Internal Treasures

“As this Treatise is not concerned with material treasure, we will not explore the dimensions of physical treasure except to say that the feelings that cause one to think that any physical thing is capable of being a treasure or being treasured are of the ego. We will instead assume that you have moved beyond these ego concerns and explore the realm of internal treasures.” (ACOL, T2:1.3)

This passage is a direct answer to the popular book, The Secret. Although Rhonda Byrne did not mean just material treasure, material treasure is used by way of introduction to her idea, an idea gleaned from extensive historical research. Perhaps Rhonda can “hook” us into the law of attraction by enticing our materialistic longings. She herself has written later books that indicate that she well knows that the material is not all that is important.

We need to go beyond the material, as we who have read this far in A Course of Love realize all too well. We may have been hooked time and again by a materialistic toy that we thought would satisfy our longing for treasure, only to find that it turned to dust in our hands. We were not, in a word, satisfied for long. So Jesus is leading us here to internal treasures, those that time does not destroy. Our internal treasures will satisfy us by turning into abilities, and then simply part of what we are, our very identity. This is the flow that treasures take.

We don’t want egoic nonsense in our lives any longer. That does not mean that we will eschew the material, for we live in a physical world. We have physical needs, of course, and we still can be caught by the glittering gold of a physical object. But if we realize that these external treasures are fleeting in their ability to satisfy, we will put our heart where the real treasure is—internal joys, internal pleasures. We will focus on intangibles rather than tangibles, the physical. We will know that the intangibles of joy, harmony, peace, goodwill, serenity will give us what we long to have above all else—and this is the peace of God. We may not fully realize this desire yet, but we are getting there. We will soon know that the only things worth having are things that cost nothing at all. These valuable things ask only that we put first things first, that we turn to God to satisfy our legitimate needs, and that we spend at least a part of each day in gratitude for all the blessings that we indeed do have.

This way of internal treasures is the ultimate in personal satisfaction, the ultimate way to happiness. Let’s march forward with that insight today.

Prayer

You know that we all need the material, in our material world. But You also know that we need the formless more than the material, and that it is the formless, the intangible, that will satisfy us for long and satisfy us fully. I would find the peace that emanates from harmony with all things today. I would enjoy those things that don’t cost anything, and yet their worth is incomparable. Your day, given to all, is beautiful whether it is raining or sunny. Birdsong costs nothing, and when we walk outside, we are privy to that beautiful trilling without doing anything special.

I know that my material needs will be taken care of, so long as I listen to Your guidance as to how to take care of the physical. You don’t deemphasize the physical; you just put it in proper perspective.

Thank You for another beautiful day in Your world. The world that we will create anew when we have assumed Christ-consciousness and are ready for a new day on earth.

Amen.

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A Course of Love – 40 Days and 40 Nights from the Dialogues

I will publish numerous passages with reflections from what some view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles. It is a three-volume series entitled A Course of Love, channeled by Mari Perron, believed to be from Jesus. The passages chosen are from the last half of the final volume in the series, the Dialogues.

Mari Perron’s web address is as follows:
http://www.acourseoflove.com/A_Course_Of_Love_And_Grace.shtml

I will re-introduce A Course of Love by re-posting an essay that compared A Course in Miracles to A Course of Love.

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love

by Celia Hales

Mari Perron’s A Course of Love, in three volumes (A Course of Love, the Treatises, and theDialogues, acronym ACOL), is a beautifully rendered narrative that I view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles. She heard internally, as she related to me in an interview when I met her in St. Paul, that ACOL was presented to her by Jesus as “another Course in Miracles.” She said that she had about a week before she consented to tackle such a large project, a project that eventually led her to resign from her position at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities to devote herself full time to the channeling. The channeling was done in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In my reading, I find in ACOL no contradictions of any kind with ACIM. My summary evaluation is that ACOL is to the heart what ACIM is to the mind. Jesus says that he is combining mind and heart in A Course of Love to lead to a state that he terms “wholeheartedness.” There are many consoling passages, notably a beautifully rendered invitation to join Jesus in an embrace that comforts and sustains us, and that we return in a mutual embrace. He invites us to weep, yet we know that he will not leave us weeping, but instead lifted up to his view of life and love as they are meant to be lived.
There is much in ACOL about the fact that our fiction of a separated self is to be replaced by a union that can be understood only in relationship one to another. As in ACIM, this is meant to be a holy relationship, not a special one. Jesus bids us serve one another, and asserts that this describes the circular nature of the universe–to serve and to be served
Jesus is much concerned in this whole series of three volumes that we not keep seeking for our answers; we are to rest in the view that we know enough to live in love. He talks about the fact that we seem to be continually seeking, but we are weary, and he knows that we wonder when this seeking will finally end. In ACOL, all three volumes, the seeking is finally to come to an end. The two volumes that follow the first, the Treatises and the Dialogues, particularly bid us leave our intellectualism behind and to listen, wholeheartedly, to our mind and heart in conjunction with each other. In these later volumes, particularly the last, he resigns as our teacher and speaks to us as one of us.

When I first began reading the second of the three volumes, the Treatises, I became convinced that Jesus was the author; it was an intellectual decision based in part on the newness of the material and the complexity of it. In addition, the fact that there were no contradictions to ACIM played heavily in my decision. The Treatises are four in number, and they provide an intellectual framework in ways that the other two volumes do not. They are harder to understand, but the same beautiful language is there, along with the forthrightness that I have learned to associate with Jesus. In the early pages, he asks us to choose a miracle, and explains that this will help us to understand what he is saying. Later on, he asserts, in line with Eastern thought, that mindfulness will provide the complement to wholeheartedness.

As the volumes go on, there is much that is new in them–ideas that pick up where ACIM left off, with the time of the Holy Spirit, and assertions that we are now in the time of Christ-consciousness. There have always been individuals who embodied Christ-consciousness, but none (except Jesus, we might add) that have sustained it. Jesus does not make promises about a physical Second Coming, as he did not in ACIM, but he does indicate that now is the time for the sustaining of Christ-consciousness among more and more people, and he asserts that children born now will inhabit a very different world than that of their forebears.
Jesus directly states that ACIM and A Course of Love work hand-in-hand. ACIM was meant to dislodge the ego, and ACOL builds upon this success, giving us the tools with which to work. He asserts in the final volume, the Dialogues, that we are now the accomplished, and he presents a primer that is meant to be read and understood over forty days and nights. We are working in a forty-day ascension to elevate the Self of form on our earth.

So much is devoted to the false thinking that we have about continuing to seek in a never-ending pathway. When is it enough? When does the seeking end? Jesus ultimately says that we are ready now, once we have walked the whole pathway (which he outlines in the latter part of the third volume, the Dialogues), and that continual seeking is not what he means for us. We will let the rough aspects of our personalities fall away, knowing that we are beloved and that we have achieved the Christhood that he holds out to us as his promise. In what appears to be a departure from ACIM, Jesus asserts that no feelings are bad. In ACIM, he had asserted that anger was never justified. In A Course of Love he notes different aspects of personality that do not hinder us from full acceptance to Christ-consciousness. Some of these aspects are negative, but he holds out to us the view that we can have these undesirable traits, undesirable to us, fall away if we do not care for them. Otherwise, it appears that we are simply to be tolerant of aspects of ourselves that will be subject to change as we grow in Christ-consciousness. In ACIM, perfection is seen to be a prerequisite, and Jesus was said to stand at the end of time to undo those errors in us that we otherwise could not undo. The differences between these two thoughts may not be as great as we might imagine, as we remember from the New Testament that the man Jesus, the example-life of Christ-consciousness, got very angry in the last week of his life with the moneychangers in the temple.

To believe that we can retain some negative traits and yet ascend to Christ-consciousness is a remarkable statement that sounds almost too good to be true. Yet I believe that it is true, and that it is only our own ego that would assert that the new understanding is arrogance. This is the suggestion, discussed above, from A Course of Love that we do not have to be perfect to be an ascended Self of form in this world. This is reassuring in the extreme, because how many of us try and try, only to fall up short repeatedly? This is discouraging for those of us on the spiritual pathway, and Jesus’ statements deny the reality of perfection as a criterion on acceptance by him as being Christ-conscious. This statement is one of the more startling in the volumes, and perhaps one of the more controversial.

Relationships are seen in the much the same vein as in ACIM, and special relationships must change to the holy. This is itself will change everything. We will exist in union with our brothers and sisters, in relationship, and this will fuel the new Christ form that we occupy.
We live within the house of truth, according to the Treatises, though within that house of truth is a house of illusion, in which many of us still live. In a significant image, the words describe that there have been “explosions” within the house of illusion, but that it is has not fallen yet. Nevertheless, still this house of illusion is within the house of truth, and so all of us are one together. Those in the house of illusion are still, like ACIM says of us, ruled by the ego; those outside the house of illusion but inside the house of truth are now ruled by the Christ spirit, or Christ-consciousness, as the time of the Holy Spirit is drawing to a close and the time of Christ-consciousness is at hand. This latter point is an expansion from ACIM, a next step.

We are not to evangelize our brothers and sisters, though, who still live in the house of illusion. Instead, we seek just by service one to another to draw everyone to us in the house of truth. Another way of stating this same phenomenon, new to our world but explained above, is that we must individually and collectively sustain Christ-consciousness. This then is the new Self that we are to be.
The third volume, the Dialogues, seeks to lead us to a sustained place of Christ-consciousness in form, i.e., the elevated Self of form. Christ-consciousness replaces perception (as discussed in ACIM) with knowing. This elevated Self of form, to my reading, means the physical form that we occupy on earth, but it is does not mean that death will cease to be (a somewhat common misconception that sometimes is made with ACIM).

The volume concludes with an injunction to remain in the world, but to follow Jesus to the mountaintop for forty days and nights of final observation (not “learning“). The content of the chapters devoted to these forty days and nights is beautiful indeed. As mentioned, Jesus resigns as our teacher and becomes akin to an equal, but just as surely must we too resign as our own teacher (an ACIM thought as well). We learn directly from observance, from within our own selves, of the real world that only appears to be outside of ourselves (an ACIM concept also). But we cannot observe only from within ourselves; we must join in union and relationship with our brothers and sisters. To unite is to be one in being; to join in relationship is to join with our brothers and sisters as beings; both union and relationship are necessary, and this injunction for unity and relationship is repeatedly emphasized.
In observing and living these forty days and nights, we are to remain in our daily world, carrying out our normal activities. Jesus assures us that this is the best way to learn, for, after all, we are creatures of the earth as well as heaven, and we do not need to remove ourselves from our daily lives to learn his truths.
There is a very interesting insertion in the Dialogues of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus is seen to be the “example life,” the one of “doing“; and Mary’s way is seen to be that of “being,” in relationship, the way of the future. There are consistencies between doing and being, though, and the two are not mutually exclusive now nor in the future.

The ultimate revelation of A Course of Love is the fact that we can indeed expect heaven on earth; this Jesus declares. He ends the final volume, the Dialogues, by saying that we will know expressions of love as our service on earth. This is very traditional thinking, but after studying all three volumes, it is a restful conclusion. We are not encouraged to spend ourselves in endless effort, as the end that we seek is peaceful and effortless. It is the way that life is meant to be, and has always been meant to be, lived.

A Course of Love, as I have reiterated, is a beautiful work of art. Though not in blank verse, as is ACIM, the language that Mari Perron channeled is stunningly beautiful. You have a magnificent opportunity in studying these volumes to learn what Jesus wants to say to us by way of sequel to ACIM.

Slight Twinge of Annoyance / Intense Fury

monet - water and boats“You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury. (W-21)”

Affirmation: “May I be angry with no one today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nighttime Dreams

This assertion, one of the more well-known from A Course in Miracles, does not seem credible on first reading. But actually our egoic minds delude us. We may dream at night far more hostilely than we think in the daytime. And so nighttime dreams of anger can clue us to the fact that we can be intensely furious when we think that we are mildly upset.

2 – No Gradations in Emotions

Why would this passage be true? Jesus does not give credence to gradations in emotions. In some ways, he thinks in black and white. And we may be used to this from his reactions in the New Testament. So what he says here has a certain ring of authenticity.

3 – Why?

Why would we really be furious when we think that we are only mildly annoyed? The ego wants it all for itself. The ego doesn’t really think in gradations, but it knows that we won’t accept extreme anger for ourselves, and so, in its wily way, the ego softens its attitudes. If this makes the ego sound independent, it does indeed function in this way quite often. But it is merely a part of our belief about ourselves, and we can choose to let it wither away. Indeed, we must choose this.

4 – Fury

How do we “lose it”? Do we lose it often? This shows that Jesus’s statement is indeed true. When we are tired, we are likely to express more fury than at any other time. Or if something else has already upset us (something that is never the “real thing” that is upsetting–an ACIM tenet). We can recognize, when we contemplate, that intense fury is actually veiled when we get upset. And we are the worst for it.

5 – Love

May all of us turn to the love within, the love that will eliminate these bouts of fury.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I learned in my maturity that I never get angry unless I am stressed. Many others are surely like this as well. But isn’t stress with me, still? And don’t I try to veil the anger that sometimes visits at inopportune times? I would be finished with this expression of the ego. No more.

May I invite the serenity that displaces the ego and put Your love in the center of my life. Then and only then will I no longer feel or show extravagant displays of negative emotion. Be with me as I seek to leave all this foolishness behind. I would not do this to myself, as I would not do it to my closest companions.

Amen.

No Idle Thoughts

1873 Dance School - degas
“There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of ‘idle thoughts.’ What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so. (W-16)”

Affirmation: “May I stop my mind wandering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

I have been guilty of mind wandering, and this mind wandering does form illusions that, on some level, have a form of their own. These are idle thoughts that are actually not “idle” at all. We need to stop such displays whenever they occur. Just saying “Stop!” can do more than might be thought.

2 – Essence of Salvation

Jesus would not have us destroy our good mind with images of illusions. We live in a dream, at least until the real world is seen, but to us this world is quite real already. How can we navigate through this world best? We need to ask for guidance. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. The best advice that Jesus gives is included in the Manual, when he recommends giving up judgment to follow the guidance that comes to us. This alone will save us. It is the essence of salvation.

3 – Misuse of Time

Perhaps we all might recognize that mind wandering and “idle” thoughts are a misuse of our good time. We need to live well in this world, and we usually only succeed in scaring ourselves when we indulge in such fantasies. May we drop this foolishness from our repertoire of emotions today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to the understanding that following Your guidance is the only way to live a life well. And I do try, though often I fall on my face. Help me to pick myself up and try again. Always to try again.

May I understand and act on the guidance that comes to me as it unfolds. May I never substitute ego-oriented thoughts, emotion-drive thoughts, instead of what is really best for myself as well as everyone I touch. May egoic thought die in me. Thank You for having the patience to show me the way when I am capricious and headstrong. Such attitudes have no place in my communion with You. I know this, and I pray to act upon this knowledge today and every day.

Amen.

Little Edges of Light / Great Rays

edgar-degas-art44519“You will begin to understand it [image making or seeing] when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

“As we go along, you may have many ‘light episodes.’ They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. (W-15)

Affirmation: “Thank You for the moments when I saw little edges of light.”

Reflections:

1 – Intriguing Passage

A previous posting on this subject has been revisited many times. But what do the “little edges of light,” the light episodes, really mean?

2 – Personal Experience

We are in a heightened emotional state when we see these lights around familiar objects. In my case, when I saw them, colors also seemed brighter than usual. I was amazed by what my eyes were showing me. In a famous garden, the experience has remained with me most of my adult life. A Course in Miracles had not yet been published, and I had no guidance.

3 – One-Time Experience

It is true that this experience came, for me, only once and did not persist. Because seeing the edges of light seemed so significant to me at the time, when I discovered ACIM more than ten years later, I was enthralled to find my experience detailed therein.

4 – Great Rays

I also once felt the Great Rays, but this was when I was reading A Course in Miracles for the first time. I was walking outside in my parents’ back yard, and suddenly the bright sun seemed to be pouring down rays upon me. I was frightened and returned to the house, and called a friend whom I knew to be religious and thought would be sympathetic. Because he had not read ACIM, he had no ready explanation. But by that time I did, for I was, as I said, reading ACIM at the time.

5 – Perceptual Experiences

These episodes did not last, and they do not have to be clung to for reasons of faith. They are perceptual, and Jesus says that perception does not last. Even miracles do not last, for they too are perceptual. And perhaps these two episodes in my life were examples of miracles. I have thought so.

6 – True Vision

Do not be frightened if something similar happens to you. And also don’t be hung up on “understanding” what has transpired. Jesus has told us all that we need to know in today’s passage. These light episodes are the sign that we are coming to true vision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the explanations that Jesus gives us for light experiences. These intriguing passages from A Course in Miracles are obviously something that we want to understand. But maybe on earth we can’t understand completely. There is a mystery there. Thank You for that mystery.

I thank You for these experiences in my own life. May others also have similar experiences that will bring them closer to You.

Amen.

Indescribably Happy

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-kenneth-nunamaker-over-looking-the-delaware-from-center-bridge-1928-original-size-22-x-24“If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. (W-12)”

Affirmation: “I would be indescribably happy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Preconceptions

How do we let go of our preconceptions about this world? We have written our own meaning upon it. That is all. We need to accept that the world itself is meaningless, and then let the truth be written upon it for us.

2 – Passive

This attitude is essentially passive. But we do contemplate, read, study, and pray. And in these actions we come to understand more fully what this world really means. We do not add our own meaning to it; we accept what comes to us in such moments of reflection, essentially waiting for God to speak to us.

3 – God

And He will. We all too often think that God is remote from us, but instead He is the deepest part of our being. When we turn within, we will find Him. And we will also find the answers to our questions.

4 – Solution Is with the Problem

Remember that the solution to the problem is always with the problem–at the very moment. And frequently we get an answer immediately. Unfortunately, when our emotions are turbulent, we cannot always hear the answers. We don’t get the solution, and so we need to calm down, relax, commune with our deepest nature, and then take the steps that come to us, intuitively.

5 – Problems

When we contemplate in the most serene way, our answers come to what is troubling us. And if the answers don’t come, perhaps this is a problem that God is holding out to us as a learning exercise. Ask, instead, what this problem is meant to teach us? And the answer will dawn, sooner rather than later.

6 – The World

We do not stay with the idea that the world is meaningless, for to believe this would be demoralizing. We let God write its meaning upon our hearts, and then we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is with the problem. Thank You for that knowledge–a great blessing! When problems come up, if I remember to listen to guidance, the answer does come. Invariably. But my emotions must be calm for the guidance to come through. Help my emotions to be calm today.

I would be indescribably happy today. There is no better way to follow You, and no better way to live in this world. Happiness is a worthy goal, for we are of much better use to others when we are happy. And happiness is a witness to what salvation offers. May I never forget this.

Be with me today as I seek to pray for others whom I know are in crisis. Praying to You works, a very practical technique for healing.

May this day, as all days, be good.

Amen.

Glass in which the Ego Sees its Face Is Dark Indeed

pennsylvania impressionists - house
“If you cannot hear the Voice for God, it is because you do not choose to listen. That you do listen to the voice of your ego is demonstrated by your attitudes, your feelings and your behavior. Yet this is what you want. This is what you are fighting to keep, and what you are vigilant to save. Your mind is filled with schemes to save the face of your ego, and you do not seek the face of Christ. The glass in which the ego seeks to see its face is dark indeed. (T-4.IV.1)”

Affirmation: “I would hear the Voice for God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Holy Spirit

A Course in Miracles is written for the time of the Holy Spirit, the Voice for God, the Universal Inspiration. A Course of Love is written for the time of the second coming of Christ, though in this trilogy no predictions are ever made about a physical second coming of Jesus. Now that we are taking a look, again, at part of ACIM, we need to realize that there is great importance in listening for the Voice. Do we actually hear anything? Probably not. If we did hear something, we probably would fear for our sanity.

2 – Guidance

But the guidance of the Holy Spirit comes in promptings, feelings, intuition. The guidance comes in a chance word overheard from friends or even strangers. The guidance from a word written in a book that we are reading. And there are innumerable other ways that the Holy Spirit speaks. (“The Gift of Guidance,” available in this blog as a lengthy article, identifies ten common ways that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Click on “Articles and Book Reviews” in the bar at the top of the screen.)

3 – The Voice

At this point in reading ACIM we are still listening to our ego. We don’t know anything else to do. The idea that there is a Voice that can accurately tell us what next to do is foreign to us. It means relinquishing our own judgment, and we find this difficult, because the world has focused on educating our judgment to try to make sound decisions in this world. ACIM takes the opposite tack.

4 – No Harm

It is important to know that guidance, the Voice, the Holy Spirit, will never counsel us to say or do anything that is harmful to ourselves or to others. So we need to test our this guidance until the guidance becomes a reliable guide for us. The ego is wily, and we can sometimes interpret the voice of the ego for the Voice of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is quiet; the ego is raucous. The Holy Spirit is gentle; the ego is insistent. We will not be forced in any way by the Holy Spirit. It is always our decision to follow Him.

5 – Pathway

And the decision to follow becomes easier as we see how much more smoothly our pathway becomes.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I listen to guidance today. I say this to You a lot, and I do mean it. I find that my life flows much more smoothly with the helps that You give me. Thank You.

May my brothers and sisters have a good day today. And may I as well. The day is starting off brightly, and I have hope. Thank You for that hope.

Amen.

False Persona

pennsylvania impressionists - river road
“I can be entrusted with your body and your ego only because this enables you not to be concerned with them, and lets me teach you their unimportance. I could not understand their importance to you if I had not once been tempted to believe in them myself. Let us undertake to learn this lesson together so we can be free of them together. I need devoted teachers who share my aim of healing the mind. (T-4.I.13)”

Affirmation: “I would seek to heal the mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Undo the Ego

A Course in Miracles seeks to undo the ego, undo that part of ourselves that is a false persona. The body is normally a big part of the ego’s system of thought, for the body is the ego’s home. We need to recognize early on that Jesus can take over both ego and body, and in so doing, we will save ourselves much conflict. We will not be concerned anymore with that which is actually unimportant.

2 – The Body

It is important to note that the body is deemphasized in A Course in Miracles more so than in A Course of Love. By the time we have read, several times usually, A Course of Love, we have relinquished the ego. But we have seen from our reading that in the awakened state of mind, our physical bodies are still with us. We occupy the “elevated Self of form,” but we do not emphasize the body anymore as an ego device. We simply use the body, as it was intended, as a communication device (from ACIM). When we have relinquished the ego, we naturally do not place undue, egotistical pleasures on the body. The body cannot sustain such thoughts. We will always be dissatisfied after a moment of supposed glory in our own beauty or handsomeness. We will like our clothes, and then we will be dissatisfied. Living in the ego is a matter of living in conflict.

3 – Devoted Teachers

We are being encouraged to become devoted teachers, and there is a whole book, the Manual for Teachers of ACIM, that is designed to give us guidance. Only time separates student and teacher, and often the roles are reversed. All of us teach all the time, and we are teaching what we are (from the Manual). We are trying to teach salvation, mostly by example, but also by words. We will not be effective either as students or teachers if we cling to the ego and the body as its home.

4 – Holy Spirit

We need to get beyond ego and body. A Course in Miracles, when studied, will tell us how. Whether or not we take its advice to heart is a matter of motivation only. We will learn what we consider important. And The Holy Spirit, as described in ACIM, will guide us along the way. We will not be left to our own devices.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would move beyond the ego today and every day. There is no need for a false persona, and with Your help, my Self will assert and all will be well with me. I pray for this new direction today.

May I replace the ego with the Self. May I leave the personal or “little” self behind. I would choose enlightenment if it were up to me to decide. But You make that decision. Guide me to follow the pathway to Your choice for me of Awakening.

Amen.

Your Worth Is Not Established by Teaching or Learning

degas - ballet“Your worth is not established by teaching or learning. Your worth is established by God. As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority. Teachers must be patient and repeat their lessons until they are learned. I am willing to do this, because I have no right to set your learning limits for you. Again,–nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth. (T-4.1.7)”.

Affirmation: “My worth is sure, established by God.”

Reflections:

1 – Conditional Love

Children who have been subjected to conditional love, and that includes most people (young and old), are not likely to grow up to have a sense of worth that is recognized as separate from achievement. Only children and first born children are especially susceptible to the false idea that they must “do” to establish their worth. Indeed, many feel that they will not be loved if they do not measure up to the ideal that their parents have inculcated in them. If good grades are encouraged, a child may feel that he/she will not be loved unless those good grades are brought home. And there are many variations on this theme of unworthiness, or of worth that has to be proved by deeds.

2 – Do / Think / Wish / Make

What a welcome change the passage for today can make in the minds of those who first come to A Course in Miracles, and especially for those who read the Text first. (Note: There is not prescribed order in reading the three volumes of ACIM.) “Nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth.” Jesus uses four verbs in this sense, as though he wishes to cover all the territory of our false thinking about worth.

3 – Fear

Farther on, Jesus indicates that if we cling to trying to measure up to be worthy of God, everything that we do will be fearful. And fear is of the ego. Here he is beginning to set down the limits of what the ego can do for us. And the limits are enormous; in fact, innumerable. The ego has led us down a false path, and we will be the better for it only if we learn how to turn aside from the ego. The ego is here defined as a part of our belief about ourselves (from the Text), but it is the coalition of false values. The ego is constantly being undone, because we cannot have both Awakening (toward which we are headed) and listen to the ego. The ego will always mislead.

4 – Emphasis

Jesus repeats these words about worth to emphasize, I think, their importance to the undoing of our thought system. To my way of thinking, this particular passage is one of the more important in all of ACIM, because it goes to the heart of our self-image. We are children of God, and we are already worthy because of that status.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You so much for this lovely, lovely passage. It is one of the most helpful, for me, in all of A Course in Miracles. I learned that I don’t have to achieve to be loved. I learned that You accept me just as I am, Your child. Thank You for the knowledge of this great blessing.

May I fret no more about conditional love. That is all in the past, and the conditional love was from individuals who only meant well, wanting me to live up to my potential. May I forgive completely and totally.

Be with my brothers and sisters who are struggle under conditional love. You love all of us, completely unconditionally. We don’t have to “measure up.” We are alright. You are transforming the mistakes into the pathway that You would have us walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

Miracles

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“Ask me which miracles you should perform. This spares you needless effort, because you will be acting under direct communication. The impersonal nature of the miracles is an essential ingredient, because it enables me to direct its application, and under my guidance miracles lead to the highly personal experience of revelation. A guide does not control but he does direct, leaving it up to you to follow. (T-1.III.4)”

Affirmation: “I will ask what miracles to perform today.”

Reflections:

1 – Selecting Miracles to Perform

This passage for today is a return to A Course in Miracles, and we will focus on ACIM for the next several days. In this early passage in the Text, Jesus is asserting his authority as our guide. He tells us that we ought simply to ask (internally) what miracles we ought to perform, and we will be told. Elsewhere we are told that consciously selected miracles are apt to be misguided, and so it is necessary to follow his guidance. Then, we are also told, we will be led into experiences of revelation.

2 – Revelation

Others will not understand our experiences of revelation, should we try to describe these experiences. They are very personal to us, in the same way that dream symbols are frequently unique to ourselves (at least according to Jung). But this is not solely an illusion, as dreams as seen to be in ACIM. The miracle still is of perception, and thus of the personal self, and because it is of perception, the miracle will not last (an ACIM tenet).

3 – Perception vs. Knowledge

But revelation is never defined as being of perception, though whether or not it is might be open to question (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Revelation reveals the end to us, the end that I believe A Course of Love spells out. We are heading beyond the personal or “little” self (ruled by the ego), and toward the Self/Christ, within, who will guide us once we are awakened (living in Christ-consciousness). Revelation, being intensely personal, could not be described adequately, even if we tried. Visions or hallucinations may be seen as miracles, and they too do not last, for they are perceptual.

4 – Unrecognized Miracles

Most miracles will, at first, not be recognized as such (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM). Others may benefit from miracles that we do about which we have been totally unaware. We will just sense that there is a right action that we ought to take, we will take it, and others will benefit. We ourselves will benefit as well. And, later on, we will look back and proclaim, “That was a miracle!”

5 – Salvation

The way of salvation is indeed miraculous.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I ask You and Jesus what miracles to perform today. May I follow guidance always, never trying to do my personal will alone–for this would be misguided all too often. I would love the ones whom I see, with whom I make contact.

Thank You for this interlude of peace. May the peace extend to other times, other places. I am aware of feeling intensely grateful for my many blessings. You have been extraordinarily gentle with me as I have walked through this lifetime. May my future smooth out even more. I have need for harmony and joy as I walk ahead. May these blessings come to me, as well as to others whom I encounter.

Thank You for leading me to understand more fully about miracles. I would work miracles today, those that You and Jesus indicate, and I would do so in a joyous spirit. I have the intuition that indeed this prayer will be answered, and answered today.

Amen.

Lessons

ACIM Workbook Lesson 213 – for Monday, August 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“All things are lessons God would have me learn.  (WB394)”

Reflections:

In ACIM, we are viewed still as learners.  (In A Course of Love, we are seen to have completed our learning.)  If we find our greatest affinity for ACIM, then the passage for today will make the ways of this world most understandable for us.  We are in a schoolhouse here, after all, which most New Age thinking says.  (Neale Donald Walsch in his Conversations with God is a notable exception.)

Turning to our day, as we awaken each morning, as a learning experience will make the day more manageable.  We will realize that life, however difficult it can sometimes seem, is teaching us something, and these lessons (according to the Manual) differ from day to day.  There is a learning goal each day, though the lessons also change each day (a Manual paraphrase).

We can also pray for the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Workbook).  This in itself will lighten our perceived “load” of difficulties.  And the Holy Spirit will respond.  If He does not change the conditions, He will alter our perception of them.  We will find ourselves better able to cope.  Turn to the pages of ACIM for inspiration.  We will not be disappointed.  Even a quick opening of the book may provide just the Word that we need at the time that we need it.  This is not magic.  Any page will do; ACIM is just that powerful.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would still perfect the lessons that You would have me learn.  I look ahead to the time when I will no longer be a learner, but I am not consistently in that frame of mind and spirit.  Lead me to progress to the level that You would have me find.  

Thank you for A Course in Miracles.  The solution is always with the problem, as ACIM says, and I have found many solutions to my various problems within the pages of Your inspired writing.  Be with me today as I seek to have a good day, a day I seek to spent in league with you to help in some small way to bring a better way of living to this sometimes difficult world.

Amen.

Joy

ACIM Workbook Lesson 210 – for Friday, July 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I choose the joy of God instead of pain.  (WB392)”

Reflections:

So much is up to us.  We can choose joy, even in the midst of sorrow.  We do not have to choose pain.  Jesus says that it is not necessary to learn through pain.  Many do, though, and Eckhart Tolle is one who did so.  Eckhart is an awakened teacher, who has quoted from A Course in Miracles in his writings (including The Power of Now).  But Jesus says that learning through rewards is more powerful, and more lasting (normally).

Bad things do happen to good people, as Harold Kushner has told us.  But we do not have to invite misery at such times.  We need to reach inwardly to God, to the personal experience of God’s inward joy.  Prayer and communion with God will do it for us.  Forgiveness of ourselves, as well as our brothers and sisters, will also give us joy.  Find today some of those experiences which have led to joy.

Our choice at such times is very important.  The Text says that we choose what we will experience.  We have just that much power.  We do not often want to believe this, because we are actually afraid of the power of our minds (an ACIM tenet).  But we will not respect what appears to be weak, and our minds are not weak.  We can experience the joy of God today despite outward evidence to the contrary.  And repeatedly choosing God’s joy will become a habit that will see us through any dark days ahead.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this be a good day.  May this not be a dark day.  I would choose joy, believing that with Your help I have this choice within my power.  Be with me throughout the day.  When I forget that You want happiness for me, that it is a laudable goal, help me to recall this truth anew.  

I choose to be joyous in my life, despite any trials that may come my way.  Help me to remember this choice even in the midst of the trial itself.  Ease my way, but do not make me soft.  I would be strong in Your service.

Amen.

The Great Rays / Little Edges of Light

ACIM Workbook Lesson 208 – for Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“The peace of God is shining in me now.  (WB391)”

Reflections:

The passage selected for today is a reason to pause and be thankful.  If we can feel the peace of God shining in us, we can walk a glorious pathway today.  Let us open our hearts to gratitude and accept all that God holds out for us.  We will not be disappointed.

There are a number of instances, early in the Text, in which Jesus explains “light” moments.  Notably these are the Great Rays and the tiny edges of light that surround objects when we have newly found the Way.  Why “light” experiences?  I think that the answer lies in the New Testament, where we are told that we are the light of the world.  The Great Rays beam down upon us when we have accepted the pathway of A Course in Miracles, and this experience, mystical that it is, can be frightening.  The little edges of light  around objects is a perceptual experience, a miracle, and will not last.  We ought not to be afraid of it.  It is simply a harbinger of better things to come.

Little more is said about light in A Course in Miracles about either the Great Rays or the edges of light around familiar objects.  Why not?  Likely it is because we are not to place great emphasis on this type of miracle.  Displays of miracles are not Jesus’s way.  He causes shifts in our perception, which are the real miracles.  When these shifts happen, we have an “aha” moment, but we do not dwell on it.  There are no coincidences in salvation (a Manual tenet), and we will find our way to home by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the time that I experienced the Great Rays.  Thank You also for the earlier time in which I experienced the little edges of light around familiar objects.  Neither of these experiences lasted, but I understand that the miracles that they were would not last, were not meant to last.  The experience, the memory of the experience, has stayed with me.  For that I thank You.

May I walk through this day attuned to the miracle readiness of my brothers and sisters.  May I perform a miracle, if Jesus would have it so.  I ask that he guide me in what I do in regard to the miracles that he wants performed.

Amen.

Blessings

ACIM Workbook Lesson 207 – for Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I bless the world because I bless myself.  (WB391)”

Reflections:

We need our own blessing.  So many of us slink through this world, quaking from the terrors in it, rather than to ask for the courage that we need to negotiate smoothly.  When we have blessed ourselves, we will naturally bless our brothers and sisters, because we can only love others to the extent that we have genuine, not egotistical, love for ourselves (paraphrased from the New Testament).

We will want to bless the world when we have accepted ourselves just as we are.  Jesus in ACIM assures us that we have not lost our innocence, that all that we thought we did through “sin” never happened in reality.  We have made mistakes, but these can be corrected, even when the person or persons involved are no longer at our side.  It is enough to ask for forgiveness for our wrongs, and to make amends when possible.  Then we walk freely and innocently in even this world.

How do we bless the world?  We take our part in salvation, a part dictated to us by the Holy Spirit.  This is the real meaning of guidance.  We do not have to “judge” what to do, because we would be wrong anyway, not seeing the whole picture.  We cannot know all the variables, but the Holy Spirit can.  So we give over our judgment to Him Who cannot fail.  And we are free.  (These previous sentences are paraphrases from the Manual.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to accept myself today and at the same time to feel free enough to feel my own blessing.  When I have blessed myself, I will be more ready to reach out to all the world.  I will love, in part, because when I bless the Self, I recognize that I have accepted myself and my Self.

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your guidance.  I would love all of those in my circle, and I would extend my blessing of them to the whole world.  May my thoughts and actions today reflect the blessings that You have given me so abundantly.

Amen.

I Want the Peace of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 205 – for Sunday, July 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I want the peace of God.  (WB390)”

Reflections:

ACIM says that to say these words can be meaningless, but to mean these words, “I want the peace of God,” is everything.  If we truly want the peace of God, we need to meet the conditions, which is a true, lasting commitment to seek and therefore to find.  Neale Donald Walsch, in his Conversations with God series, cautions us against using the word “want,” because the very use of this word will make the “wanting” all that we get.  ACIM does not seem to take this caution to heart.  God knows what we mean by “want,” although other writers also, especially Shakti Gawain, have encouraged us to state affirmations in the here and now–as though we already had that for which we are asking.

Perhaps we do not have to see inconsistency in these two positions.  We can move from “want” to “be” to “have” (similar to Shakti’s writing) in one easy stroke.  God will move mountains to help us, once we are expressing the desire that He move into a central place in our lives.  Indeed, He is here even when we have not asked for His presence.  God does not leave His children.  We need, though, to open to Him in order to be aware of His presence.

The peace of God will give us everything that is for our highest good.  It does not dwell on material things, for these are illusion.  But if we have peace, we can live calmly, regardless of what life may deal us.  We will be at home in God, and nobody is ever homeless with such a Haven.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your way ever more closely.  I would be happy in this world, and to do that I must overlook the attack that another may make upon me.  I need to forgive.  Then I will know the peace that only You can give.  And I will heal my brother or sister who attacked me.  They do know forgiveness when it is offered, even when nothing is said.

Be with me today.  It is all that I ask.

Amen.

The Name of God = My Inheritance II

ACIM Workbook Lesson 204 – for Saturday, July 23, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“The Name of God is my inheritance.  (WB389)”

Reflections:

Who among us does not sometimes wonder, if we have wealth in the family, what our inheritance, monetarily, will somewhat be?  On a higher note, we may think about what we have received from our parents and grandparents that has made us what we are, our genetic and environmental gifts.

Here, though, we are seeing what our greatest inheritance really is:  the Name of God.  What does this mean?  The Name of God means (in an interpretation of ACIM, not stated therein) that we are One with God.  When our parents gave us our surname, we were, in a sense, one with them–at least in our younger years.  Now God Himself is claiming us, and we need not fret about any other kind of inheritance when we are in His corner.  He will take care of us.

It has been said many times, “Do what you love, and the money will follow.”  While surely this maxim is not always true, it is true far more often than we anticipate.  Many of us choose the sure pathway to security.  The Name of God gives us, though, the safety that we have longed to have.  He is there for us in every situation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose You in every circumstance.  You are the only security that I need.  I do not need monetary security, in any real sense, though in our society nearly everyone would disagree with this.  We need the sureness of the inheritance that only You give us.  We need Your support.  Help us not to turn to egoistic means of security.  Help us to depend on You totally.

We do have obligations to provide for our families and our brothers and sisters who do not have their basic security needs met.  We need to reach out, for we are all One, and we must take our place in the great panorama of human living in this world.  But we will never live a happy life, regardless of how much money we have, if we fail to put You first.  I would claim your inheritance today, and this is all that I need.  Thank You for being here for me.

Amen.

Sickness = A Form of External Searching

ACIM Workbook Lesson 203 – for Friday, July 22, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I call upon God’s name and on my own.  (WB389)”

Reflections:

1 – We Are Not Bodies

We are not bodies; we are the spirit that inhabits the body, and the body itself is illusion (ACIM tenets).  The physical shell that we define, all too often, as ourselves, is not eternal, and therefore it is not “real.”  It is a shell only.  And would we dress up fancily a mere shell of the eternal spirit that is waiting for our attention inside?

2 – Madness Is Ego-Driven

Frequently in A Course in Miracles, we are led to equate God’s thinking with our own minds (when sane).  When driven by the ego, ACIM says that we are mad, and that this madness is the basis for the many insane drives that the world seems to hold for us.  We seek outside ourselves for God’s mercy, and we not find Him outside ourselves.  But we make ourselves sick, but all illness, we are told in ACIM, is a form of external searching.

3 – Don’t Demand Too Much of the Body

Let us keep our illusory bodies well and strong by not demanding too much of them (ACIM tenets).  When we reach within, we will be far more likely to keep a healthy body, because ACIM is quite factual in saying that the source of sickness is external searching.  May we look inward for our healing, inward where God resides.  This does not preclude pills, for to do so might increase fear, and Jesus tells us in ACIM that the last thing that the sick need is an increase in fear, because they are already in a fear-weakened state.  May we ask today to  be free of fear in all its insidious forms, and may we call on the name of God to heal us of any and all afflictions.  The physical may not know healing, though, but its debilitating effects will diminish as our investment in fear is lessened.  Our minds will rise above, and with this change, often the physical can be healed as well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be well today, physically and emotionally.  So I would not seek external to myself and You by trying to find solutions in a world that does not hold solutions.  Let me turn inward and find peace.  Let me find You.

Even if physical manifestations of illness remain, may I know that my true Self has not been hurt.  A healing is quite possible, though in this world sometimes it is the mind that is healed rather than the body.  May my spirit know wholeness which knows no sickness.  Be with me today as I seek to rise above any physical or emotional trouble that may seem to beset me.  I know that the real I is completely protected from harm by You.  Thank You for carrying me when trials seem to beset me on all sides.

Amen.

I Will Be Still An Instant and Go Home

ACIM Workbook Lesson 202 – for Thursday, July 21, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I will be still an instant and go home.  (WB388)”

Reflections:

How do we go home?  We just get “still.”  What a revelation to many of us who have spent years running on adrenaline!  This home is not the Other Side, where we “go” when we die.  That is not what is meant at all.  This home is a form of Heaven on earth, a moment when we let ourselves be “stilled,” and we experience the peace of mind that we all crave.  This craving is not a negative, as so many cravings in this world are.  It is the best of experiences, a time when we know that we are safe and that God protects us even in the midst of what might, at times, seem to be terrible tragedies.  We are still and quiet in His love.

Until we learn how to be still in the midst of a busy world, we probably will find that ultimate salvation will elude us (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We cannot rush about and hurry constantly and find the still, small Voice that encourages us to be filled with God and His love.

This passage emphasizes that only an “instant” is needed.  It is reminiscent of the “holy instant” in which we come to know God, according to A Course in Miracles.  These moments do not have to be infrequent, though they sometimes are.  We can invite holy instants by our demeanor.  We can ask God to fill us with His love at any time.  He waits on our invitation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be still today, especially when conflict seems to exist all about me.  I would seek quiet and calm, two happenings that are sometimes difficult to find in our very busy world.  May we all take a moment and invite God early in the day, invite Him to take us by the hand and guide us as we walk in today’s world.

I would like to go home today.  This does not mean that I want to die, but that I want to awaken to the most glorious thoughts and actions in this world.  All are mine to have.  I know that You will this for me, and so I know that I am asking aright.  Thank You.

Amen.

I Am Free

ACIM Workbook Lesson 201 – for Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.  For I am still as God created me.”

“I trust my brothers, who are one with me.  (WB388)”

Reflections:

We are free when we realize that our real will and God’s will for us are actually identical (a Text tenet).  Until that day, we live with an imprisoned will, one that brings us pain as well as suffering.  But Jesus says in the Text that we do not have to learn through pain, that this type of learning is at best only temporary, and that learning through rewards is lasting.  We need to adopt the attitudes that will lead us to learn through rewards, if we are to have any lasting peace.

We are free when we follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance (a frequent assertion in this blog).  He chooses for us (a Text tenet).  He would see that our real will is in the ascendant.  He would lead us home.  We do not know the way ourselves, and if left to our own devices, we would be destroyed by the pain and suffering that is all around us in this world.  When we experience the truths of A Course in Miracles, we can rise above the pain of this world.  We will still see illusion, and it is a particularly bad interpretation of ACIM to say that there is no pain or suffering.   We will still see it, but we will recognize that it is illusion, or (in the Eastern sense) maya, and we will know that it is not real.  This does not mean that we will fail to be supportive of our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  We will ask for healing, and we will know that it has come–because it always comes.  If there are continuing symptoms, we will not lose our faith.  The healing will be accepted at a time and place that is right for the recipient.  (All of the above are paraphrases from the Manual.)  Healing that has been offered in good faith is always granted.

We do not need to doubt that our healing has not worked.  Jesus directs our miracles, and we should not attempt to do so ourselves (a Text tenet).  Ask in full belief that we will be heard, and we will be heard.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose healing today for my intimates.  I would also choose healing for my brothers and sisters in my circle.  And help me to choose healing for myself.  You have done much over the last few months to straighten out the kinks that sometimes develop in my life.  I would choose to walk the smooth pathway, the harmonious way.  Help me to do that consistently.

As so often, I ask to feel Your presence today.  May my errors of judgment fall aside as I seek to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit today.  May I turn on a dime when I get the indication that You would have me make a new and different choice, as the events of the day unfold.

Amen.

The Peace of God II

ACIM Workbook Lesson 200 – for Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Affirmation:  “There is no peace except the peace of God.”

“Peace is the bridge that everyone will cross, to leave this world behind.  But peace begins within the world perceived as different, and leading from this fresh perception to the gate of Heaven and the way beyond.  Peace is the answer to conflicting goals, to senseless journeys, frantic, vain pursuits, and meaningless endeavors.  Now the way is easy, sloping gently toward the bridge where freedom lies within the peace of God.  (WB 385)”

Reflections:

The passage quoted above is especially beautiful as well as meaningful.  We can have an easy pathway home, and we do not have to die to this world to go home.  We do need to die to the egocentric way of viewing life, and when we do so, the real world comes before our eyes–at first in snatches, and then, ultimately, to be experienced on a continual basis once God has “reached down” and lifted us up to Awakening.

So often we have been led by the ego and by egotistical thinking to pathways that were bad for us.  We chose vain pursuits and hard pathways, thinking that the harder the way, the more likely that it was God’s will for us.  What a mistake!  Jesus assures us in ACIM that the way is easy, and that very little is asked of us–because the Holy Spirit contributes the greater part of our transformation.

It is said in the Text that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it.  Why would we try to get rid of peace, because peace is a great boon for those who experience it daily?  We are addicted to the adrenaline rush (a belief of Marianne Williamson), and many of us think that when we are peaceful, we are really “depressed.”  Nothing could  be farther from the truth.  We are just unaccustomed to being peaceful, and the perfect calm and quiet that ACIM promises are not always welcomed by us.  We still like drama.  Give peace time to work its way with us.  When we slow down and reach for the Holy Spirit and His way in this world, we will live a quiet life that will surpass all the time spent previously in frantic pursuits.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know the peace of God today.  Guide my decisions so that I do not ever feel that I am doing something amiss.  Help me to be good to all of my brothers and sisters, especially those who are intimates.  May all of us together have a good day.

Peace is a great boon.  So often we have chosen drama, even the drama of anger and attack, when there is a much better way to live.  When we live in peace with our intimates, we know joy that knows no bounds.  And You, God, surely smile upon us.

Amen.

The Peace of God

ACIM Workbook Lesson 185 – for Monday, July 4, 2011

Affirmation:  “I want the peace of God.”

“To say these words is nothing.  But to mean these words is everything.  If you could but mean them for just an instant, there would be no further sorrow possible for you in any form; in any place or time.  Heaven would be completely given back to full awareness, memory of God entirely restored,,,, the resurrection of all creation fully recognized.  (WB348)”

Reflections:

This is another favorite quotation of students/teachers of A Course in Miracles.  In an early cassette tape of necessarily limited quotations from ACIM, this passage was one of those selected.

If we can actually mean these words, we will be well on our way to the right pathway.  Heaven will be restored to our awareness, even while we live in this world.  We will remember God, i.e., we will know Awakening.

So often when we are peaceful, we think that we are depressed, and we rush about trying to “do” something.  We create adrenaline coursing through our arteries, and we are ever farther from peace.  How foolish we really are at such times!  If we would only remain still and quiet, the memory of God would return (however briefly).  Which of us would not desire this memory to return?  But it is up to us to create the conditions that can invite the experience.  That much, at least, is in our power.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do so want the peace of God, and this prayer is as genuine as I know how to make it.  If I pray amiss, correct my prayer.  If I do or say amiss, correct those things as well.  I know that neither my brothers and sisters, nor I, will be happy until we have Your peace.

Be with me today.  I pray that if the day is stressful or peaceful, I will still feel Your peace in the midst of it.

Amen.

The Name of God = My Inheritance

ACIM Workbook Lesson 184 – for Sunday, July 3, 2011

Affirmation:  “The Name of God is my inheritance.”

“Father, our Name is Yours.  In It we are united with all living things, and You Who are their one Creator.  What we made and call by many different names is but a shadow we have tried to cast across Your Own Reality.  And we are glad and thankful we were wrong.  All our mistakes we give to You, that we may be absolved from all effects our errors seemed to have.  And we accept the truth You give, in place of every one of them.  Your Name is our salvation and escape from what we made.  Your Name unites us in the oneness which is our inheritance and peace.  Amen.  (WB347)”

Reflections:

Some teachers of A Course in Miracles believe that this is ACIM‘s version of the Lord’s Prayer from the New Testament.  Helen Schucman, the co-scribe, herself thought this.  Certainly it is a prayer that has much in common with the Lord’s Prayer.  God’s “Name” is seen as the unifying Force, keeping us all as One.

The Name of God has always been seen as a mystery.  It earlier was not said, but merely alluded to.  Yahweh was an early rendition, from the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible).  And this was a spelling that only rendered letters easier to pronounce.

This prayer lets us understand that all our mistakes can be made as nothing in God’s sight.  We will be absolved of the effects that they have seemed to cause.  (In actuality, because they have been illusions, there have been no effects at all.)

If we dwell on the mystery of God’s Name, we will come farther along the pathway to understanding this lesson.  We will be at home when we have taken unto ourselves the Name of God, our inheritance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would like to understand more about what is meant by Your Name.  I am humbled that I share that Name with You.  Be with me today as I ponder these mysteries.

Thank You for giving me Your support through all the years of my life.  Even when times seemed difficult, I know that You were in my mind, comforting me.  I know that I was not always aware of that comfort, but I would be aware today.  May I give You a good day.

Amen.

Escape All Bondage of the World

ACIM Workbook Lesson 183 – for Saturday, July 2, 2011

Affirmation:  “I call upon God’s Name and on my own.”

“Today you can achieve a state in which you will experience the gift of grace.  You can escape all bondage of the world, and give the world the same release you found.  You can remember what the world forgot, and offer it your own remembering.  You can accept today the part you play in its salvation, and your own as well.  And both can be accomplished perfectly.  (WB343)”

Reflections:

If we read the passage carefully, we will know that today can be a very important day for us.  We accept grace, we are reconciled to God in every detail, and we offer salvation to the brothers and sisters who people our little world.  And we can, according to this passage, accomplish this perfectly!  What a promise we have in store for the encounters that we will have today.

Make today a special commitment to God.  Turn to the God within, and then turn outwardly.  Know that only each of us can accomplish the very task that God gave to us alone.

We would be released today.  If we have felt in bondage at any time in the past, let us know that this bondage is now definitely in the past.  We have remembered God.  He has led us to a new and better life.  Let us share what we have learned with those we meet today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be mindful today of the truth that I can escape all the bondage that seems to hold me to this world.  You are with me; You have never left me.  We are One.  I would enjoy grace today, Your grace.  And I would be happy in experiencing You with no veils separating us.

Thank You for Your assurance that You are One with me.  Be with me today.  May I feel Your presence when the day turns stressful, which it may.  Help me to eliminate all sources of negative stress in my life today.  With Your help, this seemingly impossible task will be done.

Amen.

This World Is Not Home

ACIM Workbook Lesson 182 – for Friday, July 1, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will be still an instant and go home.”

“This world you seem to live in is not home to you.  And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.  A memory of home keeps haunting you, as if there were a place that called you to return, although you do not recognize the voice, nor what it is the voice reminds you of.  Yet still you feel an alien here, from somewhere all unknown.  Nothing so definite that you could say with certainty you are an exile here  Just a persistent feeling, sometimes not more than a tiny throb, at other times hardly remembered, actively dismissed, but surely to return to mind again.  (WB339)”

Reflections:

1 – What is Home?

This passage is a favorite quotation from the Workbook.  We know of what it describes, though perhaps we do not often think of home in this way.  We are so caught by this world that memories of a world before are normally forgotten.  But we can invite these memories back in.  And we will be the better for it.

2 – In Exile

We are in exile in this world, though we have learned to love this world and all its drama.  Jesus says in the Text that the world has nothing that we want.  But do we believe this?  When he says this, he is thinking of the egoistic world that we have built, because elsewhere he also describes the happiness that can be ours, the heaven on earth, that we can experience.  Edgar Cayce described Jesus as saying that “heaven on earth” is anywhere that we are in the company of our friends, when all is at peace and we are joyous.  (Edgar was a psychic of the Twentieth Century.)

3 – Heaven on Earth

We long for the heaven that we have left behind.  We are here to bring salvation to ourselves and our brothers and sisters, and we cannot accomplish this from another world as well as from this one (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  May we create a heaven on earth today in our everyday lives.  Communing with God first will make this more probable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When days seem long and troubled, we are very prone to realize that this world is not our real home.  When days seem easy, we can listen to the ego’s voice that tries to tell us that we are where we belong.  But we know the truth, and I would live the truth today.

Be with us all as we walk through the day together.  May our love be genuine and our joy, complete.

Amen.

My Brothers and Sisters Are Sinless

ACIM Workbook Lesson 181 – for Thursday, June 30, 2011

Affirmation:  “I trust my brothers, who are one with me.”

“Remove your focus on your brother’s sins, and you experience the peace that comes from faith in sinlessness.  This faith receives its only sure support from what you see in others past their sins.  For their mistakes, if focused on, are witnesses to sins in you.  And you will not transcend their sight and see the sinlessness that lies beyond.  (WB337)”

Reflections:

This passage identifies the “overlooking” that the Text asks us to do.  If we make our brother or sister’s “sins” real to ourselves by focusing on them, we will find it almost impossible to overlook them.  And by not overlooking, we make it even harder to forgive, which is necessary (a Text tenet).  How can we overlook what we have made real by dwelling on it?  Certainly our frame of mind will be calmer, and we will be more serene, if we don’t dwell on the shortcomings of others.  Our own shortcomings likewise need to be forgiven, but here there is a difference.  We must understand what we have done, and not just suppress it as of no importance because all is illusion anyway.  In this world, we do not recognize the misdeeds as illusions, often.  We (mistakenly) see these misdeeds as real, and what we have made real becomes real to ourselves.  We need to make amends when we have been the guilty party.  Even though guilt is described in the Text as hell, we will experience guilt when we have made mistakes, especially when those mistakes are serious.  We would do better, and if we commune with God, we will know how to right the wrongs that we have observed in ourselves.

Actually the sinlessness in ourselves and others is legitimate.  All is illusion, except the intangibles born of love.  We do not fully understand this.  But we are still as God created us.  The illusory detour into insanity of the ego has not actually changed anything about us.  Let us dwell on this important fact, and trust that sinlessness is actually our natural state.

Sinlessness is also the state of our brothers and sisters.  They have made mistakes, some of which have affected us, but they too are as God created them.  When we truly believe this truth, we will know peace in a way that we never have heretofore.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It is so reassuring to read that I have made mistakes (of course), but that “sin” as a concept is something best turned aside.  For reasons that I do not understand, a “sin” in enticing, and we want to repeat the “sin,” even when we suffer.  This is insanity, and I thank You for the words in ACIM that explain it to me.

Be with me today, as I go about my little world.  Help me to keep my temper in check with my brothers and sisters, and help me to avoid the suffering that comes when I do not turn everything about myself over to You.  I would belong to You completely today.

Amen.

There Is No Cruelty in God nor in Me

ACIM Workbook Lesson 180 – for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  By grace I live.  By grace I am released.

“2.  There is no cruelty in God and none in me.  (WB335)”

Reflections:

We continue the theme of grace today.  We are justified in the sight of God.  This is basically what grace means.  May we accept this great blessing today.

We are not actually cruel people, even when we make bad mistakes.  We can always ask for forgiveness of ourselves and other people, and we can be reconciled with God.  No one does things that at the moment he/she perceives to be wrong, though he/ she may see the imperfection later on, and feel great remorse.  Then we ask to have the mistakes corrected, and God will change us.  An anecdote told by Norman Vincent Peale made this plain.  An individual did not like his temper, which he had in extreme measure until he was 40 years old.  One day, in great faith, he just asked God to release him from his and from that day, instead of flying into a great fit, he flew into a great calm.  God had reached him; his faith had assured him that when he asked in line with God’s wishes, he would be answered.  And he was.

Let us leave the illusion of cruelty behind today.  We do not need to attack ourselves or our brothers and sisters.  We do not have to seem cruel.  The Higher Self is not cruel in the least.  And that is what this sentence (“There is no cruelty in God and none in me”) really means.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the assurance that the mistakes that I have made, and continue to make, do not mean that I am being cruel.  Teach me how to immediately rectify the mistakes that I make.  Help me not to harm myself nor any of my brothers and sisters.  Let me be aware of Your presence today so that I do not falter in my resolution to be tolerant and loving.

Be with me today.  May I have that “felt presence of Being” that I have read about.  Be with me to feel You today.

Amen.

The Gift of God’s Grace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 179 – for Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Affirmation:  “God is but Love, and therefore so am I.”

“1.  There is one life, and that I share with God.

“2.  Your grace is given me.  I claim it now.  (WB334)”

Reflections:

We are One with God, oft repeated in this blog.  This goes against some traditional Christian teaching that the earth and all in it are God’s handiwork, and that He stands apart from His handiwork.  But the latest revelations, including A Course in Miracles, does state that God is One with us.  Our life is His; He is experiencing Himself through us.  These ideas are developed at some length by Neale Donale Walsch in his Conversations with God series.

We need only ask for God’s grace to receive it.  He wants to give grace to us.  Grace is the truth of forgiveness, but God does not forgive, because He does not perceive that we have ever sinned (a Text tenet).  God does not need to forgive, but we do.  This is a principal tenet of A Course in Miracles.  When we have traveled far enough along the pathway, we will know that there is actually nothing to forgive, but most of us have not traveled that far yet.

Grace is a great boon that need only to be claimed to be our own.  We will know God’s love for us when we accept the grace that He so willingly holds out to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for Your grace today.  This is the mercy that You extend to us all the time, but our eyes are frequently blind to it.  I would not be blind today.  Help me to live always in Your presence.  Give me Your peace, along with the will to follow what You would have me say and do.  Help me to be kind to those whom I encounter.

Your grace is partially a mystery to me, but I know that You can open my eyes to all that You mean by “grace.”  Help me to comprehend more today, with my spirit as well as my mind.  I would not follow the ego’s raucous calls today.

Amen.