect now has something on which to chew. Helen herself said something like this when she was scribing A Course in Miracles.

We don’t have to walk far to find our Self. With every bit of knowledge that Jesus is imparting, we are coming closer. And the way is neither far nor long. Nor is it a struggle. Struggle can accompany us on our journey without distance, but the main struggle is the recognized need to give up the ego. And once this is accomplished, there is nothing that need deter us.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would welcome salvation today as a reemergence of my Self as the controller of my life and times. I would know that the egoic basis of my life has passed away, and that all is now calm and easy. I would revel in glimpses of Awakening, and I would long for ever more frequent and intense glimpses. I pray for all of this today.

Be with me as I study and as I learn. I learn from the outer world, nature, now more than learned sources. This is fully in line with what A Course of Love says. How can I give over my mind to just what another has said? I can move closer to You only by opening up my personal mind and heart to the realities of life as lived on this earth. And as I learn from nature, I also learn from other people. Learning in the traditional sense is passing away, and in its place comes something that speaks to my soul.

Thank You.

Amen.

Remembrance Sets Us Free

“What you gain in truth is never lost or forgotten again, because it returns remembrance to your mind. What your mind remembers cannot not be shared.” (ACOL, C:31.24)

This passage gives an puzzling truth: How can we not forget again? We have to realize that what Jesus is talking about is a remembrance of ultimate things, of God and the universe. Of Christ-consciousness. And once this knowledge is truly gained, there is no turning back to forgetfulness.

And we will share these truths, for “What the mind remembers cannot not be shared.” We will want to share what we have learned. We would not feel whole unless we shared it.

Isn’t it good to realize that remembrance of ultimate things is returning to us? That the long, sad separation from God is coming to an end? Those of us who have been grateful for our good minds will especially invite the truth that we will remember even better in the future: Remembrance will return our minds to ourselves, allowing the illusory ego no say in the matter. This is really what remembrance means: No ego, and so the mind is once again free.

Jesus says a great deal about truth in A Course of Love. Truth may mean many different things to different people, but certainly here Jesus is speaking of God and His wisdom, the wisdom that He will share with us, and we in turn will share our interpretations with others. This truth does not go away; it is permanent. If we lapse, the knowledge comes back, and so when we gain in truth always. We certainly do not lose this knowledge, nor do we forget it. Our ways become the ways of God, and He leads us surely down the pathways of truth.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know the truth that will set me free. I would know this truth today. I would not remember, and then lapse into forgetfulness; I would hold steady. Help me to do so.

Truth is a great benefit to the struggling individual. If we ask for the truth, it is given us, for You would leave no one out. With Your truth beckoning to our mind, we need worry no more. The things that we need to know will come to us; this is the remembrance, and I thank You for it.

Amen.

Our Way Home Is by Sharing Ourselves

“My dear brothers and sisters, what you truly are cannot be improved upon. But because you are in a state of unremembering, you must relearn who you are. You can only relearn who you are by being who you are. You can only be who you are by sharing who you are.” (ACOL, C:31.17)

When we reach out to others, when we share ourselves, we get along better. And this is, perhaps surprisingly, the only way, Jesus says, that we can be who we are. That is because we are One with all, everyone, everything, and God Himself. So to deny this by trying to isolate ourselves is to go against nature, our nature, the original nature that God gave us in our creation.

We can test this out, especially when we are feeling extroverted. Initiate several contacts with others, either by phone or in person (phone or in person works better than email). When we are reaching out in this way, there is an easy camaraderie, and a lifting of spirits. We can then, however introverted we might be, draw back in and reflect on the good feeling that engulfs us. We will feel better for sharing ourselves, even if the matters discussed are mundane and in no obvious way bear on the spiritual.

This morning I was feeling isolated and sleepy. I made three phone calls to friends, and immediately I was enlivened. Was this not an example of what Jesus is saying in this passage for today? He knows that we are meant to share ourselves, and when we turn inward too much, we don’t share and we don’t feel good.

We want to remember who we are. When we do so, we remember that we are children of God, partners with all of our brothers and sisters. We are inhabitants of a beautiful world, bringers of good tidings to others, individuals blessed by our circumstances. We are innocent, according to A Course in Miracles, never having sinned (which would be unredeemable), but guilty only of having made mistakes, mistakes that can be corrected in the present.

Reach out to others today, even if we are extremely introverted. The day will take on a luminous quality, any sunshine outside the house will be magnified.

Jesus is right. We learn who we are by sharing who we are. There is no better way to function in this world. No clearer and quicker route to self-knowledge.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would continue on the path that I started this morning, a path of sharing. I would look around me, even at strangers, and give them a smile. I would reach out to my friends and family; I would join with others as I share something of myself. The day will go better. Indeed, the day will blossom into a genuine blessing, for I will be following divine will.

Thank you for the insight that Jesus offers in A Course of Love. The way opens up, and this day becomes a lesson in giving of myself to others. And what better way to live?

Amen.

Practice the Presence of God

“For some this dislodging occurs by coming to a better understanding of the mind, for others by coming to a better understanding of the heart, or love. How the ego becomes dislodged matters not. What matters is where you place your devotion.” (ACOL, C:31.12)

We have some control over dislodging the ego, and dislodging the egowas what A Course of Love says was a prime reason for A Course in Miracles. Here, in ACOL, we are told that we may be inclined toward listening to our mind, or listening to our heart; it matters not at this point, just that we listen to the indications that the ego has to go. In other sections of ACOL, we are told repeatedly that the words are aimed at our heart, and that ultimately, we combine mind and heart to form wholeheartedness. Our heart cannot do it all, and to believe so is a misconception. Wholeheartedness is where we are finally headed.

We say so much about the ego, but perhaps we don’t have a full understanding of what the ego entails. The ego is merely a part of our belief about ourselves, a part that has been fractured off from the Presence of God. The ego performs, or tries to perform, autonomously—separate from other functions that we carry out. It seeks to perform without love, for we made it without love, and so love is an unknown part of the world to the ego. Ego, in one of its guises, is egotistical, but ego is more than having pride in what we do, what we try to succeed at. It is a way of living that is constantly being undone, for true egoistic living doesn’t work at all. We drift from elation to depression, and all states in between, when we are in the throes of the ego. We are more or less addicted to drama, not wanting to feel the serene quiet and peace that means that God has gotten into our behavior once again. We put ourselves first when we are living with the ego front and center. We don’t want to consider others in our lives or in this world; often we are so consumed with some pain and suffering, brought on by that ego, that we honestly don’t see how we can take care of anybody else at all.

Our change comes through better understanding, though. And understanding can be both of the mind and of the heart. When we make a decision to place our devotion in those things that are love, we are choosing for God, Who is Love. Nobody on this earth fails to choose for love part of the time, and so an individual who is all-consumed by the ego does not exist. The choice must be to fan the flame of love in each of us, the flame that will consume the ego and allow the light that is love to shine.

This change can come through our understanding, and it is this that saves us. Either our Self or the Holy Spirit informs that understanding. Let’s pray together to reach for love in every situation, and let the mind and heart work together to get right with God. He has always been right with us, but our presumed and illusory separation from Him has derailed us. Let’s remedy this sooner rather than later.

Dear Father/Mother

I would listen to the understanding of my heart and my mind to head toward love in all my interactions. The presence of love harken Your Presence, and with You understanding will blossom immediately, not needing time for this love is in eternity—outside of time.

Be with me today as I seek for Your Presence.

Amen.

Quest for God

“Give up this notion of losing your Self to God, and you will be done for all time with resisting God. Only in God can you find your Self. This is known to you, and is the reason for man’s quest for God throughout all time. Man may think he looks to God for answers, for release from pain, for reward, or for an after-life. But man has always looked to God for his own Self. Not looking to God to find your Self would be akin to searching every¬where but the Earth for humankind. If you do not seek where what you wish to find can be found, you seek in vain.” (ACOL, C:31.10)

God is within us. He is our very life and soul in an actual, literal sense. And by looking within, we find the Self who has been in hiding for eons. This is the Self who was eclipsed by the ego, and the ego was our false identity formed in an attempt to hide God from ourselves. The ego was formed by our belief about ourselves, and it can be given up by changing this belief. Just that simple, and just that complex when our mind tries to tell us what to do, the mind that is in league with the ego.

This is why Jesus has turned to our heart in A Course of Love. Our heart will make us happy, for when we find God through looking to our heart, we find Him once and for all. The release from pain, the reward we seek, the after-life we want—all will fall into place when we give God His proper place within our Self. But this can happen only by our awareness of what we are doing. Our awareness allows us to realize that when we have been avoiding God, looking in all the wrong places, we have been avoiding our very Self. And only by turning once again to the Self, found deep within, can we finally return home, healing the separation and feeling God’s Presence in every moment.

If we look for healing where it is not, we surely will not find it. And to look for healing in the ego is the most absurd of all seeking that we might do. Give up the ego by ceasing to look for reward in the achievements that we think that we reach. These achievements are actually hollow, for nobody on his/her death bed thinks of them. At such a time one simply knows that the only thing of importance in all the world that has just been passed through is the love that we found. That love and nothing more.

Let the Self speak to us today. This will come as a still small Voice, or, sometimes, simply as silence—but the heart will be moved. And nothing will ever be the same. The Self has been waiting to come out and play in a world made new by our choice. This is the tantalizing new situation to which Jesus calls us in A Course of Love.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would let my heart, ruled by my Self, show me the way back to You today. I would seek for You and find You by giving up all allegiance to the ego. This will heal the separation, and when the separation is healed, the whole world will open up into something very grand indeed.

I would listen to my deeper Self today, where You reside. Thank You for giving me this insight in the reading that I have done, particularly in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. May the masterful information imparted in those works keep me close to you, now and always.

Amen.

Fear of the Truth Is Fear of the Impossible Being Possible

“How silly is it to be afraid of the truth? Fear of the truth is like a fear of the impossible being possible. Like the fear of death, it is the product of upside-down thinking.” (ACOL, C:31.3)

Our thinking has definitely gone awry, over eons. And now Jesus, in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, not to speak of his life on earth, is trying to heal our minds. And the way pointed out in A Course of Love is healing through the heart. We will know the truth, and, as is always said, the truth will set us free. We have nothing to fear.

Jesus in ACOL says a great deal about the truth and its primacy in the new world that he wants us to create. The truth is true, and nothing else is true. But just what is this truth that is so important?

The truth is the true essence of who we are, the Christ Self who is once again becoming available to us. No longer dependent on the intermediary function of the Holy Spirit, we are no longer afraid of God, and truth, and we can access both directly and immediately. What a glorious truth this indeed is!

Our thinking has been upside-down as we sought to make peace with an ego that was insane, just full of madness. There could be no peace in the midst of such chaos, and we are learning this truth more and more every day that we access the Christ Self.

Let us promise ourselves that we won’t turn back, won’t reintroduce egocentric thinking into our fragile minds, but will introduce the truth to a mind and heart made powerful by God Himself.

We can do this. We must do this. And nothing will ever be the same again.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would listen to my Christ Self today. I would finally and irrevocably drop the ego from my mind. And I would substitute a heartfelt love for You, a reverence for You, that will change everything.

Heal me today. I trust that this healing will be peaceful and warm, loving and harmonious. May I be a welcoming entity to the changes that you wish to make in me, change that on some level I have already approved.

Amen.

Our Heart Beats in Union with God

“The source of love and its location is your own heart. Think now of the created form, the body. When the heart stops beating, life is seen to be over. Are you thus your heart? Or can you not see that the created form was made in God’s own image, as was all creation. You are God’s image given form, as is all creation. We, all of us together, are the heartbeat of the world. Without unity we would not be. Without our Source, which is God, we would not be.” (ACOL, C:30.13)

This is one of those heartwarming passages, about the heart, that A Course of Love is so famous for. Read the passage slowly; let it sink in. We are the “heartbeat of the world.” And without unity and without God, we would not be. Of course, this is self-evident, but worthy of listening to again.

Our form is made in God’s own image, as was all of creation. This is an echo of the Bible. And, in ACOL, we learn that we don’t have to think of form, or the body, as bad. This is a mistake that many students of A Course in Miracles may have made, though I think to so decide is a misreading of ACIM. We are not our bodies, because we are spirit, but we HAVE bodies. And it is a particularly insidious form of denial to say otherwise.

When we appeal to our heart, we appeal to the one source that can put us directly on the pathway back to God. As I have said repeatedly in this blog, the heart doesn’t need the “proof” of God’s existence that the mind (and the ego) so often demands. We just know, and we know well, when we listen to our heart. We are warmed by this knowledge as well. We sense the Presence of God, and we relax into that Presence, and we are home free.

We are not our heart, though, although its beating does signal our life. It is the center of our very soul, as present in form. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience, as has been often said. And this physical experience can be very good. We no longer have to regret that we are still on earth, in this world. All too often when we read ACIM, we longed to be free of the body, to be on the Other Side. ACOL counters this misconception with pointing out some very real advantages to having form.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for my form, my physical body. It is your eyes, ears, hands, and feet. We can bring others to salvation when we use this form as a communication device, as ACIM says. We don’t have to lament being in form any longer, if we have ever done so.

Be with me for an energetic, productive day. May I walk Your way, today and always. May I respond when I see a need.

Amen.

All Relationship Is Relationship with God Who Is Love

“All relationship is relationship with God Who Is Love.” (ACOL, C:30.10)

God is the All, the One, and this makes the religion of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love a type of pantheism. But not little gods in everything, but the one God Who created the universe(s) out of His Being. He is all that there is. And so when God chose to create Sons and Daughters, and gave them the free will and talent to create as well, He knew that His Sons and Daughters would choose Love also.

But we chose to rebel. We were too eager, too willing to see if there were a reality out there that would be better than what God offers. So separation came about, and then the ego, which was chaotic to our minds (and hearts), and gave us the pain and suffering that life on earth has meant for eons. God remains Love, and so He is not to blame for this state of affairs. We have done it to ourselves.

When we love each other, we are loving the Sons and Daughters of God. And in that sense, all of our relationships are with Love, Which is God personified.

True, we can have special relationships that are mixed with a great deal of hate, but underneath the rancor is a holy relationship waiting to bloom. And in this holy relationship, according to ACIM, we find our way back to Holiness Itself, God Himself.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I take the first step today, in harmony and peace, the first step toward the rest of my life. Sure, I may stumble and fall, but You have shown me the way, and when I follow what I know to be true, I have outstanding days, days that you fill with Your Presence.

Be with me as I seek to carry out the tasks that still are before me. Help me to discern correctly the guidance that is coming from deep within.

Amen.

Live Fully in the Present

“How is being present different than being? Are they not the same thing? Should they not be? And yet how seldom are you fully present for your own life, your own Self, your own being. If you were fully aware of your own being, you would be in oneness with Your Father.” (ACOL, C:30.1)

We have long heard the good advice: Live in the present. But how few times have we actually been able to do this! Our minds scurry ahead and behind, caught in fantasies of the future and the past, and we don’t realize how to live in the present.

This is tragic, for here, in this quotation for today, Jesus tells us that being in the present is actually “being.” If we knew our own selves, we would know the oneness that we actually enjoy with the Father. We would be in oneness with God.

How to accomplish this! First and most importantly, we don’t need to see this shift in perspective as something to be accomplished. If we do this, our egos will arise again, and we will surely fail. We need to see being present, and being, as one and the same. We need consciously to stop our idle fantasies from reaching ahead and reaching back, and we need to rest right where we are, being conscious of the sights and sounds of what life is giving is right now.

When we live in the present, we live in God, for the only time in eternity is the present. Only time, which is an illusion, separates into past, present, and future. Eternity is the ever-present now.

Ask our Christ Self to guide us to rest in the moment that is before us—right now, always and forever. If there are plans that need to be made, our guidance will reveal those to us, in the time and moment that action and thought are needed. Until then, we need be satisfied that living in the present is the best and only way to experience our being, the being that is a part of God Himself. And the Christ Self will lead the way for us, poised in the surroundings that engulf us in each segmented part of the present.

We can live our moments in the present. We don’t have to let our minds scurry ahead to the future or muse about the past. Give the Christ Self a chance to root us in being, to root us in the present.

Dear Father/Mother,

It seems so hard to live always in the present. I don’t really know how, and that is the problem. But the solution is always with the problem, and you have told me the solution. Focus on being, just being the Christ Self. How I long to do this consistently!

Help me to live through this day without making foolish mistakes. Help me to support my brothers and sisters in their endeavors. I can sometimes get too self-centered, and this is an invitation to the ego to rise again. And I would not have the ego rise again.

Help me to reach out and sense Your Presence in my life today. Today, all through the day, and every day.

Amen.

Using Our Talents in Service to Others

“How can one’s talent cause another to be less talented? How can one’s service deprive anyone else of the right to serve? No two are alike. Only in God are all the same.” (ACOL, C:29.23)

We are not to be jealous of another’s talents nor service. In God our talents and our service are equal with our brothers and sisters, but not in time—only in God’s eternity. Here some temporarily seem to have more, and some less; this is not an actual fact, because there are always compensations in other talents and in other service. But we cannot see the whole picture, and so we think we see inequity.

If another brother or sister seems more talented, know that this does in no way influence our talent. Or less talented. The cornucopia of gifts from God is always full.

Likewise, our service. We can do more at one time, but later on we will do less. And the difference is inconsequential in eternity.

Let God direct the use of our talents, and let Him direct the choice of our service. We can live well only when we are uniquely ourselves. And when we know that our differences are not important.

Jealousy has no basis outside the judgment of the ego. And we are fast leaving the ego behind. Our evaluations won’t work, won’t get us where we want to go. Only in tolerance of others and in appreciation for their talents and service can we come to embody our own talents and service. This is because we are all One, in God, and in our sharing of each other’s gifts, we walk a pathway that is strewn with flowers. These flowers are our talents and our service, and only in true guidance from the inner Christ Self do these talents and service blossom into magnificent gifts to return to our Creator and our brothers and sisters.

All of us WILL find our way home again. And we will make contributions that are universal in scope when we realize that in every one is the One who embodies the All.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray that my talents and my service dovetail today. I would do for others what I would wish done for myself. Giving and receiving are one in truth.

Be with me as I seek to walk through this day creditably. May the blessings that you rain down upon me help me to make a contribution that will be helpful.

Amen.

Decide for God Today

“The choice to change your belief is before you. Are you not ready to make it?

“As you once chose separation you can now choose unity. Not knowing that unity was a choice prevented you from making this choice before now. Now I tell you clearly, the choice is yours. Choose once again.” (ACOL, C:29.18 – 29.19)

We can make some decisions for ourselves. And the choice for unity is a choice to become one with God again, to heal the separation. “Unity” and “union” are used interchangeably in A Course of Love to suggest that we are truly One with God, that it is only our poor decision eons ago that detoured us into separation. This separation was never real, but we believed it to be, and in the believing it became actual for us.

If we are reunited with God, in our hearts and minds, we will know a joy that has eluded us until now. We need the communion with Him, deep within our prayer life, that we can have. We are bereft when we try to go it alone. And we have tried to go it alone for far too long.

But God makes the decision about enlightenment or Christ-consciousness, when with our whole heart we desire this ultimate salvation. In the meantime, the choice for unity is ours and ours alone, though God informs the decision.

We can choose unity. It behooves us today to do so, in order that our joy might be full.

It is reassuring that we retain some control over our destiny. Often we feel frustrated when told that God Himself decides when we will be enlightened. We think that we know wholehearted desire for this (part of the criteria), but we do not always evaluate correctly.

Yet unity is a thing of our own decision. Indeed, we have always known that we could decide for God at any juncture in our lives. The fact that previously we did not always decide for Him was the intrusion of the ego, which did not mean us well. Decide for God, and love becomes our way. God denies us nothing that is good for us. And we won’t become shadows of ourselves caught in religiosity. Our grandeur will become real as we find the truth that actually resides in true religion, the true reality that we need and actually want above all else.

Dear Father/Mother,

I am eager to express wholehearted desire for enlightenment, but perhaps my will is lacking, at least sometimes. But I can decide for you today, and I can make this stick. I determined when I was a child that I would go Your way. And only have I failed when I let this decision get away from me.

Be with me today. Help me to trust You in all things. You go with me wherever I go, and when I truly hold this thought close to myself, I am completely unafraid. Maybe this is the real secret to leaving fear behind. I would leave fear behind today.

Amen.

In Peace We Catch Glimpses of a New Way

“It is extremely important for you to realize that God’s work takes place outside of time, as do all acts of true service or creation. This is not a readily understandable concept, but one that is necessary for you to have faith in. It is essential to your release of the concept of toil and your acceptance of your function here.” (ACOL, C:29.12)

We find it hard to believe that toil is not asked of us. But in eternity, our service is indeed effortless. We go with the flow, and the flow takes us along very nicely. No struggle. Our function here is to do our part in God’s work, though this work may not be overtly religious at all. Our parts in His work will vary with our talents and our inclinations, and we may choose to be more secular than our religions have made God.

But God is the God of secularism as well. He interests Himself in all parts of life on earth, life in this world. He does not “know” pain and suffering, but that surely must be because He sees the whole picture, knows how we choose such things in error borne of frustration. He would take such ideas from us; he would have us free of pain. A Course in Miracles says that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that such learning is, by nature, temporary. It is better, ACIM says, to learn through rewards. Certainly ACOL, with its emphasis on the heart, shows a way that warms us and gives us encouragement to forge ahead without toil.

When we are outside time, we are in eternity. And this concept will, in itself, give us hope. Eternity means that we will live forever in some way, some way that we don’t understand quite yet. Jesus tells us that this new way can be in form, if we so desire it, but that he doesn’t have the knowledge of what will transpire about this way of the new, this creation of the new. We are, together, creating the new. And we do hope that we will be happy with what we create.

Move ahead today, after we have received guidance about how to do so. Move ahead, but not in hard toil. God would not have us, His beloved children, struggle in a world that has been provided for our enjoyment and our peace. Surely we walked away from Him, but He has provided a way back for us. And when we cease to toil and struggle, in peace we will catch glimpses of a new way that will light sparks in our heart.

We will accomplish much by staying close to our Source. Indeed, this is the only way that we can hope to accomplish anything at all that is meaningful.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would invite glimpses of full and total peace today, the precursor to enlightenment. I would wish this for all who walk Your way, and that is all of us, even when we are misguided. We all want Your way, even when we don’t know how to articulate this.

I ask for patience this day, to get through the day creditably. Patience is sometimes so difficult for me, patience to wait for Your guidance, patience to have the will to follow Your guidance. You don’t move fast in this world. You ask us to live here without heavy toil, to rest in Your bounty. May I do so today.

Amen.

Life Abundant in Unity

“If God were to speak to you Himself and tell you of what means your service would be to Him, He would but tell you this: My child, return to me. God has no Will apart from yours. Your return to unity is all God seeks for you, for Himself, and for all His children. The return to unity was my accomplishment, and all that is meant by what I have often repeated here: Only you can be accomplished. Your service is but dedication to this goal.” (ACOL, C:29.6)

Is it so strange to realize that God needs us in this world? He needs our service, though not in the sense that we go out and try to convert others to the way of life outlined in A Course of Love. Others would not listen to our proselytizing; they would be turned off by it. When people are ready to listen, they will ask questions.

Our brothers and sisters are our way back home as well. This is a tenet of A Course in Miracles also. We find our way back through the holy relationship that we enjoy with our brother, according to ACIM.

ACOL tells us that we are accomplished, that we have already walked the pathway back. We may find this hard to believe, but accomplishment does not mean that all potential has been exhausted. Our potential will still carry us farther forward, and with the potential will go greater service to God. We are not slaves to him, but beloved children.

What does “unity” mean? It means that we are one with God, separated (even in illusion) no more. Jesus accomplished this in his earthly life, and when he accomplished this, he accomplished it for all. This may well be why he can call us, now, The Accomplished.

Serve God well. Be with Him often in prayer and communion. The way home IS accomplished, because time is an illusion, and when we wish to be in eternity instead, we are there right away.

Jesus walked the pathway home before us. His return to unity accomplished it, once and for all, for us. Because he did it, he knows that we can be in unity with God as well. Separation is no more; life abundant in unity is the new way, the new way that we are creating a new world.

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to see Jesus as a friend who has walked the whole pathway back, accomplishing in time as well as eternity what he did for all of us. Thank You that the original Christ calls us The Accomplished, for when he accomplished his mission, he did it for all of us. Jesus’s love for us will become palpable when we use our imaginations to feel close to him. Thank You that he tells us in both ACIM and ACOL that he is always nearby. I don’t understand how this can be, but there are many things that I can’t understand in this huge, blessed universe of which we are a part.

Be with me today as I seek to walk the pathway that You indicate for me. When I listen to guidance, I cease being frustrated, and the day takes on a luminous quality.

Amen.

Higher Meaning in Our Walk through This World

“To be of service to God is not to be a slave to God but to attend to God. To give God your attention and your care. You who would cry, God make use of me, only need to give to God your devotion and your willingness to serve instead of use.” (ACOL, C:29.3)

Jesus, in a nearby passage, declares that our culture does not understand, as did earlier ones (especially medieval times) about being “of service” to God. We think, all too often, that we have outgrown God. And we imagine that if we were of service to Him, we would be slaves in all but the name.

This is patently false! We can serve God through living in love in our world. We can merge with the Self deep within us, the part of us who is God Himself, and in this merger we can finally come to know the next step in our growth as people. A transition to something better. Enlightenment, Christ-consciousness, Awakening, transformation. The words are mean the same.

We need not to focus on the word “use,” for we have “used” many of our brothers and sisters in this world. And God would not have us use Him, though we do gain very practical help in our prayers. We need to lift our sights to something higher, and service is that higher concept.

What is the best pathway that we sense ahead of us? That best pathway is God beckoning to us to make a difference in our world. We do not use others when we take that higher pathway, but we are, by inference, helping God, being of service to Him.

Our days brighten when we realize that God Himself needs us in this world. We have often heard that we are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. And that old saying is just as true for God.

So: Today, before going out into the world, ask what or who we need to serve. Find a higher meaning in our walk in this world. Find someone or something good to assist.

And we will be walking a better pathway than we have ever trod before.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would use nobody else in my walk through this world. I would, instead, see how I might serve You through my interactions with others. This is not an archaic concept, though many times, perhaps, in our world I don’t understand what serving You will actually effect.

My walk through this world is not at random. I will encounter those whom I can best help, and may my help be non-self-serving.

When I help others, I also help myself—though not in an egoic sense, if I am doing it rightly. All of us are One, and when we pull together, nothing in this world has to seem hard.
Amen.

Interactions with Others Can Be of Ease & Certainty

“Certainty and ease as surely go together. There are no more decisions for you to make. There is only a call for a dedicated and devoted will, a will dedicated to the present moment, to those who are sent to you and to how you are guided to respond to them. One will be a teacher, another a student. The difference will be clear if you listen with your heart.” (ACOL, C:28.13)

A reassuring passage, this quotation for today tells it like it is—if we are strong enough to comprehend and to put into practice. If we can be at ease when we are certain about things, we will go a long way toward home today. Ease and effortless living are prized in A Course of Love; we don’t have to struggle. In fact, we are forbade struggle as a very bad idea, something that the ego got us caught up in so that we would take the credit when we succeeded after much struggle.

May we get past all of this disaster today. Let us live in the present moment, sure of the present, more sure than we have ever been of anything before. We will encounter others, some of whom will be teachers for us, some of whom will be students for us. If we are fortunate, we will fall in line with the difference.

We are to observe in the outside world, and later on we see that this observation enlarges into being “in-formed” by the larger world. When we observe and when we are informed, we will take life as it comes. We won’t be confused by the fact that some know more than we do, some know less. This is only relevant while we are in time, and time is an illusion in our world. Beyond the veils of death, time is no more. And the same for space.

If we listen with our heart, in ease and certainly, we will know which individuals we encounter are meant to be our teachers, and which we are meant to teach. Listening with our heart, as always, is extolled in ACOL.

Live today in ease and, with it, certainty of a present that will give us all that we truly need. There are actually no needs, for needs are met at the point of recognition. And when this happens, we know that needs are no more.

Dear Father/Mother,

We so easily misunderstand each other. We so easily overstep our bounds and do that which does not help another. But with You guiding us, these mistakes will vanish into nothingness. As they came from nothingness, the mistakes of the ego.

Help us to reach out to others only to the extent that they are ready to receive. We need to pull back if our gestures are not helpful to them. May we have enough sense to understand the difference.

Amen.

Knowing that Is Not Human in Origin

“As the dawn is unrestrained in its bursting forth, so has been your time of innocence. Not so the approach of day as the sun slowly rises and as slowly sets. This is a time of being both guided and restrained. A time of realizing that you can know without knowing what to do, and that this is not a mistake. Many reach this stage and, not knowing what to do with what they know, begin to doubt their knowing. This is a human response to a knowing that is not human in origin.” (ACOL, C:28.10)

Today’s quotation addresses a problem we may encounter as we proceed in listening to our heart and getting guidance from our Source, the inner Self who is part of God. We must walk easy, not forge ahead into ways that we don’t yet understand. We must sometimes hold back. Our knowing is not human in origin when we listen to our Self, a divine being. And this knowing may confuse us, for this knowing is telling us things that we have not heretofore believed, or maybe even known about.

We are being guided. If we doubt this, I suggest an exercise. Sit down with a computer, or with paper and pencil, and write out a series of questions that might trouble you about ultimate things. Get still and quiet. And then listen for answers from your heart. Let the words just come to you, for nobody has to see this. See if your confusion doesn’t begin to fall away. The Self knows how to speak to your finite mind. The heart, the center of the Self, knows what to write.

We can each reach God in our own way. He is nearer than our breath, for, as I have repeatedly indicated, we are a part of Him (ACIM and ACOL doctrine). God will not let us down. We know enough to access His wisdom, and in the access will come clarity.

Try and see. None of us will be disappointed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I have used the exercise I write about many times. Thank You for guiding my fingers to type what works for me. Thank You for being there, and guiding my heart to inform my mind.

I need Your knowledge more than my perception. This is very clear today as it is every day. May the right words come to mind when they are needed. May You give me the words to say.

Amen.

Wisdom of Our Heart Will Guide

“Trust and bearing witness go together, as the validation sought through bearing witness is a symptom of distrust. Few are chosen to be prophets, and the plethora of testimony taking place is brought about by innocence more so than by wisdom. This sharing of personal testimony has reached its zenith and will no longer be as welcomed or appreciated, so even were the intent of this Course to bring testimony together in such a way as to cause an evolutionary step, it would not work. Thus we must concentrate on wisdom, the wisdom of the heart.” (ACOL, C:28.4)

This quotation for today emphasizes that we cannot depend on the testimony of others to lead us back to God. We can only depend on the wisdom of our own heart, a looking within that allows the Christ Self to speak to us in any and all circumstances.

Prophecy thus is seen in A Course of Love as an answer for other generations and other cultures. Our world looks at such things differently; we are skeptical. And perhaps, rightly so, though there are many who still are caught in prophecy and see no inherent conflict here. If we allow our heart to speak to us, we will know the truth. And our worries and doubts will fall away. We have, in listening to our heart, gone inward to our Source, God Himself. And we don’t do so any longer with the intermediary of the Holy Spirit, because we are no longer afraid of a direct route to God.

Listen to what transpires inwardly. No longer look to learned wisdom for answers that spoke to other generations and other cultures. We have new revelation now, in the truth of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

It certainly behooves us to use this new revelation well.

Dear Father/Mother,

Today’s quotation is something that I need to read and reread, for I have been mightily influenced by the learned wisdom from the past. Now I am seeing that my own heart, in league with the inner Christ Self, will give me the guidance to proceed rightly.

Thank You for this simplification of what our guidance actually means, now in this time of new revelations. May I observe well. May all of us observe well.

Amen.

MEETING MARI

by Celia Hales. Published in the current issue of the free online newsletter, The Embrace (Glenn Hovemann, publisher).

The year was 2004, three years after Mari Perron had published the first part of A Course of Love with New World Library. Like Mari, I was living in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. And, like Mari, I was a seeker.

My story about Mari actually began more than two years earlier with a morning spent in the Barnes & Noble bookstore in my neighborhood. As I was browsing the shelves, my eyes lit upon a pink volume, a lovely pink volume. And, fittingly, for the pink book jacket, the book was called A Course of Love. I picked it up and flitted through the pages. Soon I was sitting in one of those overstuffed chairs at the bookstore, scanning the volume.

I sat there for two hours, reading all that I could devour. In the back of the book was a testimonial to the truth of the volume by four friends of Mari.

I was a skeptic. I believed that these people were truthful, honest, but I didn’t believe that the work was genuine. I would later change my mind.

Some months went by. I saw another copy of the pink-jacketed ACOL in yet another bookstore. This time I purchased it. This time I read the book carefully. I was becoming entranced by the fact that it just might be genuine. And I felt that I ought to publish a book review for Jon Mundy’s Miracles magazine, something that I routinely did for other books that caught my eye and that seemed appropriate to the Course in Miracles community.

I had read from my copy of the New World Library edition that Mari was in the Twin Cities area. Eventually I got on the phone and tried to locate her, suddenly interested in having a conversation with her about A Course of Love. It wasn’t hard to find her. And soon we were talking. She agreed to meet me at the nearby coffee shop owned by her family. And so my engagement with A Course of Love really began.

We met on my morning off from work. I got there first, and settled down with coffee to await Mari. Soon, from across the table, she stood, leaning over to meet my eye.

I said something like, “You’re just a regular person!” with some surprise. Mari was pretty, with long hair, a little curly, drawn back in a knot at the nape of her neck. She looked very, very pleasant.

She responded, “That’s why some people think I couldn’t do this.”

By “this,” I knew she meant channeling Jesus. Would a “regular person” be chosen for such a task?
Our conversation lasted at least an hour. Mari told me that she had two other parts, now, of A Course of Love. I told her I wanted to write a book review, and she offered to send me the books.

In the midst of our conversation, Mari’s daughter Mia came over to greet us. After an introduction, Mari lamented that A Course of Love had not “taken off” the way that she would have liked. Mia said something prophetic: She said that it took a while for A Course in Miracles to take off, and that it would just take some time for A Course of Love to become known as well.

Our conversation continued. Suddenly, Mari said, “I have been praying that someone would come to me to help me get the word out about A Course of Love.”

I was stunned. Mari thought that I was an answer to her prayer.

I thought she had the wrong person. I was A Course in Miracles enthusiast, and I thought that she needed a younger generation to come along and help her. I thought she was mistaken.

Now, 11 years later and six years into writing a blog on both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, I think Mari might have been right all along. Right about a mission for me, right about Jesus as her channeler. My love for A Course of Love has grown over the years. Its heart-centered approach to salvation piques my curiosity.
Now many others are drawn to ACOL, due largely to Glenn Hovemann’s Take Heart Publications and the new combined volume. Yes, Jesus’s “continuation” of A Course in Miracles has an ever-widening and increasingly enthusiastic audience.

And I am no longer a skeptic. To my mind Jesus had “unfinished business” with us, after A Course in Miracles. And A Course of Love answers many of the questions that we have had after reading A Course in Miracles. Now Jesus not only takes us by the hand and leads us beyond the ego, but he tells us how to establish a new identity—in this body but beyond this body, the “elevated Self of form.”

We are on the threshold of a newly created world. The voice Mari heard in her head, Jesus himself, is ever with all of us as we transform ourselves and our world.

Living in the State of Grace

“How will you know when you have achieved the state of grace in which you were created, and that you are living in relationship? You will know by the certainty you feel. If you do not feel this certainty, what can you do?

“You are ready now, and all that will prevent you from living a life of love is unwillingness to do so. There is only one remaining source of such unwillingness. Your willingness will now depend on whether or not you trust. Do you trust these words? Do you trust in God? Can you trust in your Self?” (ACOL, C:27.20 – 27.21)

Trust is the bedrock of A Course of Love as well as A Course in Miracles (ACIM covers this in the Manual). Jesus says that we are ready, and that if we trust, we will be willing to reach toward Christ-consciousness. It is only ourselves who hold us back, thinking that we are not good enough, worthy enough, or we cling to fear in a misguided notion that it can save us from all the perils in this difficult world. The world does not have to be difficult. Though we may have pain, and see pain in others, we do not have to let this escalate into suffering. There is a better way, and this better way is made abundantly clear in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

How might we woo willingness? My answer is that we open ourselves up to this willingness by surrendering to God in prayer. Surrendering is elsewhere in ACOL pointed out as the way to God. We acknowledge that we don’t know enough to get home by ourselves; we need help. And this help is abundantly present in the Self, inwardly, the part of us that is God. We project the outer world, which is not real, but this projection does not hurt us when it is transformed into “extension,” or the movement of God into the outer world. We will be home even in this world when we attend to our heart, and Jesus makes this assertion abundantly clear when he appeals to the heart in ACOL.

We need to just recognize the necessity to leave unwillingness behind. We are ready. Jesus has said it.

And so it is.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to keep my willingness fresh today, an abundant willingness that finds root in the Christ Self deep within me. This is true for all people as well. I need to accept Your grace that I am good enough just as I am, good enough for enlightenment. “Goodness” is such a relative term, and desire is the means that we use to reach You. Help me to live in a positive way, to turn aside from all that would hold me back, and to lean toward You in all respects.

Amen.

Don’t Make Life More Complicated than It Is

“To live in relationship is to accept all that is happening in the present as your present reality, and as a call to be in relationship with it. It is the willingness to set aside judgment so that you are not contemplating what “should” be happening rather than what is happening. It looks past percep¬tion of “others” to relationship and wholeness. To live in relationship is to live in harmony even with conflict. It is an understanding that if conflict arises in your present there is something to be learned from your relation¬ship with conflict.” (ACOL, C:27.14)

This quotation enlarges on the concept of relationship, a concept that is given great play in A Course of Love. We are to be in relationship with what happens in our world as well as with the people in that world. And even if we encounter conflict, we are to know that there is something in conflict for us to learn from. Later on in ACOL, we are taught that our learning is to come from observation of the people and things in our outer world, no longer from books of the past, what people have told us about experience. We are to experience directly through this observation.

We don’t need to argue with our experiences. We don’t need to place “should’s” and “ought’s” on what is going on around us. If something that we don’t like is going on, there is still something for us to learn from this lamentable set of circumstances. And, likewise, if there is something that we like going on, we can relax in the joy and derive pleasure from our surroundings as well.

We don’t need to get in tangles with our world. We simply, directly, observe our surroundings, just as we simply and directly observe our reactions to our surroundings. Don’t make life more complicated than it truly is. Take life by the smooth handle. Relax and be happy, joyous. The way home is not a struggle, and if we insist on struggling, we will miss the mark. The only way home is through, not around, but that “through” is not meant to be a mire. We walk smoothly and easily, along a smooth pathway. And if we find briars where we thought that we would find smoothness, if we trip and fall, we just need to pick ourselves up and try again. The briars are of our own making.

Find wholeness today in our relationship with others and with God. We are a part of that wholeness, and the wholeness is all positive—if we don’t get lot in ruminations of making things different from what they are. We take life at face value, simply and peacefully.

Then we know that we have found the right route through and beyond our troubles.

Dear Father/Mother,

I find myself in conflict from time to time, and I wonder if this is a pattern, in memory, from egoic living. I know that we don’t have to remain in conflict, because turning to You will ease our way, and turning to You will ease our way immediately. Thank You for being there, deep within me, embodying the Self who is my inner Christ. This Self is my little part of You, and knowing that this little Self is part of the All is reassuring in the extreme.

Be with us today. Thank You for the good morning that I had, and may the rest of the day unfold in just such a good manner.

Amen.

Life Is a Matter of Relationship

“When you fully realize that the only way to know the Self is through relationship, your concerns about concentration on the self will end. Life is not a matter of self versus other. Life is a matter of relationship. Life is not a matter of human versus divine, but a matter of relationship between the human and the divine. Life is not a matter of one living thing versus another, but of the relationship between all living things.” (ACOL, C:27.7)

God cannot even know Himself if He is all that there is. This is the fundamental reason that He differentiates Himself into parts, parts that include all of us individually. We are in relationship, then, and so is He. This is not dualism as I understand the term. This is a metaphysical true reality that is indispensable to the working of all universes that exist.

We are in this together. We have each other, and this suggests that we are not meant to be obstinately independent from each other. We are meant to be One in that relationship, though, and this is the truth of all universes as well. We are all One, and in the oneness we find our small part of reaching God. A hologram is our best way of understanding. Each part is a part of the whole, contains the whole, though each part does not comprehend what—or Who—it has in its entirety. This is a human comprehension that is actually metaphor, but it will take us a long way toward a fuller understanding of Who God is, and who we are.

We are in relationship with each other (which includes relationship with God), and, concurrently, we are in relationship with both the human and the divine. As we progress along, we will eventually embody the elevated Self of form, and this is a full blending of the human and the divine. This is what true relationship of the human and the divine means.

Let us take the hand of each of our brothers and sisters, and the “hand” of God as well, and in this joining we will know full relationship. Our oneness is a oneness of relationship. We therefore know the “unity and relationship” that A Course of Love mentions so often. And we will walk in a merger that nevertheless retains understanding of the parts of the whole. Thus we can know both God and man/woman at once.

Dear Father/Mother,

Our minds strain to imagine You, and this may not be the best use of our time. Our minds cannot comprehend the Ultimate Who You are. We will never be smart enough.

But we can know love. And in this love we catch a glimpse of Who You are all about. When we love, we are touching the Divine. And when we touch the Divine, we are at Home in You.

Thank You for being here always for us as we wander through this sometimes difficult world. With the Self, we will know more peace. May we know this Self today.

Amen.