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.
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.