Deprived of Nothing Except by Our Own Decisions

“When you are sad, know that this need not be. Depression is of the ego, and you are hiding little spots of hatred that are hurting you. Depression always arises ultimately from a sense of being deprived of something you want and do not have. Know you are deprived of nothing except by your own decisions, and then decide otherwise.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.5:1-4)

We have been given everything, by God, to make our way through life easily and peacefully. On the surface, this sounds like an outrageous claim, but Jesus does say that we are “deprived of nothing except by your own decisions.” This sounds very akin to Jesus’ way of speaking of the law of attraction, in which what we focus upon, actually comes to be.

The law of attraction has been hot news since Rhonda Byrne and her team made a film entitled The Secret, and this was followed, by her, by books (The Secret, The Power, The Magic, The Hero). It is a very controversial idea, but the law of attraction says that we have to watch our minds for the scraps of fear that abide there, for we will make very bad things for ourselves if we focus on the negative. In The Power, Rhonda made clear the central place of love, and this book has spiritual aspects that would lead all of us to see that Love in religion, and love in the law of attraction, is a universal concept with universal ramifications.

Depression does wrap our mind up in knots. We can do much to dismiss depressed thoughts when they arise in us, as the psychologist Richard Carlson has made clear, especially in the books, Shortcut through Therapy, You Can Feel Good Again, and Slowing Down to the Speed of Life. He doesn’t think that we are doomed by brain chemicals to lead a depressed life; we have some say in how we thrive.

Jesus, in the passage for today, seems to say much the same. We all need compassion, and those who are depressed perhaps need more compassion than most. If we are trapped by depression, let us reach out to our brothers and sisters, including the medical establishment and the community of psychologists and psychiatrists.

Let us ask what we would want to think that we can’t seem to think now.

And that will hold the key.

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Joy & Emotional Peace

“When your mood tells you that you have willed wrongly, and this is so whenever you are not joyous, then know this need not be. In every case, you have thought wrongly about some brother that God create and are perceiving images your ego makes in a darkened glass. Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think. Search sincerely for what you have done and left undone accordingly. And then change your mind to think with God’s.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.VI.3:1-5)

When we are not joyous, we have let something go wrong. This is true because our natural state of mind, when we are One with God, is joy. If we simply look at nature, we will know that God’s primary emotion is joy, though storms, earthquakes, and the like, can let us doubt this. The fierceness of nature is part of its charm, though when people die in natural “acts of God,” we wonder what kind of God we really have.

God does not mean us ill. I am absolutely certain of that. Our suffering cannot be understood on this plane of this world; our finite mind cannot see the whole. But God doesn’t make the decision to rain pestilence down upon our heads. His gestures are all loving.

And when we know that God is loving, we can rest in joy, for we are well-protected. If any harm comes to us, we can rail against fate (though this is a futile gesture). God wraps us up in His arms, and all is well.

Emotional peace is more important than physical ailments. If our minds and hearts are at peace, we are right where we need to be, resting in God.

Reframe the Psyche for Sanity

“Consider how much vigilance you have been willing to exert to protect your ego, and how little you have been willing to expend to protect your higher mind! Who but the insane would undertake to believe in what is not true and then protect this belief at the cost of truth?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.17:3-4)

Perhaps, in reading A Course in Miracles, you have balked at accepting Jesus’ assertion that in our usual frame of mind, we have been mad, insane. This may be because we think that we don’t do the insane things that people who are certifiably mad have actually done. Of course, there is a difference, but I think we will see, when Awakening dawns, that our psyche has been skewed. The ego is easily recognized, then, as a form of insanity.

We have to use our imagination to project what life would really be like without the ego. We have to lay aside the definition of the ego that Freud gave, in that the ego was seen as necessary for an adult to function, that the ego would form the persona, and then we would live independent lives when grown. Jesus’ defines the ego differently, in that he sees it as a false concept, a concept to be overcome, and a concept not at all needed for responsible living as an adult. Our persona will thrive when we awaken and do not seek any longer to cling to our egoic ways. We will also realize that independent living is not the panacea we had thought, that we are meant to be interdependent, living in cooperation with our brothers and sisters.

Let the ego wither away by failing to reinforce the egotistical ideas that so call to us. Let humility lead the way. After all, Jesus said that the meek would inherit the earth. While he did not mean by “meek” any form of subservient behavior, we can, in the word, glimpse a little of what he meant many years ago when he walked the earth.

We want to follow the truth. And when the tenets of A Course in Miracles take hold, we will find ourselves triumphantly following that truth.

Relax in God’s Grace

“In your own unconscious, deeply repressed by the ego, is the declaration of your release: God has given you everything. This is the one fact which means that the ego does not exist, and which therefore makes it profoundly afraid. In the ego’s language, to have and to be are different, but they are identical to the spirit. It knows that you both have everything and are everything. Any distinction in this respect is meaningful only when the idea of getting, which implies a lack, has already been accepted. That is why we made no distinction between having the Kingdom of God and being the Kingdom of God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.16:1-6)

So: God has given us everything!! This declaration surely doesn’t mean right now, but intuitively it can mean just that. When we draw on ultimate meaning, we draw on what we both have and are, and this is the infinity of God Himself. Like a hologram, the Whole of everything is within us, though our finite mind cannot comprehend this universal blessing. Our ego cannot comprehend, period. And so it shivers in dread and fear. But we don’t have to do that; we can immerse ourselves in the love that God’s greatest blessing to us. And in this blessing, we know that we partake of His grandness.

We do not have lacks. Oh, we think we do. But the fulfillment of need is only a motion away, a creative motion in which we rest in what we have, in gratitude that it is enough. We may, it is true, lack for material things, but this need be only temporary, for God’s storehouses are full to overflowing with what He can and does give to us.

Our spiritual needs are met immediately at the point of asking, for these intangibles do not wait on time or place. Our emotional needs, sometimes the greatest of our needs, may be resolved with a heartfelt prayer asking for help. And in asking for help, we know that we are not truly experiencing lack, for the help arrives, and all is well.

If this seems “pie in the sky” thinking, just relax in God’s grace. Try not to let skepticism stop the good from coming to us. This is egoic thinking, and we have determined to leave the ego behind. If we fall into egoic thinking at the first sign of trouble, we are asking of the wrong source. Ask for God’s help, and we are asking aright.

We both have and are the Kingdom of God. Ask what this means, and rest in surety that the Holy Spirit will answer, in terms that we can understand.

Jesus: “I Will Come Gladly in Response to a Single Unequivocal Call”

“Watch your mind for the scraps of meanness, or you will be unable to ask me to do so. I can help you only as our Father created us. I will love you and honor you and maintain complete respect for what you have made. But I will neither love nor honor it unless it is true. Ask me truly, and I will come. Do not ask me truly, and I will wait. I will never forsake you, any more than God will. But I must wait as long as you will to forsake yourself. Because I wait in love and not in impatience, you will surely ask me truly. I will come gladly in response to a single unequivocal call.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.14:1-10)

This quotation gives the context for Jesus’ opt-quoted words, on this blog, that he will come upon hearing a “single unequivocal call.” This is one of the most reassuring sentences in all of A Course in Miracles, particularly if one has what has been called a “personal relationship” with Jesus.

In A Course of Love, the sequel, continuation, of A Course in Miracles, Jesus says that we don’t have to accept him for us to benefit from his words. But he can do so much more for us if we do “accept” him. This means that traditional Christianity does get many things right, and a personal relationship with Jesus as the optimal is one such right thing.

We have made many things in illusion, and Jesus does not uphold these things. But our true creations, he does respect and honor. We ourselves don’t even know what all these creations are. There are several references in ACIM to our “creations,” but no full explanation of what is meant. I think most basically the creations are our intangible, but real, emotions that cause us to extend love to others—in other words, our miracles as instigated by Jesus (for he says that he should prompt us when and where to perform a miracle).

Let Jesus come to us today. He is not limited in any way, we can believe, though we cannot know how this is possible. Our finite minds need to let go of trying to understand, and just accept Jesus’ promises.

Then we will really be on the right road back to God.

Ever Mindful of God’s Love Given & Received

“Let us ask the Father in my name to keep you mindful of His love for you and yours for Him. He has never failed to answer this request, because it asks only for what He has already willed. Those who call truly are always answered. If you become fearful at this, remember: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me’ because there are none. You still think there are.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.12:1-5)

Do we still imagine gods that are other than our Creator, God Himself/Herself? The ego certainly does, and by this I mean the endless desires that we have for many, many things in our life, often material things. These become gods in their own right. We don’t have to subscribe to a “devil” figure to imagine that we are being tempted to put other gods before our Maker. We do this automatically and incessantly when we cozy up to the ego.

The many things that we admire and love more than God are mirages in the desert. Jesus says elsewhere in this complete edition that the thing to do with a desert is to leave. Certainly that is what we have to do with the ego; we have to turn aside, ever so gently, so as not to be sucked into a quagmire. We need to turn aside and give our allegiance and love to the One Who truly deserves it.

Remember that God loves us. And, buried deep within us, is our response of love. We know that love makes the world go ‘round, and when we love God, we come to see that the universes as well thrive on love.
If we think that we don’t love God, think a bit about what or who we do love. If this is true love, and intangible, then we can find God in this source. Loving this known bit of God can turn us on to God Himself.

Sometimes it is easier to love something little than the big, all-encompassing Source of Love Himself.
This small, intangible, love will take us to God. We have trouble because God is ineffable, and we don’t know how to get a handle on Him. This is as it should be. Turn within, and see if we don’t sense Love from the Almighty.

His blessings will lead us to Him.

Ask for Our Inheritance

“The Bible has many references to the immeasurable gifts which are for you, but for which you must ask. This is not a condition as the ego sets conditions. It is the glorious condition of what you are. No force except your own will is strong enough or worthy enough to guide you. In this you are as free as God, and must remain so forever. You can never be found except in honor, and that is always voluntary.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.11:4-9)

This asking is not a greedy rapaciousness. This asking is for our rightful inheritance. God intends good things for His children, and we are His children.

When I was young, I did not want to be greedy. I once ate a large portion of a package of cookies, at one sitting, and my mother, once she became aware of what I had done, told me that I had been “greedy.”

This crushed me. A small incident from childhood that was instructive.

This unhealed incident from my childhood has sometimes kept me from asking God for what is actually my “due.” God is not limited, and His gifts are abundant. Unlike a box of cookies, if we ask Him for what we want, and get it, there will not be less available for everyone else.

The storehouses of Heaven are filled to overflowing. Let the damaged areas of our conditioning fall away if we have hesitated to come to God with our legitimate desires.

He wants to give, and give, and never cease giving. We have only to accept, with a full heart.