Category Archives: A Course in Miracles

Tenderness

“Tenderness counteracts anger.  No war can stand against it.  Purity appeases and banishes the evil intentions that sometimes creep into the heart of the child of God.”  COL bk.2, 15:III

If we ever face anger in our relationships, here is the antidote:  tenderness.  Here we read that no war, even, can stand against tenderness.  When we are tender, we are expressing a purity that is lost to us when we give in to anger.

A Course in Miracles says that anger is never justified.  But that does not mean that we will never experience anger.  We are still living in this world with feet of clay, and as long as we are finite creatures, I believe that there will be misunderstandings that cause hard feelings.  ACIM also says that forgiveness is the Answer.  And when we forgive, we must not leave ourselves out of the equation.

So here we have it, from two sources combined:  Tenderness and forgiveness will lead us aright.  Tenderness and forgiveness will right the negative pattern that might creep into our relationships.

Sometimes we will need this reminder, because we are still in need of God’s help as we walk this world.  Anger will come, but anger will also go.  And here we have the message from Choose Only Love that will heal our overwrought feelings.  Negativity cannot stand when we listen to God’s solution.

Freedom

“Can you start to see how many feelings and thoughts you have drowned?  How little spontaneity has remained after ‘growing up’?  How many games have you stopped playing, pretending to look serious and mature?  The time has come when that is past!  Now we replace seriousness with freedom.”  COL bk.2, 9:IV

A Course in Miracles says that seriousness is of the ego.  And A Course of Love says that the patterns of the ego will linger even after we have given up egoic living.  These patterns may hold us back now.  Choose Only Love is saying that it is time to give up seriousness entirely, to move ahead in our lives with the freedom that a child of God deserves.

If we listen to the whispers on our mind and heart, we will know how to find freedom.  Nothing will hold us back any longer.  Certainly we will not attempt to be “mature” because we think games of life are no longer warranted.  Life is meant to be limitless and joyous.  This is what our new freedom will mean to us.

Get guidance for the next step by listening to these whispers that I am talking about today.  Whispers come to all of us, and if we are open to them, we will stop and take a look at the subtle thoughts that they are.  These gentle thoughts will give us a new life.  Choose Only Love calls it “freedom.”  A Course in Miracles calls it “limitless” and “joyous” living.  Are the two received books not saying the same thing?  Talking about the same incredible journey that lies ahead of us?

Be reintroduced to spontaneity in our pathway toward the future.  God’s guidance, the guidance of the inner Christ, and the Holy Spirit all will take us to a new place of contentment and peace. 

We won’t lose anything when we turn aside from seriousness, turn aside from egoic ways of living.  Take the high road as we give up our desire to hold the reins of our life so tightly. 

Be flexible in our decisions, turning on a dime when we receive guidance. 

Experience true freedom for the first time since childhood.

Always & Only Love

“This message invites you to remember that your function is to bring love to the world.”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 14:I)

Life would be so much simpler if we just realized most of the time that we are meant to bring love to the world.  A single, all-embracing purpose such as this also gives meaning to our lives.

Unfortunately, we have heard “love” mentioned so often in this context that we zone out because it seems like the same concept, over and over.  If we had taken this concept to heart, this might be understandable.  But the problem is that we have not taken this concept to heart.  We “play” at love, often special love, an inferior rendering to love that has plenty of drama, including low points.  Our holy love, one to another, will save us now.  It is the only thing that will save us.

I have found that if I focus on just giving my husband love in this time of isolation, I am walking a green earth.  We are happy in the midst of quarantine.  May we take this knowledge with us, out into the world, when the quarantine is over.

A Course in Miracles says variously that forgiveness and happiness are functions for us.  But Choose Only Love makes it simpler for us.  If we focus on love, the forgiveness and happiness will happen all of its own accord.

What more could we ask?

Gather the Harvest that Is Ours

“Everything you attract in your life is perfect because, in agreement with God, it is what you have created as your experience on Earth. . . .[W]e are remembering today:  to stop spreading guilt and to start gathering the harvest that is already yours. . . .”  Choose Only Love:  Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 8:I)

We are living a perfect life.  Oh, I know it might not seem like that, but it is the truth—for everything that happens to us has been ordained by God for our lifting up into Christ-consciousness and salvific living.  Even if we are in pain, still this is true.  Even if we are suffering, still this is true.  If we wrap our minds and hearts around this idea, we will know a peace that has eluded us until now.  We will know that all is right in our little world.

A Course in Miracles says that it is not necessary to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is more lasting.  If we can believe this, we can alter the pain and suffering that we sometimes bring to ourselves.  Often our guilt is what has attracted the negativity, and guilt is a false witness to the love of God.  If we gather our harvest, we will know that there is no good reason for us to punish ourselves anymore.  We are blessed children, creations, of God, and it is time that we started believing that and living it accordingly.

Accept this truth of being into our being today.  Live with God in our minds and hearts, and He will do all the rest.  God needs only our cooperation to bring everything good into our lives.

Reading ACIM, ACOL, WOM

Note:  This is a response I penned yesterday to a new reader of my blog.  The idea of listening to one’s heart about this matter came sometime ago from Glenn Hovemann, Take Heart Publications, publisher of A Course of Love.

Thank you for writing to me.  I appreciate that you enjoy the posts on my miracles blog.

I think you must listen to your heart in trying to discern which book to read first, and then the order of all the reading.   

If you recognize that the Holy Spirit gives you guidance (as described in ACIM), then listen to what you have come to recognize as His promptings.  If you recognize the inner Christ-Self (as described in ACOL), then listen to this deepest essence of yourself.  If you simply realize that you have intuitive feelings, then listen to those.  You will know.  Prayer helps.

ACIM seeks to dislodge the ego, and ACOL is said within its pages to be a “continuation” of ACIM, meant to establish a new identity.  But ACOL can stand on its own, separately, if that is your prompting.  WOM may be the most approachable.  You can read the Manual of ACIM first, if the Text or Workbook seem too daunting.  All seek to bring us to Awakening, Christ-consciousness, enlightenment, the next step in our spiritual evolution.  ACIM is my happiness book, ACOL warms my heart, and WOM gives me hope and comfort on my journey.  That is my personal take on them.

You have a treat ahead of you!  We are meant to enjoy our delving into spiritual matters, and I encourage you to read in an easy, reflective, meditative manner, whatever book first that you are the most drawn to.  Whatever you choose will then be right for you.  It would be wrong for anybody else to try to choose for you.  I have just tried to give you something to think about as you mull over your options.

Thank you again for writing to me.

Love to you, Celia

Acting “As If”

            Is it not true that a child learns best when one expects good in her?  Act “as if” a child will respond positively, treat her as you would want a good child to be treated, and the tantrums will fade away.  On the other hand, to focus on the tantrums is to make them stronger.  It is the same with our brother.  Expect the best, let him know that you are seeing the best, and his motivation will fall in line, making our brother a better person.  We must never show that we fear negatives from him; that would be a reinforcement of the possibility of those negatives.  Instead, accentuate the positive in all prayers and all interactions.  Let him know that we love the real Self, and that real Self will blossom before our eyes.  It is indeed very dangerous to act in any other way.  We are all potentially capable of great wrong, and it behooves to turn aside this potentiality, in ourselves and in our brothers, at every opportunity.

            Given this scenario, if we play our part right, our brother will cease so much to see “sin” in himself, and he will adopt our own attitude toward him.  He will begin to act out of the real Self, which is good, because his self-image has changed for the better.  And is this not what we would hope for all people?

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Forgive by Overlooking “Faults” in Our Brothers & Sisters

            Our brother sees “sin” in himself.  If we see sin in him also, we but reinforce an untruth, not only in him but in ourselves.  Surely it is that we see in others what we have first seen in ourselves; that is the law of projection, and, if we can believe the A Course in Miracles, projection makes perception.

            Does that mean we must deny the evidence of our eyes, and proclaim good where there seems to be only wrong?  No!  That would be a further deception, and it is the truth that we seek. We must acknowledge the wrong that we see, but recognize that, like all sights our physical eyes show us, we are seeing something unreal–a dream, if you will.  However badly our brother seems to treat us, this still is true.  It is our dream, showing us something that we don’t want to see, but only so that we can learn from it.  We are bade not to dwell on this unreality, thereby making it seem real to us, and making it harder simply to overlook and thereby forgive. (T-9.IV.4:4-5)

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Walking a Mysterious Pathway

            Given the fact that the A Course in Miracles links the idea of our unique role with our brother, more often than not we will find that unique role in one or more brothers.  And we must realize that we may not always recognize our function even if we are in the midst of carrying it out. 

In my own case, this phenomenon kept me on a particular pathway for years, but I was a reluctant walker. Only in retrospect did the pathway seem illuminated, the walk make sense.  Yet I never seriously considered abandoning my pathway; whenever the thought came up, I was given a self-authenticating word from God that I was to remain true to what I had perceived His Will to be.  And I yet do not know the whole of it, though I followed that particular pathway to its conclusion and found a blessing, in unexpected form, at the journey’s end.  It is very likely that I will not fully understand in this lifetime, but as I review my life eventually from the other side, I will know.  For now, I know all I need to know of a journey that seemed incomprehensible much of the time.       

            And is my experience not true for most of us?  We see only dimly, but when we take our brother’s hand, we fulfill a function that is bigger than the two of us.  It is always by way of our brother that the mission comes.  One does not do “great things” in the world without the cooperation of first one, and then another, and another, brother.  Salvation is still borne one mind at a time, and so it behooves us to place our interpersonal relationships next to God in value.  Indeed, it is frequently in our brother only that we are able to see and love God.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Do We Have a “Special” Role to Play?

            Do we all want a “special” place in the world?  The Holy Spirit reinterprets specialness to mean the unique role that God would have us fill in our lifetime.  What, given our talents, are we best able to do, the one thing that nobody else can do as well as we?  This function, no longer ego-oriented and “special,” is what God would have us to do.  The A Course in Miracles says, in speaking of our brother, “Let him no more be lonely, for the lonely ones are those who see no function in the world for them to fill; no place where they are needed, and no aim which only they can perfectly fill.” (T-25.VI.3:6)

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Special Becomes Holy

            We seek this Oneness because the call for it was placed in our souls by God.  Jesus even tells us that Heaven is the awareness of perfect Oneness, “nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within.” (T-18.VI.1:6) Because we are learning through the A Course in Miracles, we find this Oneness first through our relationships, in particular the chosen learning partner(s) who offer us unlimited ways to learn of love.  These are the ones for whom we are ready, the ones to whom we remain connected lifelong.  And these relationships generally are few. (M-3.5:3) The Course says that we may not even recognize the perfect matching that has occurred in these relationships.  But the perfect lesson, the lesson of genuine love of ourselves, others, and God, is there for us if we do not break off the relationship prematurely.  This then is the special relationship that can become holy, indeed that is meant to become holy.

            And forgiveness points the way.

Genuine Oneness

            We are not really meant to be separate one from another, encased in bodies that are separate.  In the worldview of A Course in Miracles, bodies are the symbol of separation.  Only mind can actually become one.  And this melding can and does occur, though we are fearful of losing our individualized identities.  We actually do want our minds to join as one, and this is the closeness that one normally seeks in physical relationships.  These alone will not satisfy us, because we want a true intimacy that is mind to mind. We seek this intimacy in our special relationships.  But these are hard going without forgiveness of one another, the aspect of Reality that would allow genuine closeness.  If we do not forgive, we are going to become embittered or we are going to wander from relationship to relationship, one to the other, seeking something that cannot be found.  This is the crux of the matter.  Forgive, and the boon we desire is ours.  Refuse to forgive, and we are captives of the ego, which can never give us what we desire–true genuine Oneness.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog. Note: The worldview of A Course of Love says that the “elevated Self of form” will be a desirable way to live in this world in physical bodies.

Again, Forgiveness

            Another problem we create for ourselves is that we see an interval of time between forgiveness and its rewards.  This represents the degree to which we would still keep our brother separate from ourselves.  Once this faulty decision is undone, the time interval collapses, and we see the results of forgiveness come quickly on the heels of the forgiveness itself.

            Part of the reason for a time lag between forgiveness and its results is a “space” problem.  We still would see some distance between our brother and ourselves; we are not yet ready for the collapse of boundaries between us.  This is an error, part of the time-space continuum that is fundamentally illusion.  Will a true joining, a true collapse of boundaries, and it is ours.  What do

we fear?  It is love itself, for love of our brother results in true joining.  Just so long as there are spaces in our togetherness, that distance between will be a problem and an exemplification of the love that we fear to make our own.

            We fear for our safety as we join with our brother, for we do not trust him completely.  His mistakes may be profound, but the Christ in him is innocent still.  It is only his insanity which we fear, and we are never asked to join with that.  Indeed, we would make our own mistake if we attempted to do so.  In fact, this is the essential problem with “special” relationships.  But we must look at the purity within our brother’s heart, and joining with that in spirit only, we reinforce it in our brother, to the betterment of us all.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

“I NEED DO NOTHING”

Note: Published in Miracles magazine for March – April 2020 (Jon Mundy, publisher)

by Celia Hales

“. . .[W]hen the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization: ‘I need do nothing.’”  (ACIM, COA ed., T-22.VII.7:1)

“This is a call that requires you to do nothing but to remain faithful to it.  You do not need to think about it, but only let it be.”  (ACOL, C:11.17)

“And here we begin to touch upon the essence of my teaching:  I need do nothing.”  (WOM, Part 3 “The Way of Knowing,” Lesson 27)

            When the light has dawned, when we reach Awakening, Jesus says that we sense, “I need do nothing.”  This sentence may have caused much confusion, because it isn’t saying what we  think it is.

            The Way of Mastery elucidates the meaning very well, for here the same thought is discussed.  First let’s take a look at what it isn’t saying:

I need do nothing so I’ll just show up. . . .I really don’t need to do anything, since none of it matters. (WOM, Lesson 27)

            We might think that we can now rest on our laurels.  That we have arrived!  And need do nothing more.  But this is not quite right.

            Instead, the meaning is simply to open ourselves up to our Source, God Himself, and the Holy Spirit Who will tell us that our only purpose is the extension of love.  In A Course of Love, we open ourselves up to the Christ-Self Who dwells within, for this is where we get guidance when we no longer need the intermediary of the Holy Spirit, being ourselves no longer afraid of God.  The Way of Mastery continues:

. . .to find that spaciousness with you in which you are willing to allow that voice within you that is eternally connected to your Source to be the vehicle through which you receive your guidance.  In the pure recognition that you have no purpose—save the extension of Love. (WOM, Lesson 27)

            We are opening ourselves to the spaciousness of our very souls, something that A Course of Love discusses at length.  We are not falling down on the job.  Our work in the world still happens—and still matters–but we don’t dwell on the end result.  Instead, the action, on a daily basis and in the present, is finally viewed as the most important part.    

            We listen for what to do, and then we act.             An easy way to live.

Choosing Life through Forgiveness

We can choose, metaphorically, whether we will experience life or death.  In every miracle is life, and in every impulse to hurt a brother is death.  Surely we choose the latter far more often then we think.  Even the tiny, “inconsequential” hurts are painful–to us if not to our brother.  And so they call for forgiveness.  The answer to any attack, in fact, is forgiveness.

            How may we right the wrong when we have chosen “death” over “life”?  There are no easy answers.  We can and should ask the Holy Spirit for His answer, and it will always mean that forgiveness is called for.  It is not just forgiveness of our brother, but also of ourselves for having made this mistake, having hurt one who is a Son or Daughter of God.  Sometimes forgiving ourselves is much harder than forgiving our brother, because we always attack ourselves first, and once we withdraw blame from others, we have a strong tendency to harbor it within ourselves.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Ego Ideal

            If, as for most of us, the ego is debased before meeting a special “other,” another dyn\amic comes into play.  The weakened ego is likely to see in the other her “ego ideal.”  Only if this very special one can love me, will I be perceived in my own (ego) eyes as “worthy.”  All of the other’s special qualities then become fodder for falling in “love.”

            Such “love” always proceeds on part knowledge, and even this part, the Course would have us see, is not knowledge, but faulty perception.  There seem to be many secrets in an egoistic love, though in the words of the A Course in Miracles, “God has no secrets.  He does not lead you through a world of misery, waiting to tell you, at the journey’s end, why He did this to you.” (T-22.I.3:10-11)

            In the unholy love, we are primarily aware of the differences between self and the other.  But this can only be ego, because only the ego knows of differences.  Under the skin, we are all the same.  Only the “lonely and alone, who see their brothers different from themselves” (T- 22.intro.2:2) have need of sin.  When we truly join with another, we know that we are just as capable of his mistakes as he is, as well as just as capable of the love that springs forth from him.  Only when we call an error “sin” does it appear separate and apart from ourselves.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Love & Hate

            In much romantic love, the picture of our brother that we see is one of contradictions.  We both love and hate him, and the two concepts effectively cancel each other out.  So we are left with nothing.  We do not know whom we see in our brother any more than we know whom we see in ourselves.  A Course in Miracles counsels that we will be given a picture to replace what we thought, an image of our brother that we will prefer over all our contradictory images.  Even this is not all of him, for it is a perception, and it remains for perception to be translated into knowledge before we will ever see our brother truly.  This final step remains in the future for all of us, because it is our translation into Heaven, a step taken at the end of our pathway by God himself.

Romantic Love

            The impetus for most romantic love, in the beginning at least, is that one sees in the other what she lacks within herself.  The unholy alliance starts, then, from a wrong premise: that there is lack, and then goes on to a wrong conclusion, that one can “take” from the beloved what is lacking, making a whole out of two halves.

            Even popular psychology recognizes that fallacy in such reasoning, but the reasoning itself does not see the light of day because its maker is “crazy in love.”  Many popular treatises on romantic love enjoin that two halves do not make a whole, that one must be a whole person, seeking wholeness, to have anything akin to a lasting environment for love.  Surely many successful loves look back on the beginning of their relationship as a time that grew fruitfully upon a happy present.  The lovers were contented within themselves before finding love in another.  Conversely, most people’s past is also strewn with the remains of wrecked relationships, of love gone wrong.  For some, even for many in today’s climate, these relationships culminated in what promised to be an idyllic marriage, but turned out to be a little bit of hell on earth.  All of these dynamics are addressed in A Course in Miracles’ view of the holy and the unholy relationship. (T-22.intro)

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

We Need Others

            That for which we do forgive our brother is really what we are ready to forgive in ourselves.  We always accuse ourselves first; what we see as unforgivable in another is what we are holding against ourselves.  The “sin” may not be in the same form, but it can be metaphorically described so that it is seen to be the same.  Often others can see the connections more easily than can one person alone.  We should talk with our friends and family as we seek to practice the A Course in Miracles.  We are not in this all alone; we are in this together.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Forgiveness Is Complete when We Realize that There Is Truly Nothing to Forgive

            Many of us who are attracted to A Course in Miracles are also attracted to reflection and meditation, but these contemplative practices are not the most important means by which the psychology of the Course takes root.  This psychology takes root in all the relationships now seen as our brothers and sisters, with whom we engage in real, God-inspired, interaction.  Certainly the workbook of the Course stresses contemplation, but it does so more toward its ending than its beginning.  This therefore is only at the final stages of having come to understand the psychology itself.  Only then are we seen as ready for meditation and reflection, after all.  Our quiet times are prepared by God to bring us close to Him as well as closer to the brothers and sisters surrounding us in real relationships.

            The Course cautions us to forgive our brothers, recognizing that their misdeeds had no real effects, being done in illusion.  A second reason for forgiveness is the fact that they were insane when they so acted.  So our forgiveness is grounded in a premise that, while it may sound farfetched upon first hearing it, is actually internally consistent throughout the Course.  These ideas allow us to forgive in truth, even as we recognize that there is truly nothing to forgive, because the real Self has not been affected by evil or “sin” at all.  Recognizing that there is really nothing to forgive is the last step, and there is not one of us who has not had this experience with a loved one at some point in time.  It is only for us to extend these tiny points in time to encompass the whole.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Spiritual Gifts of God

            The particular way that A Course in Miracles offers restitution and reunion with God is through our relationships to each other, especially through the relationships that have been special to us.  Specialness is an illusion like all the rest, and it is only as we realize that we ourselves are not special that we can come to see that even our “special” relationships are not special.

            The Holy Spirit transforms these people so special to us into something more real.  The purpose of the relationship is transformed from ego orientation to the spiritual gifts of God. We see in our brother what we want to see in ourselves; that is what we begin wanting when we perceive specialness in another.  But as the relationship proceeds (if we do not choose to break it

off), we come to see that even this interpretation is a mirage. As we see and love these people as they really are, we come to forgive them of their ego foibles, and we love almost in spite of ourselves.  That is when we begin finding our way Home.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Banishing Vulnerabilities

            Jesus asserts repeatedly that our real will and God’s will are the same.  We are of the stuff of God; He shared His Self with us in our creation, and so how could Reality be otherwise? Reality must be in harmony, in Oneness, or we escape into dreams of chaos, for that is all that madness can make.  God does not will specialness for us; neither do we truly will it for ourselves, for always will it separate us from our brother.  A Course in Miracles proclaims that actually all of us has everything, nor could we wish for less.  The whole is therefore in each part, and each part (our very Self) is neither greater or lesser (more “special” or less) than any other.  Meditate upon this truth, and watch vain insecurities and vulnerabilities slink away.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Vulnerability Leads Us to Seek God

            Do you feel insecure in a world fraught with danger on every side?  Do you feel attacked by those with whom you live and work? It is not the real Self that is truly being attacked; it is simply our false concept of a little self that is more special than our brother.  Never will this little self not be made insecure or be attacked, for a Higher Plan is at work, one which would bring us Home by undoing the ego, which is the essence of this little self.

            On the surface of it, to feel vulnerable is a sad state, but if one’s vulnerabilities lead us to seek God, then all is well again.  It is the little self who is most puffed up with pride that will know ego-defeating humiliations all the more.  This is inevitable, not to be lamented, because we must be brought to the point, frequently through fear or pain, in order to be ready, finally, to discard the ego.  If we learn to associate pain with the ego, and joy with the Holy Spirit, we will be walking on the right pathway, and our insecurities will lessen, finally to be discarded forever.  Is not this a welcome boon?  Intuition will always work to lighten our burdens and to heal our sense of isolation in an unfriendly and frightening world.  Leave the ego behind, for “It is your specialness that is attacked by everything that walks and breathes, or creeps or crawls, or even lives at all.” (T-24.IV.4:4)

Join Hands with Our Brothers

            In forgiving mistakes, in ourselves as well as others, we no longer need to feel that we must hold ourselves “above” another (more special than she).  We are all in this together.  As I forgive my brother of the illusory evil that he does, miraculously I find that I am more tolerant of my own mistakes.  Everything is not a matter of life and death, purest glory or blackest sin.  If I can overlook my brother’s misdeeds, forgiving them before I study them sufficiently to make them seem real to me, then I am well on the way to handling my own problems with the same benign feeling.  Judgment always reverts back to the one who judges.  That is the truth of “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” and the A Course in Miracles has given us the explanation of why this is true.

            The desire for specialness simply dissipates.  One wishes instead to be part of the great mass of humankind with a kind of mystical love that leaves one at peace.  The guilt engendered by the false pursuit of specialness and separateness from one’s brother dissipates as well.  On some level, we all intuit that holding oneself apart, with a little sense of superiority, is actually self-deception and evidence of a shabby self-perception, not an exalted one. (M-21.5:5) Walk with Jesus as together we seek to join hands with all of our brothers, enemies in specialness no more.

Cloud of Holiness

            We must honor the brothers who have been given us as special learning partners.  Knowing that they have indeed been chosen by God and left in our care for a little while puts a cloud of holiness around each one.  Surely we owe our gratitude to God and to our brothers given unto our charge.  Never forget that it is these brothers who light our pathway Home.

A Course in Miracles says, “Forgiveness is the end of specialness.” (T-24.III.1:1) Can this be?  I pray frequently, “Help me to forgive others and help me to forgive myself.”  This seems such a “right” prayer, I think, because of the Course’s contention that projection makes perception.  We see in others what we have not yet recognized in ourselves.  When we feel ourselves to be special, we are holding something still against our brother; we are “better” than he, he who does not merit forgiveness for black “sins” that we would not do.  But this is all illusion.  We too could make these same mistakes, and we too must forgive such tendencies within ourselves, even as we forgive the perpetrator of the “evil” of which we now recognize, on some level, we are capable.  We are all One, and that is the understanding that, as has been frequently said, “We are all brothers under the skin.”

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

No Accidents in Salvation

            When we make comparisons of ourselves to our brother, we ask for sorrow, not joy.  We think we come off the winner, but we are merely fooling ourselves; the ego so longs to deceive.  It is joy when the ego is laid aside!  When we compare (a dynamic always ego-inspired) we diminish ourselves as well as our brother.  It is only our own insecurities, our own low self-esteem, that would seek specialness anyway.  A confident individual, in surety of her place in God’s kingdom, would welcome diversity, not feel threatened by it.  All of us try as hard as, given human frailty, we can.  Our brother who is slipping needs our helping hand, not condemnation, and surely not our “bliss” at believing that we are better than he.

            A Course in Miracles emphasizes that the holy relationship into which we enter with our brother is a “sharing” phenomenon, and in Heaven we do not keep separate from one another.  This may be reminiscent of the biblical assertion that in Heaven there is no giving and taking in marriage.  Surely this is an order of unconditional love of which we are only dimly aware on earth. Jesus never counseled promiscuity, and he is believed to have been celibate while on earth, and so we are not talking of a sexual relationship in the fashion that we consider it.  Nowhere in the Course is the concept of multiple holy relationships seen as anything but positive.  “. . .it is the destiny of all relationships become holy.” (M-3.4:6) Certainly this will mean that jealousy as we know it is an earthly emotion.

            But on earth our “special learning partners” are few, because we have found in them a perfect balance with our own needs.   These few relationships, once formed, are never relinquished, though we may not recognize how perfectly we are matched to one another.  On earth, in fact, there is a whole array of degrees in relationships–from the casual to the most intimate.  Sometimes we join for intense learning with another, and then go our separate ways.  Sometimes we only smile at another in a crowded elevator, and that is enough.  Please know that there is a higher plan at work in our encounters.  There are no accidents in salvation.  “Yet all who meet will someday meet again, for it is the destiny of all relationships to become holy.” (M-3.4:6) Because we cannot meet “everybody,” the plan specifies exactly who we will meet.  Knowing this care in detail is awe-inspiring, being of God Himself, who makes no mistakes.

We Are Doing This unto Ourselves

            As Jesus says, unfairness and attack are one mistake (T-26.X.3:1), just two aspects intertwined at every point.  We must beware of the temptation to see ourselves unfairly treated, for the secret is this:  We are doing this unto ourselves.  Nothing happens without our permission being granted at some level of our being.  Always we are trying to effect our salvation.  We may be misguided in the choices that we make, but remember that it is our dream we are dreaming.  When we perceive ourselves to be deprived, we are the culprit.  We need only turn to the Christ within, the presence of God within, to set aright again our little world, to give up our sick little games.  Of course, just to turn to the Christ within is the first step.  We must still retrace all our steps and have the ladder toward egoism withdrawn for us, and this the Holy Spirit does well, being the function for which He was created.

            The world’s purpose is not to play sick little games of blame and victimization.  As the Holy Spirit sees the world, its only purpose is to make known to us the presence of our Guests within–the Christ and God Himself, the Son (or Daughter) and the Father (or Mother).  Playing the “blame game” will obscure their presence, and the sparkle that the world could have will grow dim and even dark.  We must not seek to add our purpose to the world, thereby confusing the issue and taking away from its singleness of purpose as viewed by our Teacher, the Holy Spirit.  Instead, let us let Son and Father be shown to us, and know that in this revealing will the purpose of the world be completely fulfilled.

            We are not “special,” different, or unique in that what we are can in any way be better (or less) than our brother.  We will all walk Home together, or none of us, and Jesus assures that all of us will find our way back to God, though the time will be far distant unless we pull together.  Because each needs his brother, the way will be shorter (the time more compacted) if we hold our brother’s hand as we walk.  If we realize this shared destiny fully, we will never wish to be considered more “special” than another.  We will be friends one to another because we have a shared purpose. (T-24.I.6:4)  We will protect one another along the way, aware that our failure is his, and just as clearly, his failure is ours. 

There is a brighter side because the victories belong to both of us as well.  There can be no solitary purpose when we are all joined as One in the eyes of God. Look closely at whatever divides one from another.  Is it not that each of us harbors a secret belief that we are more special, better than the other to whom we have been in relationship?  This is what causes broken bonds, an egotistical desire to be separate in order to preserve one’s specialness.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Ask the Holy Spirit for Escape from Fear

The way we view our brother is actually the way that we view ourselves.  If we attribute dark motives to him, it is sure that we are projecting those motives from within ourselves. And mild annoyance can be just as debilitating as more aggressive forms of hostility.  We are never angry at something that is “really there”; what we see is always a projection from our own false image of self, our ego.  To believe otherwise is to construct a room without exits in this illusory and sad world of ours.

            We can see the dynamic of blame played out with our brother.  First, for whatever reason, we unconsciously feel fear; this fear floats about looking for a place to alight, and just a word, of whatever nature, from our brother is enough to create anger.  The whole encounter revolves around fear, but we will more likely correctly identify what transpires if we allow ourselves to

experience the fear as stress.  We can then more easily bring ourselves around to a better slant of mind, without torturing ourselves by looking for the source of fear.  Ease up, and ask for respite from the Holy Spirit.  It is our little mind, the ego, that has gotten us into this fix, but it is our Higher Mind that can get us out.  If we dwell a moment upon our brother’s sterling qualities, the sword of guilt above our heads will no longer descend to touch our heart.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Increase the Daily Calm

We must honor our brother, for in him God has given a part of Himself for us to love and cherish.  The Christ in us sees our brother truly, in the holiness that is his own; would we allow the egoistic false self to see otherwise?

            Remember that it is much easier to see one’s brother as holy than to see him (or one’s self) as special.  We taught ourselves specialness with much effort, because we wished it to be true. It takes much effort to assimilate a lie, and no effort at all to let the truth be shown to us.  And with this, effortless accomplishment comes to us and we are at rest.

The Attraction of “Sin”

            There is an attraction to “sin” that is not found in what is recognized as merely as a mistake.  The Course says that our way to sin is lit only by “fireflies” that would hurl us over precipices. (T-24.V.4:2)  The attraction to sin exists because in our debased self-image, we still long for specialness.  And specialness carries with it the seeds of destruction and decay.  Be glad that this is true, for the decay is the decay of the ego, and with the ego’s demise goes all our pain and suffering.  With Christ’s vision we know a perfect lack of specialness as we hold our brother’s hand and walk Home together.

            If we can see our brother as holy, we will have come a long way toward seeing ourselves in the same light.  “In him is your assurance God is here, and with you now.” (T-24.VI.1:4) If we see our brother as sinful, it is sure that we perceive ourselves the same.  Do not be variable in private assessments of our brother, for such variability will permeate the whole of the world as we see it.

            I have frequently recognized that I never get angry unless I am stressed, and this is possibly true for most of us.  It is thus very likely that the variability we have been discussing arises out of stress, which is really fear causing us to feel threatened.  If we can so clear our minds that we are calm and at peace, we will not be tempted to think ill of our brother.  It behooves us so to organize our daily lives to maximize the calm and minimize the myriad frustrations.  This we owe to ourselves and to our brother. 

Light in Our Brother

            We find a peaceful joy in forgiveness.  As we absolve our brother of “sin,” we are ourselves absolved.  The gift we long to give to our brother has at long last been given to us.  We idolized our brother, and thereby made of him a god, but in doing so we dreamed that we were special.  When we see our brother aright, an idol no longer but a true equal brother worthy of love, our sense of guilt dissolves and we are placed in our proper relationship to God and to each other.  Such is the miracle that the A Course in Miracles promises.

            The Course can be said to be based in part upon the biblical injunction, “You are your brother’s keeper,” because it is through our relationship one to another that we find salvation.  It is declared that failing our function of fully forgiving our brother will haunt us until this function is fulfilled, and he and we are risen from the past.  Just as our brother condemned not himself alone, so do we not save ourselves alone.  We are here on this plane, indeed, for one purpose only–the healing of our brother.  That is why, in trying to discover meaning in the world, the interactions of person to person are everything.  Until we see our purpose as healing, we will follow the various elusive goals of the world, be they artistic or merely achievement that we might be “successes,” and we will know the ways of the world only.  Pain and turmoil will dog our paths, and we will learn by cause-and-effect, not Jesus’ way, which is actually by grace.

            And, yet, the lamentations of the earth are all so unnecessary.  Jesus in fact proclaims succinctly that we do not have to learn through pain. (T-21.I.3:1)  Such welcome news, but, oh, so unbelievable in the beginning!  We are enjoined to see our brother as sinless, a person who has committed no unpardonable “sins,” but only an individual making mistakes due to his madness.  Once this evaluation is firmly adopted, the whole earth will appear different, bright and sparkling in the sunlight.  We are warned, though, “not one sin you see in him but keeps you both in hell.” (T-24.VI.5:4) One must see holiness in a brother in spite of his mistakes.  His mistakes can cause delay, but in a miraculous sense, it is given us to overcome his mistakes for him, and at the same time for ourselves as well, for he is the mirror of ourselves. 

Without Love, Peace Cannot Be

Certainly most of us have believed a lie sometime, somewhere in our lives. We have been susceptible to deception because we wished it so. If we doubt this, look back to see how our wish made it true for us, even though the basis may have been pure fantasy. Hidden in that wish, if we trace to its sources, is a desire for specialness, a desire to be a creature specially favored by God, singled out for merit that does not also belong to our brother.

Yet there is no peace in these dreams. When we put ourselves on a pedestal, we do not readily forgive lesser mortals. Without forgiveness, love cannot begin, grow, or thrive; and without love, peace cannot be. When we look with Christ’s eyes, we understand that no brother has sinned against us; we see only love where earlier condemnation had reigned. Condemnation need not be very blatant; just a hint of grievance against our brother, and the spell of love is broken. Guilt reigns supreme, because in our deepest heart we know intuitively that nothing in Reality has ever happened that is damaging to us. In contrast, when the earth sparkles and glows, seems alive in love, and is literally full of bright color, we know in our depths that we have truly forgiven our brother for formerly perceived “sins” against us. Our heart is so overflowing with love, seeking our brother to be One with him, that nothing is held back from us. We know no guilt in this epiphany, and the inner calm at being finally reconciled to God is overwhelming. We have forgiven ourselves for our failure to love God more, for in loving our brother with open hands and a clear conscience we have at last forgiven ourselves for what we believe that we did to God. We feel cleansed of evil intent and in that purification comes the knowledge that we truly were never sinners, only guilty of mistakes now left behind. And all because at last we have laid down our arms against our brother.

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Just Stop Thinking of Ourselves as “Special”

When we see sin, our specialness seems safe, because we attribute that sin to another, never to ourselves.  But this is a mirage, for we are projecting out what we really see within. There is no other picture.  Either sin is within, or it is nowhere.  And the great blessing is that sin really is nowhere, not in ourselves nor in our brother.  But to recognize this, specialness must be relinquished entirely.

            A Course in Miracles proclaims that we look upon our specialness as a “creation” that we would prefer over our “true creations.”  The Course is never explicit about what these true creations really are, but assures us that they are awaiting us in Heaven.  But if we lavish love on our illusory specialness, we will not soon find our way back to what is truly ours.  Here on this plane we love a parody of creation, but God would not have it so.  We are bidden to abandon our investment in specialness so that something far better–true love and harmony with an equal brother–can be experienced instead.

            It is really our insecurities, our inferiority complex, that bids us to place such emphasis on thinking ourselves better than our brothers.  There is really no such thing as a “superiority” complex; we know in our deepest heart of hearts that we are not truly better, but we then think that others must be better, and we rebel against this.  All of this nonsense must be placed aside.  Temporarily, some of us seem to have more only because we are more aligned with God, and therefore not as insane.  But we cannot free ourselves alone because our brother is a part of us, and he must come, too.  We are all One, and we only walk Home together.  The Course says that our brother is afraid to walk with us, and he thinks walking a little ahead us, or a little behind, would suit him better.  But progress is not possible this way; we know peace only walking side by side, hand in hand. “Can you make progress if you think the same, advancing only when he would step back, and falling back when he would go ahead.” (T-31.II.9:3)

To Be in Harmony with God

Specialness brings pain because of the relentless order of cause-and-effect. We are not in harmony with God’s will when we seek to support the ego’s desire to be better than our brother. And so we will constantly be undone, until we learn the truth that we are One. This concept does not mean that we ought not to find hard work distasteful. Nor does this concept establish a license for laziness. The Holy Spirit will send us on many busy outings, but it will be His Will, not our own misguided and shortsighted ambition, that will motivate us. Otherwise, our goals will run counter to the will of God, defeating and undoing salvation at every turn.

Our Separation from God

It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles that our separation from God, our descent into dreams, came at the point when we asked for more than our brother had. God could not give more than everything to anyone, and He most certainly would not play favorites among His children. And so we willed ourselves asleep so that we might be “special,” have “more” in an illusory reality. But what we made in this reality has turned against us, being based not on love but on separation, even hate, one to another.

What else could happen in a world based on chaos?

–from Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

Tiny, Mad Idea

From Out of the Maze, an e-book by the author of this blog.

A Course in Miracles makes a stunning statement about how the separation from God came about. A tiny, mad idea (T-27.VII.6:2) that one wished special favor from God, more than He would give to another, brought about our encasement in separate but illusory bodies, a “solution” that made our specialness seem the truth. At the same moment, God gave His Answer and our way Home (reunion with Him), the Holy Spirit. And never would this Voice speak for specialness, however much we in our insanity might long for it.

We have long given support to achievement potential in one another, and in so doing, we have moved closer to our own undoing. Why? The ego is constantly being undone in us, and the more that we feed its insatiable hunger in ourselves and others, the more quickly the pain of ego makes itself know. Our competitive strife, the longing to be “the best,” the desire to beat the other guy out–all are derivative of the desire to be better than our brother, to merit more in the eyes of God. Seen in this light, the Protestant work ethic, the idea that God rewards those who work hard, is a perversion of the truth. Our sometime disdain for elitism is a symptom of our dim recognition that all are equal in the eyes of God.

So, if specialness is wrong, is it also wrong to succeed in the eyes of the world? In an individualistic sense, yes. When we follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will choose for the good of all, not ourselves only. And this is the true meaning of success. When we follow this guidance, we do not know “challenge,” because we are not in doubt about the outcome. We choose for all of humanity, and therefore can only succeed. We are in harmony. And so we have happy dreams.

Caressed by the Touch of God

“When you think a loving thought, you have been caressed by the touch of God. When you hear not loving thoughts within yourself, this can mean only that you have returned to the surface, and have denied the depth within you.

“If you would hear only loving thoughts, simply observe where your attention is. And allow it to settle deeply into this place, beyond time, beyond the body, beyond the dream of the world. For this place—the Kingdom of Heaven within you—is vast beyond comprehension. The world you know when you take your attention to the surface of the mind is contained and embraced within this heart, like a dewdrop begins to be consumed by the ocean that receives it.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 11, Page 136)

We are encouraged to take our mind and heart deep within us, often.
This soulful living will keep us moving in the best direction. We will know peace. We will know stillness. We will be led to make good choices, the right decisions, and we will find peace in those decisions.

This takes love, and we might spell Love with a capital “L,” for this Love is God Himself. We need Him, and all of us know this, though we frequently take our mind to the surface and seem to get disconnected from the vast ocean of His love. If we are to thrive, we must practice not only Love of God, but Love of others, and (particularly difficult for us) Love of self.

This love of Self is not an egotistical thing, for that would break the circuit. This love of Self is recognizing that we can’t love our Creator if we don’t love ourselves. And this is where many of us get hung up. We think that self-love is egoic, and even when we know better, we find many things about ourselves to regret. We think we aren’t good enough, and so we make New Year’s resolutions that seek to turn us into something we can accept.

We are good enough right where we are! Our mistakes are just that, and when we are aware of those mistakes, and seek retribution in God’s love, we have done all that needs to be done. We are sorry for our wrongs; we apologize to others; we apologize also to ourselves.

Take the time today to take to heart the truth of A Course in Miracles: that we are innocent of wrongdoing, that we have been living in a dream, and that our mishaps have not really happened at all.

Dreams are not true reality. When we awaken from our dream, then we will know the reality of harmony and peace, true blessings of the Love Who created us.

Jesus: “I Am with You Always”

“Beloved and holy friends, may peace be with you always. . . . Remember, there’s a perfectly good reason why I keep saying, time and again, ‘I am with you always.’ Amen.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 92)

Jesus is a part of our Self, the Self Whom we all share. Her consciousness is not really separate from ours. These ideas are well-developed in A Course of Love. It helps us to understand what is really going on when Jesus is channeling to one of his scribes. Their mind and heart does not really disappear.

We can imagine him as he was 2,000 years ago, but he would rather that we see him in a more all-encompassing way, a way that he shares with us as the Big Brother we may not have had before.

There is a well-known passage in A Course in Miracles in which Jesus assures us that he is holding our hand as we walk along on the pathway to salvation, the pathway to Awakening. I have often quoted this passage in this blog, in which Jesus affirms that this thought will be no “idle fantasy.”

Reassuring in the extreme, it may mean that Jesus has infinite foci of consciousness. Or it may mean that his Consciousness and ours join in the God of Whom we are a part. Or may be a both/and statement. Don’t let theology delay us. It is not necessary for us to enjoy a true and real experience of Jesus and of God.

Jesus says, “I am with you always.” Can we not just take him at his word? And cease our efforts to be alone and lonely? Our friend is here with us, for it will come on a “single unequivocal call” (from A Course in Miracles).

If in difficulty, call today. And be reassured when anxieties and depression fall by the wayside.

We Are Equal in God’s Sight as His Children

Now you must forget the idea of needing to maintain specialness. A key aid in helping you to put this temptation behind you is the idea of the holy relationship in which all exist in unity and within the protection of love’s embrace. (ACOL, T3:16.15)

Let us realize that being special, even to ourselves, never gave us anything that we wanted. A few others may have found us special also, but most everyone else resented the competitiveness that thought that we were superior to them. This competitiveness has to go. We are reassured on a daily basis when we cooperate with others, when we recognize that others, and we, are on the same wavelength, that we are equal in the sight of God as His children.

I used to be quite competitive. I remember telling a friend at work, after lunch one day that we had enjoyed together, what my goals were in work. They were ambitious. She responded, “Don’t get too far ahead of us,” meaning the others in the reference unit.

She was right, because she sensed that my ambition would be a divisive factor in our close-knit working group. And I never did fit in well with that particular group. I had to go on to another before I found acceptance and peace in my working environment. And get more steeped in A Course in Miracles.

When we recognize that all of us are held in an embrace of love and unity, as One, we are recognizing what is true. And this truth will save us. Our relationships, holy now, will give us solace and keep us safe. Competitive no longer, we join in a camaraderie borne of cooperation. We are finally living right, and our comrades in work (and elsewhere) recognize this change in us. We are one of them, in every sense of the word. When we acknowledge equality, we are accepted and even loved.
This does not take away from the fact that we may have experienced Christ-consciousness, and not all others in our circle will have done so. This only means that we have walked a little farther along, not that we are better than another.

It is necessary that we share what we have discovered as soon as our brothers and sisters express interest in knowing what makes us different. Holy relationship invites sharing.

And we feel better for easing another’s way, even ever so slightly.

A WAY OF LIVING

Note: Published in the September – October 2019 issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher)

by Celia Hales

There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene, your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. (ACIM, COA ed., W-155.1:1-4)

. . .[Y]ou will cultivate a way of being in the world that is not here. That is, it is not within the perceptual mode that makes up the world. (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Lesson 14, Page 177)

This Treatise [on Unity] is attempting to show you how to live as who you are, how to act within the world as the new Self you have identified. Just like learning how to swim, it is a new way of movement. (ACOL, T2:4.4)

“There is a way of living in the world that is not here. . .” An especially sweet passage, but we must beware of letting egoic patterns in. This statement is not saying that we are “special.” We have no gifts that will not one day be shared by everyone.

It is comforting to know that we can find others with similar persuasion about in the world. We can walk happily, as we incorporate the tenets of Jesus’ channeled writings in our lives. Already many of us have had moments of recognition that someone in our world is walking the way that we choose to walk. Sometimes we see Christ in their eyes, an especially wonderful miracle when it occurs.

We become aware of these others of like mind when we are looking for it. Mostly, perhaps, it is a matter of eye contact. It is like a secret society. But especially know that we cannot let specialness enter in, or we lose the concept entirely. All will come to walk the world this way, eventually, and it is our function to bring that day closer.

If we have not experienced this way of living in the world that is not “here,” then let us pray together for this blessing to come upon us. God will not delay, for we are asking in His Will. He wants this way of walking the world to become the way of all. He wants us to move in a “new way of movement,” like swimming, living as the new Self Whom we are pledged to become.

Here on Earth We Can Have Blessings Formerly Known after Death

These examples of your former ideas about new beginnings have simply been used to demonstrate why you cannot approach this new beginning as you have those of the past. What will assist you most, as the translation of the old thought system for the new continues, are the beliefs that you adopted with the assistance of ‘A Treatise on Unity:’

You are accomplished.
Giving and receiving are one in truth.
There is no loss but only gain within the laws of love.
Special relationships have been replaced by holy relationship.

What we are adding now to these beliefs is the idea that these beliefs can be represented in form. (ACOL, T3:15.14 – 15.19)

We are being led, ever so gently, to a realization that here on earth, in our physical form, with our good mind and heart, we can have blessings that were formerly thought to be ours only after death, on the Other Side. We can now know Awakening or Christ-consciousness, called enlightenment in Eastern religions. It is there, out there, beckoning to us. And it will be a gentle transformation, for Jesus has prepared us, with gentleness itself, in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Previously I have known two instances of Awakening that, unfortunately, did not last because my ego intruded. That is the danger for all of us. We can transition into Awakening, and then have it fail to be sustained, for we are not really ready to sustain it. We need to approach Awakening with an egoless frame of mind and heart, sure that we will be helped. We know more now, for we have weakened and then discarded our egos through Jesus’ channeled works.

If we want to recognize we are accomplished, we need only realize that this is the ideal state. And we have attained it, mystically, before we attain it in form.
As we give, we receive. The giving comes first, however imperfect it may be in the beginning.

If we want to recognize gain without loss, this is ours when we are immersed in love. Always love.

Being immersed in love prepares us entirely for the holy relationship. And it is holy relationship that will ultimately save us.

So these tenets of unity exist in form now. We can enjoy them this side of death.

And all will be well.

Now Is the Time to End Empty Seeking

How much time will be saved by an end to empty seeking? You have already arrived and need no time to journey any longer. (ACOL, T1:8.7)

Most of us have been seekers for a long time, maybe a long, long time. Maybe all our lives, more or less.

This search can end now, when we are on the cusp of developing our special relationships into holy ones. We won’t have to work so hard to maintain our holy relationships. Our loved ones will just know that they are loved unconditionally. And, especially, what we have been seeking in special relationships will fall away.
Our seeking has worn us out. We went from our early religious training, probably to unbelief, and then returned to the fold of spirituality. But still we sought for yet another piece of information that would be the end that would make us happy. But nothing can make us happy, can create happiness for us, except ourselves. We won’t find it in a book.

I sought happiness in special relationships as well as in books. The special relationships were my dates when I was single; the books ranged from Catherine Marshall to Norman Vincent Peale to the Seth material (Jane Roberts) to Richard Carlson to Deepak Chopra to A Course in Miracles to Julia Cameron to Rhonda Byrne. Quite a list we all have! So my seeking in relationships and books was twofold, as is true for most of us. It is very reassuring that we have done enough now. We know enough. A Course of Love has finished it off for us. It is simply up to our Christ-Self, from deep within our being, to teach us more.

So now we are hearing that there needs to be an end to seeking. Jesus, in channeling A Course of Love, declares its information to be an end point. We have arrived! He even says that we are The Accomplished. While we have trouble believing that, we know that we have a peace inside that has eluded us up to this point. This peace will elude us no more. We will linger in contentment, sure that we are in the right place, and, now, in the right time.

Our holy relationships will save us; that is why we need seek no more. Relationship was primary in A Course in Miracles also. Our relationship to our brother (and sister) would take us home. Now Jesus is emphasizing this truth yet again in ACOL. If we love others enough, we will have won the prize, the Holy Grail, of salvation.

And we will know not only peace, but happiness, as well.

Being “Special”

Note: I’m starting a new series on relationships today.

“The special relationships of the world are destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric. Yet, if given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth—the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven. The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness. The Holy Spirit transforms them into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream. Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected. Each one is another chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other. And each one becomes still another invitation to the Holy Spirit and to the remembrance of God. (ACIM, Preface, “What It Says”)

We are used to thinking that finding our beloved “special” is a good thing. For those of us (many of us) who have studied A Course in Miracles, we know that finding loved ones “special” is a mistake. A Course of Love agrees, and so we start these reflections with this quotation from ACIM.

Of course, we care about our significant others more than strangers. And so the teaching may seem foreign to us.

What makes the “special” a good thing is not specialness but holiness. And all of us have the power to turn all of our special relationships into holy ones. We don’t exclude anyone; we invite all in (though not in a physical or sexual sense).
Special relationships are, by nature, egoic. My friend Carol once had a very special male relationship that was platonic but very egoic. She thought that this man had all the qualities that she was seeking in another. But specialness abounded. As time proved, she actually wanted his personal qualities in herself, something that epitomizes ego.

We can and must seek to transform all of our special relationships into holy ones. And, as hard as it sounds, we need to stop believing that without the special, we will be bereft. Use of others, A Course of Love tells us, is wrong. And there is a bit of “use” in many of our relationships. Who will take care of us if not this special other? How will we manage?

These are very real concerns, very practical concerns. But we have power. And, if we believe ACIM and ACOL, we will find love wherever we turn, when our heart opens to reveal the love that is hidden there.

We will never lack for anything. Help is a call away. And everything, as both ACIM and ACOL say, is an expression of love or a call for love. Call today, and so if we are not answered. Our heart will know the answer.

We Find Our Way in This World Safely by Acknowledging What Our Heart Tells Us

“And all of these, those who would admit to fear, and those who would not, would still believe that love exists despite fear’s claim upon it, and think that they are lucky to have found a love to shield them for a little while from all the other things they fear. And yet the greatest fear of all is that of loss of love. You who have given everything to be alone and separate fear most of all that which you have given everything to attain. For what is loss of love but confirmation of your separate state? What is loss of love but being left alone?” (C:14.21)

We thought that we wanted to be separate from God; this is part of the theology of traditional Christianity as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Separation would be that we would be independent, on our own, isolated. Yet in the illusory actuality (for we could never actually separate from God, being part of Him) we have been the most afraid of being alone. Try as hard as we can, we still cling, desperately, to the special love relationships that would save us from ourselves—or so we think. So the living out of isolation has actually been the source of our greatest fears.

We fear being alone more than anything because somewhere in our deluded minds is the certainty that we are living amiss, and that a furious God will take revenge on us for denying Him. This is as true for atheists as anyone else, for each of us of whatever persuasion has something in which we put our faith. If this religion is ego-tainted, we will fear all the more, and what religion in our world is not ego-tainted? It is only in giving up our false idols of isolation and separation that we come even close to finding our way safely through this world.

We find our way safely in this world by acknowledging what our heart tells us. And this heart does not require “proof” of God’s existence. It is rightly said that there are no atheists in foxholes (a somewhat outdated reference recalling the first world war). When we get scared about our predicament, we do turn to what we hope will save us. And A Course of Love proclaims that this is the saving grace for what we understand to be our heart. It alone does not seek to have divine proof; it simply knows that we are not alone in all the universe. We are not isolated and independent; we are meant to share our living with others. And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love call these relationships, the “holy” relationships.

Most all of us have experienced loss of love in some form, with somebody. Somebody let us down, we cry. We think that if only this special someone had loved us for ourselves alone, we would be saved. This makes of love a mockery. And it places in our midst a scavenger that would devoir true love. We do not have to pin our hopes on one someone (or several someones) who can save us. We need only rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we are never meant to be alone, that divine love is there to protect and keep us safe. And once we give up the attributes of specialness, our relationships one to another will indeed be holy. We have to give up specialness in relationships, we are told. But the relationships will not be snatched from us, to leave us cowering in the dust. The special relationships turned holy will be a foretaste of Heaven, right here on earth.

Forgiveness

“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (ACOL, C:16.8)

It is a good question to wonder how we can change from love to fear in our thinking. And the answer is one word: forgiveness. Forgiveness will overcome judgment, and above all we need to overcome judgment of ourselves and our brothers and sisters

We don’t really have anything to forgive, for we are looking out on a world of illusions. Nothing has actually happened at all. We are living a stage play that has no repercussions on our inner essence. Only those things that come from love are real, for God is Love, and His reality is the only true reality.

In the ethos of A Course of Love, we let our hearts find the forgiveness that our minds might deny. Spend a while today in your heart, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in how the day is viewed. We will, if we let our hearts make the decision, find forgiveness of ourselves and others, and thus look out on a forgiven world.

There is no better way to live. Just recognize, when someone attacks you, that they are being insane, that their reaction is pure insanity. And one would not blame a certifiably insane person for the strange reactions that that person exhibits. We would know that the person is not fully responsible for words and deeds, and we would forgive easily.

Our brother or sister who is certifiably sane is due the same response. In the opinion of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the attacking brother or sister is not actually sane at all, but mad in a mad world. And so forgiveness becomes easier for us.

BATHED IN LIGHT

Note: This article was published in Miracles magazine for the July – August issue (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

“. . . [A]nd who can say that he prefers darkness and maintain he wants to see?” (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-25.VI.2:5)

“You stand at the precipice with a view of the new world glittering with all the beauty of heaven set off at just a little distance in a golden light.” (A Course of Love, P:16)

“. . .[B]e bathed in the Light of Reality yet again, seeing that God is what I am. I am God. You are God. Only that One exists. Only the ‘I’ that we share as the One exists.” (“The Way of Knowing,” in The Way of Mastery, Chapter 33)

God is seen in Light not of this world. We must allow ourselves to be bathed in the Light of Reality (as The Way of Mastery says), lost in illusions of the ego no longer (as A Course of Love says). We will then be creating the new world that ACOL encourages. We will see no longer this world we now occupy, for our projections will be different, making our perceptions different, for do we not know that projection makes perception? The current world is often not a place of joy, but the Light will break, and we will see anew, when Awakening (Christ-consciousness) is the experience of all who live here.

We can compare the Light of Reality to the light of this world we now occupy. I have long wanted bright light, especially bright sunlight. Crisp fall days with low humidity give me a new outlook, a prelude to Awakening. I think my Inner Self recognizes that real seeing is only in the light, never in darkness. And in my deepest heart I want real vision. So do all of us.

A Course in Miracles says that when one looks on the world with forgiving eyes, one sees “nothing in the world to fear.” (T-25.VI.1:2) Is this not the new world we will be creating? If we forgive others, we will form the holy relationships that will allow us to see well for the first time, for it is through our relationships that we will be born anew, living in Light not of this world. It is only in looking to the Light within that we know the appropriate response in our relationships. The Light within leads to the light without.

We are only able to see clearly what is without when we have first looked within. Only at that point does our external world appear clear, we know how to proceed, and we walk fearlessly into the sunlight.

The Christ in Us Is Wholly Human & Wholly Divine

“The Christ in you is wholly human and wholly divine. . . .It is this joining of the human and divine that ushers in love’s presence, as all that caused you fear and pain falls away and you recognize again what love is.” (ACOL, C:5.1)
We are indeed blessed now! When we recognize the Christ in us, we are recognizing a joining the human and the divine. And in this joining, we are told, love reigns, “joining. . .ushers in love’s presence.” (ACOL, C:5.1)

All that has caused fear and pain drops away, and we finally recognize what love really is. This is the celebration, when we recognize the Self within, the Self no longer a captive of the ego.

The Christ in us is wholly human and wholly divine, not omniscient, of course, because of our humanness. We are ready to experience true reality in the fullness of the Christ-consciousness (Awakening) that now engulfs us. We may as yet have captured only glimpses of this Christ-consciousness. But the purpose of A Course of Love is to lead us to understandings that will cause the impediments in our psyche to drop away. Jesus wants us to reach Christ-consciousness. A consolidation of awakened individuals is the best hope that we have for a world in disarray, lost in pain and suffering, lost in conflict of one brother and sister against another. But God, we might add, is the omniscient Presence that makes the decision of when we are ready. Thus, there is an indecisive quality about Christ-consciousness and its coming that we can’t predict. Only the omniscient God of us all knows when any one of us is truly ready.

There are things that we can do. Things we must do. We must give up judgments, one of the other. We must give up fear (a biggie). We must give up attack and planning that is not the direct result of guidance. A Course of Love highlights the giving up of judgment and fear; A Course in Miracles highlights the giving up of attack, judgment, and unguided planning. These directives are meant to remove impediments to the coming of Christ-consciousness, and we can all recognize how difficult these directives will be if we don’t have divine help.

We do have divine help. We need only ask. The part of ourselves, the inner part, that is God, will respond. Angels will also come to our aid, for we are not all alone in the universe. Those of us who are in close contact with the Other Side will also come to recognize other entities that move to help us, though Jesus does not point this truth out, in so many words. Jesus has said that he is always with us, always guiding us by the hand. He is our rock, our salvation to a higher world in this world.

We do not have to die to enjoy the benefits of a higher presence directing our efforts.

Love Is the Name We Give to Much We Fear

“Love is the name you give to much you fear. You think that it is possible to choose it as a means to buy your safety and security. You thus have defined love as a reaction to fear. This is why you can understand love as fear’s opposite. This is true enough. But because you have not properly recognized fear as nothing, you have not properly recognized love as everything. It is because of the attributes you have given fear that love has been given attributes. Only separate things have attributes and qualities that seem to complement or oppose. Love has no attributes, which is why it cannot be taught.” (ACOL, C:2.4)

We have confused love and fear, and in A Course of Love, we are told that love is everything, fear nothing. Love and fear are the two emotions, and love is fear’s opposite in every way. But understanding these points is not enough, for we have called “love” much that we actually fear.

This is most important to note in regard to special relationships, a topic of great interest in A Course in Miracles also. We actually find fear in our special relationships, the particular others that we seem to love better than other people in the world. These special relationships we fear to lose, for they seem to be everything to us. And this is where the fear is seen most strongly. Only when we have transformed the special into what Jesus calls “holy relationships” do we see our mistakes in making “special” anything in a relationship.

In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that the time has come to give up our special relationships. They have never brought us anything that we truly wanted. They were flawed, borne of fear in a fear-ridden world. Holy relationships, though, are filled with true love. We know that regardless of how much a person might reject us, we will keep on loving. And love all we encounter, though not in physical or sexual terms, obviously. There is a place for discernment, still, in our relationships.

Two Choices

“The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.” (ACOL, T4:1.11)

We choose between love and fear always. And in the coming to know of our true Self, the inner Christ Self, we are choosing love. Many have made this choice throughout time, some directly to know God and some, directly, through the Holy Spirit. We are led to approach God through the Holy Spirit when we are too fearful to approach God more directly. This choice evolves at the conclusion of A Course in Miracles, the conclusion of the Workbook, as well as in A Course of Love. Love wins out, finally, and we no longer fear God. We are not traumatized by Him. We can go to Him, be heard, and come away with the softness of love experienced.

We are always choosing between truth and illusion, love and fear. Love is always the way of truth; fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices.

We who have been caught in illusion for eons do not really comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we know truth in the form of love always. We cannot, on our own, turn aside from illusions. In A Course in Miracles, our guidance—which we always need to follow—was seen as coming from the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus says, we have left the time of the Holy Spirit, and we are in the time of Christ, and so our guidance will be perceived in a new and different way. The all-encompassing Christ Self, which engulfs all of us, is the means that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. It is important to realize that we may not actually feel much difference in where our guidance comes from. And that is not too important. We know when we are following guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.

And happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.

To Separate or to Remain Whole

“You have been told there are but two emotions, love and fear. What this is really saying is that there are but two ways to respond to what you feel—with love or with fear. If you respond with fear you expel, project, and separate. If you respond with love you remain whole.” (ACOL, D:Day16.10)

What is the difference in reacting between these two emotions?

Fear is always separating, removing us farther from the sense of God’s Presence within us. Love allows us to be whole, at one with God, with others, and with ourselves.

When we are caught in the egoic fear that has engulfed us for so long, we project a fearful world. We project that which we believe to be true about our world. But this projection is all coming from within a fearful self-concept, and so this projection is really a nothing, dressed up in clothes that make it seem something important and right. But it is never right, and most of us are tired of the same old world of fear. We need a new attitude, a new projection, a projection of love. And this we can have, when we follow the guidance of Jesus in these examples of channeling.

So let us decide, once and for all, that we will respond to what we see with love. This decision changes everything for us. Not only do we forgive, but we see with the eyes of love. And our little world changes accordingly, for (as A Course in Miracles makes clear) projection makes perception.

Tension of Opposites

“As a separate being, you have been in a relationship with fear. This relationship with fear is all that has provided the ‘I’ of the separated self. But because you exist as an extension of love, you have always held within you the Christ, who is the relationship with love. This is why individuation has become the conflict between, or the tension of, opposites. Because you have relationship with both fear and love.” (D:Day40.22)

We need to have the fear fall away, but we are doomed from that prospect as long as the ego rules and separation from God rules. We are heading into a new dimension of our personhood, a Christ-consciousness that will mean that we occupy a physical form in this world, but our minds and hearts are elsewhere, in a new consciousness that means that we live very much in the present. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

For eons we have been in a relationship with fear, because we were governed by a false view of self that has come to be known as the “ego.” This relationship with fear meant that any pain was very likely to turn into suffering, and more pain, and disaster, even. To rescue us from this dismal situation, Jesus has channeled both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the former to dislodge the ego, and the latter to establish a new identity. To establish a new peace.

We have never really snuffed out the Christ within. This is our true Self, the entity that is one with God, Who also dwells within. But our relationship with this false part of ourselves called the ego has meant that we couldn’t sense the Christ, and we couldn’t live well, and all in all we have been in a bad way. This is because we have been attached to fear rather than to love. And now is the time to remedy that.

Love and fear do not mix very well. Love is harmonious and kind, as we know, but love is not just an emotion. It is truly what we are, what we are meant to be. Fear, on the other hand, is the great pollutant of what we are. Because we bought into fear through the self ruled by the ego, we have never really stood a chance to be happy.

The ego gives but to take away. We have had flights of fragile joy, but egoic joy is never the real thing. And just as soon as we experienced one of these joyous flights, we were hurled downward, face on the ground, to a devastating sense of doom. It is clear that we can never enjoy peace of a lasting nature when this is the reality in which we live.

Is this not the way that we have experienced reality? But this is not genuine reality. Jesus is telling us now, in ACIM and ACOL, how to so live that we are in peace and happiness continually. If we heed his words, we will live in what is true reality. And we will have a calm peace that remains undisturbed by outward events in our physical and emotional world. We will truly have learned how to live.

And we will be who we truly are.

The Embrace

“To know who you are and not to express who you are with your full power is the result of fear. To know the safety and love of the embrace is to know no cause for fear, and thus to come into your true power. True power is the power of miracles.” (ACOL, C:20.28)

Seeing that we don’t express who we really are out of fear, let us contemplate what we might do to turn this situation around.

Jesus includes in A Course of Love a sensitively-written passage in which he takes us into his arms and embraces us. The passage exudes warmth, peace, and safety.
Here is the most cogent part:

“This is a call to move now into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words.” (C:20.2)

This reassuring passage is emblematic of the tone of all A Course of Love, for ACOL looks to the heart, first of all, to entice us to give up the false values of the ego, the false identity to which we have clung for so long.

In letting this memorable passage fill our minds, we are led beyond the bounds of the fear-ridden ego. We will know that we want something different from what we have had all of our lives. We know that the enticement that Jesus represents is the true value of love, the way that we will come home to ourselves.

When we come home to ourselves, we will be fully powerful for the first time, and who among us does not want a right sort of power? The egoic power that we have known previously has given us flights of joy, but evermore it has dashed our feet on stones, and prompted tears of grievous regret. We can be finished with these tantalizing fits. We can stop sensing electric joy that dissolves into abject misery. Jesus is showing us the way out when he encourages us to be who we truly are.

When we don’t fear anything, in the embrace, we are primed to come into our real power. We are primed to be who we really are, in love with the whole world. And for this miracle, we need give up nothing! Nothing at all, for what the ego has given us has truly been nothing. The ego gives but to take away. And, even the giving is time-bound to be of short duration. The “gifts” of the ego don’t satisfy very long at all. Then we are off to a new goal. And, ultimately, what we have accumulated becomes ash and dust at our feet. No joy in the “everything” at all, for the everything is not enough. “Is this all there is?” becomes a legitimate question for the vast majority of us. And that is because we are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The best place to look for love is within the miracle. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love say a great deal about the power of miracles. We aren’t to decide personally what miracles ought to be done, because we would be misguided if that were our attitude. Jesus makes clear that he decides when and if a miracle is timely, because he is in charge of the Atonement. But when we ask for something, such as love and the centrality of love in our life, we can be sure that Jesus is right there with us, cheering us along. We can’t know how the miracle will happen, only that it will. We are asking in God’s will for the relinquishment of fear and the shift to love in all our dealings. Prayers such as these do not go unattended.

The power of miracles is said in A Course of Love to be the true power. Would any of us want any other power? We need and want to be reverent in our asking, supportive of whatever guidance we get. We don’t need to launch into pipe dreams that become meaningless. With the attraction of true power in our minds and hearts, we will know Love sooner rather than later. And the fear that has hampered all our doings for many years will gradually fall away.

A Course in Miracles Sets the Stage

“The further teachings of the original Course were designed to turn fear into love. When you think you can go only so far and no further in your acceptance of the teachings of the course and the truth of your Self as God created you, you are abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11)

Many come to A Course of Love from A Course in Miracles. And Jesus has made clear that A Course of Love is a continuation of A Course in Miracles. Here we find the continuity that Jesus wanted. Here he expresses this continuity in terms of love and fear.

We are told, in no uncertain terms, that when we feel that we cannot fully accept A Course in Miracles (and, by implication, A Course of Love), we are “abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11) We think we don’t know how to live a life fully in love; we don’t dare let go of fear.

What is this but the ego talking to us? It is nothing but: It is pure ego.
We have such a problem in letting go of the fear-ridden ego in favor of the heart-felt place of our love. We think, wrongly, that the ego has protected us from unnamed disasters—when it is actually just the reverse. We are abject cowards in the fact of the loud voice of the ego that we hear shouting to us to be careful.

We think that if we don’t heed these shrieking sounds, we will be lost. But it is actually the reverse. We will be lost in a hell of our making by refusing to listen to the still small voice that whispers of Love.

So let us take a look at what we are really meant to be, the person that Jesus sees in us. The person who chooses love over fear, consistently.