Our Heart Knows

“In its characteristic upside-down way, the ego has taken the impulses from the superconscious and perceived them as if they arise in the unconscious. The ego judges what is to be accepted, and the impulses from the superconscious are essentially unacceptable to it, because they clearly point to the nonexistence of the ego itself. When this occurs, the ego experiences threat, and not only censors but also reinterprets the data. However, as Freud very correctly pointed out, what you do not perceive you still know, and it can retain a very active life beyond your awareness.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.3:1-4)

The quotation for today alludes to the concept of the mind to which Jesus subscribes. The superconscious is “above” us, devoid of the ego, and is actually a bridge to God, the Holy Spirit, the Christ-Self. Freud, misunderstanding, called this part of the mind, the “superego.” As this quotation points out, the ego actually has nothing to do with it.

The conscious is our normal waking awareness.

The unconscious sinks below thought, but is still (unlike what Jung thought in his “collective unconscious”) unique to us. Jung thought that underneath, we all think the same, and in some sense this is akin to an awareness of our Creator, God Himself—a Source found, according to Jesus, in the superconscious.

We don’t have to fully grasp these differences in consciousness to make use of them. Helen and Bill, co-scribes of A Course in Miracles and psychologists, would have been very attuned to this portion of ACIM. Jesus would be talking right up their alley.

We do still know what is in our mind, even when we are not conscious of it, and then it causes a subtle (or not so subtle) uneasiness. It can affect our actions, something that we all know. When we are driven by schemas that draw upon childhood conditioning, we are very lost in the mind.

The solution, according to A Course of Love (what many believe to be a continuation of ACIM), is to draw upon the heart. The heart by-passes the confusion of the mind, because the heart doesn’t demand proof of what it knows.

The heart just knows.

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Kingdom of God: United & Protected

“The Kingdom is perfectly united and perfectly protected, and the ego will not prevail against it. Amen.
“That was written in the form of a prayer because it is a good thing to use in moments of temptation. It is a declaration of independence. You will find it very helpful if you understand it fully.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.2:8-12)

This is a declaration of independence from the ego, not independence per se, for we have learned that independence is a goal that we can never win. We always ask advice of something/Something before we act—either the ego or the Holy Spirit/Christ-Self. Of course, we are not often conscious of this advice-seeking behavior; we think that we are autonomous.

The Kingdom of God is that with which we are One, and it is protected by the power of God Himself. We cannot ultimately fail. We will find our way home. It just might take a while.

This is not to be discouraging, but Jesus did say in A Course of Miracles that it might take “millions of years” for everyone to return home, for everyone to heal the separation from God. Even though this separation is actually impossible, because we are a part of God, it can certainly seem real enough to us, making return necessary. We have to heal our minds. We have to watch the subconscious contents make their way to the surface to be healed. All of this does mean that Awakening is not possible for all of us as immediately as we would like.

The Kingdom of God! Let us rejoice that we are actually numbered in its Whole.

Kingdom of Heaven Is Within

It is difficult to understand what ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is within you’ means. The reason is because it is not understandable to the ego, which interprets it as if something outside is inside, which does not mean anything. The word ‘within’ does not belong. The Kingdom of Heaven is you. What else but you did the Creator create, ad what else but you is His Kingdom? This is the whole message of the Atonement, a message which in its totality transcends the sum of the parts (as we have said about the sonship before).” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.V.1:1-6)

“The Kingdom of Heaven is you.” Yes, we are the children of God, created out of “God-stuff,” and constituting His Kingdom. The Whole differentiated into parts so that experiencing could proceed forward. When the Godhead knows the All, experiencing is not really possible, because, knowing all, there is nothing left to be discovered. So we, His children, fall into ignorance in this world, experiencing all the time in part, sometimes intuiting the Whole, Who is God Himself/Herself.

This scenario takes care of our yearning to know more and more of God. We accept our finite mind, and we rest in the assurance that the Mind encompasses us, keeping us safe, getting us out of jams that we collect like fireflies. God as the Infinite knows how to extricate us from that which we made ill-advisedly. And so we would be wise to listen to the Holy Spirit or the Christ-Self to know how to proceed in this sometimes confusing world.

We need to drop the ego. We have said this many times to ourselves, but perhaps we don’t know where to begin. Don’t resist the ego, for the ego becomes strong in strife. Just turn aside gently, avoiding that which calls to the egotistical and egoic in us.

This will be enough. Over time, the ego will simply wither away as a bad idea. The ego is, as Jesus defines it in A Course in Miracles, a false idea of what we are, a false persona. He does not use the term ego as Freud did, when Freud wanted us to form a strong ego as we matured so that we would be ready to meet life’s challenges. Jesus’ concept of the ego is this falsity, and we know that falsity is nothing that we need or want. When we embody the soul, we are embodying the whole of ourselves, what Freud was really trying to get at when he defined “ego.”

Our persona is informed by the Christ who is within. When we turn to this self, we are turning to what will work as we travel through this land.

Move toward the Holy Spirit

“The ego cannot survive without judgment, and is laid aside accordingly. The mind then has only one direction in which it can move.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IV.9:4-5)

We are often, in A Course in Miracles, encouraged to give up judgment. Giving up judgment is a prerequisite for Awakening, because we simply cannot dwell in the new world we are creating when we are judging others and ourselves.

Goodness, we even judge God! And especially Jesus, who is but our elder brother seeking to help us.

This type of nonsense must be stopped. We cannot live more appropriately until we realize that evaluating others, and thinking negatively of them (and ourselves), is folly. And we want to live appropriately. Our happiness depends on it.

The one direction that the mind can move is toward the Holy Spirit, a holy spirit that embraces us with love, and teaches us how to love. This one direction will save us. This one direction will tell us all that we need to know to live satisfactory lives in this illusory world.

Listen Today

“Consider the inevitable confusion which must arise from a perception of the self which completes the sentence stem “When I was completely on my own” with “I had no idea what was possible.” The ego does believe it is completely on its own, which is merely another way of describing how it originated. This is such a fearful state that it can only turn to other egos and unite them in a feeble attempt at identification or attack them in an equally feeble show of strength. The ego is free to complete the stem “When I was completely on my own” in any way it chooses, but it is not free to consider the validity of the premise itself, because this premise is its foundation. The ego is the belief of the mind that it is completely on its own.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.IV.5:1-5)

We are not completely on our own, though we try to live out a reality like this when we are caught in the ego. And all of us have been caught in the ego for eons.

That is changing. More and more of us are realizing that trying to be independent and being led by the ego are a bad deal, not worth another minute’s notice. When we allow guidance to come into our head, we live much better. We learn this very quickly. The guidance derived from following A Course in Miracles is coming from the Holy Spirit; as we progress farther along, A Course of Love tells us to listen to the inner Christ-Self, for its guidance is also true. Both ways are valid in this time of transition from the time of the Holy Spirit to the time of Christ.

Are we completely on our own, when we follow the ego? We are not, though we may cling tenaciously to this belief. We can never be on our own. We consult either the ego or our inner guidance from the Holy Spirit or the Self. We are never on our own, however much we may think we want to believe this.

Being independent is a false notion. Our world has trained for this, but how often have we fallen on our face?
Many times. Eventually it will dawn on us, as it did on Helen and Bill (co-scribes of ACIM), that there is another way. And this other way is a better way.

Listening to guidance is the way out of our quagmire.

Listen today.

Harmless & Helpful

“Whether you know it now or not, however, you have willed to cooperate in a concerted and very commendable effort to become both harmless and helpful, two attributes which must go together. Your attitudes, even toward this, are necessarily conflicted, because all attitudes are ego-based. This will not last. Be patient a while and remember what we said once before: The outcome is as certain as God!” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.III.9:1-4)

So we are to be both harmless and helpful, an assertion that tells us how to interact with our brothers and sisters. We may sometimes become angry with them, but anger is not a sin, and when we regroup, we will realize a better way is to live and let live. Nothing more. We will not attack in retaliation, being harmless. We will seek proactively to be good to others, being helpful. These two words, harmless and helpful, give us a mantra to take us through our sometimes stressful days with our brothers and sisters.

We are going to make it back to God; the outcome is certain. Once the journey back has begun (and it has begun for all of us reading and writing this), the end is a clear thing, a certain thing (as Jesus tells us). We need not agonize that we are doing things all wrong, because we are doing the best we can at any given time.

Continue reading “Harmless & Helpful”

Being Home-Free

“The question is not how you respond toward your ego, but only what you believe you are. Belief is an ego function, and as long as your origin is open to belief at all, you are regarding it from an ego viewpoint. That is why the Bible quotes me as saying, ‘Ye believe in God, believe also in me.’ Belief does apply to me, because I am the teacher of the ego. When teaching is no longer necessary, you will merely know God. Belief that there is another way is the loftiest idea of which ego thinking is capable. This is because it contains a hint of recognition that the ego is not the self.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.III.7:1-7)

The ego is wily, but the day will come when Jesus resigns as our teacher because the ego in us is no longer. Jesus announces this alteration in his interaction with us in the final pages of the sequel to A Course in Miracles, the heartwarming book called A Course of Love. Belief is no longer necessary then, because we “know.” This knowing gives us great relief, for we are no longer straining to know what seems just beyond us. Our knowing is very immediate.

Jesus has been striving to rid us of the ego throughout both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love (and The Way of Mastery). He rests in the knowledge that he will succeed in his effort, and so he does not have to struggle at all. We all will know eventually that there is another way, a better way. ACIM attempted to dislodge the ego, and ACOL seeks to give us a new identity around which the Christ-Self coalesces. It is my thought that ACOL was needed because we didn’t have anything concrete to hold onto after the ego was dislodged; we needed a new identity, and this new identity, the Christ-Self, is spelled out in ACOL.

Beliefs are transient and ego-driven. We cling to belief when we are actually uncertain. As Jesus teaches the ego, we learn to slowly let it pass away from us.

We are then home-free.

Egoic Swings in Mind

“The best concrete example you could have of how the mind could have made the ego is a person who has a great propensity for revelation but can suddenly swing to its complete opposite. Such a person does have real knowledge at times, but when she throws it away it is as if she never had it. This willfulness is so apparent that you need only perceive it to see that it does happen. If it can occur that way in the present, why should you be surprised that it occurred that way in the past? All psychology rests on the principle of continuity of behavior. Surprise is a reasonable response to the unfamiliar, but hardly to something that occurs with such persistence.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.III.3:1-6)

Jesus is probably talking to Helen, because in the era of the sixties, the pronoun “he” was used for both male and female, and here he deliberately (we might think) uses the pronoun “she.” Helen was a woman of many moods, as we might be. Her oscillations required that Jesus support her often as the scribing unfolded. He was right there for her.

Helen had a propensity for revelation. All of us do (though some are more ready for it than others). Revelation gives us real knowledge, as opposed to simple perception. Our perceptions are often ego-related, but not our knowledge. Our knowledge comes from God, and it can come, reliably, only when we have placed ego either to one side, or eliminated it altogether.

We may be surprised by truth. But is this warranted? The truth is always right here with us, just often unrecognized. If we pray to be open to the truth, we are more likely to experience it in everyday occurrences. These are miracles. These are examples of God welling up from within to shower us with love.

Jesus: “In This World You Need NOT Have Tribulation because I Have Overcome the World”

“I need devoted teachers. They heal the mind, and that is always my own aim. The spirit is far beyond the need of your protection or mine. The biblical quotation should read, ‘In this world you need not have tribulation because I have overcome the world. That is why you should be ‘of good cheer.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.25:1-5)

Very reassuring! And a correction to Scripture, something that Jesus does several times in A Course in Miracles. “In this world you need not have tribulation.” Wonderful!

Do we believe it?

If we think back, we will realize that we are our own worst enemies. The tribulation that we experience is very often something that we have brought on ourselves.

We don’t have to do this. We can walk a calm earth, head in the clouds, feet on the ground, and the words of Jesus to comfort us.

When we are of good cheer, we normally attract more good cheer. Good feelings build on themselves. And we can heal others whom we encounter. This healing is right in line with the best advice in ACIM.

Let’s do as Jesus encourages. Let’s ask him how we might effect the healing of other people. And to do that effectively, we need also to be healed, and so praying for our healing is right in line with the Course.

Living in God’s Shadow

“The ego has built a shabby and unsheltering home for you, because it cannot build otherwise. Do not try to make this impoverished house stand. It weakness is your strength. Only God could make a home that was worthy of His creation, who have chosen to leave it empty by their own dispossession. But His home will stand forever, and is ready for you when you choose to enter. Of this you can be wholly certain. God is as incapable of creating the perishable as your ego is of making the eternal.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.21:1-7)

We made the ego, and we made this persona badly. “A shabby and unsheltering home.” Of course. What else could madness make but something that sheltered us in a fragile structure? We have been vulnerable to the insanity of the ego for eons. Isn’t it time we tried something else?

That “something else” is living in God’s shadow, letting His Holy Spirit direct our steps back to the straight pathway toward Awakening. God is ready, has been ready, for us to return home. Now, at last, it seems that we are listening to Him.

I hope He is glad, if human emotions ever touch His splendor. We have journeyed far into the night, and we are just now beginning to see the first rays of light on a new morrow. We will be Awakening soon, the light having roused us through closed eyelids. When we open our eyes to the sunlight, our new persona is assured.

And this persona is the Christ-Self.

Joy of the Spirit

“The ego is afraid of the spirit’s joy, because once you have experienced this, you will withdraw all protection from your ego and become totally without investment in fear. Your investment is great now, because fear is a witness to the separation, and your ego rejoices when you witness to it. Leave it behind. Do not listen to it and do not preserve it. Listen only to God, Who is as incapable of deception as are the Sons He created. As a teacher or therapist, release yourself and release others. Do not preset a false and unworthy picture of yourself to others, nor accept such a picture of them yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.20:1-7)

We ought to think well of ourselves, not coming from the ego, but from the spirit. The ego has kept us in chains, and the flights of joy that we have known have been balanced by a fall into depression and despair. The dramatic highs and lows were very pronounced. This is the way of egotism. This is what we want to gently turn aside from now.

When we have tasted real joy of the spirit, we will know that this alone is real. This is God’s blessing upon us as we emerge from madness, the insanity of the ego. When we taste joy, we know that we are beloved. We also know that we are capable of loving not only ourselves, but also our brothers and sisters who travel this road with us.

This joy is well-grounded, not a euphoria that is unsettling and unsettled. This joy is what will accompany us on the journey home to God, the separation healed, the Awakening in sight.
We do need to think well of ourselves, for as God’s creatures we are born of the spirit. And this spirit will allow us to present a picture of ourselves to others that will do us credit. Unfortunately, we are so used to denying the ego in ourselves, that we may think that such creditable awareness of ourselves is a step backwards.

It isn’t. Let the inner spirit that is our Christ-Self emerge from the inside wrappings. Be assured that this is what God wants of us.

A good Self-image will speed us along our journey with alacrity. We will know that this is the way to live well.

Einstein: “Is the Universe Friendly?”

“Again I tell you that when you are afraid, be still and know that God is real and you are His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Do not let your ego dispute this, because the ego cannot know what is as far beyond its reach as you are. God is not the author of fear. You are. You have willed, therefore, to create unlike Him, and have made fear for yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.18:1-5)

Yes, we made fear. What other emotion were possible when we thought that we were a teeny point in the universe, cut off from all the rest? Would that not be reason enough to be afraid?

Know that this mirage is just that—an illusion made of nothing. When we know that we are merged with the cosmos, melted together in love, we will know that we are not and have never been alone, solitary creatures that had to make it on our own. We have a Guide, the Holy Spirit, Who will metaphorically take us by the hand and lead us back from whence we came. He will take us into heaven, when the time is ripe. And God Himself will transform us, when we are ready, by something called the “Awakening.” When this transformation happens, we will know that whether the time for us on earth is short or long, we are accepted and beloved children of God who can know bliss anywhere. Because God is everywhere.

Drop the ego, and when we do this, we will know far more than beforehand. We will know that fear is easily avoided in a universe that is cooperative, with all beings sharing in the glorious Light of the Creator. We live in a friendly universe, what Einstein queried: “Do we live in a friendly universe?”.

This query is one of the most important, if not the most important, queries we could ever have.

When we can certainly answer in the affirmative, our worries are behind us.

Our Worth Is Written in the Stars

“Once again, nothing you do or think or will or make is necessary to establish your worth. This point is not debatable except in delusions. Your ego is never at stake because God did not create it. Your spirit is never at stake because He did. Any confusion on this point is a delusion, and no form of devotion is possible as long as this delusion lasts.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.15:1-5)

We think we have to achieve something, prove our worth, to be loved. This is because it is likely that much of the love we have received over our lives has been conditional.

But God doesn’t love conditionally. His unconditional love is predicated on the truth that we are His beloved children, children who have strayed a little, but will ultimately come back home to Him. And because He created us perfect, our worth is for certain, never in doubt. We never have to prove anything to God. He just waits patiently for us to change our minds about our rebellion, and come home to the lasting love that awaits us there.

Our worth as children of God assures us a place in heaven.

When we strayed into the separation, our ego was formed from the wreckage of our former selves. We did this. We made a new persona that was predicated on fear, not love (as we had known in our birthplace of heaven). This fear made us afraid of God, and also made us afraid that we have offended Him by rejecting Him. God doesn’t think this way! Only our own deluded, limited, finite minds could ever hold such a thought.
Return to our spirit, which will be recognized as one with God. God created our spirit, and He knows it through and through. He knows that our good sense will ultimately prevail, and we will choose to heal the separation. We will choose to once again occupy the place that He has intended for us all along. We cannot change how we were created, what our essence demands. And this spirit essence is a persona founded on love, the best emotion out there.

Our worth is written in the stars, where we will ultimately reside. Let us drop all notions that we are unworthy, rejected creatures spurned by the Great Creator.

Our Worth Was Established by God

“Your worth is not established by your teaching. Your worth was established by God. As long as you dispute this, everything you do will be fearful, and particularly any situation which lends itself to the fallacy of superiority and inferiority. Teachers must be patient and repeat their lessons until they are learned. I am willing to do so, because I have no right to set your learning limits for you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.14:1-5)

Many of us have struggled with feeling inferior at some point in our lives. We thought we just didn’t measure up to our peers, weren’t pretty enough, weren’t popular enough, didn’t excel academically. But our worth is inestimable in God’s sight. Nothing we can ever do, nothing that we could ever do, will change that we are flawless in his sight. Our essential innocence saves us, for we are children of God and subject to His divine laws. We have done the best we could at any given time, and that is all that anybody, God included, could ask of us. Even when we fail, we have succeeded in the trying.

If we think that we have to teach salvation, and that our success in this allows for merit in God’s eyes, all that we do will become fearful. This is false reasoning, and it certainly will get us into trouble. An anxious teacher doesn’t perform well. Our words will not have the ring of truth. We need to get the fear out, and the only way for that to happen is to know that God is on our side, cheering us on. In His sight, we only sometimes make mistakes/errors; we never fail, because at the time that we think we have failed, we have merely learned how to do something better.

We don’t really believe that our worth is beyond reproach. In this, we are our own worst enemies. Listen to Jesus’ words, and let their truth wash over us.

Go to God

“All separation anxiety is a symptom of a continuing will to remain separated. This cannot be repeated too often, because you have not learned it. You are afraid to teach only because you are afraid of the impression your image of yourself will make on other images. You believe that their approval of your image will exalt it, but that your separation anxiety will increase. You also believe that their disapproval of it will lessen the anxiety, but at the cost of depression.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.12:1-5)

This quotation is composed of fairly complicated psychology, something that Helen and Bill (co-scribes of A Course in Miracles) could understand easily, but maybe not the rest of us. When we get anxious, it is likely to be that we are fearful of our separation from God. We will not articulate this, because it will remain under cover, deep in the unconscious, where it will arouse confusion but be unavailable for healing.

This has to end. When we look to others for approval, often we are seeing those other brothers and sisters as images. Somehow we know that this isn’t right, that others are not images, but real people, and so we become afraid of our own interpretations. We will, with the ego in ascendancy, be glad, enlivened, when others give us approval, but we will realize that somehow this is not right—that we are equal to that other, and his/her approval should not be defining moments for us. Our separation anxiety will increase, for we are not being true to the real Self, the Self Who is one with God. We will get depressed if others disapprove of us, but this too is a false stance. Others should not hold such power over us.

Do not get lost in interpretation. Know simply that anything that increases separation anxiety ought to be avoided, just as much as the separation itself. When we have reunited with God, no separation any longer, we will know the truth of this.

Until then, we will remain befuddled. This simply means that we must ask the Holy Spirit for help in sorting out our emotions.

“Go to God,” when we are mixed up, tangled up, is awfully good advice.

An Endearing Promise from Jesus

“Egos can clash in any situation, but souls cannot clash at all. If you perceive the teacher as merely a ‘larger ego,’ you will be afraid, because to enlarge an ego is to increase separation anxiety. Do not engage in this foolishness. I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me. But my goal will be always to absolve you finally from the need for a teacher.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.II.10:1-5)

In the final pages of A Course of Love (sequel to A Course in Miracles), Jesus does actually resign as our teacher. He wants to be companion with us only. In this, he is saying that he has succeeded in absolving us for the need of a teacher. In the meantime, though, for those of us who are still students of ACIM, he continues to guide and direct as a teacher.

Larger egos do scare us. I myself have been scared more than once by one who had achieved much, but who had achieved by the competitive bent of an ego. This frightens all of us, for inside we know that a larger ego is not where we want to go. Larger egos are scary, for certain, and we, for certain, do not want to do anything that will enlarge our ego. Competitive activities often do just this.

A large ego seems farther removed from God, and thus a feature that promotes separation anxiety. Love brings us ever closer to God, and it is this also that dispels the ego. Love lead to cooperation in our lives, cooperation with others. And it is this can draws us close to each other and close to God.

“I will teach with you and live with you if you will think with me.” Jesus’ promise. And such an endearing and great promise it is.

Take him up on it.

God’s Joy Makes Its Way into This World

“The dreamer who doubts the reality of his dream while he is still dreaming it is not really healing the level-split. You have dreamed of a separated ego, and you have believed in a world which rests upon it. This is very real to you. You cannot undo this by doing nothing and not changing. If you are willing to renounce the role of guardian of your thought system and open it to me, I will correct it very gently and lead you home.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-4.I.9:3-7)

This is Jesus’ promise to us: He will correct our thought system “very gently and lead you home.” Let us take him at his word. Let us see what he has to say to us in A Course in Miracles and other recent channeled works like A Course of Love and The Way of Mastery.

We have been dreaming a world. That is why we learn in ACIM that the world does not exist, that it is all illusion. When we awake, the world will be called the “real world,” and we will see clearly for the first time. In the midst of the dream, we will know how to live. We will live in peace and harmony with never an egoic nightmare to disturb our peace. This is why the meek shall inherit the earth. The meek have humble egos, and this, their secret, will become ours when we listen to the inner leading of the Holy Spirit (or the inner leading of the Christ-Self, as set forth in A Course of Love).

We do have to be willing to change, and this is hard for us, because we have slowly built up a world that seems to make sense to us. The fact that this world truly does not make sense just shows the extent we have gone into madness. Our minds, entrapped by the ego, have been anything but clear. Our minds have been lost in a special form of insanity in which we were joined by most people on earth.

This insanity is slowly ending. Jesus says elsewhere that the return may take millions of years, as long as the separation took to happen and maybe longer. This depressing thought does not have to be viewed as depressing if we realize that God’s joy makes its way into this world as well. Our joy is complete when we cease to nurture suffering and listen to guidance that signals love.

Pain doesn’t have to turn to suffering, when we understand enough. When we walk a joyful way, with God, we know that the vicissitudes of this world are intangible and unreal. We turn to the truly magnificent blessings given to us, in gratitude for the sight of a world that Jesus calls “real.”

Let us walk on in hope for the glory of a mind and heart returned to our Creator.

Do Not Crucify One’s Self

“Do not embark on foolish journeys, because they are indeed in vain. The ego may will them because the ego is both lean and foolish, but the spirit cannot embark on them because it is forever unwilling to depart from its foundation. The journey to the cross should be the last foolish journey for every mind. Do not dwell upon it, but dismiss it as accomplished. If you can accept that as your own last foolish journey, you are free also to join my resurrection.
. . .
“Do not make the pathetic human error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’ The only message of the crucifixion is in respect to your ability to overcome the cross. Unless you do so, you are free to crucify yourself as often as you choose. But this was not the gospel I intended to offer you.” (ACIM, COA ed., T:4.I.7:1-5 and 8:4-7)

Jesus says repeatedly in A Course in Miracles that the real message of the Atonement is the resurrection, that life is eternal—not that he suffered and died as a sacrificial lamb for us in order to appease God because of our sins. He says that we have made mistakes only, mistakes that are correctable and forgivable, and that to categorize our mistakes as “sins” seems to make them beyond correction.

Moreover, God never condemns, and so He has no need to forgive us of anything. This is a new interpretation, contrary to traditional Christianity, but to us it ought to come as welcome news, a new interpretation that lets us off the hook. So many over the years have condemned themselves because of errors that they called sins, and suffered accordingly.

Now we can let this type of interpretation fall by the wayside. Correctable mistakes call for correction, not denunciation. All of us make mistakes, because this is unavoidable, given the limited viewpoints that we have. We are finite, with finite minds, and with a finite mind, we cannot see all the ramifications of the least thing that we do. So mistakes happen.

Jesus stands at the end of the long pathway to correct mistakes that we could not otherwise correct; he tells us this in ACIM. Be grateful to him for walking the pathway first, all the way back to God. Why would we seek to invent new ways to walk the pathway, when his path is there for us to emulate?

When Will We Ever Learn?

“The mind can make the belief in separation very real and very fearful. And this belief is the devil. It is powerful, active, destructive, and clearly in opposition to God, because it literally denies His fatherhood. Never underestimate the power of this denial. Look at your life and see what the devil has made. But know that this making will surely dissolve in the light of truth, because its foundation is a lie.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.XI.9:1-6)

Now we know what the devil concept was all about. We know that it is really the egoic notion of things, lived out in separation from God. We could not truly separate from Him, because we are part of Him, but we could live, with the ego, as though we are separate. And therefore alone. And the ego is the symbol, as well as the essence, of fear. Thinking we are all alone in the universe will frighten the most courageous.

In the egoic world, we thought that if there were good, there had to be a counterbalancing of evil. Contrasts were the way that the drama proceeded. And there were so many dramas! We felt the height of joy, but just for a moment, before we were dashed down and in misery, despair. Is this any way to live?

We can’t live in this illusion any longer, because we know better now. As children of God, individuals within whom He dwells, our real will for ourselves is not a contradiction from His will for us. This truth can be hard to accept, for the separation has been long and cruel. The Holy Spirit will guide us gently to the truth that the wills are the same. How could they not be, when God is living through us?
God’s way is true reality; our parody of His creation has been and will always remain, illusion. Not being real, our illusion weaves fanciful imaginings that bring us down, and down, and down, repeatedly?

When will we ever learn?

Ending the Separation by Love

“We have discussed the fall or separation before, but its meaning must be clearly understood, without symbols. The separation is not symbolic. It is an order of reality, or a system of thought, which is perfectly real in time, though not in eternity. All beliefs are real to the believer.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.XI.5:1-4)

We are in an order of reality that imagines that we are separate from God, thereby rendering Him an enemy and Someone Whom we have come to fear.

Isn’t this the height of insanity? Our very being is God. How can we turn on ourselves this way? Why would we ever have done such a thing?

A tiny, mad idea crept into eternity, where all was love. What would happen if, we said? What would happen if we made a reality apart from the reality we know? Would it be better? Would we know more? Would we be more satisfied in our own creation?

This is what we were thinking, and it was sheer madness. Trying to rail against the Creator of ourselves, Who created us as we are, as One with Him, would never work. We have to play out the essence of who we are, and that essence is Love itself. When we turn aside from love, we lose ourselves.

We believed the separation because we were the ones doing the believing. We make real what we imagine, but only in illusion, because God could not allow the universes to fail. Fail they would, if there were any basis to true reality except Love.

This was what, in our ignorance, we didn’t know then.

But now we know. And we are letting God heal the separation by meeting His criteria. It won’t be long now, for Awakening to take us home. It won’t be long now before we live wholly in a gentle world of pure Love.

An End to Wearying Ourselves

“When you feel tired, it is merely because you have judged yourself as capable of being tired. When you laugh at someone, it is because you have judged him as debased. When you laugh at yourself, you are singularly likely to laugh at others, if only because you cannot tolerate being more debased than others. All of this does make you tired, because it is essentially disheartening. You are not really capable of being tired, but you are very capable of wearying yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.X.6:1-5)

Would it not be great incentive to know that there is a way to eschew tiredness?

Jesus says here that there is, that we have wearied ourselves by judging our world and the people in it. One way that we judge is by laughing at another, and even laughing at ourselves. Even if we call the laughter just a jest, it is still disheartening. Best to give up debasing other people, even as we give up debasing ourselves. There is a better way to live: Live and let live. Be magnanimous. Be tolerant.

We have wearied ourselves, and many times over the years. Now that we know what has caused this—judging ourselves and others—we can gently turn aside from this bad behavior.

And Awakening is more likely on the horizon, an added blessing indeed.

A Gentler Way

“You have no idea of the tremendous release and deep peace that comes from meeting yourself and your brothers totally without judgment. If you will look back at the earlier remarks about what you and your brothers are, you will realize that judging them in any way is really without meaning. In fact, their meaning is lost to you precisely because you are judging them. All uncertainty comes from a totally fallacious belief that you are under the coercion of judgment. You do not need it to organize your life, and you certainly do not need it to organize yourself.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.X.4:1-5)

We need to flow gently with life, and we certainly don’t do that when we are caught up in resentments, judging negatively our brothers and sisters. When we blame them for presumed wrongdoings, we neglect to realize that we invited that wrongdoing into our lives. If we had not opened to it, the wrongdoing would not have happened, because we are in control of our own lives, however much it might seem that we are victims.

Leave judgment behind. If we don’t, we close the door to Awakening. Fear and judgment are the two emotions/actions that prevent us from coming into the ultimate in salvation. Is not our own Awakening worth giving up a debilitating emotion that limits us to feet of clay?

If we find that our mind dwells in resentment, we are damning ourselves.

Can’t we see this? Don’t we know that forgiveness is the way? Haven’t we studied A Course in Miracles enough to know this, through and through?

A gentle way is always superior to any other way. When we calm our mind and heart, we will realize this.

“I Think; therefore I Am”

“Descartes engaged in a very interesting teaching procedure, and one from which he himself learned a great deal. He began with doubting the existence of everything except himself. He insisted that his own existence was not open to doubt and rebuilt his entire thought system on the one premise, ‘I think, therefore I am.’ It is noteworthy that he arrived at accepting the entire system he originally doubted, solely on the basis of this one piece of knowledge. There was, however, a distinct shift in his own perception. He no longer questioned the reality of what he perceived, because he knew he was there.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.XI.11:1-6)

This piece about Descartes is new to the complete edition of A Course in Miracles. On one piece of knowledge, Descartes based his whole system of thought. He believed, basically, that he existed. This is even more fundamental than the aspect of thinking that is a part of his great revelation. “He knew he was there.”

We also know that we are here. We can extrapolate this understanding to greater knowledge if we realize that just one piece of information can set us free. This piece will differ from person to person, because our pasts are different, and so the healing of the unconscious that needs to happen will also differ. But when you come upon a piece of knowledge—and it will be knowledge—that is unassailable, then we must hang our hat on that. It will be enough.

Pray for the gleaning upon the mind of that piece of knowledge that will save. And then go out and teach it. Others will learn from our own revelation.

Following in Jesus’ Footsteps

“You would be right to maintain that this course is a prerequisite for any rightful course you may teach. However, you would really be saying much more than that. The purpose of this course is to prepare you for knowledge. So is the only real purpose of any legitimate course. All that is required of you as a teacher is to follow me.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.8:1-5)

We are learning the way of A Course in Miracles, and in following its teaching, our own teaching will be set forward rightly. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are following in Jesus’s footsteps, taking his pathway, when we attempt to prepare ourselves for teaching.

Jesus is doing something for us, too, that is beyond simply the hope that we will bring others to salvation. He is introducing us to knowledge, as opposed to simple perception. When we truly know a thing, we will sense it in our depths. There will be no doubt.

Perceptual understanding is always open to doubt, because perceptual understanding is based on the variability of our personality, its past and the way that personality views things. Knowledge is of God in the end, and He is the Unmovable. His way is always certain, and when we open our mind and heart to that way, we will know that His way is certain.

Jesus: “I Have Made Every Effort to Teach You Entirely without Fear”

“The role of a teacher, properly conceived, is one of leading himself and others out of the desert. The value of this role can hardly be underestimated, if only because it was one to which I very gladly dedicated my own life. I have repeatedly asked my pupils to follow me. This means that, to be effective teachers, they must interpret teaching as I do. I have made every effort to teach you entirely without fear. If you do not listen, you will be unable to avoid the very obvious error of perceiving teaching as a threat.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IX.6:1-6)

When we perceive teaching as a threat, we are living in fear. This is the exact opposite of what Jesus hopes for us, the exact opposite of what he intends. His words, when considered rightly, envelop us in a sense of love. We do not have to “accept” him for this to be true, but we do need to open our mind and open our heart, at least ever so slightly. When we live in harmony with love, we appreciate the truth in teaching, and we can become good teachers ourselves. No other way, no way other than love, can do this for us.

We are still making our way tentatively out of fear. There will be missteps, of course, but the way is still upward, toward love, away from fear. We are blessed by the channeled writings of Jesus. When we reflect on how we accept these teachings, we will realize that his love for us has been palpable. The love has drawn us in. And there is no better way to set our foot on the pathway back to God than to realize that a loving brother is leading us by the hand.

Open Our Heart to Parents & Friends

“Your parents probably did misperceive you in many ways, but their ability to perceive may have been quite warped, and their misperception stood in the way of their own knowledge. There is no reason why it should stand in the way of yours. It is still true that you believe they did something to you. This belief is extremely dangerous to your perception and wholly destructive of your knowledge. This is not only true of your attitudes toward your parents, but also of your misuse of your friends. You still think that you must respond to their errors as if they were true. By reacting self-destructively, you are giving them approval for their misperceptions.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.13:1-7)

Here we find that our attitude toward our parents and our friends is pivotal for a good future for our minds. When we believe that parents and friends “did” something to us, we are giving our power away, dangerous to perception, wholly destructive of knowledge.

We still don’t believe that we ourselves, and others, are innocent creatures, children of God, who made mistakes that actually, in reality, never occurred. We are living in illusion! How often do we have to reiterate this to ourselves?

When we believe that illusions are true, we bind ourselves to the past, and we make a future like the past, a deplorable future. Let’s wash ourselves clean, now, of these misperceptions. Let’s ask God to tell us how we can all be innocent. Step out in faith, and His Voice will answer.

We don’t need to stay in self-destructive thinking. Let the heart lead, for its way is Love, and its understanding is true. We can and will come to understand what innocence is all about when we open the heart to our parents and our friends. We have closed down when we misconstrued them, and this makes a mockery of innocence.

Invulnerable Children of God

“You have no justification whatever for perpetuating any image of yourself at all. You are not an image. Whatever is true of you is wholly benign. It is essential that you know this about yourself, but you cannot know it while you choose to interpret yourself as vulnerable enough to be hurt. This is a peculiar kind of arrogance, whose narcissistic component is perfectly obvious. It endows the perceiver with sufficient unreal strength to make you over, and then acknowledges the perceiver’s miscreation. There are times when this strange lack of real courtesy appears to be a form of humility. Actually, it is never more than simple spite.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.12:1-8)

We are actually continuing the theme of blame in this quotation. If we believe that another can hurt us, we are misperceiving, and in this misperception, thinking that a perpetrator means us harm that we can’t get over.

We are not that vulnerable. We are actually invulnerable to hurts from another. We ourselves only seem to hurt ourselves. And then we spitefully blame the one outside of ourselves.

We are also not an image, but a real, divine part of God Himself. When we imagine ourselves as something else, we truly do ourselves an injustice. We are invulnerable children of God Whom He loves deeply. This is the only image of ourselves that matters.

Forgiving Our Parents

“Why should anyone accord an obvious misperception so much power? There cannot be any real justification for it, because even you yourself recognize the real problem when you say, ‘How could they do this to me?’ The answer is they didn’t.

“You have a very serious question to ask yourself in this connection. We said before that the purpose of the resurrection was to demonstrate that no amount of misperception has any influence at all on a Son of God. This demonstration exonerates those who misperceive, by establishing beyond doubt that they have not hurt anyone. Your question, which you must ask yourself very honestly, is whether you are willing to demonstrate that your parents have not hurt you. Unless you are willing to do this, you have not forgiven them.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.9:1-3 and 10:1-5)

Blaming our parents has become perhaps even more common than was the case in the sixties and early seventies, when A Course in Miracles was channeled. We have to get into the theology of ACIM in order to understand that blaming is counterproductive. On one level, everyone does the best that he/she can, given his level of understanding. And so, forgiveness is due one’s parents in this regard.

In the larger dimension, we are all innocent children of God, living in illusion, not actually doing anything at all that is true reality. So, on this more ethereal level, our parents deserve forgiveness. They have really done anything at all to us, for illusion means nothing.

It is true that we perceive illusion as real. It certainly seems like the things that happened to us when we were growing up were real enough. But let our minds play with the idea of living in illusion. Our parents dealt with us from a place of madness, or insanity, for all of us are lost in insanity until we Awaken. Madness is forgiven when it is not made real in our minds. If we focus on the bad deeds, we will attempt to make illusion real, and then we will find forgiveness harder to allow.

Know that we choose the things that happen to us, on some level, from our soul. This is not to blame the victim, because the personality doesn’t do this. But our soul knows better what we need than we do. And emanating from the God within, our soul doesn’t make mistakes. It is only the personality that makes mistakes.

So: On many levels, our attitude toward our parents needs to change, change, that is, if we are still blaming them for not giving us a perfect upbringing. We did have the perfect upbringing for what we wanted to accomplish in life.

And on this we ought to stand.

Courtesy

“The therapist (hopefully) does have the role of being the better perceiver. (This is also, again hopefully, true of the teacher.) It does not follow that he is the better knower. Temporarily, the therapist or teacher can help in straightening out twisted perceptions, which is also the only role that I would ever contribute myself. All therapy should do is try to place everyone involved in the right frame of mind to help one another.

“It is essentially a process of true courtesy, including courtesy to me. You should know that all God’s children are fully worthy of complete courtesy. There are ways of treating others in which only consistent courtesy, even in very little things, is offered. It is a very healing habit to acquire.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VIII.5:1-5) and 6:1-4)

Here we see words first intended for Helen and Bill, who were therapists. The therapist may be the better perceiver, but knowing may be beyond him/her. Knowing from the patient may thus be keener.

In any relationship, including therapist and patient, we are encouraged to practice simple courtesy. This very prosaic behavior is close to kindness, the religion of the Dalai Lama (as he says). If we choose to treat others with courtesy, we certainly won’t attack them. Even in anger, we will keep a cool head. Our heart can inform us as we seek to practice courtesy in all our dealings.

This idea of courtesy is new to the new, complete edition of A Course in Miracles (published by the Circle of Atonement). It is one of the gems, just waiting to be discovered.

We Are a Perfectly Clear Miracle

“All words, at best, are preparatory. The Word is really a thought. No one word is universally meaningful, because a word is a symbol. But thought is not divisible at the level of creation. The original name for ‘thought’ and ‘word’ was the same. The quotation should read, ‘In the beginning was the Thought, and the Thought was with God, and the Thought was God.’

“How beautiful indeed are the thoughts of God, who live in His light. Your worth is beyond perception because it is beyond doubt. Do not perceive yourself in different lights. Know yourself in the One Light, where the miracle which is you is perfectly clear.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.16:1-6 and 17:1-4)

We are ideas in the Mind of God, a synonym for “thought.” This is why we project the world that we see; it is all an idea, real only as an idea is real.
We are a miracle in the sight of God. We are one Light with Him, blessed and blessing. Let us become all that we can become in this world, no limits anywhere.

The biblical quotation, here given in revised fashion by Jesus, is instructive. The “Word” and “Thought” are said to be the same. And so the notion that we are ideas in the Mind of God seems sure, on solid ground. This was set forth by the philosopher George Berkeley in his theory, called Idealism. He believed that what we see in the outer world is just a collection of ideas, that it is immaterial. This is trumpeted by A Course in Miracles, in its non-dualistic worldview.

Because we are ideas in the Mind of God, we simply change form in different vibratory frequencies. Energy isn’t ever destroyed; it just changes form. That is why we are assured of immortality in an eternity.

Communion with God

“As long as perception lasts, prayer has a place. Since perception rests on lack, those who perceive have not totally accepted the Atonement and given over themselves to truth. Perception is a separated state, and the perceiver does need healing. Communion, not prayer, is the natural state of those who know. God and His miracles are inseparable.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.15:1-5)

This quotation gives us an understanding of the movement from traditional prayer, as supplication, when we are perceiving, into communion with God, when we know instead of perceive. This is an important distinction, because we need to comprehend very precisely, or we will feel bereft, without a God to Whom we can appeal when things get rough. And they will still sometimes get rough.

When we commune with God, we go into a very deep place that is calm and tranquil. We never frantically try to get His attention, something that we are prone to do in supplication when we are distraught. The God we are seeking is deep within us, so deep that we had lost sight of Him earlier, when the ego ruled.

But now we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, an Intermediary Who leads us into God’s presence when we still cling to tendrils of fear of Him. Later on, in the age of Christ (actually where we are now), we will approach God directly, for we no longer will be fearful of His Being. We will know that we are in a right relationship to Him, and we will not foolishly think that He is going to judge us for trying, in illusion, to be separate from Him.

So we seek communion with God now. This is the blessed state all the saints enjoyed. And it is here for all of us now.

Knowledge

“What happens to perception if there are no judgments, and there is nothing but perfect equality? Perception is automatically useless. Truth can only be known. All of it is equally true, and to know any part of it is to know all of it. Only perception involves partial awareness. Knowledge transcends all of the laws which govern perception. Partial knowledge is impossible. It is all one and has no separate parts (i.e., the parts have not separated). This is the real knowledge. You who are really one with it need but know yourself and your knowledge is complete. To know God’s miracle is to know Him.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.13:1-11)

We are God’s miracle, and when we know this (as opposed to perceive it), we will be home free. We will have assumed Christ-consciousness or Awakening, enlightenment, and we will be all set to create a new world. Truth can only be known, Jesus tells us, and when we know, really know, a thing, we have no reason for doubt.

We are a part of the whole, like a hologram, and the truth is whole, and so we are whole. This is the real knowledge of which Jesus speaks.
Perception will not last when knowledge has come to take its place.

We, as God’s miracle, need but accept that knowledge is complete to take our rightful place in cosmos. Shorn of the ego, we are at last ready to live fully in God’s grace. We know all that we need to know to become part of the “celestial speed-up,” the time now in which those who follow God’s way want to eliminate the possibility of self-destruction on earth.

We Are Ideas in the Mind of God

“ ‘God created man in His Own image and likeness’ is correct in meaning, but the words are open to considerable misinterpretation. This is avoided, however, if ‘image’ is understood to mean ‘thought,’ and ‘likeness’ is taken as ‘of a like quality.’ God did create the Son in His Own thought and of a quality like to His Own. There is nothing else.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.11:4-7)

We are ideas in the Mind of God, another word, “ideas,” substituted for “thought.” This interpretation reveals George Berkeley’s Idealism, from the Nineteenth Century, an interpretation that resonated with me years ago in my first class in philosophy.

There is nothing in the universes at any vibration that is not “God-stuff.” God created us out of Himself, and even now lives through us, occupying our mind, heart, body to live in the world. Our mind, though, is finite, though it can draw on the Higher Power that possesses us, and thereby reach beyond ourselves to find answers to our problems, answers that are guidance in the highest degree.

“There is nothing else.” No, there is not. When we realize that we too are “God-stuff,” then we realize that we have the potential to be very holy. Holiness is born of the innocence that is our birthright. Our mistakes are wiped away when we understand the forgiveness is a type of love that has effected this.

Let us forgive ourselves today for what we only imagine are great wrongs. Let us forgive others who are in our shadow. Everyone does the best that he/she can, given his/her degree of understanding. And we have simply been mad, made mad by the ego. As we give up the ego, our false persona, we will walk into a new and glorious land, creating this world anew.

Prayer

“Prayer is a way of asking for something. When we said that prayer is the medium of miracles, we also said that the only meaningful prayer is for forgiveness, because those who have been forgiven have everything. Once forgiveness has been accepted, prayer in the usual sense becomes utterly without meaning. Essentially, a prayer for forgiveness is nothing more than a request that we may be able to recognize something we already have.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VII.10:1-4)

What is the “usual” sense of prayer? It is supplication, and when we know, firmly, that we have everything, we are saved for a new kind of prayer: communion with God. This communion assumes that we have forgiven ourselves, for He doesn’t forgive, for He has never condemned.

We need desperately to forgive ourselves for real and imagined mistakes. We need desperately to love ourselves, for self-love allows the type of mental attitude that welcomes love of others as well. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t very well take inner love and project it outward.

We already have forgiveness from the universe, all brothers and sisters everywhere. They wish us well, even though they may have a hard way of showing it in this world. And since God has not condemned, and therefore doesn’t need to offer forgiveness, we are home free there as well. God’s love wraps us up in a warm blanket, and we are safe. Safe and sound. Forgiven, including by ourselves.

Prayer as communion with God is immensely practical. Our guidance will give us the solutions to problems as soon as we have clearly articulated the problem. The solution is with the problem.

Know that forgiveness, when we have extended it to ourselves, is total. We don’t condemn another when we feel forgiven.

All Are Chosen

“Only your misperceptions stand in your way. Without them, your own choice is certain. Sane perception induces sane choosing. The Atonement was an act based on true perception. I cannot choose for you, but I can help you make your own right choice. ‘Many are called but few are chosen’ should read, ‘All are called, but few choose to listen. Therefore, they do not choose right. The ‘chosen ones’ are merely those who choose right sooner. That is the real meaning of the celestial speed-up. Strong wills can do this now, and they will find rest for their souls. God knows you only in peace, and this is your reality.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.18:1-11)

The “celestial speed-up,” of which A Course in Miracles is an example, is an attempt by Jesus and his associates to bring salvation to the earth before we destroy ourselves. Edgar Cayce, the psychic, was an early example also. We are bent on destruction unless drastic measures are taken. So any of us could be part of the celestial speed-up. Many of us may have been born for that purpose.

All are chosen. Kenneth Wapnick wrote a book by that title, part of a two-book series that also gave the second part of that quotation, that few choose to listen. We must change this. We must know that we are chosen, and we must listen. Then we do take our place in the celestial speed-up.

Many of us have strong wills, but that strong will must be bent to God’s grace and guidance. I once wrote on a scrap of paper, and put it in my grandmother’s Bible: “I am determined to go God’s way.”

This when I was nine years old, for I can tell from my early handwriting my age. So I was one who had a strong will, and I attempted, in my immature way, to bend that will to God. I was witnessing even then.

Many of us can witness, and then we will become a multitude who change this world, and then create a new world. This is the message of A Course of Love. That we either change the world, or that (better) we create a new world. When we know that all are chosen, we can rest in the assurance that we are among that chosen.

Ego

“The ego is as frail as Freud perceived it. The later theorists have tried to introduce a less pessimistic view, but they have looked in the wrong direction for their hope. Any attempt to endow the ego with the attributes of the spirit is merely confused thinking. Freud was more clear-sighted about this, because he knew a bad thing when he perceived it. But he failed to recognize that a bad thing cannot exist. It is therefore wholly unnecessary to try to get out of it. As I have said before, the thing to do with a desert is to leave.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.10:1-7)

The ego does not really exist, though it seems mighty real to us most of our lives. The ego is part of the illusory world that we have made. We don’t need to struggle to get out of it. We just turn aside without giving it any emotion. If we resist the ego, we may find ourselves trapped by our own wrong notions. As Jesus says, “the thing to do with a desert is to leave.” So if we leave the ego, we do so without a fight on our hands. We just leave it. It withers away from disinterest.

The ego is a bad thing, and Freud knew this. But he didn’t know any way out. He thought that an ego was necessary as part of the persona of the developing child, the child growing into an adult. Many people still believe this. But ego, as defined by Jesus in his channeled writings, is a false notion of what we are; it is not a necessary part of who we are, even when we are maturing into grown-ups.
Most of us don’t make the decision to leave the ego behind until quite advanced in spiritual matters. Then we realize that egoic and egotistical attitudes get us into competition with each other. Many in our societies think that competition is a good thing. But it pits one person against another, one group of people against another. It is hardly harmless. If cut-throat, it is damaging in the extreme.

What about sports? We must realize that a game is a game, not a life-and-death matter. We can thrill to the excitement of the moment, and then we can go our own way when the game is over. We are not meant to have ego involvement as fans. The participants likely lack the wherewithal to keep ego out of their competition. But as time passes, they too will realize that this all happened a long time ago. They lose their ego involvement as well.

Egoless people are very ordinary people, viewed as such in our culture. They don’t try to impress, and so they are often overlooked. But egoless people don’t care about the opinions of other people. They are marching to the beat of a different drummer.

Leaving Fear Behind

“Intrapersonal conflict arises from the same basis as interpersonal. One part of the psyche perceives another part as on a different level and does not understand it. This makes the parts strangers to each other, without recognition. This is the essence of the fear-prone condition, in which attack is always possible. You have every reason to feel anxious as you perceive yourself. This is why you cannot escape from fear until you know that you did not and cannot create yourself. You can never make this misperception valid, and when you at last perceive clearly, you will be glad you can’t. Your creation is beyond variance by your own errors, and this is why you must eventually choose to heal the separation.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.6:1-8)

We cannot damn ourselves, though that is exactly what we are about when we let the ego rule. God created reality for His children with Love at the helm. When love is in force, we know that we can ascend to great heights, letting God’s action in us allow the transformation that we all need.

“Your creation is beyond variance by your own errors, and this is why you must eventually choose to heal the separation.” Yes! We “make” only illusions, for God’s creation is protected. True reality is harmony, peace, joy, lightheartedness—all the attributes of intangible factors that are hidden, just beyond the reach of illusions of materiality in which we find ourselves.

We have lived with anxieties for eons, for this is the outcome of the fear that is the opposite of love. Is there not a better way? We know that there is, but now we have become so caught in our fear that we don’t know how to extricate ourselves. This is why we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for He is a Spirit Who can see that God’s way becomes understandable to us. He shows us how to extricate ourselves from fear/anxieties. As we heal each part of the subconscious by bringing it up to the Light, we are made new. We are remade in the image of God, full of illusion no longer.

It has been a long and arduous battle of the ego. Now, we hope, that battleground is silent, and weapons of destruction are gone. We know, for in our seeking, the ways of God have been made plain to us. Jesus’ contribution in his channeled writings have hit the mark.

Now we are being guided, step by step, into the Awakening that will eventually become widespread on this earth.

Awake Beings in the Image of God

“Consciousness was the first split that you introduced into yourself. You became a perceiver rather than a creator in the true sense. Consciousness is correctly identified as the domain of the ego. Jung was right indeed in insisting that the ego is not the self, and that the self should be regarded as an achievement. He did not recognize (a term we now understand) that the achievement was God’s. In a sense, the ego was a self-made attempt to perceive yourself as you wished, rather than as you are. This is an example of the created/Creator confusion we spoke of before. You can only know yourself as you are, because that is all you can be sure of. Everything else is open to question.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.4:1-9)

When we made the ego, we also made an authority problem, confusing created with Creator, trying to make of ourselves someone who was different from what God wanted. We thought we had succeeded, and we did, in a way, for eons. But as time has passed, and we have suffered greatly at our own hands, we have come to know that chasing illusions is a false pathway. Bottom line, we can never actually be anyone other than who God created. We have to walk that solid line back to Him. We know better now, know that what we have made is decayed and ill-advised. Suffering, our lot in life when we are consumed by the ego, is not worth the price that we pay. Who really wants suffering, even at the cost of rebellion from our Creator?

The only way that we can thrive is to remain the created that we are, Sons and Daughters of the Divine, a blessing to all whom we love. We can know this accurate picture of ourselves only when we do love, for love is the great eye-opener. We drop the insane idea that we cannot will for ourselves what God wills, ridiculously sure that we must want something else. In actuality, in true reality, our will and God’s will are identical, for He lives through us. And He is not insane.

Let God’s direction infuse our life with real purpose. Loose the ego from clutched hands. We can never know peace until we understand that we are the created, that we did not create ourselves. We did, it is true, “make” ourselves over in an image that is not sustainable. But that is all. And when we let the ego go, we will realize that now we know in a way that previously was closed to us. We know who we were intended to be, Christ-conscious, awake beings in the image of God.

When We Love

“Most of the abilities you now possess are only shadows of your real strengths. Your spirit knows, loves, and creates. These are its unequivocal functions. All of your present functions are equivocal, or open to question or doubt. This arises because you can no longer be certain how you will use them. You are therefore incapable of knowledge, because you can perceive lovelessly. And you cannot create surely, because perception deceives and illusions are not sure.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.VI.1:1-8)

We are heading into ever-greater realms, but now we live uncertainly, not yet Christ-conscious, not yet Awakened. We head into greater realms when we love totally and completely, no uncertainty, no doubt.

Until we assume Awakening status, we will be unreliable in our world. Others cannot depend on a being who sometimes loves, sometimes hates. We need to drop the ambivalence of our feelings for other people, drop the negative and assume the positive always. And that positive is always a greater love. We create our own reality, and it is only love that creates a reality with which we can be happy for eons in the future.

We have been weaving illusions in an erratic fashion. When we love, we create a true reality, and we are blessed by our creation. God steadies our hand as we create; His insight informs our own. We create surely, lovingly, and we walk into the sunlight with Jesus.

God Just Loves

“God is not a stranger to His Own Sons, and His Sons are not strangers to each other. Knowledge preceded both perception and time, and will also ultimately replace (or correct for) them. This is the real meaning of the biblical account of God as ‘Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.’ It also explains the quotation ‘Before Abraham was, I am.’ Perception can and must be stabilized, but knowledge is stable. Fear God and keep His commandments is a real scribal error. It should read, ‘Know God and accept His certainty.’ This error is why the commandments are almost all negative, in contrast to my statement: ‘Thou shalt love.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.V.11:3-10)

No, we are not meant to be afraid of God, if by fear, we mean apprehension. We are meant to know God, and as time passes, we will come ever more into this bliss. Jesus here contrasts his own new revelations, as recorded in the New Testament, with the harsh portrayal of God in the Old Testament. Jesus proclaimed a God of love, the Old Testament, a foreboding Figure—hence the negative tenor of the Ten Commandments.

The God of the Old Testament was all egoic, a projection of the scribes who were lost in egoism. Good and bad, right and wrong—all was slated through the eyes of a God Who could be very fierce, denunciatory toward His children. Jesus, with kind eyes, encouraged little children to approach him, and he loved with a deep and abiding love. The difference could not be more striking.

When we love as Jesus encouraged, we come to know, as opposed to perceive. And this knowledge is of a God Who wishes His offspring well. It is of a God Who lives through us, for we are part of Him. This is the new revelation in Jesus’s channeled writing, so new on the scene of our world. This is the view, of Gods in miniature that we are. God, in living through us, is constantly leading us to discover that His way is benign. We know this, when we listen to our heart. We know that our Maker, living through us, is wishing us well, loving us, for his creation will hold together only when the laws of love are obeyed.

The laws of love are open to us. We advance when we love; we fall back when we are caught in negativity. The only way that the universes could survive is if they were predicated on love for the discrete parts, one part feeling and expressing love for another. Anything else would self-destruct.

Walk along in peace borne of love for our fellow men and women, our brothers and sisters. The advantages will unfold before us, with nothing to trip our foot upon as we walk.

Love without Attack

“If you attack another’s error, you will hurt yourself. You do not recognize him when you attack. Attack is always made on a stranger. You are making him a stranger by misperceiving him, so that you cannot know him. It is because you have made him into a stranger that you are afraid of him. What is he to you? He is your brother. What else do you need to know? But do know that. This is not a matter of perception but a fact. Perceive him c
correctly, so that you can know him. The prayer for the miracle is:

“Jesus, help me see my brother [name] as he really is, and thus release both him and me.

“Anytime there is anything unloving that crosses your mind, you should immediately recognize that you do not want to hurt your brother.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.V.10:1-14)

Love our brother. And, of course, this includes our sister as well. If an unloving thought or feeling is in our mind or heart, we need to reconsider and choose again. There is so much that will be solved aright if we keep love in our mind and heart. When we love, we leave fear behind, no longer afraid of what our brother might say or do to us. We know that God Himself is protecting us from harm. And so there is nothing true that our brother can do to harm us. We remain in control always.

The world is harmless. It is our projection only. From our mind outward. And when the mind is healed, the projections will all be good. This is what we need. This is where we are headed.

Let the heart rule the mind, for the heart loves deeply and well. And then all of our thoughts about, and our actions toward, our brother will be true and good.

Inviting Certainty

“To know is to be certain. Uncertainty merely means that you don’t know. Knowledge is power because it is certain, and certainty is strength. Perception is temporary. It is an attribute of the space-time belief, and is therefore subject to fear or love. Misperception produces fear, and true perception induces love. Neither produces certainty because all perception varies. That is why it is not knowledge. True perception is the basis for knowledge, but knowing is the affirmation of truth.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.V.2:1-9)

We will return to the difference between perception and knowledge many times in A Course in Miracles; here we see the difference, elucidated in this quotation for today. Our perceptions vary, and our perceptions may be true or false. If they are false, they will elicit fear, and we will walk backward on the pathway. We need to invite true perception, being as loving as possible for us at all times. Love heals in its true perception, paving the way for knowledge that does not need to be proved.

We need certainty in our lives, and our attraction to knowledge will ensure that we will have certainty about many things. When we have certainty, we are sure about our decisions. The insights that we gain have an authority that they have been lacking heretofore. The insights carry the stamp of divine Authority, and this Authority is of God Himself.

If we are certain about something, we need not constantly second-guess ourselves. We need to stand on what we know, and when the ring of truth sounds, we will know that our guidance is true.

We will know what to do.

Innocence

“Innocence is also not a partial attribute. It is not a real defense until it is total. When it is partial, it is characterized by the same erratic nature that holds for other two-edged defenses. The partly innocent are apt to be quite stupid at times. It is not until their innocence is a genuine viewpoint which is universal in its application that it becomes wisdom. Innocent (or true) perception means that you never misperceive and always see truly. More simply, this means that you never see what does not exist in reality.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IV.3:1-7)

Innocent perception, true perception, is our perception just before knowledge dawns on our previously deluded minds. “The partly innocent are apt to be quite stupid at times.” The term “stupid” is a correction harkening back to the original; the edition of the Foundation for Inner Peace used the term “foolish.” We can see that “stupid,” in this case, does mean “foolish,” though there is a denunciatory slant to “stupid” for our minds that have long sought to be superior to the heart.

Innocence is total when we have found Awakening or Christ-consciousness. Until then, we will oscillate between innocence and only partial innocence, and we will be erratic in our emotions around these terms. When we are innocent, we know that we have only made mistakes, not committed “sins.” When we are partly innocent, we will harbor a fear that our mistakes, some of them at least, have actually been sins.

This is not so, of course. Sin carries a sense of hopelessness that mistakes do not. And sin also is thought to be erased only by blood sacrifice, at least in traditional Christianity.

Jesus has altered all this in A Course in Miracles. He asks us not to look to the cross for our salvation, but to the resurrection, which assures eternal life. The resurrection is the mystery that binds us to Jesus. Let its value sweep over us, and take us home to God.

Inviting Light

“It is absolutely essential that you understand completely that behavior is erratic until a firm commitment to one or the other is made. Yet a firm commitment to darkness or nothingness is impossible. Nobody has ever lived who has not experienced some light and some of everything. This has made everybody genuinely unable to deny truth totally, even if he deceives himself in this connection most of the time. That is why those who live largely in darkness and emptiness never find any lasting solace.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.IV.2:1-5)

When we feel reverence in our daily life, we are sensing reality. And this reverent feeling is Light. When we don’t invite Light consistently, we are erratic in our behavior. When we fall into egoic thinking, we are erratic, for this is darkness. While darkness cannot be experienced totally, it can be experienced just enough to unsettle us. This we do not want.

We have lived a very secular life in this world, in this culture. We do not have to find God in religiosity, but we do need to find a reverence for life that will allow us to experience the best. And the best is a sense of loving ourselves, all created beings, nature, and, of course, God Himself/Herself. This reverent attitude will give us peace. It will swell our hearts in gratitude for the beauty of the world in which we reside. It will warm us, soothe us, comfort us. Reverence works.

We do not have solace in darkness, and everything of the ego is dark. Ask today that we might drop egoic orientation and walk into the sunlight of God’s creation.

Sacrifice

“It is obvious that these individuals have not been able to transcend the misperception of the need for sacrifice, or they could not possibly be willing to sacrifice themselves. Anyone who is unable to leave the requests of others unanswered has not entirely transcended egocentricity. I never ‘gave of myself’ in this inappropriate way, nor would I ever encourage you to do so.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.13:1-3)

Jesus continues his theme that the sacrifice on the cross was not what made him the savior for us. In this passage, he doesn’t mention the resurrection, but in clearly turning aside from sacrifice as a way of life, he has pointed the way to our own rising up, our own resurrection. He is trying to make enlightenment more believable.

Originally Jesus talked about Edgar Cayce’s increased number of readings, a choice Edgar made that was sacrificial. Here very precisely, Jesus turns aside from any command that we do something similar.

Sacrifice is simply not called for. And if we think it is, we are thinking in the insanity of the ego. The ego thinks that its own sacrifice is necessary, and because this “entity” thinks that it is us, it thinks that we too have to sacrifice to God. This has to make God a fearful being. And God truly is anything but fearful.

Jesus came to pass along to the world a new view of God, a loving Creator Who blesses His creations (us) with tolerance. God has never condemned us at all, and so He doesn’t need to “forgive.” He waits patiently, as we walk daily along the pathway back to Him. Our Holy Spirit guides the way.

And soon we will all be home, even if this “soon” is millions of years. Time, in the universe, after all, is an illusion.

Seeing Truly

“But this vision can be perceived only by the truly innocent. Because their hearts are pure, they defend true perception, instead of defending themselves against it. Understanding the lesson of the Atonement, they are without the will to attack, and therefore they see truly. This is what the Bible means when it says, ‘And when He shall appear (or be perceived) we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.’” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.10:1-4)

Without the will to attack, we will indeed see truly. Our innocence will be something in which we believe, unlike now, when we want to believe we are innocent, but often feel, internally, a sense that we are very guilty indeed.
We are not guilty. Would God turn against a child who has simply made mistakes? Making mistakes is inevitable in this confused and confusing world, in which our companions, brothers and sisters alike, and ourselves, are lost in egoic intention. How could we choose rightly in every instance, when we are quite literally lost in madness, insanity?

When we start to lose the madness, we will be ripe to entertain the idea that we really have only made mistakes in our choices, that these are entirely forgivable, even by ourselves. We are our own judge, and we are a harsh judge at that.

Rest in God’s Love, and know that anything done wrong is gloriously forgiven in a universe that knows that we have simply strayed from the path.

Commend Our Spirit into the Hands of the Father

“Nothing can prevail against a Son of God who commends his spirit into the hands of his Father. By doing this, the mind awakens from its sleep and remembers its Creator. All sense of separation disappears and level confusion vanishes. The Son of God is part of the Holy Trinity, but the Trinity Itself is one. There is no confusion within Its levels, because they are of one Mind and one will. This single purpose creates perfect integration, and establishes the reign of the peace of God.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.9:1-6)

We need to surrender to God; this is what commending the spirit into the hands of the Father actually means. When we surrender, we are literally one step away from Awakening. We are not relying on our puny little self; we are relying on the God within Who makes all things happen.

When the mind awakens from its sleep, we have enlightenment. The way may yet be long for some of us, but for others, it is just a step away. Jesus is hoping that his channeled writings will take humankind to the next level, the level of Christ-consciousness. Eventually all will occupy this level.

The Trinity explains a great deal, and for this we are dependent on traditional Christianity. All parts of the Trinity are within each individual. To objectify God, and not know what one is doing, is a misstep—though objectification can give us something to rely upon. As long as we know what we are doing.

Turn to the Holy Spirit today, and ask to be show mysteries. God would keep no secrets from the prepared mind and heart. He wants us to know Him.

Crucifixion & Resurrection

“The crucifixion did not establish the Atonement; the resurrection did. This is a point which many very sincere Christians have misunderstood. Nobody who was free of the scarcity fallacy could possibly have made this mistake.

“If the crucifixion is seen from an upside-down point of view, it certainly does appear as if God permitted and even encouraged one of His Sons to suffer because he was good. Many very devoted ministers preach this every day. This particularly unfortunate interpretation, which actually arose out of the combined projection of a large number of my own would-be followers, has led many people to be bitterly afraid of God. This particularly anti-religious concept happens to enter into many religions, and this is neither by chance nor coincidence. The real Christian would have to pause and ask, ‘How could this be?’ Is it likely that God
Himself would be capable of the kind of thinking which His Own words have clearly stated is unworthy of His children?” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.III.1:2-4 and 2:1-6)

God did not command Jesus to die; he set up his own drama, making his own decision. His Self, his Christ-Self, was the God within of Jesus.

When growing up, Jesus observed the temple sacrifices. And the thought likely arose in him that the ultimate sacrifice would be his own body. This is something that ego-oriented human beings could understand. And this idea, that Jesus was the sacrificial lamb, has been played out throughout the centuries, and still is being played out in fundamentalist circles.

Many are turning away from this interpretation. And Jesus himself turns away in these passages, lauding the resurrection as the real miracle. He doesn’t say how this can be, but if we believe in materialization and dematerialization, we have a peg to tie it to.

Jesus does not ask us to follow in his footsteps with sacrifice. The days of sacrifice die with the ego that caused them.

Jesus: “When You Perform a Miracle, I Will Arrange Both Time and Space to Adjust to it”

“The miracle abolishes the need for lower-order concerns. Since it is an illogical, or out-of-pattern, time interval by definition, the ordinary considerations of time and space do not apply. I do not regard time as you do, and your space problems are not mine. When you perform a miracle, I will arrange both time and space to adjust to it.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.II.1:1-4)

Here are the ground rules for miracles. If we need more to time to perform one, one that has been prompted by Jesus, he will arrange it. And arrange space as well.
There is no way that we can comprehend what he is telling us. It is something that we will have to experience, this business of miracles. Miracles are expressions of love outside time and space, and he makes sure that we have all the time and space we need to perform them. We aren’t bound in any way.

Surely the miracle does bless both giver and receiver. We are constantly wanting miracles to get us out of the fixes we get ourselves into, but we still don’t often ask for a miracle. Let’s change that.

A close walk with Jesus will create in us a desire to be more miracle-minded. We will indeed be blessed when we ask, each day, to be extended the grace to offer miracles to our brothers and sisters.

And accept miracles for ourselves.

Images of God

“So far, this course has had only indirect recourse to God and rarely even refers to Him directly. I have emphasized that awe is not appropriate in connection with me, because of our inherent equality. I have been careful to clarify my own role in the Atonement, without either over- or understating it. I have tried to do exactly the same thing in connection with yours. The next step, however, does involve the direct approach to God Himself. It would be most unwise to start on this step at all without very careful preparation, or awe will surely be confused with fear, and the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.” (ACIM, COA ed., T-3.I.6:1-6)

We are asked to read through the Text of A Course in Miracles in right order. Jesus says that if we don’t, if we skip over, we will become fearful, and when we are in fear, we are not good learners. We are heading into a direct route to God Himself, the means of our living when we have moved beyond the indirect approach of the Holy Spirit. In the meantime, listening to guidance from the Holy Spirit is less terrifying.

Bottom line, we are scared of God. We think He blames His children for leaving Him, and, in a projection of our own, we think He is mad with us, very angry.
This is Old Testament thinking, Scripture for another time and place. The image of God in the Old Testament is very different from the loving God whom Jesus presented to us in the New Testament. In the Old, God was seen as judgmental and angry with His children, surely a projection of the ego. In the New, we are primed for the revelation that
Jesus made so clear, that God is Love, and that God envelops us with that Love, blames us for mistakes not at all. He knows us through and through, indeed lives through us, for we are not separate.

We do not approach Jesus, appropriately, with awe. But we are rightfully in awe of God, awe but not fear. Being scared of the One Who knows us through and through, and holds nothing against us, makes no sense at all. Any other conclusion is the work of the insane ego.