Be Aware

“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.

Jesus: “I Am with You Always”

“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.

AMAZING COMMENTARY ON A COURSE OF LOVE

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.

Presence of Love

“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.

Accept his offer today.

We Are Equal in God’s Sight as His Children

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.

A WAY OF LIVING

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.

Here on Earth We Can Have Blessings Formerly Known after Death

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.

And all will be well.

Invite the Warmth of God’s Closeness

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.

Turning to Holy Relationships Does Not Hurt – Ever

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.

A Love that Lasts

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.

Now Is the Time to End Empty Seeking

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.

Joy Calls

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.

True Love Is Limitless, Knows Only Inclusion

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.

Being “Special”

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.

We Find Our Way in This World Safely by Acknowledging What Our Heart Tells Us

“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.

A World of Love

“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.

Develop a More Loving Image of God

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.

Forgiveness

“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.

Secret for Staying in This World, but Seeing It Differently

“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.

BATHED IN LIGHT

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.

Love which Kept Us Safe – and Happy – and Bound to Those We Love

“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.

Our Feelings in Truth Come from Love

“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 Us Is Wholly Human & Wholly Divine

“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.

How Could We Not Have Been Fearful with Doubt as Powerful as This?

“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.

Love Is Not Something We Do; It Is What We Are

“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.

Sexual Behavior that Is Not of Love, Is of Fear

“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 We Give to Much We Fear

“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.

Lack = Fear

“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.

Love or Lack 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.

Two Choices

“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.

To Separate or to Remain Whole

“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.

Only Two Emotions

“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.

And we can have love.

Tension of Opposites

“As a separate being, you have been in a relationship with fear. This relationship with fear is all that has provided the ‘I’ of the separated self. But because you exist as an extension of love, you have always held within you the Christ, who is the relationship with love. This is why individuation has become the conflict between, or the tension of, opposites. Because you have relationship with both fear and love.” (D:Day40.22)

We need to have the fear fall away, but we are doomed from that prospect as long as the ego rules and separation from God rules. We are heading into a new dimension of our personhood, a Christ-consciousness that will mean that we occupy a physical form in this world, but our minds and hearts are elsewhere, in a new consciousness that means that we live very much in the present. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.

For eons we have been in a relationship with fear, because we were governed by a false view of self that has come to be known as the “ego.” This relationship with fear meant that any pain was very likely to turn into suffering, and more pain, and disaster, even. To rescue us from this dismal situation, Jesus has channeled both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, the former to dislodge the ego, and the latter to establish a new identity. To establish a new peace.

We have never really snuffed out the Christ within. This is our true Self, the entity that is one with God, Who also dwells within. But our relationship with this false part of ourselves called the ego has meant that we couldn’t sense the Christ, and we couldn’t live well, and all in all we have been in a bad way. This is because we have been attached to fear rather than to love. And now is the time to remedy that.

Love and fear do not mix very well. Love is harmonious and kind, as we know, but love is not just an emotion. It is truly what we are, what we are meant to be. Fear, on the other hand, is the great pollutant of what we are. Because we bought into fear through the self ruled by the ego, we have never really stood a chance to be happy.

The ego gives but to take away. We have had flights of fragile joy, but egoic joy is never the real thing. And just as soon as we experienced one of these joyous flights, we were hurled downward, face on the ground, to a devastating sense of doom. It is clear that we can never enjoy peace of a lasting nature when this is the reality in which we live.

Is this not the way that we have experienced reality? But this is not genuine reality. Jesus is telling us now, in ACIM and ACOL, how to so live that we are in peace and happiness continually. If we heed his words, we will live in what is true reality. And we will have a calm peace that remains undisturbed by outward events in our physical and emotional world. We will truly have learned how to live.

And we will be who we truly are.

The Embrace

“To know who you are and not to express who you are with your full power is the result of fear. To know the safety and love of the embrace is to know no cause for fear, and thus to come into your true power. True power is the power of miracles.” (ACOL, C:20.28)

Seeing that we don’t express who we really are out of fear, let us contemplate what we might do to turn this situation around.

Jesus includes in A Course of Love a sensitively-written passage in which he takes us into his arms and embraces us. The passage exudes warmth, peace, and safety.
Here is the most cogent part:

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

This reassuring passage is emblematic of the tone of all A Course of Love, for ACOL looks to the heart, first of all, to entice us to give up the false values of the ego, the false identity to which we have clung for so long.

In letting this memorable passage fill our minds, we are led beyond the bounds of the fear-ridden ego. We will know that we want something different from what we have had all of our lives. We know that the enticement that Jesus represents is the true value of love, the way that we will come home to ourselves.

When we come home to ourselves, we will be fully powerful for the first time, and who among us does not want a right sort of power? The egoic power that we have known previously has given us flights of joy, but evermore it has dashed our feet on stones, and prompted tears of grievous regret. We can be finished with these tantalizing fits. We can stop sensing electric joy that dissolves into abject misery. Jesus is showing us the way out when he encourages us to be who we truly are.

When we don’t fear anything, in the embrace, we are primed to come into our real power. We are primed to be who we really are, in love with the whole world. And for this miracle, we need give up nothing! Nothing at all, for what the ego has given us has truly been nothing. The ego gives but to take away. And, even the giving is time-bound to be of short duration. The “gifts” of the ego don’t satisfy very long at all. Then we are off to a new goal. And, ultimately, what we have accumulated becomes ash and dust at our feet. No joy in the “everything” at all, for the everything is not enough. “Is this all there is?” becomes a legitimate question for the vast majority of us. And that is because we are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The best place to look for love is within the miracle. Both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love say a great deal about the power of miracles. We aren’t to decide personally what miracles ought to be done, because we would be misguided if that were our attitude. Jesus makes clear that he decides when and if a miracle is timely, because he is in charge of the Atonement. But when we ask for something, such as love and the centrality of love in our life, we can be sure that Jesus is right there with us, cheering us along. We can’t know how the miracle will happen, only that it will. We are asking in God’s will for the relinquishment of fear and the shift to love in all our dealings. Prayers such as these do not go unattended.

The power of miracles is said in A Course of Love to be the true power. Would any of us want any other power? We need and want to be reverent in our asking, supportive of whatever guidance we get. We don’t need to launch into pipe dreams that become meaningless. With the attraction of true power in our minds and hearts, we will know Love sooner rather than later. And the fear that has hampered all our doings for many years will gradually fall away.

A Course in Miracles Sets the Stage

“The further teachings of the original Course were designed to turn fear into love. When you think you can go only so far and no further in your acceptance of the teachings of the course and the truth of your Self as God created you, you are abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11)

Many come to A Course of Love from A Course in Miracles. And Jesus has made clear that A Course of Love is a continuation of A Course in Miracles. Here we find the continuity that Jesus wanted. Here he expresses this continuity in terms of love and fear.

We are told, in no uncertain terms, that when we feel that we cannot fully accept A Course in Miracles (and, by implication, A Course of Love), we are “abdicating love to fear.” (ACOL, P11) We think we don’t know how to live a life fully in love; we don’t dare let go of fear.

What is this but the ego talking to us? It is nothing but: It is pure ego.
We have such a problem in letting go of the fear-ridden ego in favor of the heart-felt place of our love. We think, wrongly, that the ego has protected us from unnamed disasters—when it is actually just the reverse. We are abject cowards in the fact of the loud voice of the ego that we hear shouting to us to be careful.

We think that if we don’t heed these shrieking sounds, we will be lost. But it is actually the reverse. We will be lost in a hell of our making by refusing to listen to the still small voice that whispers of Love.

So let us take a look at what we are really meant to be, the person that Jesus sees in us. The person who chooses love over fear, consistently.

Choose Love – Not Fear

Note: I am going to move to a consideration of love and fear as presented by A Course of Love, with some inclusion of A Course in Miracles. I will return to The Way of Mastery later on. – Celia

“All feelings you label joyous or compassionate are of love. All feelings you label painful or angry are of fear. This is all there is. This is the world you make. Love or fear is your reality by your choice. A choice for love creates love. A choice for fear creates fear. What choice do you think has been made to create the world you call your home?” (ACOL, C:1.180)

So we are off on an adventure, a decision to shed fear for the much better value of love. The question in the quotation begs itself, for we know that previously all of us, encrusted with an ego that is destructive and violent, have chosen fear as our guide to walking through this world. We don’t have to make this choice anymore. There is another way, outlined in A Course of Love, scribed by Mari Perron, just as Helen Schucman and Bill Thetford chose another way that way culminated in A Course in Miracles.

We want our reality to be love, whether or not we are thinking about this all the time. We often make decisions that are steeped in fear, thinking that we are making a choice for love. Our special relationships are the most obvious example of this dynamic. We find a “special” someone, we fall “in love,” we think that we cannot live without this lovely thing—for the person has become a “thing” to us. We want to possess the other individual for ourselves, but we are fearful about losing this precious object. What do we do now? How do we find a way out of fearing and loving, seemingly at the same time?

This is the dilemma of our world. And , in taking a look, directly, at love and fear, we will be directed to a new and different, never way tried by ourselves before. It is a fabulous journey without distance to a goal that has been ours for eons.

We just didn’t know it before.

CREATING A NEW WORLD

Published recently in Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher)

by Celia Hales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOY, PEACE, RELEASE

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

by Celia Hales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming to Know

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

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

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

And that will be all that matters.

Change Is in the Air

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

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

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

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

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

We Support Each Other

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

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

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

New Day Is Dawning

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

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

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

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

Mirrors of the Truth

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

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

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

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

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

Being defines us.

“Being” or “Doing” – Wisely

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

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

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

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

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

A New Pattern

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

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

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

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

Love

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

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

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

We have discovered how to love.

“To Do” Lists

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heartfelt Joy in “Being”

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

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

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

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

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

Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Living as Who You Are

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

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

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

Just “Being” Can Effect Change

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

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

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

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