Monthly Archives: March 2017

Jesus Is the One for Us

“You are all beloved sons and daughters of love itself, no matter what you call that love. You all are equally beloved. That you give your devotion to one religious tradition or another matters not. That you accept that I am he who can lead you beyond your life of misery to new life matters absolutely.” (ACOL, D:Day1.15)

Here is a further indication of what “accept me”—said by Jesus—really means. Any religious tradition that speaks to our needs is good, but he is the one to whom we are listening in A Course of Love. He is bringing us home. He is our leader back from the abyss.

Other religious leaders might have done the same for us, but if this is true, it is doubtful that we would be reading A Course of Love. We signed on with Jesus, and to complete the transition to new life, he asks that we accept as the one who will succeed where others have failed. He knows what to say to us who are enthralled by ACOL; he knows how we think. And he can appeal to our experiences in a way that is unique to him. We are followers of Christianity, though not of a traditional understanding of Christianity.

Isn’t the simplest usually the best? And the simplest is to let go of doubts, and just entertain the possibility that what we have been reading in ACOL is true: that Jesus is the one for us. We can make fast progress when we come to this conclusion. We can and we will.

Dear God,

Thank You for leading Jesus’s thoughts to enlist my cooperation in accepting him as the one to whom I turn when in the ditch. I would not stay in the ditch. I want out; I want You. Jesus can appeal to me in a way that other traditions might not. Others may choose someone different, and thereby have a way to reach You. But I follow A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. My choice for Jesus has been borne out many times.

Be with me on this lovely day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperature is optimal. May this day draw me into a loving mood, one that opens me to a glimpse of Your ultimate salvation for me.

Amen.

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Words of Wisdom

“If you are to succeed me, you must accept me, much as you must accept your ascension to this mountain peak and this dialogue that is occurring here. If you believe this mountain peak is merely metaphorical, you will not realize that you have ascended or that you have left behind the conditions of the initiate. If you believe these are words of wisdom and that you can remain ambivalent about their source, you will not know me nor accept me, and you will not know or accept your Self.” (ACOL, D:Day1.7)

Jesus is here pleading with us to believe that he is the source of these words. But not the individual who lived 2,000 years ago; he wants us not to think of him in those terms now. He wants us to realize that the Self of union, the Self of whom we are a part, is the same Self whom he shares. All of us share this Self; it is just that some don’t yet recognize this. He is asking for an intimate relationship with us. “Accepting” Jesus is becoming aware of his personal interest in us and our development. He urges us to put aside our doubts, and to contemplate that a relationship with him, a part of the same Self whom we share, can offer great benefits in our progress toward reunion with God.

Many can accept the words of wisdom in A Course of Love without fully believing that Jesus could channel to a woman on earth. The words of wisdom are very keen. But here Jesus is saying that we will derive much more benefit if we can put aside our questions, and just conclude that it is really he who is offering us these words of wisdom.

Just open our minds a crack and consider that the quotation is right on beam, that we are hearing from a man who does not occupy body, but who cares about each of us. How he can reach so many individuals is something that we don’t really know, but there are mysteries on heaven and earth of many types that we cannot understand with finite minds. Science has not proceeded that far. Elsewhere Jesus says that the change that our minds and hearts will undergo would be discernible to scientists if they knew what to look for. I think of his insistence that these words are really his along the same lines. We don’t know how he can be present for each of us who calls out, but he has promised that he will be.

Let doubts fall away, and allow a glimmer of faith, a mustard seed of faith, to envelop us. We will not be sorry that we dropped our doubts and entertained a magnificent truth.

Dear God,

Thank You that I am able to consider things that I cannot prove. The proof will come later. And now the proof is in the result. And I am living much better than before A Course of Love entered my life. This is the rock-bottom truth. And it is a truth that is true for many readers of ACOL.

Be with me so that I am compassionate with the people who are a part of my life. May the day go smoothly, the night blestful.

Amen.

ENTERING A DIALOGUE—WITH JESUS

Note: Just published in the Embrace (e-newsletter by Glenn Hovemann and Take Heart Publications) and accepted for publication by Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy) and The Miracle Worker (Dan Strodt).

by Celia Hales

Jesus will be with us when we ask for him. But although he makes this point in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, for many years I didn’t take him literally. In ACIM, he says that he will come upon “a single unequivocal call.” (T-4.III.7) In ACOL, the Addendum, he goes even further, saying, “Beyond the coursework of the Treatises lies direct relationship—direct relationship with me.” (A.35) Jesus continues: “Listen and you will hear”:

Now is the time to truly begin to ‘hear’ my voice in every aspect of creation and to respond with your own voice in all of your own acts of creation. It is time to realize that you are a creator. (A.38)

I have now taken Jesus at his word. I have been dialoguing for some time now in something that feels real. I hasten to add that I don’t hear interior words, as Helen (ACIM) and Mari (ACOL) did; but I do sense a rightness or wrongness as I seek to use my imagination to write what I would like to believe is advice and support from Jesus. And this time of dialoguing is certainly (as Jesus says), “a time of great intimacy.” (A.39)

What does “entering the dialogue,” with great intimacy really mean? Listen again to what Jesus says:

Entering the dialogue is akin to residing in the present moment and to hearing all that is being spoken in all the ways it is being spoken. Now is the time to truly begin to ‘hear’ my voice in every aspect of creation and to respond with your own voice in all of your own acts of creation. It is time to realize that you are a creator. (A.38)

Powerful words. How do I try to heed them?

For several years, I have followed the practice of writing “morning pages,” in line with a recommendation made by Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) for three handwritten pages of anything and everything, first thing in the morning. Such writing clears the mind and heart for the day ahead. Julia also recommends writing dialogues with an unseen Guidance, and she declares that we will get real answers. She challenges us to try it.

I also have a close friend in my small city who underwent a transformation over 30 years ago. She didn’t know what had happened to her, and spent much time sorting out her new intuitions (though it is clear, at least to me, that she received Christ-consciousness). My friend counsels writing a dialogue with what she calls one’s “Inner Wisdom.” She herself has received some startling insights through this method.

All of this has been on my mind and heart.

A couple of years ago, I decided to make my morning pages a dialogue with God. In the beginning I was still imagining God as somehow separate from myself, a God I prayed to and received answers from. (I do still believe that there is a Godhead who listens, though this somewhat contradicts both ACIM and ACOL). So in my imagination I dialogued with God for a while.

Then I decided to try writing to my Self—when I realized that the Self is a part of God, the part deep within who is living life through me.

Finally, a year or so ago, I decided to simply take Jesus at his word and try dialoguing with him.

It works.

How does it work?

We might imagine that Jesus is not really personal with us, that because the Self is the All, and he and we are “one Self,” that in some mystical way he is just leading us to believe, though in a loving way, that he is communicating with us.

I don’t buy it. He says that he is inviting us to a direct relationship, and I think he means it. To my mind, this might mean that as a much-advanced being, Jesus is able to clone himself innumerable times, to be with all those who call. Of course, he doesn’t use terminology like this in A Course of Love.

I don’t know the answer to how Jesus can have a direct relationship with each of us. Maybe nobody in this world does. Yet I trust Jesus’s words. When he says that he is with each of us, I believe that he is telling the truth.

I repeat: I don’t “hear” anything. I do get a sense of what is coming through, or about to come through, as I write. What I might even call a knowing. I write for 45 minutes before breakfast, on my laptop computer, for ease of writing, for I have found writing morning pages by hand to be stress-producing.

Often I “hear” from Jesus, “I love you.” And I type the same to him, in my imagined inner dialogue. Am I just making up this communication? Is it a flight of imaginative fancy? No—although it is clear to me that I am using my “imagination” to decide what I believe Jesus is trying to tell me in the early morning. Joan of Arc, who heard voices, said that the voices were from her imagination, that “that is how God speaks with us.” I think it is the same for Jesus with me. This in itself is a real step forward, as I have never—never—been able to read the New Testament without arguing with Jesus in my mind.

I ask for solace and comfort a lot, and I do seem to get it. I need solace and comfort especially in the mornings because I am not a morning person.

Remember, Jesus says, “Listen and you will hear.” (A.38)

I have found listening and hearing to be in an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus. Just as he says in ACOL, in words clear as a bell, inviting us to believe him.

Although this personal relationship may sound like traditional Christianity, there is a difference. We don’t look up to Jesus in awe, for only God deserves awe, as has been made clear in both ACIM and ACOL. With Jesus, we are being accepted as equal partners to him as we move farther along our pathway home.

I think it not too far-fetched that, when I ask, he is right here guiding my typing. Of course, I can still imagine inaccurately. But when my mind and heart are right, in unity, I hope that mistakes will fall away. I especially don’t want to mislead anybody else, either about any guidance I might receive or anything that I might write for others. If something doesn’t sound right, then a reader should turn to her own guidance. As Jesus says, “the only correct interpretation is that which comes from each reader’s own internal guidance system.” (A.15)
Jesus also says, “Bring your voice to this continuing dialogue.” (A.49)

Jesus asks all of us to enter the dialogue.

May we respond in our own way, in our own time–but sooner, rather than later, for Jesus needs us to create a new world.

Accept Jesus

“Acceptance of me is acceptance of your Self. Acceptance of me is acceptance of your inheritance. This is nothing new to those of you of the Christian faith. To others it will seem an acceptance beyond your ability, an acceptance that there is no real cause to request. Why must Jesus be accepted? Why cannot the truth be accepted? Why cannot everyone hold their distinct beliefs as long as they are beliefs in the truth?” (ACOL, D:Day1.1)

The chapter that we taking a look at today is one of the most difficult concepts to understand correctly. Jesus is asking us to “accept him,” in much the same way that evangelical Christians ask that Jesus be accepted as one’s personal savior.

What does this really mean for us in studying A Course of Love?

We have been listening to Jesus’s words in ACOL. We have chosen him as our leader in the way back home, the way back to God. He says in this chapter that he does not care in what other gods we believe in, and he says elsewhere that other religions may be accepted. But—for us—those who are listening to what he says in A Course of Love, we do need to accept that he is the spokesperson, and we do need to accept that it is he who is leading us down the pathway that we are on. When we form a relationship to him, we accept him. And that is all that he is asking of us.

Other religions are valid. Others may find a way to enlightenment without Jesus. But for us, the way is clear. We have chosen him. And he asks us, similarly, to accept him.

This is not difficult, if we have followed Jesus’s words throughout ACOL. He is not a zealot; he knows that there are other religions. He asks us to listen to his words, to accept the way that he has pointed out, and this means, in other words, that we do “accept” him.

We need a big outlook about this mandatory statement from Jesus. We need not get caught up in rejecting him now, as it seems that he is asking something that we would disagree with. We, none of us, will disagree that we who have been reading A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have looked to Jesus for the answers. What he asks now is simply to acknowledge that fact, that truth.

The way is not so long now. We have a good leader.

Dear God,

May my words today be accepted even as I accept Jesus. May I know that there could have been another choice, but I chose him—in the past, present, and if I choose, for the future also.

May my words today fall on sympathetic ears.

Thank You.

Amen.

As Within, So Without

“This is why you have been told the time of parables, or stories, has ended. This is why you have been told: “As within, so without.” This is why you have been taken to the top of the mountain without leaving home. You have taken the inward course, the inward journey, the only journey that is real in the only way that is real.

“We will spend forty days and forty nights here together, at the top of the mountain, fasting from want, becoming aware of desire, responding to desire. This is the final stage of becoming. Herein lies the secret of succession.” (ACOL, D:17.25 – 17.26)

This quotation from Jesus is the introduction to a very important part of the Dialogues of A Course of Love—the Forty Days and Forty Nights. Jesus is asking us to spend forty days and forty nights with him on a metaphorical mountaintop, but the mountain has come to us, and we will not drop out of our work nor our lives. We will stay put, but we will discover so very much.

Most of that time, we will still be “becoming.” Jesus hopes that at the end of this period of time, we will be in Christ-consciousness, to sustain it, though he does not deny us the journey many times if we don’t make it the first. And most of us don’t make it right away, something that can seem very frustrating to us.

Hold frustration. God knows best. If we have not reached Christ-consciousness, with God reaching down (metaphorically) and lifting us up, please know that there is a reason. It doesn’t mean that we have failed. It simply means that the time has not yet come, that in some way we are not ready. Be patient with God and patient with ourselves. The glorious Answer will come in its own time, at the right time.

Jesus knows that many of us would wish to be on a retreat from life while we take the mountaintop journey with him. But this staying in our life as it is, is not a second-choice decision. It is actually best, because we are discovering how to live on different levels at once. And we will live on different levels in the future, sometimes aware of our Self of union, sometimes retreating to our inner Christ-Self without being aware of unity. Sometimes not even being aware of the merger of heart and mind. We still have much to discover. And earth is the place on which we discover it.

We have only 41 days left in our journey through A Course of Love. We have learned, and then discovered, much, we hope. We hope that sooner rather than later, we will come into our own, the blessed state of Christ-consciousness, which, once reached, will not seem so very different from our normal living. The reason for this is that we have been prepared. Jesus has prepared us.

And for that we thank him.

Dear God,

I ask for a healing of myself today. A healing of anxieties, of uncertainties, of miseries. The day seems long when there is much to do in it. Help me to turn the day over to You, to be in Your flow.

And I know it will be done as You say.

Amen.

Reverence for God

“Desire asks for a response. From where is this response sought? You now must understand the fullness of the well of your heart, the interre¬lationship of desire and fulfillment. The interrelationship of desire and fulfillment is what occurs at the threshold. Beyond the threshold is the state in which desire has passed and been replaced by reverence. To revere is to feel awe, which, it has been stated, is due nothing and no one but God. To move beyond desire to reverence is to move into the state of communion with God, full oneness with God, wholeness.” (ACOL, D:17.19)

This is the final result of communing with God—the final emotion that Jesus relays to us: reverence in God’s Presence. Jesus’s use of the word “reverence” in this context reminds me of Albert Schweitzer’s credo: reverence for life. And is not another word for God really just Life (with a capital “L”). When we get quiet, go within, and reach to the farthest depth that we can muster, we are reaching toward God, Who is found in our depths. In my experience, though, to go this deep, we have to be quiet and peaceful, in harmony and also in joy, and then the secrets of the universe open up to us. There is nothing hid when we are in deep communion, nothing that we can’t mystically comprehend. Few of us ever each this level, though, but the attempt can reap great benefits.

When we feel reverence for God, we are in awe, something that Jesus says is due nothing and nobody except God. When we wish to feel wholeness, we need to try to go deeply into our mind and heart—to the center of our being. What we see there may surprise us, and it may change us. Indeed, we may never be the same again, but in a good way. Communion with God gives the best moment that this life affords us, and so we do well when we try, for trying is all that is asked of us.

We can use our desire for God to go deeply within to find this Spirit. Our desire will give us much in this lifetime, and when that desire is molded to an intense, fever pitch, for the Almighty, we may find God when we least expect it. It only takes a moment to have a mystical experience of God.

I dare us to have such a moment now.

Dear God,

Be with me as I seek for You. I know that You won’t let me down, even if now is not the right time for You to come through in a mystical moment. I will wait for another good moment, sure that eventually You will feel ready to fill me with Your bountiful love. May I revere You, and hold You in awe—unlike any feeling that I hold for anyone else.

I long for Your Love to enfold me now. I long to sense Your Presence. You fill me with warmth often, and for this I am very grateful. I ask for Your warmth now.

Thank You.

Amen.

Is the Self of Union, God Himself?

“That response is wholehearted desire, which is the power that A Course of Love came to return to you. You were told within this Course that whole¬hearted desire for union would return union to you and return you to your Self. This is the moment of realization of that accomplishment. But your desire has not left you. Your desire is stronger than ever before.

“What is different now is that your wholeheartedness, as well as your desire, has moved beyond the pattern of thought.” (ACOL, D:17.12 – 17.13)

The Self of union is, I think, really God Himself. Jesus has focused on the Self in the Dialogues of A Course of Love because he wants to impress on us that we are really part of God, that God Himself is living through in every minute of every day.

Many of us, myself included, have called out to Jesus to help us, to come in response to “a single, unequivocal call.” And I think he will come. But Jesus needs to transfer our dependence from him as a person who lived 2,000 years ago to something larger. He doesn’t want us, he says in ACOL, to continue to think of him as an historical figure. He is part of our larger Self, part of God as we are. And he needs to transfer our dependence onto the Self of union, the Self that is One with God.

Norman Vincent Peale did the same with frantic individuals who called him often on the phone. He realized that they were looking to him as a father figure (in many cases), and he needed to transfer their dependence onto God the Father. He eased his listeners into just that assurance of God the Father’s abiding love for them. And miracles occurred.

Wholehearted desire for union will return union to us, provided we have met the stipulations of no judgment and no fear. Then we are in Christ-consciousness, when that union has been returned to us. And we are ready to help create a new world.

Prayer

My desires are many today. I seem to be going in many directions at once. Make me one-pointed, dear God. Help me to slow down and do things in flow, in Your flow. Help me to know Your certainty of what to do next, what to say next. I need Your certainty today and every day.

It is with wholehearted desire, as best I can imagine it, that I long for You. I come with love in my heart. Be with me to give this day all that You would wish it to be for me. Be with me always.

Amen.