Following the Spirit

From my “ponder” series. . .

I don’t know when I encountered the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It must have been a quiet experience. I do know that when I was working as a media coordinator in the public schools in North Carolina, I went about my duties in the library with one ear tuned to what I was feeling. The Holy Spirit talked to me through my feelings. Sometimes it seemed that I was even prompting to turn left or right at a given time, not sure what I would see when I turned.

It was all a bit unnerving. My preacher had previously told me that Holy Spirit doesn’t tell you whether to turn left or right at a stop light, but my experience was different. To me, guidance spoke in particular ways in my everyday life.
Things went along well when I tuned in. The “feelings” were somewhat different from what I would term “intuition.” Intuition can be a “knowing,” and the nudges I got were not a knowing, because I didn’t understand what would transpire when I made a move in the direction prompted.

My Unconscious mind, where I think the Holy Spirit resides, must have been very close to the surface during that early period of learning how to listen. And the listening continued for long years, culminating now in a sense of knowing. I don’t get those indications of whether to turn right or left.

Is something missing, or am I just following guidance another way?

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Ask to Do the Best of Which We Are Capable

The Holy Spirit can gather millions of beings to come to you in many planes, because it knows you will not distort the Love of God by usurping God’s position and putting yourself upon the throne. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 66)

We need to give God His due. We are not living alone in this world; we have Him backing us up, living through us. And this is always true, though we make mistakes that are not of God’s origin in the narrowest sense. We are living as finite gods, and so we do make mistakes. Ask the ultimate Authority to heal us of these mistakes. Ask to live, in peace, in His world.

If we sense that many people are looking in on our world, perhaps this is not paranoid. We live in glass houses, and the unseen world can spy on us. This has always been going on, but it may disconcert us if we are just coming to realize it. But near this passage Jesus is telling us just that. He is telling us that we can be an example for untold “millions.” Let this not go to our head, but let us sense the responsibility of it all.

Ask to be a good example to the disembodied souls who look in on us. Ask to do the very best that we can in this false world, where illusions reign, and the world is not truly real. We can make it real, in our estimate of it. And it certainly does seem real when we knock on wood.

Ask to do the best of which we are capable.

We can do no more.

Mysteries

The world would teach you to be a doormat so that you fit in and do not ruffle anybody’s feathers. But as you become empowered, one way you will know that it is occurring is that some people will not like you. You will push their buttons just by walking into the room, for darkness abhors light. It is that simple. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 66)

If we find ourselves rejected by the world, or even by a few individuals in our world, let us rest easy. There is a bigger reason for this. It may, of course, be our fault, and we can ask to have this remedied by God. But it may be that we, by just who we are, are pushing others’ buttons. And that is not our fault.

What a revealing group of statements by Jesus! I had thought that if people didn’t like me, it was just bad karma. Something had happened in a past I could not remember that was affecting relationships today.

And this may be the case. This may be the case when we push others’ buttons. Their souls are remembering when maybe we did them wrong, and they turn from us as a reaction from further hurt.

We do the same. We may find ourselves unaccountably nervous around certain people, and we do or say things that hinders the good relationship. We may be remembering when that person was not good for us. And maybe that person is not good for us now.

There are mysteries in the world that surrounds us. Let us put the best face that we can on this world.

And then let it go.

Now We Know What Love Is

No matter how deep you go into the depth of God, and no matter how deep you achieve an awareness and consciousness of union with God, what God is remains forever beyond your growing capacity to understand God. It is like an ocean of infinite depth. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 64 – 65)

We will never, if we visit a thousand worlds, know God completely. His Godhead is the All, and we can know, intuitively, only facets of His personality. He shares with us, but the sharing is not a sharing of equals. We are creations of the Creator. It is true that we are a part of Him, in that he differentiated His essence to form entities without number, an infinite number. The magnitude invites humility in us. Knowing that we are God, but we are not all that God is, can give us a realistic estimate of ourselves.

We are growing in understanding. Not so long ago, most men and women of faith believed that God stood apart from His handiwork, that we (and the earth) were His handiwork, and that the distance between ourselves and our God was so great as to be unreachable. Now we know that we can have a direct knowledge of God, and this knowledge is known to us because in the age of Christ we are not so afraid of Him. His magnitude, when we were sinners caught by the ego (read “Devil”) was beyond us. We needed a Comforter to bridge the distance, and that Comforter was the Holy Spirit. Now we know that this, a holy spirit, is a part of us, and we no longer quake in our boots at the thought of approaching His majesty as just our humble selves. We know what love is, and we sense that we are loved just as we are, mistakes and all. It is awe-inspiring. And humbling at the same time.

Let God talk to you today. He is in the silence of our meditations. He will comfort our aching minds with wisdom of our hearts.

Let the heart tell us this today.

Let God Act in Gentleness in Our Very Souls

I and I alone am the source of what I experience and perceive. I am not a victim of the world I see. Everything I experience, I have called to myself, plain and simple—no excuses, no ifs, ands, or buts. That is the way it is.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 64)

We are one with Jesus, as we are one with all other beings in our world. We are responsible for this “pebble” (Jesus’ word) called “earth.” There is one Self only, and this Self is a manifestation of God, insane though we have been in manifesting Him. He is not insane, and so we could not fully experience God in our illusory separation from Him. But we have never been victims. We did just what we wanted. We thought it smart to develop a worldview that left God out, and in the doing of it, we suffered mightily. Our suffering was chosen by our souls to lead us back to knowledge that what we were about would never work.

God was not punitive. He just had to have universes that were based in Love in order to keep that Creation from self-destructing. We didn’t know this, for our finite minds could not contain the ramifications of this in our delusions. We projected the ego as the Devil, and we imagined a cosmic war going on. This has never been, but we didn’t have, in separation, a certain way of knowing the truth.

Now we do. We live in the time of Christ, and certain things that have been hidden until are now, now are out in the open. Our way back is seen as the smooth path that it is. We need fret, worry, suffer, be in pain, no more. Our Self, seen as individuated entities apart from each other, will gradually return to the fold, knowing that suffering is unnecessary. We will let God have His way with us, learning through rewards, a way that is vastly superior to pain.

Jesus says in A Course in Miracles that it is not necessary to learn through pain. Believe him, and watch the agonies of this world recede.

Let God act in gentleness in our very souls, and our way will be smoothed for all time.

It Is in God’s Hands

. . .[Y]ou suddenly realize you are not the maker and doer, that you can accept responsibility for anything and everything because through you all power under Heaven and Earth is made to flow, to manifest the Love of God. So, in short, it is in God’s hands, not yours. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 63)

We are not the doers, at least not in our personality. The Doer is God Himself, Who dwells deep within each of us as One. We are, of course, One, being part of the one Self Who is manifested in the world. That’s why harm to another actually harms the self, for there are not two, but one.

The world is meant to manifest God’s Love, and it is only in our desire to see if we could create something better than He that we wandered away into separation from Him. It was never so, but we were free to be lost in the illusion that it was the truth.

Now we know better. Our separation from God was only in dreams of illusion, dreams that have played out on the stage of this world, and perhaps others. We have never left God’s bosom, and when we allow His Love to encompass us again, we will be very close to enlightenment, a stage of life, coming to all of us, that will make manifest in our world the truth that Love is the All, the Everything. God, as we know, is Love, though to think of love as an emotion is to miss the point. Love is a fact, a reality, a truth, that permeates the whole, and now we know this in our inmost being.

The eons have passed in which we walked in a fog. Now time is fleeting, and we are all passing into the knowledge of God, past perception. Now we know what was only a shadow heretofore.

Now we know. What are we to do with this knowledge? That is the only question left to answer. Let intuition rise to the surface, and that secret, too, will be revealed.

Allow God’s Gentle Direction

You come to see that you cannot think a thought without disturbing the farthest of stars. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 63)

Our thoughts contain worlds, and influence worlds. We have not believed this truth, not because it is so unbelievable, but because we feared the ramifications. If we know this, ought not we to do something major with our lives? Ought we to realize that we can affect the very course of history?

We are not powerless, but very powerful. And as bits of foam on the tips of waves in the ocean which is God, we will grow in grace as we realize how powerful we really are. When we allow God’s direction to manifest in our lives, we will accomplish much that would have seemed impossible previously. Of course, we won’t know how strong our influence really is, and perhaps this is wise, for the ego might try to win back our allegiance by guile. The ego is very cunning, and its patterns are still a part of our mind. The farther away we can run from these patterns of the ego, the better off we will be. And the greater our influence really will turn out to be.

Ask for guidance, for we do not want to harm anybody with our thoughts and feelings. We don’t want to adversely affect anything, and if we allow God’s gentle direction, we will not cause ripples in the ocean that is our home in God. We will know His magnitude, and this magnitude will erase the cunning of the ego in its false majesty.

Subconscious Cleansed from the Bottom Up

. . .[Y]our life is no longer your own to dictate and control. But that rather, you have given it over the Source of your own beingness, to that depth of wisdom in the depth of the ocean that knows best how to bring about what is required to push up the dross from within your consciousness, so that you can release it.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 62)

We are becoming enlightened by a process by which the subconscious is cleansed from the bottom up. We don’t try to dictate how this will come about. Our part is simply to allow it to happen by not focusing on the wishes of the dying ego. Allowance is the way that Jeshua (Jesus) moved Jayem to enlightenment, as described in The Jeshua Letters. His own conscious willingness to let go in surrender was all that was needed, for his own subconscious had been largely cleansed by the time that Jesus approached him, perhaps through the Eastern wisdom that he had read voraciously for years.

Likewise, allowance is our way, too. If we try to remain in the driver’s seat, we will miss the point as well as miss enlightenment, Awakening, Christ-consciousness.

God must be allowed to have His way with us, and in this ultimate surrender, He blesses us with the knowledge of His love and His guidance. Our pathway will be as clear as our next step, for we see the pathway only step by step. But we have said “yes” to the whole route, and in so doing, we have fallen into Jesus’ arms. His embrace, as described in A Course of Love, heals. And it is this embrace that contains the whole universe(s).

Abundance

You have chosen what your experience will be and you have manifested it. There is nothing new about that. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 61)

We have always manifested, though the world has been slow to recognize this.

Manifestation, or the law of attraction, has gotten popular acclaim only in the work of Rhonda Byrne, author of the film and book, The Secret. She traces the roots of the law of attraction, also known as the law of love, back generations. Some earlier folks did not want the masses of people to realize how powerful their thoughts and feelings were, and only a few were knowledgeable. Now this has changed, a groundswell of change that is identified particularly in Jesus’ The Way of Mastery (The Christ Mind Trilogy), the third book, The Way of Knowing.

Now the truth of our thoughts and feelings and their manifestation is becoming common knowledge. We might think that we have discovered something magnificent, but we have been doing it all along, as Jesus tells us in this quotation. We have not been directive about it, though, and now many people are being directive. We miss the point if we dwell on the material, because material blessings are often wanted by our ego, and we are trying to let the ego pass away from us. Abundance is a vital part of God’s plan for us, and His abundance is best asked for by intangible blessings in the emotions of peace, joy, happiness, serenity, mellowness. If we have these intangible blessings, the material will normally take care of itself without our even having to ask.

Blessing from God

From my “ponder” series. . .

Does God play any role in the law of attraction other than seemingly being a genie in a bottle?

The law of attraction entered the mainstream just a little over ten years ago, primarily encouraged by Rhonda Byrne and The Secret (both book and film). The initial writing seemed to downplay any role that God might have in our lives. The focus was, quite a bit, on egoic thoughts and material possessions. To her credit, later writing by Rhonda in The Power and The Magic does make a return to traditional spiritual values of love and gratitude, respectively.

The law of attraction is often a secular way of receiving God’s blessings when we are too conflicted to hold a belief about a deity. But I think it is a blessing from God to keep us on the right track. I think God doesn’t ultimately care if we disbelieve (though He can help us more if we have belief in Him); he doesn’t have an ego to need the praise that traditional religion often asks us to make. So, using our minds, even though they are not spiritually attuned, will often get us what we want. This is the bottom line of the law of attraction.

Having a faith in God can bring us a much more fulfilling life, though. Just trying to think positively, and trying to feel good all the time, won’t do it for us—and it is these points that are often made about how to attract what we want.
What we want will fail us unless there is a deeper Mystery to ponder. Getting what we want is not the final answer because at some point we will be saying, “Is this all there is?”

A full surrender to a Higher Power (as we understand this Power) will ensure a better life. And this is classic spirituality.

Believe

The universe is always answering your questions. And when you ask unclear questions, you get unclear answers. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 60)

Jesus’ practical advice shines through today’s quotation. “And when you ask unclear questions, you get unclear answers.” Yes! We need to get clear in our minds (and hearts) what we really want, then ask, believing that our agreed-upon goal will manifest. Then we only need wait (and not wait long) for the manifestation to appear.

Believing is the crux of the matter. And when we don’t really believe, then we are trying to force something into our reality that is not in our contract for this lifetime. Our innermost Self knows that this way is not for us; we are only with a request. When we truly believe a thing, then we are on the beam of the pathway for our lifetime. We need do no more, for we will see it become ours.

What are we committed to in this lifetime? Spend a while contemplating this important question. Let it permeate the subconscious mind. Then, with a clear mind, revisit the question. If we have turned the decision of commitment over to our deepest mind, we will have a knowing that has eluded us until then.

Thought of Love in Form

You are here to remember that you are the thought of Love in form. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 59)

Allow God to live through us without restriction. He is doing so, of course, but our little or personal self can mess up the loveliest reality. Living in illusion, in the dream of a world that doesn’t really exist, we are trapped in matter that seems to hold us firm. But this way of viewing our lives is so defeatist. We are not trapped in anything when we let go and allow the Higher Power (think God) to have His way with us. Until that time, we make a thousand inroads into oblivion, lamenting our very existence on earth.

We are in form, and when we live with this form, we ultimately become the elevated Self of form (as A Course of Love says). We become this when we have allowed Christ-consciousness to spread throughout our holy minds. Our hearts will guide our minds to this better place. And the heart knows only Love. And Love is of God.

The way back is effortless. Sure, we don’t believe this now, but after Christ-consciousness has transported us to a new reality, we will believe it.

Allow God to make this difference in our lives today.

Love Is the Elixir

Rest assured, whenever you believe you have not succeeded or not completed some decision fueled by desire, it is because you were simply not wholly committed—or you decided to change your mind. And when you change your mind, you literally change what you experience in the world or the solar system in which your self spins. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 5, Page 56)

Our mind does control what we experience. If we are not firmly in the driver’s seat, for God makes a difference, we have some power in our creations. If we are constantly changing our minds about what we want to experience, we will go through oscillations that seem never-ending. We will also have conflict, as one idea rubs against another.

There is a better way. We need to let desire be informed by the Holy Spirit or the Christ Mind, and if we do this, we will have a way of living that will emerge as our heart’s desire. Conflict aside, we will be well-equipped to deal with the many disturbances in our world, this world of illusory separation from God. Our way forward will be magical in a good sense, not in the lamentable way of viewing magical thoughts that A Course in Miracles describes.

Our desires fuel what we bring into our little corner of the world. And when we allow God to act in us as He would will, we know that His will and ours are inseparable. We know that we never really wanted anything but His presence in our convoluted lives. When we feel His Love, we are transported beyond ourselves, into something that offers us our dreams.

Love is the elixir. Let Love fuel the choice of our desires, and keep our will firmly rooted in the Holy Spirit or Christ Mind. God’s choices then give us a value to everyday experience that has heretofore been lacking.

And suffering is no more, for, as illusion, it retreats into mists before the sun.

Let God’s Glory Be Reflected in How We Live

Of myself, I do nothing. But my Father, through me, does all things. And it is very good. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 55)

We too can step aside and let God’s direction flow into our lives. After all, we are composed of “God-stuff.” He is living through us, and when the separation has been healed, we will know it with a certainty that puts all confusion to rest. Our confusion will melt away, and we will be home, in God’s arms.

Our desires direct what we do. Ask those desires to be filled with God’s grace. We are immersed in Life when we feel our desires. Pray that our desires might be worthy of us—and worthy of God. A nearby statement says in WOM, “. . .[L]et the petals of the rose blossom within our holy being.”

We are not used to thinking of ourselves like this, in this exalted way. We are so used to denigrating ourselves, calling it humility. But true humility does not disenfranchise us. A false humility will mean that we have a poor self-image, and while self-images are actually a false concept (in that no image is needed), we ought to rise up to the best that we have in us.

God asks no less of us, that we let His glory be reflected in the glorious lives that we live.

Born of the Spirit

For as you take up your rightful place, you become a vehicle through which the voice for God will creatively touch the lives of countless persons that you may never ever meet physically.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 55)

What an exalted notion Jesus has of us! We might cringe, thinking that we are being humble, but this is simply another evidence of our playing small. Jesus calls us to greatness, not greatest borne of the ego, but greatness borne of the spirit. We are children of God, created in His image, and when we give up our separation from God (for we have this in our power), we will grow all the way up to whatever glory we have in us.

We will attract others, whether they be many or few. Our persona will radiate a good will that is attracting. Nobody likes to interact with an ego, lest of all our brothers and sisters who are in our close circle. Egotism puts off everyone, though when we are lost in the ego, we don’t recognize how off-putting this way of being really is.

We do appreciate Jesus, and here he indicates near the passage for today that he knows this. He too appreciates us, and our best efforts, and will support us in every worthy endeavor.

Ask for Jesus’ help today. He won’t be long in coming to us, holding our hand, and walking along. Our best efforts will then be multiplied, with such a companion as he.

Gratitude

Reposted from my discontinued Ponder blog:

Most spiritual traditions tell us that being grateful for our lives and what we have in them is a necessary component of a full life. If we believe that God needs our praise, then I can see that expressing thanks to Him in our prayers would make sense. But I have had more trouble understanding the “why” of gratitude since I don’t believe God needs us to tell Him how wonderful He is. (Jesus says this in A Course in Miracles.)

Of course, I can understand that we need gratitude. It opens our heart. And, not incidentally, it makes us just feel good. Writing about the Law of Attraction, particularly Rhonda Byrne’s The Magic, says that without gratitude our wishes for a more abundant life will fall on deaf ears in the universe. But is not a rote recall of things we are grateful for just seem to be manipulation of ultimate reality?

Our heart needs to be in the right place when we are expressing thanks for the blessings of our life. We need not to be manipulative, we need not to say “thanks” just because it does feel good.

There is a higher reason for gratitude.

I know that I appreciate my life, and that is a good start. Gratitude does warms our heart, and maybe that is reason enough to be diligent in feeling and expressing gratitude for our lives.

Gratitude does keep us in the right pathway back to God. Separation healed, we are on our way.

Note

Note: I’ve decided to discontinue the blog entitled Ponder that I began last week. Instead, I will occasionally post points to ponder on this blog, Miracles Each Day.
The received writings by Jesus will still be front and center.

Thank you.

Love, Celia

Christ Self

If you arrive at home, it will mean that you will have had to give up being a seeker. You will have had to become one who has found. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 53)

Christ is a term for the real center of the Self, and the Christ Self is the individual whom we become when we have given up extraneous wishes and rest in God. In the vicinity of this quotation, Jesus says “Christ incarnate” about us. This term, applied to us, may arrest us quite a bit, for we are used to that term being applied to Jesus, and who among us would compare ourselves to him? But Christ is an umbrella term for all of us who have given up the ego, are walking into salvation, even ultimate salvation—Christ-consciousness. There is no better way to walk, and we would be wise not to be afraid of what will be our greatest blessing.

Marianne Williamson, teacher of A Course in Miracles, echoes what Jesus is saying here, in a well-recognized passage from her book that popularized A Course in Miracles; the book was A Return to Love, published decades ago now. She, and Jesus, here, caution against “smallness,” and all of us have a little desire to play small, because we think that we won’t get into any trouble with God if we are little spots on the horizon. But it isn’t desired that we “play small.” We need to grow all up to the best that we can be.

A Course of Love indicates that we aren’t to just go along placidly, attempting to do good in this world. We are to create a new world! And this won’t ever happen if too many of us remain small.

Let our fears drop away. We are Christ Selves, and this more exalted persona need not make us afraid. We can draw on the One Christ in our daily lives, and this nod to a larger reality will save not only us, but the world.

Guidance

What do I truly want? What is it in my heart that keeps calling to me, keeps compelling me? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 50 – 51)

When we ask the Almighty to give us guidance about what we truly want, we are asking Him to give us what is the will of God. He wants us to know how to proceed; He doesn’t wish for us to stay in the dark. We will start knowing, much better, when we take the time to ask for divine influence.

We may simply “be,” in love, with all other creatures of God. A Course of Love talks of the way of Mary, of being; and the way of Jesus, of doing. And ACOL says that all of us will eventually follow the way of Mary. This means that putting our arms around our loved ones, and just simply giving them love is a gift of the greatest magnitude. It is being par excellence.

What does matter is how we accept ourselves, warts and all. We are not perfect, and it will take Jesus to correct the mistakes in our soul’s path that we have been unable to correct. (This is indicated in both A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love.) This correction, because Jesus is gentle, will be gentle and nothing to fear. Jesus can give us much help along the way, as we seek to walk a better path. And the Holy Spirit/Christ Self do their part as well.

We are not left dangling.

Waves Rising from the Ocean of God

The mystical transformation that carries you from feeling yourself to be a disempowered little drop of foam on the edge of a wave to the sense of freedom and empowered living that flows from the Mind of God through you to express only beautiful creations filled with majesty, power and miracles is willingness. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 49)

Jesus compares us to waves rising from the ocean, with God being the ocean. We are no more separate from God than a wave is separate from the ocean. We are a part of God.

The willingness mentioned in this quotation is called just a “little” willingness in A Course in Miracles. When we give ourselves to God, He takes our bending to His will and grows it tremendously. We may have heretofore felt thwarted in some of our projects. If we give the details of our lives, even the practical details, over to a Higher Power, we will know a success unexpected in common hours. And we will know God.

It is through knowing God that we know what next step to take. When we have walked far along the way, knowing becomes a most intimate part of ourselves. We don’t have to stop and think. We just know what to say and do. We act in innocence in our world. If our initial impulse would hurt anyone, then we need to go within and recognize that our response is not, in fact, from God.

When we, children of God, act on His side, what we say and do is not harmful to anyone. It is permeated, through and through, with the innocence that is our very being.

We Need to Blossom

And God wonders, “Well, it is interesting. These roses that I have created seem to have a mind of their own. As the elixir I tried to give them rises through the stems, they tie themselves in little knots and only a little bit of the elixir reaches out. So the petals never quite blossom fully.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 49)

The “tie themselves in little knots” is, of course, exactly what we do when we worry. And many of us are prone to worry a lot of the time.

How do we get beyond this worry, this tension? We cast all our care on God. We allow His life-giving sap to rise in our limbs, and when we do, we know the expansion that Jesus is talking about in this quotation.

To expand is to grow. And that oft-quoted idea from the Talmud is that an angel leans over every blade of grass, saying, “Grow, grow.”

We are like that blade of grass. Our growth is extension. We might not get it right the first time when we try. But our batting average rises exponentially when we let God have the reins of our life. The Holy Spirit speaks for Him; let the Holy Spirit into our lives. Then the growth that we will experience, the expansion, will be noble and good.

And we will know what it means to truly live for the first time.

Wanting Aright

“Then as you drive home and a Mercedes pulls up alongside you, you cannot help but turn and say, ‘God, I wish I could afford one of those.’ Then you think, ‘Oh, God! I can’t have that thought, so I’ll just drive my old Volkswagen down the road. But I’m being a very good spiritual person.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 48)

Jesus is saying here that we try hard to be spiritual, trying to purify our own thoughts even as we walk through out days. But do we succeed in such a personally driven desire? Aren’t we leaving something out?

Leaving something out will lead to resentment, surely the least lovable of characteristics. If we want the Mercedes, we don’t have to decide that such a wish needs to be squashed because it is “unspiritual.” Maybe we need to be honest about all of our secret wishes, even the ones that seem “unspiritual.” Then we are truly getting somewhere.

It is not the Mercedes, or our desire for it, that is bad. It is a false, egoic-driven way to be “better” in spiritual matters than we are. This leads to spiritual pride, self-righteousness, and, of course, resentment.
Acknowledge the desire. That is all that is needed. Acknowledge the desire, and then ask God if it is a legitimate desire borne of good will. If not, then is the time to alter our wishes.

What We Decree, Is

Remember that what you decree is, and the thought you hold in the mind will be reflected through the nature of your experience. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 47)

The sentiment in the quotation is an affirmation of the law of attraction: What we decree, is. This truth lets us realize that we have to watch our thoughts, even getting out of bed in the morning. The way in which we begin our day will decide whether the day will go well or ill. Of course, we can always start the day over, as A Course in Miracles tells us. But wasting time is not to be desired (something also ACIM says).

Answer honestly, first thing in the morning, about what we want. This will put us in the right relationship to God, Who can then lead us gently to purify our thoughts.

Ask what is best that we want.

And then be assured of an Answer.

Nothing to Fear in Guided Desire

You have learned, therefore, to fear desire because that fear is the effect of fearing yourself, and that is what cripples you. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Lesson 4, Page 46)

Our fears have done us in, mostly just fearing ourselves.

Now is the time to change, to alter trajectory to a new and glorious word. There is nothing to fear in desire, IF it is informed by following guidance. If we think we are not looking to guidance, then we are just falling back on asking the ego what to do. And the ego will always lead us wrongly.

We are right in loving ourselves. The lack of self-love also means that we don’t love God in the way that we ought, for if we cannot love ourselves, then we also think (wrongly) that our love for God is something too elusive to join in faith.

If love of God does seem elusive, then look to what in our lives we do love. One woman, in a story told my Norman Vincent Peale, said that she knew that she loved her little nephew. And Norman said to her that this was where her mission lay. In loving the nephew, she would come to see from whence all Love comes, the very Godhead Itself.

We have not trusted ourselves to know where to turn and what to do, and this psychological disturbance has caused much inner turmoil.

Make the decision today to reach that which is higher and more all-encompassing than our little egoic self; make the decision for God.

Healed in Mind, Body, Spirit

Healing requires the willingness to feel desire, to see it as good and to see it as holy. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 46)

We are in charge. We can listen to guidance, and thereby give up at least some of the control. But we remain in the driver’s seat. What we say goes, for we are creating our reality.

Of course, it is best if we open to guidance, the Holy Spirit, the Christ Self, the Higher Self, God. We simply are not aware enough, in our finite minds, of all that we need to do to create the best reality. We are limited that way.

We know too much to let the ego rule, and that is why we no longer seek guidance of this false persona. True, we can lapse into egoic thinking, and thereby lose our way, but do we really want to risk this? I think not. We want to be healed in mind, body, spirit. And our desire to be healed fuels the changes that we need to make in order to be healed.

Healing is, ultimately, Awakening, enlightenment, Christ-consciousness. Before we reach that milestone, we will see glimpses of what that mellow, heartwarming state of being really is. We will be led, ever so gently. It isn’t as though we will be hurled into reality, and this is something that A Course in Miracles makes plain. Our pathway will be gentle, though of course, because we are fallible, there will be some bumps along the way. Nobody, well, almost nobody, escapes the ego in one fait accompli. Escaping the ego is a gradual process.

Ask for healing today. Know that when we ask, the healing is already on the way. God has just been waiting for this opening.

Love in Which We Swim

If you were to walk down one of your city streets and to truly look into the eyes of everyone you see, would you not recognize that death seems to have already made a home in the minds of many that are living? (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 45)

Yes, I too have had this experience, seeing death in the eyes of a loved one, a family member. There was a glazed-over expression, a deadness that seemed to me at the time to reach her very soul. And she lived for several more years, and so actual death was not imminent. Jesus says that all of us reading these words has had this experience.

I have often wondered what I was seeing. Now Jesus’s words in this statement bring home to me again what I experienced long ago, looking within the eyes of a loved one. I have often wondered if my loved one had not experienced God in her lifetime. Certainly she had led a life that would seem circumscribed and a disappointment in many ways. Was failing to know salvation one of her problems?

We don’t have to live like this, for we are especially fortunate to have Jesus’ newly channeled works to help us live well. If we sense our own eyes as being too dull, let us ask for a surrender to God that will remedy this death-like reflection. We need God, and He will rush to our aid immediately, for the Godhead knows His children. I believe that God knows his children, for I don’t subscribe to the idea that God doesn’t know what we are about because we live an illusion.

Ask for encouragement today. I think this is all that any of us need, encouragement borne of the Love in which we swim.

Hero’s Journey Is Our Journey

As you know yourself to be, you are the effect of God’s desire to extend Love.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 43)

Yes, we are the extension of the Godhead as Love. We just fell into separation, wanting to explore how we might be different if we “forgot” that we are Love. We didn’t know what a magnificent entity we could be if we remained in Love. Yet God chose this pathway for us, along with us. It was a mutual decision. We will return to Him, ready to be embraced by Love, much more knowledgeable and much more mature than new souls who had previously not embarked on any journey.

This is the “hero’s” journey. Ultimately, we return to where we have been. And there, T. S. Eliot, the poet, says, “to know the place for the first time.” This is what life is all about, to explore, to make mistakes in our ignorance of the whole picture, to finally know that God is all we want. Jesus says this elsewhere in WOM (Christ Mind Trilogy), that he is still constantly wanting to know more and more of God, still progressing as an entity. He encourages us to move fast if we want to be where he is, because his place in the universe is not static. He will yet be farther along than we, if we hesitate.

God created us as a way to extend Love. His Love acted in the cosmos to individuate portions of His Self so that He could truly experience existence. Neale Donald Walsch, in his conversation with God series, describes this well. Neale goes on to say that God in His totality would be as unknowable as “nothing,” if He did not differentiate His Self into component parts. Yet we may believe that, like a hologram, each part (each entity) contains the Whole. So we can reach deep within, and intuitively, just “know.” This knowing takes us a very long way on our pathway back home.

We Are in Union with God like Waves in the Ocean

You must make the decision to desire—above all things—awakening into perfect remembrance of your union with God. (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 42)

In an excellent metaphor, Jesus likens us, as individual entities, to waves that have emerged from the depth of the ocean. The ocean is the All Who is God. He asks to identify with God, with the ocean and its depths. We do have uniqueness as waves, and our uniqueness is celebrated in The Way of the Heart. This will sit well with all of us as we emerge from the ego.

We like our individuality, as it is part of what we are, what we embody. In this, we are affirming the magnificence of God’s plan to differentiate, or individuate, all of us as entities that operate, often, seemingly on our own. He will use the inner Being to direct our pathways, though. This inner Being is called the Holy Spirit by A Course in Miracles and the Christ-Self in A Course of Love. It is simply recognized as our inner self by The Way of Mastery.

This analogy, of us and the ocean and its waves, from The Way of the Heart is especially apt and also especially beautiful. The imagery is superb. Jesus knows how to communicate with us, to reach our heart.

Let him.

Still Heart

Note: The last post ended the first part of Out of the Maze, a book I wrote some years ago (and is available as an e-book link from this blog). Now this blog will consider The Way of Mastery for a while, beginning with Chapter 4 of that book.

“For in truth, there is not a time that I am not with you.” (“The Way of the Heart,” WOM, Chapter 4, Page 41)

Jesus is here echoing something that he said in A Course in Miracles, that he is as close as a “single, unequivocal call.” Do we believe it? I think often the answer is “no.” Yet he says that he holds our hand as we walk along the carpet back to God. He says that this is no “idle fantasy.”

I, for one, believe him. I have had enough miracles of overwrought turning to peace that I know whereof Jesus speaks. Jesus knows what we need before we ask, but it is good practice to put into words what we want. Articulate our need; don’t just cry, “Lord, Lord.” Articulate what you would have him do for us. This paves the way for him to act.

Jesus is spirit, on the Other Side, and we don’t know how spirit can be anywhere and everywhere all at once. I used to say that Jesus was cloning himself, but being spirit, that is probably not necessary. He does need to establish a focal point of attention for his consciousness, though, and it is likely that his ability to do so enables him to assure us that he is with each of us whenever we make a “single, unequivocal call” to him. I doubt that many of us, entities here or on the Other Side, have the ability to direct numerous foci of consciousness just all the time. Jesus is very advanced, a very advanced entity.

Take him at his word. Ask for help the next time an upset looms on the horizon. When calmness comes, know that he has stilled our heart.

Quiet Answer

Note that while a request to remove anger may be granted immediately, it is more likely to be a slow process. Giving up all our angers requires a complete relinquishment of self-will (in the egoistic sense) to the better way of the Spirit within. And it requires attunement to the Divine at the moment in the heat of anger. Do not fight the sin (error)! That will only make it stronger. Instead, withdraw into one’s heart and mind and seek the solace of God’s solution to the situation that so troubles. Avoid the quick retort; know that this impulse is fueled by fear (stress) and is unworthy of a child of God. If we fall down on the pathway, know that God is ever ready to pick us up and set us aright again. Forgive self for the lapse! It does no good and much harm to chastise one’s self harshly and in the throes of guilt. Ask for divine assistance and it will be forthcoming. Above all, be grateful for the surfacing of anger. It is the only way for the boil to be lanced, the false self to be undone, and the better way available to all of us once again.

If problems assail us one by one, two by two, or more, please know that we are living in error. This is the human condition. Jesus says, though, that we will have freedom when we give over all problems to the one solution—the Holy Spirit. He will impress upon our minds the solution in a quiet answer without fanfare, a quiet answer that leaves no one the loser. Until every problem is given over in this way to a Higher Power, the essentially same “problem” will arise repeatedly in different forms. To keep a problem, moreover, is to make it great, past the hope of accomplishing a solution. God would not have this so for His children. In the Holy Spirit’s sight, though, problems are little and “. . .worth no more than just a tiny sigh before they disappear. . . .” (T-26.II.7:4)

If God’s Son in truth is innocent, then God’s justice would hold nothing against him. When we fail to offer the same justice to our brother by seeing instead that he is not due true justice, that he has done something not worthy of forgiveness, we judge against ourselves as well. Madness, as Jesus says, only seems terrible; in truth it has no power to make anything. (M-17.9:1-2) Justice would say to our brothers, “Choose again. This thing you decry is false and not reality at all.” Then our brother is granted complete justice as an innocent, though mistaken, son or daughter of God. We forgive, though we, strictly speaking, do not need to do so at all because there is nothing to forgive. Illusions need to be simply dispelled, and all will be as if they had never been.

Anger

When we recognize that our minds are one, that the mind that is in one’s brother connects to our own, it is a very short step to eliminate attack, because we recognize that the attack is upon ourselves as well. And eliminating attack will eliminate guilt, the reason that we have been driven mad and into this world of illusion.

This new way of approaching life may not come readily. We first may find our anger rising more easily from the depths because we have been sensitized to the fact that it is there. How can we eliminate it unless we are first made aware of it? As one comes closer to living in the fully spiritual life, the tiny inconveniences of living, the nagging doubts and negative thoughts, the scraps of anger, will seem more burdensome to us than before. That is why saints have historically viewed themselves as the blackest of sinners: They are more conscious of the tiniest of errors. So too will this dynamic occur as we make our way along the spiritual pathway. Do not, therefore, lament the awareness of anger within; open up to feel it and then bid it leave forever. Think you that the Holy Spirit would not grant this request, so in line with God’s will for us?

Egoic “Devil” Is a Mirage

One point in the deluded sufferer’s mind of attack needs to be addressed. Not only will we have trouble believing in the essential innocence of our brother, but we will believe that A Course in Miracles is deluding us as the tool of the “devil” as well. The Holy Spirit will therefore not be seen as God’s emissary, but as the voice of evil, cloaked in “good.” This is the essential aspect of the Course that Jesus says will cause us trouble; we will believe that he is misleading us. But is he really? Isn’t it our own projections that are the culprit here? We think the “sin” within is actually perpetrated by following an external demon, when in truth the demons are all within–products of our deluded mind. This is all that we are really dealing with. The devil is a myth, a projection from within of the “evil” we have seen there. And it was all a mirage–nothing more. A mirage that we can discard as invalid as soon as we accept the truth that we are dreaming in chaos, living with a diseased mind that in truth wants fervently to be sane again.

Jesus explains this dilemma in two succinct sentences. Referring to the Holy Spirit, he says, “What could He be to them except a devil, dressed to deceive within an angel’s cloak. And what escape has He for them except a door to hell that seems to look like Heaven’s gate?” (T-25.VIII.7:3-4) Words like these are the reason that the early portion of the Course must be carefully studied, because without this preparation, the ego will react with such fear that the experience will be more traumatic than beatific.” (T-1.VII.5:8) Trauma we can leave behind if we only trust Jesus and the Course a little longer. Suspend egoistic judgment of the parts that frighten, and patiently study the whole.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit will bring us out of the tunnel into the light, and into a world of Reality that sparkles and shines unlike anything seen since we fell asleep. And the Awakening will be gentle, once all the steps on the ladder have been retraced. Before the steps have been taken, there indeed may be a revelation of some startling proportions, a revelation revealing the end. But to get there the means are needed, and Jesus in the Course carefully explains those means. (T-1.VII.5:11)

Jesus’ Example

We must never forget that we and our brother are always “in this together.” If we imagine that we can be treated unfairly, we are trying to combine our innocence and his attack. The world doesn’t work that way. Because projection makes perception, it is our own attack thoughts that have prompted the cry of “unfair.” Attack is simply a mad reaction, and the notion even if a “fair attack” is without meaning. Moreover, we do our brother an injustice when we blame him for what we perceive as unfair attacks upon ourselves. We see him as guilty, and thus damn him, figuratively, to a hell of our own making. We have consented to this attack, for whatever reason, good or bad. A Course in Miracles says, “Walk you the gentle way, and you will fear no evil and no shadows in the night.” (T-27.I.1:3)

Even Jesus’s own suffering is an example of this dynamic. He did not share his tormentors’ view of attack (that it was “fair”) nor of his friends and apostles (that it was “unfair”). Thus he did not strengthen the attack in any way whatsoever. And a short while later he demonstrated that resurrection (for all of us, not just him) always follows death, showing that death is essentially an illusion of this time and place only. Jesus made no defense at all, the posture that he recommends for us as well, for to react defensively is to acknowledge that there is some evil therein to be defensive about.

So in the days following death and entombment, Jesus appeared in a body that could manifest itself among the apostles behind shut doors, and could walk along a road and almost not be recognized, and could “break bread” and eat. Surely he had entered a realm of living about which the rest of us know nothing. But the most important point was that the cross had not hurt him in any lasting way at all. By this truth we see an example of defenseless living wholly without reproach. Jesus says, “Let it [the body] receive the power to represent endless life, forever unattacked.” (T-27.I.10:6) In order for this picture to be true, we must not let the past intrude, much as we must not let the picture of Jesus’s crucifixion intrude on the glorified body that he occupied in the 40 days on earth following his resurrection.

Yet healing is to many a threatening idea. We cling fast to our sickness, even unto death, for we still blame our brother for the suffering that we, in actual fact, have allowed ourselves to endure. Withdraw the blame, and part of the reason for sickness (i.e., the reproach) is gone as well. Only the healed can truly pardon, because their (formerly) sick bodies do not stand in mute testimony that a brother is guilty of attack upon one’s self. And because only now is eternal and real, the illusory past has vanished, taking its causeless suffering with it.

Our Healing

It is part of the worldview of A Course in Miracles that we are all One, and this One is God. Ideas (and we are all at base an idea) leave not their Source, and so we are created creatures, extensions of God Himself. Our mistake in wanting to be apart and separate can never satisfy, because we are meant both to have and to be everything. Our egos would want a little separate treasure, apart from what our brother has, but all this false belief can ever give us is isolation, loneliness, and fear. And God has protected Himself and us by seeing that this separation happens only in illusion, in dreams. And thus it does not happen in Reality at all.

This explanation can only be understood metaphorically in this world, because we are not yet back Home in God. But miracles can and do happen without a fuller understanding. We can be healed of our guilt over separation (and the illusory effects that it has brought) without sacrifice and without pain. All we need are open hands to accept the miracle.

Specifically, what we have to give up to be free of pain is fear. Jesus sums up how in one concise sentence, “Being wholly without attack, it [love] cannot be afraid.” (T-19.IV.A.10:7) Without attack, there is no fuel with the pain that it brings. The pain may, and frequently does, visit ourselves or others in the form of sickness. This, Jesus explains, is the faulty problem solving mechanism meant to illustrate the frailty of the ego’s home, the body.

In these few sentences is a summation of what Jesus tells us about the origin of pain. Is it understandable? Not at its introduction, because once ego defenses immediately activate to suggest a thousand reasons why this simple answer cannot be the whole of it. Give the ideas a while to prove their validity.

God Enthralls Us

I believe that this moment of coming into our own can be likened to God taking the last steps into our Reunion with Him all by Himself. There is nothing that we can “do” to merit it, and if we had continued to struggle in our chaos, it might have seemed to be endless. And by retracing our karmic steps, we will regain Heaven, and the ladder leading us in the direction of the egoistic world can be withdrawn so that never again will we be tempted to dive into illusory worlds.

We have had enough pain to realize that the egotistical way is not appropriate. We will love God too much, appreciate the joys of Heaven too much, ever to be tempted to feel that following His Will is somehow a contrast to our own. We will see others as the equals that they are, and we will not be tempted to ask God to give us special favor. The desire for “special favor” is, in fact, what A Course in Miracles sees as the reason for our present predicament. And that defines the ego in two tiny words. We wait for God to take the final step in freeing us as individuals. Yet the Course looks to the individual first; in that sense, it does not preach a “social gospel.”

The Course would see most of our efforts in the world as doomed from the start unless we are right with God in the beginning. Jesus knows that we cannot give what we have not received. If we are not first healed, we have no healing to share with others. If we try still, we are “unhealed healers,” and Jesus is particularly negative about this. (T-9.V.3:3)

Heaven

Why may it take us so long to extricate ourselves from this world of madness? That is a misleading question, because time is relative, and if our attitudes are right, we can experience even Heaven itself in the here and now. Jesus says that Heaven is not a condition, but the awareness of perfect oneness. (T-18.VI.1:5) Surely in our mystical moments we come close to experiencing this wonder, and there are few of us who do not have mystical moments from time to time, even if we don’t call these memorable times by that name and even if we do not recognize these memorable times for what they are.

Jesus also says that we must retrace our steps, in effect, a process that he likens to a ladder, where we retrace our steps into descent, and eventually the ladder is removed. (T-28.II.12:7) Our old ideas of Heaven being “up,” of somewhere out in the sky being Heaven, here comes into play in Jesus’s metaphor. We cannot truly enter the Heaven that is actually within until we have let go of all illusions; this may be a very long process, because we have gone deep into madness.

All that Is Asked of Us Is to Make Room for Truth

The ego is dazed by much of our reasoning, which accounts for the Heaven vs. hell dichotomies that our religions have set up. I once heard a ministerial student proclaim that [blank] religion could not be right, because it asserted that there was only Good and “there cannot be good without evil.” Jung had a similar problem, symbolized by a seminal childhood dream, which led him to feel that God Himself might be both good and evil. This was nothing less than an imperfect way to improve on Milton’s concept of Satan and God at war. Ego, all, A Course in Miracles would have us understand. We can’t make sense of it because the ideas are filled to the brim with the chaotic “reality” of insanity.

Any person who has experienced psychosis understands the troubled way in which he tries to “make sense” of the images that arise from the subconscious. Meaning can be seen only in part, because the person is having a nocturnal dream in the daylight hours. And there are virtually always huge chunks of our nocturnal dreams that remain incomprehensible to us as we seek to analyze them. It is this dynamic that is played out when we live with the ego as our guide. Our cues for inference (T-21.I.1:5) are wrong, the Course says, so we cannot see our way clearly. The daily dream that is our life is chaotic because its source (the ego) is insane.

We do not have to accept this view of Reality wholly if it would be dishonest to try to believe something that on the surface of it doesn’t make sense. The Course says only, “All that is asked of you is to make room for truth.” (T-21.II.7:6) Entertain the concept that our ego may be distracting us in our search for meaning. We need only open our minds to the possibility that in the past we may have formed a worldview wrongly. Suspend judgment for a time, drop resistance, and in the Course’s beautiful language, do as it bids: “Be willing, for an instant, to leave your altars free of what you placed upon them, and what is really there you cannot fail to see.” (T-21.II.8:1)

We Are the Energy of God

In our madness, we revolted against God, possibly believing that we could not be free unless we exercised that freedom by choosing a way of living that was opposed to His Will. Doesn’t this sound very much like an adolescent revolting against the reasoning and life patterns of parents? I suggest that this human perennial pattern is a metaphor for our rebellion against our Perfect Parent. The fallacy in this mad reason (because it is mad) is that God is ultimately not only our Parent and Creator, but also the very Energy out of which we are born. We are not separate from Him except when we identify ourselves as ego in a bad dream. Even on the human level we can see some parallel in the humor elicited by varieties of the story we have all heard: “When I was 14, I thought that my father didn’t know anything. By the time I turned 21, I was amazed by how much he had learned.”

On the human level, where this world is opposite from Heaven (T-16.V.3:6), there is good reason to build up a personality separate from our parents. Yet never have our minds been truly separate in this universal growth process. The latter point illustrates profoundly the way of the universe. We are built of the very Existence of God, thus not being separate, we can only retreat into madness and fantasize that we are, lest God be divided against Himself. This God could not allow, and we fancy ourselves apart only; in actuality, we are still at Home in Him.

We Can See Clearly Now

The Course calls the act of pardoning, or forgiving, one’s brother of what is just illusion anyway as the “power to release your savior.” (T-21.II.3:8) If we will entertain the idea that the Course is right, that the world is truly illusory and illusion made in madness, the step of pardon becomes very easy. It becomes, in madness, the only rational choice that one would make. We would not get angry if our brother were psychotic, though we might wish mightily that he were healed, especially if in his madness he is causing us pain. In effect, the Course declares that this characterization is exactly what is happening on a daily basis in our world. We are all, to one degree or another, steeped in a metaphysical madness.

On a deeper level, though, we have never left Heaven, and our real Self is very strong. We are indeed strong enough to let this world go, accepting correction because we see that we are wrong. (T-21.II.4:10) It is only the extent to which we live by guidance that we can see a more benign dream, the still illusory Real World granted our waking dream by the Holy Spirit. The dreams he gives, though still illusory, are happy, and by them we see our way clear.

Be Gentle with the Self

Do we really choose, on some level, what we experience? The Course is uncompromising in its insistence that we do. “Suffer, and you decided sin was your goal. Be happy, and you gave the power of decision to Him [i.e., the Holy Spirit] Who must decide for God for you.” (T-21.II.3:5-6)

If this concept is helpful, it is because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. If it makes us feel guilty, we are misusing the words on behalf of the ego’s insanity. All of us are still at least partially insane, ruled by the ego. It is not practical to think, under these circumstances, that we always and consistently follow the Holy Spirit. The little self that occupies this world is still imperfect. Be gentle with that self, even as your Self would be, and perhaps say quietly (if it is helpful), “There is another way of looking at the world.” (W-pI.33.h)

When I fall from Grace into karma, I think, “I have done this thing to somebody else, sometime, somewhere.” I allow myself to feel the pain, but I try not to wallow in it. It is sometimes helpful, if the “sin” (in illusion) seems to be perpetrated by another, to remember, “you always attack yourself first,” (T-10.II.4:5) substituting the offender’s name for the “you.” Then I feel compassion for this fellow traveler, my brother sent to me by God, for we will find the way out together or not at all.

The Ego as Satan

A Course in Miracles says, “Sin is not error, for it goes beyond correction to impossibility. Yet the belief that it is real has made some errors seem forever past the hope of healing, and the lasting grounds for hell.” (T-26.VII.7:1-2) This passage points to the old idea of a duel between God and the fallen angel Lucifer (Satan), in which the two battle it out for control of men’s and women’s minds.

We must realize that this myth is a projection of the ego, which is the “Satan” in all of us. But as part of God, as an extension of God, our Will and His have not truly been out of sync. It is only in our mad and unnatural way to operate independently of God that the trouble began–the trouble that is an illusion of reality, but an illusion in which, nevertheless, we still believe.

God does not attack our ego (our “Satan”), knowing that it is only a dream and without substance at all. He waits for us to understand that the way of the ego does not work; He waits for our reestablishment of communing with the Holy Spirit, the only natural way to live. As finite minds, we cannot succeed if we try to live separately from our Source.

So we must give up our inferior judgments to the Holy Spirit, who sees the whole picture. This is natural; this is the way life should be experienced, and we learn this as our bad dreams turn to happy ones under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.

Forgiveness

People who are particularly fearful of sin (though they may not call it that) will be particularly prone to find a victim in an attempt to ease their consciences at their own “unforgivable” wrongdoing. Their attacks upon another will be very pronounced, reducing her to an object deemed unworthy of esteem, but very worthy of damnation for “sins.” This is projection! The one who feels guilty, who cannot accept those mistakes of hers that seem black enough to be sins, will thrust her poor self-image onto another–the scapegoat. Know that this is simple insanity, and try no longer to make sense of it. Forgive the indiscretion, and this understanding will dawn upon an overwrought mind. Know that if we are the victims today, in other times we have been the perpetrators. Leave this insanity behind for all time. It is a replay of the mistaken message that we have long viewed by looking at the old, rugged cross.

We do not need the cross as expiation of sins. We do need the wholly benign lesson of the resurrection, and Jesus in A Course in Miracles bids us look to the resurrection rather than the crucifixion. A Course in Miracles affirms that all sickness is an illusion caused by our belief in unforgivable sin and brought into being by our guilt (over the “sin”) that asks for punishment. The Course does not really believe that sin, if true at all, is forgivable. And it implies that we do not believe sin, if true, is forgivable either.

The Course’s way out of this impasse is to say that the wrong that we do is really illusion, and that Reality has not be affected at all. So sin is not “real,” and only in illusion have we made errors that cry out for correction.

Calling an error a “sin” seems to make it “real,” and to call for punishment. And because belief makes an illusion, we will experience the punishment that we have asked for. We can seem to make error “real” by concentrating upon it, thereby elevating its status. What we need to do is overlook the error, perhaps offering simultaneously our forgiveness of it. But certain it is that we will make it “real” to ourselves if we focus on it, analyzing it as the ego is always prone to do. If we forgive first, we will then come to understand. We ought not to seek to understand before forgiving because that is a certain way to engage the ego and ensure that we will find it harder and harder to forgive, having made real to ourselves the deeds that we need to overlook.

Jesus

The belief in sin sets up the need for sacrifice—a scapegoat or victim upon whom our wrong can be dumped so that we will not suffer for it. This is essentially why the cross has played such a huge part in the drama of 2,000 years ago. If Jesus, the innocent one, the best of the flock, was sacrificed to an angry God, then we were off the hook.

The fact that Jesus did not see an angry God but only a loving Father was a detail overlooked in the scenario. He would do anything God might ask, even death unto the cross. The drama was complete.

But what if we somehow missed the point? What if it were our ego that gave this interpretation to which was essentially a cruel death to one who upset the authority of the priests? In the Course Jesus bids us look at the resurrection, which, however it is understood, does seem to point beyond death to a life that continues. The New Testament gives eye-witness accounts of a Jesus who appeared in the midst of the apostles, though the doors to the room were shut. This does not appear to be the usual physical body, but one that could be “made physical” at will.

Do we really doubt that there are more things in Heaven and earth than we dream of? This seems to be one of these cases–a body that could come and go from other regions at will.

A Course in Miracles says, “. . .specialness cares not who pays the cost of sin, so it be paid. . . .” (T-25.VIII.11:1) So for almost 2,000 years, many of us have believed that the cost of our specialness demanded a victim to expiate our “sin.” What if there need be no victim because there is no sin–only error borne of madness? We would rush to the side of our brother to do what we can to heal his mind.

Maybe that’s exactly what we need to do today: Rush to our brother or sister’s side to heal his/her mind.

Wholly Correctable Mistakes – Not “Sin”

It is particularly hard for newcomers to the A Course in Course to believe it when they are told that they have never sinned: They have only made wholly correctable mistakes. People with background such as mine may think that this is the deception of which we are warned from a “devil.” So what are we to make of this?

It one can just entertain the notion that our minds are, to greater or lesser degrees, at one time or another, in one person or another, insane, then we are well on our way out. Even our society treats the insane criminal differently from the one judged sane, controversial though a given case may be. We recognize diminished responsibility, an inability to see clearly right from wrong. Is this not what we are faced with on a daily basis? We see so dimly without the Holy Spirit’s guidance; sometimes we hardly know which way to turn. Would a loving God condemn us for our lack of clear understanding? No! He would merely give us a Guide who would lead us out of the maze.

Does a loving God demand payment, sacrificial payment, because we have done something bad and need to be punished for it? Certain traditional Christian theology teaches this, in that Jesus “died for our sins” and is the “sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.” The Course reinterprets all of this into a much more benign concept. “I was not ‘punished’ because you were bad,” Jesus says. (T-3.I.2:10) He goes on to explain that this interpretation is an egoistic projection borne of the insanity of the ego. So we are back to the concept of insanity.

Surely no parent or loved one who sees his child or family member commit violent acts when diagnosed as mentally ill holds that person by the same standards as she holds a “sane” person. Let us entertain the notion that we only need to enlarge our definition of insanity to accommodate all people, to a greater or lesser degree. Jesus condemned no one. He recognized while on earth that most people did the best that they could with what they had. It behooves those of us who follow in the footsteps of Jesus, however blindly, to try to do the same.

Little Wisp of Melody

The Course speaks of a “little wisp of melody” (T-21.I.6:2) that will remind us of an ancient state of Oneness with God, a state of Oneness which calls us to return to our real Home. T. S. Eliot expressed this need to return perhaps more perfectly than anyone else when he said,

“We will not cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started,
And know the place for the first time.” –“Little Gidding,” Four Quartets, V: 26-29

This is a fitting description of the expulsion from Eden as the “fortunate” fall. But we do not have to agree that our detour into madness was “fortunate” to derive meaning and benefit from Eliot’s concept. In our own world, though, it is not uncommon for those individuals who recover fully from madness to feel, in retrospect, that their experiences, however wrenching, were worthwhile. If the people labeled “mentally ill” by our culture can see value in their dreamlike experiences, do we really have to doubt that our mass hallucination–our mass dream–is a valuable teaching tool as well?

In the final analysis, the two may be remarkably alike. Just as many mentally ill people refuse to believe that they are ill, so too do most people of the world. Our egos are seen as valuable and, above all, real–hardly the illusion that miracles would have us recognize.

CREATING A NEW WORLD

Published recently in Miracles magazine (Jon Mundy, publisher)

by Celia Hales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JOY, PEACE, RELEASE

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

by Celia Hales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Bridge – New Publication from Take Heart Publications

This is a message from Glenn Hovemann, publisher, Take Heart Publications, about a new booklet that will describe the connection between A Course in Miracles and A Course of Love. The booklet is called A Bridge, and can be purchased from amazon in both print and e-book format. It is excellent, my recommendation (from Celia):

Here are straight answers to questions from students of A Course in Miracles about A Course of Love.

• What’s different about the message of ACOL?
• Do both ACIM and ACOL see the world as an illusion?
• How can ACOL help me in my life?
• What could ACOL offer that I haven’t already gotten from ACIM?

Many long-time students of ACIM have wholeheartedly embraced ACOL without diminishing in the slightest their love for ACIM. Others have been hesitant about “another Course.” This little book was written by students of both Courses. It’s offered as a bridge of love.

This booklet is NOT couched as a “debate” or intended to foster that kind of energy. It is for people who are interested in these questions and who are open to listening. As it says in the Introduction:

This work is presented as a series of questions and answers, and the author of each response to each question has been indicated. Our intent is to avoid the suggestion there is any one form of answering these questions that is exclusively correct, and to avoid the solidification of answers into dogmas or ideals. Some of our contributors are more verbose than others. Some have different vantages. We view this as all of a piece, as we are each unique expressions of the fullness of God. Words remain but symbols. The truth is what lives and breathes and dances in our own hearts. It is the living reality of Love we would remember, and to which we would each return.

Reason & Faith

There is a difference between what is metaphorically true and what is actually true. When the way seems rough, it is likely that one is being propelled by a metaphor. Instruction for living is found therein, but not those things that will be actualized in the time and place of this plane. And faith that it will be is misplaced faith, particularly likely to lead one even deeper into illusion.

I was greatly relieved in my college classes in religion to learn that one of the Church Fathers had declared that one need not believe on faith anything that contradicted reason. As my beliefs about Reality have changed, so has my reasoning about it. But the Holy Spirit leads gently and leads us willingly; just so long as He is dealing with a skeptic, so ever gentle will He lead. Now I read in the Course that the Holy Spirit uses reason to undo insanity. (T-21.V.9:1) Reason actually lies in the union of my will with that of the Father.

With these words the gentle pathway back becomes illumined as by a lightning bolt. Perhaps the Holy Spirit needs reason even more than blind faith. If truly blind, one is not using her sane mind, but is particularly apt, perhaps, to follow a will o’ wisp of falsity to its mad conclusion.

Faith

Faith is a particularly slippery term to the partially insane, because it can be used to justify illusions as well as truth. If we believe an illusion strongly enough, it will become true to us (even if we have to dip into psychosis to prove its truth). Conversely, if one lacks faith in any truths beyond one’s self, the world becomes a very nihilistic place in which to dwell.

So when do we know that faith is warranted? There are no easy answers. But you can be sure that if one has to invert a whole frame of reference to justify a belief, that belief is probably wrong. The Course is practical, as ever. And I know from experience that, given a strong will, one is frequently tempted to invert a frame of reference in an attempt to preserve an egoistic dream.