Images in a Reflecting Pool – Introduction

     The dreams the Holy Spirit gives are indeed happy.  I am

still learning, but I know more now.  In 1981, I was dreaming the

dreams of this world, caught in fantasies of an unreal past, and

vulnerable in the extreme.  After fifteen years and many hours of

studying A Course in Miracles, I have experienced more and more

hours and days of peace.  Oh, it is not 100 percent yet.  But

Jesus says, “In this world you need not have tribulation because

I have overcome the world.  That is why you should be of good

cheer.” (T-20.III.10:3-4)

     When I let my mind drop into fantasies, I forget how to

live.  Yet the Course promises that the way will be smooth.  “Time

is kind, and if you use it on behalf of reality, it will keep

gentle pace with you in your transition.” (T-4.I.13:10-11)  It is

not a hard path of learning, this better way structured to bring

us to Awakening.  Every year gets better, every decade a giant

step beyond the previous.  More and more I leave fear behind as I

try to see the face of Christ in my brothers and sisters.

     What lessons am I learning?  Attack is not the way to go.

(T-16.VI.8:2)  Anxiety is borne of the ego.

(T-30.VI.1:2)  And my worth is not measured by what I do.

(T-4.IV.4:1)  Of course, there are many other lessons, some

repeated frequently as I make my way still on this

side of the bridge.  As many before me have said, God is not

finished with me yet.

     This book details the issues and problems arising from my

life story and then dealt with in the manner of A Course in

Miracles.  In looking back, I find that three relationships–

Self-to-self, self-to-others, and self-to-God–have informed the

whole.  These images tell me that it is Love that

undergirds life and all my relationships of whatever nature.

Regardless of the relationship, however tenuous, it is love that

speaks to me in the everyday issues of which I tell you here.

     Images in a Reflecting Pool was written by rereading journal

entries from 1981 (the year I discovered A Course in Miracles) to

1996 (15 years).  If the entry seemed germane to my quest, I have

quoted directly from my journal.  Otherwise, I have penned a

reflection based on some incident recorded there.  I have sought

to follow the way of the Course to the extent that virtually none

of my personal philosophy is not informed by these spectacular

books.

     As you read, reflect on your own developing personal

philosophy.  Don’t take my word for it.  Take nothing unto

yourself unless it finds a gentle place in your heart.

     Jesus walks with us in our quest, as he has promised.

(T-4.I.7:1)

–unpublished writings by author of this blog.

God Is Not Fear, but Love

“When you seem to see some twisted form of the original error rising to frighten you, say only, ‘God is not fear, but Love,’ and it will disappear.  The truth will save you.  It has not left you, to go out into the mad world and so depart from you.  Inward is sanity; insanity is outside you.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-18.I.7)

We have long heard that we need to turn inward, but have we really understood what this means?  It means that we set aside time for God every day, maybe twice a day (as Jesus recommends in ACIM).  And in this we turn inward.

We can affirm the truth, which is Love, and turn aside from those things that frighten us.  Our affirmations will not seem strong enough when we are overwrought, and so we need to quiet ourselves before we can receive the blessing.  When we quiet ourselves, turning inward, we will know—with every fiber of our being—that God’s way is not in any way fearful.  That is the insanity of what we see outside ourselves.  When we turn inward, to God, we find only peace.

Don’t try to assimilate this idea when you are in the throes of anger.  Anger separates us from the truth that is within.  And, likewise, don’t choose to practice affirmations when you are in a panic.  Slow down and breathe.  God will find you when you give Him a moment.

Insanity is without, in the world.  And when we project from within, as long as the ego is in the ascendancy, we project insanity and our perception of the outer world is a thing of madness.

Don’t walk this way.  Turn inward, not only two times a day, but as often as you think of God.  “Pray without ceasing” is not an idle recommendation.  The reverent feeling will flow over your whole world of insanity, remove the insanity then, and you will sense Oneness with God.

Relinquish the Pain

“Remember, then, that always forgiveness is essential. . . . We speak here not of a blind passivity, but of a relinquishment within one’s own mind, and that is all.  It is a willingness to see the complete neutrality of all events.  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 21, Page 254)

I often think, when confronted with things that seem incomprehensible, that I am just dealing with the madness that A Course in Miracles explains so well. When we see madness, or neutrality, in the painful things of our world, we are in a better position to forgive. We don’t take it personally.

So forgiveness is essential. We need to let go, to relinquish our reactions that are negative when we see madness in our world. We let go, and when we let go, God rescues us from pain.

It is just that simple. And that easy.

Laws of Love

“This cooperation is natural when fear has been rejected.  You have long embraced fear and rejected love.  Now the reverse is true.  This reversal of truth has changed the nature of your universe and the laws by which it operates.  The laws of fear were laws of struggle, limits, danger, and competitiveness.  The laws of love are laws of peace, abundance, safety, and cooperation.  Your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of love will naturally be different from your actions and the results of your actions in a universe of fear.  You set the laws of the universe when you chose fear.  The laws of the universe of love are God-given.”  (A Course of Love, C:20.30 – 20.31)

We need love; it is our very nature.  We have lived for a long time in the “tiny, mad idea” (from A Course in Miracles) that gave us a universe of fear.  We were not at home there; we struggled mightily.  We listened to an egoic persona that did not mean us well, that tried to protect us by isolating us from each other in a cacophony of diverse sounds that spelled “fear” to us.  We never felt safe, because we never were safe.  Our “creations” had come back to haunt us.

But now all that can change.  Now we know better.  In a universe of love, we know peace abundance, safety, cooperation.  Our laws of struggle, limits danger, and competitiveness are not outdated.  What a joy to envision what awaits us in this new age!  We are safe because we are no longer “creating” with the ego; we are working within the laws of God, laws which complement our true reality.  We are homebound, safe in a universe where love reigns and where we have turned aside from the ego and its sad and forlorn dictates.

What Do I Want to Come of This?  What Is It for?

“In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is ‘What do I want to come of this?  What is it for?’  The clarification of the goal belongs at the beginning, for it is this which will determine the outcome.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-17.VI.2)

I have long puzzled over this quotation.  It is hard to know how to answer the goal when we are faced with a myriad of possible activities.  But answer the goal, we must, if we are to make progress on the spiritual journey.

We want to make spiritual progress.  Our daily quiet time is designed for that purpose.  But we shouldn’t just think of goals when we are seeking God.  Our goal-driven society will ensure that there are many other times and means to reach an end.  Finding the right goals to pursue is crucial.

We often get side-tracked, especially when the ego is still strong in us.  We pursue goals that don’t satisfy, or they satisfy for only a short while, and then turn to dust.  This is always the way with egocentric goals.  We will feel an unreasoning elation when we reach one of these egotistical giants, but soon we will wonder why the gold has tarnished for us.  Why does this one thing—this goal—that we thought would satisfy all needs suddenly seem not to be enough?

So, we ask, what more can we pursue?  And we look around and identify a new pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  And we go after that.  Only to be doused in the dust again, when the goal is reached, and we find ourselves, once again, unsatisfied.

The ego always leads thus.  So at some point we realize that it is time to get off the treadmill of egoic longing.  There is no satisfying the ego; anything that we do will ultimately prove to be “not enough.”

Only the intangibles are lasting in satisfaction.  And any religious orientation will tell us what this are:  peace, harmony, kindness, forbearance, love, forgiveness.

We don’t have to be following A Course in Miracles to know that these are the values that our spiritual leaders have preached for eons.  We just need to take those values unto ourselves.  And once we do, the peace that we find will convince us that those spiritual leaders have been right all along.

Freedom from Imprisonment

“Become willing to be one who cultivates the ability to allow all things.  The mind that is free can do this.  The mind that is imprisoned cannot.  For the mind that is imprisoned is so because it insists that what it perceives should become different in itself, but that the perceiver need not change.  And that is the very essence of imprisonment.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 21, Page 253)

Our problems are frequently self-created. But when we seek answers from a counselor, we often think that everybody else has to change–rather than us! This insight from the psychologist and writer, Richard Carlson.

And this is exactly what Jesus is saying here, channeled by Jayem. But we need to “allow,” and this means being willing to have it so. It doesn’t mean we never will work for change in ourselves, other people, or the world, but it does mean that we are accepting in the face of things that don’t seem to want to be different. We don’t become tangled up in trying to effect change, when things often just seem to remain the same, oblivious to our influence.

In an unreal world, we project what we are viewing. It is a mass hallucination, an illusion. A Course in Miracles says famously, “There is no world!,” and though we don’t want to believe it, there it is.

We ought not to worry others with our insistence that they do our bidding. It is enough that we, the perceiver, make changes in ourselves that we see are needed. It always starts with ourselves. The world will change when enough people realize this. The tipping point will have been reached.

We Live in New Times Now

“The time has passed when the forces of ego attacked the truth with all their ferocity.  There is no battle to win; it has already been won.  You live in new times now, times of the fullness of being.  Even though the world continues to look quite similar to that of yesteryear, the times now have nothing to do with what was previously.”  Choose Only Love, bk.7, 5:I

This quotation from the final book in the series, Choose Only Love, received by Sebastian Blaksley, will give us hope. Certainly when we look at our conflicted world, we are likely to doubt these optimistic words. But it truly is darkest before the dawn, and we are reaching the dawn shortly. The egoic triumph for our world is no more. Many people, even if not of a religious persuasion, are becoming aware of what works and what doesn’t. And egoic extremes fail miserably.

We are in the “fullness of being.” This is Mary’s way, heralded by A Course of Love and then followed up with Mirari and Memoria–as received by God’s servant, Mari Perron. “Being” as an ideal doesn’t mean we sit back and don’t do anything to improve our world. But our being in this world is primary; we don’t seek to be do-gooders without salvation ourselves.

“There is no battle to win; it has already been won.” This, about the ego, is wonderful news in and of itself. Much of this change has come about from the advent of A Course in Miracles, received by Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford as a team, with Helen taking down notes and Bill typing them up. The book was published in 1975. Much to the good has happened since. And most of us believe that A Course in Miracles was channeled by Jesus himself.

Let’s ask sincerely if we are on the right track, those of us of religious persuasion who seek only good in the world. Let our “being” flow, with actions that emerge from our being One with God.

This is the final step. Being One with God is the ultimate. And the illusory separation from God, fraught with the ego, is healed.

Recapturing What We Lost in the Fall of Man

“In unity, all that you desired was participated in fully by a mind and heart combined in wholeheartedness.  You knew your Self to be the creator, and loved all that you created.  You did not desire and fear something at the same time, and your desires did not change from moment to moment.”  (A Course of Love, C:18.14)

We are now living eons past the time of “first” unity.  This first experience of unity cannot really be recaptured as a sense impression now, but it can be recaptured as we move farther along the pathway back to God.  We lived eons ago in wholeheartedness, knowing ourselves as a creator, a co-creator (if you will), of God Himself.  But because of something that couldn’t really happen, but did (the “tiny mad idea” that A Course in Miracles discusses), we fell from grace into an adolescent rebellion.  We weren’t patient enough to come into the fullness of our Being, our Self.  So we coalesced around a false persona, driven by an ego that we made ourselves, and we fell into deep despair as a result.

We can return to the unity that we have forgotten.  It takes patience and abundant willingness to capture what we have lost, but the recapture is God’s intention for us, and so he is right there helping us every step along the way.

Don’t get depressed that the way seems too long and tortuous.  It may be long, but the way is not tortuous at all.  Not with all the help that we are being given.  Our way back is assured—indeed, has always been assured, from the beginning.  God’s will only takes time in the working out, and time does not really exist, for we live in eternity.

Faith

“This is the time for faith.  You let this goal be set for you.  That was an act of faith.  Do not abandon faith, now that the rewards of faith are being introduced.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-17.V.6)

Jesus does not say a great deal about faith in A Course in Miracles.  He is, in ACIM, giving us concrete ways to reach salvation—and Awakening—and he does not recommend blind faith.  He is carefully explaining the means to us, the means to Awakening.  He indicates at one point that the end may be revealed to us along the way, but to get there (sustained), the means need to come first.  And he says that he is carefully explaining the means to us.

Faith is required, though.  We have to proceed, as we read, to believe that Jesus is guiding us aright.  He knows that we may sometimes believe that he is misleading us, although he is trying to use words that can’t be misconstrued. 

Now, as we proceed through the Text, we need to realize that we must stand firm with this new course of study.  When we don’t abandon the Text, it reveals great wonders to us.

And we need those wonders.

Welcoming the New / Leaving Behind the Old

“The old” is a construction.  What is constructed can be de-constructed, and it is in this time, that those perceived to be powerless will rise and begin to claim ‘unconstructed’ power, the innate power of the feminine that exist in all.”  Mirari

We are in changing times.  Of course the world has always been changing, but there seems to be speedup of change today.  The notes around A Course in Miracles indicate that Jesus has spoken of a “celestial speedup,” because our world is in dire straits and needs saving—right away.  We are right in the midst of this celestial speedup now.  Many channeled writings are coming to the forefront, even as the world descends often into chaos.  The celestial speedup will, when time is ripe, put an end to this chaos.  But the speedup needs all of us.

The power of the feminine emphasizes Mary’s way, which is the way of being.  We make changes simply by listening to our heart.  Indeed, if we don’t listen to our heart, we are likely to act unwisely.  We need discernment, as the Society of Friends (Quakers) has long counseled.

We will leave the “old” behind and head forthwith into The New, first heralded by A Course of Love.  Our New will allow a happiness that has eluded us previously.  Our New, extending to other people by our expressions of love, will transform us.

Let’s begin today.

Holy vs. Special Relationships

“The holy relationship, a major step toward the perception of the real world, is learned.  It is the old, unholy relationship, transformed and seen anew.  The holy relationship is a phenomenal teaching accomplishment.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-17.V.2)

A holy relationship is a relationship with our brother that was once special.  Special relationships have a lot of pain; holy ones, never pain.  The holy relationship is the means that A Course in Miracles uses to save time for us in heading into salvation in its ultimate, Awakening.  We are not encouraged to spend long periods in contemplation, as some spiritual teaching suggest.  Jesus’s spiritual teaching now, in ACIM, is just to turn from egoic sight of one’s brother.  Let go of wanting to praise his physical appearance, his superficial personality, his income.  These physical attributes are not the real brother; your apprehension of his intangible qualities will open your vision to the holiness that can be yours.  Your brother, in short, will lead you home to God.

Jesus is teaching us in A Course in Miracles, and his encouragement of a holy relationship with our brother is the most important aspect of his explanation of how to reach Awakening.  We learn about the holy relationship in time, not immediately (normally).  Note that the special relationships that have brought us both joy and pain are not to be taken away from us prematurely.  We will gently transform the special.  And in the transformation will come our own release to the real world.  The real world dawns on our puzzled eyes just before Awakening comes.  The time is brief between the real world and Awakening, but we don’t know from ACIM what the “brief” really means.  Time means something more in eternity than we know.

So we do what we can to see the intangible, admirable qualities in our brother.  We know that his attacks are a call for help, a call for love, and we don’t hold his attacks against him.  We know that they are borne of insanity, and that they thrive in the illusion in which we find ourselves.

Only when we move into the real world will we move out of illusion into a perceptual Heaven.  Then our holy relationships will bless us as almost nothing else can.  We will be seeing God in our brother, and we will be seeing God in our Self.

There will be no further need to dwell on the superficialities of our brother’s personality.

“Play” in God’s Kingdom

“There can be no end to the Mind of God.  You will abide forever within it, like one who abides in an infinite forest.  Why not be at play in the Kingdom?”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 20, Page 249)

Most of us on the spiritual path take many things too seriously. Just this morning at breakfast my husband and I were talking about a college friend who had told us that she did not enjoy college. My husband replied, “I think everything at your college was too serious.”

This exchange can be compared to how we react to God. We want to get it right. We want to do the right thing, always. And it is undeniable that this attitude takes some of the sheer “fun” out of life.

I don’t think this attitude is best, though I have been a part of it, too. God’s Kingdom would have a lightness in our bearing, not to take ourselves too seriously. Indeed, A Course in Miracles says that seriousness is “of the ego.” This little-quoted assertion from ACIM needs more attention.

How did we play as children? Some of that lightheartedness would serve us well now. Keep in mind that most people believe that Jesus is talking in this live channeling from Jayem. He himself stepped aside and knew of nothing that he was saying until he listened to the recording.

The Gospel of Judas, though not part of the canon of the New Testament, has Jesus “laughing” a lot! Can we see Jesus as a lighthearted figure? And he is our role model.

Let us have some fun today. Let us enjoy the day, not fret so much about getting it wrong.

Defenses

“It is essential to realize that all defenses do what they would defend.  The underlying basis for their effectiveness is that they offer what they defend.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-17.IV.7)

But this dynamic causes the exact opposite of what we want!  We get what we defend against; how good is that?  In the illusory world that the ego rules, we are trying to avoid the thing that we are so massively constructing brick walls against.  Here, though, Jesus makes a startling assertion that we might well check out in our daily life (especially if we don’t think Jesus has it right).

Have you ever found yourself trapped by defenses, defenses that had been erected to protect yourself?  Of course.  I once knew someone who was barricaded against attacks from others by a wall so strong and fortified that those of us who knew her well saw through what was happening.  Unfortunately, she herself often attacked others.  So, though she had never studied A Course in Miracles, she believed that she would be attacked.  She projected her belief onto others, and so this was her perception.  And she was attacked by others, try as hard as she might to destroy their lives first!

It was a mess.  This scenario, even in description and not in the living, so easily conveys the ridiculous nature of following the ego.  Attack, defense, defense, attack.  We need to get real.  As Jesus says in this quotation selected for tonight, defenses do what they would defend. 

Vow tonight to avoid being defensive.  It will be hard at first, because we reflexively defend ourselves when we are challenged by another.  And especially when we are attacked by another.  The psychological truth of Jesus’s statements about defense, though, ought to be enough to convince us that we need to make an about-fact promptly.

We will walk an easier pathway when we decide that defenses do not help us at all, and they harm (in the illusion) more than almost anything else.

Happiness

“God established His relationship with you to make you happy, and nothing you do that does not share His purpose can be real.  The purpose God ascribed to anything is its only function.  Because of His reason for creating His relationship with you, the function of relationships became forever ‘to make happy.’  And nothing else.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-17.IV.1)

Happiness is a good thing.  We sometimes mistake pleasure in the things of this world for genuine happiness, but perhaps as we proceed through A Course in Miracles, we will catch some glimpse of the difference.  Happiness in this world is a reflection of the happiness that we bask in when we attune ourselves to God.  He is ever ready to advance His cause with us, and it is only our own fear that keeps Him from us.  Our Guide, His Communication Link to us, the Holy Spirit, will let us know how to walk the best pathway.  We have only to listen attentively.  The Holy Spirit will get through to us, and in the communication will come a happiness unlike anything that this world has offered us heretofore.

God created us to be happy in Him.  Until we return to Him, that goal is thwarted.  And we would not have it thwarted, for we want to be happy.  We need to realize, moreover, that happiness is not an inferior goal, inferior to our function of forgiveness and salvation.  For forgiveness, salvation, and happiness are One in God’s eyes, and, as such, they ought to be One in our own eyes as well.

It is perhaps foreign to us to place happiness first.  We think that there are more altruistic emotions.  But can we really help another out of our own neediness?  And don’t we come into our own, really, only when we are happy?  Up to now, we have had fleeting instances of happiness—but happiness is meant to be a constant state, and when it has become such, we will know why.

We can make our contribution to the world best when we are contented.  And contentment is a form of happiness.  We don’t need to sign in agony at the pain that we suffer; indeed, we don’t have to turn pain into suffering.  If we keep a steady eye on the guidance of the Holy Spirit, He will teach us how to emerge from the pain.

And then our way Home, our way Home quickly, is assured.

Forgiveness

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“Can you imagine how beautiful those you forgive will look to you?  In no fantasy have you ever seen anything so lovely.  Nothing you see here, sleeping or waking, comes near to such loveliness.  And nothing will you value like unto this, nor hold so dear.  Nothing that you remember that made your heart sing with joy has ever brought you even a little part of the happiness this sight will bring you.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-17.II.1)

Forgiveness is, at first, something that we do for ourselves.  Then it is something that we do for others.  For giving and receiving are one in the tenets of A Course in Miracles.

When we forgive, our whole world will open up to bless us.  Our grievances, on the other hand, hide the light of the world in us.  We cannot see accurately or well in darkness.  We see only in light.  And forgiveness is our function, the means in which we will know happiness and spread salvation, not only for ourselves but also for others.

We will value those whom we have forgiven more than anything else in our world, for is it not our significant others who offer the greatest challenge to us for forgiveness?  We will value them even more when we have totally forgiven, holding nothing back.  The ways of this world would tell us that we need to protect ourselves from future hurt by not forgetting their words or deeds against us.  But A Course in Miracles advises us that this is a defense, and defenses do what they would defend against.

So the only way out, the only way back to the light in us, is to drop grievances.  Just to let them go.

Then we will know a joy that has eluded us until now.  We will know peace.  We will know harmony.  And we will know love.  Really, for the first time.

Considering A Course in Miracles’ Version of the Lord’s Prayer

“Forgive us our illusions, Father, and help us to accept our true relationship with You, in which there are no illusions, and where none can ever enter.  Our holiness is Yours.  What can there be in us that needs forgiveness when Yours is perfect?  The sleep of forgetfulness is only the unwillingness to remember Your forgiveness and Your Love.  Let us not wander into temptation, for the temptation of the Son of God is not Your Will.  And let us receive only what You have given, and accept but this into the minds which You created and which You love.  Amen.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-16.VII.12)

This prayer was recognized by Helen, the scribe of A Course in Miracles, as ACIM’s version of the Lord’s Prayer.  If we read it carefully, we will all see why.

The prayer starts with a plea for forgiveness.  And, later on, continues with a plea that we not wander into temptation.  The words are different, but the message of this prayer is very akin to the Lord’s Prayer in the New Testament.

We have illusions here, but we would not have it so.  God would not have it for us, either.  We are holy like God, though we strive mightily to hide this awareness from ourselves, and we often just outright don’t believe it.  We have been asleep, in the “sleep of forgetfulness.”  And God would have us awaken, for his channels are closed to Him, and in ACIM He is said to be lonely without the minds that He created being in communication with Him.  We need to receive the great gifts of God, in joy and the abundance that he offers to us, freely, always.

Let’s take a look at the Lord’s Prayer, as found in the King James Version of the Bible (the version used in A Course in Miracles), from Matthew 6:9-13:

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

“Give us this day our daily bread.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:  For thine in the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.  Amen.”

Living in the Mind of Christ

“Each time you can interrupt the momentum of the mind for perceiving nothing but problems, you will begin to discover that the underground river of the Mind of Christ is yet within you still.  As you feel your successes more and more deeply, that in turn builds your desire to live in that stream.  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 20, Page 247)

Living with the Mind of Christ is a great blessing. When we live in our personal mind, often beset by the ego, we live a demoralized life filled with problems–one following another ad infinitum.

This is no way to live. If we believed nothing else, seeing the truth of this problem-oriented life as a bad way to live would be enough to encourage us to turn to a Higher Power. Even if we are unsure about whether that Higher Power is God.

A Course in Miracles reminds us that the solution is always with the problem, no time delay, no procrastination when we are seeking to follow God’s guidance. But why, oh why, do we focus so on problems, something that only succeeds in bringing us more of them?

Live with the Christ Mind instead. Jesus’ help is only a sure call away. He comes, though we don’t understand how, and we often don’t recognize when. The Mind of Christ is a part of us, whether we call this the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Mind. There are no barriers between these terms.

The “something greater” will save us. Call on help today. Know that we are heard, and that we have a sure help on the way.

For All This We Give Up Nothing!

“The new perspective you will gain from crossing over will be the understanding of where Heaven is.  From this side, it seems to be outside and across the bridge.  Yet as you cross to join it, it will join with you and become one with you.  And you will think, in glad astonishment, that for all this you gave up nothing!  The joy of Heaven, which has no limit, is increased with each light that returns to take its rightful place within it.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-16.VI.11)

Today is a joyful day, for doesn’t this quotation remain a harbinger of good things to come?  Heaven joins with us as we cross the metaphorical bridge.  And Heaven is here and now, not on the Other Side solely.  Not that we will find only after death.  We can experience Heaven here and now, and what a blessing this promise is, coming as it does near the beginning of the Text of A Course in Miracles.

How will we recognize Heaven when we have reached it?  Does this question really need answering?  We may actually still experience bad things, but the suffering that we knew previously will depart from us.  Any pain that we might experience can be turned over to the Holy Spirit, and then we can know relief.  This is, after all, still this world, and to believe that we would only experience the good is naïve.  But we will know that the bad that we see is actually only illusion, that this bad is not real.  Unreality is a powerful defense mechanism, and we have hardy tools in our experience now.

We don’t have to sacrifice to reach Heaven on earth.  Sacrifice is never asked of anything.  In the philosophy of ACIM, Jesus himself did not sacrifice when he walked the earth 2,000 years ago.  The idea that he had to die on a cross to save us is not the point, ACIM tells us.  His resurrection is the point, and it is in this way that he saves us.

We don’t lack for anything that Jesus had and has.  He assures us that he walked the pathway before us, but only so that he could help us along the way.  He doesn’t have anything that we lack.  Only time separates our walk, and time does not really exist.

So:  We give up nothing!  And we need do nothing (an ACIM tenet).  When we have reached Awakening, we will reach it with one glad realization, that, for all this, we gave up nothing.  And we need do nothing.

We will have busy doings, but they are of our free choice.  Ask before you embark on anything today.  Ask if that thing is right for you.

The Holy Spirit Works for Us

“You have never given any problem to the Holy Spirit He has not solved for you, nor will you ever do so.  You have never tried to solve anything yourself and been successful.  Is it not time you brought these facts together and made sense of them?”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-16.II.9)

The quotation for this morning is a very precise one, with much meaning and evokes a good sense of reassurance.  We can trust the Holy Spirit to solve our problems.  We can do this.  And the quotation also says that we, by ourselves, have never solved anything satisfactorily.

Is this not true?  Don’t we know this in our own experience?

I know that when my days get off to the wrong start, and I am stubborn about following the Holy Spirit, I have no peace until I quickly recover—affirming to the Holy Spirit that I will follow Him.  Then I really do relax, and I soon develop flow to my day.  This reassessment and change in orientation takes only a moment.  But it makes a gigantic difference in the type of day that we have.

Jesus’s logical argument in this quotation goes quickly to the point.  Yes, we can put these two sentences together and make sense of them, can’t we?  It takes only a moment of reflection to realize that we are onto something here; Jesus is onto something here; and the Holy Spirit is our only true Guide.

We can’t judge for ourselves because we don’t know the whole panorama of all events that impinge on a decision from past, present, and future.  But the Holy Spirit, in His omniscience, does know.  And so when we allow Him to be our personal Guide, our lives start to go right for the first time ever.  We have a Guide Who is sure.  And our own meaningless attempts to make good decisions can fall away.

We may feel personally insulted that we can’t depend on our own judgment in this world.  The world has taught us that we can, that we grow into maturity and then make good decisions.  Our own assessments will show us that this procedure is a fallacy.  We don’t make better decisions in maturity than we did earlier.  We may make worse.  And we are unable to stand freely and confidently with the ego as our guide.

Take the next right step today.  Give over judgments to the only One Who can make the right decisions in any situation, barring none.  Give over judgments to the quiet guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Love Banishes Chaos

“You would make no attempt to judge, because it would be quite apparent to you that you do not understand what anything means.  You are afraid of this because you believe that without the ego, all would be chaos.  Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-15.V.1)

Judging will keep us from Awakening.  And without an ego, we would know immediately that judging is falsity and false thinking.  We don’t know the past, present, and future in all dimensions, and if we don’t know this, we can’t judge rightly.  This is why judging is accurately left to the Holy Spirit, Whose prescience tells Him past, present, and future in all dimensions.  Yet we clutch judging to our bosoms, being afraid to let it go.  We have been taught, wrongly, by this world that we grow in understanding as we mature, and that judgments, therefore, will grow in accuracy as we get older.  This is a fallacy, as Jesus so rightly points out.  We are always judging from the standpoint of the ego, which cannot know anything.

The Holy Spirit makes only one judgment:  God’s Son is innocent.  He does not have an ego with which to judge, and He knows the fallacy of holding anything at all against a precious child of God.

We think that we will be lost in chaos if we don’t judge.  We think that if we don’t defend ourselves, by judging, against predicaments that may arise, then we, poor defenseless selves that we are, will be fodder for any stronger person to devour.  We think that judging is the way that we protect ourselves.  But Jesus says elsewhere that defenses make what they would defend against.  We are thus lost by the act of defending from supposed detractors.  This is why we think that all will be chaos if we don’t judge.  It is a defensive maneuver.

But it is defensive maneuver that will not work.  And so why not open one’s self to the love that lies beneath this supposed chaos?  Without judging, all will be love.  And our defensiveness, which does not work anyway, won’t be needed.  We are protected as Sons of God, protected by our Guide and Teacher, the Holy Spirit.  God Himself, of Whom we are a part, knows that our entity, lost in Him, will abide forever, in safety and truth.

And this is all the assurance that we need.

Holy Instants

“This course is not beyond immediate learning, unless you believe that what God wills takes time.  And this means only that you would rather delay the recognition that His Will is so.  The holy instant is this instant and every instant.  The one you want it to be it is.  The one you would not have it be is lost to you.  You must decide when it is.  Delay it not.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-15.IV.1)

We must choose holy instants, now and always, and, once chosen, our pathway is smooth.  God’s Will is to give us holy instants, one right after the other, no delay at all.

What is a holy instant?  It is a moment in time, at first an isolated moment, in which we see with the eyes of love and reject nobody.  We attack not at all.  We are serene in our experience of loving our brother. 

From this quotation, we can see that the isolated holy instant is meant to expand into an all-encompassing series of holy instants that know no end.  This can happen, though it may be rare in this world for most of us.  Jesus recommends that we not delay in seeking the holy instant in every instance caught in time.  By our own decision we experience holy instants in this way, one right after the other in a free-flowing experience of grace.

Ask for a holy instant as you commune now with the Holy Spirit.  He will not delay in seeing that your prayer is answered.  Only a mind in turmoil could delay the experience of the holy instant.  Ask that your mind be stilled, and in the midst of this stillness, the miracle will happen.  A holy instant will be yours.

Hell Is Egoic Thinking

“The Holy Spirit teaches thus:  There is no hell.  Hell is only what the ego has made of the present.”  (T-15.I.7)

Do any of us still believe in hell?  Or fear that, in some form, it still might be true?

In some form it is true:  the hellish present that the ego gives us. 

And this present can indeed be hellish.

The teaching is from the Holy Spirit, Who makes no mistakes.  His Way is true.  His Way is accurate.  And His Way is there for all of us to follow, just being true to His Word and walking a sure path into a higher consciousness.

If we were led by the ego previously, then remember that there is a time delay before events are materialized in this world.  We will see that what we believed somewhat earlier makes its way into our world.  And only with that time delay, a delay that is actually helpful, for it gives us time to change our minds.  If our thoughts were immediately actualized, we would be in trouble indeed.

Know that you can change the hellish present into a better future just by relinquishing the egoic state of mind.

So many gifts for such a relinquishment!  We are indeed blessed, with a way out of our anguish and a better way assured for us in the future.

Commentary on Egoic Hell

“The belief in hell is inescapable to those who identify with the ego.  Their nightmares and their fears are all associated with it.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-15.I.4)

Threatened people can be, and frequently are, vicious.  And threatened people are people who have considerable investment in the things of the ego—the materialism in particular. 

This is the lamentable condition of this world, for many there are who believe in hell.  And hell is very, very scary.  Most individuals in this world do, in fact, identify with the ego; those who don’t are the rare exceptions.  (And we are seeking to be those of this rare exception.)  If we identify with the ego, we will oscillate between joy and despair, and our nightmares (daytime and nighttime) will offer little solace to us.  We will live a fearful life.  We will not be happy on any kind of extended basis, for the ego always gives, only to take away.

A lot of the problem in our world is because people are easily threatened, and then become defensive and, often, violent.  This dynamic is not inevitable in the physical world, but it is inevitable as long as most people are enamored of the ego.  There is no getting around it:  The ego is very bad business indeed.  The sooner we free ourselves from it, the smoother our lives will go.

Nothing has happened in this world except that we have put ourselves to sleep and dreamed bad dreams, most frequently nightmares.  There has been no comprehensive Awakening, and until this happens, our world indeed does seem doomed. 

Let us be among those who choose again.  Choose once again—that is all that Jesus asks.  And the nightmares will recede, never to recur, eventually, when we have reached the Awakening toward which we are walking.

Merely to Be Perfectly Calm & Quiet All the Time

“Can you imagine what it means to have no cares, no worries, no anxieties, but merely to be perfectly calm and quiet all the time?  Yet that is what time is for; to learn just that and nothing more.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-15.I.1)

Is “perfectly calm and quiet” desirable?  Many of us would say “no,” given our present state of mind.  We are addicted to drama, but when we Awaken, we won’t want drama anymore.  We will see the value of calm and quiet, and we will recognize that in calm and quiet, we are finally at peace.

In time we learn the value of calm and quiet.  Jesus says in this quotation that this is what time is for, just to realize come to the state in which we have “no cares, no worries, no anxieties.”  Now this is motivation, is it not?

I have known people who felt that to be “perfectly calm and quiet all the time” would not be desirable.  These individuals are caught in the throes, still, of living an egoic life—being bound by the part of the self that abides in the ego.  The bottom line then becomes “drama.”

Eckhart Tolle, an Awakened individual, indicates that in his significant relationships he does not know drama.  In his presentations on video, he is an extremely calm individual.  Eckhart has written several books in which he details the experience of Awakening, and in them (The Power of Now; A New Earth) he gives practical advice designed to lead us to this state of calm and quiet. 

I also know an individual in my town who experienced Awakening 30 years and more ago, and she has sustained that experience.  Her demeanor is also quite calm.  And she is very easy to relate to.  Her ego is missing.

The calm and quiet that we will enjoy as time goes by will grow to significant experience when God has deemed that we are ready for Awakening.  In the meantime, we can move in that direction by seeking out situations that reinforce a calm mind.

No Idle Thoughts

“This is why the very pathway of awakening, regardless of the form it takes, is always a retraining of the mind.  It is a decision to choose to discipline the mind in each moment, to teach only Love, to hold only loving thoughts, and to recognize that there is no such thing as an idle thought, since each thought or perception held in the mind immediately generates your experience.  That experience is like a pebble dropped into a pond that send a reverberation, a vibration, throughout the field of your being.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 20, Page 239)

A Course in Miracles also tells us that there are no idle thoughts.  We often think that if we don’t say anything bad, we are home free.  But thoughts have repercussions, and if our thoughts are “bad,” we need to ask for help to right them.

We can’t just will love, but when we get quiet and go within, we will find God’s Love, and He prompts us to love those surrounding us.  He teaches us how to love, but we have to become still from time to time, in contemplation and prayer, for his guidance to “take.”

Every thought counts.  But this is not counsel to fear our thoughts.  It is counsel to let God’s Love overwhelm us in our daily round.  When we open our heart to Him, He teaches us what we can learn no other way.

We discover how to live, and that living is done in overwhelming love for ourselves, our fellow human beings, and our God.

Peace & Understanding Found Together

“Think not you understand anything until you pass the test of perfect peace, for peace and understanding go together and never can be found alone.  Each brings the other with it, for it is the law of God they be not separate.  They are cause and effect, each to the other, so where one is absent the other cannot be.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-14.XI.12)

We focus today on twin values—peace and understanding, which Jesus says are never found apart.  With one, the other comes.  Without one, the other does not come.  The dual nature of peace and understanding is particularly apt to be overlooked in a study of A Course in Miracles, but when seen clearly, this tidbit of information tells us much.  It tells us why we have not understood before (we lacked peace), and why we didn’t have peace (we lacked understanding).

We need perfect peace, and for this we need understanding.  A Course in Miracles is giving us the means to reach Awakening, the end that we all seek.  God makes the decision of when, but we must be prepared.  And we will be effortlessly and easily prepared when we study ACIM carefully and well.

Peace and understanding are both cause and effect to each other, a dichotomy that is difficult to understand.  But Jesus frequently makes reference to cause and effect in ACIM—a favorite learning device of his.  We can see that each causes the other, and therefore each is the “effect” of the other.  We cannot make progress when either is lacking from our lives.

May we experience at least fleeting moments of perfect peace today.  To do so, we will realize that we have understood some of what A Course in Miracles is telling us.

And we will seeing accurately.

To Be Free of Fear & in Perfect Peace

“You have one test, as sure as God, by which to recognize if what you learned is true.  If you are wholly free of fear of any kind, and if all those who meet or even think of you share in your perfect peace, then you can be sure that you have learned God’s lesson, and not your own.”  (A Course in Miracles FIP ed., T-14.XI.5)

This quotation comes early in the Text, and this is perhaps surprising, because it gives us a secret by which we can know if we are assimilating the message of A Course in Miracles.  We are, though, at this juncture perhaps unable to affirm that pass this test.

Are we free of fear?  Do others think of us with peace only? 

This is a hard test.  Even those who have been on the pathway to Awakening for a long time may not feel sure about their freedom from fear, or their choice to spread only peace.

How might we do these things?  How might we be free of fear and embodying peace always?

There are no easy answers.  A Course in Miracles in its entirety is seeking to bring us to this end.  But we can begin.  And we begin with study of ACIM.  We commune with God.  We listen to the Holy Spirit, Whose guidance will take us home to God surely.  We walk alongside Jesus, in imagination holding his hand.  This is the Holy Trinity, and in this we build on what we learned from the New Testament.  ACIM now seeks to take us where we are in our progress as human beings in this Twenty-First Century.  We have somewhat different needs in our salvation than people years ago had.  We have become changed people.  And we now know what the ego is, and we realize that its ways are not best for us.  If we are spiritually smart, we will reach for forgiveness of our brother as our pathway.  This is the means that A Course in Miracles is using to take us to God.  This is our salvation, our access to Awakening.

Speak to God today in your effort to move closer to Him in daily life.  Follow guidance for the best pathway in everything.

Love & the Call for Love

“The only judgment involved is the Holy Spirit’s one division into two categories; one of love, and the other the call for love.  You cannot safely make this division, for you are much too confused either to recognize love, or to believe that everything else is nothing but a call for love.”  (T-14.X.7)

This quotation states a fundamental truth of the teachings of A Course in Miracles:  that everything is either love, or a call for love.  This is how we are to view the words and actions of our brother as well, our significant other(s) who is walking this world with us.  He is either expressing his love for us, or he is calling for us to overlook his attack and to know that that attack is a call for love from us.  These are the only two choices.

We cannot make this division ourselves, not at this juncture.  Appeal to the Holy Spirit when confronted with attack; know that this need not be.  He will make the judgment that one’s brother is only calling for love.  We will be too overwrought to make that distinction.  But the One Who can will speak to us and calm us.  Then we will be in the best position to run to our brother’s side with the love that he needs so desperately.

Don’t run to your brother’s side if he is not yet receptive.  There will come a time when he will be receptive.  And, if you are listening to the Holy Spirit, you will know when that time is.  This is the time to act.  Not a moment later.  But be sure that you are discerning correctly.  Be sure that your own overwrought emotions have righted themselves.  Be sure that the Holy Spirit is saying, “Act NOW!”

SPOTLESS MIRROR

by Celia Hales

Published in Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher).

In this world you can become a spotless mirror, in which the Holiness of your Creator shines forth from you to all around you.  You can reflect Heaven here.  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-14.I.5)

Honor your mind, let it serve what it was created for:  to be a blessed mirror of divine truth, the abode of wisdom, a sacred temple where the sweetness of love dwells.  (Choose Only Love bk. 4, 16:II)

The goal, then, of genuine spirituality is to realign the quality of your perception—to mirror, to resonate with, to be in perfect alignment with the perception of your Creator—to see with God’s eyes.  (The Way of Mastery, Part One:  The Way of the Heart, Lesson 4)

            When we see with someone else’s eyes, we are seeing as that person sees.  It is the same with God.  When we are seeing from His perspective as a “spotless mirror,” we reflect Heaven.

            Would that we could be spotless mirrors consistently!  Awakening holds out that promise to us, but many of us have had only glimpses and have not sustained Awakening as of yet.  So what might we do to live more from God’s perspective?

            To remove the blocks to the awareness of love and move closer to Awakening, we need to turn aside—gently—from fear and judgment.  This advice, from A Course of Love, will speed us along the pathway back to God.

            St. Augustine said, “Love and do as you will.”  This is the essence.  If we love enough, a holy love and not a special love, we will reflect the Holiness of our Creator.  If we know the sweetness of love, we won’t long for anything else.  We will live in bliss, perfectly satisfied with what each day brings—even when the day brings something less than ideal.

            When we become “spotless mirrors,” we will reflect God in everything we say or do.  We will live life confidently and peacefully, sure of love, and sure of our own life as one of His children. 

Open Every Door to the Holy Spirit

“The Holy Spirit asks of you but this; bring to Him every secret you have locked away from Him.  Open every door to Him, and bid Him enter the darkness and lighten it away.  At your request He enters gladly.”  (A Course in Miracles, T-14.VII.6)

If we have any reason to doubt that we have been baptized by the Holy Spirit, now is the time to remedy that lack.  The Holy Spirit will enter anyone who asks; this quotation makes this clear.  And ask we must.  A Course in Miracles is filled with promises to which we are entitled, but for which we must first ask.  The New Testament is similarly filled with such promises.

Once we have asked that we be filled with the Holy Spirit, we will not have long to wait.  He will make His Presence known almost immediately.  The entry does not have to be earth-shattering.  The Holy Spirit often moves in quietness, and if we wish for something more, it may or may not be forthcoming.

All of this does not matter.  The Holy Spirit can be with us now, as we read together.  As I write. Ask for His Presence.  That is all that is required.

We need to bring to the Holy Spirit all dismal secrets that we have kept locked away, usually out of shame.  He will heal all these secrets forthwith.  There is nothing too shameful to bring to Him.  There is nothing, likewise, that He won’t heal.

Light is a symbol often used in A Course in Miracles.  We need simply to walk into the light, into the sunlight (if you will), to find God’s blessing upon us.  And, in this quotation, we find that the Holy Spirit is God’s Voice, ready to reach out to us at any time that we ask.

Ask today.

“Beautiful Spring which Bubbles Forth with the Purest of Waters”

“You are free to see—and please listen carefully—right where you are that the separation never occurred.  All attempts to keep it in place have been like battling for the rights of chimera to exist like insisting that the illusion of an oasis seen in a desert is truly real.  Instead of going to the location and finding out what is real and what is false, standing there bickering with your arms folded across your chest, arguing for the right to be right—while Reality slips through your fingers.  All the while, you are standing next to a beautiful spring which bubbles forth with the purest of waters.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Chapter 19, Page 236)

This quotation from Jesus is so inspiring!  Everything is the Now, and so time is nonexistent, and our long wait for Christ-consciousness or Awakening can come to an end at any moment.  If we look to the beautiful springs in our midst, we will be more inclined to think and feel like God.  A Course in Miracles says that God Himself reaches down (a metaphor) and lifts us up in Awakening, that God Himself makes the decision of when this great blessing comes.  But The Way of Mastery, channeled by Jesus to Jayem, is saying to us that we have a hand in determining the time. 

We don’t have to make elaborate preparations.  The Holy Spirit, or the Christ-Mind does all that.  It would be arrogant for us to assume that our role were very large.  But we can pray for a surcease of our difficult lives.  We can pray that the time of Awakening hasten.  And we can ask that we be prepared for that eventuality—for it will come to everyone eventually.  This is the next great leap in evolution of the mind/heart, as I see it.

Ask to have fear and judgment removed from our emotions.  These are, according to A Course of Love, the stumbling blocks to Christ-consciousness.

Pray long and deeply, for asking for Awakening is in God’s will.

PRICE REDUCTION FOR BEING WHO YOU ARE, BOOK BY THIS BLOGGER

In time for Christmas, I am reducing the price of the paperback of Being Who You Are:  Pondering A Course of Love to $7.95 (the e-book is $5.99).  As you know from reading this blog, A Course of Love is considered by many to a continuation of A Course in Miracles (this is said within the Addendum of A Course of Love by the man whom many believe channeled ACOL to Mari Perron, Jesus himself).

Being Who You Are is 265 pages and highlights ten themes from ACOL.  My book has good reviews, 5 out of 5 stars for all 9 ratings and 6 reviews. 

To find the entry on Amazon, google “amazon being who you are celia hales.”  And thank you.

Love, Celia

Potential for Heaven on Earth

“I know of the importance of what some consider ‘small things’ to be, things about care of the body, and the feelings of those who make this sometimes-desperate journey through life.  I have known human life as both Heaven and Earth, and more specifically as the potential for Heaven on Earth, a potential now being actualized in the imaginal realm.”  Mirari

I think Mary means by the “imaginal realm,” and the actualization of a Heaven on Earth, that we are moving into a new time, the time of Christ. This is something Jesus said in A Course of Love. Of course, time varies in what it means on the Other Side. So we don’t actually know how long it will take for Heaven on Earth to come about. We are impatient souls, for we would not have come into this world unless we were impatient to progress. I have read that progress, soul progress, comes more easily in this earthly realm.

We and others are imagining a better future. And this is all to the good. As we imagine, we also live in this world with the daily habits of a body. We are very much in the concrete, or what appears to be the concrete to us. It may be illusion (and A Course in Miracles says it is), but we experience our life here as “real.” We feel pain when hurt, we cry when our emotions overcome us. So we are very absorbed by the life of the moment.

Mary has always appealed to us because of her unique understanding. As mother of Jesus, she witnessed his crucifixion, not knowing at the time that resurrection would happen in three days. She has suffered. So her loving understanding is something we all can appreciate.

Imagine today a better future. This is praying. And this prayer will reach our God.

Journey into Light

“The journey that we undertake together is the exchange of dark for light, of ignorance for understanding.  Nothing you understand is fearful.  It is only in darkness and in ignorance that you perceive the frightening, and shrink away from it to further darkness.  And yet it is only the hidden that can terrify, not for what it is, but for its hiddenness.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-14.VI.1)

We need to walk into the sunshine, the light, with Jesus, holding his hand through everything that we encounter in life.  If we do this, we will not fear any longer.  Who could fear when he/she imagines that Jesus is holding one’s hand, and Jesus himself has said that this will be no “idle fantasy.”  So we need to keep a calm and peaceful mind to transverse this world well.  And if the imagination will help, so be it.

We are frightened when we walk in the dark, and it is only because it is dark that we are frightened.  A Course in Miracles has come as one way into the light, so that frightened children, such as we are, do not become vicious because we are afraid.  Decide, choose, today to leave fear behind.  When feeling anxiety, go within and offer a prayer that all might be well, that we walk in light and we hold Jesus’s hand.  The effect will be stunning and immediate.

We are in ignorance until we come to knowledge.  And the means to Awakening are being explained to us in A Course in Miracles.  This Awakening is another state of being, a new way of living that is overwhelmingly freeing.  We have been living in a perceptual nightmare, ruled by the ego, and we are tired of such living.  Let us allow God’s Voice, the Holy Spirit, to lead us out of this lamentable perception, the one that always ends in despair.  Let the Holy Spirit guide us to knowledge, and with knowledge comes a closer walk with God Himself, for we are no longer covering our eyes.  We will have true vision, which is not the same that the physical eyes see.  It is a vision that is possible because we no longer judge.  

Judging is one of the primary ways that we are denied Awakening now, not because the Holy Spirit is punitive, but because we literally cannot see rightly until we give up judgment.  We also must give up attack, and making plans against contingencies to come.  These three—attack, judging, making plans not endorsed by the Holy Spirit—if given up, will smooth the pathway to Awakening in a time frame so rapid that we cannot conceive of that tempo now.

The Body in This World

“Now, one of the reasons that I have had little to say through the ages, especially to those who revere the leaving of the body, is that I am Mother of the ‘body’ of Christ.  And I am deeply with you in the cause to bring ‘the body’ into the realm of the living.”  Mirari

This somewhat controversial statement by Mary of Nazareth, received by Mari, is controversial because A Course in Miracles enthusiasts, and many A Course of Love enthusiasts, do not believe in the material world.  The Workbook of ACIM says, famously, “There is no world!”  We are living in illusion as long as we are in the dream that God gave us when we separated from Him.  This too I believe.

Mary’s statement has something deeper, though.  The body certainly seems “real” to us, and it is this “real” nature of the body that may explain why Jesus worked with Mari to bring forth A Course of Love.  If read narrowly, A Course in Miracles makes our life here pretty dismal—until the Holy Spirit brings to us the “happy dreams” that he does bring.  But we may still get the impression from ACIM that life on the Other Side, as spirits, is better than life in the body.

If we all believe this, we won’t want to return to the earth in the future.  We will live out our lives, glad to be rid of this world.  But we are the hands and feet of God (and by extension, Jesus), and if we don’t save our brothers and sisters who are lost in attack and anger, who will?

Perhaps Jesus did not at first recognize in A Course in Miracles how dismal he was making this world sound.  So we have A Course of Love, and, now, Mirari, to celebrate the new world that we will be creating.  A new world in which reality blossoms.

To Mother the New into Existence

“The invasion is an intrusion of The New into the old, a force meant to quicken the passing of all that lingers of death in the living.  To end living death and welcome living life.  To end division and become one with what is being birthed.  To mother The New into existence.”  Mirari

Here Mirari, Mari’s new book, takes up where A Course of Love left off.  Still talking about The New, the new world that we will all create together, this new book goes a step farther.  It counsels that we do what we can to bring love into our world, big time, for there are still too many of us who are bringing negativity into this world.

We need to be sure that we don’t encourage negativity by our own actions.  We must stop feeding egos, and here I know Mari’s new book is preaching to the choir.  All of us who have discovered A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love know of the detrimental effect of egoic and egotistical thought.

Listen to our heart.  Mirari is also a heart-centered book, in this way like A Course of Love.

Our Part in Atonement

“Everyone has a special part to play in the Atonement, but the message given to each one is always the same; God’s Son is guiltless.  Each one teaches the message differently, and learns it differently.  Yet until he teaches it and learns it, he will suffer the pain of dim awareness that his true function remains unfulfilled in him.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-14.V.2)

There is a course for every teacher of God; this quotation says this, using different words.  All of us are separated as student and teacher only in time, and time does not really exist.  God’s Son is guiltless; it is only in time that we have made mistakes that need rectifying.  Each of us comes to believe this truth differently, for each of us is unique in our particular thought patterns and our experiences of this world (and other worlds, we might assume).

Our function is to teach and learn the truth that we are guiltless in eternity.  This is not our only function, but our various functions, as mentioned in A Course in Miracles, are One in intent.  These functions vary from salvation to forgiveness to happiness.  All converge.  So the different words only seem to mean different things.  They don’t really.

We want to avoid pain, and so we want to avoid the pain of knowing that our function is unfulfilled until we have seen that we are truly guiltless.  But do we really believe this truth?  Perhaps not, perhaps it will take more study.  But begin to open the mind to the possibility that we, as Sons of God, are guiltless.  This will be enough for now.

Quiet Path in Summer

“When you have learned how to decide with God, all decisions become as easy and as right as breathing.  There is no effort, and you will be led as gently as if you were being carried down a quiet path in summer.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-14.IV.6)

When we “decide with God,” we are no longer rebelling against him.  Our adolescent rebellion is over, and it simply means that we must remove the scraps of fear from our minds as we find our way back to Him. 

Fear is a big problem for us, and we cannot imagine a “quiet path in summer” when we are overwrought with the ravages of fear.

Simply choose again.  We can do that, you know.  Anytime our days start in error, we can choose to begin the day over.  It is better, of course, to start the day right, because to do so saves time, and time is wearing on us.  The world is very weary now, caught in its madness with illusions of fear.  This lamentable state of affairs we have made for our world, and yet we don’t know how to get out of it.

The Holy Spirit does know how to lead us safely away from the fears, suffering, and pain that we have made.  Ask Him today for His guidance in finding that quiet path in summer.  We will not be disappointed with His Answer.

Would it not be wonderful to feel that our decisions are easily made?  Such is the way when our days develop flow from calling on the Holy Spirit for every detail.  Jesus does say that it is not wise to become preoccupied with every detail of our lives, that the right mind slant developed in the morning will see us through the day.  But we can turn to the Holy Spirit without tangling ourselves up with our decisions about what to do.  We can listen and learn, as the Holy Spirit whispers in our ears with inner words and intuitions.

There is no better way to live.  Turn the nighttime sleeping over to Him, and see if tomorrow doesn’t bring a hint of a quiet path in summer.

Insanity

“This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the extent of its insanity.  There is no area of your perception that it has not touched, and your dream is sacred to you.  That is why God placed the Holy Spirit in you, where you placed the dream.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-14.I.2)

When we decided to separate from God, at that point He created the Holy Spirit as a way to cleanse our perception so that we might find out way back to Himself.  In time this happened a long, long time ago; in reality it never happened at all.

So we are living in insanity.  We were never meant not to communicate with our Creator, Who created us as companionship with Him.  So many of us live at least part of our lives, and sometimes our whole lives, as atheists or agnostics, trying, oh so hard to be independent and self-sufficient.  We were never meant to struggle in this madness.  And a little willingness to listen to the Holy Spirit will silence our doubts and set us on the road back to God.

Our perception is flawed; indeed, perception is even an insane concept.  Perception, if cleansed, can take us back to knowledge, which God knows.  God does not know perception, but His Bridge, the Holy Spirit, mediates between perception and knowledge.  By cleansing perception, we can learn enough to reach almost to knowledge—but only with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Let us reach today for that cleansed perception, so that all will be right in our little world.

We think a lot of our illusion, our dream, which is the way that we see this world.  There is no world!  This said by Jesus, in the Workbook of A Course in Miracles.  But do we believe that projection makes perception, that we are projecting an illusion, and seeing what would make life make sense to us in our madness?

No one is free of conflict in such a scenario.  We made the ego as a part of our belief about ourselves, made in insanity.  And now we don’t know how to deal with this erroneous perception.  We need to hand over our egos to Jesus himself, who has promised to hold them for us, so that we need not be concerned with them.  Take him at his word.  We don’t know how Jesus can be with anybody who calls to him, anytime at all, but let us decide that maybe he indeed knows what he is talking about.  Be with the sanity in your mind today, brought there by the Holy Spirit.

Real World

“Sit quietly and look upon the world you see, and tell yourself: ‘The real world is not like this.  It has no buildings and there are no streets where people walk alone and separate.  There are no stores where people buy an endless list of things they do not need.  It is not lit with artificial light, and night comes not upon it.  There is no day that brightens and grows dim.  There is no loss.  Nothing is there but shines, and shines forever.”  (A Course in Miracles, T-13.VII.1)

A particularly picturesque scene might come to mind when reading this description.  We can imagine that the Vision that is of God doesn’t include the mundane details of a city street.  When we are joined with others in a loving sense, we aren’t aware of places in our world where we might walk in separate bodies, alone and lonely.  When we love, really love with the Vision of God, we are never alone and lonely. 

Jesus takes a negative view of our materialism, and this attitude comes out more precisely in this quotation than in any other place in A Course in Miracles.  He talks about buying an “endless list of things” that we do not need.  Why do we buy things we don’t need?  Basically, we are trying to find in material things the solace that we haven’t found in spirituality.  And we haven’t found solace in spirituality because we haven’t sought deeply enough within ourselves, where God is.

The fact of no darkness in the real world may seem to be that Jesus is talking about the Other Side, and it is surely unclear if this is indeed what he means.  But later on, in ACIM, he discusses the “real world,” and he indicates that we will inhabit this real world fleetingly before God Himself will reach down and lift us up into Awakening. 

So I think that Jesus is engaging in metaphor here of the real world that is full of intangibles that don’t impinge on materialism at all.  We want peace, joy, harmony, rest—all things that we can have and that we will have when we have walked the pathway that Jesus is pointing out.  These intangibles are the way that we get around the need, the incessant need, to find solace in physical objects.

The intangibles will never disappoint, and they are here for the asking.

MOVIE SCREEN

by Celia Hales. Published in Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher)

The great secret of your human existence, indeed, the great secret of the many journeys you have taken is that they have existed nowhere save within the movie screen of your own mind.  (WOM, “The Way of Knowing,” Lesson 25)

An external world is but a projection that cannot take you away from the internal world where you exist in wholeness. . .imagine the life that you experience now taking place much like that you would see projected on a movie screen.  (ACOL, C:18.8)

Projection makes perception.  (ACIM, T-21.I.1:1)

            What we imagine, comes to be.  We wrote the script, and then we forgot, in order to make the illusion real.  The analogy of a movie screen on which we view our lives, as if from a distance, sitting in seats facing the screen, is very apt.  If only we didn’t forget what we are doing to ourselves!  If only we stopped long enough to change the picture show to something better.

            That “something better” is the experience of love in all our dealings.  Then we move away from illusion into the real world.  We are still not perfect, though, in this world, and so Jesus stands at the conclusion of our lives and corrects what we have not been able to correct.  He saves us from ourselves, having himself reached perfection.  We need a little help; he walked the whole carpet before us and can offer that help.

            Ask for help today, because to settle for second best, an illusion that is ego-oriented, is to ask for pain and suffering.   Yet it is not God who visits pain and suffering upon ourselves.  It is we ourselves, in a desperate effort to get it right, finally.  We have decided that we can only learn through pain and suffering, though this is far from true.             The world is projected from within in a mass hallucination of all sentient beings that disintegrates only when we have asked God to experience the Love that is He.  His Love cocoons us, takes us to safety, and ensures that our lives will play out well and good.  Our projections then see reality where before we saw only illusion.  Our movie is now the real thing.

Live in the Now

“As you look upon yourself and judge what you do honestly, you may be tempted to wonder how you can be guiltless.  Yet consider this:  You are not guiltless in time, but in eternity.  You have ‘sinned’ in the past, but there is no past.  Always has no direction.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-13.I.3)

This is Jesus’s explanation of how everything happening is outside time, is always in the “now.”  In time, we see sequences of things going on, past to present to future.  But everything is actually simultaneous, for time is part of the illusion in which we find ourselves.

We have “sinned,” which is put in quotation marks, because a tenet of A Course in Miracles is actually that there is no sin, that we have simply made mistakes, correctable mistakes.  The idea of sin is represented as having an attracting quality, something irresistible that we want to keep repeating.  Mistakes don’t feel the same to us; we want to make amends, to correct what we have done wrong, to seek forgiveness if necessary.

Time proceeds from past to present to future, but when we concentrate on the moment we are in right now, we are truly living.  And this “now” moment is often seen as a precursor to Awakening.  When we learn to live more and more of our moments without reference to time, we are coming closer to the ideal to which Jesus is leading us:  Awakening.

We have done things wrong in the past; we have made mistakes.  And we will want to seek forgiveness, from ourselves as well as others, for those mistakes.  We do not have to beg forgiveness of God, according to A Course in Miracles, for God has never condemned us; He has simply seen us as his innocent children.  But the primary thrust of ACIM is the matter of forgiveness, and we would do well to consider the primacy of forgiveness early on in our journey without distance.

Make amends.  Seek to right wrongs.  And then know that the forgiveness that you seek for yourself, you must also offer to others.  This is the way of A Course in Miracles.  This is our way home.  We must learn to see the innocence of our brothers as they confront us.  Everyone is truly doing the best that he can, given his degree of understanding.  And we are all mad in this world to one extent or another.  We should not, therefore, underestimate the extent of our brother’s insanity. 

Good Morning!

“How you wake is the sign of how you have used sleep.  To whom did you give it?  Under which teacher did you place it?  Whenever you wake dispiritedly, it was not given to the Holy Spirit.  Only when you awaken joyously have you utilized sleep according to His purpose.  You can indeed be ‘drugged’ by sleep, if you have misused it on behalf of sickness.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-8.IX.4)

We need, as this quotation says, to give our sleep over unreservedly to the Holy Spirit.  Considering this dictate, and considering what little willingness we really do have to have when we follow this guidance, is a good way to fall into a relaxed frame of mind—the very best way in which to fall asleep soundly and with peace.

Not all of us are morning people, and some will continue to wake up, sensing that they have almost been “drugged.”  But this is not the way that Jesus would point out to us.  He would have us wake up in good spirits, ready to meet the day and its experiences with ease.  Let us try to think along these lines tonight, as we prepare for sleep.

What might we have to do to prepare for such a sleep, a sleep given over to our Guide, the Holy Spirit?  Quiet time spent reading and reflecting is good; it will orient us away from fear, as Jesus tells us elsewhere in A Course in Miracles.  He would have us lull our minds into peace that speaks to our heart.  The heart does not need the “proof” that the mind does, and so our doubts are quietened.

What do you do in the morning if you awaken “drugged”?  Basically, we try again the next night, because the sense of overwhelming sleepiness is a sign that we are undernourished by the Holy Spirit.  He will set us aright.  We need no other Guide.

Forgive the World

“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.”  (A Course of Love, 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.

Fully Experiencing the Will of God

“To fulfill the Will of God perfectly is the only joy and peace that can be fully known, because it is the only function that can be fully experienced.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-8.III.2)

This statement is the statement of a man of God.  Jesus gets his joy from fulfilling what he understands to be God’s will.  And he asks nothing less but that we do the same.

It is not hard, this following of God.  The guidance comes through precisely all the time.  The only question is whether or not we will turn into that guidance.  The best way to live is to tune in.  Then our days and nights develop a substantial flow, one event into the next, with ease and grace.  We fret less; we worry not at all.

These are our best days, the days that we follow guidance and in so doing develop a flow.  Ask that today be such a day for you.  If you are intent on following what you perceive to be the will of God, you will not be disappointed in the extraordinary day that will be afforded you.

Jesus is on the verge of introducing us in A Course in Miracles to the Holy Spirit.  Up to now, he has focused on asking us to imagine what he, Jesus, might say to us, and then following his guidance unfailingly.  He will not leave us now, though, if we are willing to keep doubts at bay, and consider that he is serious when he says that he will come to us in response to “one unequivocal call.”  He also says that we can imagine that we hold hands with him, and he says that this will be “no idle fantasy.”

But now Jesus is introducing us to the Holy Spirit, an introduction that may be unnecessary to some of us.  The Holy Spirit is, in A Course in Miracles, our Guide to right action.  He is also called the Universal Inspiration, and references to Him in ACIM are always capitalized. 

We need to have good days, like pearls on a string, blessed days.  And here we have the key:  follow guidance.  We will not be led astray.

This Too Shall Pass

“When you are anxious, realize that anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be.  You can be as vigilant against the ego’s dictates as for them.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-4.IV.4)

Anxiety dogs our steps, for anxiety is the most prevalent form of fear.  We have an ego that is out of control, has always been out of control.  And so we can easily recognize capriciousness when confronted with anxiety, for there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.  We do, surely, attach reasons to our anxiety, but this is grasping at straws.  Twisting in the wind.  We know, deep inside, that something that is in us, but not real—the ego—is calling the shots.  And we would not have it so.

We can be vigilant against letting anxiety turn our days into a living hell.  It doesn’t take much vigilance, really.  If we never let the anxiety escalate, if we go within at the first signs of agitation.  Turn to the inner Self Who knows best how to turn aside the calling of the ego.  Don’t wait, hoping the uneasy feeling will subside.  Go within directly, immediately.  And watch the see if you don’t sense help from a Higher Power as you go within.

Being able to give up anxiety is powerful motivation.  Who can be at the best when confronted with the verge of panic?  Nobody.  Ever.  And so we seek, once again, to turn aside from the ego.  We don’t actively “resist” the ego, for to do is to make resistance real, and the act of turning away too strident.  The ego becomes strong in strife, and strife is what we have when we seek to force a solution by shouting “no” at our anxiety, “no” at the ego.

Just turn aside, gently.  Meditate.  Pray.  Write in a journal.  The way will open to a smooth pathway once again.

If agitation doesn’t go away, then perhaps it has something to say to us.  The ego will try to speak to us, but what it says is only confused thinking, best left alone.  Don’t try to make sense out of its ranting.  You can’t do it.  It is impossible.

Be gentle with yourself when in the throes of an egoic attack.  This too shall pass.  And so it shall.

Evolution of Humanity

“But there, in love outside of time, did time and eternity first meld into a potential for the evolution of humanity and the elevation of the self of form.”  Mirari

Here Mary is talking of the incarnation of the Christ as Jesus, her son.  The incarnation was planned in a realm far outside of the time and space in which the Earth is caught.  The Way of Mastery indicates that the planning originally began eons before the actual fact of the coming of Jesus 2,000 years ago.

Jesus masterminded a giant leap for humankind, an evolutionary leap that we are only just now, 2,000 years later, coming to actualize.  A Course of Love talks a great deal of the “elevated Self of form,” and this is the “body” we will occupy when we have awakened.  This Awakening is heralded also in A Course in Miracles and Choose Only Love.  It will be a comprehensive change, an alteration in the way we live life.  And our lives will be so much improved.  We can all hope that the actual fact of the elevated Self of form will come quickly.

A Course in Miracles says that the separation took millions of years to come about, and it may take that long, or longer, for all to make the decision to return to God.  The pathway is long.  But we don’t have to become demoralized by ACIM’s assertion.  Tiny steps make a difference, for us and for the world.

Let’s get quiet, heal the subconscious one bit at a time—as The Way of Mastery recommends.  This book, which many believe was also from Jesus, asks that we take a look at each subconscious fear, to release it.  And this is a worthy endeavor, leading to Awakening.

Mary’s words are comforting, believing as many do that they are genuinely from her.  Her love for Jesus surpasses our own, for she is on a par with him, and his love is beyond measure.

See what quiet moments can do for us today.  See if we can make progress on our evolutionary journey.

Our Worth Is Established by God

“Your worth is not established by teaching or learning.  Your worth is established by God.  As long as you dispute this everything you do will be fearful, particularly any situation that lends itself to the belief in superiority and inferiority. Teachers must be patient and repeat their lessons until they are learned.  I am willing to do this, because I have no right to set your learning limits for you.  Again,–nothing you do or think or wish or make is necessary to establish your worth.  This point is not debatable except in delusions.  Your ego is never at stake because God did not create it.  Your spirit is never at stake because He did.  Any confusion on this point is delusional, and no form of devotion is possible as long as this delusion lasts.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-4.I.7)

An important quotation, because so many of us struggle with confusion over self-esteem.  As the ego manages self-esteem, we will never measure up.  As our spirit measures self-esteem, we cannot help but measure up.

And this quotation tells us why:  Our worth is established by God.  We don’t have to “do” in order to merit His approval.  He has made us perfect, and only the extent to which we have varied from this epitome, in our dream, is what needs remedying.  We are worthy, still perfect in our essence.  And this, in itself, must lead to a very serene sense of self-actualization in our depths.

We constantly compare ourselves to each other.  This is wrong.  All talents will one day be shared equally, and, in the meantime, when someone else has what we lack, we too have something that he/she lacks.  All of this comparison leads to either a sense of superiority or inferiority.  And to demoralization.  There seems no way out.

But there is a way out.  Simply repeat to yourself, “My worth is established by God.”  If this affirmation doesn’t work for you, then commune with our Maker to ask what and how you might believe what Jesus has said is true. 

We need to get over the delusion that we have to merit approval from God.  We will stay confused as long as we think that egoic ideas are separating us from our Creator.  It is true that, in the illusion, the dream, we are separate from God—but in reality, we have never left.

There Are No Idle Thoughts

“There are no idle thoughts.  All thinking produces form at some level.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-2.VI.9)

There is a very serious warning in the quotation for this evening.  Our minds do wander, and when the mind wanders it produces what we erroneously think are “idle” thoughts.  This is not so, as Jesus says to us here. 

We cannot understand what he is saying, but we can get an intimation by thinking of our nighttime dreams.  Form seems very real in nighttime dreams, but when we awaken in the morning, the dreams frequently vanish from our minds, and we accord those dreams no reality at all.  The form is real, though, and perhaps this type of form is what Jesus is seeing.

Jesus has told us that we live in a dream, even in waking reality.  We are living illusions.  And we think that we live in a solid world, a world of form.  We touch, we knock on hard surfaces, and we get resistance.  But our bodies are just as much an illusion as the table that we rap upon. 

Perhaps form in our idle thoughts is like unto this.  Such secular writers as Jane Roberts, in the books channeled by an entity named “Seth,” have said the same.  Our thoughts blossom out in all directions, according to Seth.  And form is not far behind, though we cannot see that happen.

So doesn’t it behoove us to rid ourselves of what we have been calling “idle” thoughts?  Wouldn’t it be better to think along better lines?  Wouldn’t it be better to fill our minds with thoughts that we imagine are like unto those that we imagine God “thinks”?  Certainly the encouragement that we give fantasies can be seen as a false way to spend our time.  Fantasies are not true, but we indulge in them.  We even fall into fantasy when we are contemplating or meditating.  Our minds stay so busy.

Rein in your thoughts today.  Don’t let them get ahead of yourself.  The best thing that we can do is to think as God would think.  Ask Him what He thinks, and see if your imagination doesn’t give you an Answer.

Perfect Love

“Know first that this is fear.

Fear arises from lack of love.

The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.

Perfect love is the Atonement.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-2.VI.7)

Perfect love is the “undoing” of what has been an albatross around our necks for eons.  We are moving toward Awakening, and as we take steps there, and we will fear less as we love more.  This is the best way, the only way to welcome God into our lives.  We must ask for help if we find our propensity to love, weak.  And if we find ourselves in fearful states of mind all too often.  These two characteristics—fearful, anxious feelings and a lack of love while experiencing those feelings—are easily overcome when we go to God.  If tangled up or mixed up, go to God.  He will take you into His arms and comfort and heal you.

Can we get perfect love by willing it?  No.  That is why this favorite quotation is so puzzling for so many of us.  We want perfect love, because we so dislike the fearful feelings that we experience.  This desire is the practical motivation.  But perfect love is held out to us by God Himself, and we are led to that eventuality when we open ourselves to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was the essence of the Atonement, his gift to us. 

The Atonement as gifted us by Jesus, as seen by A Course in Miracles, is not a sacrificial gift. Jesus would have us see the wholly benign lesson of the crucifixion, and then look beyond that to the resurrection.  The resurrection is seen as the promise of eternal life to all of us.  And whether or not we can accept that the resurrection really happened, Jesus still welcomes us.  He does not need intellectual assent.  He only needs the heartfelt response, the response from our inner being where we do not need intellectual proof.

Ask God today to allow the experience of perfect love to come to you.  It will come first in fleeting glimpses, but then, as time passes and we remain true to God, the times of perfect love extend.  We know perfect love, and the fears and anxieties of daily life drop from our experience.