The Ego as Satan

A Course in Miracles says, “Sin is not error, for it goes beyond correction to impossibility. Yet the belief that it is real has made some errors seem forever past the hope of healing, and the lasting grounds for hell.” (T-26.VII.7:1-2) This passage points to the old idea of a duel between God and the fallen angel Lucifer (Satan), in which the two battle it out for control of men’s and women’s minds.

We must realize that this myth is a projection of the ego, which is the “Satan” in all of us. But as part of God, as an extension of God, our Will and His have not truly been out of sync. It is only in our mad and unnatural way to operate independently of God that the trouble began–the trouble that is an illusion of reality, but an illusion in which, nevertheless, we still believe.

God does not attack our ego (our “Satan”), knowing that it is only a dream and without substance at all. He waits for us to understand that the way of the ego does not work; He waits for our reestablishment of communing with the Holy Spirit, the only natural way to live. As finite minds, we cannot succeed if we try to live separately from our Source.

So we must give up our inferior judgments to the Holy Spirit, who sees the whole picture. This is natural; this is the way life should be experienced, and we learn this as our bad dreams turn to happy ones under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.

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The Embrace, by Ivor Sowton

I once had the great good fortune to be with Mari Perron, scribe of A Course of Love (ACOL), in a small group setting. As I suppose is natural, the group had questions about the process of receiving ACOL from Jesus and what that was like.

Mari graciously took these questions in stride. But then, as more of these “safe” questions continued, Mari seemed to take charge and volunteered: “But you know a real turning point for me was the chapter entitled “The Embrace.”

The dictation of A Course of Love had seemed a huge challenge at first, but had evened out after the early chapters into much more of a sense of flow. But then gradually efforting seemed to creep back in. By then the developing ACOL was at Chapter 16 or so. After that the chapters in ACOL were increasingly difficult for her, with more sense of tension and strain, like: “I have to do this.” After all, there was by this point a lot of direct instruction from Jesus to us the readers, and certainly also to Mari as the “first receiver”! Perhaps it was becoming more and more daunting, with a sense of a very high bar having been set for our learning.

Then, incredibly, the Voice stopped! The dictation of Jesus to scribe stopped! Mari knew from her relationship with Jesus that the work now called A Course of Love was not over, not complete!

Days of great angst passed. Then weeks with silence from Jesus! Truly a dark night of the Soul! Finally the completely unexpected! Mari was gazing at a beautiful plum on a beautiful plum tree in beautiful sunlight when such a wonderful bursting open of the heart spontaneously exploded forth! The absolutely gorgeous, pivotal chapter 20, “The Embrace,” soon followed, full flow restored!

It may be that we as listeners to Mari’s experiences here have to receive her revelation (for so I believe it truly is) in a way that we can personally access and apply in our own lives. Broadly speaking, we can say that the world became holy for Mari and for us now also, to the extent we can open ourselves to that kind of Union. The Divine was dancing in the surround! The mundane had been redeemed, now clearly seen and felt to be sacred, rather than perceived and felt to be separate from us (ACIM tenets).

And the Divine arms that cradle us in “The Embrace” bring so much needed comfort and reassurance:

This is a call now to move into my embrace and let yourself be comforted. Let the tears fall and the weight of your shoulders rest upon mine. Let me cradle your head against my breast as I stroke your hair and assure you that it will be all right. Realize that this is the whole world, the universe, the all of all in whose embrace you literally exist. Feel the gentleness and the love. Drink in the safety and the rest. Close your eyes and begin to see with an imagination that is beyond thought and words. (20.2)

So if you or I am feeling alienated, alone, frightened and cut off from Grace, let us remember the Embrace and be healed. The Embrace is personal. It can help us where we think we are, as who we think we are at present. This is so necessary, don’t you think?

In my online transpersonal therapy with students of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) and ACOL, (I see the two works as a continuum), I just try to facilitate that opening of personal relationship, that acceptance of the embrace FOR THEMSELVES. That is, the opening will be very personal for them. It will happen the only way it can happen for them—tailor made, you might say. Jesus is the guide in that process. Of course there are other guides, but we who have been drawn to Jesus’ current work in the world through ACIM and ACOL can settle down into discipleship with him personally and grow as much and as fast as is right for us.

But again, the essential message of the Embrace is that it is ours NOW. It’s the open heart in wholeheartedness. Jesus states in ACOL that the heart exists where we assume ourselves to be. So if we assume we live in ego world, frightened and alone, our world will FEEL like that, icy cold and bereft of comfort. But if we find our own way to FEEL the Embrace, then we will feel omnipresent divine love.

In Chapter 9 of the ACIM Manual For Teachers Jesus also reassures us that our own personal training is always highly individualized. Just right for us. Our own path will unfold in a beautiful way for us with his help. Not too fast or too overwhelming. But at the same time we can now always remember and remind ourselves that the Embrace is there for us NOW. As Jesus says “Who could be left out of the Embrace? And who from within the Embrace could be separate and alone? (20.18)

May we all come to feel the Embrace more and more, and more and more make our home there.

Let your heart remember that you are holy and that the world is sacred. (ACOL,C 20.23, pg. 140 in the Combined Version)

Time of Christ / Time of Holy Spirit Has Passed

images - impressionism“The way of the heart is the way of the Time of Christ.  The time of the Holy Spirit has passed.  The time of the intermediary is over.  The greatest intermediary of all has been the mind.  It has stood between you and your own inner knowing, caught in a dream of perception.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I would listen to my heart today.”  

Reflections:

1 – Final Passage to Consider Currently from ACOL‘s First Volume

This is the final passage from the first volume of A Course of Love that I will consider presently.  I see this passage as a summary passage, in that the heart is given ascendancy–a major theme of the Course of Love trilogy.  This passage does not link mind and heart together into wholeheartedness, which Jesus does elsewhere in ACOL. Here Jesus emphasizes the limitedness of the mind, which has, as we know, been the home of the ego for eons.  And the ego has not meant us well.

2 – Inner Knowing

We need to include the mind, but because the emphasis has been on the mind for so long, it is welcome now to address the heart.  We know with the heart, not just emotionally, but in practical terms that give us insight into the very nature of reality (i.e., the real world, as described in A Course in Miracles).  This is the inner knowing that the passage for today emphasizes.

3 – Perception of the Mind

The mind, on the other hand, has emphasized perception, which is always erroneous to one degree or another, for when we are perceiving, we are lost in a dream or illusion.  When we know, though, we cease to engage the mind to any great degree.

4 – Intent of ACOL Different from ACIM

The words of A Course of Love are far more abstract than anything in A Course in Miracles, because the intent is different.  The heart knows abstraction, and abstraction is the natural condition of the mind (from ACIM).  It is only when the mind has run amuck that we find that the specificity of detail gets us lost in a dream world.  We would not have it so.  We would awaken sooner rather than later.  And we await God’s timing on this.

5 – Glimpses of Awakening

In the meantime, we are apt to see glimpses of Awakening, from a few moments to a few months.  This is the revelation that is occasionally revealed to us, but for which preparation is needed (a paraphrase from the early pages of ACIM).  The means are explained in A Course in Miracles, which dislodged the ego, and then A Course of Love was channeled to allow us to come farther along the pathway to what our heart (rather than our mind) could show us.  We will not be finished until we give up constant seeking.  Jesus says in A Course of Love that we are the “accomplished.”  And, of course, he does not mean this in an egotistical way.  But the accomplished at stop seeking and rest in knowledge, calm in the certainty of a heartfelt understanding that is more than the mind can ever give.

6 – Stillness and Quiet

Let us rest in stillness and quiet.  Let us turn to Jesus as our companion, our teacher no longer.  He is ready to receive us as equals.  Would we hope for anything less?

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest for awhile.  The original volume of A Course of Love has been considered, and we need to take a brief break before we move to the first three Treatises.  May I have a calm mind today, supported by the comforting, abstract thinking that ACOL counsels.  May I be at peace, sure of Your love, certain of the truth of the assertions of A Course of Love.  If we are in the time of Christ, may I know what to do that is different from the time of the Holy Spirit.  Already words comes into my mind from the subconscious that seem to me to be a bit beyond me, but different from the counsel of the Holy Spirit.  Am I learning in the time of Christ?  Is this the way that it is?

We do not have firm guidance in other works for what the time of Christ really means.  ACOL counsels us, and I would do well to listen.  Help me to be relaxed and easy, to take each moment as it comes, to live in the Now.  And may I drop from thought any worry that threatens my peace.

Thank You.

Amen.

Give Up Difficulty for Ease

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“Let me be clear.  The seeming lack of difficulty in this course is where its difficulty lies.  To give up difficulty for ease is more than some egos are willing to accept.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I know ease today.”

Reflections:

1 – Ease

Reading A Course of Love should be a task full of ease.  The difficulty arises when we try to study it as we study other courses of study, including A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love is more abstract, which is the means by which our hearts are engaged.  We do not have to study, and, if we try, we will go astray.  We will also be greatly frustrated if we try to study it as a textbook.  This is not the right approach at all.  Just let the words drift into your mind, stopping for nothing, taking deep thought for nothing.  Repeated readings will get the gist of it into your heart, actually by bypassing the mind (which wants to analyze).

2 – Beauty of the Language

The beauty of the language is enthralling.  When we let the words flow over us, we are captivated by the content as well, though we may not recognize this at first.  We may think, and rightly so, that we are missing a lot, or that we are reading things that we do not fully understand.  As we move closer to Awakening, the words will begin to make more sense to us, and without any strain at all.

3 – The Ego

Our egos continue to get us into trouble.  The ego wants to make everything hard that is actually meant to be easy, because its rule is to seek but not to find (an ACIM tenet).  Try to loosen the ego’s hold on our minds, but not by overtly resisting it, for resistance makes the ego strong.  The ego is strong in strife (another ACIM tenet).

4 – Easy Reading

A Course of Love is actually easy reading, much easier than A Course in Miracles.  Mari, the scribe, listens with her heart perhaps more than her mind, and Helen (ACIM scribe) listened to her mind.  This approach is exactly what Jesus needed in channeling to the two individuals, for ACOL is to the heart what ACIM was to the mind.

5 – ACIM and ACOL

We will do well when we realize that, after ACIM and now as we consider A Course of Love, we are ready to listen to our hearts.  They know without demanding proof of everything.  They lead us aright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would choose ease today, especially in reading A Course of Love.  I wish no more to be frustrated by the fact that my mind cannot study ACOL as it did A Course in Miracles.  

May this day morph into one of ease.  May my heart inform my mind that egoic influences are dead in me.  And may that deadness be true.

Amen.

Inevitably Receive the Answer

Impressionist-Paintings-020“In unity and relationship, each is not only capable but will inevitably receive the answer and come to the understanding or interpretation that is right for her or his heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I interpret life well today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Are One

We are One, in unity as One and in relationship to the All.  These two words, “unity and relationship,” are used repeatedly in A Course of Love.  And well they are, for they emphasize a major theme that complements the idea that mind and heart need to work together in wholeheartedness.  If we are wholehearted, we will rejoice in the camaraderie that we know with others, as well as with ourselves and God Himself.  There is no end to the joy that we will know.

2 – Interpret Life Well

We will come to interpret life well.  We will no longer be lost in a maze of confusion.  The things that we need to do will occur to us at the point that knowing what to do becomes important.  We are led, and led gently and well by God, Who knows us better, of course, than we know ourselves.

3 – Life Improves

Be with us today as we seek to interpret well.  May our analysis of the day be benign, slighting no one.  May we know that life gets better as we seek God more often.  When He becomes our constant companion, the one to whom we refer all perplexities, we will be well on our way Home.  And Home is not the Other Side, but the real world that A Course in Miracles tells us about.  This is the world that we will see when enlightenment is sustained in our elevated physical Self.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I come to know, to interpret, my life as it is meant to be interpreted, in an accurate way.  May I know what to do and when.  And may I remain calm and joyous, letting confusion drop away.  When anxious moments arise, may I just let them go.  And let them go in the moment, the Now.

Be with me as I travel through this day.  May I no longer pay my “pound of flesh,” as a Shakespearian character did, but know that being anxious is not a talisman to keep bad things from happening.  I would live in trusting You.  May that strong degree of trust engulf me today.

If my mind strays to worry, may I know that I am failing to have enough faith to get through the day.  You don’t send bad things, but in our world bad things do happen.  And there is always a good lesson in these things that will eventually, and sooner rather than later–in faith–take us home to You.  A home in this world that is heaven on earth.

Thank You.

Amen.

Be Very Careful What You Set Your Heart Upon

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“I ask you merely to receive in order to learn receptivity, the way of the heart.  I ask you only to pause, to give the mind a rest, to enter a realm foreign to the mind and yet beloved to the heart.. . .I ask you to give yourself a chance to forget about approaching this as one more self-improvement exercise, or one more objective to accomplish.  Only in this way do you come to realize that you are already accomplished.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I would give my mind a rest today.”

Reflections:

1 – Already Accomplished

What does it mean to be the “already accomplished”?  It is an ego-less state, that is for sure.  Feeling the truth of this joyous statement does not mean that the ego has one more kudo to chew upon.  On the contrary.  It means that we reside in a receptive mode, the one of the heart, that allows things to come to us.  We don’t go out, aggressively, to self-improve.  Such self-improvement campaigns usually end in disappointment, and during their time in the sun, they are frequently a tribute to our egotism.

2 – Passivity

How do we become more receptive?  This involves a certain passivity, because to be receptive means that one is not out there trying to bring home the world’s jewels for ourselves.  We would be disappointed if we tried.  That is why the law of attraction does not always work well in the long haul.  The stories that we are told never tell us the times that the law failed to bring joy.  But fail it will, if we seek the goods of this world without the blessings of another world.  If we seek pleasure, without the joy of God.

3 – Source of Attraction

We do ourselves a disservice when we seek to attract without acknowledging the Source of our attraction.  And we often ask amiss, and though we bring that hoped-for thing to our doorstep, we will not remain happy about it.  Something will come that trips us up, if we have not surrendered to God and His will for us.  We are told in A Course in Miracles that God’s will and our real will are actually identical.  But it takes much prayer and much guidance to ask aright for the things in our world that would really be of benefit to us.  There is a strong warning, “Be very careful what you set your heart upon, for you will surely have it.”  Yes, we will have it because of the law of attraction, but we need guidance in setting our hearts upon the right choice to ask.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I seek a rest today.  I want to attract to myself only what is good and right for me.  Help me to do so.  And may You protect me from myself if I need that.

Help me to understand more fully the law of attraction.  It is puzzling that I think that You will protect me if I ask amiss, and then I wonder if indeed You will.  This is a lack of faith, and I would faith in You as a central facet of my life.

Be with me as I seek to turn over to You, that I do turn over to You, the things that trouble me.  You know best how to resolve everything for the good of all.

And I ask that today.

Amen.

A Receptive Heart

Style___impressionism_3_by_monguz“You are coming home to the way of the heart.  What you gain by sharing with others is a situation in which you ‘learn’ in unity through the receptivity of the heart.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “May I share with others today.”

Reflections:

1 – Heart

May my heart be receptive today.  May I share with others, to the extent that You would wish.  May I share accurately, and may my heart dictate the words that I write.  Only when the heart is engaged do we really come to realize that we are really alright the way that we are, that all is well with us, and that we can correct the faults of our personality simply by willing these faults to disappear.

2 – Unity

All of us are One.  This is what “unity” means.  And we are one not only with our brothers and sisters, but with God and His helpers, and with ourselves, our deepest Self.  May this assurance bring us comfort today.  May we realize that the oneness of our being means that we are never alone, and therefore we do not have to fear isolation.  We are not meant to be isolated, however introverted we may be.  Everyone needs some companionship, and it is in the assurance that we are One that we know that we are not alone.

3 – Observe

May our hearts be receptive today.  When our hearts are open, we can observe (the replacement for learning) in a way that we cannot otherwise.  May today be a good day, a receptive day, that lends us credence for a safe world in which all of us abide under God’s care.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the intuitive indications You have given me today.  They provide much solace, much comfort.  May I not depend on intuition to live my life totally, but may I know that the solution is always with the problem, and so the answer is there for me to find–immediately.

When I listen to my heart, I am the better off for it.  May I encourage others to have a good day, listening also to their hearts.

Amen.

Listening with the Heart

guillaumin-ivry“Often you will find a desire to read A Course of Love again–to read it aloud–to hear it spoken.  This is a natural desire to let the words of this Course enter you in yet another way–the way of voice.  Again it is not required nor even recommended that these readings be interrupted by a search for meaning.  Listen.  Respond.  Let meaning be revealed.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “I will reread A Course of Love, listening with my heart.”  

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Study

We are encouraged here not to “study” A Course of Love.  This is hard for us, for A Course in Miracles required study, and intense study indeed.  But A Course of Love is to be read with an abstract mind, letting its truths permeate the mind with a balm that dismisses the need to analyze.  In fact, we miss the point if we try to analyze.

2 – Read Aloud

Let us read at least some portions of A Course of Love aloud.  The language is beautiful.  Hearing the words as we will speak them will encourage a different part of our minds to respond.  And our heart will get in on the act.  And the heart is what has been the new element introduced by Jesus in ACOL.  Let us not forget that it is by way of the heart that we come to know much that has eluded us earlier.

3 – How the Heart Learns

It can be frustrating to read A Course of Love and to feel that we are not “getting” it fully.  This is the way that the heart learns, though–by inference more than direction.  And when we are frustrated, we need to slow down and let the words just roll over us.  We will not then be disappointed in what we find therein.

4 – Don’t Struggle

Be attentive to what ACOL says.  But do not struggle to learn.  Let its wisdom enter your ear as you read aloud, and then know that what is missed will be observed in another pass through its words.  A Course of Love is meant to be read and reread before its words are written on our heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to expand my learning via the heart into not only a reading of A Course of Love, but in other ways in my life.  I will listen with the “ears” of the heart, ever attune to what You are trying to tell me.  Let me relax in Your pleasure.  May I not strain to understand, but be patient as I let the truth be revealed to me.

The heart knows what the mind cannot comprehend.  I would learn with my heart in all ways today, just to see where it takes me.  And I am reassured that the heart will take me to very good places indeed.

Amen.

On Rereading A Course of Love

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

Affirmation:  “I am beginning to know myself as I really am.”

Reflections:

1 – No Judgment

We need to let judgments fall away.  Judgments and expectations are two major barriers that we erect against intimacy with out loved ones.  And we would be rid of these barriers.  A Course in Miracles counsels that we will fall away from our salvation if we attack, make judgments, or weave plans against contingencies to come.  This is a somewhat hidden warning, but there in the Text nevertheless.  And we would today take a look at judgment.

2 – Wholeheartedness

Wholeheartedness is the natural state of our being.  In wholeheartedness, we have woven mind and heart together to form one.  And we will know ourselves better.  At this point we are bade to reread A Course of Love, and it is intimated that therein we will come to know ourselves better.  We will be without the judgments of the mind when we have moved completely into wholeheartedness.  The heart does not ask for “proof” as does the mind.  The heart just knows, with a sureness that comes from God.

3 – Know Thyself

If we only could know ourselves as we truly are!  And this is the promise of the passage for today.  We have so often thought that we did not know ourselves, and certainly, with the ego in ascendancy, we did not know our real Self.  Our real Self is the elevated Self of form, the physical being that lives in this world, but who derives sustenance from high realms.

4 – The Self

The Self is a blessing.  And when we glimpse this Self, even in fleeting moments, we will know what the future holds for us.  And it is good indeed!

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Today I would listen to the language of my own heart, not only in ACOL, but also in everyday life.  What is my heart trying to tell me?  What is my heart saying?

This turning inward to ascertain what is truly important is a giant leap toward the life that I want.  I look to the future, but always I am also satisfied in the present, trying to live in the Now as much as possible.

Help me know what my loved ones need from me today.  And may I provide what is mine to provide.  If their needs are for something that I cannot provide, may You see that they receive the prayer of their heart.

Amen.

How to Read A Course of Love

water and sailboats - images“Listen to the words as if they are spoken to you, for such they are.  Listen as you would listen to a friend in conversation.  Listen simply to hear what is being said.  Listen simply to let the words enter you.

“This is recommended for your first reading of this Course.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “Let me read ACOL as I would listen to a friend.”

Reflections:

1 – Don’t Study

It is hard to study A Course of Love.  We are told in this passage for today that such studying, such learning, is not necessary–or even desired.  It is preferred that we listen lightly to what we read, that we let the words come into us in what I would describe as an abstract way.  We are learning through observation, not study, and observation is the new way of learning in the new world of Christ.

2 – Mari

Learning in an abstract way may be frustrating to us.  Indeed, I found it frustrating, for I was used to the real study that A Course in Miracles required.  Different people respond differently.  Mari herself (the scribe of A Course of Love) said that she had forgotten much of what was in ACIM, despite reading it seven times before channeling A Course of Love.  Her mind is simply different from that of some of us.  And in her case, we can be glad indeed!  Otherwise, Jesus’s wise words might never have reached us at all.

3 – Relax

So let us relax as we read A Course of Love.  A calm and tranquil spirit will find all that we need to find in such relaxation, such easy reading.  Do not think that you have to catch it all on the first reading.  Jesus recommends repeated readings in this addendum.

4 – Gentle and Easy

The conversation with a friend, which reading A Course of Love compares, is gentle and easy.  Let us be gentle and easy as we seek to incorporate into our hearts all that ACOL says to us. Then and only then will we be ready for the wholeheartedness that is largely the goal of A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

As I read A Course of Love, help me to approach it in an easy and relaxed way.  May the words wash over me without effortful thinking.  You mean for us to assimilate ACOL differently from A Course in Miracles.  I thank You that we are farther along on the pathway home.  May I find the right approach to enlarge my understanding and to truly hear the words that this trilogy conveys.

Be with us this day to keep as calm as ACOL would have us be.  Just as ACOL is meant to be read from a serene viewpoint, may I carry this attitude over to interactions with people as well as books.  Be with me for a day that will make for great strides toward home to You.

Amen.

Give Up Effort in Reading ACOL

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Note:  A year or so after the Course of Love series was complete, Jesus provided “learning in the Time of Christ” as an aid to those questioning how to work with the material of this Course.  It has been edited here to serve as an introduction for taking, and living A Course of Love.  The full text is available from http://www.acourseoflove.com.

“Yet it is your difficulty in giving up your attachment to learning through the application of thought and effort that creates the perception of this Course’s difficulty.  Thus it is said to you to take this Course with as little attachment to your old means of learning as is possible for you.  (Addendum to A Course of Love:  Learning in the Time of Christ)”

Affirmation:  “Do not retain old ways of learning.”

Reflections:

1 – The Unconscious

It is not possible to read any of the volumes of A Course of Love with the “old” way of learning, or at least that has been my experience.  The material must be absorbed differently, with a bit more of an abstract approach.  The material does not lend itself to traditional means of studying, and I have done much studying in my life.  The material, instead, asks that we contemplate, as we read, with an almost detached mind.  Then the material becomes absorbed through the unconscious, where the material can do the most good.  If we try to “study” in the old way, we will just frustrate ourselves, because we will find that we cannot easily retain what we have read.

2 – Ignore “Old” Way of Learning

So give up old ways of learning, and let the heart speak to you as you read, gently, all three volumes of A Course of Love.  Abstraction, we are told in the A Course in Miracles, is the most natural way of the mind.  We have made specifics our god, and that concrete thinking does not work for the heartfelt A Course of Love.  (It does work better for A Course in Miracles, though.)

3- Let Your Heart Speak

We do not need to make a tremendous effort to “learn” A Course of Love.  This will not lead to mastery.  Let your heart speak to you as you read, and you will be sure to have placed your allegiance where best it can be placed.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would give up my frustration that studying A Course of Love gives me.  I will read as though I were reading a story, and I will let my unconscious mind absorb the tenets.  This is the preferred way to read, and I would do so today.

Be with me during this day of turning aside from the ego.  I did turn aside from the ego yesterday, for a long time, and so today my ego is likely to try to have a field day.  No longer.  I will listen to You, listen in no fear, and know that I do not need the ego to “protect” me.  Indeed, the ego has never protected anybody.

May I get along well with my brothers and sisters today.  And may friends, known and unknown, have a good day.

Amen.

Soothe Your Worries Away

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“If you do not think you are yet prepared, if you think you are not yet ready, cease to think.  Read again these words of love and let the sound of love soothe your worries away. Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you and I will return them to you transformed by Love.  (A Course of Love, 32.5)”

Affirmation:  “May I give my inferior thoughts to Jesus to transform.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort from ACOL

This passage for today is very comforting.  Let us read again from A Course of Love when we are upset, for these are the words of Love.  These are words that can lead us back to God.  The very sound of words of love will ease troubles away, and in this we have help.  We are never alone, though we may imagine ourselves to be.

2 – Jesus as Primary

Jesus takes his place as a primary factor in our lives with this passage for today.  “Give to me the thoughts that remain to trouble you. . . .”  What comfort!  We cannot understand how he will transform these troubled thoughts, but we can give Jesus a chance.  And he will not fail us; that is my conviction.

3 – Troubled Words Transformed

For troubled words to be transformed by Love is to let those troubled words be transformed by God, Who is Love (with a capital “L”).

4 – A Heartfelt Appeal

We are bade to cease to think, if we think that we are not yet ready for all that Jesus holds out to us.  He is appealing to the heart, which does not need to think.  And that heartfelt appeal will draw us in.

5 – A Conclusion

This is the final passage from the main part of the original volume of A Course of Love.  It is indeed enough, for we know that Jesus walks with us, to soothe and comfort us, to lead us Home.  And that is surely what we have wished all along.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would be soothed today.  I would join with Jesus as my companion, my friend, and I would listen to the internal promptings that may come from him.  He promises to be with us upon one unequivocal call.  I make that call today.  I leave with him the things that trouble me, for he is able to transform them so that they trouble not me nor anybody else.  What a blessing this is!

May I know the soothing presence of Jesus.  May I recognize that there are other teachers, but, for me, Jesus is the most important one.  I have chosen to follow the way that he has pointed out, and though I read from other individuals, my heart belongs to him.

Amen.

Be True to Love

monet-soleil“This Course has succeeded in ways you do not yet understand and have no need to understand.  These words have entered your heart and sealed the rift between your mind and heart.  Be true to love and you cannot fail to be true to yourself.  (A Course of Love, 32.4)”

Affirmation:  “Be true to love today.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL Has Succeeded

It is very reassuring to read that A Course of Love has succeeded in ways that I don’t understand.  And that I have no need to understand.  Certainly I do not recall the whole volume, but perhaps it has found a place in my heart.  And the heart does not think intellectually.

2 – How to Practice Love when It Is Hard

How are we to be true to love?  We are to practice love even when it seems hard, even when others attack us and we feel like retaliating.  Retaliating is not the way, for we will only feel worse later on.  Do what we have learned to do in the face of seeing a lack of love.  Perhaps taking a timeout is best.  Or praying in another room.  The temper can get the best of us frequently, especially when we are unwell.  Let us not succumb to crankiness today.  Remain loving, quietly, if in no other way.

3 – Wholeheartedness

In this part of the conclusion of A Course of Love, Jesus reminds us that he has led us from mind and heart being separate, to the wholeheartedness that combines the two.  This is a central theme of ACOL.  When we are true to love, we are true to ourselves.  There is no other way to be true to ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to practice love today, even when circumstances seem to make practicing love hard.  Our significant others are not always in good moods; they may be doing something that they really don’t want to do; they may be worried about their health.  The problem can be any number of things, but I ask today to have the patience to stay sweet and to wait out the bad mood.

Be with us as we seek You in wholeheartedness, mind and heart combined.  This is the way that is being shown to us, and it is a wholly good way.  May we seek and find You today.

Amen.

You Are Home

images -impressionist“Thus we end this Course with love given and love received in truth.  You are the learner here until you realize that you are Love.  You then become the teacher of what you are.  Your mind and heart join in wholeheartedness in the embrace.  You are home, and there you will forever stay.  (A Course of Love, 32.3)”

Affirmation:  “I am home.”

Reflections:

1 – Comfort

What a glorious statement of our place in this world!  Being “home” is a comforting thought, and it the place toward which we have longed to come for such a long, long time.  Eons have been spent in searching for what can only be found within, the God within.  And to find God, we must give up the version of our personal self that is the ego.

2 – Definition of the Ego

This assertion does not mean that we will fall apart on the inside.  The ego, as defined in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, is a false view of self, having no basis in reality.  It is not as Freud thought, the integrator of the essence of ourselves.  Instead, while a part of our belief about ourselves, it is the home of lies about our real Self.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

When we have truly integrated, we will become the elevated Self of form, and we will know what Jesus is talking about.  This is the Christ-consciousness that so often we have longed to experience.

4 – Soon

May the day be soon for all of us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I am eager today to be completely at home with You, not that I want to die but that I want to live in Your blessing always, as the best that You can make of me.  “Home” is heaven on earth, and that I long for with all my heart.

Be with us as we seek to do Your bidding.  Your bidding is actually what we ourselves would always choose, because Your will is our real will.

May my brothers and sisters find You today, even as I too seek.

Amen.

Your Uniqueness

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“It is in the different relationship of one aspect of creation with all the rest that the difference you so prize as your uniqueness exists.  And only there.  Only in relationship are you uniquely you.  Only relationship exists.  For Love is relationship.  (A Course of Love, 32.1)”

Affirmation:  “Only in relationship do I come into my own.”

Reflections:

1 – Relationships

We exist and live in a world of relationship, not only with our deepest Self but with all others.  And “others” includes nature as well.  We are not alone in any sense of the word.

2 – Why Isolate?

Why do we so often want to isolate ourselves?  This is actually the sheerest folly, even for introverts.  All of us need to reach o ut in some fashion, and when we do reach out, we come into the full expanse of our powers.  We give and we receive.  We are part of the whole, the All, part of God.

3 – Ego

We prize our uniqueness, but if this uniqueness is an ego-mind aspect, we are led astray.  The persona that we show is an ego-oriented self, and it remains the personal self, not the Self.

4 – Abide in Love

We are meant to abide in Love, and Love is of God.  Only this much will satisfy us.  We deserve better than what an egoic notion of our self could provide.  God would wish more for us.

5 – More

Let us find that more today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would focus only on my uniqueness as a function of what God has given me.  I would not seek a self-image, a persona, that is informed by the ego.  And this will mean that I cast aside egotistical ideas about my physical appearance.

So many of us focus on the external.  Help us today to focus on the internal, the uniqueness that only God can give.

Amen.

Finding Comfort in the Sacred Trinity

“When you call upon Love you call upon your Source.  When you seek the wisdom of your morisot-summer-dayheart you call upon me.  When you seek the truth that is in your mind, you call upon the Holy Spirit.  Thus is the Sacred Trinity always available in every situation, and for whichever learning mode you are most comfortable.  (A Course of Love, 32.2)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand the Trinity.”

Reflections:

1 – Traditional Theology in Christianity

The passage for today harkens back to traditional theology in Christianity–the Holy Trinity as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  Let us take each part and see what we can come up with.

2 – God, the Father

The first part, the Father, is God Himself (gender is actually neutral).  When we feel Love, we are seeking God Himself.  And we will find Him.  We do not  have to believe that God doesn’t know about us, unless that is the theology of A Course in Miracles that appeals to us.  There is a difference of opinion within the Course community about this question.  In addition, Neale Donald Walsch, in his Conversations with God series, indicates that God, in effect, sent us out to play and does not really care what we play.  This suggests that the illusion is really somewhat meaningless.  Yet the illusion is very real to us, and we do feel pain and we do experience suffering.  So there are no easy answers.  It is best that we take unto ourselves only what seems to speak to us, not straining to believe what does not come naturally.  Jesus says in ACIM that a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary.

2 – The Son

The second part, the Son, is Jesus himself.  He says in this passage that when we seek the wisdom of the heart, we are seeking him.  We do not understand how he can be with anybody and everybody simultaneously, but he seems to suggest that this is possible.  And we know that there are natural laws about which our science, as yet, knows nothing.  Calling upon the presence of Jesus is part of traditional Christianity also, and feeling his presence, when he is called upon, also is a part of traditional faith.  Certainly I have been led to feel closer to him from my reading of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, for I used to see Jesus as a judgmental figure.  This judgmental figure seems to be a product of certain passages in the New Testament.  But the love that Jesus actually has for humanity shines through very vividly in these newest channeled writings.

3 – The Holy Ghost

The third part, the Holy Ghost (Spirit), speaks to our minds.  His was the Voice that we were to listen to in A Course in Miracles.  He speaks to us, in those volumes, as intuition, as well as a host of other almost miraculous ways.  Jesus tells us in A Course of Love, though, that we are in the time of Christ now, and so we harken to Christ-consciousness rather than the Holy Spirit.  We may not yet understand this, but when we have experienced the Awakening, we are promised understanding.

4 – The Bible, ACIM, and ACOL

Certainly this blending of traditional Christianity with A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love is a blessing.  We don’t have to discard what has served us well in the past.  We need only walk into the future with the best that we can find in the newest writings available to us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the continuity of Christian thinking.  This continuity is a great comfort to me in today’s troubled times in our world.  May we see that Jesus comes to fulfill Scripture, not to turn away from it.  His words reach us now in ways that we are ready to hear.

May I come to greater and greater understanding as time passes.  May my brothers and sisters come to greater and greater understanding as well.

Thank You for the inspiration that prompts the texts that mean so much to me.

Amen.

What Would Love Have Me Say?

Monet-Field-of-Poppies-II-font-b-famous-b-font-hand-made-Oil-font-b-Paintings“That Source is Love, and it is available in every situation but for the asking:  What would love have me do?  What would love have me see?  What would love have me say?  (A Course of Love, 32.2)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose Love consistently today.”

Reflections:

1 – God = Love

Love is not just an emotion.  As we know, Love is another Name for God, another name for the Divine.  We do not understand this mystery in our minds, but our hearts do understand, and it is our hearts that A Course of Love frequently appeals.  And when we join mind to heart, we have the wholeheartedness that is required of us by ACOL.

2 – Akin to ACIM

This series of questions in today’s passage are reminiscent of year another series of questions, along the same lines, from A Course in Miracles.  But in ACIM, we are bade to ask these questions of the Holy Spirit.  And here the three questions are bade of love, another way of viewing emotion in the heart.  So Love does partake of emotion.

3 – Certainty

We can know certainty, when we look within and see no lack.  We respond in Love, and then we know what to say, do, and even think.  There is no confusion on this point.

4 – Look Within

This indeed is the certainty that this world has lacked heretofore, and the certainty that we have craved.  As previously noted in A Course of Love, we have looked to this certainty in our relationships, where it cannot be found.  But when we look within, lo, there it is indeed.  And our words, actions, and thoughts smooth out so that we attract all that is right and good in our world.

5 – Law of Attraction

Much has been written about the law of attraction, in which like attracts like, and we can have anything in our world if we realize that we “create our own reality.”  Many have found that this practice of thinking and making affirmations does not always work as promised.  That is because we are trying to make a formula of God, and He will not be pigeonholed that way.  We cannot carry God in our hip pocket, as my freshman professor of religion warned us in class one day.  God is too big to be manipulated by our mere words.  Even our feelings are not enough, for this is simply the wrong way to get what we want.  We may succeed for a time, but all will turn to ashes and dust in our hands if we do not place the Divine at the center of our lives.  He is the only certainty in our changing and unstable world.

6 – Will All Go Smoothly for Us?

God does not give guarantees that all will always go smoothly for us.  It is certain that following a faith will make us happier and more joyous, but we will always have difficulties, for difficulties are part of the human condition.   These difficulties will not seem so onerous, though, when we know that there are higher laws of which we know nothing.  God has not revealed all of his secrets to our limited minds and hearts.  We could not sustain these secrets if He tried, and so He gives us only what we are ready to have, and this is not always the same as our heartfelt wishes.  Having all that we want would not always be good for us, for often, in our frailty, we ask for the wrong things.  And he protects us from ourselves in such cases.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to choose what Love would do, say, and even think.  This is asking of You what You would have me do, say, and think.  There is no formula that would make of You a genie in a bottle.  You do not respond in the affirmative to our every affirmation, even the ones that we seek to “allow.”  You are too big for that.  You are also too caring of us, for sometimes we ask awry.  We ask for what would not be good for us.

I would ask today only for what is right and good in Your sight.  Then and only then am I certain of getting what I have asked for.  Thank You that this, in my interpretation, seems true in my experience.  Anything else smacks of a pact with the devil (i.e., the ego).

Amen.

Our Hatred of Uncertainty

pissarro - pobae026_landscape_chaponval_1880_mus_orsay_paris_france“Since you live in a world of such extreme uncertainty, one of your highest requirements of those you have relationships with is a mode of behavior that allows you to know what to expect.  (A Course of Love, 31.36)”

Affirmation:  “I will not have expectations of my loved ones today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Dilemma

The passage for today highlights a very human predicament.  Because the world is uncertain in that we never know what to expect next, we try to impose certainty by having expectations of our significant others.

2 – Do Expectations Work?

But does this ever–ever–work?  I don’t know of any case in which it works consistently.  Our loved ones are not here always to do our bidding.  And even when they are willing to do so, the flesh is weak, and we cannot always depend on them to be there when we need them.  Nor can we depend on loved ones to do for us what only we can do for ourselves, we in conjunction with the Divine.

3 – Asking Too Much

We are asking too much of our loved ones with unrealistic expectations.  It is expectations, ironically, what cause the breakdown of many relationships.  “Don’t lean on me, for you will knock me over.”  I once heard internally these words in regard to a particular significant other in my life.  We do not want to displace our burdens on already burdened human beings.  They may not be able to sustain us.  And, moreover, sustaining us it not their business.  We need to be whole human beings, secure within ourselves, with God’s help, who form a healthy bond to another.  Do not our secular psychologies say much about co-dependent relationships?

4 – Can Never Predict

We can never predict accurately what our loved ones will say or do in any meaningful way, even when we know them well.  And this is asking too much of them, as I have implied.

5 – Depend on the Self/Christ

Then we cannot choose amiss, though we will still make mistakes that are eminently correctable.  We can always choose again if a given day goes badly.  Our main choice, for God, has been made, and we are, if intellectually certain, ready to walk a green earth under such conditions.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not get uptight today due to uncertainty, for I would depend upon my Self/Christ, and God to give me the guidance to live in an uncertain world.  There is no other way to live dependably.

Be with me as I walk in this uncertain world today.  You and You alone can heal me, can allow me to know what to do to choose the Self/Christ within, and the guidance that comes from such a choice.

Help me to choose once again, if this day should go awry.  I can always start the day again, if things do go awry.  But I do pray that this day will proceed easily and peacefully, Your way.

Amen.

Transformation

Paul-Cezanne-Painting-012

“Your experience here is but an extension of mind into a realm in which experience can occur.  Your ego has made of this something different than it is.  Rather than extension of mind your experience has become a projection of ego.  This can change.  (A Course of Love, 31.35)”

Affirmation:  “I would withdraw from the projections of my ego.”

Reflections:

1 – ACOL vs. ACIM

A Course of Love is more welcoming to experience in this world, in my opinion, than is A Course in MiraclesACOL sees real benefits to an experience in this world, provided that we are moving toward the elevated Self of form.  This elevated Self of form is the sustained awareness of the inner Self/Christ which we will know when we have walked the whole pathway, the pathway to Christ-consciousness, or Awakening.

2 – The Insane Ego

Our experience here is of the physical.  In ACOL, such an experience is not denigrated.  But our problem is that our minds have dipped into insanity by way of the creation of an insane part, the ego.  And the ego does not love us or wish us well.  We can frequently see in the ego the old devil, or enemy, concept of traditional Christianity.

3 – The “Devil”

Just what was the devil, or enemy, in traditional Christianity?  It was a fallen angel who took on God as its rival, at times (as in Job) causing God to engage in contests that sought to prove that the devil knew better.  And there is in many of us this dualistic nature of thought still raging.  We have not left behind this egoic interpretation, for that is exactly what the devil really is, an invention of the ego.

4 – Battle with God?

We are not in a battle with God, and neither is our ego.  The ego just thinks that it is battling God.  God doesn’t respond.  He knows that eventually all of us will choose to eliminate the pain from our lives and choose again His way.  We, unfortunately, do not always understand the truth that His will and our will are actually identical.  We want what He wants for us, but we are just unsure about this.  We think that it is an infringement on the free will that he gave us.

5 – An Imprisoned Will

Actually this is a misnomer.  Our will is actually imprisoned when we choose against God (an ACIM tenet).  And we would not choose to live a life that is, essentially, a loveless and painful experience.  We find joy in turning to the God within.  There is no greater joy than communion with Him or with His Universal Inspiration, the Holy Spirit.  Once we realize that truly His will for us is the same as our true inner will, we will no longer be in conflict.  We will no longer be Jonahs, railing against His will for us.  We did not create ourselves, though an agnostic or atheist might have trouble with this assertion.  We need to set to one side our intellectual doubts, and just allow the experience of God to infiltrate our minds.

6 – Agnostic or Atheistic?

We will then not long remain agnostics or atheists.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would transform my experience in this world from a battleground for the ego to an experience of a transformed Self for whom God is very real.  I would see that my ego’s idea that I am battling God is not true.  I would seek to know only the true.  

May all of us walk together toward an experience in this world that is the best that this world can offer, the best that life on the earth can offer.  We will be surprised at the transformation that can occur.  And we need to take steps toward that transformation today.  Thank You for guiding us.  Thank You for Jesus’s inspired words in A Course of Love.

Amen.

The Truth Is Not a Secret

giverny-3 - monet - garden“Your ego thoughts can never share the truth with you nor with anyone else.  The ego invented the idea of ‘telling’ the truth and using it as an opposite to telling an untruth or lie.  Thus were born ideas of being able to keep truth a secret, one of the most ridiculous ideas of the ego thought system.  (A Course of Love, 31.25)”

Affirmation:  “I forget my ego’s version of the ‘truth’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Non-Dualism

A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love present a non-dualistic view of reality.  This non-dualism is the fact that God is All, and that anything else is illusion, projection, or dreams.  Thus the “truth” of the ego, which is illusory, means nothing.  All of this is part of the theology of both ACIM and ACOL.

2 – Don’t Let Theology Delay You

If the theology bothers you, don’t let it cause you to dismiss ACIM and ACOL out of hand.  Jesus says in ACIM that theology can delay us, and we would not be delayed.  We would have the universal experience that he says is possible.  And a universal expereince threatens no one.  A universal theology, on the other hand, is impossible.  (These are paraphrases from ACIM.)

3 – Personal Experience

We need to tell the truth.  We need to drop lies from our pantheon of impulses.  But that does not mean that the truth has any truth in it when the idea that we are expounding comes from the ego.  It is quite possible even to tell the ego’s truth in your nighttime dreams; I did that just last night.  And I awoke in a good mood, but I quickly told myself that this good mood was an appeal to my ego, and not something that I wanted to encourage.  The ego dies hard in us, even when we have studied carefully for years.

4 – Appeal to Sanity

Today’s passage is an appeal to sanity.  The ego is not sane (and neither was my nighttime dream).  We would drop the insanity or madness from our lives, and the only way to do that, if we are working in the framework of our courses,  is to be diligent in our practice of the tenets of ACIM and ACOL.  (There are, of course, other ways to reach God, but our way is ACIM and ACOL, if we so choose.)

5 – The Ego

Don’t fret or worry if the ego intrudes, as it did in my nighttime dream.  Don’t resist, either, for the ego is strong in strife.  Just turn aside gently, and choose again (an ACIM tenet).  Choose again on this journey without distance.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

The truth is not a secret, kept from us.  We are fully able to ascertain Your truth, but we must do so without the intrusion of the ego.

I would know Your truth today.  I would drop all egoic and egotistical ideas from my mind slant, and I would welcome You instead.

Be with me as I walk along my pathway for today.  There is nothing that being with You in Your presence will not improve.  Thank You.

Amen.

Guilt and Shame

monet - bridge reflections“Those things about which you feel guilt and shame are simply the remnants of lessons unlearned.  While you hang on to them by keeping them hidden, no learning occurs.  (A Course of Love, 31.19)”

Affirmation:  “May I be aware of my guilt/shame today.”

Reflections:

1 – We Do Not Admit

Many of us on the spiritual path do not want to admit to our guilt and shame, but we need to take a look at all parts of ourselves if we are to be awakened.  Guilt and shame may be exactly what is causing us to stay on this side of awakening.  There aer two parts in this lesson, and each mean something a little different.

2 – Regrets

Guilt is a proactive emotion, and is often the result of something that we have said or done that we regret.  The answer is to ask for forgiveness, and to remember that in this we need to ask ourselves for our own forgiveness.  God does not forgive, we are told in A Course in Miracles, because He has never condemned.  He wants only our good, and He fully understands our frailties.

3 – Shame Different from Guilt

Shame is a little different from guilt.  We may be ashamed when there is no need, in which case we have a kind of false shame.  There are always mitigating circumstances, and sometimes our minds are not rational.  We may do or say things that we later look back  upon with shame, but we had diminished responsibility, for which we need to give ourselves some latitude.  Of course, sometimes we do things that are shameful and for which there are no mitigating circumstances.  Then we need to address the guilt that in all likelihood attends the feeling of shame.

4 – Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the touchstone of A Course in Miracles.  And there is no better way to put guilt and shame behind us.  Make amends if necessary, and know that God Himself does not hold anything against our fundamental innocence.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I know that, rationally, there is nothing to feel guilty and shame about.  That does not mean that I have eliminated all error, but just that forgiveness is mine whenever I ask for it.  Of course, this means that I must listen to You and not repeat the mistake.  To repeat the mistake and repeatedly ask for forgiveness is a misjudgment, in my opinion.

Thank You for the fact that guilt and shame came to the forefront today.  I needed to hear this lesson.  We often say or do things that we regret.  None of us is perfect.  And today I am particularly prone to noticing my imperfection.

Be with me as I seek to reestablish a good self-image, even though that is a persona that is not the real I.  I would soon be done with personae, and rise to my Self.  A Course of Love will show be how.  Thank You for that channeled work.

Amen.

Overcome Depression

“Impossible learning goals lead to depression.  This is why we must learn anew with a mind Green-font-b-Wheat-b-font-font-b-Field-b-font-with-Cypress-II-By-Van Goghand heart joined in wholeheartedness.  (A Course of Love, 31.13)”

Affirmation:  “May I avoid depression today by not seeking impossible learning goals.”

Reflections:

1 – Egoic Goals

We have all too often sought to learn things that are impossible for us to learn.  These were goals of the ego.

2 – A Better Way

But Jesus assures us that there is a better way.  We do not have to get depressed, trying to learn something strange that is not “for us” at all, for we do want to leave the ego behind.  The ego always leads to depression, for it is an idle thought that is not really idle.  There are no idle thoughts, for all lead to form at some level (a tenet of A Course in Miracles).

3 – Wholeheartedness

May we seek the wholeheartedness that gives heart and mind in conjunction with each other.  May our minds be so cleansed of egoic attitudes that we can listen to our hearts, and then we can invite the mind back into the equation with a major welcome.

4 – Heart Knows

The passage for today gives a major theme of A Course of Love.  It is not a hard theme to learn.  We know that the heart “knows” in a way that the mind does not.  And we would be wise to listen to our hearts in lieu of convoluted thoughts of our minds.  When the mind is cleansed, then is time enough to welcome it back, with great joy.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would not court depression by seeking to learn things that are impossible to learn.  I would forsake egoic goals forever, and I would take a stance today to do so.  Depression is major life problem for many people, and it just may be that many of us thrive–or fail to thrive–because we are ego-oriented.  The ego is always being undone.  It is always that way.  For every up moment, there is a down one, and the down ones ultimately predominate.  I would be free of this foolishness forever.

Thank You for leading me to understand that the egoic goals that I courted in my youth and early adulthood were false thinking.  I did not know any better.  But now I do.  And I pray to You that I will not let myself be misled by a part of myself–the ego–that refuses to wither away.  I do not need the ego to live a fully satisfactory life, and, indeed, I cannot kowtow to the ego and still lead a satisfactory life.  The ego as defined here is a false way of viewing life, not the organizing principle that another definition would have it be.

May I just turn aside from ego ideals.  May I not actively resist them, for the ego become strong in strife.  Be with me as I seek to take my place as an equal among peers.  There is no need to seek for superiority, for superiority is a false value.  All talents will one day be shared equally among Your children.

Amen.

In God Only Find Your Self

van gogh - birds against dark sky“Give up this notion of losing your Self to God, and you will be done for all time with resisting God.  Only in God can you find your Self.  This is known to you, and is the reason for man’s quest for God throughout all time. . . .Not looking to God to find your Self would be akin to searching everywhere but the Earth for humankind.  If you do not seek where what you wish to find can be found, you seek in vain.  (A Course of Love, 31.10)”

Affirmation:  “I turn to God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Nirvana

Perhaps many of us have feared the concept of nirvana, when the soul loses itself in God completely and is annihilated in God.  But Jesus is not here advocating such a belief.  He says that we find ourselves in God, and it in the Self that is consumed by God that we know peace.

2 – Lose Ourselves to Find Ourselves

Surely we all want to know peace.  And we may not know how to go about losing ourselves in God, losing ourselves to find ourselves.  This is a legitimate question, but one that is easily answered when we give the technique a try.

3 – Feel God’s Presence

When we feel God’s presence, we are giving this technique a try.  And who has not felt God’s presence?  The warmth is palpable, and so welcome.  We would have more of it; we would never leave it.  But the emotions are involved, and when the emotions are involved, there is always change.  So we do not feel God’s presence on a constant basis.  The times that we do feel His presence, though, are enough to propel us forward into asking for my evidence of His Being.

4 – Feeling Warmth in God

May God be with us as we seek His presence today.  Enough times of such warmth will assure us that He is not to be feared, in the sense of being afraid of him, or of the possibility that we will be annihilated.  We will be all-consumed, but not annihilated, and there is a substantial difference between these two concepts.

 

5 – In God

To be all-consumed by God is to feel His love at all times, as well as the love of our Self that negates pain (a tenet of A Course of Love).  This is indeed a blessing that we would seek, and we may ask for it today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would no longer fear nirvana, which suggests loss that is foreign to my deepest understanding.  I would no longer resist God because I fear losing my Self.  In God I find myself.

Help me to feel Your Presence, a Presence which I feel, in my good moments, as a palpable warmth.  Thank You for giving me this blessing.  And may I do longer have foolish fears of annihilation in You.  Your are my completion, and that is all that I need to know.

Amen.

Akin to Eckhart Tolle

claude-monet-poplars-on-the-epte-81679“In the sense of time described by the word present, there is no infinitude, but only a vague concept of now.  This is the key concept that I not only knew but demonstrated.  This is the legacy, the inheritance, I left to you.  (A Course of Love, 30.8)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in the Now today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Now

This passage from Jesus is well-described by Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now.  But our minds are like runaway puppies, eager to explore past and future, seemingly impossible to pin down to the present.  Yet the Now is Jesus’s legacy to us.  He lived in the Now, and he wants us also to do so.  It will not come to us by trying, but only by the grace of God.  And we will not lose anything thereby.  We can and should ask now for the experience of living in the present, the present that is eternity.  All moments that we experience are always Now.

2 – A Richness of Life

Why do many spiritual leaders stress living in the Now, if it is so difficult to do?  They do not choose to encourage us in such a practice because it is difficult, but because it works in our lives.  Living in the now allows a richness of life that nothing else can satisfy.

3 – People’s Choices

Many people choose daring adventures that force themselves in the Now.  They report that at such times of such peak experiences, they, for once, felt really alive.  And that is what living in the present will do for us.  It will make us feel truly alive, truly grateful for the opportunity of a life spent on earth.

4 – Just Stop

How do we slow down and stop enough to experience the Now?  The only way to stop is to stop.  Give a few moments to prayer, contemplation, meditation, and the like.  Let the mind become still.  Do not fret.  If we are especially fortunate, then the experience that we have at such moments of stillness will give us a hunger for more times like this.  We will be hooked on the Now.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would recognize eternity.  This is the idea that Jesus is truly getting across.  I would understand eternity by living in the Now.  And all will be well.

I can practice living in the Now by being mindful as I go about routine tasks during the day.  Help me to follow Your way as I go through this day.

Thank You for the revelations that You have given to Eckhart.  

Amen.

Do Not Be Afraid of Death

cezanne - still life - fruit

“This world as you perceive of it is built around the foundation of fear, a fear that stemmed from the belief in finite life, in being born into a body and dying to the body.  The person who knows, truly knows, the simplest truth of the identity of the Self no longer lives in a dualistic position with God, but in a monistic state with Him.  (A Course of Love, 30.7)”

Affirmation:  “I do not have to be afraid of death ever again.”

Reflections:

1 – Death and Our Identity

Today’s passage is, first of all, about death.  But, more than that, it is about our real identity in eternity, the Self that exists in eternity and does not have to ever fear the demise of the body.  Yes, surely, the body will die, but the Self has never even been born into this finite world, because it is totally beyond illusion and is, in truth, a real thing, living in the real world.  (A Course in Miracles indicates, in the Manual, words to this effect.)

2 – Monistic State with God

The passage concludes with the fact that we dwell in a monistic state with God, being One with Him.  We do not have to conceive in any way whatsoever that God is separate from ourselves, for He is not.  When we believe in a separate Being who is God, we are dwelling in dualism, and ACIM and A Course of Love do not teach dualism.  In that sense, ACIM and ACOL are at odds with some biblical statements that regard the world as God’s handiwork, and describe an anthropomorphic figure who can come down and walk with us in the garden.  This is a beautiful myth, and it is not far off track, when we conceive of our deepest being, being God, that we are a part of Him.  We can commune with God, for He is the Universal, and He recognizes that our channels of communication to Him have been closed, because we have been asleep.  And, metaphorically, he “thinks” that He must awaken us.  (These are paraphrases from A Course in Miracles.)

3 – Work with God

Let us do all that we feel God is asking of us to be made ready for Awakening (as ACIM calls it) or Christ-consciousness (as ACOL calls it).  We do not know the hour that this blessing will be bestowed on us.

4 – Awakening

It behooves us to be ready, but not to strive to be ready.  Awakening is the gift of God, and we do not have to make elaborate preparations for its arrival.  The holy instant will so transform us that Awakening will be easy and tranquil, relaxed and peaceful.  (The “holy instant” is described in ACIM.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I thank You that I am no longer afraid of death.  I am probably more afraid of suffering unto death.  But I ask You to help me with that as well.  I know that life is eternal, but I did not come to this conclusion on blind faith.  There are indications along the way, and I thank You for leading me to read the right things that supported, for me, a belief in eternal life.

Help me to get ready for Awakening, but I know that it is not indicated to strive for Awakening.  You make the decision, and I await Your good pleasure.  Thank You for the glimpses of Awakening that You have shown me.  And those glimpses show me that what will come is good.

Amen.

Be Like the Little Children

Sunset_Foggy_Weather_Pourville - monet“Your learning must take on a new focus.  Be like the little children and inhale the world around you in order to make it part of your Self.  Be like the little children, and learn in order to claim your learning for your Self.  Learn who you are through each experience rather than learning in order to find out who you are or what your contribution will eventually be.  (A Course of Love, 30.3)”

Affirmation:  “I would think of a childlike response to the world today.”

Reflections:

1 – Echo of the New Testament

This passage echoes the New Testament, of course.  And here Jesus is using the analogy of little children to teach us a new way to learn, and it is through observation (though he does not say so at this point).  We need to “inhale” (a strange word) the world that surrounds us in order to learn through each experience that we have.  It is the process, rather than the end result, that Jesus emphasizes in today’s passage.

2 – Being Supersensitive

How might we inhale the world?  How might we observe?  We can indeed become supersensitive to the world in which we find ourselves, and supersensitive to the daily experiences on our daily round.  Neither of these suggestions is difficult.  But we need to get beyond a focus on the end result of what we are seeing (observing), just to experience–period.  Then the observation that we make will be learning in a new way, the new that has been presaged in A Course of Love.

3 – The Present

Often we settle down into a book or a web site, and concentrate with all our might on the message that it might contain.  But we also have an eye to the future, what we will get out of this message that will transform us, or somehow make us better.  This is not living in the present, and many religious leaders counsel living in the present as much of the time as possible.  Always the present is the only time that there is, but, oh, how hard it is for us to recognize this very simple truth.

4 – Observation

Observation of the outer world, focus on our experiences in it–both will eventually take us to the present, and to our home in God.  May we leave aside preoccupation with past and future today as we dwell in the only place that there truly is, the present.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend time today thinking of what it means to think as a little child.  I recognize that this is not an exercise in immaturity, but the height of rationality and good sense.  But I don’t usually think this way.  Perhaps I need to trust You ever more, and trust is a prime attribute of little children.  They normally have trust in their parents, and I can transfer that same kind of trust to You as my heavenly Parent.

I do not fully understand trust.  Guide my thoughts today so that I come to comprehend better.

Amen.

Worry Explained

van gogh - flowers4“All your worry over the future and the past is but a worry about the return of gifts given.  What gift of opportunity did you not accept in the past, might you not recognize in the future?. . . .What peace might you know if you realized, truly realized, that all gifts come but once and are forever?  The past nor the future matter not.  All is available in the here and now where giving and receiving occur.  (A Course of Love, 29.25)”

Affirmation:  “I would cease worry immediately, for gifts are given permanently.”

Reflections:

1 – Obscure Passage

The meaning of this passage is a bit obscure until we dissect the sentences.

2 – Past and Future

First, we are to cease worrying over past and future.  We have been afraid that the peace that we know in the present is a brief peace that will disappear when circumstances.

3 – Giving and Receiving = One

This does not have to happen.  Our faithfulness to the truths that Jesus gives us in A Course of Love, the giving and receiving as one, is all that is required.

4 – Accept God’s Plan

Second, we have the opportunity to accept the plan of God today.  We do not have to let this opportunity slip by the wayside.  And we must not.  We need not fear that this opportunity will not be offered again (for it will), but why wait?

5 – Christ-Consciousness

Third, the peace that we feel can and will be permanent when Christ-consciousness is sustained.  This may be a long time off, but in the meantime, many of us will be given glimpses of the revelation that all is well.  We will know Christ-consciousness in ever-greater intervals of time.  And that is the great promise.

6 – Giving and Receiving

Giving and receiving are one.  How often and how long have we known this?  But perhaps these words are simply words to us.  To give is to invite the receipt of the gift given.  We find that like attracts like, and this is the law of attraction, about which so much has been written recently.  Many have found the truth in this law, but we would find amiss if we stop with just the material benefits.  The material benefits will not long satisfy.  It is the intangibles of God that count for the most–the joy, the harmony, the peace, the tranquility.  And in these intangibles do we learn the most about giving and receiving being of one.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease worry, the worry that has dogged my steps for many years.  All of this is such foolishness.  Do I or do I not trust You?  I know that if I follow Jesus, everything will be alright.  And Jesus’s words in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love are manna unto my spirit.  Thank You for his part in Your plan.

May I return also to the Bible in my contemplative moments.  I see the Bible, especially the New Testament, ACIM, and ACOL as part of a continual tradition.  Others may not agree, but I thank You that this interpretation gives me peace.

May all of us have a good day.  May none of us turn pain into suffering.  With You in our lives, welcomed in, then all indeed is well–regardless of outer circumstances.  Thank You.

Amen.

Choose Once Again

“The choice to change your belief is before you.  Are you ready to make it?  As you once pissarro_stage-coachchose separation you can now choose unity.  Not knowing that unity was a choice prevented you from making this choice before now.  Now I tell you clearly, the choice is yours.  Choose once again.  (A Course of Love, 29.18)”

Affirmation:  “I would choose unity today.”

Reflections:

1 – The Way to Christ-Consciousness

We need to change our beliefs, to believe no longer in the separation that never was, and to embrace the unity that always has been–which we are now ready to accept.  There is no other way to Christ-consciousness.  We must be aware that we are “as” relationship to all, “as” as well as “in.”  And it is in the “as” that we come to see that we cannot get along without communion with God, with our deepest Christ Self, and with other people, our brothers and sisters.

2 – Unity Our Greatest Need

When we recognize that unity with the All is our greatest need, we will be willing to cease this desire for meaningless independence, the isolation that so many of us feel deep in our minds and, perhaps, even, we think, in our hearts.  Our hearts do not really feel thus, though, for they do not have the intellectual doubts about God that stop or, at least, impede, so many of us.  Let us ask for the intellectual understanding that will quell our restless minds, but let us not get hung up about it.  We know in our hearts that God is real, and that He is the only real thing in a real world.  Everything else is illusion, for we ourselves, and everything, is a part of God.  Our brothers and sisters are, likewise, one with God and one with ourselves.

3 – God’s Blessing

It is time to choose again, to choose the blessing that God would bestow upon us.  Fear can fade away when we say the affirmations that come us to from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, as well as the Bible.  These affirmations proclaim a truth that is above doubt, a truth that all is really well with us–regardless of outside circumstances.  Even pain is alleviated and kept from escalating into suffering when we live close to the deepest within ourselves, the deepest which is God.

4 – Join in Unity

May we join forces with all whom we see today, to join in unity with our brothers and sisters, and to pray for the Christ-consciousness which will mean that we will live in unity without any time constraints, permanently.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We need to get very clear about what we need–and that is a unity with all, You and All that exists.  May I reach the clarity that will tell me this in my deepest heart of hearts.  May I depend on You for the answers to my needs, knowing that needs are always answered.  My wants may not be realized, and that is as it should be.  I may want what would hurt me.

Thank You for helping me to realize that I must keep my mind clear to avoid attracting the wrong things.  I have some say in this, though You will guide me–always–when I let myself be open to guidance.  May I follow Your will and Your way today, all through the day.

Amen.

Cease Toiling

ptg-monet-magpie“Your work is that of creation.  Your creation is your service to the world as your Father’s work is his service to you.  As you cannot imagine God toiling, so you should cease to imagine yourself doing thus.  (A Course of Love, 29.10)”

Affirmation:  “I would refrain from ‘toiling’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Protestant Work Ethic

Many of us think that God is a hard taskmaster, because the Protestant work ethic is embedded in our culture here in the United States.  God is not a hard taskmaster; it is ourselves that merely think this, erroneously.  God would have us work effortlessly, and when we are living the Self/Christ that we really are, we are at peace, relaxed, and capable of great service to others (and ourselves) without strain.  We work the easy way.

2 – Toil Unnecessary

It is only our perchance for toil that seems to bring it upon us.  We do not need to toil in service to ourselves, and we also do not need to toil in service to others.  Easy does it.  The best and hardest work is that which is the easiest to do.  We may not immediately believe this assertion, but let us reread the passage for today, and, if we believe it, we will know this to be true.

3 – Creation

Our creation is not the “making” that was of the ego.  Instead, our creation is creating in the real world, the world beyond illusions, the world of joy, peace, harmony.  These intangibles of God find concrete form when we listen to His guidance to us.  And only then.  We work amiss when we try–try–to do “good works” for Him.  He would not have us strive to please Him by such means.  He will teach us the easy way to work, if we will only listen.

4 – Hardest Work Becomes Easy

So, let us have no more of hard toil.  The hardest work, objectively, becomes easy when we invite God into the mix.  Let us do so today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

When we relax in Your embrace, the most stressful day becomes smooth.  We do not need to toil, wearing ourselves out.  When we are at home in You, then we can work very, very hard–but the work will seem effortless.  And, of course, effortlessness is the easy way to work.  

Thank You that Jesus said long ago that his burden was light.  And when the burden is light, it truly is not a burden at all.  May we spend the rest of today thanking You with grateful hearts for the burdens that no longer weigh heavily upon us.

May we cease fretting and worry.  These are among the most common burdens, and with You in us, with us aware of You in us, fretting and worry are understood to be needless.

May the day go well.  May we bless our brothers and sisters with our words, our thoughts,
and our actions.

Amen.

My Child, Return to Me

monet - lily pads2

“If God were to speak to you Himself and tell you of what means your service would be to Him, He would but tell you this:  My child, return to me.  God has no Will apart from yours.  Your return to unity is all God seeks for you, for Himself, and for all His children.  The return to unity was my [Jesus’s] accomplishment, and all that is meant by what I have often repeated here:  Only you can be accomplished.  Your service is but dedication to this goal.  (A Course of Love, 29.6)”

Affirmation:  “I would return to God today.”

Reflections:

1 – Beautiful Passage

This passage for today is indeed beautiful.  If all God asks of us is to return to Him, then we would do well to heed Him.  Our will and God’s are actually identical, and therefore we do not have to fret that we will be led down paths that we don’t want to take.  We need to realize that we are part of the while, and in returning to the One (God) we return to unity.  We are living in relationship to all at the same time that we are unified with all.  Unity and relationship are touchstones for A Course of Love.

2 – The Accomplished

We will serve, ourselves and others, and in this service we will become like Jesus, in that we will be “the accomplished.”  We need not fear that this is arrogance of the ego, for it is not.  It is the way that things actually are when we are living the Self/Christ.

3 – Elevated Self of Form

The Self/Christ is the elevated Self of form, which means that we are living a physical existence in this world, but we are elevated to the union with God that we all so need.  Union with God, the unitive state, is what mystics of all generations have found, and in the finding they have known peace indeed.

4 – Of Service

Let us ask today to be the accomplished, and with this accomplishment, we will want to be of service to ourselves and others.  We can ask no great blessing than this, to be One with God and our brothers and sisters, one with the All.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be patient as I am of service to others today.  May I make sure that I am embracing You at every turn.  This is what You want.  This is what I want.  May I not let impatience for more hold me back even further.

My I embody the elevated Self of form as soon as You deem possible.  May I enjoy the days that lie between now and then, and may I remain patient always.  Only You know best.

Amen.

Avoid Over-Dependence on Others

“Knowing is alien to you, and that is why you seek validation.  Each validation is seen and felt as a reward, a prize, a confirmation that you believe allows your conviction to grow.  Because you believe it, this is, at first, quite true.  But now it is no longer the time to rely on conviction that comes from the witnesses you find along your way.  (A Course of Love, 28.10)”

Affirmation:  “May I depend on my own knowledge.”

Reflections:

1 – Warning

All of us on the pathway back to God have turned to other people and their words to help us make the journey.  But here there is a strong warning from Jesus.  We are not to become too dependent upon others.  We are, instead, to rely on the inner Self/Christ.  We turn inward for correction, as well as an indication of the next step to take.  And we will not be disappointed.

2 – Commune with God

This passage does not say this, but it seems to me that the gist of it is a powerful incentive to commune with God far more of our waking hours than we normally have.  If we turn inward, we are, in fact, turning to God, so long as we are assured that the Self/Christ inside is operative.  If we turn to the egoic part of our mind, and we encourage the personal self to emerge, we will often be misled.  Let us have none of that.

3 – Validation

Validation does not have to come from other people.  We can live quite sanely through following our own lights.  The problem is not that we don’t know enough, but that we don’t put into practice what we do already know.  Let’s change this today.  Practice what we know.  Yes, that is the way home to God.  If we depend on others, we will get very confused.  Politicians learn this truth the hard way.  There are so many advisors, and they differ so much in what advice they give.  The wise politician looks to his/her own lights in making decisions, once all the facts are in.  We ought to do no less.  And our own lights include God and His advice.

4 – Bible Verse

The Bible has a telling verse:  “If ye know these things, happy ye are if ye do them” (from John).  This verse seems particularly apt to our passage from A Course of Love today.  We choose amiss when we don’t listen to the God within, to the Christ/Self within, but instead look overly to our brothers and sisters for validation of what we feel unsure about.  We can easily be misled by others who do not see the whole picture.  When we ourselves feel unsure, because we know that we can’t see the whole picture, how can we depend on others in any sure way?  So we look within.  And there we find God’s guidance reaching out to us.  He knows.  Listen today to Him.

5 – Egoic Mind

We are so used, in our egoic minds, to looking to others to make us feel good.  We certainly do not need to make this mistake again, or, indeed, anymore at all.  Look within.  Pray,  Commune with God.  And much more will go wel for us.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would look to You today.  I would not depend on others to tell me what to do.  They do not know.  You do.  Thank You for your good advice.

Validation is important, but the source must be credible.  And this Source is God.  The most credible Source of All–indeed, the only One.

Be with us today as we seek to have positive experiences.  Help me to live peaceably with my brothers and sisters.  May the actions that they take toward us be well-considered, and may we also treat them well.

Amen.

You Can Know without Knowing What to Do

pissarro - trees“As the dawn is unrestrained  in its bursting forth, so has been your time of innocence.  Not so the approach of day as the sun slowly rises and as slowly sets.  This is a time of being both guided and restrained.  A time of realizing that you can know without knowing what to do, and that this is not a mistake.  (A Course of Love, 28.10)”

Affirmation  “I will be patient today in my ‘knowing.'”

Reflections:

1 – Reassuring Passage

This passage is a reassuring gesture on the part of Jesus to us who are still learning.  We may have experienced a sudden relief when we realized that we truly are innocent, but as time goes on, the movement toward Christ-consciousness slows down–as the sun slowly rises and slowly sets.  While this slow movement is not always the case and does not receive the most attention, it is the most common way.  We see glimpses before Christ-consciousness can be maintained.  Indeed, maintaining the elevated Self of form is very rare indeed, at least at this time in our history.

2 – Commune with God

But we can commune with God, we can internally ask questions of Jesus, and we can read A Course of Love–all to get a roadmap to enlightenment.  Most of the outstanding examples of enlightenment in our history have been sudden experiences, but the very suddenness may have given rise to the awareness of the existence of these people.  A more gradual Awakening is kinder to us, for then the light does not suddenly dawn upon us, leaving us perhaps a bit frightened.  (These are interpretations based in part on both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.)

3 – Rest in Stillness

When we “know,” but don’t know what to do, I think it would be wise to rest in stillness until we do know what to do.  We do not want to go off willy-nilly, making mistakes that will only set us back.  Ask for guidance, for the solution is always found with the problem.  We will always be answered, and my experience is that it does not take long for the answer to come.  Ask, and ye shall receive (from the Bible).

4 – Imaginary Bonds

We often strain at imaginary bonds that seem to restrain us.  We have learned so much from A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, and we are so eager, as a result, to walk the whole pathway to Awakening or Christ-consciousness.   Our eagerness with A Course of Love is greater than with ACIM, even.  This difference, this increase, is because we finally see that we have “learned” all that is needed, and we simply need to assimilate our learning so that it becomes knowledge rather than perception.  The knowledge cannot come until we let the ego die, and sometimes this dying is painfully slow–even when we wish it to happen fast (perhaps especially when we wish it to happen fast).  The knowledge will go with us on the whole pathway to full salvation.  And we need to rest awhile in peace, before we will know what our next steps ought to be.  We are not bade to evangelize the world, but we are bade to live in it as followers of Jesus.  At this point he is fast beyond our companion, our teacher no longer.

5 – Change in This World

Help us to assimilate this knowledge so that the change can happen universally in this world.  Life is at a crisis point (as life has always been), and we need to accomplish what we can to wish our brothers and sisters well in all of their activities toward salvation.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Thank You for the knowledge that will lead me to Awakening.  I would be ready sooner rather than later.  I would not delay by egotistical means.  I would drop the ego.  Help me to do so, today.

Be with us as we seek to have a good day.  This is a blessing, to have a good day.  May we enjoy our companions, including Jesus, if we can believe that he is always by our side.

Amen.

Being Sure of God

“There is a trust that goes beyond proof and beyond the need for any witnessing at all.  van gogh - stilllife - fruitThis is the trust of knowing.  Knowing is of the heart, and holds a consistency and certainty that the dawn of innocence does not contain.  (A Course of Love, 28.5)”

Affirmation:  “I would ‘know’ today.”

Reflections:

1 – Knowing vs. Perceiving

Jesus has longed for us to know since he first mentioned these words in A Course in Miracles.  There he contrasted “knowing” and “perceiving,” and indicated that only in knowing is there permanence.  Perception was what we had projected from within, and it is illusion, for we are living in a dream.  Elements of the real world do surface, though, when we live from knowing.  Knowing is of God, and it something for which we are now ready.

2 – Intuition

Listen to your heart.  Sometimes this heartfelt message is sensed as intuition, but not always.  There are many ways that the heart can come to understand.  Inspirational words of others are yet another source.  And, of course, scripture–whether of the Bible, other holy books, or the latest perennial philosophy of ACIM and ACOL.

3 – Innocence

When we have first known innocence, and known that it is of ourselves, we have loosed the hold of the ego on ourselves.  This is where ACIM took us.  We have not sinned, but have merely made mistakes that we would correct, and which we would forgive in ourselves.

4 – Jesus

But we have traveled beyond simple innocence now.  We know that the innocence is a fact, but we also know many other things.  Jesus has taken us by the hand, and through the reading of A Course of Love, he is leading us to full equality with him.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I be sure of You today.  I have had faith for a long time, and I do not leave my mind at the door when I pray.  I know in a way that I did not when I was younger.  Thank You for this certainty, for this truth of knowing that You are with me always.

May my trust be expanded.  Trust has been a bit of a problem for me, and I would not have it so.  Trust is the bedrock of our salvation, and I would trust completely and wholly that You are with me all the time.  Thank You for the trust that is growing within me.

Amen.

Living a Life of Love

1217335673_paul-cezanne-wallpaper-the-sea-at“You are ready now, and all that will prevent you from living a life of love is unwillingness to do so.  There is only one remaining source of such unwillingness.  Your willingness will now depend on whether or not you trust.  Do you trust these words?  Do you trust in God?  Can you trust in your Self?  (A Course of Love, 27.21)

Affirmation:  “I am willing to live a life of love today.”

Reflections:

1 – Trust

Trust is the bedrock of the Teacher of God’s life (from the Manual of A Course in Miracles).  Nothing else good, on a permanent basis, can really come to us until we trust, in God and in our Self.

2 – Better Living

We are reassured that we are ready now for that better living.  This is akin to Helen (co-scribe of ACIM) and her remark to Bill (co-scribe) that she would help him find another way.  And in A Course of Love, the work that was begun in ACIM comes to fruition.  We see Jesus not any longer as just our teacher, but as our heartfelt companion.  This is not so different from traditional Christianity.

3 – Life of Love

We are willing to live a life of love.  Only doubt that it can be so would prevent us from so living.  And we can banish doubt from our minds by a concentrated will to do so.  If pursued by doubt, turn to your heart, which does not seek for proof.  Ask internally what your heart really knows.

4 – The Heart Will Answer

And you will be answered.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I live that life of love that is indicated herein.  May I trust enough to do so.  I feel ready, sometimes, for a continual life of love, and I thank You for those times that I feel so blessed.  Extend those times to be a continuous thread throughout my life.  May today be the beginning of the rest of a life of love.

I wish to be able to express love in a way that can be accepted.  Guard my tongue if I am saying the wrong thing, based on thinking the wrong kinds of thoughts.  Help me to be of assistance to those in my circle.  May I listen to what my heart is telling me, and with that heartfelt messages will arrive, guiding my thinking, my words, and my actions.  I fully believe this, and I thank You for the assurances that You give me constantly.  May I always be ready to accept Your assurances of love and peace and hope and tranquility.

Amen.

Typical Fears No More Arise

L'Estaque - cezanne2

“Living in relationship provides a constant knowing of this sort, a simple knowing of a way things are meant to be.  It is a knowing felt within the heart for which there still will be no proof, but for which there will be the certainty you heretofore have lacked.  The typical fears you have experienced in the past will not arise within this knowing.  (A Course of Love, 27.19)”

Affirmation:  “May no fears arise in me today.”

Reflections:

1 – Knowing

When we live in relationship to God and ourselves, our deepest Selves, plus with others, we are living as Jesus recommends in this passage for today.  We will feel a “knowing” in our heart that we are on the right pathway.

2 – Relationships

This is the pathway recommended initially in A Course of Miracles, but then the emphasis was on relationships, holy relationships with others, especially our most significant brother (or sister).  In A Course of Love, Jesus expands the concept of relationship to mean a relationship not only to God, but to the Self/Christ within.  When we reach deep, deep, inwardly, we are reassured, in a way that nothing else can, that all is well.

3 – Home

This is the certainty of which Jesus speaks in this passage.  This is the assurance that we are on the way home, and not to the Other Side, but the heaven on earth that we can actually know here.

4 – Listen

Be with Jesus’s words today.  See if they don’t make a huge difference.

5 – Certainty

The certainty that we are on the right pathway comes when we lift ourselves up mentally and in a heartfelt way, and we do the best that we know how.  We don’t allow ourselves to get downhearted, if there is any way that we can avoid it.  We are cheery, we are upbeat.  We are not discouraged, for Jesus is with us always.

6 – A Promise

He has promised this.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would know certainty of true knowledge today.  I would not press to know, but I would rest in the certainty that this is what You want for me.  I would not fall into a too-strong desire for Christ-consciousness, for You make that decision.  You are always with me, inside of me, for I am part of You.  Thank You for this knowledge.

Be with all of my brothers and sisters today.  May we let typical fears that arise with just living to fall away.  We need be fearful no more.  Thank You.

Amen.

revised

When in Conflict

The-Ballet-Dancer-by-Edgar-Degas-large“To live in relationship is to live in harmony even with conflict.  It is an understanding that if conflict arises in your present there is something to be learned from your relationship with conflict.  (A Course of Love, 27.14)”

Affirmation:  “I would live in harmony today.”

Reflections:

1 – Learn from Conflict

We do learn from conflict, though we might not like to do so.  When we remain in harmony within ourselves, though, extending this outward to displaying no anger nor attack with others, we can view the conflict dispassionately.  We can remain harmonious, even though those around us are not.

2 – Retain Harmony

What are we learning?  We are learning the benefits of retaining harmony in any situation, even though that push our buttons.  We are learning that anger and attack have no foundation in truth (from A Course in Miracles), and that they are not justified in us as children of God (and all of  us are children of God).  We can make the best of a bad situation, though, when others misbehave.  We do not have to assume a “holier than thou” attitude, either (and this attitude would be most inappropriate).

4 – Conflict in This World

Today’s passage indicates that wherever there is conflict in this world (and that place is almost universal), we can stay true to our understandings, gleaned from ACIM and A Course of Love, and yet still learn from the conflict.  We did not create the conflict, but we can learn from it.  And we choose not to exacerbate the conflict.  We remain in harmony with all.

5 = When Baited

Others may try to bait us.  But we do not have to rise to the bait.  This may be easier said than done.  Some ways to react:  Take a timeout.  Simply excuse yourself from the room.  Listen quietly and tolerantly.  Ask internally what to say or do in response.  Remain calm and collected.  Above all, do not become emotionally heated.  Chill out.

6 – Personal Interpretations

None of these suggestions are found in ACIM or ACOL, but are personal interpretations, based on my own living experiences.  You will have other solutions, and, if so, I would welcome your comments to this posting.  Thank you.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I recognize that I am my own worst enemy, making conflict within my own personal self when I would do well to turn to You.  I make the conflict all too often, second guessing myself and doubting the intuitions that rise to the surface.  I would end this reaction today.  I would live in harmony whenever possible.  Whenever it is not possible to live in harmony in my relationships with others, I would learn from the experience.  Then I can leave the conflict behind, knowing that I have gleaned all that can be gleaned from what has happened.

Be with us today.  Thank You for the beginning of a good day.  Whatever happens, may I be prepared, with Your help, to handle it.  Life is not always easy, but it can always be good when I am enfolded by Your love.

Amen.

Relationships of the Self/Christ

“Is it such a huge leap to go from saying you only exist in relationship to you only exist as Avenue-de-lOpera-Rain-Effect-artist-Camille-Pissarrorelationship?  You think it is, and feel your self further diminished and lacking in identity just by contemplating such an idea.  And so you must be reassured of the Self you are.  (A Course of Love, 27.10)”

Affirmation:  “Help me to understand that I exist as relationship.”

Reflections:

1 – Definitions

What is the difference between existing “in” relationship and existing “as” relationship?  “In” relationships we are still two entities (extended to many) that are in concert one to the other.  “As” relationship means that we are not unique in any way, but that the one Self that we are is simultaneously everywhere.

2 – Hard Point

This may be a hard point to grasp.  The subtleties are great.

3 – Selves/Christ in Union

To accept that we are “as” relationship, we must recognize the One that is everywhere and everything.  This is another way of speaking of God.  And we have already grasped that our one personal self is a part of Him.  Is it such a giant leap to see that our Self is actually Selves–Christ in union with all?

4 – Theology

This is part of the theology of A Course of Love.  It is not necessary to take this understanding unto yourself if it seems obtuse.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that theology may only delay us, for a universal theology is impossible; a universal experience, though, is indeed possible and is to be sought out.

5 – Be Patient

Let the concept in today’s passage rest lightly on your mind.  As time passes, think of “in” and “as” again, and see if this distinction is beginning to be more acceptable to you.  But do not fret if it is one of the last concepts in ACOL to find your nod.  We are learning much by observation, and as we progress, in the future, through the other two volumes of ACOL, we will find much that will support the distinction of “in” and “as.”  Then the difference, though great, will not seem so forbidding.  (Note:  Two earlier portions of this blog covered parts of the Volumes 2 and 3.  These were the “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” covered from April 1 – May 14, 2010, and “Treatise on the New,” covered from May 22 – December 31, 2010.)

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would seek to understand today that my Self is part of the One, the Whole, and that all Selves are One.  Thus to say that we all exist “as” relationship makes sense.  Help me to comprehend today.

May this day good well.  Thank You for the good beginning.  May all of us answer each other’s needs, and may our wants that truly are needs be answered as well.  The solution is with the problem.  And may obsessions drift away.

Amen.

The Mystery of the Human and the Divine

cezanne - fruit“When you fully realize that the only way to know the Self is through relationship, your concerns about concentration on the self will end.  Life is not a matter of self versus other.  Life is a matter of relationship.  Life is not a matter of human versus divine, but a matter of relationship between the human and the divine.  (A Course of Love, 27.7)”

Affirmation:  “Life is solely a matter of relationship.”

Reflections:

1 – From ACIM

In A Course in Miracles, the emphasis with relationship was upon our brother.  We were led to understand that in our relationship to our brother was our way home.  We did not need long periods of contemplation, because we learned to love our brother.

2 – From ACOL

In A Course of Love,  we are led to see an internal relationship, unique to ourselves, in the relationship of the human and the divine.  We are led to realize that the Self has come of age now, and that the personal self is declining in importance to ourselves.  This Self is the inner Christ.  This is the way in which we are like Jesus.  And this is, according to ACOL, our way home.

3 – Human and Divine

The relationships between the human and divine is often, perhaps, a mystery to us.  It will remain a mystery until we have accomplished Christ-consciousness through God’s action toward us.  He makes the decision regarding the time.  This is a point that I have made repeatedly in this blog, and it is a tenet of both ACIM and ACOL.  He makes the decision of when to reach down (a metaphor) and raise us up.  In a sense, Christ-consciousness is our own resurrection.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

May we mold the human and the divine into the elevated Self of form.  And, if we have not yet started toward this, let us start today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would unravel a bit today the mystery of the human and the divine.  I would reach glimpses today of Christ-consciousness by relaxing into Your will and asking for a miracle.  May the peace that You give encompass me and thus make this miracle possible.

Be with all of us today, all of my brothers and sisters.  May I fulfill for others the needs that are mine to fulfill.  May I look to You to fulfill what I cannot fulfill.  Needs are always answered, of that I am sure.  And I thank You for fulfilling needs.

Amen.

Turn to the Christ/Self Within

“There is no mold, no form, no stock answer.  This is why all answers have disappointed L'Estaque - cezanneyou in the past.  Your answer is not the same as any other.  No matter how filled with wisdom one person’s answer may be, it is not yours.  (A Course of Love, 26.20)”

Affirmation:  “May I find my personal answer today.”

Reflections:

1 – Different Answers

This passage for today gives an explanation that may have eluded us before.  Regardless of what has helped another person, that same word may not help us, because we are all individuals with different pasts, different temperaments, different needs (to a degree).  We cannot look to stock answers to find salvation, and especially not to find Awakening or Christ-consciousness.  We have to look inward, at the inner Self, for our Answer, an Answer which rests in God.

2 – Turn Inward

Knowing that nothing anybody else can say may help is possibly a downer.  So we continue seeking, and we are often disappointed in our seeking.  This is all the more reason to turn inward.  I believe that accumulation of words from external sources will eventually coalesce into something that can be of benefit to all of us.  God uses external sources to get His message out also.  Not everything can be learned without any external help.

3 – We Have Sought Long Enough

That is why Jesus has channeled A Course in Miracles, and, some believe, A Course of Love.  He wants us to know, in the latter, that we have sought long enough.  We are enough.  We are ready.  And God would seem to be waiting for us to realize this (an interpretation, not stated in ACIM or ACOL).

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would find my personal answers from within.  Other people’s answers can help inform mine, but mine alone is sufficient for me.  May this not disappoint me, but be cause for joy.  I need only turn inward to You, and what I seek will be found in the Christ/Self within.

Be with me today to keep me calm and tranquil.  May no difficulties arise, and if they must, may I have the wherewithal to handle them easily and in a relaxed fashion.  Help me to be patient with others with whom I interact.  May I take care of the needs that are mine to handle, and may I know joy in the process.

Amen.

What the Elevated Self of Form Means

“This is the invitation to the celebration.  This is the invitation to greet this day with no worry, disappointment, or planning.  This is the invitation to greet your Self and to find your Self within this day.  (A Course of Love, 26.18)”

Affirmation:  “I will look to my Self today.  May my Self be evident to me.”cezanne - houses

Reflections:

1 – Do We Have What It Takes?

The passage for today is very optimistic, and we might wonder if this reflects Jesus’s optimism about us.  Will we really prove to be who and what he wants us to be?  Do we really have what it takes?

2 – Start the Day Aright

A day started out right has much to recommend it.  If we decide, early today, that we want a celebration, then we might well have it.  We can drop worry, disappointment, and planning–if we have the right support from God.  And we will have that right support when we know that Jesus’s affirmations are true.

3 – Experience the Christ/Self

We need to experience our Self today.  It is the only way that we can be truly peaceful in a world that grows more difficult every day.  This Self does not hamper the growth of a better world in any way; living this Self is the way.

4 – Elevated Self of Form

How do we reach the elevated Self of form?  What, indeed, do these words even mean?

5 – What the Elevated Self of Form Means

The words, “elevated Self of form,” means that we will live in this world as physical beings but we will be living in Christ-consciousness.  The Self/Christ in us is an elevated being when we compare to the personal self, the little self, that was dominated by the ego.  The Self in form has thrust aside the ego as a bad idea, though as a part of ourselves it will simply cease to be; it will not be destroyed in any violent act.  We just turn aside from thoughts of the ego in making our decisions; indeed, we do not make our decisions alone, but in concert with the Christ within.  We assume guidance to be a constant factor in our lives, and we do not recoil from it–ever.  We know that the guidance that we know to be true is the next right action to take.  And so we live, simply and peacefully, fully reconciled to God and fully in harmony with the world in which we find ourselves.

6 – The World Will Change

The world will change when these changes have reached a critical mass.  And we can help that day be sooner rather than later.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would start this day aright.  I would leave aside worry, planning, disappointments.  I would sense my Christ/Self within today.  All will be well if I can stay true to this resolution.  I do have plenty of help.  Help is only a call away.  You are with me, and there are helpers abounding.  Thank You.

I would live the elevated Self of form today, if only in fleeting moments.  Your guidance will bring this out in me.  I am grateful to You for the assurance that we are meant to live the elevated Self of form.  The physical does not have to be downplayed.

Be with me as I seek to drop worry today, worry and obsessions.  I must do my part, and, with Your help, I will succeed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Be Still / Experience All that Is Holy

sainte-victoire-lauves - cezanne“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind?  Can you let the disappointments of yesterday go and be no more?  Can you let the planning for the future cease?  Can you be still and know your Self?

“This is perhaps disappointing to you, but it is all that is required.  If you could truly succeed at doing this for one instant, you would experience all that is holy and be forever one.  (A Course of Love, 26.16 – 26.17)”

Affirmation  “May I listen to inspired words and be reassured.”

Reflections:

1 – Christ-Consciousness

This passage, which repeats what was begun yesterday, reinforces all that is required of us.  It makes clear that keeping worry from the mind, not dwelling on the past or planning for the future, will lead us to Christ-consciousness.  We would do this for only one instant, and we would experience “all that is holy and be forever one.”  This is a definition of Christ-consciousness, the blessing toward which we are moving.

2 – A Simple Answer

Is the simplicity of the answer a disappointment to us?  We sometimes like to work too hard, thinking that hard work will get us what nothing else can.  But the heart does not work the way the mind does.  The heart simply knows, and with this knowledge comes the willingness to let go and let God.

3 – Relax

We need to relax in the blessing of God’s presence.  We need to realize that hard work doesn’t really get us what we want.  Christ-consciousness is a gift of God, and a change of what we think about is all that we really need.  We need to live in the Now, as Eckhart Tolle has told us.  Eckhart is an enlightened teacher who is identified with no one faith in our world.  But his books, The Power of Now and A New Earth, have identified the fact that he is indeed enlightened.  His way, though, was not the way of A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love had not yet been channeled.

4 – Enlightenment

Enlightenment is real is our world.  We do not want to claim this blessing if we risk making assertions that prove not to be true.  So we go slowly.  What we experience may be only a glimpse, and may not be sustained.  But Jesus would have us to sustain the elevated Self of form, something that he says has never been done in our world.  (It is unclear if he includes himself in this statement.)

5 – Rest in God’s Love

We need to drop the worries of the present, close off the past and the future, and rest in God’s love.  Then we will be positioned to accept God’s blessing of Christ-consciousness when he deigns to offer it.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I spend the remainder of the day in contemplating what You would have me experience as I, like all of us, move closer to enlightenment.  May I be still, as Jesus asks, and experience the Self who I am.  May this contemplation give me peace of mind and heart.  Help me to make of the remainder of this day a particular day of meditation.

I need to drop worry, cease senseless planning, and think no more of disappointments that might once have unnerved me.  Your way for me has been best, when I have been faithful enough to follow.  May I be faithful enough today, and may this today extend into the future with ease.  You would not have me struggle in this world.  I can experience effortless ease when my faith in You is sufficient.

Thank You for the reassuring words of Jesus.  May his mission be fulfilled with all the help that he asks of us.  And may never a bit of egotism intrude that would ruin it all.

Amen.

Overcoming Worry, Planning, and Disappointment

cezanne.appg - still life“Can you let the worries of today leave your mind?  Can you let the disappointments of yesterday go and be no more?  Can you let the planning for the future cease?  Can you be still and know your Self?  (A Course of Love, 26.16)”

Affirmation:  “I will be still and know my Self.”

Reflections:

1 – We Need Peace of Mind

We need to recognize that living in any time other than the present, and living in the present with worry is devastating to our peace of mind.  We need to drop the past, similarly, and cease planning for contingencies to come.  We will be guided to make plans if those plans need to be made, and at the very point of need.  Otherwise, we can safely be stll and welcome the coming of our Self, the coming of the Christ within.

2 – Invite Christ-Consciousness

This technique is actually a manual for how to invite Christ-consciousness.  We only need to be still!  What a blessing!  Can we believe it?  It is in the receiving that we will know the truth of this promise.  We can ask for Christ-consciousness, but if we do not believe that this blessing will be given to us, we will not be in a position to receive.  We need to ask and then contemplate receiving.  As Norman Vincent Peale says, we are expert askers but inexpert receivers.

3 – Willing to Receive

This factor of being willing to receive, to thank God for the receipt, is pivotal.  Until we have become willing to receive, to believe with all our heart that we are ready, then the receiving will not happen.

4 – Do Not “Seek”

So long as we continue seeking, we will not receive.  There is always something more that we can read.  It is true that we need inspirational meditations for the long haul.  But we do not need to use such reading to “seek” what has already been given.

5 – Christ-Consciousness

When we are ready for Christ-consciousness, we need to know–really know, not perceive–that the blessing will be given.  Our faith, a concept not discussed very much in either A Course in Miracles or A Course of Love, will stand us in good stead.  Faith is simply assumed.  And with that faith will come an assurance that all is well.  It is all alright.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would cease planning for the future.  You will prompt me when plans need to be carried out, at the point of need.  I would also cease worry and eliminate disappointment.  All of these things are necessary before Christ-consciousness can be mine.  Help me to begin to eliminate these distractions today, right now.

Be with me as I go through the day.  You know what needs to be planned, because planning has been something hard for me to overcome.  Likewise, worry has dogged my pathway.  I would cease such foolishness immediately.  You will guide me as to how to do that.  I do believe this.  And the New Testament says, “Fear not, only believe, and she shall be made whole.”

Thank You for the continuity of the Bible, A Course in Miracles, and A Course of Love.  Not everyone sees this continuity, but I choose to look for it, and I find it.  Thank You for these inspired readings.  Your way is mine, and I ask for the faith and diligence to walk to You, to walk that pathway.

May all of us have a good day.

Amen.

The Now for Christ-Consciousness

“This Course is but a trigger.  These words the prelude to the explosion.  It is as if you have been Wheat Field with the Alpilles Foothills in the Background - van goghwaiting for someone to whisper:  Now!  The whisper has come.  The time is now.  (A Course of Love, 26.25)”

Affirmation:  “The time is now.”

Reflections:

1 – “Explosion”

The words of this passage refer to the “explosion” that will occur, from a whisper, when we are ready for Christ-consciousness.  We need, some of us, simply to accept that the time is now.  The time has arrived.  We do not have to do or say anything further.

2 – Awakening

Not all of us are ready for this blessing.  But we can rest in assurance that when we are ready, God Himself will act to (metaphorically) reach down and lift us up.

3 – Always Seeking

Always we have thought that there was something else that we had to read, something else that we had to do, some other pathway that we had to explore.  It appears to me that one of the reasons that Jesus wrote this sequel is that students of A Course in Miracles could not seem to cease their seeking.  Here in A Course of Love Jesus gives us the signal to cease our seeking.  We know enough.  We are ready.  Even, we are told, we do not have to be perfect (a belief that many of us have, at least subconsciously).  Just rest and receive from God.  Again, I emphasize that Jesus says that “now” is the time.

4 – Ready for the Awakening

Does not this passage for today seem too good to be true?  We have waited long to read such a passage, such an assurance that we really are ready to receive Awakening or Christ-consciousness.  At first we will see in glimpses, but these glimpses will lengthen, and when they do, we will almost imperceptibly be living in Christ-consciousness all the time.  It is true that some, such as Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now; A New Earth) have sudden experiences of union.  But it would appear from my reading of A Course of Love that such individuals are in the minority.  Most are given, as A Course in Miracles points out, a slowly evolving pathway.  If the light were suddenly turned on for those of us still asleep, we would be very, very frightened.  ACIM makes this clear.  Our happy dreams from the Holy Spirit have prepared us, though, and now we are ready to move into the great blessing of Awakening, or Christ-consciousness, without fear.

5 – Wait Long?

Will we have to wait long?  Not if we take Jesus at his word.  But neither do we want to claim this great blessing before we sense its true arrival.  We do not want to be false prophets, here as we reach the culmination of a long road to the epitome of salvataion.

6 – Christ-consciousness

Pray for Christ-consciousness, and assume that if Jesus has said that we are ready, it is only a matter of time before we will find that his word is indeed true.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I rest in Jesus’s assurance that the time is now for Christ-consciousness.  But I know that the “now” in eternity is not the “now” of this world.  And so I will be patient.  But I will need seek fruitlessly.  Constant seeking is a deterrent.  And I would not defer Christ-consciousness.

Help us to follow in Your way, knowing that You make the decision of the rightness of Awakening.  I would have it no other way, though I admit to being impatient.  Take this impatience from me, and give me peace and comfort in Your grace.

Be with all my brothers and sisters.  We need each other, perhaps as we have never needed each other before.  Help us to say and do and think what You would wish.

And may Christ-consciousness be not long delayed.  Thank You.

Amen.

Effortless Happiness

Reproduction-oil-paintings-Vincent-Van-Gogh005“You do not yet, but will soon realize the happiness that is ours.  Your mind cannot accept that happiness, as well as meaning, is due you through no effort of your own.  (A Course of Love, 25.9)”

Affirmation:  “Happiness is due me through no particular effort.”

Reflections:

1 – Free Gift

We do have happiness, when we have the type of attitudes that invite it.  We don’t have to “effort” to deserve happiness.  Happiness is a free gift of God, just as is His guidance.  He wants us to be joyous.  He wants us to live lives that are filled with all blessings that we will accept.  We must receive from Him, though.  We cannot think negative and depressing thoughts, not received from Him, and expect happiness to follow.  Natural laws still apply.  And common sense would tell us that we need to work with our minds to bring forth the goodness that God has in store for us.

2 – No Effort

Is this, then, “no effort”?  Yes, for it takes no struggle to sit quietly and envelope ourselves in God’s love.  This stillness will assure us that just below the surface of our negative thinking is the natural, uncomplicaated, and healthy habit of mind that ensures the sensing of happiness.  Just let go, and the healthy pattern will surface.

3 – Richard Carlson

The ideas in the preceding paragraph are informed, in part, by Richard Carlson, a psychologist and specialist in happiness who wrote a number of books about not “sweating the small stuff.”  Prior to that successful series, he wrote other books on alleviating depression and inviting happiness (some of which are out of print).  The natural, healthy sensations of happiness will arise easily when we allow the very unnatural habit of depressed thoughts to be eliminated.

4 – Happiness Will Bubble Forth

So let us take the effortless way to improve our attitudes so that happiness will bubble forth.  Just sit in the stillness with a clear mind not focusing on anything in particular.  See, by experiment, if Your sensation of God’s presence, which will come unbidden, does not alleviate depression and welcome a calmer, more peaceful feeling that can only be called the beginnings of happiness.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Help me to understand that happiness is a laudable goal, and that it is my due, through no particular effort of my own.  I do need to fill my mind and heart with peace, though, and this will happen when we read and reflect on Jesus’s words.

May we reach out to others who do not feel happiness.  May we be their guide home to happiness.

Be with us as we seek Your way.  And may our pathway smooth before us.

Amen.

Lightheartedly in the Flow

pissarro - artist's garden“When you are guided to act in ways that are contrary to usual patterns of action you have taken in the past, you will often meet resistance.  Try to be lighthearted at such times and to remember that if it ‘doesn’t matter,’ you might as well try the new way.  Remind yourself that you have nothing to lose.  You will soon learn that this is so.  (A Course of Love, 25.24)”

Affirmation:  “I will follow guidance consistently.”

Reflections:

1 – Guidance

One of my favorite topics to think about is the question of guidance.  And this passage for today is directly on this topic.  What might I say to you about guidance?

2 – “Turn on a Dime”

First, it is hard to be consistent in following guidance.  I still pause and consider before acting, and this may not be a bad thing.  Our emotions can carry us away, and we can do unwise things.  We would not do insane things, and insanity is an attribute of an undiminished ego.  I often ask to be able to “turn on a dime,” once the guidance appears to be sure to me.  And when I do, I never regret it.

3 – Clear Mind

Guidance is also lighthearted and clear to the mind.  We do not have to obsess or to analyze.  Something within us just “knows.”  And, when we act accordingly, we will soon come to see that it is as Jesus has said, we will find out that all is right.

4 – No Pressure

Guidance is not pressured.  If we feel pressured, it is likely that the ego is involved, and that we are misleading ourselves.

5 – How to Know Guidance?

How do we know guidance?  Feelings, intuitive feelings, mainly.  But dreams do figure prominently in the Bible, and I do also listen to my dreams.  If the dream is particularly lucid, it becomes a touchstone for my life.

6 – In the Flow

When we are “in the flow,” so to speak, of life, then guidance comes easily and is welcomed.  When we are resisting, we ought to wait.  We are not ready.  Do not fight yourself, as Jesus says in A Course in Miracles.

7 – Great Blessing

Guidance is one of the greatest blessings of God.  And we ought, therefore, to take it seriously, but, paradoxically, with a light heart.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

We all live too highly strung lives, even those of us who are not working full-time.  Our emotional lives are too much in turmoil.

Jesus can help us with this, as he tells us what to do in A Course of Love.  Follow guidance, but with a clear mind and a light heart.   Guidance comes in many ways, and it behooves us to try to listen wisely.  Not passively or without thinking, but with the full use of our faculties.  But we must not make a big deal of evaluating guidance, for by its very nature, it is a bit beyond us.  Guidance comes, frequently, in intuition.  But a word from a book may just as easily speak to us.

Help me to turn on a dime, if I am on the wrong pathway.  Be with all of us today to give us, with Your help and our cooperation, a good day.

Amen.

Eliminating Perplexities

“While you will at times doubt that you have received an answer or that the answer you have received paintings-by-camille-pissarro-6is correct, you will soon learn to trust this quiet process of discernment.  You will know you have succeeded when you truly feel as if you have ‘turned the question or concern over’ and allowed it to be responded to in a new way.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  “When I have a perplexity, I turn it over to God.”

Reflections:

1 – Perplexities

Perplexities do not have to remain perplexities.  There is a quick solution, as I said yesterday in this blog:  The solution is with the problem (an ACIM tenet).  We are learning better what that means as we read A Course of Love.  We are learning to turn inward, where all is quiet, to our heart, and thereby to receive an answer.  This is an elaboration of what A Course in Miracles teaches, which seems to be another indication that what we have here in ACOL is actually a sequel from Jesus.

2 – “Basket Case”

I read recently from an inspirational writer of one of his family members who came up against severe problems at various junctures in her life.  She would, in his words, be a “basket case.”  But this did not last long.  When he would visit shortly thereafter, she would be calm, though the difficulty was still there.  She would reply, in response to his comment that all seemed well, that she had “turned that over to God.”  The emotional reaction was much more muted.

3 – Turn It Over to God

If we can learn to do this on a constant basis, we will live a much calmer and saner life.  We will not be lost in insanity, the state that all of us exist in until we come to know better.  We leave behind anger and attack, we turn our lives over to God, and we are rewarded by a peaceful life, with the “peace that passeth understanding” (from the Bible).

4 – Heart and Mind = Wholeheartedness

A Course of Love constantly appeals to the heart, and only toward the end do we see that a blend of mind and heart is actually the way for us.  We have to let go of egoic notions of the mind, though.  And the emphasis upon the heart, in the opening pages of ACOL, is exactly what we need to hear in the beginning.  We will come to know better when we give up asking for tangible proof.  The heart already knows.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I quickly turn any perplexity over to You.  You want to help me.  It is a free offer.  Surrender works.  Thank You.

May I be good company today with my brothers and sisters, and especially with those who are my significant others.  May this be a good day.  Help us to know how to turn perplexities into solutions.  This is something that we all need frequently.

Be with us today and always.

Amen.

Perfectly Calm and Quiet All the Time

monet - iris3“When action is seen to be necessary, this is exactly when a time of stillness is needed.  You might think of this time of stillness as a time of consulting with your new identity.  Simply sitting quietly, and posing the question or concern that is in need of appropriate action will suffice.  (A Course of Love, 25.23)”

Affirmation:  ‘I will spend some time in quietness today.”

Reflections:

1 – Need for Stillness

We need to be still.  We need to practice stillness.  Reading this passage prompted me to stop typing and to be still.  I turned to some inspirational reading, and now I am back.  Perhaps the stillness will impact this blog posting.

2 – Solution Is with the Problem

This passage for today is another way of stating a truth from A Course in Miracles:  that the solution is with the problem.  We have only to state the problem, to ask for the solution, and to receive that solution immediately (normally).  When we expect quick answer, we normally get them.  This is, of course, not always true, but this does hold true more often than not.  Sometimes our emotions are so warm (even hot) that we need to cool down before the answer will come, the solution will come.  This is what the stillness of this passage is trying to say.

3 – Healing

We must realize that there is a solution to every problem.  If we are in need of healing, we may know that the healing may be emotional rather than physical–but emotional healing is often far more important, even, than physical.  We will be given the will to walk on.  We will know that God cares.

4 – Practice the Presence of God

We need to practice the presence of God in as many ways as we can.  Praying silently, and aloud as well, are two good ways to invite God’s presence to impress Itself upon us.  It is often thought that meditation does the same, though Jesus in ACIM does not counsel much time spent in contemplation.  He says that our way, with ACIM, is in our relationship to our brother (or sister).  And we who practice ACIM have long recognized the truth of this statement.

5 – Meditation

The final pages of the Workbook of ACIM do seem meditative, though.  And perhaps it is.  (There is a difference of opiiion among students/teachers of ACIM about this.)  We can let guidance lead the way–guidance of the Holy Spirit, in ACIM; and guidance of Christ-consciousness, in A Course of Love.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I sometimes need just to be still, to bask in Your warmth, to know that peace of that passeth understanding.  Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that we will ultimately choose to calm and quiet all the time.  This is a statement of the meek, who do not seek to self-aggrandize themselves.  May the moments of stillness and quiet that I have known today carry on throughout the day and evening.

Help us to understand that being perfectly calm and quiet is a desirable thing.  We are so used to drama, and that may be why our ego is not yet dead in us.  We crave drama, and with that often comes attack and anger.  I would not have it so in my life.  Help me to live Your way.

A moment spend reading is a moment well-spent.  Thank You for leading me to that conclusion.  I have read Jesus’s words in the New Testament today, and I thank You that we have that record.  Also I thank You for the blessings of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.

Amen.

Patience as We Await Christ-Consciousness

“If you acknowledge your impatience as a sign of readiness for change that does not necessarily monet - yellow water liliesrequire action on your part, you will feel some relief.  (A Course of Love, 25.22)”

Affirmation:  “I will acknowledge impatience but not be ruled by it.”

Reflections:

1 – Ever More Eager

This impatience in the passage for today is a referral to the fact that we will become ever more eager to reach Christ-consciousness.  But we must be patient, for we may not be ready.  We may not be ready for a long time.  We do not have to adopt an impatient attitude.  We do not have to do anything at all.  No action, as the passage says, is required.

2 – Personal Experience

I have longed for quite a while to reach the Awakening, or Christ-consciousness.  But I am not ready yet.  And I do accept that.  Most of us, indeed, are not ready. I am fortunate in having had glimpses of Christ-consciousness–for three months and, later, for six months–and other glimpses, briefly, during daily life.  I am assured that these glimpses will lengthen over time, if I stay true to the pathway.  God will provide, in His own time.  And who would I be to try to hasten God?

3 – Part of God

Of course, I am a part of God, as are all of us.  So we do have some influence on this deepest part of ourselves.  But the personal self does not know.  Only the Self/Christ within knows, and we must be aware that our knowledge of this part of ourselves is still limited.  But we can wait, and we can wait patiently.  There is no hurry.  There is much that we can teach, even though we have not reached the pinnacle.

4 – Learn through Observation

Be wtih us today.  May we carefully study, learn through observation, and reach out to others, if they are interested in what we do or say.

5 – Just for Today

This is enough for today.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

Please remove those barriers in my mind and heart that keep me unready for Christ-consciousness on a sustained basis.  Help met to avoid attack and anger.  Help me to be patient as I wait for Your timing.  This is not a thing to rush, or to imagine that I have when I don’t.  I ask for sanity and good sense in the real world, a safe transition to Christ-consciousness.  No fear as I make the transition.

Be with all of us as we seek You.  You will know when we are ready.  And then, and only then, will we know fully why the wait has been so long.

Amen.

Definition of Creations

“If the urge to create is strong, certainly let it serve you.  But do not seek for praise or monet - sailboats2acknowledgement of your creations at this time.  You will soon realize that creation is not of, or for, the personal self.  (A Course of Love, 25.20)”

Affirmation:  “May what we create be without praise-seeking.”

Reflections:

1 – Creating Is What We Are Doing Now

Creating is what we are now doing all the time, if we have taken the precepts of A Course of Love to heart.  We are no longer just “making” a world.

2 – Creation of the Self/Christ

But creation is of the Self/Christ, not of the little self, the personal self.  This personal self was too ego-inspired.  For that reason, we may be asked of God to keep our creations private, lest we be led astray, by the ego, because we get praise for those creations.

3 – Personal Experience

Nobody is my hometown knows of my blog, for I have not told them, for a very personal reason.  Now I know that the real reason is that I might receive some sense of praise that would mislead me by activating my ego, still not dead in me.

4 – Definition of Creations

The same motive might attend your creations of whatever nature.  A Course in Miracles spoke of our “creations,” but did not define them.  Now here in A Course of Love Jesus does define creations, and it is a very simple definition of what we create of whatever nature.

5 – Diminish the Ego

We must do what we can to diminish the ego, and if keeping our creations a secret, then that is what we ought to do.  We need to recognize that we are weak until God has made us strong, and our weakness needs protection against temptations that may overcome us.  We ought not to step out seeking praise from anyone about anything, for surely this craving for adulation is egoic.  And we would leave the egotistical behind.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

May I create in Your will today, a will that is also my own (for that is the way things are)..  When I follow Your will, I find that it is what I want as well.  The plan is perfect.

Be with me as I see the ego diminish, or as I hope that I see the ego diminish.  Let me not get cocky, or for surely this is of the ego.  May I turn to the Self that is within me, and may I listen to You, also within me.  

Be with me for a good day.

Amen.

How to Live in Love

“All Selves are joined in wholeheartedness.  The one Self is solely involved in living love.  (A Course of Love, 25.17)”

Affirmation:  “I am One with all.”monet - bridge and bush

Reflections:

1 – All of Us Are One

We are one, all of us, and often I have made this point in this blog.  But we don’t often believe this.  I must remind myself of the truth of it constantly.  Knowing that we are one with each other, and with God, is a freeing mechanism of the highest order.  We don’t fret any longer.  We know that we are safe.

2 – Living in Wholeheartedness

Living in wholeheartedness is, according to A Course of Love, the union of mind and heart toward which we are headed, as we know all that salvation holds out to us.  We no longer look for “proofs” of the mind that are largely ego-inspired; we listen to our hearts, who know that proofs are not needed.  But we don’t just have blind faith.  We do have understanding that is not perceptive, but understanding that is knowledge from God Himself.  We are led, step-by-step, into the larger world where we can live freely and peacefully with each other.  These are the Selves of which we are one.

3 – The Selves = One

The Selves, then, are actually One, one with everything and everyone.  Let us meditate upon this truth today, and let words fall by the wayside.

Prayer:

Dear Father/Mother,

I would make the decision again today to turn to love rather than fear.  I ask that You accept this determination and shape my desires so that I do not have to repeat myself and pick myself off the floor because I have failed once again.  Help all of us to reach toward You with a certainty and a determination that will brook no failure.  I know that You want us to commune with You in prayer, and that it is through prayer, with the silences of listening, that we will come to know Your greatest joys for us.  Be with us today as we seek to treat all whom we meet with the love that they so richly deserve.

If I fail today, may I recognize that You will rectify all mistakes.  I need not fret that I am not perfect.  Indeed, Jesus tells us in A Course of Love that perfection is not required.  He tells us in A Course in Miracles that he stands at the end to correct any mistakes that we could not..  So thank You that we are in good hands.

May we seek to grow today in lightness, even as we grow in love.  You would not have us approach life with a seriousness that eludes peaceful and easy living.  The light touch, the light burden, all hallmarks of Jesus.  May we incorporate these traits into our own Selves.

Amen.