Exciting Paths

“The distinctness of your own path will be made visible and you will see that it may be quite different from the others with whom you are coming to know, and perhaps quite different than you thought it would be. You will be shown that you can enter the dialogue with all and still focus, or place your attention, on areas that might not interest others in the slightest.” (ACOL, D:Day15.26)

This very reassuring passage gives us a clear view of what lies ahead for us: an easily seen path that may diverge from the paths we have taken in the past. Not only may it be different from paths that we have taken in the past, but our new path may differ from the paths of our friends. One thing is certain: We will have a certainty that this new path is the right and true path for ourselves. This assurance comes with the territory of living wholeheartedly, i.e., with a combined mind and heart.

Today’s passage is actually exciting news. Don’t all of us want to think that the path laid out for us is something good? That it is something unique to ourselves? That it will take us home to God? Of course, of course. And we have this time acquired a way to know all of this, for A Course of Love (and A Course in Miracles) have given us the bottom line authority for our life planning. We know that we will succeed when we persevere in the way that is being shown to us. We know that God is good, and that He lives life through us. Our path is, according to ACIM, a recapitulation of past times. It is like a carpet that is being rolled up, taking us back in time to the beginning, where we made the detour into fear. The detour that became the ego. Now we are assured that these times are over for us. Our way is much, much better now.

Take a few moments to consider the path that we are on. Ask questions of God, as You perceive Him to be, about our destinies. We will not be kept in the dark. We will be told all that we need to know. This may not be far in the future, though. Just as a car’s headlights illumine only 200 feet ahead, that is all we really need to see, for the 200 feet recede into the distance, taking us anywhere we aim the car. We might be able to handle knowing the whole future. But rest assured, we will be told as much as we are prepared to hear. And we can pray to be prepared to hear ever-greater spans of time. Time, being illusion, does not interfere with God’s knowledge of what is ahead for us.

Let our paths form a straight line back to God. Let our paths be something that excites us. We will not be disappointed. We will be blessed by the path that has been given us.

Dear God,

I ask to see a little of the future. I ask to keep my mind and heart on the beam of Your love. When I am thinking about creating the best future, I have Your Ear. Let me patiently work out my future in prayerful consideration with You.

Amen.

Sharing with Like-Minded Friends

“There is a purpose for this time in which both informing and observing, being informed and being the observed coexist. You must respect the boundaries of those who are still in need of them and not offer more than can be received. This is why practice among those who are ready to be boundary-less and spacious selves is appropriate and acceptable.” (ACOL, D:Day15.22)

At this point in A Course of Love, we are encouraged to seek out like-minded people for discussion. We need our brothers and sisters. Once again we are not encouraged to proselytize; explain what is making the difference in our lives only when asked. But talk freely with others who have progressed as we have, progressed farther along the pathway that all much eventually walk.

As spacious selves, we are absorbing the emotions of our brothers and sisters, rather than keeping these others at arm’s length. We are One with them, ever eager to share and to be shared with. This is what informing and observing is all about. We are no longer looking for learned wisdom of the past; we are immersed in the Now, the present, the time when everything, for us, is changing.

Of course, not all of us have like-minded friends. We can seek out a discussion group if such is available, but what do we do when it is not? Many people nowadays are seekers, and it may be that we can share with those who seek but have not yet found either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love. I have a friend who believes many of the same things that I do, but her reading has been entirely different, her pathway a different one. Yet when we are dealing with perennial knowledge, we find many accounts that are similar. It is very likely that we have in our acquaintance someone(s) who shares a knowledge of esoteric things, but who has been reluctant to talk about their reading. If we intuit this, we can open the conversation. And that is all that it really takes.

Dear God,

Thank you for the friends that I have gathered who do know A Course of Love. And thank you for the friends I have gathered who do not, but who have similar seeking patterns. Our common ground is not hard to find.

Be with me on this day, to make it a great day. There is much that can be done on any one day; help me to find my duties for today.

Amen.

New Being / New Identity

“This is a very “individual” stage in the creative process. “Group think” does not replace the consciousness of the One Self with the “one group self.” This is not a time of being judged or of adopting the beliefs of others but one of finally conquering judgment with neutrality or acceptance. Allowing others to accept you as you are is a gift that releases them from judgment and any notion that may have remained within them that Christ-conscious¬ness is a form of “group think.” Never will you feel more like an individual than when you are made known through the informing of spirit!” (ACOL, D:Day15.16)

“Being who you are” is a primary theme of A Course of Love. As we think of sharing with our brothers and sisters in the One Self, we might imagine that they will influence us more than will be the case. Jesus concludes this passage with the telling sentence, “Never will you feel more like an individual than when you are made known through the informing of spirit!” This means that others will not influence us to too great a degree. We retain our individuality.

The “informing of spirit” is a concept that cries out for explanation. The spirit is the One Self, the One Self Who is God Himself, and from Whom we will draw when we are living in Christ-consciousness. The spirit will influence us, of course, and we will be glad of it. We will not try to go it alone any longer; this independence, this autonomy, separate and apart, was an egoic concept best left behind. We will reach deep within and without to find this Self Who is now available to us. We will actively seek His counsel, and we will not be disappointed. Counsel will come. Indeed, our personal choices will end, for we are no longer separate and apart from the Whole. And this Whole will give us a satisfaction in life that has heretofore been veiled from us.

Even though we may join with others to a greater degree, any form of “group think” is literally unthinkable. We are not merging our personal selves with our brothers and sisters. Sure, we are sharing as never before, but this is a circumstance fraught with our free will. We will want to share.

God’s spirit will encompass us and give us peace. This is not so different from what we have known in our better moments of contemplation. The God-Self will be emanate. The God-Self will save us from ourselves when we are about to stumble and fall. We will survive better than ever before; indeed, this new way of being will be the first true living that we have ever known or ever done.

Dear God,

Come close to me now; let me feel You. Let me sense Your Presence in my life. Don’t let me wander astray; don’t let my footsteps veer from the path to You.

You are always with me, and for this I am eternally grateful. True, I am not always conscious of Your Presence, but I aim to be. And maybe, just maybe, that is enough.

Amen.

The Light Shines

“While there is division remaining between the self and the spacious Self, the self and the creative force, you remain in the state of maintenance rather than sustenance of Christ-consciousness. This is an acceptable state for this time of limited practice with those with whom you are engaged in this specific mountain top dialogue. It is not an acceptable state for full-scale interaction with the world.” (ACOL, D:Day15.11)

There are at least two steps in Christ-consciousness, and maybe actually three. Most of us at first glimpse Christ-consciousness for varying periods of time. These are times when we feel especially harmonious and mellow, at peace with all the world and everybody in it. The next step (explained in the passage above) is a period of time in which the personal self and the Self are at odds, not truly One. This is a time of maintenance of Christ-consciousness; we have reached Christ-consciousness, but we are not fully merged with the Self, the One, God Himself. The next step, where Jesus would have us go, is for sustainability of Christ-consciousness. This means that the little, personal self is fully One with God, the Self, fully complete and harmonious just about all the time.

This trajectory can be altered in different people. Some do immediately encounter Christ-consciousness and know not what they have encountered, sometimes searching for years for answers. They know that they have changed, and changed mightily, but they cannot articulate what that change is. Nobody else they know may have ever had such a transformation, and so they are befuddled.

The way of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is gentle. These works do not hurl us into reality, true reality, which is Christ-consciousness itself. We are given a slowly evolving passage to something grander. We do not cry out in terror when the light begins to shine. We thank God for this change; it does not scare us.

This is what we all want. And it will be given all of us, but God makes the decision, and His timetable is not ours. So we can and must wait patiently for the blessing to descend upon us, the blessing of Christ-consciousness.

There are things we can do to hasten the appearance of Christ-consciousness. Reading Jesus’s channeled works is a prerequisite for this gentle crossing over. Without them, we might spend years in tedious contemplation/meditation, and Jesus specifically says in ACIM that this is not necessary. We can find our way home, gently and easily. This would, in and of itself, be a good prayer for us today.

Dear God,

I ask that my fears leave me, and my judgments, too, so that I might provide fertile ground for Your Christ-consciousness to find a home in me. I would cease planning, unless prompted by you. I would cease attack and anger. There IS much that I can do to hasten Christ-consciousness.

May this transformation come to me at the first sign of Your willingness. Thank You.

Amen.

God in Us

“It has been in the relationship of observation that you have interacted with all other life forms as well as with inanimate forms. In the relation¬ship generated by observation, those forms have been perceived as real. That observation produced the solidity and mass of the forms you observed. Yet it is the spirit that animates form that is real. Informing could be understood as making the spirit known in the form of physicality. It is not simply the bringing of spirit into form but the making known of spirit in form. What you made known through judgment-free observation was but the precursor to what is made known through informing.” (ACOL, D:Day15.6)

If we want to interact well with our brothers and sisters, and the larger world, we need to let the spirit who animates us take precedence. And this spirit is God Himself. He lives through us, animating and enlivening us. He always means us well. He acts when we, our little personal selves, don’t feel up to acting, when we are downhearted and depressed. God can dispel this ennui, and He does do so.

We are made known through our spirit, and this spirit informs us of what we need to know. This spirit is the Self, the All, the Whole, the One—God Himself. We are made known through physicality, in this world. And we discover much in this world that will give us joy and lift our burdens. God always stands ready to help, to assist us to come into our own.

Don’t let a gray day take away our good sense. We know that God wants us happy, and would we not give Him a good day—for as He lives through us, He experiences. This is a point that is often overlooked in A Course of Love. The Almighty has a stake in how we live our lives, for His is an indwelling Spirit Who sees and knows all.

We observe the outer world and the inner. And then we are in-formed by the Spirit of God Himself. This is the new way, no longer learning in the old fashion. If we open ourselves to God, we will experience the best that life has to offer. If we keep anxieties at bay, we will live better. And God Himself will thank us, for as we live, so does He.

Dear God,

I would give You a good day, and this means that I lean on You for comfort and solace always. I don’t get keyed up with anxieties, because I trust in You. And the day that You live through me becomes glorious indeed.

Be with me for a good experience. And in the “being,” give Your Self a good day as well. This I ask in Your will.

Amen.

Balm for a Troubled Bosom

“The spirit that animated all things is the spirit that is in all things and that is the great informer. As you are more fully able to maintain Christ-con¬sciousness you begin the movement away from being observed to being in-formed by the spirit which animates all things. You begin the movement away from observing to informing.” (ACOL, D:Day15.3)

During our time of reading A Course of Love, we have traveled through learning, to observing, now to in-forming.

This may not be clear.

Jesus taught us much through our older methods of learning, but there came the time when he said that we needed to give up turning to him as our teacher; indeed, he resigned as our teacher and became our partner, our companion, our fellow worker on this earth.

At this point Jesus counseled observation as a way to discover—note the change in terminology to “discover,” rather than “learn”—what we need to know.

And the final step, once we have experienced Christ-consciousness, is an in-forming of the mind and heart from the Self Who is the All, God Himself. Our heart, first, informs our mind, and then we live in what Jesus terms “wholeheartedness”—mind and heart joined to take us beyond our Christ-Self, from within us, to the Self—God—Who drives the universe(s).

Our spirit is the great animator. It is a peaceful part of us, a part that knows God, and knows His purposes, and rests in this knowledge. It is never strident nor harsh.

As we live in wholeheartedness, living out the “in-forming,” we will find much to invite joy in our daily lives. We will no longer be overwhelmed with the problems of everyday living, for we will know, in the depths of our being, that God is here, always and forever, animating us. His Spirit—our spirit—does this. And we are the better for it.

So: Move from learning to observation to in-forming from the Self Who is overarching all—God, the One, the All. Let His messages come through to us, through our spirit.

And never fret but that the needed Answer will come.

Dear God,

I know, today, from personal experience that You draw nigh when called. Even though I also know that I am a part of You, I am not always as aware of this truth as I need to be. But today, right now, I do know, and I thank You that this is so.

Tarry with me a while. Let me feel Your soothing balm steal over me, comforting my troubled bosom. Let Your ways become my ways. Let the egoic self stay in the past, taken over entirely by Your Head and Your Heart.

Amen.

Our Hearts Will Blossom

“You must now own this dialogue—own it as you own the power that is yours. This one voice of the many will continue to point the way for only a short time longer. Thus the voice of the many must be heard as the voice of the one. You are not on this mountain top alone! Can you not hear your own voice? Can you not hear the voices of the many who join us here?” (ACOL, D:Day14.13)

Jesus has resigned as our teacher, choosing instead to be our partner and companion in a dialogue that will apprise us of what to do with our lives. He is not abandoning us—quite the contrary. But he asks us to “own” the dialogue, in that we recognize that we are full partners in the discernment of what to know and what to do. We will listen to our brothers and sisters who are on the mountaintop with us. We will give full attention to what they think, and we will be influenced by their thinking and their decisions. We are in a shared and a sharing relationship with others, and it behooves us to respect what they dialogue about. At the same time, we are our own boss. We give up making choices, as we listen to a Guidance that is beyond us, and, paradoxically, this returns us to ourselves. We were never meant to make our decisions in isolation.

Our own voice ought not to be louder than that of others. And Jesus’s, even, should not be louder, in the dialogue, than ours or the voices of our brothers and sisters. A dialogue is respectful, a sharing is just that—sharing in unity and relationship that draws on the knowledge that God Himself imparts to us. We are well-served when we remember, in humility, how very wrong we have been when we have made decisions about our future course in isolation from our fellow beings and from God. We would not return to that wrongness. We would open ourselves to the best and truest guidance available, the guidance from the Self Who is God in relationship to everything and everybody. Our little dot of the body, on the space of white—of everything—is the Self Whom we ought to consult now. Our minds will attract answers that have eluded us until now. Our hearts will blossom in love that has no end.

The future is indeed bright, when we stay true to what Jesus has told us in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. We have walked the pathway now, and only God’s decision will allow Christ-consciousness to descend upon our heads.

Dear God,

The way seems clear to me just now. I am constantly amazed at how quickly you answer a prayer when, in humility, I simply and thoroughly articulate my need. I must speak in clarity to You; You ask this of me. The way becomes illumined by Your brilliance.

Be with me this day to guide my thoughts and actions. Be with me this day to keep my heart warm toward my brothers and sisters, and, especially toward You, Who are sustaining my being.

Thank You for showing me the way, this day and always.

Amen.

When We Trust, We Sing

“All, all you are doing here is accepting your relationship to the unex¬plainable. Acceptance is the creator of invisibility, the creator of the spacious Self. God has been described as the “all knowing” for God is the relationship. Relationship is the known. The unknown, like the unexplainable, becomes known through the relationship of acceptance.” (ACOL, D:Day14.11)

We need to accept where we are in life, a Self, indeed a Christ-Self newly come out to play. Our little, personal, and egoic self kept the true Self under wraps for so long and for so deeply in our psyche that we didn’t know the Christ-Self even existed.

We know it now. We know the Christ-Self exists. And this Self, newly taught by the tenets of A Course of Love, is drawing on a larger Self Who is indeed God in relationship to the All. It is that relationship of everything to everything that allows even God Himself to know Himself. This theological constraint may not be easily understood, but Jesus has tried his best. All is like nothing when there is only a Whole; it is the discrete parts that allow one part to know another, and these discrete parts are in relationship one to the other.

There is much we don’t know about the cosmos, even much we do not know about ourselves and our place in the cosmos. We have to trust, which is another way of saying “accept.” And Jesus is very big on acceptance.

We accept with our minds as well as our hearts. We don’t check our intellect at the door. If something seems awry, perhaps we are accepting awry, some remnant of the ego, some fear, some worry. The things that Jesus would have us accept are golden in nature, golden and pure.

His way is best. Give it a try.

Prayer

Dear God,

I am much impressed with You today. My long-time faith in a God I couldn’t know is being replaced with a God Whom I can know intimately. And well. And this changes everything.

Walk with me today so that I discover a little more of you. I am confident that that little more will take me singing through this day.

Amen.

UNITY & RELATIONSHIP IN ACOL: The Future

by Celia Hales

“We could only share in unity and relationship through a seeming separation from the oneness in which we exist. This is the great paradox that unites the world of form and the world of spirit, the world of separation with the world of union, even while it does not unite the world of illusion with the world of truth. Sharing in unity and relationship is the way and the means to see past the world of illusion to the truth of the union of form and spirit, separate selves and the One Self.” (A Course of Love, Dialogues, Day11.2)

This quotation is part of the theology of A Course of Love, part of the reason that we understand that we are One, yet distinct from each other as diverse individuations that experience relationship one with the other.

We do not have to remain in a state of illusion, but can walk into true reality, according to A Course of Love. This assertion recommends, by implication, that we cease lamenting our limitations and instead move beyond them. We move beyond in unity and relationship, the two halves of the fact that we—diverse individuals—are actually One—part of the God Who is Everything. Thus we have a form of pantheism in this assertion, but not an assertion of little, individual, self-contained gods in everything, all the physical world, but a God that is immanent in and through His creation. And as we have seen, He wants us to create with Him. Co-creators of our future and the future of the world.

What more could we ask? We move ahead in Love to experience the best that is out there awaiting us. We are called to create a new heaven and a new earth. In so doing, we become who we are—individuated parts of the Godhead, the One—in physical form, the elevated Self of form, joining with our brothers and sisters in holy relationships. We live in Love, we live in joy. We forsake pain and suffering as we co-create our future into a world without limits.

This we can do. This we must do. The world would do it, if it knew that it were possible.

It is our place to show the world that life in Love is not only possible, but eminently desirable. Ordinary people, living ordinary lives, will effect the transformation that lives ahead.

Let us begin. We have no greater task among those that which lie before us.

UNITY & RELATIONSHIP IN ACOL: The Heart Knows

by Celia Hales

A Course of Love wants our mind to be deemphasized, in the beginning, so that we might let the heart out a bit. Our heart needs to feel its way in our outer existence. Ultimately mind and heart will be reconciled one to the other into a state that A Course of Love calls “wholeheartedness.” We find that the heart can’t function, finally, without the mind, and so we meld the two. This is as it should be.

We are not separate beings, separate either from God or from other people. As we progress in the spiritual life, we realize that we don’t want to be independent creatures any longer, creatures trying to do it all ourselves, trying (in vain) to be isolated and alone.

Give up this notion! Our hearts will tell us that this is a false conception. We grew to maturity believing that we had to stand on our own two feet to be a responsible adult, that when we use our own judgment to make decisions, we were heading down the right pathway.

What a wrongheaded notion! We live best when we live intuitively, in communion with the All, with God as we conceive Him to be. And our hearts agree. Our hearts know that we don’t do well when we try to be alone. And the attempt to be on our own is the major reason that we have put so much reliance, previously and falsely, on special relationships, relationships to ensure our survival and our thriving in this problematic world.

UNITY & RELATIONSHIP IN ACOL: Introduction

by Celia Hales

Yes, we all are One. We, as individuals in relationship one to the other, are diverse manifestations of the One—God—the All. We don’t often feel this way, for we are not used to thinking in an all-encompassing manner. But we are both differentiated into parts and part of the Whole. And when we are differentiated, we know ourselves best when we love deeply the others in this world, yet still are conscious of the One.

A recently published three-in-one volume entitled A Course of Love has a major theme of “unity and relationship,” concepts which I have dovetailed in the paragraph above. We know unity, or union, with the Divine, and in that union we experience the bliss of life that knows no end, the life lived in eternity, not time. We could not understand the One, could not even intuit it, without the individuation of the One into the many. Oneness can’t know itself, if all that it is, is One. These mystical ideas give us insight into the importance of our relationships to bring us closer to God. The knowledge of the One can only come intuitively, in a mystical sense, because we are not omniscient. But the Whole is contained in each part, each individual aspect of God.

“Unity always existed. Oneness always existed. God always existed. But you separated yourself from direct awareness of your relationship with unity, with oneness, and with God, just as you separated yourself from relationship with the wholeness of the pattern of creation.” (A Course of Love, Treatise 3:2.22)

Perhaps the concept of a hologram is meaningful. The hologram contains the Whole in each part, and that is the way that we are in regard to God. Of course, we don’t know this, because we are finite creatures. But we can glimpse an awareness that comes to us, briefly at first, and then in a more sustained fashion when we reach Christ-consciousness, or Awakening, or Enlightenment.

“KNOW THYSELF” – BUT WHICH SELF?

by Celia Hales

To “know thyself” has been the great preoccupation of many people for a long time. According to the new Circle of Atonement edition of A Course in Miracles, the maxim was featured in the Roman era, when someone whose name is lost to history inscribed these words in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo. (And there are indications, found elsewhere, that the maxim goes back to Egypt.) Now, in modern era New Age texts, the maxim has been given new meaning, a meaning that we can help us, for the first time, put into practice what it means.

We have puzzled over this saying for generations, because we were looking at the wrong self—an egoic self who befuddled our minds and confused our lives. We have been lost to an ego that made a persona for us that was wrong. We have been lost to materialism, and “getting mine” in a rapacious sense. Now we are coming around to something better.

A Course in Miracles, now a spiritual classic that first became available in 1976, says that a concept of the self is not needed—nor even desirable. Moreover, a concept is “meaningless.” (COA ed. ACIM, T-31.V.7) This is because all concepts are, at base, idols. And when A Course in Miracles was channeled, most of us were lost in the ego, making the attribution of an idol very apt.

Now we have a sequel to ACIM, a book channeled in the same way, by a woman hearing an interior voice whom she knew to be Jesus. (The receiver of ACOL is Mari Perron.) This “continuation” of ACIM (so dubbed in its pages, A.4) is entitled A Course of Love. A Course of Love goes a step beyond the ego, the ego that was largely dismantled by A Course in Miracles. ACOL delves into the self, the very self that “know thyself” means, and this is the Self with a capital “S.”

We can look into these new ideas without trying to form a concept of the self, without trying to form something that is meaningless. We can simply use the ideas to form a new identity—an identity that follows naturally when the ego has been given up as a bad idea. (A new identity, in fact, is what A Course of Love, seek to establish in us.

Our “little” self, with a lower-case “s,” is called the “personal” self in ACOL. This is the self we present to the world, and regardless of where we are on our pathway back to God (for that is where we are heading), we still present this personal self to the world. In the beginning of our journey (the time of A Course in Miracles), it is an egoic self, caught in the ways of this world, lost in illusions of who we are and what we are about. Later on, in A Course of Love, we learn that there is a “Christ-Self” deep within each of us, a Christ-Self who is longing to come out to see the light of day. This Christ-Self will be learning as we walk along our pathway, for, though it is part of God, this Christ-Self is not limitless, as God is. We are and remain finite, but we do, even in the beginning of our journey, get glimpses of where we are heading.

And we are heading to Christ-consciousness (called “Awakening” in A Course in Miracles). This Christ-Self will, in a mystical sense, join with a larger Self as we proceed. A lovely symbol of what we are is given in ACOL. (C:7.6) ACOL describes a “dot” of the body, which the Christ-Self surrounds and embodies. When we follow our guidance, we will look beyond this dot to a larger circle, “white space” still farther out, and this white space is the One, the All, God Himself in His larger dimensions. Thus the inner Christ-Self becomes One with All-That-Is. In this transformation, our heart and mind are joined as well.

Our heart, the center of our self, will know things that our mind could never hope to know. Our heart doesn’t need “proofs” of God’s existence, the way that the mind often hopes to find. The heart just feels warmth when it approaches the numinous. And A Course of Love is very good at encouraging us to sense the warmth of God’s love that undergirds us all.

We appeal to this new Self when we decide to know ourselves (“know thyself”), when we have journeyed long and hard, along rough highways, to the new entity being born. ACOL says that we are living in the time of Christ, the new time that follows the time of the Holy Spirit. And in this new time, we are merged with God and have a direct link to Him. This link is the Self, the Self of the united mind and heart, the larger Self whom we access that is beyond the body, but yet a part of it. This Self, in fact, is called the “elevated Self of form,” and it is our new being in a world that we will newly change, or that we will create. (Some of us will change the world, and some—maybe many more—will create a new world.)

We have long thought that we could come into our own only when we die. We thought that to meet God face-to-face would mean that we were on the Other Side, having crossed the threshold of death.

Not so, says the newest spiritual words as channeled in A Course of Love. We can know God (and “know” is the operative word here) while in this world. We are invited into a direct relationship with Him, for we are no longer fearful of talking with God. Previously, when we were enthralled by the ego, we feared God in a very real sense. So the Holy Spirit was given us as a less-fearful alternative, an intermediary.

There is no reason that being in this world in physicality, physical bodies, has to mean separation from God. We entertained a “tiny, mad idea” (FIP ed., ACIM,T-27.VIIII.6) so long ago, and this led us to believe that we could make a world, indeed a universe, that we would like better than what God had provided for us. How wrong we were! And now we know how wrong we were, and we seek restitution. We thought we “fell” from grace, and indeed we did try to go it alone, without God’s help. But we never actually separated from Him; we could not do so and live, for we are a part of Him. Now He is calling us to return to His fold, just as the prodigal son returned to his father. (This, in fact, is the archetype for our experience here on earth.)

This return will involve a heightened awareness of reality, the kind of heightened awareness that will finally give us a happy existence. In the normal course of events, at first we will get glimpses of this new awareness, Christ-consciousness, but these glimpses are just that—glimpses–and will not last. Then we find that the glimpses lengthen, and so we are experiencing real vision for the first time. After this, we maintain Christ-consciousness for a while, trying with all our might not to let it slip away (for if it does, we will form a new ego). Maintenance of Christ-consciousness, though, is an in between state that does not last. Finally, we sustain Christ-consciousness. And with our new awareness, we move to change and/or create a new world. (and the channeler is very keen to have us “create” a new world).

All of this enlightenment process does not happen suddenly, in most cases. Of course, sometimes there is a quick descent of Christ-consciousness or Awakening, and the person affected may be very confused about what has, in fact, happened. But the pathway, as outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, is usually gentle, and time keeps pace with us. We do not return to reality with the “sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear.” (FIP ed., ACIM,T-17VII.13) We are, indeed, gently slipping into eternity when we are living as Christ-conscious beings. Time is and has always been simply a measure, a way, of spreading out reality so that we can experience it in a measured way.

So the larger Self guides our journey from now on. In union with the All, the One, our God. And this is the Self whom we truly need to know in the maxim, “Know thyself.”

We no longer turn to outside authorities to point out the way for us. We understand that learned authorities of the past are just that—past. Many of them say the same things, and these things are often no longer relevant to our lives. So we turn to inner contemplation and meditation, prayer and the miracle, to guide us surely.

“Know thyself” has become an integral part of who we are, for we are no longer looking out on the world with egoic eyes, no longer seeking for aggrandizement in a misguided world. We are knowing the true Self in true reality. We are reaching both within and outside the dot of the body to a Self Who is one with God.

We have come home.

WOULD YOU PREFER THAT YOU BE RIGHT OR HAPPY?

by Celia Hales

The New Age is bright with promise about the choice for happiness as a way of life and certainly an ethical goal. The spiritual classic, A Course in Miracles, and its sequel, A Course of Love, both espouse a way of being that offers full happiness to those who are ready for it.

This does not include those who look, in the way of the Law of Attraction, to material satisfaction. The material doesn’t satisfy long, but being and doing, with a view toward living in true reality, are indeed satisfying.

The title of this short piece comes from A Course in Miracles. (T-29.VII.1) It is an often quoted. But we do not have to look to the New Age for proof of the edification of happy living as a way of walking the path back to God.

Jesus says the same in the New Testament:

“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)

We have been asleep, and only dreaming a dream of reality. ACIM and ACOL, affirming the new world that we are creating, affirm this; and the Bible could be so read. ACIM says:

“Yet the Bible says that a deep sleep fell upon Adam, and nowhere is there reference to his waking up.” (T-2.I.3)

ACOL says:

“Love alone has the power to turn this dream of death into a waking awareness of life eternal.” (C:4.7)

And the New Testament says:

“Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.” (Luke 8:52)

Who among us does not want a miracle in our everyday lives—tedious, tense, and tortuous the pathway back to God often seems to be? We need only awaken from our tortured dream, and happiness could be ours. A happiness that is fully promised and recommended as an ethical choice by New Age texts and the Bible.

ARE YOU WEARY WITH DOING ALL THE TIME?

by Celia Hales

In order that people be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it. – John Ruskin

Those of us on the spiritual pathway often wear ourselves out with good works. Not always, but often enough that it becomes a problem.

Maybe, just maybe, our work isn’t all about this doing, but simply a work of “being.”

And wouldn’t that be grand?

Would we be idle, then? No! Not in the least.

A New Age text counsels that the New Age will see our “being” more so than our “doing.” And there are forerunners for this “being” living right now. YOU may be one of them. A Course of Love, the text, suggests that you, yourself, might be better suited in current times to spending more time in reflection and in focusing on meaningful relationships. We will become that which we focus upon. And in the being do we actually makes changes in our world—the new world we are creating—sooner rather than later.

Sarah Ban Breathnach writes that human beings are divided into two subspecies, the resigned, who live in quiet desperation, and the exhausted, who exist in restless agitation. Maybe we wouldn’t have to despair or exist restlessly if we took enough time to simply be. A Course of Love says that “being” prompts great interaction, facilitating knowing through relationship. Those who focus on being will actually “do” much that is greatly desired in the world but what they do will be a byproduct of their way of being.

All are called to “become” in this new world we hope to create, but not all need to focus so much on the treadmill way of doing. Just as the old adage says, we need to stop and smell the roses, and this requires, first of all, noticing that the roses are there.

When we see roses, we see a harbinger of a wonderful new world. Our answer lies in the simple statement of as within, so without. No treadmill of doing. Just the positive aspects of being, focused from within.

DO WE SEE A JUDGMENTAL JESUS?

by Celia Hales

In 1970 I visited Florence, Italy, and the Baptistry, an ancient building devoted to the baptism, mostly, of infants and children. Overhead is a looming mosaic of Jesus, with large, luminous eyes, and hand raised to show the wound of the nail. I cringed. His eyes looked at me with judgment—harsh judgment. My negative image of Jesus was confirmed.

At that time Helen was scribing furiously. A Course in Miracles was not published for another six years. My discovery of ACIM happened in 1981. And I was immediately hooked. Though I had a full-time job, I read A Course in Miracles compulsively in every spare moment. And this behavior continued for many years.

Fast forward to 1995, and another visit to Florence and the Baptistry. As I entered the building, I prepared to meet Jesus’s gaze with some trepidation, for, after all, I had experienced the judgment. But this time I saw eyes that were a blank slate, waiting for me to write my perceptions on them. And he wasn’t judging me at all.

A Course in Miracles had wrought the miracle. I saw a Jesus who would be—or do—anything that I needed to bring me to God.

A Course of Love, a sequel to A Course in Miracles (and called, in its pages, a “continuation” of ACIM (A.4)) asks the question:

“Have I been a judgmental God in your universe? Then you have been judgmental and lived in a judgmental world.” (ACOL, D:Day39.21)

Surely I was that in 1970. And just as surely had I changed by 1995, many hours of studying A Course in Miracles under my belt.

In 1970 I had just emerged from the world of collegiate competition at a prestigious university. Competition both feeds and undermines the ego, for in a competitive environment, the ego is boosted by accomplishments and shrivels when work doesn’t measure up to expectations. My ego fostered judgment of my peers at that university. There didn’t seem to be any way around it.

A Course in Miracles and life experiences changed all that. By 1995, I was nine years into a cooperative workplace, a library, where we worked together constantly and believed that two heads were better than one in virtually any situation. The changes were good for me. My ego was being dislodged. As A Course of Love says about A Course in Miracles, “the original Course in Miracles was a course in thought reversal and mind training, a course to point out the insanity of the identity crisis and dislodge the ego’s hold . . .” (C:P.8)

And when in 1995 I looked up at Jesus in the Baptistry in Florence, he gazed back at me, evenly.

I don’t have reason to be scared of Jesus anymore.

ETERNITY AND ACIM: A REVIEW OF JON MUNDY’S ETERNAL LIFE AND A COURSE IN MIRACLES

TITLE: ETERNAL LIFE AND A COURSE IN MIRACLES
AUTHOR: JON MUNDY, Ph.D.
REVIEWED BY: Celia Hales

If I had to choose one word to describe Jon Mundy’s latest offering, it would be “reassurance.” Of course, those of us who have studied and taken to heart A Course in Miracles believe that death is not the end. But Jon makes that truth crystal clear with supporting evidence for the unbeliever and anybody unfamiliar with ACIM— near-death experiences that are prompted by psychedelics, near-death experiences that are natural, and accounts from dying people who do cross the threshold. Pervading his writing is a calming tone that will be soothing to the fearful who may be facing death sooner rather than later. His many selected passages from A Course in Miracles are superbly chosen, for he draws upon his vast knowledge of ACIM to select those passages most certain to speak to the matter of eternal life. Nobody could do a keyword search and find these gems; they are carefully chosen by an author who knows ACIM intimately from long years of dedication.

Jon Mundy is among the handful of individuals who helped to launch A Course in Miracles. The scribe, Helen Schucman, much older than Jon, counseled him in a personal way about the issues with which a young man contends. He also formed a bond with Kenneth Wapnick that continued for long years and included similar significant encounters. Jon’s respect for Ken is covered in a chapter – long very personal tribute that recounts Ken’s incredible journey with ACIM that prompted some 32 books, plus substantial contributions in other media. Jon’s memories of the early years will be eagerly read by those who love ACIM. Throughout, Jon has a very human voice in his writing that urges the reader forward in the book; he knows how to encourage one to keep reading, to keep turning those pages to see what else is going to happen.

Jon frankly lets us see into his heart when he describes in some detail his guided experimental use of psychedelics as a way to get beyond the ego and find himself looking death in the face. Readers who might be inclined to judge Jon for his experimentation should realize that he had these experiences in the seventies. He was guided by a psychiatrist/shaman who took pains to see that the people in his care were safe. The near-death aspect of Jon’s experience was prompted by the doctor’s administration of ketamine, an anesthetic.

Jon does not recommend that we follow in his footsteps, indicating that his way was harsh (he calls it “hell”), whereas the way to overcome the ego in ACIM is gentle. It seems apparent that Jon has spent a great deal of reflection in all the years since in trying to understand what he saw in near-death experiences. This reflection has been augmented in more recent years by near-death experiences that were not drug-related. He speaks easily about these experiences, certain that there is a plan and that it is gentle. Jon also draws on others’ experiences in near-death to pull back the veil over the afterlife.

The latter half of the book is devoted to a carefully developed exposition of what A Course in Miracles says about eternity. As mentioned, the selected passages from ACIM are exquisite; one gets the impression that Jon went about selecting the most beautiful of all available, knowing that he couldn’t give every instance of what eternal life means in ACIM.

What does eternal life mean in A Course in Miracles? Jon weaves this story in and through quotations from ACIM itself. Eternal life is a life that can begin on earth; there is no need to think that eternal life comes about only at death’s door. Heaven is here and now, if we have discarded the egoic separation from God, a separation that could only happen because we had a “tiny, mad idea” that we wanted to try to make creation be something other than what God had decreed. And all that we ever made was illusion. Jon makes the point that the radical monism of ACIM is extremely pertinent to eternal life. Our illusory bodies seem real enough to us, but real they are not. The only thing that is real is that which we cannot touch—peace, joy, harmony, and the like. And these things are eternal. Time and space are illusions that are found only in the physical universe. And nothing illusory is eternal. But Life and Love have always been and always will be. This is the promise of eternity that ACIM describes so wonderfully.

Jon’s reassurance about eternal life is borne of what he knows. He does not believe; he knows. And this insight pours out on every page, weaving anecdotes in some chapters, recounting ACIM in others. Jon has a very personal way of writing that develops an intimacy with the reader. He looks beyond his own persona to develop universal truths about eternity and eternal life as reflected in real experiences, his own as well as others, and in the philosophy of A Course in Miracles.

Jon Mundy has written many books, but this one is surely one of his best. Recommended for anybody who fears death, even a little, and who among us does not?

May Our Interior Be Healed

“The spacious Self realizes that the outer world is a projection and most often a rejection rather than an extension of what is within. Thus, sickness is a rejection of feelings. All that causes fear is rejection of feelings. All that causes loneliness is rejection of feelings. All that causes violence is rejection of feelings.

“What is ejected from the self becomes separate and in the separation willfully forgotten. The spacious Self no longer ejects or forgets because all feelings are accepted as those of the One Self.” (ACOL, D:Day14.2 – Day14.3)

Rejecting our feelings gets us in bad trouble, bad trouble indeed. Why do we reject feelings? Because they are uncomfortable, some of them. It is those uncomfortable feelings that we reject—feelings that lead to sickness, fear, loneliness.

We need to be gentler with ourselves. We need to embrace bad feelings as soon as they come up, just embrace and wrap our spacious Self around them. When we embrace, we love, don’t we? And it is love that is the healing Force.

Our outer world, in this quotation, is seen as a projection, and, as Jesus says, often a rejection rather than an extension of what we have found within. The part about the world being a projection is right along the same lines as words found in A Course in Miracles. But when we have looked on our outer projection of the world, and been displeased, we need to realize that we don’t like what we are seeing within. And actually becoming aware of what we don’t like within is a great blessing. By seeing it, we can open these interior parts to healing from God. The subconscious is thereby systematically healed, and this is what it takes to be ready for Christ-consciousness, Awakening, enlightenment.

We are getting beyond separating ourselves from what we don’t like from our interior. Our spacious Self accepts—exactly what Jesus has bade us do in recent quotations. This acceptance doesn’t mean that we are pleased with what we have found on the inside of ourselves. But this acceptance does mean that we don’t try to separate ourselves from it, thereby making a new ego.

We are no longer living in separation, and this new place that we occupy is holy. We are living in a shared unity with our Self and this a Self Whom we share with others. Our brothers and sisters. Let us offer them today the best that we have in us, as we seek to embrace, in us, all that we have previously rejected as uncomfortable feelings.

Dear God,

Let my interior rise to the surface, that it might be healed. This is a fervent prayer, the prayer I pray today. I would see my subconscious cleansed of all fearfulness and all judgment. This is not hard to see happen; it is hanging on to the uncomfortable feelings that is hard, very hard.

I will take care of the quantity in writing; You take care of the quality. A writer’s prayer, recited often by Julia Cameron. And recited today by me.

Amen.

Holding All within the Heart of Love

“Thus holding the loveless self within the spacious Self of love is the answer to the question of evil and the final lifting of the last veils of fear.

“The same is true of all you would fear, such as the suffering self. A suffering self, held within the spacious Self, exists in harmony with the spacious Self. Attempts to eject the self of suffering from the spacious Self create disharmony. It is only by this holding within that the loveless self and the suffering self are rendered ineffective. It is only in this way that you realize that all exist within. It is only in this way that you become completely fearless and totally spacious, for fear is part of the density of form, being a lack of love.” (ACOL, D:Day13.6 – Day13.7)

Jesus here gives us an answer to suffering; we hold it with the self of love. When we hold the suffering self within the self of love, in the heart of love, the suffering self is rendered ineffective. Pain may continue to exist, but we never –never—have to escalate our pain into suffering. It takes great patience and much understanding to effect this ideal, but it is within the power of all of us. Pain may become severe, but most often it is the emotional component of “Why me?” that lands us squarely into suffering. There is no answer on this earth to the problem of “Why me?” Our limited mind and heart cannot fathom an answer that would make sense. But of one thing we can be certain: Any interpretation that we give to suffering that makes of God something less than loving is a false concept.

The loveless self, a self that includes ourselves part of the time, as well as our brothers and sisters, needs only to be encompassed by a holding within. Jesus calls this self within, the “spacious” Self. It is a Self who is big enough to encompass good and bad, right and wrong, and all things in between. This spacious Self is our real inner Christ-Self coming into all its glory. When we know that anything bad can be rendered ineffective by a “holding within,” then we have no reason to indulge in fruitless worry and abject fears anymore. The same for judgment, also forbidden by A Course of Love. We are big enough to embrace the whole of reality—true reality. And this true reality is always loving, and, indeed, Love itself. In true reality we are embraced by a warmth that is not of this world. And everything we face easily becomes easier to face and harmless in its outcome.

Dear God,

I would grow so large today that all of my worries, fears, judgments, would be subsumed in the glory that Jesus wishes for me. For all of us. This is my spacious Self, newly born on earth, as I move ever closer to an elevated Self. In my physical form, I can fear many things, but my elevated form fears nothing. And that, dear God, is where I am heading.

Thank You for being with me so closely these days. I sense Your warmth. You invite my larger Self to inform the ideas I have in my head. May my heart warm so much that Your warmth never leaves me.

Amen.

Our Love Is the Love of God

“The love that is found in the relationships of the one Self with the many is the love of God. There is no other love. God’s love is constantly being given, received, and felt in relationship. God’s love is your love. Your love is the love of God. God is love.

“Thus is explained the relationships and the forms emptied of love. Where there is no love there is no God present. Where there is no love there is a lack of godliness or what you have defined as evil. A complete lack of love creates formidable obstacles, or in other words, obstacles of solid form that contain no spaciousness. Solid form is actually a void, a substance devoid of spacious-ness, a form that is form only. These forms are still encompassed by the loving space of Christ-consciousness and thus are easily rendered ineffective.” (ACOL, D:Day13.4 – Day13.5)

We are completely surrounded and taken up with the love of God—when we allow it. If love is not present, Jesus explains in theology unique to A Course of Love that this solid form resulting needs to be taken up by the “loving space of Christ-consciousness” and thus “easily rendered ineffective.” This is how, in ACOL terms, evil is overcome with love.

We do not, therefore, have to retain our fears about the nature of evil. Love always overcomes the lack of love, or the evil that some individuals still insist on maintaining. If we are ourselves truly “right with the Lord,” we have nothing to fear from the machinations of those who don’t follow the way of Heaven. The way of God. No harm is ultimately done at all. This follows the injunctions of A Course in Miracles, in which all of us are seen as innocent. Our misdeeds have been done in illusion, and thus have no meaning apart from the illusion of reality in which we find ourselves.

True reality—the experience of love and its characteristics of harmony, peace, joy—comes to us when we have finally put aside our fear and judgment and let God Himself transform our being into a being of light, a Christ-conscious being who walks this earth with good will toward all. Even the most “evil” appearing individual still left on this earth. The Christ-conscious know that there is nothing that can be done that will harm his/her entity. Even the loss of life is not bad, for we simply move from our form into our ethereal form on the Other Side. Harming the body is harming the illusion of a body, in my opinion. So nothing has really been done to us at all.

Love does overcome all barriers to its complete and total experience by any one of us. Love is not said by Jesus to “conquer,” though, for we are not in a war. We are gently and peaceably led by the hand to a new reality, our true reality, in which Love (with a capital “L”) is all that we will experience. Nobody’s “evil” deeds can touch us here in this new reality.

Dear God,

Help me to be afraid of nobody. I would still protect myself by not walking down dark pathways at night. But I would not obsess about it. I would know that no hand can touch me that You have not allowed to touch. You know best, and one of the things that You know best is that fear and judgment are not a part of Your world.

Thank You for guiding me, ever so gently, to a peaceful, mellow day. A glimpse of a better world. Such has been my experience today. And I much appreciate the truth of what You have shown me today.

Amen.

True Reality Blesses

“All obstacles of form are only real in the world of form, a world that is perceived rather than known. Christ-consciousness replaces perception with knowing, form with space.” (ACOL, D:Day12.7)

In the passages surrounding these, Jesus indicates that we encounter obstacles in the world of form, but that these obstacles—individuals who wish to do us harm—are real only in our perceptions, which means that these obstacles are actually illusory. I believe that all perception is illusory, though some faithful readers of A Course of Love feel differently, believing that once we have passed beyond the ego, we are seeing true reality. This difference of opinion should not divide us; the basic values of ACOL are perennial indeed.

If we are confronted by someone who seems to want to do us harm, we can enfold that individual (Jesus says), so that love embraces him/her, and the harm that would be done is no more. It doesn’t mean that we won’t be harmed bodily; it means that we won’t be harmed psychically. Our true reality will not be affected by obstacles of form. We will simply convert that form to space.

These theological concepts are difficult to grasp, and reading the entire section in Day 12 of the Dialogues of ACOL will help more than my words. Be assured that any interpretation that has us harmed is a false interpretation. True reality only blesses. No harm.

When we are Christ-conscious, we know these things with an interior knowing that just won’t let up. We grasp complex theological statements with a willingness to understand, a willingness that frees us to let our intuitive guidance interpret for us. Intuition is the feeling that will serve us best now. And feeling, from the heart, will inform the mind so that the mind itself is freed to live for another day of joy and happiness.

Our mind needs to lighten up. It is the heart that will tell our mind how to do just that. And our encounters with others, encounters that might have derailed us previously, will hold a miracle that frees us, as well as our brothers and sisters who might seek to do us harm.

Dear God,

I want to feel safe today, untouched by malice of anybody. I know that I can do this, for it is not Your will for anybody to suffer under the influence of fearful thoughts.

Thank You for guiding me to a glorious beginning to this day. May I turn aside any fearful thought by the assurance that You are always there, and You always care to free me of fearful imaginings.

Amen.

We Are Safe

“Imagine the air around you being visible and your form an invisible space within the visible surroundings. This is the reality of Christ-consciousness. Consciousness may seem to be embodied by form but the reverse is true and has always been true. The body is now ready to know that it is embodied, enclosed, surrounded, taken up, by consciousness. It is your feelings that now will be the sense organs of this spaciousness. Not feelings of sight or sound, smell or touch, but feelings of love of Self. Feelings of love of Self are now what hold open the space of the Self, allowing the space to be.” (ACOL, D:Day12.2)

We need to love ourselves, for if we don’t, it is impossible to love others. Oh, we may think that we do, but it is likely a false love, for we don’t understand intimately what love really is until we have accepted, and, yes, loved ourselves. Keep in mind that this is not an egoic love, a love of pride in ourselves, but a settled, good harmony with the cosmos, an acceptance of ourselves just as we are—knowing that it is always and forever, enough.

Consciousness surrounds us, but this is not something scientists can measure. The whole universe(s) is filled with the energy of God; the whole place entirely. I think that eventually scientists will find a way to sense this Energy, but until they do, we are on our own. It is up to our intuition, in a mystical sense, to truly feel God in this consciousness. That is our “proof” of God, the knowing that comes when we realize that the One is truly there, the All is not empty space.

I would know the reality of Christ-consciousness today. If I am not ready for this blessing, I would ask for a glimpse, just a glimpse, that will enthrall me and make me One with God. This is in His will, I think. It is also His will that we move in the direction of Awakening, that we move swiftly in this direction. I would do that today.

No fears, no judgments. These are the great forbiddens. And I would drop those emotions/thoughts from my group of accepted ideas. I would take unto myself only those ideas that mesh with God.

Thanks be to the God Who lives through me. His Consciousness enfolds me with warmth, and I am safe for another day.

Dear God,

I would sense Your warmth today. I have actually already sensed Your warmth this morning, and so I know that You are here, waiting for me to open up. Keep my heart open to You. Keep me abiding in Your Presence.

Thank You for the blessings that assure me of Your love. Not that I have to have these “blessings” to love you back. But these blessings are Your way of showing me love, that You know I have earthly needs, and that You are eager to address them.

Thank You for being here for me, always and forever.

Amen.

Intuitive Awareness

“Christ-consciousness is the awareness of existence through relationship. It is not God. It is not man. It is the relationship that allows the awareness that God is everything. It has been called wisdom, Sophia, spirit. It is that without which God would not know God. It is that which differentiates all from nothing. Because it is that which differentiates, it is that which has taken form as well as that from which form arose. It is the expression of oneness in relationship with Its Self.” (ACOL, D:Day11.7)

Here is more theology, but theology can be a big help to us as we move toward Christ-consciousness. Christ-consciousness is consciousness, and thus “awareness,” and in reaching this pinnacle we come into our own. I like the term “Sophia,” something that I first heard years ago and found enticing. We might also think of “spirit,” for spirit is what is real, the only thing that truly is real in the universes that exist. Spirit can be anywhere at any time, and this is how Jesus can come through so many channels while keeping his sanity. His genius is such that he can focus his consciousness at multiple points simultaneously.

Without Christ-consciousness, we hear here that God would not even know God. This is because relationship allows Him to know more than the One, undifferentiated Whole could know. We come to know ourselves, also, in relationship to our peers and our significant others. In this way God is no different. Keep in mind that we are just a part of God, though a limited part, in that we are finite creatures, children of the Deity.

We do have form in this world, physical form, and though some of us believe that this is still an illusion, others of us believe that form is real. We do not have to get distracted by differences of opinion, for nobody really knows. Nobody. Nobody on this earth can know; our limitedness is just too gigantic.

But we can have mystical intuition, and it is this mystical intuition that will ultimately save us. It is how we intuit the Whole, God Himself. It is the way back. It is the only way back. God does not offer “proofs” of His existence, and only when we open to our mystical nature do we sense that He is real, and very real indeed. Keep this in mind as we consider the last few sections of A Course of Love. Realizing mystical leanings will offer footing for the more ethereal matters that Jesus will discuss in upcoming passages.

Dear God,

I ask to sense Your Presence with a mystical intuition today. And I ask to be guided. Always I ask to be guided. I do know, with a real knowing, that You do guide me. When I ask advice, shortly thereafter I find an Answer, and I really do believe that that Answer is from You.

Be with me today, once again. Keep me harmonious and easy with those in my circle. Guide my writing. Never let me mislead.

Amen.

We Invite Love

“The elevation of the self of form is nothing but the recognition of the One Self within the Self.

“The One Self exists within the many in order to know Its Self through sharing in union and relationship.

“All the benefits you might want to bring to the world are brought about in only one way: The way of sharing in union and relationship. It is only in relationship that the oneness of the self separates from oneness and so knows oneness. It is only through the means of separate relationships joining in union that the One Self is capable of being either the observer or the observed. This is as true of God as it is of the self of form. God is the oneness and the separation. Life is the relationship. God is what is. Life is the relationship of what is with Its Self.” (ACOL, D:Day11.3 – Day11.5)

If the Self has seemed to be a confusing concept to us, Jesus clears it up today. Reread the quotation. Let the words sink in.

God is the One, the All, but in order to know Himself, He had to differentiate into relationship. The Whole made up of the parts. He is the Self, divided into discrete parts, all of which, like a hologram, contain the whole.

When we become aware of the Self, we become aware of love, but Love with a capital “L.” We are inundated with Love. It forms the bedrock of our experience. This is when God is very real to us. Our Self, a part of God, reaches out to our brothers and sisters in relationship, and we have the best of what life, our life, can offer.

The quotation today gets into the theology of A Course of Love. It explains, much as does Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations with God, how the One had to divide itself into relationships to discrete others to actually know anything. This is not understandable, I feel, to our finite minds. But when we read Jesus’s words, they have the ring of truth for us. They have the ring of truth for everyone.

So: Reach out in love today. Let God’s felt Presence overwhelm our heart, and with that will come a non-neurotic need to express the Love that we feel within.

This is the way back. As well as the best way to live.

Dear God,

I would sense Your Presence today, today and every day. When I sense Your love for me, I am opened up to love myself, and then I want to share this all-encompassing love with my brothers and sisters. Help me to do that. But never let me forget that I am never isolated, that You are always inside me, in my interior, healing and helping.

Thank You for leading me to a greater tomorrow. I sense it. I appreciate it.

Amen.

Let Our Heart Lead

“As you can see, it is difficult for me, even now, even in this final address to you as the man Jesus, to speak of feelings without addressing the grand scheme of things. I want to comfort and reassure you in this final message. I want to tell you to be embraced by love and to let all the feelings of love flowing through you now find their expression. I desire, more than anything, your happiness, your peace, and your acceptance of the power that will cause these things to come to be. Yet I know you and what you want to hear. I know you have long waited for your feelings to be addressed in a more personal way. But please remember that none of the approaches that have been used to “address” your feelings in the way you might desire have worked. This will work.” (ACOL, D:Day10.38)

This quotation is a big pitch for reading A Course of Love: “This will work.” And what do Jesus mean? We will be heading down the pathway to home when we easily let ourselves address God and the Christ-Self, from within, who is a part of Him. We have often believed that God is “out there,” maybe to see us and give us what we want, maybe not. But A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love both say the same thing: We are to look within for our salvation. God is, of course, both within and what we are projecting without. And He is unlimited, contrary to what we are. We are finite creatures, His children, who need solace far more than we acknowledge. ACOL will work because it addresses our feelings through their home, our heart, and it encourages the heart to teach the mind. The mind has been that recalcitrant entity that we never seemed to be able to lasso. Now we can, but in a gentle way, through the heart—the heart that doesn’t need “proofs” of God, but acknowledges that it knows of Him by the way that we feel. We intuit through the feelings; we intuit God through the feelings.

Our feelings need to receive the benefit of our consideration. Often we think that this is not necessary, that we are being neurotic, that feelings don’t matter, that actions do. This is foolishness! Feelings do matter very much, for healthy feelings lead us to action, action that will change/create a new world. And Jesus will be right here, guiding us as our leader. We will know all that we need to know to take the next right step.

Let our feelings come to the surface. Acknowledge that they actually drive us. And that drive is not pleasant when it is forced. We can live in this world in a better way. And ACOL, with its emphasis on letting the heart lead, does prepare for a future unlike anything we have known in the past.

The future looks good. Let ourselves be reassured about that. Let our heart rule the head (mind). Enjoy the new day toward which we are walking, step by step.

Dear God,

I would let my heart lead today to more compassion for myself as well as others. If I don’t have compassion for myself, how will I ever extend compassion to others? I can’t; that is the problem.

So: First things, first. I will acknowledge You in the depth of my heart, listen to the promptings of my heart, and console both myself and my brothers and sisters.

These feelings will lead to good actions, and these actions will save the world.

Amen.

Ask for a Changed Mind and Heart

“But these issues, when removed from feelings, still remain issues. They remain social causes, environmental causes, political causes. The cause of all these issues is fear. The cause and effect of love is all that will replace these causes of fear with the means and end that will transform them along with you. You are means and end. It is within your power to be saviors of the world. It is from within that your power will save the world.” (ACOL, D:Day10.37)

This quotation makes clear that Jesus cares about social justice. He believes that we will make progress in our world when we ourselves change, first, and then, out of a changed mind and heart, we create a new world. Without our own change, the issues would remain issues that would remain divisive, because we would be living in fear. In love, the solutions present themselves. What a marvelous promise!

If we want to change the world or create a new world, we first must work on ourselves. And that we are doing when we spend time daily in prayer and reflection, reading and response to our brothers and sisters, in love. Our means of discovering the real truth are many. We have to be careful that we ourselves don’t hold the whole answers, that the whole Answer is found in God and our allegiance to Him, and is found nowhere else.

The problem with attempting to correct world problems now is that we are doing it from an unhealed perspective. Of course, there are exceptions, truly reverent people who understand the issues and have respect for varying opinions about how to right wrongs. But we will never correctly address all our ills without final surrender to God and the Christ-Self within each of us who is trying to make sense of a difficult world.

We can make this final surrender at any time. God always listens. And He listen, we might say, ever more keenly when His children come to Him in unknowing, ready to “hear” for the first time what the Silence might say to us.

Listen today. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Time enough to listen to our Maker.

Dear God,

I would try to fix things, but I would fix them wrongly unless You guide my every move. I ask You today to guide my every move. Keep me aware that until You speak to me in the Silence, I have no idea how to begin to alter the trajectory of our world to something better.

Be with me today and every day. This is my perennial prayer, and I know that You do hear me. It is to myself that I reaffirm my will to follow You in every minute detail.

Amen.

Future Is Bright when We Dream

“My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, turn your thoughts not to ideals of social activism, to causes, or to championing any one side over another. Turn not to your thoughts but to your feelings and go where they lead. And everywhere they lead you, remember one thing only. Remember to embrace your power. The power of love is the cause and effect that will change the world by returning you, and all your brothers and sisters, to who they are in truth. This cannot be done from without but must be done from within. It is the transformation that is caused within that will affect the world without.” (ACOL, D:Day10.33)

Jesus is saying that we have to change first, before we can change/create a new world. And this is hard to hear, because it is hard (we think) to change. Actually it is the easiest thing in the world, once the fear and judgment have been taken out of it. And we are fast doing that. We are taking real and quick steps to a new Self, an elevated Self, in form, that will give us a new life entirely. The future looks bright when we let ourselves dream.

We will own our power when we have made this transformation real. Power is a term about which we may feel somewhat ambiguous, for power, of the ego, has done many bad things in this world. In interpersonal relationships, power has been used to manipulate. But power has a good side, too. And it is this good side that we will use in forming a new identity. Stay with me a bit, and imagine a power that is good and holy. Power like a Being such as God employs. Power that is a good that we can employ.

The way back is not hard, as I have said repeatedly. It may take patience, for God’s timing is not ours. And He does know best. An omniscient Being knows what we, in our limitedness, cannot see. We lose out when we don’t count God in the bargain. He is right there, inside of us, pulling for us. He means well.

Do we really believe that God means well? If we don’t, our god concept needs to be changed. And this is happening to us, almost against our will sometimes. The way back is marked by beautiful flowers on each side of the pathway, and their scent follows us the whole way.

Dear God,

Thank You for surprising me today with Your benevolence. Something that I thought You were saying “no” to has suddenly become a glorious “yes.” I concluded too soon that my request was going awry. Thank You for guiding me through the maze of refusal to a beginning that is, oh, so promising.

I love regardless. I made the decision that I would expand my love of You even in disappointment. It was a good exercise for the soul. Thank You for guiding me through it.

Amen.

Gentle Transition into Awakening

“I asked you once before to review your ideas about the afterlife, a life in which most of you believe peacefulness reigns and the spirit is free of the body. Yet if you were to think now of a person whom you know who has died, you would not be likely to think of them much differently than they were in life, even while you are able to imagine them being peaceful and free of the constraints of the body. This is as good an idea as I can give you of how to imagine the elevated Self of form, as not much different than you are now, but peaceful and free of the constraints of the body.” (ACOL, D:Day10.27)

Jesus might also add to this quotation that his description of a peace inside and a peaceful body outside is similar to how enlightenment has been described. Of course, he hopes that all of us will be enlightened when we assume the elevated Self of form; this is his purpose in taking us to the mountaintop for 40 days and 40 nights.

Sometimes enlightenment comes with a bang, but for those who are well-prepared (as we are being well-prepared), it is a gentle crossing over. Being mellow often accompanies a glimpse of enlightenment, and from this peace, we can deduce that there truly is nothing to fear in a gentle crossing over to a better state of mind and heart. Our incessant mind activity will slow down, as Eckhart Tolle has described.

Our ego gave us such a busy mind. And now Jesus says that at this point in A Course of Love, we have remaining of the ego, only “patterns” that linger, egoic patterns that linger. When we express the desire to leave these patterns behind, we are adding our resolve to that of our God, and the habit of these egoic thoughts will leave us, too. We need to be resolute, firm in our conviction that we want peace, we want happiness, and to get there, we will turn aside from fear and judgment. These two—fear and judgment—will prevent our crossing over into enlightenment or Christ-consciousness.

We just need to ask for help as we form a new identity without those old bugaboos. Help will come, and in the present, as soon as we voice the prayer. Take Jesus at his word: He will come to assist us with a “single, unequivocal call” (from A Course in Miracles). Sit with a computer, and type in your appeal to Jesus. Imagine what he might say in return.

And we just might not be far wrong.

Dear God,

Be with today as I seek to leave behind fear and judgment forever. I am mellow now, and that is a good starting point. In the silence, I can almost hear You agreeing with me. You speak in silence, but the silence can be a thundering song sometimes.

Thank You for answering my prayer. I can claim that promise of Yours because I know that Christ-consciousness is in Your will for me. And all others.

Amen.

We Are One in Being

“I am not imparting wisdom that you are unaware of but reminding you of what you have forgotten. I am not having a monologue, but we are having a dialogue in which you are a full participant. As much of what you read in these dialogues comes from your own heart and those of your brothers and sisters in Christ as it does from me. It comes, in truth, from our union, from the consciousness we share. This shared consciousness is the source of wisdom because it is shared—shared in unity and relationship.” (ACOL, D:Day10.24)

We are One in shared consciousness with Jesus and with all our brothers and sisters; we are in union in this consciousness. This is part of the theology of A Course of Love. Because we are all One in God, we share our identities. We are differentiated into the many, and therefore have relationship one to the other, but because we emerge from the One, God himself, we are in unity with the Whole. This is what Jesus uses the pivotal words, “unity and relationship,” so often in ACOL.

Jesus is also telling us that in a part of our mind that we cannot easily access, we are remembering what he is telling us. We aren’t, after all, learning or discovering new knowledge. The knowledge that we are coming to understand has always been a part of us. It was just so covered over with egoic misrepresentation that we could no longer comprehend. We need to move backward in time to a point beyond memory to get glimmerings of this knowledge. History is a retracing of our steps, as Jesus said in A Course in Miracles. We stand at the end of a long carpet that is being rolled back up.

If we realize that we are really One, a unity with All, we will realize that it is insanity to think that we are solitary, alone, friendless, and isolated. There is no reason, no reason at all, to try to lead autonomous lives. There is no reason to seek to be independent (whatever that means). We are in a world with many others for a reason. We are meant to reach out and help one another. The idea that this is not “adult” or “mature” enough for grown-up living is a lie of the ego.

So: Reach out to our brothers and sisters today. Know that in the reaching, the finding, we are led home to God again. When we help another, we are led home. When we love, especially when we love, we are led home.

The benefits of shared, joint living are enormous. How could we have not recognized it all these years?

Dear God,

Thank You for showing me that to an independent, isolated being is not the same as being mature. We don’t have to stand alone. We never had to do so. We simply misunderstood what real living in this world was all about.

Be with me today. Help me to reach out to others in my circle. Let us help one another, and in the doing of this, we will abundantly help ourselves.

Amen.

Listen to God in the Silence

“Remember that you have been told since the beginning of A Course of Love that the answers that you seek lie within, and that their source is your own true identity. You have been told since the beginning of this Course that this is the time of the second coming of Christ. What we have just discussed is what both of these statements mean. This is the culmination point of these two great objectives coming together in you and your brothers and sisters.” (ACOL, D:Day10.22)

Here we learn that the answers lie within, and within is where God is (though Jesus does not say this at this point in A Course of Love). The idea of our identity being within, and the time of Christ being now, are actually linked. We have moved beyond the need for an intermediary for God; previously, the Holy Spirit was our Link, and He was needed because we were afraid of God, afraid of direct contact with Him.

We have now learned enough to know that we have absolutely no reason to be anxious about our reaching out to God. We can believe that He talks to us in silence, soothing our ruffled feathers, easing our mind and heart. The Christ-Self, part of God Himself, is the Source for our identity, and also the Source of guidance. We are well-supported in our lives. And this is something that we have not always known.

I think of my fear—and I don’t mean “fear” in a good sense—when I was growing up. Most of us thought of God as a sort of celestial Santa Claus Who was watching our every move, ready to punish us if we faltered. How wrong we were! Our children will know better, for we will teach them the new guidance from Jesus in A Course in Miracles and ACOL (also other writings such as The Way of Mastery). Many of us carried a little of this abnormal fear into our adult years. But now we too know better. It is a much better place that we occupy now.

Jesus never says in any of his channeled writings that he will return in physical form to the earth. I suppose that that way is left open. So what he is here saying by the “second coming of Christ” is our own assumption of the Christ spirit, our new identity. Jesus holds out many such promises to us. It behooves us to listen, in the silence, to God, to see what our next steps ought to be.

Dear God,

Keep me close today. The day began easily and peacefully, and I hope that it ends that way also. You wish it for me. It is only my own failings that give me less than a good day.

May my attitude toward You be healed if there is anything amiss. Be with me as I seek to discover how to live well.

Amen.

Turn to the God Within

“When I call you to replace conviction with reliance, I call you to replace belief in an outside source with reliance upon your Self.” (ACOL, D:Day10.16)

God is within us. Our Self, a part of Him, is within as well. When we place reliance on the Self, called in A Course of Love the “Christ-Self,” we are placing reliance on God Himself.

We don’t pray to a God Who is somewhere “out there.” We pray to a God Who is deep within. And I believe that he listens. We place our reliance on the Self who is a part of God. And our reliance is well-placed indeed.

“Projection makes perception,” (from A Course in Miracles) and it is a universe that we project from within. “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin,” as the medieval quandary asked. We are in that position now as well. As we withdraw a belief in a god who is “out there,” we need to realize that we don’t lose anything. Placement is all, and His placement is within us. We are safe and sound. We have comfort. We have love. And the world we see is not his handiwork, but the very stuff of God Himself. There is no other “stuff” that it could be, for “God-stuff” is all that there is.

What does it mean to place reliance upon the Self? Well, first of all, what it is not is a sense that we have to go it alone. The world is filled with friends and potential friends, and the part we can’t see is filled with companions unseen, often angels, who comfort and sustain us. When we place reliance on the Self, we are knowing that we are “enough,” enough with all this available help. Our independence can be a barrier that is best left behind.

So: Turn to the God within in prayer today. He will sustain us. He will make all things right. He can and will heal a neurotic, a form of thinking that is a pattern from the ego. He will lead us to withdraw all support from these vestiges of an era now gone by.

Our Self, shorn of the ego, is enough. Dwell a while in the light of God’s countenance. Let Him be there for us.

Dear God,

I would join with You today in a manifesto of rational and peaceful thought. I would leave behind all neuroticism, a vestige of the ego.

Be with me to make of this a good day. It is enough. I am enough when I am with You.

Amen.

New Adventures for the Physical

Note: I have started a blog of prayers in the spirit of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. It is called “Prayers to the Cosmos.” Here is the link:

http://cosmologicalprayers.wordpress.com

Thank you for your views. — Celia

“Feelings come from the innate knowing of the self of form—in short, from the body. The body is the “given” form and while it was the perfect vehicle for learning in the time of learning, it is now being transformed into the perfect vehicle for the realization of the elevated Self of form. During this transformation, we work with what is as well as with the new and the forgotten.” (ACOL, D:Day10.12)

We are heading into what has only been hinted about earlier: the elevated Self of form. This does not mean that we are in a dualistic universe. This simply means that while we imagine that the self is real, we have a context in which to understand it. We can even choose to return again and again in physical form, if we like the experience of physicality. And many of us do.

What will the elevated Self of form do for us? We will have a physical embodiment for the Christ-Self who has loomed deep within us for our entire existence, going back eons. We will act in this world in a new way, for our old ways will be given up; we know better now.

We have lived for a very long time, going back in reincarnational lives, with an ego that sought to tell us how to live. We have had flights of joy, but these always descended into the blackness of despair. And this oscillations were endemic to us; we didn’t know how to be happy on a constant basis.

Now we are getting guidance that will tell us how to live better, a better life entirely. We are not doing things for egotistical reasons any longer, for we know where that leads—down into a pit of our own making. We need only to realize that service to others, our brothers and sisters, means service to the Almighty, our God Who dwells within each of us. He is showing us how to live, finally. Finally we are ready.

Dear God,

This day began brightly, even though the sky is overcast. May my attitude stay bright. May nothing come to mar the joyful experience which this day can and will bring, if You are willing. And You are willing. It is only my own inadequacies that mar a perfect day.

Be with me through thick and thin. Be with me. I can’t say this enough. I thank You for the blessings that You let fall upon my head. May they keep my Self close to You with every detail of this day.

Amen.

Confidence in Our Feelings Will Lead Us Home

“Confidence in your feelings will lead to confidence in your Self. While you think it is your access to unity that will be the more difficult to achieve and sustain, this will not be the case for most of you, for the simple reason that the certainty that comes from union will seem to come, at least initially, from a place other than the self. Because certainty seems to come from a place “other than” or beyond the self of form, you will instinctively have greater trust in it. You will believe it comes from a place “other than” or beyond the self of form because it comes in the form of certainty.” (ACOL, D:Day10.6)

We all want to have a good relationship to our feelings, and feelings are the precipitating force behind guidance. If we would act on what we feel, we would get along a lot better. Of course, this does not mean acting on hostile and aggressive feelings, for these are of a lower nature than what we are trying to achieve. Our dependence on our feelings to lead us through a good day will give us the certainty that we have lacked heretofore. We must not make ourselves wrong in our feelings. We must not chastise ourselves if we feel that we are not living up to some supposed “ideal.” This ideal is a false idol, as I have discussed in this blog before. Our feelings will not lead us wrong, if we keep our eyes on the prize of God, our Self, and our friend, Jesus.

We are used to looking outside ourselves for certainty. When we read something or feel something that seems a bit beyond what we can tell ourselves, we think, “Ah, that is right; that has the ring of truth.” But we need to learn to depend on our Self, the Christ-Self from within. This Self has learned much in our time with A Course of Love, and the principal thing that it has learned is reliance upon an Authority that is deep within, God Himself. This Authority will never, never, let us down. If we pray enough, we will know this. And all of our nebulous plans to achieve more, or to do more, or to be more, will be lost as dross that has no meaning.

We are alright just as we are. Our imperfections will be cleansed by Jesus himself, for he says that he will take care of any imperfections that we have been unable to rid ourselves of. As our subconscious mind comes to the surface to be cleansed, we are, at last, freed. The way back is assured. Life is good.

Dear God,

Be with me today as I seek to find the blueprint for my life ahead. I ask often; help me to listen well.

Thank You for being with me always and forever. The way back to You is assured. May I remain confident of this.

Amen.

Depend upon God — Not upon Our Fragile Self

“See you now why the certainty of union must be combined with the confidence of the self of form? Certainty is knowing that this power exists. Confidence is the expression of your reliance upon it. To rely on your own power is to rely on the connection that exists between the self of form and the Self of union and to, through this reliance, tie the two together so that there is no seam, no boundary, no remaining separation.” (ACOL, D:Day10.2)

We are heading into a new time for us, a time in which the higher self is merged with our physical self, what is here called the self of form. The higher self is here called the Self of union, and in this joining with are merged with the Universe, with God Himself, with the All, the One. Can we understand what this means? Do we want it?

Even in our limited state here on earth, in this world, we know that we want to have the power to be who we really are. And without an ego, we may be at loose ends for a while. This, as Jesus said earlier, is not a state to be prolonged, for if we don’t form a new identity, we will likely form a new ego, and the lamentable process would start all over again. This we don’t want. This we just can’t allow.

How do we form a new identity? We don’t depend upon our fragile selves alone. We know that we are hindered by finiteness, but God is not, and we are a part of God—with Him being deep within us. Turn to God, therefore, and ask that this new identity of Self be established, and established firmly, for of such will come a newly created world. This newly created world we will establish, the next step in our evolution to the elevated Self of form. We will be One with God, and we will know it—for the first time. We will be at home in all the universe.

A new identity is what Jesus is planning for us now. The final pages of A Course of Love tell us exactly how this new identity is to develop. We are merging our form with our unseen Self, and in this change will come all things good.

Dear God,

Help me to form this new identity that I need so desperately. Help me know how to keep the ego in remission, for many exist who have formed a new ego on the ashes of the old. I would not do this. I would stay close to You always, my Protector and Defender.

Thank You for abiding with me through the night. Thank You for traveling with me through this day. And may I never forget You. Please, You, don’t forget me.

Amen.

Draw Light to Ourselves

“This pattern will be easily replaced, however, as your acceptance of yourself as you are, the real challenge of this time, begins to grow and to build your confidence. Unity and your access to unity will be your certainty. Trust in your own abilities—the abilities of the self of form joined with the Self of union—will be your confidence. Only these combined abilities will release your power.” (ACOL, D:Day9.33)

When we are unified as an individual, really unified, we are joined with a higher self who has been unknown to us until now. In A Course of Love, this higher self is called the Christ-Self, when this Self is perceived as within us, and it is called the Self of union, when this Self is perceived as somewhat beyond us, but still joined. The joy that can be our when in unity is something that most of us have known in fleeting moments—until now.

Now we can call our higher self to us whenever we would like, and be reassured that we are getting guidance that is true and good. One way to do this, as outlined by Sanaya Roman, is by using the imagination to call light to ourselves. This imaginative action will often reap amazing benefits the first time it is tried, and sooner or later it is always successful. Sanaya, speaking for Oren, says that light is conscious, and that this consciousness can and will help us. These terms are not, however, used as such in A Course of Love, but we might benefit from opening our minds and hearts to the guidance of others as well as to the guidance of Jesus. He won’t mind.

Calling light to ourselves can be enormously empowering. We want to join with our higher Self, the Christ-Self and the Self of union (called by Jesus in ACOL), and if we can imagine that calling light to ourselves works wonders, then indeed wonders often ensue. Be gentle with ourselves as we play with light. Adopt an attitude of trusting awareness, awareness that light is of God, that we cannot engineer it of ourselves, and it is both playful and energizing. A few moments spent in the sunlight of early morning will be enough to convince us of this. We will feel better immediately.

We want our power to be released. These techniques will work, when they are worked. Adopt an open mind and heart, and see if our experiences of being a unified entity don’t increase exponentially.

Dear God,

Thank You for the sunlight that I enjoyed this morning on my sun/screen porch. I was immediately bathed by Your warmth and my mood became ever more joyous. Light is one of Your gifts, and it behooves me to thank You for the experience of enjoying its beneficial characteristics.

Be with me today, to life my mood when it should ever drop. Be with me to give me Your power, so that I might do the things in life that You would ask of me.

Amen.

Beauty Is Truth, Truth Beauty

“Nothing, not even the ego, has been able to keep you from expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. You came into the world of form incapable of not expressing the beauty and truth of who you are. That you are is an expression of beauty and truth. You express the beauty and truth of who you are by being alive. It has only been your inability to accept this that has caused your grief and pretensions. In a certain sense, your ability to express the beauty and truth of who you are has been taught out of you by learning practices that sought for sameness, and saw not your differences as the gifts they are.” (ACOL, D:Day9.27)

John Keats, a Nineteenth Century poet, expressed an idea that Jesus is here expressing also. Keats said, in the well-known “Ode on a Grecian Urn”: “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’—that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Not many people could explicate that poem as beautifully as Jesus has in this quotation for today. We are often obvious of the beauty that surrounds us, but even our desire for physical beauty is a reflection of our God-given love of beauty. And here Jesus says that being who we are is an expression of both beauty and truth. And being who we are is the theme with which A Course of Love ends, the take-away for all of us.

Jesus also expresses a desire that we recognize the diversity that we all have. We often thought, previously, that we had to be “alike” or the “same” to fit in. Our society is just coming to the realization that differences are to be celebrated, and we find in that celebration a champion no less than Jesus.

Many literary critics have sought to understand what John Keats was trying to say, but very few of them would ever recognize that “being who we are” is likely the best interpretation that could be made. Beauty and truth enfold us, and we don’t have to be egocentric to recognize value in this; indeed, if we are egocentric, we will miss the point. Being who we are is to celebrate our diversity, our differences, but know that there is a divine nature undergirding all of us. We have many gifts from God, and we abide with them when we are aware that they exist. We don’t take credit for our diversity; we celebrate it, and we celebrate most of all the myriad ways that our truth and beauty can be expressed.

Dear God,

Thank You for giving to me an understanding of what beauty and truth really mean, here, in Jesus’s words. Our attempts to be beautiful physically can even be seen as a reflection of divine longings. Let me live with Your words and Jesus’s interpretation today. May I see the beauty and truth of the words themselves.

Thank You for another beautiful day in our beautiful world. Help me to look at the positive, even as the news may bring reasons to shake my head at the difficulty of this world. Be with me, point out the positive, and give me Your blessings today, as always.

Amen.

Accepted in the Eyes of God

“You are the “same” or “as” accomplished as every enlightened one who has ever existed. Without realizing this, however, your unique expression of your accomplishment will not be realized.

“Your freedom is contingent upon your ability to give up your images, particularly the image you hold of an ideal self. It is contingent upon your ability to accept that you are your ideal self. Yes, even right now, with all your seeming imperfections.” (ACOL, D:Day9.23 – Day9.24)

What does “ideal” mean, but to be accepted in the eyes of God? He has never rejected us; he always heals us. And with this healing comes a happiness that can’t be rejected by us. We think that we have to do things to be accepted in our own eyes, but we have very flawed vision, even as God is calling us the “accomplished.” We are accomplished, but not in a sense that appeals to a withered ego; we are accomplished in that we have always been innocent, even in our wrongdoing, wrongdoing that was simply composed of mistakes. Correctable mistakes, and if not correctable, at least forgivable by us. God does not forgive, for He has never condemned (A Course in Miracles). We hold ourselves very guilty in our own sight; that is all, and that is the mistake.

We need to stop trying to be something “ideal,” for this is a false idol. And false idols have long been understood to be wrong thinking in the extreme. We do have imperfections, of course, but we are still justified in God’s sight. And that is ALL that counts.

If we want to be free, we need to accept these tenets of A Course of Love. We need to know that we just accept ourselves as we are, knowing that any imperfections will be worked out without our struggle. We don’t have to struggle to be good; we simply abide in God’s presence, and He takes care of the rest. If we could believe that we are already our ideal self, we would make much progress. Otherwise, we are too hindered to accept God’s offer of Christ-consciousness.

Listen today to intuitions of what might really be true: that we are OK as we are. This is a great blessing, and one that will follow us through the day. It will give us a happy day, and our happiness is a great desire of God Himself.

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank You for being with me and sending Jesus to comfort me as well. He comes with a single unequivocal call, and it is this promise that I have claimed. I accept that I am alright as I am, even though I see presumed imperfections, imperfections that don’t harm me in Your sight.

Be with me today as I seek to make my way through a sometimes troubled world.

Amen.

Dialogue in the Silence with God

“The idea of your “potential” was a useful learning tool and one that served the purposes of the Holy Spirit as well as those of the ego. The idea of your “potential” and your ability to be “more” than what your limited view of yourself would have you be, was a necessary tool to call you to the learning that would return you to your true identity. But the time for such tools is over.” (ACOL, D:Day9.16)

I think the problem with continuing to think about our “potential” is that it calls us to think of an “ideal” persona, something that is a false idol. Why can’t we get it through our heads that we are alright just as we are? Why do we think that we have to improve, and improve constantly?

Of course, we want to be better people; that is what is going on here. But if we think that God will love us more when we improve, we think wrongly. God loves us deeply, far more deeply than we love ourselves. That is the bottom line. We can ask to be better people, but we don’t do ourselves any favors when we contort ourselves. We will improve in our personality traits as time goes by, and we stay on our pathway to salvation. But this change is a gift of God; nothing that we can do personally will alter our primary makeup at all. This is hard for us to believe, of course, for the ego has had us on a treadmill of constant “improvement.” The fact that it was a dead end to improvement has seemingly escaped us.

Ask for the improvement that we think we need. God will answer, and answer quickly. Just dialogue with Him, listening in His silence for what you think an all-knowing, loving Father would say.

We might not be far off base.

Dear God,

I think wrongly when I obsess over wanting healthy thinking processes. These will come by letting go, letting go to You. Telling myself that does seem to help a little. I am ready for my own little self-improvement campaigns to end.

Be with me on this beautiful, warm day. I wish for my quiet day to end with a healthy frame of mind. My heart will tell my mind how to accomplish this. I trust You to guide.

Amen.

May God Enfold Us in His Arms

“As was said earlier, all of your images are false images. Isn’t it possible that none are more false than this image of an ideal self? Not having false idols is an ancient commandment. An ideal image is an idol. It is symbolic rather than real. It has form only within your mind and has no substance. To work toward, or to have as a goal, the achievement of an ideal image is to have created a false god.” (ACOL, D:Day9.11)

We still think that we are not good enough. Even as we sit in meditation, attuned to God, we think that only if we could be better somehow, maybe we would feel justified in His sight.

Give up these useless ideas! Jesus is telling us that we are trying to be something that we are not, and this something that we are not is an “ideal” self, a false idol. God accepts us just as we are. Cannot we do the same? Is that so very hard?

It actually may seem very hard, but it is not. We have an embedded idea of what persona we want to present to the world, and this persona is often our ideal self. Sometimes, of course, we just want people to accept us exactly as we are, and this desire is fuel for the best solution: Be who we are. Even if there are things about us, characteristics, that we think are undesirable, they do not change us in God’s sight. He knows the real Self, deep within us, who has longed to come out for a very, very long time.

Spend some time just concentrating on accepting ourselves, just as we are. When we accept ourselves, it won’t be so hard to realize that others can and will do the same. That God does the same. That Jesus does the same. Our mistakes can be rectified, and can thereby be overlooked. If restitution is important, we will know that—though we can get ourselves very tangled up when we are in a judgmental frame of mind. Drop all judgments, and come with wholly empty hands to God our Father (from A Course in Miracles). He will show us how to accept ourselves just as we are.

Engage in a dialogue with God today, on paper or in our mind/heart. The way back is not hard. I keep saying that in this blog. But it is true. We just need to drop all pretense of what we think we “ought” to be, and just allow God to enfold us in His Arms. He will make right all that seems wrong. He will meet us at the gate of our home.

Dear God,

Be with me today, as I seek to know that what I am is really alright in Your sight.

Thank You for the answer to this heartfelt prayer.

Amen.

A Day of Celebration

“Allow yourself, now, to experience your arrival, your return to your true home, your return to your Self. Laugh. Cry. Shout or wail. Dance and sing. Spin a new web. The web of freedom.

“In other words, express your Self!” (ACOL, D:Day9.2 – Day9.3)

Readers of A Course of Love, repeat readers especially, will certainly remember this passage. We are coming to praise our God, and our Self (too), for the many blessings that rain down upon us.

For so long we had not found what nourished us. But in A Course of Love, the course that emphasizes the heart, we are nourished repeatedly by its beautiful prose, its poetic prose. As we read, we move through a time of tenderness in which our emotions are kept ever close to the surface. This time of tenderness can actually seem emotionally painful to us, especially if we don’t have enough support in our journey. We discover in ACOL that we are not meant to go it alone, but to join with others of like-minded persuasion. And, in the end, we travel to a mystical mountaintop for 40 days and 40 nights of retreat, a retreat that is nevertheless in the heart of our lives.

We have sought and sought. Some of us felt at an impasse after years of reading A Course in Miracles. Our egos gone, or fading out, but what was to replace the ego? That question was not apparently answered in enough depth for Jesus to be satisfied; he returned 30 years later with A Course of Love. After ACIM had dislodged the ego, ACOL shows us how to establish a new identity. This new identity is the Christ-Self, a Self who has always dwelt within as a part of God. But we were too busy and preoccupied to commune with our depths. We still somehow believed that there was always something more to seek. And so our journey continued, with us never quite satisfied.

Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that now we have found, and that we need seek no longer (even though seeking has become a habit hard to break). The prose of A Course of Love draws us in. We are mesmerized by its beauty of language. And the content, though dense in places, is repetitious enough to emphasize the main points over and over until they are a part of us.

Now: Let us rejoice! This is a day of celebration. We have not made an egoic choice, for the ego is gone from us. We are not experiencing the highs and lows of egoic drama. We are calm, but, oh, so happy. So joyous! We owe a lot to Jesus, the one who holds our hand anytime we ask. And he is pleased in our joy.

Dear God,

Thank You for the gift of A Course of Love. The words draw me in, sooth me, as I reread. With every pass through the book, I gain more insight. This is the joy of continuing dialogue with Jesus, a dialogue that extends to all of our brothers and sisters.

Be with me on this day of rejoicing. I may not shout, but others may. And in our joy, we all join as one.

Amen.

Be with Our Feelings Today

“Realize how freeing it will be to not go through the gyrations of attempting to figure out “how to” reach acceptance of what you do not like! How freeing it will be to realize you have no need to do this! How freeing it will be to accept all of your feelings and not to puzzle over which are true and which are false! To realize that you no longer have false feelings. That your feelings are not misleading you but supporting you! That they are but calling you to expression of your true Self! To true representation of who you are—who you are now!

“Remove all thinking that says that you can err in following your feel¬ings. This is the thinking of the old thought system, not the new.” (ACOL, D:Day8.28 – 8.29)

If we can believe what is being said here, surely it must mean that our feelings have been purified now that we are nearing the end of A Course of Love. Otherwise, these words would make no sense, as many vile and hostile actions have come to the world from people who were following their feelings. So we must use some discernment in considering these words. We must be sure that we are living in love, not anger, joy, not rancor.

We can accept our feelings as true and good when we have walked a while on the pathway back to God. And this is where Jesus finds us in this quotation for today. When we are being who we truly are, now, we are being someone who does not knowingly harm another, and we are being someone who seeks to redress a wrong, once it is perceived. This is very different from the person we were before we accepted the teaching of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. We are simply at a different place now.

Be with our feelings today. Be with who we truly are, accepting ourselves, but also accepting change when it comes. Our intuition, our guidance, will save us now.

Listen.

Dear God,

Be with me today as I seek to live a happy life, a life that You choose for me. Help me to turn aside from meaningless wrangles, from those things which disturb my peace to no good purpose. May everyone I encounter today be peaceful, and if someone is not peaceful, may I lend my peace to that someone.

Thank You for our dialogue this morning. I wrote for a while, and then I imagined, in the silence, what You might say to me. And peace descended. Help me to remember this easy solution to all difficulty.

Amen.

We Are Alright Just as We Are

“Non-acceptance in any form is separating.

“The very idea of potential, you may recall, is a product of the ego thought system that would keep your true Self hidden. You are used to hiding the self of the past about whom you are not well pleased, and you are used to hiding the self of potential, the future self you think you can only dream of being. The ego-self was the self you felt safe presenting to the world, the self you believed the world would find acceptable. If you are still presenting this self, you are still in a state of non-acceptance and whatever peace you are feeling will not last. Whatever access to unity you have experienced will not last because you will not be choosing the time of acceptance.” (ACOL, D:Day8.25 – Day8.26)

Here we see, once again, how devastating the ego was to our peace of mind. When we identified with the ego, we didn’t like the persona that we had; it might even said that we hated ourselves and that persona, because we could never think that we were “good” enough. We looked to a future time, our persona of potential, a potential self whom we would become and like better. But this would be an ideal self, and that is an idol.

We need to just accept who we are, though always asking (and receiving) forgiveness for our many mistakes. Our true Self absolves us of blame, and so there can be no guilt that would keep us in hell. We need to be who we really are, just be ourselves. We are good enough. Not perfect. But OK. And we will improve, over time, when we align ourselves, evermore, with our Creator. He is deep within us, as He is in all creation. He lives through us. We are not separate and apart, in a supplicating fashion with Him. We are bringing out the best that we have within us when we bring out the Christ-Self. This Christ-Self will heal all wombs, easy all troubles, get us back on the right track.

We are innocent, as anything bad that we did was done in illusion, egoic illusion. And now we know better. If we slip and fall, God will lift us up.

That is what He always does.

Prayer

Dear God,

Please take away all vestiges in me of a desire to be other than who I am. Please take away any desire to more “perfect” in Your sight. You don’t require perfection now, because Jesus stands at the end of the pathway to correct all errors that we could not correct. Our subconscious minds will gradually be brought to the surface of the mind, and, with our heart leading the way, we will be healed.

Thank You for the insights that seemed especially providential in the last couple of days. May I be with my significant other and my friends, a comfort to them as You are a comfort to me.

Amen.

Real Scoop on Anger

“If anger arises in you now, it does not mean that you will react in what¬ever way anger once called you to react and it does not mean that something is wrong with you or that you are not spiritual enough! It simply means that you are involved in a situation or relationship that has called forth that feeling. It is in the expression of that feeling that who you are is revealed, not in the feeling itself. The feeling is provided by the body, a helpmate now in your service as a route to true expression.” (ACOL, D:Day8.22)

Jesus here says that it is our expression of the feeling of anger that might be a problem, far more than the feeling of anger itself. He has told us, though, in A Course in Miracles that there is no justification for anger. There is no justification for anger because when our brothers and sisters, and ourselves, react to the feeling of anger we are acting in insanity. We are not seeing the innocence in children of God, and we might also conclude that we are blaming the person who felt anger.

Let us look to the expression of anger or rage as the real problem here. There is no reason that we need to react poorly, for our brothers and sisters are doing the best that they can at any given time, given their state of understanding. No one does what he/she thinks has no justification. But we are still very prone to attack back, when we are attacked. The fact that all of this is happening in illusion is often lost on us.

If we just say to ourselves, in the midst of poor behavior, this is just insanity, madness, then we will have a more efficacious basis on which to forgive. And it is just insanity or madness when a brother or sister screams at us in rage. There is no other way to describe what is happening.

So: Jesus says that it is not our feeling of anger toward a brother or sister that is the real error; it is how we might choose to express that feeling. If we choose to attack, we have made false assumptions, and we will be hurt in return.

Prayer

Dear God,

When I have walked the whole pathway, I know that my responses will be of love, even when faced with an angry brother or sister. I can choose the same reaction now, while on the pathway. Give me the fortitude to turn from attack, even verbal, and to choose the least escalating response.

Be with me throughout the day. I have the best day when I sense Your presence in my life. I am adrift when I am so overwrought that You seem far away.

Amen.

Being Who We Are in Mellowness & Gentleness

“We have talked little of feelings here, and there has been a reason for this discussion coming so late in our time together. To accept the feelings of the self of illusion would have been to accept the feelings generated by the fear of the ego thought system or the bitterness of your heart. It would have been to accept the feelings of a personal self who had not yet unlearned the lessons of the past or taken these steps toward elevation. Now, however, it is crucial that you come to acceptance of yourself—in the present, as you are—for only by doing so will you come to full acceptance of who you are and be able to allow the Self of unity to merge with the self of form, thus elevating the self of form. You will also, only in this way, come to true expression of the elevated Self of form. Access and expression are both conditions of the present.” (ACOL, D:Day8.17)

We are accepting the feelings of the Self of union, the Self who has merged with the Christ-Self deep within us. We are not accepting the feelings of an egoic self any longer. When we accept the feelings of the newly emerged Self, we are mellow and forgiving. We are at peace, and who among us would not want peace at all times?

How do we invite mellowness and peace? This is an important question to come to terms with, for in it is our pathway home made clear to us. Our insights will grow ever greater as we walk the mellow pathway of gentleness. By forgiving those who do not seem forgivable, we are given the blessing of a full peace.

What is more, we are given the blessing of glimpses of Christ-consciousness, the state of mind and heart that will soon be our permanent state. We will sustain Christ-consciousness when we have truly realized that we forgive, first, for ourselves, to ease the pain and torment of a tortured mind and heart. Our brothers and sisters are, many of them, living in insanity, and thus nothing that they do means anything. We can sometimes feel pity for them, but we do best when we feel compassion instead. This compassion will ease the way toward a full-hearted forgiveness of the illusion that we actually reside in.

Be gentle with ourselves today. Know that to dwell on problems is not the way. Ask for a solution at the point of need, and then rest easy—for the solution will come, and at just the right time, an immediate time.

Be good to our neighbors, our brothers and sisters. We will have less to forgive when we embrace all of them with compassion born of a serene and full heart.

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank You for the insight that I had recently, just yesterday, that I once made my own problems with a passion that I have given up now. I would not obsess about any seeming difficulty. There is too much to be happy about, too much to rue a good day.

If I am certain that You will always provide a solution when there is a problem, I will walk a green earth again. And I am certain. Thank You.

Amen.

Tolerance = Gift for Friendship

“This acceptance is the only thing that will truly prevent judgment, for it does not require you to be your brother’s keeper but only your own. It requires you to know yourself without judging yourself.

“Will knowing your dislikes cause you to be intolerant? This is an important question. You have been intolerant of yourself and it was easy to extend this intolerance to others. Once acceptance of the Self begins to be practiced, you will realize that the self of intolerance was the self of fear. Acceptance of yourself, in love, leads to acceptance of others. Knowing this aspect of how you feel, what we are here calling your dislikes, is but a first step in this beginning stage of acceptance and only of importance because of your intolerance of your own feelings.” (ACOL, D:Day8.11 – Day8.12)

We have often been intolerant of ourselves, and this, as Jesus says, led to intolerance of others. We didn’t like the self that we were. We wanted to be somebody different. And in this refusal to accept ourselves, we made all of our trouble.

Of course, it is easy to realize that we didn’t like the egoic self, didn’t want that to be who we were. And we weren’t that at all! It was a mistake, pure and simple. Now we can accept the inner Christ-Self, coming out now, to be who we really are. This Self is easy to accept.

When we are tolerant of our very self, we will be tolerant of others. And this will give us a gift for friendship that we have lacked before. I have a friend whom I recognized as having a gift for friendship, and I told her so. One day she was in a particularly judgmental mood, not liking an interaction with somebody else, and she told me that she had least tried to be tolerant of others. At that moment, she thought that she was falling down on tolerance. Here we see a link with our quotation for today. If we accept others, foibles and all, we will have tolerance for them. And we will have a gift for friendship.

If we are to be together for an eternity, we need to treat each other well. We need to be good to each other. This attitude is especially important for interacting with our significant others, but it holds for all of our brothers and sisters. Acceptance of them doesn’t mean condoning poor behavior. But we don’t have to judge that poor behavior. We can know that others act as best they can, given their degree of understanding. And we can help, but only when they reach out to us. Then we can share what we think, always in an expression of love—not for the bad deed, but for the Son or Daughter of God Who is within all of our brothers and sisters.

Be good today to those we love. In the love, their understanding will seem to magically increase.

Dear God,

Thank You for, once again, starting my day off right. I do receive guidance as to what to do and say to make of this a good day. I thank You immensely for this ever-present guidance. May my sensitivity to intuition only increase.

Be with me to assist me to accept others with a full heart today. I need to develop more tolerance, and with more tolerance will come an ever-expanding circle of friendship. Thank You.

Amen.

Come before God with No Mask

“Now you may have been thinking—again, at least subconsciously—that your “real” Self has no feelings of dislike, and in this confusion have been “trying” and even “struggling” to accept what you do not like in order to be more true to an ideal self. Yet this ideal self is not the self you are right now. You cannot accept only an ideal self. This is nonsense. Can you not see this?” (ACOL, D:Day8.7)

When Jesus says that we cannot accept only an “ideal” self, one that we aren’t right now, he is telling us that we cannot accept a persona. And a persona has been what we are used to, what we have been presenting to the world throughout our whole lives. And it was always wrong. First, we formed our false persona by accenting to what our growing ego told us. And we suffered, for we had highs and lows, every high followed by a low of the same intensity. Our egos were always being undone, for they were not the real Self, the Christ-Self, who wanted to come out and live a little. Our false personas thus did us a great disservice, giving us a false face to present to the world, and dragging us down at the same time. We were never given anything of ours to hold for all eternity. Our joys, our flights of happiness, always had a down side. They did not present the real Self.

When Jesus tells us to accept ourselves as we really are, to be who we are really, he is saying to come before our God with no mask. He means the same for our presentation to our brothers and sisters. We don’t try to be something that we think is somehow “better.” We just go with the flow of our lives, and, without the ego (now), we offer a true likeness of ourselves to others. “Be who we really are” means just that.

If we persist in trying to be something that we aren’t, some “ideal” that we aren’t, we will be lost to our real being. We need to realize that what we are is “good enough,” that we don’t make ourselves over to have a holy instant. These changes used to be the doing of the Holy Spirit; now Jesus says that it is just the Self, a part of God, who directs us and directs our changes over time.

What a great blessing it is to realize that we don’t have to make ourselves over into something that we aren’t. Change, prompted by the real Self, will direct our transformation to something better than a superficial “ideal.” Our transformation will allow the true Self to shine forth.

Prayer

Dear God,

It is only an old pattern that would have me try to be something that I am not. Help me to be accepting of the self who is changing, under the guidance of my real Self, to something worthy of You. Help me to give up false notions of what is a good and presentable image. Let me become what You would have me become—nothing more and nothing different.

Thank You for granting me new life today. I am stepping out from under a cloud when I allow my true Self to show. Help that true Self to be worthy of You.

Amen.

Miracle of Ordinary Life Transformed into Extraordinary Life

“If you can’t remove yourself from life, what choice have you but to join with it? Love it. Love yourself. Love yourself enough to accept yourself. Love will transform normal, ordinary, life into extraordinary life. Loving exactly who you are and where you are in every moment is what will cause the transformation that will end your desire to remove yourself from life. All those frustrations you currently feel have a purpose: To move you through them and beyond them—to acceptance.” (ACOL, D:Day8.2)

What a glorious promise—that ordinary life will be transformed into extraordinary life! Previously Jesus has said that the lives that we ordinary people live will attract others to what we have found, ordinary people living extraordinary lives.

And again Jesus asks us to accept, with our mind and heart, of course. The way I like to say this is to say, “Be willing to have it so.” If we are willing to have it so, we cease fighting with life. We don’t overlook things that we want to change, but we do abide in the present if things remain pretty much the same. We don’t get in a royal funk because life is not handing us the goodies on a silver platter.

We abide where we are, with the full understanding that we currently have. We realize that we have the tools for a better life; we don’t have to keep struggling. The way back to God is easy in the extreme. It is ourselves and our lamented egoic consciousness that has made the easiest thing in the world, the hardest.

Let’s live our extraordinary lives today. This doesn’t mean that we do anything particular that is different, but we do, do “it” with a different attitude. And this attitude is acceptance, being willing to have it so. When we are no longer fighting life, we find that we are handed a new life on a silver platter.

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank You for making clear what You are asking of me. Thank You for giving me the equanimity to live peacefully with what presents itself in front of me. This grace comes easily when I pray. And I do pray now—for Your peace, Your guidance, Your good will toward me. I realize that I don’t have to prepare myself to pray to You, just as I don’t have to prepare to have a holy instant. And all instants have the potential to be holy, when I am in right relationship to You. That right relationship is the grace to accept myself just as I am, just as You accept me.

Thank You for helping me to accept the present just as it is.

Amen.

Live in the Present

“The condition of the time of acceptance that will most clearly reveal to you your status in regard to maintaining or sustaining your access to union will be that of the replacement of doubt with certainty. Certainty is a condi¬tion of the present. Realize you may say you are certain of the future or the past but that you cannot make it so. Thus your ability to maintain and then sustain your access to union and thus your certainty, goes hand-in-hand with your ability to live in the present. This ability is also contingent upon your recognition of what certainty really is.” (ACOL, D:Day7.20)

Jesus is here right in line with many others who have said that to live in the present is the very best way imaginable. We often can’t make it, though, having minds that flit about, obsessing over the past with things that can’t be changed, and worrying about an unknown future that isn’t here yet.

How much trouble we make for ourselves by living this way! If we focus with intensity on the present, we bring our best resources to that present. And then the past will fade away, and we will also be in a much better position to face the future with any and all problems that it may contain. When we bring our best to the present, we are focused. This makes for good decision-making, and also for less likelihood that the things we worry about for the future will actually come true.

We have it in us to focus on the present. Let’s give it a go. Better things come to an undivided mind, a full heart. Listen to our intuition today, as we live in the present. If we find our thoughts straying to past or future, don’t judge ourselves, but just gently bring those thoughts back to the present.

And ask for an intuitive thought that will make the day go smoothly. Today and every day, more and more intuitive thoughts, so that intuition becomes the way that we welcome the new day.

Prayer

Dear God,

I am going to make a concerted effort to live in the present today. And today is the first time of the rest of my life. So I hope to make my new direction, a habit. Be with me to guide my thoughts to a higher level. Be with me always, even when I am thinking of other, often secular, things.

Thank You for guiding me when I didn’t know that I was being guided. Lead me to the certainty that only union with You and all of my brothers and sisters can give. Lead me to union with the Christ-Self, the ego gone forever.

Amen.

Welcome Something Better Now

“Obviously your relationship or access to union is of supreme importance, since all else will come of this. However, this is not an “if this, then that” situation even if it may seem so. Is the process of breathing an “if this, then that” situation, just because breathing sustains life? Your access to union sustains real life, the life of the Self, and will come to sustain the elevated Self of form in a way as natural to you as breathing.” (ACOL, D:D7.14)

Life ahead of us is going to get very good. We won’t have to struggle, we won’t have to miss the mark so much with our decisions. We will live naturally, as effortlessly as breathing, when we don’t think about it. The way to this way of living is not hard, because it is the easiest thing that we have ever done. It is possibly the only thing that we have ever done—to assent to union with God, our Higher Power, the One who lives in us and through us on a daily basis. Would we not give Him a good day every day?

We are going to have real life for the first time in eons, for the ego took us sideways to a harsh and artificial life that ruined our days more often than not. Real Life will have us thinking with a very positive slant. Though some difficult things may still happen, they won’t touch us the way they used to. The difficult things will hold a gift for us that is meant for our well being. And nothing will seem harsh or demanding in these gifts. The gifts will sustain us in a meaningful existence for the first time ever.

Choose union today. Choose to give our Maker His due. God is waiting. Our brothers and sisters are waiting as well. Remove the blocks to love’s awareness, remove all the attack, the anger, the harsh words, the resentments. All of these negative aspects of our mind can be safely left behind, for we are living with grace. God’s grace. And our days will follow one another with a smoothness that has heretofore eluded us entirely.

Give the gift of this day over to God. He knows how to live it. Ask for His advice, take the guidance that comes through intuition, and then be prepared, just now, to welcome the something better that we have always longed to have.

Prayer

Dear God,

I thank You for the better attitude I had a couple of nights ago, when I awoke from a bad dream. I knew then that the anxiety that arose was false thinking, and I knew also that it would leave me if I just settled down. Thank You for the will I found to do just that. And last night there was no bad dream to mar a wonderful sleep.

Be with me as I seek to follow Your advice today. Your advice will keep bad dreams away in the daytime and the nighttime. Thank You for leading me so faithfully, always.

Amen.

Ease of Living that Holy Grace Inspires

“There are many lesser conditions that are nonetheless extremely trans¬formative, such as the replacement of special relationship with the devotion of holy relationship that we have already spoken of. Another replacement is that of control with grace. This occurs as you give up the control you have but thought you exerted over your life and its circumstances, and live in a state of grace, meeting grace with grace by accepting what is given for your regeneration.” (ACOL, D:Day7.12)

Jesus is speaking here of the transformations that will occur as we move ever closer to an elevated Self of form, a form that is embodied by the inner Christ-Self, who is now running things. Our transformation will ultimately mean Christ-consciousness, sustained. No more trying to be in control of what happens in our lives, but simply being in a flow that Jesus here calls grace. Our relationships will be holy, in that we recognize that the specialness we saw in them was of the ego, and we would have this egoic emphasis no longer. Our lives will take on new meaning, as we live in grace and amid holiness with everyone surrounding us. Does this not sound very much akin to what has often been called heaven on earth?

If heaven on earth seems far from us, there are things that we can do to bring it closer. We can live with an equanimity that refuses to respond to attack with attack. Our angers can lessen, as we recognize that there is no reason to give in to anger and its attendant emotional charges that so debilitate us. The way back to God is not hard when we realize that we actually have never left His side. He is within us, living life through us. Would we not want to give God Himself a good day? Would we not want to give God Himself the means to live a good and fruitful life through us?

Grace is a very positive virtue. So is holy love. In this quotation for today, Jesus links the two, giving all of us something to think about that will be transformative in and of itself. Our mind and heart will fall in line with the ease of living that holy grace inspires. We do not need to struggle so. We do not need to fall into depressed moods, ruing our days. That way of living never gave us peace—never. Now we are encouraged to live a better way, putting into practice what we know to be true. We are asked to live in utmost commitment to the way of life and love that Jesus is here outlining.

If we put a new way of living and loving into practice, nothing will ever be the same. We will never be the same.

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank You for easing any and all burdens by suggesting a way of life that is grace-filled and love-filled. I know that I will not always be superbly happy, but I also know that that is my aim. And the goal becomes closer as I live close to You. Your business with me transforms me and my day. Your love for me is palpable. Sensing Your love is a blessing that grant happiness in and of itself.

Be with me for the remainder of this glorious day. Be with me, to comfort, to give me solace, to lift my spirits very high, into Your arms. Knowing that You are constantly living through me is a very great bit of information that in and of itself takes me home to You.

Amen.

Cool, Calm, and Collected

“Love replaces fear and is life-generating rather than life-degenerating. Your bodies will thus regenerate rather than degenerate. Love is, of course, not a condition, as it is not an attribute, but the effect of living from love rather than from fear will have a major transformative effect on form in this time of acceptance. Regeneration is a condition of the time of acceptance.” (ACOL, D:Day7.6)

There is a great hope for improved bodies in this quotation for today. And who would not want that? While bodies may be illusion, they certainly appear very real to us. And a regeneration, based on living from love, thus becomes a very great promise.

When we live from fear, we are stressed and anxious, and medical personnel do know that stress and anxiety exacerbate virtually any illness. And these two bad emotions can, of course, cause illness. I have read that up to 70 percent of visits to doctors are psychosomatic, which is another way of saying that our emotions are engaged.

To live from love has tremendous advantages. We calm down, because we are living close to a Higher Power, and this shifting of our burdens is a real advantage in difficult times. And who among us does not have difficult times, even after we have given up the ego, and are attempting to establish a new identity, which A Course of Love bids us to do.

The two emotions, love and fear, have diametrically opposed results. When love embraces us, we are mellow and peaceful, inviting glimpses of Awakening, even inviting Awakening to come and stay with us forever. This last result is what Jesus hopes for from our reading of ACOL. He is very eager to see us cool, calm, and collected—and to that end, he takes up to a metaphorical mountaintop for 40 days and 40 nights. When we listen, really listen, to his words, we are relieved of the responsibility of keeping everything in order ourselves—a task we could never do very well, but which the ego tried to do incessantly.

Leave such foolishness behind. Ask for the simple pleasure of living from love, and see if our bodies, our illusory bodies, don’t fall in line with our new pleasing emotion of love.

Dear God,

I ask for a new body, though I know that it is illusory. In this world it seems to have real effects, and it is these that I would ask to see regenerated. This is Jesus’s promise—when we live from love. This is my hope today.

Show me how to live from love in each and every moment. The advantages are many, and I AM asking in your will. So I claim this promise of Jesus, to give me a regenerated form, and I thank You for bringing about abundant health.

Amen.