Note: I am returning with this post to Sebastian Blaksley’s received work from angels, Jesus, and Mary. His work is profoundly meditative, and if we let the heart rule, we will derive great benefit from reading his Choose Only Love—out now in four volumes of a projected seven.
“Keep in mind during this journey that the world is a great illusion; and that the day will come when the veil will be lifted and in the forgiven world you will see the true creation of God. . . .” Choose Only Love bk.3, 1:III
We can have hope from reading this quotation. In the real world, the forgiven world, we are no longer living in illusion. And we are living in love.
Sebastian Blaksley has published an excellent article on the forgiven world, the world that love rules, in Miracles magazine. He addresses the confusion that there has been in the Course in Miracles and Course of Love communities about what “illusion” actually means.
An idea is not an illusion, and in my belief we are all living ideas in the Mind of God. With the ego, we spun illusions willy-nilly just all the time. Not so when we have moved into the real world. Our ideas, based as they are in God’s prompting, are real and good. We have passed beyond the confusion that the egoic world made for us. We are living better, even if the times we live through now seem perilous.
Our hearts are filled with God’s love, and this love transforms everything.
“Often, when you say you ‘fall in love,’ it is just that you have come into contact with another field of energy that happens to fit, hand-in-glove, with the very patterns of consciousness that you carry in the depth of your being.
“Old memories of other incarnations are triggered when you visit a certain physical location. And the emotion feels so good and warm in the heart, you think, ‘Surely this is where I must live on the planet. This is with whom I must spend my life.’” (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Chapter 17, Page 210)
These ideas are certainly interesting; they explain a lot about what we are attracted to in our lives. We can look for such patterns in our past and see that Jesus has a point. We do have a history in other realms of those individuals with whom we feel intense rapport and romantic love. I believe this, and this quotation seems to confirm it.
We don’t need to believe in reincarnation to support these ideas. A Course in Miracles counsels its teachers not to take a stand on reincarnation, because it is such a controversial issue, and we don’t want to limit our usefulness. Giving up the ego (ACIM) and establishing a new identity (A Course of Love) are enough to keep us occupied on Earth. We don’t have to bring in controversy that might divide us.
Know that there are explanations for what we are drawn to in our lives. We might all benefit from reflecting on the quotation and wondering how and why it might seem apropos to us.
Note: After today, I’m going to take a little break from posting until after the holidays. I wish for all of you a good December.
Note: Published in Miracles Magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher).
by Celia Hales
If you. . .make plans against uncertainties to come. . .the mind is sick.” (ACIM, W-136.20:2)
“The Christ in you has no need to plan. . .let life itself be your chosen way. . . .” (ACOL, T2:10.19)
“The healed mind does not plan. It does not mean that it does not structure a day. . . But it does not plan what the day shall be for. It merely surrenders into Love. . . .” (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Lesson 30, Page 345)
I had long puzzled over the prohibition found in A Course in Miracles about planning. The Way of Mastery clarifies. The type of planning that is meant is not the “structure” of a day; instead, it is “what the day shall be for.”
What a difference this newer statement by Jesus makes! I could not see, earlier, how we could avoid making decisions about upcoming activities. But I do see how we should avoid deciding with our little mind what the day “shall be for.” We have guidance for that! In ACIM, it is the guidance of the Holy Spirit; in A Course of Love, it is the guidance of the Christ-Self.
I see divine guidance as a better way of talking about intuition. It is the way of going within. And this way takes many decisions out of our hands. Letting intuition guide us is a much easier way to live. We live fully in the present, but we go with the nudges that decide our next steps, one step at a time.
This advice means that we let life tell us what to do next. This way of proceeding is the “flow” that is often championed in New Age thought.
I know from experience that an intuitive, flowing way of going through a day is a much happier way to live. And ACIM says that our happiness and our function are one. (W-66) We cannot have this happiness without Love, and WOM identifies surrendering into Love in order to determine what a day is for.
We thus follow God-originating guidance through intuitive nudges informed by Love, moment by moment.
I can witness that this very practical advice from Jesus works amazingly well in daily life.
To my viewers on this blog: Over six years in the making, this book has been carefully written and revised many times. It focuses on A Course of Love, but also includes A Course in Miracles. Thank you for considering reading. Love, Celia
Available from Amazon. Read free with Kindle Unlimited membership; or $5.99 to buy e-book; or $8.95 for paperback. Previously unpublished material. 265 pages.
DESCRIPTION from the Amazon web site:
Being Who You Are: Pondering A Course of Love
by Celia Hales
Being Who You Are offers contemplative reflections onA Course of Love that are meant for readers of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love as well as newcomers to the material.
A Course of Love answers questions that spiritual seekers may still have despite earnest study of A Course in Miracles. Being Who You Are highlights these answers in words carefully chosen for clarity and understanding.
Being Who You Are presents A Course of Love as a heartfelt continuation of the coursework provided in the more mind-focused A Course in Miracles. Chapters concentrate on the following themes: love; fear; holy vs. special relationships; the nature of true reality; mind, heart, and wholeheartedness; unity and relationship; Christ-consciousness/Awakening; separation from God healed; Jesus and Mary; and the elevated Self of form. Tender human interest stories round out the ten comprehensive chapters.
This book, by the long-time blogger at “Miracles Each Day,” has been designed with care to introduce A Course of Love into the spiritual mainstream.
INTRODUCTION from Being Who You Are
A Course in Love answers questions that earnest seekers still have despite careful study of A Course in Miracles. A Course of Love (ACOL) is thus a stated “continuation” (A.4) of the earlier work, though ACOL can be read independently. Most dedicated students of A Course in Miracles (ACIM) recognize that our egos have been weakened by our carrying out the dictates of what we have read. But with what do we replace the ego? There is a void, and this is a dangerous condition in which to live. We intuitively know this, and so we keep seeking. “Is there no end to seeking?” we ask, somewhat plaintively. There is an end to seeking, and A Course of Love takes us to that end. As an aid to understanding this new end, Being Who You Are reflects upon ten themes from A Course of Love, drawing on the whole of ACOL, and also comparing aspects of A Course in Miracles.
With weakened egos after studying A Course in Miracles, but with nothing to replace the ego, in the words of A Course of Love we have “rejected” ourselves. We think that to claim our rightful place of identity with the Christ within lacks humility. A Course of Love says that such an attitude is actually borne of fear: We are afraid we will not please God if we take on a more exalted notion of ourselves.
You prefer selflessness to self because this is your chosen way to abolish ego and to please God.” (ACOL, P.20)
But now we approach final learning, and we learn what “pleasing” God is all about—
We take a step away from the intellect, the pride of the ego, and approach final learning through the realm of the heart. This is why, to end confusion, we call this course A Course of Love. (ACOL, P.44)
There is a single significant difference between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.A Course in Miracles, through the Holy Spirit, brings comfort to the mind. A Course of Love brings comfort to a troubled heart. This comfort to the heart is by identity with the Christ within. It is not a comfort for pride but solace brought to us by Jesus himself. He embraces us with love.
The thesis of A Course of Love can perhaps be summed up in the following sequence of ideas: We abandon all attempts to glorify the separated self, the self who does not know God but thinks it is lost to Him because of our sin. When we wholeheartedly abandon any attempt to glorify this self, we are launched on the way to Christ-consciousness, a transformation that will let us know that our previous faults were mistakes only, not sins, and thus entirely correctable and forgivable. We merge ACIM and ACOL, in that we merge mind and heart, and we recognize that we are actually in union with God, never separated from Him. He lives through us.
Note these words from the conclusion of A Course of Love:
“You will realize that you know what to do. . . . Expect heaven on earth, you were told. This is what it is. There will be no doubt, no indecision. Your path will be so clear to you it will be as if it is the only path in the world and you will wonder why you didn’t see it all along. Expect this. And it will be. (E5-6)
May this pondering speak loudly and powerfully to your heart and mind–“wholeheartedly.” Let us claim the heritage that is ours, no longer fearful that we are acting out of ego. Jesus asks us to leave our fears behind and claim our power with new identity. Then the more widespread Awakening of our world surely will begin.
The framework of A Course of Love, in that it is a “course,” is the same as A Course in Miracles; the channeling author, Jesus, the same. The first receiver (scribe) of A Course of Love is Mari Perron, and she received for three years around the year 2000.
In these contemplative reflections on A Course of Love, let us see how we are to come to the end of seeking.
“The Way of Transformation is simple, for the way of efforting one’s way into the Kingdom cannot flow from the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Chapter 14, Page 169)
We move into transformation when our heart is full, when Love overflows our being. We don’t get God’s attention by imploring relentlessly and often. He knows when we want to think that we are ready for Awakening. He doesn’t always agree.
So we must be patient, know that by our effort we can do only so much. A Course of Love counsels the removal of fear and judgment from our thoughts and feelings. When we do this, we are removing the blocks to the awareness of love. And that is what we need to do.
The only thing we need to do. Awakening may come suddenly, when we least expect it. I know someone who had suppressed anger for years, and then when he blurted out his discontent, he knew immediately that grace had descended upon him, and he felt intuitively that this Awakening would last.
God knew all along that he was cloaking his anger, and this very cloaking was standing in the way of genuine loving. And God certainly wants us genuine.
Know that efforting will stand in the way. Be ourselves, warts and all. Then God can act in us to remove the impediments that have kept us from Awakening. And we will find that removing fear and judgment, in genuineness, takes no effort at all.
Note: Published in MIracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher).
by Celia Hales
“Seek not outside yourself. . . Do you prefer that you be right or happy? . . . No one who comes here but must still have hope. . .that there is something outside of himself that will bring happiness and peace to him. If everything is in him, this cannot be so.” (ACIM, T-29.VII.1:6, 9; 2:1-2)
“I asked within A Course in Miracles: Would you rather be right or happy? For happiness can only be the result of perfect trust. And perfect trust emerges from perfect loyalty. And perfect loyalty emerges spontaneously in the mind that has rested in surrender.” (“The Way of Knowing,” WOM, Lesson 31, Page 353)
“Your mind might still prefer to be right rather than happy, so it is important that you let your heart lead in making this new choice.” (ACOL, C:10.18)
Jesus comes right to the point when he asks the question, “Do you prefer to be right or happy?” He knows that a large part of our difficulty is found in our stubbornness in special relationships, special relationships that he would ask us to transform into holy ones. We ask for friction when we prefer being right. We move to a conciliatory frame of mind when we let the heart feel love, and then let the heart lead us to a better type of interaction.
This is simple psychology. Secular psychology, but it points to the spiritual in the manner in which Jesus discusses it. We are asked to trust, and this trust comes about automatically when we surrender to God—and to love. Our way back home, according to ACIM, is found in our relationship to our brother [and sister]. These significant relationships heal us, and a large part of the healing is in our own attitude—an attitude that doesn’t cling obsessively to our own point of view. We turn within to find happiness and peace. And these cannot be found if we are intent on being “right” in relationships. Turn aside from the ego to let our heart speak. Our heart will then inform our mind, and we will understand how our function can be happiness, salvation, forgiveness, and giving miracles.
“[T]rue communication is communion, the union of two souls and with them, all souls in union with the totality of self.” Choose Only Love bk.3, 7:III
The Self is another way of speaking of God. Our Christ-Self, which we try to access as we progress, is one with this Self. This is the “totality” of which Choose Only Love speaks (as does A Course of Love). We are one with God, though we are too encased in ego sometimes to see this. As we progress, we relinquish the ego and are left only with the patterns of the ego—something that can still trip us up.
Communion with our God is the sweetest thing we can ever do. When we truly reach inward to Him, we know a peace that envelops all of our life. We feel truly at home, for in this we are touching heaven. Likewise, when we commune with our brothers and sisters in this world, we are soothed beyond belief. We truly communicate, and when we truly communicate—understand and are understood—we are blessed beyond description.
We start with our brother or sister, our way home as described in A Course in Miracles. Our holy relationships show us God. And we go home to heaven holding the hand of our brother or sister.
Allow our communion with other people and with our God inform our day. There is no better way to have a good day.
“In the wisdom of love is where you will receive what you are waiting for, receive the certainty that you are seeking, the peace you are longing for, the embrace that your hearts need. It is in love where all that is needed is given.” Choose Only Love bk.3, 4:II
We need that embrace! A Course of Love has a wonderful passage in which Jesus talks to us, inviting us into his embrace. And there he gives us certainty and peace. Our hearts need the embrace. We are bereft without it.
In love we find what we have been needing. In love we both give and receive. And our heart overflows with love that dwells deep within all of us, where God is.
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in our heart. Be patient, for the blessing will come. Jesus has promised, and, if anything, he keeps his promises.
“Judgment is a turning away from consciousness out of fear. Thus you are urged again and again not to judge.” COL bk.2, 19:II
Judging makes us unhappy, too. As a fearful reaction, it is nothing to be desired.
The New Testament was very clear about a non-judgmental attitude. Now we see the same in Choose Only Love. And the same in A Course of Love, where both fear and judgments were prohibited if we were to make progress toward Christ-consciousness.
We need full consciousness in our lives, and we cannot have this blessing if we have restricted our thinking and our feeling out of fear. Fear contracts the soul, and who would have that?
We often have to evaluate things in our lives, but evaluation is not the same as judgment. Judgment has a denunciatory aspect that evaluation does not. When we denounce another, we suffer in our attitude.
Keep our mind clear today of judgment.
We will know a release in daily life that has been denied us previously.
“The delights of love are tenderness, purity, affability, sincerity, integrity, nobility, and compassion. Gather them all. Hold them always in your hands, and walk the path of life, carrying the bouquet of flowers that God himself has given you. . . .” COL bk.2, 15:II
A couple of these adjectives to describe love are new to channeled writing, namely, affability and nobility. Let’s see what might be meant by these two new words.
Affability is an open attitude with a relaxed manner. When we exhibit affability, we are warm to our brothers and sisters in this world. We don’t take offense. We accept. We are easy to get along with. We don’t stress and strain. We live and let live.
Nobility is perhaps best understood as an attribute of our being when we have moved into Christ-consciousness. It is not an egoic attribute, therefore, though we may have previously thought that we were better than others, and this is a form of believing in nobility. Nobility in Christ-consciousness is different; there is no hint of egotism. We carry ourselves well in this world, knowing that we are Sons and Daughters of God.
We are warned in A Course of Love not to form images of ourselves. And so there is implied here a warning not to “attempt” to develop qualities of mind and heart just because they are good qualities. An image is an idol. This attempt smacks of egoism.
There is a way that we can incorporate these characteristics without forming images. In the right way, we don’t “try” so hard to be something that we are not, or something that we have not yet become. We let personality change evolve. We are patient.
Today let us contemplate these virtues of personality, keeping in mind that we don’t want to give the ego another carrot stick to aid its continued development.
Let us instead ask in prayerful consideration how we might incorporate all that is good into our very Self. We will then hold God’s bouquet.
“Can you start to see how many feelings and thoughts you have drowned? How little spontaneity has remained after ‘growing up’? How many games have you stopped playing, pretending to look serious and mature? The time has come when that is past! Now we replace seriousness with freedom.” COL bk.2, 9:IV
A Course in Miracles says that seriousness is of the ego. And A Course of Love says that the patterns of the ego will linger even after we have given up egoic living. These patterns may hold us back now. Choose Only Love is saying that it is time to give up seriousness entirely, to move ahead in our lives with the freedom that a child of God deserves.
If we listen to the whispers on our mind and heart, we will know how to find freedom. Nothing will hold us back any longer. Certainly we will not attempt to be “mature” because we think games of life are no longer warranted. Life is meant to be limitless and joyous. This is what our new freedom will mean to us.
Get guidance for the next step by listening to these whispers that I am talking about today. Whispers come to all of us, and if we are open to them, we will stop and take a look at the subtle thoughts that they are. These gentle thoughts will give us a new life. Choose Only Love calls it “freedom.” A Course in Miracles calls it “limitless” and “joyous” living. Are the two received books not saying the same thing? Talking about the same incredible journey that lies ahead of us?
Be reintroduced to spontaneity in our pathway toward the future. God’s guidance, the guidance of the inner Christ, and the Holy Spirit all will take us to a new place of contentment and peace.
We won’t lose anything when we turn aside from seriousness, turn aside from egoic ways of living. Take the high road as we give up our desire to hold the reins of our life so tightly.
Be flexible in our decisions, turning on a dime when we receive guidance.
Experience true freedom for the first time since childhood.
“Brother, sister . . . let me tell you that you are ready to heal fully.” COL bk.2, 9:IV
The context of this quotation is that we have let the ego go and that we are merging with our Christ-Self. If we have taken steps to eliminate fear and judgment, the two forbidden aspects of our thoughts that keep us back, then we are ready to heal—and to heal fully. Healing is what is happening when we reach Christ-consciousness. And healing is what happens when we have let neuroses go.
What a blessing this statement really is! If we can be neurosis-free, then our minds will have learned from our hearts, and we will be walking a flower-strewn pathway.
Much of this philosophy of this post comes from A Course of Love, a received writing that came around the turn of this century. We need to let our hearts, which have never doubted God, have full ascendancy over our minds, which are characterized by The Way of Mastery, as being “very stupid servants.” While we may not agree that our minds are stupid, we certainly can know that we haven’t ever doubted God so much in our hearts. It is only our minds that have given us problems, intellectual problems, about a God we cannot see.
But we can intuit God, and that is what I am asking you to do today. Listen to the heart. Know that it does not lie. And the heart does not need the proofs of God’s existence that the mind seems to throw up while we are in the throes of the ego.
Be ready to heal fully, clear mind and warm heart, and accept this promise of full healing as our birthright.
“The screams of the world, those echoes of the past that you still hear, are telling you in thousands of different ways: Brother, do not deny me love.” Choose Only Love: Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 14:II)
We do hear screams in the world right now, echoes of a past that was filled with anguish. Perhaps we know that today is filled with anguish also.
But there is an Answer, and it is the age-old response to worry and fretting—just fill our heart with love, and spread that love out on the world that we see.
If we love enough, there will be absolutely no space for fear and judgment. According to A Course of Love, fear and judgment are the two impediments to Christ-consciousness.
We need to move into the next dimension of Christ-consciousness. This will happen when we are so filled with love that anxieties have taken a back seat.
Yes, as hackneyed as it sounds, Love really IS the overwhelming Answer. The screams of the world recede into nothingness when we are able to sense God’s Love for us.
“Observe how the world seems submerged in panic. The state of terror to which many are subjected is a visible manifestation of the arrival of the time of light and truth, and that everything is being healed. It is a sign of true hope.” Choose Only Love: Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 14:I)
This quotation exemplifies a paradox. How can we see hope, when all around us things seem to be falling down? Our world seems in chaos. We seem in chaos.
But this quotation says that actually this is a “sign of true hope.” And that “everything is being healed.” If we listen to these words, perhaps we will have peace. The chaos won’t seem unsolvable any longer. It will not be unsolvable any longer.
We can let our panic and our terror go. If it is darkest just before the dawn, maybe the dawn is even now on the horizon. We want to see the arrival of the time of light and truth, and if we stand steadfast in our faith, this quotation is saying to us that light and truth will be what we will experience. Not a long way off, but very soon. Delay is only of the ego, and the ego is gone from many of us now. A Course of Love says this.
Let us take this passage to heart, sure of our God, sure of His promises. It truly is darkest just before the dawn.
I think I can see a ribbon of light on the horizon even now.
Note: I am now going to include, from time to time, passages and my reflections from the new series, Choose Only Love. The work is being received by Sebastian Blaksley, who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The book is presented as a contribution by angels, archangels, Jesus, and Mary.
This is to be a seven-volume series, two volumes of which have now been published. The publisher is Take Heart Publications. Available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com in print and e-book.
Reading the passages slowly and meditatively, part of a devotional, seems to me to be best.
Little by Little, Let Love Fill Our Being
“Calm your minds. Calm your hearts. Close your eyes for a moment. Stay with me, your Heavenly Mother. Together let us repose in peace, united in the stillness of Christ. Give me your imagination, your memory, your will, your all. Leave everything aside. Feel how your heart widens when receiving the love of God. Little by little, let love fill your being and overflow completely, extending to all creation.” Choose Only Love: Let Yourself Be Loved (COL bk.2, 7:IV)
We have in this section of Choose Only Love a contribution from Mary, mother of Jesus. This passage, like all from her, are soothing in the extreme. We see the influence of A Course of Love, in that we are encouraged to calm both mind and heart, a dual reminder of the emphasis placed on both mind and heart (“wholeheartedness”) in ACOL.
Love is at the center of this passage, something that we will see throughout this Volume 2, fittingly entitled, “Let Yourself Be Loved.” I feel reassured here, for the onus is not placed on us as a command: to love. We do not extend Love until we have been assured that we are loved by God. If we try to move from an unstable core, the ego, we will quickly find that nothing we do will have enough love in it. It is true that giving and receiving are one, but we love because “He first loved us,” as the Bible says.
Little by little, we read, we fill our being to overflowing with love. When we have done this, drawing from the celestial realm, we will know a peace and happiness that has eluded us until now.
Note: This is a response I penned yesterday to a new reader of my blog. The idea of listening to one’s heart about this matter came sometime ago from Glenn Hovemann, Take Heart Publications, publisher of A Course of Love.
Thank you for writing to me. I appreciate that you enjoy the posts on my miracles blog.
I think you must listen to your heart in trying to discern which book to read first, and then the order of all the reading.
If you recognize that the Holy Spirit gives you guidance (as described in ACIM), then listen to what you have come to recognize as His promptings. If you recognize the inner Christ-Self (as described in ACOL), then listen to this deepest essence of yourself. If you simply realize that you have intuitive feelings, then listen to those. You will know. Prayer helps.
ACIM seeks to dislodge the ego, and ACOL is said within its pages to be a “continuation” of ACIM, meant to establish a new identity. But ACOL can stand on its own, separately, if that is your prompting. WOM may be the most approachable. You can read the Manual of ACIM first, if the Text or Workbook seem too daunting. All seek to bring us to Awakening, Christ-consciousness, enlightenment, the next step in our spiritual evolution. ACIM is my happiness book, ACOL warms my heart, and WOM gives me hope and comfort on my journey. That is my personal take on them.
You have a treat ahead of you! We are meant to enjoy our delving into spiritual matters, and I encourage you to read in an easy, reflective, meditative manner, whatever book first that you are the most drawn to. Whatever you choose will then be right for you. It would be wrong for anybody else to try to choose for you. I have just tried to give you something to think about as you mull over your options.
Note: Published in Miracles magazine for March – April 2020 (Jon Mundy, publisher)
by Celia Hales
“. . .[W]hen the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization: ‘I need do nothing.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-22.VII.7:1)
“This is a call that requires you to do nothing but to remain faithful to it. You do not need to think about it, but only let it be.” (ACOL, C:11.17)
“And here we begin to touch upon the essence of my teaching: I need do nothing.” (WOM, Part 3 “The Way of Knowing,” Lesson 27)
When the light has dawned, when we reach Awakening, Jesus says that we sense, “I need do nothing.” This sentence may have caused much confusion, because it isn’t saying what we think it is.
The Way of Mastery elucidates the meaning very well, for here the same thought is discussed. First let’s take a look at what it isn’t saying:
I need do nothing so I’ll just show up. . . .I really don’t need to do anything, since none of it matters. (WOM, Lesson 27)
We might think that we can now rest on our laurels. That we have arrived! And need do nothing more. But this is not quite right.
Instead, the meaning is simply to open ourselves up to our Source, God Himself, and the Holy Spirit Who will tell us that our only purpose is the extension of love. In A Course of Love, we open ourselves up to the Christ-Self Who dwells within, for this is where we get guidance when we no longer need the intermediary of the Holy Spirit, being ourselves no longer afraid of God. The Way of Mastery continues:
. . .to find that spaciousness with you in which you are willing to allow that voice within you that is eternally connected to your Source to be the vehicle through which you receive your guidance. In the pure recognition that you have no purpose—save the extension of Love. (WOM, Lesson 27)
We are opening ourselves to the spaciousness of our very souls, something that A Course of Love discusses at length. We are not falling down on the job. Our work in the world still happens—and still matters–but we don’t dwell on the end result. Instead, the action, on a daily basis and in the present, is finally viewed as the most important part.
We listen for what to do, and then we act. An easy way to live.
“Therefore, indeed, beloved friends, look at all that is around you, and decide what value it holds for you. Will you see it as something that you must have in your existence? Or will you choose to see it as something you have playfully drawn to yourself; you appreciate it and it can be gone tomorrow and your peace will not be disturbed? Which way will you view the world?” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 9, Page 117)
This quotation is saying that we must step lightly in this world, lightly with a sense of play. Our abject seriousness, we know, is of the ego. The awakened individual walks easily through this world, enjoying what presents itself without forming tight bonds that will entangle.
We love, sure, but we know that Love is of God in the end. And so we hold our loved ones loosely in our arms.
When we want to live aright, we must only consult our guidance. We don’t judge the events that occur in our world, and we don’t fear those events either. Both judgment and fear keep us from enlightenment; these are the two prohibitions that Jesus makes so plain to us. When we listen to guidance, listen aright, we walk smoothly, our feet tripping on no stones. We enjoy our days in this world, even when events turn bad for a time. We know that the events that we rue are there for a purpose, and we discover what that purpose is, and we are the better for this discovery.
Walk lightly in this world, and with a playful spirit. The right attitude will take us far. The wrong attitude just drags us down.
We can live better, and sitting in the saddle of life lightly is the best way to ride along our pathway back to God.
“Therefore, look upon that which resides within your awareness, within your consciousness. What are the things that you know that you know? What are the things that you would avoid? What are the feelings that you have not explored? What are the objects, the people, the places, the values that you strive for, that seem to thrill even the cells of the body? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 8, Page 94)
Jesus is here asking us to have self-awareness, and surely self-awareness helps us to live good lives. If we know our inner being, we come a long way toward functioning well in the world. And in a better world that we will create, as A Course of Love says.
What are we sure we know? There may actually be very little of which we are very sure. Our egoic worlds have been turned upside down with our new reading, the new channelings of Jesus. And we may take some time to settle down. Let’s ask for Jesus’ blessing to eliminate our confusion, if it is confusion. We need to realize that the old egoic nonsense is truly gone, that we are living in the Christ-Self Who will function in a new way in a new world.
What would we avoid? Top on our list of what to avoid is surely a return to the ego. Pray that the egoic patterns will cease to enthrall us. Pray that we not return to the pit of egoic despair that we used to know.
What are our feelings? These feelings are highly important as we seek to create a new world. Let intuition rule our lives. Test out the insights, and I am sure that you will find that intuition is the very best way to live. It is the panacea to all ills.
What thrills us? That which speaks to our very core with happiness/joy is what we ought to pursue, for God placed in our minds and hearts the best ways, to be determined by the joy that we feel. Don’t forget to thank Him as we encounter joy on our everyday rounds.
Live today in the thrill of knowing that we will not return to our old ways of the ego.
We are walking ahead to a new day, a new day in a new world.
“Beloved and holy friends, may peace be with you always. . . . Remember, there’s a perfectly good reason why I keep saying, time and again, ‘I am with you always.’ Amen.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 92)
Jesus is a part of our Self, the Self Whom we all share. Her consciousness is not really separate from ours. These ideas are well-developed in A Course of Love. It helps us to understand what is really going on when Jesus is channeling to one of his scribes. Their mind and heart does not really disappear.
We can imagine him as he was 2,000 years ago, but he would rather that we see him in a more all-encompassing way, a way that he shares with us as the Big Brother we may not have had before.
There is a well-known passage in A Course in Miracles in which Jesus assures us that he is holding our hand as we walk along on the pathway to salvation, the pathway to Awakening. I have often quoted this passage in this blog, in which Jesus affirms that this thought will be no “idle fantasy.”
Reassuring in the extreme, it may mean that Jesus has infinite foci of consciousness. Or it may mean that his Consciousness and ours join in the God of Whom we are a part. Or may be a both/and statement. Don’t let theology delay us. It is not necessary for us to enjoy a true and real experience of Jesus and of God.
Jesus says, “I am with you always.” Can we not just take him at his word? And cease our efforts to be alone and lonely? Our friend is here with us, for it will come on a “single unequivocal call” (from A Course in Miracles).
If in difficulty, call today. And be reassured when anxieties and depression fall by the wayside.
Note: Published on Amazon. To be published in Miracles magazine, January – February 2020 issue.
LOVE ON THE MOUNTAIN, by Laurel Elstrom
Review by Celia Hales
Love on the Mountain is a big book, a glorious book, that focuses upon the Forty Days and Forty Nights of the Dialogues of A Course of Love. Laurel Elstrom has climbed the mountain, first a journey for herself and friends, and now makes another climb, this one for us. And she found Jesus there, at the top.
If we have been puzzled by the Forty Days and Forty Nights, now we have help, outstanding help. Through a variety of reading aids–including a challenge for each “day,” quotations from ACOL, “inquiries,” practices, meditations, and a final section for each day entitled, “Go Deeper”—we are led ever more completely toward understanding what our trek toward Christ-consciousness really means. The experience of Awakening comes alive, our questions find answers. Laurel asks the difficult questions, and then she answers them in words that cull from ACOL the most precise meaning.
I interpret the consistent theme of Love on the Mountain: A Guide to Self-Discovery to be a constantly expanding awareness of living our experiences, without doing anything to distract us from experience or to soften life’s blows. This way of viewing the Forty Days and Forty Nights works well, for we are leaving behind a separated life (from God) and joining others in unity. Our differentiated human form is elevating, becoming the elevated Self of form, the new term that we use for our awakened mind and heart.
Laurel recommends that we work with her book in conjunction with ACOL, reading each day’s lesson first, and then moving on to her commentary. This guide can work well in either a study group or individually. In a study group, one chapter a week would normally work best. The reading aids in Laurel’s book are short and to the point, well-suited to reading aloud (as one is asked to do with A Course of Love itself). I can envision lively discussions as those of us who love ACOL are teased out of thought and into our heart in an effort to get at the “true” meaning of the text. In individual study, the various reading aids fit our short attention spans, giving us a “bite” of knowledge that we can assimilate without difficulty.
Love on the Mountain is easily digested because it is well-written. Yet the meaning is deep, and there are layers and layers of meaning, as befits a guide to ACOL. Laurel has succeeded admirably in elucidating ACOL prose, often using examples and terms from daily life that give us something to peg a meaning to.
Laurel Elstrom is a writer, teacher, and spiritual coach who has contributed to The Bridge, The Embrace, and The Miracle Worker. She has 108 YouTube videos covering each chapter in A Course of Love. She also has 30 years’ experience as a facilitator of groups studying A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. This book was beta-tested in several study groups for A Course of Love, and so here we have a compilation of “what works.”
Several years in the making, Love on the Mountain succeeds in what it set out to do. It guides readers of A Course of Love to and from the mountain of Self-discovery, the climb that will make life different than it has ever been before. Laurel has a natural acceptance of our clay feet, and her reassuring words as we make an attempt to scale the mountain lead us to love A Course of Love all the more. She says, though, not to struggle. The end of separation from God, the next leap in human/divine embodiment—the elevated Self of form in Christ-consciousness or Awakening–is not a difficult pathway. We are returning home, the place we never actually left.
I recommend Laurel Elstrom’s Love on the Mountain enthusiastically and with love for what it can do for our journey to Christ-consciousness. In conjunction with A Course of Love, we have in Love on the Mountain the perfect text to accompany us to and from the mountain.
“I know the way home because I have completed the journey, and I will show you the way. With every word that I utter, my one intent is to reveal to you the place within you that is the presence of Love that you seek.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 7, Page 91)
If we believe that Jesus has channeled The Way of Mastery, A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, we know that he has shown us the way home to God. And we believe that he made the journey that is now before us.
Jesus always acts from Love, and it behooves us to do so also. It is sometimes difficult to wrap our minds around “love,” because we have so many connotations to this word in our world. If we let our hearts speak to us, though, we will be in better shape as we contemplate Love. This is a great solution to every difficulty, just letting our hearts tell us what to do, say, even think. Our heart knows the Answers, when we in our mind do not. The primacy of the heart is a focal point in A Course of Love.
Cultivate the presence of Love today by leaning into our heart. Our heart is One, for we are One in God. Jesus’ every intent is to take us home by offering us a taste of the presence of Love.
Now you must forget the idea of needing to maintain specialness. A key aid in helping you to put this temptation behind you is the idea of the holy relationship in which all exist in unity and within the protection of love’s embrace. (ACOL, T3:16.15)
Let us realize that being special, even to ourselves, never gave us anything that we wanted. A few others may have found us special also, but most everyone else resented the competitiveness that thought that we were superior to them. This competitiveness has to go. We are reassured on a daily basis when we cooperate with others, when we recognize that others, and we, are on the same wavelength, that we are equal in the sight of God as His children.
I used to be quite competitive. I remember telling a friend at work, after lunch one day that we had enjoyed together, what my goals were in work. They were ambitious. She responded, “Don’t get too far ahead of us,” meaning the others in the reference unit.
She was right, because she sensed that my ambition would be a divisive factor in our close-knit working group. And I never did fit in well with that particular group. I had to go on to another before I found acceptance and peace in my working environment. And get more steeped in A Course in Miracles.
When we recognize that all of us are held in an embrace of love and unity, as One, we are recognizing what is true. And this truth will save us. Our relationships, holy now, will give us solace and keep us safe. Competitive no longer, we join in a camaraderie borne of cooperation. We are finally living right, and our comrades in work (and elsewhere) recognize this change in us. We are one of them, in every sense of the word. When we acknowledge equality, we are accepted and even loved.
This does not take away from the fact that we may have experienced Christ-consciousness, and not all others in our circle will have done so. This only means that we have walked a little farther along, not that we are better than another.
It is necessary that we share what we have discovered as soon as our brothers and sisters express interest in knowing what makes us different. Holy relationship invites sharing.
And we feel better for easing another’s way, even ever so slightly.
Note: Published in the September – October 2019 issue of Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher)
by Celia Hales
There is a way of living in the world that is not here, although it seems to be. You do not change appearance, though you smile more frequently. Your forehead is serene, your eyes are quiet. And the ones who walk the world as you do recognize their own. (ACIM, COA ed., W-155.1:1-4)
. . .[Y]ou will cultivate a way of being in the world that is not here. That is, it is not within the perceptual mode that makes up the world. (“The Way of Transformation,” WOM, Lesson 14, Page 177)
This Treatise [on Unity] is attempting to show you how to live as who you are, how to act within the world as the new Self you have identified. Just like learning how to swim, it is a new way of movement. (ACOL, T2:4.4)
“There is a way of living in the world that is not here. . .” An especially sweet passage, but we must beware of letting egoic patterns in. This statement is not saying that we are “special.” We have no gifts that will not one day be shared by everyone.
It is comforting to know that we can find others with similar persuasion about in the world. We can walk happily, as we incorporate the tenets of Jesus’ channeled writings in our lives. Already many of us have had moments of recognition that someone in our world is walking the way that we choose to walk. Sometimes we see Christ in their eyes, an especially wonderful miracle when it occurs.
We become aware of these others of like mind when we are looking for it. Mostly, perhaps, it is a matter of eye contact. It is like a secret society. But especially know that we cannot let specialness enter in, or we lose the concept entirely. All will come to walk the world this way, eventually, and it is our function to bring that day closer.
If we have not experienced this way of living in the world that is not “here,” then let us pray together for this blessing to come upon us. God will not delay, for we are asking in His Will. He wants this way of walking the world to become the way of all. He wants us to move in a “new way of movement,” like swimming, living as the new Self Whom we are pledged to become.
These examples of your former ideas about new beginnings have simply been used to demonstrate why you cannot approach this new beginning as you have those of the past. What will assist you most, as the translation of the old thought system for the new continues, are the beliefs that you adopted with the assistance of ‘A Treatise on Unity:’
You are accomplished.
Giving and receiving are one in truth.
There is no loss but only gain within the laws of love.
Special relationships have been replaced by holy relationship.
What we are adding now to these beliefs is the idea that these beliefs can be represented in form. (ACOL, T3:15.14 – 15.19)
We are being led, ever so gently, to a realization that here on earth, in our physical form, with our good mind and heart, we can have blessings that were formerly thought to be ours only after death, on the Other Side. We can now know Awakening or Christ-consciousness, called enlightenment in Eastern religions. It is there, out there, beckoning to us. And it will be a gentle transformation, for Jesus has prepared us, with gentleness itself, in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.
Previously I have known two instances of Awakening that, unfortunately, did not last because my ego intruded. That is the danger for all of us. We can transition into Awakening, and then have it fail to be sustained, for we are not really ready to sustain it. We need to approach Awakening with an egoless frame of mind and heart, sure that we will be helped. We know more now, for we have weakened and then discarded our egos through Jesus’ channeled works.
If we want to recognize we are accomplished, we need only realize that this is the ideal state. And we have attained it, mystically, before we attain it in form.
As we give, we receive. The giving comes first, however imperfect it may be in the beginning.
If we want to recognize gain without loss, this is ours when we are immersed in love. Always love.
Being immersed in love prepares us entirely for the holy relationship. And it is holy relationship that will ultimately save us.
So these tenets of unity exist in form now. We can enjoy them this side of death.
The holy relationship has been accomplished by the joining of the mind and heart in unity. (ACOL, T3:15.10)
The first and most important relationship is with the Self–the inner Christ-Self–and God Himself (called the Self in Its largest dimensions). When this relationship is formed anew and aright, it changes everything. Our heart and mind are melded into one, and this one is the same One with Whom we are merged in the Godhead Himself/Herself. With this joining of heart and mind, we are primed to have all good things to come to us. We are, at last, on the right track, “separate” from God no longer, even in illusion. And we are not in illusion any longer, but the supreme reality, true reality, a reality that does not fade with each passing day.
When mind and heart are joined, I feel a warmth that is not of this world. I once was accosted at night by a stranger who did not mean me well. Just before he touched me, I felt a Warmth that gave me a tremendous sense of safety and God-given care. And this sense carried me through the experience without any trauma. I ran and I screamed, and he fled. My voice and God’s grace had saved me. In that moment, with the warm feeling, I was in unity of mind and heart with that warmth, though this was years before A Course of Love was channeled. I only knew that God had been very, very close to me in that moment.
How do we invite the melding of heart and mind? We get quiet, we invite warmth, we invite God. If we open ourselves to God’s grace, He will descend upon us, prompting us to join mind and heart into a Unity that will solve all problems, release all neuroses, give us a new lease on life.
Be quiet today, just for a moment. A moment is all that it takes to allow God to speak to us in the Unity in which He abides.
The new beginning you are called to now is a new beginning that, like all others that you have offered or attempted, will take place in relationship. The difference is that this new beginning will take place in holy rather than special relationship. (ACOL, T3:15.9)
We have arrived at a good place now. We are beginning anew, as we have in the past, but with a difference. Our new beginning will no longer be housed in special relationships that only promised us the good but did not deliver consistently. Our new beginning, this time, will come in the warmth of holy relationships. We have found the elixir, and we will not turn back from its bounty now.
How do we know that we are surrounded by holy relationships? We are not out for #1 anymore, at least not exclusively. We love others as we love ourselves, for giving and receiving love is one. We know that when we reach out, our reach will be met by reciprocation, for holiness invites holiness. If our reach finds an individual who is as yet only capable of special relationship, we will not be inclined in that direction, because we will know better. Our reach goes out to holiness, and holiness is returned to us. There is no better way to live life.
What about rejection? I have known rejection in my life, but only in relationship that was “special,” in that my ego was attempting to establish a basis for continuing contact that was not the best for either of us. Of course, I did not know this at the time, and the episode was very painful, frustrating, and humiliating.
Now I know better. Holy relationship does not hurt. Its joy is reciprocated, for we know intuitively what relationship to pursue, and which to turn aside. Our guidance does what it is intended to do: It guides. And in the guidance comes a new life of happiness and smooth sailing as well. We walk a pathway that has no stones that invite tripping ourselves up. We walk a smooth pathway.
Just as when we pursued special relationships, our new beginnings now are embedded in our relationships. But what a difference the holy makes! It is simply all the difference in the world. We blossom under the tutelage of holy relationships. And there is never any temptation to return to the special relationship that got away.
This is the advantage in turning to prayer for prompting as to what to do. Prayer does direct relationships for the good of all involved.
Holding on to what you think will meet your needs is like holding your breath. Your breath cannot long be held. It is only through the inhaling and exhaling, the give and take of breathing that you live. Each time you are tempted to think that your needs can only be met in special ways by special relationships, remember this example of holding your breath. Think in such a way no longer than you can comfortably hold your breath. Release your breath and release this fear and move from special to holy relationship. (ACOL, T1:9.17)
We have been trying to hold our breath for eons, hoping against hope that what one special relationship did not give us ultimately can be met by yet another. Our special relationships all fail us eventually. Love turns to hate, and we know not what we did wrong. Always we blame the other person for not living up to the unwritten agreement to be there for us anytime, anywhere. We feel betrayed.
This is a script that has been played out in our various dramas for far too long. The only true assurance that we can have from another comes when we have let our special relationship to that person blossom into a holy relationship. Now we know in our bones that this person will never let us down, that love will stay love and not fall into alienation and even hate. We are holding our breath no longer. We know that the safety that we long to have in a human being can be counted upon. We are safe, finally, and we know it to be true.
This is what happens in long-term marriages that stay fresh. We discover how to mesh our needs and wants with those of another whom we love unconditionally, come what may. We know that if our marriage should end, the love will not; the love is eternal now, and we have this assurance as we live out our time on earth. This world can touch this blessing not. We are living our dream of eternal love, and it is our brother or sister, our partner in life, who makes the living out of our lives truly meaningful. He or she is our way back to God, a holy relationship that promises all things, and keep those promises. Our forgiveness even becomes meaningless, for we recognize that there is nothing we need forgive. The significant other is significant only in that we live in close proximity; we don’t look to the other for outrageous answers. We live and let live, in the holiness which God intends for us.
All of us have seen this love, but perhaps fleetingly. We want it for ourselves. And we can have it when we give up thinking that specialness is our due. Holiness is our due. And with our inheritance as favored children of God, all of us are favored in a holiness that does not play favorites.
How much time will be saved by an end to empty seeking? You have already arrived and need no time to journey any longer. (ACOL, T1:8.7)
Most of us have been seekers for a long time, maybe a long, long time. Maybe all our lives, more or less.
This search can end now, when we are on the cusp of developing our special relationships into holy ones. We won’t have to work so hard to maintain our holy relationships. Our loved ones will just know that they are loved unconditionally. And, especially, what we have been seeking in special relationships will fall away.
Our seeking has worn us out. We went from our early religious training, probably to unbelief, and then returned to the fold of spirituality. But still we sought for yet another piece of information that would be the end that would make us happy. But nothing can make us happy, can create happiness for us, except ourselves. We won’t find it in a book.
I sought happiness in special relationships as well as in books. The special relationships were my dates when I was single; the books ranged from Catherine Marshall to Norman Vincent Peale to the Seth material (Jane Roberts) to Richard Carlson to Deepak Chopra to A Course in Miracles to Julia Cameron to Rhonda Byrne. Quite a list we all have! So my seeking in relationships and books was twofold, as is true for most of us. It is very reassuring that we have done enough now. We know enough. A Course of Love has finished it off for us. It is simply up to our Christ-Self, from deep within our being, to teach us more.
So now we are hearing that there needs to be an end to seeking. Jesus, in channeling A Course of Love, declares its information to be an end point. We have arrived! He even says that we are The Accomplished. While we have trouble believing that, we know that we have a peace inside that has eluded us up to this point. This peace will elude us no more. We will linger in contentment, sure that we are in the right place, and, now, in the right time.
Our holy relationships will save us; that is why we need seek no more. Relationship was primary in A Course in Miracles also. Our relationship to our brother (and sister) would take us home. Now Jesus is emphasizing this truth yet again in ACOL. If we love others enough, we will have won the prize, the Holy Grail, of salvation.
And we will know not only peace, but happiness, as well.
The universe exists in reciprocal relationship or holy relationship. . . .It is a joyful relationship, as the nature of relationship is joy. Once you have given up your belief in separation this will be known to you. (ACOL, C:29.17)
Once we give up our belief that we could actually separate from God, and have done so, much good will result. We will know that holy relationship is the nature of the universe(s), and we will realize that holy relationship does not take anything away from our nearest and dearest. Holy relationship will expand our love to meet the whole world. We will not know the separatism that has characterized our various special relationships, relationships that have often ended badly.
My friend Carol knew what it is like to suffer special relationship, and “suffer” is the salient word here. As mentioned, she once fell very hard into a love that was strong on ego, though she did not realize it at the time. If the special love had ever been transformed into holy, then her sense of desolation at the end of the “relationship” would have saved her from needless regret.
There was something eminently good about the love that Carol felt. It was not a love that would be easily surpassed. That was the clue that something else was going on here. She was being led, ever so gently and before A Course in Miracles was published, to give up her interest in being special (and having someone else be special as well). In retrospect, holiness is the transforming key to relationship that goes sour. And there doesn’t have to be any continuing contact with the other at all to effect a holy relationship. Relationship that is holy is thus seen to be mystical.
We are meant to enjoy joyousness is our relationships. Special love invites the highs and lows of drama, and egoic drama at that. A holy relationship is one that has been dedicated to the Almighty, a Source beyond just our little personality. And this dedication to Something bigger than ourselves is what makes all the difference.
When we feel united with all other people, our brothers and sisters, we know a peace that is not of this world. We are meant to live in unity, and of course, we can see that seeing one small part as more special that another would make this joyous unity impossible.
Ask to see with a greater vision today. Ask to comprehend as never before what a special love transformed into a holy one can really mean. There is no comparison, but until each of us has seen the difference for ourselves, we will remain skeptical that we aren’t losing something in the transformation.
While one special relationship continues, all special relationships continue because they are given validity. The holy relationship of unity depends on the release of the beliefs that foster special relationships. (ACOL, C:25.11)
We don’t need special relationships, “special” in the sense that they are egoic and different from all other relationships out there in the world.
Of course, we don’t believe this. We think that there is nothing wrong with seeing our significant others, our family and friends, as “special.” But what are we really saying here? We are setting them apart as being more “worthy” of our love than other people. Is this not judgment? And haven’t we been warned not to judge? Judging keeps us from Christ-consciousness. Moreover, judging makes us unhappy, for when we point a finger at another, three fingers are pointed back at us. We damn ourselves when we judge another.
I was once rather judgmental, and I projected these ideas onto Jesus, seeing him as a figure of judgment. Indeed, traditional Christian theology invites this interpretation. When I visited the Baptistry in Florence, Italy, where a large mosaic of Jesus looms far ahead on the high ceiling, I saw judgment in Jesus’ eyes. Or thought I did. After years of studying A Course in Miracles, though, my judgments had softened, and when I looked overhead on another visit, I saw a blank slate in Jesus’ eyes, ready and willing for me to write my projection there.
There was no judgment in the second visit. And so there was no “specialness,” even in regarding Jesus. And this was a giant leap forward.
We are seeking to be united with all of our brothers and sisters on our earth. We want unity with them, and we can’t have that if we divide others up into separate little parcels. We can’t fully appreciate all others if we are judging them as less worthy of our love than our nearest and dearest.
Of course, our nearest and dearest have taught us how to love. And now we extend (not project) this love on everyone.
We don’t make distinctions between worthiness and lack of worthiness. We know that all are equal in the sight of God, and that all ought to be equal in our sight as well. Our beloveds will not lose anything. We will be so love-conscious that they will see a new persona in us. They will know a love from us that has been heretofore veiled.
Specialness is a limited love. Holy love is limitless, knows only inclusion.
Note: I’m starting a new series on relationships today.
“The special relationships of the world are destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric. Yet, if given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth—the miracles that point the way to the return to Heaven. The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness. The Holy Spirit transforms them into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream. Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected. Each one is another chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other. And each one becomes still another invitation to the Holy Spirit and to the remembrance of God. (ACIM, Preface, “What It Says”)
We are used to thinking that finding our beloved “special” is a good thing. For those of us (many of us) who have studied A Course in Miracles, we know that finding loved ones “special” is a mistake. A Course of Love agrees, and so we start these reflections with this quotation from ACIM.
Of course, we care about our significant others more than strangers. And so the teaching may seem foreign to us.
What makes the “special” a good thing is not specialness but holiness. And all of us have the power to turn all of our special relationships into holy ones. We don’t exclude anyone; we invite all in (though not in a physical or sexual sense).
Special relationships are, by nature, egoic. My friend Carol once had a very special male relationship that was platonic but very egoic. She thought that this man had all the qualities that she was seeking in another. But specialness abounded. As time proved, she actually wanted his personal qualities in herself, something that epitomizes ego.
We can and must seek to transform all of our special relationships into holy ones. And, as hard as it sounds, we need to stop believing that without the special, we will be bereft. Use of others, A Course of Love tells us, is wrong. And there is a bit of “use” in many of our relationships. Who will take care of us if not this special other? How will we manage?
These are very real concerns, very practical concerns. But we have power. And, if we believe ACIM and ACOL, we will find love wherever we turn, when our heart opens to reveal the love that is hidden there.
We will never lack for anything. Help is a call away. And everything, as both ACIM and ACOL say, is an expression of love or a call for love. Call today, and so if we are not answered. Our heart will know the answer.
“And all of these, those who would admit to fear, and those who would not, would still believe that love exists despite fear’s claim upon it, and think that they are lucky to have found a love to shield them for a little while from all the other things they fear. And yet the greatest fear of all is that of loss of love. You who have given everything to be alone and separate fear most of all that which you have given everything to attain. For what is loss of love but confirmation of your separate state? What is loss of love but being left alone?” (C:14.21)
We thought that we wanted to be separate from God; this is part of the theology of traditional Christianity as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Separation would be that we would be independent, on our own, isolated. Yet in the illusory actuality (for we could never actually separate from God, being part of Him) we have been the most afraid of being alone. Try as hard as we can, we still cling, desperately, to the special love relationships that would save us from ourselves—or so we think. So the living out of isolation has actually been the source of our greatest fears.
We fear being alone more than anything because somewhere in our deluded minds is the certainty that we are living amiss, and that a furious God will take revenge on us for denying Him. This is as true for atheists as anyone else, for each of us of whatever persuasion has something in which we put our faith. If this religion is ego-tainted, we will fear all the more, and what religion in our world is not ego-tainted? It is only in giving up our false idols of isolation and separation that we come even close to finding our way safely through this world.
We find our way safely in this world by acknowledging what our heart tells us. And this heart does not require “proof” of God’s existence. It is rightly said that there are no atheists in foxholes (a somewhat outdated reference recalling the first world war). When we get scared about our predicament, we do turn to what we hope will save us. And A Course of Love proclaims that this is the saving grace for what we understand to be our heart. It alone does not seek to have divine proof; it simply knows that we are not alone in all the universe. We are not isolated and independent; we are meant to share our living with others. And A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love call these relationships, the “holy” relationships.
Most all of us have experienced loss of love in some form, with somebody. Somebody let us down, we cry. We think that if only this special someone had loved us for ourselves alone, we would be saved. This makes of love a mockery. And it places in our midst a scavenger that would devoir true love. We do not have to pin our hopes on one someone (or several someones) who can save us. We need only rest in the knowledge—and it is knowledge—that we are never meant to be alone, that divine love is there to protect and keep us safe. And once we give up the attributes of specialness, our relationships one to another will indeed be holy. We have to give up specialness in relationships, we are told. But the relationships will not be snatched from us, to leave us cowering in the dust. The special relationships turned holy will be a foretaste of Heaven, right here on earth.
“Now, as we reverse this set of circumstances, and replace the world of fear with a world of love, there can be no more weighing of love against fear. God did not create fear and will not be judged by it. All judgment is the cause of fear and this effort to weigh love’s strength against fear’s veracity. While you chose to believe and live in a world the nature of which was fear, you could not know God. You could not know God because you judged God from within the nature of fear, believing it to be your natural state.” (ACOL, T4:3.7)
We thought that it was protective to have fear in our arsenal of defenses. But did it ever work very well? We got anxious often, but did this really protect us?
We don’t need fear’s protection. We don’t need protection at all. We have no need for defense against anything. We will be warned when we need to do anything to “protect” ourselves because we are in danger of some kind. God does not leave us defenseless; He is our defense, if we ever need to have a defense in this world at all, and that is debatable.
Defenses do what they would protect against.
We thought that fear was a natural reaction, not realizing that it was, instead, evidence of living insanity. We need to replace this world of fear we have made into a world of love, and only then can we relax in the grace that God gives us.
We need to make a definite decision to give up judgment, and this much we can do. We can determine that we will not judge ourselves, others, or God, and we can stand by this as a promise. The world will never again look as dismal. We will have found means to emerge from a world of insanity. We will walk into the light.
Even the most loving parent, like unto your most loving image of God, having brought a child into a fearful world, became subject to the tests of time. Thus did the world become a world of effort with all things in it and beyond it, including God, weighed and balanced against the idea of fear.” (ACOL, T4:3.6)
We were raised in a dysfunctional environment—all of us, regardless of how loving our parents tried to be toward us. They too partook of fear, and thus we were nurtured in fear. The world became a place in which we sought the approval of our parents, and this approval became something to earn, something about which we must exert effort.
Our relationships continued from this first one, of parents to children (us). We sought to grow through achievement, our own efforts, and the world became a fairly grim place indeed. We projected this fear upon our image of the God within, though we didn’t know that He was within. Most of us saw God as an external Creator, someone, something like Santa Claus, who knew everything that we thought and did, and weighed it in the balance to decide if we were good little boys and girls.
This is indeed a fearful way to view God, and we imagine that this might indeed hurt Him (if the Creator were to have an ego such as we have, which He doesn’t).
So we grew up, supported by our fearful ideas of this world. Only religious convictions can actually save us from the dilemma in which we find ourselves. And these do not necessarily have to be of a traditional sense. God is God of the secular as well. And He will provide.
We need only ask, though we are apt to forget the asking part when we are fearful. Then, focus our minds on receiving, for all too often, we ask but do not leave plenty of time to thank God for granting our wish, for receiving from Him.
“Only your heart can lead you to the forgiveness that must overcome judgment. A forgiven world is a world whose foundation has changed from fear to love. Only from this world can your special function be fulfilled and bring the light to those who still live in darkness.” (ACOL, C:16.8)
It is a good question to wonder how we can change from love to fear in our thinking. And the answer is one word: forgiveness. Forgiveness will overcome judgment, and above all we need to overcome judgment of ourselves and our brothers and sisters
We don’t really have anything to forgive, for we are looking out on a world of illusions. Nothing has actually happened at all. We are living a stage play that has no repercussions on our inner essence. Only those things that come from love are real, for God is Love, and His reality is the only true reality.
In the ethos of A Course of Love, we let our hearts find the forgiveness that our minds might deny. Spend a while today in your heart, and see if it doesn’t make a difference in how the day is viewed. We will, if we let our hearts make the decision, find forgiveness of ourselves and others, and thus look out on a forgiven world.
There is no better way to live. Just recognize, when someone attacks you, that they are being insane, that their reaction is pure insanity. And one would not blame a certifiably insane person for the strange reactions that that person exhibits. We would know that the person is not fully responsible for words and deeds, and we would forgive easily.
Our brother or sister who is certifiably sane is due the same response. In the opinion of both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the attacking brother or sister is not actually sane at all, but mad in a mad world. And so forgiveness becomes easier for us.
“Think you not that reason opposes love, for love gives reason its foundation. The foundation of your insane world is fear. The foundation of Heaven, your true home, is love. The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)
We don’t have to have blind faith in the precepts of A Course of Love. We are told, “love gives reason its foundation.” (ACOL, C:14.9) We are further told that the foundation of our insane world is fear. And the foundation of Heaven, our true home, is love. It is strongly implied that the way that we look at our world determines whether it is hell or Heaven. The way that we look. That is perception, and we know from A Course in Miracles that projection makes perception.
What we feel inwardly will determine what we see in the outer world. And if we are feeling fear, we will see an insane world that is violent and destructive. If we are feeling love, we will see Heaven.
Is this too simplistic? Is this even true? Can the same images that flow before our eyes seem fearful or loving, based on what we are projecting? Yes. For the fearful mind sees more reason to fear, and the loving mind sees with these things only lamentable things, but no cause for fear. The loving mind does not reject the outer world of insanity as not there; it sees that it is there, but it is only illusion, the illusion of insanity. And so it gives that outer, violent and destructive, world no credence.
“The same world based upon these different foundations could not help but look quite different.” (ACOL, C:14.9)
Yes! This is the secret for staying in this world, but seeing it differently. This is the secret of having peace in the midst of chaos. Choose fear or love, and all the world will change according to the emotion that is chosen.
Note: This article was published in Miracles magazine for the July – August issue (Jon Mundy, publisher).
by Celia Hales
“. . . [A]nd who can say that he prefers darkness and maintain he wants to see?” (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-25.VI.2:5)
“You stand at the precipice with a view of the new world glittering with all the beauty of heaven set off at just a little distance in a golden light.” (A Course of Love, P:16)
“. . .[B]e bathed in the Light of Reality yet again, seeing that God is what I am. I am God. You are God. Only that One exists. Only the ‘I’ that we share as the One exists.” (“The Way of Knowing,” in The Way of Mastery, Chapter 33)
God is seen in Light not of this world. We must allow ourselves to be bathed in the Light of Reality (as The Way of Mastery says), lost in illusions of the ego no longer (as A Course of Love says). We will then be creating the new world that ACOL encourages. We will see no longer this world we now occupy, for our projections will be different, making our perceptions different, for do we not know that projection makes perception? The current world is often not a place of joy, but the Light will break, and we will see anew, when Awakening (Christ-consciousness) is the experience of all who live here.
We can compare the Light of Reality to the light of this world we now occupy. I have long wanted bright light, especially bright sunlight. Crisp fall days with low humidity give me a new outlook, a prelude to Awakening. I think my Inner Self recognizes that real seeing is only in the light, never in darkness. And in my deepest heart I want real vision. So do all of us.
A Course in Miracles says that when one looks on the world with forgiving eyes, one sees “nothing in the world to fear.” (T-25.VI.1:2) Is this not the new world we will be creating? If we forgive others, we will form the holy relationships that will allow us to see well for the first time, for it is through our relationships that we will be born anew, living in Light not of this world. It is only in looking to the Light within that we know the appropriate response in our relationships. The Light within leads to the light without.
We are only able to see clearly what is without when we have first looked within. Only at that point does our external world appear clear, we know how to proceed, and we walk fearlessly into the sunlight.
“The desire to protect is a desire that arises from distrust and is based totally on fear. If there were no fear, what would there be to protect? Thus, all of your love—the love that you imagine you keep within yourself, and the love that you imagine you receive and give—is tainted by your fear and cannot be real love. It is because you remember love as that which kept you safe, that which kept you happy, that which bound all those you love to you, that you attempt to use love here. This is a real memory of creation that you have distorted.” (ACOL, C:9.3)
We are not able to use love to protect us, although we often try. The desire to protect ourselves is a fear-based motivation, one that can’t be what it tries to do, keep us safe. We are already safe; we don’t need anything extra to make ourselves so.
We have, Jesus says, a memory of love from eons ago (as the world judges time). Love at the beginning, before the illusory separation, kept us happy and kept together all whom we loved. Somehow, dimly, we remember this true event, and we want some of that same feeling now. We try to find it in fear that comes from distrust. If we didn’t think we were in danger, why would we think at all about being “protected”? We would know that there is nothing that we need protection from, and we would be at peace. So this desire is wholly fear-based. We do love a disservice when we attempt to “use” it at all. Love cannot be used, just as we would be wise not to use each other for our own ends. We are safe, we have always been safe, and sooner or later we will all realize our safety is a God-given gift.
When love is tainted by fear, it is not real love. Unfortunately, most of our love in this world is tainted by fear, and thus we need another way to view love. We need to realize that it is part of the long-ago memory of Oneness with God. Only our attempt to separate from God, with the concomitant rise of the ego, has kept us from real love. Let us decide today that we will be done with all of this foolishness. Ask to experience real love, remove our mind from attempts to use this love to protect your physical body, and see if a better day doesn’t dawn.
“Your feelings in truth come from love, your response to them is what is guided by fear. Even feelings of destruction and violence come from love. You are not bad, and you have no feelings that can be labeled so. Yet you are misguided concerning what your feelings mean and how they would bring love to you and you to love.” (ACOL, C:5.11)
Jesus forms a startling assertion about love and fear, one that we wouldn’t expect. He says that all of our feelings come from love, in essence because we are not “bad” (C:5.11). ACIM says that we have the “innocence of God” (T-III.17:2), and so Jesus is here asserting to the same thought. How our feelings of destruction and violence can come from love may remain nebulous to us, but Jesus believes that we have just misunderstood ourselves. We have been misguided about how to bring love to ourselves. So we have made wrong choices in our love, choices that gave us destruction and violence.
Do we not often noticed that nobody who is embroiled in violence and destruction thinks that he/she is at fault about anything that is bad? History is replete with wars that were fought in the name of God, believing that one is doing God’s will in the antagonism. This is one way of looking at love gone astray. This is one way to realize that fear has done nothing, that it is only our misperceptions about love and how it ought to be expressed that have done us in.
Our feelings are not bad, Jesus says. We only need to channel those feelings in the right direction, seeing love where it really is, avoiding feelings of destruction and violence, pain and suffering. Then we will find love’s fruits to be our chosen just desserts. We will have taken another step on love’s pathway. Another step toward Awakening/Christ-consciousness.
“The Christ in you is wholly human and wholly divine. . . .It is this joining of the human and divine that ushers in love’s presence, as all that caused you fear and pain falls away and you recognize again what love is.” (ACOL, C:5.1)
We are indeed blessed now! When we recognize the Christ in us, we are recognizing a joining the human and the divine. And in this joining, we are told, love reigns, “joining. . .ushers in love’s presence.” (ACOL, C:5.1)
All that has caused fear and pain drops away, and we finally recognize what love really is. This is the celebration, when we recognize the Self within, the Self no longer a captive of the ego.
The Christ in us is wholly human and wholly divine, not omniscient, of course, because of our humanness. We are ready to experience true reality in the fullness of the Christ-consciousness (Awakening) that now engulfs us. We may as yet have captured only glimpses of this Christ-consciousness. But the purpose of A Course of Love is to lead us to understandings that will cause the impediments in our psyche to drop away. Jesus wants us to reach Christ-consciousness. A consolidation of awakened individuals is the best hope that we have for a world in disarray, lost in pain and suffering, lost in conflict of one brother and sister against another. But God, we might add, is the omniscient Presence that makes the decision of when we are ready. Thus, there is an indecisive quality about Christ-consciousness and its coming that we can’t predict. Only the omniscient God of us all knows when any one of us is truly ready.
There are things that we can do. Things we must do. We must give up judgments, one of the other. We must give up fear (a biggie). We must give up attack and planning that is not the direct result of guidance. A Course of Love highlights the giving up of judgment and fear; A Course in Miracles highlights the giving up of attack, judgment, and unguided planning. These directives are meant to remove impediments to the coming of Christ-consciousness, and we can all recognize how difficult these directives will be if we don’t have divine help.
We do have divine help. We need only ask. The part of ourselves, the inner part, that is God, will respond. Angels will also come to our aid, for we are not all alone in the universe. Those of us who are in close contact with the Other Side will also come to recognize other entities that move to help us, though Jesus does not point this truth out, in so many words. Jesus has said that he is always with us, always guiding us by the hand. He is our rock, our salvation to a higher world in this world.
We do not have to die to enjoy the benefits of a higher presence directing our efforts.
“All fear ends when proof of your existence is established. All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is. How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this? How can you not rejoice when doubt is gone and love fills all the space that doubt once occupied?” (ACOL, C:4.5)
We have often doubted God, and not just in our youth, when many of us became agnostics and atheists because the chronology of Genesis did not jive with evolution. We have doubted that there could be a Higher Power Who could hear our prayers. We wanted to be intellectually honest, but we didn’t listen to our hearts. Our hearts knew all along that we weren’t alone in a fearsome universe.
A Course of Love questions, “How could you not have been fearful with doubt as powerful as this?” (C:4.5). This lack of love that we felt when we were being intellectually “honest” is a reason to feel fear. What better reason could there be?
Now that most of believe in the Other Side, that channeling is possible and also probable, we are in a different place. Our doubts have subsided, but we still are living the remnants of too much fear. Fear has become a habit for us. And this has to change if we are to live full lives in a new world that we are seeking to create.
When we put away our doubt, we will make substantial progress. Just give the heart a chance to speak to you. You will not be disappointed. This may be the first indication that the Christ Self is coming into its own, in us, in all of us.
“You feel you are capable of loving acts of heroic proportions and fearful actions of horrific consequence, acts of bravery and acts of cowardice, acts of passion you call love and acts of passion you call violence. You feel unable to control the most extreme of these actions that arise from these extremes of feeling. Both ‘ends’ of feelings are considered dangerous and a middle ground is sought. It is said that one can love too much and too little but never enough. Love is not something you do. It is what you are. To continue to identify love incorrectly is to continue to be unable to identify your Self. (ACOL, C:2.6)
We know from the title of this book that being who we are is very important in A Course of Love. And what and who we are, are love. We sometimes see this love as passion, and that is not wrong, just incomplete. We have sometimes engaged in extreme forms of behavior due to our passion, and we have sometimes been fear-prone when we have been doing so. Pure love is not drama; we make a mistake in believing that it is. We think that if we love in an all-embracing way, we will be embroiled in a drama that will take us outside of ourselves.
Love is not something that we do. Instead, it something that we are. We won’t succeed in identifying our Self if we continue to think in terms of doing rather than being. And identifying our Self is what A Course in Love is all about. We are trying to establish a new identity, and the new identity is the source of our being one with God. We have left the illusory separation behind, and we are at one with God, no longer afraid of Him. We don’t have to fear a traumatic experience in those times that we approach God. Like A Course in Miracles says, we will instead have a beatific experience.
“There is only one distinction that need be made: what comes of love and what comes of fear. All expressions of love are of maximal benefit to everyone. While you may, for a while yet, not see that all that are not expressions of love are expressions of fear, I assure you this is the case. Thus any behavior, including sexual behavior that is not of love, is of fear. All that comes of fear is nothing. What this means is that cause and effect are not influenced by what comes of fear.” (T3:19.8)
So love is everything and fear is nothing. If behavior is not of love, Jesus says that this behavior is based in fear. He specifically mentions sexual behavior, and we know that much of our sexual lives have heretofore been more or less a “secret” from God. Not really, but we like to think so. Jesus brings this secrecy out into the open, letting us know that we are not getting away with anything. Our fearful sexual behavior, that is, our sexual behavior that is not love-centered, is actually nothing. It doesn’t amount to anything in any substantial way. It is just a lesser way to spend time.
We are encouraged to let our actions and our behaviors come out of love always. Then we will have no reason to regret. We will be home free in sexual behavior, in particular.
“Love is the name you give to much you fear. You think that it is possible to choose it as a means to buy your safety and security. You thus have defined love as a reaction to fear. This is why you can understand love as fear’s opposite. This is true enough. But because you have not properly recognized fear as nothing, you have not properly recognized love as everything. It is because of the attributes you have given fear that love has been given attributes. Only separate things have attributes and qualities that seem to complement or oppose. Love has no attributes, which is why it cannot be taught.” (ACOL, C:2.4)
We have confused love and fear, and in A Course of Love, we are told that love is everything, fear nothing. Love and fear are the two emotions, and love is fear’s opposite in every way. But understanding these points is not enough, for we have called “love” much that we actually fear.
This is most important to note in regard to special relationships, a topic of great interest in A Course in Miracles also. We actually find fear in our special relationships, the particular others that we seem to love better than other people in the world. These special relationships we fear to lose, for they seem to be everything to us. And this is where the fear is seen most strongly. Only when we have transformed the special into what Jesus calls “holy relationships” do we see our mistakes in making “special” anything in a relationship.
In A Course of Love, Jesus indicates that the time has come to give up our special relationships. They have never brought us anything that we truly wanted. They were flawed, borne of fear in a fear-ridden world. Holy relationships, though, are filled with true love. We know that regardless of how much a person might reject us, we will keep on loving. And love all we encounter, though not in physical or sexual terms, obviously. There is a place for discernment, still, in our relationships.
“All feelings of lack are synonymous with feelings of fear. Where there is fear, love is hidden. Love is rejected when a choice for fear is made. You cannot be without love, but you can reject love. When you reject love, it is hidden from you, because receiving completes giving. Each of your brothers and sisters are love inviolate. What each gives is incomplete until it is received.” (ACOL, C:25.5)
Loving each other, and giving and receiving as part of the same continuum, are mandatory in this world we hope to inhabit. If we are feeling in any way lacking in something that we need, we are in a fearful state that is best left behind. We have everything that we need, for our needs are met at the point that need is first recognized. The universe does provide; the only missing part might be that we don’t recognize that our needs are provided for. This would be a recognition of lack, and lack means that fear has the upper hand. Not something that we want; we don’t want to go there.
We are meant to share with each other in relationship one to the other. This naturally means that nobody will experience lack, for the giving and receiving that we do ensures that our needs are met.
Our brothers and sisters embody love. When this is all that we see in them, we will have walked a long way on the pathway back to God. We don’t need to see weaknesses and a sense of misplaced trust. These are egoic structures in others that are actually illusory.
All of us are strong in the Christ Self. And it is this strength that we draw on when we relinquish fear in favor of love.
“The heart of the body is the altar at which all your offerings to God are made. All offerings are love or lack of love. Lack of love is nothing. Thus, all offerings made from a place other than love are nothing. All offerings made from a place of fear or guilt are nothing.” (ACOL, C:1.2)
Our relationship to God undergoes a change when we read A Course of Love. He is no longer seen as Someone to Whom we pray for blessings, someone outside of ourselves Who hears our prayers. This type of supplication doesn’t work when we realize that God is within, that we are part of God. Our heart within the body is where our prayers properly reside. This is totally within ACOL’s emphasis on the heart as the center of our new being, the Self. If we are fearful or feeling guilty when we approach God in this way, we are sacrificing our best interests, for we need to approach our inner heart, the God within, in a spirit of love.
Love and fear, the same two emotions that we are considering, become pivotal here. If we approach God with fear, we don’t receive the whole blessing, for we are caught in our ego-mind. The Christ Self does not know fear, for this Self knows only love. And when we are in our right minds, joining mind and heart to form what ACOL calls “wholeheartedness,” we are living in love.
That is the only way to be, the only way to be who we are.
“The choice that lies before you now concerns what it is you would come to know. The question asked throughout this Course is if you are willing to make the choice to come to know your Self and God now. This is the same as being asked if you are willing to be the chosen of God. This is the same question that has been asked throughout the existence of time. Some have chosen to come to know themselves and God directly. Others have chosen to come to know themselves and God indirectly. These are the only two choices, the choices between truth and illusion, fear and love, unity and separation, now and later. What you must understand is that all choices will lead to knowledge of Self and God, as no choices are offered that are not such. All are chosen and so it could not be otherwise. But at the same time, it must be seen that your choice matters in time, even if all will make the same choice eventually.” (ACOL, T4:1.11)
We choose between love and fear always. And in the coming to know of our true Self, the inner Christ Self, we are choosing love. Many have made this choice throughout time, some directly to know God and some, directly, through the Holy Spirit. We are led to approach God through the Holy Spirit when we are too fearful to approach God more directly. This choice evolves at the conclusion of A Course in Miracles, the conclusion of the Workbook, as well as in A Course of Love. Love wins out, finally, and we no longer fear God. We are not traumatized by Him. We can go to Him, be heard, and come away with the softness of love experienced.
We are always choosing between truth and illusion, love and fear. Love is always the way of truth; fear is always the way of illusion. There are no other choices.
We who have been caught in illusion for eons do not really comprehend, in the beginning, what is being asked of us. We are being asked to turn aside from illusion in all its guises. And with this choice to turn aside from illusion, we know truth in the form of love always. We cannot, on our own, turn aside from illusions. In A Course in Miracles, our guidance—which we always need to follow—was seen as coming from the Holy Spirit. Now, Jesus says, we have left the time of the Holy Spirit, and we are in the time of Christ, and so our guidance will be perceived in a new and different way. The all-encompassing Christ Self, which engulfs all of us, is the means that we now are encouraged to address. We are encouraged to listen to this inner Christ Self, to follow the guidance that comes from within. It is important to realize that we may not actually feel much difference in where our guidance comes from. And that is not too important. We know when we are following guidance, just as we know when we are turning aside from it.
And happiness comes with the choice to follow guidance. In doing so, we are choosing truth in our daily lives. And we are choosing love.
“You have been told there are but two emotions, love and fear. What this is really saying is that there are but two ways to respond to what you feel—with love or with fear. If you respond with fear you expel, project, and separate. If you respond with love you remain whole.” (ACOL, D:Day16.10)
What is the difference in reacting between these two emotions?
Fear is always separating, removing us farther from the sense of God’s Presence within us. Love allows us to be whole, at one with God, with others, and with ourselves.
When we are caught in the egoic fear that has engulfed us for so long, we project a fearful world. We project that which we believe to be true about our world. But this projection is all coming from within a fearful self-concept, and so this projection is really a nothing, dressed up in clothes that make it seem something important and right. But it is never right, and most of us are tired of the same old world of fear. We need a new attitude, a new projection, a projection of love. And this we can have, when we follow the guidance of Jesus in these examples of channeling.
So let us decide, once and for all, that we will respond to what we see with love. This decision changes everything for us. Not only do we forgive, but we see with the eyes of love. And our little world changes accordingly, for (as A Course in Miracles makes clear) projection makes perception.
“You label love a feeling, and one of many. Yet you have been told there are but two from which you choose: love and fear. Because you have chosen fear so many times and labeled it so many things you no longer recognize it as fear. The same is true of love.” (ACOL, C:2.3)
We have been pretty mixed up. We have, all too often, confused fear with love, labeling them both two of many other feelings. But we learn from Jesus that there are only two emotions—love and fear—and that all other emotions are variants of these two.
This simplifies life for us. But how do we move away from fear, toward love?
We need help, and it is help that Jesus is giving us. We have confused fear and love, often making choices that gave us fear when we were seeking to experience love.
This dynamic is especially true in special relationships, those relationships in our lives in which certain other people are emblazoned, by our ego, with qualities that seem to set these people apart from all others. This is especially the case with romantic relationships, which nearly always start out as special. We think that he or she is the best thing that we have ever encountered, and we want to appropriate these good qualities to ourselves. We complete in the presence of the other. We feel joyous. And we feel a sense of grandeur that is perhaps as yet unparalleled in our experience in this world.
But such thoughts are actually a grandiosity. And these feelings do not last. Our special person is found to have feet of clay, and we fall away disillusioned—sometimes almost immediately, sometimes years later. And then we often turn away, for we feel that we have somehow been misled. We misconceived what was before. He/she was not “special” at all.
But that other really was special. The problem is that we didn’t realize that we needed to turn the special into the holy, something that Jesus counsels us about. Ultimately, he tells us that none of us is special, or, conversely, all of us are—for we are no different one from the other. (Only in time do we differ, and time does not really exist; we live in eternity only.) We need to make an end, as A Course of Love counsels, to the whole idea of special relationships. They will never bring us what we want. And in turning from the special to the holy, we will finally know genuine love for the first time.
The special relationship fosters fear, for we sense that we “need” this other person for our completion. And we fear, rightly, that he/she may not always be there for us.
Relationships are the primary way that we confuse fear and love. A particularly poignant way that actually holds great promise for us. But only when we take away the fearful aspects of our relationship to another. And it is hard indeed to do that, when we are new to Jesus’s channeled teachings.
A Course of Love counsels us that we must indeed give up special relationships, but also that we will not really lose anything—for special relationships are nothing, being borne of fear. We will transform these relationships with particular others into a holy experience, and then we will know true love for what it is.
We have not heretofore recognized that fear is predominant in many of our relationships. We have had our eyes blinded. But now we can come to know. We recognize that feeling uncertain in relationships fosters fear only, not love. And we want love, the real thing.