Union of the Human & the Divine

“My resurrection brought about the Word made flesh in each of you. You who have come after me are not as I was but as I Am. Does this not make sense, even in your human terms of evolution? You are the resurrected and the life.

“How does this relate to your thinking? You have been reborn as god-man, as God and man united. The resurrection is the cause and effect of the union of the human and divine. This is accomplished. This is in effect the way in which the man Jesus became the Christ. This is in effect the way.” (ACOL, T1:8.5 – 8.6)

Jesus says some startling things in this passage. If we allow our ego to rise again, we will be in for a fall, for Jesus says things that the ego would really like to latch upon. Don’t let it! This offering from Jesus is for the time after the resurrection, a resurrection that we now all share with him. The “god-man” of which is said later on to be the “elevated Self of form,” but at this point “god-man” may be easier to understand, though not easier to comprehend. We are both human and divine, as was Jesus. And when we have received full salvation, we will know what this means. But we can try to comprehend now: The Self is the part of us who is God, dwelling deep within. And we have previously been oblivious to this Self, preferring instead to dwell with a little, personal self, a self with a little “s.” Now we can raise our sights quite a bit, and know that God, as the Divine, has now taken hold of our personality and is raising it up to new heights, heights to which the ego could not climb.

Our god-man aspects, the union of the human and the divine, call for great acceptance of all of us. If we think that we still have faults, we can, in a manner of speaking, wish those faults away, and they will be gone. Jesus actually makes this promise in A Course of Love, though he uses different words, and what I have said is an interpretation. If we think that we attack too readily, we can just ask that this aspect of who we are might drop away—and it will. The solution, as A Course in Miracles says, is always with the problem. And, as A Course of Love says, we have no needs, for needs are resolved immediately. This cleansing of the personality is what the union of the human and the divine, with a Self released to outer play, can do for us. We have nothing to fear, no reason to judge. We are alright just as we are. God loves us just as we are, warts and all.

We ought to make determinations to clean up our act, and the Self will do this consistently, when we get still and simply ask. This is God enjoying His godliness, and being glad that his creations (us) have finally realized how to live a good life, an abundant life.

Our resurrected life can begin today. Jesus has said that he has nothing that we cannot have, that we are, in effect, all in this together.

Let’s ask today to live as who we are, just as ourselves. But realize that change for the better is always possible, once we have accepted ourselves first. We will never get anywhere good by lamenting what we are, the personalities that we have. We may have made many mistakes, but these are all correctable, and soon. We can live above the fray, in a quiet and calm way that gives us the best of heaven on earth.

Prayer

Jesus promises many exciting changes for us in the passage for today. And I need to be certain that I realize that You are behind his words, that You won’t fail to give me guidance to keep the ego at bay. These promises are real, and I accept them at face value. I wish for acceptance of myself, for changes that needs to be made in myself, and for the will to live peaceably even as change occurs.

Be with me today and always. Thank You for the promises that Jesus has made to all of us in A Course of Love.

Amen.

The Resurrected Christ in All of Us

“As I no longer suffer the separation, you need no longer suffer the sepa¬ration. Even though the resurrection returned not life to the form I once occupied, it returned me to you in the form of the resurrected Christ who exists in all of you, bringing resurrection even unto your forms. I became
the Word incarnate upon my resurrection rather than upon my birth.” (ACOL, T1:8.5)

This passage is a tantalizing glimpse at what the resurrection some 2,000 years ago actually meant, what actually happened. This passage says that the resurrection “returned not life to the form I once occupied,” and so this would seem to say that Jesus, in his appearances after death, was occupying an ethereal body. This does fall in line with part of the New Testament, which has Jesus appearing suddenly within closed doors. But he was the resurrected Christ, and he makes plain that, though he was first, his accomplishment was for all of us, “the resurrected Christ who exists in all of you.”

This resurrection for all of us will involve an elevated Self of form, as we learn in the third book of A Course of Love, the Dialogues. He does not say that this form is real, and certainly in A Course in Miracles, Jesus championed a non-dualistic view of the world, saying that it (the world) does not exist! There are some different interpretations in the ACOL community about what the elevated Self of form really means, whether or not it is real. But it is not wise for us to demand that everyone agree on everything. Theological concepts are slippery, and our finite minds cannot comprehend ultimate reality except when we are in mystical states of mind and heart. Theology also divides us as a community, and we certainly don’t want that.

The resurrection is a very mystical concept in A Course of Love. Jesus says elsewhere that he changed the world for all time with his resurrection, and that he changed the world for us. He also says that there is nothing that he achieved that we cannot also achieve. We are one with him, one with everyone, one with God. Thus there is no reason for division to reign among us.

May we occupy resurrected bodies today. This is where we are really headed, and there is no reason that, in this time of Christ, we cannot follow Jesus’s new teaching and assume that he means it when he says that his resurrection was meant for all. Elsewhere he says that it takes time for a truth to be realized, and he indicates that it may even take more than 2,000 years for the real truth to be understood. If so, we are in a fortunate position today, for we have the new revelations of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. We can see and understand what was veiled before, what was only hinted at, and not understood very well—if at all.

Prayer

Be with me today, to give me a good day. I ask this so often that I feel like a broken record. But You do answer, for when I have prayed, first thing in the morning, the events of my day do smooth out. Thank You for that.

Help me to come to understand what resurrection is all about. It is a hard concept, this matter of resurrection. And we all resurrect with Jesus, in forms that have been elevated to a new comprehension of life and what it is about.

Be with me today. Be with all of us today. Your Presence turns any day into the good.

Amen.

A New Era Dawns

“Yes, I have said that contrast is a favored teaching device of the Holy Spirit. But I have not yet said that the time of the Holy Spirit is ending even though I have stated that the time of the second coming of Christ is here. I have said that the time of parables has ended and asked you not to look to those historical figures that taught in such a way as your examples any longer. I have said a new way of learning is needed and is here. To continue to rely on the ways of old, no matter how effective they were and no matter how much they spoke the truth will be to not learn the new.” (ACOL, T1:7.4)

The new way of learning is the art of thought, which is another name for miracle-mindedness, for prayer, and for miracles themselves. Jesus even seems to be discounting his own work in the New Testament, saying that we are not to look for historical figures who taught in parables. If this is true, and it seems to be from this passage, we are to see Jesus in a new way now. His time has finally come, the time of Christ. And we are all sharing it with him. Christ is not a concept that is limited to Jesus, though he was the first. He shares with all of us, for we all have a Self Who is part of God, a Christ Self deep within. And we are finally letting this Christ Self out to play, for Jesus does not preach a laborious and overly serious way of life. In fact, at one point in A Course of Love, he tells us that the seriousness with which we have approached life has been of the ego. True life, lived in concert with the Christ Self, is lighthearted and joyous, a true change of direction from what we have known for eons.

The new way is to be learned through observation of the world around us, not learned wisdom. And, then, even this is replaced with an “in-forming” from that world of all that we need to know. These ideas, from the third book, the Dialogues, are only hinted at in this first Treatise, but the groundwork is being laid. We are going to be asked to create the new, to create a new world, and it will be said that nothing is more important.

Here, now, we are not learning through contrast any longer. We are learning through the miracle readiness in which we are suspended. We are learning from miracles that fall across our path. And these surprises, which cannot be anticipated, are joyous in the extreme. We are finally learning without any pain or struggle. We are striving for new concepts, opening our minds and hearts to the Jesus of today who channeled A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

If this is the time of Christ, does this mean an actual physical embodiment for Jesus? Jesus does not ever address this question in A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love. He does indicate in ACOL that we will embody elevated Selves of form, and these Selves will be the one Self Whom we all share, the Christ Who is universal. The question is tantalizing, of course: Will Jesus himself return to earth? But he doesn’t tell us in either ACIM or ACOL. He stresses that we are all part of the one Christ Self, and he now does say that our time has come with the second coming of Christ.

Prayer

May I reach a new understanding of how to live well today, in this time of Christ that is dawning. It is tantalizing to wonder about all that I don’t know, but in the final analysis there is very little that is needed to live well. If I reach out with love, and I avoid fearful thoughts and actions, and avoid judging thoughts and actions, then A Course of Love would say that I am on the right track. If I rest easy, in inner calm and quiet, I will be emptied of all that fear possessed previously. And if I make no decisions for other people, I will have no reason to judge their reactions and their decisions. This sounds so easy to me. Can it really be hard when You are there with me?

Amen.

Return of Heaven

“What happens when this oneness is accomplished is that divine memories arise to replace perception. This is miracle-mindedness. The accomplishment of this state of being is the reason for which you are here. It is your return to your Self. It heralds the return of heaven through the second coming of Christ, the energy that will bridge the two worlds.” (ACOL, T1:6.9)

This passage compresses a number of ideas in just a few words, words that cry out for deeper understanding. We are seeking oneness with God, and we reach that oneness when we turn inward to the Self, for the Self is part of God. When we have released this Self, we are flooded with memories that Jesus calls “divine,” and we are, finally and forever, released to miracle-mindedness. This is when we practice prayer that is unwavering and a constant thing in our lives; this is when we practice the art of thought, thought that embraces miracles just all the time, even in our very daily life.

We are on earth for a purpose, and it is the return of our being to the Self, the end of perception as the ego has taught it to us, and the coming of miracles that give us a new way to live. Jesus tells us in A Course of Love that we are now in the age of Christ, and this age will bridge heaven and earth. We are certainly, therefore, here at a wondrous time. A time that the ages have longed to see. We will not fully appreciate our position now in this world until we have reached union with the Christ Self Who resides within each of us. This is the Christ-consciousness, the Awakening, that we all long to see, and see right away.

We must at first be satisfied with glimpses of the Awakening. We will know a peace that passeth understanding, we will sense love in a deeper way than we can remember previously, and we will feel a harmony with others that has often been missing heretofore. These glimpses, if all goes according to the usual way, will lengthen, so that our thought processes slow down as we experience peace and not drama. We are on the verge now, and nothing could be more fulfilling. The ultimate bestowal of Christ-consciousness comes, however, when the ego has finally been vanquished, when fear has gone away, when judgment does not mar our days. Then and only then does God, metaphorically, each down and lift us up to the Christ-consciousness that has been His Will all along.

Let us pray for union with the Self today. Let us realize that we are praying in God’s Will. He will act as soon as we are ready, and we can remove the barriers to this abundant life by paying attention to what transpires for us. We can choose to drop fear by praying it away, we can choose to drop judgment by loving it away. The possibilities are endless, once we have touched miracle-mindedness ever so slightly.

God’s way will heal us. Let us ask for that today.

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for a good day of no fear and no judgment, as well as no attack, no anger, and no senseless planning to protect myself in the future. These are the prerequisites to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, as outlined in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. I know the truth; help me to live it.

Thank You.

Amen.

Prayer

“Thus prayer must be redefined as the act of consciously choosing union. With this definition, you can see how your life can become a prayer. This does not negate the fact that a prayer is also a constant dialogue of asking, being answered, and responding. This is the aspect of prayer that makes of it an act of creation.” (ACOL, T1:6.3)

Prayer is one of the most, if not the most, solver of problems in our difficult world. When we reach deep within ourselves, to the God within, we see the solution that is always right there with the problem. It takes “getting tiny” to effect change in prayer. We have to realize that it is the Self in union with God Who can answer our needs. When we try to “get bigger” than our difficulties, and forge ahead, we virtually always get into more trouble.

So: How might life become a prayer? We ask in the depths for a solution to our worries. We are answered, immediately, but sometimes our conscious mind can’t hear the answer right away. God responds, our deeper Self responds. And it is because the deeper Self is God Himself, Who loves us, we walk a green earth again.

We are in union with the divine. When we forget that connection, we make mistakes. And from these mistakes, we need to emerge on the other side with feelings of forgiveness and feelings of love. The two go together, for until we forgive ourselves for our mistakes, we cannot understand what prompted the ill will, and we don’t love fully—for we have been hurt.

Life seems a bundle of neuroses until we decide to give up those neuroses to the One Who can heal us. And heal us He does, and immediately, though we don’t feel anything for a while. We are still nursing our wounds, and this leads to an ennui, a weakness, that paralyzes us. This won’t do. We deserve better than this, and God gives it to us, in the solution of problems brought to Him for the mending.

Prayer works. Often it is the only thing that does, for we can try distractions in the world, but they soon fail us. God, the deep Self, will mellow us out, give us a new lease on life. And in this new lease, our sorrows dissipate. We indeed walk a green earth again.

Dear Father/Mother,

Prayer works. And I pray to You today to heal my hurt and angry feelings. I know that I set a poor example when I am hurt and angry. So I would recognize my union with You, and I would gently try again.

Be with all of us today. We all do need You. I need You very much. And life improves when I an conscious of my union with You.

Thank You for the conscious contact.

Amen.

Walking the Clear Path Ahead

“Mindfulness and wholeheartedness are but different expressions of the union of mind and heart. Mindfulness will aid you in remembering. Wholeheartedness will aid you in reconciling the laws of God with the laws of man. Through mindfulness you will remember who you are. Through wholeheartedness you will be who are.

“It is in this way that you will enter a time of miracles, put an end to suffering, and thus begin the return to love.” (ACOL, T1:5.14 – 5.15)

Mindfulness is the conscious decision to pay attention to the details of walking through a day. Wholeheartedness is an openness to the heart and our innermost feelings while retaining the mental agility of the mind as an egoless entity. (These are my own definitions.) Mindfulness and wholeheartedness do work together to launch us on the right pathway away from separation from God and into union with Him, with the inner Self Who is a part of Him. Mindfulness works first, by getting us to remember who we are, by clueing us in to the Self Whom we have always been, the Self Who has only to be recollected, for we never actually left that Self. Wholeheartedness then guides us to be ourselves, just to put on no airs, to be who we are, the Self Who is one with God and knows the right route to take on our pathway through this world and beyond.

With mindfulness and wholeheartedness, we will enter a new time, a new time of the art of thought, a time of miracles. Suffering will lessen and then end, and does this not sound like a good thing? If it sounds too good to be true, surely we are underestimating God. We are returning to love, and it is a Love Who is God Himself. Our futures indeed look bright, with such promises as this.

Walk through a day with mindfulness. This is an Eastern thought that has great relevance to us now, and Jesus uses the term a number of times in A Course of Love. Be attentive, for this is what mindfulness really means. Then listen to the heart, and let the ego fall away, leaving a clear mind that is ready to join with the heart in wholeheartedness. Our feelings are apt to become muddled if we rely on the heart solely, but with the mind, a freed mind, we are much more likely to understand what wholeheartedness promises us. We will walk without clouds in our eyes, mists that cover the footpath.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to feel good today, as I practice both mindfulness and wholeheartedness. These two concepts, taken together, are my way into miracles, my way around suffering, and my way toward love. Let me not forget in my busyness today.

I thank You for these insights into what life has to offer, life when it is lived as it is meant to be lived. I need to realize that suffering is a wrongheaded notion that is usually accompanied by emotional turmoil. This I would leave behind, now and forever.

Amen.

Overcoming Dark Nights of the Soul

“In order to experience the truth, you must move into a state that is real. Nothing is as real as everything, and is what some of you will or have experi¬enced as a “dark night of the soul.” To realize that you reside in nothingness is but the counterpart of realizing that there is an all to which you belong.” (ACOL, T1:5.8)

Probably none of us has escaped a dark night of the soul. Sometimes we are cracked open, and in the cracking, we are made more willing to listen to God. Indeed, the broken places then often become stronger because we have opened to God. Ernest Hemingway says, “And afterwards, many are strong at the broken places.” Hemingway was onto something.

Most of us have a secret hope that now that we are on the right pathway, we won’t have hard times anymore. No more dark nights of the soul. But we are bargaining with God when we think this, and usually we do keep these thoughts to ourselves. There are no guarantees. Pain comes to those who follow God’s Way, as well as to those who don’t. And bargaining, we know, is not the way we ought to commune with our God.

It is true that our pathway will have given us clues as to how to handle a dark night of the soul. We know that prayer works, and in this Treatise, we have learned that prayer and miracles and the art of thought are the same. We may not fully understand this yet, but we are getting there.

Our dark nights are also known as the “void.” And they may signal a period of growth for ourselves. None of us are beyond the human condition, though to encourage suffering would be foolishness, and this Treatise makes that clear. We have many false ideas about suffering, but when we are just ourselves, being who we are as the Self, we are eliminating the false egoic ideals that are a precondition to suffering.

If we encounter a dark night (which may happen, given this quotation for today), we are not to lament our fate or to rail against a God outside of ourselves. Our God is within, and He does not plan nor encourage suffering. Rest easy, know that this too shall pass, and then the bad time will dissipate into the mists from which it came.

Only when we are consistently in our right minds and hearts will we be beyond a dark night. And most of us have not reach such a condition yet. But we have made progress, and as we proceed, the times of darkness will diminish, and eventually pass away. Just be ourselves, just be who we are—no false personas here. And the blessings of God will shine away, with His Light, the bad times.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the lessons that dark nights have taught me. But I would get beyond all of this now. And with You, helping me, this is possible. I do not bargain with You, though. This is foolishness.

Help me just to be myself, a whole rather than in parts, projecting different aspects of a self. When I am just myself, the precondition to suffering is gone, and with it, the dark night.

Amen.

Choose Love and Leave Suffering Behind

“While I came to reveal the choice of Love to you, the choice that you each must make to end such suffering, the illusion of suffering has continued and in its continuation made the choice of Love seem all but impossible. If not for the suffering that you see all around you, the choice for Love would have been made. If the choice for Love had been made, the suffering you see around you would be no more. This is the paradox.” (ACOL, T1:5.3)

Jesus is here saying that it is not simple to choose Love, though choosing Love would eradicate suffering. Why are we so stubborn about this? Why don’t we just—choose Love?

We don’t know how. The words are so familiar to us that they have all too often lost their meaning. Perhaps if we focus on the reality of what we need to experience, we will be able to leave suffering behind.

Our reality is the God-Self Who is deep within, eager to emerge. When this Self emerges, we will have beaten down suffering, once and for all. Pain may still occur in a physical environment where pinpricks hurt, but the emotional investment in pain will be gone. And with it, the suffering.

If we can just believe this, we will be home free. The paradox needs to be held in mind. Without the suffering, the Love is there; when the Love is there, the suffering is long gone.

Our fears make for a lot of the emotional investment in suffering. And fears are doubts about ourselves. When we have confidence in ourselves, we will be above the fray. We will have found a way to be happy in this world. Self-confidence is the great protector of emotions. And others are drawn to our self-confidence, especially and only if it is not egoic in nature.

Jesus says that the basis of fear is self-doubt. And surely we can pray that this self-doubt be removed from us. When the Self emerges, self-doubt is gone. And we are now in the process of letting the Self emerge in all its non-egoic majesty. Self-confidence will blossom, fears will leave us because our doubts have left us. The way seems bright indeed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would invite self-confidence today. I know that the opposite of self-doubt is self-confidence, and self-doubt brings on fear—a fear that I would leave behind. Be with me today as I rest in Your peace. You are here for me, always and forever. You know my needs before I become aware of them. And I ask that these needs be answered immediately. The solution is always with the problem. And problems are a form of need.

Be with me as I walk through this day. Be with me as I seek to experience You in all your glory. May my self-doubt end, and with that ending may fears vanish into the mists from which they came. I would leave any and all suffering behind in the dust. I would choose Love today.

Amen.

End Fear and Begin Miracles

“From time immemorial, fear has been associated with God. This was the thinking I came to reverse. While I succeeded in revealing a God of love, this revelation has not been reconciled with your experience here. This is what we will now seek to do by putting an end to fear and ushering in, with this ending, the beginning of a time of miracles.” (ACOL, T1:4.27)

Fear is a precondition for suffering, and so when we remove the fear, we will then remove the suffering. And we can have pain, part of the human condition, without suffering, because much of what we endure is emotional turmoil. Any physical pain becomes lessened when we get out minds in league with God, with the Self deep within, in the perfect calm and quiet of Awakening. And we can have these glimpses often, even when in pain.

Jesus did show us a God of love, and we often forget that this was not the Israelites’ experience of God. They believed that He was a God Who had to be mollified by good deeds and sacrifices. They would not have understood “love” as the prime attribute of their God. But Jesus changed all this.

We have not experienced the change, though! This is the irony, what Jesus is working now to change. Something, in a perfect world, a perfect creation, has gone wrong. And suffering is that thing. If we saw love in everything, we would have forsaken suffering; and the reverse is true as well, if we forsake suffering, we will see love everywhere.

How exactly can we bring this about, the end of suffering, the all-encompassing gift of love? We need just to call on the deeper Self, to be ourselves, or, as Jesus puts it, to “be who we are.” This is actually being ourselves, and this is folk knowledge in our culture from a long way back. If we experience pain, it most definitely does not have to turn into suffering, regardless of how bad it may be. It is the emotional turmoil that renders us frantic. It is the emotional pain that is our real enemy (an interpretation, not stated in ACOL).

Even though we probably believe what Jesus said from 2,000 years ago, we have not experienced that truth of love being everything. Not in our personal experience. We can change this. And we must change this, sooner rather than later, if we are to have inner peace. When we give up the highs and lows, the drama, we will be happy. And not until.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend my day in calm and quiet, for this will bring me happiness. I know that when I have conquered my egoic need for drama, I will be alright. I will not turn into an uninteresting person, though some may find me less engaging. This does not matter. Ordinary people living extraordinary lives will turn others to God, to wholeheartedness, to union with the Self, and the Christ-consciousness. Let me do my part today.

Thank You for helping.

God Talks through Revelation

“Revelation is a proper description of the mode by which the art of thought teaches and helps you learns. It is not through study, effort, or re-interpretation but through revelation.

“Revelation is direct communication with God in the sense that it is direct communication from a Self you have known not, the Self that is one with the Creator.” (ACOL, T1:4.23 – 4.24)

Perhaps most of us have not believed that revelation from God would happen to us very often, if at all. We imagine that we are not “good” enough.

But goodness is not the criteria. Once we have reached this far in A Course of Love, we are ready, for we are opening ourselves to the Self, deep within, who is at one with the Creator, God. We will know by revelation now. And we won’t learn what we know by analysis. Jesus says not by “study, effort, or re-interpretation.” We will know in an immediate sense, a knowing that comes from within and carries a certainty that our previous understanding has lacked.

What a blessing this is! We will actually know things, not perceive them. And this knowing carries its own assurance that we are on the right track. Part intuition, part immediate certainty, this knowing is all-encompassing of our immediate situation. We recognize, though sometimes we will not be able to act immediately. And the extent to which we cannot act on what we know if in all likelihood the extent to which the egoic mind still holds sway.

We don’t want the egoic mind to hold sway, of course. And how do we stop something so deeply embedded in us? We search for peace of mind and heart, knowing that we are definitely asking in God’s Will. When we have read this far, we have been willing to give up the egoic mind, and it is only our cooperation that has kept it in place. Now, without our cooperation, it will fade away, for we will gently turn from it to something much better—revelation brought about by wholeheartedness, the fusion of mind and heart that is a major theme of A Course of Love.

Let us ask for revelation today. Revelation can show us Christ-consciousness, first in glimpses, and then more and more as a part of our everyday life. Then will come that glorious moment when we know that we have crossed the bridge into Awakening.

And nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing the same, everything much better.

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I seek to go peacefully about my world. I have some appointments, some busyness that will call to me today. But you will go with me. And so nothing that seems to happen to me in this world has to be seen as real—except the love that I will encounter.

And I ask to see that love today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Let Memories Pave the Way to a Beautiful Future

“As was already stated, the first opportunities for you to learn the art of thought will be provided through what we have called the re-experiencing of memory. These are opportunities to re-experience the lessons your life has brought you.” (ACOL, T1:4.21)

This directive is fun to do. Who does not like to re-experience our life through memories? Of course, later on Jesus will caution against interpreting what we are reviewing. This interpretation is what we are used to doing, and it won’t get us where we want to go, which is to respond to our past with love and patience, sure that when we relive, we are safe.

We do learn through our lives. In the Dialogues, the third and last book in A Course of Love, Jesus encourages us to avoid study of the old masters, the learned wisdom of those whom we have deemed wiser than we are. In its place, he counsels observation of our lives, observation of the world and all that is in it, observation that will take us somewhere. And this observation is what we are now doing with our memories. We are trying to see what we can learn from what has gone before.

My own personal recommendation is that one lie across a bed when re-experiencing memories. This puts the body at rest. It is how I got up-to-date with my life when I was quite young, a child. We can’t retrieve memories well if we are uptight; the subconscious won’t come to our bidding. But the subconscious is what we are retrieving now. And when we have successfully retrieved the subconscious, we go on to the Unconscious, the God/Self deep within. And the union with our depths is what this re-experiencing of memories is really all about. It will lead to this further blessing of union with our depths.

Our life is our best learning mechanism. Have we really ever doubted this? The best knowledge that we have ever read is meaningless unless we can find something with which to identify. And this identification is with what has occurred in our lives.

Be still today, in whatever place or position you deem wise. Let the mind (and heart) rest. And see if God Himself doesn’t speak to us from our depths.

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend some time today in contemplation of my life history. I get so busy sometimes, and in the busyness I fail to reach to You.

I would not make that mistake again today. Be with me as I seek to find You in my depths. Be with me as I seek to learn from my past. And may I know that regardless of what has happened, I am safe now.

Amen.

Appreciation and Love Surround Us Always

“My request to you to choose a miracle is but a request to you to hear Creation’s response to who you are. What might such a response sound like? Feel like? Look like? It is a response of pure appreciation and love. It is always available. It is the gift given in everything you look upon and see without the obstacle of the ego-mind’s interpretation.” (ACOL, T1:4.16)

“Creation,” here is God Himself. And the One. The All. A response from the whole of Creation to who we are. Later on, in the Dialogues of A Course of Love, the third book, we will see that being who we are is very, very important to Jesus and to ourselves. It is the way that we will proceed, the Self Itself moving forward in tolerance of others, love of others, and peace everlasting. Who we are is the inner Christ Self, and there can be nothing more important for us to learn. This who we are will fashion our lives of the future. This is what we will know and understand when we have united mind and heart in a non-egoic pattern of living. It is appreciation and love, and we too will share in these traits. The ego-mind has no part in this way of living.

Jesus points out what he was really getting at, aside from our fears, when he asked us, several pages back, to choose a miracle. Not something specific, as he later confirms while we dally. But something that will show us who we are. And who we are is shown to us by God Himself, coming out from deep within us in the form of the Christ Self.

Pure appreciation and love are not to be taken lightly. If we really understand this entreaty, we will rush to obtain it for ourselves. Pure appreciation and love always foster peace, and inner peace is essentially what we are finding when we welcome the Self who has been plastered over by the egoic, little self. We will disavow drama in our lives in favor of quiet and calm. We will find that our new reality, the true reality, is an inner place of great tranquility. All of the positive traits of reality—the joy, harmony, peace, constancy—meet us when we turn inward to the Self.

Let us ask for the blessing of the Self today. This is identical to asking for Christ-consciousness, and when we ask for this blessing, we are asking in God’s will. At least calm down enough to catch a glimpse of Awakening. The glimpse may not last, now, but we have all had glimpses, and these tell us that there is nothing to fear. Nothing to be afraid of.

Let the miracle that you request be the wholeheartedness that Jesus has championed for us. This will allow the Self to become available, in union with the personal self, and then this will, in time, lead to Christ-consciousness. We are making the preparations for a blessing that will far exceed anything else that we have experienced in this world.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for a good day, for a good experience of peace and intimacy with others. This is what I would wish for every day, and with Your help, it becomes attainable. Be with me as I finish out the day. Help me to have good energy in tranquility, the peace that my deepest Self can and will bestow on me.

Thank You for being with me always, even in the middle of the night when I wake up and can’t go back to sleep right away. My prayers to You lessen my midnight anxieties and give me the ability to drift back off to a peaceful sleep. You are always with me, deep within me. Thank You for the knowledge that I can look within and see You at any time, day or night.

Amen.

Respond to Our World—and Live Joyfully

“The second rule of the art of thought is to acknowledge relationship, the call for a response, and the nature of all gifts as being given to all. This is thus a call to realize that you exist in relationship, that your relationship calls for a response, and that you are given to all as all are given to you.

“This is an enormous shift in your habit of thought as you become the center of the universe.” (ACOL, T1:4.6 – 4.7)

A “response” may not seem to us, at first glance, to be putting ourselves in the center of the universe. And we may bristle at this description, thinking that it is an egoic statement. But when we respond to that surrounds, faithfully and truthfully, we are not in the ego. We are in relationship to all others—all others, God, and the Self deep within, where the center is.

Think of the example of the sunset again. This simple, everyday occurrence, will soothe us as we try to come to terms with what the art of thought really means. We appreciate the sunset as a gift of God—that is the first rule of the art of thought. And then we are moved to respond, usually internally, to that sunset, and this is the second rule of the art of thought. We see ourselves in relationship to the natural world, the sunset being an especially beautiful example of the natural world.

The sunset has been given to us. The All has been given to us; there is no difference. This All is God Himself, present in all that exists. This form of pantheism, presented in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, still sees the All as One. This is why, from every point, that point is the center of the universe. That is why we can begin to see ourselves, in a non-egoic response, as the center of the universe. It is like a hologram; the whole is present in each point. And that point is the center, for the center if actually everywhere.

We need to recognize that we are given gifts by God, gifts for our pleasure and enjoyment. And, in return, we are asked to respond to the whole universe, the universe with which we are in relationship. These are the two rules for the art of thought. And when we begin practicing the union of heart and mind, and our own union with our deeper Self, we will know a joy that has eluded us until now.

Ask for the joy to rain down upon us. Just ask.

And we will be met with a happiness unexpected in common hours.

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for your guidance. Thank You for ACOL. Its heartwarming passages do indeed teach us a new way to live, a new way to think. And we are made the better for the transformation that we are about.

Be with me today, as I seek to increase intimacy with others. I need them, as they need me. Isolation doesn’t become any of us, for we are meant to be in relationship, to be interdependent.

May the rules of the art of thought inform all of my comings and going today.

Thank You.

Amen.

It Is Time for Our Christ Self to Come into Its Own

“Now that we have more prop¬erly identified the miracle, you must see that your Self is what is in need of identification and acknowledgment. This identification and acknowl¬edgment was the stated goal of A Course of Love. It does not negate your existence as a human being nor does it deny your existence as being a gift of the Creator.” (ACOL, T1:4.4)

The Self is the inner Christ Self, the part that is of God. It is the part with which we have been out of touch, separated from, during the eons that the ego ruled. The Christ Self is what learns, what is in need of learning. While this may seem strange to our ears, it is nevertheless what Jesus affirms in A Course of Love. The Christ Self will come into evidence when our mind and heart has joined in wholeheartedness. We will be in union with the Self when wholeheartedness reigns. The fact that the Christ Self is coming into its own does not negate our human attributes in favor of the divine; it is a merger of the two. The art of thought, the miracle-mindedness that we will now utilize, will make clear to us that our Self is a creation of God, a differentiation of Him into parts, of whom each of us is one part.

As a creation of God, our very being is a gift from Him. This attitude will invite miracles in our life, for we will be responding with our whole being, human and divine, the Self with whom we are newly united. Miracles will become a way of life; indeed, everything will be a miracle. If it appears that we are living in heaven itself, then we would be deducing correctly. Miracles constantly smooth the way in heaven, and heaven on earth is what we are moving toward. Ever closer to heaven on earth, we accept the new learning that our Christ Self will reach through observation of ourselves, others, and the physical world. And then we will be in-formed by this observation. As you can perhaps intuit, we are leaving behind the necessity to refer to learned wisdom of the past. The past has helped us, but its viability in our new state of mind and heart, wholeheartedness, is limited.

The art of thought will free us to move away from egoic interpretation and allow us to move into a response to God and our brothers and sisters, not to mention ourselves. Response is what we are after now; analysis and interpretation won’t get us where we want to go. Remember the example of watching a sunset unfold; this simple everyday experience asks for a response from us. There is no need to do any analysis or interpretation. Analysis or interpretation would mislead rather than help. The glory of the sunset would be lost when our mind, still influenced by the ego, invited an analytical interpretation.

What does wholeheartedness really mean? It means that our heart will do the leading, and in that leading, the mind has acquiesced. The mind is no longer shadowed by the ego; it has been freed by the heart as the center of our being. This center will lead us rightly, and with the mind in union, we will have the innate capability to see a new world. Our perception will have been altered into knowledge, as A Course in Miracles said. Our new knowledge will show us a cleansed world, a world that we will love and that will love us in return. The way home is not hard or long; it just does patience not to run ahead before our heart has spoken the words that we need to hear. Christ-consciousness will follow, and then we will truly understand, for the first time, what union of mind and heart, and union with the Self, really mean.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for good motivation and energy to listen to my heart today. I would shake off any lassitude and take steps in Your world to do the good on which you send me. Help me to listen well to what my Self, united with You, really understands. Help this guidance of the Self to be effortless and easy, a welcome blessing in a world that has heretofore been one, sometimes, of pain and suffering I am moving into a new world, and this new world, when I am who I really am, eliminates the precondition that causes suffering. I would be who I really am today, full and complete. Help me.

Amen.

Miracles = Prayer = New Art of Thought

“A Course of Love began with an injunction to pray. A Course in Miracles began with a definition of miracles. Both are the same. Prayer and the art of thought are the same. This should serve to make it clear that the request I have made of you is once again far more broad and generalizable than your old habit of thought has led you to see.” (ACOL, T1:4.3)

Here we see that prayer = miracles =art of thought, and we see that Jesus’s request to us to choose a miracle is a broad-based request that has applicability in every facet of our lives. We had thought, and he let us think for a while, that his injunction to choose a miracle was for something specific. He then led us through a labyrinth of the reasons that we were not acting on his request (for he knew that we would not act, being too fearful of his request). He wants us to drop those fears, fears that have their roots in the specific nature of our egoic thinking, the only thinking that we have known. Now he has finally, after several pages, explained to us, in this passage, that what he is wanting from us is an entirely new way of life, a life that is miracle-based, prayer-based, and based in a new way of thought.

We can pray without ceasing, though if we have never tried, we will naturally doubt that we would ever succeed. As Jesus said in A Course in Miracles, we are much too tolerant of mind wandering. And wander our ego-mind will do; it is only when the ego has been abandoned that we begin thinking in a new way, the prayerful way that invites miracles moment by moment through the new way of thought that we are using.

It is not easy to understand, even now, what Jesus means by the art of thought. This is because we can’t really practice it until we practice wholeheartedly, with mind and heart united as one—and our Self guiding us along the way. We need to let our Self, united with God, come out to play. We have not known about this Self for eons, caught as we have been in a false viewing of thinking through a false self trapped by ego. But all of this is changing for us now, and we are already the better for it. We will soon know a joy that has been eluding us for as long as the ego has reigned, and this goes backward in time to a point that we can only dimly imagine.

Reach for the joy of miracles, the joy that is found in a prayerful and reverent attitude toward life and our living a life. When we glimpse, ever so slightly what this change will bring about in us, we will be impatient to walk the whole pathway toward Christ-consciousness. Indeed, wholeheartedness demands this of us. And God makes the decision, but our fervent desire to live differently is fully in accord with divine will, and so when we pray for Christ-consciousness sooner rather than later, we are in league with God Himself.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would enjoy this day, a day that can be filled with miracles. I spent time in journaling this morning that gave me a new lease on life. And this was prayer, written out in my own handwriting. This is the way that You would have us live, and I now know first hand what a difference it has made in this one day. Thank You.

Be with my brothers and sisters as they seek to understand the art of thought, a difficult concept. Be with me as I seek to expand my own knowledge of what is meant. Help me to avoid a wandering mind, but keep me on task.

Thank You.

Amen.

See Miracles in Everything

“By asking you to request a miracle, I am honoring who you are and inviting you into the state of mind that is miracle-readiness. The art of thought is the expression of that state. The art of thought is the miracle.

“Thus we must dispel, along with the illusion of fear, the illusion of spec¬ificity. You have not been asked to request a specific miracle. Although your thoughts have naturally gone to consideration of the specific, this is but an indication that you are still in the habit of thinking you learned under the instruction of the ego-mind. This Treatise must change that habit in order for all your thoughts to become the miracles that express the truth of who you are. This Treatise will put your instruction fully under my guidance and allow you to disregard the instruction of the ego-mind.” (ACOL, T1:4.1 – 4.2)

Here, once again, Jesus is speaking of himself, saying that this first Treatise on the art of thought will put our instruction fully under his guidance and allow us to disregard the instruction of the ego-mind. His guidance will move us to miracle-readiness as well as miracles themselves through the continual use of the art of thought. Thus we can see that he was not trying to mislead us when he said, a few sections back, that he wanted us to choose a miracle. He didn’t mean something specific, but something all-embracing—miracle readiness in all of our thoughts, all thoughts being the art of thought that welcomes miracles as a fact of life.

We can get used to miracle-minded thinking. We can know that all of our needs are being met continually. We don’t have to look to specific miracles, but to the abstract notion of miracles and our own miracle-readiness that welcomes that abstraction. The real mind is an abstract mind, something that is made clear in the earlier A Course in Miracles. Our thoughts were encouraged there to partake of the abstract rather than the specific, because specificity is of the ego. Complete abstraction is the natural state of the freed mind. And in this movement, we see how A Course of Love develops further the thoughts begun to be imparted in A Course in Miracles.

How do we develop an abstract mind that sees miracles in everything? This is not as strange as it may sound. We can easily see that everything is a miracle, or that nothing is; this is a well-recognized tenet of traditional religion. And in ACOL, we are encouraged to see that everything is a miracle.

This concept will develop flow in us. As we follow guidance throughout our day, we will develop flow. And in so doing, we will make miracles a staple of our living here on earth. We will be miracle-ready, and in gratitude we will realize that for this change, we gave up nothing. We just moved, quietly and peacefully, into miracle-minded living. And nothing will ever be the same again. We will move into a heaven on earth, suffering gone and bright skies above us. We will be home at last.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow the guidance that will give me flow, and in that flow I will exude miracle-readiness. This miracle-readiness will allow me to have a mind that sees miracles in everything. The whole world will take on a magical aspect, but a magic that is good, used in a different way from the old magical thinking that was irrational.

This is the most supreme good sense. Thank You for Jesus’s seductive way of speaking, a way that draws us in and reconditions our minds by leading us to our hearts. I would be grateful today for all that You have led me through in this lifetime, even the painful parts. I know that suffering can be behind me now as I reach toward the union of mind and heart, and the union with my Self, found deep within my core, where You are.

Help me to be grateful in a way that I have not been previously. Gratitude unlocks so many doors, and I would unlock the center of my Self, my heart, as I reach inward to You today.

Amen.

Why Do We Fear to Choose Miracles?

“See you not the choices made in each of these scenarios and the reasoning or lack of reasoning behind them? You are not worthy. You are not saintly, godlike or even holy. You might choose incorrectly. You might invoke retribution. You might be selfish. You might be proved to have no faith. You might succumb to thoughts of grandeur.

“In short, you are too afraid, for a variety of reasons, to try. In short, you are not willing and have many reasons for not being willing. What we have done here is bring your fears to light, fears that you did not even realize you held so closely or would be so terrified to let go.” (ACOL, T1:3.24 – 3.25)

These are the reasons that Jesus has explained that we are afraid of choosing a miracle. He has brought us along a long pathway to figure out why we have such fears. He has not asked us to choose something specific, a specific miracle, though we think at first that he has asked this. He is trying to move us into the art of thought, the miracle-mindedness that is necessary to live well with the Self in charge. This Self is our inner Christ Self, and this Self becomes available when we live with mind and heart united, a mind free of the ego, a heart living in love.

We have been afraid of many things in our lives, not only the fact of choosing a miracle that will increase our faith in miracles and miracle-minded living. Jesus knows of our fears, but he also knows that until we release these fears of our own free will, we will remain trapped. We need to release fear and judgment to have a chance at Christ-consciousness. And we are led to believe in A Course of Love that this is God’s wish for us as well. His Being, deep inside us, will direct us. And we will not be afraid any longer.

The list, above, given for fear of miracles would work for many other fears as well. The tenets of ACOL are broadly based and fit any number of scenarios. Now I would relinquish these fears as I go about my business today. When I am tempted to be fearful, I will simply ask for the miracle of love to overtake me.

And then I will rest in peace.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave both fear and judgment behind today. Judgment seems more in my power to relinquish, because fear sometimes just seems to take me over, unbidden. But I am colluding with this fear, or it would not arise. And I would cease colluding with fear. And with judgment. These are the two aspects of life in this world that I would relinquish today.

Be with me, and please give me a good day, a day with good energy to be up and about Your way and the way of salvation.

Thank You.

Amen.

Let Miracles Be a Way of Life

“Although many more fears might prevail upon you, we will consider only one further fear, the fear of making the wrong choice in your choice of miracles. This is the same as a fear of scarcity. For surely the working of one miracle would be a fluke anyway. Proof of nothing and easily discounted and explained away. Surely to believe that where one miracle worked another might be possible would be to have ideas of grandeur not meant for you. Here your thoughts might stray to the performing of many miracles. What a media circus that would be. You would be in demand to end so much suffering in so many places. Surely you wouldn’t want that even if it could come to be. Indeed this would require the auspices of a saintly soul and not one such as you.” (ACOL, T1:3.23)

Jesus is speaking paradoxically here, saying what we are thinking, but he, of course, doesn’t mean that he is agreeing with us. We need have no fear of scarcity and thus no need of fearing that we would make a wrong choice of miracles. Keep in mind, though, that Jesus is leading us on an exploration of our attitude toward miracles; this is the whole purpose of the discussion. And later on he says, definitively, that he has not asked for a specific miracle to be requested. Our minds have gone to specificity because that is the way that the ego-mind thinks, and we are used to its dynamic. The question is left open whether or not Jesus actually wants us to follow through and choose a miracle that we would like to see answered. He indicates that the urgency is great that we change our minds, that we combine mind and heart in wholeheartedness, that we unite with our real Self. And he is using the example of a miracle to move us closer to those blessings.

When we recognize that miracle-readiness is a way of life, our confusion will end about what Jesus actually means. He says that the miracle and prayer are the same, and we are more accustomed to prayer than we are to believing that miracles are our due. We are here learning the art of thought, which is also described as being the miracle, and also being prayer. Jesus’s reasoning is keen in this Treatise, but he is not easy to follow. It is quite possible that only a wholehearted way of viewing his words will ever work. And that is the miracle to end all miracles, his gift to us.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would eliminate the specific as I think of a miracle, but I would move into realizing that miracle-minded thinking needs to become my way of life. Thank You for the many hints that Jesus gives in his discussion of the art of thought. He would have us to commune with our Self, Who is a part of You, and in this communion finally come to understand what prayer is all about. You are within, and that is where I can find You. I don’t pray to a god outside of myself anymore. And I don’t pray out of fear, which will not work. Prayer that works is gentle and quiet, and filled with the miracle of full surrender to You.

Be with me today as I seek to follow guidance without stubbornness to go my own way.

Amen.

Choose a Miracle Today–and Be Reassured

“But again I tell you this is no idle request. Whatever is necessary to convince you now is what I will provide. Such is the urgency of the time, the urgency for the return to unity, the urgency of the need to leave fear behind. Can you not, from this one example of your fear of miracles, see the glaring reality of all you still would fear?” (ACOL, T1:3.12)

The fact that Jesus urges our return to unity—the wholeheartedness that is joining with the inner Self—suggests that we have something to do that will effect this return more quickly. I hope that this is so. When we believed, as A Course in Miracles seemed to say, that we were totally dependent on God’s making the decision, we might have felt impotent to do anything concrete that would make a difference. Things are different now, explained differently in A Course of Love. Jesus is unmasking our fears about miracles, letting us know that we are afraid to request a miracle, and in this fear is our whole problem encapsulated.

If we ask for miracles, and open ourselves to them, we will move ever closer to love and away from fear. And this closeness to love is what make the union of mind and heart so real to us, the wholeheartedness and the union with the Self. We cannot effect any change out of fear, for fear is a product of the ego-mind, which, despite its bombastic nature, is actually pretty weak and unable to effect any real change for the ego-mind lives in illusion.

We must ask to be cleared of our fears, of the conditions that have brought the fears about. Jesus in ACIM has said that we cannot ask him to heal us of fear, for to do so would step in the way of cause and effect, a most fundamental law of our minds. But we can ask for help in easing the conditions that have brought the fear about. This he can do. And will do.

Jesus’s urging that we choose a miracle is no idle request. He wants us to be believers in the fullest sense of the term. And when we let him influence our minds and hearts, we are getting ever closer to enlightenment, to Christ-consciousness. This is another way of describing the union with the inner Christ Self. And the union of mind and heart to form wholeheartedness.

Let’s ask for help in the conditions that have brought our fears about, and let us ask today. Then move on to ask for a miracle, in whatever way this is meaningful to us.

We will not be sorry to spend our time in this way. We will find our way home, and this miracle business is the surest and shortest route.

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask for Your help today in choosing a miracle that would ease my fears. I would move toward love in every respect. When I fall from this high point, lift me up. Help me to incorporate love in every part of my life.

Be with all of us today. The miracle will answer many problems. It is the best thing that we have going for us.

Amen.

Miracle-Minded Thinking Is the New Way

“I ask you now to request a miracle.

“What kind of a miracle should you ask for? How big of a miracle should you request? How big is your faith? How much proof does it require? I speak not in jest but ask you to seriously consider just what kind of miracle is needed to get you to change your mind about who you are and thus about the nature of your thoughts.” (ACOL, T1:3.7 – 3.8)

In asking us to request a miracle, Jesus is making a point that we have many fears surrounding miracles. Then in the next few sections, he outlines just what those fears really are. Eventually he tells us that he was not asking for a specific miracle, although as individuals for whom the specificity of the ego has been rampant, our thinking has naturally gone to the specific. His main point in talking about our request for a miracle is to point out what is holding us back from miracle-minded thought, the type of thought that he means by the “art of thought,” the theme of this book in the Treatises.

He says also that asking us to request a miracle would seem to go against what he taught in A Course in Miracles. He said there that consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided—that we should wander into the territory of consciously selected miracles. But he says now, in A Course of Love, that the extreme urgency of this time, and to our return to wholeheartedness, demands extreme measures, and asking for a miracle is part of fulfilling our needs now, our needs to get over our fears of miracles.

Most of us will not actually choose a miracle when asked to do so. We will eagerly keep reading, and then we will find ourselves nodding our heads at his evaluation of our fears of miracles, and the reasons that Jesus gives for our reluctance to name a miracle for which we want an answer. Nevertheless, when a few paragraphs over, we find Jesus saying that he does not mean a “specific” miracle, we are likely to feel duped, even though we haven’t followed through because of some of the fears that he names.

Jesus is using a stylistic device to engage our best thinking, the thoughts of the art of thought. He does not mean to dupe us. He means to open our eyes to our own faulty reasoning and our own fear. The art of thought, which he is teaching us in this Treatise, means miracle-readiness and miracle-minded, the fulfillment of a new way of life. The art of thought will free us to perform miracles repeatedly and as a matter of course. If Jesus can get us to see that our fears are holding us back from just this laudable purpose, he will have fulfilled part of his purpose in this first Treatise.

If we get over our fears, we can enter into a new way of thought, the art of thought, that will broaden our perspective on what life and living are all about. We will be supporting the union of mind and heart into wholeheartedness, and the union that we need to have with our deepest Self, the inner Christ spirit. Extreme measures are needed to jolt us out of the ego-mind. And Jesus provides what is needed.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel energetic today to do Your bidding in a miracle-minded way. I would cast aside my fears about doing miracles by listening to Jesus and following in his way. I want to turn aside from the ego-mind with a final decision to perform whatever miracles are asked, miracles that become a way of life. Help me to do this.

Be with me today as I seek to keep a clear-eyed view of this world. I would follow Jesus’s reasoning about my fears of miracles, and I would turn aside from fears of this type. May I find a new way of living by turning to the miraculous in everyday life.

Amen.

Wisdom Discounts Fear-Based Living

“How can what is closely guarded extend? How can what is controlled create? How can what continues to give in to fear know love? All your reasons for fear-based living have been discounted one by one. And yet you dare not try to live without it. Why? Because of the thoughts of the ego-mind. The ego-mind is concerned only with its own survival but it has you convinced it is your survival that depends on it. How can you be convinced to live as if the truth were otherwise? For only if you begin to live as if the truth were otherwise can you see that it truly is otherwise, or based on a wisdom other than what has come before.” (ACOL, T1:3.5)

We need to base our living on a better mind than the ego-mind; we all know this. And the Self knows best, the best that is part of God. This inner Christ is there to help us live by wisdom that does not seem to be entirely our own. This belief is based on the fact that the ego has never led well; we have stumbled time and again when listening to its counsel.

Now there is a better way: living in love with the Self guiding us as to our next step. We don’t live in fear when we are living in love; they are diametrically opposed to each other. And in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we have learned why fear-based living is a mirage. We think it saves us from something worse, from living without judgment. But the judgment and fear are what have caused us to live inferior lives.

The ego is the insane portion of our mind that knows that its days are numbered, and so the ego is desperate, trying to convince us that our survival depends on keeping it (the ego) strong. This is wrong, and we know this. But in our weaker moments we give in to fear, and we don’t live from love, and so the whole house of cards seems to fall down around us.

We know better than this. We have no good reasons for appealing to fear to save us. Fear cannot save us, not in the least. And when we realize that the love that we sense all around us is genuine, we will sustain a better way of life. Things will get easier. Our hearts won’t beat as fast in pain. We will live with our heads high, but not in pride. We will live with our heads up, knowing that we are listening to a guidance from our inner Self that is true and good.

And when we listen to that inner Christ, we are healed.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to live peaceably in this world, without the ego pulling at my mind to let it (the ego) reign. I would not live with the ego in the ascendancy. I would live from love, knowing that in this decision, all future decisions are made easy.

Be with me today, drawing out the peace that is deep within me. Help me to know when to act, when to speak—and when not to do either. The peace that You give me is the only real peace in this world, the only real peace in the only true reality.

I would listen to my inner Self today, with a smooth heartbeat, slow and easy. Fear has no place in me when I have made this decision.

Amen.

Rules for a New Way of Thinking

“Thus, these are the basic rules of the art of thought: First, to experience what is and to acknowledge what is, both as a fact of your existence as a human being and as a gift of the Creator. Second, to acknowledge the rela¬tionship inherent in the experience, the call for a response, and the nature of all gifts as being given to all.” (ACOL, T1:2.19)

Become familiar with these rules for the art of thought. They need further explanation, and Jesus does try, with a whole treatise written to explain the art of thought.

This concept, the art of thought, is not easy to understand. We can’t begin to understand until we have let loose our egoic thinking, for the art of thought is diametrically opposed to the ego-mind. When we are letting our inner Self hold sway, we will understand more. And when we let miracle-readiness and miracle-willingness come into play, we will learn even more. Prayer, also, is never far from the art of thought.

If confused, return to the treatise itself, and in Chapter 2 of the first treatise, read carefully the example of the sunset. We can see how we would enjoy making a response to a beautiful sunset. And this elemental example will prime us for seeing further examples crying out for the art of thought, examples from our everyday life.

The response that we need to make is one of love, though Jesus does not place the concepts side by side in this treatise. We are definitely acting from love when we are in miracle-readiness, carrying out miracles, and in prayer—three concepts that elsewhere in A Course of Love are identified with the art of thought. This will be enough to set our sights high, high above the egoic mind that has held sway for so long.

We are in relationship one to the other, and we do need genuine responses to one another. When we open ourselves to miracle-minded thought, we are as close to following the art of thought as it is possible to come.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would respond with a full heart to the significant others in my life. I would appreciate them, as I appreciate Jesus’s example of a sunset. I would find good reasons to respond with blessings extended to others. Help me to do so.

Be with me for the remainder of this day, helping me in times of trouble. Your ways are not my ways, but I am learning from You. And Your blessings do grant me a good life. Thank You for this.

Amen.

Relationship Is All about God

“All relationship is but relationship between Creator and Created. The new means of thinking is referred to here as the “art” of thought in order to call your wholehearted attention to the continual act of creation that is the relationship between Creator and Created. Creation is but a dialogue to which you have not responded. The art of thought will free you to respond.” (ACOL, T1:2.12)

This passage calls for careful thought, but even then the full implications will remain elusive. For there to be relationship between Creator and Created in all relationship hints at the God within each of us. This is the type of pantheism that A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love delineate. The term “art” of thought will still remain elusive, though, in large part, I think, to the fact that we are really talking of miracles when we speak of the art of thought, miracles and miracle-readiness, and the prayer that initiates these miracles.

We have not responded to Creation previously because of egoic preoccupations. But we are all leaving the ego behind, and when we do, we will be much, much freer to responding to Creation as It exists. Creation is another word for God, and at other points in A Course of Love is used interchangeably with God. So we have not responded to God, basically. We have been too busy weaving fantasies of what a false reality is all about.

“The art of thought will free you to respond.” Yes! When we are miracle-minded, we are willing and able to respond to God and others, and ourselves, in ways that have previously been impossible. We are asked to make response; this is a part of what the art of thought calls us to do. Elsewhere we are told, as an example, of looking at a sunset and responding to what it says about reality. We do not “interpret” the sunset; we take it at face value. We do respond to what it means, but this is not quite the same as an interpretation, an interpretation that might be wrong. Only truth is true, as ACOL says repeatedly. And our response to a sunset is an elementary way to see what the art of thought is really about. We are responding to the sunset as though all sunsets are miracles. Which we can believe they are.

We need to respond to Creation, or God, as we see fit. And, if we are thinking and feeling with our right mind and heart, we will respond in love. This is where the art of thought is taking us—to love. But we will finally know what this means when we have turned aside from ego-oriented mind slants.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would reach out toward You this day. I would ask that I embrace the world with the miracle-minded thinking that is the art of thought. Even as I do not fully comprehend all that means now, I know that I will when I implement this type of thinking. And I ask that this change in thought come sooner rather than later.

Be with me today, for an energetic and harmonious day. May I contribute to Your world by responding to it with full attention rather than interpretation, for my interpretation would always be wrong.

Amen.

How to Find Flow in Life

“But again, as was stated often throughout A Course of Love, an alterna¬tive exists. It did not exist when you knew not of it and so your attempts at learning have been valiant and are no cause for anxiety. But now this alter¬native is being revealed to you, and it does call for a change of thought so extensive that all thought as you once knew it does need to cease.

“You have already succeeded in learning in this new way once or you would not be here. This is your proof that you can do so again and again until the new way totally replaces the old and the art of thought leaves behind forever the need for what the ego-mind once but seemed to offer you.” (ACOL, T1:2.8 – 2.9)

The alternative mentioned here refers to a change from the focus of the ego-mind to learn things that will get us ahead in the world. We have used our mind to win kudos in this world. We have benefited greatly from this use of the egoic way of thinking—but it is not the best way, as we are about to learn. Our former way of thinking has a replacement now. And it is miracle-minded thinking that is the art of thought. We are ready for the miracles that this new form of thought will bring to us. And this new form of thought relies often on prayer.

Jesus’s words about learning in this new way “once” are unclear. He may be referring in an abstract way to how our mind has functioned in the past—at least “once” with miracle-minded, art-of-thought thinking that has piqued our curiosity, and so we are still reading what he has to say in A Course of Love.

The new way of thinking presupposes a way of living in flow with prayer as our guiding force. Jesus says in this treatise that the miracle and the prayer are the same, that ACIM began with a summary of what the miracle means, and ACOL began with a call to prayer. Both are, as Jesus says, the same. We are living with guidance, rather than egoic function, as our way of living in flow. The miracle/prayer make life much easier, must less of a strain, and not a struggle at all. The new way of living is easeful, relaxed, and harmonious. We live joyfully, and we pursue our dreams in happiness. We don’t press our nose to the grindstone and keep working, stressfully.

I can speak from personal experience in witnessing to the easy flow of life when I live it by listening to guidance. These nudges of guidance come in various ways, but the most common is an interior word that gives me an indication of my next move. This is not an audible word, but an impression of my thinking that is perhaps coming from the Self whom I am letting out to play, finally. I have to be ready to turn on a dime, and sometimes I can get very stubborn at that point. But if I, as quickly as possible, drop the stubbornness, I can often see how the next step indicated by guidance is an intuitive thought that will smooth out my day. The easeful way is nearly always indicated. Jesus would not have us twist ourselves into knots, trying to follow the inner Christ Self.

Flow develops more easily when I never let stubbornness get a toehold.

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow Your way and the way that my inner Self point out. I would just rest easy as I go about my day. I know that You are always here for me, showing me Your Presence in ways that give me great comfort. Thank You.

Be with me through the remainder of this day. The sunny day is joyful, the peace palpable. Thank You for granting me the understanding of how to live in flow, and give me the willingness to follow, always.

Amen.

Give Up the Insane Ego

“Thoughts that were guarded by the ego-mind were in need of being set free. Appealing to your heart was the means or cause of this freedom being accomplished in you. What was spoken of within A Course of Love as unlearning has begun and continues here. What was spoken of within A Course of Love as new learning has begun and continues here as well. The difference is that you are now ready to learn a new means of response to this unlearning and learning. That response is the art of thought.” (ACOL, T1:2.5)

Here Jesus explains why he appeals to the heart in A Course of Love. Our minds have been too occupied with egoic thoughts; the mind has been well-fortified. And now all of this unfortunate trend can be stopped in its tracks. Jesus appeals to our heart, and in so doing find a way to circumvent the mind, at least temporarily. When the ego has faded away, we will once again entertain the mind, and we will join mind to heart to form what Jesus calls “wholeheartedness.”

We have been unlearning and learning anew. And this will continue for a while, as we page through A Course of Love. Eventually, we will give up learning by traditional means, but we are not there yet. We need to realize that our minds have betrayed us for eons. The egoic mind was and is mad, evidence of simple insanity, and until we realize this and give up our egoic notions, we will not find peace. But peace is out there waiting for us, and it takes very little rational thought to make a determination to turn to the heart over the mind. And when we turn to the heart over the mind, we will indeed find the peace that we have so longed to have.

The art of thought is Jesus’s next means to reach us. The art of thought is described in the Treatises and the Dialogues in various ways. It is, first of all, how we create as does the Creator, God Himself. It is miracle-readiness, and even the miracle itself. It is prayer. We don’t analyze or evaluate, sitting in judgment, when we employ this new means of thought. We respond to what is happening around us, and this response is pivotal to a good understanding of what the art of thought really means. Responding, as God responds to us, is our lodestone.

Our egoic mind will give up when we turn to miracles. And our own focus on our heart, something that we know intuitively, will speed along the ego’s demise.

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to keep a sane mind today, free of egoic longings and obsessions. I would be free of the ego forever. I would follow the leanings of my heart, and my heart does, in fact, sense Your warm Presence. Thank You.

Help me to respond to my thoughts as they come in a rational way. May my heart be my guide. And may I be sped on my way as I come to understand all that is meant by the “art of thought.”

Amen.