A Straight Line Back to God’s Heart

“What you have begun to see is that the mind is not the source of certainty, no matter how much knowl¬edge it attains. What you have perhaps begun to see in similar terms, is that money is also not the source of certainty, no matter how much it enables you to attain. Certainty, in other words, comes from somewhere else. This some¬where else we have defined as your true reality, the reality of union. Living in this reality, the reality of certainty, is the only key to abundance.” (ACOL, D:Day3.47)

Our true reality is a reality in which we are in union with God and we recognize this. We are merged with the Whole, the One. How do we attain this? It may seem not to be easy, but we can prepare in ways that we don’t readily recognize. We need to get fears and anxieties, judgments and attack, out of the way in our normal, everyday life. Fear and judgment is not natural to God; they are remnants of the ego misstep.

How do we remove fear? This may be easier said than done, for fear seems to come upon all at once, sometimes, an emotion that overcomes us and debilitates us both. I have found deep, fervent prayer to be this best antidote to fear. If we know that we are not all alone in the universe (and we definitely are not), we will know that Help is on the way. And then the fear will subside, sometimes gradually, sometimes in a miracle, all at once.

Judgment also separates us from union with God. If we are not joyous, we are in judgment of someone or something. The only thing that keeps us from joy is thinking ill of another (this from A Course in Miracles). And this “thinking ill” is judgment. We have more control over this opinion than we may realize. We simply pray for good will to return, and often it is done immediately. Nobody likes for joy to flee.

The Self of union with God walks an easy pathway in this world. Walk easy always; we do have some control over this. We are not meant to live uptight lives. “Relax,” I hear often in my morning prayers. And I try to heed. Relaxation in the midst of every busy doing on which we are sent is an elixir of great value. We relax, and God’s peace overshadows us. We relax, and all is well.

Dear God,

Be with me this moment, the start of all moments in the day ahead. Let me take to heed the admonition to relax into the day. Jesus knows best, and his advice seems to come through to all of us who listen. His advice seems to come through to me.

Thank You for the great promise of today. May I walk a straight line back to Your Heart.

Amen.

Miracles = Expressions of Love

“Abundance is the natural state of unity and thus your natural state, just as certainty rather than uncertainty is your natural state, just as joy rather than sorrow is your natural state. What you are being asked to do here, is to open the self of form to the place of unity, thus allowing this divine flow of union into the elevated Self of form.” (ACOL, D:Day3.44)

What this quotation says is the way of the future: We open our bodies, with the elevated Self of form encapsulated, to the union that is union with God. Our mind has been transformed by the heart into a place of holiness, a Christ-conscious transformation that we will recognize when it happens to us. Our incessantly busy thinking will slow down, and our unconscious mind will become more available to us. We will seem to see a different world, a world suffused with love and abiding in an environment that has changed because we have changed. The interior changes first, for the external is a reflection of the inner. We must change on the inside before any of our social action agenda will be permanently changed for the better; to try to change the outer without a corresponding inner change is to invite disaster, not what we want at all.

We will know abundance; we will know certainty. Abundance does include our financial betterment, but what it really denotes is the security that God alone can give. No material gain, however great, will satisfy for long—for it could always be taken from us. Certainty is somewhat similar, in that the only lasting certainty is what we learn from our inner Christ-Self, the Self bonded with God.

What can we do to effect this change? Or is it totally out of our hands? We can do one thing and one thing only: Remove the barriers to the expression of love. Then we have the miracle. The complete and annotated edition of A Course of Love, just published by the Circle of Atonement (Robert Perry, editor), makes clear that miracles are expressions of love. Perhaps we were not certain of this before. But every time we fulfill a miracle that we have been asked to perform (listening to guidance), we chip away at the egoic patterns that have ruined us. We are making progress. But, importantly, we don’t decide which miracles we will perform, because consciously selected miracles can be misguided. Wait to get the nod from guidance. Then express love as fully and completely as we know how.

Dear God,

I would hold no resentments nor grievances, attack nor anger, today. To do so is to choose a pathway other than the one You so graciously point out to me. Show me the way to perform miracles that You choose. Help me to express the highest and best love that I have in me.

Thank You that I feel secure in Your abundance and certain Your love. I will be in a better position to work miracles when I am not insecure. Please make sure that my certainty enlarges to a stance of security in the face of Your great blessings to me.

Be with me today. Keep my attitude high.

Amen.

Consoled in Life

“When you have felt the reality of union, you have felt the place in which no want exists. You felt this through the responsiveness of the relationship that is unity.” (ACOL, D:Day3.39)

This quotation is part of the theology of A Course of Love. “Unity” is when we are Christ-conscious, when we have a direct relationship with God. Our inner Christ-Self joins with the larger Self Who is God, or, to understand Jesus’s earlier analogy, the dot of our body joins with the surrounding white space. This is unity. This means that we are consoled in our daily living. We know that God is with us; we feel His Presence in our bones. And we are not in need (“no want exists”). We know that God is deep within, and we know that He gives us a sense of His Being in our natural environment. We are at home at last.

How do we know that we have made contact with God? There is an overarching feeling of love. And we reach out to others with the love that we are feeling. This loving feeling gives meaning to our lives, and our relationships with our brothers and sisters also give meaning to us. We know intuitively that we will never be alone again, or, more exactly, that we will ever “feel” alone again (for we have never truly been alone).

We will feel the warmth of God’s love embracing us and giving us solace as we move through our days. We will commune naturally and easily with Him, glad in His blessings to us. We will be in a thankful mood for these blessings. And we won’t see the need to get angry or to attack. At such times of union, we will wonder why we ever saw the need to get angry or to attack.

Be with God today. Relax into His care. We will live far better as a result. And the warm feeling that embraces us will carry over into times, even, in which we are not thinking of God. The warmth is its own reward.

Dear God,

Thank You for being with me this morning. Thank You for always being here. As I relax in Your care, I know that any anger or attack is far from me. May it stay far from me. My feet of clay are not tripping me up any longer.

Be with everyone whom I meet today. And thank You for prompting me in what to say and do. Your guidance has given me a good life. I ask today that that good life continue.

Amen.

Rest in Gentle Assurance

“To read the inspired wisdom of teachers such as these in order to “learn” has prevented the very relationship that these teachers sought to impart.

“What you have “learned,” and since the time of learning had revealed to you, is a new way, the way of direct relationship with God, the way of knowing through discovery. Remember always that knowing through discovery is knowing what was not known before, and keep this in mind as we consider the knowing of abundance.” (ACOL, D:Day3.37 – Day 3.38)

Knowing, real knowing, comes from intuitive understanding, not from our reading, however learned those discourses may be. When we know, we no longer perceive, for perception is of the ego, and we may perceive wrongly. Knowledge, and the acquisition of knowledge, rests on a sure foundation. When we know, we may find it hard to explain to another what we know. It just seems to us to BE. And this being is its salient point.

We are to know that the end of learning is here. We do not need to seek farther and farther afield for information about how to live our lives. We can rest in the inspiration that comes from God Himself. We can know in a way that has eluded us heretofore.

This knowledge is a great blessing. We walk through this world with a surety that we have lacked until now. We have been so confused about what to do and say. And what Jesus is saying is that those times of indecision are at an end—if we will let them rest, and lean on intuition, which gives us a solid foundation from which to act and speak. The way is clear now. If we seem confused, perhaps we are still caught up in a pattern of the ego (though the ego itself is gone from us). We are, in other words, in a habit of being confused, and everyone knows that habits can be hard to break.

Rest in gentle assurance that what Jesus has told us is the truth. We no longer have to restlessly seek further knowledge of things above, further knowledge of Heaven. If we just have the patience to listen to our inner guidance, we will know absolutely all that we need to know.

And we will be happy in that knowledge.

Dear God,

Thank You for solving any and all problems that seem to develop in one fell swoop. Thank You that the solution is always with what I perceive to a problem. That means that no problem lingers. The way out is being shown on an ongoing basis.

Thank You for Your love, showered on me in a warmth that is palpable. Thank You that any dark nights that I ever went through now seem to be in the past. Help me to have confidence in the promptings that You offer so freely. Thank You for wanting a direct relationship with me, one that I can feel and know.

Amen.

Solace in God’s Care

“You have been told that the time of the Holy Spirit, the time of a need for an intermediary between yourself and God, is gone. You have been invited to know God directly, and to develop a relationship with God. It is only in knowing God that the relationship of abundance will be made clear to you and break forever the chains of want.” (ACOL, D:Day3.35)

These are very welcoming words from Jesus, words in which he encourages us to develop a direct relationship with God. He knows that we don’t fear God any longer, in that we aren’t afraid of Him. Our fear had sprung from the authority problem, as outlined in A Course in Miracles. We somehow thought we had created ourselves, and in this assertion believed subconsciously that God was not going to forgive us for this affront to Him. Now we know better; we know that there is a supreme Creator Who created all of us as differentiations of His Being. And because we know this, we aren’t afraid of God and so don’t need an intermediary (the Holy Spirit) to listen to our prayers and to answer them. We can go right to the Source.

I am very reassured by this passage. It helps to pray prayers with “suction” (as I have heard), suction meaning deep and heartfelt communion with the Godhead. It is communion now that we will live best, communion with our Maker. All of our brothers and sisters can help us, including Jesus, but perhaps it is the very best to go to God Himself. He does not have feet of clay, as some others may.

We have gone past the time of the Holy Spirit, now living (as Jesus says) in the time of Christ. We have understood that our inner Christ Self is one with God, and that the Self of union is the greater One from which we draw. Our bodies occupy a tiny dot in a vast expanse of white space, but we have access to the whole of the white space. And when we drop on greater knowledge, we live better.

Turn today to God in our prayers. Let Him know that we are no longer trembling in terror of Him. Our solace in His care is assured. Our lives take on new meaning as we invite the Lord of Hosts to a place in our hearts and minds. Be reassured that He is living through us just all the time. That is the ultimate reason that suffering has no meaning. If God Himself experiences right along with our tiny minds and small hearts, then what have we ever to fear? The Lord of All can take care of us and Himself as well.

Dear God,

I re-surrender once again. I have a better day when I begin that day with a re-surrender. This act puts me in Your flow, and gives me an assurance that You not only walk with me, but that You also embody me. Yet Your mind is infinite, and my little differentiated self is finite. Is there no better reason to realize that I need You—always and forever?

Be with me for good days. Give me balance, no ups and downs of drama. May I take Your hand as I walk through this day. May I remember to take Your hand for every day.

Amen.

Listen to Guidance of the Heart

“The condition of want, like all conditions of learning, ended with the end of learning. The condition of want was a learning device—not one of divine design, but one of the thought system of the ego. It was a trick to keep you constantly striving for more, a trick to guarantee the survival of the ego-self, a trick that provided the small rewards of time-bound evolution, the small rewards that would keep you assured of progress through effort, and just as assured of ruin through lack of effort.” (ACOL, D:Day3.28)

Here the word “want” is a lack that is actually a need, not a desire. And we learn elsewhere that our needs are met at the point that they are recognized, by us, as needs. We ask for help in meeting our need, and it comes—immediately. The solution is always right with the problem.

We may not believe this. But think back. Have we ever really had a need that wasn’t answered in some way? It might not have been answered in the way that we preferred, but an answer did come, and invariably. Now we are living in a new time, and the effort that we put into answering our needs must be dropped. We don’t get our needs met through effortful living any longer, for effortful living was a ploy of the ego so that its survival was certain.

We have, by now, at this point in reading A Course of Love and taking it unto our heart and mind, left the ego behind in the dust. We may, of course, still keep a “pattern” of the ego that seems to make sense for a time. But if we think carefully, we will know that we don’t do things for the egotistical payoff any longer. This dynamic has simply lost its value to us. And we are much better off as a result.

We are asked to make progress today through listening to our heart’s guidance, not through laborious effort that might or might not pay off. We are assured of making progress when we listen to the ideas that drop into our mind from listening to our heart, from listening to our Self. This Self is the Oversoul, of which we all are a part. Guidance is particular to each of us, but we draw on the same Source. We draw on God Himself, Who leads and directs from the center of our being. And His way is always sure.

Dear God,

Help me to remember to be gentle with myself today. If I feel like resting, let me do so without guilt. If I feel sleep, let me take a nap without guilt. I would displace guilt from my mind and heart at every point that it would try to enter. I don’t have to produce always. Living is its own reward.

May I be there for my brothers and sisters in need. Sometimes you use me to answer a need. That is not a burden, but it is a responsibility, and it calls for careful listening to my heart about the right thing to do and say. Help me to follow You in any matters that confront me. Help me to love with a generous heart, especially when my brother or sister is feeling weak and troubled.

Amen.

Ennobling Life

“What you learned is insane. But to realize the truth you must now fully reject the untruths that you learned. You must fully reject the ideas that taught you that you do not have enough, that you will only have what you can earn or learn, that only through effort will you gain, and that with your gain will come another’s loss. In other words, here is where you must accept the teachings of this Course.” (ACOL, D:Day3.25)

The “teaching of this Course” asks us to realize that much that we have struggled to attain for ourselves is actually going to come to us as a gift from God, effortlessly. To believe this takes a giant leap of faith, for we have long believed that we had to work hard, to earn, that which we require to keep us going in this world. To believe the teaching of this Course will not mean that we lie down and do nothing. But it does mean that work will merge into play, and that that endeavor will be achieved with a clear mind, open to ideas from a God Who gives ideas, and in the giving shows us how to use our talents for the best. If we are doing something that we hate in a job in order to earn the money to support ourselves, perhaps now we will be led to realize that this is not the new way being pointed out by A Course of Love. If we are trapped in a relationship solely for the money that it provides, to give us material comforts, maybe we need to realize that it is far better to love in our relationships if we are to keep a holy encounter.

For us to gain, it does not mean that another must lose. There is enough for everyone in the new world that we will be moving into. We have many ideas of outdoing another for our own aggrandizement, but such ideas are not of God, and it behooves to consider whether or not the ideals by which we live are actually ideals that would pass muster with a loving Creator.

The teachings of A Course of Love will transform our world view. These teachings will give us a new lease on life, a life that will no longer be lived in struggle with what each day brings, but in acceptance, total and complete, of the day’s happenings. Once we accept what is before us, we will then make changes as need be, refusing to keep what does not ennoble. But full acceptance is necessary first. Then we can change what we dislike, after, but only after, we have come to terms with exactly what we dislike about our experiences.

Dear God,

I know that keeping a fresh outlook on the events of a given day will lift that day into a sphere that is positive. Positive outlooks build on themselves, and it is to the positive that I would look today. Help me to turn aside from any and all frustrations. Help me to see You in my daily round.

May each day be like a pearl on a string, with one day touching another and building a string of pristine pearls. May the joys of each day escalate into a joyous present and future. Be with me. I long for You.

Amen.

Abundance Is Our Birthright

“Yet how can you accept yourself when you have feelings such as these? How can you accept the idea of inheritance with ideas such as these? How do you accept me when you see me as symbolizing a life of “godly” poverty, and of calling my followers to abandon their worldly goods?

“Thus must this source of your anger and discontent, this source of your non-acceptance, be revealed in a new light.” (ACOL, D:Day3.15 – Day3.16)

We are meant to be called to a radical acceptance of our lives, but not to those things that we dislike. Our acceptance paves the way for change, and it is change, often, that we want. Our acceptance of poverty, if that is our situation, can pave the way to the elimination of poverty. We don’t lie down in the dust and give up. We wait for the ideas from God that will make a difference in our lives. But acceptance, a radical acceptance, is important—indeed, is mandatory.

We have often become angry when we see others who have more than we do in material blessings. Those people are a thorn in our side. But it doesn’t have to be that way. They did not accept poverty as a given, and when we don’t accept it as given, we are well on our way to making real change occur in our lives. We don’t have to lead charmed lives to be secure in financial matters. We don’t have to be angry that we don’t have as much as another. We can walk into greater abundance by acceptance of ALL facets of our lives, and then by moving to replace those things that we don’t like. The way seems plain, but, oh, so hard to accept.

God gives ideas. And He gives security. No amount of abundance, or money, would ever be enough to offer a sense of safety, for that safety only comes from a close walk with God. He takes care of us. Our real needs are always met, even if outward appearances deem otherwise. Our wishes are not always met, and this is a good thing, for our wishes are defective. But needs are met.

Allow acceptance to flood over us. Then watch for opening windows. When God closes a door, He opens a window farther down the pathway.

Opening windows are a blessing for which all of us can be assured.

Dear God,

I accept the particular amount of money I have now. And when and if I need more, I accept that point of need, and then wait for an opening window that will tell me how to solve the problem. Need is always met. I am not called to accept undesirable outcomes.

Be with me today as I seek to walk in Your way. Pour into my mind the ideas that I need to have to move into any greater abundance that I need. And allow me to believe that this outcome will happen.

Amen.

Think Outside the Box

“Let us return for a minute to the base idea behind the issue of money or abundance: the way you have learned. The mind would tell you that nothing is “given,” and that all must be either learned or earned, most times both, for you have learned in order to earn, learned in order to advance yourself in the world in one way or another. Since money or abundance is not a “given” for all, but only for a few, you think of it much like the “given” of natural gifts or talents, the “givens” of fresh and inspired ideas. You do not, however, see that these are in truth linked as givens, for you do not see that all are gifted.” (ACOL, D:Day3.11)

Jesus goes to great lengths to knock us out of our preconceived ideas about money. When he is speaking here of gifts, he is not speaking of inheritance from our parents or other individuals. He is speaking of gifts from God, and we are all similarly gifted with talents and inspired ideas (though we often don’t realize this). Our talents do differ on this earth, but there are many and varied talents, and there is always something that we can do better than anyone else whom we know. Think a bit of this, and see if it isn’t true. Our talents may be something that nobody else values, but there it is. And it is valuable in the sight of God. Our ideas, similarly, are different from many others, but they are OURS, and we value them. The same with abundance, or money. We accept our right to it, we believe, and then we find that we have enough for security. And security is not measured in mass.

We can only be secure in God’s grace. No amount of money will suffice, for the very rich are quite aware that the stock market can crash, or other ways may be found that separate the very rich from their money. So if we can never be rich from our money, we can only be rich in God, and He grants the security and safety that we have been craving.

Many things are “given” by God. And it is this that we ought to rely upon. We don’t have to learn or earn everything that comes to us. Think a moment of what we have that we did not gain through learning or earning. Many of these things are without monetary value, but they will enrich our soul tremendously. And it is the soul who we ought to nourish, for life then becomes worth living.

If we can believe strongly enough that we will be made secure in our financial lives, then we will find that our belief will become justified. It is a focus on lack that trips us up. Focus on abundance, and see what great ideas do come that will lead to abundance. Think outside the box. God gives great ideas that grant the abundance that we have been desiring.

What if we don’t believe in abundance, or money coming our way? Our doubt is a great hinderer to God as He seeks to bless us. Try, just for a short time, giving up the doubt and see if something better doesn’t occur. We can and will feel safe in God’s arms when we recognize that having abundance is not meant for a chosen few.

Dear God,

Help me to realize the abundance that You offer so freely. Never let fears intrude, for they are deadly. May I enjoy the blessings that You have rained down upon me. And may I enjoy them every day.

Be with me as I seek to have a good day. Your bountiful storehouses are open to me today; help me to believe.

Amen.

A Spiritual Context for Living

“It is through your mind that these new ideas will change your actions and your life, your mind that, through increased stillness, will give you more peace, your mind that will accept comfort of a certain type, even extending to a new comfortableness of being. You believe having a spiritual context for your life can, in other words, change your inner life, but are more skep¬tical in regard to its ability to affect your outer life; and nowhere are you more skeptical than in regard to money or abundance. The area of money, or abundance, is where learning fooled you and failed you the most.” (ACOL, D:Day3.7)

Having a spiritual center for our lives does do much for us, and here Jesus is making the allegation that it can even bring us more money—or “abundance,” as he calls it. Aside from the fact that money appears to be materialism, something that Jesus has rejected, how might we understand these thoughts of his?

We are led to “accept” in these early days of the Forty Days and Forty Nights. But we are not being led down a garden path to accept those things that we don’t like! We are being led into a new way of viewing the world, one in which we have the money that we need, primarily because we become certain that we will be taken care of. Our certainty that all will be well is enough to make it so. Doubt that this is true will unhinge the emotional tenor of our thoughts, and it is with emotion that we need to work. When we fervently (i.e., emotionally) believe, then we get what we are saying. We accept that belief in abundance can indeed make it ours. We don’t think that we will believe if we first get the money; that is putting the cart before the horse. We can imagine a world in which abundance is ours, and then we can see that it is so. That is all.

So, acceptance is key. Our new state of being, a way of being that has us feeling comfortable in our own skin, will pave the way for the blessings that will unfold. When we are peaceful, we realize that no amount of money could give us security, for our security does not rest in the fact of money. Our security rests in God, and it is through divine guidance that we discover how to live. This discovery, of how to live, will lead us into abundance in every facet of living—not just green paper bills. But even green paper bills can and will come, once we are clear that materialism does not give us the certainty of being taken care of. Our certainty rests in God alone. Then, regardless of how many green paper bills we have, we know that we are safe. Our security is affirmed.

Dear God,

I feel safe and secure today. I have had my moments of fear, but today those moments of fear do not assail me. Thank You.

Be with me as I seek to extend Your safety to every part of my life. Your way points out the way to abundance in every facet of my life. May this assurance never leave me.

Amen.

“Oh, Earth, You’re Too Wonderful for Anybody to Realize You!”

“Accept your anger for it is the next step in the continuum upon which we travel. When a person is dying, just as when a person is undergoing this final surrender, there are stages through which one moves. The first is denial, the second is anger. We have already spoken of denial, albeit in a new way. Now we will speak of anger, in both an old and a new way. Let me suggest to you what it is truly all about. It is about the way you have learned and your lack of understanding of what this did to you.” (ACOL, D:Day3.1)

Do we feel anger at this point in reading A Course of Love? Jesus suggests that we will, if following along in the book. Why? We are beginning to realize that much of what we have learned in the past will be of little use to us in the future. We are nearing the point in the Dialogues, the third and last book in ACOL, in which Jesus asks us to stop depending on the learned wisdom of authorities. And it is these authorities that have often not gotten it right. Their motivation may have been stellar, they may have sought to know God, and to pass along what they knew, but somehow they fell short. And their interpretations are what are now making us angry. We learned wrong.

What do we hear now? That change is good, that we—each of us—are either going to change the world or create a new world. I am reminded of the renowned play by Thornton Wilder entitled “Our Town.” In it, Emily returns from the grave to revisit one day in her just-finished life. She finds out that people don’t notice each other and their world enough, don’t slow down to appreciate. And she concludes, “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you!”

We are about to realize how good earth really can get. There may be some bumps in the road, but by and large we are on a pathway, pointed out by Jesus in channeled writings, that carries us all along smoothly. We know now not to let emotional turmoil turn pain into suffering, and while this seems clear to us, and simple, it has not always been obvious. We have support in our daily rounds. With “a single unequivocal call,” Jesus is here for us. We may doubt this, but I take him literally. How he can clone himself is beyond what we can know in this realm, but his guidance to any who ask for it is a sure promise.

So we feel the anger that we were misled by much that we read in the past, but we drop it when we realize that it is unwise to cling to the past. Walk into a miraculous world, kept pristine and pure for us to inhabit in this time of the second coming of Christ. While Jesus does not promise a physical return, he is returning to those who ask.

Be one who asks today.

Dear God,

Thank You for your steadfast support of me. Thank You that Jesus is a constant in this world, he and his colleagues. Thank You for opening my eyes to the promise of a new world. This old, worn world is at an end, soon, and I welcome a new beginning in a newly created world.

Lift my sights to higher ground. If obsessions threaten my peace of mind, let those dark thoughts just rest lightly on my mind and dissipate into thin air. May I awaken each morning with the assurance that this will be a good day. Always and forever.

Amen.

Inward to Silence Speaking

“This is why you first needed to accept me. To accept me is to accept the end of suffering. To accept the end of suffering is to accept your true Self.” (ACOL, D:Day2.27)

Our true Self knows no suffering. Our true Self is the Oversoul who is part of God, yet also part of ourselves and our “little” or personal self. We reach deep within ourselves to make a contact with this deepest part of ourselves. Our true Self is not “out there” somewhere in space, but in the silence deep within. And it is in reaching downward and inward that we will know no suffering. Pain, maybe; but suffering, no.

Ask to be shown. Enter into a dialogue with Jesus. To do so is as simple as to sit down with paper and pencil, or computer document and typing—and sense what to write. This sensing will come invariably. We will use our imagination, which is how the silence speaks to us. And this silence is the silence that we share with everyone, including Jesus. It is the Self Itself, large enough for all to share from the inside. It is our way back.

This writing will not ever hurt anyone. If words come through that are hurtful, we are inadvertently sourcing a part of ourselves that hasn’t made it all the way down to God. Perhaps an egoic part. Perhaps a part of ourselves who hasn’t yet given up on this earth as it is presently configured. We need to be ready to walk into a new world, a new world that we are either assisting to change OR creating anew. This is what we are about: a new world.

The dialogue with Jesus will show us our next step. And entering the dialogue with friends and family will also show us the way, for all of us are the one Self. Everyone can do this. Everyone needs to do this.

The world needs us. Answer today.

Dear God,

Turn me into a consistently kind individual. I still get angry; I still feel like rejecting what I don’t like. But, in flow, the best happens, even when I don’t recognize it at first. Help me to recognize the best sooner rather than later.

The way back is assured all of us. Thank You for those who are ready to reach deep within, to accept Jesus as the leader for readers of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Thank You for motivating me today to write this blog post. Sometimes all that any of us needs is a little push, a gentle push that You give.

Amen.

Wondrous Outcome / Joy and Pain / No Suffering

““I” did not suffer, for I knew who I was and chose no suffering. This is what is meant by the idea that has been repeated as “I died for your sins.” My death was meant to demonstrate that the end of suffering had come, and with it, eternal life.

“Here, then, is where you need to make the choice that those in my time could not make, the choice to end suffering. This is the choice I made “for all.” This is a choice you make for all as well.

“Willingness is now upon humankind. What my life demonstrated but needs to be demonstrated anew. But this will not happen if you cling to suffering. If you do not accept your Self, all of yourself, you cling to suffering.” (ACOL, D:Day2.24 – Day 2.26)

If we accept our Self, all of ourselves, Jesus is bluntly telling us that we will see an end to suffering. This means that any pain that we encounter will not escalate into suffering, because suffering nearly always is the emotional component of pain—the “why me,” “Why I this happening to me?” And we lapse into great rejection of what we are going through, the opposite of the acceptance that Jesus is calling us to have.

When we accept our Self, we accept the joy as well as the pain, and we don’t allow the pain to escalate into suffering. Surely Jesus felt pain on the cross, but he didn’t focus on a query to God of why—most of the time. Some of the words spoken from the cross do indicate a wavering of his intent upon knowing who he was (“My God, my God, why hath Thou forsaken me?”). So acceptance of all they we come upon is necessary, and the most necessary of all is that we accept our Self, the Self of union, the larger Self, the God within. Our little selves will fall in line, then, with not escalating pain into suffering.

Willingness was not upon humankind 2,000 years ago. But things are different now. We can accept in this time of Christ, in this time of the second coming of Christ (though in A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, Jesus never tells us that this will be a physical embodiment of himself). The times are different now, though, and we will be able, with God, to effect change that has eluded this world until now. We will change the world; we will create a new world. Everything is in place for this. If we see parts of the world that make us say, “I doubt that,” then we need but turn to Jesus’s channeled words to get back on track. Remember that eternity is not the same as time, and what seems long to us may be only a fraction of a second in eternity. So we don’t know how long it will take to actually create a new world.

Jesus is very keen on this new world, and so I don’t think that the outcome will be long. If we accept ourselves, accept him, follow intuitive guidance, and ask to be shown what to say and do, the result will be wondrous—far beyond anything we can now comprehend.

Give ourselves over to God. He knows how to reform the world; we don’t. Let us listen to the whispers that come from our Oversoul, our Self, and fall in line with our part in this great endeavor.

Dear God,

Thank You for turning this day to joy for me. I awoke and spent most of the morning in a lower state of mind and heart, but You would not have this recur. I would not have pain escalate into suffering, however small that suffering might be. I would fall in line with Your expressed words to me, whispers that tell that everything will turn out alright, that I need have no fear.

Thank You for guiding me so precisely. This day, may it be a joyous hymn to You. A joyous hymn that ensures that I will listen to the words.

Amen.

Accept Self in Its Essence

“But just as you are called here to accept me despite possible misgivings such as religious beliefs, you are called to accept yourself. This uncondi¬tional acceptance is necessary.” (ACOL, D:Day2.15)

Jesus continues with the theme of acceptance, heralding now an unconditional acceptance of ourselves. We so rarely accept ourselves, we who are always reading self-help literature, lamenting our failure to be perfect, chastising ourselves for some lapse in our spiritual walkway. We who are on the spiritual path find much that we don’t like in ourselves—so accept ourselves unconditionally? How can we do so?

It will take a leap of faith, a leap that we are good enough as we are, a leap that we need just to be ourselves. This “being who we are” will become the culminating advice from Jesus in A Course of Love. It will be his parting advice to us, and he is paving the way now by talking of unconditional acceptance of ourselves just as we are.

We may think that this advice is fine for somebody, somebody who is less sensitive to faults than we have always been. Those of us on the spiritual path are those who, previously, were most attuned to “sin” in ourselves and others. Now we call these sins just “mistakes,” but we still don’t forgive ourselves. We know that God has forgiven us, but we don’t accept that knowledge by taking the next obvious step and believing that we are once again in grace. We think there might be something we have left undone; we may even be able to name this something. And all the while, we hold out on unconditional acceptance of ourselves.

When we hold out on unconditional acceptance of ourselves, we hold out on Christ-consciousness. We are trying to better than we really are, and this is a form of judgment that is fueled by fear that we are not good enough. And we already know that fear and judgment are two emotions that are incompatible with God’s world. We cling to what dooms us. And then we wonder why we haven’t reached Christ-consciousness yet.

Drop all of this petty misgiving for the reassurance that Jesus gives us in A Course of Love. We are good enough, though we are not perfect. He stands at the end of the walkway to correct any errors that we couldn’t rectify. Take him at his word, and accept ourselves fully and completely. Today.

This is not as hard as it sounds. A little simple humility, to say that Jesus can do what we have not been able to do. A little acknowledgment that we can’t find our way back alone. If we could, we would have already done so. Jesus says this in ACOL. Now it is up to us to accept help, and then to accept ourselves just as we are, with a thankful spirit for what will happen soon.

Dear God,

I ask for an uplifted spirit today. So often I get petty complaints and worries on my mind and heart, and I rue the day that You have given to me. Help me to rise above this type of mistake today. Help me to welcome You into my heart, sure that You are living life through me, that we are One.

Be with me as I seek to enjoy the glorious earth You have provided. Help me to make wise decisions, decisions that are informed by guidance. My intuition will wither if I don’t listen to it. I will listen today.

Amen.

Don’t Live in the Past

“Let me ask you now, are these feelings—feelings that are attached to your belief that you have harmed others—not feelings of sorrow? Are you not sorry for these actions? Have you not expressed your wish that you had acted differently? Can you see a way to change the past or to “make up for” what occurred in the past?

“Now is the time for acceptance, even of these actions that you would rather not accept. (ACOL, D:Day2.10 – Day 2.11)

Just prior to this quotation, Jesus is expressing his understanding that we all have things that we regret, and regret deeply. We think, therefore, that we are not good enough for this blessing that Jesus is holding out for us, the blessing of Christ-consciousness.

But here he goes on to say that our deep regret is enough, that we don’t have to “merit” his blessing. Here we have to simply move on, and the way to do that is through acceptance, radical acceptance, of ourselves.

He specifically mentions divorce as a point of great regret for many people. He knows, and we know, that we must move on from this. Our future lives depend on putting this action in the past. And until we accept the circumstances, we will have trouble putting divorce in the past.

But it can be done. Thus so for all, and that means all, things that we are sorry to have perpetrated in our lives. We regret, we ask forgiveness, and then we move on. There is no other way.

So: Accept today that those things in the past that hold regret are just that—in the past. And we don’t live in the past. We live today. Forgive, including forgive ourselves, and then move on—to acceptance. Then we are ready for God’s great blessing of Awakening, Christ-consciousness, enlightenment.

Dear God,

When I look over my life, I see some things to regret. But, as Jesus recommends, I place those things I in the distant past now. I see the world anew and afresh. I see with clear eyes, no more old nonsense. I would live well and peacefully, in Your good grace, from now on.

Thank You.

Amen.

We Are in God’s Care / Accept Ourselves

“Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of me. Acceptance of your Self is acceptance of your inheritance. Now is the time to come into full acceptance of the human self as well as the Self of unity. It is time for the final merging of the two into one Self, the elevated Self of form.” (ACOL, D:Day2.1)

This is the moment we have been waiting for, the moment that Jesus introduces in this quotation. We are ready for the elevated Self of form. We are ready. Do we doubt it?

Perhaps we do doubt it. But rest easy; we have about 35 days left on the mountaintop. We will be alright. Rest and be relaxed. The way back to God is not hard, as this blog has repeatedly said. We need to go with the flow, relax in God’s good graces, be reassured that all is well.

When we accept ourselves, we are living in our own genuine authenticity. And this is being who we really are. We have previously bent ourselves all out of shape trying to be good; now is the time to let these machinations just fall away. We are not asked to be perfect; Jesus will correct any faults that we cannot. Now is the time for that, also. We are nearing the end of our pathway back to God. Turn to Him for relief from anything and everything that ails us.

And He will be there.

Acceptance is the key point here. We have so often not done so, and to our detriment. Just be satisfied with the Self whom we are. This Self is going to give us great joy, but we are standing with our eyes partially covered still. This won’t do. We are afraid of the light. But the transition to being the elevated Self is gentle, and there is no need to cover our eyes.

Listen and we will hear. Intuition will guide us, when we are open to it.

Be open to it.

Dear God,

May this day go well. Thank You for the previous days of joy, the previous days of sorrow; thank You for all of it, for it has made me ready for You, finally.

Thank You for being here for me. I will accept myself as I am, not bend myself all out of shape trying to be something that You never intended. When I “meet” You, you will not ask me if I were some saint; You will ask me if I were myself. Pure and simple.

Amen.

Following in the Footsteps of Jesus

“I am the secret of succession, the way and the life, the beginning of the end of the story that is to be fulfilled, brought to completion and wholeness in you and in me, so that together we bring about the second coming of Christ and the elevation of the Self of form.” (ACOL, D:Day1.29)

Here Jesus is asking us to follow in his footsteps—in “succession,” as he says. This is a new way of referring to following him, and it gives us a big challenge (though A Course in Miracles says that there is no challenge to the advanced teacher of God, because he/she follows the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and chooses for all humankind). Can we do it? Of course. We know, don’t we, that Jesus has been leading us aright. Now he wants us to mellow out, to cease senseless fear and senseless judgment, and to ready ourselves for God’s great step—to lift us up into Awakening, into Christ-consciousness. We also don’t plan, for our guidance (often as intuition) will tell us, surely and completely, what to say and do next. When we are in flow, going about our day in serenity and peace, listening for guidance, we live with a sureness that has eluded us heretofore.

Jesus would not have us follow him into crucifixion, for he resolved all that suffering with the resurrection. While he does not explain how the resurrection happened, he does say that it happened. Other writings have talked of a dematerialization of the human body of Jesus, and then his appearances to his disciples, and others, including the women on Easter morning, as taking place in a risen body (an ethereal body). Can we believe it?

The eyewitness testimony in the Gospels says as much. Perhaps we need to set aside our doubts, and know that Jesus was invoking physical laws above what is usual for this world. There are more things in heaven and earth than we have dreamed of.

To follow in succession with Jesus is to embody an elevated Self of form enthralled by Christ-consciousness. This is his will for us. This is God’s will for us. Praying that this eventuality happen sooner rather than later is completely in line with Jesus’s words to us. We need simply to accept all that has heretofore been unacceptable to ourselves, including our own misguided mistakes. They simply do not matter in the grand scheme of things. Jesus stands at the end to correct any mistakes that we have been unable to correct.

Take him at his word.

Dear God,

I would be more stable in my outlook, happier and more contented in day-to-day life. I would focus on an Eastertime this year that is generous and good to all people. I ask for your help in daily living, knowing that no problem of mine is too small for Your attention.

Thank You for Jesus’s attention to detail, attention to all of us. He shows me the way. I am well-protected and well-loved. I sense this, and for this I give thanks.

Amen.

Return to Paradise

“There is no story to project what comes next—no accomplished story. There is only scripture unfulfilled, the promise of inheritance or the threat of doom. Myth too stops short of fulfillment, of return to paradise.

“Yet this return to paradise, to your true Self and your true home, is written within you. It only needs to be lived to become real. You must accept me because I lived it and made it real for you. You must accept me because I am the part of you that can guide you beyond what I accomplished to the accomplishment of creation, and beyond creation to the story not yet written, the future not yet created. To the realization of paradise and of your true Self and true home, in a form that will take you beyond time to eternity. (ACOL, D:Day1.23 – 1.24)

We are marching into Paradise. This is the good news that Jesus, in this quotation, comes to tell us. And we won’t make it on our own. If we have read this far in A Course of Love, we are tacitly accepting Jesus as our guide back home, our guide to Paradise. This is the acceptance that he is after. This is what we are asked to do.

What will Paradise mean to us? Our very consciousness will be altered to a much more serene manifestation. We will be easy-going, mellow, peaceful, and, above all, loving. Our minds will slow down, and this is something that we will recognize. Jesus does not ask us to accept, on faith, that which he cannot prove to us. We will know when we have changed to manifest Christ-consciousness, or, as A Course in Miracles says, Awakening.

All of us have already had glimpses of this new state of mind and heart. Jesus says this in the latter sections of the Dialogues. Not one of us is completely in the dark. And, if we have followed the gentle pathway of A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, we won’t awaken with a scream of terror, as though a light had been turned on while we are dreaming. We will awaken to a serenity that seems unreal at first, a quietness that we have never known. A very peaceful Awakening.

So we can know now, from our glimpses, that Christ-consciousness, Awakening, is not anything to fear. We will not be hurled into reality. We will walk a gentle way back to God, because we have listened to Jesus’s words, and however indecisively, we have accepted him as our leader.

Dear God,

Give me energy to do Your bidding today. This beautiful day is another of Your gifts to us. I would not rue this day, regardless of what it brings, and this day has, thus far, brought me closer to You. I wait in patience for You to reach down and lift me up, to have a prolonged experience of Your Being.

I long for the assurance that You love me, and you give this assurance to me in abundance. Thank You for holding the hand of this sensitive soul.

Amen.

Jesus Is the One for Us

“You are all beloved sons and daughters of love itself, no matter what you call that love. You all are equally beloved. That you give your devotion to one religious tradition or another matters not. That you accept that I am he who can lead you beyond your life of misery to new life matters absolutely.” (ACOL, D:Day1.15)

Here is a further indication of what “accept me”—said by Jesus—really means. Any religious tradition that speaks to our needs is good, but he is the one to whom we are listening in A Course of Love. He is bringing us home. He is our leader back from the abyss.

Other religious leaders might have done the same for us, but if this is true, it is doubtful that we would be reading A Course of Love. We signed on with Jesus, and to complete the transition to new life, he asks that we accept as the one who will succeed where others have failed. He knows what to say to us who are enthralled by ACOL; he knows how we think. And he can appeal to our experiences in a way that is unique to him. We are followers of Christianity, though not of a traditional understanding of Christianity.

Isn’t the simplest usually the best? And the simplest is to let go of doubts, and just entertain the possibility that what we have been reading in ACOL is true: that Jesus is the one for us. We can make fast progress when we come to this conclusion. We can and we will.

Dear God,

Thank You for leading Jesus’s thoughts to enlist my cooperation in accepting him as the one to whom I turn when in the ditch. I would not stay in the ditch. I want out; I want You. Jesus can appeal to me in a way that other traditions might not. Others may choose someone different, and thereby have a way to reach You. But I follow A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. My choice for Jesus has been borne out many times.

Be with me on this lovely day. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the temperature is optimal. May this day draw me into a loving mood, one that opens me to a glimpse of Your ultimate salvation for me.

Amen.

Words of Wisdom

“If you are to succeed me, you must accept me, much as you must accept your ascension to this mountain peak and this dialogue that is occurring here. If you believe this mountain peak is merely metaphorical, you will not realize that you have ascended or that you have left behind the conditions of the initiate. If you believe these are words of wisdom and that you can remain ambivalent about their source, you will not know me nor accept me, and you will not know or accept your Self.” (ACOL, D:Day1.7)

Jesus is here pleading with us to believe that he is the source of these words. But not the individual who lived 2,000 years ago; he wants us not to think of him in those terms now. He wants us to realize that the Self of union, the Self of whom we are a part, is the same Self whom he shares. All of us share this Self; it is just that some don’t yet recognize this. He is asking for an intimate relationship with us. “Accepting” Jesus is becoming aware of his personal interest in us and our development. He urges us to put aside our doubts, and to contemplate that a relationship with him, a part of the same Self whom we share, can offer great benefits in our progress toward reunion with God.

Many can accept the words of wisdom in A Course of Love without fully believing that Jesus could channel to a woman on earth. The words of wisdom are very keen. But here Jesus is saying that we will derive much more benefit if we can put aside our questions, and just conclude that it is really he who is offering us these words of wisdom.

Just open our minds a crack and consider that the quotation is right on beam, that we are hearing from a man who does not occupy body, but who cares about each of us. How he can reach so many individuals is something that we don’t really know, but there are mysteries on heaven and earth of many types that we cannot understand with finite minds. Science has not proceeded that far. Elsewhere Jesus says that the change that our minds and hearts will undergo would be discernible to scientists if they knew what to look for. I think of his insistence that these words are really his along the same lines. We don’t know how he can be present for each of us who calls out, but he has promised that he will be.

Let doubts fall away, and allow a glimmer of faith, a mustard seed of faith, to envelop us. We will not be sorry that we dropped our doubts and entertained a magnificent truth.

Dear God,

Thank You that I am able to consider things that I cannot prove. The proof will come later. And now the proof is in the result. And I am living much better than before A Course of Love entered my life. This is the rock-bottom truth. And it is a truth that is true for many readers of ACOL.

Be with me so that I am compassionate with the people who are a part of my life. May the day go smoothly, the night blestful.

Amen.

ENTERING A DIALOGUE—WITH JESUS

Note: Just published in the Embrace (e-newsletter by Glenn Hovemann and Take Heart Publications) and accepted for publication by Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy) and The Miracle Worker (Dan Strodt).

by Celia Hales

Jesus will be with us when we ask for him. But although he makes this point in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love, for many years I didn’t take him literally. In ACIM, he says that he will come upon “a single unequivocal call.” (T-4.III.7) In ACOL, the Addendum, he goes even further, saying, “Beyond the coursework of the Treatises lies direct relationship—direct relationship with me.” (A.35) Jesus continues: “Listen and you will hear”:

Now is the time to truly begin to ‘hear’ my voice in every aspect of creation and to respond with your own voice in all of your own acts of creation. It is time to realize that you are a creator. (A.38)

I have now taken Jesus at his word. I have been dialoguing for some time now in something that feels real. I hasten to add that I don’t hear interior words, as Helen (ACIM) and Mari (ACOL) did; but I do sense a rightness or wrongness as I seek to use my imagination to write what I would like to believe is advice and support from Jesus. And this time of dialoguing is certainly (as Jesus says), “a time of great intimacy.” (A.39)

What does “entering the dialogue,” with great intimacy really mean? Listen again to what Jesus says:

Entering the dialogue is akin to residing in the present moment and to hearing all that is being spoken in all the ways it is being spoken. Now is the time to truly begin to ‘hear’ my voice in every aspect of creation and to respond with your own voice in all of your own acts of creation. It is time to realize that you are a creator. (A.38)

Powerful words. How do I try to heed them?

For several years, I have followed the practice of writing “morning pages,” in line with a recommendation made by Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) for three handwritten pages of anything and everything, first thing in the morning. Such writing clears the mind and heart for the day ahead. Julia also recommends writing dialogues with an unseen Guidance, and she declares that we will get real answers. She challenges us to try it.

I also have a close friend in my small city who underwent a transformation over 30 years ago. She didn’t know what had happened to her, and spent much time sorting out her new intuitions (though it is clear, at least to me, that she received Christ-consciousness). My friend counsels writing a dialogue with what she calls one’s “Inner Wisdom.” She herself has received some startling insights through this method.

All of this has been on my mind and heart.

A couple of years ago, I decided to make my morning pages a dialogue with God. In the beginning I was still imagining God as somehow separate from myself, a God I prayed to and received answers from. (I do still believe that there is a Godhead who listens, though this somewhat contradicts both ACIM and ACOL). So in my imagination I dialogued with God for a while.

Then I decided to try writing to my Self—when I realized that the Self is a part of God, the part deep within who is living life through me.

Finally, a year or so ago, I decided to simply take Jesus at his word and try dialoguing with him.

It works.

How does it work?

We might imagine that Jesus is not really personal with us, that because the Self is the All, and he and we are “one Self,” that in some mystical way he is just leading us to believe, though in a loving way, that he is communicating with us.

I don’t buy it. He says that he is inviting us to a direct relationship, and I think he means it. To my mind, this might mean that as a much-advanced being, Jesus is able to clone himself innumerable times, to be with all those who call. Of course, he doesn’t use terminology like this in A Course of Love.

I don’t know the answer to how Jesus can have a direct relationship with each of us. Maybe nobody in this world does. Yet I trust Jesus’s words. When he says that he is with each of us, I believe that he is telling the truth.

I repeat: I don’t “hear” anything. I do get a sense of what is coming through, or about to come through, as I write. What I might even call a knowing. I write for 45 minutes before breakfast, on my laptop computer, for ease of writing, for I have found writing morning pages by hand to be stress-producing.

Often I “hear” from Jesus, “I love you.” And I type the same to him, in my imagined inner dialogue. Am I just making up this communication? Is it a flight of imaginative fancy? No—although it is clear to me that I am using my “imagination” to decide what I believe Jesus is trying to tell me in the early morning. Joan of Arc, who heard voices, said that the voices were from her imagination, that “that is how God speaks with us.” I think it is the same for Jesus with me. This in itself is a real step forward, as I have never—never—been able to read the New Testament without arguing with Jesus in my mind.

I ask for solace and comfort a lot, and I do seem to get it. I need solace and comfort especially in the mornings because I am not a morning person.

Remember, Jesus says, “Listen and you will hear.” (A.38)

I have found listening and hearing to be in an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus. Just as he says in ACOL, in words clear as a bell, inviting us to believe him.

Although this personal relationship may sound like traditional Christianity, there is a difference. We don’t look up to Jesus in awe, for only God deserves awe, as has been made clear in both ACIM and ACOL. With Jesus, we are being accepted as equal partners to him as we move farther along our pathway home.

I think it not too far-fetched that, when I ask, he is right here guiding my typing. Of course, I can still imagine inaccurately. But when my mind and heart are right, in unity, I hope that mistakes will fall away. I especially don’t want to mislead anybody else, either about any guidance I might receive or anything that I might write for others. If something doesn’t sound right, then a reader should turn to her own guidance. As Jesus says, “the only correct interpretation is that which comes from each reader’s own internal guidance system.” (A.15)
Jesus also says, “Bring your voice to this continuing dialogue.” (A.49)

Jesus asks all of us to enter the dialogue.

May we respond in our own way, in our own time–but sooner, rather than later, for Jesus needs us to create a new world.

Accept Jesus

“Acceptance of me is acceptance of your Self. Acceptance of me is acceptance of your inheritance. This is nothing new to those of you of the Christian faith. To others it will seem an acceptance beyond your ability, an acceptance that there is no real cause to request. Why must Jesus be accepted? Why cannot the truth be accepted? Why cannot everyone hold their distinct beliefs as long as they are beliefs in the truth?” (ACOL, D:Day1.1)

The chapter that we taking a look at today is one of the most difficult concepts to understand correctly. Jesus is asking us to “accept him,” in much the same way that evangelical Christians ask that Jesus be accepted as one’s personal savior.

What does this really mean for us in studying A Course of Love?

We have been listening to Jesus’s words in ACOL. We have chosen him as our leader in the way back home, the way back to God. He says in this chapter that he does not care in what other gods we believe in, and he says elsewhere that other religions may be accepted. But—for us—those who are listening to what he says in A Course of Love, we do need to accept that he is the spokesperson, and we do need to accept that it is he who is leading us down the pathway that we are on. When we form a relationship to him, we accept him. And that is all that he is asking of us.

Other religions are valid. Others may find a way to enlightenment without Jesus. But for us, the way is clear. We have chosen him. And he asks us, similarly, to accept him.

This is not difficult, if we have followed Jesus’s words throughout ACOL. He is not a zealot; he knows that there are other religions. He asks us to listen to his words, to accept the way that he has pointed out, and this means, in other words, that we do “accept” him.

We need a big outlook about this mandatory statement from Jesus. We need not get caught up in rejecting him now, as it seems that he is asking something that we would disagree with. We, none of us, will disagree that we who have been reading A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love have looked to Jesus for the answers. What he asks now is simply to acknowledge that fact, that truth.

The way is not so long now. We have a good leader.

Dear God,

May my words today be accepted even as I accept Jesus. May I know that there could have been another choice, but I chose him—in the past, present, and if I choose, for the future also.

May my words today fall on sympathetic ears.

Thank You.

Amen.

As Within, So Without

“This is why you have been told the time of parables, or stories, has ended. This is why you have been told: “As within, so without.” This is why you have been taken to the top of the mountain without leaving home. You have taken the inward course, the inward journey, the only journey that is real in the only way that is real.

“We will spend forty days and forty nights here together, at the top of the mountain, fasting from want, becoming aware of desire, responding to desire. This is the final stage of becoming. Herein lies the secret of succession.” (ACOL, D:17.25 – 17.26)

This quotation from Jesus is the introduction to a very important part of the Dialogues of A Course of Love—the Forty Days and Forty Nights. Jesus is asking us to spend forty days and forty nights with him on a metaphorical mountaintop, but the mountain has come to us, and we will not drop out of our work nor our lives. We will stay put, but we will discover so very much.

Most of that time, we will still be “becoming.” Jesus hopes that at the end of this period of time, we will be in Christ-consciousness, to sustain it, though he does not deny us the journey many times if we don’t make it the first. And most of us don’t make it right away, something that can seem very frustrating to us.

Hold frustration. God knows best. If we have not reached Christ-consciousness, with God reaching down (metaphorically) and lifting us up, please know that there is a reason. It doesn’t mean that we have failed. It simply means that the time has not yet come, that in some way we are not ready. Be patient with God and patient with ourselves. The glorious Answer will come in its own time, at the right time.

Jesus knows that many of us would wish to be on a retreat from life while we take the mountaintop journey with him. But this staying in our life as it is, is not a second-choice decision. It is actually best, because we are discovering how to live on different levels at once. And we will live on different levels in the future, sometimes aware of our Self of union, sometimes retreating to our inner Christ-Self without being aware of unity. Sometimes not even being aware of the merger of heart and mind. We still have much to discover. And earth is the place on which we discover it.

We have only 41 days left in our journey through A Course of Love. We have learned, and then discovered, much, we hope. We hope that sooner rather than later, we will come into our own, the blessed state of Christ-consciousness, which, once reached, will not seem so very different from our normal living. The reason for this is that we have been prepared. Jesus has prepared us.

And for that we thank him.

Dear God,

I ask for a healing of myself today. A healing of anxieties, of uncertainties, of miseries. The day seems long when there is much to do in it. Help me to turn the day over to You, to be in Your flow.

And I know it will be done as You say.

Amen.

Reverence for God

“Desire asks for a response. From where is this response sought? You now must understand the fullness of the well of your heart, the interre¬lationship of desire and fulfillment. The interrelationship of desire and fulfillment is what occurs at the threshold. Beyond the threshold is the state in which desire has passed and been replaced by reverence. To revere is to feel awe, which, it has been stated, is due nothing and no one but God. To move beyond desire to reverence is to move into the state of communion with God, full oneness with God, wholeness.” (ACOL, D:17.19)

This is the final result of communing with God—the final emotion that Jesus relays to us: reverence in God’s Presence. Jesus’s use of the word “reverence” in this context reminds me of Albert Schweitzer’s credo: reverence for life. And is not another word for God really just Life (with a capital “L”). When we get quiet, go within, and reach to the farthest depth that we can muster, we are reaching toward God, Who is found in our depths. In my experience, though, to go this deep, we have to be quiet and peaceful, in harmony and also in joy, and then the secrets of the universe open up to us. There is nothing hid when we are in deep communion, nothing that we can’t mystically comprehend. Few of us ever each this level, though, but the attempt can reap great benefits.

When we feel reverence for God, we are in awe, something that Jesus says is due nothing and nobody except God. When we wish to feel wholeness, we need to try to go deeply into our mind and heart—to the center of our being. What we see there may surprise us, and it may change us. Indeed, we may never be the same again, but in a good way. Communion with God gives the best moment that this life affords us, and so we do well when we try, for trying is all that is asked of us.

We can use our desire for God to go deeply within to find this Spirit. Our desire will give us much in this lifetime, and when that desire is molded to an intense, fever pitch, for the Almighty, we may find God when we least expect it. It only takes a moment to have a mystical experience of God.

I dare us to have such a moment now.

Dear God,

Be with me as I seek for You. I know that You won’t let me down, even if now is not the right time for You to come through in a mystical moment. I will wait for another good moment, sure that eventually You will feel ready to fill me with Your bountiful love. May I revere You, and hold You in awe—unlike any feeling that I hold for anyone else.

I long for Your Love to enfold me now. I long to sense Your Presence. You fill me with warmth often, and for this I am very grateful. I ask for Your warmth now.

Thank You.

Amen.

Is the Self of Union, God Himself?

“That response is wholehearted desire, which is the power that A Course of Love came to return to you. You were told within this Course that whole¬hearted desire for union would return union to you and return you to your Self. This is the moment of realization of that accomplishment. But your desire has not left you. Your desire is stronger than ever before.

“What is different now is that your wholeheartedness, as well as your desire, has moved beyond the pattern of thought.” (ACOL, D:17.12 – 17.13)

The Self of union is, I think, really God Himself. Jesus has focused on the Self in the Dialogues of A Course of Love because he wants to impress on us that we are really part of God, that God Himself is living through in every minute of every day.

Many of us, myself included, have called out to Jesus to help us, to come in response to “a single, unequivocal call.” And I think he will come. But Jesus needs to transfer our dependence from him as a person who lived 2,000 years ago to something larger. He doesn’t want us, he says in ACOL, to continue to think of him as an historical figure. He is part of our larger Self, part of God as we are. And he needs to transfer our dependence onto the Self of union, the Self that is One with God.

Norman Vincent Peale did the same with frantic individuals who called him often on the phone. He realized that they were looking to him as a father figure (in many cases), and he needed to transfer their dependence onto God the Father. He eased his listeners into just that assurance of God the Father’s abiding love for them. And miracles occurred.

Wholehearted desire for union will return union to us, provided we have met the stipulations of no judgment and no fear. Then we are in Christ-consciousness, when that union has been returned to us. And we are ready to help create a new world.

Prayer

My desires are many today. I seem to be going in many directions at once. Make me one-pointed, dear God. Help me to slow down and do things in flow, in Your flow. Help me to know Your certainty of what to do next, what to say next. I need Your certainty today and every day.

It is with wholehearted desire, as best I can imagine it, that I long for You. I come with love in my heart. Be with me to give this day all that You would wish it to be for me. Be with me always.

Amen.

Let Each Act Be a Gift to God

“The secret of succession is simple. It is but a matter of wholehearted desire. Do you wholeheartedly desire to follow me to your true inheritance? To come after me and be as I was? To be the inheritor of the gifts that are ours? Do you desire this? Are you willing to claim it? Are you willing to claim it in form and time?

“Can you understand that what you claim in form and time was always yours?” (ACOL, D:17.3 – 17.4)

Jesus is here getting very personal with us. He is inviting to follow his example, though he is not imagining that we will meet a death like his (he specifically denies this). But he is asking us to follow in his footsteps, using him as a model for what can be done, what can be accomplished. Our true inheritance is the Love that Jesus brought to earth 2,000 years ago and is bringing still, through his presence (often when we aren’t fully aware that he is with us), and through his channeled works. Elsewhere he says that the positive changes in the world can be often traced to the influence of A Course in Miracles and the celestial speed-up that it represented. Things were going very badly in the sixties, and earlier, and people on earth are being asked to step up to the plate and achieve in the spiritual realm before we are quite ready.

This may sound daunting, but if we believe Jesus when he says that he is often around us, helping us, coming with “a single, unequivocal call,” then we will thank him for his presence, whether or not we are aware of it fully. We will walk into a new world with his guidance as he leads us. And his apostles are many. In The Way of Mastery, he calls those of his spiritual persuasion, members of the “lineage.” This is an ancient gathering of individuals who have walked closely with God, and newcomers are always welcome. We are needed. We see this world falling apart, and we think we can’t make any difference. But the smallest act can have widespread ramifications. When we let the ego go, we are ready to achieve without dragging ourselves downward. We are achieving best, because we are subject to guidance.

So: Reach inward for the inheritance from Jesus that here he promises. Know that the tiniest of acts reverberates through the cosmos. Let each act be a gift to God for His blessings, for we all have them.

Prayer

Guide my steps today to joy-filled living, for I know that this is Your will for me. Help me to be a tolerant and a kind individual, one who never puts another in an awkward position. Help me not to be too “right,” if being right is neither kind nor happy. Help me to be tactful.

I thank You for the warmth that enfolds when I turn to You. I am blessed to feel Your warmth. I am blessed to have experienced Your warmth for many years without an eclipse that many call a dark night of the soul. May all of us know what we need to know without being dragged through that black hole.

Amen.

Our One Self Is One with God

“This image, being but an image, is incapable of true joining in relation¬ship. You must be fully present in order to join in relationship. All of your images are false images, and when you retain them you do not allow for the time of learning to be replaced with the only replacement that will sustain Christ-consciousness, the replacement of learning with sharing in unity and relationship.” (ACOL, D:16.21)

“This image,” mentioned in this quotation, is the image of who we have been, a shadow of our real self. We have not been being “who we are,” and until we are “being who we are,” the elevated Self of form, we won’t be really fully realized as individuals. This moving into being the elevated Self of form is what the “becoming” aspect of this time is really all about. We are not yet ready to recognize the elevated Self of form in full Christ-consciousness, but we are getting there. Perhaps slowly, but just as surely.

We aren’t about learning any longer, trying to learn “who we are.” This learning depended on authorities of the past, and these will fail us if we try to depend on them still. We are sharing as one Self, all of us, and we are in the one Self (unity), yet differentiated into the many who are in relationship each to the other. The phrase, in “unity and relationship,” is used over and over in A Course of Love, but it does take very little reflection to understand what is meant. The many become lost in the One, in God, but still know each other, can know each other, because we are in relationship, seeing one another in a shared separatism. Of course, we know that we are no longer really separate from anybody, including God. And that is what unity has taught us. Christ-consciousness will mystically allow us to discover what exactly transpires now.

We need to stay away from false images of ourselves, for these are, in a sense, simply idols. These false images have kept us locked up within ourselves as long as the ego has held sway. But we have left the ego behind now that we have read this far in ACOL, and we want to be very sure that we don’t move to form a new ego. This would be traveling backward. And we wouldn’t do our part to change the world or to create a new world. We also, ourselves, would be trapped again.

So: Let the images of a persona go. We don’t need it to be who we really are. To be ourselves. This new Self we are coming to see is aplenty for us. We just have not had the words to describe what Jesus is telling us anew. We are one Self, individuated into the many selves—in unity and relationship forever.

Prayer

Be with me as I seek to fulfill my destiny as part of the Self that is mystically One. Joined with You. I would be inclined to seek out Your being as manifested in me. As you live through me, I seek not to distort the new being that You are embodying as the elevated Self of form.

Thank You for Your patience with me. Sometimes I seem to make such slow progress, as I understand progress. The progress I make now is not a movement into egotism again, but a gentle ascension of being that comes when I reach for Heaven. I would reach for Heaven today.

Amen.

Warmth from God

“In your time of directly experiencing the movement, being, and expres¬sion of unity, you are whole and complete, you feel no lack, no uncertainty, no doubt. You are confident in what you know. You realize fully that you are no longer a learning being and that you have no need for teachers or for guidance other than for that which comes from your own heart.” (ACOL, D:16.14)

My experience of unity, an experience much sought and sought often, is the experience of a warmth at the center of my being. And this, I think, is the “heart” aspect about which Jesus speaks in this quotation. To feel the warmth of God and Self is to know Love with a capital “L.” It doesn’t come when we are out of sorts. It comes when we are in flow with our environment, when all is well with our significant others, when we are not pressured to do – do – do, but are willing and able to just “be” for a good long while.

The more we invite the feeling of warmth from God, the more often we will so experience it. At least that has been my experience. God’s help to us is a free offer. He is abundantly willing and abundantly able to help us in whatever predicament we found ourselves.

And I am convinced that God likes us happy. And that is an OK goal, though it won’t come immediately from striving after it. Happiness is a by-product of being right with God and humankind, a by-product of work that feeds our soul, and a by-product of, more mundanely, being in a good mood. Of course, people who are depressed can feel God’s love as well, but they too need to realize that every attempt to lift one’s self up is met with a corresponding lift from God. He knows what we need before we ask, though asking is likely to evoke a more immediate response. Many of our blessings, indeed, must be requested. If we don’t know what to ask for, how will we know a blessing when it comes?

In unity we are right with the world and right with God. This is where we are heading, in union, heart and mind, in union, Christ-self with the larger Self of union. When we feel as Jesus describes in the quotation for today, we are ripe for a glimpse of enlightenment, of Christ-consciousness, of Awakening. And the longer we sustain that glimpse, the farther along our pathway we have proceeded.

We reach heavenward, in gratitude, when we feel warmth from God Himself. He knows that He is giving us what we need, and this is indeed something that we need more than “want.”

Prayer

Help me to enjoy the warmth that encompasses me today. Help me to remain in unity, as Jesus has described. Keep my mind clear, my heart full. Let me be as You would have me be, Your child, Your daughter.

Thank You for guiding me ever so gently. Thank You for picking me up when I fall down. Thank You for the manifold blessings that are spread out, like manna, on our world.

Amen.

A Gentle Dream of Hope

“There is creation going on in this becoming, the very creation promised you. This is the creation of the new you that you were told will precede the creation of the new world. This is what is meant by “as within, so without.” Only a new you can create a new world. The new you is the elevated Self of
form who you are in the process of becoming. This time of becoming is the time in between your awareness of and access to Christ-consciousness or unity, and your sustainability of Christ-consciousness or unity, in form. In your time of directly experiencing the movement, being, and expression of unity, you are being who you are. At other times, you are becoming who you are. (ACOL, D:16.13)

Most of our time now is spent “becoming,” though we know so much more now about just who we are becoming. As we head into Christ-consciousness, we are much calmer than we used to be—though maybe not consistently. We still have our moments. But the promise from Jesus is that we are “becoming,” and this is good news indeed.

A Course in Miracles promised us that we would not awaken (i.e., move into Christ-consciousness) in mortal fear and terror. The dream that we are caught in will become gentle, and happier dreams will come our way. We WILL be serene. And, now, in A Course of Love, we are promise that we are on the cusp of a new world, a new world that we will be creating. The promise of the future is indeed good.

If Awakening still seems to be far off, know that there are things we can do to invite it. We can contemplate, meditate, pray. We can reread A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. Even the New Testament. If the way ahead seems long, think about how far we have already traveled. We are much more at peace—all of us—than we were when we started our journey. The dream that we are caught in has become happier. And all of us have Jesus as a friend, as he has promised—to come with “a single unequivocal call.” Do you believe it? Put aside doubts and entertain the idea, for this is a great promise indeed.

Prayer

Thank You for this beautiful, sunny day, warm and inviting to the spirit. May my spirit soar today to heights that have previously been off-limits to me. May I ascend to those heights in serenity and peace, joy and harmony. May I sense Your Presence in my life, living through me. May I be sure to thank Jesus for the good words that he has given in his channeled works.

Be with me today to increase my happiness, for happiness is a good goal, and it removes so much of our self-centeredness. Self-centeredness rises up when we are preoccupied with our problems. I would not be so preoccupied today. You have given me a clear slate for the day. Thank You.

Amen.

Love as the Wind at Our Back

“Love is the spirit of the wind that animates all form. Love is spirit, is God, is creation. Love is a description of the All of All because it is whole and rests in eternal completion and wholeness. Love is the state of unity, the only relationship through which the Self and God become known to you. Love, God, Creation, are all that remained in union, in eternal completion, when form came into being.” (ACOL, D:16.7)

What a full definition of Love! Reread the quotation for maximal enjoyment and understanding. When we are Love itself, we move like the wind, never knowing in advance where we will go or what we will do. Moving like the wind is an echo of words in another work channeled by Jesus, The Way of Mastery. Moving like the wind, like Love, is to be in the flow at all times. When we are kept in an attitude of readiness, we will receive guidance on an ongoing basis, and this guidance will be Love personified. We will be in sync with God.

Of course, we can misjudge. We don’t need to think too highly of ourselves, lest we slip and stumble against a rock. We are finite creations of God, his children, but still limited—and limitless only to the extent that we are open to following the whispers that come from our Self, the inner Christ-Self merged with the Self of union (that which is just beyond us, but mystically joined with us). We need to realize that if we slip backward into egoic thinking, all of our progress will be lost, and we will misjudge routinely. The ego never told the truth about anything and anyone. A nothing it was, but a very potent nothing that, at this point in reading A Course of Love, we have left behind. Pray that none of us entertain the nonsense of the ego, and thereby set about forming a new ego. This would set back the banner of Christ by quite a lot. Each one of us is needed to change and/or create a new world. Jesus’s fervent wish that we remain true to his guidance in ACOL.

It is sometimes hard to imagine that God is Love, because we are accustomed to seeing love as an emotion. Our romantic hearts do often fall prey to love’s machinations. But this, in the early stages at least, is special love, not holy, and so partakes quite a little with God’s real intent for us. God and the All MUST be love, for what else would keep true Creation inviolate? God’s Kingdom would fall of its own weight if any truth functioned except love. That is why what we have been making is just illusion, and cannot touch God’s Kingdom, the House of Truth, at all. But we are moving away from these false ideas, and when we love fully and completely, with our whole being, we come very close to God. And it is He Who has been leading us to discovery all along our pathway home to Him.

Prayer

Thank You for this good day. Guide my fingers as I type. Guide my thoughts as I form the next sentence. The Self of union knows whereof I speak. The Self of union is the real Self whom we, all of us, share.

My debt to Jesus is great. I appreciate his willingness to take charge of the Sonship. So many in our world look to him as their leader. It behooves us to listen, and to listen well, for Jesus may be whispering in our ears—any of us.

Amen.

The Way Will Smooth when We Are at Ease with God

“Barren forms might be seen as forms that existed before the onset of the state of becoming. You are now in the final stage of the state of becoming. You now know who you are, and so now you can begin the work, or the relationship of this final stage: The stage of becoming who you are. This is the stage in which movement, being, and expression come together into the recreation of wholeness that will be expressed in the elevated Self of form.” (ACOL, D:16.1)

We are progressing now, finally. We are still “becoming,” and this will continue throughout much of the upcoming Forty Days and Forty Nights on the metaphorical mountaintop with Jesus. But we have come to understand much. If this “much” seems “too much,” then just rest awhile in Jesus’s arms. He will enfold us. Our imaginations can reap wonders.

We do know that we are children of God, that is who we are. And we aren’t pretending any longer, lost in a dream of egotism and egoism. We accept who we are without trying to be something that we aren’t, a persona of goodness that is actually idolatrous. If there is something about ourselves we don’t like, it can be gone just by asking God. He moves swiftly to help us when we know what we want.

The elevated Self of form is where we are headed. This means that we occupy a body, which even though illusory, is nevertheless real to us in this world. Some of us who read A Course of Love think that the risen body is actually real, and there is room for many different interpretations. Don’t get lost in theology; it would be such a waste and is so unnecessary. We don’t have—ever—to agree in theological niceties; we have the substance of God’s love, and that ought to be enough for us.

May we be at peace today, certain that we can live out our lives in the elevated Self of form. We need not fret nor worry; this much is promised us. Be patient towards all that is unsolved in our heart. This from Rilke, whose words show a dedication to truth from God. May we dedicate our truth to God as well. May we turn over a new leaf, if that is what is required.

The way will smooth when we are at ease with God. Such a blessing to know that our fear of God was totally unfounded! As we are “becoming” during this period of time, help us to be patient, not to run ahead, taking side pathways away from God. May we find our way back to Him, running the race with patience.

Prayer

I ask for Your help today. I have been racing ahead too rapidly, like the hare in the old fable. I would have a measured pace today, today and especially in the next few days. I slow down to Your pace, and it is a good pace. Be with me as I slow to Your pace.

Thank you for guiding me so carefully, aware of my every unique personality feature. You plan my route back to You by taking into consideration all that is past and all that is to come. I trust Your judgment, not my own. I listen to You.

Amen.

Prayer Will Cleanse the Subconscious

“To move from maintenance to sustenance is our goal, however. To sustain is to keep in existence. To recognize unity as sustenance is to recog¬nize it as that which sustains life. Sustaining unity or Christ-consciousness is being done with the need to maintain conditions that allow it to be present. Maintenance will lead to sustenance.” (ACOL, D:15.20)

Here we are hearing about the movement into Christ-consciousness, Awakening, enlightenment. There is no emphasis in A Course of Love in regard to maintaining Christ-consciousness, or maintenance is seen as a temporary state (in the best of circumstances) that will lead on into the sustainability, or sustenance of Christ-consciousness. Of course, we can imagine that not everybody will actually move to sustenance. But this would be a pity, for sustenance is exactly what Jesus is calling us to reach. If we don’t fall back into old egoic patterns, and if we don’t form a new ego (how sad!), then we will inevitably move on into sustaining Christ-consciousness.

Jesus needs us to spend time in reflection. Quiet time will ease the subconscious mind into the conscious, and when this happens, we can see what needs to be altered. We merely ask, and Jesus assures us that the deed is done; we are free of our impediments. To ask that wrong actions and wrong thoughts be corrected is what we are here for. This world is a training ground for a better world to come, and by that I don’t mean the afterlife, but life right here in this world. But a world of true reality, where we listen to our guidance, really listen, and the act upon what we hear. Jesus needs stewards of his new way of thought, his miracle, his miracle-readiness—granted to us, right here and now.

Prayer and contemplation will act to cleanse the subconscious mind. And in the cleansing we will be set free. The way is not hard. We just must care enough to give our own mind and heart the attention they deserve. And Jesus will do the rest.

Prayer

I will spend some time today in contemplation, certain that You will cleanse the less-desirable parts of my psyche when I do listen to You. Help me to have the patience to know that You can’t do the job in one fell swoop—though You might, of course. Most of us have to spend time, over days, to understand what You are asking of us. A miracle of immediate knowledge may happen in rare cases, but I ask for patience if in my case it does not happen that way.

Thank You for another good day. I will return to my quiet prayer to You.

Amen.

In a Timeless Dimension We Will Reap Many Benefits

“Expression, movement, and being are about what is eternal passing through what is temporal. Thus I return you to the lesson on “pass through” which was contained within this Course. The Course sought to teach you to develop a relationship with all that passes through you. Now is the time when the fruit of those efforts will be reaped. For what passes through you now is a relationship without end. What passes through you now is the eternal come to replace the temporal.” (ACOL, D:15.12)

The lesson on “pass through” is Chapter 22 of the first book in A Course of Love, entitled simply “The Intersection.” In this Chapter 22, Jesus talks about the pass through of a onion by a needle, passing through the layers of the onion. This type of intersection doesn’t have any relevance to real life, as Jesus points out, but it IS relevant to the idea that we are meant to be in relationship with all that passes through us. We absorb what passes through us.

Now this idea of “pass through” will bear fruit. We are in the third book of A Course of Love, entitled, the “Dialogues,” and we have made much progress in our journey. We are now dealing with the eternal, with what is of eternity, rather than the temporal, what is of time. Time is not a concept that has any meaning in unity, the unity of mind and heart, the unity of the Christ-Self and the Self of union. When outside the dot of the body, we are in a timeless dimension, and in this timeless dimension we will reap many benefits. Much will change in our experience.

What is this “much”? We don’t find ourselves any longer in a struggle with what life brings to us. We remain in flow, accepting experiences that come our way without resistance. We are in a happier place, for it is indeed good to know that eternity can be experienced on this plane of our world as well as in another world beyond death (the “Other Side”). We don’t struggle to change ourselves even. We accept ourselves as we are, being who we truly are, not a persona that is actually an idol. If there is some aspect of our personalities that we don’t like, we simply ask for a change, and we will get a miracle that changes that aspect. We ask that the aspect be gone, and it is gone. Just that simple.

Could we have enjoyed this freedom of a new life previously? Not likely. We have listened well to Jesus’s words, and he has answered us. It is up to us to accept his words as truth, knowing that the new world he wants us to create is dependent upon falling in line with his objectives.

Trust Jesus. He means us well, as always. He is taking a personal interest in everyone who wishes to have him stay nearby. How he does this is beyond our understanding. But his promise to do so is sure.

Prayer

Thank You for guiding me. I ask for a diminution of mistakes in recognizing guidance from Jesus. I take nothing for granted. I know that Your grace allows Jesus to guide, and to guide truly. May I walk a sure pathway today.

Be with me as I seek to listen to a prompting from within. Be with me as I seek to live in Your Kingdom, the House of Truth. May I say or do nothing that would ever break our bond.

Amen.

Future Is Bright with Promise

“What were the earth and water if they were not form?

“They were barren form. Form unable to create or bear fruit. Form was simply barren form before movement swept across it and animated it with the attention and awareness of spirit—with sound, light, and expression. Could these barren forms not be compared to the forms of the not yet elevated?” (ACOL, D:15.9 – 15.10)

The forms of the not yet elevated have been restricted, in that we have been living a dream; A Course in Miracles makes this clear, and now A Course of Love is expanding the idea. Here Jesus tells us that our form has not been all that they could be. While we HAVE been animated with spirit, we have not known spirit fully. To know spirit fully is to be in unity, in unity, heart and mind, and in unity with the Self, the inner Christ-Self and the larger Self of union.

Jesus’s intentions may seem like a tall order. But he is right here helping us throughout the change that he so fervently longs to see in each of us. He would like all to reach Christ-consciousness, in unity, and to express our love in the ultimate salvation, Christ-consciousness. We can do this, for it is fully within God’s will. We will reach Christ-consciousness when God Himself knows that we are fully ready, and this means that many more nefarious aspects of what we might do will no longer be attractive to us. We will live in love, in love with the Self whom we are, and in love with the Self whom we share with all of our brothers and sisters.

The future is bright with promise. Let us relax in God’s care, holding Jesus’s hand, as we seek to walk afresh in this world. We can have anything that we truly want, for all has been given to us and we will not want things that are beyond our scope. Ask that all needs be satisfied, and the Answer is sure.

Prayer

I thank You for this good day. I wish for many things, but I know that You will give me only what has my name on it. And ultimately, that means that all things are shared with me. This is the truth of heaven, and heaven can be here, on earth. If we live right, the blessings of Creation and of You are ours always. You just have to be sure that we won’t misuse what You give, freely and without strings attached.

My needs will be satisfied, and many of my wants as well. Perhaps to satisfy all wants would not be good for me. But I ask Your patience in my prayers. Shape my words to be according to Your will, a will that I share fully.

Amen.

Happiest Way to Live

“Life and the movement of being into form is what occurred when God “spoke” and the Word came into being. Movement is energy, the life force of creation and of being, both in unity and in time. By being you are in move¬ment. By being you are an expression of being.

“The second principle of creation, then, is that being is. It is what is and it is the expression of what is.

“Life is movement through the force of expression. The third principle of creation is thus expression.

“These are not, however, separate principles, but a single unifying prin¬ciple of wholeness: Movement, being, expression. One did not occur before the other, as they are not separate. There was movement into being and an expression of being.” (ACOL, D:15.3 – 15.6)

Without movement, caused by the presence of energy, there can be no life. Life leads to being, and then life leads to expression . A miracle, we learn from the new Circle of Atonement edition of A Course in Miracles, is the expression of love. And that is why we are here: to express love.

Jesus gets very precise in this passage for today. It is not necessary to comprehend fully what he is saying in all its ramifications; we probably couldn’t if we tried. But the seed has been planted, and as we move into Christ-consciousness, our intuition will inform us of everything we need to know. The way that guidance works is truly miraculous. We are happiest when we are in flow, responding to hints of the next move, the next thought, the next miracle.

It is very good to experience flow in our expression of life, our being actually reaching out to others and connecting with them. The miracles abound then, building from one to the other, offering us the consolation that we offer to our brothers and sisters.

This is the happiest way to live. We live productively, but we pace to ensure the longevity of our actions. We don’t adopt a hare-like pace, as seen in the old fable of the hare and the tortoise. We learn to take it easy, to relax, and to fulfill our mission in life in a measured fashion. Then we are truly living.

Prayer

Thank You for this good, busy day. I wonder what I might do to improve on it, and actually I can’t think of a thing. Such is Your grace. Such is Your mercy.

Be with me as the day continues to unfold. Help me to make the right decisions. I ask that You show me the next step. Now and always. Today and every day.

Amen.

Let Go and Let God

“What is real in the state of unity is what is real, yet you have known this reality not, even
though it is the more subtle memory of this state that is behind your striving to become. Now you are beginning to see the vastness of what is meant by creation of the new. What is meant by creation of the new is creation of a new reality.” (ACOL, D:14.14)

We have, most of us, been striving to “become” all of our lives. The major problem has been for us that previously that striving to become was egoic in nature. Now we are being told how to become through our access to unity, the white space beyond the dot of the body, yet mystically one with the elevated Self of form and the Self of union. Unity IS, of course, the Self whom we share with all living beings. The Self is our part of God, the All, the One.

This theology sounds difficult, and it is important for me to note that theology can be a delaying tactic when we are reluctant to let go and let God. As A Course in Miracles points out, a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, but necessary. In the context of today’s quotation, we are seeking a unity with the All that is non-egoic. We are seeking to come home to God, and right away. Surely we realize that this is God’s will for all of us. And we have also been told, by Jesus, that anything and everything in our world has been shaped to bring us back to God. Our experiences will do that, but without our cooperation, the return can take a very long time. May we offer our consent today to be led home, by the hand, with Jesus as our guide and protector.

“Creation of the new” means a new reality. This, I think, doesn’t apply just to the reality in our world, but a new, experienced reality in our heart and mind. We will soon find, if we haven’t already, that living close to this new creation is a most delicious way to live. It offers a promise of happiness that will be fulfilled. It offers excitement, but a safe excitement that doesn’t send us crashing through the ceiling toward God. The way back, according to both ACIM and A Course of Love, is gentle, and as we keep pace with the heartbeat of reality, we will find an Awakening in glimpses, and then maintained, and then sustained, that warms us with its very gentleness.

Prayer

Help me not to barrel ahead today. Give me easy and measured steps back to You. I love to live in Your presence. I love to feel, rightly, Jesus’s promise that he will be with us when we call. Though maybe nobody in this world knows how Jesus can keep his promise, I trust that what he says is true. I am a fundamentalist when it comes to his promises.

Thank You for a sunny day in my small city. Though I can enjoy rainy days as well, the sun seems to speak of love to me. And love is what I want and need more than anything else. God knows that all of us were meant for love, and nothing but will satisfy us for long.

Amen.

Jesus Needs Us, but We Also Need Him

“Again, these ideas can be likened to the ideas put forth in “A Treatise on Unity and Its Recognition” when it was said that “a treasure that you do not as yet recognize is going to be recognized. Once recognized it will begin to be regarded as an ability. And finally, through experience, it will become your identity.” That treasure is the new way of thought put forth in “A Treatise on the Art of Thought”, the thought that is the miracle, or miracle-readiness, the thought that comes of unity and that extends and expresses itself through your form, thus elevating the self of form.” (ACOL, D:14.13)

In this passage from the Dialogues of A Course of Love, Jesus says what he avoided saying anywhere in “A Treatise on the Art of Thought”: He defines the art of thought, “the miracle, or miracle-readiness, the thought that comes of unity and that extends and expresses itself through your form, thus elevating the self of form.” Elsewhere in ACOL, he also defines the art of thought or the miracle as prayer, ongoing prayer that we would all benefit from adopting. An ongoing prayer doesn’t have to interfere with regular life; it can only enhance our experience.

If we think personally about Jesus, I think we are on the right track. Now that we are in the Dialogues, he is addressing us more directly, and he is more directly offering us a personal relationship with him, an ongoing dialogue that we will enter. “Entering the dialogue” is what he is after, in fact, seeing us as equal partners and companions, friends and co-workers, who are together going to create a new world. The challenge of this sounds extreme, but A Course in Miracles says that there IS no challenge to the advanced teacher of God, that he chooses for all, sure of himself (and his activities).

We ought not to become arrogant in believing that we have the answers, but also don’t want to cringe in abject poverty of mind and spirit. Jesus is with us, each of us, whenever we ask (he says this in ACIM), and if we keep an open mind and heart, he will see that we don’t stumble. He needs our help, but we need his as well.

Prayer

Thank You for this happy day. I appreciate the good energy that I have just now. I like to work productively with good energy, but with a relaxed flow that will let creative juices flow. Be with me now and always. When there is an ebb in my energy level, help me to be accepting of that as well. Overreaching is not something any of us need to do.

Thank You for Your help, always Your help. I couldn’t do anything at all unless you supported me.

Amen.

Ask for Our Revelations from God Himself

“It has been said often that revelation is of God, but remember now that God is not “other than” and that the God who seemed so distant from you when you abided in separation can now be heard and seen and felt in your experiences of unity.

“Your openness will not only leave the way open for revelation but for cooperation. Cooperation comes from the All of All being in harmony and relationship. When this harmony and relationship isn’t realized or accepted is when you believe you have need of planning rather than receiving, when you believe you have cause for stress and effort rather than for just being open to what comes.” (ACOL, D:14.7 – 14.8)

This quotation seems to support a reading of God to which I ascribe: that the Godhead has a Mind that listens. This idea is somewhat at odds with the way in which we see God described in A Course in Miracles, and also at odds with the way we see God described in earlier portions of A Course of Love. ACIM says that we depend on the Holy Spirit, who is an intermediary between the illusion and reality, and that God doesn’t know of the illusion. ACOL, in the Dialogues (here quoted), seems to say that when we are no longer fearful of God and therefore needing an intermediary, we can reach right up (or down) to God Himself. And we know, from both ACIM and ACOL, that it is God who bestows revelation. Here we are reading that when we are in unity, we can reach God Himself, although this is my interpretation, and might be challenged by some other astute readers of ACIM and ACOL.

We see, in the second paragraph, that the way is now open to cooperation from the All of All (and this means God). We learned in Sunday school when growing up that Jesus needs our hands and feet to do his bidding in this world. We probably have little difficulty in believing this of Jesus now, in our adulthood, as readers of ACIM and ACOL. But now, in this significant paragraph, Jesus is saying that God Himself needs our cooperation. He has plans for us as well, and we ourselves don’t need to strain to make those plans ourselves.

It is not such a stretch to believe that God has desires for His children, desires that would encompass the many positive things that we might say and do in this world. In our prayers, maybe we ought to try to find out what exactly God would like to see us say and do.

Prayer

Guide me to say and do the congenial thing. If it doesn’t harm anyone else or myself. I so much want to get along with all I encounter, but sometimes all of us have “moods.” I would not catch any bad mood today, or any day for that matter. Be with me to allow me to feel Your sense of solace and comfort when times are good and when times are bad.

Help me to do Your bidding. I do think that You have things in mind for all of us, and while you never coerce, you do prompt, sometimes. You may not care what games we play, but I personally think that You do care, and care very much. Help all of our childish games to be positive rather than negative.

Amen.

Intuition Guides Truly

“Here it will be helpful to keep in mind the idea of “as within, so without.” We are not leaving the Self to explore, because the Self is the source and cause of exploration as well as the source and cause of discovery. And yet the Self is far more than you have experienced as yourself in the past.” (ACOL, D:14.2)

The metaphor of the dot of the body and the inner Christ-Self being in one place, and the white space surrounding being the larger Self of union is just that—a metaphor. I think we have to think mystically to get the gist of what Jesus is saying. ALL is actually “together,” not separated by a dot and a white space. All is One. And this Self includes our brothers and sisters as well. We are one Self, and this includes one Self with Jesus as well.

How do we deal with this? We can journal to our one Self; this is one way. This one Self knows far more than our personal self, even though out of separation now, can ever know. We need to draw on this Self in order to have a good life, in order to have a good mission, in order to create a new world.

This Self is, as Jesus says, far more than we have experienced of ourselves in the past. The easiest way to access this Self is probably intuition, intuition because we have, all of us, used it in the past when we “knew” something that we had no outer way of knowing. Let intuition guide today. See what the Self of union has to say.

Prayer

I would energetically and passionately draw on our Self of union today, for it is a union that encompasses all living things. I would use my intuition to discern guidance. I ask You to be clear with me; don’t let me get off track.

The way back might entail many changes, but I ask that these changes me gentle, that I not be hurled into reality. And in so asking, I know that I am asking in Your will.

Amen.

A Bit of Instruction about Sharing from Jesus

“We come now to the second part of what we are exploring together here, the idea that what you come to know may literally not be sharable with those who remain in a separate state except through the sharing of who you are and who you know others to be. All this means is that while you may feel unable to share or express all that comes to you from unity, and while you may feel unable to share or express the authority and truth you know it represents, you will, by living according to what you know to be the truth, form the very relationships and union that will allow the truth to be shared. The relationship or union, in other words, precedes the sharing of what can only be given and received in relationship.

“This is why you were told specifically not to evangelize or attempt to convince. These are actions of the separated self attempting to fulfill inter¬mediary functions. Relationship, or union, is what negates the need for such intermediary functions. By being who you are, and seeing others as who they truly are, you create the relationship in which sharing can occur.” (ACOL, D:13.11 – 13.12)

Not everybody out there is ready to accept what we have come to see as the truths expressed in A Course of Love. And we aren’t, we are told specifically, meant to “evangelize or attempt to convince.” This means that we first form relationships with others, and, when they are ready, we share what we have come to know. Prior to the formed relationship, our brothers and sisters in Christ won’t be prepared to accept anything that we would say. We just wouldn’t be believed. And, of course, this would be very frustrating to us. As it has been for those, over the years, who have sought to evangelize for the Kingdom of God.

Jesus thus makes it easy for us, and for our brothers and sisters. First form the relationships, and then others will be curious about what we seem to have that they don’t. (Of course, many won’t see anything different at all, and this too is OK. Those not ready to hear will just see us as very ordinary people.)

We WILL, though, be led to those with whom we can share, those who are ready. And this is a great blessing to us as well. We need companions who understand us, and Jesus here assures us that these will be forthcoming.

I know whereof Jesus speaks. Just in the last couple of years have I found a Centering Prayer group in my community, a group filled with people who have read A Course in Miracles, believed its truth, and make it comfortable to share what we have come to know. One has even read A Course of Love, and it is true that ACOL is just now being launched. (If you are not familiar with Centering Prayer, I find it exactly like traditional meditation.)

So: Jesus is prepared to make it easy for us. Just go about our daily run, and then watch for openings, either for new relationships or for sharing with kindred spirits.

The blessings of giving of one’s self are truly phenomenal. And Jesus guides every step of the way.

Prayer

Help me to share when my friends/family are ready to hear. I don’t want to press, when Jesus has expressly asked me not to seek to convince. People open up when they are ready.

Guide me to share without even the lingering patterns of the ego. Guide me always, sharing where indicated, keeping quiet when only a smile will be accepted.

Thank You.

Amen.

Heed the Bright Light of Intuition

“What is known to you in an instant through the new means available to you within the state of unity will still seem, at times, to need to be learned anew in daily living. This is knowing that will often come in a flash, and is, in a sense, a humorous metaphor for the idea of a divine “ray” of light descending and granting enlightenment. Take another look at your Bible for many stories such as these, and you will read account after account of people who did not know how to live with what they came to know, with what was received in a “ray of light” from within the state of unity.” (ACOL, D:13.4)

Jesus is here talking about sudden guidance, guidance that come to us in a flash. But even though we “know,” from this happening, what we know, we may have some trouble living out what we know. I think of this as a sudden intuition, but stronger than the feelings that we do often attribute to intuition. As Jesus says elsewhere, we CAN “know,” in certainty, once again. Our egos are not confusing us. Our egos are gone.

Jesus also says that it is sane to be certain, to have certainty. And what a way of life opens when we listen to his advice about this! We have long had trouble, perhaps, in making decisions, because we weren’t sure what to do or say. We feared making a mistake, and doesn’t this happen to all of us? Mistakes are natural, and they will occur, even when we are farther along the path to home. But we do not have to be immobilized by our fear of mistakes. The Christ-Self from within, and the Self of union, can take any mistake and correct it for the good of all. Just ask, once we have realized that we have indeed made a mistake. In the asking, we receive, and we do not have to wait long. We may not recognize that our mistake has been corrected, at least right away, but as time passes, we WILL be sure that all has been made aright again.

So: Listen to guidance by way of sudden intuition. And act on it—to have a good day, a happy day. Nothing wrong ever turns out right without divine intervention, and now we do have the promise of divine intervention to right our little worlds.

Prayer

I dreamed last night of the Latin motto, “Esse quam Videri,” which means, “to Be rather than to Seem.” I think this is the bright light of an intuition coming to me in a dream. Isn’t this what Jesus is meaning when he says to “be who we really are”? I don’t need to show a self that I am not. It would oppose all my religion.

Thank You for listening to me. Help me to know the truth that what You really will for me is happiness. I used to think that was such an inferior wish. But I do understand now. Thank You for clueing me in.

Amen.

NEW AGE TEXTS TACKLE THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING

Published in New Age Journal (online), March 4, 2017.

by Celia Hales

New Age enthusiasts have long read and considered what is now a spiritual classic, A Course in Miracles (copyright 1975). Now another classic is in the making by the same presumed author, Jesus. This one is called A Course of Love, published in a combined volume—three works in one–in 2014. The author uses different words for sickness/illness in the material scribed by Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles, and Mari Perron, A Course of Love, but many of the words mean the same thing. The thread of meaning is virtually identical. The author has a dim view of sickness, stressing that although it is meaningless in the long run, sickness offers an opportunity for forgiveness, full acceptance, and—the ultimate answer—love.

Let’s see what our presumed author, Jesus, says in both of these courses.

A Course in Miracles talks about sickness as a defense against the truth. It is negative and so unnecessary. The cure for sickness in ACIM is forgiveness granted by one brother to another.

When we are sick, we are not asking for peace, for sickness is an illusion like all the rest of the illusions with which we surround ourselves, and we do not realize that we have failed to ask for peace. Ask for peace, and see what change may come, and come sooner rather than later. Jesus even says that all forms of sickness are the illusory but visible evidence of the fear of Awakening.

A Son of God cannot be sick in reality, true reality. And so we are asked not to view an individual as sick, not to give credence to the illusion. By so doing, we reinforce the illness, and this we would never knowingly want to do.

Sickness is but another call for love, and we are bidden to respond accordingly. One brother whose mind is whole can reach out to a split mind and heal it. Thus, one brother heals another, in love, always in love. Healing is accomplished the instant that a sufferer no longer sees any value in pain.

In Psychoanalysis: Purpose, Process, Practice, the supplement to ACIM scribed by Helen a little later than ACIM, he says that illness can be only an expression of sorrow and of guilt. And we weep when we are separate from God, even though we know that this is an illusory separation. We weep for the innocence that we think we have lost. We have a view of the self as weak, vulnerable, evil and endangered, and thus in need of constant defense (as said in ACIM). Illness then is a mistake like all the other mistakes that we have made in our “separation.” Sickness is insanity, like the other mistakes.

Defenselessness is strength. And the sooner we come to know this, the better, and the healthier we will become. When two brothers join in healing, healing is assured. But to continue to believe in sickness because of the appearance of symptoms is to believe amiss. This is a particularly difficult idea to believe.

Forgiveness extended from one brother to another will heal. God has entered their relationship, and with Him, all is possible. Only an unforgiveness can possibly give rise to sickness of any kind. (P-2.VI.5) The passing of guilt comes about when we know that forgiveness has been received. And guilt is all mixed up with our ideas of being unforgiven.

The Song of Prayer, another supplement to ACIM, emphasizes that certain negative traits, such as hatred in our heart, and attack, are banished from the mind, prayer will heal—but not until these traits are completely gone and we have reunited with our Source. The theme of all of Jesus’s channelings is present in Song of Prayer. The body, he says, can be healed as an effect of true forgiveness. The cause of sickness is the unacknowledged wish to die and to overcome the Christ.

A Course of Love dwells on sickness as either rejected or ejected feelings, feelings about which consciousness was not chosen, and so the feeling made the physical manifestation. Only love, in the embrace, and fostered by the Self, will heal for all time. And this is paradise re-found. (ACOL, D:Day16)
We have often suffered through our lives at the hands of rejected love. And Jesus indicates that this common experience can easily bring on illness. Because the pain is great, we reject the feelings rather than process them, and thus set ourselves up for sickness.

Bitterness, which is of the heart, keeps the cycle of suffering in place. And love’s disappointment is a particularly fertile place to foment bitterness.

Jesus makes clear to us in ACOL that no person is to blame for the sickness that overcomes them. It is a victimless phenomenon. Jesus indicates that we are to remove blame from our repertoire of emotions. It serves no useful purpose, and we replace it with nothing specific, we just remove it. Acceptance, though, is the next logical step.

Being in harmony with poor health, and accepting it for what it is, will return us to good health. Studying the lesson that sickness teaches is most important. What does our illness say to us? What is the lesson that it has come to bring?

I think Jesus is developing two trains of thought, one in ACIM and its supplements, and one in ACOL. Yet the ideas are similar. Rejected or ejected feelings (ACOL) are almost by definition the feelings that we are defending against (ACIM). ACIM describes feelings that cause us to lose our way as attack feelings, judging, or planning against contingencies to come (except when prompted to plan by guidance). ACOL describes feelings that cause to lose our way as loneliness or despair, anger or grief.

All of these feelings that we reject (and thereby cause illness) or eject (and thereby blame on other people), or we defend against, are negative. So I think that the New Agers who believe that we make our sickness by our negative thoughts are onto something. But to blame the victim is just more of the same. We’ve simply made a mistake. All who are sick are due compassion (ACOL).

We are healed through acceptance of the truth of what is. Our minds are healed, and then the bodily identification with physical ailments dissolves. (Both ACIM and ACOL say this.) We don’t get anywhere in resisting illness, because this is rejecting or ejecting (ACOL), and therefore defending ourselves against (ACIM).

I have some sense that these meanings are part of the “ideal” level of reading the works. On a practical level, not all illnesses are healed, regardless of how we twist our minds around the concepts that Jesus gives us. And our minds may be healed when our bodies are not. The healing of the mind and emotions, moreover, may be the greatest blessing.

Everyone has to exit this world somehow, and usually we go through illness of the physical body. This is when we discard the body out of choice, as one “lays by a garment now outworn.” (S-3.II.1) This experience does not carry the negative connotations that sickness in the midst of life does.

So, to heal sickness, we look to the reason for our negative feelings: What feelings are we rejecting or ejecting, or what are we defending against? We feel weak in this illusion of sickness, an illusion that is in no way reality, but nevertheless something that accompanies most people, at times, through our journey through life. We do not blame ourselves or other people for this evidence of illusory separation from God; we know that we are caught up in a dream of our making, and the sooner we return to our Source, the quicker our recovery can begin.
And it may not be a lasting recovery. If we slip again into illness, we look to heal our feelings yet again. Our Source can and does heal. But not always, and we don’t choose to blame ourselves if, like St. Paul, we have a “thorn in our side.”

Yet love is the ultimate answer, explained in ACOL in the following words:

“Could suffering really have gone on for countless ages simply due to your inability to birth the idea of an end to suffering?

“Has not a part of you always known that suffering does not have to be even while you have accepted that it is? Let us now put an end to this acceptance through the birth of a new idea.

“This idea is an idea of love. . . .

“It is an idea that says that if you live from love and within love’s laws you will create only love. It is an idea that accepts that this can be done and can be done by you in the here and now.” (ACOL, T3:8.12 – 9.1)

So, here we have it, in Jesus’s own words as received by Mari. He also says that previously we have said that we loved too little and we loved too much, but never “enough.”

Now Jesus is challenging us to love enough.

Joyous Discoveries

“The first is that what you will be discovering, what you will be coming to know, will be coming to you from the state of unity, which is a shared state. Although what you will be coming to know is already known to you, it will still come in the form of a surprising discovery, a joyous discovery of the previously known but long forgotten identity of the Self and all that lives along with you. This knowing will, for a while yet, be surprising because it will be reversing the insanity of your life as you have known it thus far. These reversals will be among the first revelations and will seem quite simple and pleasing as they enter your awareness, but they may come to be seen as quite complicated as you begin the practice of living with what you come to know. (ACOL, D:13.3)

The quotation for today seeks to give us solace and comfort as the very ground is shifting beneath our feet. We are coming to know from a space beyond us, a space of unity, a space of the Self of union. This Self is not really distinct from the inner Christ-Self whom we all have. There is a flow from one to the other, and we can imagine that the flow from the larger Self of union happens more frequently than that our thoughts and feelings get communicated to It (an interpretation, not stated in A Course of Love). If it is true that we “hear” from the Self of union increasingly, then it stands to reason that we ought to open ourselves, totally, open to this knowledge. Knowledge is of God; perception is our own rendering of what we “see,” even during the previous time when we were egoic.

Surprising discoveries of that which we have always known, remembering (as it were), is a wonderful spot to invite. We are told in this quotation that we will know joy as we come to discover what we have actually always known, what we are now remembering. And don’t we all wish for joy?

Let the joy sink upon our heads, and go deeper, into our minds and hearts. As one Self, we will intuit from each other as well as the larger Self of union. And this can only give us comfort and solace, as, as one Body and Mind and Spirit, we are joining with wholeness. Wholeness will be the way from now on.

Prayer

I ask for Your comfort and solace today. I ask for the joyous discovery of that which I have forgotten. Guide my thoughts in the art of thought, the prayer, the miracle-mindedness, the miracle-readiness, the miracle itself.

May I stop being a hare, as the fable talks about. The tortoise will catch up with me. May I take things one at a time, producing for You, and producing without forming a new ego that would trip me up big time.

Thank You for guiding my life.

Amen.

How to Rest in Certainty about Issues that We Confront

“You think it is perfectly sane to go through life without knowing anything “beyond a shadow of a doubt,” without knowing anything with certainty, when the reverse is what is true. It is sane to know the truth. It is insane not to know the truth.” (ACOL, D:12.17)

Good!! How often have we wished that we knew “the truth” about some matter oppressing us. And now Jesus is indicating that we CAN know this truth. Of course, we have to look to the rest of A Course of Love to glean out we would be certain of things.

There is a lengthy use of nouns that all refer to inspiration. Nouns such as insight and intuition. This lengthy list, in another section of ACOL, suggests that we will be certain of things when we turn to guidance from our Self, the Self of union outside the dot of the body. In a more traditional sense, we might think of this as guidance from God or the Holy Spirit, but Jesus uses the term “Self” (with a capital letter) to indicate what he is now talking about in this time of Christ. Our “little” or personal self will be eclipsed by the inner Christ Self, and this Self will draw upon a space beyond the body. We are all one Self. We can intuit from the larger Self Whom we are.

Certainty about things would be so reaffirming to us. If we know that we want sanity, and we have deliberately made a decision not to act egotistically and egoically, we will be in a good position to embrace this sanity. Our insane ego is no more, at this point in reading ACOL.

Rest in the knowledge—for it IS knowledge, not perception—that we will act when directed to do so by a Self Who is beyond anything that we could analyze in our little self in this world.

Prayer

I ask for guidance from my Self today. I am concerned about a matter that has plagued me for about a year, maybe longer. I know that if I am to act, I will know when and where to do so. I trust that much. I ask to trust more, ever more.

Thank You for the assurance that certainty in life is intended, not a fluke. I think back over things that I have been uncertain about in my lifetime, and I can only praise you for this new direction, this new information.

Amen.

AN APPRECIATION OF COA’S NEW EDITION OF ACIM

To be published in Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher).

by Celia Hales

The Circle of Atonement has recently released a fantastic new resource for lovers of A Course in Miracles, an edition based on the original handwritten notes of Helen Schucman. Robert Perry, editor, and Greg Mackie, assistant editor, assembled a team of experts who worked over ten years on this edition. It is truly a labor of love on their part. Masterfully done, it restores some 45,000 words to the second edition published by the Foundation for Inner Peace in 1992 (and republished, with Helen’s supplements, in 2007).

I came to know of this edition from Lisa Natoli of the Teachers of God Foundation, a foundation supporting the work of those who love A Course in Miracles. I was surprised when I read that this new edition is the one that she will now use, even though she had earlier felt that the FIP edition was sufficient. On the strength of this recommendation, I purchased the new edition by the Circle of Atonement, billed as a “complete & annotated edition,” and since reading it obsessively for several days, I have become completely enthralled with what I find.

First and foremost are the 45,000 restored words to A Course in Miracles. Several chapters in the beginning part of the Text, particularly, were at issue. One’s understanding of miracles as expressions of love will be much enhanced.

Throughout the new edition (almost 2,000 pages) there are substantive footnotes on almost every page, well-written, cogent, respectful to the original. In going back to notes of Helen, we can even now see what words Jesus emphasized when he was speaking as an internal voice. These words are faintly underlined, making me feel that I were listening to Jesus himself. Cameo essays are in the back of the volume, cameos that highlight the very personal nature of some of Jesus’s words to Helen and to Bill Thetford. In keeping with Jesus’s professed intentions, the personal words to Helen and Bill were not included in the Course proper, but are described in some detail in 33 cameos.

Why this new edition seemed necessary is covered in detail in an appendix. I read this with great interest, and concluded that Robert, Greg, and their team were right: A complete and annotated edition is needed. The new edition is available for $48 from the Circle of Atonement; also available from Amazon.

This is simply a fantastic editorial feat. Recommended most enthusiastically by a long-time lover of A Course in Miracles.

The Blessings of Certainty

“Now that you are coming to a more clear idea of what the “thoughts” that come to you from unity may be like, you will undoubtedly realize this: You have had such thoughts already, thoughts that came to you with an authority that you are not used to—thoughts that you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, are true or right or accurate. They may be simple thoughts about a situation in which you are involved, or about the situation of another. Or they may be profound insights into your Self or the nature of the world.” (ACOL, D:12.14)

When we have real certainty about something, Jesus says here that we are likely getting this certainty from union with the Self, the Self beyond the body. Of course, we can be wrong, but Jesus indicates that this is less likely now than it might have been in the past. And we can be grateful for this, for false certainty impedes us.

I once knew something with great certainty, and then the certainty, over time, fell away. Now, reading Jesus’s words, I wonder if I were right all along, just misguided in the terminology that I used in assessing the situation in the beginning. Words can get us into trouble about our certainty. We need to use words as accurately as they come to us. “Relationship,” for example, may be a more accurate term to use in some situations than “marriage.” “Relationship,” even a fleeting one, can be as transforming as anything else we encounter in this life. And I use this example because so many of us have gotten hung up over romantic entanglements.

Invite certainty. Jesus says elsewhere that it is sane to be certain of things in our world—even “our” world. It says that it is insane not to be certain of anything. And all of us have been lost in insanity, but we have a way out now. And I can name two ways out: A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. (There may be others, including The Way of Mastery.) Jesus is speaking to us in a way that he did not for many generations, and we ought to be grateful for that.

We are ready to hear him now. That, in my opinion, is why his words are emerging.

Prayer

I would invite certainty into my life today. I have not previously thought very much about certainty, but I have, unwittingly, thought “uncertainty.” Thank You for guiding Jesus to say these words that I read today in the quotation. Thank You for guiding me to understand these words.

Help us to really know You today. When I turn over my life anew every day, I know a peace that other days lack. This ought to tell me something about the advantages of re-surrendering to You each morning.

Amen.

Quiet Our Minds

“What I am striving to help you see, once again, is that union isn’t achieved with a flash of light from above, but that it quietly infiltrates the dot of the self in its unguarded moments. I am attempting to help you to become aware and comfortable with the idea that, released of old patterns, the self will join with unity more and more frequently, until finally you will sustain Christ consciousness and live in the world as the elevated Self of form.” (ACOL, D:12.12)

This quotation is the pattern, how we will, most of us, reach Christ-consciousness. Most people don’t have a sudden descending of Awakening (some do). We will quiet our minds, let the Self of union infiltrate our minds (and hearts), and then the little, or personal self, the dot of the body, will know union, and this union is another way of speaking of Christ-consciousness.

Waiting can be frustrating. But it gets us nowhere. We can be assured that Jesus is as anxious for us to reach Christ-consciousness as we have ever been. He see the negativity in this world, and the turmoil and suffering that this negativity brings about. He wants this to change. He is channeling to many in this world, right now, to turn things around. When we cooperate by having quiet times, stilling our minds, we invite the Self of union to reach us in our form (though this is all a mystical experience).

God will Himself reach down, metaphorically, and lift us up. Yet this is actually coming from within, for God, our part of Him, is within, deep in our Self, the Self who is just now coming to its own in us. When we unite with the larger Self, the Self of union, we are uniting with all living things, including, of course, our brothers and sisters. And we will get glimpses of this union, probably, before it is maintained and sustained. The sustenance is what Jesus is aiming for, for without sustenance of Christ-consciousness, we are very unstable in our reactions.

Be gentle with ourselves. We have a long way to go, but we have also come a long way. And Jesus is always with us, holding our hand, when we ask for his presence.

Prayer

May this be a good day, free of neuroses. Neuroses are a form of insanity, and I would leave any and all insanity behind me in the dust below my feet. Thank You for offering me consolation always. I need solace often in the mornings. And You are here to give it to me.

Be with my brothers and sisters. May they have good days also. May we embrace each other with the arms of brotherhood.

Amen.

Contemplate Gently Today

“Let us now consider “thinking” to be the active and often unwelcome voice “in your head,” the voice of background chatter. And let us consider your “thoughts” to be the more meditative version of your “thinking,” often even resulting in a conclusion to your thinking, a summary of the finer points, as what might come to you in a reflective moment at the end of the day. Again we will see the idea of thoughts “coming to you” at such times. This is not the “thinking” of a conflicted and struggling mind, but the “thoughts” of a mind at rest.” (ACOL, D:12.10)

This quotation is a snippet in a longer discussion of the art of thought, and how we need to deemphasize (even eliminate) the “thinking” aspect of what our minds do, for we are often analyzing, not listening to inspiration. “Thoughts,” as in the lengthy chapter in A Course of Love entitled, “The Art of Thought,” is meant to mean a number of things: miracle-mindedness, miracle-readiness, miracles (just for themselves), and prayer (constant). Our thought processes as we head into Christ-consciousness are about to slow down drastically, so much so that it is harbinger of having made the great transformation of Awakening, enlightenment.

Jesus uses the words “thinking” and “thought” a little differently than the dictionary definitions, of course, but his reasoning is impeccable. We will let the matters of our concern rest lightly on our minds and hearts as we proceed along the path of transformation. We won’t stop the flow of lightly-held thought, but we stop plugging it up and analyzing stray thinking. We dam up our thought processes, and we are even tempting the ego back into our minds when we screw up our foreheads and “think.”

Jesus tells us that he doesn’t think in the same way that we do; he doesn’t “think” at all. He doesn’t explain exactly what he means by this, but it is clear that he encourages us to live intuitively, and this is a way of living that discounts intellectual reasoning power. Our intellect so often deceives us! We think we are just so very smart, and such thinking is so of the ego that we recognize that we are thinking amiss.

Let thought rest lightly, as the miracles as expressions of love comes to us to be performed. Jesus will guide us as to what miracles to perform; we are always to ask. Our Self, the same Self who we share with Jesus and all our brothers and sisters, will respond with an answer. Our Self of union, in A Course of Love, is the way that we know what to think, say, and do. As noted earlier, we have moved beyond the Holy Spirit as an intermediary between God and ourselves, and we can get guidance directly from the Self who is a part of God, the Self who has dwelled deep within as long as we have existed as beings created by God.

So: Contemplate gently today. Let the mind rest, knowing that what we need to say and do will occur by means beyond ourselves. We don’t need to struggle with the events of our lives. Our insight, often felt as intuition, will tell us all that we need to know.

Prayer

Be with me today as I seek to give my mind a rest. Let my heart come to the forefront. Let my heart truly live, for its ways are informing my mind—and to great benefit for me. May my expressions of love to my significant others smooth their way today. May my expressions of love be a constant, daily thing.

Thank You for this good day. I rejoice in the day that You have created.

Amen.

Seek Inner Wisdom

“You may have pictured the person who first received these words as receiving them either through her thoughts or through her ears, as in the idea of “hearing” words. The receiver of these words, in fact, “hears” these words as thoughts. They are not “her” thoughts, but they also are not sepa¬rate from her. How can this be?

“They are, quite simply, not the separated thoughts of the separated thought system.” (ACOL, D:12.2 – 12.3)

Mari heard an internal voice, one that she believed (and has since been borne out) was Jesus. Helen received dictation for A Course in Miracles in exactly the same way. It might be more accurate to say the “impression” of a voice, for there was nothing audible. And Mari, as Jesus said, was hearing these words as thoughts that she knew did not originate from her personal mind. We can extrapolate from what Jesus says next in this quotation that Mari was in unity when she was listening to these “thoughts.” She had a united mind and heart, and her Self was available to her: “not the separated thoughts of the separated thought system.”

We can do the same, though the voice that we will hear will not necessarily be Jesus. Though he has promised to be with us when we call, not all of us call all the time, and, of course, how he can be with everybody who calls is a mystery that is beyond the scope of what we can know on this earth. Let the imagination have free rein. Write a question in a journal, and then “listen” for an answer. Just be free with this. Write what seems to come, using the vast powers of our imagination. A awakened individual I know would say that this is Inner Wisdom, and, of course, another way to say that is that it is the Self coming out to play, the Self newly emerging from the depths now that we have let go of our ego and are eager to see true reality. Julia Cameron, of fame as a writing teacher as well as a working artist (The Artist’s Way, etc.), suggests just the technique that I am here recommending. She says that we will get an indication of how to dialogue with our inner being.

I am not conscious of channeling from anyone while I write this blog, but I do realize that I “listen” to see what words to put down on paper. I don’t “hear” anything, but I also try not to forge ahead until I have gotten the gist of what is to follow in any given sentence. So, in that sense, I am in dialogue, I think, with my Self. At an earlier time I might have thought that I was in dialogue with the Holy Spirit, but Jesus has emphasized that we live now in the time of Christ, the time of the Holy Spirit having passed. We can have direct knowledge from God now, no longer needing an intermediary because we are no longer fearful of the Deity. I would caution not to feel that we are infallible, for we certainly can make mistakes in our journaling as a dialogue. Our finite minds, even when supported by the heart, will sometimes get it wrong.

Take nothing that I say unto yourself unless it finds a place in your heart. This is the test. Does it sound right to you? If not, ask for your own personal guidance; that is best anyway.

So: We listen to our own inner voice as we seek to discover more. This Self is informed by guidance far beyond us. And the result will be better lives. When we listen to the universe, our guidance shows us the way to greater happiness and an ever-greater contribution to God’s work.

Prayer

Be with me as I seek to write. Be with me as I seek to live peacefully with everyone. I would make progress in my own pathway by inviting mellowness, and this comes only when I first relax. I ask for a glimpse of enlightenment today. I ask for the intelligence, emotional and mental, to get across ideas that You give me, ideas that elucidate Jesus’s words in A Course of Love. Don’t let me mislead anybody.

Thank you for being here for me today. I seek to relax and stay calm, sure that then any neuroses that still trouble me will diminish and gradually disappear, falling away never to return.

Amen.

Contribute from the Well of Spirit

“Why would you retain your desire to make an individual contribution, when you can now make a contribution such as this? Is not your unique expression of the whole enough for you? Is it not infinitely greater than the contributions that are possible for the individual, separated self to make? Is not the history of your world filled with individual contributions of incredible scope?

“Do you still believe that the contribution made by the man Jesus was an individual contribution? I tell you truthfully that the only contributions that endure, the only contributions that are truly lasting, are contributions that arise from the well of spirit.” (ACOL, D:11.15 – 11.16)

So here we have it. As the larger Self as well as the elevated Self of form, we will make contributions from the arena of the already accomplished, from the “well of spirit.” These are the only type of contributions that endure, Jesus tells us. We are speaking to the Self whom we share with all others when we make a contribution from the well of spirit. This means that what we say has more resonance with our brothers and sisters; they know whereof we speak because we are speaking to their innermost nature.

An “individual” contribution is just a surface contribution of what WE think is important. When we let guidance flow in from the Self (whom we share with all others), we speak from a much larger perspective, and what we say has universal appeal. Our brothers and sisters know whereof we speak, for they too have lived this spirit-filled message. I want to say that what we say speaks to the souls of others, though the word “soul” is little used in A Course of Love.

If we attune ourselves to the core of guidance that is available to us, we will make good decisions about what to say and do, what our contribution is to be. If we avoid this guidance, throw out intuition as not reason, then we will fail. It is just that simple. This world needs our best work, and when we attune to the overarching Self, we will be on the beam.

This world needs us to be on the beam.

Prayer

Guide my choice of words as I write, today and every day. Guide me to have a good attitude in whatever I do and say, for a bad attitude spoils the very best message. What we say teaches us. And we cannot show what You are really like if we are disgruntled and negative.

Be with me today; guide me in every instance. Don’t let me be resistance to what You are saying. I would let You filter through my mind and heart completely and totally, to the extent that I can sustain it.

Amen.