Our Desire to Experience the Physical

“Realize that you know that it is not God who abandoned you, but you who abandoned your Self and God. Give up your desire to think that if you did such a thing there was a reason for you to have done so. How many times have you asked yourself why you would have chosen separation if there had not been a reason for you to do so? Realize that a reason has been given here and that this reason, while perfectly believable, is not one that includes a need to abandon your Self or God. Why should you be more inclined to believe that you left a para¬dise in order to live a while in a form that would cause you much suffering and strife, for the sole reason of being separate from that to which you long to return? The only alternative has seemed to be a belief in a God that would banish you from paradise for your sins. We have worked, thus far, to change your idea of a vengeful God. Now we work to change your idea of a vengeful self. For what else would such a self be?” (ACOL, T3:2.11)

Previously, I focused in this blog on the express purpose for our existence, in form, in this world. Jesus defines this as our desire to create a new means of expression, in a physical self, for new experiences that would allow the various selves to experience one another in relationship. Separation happened, but not because we “desired” separation from God. We moved too fast, tried to do too much too quickly. And in the doing of that, we made fear for ourselves, and in this fear made a self borne of fear, the ego-self. And, until recently, this had been all that most of us had ever known.

We thought God rejected us for this misstep. But this idea is far from the truth. We do not have a vengeful God. And now we need to realize that our Christ-Self is also not vengeful, though the egoic self has evidenced elements of vengeance. Our Christ-Self is in charge now, and great will be the changes that this Self will create.

There is a difference between creating and making, a difference pointed out by A Course in Miracles. Creating is meant to denote true reality, while making is the illusion in which we have been caught. Do we not see what great and good changes are ahead for us?

We did not leave paradise meaning to leave God. We were merely creating physical form to experience further. But we got ahead of ourselves. And in the separation from God that ensured, we lived in fear with a fearful self that thought that at any minute God might strike us dead, consign us to hell.

What fearful beliefs we have entertained! Surely the time for such fanciful nonsense is behind us now. Surely the time now is for a new day, a new Self, a better route—and a union with our God, and our brothers and sisters.

Prayer

There must be something very grand in this physical form, that we would leave a paradise to experience further, to express ourselves in a new and different way. Like everybody else, I made a false turn, and in the false turn made an ego-self who has caused much havoc. I would be through with this havoc. I would walk easily and peacefully with You directing every step.

Be with me today. As always I ask this. I know that You never leave me, that I am a part of You, and that means that You are closer than my breath. You are living through me. This can turn out very well when the ego-self has withered away.
I am finished with the ego-self. Help me to know this in my bones.

Amen.

Go Easy with Ourselves

“You believed that for every gain there was also a loss. For you believed that every step in the advancement of your separated state was a step away from God and your real Self. This belief was based in logic, but the logic of the illusion—in which you believed you chose to separate from God out of defiance and a desire to be one with God no longer. This could not be further from the truth and is the cause of all your suffering, for contained within this belief was the belief that with each successful step toward independence came a corresponding step away from God.” (ACOL, T3:2.5)

We find from this quotation for today that we have been our own worst enemy, something in folk wisdom that is often stated even while we live egoic lives. We have even been masochistic, as this quotation hints, punishing ourselves for taking steps toward independence, because these steps were believed to be steps taken away from God—for which we would punish ourselves before, we thought, He would get a chance to do so. We surely believed that our fear of God was justified, for we thought that He blamed us for our desire for independence, autonomy.

We were trying to go it alone in a friendless universe, and this was never original purpose, and so this new purpose was bound to fail. Going it alone was not a part of anything that was possible in reality; going it alone could happen only in illusion. Our reason for being with others is contained in our creation, for relationship, with union of all, is part of the glorious plan of original creation. Our relationships with others create the interdependence that allows us to function successfully, cooperatively, in this world. And relationship and unity will be what create the world for which Jesus is carefully preparing us to create.

We did not leave God out of defiance. We were just rebels, desiring too much too fast. Living in form was a gigantic learning feat, and this new creation demanded a patience that we, in our immature self, did not have. And this failing of ours is best characterized as an adolescent rebellion.

We are taking steps back to God now. We have, in short, had enough. And it is about time.

Go easy with ourselves. It has been a long haul.

Prayer

This beautiful day should never be rued. I am given a new day each morning, and often the way that I begin that day determines how things will unfold. Today began with writing a dialogue with You, imagining what You might say to me. Nearly all my days begin this way. Today, sitting on my sun/screen porch, I felt close to You. The words that I attributed to You were coming from my heart, but I think You hold a place there. I think I am a part of You. And knowing this is a great blessing.

Be with me for the remainder of the day. I sometimes take on more projects than I can do easily, and You would have me work effortlessly and with ease. Save me from myself if I am too eager. That was largely the mistake that all of us made eons ago, and now many of us know better.

Thank You for coming to me in silence, but for guiding my imagination to let that silence form words of guidance.

Amen.

New Way of Expression in a Form that Would Expand Awareness

“The choice to represent your Self in form was a choice for sepa¬ration but not because separation itself was desired as you have assumed. This is the assumption you have accepted in much the same way you have accepted your free will as that which allows you to be separate from and independent of God. Once this assumption was accepted, the duality of your existence became paramount, became the only means you saw of deciphering the world around you and your role within it. Separation, alone¬ness, independence, individuality—these became the purpose you assumed rather than the purpose you started out to achieve—that of a new way of expression in a form that would expand awareness, through relationship, of self and others.” (ACOL, T3:2.3)

The quotation for today is very, very important, for toward the end of the quotation we find our reason for being, our purpose. We came into physical form to find a “new way of expression,” a form that would “expand awareness” through “relationship, of self and others.” The manifestation of our new form of creation included separation, but not because our original purpose was to separate from God. We just became too eager, like adolescent children who are hell-bent on experiencing all that this curious world has to offer. God “let go,” because he saw that to thwart our will would be to remove free will from us, something that He did not want to do, for He did not want pawns in a world of form. So the choice for separation became a mutual choice between God and us, and we were set on our pathway into despair, all because we were not ready to learn any other way, because we were too eager to take our time and learn easily the things that needed to be learned in a physical environment and in our physical forms.

These are the tenets from A Course of Love that explain why we are and what we are about—previously, in our suffering world that demanded the making of an ego to hold everything together. Or so we thought. The ego was a sorry substitute for real creation, because, since we had invented fear, we also made a fearful self to survive as best it could in this fearful world.

Now we are ready to make our way back to God. We are ready to embody form, the elevated Self of form, in a world that will be newly created by the Christ-Self Who has learned much after eons of false learning. We are beginning to realize that interdependence, with our brothers and sisters, is the better way, for there is a reason that we are in a world with billions of other people. We were never meant to be alone in isolated independence, with special relationships of a few who would try, in vain, to lend us support, emotional and otherwise.

We are ready to fulfill our original purpose, adolescents no longer. In maturity, we have learned much, and we know the Christ Self can fulfill us in ways that the egoic self never could. We will live in harmony and peace, and in joy. Our happiness will be complete, and with it, our return to God is effected.

Prayer:

Be with me today, in thick and thin, good and bad, right and wrong. I seek to do the right, but I know that isn’t enough. Good intentions are never enough. Guide me, my prayer always.

Thank You for this good day. I am calm today, and I would stay that way. I would find a way to let this calm permeate my world. And I know that this improvement is of Your doing. Thank You.

Amen.

Truth to Life and Life to the Truth

“As has already been said, the accomplished Self is the Christ. Your remembrance of the Christ-Self has abolished the ego-self and allows us to begin the lessons of the personal self.

“We could not begin the curriculum here because you would have been unable, without the lessons of this Course, to distinguish the personal self from the ego-self. There is a danger even now in focusing upon the self of the body, as this self has been so long bound to the ego-self. Even with the ego once and finally vanquished, the patterns of the ego’s thought system remain to be undone. This is atonement. We work now to correct the errors of the past in the present, the only place where such work can be done. We work with what we have, a form fully able to represent the truth and, in so doing, we bring the truth to life and life to the truth.” (ACOL, T3:1.12 – 1.13)

This quotation for today contains one of the first hints for what will be our new creation, the elevated Self of form, the physical manifestation of the inner Christ Self. Jesus seems quite concerned that we not get waylaid into focusing on the physical in the wrong sense. When we embodied the ego, we believed, many of us, that the self of form, the persona self, was our ego-self. That this was all that there was, just an ego-self. But we have always shed the ego-self when we have died and gone to the Other Side, and now Jesus is letting us know that shedding the ego-self is occurring, at a rapid pace, in this world. And with the shedding of the ego-self, we are replaced that lamentable self with a glorious Christ-Self, a Self who is one with all others, and one with God, Who dwells within us, experiencing Himself through us.

The next step for us is the shedding of the patterns of the ego’s thought system. And this may take some time. Like an echo, which we have mentioned in previous posts, it is no easy task to shed the habits of a lifetime, these patterns of the ego’s thought system. These do include fear and trembling, judgment and anger, bitterness and vengeance. All of the parts of our personal self, the “little” self, that we would leave behind in embodying in form the Christ-Self, are parts that need consideration. Is there anything in the egoic personal self worth saving? Not much. We certainly have to relinquish fear and judgment, planning and attack, and move into a better place where these traits fall into the dust, never to rise again. We have known bits of solace, though, in art, religion, even science, as these treasures rose from the dust in explosions within the house of illusion. These treasures were the best of what the house of illusion could offer, and in finding them, we found a bit of God Himself. These treasures were harbingers of what the House of Truth would see blossom into a new world, created by us, people who will be newly reborn into our Christ-Self.

We make changes in the personal self in the present, which is the only time there is, the only real time, for time itself is an illusion, and the present exists in an eternity. These changes constitute atonement, or correction, of the (old) egoic personal self into the much better new Self.

Now is the time to press forward, for change comes only from without ourselves. We can abolish suffering through the Christ-Self, the only way this change can come about. And isn’t it high time?

Prayer

May this day go well for all of us. May we let our Self determine what will happen to us, for we are creating as we go.

Be with me as I seek to make the decisions that You prompt me to make. May I listen to Your guidance as I let my Self out to play in this beautiful world.

Amen.

Transformation

“The ego’s thought system has been replaced by the thought system of unity and you are left, perhaps, feeling unsure of the part you are now to play. There is not one of you who has not begun to experience the transfor¬mation that is, in truth, occurring, although you may not as yet have seen the changes you are experiencing as the transformation to which you have been called. These changes, perhaps, seem like little things—a change in attitude here, a change in behavior there. But I assure you that these changes are mighty and are but the result of the change in cause that has occurred through your learning of this Course.” (ACOL, T3:1.7)

Here we are reassured that we are having a transformation, a transformation from the ego-self to the Christ-Self. And when this transformation is complete, nothing will ever be the same again. The culmination will be Christ-consciousness.

Now, sometimes this transformation happens suddenly, in an instant, and our brothers and sisters are left wondering what has happened to them. We may embark on a great quest to understand how and why we are different, for we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we are very different indeed. And our significant others see this difference, and some ask questions. Suddenness has made the transformation seem very significant indeed.

Others of us, perhaps the majority, find transformation occurring gradually, sometimes very gradually. We recognize, as this quotation points out, a change here or there in attitude or behavior. We may not fully comprehend the great strides that are unfolding. This is Christ-consciousness occurring in glimpses, a moment of peace and tranquility that steals up on us almost unawares.

Be conscious of these small changes, for they are mighty indeed. Jesus assures us of this. And we will soon have a new persona, a personal self mirroring the inner Christ-Self, to present to others. We will almost not recognize ourselves. But we will be very inwardly glad that the change, the transformation, is occurring.

We will be new people, living in a new world that we are helping to create.

Prayer

I am grateful that I know a few people who have walked the whole pathway to Christ-consciousness. I am having a very gradual Awakening, with a change noted here or there, nothing dramatic and certainly not upsetting. I used to be afraid of Awakening, believing that I would be hurled into reality, though Jesus denies this in A Course in Miracles. My glimpses come when I am especially peaceful, and this seems to me to a harbinger of things to come.

Thank You, dear God, for orchestrating this transformation for all of us so well. It is the next step for all of us. May we be ready, and may we be ready soon. Then we await Your action of reaching down and lifting us up, to Christ-consciousness.

Amen.

Joy, Harmony, Peace, Calm

“The personal self exists as the self you present to others. This is the only way in which the personal self will continue to exist following the comple¬tion and the integration of this Course. Previously, the personal self that you presented to others represented an ego-self who you believed yourself to be. Now the ego has been separated from the personal self so that you may claim your personal self again and present to others a true representation of who you are.” (ACOL, T3:1.1)

A persona—but a true persona—is what the personal self will be from now on. Previously, we thought that our “self” was joined with the ego, and so it was. We thought this was a real self, but we were much mistaken. Now our personal self is a representation of the inner Christ-Self Who we are just coming to know. This personal self, or “little” self, as a persona, is not the whole truth of who we are, for the Christ-Self rules in truth. But our brothers and sisters, many of them, could not accept nor understand a Christ-Self, and so they see the personal self, a self that they imagine is much as it was previously. But they are wrong.

The personal self is now following the art of thought, miracle-mindedness, miracle-readiness, and as such our experiences are varying tremendously. We learned in A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception, and this is still true. But the projection is of a different personal self, a personal self no longer bound to the ego, and so our perception is miraculously changed. And life events will be changed as well, for what is within, projected outward, becomes quite different when the Christ-Self, within, is doing the projecting.

We are in reality now, not illusion, though we may or may not believe that the world we see is real. Our true reality may be what we think of as intangible—peace, joy, harmony, calm. The physical world does decay, which says that it is not permanent, and perhaps therefore not real. But genuine students of spiritualty from A Course of Love differ in their concepts of what true reality means. And there ought not to be a litmus test for the genuine among readers of ACOL.

Spend a while contemplating what the personal self without the ego will really mean. It is a whole new ball game. The blessings are great, and for this joy, we give up nothing—for the ego is nothing in a form that seems true. The ego is illusion, and therefore changes nothing in essence. We are well rid of a laborious and deadening illusion that pricked our conscience needlessly. We never did any harm in truth, only in illusion, and illusory deeds are ripe for forgiveness.

Prayer

I would choose to be certain that my little or personal self today will exhibit calming emotions—peace, joy, harmony. It is still possible to let excitement, and therefore conflict, come into my world. But too much excitement is not good for me; it heralds a pattern of the ego, even if the ego is gone. I would not encounter any patterns of the ego today; help me with this.

I know when I need to get quiet and turn to You. And that is now. Getting news that is exciting and supportive of me does not necessarily mean that a given way is right. You know my limitations. Help me to retain my quietude today.

Amen.

Share Love Gently

“Forget not who you truly are, but forget not also to be in joy in your expe¬rience here. Remember that the seriousness with which you once looked at life is of the ego. Drape your persona in a mantle of peace and joy. Let who you are shine through the personal self who continues to walk this world a while longer. Listen for my voice as I guide you to your purpose here and linger with you in this time to end all time. We are here, together, in love, to share love. This is not such a frightening task. Let fear go and walk with me now. Our journey together is just beginning as we return to the premise put forth in “A Treatise on the Art of Thought:” that of the elevation of form.” (ACOL, T2:13.6)

Many of us have been guilty of the seriousness of the ego. What a blessing to realize that such seriousness was always a mistake! Lightheartedness feels so much better, and we are encouraged to think that Jesus wants us to be peaceful, calm, joyous. If we sink down into very serious thinking, let us know that we are simply remembering the patterns of the nefarious ego, not actually seeing a return of that ego. We have habits of mind, and they will not be gone in an instant. It will take time to develop new patterns of thought, to develop the “art of thought,” which is miracle-mindedness or miracle-readiness. We don’t fully understand the miracle, even. But we will. We just need to be patient.

Seriousness, then, of the ego, is not to be a part of our new life. Love is. And lest love has become a hackneyed expression, we need to concentrate on love as Jesus means love. If we had heard that scientists had discovered a new substance in the universe that would grant us good health, greater longevity, and peace on earth—would we not be immediately interested? It is this that Love with a capital “l” will do for us. Let us not be fooled by the fact that we have heard all this before.

Jesus encourages us, in this quotation for today, to listen to his voice as he guides us to new purpose in this world. We will not actually hear an external voice, but we may hear an interior one. We can’t ever be sure that this is the actual person of Jesus, come to speak to us. But this voice is genuine, and when we test it out, follow it to good ends, we will know the truth of this guidance. Jesus’s purpose is clear: He is creating of us new persons, embodied by the Christ-Self Who is one with all people. This unity, along with the separate relationships that we enjoy with our brothers and sisters, will take us home to enlightenment, Christ-consciousness.

Leave behind fear and judgment, and the blessing is all ours.

Prayer

I would leave behind my customary seriousness today. I have not always viewed life seriously, but my demeanor has been more serious than lighthearted. And this emotion was fueled by the ego.

No more! This day is grand, a chance to practice lightheartedness, a chance to be happy. I would be happy today, and the only way that I can do that is to let go of the seriousness that I have sometimes wrapped as a mantle around myself.

Thank You for the reminder that joy is Yours. Joy is what we are about. Joy will work.

Amen.

Guidance through a Journal

“While the personal self is the subject of the next Treatise, this is my invitation to you, specifically, to enter into a holy and personal relationship with me, specifically. While you are here, you have a persona. While this persona is no longer an ego-self but a Christ-Self, it is still a persona. This is the “you” who laughs and loves and cries and shares with friends in a world now different than the one you once perceived. I know of this world and I am here to guide you through it. I, too, am friend to you.” (ACOL, T2:13.3)

I could make of this blog posting a personal witness to the happiness that comes from a relationship to Jesus. I have long believed the assertion in A Course of Miracles, an assertion that invites us to imagine that Jesus walks with us, holding our hand. And ACIM says that this will be no “idle fantasy.”

I would like to believe that my imagination has not been playing tricks on me, that imagining Jesus holding my hand through life is not an “idle fantasy.” I have often imagined dialogues with Jesus while writing in my journal. I have an entry from myself, followed by letting my imagination have free rein and writing how I think Jesus would respond to my words. And I write in my journal frequently, keeping a window on my laptop open to my journal and my dialogue. When writing on the laptop, I do often shift gears and journal for a bit. I learn a lot that way. I invite you to do the same.

A Course of Love, which many believed was channeled by Jesus, holds much reassurance for those of us who want a personal relationship with Jesus. This will be welcome news for the many who have been reared in traditional Christianity. Now we can imagine that revelation is giving us an extension of the tenets we learned in Sunday school as a child. Revelation from Jesus. Is this really so hard to believe?

Jesus will purify our persona, though he will not ask us to change into something that we are not. We can believe, as he says, that he accepts us just as we are—the persona without the ego, for he tells us that we have indeed left behind the ego. We may still respond to patterns of ego belief, but this belief is not the illusion in which we once believed. It is an echo of things from the past, and it will be gone from us sooner if we just gently turn aside rather than resist. We are OK just as we are; this is the reassurance that comes to us in the Second Treatise of A Course of Love. What more could we really wish to hear?

All too often we don’t believe this reassurance, for we have only a belief in forgiveness, but we have not fully forgiven ourselves. This belief is not enough, for the guilt will linger. We need to truly forgive ourselves for what we did not actually do in the illusion.

And a personal relationship to Jesus is a good way to begin. Dialogue with Jesus in our journals. The rewards are great, the pitfalls illusory. The imagination is meant to teach us much. And now, with the Christ-Self coming into ascendancy in our persona, we will be in a much better position to learn anew.

And to forgive.

Prayer

Thank You for this good day. Help me not to do anything or say anything that will rue it. The blessings are mighty when we set ourselves up for a good day, and with Your helping, how can we miss?

The day looms long and full. May I slowly rest in Your care, hurrying not at all. Hurry is not necessary, and it is likely of the ego. No need to rush about, to struggle so. Thank You for A Course of Love, which tells me this.

Amen.

Love Borne of Holiness

“As valuable as the ego would tell you that you are, it still would thwart you being who you are through its denial of the relationships essential to that which you truly are.

“This cultivation then, of the all-encompassing holy relationship that exists within you and without you, both in all you are and all you are in relationship with, is how you are called to live your life and the call you are asked to sound to all your brothers and sisters.” (ACOL, T2:12.11 – 12.12)

This quotation for today identifies our marching orders. We first identify the Self within, and form a union with It. This Self is the Christ-Self, a part of God who dwells within in an unidentified place, but which we have called the heart. Then this Self reaches out to our brothers and sisters in this world, and this Self forms holy relationships with these others. We share, and in the sharing we come to know more of what the Self, in wholeheartedness, really means. Our Christ-Self guides us, day in and day out, as to how to change the world, and, if we go the whole pathway, how to create a new world. Our newly minted Christ-consciousness–Awakening, or enlightenment–shows us the right way to bring into this world what has already been accomplished, something that is done effortlessly and with abundant ease. We are The Accomplished, and in our new state of being we will recognize that this is not an egoic notion, come to claim us again.

The ego fostered independence, but we have traveled far enough long now to recognize that independence is a hollow victory. It never produced what worked. We need sharing in this world, a sharing that reaches from the inner Christ-Self to our brothers and sisters, for only then are we able to thrive. Just as a garden can’t thrive without the relationship of nature’s elements for proper growth.

Our proper growth is before us now. But it takes all of us, thriving in the love borne of holiness, to grow and develop, to change into what we are meant to be. Being who we are is not a static accomplishment. Growth and change occur naturally in God’s world, in true reality. And it is only in sharing in holy relationship with our brothers and sisters, that the Self comes to know who we really are. Being who we are changes over time, but it can never properly change in isolation. We do need each other.

Prayer

What is this “holiness” that I am to emulate? What exactly do I do?

I stay close to You, journaling in dialogue with You. I pray silently, but with real words. I rest, just sensing Your Presence.

The way back is not hard, but it does take some dedication. I mustn’t forget You in my daily round. Remind me gently when I stray.

Amen.

Tending Our Garden

“This holy relationship is what you are called to cultivate as a gardener cultivates her garden. The gardener knows that although the plant exists fully realized within its seed, it also needs the relationship of earth and water, light and air. The gardener knows that tending the garden will help it to flourish and show its abundance. The gardener knows she is part of the relationship that is the garden. A true gardener believes not in bad seeds. A true gardener believes not that she is in control. A true gardener accepts the grandeur that is the garden and finds it beautiful to behold.” (ACOL, T2:12.10)

If we are not cultivating a holy relationship with all of our brothers and sisters, we are cultivating special relationships sponsored by the ego. And the ego would believe that the seed is everything, that there is no need for relationships, for sharing, with others. No need for earth and water, light and air. And that is why separation fails. The seed doesn’t prosper by itself—ever. And we have not done very well in our attempts to remain separate, supported only by unholy alliances that fail us repeatedly. We need the earth and water, light and air—the relationships that support a garden filled with seeds that are all good and need only sharing to blossom. A true gardener does not believe in bad seeds. The heart of all of us is innocent and filled with love. It is only the unsharing ego that is filled with fear. And, Jesus tells us, we have now left the ego behind—gone, to be unclaimed again forever if we remain in love. If we fall into fear again, we will institute a new ego where the other one withered away. And which of us wishes to do that?

The holy relationship is needs cultivation. Specialness thrives on separation and on highs and lows that know no end. There is no high that is not followed by a low, sometimes a desperate low that sends us to our knees. When we truly love another, we will recognize that our choosing of particular others to love has heretofore been flawed. We wanted what special others could do for us, special others who would supply our needs and our wants. When we truly realize that our needs are always supplied, that giving and receiving are one, we will stop trying to protect ourselves by choosing specialness instead of holiness. Our special relationships will not be snatched from us, but transformed to the holy. We will realize that in trying to meet our needs, we have chosen the form of our relationships badly. We were being selfish out of fear. With needs met, and the continual assurance of needs being met, we are freed to love in holy embrace. The embrace encompasses the whole world, the All, for the Self is shared with all others. We are, after all, truly One. And in the warmth of that embrace, we will come into our own as beloved children of God, One with Him and no longer separated by a nefarious ego that brought on much suffering and much turmoil.

So: We must be good gardeners. We must recognize that there are many elements to a growing plant, and we are that growing plant. The kernel of our Self is the seed that contains all that we have accomplished and will accomplish in life. But it does take earth and water, light and air. And these are our holy relationships, the breeze that keeps us afloat.

Prayer

Thank You for the aptness of Jesus’s metaphor of the garden. All of us, even those without gardening talents, can identify with what he says. And we do know that environmental conditions determine whether or not a garden thrives.

My environmental conditions are my holy relationships, and for these I thank You. I don’t spend a lot of time imagining exactly what “holy” does mean, for if I did I would feel unworthy. But I do think from time to time of the highs and lows that I knew when I was embroiled in a special relationship that brought me more pain than joy, more lows than highs, a fantasy of the mind and heart. Those days are over, and I thank You that You wrapped me up all to yourself during that time. I learned to depend on You. Thank You for always being there for me.

Thank You for the holiness that I am coming to comprehend. I, like everybody else, needs holiness in going about our daily lives. May Your holiness encompass my Self, and in this embrace, I will walk a green earth, filled with gardens.

Amen.

Find a Path Strewn with Flowers

“While you continue to feel as if you do not understand miracles, you will be reluctant to believe in them or to see yourself as a miracle worker. Your belief in miracles and your belief in atonement or correction are the same thing. While you believe there is anything other than your own thinking that is in need of correction you think falsely. Right-thinking is the realm of miracles.” (ACOL, T2:12.5)

We ourselves must be changed first, before the world can be either meaningfully changed or created anew. This assertion belies the idea of the social gospel, a gospel that has been promulgated in our world, but without lasting effects. When we, still egos, go out into the world, seeking to make it better, we take ourselves with us, and an ego-self can’t but be mistaken in many of its thoughts, words, and deeds. When our thinking has been corrected by relying on the changes wrought by a loving heart, we are going to see our egos wither away. And with this change, a change that is atonement or correction, we will finally be in a position to effect true and meaningful change in our world, a change so profound that we will eventually cease to change what is here, and instead actually create a new world. This last, creating a new world, is what Jesus is about in A Course of Love, preparing our mind and heart to unify, and with this union to see our transformation into Christ-conscious beings.

The quotation for today alludes to the art of thought that was covered so thoroughly in the first Treatise. The art of thought is miracle-mindedness, miracle-readiness, and the miracle itself. It is accessed through a mind that is constantly attuned to prayer, being One with our Maker, the One Who is found residing deep within us, the One of Whom we are a part. When we turn to miracle-minded thinking, we are in prayer without a tedious attempt to move ourselves into prayer moment by moment. We are letting our Christ-Self, the egoless true reality of our being, out to play. And “play” is an operative word here, for our former seriousness is all of the ego. Christ knows not of laborious seriousness. Everything for the Christ-Self is effortless and easy, already accomplished on another plane, and just now being brought to our earth. (This last sentence is an interpretation, not stated in either ACIM or ACOL.)

We do not have to fully comprehend all ramifications of miracles in order to use miracles. But Jesus said in A Course in Miracles that personally-selected miracles are apt to be misguided. So we are to look to him to see what miracles we might be asked to perform. Later on in ACIM, we see that the Holy Spirit is our guidance; and in ACOL, we see that the Christ-Self guides. This is a simple progression, for the Self is whole, encompassing all of us in the embrace, and with holy instants we feel as one with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Christ-Self. We live in the time of Christ now, and so we look to Christ-consciousness as our next step into true reality.

Miracles build on themselves. They will become constant for us as we dwell in a new state of mind and heart, a transformed mind and heart. And eventually, ACOL tells us, even miracles will be unnecessary. We will transcend even this, the holiest of our times now. Let us watch and wonder what other blessings are in store for us as we walk down a pathway strewn with flowers.

Prayer

The way back to You is not laborious and difficult. It is what is meant to happen to me, and You do make all things, all things not of the ego, smooth and easy. Help me to know Your will for me. It is my will as well, but for so long I didn’t realize this, and I felt sometimes like Jonah. Those days are long behind me, and for that I thank You. The way is smooth now, and easy. The path is clearly marked.

May my body, mind, and spirit rest in Your peace. The way to You is found in quiet contemplation, and as I give myself up to this, I sense Your Presence. This warm and good feeling feels miraculous to me. Let me know what miracles you want me to allow, and I will listen. I promise.

Amen.

Prayer Is Communion

“You will be prone to calling upon the Christ as your higher self to defend you against the ego-self. This is highly akin to your former notion of prayer and assumes that there is something real that you need defense against or saving from. This is how the notion of Christ as savior arose. This is the belief in a good self and a bad self with Christ acting as conscience and defender of good and the ego acting as devil and defender of evil. This is nonsense, or but a form of the insanity that is prevalent still, even in your thinking. You do not realize that this source of conflict is the source of all conflict that seems real to you within your world. This battle of good and evil, while you believe in it still, will be demonstrated before you just as it has been from time immemorial. Is this what you would have continue? Does this not but reveal to you a fraction of the power of your thinking and its ability to shape the world you see?” (ACOL, T2:11.15)

Those of us reared in the Christian tradition have long battled good vs. evil, God vs. the devil. But we learn now that the ego is the real devil, and the way get out of egoic thinking is to gently turn aside from it, not to resist, for resisting strengths the ego because resisting makes us think that there is something real there.

There is nothing real about the ego at all. It is but an illusion. If we are to know true reality, we need to get the place there true reality stands—wholeheartedness, a heart and mind united in Self, and holy relationships with our brothers and sisters. The Christ-Self in us is relationship, for we are in relationship to God Himself, and this Self is One with all of our brothers and sisters. We could not actually experience anything as One, undivided. It takes relationship to be able to experience at all, for Wholeness without division would not be experiential. Yet each part, divided, does contain the whole, though finite minds do not comprehend the whole. Our true reality is in the unity that we share as One, and in the dichotomy of differential expressions of that unity—expressions of the One, entities, brothers and sisters, with whom we enjoy holy relationships.

Our former notion of prayer was to an external God Who would, maybe, listen to us, and, maybe, answer our prayers. Our new understanding of prayer is of a communion with the deepest part of Self, the Self Who is in union with the God within. And He always answers our prayers. Naturally, this part of Self always listens. We do ourselves an injustice if we turn aside from such communion. We are meant to remain in communication with God constantly.

Do we really think that we contain both a good and a bad self? Do we still hold to the idea that the “devil” can tempt us into wrongdoing? The ego surely can tempt us, until it is gone for good, and the ego is the closest, false aspect of self that is close to the concept of the devil. Our self is innocent, and therefore good. Of course, we may make a myriad of mistakes, but the Self will save us. And we can rectify many of these mistakes. If such does not seem possible, let us know in the marrow of our bones that we are still forgiven for these mistakes. But we have to forgive ourselves, and this may be the hardest part.

Put to rest the concept of an evil entity called the “devil.” Know that when we have turned aside from the idea of doing battle with evil, we will have made a giant step forward in our progress toward enlightenment. Our ego will wither away from non-attention. We will no longer be interested in competing stridently with one another. Our new way of sharing, one with the other, is all that remains as we turn aside from this illusory battle of good and evil.

Prayer

Thank You for this good day and for the tool kit of meditation, prayer, and affirmations that You recommend to me. This tool kit does much to stabilize my days. It is a godsend indeed.

Be with me as I seek to avoid a conflict-ridden day. This day is not meant to be lived in conflict—not day is. And today, so far, has been all harmony. I would have this peace continue. I would know You, and in the knowing I would come to keep myself in good control—living peaceably with all my brothers and sisters.

Thank You for sharing Yourself with me. Thank You for being You. Your warmth surrounds me today. It gives me hope for a good day and also hope for an even better future. The sense of Your Presence is calming, always good. Be with me in this way all through the day today. Please.

Amen.

A Smooth Walk through Life

“Realize that when you think that this total reversal of thought concerning yourself and your world will be difficult you are listening to your ego. The Christ in you knows not of difficulty.” (ACOL, T2:11.10)

What a glorious reassurance this quotation for today really is! Yes, we are about a total reversal of thought for both ourselves and our world, but, as charged as this sounds, it will not be difficult. If we are still caught in thinking that it surely must be difficult, then we are listening to our ego, which makes all things difficult so that it can take the credit for changes. When we listened to the ego, we strived mightily to achieve, but now, we are told, achievement will come easily. We will without the investment of our ego in what we accomplish in this world, and it is the relinquishment of the ego is what will allow our tasks to be done effortlessly. We wanted to strive, previously, so that we would take credit for what we achieved. Now we don’t have the same egoic needs, and we can realize that we have already accomplished all that we are called to accomplish. These other-worldly accomplishments just have to be brought to our earth, and there left for all to enjoy. We take no credit in such a channeled way to proceed. But we are far happier in our channeling than anything we did when the ego was in charge.

The Christ in us, A Course of Love says, is relationship. We are in union with our Christ-Self, and with others—a two-step process that sets all things aright. We are differentiated parts of the Whole, the All, the One, God Himself. And in unity and relationship we come to know, really know, things that have been hidden from view because the ego could not learn of this ultimate reality.

How blessed we are to know that life can proceed without difficulty. We turn to inner guidance, and in this guidance, we are assured of a smooth walk in life. A walk back home to God. And then a happiness that will exceed all expectations.

Prayer

I ask for Your help today, to have You bring a little bit of heaven to earth. This is all any of us want. This is all that I want.

Help me to be of service to others today, for in service I find myself. Your way is best, always, and You know that reaching out calms my mind. And I receive, also, for giving and receiving are one in this world that we will be creating.

Thank You for reassuring me about my path. I know that when I listen to Your promptings, my little world goes, always, a little better.

Amen.

Life: Interdependence—Not Independence

“This is why we spent a fair amount of time addressing needs in a way we had not previously addressed them. For only with your understanding that all that is real is shared does the ego lose its power. The ego was made from the belief in separation and all that followed from it. Thus your true identity must be re-created from the belief in unity that is inherent in the acceptance that you are a being who exists in relationship. Separation is all that opposes relationship, and the ego is all that opposes your true identity.” (ACOL, T2:11.7)

We are beings meant to reside in relationship. Now, we haven’t always wanted to believe this, for we have been badly taught. We have been taught that we would grow up to mature adults who would stand independently, sure of ourselves and certain in our goals. Not needing anybody. While our special relationships would belie this assertion, for we seem to truly need each other in specialness, nevertheless we can recognize ourselves in the characterization.

And now we are learning that we do need each other, that interdependence is the right way, that we are meant to be in relationship one to the other. One unified body. A Self Who includes everyone. Can we forgive God for creating us with the need for our brothers and sisters?

We thought we wanted independence above all else. But this was only egoic nonsense, not to be taken seriously. The ego believed in separation, believed that we would come into our own—that IT would come into its own—only in this state of separation. The ego sought to put ourselves on the throne of God, but the ego forgot one thing: We did not create ourselves. And the Creator does save us from ourselves. The plan of salvation does just that. And we are learning the plan of salvation, ultimate salvation in Christ-consciousness.

Our true identity is as Sons and Daughters of God. We understand that we are creatures who are meant to be creative, like our Creator, for He made us in His image, as we learned long ago in our childhood Sunday school. When we are united as one Christ-Self in relationship to the All, we are fulfilling our purpose. We have made it home at last.

Prayer

I live in a world with other people, and it is with these people that I form a mutual relationship. Most important to me are my significant others, but not in a “special” sense—for A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have taught me the folly of specialness and the much better choice for holiness in relationships. Help me to be patient with my brothers and sisters. Help me to love, even when it is sometimes difficult.

Thank You for the motivation that You have given me today. You are ever with me, and it is a good day when I sense Your presence in my life. Thank You for granting me this sensing today.

Amen.

Ordinary People Living Extraordinary Lives

“Doing battle with the ego has become the preoccupation of many gifted and learned people. This is the classic battle revealed in all myths and tales of war and strife. It is the battle that in your imaginings has extended even to the angels. The ego is the dragon that must be slain, the evil of the despot to be toppled, the one-on-one conflict of all heroes who would take sides and do battle.” (ACOL, T2:11.3)

Those of us who grew up with emphasis upon the horrors of hell were actually doing battle with the ego, for the ego might be termed a hell of our own making. And many of us love the great myths from our past, all of which were characteristically good-and-evil in nature. Everything was seen in black and white, no shades of gray.

We need to move beyond these old ways of thinking. We need to recognize that we can avoid a hell of our own making; we can avoid the bipolar thinking of pure white and solid black. Life can give new meaning to these terms.

We need not to do battle with the ego, for the ego is strong in strife. It actually grows stronger when we are in attack and anger mode. But it doesn’t work, either, to resist the ego, for that just approves of its importance to us. What we need to do is turn aside gently, knowing that egotistical and egoic ways of thought are not the means to heaven. The means to heaven were spelled out to us; the revelation that comes from God came with means identified. These are allusions from A Course in Miracles, and the same emphasis on reaching heaven through turning aside from the ego and egoic thought are given in A Course of Love. We are taken just a step farther along, with more of the means to heaven being spelled out.

These means are the union of mind and heart into wholeheartedness, the recognition of the Christ-Self in us, and the realization that it is time to let this Self emerge in all its glory. How do we do this? Not by resisting the ego! That is for sure, for strife and defense make what they would defend against. We just choose another way, a better way, as Bill and Helen agreed in a such-quoted exchange prior to the channeling of A Course in Miracles. (Bill Thetford and Helen Schucman were the co-scribes of ACIM.)

We unite mind and heart through our own will to do so. We do have some say in the matter, though God takes the final step of metaphorically reaching down and lifting us up into Awakening, Christ-consciousness. When we pray for wholeheartedness and for Awakening, we are praying in God’s Will for us. Would He withhold any longer than is absolutely necessary? I think not.

When our wholeheartedness is true, true reality will dawn. We will be changed, indeed, when Christ-consciousness has descended upon us. Our egoic nonsense gone, we will walk with humble but sure steps through our world. And we will bring our brothers and sisters along with us.

Jesus tells us that many sincere, spiritual, people have been misled by this emphasis on a battle between good and evil. A battle between God and the devil. Battles have not set the world aright, and it is past time to set the world aright. Let’s try a different tactic. Let’s know that all of us are innocent, though we make many mistakes, and we do know the way back from separation from God. God doesn’t battle with true reality, and we don’t need to do so either. Illusion, which includes evil, is actually nothing, though it can seem to be very important in a world of tragic outcomes. When we get ourselves right with God, we are then in a position to fulfill the needs of the world, knowing that giving and receiving are one in truth. We will receive in like measure to what we give. To think that we have to give, and give, and give, is an old way of thinking—and it will not save the world. Ordinary people such as ourselves, living extraordinary lives, will save. The fact that we don’t need to do more is no failing on our part. We will affect millions just by being ourselves. The true spread of a good idea knows no limits.

Prayer

I would be one ordinary person leading an extraordinary life, terms that are from A Course of Love. Help me to be such today. Today and every day. The means are given to all of us, thanks to You. We are living in a new era, and the myth of a battle between good and evil is surely behind us now.

Be with me throughout the day. Help me to have lighthearted moments, for seriousness is of the ego, and I have had enough of the ego. I would turn aside gently from the anger and attack, the turmoil and hostility. Let us occupy a new world filled with gentleness and kindness, a world in which happiness is finally at home.

Amen.

Seek No More

“The Christ in you has no need to plan. A need to come to know…yes. But a need to plan…no. The Christ in you needs not for you to choose a lesson plan, but to let life itself be your chosen way of learning.” (ACOL, T2:10.19)

This quotation for today is an echo of an admonition from A Course in Miracles. There we are told to weave no plans against contingencies to come, unless these plans are prompted by the Holy Spirit. Planning is part of the trio of activities that will keep Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, from us. Along with attack and judgment, planning separates us from God’s present moment promptings. Of course, there may be practical plans that need to be made, and, if so, we will be told of them. Then and then only should we proceed.

Later on in A Course of Love, we find out that observation of life is our new way of learning. We are no longer to turn to the wisdom of the past, other people’s wisdom. Instead, we are to let our lives teach us what we need to know. And here we see the foreshadowing of this new idea: “. . .let life itself be your chosen way of learning.”

We do need to come to know. Not perceive, but know. And only when we are in right relationship to God will we know anything of value. Perceptions, particularly perceptions of the ego, mislead. But knowing is of God, and therefore blessed.

We have, many of us, been excellent students of past wisdom. We were taught how to learn in school, and we have benefited greatly, as the world views it, from this learning. We are about to find that learning, as such, is no longer needed nor necessary. Of course, we can still choose to learn, but this will be a choice only; and many who want to create a new world will not fall into these paths of the past. We can cease our seeking into various spiritual traditions, if we wish. Our seeking can come to an end, because we have now found. With A Course of Love, we have our way home, our way back to God. And the glory of Christ-consciousness will affirm that we have made the right choice.

When one has found, he/she can be contented in no longer seeking. Many of us have been seekers most of our lives, but where does this end? Jesus has recognized this propensity in us, and he has sought to let us know that we are already The Accomplished, that we have already, now, found. We are the prodigal sons and daughters who have returned home, and, with this final step, we no longer need to seek. We have arrived home, safe and secure at last. Christ-consciousness is only a breath away.

Prayer

Help this day to be good. I have a busy day ahead, as have many of us. I need to realize that planning for the unforeseen is a trap, that planning cannot be predicted, that it shouldn’t be predicted at all. Be with me this day as I let my free spirit out to play.

Thank You for all that You do for me. Even when I am confused, indeed especially then, You clear my mind. I would keep a clear mind throughout the day. With Your help.

Amen.

Once the Journey Is Begun, the End Is Certain

“The Christ in you is the real you. The Christ in you is the Self who you become when you have united heart and mind once again in wholehearted¬ness. Thus the union of mind and heart is, as was stated previously, the first union, the union that must proceed all the rest. You are in a state of unity when you have achieved wholeheartedness. You are in a state in which you are able to learn. I am here to show you the way to the Christ in you.” (ACOL, T2:10.13)

The Christ in us is the Self who is a part of God. From this Self does Christ-consciousness spring. This Self has been hidden for eons, as we put our misguided faith in the directions of the ego, the egoic notions that gave us such struggle and such trauma. The ego does denote egotism, as Jesus means the ego, but this ego is not the organizing part of the self which Freud describes; the meaning is slightly different. With the ego as Jesus describes it, we have been taken over by a false persona, a persona that felt that to be one with God would limit us, would take away our free will—and we prided ourselves on our free will, always and forever. The ego thus defines separation from God. But when we come into our own Self, the Christ-Self, we will realize that the will of God for us and our real will are one and the same. This will save us from great trouble. And it takes us home to God, where we are constantly soothed and loved, in reassurances that we will prevail with the Christ-Self who means us well. The ego never meant us well, being a figment of imagination and a thought of insanity.

A Course of Love talks quite a lot about wholeheartedness, the joining of mind and heart, and, with that, the coming of Christ-consciousness. We need to be united with our Self, and this unity is the first unity we will know. Afterwards, we will come to know unity with our brothers and sisters in this world. We cannot meaningful join with others until we have merged internally with our Self. So this is what we ask for, pray for, first. When this first unity, of mind and heart into wholeheartedness, and then with the Self, we will no longer be lost in dreams of highs and lows, great drama. The dramatic way to live has never been satisfying to us, for for every high, there was an attendant low. And these lows could get very low indeed.

Jesus is here for us. He will show us the way. To believe this takes some faith in what A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love say. In ACIM, he said that we can imagine him taking us by the hand, and following along the pathway home with him. And he says that this will be “no idle fantasy.” The same type of reassurance occurs in ACOL as well.

We know that when we have achieved wholeheartedness, then Christ-consciousness is not very far behind. There is no time, and so whether this seems now or very far off, matters not. Time is an illusion that allows us to experience our world. And so our idea of “soon” may not be the same as God’s. But we can rest easy, for once this journey is begun, the end is certain.

Pray for wholeheartedness today. It takes very little true reasoning to know what the heart is trying to say to the mind. And when the heart speaks, we are well-served.

Prayer

I would turn my little self, my personal self, over to my inner Self today. And I would renew this change in all the days of the morrow. My Self can lead where nothing else can. It can, Jesus tells us in ACOL, even eliminate suffering. Is this not powerful motivation?

Thank You, dear God, for standing by me when the world seemed all awry. It was my thinking that was awry, and now You are guiding me gently to a new way of thinking, to new thought. Sometimes I sense this change more than at other times. But I trust that change is happening, and I trust that this change is good.

Thank You for a good day in a world of ever-expanding horizons, a world influenced by my Self to create ever-better experiences in a new, true, reality.

Amen.

Open to True Knowing from the Christ-Self Deep Within

“Just beyond your mind’s ability to call it forth lies the truth that you and all other beings know. The access to what seems to lie beyond your ability lies in the Christ in you. You might think of the ego as the hand that swats away this knowing.” (ACOL, T2:10.8)

We do know the truth, because the truth is of the Christ-Self deep within us and all of our brothers and sisters. When we open more and more to the Self within, our subconscious becomes available to us, and we know in a way that we have not known when the ego has been in the ascendancy. We need to dethrone the ego now, now and forevermore. It does us no good to think ourselves better—or worse—than another. We just drop into highs and lows, for the way of the world is to undo the ego. It is God’s Will that we give up this part of our belief about ourselves that has done us no good. It is also God’s Will that we request Christ-consciousness, and that we remove the barriers to the bestowal of that blessing upon us. God makes the decision, but we can and must get irrelevant specks of our personalities out of the way before. Our personalities have latched onto the ego as something that will save us from ourselves, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

All of us are equal to one another. All of us are equally gifted, though the display of that giftedness might vary in this time of learning. Thinking we are more special than another is an ego mechanism for weakness, a weakness that will unhinge us repeatedly. Give up the idea that we are special in any way—or conversely, believe that ALL are special, for all are creations of God, and He means all of us equally well.

We can learn more about our lives and what we are doing when we let the Christ in us come out. Our Christ-Self will not lead us wrong. It is the ego that does that. And our knowing is affected by the ego’s swatting away the truth. We need knowing in our lives, true knowing. And this true knowing will come when we stay open to the Self, who speaks from deep within us. We must get quiet to hear this quiet voice. We must give up our adrenaline rushes, too caught in the world, to a perfect calm and quiet that will lead us surely down the path to greater peace.

Prayer

Thank You for the mellow feeling that overcomes me today. It is true that I am somewhat tired, even though it is early in the morning; I have had two stressful days. But You are able to encourage me to get extra sleep when needed, and this I will do. Thank You for Your encouragement that I listen to my body and get the rest I need.

Be with me as this day unfolds. Help me to feel Your warmth, Your loving Presence. This always sets my day aright. And it may even mean that I don’t really need to sleep right now. Guide me, please.

Thank You.

Amen.

Feeling the Warmth of God

“A static state is not a living state because creation is not occurring within it. This is a living Course. This is why you are called to live it rather than to take it. This is why you are called to be a teacher and a learner both. This is how the exchange of giving and receiving as one occurs. This exchange IS unity.” (ACOL, T2:10.1)

When we recognize unity, we recognize that we are all one Self, one Christ-Self indeed. We recognize giving and receiving as one when we are one with our deeper Self, but we may not fully understand this plea from Jesus when we are reaching out to others. But the reaching out automatically means that the giving will elicit a receiving, the receiving will elicit a giving. This is because the Self is a shared Self, one with all beings, including the One God Who is within us and each and every brother and sister. God is not a pantheistic god in everything, as individual beings separate from one another. God is an All-Embracing One, and in knowing this we can finally come to see how we share the Christ-Self with everyone.

If we are learning A Course of Love well, we will live it rather than take it (and put it down). Its tenets will become second-nature to us. We will revel in the warmth of its words. This is living ACOL. This is becoming permanently changed by it.

So all of us are both teachers and learners, just as we were told in the Manual of A Course in Miracles. There Jesus told us that only time separates the teacher from the learner, and time does not really exist. Time, as an illusion, cannot trip us up. The ego is also an illusion, and when we turn aside from it, it too cannot trip us up. Illusions make what they would avoid, and we can easily relinquish time for all things except the practical. There is no good that the ego can do for us, and so we have no reason not to relinquish it entirely.

Unity is being One with our Christ-Self, our God, our brothers and sisters—indeed the whole of creation. This unity is differentiated into parts for the sake of relationship, for without relationship among different parts, we could experience nothing. This is a truth given by Jesus, but also discussed at length in Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God. Having relationships is mandatory for the ultimate Reality of God to experience His creation as well. As Jesus tells us repeatedly in ACOL, unity and relationship are what creation is all about.

Prayer

Thank You for gently taking me by the hand and reassuring and healing me. Your love is palpable to me today. I wish for this palpable feeling of love every day.

I am indebted to You for the peace that I experience when I think of You. Thank You for always and forever being here for me.

Amen.

Love with a Deeper Love

“Once you are no longer concerned with needs and the meeting of needs you will no longer be concerned with special relationships. You will realize that there is no loss but only gain involved in letting them go.” (ACOL, T2:9.16)

We made people special to us for selfish reasons: because we thought that we needed their support, emotional and otherwise. Other people will not feel the lack if we give up the idea of specialness—or, more exactly, if we enlarge specialness to include the whole world. This then is not specialness at all, but an all-embracing holy relationship with all brothers and sisters everywhere.

The selfish reasons for special relationships are not often recognized. We think that we find someone out there who “completes” us, and then we fall into highs and lows of drama as we seek to solidify the relationship. Sometimes the relationship succeeds, and sometimes it doesn’t. But our drama in its enactment is very real.

We have learned through A Course of Love that drama is of the ego. We have also learned that we don’t want the ego. The way is clear, now, to giving the ego up, and if we sink into calm and quiet, deep within, we will be living in true reality. Our movement toward Christ-consciousness will be quicker and more certain. And we will realize that we lost nothing when we made all special relationships holy, leaving out nobody.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we will engage in physical displays of affection with just any and every one. But it does mean that we will love with a deeper love than we have ever known before.

And this will be the particular blessing that we give our most beloved.

Prayer

Thank You for the calm that I feel today. My fears of yesterday are gone. This is Your doing. I prayed for relief, and You answered my need.

May I enjoy holy relationships with my formerly special relationships. Holy enlarges. There is no loss. I will love ever more deeply.

Thank You for showing me how to love ever more deeply.

Amen.

It Is Time to Rest

“There is no such thing as a static level in unity where creation is contin¬uous and ongoing. You should have no desire to reach such a state and the awareness that you are in such a state can alert you, or serve as a sign, that the ego-mind and its fear-based thinking has momentarily returned. This does not mean that you will never be at rest or that you will be constantly seeking to arrive. As has already been said, you have arrived and rest exists only in the state of unity.” (ACOL, T2:9.14)

Creation is continuous and ongoing; this is another way of saying that God changes, just like His creation. We have often believed, through traditional Christianity, that God is unmoving, that He is a constant, that He doesn’t change. A Course of Love does not hold to this tradition, and, as such, is a departure from it. Would God be the only part of creation that never changes? If God is deep within each of us, as the Christ-Self, then we can see how change is likely. The Christ does learn, we hear in ACOL. The Christ-consciousness evolves, like everything else. We are not meant to be static, though Jesus has told us that we are The Accomplished, and so no longer need to struggle in our evolving lives.

We are retracing steps that we have made before, going back up a long carpet that rolls up behind us—this from A Course in Miracles. We made the right decision eons ago, and now we simply relive that decision. This is theology, and if it is hard for us to accept, we simply don’t have to do so; we can dislodge the ego and form a new identity without attaching ourselves to any theology. But the way will be clearer if we recognize why we are about what we are about.

None of us would want to live a static, unchanging illusion. This is illusion, and needs now to be left behind. Our true reality will see us growing and changing in spiritual evolution, as we progress toward and beyond Christ-consciousness.

Prayer

Be with me today. It is so easy to get discouraged. I think that I make some progress, and then I fall back into fear. This fear may be only an echo of what has gone before, with the ego. But it hurts. And I would be finished with hurt.

I know that You are with me, living life through me. Help me to know that my echoes of fear are just that—echoes. A pattern of fear that will soon, very soon, fall away.

Thank You for that knowledge.

Amen.

Needs Are Always Answered—Often Immediately

“In relationship, every need is met by a corresponding need. It is a dance of correspondence.

“All needs are shared. This is what differentiates needs from wants. This is true in two senses. It is true in that all needs, from survival needs to needs for love are literally shared in the same measure by all. The other sense in which needs are shared is in the aspect of correspondence. They are shared because they are known. Every being inherently knows that it shares the same needs as every other being of its kind.” (ACOL, T2:9.6 – 9.7)

We learn through this passage how very alike we are to each other. Relationship is paramount, and in relationship we learn that we have identical needs to every other human being. Of course, this may seem self-evident, but how many of us have not imagined that somehow we were different from all others? We may think that we are better, or worse, but seldom identical. We can be reassured by this passage that others will understand when we share problems with them; many have been through something identical, for there is nothing new under the sun.

We do, though, have different desires/wants. We can imagine all kinds of great things that we want to happen to us in our lifetimes, and these wants are not identical to every other person. Our personalities differ, which make for different desires. But the true needs are the same, and it is these true needs that are always met. Right away.

Our only true needs are intangible. Material blessings may come and go, but our union with God is a given, and when this intangible is obscured, we suffer. But not for long. As soon as we call out for help, that helps arrives. We have asked for a blessing, and it is given to us—sometimes through other people, sometimes an interior, self-authenticating word from the Self. Our prayers do not go unheard. One needs only ask, and when our pride doesn’t get in the way, we know that we are answered.

Prayer

Thank You for leading me to understand that when I call out—or rather in—to my Self, a part of You, I am immediately heard. And immediately answered, though the answer may seem to take time in the working out. I would not confuse myself with wants that are unnecessary and often ill-advised. I would stick to needs today in my prayers.

May I do what I can to smooth the way for Your Answer to come. For I am convinced that Your Answer always, always, comes.

Thank You.

Amen.

Our Tool Chest: Meditation, Yoga, Affirmations

“The word “need” and the word “dependent” are only words and words that would be inconceivable to you in the state of unity before you left it. Now, they are just tools, as are many other means of practice that assist you in bypassing your ego mind. Some practices more commonly thought of as tools might be meditation, exercises of the body such as yoga, or exercises of the mind such as affirmations. These tools are all means of releasing ego mind and inviting the one mind, or unity into the present moment. When seen as such, all these tools, including needs, can ignite the combination of learning and unlearning, the letting-go of one so that the other can arrive.” (ACOL, T2:9.2)

A Course of Love says that we need to return to unity, and this unity is of two types: a union with the Self, and a union of mind and heart to form wholeheartedness. Here, in the passage, we see that we are not left to make this unity come about out of thin air. There are tools, and implicit in giving us these tools, Jesus is asking that we use them—meditation, yoga, affirmations. Add to that the understanding that our needs are met at the point of recognition, and that we are one with all in interdependence, and we have quite a tool chest to draw upon. Our way home is clear; it is only our density of thought that holds us back. And our patience; we lack the patience to really work on ourselves. So we ask for the miracle that the art of thought really is; we ask for the patience to wait on God’s timing for our enlightenment. And we try out these tools as a way to remove barriers to the blessing of ultimate salvation that we really want.

This passage also reminds us that learning and unlearning appear together, one simultaneous effect of walking the right pathway. We are fast moving into the time when learning from authorities of the past is no longer recommended. Our lives, instead, are the fodder for release from egoic ideas. A way out of our insanity. We observe what happens in our lives, and this edges us forward, day by day, ever so slightly. In patience possess ye your souls, as we have heard. This observation of our lives and what happens in them is the tailor-made tool for undoing the ego. We unlearn the insanity (though this sounds hard to do), and in the unlearning, we are, at the same time, learning anew. Everybody has a different curriculum, one suited just for each of us. Our learning goals are the same, though: a return to the Christ Self, a joining of heart and mind. So, when we talk to others, we find that their pathway is similar to ours; just the details differ, for nobody else lives the same life, knows the same thing, or anticipates a like future.

We are encouraged to live in the present moment. This always sounds hard to us, for most of us have tried it, and failed. But we try again, and gradually longer and longer periods are actually attuned to the gift of the present. We see no reason to wander in the madness of the past, or to worry about the happenings of the future. We know that we are safe in the present, and in this truth, our self-fostered disinterest in remaining in the present just disappears.

Try some of the tools that Jesus gives in this passage for today. Let those tools lead the way. We want to turn aside from the ego, and time-tested remedies are always the best. Certainly meditation, yoga, and affirmations are well-known to most of us. They may have failed us in the past. But this is a new day, and there is hope for a better outcome, because the ego’s hold on us, for all of us, has been weakened.

Try Jesus’s tools a little right now. The benefits are there, when the mind and heart work together to heal the division between God and our persona.

Prayer

Many of us have long used the tools that Jesus point out today. But I am in a new era now, and though I might have had limited success with meditation, yoga, affirmations, in the past, I have no reason to believe that things won’t take a turn for the better. It is reassuring to know that this tool chest is familiar to me. It is familiar to many of us, and this very familiarity is a comfort. Thank You.

I would seek to walk the straight and narrow with ease today. I would not fear the ego, for Jesus tells me that it is gone. I seek to love, and in the love I find myself.

It is this way for everybody.

Amen.

In Glorious Ease We Are Home

“You are not here to rest and gain strength for another journey in search of something that is not available here. Here is the realm of the already accomplished. This is home. Your expression of who you are may lead you to many new adventures but never again to the special relation¬ships that would take you away from your true Self. Never again will you be away from home for home is who you are, a “place” you carry within you, a place that is you. This is the home of unity.” (ACOL, T2:8.6)

We have arrived, Jesus says in this passage. We have already accomplished what seemed impossible just a short time ago. Shorn of the ego, we step out on new adventures. Shorn of special relationships (but not shorn of holy ones), we find a way to tell our significant others that we love them, sometimes in words, sometimes in actions. We are walking new ground. We don’t fully recognize this only because we think that it is too good to be true. How could we have truly left all of our old nonsense behind? How could we be The Accomplished?

If we have vestiges of the ego in us (and many of us do), then we will not fully step out into belief about such joyous promises. The ego will tell us that we are being grandiose, not feeling genuine grandeur. We will think that our heads are swelling up even more, with such statements addressed to our weak and lowly self.

We can use such misgivings to turn aside, once again, from the ego and its machinations. We can, once again, say that we are through with limited thinking, that we want to believe Jesus, and that, certainly, we will. And when the ego is discarded, once again, a light will begin to shine. We will know that Jesus is not appealing to egoic grandiosity, but to the Self we have neglected for eons. The Self who wants to come out and play. The God-Self who is ourselves, free and joyous, limited no longer.

We have nothing to fear, and if fear still holds a toehold, we will slip and fall. The same with judgment. These two prohibitions are all that stand in the way of a Self who is gloriously setting foot in a new world, a new world of our own creation. We, in relationship with our brothers and sisters, are setting to work to create this new world. But not in struggle. In glorious ease. And the happiness that will be thrilling.

We are home now. We can still slip and fall, but we know how to pick ourselves up, and if we do so repeatedly, the falling will slow down. We are in a place where we have longed to be for a very long time, with nobody knowing how very long it actually has been. Now we are united with our Self, and with our brothers and sisters, in loving relationships that are now holy.

Our way is blessed. Let nothing tell us that we are unworthy, for we are God’s children, made in His image.

Prayer

I ask for Your blessing today on the pathway that today I will walk. I ask to walk steadily and well, not to stumble into egoic nonsense. May my way be clear, my mind and heart joined in love for You and my brothers and sisters. Be with me now, as I seek to love the Self who is just coming into power.

I don’t understand how the ego has fallen away, but I sense that it has, to a large extent. May I not backtrack, but stay clear of the ego from now on. Tell me what to do daily. Tell me how to walk in Your way, the way that You go ahead of me and ease.

Thank You for being here for me, today as always.

Amen.

On Being Answered with a Miracle

“There is not a time-lapse between the recognition of needs and the meeting of needs. It is accepted that giving and receiving occur in unison, thus further collapsing the need for time.” (ACOL, T2:7.20)

Jesus doesn’t seem to like time very much. He has earlier told us that miracles collapse time, and that time is a tool given us in this world to space out our experiences.

We already know, from A Course in Miracles, that the solution is always with the problem. And the problem is a need. So we see the similarity in these two concepts. Our needs are resolved as soon as they are recognized as needs, as soon as the light dawns that there is something that is missing in our experience. Isn’t this the way that a loving Creator would act in our world?

Giving and receiving happen in unison, when we are in right relationship with our brothers and sisters, and our God. This means, exactly, that our needs are met at the point that they appear. No waiting. No imploring. No beseeching. God answers us, giving us what we have perceived as a need.

Do we believe this? If not, we can test it out. Stop right now, and think over our lives. When a problem presents itself, ask for a miracle. We can even give a time frame in which we want an answer. We need, for this exercise to work, to be attuned within. We need to ask for a given need to be resolved. Write down the problem, date it, time and day, and then go about our business in a good frame of mind. God has the problem now. His miracle will resolve it in the right time.

When an answer comes (and it will likely come quickly), see if the answer gives us what we want. It is important to note that the answer may NOT be what you want, yet we recognize a divinity within the answer. If the answer seems very awry, see if we have penned a desire rather than a need. Desires are not always in our best interests. We want many things that years later, we recognize would have been wrong for us. But real need—yes, that is the crucial point to be made here. Miracles resolve real need, and sooner rather than later.

This little exercise is borne of personal experience. When I am attuned to my inner Self, the answer to my needs, and sometimes my wants, comes quickly, on the heels of a prayer. Almost before the words are thought sometimes does the answer come. And if time is needed for an answer, I can sense that as well. Then there is a final important part: Don’t forget to say “thank you” to the universe, which answered with a miracle.

Prayer

I would ask for miracles often, for they are a way that You communicate with me, and our communication is very dear to me. I know that you “speak” in silence, but my guidance is clear, and I am wise to follow it faithfully. Thank You for leaning me the expert knowledge that You have. Thank You for being You, my Creator and my Friend.

I would ask that this day go well, that miracles pave my way. I know that miracles paved my way yesterday, and I know that Your Will for me is always good and consistently kind. Our relationship is a cherished one, and I am entirely in Your debt for giving me a smooth walkway.

Amen.

Our Zen-like Feelings Give Us Happy Days

“How often have you hidden thoughts and feelings because you ques¬tion whether they are legitimate thoughts and feelings? For some of you this answer has changed greatly over time. But for many of you, you have become less, rather than more forthcoming about your thoughts and feelings since taking this Course. You have done so out of a desire to be truthful, a desire to not express thoughts and feelings unworthy of your real Self. You may have increasingly denied thoughts and feelings you would judge as negative or bad.” (ACOL, T2:7.17)

If we have increasingly denied our real feelings, judging them to be bad, as we have read A Course of Love, then we are living a false persona, even with the best of intentions. We no longer want to vent our frustrations, our anger, with attack; we want to treat our brothers and sisters with whom we are in holy relationship, much better than that. But feelings of anger need an outlet, and if we have suppressed this feelings, they are not gone, but have merely gone underground—to emerge later, perhaps with more vehemence. If you feel anger, Jesus says elsewhere that we can ask that this be removed from us, and it will be. Of course, we have to believe that Jesus means what he says, that anger can be removed by a prayer. Of course, we have likely had many examples of answered prayers in the time since we started reading ACOL. And so we are less likely to be skeptical of what prayer can bring about.

Let us ask to have those negative feelings and thoughts removed from us. Let us ask today. It is enough to want a Self who is worthy of being a host to God. And we do have such a Self; it just has been overlaid with illusion for so long that we don’t entirely know what is truly within us, each of us.

Of course, we have previously gotten something out of venting anger, out of attacking our loved ones. We may recognize, of course, that this is not the better way to interact, but the drama has still called to us. It will be easier to fall in line with God’s removal of anger if we first recognize that we are leaving drama behind. We are happier without it. Our Zen-like feelings give us happy days. Why would we want to insert drama, simply because it is a familiar way to interact?

So: There is a solution. We may still not consistently choose this solution, this way of leaving behind anger and attack. But mistakes are not sins, and we can get back in line as soon as we realize that we have taken a false step. The way back to the straight and narrow is not difficult. And when we realize how much better we feel when we live in peace, we will have longer stretches of this peace in the present and future.

Living right is not hard. It is living wrong that makes for all of our problems, not because we are being punished, but because we are not living in true reality—the way that things are meant to be by a loving God.

Prayer

May I do want I can to remove all desire—ever—to attack verbally or to live in anger. These things do not bode well for the life I want to lead, the person I want to be. Living in peace, with my negative feelings removed by prayer, is the better choice. May I choose that better choice now and for all time.

Be with me today as I seek to move into sunnier climes. The peace that You show me is evidence enough that Your way is best, that it is the only way to live peaceably in Your Kingdom. Thank You for the gentle way being shown to me, day in and day out. And thank You for being here for me, today and always.

Amen.