Get the Madness Out

How do we let illusions recede? The world that the ego shows us is illusion indeed. The Course counsels that one need not even oppose the ego (which is to oppose illusions), suggesting that the illusions will go of their own accord when nothing opposes them. We welcome reality because it is true, because it opposes nothing and simply is. Would not we feel glad tidings if such could be our state of mind always?

We do get into trouble by fighting against reality and against God. It is He that we would fortify ourselves against. Doesn’t reason tell us that this looks like a losing battle? God is real, and He created our real selves, and would not have us hide forever in meaningless insanity.

This blessing—that God will find us—is the blessing hidden in the “unreality” we have made for ourselves. Ultimately, we cannot stay in a fog of uncertainty. Eventually we seek better answers, and God has “hidden” Reality in the depths of our hearts and minds, where we will surely find it if we but look. Eventually the sights and sounds of a chaotic world become too much for us, and we are thrown back to our inner depths, where God is. He waits only for this, and this alone is what he needs to turn us from madness. Yet we may look outward at a projected dream for many years. It is frequently only in turmoil that we are led to turn inward to our best resources, those resources found only in God.

Do not fight against the world, when events turn against us, and all seems lost. This is the turning point! This is what God has waited in great patience for us to find. He waits with great patience because He loves deeply, and He knows His creatures. Cause and effect will ultimately make untenable the world of madness. And He waits for that realization of another way, a better way, to dawn upon us. We do not have to seek blindly. Madness cannot keep this better way out of our saner mind. And we can “get the madness out” by simply choosing to look on our chaos and recognize, quietly, “This is not truth.” Sanity thus comes to the quiet mind. We need actively oppose nothing chaotic, for it will disappear when we withdraw our belief from it.

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Resolving Conflict

Are we ever really in conflict? The Course would say not. The true Self is above such pettiness. When conflict rules, we have let our egoistic images of ourselves collide with simply a different egoistic image, also of ourselves.

This conflict happens all the time to those of us still on this side of the bridge, and this includes most of us—we who are still not consistently living in the “real world.” We do not, however, have to continue in conflict. We can refer all questions to our Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

I have found that the gesture of turning the conflict over to the Holy Spirit may be answered immediately, or we may be so involved with turmoil that a quieter mind, one that could hear guidance, has not yet come to us. If the latter is our situation, we need to suspend our thoughts, refusing to mull over the unresolved issue, and quiet our minds.

Whatever method one uses can be right—meditation (the Course makes use of some of this quietness, though the word “meditation” is never used in the FIP edition); prayer; or simple distraction from the conflict to thoughts of something else. One must be aware, however, that distraction can allow the conflict to light upon something else later on. Whatever method one uses, we must trust not in one’s self, but in the Holy Spirit, the Bearer of better thought, to give a way out of the impasse. One helpful thought when battling conflict is to remember that one always battles illusions, for Reality does not battle at all. This recognition may in itself may be enough to calm the heat of passion.

In my own case, I used to have a neurotic tendency to find something, anything, about which to worry. It is as if the “worry” part of me were comfortable only if I had something to fret over. So it is that the ego thrives on conflict, justifying its continuance by conflict. There is a well-worn groove that most of us reserve for worry. When all is said and done, we may find that we were simply in the grip of a bad habit. But by so retaining this bad habit, the Course would say that we make the conditions that we dread, because we choose our own reality. There is a solemn warning in realizing our power to choose our futures that should not be minimized.

Picture instead a resolution, as yet unknown, to be worked out by the Holy Spirit. Abide with this thought awhile, and see if a calmer mind will not welcome, in a moment of revelry perhaps, the answer previously sought so frantically. Once we set aside the conflict-ridden emotional state, the Holy Spirit is free to act.

Forgiveness

We may reasonably substitute the word “pardon” for “forgiveness,” if the word “forgiveness” seems difficult to wrap one’s mind around. The Course uses both terms. In a similar fashion, Jesus asks that we substitute “mistake” or “error” for “sin,” thereby removing sin’s mad attraction for us. The word “forgiveness” may raise similar problems within our minds, conflict that the word “pardon” does not raise.

It is possible that the same sort of dynamic as is played out with the word “sin” is also present with “forgiveness.” We may scream, “He does not deserve forgiveness!” and in so believing, we deny it for ourselves. But we may feel more kindly toward “pardon,” which acknowledges that a wrong, however illusory, has happened. But we choose to wipe the slate clean, to allow our brother to start anew. St. Francis of Assisi said, “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.” St. Francis’ words present the same relationship between forgiving others and forgiving ourselves.

Remember that the wrongs we perceive, whatever we call the process of overlooking them, are always illusory. As we always fight illusions, so do we pardon (or forgive) illusions as well. God’s Reality is very different from the chaotic world that we behold when we are filled with fear.

Finding Heaven

We know that we have chosen Heaven when we feel peace. And we can make this choice at any instant. When we invite the Holy Spirit to join us, we are once again attuned with God.

A Course in Miracles says that we are all One. Indeed, this is the definition of Heaven: “. . .not a place nor a condition. It is merely an awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within.” (T-18.VI.1:5-6) If this be true, we are all part of each other and of God. We cannot attack a separate being, because no separate being exists. The most that we, or an illusion of Self, can attack is an illusion of another. And then conflict ensues, creating fear for ourselves. This is one of the dynamics of the ego, and sometimes it seems that the more we study such meaninglessness, the more powerful it becomes. That is because the very process of studying the ego affirms its importance and makes it real to ourselves.

We can make much, but what results is still only illusion, and can never be truly experienced as real, though we can imagine it to be real.

To live an illusion is madness, a madness that the remembrance of God can shine away. In quiet and in peace can we be led to accept God instead, and we thereby leave conflict, and the fear that it brings, far behind. In forgiveness of ourselves and others do we find that quiet and peace.

There is no other way.

God Offers Comfort

The third law of chaos affirms that God must accept His Son’s belief about what he has become, and hate him for it. This illusion seems to be humility, saying, in effect, that we are miserable sinners in need of grace. But this is actually arrogance that would seek to circumvent the Creator. Now do we dare not turn to God for comfort, because He has become our enemy. Salvation, under this law, seems actually impossible. The ego cannot help in escape from this interpretation, but the Course was made that we might choose another way.

The fourth law of chaos is that you have what you have taken from another. By his loss, we win. This illusion says that there is a finite amount of treasure in the world, and if we gain treasure, we have it because we have taken it from our brother. In its most extreme form, this law says that we must destroy our brother to save ourselves. But Jesus affirms that we can only take away from ourselves. Instead of an “enemy” having our treasure, from whom we must wrest it, we are in firm control, and it is we who would deny ourselves. The enemy does not hold our inheritance away from us—it is we who have rejected it for the dubious “values” of the ego. There is a portion of this law that believes that we act unkindly because our brother has been unkind to us—forcing us into justified attack. But all of this illusion!

Finally, the last law of chaos is that there is a substitute for genuine love. This substitute is given us by the ego when we take back from our brother what we feel is rightfully ours. This is the ego’s secret gift. This secret gift has apparently been torn from us by our brother, and must be reclaimed if we are to have the ego’s notion of salvation. Our brother, by tearing this gift from us, has kept salvation from us. This is why enmity, one to another, can be seen as salvation.

When studied carefully and dispassionately, we can see clearly that these laws of chaos do not make sense. The illusions upon which they are based can be seen as illusions, and thus identifying the “laws” that illusions have, we are in a better position to seek further for the true laws—God’s laws—creating reality. Because these laws do not make sense, we are free to discard them for something better. Therein lies our true salvation. We have used our intellect to help us out, and while intellect is never enough (love and forgiveness, emotions of the heart, are required fundamentally), it is a start. And the lack of a satisfying worldview has kept many a skeptic in his darkness. I can imagine nagging Jesus for just such an elucidation of ultimate Truth that Course provides for us. “. . .seek, and ye shall find,” ((Luke 11:9 – KJV)and the world was finally ready in 1975 (the year A Course in Miracles was published) for this new way.

The Course declares that we think we do not believe in these laws. When articulated bluntly, their insanity becomes evident. But do we believe in these laws on an unconscious level? It is only their plain statement that allows us to reject them. Normally the actual intent is well-hidden. If, when raised to the light of day, we do reject the laws of chaos, then Jesus has done us a great service. It becomes clear that these laws govern chaos (illusion), never reality. A crucial three sentences explain: “There is no life outside of Heaven. Where God created life, there life must be. In any state apart from Heaven life is illusion.” (T-23.II.19:1-3)

Find God in Quietness

There is a stark contrast between fear and love that we need to understand. Seen in its simplicity, the dynamic between fear and love encourages us to find God in quietness when turmoil threatens to overcome us. The most likely reason for the turmoil is something held against our brother, some patch of unforgiveness that would threaten our equanimity and then, because we fear retribution, causes us to feel fear. All this need not be. That is the joyous answer that Jesus gives us in the Course. To lead us gently down the intellectual way that tells us “why” all this senselessness need not be, Jesus bids us look at the “laws of chaos.” When we look at these five “laws” dispassionately, we see that they cannot make sense. Let us turn now to these laws of chaos and see if we can recognize ourselves and our world in their tenets. (T-23.II)

Is the truth different for everyone? The first law of chaos would say that it is. Our illusory values are then always seen in contrast to the values of others, which are deemed inferior. This attitude is, at base, a separating tactic. One ought never to find “good” reasons to separate one’s self from another. Yet in this law, what one values is seen as superior to what another values, and this illusion is “proved” by attacking the values of another. We believe under this law that there is a hierarchy of illusions, making some easier to forgive than others; but this is not so. Jesus points out that a hierarchy of illusions is similar to believing that some miracles are easier to perform than others—and the principles of miracles affirms that this is not so. This idea may yet be a sticking point as we walk on the road to salvation; as before, let us go as far along this road that we can, knowing that farther down the road, we will know and understand more than we do now.

Jesus’ second law of chaos is that each one must sin, and therefore deserves attack and death. This illusion overlooks the possibility of correction, seeing only punishment at the hands of an angry God. It pits God and His creatures at war, and this war includes not only self and God, but also self and everyone else. This law would affirm that there are some errors that are beyond simple correction without punishment, and the Course affirms that all errors (or “sin”) are correctable without any punishment at all. We are always free to choose punishment, but this is not God’s will for us.

Chaos is the opposite the quietness in which we find God. Turn aside from chaos in whatever form it appears, and all will appear miraculously changed.

Returning to God

When this pathway back to God is begun, the way at first seems hard, because the ego is still strong within us, and it sniffs defeat in the air and would be violent to retain control of one’s mind and heart. Consistently listening to the Holy Spirit, prayerfully considering the promptings of intuition, will quickly smooth the way so that one knows, deep in the heart, that a withered ego is one’s only salvation. Then is one’s real Self actually strong, no longer a will ‘o wisp in the breeze, batted about by every foreign opinion thrust upon it. And we see that it was always the ego that suffered defeat at the hands of its “enemies.” Always being undone, for that is God’s way, the ego is abandoned by our real Self as well. And then the way is paved for great and faster growth as the creatures of God we truly are. A Course in Miracles tells us that the mind is very powerful. It also says that the reason that we don’t believe this is because we are afraid of its power: “You prefer to believe that your thoughts cannot exert real influence because you are actually afraid of them.” (T-2.VI.9:10)

Surely we are afraid when we look around and see a ravaged world. Did we do this? Yes, the Course counsels, but only in illusion and only in madness.

The Course says that faith, belief, and vision, shared with us by the Holy Spirit, are our way out. As the goal of salvation replaces the goal of sin, our steps in the mist become clearer. Faith inevitably gives us the power of persistence, but we don’t recognize the tremendous power that is unleashed until we place our faith not in sin, but in love. It is then that the power becomes the reliable lifesaver that it is meant to be.

I was once described in a letter of recommendation as having an “indomitable will to succeed.” I took this as a compliment in the almost 20 years ago in which it was written. In this, I see a glimpse of the personal power that I (and everyone else) have. I now know that this “indomitable will” of that era was far too informed by the ego. It was a competitive bent that later would alienate some of my co-workers. What had worked well in our educational system worked less well in a work environment where cooperation was necessary to accomplish shared goals.

Now I know that this drive to succeed is laudatory only when it is not threatening to others.

When we turn to God, we know that our own will is weak without Him. Let His will inform our own, and we will soon be on the pathway back to God. We need to bend our “indomitable wills” to God’s way.

Want He, and we, want us to do.

Specialness Is of the Ego

It is quite likely that the basis for neurosis is specialness. Many of us see in others, perhaps more than ourselves, oscillations of personality that appear to twist and turn in the wind. Alternating between sweetness and hostility, these others can make our lives miserable if they have any power over us. If manifesting in a friend, these conflicting behaviors are puzzling in the least, personally damaging, even though illusory, in the most. Yet is the specialness, the neurosis of these others, all “out there”? The truth is that we all think we are special to one degree or another.

It is just to the degree that we ascribe to specialness that we are vulnerable to the ego’s assaults, whether as assaults emanating from another or from our own inner demons. It is then that we appear vulnerable to the world’s onslaughts. We are engaged in a dance, one to another, interlocking our complexes to fit, however unpleasant the dance may become. Sometimes we see our pride pricked at the point of greatest vulnerability; this is the ego’s greatest trial, a time of great opportunity if we can only see it thus. We are being shown what needs to be remedied in ourselves, how the ego needs to be undone. If we listen, we will find a great gift in the ashes of our former “triumphs.” We will let the ego wither away at this point of neurosis.

And so it goes with all points of neurosis. As they are shown to us, we must let them slip away. Jesus is able to heal a neurotic if she is cooperating with him. One way to cooperate is to take the intellectual framework of the Course and marry that to our relationship to our brother, our love, if you will. Then the mental and emotional meld as one, and we are on our way to full recovery as Sons and Daughters of God.

We Do Not Have to Learn through Pain

What has the ego-tainted world really exemplified? Only one truth: that the Son (and Daughter) of God is at war with God. If we understood God more, we would know that this is a condition too ridiculous to be believed. The Course says, “The Son of God at war with his Creator is a condition as ridiculous as nature roaring at the wind in anger, proclaiming it is part of itself no more.” (T-23.I.4:7) In our creation, God shared His Mind with us. That is why there can never be a conflict between His Will and our real will. It is only in an illusory world that we believe that to follow God’s will is to lose our freedom. Actually the reverse is the truth: to follow the ego’s madness is to head into chaos that always, in the end, leads to pain. A harmonious universe is impossible under these conditions. Pain begets more pain, assuring that at some point we will turn and say, “Enough!”

The awful pathway is, of course, so unnecessary. Jesus says that we do not have to learn through pain. We can recognize a better way, and in our moments of greater sanity, walk that pathway a few steps closer to Awakening.

Madness

As we have seen, the Course presents this world as a place of madness, full of violence and cruelty, projected from our own deluded minds. This world is therefore illusion, but we do not need to blame God for what we see, for this world is Heaven’s opposite (T-16.V.3:6) Even the food chain is based on a raw violence, and Jesus would say that we do God a disservice when we blindly dismiss the cruelty as “Nature’s ways.” The Course presents the world as an attack on God, meant to keep Him out and to keep the separation going. By projecting blame onto God, the ego does a good job at ensuring that we will continue to turn to it as our savior rather than to God. That this is patent magic, madness in the extreme, may not dawn on us until the pain of what we project becomes overwhelming. And even then we may blame God for our predicament.

The ego’s thought system is perfectly logical from within the thought system, as are most delusions. It is only the premises that are wrong, sending its world crashing down like a house of cards. From within our mind, it makes perfect sense. Madness is not illogical, though those in psychosis appear to the rational mind to be out of touch with reality. An all-embracing madness is just what has happened on a grand scale in our world, ruled by everyone’s ego. I once had a professor remark that everyone in mental hospitals thought that it was “we”—the ones outside of the hospital—who are “crazy.” He said, “What if they are right?”

Unknowingly, my professor presaged the Course a number of years before it was written. The Course does not say that our diagnosed mentally ill are actually sane, and we usually recognize that they are not. What may be happening, though, is that they are imperfectly seeing reality from another lens. This “other lens” may allow them to be particularly open to revelation. Certainly writers have drawn parallels between the schizophrenic mind and the mystic one. Both are swimming in the waters of their depths, the subconscious mind, but the schizophrenic may be drowning in it. The mystic, on the other hand, swims easily. This analogy is drawn from the writings of Joseph Campbell, an individual who has brought the myths of the ages home to all of us through writings that speak to our time. The Course would extend the definition of insanity to most of us in the world, most who are only partially, most who have only glimpses of true reality.

May we walk into the sunshine with Jesus, listening as we read the Course to what we need to do to emerge from the insanity of an illusory world.

We can do this.

Letting Go of the Ego

The Course says at one pivotal point, “This is a crucial period in this course, for here the separation of you and the ego must be made complete.” (T-22.II.6:1)

It is easier to let conflict die if one realizes that it is an emotion always of the ego. At base, the ego is fighting against God, flailing about in desperation because the world it has created in illusion is not good enough for it. And never could it be. Built on chaos, only chaos can ensue. But the ego cannot find its way out, because the only way for us to make our way to peace is to disown this hated part of ourselves, this insatiable ego–never satisfied, never content.

This is when the real “I” must come into play. We cannot fight the ego and win, because it grows stronger in strife. But we can quietly withdraw strength from the ego by failing to reinforce it in every situation that cries out “me first.” We can, over time, with care, see the ego just wither away. Jesus promises that though this feels like a death (because we are so closely identified with the goals of success, wealth, and materialism), we will actually find peace for the first time. We will know calm in the midst of any earthly storm in which we find ourselves.

The ego is not ourselves–that is the simple truth that in our ignorance we find so hard to accept. The quiet Self at the center of our being waits patiently for us to tire of our childish games, and tire we will once we see that never do they bring us what in our deepest heart of hearts we really want. In that deep place God dwells, and He would not be overthrown by a will ‘o wisp of insanity. The ego is pitted in a struggle that it can never win. The Course says, “Do you not realize a war against yourself would be a war on God? Is victory conceivable? And if it were, is this a victory that you would want?” (T-23.I.2:1-3)

If you have read this far, you are not so hostile to God that you blame Him for all the evil and suffering in your world and on the earth in general. We have only ourselves to blame for creating a drama that doesn’t work because the mind that created it is in a merciless war against itself. We must lay down our arms, and realize in the depths of our Being that there must be another way to look at our world, another way to live.

Ego Dilemmas

It has been hard for me to let go of egotistical striving. I was reared, as I am sure many of us were, to equate “success” with ego games–to equate the “good life” with having achieved. Part of me has always believed that actually “dropping out” was the way to go, and at various points in my life I have done just that, but never for very long. I enjoyed these respites, but ultimately I rejoined the success trap and sought in my everyday life and profession (especially profession) to achieve success because I knew that this had gotten me kudos as a child. Getting good grades was always highly regarded, and as a first and only child, this type of commendation was taken to heart in a big way.

When I discovered A Course in Miracles, I began to realize, as I read, that the egotistical striving that I was doing to “deserve” love, and my belief that only if I were successful would I have God’s stamp of approval, were just myths. Yet a part of me still wanted to strive, because, I told myself, what if I would come to regret a slowdown in the future? In my own case, library administration was my bugaboo. This is where the money is in librarianship, my profession, but more importantly, this also signals “success” in the eyes of my colleagues in my chosen field. What if I did not pursue this, and later felt sorry? The fact that I had not sufficient intrinsic interest in the responsibility that this would entail, or in the antagonism that I would likely incur from my subordinates (whom I would be evaluating) did not dissuade me, at least for a long time.

This period of indecision lasted fully 15 years. Once in a workshop that was boring, I wrote out five or six pages of reasons (pro and con) that I was considering for my next direction. Later, I destroyed the pages in an attempt not to be sucked back into this quagmire.

As the years were passing, I dropped big hints to my supervisors that I did not want to be considered administrative material. I said “no” before I might be asked. The fact that I was not asked (until later on) seemed only a minor point; in my egotism, I felt that I would be if I expressed interest. And I did not want to be faced with something that I might have trouble declining. I see the wiliness of the ego even in my indecision.

Later on I was asked. And it was largely a disaster that lasted scarcely two months, ending with me in a frazzle, resigning because my temperament rebelled. So, all along, my real self had been trying to get through to say that this particular pathway was not for me. I am a slow learner; it took trying it out to realize that my doubts (conscious and subconscious) knew best all along.

Let the ego battles go. Our inner Self knows the way we ought to go.

Projection Makes Perception

Never tell someone who has lived through a full-blown psychosis that projection does not make perception. He knows it does. The whispered voices (so real at the time), the images “out there” that appear but are not really there–all these become his own, and more.

I once had a friend who saw his mother enter a room wearing a black dress. My friend knew at the time that his mother was not “really” wearing a black dress, but the day was filled with the surprises of psychosis, and he went with the flow. Much later, with perceptions part of the mass hallucination once again, my friend confirmed with his mother that the image had been false.

Because my friend dislodged himself from the mass hallucination, he is better prepared to see that he is, normally, hallucinating on a grand scale, along with everyone else currently in his “sane” mind. Of course, students of A Course in Miracles know it is not really sanity that we all experience, but madness, in seeing a chaotic world. (T-25.VII.3:2) The Course says, “If you behold disaster and catastrophe, you tried to crucify him [the Son of God, your real Self]. If you see holiness and hope, you joined the Will of God to set him free.” (T-21.in.2:3-4)

Think about this a moment. When you are at peace with the world, experiencing a “holy instant” of love and hope, is there really anything that can upset you? However fierce the perception appears, you know that the world and all beings in it are in God’s hands. How wonderful it would be to extend this thought to all our waking moments!

God’s in His Heaven

There is an old saying that when one points a finger at another, there are three fingers pointing back at us. Make a fist, point the index finger, and immediately this saying can be seen as obviously true. The Course’s version of this old ego dynamic is “It is as certain you will fear what you attack as it is sure that you will love what you perceive as sinless.” (T-23.intro.2:4) Somehow we believe the old karmic truth, that if we attack, we will be attacked in return. But the glorious opposite is also true: See innocence and sinlessness, and these too will become our own.

Because all seeing is projection, in the view of the Course, we can understand that all projection makes perception. What we are seeing is a dream projected outward, and the world becomes cruel or kind based on our inner life. Even the worst of “sin” can be seen as unreal (being a dream), and as the Course counsels, we can say, “My brother, choose again.” (T-31.VIII.3:2)

All of us have had moments, perhaps fleeting, when God seemed in His Heaven, and all was right with our little world. These moments of peace can be expanded more and more to all our hours, waking and sleeping. All of our dreams can become benign. This happens when the truth that we are dreaming our world sinks in, helping us to see that what we wish is based either on turmoil or calm, the peace of God within. There is, therefore, really nothing to “forgive,” but we do need the exercise of forgiveness for ourselves (not God).

It is only as we forgive that we come to see that there is nothing to forgive. No one blames a loved one who acts in psychosis to perpetuate harm; we know that he is sick. Likewise are we insane, all together, even when not diagnosed as mentally ill. We all are trying to bring greater and greater areas of sanity to our deluded minds.

Golden Rule

A principal tenet in the Course is the assertion that what we would give to others is actually also given to ourselves. This dynamic can be understood on more than one level.

In the most all-encompassing way, we are the other, because we are one in God. We are all brothers and sisters under the skin. So when we feel this kinship in our especially loving moments, we are seeing the truth. In a second way of viewing, we see the playing out of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We see why this rule is important, the underlying truth that supports it. Because of projection, we will believe that what we think of others or do to others is being done to ourselves. Jesus sees this whole world as illusory and in the great projection that made it, we see our real desires played out in our everyday dramas. Thus, what we do unto others we do unto ourselves. There is no greater truth, no more persuasive argument to treat our fellow human beings with kindness and love. What we sow, we reap. As Jesus says (in the negative), “Seek to deny and you will feel denied. Seek to deprive, and you have been deprived.” (T-25.IX.8:2-3)

If we do not believe another worthy of forgiveness, we will not believe ourselves worthy either. Having refused forgiveness for ourselves, we will never offer it freely. So we have set up a vicious circle for ourselves. The only way out of this vicious circle is reject conflict and ask for help and guidance from a Power greater than ourselves. This Power—the Holy Spirit—will make it easy on ourselves. We can effortlessly to forgive when we come to believe that the deed that we feel unworthy of forgiveness, has been illusory. Our real Selves have not been touched nor harmed in any way. Out real life has continued unabated.

Only a loving God could come up with such a solution. We would have already destroyed ourselves if our deeds had real consequences. We live in an illusion that allows all choice, but at the same time that saves us from ourselves. And through these means we learn, finally, what is truly real and of value, worthy of further extension in Reality.

Save a Thousand Years

A difficult concept in the Course is the idea that we made the world; God created us, but we made (not “created”) the world. The metaphysical explanation is that we are projecting an illusion, and no one doubts very strongly that she “projects” nocturnal dreams. Seen in this light, it is a small step forward to consider that we do the same in our waking hours. Only the form of the dream changes. Even granted that we accept this, though, most of us, on some level, still think that we can derive knowledge of how to act in life from this projected dream. If it is the ego’s projected dream, such a conclusion is patently false. If it is the Holy Spirit’s dream, then we have a better basis on which to learn. The Course says that following the Holy Spirit is the “way out of hell” (M-29.3:11) for us.

Most of us, however, still do spend much time under the influence of our egos. This attitude, though, ensures that we are looking at projections from within. To take the projections of the ego as truth is to make an idol, to make a god, of something we made. Is this really very different from melting down our gold and fashioning a sculpture of Baal, while our better way is being written for us on the mountaintop? If we look to our idol–this world– to tell us how to act and what to do next, we are looking to a man-made god to save us. Most of us would admit that nothing in this world has ever “saved” us for long.

When we are under the influence of the ego, we are under the influence of an insane idea. It may coalesce our personalities, but we have given away all our real power. We should not give away our power under any circumstances. It is only the power of our real minds, informed by the Holy Spirit, which can offer us any hope. This is the promise held out by A Course in Miracles. It is only one pathway, but its pathway has the power to get us out of all bad dreams. It is one way, among thousands in this world, by which we can awaken. And Jesus promises that this way will save time for us. (T-2.II.3:8) We are promised, each of us, to save a thousand years (as the world calculates time). (W-pI.97.3:2) And that represents many years for the millions of people still trapped by ego-tainted nightmares of pain.

–from Out of the Maze, by Celia.

The Power of Belief, Part 2

If the world still seems just too awful, there is a solution, though it may sound a bit theoretical. The Course recommends that we not deny our sight, but affirm the truth: that what we are seeing is unreal. As others have said, it is all maya (illusion, though the Course does not use the term maya) and therefore can have no real effects, however painful the effects might seem to be. This means that our “real” Self has not been harmed in any way. In the awful circumstances that we view, there is a spiritual lesson that we are meant to learn. As we contemplate the meaning underlying the events, and forgive the events, we will be freed to see the blessing in our circumstances. And there is always a blessing, however deplorable the situation may be.

We need to take heed that we do not believe that the evil we see deserves retribution, for retaliation will bring the “evil” to us. Retaliation proves that the circumstance, in our opinion, is real and merits a “just” response to even the score. Actually by concentrating on the presumed evil, we are giving it more force, more power to hurt us. Basically, the force field itself will be stronger because we are fighting it. What ought we to do? Go within and gently release the sense of frustration and anger. We need to trust the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to forgive any and all deeds, however reprehensible they might be. Since these deeds are illusion, they are in reality nothing at all; they are a mirage that en masse we have created to speed our way Home.

We may have chosen unwisely, though, when we concentrate on the suffering and therefore make it more real to ourselves. If so, it behooves the wiser part of ourselves to choose again. Lessons from pain and suffering are, at best, temporary and meant to be a catalyst for change to a better way. It is the drawing of Love, felt through the Holy Spirit, that will finally take us Home. With projections made of this Love, our perceptions will be cleansed, and a new world of light and life will meet us where we finally come to live. This “new world” is the “real world,” (T-11.VII.2:6) and it will yet be ours as a world formed by the happy dreams the Holy Spirit gives.

–from Out of the Maze, by Celia.

The Power of Belief, Part 1

Note: For a while, I will post excerpts from my online book, Out of the Maze, the first section that describes Jesus’ attempts in A Course in Miracles to dislodge our ego.

These postings are based on A Course in Miracles, and the references are from the edition of ACIM published by the Foundation for Inner Peace.

The Power of Belief, Part 1

It is clear to me that the very belief itself creates the perceived conditions that would sustain the belief. A Course in Miracles says, “What you desire, you will see. And if its reality is false, you will uphold it by not realizing all the adjustments you have introduced to make it so.” (T-21.II.9:5-6)

The Course repeats frequently that projection makes perception. (T-13.V.3:5; T-21.in..1:1) Jesus assures that we see what we believe will bring us joy and happiness. The fact that we often do not find joy and happiness, and instead find pain and suffering, should lead us to question our premises. What are we doing wrong? Or what have we done wrong in the past? I don’t mean a strict interpretation of karma, but the Course makes clear that cause and effect are real. As Jesus says in the Course, the law of cause and effect is at work in our world as well as in Heaven. (T-2.VII.h) If we do not like what we see, it is up to us to change it by changing our thoughts and actions, those things that “cause” the “result” of unhappiness.

When we do make changes, even though in this world chaos rules, we learn that there must be a better way. How to find it? The Course counsels turning to our communication link with the Father, which is the Holy Spirit. (T-1.II.5:3) Under His tutelage, we will stop looking for attack, giving evil when we perceive that we have received it. We will learn to forgive, because even though we learn that this world is illusory, we realize that forgiveness works—it brings the happiness we seek! Slowly (perhaps) but surely we will cleanse our minds and hearts, and with this cleansing will come new vision to see a new, sparkling, real world. We will project from a heart that wishes to see good in all things, and wishing will make it so in our new perception.

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.”

We Ourselves Are Just OK as We Are

You perhaps see no ‘specific’ accomplishment in your future, but see instead a way of living as the ultimate accomplishment. You see living as who you are in the world as the accomplishment that is needed from you and yet at times you compare yourselves to those who are able to live as why they are in the world and accomplish certain functions within the world. You perhaps feel function-less and purposeless at times, while at other times, you feel as if you are being exactly as you are meant to be. (ACOL, D:Day19.1)

When we are of the way of Mary, and being is paramount, we may feel that we can see no accomplishment in this world. We can feel function-less and purposeless at times, but at other times, we may be at rest, and we may realize that we ARE doing exactly what we are called to do: be ourselves, whole and complete, a Self Who has realized completion in the time of Christ.

Our way of living is the accomplishment, and only if the ego tries to intrude again (though it has been banished) will we doubt our function. Know that remnants of the ego, its patterns, do still influence our minds, and it is these remnants that give us uncomfortable moments. We ourselves are just OK as we are.

Mary

Those of you who are the forerunners of the way of Mary may have felt confusion over your sense of calling. You know you are called to something, and something important, but it does not have a form within your mind and so you see not how it can become manifest in the world. In other words, you know not what to do. (ACOL, D:Day19.1)

There are forerunners to the way of Mary in our world today. They sense that, for them, they are simply to “be” in their relationships with others. Doing is not required of these individuals at all, though they may do much in the midst of being who they are.

These individuals may, in the midst of the busy doings of our world, feel cut adrift. They may feel that something important is asked of them, but they may be unable to give form and meaning to that conception. When this indecision happens, we are asked to simply abide in the knowingness that being who we are is all that is asked of us. This being will inevitably include our brothers and sisters.

There are some who will be significant others, our relationships, but in the long run, we are in relationship with all who share our Self, for the Self of union is universal. Be patient with all that is unsolved in our heart, and know that we are on the right pathway, when intuition has prompted a “being” rather than a “doing.” The rightness of this pathway will be proved by subsequent events in one’s life.

Being & Doing

Action is the bridge between form and the formless because action is the expression of the self in form. “Right” action comes from the unit in which doing and being are one, or in other words from the state in which there is no division between who you are and what you do. “Right” action comes from the state of wholeness. Being whole is being all you are. Being all you are is what the elevated Self of form represents. (ACOL, D:7.6)

There is a link between doing and being, for all of us. When we are whole, we are “being,” and in that state of being, we “do.” This means that we become “who we are,” something that becomes ever more important to Jesus in the last section of ACOL, the Dialogues. We share with others in this time of being who we are. We also don’t downgrade ourselves by imagining that we are not perfectly alright just as we are. We have been relieved of the ego, a learned state that caused much destructiveness to ourselves and others, and we are prepared now to discover (no longer “learn”) what to do and say. We perform what Jesus calls “right action,” a performance that can only come from wholeness, being and doing as states that we occupy together.

When we are all that we can be, we will occupy the elevated Self of form, a Self who derives its knowledge from the Self of union, the larger Self outside the dot of the body. The white space surrounding the dot is, thus, very important. And this white space (as well as the dot that represents our personal self in the body) is ultimately the All, the One, Who is God.

Transformation

What was created cannot be uncreated. Thus transformation is needed. The miracle makes you fully aware of the embrace and the consciousness of unity and places you outside of time. In this state, no duality exists. Doing and being are one. (ACOL, D:7.5)

The only circumstance under which what was created would be uncreated is if God ceased to love us. And this would never happen, we can imagine. We have never done anything so terrible that He, All Love, would deny us love because we have made mistakes. We have merely been calling for help in our misdeeds, and a call for help (and love) is met by Love, the greatest Love, from God, that can and does exist.

So, since we are not going to be uncreated, we know that we need transformation. And this transformation comes in the form of enlightenment, called in A Course of Love, Christ-consciousness.

A miracle will make this inevitable happening come about. We join in the embrace with the One, and with our brothers and sisters, and Jesus (another brother), and we become aware in a way that we lacked heretofore. The embrace is called upon many times by Jesus in ACOL. It is the recognition that we are loved, and that we are held tightly in that Love. We can appeal for love, we can ask for help, and we can cuddle with Jesus, as we lay our head upon his shoulder. The imagery is very touching as well as very profound.

When a miracle occurs, we are momentarily outside time. Outside time is where the Self of unity lives. There is no duality here, because doing and being are one. This somewhat mystical statement is not totally clear in this context, but it does reappear often in ACOL. We are to both “do” and “be,” in the way of Jesus and of Mary, and as time passes, we will move into just being more and more. We will live as Mary did, deriving our sustenance from relationship. Example lives such as that of Jesus will then be no longer necessary.

Being Whole

Being whole is being present. Being whole is being all you are. Being whole is being present as all you are. When this occurs you are All in All, One in being with your Father. (ACOL, C:26.26)

“Being whole” is the way that we are heading. It means being in unity, one as heart and mind joined, one with the Self of unity joined with the elevated Self of form.

When this occurs you are All in All, One in being with your Father.

Being One with God attests to our acceptance that God is living through us, that there is no division between Creator and the created. And we are the created, something we tend to forget when we are being arrogant. The “authority” problem, as Jesus describes it, is a main factor in our confusion anyway. This authority problem is the fact that we consistently forget that we did not create ourselves, that there is a Deity Who did.

And this Deity is living through us, with no division between Creator and created.

The Embrace

Time has ended and there is nothing you must do. Being replaces identity and you say, I am. I am, and there is nothing outside of me. Nothing outside of the embrace. (ACOL, C:20.9)

The embrace is a mystical Oneness with the All, the God-in-us and in our brothers and sisters—indeed, in everything living. There is a well-known passage in A Course of Love in which Jesus embraces us to give us comfort and emotional support. He lets us cry on his shoulder, for the journey has been long and hard, and we are weary and beaten down by the dust on the trail. He soothes all of that away in his strong, embracing arms. And we embrace him in return.

This is true acceptance. We have come to accept Jesus as our guide and partner in sustaining life that will be in the newly created world, a world that will arise with our effortless work as a result of revelation from God.

We Need Each Other

You have to forgive this reality for being different than you have always imagined it to be. You have to forgive yourself for not being able to make it on your own, because you have realized the impossibility of doing so. You have to forgive yourself for being what you are, a being who exists only in relationship. (ACOL, C:6.2)

We are beings meant to live in relationship to each other. A holy relationship that features love as its predominant feature.

We have tried, and failed, to be independent, autonomous, needing nobody and nothing. When we failed at that, we reached for a special someone who would answer all of our needs. And we failed at that, too.

Now forgiveness is in store, for ourselves and our God. Our ego got it wrong, believing that autonomy was the way to go. We are made for each other, interdependently. If we stop and think, we realize this even on a secular level.

Our society thrives on competition, but this competition, bottom line, means that there is somebody else who is very, very important to us. The few among us who recognize that cooperation gets us farther in the long run are surely coming to see that we need each other. And not only for love. We need each other simply to exist side-by-side in our crowded world.

Love

Love is not being nice when you are feeling surly. Love is not doing good deeds of charity and service. (ACOL, C:4.11)

Here we see that our preconceptions about love have been all wrong. Jesus gets right to the point: Playing nice when we are in a bad mood, “feeling surly,” fools nobody—not our brothers and sisters, not ourselves, not God. And most of all not Jesus. And our good deeds are like the “works” that St. Paul said were not sufficient for salvation; he said “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9, KJV)

And now Jesus is saying the same thing to us in channeled writing of the turn of the Twenty-First Century. We must be onto something important.

Embracing All with Passion

Note: I will post for a few days from A Course of Love, and then return to The Way of Mastery (Christ Mind Trilogy).

In your acceptance of doing good works and being a good person, you are accepting ministry to those in hell rather than choosing heaven. You accept what you view as possible and reject what you perceive as impossible. You thus cling to the laws of man and reject the laws of God. You claim your human nature and reject your divine nature. (C:P.11)

Trying, oh, just trying to be a good person won’t work, because it is missing the boat. As traditional Christianity espouses, we don’t get anywhere by doing good works, meriting our way into heaven. Even though faith without works is said to be “dead,” we need the faith, and the belief in Jesus’s central place (according to traditional Christian teaching).

A Course of Love takes a somewhat different tack. While we are encouraged to make a friend of Jesus, and to hold his hand while we go about our daily lives, this is not a requirement for salvation of the ordinary variety or of ultimate salvation, Christ-consciousness or Awakening. If we can just trust enough, and “be,” rather than “do,” we will see the value in resting in God’s love. The laws of God allow being as the best way to approach Him. We rest in His love, sure of our place in His ultimate form of reality. Our time on earth is blessed, for we don’t try to implore Him to accept us because we are being “good people.”

So we need to invite our divine nature to come out. And this divine nature is the inner Christ spirit that we all have. This Christ-Self learns, over time, because it is not omniscient. But this Christ-Self learns better than our egoic self (which actually learns nothing of value). Our human nature is mired in ego, until we see fit to thrust the ego off. Once we have done this, we are well-situated to see ourselves as the children of God whom we are.

We are not ever encouraged to be “do-goers” by Jesus. Just trying to do good works and trying to be a good person will not allow us access to Christ-consciousness. Jesus even says that by this idea we are “accepting ministry to those in hell rather than choosing heaven.” (C:P.11)

Of course, we do want to do good in this world, and we do want to be good people. But we put the cart before the horse when we cling to these two ideas as the way to get to heaven. God does not ask anything of us, anything except to give up fear and judgment, and cling to Love as our Answer. And this is not easy. Despite much soul-searching, we may still fall into fears. Despite our best efforts at forgiveness, we still fall into judgment of our brothers and sisters. When we are enthralled by Love, though, we fall into the right place. Fear and judgment become something that we can’t even comprehend anymore; we wonder why those two negative traits preoccupied us for so long.

It takes some mystical insight to truly learn how to love. Our special relationships have taught us badly, for they were made that love might turn back on us, turn into hate. Only when we transmute our special relationships into the holy will we fully know what damage specialness has done. And then we will recognize that we do nobody any favors by clinging to them as “special.” They don’t need our special love; neither do we. Our holy love embraces all of creation with a passion that is reserved for full understanding, not a passion that turns to hate if our expectations are dashed.

More of Christ Can Be Lived

“When you find yourself in a situation that you believe is too big, rest assured, it is because something big ha finally come to the surface to be healed within you so that more power can shine forth through you. Why? You have reached the place where you are ready for it. More of Christ can be lived.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 38)

If the something that we recognize in another seems particularly significant (here Jesus says “big”), then rest assured we are ready to heal something big in ourselves. It is NOT too big to be healed, but we do need help. Nobody heals themselves. We ask for help from God, and then the Holy Spirit moves to fulfill our need. We always ask for help, whether it be of the ego or of the spirit. And the spirit heals, whereas the ego drives us deeper into the morass.

We want more of Christ to be lived. And so we ought to be grateful for the big things that are shown to us, even the things that seem to overwhelm us. These overwhelming things assure us that we can’t, of our own, come back to stasis. We don’t have to imagine that we can handle it, because we know that we can’t. We are primed for reaching out, not for being independent and autonomous.

This is as it should be. We are meant to be creatures, children, of God, who live in a large world with many other beings who can help us. We are meant to be interdependent. And if a human being can’t help, if the thing is beyond human help, then the Holy Spirit will act on behalf of God.

These are reassuring steps in the path back to God. We are always helped at the point of need. We only need to turn inward, where the Christ-Self and the Holy Spirit reside, to know Who really helps us. We will sense what to do, if there is something that we need to do.

Thus is healing brought home to us.

Mirrors to Each Other

“Rest assured, you will continue to project upon others what remains unhealed and unforgiven within yourself. Each time you react to another, you are being given a sign that there is some kind of energy that has been presented to your awareness that you have not forgiven within yourself. If someone is critical and you react every time they are critical, rest assured, you have not healed that part of your own being—that part of your own experience of being critical of others.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 35)

Jesus is here describing how projection works. We see in others what we really have within ourselves. If there are unhealed parts of the self (and there always are), and we see something negative in another, rest assured that we are seeing it because we can identify with it. We are seeing as if in a mirror.

This is how we can heal. What presents itself in another, and we deplore, is something that we secretly deplore in ourselves. We do then immediately identify what needs “fixing” in us. The mirror has saved us from ourselves.

We would not respond at all unless there were something in us that recognized the deed, or word, in another. We see that deep within, we are guilty of the same.

This is actually a magnificent way for the cosmos to work. It is the way that we heal, sooner rather than later. We see something in another, and then we are moved (if we are smart about it), to heal that “bad” thing in ourselves.

Ask for help in this, for truly we are never alone in our agony.

Telepathy Is Real

“All minds are joined. It means that where you extend forgiveness within the consciousness, within your emotional field to another—whether they be physically present or not—you are extending to them exactly what you could extend to them if they were physically in front of you.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 35)

There is an energy that pervades the All. This means that forgiveness only offered in thought has the ability to be present in the thoughts of others, including the one to whom we are offering forgiveness. We can express internally our forgiveness, and then the next time that we meet the offender, that person will be more amenable to change. They have looked into our heart, even if they were not aware of what they were doing. And in the looking, there has been some measure of healing.

This does not mean that one can by-pass the “saying,” the words, of forgiveness. We still need to ask for forgiveness, if that is what God has placed upon our heart. But the way is first paved by telepathy.

Choose someone that you haven’t forgiven. Think deeply and well. Internally verbalize what moments of forgiveness you wish to offer. Remember what you have said.

The next time that you see this person, it is very likely, very likely, that the way will have been smoothed.

We live in an open universe, in which thoughts are not separate and alone. And now, in forgiveness, we reap the rewards of this open universe.

Divinely Selfish (and What It Means)

“If you ever want to come home, you are going to have to become very, very divinely selfish. You are going to have to become so selfish that you will not tolerate judgment in yourself—of anyone or anything. Because you will begin to recognize that every such act catapults you to the other side of the universe from where you want to be.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 33)

When we are “divinely” selfish, we know that all of us are in this together. We don’t give ourselves less attention than we shower on another. We know that it is in our best interests to give up judgment—for the sake of ourselves. Because we are all One, giving up judgment becomes in the best interests of everybody else as well.

Jesus shocks us with the word “selfish.” But when we know that all of us are of the same nature, the Oneness draws us to a new understanding, an understanding that all that is right for us is also right for other people, indeed for the whole world.

Judgment prevents enlightenment, Christ-consciousness or Awakening, from happening to us. The Way of Mastery was designed to catapult us into enlightenment. Jesus actually holds out hope that all the world can join us in this ineffable state. He has never before attempted to bring all of us to this state, en mass.

Be divinely selfish. Know that what works for one, works for all. And what is loving to one, is loving for all.

Let Love guide our way.

Our Experiences Are Stepping Stones Home

“The very thought that you would claim as your own from which you have created the world of your own personal experience is also literally the result of your prayer to awaken. And the Father is creating—assisting you to create—just those experiences as stepping stones that carry you from where you are to where God is.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 31)

Yes, stepping stones show us the way. The way to where God is. And these stepping stones are smooth and stable so that we don’t dash a foot against a stone, causing a tumble.

When we create our personal experience, that personal experience shows us the way to awaken. Our prayer to know what to do is all that it takes. God does the rest. That is an unequal contribution, and perhaps we think that somehow, in some way, we need to do more.

This is a false thought. We need, as A Course in Miracles says, only a “little willingness.” God does the rest, ALL the rest. Our unequal contributions from the Holy Spirit, and from ourselves, have nonetheless accomplished what seemed impossible.

We are home, in God’s arms, at last.

STRUGGLE NOT

Note: This article was published in Miracles magazine, January – February 2019 issue (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

“Out of His lack of conflict comes your peace. And from His purpose comes the means for effortless accomplishment and rest.” (A Course in Miracles, COA ed., T-VI.13:7)

“All that you retain is a belief in effort and a struggle to be good and to do good, a belief that clearly demonstrates that you have rejected who you are.” (A Course of Love, C:P.13)

When we launch into self-help mode, struggling to be better than we really are, then we are on the wrong track. Nobody, by effort, can effect great change. This is the ego’s plan, and it is a bad plan. The ego would have us fail continually, until we give up, turn against God, and decide that nothing we can ever do will make any difference anyway.

The quotation above from A Course in Miracles points out a better way. We know “effortless” accomplishment when we are depending on the Holy Spirit to rule our days. And we know the same when we follow the Christ Self, as A Course of Love would have us do in this time of Christ.

How might this effortless accomplishment come about? I think that quiet contemplation is the real way of change, effortless change. When we turn inward, we are merging with our Maker, for we are made of God-stuff. When we turn inward, calmly, we often intuit that things are not as bad as we thought when we judged ourselves as guilty. Our true innocence leads to self-acceptance, and this self-acceptance is being who we really are, something that A Course of Love champions.

Of course, we have not been perfect in our lives. We may have hurt ourselves and other people; we may have been guilty of violent acts. The Answer (which we all know) is forgiveness borne of the certainty that rescue is available. As faulty as our behavior may have been, we acted as well as we could, given our level of understanding at the time. And this is true for everyone.

Now we know better, for A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love both show us the way to a life of being who we really are, innocent children of God, no longer in a struggle to change by force of personal will. We listen to guidance, and in restful listening, let the Holy Spirit or the Christ Self take over. And thereby does change become effortless.

Turning toward Home

“Therefore, when you awaken in each of your mornings, look around. Who is that person sleeping next to you? They are your perfect companion. They are a messenger from God. For just behind your experiences, there is something deeper taking place. Because your mind is resting right next to the Mind of God, when you first say as a soul, ‘I want to awaken, I want to go home,’ the Father answered your prayer and began to send the thought through your Spirit and through your soul to your conscious mind:

“I know how to direct you home. Give up this career and start that one. Move from this location to that location.

“You began to feel all manner of impulses. You began to read different books. You began to do different things. You met someone and fell in love. All by accident? Hardly! (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 31)

Our way back to God, back home, is calculated with no accidents of salvation. There are no accidents at all! This may be hard to accept, especially if we have had hard times, but the fact is that our souls have planned our contract with this world. Everything has had a reason, part of the plan, though we will never understand it all this side of the veil of death.

When we receive promptings of where to go and what to do, what to say, even what to think, we are receiving promptings of the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Self. As soon as we indicated that we were ready to turn toward home, God answered. And this Answer was beyond anything that we could imagine, in most cases, better than anything we could imagine.

If the day seems grim, just be patient. God does not intend us to suffer. The way back is clearer without pain. We learn better without pain, but through blessings.

This way is without the lamentable happenings that have given us grief. This new way will save us for a happy today and tomorrow, one that we could not imagine in our most wondrous imaginings.

Healing from Within

“You are literally creating everything you choose and nothing is forced upon you.

“Now we are going to take that thought just a little deeper for a moment. It literally means that if you have decided you want to awaken, you have already called to yourself every experience that can truly best serve your awakening. The friends, family and people you have relationships with are those who likewise can best gain from the experiences elicited through relationship with you. It means that right here and right now you are already demonstrating the power that you are seeking—the power to truly choose to awaken, and to command the whole of creation to serve you in that awakening.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 30.)

We seem to have something to do with our Awakening. This is a step beyond what we were told in A Course in Miracles, when we were told the fact that God makes the decision, and we must simply wait. We were told, of course, that we can remove the blocks to the awareness of love, and this will make a huge difference.

The Way of Mastery stresses that each subconscious thought and feeling must be brought to the surface of the mind to be healed. We can aid in this process, and thus have a more direct influence upon when the Awakening for each of us occurs.

We are surrounded with everything that will prompt our Awakening. We have always been.

We are particularly surrounded by relationships that are mutually helpful. And we have always been.

The Way of Mastery is designed to lead us to Awakening. That is its stated purpose. We can contrast this to A Course in Miracles, which was designed to dislodge the ego; and A Course of Love, which was designed to establish a new identity. But all three recently channeled works do work together, for their message is the same—heal the illusory separation from God, and rejoin His fold.

The World Will Change

Note: On another blog, “Sonnets Love & Divine,” I am beginning a series of divine sonnets, poems to God. The first of three, written, has been posted so far. I am drawing from A Course in Miracles, A Course of Love, and The Way of Mastery.

I welcome your visits and/or subscription. Here is the link:
http://elizabethansonnets.wordpress.com

Thank you.

Love, Celia

“I have said to you many times that the world you see is nothing more than the effect of the thoughts you have held within the mind. Therefore, awakening requires the act of vigilance and discipline. The discipline to cultivate a way of living in which you observe your own thoughts, in which you listen to the words that are coming out of your mouth, in which you observe the feelings that are evoked within your body, the reactivity that seems to own you, and to see these things as innocent and simply self-caused.” (WOM, Chapter 3, Page 29)

We are innocent creations of God, and when we realize that we are self-creating our world, we will have taken a step in the right direction toward Awakening.

We often react to the world as if it were doing things to us. But it does nothing that we have not first instigated. And the nothing that is the world will blossom into something much grander when we have realized that we are creating what we see.

This can be scary. Who really wants to believe that we create our own reality? Frightening in implications, isn’t it?

But it is true, a New Age truth that has come of age in Jesus’ new channeled writing.

We need to do a little self-monitoring, nothing what we are saying, and in that noting, to realize that we can feel better when we choose our words more carefully.

Our thoughts are creating what we experience. Thought always creates form on some level; there is no exception. This is how we have built up our world. Each invention that has smoothed our way in the world began with a thought.

And then that thought manifested.

Everyday reality is no different from our scientific advances. All have come about because we first thought it.
If we don’t like what we see, we need only change our thoughts.

The world will change automatically.

Change from Within Works

“Imagine then, a society in which the prevalent legal view is simply that your brother or your sister is an aspect of yourself. And if you would help yourself, you must help them—meeting each cry for help and healing with forgiveness, love and support. Can you imagine, for a moment, what it would be like to live in such a society? How would it be different than the world you see?

“If you would have these things be different, it must begin with you. For the way to heal the world is not by seeking to change what is on the outside, but by first changing what is on the inside. When that change has occurred, you will become a conduit for an energy that knows how to use your gifts, and how to place you in just the right situations. And a great power will work effectively through you—the power alone that knows how to heal your world.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 29)

The truth is that we ARE aspects of each other, for we are One. And this One includes all the people in the world, as well as all energy everywhere. If we realize that to harm another is to harm ourselves, we will be less likely to strike out. In fact, we won’t strike out at all.

This truth becomes clearer when we realize that we think we have been harmed, and we want to lash out. Why would we hurt another as we have been hurt if we are all the same?

We wouldn’t. I can imagine that even our penal system would alter tremendously when we realize that we are all One. We all have the potential to harm.

We need to meet bad things with an attempt to heal. Everything negative is actually a call for help and healing, and when we realize this, and express a desire to help and heal, we are on the right track.

We can’t actually alter the exterior unless we have first altered the interior, our very propensities emanating from our personalities as well as our souls. This is what traditional Christianity says, including the orator Billy Graham. The buck stops here. We are in need to change, first, before we can take that change and influence our world—indeed, even create a new world.

Change from within works. Nothing else does.

Projection Makes Perception

“What is projection? Projection occurs when there has first been denial within yourself. Projection is an act in which you psychically try to throw out of your ownership everything that you have judged as being despicable or unworthy or you—something you do not want. So you project it. You will throw it up and out and let it land on whomever happens to be nearby. Projection is the effect of the denial of the first axiom that I have given you. It is the denial of the truth that:

“Nothing you experience has been caused by anything outside of you.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 3, Page 28)

We are in the driver’s seat. We create what happens to us, though not in our personality but in our soul.
We project when we feel unable to handle life in any other way. A Course in Miracles says, “Projection makes perception,” and this truth also applies here. We essentially see what we want to see. We are, in fact, projecting our illusory world. And we see what we imagine in our depths.

If we listen to intuition, we are less likely to create reality in a way that disturbs us. If we know that we take a risk in sharing something close to our heart with a less-than-sympathetic listener, then we are foolish to take a risk like that. We have here been the cause of our friend’s lack of sympathy, and we would have been saved from experiencing this if we had just listened to guidance. We have, in effect, projected what we are experiencing. The perception will hurt us if we are not attuned to intuition and avoid saying the troubling thing.

We see in others what we don’t want to acknowledge in ourselves; that is why we have projected it. If it is “out there,” we feel less responsible for it.

But this is a chimera, an image that has no truth. We are no less responsible because we project. We have bound ourselves to it. And until we get our mind straightened out, a mind informed by the heart, we will not walk a green earth.

Project only what will not hurt. Don’t take unwise risks. Our intuition will, in fact, guide us in every situation, at every time.