CREATING A NEW WORLD

Published recently in Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher)

by Celia Hales

“To your tired eyes I bring a vision of a different world, so new and clean and fresh you will forget the pain and sorrow that you saw before.” (ACIM, COA ed., T:IX.7:6)

But the choice many of you will make—the choice to move from learning to creating—will create a new world. (ACOL, C7:9)

. . .[W]ithout intention, desire cannot become the crystal clear focus, the laser-like focus that can cut through the dross of this world so that a new creation can flow forth through you.” (WOM, Book 1)

Jesus is very eager to see a new world arise out of the chaos that we know now. In A Course of Love, he says that some of us will continue learning, out of choice, and thereby change the world. But many of us will go on to create a new world.

What could this mean, for we find the same sentiment in A Course in Miracles and The Way of Mastery (Christ-Mind Trilogy), quoted above. It can only mean that we are on the brink of something very grand. Christ-consciousness (Awakening) will emerge for many of us, and when a tipping point is reached, peace will truly reign.

Of course, this doesn’t seem possible now. But it is always darkest just before the dawn, and it is dark now. The dawn is coming, is imminent—if we do our part. If we remove the blocks to the awareness of love, seek to relinquish fear, and thereby live in freedom untainted by egoic leftovers, patterns of the ego that cry to be relinquished, things will get better. If our choices are made without fear, we will have moved into the next realm—the realm of Christ-consciousness as a tipping point, the point at which things do indeed get better around the world.

Let us pray for such an outcome today. We are thankful for many things in our personal world, our little plot of land on which we reside. But we can pray for something better for all people, and if we pray diligently and often, forces will come to our aid that we have not foreseen. We are surrounded by angels (Jesus says so), and they add their prayers to ours. Miracles abound in such a world, miracles that can and will transform this hostile and violent world into a world of peace and joy and harmony.

Do you believe it can happen? Belief is pivotal. And we can have such a belief if we trust what Jesus has said in his channeled works.

Be sure today that Jesus would not mislead us. Be ready for the new world. And then ask what each of us can do to effect that new world.

We need to thank God for the many blessings that we have, our friends, our families, our house, our neighborhood, our cities and towns. These are not little blessings, and I know, within the depths of my being, that the more gratitude we feel for present blessings, the more we open to something more.

May God be with us now for a great today and a great tomorrow.

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JOY, PEACE, RELEASE

Note: Published in the May – June issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

There is one thought in particular that should be remembered throughout the day. It is a thought of pure joy, a thought of peace, a thought of limitless release—limitless because all things are freed within it. (ACIM, COA ed., M-16.6:1-2)

Drape your persona in a mantle of peace and joy. Let who you are shine through the personal self who continues to walk this world a while longer. (ACOL, T2:13.6)

Hold in the mind’s eye all of your domain—your relationships, your careers, your physical objects—and say, “Behold, it’s been a lot of fun!” (WOM, “The Way of Knowing,” Chap. 35)

I have used the words, “pure joy” and “limitless release,” here quoted from A Course in Miracles, almost as a mantra over the years. There is such hope in the promise of joy and release. Previously, we have been so doubled up in agony over the machinations of the ego. And it is such a blessing to know that we need not live this way. We can live in the hope of continual joy and release, and this is just what Jesus is asking us to do in this passage.

A Course of Love continues the theme. We are still here, on earth, walking this world a while longer. And peace and joy are the hallmarks of a well-lived life. It is true that we often think that we have to achieve to merit grace. Yet this is a false concept. We are accepted just as we are, even with all of our mistakes and false notions of an ego-oriented self.

The Way of Mastery introduces a new concept, perhaps a startling concept to us who are still so very serious about life (“serious” itself a plague of the ego). “Have fun!,” these words of Jesus say. It is in the limitless release from ACIM that we discover how to truly enjoy our fun. We relax into our days, knowing that the God Who created us and loves us knows that our lightheartedness is the very way that we need to walk. We only thought that God didn’t want us to have a good time.

Limitless release will lead to a peace and joy that knows no bounds. Say a mantra today that will attract the Love that enfolds us, never to let the seriousness of the ego intrude again.

Coming to Know

Many called to the way of Mary will ‘do’ much that is greatly desired in the world but what they do will be a byproduct of their way of being rather than a means of facilitating that way of being. Many of the way of Mary will find acclaim, yet neither acclaim nor obscurity will matter to those following these ways. Being true to the self and the calling of the One Self is all that matters. Eventually all will follow the way of Mary and such ideas as acclaim and obscurity will be no more. But at this time of transition, both ways are needed to demonstrate the means of coming to know, which are what all true expression is about. (ACOL, D:Day19.11)

We are coming to know in this new world. And there is space for both being and doing, the way of Mary and the way of Jesus. Needing both, we cooperate with each other, supporting each other.

The way of Mary seems to be a less obvious way, in that people wonder if any acclaim would be due those who are following this way. There may be acclaim, as well as much doing, but these will be secondary to the relationships that we will form. The relationships in this new world are primary, above and beyond all. We won’t be concerned with acclaim, given or not given, and this will be a hallmark of knowing that the ego has faded away. We will listen for guidance, deep within, and then make our plans to carry out that guidance. We are then being true to our self of personality as well as our Christ-Self.

And that will be all that matters.

Change Is in the Air

Without those pursuing the way of Jesus, those pursuing the way of Mary would have a much more difficult task. There would be little space in which to anchor the new. Those following the way of Jesus create the openness of the spacious Selves who allow for the anchors of the new to be cast and thus to ride out the many storms of this time of transition. (ACOL, D:Day19.17)

Jesus’ way is preparing the new, and then Mary’s way embraces it. The spacious Selves are all of us who open to a greater way, in a “spacious” way. We are well fixed in this manner of creating a new world, because the ways of both Jesus and Mary make that new world possible.

There are storms in this time of transition. We need not fear them, for we have been prepared. Our understanding of Jesus’s message in A Course of Love (and other channeled writings) assure us that we are on the right track. We rest from our labors when we rest in his mercy.

But now is not the time of rest. We are working mightily to change things, to create new things. Ask, inwardly, for guidance as to what to do. That guidance will be forthcoming; we are promised this. Our Christ-Self, who has learned much, will now be in a position to make a bridge to God Himself, the larger Self, Who will see that we don’t falter.

Be reassured that all is well. We will make it back. Salvation is ours.

We Support Each Other

This is very tricky for those who reach highly individuated states and it is necessary for those of the way of Mary to support, encourage, and reflect the new to those being examples of the way. This too is tricky for it can lead to judgment. When there is more than one way, there is always room for comparison and judgment. Thus it is realistic to see the ways as intertwined circles existing in support and harmony with one another. As those given specific functions fulfill those functions, they move naturally to the way of Mary. (ACOL, D:Day19.16)

We will all be moving toward the way of Mary, in this new age, as we progress along our pathway to God. In the meantime, there are many still following the way of Jesus, which is more a matter of “doing.” Mary’s “being” needs to support these perhaps more extroverted people. If they don’t have support from those who are simply surrounded by relationships, then those who are doing will have nowhere to turn. We need, all of us, to support each other, but this is especially true of those who have chosen relationships, being, as their way of life—the way of Mary.

We need not judge any pathway taken by anyone. There is room for all of us. As Jesus says here, we are “intertwined circles,” and these intertwined circles need to find each other. Helping each other becomes a mission, a good mission. And in the doing of it, Mary’s followers also find a bit of “doing” as well as “being.”

New Day Is Dawning

In this action of joining in union and relationship is contained the key to creation of the new. It was spoken of earlier as the act of informing and being informed, as the step beyond that of observing and being observed. It is where creation of the new can begin because it is the intent of creation, rather than the intent of the observer, that is the creative force, the animator and the informer. Being joined in union and relationship allows for the channeling of creation through the one Self because the one Self is joined in union and relationship. (ACOL, D:Day19.15)

We are creating anew when we envelop ourselves in being joined with our Creator as well as joined with other people, in relationship, and in Oneness. This is when creation itself takes over. The forward thrust of what we experience powers the very experience itself. And all is well in our concepts; we are at home in God.

This being “at home in God” is another way of saying that we are experiencing heaven on earth. Now, not everything has to be perfect, in ourselves, other people, or the world, for us to experience contentment and a euphoric feeling of joy. When we let our problems drift from our minds, and we start to live in our hearts, we can the end in sight, our desired end, our “at home” in God. Clearing the mind of problems does take some practice, but this clearing is not difficult. We simply live on a higher plane, letting our difficulties rest lightly on our minds, knowing that we have a Friend Who will soothe us, comfort us, and provide solutions at the point that the problem is recognized.

Creating a new world is our new work, and every little thing that we do in a positive sense is bringing that world ever closer to us. A new day is dawning, and we are the harbingers of that new day.

Mirrors of the Truth

The truth of this way is not discovered through the passing on of knowledge in form but through relationship. Those following the way of Mary become mirrors of the truth they discover, reflecting the way to their brothers and sisters. This is why this is not a place or state of non-interaction but of great interaction. It is a state that facilitates knowing through relationship. This occurs through the one Self of form. (ACOL, D:Day19.14)

In our physical bodies, we engage in relationships with each other—especially true when we are following the way of Mary. In relationship, we are being our full Self, the Christ-Self, and in interaction with others, our brothers and sisters, in our world, we come into our own.

We teach in this mode. We reflect what we have learned or discovered (depending on where we are in the process), and in this exchange our brothers and sisters are loved into acceptance. It is quite easy to love other people into acceptance. Great love does that, and Mary’s way is nothing if it is not great love.

We set an example in the way of Mary. And this gracious living changes the world into something new and different.

We are about creating a new world, of course. And the way of Mary is what we are all coming to accept. Doing is the way of Jesus, the example life. And while we may still do much when we are embracing Mary, the doing is subsisted in the being.

Being defines us.

“Being” or “Doing” – Wisely

This is not to say that those called to the way of Jesus will find acclaim and those called to the way of Mary will find obscurity. Many called to the way of Mary will ‘do’ much that is greatly desired in the world but what they do will be a byproduct of their way of being rather than a means of facilitating that way of being. Many of the way of Mary will find acclaim, yet neither acclaim nor obscurity will matter to those following these ways. Being true to the self and the calling of the One Self is all that matters. Eventually all will follow the way of Mary and such ideas as acclaim and obscurity will be no more. But at this time of transition, both ways are needed to demonstrate the means of coming to know, which are what all true expression is about. (ACOL, D:Day19.11)

We know that desiring acclaim is often an egoic notion, not based in any real need, not something to really desire. Acclaim may be a byproduct of doing one’s best in the world, building on what we know to make changes to create a new world. But just to realize that we want acclaim—with nothing to support it—is to wish falsely.

If we choose to focus on being, we are following Mary’s way, and we might think that acclaim will pass us by. Not necessarily so, says this quotation. We may be recognized by others, but here is the salient point: It really won’t matter to us one way or the other, for when we have moved into Mary’s way, we have moved beyond the egoic. We will be thankful that our work is getting out in the world, but it will be a byproduct of the process in which we live, the process of accomplishing only for the sake of the work itself. The process is important, not always the end product.

If we are spending our lives accomplishing things, we are immersed in the moment of that accomplishment, for the end result will come only infrequently, and we won’t rest on our laurels. We will immerse ourselves in the day-to-day work, slowly adding to our stores, slowing making progress. We won’t live for the peak moments only; we will live for the daily “grind,” something that won’t feel like a grind at all.

Be in this present moment, accomplishing work, but not focusing on the peak experience of having accomplished. Live the work, being all the while. Our doing, as a byproduct of being, will then come into focus with a success unimagined.

A New Pattern

All are called to become, but some must ‘do’ in order to ‘become.’ Those called to the way of Mary are not required to do in the sense of fulfilling a specific function that will become manifest in the world, but are required to do in the sense of receiving, sharing, and being what they are asked to become. This is an act of incarnation, and is a new pattern, a pattern of what can be imagined being made real, not through doing, but through the creative act of incarnating in union with spirit. It corresponds with the end of the way of Jesus in that an example is provided. It differs only in that the example is not an example of an individuated life but an example of the union and relationship that is all life. (ACOL, D:Day19.10)

This quotation elucidates well the entire concept of the “way of Mary.” If we think about it, we can see how moving into a new world will require individuals to live differently than ever before. We will have opportunities that have not been open to us earlier. We will be so centered in being that our pipeline to God will be reaffirmed daily.

Doing does not have to exclude being. We have, many of us, been on very busy doings in this world. Our “to do” lists are long. We delight in crossing off items. We even add extra items that we have already done so that we have the pleasure of crossing off another activity.

This is madness! If we are called to “do,” then by all means let us be sane about it. And when time passes, and we believe that our doing has been completed, let us move into Mary’s way with alacrity.

Love

The way of Mary is not a place or state of non-interaction however. This is not the state or place of the monks, nuns, or the contemplatives of old. It is not solitary nor isolated, nor confined to a specific community. It is a way of existence in which relationship is paramount. It is not listening to a calling to “do” but a calling to “become.” (ACOL, D:Day19.9)

All of us will eventually move into a calling to “become.” Mary’s way. But we are not there yet. In all likelihood there will be a period of merger for both doing and being, with doing predominant in many people for a while. The more that we can accept our ultimate best choice, though, the more we will realize that “becoming” prepares us best for the future. A future in a new world that we are creating every day.

The way of Mary does not mean isolation as it did for many of the contemplatives of old. We reach out into the community, showering love wherever we go, and we thrive in this new way of being. We are not withdrawn unto ourselves at all; we take our meditative moments, and then we shower them on our friends and family, our significant others. We have learned, discovered, in meditation, what works.

We have discovered how to love.

“To Do” Lists

Just as Jesus would not have been literally birthed without Mary, the way of Mary cannot be reborn without the way of Jesus. Both ways arose from Christ-consciousness as demonstrations of ways. Those who have thought of Mary as an intermediary are as inaccurate in this belief as are those who thought of Jesus in such a way. (ACOL, D:Day19.8)

We need active “doers” in the world, just as Jesus, in his day, was an active doer. His way paved the way for the Marys of the world. Doing leads to a chance to “be.” Being thus comes on the heels of the doing that has characterized our world for many generations.

We are moving into a new era, and in this era, being will trump doing. We have been too captivated by doing; our daily “to do” lists, with their cross-outs, prove it. We have an addiction to such lists. While Jesus would not have had one on parchment, he might very well have carried a mental list. And, like us, he might have gotten satisfaction from mentally crossing off his performed list.

We don’t need to act this way any longer. As we move into Mary’s way, we still accomplish, but it is a more internal thing. We don’t feel that outer accomplishments define our worth. We feel right in and of ourselves.
Mary was a pioneer in her time. So can we be. She was not an “intermediary” to Jesus, but a full accomplished being in her own right. So can we be.

In Christ-consciousness, doing and being are demonstrations of ways of living that we can assume. Even as we head into Christ-consciousness, this still is true. Let some balance overwhelm us. Experiment with being for a while if doing has been our thing. Experiment. See what fits us.

We will soon discover that there are advantages to both ways of living. It is just a matter of finding out what “fits” to our personality. And then growing into that way that fits most precisely.

Heartfelt Joy in “Being”

The answer lies in the simple statement of as within, so without. By living as who you are in the world, you create change in the world. You create change in the world through relationship. All live and create in relationship. Those called to the way of Mary, however, are called to the creation and anchoring of the new relationship in the new world. Their relationship of union, upon which their contentment is based, is the birthplace, the womb of the new. Their expression is expression of this union. (ACOL, D:Day19.6)

We want to live as who we are. “Being who you are” is the ultimate message of A Course of Love. But it is the real Self, the Christ-Self, who comes to us totally and completely when we have reached Christ-consciousness. Until that time, we do catch glimpses, and these glimpses are sweet.

If we are called to the way of Mary, we will focus on “being” rather than “doing” in this world. Many of us, in this new era of Christ, will be a blend of being and doing. A blend of Mary and Jesus, for Jesus was the “doing” aspect of life in this world. The example life. We too can be example lives, though those called to this way of living are few.

Being is more open to us, because we are heading into a world where being will be the watchword. The way of Mary will emerge in all its glory. While we may still “do,” (for nobody can live here and not do), our heartfelt joy will be found in the being. We will anchor new relationships in this world. We will keep the home fires burning.

Sexist categories will break down, for men and women both will focus on being rather than constantly seek to do in the world. The way looks bright to us, and indeed it is. Our hearts more often tilt toward the fact of being, and however warm and fuzzy, mellow, we can be, the better.

Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Living as Who You Are

The ultimate accomplishment is living as who you are within the world. But in what kind of world? This is the catch that causes feelings of purposelessness in those who are content to live as who they are within the world. Until they realize the power of reflection, they wonder why they, unlike their brothers and sisters called to ‘do,’ do not have a specific part to play in establishing the world in which all are able to be content with who they are. (ACOL, D:Day19.5)

As forerunners of the way that all of us will be later on, those living in the way of Mary, of being rather than doing, will influence all of us for the better. Jesus discusses the “power of reflection,” (D:Day19.5) which is a mighty power when under the sway of being. Those of the way of Mary will influence all of us to move faster toward the time when we live in a new world. If we are called to “doing,” the individuals who are called to Mary will have the solace that they need to carry out their tasks. Mary’s way is at that point in a supportive role, though that role will not long remain just supportive.

Mary’s way is the way we will all embody later on, once the new world has been created. We will relax in this new world, content that the weariness of the old egoic way is no longer—for almost everybody. Of course, there is work still to be done, and Mary’s adherents will effect that work in the most blessed way for the new time and place. Being who we are, we will transform the whole into something much better. And Love will have made this difference.

Just “Being” Can Effect Change

Those of the way of Mary are content with a way of living. Yet everyone has a function to fulfill in creation of the new world. Only those who express themselves are truly content. (ACOL, D:Day19.2)

Those of the way of Mary are content with a way of living. But everyone, everyone, has a function in the creation of the new world. In being who we are, in living our lives, we fulfill the spirit and law of love—if we are called as was Mary, if we are called now to the “being” mode of Mary.

Those of the way of Mary will still express themselves fully in creating this new world. It is perhaps obscure to come to grips with how just “being” can effect change. But aren’t we influenced greatly by the saintly people whom we have known? And weren’t many of them just “being” in the world? They may not have even tried to proselytize us; they may just have shined their light of love on us, and by so doing shaped our lives, and were a blessing to us.

The way of Mary is very powerful, for it effects change by just the very way that Jesus keeps advocating: being who we are, with an emphasis on “being.”

We Ourselves Are Just OK as We Are

You perhaps see no ‘specific’ accomplishment in your future, but see instead a way of living as the ultimate accomplishment. You see living as who you are in the world as the accomplishment that is needed from you and yet at times you compare yourselves to those who are able to live as why they are in the world and accomplish certain functions within the world. You perhaps feel function-less and purposeless at times, while at other times, you feel as if you are being exactly as you are meant to be. (ACOL, D:Day19.1)

When we are of the way of Mary, and being is paramount, we may feel that we can see no accomplishment in this world. We can feel function-less and purposeless at times, but at other times, we may be at rest, and we may realize that we ARE doing exactly what we are called to do: be ourselves, whole and complete, a Self Who has realized completion in the time of Christ.

Our way of living is the accomplishment, and only if the ego tries to intrude again (though it has been banished) will we doubt our function. Know that remnants of the ego, its patterns, do still influence our minds, and it is these remnants that give us uncomfortable moments. We ourselves are just OK as we are.

Mary

Those of you who are the forerunners of the way of Mary may have felt confusion over your sense of calling. You know you are called to something, and something important, but it does not have a form within your mind and so you see not how it can become manifest in the world. In other words, you know not what to do. (ACOL, D:Day19.1)

There are forerunners to the way of Mary in our world today. They sense that, for them, they are simply to “be” in their relationships with others. Doing is not required of these individuals at all, though they may do much in the midst of being who they are.

These individuals may, in the midst of the busy doings of our world, feel cut adrift. They may feel that something important is asked of them, but they may be unable to give form and meaning to that conception. When this indecision happens, we are asked to simply abide in the knowingness that being who we are is all that is asked of us. This being will inevitably include our brothers and sisters.

There are some who will be significant others, our relationships, but in the long run, we are in relationship with all who share our Self, for the Self of union is universal. Be patient with all that is unsolved in our heart, and know that we are on the right pathway, when intuition has prompted a “being” rather than a “doing.” The rightness of this pathway will be proved by subsequent events in one’s life.

Being & Doing

Action is the bridge between form and the formless because action is the expression of the self in form. “Right” action comes from the unit in which doing and being are one, or in other words from the state in which there is no division between who you are and what you do. “Right” action comes from the state of wholeness. Being whole is being all you are. Being all you are is what the elevated Self of form represents. (ACOL, D:7.6)

There is a link between doing and being, for all of us. When we are whole, we are “being,” and in that state of being, we “do.” This means that we become “who we are,” something that becomes ever more important to Jesus in the last section of ACOL, the Dialogues. We share with others in this time of being who we are. We also don’t downgrade ourselves by imagining that we are not perfectly alright just as we are. We have been relieved of the ego, a learned state that caused much destructiveness to ourselves and others, and we are prepared now to discover (no longer “learn”) what to do and say. We perform what Jesus calls “right action,” a performance that can only come from wholeness, being and doing as states that we occupy together.

When we are all that we can be, we will occupy the elevated Self of form, a Self who derives its knowledge from the Self of union, the larger Self outside the dot of the body. The white space surrounding the dot is, thus, very important. And this white space (as well as the dot that represents our personal self in the body) is ultimately the All, the One, Who is God.

Transformation

What was created cannot be uncreated. Thus transformation is needed. The miracle makes you fully aware of the embrace and the consciousness of unity and places you outside of time. In this state, no duality exists. Doing and being are one. (ACOL, D:7.5)

The only circumstance under which what was created would be uncreated is if God ceased to love us. And this would never happen, we can imagine. We have never done anything so terrible that He, All Love, would deny us love because we have made mistakes. We have merely been calling for help in our misdeeds, and a call for help (and love) is met by Love, the greatest Love, from God, that can and does exist.

So, since we are not going to be uncreated, we know that we need transformation. And this transformation comes in the form of enlightenment, called in A Course of Love, Christ-consciousness.

A miracle will make this inevitable happening come about. We join in the embrace with the One, and with our brothers and sisters, and Jesus (another brother), and we become aware in a way that we lacked heretofore. The embrace is called upon many times by Jesus in ACOL. It is the recognition that we are loved, and that we are held tightly in that Love. We can appeal for love, we can ask for help, and we can cuddle with Jesus, as we lay our head upon his shoulder. The imagery is very touching as well as very profound.

When a miracle occurs, we are momentarily outside time. Outside time is where the Self of unity lives. There is no duality here, because doing and being are one. This somewhat mystical statement is not totally clear in this context, but it does reappear often in ACOL. We are to both “do” and “be,” in the way of Jesus and of Mary, and as time passes, we will move into just being more and more. We will live as Mary did, deriving our sustenance from relationship. Example lives such as that of Jesus will then be no longer necessary.

Being Whole

Being whole is being present. Being whole is being all you are. Being whole is being present as all you are. When this occurs you are All in All, One in being with your Father. (ACOL, C:26.26)

“Being whole” is the way that we are heading. It means being in unity, one as heart and mind joined, one with the Self of unity joined with the elevated Self of form.

When this occurs you are All in All, One in being with your Father.

Being One with God attests to our acceptance that God is living through us, that there is no division between Creator and the created. And we are the created, something we tend to forget when we are being arrogant. The “authority” problem, as Jesus describes it, is a main factor in our confusion anyway. This authority problem is the fact that we consistently forget that we did not create ourselves, that there is a Deity Who did.

And this Deity is living through us, with no division between Creator and created.

The Embrace

Time has ended and there is nothing you must do. Being replaces identity and you say, I am. I am, and there is nothing outside of me. Nothing outside of the embrace. (ACOL, C:20.9)

The embrace is a mystical Oneness with the All, the God-in-us and in our brothers and sisters—indeed, in everything living. There is a well-known passage in A Course of Love in which Jesus embraces us to give us comfort and emotional support. He lets us cry on his shoulder, for the journey has been long and hard, and we are weary and beaten down by the dust on the trail. He soothes all of that away in his strong, embracing arms. And we embrace him in return.

This is true acceptance. We have come to accept Jesus as our guide and partner in sustaining life that will be in the newly created world, a world that will arise with our effortless work as a result of revelation from God.

We Need Each Other

You have to forgive this reality for being different than you have always imagined it to be. You have to forgive yourself for not being able to make it on your own, because you have realized the impossibility of doing so. You have to forgive yourself for being what you are, a being who exists only in relationship. (ACOL, C:6.2)

We are beings meant to live in relationship to each other. A holy relationship that features love as its predominant feature.

We have tried, and failed, to be independent, autonomous, needing nobody and nothing. When we failed at that, we reached for a special someone who would answer all of our needs. And we failed at that, too.

Now forgiveness is in store, for ourselves and our God. Our ego got it wrong, believing that autonomy was the way to go. We are made for each other, interdependently. If we stop and think, we realize this even on a secular level.

Our society thrives on competition, but this competition, bottom line, means that there is somebody else who is very, very important to us. The few among us who recognize that cooperation gets us farther in the long run are surely coming to see that we need each other. And not only for love. We need each other simply to exist side-by-side in our crowded world.

Love

Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. (ACOL, C:4.11)

Here we see that our preconceptions about love have been all wrong. Jesus gets right to the point: Playing nice when we are in a bad mood, “feeling surly,” fools nobody—not our brothers and sisters, not ourselves, not God. And most of all not Jesus. And our good deeds are like the “works” that St. Paul said were not sufficient for salvation; he said “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9, KJV)

And now Jesus is saying the same thing to us in channeled writing of the turn of the Twenty-First Century. We must be onto something important.

Embracing All with Passion

Note: I will post for a few days from A Course of Love, and then return to The Way of Mastery (Christ Mind Trilogy).

In your acceptance of doing good works and being a good person, you are accepting ministry to those in hell rather than choosing heaven. You accept what you view as possible and reject what you perceive as impossible. You thus cling to the laws of man and reject the laws of God. You claim your human nature and reject your divine nature. (C:P.11)

Trying, oh, just trying to be a good person won’t work, because it is missing the boat. As traditional Christianity espouses, we don’t get anywhere by doing good works, meriting our way into heaven. Even though faith without works is said to be “dead,” we need the faith, and the belief in Jesus’s central place (according to traditional Christian teaching).

A Course of Love takes a somewhat different tack. While we are encouraged to make a friend of Jesus, and to hold his hand while we go about our daily lives, this is not a requirement for salvation of the ordinary variety or of ultimate salvation, Christ-consciousness or Awakening. If we can just trust enough, and “be,” rather than “do,” we will see the value in resting in God’s love. The laws of God allow being as the best way to approach Him. We rest in His love, sure of our place in His ultimate form of reality. Our time on earth is blessed, for we don’t try to implore Him to accept us because we are being “good people.”

So we need to invite our divine nature to come out. And this divine nature is the inner Christ spirit that we all have. This Christ-Self learns, over time, because it is not omniscient. But this Christ-Self learns better than our egoic self (which actually learns nothing of value). Our human nature is mired in ego, until we see fit to thrust the ego off. Once we have done this, we are well-situated to see ourselves as the children of God whom we are.

We are not ever encouraged to be “do-goers” by Jesus. Just trying to do good works and trying to be a good person will not allow us access to Christ-consciousness. Jesus even says that by this idea we are “accepting ministry to those in hell rather than choosing heaven.” (C:P.11)

Of course, we do want to do good in this world, and we do want to be good people. But we put the cart before the horse when we cling to these two ideas as the way to get to heaven. God does not ask anything of us, anything except to give up fear and judgment, and cling to Love as our Answer. And this is not easy. Despite much soul-searching, we may still fall into fears. Despite our best efforts at forgiveness, we still fall into judgment of our brothers and sisters. When we are enthralled by Love, though, we fall into the right place. Fear and judgment become something that we can’t even comprehend anymore; we wonder why those two negative traits preoccupied us for so long.

It takes some mystical insight to truly learn how to love. Our special relationships have taught us badly, for they were made that love might turn back on us, turn into hate. Only when we transmute our special relationships into the holy will we fully know what damage specialness has done. And then we will recognize that we do nobody any favors by clinging to them as “special.” They don’t need our special love; neither do we. Our holy love embraces all of creation with a passion that is reserved for full understanding, not a passion that turns to hate if our expectations are dashed.

STRUGGLE NOT

Note: This article was published in Miracles magazine, January – February 2019 issue (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

“Out of His lack of conflict comes your peace. And from His purpose comes the means for effortless accomplishment and rest.” (A Course in Miracles, COA ed., T-VI.13:7)

“All that you retain is a belief in effort and a struggle to be good and to do good, a belief that clearly demonstrates that you have rejected who you are.” (A Course of Love, C:P.13)

When we launch into self-help mode, struggling to be better than we really are, then we are on the wrong track. Nobody, by effort, can effect great change. This is the ego’s plan, and it is a bad plan. The ego would have us fail continually, until we give up, turn against God, and decide that nothing we can ever do will make any difference anyway.

The quotation above from A Course in Miracles points out a better way. We know “effortless” accomplishment when we are depending on the Holy Spirit to rule our days. And we know the same when we follow the Christ Self, as A Course of Love would have us do in this time of Christ.

How might this effortless accomplishment come about? I think that quiet contemplation is the real way of change, effortless change. When we turn inward, we are merging with our Maker, for we are made of God-stuff. When we turn inward, calmly, we often intuit that things are not as bad as we thought when we judged ourselves as guilty. Our true innocence leads to self-acceptance, and this self-acceptance is being who we really are, something that A Course of Love champions.

Of course, we have not been perfect in our lives. We may have hurt ourselves and other people; we may have been guilty of violent acts. The Answer (which we all know) is forgiveness borne of the certainty that rescue is available. As faulty as our behavior may have been, we acted as well as we could, given our level of understanding at the time. And this is true for everyone.

Now we know better, for A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love both show us the way to a life of being who we really are, innocent children of God, no longer in a struggle to change by force of personal will. We listen to guidance, and in restful listening, let the Holy Spirit or the Christ Self take over. And thereby does change become effortless.

Projection Makes Perception

“What is projection? Projection occurs when there has first been denial within yourself. Projection is an act in which you psychically try to throw out of your ownership everything that you have judged as being despicable or unworthy or you—something you do not want. So you project it. You will throw it up and out and let it land on whomever happens to be nearby. Projection is the effect of the denial of the first axiom that I have given you. It is the denial of the truth that:

“Nothing you experience has been caused by anything outside of you.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 28)

We are in the driver’s seat. We create what happens to us, though not in our personality but in our soul.
We project when we feel unable to handle life in any other way. A Course in Miracles says, “Projection makes perception,” and this truth also applies here. We essentially see what we want to see. We are, in fact, projecting our illusory world. And we see what we imagine in our depths.

If we listen to intuition, we are less likely to create reality in a way that disturbs us. If we know that we take a risk in sharing something close to our heart with a less-than-sympathetic listener, then we are foolish to take a risk like that. We have here been the cause of our friend’s lack of sympathy, and we would have been saved from experiencing this if we had just listened to guidance. We have, in effect, projected what we are experiencing. The perception will hurt us if we are not attuned to intuition and avoid saying the troubling thing.

We see in others what we don’t want to acknowledge in ourselves; that is why we have projected it. If it is “out there,” we feel less responsible for it.

But this is a chimera, an image that has no truth. We are no less responsible because we project. We have bound ourselves to it. And until we get our mind straightened out, a mind informed by the heart, we will not walk a green earth.

Project only what will not hurt. Don’t take unwise risks. Our intuition will, in fact, guide us in every situation, at every time.

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.

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.