Category Archives: ACIM Manual for Teachers

Quiet Listening

“Learn to be quiet, for His Voice is heard in stillness.  And His Judgment comes to all who stand aside in quiet listening, and wait for Him.  (M-15.2)”

Affirmation:  “Let me be quiet awhile today.”

Reflections:

1 – Benign Judgment

“His Judgment” is not bad; we only make mistakes, and these can be corrected.  If we cannot make amends with the person whom we have wronged, we can still ask forgiveness in quietness, and on some level we will be heard.  The Judgment of which this passage speaks is coming from the Holy Spirit, God’s Communicator with us.  It is always a benign judgment.

2 – Quiet

We cannot live well unless we live, at least from time to time, in quiet.  My quiet time used to be three times a day, which I spent in meditation.  This went on for ten years, and then six years ago I began to pray more, and I was quiet in that way.  Prayer works for me when I pray aloud, and frequently I do so when driving the car.  I do concentrate on the road, of course, but I am carrying on, also, a conversation with God.  Despite the noise of the car and the road,  I know this time as a particularly effective quiet time.

3 – Listening

We must try to follow God’s Way for us.  And we learn this Way in quiet listening.  Sometimes the Answer will come in a quiet “knowing,” and sometimes in just the next quiet words that come into our minds.  Sometimes we experience a feeling that we attribute to intuition.  There is no limit to the ways that the Holy Spirit can and does speak with us.

4 – Personal Experience

My favorite quiet time is early in the morning, before my husband awakes.  I slip out of the bedroom, and find an easy chair in our study.  There I sit quietly, thinking, sometimes, of the day ahead.  This time alone, before the day begins, is a very effective way to get close to God in my thinking.  If I miss this time, I know it.  So I try not to miss being alone first thing in the morning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be still and quiet a bit today, to hear Your Voice.  I would relax, so that my body accommodates to my wish to hear You.  I would listen with a warm and soft heart.  Help me to do all of these things, for without Your help I am lost.

Be with me today.  I have already done a good bit of work this morning, and I am already tired.  If I could relax during my work, I could get along better and for longer periods of time.  Help me to do this tomorrow morning.  And today:  Help me to relax today even as I continue to work.

Be with all my loved ones.  I cannot control their destinies, but I do turn them over to You.  And I turn myself over to You also.  As always.

Amen

Overcoming Depression

“You who are sometimes sad and sometimes angry; who sometimes feel your just due is not given you, and your best efforts meet with lack of appreciation and even contempt, give up these foolish thoughts!  They are too small and meaningless to occupy your holy mind an instant longer.  (M-15.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would know that my best efforts are appreciated–by Someone.”

Reflections:

1 – Discouragement

This passage gives comfort in times of discouragement.  It would be good to return to it from time to time for its clear-eyed assessment of what we sometimes view as taking place in our world.  We are Sons and Daughters of the Most High!  Ought we to remember that when the world intrudes too much on our peace of mind?  God is with us through his Communicator, the Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  And the Holy Spirit will calm us when our feelings are ruffled.  But words like this, from Jesus in A Course in Miracles, can be a tangible reminder when we are temporarily more insane than usual.

2 – Struggle

And we are insane when we think of ourselves as broken down by the world’s burdens.  We will know struggle so long as we listen to the dictates of the ego, and so long as we seek for egoistic attractions in this world.  Jesus would not have us to live this way.  And here, in one place in ACIM, is a measure of just how he would advise us when things do not seems to be going our way.

3 – Our Holy Mind

Jesus calls our mind “holy.”  Can we believe him?  I think that those of us who have read through A Course in Miracles are eager to give him the credit for our greater peace of mind.  Jesus, in my interpretation, is saying here that we are as God created us (a quotation from ACIM), that we have not changed from that ideal.  But we have believed ourselves to be separated from God, and we have believed that this was what we wanted.  Most of us who study ACIM passionately know with great intent that we do not want to perpetuate the idea of separation (wrong though it always was).  We have not separated from God, an illusion that would be impossible because we are part of Him, but we have believed, also in illusion, that we have fallen from grace.  God would not have us to live a small life, devoid of good things.  And it is up to ourselves to make the tiny movement toward the Holy Spirit that will turn our world around.  We can and will live better, when we let God have His Way with us.  The world will stop being such a fearsome place, and we will stop attracting its misery to ourselves.  Our minds will be so filled with the good things of God that we will no longer find ourselves in extremis any longer.  Our attracting power (not stated in ACIM, but an interpretation) will shift to the intangibles of God, which I have often discussed in this blog–the peace, joy, harmony, kindness, and, of course, love, that we all desire.  And we will live much better as a result.

4 – Attracting Negativity

What of our brothers and sisters who have not reached this understanding, and who still find themselves attracting negativity?  Many will not be ready for A Course in Miracles, but there is a course of some nature out there waiting for them.  We are not bidden to overtly proselytize, but we can treat our unhappy friends with more compassion.  And we can be there for them when they reach out for our help.  In the meantime, our prayers for our brothers and sisters will make a difference.  It cannot be otherwise, though this is not specifically stated in ACIM.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not let any depressed mood waylay me today.  I would follow Your Way, and I ask You to point this Way out to me.  May I always seek to walk the pathway back to You.  I know that I am a part of You, though I seem to forget this when I get upset or agitated about something.  You will always rescue me, and Jesus will help, when I make one unequivocal call to You.

I would not get discouraged today.  I know that life is not always smooth.  Just this morning, I was confronted with three minor problems and one major.  Just this morning.  And there was no warning that any of this was coming down the pike.  But You knew.  And You have calmed me and relaxed me, and helped me to see that life is not an emergency.  There is time for all that is needful.

I have dealt in some way with each of the four new problems.  As the Bible says, “Having done all, stand.”  And I will stand in Your Sight today.  Thank You.

Amen.

We Are Holy

“Holy are you, eternal, free and whole, at peace forever in the Heart of God.  Where is the world, and where is sorrow now?  (M-15.1)”

Affirmation:  “We are all holy.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort

This passage is comforting, even when we do not find it (at first reading) to be believable.  We do want to be whole people, able to give and receive love.  And we do want to be free and at peace.

2 – Being Free

Before we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we have an “imprisoned will” (from the Text).  Once we begin, ever so tentatively, to follow Him as our Guide, we learn, slowly at first (usually) what being free actually entails.   The Holy Spirit guides us to our real will, which is totally at One with God’s Will.  The Holy Spirit choose for us (from ACIM); he leads us to our heart’s desire.  But this is our real desire, not the frivolous and useless “pleasures” of the world that soon turn to ashes and dust in our hands.

3 – Heart of God

When we live in the Heart of God, we do not fret or worry.  Of course, and certainly in the beginning, we do not consistently feel God’s mercy.  The transition normally takes some time (though it can happen instantaneously).  We have glimpses of the real world, the world we see just before Awakening.  But we have to realize that these perceptual differences, while miracles, will not last, because miracles are perceptual and nothing perceptual is lasting.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)  So let us take one tiny step after another in the direction of God today.  Let us ask for His “felt presence” (a quotation from Eckhart Tolle).

4 – God’s Felt Presence

Sorrow is no more when we are experiencing God’s felt presence.  We know that we are beloved, and we do not agonize about the future (or even the present, and certainly not the past).  We are living in the present, as God would have us do.

5 – Peace

And we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Most of us do not really believe that we are holy, and when we are consumed by the ego, being called “holy” seems to be not credible.  But we have not changed from our creation; we are as You created us, and we only made a detour into fear–an egoic mistake because of a “tiny, mad idea.”

Help me to leave all such foolishness behind today.  You know that we all try the best that we can at even given moment.  We make mistakes, but You and we together can correct those mistakes.  I would correct my mistakes today.

Help me to feel the gratitude for You that keeps me safe from all harm.

Amen

Final Judgment

“But the Final Judgment will not come until it is no longer associated with fear.  One day each one will welcome it, and on that very day it will be given him.  (M-15.1)”

Affirmation:  “Let me not think of the Final Judgment with fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

I once had a “waking dream,” not unlike what John Keats, the poem (“Ode to a Nightingale”) describes so well.  In that semi-hypnotic state, I imagined the Final Judgment was coming to me.  I was asked a number of questions, which I tried to answer, but not always truthfully.  And my unseen questioner knew that I was dissembling.  I responded, “How do you expect me to pass this test?”  As one who always tries to tell the truth, this memory is painful.  But the experience itself was very uplifting.  My unseen questioner in this waking dream then gave me a series of directives for my life.  I have forgotten most of them, but I do recall that one was to buy an “older” house when I was in a position to purchase a house.  Through no machinations of my own, that is exactly what my husband and I did:  a house built in 1922, with well-preserved, with numerous refurbishing.

2 – Many Years Later

I do not now, more than 30 years later, know how accurate this waking dream was, or whether or not I could even call it a “Final Judgment” carried out by one of my brothers in his lifetime.  Jesus says elsewhere that the Final Judgment of all will be carried out in conjunction with his brothers (and sisters) in this world.  So I sometimes ponder this strange experience.  The waking dream has never recurred, and only once or twice had something akin to it ever happened to me previously.

3 – “Tall Order”

But I was not afraid.  I remember commenting in my dream, with all the assertions of what I ought to do with my life, “That is a tall order.”  But the parts that I have remembered have come true,, almost fated (or so it seems).  There were, of course, parts that I do not recall, for this was an altered state of consciousness.

4 – Altered Consciousness

One probably ought not to plan for altered states of consciousness.  We are not usually of much help to other people when we are living in such a way.  But Jesus says in ACIM that the channels of communication in our universe are not limited to the few channels that this world recognizes.  He goes on to say that salvation would be impossible without these additional channels that this world does not recognize.

5 – Turn Aside from the Ego

Do not let the ego get a toehold in your own psychic imaginings.  When we have withdrawn support from the ego, it will, absolutely will, try to rise in ascendancy by guile.  And we certainly do not want that.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the unusual experience of more than 30 years ago.  But I do not wish for altered states of consciousness.  I want my feet on the ground, even as my head is sometimes in the clouds.  Be with me to be certain that my imaginings do not mislead others or myself.

Thank You for a busy but good day.  Help me to have a flowing expereince in my thoughts.  No obsessions.  And I pray for a stress-free day tomorrow.  Be with all of us who are trying so hard.  May we realize, anew, that Your Way is effortless.

Amen.

All God Would Have You Do You Can Do

“To turn hell into Heaven is the function of God’s teachers, for what they teach are lessons in which Heaven is reflected.  And now sit down in true humility, and realize that all God would have you do you can do (M-14.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would turn hell into Heaven.”

Reflections:

1 – Students/Teachers

All of us are students/teachers of God.  Time is an illusion, and only time separates students from teachers.  We will all be teachers, and many sooner rather than later.  We are actually already teaching and learning at the same time.  As soon as we have answered the Call, the individuals whom we can serve best will begin looking for us, and finding us.  There are no accidents in salvation.  Who we are to meet, we will meet.  The lives we are to touch, we will touch.  And in this plan of the teachers is found much joy.

2 – Plan of the Teachers

Jesus says elsewhere that without the plan of the teachers, there would be no way for all of our brothers and sisters to find their way home again.  The detour into fear has been long and burdensome, troubling in the extreme.  Let us ask today to be free of the fear in whatever form the fear manifests.  Often it is simply a low-grade anxiety, from which our jobs and our relationships seem to offer no respite.

3 – Bill and Helen

But there is a better way, and Helen and Bill (co-scribes of ACIM) found it, perhaps Bill more than Helen.  As Vahle points out in his biography (see review in this blog), and as Ken Wapnick has made so clear, the peace that Helen gave to others eluded her.  Ken’s biography of Helen Schucman is entitled, Absence from Felicity.  And it was only in death, when Jesus came to claim his own, that her face was at peace.  Bill, on the other hands, moved to California and there, amid friends of ACIM, lived a much more peaceful conclusion to his life.

4 – Let’s Do Our Part Today

May we do our part today to turn this hell on earth into Heaven on earth.  Ask the Holy Spirit what small thing you might do today to effect this reversal.  And He will respond.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Helen’s experience has led me to understand that there are no guarantees in this life.  I know from my reading that she understood A Course in Miracles very well, but still she was without the peace that ACIM had brought so many others.  May all of us realize that we must depend on the Holy Spirit in this world, and that, even then, we may not always have happy dreams.

Be with me today as I seek, once again, to understand Your guidance.  My nighttime dreams seem to give me indications, as well as my intuitive, inner sense.  I have not put it all together yet.  Be with me, and be with other whom I touch today, in whatever way.  We are not to be without limits in this world, but we are to seek to overcome the limitations, with the guidance that we receive.  May that guidance come in Your own Way, in Your own time.

Amen.

World Ends in Joy, Peace, Laughter

“The world will end  in joy, because it is a place of sorrow.  When joy has come, the purpose of the world has gone.  The world will end in peace, because it is a place of war.  When peace has come, what is the purpose of the world?  The world will end in laughter, because it is a place of tears.  where there is laughter, who can longer weep?  And only complete forgiveness brings all this to bless the world.  In blessing it departs, for it will not end as it began.  (M-14.5)”

Affirmation:  “The world will end in joy.”

Reflections:

1 – Belief in a Fiery End

A very reassuring passage, this assertion by Jesus will be well-received by those who are ready to relinquish the ego, and no longer believe in a fiery hell.  So much of our preoccupation has been with a world that would end in fiery destruction.  And we can now realize that all of this was projection of the ego.  We made a world of opposites, and we thought that the worst thing that we could comprehend, hell, was there waiting for us if we did not measure up.  What a joy to know that this dualism has never been accurate!  We live in a non-dualistic world, where when we have dropped illusions, we can be happy in a Heaven on earth.

2 – Ask for a Happy Dream

Of course, we still see much misery before us.  And we are not encouraged to deny our eyesight.  But we are encouraged to realize that what we are seeing is maya (an Eastern term), illusion, a dream.  And much that we see is not a happy dream.  But we can ask for a happy dream, and the more we focus on following the guidance that we receive, the happier our daily life will become.  We will not longer sit down in the dust and bemoan our fate of a joyless life, full of struggle and woe.

3 – Be with God

Be with God today, as much of the time as possible.  The world will ultimately end in joy, but this ending may be a long time off.  Jesus says elsewhere that it may take millions of years for the separation to be healed, as it took millions of years to happen.  Of course, the separation from God is not real, could never be real, for we live as though in a hologram, and what is within (God) is projected without.  Not all that is within is God, though, and so sometimes we project hideous images.  But God would not have it so.  He asks only for a “little willingness” (quotation from ACIM) to follow His Way.  And his medium of communication is our Guide, the Holy Spirit.  Ask for His help today.

4 – Presence

He will not be long in making His presence felt.  The day will brighten.  And with this comes hope for a better tomorrow.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the reassurance in A Course in Miracles that the world will end in peace.  Our ego has said so much about ending in a fiery destruction, and we have been (most of us) very influenced by this.  Help us all to realize that there is nothing to fear.

Be with me as I seek to know Your Presence today.  Give me free-flowing thought, that I don’t dam up my thoughts and have thought attacks.  Obsessions are fearful things, and I would acknowledge Your rule in this world, even though we all have free will and can walk astray.

Amen

Bits and Pieces Seem Sensible?

“The world will end when its thought system has been completely reversed.  Until then, bits and pieces of its thinking will still seem sensible.  (M-14.4)”

Affirmation:  “May my thought system be reversed sooner rather than later.”

Reflections:

1 – Our Rearing

The thought system that needs reversal is ego-inspired.  This ego causes us more problems than a little!  And we were probably reared with a strong competitive streak that was essentially ego-oriented.

2 – Personal Experience

My parents wanted me to make them proud.  Neither ever read A Course in Miracles, but I wonder now how different I would be if they had.  I think that they would have been ripe for accepting the ideas, for when the ego is strong, we tend to recognize that our way of life needs improvement.

3 – Attack & Anger Lead to “Venting”

I personally needed to know that verbal attack and anger were not the way to respond to someone else’s “venting.”  The someone else was always asking for help and for love.  And to offer those things–help and love–took the sting out of the venting.  Try it yourself.  I think that you may be surprised at how much easier your life will evolve.

4 – Being Defensive

Another idea that may still make sense is to defend one’s self against attack.  Or to defend one’s self against anything that seems adverse.  But A Course in Miracles says that we make what we defend against; by our defense is the awful thing made real.  This too is an idea that may need testing out.  (ACIM does not object to our testing, though this is an interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

4 – ACIM Forbids

So no defense, as in planning for contingencies to come–contingencies that the Holy Spirit has not instructed us to consider.  And no attack and no judging.

5 – An Easier Way

Our way will already seem to be easier, when we have stopped considering those bits and pieces that still seem to make sense to the ego.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Monday has come and gone, and to my way of thinking, “bits and pieces” of the ego’s thinking still seem to make sense at this very moment.  I pray that any delay that I allow is not detrimental to anyone in my care.  My husband and I both still have egos, and we must make some decisions together.

If my intuition over the weekend was informed by too much ego, perhaps the intuition was wrong.  But I can point to no times in my past that intuition that has been prayed about actually turned out to be ego-inspired.

Be with us as we allow time to pass.  The Holy Spirit knows us well, and perhaps now is the time to learn that the anger that I felt last week has led my thinking to be too influenced by the ego, meaning that my psychic attunement was off.  I know that the solution is with the problem.  And I pray for patience to make the right decisions for my loved ones, in consultation with the Holy Spirit on a heavenly plane, and my husband, on the earthly plane.

I would learn a great deal that would benefit me in the future if the ego actually does lead wrongly, causing intuition to run false.  I pray for Your true guidance, and I pray for the right words to make my present situation a good one–not only for myself, but for all other that my life touches.

You are still working with me.  You have not finished with me.  May I never get so arrogant as to think that I have all the answers at any given time.

May the mystery clear up, sooner rather than later.

Amen.

How the World Will End

“The world will end with the benediction of holiness upon it.  When not one thought of sin remains, the world is over.  It will not be destroyed nor attacked nor even touched.  It will merely cease to seem to be.  (M-14.2)”

Affirmation:  “The world will not be destroyed.”

Reflections:

1 – Cease to Be

Many of the prophecies of our world has attempted to predict the end of the world.  But here Jesus discusses a very benign way for the world to end:  It will just cease to be.

2 – Illusions

Certainly very few individuals in our world can understand this pronouncement.  It is part of the theology of A Course in Miracles.  In my interpretation (not stated in ACIM), the world, as an illusion, will cease to be when the time for illusions is past.  And this miracles will happen when all of us have returned home to God–not necessarily through death, but through a return to the real world, and then an Awakening in God.  We will not be dreaming when this miracles occurs; we will be awake for the first time ever.

3 – Millions of Years

When will this miracle take place?  The Text says that the return of the “separated” ones (those who think that they have separated from God) may take millions of years, just as the separation itself took place over millions of years.

4 – Regret?

Is this cause for regret?  Do we see the length of time as a reason for despondency?

5 – The World Will Get Better

I think not.  For as time goes by, and more and more of ourselves and our brothers and sisters awaken, we will see a world resplendent with beauty and joy.  We will have no reason to be despondent then.  Our mission is simply to bring that time closer, and Jesus is our leader in this, for time and space are under his control.  Can we believe this?  He would deal gently with us if we have an intellectual problem with such affirmations (from ACIM).  But we may find ourselves and home and in God much quickly if we can suspend judgment of that which we cannot, now, understand.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with us today, as we live in a world that is far from perfect.  Guide our physical eyesight, as well as our vision (non-physical eyesight) to experience a benign world.  May we have a good day, living in this world.

Help me to contain myself today when the world is too much with me.  We cannot know joy, true joy, unless we have the peace of God.  I ask You to grant me Your peace today.

Be with me, I pray.  And thank You.

Amen.

Call by God Answered

“And what, O teacher of God, is it that you want?  You have been called by God, and you have answered.  Would you now sacrifice that Call?  Few have heard it as yet, and they can but turn to you.  (M-13.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would answer the Call from God.”

Reflections:

1 – Students/Teachers

This passage is for students of A Course in Miracles as well (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Only time separates the student from the teacher, and time does not really exist.

2 – Loyalty

All of us can be at least a bit wavering in our loyalty.  Life gets busy, our prayer time drops off, and only when we find ourselves in a jam, do we remember to ask God for help.  Doesn’t this sound familiar?

3 – The Pathway

Here, in this passage, Jesus would keep us on the pathway.  He knows that our brothers and sisters need us, and they need us very greatly.  Would we turn from those we love deeply?  No.  Then let us not turn from those we know less well.  They too need us.

4 – Plan of the Teachers of God

The plan of the teachers of God is said elsewhere to be a plan that is the only possible solution to the pain in which most brothers and sisters of ours find themselves.  We do care, or we would not be reading these reflections.

5 – What Would God Have Me Do–Today?

Let us ask God what we might do today, for Him.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help us to find Your plan for this day.  Let us not second-guess You at all.  Be with us throughout the day, so that we know where and when to do Your Will.

May all of our decisions be right.  If we make mistakes, because we are human, help us to correct those mistakes before they might harm ourselves or another individual.

Let me hear Your guidance, Your Holy Spirit, aright today.

Amen.

Give God a Chance

“Decide for God, and everything is given you at no cost at all.  Decide against Him, and you choose nothing, at the expense of the awareness of everything.  (M-13.8)”

Affirmation:  “I choose the awareness of everything.”

Reflections:

1 – Decide for God?

How does one decide for God?  Perhaps we are skeptics.  Perhaps we have a guilty conscience.  Perhaps we have intellectual doubts about God.  Then what?

2 – A Chance

Give God a chance.

3 – Try a Little

That is all that is required.  Try a little prayer.  Ask for something that you think is in line with God’s Will, but be sure that you are not “testing” Him.

4 – God

You may not succeed.  But God may.

5 – What Do We Have to Lose?

What do we have to lose by trying to believe, even just a little?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

This is starting out as a hard day, because I asked for guidance in a particular situation, and I am unsure if my ego intruded.  I am unsure if the guidance that I received is from You.  I asked for further indication, and that was forthcoming, and the Answer from You was the same.  Is my ego just trying to foment struggle?

I would calm down, following Your guidance.  I am not alone in this decision facing me.  My husband is with me, and I believe in help from the Other Side.  Be with me today; help me to drop the issue for the weekend, so that next Monday, when I can actually do something, I will be in a state of mind that will allow the calm carrying out of what guidance has already shown me.

Thank You.

Amen.

Illusory Split from God Experienced in Attack

“[The Word of God] is denied if you attack any brother for anything.  For it is here the split with God occurs.  A split that is impossible.  A split that cannot happen.  Yet a split in which you surely will believe, because you have set up a situation that is impossible.  And in this situation the impossible can seem to happen.  It seems to happen at the ‘sacrifice’ of truth.  (M-13.7)”

Affirmation:  “I will not attack under any circumstances.”

Reflections:

1 – Sword over our Heads

We are told elsewhere in A Course in Miracles that when we are tempted to be angry (and to attack), it is as though we hold a sword over our heads.  And it will fall or be averted as we choose to ask for peace and turn aside from the reverse, the anger and attack.

2 – We Are Human

We are human, and we have human frailties.  We will still, sometimes, get angry.

3 – Insanity

If we can, when tempted by anger, to assert that what we are being baited with is just insanity, we will easily (sometimes easily) turn aside.   And what we are viewing is insanity, but it is also a call for help and for love.  The Holy Spirit will teach us this, if we will let Him.  And nobody responds to a call for help with anger.  A call for help is a piteous call, and deserves our sympathy.

4 – Our World Will Smooth Out

If we do well with these ideas, our world will smooth out.  It is when we attack in response that the trouble starts, for we have set up a situation in which baiting happens between ourselves, and our brothers and sisters.

5 – Do Not Respond to a Bait

We would respond to no bait today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

If we believe in the split or separation from God only when we are in attack mode, then it does behoove us to get out of that mode.  Forgive me if irritation arises today, or if a significant other tempts me to attack, or if I am just in a bad mood and feel like venting.  None of this is in Your Will, and I would live Your Will, though I am human and will always make mistakes that You can lead me to correct.

Be with me to stay in harmony and calm–and joy!–today.  If the individuals I see are having a bad day, help me to stay serene and to do what I can to make that day better.  My own attack, added to theirs, would lead us all down the thorns of the egoistic pathway.  Nobody needs that.

Be with me as this day plays out.  Help me to get enough rest so that I am not as likely to fall into poor ways of behaving.  Keep me in Your care, and lead me to the sure pathway that is happiness in You.

Amen.

Overcome Misery / Find Lasting Happiness

“‘Seek but do not find’ remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise.  (M-13.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would seek and find, not the reverse.”

Reflections:

1 – We Find Only to Lose

We do not ever really “find” anything permanent in this world, when we are following this world’s dictates.  We find only to lose, later on–sometimes immediately, sometimes delayed.  Does this make any sense?  Would we follow the world’s dictates when we are sure to be losers in the process?

2 – Peace, Joy, Harmony, Tranquility

I think not.  We need to ask for the intangibles of God–the peace, joy, harmony, tranquility–and we will be richly rewarded.  We will know happiness, lasting happiness, for the first time indeed.  And happiness, according to A Course in Miracles, is a laudable goal.

3 – Egotism Leads to Misery

The ego is mixed up in this confusion.  Following the world’s dictates really means seeking for that which is egoistic.  And we know, by now, where that leads.  Straight to misery.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would find happiness in my daily round today.  I would keep in mind what You have led me to know:  the solution is always with the problem.  When I tell myself this, my mid calms down, and I can think–not worry.  And then the answers come.  May I live out this understanding in all that I do and say and even think today.

I would not be miserable, which I view as actually an affront to You.  You have should me much, and would I reject that knowledge in a low point of mind?  Emotions play tricks on us all too often, and I would choose the harmony that only Love can give.  Help me to be consistent today in my good humor.  Help me find time to laugh, to enjoy Your world.

Thank You.

Amen.

Hope of Heaven / Remembrance of God’s Love

“Yet he must rejoice that he is free of all the sacrifice its values would demand of him.  To them he sacrifices all his peace.  To them he sacrifices all his freedom.  And to possess them must be sacrificed his hope of Heaven and remembrance of his Father’s Love.  Who in his sane mind chooses nothing as a substitute for everything?  (M-13.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would value the valuable only.”

Reflections:

1 – The Ego

This passage is about the ego and its supposed benefits in following it.  What a mistake we make when we try to follow the ego.  We are cast down as often as we experience ecstasy, and the ecstasy is always short-lived.  This is the way that we are, ever so gently, taught that the ego is not “the way.”  We, in harmony with the Holy Spirit, have found a new way that will benefit in far greater dimensions.

2 – This World = A Dream

We do not see that this world is a dream, and, while it may be a pleasant dream at times, it is still a dream.  The Holy Spirit beings us happy dreams (from the Workbook), so that when we are finally ready for Awakening, we will not be scared of it.

3 – Sacrifice

Sacrifice is a notion totally rejected by A Course in Miracles.  And well it should be.  Our
world has been a place where most people thought that sacrifice for others was a virtue.  Not so, according to A Course in Miracles.  We do not have to give up anything to do right by our brothers and sisters.  We will all be cared for.

4 – Don’t Make This World Important

When we make this world too important to us, we do sacrifice, though.  We sacrifice our happiness and hope for ever-increasing joy to a dubious, impossible dream.  We do this injustice to ourselves when we follow the ego instead of the Holy Spirit.

5 – Follow Our Guide

May we follow the right Guide today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do rejoice that I am getting the madness out, the madness that all of us, to one extent or another, have while in this world.  I would not choose the insanity of the ego anymore.  Help me to be true to this declaration.

Be good to me today.  It will be a busy day, and I want to promise to You that I will not forget my prayers to You.  Be with me as I seek to follow my Guide.

Amen.

Glimpse the Face of Christ

“Does one whose vision has already glimpsed the face of Christ look back with longing on a slaughter house?  No one who has escaped the world and all its ills looks back on it with condemnation.  (M-13.4)”

Affirmation:  “I would see Christ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Vivid Language

With particular vivid language, this passage shows some of the negative view of our world as we live it.  But not with condemnation.  Jesus is compassionate always, and here he is expressing concern but not negativism.  He is telling it like it is.

2 – Awakening

We will escape the world when we have experienced Awakening, even though we may still be living in this world.  When material things no longer beckon us, as the ego wishes, we will be a long way toward home in God.

3 – Meaning of Glimpsing the Face of Christ

We need to understand glimpsing the “face of Christ.”  It is said elsewhere in ACIM that Jesus saw the face of Christ in all his brothers (and sisters, because the word “brother” includes women and is coming from the sixties, when ACIM was channeled) and remembered God.  We may find this miracle happening sooner rather than later, but only, perhaps, as a glimpse.  The insight will not last, for miracles are perceptual, and therefore do not last (a Text tenet).  When we experience this miracle more often and for longer periods of time, I would believe that we are inching closer to Awakening (Enlightenment).

4 – See This World with Clear Eyes

We do live in a “slaughter house.”  But we do not often realize this, for we have become accustomed to the maiming and killing.  We need, perhaps, to see the world with clear eyes so that we will be ever more motivated to leave–not through death, but through a higher vision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose to look on all my brothers and sisters today while seeking to glimpse the face of Christ in them.  I remember a friend once saying to me that we are meant to see the fact of Christ in everyone.  Certainly Jesus has this view as well.  May I too come to have this view, this understanding.

Be with me as I go through the day.  Help me not to take offense at anything that might happen.  Help me to live Your way.

Be with my brothers and sisters, especially those who are struggling today.  The struggle is temporary, for A Course in Miracles notes that the solution is always with the problem.  But we don’t have see this, and so the solution eludes us.  May the solution of any thorny problems that others and I have today appear right away.  I do know that this is Your way.

Thank You for bringing me this far through this world.  And may I give something back to everyone with whom I form a bond of any nature.

Amen.

Commune with God = Immediately Feel Better

“Who can escape this self-condemnation?  Only through God’s Word could this be possible.  For self-condemnation is a decision about identity, and no one doubts what he believes he is.  He can doubt all things, but never this.  (M-13.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would foster self-acceptance.”

Reflections:

1 – Acceptance

We condemn ourselves when we fail to understand that God’s Word would give us freedom.  It is perhaps a paradox that we don’t understand, and it is born of the separation that only apparently happened.  The separation never actually happened in fact, but only in illusion, in the dreams in which we are caught.  And we condemn ourselves for supposedly rejecting God.  We recognize, however dimly, that it is our acceptance of God and His blessings that we are ever truly at peace and happy, joyous.

2 – Reject God?

We think that we have rejected our Maker, and to prove this rejection, we don’t communicate with Him.  We pray only when in dire straits, the foxhole prayers.  This is, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles, a most unnatural habit that we have taught ourselves.  We are meant to commune with our Maker, and it is God who made us, not we ourselves.  We tend to forget this when we are being especially egotistical, and therefore especially caught by the ego.  But we can learn a better means of living.  We can return to frequent communion with God and His Voice, the Holy Spirit, and as soon as we make the choice for this return, we will immediately, sooner rather than later, feel better.  Our lives will immediately smooth out, and we will feel love again.  We will reach out easily to our brothers and sisters, and we will accept ourselves as having made mistakes, but none that cannot be forgiven.  Note that God does not forgive (an ACIM tenet), because he has never condemned.  It is only with self-condemnation that we are concerned in today’s passage.

3 – Gentleness

Be kind to yourself today.  We need the strength of gentleness, for it is only with gentleness that ACIM becomes easy to accept, salvation become easy to experience.  Be rid of the insanity of self-condemnation, and all will be well again in our little worlds.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would stay close to You today.  I am certain that when days go awry, it is because I have not been close enough to You.  Perhaps my sense of guilt, because of the ego, has come alive, and so I think that I am not worthy.  But I am Your child, and You do love me.  I have ample evidence of this love in the blessings of my life.  And even if those blessings were withheld, I would know that You are there for me, carrying me.  Thank You for this parable of the way things really are, retold by Hugh Prather.

I would commune today with You, even when my mind is on other things.  You do not expect conscious constant contact.  You know that we have busy minds  (perhaps too busy), and that we have many things that we have to do in this world.  May we think of You just a little more often, and in the thinking may we understand that it is You Who created us, not we ourselves.

I know that I will feel better today if I follow these goals.  Be with me when I forget.  I may forget You, but please, don’t You forget me.

Amen.

How Do I Discover Happiness?

“Once this confusion has occurred, it becomes impossible for the mind to understand that all the ‘pleasures’ of the world are nothing.  But what a sacrifice,–and it is sacrifice indeed!–all this entails.  Now has the mind condemned itself to seek without finding; to be forever dissatisfied and discontented; to know not what it really wants to find.  (M-13.3)”

Affirmation:  “The ‘pleasures’ of the world are nothing.”

Reflections:

1 – Ego

The passage for today highlights the manner in which the ego has us by the throat.  We “seek without finding” and we are “forever dissatisfied and discontented.”  Does this not characterize our journey here when we are seeking after something that, in retrospect, we identify as ego-identified?

2 – Happiness

We would not let the mind behave in such a way, if we would know happiness–and happiness is one of the functions that A Course in Miracles gives to us.  We reach this happiness by forgiveness, the one function is this world that cannot be turned against us.  It always works.  But we do not pardon or forgive “real sins,” as there is no such thing.  We know, once we have studied ACIM, that our “sins” are actually mistakes for which we would seek a remedy, a correction.  We are only attracted to correcting the mistake; we are not drawn, as with “sins,” to repeat the sin.

3 – Ego = Leads to Strife and Fury

We would not live in unhappy circumstances.  And if we follow the ego, this strife and fury are exactly what we will find.

4 – Our Better Way

Turn today from such insanity.  Do not allow the mind to become confused.  Our way, as pointed out in ACIM, is the way that leads to happiness, quiet, and calm.  And these will be our goals when we have assimilated ACIM through and through our minds and hearts.

5 – The Ego Is Constantly Being Undone

If we reflect upon it, we will know that the joys of this world are matched by equal lows.  The ego is constantly being undone, and it is our will, as well as God’s, that this undoing occur.  We cannot live a free life with a constrained will, an imprisoned will.  And that imprisoned will is exactly what obeying the ego commands.  We would be free, and the only freedom is in becoming aware and certain that what God wills, and what our real will is, are identical.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Happiness in this world does not mean that we give up all the pleasures of this world.  There are many pleasures that are in complete accord with what Jesus is saying.  If we felt that we were called to give up all pleasures, what would lead us to seek his way?  Your Way, though, gives me the understanding that the egoic influence upon things of this world is misguided.  So the power plays of this world do need to disappear from our thinking.  Help this to happen for me today.

May I enjoy the pleasures that are perfectly in line with A Course in Miracles.  These are better called “joys” rather than “pleasures.”  These joys give us a peace beyond compare.  We are no longer attracted to drama for its own sake, and our days smooth out as a result.  We find that the people in our lives seem to be behaving better.  We do not find so much about which to complain.  And so naturally we live with more ease.

I would not give up pleasures, but I would transform them.  And in the transformation is all that You would seek for me.  You would enable me to find happiness, as Jesus has given “happiness” as one of our functions.

Amen.

Power, Fame, Money, Physical Pleasure = Meaningful to Body

“It takes great learning both to realize and to accept the fact that the world has nothing to give.  What can the sacrifice of nothing mean?  It cannot mean that you have less because of it.  There is no sacrifice in the world’s terms that does not involve the body.  Think a while about what the world calls sacrifice.  Power, fame, money, physical pleasure; who is the ‘hero’ to whom all these things belong?  Could they mean anything except to a body?  (M-13.2)”

 

Affirmation:  “I need sacrifice nothing.”

Reflections:

1 – The World Has Nothing to Offer

Most of us do not really yet believe that the world has nothing to offer.  We are still that much caught up in the ego.  As long as we are egocentric, we will seek for power, fame, physical pleasure.  But when the ego has withered, at least a little, we will instead seek the intangibles of God–the love, joy, peace, tranquility, calm, quiet.  And we can be happy in this world, so long as we are not chasing rainbows of materialism.  God wants our material needs satisfied also, but if we devote ourselves only to the material, we lose out on so much more.

2 – Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

And we do find in this world the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  The reason for the happy dreams is that we would be too terrified by the sudden appearance of Awakening.  A gentler dream needs to precede Awakening.  And so we are prepared carefully for the great blessing of Awakening.

3 – Patience

It does take great learning to accept these ideas.  And it takes patience to assimilate them.  Teachers must repeat their lessons until they are learned, and Jesus himself has set the precedent for this in the Text, when he said that nothing that we do or make, etc., creates our worth.  Our worth is given us by God.

4 – Heaven on Earth

So do we write off the world and escape into some otherworldly heaven?  I think not.  We can experience heaven on earth, but we have to meet the conditions, which involve an egoless experience.  So long as we are fueled by the ego, we will know vicissitudes of joy and sorrow in an alternating fashion.  And the guilt that the ego would drive us to would be hell indeed.  (Elsewhere the Text affirms that guilt is hell.)

5 – Values Will Change

We seek to enjoy God’s intangibles and to love our brothers and sisters (as well as ourselves, which is necessary for all love to proceed from us).  We do not need to sacrifice anything that is truly good.  Our values will change as we walk farther along the pathway to God.  And we will not seek the inferior values that all too often are present in this world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am extremely grateful that, after studying A Course in Miracles for a long time, I can honestly say to You that the pleasures of this world do not mean as much to me as they once did.  I am not above wanting pleasures of this world, but it is more important to me to know Your peace, joy, harmony, and calm.  Thank You for walking with me far enough along the pathway to You that I have made this shift in my values.

May I be understanding if others do not share this concept.  It takes a long while to understand that this world does not really offer anything that is lasting, and only the lasting is the eternity that we all seek, whether we know it or not.  May my walk into eternity today include my brothers and sisters, and may I not make demands upon them that they are not yet ready to accommodate.

Amen.

Oneness = Only Non-Dream

“Unity alone is not a thing of dreams.  And it is this God’s teachers acknowledge as behind the dream, beyond all seeming and yet surely theirs.  (M-12.6)”

Affirmation:  “unity”

Reflections:

1 – We Are All One

We are all One, with each other and with God.  This is the understanding of unity that I take from an interpretation of A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love similarly stresses unity also, as well as relationships with our brothers and sisters.

2 – Elements of the Real World

We are caught in a dream (ACIM tenet), an illusion.  But there are elements of reality, the real world, in what we experience.  And unity, as well as relationship, are elements of the real world.  We will experience unity and relationship to a much greater extent when we have experienced Awakening.

3 – Unity Is behind the Dream

If we know that unity is behind the dream, we have ample reason to rest easy.  There is nothing that we need to worry about.  God is underneath all, and we are His children.  The unity is behind all “seeming,” as we are told here, and we do not have to worry about “seeming.”  We are protected.

4 – Harold Kushner

What about the bad things that happen to “good” people, as Harold Kushner has said in his book by the same title?  We are told in the Workbook that healing always occurs when it is asked for, but there may be lingering symptoms and we may not be ready to accept the healing.  These are hard passages to understand, because we are bidden not to deny inappropriately, but still to realize that the continuance of symptoms does not mean that healing has not occurred.  The healing will be there when we are ready to accept it.

5 – Healing Is Always Here

And there is both emotional healing and physical healing, and sometimes the emotional is the most important.  That is the ultimate truth of ACIM, that healing is always here.  We may be right with God with an emotional healing.  Moreover, the illness for which we seek healing may be the individual’s way to die.  It may not be appropriate in such cases to cry for a healing.  Most of us in today’s world do choose to leave for the Other Side through an illness or disease.  Advanced teachers of God, we are told in ACIM, may just lay their body aside when its usefulness is over, but not everybody is advanced–yet.  Time, which does not really exist, separates the student from the teacher.  So all will reach the Awakening eventually, though that time may take millions of years (just as the separation also extended over millions of years).  (These latter points are paraphrases from the Text.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I revel in Your goodness today.  This day has started so well, and I pray that this will continue.  When I am reassured that healing is always an aspect of our life on earth, then I am reassured also that no matter what comes, all is well.  Be with my significant others.  Thank You that as of today, everybody close to me is well.  And may my faith not be shaken if this is not always the experience that I have.

We live in a dream, but unity is not a thing of dreams.  We live in unity, as One with each other, and in relationship, as we experience the various parts of ourselves that others embody.  Help me to carry this paradox in my mind and heart.  Be with me as a I seek to convey these paradoxes to other people.  May the intuitive truth light upon the minds and warm the hearts of the individuals who read this blog.  

Amen.

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

“God’s teachers choose to look on dreams a while.  It is a conscious choice.  For they have learned that all choices are made consciously, with full awareness of their consequences.  The dream says otherwise, but who would put his faith in dreams once they are recognized for what they are?  Awareness of dreaming is the real function of God’s teachers.  (M-12.6)”

Affirmation:  “awareness of dreaming”

Reflections:

1 – The Degree of Insanity

We dream, but our progress back to God is either pleasant or unpleasant, depending on our degree of insanity in the dream.

2 – We Dream

To say “we dream” is to mean that are in an illusion, not the real world.  We live with an imprisoned will when we are caught by the ego, and all of us have experienced the bad times of the ego.  When we follow its guidance, we know pain and suffering.  We may know heights of joy, but these are eclipsed by an equal number of low points (a paraphrase from ACIM).  We would not choose to live a labile life, when we know better how to live.

3 – “Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

The better way is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Who changes the kind of thinking that we do.  We start attracting a better life, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  And we know a quiet peace that heretofore may have been unwelcome to ourselves.  In fact, in ACIM we learn that being “perfectly calm and quiet” all the time is to be expected as we reach home.

3 – The Real World = A Condition of Mind

The real world is not easily identified, but it is the condition of mind that we enjoy when we are almost ready gor Awakening, when God Himself metaphorically reaches down and lifts us up.  We know happiness, which ACIM says is our function.

4 – Insane World

When we know that we are dreaming in an insane world, we will not be upset by what we see.  We will know that it is all illusion.  We will empathize with our brothers and sisters who are caught in pain, but we will  not overdo our sympathy, lest we contribute to making pain part of their self-image (a paraphrase from ACIM).

5 – Have a Better Day

Let us be aware of dreaming today.  And, with that, a better day is set before us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a better day today, ever better, day by day.  Thank You for the many blessings conferred upon me so recently.  When I am unsure of what to do, I just need to listen to guidance.  And the Answer will come, unfailingly, into my mind.  A Course in Miracles promises this; You promise this.  The Holy Spirit fulfills His role splendidly.

Be with me today in my dream of what life can offer.  May I know the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.  And may I move ever closer to Awakening, an Awakening that will be sustained.

Thank You.

Amen.

A Holy Body

“Use it to bring the Word of God to those who have it not, and the body becomes holy.  Because it is holy it cannot be sick, nor can it die.  When its usefulness is done it is laid by, and that is all.  The mind makes this decision, as it makes all decisions that are responsible for the body’s condition.  Yet the teacher of God does not make this decision alone. . .God’s Voice will tell him when he has fulfilled his role, just as It tells him what his function is.  He does not suffer either in going or remaining.  Sickness is now impossible to him.  (M-12.5)”

Affirmation:  “the Word of God”

Reflections:

1 – The Ideal

This is the ideal.  And not all of us can reach it.  This passage says that the body does not get sick; but our body gets sick.  And sometimes we suffer.

2 – We Are Still Children

This passage gives us a goal toward which to reach.  It does not mean that we have failed if we do not reach it.  As has been said, would you blame a child in kindergarten for not being able to master graduate school work?  We are such a child.

3 – God’s Voice

But what we can do, as has often found its way into this blog, is to listen to God’s Voice in our daily lives.  We can intuit what to say or do next.  We do have some control over how we view sickness.  We can frequently prevent pain from turning into suffering, just by our attitude.

4 – The Body Will Become Holy

If we follow the way pointed out in A Course in Miracles, the body will become holy.  This happens when the only use toward which we put the body is communication.  And we communicate what the Holy Spirit has told us as an inner Guide.  We do not ever make decisions alone:  Either we listen to the ego or we listen to our Guide, the Holy Spirit (an ACIM tenet).  Until we truly listen to the Holy Spirit, we are not often aware that we actually have been seeking advice of the ego.  This egoic bent is what we have been used to following.  But we can change.

5 – Listen to Our Guide

Listen to our Guide today.  See what a difference this change makes in in the day that we have.  And then thank God for this change.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day be a glorious one!  I thank You for the increased vitality I have as summer gets underway in a big way.  Help me to appreciate this warm weather, not to rail against it.  Your seasons in this world are a blessing to us.

Be with us in the United States as we celebrate Independence Day today.  Thank You that we are still friends with our British friends.  May we recognize that all of us are One on this earth, and just as the British forgave us for departing, we must look to today’s world for the times that wars have happened, noting forgiveness as a lodestone.

Amen.

The Purpose of the Body

“Yet what makes God’s teachers is their recognition of the proper purpose of the body.  As they advance in their profession, they become more and more certain that the body’s function is but to let God’s Voice speak through it to human ears.  (M-12.4)”

Affirmation:  “Let me listen to God’s Voice today.”

Reflections:

1 – Body for Communication

This passage identifies the theme that I brought up yesterday:  The body is meant for communication.  We allow the Holy Spirit to determine what we will say, when we will say it, and to whom.  Anything else is likely to be the ego, which still has a toehold in most of us.

2 – Salvation

Salvation is seen to be the profession of teachers of God (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  Such an exalted profession can lead to egotism, though, and this we do not want.  We are merely instruments in the Hands of the Holy Spirit, Who is God’s Voice.  May we remain not arrogant, but humble in the carrying out of our duties as we see them.  May nothing we do or say or think encourage the egoic.

3 – Guidance

As teachers of God continue their profession, they become more certain that the only (yes, the only) thing that they have to do is to follow the guidance that comes to them moment by moment.  If we are too involved with daily life to “listen” moment by moment, then Jesus says elsewhere that we are to ask for guidance at any time that we can.  This is the practical nature of A Course in Miracles.

4 – Body Not an Adornment

The body is not meant to be an adornment, but that is, all too often, the function that this world has given it.  This does not mean that we cease caring for our appearance (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We would do well to be presentable in our daily lives, reaching out in a way that does not offend anyone.  But, as always, we must be true to ourselves.  And more and more we see that being true to ourselves is being true to God, for His Will is the real will of ourselves as well (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not allow my body to intrude today where I do not want it.  I do not want it in order to make others envious.  I do not want it for adornment, for a bracelet that simply enhances the wrist.  I want the body to be mine for communication with my brothers and sisters.  Help me to know how to have this single-minded function for my body.

Be with me as I walk through the day.  You would have us to look well, but not to be prideful of our appearance.  May I listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit today.

Amen.

Psychic Ways to Hear God’s Voice

“Only very few can hear God’s Voice at all, and even they cannot communicate His messages directly through the Spirit which gave them.  They need a medium through which communication becomes possible to those who do not realize that they are spirit.  A body they can see.  A voice they understand and listen to, without the fear that truth would encounter in them.  (M-12.3)”

Affirmation:  “Only very few can hear God’s Voice at all.”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Voice

As time has gone by, I think that more and more of us can hear God’s Voice.  The Voice is that of the Holy Spirit, and following His guidance is seen by A Course in Miracles as the way out of the maze that we have made for ourselves.  His Voice shows us the way home, the way toward not only salvation but also Awakening.

2 – Bodies = for Communication

We are told elsewhere that we are to use our bodies only for communication, that we will learn that others can be reached through our words and our actions.  If we use our bodies to evoke jealousy, attack, anger, resentment, we are using our bodies amiss.

3 – The Voice of a Brother/Sister

We are not normally afraid of another’s body.  We do not fear what another says to us or does to us, in the normal sequence of events.  (We may fear another’s anger and attack, and this is entirely human.)  But if we suddenly heard interior voices, without preparation, we would be in the same situation that the scribe of ACIM, Helen Schucman, was in when she heard, “This is a course in miracles.  Please take notes.”  So often we do not hear internally, but through the medium of another human being’s voice.  And our fears are silenced.

4 – Internal Directives

As time goes by, we will “hear” internal directives.  These may come in a variety of ways, some that we recognize as “psychic” (as the world calls them).  We may receive guidance through what is commonly known as intuition; we may pick up easily on a friend’s casual comment, the one that seems just meant for ourselves and our present situation; we may run across what is to us a particularly significant passage in a book (especially A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love).

5 – Are We Insane?

Does this make us different, somehow, from those who have been categorized as mentally ill?  Perhaps.  ACIM declares that all of us are insane to a degree, because we live in a world that is impossible and also mad.  Those who are psychotic may hear voices, and so with our own situation, we need to be especially discerning.  If a “voice” ever counsels harm in any way, then this is definitely not Love speaking.  My personal interpretation is that we can ask, “Is this from Love?,” when we hear a locution, and if the answer is “no,” then we would be wise to refrain from any action.  And even if we think that we are acting from a message from Love, we may still be mistaken.  After all, we are human.

6 – Testing Locutions

So testing out our locutions (internally heard voices) and intuition does seem mandatory.  The world has suffered greatly from those who thought that they were following God’s Will, only to learn that their actions were perceived by others in this world as anything but loving.

7 – Will the End Be Loving?

Be careful of what you perceive through “psychic” means.  ACIM is quite comfortable with the psychic, as described in the Manual, but, as with anything that comes upon us that is new, we need to be careful the end will be loving.  And that the means are not detrimental to anyone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the times in which my psychic messages have given me insight and kept me on Your pathway.  I would not make mistakes, listening to my ego and thinking that it is divine guidance.  Be with me as I test out my thoughts about what has come to me via a sixth sense.  Don’t let me get carried away.

Thank You for the knowledge, and I know that it is knowledge, that You have shown me throughout my life.  I also know that my perceptions have sometimes, perhaps frequently, been wrong.  Help me to know the difference between knowledge and perception.  Let me drop the ego’s perceptions from my list of accustomed actions.  I would let the ego wither away.  And I know that the ego can be very wily, even when I am trying to follow Your Way.  Perhaps particularly when I an trying to follow Your Way.

I do appreciate the psychic that has improved my mood, given me insight, and led me closer to You.  Let me not take pride in any messages that come to me by psychic means, for this is surely evidence that the ego has taken ascendancy again.  Be with me in discernment, so that I walk Your pathway and Yours alone.

Amen.

The Son of Man Becomes the Son of God

“Thus does the son of man become the Son of God.  It is not really a change; it is a change of mind.  Nothing external alters, but everything internal now reflects only the Love of God.  (M-12.1)”

Affirmation:  “I ask for a change of mind today.”

Reflections:

1 – Too Good to Be True?

The state of mind which is described in today’s passage may sound too good to be true, too ideal to be a realistic, practical change of mind.  But we have A Course in Miracles to study, giving us the means for Awakening (from the Text).

2 – The Gender Problem

Of course, “son” and “Son” include the feminine also.  In the sixties, when Helen Schuman and Bill Thetford worked together to bring ACIM to the world, the masculine gender was taught in schools to be inclusive language that also included women.  This had changed by the seventies, and a sticking point for many younger individuals have been turned off by the masculine terminology.  But this is a straw issue.  The Bible also uses the masculine in most available translations and paraphrases.  We should not let this difference cause us any concern.

3 – Reflect the Love of God

Going back to the passage again, if the internal part of us could reflect only the Love of God, would we not have the Awakening that we seek?  Most of us can aspire to this ideal, but very few of us have actually sustained Awakening.  Before sustainability, we will know glimpses of Awakening, periods of time that show us the way that will eventually open to us.  In the meantime, we dwell with our feet on earth.

4 – A Goal for Today

To reflect the Love of God is a goal that all of us can seek to embody daily.  When we fall from these heights, we can ask forgiveness of ourselves and others, and we can try again.

5 – An Even Keel

There is no other way.  We walk the mundane paths of this world until we know the joy that Jesus would have us know on a sustained basis.  Let us reach for the stars even as we keep our minds and hearts on the even keel of a person seeking to allow the ego to wither away.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would reflect the love of God today.  I would turn from petty problems that disturb me, to an all-encompassing thankfulness that my life is actually going so well.  If I can keep from letting the ordinary stress of life bother me, I will be in the right frame of mind to express the love that I feel God wants me to express.

May we not be disturbed by the male-female problem in terminology of A Course in Miracles.  The sixties were an era, now long ago, in which this scribing took place.  And people thought differently about language then.  In reality, we do not have to let straw issues disturb us.  Jesus is inclusive of women as well as men.

May the day go well.  May we enjoy the peace of a sunny day.  May we know that sunny days remind us of love, and lead us to think of love.  I would think of love today.

Amen.

Turn Hell to Heaven

“Peace now belongs here, because a Thought of God has entered.  What else but a Thought of God turns hell to Heaven merely by being what it is?. . .It is no longer, ‘Can peace be possible in this world?’ but instead, ‘Is it not impossible that peace be absent here?’  (M-11.4)”

 

Affirmation:  “May I see peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – Heaven on Earth

We are well-informed in A Course in Miracles that we can know Heaven on earth.  We do not deny the reverse that our physical eyes show us, but we recognize what is real and what is not.  We know that the intangibles of God, the Thought of God, is real.  The peace, the joy, the patience, the contentment. . . .Everything that is not a synonym of peace is an illusion, because we are living a dream (ACIM tenets).

2 – Peace

When we experience a Thought of God, we know that peace is meant to follow our footsteps wherever we go.  We can be mistaken in thinking a given thought is actually a Thought of God, but mistakes can be corrected.  We do not arrogantly determine that we are understanding God’s Mind, for we are not ready for this.  We humbly take what we are given, and we give thanks for it.  Then we realize that peace is indeed home in our world.

3 – Pain and Suffering

What of the pain and suffering, the terrors and war, that engulf our world?  We can make a difference, and when we pray for guidance, we will be directed what difference it is that we are to make–what our particular part in the cosmic drama is meant to be.  Until we know that much, we walk a dimly lit path.

4 – Save This World

Ask today for your part in God’s plan to save the world.  The Holy Spirit will respond, and, we can imagine, in our anthropomorphic way, that He is glad that we asked.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would do today what I can best do to help the individuals around live a good life.  I know that I do not experience Heaven on earth consistently, but this blessing happens more frequently than it did when I was in my early adult years.  I knew when to be contented with what I had, because I had gone “without” for so long.  I thank You now that I discovered ACIM so early, in my mid-thirties, and that its tenets have guided me to happiness many times over.

Be with all of us as we seek to learn A Course in Miracles.  When we fill our minds with ACIM‘s glorious words, we edge out defeatism, and we find ourselves attracting better and better things.  These things do not have to be materialistic only; they certainly can be emotional joys that provide us with a gentle happiness that no bad occurrence in our world can long overcome.  Thank You for leading me to this understanding.

If we attract Jesus’s blessings, we do so because we have accepted the non-dualism of his world.  We no longer seek for what will actually harm, seeking in ignorance precipitated by egoistic thinking.  I would let the ego wither even more today, leading me ever closer to Awakening on a consistent basis.

Be with me as I seek to do for the significant others in my life the things that they need me to do.  This has been a hard week, for personal reasons, but You know those personal reasons.  And I wish to continue to see improvement in the individuals with whom I share my life.

Amen.

Finding Our Way to Peace

“Peace is impossible to those who look on war.  Peace is inevitable to those who offer peace.  (M-11.4)”

Affirmation:  “I choose peace today.”

Reflections:

1 – A Long Time Ago

Early on in my study of A Course in Miracles I selected this passage as an affirmation.  I typed it out and posted it at my office desk, just in front of my eyes on my bulletin board.  And such peace the passage gave me.  I was in a work environment that was not well-suited to me because there were political battles raging daily.  Perhaps you too have found yourself in such a place.  I determined that I would seek to carry out the advice in this passage at work, to my very best ability.  And, while the environment did not appreciably change, I found a way to find a more congenial environment.  The higher administration wrote to me, when I resigned, that I had been a “positive force” in the workplace.  This in itself seemed to be evidence that these two statements in the passage for the day really do work when worked.  We can effect change, even when we are not aware that anybody is noticing.

2 – A Summary

So the passage becomes as follows:

Look on war = peace impossible
Offer peace = peace inevitable

3 – Serene and Untroubled Mind

So this passage becomes motivation to live out our days with a serene and untroubled mind.  We are not so perfect, though, that we will never get upset.  But we will not entertain anger and attack.  We will entertain peace.  And the difference that this change of attitude will bring to our lives is incalculable.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the ease with which this day has gone.  I do know that I want to offer peace to those I encounter.  And so conflict and “war” do not have to be my fate.  Help me to remain true to this determination, this will to follow Your dictates.

Thank You for being with me today.  The stress that all of us encounter has ended, for me, today, and for that I am especially grateful.

Amen.

Happily Lay Judgment Down

“It is not difficult to relinquish judgment.  But it is difficult indeed to try to keep it.  The teacher of God lays it down happily the instant he recognizes its cost.  All of the ugliness he sees about him is its outcome.  All of the pain he looks upon is it result.  All of the loneliness and sense of loss; of passing time and growing hopelessness; of sickening despair and fear of death; all these have come of it.  And now he knows that these things need not be.  (M-10.6)”

 

Affirmation:  “I would relinquish judgment today.”

Reflections:

1 – Pain = Caused by Judgment

Today’s passage from the Manual of A Course in Miracles continues the theme of judgment.  It makes clear that our pain is a direct result of the judgment in which we have been engaged.   The negative ramifications are indeed dire.  We need to give up judgment.  It comes close to being mandatory, though ACIM does not make this direct statement.

2 – Review Today’s Passage Frequently

If we could avoid all pain by giving up judgment, is this not an end result that we would want?  Indeed, yes.  If we could avoid the fear of death by giving up judgment, would we not rush to such a remedy?  Today’s passage says this and much more.  It would be a good passage to return to over and over, when our resolve falters and we find that the ego has intruded, with our judgment being an unwelcome result.

3 – Judgment vs. Evaluation

Judgment and evaluation are different.  I used to wonder, when doing peer evaluations in my work, if I were actually judging.  I was not sure that judgment and evaluation were different.  But now I recognize that an evaluation, done in the spirit of incomplete knowledge, is a technique of management in the work environment.  We do not have to make emotional and negative attitudes a part of our evaluation.  When we have invited the strongly emotional and the negative, we have indeed switched into judgment.  Keep in mind that we cannot see the whole picture, the whole picture being reserved for the Holy Spirit.  So we walk tentatively when we try to evaluate our world, to determine what we need to say or do in regard to others with whom we live and work.  We know that we may be mistaken in our evaluations.  But, especially, we do not fault a person for poor performance in a judgmental way.  Using the term, “judgmental,” may be a clear way to discern the difference between judgment and evaluation.  We do not have to thrust our brothers and sisters away from us when we see poor performance.  Our cooperation with them is all that our evaluation ought to elicit from us.  Cooperation has been seen to be mightily superior to competition, though not everybody is able to accept this finding in the social sciences.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not judge past, present, or future today.  I would not judge anyone whom I think (just think, of course) has mistreated me.  This world is illusion, and there is no way of knowing what I personally did to bring on the attack.  

I would also note the difference between judgment and evaluation.  They are very different, and evaluation is a much more benign concept.  Our world does hinge on correct evaluation, though intuition is often the route that we would take to know how to frame an evaluation.

Thank You for the good way in which this day has begun.  May goodness come to all my brothers and sisters as well.

Amen.

Unburdened

“Now [i.e., after laying judgment now] can the teacher of God rise up unburdened, and walk lightly on.  Yet it is not only this that is his benefit.  His sense of care is gone, for he has none.  He has given it away, along with judgment.  He gave himself to Him Whose judgment he has chosen now to trust, instead of his own.  (M-10.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would walk lightly on.”

Reflections:

1 – No Judging

This passage is an amplification of yesterday’s passage.  With judgment relinquished, we are in a much better position to live the full life that we all desire.  We are not hemmed in by circumstances (an “imprisoned will,” as ACIM says), but are, at last, perfectly free and unencumbered.

2 – No Strain

This does not mean that we leave our responsibilities to our loved ones unmet.  But now there is no strain in helping others.  We love them, and, when needed and if asked, we help.  We do not withdraw, under any circumstances, just unto ourselves.  To do so would invite disaster.  The Text indicates that withdrawal is always best avoided.  We belong in this world, and part of this world includes our brothers and sisters.  We seek their good as well as our own.  And if they show any readiness to accept salvation, we reach out to them.  But we do not press ourselves upon them.  Some are not ready, and to thrust salvation on an unwilling brother or sister is to fail to appreciate and to respect their boundaries.

3 – Unburdened

What a joy it is to rise up “unburdened, and walk lightly on.”  We do not have cares, in the sense that we have previously had cares.  We know that the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or Christ-consciousness, if we have walked farther along the pathway) is sure.  We need only ask, be flexible in our response, and then say or do the thing that comes to us.

4 – Walk Well through the Day

Nor do we have to get compulsive about this.  Jesus says elsewhere in the Manual that to try to ask at every juncture is impractical, and that it is with the practical that this Course is most concerned.  If we set our wills toward the Holy Spirit upon awakening, ask His advice at pivotal junctures through the day, and forget not to thank Him at the conclusion of the day, our confidence will be well-placed (ACIM tenets).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk well through this day.  I would be more flexible than I was yesterday.  I find it is so easy to get something in mind, and to rush full steam ahead.  But that is not the way to follow guidance.  Be with me as I seek to follow my Guide, the Holy Spirit.

Relieve me of anxiety in this day.  If this type of pain intrudes, may I know that it is all illusion, and may I ask You for an emotional healing.  Be with all of us as we seek to live healthy, vigorous lives.

Thank You.

Amen.

When in Doubt

“Doubt is the result of conflicting wishes.  Be sure of what you want, and doubt becomes impossible.  (M-7.6)”

Affirmation:  “I am sure of what I want.”

Reflections:

1 – “When in Doubt, Don’t”

I have often said to myself, “When in doubt, don’t.”  While this may seem like a very laidback attitude to take toward actions being contemplated, it works for me.  My unconscious (not available to me) does seem to indicate when a given course of action is not to be taken.  Whether or not this is direct guidance from the Holy Spirit is a question in my mind.  Normally, I sense the Holy Spirit has an inner voice or an intuition, and this warning, “When in doubt, don’t,” seem somehow different.  A Course in Miracles says in today’s passage that I am feeling conflicting wishes, and, for me, this means that the course of action being contemplated may be way off-base.  So I choose not to follow the pathway that is beckoning, perhaps because the ego is involved at that moment.

2 – Conflicting Wishes

My conflicting wishes do suggest to me when not to pray for a given outcome.  I once wanted something very badly, but, with the exception of a span of two or three days, I never got the “green light” to pray for this outcome that I thought I wanted.  Now I know that my childhood and early adulthood did not prepare me for all that my desired outcome would have demanded.  I had personal challenges that would not have made this superficial, but intense, desire good for all involved.  I can report that I did not pray for that outcome, because the prohibition was direct and unequivocal.  And my life later took a turn that was far more suited for my talents and even my ambitions.

3 – God’s Will = Our Real Will

We do not really want things that are not in line with God’s Will.  We are told in A Course in Miracles that God’s Will and our will are identical, that the Holy Spirit choose for us.  The Holy Spirit knows all circumstances–past, present, and future–that will affect a given choice.  We have given up our judgment to Him, because He knows in a way that is impossible for us.  And when we have given up our judgment, we know peace.  The lamentable aspects of our world, we are told in the Manual, are present because judgment is so much a part of this world.  May we take the first tentative steps today away from personal judgment, and invite the Holy Spirit to lead our next step.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Right now I am in conflict.  So the action that I am thinking of taking may be wrong for me.  I am, over the years, tested out this reaction numerous times.  So let me be sure before I act.

Help me to have a good day.  There are many things on my agenda for this week, and the week seems daunting.  Yesterday was daunting as well, but all turned out to be just fine.  

May today be no less.

Amen.

The Unhealed Healer

“By accepting healing he can give it.  If he doubts this, let him remember Who gave the gift and Who received it.  Thus is his doubt corrected.  (M-7.3)”

Affirmation:  “I herewith accept healing for myself, and thus for others.”

Reflections:

1 – Warning for Teachers of God

The “unhealed healer” is a false notion that teachers of God who themselves know illness can still function without any additional help.  But it is not ourselves who are effecting the healing; it is the Holy Spirit, according to A Course in Miracles.  If we recognize that we are an unhealed healer, we must turn our uncertainties over to God.  He would not have us to witness falsely.

2 – Few Are Always Healthy

Few of us are healthy at all times and in all circumstances.  This is the very human fact of our life in this world.  But we can be healed, either physically, emotionally, or both, when we turn our predicament over to a Higher Power.  This is the way home for us.  This is the way that we can be of service to others.

3 – Symptoms = Seen in an Illusory World

When we accept our own healing, even if symptoms persist, we are well on our way to being channels for healing in others.  The symptoms, as we have said repeatedly, are not anything other than illusions, seen in an illusory world.  The Holy Spirit gives the gift of healing; we are only channels, a body that our brothers and sisters can see, a voice that they can hear.  And we do not understand all that is going on with others.  That is why we need to remember that the Holy Spirit does know all of the circumstances.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be healed myself, so that I might be a communication device for the Holy Spirit to heal others.  Being a device for communication is the only true use of the body.  And we are not to give the body undue importance in any way at all.

May I not be an “unhealed healer.”  That is a contradiction in terms; it is impossible.  May I not try to give to anybody else what only the Holy Spirit can deliver.  And may he heal my brothers and sisters today.

Amen.

Uncertainty in Healing = Fear and Hate

“Now [i.e., when the teacher of God doubts healing] the teacher of God has only one course to follow.  He must use his reason to tell himself that he has given the problem to One Who cannot fail, and must recognize that his own uncertainty is not love but fear, and therefore hate.  (M-7.2)”

Affirmation:  “The Holy Spirit cannot fail.”

Reflections:

1 – Fear Entertains Hate

This passage says something very solemn.  It says that when we are fearful, we are actually entertaining hate.  When stated so directly, nobody would want fear to intervene in his or her daily life.  We do not wish to hate.  What good could ever come from it?  Absolutely none.

2 – Uncertainty

Even so benign a concept as “uncertainty” leads down the path toward hate.  We who are seeking to be channels for healing of ourselves and others must believe absolutely in the Power upon which we are calling.  And the lingering appearance of symptoms of illness must not cause us to waver in our certainty that our prayer for healing has been heard, and acted upon.  The Self know more than the personal self.  The Holy Spirit does not fail to bring about anything upon which he focuses attention for the good.

3 – Holy Spirit

We use our reason for this understanding.  We believe solidly in the rightness of our belief in the Holy Spirit’s infallibility, and we do not waver in our certainty that healing will be received when it is wholly welcome.

4 – Suffering and Pain

To believe otherwise is to ask for suffering and pain to remain.

5 – Emotional Healing

I have come to accept an emotional healing as sometimes the best that we can know on this uncertain world.  But mental anguish is surely one of the worst parts of any illness.  When we turn ourselves, our bodies and minds, over to God, then do we know wellness.  The physical symptoms that may persist are not given ascendancy any longer by our minds, and we function much better.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know emotional healing today if physical is not in the cards.  I know that the healing, of some type, is there.  I thank You that my ailments over my lifetime, for the most part, and usually, have been minor.

Be with my brothers and sisters who suffer greatly.  May their courage remain high, and may they be grounded in the certainty that You walk with them.

Thank You.

Amen.

Can You Be a Channel for Healing?

“For a teacher of God to remain concerned about the result of healing is to limit the healing.

“Whenever a teacher of God has tried to be a channel for healing he has succeeded.  (M-7.1-2).”

Affirmation:  “I wish to be a channel for healing.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Doubt the Outcome

When we remain concerned about the results of our petition for healing, we are doubting the outcome.  And Jesus assures us that healing has happened, even when our eyes show us that the situation is unchanged.  We cannot doubt.  The Self has gotten involved, and the personal self will know wellness when completely ready for it.

2 – Don’t Offer Continuing Concern

Continuing concern about healing, or recovery from illness or sickness, in our world appears to be compassionate.  But Jesus in the Manual indicates otherwise.  Continuing concern that the healing has actually happened does limit the healing in ways that surely none of us fully understand.  This is one time that we just have to take Jesus at his word.

3 – Channels for Healing

To know that we can be channels for healing, and that we can succeed, is enormously liberating.  We do not have to appeal to faith on the ground that the healing has not occurred.  If we take Jesus at his word, the healing, at least on some level, has occurred when we have asked for it.  We cannot doubt without limiting our asking.

4 – To Be Received Openheartedly

May we seek to heal ourselves and others with a joyous spirit, confident that the healing will happen when it will be received openheartedly.  We do not have to doubt; indeed, we cannot doubt if we wish the healing to be received in any way other than a limited way.  Full release comes from full confidence in Jesus.  We are not healers, but through us the Holy Spirit can handle the situation with grace and ease.

5 – Living an Illusion

If the ideal of healing does not appear ever to be received, we fall back on the surety that we are living an illusion.  The inner Self always knows healing, and it is the personal self that lives in this world that knows illness, suffering, and death.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would experience today what the Self experiences, which is peace and healing.  If my personal (little) self wants to see something else, may I be let to know that this is a request for illusion.

Be with me today as I seek to follow Your way.  Healing will always come, when it is asked for.  Help me to rest on this assurance.

Thank You.

Amen.

Turn the Pain Over to God

“Healing will always stand aside when it would be seen as threat.  The instant it is welcome it is there.  (M-6-2)”

Affirmation:  “I welcome healing today.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Retain the Pain

We take a lot of interest in our physical and emotional health, perhaps especially when either is compromised.  The more interest we devote to pain, the more likely we may be to retain the pain.  But Jesus would not have it this way.  Yet he stands aside when that is our choice.

2 – Levels of Our Mind

We do not have access to all levels of our minds.  And it is this that seems to be implied in the passage for today.  We think we want healing, but do we really?  Are we getting something, some benefit, from our compromised health?  This is a question that all of us would do well to ponder as each new ailment rises on the horizon.

3 – Emotional Healing

The healing that will be there immediately may not be viewed by the physical eyes.  But all of us have known miraculous emotional healing when one turned the matter over to God.  We have seen this in ourselves, and we have seen this in others.  There is probably no exception to this miracle.  We have made emotional healing a priority, and we have admitted that we do not know how to bring it about.  So we turn it over, and, there, in a place that we do not often see, is the healing that we have prayed to have.

4 – The Best

Could we wish for anything less today for ourselves and others?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have emotional and physical healing, beginning immediately.  I do not ask in arrogance, but in humility.  You want me well; you want me to learn through rewards, not pain.  Let me leave any and all discomfort aside today.

Thank You that my health has always, with a few exceptions, been good.  As I grow older, I ask for the same.

Be with me today as I seek to walk Your pathway of healing, physical and emotional.

Thank You.

Amen.

Medication May Be Necessary

“Healing is always certain.  It is impossible to let illusions be brought to truth and keep the illusions.  (M-6.1)”

Affirmation:  “Healing is always certain.”

Reflections:

1- Healing Is Always Certain

The passage for today is the culmination of the thoughts that we having been walking toward in previous days.  Healing is always certain, even when we do not see it happening, even though the illness may lead to death.  The real Self has not been hurt by any pain or suffering.  The real Self is always above and beyond such imperfect happenings in our world.

2 – Miracles

When we realize that healing is always certain, we introduce the idea that a miracle can occur.  This may not be physical healing.  It may not be emotional, but perhaps emotional healing happens far more often than physical.  Jesus takes us where we are and then leads us farther down the pathway to wellness.  He also, as in the New Testament, wants to be certain that we truly desire healing.  We have to make that choice.

3 – Illness as a Way of Life

If we have chosen illness as a way of life, the Manual tells us that perhaps healing will have to wait, for our own protection.  We could become so depressed from a spontaneous healing that we could become suicidal.  And this nobody would wish, least of all, Jesus.

4 – Medication (Pills)

Many of us have chosen sickness as a way of life, and in such cases, pills can become the magic solutions that even Jesus does not denounce.  If we are very fearful, we may need a compromise approach to healing, a way to know that we ourselves did not heal ourselves (the ego would love to believe this).  We do not want fear to increase, because the ego is always strong when fear has reared its ugly head.  So we wait, confident that healing will come when it is truly welcome.  And a compromise approach that allows pills may be just what we need.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May the sequence of postings for the last few days be a way for all of us to understand the words of A Course in Miracles about sickness and healing.  These passages are uncompromising, that we choose sickness, and we choose whether we get well or not, including when we die.  But it is the larger Self that does the choosing.

Thank You for the better insight that almost comes unbidden.  I personally need to know when I have chosen an illness.  And I would not so choose again.

Be with my brothers and sisters in their sicknesses.  Let them get well, if it is the choice of their larger Self.

Amen.

We Are Living a Dream

“They [teachers of God] seek for God’s Voice in this brother who would so deceive himself as to believe God’s Son can suffer.  And they remind him that he did not make himself, and must remain as God created him.  They recognize illusions can have no effect.  (M-5.III.3)”

Affirmation:  “I remain as God created me.”

Reflections:

1 – Salvation

When we are trying to bring salvation to another, we must seek for the Voice for God in that other.  This Voice is another name for the Holy Spirit.  The Manual makes it clear that we are only separated from our brothers and sisters by time, and time does not really exist.  We can quickly fall from teacher to student by missteps, and often these missteps come because we have failed to listen to the Holy Spirit or Christ-consciousness (the latter is described in A Course of Love).

2 – When We Suffer

We are deceived when we are suffering, and similarly deceived are our brothers and sisters who are suffering.  This does not mean that we deny the sight of our physical eyes, but just that we recognize that what we are viewing is illusion, and therefore, ultimately, unreal (ACIM tenets).

3 – The Personal Self and the (Larger) Self

We are still as God created us.  We may have trouble understanding how this can be, when we see our failings and even our travails as evidence that we have fallen from greater heights.  But the real Self has not changed, and it is the essence of the personal self that is the Self (sometimes called the Christ).

4 – Illusions

We do not always recognize that illusions are, in fact, illusions.  We look with our physical eyes, and we empathize and sympathize with those whom we see as poor, suffering individuals.  This may in fact not be a hindrance to us, as long we ask for healing as soon as we recognize the need for it.  We may not see a physical change, and maybe not even an emotional one.  But the request for healing is always granted, and the healing will be received when the individual is ready for it (ACIM tenets).

5 – Not to Choose Healing

I should note that the view of A Course in Miracles is an ideal, and not all will experience healing.  Most of us choose an illness to cause our death at the end of our lifespan.  And then healing does not appear to have been received.  But who knows what remains beyond the veil of death?  We do not know, and we normally believe that life on the Other Side is free of illness, suffering, and pain.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Be with me as I continue my study of Jesus’s statements on sickness in A Course in Miracles.  I do not expect to understand fully; some things are veiled on this earth.  Be with me, though, as I try to understand.

I would choose physical and emotional healing today.  I would not knowingly choose illness.  Be with me in this choice.

I know that learning through rewards lasts, whereas learning through pain is only temporary.  ACIM tells me this.  May I learn through rewards today and every day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Turn Away from Death

“Very gently they [i.e., teachers of God] call to their brothers to turn away from death:  ‘Behold, you Son of God, what life can offer you.  Would you choose sickness in place of this?’ (M-5.III.2)”

Affirmation:  “I choose life.”

Reflections:

1 – How to Live

The way of A Course in Miracles is the way of living life in an extremely positive manner–full of joy for all that one’s day holds.  It is a way of gratitude for the goodness of God, the certainty that we are not alone in the universe, and the peace that living with guidance from the Holy Spirit or Christ-consciousness does bring.  Nothing negative has to be so viewed, even very bad things.  We are living an illusion, a dream.  We feel empathy for others who do not believe that life is meant to be good, and we do not blame them for any negative circumstances that arise.  But we ourselves choose the good for ourselves, and both ACIM and A Course of Love lead us down the lovely pathway to salvation and oneness with God.

2 – Gentleness

The change in our lives is known as soon as we fill our minds with the words of Jesus.  This knowledge automatically keeps us on the straight and narrow, and if we do stray, we immediately ask for forgiveness and walk a smooth path again.  This is a gentle way to live, and gentleness does attend the teacher of God (from the Manual).

3 – Sickness

We do not have to choose sickness, and neither do our brothers and sisters.  Sickness is not automatically eliminated from our lives, though; this would be unrealistic and impractical, and it is the practical with which A Course in Miracles is most concerned.  We must recognize that we have made the reality in which we find ourselves.  Some of us have chosen sickness as a learning device, though Jesus warns us in ACIM that pain offers a temporary bit of learning only.  And we do not have to learn through pain, though many of us choose to do so.

4 – The Self and Sickness

It is important to note that the Self is the part of our being that has chosen sickness.  That is ultimately why no credence is given herein to blaming the victim.

5 – The Personal Self

The personal (little) self that walks the way of the world does not normally choose sickness, unless there are benefits that come about from such a choice.  We may get a day off from work, to relax when we will not allow ourselves any relaxation without sickness.  We may get sympathy from our significant others, and perhaps they do not realize that this sympathy is reinforcing the pain–making us more likely to choose illness again in the future.

6 – No Suffering

We must live in such a way that suffering is eliminated from our lives.  This means that we are able to live above any pain that does occur.  By carefully rising above the pain, we do not turn it into suffering, and therein lies our release.  Then we are free, next time, to choose to learn through rewards, which Jesus says is the only lasting way to retain our learning.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would live well today, as You wish.  I would not worry needlessly and frantically.  I would turn to my Guide when I am tempted to overreact to something that seems negative.

Help me to find my way in peace today.  Staying in peace is Your way, and I would go Your way, with determination.

Amen.

Guilt, Sickness, Pain, Disaster, Suffering: Begone!

“The final outcome of this lesson [i.e., the insignificance of the body] is the remembrance of God.  What do guilt and sickness, pain, disaster and all suffering mean now?  Having no purpose, they are gone.  (M-5.II.4)”

Affirmation:  “My body is actually insignificant.”

Reflections:

1- The Ego’s View

A Course in Miracles notes that we all too often want things of the world that glorify the body.  These usually, though not always, are material things.  They may also be intangible, such as our bent toward wanting success in this world.  But do these things–beauty of the body, prestige, comfort, success–really mean anything to our Self, the part of us that is not a body at all?

2 – Negative Experiences

I think not.  We are inescapably in a body for the duration of our time on earth, although out-of-body experiences are sometimes reported.  When we put the body first in all things, we also invite negative experiences–the guilt, sickness, pain, disaster, suffering that are mentioned in the above passage from ACIM.

3 – Body = Communication

ACIM does not deny that the body exists, but ACIM does reconsider what it is best used for, and that greater reason is for communication from one individual to another.

4 – Jealousy

If we use the body for communication, we will not want to use it to create jealousy in others.  We will be benign in our use of the body, hurting nobody, including ourselves.  This is the real reason for physical expression at all.

5 – A Love/Hate Relationship

Most of us already have a love-hate relationship with our bodies.  We criticize their appearance, even when we are beautiful or handsome.  We are never satisfied.  Is not this primary evidence that the ego is in the ascendancy?  And would we have that?  Have not we come far enough along on the pathway to know that the ego will only wish disaster upon us?

6 – Health

Let us thank God for the health that we do enjoy, even when that health is impaired.  To the extent that we can still communicate with others, in some way, our bodies are important to our experience in this world.  And nothing more.  The body then becomes deemphasized in our own experience, and we look to the intangibles of God–the love, joy, peace, tranquility, strength–that are our birthright as children of God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would understand today that my body is my means of communication with my brothers and sisters.  I would not use it as a means to incite jealousy.  I would be gentle as I go about the world, realizing that my body is mine, but that there is more to me.  The body itself is illusion.

Thank You for these insights, which come from A Course in Miracles.  Thank You for the channeling of so wonderful a communication from Jesus to us.  May all find A Course in Miracles who are ready to appreciate what these books say.

Amen.

Does ACIM Blame the Victim?

“He [the teacher of God] has. . .a more specific function for those who do not understand what healing is.  These patients do not realize they have chosen sickness.  On the contrary, they believe that sickness has chosen them.  (M-5.III.1)”

Affirmation:  “I alone choose sickness, and I would not do so.”

Reflections:

1 – Sickness = Learn through Pain

We need to open our minds a bit today.  We need to entertain the concept that we have invited any sickness that has invaded our world.  This does not mean that we “blame the victim.”  This is a paradoxical truth that many do not understand.  We do not consciously choose sickness, in most cases.  We may put ourselves in a position wherein sickness becomes inevitable, but even cases of this scenario are limited.  Sickness is chosen when we believe that it will teach us something.  And that we will learn through pain.

2 – Learning through Pain = Temporary

Jesus says that there is only a temporary learning component to pain.  In ACIM, he states conclusively that we do not have to learn through pain, that learning through rewards is the only lasting learning.

3 – Physical Illness

Once into sickness, though, sickness can become a way of life.  We may not know how to rid ourselves of apparently incurable illnesses.  And we may even die from them.  After all, everyone passes from this world in some way, and it is usually through physical illness–some organic illness, either quick or slow.

4 – Healing Accepted

May we pray today to be healed of our afflictions.  May we know that we will accept the healing when we are ready, and that the healing may be emotional rather than physical.  It may be an example of our choice to leave this world now.  It may be a lesson that we wanted to learn, and that this too shall pass.

5 – The Role of the (Larger) Self

When we know that we are in the driver’s seat, that our Self has chosen the sickness that afflicts us, then we are in a better position to choose again, to choose anew.  There is great celebration, we may believe, in Heaven, when a child of God chooses to give up his/her belief in the value of sickness.  There are other ways to learn.  Let us explore some of them, through our study of ACIM, today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I doubt that I will understand the role of the Self in my life while I am alive on earth.  But I trust what has been said, and I believe that this Self, of which my “little” or personal self is a part, does much to decide what transpire for me in my life.  Thank You for guiding the Self.  I would not allow inferior decisions by the personal self to influence my walk through this world.  May I choose guidance that allows me to learn through rewards rather than through pain.

Be with me as I walk through this day.  Be with me when I am having a bad day.  Help me to keep my thoughts on the positive side so that I do not attract the things in my life that I do not want.

Thank You for always being here for me.

Amen.

Release from Guilt = Release from Sickness

“Herein [he who has looked on the world and seen it as it is not] is the release from guilt and sickness both, for they are one.  Yet to accept this release, the insignificance of the body must be an acceptable idea.

“With this idea is pain forever gone.  (M-5.II. 3-4)”

Affirmation:  “release from guilt and sickness”

Reflections:

1 – Guilt and Sickness

A very instructive passage from A Course in Miracles.  We may never have realized, heretofore, that guilt and sickness are one, and that when we are rid of the guilt, we will not know sickness.  Perhaps this seems too hard, for who can rid themselves of all guilt for all the mistakes that are recognized in a life?

2 – Turn Guilt over to the Holy Spirit

It can be done, and we do not have to be psychopaths or sociopaths to rid ourselves of guilt.  This, once again, is something that we turn over to the Holy Spirit.  He know that when we have expressed a desire for forgiveness, then we are in a position to be rid of the guilt that our misdeed or errant thought has caused in us.  It seems so little, just to ask forgiveness.  Our egoic mind cries out for punishment, even though on a conscious level we do not actually invite punishment.  When we are insane in the sense that ACIM means, we do ask to hold onto the guilt, and therefore receive the punishment.  If we can recognize that this is madness, we will be more ready to accept God’s glorious Answer, given us internally by the Holy Spirit.

3 – Sensitive Consciences

Those of us with particularly sensitive consciences will suffer the most, and, paradoxically, we can receive even more than perhaps another who does not suffer as we do.  We are still equal to each other, though.  We are not equal in time, but in eternity, and eternity is all there is; there is no time, which is an illusion.

4 – Removal of Guilt

May we pray today for forgiveness, for a removal of the guilt that clouds the minds that Jesus interprets so kindly.  He loves us, we are told in ACIM.  He holds nothing against us.  May we not hinder his love and kindness by refusing ourselves the forgiveness that we need to render unto ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be aware today that when I have recognized that forgiveness is mine, any guilt that I might feel over something I said or did will dissipate.  Thank You.  The fact that sickness may also subside is another blessing bestowed by the removal of guilt from my mind.  Thank You again.

Be with me today as I live a healthy life, unimpeded by guilt.  May I ask for forgiveness of my brothers and sisters, as well as of myself, and may I realize that You do not need to forgive me, because You have never condemned me.  What joy this should bring to me!

Thank You for this good day.  May my evening be peaceful and my joy, under You guidance, be complete.

Amen.

Sickness Is a Decision of the Mind

“The acceptance of sickness as a decision of the mind, for a purpose for which it would use the body, is the basis of healing.  And this is so for healing in all forms.  A patient decides that this is so, and he recovers.  If he decides against recovery, he will not be healed.  (M-5.II.2)”

Affirmation:  “Sickness is a decision of the mind.”

Reflections:

1 – A Summary

This passage encapsulates much that I have tried to teach over the last few days of postings.  If we decide against recovery, we are not healed.  If we decide that we have to take medication for the rest of our lives, we have decided to use magic agents to accommodate our physical and emotional states of health.  Neither choice is to be lamented, though Jesus is the healer that encourages us to recognize that pain is not necessary, even in this world.

2 – The Self Chooses

We stay in the driver’s seat.  We make the decisions.  But it is the Self that does so, and we, as personal selves living in a fantasy, are not privy to all of the reasons for decisions made by the Higher Self.  So we suffer, sometimes needlessly, because we do not turn over our sickness to God.

3 – Healing

If we seek healing, it will be found.  The catch in all of this is that we may not recognize the healing when it is given.  We may still see the sickness and believe, by viewing the lingering symptoms, that all is not well.  Jesus in the Manual would have us understand that the appearance of lingering symptoms is evidence of a lack of trust.  We don’t believe that we can be healed, and so we are not.  But healing will come, in a form that we can accept, as soon as healing is welcomed.  Keep in mind that there are different types of healing, and that emotional healing is not the least of these.  We are not to continue to fear the continuing symptoms.  We are meant to recognize that healing has occurred, though our Self may leave symptoms for reasons that we cannot comprehend.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for healing today, of any and all difficulties that I may have.  I would ask that I recognize Your healing when it occurs.  May no physical symptoms mask the emotional healing that You always give me.  Thank you for the emotional healing, for You know that I think that emotional healing is more important than physical.

Be with me throughout the day.  Help me to walk Your way.  May my study of sickness, and the choices that I have made throughout my life, mean something good.  May I turn now to learning through rewards, and leave pain in the distant past.  I believe that this is Your wish for me, for You want a lasting healing–not a temporary one that might come from experiencing pain.  You want for me to learn through rewards, and I share that desire.  Thank You for this understanding that comes in A Course in Miracles from Jesus.

Amen.

It Is Not Necessary to Learn through Pain

“The patient could merely rise up without their [i.e., special agents] aid and say, ‘I have no use for this.’  There is no form of sickness that would not be cured at once.  (M-5.II.3)”

Affirmation:  “I have no use for sickness today.”

Reflections:

1 – View of Sickness in ACIM

This passage reflects the uncompromising view of sickness in A Course in Miracles.  It is always something that can be healed.  We do not often believe this, and perhaps, in our limited way, we are indeed unable to find the healing that, on some level, we still want.  The Self may have chosen this sickness as a way to learn through pain, though Jesus would have us learn through rewards, a more lasting choice (from the Text).  Pain brings only a temporary learning experience.

2 – Learning through Pain = Temporary Effect

Perhaps it is time that our world learns the truth that it is not necessary to learn through pain (a Text tenet).  Perhaps we need to understand that learning through pain brings only a temporary respite, and that learning through rewards (which we can invite) is lasting–the only lasting cure.  (These are paraphrases from the Text.)

3 – Jesus

Again we need to stress the uncompromising nature of the words that Jesus gives us in this passage.  He is for health all the way, but he does not interfere with our choices.  Perhaps we are not ready to be healed; perhaps we have even chosen this means of exiting from this world by death.  Our minds cannot wrap around the truth of this passage without recognizing that there are deeper truths than we have ever recognized before.  We choose special agents (medical staff and/or medication) to give flesh to our desires.  Perhaps we need to question some of this as a form of magic best left behind.
Jesus does not countenance unwise choices.  He sees medication as a compromise approach to illness, in that our fear is not increased when we seek relief through this magic means.  He does not want our fear increased.  And when we are sick, we are, at least temporarily,  not in our right minds (from ACIM).  Lacking rightmindedness, we can only increase this deplorable state by an increase in fear.  And Jesus would not have us, as we are stressing, any increase in fear.

4 – Seek Guidance

Seek guidance if and when sickness visits.  Try to discover the reason for its visit, for there are psychic communications that the world does not recognize as real channels of communication (from the Manual).  With the knowledge of why we have become sick, we may be in a better position to welcome healing as a real possibility.  May we do not less today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would take a completely focused stand for health in all its manifestations today.  I would not know physical or emotional pain/sickness/ill health.  I would entertain this possibility.  I know that this affirmation is in line with Your wishes for me, and I ask You now to help me to carry out this decision to stay well and healthy.

May my Self recognize that my personal self has made a decision in line with Your wishes.  I do not need to learn through pain.  I would not learn what can be only temporary in its effect.  I would learn through rewards, which Jesus says in ACIM is the only lasting cure.

May my weakness be overcome by Your joy.  I know that when I am joyous, I do not dwell on temporary, minor difficulties of any kind.  I would ask today that You keep me on the straight and narrow, back to You.

Amen.

Who Is Your Physician?

“Who is the physician?  Only the mind of the patient himself.  The outcome is what he decides that it is.  Special agents seem to be ministering to him, yet they but give form to his own choice.  (M-5.II.2)”

Affirmation:  “My mind is the physician.”

Reflections:

1 – Personal Experience

This is the passage in the Manual of A Course in Miracles that I sought out when my father was gravely ill and in intensive care in 1992–fully 20 years ago.  Believing as I did in the truths of ACIM, I also believed that my father had chosen the particular circumstances of his grave illness for a purpose.  The words of this passage were very comforting to me during this terrible time.  And my father died.  I believe that he chose the manner and timing of his death (interpretations based on ACIM, but not stated directly).  If we can reach this point in understanding A Course in Miracles, there is a great blessing bestowed on us.

2 – When Illness Visits Us

We do not have to seek out this passage only when others are involved.  We can adopt its philosophy as our own when illness visits, for it will sometimes come and seem unsought.

3 – The Self Has Chosen

The answer is that it is the Self that has chosen, the Christ within, not the personal self, not the little self comprised, in part, of an ego.  Knowing this, we can have both sympathy and empathy for ourselves and others when sickness comes into this world.  We do not have to believe in its true reality, for we are, as always, in the illusion.  We particularly do not want to blame ourselves in personal illness, or the evolution of others on the spiritual path (if others are considered at this time).  This is a “blame the victim” mentality, and is one of the pitfalls of those who believe in many of the tenets of New Age thought.  We do not blame the victim in any case; we realize that on a higher level the Self has made a choice, but we can never know the circumstances of that choice.  Only the Holy Spirit can know this, and He does not always tell us enough that we are led to understand.

4 – “Special Agents”

Physicians and other medical staff are the “special agents” that minister to ourselves and others during sickness.  We can ask for guidance about which medical staff, specifically, to seek out.  If we choose to become well again, with the aid of these special agents, we can know that we saw the valuelessness of sickness–at least this time.  There are no guarantees in this world.  We may fall down again, and find ourselves sick–through no fault of our own.  When more sickness comes, it is evidence that we are learning through pain.  Jesus would not counsel this, but ACIM recognizes the almost inevitable nature of this type of thinking for human beings.

5 – When Sickness Strikes

So, when sickness strikes (and, for most of us, it will, sooner or later), ask for the guidance to know how to choose aright, how to choose healing.  And then go about to follow that guidance.  The Holy Spirit will be with us every step of the way, and we can also believe that Jesus holds our hand, for he has promised to come at a single unequivocal call (from ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know, if sickness visits me, that my Self has chosen this form of intervention for a purpose.  May I listen quietly and try to discern what that purpose is.

Be with me today so that no illness, physical or emotional, visits me.  I know that You are “for health” all the way, and that learning is better effected through rewards rather than pain.

Many of us choose sickness, but I would not go this way.  I would be healthy and vibrant, and this can happen only if I follow You.  Your Way is the best way, the practical way, to a life in this world that is peaceful, calm, tranquil, and joyous.  I would learn Your way, not through pain.

May I learn through rewards today.

Amen.

Sickness Brings Us Nothing that We Want

“Healing must occur in exact proportion to which the valuelessness of sickness is recognized.  One need but say, ‘There is no gain at all to me in this’ and he is healed.  (M-5.II.1)”

Affirmation:  “Sickness is valueless.”  

Reflections:

1 – Any Sickness Less Easily Healed?

Perhaps we believe that some sickness is less easily healed than others.  Our ego’s common sense would tell us that.  And, as long as we are in this world, we need to recognize and not deny what we see before our eyes.  But this does not mean what it seems to mean.  What it does mean is that we are seeing illusions, not reality at all.  So sickness visits us in our illusory world, and it would be a particularly unworthy form of denial to believe otherwise (from ACIM).

2 – We Have Chosen Sickness

But we have chosen sickness (an ACIM tenet), some of which does not physically ever become cured.  But we can have an emotional healing, in many cases, that overshadows the physical and leads us to praise God for our wellness once again.  If we see no value in our sickness (as the passage recommends), then we can disregard what our eyes have shown us by turning over our sick, physical selves to a Higher Power.  Miracles do happen, and surely we all believe this or we would not be interested in a book entitled A Course in Miracles.  When we truly recognize that sickness brings us nothing that we want, we may find ourselves in the very best position for a healing.

3 – Does Sickness Get Us What We Want?

We often think that sickness gets us something that we want.  Would any of us deny this?  Would any of us ever be in a position to deny this?  It is to the latter question that Jesus addresses us in this passage.  And his assurance that we will be healed, once we believe that there is no gain to sickness, is the turning point, leading us to healing.

4 – “Special Agents”

We do live in an illusory world, and miracles do not always happen that lead to healing.  We do, in my opinion, sometimes need medical intervention–for these “special agents” may minister to us in a way that heals.  Jesus healed with a touch, and  he still can (I believe), but sometimes modern medicine is the way that we come to recognize a miracle.  It is like pills, which, even though a form of magic, cannot lead us to believe, egotistically, that we have effected our own healing.  In a similar way, medical personnel can act to heal, in some cases, an effect that keeps our ego from getting involved and thinking that somehow we were smart enough to bring about our own healing.  Grandiosity is a trait of the ego, and most of us still live with an ego, though we hope that it has withered somewhat over the years of our lives.

5 – We Can Learn through Pain

Sometimes we learn through pain; in fact, often in this world, it is the way that we learn.  We do not have to learn through pain, Jesus asserts in the Text, but we often choose to do so.  And he would support us, but not join us, in that decision.  (An interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

6 – Emotional Healing

The best thing that can happen may be an emotional healing, and this is no lack.  We can give thanks for what comes, after we have prayed for a healing.  And we can know that the healing will be accepted on some level.  It waits not on time (an illusion), but on eternity.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be well in all respects today.  As minor things crop up, and I get upset, please be with me.  Calm me, and help me to realize that I have brought minor sickness upon myself.

This is frustrating.  Why do I choose sickness, when I know that You are “for health” all the way?

Perhaps I do not yet understand fully.  Please enlighten me, so that I do understand.  Please help me to be patient, as in Your time the right answer will unfold.

Amen.

Being Open-Minded / All Sparkles Now

“[The open-minded] have in truth abandoned the world, and let it be restored to them in newness and in joy so glorious they could never have conceived of such a change. . . .Nothing but sparkles now which seemed so dull and lifeless before.  (M-4.X.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would see a sparkling world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Being Tolerant

The “open-minded” are tolerant of their brothers and sisters, when the decisions that others make are good and when they are bad.  The open-minded do not judge, leaving judgment to the Holy Spirit, Who alone knows all the factors in play.

2 – Give Up Judgment

The beautiful prose of this passage is well-visited when we are in a dejected mood.  We would wish to see the world as glorious in newness, and we ourselves would invite joy as a constant companion.  Jesus makes the promise in this passage that when we give up judgment (be open-minded), we will see a world that sparkles, one that “seemed so full and lifeless before.”

3 – A Serene Pathway

Would we not all desire such a sea change?  Would we not all desire the dreams that the Holy Spirit brings (from the Workbook)?  We can live in such a world, because we can see through the illusion in which we live by recognizing that what we are seeing is not real.  We do not have to deny what our eyes report (and indeed, we should not).  But we know that what we are seeing is not true, and we therefore walk a serene pathway.

4 – We Are Needed

Walking a serene pathway in the midst of the troubles of this world is not an invitation to be uncaring.  We are needed in this world, for the salvation of our brothers and sisters who are ready for salvation.  We do not help when we sympathize by accentuating their problems and troubles.  They need a compassionate individual in us who will understand and seek to bring their minds to a higher level.  Only time separates any student from a teacher.  We are all equal, not in time, but in eternity–and there is no time.  (These are all ACIM tenets.)

5 – Heaven on Earth

May we see today as glorious and as a sparkling place to happily spend some time.  We can indeed have Heaven on earth, so long as recognize that Heaven is not a place nor a condition, but the understanding of perfect Oneness (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be open-minded today.  Help me, dear God.  I would see a world that sparkles as I walk through it, and I know that this is Your promise for me.  Help me always to forgive as I seek to be open-minded, tolerant.  There is no better way to live, and You and the Holy Spirit, with Jesus, are pointing these blessings out to me.

May today be a glorious day, enjoying the light of Your blessings even as sometimes the sun does not shine.  Everyday can be glorious, regardless of the weather.  Sometimes I forget tiny things like that.  I would not forget today.

Be with me as I seek to follow the pathway that You seem to point out to me.  May today belong to You, with Jesus holding my hand as I walk along.

Thank You.

Amen.

Sickness Is an Election

“. . .[S]ickness is an election; a decision.  It is the choice of weakness, in the mistaken conviction that it is strength.  (M-5.I.1)”

Affirmation:  “I would not choose sickness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Sickness, Pain, and Suffering

Now we study a section of the Manual that deals, on a deep level, with sickness, pain, and suffering.  The ideas in this section are unequivocal; they represent an Ideal (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  We are human, and we cannot accept all of these ideas at face value; we are too weak, not yet risen to the position that the Self occupies.

2 – Sickness = Our Decision

But the more that we can entertain ideas such as these, that sickness is a decision of our minds, and a decision that can be changed, the more we follow Jesus.  Is he not the great healer?

3 – Busy Lives and Sickness

Do we not sometimes recognize that we will not allow ourselves to stop from our busyness, our much too busy lives, unless we get sick?  Do we not realize that we sometimes entertain such ideas, just as a way to legitimately stay home from work?  I think that we all can identify with what Jesus is telling us in A Course in Miracles, at least on this level.  We do have some control that even we, not yet risen to his level, can see.

4 – We All Choose Sickness

In this section of the Manual, Jesus places sickness as a decision that we all make from time to time.  We think that sickness gives us something that we want, and therefore we think that it is strength rather than the weakness that he declares sickness to be.

5 – Tiny Bits of Time to Rest

May we take the tiny bits of time today that we have to rest, so that we are not tempted to allow sickness as a legitimate way to avoid work.  May we open our minds, ever so little, to the idea that it is ourselves who welcome sickness into our lives, by our own decision.  And may we make the opposite decision today, the decision to stay healthy, or to invite health back into our lives, if we have already chosen sickness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I not be tempted today to choose sickness, when actually I just need some time to rest.  We are all so busy much of the time.  We think that we cannot take a timeout without a plausible excuse, and we think that sickness is a plausible excuse.

May I realize that this kind of thinking is akin to the insanity that the ego always leads us into.  I would thank You today for knowing that sickness is a decision, made on some level which I cannot always comprehend.  My Self is beyond my little, personal self that gets into trouble with the ego.  I would ask for Your blessing today so that I might know the Self better.

Be with me in the tiny illnesses that sometimes come my way.  I ask for the patience to heal, the patience to get the recuperation going.  Your Way is always the way of peace, quiet, and calm.  And it is these very things that keep sickness from being a part of my life.  I know that sometimes there are exceptions to this view of sickness, but help me to realize that my decision is the primary factor.  This places me under Your Providence, and gives me the strength to stay well.

Amen.

Learning in an Insane World

“You learn best when you believe what you are trying to learn is of value to you.  However, not everything you may want to learn has lasting value.  Indeed, many of the things you want to learn may be chosen because their value will not last.  (M66)”

Affirmation:  “learn what is of value”

Reflections:

1 – Why Learn Something Not of Lasting Value?

Why would we choose to learn something that is not of lasting value to ourselves?  This seems to be a paradox, and perhaps it is.  But when we realize that we may have chosen whole careers that were not chosen for the right reasons, we may realize that the ego has been involved.

2 – A Course of Love

Certainly we have been so reared in an egoistic world that we may love learning just for the sake of learning itself.  It may seem to be heresy to question this love of learning.  But in A Course of Love, we are told that there is a time for learning to cease, and to move forward in our lives by “observation.”  We do not have to think the egoistic way.  Knowing can come to us without irritable reaching for fact as well as fancy.  We can just know, because the Holy Spirit (and later, the Christ-consciousness) just tells us.  We know about our world almost as soon as we have asked internally.

3 – Careers and Relationships

We probably had problems in those careers that were chosen for less-than-the-best reasons.  More than just careers have been involved, though.  Our choices in relationships may have been flawed as well.  Our insanity covers a great deal of our lives.

4 – We Have Help

Whether we are “learning” or “observing,” it is evident that we don’t get where we are trying to go without help.  We are supported every step of the way.  And it is important to acknowledge that we realize that we are not doing all this by ourselves.  It is only the ego that wants all the credit, and surely the egoistic way has been discredited by now in our minds and hearts.

5 – The Valuable Is Lasting

We can learn best when we turn to learn those things that are of value.  And those things are always lasting.  Surely we can do this as we learn from the Course to choose aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we choose only those things that have lasting value.  May we turn aside from those things that do not have lasting value.  May we not be tempted to learn those non-lasting things because they do not have value.

I know that the ego is involved when I reach for something that cannot be sustained.  Help me always to choose aright, and this means that it is time to leave the ego behind.

Amen.

How Should the Teacher of God Spend His Day?

“To the advanced teacher of God this question is meaningless.  There is no program, for the lessons change each day.  Yet the teacher of God is sure of but one thing; they do not change at random.  Seeing this and understanding that it is true, he rests content.  He will be told all that his role should be, this day and every day. (M40)”

Affirmation:  “I will follow guidance in living this day.”

Reflections:

1 – What Does “Advanced? Mean?

Not all of us are “advanced,” and the workbook lesson that begins on M40 goes on to explain further.  Yet there are many in the Course community now who have studied A Course in Miracles for many years.  They rightfully can be called “advanced.”

2 – No Planning

Knowing that there is nothing in a day that needs to be planned is enormously freeing.  Practical plans may need to be made, and, if so, those plans will flawlessly come into one’s mind at the time of action.  This is the way the guidance of the Holy Spirit works.  While it takes great faith to commit to such a way of life, our new way does not have to be perfect, especially in the beginning.  Mistakes that are given over to the Holy Spirit are easily corrected.  Pause a moment, mentally and emotionally start the day over, and we are once again on the right pathway.

3 – Planning Prompted by the Holy Spirit

We are led to give up planning, unless the planning is prompted by the Holy Spirit.  Planning against contingencies to come is one of three ways that we digress from the pathway (the other two are attack and judgment).  We are actually living in fear when we try, in vain, to predict the future and to make plans because of what we fear.  The ego is in the ascendancy at such times.  And we will learn through the pages of ACIM that the ego, as defined by ACIM, is a part of our belief about ourselves, but it embodies a persona, a false sense of self.  We would know our real Self, the Self who has never left God in a separation that merely seems to have happened.

4 – Safe at Home in God

We are actually safe at home with God.  In this world, we are not often conscious of this truth, because we are living a dream, caught in illusions (ACIM tenets).

5 – Follow Guidance

Ask today to live the program of the day as guidance dictates.  Ask to follow the Holy Spirit.  If not sure that we have accepted the Holy Spirit’s presence within, then ask for Him to enter today.  He will never fail to hear from one of God’s children.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would drop the idea that I am “advanced.”  Years of studying A Course in Miracles mean nothing if we fail to put into practice, consistently, what we have learned.  And I sometimes fail.  I would have You today take me as a new learner, and give me the best that I can hope for today.  I would learn anew, this year, what guidance would have me to do.  And this year I would actually do it.

Be with me as I seek to be flexible in Your hands, following the guidance that I receive moment by moment.  I know that You do not condemn me when I fail, but I would pray not to fail very often today.  In this world, I will always be fallible, but with Your help, I can walk a smooth pathway to You.

Thank You for always letting me sense You in me.

Amen.

Judgment by Us Is Always Faulty

ACIM Workbook Lesson 311 – for Monday, November 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “I judge all things as I would have them be.”

“Judgment was made to be a weapon used against the truth.  It separates what it is being used against, and sets it off as if it were a thing apart.  And then it makes of it what you would have it be.  It judges what it cannot understand, because it cannot see totality and therefore judges falsely.  (WB456)”

Reflections:

1 – We Do Not Know All the Circumstances

This passage reflects something that I said in this blog a few days ago.  We cannot judge rightly, because, unlike the Holy Spirit, we do not know all the circumstances surrounding us in our world in the past, present, and future.  Only the Holy Spirit, the Universal Inspiration, can lead us rightly.

2 – Projection Makes Perception

The affirmation points to yet another point, not made the well-known Manual passage on judgment.  We make things as we would have them be in our own judging.  This is because projection makes perception, and we will think we see what we want.  We see bad things sometimes, even when we do not think we want to see these things.  But somewhere in our consciousness is the germ of an idea that manifests.

3 – Bad Things Happen in Our World

Of course, we are part of a mass hallucination (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM), and many bad things happen in our world that we do not think we have any control over.  We do not have direct control in many instances, but we can control–with guidance and the help of God–how we react.  The only proviso that I would make is that we can be so overcome with negative emotions that we are out of control and cannot effectively moderate our temperament.  Then we can reach out to others at the same time that we ask for help from God.  God can speak through another person when He seems (but is not actually) inaccessible to us.  We are not meant to walk our way alone.

4 – Ask for Divine Guidance

We would know the truth today.  We would not judge.  If we are tempted to indulge in judgment, let us pull ourselves up short and try again.  We ask for divine guidance in such ties.  We cannot see the truth of ourselves and others if we are caught in judgment.  This in itself is reason enough to let judgment,  like the ego, wither away from lack of support.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not judge today, because not only do I know that it is wrong, but also that I know that it is always inaccurate.  I would not live in the world that I would judge, for as projection makes perception, I make a world that is not worthy of God’s Daughter/Son.  And we are the Self, in our highest essence, that is a Daughter/Son.  Thank You for leading me to understand this, and may the ego not intrude in this characterization.  It is nothing that I have ever done that has given me this designation.  I would have stayed lost if it had not been for Your Guide, the Holy Spirit.  May I not fall into error today, which can still happen.  May I walk the narrow way to salvation.

Be with me as I seek to love, not to judge, my brothers and sisters.  It is true that we all try as hard as we can, and if we had lived the life of another, we would make the decisions that he/she is making.  May I live a life in Your shadow only.  May I live the peaceful, joyous approach that is so carefully pointed out to me in A Course in Miracles.

Thank You for Jesus’s role in bringing these understandings to our world.  May we reach out to others, as they are ready, with the message of ACIM.

Amen.

I Am Free, Limitless, and Loving–as God Wills

ACIM Workbook Lesson 280 – for Friday, October 7, 2011

Affirmation:  “What limits can I lay upon God’s Son?”

“No thought of God but is forever pure.  Can I lay limits on the Son of God, whose Father willed that he be limitless, and like Himself in freedom and in love?

“Today let me give honor to Your Son, for thus alone I find the way to You.  Father, I lay no limits on the Son You love and You created limitless.  The honor that I give to him is Yours, and what is Yours belongs to me as well.  (WB436)”

Reflections:

1 – Limitless Release and Pure Joy

One of my favorite passages in A Course in Miracles says that we are to go throughout the day thinking of and experiencing “limitless release” and “pure joy.”  The release is limitless because all things are freed with it.  The lesson for today encourages this same idea of limitlessness.  We are truly free, though as long as we listen to the ego, we have an imprisoned will.  And this imprisoned will ultimately becomes intolerable for us, and we recognize that there must be a better way.  Bad things happen to us with an imprisoned will, because we experience pain, and while, the threshold for pain may be high, it is not unlimited.  God set the limits on our possibility to miscreate, and sooner or later all of us will return, though the return may take millions of years.  It is up to us to shorten that time, and each of us, it is said, saves a thousand years.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – We Would Not Have an Imprisoned Will

We would be free today, without an imprisoned will.  This means that we have recognized that God’s will and our own are actually identical, and, when we listen to the Holy Spirit, He is communicating to us what we really want.  We are not puppets, dangled by an indifferent god.  But we have failed to communicate with God, and He finds that His channels are closed.  We are asleep and need to be awakened.  God will effect this in us.  The ending, as said repeatedly in this blog, is sure.

3 – Creators of the Real World

We have the gifts of God.  He has nothing that He will not share with us.  We are meant to be creators of the real world, not makers of the illusory world.  Let us today walk into the sunshine with God, being led by the hand of Jesus.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the moments of limitless release and pure joy which I have felt earlier today.  May the remainder of the day and tomorrow be filled with such moments as well.  I would not have an imprisoned will because of the ego’s dictates.  I would recognize that Your Will for me and my own will are actually identical, when I am sane and in my right mind.  Take all madness from my deluded mind today.

I ask to be made ready to be a creator in the real world.  I would not make illusions anymore.  I have only found flights of egoistic happiness, happiness that ended in tears.  Because I know that illusions bring tears, I know that illusions are not Your Will.  Guide me into the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings, and then on into Awakening.  Thank You for Your patience with me, for sometimes I am way too stubborn for my own good.  Make me flexible enough to follow the guidance of Your Universal Inspiration consistently.

Amen.

How to Cure Madness and Fear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 278 – for Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Affirmation:  “If I am bound, my Father is not free.”

“Father, I ask for nothing but the truth.  I have had many foolish thoughts about myself and my creation, and have brought a dream of fear into my mind.  Today, I would not dream.  I choose the way to You instead of madness and instead of fear.  For truth is safe, and only love is sure.  (WB435)”

Reflections:

1 – Choose Reality

If we would not dream, we must choose the real world; we must choose God’s reality.  We are caught in dreams, still, most of the time.  Most of us do have glimpses of Awakening, glimpses of the real world that precedes Awakening.  The dreams that the Holy Spirit brings are meant to calm our frantic minds so that we welcome Awakening and are not fearful of the experience.  Jesus tells us that if a light is turned on while we are asleep, we will initially be afraid be afraid of this light, thinking it is part of our dream (or our nightmare).  But once we awaken, we realize that we are no longer dreaming and that we have returned to the world.  So we are no longer afraid of the light.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

2 – Dream Not of Fear

We would not dream of fear today.  We would not dream at all, but pray to awaken.  We would not be insane any longer, for that is exactly what we have been in this disturbed world.  We have been mad, just as surely, though less obviously, than the unfortunate individuals who are committed for mental illness.  Our mental health is precarious also.  We need to know that just because we are walking freely into the world and not behind locked asylum doors, we are not necessarily sane.  Most of us are not sane.  May we come to understand the Voice that speaks to us of the reality of God in which we can walk away from madness.

3 – Take Steps to a Sane Reality

If we love, we are taking steps to a sane reality.  By love, we do not mean special love relationships, unless these special love relationships are well on their way to being holy relationships.  Our way home is through the love that we bear for our brother (and sister), and this is the way in which we practice forgiveness.  It is the way of A Course in Miracles.  When we are together with our brother (or sister), we are forgiving, kind, generous, and in so being, we are learning God’s way.  We do not need to contemplate (or meditate) for extremely long periods.  This is a way meant for others, and ACIM is meant for us.  Let us follow the way of ACIM today, and let us start by totally forgiving our brother (or sister), knowing that to do so is the way home for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would follow God’s Voice today.  I would do so knowing that I wish not to be misled into believing that my illusions, fueled by the ego, are masquerading as God’s Voice.  Be with me to ensure that I make this distinction between delusion and sanity.

May I walk into the real world as quickly as my steps can take me there.  You have prepared me, and it is up to me to follow Your Way with joy.  When I am truly joyous and at peace, then I am less likely to listen to the ego and to be misled back into insanity.  Be with me today as I seek only what You bid me to find.

Amen.

I Will Not Use the Body’s Eyes Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson  270 – for Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Affirmation:  “I will not use the body’s eyes today.”

“How glorious and gracious is this world!  Yet how much more will I perceive in it than sight can give.  The world forgiven signifies Your Son acknowledges his Father, lets his dreams be brought to truth, and waits expectantly the one remaining instant more of time which ends forever, as Your memory returns to him.  (WB430)”

Reflections:

1 – May We Perceive the World Anew

This prayer is an insightful explanation of what will transpire when we perceive the world as we are meant to perceive it.  Our sight of the world, what our eyes light upon, is not all that will change.  We are acknowledging our relationship to God, our Father, and we are bringing our dreams (our illusions) to truth.  The final phrase in the prayer indicates the time of Awakening, as we “remember” God.  Nobody who has yet to experience this great blessing can truly understand all that its promise holds out to us.

2 – “The Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings”

We do express gratitude for a world seen anew, even when we are seeing it in the “happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (a quotation from the Workbook).  With a grateful heart, much that troubles us currently will just fall away.  Even if times are tough, our hearts will sing with praise, a praise that helps us, as well as others with whom we come in contact, more than God needs to hear it.  Jesus says in the Text that we hardly need to tell God how “wonderful” He is; God has no ego with which to accept such praise.  But we need to feel the attitude of gratefulness and praise.  We are more helped than even our brothers and sisters.

3 – May We See the World with New Eyes

May we walk today a pathway of peace.  May we see the world with new eyes.  Let us pray for that blessing.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see the world anew today.  Nothing has to change for this change to be effected.  Only You know how this is done, but I know that it is Your Will that I do see anew.  Thank You.

I would be grateful for my many blessings.  All too often I focus on the few things that are wrong, ignoring the many that are right.  I would change that today; I would see only what is right and let what is wrong just wither away from lack of attention.  We can indeed make the world that we see, even while You create the real world for us to see shortly.  

Thank You for always being here for me.  Help me to aid my brothers and sisters in their “journey without distance” today.

Amen.