The Mastery of Fear

“We have already attempted to correct the fundamental error that fear can be mastered, and have emphasized that the only real mastery is through love. . . .You may think this implies that an enormous amount of time is necessary between readiness and mastery, but let me remind you that time and space are under my control.  (T33)”

Affirmation:  “only real mastery is through love”

Reflections:

This is one of Jesus’s great promises in A Course in Miracles.  The final sentence also states a truth that we would be wise to accept at face value, though perhaps it is early yet to recognize the miracles that the sentence represents.

We must learn to love if we are to be happy, for who can remain happy while intermittently experiencing pangs of fear?  The Course is the way that many of us have chosen to learn how to love, how to live a better way.   It is a beginning, a way home for those of us who follow diligently its guidance.

The time between readiness and mastery of fear does not, as implied by this passage, have to be lengthy.  It is true that it may be lengthy, but elsewhere Jesus recommends that we be content to walk the pathway, even if the way seems long to us.

It is not always long.  Many people find themselves at home in God within a few days or weeks of reading the Course.  When this happens, we have experienced a revelation of the end.  And the revelation may not last.  Yet we will take away from the experience our certainty, also given us by Jesus, that once the way is begun, the end is certain.  The Course then becomes our pathway home.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May we see Jesus control time and space in our world.  Even when we do not understand this, may we realize that what he has promised is real–more real than the things of this world.

May we master fear by love.  We know that this is the only way.  May we feel the love that You have placed in our hearts.

Amen.

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Perfect Love

“Know first that this is fear.
Fear arises from lack of love.
The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.
Perfect love is the Atonement.  (T30)”

Affirmation:  “The only remedy for lack of love is perfect love.”

Reflections:

This is another beautiful blank verse poem from the Course.  It is also a syllogism, which Jesus seems to appreciate a great deal.

It is unlikely that we will understand this poem completely without reading our way through the entire Course.  Basically, the poem refers to the fact that the only two emotions are fear and love, and that only lack of love makes fear.

The Atonement is a shift in perception that allows us to see that we are actually innocent children of God.  Heretofore we have believed that we were guilty of black sins that will require retribution.  Through the Course, we learn that reaching perfect love is the ultimate end of our journey here.  Knowing only love, we will fear no longer.  This too is the Awakening.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

When I find the day hard-going, may I realize that my love is imperfect.  Imperfect love makes for a bad day.

May I find the perfect love that You have promised all of your children.  May I leave fear behind as I find this perfect love.

Amen.

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God’s Will

“There is no strain in doing God’s Will as soon as you recognize that it is also your own.  (T30)”

Affirmation:  “no strain in doing God’s will”

Reflections:

This sentence is a primary theoretical foundation for the Course.  Much of our rebellion has been predicated upon the idea that we would not believe that God’s will would be desirable; we think that we can choose better.  We even think that His will is punitive.

How wrong we are!  God’s will and our own “real” will are the same!  What a relief this can be.  Our thoughts of Jonah and the whale may be relegated to an Old Testament story, not meaningful in the world in which we live today.  With Jonah, the idea that God would pursue us and demand that we do His will, is the main crux of the matter.  In the Course, we are gently led to do God’s will, once we have understood that we are actually doing our own will at the same time.  The God of A Course in Miracles is in no way a punitive God.

So, we experience “no strain” in doing God’s will.  We see no conflict in following God’s pathway.  It is the pathway that we would choose if we could see the whole picture.  Our judgment is not that wondrous; we see imperfectly and only in part.  But when we acquiesce to the Holy Spirit, we truly know the peace of following God’s will as our own.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

What a relief to learn that God’s will is really our real will!  Thank you, dear Father, for this insight.

When we know that doing God’s will, as we perceive it, is really our own real will, we do not feel coerced.  Thank you for this insight, this great blessing.

Amen.

revised

Guidance

“It is possible to reach a state in which you bring your mind under my guidance without conscious effort, but this implies a willingness that you have not developed as yet.  (T30)”

Affirmation:  “reach a state in which you bring your mind under my guidance”

Reflections:

This passage occurs at the beginning of the Course.  It suggests that following our guidance must be a willful thing, and that we choose to follow guidance by conscious effort.  Yet we are also told that much of the learning of the Course can be effortless.  Is this a contradiction?

No, because there is a progression here that we would be wise to understand.  In the beginning of our study, we cannot just turn our wills over to Jesus without choosing to do so.  It is noteworthy that in these beginning passages, Jesus says that it is “my guidance,” and later on in the Course, he stresses following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  We are not yet, at this point early on, ready for the more theoretical aspects of the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Later on we are ready.  Then we can truly move effortlessly to make decisions with our minds and our spirits.

Surely we can await the time that we bring our minds under guidance without conscious effort.  In the meantime, we can use our intuition, which is a form of guidance, to know what and how to respond in our world.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I bring my mind under the guidance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  May this form of intuition be something that will bless others in my world as well as myself.

I realize that this need not be hard.  Indeed, surrendering to guidance can be effortless.  Help it to be effortless in me today.

Amen.

revised

The Correction of Fear

“The correction of fear is your responsibility.  When you ask for release from fear, you are implying that it is not.  You should ask, instead, for help in the conditions that have brought the fear about.  (T29)”

Affirmation:  “help in the conditions that have brought the fear about”

Reflections:

These three sentences, and the order in which they appear, are a very important sequence.  We may feel that the correction of fear is beyond what we can do, but this passage says not.  We can get help, though, in the slightly different matter of the “conditions” that brought the fear about.  For that we ask for help, and rightly so.  And when we ask, we receive.

The matter of conditions is pivotal.  There is always an (insane) reason that we feel fearful.  We don’t need to understand insanity, but we do need to leave it behind, and this passage notes that the help we need in leaving insanity behind is there for the asking.

Fearful thoughts are always a form of madness, the form in which most of us live in this world the vast majority of the time.  Until we willingly leave fear behind and return to love consistently, we will be afraid periodically.  Can this be something we want to keep?

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I leave fear behind.  This sometimes seems impossible to me, but You have promised that I can do so.

May I have the help that You have promised with the conditions that have brought the fear about.  Then my fear is self-controlled, which is what Jesus asks me to do.

Amen.

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A Miscreating Mind

“Whenever you are afraid, it is a sure sign that you have allowed your mind to miscreate and have not allowed me to guide it.  (T29)”

Affirmation:  “My I allow Jesus to guide my mind.”

Reflections:

Elsewhere the Course counsels against mind wandering.  This mind wandering is exactly the way in which miscreation happens.  We fantasize about horrors of the past, present, or future, and soon we find ourselves afraid–full of fear.  The exact opposite of love.

When we allow Jesus to guide our thoughts, we do not know fear.  This takes great deal of concentration in the beginning, an awareness of what our minds are doing.  This kind of concentration usually does not come easily to us.  But it can be done, when motivation is strong.

If the fear is strong, the motivation to change to a better way of living will be strong as well.  We need at first attend only to the motivation to change, and then the remainder will fall into place without effort.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I allow my miscreating mind to rest in Your power and strength.  May I allow the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts.

When my mind does not wander into fantasies, I am better off.  Thank you for the wisdom that would lead me to eliminate miscreations of my mind and eliminate fear.

Amen.

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Fear

“Fear cannot be controlled by me, but it can be self-controlled.  Fear prevents me from giving you my control.  (T28)”

Affirmation:  “Fear can be self-controlled.”

Reflections:

This is not the complete passage, and what is quoted can be a little misleading.  Later on Jesus says that we are to ask for help in eliminating the conditions that have brought the fear about.  That then frees us to accept the control of Jesus.

In getting the guidance of the Holy Spirit to eliminate the conditions that brought about the fear, we are going to the root of the fear.  This is true self-controlled fear.

Jesus also says that cause and effect are involved in fear.  When the conditions that bring about fear are present as a cause, then the effect is the fear.  To tamper with this cause-and-effect relationship would be to deemphasize our minds, which Jesus would never do.  He also says that we fear the power of the mind, but to think of it as impotent is not a helpful concept.  We are actually afraid of the power of the mind.

Fear can be overcome.  It is simple to read these words and to take them to heart, but perhaps it is not easy to effect the eradication of fear.  The Course returns again and again to the differences between love and fear, and ultimately tells us that the only true mastery of fear is through love.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I be free of fear.  May I have help with the conditions that bring the fear about.  And may I be guided in how to control my fear.

I pray for Jesus’s help in my life.  He promises this to me.  May I turn to him and to the Holy Spirit for the help that I so much need.

Amen.

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Truly Helpful

“I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am here to represent Him Who sent me.
I do not have to worry about what to say or what
to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.
I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing
He goes there with me.
I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.
(T28)”

Affirmation:  “I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do.”

Reflections:

This is a lovely prayer, set in the form of a blank verse poem.  The “He” and “Him” referred to in the poem mean the Holy Spirit.

Two of the most beautiful lines are Lines 3 and 4, in which we are assured that the Holy Spirit will guide us.  We do not have to reach ahead to the future, wondering what to do.  We will be told in the present.  If there are plans that need to be made, we will be told of them at the point of need.  There is no need to worry.

We will follow guidance to go wherever in this world we are led to go.  This is truly being led by the Holy Spirit, and it may not take what is commonly known as blind faith.  We will know inwardly and with assurance what pathway is best, and where that pathway is physically located.  We will go with knowledge that we are there with the Holy Spirit.

We are also our brother’s keeper.  “I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal,” which is the last line, is an assurance that our relationship to our brother is where healing lies.

If we study this poem, we will have its blessing, for it is indeed dense with meaning.  Let the Holy Spirit speak to us as we read.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Thank you for helping me to make decisions through the Holy Spirit.  Let me realize that I do not have to worry about what to say or do, because I will be guided.  This is Your promise.

Help me to be helpful to others in my daily life.  As I am healed, I will be better able to effect healing in others through Your grace.

Amen.

revised

Imprisoned Will

“An imprisoned will engenders a situation which, in the extreme, becomes altogether intolerable.  Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit.  (T21-22)”

Affirmation:  “Tolerance for pain is not without limit.”

Reflections:

This “imprisoned will” is a philosophical tenet of A Course in Miracles.  When the separation seemed to arise, we were caught in a situation that seemed to make God’s will and our will at odds with one another.  Actually the two are inseparable, and only our dim understanding makes this aspect of faith difficult.

When we reject the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are caught in the bonds of an imprisoned will, which engenders pain–sometimes extreme pain.  Although the Course affirms the releasing truth that we do not have to learn through pain, the truth is that many of us do learn through pain.  We can suffer in this pain greatly, but our tolerance for pain, as this passage says, is “not without limit.”  Sooner or later we will come to see that there must be another way, a better way, to live, and this is when we turn to God and His Voice, the Holy Spirit.

Helen Schucman and William Thetford, the two individuals responsible for bringing us the Course, agreed together to seek another way.  At the time they and their department at Columbia University were embroiled in competition and attack, and camaraderie was largely missing.  Helen and Bill embarked on a seven-year project, with Helen channeling from Jesus, and Bill, typing what had come through the day before.  Tolerance for pain in these two had become intolerable.

May this tolerance soon become intolerable for us as well, and then we will be ready to listen, perhaps for the first time, to innermost guidance.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I choose to eliminate pain from my experience.  I know that pain is not Your will, and may it not be mine either.

If I have learned through pain, may this learning come to an end.  Your will for me is total happiness.

Amen.

revised

True Denial

“True denial is a powerful protective device.  You can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you.  (T199)”

Affirmation:  “True denial is protective.”

Reflections:

True denial refers only to our real self–the Self that cannot be hurt.  We aren’t usually very aware of this Self, but this Self influences us constantly.  Whether or not we listen is our own decision, but this Self can and does influence what happens to us.

Error can actually accomplish nothing that is ultimately hurtful, because the Self is beyond being hurt.  The Course does not use the word “soul,” but in common language this is what is meant.  (The Course usually uses the word “spirit.”)

When we are caught in the midst of suffering, of feeling our pain, in our own lives, or when we see suffering in others (whether our significant others or the world at large), we can affirm that the pain is illusory.  Certainly it is felt; this is not what is meant by “illusory.”  The pain actually accomplishes nothing permanent except, upon occasion, bringing us closer to God and thus to ultimate release.  This understanding will eliminate any tendency to project the blame for our pain onto God, thus removing one of the main reasons that we reject faith as being beyond our comprehension.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

May I learn the power of true denial, and use it only rightly.  May I truly know in the depths of my being that error–error in myself or error in others–cannot hurt my real Self.

May I forgive error in myself and in others.  May the error that does occur be an occasion to practice forgiveness, and may I turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance in how to forgive.

Amen.

revised

Illness vs. Health

“Illness is some form of external searching.  Health is inner peace.  It enables you to remain unshaken by lack of love from without and capable, through your acceptance of miracles, of correcting the conditions proceeding from lack of love in others.  (T18)”

Affirmation:  “Illness is external searching.  Health is inner peace.”

Reflections:

Perhaps this passage will remain unclear for some time as we study A Course in Miracles.  We may not fully understand for what we are searching when we become ill.  But surely we have recognized, over our lifetimes, that we are peaceful when we are in good health.  Good health can be either emotional or physical; it makes no difference.

The emotional health can be seen in that many of us have no problem with the Course concept of refraining from attack when we are at peace.  When stress happens, though, we may find it all too easy to succumb to attack and also the accompanying anger.  This is not good emotional health.

Physical health is frequently a challenge that either brings us closer to God or seems to drive Him away.  We can respond either way, but the obviously better way is to seek God in our suffering.  He will be there.  And we will not have to wait long.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Surely you are with us in good health and bad.  When we are in good health, may we experience gratefulness.  When we are ill, may we experience the grace to be accepting of that which we do not understand.

May we move closer to You in health and in illness.  May our emotional and physical condition make no difference in the zeal with which we seek You.

Amen.


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Lacks of Love

“But remember the first principle in this course; there is no order of difficulty in miracles.  In reality you are perfectly unaffected by all expressions of lack of love.  These can be from yourself and others, from yourself to others, or from others to you.  (T18)”

Affirmation:  “unaffected by lacks of love”

Reflections:

This passage is most illuminating.  We think that we are affected when others don’t love us as we wish, or when we recognize that we too don’t love as we ought.

Jesus admonishes us to recognize that reality is actually unaffected by lacks of love.  Our real selves have never been damaged in any way.

The first principle in the Course, no order of difficulty in miracles, is a blessing that we do not understand.  How can this be?  But Jesus asserts that it is true, and we would be wise to take him at his word and ask for his blessing and his miracles.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Please forgive me, and help me to forgive myself and others, for the lacks of love that we show.  May we replace lack with the grace to live peacefully in all situations and events.

Jesus tells us that there is no order of difficulty in miracles.  So this need will be answered just as soon as we ask.  Thank you.

Amen.

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Revelation

“Healing is of God in the end.  The means are being carefully explained to you.  Revelation may occasionally reveal the end to you, but to reach it the means are needed.  (T16)”

Affirmation:  “Revelation may occasionally reveal the end”

Reflections:

We may know revelation, the revelation of Awakening, several times before it is permanent.  This is not a Course concept, but one that we can observe in our brothers and ourselves.  To have known Awakening, even briefly, is a very wonderful blessing; it shows us what is possible.  We really do live in the present, and we live without anxiety in the present.  It is a time of great joy and freedom from fear.

The “means,” in this passage, are found in A Course in Miracles.  When we follow the way pointed out in its lovely writing, we will ultimately know the end of the Awakening that does not leave us.

It is comforting to know that we are, at any time, subject to revelation.  This is not quite the same as miracles.  We cannot easily explain revelation, as it sounds truthful only to ourselves, being intensely personal–from God to us, always.  He knows us as nobody in this world can.  An inner awareness of God will go a long way toward recognizing that He and we are not separate at all.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Thank you for the times in my life that revelation has revealed Awakening to me.  It was not sustained, but that it happened at all is grounds for hope that one day Awakening will be permanent.

May all of us know this great joy of experiencing Awakening. A Course in Miracles explains the healing that leads us to it.

Amen.

Revised

Wholly Satisfying Nature of Reality

“Fantasies become totally unnecessary as the wholly satisfying nature of reality becomes apparent to both giver and receiver.  (T15)”

Affirmation:  “the wholly satisfying nature of reality”

Reflections:

Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) says a good bit about his own Awakening and his joy in the immediate experience of the reality he knows now.  His reality is now wholly satisfying, and, as he once said, no thought has made him unhappy since the shift into Awakening.

We learn through A Course in Miracles that we will leave fantasies behind when we see how satisfying reality really can be.  Of course, this is not the reality that most of us find ourselves a part of now.  But, as we walk the pathway pointed out by the Course, we will find that life becomes increasingly easy and joyous.

With life now easy and joyous, we will feel no need to escape into fantasies.  We will thank God for the new ease that we have found, now that we follow His dictates instead of trying, in vain, to depend solely upon ourselves.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

Fantasies are seductive, but ultimately unsatisfying.  As we follow A Course in Miracles,  we see the world turn into a wholly satisfying place.  We have no need for fantasies then.

May we turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance as we seek to enter the real world, the one where fantasies are not needed.

Amen.

revised

Fantasies

“Fantasies are a means of making false associations and attempting to obtain pleasure from them.  (T15)”

Affirmation:  “May I not indulge in meaningless fantasies.”

Reflections:

Many of us are prone to this unreality.  We are bade to leave fantasies behind, as they are untruths that do not lead to the real world.  The “false associations” are just that–lies that we tell ourselves.  And would we not do well to stop lying to ourselves?

When we live totally in this world, it is almost inevitable that we will find ourselves lost in fantasies.  These fantasies are a way of coping in a world that seems far too cruel to allow us to live easily.  But there is another way, a better way.  And the Course always says the same thing:  Turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance.  He will lead us out of an illusory present into a real world that will bring happiness.

We may still know pain, though Jesus assures us that we do not have to learn through pain.  In our world, though, pain as a means of learning is more common than any other way.  In the pain, we turn to God.  We do not have to learn this way, but if it happens to us, we would be foolish not to take the new pathway that God points to–away from the pain.  Fantasies then have no meaning in a world made anew by turning to spirit for answers and finding the wholly satisfying nature of true reality.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

I have indulged in fantasies when the world seemed too cruel.  Fantasies were an escape.  May, instead, I welcome Your teaching that will free me from unreal concepts of the world.  Then I will find joy instead of sorrow.

May I leave fantasies behind as I follow the Holy Spirit into the real world, a world of forgiveness and joy.

Amen.

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Perfect Love

“Perfect love casts out fear.
If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.
But
Only perfect love exists.
If there is fear,
It produces a state that does not exist.  (T14)”

Affirmation:  “Perfect love casts out fear.”

Reflections:

Jesus seems fond of syllogisms.  There are a number in the Course, but this is phrased in perhaps this most beautiful way of all of his syllogisms.

Here the Course goes to the heart of the unreality in which we live.  We live in illusions, not the real world, at all–at least most of us.  (The real world comes near the conclusion of our pathway back to God.)

Perfect love and fear are completely incompatible.  This is what this passage is saying.  Because most of us still feel fear upon occasion, we are lost in dreams–and not the happy dreams of the Holy Spirit.  There is a danger that we will feel depressed upon reading these words.  But elsewhere Jesus cautions us not to lose heart.  If the way seems long, once begun the way back is always found in the end.  If the way seems long, we are to take heart and to know that we will find our way back, ultimately.

Prayer:

Dear Father,

In reality, only perfect love exists.  But we frequently feel fear, and so we are not experiencing the real world on a consistent basis.

May we experience the real world.  If this seems a long way off, may we in the interim experience the happy dreams the Holy Spirit brings.

Amen.

revised

A COURSE IN MIRACLES AND A COURSE OF LOVE

by Celia Hales

Mari Perron’s A Course of Love, in three volumes (A Course of Love, the Treatises, and the Dialogues, acronym ACOL), is a beautifully rendered narrative that I view as a sequel to A Course in Miracles.  She heard internally, as she related to me in an interview when I met her in St. Paul, that ACOL was presented to her by Jesus as “another Course in Miracles.”  She said that she had about a week before she consented to tackle such a large project, a project that eventually led her to resign from her position at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities to devote herself full time to the channeling.  The channeling was done in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

In my reading, I find in ACOL no contradictions of any kind with ACIM.  My summary evaluation is that ACOL is to the heart what ACIM is to the mind.  Jesus says that he is combining mind and heart in A Course of Love to lead to a state that he terms “wholeheartedness.”  There are many consoling passages, notably a beautifully rendered invitation to join Jesus in an embrace that comforts and sustains us, and that we return in a mutual embrace.  He invites us to weep, yet we know that he will not leave us weeping, but instead lifted up to his view of life and love as they are meant to be lived.

There is much in ACOL about the fact that our fiction of a separated self is to be replaced by a union that can be understood only in relationship one to another.  As in ACIM, this is meant to be a holy relationship, not a special one.  Jesus bids us serve one another, and asserts that this describes the circular nature of the universe–to serve and to be served

Jesus is much concerned in this whole series of three volumes that we not keep seeking for our answers; we are to rest in the view that we know enough to live in love.  He talks about the fact that we seem to be continually seeking, but we are weary, and he knows that we wonder when this seeking will finally end.  In ACOL, all three volumes, the seeking is finally to come to an end.  The two volumes that follow the first, the Treatises and the Dialogues, particularly bid us leave our intellectualism behind and to listen, wholeheartedly, to our mind and heart in conjunction with each other.  In these later volumes, particularly the last, he resigns as our teacher and speaks to us as one of us..

When I first began reading the second of the three volumes, the Treatises, I became convinced that Jesus was the author; it was an intellectual decision based in part on the newness of the material and the complexity of it.  In addition, the fact that there were no contradictions to ACIM played heavily in my decision.  The Treatises are four in number, and they provide an intellectual framework in ways that the other two volumes do not.  They are harder to understand, but the same beautiful language is there, along with the forthrightness that I have learned to associate with Jesus.  In the early pages, he asks us to choose a miracle, and explains that this will help us to understand what he is saying.  Later on, he asserts, in line with Eastern thought, that mindfulness will provide the complement to wholeheartedness.

As  the volumes go on, there is much that is new in them–ideas that pick up where ACIM left off, with the time of the Holy Spirit, and assertions that we are now in the time of Christ-consciousness.  There have always been individuals who embodied Christ-consciousness, but none (except Jesus, we might add) that have sustained it.  Jesus does not make promises about a physical Second Coming, as he did not in ACIM, but he does indicate that now is the time for the sustaining of Christ-consciousness among more and more people, and he asserts that children born now will inhabit a very different world than that of their forebears.

Jesus directly states that ACIM and A Course of Love work hand-in-hand.  ACIM was meant to dislodge the ego, and ACOL builds upon this success, giving us the tools with which to work.  He asserts in the final volume, the Dialogues, that we are now the accomplished, and he presents a primer that is meant to be read and understood over forty days and nights.  We are working in a forty-day ascension to elevate the Self of form on our earth.

So much is devoted to the false thinking that we have about continuing to seek in a never-ending pathway.  When is it enough?  When does the seeking end?  Jesus ultimately says that we are ready now, once we have walked the whole pathway (which he outlines in the latter part of the third volume, the Dialogues), and that continual seeking is not what he means for us.  We will let the rough aspects of our personalities fall away, knowing that we are beloved and that we have achieved the Christhood that he holds out to us as his promise.  In what appears to be a departure from ACIM, Jesus asserts that no feelings are bad.  In ACIM, he had asserted that anger was never justified.  In A Course of Love he notes different aspects of personality that do not hinder us from full acceptance to Christ-consciousness.  Some of these aspects are negative, but he holds out to us the view that we can have these undesirable traits, undesirable to us, fall away if we do not care for them.  Otherwise, it appears that we are simply to be tolerant of aspects of ourselves that will be subject to change as we grow in Christ-consciousness.  In ACIM, perfection is seen to be a prerequisite, and Jesus was said to stand at the end of time to undo those errors in us that we otherwise could not undo.  The differences between these two thoughts may not be as great as we might imagine, as we remember from the New Testament that the man Jesus, the example-life of Christ-consciousness, got very angry in the last week of his life with the moneychangers in the temple.

To believe that we can retain some negative traits and yet ascend to Christ-consciousness is a remarkable statement that sounds almost too good to be true.  Yet I believe that it is true, and that it is only our own ego that would assert that the new understanding is arrogance.  This is the suggestion, discussed above, from A Course of Love that we do not have to be perfect to be an ascended Self of form in this world.  This is reassuring in the extreme, because how many of us try and try, only to fall up short repeatedly?  This is discouraging for those of us on the spiritual pathway, and Jesus’ statements deny the reality of perfection as a criterion on acceptance by him as being Christ-conscious.  This statement is one of the more startling in the volumes, and perhaps one of the more controversial.

Relationships are seen in the much the same vein as in ACIM, and special relationships must change to the holy.  This is itself will change everything.  We will exist in union with our brothers and sisters, in relationship, and this will fuel the new Christ form that we occupy.

We live within the house of truth, according to the Treatises, though within that house of truth is a house of illusion, in which many of us still live.  In a significant image, the words describe that there have been “explosions” within the house of illusion, but that it is has not fallen yet.  Nevertheless, still this house of illusion is within the house of truth, and so all of us are one together.  Those in the house of illusion are still, like ACIM says of us, ruled by the ego; those outside the house of illusion but inside the house of truth are now ruled by the Christ spirit, or Christ-consciousness, as the time of the Holy Spirit is drawing to a close and the time of Christ-consciousness is at hand.  This latter point is an expansion from ACIM, a next step.

We are not to evangelize our brothers and sisters, though, who still live in the house of illusion.  Instead, we seek just by service one to another to draw everyone to us in the house of truth.  Another way of stating this same phenomenon, new to our world but explained above, is that we must individually and collectively sustain Christ-consciousness.  This then is the new Self that we are to be.

The third volume, the Dialogues, seeks to lead us to a sustained place of Christ-consciousness in form, i.e., the elevated Self of form.  Christ-consciousness replaces perception (as discussed in ACIM) with knowing.  This elevated Self of form, to my reading, means the physical form that we occupy on earth, but it is does not mean that death will cease to be (a somewhat common misconception that sometimes is made with ACIM).

The volume concludes with an injunction to remain in the world, but to follow Jesus to the mountaintop for forty days and nights of final observation (not “learning“).  The content of the chapters devoted to these forty days and nights is beautiful indeed.  As mentioned, Jesus resigns as our teacher and becomes akin to an equal, but just as surely must we too resign as our own teacher (an ACIM thought as well).  We learn directly from observance, from within our own selves, of the real world that only appears to be outside of ourselves (an ACIM concept also).  But we cannot observe only from within ourselves; we must join in union and relationship with our brothers and sisters.  To unite is to be one in being; to join in relationship is to join with our brothers and sisters as beings; both union and relationship are necessary, and this injunction for unity and relationship is repeatedly emphasized.

In observing and living these forty days and nights, we are to remain in our daily world, carrying out our normal activities.  Jesus assures us that this is the best way to learn, for, after all, we are creatures of the earth as well as heaven, and we do not need to remove ourselves from our daily lives to learn his truths.

There is a very interesting insertion in the Dialogues of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  Jesus is seen to be the “example life,” the one of “doing“; and Mary’s way is seen to be that of “being,” in relationship, the way of the future.  There are consistencies between doing and being, though, and the two are not mutually exclusive now nor in the future.

The ultimate revelation of A Course of Love is the fact that we can indeed expect heaven on earth; this Jesus declares.  He ends the final volume, the Dialogues, by saying that we will know expressions of love as our service on earth.  This is very traditional thinking, but after studying all three volumes, it is a restful conclusion.  We are not encouraged to spend ourselves in endless effort, as the end that we seek is peaceful and effortless.  It is the way that life is meant to be, and has always been meant to be, lived.

A Course of Love, as I have reiterated, is a beautiful work of art.  Though not in blank verse, as is ACIM, the language that Mari Perron channeled is stunningly beautiful.  You have a magnificent opportunity in studying these volumes to learn what Jesus wants to say to us by way of sequel to ACIM.

Welcome!

This is a blog about A Course in Miracles and similar readings.  Comments are welcomed.  Enjoy!

The introduction to the textbook of the Course has the following statement:

“This course can be summed up very simply in this way:

Nothing real can be threatened. 

Nothing unreal exists. 

Herein lies the peace of God”

What is “real”?  Love, peace, joy, forgiveness.  God’s real world.  To reach the real world, we need to show forgiveness to our brothers and sisters, who are lost in dreams that constitute a form of madness.  Thus they are actually innocent of wrongdoing.  One would not be angry at a person in our world who was certifiably insane, and the Course says that a similar form of madness actually inflicts us all.  Try to remember that “nothing unreal exists,” and we will be well on our way to understanding what the Course teaches.