TEN POINTS OF COMPARISON BETWEEN A COURSE IN MIRACLES & A COURSE OF LOVE

by Celia Hales

Introduction

Note: Presented December 2, 2018, as a part of the 20th anniversary online conference of A Course of Love, moderated by James Kelly.

I was a lover of A Course in Miracles long before A Course of Love was given. ACIM speaks to my mind, which needed the intellectual understanding of how we are to live. ACOL speaks to my heart, the love that I need to feel and to exhibit.

I have ten points of comparison and contrast between ACIM and ACOL. James will stop me so that we can have one of the dialogues that A Course of Love champions.

1–Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are beautifully written; this they have in common.

The opening chapters of ACIM, in the complete edition published recently by the Circle of Atonement, is filled with references to well-known figures from history, and the writing itself is a little rough. Soon, by Chapter 5 of the Textbook, this smooths out, and we find that the writing is in iambic pentameter. This means that there are sequences of five emphasized words, interspaced with five words that are not emphasized. This scheme for poetry is what Shakespeare used. Helen, the co-scribe was very knowledgeable about Shakespeare, and so would have functioned well with any channeling that used Shakespeare’s meter. It is in blank verse, which means that the words do not rhyme. But we are soothed by poetry, and ACIM soothes us.

A Course of Love is poetic in that the writing is very beautiful. I would even call it mesmerizing throughout. This is how we are touched in our hearts when we read ACOL. We are soothed, much as the iambic pentameter blank verse of ACIM soothed us. I find ACOL to affect my emotions much more as I read than ACIM ever did. It seems really true that A Course of Love is to the heart what A Course in Miracles is to the mind. ACOL can be read easily and peacefully, and ACIM needs deep study.

ACIM puts me in a very happy mood when I read it. ACOL sometimes tenderizes my heart so that the reading can actually be painful. Of course, this is particularly true during what Jesus calls the “time of tenderness.” Jesus is a masterful writer, and he proves this, in somewhat varying ways, with ACIM and ACOL.

2-–The phenomenon of enlightenment, originally an Eastern concept, particularly of Buddhism, is called different things in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. It is called Awakening, always capitalized, in ACIM; and it is called Christ-consciousness, with Christ being capitalized, of course, in ACOL.

Enlightenment is a shift in perception, but not a miracle. Instead, it is revelation from God. God Himself makes the decision of when we are ready for this new way to interact with reality.

The best explanation of enlightenment that I have read is Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. We interact differently with the world when we have experienced enlightenment. ACIM and ACOL both take us on a gentle pathway there. Because we are led gently, our enlightenment experience can be gentle.

And before we actually sustain enlightenment, we have glimpses, usually, I have found, when we are in an especially mellow mood.

Why would Jesus use two different words for the same phenomenon. I think in ACOL he is emphasizing that we are now in the time of Christ, and so he calls this phenomenon “Christ-consciousness.”

3—Relationships are important to both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

The shift from special to holy relationships is seen in ACIM as the true way to Awakening. Our brother is our way home to God. All special relationships are seen as labile in experiencing them, and there is much hate in them, for love can easily turn to hate. A holy relationship, on the other hand, is peaceful and quiet. Not as dramatic.

There is a similarity to A Course in Miracles with the repeated emphasis in A Course of Love of the two words, “unity” and “relationship.” Unity is seen to be our way when we know that we are One with everything, the All Who is God Himself or Herself. The relationship is when we are differentiated, or individuated, into diverse beings. This is necessary so that God can actually experience Himself or Herself. The All, undifferentiated, would be as unknowable as the “nothing.” But each diverse entity is a hologram who contains the whole. We can’t know that whole in our finiteness, though.

4 – Perfection seems to be required in A Course in Miracles. There is some flexibility in A Course of Love.
In ACIM, Jesus says that he stands at the end of the pathway, to correct any mistakes that we have not been able to correct. He thus leads us to perfection by his own hand.

In ACOL, Jesus may or may not mean the same thing; it is unclear. He does not stress perfection in the same way that he does in ACIM. He MAY mean the same thing, that he will save us from ourselves in the end. But in ACOL, Jesus seems to realize more clearly that we are very fallible children of God, and he makes allowances for us in our physical bodies.

5 – In A Course in Miracles, anger is seen as never justified, has no justification. This has led many people to try to suppress their anger, to their detriment, for anger will come out in the end. Even Jesus got angry at the moneychangers in the temple, turning over their tables, driving them out. Are we to try to do better than he? I think not.

In A Course of Love, we are understood sometimes to feel anger, but we are to act on it in only benign ways. No violence, no shouting. Anger is a human emotion, and our humanity is stressed in ACOL.

6 – A Course in Miracles seems to deemphasize the body, and in so doing we may be primed to want the afterlife, where it is believed that we are spirit not possessing of a body. We would thus think that we could only be fully happy after death, though Jesus does say that we can dream the happy dreams that the Holy Spirit brings.

A Course of Love talks in an approving way of the “elevated Self of form,” which has made many feel that we are no longer living in a monistic reality, no longer in non-duality. This has become a controversy between the camps of ACIM and ACOL. ACIM definitely state in no uncertain terms that we are living an illusion. Some ACOL enthusiasts believe that after we have reached Christ-consciousness, we are no longer in illusion, but in reality, and that includes the idea that the rocks, trees, mountains, are really real, that matter is real. I personally subscribe to Idealism, which says that this world is an idea in the mind of God, and so I don’t think the rocks, trees, mountains, are truly real. This is the philosophy first espoused by Berkeley, a philosophy of the Nineteenth Century. True reality in my view is seen as the intangibles, the love, joy, peace, harmony, that abides in us through and through when we have awakened or assumed Christ-consciousness.

So I do believe that ACIM is right in its uncompromising approach to a non-dualistic universe, in that all is One.

In this regard, I think that Jesus saw a problem with the fact that he downplayed the physical so much in A Course in Miracles. Would not everybody want to die, so that they would be finally happy in heaven? But he needs us, at least many of us, here. We have to lead others back to God, and we do have a right to be happy here. So the physical is not downplayed so much in ACOL, which of course came after ACIM.

We are going to need to come back to earth for millions of years, because that is how long Jesus says that it will take to heal the separation. He needs workers willing to do that. If the earth as a good place is denigrated, we won’t want to come back.

7 – The purpose of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is different. ACIM was given to dislodge the ego, the most important first step. ACOL was given to establish a new identity, and this identity is the elevated Self of form. So ACOL is seen rightly as a continuation of ACIM.

8 – A Course in Miracles was given in the time of the Holy Spirit. At the turn of the century, when A Course of Love was given, we began living in the time of Christ. And so the terms are different.

Jesus stresses the Holy Spirit as our guide in ACIM. But he stresses the Christ-Self, from deep within us, as our guide in ACOL. Actually the Holy Spirit is “a” holy spirit, and so He has always dwelled within us, but this was not stressed in ACIM, whereas the Christ-Self is naturally seen as a part of us. We do draw on the All, though, the part outside the dot of the body, and intuitively we can know much that is beyond our little self.

9 – Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love emphasize that love cannot be taught. What we can do is to remove the blocks to the awareness of love, in conjunction with guidance.

An early reviewer took exception with the title of A Course of Love when he or she had not read the book. Thought that it was trying to teach how to love. But there is no contradiction between ACIM and ACOL here.

10 – Masculine and feminine differs between the two books. ACIM was written in the sixties and early seventies, when our teaching was understood that the masculine pronouns INCLUDED the feminine. Our culture has changed now, and we want the feminine to be directly stated. So ACOL, given in a different era, uses “brothers and sisters” and also exalts the feminine in other ways, too. Mary, for example, is seen as complementary to Jesus, and there is a way of Mary, a way of being, and a way of Jesus, a way of doing. It is said that all of us will eventually walk the way of Mary.

Conclusion

We are encouraged to listen to our heart, to let the heart inform the mind, in A Course of Love. We are encouraged to be more than do, though there is room for variation in this time of transition.

A Course of Love is for the heart what A Course in Miracles was to the mind. We need the mind training to dislodge the ego. Now we need to listen to what does not need proof of God, the heart. In our heart, all of us know that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

The intellectual understanding came with ACIM. The intuitive, heartfelt understanding came with ACOL.

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BE STILL IN SPIRIT

by Celia Hales

Note: This column has been recently published in the November – December 2018 issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher; Eileen Katzmann, editor).

“If you speak from your spirit, you have chosen to ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.I.3:3)

“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.” (ACOL, C:25.23:1)

We want to speak from our spirit, and when we do, we will not be cast downward in depression, “dispiriting” ourselves. Yet in this time before the ego is relinquished, we oscillate between spirit and ego. As we spend more time with our spirit, we will be welcoming Awakening. Our goal. The place we want to be. And when we speak from our spirit, we will be blessing ourselves and our brothers and sisters as well.

Jesus says that the quotation that begins, “Be still,” are inspired words, coming from knowledge. This is definitely opposed to what we have become accustomed to coming from, which is speaking from the ego. When we speak from the ego, in this dispiriting, and depression happens, we are seeing the reason that the world can seem at times to be such a very demoralizing place.

We will also find that, like Jesus, we want knowledge, as opposed to perception. In knowledge, we have a certainty about what we discover, whereas perception is so variable. When we know a thing, we relax in that knowledge. It is the easiest way to live, for we are listening to the Holy Spirit. We usually have to get quiet to hear His promptings, and getting quiet is something that we often fail to do in our busy lives. We may devote a while to devotionals, but then we head off into our work lives, and there busyness characterizes the day. In welcoming the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we listen to our intuition, what I have found to be the primary tool of the Holy Spirit in His attempts to reach us.

We have our own spirit, one that indwells, from a personal standpoint, with the all-embracing Holy Spirit. As we progress on to A Course of Love, this spirit is known as the Christ-Self. One with God, Who also dwells within, our minds are teased out of all thought as we seek to understand what can be glimpsed only intuitively.
Ask today that intuitive knowledge might be ours. We want to discover how to live well, and we can’t do that in hectic lives unless we take this time out that I am recommending. Our depressed spirit can be the catalyst for us to slow down. Ask today that we speak from the spirit, and in this, bless all others.

“And in all situations, no matter what another is doing, your first response will be to enter into the quiet stillness within and merely ask the Holy Spirit: What would you have me say?” (WOM, Bk. 1, Lesson 3)

In the relaxed, peaceful frame of mind and heart in which we find ourselves, we will know that we will say what guidance prompts. And at this point Awakening, for us, is but a moment away.

Ask to see a glimpse of Awakening today. Ask to be safe and secure in God’s arms.

Trailers for Free Online Course of Love Conference on December 1 – 3

Here are a few trailers sent out by Glenn Hovemann, publisher of A Course of Love, in preparation for the free online conference, to be held December 1 – 3, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the receiving of A Course of Love with Mari Perron:

Heart Opening Like a Flower – https://youtu.be/xQtKqNjoNbg

A Celebration of Two Courses – https://youtu.be/XiLkI_J1cdk

Connecting Prayer and Divine Memory – https://youtu.be/ulSshtj8Z7M

Creativity – A Marriage of Human and Divine – https://youtu.be/zT2KOXfyU6Q

Go Quantum! Discovering the Beautiful Mystery of the Universe – https://youtu.be/t30z5tn1fds

To sign up now, go to the following:

https://acourseoflove.org/online-conference/

Can’t make it on those days? Everything will be available afterwards to suit your convenience. You can arrange for that now or later at https://acourseoflove.org/online-conference/

Note: This is a much-anticipated celebration by the Course of Love community. Hope that you can join us. Love, Celia

We Choose Our Experiences

“Just as you would go to a grocery store and choose what you will have for dinner and then go home and experience your creation so too do you choose each experience. When you choose a perception, you lodge it in the mind. Then it expresses itself through the body, through the environment that you create around yourself and through the friends that you would call into your awareness. Every aspect of the life you live is the symbol of what you have chosen to experience and, therefore, to convey throughout creation.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 2, Page 13)

Jesus seems here, almost certainly, to be saying that we create our own reality. This is a maxim of the New Age movement, made popular by Jane Roberts’ Seth, about the time that A Course in Miracles was being scribed. We surround ourselves with what we want, though if we are in need, it isn’t our personalities or personas that has made the lack, but our souls. Our soul knows the full chart of our life plan. Our soul then conveys to the learning being, also called the Self, or the Christ-Self (from A Course of Love) what we need to know. We will never, on earth, find a reason for lack/suffering/pain that will satisfy us, we can rest easy that there is an Answer, but that we are simply not enlightened enough to comprehend this eternal question.

We create the environment around us. We project from within, and from this a perception of the world arises. Elsewhere The Way of Mastery (the Christ-Mind Trilogy) and A Course in Miracles say that this world is an illusion of a real world. Some readers of A Course of Love demur from this interpretation, seeing in the true reality beyond Awakening or Christ-consciousness, a hope that something more is going on, that the rocks, trees, oceans, are becoming real in a new way.

We do not have to bear this cross. We do not have to join in this controversy. I don’t think that this particular problem, a matter of metaphysics, matters to Jesus at all. I think it simply doesn’t matter to him that we have differing views. Certainly physical reality is real enough to us here in our time on earth. We can debate metaphysical ideas on the Other Side, where we will presumably know more than it is given us to know in this plane.

It is enough that we create our own reality. This will be hard enough for us to handle. Remember that one is meant to have compassion on suffering, not increase it by blame of the one suffering. While there are no true victims, we are simply not astute enough to avoid blaming the victim, unless we hold them in the same love-filled vision that Jesus would.

Use our imagination to create a better reality for us. Use our imagination to realize that Jesus is right by our side, holding our hand, as we walk through this world. His help will give us a warmth and peace that we have heretofore lacked.

SAVE THE DATES: Free Online Conference on A Course of Love, entitled, “Open Your Mind to the Wisdom of the Heart” – December 1 – 3

“So what we are attempting to do is to open the mind to the wisdom of the heart with these dialogues.
“As the mind opens and accepts the new, the art of thought will become your new means of thinking.
“What has been learned will become an ability to think wholeheartedly.” A Course of Love D: 8.9

The conference will include a series of PRE-RECORDED video, and LIVE interactive sessions using Zoom. To sign up now:

—> https://acourseoflove.org/online-conference/

Here are the links to discover more:

– Saturday, December 1 – https://acourseoflove.org/online-conference-day-1/

– Sunday, December 2 – https://acourseoflove.org/online-conference-day-2/

– Monday, December 3 – https://acourseoflove.org/online-conference-day-3/

Forty presentations in all!

For later viewing, you may purchase the entire conference at a modest fee.

God Is Glorious

“Against this sense of temporary existence, the spirit offers the knowledge of permanent and unshakable being. No one who has experienced the revelation of this can ever fully believe in the ego again. How can its meager offering to you prevail against the glorious gift of God?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.8:1-3)

This “sense of temporary existence” travels with the ego. We know, somehow, that the ego is not real, that it is an illusory form of existence that has entrapped us. When we listen to our spirit (and we may here think of the Holy Spirit), we know that there is a “permanent and unshakable being” in the midst of our very soul. And this revelation will calm us and give us a new lease on life. This knowledge of what is really permanent saves us. The obvious next step is to cease listening to our ego—just drop it, gently.

If we resist the ego, it will become stronger, for resistance signals strife, and the ego is strong in strife. How do we just turn aside?

First, we drop the ego in little ways. We become attuned to understanding when we are acting egotistically. Often this comes when we are insensitive to the needs and desires of our fellow men and women. We behave with a “me first” compulsion. While thinking of our own needs can be and is, often, necessary, this sense can be taken to extremes.

We can be living within the ego even when the impulse is not strictly egotistical. We can simply be self-centered, and this is an egoic state of mind. If we find that we are putting #1 first in every situation, we can think again.

We can always turn to the heart, as A Course of Love encourages, to bypass the willful thinking that gets us into such trouble. As we turn to the heart, a place that has always been devoid of the ego, we discover anew how to live.

The heart informs the mind, and then we realize that both egotistical and egoic trains of thoughts consume us no longer.

Our Heart Knows

“In its characteristic upside-down way, the ego has taken the impulses from the superconscious and perceived them as if they arise in the unconscious. The ego judges what is to be accepted, and the impulses from the superconscious are essentially unacceptable to it, because they clearly point to the nonexistence of the ego itself. When this occurs, the ego experiences threat, and not only censors but also reinterprets the data. However, as Freud very correctly pointed out, what you do not perceive you still know, and it can retain a very active life beyond your awareness.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.3:1-4)

The quotation for today alludes to the concept of the mind to which Jesus subscribes. The superconscious is “above” us, devoid of the ego, and is actually a bridge to God, the Holy Spirit, the Christ-Self. Freud, misunderstanding, called this part of the mind, the “superego.” As this quotation points out, the ego actually has nothing to do with it.

The conscious is our normal waking awareness.

The unconscious sinks below thought, but is still (unlike what Jung thought in his “collective unconscious”) unique to us. Jung thought that underneath, we all think the same, and in some sense this is akin to an awareness of our Creator, God Himself—a Source found, according to Jesus, in the superconscious.

We don’t have to fully grasp these differences in consciousness to make use of them. Helen and Bill, co-scribes of A Course in Miracles and psychologists, would have been very attuned to this portion of ACIM. Jesus would be talking right up their alley.

We do still know what is in our mind, even when we are not conscious of it, and then it causes a subtle (or not so subtle) uneasiness. It can affect our actions, something that we all know. When we are driven by schemas that draw upon childhood conditioning, we are very lost in the mind.

The solution, according to A Course of Love (what many believe to be a continuation of ACIM), is to draw upon the heart. The heart by-passes the confusion of the mind, because the heart doesn’t demand proof of what it knows.

The heart just knows.

Listen Today

“Consider the inevitable confusion which must arise from a perception of the self which completes the sentence stem “When I was completely on my own” with “I had no idea what was possible.” The ego does believe it is completely on its own, which is merely another way of describing how it originated. This is such a fearful state that it can only turn to other egos and unite them in a feeble attempt at identification or attack them in an equally feeble show of strength. The ego is free to complete the stem “When I was completely on my own” in any way it chooses, but it is not free to consider the validity of the premise itself, because this premise is its foundation. The ego is the belief of the mind that it is completely on its own.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IV.5:1-5)

We are not completely on our own, though we try to live out a reality like this when we are caught in the ego. And all of us have been caught in the ego for eons.

That is changing. More and more of us are realizing that trying to be independent and being led by the ego are a bad deal, not worth another minute’s notice. When we allow guidance to come into our head, we live much better. We learn this very quickly. The guidance derived from following A Course in Miracles is coming from the Holy Spirit; as we progress farther along, A Course of Love tells us to listen to the inner Christ-Self, for its guidance is also true. Both ways are valid in this time of transition from the time of the Holy Spirit to the time of Christ.

Are we completely on our own, when we follow the ego? We are not, though we may cling tenaciously to this belief. We can never be on our own. We consult either the ego or our inner guidance from the Holy Spirit or the Self. We are never on our own, however much we may think we want to believe this.

Being independent is a false notion. Our world has trained for this, but how often have we fallen on our face?
Many times. Eventually it will dawn on us, as it did on Helen and Bill (co-scribes of ACIM), that there is another way. And this other way is a better way.

Listening to guidance is the way out of our quagmire.

Listen today.

Being Home-Free

“The question is not how you respond toward your ego, but only what you believe you are. Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief at all, you are regarding it from an ego viewpoint. That is why the Bible quotes me as saying, ‘Ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ Belief does apply to me, because I am the teacher of the ego. When teaching is no longer necessary, you will merely know God. Belief that there is another way is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. This is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the self.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.III.7:1-7)

The ego is wily, but the day will come when Jesus resigns as our teacher because the ego in us is no longer. Jesus announces this alteration in his interaction with us in the final pages of the sequel to A Course in Miracles, the heartwarming book called A Course of Love. Belief is no longer necessary then, because we “know.” This knowing gives us great relief, for we are no longer straining to know what seems just beyond us. Our knowing is very immediate.

Jesus has been striving to rid us of the ego throughout both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love (and The Way of Mastery). He rests in the knowledge that he will succeed in his effort, and so he does not have to struggle at all. We all will know eventually that there is another way, a better way. ACIM attempted to dislodge the ego, and ACOL seeks to give us a new identity around which the Christ-Self coalesces. It is my thought that ACOL was needed because we didn’t have anything concrete to hold onto after the ego was dislodged; we needed a new identity, and this new identity, the Christ-Self, is spelled out in ACOL.

Beliefs are transient and ego-driven. We cling to belief when we are actually uncertain. As Jesus teaches the ego, we learn to slowly let it pass away from us.

We are then home-free.

An Endearing Promise from Jesus

“Egos can clash in any situation, but souls cannot clash at all. If you perceive the teacher as merely a ‘larger ego,’ you will be afraid, because to enlarge an ego is to increase separation anxiety. Do not engage in this foolishness. I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me. But my goal will be always to absolve you finally from the need for a teacher.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.10:1-5)

In the final pages of A Course of Love (sequel to A Course in Miracles), Jesus does actually resign as our teacher. He wants to be companion with us only. In this, he is saying that he has succeeded in absolving us for the need of a teacher. In the meantime, though, for those of us who are still students of ACIM, he continues to guide and direct as a teacher.

Larger egos do scare us. I myself have been scared more than once by one who had achieved much, but who had achieved by the competitive bent of an ego. This frightens all of us, for inside we know that a larger ego is not where we want to go. Larger egos are scary, for certain, and we, for certain, do not want to do anything that will enlarge our ego. Competitive activities often do just this.

A large ego seems farther removed from God, and thus a feature that promotes separation anxiety. Love brings us ever closer to God, and it is this also that dispels the ego. Love lead to cooperation in our lives, cooperation with others. And it is this can draws us close to each other and close to God.

“I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me.” Jesus’ promise. And such an endearing and great promise it is.

Take him up on it.

God’s Joy Makes Its Way into This World

“The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming it is not really healing the level-split. You have dreamed of a separated ego, and you have believed in a world which rests upon it. This is very real to you. You cannot undo this by doing nothing and not changing. If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of your thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you home.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.I.9:3-7)

This is Jesus’ promise to us: He will correct our thought system “very gently and lead you home.” Let us take him at his word. Let us see what he has to say to us in A Course in Miracles and other recent channeled works like A Course of Love and The Way of Mastery.

We have been dreaming a world. That is why we learn in ACIM that the world does not exist, that it is all illusion. When we awake, the world will be called the “real world,” and we will see clearly for the first time. In the midst of the dream, we will know how to live. We will live in peace and harmony with never an egoic nightmare to disturb our peace. This is why the meek shall inherit the earth. The meek have humble egos, and this, their secret, will become ours when we listen to the inner leading of the Holy Spirit (or the inner leading of the Christ-Self, as set forth in A Course of Love).

We do have to be willing to change, and this is hard for us, because we have slowly built up a world that seems to make sense to us. The fact that this world truly does not make sense just shows the extent we have gone into madness. Our minds, entrapped by the ego, have been anything but clear. Our minds have been lost in a special form of insanity in which we were joined by most people on earth.

This insanity is slowly ending. Jesus says elsewhere that the return may take millions of years, as long as the separation took to happen and maybe longer. This depressing thought does not have to be viewed as depressing if we realize that God’s joy makes its way into this world as well. Our joy is complete when we cease to nurture suffering and listen to guidance that signals love.

Pain doesn’t have to turn to suffering, when we understand enough. When we walk a joyful way, with God, we know that the vicissitudes of this world are intangible and unreal. We turn to the truly magnificent blessings given to us, in gratitude for the sight of a world that Jesus calls “real.”

Let us walk on in hope for the glory of a mind and heart returned to our Creator.

Insanity / Madness

“You would not tolerate insane behavior on your part, and would hardly advance the excuse that you could not help it. Why should you tolerate insane thinking? There is a fallacy here you would do well to look at clearly. You believe that you are responsible for what you do but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. You cannot separate the two by giving autonomy to your behavior. Behavior is controlled by me automatically as soon as you place what you think under my guidance.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-2.IX.3:1-8)

In a number of places in A Course in Miracles, our thoughts in the egoic state are seen as “insanity” or “madness.” Here Jesus determines that our mind slant is just as important, and maybe even more important (sometimes), than our behavior. We don’t condone insane behavior, but our thinking is insane when it derives from the ego. We have to work our way out of this insane thinking, slowly and over a long period, until the grace-filled moment when God Himself lifts us up to Awakening. Our ego is banished, our good sense returned to us, for remembrance is complete. ACIM is preparing us for this change, dislodging the ego. Then A Course of Love will enable us to form a new identity.

Here, once again, we see that Jesus is assuming a central place in our thought processes, before he brings in the Holy Spirit as our guidance. He will guide us, but the Holy Spirit is the arbiter of what is accurate for many of us. (Not everybody allows the Holy Spirit to so rein in their lives.)

Ask to be rid of madness today. It is perhaps new to believe that virtually all of us have lived part of our lives on earth as insane. We have thought that only a tiny percentage of our populace would merit that characterization. But anybody who willingly allows the ego full rein in their thoughts is actually thinking amiss.

Ask today. You have nothing to lose but a part of ourselves—the ego—that does not mean us well.

Continue with Openness to Revelation

“Go forth not as completed works of art but as permeable energy, ever changing, ever creating, ever new. Go forth with openness for revelation to happen through you and through all you encounter. Go forth joyously on this adventure of discovery. Be ever new, ever one, ever the beloved.
. . .
“Beloved brothers and sisters, You are The Accomplished.” (ACOL, A.48, A.50)

Today’s quotation ends A Course of Love (and ends our two-year teaching unit). It is perhaps not a clear statement, for many of us don’t feel “accomplished,” and we still think that there is more we need to know to “be” accomplished. In the final pages of ACOL, Jesus is asking us to rest, rest in the knowledge that we have learned and discovered much, and that we need to call an end to constant and unrelenting seeking. We will never know what we have found until we cease restless seeking for something else, something outside of ourselves. No, this will never do. We live “who we are” in the depths of our being, in the Christ-Self who has newly come out to play. The Christ-Self is now available to us, and this is where we live out “who we are.”

We will still receive guidance in the form of revelation. We are not cut adrift. We have a solid friend in Jesus, though now he is going to see that we depend more on our inner depths than on anybody else, even him. The inner depths hold the secret to enhanced living; the inner depths guide us truly, guide us securely.

Be satisfied! This is another way of saying that we need to live who we are. Our restlessness needs to find a conclusion. And when we turn to the pages of A Course of Love now, we will read what seems familiar to us, for we have walked far upon the pathway back to God.

Jesus channeled A Course of Love for us to establish a new identity, shorn of the ego. Trust that this new identity is in place and now needs only elaboration. And we have the heartfelt tools to effect such an elaboration. Our transformation is assured.

Dear God,

Thank You for being with me as I embarked on this long and sometimes tedious journey through A Course of Love. Teaching/learning is over for all of us now; we are just discovering a new life through our intuitions, the intuitions of a soft heart.

Be with me as I decide that there is an end to seeking. Happiness is its own reward, and a constant seeking is not a happy place. We do the work of spirituality well when we do it joyously. There is no better way to spend a life.

Thank You for guiding me to this realization.

Amen.

Dialogue with Our Intimates

“You are not a “student” of The Dialogues but a full participant in The Dialogues. You have entered the final stages of revelation of Who You Are. When Who You Are is fully revealed you will realize that it is time to leave the classroom and live as Who You Are in the world. You will realize that your participation in the world as Who You Are is part of an on-going dialogue, and that it is an on-going aspect of creation by which the new will be created.” (ACOL, A.42)

We are not often considered “students” of A Course of Love, though we have been considered students of A Course in Miracles (until we become “teachers,” as in the Manual for Teachers). First, we do “learn” (as in the Course of Love proper and the Treatises), but we trade this idea in for a time in which we “discover.” Discovering is seen as a sharing experience; we discover in the bonds of relationship with others, all our brothers and sisters. When we learn, we are participating as unequals, learning from Jesus what will carry us forward.

By the time that we read the Dialogues, we are equals in this manner of discovering what life is and who we are. The dialogue with others becomes the most important way in which we discover. And this includes a dialogue with Jesus, who takes a personal interest in us and our lives. Eventually, though, we find that he wants us to stand on our own two feet, following the new knowledge that arises from the larger Self, God Himself/Herself, and the inner Christ-Self whom we all inside us.

It may still be confusing to us to read that we are to be “who we are.” We may not have left behind a restless search to be an ideal self, to be more than what we are. But Jesus says in ACOL that perfection is not required (he will correct all mistakes that we cannot), and we are eminently loveable just as we are. This comes as great relief to some, as disappointment to others. If we are not striving for perfection,, what is there to strive for in this life of ours?

We promote love’s extension—that is what we are after for all eternity. We turn to the expression of love as our correct substitute to lives spent trying to improve ourselves to some illusive ideal.

Is this expression of love not a laudable way to spend our days? Of course it is. And it is a restful concept that is head and shoulders above what we used to chase after as beings caught in the throes of egotistical challenges. As we leave the ego behind, we gradually come to love more, for no longer are we competing with our equals, our brothers and sisters. We are sharing with them, even as we are communing with God. The cooperative nature of true reality becomes the final lesson. When we live in cooperation with others, their lives become important to us. We love, and we love deeply. Our equality with all human beings gives us the basis for a laudable way to live our lives, in deep love and appreciation for ourselves and the other beings on earth with us.

Dear God,

I would express love today to all I encounter. I discover that this love makes life worthwhile, worth living. My achievements come later to be less important, because they are not trying to satisfy an egoic dissatisfaction with all of life.

Thank You for taking me by the hand and leading me. This guidance opens the way to a glorious existence. It gives me reason to live.

Amen.

Time of Intimacy

“This is a time of great intimacy. This is a time that is between you and I more so than has been the coursework up to this point. It is a time of real¬izing that “I” am speaking to “you” directly in every moment of every day, in all that you encounter, in all that you feel. It is a time of true revelation in which you are revealed to your Self.” (ACOL, A.39)

I don’t think that Jesus means that his consciousness is constantly interacting with each of us, though of course I believe that he could do so. I think that he is seeing himself as the representative of Christ-consciousness, that the “I” of Christ-consciousness is interacting with us much more than it used to. We are safe now, kept in the arms of God. Our Self, our Christ-Self, has merged with the larger Self, God Himself/Herself, and we are finding that much knowledge that has heretofore been hidden from us is now available as a matter of course. Having greater knowledge available to us will allow us to live better. Our old foolishness will be a thing of the past.

I like to think of intimacy with Jesus. The relationship that he hopes we will develop with him has the personal element that many evangelicals laud. Jesus knows that our relationships are the focal point of our lives, that we are put here on earth with our brothers and sisters for a reason. We learn from them, and they from us. We thrive in a close interpersonal relationship, and that is exactly what Jesus is offering us.

“Talk” with Jesus. He will come when called. His consciousness can focus anywhere and everywhere. This may seem a point of faith, but it is a point that A Course of Love makes repeatedly. If we believe much that we read there, surely this point can be easily considered as a truth, too.

Dear God,

I welcome my times of closeness with Your son. And he offers me everything that he has; there is no exclusivity in him.

Thank You for being with me on this good day. Cocooning with you and Jesus is a benefit not to be denied anyone.

Amen.

Relief from Obsessional Thinking

“Now, despite the rapidity of movement or lack thereof, to read the Trea¬tises together will likely feel as if it is almost a waste of valuable time. Thus, gatherings of those working with the Treatises will naturally include more sharing of experiences. The facilitator’s task is now one of placing these expe¬riences in context. After giving the group time to talk, the facilitator might choose a brief passage that will fit within the content of the sharing. Always it is the facilitator’s role to guide the individual group members away from inclinations, which may be strong during this time, to “figure things out.” Problem solving is to be discouraged. Trust is to be encouraged. Often a discussion can be facilitated greatly by the question, “How might we be able to look at this situation in a new way?” To encourage the gentleness of the art of thought over the relentless stridency of the thinking mind is always helpful. Obsessive thinking is always ruthless, judgmental, and wearing on the thinker. He or she needs help in breaking its grip and should never be allowed to suffer.” (ACOL, A.31)

We know about obsessive thinking, don’t we? It comes upon us at the most awful times, with our minds going around and around some matter as a record spins on its turntable. We don’t get anywhere with our obsessions. And A Course of Love is here to give us some relief.

Much of the Appendix is geared to instructions for those of us in discussion groups for ACOL. Here Jesus is particularly talking about the second part of ACOL, the Treatises. While previously, their dense prose may have attracted us, now we are encouraged not to get lost in trying to figure out everything. This “figuring out” is what leads to obsessive thinking. And our own brand of misery. Let’s be done with this, once and for all. Lead the mind flow. And let the heart give guidance to the mind, for the heart, being intuitive, doesn’t obsess.

The facilitator of group meetings has a lot on him/her. If group members are in a quandary about some part of ACOL, it is up to that facilitator to smooth things out. Other group members will help, of course, but typically their knowledge of ACOL is more limited than the knowledge of ACOL of the facilitator. Much sensitivity is called for by all members of the group, but especially the facilitator. He/she will make a real contribution to the new world we will be creating. His importance is all the more pronounced because he is listening to his heart and his guidance, not coming from a self-centered egoic stance.

Let distractions ease the obsessions that may form as we seek to “get it all” from A Course of Love. We won’t be immune to trying to study, but let’s do what we can to minimize this tendency, this temptation.

Dear God,

I have been prone to obsessions over my lifetime, but obsessional thinking is not Your way. Miracle-minded impulses are. The art of thought is based in miracles, and I ask for miracles today. Lead me to where and what I can do that is the best. Keep me mired in Your will.

Thank You for the soul-centered advice that Jesus gives us in the quotation for today. If we listen to our soul’s advice, our intuition, we will make much progress to a new and better world.

Amen.

Faith Is of the Heart

“Readers who have not moved away from their desire to learn something that will feed their minds or egos will seldom continue to this next level. The next level brings with it the same situation the reader encountered in receiving the Course, but the reader will now encounter these situations in life. The reader is no longer only a reader. Their experience of this Course has extended beyond reading and beyond the classroom situation. Now a time may come when studying truly seems to be in order. The guidance provided by their reading may seem to come and go and their desire to rely on what they have “learned” will grow. They may desire to backtrack, review, or begin to highlight passages to return to again and again. New questions may arise and a desire for feedback or discussion grow stronger. This may also be precisely the time when the reader is so caught up in experience and learning “in life” that return to a group or classroom situation feels next to impossible.” (ACOL, A.26)

As we read A Course of Love, going through different phases, we reach a point that out learning/discovery moves into the outside world. We learn/discover from what is happening in our lives. But this learning/discovery is helped along by what ACOL has taught. We are applying what we now know. We will be the better for it.

If we resist this change, we will be resisting the whole progress of ACOL in both our mind and heart. And we don’t want to do this. Allow our mind/heart to be moved along by the progress that we have made. Resist nothing. It doesn’t matter that we don’t learn/discover in the old ways any longer; what we have now is infinitely better—a choice for what the heart will teach the mind. Our wholeheartedness, mind and heart combined, is the result.

We will likely be tempted really to study ACOL, intently and repeatedly. This might not be wise, for it is a return to the mind shorn of the heart. Let the heart lead where it wants. Be assured that Jesus’s words have inculcated the heart, and now our heart is taking the lead—as Jesus recommends for all of ACOL.

Jesus may have realized that A Course in Miracles could trip us up by providing, as he did, a treatise that gave the mind lots to chew upon. The mind can and will get tangled up if we don’t return to the intuitive longings of the heart. And, fresh from the ego’s clutches, we will wander as in a desert if we don’t let our Christ-Self lead the way. The Christ-Self best leads the way not by evidence, but by faith, and faith is of the heart.

Be relaxed today. Listen to the warmth that the heart prompts. Be assured that this is the best way, heart-filled, miracle-minded impulses that enfold us in God’s grace.

Dear God,

I would feel Your warmth today. This mystical sense welcomes my mind, even as it reassures me of the truths of the heart.

Help me, always, to live a good and clean life, supported in this endeavor by the truths that have come to me unsought. Thank You for guiding me so precisely.

Amen.

Wisdom of Receptivity

“Through receptivity is the wisdom inherent in being who you truly are revealed. Being who you truly are, accepting your true identity, is the goal of this Course and of this beginning level of what I only loosely call a curric¬ulum. It is appropriate to remember and to be reminded at this level, that being true to your Self is not about reaching an ideal state or a state of iden¬tity exactly the same as another’s. It is also not about being selfless. These ideas too are part of the unlearning of this Course and are to be discouraged.” (ACOL, A.24)

We have a persona, called the ideal, that we attempt to reach. We did this especially when the ego was predominant. But being who we are is not about being an ideal; we don’t reach for something that always seems just beyond our reach.

We rest where we are, certain of a new identity that, while not perfect, is perfectly all right—ALL right. We can imagine that the more selfless we are, the more self-sacrificing we are, the better people we are. Not so, says Jesus in this quotation. We ask to have our mistakes corrected in us—and it is done. We ask to be accepted just as we are—and it is done. The ways of God prevail.

When we are receptive, in a receptive state of mind and heart, we are most ready to accept the words and meaning of A Course of Love. We don’t imagine the ideal, therefore. We accept who and what we are, just as we are. This will give us a peace that we have never known. This will give us God’s peace.

A Course of Love is about establishing a new identity, and “being who we are” is exactly that. Of course, we have been so confused by our egos that we haven’t really known who we are, and we probably don’t know, still. But glimmerings will come to us. And if we listen carefully to our heart, we will know more. The way back is not hard.

Dear God,

I would accept myself today just as I am, flaws and all. I would ask You to correct any mistakes that still lurk in the background. I am as sure that You will as I am sure of anything. Your promises are sure. With Jesus as Your agent, the flaws of the past will recede into the past.

Thank You for giving me the reassurance, always, of Your love for me. And all my brothers and sisters. We walk a sure pathway back to You. If the way seems long, we rest in patience. If the way seems short, we pick up our speed and forge ahead. But the end—You—is certain.

Amen.

Way of the Heart

“The way of the heart is the way of the Time of Christ. The time of the Holy Spirit has passed. The time of the intermediary is over. The greatest intermediary of all has been the mind. It has stood between you and your own inner knowing, caught in a dream of perception.” (ACOL, A.19)

If we listen to our heart, we will be alright. Jesus is saying that failing to listen to our heart has been the problem all along. The mind has dominated, seeking for proof of God, seeking to perceive accurately from an egoic perspective.

We know now that the mind is the servant of the heart. The mind just confuses things when it seeks to analyze. Analysis is the way of deep study, and when we move into ease, we give up intense study, of this Course, of life in general. The mind tried to learn, but it got things wrong. Now Jesus has turned to our heart to have us form a new identity, an identity shorn of the ego. And, if we are fortunate, we will get it right this time.

We don’t really want to “perceive” at all, for this is the way of the mind. We want to know, and this inner knowledge is the way of the heart. We don’t need an intermediary, the Holy Spirit, to keep us unafraid of God. We trust God. We can go directly to Him/Her, and when we do so, with our heart, we are gentle and peaceful. Our solace is sure. Our inner knowing is the Christ-Self, and this Self will take us on days that are filled with smooth sailing.

The time of Christ is new and different, a time of new beginnings in this long saga of life on earth. Our way is sure now, for we turn to the closest aspect of ourselves that we can envision: our heart. No longer seeking proofs, we rest in knowledge that is non-egoic. We know that all others are our equals, and so we see aright—for the first time in eons.

Dear God,

Thank You for the rest You have given me on this morning of a busy day. May I let my heart lead, sure in its convictions of the knowledge that You alone can give.

Thank You for taking me by the hand and leading me. I am not scared of You any longer. I come directly.

Amen.

Heartfelt Knowledge

“Let me be clear. The seeming lack of difficulty in this Course is where its difficulty lies. To give up difficulty for ease is more than some egos are willing to accept. To give up effort for receptivity is more than some can accept. Why? Because it is too difficult. It goes against all you have learned and the nature of the reality in which the mind has functioned. In turning to the heart we seek to bypass this difficulty as much as possible, but each will feel it to some degree, the precise degree to which they are capable of giving up reliance on what they but think has worked for them in the past.” (ACOL, A.18)

Many of us have a work ethic, work hard and succeed, not only in our jobs but in our family life as well. This is all very well, but it won’t get us to where we want to get in our spiritual life. Studying A Course of Love as though we were going to take a test on it, is the absolutely wrong way to go. If we relax in our reading/hearing of ACOL, we will let our inner Self discover in a way that the egoic mind never did.

Relaxing in reading a difficult and complicated text goes against the grain. But it is absolutely necessary. We will “succeed” in this endeavor to the extent that we let our Christ Self come out and play—yes, play—with the concepts. We have largely lost the will to play, unless it is a night on the town and involves alcohol. Our children know how to play, and we can see what play is all about by revisiting our own childhood. What did we like to do? How did we approach our first lessons in reading? It is not likely that we screwed our foreheads and concentrated with all our might. Instead, we responded with curiosity to the words on the page. The teacher was there to correct us if we read a word wrong. The Christ Self similarly corrects. We have nothing to worry about. Put some distance between ourselves and the concepts. Know that intense study won’t teach us more. A relaxed mind is not a little gift.

Here we come back to heartfelt knowledge. Let the softness of the heart teach. We will eventually give up traditional means of learning in approaching A Course of Love, with thought processes that will move beyond what we have previously encountered as “thinking.” We will let miracle-minded impulses show us the way. Always the way. And the way will be not only illuminating but also a love-filled experience.

Dear God,

I would let my heart lead when I reread A Course of Love. I won’t read with pencil in hand, ready to mark the most enlightening passages. I will let the knowledge on the page enfold me with its blessing. This takes reading with a soft heart.

Thank You for teaching me anew how to learn, how to discover. I am now at the discovery phase of taking in ACOL. And ACOL is blessing me. Thank You.

Amen.

Listen to Our Internal Guidance

“The task of facilitators of such meetings of open hearts is to direct the reader away from ego mind and back to wholeheartedness or Christ-mind. “How do you feel?” is a more appropriate question than, “What do you think?” The sharing of experience is more appropriate than the sharing of interpretation. The sharing of process is more appropriate than the sharing of outcome. Facilitators will keep readers from attempting one correct inter¬pretation, as the only correct interpretation is that which comes from each
reader’s own internal guidance system. Group attendees will find themselves feeling less competitive or interested in asserting their beliefs as it becomes clear to them that unlike in other learning situations, there is no correct answer or specific set of beliefs to be adopted. The student begins to move beyond the need for shared belief to personal conviction and authority.” (ACOL, A.15)

Again Jesus is talking to groups who are discussing A Course of Love. We are to dwell on our feelings, not out thoughts. We are to dwell on what the heart says, not the mind. There is no one “correct” interpretation; we must listen to our heart to know what ACOL is saying to us personally.

We move into a cooperative stance with ACOL as our guide. No longer competitive, we simply see each other as equals. If there are individuals in our group who have not let go of the ego, we need to be very certain that we don’t fall into judgment of them. If we fall into judgment, we will be taking a step backward, and we will be threatened with forming a new ego to replace our old one.

This will never do. If we are to change or create a world, we must stand firm in what we know, and that means the miracle-mindedness that is the art of thought. Thinking as we have previously known it has fallen away. We wait to be told what miracles to perform, for guidance is sure. If we aren’t certain, we wait.

Sometimes our guidance comes only at the point of action, and we are held in limbo until then. This is not God playing with us, but only our own reluctance to know fully until it is time to act. We keep our minds from getting cluttered when we don’t try to figure things out in advance.

We are meant to depend on our Self, the Christ-Self who draws on God Himself. We are not meant to depend on what other people say. Our internal guidance system is the best available. Let’s use it.

Dear God,

I say often that I need to depend on guidance. Do I do it all the time? No. But I try. And that is the saving grace for me, the saving grace that You give me. Thank You.

May I look to others with a cooperative mind slant. My heart will tell me what to say and do, even what to think. And the thoughts will be miracle-ready.

Thank You.

Amen.

Enter Discussion without an Agenda to Attend to

“Through receptivity, what your mind finds difficult to accept, your heart accepts with ease. Now you are ready to question what you must. Now you are ready to hear the answer that arises in your own heart or from the voice of the man or woman sitting next to you. Now you are ready to hear all the voices around you without judgment, to enter discussion without an agenda to attend to, to not be so anxious to say what you are thinking that you forget to listen. Now you are ready to let understanding come without the aggressiveness of going out to get it.” (ACOL, A.13)

We are meant to be in a somewhat passive state when we take in the truths of A Course of Love. This quotation refers to times spent in a discussion group for ACOL. We enter the discussion “without an agenda to attend to,” “not anxious.” We know that all of us are equals in the sight of God, that seeing others as our equals is what will eliminate anxieties as we talk in a group.

The Dalai Lama has said much the same thing. He relates that previously (many years ago), he used to be anxious when speaking to a group, but that that bad reaction ceased when he saw himself as one with them, one of them.

If we think that we are either worse or better than another, we will be scared of that other. And this is no way to be. The best composure comes when we are relaxed, sure of our being in God’s sight.

If we listen with our heart, we will recognize that all individuals are equal to us. It is only our mind that seeks to be superior, and the mind is sometimes a poor learner. The heart knows without proof, and the heart feels God with a warmth that takes away all agitation.

Be gentle with ourselves today. Know that others have the same inhibitions that we have, that they do worry about making an impression. But we don’t have to consider this worry legitimate; it is not. Be accepting of our brothers and sisters, and love them with a generous sense of both heart and mind. The benefits are great, the drawbacks nothing at all.

Dear God,

I would realize that other people do care about me, that I don’t have to make an impression in any sense at all. They will be accepting of me when I am accepting of them.

Thank You for this insight. It came from Your heart to mine.

Amen.

Let Meaning of ACOL Be Revealed

“Now you may feel quite compelled to share your experience of the Course with others. What might you expect to find?

“Often you will find a desire to read the Course again—to read it aloud—to hear it spoken. This is a natural desire to let the words of the Course enter you in yet another way—the way of voice. Again it is not required nor even recommended that these readings be interrupted by a search for meaning. Listen. Respond. Let meaning be revealed.” (ACOL, A.9 – A.10)

Listening to A Course of Love is its own reward. And Mari is recording it now, with some available already on amazon.com. Before she has finished, we can always read aloud to ourselves or to friends of like-minded persuasion. The audible is yet another way that these truths can enter the mind and heart.

We are not supposed to invest heavily is a desire to “understand” all that A Course of Love says to us. This would be intense study and a strain. We are just to absorb what we can with any pass-through, and indeed Jesus has recommended pass-through in the pages of ACOL. If we are led to read and reread ACOL, we will absorb its message, a little more each time.

Share what you can with like-minded people. Don’t evangelize, though, for we have been specifically asked not to evangelize. People will be attracted to us when they see the difference in us. They will want to know what we do that is different. We read A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, The Way of Mastery, and other channeled, revealed, words of Jesus.

“Let meaning be revealed.” Yes! This is the way; this is the only way.

Spend a few minutes today in reading/rereading A Course of Love. Let that be our meditation for today.

Dear God,

I thank You for A Course of Love, for surely its message comes from Your Being. Thank You for the warmth of my heart that I know when rereading ACOL. And the time of tenderness is a real blessing. Be with me as I seek, once again, to glean its beauty today.

Amen.

Show the World the Real Person whom We Are

“In wholeheartedness, then, you are ready to return to a second reading of the Course. In wholeheartedness you will find difficulty falling away and understanding arising. You are beginning to know yourself in a new way. You are beginning to know yourself without the perceptions and the judgments of the mind. You are beginning to know yourself as you truly are and you will begin to hear the language of the Course as the language of your own heart.” (ACOL, A.8)

When we reread A Course of Love, we begin to feel as if we are saying some of these things ourselves. This is because we are listening with our heart, a heart that is part of the One Self. Moreover, our mind has now acquiesced to the heart, being led by the heart to a better way of thinking. Becoming as we truly are is one major outcome to reading ACOL. We have dropped pretenses, and we have turned aside from the ego. We are just ourselves, pure and simple. We don’t try to wear shoes that don’t fit.

If it seems as though ACOL was written just for each of us individually, this too was a goal of Jesus in the writing. When we assume our true being, we have more in common with each other than we have differences. Our distinct personalities don’t touch the core of us that is the same in all people. With this truth, we begin to comprehend why we have had so much discord in the past. We saw our distinctions as barriers to true communication. We might laud diversity in our culture, but many of us find day-to-day living with diverse brothers and sisters to be a real challenge. Knowing that the Self of each of us is composed of the same energies will go a long way to allow us to be accepting of uniqueness, accepting of sameness.

We understand more of ACOL when we reread it. It becomes second nature to us. There is no better way to spend our quiet time. A Course in Miracles prepared us for ACOL, and now we have the identity, the new identity, that ACOL hoped to establish for everyone.

Dear God,

Thank You for guiding my rereading of A Course of Love. Be with me as I seek to discover the depths in this information, to glean from it the true knowledge that Jesus would impart. Be with me as I drop pretensions and show the world myself just as I am.

Thank you for this gift of a great work. It built on A Course in Miracles when many of us were fearful of proceeding without an ego. Now we truly know that one is not needed.

Amen.

Listen with Our Heart

“This is not to say that you will find this Course or the end of learning to be easy. Yet it is your difficulty in giving up your attachment to learning through the application of thought and effort that creates the perception of this Course’s difficulty. Thus it is said to you to take this Course with as little attachment to your old means of learning as is possible for you. If you do not understand, accept that you do not understand and go on. Listen to the words as if they are spoken to you, for such they are. Listen as you would listen to a friend in conversation. Listen simply to hear what is being said. Listen simply to let the words enter you.

“This is recommended for your first reading of the Course.” (ACOL, A.5 – A.6)

We are considering the appendix to A Course of Love now. Jesus gives hints that will help us in making ACOL ours. And the first and possibly most important recommendation is to take it easy with the Course. Listen to its words as you would listen to a friend. Intense study is not only unnecessary but undesired. We discover the peace underlying the word when we ourselves are peaceful. We can’t be peaceful with highlighter in tow.

Read the words with a gentle mind. Imagine that our hearts are welling up from within us. Listen to our heart as we read; let it tell us what we have long neglected to hear. The heart knows by intuition, not heavy study, not analysis. The heart will guide us rightly now, and in the end will guide the mind to better thought processes also. We will approach right thinking from a different sort of advice from Jesus. We will see the “art of thought” as a miracle-minded approach that will actually come very close to solving all of our problems, real and imagined.

When we read with a highlighter in tow, we think with our analytical mind, and we are very far from miracle-minded thought. Miracles come to us unbidden, and they solve problems that we didn’t even know that we have. Don’t tense the brow and become convinced that we can live well after much consideration of what ACOL says. Let the words sing. And singing should not be effortful.

Dear God,

I am willing to let the words of A Course of Love speak to my heart, at first only to my heart. Then I ask that my mind become engaged, but only with miracle-minded thought. I would know miracle readiness today. Send me on the missions that You would send me on, a clear mind and a soft heart to do Your bidding.

Be with me as I seek to discover the depths to ACOL. But not by struggle. By ease and the Love that You alone can give me.

Thank You.

Amen.

Let the Heart Lead

“This Course is not for the mind but for the heart. It is not a way of thought and effort but a way of feeling, of ease, and of direct relationship. Again I say to you, in the direct relationship achieved in union, no learning is required.” (ACOL, A.4)

This Course is for the heart, for our feelings. And when we follow where our heart leads, we have ease of living. If we insist on the “should’s” and “ought’s” of the mind, we more than likely get ourselves tangled up. When in a quandary, doubting God, look to our heart. His Presence will infuse us with new power. And the should’s and ought’s will fall away.

Who would not want ease of living? Why does Jesus make such a big deal out of this in A Course of Love? It is the heart that doesn’t have to “try” to believe in God. Believing in God and His goodness are naturals for the heart. And we are not learning this, of course, for learning is of the mind. We are intuiting His Being from our heartfelt longings. The fact that we long for love is evidence that Love is all that there is, and that Love is God’s Love.

We are reaching God now through direct relationship, with the intermediary of the Holy Spirit no longer something that we feel we need to have. Direct relationship offers a solace, a love, that will give us a sense of warmth. It is often this warm feeling that leads me to understand that God is coming up from my depths. When I ask for solace, He is there to offer it; there is no time delay, for everything is present in eternity. No past nor future. Just now.

I wish very much to get across today that the heart can heal our many conflicting emotions. We aren’t giving our all when we live too much in our minds. We are logically analyzing, or so we are trying. And this will never allow God to act in His fullness in our lives. We need the warmth of our heart, and this will give us the everything that A Course in Miracles says that we truly want.

Give this new beginning of the new year, a chance. Let God speak to our heart. Rest in His ease. And see if the little difficulties of our lives smooth out. We are thus well-cocooned in God’s love.

Dear God,

Heal my stress today. I know that listening to Your guidance through intuition will heal my stress. Give me the grace to so listen. Give me the grace to realize that Your balm for a troubled heart is balm indeed.

May my overwrought this morning just fall away. It is such a pity that I ever let an overwrought state mushroom. I end this overwrought feeling now, right now. Thank You for letting me know how.

Amen.

Time of Great Promise

“A major difference between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love has to do with the movement into the Time of Christ, a time of direct learning in union and relationship with God. The word learning is loosely used here for no learning is needed in union and relationship.” (ACOL, A.1)

A Course in Miracles was channeled in the sixties and early seventies, and this period included the time of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is telling us here that things are different now; A Course of Love was channeled in the late nineties and early 2000’s, and we have now moved into the time of Christ.

Lest this seem surprising to us, perhaps it is more recognizable when we think of all of the psychic prognostications about the turn into the Twenty-first Century. For years prior, psychics were heralded the turn of the century as a time of great change; just maybe they were right. But even though bad things continue to happen in this new century, there is hope also. We think that we just might be able to effect a new creation in our world. After all, Jesus is telling us this in ACOL.

Our learning is characterized now as “discovery,” and this means that learning in the old fashion of intense study is not needed when one reads A Course of Love. We can read it as many times as we like, and we will never plumb the depths, for there is something new each time. Intense study misses the boat, for we are encouraged to “listen” with our heart. And the heart intuits truths that the mind cannot know until the mind has been informed by the heart.

Let us ask for a mind learning in union (One with God) and relationship (One with our brothers and sisters), and may we know that this two-pronged approach will reap many benefits. We will see the truth in this new era; let us believe this, and we will create it. We are creating like unto the Father now, and this is a great blessing. Our ego has been laid aside, and with it the mistakes of the past. We may still make correctable mistakes, for we are not perfect in this new world, but our error rate will decline.

Rejoice that we live in such a time of great promise. Rejoice that year follows upon year, and when we listen to the channeled works of Jesus, we are reassured that everything is proceeding in divine order.

Dear God,

On this first day of a new year, 2018, may we say a meaningful prayer of thanks that we have been given a new start. We are given much, and those to whom much is given, are also the recipients of great expectation for giving back. May we accept the challenge, and give back in full measure. The way is sure now; indecision and missteps are put aside as we leave the ego behind us in the dust under our feet.

Be with me today as I seek to enjoy the happiness that You wish for me. Challenges aside, this is a great day, the first day of the rest of my life. May I make it count for something.

Amen.

An Endless Quest for Love’s Expression Is Eternity Itself

“What will there be to strive for? What quest will replace this quest for being? The quest for love’s expression—the quest to see, experience, and share, as many of love’s expressions as the world needs to be returned, along with you, to its own Self.

“Does this seem like a long and harrowing road? An endless quest? An endless quest for love’s expression is eternity itself.

“Be happy that there is no end in sight to this road you travel now. It is simply the road of what is endlessly creating like unto itself.

“You now know how to respond to love, for you are love, being. So be it.” (ACOL, E.27 – E.30)

So here is what we are about: an expression of love for all eternity. We need to be sure that we listen to these beautiful words in the quotation from A Course of Love, for love is a much-maligned word that promises more than we realize. It promises us everything, and everything is what A Course in Miracles says that we really want. We won’t ever be satisfied with separating a small segment of reality, and saying that we will be satisfied with that; we won’t be. And everything is ours, that is the beauty of it.

If we have wondered the purpose of our being, our very existence, then here we have the answer: an expression of love carried out through all eternity. If we think we don’t know how to do that, then we need to look within, where all expressions of love emanate. We will discover what it is we have been missing in our own little expressions of love. For the first time, looking within, we will see what Love really is all about.

Love is not just an emotion, but an attribute of universal consciousness. Our consciousness with God, Whom we all know to be Love through and through. We get ourselves tangled up when we imagine that all love is, is a feeling. Love is much more than that. As an attribute of consciousness, Love gave us our very Self. And the inner Christ-Self, now a knowing being, knows what it is to love. Let out of our depths, the Christ-Self wanders about a world, seeing with new eyes, our new eyes.

If we drop into low emotions, then let us rise up from that mire to new heights, knowing that all, all that we really have to do is love. This is not a mindless love, and certainly it is not a special love. On the contrary, it is a holy love felt with all our mind and heart, in wholeheartedness (as A Course of Love says).

Feel this holy love today. Don’t let anything hold us back from expressing the best that we have in us, and that, of course, is Love.

Dear God,

As we face a new year with new beginnings, let us leave not out Love that You show to us. You are showing us how to love with every right thought/action that we take. And we are discovering with a master, Jesus himself, who has channeled works such as ACIM and ACOL for our benefit. Be with us as we seek to keep an uplifted affect in this new year. There is no reason to be down about the state of the world, for we, as newly enlightened beings, have the power to effect real change, even unto creating a new world.

Thank You for warming me with Your Presence. May I be thankful that You are always living through me, expressing love as I will best allow.

Amen.

Take Heart Now

“When you meet what you would have before seen as difficulties, as you encounter a world where love still does not seem to reign, when you meet that which would oppose love, remember that you are now the bridge between this creative tension of opposites becoming one. Remember that this is creation in the making. Remember that you are a creator. Never forget that in being who I Am being, you extend only love.” (ACOL, E.24)

We have a mission in this world. It is to spread our love, the love that we have felt from Jesus and God Himself/Herself, outward into the world. And when we encounter difficulties, this is just when we are needed, and needed badly. We can succeed in creating a new world, for we have the help of unseen angels, and we have the help of the Self who we are becoming, the Christ-Self who has dwelt within us, unknown while the ego ruled. And the ego has been banished for all time (we hope).

If difficulties arise in our little world, the spot that we inhabit with our significant others, know that turning to the Lord is our Answer. He knows when we have encountered something over which we have little or no control. And He will provide the means to eliminate discontent in our lives. We can listen, moment by moment, and the way to proceed will be told us. We don’t have to wonder if this is happening; we can know that it is. The way back to Love is set forth for us in A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and other works (like The Way of Mastery) channeled by Jesus, and, indeed, others as well. We don’t have to wander in the woods, lost. We can know, for knowledge is now ours.

If difficulties arise in the outer world, we may falsely think that we can’t make a difference. But we can. The thoughts of our inner mind make a difference. Prayer makes a difference. Only when we give up and think there is nothing we can do, do we find the way opened to us by God Himself. There are only seven degrees of separation between us and the whole world; this was written about a few years back. And these seven collapse into nothingness when we set our minds and hearts to making a difference, making a change for the better.

Don’t fret about difficulties; they will diminish as we walk further along our pathway. We need only hold fast to what we know now in order to know more. Knowledge builds on knowledge. And is the panacea that we need and want.

We are proceeding along the Way. Don’t lose heart now.

Dear God,

I would leave difficulties in the past, not dwell on what is now gone. If I dwell on the past, it may revisit me, as I will attract it by my thoughts and feelings. I am through with the dead past. I long now to walk into the sunlight with You.

Thank You for guiding me so precisely. And grant that my faith will enlarge to foster the best and highest that I know. That You know, too.

Amen.

We Are Enough

“This difference, if you will allow it to come, will take away all worry, all thought about how you could be better, more, greater. If you still possess some things that you would consider character flaws or faults, forget about them now. In being they will be yours or they will not. You will be happy that you have these aspects of humanness or you will not and they will be gone. Do not expect the same unhappiness with yourself. You are fine. You are being. You are being fine. So be it.” (ACOL, E.21)

We have changed, and Jesus is saying that we are enough, just as we are. If we think that we are not perfect (and we aren’t), then we can just simply ask that we change. It will be done. Life is easier now; we don’t have to struggle so to give up old habits. Our new way of living is effortless, for we are living in the grace of the moment. Our movement toward Christ-consciousness has made all of this good thing happen. We are now living in the unity of One with our Maker, and in relationship with all others, our brothers and sisters who share this planet with us. We neither seek to be better or less than our brothers and sisters, and in this state of equality, much of our dissatisfaction with ourselves is gone.

We live well in this world that we are beginning to create anew. While the world may still be in a deplorable state for some time, we don’t have to do anything that exacerbate that state. Our way is simple: to live as children of God, beings, like Him, who love within a grand tradition. We live a mellow life, not allowing discontent to take over our days. And in the new way, we live with peace and harmony. We don’t do anything that is going to make the lives of our brothers and sisters any worse. We are good citizens of the world.

Dear God,

As this new year approaches, may we hear from You what needs to be changed. And then accept that change as being done for us. We are blessed by Your Love always and forever. We are walking a smooth walkway, and we are surefooted in the walk.

Show us what to do to improve, if improvement is needed. But I think we don’t need self-help manuals any longer. We have found.

Amen.

Time of New Beginnings

“You will not realize that everything has changed until you “realize” or “make real” that change. Let this revelation come to you. All you need do is expect it to come and it will come. So be it.

You will also not realize that you have chosen nothing until and unless you realize that everything has not changed. Let this realization come too if it must. And make a new choice. The future is up to you.” (ACOL, E.11 – E.12)

“The future is up to you.” This is Jesus’ version of the New Age credo, “You create your own reality.” Few of us have taken this credo to heart, and those who have are frightened by it all too often. We have very rudimentary knowledge of how to control our thoughts, much less our feelings, and the idea that it is we who are in control, ultimately, is very scary, and also contrary to traditional Christian doctrine. We don’t make decisions, though, if we are smart, that don’t involve guidance from our Higher Power. In reading A Course in Miracles, this Higher Power is the Holy Spirit, but now we learn, in A Course of Love, that our inner Self is merged with God and gives us guidance about matters large and small.

We don’t flounder, thinking that whatever we think about will materialize. That isn’t quite what true reality is all about. We do watch our thoughts, keeping the slant positive (if possible), for negativity breeds negativity, like attracts like. We are well-advised to seek for guidance at every turn, moment by moment with hearts full, we live with our knowledge of God’s purpose with us. This becomes habitual; we live with God’s warmth, and He gives us the best that He can offer. His wish is that we accept His blessings always, though sometimes our own stubbornness gets in the way.

Let now be a time of new beginnings. So often we make New Year’s resolutions that don’t stick. Let them stick this year. Live from the heart, but engage the mind as well—“wholeheartedness,” as Jesus says. Live with a thought for other people, for the brief time of self-centeredness that we encountered in getting shorn of the ego is now over. We live best when we live in community with others, our brothers and sisters. There is a reason that we are in a world filled with people.

Take the time today to give some consideration, heartfelt consideration, to what we want to do in the New Year. We don’t have much time before January 1 will roll around. Make these moments count, to be ready to fulfill hopes and dreams in the best way in 2018.

Dear God,

I lead with my heart today, feeling Your warmth enfolding me. This warm feeling is my way of knowing that You are trying to get my attention as You live through me. I am one whole, merged with You. My finite mind struggles to know more, but I know that I will discover more when You deem that I am ready for revelation.

Be with me today in this cold wintertime. Be with me all the way through 2018.

Thank You.

Amen.

Expect Heaven on Earth

“This little note is just included to tell you to expect this. Expect heaven on earth you were told. This is what it is. There will be no doubt, no indeci¬sion. Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along. Expect this. And it will be. So be it.” (ACOL, E.6)

Jesus is here heading toward the end of A Course of Love, and his words are reassuring. We are told to expect heaven on earth. And, in other words, we are told that our guidance will be sure. Most of the time we are told not to hold expectations, but Jesus’ advice is different. He encourages expectations, knowing that we affirm is very likely to come true. This is the law of attraction in action.

What will heaven on earth mean? This will differ from person to person, because everyone’s heaven is different. As concepts differ, so does the result. But most of us long for more calm and peace than this world has ever given us. And if this is what we want, we will receive it in our new “heaven on earth.” It might be useful to jot down those aspects of true reality that we value, for what we value becomes true. See what heaven on earth really means to us. If the words appear too mundane, then lift our sights to God Himself, and He will guides our pen as it writes on paper, or our fingers, as they type on a computer.

Be certain that guidance is happening now, right now, and this will reassure us. After all, we don’t want to set our sights too low. Jesus seems to indicate that we have it all, that we will never be satisfied until we do (this was a tenet of A Course in Miracles also). Pray for the insight that all will be well. Pray for insight about what to wish for. We have so long been contented with little that it takes some doing to elevate into a newly created world.

I have long done “blue-skying” in my journal. And that is exactly what I am asking you to do now. Let the sky above be all that stops our ruminations. Let the sky above offer a ceiling to our desires. And then nothing will stop their ascent.

Dear God,

On this day, please don’t let me “settle” for less than the best. Keep my thoughts, the thoughts of my mind and heart, elevated to new heights. Let me follow the inklings that I get for an ever-better future.

Thank You for guidance of long duration. So often I ask for guidance, but now it appears that You want me to make more of my own decisions. Still, it is You I turn to, for You dwell within. And we act as You decide, being part of Your very Being. This concept takes some getting used to, but once my mind/heart have wrapped around it sublimity, there is no turning back.

Thank You for being You.

Amen.

We Are Pure Love

“You have returned to your true nature. Perhaps you will remember that within A Course of Love you were once asked to “Imagine the ocean or the cheetah, the sun or the moon or God Himself, attempting to learn what they are. They are the same as you. All exist within you. You are the universe itself.” (ACOL, E.4)

We are love personified. The only problem is that we just don’t realize it, and we make all kinds of problems for ourselves by being less than we are. It is such a pity!

But there is a way back to what we once were, and lost our way a little while. A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love give us the way. We turn away from the ego, regardless of what it still tries to tell us, and we form a new and more stable identity, a Christ-Self Who has been waiting for us to recognize Itself. We need to take ourselves in hand and realize the wonder of it all. Pure love: That is what we are!

If we don’t recognize this, we are still lost in dreams, still in illusion rather than true reality. And we ought to do what we can to move into true reality, and the sooner, the better.

Dear God,

The wonder of love is a blessing indeed. Thank You! And this love is what I am, what all of us are. May we relax in Your care and realize that coming home to You is easy. We just don’t fight the inevitable any longer, and coming home to You is the inevitable. We haven’t been happy in separation; it is time to try something new.

Help us to form this new identity of solid love that You have planned for us. Let the wonder of Your Being enfold us today. And maybe I do my part to make it so.

Amen.

End Difficulties

“You are in relationship now only with love, and so nothing will be hard for you. Desire an old pattern to be gone and it will be gone. This little note added to the end of our mountain top time together is only here to help you realize and accept that this will be so. Do not expect difficulties and they will not arise.” (ACOL, E.3)

This quotation is worth its weight in gold. Reread it now, before I say more. Take the words to heart. Be reassured that all is well.

We have in our power the ability to end suffering, if not pain. We don’t have to add emotional distress to any physical pain that we are experiencing. And emotional pain can be banished entirely, though this is not always easy. Trust and see where it gets us. Trust and see if we don’t get glimpses of what to do next to stop the distress.

We are in relationship with love, and love does indeed serve us well. Our desires materialize. Pray for a peaceful mind and heart. Be assured that it is on the way. God does not will suffering for anyone, and when we get our minds to cooperate, and our emotions, we start to build a better present and future. Our expectations count for a lot, and so it behooves us to get to a place where we don’t expect bad things to happen. We can be healed, even in the midst of the worst that this world can throw at us. We can know that God continues to be good, and that He needs only our cooperation in trusting that the good will come to us.

Dear God,

I ask for a lot. I ask for my brothers and sisters to be healed this day. I ask for Your blessing on us as we go about another Christmas season. So much of our trouble is self-created. Help us to discover how to end the component of suffering that we add to the mix.

Thank You for guiding my fingers to write what may seem to be pie in the sky. I sense that what I am saying is the right prayer to pray today. Someone needs to hear it.

Amen.

Conclusion to Endless Seeking

“Ah, imagine now what it will be like to have nothing left to learn, nothing left to become. The pressure is off. The alchemy has occurred. The coal has become a diamond. Ah, imagine now being able to forget all ideas of self-improvement, imagine how much time will be saved by this quest coming to an end. But what now will you do? What now will you be?” (ACOL, E.1)

We have finally “made it.” Jesus is encouraging us to be satisfied with our progress, not to keep seeking, to know that we are safe and in the hands of God. We are The Accomplished, though we may, for a long time perhaps, continue to doubt this. He has encouraged us to realize that there must come a stop to our seeking. We who have constantly wanted more, now have it.

He is assuming, of course, that all of us have received Christ-consciousness, and that is not for certain in all of us. All of us, though, have had glimpses of what Christ-consciousness means and is, and it is these glimpses that will save us. We will know, when we are particularly mellow and gentle with ourselves, that this is what Awakening really means. For us who have taken to heart A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the Awakening is easy and abundantly gentle. We have been carefully prepared. All we have to do now is wait for God’s hand to lift us up. And then all will truly be well.

Dear God,

Thank You for the glimpses of You that I am receiving today. These glimpses offer me a warm and fuzzy feeling of well-being. Thank You so much.

May the day play out well. Stay with me, allow me to feel Your presence.

Amen.

Conversing with Jesus

“When you turn the last page, will you cry tears of sadness that our dialogue is complete, that you will hear my voice no more? Or will you brave your own relationship with me? Will you turn to your brother and hear my voice in him? Will you be my voice as you turn to your sister? Will you carry the fullness of our relationship within you? Will you be one with me, and in being one with me never feel alone again? Will you let the emptiness of separation leave you once and for all?” (ACOL, D:Day40.33)

Using the imagination to write a dialogue with Jesus is not outside the realm of possibility. I find it very helpful, imagining what a beloved elder brother would say when I present with my little dilemmas. We know more about Jesus’ thinking processes than we realize. In going through his channeled works, a personality emerges. And it is consistent personality, though A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are more formal than the verbal words from The Way of Mastery. In the latter, his humor shines through and through. And, as a result, we feel especially at ease with him.

Joan of Arc is said to have been accosted by someone who doubted the validity of her “voices.” He scoffed that it was her “imagination.” She rejoined, “Yes, it is my imagination. That is how God speaks to us.”

Use our imagination to pen a few questions to Jesus. This can be in your handwriting or typed on a computer. Sense what might be said in return, a personal message from our elder brother. We will not, any of us, be disappointed. The words that we get in such a fashion will seem better than anything that we could concoct. We will be reassured that here is a person who loves us unconditionally, with a love that is deep, abiding, and never withdraws.

So we need not stop this dialogue; we can see that it continues, and with a personal slant that has not previously been explored by us. Remember that Jesus comes to us upon a “single, unequivocal call” (A Course in Miracles); these are welcome words for me personally. Let them be for you too.

It is a wonderful thing to feel the camaraderie of our brothers and sisters, and the camaraderie of an elder brother who has walked the entire pathway, standing at its end to correct the mistakes in us that we have not been able to correct (this from A Course in Miracles). Express your willingness to leave mistake-prone behavior behind. Don’t give Jesus a great deal to clean up.

We can know a lovely present and an ever-improving future. Use affirmations that may occur as we are writing. These are strong indications of where we want to go in life, and they come bearing rich fruits.

Dear God,

I would imagine a dialogue/conversation with Jesus often. I would not let my imagination turn to the fanciful, making me wonder if I am deluding myself. The words of an elder brother are important to us, and Jesus is the elder brother that we have all longed to have.

Show me the way. Let my mind/heart be uplifted with a safe but joyous affect at all times.

Thank You.

Amen.

Relationship of Jesus and Us

“Perhaps you have noticed that in yesterday’s discussion of who I Am to you and today’s discussion of who you are to me, that one has not been discussed without the other. This would be impossible. Because we are who we are in relationship to one another.” (ACOL, D:Day40.26)

Again today Jesus is talking about relationship, in particular the reciprocity of relationship. Just as in giving and receiving being one in truth (because we are One), just so relationship moves in both direction—out from us and back to us, with our brothers and sisters. Jesus exemplifies this truth with his own relationship to us, discussed in two different days of the 40 days and 40 nights on the mountain top in the Dialogues of A Course of Love. Relationship is a flow to and fro, and never is it more obvious than in our relationship to Jesus. While he may seem nebulous to our physical brains, he is anything but. His presence is one of the surest things on earth. When we call out, he comes.

While we may have trouble believing this, it is an axiom in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Jesus is our leader, our guide in ways that we have heretofore found impossible—for our relationship had not yet blossomed. Now we know that he is always available to us, and we are much the better for this knowledge. Let him lead, and we, follow. Our days will smooth out, conflict-free, and something better than we have ever known.

Relationship between Jesus and us is a two-way street. The same for the relationship between each one of us, distinct entities, and each one of our brothers and sisters. And all are our brothers and sisters. We are One in God, one in the Self Who is larger than just our entity.

If we want reassurance on our walk through life, we have it in Jesus. This is not a simplistic concept, but it can be understood as something very easy and simple. Take to him the secrets of our hearts, knowing that the secrets are already understood and forgiven by God, ready to be shared with Jesus. We are extremely lucky in this relationship with our savior, for he impresses upon us that he doesn’t have anything that we can’t have. All are equal in the sight of God.

Dear God,

Give me peace today, for I am a little jittery. That jittery feeling has no place in Your world, and it should have no place in mine. If I trust, the jittery feeling falls away. I would trust today.

Thank You for this holiday season. May my joy be complete as I seek to find likeminded friends and family with whom to share these days.

Amen.

We Live and Love Eternally

“This Self with whom you have a relationship is love’s extension. It is the Self you long to be as well as the Self you are. This paradox has kept you as intrigued with the idea of self as with the idea of God. You have searched for a “one, true, self” as you have searched for a “one, true, God.” This search only makes sense to the separated self, who believes all things are separate and thus believes that its self, as well as its God, must be separate from what it is being. It doesn’t understand, until joining with the Christ Self, before becoming one with holy relationship itself, that relationship is an identity.

“God is a relationship with love. This relationship with love is all that provides for the I Am of God.” (ACOL, D:Day40.20 – Day40.21)

The theology of this quotation is especially apt as we seek to understand how relationship, holy relationship, can be so important to our knowledge of God. We are joining with the inner Christ Self, and in this joining we form a holy relationship that is unique to each of us. Our identity is tied up with the Christ Self, who forms the identity that we have been searching for in vain while we embodied the egoic mind. We have been searching for this Christ Self, and it is here with us now. We need search/seek no more.

We are led, surely and swiftly, to an immersion in love. This love shows us the Godhead, for we intuit God when we give our all to love. We can know God only when we are obsessed with love; this obsession is good, unlike the obsessions that plagued us when we were living egoic lives. Now our one hope and our one joy is a love that is not of this world. When we give our all for this love, we know a peace/joy/happiness that is beyond anything available to us prior. We are finally at home, even though our physical bodies still reside in this world. Our mind/heart occupies an ethereal world, though physical still, to us. We live and love eternally, and we know it for maybe the first time.

Dear God,

I would cease trying to “find myself.” That has been done for all time when I comprehend that the inner Christ Self is my “real” Self. This Self does not let me down; this Self draws peace to me in every encounter, sure of living well in a conflicted world. This Self knows how to live without letting the noise of this world get in.

Thank You for guiding me. Always I thank You for that.

Amen.

Ask for Divine Advice

“Only in my relationship to you am I God. Only in your relationship to me are you who you are in truth.” (ACOL, D:Day40.15)

Jesus is speaking in a metaphorical sense here. He is not saying that he is the Godhead. He is one of us, but he has advanced farther along, and so he can lead us. He is speaking from a personal relationship to us, something that he advocates throughout the ending portions of the Dialogues of A Course of Love. He is very desirous of a personal relationship with us, saying that he can do more for us if we will so accept him.

As inheritors of the Christian faith, we can accept his offer easily and peacefully. He is not speaking to those of other faiths; he knows that other religions have value. So he is not the “only” way to God. But, for us, as Christians, he is the best way. He is our leader.

Accept Jesus’ offer to guide us day by day, even hour by hour and minute by minute. We can take pen to paper, or go to a computer and type—just to see where it leads. If we quiet down and ask for advice as to how to live our lives, we will receive it. Jesus has assured us in A Course in Miracles that he will come to each of us upon a “single, unequivocal call.” I accept him at his word about this. I have first-hand knowledge of his guidance.

The best way that we can live is to ask for advice, ask for guidance. We are not smart enough to live life independently; we are not intended to so live. We are placed in this world with others for a reason. Our egoic, independent natures were all a mistake. Let us take a better route through this world now, a route holding hands with our brothers and sisters.

Dear God,

I would ask for guidance today, as I do every day. I can’t live without your advice about how to live. Thank You for always, always and forever, being here for me.

Amen.

Our Relationships Will Save Us

“The difference between you and me is that I am being God and also love, being. This is why I am all and nothing, the attribute-laden God and the attributeless love. This is why it can be rightly said that God is Love and Love is God. But I am also an extension of love, just as you are. This is all I Am means. There is no I Am except through love’s extension. How does love extend? Through relationship.” (ACOL, D:40.14)

Jesus has walked the whole distance. And from that focal point, he knows of the Godhead in a way that we don’t. He holds nothing, though, that we cannot attain. He will point out the way to us, has done so in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love (and other channeled works such as The Way of Mastery), and his way works. If we want to fulfill our potential, we would be well-advised to listen carefully to what he has been saying.

Love in God has extended to us; extension rather than projection, and there is a subtle difference in this. Projection made images in a foggy glass, illusions. Extension creates (doesn’t “make”) true reality, and is not true reality what we really want? This extension comes to us in our relationships, our relationship to the inner Christ-Self, to the larger Self Who is the Godhead Himself/Herself, and to our brothers and sisters in this world. In this world, these three constitute our reality, and in the extension of God’s doing, we dwell in mystical awareness of Him.

Our relationships will save us. Our relationships will enmesh us in true love, holy love, no longer special love. And this makes all the difference.

Turn to our relationships today. See if we don’t make a more joyous day out of the pleasures of company, our own, our God’s, and others—brothers and sisters–in our circle.

Relationship, holy relationship, is the Answer. And is there really anything missing when we have that?

Dear God,

Your Consciousness envelops all. I feel warmth and acceptance in Your love. I pray for this for everyone else also. I need no longer worry that I don’t measure up. I am created in Your image, and I accept the limitations that are mine in a finite world. But I reach in mystical fashion toward something grander. And with intuition, Your way becomes clear.

Don’t let me mislead myself. I long for honesty in my life, honesty that sees clearly with vision that is not of physical sight.

I would see with clear vision today. Thank You for enabling this.

Amen.

Ask for Knowledge that Is Not of This World

“Your attempt at individuation and extension, an attempt consistent with the nature of your being, failed only because you experienced separation rather than differentiation, and fear rather than love.

“When I created, I extended my being, a being of love, into form. Through that extension, I became I Am. I became instantly because there was no opposing tension—only love and an idea that entered love, of love’s exten¬sion. As soon as I became I Am there also became all I am not, the Christ connection between all I Am and all I am not, and an I Am, called the son, who could become who I Am and continue to extend who I Am.” (ACOL, D:Day40.5 – Day40.6)

Despite Jesus’ best efforts, the “I Am” parts of the above quotation just simply are confusing. The I Am is an echo of Who God is, and Jesus is here affirming that he, as all of us, are a part of God Himself. We can rest easy, knowing that God is living through us. His best interests are ours as well, though we are finite and therefore limited, and He is the All. But we can know a mystical experience of that All, that One.

We made a self that we could not sustain. We experienced separation from God, though only in illusion, and just in something that could be undone.

And now we have undone it, with Jesus’ help and God’s as well. We know what was illusion, and could never be real. We cannot actually separate from God, Who is our very being.

There are indications that Jesus holds a very pivotal role in creation, something that he only hints at in the concluding chapters of A Course of Love. He speaks in metaphor, of course, when he indicates that he is the I Am. He has earlier said that he has nothing that we cannot attain, that he and we are equal. So let us take him at his word, and be reassured that life is going to get better when we take to heart the dynamics of true creation. True creation does not require illusion, and we are so used to illusion that we often don’t recognize true creation when it confronts us in the face.

Let the I Am that is Jesus enlighten us today. Ask for knowledge that is not of this world.

And it will be granted us.

Dear God,

My understanding has been flawed, having lived for eons in illusion. Keep my new insight on the beam, just clearly focusing on what Jesus has said.

Be with us today. Answer our questions about how to live our lives.

And may the new true reality engulf us with love.

Amen.

See Love Afresh

“I did not make you in my image. I created you in love because it is the nature of a being of love to extend. Realize that it is only when being is added to love—only when love is in relationship with being—that love is given its nature. Realize that it is only when love is in relationship with being that it attains this quality that we are calling extension.” (ACOL, D:Day40.4)

Jesus is talking about a mystical creation here, that he, joined with God in all fullness, “created” us in love. He has in mind and heart an understanding of being that is true and good, and far better than what you and I made in egotic misdeeds. Jesus’ understanding of us is of beings who live in extension from God Himself/Herself, being part of His/Her Being.

Thus we differ from the image that is Jesus. In other words, his persona/personality is uniquely his, as ours is our own as well. We all are unique, distinct entities who share the personhood of the Deity. We thus have a God Who lives through us. His Being limitless, and ours is restricted, but we can intuit what He knows simply by asking. Often we will receive an Answer, and we will know the Source of the Answer because it will always ring true. Our inner Self, one with God, will know that what we are “hearing” is true.

Ask for more understanding, a better knowledge of what is what. None of us is meant to live in befuddlement. Ask, and we truly will receive. God does not keep secrets from His beloved children.

Love has been so talked about by every religion and every religious leader that to talk about it more falls a little flat. When we open our minds and hearts to what exactly is being said, we will comprehend with a knowing that makes the idea of love fresh. With the idea of a fresh love, we are finally getting the message, said so long ago and so often throughout the years.

Dear God,

I ask to have a fresh understanding of love today. I don’t want a hackneyed understanding, something that will seem too old to be meaningful. I ask to see with fresh eyes, non-physical vision. Only then will I truly see what I am asking to see.

Thank You for Your patience with me. It must get very wearing to see Your children so constantly going astray. I am attributing human qualities to You, and this helps me to understand how I would feel. In your limitless Being, You see All, and this gives you total patience with our foibles.

Amen.

Hope that Is Not Of This World

“Do not expect perfection, only union. Do not expect sainthood, only Godhood. Do not expect the world, expect heaven. Do not expect answers, only knowing. Do not expect learning, only revelation. Do not expect all, without also expecting nothing. Expect to know that you hold both within yourself and that you hold me as I hold you.” (ACOL, D:Day39.45)

Jesus seems to describe our future sustenance of Christ-consciousness as “nothing special” when he describes these opposites that we will encounter. A quiet transformation does not seem a big change, and Jesus is preparing us for a quiet transformation by giving us A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. We will not awaken with a scream of mortal terror (he tells us in ACIM), but we will awaken gently. One day we will just see with a vision that is not of the physical eyes. We will know things that have eluded us previously.

We are not necessarily “perfect,” for who would describe perfection to us? This seems to be a contradiction with ACIM, for there he indicated that he would correct any mistakes that were beyond us, seeming to say that in that sense perfection would be required. I do not believe that there is any contradiction between ACIM and ACOL, and so there is a way to understand these differences that will speak to our humanness. We remain very human, and mistakes can still occur, and in that we are not perfect. It would be very disastrous for those who know they have experienced Awakening or Christ-consciousness to believe that they are right about everything!

We will not necessarily have answers that another lacks. But we will have a knowing that cannot be proved, and in this knowing our way through this world will be eased. This knowing is different from perceiving, because perception is of the ego. Knowing is vision, non-physical sight that gives us the truth without any strain at all.

Jesus continues his very personal words to us in the quotation for today, “you hold me as I hold you.” He is saying that he is always “on call” for us, ready and willing, even eager, to assist in any manner that will advance the goal of a newly created world.

Jesus wants us to have a safe and easy journey through this world, and in following the way that he sets forth in both ACIM and ACOL, he shows us the way to just that.

Dear God,

I ask to be shown a better world today. I ask for eyes that see with vision, an inner vision that doesn’t depend on my physical sight. If I listen to my heart, there is nothing that won’t be revealed to me, over time and in the embrace of Jesus and all my brothers and sisters. This alone gives hope.

Be with us as we walk through another day. Let us not take any day for granted. It is Your gift, and, as always, each day is filled with blessings.

Amen.

God Never Leaves Us Stranded

“This is a time of knowing who you are and who I Am while at the same time, holding, or carrying, the mystery within you. That mystery is the tension of opposites. It is time and eternity. Love and hate. Good and evil. In other words, All and Nothing. It is the tension of individuation, a tension that has existed since the beginning of time, between time and eternity, between the attributeless love and the attribute laden being. Between the one being of love and the many beings of form, between love’s extension and form’s projection.” (ACOL, D:Day39.38)

This is a lovely passage that seeks to merge opposites, reality’s true expression in our world. We may reach for the positive, but until our vision is perfect, we also see the negative. If our vision is perfect, the negative doesn’t appear negative to us; our sight of deplorable conditions sees beyond them to a radiant future for all. We know that all will work out eventually, and sooner rather than later, if we do our part.

We need to know “who we are” if we are to see conditions transforming before our eyes. We need to be real, be truthful, and be aware of the differences between honesty and complicity in untruths. This requires true knowledge of ourselves, the kind that Jesus is extending to us with every word, especially toward the end of A Course of Love. He is drawing together all the threads of what he has begun with us, culminating in language that is beauty.

We are individuated or differentiated beings, part of God but not limitless as He is. We are finite creatures, but we can come to know more when we have aligned ourselves with His goodness.

We have form in this world, but it is not form that captures us. We are leaving illusion behind as we walk the pathway that God has set out for us. We are truly walking into a new and different world, one in which atrocities will cease to be real to us. We will not be heartless in this world, but we will see differently, and we will see God’s love extending even in the worst, deplorable human situation.

God never leaves us stranded.

Dear God,

I know that you would have me cease to look on the bad things of this world with a head that is shaking in disbelief. Our free will makes for bad situations sometimes. But we can see differently, but not heartlessly. I can know that You will resolve the situation when the ones involved get their thinking and their feeling in the right place, the place that You are constantly pointing out to anyone who will listen.

Thank You for letting me know that You are not heartless, even though our world seems on the edge so often. Turning to You resolves difficulties, even the worst ones. You give a solace that can’t be touched by deplorable conditions in our sad world.

Amen.

How Have We Seen God?

“Thus your ideas of the universe and your ideas of me have been inseparable projections. As have your ideas of the universe and your ideas of your own self.

“Have I been a benevolent God in your universe? Then you have been benevolent and seen your universe as a benevolent universe.

“Have I been a judgmental God in your universe? Then you have been judgmental and lived in a judgmental world.

“Have I been a powerful God who can work miracles? Then you have been a powerful miracle worker.

“Have I been a distant God who does not show his love for you or others? Then you have been distant from yourself and those you love.

“Have I been a God you have sought and never found? Then you have not found yourself.

“Have I been a fair God? Then you have been fair and the world has treated you fairly.

“Have I been the God of your religion? Then you have been religious.

“Have I been a God of vengeance? Then you have been vengeful.

“Have I been a God of love? Then you have been loving.

“Have I been all of these? So, too, then, have you, and so too has your universe been.” (ACOL, D:Day39.19 – Day39.29)

Jesus is saying that our projections onto him have been a reflection of how we see God Himself. And it has been projections. What we have held in our heart, we have seen in him—when we took him seriously as a part of our faith.

Jesus seemed to me to be judgmental. I know that I don’t see myself, now nor in the past, as judgmental, but I have been keen on “fairness,” and this is a judgment. Someone once told me, a friend in childhood, that he had had a dream in which I had screamed, “It isn’t fair!” I realized as soon as he said it that he was seeing something in my very soul. And I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t like to be seen so clearly at that tender age of about 12.

Read over this list, and see where you see yourself. This can be very insightful, as well as disturbing.

The good news in A Course of Love is that this doesn’t have to be something that we stay with. We can give up our projections as easily as we acquired them, a largely unconscious process.

Just ask to feel love as an extension of our being and of God’s Being. And the projections will melt away.

Dear God,

Help me to project no more. Never a good idea, it is devastating as we seek to walk into Christ-consciousness. Our love needs to be whole and complete, nothing that inferior ways of viewing You could allow.

Be with me for a good day, something that I ask often. The day is busy, but I never want to lose sight of You.

Amen.

Love “Enough”

“What must occur now must occur between you and me. Your willing¬ness is all that is required.

“Let me tell you what has occurred in the past so that you know not to respond to love in the same way again.

“Who I have been to you is who you have been to yourself. Remember the idea of projection. This is what projection does. It projects outward. It is different from extension in that extension is like a projection that remains at one with its source. Projection separates.” (ACOL, D:Day39.15 – Day39.17)

We are being asked to compare what we have thought about Jesus in the past with what we think about him now. He doesn’t want us to build too much on our Christian tradition, for he has repeatedly said that he is equal to us, that we are The Accomplished. Of course, we may not believe this, or, at the least, we don’t understand it.

But say it he has. And it merits our careful consideration.

If we have read this far in A Course of Love, we know that Jesus is asking us to form a personal relationship with him, a belief that will entail a suspension of disbelief—for we must realize that, as spirit, he can focus his consciousness anywhere and everywhere at once.

It is hard to suspect disbelief this much. Let just a crack in. It might be true.

We know that Jesus asked us earlier to request a miracle. We might or might not have taken him up on his request, not for a specific miracle (he says this), but for the miracle-mindedness that is our birthright. The “art of thought” is how he describes what he is after for us. We need, in other words, to live in a state of readiness for miracles all the time, to live in a state of believing that the numinous pervades our lives and our world. Is this really so hard to believe, when we believe that all of us are a part of God Himself/Herself?

We are seeking to have extension in our lives, not projection. So our previous ideas of Jesus’s presence may have been wrong or misguided. Now we know that we have projected our beliefs onto him. Now he would have us love him in a more mature and more accurate image. If we extend what we know of love to him, we will be on the right track. Love, as always, is the great panacea.

Dear God,

I would seek to love more deeply today. You know that I have a question in my heart for which I request a quick Answer, from You. Perhaps you are telling me that if I love enough, I will get along very well indeed. That is my hope.

Guide me to love enough, although Jesus says in A Course of Love that we often think that one can love too much or too little, but never enough. But I would think differently today. I would love with my whole heart—enough!

Thank You for guiding my thoughts this day.

Amen.

A Relationship with Jesus

“Establishing this relationship with me may sound lofty and difficult, but it is simple. It is as simple as relationship is within your everyday life. You may not think that relationship within everyday life is simple, but you also know it as a constant.” (ACOL, D:Day39.11)

Jesus is here, once again, asking us to indulge him by establishing a relationship with him as the unseen. We don’t have to think that he is the only way to God, but he is writing in the Christian tradition, with the religion that, with Paul’s help, he established. And most of us have a background in the Christian faith, which makes a “personal relationship” with Jesus more palpable.

I know from experience that my mind and heart deliver answers when I write an imaginary dialogue with Jesus. Somehow he gets through to me, through my informed imagination. Subconscious minds are one, as is everyone—just One. And so we don’t have to search long and hard to believe that Jesus can communicate with us. We just have to entertain the idea that he can be in more than one place at a time. With Jesus being spirit, this is not so strange.

So establishing a relationship with Jesus may mean simple asking for advice, and then taking the advice (as long as we don’t imagine harm to anybody). This simple asking will prove to us that there is somebody listening, and it is not just God.

Dear God,

Thank You for the good advice that I just got a moment ago. The advice that I get is always rational and practical, helps in my everyday life. If I wander too long with my head in the clouds, Jesus seems to put my feet back on the ground. And I thank him—and You—for that.

Thank You for slowing me down this morning. I try too hard sometimes, and I set myself up for a downfall.

I would not set myself up for a downfall today, nor in the future.

Amen.

Awakened Living

“Discovering your own relationship with me is discovering the Christ in you. When you have discovered your own relationship with me is when you have discovered that you are who I Am because you realize—or make real—your oneness with Christ. When you have discovered your own relationship with me is when an intermediary is no longer needed—because you have realized and made real your oneness with Christ.” (ACOL, D:Day39.10)

This is a mystical relationship we enjoy with Jesus, one that we can make real in our lives and can take literally. He has promised us in A Course in Miracles to come to us at the point of a “single, unequivocal call.” While we don’t understand how this is possible, we can step out in faith and believe that something is happening when our heart is warmed by a presence that seems not of this world. It may be Jesus.

We are giving up the Holy Spirit as intermediary, because we are moving into our Christ-Self, where no intermediary is needed (or even wanted). When we live in Christ-consciousness (enlightenment, Awakening), we will know the truth of what Jesus is telling us. We will know that God is here for us, always present, always living through us to provide a rich and full life, and what more could we ask for?

Be alert for the signs of increasing evidence that God is looking out for us. Of course, He has always been doing this, but it meant naught to us when we were unaware.

We are no longer unaware. And the awareness of love that we enjoy now could not have happened without our attention to our relationship to God.

This closer walk with God is what Jesus has been leading us toward. And our gratitude for the blessings in our lives that Jesus has helped to bring about will make all the difference.

Dear God,

Thank You for always being here with me. I very much appreciate it. I know that gratitude makes a difference in our universe, and gratitude is what I feel in my heart today.

Help me to actualize my wishes, the good ones only. Help me to thank Jesus properly for leading the way.

Amen.

Reconsidering Jesus

“My beloved,

“It is time now to come to your own discovery of who I Am to you. No one can give you this answer, not even me, because this is the nature of who we are. Individuated beings are who we are in relationship to one another.

“You have heard of life spoken of as a projection. Because we are all one being, we must either extend or project in order to individuate and be in relationship. You are an extension of I Am into form. Through your exten¬sion, you can become who you are to me, instead of who I have been to you.” (ACOL, D:Day39.1 – Day39.3)

Our lives on earth have been a projection—as long as we deemed ourselves to be a separate entity, separate from God. Now Jesus is taking us a step farther. He is encouraging us to see ourselves in relationship to him as an “extension” that reaches to him. But we are not projecting our image of what and who he is; we are seeing afresh. We are an extension of “I Am into form,” which means that we are an extension of God into form. We are beginning to see with the eyes of Christ, and this, of course, means that we can think/feel as Jesus does. Not that we have reached this goal yet. But it is coming.

We are in relationship to Jesus, as well as all other brothers and sisters. These relationships are becoming fuller now, as we see who we are to him and who he is to us. We don’t have to develop a personal relationship to him, but he can do so much more for us if we take him by the hand, as he bids us do. He is our leader, pointing out the way to those of us in the Christian tradition.

We have walked far together, Jesus and us, in this journey of 40 days and 40 nights, and also in this journey through A Course of Love. The future brightens as we come to discover exactly what awaits us at the end of this particular journey. And as Christ-conscious beings, our journeys will lack the pain that they have had until now.

Allow Jesus to speak to our hearts. Don’t let our old skepticism about him rear its head. He means well, and would we not discover what life really can be from someone who knows, Jesus himself?

Dear God,

My days are happier now, and for that I thank You. The culmination of A Course of Love is indeed sweet. May I turn from thoughts/feelings that Jesus is judgmental. That is a projection of my ego, and I would be done with all such imaginings.

Guide my days, for this is always something that I always ask of You. I am seeing as never before, but guide my vision to see truly, not making mistakes, not seeing things that aren’t there.

Thank You.

Amen.

Let God Speak to Our Hearts

“Now it is time to see me as your own God as well as God of all. Now it is time to call me who I Am.

“There is a subtle and loving difference between I Am and who I Am. Who is an acknowledgment of individuated or differentiated being in union and relationship.

“Community, or union with, can never replace or replicate ownership and possession in union and relationship. It cannot replace who I Am, or who I Am to you.” (ACOL, D:Day38.10 – Day38.12)

Jesus is not saying that he is the Godhead, but that he shares in it (“who I am,” not “I am”). And we all share in God, for God made us of the stuff of His Being. There is nothing else in the universes; He had no other choice.

We don’t, though, have to get lost in this theology. If it seems hard to wrap one’s mind around, let the heart lead. That is the message of A Course of Love, after all. Let the heart lead, and the heart will, in the natural order of things, lead the mind.

We will have new mental understandings, more comprehension of the ultimate. We are living in union (One with God) and in relationship (diverse entities, differentiated from “God-stuff”) with everything and everyone. But we don’t know it, for we are finite beings. It is God alone who is in relationship to everything and everybody as an infinite Being. And being in relationship, He is able to know Himself as well as all of us.

We are individuated or differentiated parts of God. In this we can rest easy. He will sweep us up in His Arms and comfort us anytime we ask. The world is usually too much with us, and He would change all of our obsessions with the values of this world.

Be calm today. Let God speak to our heart.

Dear God,

I would be in the flow today, just enjoying my little part of heaven in this universe. And our world can be heaven, though most of us don’t yet see how.

I would leave it up to You to transform this world into heaven, though I will do Your bidding—for You need my hands and feet.

Amen.