I Am Not the Victim of the World I See. I Have Invented the World I See.

impressionist paintings1 – There Is No World!

A Course in Miracles stresses repeatedly that we live in a dream, that this world is illusory. And in support of this idea comes the assertion that projection makes perception. So all that we experience comes from within ourselves. There is no world! (This is an ACIM declaration.) Now the following passage repeats this idea in slightly different words:

“You will escape from both [the inner and the outer world] together, for the inner is the cause of the outer. (WB31)”

2 – Projection Makes Perception

If our inner world makes our outer (what we have been learning), then it behooves us to transform our inner to loving concepts. Fear in the inner world will make the outer world seem fearful to us. And when the ego is reigning within, we have little choice but to view an outer world that scares us.

3 – ACIM’s Purpose
We would not have it thus. Nobody would, if they knew what to do to change things. And with ACIM, we are learning the means to Awakening the transformative experience that will make all the difference.

4 – Useful Idea

“The idea for today [“I am not the victim of the world I see”] is also a particularly useful one to use as a response to any form of temptation that may arise. It is a declaration that you will not yield to it, and put yourself in bondage. (WB31)”

We are in control of our destinies. Our world is what we want it to be, once we have taken conscious control. Otherwise, we may be living with an imprisoned will, made that way because of the “tiny, mad idea” that changed us, that made the illusory separation from God. But many New Age writers have declared that we create our own reality. And ACIM says the same, though in this world ACIM uses the word “make” rather than “create.” We are not ready for true creation as long as we are in egoic clutches.

5 – We Invented This World

“Today we are continuing to develop the theme of cause and effect. You are not the victim of the world you see because you invented it. You can give it up as easily as you made it up. You will see it or not see it, as you wish. While you want it you will see it; when you no longer want, it will not be there for you to see. (WB32)”

6 – Cause and Effect

Cause and effect can be a hard concept to wrap one’s mind around. But it is really very simple. It says that like creates like, and when we live in egotism, we make egotism in our outside world. Again, projection makes perception.

7 – Avoidance of This World

We do not want to see the world in which we have been living. But it is things of the spirit that will save us, not materialistic goods. Our reality is one that cannot be viewed by the seeing eyes. Our reality is the intangibles of God, his blessings of joy, peace, harmony, serenity, love.

8 – The Secret

The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, has given me personally much room for thought. In this book and DVD, she and others say that we attract the world that we want. The first book in the series, The Secret does focus quite a bit on the material. But the second and third books in the series, The Power and The Magic, look to spiritual concepts of gratitude and love far more.

9 – Spiritual Concepts

It is to these spiritual concepts that I want to take our attention. We will never be satisfied for long with material goods. We will always want more, as long as those goods are coming to us to satisfy egoistic wants. But when we are grateful for the world in which we live, and when we love mightily, we have it in our power to transform the world that we see. And transformation is what we are after, if the truth be told.

10 – Apply Today’s Idea

“The idea for today [‘I have invented the world I see.’] should also be applied immediately to any situation that may distress you. Apply the idea by telling yourself: I have invented this situation as I see it. WB32)”

All of the passages from this Workbook lesson say much the same as what Rhonda Byrne is saying, and she has gotten a great deal of press in recent years. The concepts are making their way into the mainstream, much as have the concepts of ACIM. (Frequently entire books are written which set forth the philosophy of ACIM without ever crediting where the ideas have originated.)

11 – Change Your World

So, if we are not victims of the world we see, we can change that world. And let us seek to do so today. Let us get started. The world will continue on in its poor, downtrodden ways until we seek to make a change. It is not hard to change a thought that we wish to change. And the world is a thought, an idea.

Affirmation: “I am not the victim of the world I see.”

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May the world that I see today make a dramatic shift. May I see that this world is my own invention, that I am part of a mass hallucination. May I join others in the desire to make a better world that is not dependent on the physical eyes to see.

Be with me today. I long for an anxiety-free day, and I have much on my plate today. Help me to call upon You, to remember to call upon You, when I sense stress. You would not have me stressed. That is not Your way. Show me Your way today.

Amen.

Advertisements

Slight Twinge of Annoyance / Intense Fury

monet - water and boats“You will become increasingly aware that a slight twinge of annoyance is nothing but a veil drawn over intense fury. (W-21)”

Affirmation: “May I be angry with no one today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nighttime Dreams

This assertion, one of the more well-known from A Course in Miracles, does not seem credible on first reading. But actually our egoic minds delude us. We may dream at night far more hostilely than we think in the daytime. And so nighttime dreams of anger can clue us to the fact that we can be intensely furious when we think that we are mildly upset.

2 – No Gradations in Emotions

Why would this passage be true? Jesus does not give credence to gradations in emotions. In some ways, he thinks in black and white. And we may be used to this from his reactions in the New Testament. So what he says here has a certain ring of authenticity.

3 – Why?

Why would we really be furious when we think that we are only mildly annoyed? The ego wants it all for itself. The ego doesn’t really think in gradations, but it knows that we won’t accept extreme anger for ourselves, and so, in its wily way, the ego softens its attitudes. If this makes the ego sound independent, it does indeed function in this way quite often. But it is merely a part of our belief about ourselves, and we can choose to let it wither away. Indeed, we must choose this.

4 – Fury

How do we “lose it”? Do we lose it often? This shows that Jesus’s statement is indeed true. When we are tired, we are likely to express more fury than at any other time. Or if something else has already upset us (something that is never the “real thing” that is upsetting–an ACIM tenet). We can recognize, when we contemplate, that intense fury is actually veiled when we get upset. And we are the worst for it.

5 – Love

May all of us turn to the love within, the love that will eliminate these bouts of fury.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I learned in my maturity that I never get angry unless I am stressed. Many others are surely like this as well. But isn’t stress with me, still? And don’t I try to veil the anger that sometimes visits at inopportune times? I would be finished with this expression of the ego. No more.

May I invite the serenity that displaces the ego and put Your love in the center of my life. Then and only then will I no longer feel or show extravagant displays of negative emotion. Be with me as I seek to leave all this foolishness behind. I would not do this to myself, as I would not do it to my closest companions.

Amen.

No Idle Thoughts

1873 Dance School - degas
“There is no more self-contradictory concept than that of ‘idle thoughts.’ What gives rise to the perception of a whole world can hardly be called idle. Every thought you have contributes to truth or to illusion; either it extends the truth or it multiplies illusions. You can indeed multiply nothing, but you will not extend it by doing so. (W-16)”

Affirmation: “May I stop my mind wandering today.”

Reflections:

1 – Mind Wandering

I have been guilty of mind wandering, and this mind wandering does form illusions that, on some level, have a form of their own. These are idle thoughts that are actually not “idle” at all. We need to stop such displays whenever they occur. Just saying “Stop!” can do more than might be thought.

2 – Essence of Salvation

Jesus would not have us destroy our good mind with images of illusions. We live in a dream, at least until the real world is seen, but to us this world is quite real already. How can we navigate through this world best? We need to ask for guidance. We cannot do it alone, nor should we. The best advice that Jesus gives is included in the Manual, when he recommends giving up judgment to follow the guidance that comes to us. This alone will save us. It is the essence of salvation.

3 – Misuse of Time

Perhaps we all might recognize that mind wandering and “idle” thoughts are a misuse of our good time. We need to live well in this world, and we usually only succeed in scaring ourselves when we indulge in such fantasies. May we drop this foolishness from our repertoire of emotions today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me to the understanding that following Your guidance is the only way to live a life well. And I do try, though often I fall on my face. Help me to pick myself up and try again. Always to try again.

May I understand and act on the guidance that comes to me as it unfolds. May I never substitute ego-oriented thoughts, emotion-drive thoughts, instead of what is really best for myself as well as everyone I touch. May egoic thought die in me. Thank You for having the patience to show me the way when I am capricious and headstrong. Such attitudes have no place in my communion with You. I know this, and I pray to act upon this knowledge today and every day.

Amen.

Little Edges of Light / Great Rays

edgar-degas-art44519“You will begin to understand it [image making or seeing] when you have seen little edges of light around the same familiar objects which you see now. That is the beginning of real vision. You can be certain that real vision will come quickly when this has occurred.

“As we go along, you may have many ‘light episodes.’ They may take many different forms, some of them quite unexpected. Do not be afraid of them. They are signs that you are opening your eyes at last. They will not persist, because they merely symbolize true perception, and they are not related to knowledge. (W-15)

Affirmation: “Thank You for the moments when I saw little edges of light.”

Reflections:

1 – Intriguing Passage

A previous posting on this subject has been revisited many times. But what do the “little edges of light,” the light episodes, really mean?

2 – Personal Experience

We are in a heightened emotional state when we see these lights around familiar objects. In my case, when I saw them, colors also seemed brighter than usual. I was amazed by what my eyes were showing me. In a famous garden, the experience has remained with me most of my adult life. A Course in Miracles had not yet been published, and I had no guidance.

3 – One-Time Experience

It is true that this experience came, for me, only once and did not persist. Because seeing the edges of light seemed so significant to me at the time, when I discovered ACIM more than ten years later, I was enthralled to find my experience detailed therein.

4 – Great Rays

I also once felt the Great Rays, but this was when I was reading A Course in Miracles for the first time. I was walking outside in my parents’ back yard, and suddenly the bright sun seemed to be pouring down rays upon me. I was frightened and returned to the house, and called a friend whom I knew to be religious and thought would be sympathetic. Because he had not read ACIM, he had no ready explanation. But by that time I did, for I was, as I said, reading ACIM at the time.

5 – Perceptual Experiences

These episodes did not last, and they do not have to be clung to for reasons of faith. They are perceptual, and Jesus says that perception does not last. Even miracles do not last, for they too are perceptual. And perhaps these two episodes in my life were examples of miracles. I have thought so.

6 – True Vision

Do not be frightened if something similar happens to you. And also don’t be hung up on “understanding” what has transpired. Jesus has told us all that we need to know in today’s passage. These light episodes are the sign that we are coming to true vision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the explanations that Jesus gives us for light experiences. These intriguing passages from A Course in Miracles are obviously something that we want to understand. But maybe on earth we can’t understand completely. There is a mystery there. Thank You for that mystery.

I thank You for these experiences in my own life. May others also have similar experiences that will bring them closer to You.

Amen.

Indescribably Happy

pennsylvania-impressionist-impressionism-painting-by-kenneth-nunamaker-over-looking-the-delaware-from-center-bridge-1928-original-size-22-x-24“If you could accept the world as meaningless and let the truth be written upon it for you, it would make you indescribably happy. But because it is meaningless, you are impelled to write upon it what you would have it be. It is this you see in it. It is this that is meaningless in truth. (W-12)”

Affirmation: “I would be indescribably happy today.”

Reflections:

1 – Preconceptions

How do we let go of our preconceptions about this world? We have written our own meaning upon it. That is all. We need to accept that the world itself is meaningless, and then let the truth be written upon it for us.

2 – Passive

This attitude is essentially passive. But we do contemplate, read, study, and pray. And in these actions we come to understand more fully what this world really means. We do not add our own meaning to it; we accept what comes to us in such moments of reflection, essentially waiting for God to speak to us.

3 – God

And He will. We all too often think that God is remote from us, but instead He is the deepest part of our being. When we turn within, we will find Him. And we will also find the answers to our questions.

4 – Solution Is with the Problem

Remember that the solution to the problem is always with the problem–at the very moment. And frequently we get an answer immediately. Unfortunately, when our emotions are turbulent, we cannot always hear the answers. We don’t get the solution, and so we need to calm down, relax, commune with our deepest nature, and then take the steps that come to us, intuitively.

5 – Problems

When we contemplate in the most serene way, our answers come to what is troubling us. And if the answers don’t come, perhaps this is a problem that God is holding out to us as a learning exercise. Ask, instead, what this problem is meant to teach us? And the answer will dawn, sooner rather than later.

6 – The World

We do not stay with the idea that the world is meaningless, for to believe this would be demoralizing. We let God write its meaning upon our hearts, and then we are at peace.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The solution is with the problem. Thank You for that knowledge–a great blessing! When problems come up, if I remember to listen to guidance, the answer does come. Invariably. But my emotions must be calm for the guidance to come through. Help my emotions to be calm today.

I would be indescribably happy today. There is no better way to follow You, and no better way to live in this world. Happiness is a worthy goal, for we are of much better use to others when we are happy. And happiness is a witness to what salvation offers. May I never forget this.

Be with me today as I seek to pray for others whom I know are in crisis. Praying to You works, a very practical technique for healing.

May this day, as all days, be good.

Amen.

Experiencing Deep Love Eliminates Fear

ACIM Workbook Lesson 199 – for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Affirmation:  “I am not a body.  I am free.”

“The mind that serves the Holy Spirit is unlimited forever, in all ways, beyond the laws of time and space, unbound by any preconceptions, and with strength and power to do whatever it is asked.  Attack thoughts cannot enter such a mind, because it has been given to the Source of love, and fear can never enter in a mind that has attached itself to love.  It rests in God.  And who can be afraid who lives in Innocence, and only loves.  (WB382)”

Reflections:

1 – Heaven on Earth

If we could live the way in which the quoted passage, above, says, we would go a long way toward having Heaven on earth.  Were it not for our mistakes and our habits of long-standing, we would be able to live this wondrous way.  A Course in Miracles presents an idealized way of living, and many of us are not able to live up to its many wonderful promises.  But we can begin each day, and end each day, with time for contemplation of ACIM, our meditations, and these will reform long-standing errors.  ACIM can heal a neurotic through Jesus’s guidance.

2 – Choose Not to Be Afraid

May we live the Source of love today.  We need to determine that we will leave fear behind, to determine that we do not choose to be afraid ever again.  We will in all likelihood not succeed in the beginning, but we can, with God’s help, keep trying.  And that is all He asks.

3 – Serving the Holy Spirit

Serving the Holy Spirit means that we will follow the guidance that comes to us.  It may be by intuition (a likely response), an inner knowing that seems deeper than simply intuition, an interior word from the Holy Spirit, prayer, contemplation, meditation, writing in a journal to solutions, and so forth.  We do not know the many ways that the Holy Spirit can guide us.  But if we are open to His prompting, our lives will transform in ways that seemed impossible only yesterday.  Time is in Jesus’s hands (a Text tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose love, and gratitude for my many blessings in a strong way to choose love.  Help me to know that being grateful does enhance my feelings of love.  And choosing love over anger is always a blessing.  I would eliminate anger from my repertoire of emotions sooner rather than later.

Thank You for the guidance that I received yesterday in my realization that something might arise that would cause anger.  I decided to leave the room.  As it turned out, I could not easily do so, but still, remembering what I had decided kept me quite and self-contained.  This in itself is a tremendous blessing.

Now, again today, as the day has started well–help me.  May the day go well for all its hours.  And may I always be thankful for the many blessings that You have given me, and for the many blessings that You have given all of my brothers and sisters in this world.

Amen.

Only My Own Forgiveness Sets Me Free

ACIM Workbook Lesson 198 – for Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Affirmation:  “Only my condemnation injures me.”

“Only my condemnation injures me.
Only my own forgiveness sets me free.

“Do not forget today that there can be no form of suffering that fails to hide an unforgiving thought.  Nor can there be a form of pain forgiveness cannot heal.  (WB380)”

Reflections:

1 – Assertion of Great Importance

Here is an assertion of great importance, but particularly easy to overlook within the scope of A Course in Miracles:  no form of suffering or pain that the lack of forgiveness has not caused and that a gesture of forgiveness cannot heal.  Here we are indeed set free from our moments of suffering and pain!  What a glorious affirmation this is!

2 – Be Willing to Forgive

It does not mean that we will forever be free of suffering and pain, for we are human and we still make mistakes.  But we have in our power the will to reduce those moments by quite a bit with our willingness to forgive, and our unwillingness to indulge our ego’s bent toward unforgiving thoughts.

3 – We Have Chosen

Our ego would have us to blame others, and in so doing to find things that seem unforgivable, for have not we been hurt by the words and actions of others?  But ACIM says that we are responsible for what we see, that we have chosen what we experience.  This is an definite statement in ACIM that brooks no exceptions.  We find it hard to believe only because we are still caught in ego games.

4 – Our Will to Forgive

Think for a moment what power our will to forgive has in it!  We can choose to forgive, and, if this comes hard, we can commune with God until it comes easy.  We are not pawns in some cosmic joke; we can effect chance in the world that we experience.  May we change that world for the better today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would forgive easily today, if You help me.  I would not engage in any attack, for I love the people who surround me.  May I see that anger is a ploy of the ego.  May I know that my forgiveness will free me.

If anger arises, may I just leave the room.  A short timeout is all that may be needed.  I ask You to help me if the day turns tense, if stress enters.  And does stress not enter, from time to time, for all of us?

Be with me closely today.  I feel vulnerable to anger, because yesterday was a very busy day.

Thank You.

Amen.

Forsake Attack / Find Gratitude

ACIM Workbook Lesson 197 – for Monday, July 16, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “It can be but my gratitude I earn.”

“God blesses every gift you give to Him, and every gift is given Him, because it can be given only to yourself.  And what belongs to God must be His Own.  Yet you will never realize His gifts are sure, eternal, changeless, limitless, forever giving out, extending love and adding to your never-ending joy while you forgive but to attack again.  (WB377)”

Reflections:

1 – Attack / Forgiveness

As long as attack is attractive to us, we will need to turn again and again to forgiveness so that we get back on the right track.  And who among us can say that we never have the urge to attack (usually verbally), or that we never feel anger?  These are very human characteristics.  After all, think of Jesus in the temple with the moneychangers, as depicted in the New Testament.

2 – God Does Not Condemn

When we have made progress toward leaving attack behind, we will know the love that is described in today’s Workbook lesson.  We will know that God does not condemn, and we will know that our best action is also not to condemn–even when we don’t recognize that there has just been a mistake that can be rectified by forgiveness.  Remember the illusion in which we live.  The Self is never hurt–only the “little,” personal self.  And we would not take offense at a brother or sister who is having a hard time and takes it out on us.  We need to be bigger than that.

3 – Very Human Traits

All of this is not easy.  We carry these human traits, many from childhood and brought on by the insane ego.  Most of us have not completely relinquished the ego, and so we are more prone to take offense easily.

4 – Harmony

We need to do what we can to bring more love into our lives.  Do we not sense the harmony that can be ours when we choose the word or deed that comes from love rather than attack?

5 – God = Love

Let us today ask for the grace to live our lives in love, or in Love.  For God is Love, as the Scriptures tell us, and now as borne out by A Course in Miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for reminding me that attack has no place in the group of reactions that we would have in this world.  Attack always blinds us to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and attack also hurts our brothers and sisters.  We need the harmony that Love (God) and love (Awakening or Christ-consciousness) can effect in our lives.  May I ask for that harmony to be mine today.  I realize that this may be a daily prayer, for I do not know when I will be ready for You to reach down and awaken me.

Thank You for being here for me.  The day has been good so far, and always a day goes better when the morning is good.  You know that I am not a morning person, though I get up and start the day at a relatively early hour.  You know that I need structure to my day, to make that day be devoted to the pathway that You point out to me.  Thank You for guiding my decisions, so that the little decisions that the Holy Spirit gives me, moment-by-moment, are heeded.

I am grateful for the blessing of Your Love.  May I never forget my indebtedness to You.  And may I never forget how much You love me.

Amen.

Dreary, Hopeless Thoughts = Hell

ACIM Workbook Lesson 196 – for Sunday, July 15, 2012

Affirmation:  “It can be but myself I crucify.”

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  Who could believe his Father is his deadly enemy, separate from him, and waiting to destroy his life and blot him from the universe, without the fear of hell upon his heart?  (WB374)”

Reflections:

1 – Fear of God = Hell

So the fear of God is hell!  Elsewhere Jesus says also that “guilt” is hell.  And so it seems that our own guilt at our presumed misdeeds and bad thoughts has made us fear God’s retribution, and therefore we have experienced hell on earth.  (And, if the truth be told, we have spent part of our lives, at least, fearing hell after death.)

2 – God Never Condemns

God never condemns, and so He does not need to forgive us for our thoughts and actions.  This is a sticking point for many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles, because we cannot seem to get out of our minds a God Who may have created part of the pain and suffering in our world, or at least ought to do something about it!  These thoughts misdirect our minds.  God neither created pain and suffering, but we, in a “tiny, mad idea” thought that we separated from Him, and we entered a world, built up by us, that is insanity.  And in an insane world there is pain and suffering.

3 – A Way Out

Is there a way out that we can take beginning today?

4 – Get the Madness Out

Yes, there is a way out.  And we need only learn as a student the precepts of ACIM, and, with our minds losing some of its insanity, the “dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook) can attract to ourselves a much better living experience.  These are benign dreams that some would say we have used through the “law of attraction” (a tenet of a bestseller entitled The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne).  But we too want more than the materialistic if we are to be happy.  The altruistic ideas of God will inform a world in much stronger terms than simply an improvement in our material conditions.  And, for the intangibles of God, we turn to our Guide, the Holy Spirit–or the Christ-consciousness within (if we have traveled this far on the pathway back home).  (The concept of Christ-consciousness is described in A Course of Love, believed by some to be a sequel to ACIM and also channeled by Jesus.)

5 – We Are Out Own Worst Enemy

So let us cease aiding and abetting our own hell on earth. We have taught ourselves the unnatural habit of not communicating with our Creator (an ACIM tenet), and we have reaped the lamentable result in our world.  Let us turn today to a different way of living, and find our way home in God with all of its attendant joys.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I think that most of us have found ways to be happy, and some of our unhappy moments are when we forget to put into practice what we already know.  Certainly our depressed thoughts do constitute a hell outside of You.  We can get medical help, and we can turn to A Course in Miracles, to prayer, to friends and family, to writing in a journal; there clearly are limitless ways that may have helped in the past.  

Thank You for the good day that I am having.  But the day did not start in a promising way, because I felt sleepy and wanted just to nod off again.  Jesus would not have us to withdraw, as he says in ACIM.  And when I began writing (one of my solutions), everything turned around.  Then I visited my mother at her retirement community, and that gesture took me out of myself.  Thank You for the good day that this has turned out to be.

May my brothers and sisters be cheered by something today, if anyone is feeling down.  May we help each other, if by no other way that good thought vibes.

Amen.

All Cause of Sorrow Disappears

ACIM Workbook Lesson 195 – for Saturday, July 14, 2012

Affirmation:  “Love is the way I walk in gratitude.”

“Gratitude is a lesson hard to learn for those who look upon the world amiss.  The most that they can do is see themselves as better off than others.  And they try to be content because another seems to suffer more than they.  How pitiful and deprecating are such thoughts!  For who has cause for thanks while others have less cause?  And who could suffer less because he sees another suffer more?  Your gratitude is due to Him alone Who made all cause of sorrow disappear throughout the world.  (WB372)”

Reflections:

1 – Do Not Compare

We would be wise not to compare ourselves to others.  There will always be those who seem to have more, as well as seem to have less.  This practice of comparison is not a good practice that could ever lead us to a sane mind.

2 – Cooperation

We need cooperation, not competition, in our world (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM).  And in cooperation we find the gratitude due our brothers and sisters that is so lacking when we are competing with them for the “top” spot in our world.  We find ourselves loving each other more when we cooperate toward a common good.  We do not find ourselves in a loving mood when we are competing.

3 – Public Schools

Even the public school system is learning this truth.  Research in educational circles has been going on for a quarter of a century, and more, that recommends “cooperative learning” in our schools.  It is conceivable that this wide-based endeavor will turn out very different young adults than in our generation.  Our world needs a new system, and perhaps cooperative learning and living will emerge in the next generation.  (These ideas are not discussed in ACIM or in A Course of Love.)

4 – Pity Is Unworthy

It is particularly unworthy if we simply look with pity on another’s suffering, and use that situation to be glad that we too are not suffering that much.  Surely we ought to do what we can to lighten another’s load, and turn suffering into joy.  Surely we ought not to doubt the results of a healing when symptoms still seem evident (a Manual tenet).  But we need to recognize that, however lamentable, the suffering is not real (a Manual tenet).  It is an illusion, however much it may seem real to us or to the sufferer himself/herself.  The real Self (the “Christ” in us) has not been harmed.  Our task now is to move beyond suffering and to turn it back, if need be, simply into pain that would be avoided.

5 – Sickness as a Way of Life

Not everyone is ready for this change.  Some use sickness as a way of life, and a sudden healing might precipitate depression so deep that one would want to commit suicide (from the Manual).  So healing has to wait.  But we cannot doubt that a healing will be accepted when the individual is ready.  This can be either physical or emotional healing, and perhaps the emotional is the most important.

6 = With Grateful Eyes

Let us look with grateful eyes on our brothers and sisters, and let us help them, with more kindness, through their journey.  What better way to spend our day?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I do feel grateful today for my many blessings.  I would feel more gratitude than is usual for me, for this lesson today is a reminder of how much we owe to You.  Be with me today as I walk through this world.

May I never use sickness to get me something that I want.  Nothing needs to be used in such a way.  I would not feel pity for those less fortunate, though I would try to help my brothers and sisters in need.  Show me what to do and say.

Thank You.

Amen.

Rest Untroubled / Gently Reassured

ACIM Workbook Lesson 194 – for Friday, July 13, 2012

Affirmation:  “I place the future in the Hands of God.”
“Now are we saved indeed.  For in God’s Hands we rest untroubled, sure that only good can come to us.  If we forget, we will be gently reassured.  If we accept an unforgiving thought, it will be soon replaced by love’s reflection.  And if we are tempted to attack, we will appeal to Him Who guards our rest to make the choice for us that leaves temptation far behind.  No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its Friend.  (WB371)”

Reflections:

1 – Euphoria vs. Dejection

I do not think that we often think of the world as our “enemy.”  But it is quite possible that, as Jesus says, this is a legitimate way to think of the what we have made the world to be for ourselves.  Driven by the ego, and with an imprisoned will (ACIM tenet), we find ourselves alternating euphoria (when the ego has “won”) and dejection (when the ego has been deflated).  If the ego were sane, we would never be in this predicament.  But living with our ego has driven our own minds to madness.  And this Jesus would not have for us.

2 – How Do We Get the Madness Out?

How do we get the madness out?  A frontal assault on the ego will not work, as the ego would just go underground, where its machinations would continue–disturbing our peace of mind and giving us bad dreams in a reality that is not truly “real.”  We simply are bidden to turn aside from the ego’s promptings, and often this may be seen by us as those things to which egotistical desire is a motivation.  We turn aside the ego’s promptings gently, because the ego is strong in strife (an ACIM tenet).

3 – A Different Way to Live

Does this turning aside from the ego seem a hopelessly impossible task?  If so, try to learn a different way to live, the way outlined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.  Try to give over attack, judgment, and planning that is not inspired by the Holy Spirit to a Higher Power.  This Higher Power is, in fact, the Holy Spirit, and He will come to our call.  Jesus promises the same, i.e., to come in respond to “one unequivocal call” (ACIM quotation).

4 – We Need Help

We need help.  It is the ego that thinks this makes us less, to admit our defeat in trying to live by the ego’s dictates.  But it is the wisest reasoning, and it is a reasoning that is inspired by intuition, one of the primary ways that our Guide (the Holy Spirit) speaks to us.  We will find, as time goes by, that turning on a dime, when we receive prompting is a very freeing way to live.  We may not know what will come afterward, but we do learn, through this method, the next right step.

5 – The Next Right Step

And knowing that next right step makes all the difference.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for the fact that currently my life is going smoothly.  Everyone has difficulties from time to time, and I would stay in touch with You during the easy times as well as the problems.  Thank You that all in my immediate circle are emotionally and physically well.  Thank You that I am emotionally and physically well.  May my brothers and sisters whom I do not know move into this certain realm, where You are there and all is well.

Be with us throughout the day.  Thank You specifically for this Workbook lesson, one that is so reassuring and compels peace to enter our minds and hearts.  Be with us today to keep serene in the midst of the ordinary path that we walk.

Thank You.

Amen.

Live in the Moment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 193 – for Thursday, July 12, 2012

Affirmation:  “All things are lessons God would have me learn.”

“Each hour, spend a little time today, and in the days to come, in practicing the lesson in forgiveness in the form established for the day.  And try to give it application to the happenings the hour brought, so that the next one is free of the one before.  The chains of time are easily unloosened in this way.  Let no one hour cast its shadow on the one that follows, and when that one goes, let everything that happened in its course go with it.  Thus will you remain unbound, in peace eternal  in the world of time.  (WB369)”

Reflections:

1 – “Chains of Time Are Easily Unloosened”

This is a comprehensive statement of the dictate of A Course in Miracles that we live in the moment.  We don’t often do that, though.  We are more familiar with trying to live one day at a time.

2 – Relinquish What Just Happened

Here, though, ACIM goes a step farther, and asks us to relinquish what has happened just a moment ago.  This allows grievances no time to build up.  We offer forgiveness virtually simultaneously to the offending word or deed.  And this puts us squarely on the path toward home in God.

3 – Hour by Hour

So, here it is “hour by hour,” rather than day by day.  A challenging thought!  But we know that the teacher of God, according to the Manual, does not know challenges, for he/she lets guidance direct the way, always.  It is highly unlikely that we can sustain this degree of flexibility in following guidance, though.  What we must do is to accept the guidance just as soon as we are emotionally able.

4 – Having a Good Day

There are a few stunning pages in the Text that tell us how to have a good day.  And in the midst of these words we see that we frequently don’t like how we feel when we have put ourselves squarely in control.  Our lives seem to be spinning out of control, even with our best efforts.  This is because the ego is insane (an ACIM tenet), and the ego does not wish us well (also an ACIM tenet).  If we don’t like how we feel, we can turn to guidance at any time, and with good results.  And the sooner we readjust our priority in thinking, the sooner we will walk a green earth again.

5 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the central lesson of A Course in Miracles.  God does not need to forgive us, because He has never condemned us (an ACIM tenet).  But we need to forgive ourselves, and, if we have wandered amiss, we may need to ask forgiveness of certain of our brothers and sisters.  Given this willingness to forgive, we will understand:  “to understand all, forgive all” (an aphorism from my reading of many years ago, not ACIM).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live moment by moment, not jumping ahead to even the next hour.  If there are plans to be made for my day, I will receive a prompting from the Holy Spirit of what to plan, and also how to “plan” the planning.  We are never left bereft.

Be with me throughout this day, and especially help me to practice the lesson for today.  I have the feeling that my life will improve dramatically to the extent that I can fulfill what this workbook lesson says.

Amen.

Stab of Anger

ACIM Workbook Lesson 192 – for Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Affirmation:  “I have a function God would have me fill.”

 

“Therefore, hold no one prisoner.  Release instead of bind, for thus are you made free.  The way is simple.  Every time you feel a stab of anger, realize you hold a sword above your head.  And it will fall or be averted as you choose to be condemned or free.  Thus does each one who seems to tempt you to be angry represent your savior from the prison house of death.  And so you owe him thanks instead of pain.  (WB366)”

Reflections:

1 – See the Sword Averted

A very important passage, this lesson for today is telling us what we must do when we feel a stab of anger.  And who among us does not still feel anger, even if one believes himself/herself to be enlightened?

2 – Stress and the “Pain Body”

We are likely to be stressed at the time that we seem most out of control.  As Eckhart Tolle would say, our “pain body” is in the ascendancy, and we want pain at any and all costs.  We are not in our right mind; we are even more insane than the usual.

3 – The Ego = Strong in Conflict

If we can realize that averting the sword above one’s head actually makes us free, we might be more inclined to follow this passage when the daily pathway turns grim.  We want to be free, but we cannot be free if we are caught by anger and attack, for the ego is strong in conflict (paraphrase from ACIM).

4 – Temptations to Anger

Our brothers and sisters who tempt us to anger are actually doing us a favor, for without their input, we would not be inclined to choose the good more often than the bad.  They, in turn, are merely asking for help at such times.  A brother or sister who attacks is calling for help, and the only sane response is to rush to his/her side with that help.  We must be reasonable, and ACIM does not counsel doing anything that will escalate the conflict.  If we are in danger, bodily or mentally, it would be wise to act later on, when the heat is out of the moment.  (These are interpretations, not stated in ACIM.)

5 – Venting and Our Anger

Do we really owe our brother or sister thanks for the stab of anger that his/her venting has elicited?  According to ACIM, we do.  We can recognize that we will not likely ever be free of moments of being tempted into anger, but we can fly into a great calm rather than into a great fury.

6 – This Lesson for Today

Making that choice is what today’s Workbook lesson is all about.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose today to be free of stabs of anger.  If my brother or sister tempts me to anger, help me to turn aside from attacking verbally.  Help me to realize that in all likelihood, this brother or sister is stressed, and I have been there, throughout my lifetime, many times.  I would want someone to forgive me when I am letting Eckhart’s “pain body” rise to ascendancy.  May we all pray today that our pain bodies will be released, and that we will enjoy the peace and harmony that You want for us above all else.

Be with me as I walk the pathway to You today.

May I take a timeout, leaving the room temporarily, if my temper is threatening to get the best of me.  It is actually the “worst” of me.  And I would not indulge my ego today by venting when I am stressed.  And I don’t get angry unless I am stressed.

May my brothers and sisters adopt what coping mechanisms they find most useful in avoiding anger and attack.

Thank You.

Amen.

Accord Mercy

 

ACIM Workbook Lesson 191 – for Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Affirmation:  “I am the holy Son of God Himself.”

“You who perceive yourself as weak and frail, with futile hopes and devastated dreams, born but to die, to weep and suffer pain, hear this:  All power is given unto you in earth and Heaven.  There is nothing that you cannot do.  You play the game of death, of being helpless, pitifully tied to dissolution in a world which shows no mercy to you.  Yet when you accord it mercy, will its mercy shine on you.  (WB364)”

Reflections:

1 – No Longer an “Imprisoned Will”

“Mercy” is not often mentioned in ACIM, though it is frequently taken for granted.  In today’s passage, we see our way to happiness.  We see our way out of an “imprisoned will” (quotation from ACIM).  We learn that we have been writing scripts that we live out, and in which we find ourselves lonely and in dire straits.

2 – Choose Happy Dreams

This does not have to be.  We can as easily choose happy dreams, “the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings” (from the Workbook).  We are the scriptwriters, and our ego writes sad and demoralizing scripts.  We need not cooperate with this game any longer.  And “game” is what it is.  We need to play better, and A Course in Miracles shows us how.

3 – The ACIM Ideal Mode

“There is nothing that you cannot do.”  This sentence sounds patently false, but it is simply, from my interpretation, an instance of when ACIM is to be lived in the “ideal” mode.  In the best of all possible worlds, we would seek guidance frequently, and we would ask for those things that are appropriate for ourselves.  This will not lead to “pie in the sky” thinking or doing.  This will lead to sanest good sense.  We will ask what we are suited for, not for those wisps of melody that are not our “song.”  We all know intuitively when we are praying for a blessing that is not the right blessing, not the blessing that God would bestow on us.  We need only look within, in simple honesty, to recognize when we are in an internal fight with God for what we want that He does not think is in our best interests.  Would we pray for something that will bring us ill, under these conditions?

4 – Let Go and Let God

Let go and let God, as we have often read.  Let Him direct our prayers through the medium of the Holy Spirit.  Then we will add our thoughts and actions, and we will find the silver lining in our daily lives for which we have often wished.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not see myself today in any sense as weak or frail.  You are always here for me, and You know what I can do.  You will guide me through the Holy Spirit.  Thank You for the confidence that You have placed in me.

Let me open to Your will.  May I recognize that Your Will and my will are actually identical.  May my day go smoothly, in Your grace.

Amen.

I Choose the Joy of God Instead of Pain

ACIM Workbook Lesson 190 – for Monday, July 9, 2012

Affirmation:  “I choose the joy of God instead of pain.”

“Lay down your arms, and come without defense into the quiet place where Heaven’s peace holds all things still at last.  Lay down all thoughts of danger and of fear.  Let no attack enter with you.  Lay down the cruel sword of judgment that you hold against your throat, and put aside the withering assaults with which you seek to hide your holiness.  (WB362)”

Reflections:

1 – When in Anger or Attack

Today’s passage will comfort in times of distress, especially when we are in anger or attack mode.  We are to get quiet, feel the peace of Heaven, and let the discouraging emotions die an easy death.  We will then feel better, and the effect will be extreme relaxation and serenity.

2 – Do Not Judge

If we judge on an ongoing basis, we will never know Awakening.  We are told elsewhere that judging precludes Awakening.  We are also told that if we seem to slip from grace, we have in all likelihood dipped into attack, judgment, or have started making plans against contingencies that are not supported by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Text tenets).

3 – Help in Dropping Judgment

If dropping judging can do so much for us, how do we effect this?  We must remember that we have lots of help.  There are Teachers of teachers, watching from the Other Side (from the Manual).  There is our internal Guide, the Holy Spirit.  And Jesus offers his help, help that he will bring to us upon hearing “one unequivocal call” (quotations from ACIM).  So we call on this help; we do not even attempt to drop judging as a personal crusade.  Personal crusades are one way that the ego hides from us, and the outcome is never good (personal interpretation, not stated directly in ACIM).  We are bad to commune with God (in the opening pages of the Text).

4 – We Are Never Alone

We never, in short, need to feel alone, because we never are alone.  But we have to relinquish the ego-oriented self-will that is not open to God’s direction.  As ACIM says many times, God’s Will and our will are identical, but we just don’t recognize this.  The Holy Spirit chooses for us.  He lets us know what will make us happy, for happiness is a function that ACIM ascribes to us.

5 – No More Judging

We pray that judging step aside from us.  We pray that the ego, a part of our belief about ourselves, cease to call the shots.  And when we have become pliable and flexible in God’s Hands, we will know the peace that today’s passage promises.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to get through this day.  It appears to be difficult, but this is only a mirage.  No day with You is difficult.  And I bring my own pain upon myself.  Help me to do no judging of my brothers and sisters.  All are doing as well as they can.  And help me to do as well as I can.

Amen.

What You Feel Within = What You See Without

ACIM Workbook Lesson 189 – for Sunday, July 8, 2012

Affirmation:  “I feel the Love of God within me now.”

 

“What would you see?  The choice is given you.  But learn and do not let your mind forget this law of seeing:  You will look upon that which you feel within.  If hatred finds a place within your heart, you will perceive a fearful world, held cruelly in death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers.  If you feel the Love of God within you, you will look out on a world of mercy and of love.  (WB359)”

Reflections:

1 – A Lovely Passage

What a lovely passage from the Workbook!  And the images are so profound.

2 – Fear = Hatred

If we have ever lived in fear, perhaps we have not realized that hatred has found a place within our heart.  Perhaps this seems too harsh.  But Jesus frequently equates attack with hate (in other places in ACIM); he goes the whole distance in categorizing our emotions.  Jesus does not see lukewarm emotions, indicating to us elsewhere that a hint of irritation is the same as intense fury (separated from us only by a veil).

3 – Not Always Fearful

We do not always see a fearful world.  So we are not always caught by the hatred (and attack) that the ego would foster.

4 – The Love of God Within

We see a world of mercy and of love, perhaps increasingly so as our study of A Course in Miracles proceeds.  According to the passage for today, this sight means that we are feeling the Love of God within.  What a blessing this is!

5 – A World of Mercy and of Love

We would not view “death’s sharp-pointed, bony fingers.”  We would see a world of mercy and of love.  Let us go forth today to see Love wherever we are, and if someone else seems to attack us, let us remember that he or she is really calling for help (an ACIM tenet), and may we give help accordingly.  This is the way that Love works.  And it is our holy relationships that will carry us home to God.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would see a world today of mercy and of love.  I would feel within the love that You wish for me to feel.  And I know that when I feel that inward love, then the world that is externally is very different, very much better.  Thank You for helping me to reach this understanding.

This workbook lesson teaches me what is repeatedly said in A Course in Miracles:  projection makes perceptions.  May I project from a mind and heart that is rooted in love, and by so doing to see a world that is beautiful.  I know that the suffering in this world is actually illusory, but let this understanding in no way detract from the compassion that I would feel for others.

Be wtih me today as I walk through my world.  May my words be sweet, my demeanor graceful.  I would be the person today that You wish for me to be.  May I reach out to my brothers and sisters with the help that You know that I am suited to give.  But may I never try to overreach, to help when I am being an unhealed healer.

Amen.

Why Wait for Heaven?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 188 – for Saturday, July 7, 2012

Affirmation:  “The peace of God is shining in me now.”

“Why wait for Heaven?  Those who seek the light are merely covering their eyes.  The light is in them now.  Enlightenment is but a recognition, not a change at all.  Light is not of the world, yet you who bear the light in you are alien here as well.  The light came with you from your native home, and stayed with you because it is your own.  It is the only thing you bring with you from Him Who is your source.  It shines in you because it lights your home, and leads you back to where it came from and you are at home.  (WB357)”

Reflections:

1 – Are Our Present Lives Unreal?

The most welcome opening sentences of the passage for today lend an unreal aspect to our mundane lives.  Can it truly be that we are missing out on Heaven on earth because we are covering our eyes from the light that would show us Heaven?

2 – Enlightenment

Importantly, we see the way to Enlightenment (also called Awakening in ACIM) pointed out in this passage as well.  We “recognize,” but we are not miraculously changed.  Our personalities remain the same.  And A Course of Love (perhaps a sequel to A Course in Miracles) says that we do not have to be perfect to experience this change.  We need only to make the decision for those imperfect things (or things that we deem to be imperfect) be eliminated from our emotional make-up, and they will be gone.  Throughout ACIM we are told that our minds make our experience of this world.  In A Course of Love, we are told that wholeheartedness is the aim toward which we are now ready to point.  This is a blend of mind and heart, for the heart knows blessings and understands concepts (intuitively) that the mind can never know.

3 – End of the Journey

When we have taken the steps outlined in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we will be at home in God.  The end of the journey that never began is at hand.  May this blessing come sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk ever closer to You and ever-closer to Christ-consciousness.  I would not do so in arrogance, but in true humility and with the Authority that You give me.  You are the Source.  May I never forget that.

Be with me today through the sometimes lonely road that we all walk.  May I find my friends there for me today, and especially may I find my significant others there for me.

Help us to help each other, as Jesus would certainly proscribe.

Amen.

No Place for Sacrifice nor Suffering

ACIM Workbook Lesson 187 – for Friday, July 6. 2012

Affirmation:  “I bless the world because I bless myself.”

“Never believe that you can sacrifice.  There is no place for sacrifice in what has any value.  If the thought occurs, its very presence proves that error has arisen and correction must be made.  Your blessing will correct it.  Given first to you, it now is yours to give as well.  No form of sacrifice and suffering can long endure before the face of one who has forgiven and has blessed himself.  (WB355)”

Reflections:

1 – Doing for Others

We have long believed that when we sacrifice for our loved ones, we are doing the right thing.  This passage for today assures us that, even when we are doing for our loved ones, God does not demand sacrifice.  We may do the same things, but when we are in God’s flow, we will not see our actions as sacrifice.  A change of attitude is all that is needed.

2 – Change of Attitude

“If the thought occurs” is the pivotal point, the indication that we need to change our attitude.  We need to entertain the thought of correction.  Correction is the definition of Atonement (an ACIM tenet).  When we have accepted Atonement for ourselves, we will know correction in our daily lives.  And our daily lives will take a substantial and lasting turn for the better.

3 – Blessings and Thankfulness

Blessings and thankfulness are often linked in my own mind.  If we wish to bless someone, we are being thankful for their place in our lives.  And then we have opened the door to more blessings for ourselves as well.  We will not sacrifice and suffer in our holy relationships, because we will know love

4 – Forgiveness

If we have not forgiven ourselves for our past misdeeds, we will carry a heavy load of guilt, and guilt is hell (an ACIM tenet).  Let us reject such foolishness by simple forgiveness.  We need only ask, and the blessing of forgiveness is ours.  There can be no better way to have a good day.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You for this glorious day.  I had a moment of an anxiety attack this morning, and, with distraction and prayer out loud to You, the moment left me–and quickly.  Help me to remember always that You are nearer to me than my breath, that I am a part of You.

No sacrifice seems too good to be true!  We will be caregivers for our significant others, but if I view this as a sacrifice, I need to change my attitude.  There is much to be gained from taking care of our loved ones–for them as well as ourselves.  May I never forget that this caregiving is a two-way street.

Be with me as I seek to leave all suffering behind.  The last three days have been glorious ones for me, and a tiny change in my routine created some of that difference.  Be with me as I seek to attract Your blessings, and many of these are the intangibles of love, peace, joy, tranquility, and serenity.  No need for drama in a life that is calm and quiet.

Amen.

Do as God’s Voice Directs

ACIM Workbook Lesson 186 – for Thursday, July 5, 2012

“Do as God’s Voice directs.  And if It asks a thing of you which seems impossible, remember Who it is That asks, and who would make denial.  Then consider this; which is more likely to be right?  The Voice That speaks for the Creator of all things, Who knows all things exactly as they are, or a distorted image of yourself, confused, bewildered, inconsistent and unsure of everything?  Let not its voice direct you.  Hear instead a certain Voice, which tells you of a function given you by your Creator Who remembers you, and urges that you now remember him.  (WB353)”

Affirmation:  “Salvation of the world depends on me.”

Reflections:

1 – Summary

This passage is a concise summary of one of my favorite tenets of A Course in Miracles.  We need to follow guidance.  It is an imperative.  And we need to be sure that the guidance that we are getting is genuinely from the right Place, not from the ego.  The ego likes to masquerade as our Maker, and we would be wise to test out our guidance, to be certain that the ego is not intruding, giving us ideas for self-aggrandizement that will only give us grief.  (This is interpretation, not stated in ACIM.)

2 – Intuitive Advice

When we ask for advice, intuitive advice, from the Holy Spirit (or from Christ-consciousness, if we have progressed that far), then we are assured that we will have a good day.  We will not be “confused, bewildered, inconsistent, and unsure of everything.”

3 – Motivation

Is not this great motivation?  Could we ask for anything better?

4 – Flow and Ebb in Balance

Our days will flow and ebb in precise balance with the degree to which we are attuned to what our Guide tells us.  Begin the day with God, follow Him throughout the day, and then thank Him at night for the glorious day that you will have had.  These are instructions from the Manual, in which we are led to realize that a constant asking may not be practical, and it is the practical with which A Course in Miracles is most concerned.  If we turn to the Holy Spirit at the beginning of our day, at the end of our day, and in between, when we get a moment to reflect, then our day will be wisely spent.  Jesus does not ask for more than we are willing to give.

5 – Be Still

I have found, though, that more frequent turning inward for guidance is, for me, a better practice.  I do not say that I always succeed in coming to know God’s Will for me, but, if I become quiet, and listen inwardly, I am more likely to know what guidance is saying than if I rush about and hurry so.  Intuitive thoughts come unbidden, when we have been quiet enough.  There is a caveat, though, in that we must be sure that the intuitive thoughts that we choose to act upon do not harm ourselves or anyone else.  Then if we can be sure that we are being harmless (as well as helpful), we will walk a green earth.

6 – A Blessed Day!

There is no better way to have a blessed day!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May this day be as grand as yesterday!  Thank you for the blessings that You are bestowing on me in the present.  May I listen attentively to Your Voice, and may I follow Your advice to me.

Be with me as I walk about my world today.  There is no better way that I have ever found than to follow Your guidance consistently.

Thank You.

Amen.

Finding Happiness and Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 92 – for Monday, April 2, 2012

Affirmation:  “Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one.”

Selected Passage:

“Truth is a savior and can only will for happiness and peace for everyone.  It gives its strength to everyone who asks, in limitless supply.  It sees that lack in anyone would be a lack in all.  And so it gives its light that all may see and benefit as one.  It strength is shared, that it may bring to all the miracle in which they will unite in purpose and forgiveness and in love.  (WB159-160)”

Reflections:

1 – Truth

We sometimes have trouble with the concept of truth, for we know that our own interpretations intervene, sometimes leading us to false assumptions.  Truth frequently seems to be all interpretation, and actually, when we have guidance, it is not all interpretation.  Truth, rightfully understood, leads to happiness and peace, and which of us does not want this boon?

2 – Share with Others

We are here encouraged to share in unity with our brothers and sisters, a tenet that is shared by the later A Course of Love (Note:  See “About” section of this blog).  When we share in unity, a miracle comes easily.  We no longer seem to be alone and abandoned by God; He is with us, because we are with Him.

3 – We Must Be United

We who are to save the world must be united, if we are to succeed.  There are many different curricula, but ours is A Course in Miracles (and perhaps the volumes seen by some as a sequel by Jesus, A Course of Love).  It would not do for us to try out many different pathways, though many of us have done just that over the years.  Why choose, again and again, when ours has been given to us (a Text tenet)?  We will have the strength to succeed in our endeavors when we turn to guidance of the Holy Spirit, following Jesus, who holds our hand as we walk along (a Text tenet).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know happiness and peace today.  I would stand united with my brothers and sisters in the endeavor which we are undertaking to bring salvation to a troubled world.  I would not proselytize, though, for I do not wish to turn off others when they are not ready.  Help me to make the correct discernment about the readiness of others, before I share anything about God with them.

Be with all of us today to lead us to a good day.  May our blessings reassure us that You have always been there for us.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without.  May the knowledge that You bring to me cleanse my perceptions, so that the projections that lead to my perceptions do not lead me astray.

Thank You.

Amen.

Only a Little Effort Needed

ACIM Workbook Lesson 91 – for Sunday, April 1, 2012

Affirmation:  “Miracles are seen in light.”

Selected Passage:

“Your efforts, however little they may be, have strong support.  Did you but realize how great this strength, your doubts would vanish.  (WB156)”

Reflections:

1 – Let the Holy Spirit Lead

Elsewhere Jesus says that we do not feel comfortable with the truth that our own contribution is so little, and the contribution of the Holy Spirit to our best living is so great (a paraphrase).  We think that we ought to do more.

2 – We Need Contribute Just a Bit

Yet it is just because we are asked to do so little, ourselves, that our success is assured.  We are so often weak in the flesh (a biblical concept), and when we depend on guidance from the Holy Spirit, we are depending on real strength that will take us Home.  When we take this understanding to heart, we are reassured in the extreme.

3 – Do Not Struggle

We do not have to struggle; indeed, we are bade not to struggle.  We are not to choose the miracles that we will perform, because personally selected miracles may be misguided (a Text tenet).  We are to depend on Jesus to guide us to the miracles that we are to perform, and, when we do this, all is well.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not struggle today, but take the day as it comes, knowing that the Holy Spirit will alleviate my burdens.  Let me not feel unnecessary in this exchange, because the Holy Spirit does need my willingness to follow His lead.  I give that willingness today.

Be with me as I walk through the day.  Your will is the only one that I would follow, and I am led gently down a pathway in spring.

Amen.

Enjoying Comfort in Living

ACIM Workbook Lesson 90 – for Saturday, March 31, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.”

Selected Passage:

“The problem is a grievance; the solution is a miracle.  And I invite the solution to come to me through my forgiveness of the grievance, and my welcome of the miracle that takes its place.  (WB155)”

Reflections:

This lesson builds on the one for yesterday.  Yes, all problems are forms of grievances, or we would not perceive them as problems at all.  Our problems can be solved, and solved this very day.  Sometimes the best solution is internal, and no external matter has to change at all for the blessing to come down upon us.

Affirmation:  “Let me recognize my problems have been solved.”

Selected Passage:

“I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence.  That is because I do not yet realize that God has placed the answer together with the problem, so that they cannot be separated by time.  The Holy Spirit will teach me this, if I will let Him.  And I will understand it is impossible that I could have a problem which has not been solved already.  (WB155)”

Reflections:

This passage may sound utopian, too unrealistic to be believed.  But there are many things in ACIM that sound too good to be true.  Be patient a bit, and study, and see how the Holy Spirit brings the happy dreams (an ACIM tenet).  We think our problems are real, but we live in illusion, and therefore no problem at all is truly “real.”  A careful study of the passage selected for today will prove to be comforting in the extreme.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a comforting day today, and to have this comforting day, all that is needed is to turn to You.  You will replace my grievances with the forgiveness that I need to give all, and then this becomes the miracle that I need.  I need Your miracles, and I thank You for so generously offering them to me.

Be with us today as we go about our world.  I know that the real world is something different from the illusions that I look upon.  I would clear my mind and spirit of illusions, and let my heart take over to provide solutions to all that I view as problems.  Be with me today, in Your comfort.

Amen.

Ask for a Miracle Today

ACIM Workbook Lesson 89 – for Friday, March 30, 2012

Affirmation:  “I am entitled to miracles.”

Selected Passage:

“I am entitled to miracles because I am under no laws but God’s.  His laws release me from grievances, and replace them with miracles.

    “. . .Let me not hold a grievance against you, [name], but offer
    you the miracles that belongs to you instead.
    See truly, this offers me a miracle.  (WB154)”

Reflections:

Ask for a miracle today.  This is not presumptuous.  Jesus knows when we are ready, because miracles comes through him to us.  We must not, though, try to make a given miracle happen on our own.  Consciously selected miracles can be misguided (a Text tenet).  But ask a Higher Power for what we need, and all is well.  And well this very day.  If a given situation does not change in the physical world, perhaps the real miracle is internal, in the mind and spirit.

Affirmation:  “Let miracles replace all grievances.”

Selected Passage:

“I want all of Heaven and only Heaven, as God wills me to have.

    “. . .Beyond this is the miracle by which my grievances are
    replaced.  (WB154)”

Reflections:

We learn today that we do not have to struggle to give up grievances.  A miracle will do the task for us!  What a blessing!  And what joy awaits on the other side of the miracle.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Sometimes we may feel that the only thing that will help us is a miracle.  This feeling is likely to come over us at times of great stress.

Help me to be reassured that You are always there.  I know that Your felt presence dispels anxiety immediately.  May I know this today.  May the memory of Your many blessings give me the reassurance that more blessings will follow.  And that includes anything and everything that, just now, is raising my anxiety level.

I would not hold grievances of any kind.  I would know that under Your laws, miracles are natural.  And I would ask for a miracle today.

Thank You.

Amen.

Salvation = A Decision Made Already

ACIM Workbook Lesson 88 – for Thursday, March 29, 2012

 

Affirmation:  “The light has come.”

Selected Passage:

“Salvation is a decision made already.  Attack and grievances are not there to choose.  That is why I choose between truth and illusion; between what is there and what is not.  (WB153)”

Reflections:

This is the underpinning of ACIM.  We know that we always choose between illusions and the truth.  Not sometimes–but always.  We are living an illusory world, not knowing that salvation is ours already.  When the real world has dawned on our sight, we will not be able to believe how wrong we were for so long, why we chose such insanity.  Let us drop the insanity today.  We can.

Affirmation:  “I am under no laws but God’s.”

Selected Passage:

“Here is the perfect statement of my freedom.  I am under no laws but God’s.  I am constantly tempted to make up other laws and give them power over me.  I suffer only because of my belief in them.  They have no real effect on me at all.  I am perfectly free of the effects of all laws save God’s.  And His are the laws of freedom.  (WB153)”

Reflections:

God’s laws are freedom.  And so often in the past we have not believed this.  We have chosen a way of looking at God that made us think that He would not accept us because of our manifold “sins.”  Now we learn in ACIM that we are innocent in our Self, and that we have only made correctable mistakes.  ACIM says that God does not forgive because He has never condemned.   Now it is up to us to accept this truth,  and to forgive ourselves.  Only then will be ready to reach out to others with pardon.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave behind attack and grievances.  I know that in order to do this, I must be at peace in my daily life.  May I be at peace today.

Your salvation for me is all that I really need.  I do know this.  I will listen to my heart today, thank You for my many blessings, and see no more illusions or fantasies.  Your Way is what I choose.

Be with me through the day as I seek not to sabotage myself.  I truly am my own worst enemy.  Help me to do the things that I know will help my brothers and sisters, and myself, and to leave behind the attack and grievances that are so detrimental to everyone.

Thank You for guiding me to feel Your presence.  That is surely my greatest blessing.

Amen.

Happy Dreams the Holy Spirit Brings

ACIM Workbook Lesson 87 – for Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Affirmation:  “I will there be light.”

Selected Passage:

“I will use the power of my will today.  It is not my will to grope about in darkness, fearful of shadows and afraid of things unseen and unreal.  Light shall be my guide today.  I will follow it where it leads me, and I will look only on what it shows me.  This day I will experience the peace of true perception.  (WB152)”

Reflections:

True perception is a gift of the Holy Spirit, a gift that gives us happy dreams.  And true perception can and does lead ultimately to knowledge.  We can use the power of our will to will today that we see in light.  This is a metaphorical way of speaking, but its intent is clear to even very early students of A Course in Miracles.  We know when we are groping in darkness, in the negative emotions, and we would change all of that to sometimes much more positive.  ACIM will teach us how to make that change.

Affirmation:  “There is no will but God’s.”

Selected Passage:

“I am safe today because there is no will but God’s.  I can become afraid only when I believe there is another will.  I try to attack only when I am afraid, and only when I try to attack can I believe that my eternal safety is threatened.  Today I will recognize that all this has not occurred.  I am safe because there is no will but God’s.  (WB152)”

Reflections:

One does attack only when one is afraid.  Knowing this, how can we not forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters?  Attack is the misguided way that we ask for help.  It is the opposite of giving help.  And we must give help, sometimes in very subtle ways, if we would know the best way to live.  If an overt display of help would not be well-received by someone who is attacking us, let us back off.  But we can give what we are led by guidance to give.  And sometimes we can simply wait for a better moment to make our gift to ourselves as well as to others.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would ask for an easy day today.  Perhaps this is not a realistic prayer, but it is one that feels right to me now.  I need some solace, some happy dreams.  I am on the verge of experiencing too much stress.  May my perceptions change so that I am at peace.  May You walk with me throughout this day, and may I be conscious of Your presence.

This time I am afraid of my own reactions.  Being stressed puts me at odds with Your peace, and I would not be at odds with Your peace.  Help me to lie low today as I regain my equilibrium.  This day I devote to You.  This day I will seek, in as many moments as I can, Your peace above my ego-oriented propensity to be right.

Keep me from knit-picking.  I would be tolerant of all whom I encounter.  I would seek for their happiness every bit as much as I seek for mine.  Give me Your guidance as I seek to maneuver through the mines of an uncertain world.

Thank You for being there for me.

Amen.

How to Avoid Being Vulnerable

ACIM Workbook Lesson 86 – for Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Affirmation:  “Only God’s plan for salvation will work.  (WB151)”

Selected Passage:

 

“It is senseless for me to search wildly about for salvation.  I have seen it in many people and in many things, but when I reached for it, it was not there.  I was mistaken about where it is.  Only God’s plan for salvation will work.  (WB151)”

Reflections:

A Course in Miracles says that there are many other curricula, and that they only save time.  This is the main function of any curriculum leading toward salvation.  But Jesus stresses that our way is ACIM, and it would be foolish for us to try a different way when this one is intended for us.  By “us,” Jesus is talking about students/teachers of ACIM.

Affirmation:  “Holding grievances is an attack on God’s plan for salvation.  (WB151)”

Selected Passage:

“Holding grievances is an attempt top prove that God’s plan for salvation will not work.  Yet only His plan will work.  By holding grievances, I am therefore excluding my only hope of salvation from my awareness.  I would not longer defeat my own best interests in this insane way.  I would accept God’s plan for salvation, and be happy.  (WB151)”

Reflections:

We know that we need to give up grievances.  But we fail, time and time again, because the ego has not died in us.  The ego can be very wily when its foundations have been disturbed, and this is what A Course in Miracles, particularly the Workbook, has been doing.  We may no longer make gross mistakes, but the more subtle mistakes, ones that seem so “sensible,” may still pull us back.  We must learn that  forgiveness is our way always, in every situation.  Once this lesson has been learned, we will be well on the way to Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would drop any and all grievances that I have held or do hold.  I would follow the plan for salvation that You point out.  I would not listen to my ego-mind any longer.

Help me to know that I will understand full safety when I have given up grievances,  resentment, and the like.  It is only my own fear that keeps me from You.  I would go to You today, the You that is inside of me and all else.

Amen.

Overcoming Grievances, Hate, and Resentment

ACIM Workbook Lesson 85 – for Monday, March 26, 2012

Affirmation:  “My grievances hide the light of the world in me.”

 

Selected Passage:

“To see, I must lay grievances aside.  I want to see, and this will be the means by which I will succeed.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

To see is to have vision, the understanding that is afforded us by the Holy Spirit.  And to see aright, we must leave our grievances behind.  Other words (not stated in ACIM, but suggested by a close reading) that would be akin to “grievances” would be resentment and hate.  These dark emotions will preclude our seeing aright.  And we must see aright if we are to bring salvation to our brothers and sisters in this world.

Affirmation:  “My salvation comes from me.”

Selected Passage:

“Today I will recognize where my salvation is.  It is in me because its Source is there.  It has not left its Source, and so it cannot have left my mind.  I will not look for it outside myself.  It is not found outside and then brought in.  But from within me it will reach beyond, and everything I see will but reflect the light that shines in me and in itself.  (WB150)”

Reflections:

The passage quoted above is a theoretical look at one of the more practical aspects of A Course in Miracles.  For those of us who are drawn to the theoretical, we will find much to ponder in this passage.  God is within.  There is nothing outside ourselves (a Text tenet).  We project, and then we perceive the external to ourselves.  But when we recognize that God speaks to us from within, we can know what is meant by the lesson for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would leave all my grievances, even the tiny ones, behind me today.  When I don’t collect grievances, I am not prone to attack verbally.  Thank You for this insight.  It is akin to the insight, also given by you, that I am not prone to attack unless I am stressed.  I would live in Your peace today, and I would not collect grievances nor invite stress.

Help me today when the stress seems to be too much.  All manner of problems will develop unless I take a time-out and pray.  Help me to remember You when it counts most.  I would live in Your peace.  That is all that I really need to think about as the day unfolds.

Thank You for being there for me.  I know that You are within, and that nothing is without–that I am projecting the world, just as are my brothers and sisters in this world.  May we find each other a help in our journey back to You, never a hindrance.  If anybody attempts to bait me today, let me know that I am seeing amiss, and a few moments of quiet, solitary time will set my perceptions aright again.

Amen.

The Nature of Love

ACIM Workbook Lesson 84 – for Sunday, March 25, 2012

Affirmation:  “Love created me like Itself.”

Selected Passage:

“I am in the likeness of my Creator.  Love created me like Itself.  (WB149)”

Reflections:

We are meant to be creatures of Love.  This lesson echoes biblical teaching:   made in the image and likeness of the Creator.  And we were taught, long before ACIM was given, that God is Love.  May we assume the mantle of Love today.  This does not make us equal to God, though ultimately we are meant to be co-creators with Him.  He created us; we did not create ourselves (an ACIM tenet).  We are told in ACIM that we are particularly apt to forget this distinction when we are being egotistical.

Affirmation:  “Love holds no grievances.”

Selected Passage:

“Grievances are completely alien to love.  Grievances attack love and keep its light obscure.  If I hold grievances I am attacking love, and therefore attacking my Self.  My Self thus becomes alien to me.  I am determined not to attack my Self today, so that I can remember Who I am.  (WB149)”

Reflections:

This passage is a strong motivator, almost in selfish terms (though not intended to make us selfish).  We would give up grievances so that we do not attack our Self.  We can have no peace, of course, when we are unloving to our Self.  This is reminiscent of the biblical teaching to love thy neighbor as thyself.  If one does not love one’s self, then it is impossible to love our brothers and sisters.  But this directive is in direct contradiction to the kind of love of self that the ego encourages.  We would do well to remember this.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand this lesson.  What is Love?  Are You the Love Whom I am like?

I would believe so.  And help me to absorb this great blessing.

I would not hold grievances today.  I would know that I am perfectly safe.  Thank You for this reassurance.

Amen.

A Sick Mind

“If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.  (WB260)”

Affirmation:  “no attack thoughts, no judgment, and no unguided plans”

 

Reflections:

1 – Important Passage

This is a very important passage, but easy to overlook in all of the many important passages in the Course.  If the pathway has become easier, and then suddenly or even gradually turns to darkness, here is the answer.

2 – Personal Experience

About seven years ago, I got away from A Course in Miracles.  I was at the same time under a great deal of stress, as were my significant others.  Getting away from ACIM was a very, very big mistake.  I found myself doing all the things that this passage (above) warns against.  When I, once again, after a lapse of some months, returned to ACIM, my life smoothed out, and I also discovered this passage (which I had overlooked).  The passage spoke to me now.  And it speaks still.  It has become one of my favorite passages, along with the clear explanation of why we fall away from our pathway.

3 – When the Way Is Difficult

So if the way seems rough, here is the answer.  Even times spent in happy dreams can turn to madness again if we harbor attack, if we judge, or if we make plans against uncertainties.
4 – Planning

Perhaps only the first two seem pivotal:  attacking and judging.  Planning is not often seen as deplorable, but it means that we are defending against the future.  And defense, according to the Course, is not encouraged.  It is, indeed, actively warned against.

5 – Three Prohibitions

Three prohibitions:  attacking, judging, planning against uncertainties to come.  The Course puts this warning in amidst many other great passages, but this one alone will go a long way toward explaining any falling away from the truth in our lives.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would stay in the flow dictated by the Holy Spirit.  I long to stay in the flow always, but sometimes I slip.  But today I ask that You help me to stay on the pathway to You:  no attacks, no judgments, no planning that is not prompted by my Guide.  Be with me today as I seek to turn on a dime (as I so often say).

I sometimes plan my day in the morning, almost without thinking.  And then I become overwhelmed.  This is not what You would will for me.  You would have me take each hour as it comes, careful of nothing, knowing that You are always there for me.  And when I am stressed, I may contemplate verbal attack, even if I say nothing.  This is not Your way either.  Thoughts make form at some level, and I would not have thoughts that would attack my brothers and sisters.  Keep me calm, if You would, and therefore less prone to be tempted to attack.  And judging happens almost without awareness when I am frustrated by another’s actions, when the other does not fulfill the plan that I have set out for that individual.  This too is a lamentable way to live.

And I would have none of these lamentable ways today.  I would speak kindly to my brothers and sisters, I would not judge any of their words or deeds, and I would not look ahead to plan anything that does not appear in the flow that the Holy Spirit gives me.

Help me to realize that, with Your help, all in my day will be easy.  Thank You.

Amen.

Self-Accusing Shrieks

“Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the delusions of the world. . . .It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.  It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, ‘My brother, what you think is not the truth.'”  (WB249).

 

Affirmation:  “I would forgive today.”

Reflections:

1 – Guilt

Guilt is a great bugaboo in our world:  “the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.”  Guilt makes hell for ourselves.  It is only through our forgiveness of others as well as ourselves that we emerge from this self-made hell.

2 – Personal Experience

Sometimes others in our circle try to make us feel guilty.  In my family, this happened to my mother from another relative.  I thought that it was my mother’s hang-up, until this relative did the same thing to me!  Then I realized how prone I too was to guilt that others attempt to inflict upon ourselves.  I do not still have the answer, but I do believe that if you do the best you can and remain kind to another in need (for this dynamic always comes with need), then we are less prone to feel guilty about our exchanges with others.

3 – Really Nothing to Forgive

Eventually we see that not even forgiveness is needed, because there is nothing to forgive in illusions.  We have not actually been harmed in any real way, because the real way is only the way of love.  Notice that “quiet eyes” are needed to perceive the truth.  Forgiveness looks with quiet eyes.

4 – Stay Calm

We must stay calm in this world.  As I have mentioned before in this blog, I do not get angry unless I am stressed.  The same might be said for feeling guilt.  A serene attitude, being right with God, holds many answers for us.

5 – Beautiful Words in ACIM

This passage is filled with vivid images.  Vivid images are a hallmark of the Course.  The words are terrifying, but strangely beautiful, and we do well to heed them.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not act badly today, and thus invite guilt.  I would forgive, in myself and others, any previous “bad” behavior, and by this I mean verbally attacking behavior.  Thank You for reminding us that we need to forgive, and that this is our way–forgiveness of our brothers and sisters in this world.

Help me to stay calm on this day.  When I am not stressed, You know that I behave better.  May all of us who have moments of pique turn those moments over to our Guide to resolve for us–immediately.

Thank You.

Amen.

God’s Will Is Your Will

“There is no will but God’s.  The idea for today [Note:  Workbook Lesson 74] can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed.  God’s is the only Will.  When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His.  (WB 130)”

Affirmation:  “God will is my real will.”

Reflections:

1 – Jonah

Many of us get caught up in conflicts over God’s will and our own.  We wonder if we are really very different from the story of Jonah in the Old Testament, who was forced to follow God’s will, even though his own seemed in conflict.

2 – The Same Will

A Course in Miracles promises us that there really is not conflict.  God and we actually have the same will.  When we follow our Christ nature, we will know this.  Only when caught in temptation do we feel led to take a different pathway, one that we know at the time is not God’s highest and best choice for us.

3 – Personal Experience

I spent years in a Jonah-like situation, but, in retrospect, I realize that what I perceived to be God’s will for me was, in fact, my own real will as well.  Some of the details differed, but largely they were societal expectations, not God’s inclinations.  I wondered long and hard about God’s will, and I surrendered to Him countless times.  This was not in vain.  I found the incentive to continue my walk along this pathway, and I walked it for 14 years, to its conclusion.  I was not always totally willing, but I did comply.  I did not think I had a choice, so strong was the sense that I must do this thing that seemed almost thrust upon me.

4 – The Central Thought

This workbook lesson actually says that this statement can be regarded as the “central thought” toward which all exercises are directed.  Surely when we know that God and we share the same will, we will not get caught up in conflict again.  His choice for us is always best, and we will follow what we know from the Holy Spirit when Awakening beckons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for guiding me through A Course in Miracles, and with this reading to have assured me that Your will and my real will are actually identical.  When I think that I want something different from what the Holy Spirit seems to be saying to me, I am thinking amiss.  My still-present ego has a toehold in me.

I would stay in the flow today as I seek to follow Your Guide for me.  I would be at peace and stress-free, for it is frequently simply too much stress that trips me up.  I would not be tripped up today.

Thank You for clarifying Your Will in my life.

Amen.

Think of Me Holding Your Hand

“If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you.  And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy.  (WB120)”

Affirmation:  “Jesus is holding my hand.”

Reflections:

1 – Is Jesus Present Always?

What does this promise from Jesus really mean?  I think that it means just what it says.  Jesus is a risen Master, who is available to all of us at any time.  His presence is not limited by time nor space.

2 – Hard to Believe?

We may find this hard to believe, and we do not need to be divided by theology of A Course in Miracles.  Actually it is quite possibly that Jesus can “clone” himself to be everyone, all the time.  We are learning more about things like this from new physics.

3 – Personal Experience

I do often use this technique of visualizing Jesus being with me, especially at night as I lie in bed waiting for sleep to come.  It is an enormously calming technique.  And, if you wish, you can imagine that it is just your imagination (though Jesus says otherwise in this passage).

4 – No Idle Fantasy

When we need his help, Jesus promises that visualizing him holding our hand and leading us will be no “idle fantasy.”  What a great promise this is!  His love shows through in every word.  He will be there for us, even when all the rest in the world do not seem to care.

5 – Jesus Is with Us

Jesus will lead us.  He will make the pathway smooth.  This is one of the best promises of the Course, one of the greatest consolers.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I walk through this day, besieged by the ego trying to gain a foothold in me, please help me to realize that Jesus is a risen Master who can help me.  May I drop the ego’s wily ways by realizing that nothing the ego ever wanted for me is actually something that I want.  I only want You.  Help me to realize the truth of this statement, ever more presently with me all through the day.

May I sense Jesus’s presence nearby.  I do believe, though I do not know the scientific laws that the miracle would overrule.  May the miracle rule today.  There is no greater nor lesser miracle possible; all are easy for the risen Master.

Amen.

Perfectly Safe

“Love holds no grievances.  When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (WB116)”

Affirmation:  “perfectly safe”

Reflections:

1 – A Comforting Passage

This passage is very comforting.  Safety is a great need in our world, and we find herein that letting grievances go means that we will know safety.

2 – Safety Wanted Always

This is one of my favorite passages from the Workbook, and, indeed, from the entire ACIM.  Like many of us, I have always wanted to feel safe.  And this passage promises how to do that.  Is it any wonder that we might turn to the passage often?

3 – Let Grievances Go

It is hard, sometimes, to let grievances go.  So many lamentable aspects of our lives would have us blame others for the bad times.  But should we really?  The Course teaches otherwise.  We are responsible for what we see.  We choose.    But we do not have to “blame the victim” when someone’s life seems.  Our personal (‘little”) self does not do the choosing, unless we are consciously creating a self-fulfilling prophecy (a current psychological theroy).  Our Self does the choosing, and we do not always know what it is up to.

4 – Ask God’s Help

But we can let grievances go, with God’s help, and as an act of will.  The Answer always comes in communion with God.

5 – An Illusory World

If we remember that we live in an illusory world, and that we have always actually been safe from harm to our real Self, then we may feel more secure in this world.

6 – Perfectly Safe

“. ..[P]erfectly safe” is a great consoler in times of stress and anxiety.  Let us never forget that God is always there for us, regardless of the outer and inner experience.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would feel perfectly safe today, knowing at the same time that I am perfectly safe–because my Self is never harmed.  I would let all my grievances go.  If I hold onto them, my ego is in the ascendancy.  I would not have my ego in ascendancy.

Be with me throughout the day.  Help me to live right, to live abundantly, as You will.  May I follow my Guide without fail today.  May I turn on a dime, when I sense that I am going astray.

To be perfectly safe is one of the great needs of vulnerable individuals in this world.  May all who read and pray this prayer today know that all of us are perfectly safe.  And may we know this when we have let our grievances go.

Amen.

The Presence of Fear

“The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength.  The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness.  The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear.  (WB77)”

 

Affirmation:  “God’s strength takes the place of my weakness.”

Reflections:

1 – Turn to God

When we turn to God, the fear will dissipate.  When we trust in ourselves, fear is inevitable.  This is the simple truth, but, oh, how hard it may be to live!

2 – Anxiety Attack Will Abate

If we take a timeout and turn to God, our anxiety attack may abate, especially if we commune with God at such a time.  He is there for us.  He takes away the pain.

3 – What Would God Change in Our Lives?

It may be useful to ask God what He would like changed in our lives.  Sometimes we have anxiety attacks when our inner minds know that we are on the wrong pathway.  And the anxiety is there to remind us of something that needs to be changed.  The Holy Spirit will speak to us, not audibly, but in an interior sense.  And we will be well on our way to walking away from the fear in which we find ourselves engulfed.

4 – Remember God

We must “remember” God, and “let His strength take the place of. . .weakness.”  This is the way that Jesus recommends.  This is the pathway we must take.

5 – Turning to God Is the Answer

It is easy to forget that turning to God is the answer, as always.  Even in fear, which sometimes seems so all-encompassing.  The fear may not subside immediately, because our adrenaline is present, but moments of quiet in prayer will bring peace.  Then we will know the truth of what Jesus recommends.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would listen to my own reflections today.  Fear has reared its ugly head, and that means that the ego is trying to reawaken in me.  I would let the ego wither away.  Help me to do so today, and then may I know anxiety and fear no more.

Be with me as I seek to live a peaceful and tranquil life.  I would be perfectly calm and quiet all the time, as Jesus promises in A Course in Miracles.  Be with me today as I walk away from any fears that appear to threaten my ease of mind.

Thank You.

Amen.

Fear

“There is nothing to fear. (WB77)”

 

Affirmation:  “There is nothing to fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety

Anxiety will dog the way of the ego-prone.  And is that not all of us at some point(s) in our lives?

2 – A Passage to Remember

If I could only remember this passage when anxiety rears its ugly head!  For I am still not perfect in remembering and in putting into practice this glorious promise.  Anxiety has been a thorn in my side (from St. Paul in the New Testament) for virtually all of my life.  There was only one six-month period in which anxiety did not visit me, and my consciousness was altered at the time.  (I was in a moment of revelation that would reveal th end to me, as Jesus says in the Text.).  St. Paul does not reveal what his particular “thorn” is, though there has been much speculation over the centuries.  But nobody knows the genesis of his statement.

3 – All Have Problems

All of us have thorns.  All of us have problems, some of which can be seen by others and some of which cannot be seen.

4 – Nothing to Fear

Jesus says that there is nothing to fear.  We probably do not yet see the world that way, but do we doubt Jesus?

5 – The Better Way

I think not.  We can ask to be shown the better way, the way of quiet and peace.  In a calmer frame of mind, we truly will recognize that there is nothing to fear.  When we slip from a broader perspective, we can make an affirmation of this statement.  Repeatedly saying these words in times of stress will help tremendously.  And the time will come when it becomes a truth to recognize at all times.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I awoke last night, after a bad dream, in an anxious state.  I did remember that fear is not necessary, that I do not have to feel fear.  I finally prayer myself back to sleep.  Thank You for being there.

Help me to realize that, even when I fall down, You are there to pick me up.  When I realize this, I am calmed, and that is at least one reason why communing with You in the middle of the night, is so welcoming and brings Your peace.  

Amen.

Attack Thoughts

“I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts. (WB34)”

Affirmation:  “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.”

 

Reflections:

1 – The Affirmation Works

This is a magnificently truthful statement.  On the surface of it, it sounds too easy, but it works.

2 – A Personal Story

I was once in a place of employment where there were many political pressures, and I had many political problems.  I did not “fit in” in that group of people.  I knew it, and they knew it, and perhaps as a result, they found much in my work performance to criticize.  I had recently discovered A Course in Miracles, and I read and reread the passage quoted above.  I stayed in that position for three years, and I left to much happiness for 19 years in a similar, but better position in another part of the country.  So this is why I know that this passage works.  I gave up my attack thought; I was not defensive; and soon I was led away from that work environment that was not “my” place.

3 – Projection Makes Perception

Our thoughts project the world that we experience.  That is a fundamental philosophical tenet of the Course.  If the world we see has much to regret, then perhaps it is because we are attacking it in our minds; we are having attack thoughts.

4 – Out Perception of the External Will Change

This statement has the potential to change totally the world that surrounds us.  This is true whether or not outer circumstances, the true externals, change very much.  Our perception of these externals will change.  And that is all that is needed.  We walk into a better world, one that we cannot recognize as long as we are futilely harboring attack.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I have been rereading favorite passages from A Course in Miracles.  I realized that I was not in a very positive mood, and ACIM, to date, has always soothed my troubled emotions.  Thank You for the gift that ACIM is for all of us.  And thank You for Your son Jesus, who channeled these magnificent words.

Be with us today as we go about a normal day.  Make light the pressures of the day, knowing that when we are stress-free, we will not normally attack anyone.  We are at peace, and do we not wish the same for all that we encounter?  May today be a time of special recommitment to Your way, knowing that attack never works at all, and knowing that giving up attack thoughts changes everything.

Be with us today–all who read these words.  And be with out significant others, so that the impetus to attack will not be caused by the baiting of our ego by another.

Amen.

A Sick Mind

“If you let your mind harbor attack thoughts, yield to judgment or make plans against uncertainties to come, you have again misplaced yourself, and made a bodily identity which will attack the body, for the mind is sick.  (WB260)”

Affirmation:  “no attack thoughts, judging, or ‘plans'”

Reflections:

1 – Why We Fall from Grace

This is a very important passage, but easy to overlook in all of the many important passages in the Course.  If the pathway has become easier, and then suddenly or even gradually turns to darkness, here is the answer.

2 – Lost in a Strange and Harsh World

So if the way seems rough, here is the answer.  Even times spent in happy dreams can turn to madness again if we harbor attack, if we judge, or if we make plans against uncertainties.  (If there are plans to be made, the Holy Spirit will prompt us at the appropriate time–an ACIM tenet.)  Attack and judging make the Holy Spirit’s advice impossible to hear.  We have fallen into an egoic place, and that is not where we would be.  If we lose the ability to hear our Guide, we will be lost in a strange and harsh world, not headed on the path back to God.  We will need to forgive, first of all, ourselves for this lapse; then we will need to forgive the others that have almost certainly contributed to our downfall.   This is not hard to do when we are determined.  And reading and studying Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles will put us back on the right pathway.

3 – What “Planning” Means

Perhaps only the first two of these prohibitions seem pivotal:  attacking and judging.  Planning is not often seen as deplorable, but it means that we are defending against the future.  And defense, according to the Course, is not encouraged.  It is, indeed, actively warned against.  If we defend ourselves, we make what we would defend against (a Text tenet).  And we would not make these straw men a part of our new world.

4 – If We Fall Away, Here Is the Answer Why

Three prohibitions:  attacking, judging, planning against uncertainties to come.  The Course puts this warning in amidst many other great passages, but this one alone will go a long way toward explaining any falling away from the truth in our lives.

5 – An Almost Hidden Passage in ACIM

This is an almost hidden passage in A Course in Miracles.  I have never read it in any commentary on ACIM (though I do read commentaries in a limited way).  In the same vein, do go often to ACIM itself; take nothing that I say unto yourself unless it finds a warm place in your heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

It can be so easy to fall away, even after we think that we are making progress along our pathway.  Thank You for pointing out to me this pivotal passage.  May I stay in line with Your wishes, and not attack, judge, nor make plans that are not prompted by my Guide.

Be with me today as I seek to find a smooth way through complexities that would engulf me.  These complexities are often of an ego that has not completely withered away.  The ego is wily; I would not be misled today.

Be with me for a smooth, harmonious, relaxed and easy pace today.  There is always time for what is needful.  And You love my significant others even more than I do, because in this world I have my limitations.  May this day go well, and may I make a contribution to the best that the day can hold for those who surround me.

Amen.

Self-Accusing Shrieks of Sinners Mad with Guilt

“Forgiveness is the only thing that stands for truth in the delusions of the world. . . .It does not heed the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.  It looks on them with quiet eyes, and merely says to them, ‘My brother, what you think is not the truth.'”  (WB249).

Affirmation:  “I look out on the world with quiet eyes.”

Reflections:

1 – Guilt

Guilt is a great bugaboo in our world:  “the self-accusing shrieks of sinners mad with guilt.”  Guilt makes hell for ourselves.  It is only through our forgiveness of others as well as ourselves that we emerge from this self-made hell.  Guilt is even said in ACIM to “be” hell.  We probably do not fully understand this, but probably can relate to the idea, also in ACIM, that our way to salvation is forgiveness.  And we inevitably feel guilty when we have not forgiven.

2 – The Place for Forgiveness

Eventually we see that not even forgiveness is needed, because there is nothing to forgive in illusions.  We have not actually been harmed in any real way, because the real way is only the way of love.  Notice that “quiet eyes” are needed to perceive the truth.  Forgiveness looks with quiet eyes.  Our wrongful deeds toward another have always been a call for help, and when we receive attack from others, we can therefore recognize that this time they are asking for help.  If we perceive all that happens as either an expression of love or a call for love,  we will be well on our way home.  I have never found in ACIM this exact quotation, though many commentators on ACIM use it.  Certainly the sentiment is implied in A Course in Miracles.

3 – ACIM’s Language

This passage is filled with vivid images.  Vivid images are a hallmark of the Course.  The words are terrifying, but strangely beautiful, and we do well to heed them.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look out on the world with quiet eyes today.  I would not live in hell out of a sense of guilt.  I would forgive when I have held offenses in mind; I would know that illusions are not part of the real world, and it is in the real world that I would live today.

I would not overreact to terrifying images.  Hell only seems terrible.  In truth it cannot touch me as long as I keep my eyes on You.  Only when I fall away from following my Guide do I make mistakes that lead me to feel guilty.  I would avoid those mistakes, with their attendant guilt, today.

Amen.

God’s Will Is Our Real Will

“There is no will but God’s.  The idea for today [Note:  Workbook Lesson 74] can be regarded as the central thought toward which all our exercises are directed.  God’s is the only Will.  When you have recognized this, you have recognized that your will is His.  (WB 130)”

Affirmation:  “I would follow God’s will, because He chooses what I really want.”

Reflections:

1 – God’s Will and Our Will

Many of us get caught up in conflicts over God’s will and our own.  We wonder if we are really very different from the story of Jonah in the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), who was forced to follow God’s will, even though his own seemed in conflict.

2 – There Is Really No Conflict

A Course in Miracles promises us that there really is no conflict.  God and we actually have the same will.  When we follow our Christ nature, we will know this.  Only when caught in temptation do we feel led to take a different pathway, one that we know at the time is not God’s highest and best choice for us.

3 – Central Thought

This workbook lesson actually says that this statement can be regarded as the “central thought” toward which all exercises are directed.  Surely when we know that God and we share the same will, we will not get caught up in conflict again.  His choice for us is always best, and we will follow what we know from the Holy Spirit when Awakening beckons.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Certainly I fretted over God’s will for many years in my early adulthood.  I didn’t want to feel like Jonah, but I did.  Thank You that those days are behind me, thanks to the greater understanding that A Course in Miracles has given me.  I do not have to worry that You might want me to be a puppet–just doing Your bidding.  Your bidding and my desire are actually identical!  This reality is indeed grand!

Thank You for keeping me on the pathway that I thought You wanted for me when I was younger.  I would never have felt that I had loved You enough if I had deviated from that pathway, though I know that You would have forgiven me.  May the pathways ahead that You point out be ones that I can easily and peacefully walk, without conflict.  I would know Your peace.

Thank You for always being there for me, for I am a part of You.  That knowledge is also a blessing that You have granted me through ACIM.  Thank You for that knowledge.

Amen.

Think of Jesus Holding Your Hand

“If it helps you, think of me holding your hand and leading you.  And I assure you this will be no idle fantasy.  (WB120)”

Affirmation:  “I hold Jesus’s hand today.”

Reflections:

1 – Is Jesus Limited by Time/Space?

What does this promise from Jesus really mean?  I think that it means just what it says.  Jesus is a risen Master, who is available to all of us at any time.  His presence is not limited by time nor space.

2 – Imagination?

But you do not have to believe this to still get comfort from Jesus.  You can believe that holding Jesus’s hand is only imagination, but is not this a strong master?  Joan of Arc said that her voices were her imagination, that this was how God speaks to us.  We would be wise to test out the indications that we get from the imagination, because an overwrought mind, especially in times of turmoil, can have us misperceive the situation.  First, we need to calm ourselves in any way that we have found works:  prayer, communion with God, inspirational reading, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, the helpful ear of a friend or family member.  And we must find our own way in regard to what comforts us into calm.  But all of us already have some experience in this.  Now is the time to put our calming techniques into practice.

3 – Jesus Holding Our Hand

When we need his help, Jesus promises that visualizing him holding our hand and leading us will be no “idle fantasy.”  What a great promise this is!  His love shows through in every word.  He will be there for us, even when all the rest in the world do not seem to care.

4 – Greatest Comfort

Jesus will lead us.  He will make the pathway smooth.  This is one of the best promises of the Course, one of the greatest comforts..

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I will not try to go ahead of You, trying to understand things that in this world are not understandable.  I will not try to assess whether the comfort and consolation that I feel from Jesus is only my imagination or something more.  In the final analysis, would not worry about this be a theological dividing tactic among us who follow A Course in Miracles?

I will use my guidance today to sense the presence of Jesus, even as I sense Your presence in my better moments.  He is with us in a way that we do not comprehend intellectually, but we can accept what we do not understand, stilling our intellect from questions that, in this world, have no answers.

Thank You for indicating to me that Jesus is available in some way that I cannot fully comprehend, given my limited sight in this world.

Amen.

Perfectly Safe

“Love holds no grievances.  When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe. (WB116)”

Affirmation:  “When I let all my grievances go I will know I am perfectly safe.”

Reflections:

1 – Safety

This passage is very comforting.  Safety is a great need in our world, and we find herein that letting grievances go means that we will know safety.

2 – Hard to Let Grievances Go

It is hard, sometimes, to let grievances go.  So many lamentable aspects of our lives would have us blame others for the bad times.  But should we really?  A Course in Miracles teaches otherwise.  We are responsible for what we see.  We choose.  All the choices may not be made by the little self, the personal self.  We are sometimes attune to our larger self, the Self that will ultimately be joined as one with the Christ (from A Course of Love).

3 – God is Always There for Us

“. ..[P]erfectly safe” is a great consoler in times of stress and anxiety.  Let us never forget that God is always there for us, regardless of the outer and inner experience.

4 – A Confused and Disturbed Mind

Perhaps we long for safety too much.  We are certainly in a dangerous world, but the danger in it is sometimes seen by a confused and disturbed mind.  We would have none of this insanity, but all of us here are insane to one degree or another (an ACIM tenet).  We should not underestimate the madness of this world (also an ACIM tenet).  And it would be good for us to ask the Holy Spirit, speaking for God, to “get the madness out.”

5 – Our Circumstances May Improve

We may be surprised by the improvement in our circumstances.  Perhaps all that has been missing was our oneness with God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would lose my grievances today, if only for today, and I know that life is lived one day at a time.  I know that when I am thinking peacefully about others, I am much happier.  And I also know that I feel safe.  The truth of this statement comes home to me.

May I know safety in this difficult world.  May I let my grievances go, not just for a day or so, but day-by-day far into the future.  For all time.  This is as You would have it for me, and I choose what You will.

Thank You for helping me in this resolution.

Amen.

The Presence of Fear

“The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength.  The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God, and let His strength take the place of your weakness.  The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear.  (WB77)”

Affirmation:  “Let God’s strength take the place of my weakness.”

Reflections:

1 – Turn to God

When we turn to God, the fear will dissipate.  When we trust in ourselves, fear is inevitable.  This is the simple truth, but, oh, how hard it may be to live!

2 – Remember God

We must “remember” God, and “let His strength take the place of. . .weakness.”  This is the way that Jesus recommends.  This is the pathway we must take.

3 – Fear May Seem All-Encompassing

It is easy to forget that turning to God is the answer, as always.  Even in fear, which sometimes seems so all-encompassing.  The fear may not subside immediately, because our adrenaline is present, but moments of quiet in prayer will bring peace.  Then we will know the truth of what Jesus recommends.

4 – We Are Not Alone

We do not ever have to feel alone.  We are not alone.  Jesus says in the Text that we can imagine that he is holding our hand as we walk through our day, and that this will be no “idle fantasy.”  Is he really there, with everyone, somehow?  I do not know, but I believe that there are laws of the universe about which we know nothing.  If holding his hand is only imagination, we are nonetheless tapping into a powerful antidote to fear.  The next time that we can’t sleep at night, we ought to imagine Jesus beside us.  We ought to imagine that we are conversing with him.  This type of prayer is illustrative of the different ways in which to pray.  Experiment with your own different ways, and see if a change for the better in your life comes about soon.  We do not have to wait long.  We only need to depend foremost on our Guide (the Holy Spirit) to take us where we want to go, the destination that we have first believed to be right for us because we have asked God for His input.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would turn aside from fear today by remembering God.  Even recently I have felt a free-floating anxiety, a sense of fear that makes me feel scared.  May these feelings fall away as I turn ever closer to You.  Be with me today as I remember You.  If I forget You, please do not forget me.

I know that I am a part of You.  I sometimes forget this when I make You Someone far away and outside of my sphere.  These are old memories that are simply not true.  May I turn to the truth of our Oneness today, and may this give me peace.

Amen.

There Is Nothing to Fear

“There is nothing to fear. (WB77)”

Affirmation:  “There is nothing to fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Anxiety and the Ego

Anxiety will dog the way of the ego-prone.  And is that not all of us at some point(s) in our lives?  Why is this true?  The ego is constantly being undone, because we are comparing ourselves to others–some of whom, temporarily, have more than we do (stated in part in the Text).  This feeds an inferiority complex, because the ego-driven, ultimately, cannot be happy unless they are competing.  And competition, sooner or later, brings defeat.  We would do well to drop these egoic games.

2 – Jesus Says, “Nothing to Fear”

Jesus says that there is nothing to fear.  We probably do not yet see the world that way, but do we doubt Jesus?  We might say that in this world, today, there is much economic turmoil, many who are suffering, many war-torn areas of the globe.  And this would be true.  We are to do what we can to rectify the situation, after much prayer, but the most important change we can make–before other, outer changes, come–is to change ourselves to think along with God.  If we follow His rules for a happy day, for example, as detailed in the Text, we will feel more like doing something to truly help others.  We will not be so self-centered that we surround ourselves with fears for our own safety.

3 – Doubt Not A Course in Miracles

So let us not doubt A Course in Miracles when Jesus tells us therein that there is nothing to fear.  We can ask to be shown the better way, the way of quiet and peace.  In a calmer frame of mind, we truly will recognize that there is nothing to fear.  When we slip from a broader perspective, we can make an affirmation of this statement.  Repeatedly saying these words in times of stress will help tremendously.  And the time will come when it becomes a truth to recognize at all times.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would have a day free of anxiety, which is the way that fear usually manifests for me.  I am chagrined that I am still pursued by the ego enough so that fear in some form still accompanies me on some days.  I would not have it so today.  I would listen to Jesus and know that there is not reason for anxiety, no reason for fear.

Be with all of my brothers and sisters, those I know and those who read this blog.  May we come to understand the value of living a completely love-centered life, the best way that we can ensure that all of our days will be fearless.

Amen.

Attack Thoughts

“I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts. (WB34)”

Affirmation:  “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.”

Reflections:

1 – Give Up Attack Thoughts

This is a magnificently truthful statement.  On the surface of it, it sounds too easy, but it works.  The passage and the affirmation for today are the same, because the sentence is easily remembered.  And a balm in times of trouble.  We will leave behind our misery when we turn our minds to God and the peace that He bestows.  The change in our lives can come very quickly.  God is not threatened by our shrill voices, demanding change.  He will respond, and respond quickly, when we are pliable in His hands.  That means that we don’t make our own decisions; we lean on the Holy Spirit to know what to say and to do.

2 – Projection Makes Perception

Our thoughts project the world that we experience.  That is a fundamental philosophical tenet of A Course in Miracles.  If the world we see has much to regret, then perhaps it is because we are attacking it in our minds; we are having attack thoughts.  We will remain “stuck” as long as we persist in rejecting others and ourselves by attacking them, and, simultaneously, ourselves.  We cannot simply attack another, however justified we may think that we are.  He/she is a child of God, and his attack is a call for help.  We need to rush to his/her side with that help, if intervention at the moment is what our Universal Inspiration bids us to do.  If not, we are to wait patiently until He gives us the green light.

3 – Our Perception Will Change

This statement has the potential to change totally the world that surrounds us.  This is true whether or not outer circumstances, the true externals, change very much.  Our perception of these externals will change.  And that is all that is needed.  We walk into a better world, one that we cannot recognize as long as we are futilely harboring attack.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I personally remember one important occasion when I left a difficult political situation in my work, to move to another position, where the politics were incredibly smooth.  This happened, perhaps importantly, when I stopped resisting and attacking in my mind.  This is why I know that You mean business with this statement.  I have seen it work.  I did escape from the world I was seeing by giving up attack thoughts.  Thank You.

Be with me today, in entirely different circumstances, when I am tempted to attack.  Usually this temptation occurs when I am very stressed, for I never get angry unless I am stressed.  I would not be stressed today, for I would leave the ways of this world to You to solve.  And I will try, with Your help, to follow my Guide to what to say and do next.  Then attack, like the ego, will wither away.

Be with me today as I seek to have a good day by turning perplexities over to You.

Amen.

Nailed to the Cross

“The dreary, hopeless thought that you can make attacks on others and escape yourself has nailed you to the cross.  Perhaps it seemed to be salvation.  Yet it merely stood for the belief the fear of God is real.  And what is that but hell?  (WB374)”

Affirmation:  “I would love God rather than cringe in fear.”

Reflections:

1 – Hell

We often wonder about “hell.”  This passage indicates where it is to be found in the fear of God.

2 – Interpretations of the Word “Fear”

This concept goes against traditional Christianity.  But I think that the difference is in an interpretation of the word “fear.”  A Course in Miracles would suggest that it is a lamentable way to approach our Creator, but traditional thinking merely wants us to honor God by such “fear.”  In traditional thinking, it is a humble way to approach our Creator.  In A Course in Miracles, the fear of God is linked to that which is keeping us from salvation.  The two emotions, fear and love, are said to be the only emotions; all  others are linked in some way to these two.  We are encouraged to love God, but not to “fear” him in the sense that we are afraid.  Traditional Christianity does not use fear in that sense of being afraid either.  The fear of God is seen in an awesome sense, and this type of awe is seen as perfectly appropriate toward our Creator, both in traditional Christianity and as stated in ACIM.

3 – God Is Our Friend

ACIM would always see God as our Friend.  We dishonor that relationship when we attack others, in part because we always attack ourselves first (another concept from ACIM).  The image of being “nailed to the cross” is especially important, because elsewhere Jesus asks us to look beyond the crucifixion to the resurrection (T36).  When we look to the resurrection, we are seeing A Course in Miracles in its true light.

4 – Look to the Resurrection

A Course in Miracles differs from traditional Christianity in that it does not see a suffering savior as the best way to view Jesus’s crucifixion.  ACIM would have us look to the resurrection, which it does not deny as a plausible occurrence (but, of course, one that we cannot fully understand, given our belief in the laws of this world).  Jesus did not defend himself in his trial, just as he encourages us avoid defense as a way of life.  ACIM sees the crucifixion as a benign concept, and would not have us cling to this historical occurrence as our route to salvation.  In that sense, ACIM and traditional Christianity are at odds.

5 – The Scriptures

It would be especially good, I believe, if we did not attack the beliefs of others as we feel led to encourage reading of ACIM.  There is a progression from the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible), the New Testament, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love.  In all cases, we would be advised that theology and theological concepts would only prolong our pathway to salvation.  Jesus calls for a universal experience in ACIM, saying that theology will only delay us.  A universal theology is impossible.  But a universal experience is not only encouraged, but is felt to be necessary (from the Text).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not speak my beliefs in any kind of strident way.  Not all are ready to believe that A Course in Miracles (and, of course, even more so A Course of Love) are the latest manifestations of Christian belief.  Those of traditional Christianity would be particular hostile to this idea.

So help me, dear God, to share only with those who feel inclined to study Christian experience differently.  I do understand that theology divides, but that a universal experience will transform all of us who seek You.  Help me to speak my truth in a way that is accessible to my readers.  Help me to share what I have learned of You in a benign way, non-threatening way.  And may I always look to the resurrection, which of course none of us fully understand, as my beacon in a sometimes difficult world.

Thank You for allow me to sense Your felt presence today.

Amen.

A Way of Living in the World that Is Not Here

“There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be.  You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently.  Your forehead is serene; your eyes are quiet.  And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own.  Yet those who have not yet perceived the way will recognize you also, and believe that you are like them, as you were before. (WB291)”

Affirmation  “There is a way of living in the world that is not here.”

Reflections:

1 – Avoid the Ego with the Passage for Today

This is an especially sweet passage.  Beware, however, of letting the ego in.  This statement is not saying that we are “special.”  We can say that nobody is “special,” or that all are “special”; either way works.  We are not alone, and we have no gifts that will not one day be shared by everyone (a Text tenet).

2 – Others Believe Also

It is comforting to know that we can find others with similar persuasions about in the world.  This does not necessarily mean that these others will be students of A Course in Miracles; there are many ways of learning the perennial philosophy.  We can walk happily, as we incorporate the tenets of ACIM in our lives.  Certainly already each of us has had moments of recognition that someone in our world is walking the way that we choose to walk.  Sometimes we see Christ in their eyes, an especially sweet miracle when it occurs.

3 – Of Like Mind

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

4 – Ask God

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

5 – Do Not See “Specialness”

The only error that we could make, and it would be a large error, is to see specialness in this miracle.  Then we will look down upon those who are simply not yet ready for this miracle.  And time is an illusion, the only thing that separates perceived miracles from coming to all of us.  There are no gifts that one day will not belong to everyone.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would walk through the world today with a serene expression on my face.  I would know that all of us, excepting nobody, has troubles, but I would also know that the solution is always found with the problem.  Ask for help, and You grant it.

I thank You that there is a way to find others of like mind.  And I would do so today.

Amen.

This Holy Instant Would I Give to God

ACIM Workbook Lessons 361 – 365 for Tuesday – Saturday,
December 27 – December 31, 2011

Affirmation:  “This holy instant would I give to You.
        Be You in charge.  For I would follow You,
        Certain that Your direction gives me peace.”

“And if I need a word to help me, He will give it to me.  If I need a thought, that will He also give.  And if I need but stillness and a tranquil, open mind, these are the gifts I will receive of Him.  He is in charge by my request.  And He will hear and answer me, because He speaks for God my Father and His holy Son.  (WB486)”

Reflections:

1 – A Year with the Workbook of ACIM

So we end the year that we have given to God through studying the Workbook of A Course in Miracles.  But we are not through.  There is farther to walk along the pathway.  If we have not yet experienced Awakening, it is there waiting for us.

2 – Depend on the Holy Spirit

We need to do very little, but depend greatly upon the Holy Spirit.  His part is much larger than is ours, and we should not be disturbed by the disproportion of this.  We are asked very little in ACIM.  The books seem thick and complicated, but this is an illusion, and the more we study them, we more we realize how simple the truth really is.

3 – May We Commune with God

May we end this year in communion with God, Who is always there for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank you for the guidance that the Workbook for Students of A Course in Miracles gives to all of us.  We need that guidance, for without the practical counsel of the Workbook, we would in all likelihood not understand the message of ACIM.

Be with us in these final moments of the year that we have spent with the Workbook.  And if we feel prompted to go through the Workbook again, may we do so, beginning the next year with high resolve and a committed spirit.  If we do not feel so led, may we listen to that counsel as well.

Be with us, whatever our pathway to You may be in the future.  May we learn until the time of learning has ceased.  Thank You for Your patience with us.

Amen.

Should I Repeat the Workbook?

ACIM Workbook Lesson 360 – for Monday, December 26, 2011

Affirmation:  “Peace be to me, the holy Son of God.
        Peace to my brother, who is one with me.
        Let all the world be blessed with peace through us.”

“In holiness were we created, and in holiness do we remain.  Your Son is like to You in perfect sinlessness.  And with this thought we gladly say ‘Amen.’  (WB484)”

Reflections:

1 – We Say “Amen”

This is the final lesson before five days of repetition.  Now we say “Amen.”  Jesus has guided us through a year meant to lead us home to God.  Have we made it?  Although many students/teachers of A Course in Miracles take the workbook lessons year after year, nowhere does Jesus proscribe this.  We can make our own choice in the matter.  We do not have to be tied to the Workbook if we are ready to move on.

2 – Turn to Our Guide

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in this decision.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me today to know if You would have me repeat the lessons of the Workbook in the upcoming year.  Many students/teachers just start over with a new year.  These individuals find the meditative aspects of the Workbook a good daily devotional.  Would I?  Help me to know today.  May my Guide, the Holy Spirit choose for me in this instance.  I do not know my own best interests.

I thank You for the closeness to You that the Workbook has brought to me this year.   Your felt Presence is a joy for me, a solace in times of trouble, a tranquil peace in more serene times.  May I ready myself today to move into a new year.  And I would spend that year also with You, whether or not my Guide directs me to repeat the Workbook.

Thank You for a good year.

Amen.

God’s Answer Is Some Form of Peace

ACIM Workbook Lesson 359 – for Sunday, December 25, 2011

Affirmation:  “God’s answer is some form of peace.  All pain
Is healed; all misery replaced with joy.
All prison doors are opened.  And all sin
Is understood as merely a mistake.”


“Sin is impossible, and on this fact forgiveness rests upon a certain base more solid than the shadow world we see.  Help us forgive, for we would be redeemed.  Help us forgive, for we would be at peace.  (WB484)”

Reflections:

1 – The Prison Doors are Opened

There is much summation in the lesson for today.  The prison doors are opened, and we are free.  What will we do with this freedom?  We will serve our brothers and sisters in bringing salvation to them.  We will not proselytize, if they are not ready.  But we will stand ready before the time that they are, waiting for that time to arrive.

2 – A Shadow World

Sin is impossible, and this is because we live in a shadow world, a world of illusion.  We are as God created us; we have not changed, as much as we think that we have.  We did not, in actuality, ever separate from Him.  That would be impossible.  But we could think that we had separated, and that is the situation in which we have found ourselves.

3 – The Peace of God

May we know God’s answer as peace today.  May we find only the peace of God as we walk through this day.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I return often today to the Workbook lesson.  There is much that You would have me remember, much that capsules what has come earlier this year in the Workbook.  I would rejoice that the prison doors are opened, that You have granted me the blessing of knowing what to say and do.  May I never lose sight of this blessing, and may I never take it for granted.  Also may I never imagine that You are leading me, when it is really my ego–once again rearing its ugly head.

Be with me on this Christmas Day.  May my brothers and sisters who do celebrate Christmas enjoy their day.  If my brothers and sisters reading this do not celebrate Christmas, may they reach toward You by whatever means are comfortable to them.  May the words of A Course in Miracles comfort all of Your children.

I would know Your peace, and I would ask You to deliver me from all that is in my heart and mind that keep me from knowing Your peace.  My intentions are firm, but I know that intentions are never enough.  I will always fall down unless I let You lift me up, unless I let Your Guide show me Your Way.

Amen.

God Will Listen

ACIM Workbook Lesson 358 – for Saturday, December 24, 2011

Affirmation:  “No call to God can be unheard nor left
        Unanswered.  And of this I can be sure;
        His answer is the one I really want.”

“Let me not forget myself is no thing, but my Self is all.  (WB483)”

 

Reflections:

1 – The Christ Self

My Self is all, and that Self is the Christ Self.  Here we are coming into our own, the Self Whom God always intended us to be.  This is His answer to us in these final moments of the year.  We can come home to him as the Self we really are.

2 – Commune with God

Let us spend the rest of this reflection time in praying, in communing, with God for the glory that He means for us to have.  May we not say that we are unworthy, for this is the ego being arrogant.  God has prepared us.  It is only the ego that would say otherwise.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would pray sincerely and with strong intent to know that You hear me.  I thank You for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but when I am deep in trouble, I want You.  And You are there.  You are within, and the Self that is part of You projects the world that I see outside myself.  This gets into mysteries that I do not pretend to understand, but I have hints from You.  My mind is too small to comprehend all of Your magnificence.

Be with me today.  I need to pray by writing, or by saying words aloud.  Sometimes when I speak internally, I regret that my mind wanders.  Be with me today, and with my thoughts, to keep my thoughts on track.  I would not neglect You by my own shortcomings in concentration.

Thank You for this year spent with the Workbook.  Thank You for what You and the Holy Spirit, not to mention Jesus, have taught me.  I would choose to put into effect in the New Year all that You have taught me.  I realize that I will not always succeed with my resolutions, but I trust that You will be there to keep me walking along the pathway to You.

Thank You for your comfort today.

Amen.