Orthodox Question

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Who are you?

asks the priest

high plumed in radiant robes.

Who are you?

a second time

repeats the accent verb.

Who are you?

comes again

and echoing through ears

which having heard

the triplicated liturgy

more times than three

reflect upon the ancient worship form

that claims the right

of sense and sound

to challenge chattled children

of the Sacred One.

And we who hear the story

may ponder poverty of thought

when we so gladly give reply

with surname, nation, or career

and watch slip through our fingers

the gem-stoned opportunity

to show our true identity.

Giving & Receiving as One

“Others represent the accidents waiting to happen, love that is not returned, the withholding of things you deem important.  This fear that you feel in relation to others is as true of those you hold most dear to you as it is of those you would call strangers.  It is the very independence of others that makes your own independence seem so important to you.  Dependency is not consistent with your notions of a healthy self.  What, then is the alternative?

“The alternative is believing in giving and receiving as one.”  (A Course of Love, T2:7.2 – 7.3)

We are in unity with others, but we often don’t encourage this unity because of our fear of these same others—even our most significant others.  We think that being independent of needing other people will serve us best.  We think being close with others will lead to an unhealthy dependency.  But is this in line with A Course of Love?

Absolutely not.  We give and receive in tandem when we follow the dictates of ACOL.  We know that independence is not so very healthy, that the opposite of independence is not dependency, but a heartfelt joining of ourselves to other people.  We give them our love; they return our love.  The giving up of our solitary nature is actually a most joyful undertaking—when we realize that we were never meant to be isolated and alone.  We are meant to share with others, to live in a partnership with others.  Why else would the world have so many people?

We are meant to join and to share, giving up our prideful isolation in a choice to give and receive as one with other people sharing our world.  This choice will give us joy.  Can it be so wrong to choose what will make us happy, avoiding the false independent nature that has failed us so many times?

Living in Unity

“In unity, all that you desired was participated in fully by a mind and heart combined in wholeheartedness.  You knew your Self to be the creator, and loved all that you created.  You did not desire and fear something at the same time, and your desires did not change from moment to moment.”  (A Course of Love, C:18.14)

We are now living eons past the time of “first” unity.  This first experience of unity cannot really be recaptured as a sense impression now, but it can be recaptured as we move farther along the pathway back to God.  We lived eons ago in wholeheartedness, knowing ourselves as a creator, a co-creator (if you will), of God Himself.  But because of something that couldn’t really happen, but did (the “tiny mad idea” that A Course in Miracles discusses), we fell from grace into an adolescent rebellion.  We weren’t patient enough to come into the fullness of our Being, our Self.  So we coalesced around a false persona, driven by an ego that we made ourselves, and we fell into deep despair as a result.

We can return to the unity that we have forgotten.  It takes patience and abundant willingness to capture what we have lost, but the recapture is God’s intention for us, and so he is right there helping us every step along the way.

Don’t get depressed that the way seems too long and tortuous.  It may be long, but the way is not tortuous at all.  Not with all the help that we are being given.  Our way back is assured—indeed, has always been assured, from the beginning.  God’s will only takes time in the working out, and time does not really exist, for we live in eternity.


From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

The messenger arrives

to tell the laughter

and those who bother

listening regard him

as some street-smart

stand-up comic

and muffle chuckles

at absurdities he declares

and shares

more personal examples

than they care to hear.

He goes in search of faith groups

but they are telling their theology

each to each as memorized

from ragged texts of faded ink.

He goes in search of children

and they pretend to hear

but he observes them

playing rhyming games

with words he speaks.

He goes in search of kin

and scarce does utter simple phrase

but finds himself derided

for his clothes and style

of hair and questioned

on current war debate.

Retreating to his chamber

relishes delight


the banquet he enjoyed as

honored guest

and apologizing to his Lord

he offers sorrow

that no one wished to hear

about the feast prepared

especially for them.

The Ego’s Madness in Our World

“Seek not to make the Son of God adjust to his insanity.  There is a stranger in him, who wandered carelessly into the home of truth and who will wander off. . . .Ask not this transient stranger, ‘What am I?”  He is the only thing in all the universe that does not know.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-20.III.7)

We are all insane to one extent or another, if we have not yet awakened, that is.  And most of us have not yet awakened.  This quotation gives a particularly poignant description of the “stranger” who has wandered in and occupied the place of our Self.  This stranger does not know who he is, and this stranger is our egoic self.  So we do not know who we are, even though asking “What am I?” has become the preoccupation of most of us.  We are bade not to ask of this stranger what we are, for the egoic self does not know.  The egoic self puts faith in things of this world, seeking always more, more, and more.  This is the way of the ego’s version of truth, for “more” is insatiable for this egoic self.

We need to set our sights higher, to the Guide we have been given.  The Holy Spirit will answer our query about what we are, and He will answer us immediately.  We are the innocent Son of God, occupying a self who has lost his way a little while, wandered into madness, and will eventually wander out, never to return.  This self will be transformed into the Self that is God’s Son.  And then the pain that we have known in the self that we have occupied so long will be no more.  We will know ourselves to be an innocent risen Self, at home at last in God’s world.

If we doubt this, we need only take a look at what the egoic self has made of this world.  Do we really think that this sad and dreary world is of God’s creation?  If we look in all honesty, we would have to say that either we are insane or God is.  Is it not more likely that we ourselves are insane, making a world that knows not of God, and knocks us about in hostile and profane ways?  

The way home to God may seem long, but once begun the end is certain.  And we will find our way home, never fear.  We walk an easy way when we turn to go back to God.  Our times smooth out, and we know joy again, for the dreams that we dream become happy, because these dreams are given by the Holy Spirit.

Our minds are no longer fully asleep, and we are not longer fully mad.  We will know joy again.  And in this assurance will we know peace, even in this world.


by Celia Hales. Published in Miracles Magazine; Jon Mundy, publisher; Glenn Hovemann, editor.

I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts. (ACIM, COA ed, W-23)

When anyone attacks you . . ., they are merely crying out in their own fear and insanity.  (WOM, Part 3, Lesson 31)

The time has passed when the forces of ego attacked the truth with all their ferocity.  (CHOL bk 7, 5:I)

No one who has studied A Course in Miracles can forget the first quotation above; it is a mantra.  The world in Workbook Lesson 23 (of 365) is a world in which attack rules because we have not traveled far back to God.  Our first step is to change our own attack.  When we drop attack, we find that the sword we have been pointing at our heart has a blunt end.

The next lesson is a reassurance about the attack that we still perceive from others.  The Way of Mastery says that what we are seeing from others is really coming from fear and insanity.  I have found that when I say internally, to myself, “This is just insanity,” my own insanity subsides; I don’t want to attack in return.

Finally we reach the place of Choose Only Love.  Our world has become calmer now, and attack has taken a much secondary place–if we see it in ourselves or others at all.  Attack has actually been a ploy of the ego, and when the ego and its egoic patterns have been sufficiently weakened and then dissipated, we are living in a new age, the time of Christ.  Now life will get better, a lot better.  We will find in most of our moments that we experience the happiness that God wishes for us.  Perhaps happiness has been a long time in coming, but come it does.  Life without an egoic propensity to attack–and be attacked–takes on a mellow, pleasant aspect that is the essence of God’s peace.  And where God’s peace reigns, happiness reigns.

We see this in the spirit of Christmas, which as I write is ending for another year.  Even egoic people drop their defenses once a year.  If we retain God’s spirit, we know the spirit of Christmas year-round.

And that is what leaving the ego behind does for us.


From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

I hold with concave hands

an empty bowl

and pray as I sit

gazing at its contours

and ready space

this glad receptacle

for what might come.

I look

and pray

for all the empty bowls

and bellies sat beside them

whose pangs make known

the hollow hunger

crying to be filled.

I look again

at potter’s vessel

remembering I came from clay

and cry out “fill me

with living water

pouring down and through

the sacred round impression

in my soul

to help the hallowed hungry

fill their bowls.”

Express Ourselves!

“We have talked about the expression of feelings.  It is necessary.  For this, first we travel the path of the silence of the heart.  Then we allow being to express itself.  The manner in which this expression is realized will vary, given the vastness of what you are.  Embrace, sing, dance, cry, moan.  Express yourself!  – Choose Only Love, bk. V, 20:III

Jesus is here channeling the progression to Awakening, or enlightenment, also called Christ-consciousness or metanoia.  We are so diverse that never ought there to be any judgment about how our enlightenment unfolds.  Choose Only Love, in seven volumes, has as its purpose the healing of memory.  There is a progression to the healing of memory, for as The Way of Mastery also points out, all aspects of the mind must be brought to the light by coming up from the depths of the subconscious.

This may sound hard, but never forget that God is in charge.  And also we have help from other realms.  It is God’s will that we progress to our next stage of evolution, to Awakening, and for this our mind and heart work in conjunction.

Let our heart lead.  The message is in our feelings, and there is great depth as we touch God directly through our feelings.

He will do the rest.  God is also a “She,” and so we need to become accustomed to this terminology also.  God is also our Divine Mother.

A New Way of Remembering

“Perhaps you consider this review to be unnecessary.  However we repeat it here given the forgetful nature of your minds–a feature that won’t last much longer.  You are at the threshold of remembering fully the truth of what you are and of sustaining that memory in a continuous way.”  Choose Only Love, “Echoes of Holiness,” bk. 1, 15:III

Choose Only Love continues this thread of thought/feeling in Book IV, “Wisdom,” and so the quotation conveys important points.   We are becoming forgetful, for a time, as our memories are healed.  The healing of memory is the purpose of the seven books of Choose Only Love.

As our thoughts fill with new understanding, the old survival needs are reduced and then eliminated.  We know what is true for us by revelation from God, not our admittedly flawed thought processes.

We discover that as we progress toward Awakening, transformation, that our mind, informed by our heart, clears–and we “float” in assurance that God, in revelation, will bring to mind all that is important or necessary.

We have more help now.  And we are freer.  We no longer need to struggle in our remembering.  We can rest assured that God is in the background, prompting us about everything we need to know.

The  Challenge

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

The boast brought forward

the challenge tossed

as one would hurl a hand grenade

to startle eyes that thought

pulled pin meant sudden death.

But verbal confrontation

is all the giant brings

as David and Gawain

and other folklore heroes

stand pondering

the greater good

and fathomless fear

that sticks them to the spot.

And we

the Jacobs and the Percevals

wreak havoc in the wrestling ring

with neither stone nor strap

nor any lethal means at our dispose

but only question ringing in our ears

demanding answer from

our battle-shy reserves.


called to combat

full well knowing

that conquest is impossible

and imminent death awaits

sudden resolve

are seized

and see ourselves step forward

an instinctual response

that knows we must

engage or never know

the essence of the giant or ourselves.

The boast brought forward

the challenge tossed

as one would hurl a hand grenade

to startle eyes that thought

pulled pin meant sudden death.

But verbal confrontation

is all the giant brings

as David and Gawain

and other folklore heroes

stand pondering

the greater good

and fathomless fear

that sticks them to the spot.

And we

the Jacobs and the Percevals

wreak havoc in the wrestling ring

with neither stone nor strap

nor any lethal means at our dispose

but only question ringing in our ears

demanding answer from

our battle-shy reserves.


called to combat

full well knowing

that conquest is impossible

and imminent death awaits

sudden resolve

are seized

and see ourselves step forward

an instinctual response

that knows we must

engage or never know

the essence of the giant or ourselves.


From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool: Journal Entries Inspired by A Course in Miracles. Copyright 1995.

I am gradually giving up my habit of taking on more – more – more.  And then having to pull back.

A Course in Miracles says that the first obstacle that peace must flow across is the desire to get rid of it. (T-19.IV.A.1:1)  

How true!

Dare We?

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Dare we defy tradition

concerning the Creator

and Sustainer

and Redeemer

whom we love?

Dare we turn upside down

mores ecclesiastical?

Dare we pluck grain

when hungry bellies cry for food?

and dip a cup in some strange well

to quench authentic thirst?

or speak as messenger of Him

who many messengers recruits

to tell the truth

through insights

to be judged by all who hear

as to the source?

I say we must

since we complete our  trinity

on Sabbath and/or any other day

and this flat world

more circles needs.

Your Wings Will Become More Robust than Those of an Eagle

“Your being observes, is silent, waiting.  Little by little it begins to take flight.  It rises above all thought and all emotion.  Little by little it begins to feel comfortable in the heights.  You still fear the fall, but very soon even that fear disappears, for your wings will become more robust than those of an eagle.”  Choose Only Love, bk. 5, 7:II

These are angelic words from Choose Only Love.  These words describe the new era into which we are moving, when many, many people will come to know Christ-consciousness.  The being that we are has to become easy with this transition, and this angelic choir says that we are ready.

What a wonderful promise from on high!  Our minds will change as we become accustomed to transition.  Our fear will drop away, and we will soar with newfound knowledge.  Our past learning will drop away as we let our memories fade.  We even read that we will, for a time, become forgetful as this new era dawns, as our old, inaccurate thoughts no longer trouble us.

But our wings will let us stay aloft.  A metaphor like this makes our hearts soar.  Ask today that this change happen in our lives.  Ask today, sure that God Himself has waited for us to be ready for just this day.


From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Poets tell us

God pursues us like a hound

tracking us through

intricate life mazes

in hope of being able

to effect a turning round

enabling encounter.

And our running hastens

all the necessary dead ends

before the labyrinthine center is found

and turns us round to face

the spiralings our travels made

and watch as they become the seamless ring.

Poets also tell us

God as magnet strong

contains such powerful properties

that all our lives

a pull beyond our will

is tugging at the life line

invisibly connected to our soul

which moves in constant yearning

toward yearning’s source.

What poetic imagery

can lure our spirits

to magnetically participate

in movement one to one

so that we’re caught tight

locked in love?

How do we let ourselves be caught

and drawn to what might cease our fleeing ways

and settle us to restful days?


From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool: Journal Entries Inspired by A Course in Miracles. Copyright 1995.

Norman Vincent Peale counseled pacing in daily life (though he did not call it that).  He writes that, if in God’s own time, it is not there, it was not meant to be there.

 This also works to mediate against precipitous action.

I don’t know that it would work in a life-threatening situation, but in my own life and work, I know that considered action and going with the flow (not bucking the tide) is what works.

Bear Lightly What Needs Must Be

From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool: Journal Entries Inspired by A Course in Miracles. Copyright 1995.

Is suffering a choice?  Leigh says “yes”; Betsy disagrees.  And neither has had a particularly happy life.  

The fact that suffering might be chosen should give us the impetus to walk lightly along our paths.  As the sympathetic executioner is reported to have said to Socrates on handing him the hemlock: “And so fare you well, and try to bear lightly what must needs be . . .”

Germinated Seed

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

A germinated seed


and pushing through brown loins


to the greening wonder.

Second leaf set

manifests the tell-tale traits

of parent plant

and stem grows taller into stalk.

Wind and drought and sometimes too much rain

bend and break and cause disfiguration.

But somehow sensing essence

we know ourselves to be

this tree of life

and  hope to bear good fruit

from roots’ deep reach

into primordial soil.

Let Our Heart Embrace with Love

“For it is the embrace with perfect self-honesty that returns the mind to sanity.  It is the refusal to be honest that creates the conflict and tension in the mind that is called insanity.  And insanity is a state in which the mind is not at peace, and Christ cannot enter therein.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 269)

A Course in Miracles also says that we are living in madness until our minds and healed, and we walk with God.  All of us, and this is an arresting truth.

It sometimes helps in an altercation with loved ones (which happens to all of us) that we silently say, “This is insanity.”  We can’t ask our loved ones to be closer to God than we are, and ACIM also says that the one who is more sane at the moment has the imperative to cool things down (a paraphrase).

We need, as this passage says, to embrace whatever is happening.  Not to turn away from it, which makes for unnecessary conflict.  Choose Only Love also reiterates that embracing what is happening is the way we escape from what is troubling us; to try to avoid it is to invite further pain.

If Christ cannot enter us when the mind is in conflict, A Course of Love says that we ought to turn to our heart for a solution.  Yes!  This channeled work holds the key.  

Let the heart rule, for the heart will choose embracing, with love, just all the time.

Let the heart do its work, and all will be well.

Don’t Try to “Possess” Love

“Because love cannot be contained because love is life in all its abundance, then we can easily understand that behind the desire to possess objects is the desire to possess love.”  Choose Only Love, bk.2,1:I

We ARE wanting love–with all our heart.  But the idea of possession is, I think, wrong.  When we possess, we want to keep it all to ourselves.  And love, by its very nature, is a sharing concept.  We reach to our brothers and sisters, and when we love them unconditionally we don’t want to hinder their growth by holding so tightly.  If need be, we love enough to let go.

Loving Freely & Without Fear

“You who do not know how to trade your separated state for that of union have still done so when you have loved freely and without fear.  In this state your memory returns to you of who you are, and you are innocent and joyous and one with love itself.  That this memory does not last, and these feelings seem unsustainable, is the result only of that which does discard and replace.  As we have said before, there are but two emotions.  One is love, the other fear.  Fear, through your own choice, replaces and discards love.  Fear is always strongest when you value something that you feel may be threatened.  Love threatens most your specialness.  Before your conscious mind has any awareness of what is happening, your memory of love, of innocence and of joy, threatens your specialness, your ego, your separated self who quickly rushes in with love’s replacement.  Nothing but fear could take the memory of love from you, or replace so quickly the glory that is your nature with the specialness that is not.”  (A Course of Love, C:14.28)

Fear is of the ego, and fear is a game changer in the hope of reaching Christ-consciousness.  We cannot, in fact, reach enlightenment when we still entertain fear.  But, the rub, how to stop the fear that so often threatens to engulf us?

Prayer is one answer, in all likelihood the best answer that we could ever devise.  And it is not our idea, but an intuition and an experience that comes from God.  Our prayers put us in alignment with something greater than we are, and this Someone has the power to right our little world immediately.  We don’t have to suffer anxiety any longer; it just dissipates when we start to pray.

Meditation is similar, of course.  We go into a zone-type of thinking that eases our minds.  We don’t actively think at all; we focus on a sacred word or our breathing.  And the miraculous effect takes over.

Talking with a treasured friend is yet another solution to fear.  Others have known the same fear that we dread, though often we think that we are all alone because they haven’t told us about their anxieties, wanting to appear strong and solid to us.  This is a fallacy, of course, which we will come to see when we converse intimately.  All short of enlightenment are victims of the fear mongrels that rob us of peace of mind.

Think a bit of the practices that have given us peace of mind in the past.  Of course, like all things, this fear, too, shall pass.  But there are a myriad of practices which can speed fear along its way, never to return in quite the same way again.

Trust that guidance will lead us out of the darkness of our anxieties and our fears.  Trust that choosing to be unity one with another will be an almost magical solution to an intractable problem.

No Sacrifices!

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

“I abhor sacrifices

burnt offerings and the rest”

God said

again and again and again.

A contrite spirit he desires he says

but we

set on action

works righteousness embrace

while denial words erupt.

Why sacrifice preoccupation

if not on God’s priority list?

Easier to wallow in the guilt

of wanting to be human

than plumb spirit contrition

for what that might mean.

We neatly set the formula:

someone has to die.

Not I

Not I

we say

and think we can breathe free

as hanging on the cross we see

the one supposed sacrifice

the oe who creed says pays the price.

“No sacrifice!” God screams.

“When will you understand

that your spirit I desire?”

Being – Not “Doing”

From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool: Journal Entries Inspired by A Course in Miracles. Copyright 1995.

Just “being” in life is affirming and good.  I don’t have to “do” all the time.  I have to realize that doing “more, more, more” to justify my existence is not necessary.

Postscript 2023:

How many of us want to “do” to prove that we are somehow worthy to occupy space on this Earth ? I suspect that this dynamic is ego-driven, and we all know that the ego is a failed experiment.

Jesus’ Questions

“What do I need to let go of?  How deep can my self-honesty go?

“How wide can my compassion for life spread?

“What actions am I actually taking in this world?

“What am I defending?  What am I afraid of?

“Am I willing to become so powerful a conduit for Christ that I take on responsibility for the atonement and tell Jeshua to move aside?”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 268)

Jesus shows a sense of humor when he channels, live, in The Way of Mastery.  Jesus’ sense of humor here is representative of occasions in the rest of the book.  Here, of course, Jesus is using his other name, the name he is said to have used 2,000 years ago, Jeshua.  He does need our hands and feet to save the world, but certainly he won’t be stepping aside.  And neither could we succeed in his work in the world if he did.

The questions are quite helpful to self-reflection.  Take them one at a time, and see what they show about us.  They will take us toward giant leaps in our progress toward Awakening.  I see that Jesus mentions compassion, which always comes before love when we are walking the pathway back to God.

When we let go of the things that we know are holding us back, there is no limit to how much we can help Jesus.

Soft & Warm Heart

From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool: Journal Entries Inspired by A Course in Miracles. Copyright 1995.

A Course in Miracles says, “I can escape from the world I see by giving up attack thoughts.” (W-pI.23) Jesus means that the “real world,” a dream granted by the Holy Spirit, is without the conflicts that most of us experience in the modern, work-a-day, world.  The miracle comes about because of inner changes in a person.  

Even the most conflicted day loses its punching power when one looks out on the chaos from a soft and warm heart.


From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Witnesses we are

we’re told

of all things seen and hidden

of all that streams before our eyes

of all that

capturing our senses

stirs the longings of our heart

of all remembered

and in Holy Writ encased

of all the lives of saints

and martyrs

of all the creeds and dogma

and catechism’s questions

of all the politics and power plays

and petty tyrants’ tantrums

of all that cries out to be said and done

and battles for fair justice won

of all the acts of our one life

commissions’ haughty pride

but  omissions’ guilt we hide

and ’neath it all

a yearn to witness

something strange and beautiful

a breaking

of the finitude of being

a splitting of mortality

a quenching of

the hunger and the thirst

a witnessing

becoming bread and wine.

We Are the Light of the World

“Rejoice in this concrete, perfect means to enlighten the nations.  You, specifically you, are here as the light of the world.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 10:IV

This assertion, made by Jesus in a scribed work, Choose Only Love, is meant for each of us reading his words.  Think of the gift given to us, to be the light of the world!  And we can be this, rather than doing a prescribed set of actions.  Being is extolled above doing just all the time in Choose Only Love as well as A Course of Love (also scribed by Jesus).

The only way, the only way, that we can fulfill our purpose is to live in love–not as a sometime thing, but a constant.  When we don’t live in love, we lose ourselves in patterns of the egoic fear that is still with us, with us out of habit of mind–not heart.  The heart, our center of being, knows better.  And we feel with our heart, we ARE loving.

Ask what effortless thing we might do today as we live our being.  Service in the world is what we are about, even as so are the angels who attend us.  

With a determination to “be,” we will be happy.  Nothing can deter the living out of an era that has now arrived, the time of Christ.

He asks us just to remember, and in the remembering from an ancient past, we are healed.


From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Comes the scribe

with ink of pen

filled with words and

more than words

that flow as from an artist stylus

engraving permanent incisings

as the point inscribes the heart.

And the message?

Only this:

“Know thyself  as thou art known

Know thyself  to be my own

Know thyself as purely formed

on that vast creation morn.

Let the false laws be erased

That thou might know me face to face.”

God’s Plan

“An apparent death which led to eternal life happened long ago.  It happened when time was conceived, although only two thousand calendar years ago, was it seen by human consciousness.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 7:III

This assertion is being channeled by Jesus, who lived that two thousand calendar years ago and was the central figure in the drama that still captivates the world today.  There is a plan, and here we learn that the genesis of that plan occurred before time entered our universe.  It is possible that we don’t understand this, for many are the mysteries that surround the origin of the universe.  But Jesus also lives now outside of time, and we can respect his assertions as being true.

There is a plan for our lives, too.   We are not blindly following things in our lives that on the surface don’t make sense.  The plan culminates, eventually, when we are old, with the blessings that Joseph Campbell said were “very sweet.”  It is only as time passes that we are given the wherewithal to see the “why” of our lives.  And only when we have passed the test of true love.

God couldn’t let His universe exist as a place a place in which love was ambivalent.  Certainly the universe would have self-destructed.  Resting on love, all things eventually work out a plan that blesses us.  Love draws us, for our joy is so complete when we open to love that we want nothing else.

This is the plan that Jesus’ life embodied.  And it is fascinating that the plan evolved before time made its appearance.

There are more things in Heaven and on Earth than we have dreamed of.  Let us thank God that His plans always work out perfectly, even though with free will we might avoid love for a time.

Ego vs. Choosing Peace

From Celia’s Images in a Reflecting Pool: Journal Entries Inspired by A Course in Miracles; copyright 1995:

The re-entry problems at work on Monday are not physiological or even psychological for the frequently cited reasons.  After “flight” on the preceding two days, the body gets up once again to “fight.”  And the more relaxing the flight has been, the more likely the fight will bring fears.  

One has let down one’s guard, and the ego doesn’t take kindly to peace.  It knows its days are numbered if its owner should ever learn to choose Peace consistently.

Righteous Indignation

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

My anger I define

     as righteous indignation

and puff myself

        upon a pedestal of power

passing judgment

     as becomes one who

         as though he’d found the truth

  as does a washer woman

     who seeks abrasive cleaning agents

then sets about to scrub

     until her rage against the dirt

transfigures into prideful satisfaction

    of a job well done.

Bring Heaven to Earth

“Getting to Heaven is no longer an attraction.  Bringing  Heaven to this world is.  Bringing light to darkness is all that matters.  Constantly desiring to bring greater light to your darkness is the way in which you live,  moment by moment, desiring greater light, greater light, and greater light.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 268)

It seems a bit surprising that our time on Earth has shifted into a movement to bring Heaven to this Earth.  We can do this, first in our own lives, and then in the lives of others.

When we give up the ego as an unworkable idea, we are primed to live in love always, and love is what brings Heaven to Earth.  

When we truly and completely fill our minds and hearts with the love that we crave, we ARE bringing Heaven to Earth.

Start today.

Invitation to Determine Our Purpose in Life

“In the depths of your heart is inscribed the purpose of your existence.  Knowledge of that purpose is what we call the wisdom of the heart, an essential part of your self.  All carry it.”  Choose Only Love bk.3, 7:III

As we read this third book of the series, Choose Only Love, we discover that our purpose, the purpose of all of us, is to be who we really are.  The way in which being who we really are will play out is going to different for each individual, for we are distinct, though all are one in Christ.

Obviously, this knowledge is meant to be reached once we have following along our pathway, once we have given up the ego, and we are living as the children of God, no longer thwarting Him, sure that His will and our true will are one and the same.

Do spend time today figuring out what your particular mission is.  If you have read this far in Choose Only Love, you have rejected egoic claims on your life. And now is the time to be clear about what your real purpose is.

There can be few better ways to spend time.

Offer Lilies to Jesus–and to Our Brothers & Sisters

“I have great need for lilies, for the Son of God has not forgiven me.  And can I offer him forgiveness when he offers thorns to me?  For he who offers thorns to anyone is against me still, and who is whole without him?  Be you his friend for me, that I may be forgiven and you may look upon the Son of God as whole. But look you first upon the altar in your chosen home, and see what you have laid upon it to offer me.  If it be thorns whose points gleam sharply in a blood-red light, the body is your chosen home and it is separation that you offer me.  And yet the thorns are gone.  Look you still closer at them now, and you will see your altar is no longer what it was.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-20.II.4)

Here Jesus is speaking of the way in which we react to him.  How we respond to Jesus will testify to how we respond to other brothers, brothers in this world now.  We may think that we have nothing to forgive in Jesus, but do we also have nothing to forgive in other brothers?  The dynamic is the same.  If we can offer lilies to Jesus, we can offer lilies to all of our brothers.

There is a clear metaphor in this quotation of our inner altar, and Jesus tells us that our altar is not as it has been.  We have traveled far enough along toward salvation that we are no longer offering thorns to either Jesus or other brothers whom we encounter.  Our altar has been purified, our inner altar, where our inner Self reigns.  We are facing a different world than we did in the past, and it behooves us to show a different face to this different world.

Previously, just recently, we chose separation, and the thorns were sharp and gleamed sharply in blood-red light.  We are no longer offering separation, though, for from our pure altar we see a different world, and we react differently because our projection from within (making perception of the world) is different.

This day we choose once again.  We choose not to offer separation to any brother, including our brother Jesus.  We offer salvation by our forgiveness of the words and deeds that have come from our brother.  We do not take any attack personally.  We know that we are seeing an innocent brother who only seems like an enemy because he is lost in madness.  Today it is given us to remove a bit of that armor from him by accepting him totally, recognizing that inside him is a perfect altar where his Self resides.  He may be offering us thorns, of course, but we don’t reciprocate.  We offer lilies, and in this offering is all the world saved.

Transcending Faith

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Clinging to umbilicals of faith

I pray

asking for more

of what is needed for belief.

Tightening my hold

on something beyond hope

I deepen my resolve

to discipline as avenue to creed.

Clenching my grip

on what I have decided must be true

I wait for confirmation

and as I wait

fatigue comes over me

and causes slackness in my grip

and I drift into sleep

and dream reminds me

of the circle that some large birds make

as if to redesign the sign for God

who whispers to my soul

that I was made to soar.

I see the image of the eagle

in my mind’s sharp eye

and with the eaglets

air ready

I suddenly take flight.

Our Decision Gives Us Joy

“The crucified give pain because they are in pain.  But the redeemed give joy because they have been healed of pain.  Everyone gives as he receives, but he must choose what it will be that he receives.  And he will recognize his choice by what he gives, and what is given him.  Nor is it given anything in hell or Heaven to interfere with his decision.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-19.IV.D.20)

Decisions about our salvation are up to us.  And the decision that we have made is evident from our demeanor.  We don’t have a long face if we have been healed of pain; we are joyous, and our countenance reflects joy.  If we are in pain, we will show that we are still crucifying ourselves by our choices for judgment and attack, fear and isolation.  We are not sharing the good that we could with our brother.

If we do not feel ourselves to be redeemed, we will give pain, for we are still in pain.  Only our redemption frees us to experience the joy that is our inheritance from God.  If we give pain, we will experience pain, for giving and receiving are indeed one.

Yet all decision is our choice.  We are choose the things of God, and be comforted, out of pain.  We then give this better feeling to our brother, who is made joyous by our happy face.  It is indeed imperative that we watch our facial expression, for if we would be the Self that God intended, we must manifest this to this world.  Seriousness is always of the ego.  It is a lighthearted attitude toward living that best promotes the way of the Holy Spirit.  We cannot have a good witness to the world as long as we are caught in the serious demeanor of egoic thought.

If we find ourselves looking sad and depressed, perhaps we ought to take internal inventory of what it is we are thinking.  Have we let our salvation become questionable?  Are we sorry that we have not sustained Awakening yet?  Are we holding grievances against our brother?  What is causing the unpleasant nature of our witness?  

The Holy Spirit will guide us to a more pleasant expression, and this pleasantness will begin on the inside, where all emotion starts and then is expressed outwardly.  If we have given the world less than our best today, perhaps we ought to stop a moment and to figure out why.  There are vicissitudes in our experience of the world, but when we realize that this world is an illusion, we will be less ready to take on its disagreeable aspects.  If we listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit within, we will adopt a good interaction with our brother, even in this sad place.  We will know that God Himself would not have us focused on our dejected feelings; He lends us His Voice to give us the forbearance to see the world but not be affected by its turmoil.  The Holy Spirit, God’s Voice, will get our thinking aligned with His, and all will be happiness and light again.


From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

Awake! and keep awake!

While eyelids close

to give the body rest

touch not the lashes

of the Spirit’s ever watchful orbs.

Exercise the practice

of the cloistered one

who regularly rising

through the patterned hours

commits attention to that which

beckons him beyond

the chronos of the calendar

to events foretold

in sand grit

sharp as any irritant

to mollusk or to man.

Read instructions writ small

around the edges of the mind

before the sea salt blurs the words

and the search begins again

for clues and crumbs.

Hoist lightning-quick antennae

to catch the faintest quiver

to transmit to relay stations

information for the soul.

Kairos commands:

Keep awake!

Faith & Real Hope

Note: The book mentioned in this post, Choose Only Love, is available from Amazon in both print and e-book formats. It was received by Sebastian Blaksley in recent years.

“Despite understanding little of what is said, still you go forward with faith and real hope, because your heart knows.”  Choose Only Love, bk.2, 6:I

When we begin reading the seven volumes of Choose Only Love, we are still largely lost in confusion, despite the blessings of what is said.  Enough has not yet been said to clue us in completely.

But as we move forward in our faith and in hope for what we know is a good treatise, we discover more.  And our faith and hope are justified.

The caveat is that our heart knows, has known all along.  When we listen to our heart, we merge with the Divine, with God, for all of us know that He is Love, and in ourselves, the heart is the center of our love.

Be with us as we read further in Choose Only Love.  Let us pause frequently to absorb the love that emanates from its pages.  May God’s blessing be upon our reading.


“The mind in conflict with itself is dangerous to itself, and of course, by extension, to everyone else in all dimensions.  Therefore, indeed, beloved friends, beware of those that come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  Beware of the viciousness of the ego within your own mind.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 266)

We live in insanity until we have relinquished the ego.  And when we are in real conflict, it is quite likely that either the ego or, later, egoic patterns, are pushing us around.

If in conflict, resolve the difficulty by getting quiet and going within, where God will meet us.  He will show us a way to forgive the “ravenous wolves” that other people seem sometimes.  And He will show us how to drop our own viciousness, a viciousness that always comes of fear, and fear is always of the ego.

Rest in His mercy and His love.

It will be enough to set us back on the road to sanity, the road to Christ-consciousness.

Shepherd’s Lament

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

My sheepness

sometimes speaks

in my attempts

at good Samaritan-like deeds

and warms my heart

with knowing

I have passed on grace

and am perhaps

a vessel used by God.

My goatliness

is something else.

Omissions can be numbered every day.

Perhaps I see

the whiny and the wimpy

and overlook the need.

Perhaps I turn away annoyed

at one who

seems to want

to bleed me dry.

Perhaps I give

my version of tough love

to those who

need a listening ear.

And yet my goat

consumes my life.

My goat in independence fierce

has no desire

for goatherd to direct its path

or take its milk.

My willful goat

prefers reliance on

resources of its own.

I know not how to give up goathood

and be a sheep of God’s own fold.

I sense division in my soul

and know not means

or cause to form reunion.

Oh God, come separate!


Take best of both

and make me whole.

Love Is Welcome

“You exist, quite simply, because of your relationship with love.  Love is the unity you seek.  In having chosen separation over unity, you but chose fear over love.  When you let go of fear and invite unity to return, you but send out an invitation to love and say you are welcome here.”  (A Course of Love, C:11.18)  

Being welcome is an attribute of friendship, and being “friends” with love is something that we all can do.  We need to realize that we are one (unity), and in this realization we are inclined to love more than fear.

Of course, we can’t always banish fear.  We are particularly prone to fear’s ravages early in the morning, when the whole day looms and we are apprehensive about what lies ahead.  At such times we need to make a determined effort to calm ourselves down.  Over time, we have developed some of these techniques:  writing in a journal, meditation, deep breathing, quiet conversation with your significant other (if time permits), petting a beloved animal.  All will make small increments to erode fear.  And, as time passes, fear will become more of a stranger in our lives.

We feel ourselves separate and alone when we face the day with apprehension.  We are living our comfy homes for a sometimes terrifying outside that seems to wish us no well.  These are the types of thoughts that replace love with fear.  And it need not be so.  The outside world is as much in need of our love as are our nearest and dearest.  Give a helping hand to those we meet outside our homes.  And then they will seem much less the bearers of bad tidings, or, at the last, uncertain tidings that give us cause for fear.  Love with a whole heart, knowing that we actually are safe when we set our minds to creating a beloved world.

How to Remove Conflict from Our Experience

Note: After this post, I’m going to take a few days off to finish editing and then publishing, on Amazon, a book of sonnets. Thank you for your views. Love, Celia

“The mind in conflict with itself is dangerous to itself, and of course, by extension, to everyone else in all dimensions.  Therefore, indeed, beloved friends, beware of those that come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  Beware of the viciousness of the ego within your own mind.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 266)

Even if we have largely given up the ego, it still sinks into our awareness with patterns of egoic thinking that have not been banished.  So we are still prone to conflict because our minds/hearts have not fully integrated.  When our heart speaks to our mind, we are moving in the right direction.  Turn aside from conflict in all its guises, for conflict is of the ego.  Just simply ask for a solution to whatever problem presents itself, and know that God is listening.

Self – Reflections

“Beloved friends, take a moment and simply cultivate deep self-honesty by merely answering these questions:

“Have I ever had a murderous thought?

“Have I ever manipulated another mind in order to try to gain what I believed I needed?

“Have I ever withdrawn love for the subtle reason of causing hurt, or trying to cause hurt to another?

“Have I ever had disrespectful sexual fantasies?

“Have I ever hated the world?

“Have I ever despised myself?

“And last, but surely not least, for in truth, if you would consider it, all of those questions emanate out of this one:

“Have I ever hated God?”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 264)

WOM also says that enlightenment is a state in which the world—and the world is not outside of you, the world is the context, the thoughts, images and perceptions that you have attracted to yourself—can no longer hold power over you.

Deep self-reflection is necessary if we are to find God in our lives.  All of us have done things that we regret, but God stands ready always to rectify the situation.

When we reach enlightenment, we will have entertain the subconscious impulses of our minds, and, if we are fortunate, we will know that the best way is to turn to our hearts for a solution.  Our hearts are informed by our God who dwells deep within, living through us.

Let not our perceptions of an outer world diminish the love that we feel from deep within.

Shepherd’s Lament

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

My sheepness

sometimes speaks

in my attempts

at good Samaritan-like deeds

and warms my heart

with knowing

I have passed on grace

and am perhaps

a vessel used by God.

My goatliness

is something else.

Omissions can be numbered every day.

Perhaps I see

the whiny and the wimpy

and overlook the need.

Perhaps I turn away annoyed

at one who

seems to want

to bleed me dry.

Perhaps I give

my version of tough love

to those who

need a listening ear.

And yet my goat

consumes my life.

My goat in independence fierce

has no desire

for goatherd to direct its path

or take its milk.

My willful goat

prefers reliance on

resources of its own.

I know not how to give up goathood

and be a sheep of God’s own fold.

I sense division in my soul

and know not means

or cause to form reunion.

Oh God, come separate!


Take best of both

and make me whole.


“Silence can be cultivated in a number of ways.  Initially, it will look like something you do through the body—to breathe deeply and rhythmically, to sit next to an ocean, to sit beneath a tree and become absorbed in the wind.  Or to merely practice the ancient art of remaining silent without speaking as you go through your daily events.”  (“The Way of Transformation,” The Way of Mastery, Lesson 22, Page 263)

We all need silence, but we live in a noisy world. We all talk a lot, too. Cultivating silence in our daily rounds may be easier than practicing meditation consistently, and being silent as we contemplate is, to my mind/heart, a recommended substitute.

When we are silent, we can listen to our innermost world; we can go within. There is richness there. As we know, God dwells within all Creation. And He will speak to us when we get quiet enough to hear. I don’t mean something audible, but a knowing that gives us guidance for our next step.

Just quieten down, outwardly and inwardly. After a hectic holiday season, perhaps we all could use some silence.

Soul Seed

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

How can the seed deep buried

in soul soil

come to be

experienced by him

whose personhood

the husk through which the proof displays?

Must plowmen come

to gash encrusted earth

and dislodge rocks?

Must fertilizer be applied

to supplement the meager means

within the seed to germinate?

Must cultivators come

to loosen ground

to stimulate a movement toward fruition?

Must harvesters come

to gouge the ground

and finding ripened tuber

pull it out?

Is flooding

as in rice production


to swell the secret source?

If we knew how

to help someone


selfhood’s glory

what joyful task we’d undertake.

As it is

we risk ourselves

in prayer.


“As Christ you are the light of the world.  You are illumined by the light of the Lamb.  You are already living a new era in creation.  You have completed your path to truth and are ready to accept the eternal revelation of love.”  Choose Only Love, bk.2, 6:I

This quotation is speaking to the true believer, the one who has walked far along the pathway back to God, and is ready simply to rest in love.  When we walk far, we know that the only reason for life on earth, the only purpose, is to discover how to love.  Sure, we want to grow also, because an angel bends over each blade of grass, saying “Grow, grow.”  And angels accompany us on our pathway of growth also.

But love is the main thing.  

When we love enough, everything else falls into place.  

All The Saints

From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

We sing

to all the saints

who from their labors rest

to honor those

who with us form

this priesthood of believers

and pondering their steadfastness

in sorrow and adversity

wonder how our reckoning

might fare

we whose labor

sometimes seems in vain

and other times too little

and often lacking energy

succumb to guilt

inherent in the standard

for what we think life calls from us

they who rest

would free us

from our sense of shame

would for us the load make light

and road make straight

and bid us lean into

the open arms that beckon us

simply to be.

Self Perfect in Love 

“The only replacement that can occur that will accomplish what you seek is the replacement of illusion with the truth, the replacement of fear with love, the replacement of your separated self with your real Self, the Self that rests in unity.”  (A Course of Love, C:9.24)

We see that A Course of Love makes parallels of illusion and truth, fear and love, and the separated self with the real Self, saying that a replacement of illusion, fear and the separated self needs to be made—with truth, love and the real Self.  This is salvation, this is the coming to know that we will find in fullness in Christ-consciousness.  Until then, we can see only rare glimpses, some longer than others, but still temporary.

This is the only accomplishment that we seek, and on some level it has already been accomplished, for Jesus says that we are The Accomplished.  But not in any egoic sense, of course.  We have walked the whole pathway, and now we find our way back to retrace our steps.

It doesn’t have to take long in the life of any individual, though the return may take a very long time for everyone on earth.  Make no mistake:  This is what we are about, the eventual return of everyone to full sanity, which means that we are in communion with our Creator and we have walked into the real Self through Awakening.


From Ann Glover O’Dell’s Midwifing the Soul:

My mind streets wind

no measured architectural plan

designed to make my town

orderly and neat.

Musings like a messy house unkempt

with windows smudged

and chimney soot

and unswept steps

displayed for all to see


Public buildings unattended

stucco crumbling

floors unpolished

ceiling fixtures dangling loose

Blighted wasted space

with little probability

of restoration

to a former blueprint state

Suddenly the child runs past

with playthings tightly held

his lively chatter to himself

beckoning my spirit out of entropy

to shed the shackles of despond

Following his voice

through streets of clutter

I find his destination


the playground!       

come frolic

with the children



who gravitate

to crystal pond

where wetting feet and hands

baptize each others’ heads

pronouncing laughter benediction.


come look and listen

for God is here.

Loving Our Brothers & Sisters in This World

“Heaven is the gift you owe your brother, the debt of gratitude you offer to the Son of God in thanks for what he is, and what his Father created him to be.”  (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-19.IV.D.19)

A new idea, that we “owe” Heaven to our brother, because of what he is, because of what he means to us, because of the gratitude that we owe to him.  He is our way back to God.  We need never to forget this.  He is the means that A Course in Miracles is using to save us time on the road to Awakening.  When we forgive him for his mistakes, his errors, we are also forgiving ourselves, for there is no difference between him and us.  We are truly one in God.

God created our brother to be a Self, Christ within, and we need not to forget this.  When we are grateful to him, we find our way to express thanks for him being in our lives.  We know that without him, not only would we be lonely, but we would be lost in “sin,” actually mistakes.

When we see mirrored in another our own probably misdeeds, we know what we need to forgive not only in himself but in us.  We would be guilty of the same thing, if given half a chance.  All of us have fallen short.  But we are saved from judgment by refusing to judge him.  Our brother is the holy Son of God, the means of our Awakening.  We owe him only gratitude for what he has been, is being, and will be to us in the future.